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Articles tagged #half marathon
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Hitomi Niiya wins Houston half marathon

Hitomi Niiya went unchallenged and just crushed it on Sunday morning in the women’s half marathon of the 2020 Chevron Houston Marathon. Niiya covered the 13.1-mile course in 1:06:38, breaking a 13-year-old record for the fastest time by a Japanese women’s half marathon runner.

Jemal Yimer Mekonnen of Ethopia sprinted to the finish line to win the men’s half marathon in :59:24. Mekonnen, who finished second in this race last year, just missed the course record of :59:22.

Mekonnen is the third winner in Houston to finish in under an hour. Mekonnen’s pace was a 4-minute, 32-second mile.

Bernard Kipkorir Ngeno (Kenya) was a second behind Mekonnen, finishing in 59:26. Another second behind at :59:27 was Shadrack Kimining Korir (Kenya).

When Niiya was closing in on the finish, there was no runner within sight of the 31-year-old. She ran the third-fastest time in Houston on this course for women in the half marathon. Niiya, who represented Japan at the 2012 Summer Olympics, averaged a 5:05-minute mile.

Brillian Jepkorir Kipkoech (Kenya) ran second in the women’s race in 1:08:08, followed by Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui (Kenya) in 1:08:13. Sara Hall was the top American woman finisher. Hall came in with a time of 1:08:55, for ninth place.

(01/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

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

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Over £10,000 prize money will be won in 2020 at Stirling Scottish Marathon event

Elite runners will contest a record prize fund of over £10,000 in the Stirling Scottish Marathon, organizers revealed. First over the finishing line in the men’s and women’s races will pick up £2000 each - ten times last year’s pot.

As well as upping the total, the prize money goes deeper and wider with cash for the top six in men’s and women’s race, plus the top three in over 40s, 50s and 60s. The half marathon carries a first prize of £250 in the men’s and women’s races.

Classic Run events director Steve Simpson said: “We want to attract a field of top-class runners and reward them accordingly. Although this is our first year in partnership with Stirling Council in running the Stirling Scottish Marathon, we took on board feedback from athletes about the level of last year’s prizes.

“This is a substantial prize pot, one that is unrivaled in Scotland. And I think it is important, even at this early stage, that we are transparent and open about our prize policy.”Steve said that for the majority of runners money was not the key driver.

The biggest attraction is conquering the most scenic course in the UK, running through a historic landscape dominated by Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument.

Every runner, no matter their ability, will be chip-timed and receive a commemorative T-shirt and specially crafted medal that reflects the heritage of the course.

Last year’s women’s champion Jenn Wetton welcomed the increased investment. The Stirling runner fits her training around work and looking after her one-year-old son. She said: “It’s a wonderful marathon course with fantastic supporters along the route.

The backdrop of Stirling Castle and Wallace Monument make this one of the most awe inspiring runs I’ve ever taken part in.

“I’m especially pleased that the prize money for elite athletes has been significantly increased to reflect the status and importance of the new look event. A £2000 first prize is a great reward for athletes who will be running sub three-hour marathons in Scotland. I hope it will help raise the level of competition and attract more of our top domestic marathon runners.”

(01/18/2020) ⚡AMP
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Stirling Scottish Marathon

Stirling Scottish Marathon

“Run through the heart of Scotland and run through history” Run the most picturesque marathon in the world! The winner of the men’s and women’s elite competition will walk away with a £2,000 cash prize. There are cash prizes for the top three runners in each age group. ...

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Lagat and Alemu back to defend Mumbai titles

Defending champions Lagat and Alemu ready to battle at Mumbai Marathon

Defending champions Cosmas Lagat and Worknesh Alemu both proclaimed themselves fit and ready to not only bid for back-to-back titles at the Tata Mumbai Marathon, but the pair also aim to attack the course records on Sunday (19). 

Kenya’s Lagat won at this World Athletics Gold Label road race 12 months ago in decisive fashion when he broke away from the rest of the leading pack around 29 kilometres into the race.

He raced twice more in 2019 but injuries in the middle of the year derailed his hopes of building on his success in the City of Dreams last January.

“I had injuries to my left calf and Achilles tendon. It happens in training sometimes,” he reflected stoically, demonstrating where his problems were at the traditional pre-race press conference on Friday.

“However, I am back in good training now and I think all is well. I train with Lawrence Cherono, who was the winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons last year, and I do the same training as him so I think I can perform as well as him.

“Running here last year and doing so well has given me confidence that I can win again, and I am thinking about the course record. I have learnt how to run this race better,” added Lagat.

Last year, Lagat crossed the line in 2:09:15, the second fastest time in race history and just 40 seconds outside the course record of 2:08:35 set by his compatriot Gideon Kipketer in 2016. The race has a first prize cheque of US$45,000 for both men and women with a US$15,000 bonus on offer for a course record.

Lagat will be aiming to become just the second man to win back-to-back titles in the race’s 17-year history, following in the footsteps of fellow Kenyan John Kelai who won in 2007 and 2008.

Race organisers have signed up 15 men who have run faster than 2:10:00, making the TMM 2020 the highest quality marathon ever staged in India.

Like Lagat, Ethiopia’s Alemu upset the form book in Mumbai 12 months ago and won in what was then a personal best of 2:25:25, which was also the second fastest winning time in race history.

She showed her win was no fluke when she improved her best to 2:24:42 later in 2019 at the Amsterdam Marathon in October so this time around her role has changed from underdog to favourite.

“I have had good races in 2019 so my confidence is strong. It is a tough field, but I am in good shape. If I do well here, it could set me on the road to representing my country at the Olympics in Tokyo. Why not?” said Alemu, all smiles and looking relaxed in front of a rapt audience. 

Alemu heads a very strong women’s field that has eight women who have run under 2:28:00.

The fastest women in the field is another Ethiopian, Amane Beriso, who had a stunning marathon debut when she ran 2:20:48 for second place in the 2016 Dubai Marathon, which placed her third on that year’s world list. However, a variety of injuries mean that she has not raced in 15 months.

All the leading women will have as their target the course record of 2:24:33 set by Kenya’s Valentine Kipketer in 2013.

Approximately 55,000 runners will take to the roads in Mumbai for six different races in what has become a traditional annual event in the city on the third Sunday of January.

Entries for the marathon itself are just under 10,000 runners which means that the anticipated number of finishers in the race will have more-or-less doubled in the last five years.

A similar upward trajectory can be seen in the half marathon which has more than 15,000 entries, with an expected increase in finishers which will have increased by approximately 20% in just two years.

(01/18/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

Distance running epitomizes the power of one’s dreams and the awareness of one’s abilities to realize those dreams. Unlike other competitive sports, it is an intensely personal experience. The Tata Mumbai Marathon is One of the World's Leading Marathons. The event boasts of fundraising platform which is managed by United Way Mumbai, the official philanthropy partner of the event. Over...

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Jemal Yimer, Jared Ward, Sara Hall, Molly huddle and more on Tap at 2020 Houston Half Marathon

Year-in, year-out, no American half marathon assembles better fields than Houston. In addition to being the site of both the men’s (Ryan Hall, 2007) and women’s (Molly Huddle, 2018) American records, there is always a deep list of sub-60:00 men and sub-67:00 women on the start line. Last year, Brigid Kosgei kicked off one of the greatest years in the history of distance running with a win in Houston.

The international fields in Houston, which takes place on Sunday, are strong once again. But from an American perspective, the more intriguing storyline is the impending US Olympic Marathon Trials, to be held in six weeks’ time in Atlanta. Several top Trials contenders — Molly Huddle and Sara Hall on the women’s side, Jared Ward and Shadrack Biwott on the men’s — will be racing on Sunday, and while no result will make or break their Trials hopes, it does give us one last piece of evidence to go on. 

When Huddle debuted in the marathon, placing third in New York in 2016, it looked to be the first step in a journey that would culminate at the 2020 Olympic marathon. Among Americans, Huddle was the queen of all distances between 5k and the half marathon and her grind-it-out style seemed well-suited to marathon success.

Tuliamuk, the 2018 US half marathon champ, is an option, though she’s got progressively slower in Houston the last three years, from 69:58 in 2017 to 71:41 in 2018 to 72:03 last year. She’ll need to get back to her 2017 form to crack the top two Americans on Sunday.

Katy Jermann (née Moen) and Molly Seidel both ran 70:27 last year, tied for third-fastest in the US. Of the two, Seidel, who in 2015 broke the “Foot Locker curse” to win the the 2015 NCAA XC title, is the more intriguing prospect. Seidel had never run a half before October 2019, but Houston will be her third in three months, and she plans to make her marathon debut at the Trials.

With a 2:09 in Boston and two sixth-place finishes in New York, Jared Ward has been the most consistent American marathoner over the last 18 months. Beating him on Sunday doesn’t guarantee a repeat result next month in Atlanta, but it would be a positive sign for the other Olympic hopefuls in this field.

With a high of 59, the temperature looks great for running on Sunday, though 13 mph winds mean the conditions won’t be perfect. Still, with the talent on hand in Houston, there should be competitive races up front. In the men’s race, there’s no clear favorite.

Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer (58:33), the fourth-fastest man ever, was a close second last year after taking a wrong turn late in the race. He went on to run 59:09 in Valencia in October, where he finished two seconds behind Kenya’s Bernard Ngeno, also entered in Houston. Andamlak Belihu had a terrific 2019 (26:53/59:10, 5th at Worlds in 10k), while the last two Houston champs, Shura Kitata of Ethiopia and Jake Robertson of New Zealand, return as well.

(01/17/2020) ⚡AMP
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

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

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Ethiopia’s Tadese Worku and Kenya’s Hellen Obiri will be the favorites athletes at the Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce on Sunday

Ethiopia’s Tadese Worku and Kenya’s Hellen Obiri will be the marquee athletes at the ‘Cross Internacional de Itálica’ in Santiponce on the outskirts of Seville on Sunday, the sixth leg of the 2019/20 World Athletics Cross Country Permit series.

The event promises to be a rematch of last Sunday’s races in Elgoibar as both podiums will be on show again.

Will Worku confirm breakthrough?

Turning 18 the day after the race, the young Ethiopian will be happy to celebrate his birthday one day in advance with a victory to confirm his overwhelming win last weekend was no fluke. The reigning world U-20 cross country silver medalist proved to be in stellar form last Sunday and should be tipped as the main favorite in the 10km event.

One of his stiffest opponents should be Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo, the 22-year-old who will be making his sixth appearance on Spanish soil this cross country campaign. He’s produced three wins -- in Alcobendas (Nov 24), Aranda de Duero ( Dec 1) and Cantimpalos (Dec 8) -- plus a runner-up finish in Soria ( Nov 17). The Italy-based runner, who was ninth at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus last year, only finished outside the top-five in Atapuerca (Nov 9) where he finished sixth.

Kenya’s Richard Yator and Aron Kifle, runner-up and third respectively in Elgoibar should also be in contention. The Kenyan was 13th in Aarhus while Kifle has changed his base from Madrid to Nijmegen after joining the Global Sports agency. He will be joined by fellow Eritrean Yemane Haileselassie, an 8:11.22 3000m steeplechase specialist who reached the Rio Olympics final.

Watch out too for USA’s Paul Chelimo and Shadrack Kipchirchir. The former is the reigning Olympic 5000m silver medalist and is fresh from a fourth place in Elgoibar while Kipchirchir came tenth at the Doha worlds over 10,000m and holds a PB of 27:07.55 set in 2017.

Obiri the woman to beat

The women’s cast is headed by the reigning world cross country champion Hellen Obiri. The 30-year-old Kenyan kicked-off her winter campaign successfully in Elgoibar where, after running alongside compatriot Beatrice Chebet for most of the race, broke away from the reigning world U20 cross country on the last lap.

The 19-year-old Chebet should pose the main danger for Obiri, again alongside the reigning world 5000m silver medalist Margaret Kipkemboi Chelimo. The 26-year-old captured a surprise silver in Doha where she set a lifetime best of 14:27.49 and has shown fine form recently by winning a 5km road race in Bolzano on 31 December before taking second at the Campaccio cross country on January 6.

Trying to deny a Kenyan clean sweep over the 9135m contest will be Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu, fourth at the Doha worlds over 5000m in a career best of 14:29.60. Barely two weeks later the 21-year-old set a 1:06:00 personal record for the half marathon in New Delhi. She’ll be racing her first race of the year on Sunday. Gemechu will be joined by fellow Ethiopian Tsige Abreha, the winner in Amorebieta. Kenya’s Eva Cherono, third in Elgoibar, and Bahrain’s World Championships marathon silver medalist Rose Chelimo will also be on show.

 

(01/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition that is held every January in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of the more prestigious...

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The 2020 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll® Arizona Marathon and half will feature a World Class Field

The 2020 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll® Arizona Marathon & ½ Marathon will feature a world-class group of elite men and women going toe to toe on Sunday, Jan. 19 throughout  Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. With over 120 elite-runners registered, the field will be one of the largest in the event’s history and offer an $18,500 prize purse. Given the depth of the elite field, both the marathon and half marathon races will showcase one of the year’s first and most competitive races in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®.

Many of the elite athletes will be using the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and ½ Marathon to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team, while others that have already qualified will be utilizing the race as a tune-up before the U.S. Olympic Team Trials taking place on February 29 in Atlanta, Ga.

Highlighting the men’s field of Olympic hopefuls is top American runner from the 2019 Boston Marathon, Scott Fauble (Flagstaff, Ariz.). Throughout 2019, Fauble was labeled the 2nd fastest U.S. Marathoner and a favorite to make the U.S. Olympic team. Alongside him on race day will be Scott Smith (Flagstaff, Ariz.), previous winner of the 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon.

In addition, 2019 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon Champion Daniel Mesfun (Eritrea) returns to defend his title in 2020. Other men to watch include Steve Hallman (Des Moines, Iowa), fresh off a personal best marathon time of 2:22:03 at the 2019 Berlin Marathon; Jimmy Stevenson (Lansdale, Penn.), who set his personal best time of 2:23:17 at the 2018 California International Marathon; and Brendan Sage (St. Michael, Minn.), winner of the 2019 Fargo Half Marathon will look to qualify for the Olympic Trials in his first marathon attempt in Arizona on Sunday.  

Leading the women’s field at this year’s event will be 2019 U.S. Half Marathon Champion Steph Bruce (Flagstaff, Ariz.). Bruce is an endurance athlete well-known around the country, as she’s also the 2018 10K Road National Champion and finished 6th in the 2019 Chicago Marathon. Kellyn Taylor (Flagstaff, Ariz.) will also be in attendance, representing the women’s field at this year’s event.

Taylor was the winner of the 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon with a time of 1:10:14. Other women to watch include: Samantha Diaz, Boise (Boise, Idaho) set a personal best at the 2019 Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:40: 59 and Bridget Belyeu (Newman, Ga.), whose pedigree includes a 2:31:00 at the 2018 California International Marathon, has already qualified for the Olympic Trials, but look to use the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon to tune-up for the upcoming trials. 

(01/16/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon

Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon

The Marathon and Half-Marathon courses or the new Mini- Marathon or Bike Tour courses take you through the three host cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe! The Marathon and Bike Tour start at CityScape in downtown Phoenix, while the Half-Marathon and Mini-Marathon are loop courses launching from downtown Tempe. All the courses end in Tempe at ASU’s Sun Devil and...

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Olympian Sudha Singh and Srinu Bugatha will headline Indian challenge at Tata Mumbai Marathon

Army’s Srinu Bugatha and Olympian Sudha Singh will headline the Indian challenge in the men’s and women’s section respectively in the USD$420,000 Tata Mumbai Marathon (TMM) to be held on January 19th.

The 17th edition of Asia’s prestigious World Athletics Gold Label Road race will see in action defending champions Cosmas Lagat of Kenya and Worknesh Alemu of Ethiopia in the international elite athletes’ line-up. Their winning timing of 2:09:15 and 2:25:45 is the second fastest timings in Mumbai Marathon history.

Leading the Indian elite men full marathon line-up is Army’s Srinu Bugatha, who won the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K 2019 editions, finishing the races in 1:04:33 and 1:18:31, respectively in last two months. Challenging him will be Rashpal Singh, Silver Medalist in Kathmandu South Asian Games 2019 along with Rahul Pal, winner of the Pune International Marathon 2019.

The Women’s full marathon line-up has Olympian and Arjuna Awardee, Sudha Singh, eyeing to add to her 3 TMM titles and firmly set on a hat-trick this year. Sudha won her first title in 2016 and after a year’s gap, she was champion in 2018 and 2019. Sudha will be challenged by Jyoti Gawte who won the Mumbai Marathon in 2017.

In the men’s half marathon category, Avinash Sable, 3,000 steeplechase national record holder, who shattered his own national record at World Championship at Doha in October & qualified for Tokyo 2020 Olympics will lead the field along with Shankar Man Thapa, who was the runner-up in 2019. Likewise, in the women’s half marathon, veteran athlete Swati Gadhave will face stiff opposition from 2019 runner-up & winner of 2018 edition, Monica Athare.

Running is the fastest growing urban sport and the participation numbers at the 2020 edition of TMM is a testimony to this – 19% increase in total participation. 9,660 runners in the full marathon, 15,260 runners in Half Marathon, 19,707 runners in the Dream Run, 8,032 runners in 10K, 1,022 runners in Senior Citizen Run and 1,596 runners in Champion with Disability. Women participation has surged to 35%, while the outstation participation and full marathon participation saw a growth of 22% and 15% respectively.

Vivek B Singh, Joint Managing Director, Procam International said: “More than 9000 runners doing the full marathon and crossing the 50,000 mark for total number of participants – both are humbling milestones for us. To see India, embrace running is a dream come true for us.

We are thankful to the Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai Police, MCGM, our sponsors and our runners who have given their rock-solid support in the incredible journey of the Tata Mumbai Marathon. We wish all the participants a successful and enjoyable race day!” he added.

(01/14/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

Distance running epitomizes the power of one’s dreams and the awareness of one’s abilities to realize those dreams. Unlike other competitive sports, it is an intensely personal experience. The Tata Mumbai Marathon is One of the World's Leading Marathons. The event boasts of fundraising platform which is managed by United Way Mumbai, the official philanthropy partner of the event. Over...

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Hartford Marathon´s 2019 Delivered $14.1 Million to the Regional Economic Value

The Hartford Marathon Foundation’s 2019 Eversource Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon, Team 26.2 Relay and Charity 5K brought an estimated $14.1 million of economic value to the area in October.  In addition, the Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) spent approximately $2 million in the local community for operations, supplies, safety and security, professional staff and other resources necessary to stage the event. 

72,000 spectators, participants and volunteers came to the area to enjoy race festivities, Hartford lodging and local shopping and dining through the weekend.

The 26th running of the race in 2019 also generated at least $250,000 for charity (awaiting additional charities to report totals).  Since its inception in 1994, approximately $7.8 million has been raised for charity through the annual flagship event alone.

The 2020 Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon will be run on October 10.  Registration opens on January 9 at special pricing through January 15 for all race distances: 26.2 mile marathon, 13.1 mile half marathon, 2-5 person marathon relay and 3.1 mile Charity 5K.

“We are proud to host tens of thousands of runners, walkers, volunteers and spectators each October to enjoy the best of what the capitol region has to offer,” said Beth Shluger, CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation and Race Director of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. “The marathon is a special event for our state, truly unique in its ability to inspire people with countless stories of accomplishment and positive examples of determination.”

In addition to the widely known celebration in Hartford, HMF produces 30+ race events annually, from running festivals with multiple distance races, to triathlons, 5Ks for charity and a 3-state endurance relay race. 

To encourage the community to reach further with their running goals, the HMF Samuel Adams Challenge series offers multiple race packages with extra swag and perks.

(01/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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Eversource Hartford Marathon

Eversource Hartford Marathon

Be part of the biggest race day in Connecticut. Where runners, families, charities and volunteers come together in an inspiring display of community spirit. Enjoy a top-notch experience, from expo to post-race party: A plethora of resources and expertise. High-energy crowds. Pomp and circumstance filling the streets. Thorough course amenities, including fuel, pacers, security and medical services. Festive celebration with...

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Switzerland’s Julien Wanders smashed his European 10km record again at the 10K Valencia Ibercaja on Sunday

Behind Rhonex Kipruto’s magnificent world record of 26:24 which shaved 14 seconds off the mark set only last month on a different course in Valencia, Wanders continued his wholesale revision of the European record books by finishing third in 27:13.

Julien Wanders’ time improved his previous mark by 12 seconds which means he has ownership of the three fastest ever times in European distance running history: 27:13 in Valencia, 27:25 in Houilles and 27:32 in Cape Town. He also holds the European records at 5km (13:29) and the half marathon (59:13).

Wanders kept pace with Kipruto until just before the four kilometer mark when the Kenyan cut loose from the leading pack, covering the second half in an audacious 13:01 which brought him comfortably inside Joshua Cheptegei's previous record. 

Wanders was also operating on sub-27 minute pace in the early stages as he reached the five kilometer checkpoint in 13:29 to match his European record but he still maintained good pace in the second half. Wanders had the close company of Kenya’s Benard Kimeli in the latter stages with Kimeli narrowly prevailing in a sprint finish for the runner-up spot - 27:12 to 27:13.

"If you don't take risks, you don't get results," he told Swiss athletics website athle.ch after the race. "I am happy to have tried but it was too fast for me today." The limitless Wanders added that his goal in today's race was to break the 27 minute-barrier "but the next time, I will do it. It's certain." 

There were fast times en mass with the top eight finishers all breaking the 28 minute-barrier and 29 runners breaking the 29 minute-barrier. France’s world 3000m steeplechase finalist Djilali Bedrani was seventh in a 27:50 PB and world marathon fourth-placer Callum Hawkins placed 11th in 28:02, also a lifetime best.

Former European marathon champion Daniele Meucci set an Italian record of 28:08 in 13th and Juan Antonio Perez was the leading Spanish finisher in 15th in 28:09.

European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter from Israel was the leading European finisher in the women’s race, finishing fifth in 31:09. For the first time in history, three women broke the 30 minute-barrier in the same race with Kenya’s Sheila Chepkirui winning in 29:46 from teammates Rosemary Wanjiru (29:50) and Norah Jeruto (29:51).

(01/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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10k Valencia Ibercaja

10k Valencia Ibercaja

Around the corner we have one more edition of the 10K Valencia Ibercaja, organized one more year by the C. 10K VALENCIA Athletics premiering the running season in Valencia. It is a massive urban race with more than 3,000 registered annually of 10 kilometers, where the maximum duration of the test will be 1 hour 40 minutes (100 minutes). The...

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World record holder Brigid Kosgei will defend her title at the Virgin Money London Marathon

The 25-year-old Kenyan broke Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old marathon world record at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last October clocking an incredible time of 2:14:04. The record-breaking run came six months after Kosgei won the London Marathon for the first time.

“I am very much looking forward to returning to the Virgin Money London Marathon," Kosgei said. "Last year was an incredible year for me and it started by winning in London. Coming back will be very special and I hope it can be the start of another memorable year.”

Brigid Kosgei is joined in the elite women’s field by a stellar list of rivals, four of whom have also run sub-2:19 marathons.

The list includes 2018 London Marathon winner Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya, three-time BMW Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono of Kenya, 2019 Valencia Marathon champion Roza Dereje of Ethiopia and the reigning world champion Ruth Chepngetich, also from Kenya.

Also on the start line will be the world half marathon record holder and 2019 TCS New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei who is joint top of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) Series XIII leaderboard alongside Kosgei and Chepngetich.

The London elite men's field will be announced on Tuesday 14 January and the complete fields announced on Friday 17 January.

(01/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Rhonex Kipruto breaks world 10km road record in Valencia

Rhonex Kipruto smashed the world record at the 10k Valencia Ibercaja on Sunday (12), clocking 26:24 to win the World Athletics Gold Label road race.

Sheila Chepkirui, meanwhile, ran 29:46 to win the women’s race. Her time was initially reported as 29:42, which would have been a one-second improvement on the world record, but her official time was later confirmed as 29:46, consolidating her position as the second fastest woman of all time.

Kipruto’s half-way split of 13:18 was also an improvement on the 5km world record. His second half of 13:06 was even faster, although would not be eligible for ratification.

The world 10,000m bronze medallist, still aged just 20, took 14 seconds off the yet-to-be-ratified mark set just six weeks ago by Joshua Cheptegei in the same city, albeit on a different course.

Held in the Spanish coastal city that played host to the World Half Marathon Championships in 2018, the standard of performances surpassed all expectations.

The men’s race kicked off at a brisk pace of 2:38 for the opening kilometre with a five-man group led by the main favourites: Kipruto and Benard Kimeli, Ethiopia’s Chala Ketema Regasa and Switzerland’s Julien Wanders perfectly paced by Shadrack Kosgei and Jacob Kiprop.

The 3km point was reached in 7:59 and only Kipruto, Kimeli and Wanders remained close to the pacemakers. By the fourth kilometre the pacemakers had already dropped out of the race and Kipruto was running solo as Kimeli could not live with his pace and was soon caught by Wanders.

Kipruto, the world 10,000m bronze medallist, reached the halfway point in 13:18, bettering the official 5km world record, with Kimeli and Wanders seven seconds in arrears, the Swiss breaking his own European record.

Despite running on his own for the entire second half, Kipruto increased his pace and clocked 2:37 for the sixth kilometre. After a slightly slower seventh kilometre of 2:40, the world U20 10,000m champion ramped up his speed again for the eighth kilometre, which he covered in 2:36. By then, having passed 8km in 20:11, it became clear that, barring disaster, Kipruto was going to improve Cheptegei’s world record.

Closing kilometres of 2:38 and 2:35 secured the world record for the 20-year-old Kenyan who covered the two halves in 13:18 and an impressive 13:06.

Well behind Kipruto, Kimeli and Wanders fought fiercely for the runner-up spot, the Kenyan finally prevailing, 27:12 to 27:13. Wanders’ time is a European record, improving his own mark by 12 seconds.

Only the legendary Ethiopian duo Kenenisa Bekele (26:17.53) and Haile Gebrselassie (26:22.75) have recorded faster times on the track, while Paul Tergat holds the Kenyan 10,000m record at 26:27:85.

“I’m over the moon,” said an ecstatic Kipruto, who is coached by Colm O’Connell. “When I clocked 26:46 in Prague in 2018, I set myself the target of breaking the world 10km record and today my dream came true. I’m very thankful to the organisers for relying on me to set the record and to the city and the people of Valencia for treating me so well and for their support throughout the race.”

Chepkirui leads Kenyan sub-30-minute sweep

Held at the same time as the men’s race, the women’s contest was a thrilling battle between the Kenyan trio of Rosemary Wanjiru, Norah Jeruto and Chepkirui. These three, alongside Israel’s Lonah Salpeter, travelled at a steady 2:58/2:59-per-kilometre pace to reach halfway in 14:51, perfectly on schedule to challenge Joyciline Jepkosgei’s world record of 29:43.

Shortly afterwards Salpeter lost ground and the race became a three-woman Kenyan battle with the added interest of a world record threat. It was inside the final kilometre that Chepkirui proved to be the strongest and during the long home-straight it seemed as though the 29-year-old would join Kipruto as a world record-holder, but ultimately she had to be content with a lifetime best of 29:46.

Wanjiru, who finished fourth in the 10,000m at the recent World Championships, obliterated her career best to 29:51 while Jeruto also bettered 30 minutes for the first time with 29:51. Their performances move them to equal third on the world all-time 10km list.

(01/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emeterio Valiente for World Athletics
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Logan Thomas, 18, became only the second male Special Olympic athlete ever to qualify for the Boston Marathon

The oldest of Darek and Elaine Thomas’s four children, Logan is on the autism spectrum. Diagnosed at the age of one, Logan’s biggest delay is communication. He is verbal, but putting thoughts into words is a challenge. As his father explains, the difficulty lies with “output, not input.”

While his output is limited, Logan’s ability to absorb “input” is greater than most of us will achieve in a lifetime. He’s particularly drawn to languages– when he discovered language tutorials on YouTube, he taught himself to read and write 25 of them, including Chinese. 

Logan attends the nonpublic, special education St. Elizabeth School in Baltimore, Md., whose slogan is “Helping Students with Special Needs Go the Distance.” In Logan’s case, the phrase takes on a literal meaning.

While St. Elizabeth has no traditional sports teams, students are encouraged to participate in athletics and club sports as much as possible. Logan was especially drawn to the running club. While in the club, his parents noticed how running had a calming effect on their son. Also, he was really good at it. At just 16-years-old, Logan ran the Baltimore Half Marathon with his dad and won his age group with a 1:27. He also ran two full marathons prior to the Richmond Marathon, with a 3:14 personal best at the York Marathon in York, Pa. last May. 

For Logan’s father, his accomplishments are about more than showcasing his running talent. Darek feels that Logan can help shift the perception towards kids with special needs.

“There are some kids with real ability! I don’t like labeling kids as having a disability. We need to get past that,” said Darek. To him, Logan shouldn’t necessarily be labeled as a Special Olympic athlete. He’s just an athlete– “a really good athlete.”

That much is obvious from his past performances, and yet his physical limits are hard to predict: he lacks the communication to give feedback about his race efforts. However, he just keeps getting faster. 

That’s what prompted Logan’s father to set a goal for Logan to break three hours in the marathon and qualify for Boston.

The race plan would go like this: Logan’s dad, Darek, would be on a bike, checking in periodically. Chris would try to bring Logan through 26.2 miles in under three hours, the Boston qualifying time for their age group. But they’d likely need 2:57 to give Logan a good chance of being accepted into the increasingly-competitive Boston Marathon. 

So, Chris planned to pace Logan at 2:57—dangerously close to his own PR. Jon, an experienced pacer, had only ever paced groups 30-40 minutes slower than his own race time—a considerably safer margin. Chris and Jon both admitted they were worried the night before the race. Aside from their own pacing abilities, there were some unknowns about handling the later miles, especially in terms of endurance. After all, Logan’s training was unconventional to say the least– he never ran farther than 12 miles on a long run.

Nevertheless, come race morning, Logan faced the start line without nerves or fear creeping in. Chris says he looked content and calm as he waited at the start line.

“Logan doesn’t get nervous the way we do… it’s a really nice thing,” explains Darek.

(01/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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World Half Marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor is now eyeing an Olympic medal

Last November, the 26-year-old won the men’s New York City Marathon for the second time in three years after clocking 2:08:13.

“My plan this year is to go to the Tokyo Olympics Games because the only medal lacking in my cabinet is an Olympic medal,” Kamworor said.

The athlete, who trains at the Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County alongside his mentor and World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, said he has stepped up preparations.

Under the guidance of their coach Patrick Sang, Kamworor and Kipchoge have become two of the best marathoners in the world. Kamworor has been on the medal podium for each of the four New York City marathons he has run.

“I am working hard this time round to make sure that I go to the Olympics because I am focused on getting a medal,” the athlete said.

Kamworor was speaking to the press on Thursday at Kipsinende Primary School in Uasin Gishu County where he led fellow athletes in awarding the best 2019 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) performers in the school.

He was accompanied by Laban Korir (2014 Toronto Waterfront Marathon), Philemon Rono (2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon winner), Sally Chepyego (former World Half Marathon champion), Hyvin Kiyeng (former world 3,000m steeplechase champion) and Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon.

(01/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Dennis Lubanga
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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, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Caroline Chepkoech, the sixth all-time fastest runner at half marathon will lead Kenya's bid to conquer the Houston Half Marathon on Jan. 19

Kenyan Caroline Chepkoech, who has ruled out any hopes of competing at the Tokyo Olympics in the marathon, will have to calculate her steps to perfection if she has to beat Kenyan-turned Israeli Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, the reigning European 10,000m champion.

With a personal best time of 65:07, Chepkoech is the fastest ahead of Chemtai 66:09 and Ethiopians Burka (66:11), former champion Ruti Aga (66:39). Current champion Ethiopia's Biruktayit Degefa will also be back to defend her title.

"This will be a good testing ground ahead of the April marathon. The big challenge is here with top runners. But for me the focus is to improve the time and hopefully win the race," said Chepkoech on Wednesday.

Hassan El Abbassi (2:04:43) and Woldaregay Kelkile Gezahegn (2:05:56) are the quickest marathon entrants. Degefa's main opposition could come from fellow Ethiopian Askale Merachi.

In the men's race, Jemal Yimer, the fourth fastest of all time (58:33) is quickest in the line-up, one of eight sub-hour runners. Shura Kitata (59:16), Bernard Kipkorir (59:07) and Robertson (59:58) will oppose him.

Kipkorir will team up with compatriot Bernard Ngeno (59:07), Sam Chelanga (60:37) and Shadrack Biwott (61:25) to challenge the Ethiopians' dominance.

(01/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

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

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Strong elite field set for action at Lagos City Marathon

More top runners across the world are indicating interest to be part of the 2020 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

The latest set of elite runners to join the already star-studded list for the February 8 race are Philes Moora Ongori and Dadi Yami.

In a statement signed by Head, Communications and Media, Olukayode Thomas, Ongori, who started her career in Japan and won a number of All-Japan Corporate titles, is delighted to be selected to run in Lagos.

Ongori was on the track running the 10,000 metres for Kenya at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics.

She came to prominence in the half marathon in 2008 when she won the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon in the fastest time of the year.

At the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, she won the silver medal.

Ongori won on her marathon debut at the Rotterdam Marathon in 2011, setting a time of 2:24:20 hours.

She made her full marathon debut in April 2011 at the Rotterdam Marathon and she outran the more experienced Hilda Kibet in the final stages to win the race in a quick first-time run of 2:24:20 hours.

Another rich addition is Dadi Yami, an Ethiopian runner with a personal best of 2:05:41 hours.

Yami made his marathon debut at the 2011 Eindhoven Marathon finished in 2:11:04 hours.

He ran 2:05: 41 hours, his personal best, at Dubai Marathon. In the extremely fast race, this was only enough for sixth place, but still ranked him in the top twenty in the world that year, and in the top forty on the all-time list.

He also did a 2:07:01 hours at Hamburg Marathon and 2:07:55 hour at Dubai Marathon recently.

Mr Thomas said that 52 elite runners from five continents will be Lagos. He also said about 30 Nigerian elite runners will join the foreign elites.

“In all, we expecting about a 100 elite runners’’ he said.

(01/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Tunde Eludini
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

“The IAAF and AIMS have a special interest in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon so if you see their top officials at the third edition, don’t be surprised. Lagos is one of the few marathons in the world that got an IAAF Label after just two editions. This is a rare feat. The event had over 50,000 runners at...

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Past winners are set to defend their title at Houston Marathon and Half Marathon

Organizers of the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon have revealed the elite fields for the World Athletics Gold Label road races on January 19.

The city’s marathon has now joined the half marathon as a Gold Label event, making Houston the only city in the world to host Gold Label marathon and half marathon races on the same day.

Defending marathon champion Biruktayit Degefa will try to become the first woman to win in Houston four times. Bahrain’s Hassan El Abbassi, the Asian record-holder for the men’s marathon, is the fastest in the men’s field.

Three former winners of the half marathon will be back in Houston to contest the 13.1-mile race: defending men’s champion Shura Kitata and 2018 winners Ruti Aga and Jake Robertson. Ethiopian record-holder Jemal Yimer and Kenya’s Caroline Kipkirui, the eighth-fastest woman of all time, have the quickest PBs of the half marathon fields.

(01/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

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

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Louisiana Marathon readies to welcome thousands of runners

Now in its ninth year, The Louisiana Marathon is expecting to draw close to 8,000 runners & walkers to Baton Rouge. Projections for the 2020 event include runners from nearly all 50 states and as many as 10 countries.

Starting on January 17th the expo opens at the Raising Canes River Center then continues through the weekend with two-days of running, walking, and celebrating healthy living at the Finish Festival near the State Capitol.

“It’s become the premier event,” says Pat Fellows, who helps organize the annual marathon. “People know what they’re getting—a great course and a great post-race party.” Previous studies indicate that the Louisiana Marathon weekend generates between $2 million and $4 million in economic impact each year. “We’ve sold out every downtown hotel every year,” Fellows says.

The event includes distances for every age & ability. Saturday, Jan. 18th starts with the Ochsner 5K (3.1 miles) & Ochsner Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles) and is followed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Kids Marathon (1 miles).

Sunday features the half marathon (13.1 miles) and the full marathon (26.2 miles). This year the event has joined the second edition of the Abbott WMM Wanda Age Group World Championships in 2021 as a qualifying race.

Launching in Sept. 2018, the Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Rankings aims to raise awareness of the sport of marathon running by highlighting the achievements of age-group marathon runners, that otherwise might go unnoticed.

The weekend also hosts the Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance Corporate Wellness Challenge creating a culture of health and wellness in the workplace. Categories include the Top 3 teams from companies of 1-99 employees, 100-999, and 1000+.

The 9thannual Louisiana Marathon will take place on Jan. 17th – 19th, 2020 in downtown Baton Rouge.

(01/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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Louisiana Marathon

Louisiana Marathon

Welcome to the Louisiana Marathon Running Festival. Rendezvous with runners from 50 states and over 30 countries who share a passion for Louisiana as they race our fast, flat and festive courses. Stick around for the best Finish Fest on the bayou and enjoy tastes of gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, duck confit and couch du lait (to name a few dishes...

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Toronto Marathon champion Magdalyne Masai has set her eyes on running the Boston Marathon

The 26-year-old has only run three marathons and though she has little hope of making the Kenya team to the Tokyo Olympics, she will not pass the chance to have a dry run in March in the Japanese capital should organizers of the city marathon invite her.

However, it is the challenge of Boston Marathon that Magdalyne Masai, a former world cross country bronze medalist, is keen to conquer in 2020.

"My management has not got the invitation yet. But it will be a great step if I get a chance to fight against the best in Boston and gain the experience it comes with," Masai said on Monday.

The younger sister of former World 10,000m champion Linet Masai won silver at the Hamburg Marathon last year against a strong challenge from the Ethiopians and is also the winner from Hefei Marathon, in China.

"China was my first debut in marathon and I loved it because I went on to win in Hefei. It gave me the stage to showcase my talent in marathon and since then, I have been improving. Now I am ready for the big-city marathon and Boston looks a great place to run," she said.

Magdalene said out of the three marathons she has competed, Toronto remains her favorite.

"I know people will talk of London, Chicago, New York, Boston, Tokyo and Berlin but I prefer to start in Boston because of the magical experience people talk about. I want to experience it first hand," she noted.

Masai credits her elder brother Moses Masai, who is currently battling a career-threatening ankle injury, for motivating her to take up running. Though her sister Linet has played a part in her career, Magdalyne feels Moses is the cornerstone in the short marathon rise she has experienced.

"Moses always asked me to go for it. There is also former Commonwealth marathon champion Flomena Cheyech and former track star Sylvia Kibet who have helped me a lot," she added.

In 2016 she changed from the track to the road races with a debut at Ostia Half Marathon clocking 67:30. A year later she was fourth at the South Shields Great North Run in England clocking 1:10:39. She has also run in Lisbon (Portugal) and Belfort (France).

However, it was in Hefei in China that she launched her career in the marathon, and she won against a strong challenge clocking 2:28:20. And from China, Masai now targets to conquer the world.

"The Tokyo Olympics are coming a little bit earlier and I may not have the experience to be considered. But I want to represent Kenya in next Olympics," she added. Enditem

(01/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Sam Keen losses 200-pound weight and now is training for the upcoming Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Previous attempts at weight loss had temporary results at best, Keen added. “I was really good at losing 10 pounds and then giving up and gaining 20,” he said.

While stranded by the high waters, Keen started thinking about what he could do differently. “Something got into me that made me want to try harder and really commit,” he said.

First, he decided to cut carbs from his diet and fill up on protein instead. Then, he started to walk.

“At almost 400 pounds, walking is enough,” he said. “I’d go 20 minutes and a little less than a mile, which was a long way for me then.”

He increased his time and distance until he walked about four hours each day. “I listened to every podcast,” he said. “I pushed as much as my feet could bear.”

Keen dropped 100 pounds in six months. “That becomes addictive,” he said. “Instead of going to the bar and drinking a few beers, I’d go for a walk. I would walk to work, 2 miles each way.”

But after a while, walking four hours a day started to bore him. Then one day, he walked by Orangetheory Fitness, a gym known for hourlong classes combining cardio and strength training.

“I looked it up, and it scared me,” he said. “But that was a good thing. I wanted to do something that scared me. I needed a push.”

He liked that people of all fitness levels feel welcome. “I fell in love with it,” he said. “It was exactly what I needed.”

The support offered by the coaches, who push clients to meet their fitness goals, ended up being his favorite part. Head coach Austin McCafferty said that the feeling was mutual.

He first met Keen in a three-person training session with McCafferty’s wife. “Sam fit in perfectly with our group,” McCafferty said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Then, Keen shared his weight-loss story. “I would have never known,” McCafferty said. “It was just mind-blowing. It was truly astonishing to see.”

McCafferty added that Keen is a perfect example of dedication. “Progress starts one small step at a time,” McCafferty said. “You have to stay consistent, set your routine and have determination, like Sam did.”

With the help of the trainers, Keen noticed another benefit he hadn’t expected: “I started feeling confident. The coaches made me feel empowered. That was something I didn’t even know I needed.”

Before long, he was signing up for competitions at Orangetheory. Then, he started running outside more — and wanted to push that as well.

About six months ago, Keen and a friend signed up for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Florida. He downloaded a training plan online and competed in the race this fall. He also completed the La Porte By the Bay Half Marathon in November.

“Two years ago, I couldn’t walk a 5K,” Keen said. “Here I am, running without stopping 13.1 miles. Two years is not much time.”

He is now training for the upcoming Aramco Houston Half Marathon. He’ll run another in Austin in February, and a third in Fort Worth in March.

His goal now is to travel the country competing in races. He has a map ready to keep track. In May, he heads to Pittsburgh for his first full marathon. His second is in Seattle in June.

(01/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Lindsay Peyton
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

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

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Faith Chepngetich is getting ready for Tokyo face-off with Sifan Hassan

As Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon gears towards defending her Olympic title at this year’s Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan, she is ready for the prospect of facing off with double world champion Sifan Hassan.

The pair clashed at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar with the in-form Hassan carrying the day as Kipyegon settled for silver.

As the clock ticks towards this year’s Olympic Games slated for July 24-August 9 at the Japanese capital, Kipyegon is optimistic of defending her title she bagged four years ago in Rio, Brazil.

“Yes, we are in an Olympic season and that is my main goal this year. I have already resumed my build up exercises to make sure that I make the team because everyone is also eyeing the tickets to Tokyo,” said Kipyegon.

Kipyegon hailed the Ethiopian-born Dutch Hassan while speaking on the possibility of renewing their rivalry again this year.

“I normally prefer not to talk about somebody else but it is true that she (Hassan) was on form (last year) having took part in many races and also notching the world record over the mile.

“I knew she was very strong ahead of the World Championships and I congratulate her. I know we shall meet again this year and let’s wait and see what happens (laughs),” said the soft-spoken athlete.

Prior to the Worlds, Kipyegon was just a few months into training after returning from maternity leave and the Keringet-born athlete is hoping to enjoy more success this year with early preparations.

“For sure I expect this year to be different from 2019 because I had a very short time to prepare for World Championships having come back from maternity break. I know that if I build up well towards Tokyo then I will be much stronger,” she said.

After the World Championships, the 25-year-old shifted her training base from Keringet in Nakuru County to the famous Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat where she now joins fellow world beaters including world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and world half marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor among others.

“I am honoured to train at Kaptagat with the likes of Kipchoge (Eliud), Kamworor (Geoffrey) and Kiyeng (Hyvin). I also thank my coach Patrick Sang for the guidance he has offered me since I joined the camp,” said Kipyegon.

(01/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Gilbert Kiprotich
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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, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Defending champions Cosmas Lagat and Worknesh Alemu are set to defend their Mumbai marathon titles

Defending champions Cosmas Lagat and Worknesh Alemu will return to the Tata Mumbai Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on 19 January.

Kenya’s Lagat won 12 months ago in decisive fashion when he broke away from the rest of the leading pack around 29 kilometers into the race. He was out on his own over the final 13 kilometers, almost a third of the race, before crossing the line in 2:09:15, the second fastest winning time in race history.

Having come home just 40 seconds outside the course record of 2:08:35, set by his compatriot Gideon Kipketer in 2016, Lagat will be back on the start line in the City of Dreams motivated not only by the possibility of pocketing another US$45,000 first prize cheque but also the US$15,000 on offer for a course record.

“My Mumbai Marathon win was my best race of 2019 so I have fond memories of running in India, and the experience I got running this race last year will be very important this time,” Lagat said. “Coming so close to the course record, I have thought about what I can do to improve, and I think I can run the first half of the race faster than I did last year.”

Lagat will be aiming to become just the second man to win back-to- back Tata Mumbai Marathon titles in the race’s 17-year history, following in the footsteps of fellow Kenyan John Kelai who won in 2007 and 2008.

Race organizers have signed up no less than 14 men who have run faster than 2:10:00, making it the strongest marathon ever to be staged in India.

Of those men, nine have run faster than the course record during their careers and six have run under the super-elite benchmark of 2:07:00.

The four fastest men in the field are all Ethiopians, led by Ayele Abshero who has a personal best of 2:04:23 and although that time came almost eight years ago, when he won the Dubai Marathon, he showed that he is still a very competitive runner at the highest level by taking second place in the Hamburg Marathon in 2:08:26 last April.

Like Lagat, Ethiopia’s Alemu upset the pre-race form book in 2019 and won in Mumbai in a personal best of 2:25:25, which was also the second fastest winning time in race history.

She improved her best to 2:24:42 later in 2019 when finishing sixth at the Amsterdam Marathon in October.

Alemu heads a very strong women’s field that has eight women who have run under 2:28:00.

The fastest women in the field is another Ethiopian, Amane Beriso, who had a stunning marathon debut when she ran 2:20:48 for second place in the 2016 Dubai Marathon, which placed her third on that year’s world list. She took a break from competitive running last year so it will be interesting to see what form she can bring to her first race in 15 months.

All the leading women will have as their target the course record of 2:24:33 set by Kenya’s Valentine Kipketer in 2013.

In addition to the marathon – which has a total prize fund of US$405,000 – there is a half marathon, a 10km race, a Dream Run (5.9km), Senior Citizens Race (4.2km) and a Champions with Disability Race (1.5km). About 50,000 runners are expected to take part.

(01/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

Distance running epitomizes the power of one’s dreams and the awareness of one’s abilities to realize those dreams. Unlike other competitive sports, it is an intensely personal experience. The Tata Mumbai Marathon is One of the World's Leading Marathons. The event boasts of fundraising platform which is managed by United Way Mumbai, the official philanthropy partner of the event. Over...

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Registration opens for The Lincoln Marathon

Runners can officially add the Lincoln Marathon to their race calendars starting this weekend.

Registration for the event, which includes a full and a half marathon, opens Saturday.

Early birds can nab a discount on registration fees by signing up in person for the race. Fleet Feet stores in Lincoln and Omaha and the Lincoln Running Company will host sign-up events. 

Runners who register at the stores from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday will get a $5 discount and a free beanie. The events at Fleet Feet stores will include fun runs that start at 7 a.m.; the Lincoln Running Company fun run also starts at 7 a.m.

The Lincoln Marathon, in its 43rd year, is May 3. 

The race is capped at 12,000 runners, said race director Nancy Sutton. Last year's race, which had the same cap, drew about 10,000 runners. 

In previous years, the race was capped at 13,500 runners and sold out, sometimes within a day. 

Sutton attributes the dip in numbers to runners having more race options from which to choose. But organizers are happy with the numbers they're getting. 

The cost to run the full marathon is $90. The cost of running the half marathon is $70.

(01/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sarah Hoffman
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Lincoln Marathon

Lincoln Marathon

The Lincoln National Guard Marathon and Half-Marathon is run on a citywide course that starts and finishes on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Runners in both races share a common start and run a loop route past the Nebraska State Capitol, along Sheridan Boulevard, past Union College, along the Highway 2 bike path, past the Lincoln County-City Building...

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Eric Finan is dealing with a broken toe, heading for the 2020 Olympic trials

The injury is the result of a mountain bike incident, but it sounds like only a minor setback for his training to run the marathon in the 2020 Olympic trials in Atlanta, Georgia, on Feb. 29. He’s optimistic that he’ll soon be running 100 miles a week again.  

Finan has made many major life decisions based on running, and when he runs at the trials on Leap Day, he’s accomplishing a goal that he once thought had disappeared years ago. 

Before moving to Eugene in 2015, Finan attended University of Cincinnati because he wanted to pursue engineering while also running in a competitive collegiate conference. After graduating in 2012, he wanted to run in a post-collegiate group, but because he was injured during the last part of his fifth season, he says those running groups didn’t want him. 

He worked in Cincinnati for a year and got healthy. In 2013, he ran the U.S. Half Marathon Championships in Minnesota, finishing in 1:04:42. He attracted the attention of Team USA Minnesota, so he moved to Minneapolis to run with the group. 

But after again suffering some injuries from the higher-intensity philosophy of the coach there, Finan says he decided to run with Team Run Eugene, so he looked for work in the area. 

Today, Finan is coached by Tim Sykes, who was a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Oregon before moving to Western Kentucky University for a full-time coaching job.  

A self-described realist, Finan says he’s not expecting to make it in the top three on the U.S. team that would compete in Tokyo. Judging by the results from the 2012 Olympic trials in Houston, to make the team he’d need to finish under 2:10 — meaning he’d have to run a 5-minute pace.

He’s setting the bar at a top-25 finish, but he’s not necessarily running the trials to make the team. It’s about completing promises he made to himself while in high school.

He set two life goals then: to run a 4-minute mile and run in the Olympic trials. He completed the first goal, but missed the second goal in 2016 by seven seconds and didn’t make the trials for the 5k event.

Finan says he was devastated that he didn’t make the trials. He didn’t run for a few months and drank and ate to excess.

“I had my mind set on the trials. I had my heart set, my body, my soul to compete in the Olympic trials,” he says. “I believed it in my entire being that this thing was going to be true.”

He adds that he took it as a given that he would be running in the trials and was already thinking about preparing himself for the actual race. “I was crushed, and I was definitely depressed,” he says about missing the cutoff time. “I felt like I had worked so hard — for what?”

After taking a few months off from running — the longest non-injury break he’d ever taken — he talked with some friends and hit the pavement running again. It was a rough first month back because he hadn’t treated his body well during that break, he says. 

About 12 weeks of training later, thanks to a dedication to weight training and years of high-volume running, he made his marathon debut at California International Marathon in Sacramento, finishing at 2:17:51.

The result meant that he could — after missing trials in the 5k — satisfy that other running goal he established for himself. He returned to Sacramento in 2017, finishing the race at 2:16:42, qualifying to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials.

(01/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Henry Houston
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

Atlanta will host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon for both men and women, USA Track & Field and the United States Olympic Committee announced Monday. Hosted by Atlanta Track Club as the local organizing committee, the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon will be held Feb. 29, 2020, and will take place in conjunction with the...

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Kenya’s Morris Gachaga hopes his return to the southern Chinese city of Xiamen January 5 will give him the marathon title

Morris Gachaga from Kenya, 24, last competed in China back in 2016 where he was fourth at the Yangzhou Half Marathon clocking one hour and 46 seconds.

But it will be a new challenge as he takes on his fourth marathon, hoping to end the Ethiopian dominance on Sunday.

“I feel strong in having trained well and with focus. My target is to win and I know that I face strong opponents but it is down to how one is prepared on the race day and that is what I hope will play to my favor,” said Gachaga. 

This year, Gachaga has raced in two marathons in Paris, where he was fourth clocking 2:07:46 and in Amsterdam where he settled for the seventh spot after timing 2:06:24, which currently stands as his personal best.

(01/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

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

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Strong Elite Field Grows For Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

A powerful field of elite athletes from the hotbeds of African distance running will come together for the first major international marathon of the new year when the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is staged on January 24.

Soloman Deksisa (2:04:40) and Seifu Tura (2:04:44) of Ethiopia lead the men’s field, while former winner Worknesh Degefa (2:17:41) and Alemu Megertu (2:21:10) - also from Ethiopia - will head up the women’s elite division when Dubai hosts many of the best marathon runners in the world for the 21st time.

With a world-class personal best of 2:04:40, 25-year-old Deksisa is the fastest athlete in the start list. Despite his relatively young age the talented Ethiopian has built up plenty of experience at the marathon distance after a brief track career.

At the age of just 20, he won the San Diego Half Marathon with a personal best of 60:12, while less than two years later he moved up to the marathon and ran an impressive debut in Rotterdam where he finished second in 2:06:22. Since then he has fully focussed on the 42.195km distance and claimed his first marathon victory in Mumbai in 2018 before winning again in Hamburg a few months later. He capped his best year so far in Amsterdam with a marathon personal best of 2:04:40 that is just one minute outside the Dubai course record set in 2019 by Getaneh Molla.

Deksisa’s compatriot Tura is another of Ethiopia’s crop of rising stars who made an impressive marathon debut with a solid second place in 2:09:26 in Seoul in 2017.Still just 22, Tura enjoyed his best day at the 2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon when he took full advantage of the renowned fast course to carve a big slice off his personal best, improving by over four minutes to run 2:04:44 for seventh. The young Ethiopian has also sealed marathon wins in Milan and Shanghai, while setting a Half Marathon personal best of 59:17 in Buenos Aires in August.

In the women’s field, Worknesh Degefa - Ethiopia’s fastest female marathon runner of all time - will start as red-hot favourite thanks to an enviable record running the flat and fast streets of Dubai.

In 2017, the diminutive 29-year-old stunned an experienced field by winning in Dubai on what was her marathon debut. A year later, she broke the 2:20 mark for the first time but had to settle for fourth, while last year saw her finish second in Dubai in a remarkable time of 2:17:41. Not only did Degefa smash the Ethiopian record by 15 seconds, she also set what is now the fifth fastest time in women’s marathon history

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will be the first major sporting event in what is a historic year for the city with some 30,000 runners expected across three races.

(01/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

In its relatively brief history (the race was first held in 2000), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has become one of the fastest, most respected and the most lucrative marathon in the world in terms of prize money. Each year thousands of runners take to the roads in this beautiful city in the United Arab Emirates for this extraordinary race...

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Belgium’s Bashir Abdi and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola signed a successful farewell to 2019, taking convincing victories at the 55th San Silvestre Vallecana on Tuesday

Belgium’s Bashir Abdi and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola signed a successful farewell to 2019, taking convincing victories at the 55th San Silvestre Vallecana, a World Athletics Gold Label road race.

While Bashir got the better of Uganda’s Mande Bushendich in 27:47, Tola beat Kenya’s world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich by seven seconds, winning in 30:50. The downhill nature of the course means times achieved here are not valid for PB or record purposes.

On a pleasant windless night with the thermometer reaching 9C, the race kicked off at a moderate pace as a 10-man pack covered the opening kilometer in 2:48. Spain’s Toni Abadía moved to the front and opened a 30-meter gap by the second kilometer; shortly afterwards Jesús Ramos joined Abadía in the lead and the local pair went through three kilometers in 8:04.

The main favorites were about 40 meters behind, led by Turkey’s Aras Kaya, the Ugandan trio of Moses Kurong, Boniface Sikowo and last year’s third-place finisher Bushendich plus Bashir Abdi.

The Spaniards’ lead was to be short lived and before reaching the halfway point (13:30) they were caught by the chasing group with Kurong making most of the pacing duties. The key movement came with the clock reading 19:00 when Abdi broke away from the heading pack to build a two-second advantage on Bushendich and five over Abadía with 2.5km to go.

Abdi, the European 10,000m silver medalist, who had remained in the middle of the leading group for the first half of the race, proved to be in fine form over the tough final stages. At the tape, the Belgian was timed at 27:47, his first ever sub-28-minute clocking on the roads, while Bushendich finished in 27:51. Abadía managed the fastest ever time by a Spaniard here with 27:56, some consolation for recording his fourth third-place finish in Madrid.

“After competing at the Chicago Marathon (where he set a Belgian record of 2:06:14), I rested for several weeks but then I resumed training and I felt good today,” said Abdi, who was born in Somalia but fled the country at the age of 12. “The closing two kilometers were very tough but I reserved my energy in the first half and the tactic paid off.

“This year I have broken the Belgian record twice (2:07:03 in London and 2:06:14 in Chicago) and I would like to get close to the European record (2:04:16) in some of my next outings over the distance,” said Abdi, who will run a half marathon in the Netherlands on 12 January before contesting the Tokyo Marathon in March. “I would like to compete at the Tokyo Olympics, but also understand the decision to move the road events venue to Sapporo due to the weather conditions.”

The anticipated clash between Kenya’s world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola didn’t disappoint.

Sandwiched between a large pack of men, the two women were evenly matched for the first three kilometers which they covered in 8:56, clearly ahead of Portugal’s Carla Salomé Rocha (9:20) and Uganda’s late addition to the field Juliet Chekwel (9:24),

Chepngetich, who had declared at the pre-race press conference that she was not yet in the same kind of form which led her to the gold medal in Doha, could not follow in the Ethiopian’s footsteps before reaching halfway (14:50 vs 14:54); by then Rocha kept her four-second margin on the Ugandan (15:29/15:33).

In the second half, 25-year-old Tola managed to extend her lead to eight seconds with about two kilometers to go while Rocha also widened her advantage on Chekwel to another eight seconds.

Tola confirmed her supremacy during the uphill closing section and romped home in 30:50, the fourth fastest time ever recorded at this race. Meanwhile, Rocha completed the podium more than a minute behind the winner (31:52) but 21 seconds clear of Chekwel.

“I have beaten the recent world champion and that’s great for me,” said Tola, who is based in Geneva where she is coached by Tesfaye Eticha. “I feel in great shape and look forward to running under 2:20 in Tokyo in March.”

(01/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

Every year on 31st December, since 1964, Madrid stages the most multitudinous athletics event in Spain.Sport and celebration come together in a 10-kilometre race in which fancy dress and artificial snow play a part. Keep an eye out for when registration opens because places run out fast! The event consists of two different competitions: a fun run (participants must be...

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Faniel ends Italian drought in Bolzano while Kipkemboi equals course record

World 5000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi equalled the course record at the BOclassic Silvesterlauf while marathon specialist Eyob Gebrhiwet Faniel became the first Italian winner of the World Athletics Bronze Label road race since 1988 in Bolzano on Tuesday (31).

Faniel took an upset win in 28:21, beating world 5000m leader Telahun Haile Bekele by seven seconds. The last time an Italian runner won in Bolzano was in 1988 when Salvatore Antibo and Maria Curatolo took top honours.

Kenya’s Amos Kipruto, the world marathon bronze medallist, finished third in 28:37 ahead of Ugandan steeplechase specialist Albert Chemutai (28:50) and European 10,000m bronze medallist Yemaneberhan Crippa (28:54).

A leading group formed by Bekele, Kipruto, Chemutai, Crippa, Faniel and Ethiopia’s Mohammed Abdilmana took the lead in the early stages of the race. They ran at a conservative pace, clocking 3:31 for both the first and second laps. Faniel took the initiative and moved to the front at the end of the third lap with 10:44 on the clock.

The leading pack was whittled down to five runners during the fifth lap. Bekele, Faniel and Kipruto broke away from Crippa and Chemutai with two laps to go and went through the sixth lap mark in 21:23. Faniel went to the lead and only Bekele managed to keep up with the Italian, while Kipruto was dropped by three seconds.

Bekele, who clocked a world-leading 12:52.98 for 5000m in Rome earlier in 2019, launched his attack during the last lap, but Faniel caught up with the Ethiopian and broke away by unleashing his final kick with 200 metres to go near the Fountain of Frogs. He crossed the finish line in Walther Square in 28:21, improving his previous career best over this distance by three seconds.

Faniel finished fifth in the marathon at the European Championships in 2018 and 15th at the World Championships in Doha. Earlier this year the 27-year-old improved his half marathon PB to 1:00:53 in Padua. Born in Eritrea but living in Italy since 2004, Faniel is coached by Italian former marathon runner Ruggero Pertile.

“I knew that I could run a good race, but I was not sure that I would be able to win against such great athletes,” said Faniel. “I am now training hard in preparation for the Seville Marathon in February.”

Two-time Boclassic winner and world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta, Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi, Mercy Cherono, Tariku Alemitu and Gloria Kite ran at a swift pace from the early stages of the women’s 5km race.

They went through the first lap in 3:43 and the second lap in 7:42. Gudeta, Kipkemboi and Kite pulled away from Cherono during the third lap and clocked 11:39 at the bell.

Gudeta and Kipkemboi stepped up the pace and were neck and neck race during the final lap. Kipkemboi launched her final kick with 200 metres to go and held on to take the win in 15:30, equalling the course record set by her compatriot Agnes Tirop in 2017. In a close finish, Gudeta was just one second behind with Kite a further second in arrears.

Kenya’s 2013 world 5000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono finished fourth in 15:38, while Italy’s double European U20 cross-country champion Nadia Battocletti was sixth in 16:11.

“It was my second time in Bolzano and I was well prepared as I am familiar with the course,” said Kipkemboi, who intends on contesting some cross-country races over the next few months. “It was a fast race and I am happy that I managed to beat Gudeta.”

(01/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The registration price for Grandma’s Marathon increases on January 1

Entry fee increases to $135 on January 1, 2020. Registration for the 44th annual Grandma’s Marathon Weekend races opened October 1, 2019, which included Grandma’s Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the William A. Irvin 5K.

All Grandma’s Marathon participants registered before 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2019, will receive a complimentary full-zip, fleece lined training jacket. After December 31, runners will have the option to purchase the jacket at a discounted price. Entries for Grandma’s Marathon are taken on a first come, first serve basis until the race reaches 9,000 participants. 

Registration for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon is sold out for 2020; however, guaranteed half marathon entries are still available through our official Charity Partner Program. There are less than 50 spots available in the William A. Irvin 5K race.

Participants can also register for the Full Great Grandma’s Challenge. The challenge is for those looking for the ultimate race experience, which pairs the William A. Irvin 5K on Friday with the full marathon on Saturday. Registration is limited to the first 500 individuals and finishers will receive an exclusive Challenge jacket.

(12/31/2019) ⚡AMP
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Grandmas Marathon

Grandmas Marathon

Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...

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Callum Hawkins is hopeful that his brother, Derek, can join him on the GB marathon team for the Tokyo Olympics

Callum is hopeful that his brother, Derek, can join him for the Tokyo Olympics next summer, repeating the feat of 2016 which saw them both compete for Britain in the marathon in Rio.

It was announced last week that Callum has already been pre-selected for the 2020 Olympics, becoming one of the first GB athletes to secure their seat on the plane to Japan. And he firmly believes his brother is capable of claiming one of the remaining two marathon spots, with things being made slightly easier following the announcement earlier this year from four-time Olympic track medallist Mo Farah that he will concentrate on the 10,000m. This is after his decision in 2017 to retire from the track and concentrate on the road.

The Kilbarchan AAC duo put in impressive showings at Rio 2016, with Callum having a superb run to finish in ninth place, while Derek overcame a build-up severely afflicted by injury to finish just 114th.

The London Marathon in April is the ‘trial race’ for the Olympics, with the British Athletics men’s standard for Japan 2 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds. This means Derek must set a new personal best if he is to make it to his second Olympics, with his best to date being 2 hours 12 minutes 49 seconds, which he clocked in Frankfurt in October.

“There are slots available now at London and hopefully Derek can make it,” said Callum, who believes his older brother is capable of dipping under the British qualifying time.

“He ran a PB in Frankfurt and I think he had a bit more to come that day.

"So we will see how that goes with him and a couple of other Brits come London. I’d love him to be there. We were both selected for Rio in 2016 but at that time he had a real struggle with injury in the last few months and it was all about just making the start-line.

"It would be a nice achievement for two brothers to make it twice to the Olympics in the marathon."

Callum, fourth in the last two World champs events in London and in Doha, feels the competition in Sapporo will be even harder come next August.

"I’m not in any doubt that the level of competition in Japan will be even tougher than Doha," the 27-year-old said.

"That’s just the way I feel because I’m sure the very fact it is the Olympics will motivate people even more and there will be greater depth to the top 10 or the top 20 or whatever. Making the top 10 again will be really tough and the conditions could be difficult, too, even though they’ve moved it.

"I won’t have any fear, though. I will go out there feeling no pressure and, assuming everything has gone well in the build-up, I will really go for it. With a marathon, it comes down to how you cope and how you feel on the day."

If his current plan for next year remains unchanged, he could be making a trip east even before the main event, with a half marathon in Japan on the radar for family Hawkins.

"I’ve been out to Japan before," Callum recalled.

"I was due to run the Fukuoka Marathon at the end of 2018 but a hamstring injury prevented that, but we went on the trip anyway and got an idea of the place.

"We’re firming up the race-plan at the moment but one of the half marathons could be over in Japan, although not at the Olympic venue."

(12/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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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, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Veteran Kenyan runner Sammy Kitwara banned for anti-doping violation

Veteran half-marathon runner Sammy Kitwara of Kenya has been banned for 16 months following an anti-doping violation, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Friday.

Kitwara tested positive for the banned substance Terbutaline, according to the AIU.

The ban by athletics' world governing body has been backdated to March 17 this year with his results in any event since then being canceled.

The AIU added that the decision to ban the runner can be appealed.

Kitwara made his marathon debut in 2012 and finished second in the Chicago Marathon in 2014. Kitwara is also a 2009 Rotterdam half Marathon champion.

The 33-year-old is the latest in a line of Kenyan athletes who have been provisionally suspended in 2019 for violation of the IAAF anti-doping rules.

Kenya's Sports minister had previously said that it plans to impose criminal penalties – including possible jail terms – on athletes caught doping, and it was working on new legislation on the matter.

(12/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Course records under threat in Houilles 10 km

The men’s and women’s course records will be in jeopardy at the 48th edition of the Houilles 10km in the suburbs of Paris where strong fields have been assembled for the World Athletics Silver Label road race on Sunday (29).

In the absence of last year’s winner Julien Wanders, Nibret Melak appears to be the main favorite. The Ethiopian clocked a personal best of 27:26 in Laredo in March, one second outside the Houilles course record set by Wanders. Melak, who has a 5000m PB of 13:07.27, will be running in Houilles for the first time.

Morocco’s Hamza Lamqartass should be a threat as he has a lifetime best of 27:51, set in March. Albert Chemutai should also feature. The 20-year-old Ugandan, who placed 12th at this year’s World Cross, finished third in Houilles last year in a PB of 27:53.

Cornelius Kangogo is familiar to the race. Three times a winner in Houilles between 2013 and 2016, the Kenyan set his PB here in 2013. Last year the 26-year-old finished sixth in 28:10.

Felix Kipkoech will also be running on familiar roads. The Kenyan won the Boulogne-Billancourt Half Marathon, near Houilles, in a PB of 1:00:12 last month.

The field also includes Haftu Teklu of Ethiopia, who set his best of 28:10 in Houilles last year. He was faster on the track in June, clocking 27:30:88 in Nijmegen. Daniel Simiu Ebenyo has also showed good recent form as he set a personal best of 28:23 last month.

Others strong contenders include Yohans Kifle and Berhane Tesfay of Eritrea, and Ethiopia’s Ayenew Alemu Yismaw, who finished second in Langueux in 2018 in a PB of 28:27.

French eyes will turn to the rising star Jimmy Gressier, who clinched a third U23 title in a row at the European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon earlier this month. He’ll target a sub-28-minute time, as his 28:12 PB was set at last year’s event.

Benjamin Choquert will also be in the field one month after having clocking the marathon qualifying standard for the Olympics. He will be looking a sub-29-minute time.

The women’s race is expected to be fast throughout the three laps of 3.3km and features a duel between two top Kenyans.

Norah Jeruto, 24, is a steeplechase specialist and sits fifth on this year’s world list in that event, but she also recorded a strong 30:07 10km personal best in Prague in September. Gloria Kite, 21, ran 30:36 in Valencia last January.

Gete Alemayehu, who set a course record of 31:12 last year, will have a tough task in defending her title. The field also includes Nigsti Haftu Tesfay, who won the Corrida de Langueux in June.

French hopes will rest on Liv Westphal’s shoulders, who finished fifth at the recent European Cross Country Championships. She’ll attempt to improve her lifetime best of 32:35.

 

(12/28/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon Medal design unveiled

The eagerly anticipated medal design for the fastest half marathon in the world – the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon – has been revealed as event organsiers, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority (RAKTDA), announce that over 1,000 runners have already registered for the sporting event taking place on 21st February 2020 on Al Marjan Island.

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon has commissioned four medals for the 2020 edition of the world-renowned race – one for each of the categories. Crafted in metal, each medal is engraved with the category and embossed with the individual race distance. While the Half Marathon and Relay medals boast an impressive 90mm diameter with a stylised rotating disk in the middle, the 5KM and 1KM medal designs are solid discs measuring 80mm and 70mm respectively and bear the eye-catching, iconic logo of the event. The medals are made complete with colourful, individual ribbons for each category.

On course to be the biggest ever edition of the event with a record number of participants, the family-friendly race will host a number of categories including; the half marathon, two- and four-person relay, 5km and 1km Kids Run. In particular, the relay and 5km races are perfectly suited for team building amongst school teams of teachers and students, as well as corporate teams, and friends and families alike. A special discount will be offered to group bookings to encourage teams to engage in a healthy and active challenge.

Each participant will receive a race shirt from the Half Marathon’s technical sponsor – leading Spanish sports equipment brand, Joma. Until 31st December, runners can personalise their shirts with 15 characters to wear their name, nickname, cause or running club on the reverse of their race shirt.

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said: “The 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is on track to be the biggest ever edition of the race and we are expecting record numbers of runners to join us. With so many incentives for runners, from a generous prize fund of AED 1,219,000, discounts on local attractions, transport to and from the event, and a variety of races to suit all abilities and fitness levels. We are looking forward to welcoming runners and spectators from all over the UAE to Al Marjan Island to experience everything Ras Al Khaimah has to offer.”

(12/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Ugandan Mande Bushendich and Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich will be the main favorites at the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana

The Ugandan Mande Bushendich and the Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich are the main favorites in the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana, which takes place on December 31 through the streets of the center of Madrid and that this Monday presents its favorites of the international elite test .

Ugandan Mande Bushendich returns to Vallecas after his third place last year wanting to climb to the top of the podium. In the record race last year he registered 27:24, and this year he has already dropped 28 minutes in Holland, although in the spring, which makes him run as one of the favorites.

Another candidate for the victory will be the Belgian-Somali Bashir Abdi, silver in the Berlin Europeans in 10,000 meters and that 'shattered' the Belgian marathon record a few months ago, with 2h06: 14 in Chicago. Also, Ugandan Moses Kurong, fourth in the Gothenburg Half Marathon 2019 and third in Barcelona in 2018.

The San Silvestre Vallecana women's will feature the Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, current marathon world champion in Doha 2019, and victories in the Dubai Marathon and the Istanbul Half Marathon this year. Second in 2018 at the Paris Marathon, Chepngetich will seek to follow the path of his compatriot Brigid Kosgei, who flew last year to set the new test record, with 29:54.

The Ethiopian Helen Bekele Tola is postulated as one of her rivals for victory. Second in the Tokyo Marathon and fourth in Berlin in this 2019, in Spain it has already won in 2017 in the Barcelona Marathon. It has 31:13 as a personal mark in a '10K' en route.

Among the women spain runners, the 23-year-old Carmela Cardama, a university runner of 10,000 meters in the United States and who is the fastest national in the history with her age, beats Alessandra Aguilar.

She was the leader of the Spanish team that won team silver in the 2019 European Cup of 10,000 meters. The San Silvestre Vallecana arrives in great shape, as evidenced by its recent national record in indoor track at 5,000 meters, the tenth best Spanish mark in the distance including outdoors.

(12/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by Dani Sanchez
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San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

Every year on 31st December, since 1964, Madrid stages the most multitudinous athletics event in Spain.Sport and celebration come together in a 10-kilometre race in which fancy dress and artificial snow play a part. Keep an eye out for when registration opens because places run out fast! The event consists of two different competitions: a fun run (participants must be...

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Dheeraj Gupta, Founder of Jumboking will be running his eight Mumbai Marathon in January shares his ideas on how running helps him be a better business person

Dheeraj Gupta, Founder and MD of Jumboking will be running his eight Mumbai Marathon in January. In 2018, the burger chain boss clocked the half marathon in 2 hrs and 28 minutes. He told ET Panache, "This year I hope to complete it in 2 hrs and 10 minutes.One of my running buddies has promised a treat, if I clock this timing. These are the small perks of training in a group, you build a network of like-minded people while keeping fit."

Gupta has tips for those who want to run. He shared, "The key to a good run are a good pair of running shoes which should be changed every year, a good fitness tracker to improve your running and a good pair of shorts and dry fit t-shirt.Breathing when you run is very important. Learning the correct breathing technique while running changed my focus from what is happening on the outside to what is happening inside the mind during the run. This will change you as a runner. Discipline is the key."

The Jumboking founder finds some lessons from his running. These have helped him in his business. "Running a marathon is like running a business. It takes discipline, consistency and focus to build a business. You have to pace yourself to meet your targets. You have to know your body and mind, do what works for you, at a pace that suits you. You are competing with yourself to become a better version of yourself compared to the previous year," he said.

The competitiveness of business and marathon running are very similar too according to Gupta. "Sales and profitability are the way you keep score in business to see how you are faring, in a marathon you similarly keep your timing. The way you pace yourself for the race by breaking it up into four runs of 5 kms each, you don’t want to go too fast in the beginning because you want to end strong.

Similarly, if you invest in training yourself and your team for business functions you will meet your targets with absolute ease, grace and joy.

(12/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by Maleeva Rebello
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Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

Distance running epitomizes the power of one’s dreams and the awareness of one’s abilities to realize those dreams. Unlike other competitive sports, it is an intensely personal experience. The Tata Mumbai Marathon is One of the World's Leading Marathons. The event boasts of fundraising platform which is managed by United Way Mumbai, the official philanthropy partner of the event. Over...

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Bristol man Alan Smith, completed the 2019 Berlin marathon just months after abdominal surgery

A Bristol handyman, who was running again less than three weeks after abdominal surgery, has raised £1,600 for Prostate Cancer UK by successfully completing his first marathon.

Alan Smith, from Stoke Gifford, is a member of the Frampton Cotterell Harriers and he completed the Berlin marathon in four hours and 21 minutes, barely four months after hernia repair surgery at Emersons Green NHS Treatment Center.

He said: “In 2011 I experienced my first hernia. The type of work I do involves a lot of heavy lifting, which damaged the left side of my abdomen. My GP sent me, under the NHS, to the treatment center.

“I could not speak highly enough of the care I received. I was back working within three weeks, which is really important when you are self-employed.”

When Mr Smith then experienced the symptoms on the other side of his abdomen, he decided he once again wanted to be treated at Emersons Green.

He said: “It was painful both when working and running. I didn’t want to let down my customers and I also had my place in the Berlin marathon. We all know people who have been affected by prostate cancer and I really wanted to do my part and raise money for the charity that carries out vital research and supports people living with the condition.”

Because he needed the operation quickly, Mr Smith chose to use Care UK’s Self Pay option, guaranteeing treatment within four weeks of referral.

He said: “When you are self-employed there is a risk you will lose more money because you are unable to work. This option would, hopefully, get me back to work as soon as possible and greatly increase my chance of making it to Berlin.

"I actually had my operation only nine days after my initial assessment, which was amazing” 

The operation, which went smoothly, was carried out by consultant general surgeon Paula Sabino dos Santos.

Mr Smith said: “We talked about my ambition to get to the marathon. She told me to start walking as soon as possible and to keep taking long walks to build up my strength, which I did.

“The first time I took some running steps I did it with a degree of trepidation, but it was absolutely fine. I did a couple of training sessions with the Harriers before completing a half marathon just three weeks after the operation. I was also back to light work within the same time.

“I promised Mrs dos Santos that I would send her photos from Berlin if I made it, and I was delighted to be able to send her photos of me wearing my finishers medal. I was very grateful to her and her team; I could not have asked for better treatment.”

(12/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Nathalie Gannon
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei eyes London or Tokyo in 2020

New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei will gauge her fitness in cross country before coming to return to marathon running in April.

The 26-year-old, is still pinching herself after she staged one of the biggest coups in 2019 when running her only second marathon won in New York clocking an impressive 2:22:38, beating race favorite and defending champion Mary Keitany.

"It was a big surprise to me to win New York City marathon. Certainly, it was not in the plans because there were top contenders and I was there to make a new attempt to the distance after I had flopped in London," Keitany said on Monday.

Though she started light training after her run in New York, Jepkosgei said that it will be a while before she is fit to race again. However, she is open to run in Boston, London or Tokyo in 2020.

"The muscles still hurt and it is one day at a time. I was nervous at the start and I only realized that I could go for it after the halfway mark. The win crowned my season and beating my mentor was no mean task. Mary Keitany is up there with the greats in marathon and she will always win big races. The pressure was too much, but I took it in my stride."

She also won in June the New York half marathon clocking 70:07 minutes. But her winning time on New York race in November was just seven seconds off the course record.

"I always have the desire to take up challenges and I feel it is the right time to run the full marathon. I had already achieved in half marathon and taking up a new challenge was good for my career," she added.

In 2017, Jepkosgei smashed the world half-marathon record to become the first woman to run 21km in under 65 minutes. Brigid Kosgei later broke her record as she set 64.28 minutes.

Jepkosgei hopes one day she will be strong enough to challenge the world record in full marathon. Brigid Kosgei has reshuffled the tables with a fast run in Chicago in October when she posted a new world record of 2:14:04. She shreds Paula Radcliffe's record that had stood since 2003 of 2:15:25.

(12/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Mu Xuequan
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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World Athletics awards the Silver Label to the Madrid Half Marathon

World Athletics has awarded the Madrid Half Marathon the distinction of 'Silver Label', for which it recognizes the Madrid race as one of the best road races in the world.This distinction increases the international positioning of the traditional half marathon that will meet 20 years on March 29, 2020.

The 'Silver Label' comes to improve the bronze category achieved in the last edition and places the Madrid Half Marathon at the level of 26 other asphalt races that share this distinction.

In the world there are only nine half marathons with the gold label, the highest distinction, and one of them is Spanish: the eDreams Mitja Marató from Barcelona.

To achieve the new cataloging, the Madrid event has managed to overcome all the necessary parameters and requirements regarding its organizational quality, safety, elite sports level, number of registered, international promotion, media impact and exposure of the test.

In the last edition there were 20,000 participants.

(12/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Medio Maraton de Madrid

Medio Maraton de Madrid

Live running as ever. There is no insurmountable barrier in the Half Marathon of Madrid! The most spectacular and well-known Half Marathon is back. Lace up your running shoes and test yourself against the clock around the city centre. Dream with your goals and make them come true! ...

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The 2019 Missoula Marathon ranks among the best in America

The 2019 BibRave 100 rankings were released earlier this month and the Missoula Marathon was ranked as the No. 2 marathon in the United States.

The Missoula half marathon was named as a Top 20 Half Marathon and the race weekend was named as a Top 10 Best Weekend Experience.

"We take great pride in being ranked alongside events with much larger participant numbers and event budgets," noted Tony Banovich, Missoula Marathon race director. "It’s a testament to the Missoula community that we can provide a world-class race in Western Montana.”

Now in its 14th year, the Missoula Marathon weekend of events include a Beer Run, Runner Expo, 5K, Kids Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon.

Over the years, it’s become known as a destination race and bucket list race for runners from around the world. The 2020 race weekend will be Friday, June 26 through Sunday, June 28.

(12/18/2019) ⚡AMP
by Bill Speltz
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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Des Linden will race the U.S. Olympic Trials and the Boston Marathon in 2020

Des Linden was undecided whether to race the Feb. 29 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials as recently as a month ago. But now Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon winner, is not only committed to trials but also the April 20 Boston Marathon.

It would be, at 51 days, by far her shortest break between marathons, which has so far included 19 marathons dating to 2007. She’s 36 years old, and it may be her last Olympic cycle.

“I only have so many more chances at Boston. I love being there. Obviously, the Olympics [window] is closing down as well,” she said. “I like the trials and the competitive way we pick our team. I can’t imagine, at this point, watching either of those races and feeling like I had no effect on either outcome.”

If Linden does make the Olympic marathon team — by placing top three at trials in Atlanta — she would be in line to race four marathons over a little more than nine months when including last month’s New York City Marathon.

Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa and American Sara Hall ran the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3, 29 days and 35 days, respectively, after racing the world championships and Berlin Marathon. Neither finished New York, however.

This past August, when Linden committed to the New York City Marathon, she added that she might not race the trials. After her performance in New York — the top U.S. woman in sixth place — she decided she was ready for the trials-Boston double, which she had been considering since placing fifth at this past April’s Boston Marathon.

As far as how it will impact her trials build-up, Linden said her team will re-evaluate the process weekly. She hasn’t committed to a pre-trials half marathon.

“We’re obviously aware of what’s down the line, so we’re trying to get as much quality as we can without going too deep into the well,” she said. “It’s certainly going to be out there, but we’re trying to run well at both and not say, ‘This isn’t going well,’ and just train through it.”

Linden has been treating every marathon as if it could be her last. She has been incredibly consistent, placing no worse than eighth in her last 11 marathon starts dating to 2013.

Neither of Linden’s previous Olympic experiences was especially memorable. She dropped out of her first one in 2012 with a stress fracture in her femur. She was seventh in Rio, missing a medal by less than two minutes. The Kenyan-born gold and silver medalists were later busted for EPO and are serving lengthy doping bans.

“I don’t feel like I have anything to prove and anything unfinished,” at the Olympics, Linden said in August. “Quite frankly, the last experience is a hard sell to get back out there to try to compete for medals when you’re not even really sure what the field is all about. It’s a little bit difficult to be excited about that with the way we are about the [World Marathon] Majors. People investing in anti-doping have really been solving that problem [at the majors]. It’s a little tricky [at the Olympics], but certainly representing your country is special.”

Linden is the most experienced of a deep group of U.S. Olympic marathon hopefuls after the recent retirement of four-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan.

(12/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

Atlanta will host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon for both men and women, USA Track & Field and the United States Olympic Committee announced Monday. Hosted by Atlanta Track Club as the local organizing committee, the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon will be held Feb. 29, 2020, and will take place in conjunction with the...

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$12 million raised to battle childhood cancer, other life-threatening diseases at St. Jude Memphis Marathon

This year, 26,000 participants from all 50 states and 17 foreign countries  gathered in the Bluff City alongside 40,000 spectators for the 18th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend presented by Juice Plus+®. Among this year’s participants were more than 7,200 St. Jude Heroes who raised $12 million to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.

One such St. Jude Hero, Adam Higham, became the 2019 top marathoner. The Collierville, Tennessee resident finished first this year with a time of 2:29:17. Since running his first marathon here in 2012, Higham has steadily worked his way to the top – having earned seventh place in 2015, then working up to second place in both 2016 and 2017.

“In the 18 years of St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, more than 250,000 runners have come from across the country and around the world to embrace our great city and provide hope for our patient families in what can be the darkest time of their lives. Watching these tens of thousands of dedicated athletes running for a reason and raising more than $90 million in since the event’s inception reminds us of the power of people of every background to unite together to change the lives of those most vulnerable: our sick children from across the globe,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“We offer our most heartfelt gratitude to Adam and to all of the devoted St. Jude Heroes, volunteers, partners, safety officials and supporters who helped make this year’s race weekend the best yet.”

Tia Stone of Searcy, Arkansas was the first female to cross the marathon finish line with a time of 2:58:20. Pius Nyatika of Memphis, Tennessee was the top male half marathoner, and set a new half marathon course record with a time of 1:04:20. Rebecca Robinson of Windermere, Cumbria, England was this year’s first female half marathoner with a time of 1:16:17.

The first to cross the 10K finish line was Dylan Hassett (female) of Alpharetta, Georgia with a time of 34:29. Shortly after, Owen, a St. Jude patient from Jonesboro, Arkansas finished with a time of 40:27. Tyler Pasley of Shelbyville, Illinois – 2018’s top 10K finisher – lead this year’s 5K with a time of 16:04, while Amber Douglas of Camden, Tennessee crossed as this year’s top female 5K finisher with a time of 21:13.

Since its inception in 2002, St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend has helped raise more than $90 million to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.® Events like this help ensure no family at St. Jude receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

The 2019 event weekend was made possible with the support of 4,000 volunteers; more than 20 sponsors, including Juice Plus+, Landers Auto Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, AutoZone, Lancôme, Shaw Floors, American Airlines, Campbell Clinic, FedEx, Kroger, Mitsubishi Electric, My Salon Suite, My Town Movers, Prairie Farms and more; partners Breakaway Running, Downtown Memphis Commission, the City of Memphis, Memphis Runners Track Club and National Black Marathoners Association; as well as national St. Jude Heroes coach Kevin Leathers.

(12/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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British marathon champion Charlotte Purdue clocks 68:45 in Japan for her second fastest ever time winning the Sanyo half-marathon on Sunday

Britain’s Charlotte Purdue won the half-marathon in 68:45 for the British marathon champion’s second fastest ever time over 13.1 miles and her quickest on a record-eligible course (behind her 68:08 recorded at this year’s Great North Run).

It is over a minute quicker than she ran at the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon in February.

Purdue beat, among others, Japanese Olympic marathon trials winner Honami Maeda (69:08).

Sara Miyake was third in 69:23, while Canada’s Rachel Cliff set a national record of 70:06 in sixth.

(12/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Sanyo Ladies Road Race

Sanyo Ladies Road Race

The Sanyo Ladies Road Race is held at the Okayama City circle course on december, also known as the Sanyo Women's Road Race, is an annual road running competition for women held in December in Okayama, Japan. It features both a 10k runand Half Marathon race. Sanyo Shimbun, a daily newspaper, is the title sponsor for the event. The day's...

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Nike’s Fastest Shoes May Give Runners an Even Bigger Advantage Than First Thought

Anyone who saw Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya break the two-hour marathon barrier in October very likely saw something else, too: the thick-soled Nike running shoes on his feet, and, in a blaze of pink, on the feet of the pacers surrounding him.

These kinds of shoes from Nike — which feature carbon plates and springy midsole foam — have become an explosive issue among runners, as professional and amateur racers alike debate whether the shoes save so much energy that they amount to an unfair advantage.

A new analysis by The New York Times, an update of the one conducted last summer, suggests that the advantage these shoes bestow is real — and larger than previously estimated.

At the moment, they appear to be among only a handful of popular shoes that matter at all for race performance, and the gap between them and the next-fastest popular shoe has only widened.

We found that a runner wearing the most popular versions of these shoes available to the public — the Zoom Vaporfly 4% or ZoomX Vaporfly Next% — ran 4 to 5 percent faster than a runner wearing an average shoe, and 2 to 3 percent faster than runners in the next-fastest popular shoe. (There was no meaningful difference between the Vaporfly and Next% shoes when we measured their effects separately. We have combined them in our estimates.)

This difference is not explained by faster runners choosing to wear the shoes, by runners choosing to wear them in easier races or by runners switching to the shoes after running more training miles. In a race between two marathoners of the same ability, a runner wearing these shoes would have a significant advantage over a competitor not wearing them.

The shoes, which retail for $250, confer an advantage on all kinds of runners: men and women, fast runners and slower ones, hobbyists and frequent racers.

Many other brands, including Brooks, Saucony, New Balance, Hoka One One and Asics, have introduced similar shoes to the market or plan to. These shoes may provide the same advantage or an even larger one, but most do not yet appear in sufficient numbers in our data to measure their effectiveness.

What makes these shoes different is, among other things, a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole, which stores and releases energy with each stride and is meant to act as a kind of slingshot, or catapult, to propel runners. The shoes also feature midsole foam that researchers say contributes to increased running economy.

Whether the shoes violate rules from track’s governing body, World Athletics, depends on how one interprets this sentence from its rulebook: “Shoes must not be constructed so as to give athletes any unfair assistance or advantage.” It does not specify what such an advantage might be.

“We need evidence to say that something is wrong with a shoe,” a spokesman for the governing body, then called the I.A.A.F., told The Times last year. “We’ve never had anyone bring some evidence to convince us.”

In an announcement earlier this year, the group said, “It is clear that some forms of technology would provide an athlete with assistance that runs contrary to the values of the sport.” It has since appointed a technical committee to study the shoe question, and to make a report with recommendations. (The report was originally intended to be released to the public by the end of the year; it will now reportedly be released in 2020.)

When we asked Nike last year about whether its shoes might violate I.A.A.F. rules, a spokesman said the shoe “meets all I.A.A.F. product requirements and does not require any special inspection or approval.”

Last Thursday, the company said in a statement, “We respect the I.A.A.F. and the spirit of their rules, and we do not create any running shoes that return more energy than the runner expends.”

There is no such thing as a large-scale randomized control trial for marathons and shoes, but there is Strava, a fitness app that calls itself the social network for athletes. Nearly each weekend, thousands of runners compete in races, record their performance data on satellite watches or smartphones, and upload their race data to the app. This data includes things like a race name, finish time, per-mile splits and overall elevation profile. And about one in four races includes self-reported information about a runner’s shoes.

In all, this data includes race results from about 577,000 marathons and 496,000 half marathons in dozens of countries from April 2014 to December 2019.

How we measured the shoes’ effect

[These approaches are essentially identical to the ones The Times used last summer. See that article for more examples and methodological details.]

We measured the shoes’ performance using four different methods — each with its own strengths and flaws:

1. Using statistical models2. Studying groups of runners who ran the same pair of races3. Following runners as they switch shoes4. Measuring the likelihood of a personal record in a pair of shoes

None of these approaches are perfect, but they all point to the same conclusion: Something is happening in races with the Vaporfly and Nike Next% shoes that is not happening with most any other kind of popular shoe.

Besides race times and the names of shoes, we also have data on runners’ gender and approximate age. For some of the more serious runners, we have detailed information about their training volume in the months leading up to a race. We also know about the weather on race day.

When we put this information into a statistical model, times associated with Vaporfly and Next% shoes are a clear outlier — about 2 percent faster than with the next-fastest shoe. The model estimates the effect of wearing these shoes compared with the effect of wearing other shoes.

No statistical model is perfect, and it’s possible that runners who choose to wear Vaporfly or Next% shoes are somehow different from runners who do not. Regardless of the decisions that went into this model — even when trying to control for runners’ propensity to wear the shoes in the first place — the outputs were similar.

Strava is very popular among runners. At last year’s Berlin Marathon, for example, more than 10,000 runners uploaded race information to Strava, and this year, more than 14,000 did. Crucially for our purposes, about a thousand of those runners ran both races, and a subset of them reported racing in different shoes.

We could then examine the change in performance of two similar runners — people with similar race performances and, ideally, training regimens — and compare the improvement of a runner who switched shoes with a runner who did not. In Berlin, runners who switched to Vaporfly or Next% shoes improved their times more than runners who did not, on average.

For two athletes and a single pair of races, this might not tell us much. But in our data, there are thousands of instances when pairs of runners ran in the same two races.

When we perform this calculation for every pair of races in our data and measure the effect of switching to any kind of popular shoe, we see that runners who switch to these Nike shoes improved significantly more than runners who switched to any other kind of shoe. No other shoe comes close to having the same effect.

More than 110,000 athletes uploaded data for more than one marathon, and about 47,000 uploaded data for three or more marathons. The Strava data allows us to follow these repeat racers over time and as they change shoes.

When we aggregate the change in race times for runners the first time they switch to a new pair of shoes, runners who switched to Vaporflys or Next% shoes improved their times more than runners who switched to any other kind of popular shoe.

Race times are, in many ways, a crude way to measure performance. One marathon may be hilly or full of sharp turns; others may be flat and straight. Weather, too, is important, with higher temperatures typically resulting in slower times. And yet race times are how runners qualify for prestigious races, like the Boston Marathon, and most runners know their personal best times by heart, regardless of whether the race they ran was flat or hilly, on a hot day or a cold one.

We can follow the runners in our data with this measure in mind, testing whether a runner’s fastest time is more likely when he or she switches to any kind of shoe.

Someone can run a personal best for all kinds of reasons unrelated to shoes. A runner may train more, execute a better strategy on race day or run an easier course. Regardless, we found that runners who switched to these shoes were more likely to run their fastest race than runners who switched to any other kind of popular shoe.

(12/16/2019) ⚡AMP
by Kevin Qealy and Josh Katz
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15 Mind-Blowing Race Moments From 2019-From Kipchoge to Kosgei and all of the upsets, records, and victories in between, 2019 was a major year for running.

1-Kosgei Shocks Everyone in Chicago-On October 13, Brigid Kosgei made history when she won the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04. The Kenyan ran almost perfectly even splits to achieve her goal in the Windy City, passing the halfway mark in 1:06:59 before clocking 1:07:05 for the second half.

2-Eliud Kipchoge Dips Under 2-Hour Marathon Barrier-In his second attempt at breaking the two-hour barrier in the marathon, Eliud Kipchogeof Kenya accomplished the feat with a stunning run of 1:59:40 on the streets of Vienna in October.

3-Joan Samuelson Crushes Her Goal 40 Years After Boston Victory-In 1979, Joan Benoit Samuelson set a national and course record when she won the Boston Marathon as a 21-year-old college student. Forty years after her historic victory, Samuelson, 61, set out to run within 40 minutes of her winning time at the 2019 Boston Marathon. On April 15, the 1984 Olympic champion wore a similar Bowdoin College singlet to honor her 1979 win and shattered her goal, crossing the finish line in 3:04. “To be here, 40 years later and being able to run, let alone being able to run a marathon, I feel blessed,” she said.

4-Jim Walmsley Obliterates His Own Western States Record-Ultrarunning star Jim Walmsley maintained his Western States winning streak when he obliterated his own course record in June. Navigating 100 miles from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California, Walmsley broke the tape in 14 hours and 9 minutes, which broke his own course record by more than 20 minutes

5-Donavan Brazier Breaks 34-Year-Old American Record-Donavan Brazier had the race of his life when he broke one of the oldest American records on his way to winning gold in the 800 meters at the IAAF World Championshipsin Doha, Qatar. With 250-meters to go, Brazier ran away from the field to secure the first 800-meter world championship gold medal for the United States in a time of 1:42.34. 

6-Dalilah Muhammad Sets World Record Twice-Dalilah Muhammad made history twice this season when she broke the 400-meter hurdles world record and lowered it once again on her way to winning the world championships.

7-Sifan Hassan Wins Unprecedented Double at Worlds-At the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Sifan Hassan won two gold medals that no man or woman has achieved in the history of the world championships or Olympic Games. The Dutch runner, 26, kicked off the competition by winning the 10,000-meter final in a national record time of 30:17:33. 

8-Maggie Guterl Becomes First Woman to Win Backyard Ultra-For 60 hours straight, Maggie Guterl ran the same 4.2-mile trail loop to become the last runner standing in the Big’s Backyard Ultra race. The Durango, Colorado, native ran 250 miles on her way to becoming the first woman to win the brutal race that rewards the person who can run for the longest amount of time.

9-Geoffrey Kamworor Breaks Half Marathon World Record-Holding a 4:25-mile pace, Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya shattered the world record at the Copenhagen Half Marathon in September, running 58:01. The performance, which was 17 seconds faster than the previous record, took place in the same city where the 26-year-old won his first of three half marathon world championship titles in 2014.

10-Joyciline Jepkosgei Debuts in NYC Marathon, Beats Mary Keitany-In her first marathon, Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya secured a title in a major upset. The half marathon world record-holder raced like a veteran in the New York City Marathonto beat four-time champion Mary Keitany in a winning time of 2:22:38, only seven seconds shy of the course record.

11-Kenenisa Bekele Wins Berlin Marathon 2 Seconds Shy of World Record-One year after Eliud Kipchoge set a world record that many believed would be untouchable for at least a few years, Kenenisa Bekele nearly surpassed it at the Berlin Marathon. The 37-year-old Ethiopian won the race in 2:01:41, just two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s record. 

12-Freshman Sha’Carri Richardson Shatters 100-meter Collegiate Record-In her first ever NCAA Outdoor Championship, Sha’Carri Richardson made history. In the 100-meter final, the LSU freshman sprinted to victory in a collegiate record of 10.75.

13-Drew Hunter, Athing Mu, and Colleen Quigley Win First Pro Titles-The USATF Indoor Championships brought out exciting breakthroughs for three young athletes. In the men’s 2-mile, 21-year-old Drew Hunter won the crown out of the “slower” heat by running a world-best time of 8:25.29. The women’s 600 meters was won by 16-year-old Athing Mu who defeated world silver medalist Raevyn Rogers in an American record time of 1:23.57.

14-BYU Snaps NAU’s Winning Streak at the NCAA Cross Country Championships-The Brigham Young team had a banner day at the NCAA Cross Country Championshipsin November. Battling muddy conditions, the BYU Cougars secured the team victory over three-time defending champions Northern Arizona in the men’s race. With a team total of 109 points, BYU beat NAU by 54 points to win the program’s first NCAA cross-country championship in history.

15-Joshua Cheptegei Sets 10K World Record After Winning Two World Titles-Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda capped off a banner year when he set a world record in the 10K on December 1, running 26:38 to win the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso in Valencia, Spain. Earlier this year, he won the world cross-country championships and the world championship 10,000 meters in Doha, Qatar.

 

(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Barsoton and Shone smash race records at Kolkata 25K

Kenya’s Leonard Barsoton and Ethiopia’s Guteni Shone ripped up the record book at the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K 2019 as the pair set new event records for the World Athletics Silver Label Road Race – the only 25km race in the world with such a distinction – on Sunday (15).

Barsoton, the 2017 World Cross Country Championships silver medallist, crossed the line in 1:13.:05 to take 43 seconds off the event record set by Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele in 2017 while Shone clocked 1:22:09 to win by more than a minute. She clipped took almost four minutes off the event record of 1:26:01 set by her compatriot Degitu Azimeraw two years ago.

Both of the winning times rank just outside the top 10 all-time marks for the 25km distance.

A large group of 11 runners in the men’s race went through the halfway point at 12.5km together in 37:11 (the 10km split being 29:41). However, over the next 2.5 kilometres several runners dropped off the back of the pack and just six were left at the front as 15km was passed in 44:21.

Despite the Ethiopian pair of Betesfa Getahun and Bayelign Yegsaw surging and pushing hard over the next five kilometres the same six – Barsoton, Getahun, Yegsaw, Uganda’s Felix Chemonges, Ethiopia’s Dagnachew Adere and Tanzania’s Faraja Damasi – were still more-or-less together as 20km was passed in 59:05; but with four kilometres to go Barsoton pushed hard for home and the move proved to be decisive.

Barsoton threw in a final 5km split of 14:00, the fastest 5km of the race, to win in 1:13:05 with Getahun, still with plenty of running in his legs despite his 2:05:28 marathon debut in Amsterdam less than two months ago, second in 1:33:33 and Yegsaw third in 1:33:36.

“It was a tough race and a tough course, and it was a close competition until the 20K mark, after which I broke free from the pack. I have been training hard this year, leading a disciplined life: sleeping early, rising early and training hard,” reflected Barsoton, whose previous credentials also include a half marathon personal best of 59:09 in Valencia in October.

"I had planned to push hard from 20km but looking at the other runners I decided to wait a little bit and then went at 21-k. But to beat a record of Bekele’s is so special. I’m very excited. 

“Next year, for sure I will make my marathon debut, but I don’t know where yet. However, I think I can run 2:03, a crazy time. If I can beat Bekele’s record here, I can run that sort of crazy time,” added Barsoton.

Bekele’s brother Tariku Bekele drifted off the back of the leading pack just after 13 kilometres and eventually finished 10th in 1:15:53 while Kenya’s 2009 and 2011 world marathon champion Abel Kirui, a late addition to the race, was a distant 11th in 1:18.08.

In contrast to the way the men’s race unfolded, Shone was out on her own over the last 10 kilometres.

After a group of seven women had passed 10km in 33:37, Shone started to increase the tempo and by the halfway point just had her training partner Desi Jisa for company.

The Ethiopian-born Bahraini hung on doggedly for another couple of kilometres but by 15km, which Shone passed in 50:03, the 2019 Sevilla Marathon winner was starting to pull away from her rival.

Shone passed 20km in 1:06:00 with Jisa now 42 seconds back and the gap continued to grow over the final five kilometres, which was covered in 16:09, before Shone crossed the line in 1:22:09.

Jisa hung on to take second in 1:23:32 with another Ethiopian-born Bahraini, Tejitu Daba, exactly one minute further back in third. The first five finishers were inside the former women’s event record.

“I have practiced (trained) very hard throughout the year and it is yielding results now,” Shone said.

“The temperature was a little hot and since the running was through the city there were many turns and bents to make the race tough. Moreover, you did not know what kind of surface to expect next, so you had to keep guessing. All of that made the course challenging and worth the run,” she added.

 

(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Sergio Mena is one of the favorites in the men's half marathon in Dallas and he will cap a rigorous and rewarding fall by running his debut half marathon

Commerce’s Sergio Mena will cap a rigorous and rewarding fall by running his debut half marathon Sunday.

Mena, 25, took his final two exams, Tuesday and Thursday, to complete his master’s degree in business administration at Texas A&M-Commerce. His parents came from Spain on Wednesday to watch him walk the stage at Friday’s graduation ceremony. He hadn’t seen them in 18 months.

“I have no idea how I’m going to do everything,” Mena said by phone last weekend. “I’m going to try to stay calm. It’s exciting.”

On Sunday, he will be among the favorites to win the runDallas BMW Dallas Marathon half. It won’t be easy. Missouri City’s Richard Powell hopes to defend his title. Powell clocked a 1 hour, 8 minutes, 9 seconds last year.

Former Rice standout Gabe Cuadra placed second overall at the October 2019 Koala Health & Wellness Houston Half in 1:08:16. Dallas’ Cody Campbell and Drew Wiles also hope to be in the mix. Campbell’s half marathon personal best is a 1:10. He’s using Dallas as a tuneup for his goal race, the Jan. 19 Chevron Houston Marathon. Wiles, a former Woodrow Wilson standout, won the Dallas Running Club Half Marathon last month in 1:09:19.

Mena grew up in Cuenca, Spain, about an hour from Madrid. He didn’t run competitively until age 16. He quickly progressed under coach Alberto Fernandez Gil’s tutelage, racing internationally and earning a scholarship to Eastern Kentucky University.

He completed his undergraduate degree in three years so he used his final year of eligibility to run at A&M-Commerce while working and studying for his MBA. He wasn’t sure he’d continue running after he used up his NCAA eligibility.

His former coach, Luke Scribner, persuaded him to join the Nomad Running Society, a local running group designed to be inclusive and bring liked-minded runners together. It helped renew his passion for the sport. He also realized that running provided structure to his days and balanced the stress of work and school.

“I need it,” Mena said of running. “I was doing it just for fun. I wasn’t caring how long or how many miles.”

In late summer, Mena decided to make the Dallas half his goal race. His training has gone well. He finished the eight-mile Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot in 41:47, just 25 seconds behind three-time champion Tyler McCandless, of Boulder, Colo., an Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon.

(12/14/2019) ⚡AMP
by Debbie Fetterman
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BMW Dallas Marathon

BMW Dallas Marathon

The BMW Dallas Marathon is the result of the efforts of a pioneering group of brave Dallas runners, who had the foresight to establish an annual 26.2-mile race more than 40 years ago. In 1971, Tal Morrison – the official founding father of the marathon – placed a $25 ad in Runner’s World beckoning runners from around the country to...

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World marathon record holder, Mary Keitany said she is delighted that the national government through the president has finally rewarded her success

President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday feted marathoner Mary Jepkosgei Keitany with the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW) award during the Jamhuri Day celebrations garden party at State House, Nairobi.

Speaking to Nation Sport on Friday, Keitany said that the award came as a surprise to her at a time she is almost retiring from the sport.

“I’m happy that the president has finally rewarded my exploits in the sport. Since I started running, this is the first time I have been rewarded by the government,” said the former New York Marathon champion.

Keitany also said that after being rewarded, she feels energized and will be looking forward to a good season next year.

“The award has given me morale to continue working hard and I want to say that I will be training harder for better results next year. For now, I’m still recovering after the New York Marathon race which I managed to come in second,” said Keitany, who is also the former World Half Marathon record holder.

Keitany uses some of her race earnings to support development in her community having partnered with Shoe4Africa to build a school in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County.

Keitany becomes the second marathon star to be recognized by the president after world men's marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge who was feted with Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.) award during Mashujaa Day celebrations in October in Mombasa.

(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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The Amica Newport Marathon, BankNewport 10 Miler, and Ocean Road 10K have all been named in the top 100 races in the USA by online racing resource Bib Raves

After a popular voting round followed by a judged round, these three events have secured top spots in their categories. All three events are annually produced by Portsmouth-based Gray Matter Marketing.

“It’s such a great feeling to have our runners nominate us to receive national recognition for events that we work hard on, and are very proud of,” says Lisa McCurdy, Director of Communications at Gray Matter Marketing. “The local support for our events has been outstanding, and runners from around the country and across the globe come to Rhode Island to not only run our races, but to enjoy visiting our beautiful state.”

The Amica Newport Marathon & Half Marathon was named as one of the top 20 half marathons in the USA. The race, which is scheduled for October 11th, 2020, is a gorgeous tour of Newport’s most stunning running routes, from downtown on Thames street out on to Ocean Drive and back through Bellevue Ave. to Easton’s Beach for a stunning seaside finish. The race regularly attracts more than 3,000 runners annually, many from out of state. In 2019 alone, the race raised more than $150,000 for local and regional nonprofits through direct donations and runner fundraising.

The BankNewport 10 Miler and Ocean Road 10K were both named in the top 20 races with a distance of 10 miles or less. The eigth annual BankNewport 10 Miler will be on May 31st, 2020, starting and finishing at Fort Adams and following the loop of Ocean Drive. The race benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County and the Fort Adams Trust, and is a part of a three-race New England 10 Miler series with the other events in Portland, Maine and Stowe, Vermont.

The Ocean Road 10K, also celebrating its eighth year in 2020, is in Narragansett, Rhode Island on October 4th. Benefitting the Narragansett Historical Society, the course is flat and fast, running one-way from Point Judith Lighthouse to Narragansett Town Beach. The Ocean Road 10K has grown exponentially in popularity each year, selling out in late summer despite an increase in the field size. The event is expected to sell out again in 2020. 

In addition, for the second year in a row, RaceRaves has named the Amica Newport Marathon and Half Marathon as the top event in Rhode Island for its distance; in 2018, the online race review website ranked the best marathons by state, and this year the site ranked the half marathons. 

(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Ryan Belmore
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The Newport Marathon and Half Marathon

The Newport Marathon and Half Marathon

Whether you're an advanced runner looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon, or just looking for a scenic jog and walk, The Newport Marathon and Half Marathon promises a good time for participants of all speeds. The Newport Marathon is proud to partner with local charitable organizations to help raise money and awareness. Gray Matter Marketing will donate upwards of...

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OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon has once again been named Best Half Marathon in America by The BibRave 100

The race was also named in the Top 10 Best Weekend Experience category, while the Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K was named one of America's Top 25 races, 10 miles or less. The 500 Festival presented the accolades during an awards ceremony for The Running Event in Austin, Texas.

“The entire OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon team is ecstatic that our half marathon has been named best in the nation for the second consecutive year,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival.

“What makes this accolade even more special is that it is voted on by participants. With so many great half marathons in this country, we are elated that ours stood out as the favorite among runners, walkers, and wheelchair participants."

Rankings in the list are based on runner nominations, running industry surveys, and online voting.

Voters indicated the Mini's lap around Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a major highlight. The 2020 Indy Mini is scheduled for Saturday, May 2. 

(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Reed Parker
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OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

The mission of the 500 Festival is to produce life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. As an organization providing multiple events and programs, many of which are free to attend and impact over 500,000 people annually, our mission to...

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Jepchirchir wins Saitama Marathon in near record time

Breaking away from Fatuma Sado with 10km to go at the Saitama Marathon, Peres Jepchirchir, running her first marathon outside of Kenya, won the World Athletics Silver Label road race in 2:23:50.

The Kenyan’s winning mark was the second fastest time at the Saitama Marathon, just 32 seconds shy of the course record of 2:23:18 from 2016. Jepchirchir, the 2016 world half marathon champion and former world record-holder at the distance, was contesting just the third marathon of her career. Her official best for the marathon was a modest – by her standards – 2:46:15 recorded in Eldoret in 2018.

Two pace makers – Stacey Ndiwa and Perine Nemgampi – pushed the race at course record pace with Jepchirchir, Belaynesh Oljira, Sado and Rahma Tusa in tow. Their pace up to 15km (50:36) was consistent and steady, but it dropped slightly before the half-way point, reached in 1:11:31.

At 29km, Oljira was surprisingly the first of the top contenders to fall off the pace, and with the pacemakers exiting the course at 30km, Sado, Tusa and Jepchirchir formed the lead trio, nine seconds ahead of Oljira.

With Jepchichir forcing the pace, Tusa fell behind at 31km and then Sado did likewise one kilometre later, leaving Jepchirchir out in front alone.

Jepchirchir slowed slightly in the closing stages, but at 40km she had a two-minute lead over Sado. Her margin had grown to almost three minutes by the finish line, which she crossed in 2:23:50.

Sado, who dropped out of last year’s Saitama Marathon before going on to win the Osaka Women’s Marathon one month later, finished second, while Oljira, the fastest woman in the field with a PB of 2:21:53, finished third. Nina Savina of Belarus finished fourth in a PB of 2:28:44, taking 22 seconds off her best set in Warsaw earlier this year.

Kaori Yoshida was the first Japanese finisher, placing sixth. She was aiming to improve on her PB of 2:28:24 and was on pace to do so up until 20km, which she reached in 1:11:13. Her pace dropped in the second half, though, and she fell outside of PB pace, eventually finishing in 2:35:15.

Incidentally, 61-year-old Mariko Yugeta set a world masters’ best for the 60+ age group, clocking 2:56:54. She improved on her previous best – 2:59:15, her first sub-three-hour marathon – recorded last month in Shimonoseki.

(12/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Saitama International Marathon

Saitama International Marathon

The Saitama International Marathon is a women's marathon held in Saitama, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Saitama Prefecture, Saitama City, Nippon Television Network and the Yomiuri Shimbun. The event is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race. The competition took the place of the Yokohama Women's Marathon which was held in Yokohama from 2009 until 2014 and...

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Pacer Wins Abu Dhabi Marathon by 2 Minutes, Takes Home $100,000

Though he was supposed to drop out at 30K, Reuban Kipyego went on to break the tape in 2:04:40.

Reuban Kipyego took his pacing duties an unexpected step further when he won the Abu Dhabi Marathon on Friday, December 6.

As the designated runner who was tasked with pacing the elite field through a specific point in the race, the 23-year-old Kenyan was expected to drop out around 30K. But Kipyego kept running all the way through the finish line, breaking the tape in a time of 2:04:40.

The pacemaker turned champion beat runner-up Joel Kimurer by a minute and 41 seconds. As the marathon champion, Kipyego earned $100,000 in prize money.

“I was setting the pace for the first 30K feeling very good, and when I turned back to see that the pack was not close behind, I decided that I was going to push to the finish line,” Kipyego told race organizers after his victory.

Kipyego ran faster for the second half of the race after leading the field through 13.1 miles in 1:02:54. The performance improves on his previous personal best of 2:05:18 from a runner-up finish in his debut at the Buenos Aires Marathon on September 22.

Though his action was rare, Kipyego was not the first pacemaker to keep running all the way through the finish line.

In 1994, Paul Pilkington was hired as the rabbit to lead the elite field through 15.5 miles of the Los Angeles Marathon, but he continued on for the entire 26.2, winning the race in 2:12:13. Simon Biwott was supposed to lead the runners through 28K of the 2000 Berlin Marathon, but he ended up leading right through the line, winning in 2:07:42.

In his second pro race, Geoffrey Ronoh upset then-world record-holder Wilson Kipsang at the 2014 Olomouc Half Marathon. Instead of stopping at 10K, the pacemaker won in a course record 1:00:17.

For runners who are on the bubble of winning podium prize money, signing on to be a pacemaker in a large race is an easy way to earn guaranteed payment. While they are expected to drop out before the race ends—and most do—they are allowed to finish the race if they choose to.

“For me, the conditions were ideal and the course was beautiful,” Kipyego told the race organizers. “I’m already looking forward to returning to Abu Dhabi to defend my title.”

(12/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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