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A message from the race director of the London Marathon Hugh Brasher

I am sure earlier this week you will have seen the news that the Great North Run was sadly, but understandably, cancelled.

There has been much speculation that this means the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will also be cancelled. However, it doesn’t.

All road races have unique challenges. These might be transporting people to the start; transporting them from the finish; the density of runners on the course; the density and movement of spectators; providing runners with appropriate medical care and facilities such as loos and drinks; dealing with the logistics of road closures and reopenings – the challenges are always different for every race.

The team at London Marathon Events has been looking at the logistics of the Virgin Money London Marathon and coming up with innovative ways to socially distance the event.

We have also been working with other mass participation event organisers in the UK, including the Great Run Company and Human Race, to make recommendations to the UK Government on how mass participation events can return.

As I write, there are currently just over 15 weeks before the planned date of our 40th Race on Sunday 4 October. Therefore, on the usual timescale for our event, we are currently at the equivalent of the first week of January.

That means there is still plenty of time to train and there is neither a need, nor should there be a desire, to be at your peak fitness yet.

We still don’t know whether we will be able run together, walk together and be together on that journey of 26.2 miles on 4 October. Almost every day we hear hopeful news from other countries and we hear tales of despair.

However, what we do know is that we have hope, desire and ingenuity. Hope that the world will have found a way through Covid-19 by October. Desire to show the positive effects of running a marathon, running for communities and good causes. Ingenuity of thought, technology and people.

So please, focus on your own health and the health of those around you. Focus on running and exercise. It is great for you physically and mentally.

I assure you that whatever decision we take about 4 October, it will be taken in line with our values and with the responsibility we have to you, our runners, our charities, our sponsors, our volunteers, our medics, our communities and our city.

Just over 40 years ago, on 26 October 1979, my father Chris Brasher, the co-founder of the London Marathon, started his column in The Observer with these words:

To believe this story, you must believe that the human race can be one joyous family working together, laughing together, achieving the impossible…

From those words, the first London Marathon was born.

While some may think what we are trying to do on Sunday 4 October is impossible, we will not give up hope.

The 40th Race should be a day that shows the best of humanity. A togetherness, a joy and a celebration of everything we treasure.

I look forward to that day.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will be in touch again on 28 July.

(06/19/2020) ⚡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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The World’s Toughest Foot Race is on and going to be the first race covered by MBR since March 8. The 43rd annual event is set for July 6-8

The last race MBR posted results for was the LA Marathon March 8.  Since then every race we cover, and we only cover the best, most unique and interesting races in world have either been cancelled or postponed.  We are talking about races like the Boston Marathon, Big Sur and the Berlin Marathon only to name three.  

The big question has been, what race is going to be the first?  it appears it is going to be an ultra race.  A race celebrating 43 years.  The Badwater 135.  No races for four months.  

Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA, the Badwater® 135 is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.

The start line is at Badwater Basin, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in North America at 280’ (85m) below sea level. The race finishes at Whitney Portal at 8,300’ (2530m), which is the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States. The Badwater 135 course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 14,600’ (4450m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 6,100’ (1859m) of cumulative descent.

Competitors travel through places or landmarks with names like Mushroom Rock, Furnace Creek, Salt Creek, Devil’s Cornfield, Devil’s Golf Course, Stovepipe Wells, Panamint Springs, Darwin, Keeler, Lone Pine, Alabama Hills, and the Sierra Nevada.

The 43rd edition will take place Monday-Wednesday, July 6-8, 2020.

(06/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Badwater 135

Badwater 135

We could not make this happen in 2020 and we have been forced to cancel our event for this year. Recognized globally as "the world’s toughest foot race," this legendary event pits up to 90 of the world’s toughest athletes runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers against one another and the elements. Badwater 135 is the most demanding and...

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The Fargo Marathon got the green light from the city and it is on for August 29

Ladies and gentlemen, start your running shoes. The Sanford Fargo Marathon got the green light from the city of Fargo and crucial sponsors and will proceed as planned for its week-long events Aug. 24-29.

Moreover, the 26.2-mile marathon may be one of the few races of that distance in the country and could attract more runners than usual. It most likely will be the first to resume after being rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re getting emails from people all over the country saying I see you’re still on,” said race director Mark Knutson. 

He said Rugged Races, the owner of the Fargo Marathon, gave its blessing. Mike Almquist, who along with Knutson has been on board since the event’s inception in 2005 and is the operations manager under Rugged, has been getting elite applications almost daily, Knutson said.

The record number of registered runners for the full is 2,631 in 2011 with the race holding steady annually at between 1,500 and 2,000.

This year’s races will see some significant changes with social distancing measures. They will start and finish on the east side of the Fargodome instead of inside the facility. Runners will be starting in groups of 500 that will be assembled in multiple corrals in the dome parking lot.

“There will be no mass start outside of 500 people,” Knutson said.

The marathon route may have to change depending on the access to the city of Moorhead, Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. It may go through downtown Fargo at the beginning of the race instead of toward the end but that is more because of road construction, Knutson said.

“By no means do we want to leave Moorhead out,” he said. “The course is still a little bit in limbo. If we can’t go into Moorhead, we’ll have to figure out additional real estate in Fargo.”

Around 10,000 are currently registered for all events. Knutson sees a realistic cap of around 15,000 registrants. Precautions will also be taken at aid stations, packet pickup and with volunteers.

The marathon has also received guidance from Fargo Cass Public Health.

“We have a very good COVID-focused plan, a really good plan,” he said. 

The plan could see further easing of restrictions depending on the level of risk that is determined by the North Dakota Health Department. It’s currently at a green, or low level. It’s one level above blue, which is the safest.

At a green level, finishers will be given a medal, a pre-packaged food bag and then be encouraged to leave the premises.

“If we go to a blue on a state-wide level, I’m sure we’ll have music at the finish line and have a party in the parking lot,” Knutson said. “But for now, we’re going to proceed as if we’re going to stay with a green level.”

The record for all events is 25,700 set in 2012. A proliferation of marathons in recent years has made for a more competitive market, especially for out-of-town runners looking for a destination marathon.

Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn., normally held this month, was canceled. Knutson said he’s heard from runners who were registered for the Boston Marathon, which also was canceled.

“We hope to get some more national draw,” he said.

The Twin Cities Marathon on Oct. 4 and the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 11 are still on. 

The Fargo Marathon and four-person relay, 13.1-mile half marathon and 10K are set for Saturday the 29th. The cyclothon, either a 15-mile or 26.2-mile loop, begins the week on Monday, Aug. 24 followed by the Furgo Dog Run on Tuesday. The annual Youth Run is set for Thursday and the 5K is set for Friday night.

The events were originally scheduled for mid-May. Participants who were registered for those races will automatically be entered in the new dates.

No refunds will be given. Registered runners who can’t make the new dates can do a “virtual run” and have their medal, bib number and race swag shipped to them.

(06/18/2020) ⚡AMP
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Fargo Marathon

Fargo Marathon

2020 events have been moved from May 9th to August 29. The Fargo Marathon is a week full of events, The Fargo Marathon is bound to have something for everyone. From the Cyclothon, Furgo Dog Run, Largest Kid's Race, 5K Walk/Run, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Relays, there is a distance for all! Start and Finish inside the Fargo...

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Pam Rickard has been running since the 1980’s and running sober since 2006

Pam Rickard is all smiles while running the 2019 Boston Marathon. (First photo) 

Pam Rickard participated in a seven-day running adventure across China’s Gobi Desert in June 2012 in which she won her age group. (Second photo) 

While some people would say Pam Rickard is addicted to running, she would disagree. Rickard, who runs about 2,000 miles a year, has been running since the 1980s and running sober since 2006.

“If I’m living in healthy recovery, I don’t use running in an unbalanced, unhealthy way. I appreciate it as a gift and a tool of healthy living,” Rickard said.

Rickard is director of Active Engagement for Herren Project, heading up Team Herren Project, engaging people to run, walk and participate in healthy activities, helping each other, and others, live stronger, healthier lives. She said she is grateful to be able to use her running, through her job, to raise awareness and funding for Herren Project’s mission, which includes providing prevention and addiction recovery resources and support for all affected by the disease.

In the 1980s and 1990s she graduated from Ohio University, started running, moved to Roanoke, Virginia  to work for The Roanoke Times, married Tom Rickard and moved to Franklin County. As a runner, she has won races, earned best times in different age groups and completed seven marathons. Although drinking a lot during those years, she was high functioning and never drank while pregnant, nursing her children or seriously training.

After her third daughter was born in 2003, Rickard’s drinking escalated. In 2005-06, within 18 months, she received three DUIs.

“I know now that I was an alcoholic from the first drink at the age of 14,” said Rickard, who is now 58. “But as often the case with addiction, it’s progressive, but on its own timeline. In the ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s, I appeared to have it all together; did well in school, married the love of my life who I met in college, was an accomplished member of the local running community, a successful professional and eventually, a devoted mom.”

She added, “In truth, I was anxious and fearful much of the time, self-medicating with alcohol, trying desperately to keep my struggles hidden. Over a very long period of time, I began spiraling out of control. I tried to ‘fix’ my problems myself, declined even the notion of asking for help, and ended up in a ‘perfect storm’ of arrogance and fear. I finally surrendered to my God and my disease when I entered addiction treatment on April 17, 2006 – and took my first steps into sobriety.”

She described her treatment at The Farley Center in Williamsburg in April and May of that year as scary and hard, but after only a few days, she said she felt better and hopeful. She had to listen and follow directions and was relieved to not have to “run the show” anymore. She quickly realized what she got out of treatment was what she put into it.

After pleading guilty to her third DUI, Rickard served three months in the Roanoke City Jail from Sept. 28 to Dec. 31, 2006. Rickard was five months sober when she went to jail. As hard as things got, she hung onto the fact that God and her sobriety could not be taken from her.

“My only plan was to survive. God had other plans though, and while I ended up having some very ugly experiences, I also connected with many women who were broken … not bad, just in an extremely unhealthy cycle that went back generations,” she said. “When I walked out of that jail, the seeds had been planted that would ultimately grow into my desire to help those fighting battles similar to mine.”

Rickard didn’t drive for three years after her conviction. She said she hated inconveniencing her family, but she learned invaluable lessons. As part of her treatment after care, she committed to attending 90 recovery meetings in 90 days.

“It was ridiculously challenging with no license and living in the country, but I did that, and more,” she said.

Running is what connected Rickard to Herren Project. Over a 35-plus year running career, she has completed numerous races, including more than 80 marathons and ultramarathons. Her races have included a seven-day adventure across China’s Gobi Desert and a 100k (62 miles) trek through the Alps from Italy to France. She was a member of the 2016, six-person Icebreaker Run team, running across the U.S. to bring awareness to mental health issues. She has run the New York City Marathon 10 times and the Boston Marathon 10 times, including the 2013 race in which she finished 20 minutes before the bombs went off.

Of all the races she’s done, the one that stands out the most is her 2007 New York City Marathon.

“That was my first sober marathon,” she said. “Then it was my 50th sober marathon in 2018. Without that desire to run one more marathon as a sober person, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I believe I would be right where I should be, but that experience opened up so many opportunities. It began to teach me the priceless truth that I don’t run to stay sober, I get to run because I am.”

For those who struggle or have struggled with substance use disorder, Rickard said, “I encourage myself, and others, to ask for help when you need it, offer help when you can, follow direction of those who have what you want and trust the process.”

Rickard added, “The fact that I can run at all now, let alone do it while building a community and helping others through the work of Herren Project, is a priceless gift.

“Whether it’s a 3-mile training run, or a major event, my mantra is, ‘I don’t have to run, I get to.’”

 

(06/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Leigh Prom
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Paula Wright from Newport Ireland is going to run ten marathons in five days.

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

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

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

Daily updates on her progress can be followed on Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(06/18/2020) ⚡AMP
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Brendan Foster doubtful the rescheduled 2020 London Marathon can take place

A decision on the fate of this year's London Marathon, which has already been postponed from April to October will be made on Sunday.

Former British long-distance runner Brendan Foster has said it will be "extremely difficult" to stage this year's London Marathon amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Foster is the founder of the Great North Run and Monday saw this year's edition of that race, due to take place on September 13, canceled as a result of COVID-19.

A decision on whether this year's London Marathon — already postponed from April to October — is expected on Sunday June 21.  

"Mass participation events in the form that ours takes, and the London Marathon takes, are clearly going to be extremely difficult to hold and it's going to be up to us to find a formula for the future," said Foster.

He added it would have been impossible to make the race virus secure amid the U.K.'s current two-meter social distancing regulations, as it would have meant a start line that "would have stretched from Newcastle to Berwick."

Foster is now looking to the 2021 edition, saying: "It's in our DNA to run, and to run in groups. We have been doing it for two million years, so there's no way that a pandemic like this is going to blow away man's endeavour in terms of running, and running together."

(06/17/2020) ⚡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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2021 London Marathon set to host GB Olympic trial

British Athletics confirms there will be no further marathon team pre-selections ahead of the rescheduled Olympic Games

British athletes will race for Olympic Games places at next April’s Virgin Money London Marathon, provided athletics competition has safely returned by then following the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s London Marathon had been due to incorporate the GB trial for the 2020 Games in Japan before the event in the UK capital was moved to October 4, with the postponement of the Olympics until July and August 2021 announced a short while later.

Sharing the news on Twitter, the UKA Athlete Commission said: “Last month saw us undertake a consultation process with some of GB’s top marathon runners and coaches regarding selection for Tokyo 2020. Today’s announcement confirms London Marathon April 2021 will be the trial race."

In a statement, the national governing body said: “British Athletics can today confirm that, subject to the safe return to competition for the sport of athletics, the Virgin Money London Marathon in April 2021 will be the trial race for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“In addition there will be no further marathon team pre-selections.”

The Olympic marathon and race walk events are still set to take place in Sapporo, rather than Tokyo, in 2021, with Callum Hawkins the sole athlete to have been pre-selected for the British team.

Despite impressive marathon performances by the likes of Charlotte Purdue, Steph Twell and Jess Piasecki last year, no British women gained pre-selection.

There had been questions as to whether the rescheduled London Marathon, should it take place as planned in October, would still incorporate the GB Olympic trial but it looked unlikely following World Athletics’ decision to suspend the Olympic qualification period meaning that results achieved between April 6 and December will not count as Tokyo 2020 entry marks.

Last month event director Hugh Brasher highlighted the uncertainty regarding the running of the 40th edition London Marathon on October 4 and a further update is due from organisers on June 21.

On Monday it was confirmed that this year’s Great North Run half-marathon, which had been due to take place on September 13, has been cancelled.

(06/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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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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Stretching was once the cure-all for running injuries.

When it comes to running, experts want you to avoid static stretching

Stretching was once the cure-all for running injuries. Practitioners would ask injured runners if they were stretching enough, and if the answer was no they would offer more stretches. However, research is now suggesting that certain kinds of stretching aren’t great for runners, and may even be harmful for those who are prone to injury.

According to a literature review of several studies, there’s actually a correlation between lower levels of flexibility and better running economy, which refers to the amount of energy expended to maintain a particular speed. A study on untrained runners found that participants with the lowest flexibility happened to have the most naturally economic running styles. Researchers believe that this was a result of low range of motion, leading to better stabilization when the foot hits the ground. Basically, excessive range of motion means more energy is needed to stabilize muscles, and having a lower range of motion reduces that use of energy.

Carla Robbins is the owner of Vital Strength and Physiology in Calgary, Alta. She says she almost never prescribes static stretching to her clients – she’s all about strength work. “If stretching is something you do frequently, it’s technically possible to get more length in the muscle, but I don’t personally recommend it. I feel like there are other things that can check that box, for example, dynamic stretching or strength training. Strength training results in strength (and length), while also preventing injury.”

When To stretch - If static stretching (holding one position) isn’t recommended for runners, then what should they be doing to warm up? Robbins says ideally runners will integrate dynamic stretching (not holding the stretch, but moving with control in and out of the end ranges of the stretch) into their pre-run routine. A dynamic warmup will increase body temperature, which activates enzymes that are beneficial to running.

When not to stretch - Robbins says static stretching should be avoided by runners who are trying to prevent (or rehabilitate) an injury. “There isn’t enough evidence to support that stretching prevents injury,” she explains. “Some stiffness is required in the ligaments and muscles to run. For example, if you’re a hyper-mobile person with relaxed ligaments, you might be more prone to injury as your joints are more likely to move with loading. Lack of stiffness isn’t necessarily beneficial.”

Robbins also reminds runners never to stretch through pain. “Listen to your body, it’ll tell you if you’re doing something wrong.

”What about cramping?

When runners cramp up, many feel the need to “stretch it out,” but the research is divided on the topic. Muscle cramps can be caused by many factors including dehydration, fatigue and vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Leg cramps can also be a side effect of some prescription medications.

However, the reason for cramping and its exact cure eludes us. Several studies suggest that stretching out a cramp won’t hurt you, but it won’t necessarily help, either. If cramping is an issue for you, Hyland’s Leg Cramp Tablets, an official sponsor of the Boston Marathon, are one way to feel confident on the start line. Hyland’s Leg Cramps Tablets are taken without water, the quick dissolving tablets melt instantly in your mouth for fast-acting natural relief of leg, calf and foot cramps with no known side effects. They can be purchased on Amazon.ca and ship worldwide.

What muscles should runners pay attention to?

Robbins is a big fan of strength training, which both lengthens and strengthens muscles. In addition to making runners stronger, it’s a great way to prevent injury. “For example, if you’re super stiff and have no hamstring flexibility, but also continually injure your hamstrings, you could look at training that muscle,” she says. “Train at the end of a muscle’s range of motion (a deep deadlift is an example) so that you not only develop length, but also strength in the long term. Studies comparing stretching protocols to strengthening protocols have shown that a runner can improve injury-resilience with strength training and joint mobility without ever stretching.”

When strength training, runners should pay special attention to their quads and hamstrings, along with ankle and hip mobility. These are the areas where the most-common running injuries tend to happen.

(06/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Majority of Tokyo Olympic sponsors undecided on extension

A survey in Japan has revealed two-thirds of corporate sponsors of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics are unsure if they will extend their contracts beyond this December.

Japan’s public media organization NHK conducted a survey of 78 Olympic and Paralympic sponsor companies in May, with 57 of them responding.

NHK says about 12 per cent plan to extend their contracts with the Organizing Committee, while about 65 per cent said they have not started any discussions with the committee and are undecided on extending agreements.

The sponsors who plan to extend their contracts said reports the Games would face cancellation if they cannot take place in 2021 were alarming, the same firms believed that Games without spectators in the stadium would be a reason for withdrawing sponsorship.

The Covid-19 pandemic was highlighted as the main concern for most sponsors with 68 per cent of them saying their financial situation this year has been deteriorating.

The social distancing restrictions due to Covid-19 had also prevented sponsors holding promotional events as they would potentially be held in crowded situations.

In their report NHK said companies failed to respond on how they will react if the committee asks for further financial contributions should they extend their contracts. Fourteen per cent said it would depend on the asking price on whether they will extend or not.

SportBusiness understands that the decision to ask sponsors to make extra payments will be taken in the June-July period and will determine whether domestic partners will be asked to pay more and, if so, at what percentage of the annualised fee.

During an online meeting this week the International Olympic Committee and Games organisers agreed to host a “simplified” games, cutting the financial burden caused by the postponement while prioritising safeguards against Covid-19.

(06/16/2020) ⚡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, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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The Great North Run has been Cancelled

This year’s Great North Run in September has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The iconic half marathon race, which raises more than £25 million for charity, was due to take place on 13 September, but race organisers have now confirmed it will not go ahead due to health risks.

A statement read: “Today, we have confirmed the cancellation of the 2020 Great North Run. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic mean it isn’t possible to stage the event as planned this year.

The 40th Great North Run is now scheduled to take place on 12 September 2021, while the Great Manchester Run on 6 September has also been cancelled, with its next edition of the race set for 23 May, 2021.

Runners who had their place confirmed by the 2020 Ballot or through membership have the option of rolling their entry over to next year. While charity runners should wait to be contacted directly in the coming days or weeks to secure a place at next year’s race.

While the rescheduled London Marathon remains on for now, with 4 October the revised date.

(06/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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Great North Run

Great North Run

Great North Run founder Brendan Foster believes Britain is ready to welcome the world with open arms after the launch of the event's most ambitious plan to date. The Great World Run campaign seeks to recruit one runner from every country in the United Nations – 193 in total – to take part in the iconic half marathon in...

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The Norwegian Ingebrigtsen brothers are quite an exciting trio of track athletes not only in Europe but the whole world

With the altitude and good form expected to play a critical role for “Team Ingebrigtsen” in their mission at the virtual Maurie Plant Memorial Race, their rivals, “Team Cheruiyot”, will have a dig deep to stop the Norwegians.

The two teams that have arguably the best metric race athletes in the world, go head-on in the 2,000m race that is part of the “Impossible Games” on Thursday at 9.40pm (Kenyan time).

The “Impossible Games” have been made possible by the Norwegian National Athletics Association and World Athletics to replace the Diamond League leg of Oslo that has been put off due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“Team Ingebrigtsen” comprising the Norwegian Ingebrigtsen brothers, will run at the Bislett Stadium, Oslo, Norway while “Team Cheruiyot” will be at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.

Jakob, the European 1,500m and 5,000m champion, Henrik and Filip will be joined by fellow Norwegians Narve Gilje Nordås and Per Svela in “Team Ingebrigtsen.”

Three Norwegian brothers have shown pedigree, going on to become European champions in the 1,500m even though they have fallen short of victory in global events like the World Championships, Olympic Games or the Continental Cup.

It’s no wonder the brothers who are trained by their father, Gjert Ingebrigtsen, have been christened, the “Machine Team.” Gjert has already published a book entitled “How to raise a world champion”, talking about his son’s performances.

The elder of the brothers, Henrik, 29, won the European title in 2012 before getting bronze at the 2018 Continental Cup in Ostrava.

Perhaps Filip is the most successful, having won the European title in 2016 before claiming bronze at the 2017 London World Championships. Filip, 27, holds the Norwegian 1,500 record with time 3:30.01, set at a Diamond League meet in Monaco on July 20, 2018.

The youngest, Jacob has been phenomenal since the year 2018, from winning the European Under-20 Championships in 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase to winning silver in 1,500m and bronze in 5,000m at the 2018 World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

Then in 2018, Jakob would claim victory in 1,500m and 5,000m at the European Championships in Berlin, making him the most successful at the event among the brothers. It’s that year that he settled for bronze at the Continental Cup, losing the battle to Kenya’s Elijah Manang’oi and Marcin Lewandowski from Poland.

After bagging gold in 3,000m and silver in 1,500m at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow and gold in Under-20 at the European Cross Country Championships, Jakob would settle fourth in 1,500m and fifth in 5,000m at the World Championships all in 2019.

(06/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Ultrarunner sets world record, completes 64 marathons in 64 days and counting

Alyssa Amos Clark is an ultrarunner originally from Bennington, Vt., who ran 64 marathons in 64 days as of Tuesday. She has moved around a lot, and she recently returned to the U.S. from just outside of Naples, Italy, where she and her husband had been living for the past two years. As an ultrarunner under a strict Italian quarantine, Clark came up with the idea of running a marathon on her treadmill everyday until she could run outside again. She enjoyed the ride so much that she has stuck with it well beyond the isolation period.

“In Italy we were under a very strict lockdown. We couldn’t run or walk outside without our papers with us.” She came up with the idea on March 29 and started running March 31. Until the beginning of May, every run was done on a treadmill.

Currently residing in Panama City Beach, Florida, Clark is hoping to complete 75 marathons in 75 days, well beyond the women’s world record which was previously set at 60 marathons in 60 days (the men’s record is unofficially 607, but Clark isn’t ready to commit to overtaking that mark). While Clark may continue beyond 75, she says the cumulative fatigue is building up.

“This started out being really fun, and it’s getting less fun now,” she jokes.

After she finishes her marathon streak, she’ll start training for the Moab 240, which is set to take place this October in Utah.

“I’m really looking forward to that right now,” she says. “I want to make sure I’m healthy and fit so I can have a good build.”

She’s averaging around four hours per marathon right now, but sometimes it’s a little quicker if she feels good and a little longer if the weather isn’t great. While this isn’t exactly trail running, Clark says she feels like the mental fortitude she’s gained from this experience will be invaluable when she can race on the trails again.

“The mental toughness component is huge,” she says. “This will be a great jumping off point for me fitness-wise, but I’m really excited to get back on the trails again. I’m looking forward to resuming running in the mountains.”

(06/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Quarantine Backyard Ultra will return in July

The virtual ultramarathon that captured the attention of runners around the world is coming back in July for Round Two

The Quarantine Backyard Ultra was quite possibly the biggest race of 2020 so far, not only garnering attention from runners, but breaking into mainstream media coverage with stories in the New York Times, Washington Post and Sports Illustrated, among many other publications. The race directing team, Gather Virtual, has announced that the race is making a return on July 11, and they hope to make it even better than before. Just like the first time around, the race is free to enter, and it will follow the same last-runner-standing format, which inspired the event’s new tagline: “All will DNF but one.”

Backyard ultra format

The format for the Quarantine Backyard Ultra is simple. The first bell will ring at 7 a.m. MDT on July 11, starting the first lap of many. Runners have an hour to complete each lap, which will be 6.706K.

As was the case in the first event, which was held in April, runners will have the choice to run either inside on their treadmill or outside near their homes. Some runners competing in the April race couldn’t run outside due to coronavirus restrictions in their countries but also didn’t have treadmills, so they ran around inside their homes to complete each lap. It doesn’t matter where athletes run, as long as they cover 6.706K before each hour is up.

All competitors have to video in on Zoom, and this way, once they finish each lap, they can prove they ran the right distance by showing their treadmill or GPS data to the camera. Once an athlete finishes a lap, he or she can rest, eat, or do whatever they like for the remainder of the hour. They just have to make sure to be ready to run when the bell goes at the top of the next hour. The last runner standing is the winner.

Mike Wardian of the U.S. won the first Quarantine Backyard Ultra in a 63-hour-long battle with Czech runner Radek Brunner. Wardian ran 422K to take the win over Brunner, who missed the start of the 63rd lap and was therefore disqualified.

Round Two

“A second race wasn’t initially in the cards,” says Stephanie Gillis-Paulgaard, one of the members of the Gather Virtual team who helped create and run the Quarantine Backyard Ultra. “Then people started reaching out and lots of people were asking if we’d do it again. They were even asking during the race.”

When they saw that more and more summer races were getting cancelled due to COVID-19, Gillis-Paulgaard says they decided to have another run at the Quarantine Backyard Ultra.

“In a very short time-frame of two weeks, we threw that first race together and kind of crossed our fingers and hoped for the best,” Gillis-Paulgaard says. “We just thought it would be fun and unique.”

Despite the limited time to plan for the first race, they still managed to attract over 2,400 participants from more than 50 countries. Now, they have two months to promote and prepare for the event, and after all the good press the first race received, the Quarantine Backyard Ultra is a name that many people across the world know.

Registration for Part Two of the biggest running sensation of 2020 opens today, and runners can sign up for free here until July 10, 24 hours before the first bell.

(06/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Athletes will not be punished at Commonwealth Games 2022 who take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement

Commonwealth Games authorities have promised not to ban or punish any athlete at Birmingham 2022 who takes a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

That decision, which has been revealed by the Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive, David Grevemberg, is in direct contrast to the International Olympic Committee, which has warned athletes they will be thrown out if they protest on the field of play or the podium during the Tokyo Games.

Grevemberg said it is especially vital athletes are given a platform in such turbulent times. “People say are we opening Pandora’s box but no, we are respecting people’s rights to voice opinions,” he said.

“The Black Lives movement is challenging all institutions to really look introspectively at what we can do to be more fair, more free, have better equality and have better systems of justice that look after people. Sport is no different.

“We are comfortable with the uncomfortable conversation and we need to embrace it. We maybe have more responsibility because of the shared history of the Commonwealth so we need to find solutions that don’t build walls but rather build bridges.”

Grevemberg said the Commonwealth Games Federation had been working on many of the problems raised by Black Lives Matter since 2015 as part of its Transformation 2022 project. He also pointed out that athlete activism had long been part of the Games.

“You go back to Cathy Freeman,” he said. “The reason her moment was so powerful at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 was because of what she did at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria in 1994 when she wrapped herself in the Aboriginal flag after the 200 and 400 metres. That had a profound impact.”

Grevemberg also confirmed the start of the 2022 Commonwealth Games has been pushed back 24 hours to 28 July to help athletes recover from the rearranged world championships in Eugene that month.

The athletics programme will also be held later in the competition and run over five days and not seven in an effort to persuade Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson to try to win gold medals in Birmingham as well as Eugene and at the European championships in Munich during that summer.

“It’s a challenge and athletes like a challenge,” Grevemberg said. “You could almost create it as a grand slam in terms of hitting all three golds in particular events in three major championships. I think it’s a wonderful challenge – to do the unprecedented.”

(06/14/2020) ⚡AMP
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Two-thirds of Tokyo’s corporate sponsors are undecided on whether to continue supporting the Games

Two-thirds of Tokyo 2020's corporate sponsors are undecided on whether to continue supporting the Games now the event has been pushed to 2021, according to a new survey.

In the poll published late Thursday by Japanese public broadcaster NHK, 65 percent of the sponsors surveyed said they had not made up their minds about whether to extend their financial backing for another year.

According to NHK, some companies voiced concerns that their promotional activities around the Games could be curtailed due to crowd-reduction measures imposed against the coronavirus.

They were also worried the Games could be scrapped altogether, with several senior Olympic officials saying the Tokyo Olympics must take place next year or not at all.

Many also said they had not decided whether to extend their sponsorship because they had not yet opened negotiations with the organisers -- suggesting they may be open to persuasion.

Tokyo CEO Toshiro Muto revealed later Friday that the organising committee had not contacted the sponsors due to the coronavirus state of emergency that was declared in Japan just after the Games were postponed in late March.

However, he sought to ease their concerns that the Games would not take place.

"I don't think there is anyone who can really promise that the Olympics and Paralympics will be held in 2021 for sure -- 100 percent in any circumstance," he admitted.

But he stressed that the sponsors should be assured of the "commitment and dedication" from the organising committee to "somehow holding the Olympics."

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents said coronavirus had taken a toll on their own financial situation, as Olympic organisers face having to fund the unprecedented postponement of the Games.

Muto again refused to put a price tag on the additional costs of postponing the Games by one year, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has set aside $800 million.

According to the latest budget, the Games were due to cost $12.6 billion, shared between the organising committee, the government of Japan and Tokyo city.

Tokyo 2020 "Gold" sponsors include such Japanese household names as Canon, NEC and Asahi Breweries, while car giant Toyota is a worldwide Olympic sponsor.

According to the latest version of the Tokyo 2020 budget, local sponsorship was due to bring in $3.3 billion, more than half the projected revenues of $5.9 billion.

Since the postponement, officials have been stressing the need to slim down the Games, both in terms of costs and organisation.

IOC President Thomas Bach told AFP in an interview this week they were searching for ways to "simplify the organisation of the Games, how we can reduce the complexity of the Games, how we can save costs for these postponed Games".

Muto said there were 200 proposals on the table for simplifying the Olympics, but again refused to give further details.

For its survey, NHK surveyed 78 Olympic and Paralympic sponsors, receiving responses from 57.

Muto also announced on Friday that 80 percent of venues had been secured for the postponed Games and negotiations were ongoing for the rest, including the Athletes' Village and the proposed site for the media.

He refused to say which venues were still under negotiation.

(06/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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World-class athletics at Weltklasse – and across the globe – at Zurich’s Inspiration Games

With Weltklasse Zurich unable to go ahead as planned this year, innovation-driven meeting organisers have instead launched the 'Inspiration Games', a border-spanning Wanda Diamond League exhibition event to be held on 9 July.

The 'Weltklasse Zurich Inspiration Games' will see 30 track and field superstars compete across eight disciplines in an innovative team event spanning seven stadiums and three continents. The aim is not only to provide live sport for athletics fans across the world, but also to inspire the next generation.

As host of the Wanda Diamond League Final, Weltklasse had expected to welcome the world's biggest athletics stars to Zurich this year. But with this year's edition cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Swiss fans will now have to wait until 2021 and 2022 for the three-day series finale to return to the city.

Instead, Zurich plans to take itself to the world on 9 July, by hosting an innovative new live team event, with dozens of athletes competing simultaneously in different venues across the globe.

"We want to offer fans what they have long been yearning for: a world class live athletics event," said meeting director Christoph Joho.

Three-way clashes

The innovative format will see the world's best athletes line up in a series of three-way clashes between Europe, the USA and the rest of the world. In the 150m, for example, Bahamian Olympic 400m champion and 200m Diamond League champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo will take on US star and six-time Olympic champion Allyson Felix and Switzerland's world bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundi. While Kambundji will burst out of the blocks in Zurich, Felix will compete in Walnut, California, and Miller-Uibo in Miramar, Florida.

Innovative broadcasting

The format, developed in co-peration with World Athletics, the Wanda Diamond League, Swiss Timing and broadcaster SRG SSR, will also showcase traditional athletics from a completely new angle thanks to a unique, specially designed broadcast to be produced by SRG SSR and beamed out across the world.

"To simultaneously broadcast three different venues in each discipline will certainly be a technical challenge," said Karin Nussbaumer, SRG SSR's national coordinator. "Time delays will have to be corrected so that everything is synchronised for the viewer. It is highly demanding to organise such a broadcast."

Inspiration

Yet overcoming challenges is precisely what the Inspiration Games are about, says meeting director Andreas Hediger. The event will be the second part of Weltklasse's 'Inspiration Series', which began with the nationwide 'OneMillionRun' event involving 80,000 Swiss residents in May.

"Both projects are about giving a positive signal and overcoming hurdles," said Hediger. "National and international stars such as Kambundji, Miller-Uibo and Felix are important role models in this respect. They can show the youngsters just how far you can go if you never stop improving, dreaming and believing in yourself."

(06/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The organizers of Sanlam Cape Town Marathon are adding a virtual version to its existing range of events

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon race organizers are adding a virtual version of the iconic city marathon to its existing range of events.

It is still too early to predict whether the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be staged in its original format on 18 October. The race organizers remain in close contact with Athletics South Africa and all relevant role players as the months progress.

The virtual race will offer an interactive and immersive race experience for runners by superimposing the race route on top of streets, open spaces and gardens, complete with live tracking, distance markers, and push messages with information about key landmarks as they are passed.

The creation of this virtual race will allow athletes to compete in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on 18 October from anywhere in the world, starting between 06.00–10.00 local time, wherever they are.

The race will be available through the Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon app, an integrated digital platform that will launch soon.

The app will track participants as if they are running the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon route no matter where they are in the world – making this a virtual race like no other.

While the 5km and 10km Peace Runs will also be presented in Virtual Race format on 17 and 18 October respectively, there will not be a Virtual Race option for the 2020 Trail Runs.

Entries for the Virtual Race have opened via Webtickets. Athletes who have already entered the 2020 race will be able to transfer to the Virtual Race. Entrants will receive an official race number, and all finishers will receive a digital medal and certificate.

(06/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

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

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Japanese Government considering simplified format for Tokyo 2020

The Japanese Government is considering a simplified format for the postponed Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Measures would be introduced to contain the spread of coronavirus, with many concerned that the pandemic may still be an issue next year.

The changes could include a reduction in the number of spectators and a scaling back of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as reported by Kyodo News.

Athletes may also have restrictions on the number of times they can leave the Athletes' Village, with testing mandatory for athletes, staff and spectators.

"We hope to work together with the Government and the Tokyo Organising Committee to look into what can be rationalised and simplified," said Tokyo Govenor Yuriko Koike.

"It will be necessary in order to gain empathy and understanding from the public."

The pandemic forced the postponement of this year's Olympics to July 23 to August 8, 2021, with the Games set to be followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

Japan Medical Association President Yoshitake Yokokura has expressed his fear that the Games may be completely cancelled if a coronavirus vaccine is not available, while Australian Olympic team medical director David Hughes recently warned that the event in the Japanese capital "will not be business as usual".

Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have also been looking to scale back some elements of the Games due to concerns over cost.

It has been suggested that the Olympic Torch Relay may be streamlined, for example.

IOC President Thomas Bach predicted the postponement of Tokyo 2020 would cost the governing body $800 million (£659 million/€739 million), while Tokyo 2020 are yet to calculate their final figure.

Japan has reported nearly 17,000 cases of coronavirus, resulting in 900 deaths.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe lifted the state of emergency in the country last week, but the easing in restrictions has seen a jump in new cases in Tokyo.

(06/13/2020) ⚡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, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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After Both Her Parents Died of COVID-19, Running Helped Yolanda Scott Grieve

She began a run streak nearly 200 days ago, and has since found even more comfort through “prayer and pavement.”

Within minutes of finding out that her mother had passed away from COVID-19, Yolanda Scott went for a run.

“I had no idea what the route was, because I was crying the entire time—I just let it all go,” Scott, 58, told Runner’s World. “That’s what running has become for me: A catharsis. A way to deal with the grief of losing both my parents within five days of each other. A way to try to understand I’ll never talk to them again. If I don’t run, I know it will all get stuck.”

While this particular run took on new meaning for her, it wasn’t all that out of the ordinary; the New Orleans native has been running every single day since last Thanksgiving.

Scott had always enjoyed walking—she actually walked two full marathons after she turned 50. But five years ago, when she was 53, she felt she could benefit from a challenge, so she added running into the mix. When Scott was able to run more consistently, she decided she wanted to run a marathon, and she picked the 2017 Rock & Roll Marathon in New Orleans in honor of her hometown. She had moved to Columbus, Ohio in 2009, where she’s employed as a dietitian, but she always missed her parents, Bernadine and Arthur Moran, who still lived in the New Orleans. Her mother was so happy about the marathon that she put together a uniquely New Orleans bash—a crawfish boil for the whole extended family.

“Here I am, barely able to walk, and she’s having a party for me,” Scott said. “That was my parents. They celebrated everything I did—they were so supportive even when they didn’t quite understand what I was doing.”

Moran was so proud of Scott for her marathons that her she had a habit of asking random runners in New Orleans if they knew Scott.

“She acted like I was famous, like everybody should know me. I tried to tell her that’s not the case, but she never stopped doing it.”

As a way to keep challenging herself, Scott tried a streak in 2017; she made it four days before stopping. The second time, in 2018, she got up to 14 days.

“I thought it would be easier to do than it was,” she said. “That’s when I realized this really does take commitment. This is about mindset. So, I thought I’d give it one more shot.”

She chose the Runner’s World Thanksgiving to New Year’s streak in 2019, and the third time ended up being the charm, since it stuck. Once the calendar turned to 2020, she made a new resolution to run every day of the new year. And she’s stayed with it, although it’s been the most heartbreaking, soul-challenging year of her life.

[Run faster, stronger, and longer with this 360-degree training program.]

Even if it’s 11:15 p.m. and she feels like breaking the streak, she goes anyway, calling it her “prayer and pavement therapy.” Often, she thinks about her parents while running, and about the week that changed everything.

Ever since moving to Ohio, Scott called to her parents every Monday evening—they’d both be on the line, her father talking about his latest golf round, her mother chatting about cooking. But on March 23, neither picked up the phone.

Concerned, Scott asked an uncle who lived close to them in New Orleans to check in after another day had passed without contact. Although both her parents were in good health, Scott knew how much of a coronavirus pandemic hotspot the area had become, and her mother told her the week before that they hadn’t been feeling well recently. Scott’s uncle went to Bernadine and Arthur’s house, but when they didn’t answer the door, he broke it down, finding them both collapsed and Bernadine nearly incoherent.

Although Bernadine was taken to the hospital, the paramedics assessed Arthur and determined he could stay home to recover—but he passed in his sleep that night. Bernadine, who never became lucid again and had to be put on a ventilator, declined quickly despite aggressive measures in the intensive care unit. On April 1, a physician let Scott know the prognosis was very poor due to lack of oxygen to the brain during the time she’d been collapsed at home.

When the decision was made to remove Bernadine from the ventilator, a nurse gowned up and held her own phone up so Scott could talk to her and pray over her one last time. Thirty minutes later, Bernadine passed.

Then, as she’d done every day since last Thanksgiving, Scott went for a run. Despite running alone, Scott said she’s not doing this by herself.

“As I thought about how running has helped me cope with the grief of losing my parents, I’ve been reflecting on the relationships of my running community,” she said. “There has not been a day since they died that someone from Marathoners in Training or Black Girls Run didn’t call or text me to see if I needed anything or offer condolences.”

One of her Black Girls Run! sisters dropped off a “runner pandemic grief package” of gummies, hand sanitizer, and a face mask. Some runners call when they know she’s running so they can be on the phone with her during her mile. One of the Marathoners in Training pacers texted Scott every day for five weeks just to say she was thinking of and praying for her.

“Those are the intangibles that go beyond helping you make a PR or picking out the best training plan,” she said. “I love this community.”

Without her “prayer and pavement,” Scott believes she would struggle with simply getting out of bed every morning. She had a tough time getting through Mother’s Day, and she’s dreading the upcoming Father’s Day. Like all her relatives, she didn’t even get to say goodbye at their shared funeral—it was held over livestream—and she has to stop herself from calling them every Monday.

“You have to do something to get through grief, you need an outlet,” she said. “Prayer helps me turn inward, but running helps me get it out.”

Little did Scott know that taking up running five years ago would have such an impact on her life.

“Not only has running helped me grieve, but I think it helped me prepare for this time as well,” she said. “It created a way for me to cope and have better emotional health going into this.

(06/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Elizabeth Millard
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Former Ottawa Lions coach Andy McInnis sanctioned with lifetime ban from track and field

On Tuesday, former Ottawa Lions coach and Athletics Canada Hall of Fame member Andy McInnis had his lifetime ban from track and field upheld. McInnis was originally sentenced in May 2019 but was granted a redetermination of his case after he won his appeal in February 2020.

His redetermination was set to be decided by a new commissioner. Athletics Canada appointed Hugh Fraser to handle the case and Fraser has upheld the original decision to ban McInnis for life.

McInnis was placed on administrative leave by the Ottawa Lions initially on September 13, 2018 as a result of allegations of sexual misconduct brought forward by athletes. But according to an announcement by Athletics Canada in March 2019, McInnis was first reprimanded in 2017 for complaints brought by athletes and others in 2016.

A March 2019 Athletics Canada announcement also claimed that according to the terms of his initial suspension from the Ottawa Lions, McInnis was prohibited from having any contact with staff or athletes from the club. Despite these terms, he coached Ottawa Lions athletes at a training camp during the last week of December 2018 and the first week of January 2019.

In late March of last year, Ken Porter (former president of the Ottawa Lions) and McInnis received suspensions from Athletics Canada while their cases were under review. They both received lifetime bans in May 2019, which Porter chose not to appeal.

(06/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Sigowet Athletics Training Camp at Kiptere falls silent as virus bites

At this time of the year, Sigowet Athletics Training Camp at Kiptere Boys Secondary School, some 32 kilometers away from Kericho town, would be busy with budding athletes training hard.

But thanks to coronavirus, the training camp now looks like a ghost town.

The running track in the camp sandwiched between lush green tea farms is now overgrown with grass thanks to heavy rains pounding the region.

In Kalenjin dialect, Sigowet is a herbal tree which is medicinal, but its efficacy has failed to tame the deadly virus as athletes stay away. 

The camp has for years been a big attraction to scouts from Kenya Police Service, Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), Kenya Prisons among others lining up the running track to monitor future stars aged between 15 to 20 years as they push their nimble, little bodies to improve their fitness ahead of major races. 

Sigowet Training Camp was founded in 2001 by veteran athletics coach, Japheth Kemei and hosts between 60-100 athletes when it is in top gear.

“At this time of the year the camp hosts between 60 -100 youth and senior athletes training for various competitions, but since covid-19, it now resembles a ghost camp,” said Kemei, who is also chairperson of Athletics Kenya in Kericho County.

Before Sigowet Camp was launched, the only athletic training camp in South Rift Valley was based at Keringet in Nakuru County and was launched by the former Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association chairman, the late Livingstone Kimutai Ng’etich.

In a span of 10 years, it has become a permanent breeding ground of youthful athletes who have represented Kenya in World Junior and Youth championships.

The first athlete to hit headlines from the camp was Emily Cherotich, who won the World Youth 800m championship title in Debrecen, Hungary in 2001 while running barefoot. 

Cherotich now turns out for Kenya Police team. 

Since Cherotich burst into the international scene, Sigowet camp has been producing runners in Under-18 and Under-20 competitions.

The camp has provided national youth teams with at least three or five athletes in every major international competition.And when they return back home with their glittering medals, they receive a rousing reception bringing the tea land to a standstill.

At last year’s Africa Under-20 and Under-18 Championships in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, some of the athletes from the camp clinched gold medals including Fancy Cherono (2,000m Steeplechase), Collins Kipkorir (Triple Jump) and Peter Itanao Leshan (Javelin). Ronald Kipngetich (2,000m Steeplechase) and Kenneth Kirui (800m) won bronze medals. 

(06/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Francis Mureithi
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The deadline to confirm event programs and athlete quotas for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will remain in December this year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says

This decision follows a recommendation of the Olympic Program Commission, after feedback from athletes, international federations, IOC member associations and the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee.

With the confirmation of the original deadline, December's IOC Executive Board meeting will see decisions made on requests from 20 of the 27 Olympic international federations for changes to the Paris 2024 event program, the IOC said.

In addition, confirmation of the inclusion of the four additional sports proposed by the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee - breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing - will also be determined at December's meeting, having provisionally been approved at the IOC Session in June 2019.

Approval was expected to be given following the sports being monitored over the 18-month period, with the performance of skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing on their Olympic debuts at Tokyo 2020 set to be considered.

But the postponement of the Games to 2021 will see the Executive Board meeting held before the Olympic Games, meaning their performance at Tokyo 2020 cannot be assessed.

Similarly, viewing figures from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will not be able to be considered when assessing disciplines in permanent sports on the program.

The IOC Executive Board has established key principles regarding Paris 2024 events and quotas.

This includes reducing the overall athlete quota to 10,500, including all new sports.

The 10,500 quota is labelled as the maximum in the Olympic Charter, although the IOC acknowledged in 2018 that it was over this amount with around 11,000 athletes due to compete at Tokyo 2020.

The IOC emphasized that new events would only be included if there are existing venues in Paris, with priority given to events that can accommodate athletes within the sport's existing quota allocation.

Achieving gender equality in participation across the Olympic Games at event and discipline level where possible was also listed as a priority.

"The exceptional situation caused by COVID-19 requires exceptional measures," said Thomas Bach, IOC President.

"Therefore, any decision concerning the event program for Paris 2024 should reflect Olympic Agenda 2020, including a new phase of the 'New Norm'.

"The IOC EB has reiterated the vital importance of reducing the cost and complexity of hosting the Olympic Games, particularly concerning venue requirements.

"For the event program, we have maintained the December 2020 deadline, even though new sports can now not be tested on the Olympic stage, but we need to give certainty."

Dates for the IOC Executive Board meeting in December 2020 are set to be confirmed within the coming months. 

(06/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

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

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World Athletics president Sebastian Coe to be elected IOC member in July

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has been nominated to become a new International Olympic Committee (IOC) member in July, the IOC president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.

Coe, the two-time Olympic 1,500 meters champion and the head of the athletics' world governing body since 2015, was repeatedly blocked from IOC membership over a conflict of interest surrounding his role as managing director of the CSM Sport and Entertainment company.

"In effect what has changed is that Coe has committed himself to change his status within the company he is currently running as managing director to a passive position," Bach said on a teleconference after a meeting of the IOC Executive Board (EB) on Wednesday, noting that the Brit is among five people who will be elected as new IOC members on July 17.

The other four proposed IOC memberships belong to individual members Maria de la Caridad Colon Ruenes of Cuba, former Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Saudi Arabian Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud, all female candidates, and Battushig Batbold of Mongolia.

Bach also announced on the teleconference that the EB agreed to submit to the IOC Session a four-year extension of the term of China's IOC member Yu Zaiqing, whose term is to terminate at the end of 2021, due to the important role that he plays in Chinese sport and society. 

(06/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Kaua‘i Marathon will go virtually

The 12th Annual Kaua‘i Marathon and Half Marathon, scheduled for Sept. 6, has been moved to virtual status, its name changed to Stride for Kaua‘i 2020, organizers said Tuesday.

“While our community and world face new challenges daily, we understand that there is a huge responsibility to the health and well-being of our participants, volunteers, staff, spectators, sponsors and island resources required to produce a safe race,” states the announcement from marathon organizers.

“We also realize that runners/walkers/skippers are in dire need of camaraderie, motivation and the aloha spirit, so we are announcing the shift to virtual with the help of professional runner Tyler McCandless, co-founder and CEO of Soul Focus Sports, JT Service and runner extraordinaire and virtual event host Bart Yasso.”

Details for the switch are simple — all registered participants for the 2020 Kaua‘i Marathon or Half Marathon will be contacted with the option to go virtual or defer their registration to the 2021 event.

“These last few months have brought many changes to all of our lives,” said Jeff and Liz Sacchini in a letter posted to the Kaua‘i Marathon website. “Liz and I are well aware that you have been training extremely hard on your journey to The Kaua‘i Marathon and Half Marathon start line, and we want to honor those efforts and commitments the best we can.”

Participants who opt for the virtual event and register for the 2021 event will receive an added bonus of a long- sleeve logo T-shirt in their swag bag.

For those already registered for the 2020 Kaua‘i Marathon or Half Marathon, there is no need to do anything. Organizers will switch the runner to the virtual event. For new participants, there is accommodation for registering on thekauaimarathon.com website.

From Sept. 1 to 6, virtual-race participants can complete the marathon or half-marathon mileage continuously, on the same day and on the route and time of their choosing.

Once executed, they can upload their time to raceentry.com by the end of day Sept. 6.

“With the virtual option, you will be able to choose your own path, record your time, receive a race bib, finisher’s certificate, and earn a fabulous swag bag of goodies in the mail, including a logo-ed race bag, logo-ed performance T-shirt, slippah finisher’s medal as well as Kaua‘i-themed products from our sponsors like Kaua‘i Coffee, the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i and Wilcox Health,” the Sacchinis said. “We also plan to offer Zoom training meetings as well as clever social-media giveaways.”

“By supporting our race, you are helping our island community heal, one stride at a time, and helping to ensure we can all be together at the start line in 2021,” the Sacchini’s said.

(06/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Dennis Fujimoto
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Kauai Marathon

Kauai Marathon

The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon is one of the most beautiful destination races in the world today. This is a great way to combine a unique experience and a get-away that only Kauai can offer. You will be treated to beautiful beaches, an inspiring course, and fellowship with participants from around the world. Register today! The mission of the...

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The Air Force Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic, race will be held virtually

The 2020 Air Force Marathon events on Sept. 17-19 have been cancelled, due to COVID-19 social distancing orders.

Marathon organizers say the decision was made after conversations over the last two months with Air Force leadership and medical experts. They considered all possibilities to host an in-person event.

The marathon will be run virtually for those still wanting to participate.

"We simply cannot execute the marathon in a manner where the safety and security of our runners, volunteers, staff, partners, and spectators is satisfactorily achieved," explained Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director. "However, our team has worked hard to offer numerous options to registered participants to be as accommodating as possible."

For participants who are currently registered, the Air Force Marathon team has developed three options to choose from. Participants will be contacted via email with the necessary steps to take. The options include participating virtually, gifting the registration to an Airman for 2021, or deferring to a future year. Participants who have registered virtually will not need to take any action. For those who have yet to register, there is still time to sign up to participate in the virtual events.

(06/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Joshua Richardson
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Air Force Marathon

Air Force Marathon

Well run marathon held annually in September in Dayton Ohio....

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The 2020 Bellin Run will be a virtual-only event as Bellin Health dedicates all available resources to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic

“It is with heavy hearts but clear purpose that we announce this fundamental change to our 2020 event,” said Executive Race Direcor Randy Van Straten. “Bellin Health is a health system first, and at this time we must focus our attention and resources on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting our patients and communities.”

The majority of the Bellin Run’s Operations Team and countless event volunteers are Bellin Health employees, Van Straten said. Those individuals have appropriately turned their efforts to focus on fighting COVID-19.

Race officials are encouraging runners and walkers to stay active as a means of bolstering their physical and emotional health. They will continue to offer virtual training support through this year’s event and beyond.

“While we can’t be together physically, we encourage the Bellin Run community to come together as we support each other during these challenging times,” said Assistant Race Director Linda Maxwell. “We’re hosting our 6 p.m. Wednesday training runs via Facebook Live, and we’ll be offering other resources and messages of encouragement to keep people engaged. We encourage participants to share their journey across our social media channels and stay virtually connected however they can.”

Runners and walkers are encouraged to continue their activity solo (always taking personal safety into account) or with members of their household only. In-person group training sessions of any kind are strongly discouraged.

Virtual Bellin Run participants will run or walk a 10K (6.2 miles) anywhere, anytime between June 6 and June 21, adhering to any physical distancing guidelines that are in place at that time. Results will be submitted electronically, and participants will receive a race shirt and metal reusable straw (part of the event’s sustainability efforts) via mail.

Individuals who have already registered for this year’s event may choose to transfer to the Virtual Bellin Run, defer their registration to the 2021 event or receive a refund (less $2.50 in online registration fees). Visit www.bellinrun.com to register for the Virtual Bellin Run as a new registrant or select your option if you have already registered.

For health and safety reasons, race officials are strongly discouraging participants from running the Bellin Run course on race day.

“We appreciate our Bellin Run community more than they know,” Van Straten said. “Things won’t be the same this year, but we look forward to celebrating the power of perseverance and community through this very special virtual event. We look forward to coming back, stronger than ever, for our 45th anniversary event in 2021.”

(06/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Bellin 10k Run

Bellin 10k Run

The Bellin Run, a 10K held annually in Green Bay, Wisconsin on the second Saturday in June, is one of the region’s premier sporting events and has grown to be one of the largest 10K races in the nation. The event was first held on June 12, 1977, and was known as the Bellin Heartwarming Run, to promote cardiovascular fitness....

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World 200m champion Noah Lyles and multi-medal winning fellow American Allyson Felix will headline an ambitious track and field meet on July 9

Organizers of the Zurich Diamond League, cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, will host the televised 90-minute live event.

World 200m champion Noah Lyles and multi-medal winning fellow American Allyson Felix will headline an ambitious track and field meet on July 9 that sees athletes competing in eight disciplines at seven venues across the globe.

"We would like to present a live event at Weltklasse Zurich level even this year. Therefore, we have been looking for creative ideas and working on new formats," said co-meeting director Christoph Joho.

There will be eight three-way competitions, four for men and four for women, pitching Europe against the United States and the rest of the world.

There is a women's 150m race featuring six-time Olympic champion Felix, Bahamian Olympic 400m gold medallist Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Switzerland's 200m world bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundji. Kambundji will run in Zurich, Felix in California and Miller-Uibo in Florida.

"This new format will hopefully give the fans something fun to look forward to during a time that has been really difficult for everyone," said Felix.

Lyles is slated to run the 200m, while a rarely-run 100 yards sees Canada's multi-world and Olympic medal-winning sprinter Andre de Grasse up against Jamaica's Olympic 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod and Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut.

American world record holder and current world 400m hurdles champion Dalilah Muhammad will compete in a hurdles race over 300m, while Greece's Ekaterini Stefanidi goes up against American Sandi Morris in the women's pole vault.

The men's triple jump features American world champion Christian Taylor and Pedro Pablo Pichardo, the Cuban-born two-time world silver medallist competing for Portugal.

(06/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Oslo’s Impossible Games will be the biggest meet of the track season so far

The first big track meet of the summer is Oslo’s Impossible Games on June 11—an event which replaced the Oslo Diamond League, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The meet will have a limited lineup of events (just 13 in all) and very few athletes competing (not even 50), but there will be many exciting races and competitions, including solo runs, shots at European records and world record attempts. This is not an event that track fans will want to miss, but if you can’t watch it all, here are some highlights you might want to try to catch.

At 8:35 p.m. local time (2:35 p.m. ET), Norway’s Karsten Warholm will run a solo race as he shoots for the 300mH world record. Warholm is the two-time defending world champion in the 400mH, and he has a PB of 34.26 in the 300mH, which is actually faster than the current world record, although he ran it indoors. On June 11, he’ll run outdoors in Oslo’s Bislett Stadium to try and break the current record of 34.48.

Henrik, Filip, and Jakob Ingebrigtsen will run in a 2,000m team event at 8:50 Oslo time (2:50 ET) along with fellow Norwegians Narve Gilje Nordås and Per Svela. The all-Norwegian team will run in Oslo and face-off against a team of Kenyans who will run in Nairobi. The Kenyan team (dubbed Team Cheruiyot) will include 2017 and 2019 1,500m world champions Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi.

All 10 runners will go at once (the race will be broadcast live on a split screen), and three athletes must finish from each team. The team with the fastest cumulative time from their top-three runners wins.

This will be a fun event to watch as it is, but there will also be a couple of record attempts in this race as well to add to the excitement. Team Ingebrigtsen will be chasing the European 2,000m record of 4:51.39, and Team Cheruiyot will look to capture the 2,000m world record of 4:44.79.

Later on in the evening at 9:30 p.m. (3:30 ET), Norwegian cross-country skiing star Therese Johaug will run a solo 10,000m race. As a skier, Johaug has three Olympic medals and multiple world championship golds to her name, but in 2019 she surprised the world by adding a track and field win to her resume when she won the Norwegian 10,000m national championships in 32:20.86.

This was the fifth-fastest time ever run by a Norwegian woman, and to make it more impressive, she won the race in regular running shoes rather than spikes. Hopefully she’ll wear some faster footwear at the Impossible Games so we can see just how fast she’s capable of running.

(06/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Ethiopia’s running legend Haile Gebrselassie is helping to fight Covid-19

Ethiopia’s running legend Haile Gebrselassie took part in the final day of the virtual 5km run in Addis Ababa over the weekend.

The 47-year-old two-time Olympic 10 000m gold medalist Gebrselassie joined two current Ethiopian world champions, Muktar Idris and Netsanet Gudeta, and former world champion Gete Wami in the charity-driven event.

Gebrselassie, Idris, Gudeta and Wami took part in a “champions’ relay” over 5km to close the event which had opened on June 1, and has raised more than 100,000 Ethiopian birr (2925 US dollars) for Ethiopia’s fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

More than 500 participants including runners from around the world took part in the run which was organised by the Great Ethiopian Run.

The champions’ relay took place at the Addis Ababa Stadium and saw Gebrselassie teaming up with Gudeta, the 2018 world half marathon champion, against the Idris and Wami, respectively the 2019 world 5000m champion and 1999 world 10 000m champion.

Gebrselassie and Gudeta covered their 5km in 16:57.26 while Idris and Wami ran 18:56.49. The event was broadcast live in Ethiopia on Fana TV.

Gebrselassie said: “This is a difficult time not only for athletes in Ethiopia, but for the whole country. Our hope is that this race will motivate our citizens to stay fit and keep exercising while we fight the disease.”

Gebrselassie still trains daily on his treadmill at home. He has been a prominent campaigner on national media during Ethiopia’s fight against the disease. In April he featured in a campaign video to encourage Ethiopians to stay at home and practise physical distancing and spoke again on Sunday about the importance of measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Ethiopia has reported 2156 cases of Covid-19 with 27 deaths. 

 

(06/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Andy Butchart excited by Mo Farah rivalry, if Diamond League events happen this year

Mo Farah has put Andy Butchart on notice that his return to the track means he is planning to topple him off his 5,000metres perch.

The 28-year-old Scot has spent lockdown recovering from surgery after catching a break when the Olympics were postponed by 12 months.

However, Butchart  is primed to fend off a fresh challenge from Farah, who plans to return to the track after three years off. ‘He wants to take the throne again,’ said Butchart.

If the Diamond League does manage to restart in August, the close chums are set to go head-tohead once again as 37-year-old Farah tests whether or not he can tame his younger rivals.

‘Having Sir Mo in the line-up could be a spur for us both,’ Butchart told the Sean Fontana podcast. ‘I want to beat him as much as he wants to beat me. It’s an individual sport. I’m not there to hold his hand and he’s not there to hold mine.’

(06/08/2020) ⚡AMP
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Swissalpine Marathon will go ahead despite coronavirus pandemic

Organizers of the Swissalpine Marathon Davos have confirmed that the race will go ahead on 25–26 July as originally scheduled – but with some restrictive precautions put in place because of the covid-19 virus.

The 68km race will be run on 25 July and the 43km race on 26 July. There will be no 20km race that traditionally forms part of the programme.

To comply with the hygiene and distance rules in place the runners will be started on a staggered basis.

Other races with individual starts at intervals of ten or fifteen seconds are planned both in Switzerland and in Germany.

(06/08/2020) ⚡AMP
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Swiss Alpine Marathon

Swiss Alpine Marathon

The route is paved for the ultimate racing event in the Alps - the Swissalpine Marathon and the Swiss Irontrail will be merged in 2018 and will take place under the new Swissalpine® Davos umbrella brand. The Swissalpine Marathon and the Swiss Irontrail have been brought together under one roof. In the Grisons and centred in Davos, in last week...

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Eliud Kipchoge said that he was incredibly happy to see the world running as one at the Run as One virtual team marathon

Imagine running on the same team as Olympic icons Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Geoffrey Kamworor...

Well that's exactly what happened this weekend as normal people across the world ran with Olympic champions in the 'Run as One' worldwide virtual relay marathon.

Teams of four completed a marathon by running 10.5k each, and just by entering you were in with a chance to run alongside some of the biggest names in sport.

But it wasn't just running superstars who stepped up, Tottenham Hotspur football club, Olympic triathlon gold medallist from Germany Jan Frodeno and Spanish sky runner/ultramarathon/daredevil Kilian Jornet also got involved.

The event was organised by NN Running Team, an international team of elite long-distance runners managed by a company in the Netherlands.

Kipchoge, whose historic sub-two hour run in Vienna last October broke new ground, teamed up with amateur runners from Brazil.

The Kenyan ran 10.5k in 31:28 seconds, not the fastest time on the leaderboard, but this event was about much more than running fastest or coming first.

"It makes me incredibly happy to see the world running as one this weekend," said Kipchoge the day before his run.

"Today I ran for my Brazilian team," he posted on Instagram after his 10.5km run, "but together we have all run as one. Runners from all over the world have joined us and showed how ours is a running world."

"Good luck everybody who is taking part today," said Kipchoge as he signed off on Sunday with many more runners still to come.

Another world-record holder and three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele ran with Joris, Stephen, Andy and Tharkun from the Netherlands.

The Ethiopian ran his 10.5km in 32:57 on his own track that he built in Sululta, 25 minutes outside the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The 5000m and 10,000m World record-holder built a six-lane all-weather track which is home to many athletes training and dreaming of Olympic glory.

They call it Bekele's ‘field of dreams’.

"It was a great pleasure to run my 10.5k as part of the MA RA TH ON challenge on my own track in Sululta," he posted.

It was hardly any surprise that half-marathon world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor put in the fastest time, going 10.6 km in 30:08s.

This time Eliud Kipchoge wasn't there to greet him at the finish line like he did at the 2019 New York marathon, but Kamworor was pleased with the run.

The Kenyan ran with a team from the USA.

Kilian Jornet does many things - like ultramarathons and literally running up and down mountains.

He is said to hold the fastest known time for the ascent and descent of Mount Everest for example.

For most of us, running 10.5km is a struggle, but when Jornet's Strava App told him that he had only run 10.49km making his entry invalid, he said ok:

I'll start again.

"It’s been actually pretty fun this MA RA TH ON!" Jornet posted, despite having to do it twice.

"Today I did my relay to join my teammates @davidnilssons@mustafamohamed79 and @fra_puppinho to finish this challenge among more than 100.000 runners worldwide. Thanks guys!"

(06/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Browne
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Sara Hall broke the women’s treadmill world record on Saturday in the Chaski Challenge

American Sara Hall broke the women’s treadmill world record on Saturday, running a 1:09:03 in a virtual event called the Chaski Challenge. This event was organized by the Chaski Endurance Collective, an online coaching company, and it saw three men and three women break records ranging from half-marathons up to 100K runs on the treadmill.

Many treadmill world records have been broken in 2020, from 50K and 100-mile runs all the way up to a 30-day effort, and on the weekend, eight more records fell thanks to Hall and five other elite runners.

Both the men’s and women’s half-marathon treadmill records were broken on Saturday. On the men’s side, John Raneri (who has a half-marathon PB of 1:01:51) ran a 1:03:08, beating the previous record by 29 seconds. Going into Saturday, the women’s half-marathon record was 1:20:43, but it was beaten twice, first by Renee Metivier and then by Hall.

Metivier posted a 1:19:29 en route to her 50K record, and just two hours later, Hall—a former Pan Am Games gold medallist who has a 1:08:58 half-marathon PB to her name—bettered the mark once again, finishing 21.1K in 1:09:03.

The marathon and 50K records were lowered for both the men and women on Saturday as well. Metivier set both records for the women, adding to the half-marathon record she’d set earlier in the run. She ran a 2:41:11 marathon to beat the 2:42:07 record, and 8K later, she set the 50K record in a time of 3:11:38, smashing the previous best of 3:51:25.

For the men, Tyler Andrews broke the marathon record of 2:20:45, passing through 42.2K in 2:17:56.

He continued on for another 25 minutes to finish the 50K in 2:42:51. Going into Saturday, Andrews was also the owner of the men’s treadmill half-marathon record, which he set in 2015. This is the fourth time in 2020 that the men’s 50K record has been lowered, with the previous best coming back in April when Swiss orienteering champion Matthias Kyburz ran a 2:56:35.

Mario Mendoza was the first man to break the 50K treadmill record in 2020, which he ran back in January, but on Saturday, he wasn’t looking to reclaim that title. Instead, he doubled up and ran the 100K, running a world’s best time of 6:39:25.

The final record of the day came from Regina Lopez in the women’s 50-miler (80K). Lopez crossed the virtual finish line in 8:41:37, ending the night on a high for the Chaski Challenge, which saw eight records fall in total.

(06/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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In Conversation with Sir Mo Farah

It’s not easy to cover hundreds of miles when you’re stuck inside. With global sporting events cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future and many types of training prohibited or significantly altered, international athletics and, by extension, international athletes have been hit hard by the lockdown. Sir Mo Farah has, however, managed to take it in his stride.

Farah, winner of four Olympic Gold Medals and a plethora of other titles, is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history. He has competed and won at every distance from 5000 metres to marathon and had announced a return to the track for Tokyo 2020 last November to try and retain his 1st place position for the third time in a row.

An Achilles injury may have slowed him down, but Farah was making good progress towards that goal before the coronavirus shut down races across the planet.

“At the time, in March, I was in a training camp in Ethiopia,” Mo smiles, “I pulled out of the London Big Half early on because of an Achilles problem, but once that settled down and got better I did four weeks of training.” However, as the pandemic became more prevalent this training regime was cut short. “It was just kicking off, I had to change my flight to come back home and make sure that when lockdown happened I was with my family, so that’s what I did. Since then it’s been nothing.”

Farah is committed to his family, constantly referencing them as we discuss staying motivated amidst so much confusion. They occasionally appear in the background of our Zoom call, having clearly inherited some extremely speedy genes. They also feature prominently in Sir Mo’s YouTube channel, which boasts an impressive 139,000 subscribers. The content of the videos has shifted recently, with more family challenges and less training videos.

That’s not to say, however, that his training has dropped off.

“I normally do between 100-150 miles a week and a lot of the time I’m in the gym three times a week” smiles Mo as he describes his average training regime, “most of my running’s been on the treadmill, I’ve even done hill sessions on the treadmill.”

He rattles off this regime as if it were easy, maintaining a positive tone as he describes the most gruelling elements of his training. If there is one word to describe Sir Mo, it has to be motivated. He seems to have sprinted through circumstances that have robbed many of us of all our motivation. The secret, he says, is setting your eyes on the finish line.

“You always have to have a goal and have ambition and look beyond this. I’m one of the lucky people in the way that I still have a treadmill here, I have a bit more space than everyone else. You always have to try to think positive and that’s what I try to do with my kids. We try not to go into too much detail and always be negative so, in a way, it’s like, ‘let’s go and have a laugh, kids! What can we do?’ Go in the pool, go in the garden, go and do challenges. Just keep your mind active.”

He tries to get the kids to run at least a mile every day if they aren’t out on their bikes, making sure that there is always something to focus on to get through the day.

Keeping your mind active is one thing, but looking beyond the pandemic is quite another. Social distancing will likely last for months, leaving athletes whose training depends on upcoming events in a difficult position. I put this to Farah, asking if he has any specific event in mind with regard to his training.

“My aim has always been the Tokyo Olympics,” he replies, “that’s what really drives me to stay on my feet, stay motivated, stay hungry. That’s what my goal is, ultimately.”

Although his goal has stayed concrete, the circumstances will have changed drastically by the time his shoes touch the track.

The travel industry is set for massive losses, and recent developments in the UK’s quarantine plans mean that going abroad won’t be an option for the foreseeable future. This is an issue for athletes who rely on travel for everything from altitude training to World Championships.

“It’s definitely going to have a knock-on effect, no matter what,” says Mo. “I’m trying to stay positive.”

Another huge problem for organisers is that it is extremely difficult to have socially-distant spectators in stadiums. Korean football has got past this by staging games with no crowds at all, or even filling the seats with poorly-chosen humanoid dolls.

An eerie silence has replaced the cheering and chanting in these stadiums, which poses a problem for athletes who thrive off the crowd’s energy. “There’s no question about. The crowd is everything. It drives you, it puts you on your toes, it puts you on edge. Without the crowd, I think it’s going to be totally different.” The roaring crowd hich has accompanied all of Sir Mo’s signature sprint finishes will probably be absent the next time he runs. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but Farah manages to keep sight of what is most important.

“Without the crowd it’s going to be boring but, at the same time, it’s what we need to do to make it as safe as possible.” Speaking as “a massive Arsenal fan”, it’s clear that even if he agrees that having football without spectators is odd, “If it means we can have football back and this is how it’s got to be for a little while then we just have to stick at it because it’s the safety of the players. But as an Arsenal fan, I’m thinking ‘man, I don’t like the look of that!’ Imagine seeing the whole stadium empty…”

These concerns are still firmly in the future, for now it’s a question of adapting his training in the present. His commitment to the treadmill means that he can still cover the distance, but training has lost a key social element.

"It can be lonely at times. It depends who you have and how much you enjoy it. Whatever you put into it is what you get out of it, whereas in football if you can have a bad day but there are ten more players who can help you recover.” Reliance on a team dynamic is something that Sir Mo doesn’t have to worry about as much as team players. “I think it will have a really big effect,” he notes, acknowledging that each player training as an individual could cause serious issues when football starts back up.

Hammering out 10-mile sets in isolation is no mean feat, but Farah says that Team GB has “handled it in a positive way by trying to put athletes first.”

The period of uncertainty leading up to the Olympics’ postponement was a particular cause for anxiety, but “once that settled down we got the comfort of thinking ‘I have a date’… The goal is to always have something to aim for. That’s what you thrive off, and that’s what gives you that boost, that energy and motivation.” Recovering from his aforementioned Achilles injury, Farah had set his sights on the Olympics knowing that he faced an uphill battle. The weeks leading up to the announcement that the Olympics would be held in 2021 were particularly stressful because, as other races in the UK were called off, Farah had no way of testing himself.

“If I hadn’t run other competitions it would have been crazy to run in the Olympics,” says Mo, emphasising that he’s glad that the focus has been on the safety of athletes first and foremost.

Even if their safety is put first, the consequences of the lockdown on mental health still weigh on athletes. “To be honest at this point they haven’t spoken that much about mental health,” Mo states, “They had a target, their target’s been cancelled. I’ve been there and done it so many years that I can overcome that but for some younger athletes I think they will have that in their minds. It’s important to support them in general, not even just in sports.” I suggest that public figures like Sir Mo have an important role to play in keeping up morale across the country, to which he beams:

“I think that’s always the key for me. As a general thing, I love to be able to help others. A five-minute phone call is just five minutes for me, but that could make that kid’s day. When I was younger I loved football and if one of the Arsenal players said ‘hi’ to me that would have made my day. We used to collect stickers, I remember that we used to get excited about stickers, so imagine one of the players in real life saying ‘hi’ or saying something to you.”

Farah’s reach has been massively increased by social media. He uses Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to engage with viewers and fans, retweeting letters from children and entertaining on Instagram live streams. He has also participated in the 5K challenge which, in classic Mo style, he did as part of a 10-mile training session from home. Asked his time, he replies “oh, was it 18 or 19 minutes?”

He smiles the most when he talks about how much he enjoys helping others out in a time of crisis and is in the middle of telling me how much easier it is to stay connected by social media when our call cuts out. “It’s an easy way to stay connected…” are the last words I catch.

We manage to reconnect, and the focus shifts beyond running. It’s hard to face the distant future when the next few months hold so much uncertainty, but Farah’s plan seems clear. “When I finish running completely, I’d love to be able to give back to the younger kids and get involved more with coaching. I’ve actually just got my coach’s license so I’m actually qualified, which is a good thing to have. Particularly young kids in Britain, there are a lot of kids with potential who are good enough, but it’s always hard to make that transition from juniors to seniors. For me I just see myself as a coach. I’m also not bad with kids, having four kids myself.”

Sir Mo retains a lightness throughout the interview that makes it hard not to smile along with him. He’s also positive about the future of running as a leisure activity in Britain, saying: “back in the day we saw running as something that you had to do in PE, or as a warm-up. Most people, if you tell them ‘you must do this’, they’re most likely not going to do it. Running’s a great way of getting everything out. It clears your mind and you’re in a different zone.” Farah is very clearly still going for gold. We haven’t seen the last of the ‘Mobot’ yet, but until then he has to bear with lockdown and continue to train. With questions about the feasibility of the 2021 Olympics continuing and lockdowns relaxing across the world, it is extremely difficult to stay motivated. Sir Mo is an example of the positive, goal-oriented attitude we need to make it to the finish line. “We’re all human at the end of the day,” he remarks as the interview ends, “we just have to try to be positive in every way that we can.”

(06/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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USATF Releases It’s Return To Training Guidance

This guidance document (“Guidance”) on return to training considerations post-COVID-19 has been developed by USATF’s COVID-19 Working Group, composed of medical and scientific experts in the fields of sports medicine, physiology, infectious disease, and epidemiology. This Guidance is based on and includes portions of specific content from the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee guidance document on return to training considerations and World Health Organization (“WHO”) mass gathering guidance.

This Guidance sets as primary consideration the rules and regulations provided by public health authorities and state and local governments, which will be different across the country. The secondary consideration should be the specific recommendations set forth in this document. In either case (State/Local or USATF), whichever regulations are more restrictive should be the guidance that is followed.

This does not prevent associations, local clubs, and events from adopting even more strict or more conservative approaches than those mandated by local public health authorities or recommended by the USATF Guidance.

This Guidance (v1.3) should be considered a “living document.” This means that the document’s criteria and recommendations are based on known factors at the time of writing. As more information becomes available concerning COVID-19, this Guidance will be updated as appropriate and new version(s) released to the USATF membership.

Finally, although the young and healthy tend to have less severe cases of COVID-19, every case of this disease is potentially life-altering or deadly in any age group, but particularly so in USATF athletes, coaches, and officials with select risk factors - such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, immune suppression, neurologic disorders affecting respiration, or individuals of advanced age.

Until a vaccine is developed, long-term immunity can be confirmed, or a cure is found, there is no way of completely eliminating the risk of fatal infection. This should always be in the forefront when considering return to training decisions.

Return to Training Phases

Step 1: Determine current state government requirements and regulations. Links to find this information for your state can be found on the link to this story. 

Step 2: Determine if there are any local or county public health authority notices with restrictions on activities in the community. Finding this information will differ by location, but normally can be found through your county government webpage.

Step 3: Using that information, determine the appropriate phase below that applies to your local community.

Step 4: See the specific guidance for each phase listed below.

Note, in all phases proper hygiene and social distancing practices should be followed.

(06/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tryavna Ultra 2020 has been cancelled and moved to July 16-18 2021.

After long discussions with our team with the various state institutions (RZI, municipal administrations, local authorities representatives, etc.)  it became clear that the situation was too dynamic without any prospects of anything to clear in the foreseeable future. There is no telling if mass competitions will be allowed, and summer is already on our doorstep.

The organization of an event of Tryavna Ultra's rank requires almost year-round preparation and maintenance and is linked to a lot of effort and finances. Waiting until the last moment in the hope of things to get better means risking not only the quality of our organised event, but also the preparation of all participants - this is against our principles. We believe that displacement of the race for a later stage of the year would be unfair to other competitions in the calendar, which make no less effort than we do and this would lead to divide the runaway the runner community in Bulgaria.

So we made the really difficult one and hope a fair decision 2020 will be zero for Tryavna Ultra.

We know that each of you have been looking forward to the race and the news is somewhat unpleasant. It is also unpleasant for us as organizers. However, we believe it is for the best and we look forward.

To all those who have already signed up for participation in Tryavna Ultra we will offer the following three options regarding their registrations:

• Option 1: Transfer of registration for July 16-18, 2021, OR for 2022 (of your choice) and you get a voucher of 25 % off next year's fee i.e. if you choose 2022 you will have a 25 % voucher for 2021 or you choose 2021 and you have 25 % discount for 2022. Reserve your right to receive a t-shirt, medal and any additional gifts to next year's competition.

• Option 2: Transfer the amount to another competition (s) organized by iRun. bg - Koja Kaya, Brutus Run, Black Sea Marathon with reimbursement of fees (deducting bank and card transactions).

• Option 3: Reimbursement of 90 % of the amount paid due to a portion of the costs already incurred for each of the participants. This version does not receive a voucher.

Thank you to our general sponsor Biofresh, the longtime sponsor Aurubis and all the partners who trusted us and stood by us, as well as those who stated readiness and only waited for race day to join.

See you again next year on July 16-18, 2021! The Balkanʺt is there and will bring us together again.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vidovdan Road Race has been moved from June 27 to August 15.

Because of the coronavirus epidemic we had to postpone Brčko's Vidovdan Road Race. Having in mind that the Race is a part of the World Athletics calendar of events and also a Balkan Athletics 10 km championship, in the last couple of weeks we were working intensively on finding the most optimal date for 24th Vidovdan Road Race.

The most important thing we had to think about was the date in which all borders will be opened and also to allow enough space and time for athletes to get back.in form since they were out of the training process for several months.

We decided the best date for all of these factors would be August 15th and at this moment it seems that Vidovdan Road Race will be the first event in the continuation of the World Athletic Series.

Considering this new situation in the next 10 days we will change terms for participation and they are going to be following all regulations and measures for the protection of participant's health. Entry fees for Vidovdan Road Race will be symbolic and all funds raised this way shall be transferred to humanitarian purposes.

See you in Brčko on August 15th!

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Vidovdan 10km Road Race

Vidovdan 10km Road Race

The one 2020 race has been moved to August 15. The Vidovdan Road Race (Vidovdanska trka) is a 10k road running race in the town of Brcko in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Brcko is located on the border with Croatia and about twenty kilometers from the border with Serbia. Every year, the event attracts an international field of top runners. Eighth...

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Athletics Canada's plan for responsible programming in every province and territory

Athletics Canada has announced its plan for runners to safely return to practices, and eventually, racing. As the situation varies greatly depending on location, there won’t be a standard approach that applies to all provinces and clubs. Instead, the Back on Track guidelines are a national tool to assist in developing a responsible return to programming in every province and territory.

First, the province or territory’s public health officials must greenlight sport in their area. Second, clubs must review the risk assessment questionnaire (which can be requested by public health or NSO officials) and decide it’s safe to open their facility. Third, the head coach must sign off on the protocols document. All athletes and coaches also need to complete waivers (including health questionnaires). Each club will be individually authorized to resume training. Finally, athletes will need to complete daily health questionnaires to continue training with their group.

Further measures.- Maintain consistent groups (for example, assign specific training partners and continue to meet with those people only).

Daily on-site symptom screening, All equipment must be sanitized after use (starting blocks, batons, hurdles).

Personal protective equipment must be worn by coaches, High jump and pole vault mats are not to be used at this time.

No shaking hands, no high fives, no sharing water bottles

Athletics Canada has yet to outline new competition procedures.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced last Thursday that for the first time ever, the Boston Marathon has officially been cancelled. While Boston will go virtual for 2020, there remain only three world majors set to take place this fall (London, Chicago and New York).

Based on the WHO’s recommendations for large gatherings, organizers need to asses risk based on the context of the event. However, they do recommend if participating virtually is an option, opt for the online solution. The one thing marathons have going for them is that they’re outdoors, which is certainly recommended over mass indoor gatherings.

While it’s not impossible to catch COVID while outside, the chances are significantly lower, according to B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Tokyo Olympics must be held in 2021 or not at all

High-ranking Olympic official Pierre-Olivier Beckers on Saturday made plain that the delayed Tokyo Olympics "will be held in 2021 or not at all".

The Belgian was reiterating the stance put forward by Japan and International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach that next year was the last chance to hold the Games postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Today everyone is sure that they will start on July 23, 2021," he told Belgian newspaper L'Avenir.

"We are convinced that the Games will take place in 2021 or they won't take place.

"It's unthinkable to keep such a project on the go for any longer considering the enormous costs and all the thousands of people involved."

Beckers suggested it was "essential" that the traditional sporting calendar emerges from its Covid-19 lockdown before allowing major sporting events like the Olympics to be staged.

"All the sporting federations have to adapt to the Games' postponement.

"We can't envisage a similar upheaval a second time," stressed the president of Belgium's Olympic Committee.

According to Beckers a final decision on Tokyo "will be taken in the spring if questions (over the global health crisis) persist."

He said he was optimistic over the staging of the Games, rejecting any notion that it would be held behind closed doors.

In March, Tokyo 2020 was postponed one year over the coronavirus, which has killed hundreds of thousands around the world and halted international sport and travel.

Beckers heads the IOC's coordinating commission for the 2024 Games and he said he wanted Paris "to be different" to past editions.

"We want to stage Games that are economically responsible, inclusive, sustainable and useful for society.

"The IOC's desire is that the Games adapt to the needs of cities, countries, and vice versa. Paris will be the first edition that will fully fit into this vision."

"We must fight against gigantism," he continued.

"In Paris, we will return to a budget lower than that of previous editions: 3.8 billion euros for operations and around three billion for all infrastructure."

(06/06/2020) ⚡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, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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The 2021 HURT 100 is Cancelled

The Board of Directors of HURT, Inc has made the difficult decision to cancel the HURT 100, originally scheduled for January 16-17, 2021. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made this decision necessary.

For our potential runners, the continuing worldwide travel restrictions, State of Hawaii quarantine, and airline and accommodation uncertainties have made planning a trip to our islands difficult and worrisome.

For our HURT team, not knowing future state guidelines for holding an event like ours makes planning extremely difficult and potentially impossible. Above all, we want to ensure the safety of our runners, families, and volunteers.Though we will miss you all this January, we look forward to welcoming you to the HURT 100 on January 15-16, 2022.For our local Hawaii runners, we are looking at options for holding additional Trail Series races in January and February.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Hurt 100 Mile Endurance run

Hurt 100 Mile Endurance run

The Hawaiian Ultra Running Team's Trail 100-Mile Endurance Run, referred to hereafter as the “HURT100”, is a very difficult event designed for the adventurous and well-prepared ultra runner....

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Ugandan World and Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei is excited to be featured in the worldwide virtual relay marathon due June 6 and 7

Joshua Cheptegei will be joining a star-studded group of runners, the likes of marathon superstar Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele and Geoffrey Kamworor.

With traditional races cancelled and postponed due to the coronavirus crisis, this virtual race will have each runner in the four-strong teams completing 10.5km.

Speaking ahead of the event, Cheptegei highlighted the importance of a collective effort in effectively bring athletics back to life during this pandemic.

“I think at this time, It’s not about pushing of course, It’s about trying to be organized and running together with the rest of the world in different locations,” the 2019 Doha World Championships gold medalist told teammate Diego, from Spain in a conversation.

Cheptegei is expected to race on Sunday as he helps other runners from different parts of the world to revive the spirit of athleticism.

Runners around the world can join in the event with teams of four of their own.

If a participate is running alone, they will be matched with runners around the world to complete a team. The NN Running Team athletes will be randomly added to 10 of the participating teams.

A digital relay will also take place on Facebook Live, with each segment featuring athletes, run crews and other special guests talking about how they’re getting active on Global Running Day.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Edgar Kazibwe
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CAS to hear Salazar appeal in November

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has said it will hear banned track coach Alberto Salazar’s appeal to overturn his four-year doping suspension in November.

American Salazar, who coached some of the world’s top distance runners including British Olympic and world champion Mo Farah, was banned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in October for “orchestrating and facilitating” doping as head coach of the Nike Oregon Project (NOP).

Swiss-based CAS, the world’s highest sports court, said on Tuesday it would hear appeals from Salazar and endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown between Nov. 8-16. Brown, who worked for NOP on performance enhancement and served as a physician for numerous athletes in the training program, was also banned by USADA for four years.

Nike Inc, which funds NOP — an elite long-distance running training centre in Portland under a long-term sponsorship deal with U.S. Track and Field — has previously said it would support Salazar’s bid to clear his name.No NOP runner was directly implicated in doping by USADA.

Salazar won three consecutive New York City marathons from 1980 before coaching a slew of Olympians, including Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000m golds at the London and Rio Olympics before splitting with the American in 2017.

Farah has never failed a drugs test and has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Sara Hall Among Pros Who Will Take Shot at Treadmill World Records on June 6 in Chaski Challenge

Inspired by the success of last month’s Quarantine Backyard Ultra, a handful of elite runners will attempt to break treadmill world records across five distances next week. Sara Hall, the fastest American female marathoner of 2019, is the headliner, and will be shooting for the women’s treadmill half marathon record of 1:20:43 (Hall’s pb is 1:08:58).

The event, which will be held on Saturday, June 6, and is known as the Chaski Challenge, is the brainchild of Tyler Andrews, a 2:15 marathoner who ran a world best of 2:46:06 for 50,000 meters on the track in 2018 (LRC recorded a podcast with him shortly before that race). Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Andrews had planned to spend the spring training with Jim Walmsley in Flagstaff as the two men prepared to race the famed Comrades Marathon in South Africa. Instead, Andrews is now based at his parents’ house in Concord, Mass., but is still training hard and wanted to create an opportunity to allow himself and others to demonstrate their fitness.

“A lot of people are really fit out there right now and have nothing to do with it,” Andrews says. “So we wanted to do that. And then just create a really compelling, fun, conversation-provoking event that people can watch on a Saturday night and have fun with.”

Similar to the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, the Chaski Challenge will feature a free live online broadcast and tracking of the record attempts around the country with cameras aimed at each elite runner’s treadmill. 2016 Olympian Marielle Hall and ultrarunner Kris Brown (13th at 2019 Western States 100) will serve as commentators.

“Chaski Endurance Collective, which is my coaching collective, we have a bunch of different athletes from different areas on staff and we were kind of just bouncing around ideas and talking about what could we do that’s kind of building off what Quarantine Backyard Ultra did really well, because that event just absolutely crushed it,” Andrews says.

Andrews also felt the inclusive nature of the Quarantine Backyard Ultra — anyone could sign up and compete — was one of the keys to its success, and to that end, the Chaski Challenge will feature free-to-enter 5k and 50k races, which anyone can sign up for and complete during a 24-hour window beginning on June 5 at 4 p.m. ET (there is an optional donation to Feeding America’s COVID-19 relief efforts).

At 6 p.m. ET on June 6, the broadcast will begin with the men’s 50k, which features Andrews, 2014 world 100k champ Max King, and Quarantine Backyard Ultra champion Mike Wardian (2:54 50k pb). Midway through that race, the men’s half marathon (featuring 61:51 man John Raneri) and the women’s half marathon (featuring Hall and 2:27 marathoner Renee Metivier) will begin. Mario Mendoza will also be attempting to break the 50-mile record; that attempt will begin prior to the broadcast. The current treadmill world records for each event are as follows (the men will also try to break the marathon record en route to 50k):

Women’s half marathon: 1:20:43, Jenna Wrieden, USA, 2014

Men’s half marathon: 1:03:37, Tyler Andrews, USA, 2015

Men’s marathon: 2:20:45, Paul Zwama, Netherlands, 2018

Men’s 50k: 2:56:35, Matthias Kyburz, Switzerland, 2020

Men’s 50-mile: 4:57:45, Jacob Puzey, USA, 2016

Andrews chose those events because he believes each record is ripe for the taking. The 50k record has been broken three times already this year; both Wardian and Mendoza are former holders of the record.

“We are 100% sure that we are going to break these records in this race,” says Andrews. “There’s zero question. The women’s half marathon mark is 1:20. I’m pretty sure that women out there have done that in training before and not recorded it. We’re not just looking to break these; we want to make these legitimate. We want to have actual, really good athletes just totally destroy them and set them way out of reach.”

Andrews feels confident he is just as fit as when he ran 2:46 for 50,000 meters in 2018; on Sunday, he ran a workout of 7 x 5k (16:19, 16:20, 16:20, 16:16, 16:11, 16:07, 15:51) with 1k recovery for a total of 41k on the treadmill in 2:16. He will be making the attempt in a room that doubles as his office and a storage room for his dad’s clothes.

“There’s a TV inside the cabinet [in front of the treadmill],” Andrews says. “I don’t watch television when I’m running, but I actually kind of like it because it’s almost a black mirror, so I can see my upper running form, so I can see if I’m starting to list to one side or slouch a little bit.”

Hall bouncing back from Olympic Trials disappointment

Andrews has run into one issue with the Chaski Challenge: Hall will not be able to run her portion of the event live. Instead, she will record her attempt this week, and it will be played at the same time as the other attempts on the broadcast next week. Still, she is excited to give it a go.

“It’s a tough time for all sports, but especially with ours including the masses, people need things to stay motivated or to get a benchmark of fitness,” Hall says. “I wanted to support that and it will be nice to get a benchmark of fitness for myself in the process and hopefully provide some entertainment to people.”

Hall’s most recent race was the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta on February 29, where she dropped out after 22 miles. Hall says her recovery has been “a process.”

“I wanted that team more than any other race of my career, so I think I’m still somewhat getting over the disappointment and I think I’ll always look back on it with frustration,” Hall says.

After falling short in the Marathon Trials, Hall’s initial plan was to give the track trials a go in either the 5,000 or 10,000; even once they were postponed, her recent training has focused on those distances. She eventually plans to transition into a buildup for a fall 2020 marathon (if they happen) before returning to the track for the 2021 Olympic Trials.

For a woman who has run 1:08 for a half, 1:20 should be a piece of cake — theoretically. But Hall is not peaking for the Chaski Challenge. And since she rarely runs on treadmills, she doesn’t want to risk injury by giving a full race effort. In addition, she’ll likely be running at almost 7,000 feet in Flagstaff — which Hall says usually knocks 15 seconds per mile off her tempo pace. Still, record pace is just 6:10 per mile, which is very attainable for Hall, even with those caveats.

Hall won’t be able to make her attempt from the comfort of home as her treadmill is currently broken. Her plan is to head to a gym (which are now open in Arizona) and take her shot there. Unlike most half marathon record attempts, however, Hall will be able to have her four daughters cheer her on every step of the way — if they choose to.

“I’ll create a playlist to give me some entertainment and the girls will probably cheer me on, but will likely get bored after a few minutes and wander off,” Hall says.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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I was overcome with sadness - Kenyan Kipchoge said after the London Marathon postponement

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge took two weeks to get over the news of the London Marathon postponement, it was revealed on Wednesday.

The race was scheduled for April, with Kipchoge the defending champion, before it was postponed and rescheduled for October due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“It was painful for me when London was postponed,” Kipchoge told Runner’s World.

“I was at peak fitness before that race. I took two weeks to be sad, and then I went back to training. This is life.”

Kipchoge set the men’s marathon record of 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon in 2018, and in October last year became the first man to break two-hours for the 42.2km distance in an unofficial challenge run in Vienna.

Known as the Ineos159 Challenge, Kipchoge with a series of different pacemakers clocked 1:59:40 to become the first person to break two hours for the marathon distance.

This weekend, Kipchoge will be taking part in a virtual 42km relay event called “M A R A T H O N”.

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor will also be participating.

That high-powered quartet will take part in a the team event on Saturday and Sunday which invites runners from around the world to join teams of four to complete a full marathon together, alone.

(06/06/2020) ⚡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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Athletics Kenya say Olympic marathon team not cast in stone

Athletics Kenya could make changes to its marathon teams to the Tokyo Olympic Games basing on form.

The federation’s senior deputy president in charge of competitions, Paul Mutwii, disclosed that a lot could happen between now and the Olympic Games in 2021 after the action was deferred by one year owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mutwii was speaking on Thursday in reaction to the new Olympic qualification guidelines issued by World Athletics for July 23 to August 8, 2021.

The Games were postponed from July 24 to August 9 this year to the same period next year owing to concerns over the coronavirus spread.

The qualifying period for track and field events for the Olympic will now end on June 29, 2021, just 23 days before the start of the world’s biggest sporting bonanza.

In its four-year strategic plan and Olympic qualifying process, World Athletics says the marathon and race walk entry period will elapse on May 31, 2021.

World marathon record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei were on January 31 this year picked lead “Team Kenya” over the 42-kilometre race at the Tokyo Olympics.

The men's team also has World Championships marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto and Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono.

Bedan Karoki and Titus Ekiru are reserves.

Besides Kosgei, the women’s team has 2018 London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot, world champion Ruth Chepng'etich with Valary Aiyabei and Sally Chepyego the reserves.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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400m world champion, Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain was given a provisional suspension for whereabouts failure

The 2019 400m world champion, Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain, has been given a provisional suspension from the Athletics Integrity Unit for a whereabouts failure.

The third-fastest 400m runner of all time became the first Asian woman to win the world championships in her event last fall.

According to World Athletics anti-doping rules, three missed tests or filing failures within a 12-month period constitute a whereabouts violation. Out-of-competition testing (test that don’t take place at a race) work on a “three strikes” model – a third missed test in a 12-month period is treated like a positive test, and a competition ban of two years is standard.

Last year, American sprinter Christian Coleman missed three out-of-competition drug tests in 12 months, which meant he was facing a two-year ban.

After several weeks of investigation and the discovery of a legal loophole, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency dropped its case against Coleman, who was then allowed to compete at the world championships.

(06/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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After cancelling the South African ultra, Comrades Marathon virtual event signups surpass 13,000 runners

One of the world’s most famous and coveted ultramarathons, the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, was cancelled due to COVID-19 in May. The race was set for June 14, and although no one will be physically running the course between the South African cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban on that day, organizers have scheduled a virtual event called Race the Comrades Legends for the same date.

The event is open to anyone worldwide, and with just over a week to go before race day, over 13,000 people have registered to run.

In a normal year, the Comrades Marathon is 87K or 90K (the course changes directions each year, hence the two distances). Runners looking to participate in the virtual event will have the option to complete a 90K run in classic Comrades style, but there are also 5K, 10K, 21K and 45K options for anyone who isn’t looking to tackle an ultramarathon.

The event is free to anyone who was already registered for the 2020 Comrades Marathon, and it’s just $25 for everyone else. In addition to the race fee, runners have the option of donating to six local South African charities.

All participants will have to record their runs and upload them to the Comrades site, where results will be compiled and ranked. Runners can upload their runs using whatever tracking apps or GPS programs they prefer.

After all the results are in, runners will be able to see where they sit among the rest of the participants, and according to the virtual race press release, they will also be able to see how they rank against Comrades Marathon legends from past events.

All finishers will receive a virtual medal and finishing certificate immediately after completing their race, and in the weeks after the event, they will receive a physical medal as well.

(06/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon

2020 race has been officially cancelled. Arguably the greatest ultra marathon in the world where athletes come from all over the world to combine muscle and mental strength to conquer the approx 90kilometers between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the event owes its beginnings to the vision of one man, World War I veteran Vic Clapham. A soldier, a...

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When it comes to running, experts suggest avoiding static stretching

Stretching was once the cure-all for running injuries. Practitioners would ask injured runners if they were stretching enough, and if the answer was no they would offer more stretches. However, research is now suggesting that certain kinds of stretching aren’t great for runners, and may even be harmful for those who are prone to injury.

According to a literature review of several studies, there’s actually a correlation between lower levels of flexibility and better running economy, which refers to the amount of energy expended to maintain a particular speed. A study on untrained runners found that participants with the lowest flexibility happened to have the most naturally economic running styles. Researchers believe that this was a result of low range of motion, leading to better stabilization when the foot hits the ground. Basically, excessive range of motion means more energy is needed to stabilize muscles, and having a lower range of motion reduces that use of energy.

Carla Robbins is the owner of Vital Strength and Physiology in Calgary, Alta. She says she almost never prescribes static stretching to her clients – she’s all about strength work. “If stretching is something you do frequently, it’s technically possible to get more length in the muscle, but I don’t personally recommend it. I feel like there are other things that can check that box, for example, dynamic stretching or strength training. Strength training results in strength (and length), while also preventing injury.”

When to stretch.- If static stretching (holding one position) isn’t recommended for runners, then what should they be doing to warm up? Robbins says ideally runners will integrate dynamic stretching (not holding the stretch, but moving with control in and out of the end ranges of the stretch) into their pre-run routine. A dynamic warmup will increase body temperature, which activates enzymes that are beneficial to running.

When not Stretching.- Robbins says static stretching should be avoided by runners who are trying to prevent (or rehabilitate) an injury. “There isn’t enough evidence to support that stretching prevents injury,” she explains. “Some stiffness is required in the ligaments and muscles to run. For example, if you’re a hyper-mobile person with relaxed ligaments, you might be more prone to injury as your joints are more likely to move with loading. Lack of stiffness isn’t necessarily beneficial.”

Robbins also reminds runners never to stretch through pain. “Listen to your body, it’ll tell you if you’re doing something wrong.”

When runners cramp up, many feel the need to “stretch it out,” but the research is divided on the topic. Muscle cramps can be caused by many factors including dehydration, fatigue and vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Leg cramps can also be a side effect of some prescription medications.

However, the reason for cramping and its exact cure eludes us. Several studies suggest that stretching out a cramp won’t hurt you, but it won’t necessarily help, either. If cramping is an issue for you, Hyland’s Leg Cramp Tablets, an official sponsor of the Boston Marathon, are one way to feel confident on the start line. Hyland’s Leg Cramps Tablets are taken without water, the quick dissolving tablets melt instantly in your mouth for fast-acting natural relief of leg, calf and foot cramps with no known side effects.

When strength training, runners should pay special attention to their quads and hamstrings, along with ankle and hip mobility. These are the areas where the most-common running injuries tend to happen.

(06/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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World marathon record holder, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge to race in Tottenham's virtual marathon

World marathon record holder, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has welcomed the challenge by English Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspurs’ fans ahead of the virtual 42km run due Saturday and Sunday.

The race dubbed, MA RA TH ON and is free to enter, is a virtual team relay where runners can register either in teams of four or as an individual and be placed in another group of three.

During the relay, each runner will run 10.5km sometime between Saturday and Sunday at a location that suits them, to make up a collective marathon distance.

Cumulative Time.- Logged on a running app, your team’s cumulative time will be placed on a virtual leaderboard to show how you compare with some of the world’s best.

“A football club is a family, players and fans together. On the weekend we will all run as one, good luck to all fans of @SpursOfficial.  Great to have you guys on the start line! #RunAsOne,” Kipchoge tweeted.

Kipchoge is among Hotspurs fans who have been invited to race in the global virtual marathon relay that is organised by Maurten, the club’s official sport fuel supplier.

To add further incentive, each participating team has the chance to be one of 10 teams that will see a running superstar join their squad. These include Kipchoge, Berlin Marathon champion Kenenisa Bekele, World Cross Country and World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei and World half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor.

“Every runner has their own pace, their own background and their own motives to why they run. I am very excited to join someone’s team,” said Kipchoge adding they are really looking forward to joining the relay in this wonderful initiative with his teammates.

Also involved is legendary former player and 1991 FA Cup winner David Howells, who was up for the challenge when asked to take part.

Spurs will be well represented across the event, with members of Supporters’ Clubs from across England, the Netherlands, South Africa, the United States and Canada all pounding the pavements and donning their club colors.

“Like football, running and mass participation events have come to a grinding halt over the last few months,” Howells, the popular former midfielder said. “This is a great initiative that still carries team spirit, sets a target and encourages exercise, which is so important for physical and mental health right now.”

Howells said he is looking forward to the challenge, pulling on that Spurs kit again and representing the club with other fans around the world.

(06/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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The 2020 Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon has been postponed due to the pandemic

 The 2020 Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon has been postponed, organizers announced Thursday.

"To best meet the needs of our participants, the Las Vegas community and local authorities, the 2020 Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon & 1/2 Marathon cannot take place as originally scheduled for November 14-15, 2020," organizers said in a post on social media.

Officials said they are "working diligently with our various host city partners and stakeholders on all potential options."

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon said that all further event updates will be communicated as soon as possible.

(06/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas

Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas

Run the Strip at night in Vegas. The marathon and half marathon courses are as flat and festive as they come – perfect for runners and walkers of all ability levels. (2019) Tommy Puzey says winning the Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon “feels exactly like a panic attack to me.” “Bright lights and loud noises,” he said, jokingly, after...

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