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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(01/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Gilbert Kiprotich
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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It was rainy and chilly but the over 5000 participants enjoyed the first NYRR race of the decade, the Joe Kleinerman 10K

The NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K, the first NYRR weekend race of the decade, took place this morning in Central Park. Rainy, chilly conditions tested the fortitude of 5,160 participants. 

But whether it was a first 10K or a hundredth, an inaugural attempt at running outdoors or a veteran’s quest to set a new PR, a brave early start to the 9+1 or a hardy volunteer’s knowing effort to check off the +1—a full loop of Central Park, including the formidable Harlem Hill, is still pretty thrilling, even when it's 48 degrees and raining.

Teshome Mekonen won the men’s open division in 29:23, and Mia Behm took the women’s open-division top prize in 34:19.

Joe Kleinerman himself, the race’s namesake, would have been proud to see 2,415 women surging up Harlem Hill on their way to completing 6.2 miles. In 1967, Kleinerman, who helped found NYRR, and other local distance runners led a national movement to allow women to run officially distances longer than one mile. He was an active NYRR employee until his death at 91 in 2003.

(01/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Lela Moore
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Joe Kleinerman Classic 10K

Joe Kleinerman Classic 10K

Make good on your New Year’s running resolution by taking part in the Joe Kleinerman 10K! Kleinerman, a founding member of NYRR, the longtime coach of the Millrose Athletic Association, and a beloved NYRR employee until his death in 2003 at age 91, was a true competitor. Take on the challenge of this chilly 10K through beautiful Central Park. The...

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Armino rallies to retain Xiamen Marathon title

Ethiopia’s Medina Deme Armino waited patiently until the last 500 metres to launched her powerful charge, successfully defending her title at the Xiamen Marathon, the first World Athletics Gold Label road race of the year on Sunday (5).

The 22-year-old Armino cut 73 seconds from her personal best to win in 2:26:12, making her the fourth multiple women’s winner in the 18-year history of the race following China’s Zhou Chunxiu (2003-2005) and fellow Ethiopians Mare Dibaba (2014-2015) and Fatuma Sado (2013, 2018).

It is also the second straight year for Armino to improve her career best in Xiamen, but her winning mark was still more than six minutes shy of Dibaba’s course record of 2:19:52 set five years ago.

Helped by three male pacers, a leading group of nine stayed together for most of the race. After the leaders passed the 35km mark in 2:02:40, 2018 Dublin Marathon winner Mesera Hussen of Ethiopia began to push ahead and the leading pack soon became scattered.

Hussen pulled clear before 38km with Armino trailing around 100m behind as the sole chaser. But the surge seemed to drain too much energy from Hussen, who slowed gradually after 40 kilometres with the defending champion narrowing the gap metre by metre.

When Hussen reached the 500 metres-to-go mark, her pacer stopped. Armino seized the opportunity to speed up and soon overtook her rival. She never looked back before wrapping up her fifth marathon title in eight races.

It is the 11th consecutive women’s title taken by Ethiopians in the southern Chinese city.

Hussen finished second in 2:26:28, improving her PB by some two minutes. Afera Godfay, also from Ethiopia with a PB of 2:22:41, took third in 2:26:42.

Two-time reigning champion Dejene Debela failed to defend his title in the men’s race as his countryman Birhan Nebebew, third last year, built a sole lead after a fast 10km split from 30km to 40km and took the top honours in 2:08:16.

Nebebew’s victory also marks the fourth year in a row for Xiamen Marathon to witness an Ethiopian double.

The race was paced by a group of 10 to the 10km mark in 30:04. After another five kilometres, the leaders were cut to eight and the eight-man pack ran together to reach 20km in 1:00:39 and 30km in 1:31:35.

Kenya’s Kennedy Cheboror was the first to quit the leading group, then followed by Morocco’s Mohamed Zianni and Abdisa Duber of Ethiopia.

The 25-year-old Nebebew tried to pull away near the 35km mark with only Reuben Kerio of Kenya and Ethiopian veteran Girmay Birhanu Gebru managing to keep up with his pace.

The leading trio kept pushing ahead and the in-form Nebebew waited for three more kilometres to launch another charge. Gebru followed him for a little while but Nebebew soon cut the binds between them.

With a comfortable lead in hand, Nebebew never met any real threat afterwards. He broke the tape in style and knelt down to kiss the course to celebrate his first international marathon title.

Kerio, who improved his PB to 2:07:00 last October, overtook Gebru to settle for the second in 2:08:46. The 32-year-old Gebru, a 2:05:49 performer, finish third in 2:08:52, his first sub-2:10 mark since 2015.

 

(01/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Vincent Wu for World Athletics
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XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

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

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New team in town: Under Armour runs into Flagstaff

Living here, up where the air is rare and trails snake through mountains and traverse verdant valleys, means that you are as liable to see as many elite runners donning corporate-logoed singlets and compression socks around town as you are to spot locals wearing fleece and Birkenstock's.

Yeah, ho-hum, that’s Mo Farah doing squats at your gym. And isn’t that Sara Hall pounding out miles of the FUTS, and Edward Cheserek reeling off sub-50-second 400s at the end of a workout on NAU’s track? Then there’s that thundering herd of Hoka NAZ Elite runners, always striding down Lake Mary Road like so many sleek big cats roaming the savanna.

Flagstaff’s stable of professional runners, some full-time residents but many parachuting in for elevation training, now has grown even more robust — and not just because it soon will be an Olympic year. There’s a new team in town, a corporate-sponsored training group that is fast filling its ranks with numbers challenging NAZ Elite’s civic running hegemony.

The as-yet unnamed group — expect an official "branding" sometime soon — is funded and sponsored by the apparel and shoe company Under Armour. It is headed not by interlopers, but by two track and field veterans who have histories in Flagstaff.

Noted running agent Stephen Haas, who also coaches the likes of 17-time NCAA champ Cheserek, is the driving force behind the team’s formation. He’s been a Flagstaff regular for nearly a decade, first as a distance runner who came here to train, then as a sort of Sherpa for athletes represented by his agency, Total Sports US, and later for several years as executive director of Team Run Flagstaff.

Now Haas has ascended to running his own training group, under Under Armour’s auspices, while still looking after the approximately 45 athletes he represents worldwide, some of whom swoop in here for high-altitude camps and some, like Cheserek, who make Flagstaff home.

Haas is aided in this new venture by former UC Berkeley cross country and track coach Shayla Houlihan, who left Cal after seven seasons last spring. Houlihan, too, has a Flagstaff connection, having trained here earlier in the decade as a pro steeplechaser and then working for two years as a Team Run Flagstaff coach.

So, it’s something of a homecoming for the pair, though you will see a few new faces on the roads, trails and track no doubt wearing the UA logo. They include 2018 NCAA 10,000-meter champion Sharon Lokedi, 5,000-meter elite Rachael Schneider, miler Patrick Casey, 800-meter runner Baylee Mires, Irish marathoner Stephen Scullion and two promising middle-distance recruits fresh out of college, Blake Haney (Oregon) and Taryn Rawlings (Portland).

This new team, perhaps not yet boasting the championship pedigree of NAZ Elite, raises two questions: Is this town big enough for two year-round sponsored training groups, and, is Flagstaff reaching a saturation point when it comes to infrastructure for so many elite runners hitting town to train?

Haas doesn’t hesitate in answering.

“No,” he said. “The five minutes that we cross over in the gym with NAZ Elite is the only time we see NAZ Elite. We’re more track-based, so we’re on the track more than them. They’re on the road more than us. For whatever reason, we have different schedules.

“People ask me this all the time. Yes, there’s a lot of athletes who come to Flag, but if you’re not making the effort to connect with people, well, this is a place where you can be lost in the woods every day. You need to make connections.”

As a former elite runner and now agent, Haas is all about networking and building relationships. His career as an agent soared after being named Total Sports US’s client services coordinator. His stable of athletes include notable pros such as Cheserek, Olympians Shelby Houlihan (Shayla’s younger sister) and Hassan Mead, Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego and Rachel Cliff, Canada’s marathon and half-marathon record holder. Just recently, he has signed four-time NCAA champ Morgan McDonald and three-time NCAA titlist Jessica Hull, both Aussies, in addition to two-time NCAA 1,500-meter runner-up Justine Kiprotich, who runs for Hoka (though not NAZ Elite) and trains in Flagstaff.

Perhaps more important, at least to the success of the new team sponsored by Under Armour, is Haas’ connections in Flagstaff.

In his days as a distance runner, Haas shared a house with NAU cross country and track coach Michael Smith and the two remain friends. His tenure as executive director of Team Run Flagstaff, in Haas’ words, “gave me a community of people, friends, right away, a social circle.” His duties with TRF dealt with a lot of financial issues, such as gaining sponsorship, but he left the organization because his career as an agent and burgeoning coach was ascending.

“Team Run Flagstaff was great, but it wasn’t a great fit for me,” he said. “I liked more of the elite side of the running world.”

Even before heading TRF, Haas was spending enough time in Flagstaff to be considered a regular in the running community. Total Sports US eventually tasked him to make Flagstaff his home base, because “it seemed a lot of the work we were doing was helping athletes get settled in Flagstaff, get housing, get track access and physio (therapy).

Now that his role has widened, Haas finds himself in a potentially conflicting position. Unlike other top agents in the U.S. — say, Ray Flynn, Hawi Keflezighi or Josh Cox — who solely represent athletes, Haas is negotiating deals for clients with companies sponsoring teams that are direct competitors to the newly-formed Under Armour group.

“Now I’m dual recruiting for the agency, obviously, but also for the group, too,” he said. “It’s a unique situation. We could be interested in a (graduating college) kid who signs with another agency and that’s OK, too. It’s nice to have Shayla here because we can kind of separate a little bit. She can focus on recruiting for the group, and I can focus on recruiting for the agency. That gives the athlete a little more clarity as well. But I’m not closed off …I can work alongside as a coach (with) another agent that represents a kid that I want to recruit. I guess it could be counter-intuitive for the group, but my first and foremost job for any athlete we sign to Total Sports is to try to get them the best contract as possible. Justine is a perfect example.”

Kiprotich, who lost the NCAA 1,500-meter title last year by one one-thousands of a second, is a Haas client. Haas was negotiating an endorsement deal with Under Armour, the sponsor of the new Flagstaff team, for Kiprotich. But Hoka came in with a better offer and he signed with that brand. But instead of joining NAZ Elite or other Hoka teams, Kiprotich was allowed to move to Flagstaff and train under Haas.

“We’re lucky enough that Under Armour still allowed him to come here and train with us,” Haas said.

There’s a similar situation concerning Cheserek, who signed with Skechers. He trains in Flagstaff and jumps in occasionally to work out with the Under Armour athletes as well as other elites who hit town.

Houlihan’s role with the new training group is essential, Haas said, especially since he travels more than 200 days a year. Though a veteran Division 1 coach of both men and women, Houlihan is trying something new coaching pros. Then again, many of the athletes signed by Under Armour are in the early stages of their professional careers.

(01/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Kenya will renew their rivalry with Ethiopia on Sunday in quest for Xiamen Marathon in China

Kenyan athletes are keen to end Ethiopian dominance in the Southern China city. Kenyan duo Reuben Kerio and Kennedy Cheboror also renewed their lifetime bests in 2019.

The 25-year-old Kerio clocked 2:07:00 in Eindhoven and won the Rock 'n' Roll Madrid Marathon last year, while Cheboror, 29, improved his personal best (PB) to 2:06:59 when finishing fourth in Daegu and went on to win the Gyeongju Marathon in October, which was his third title in six races since debuting over the classic distance in 2016.

"It is a tough race with top names from Ethiopia. But I believe we have a chance to showcase to the world that we are top of the game," said Cheboror on Friday.

Kenya's Moses Mosop was the last man to win in Xiamen, setting a course record of 2:06:19 in 2015.

"The course in Xiamen is tough and it requires strong preparations. I felt depleted after the race and it will not be easy for the athletes when they line up to improve the record," Mosop said.

The tall and long-legged Debela, who will celebrate his 25th birthday next Thursday, edged compatriot Afewerk Mesfin by just two seconds last year to take a second successive Xiamen victory in 2:09:26.

He went on to earn a runner-up finish in Chicago last October at 2:05:46, improving his personal best by 84 seconds, which suggests he has the ability to challenge the 2:06:19 course record set by Moses Mosop of Kenya in 2015.

While Debela is eyeing a hat-trick, Shura Kitata is expecting third-time lucky in Xiamen.

The 23-year-old Ethiopian has progressed rapidly in recent years and is the fastest man on paper with a best time of 2:04:49, which was set from his second-place finish at the 2018 London Marathon. He came close to that mark in April 2019 when he returned to London to finish fourth in 2:05:01.

After a third-place finish in 2016 and a runner-up spot in 2017, Kitata will be keen to set his foot onto the top step of the podium and challenge the course record which also stands as the Chinese all-comers' record.

Salah Eddine Bounasr of Morocco is another man to watch on Sunday. Although it will be his first outing in the southern Chinese city, the 29-year-old arrives in good form.

He has been unbeaten since his Beijing Marathon title in September 2017. He clocked a winning time of 2:09:29 in Vienna in 2018 and reduced his career-best to 2:07:52 in Otsu last March.

The 22-year-old Armino will also face a challenging title defense in the women's race. Last year Armino trimmed almost two minutes off her PB to score an upset victory over a strong field at 2:27:25. And the field she will face on Sunday is even stronger.

Armino's compatriot Yebrgual Melese leads the women's elite list with a best time of 2:19:36, which was achieved from her third-place finish in Dubai two years ago.

She is also the only woman in the field that has ever run faster than Mare Dibaba's course record of 2:19:52 set in 2015.

The 29-year-old Melese has built a reputation for her consistency, having won titles in Houston, Prague and two straight victories in Shanghai.

Fellow Ethiopian Afera Godfay is also a serious title contender. The 28-year-old grabbed her first international marathon victory in Dongying last April and improved her PB to 2:22:41, which made her the second-fastest entrant in Xiamen. More recently, she clocked 2:29:18 to finish 10th at the Ljubljana Marathon three months ago.

Ethiopian runners swept all 10 of the women's titles in Xiamen over the past decade. Volha Mazuronak of Belarus would be the biggest hope to break such dominance this year.

Mazuronak's best time of 2:23:54, which also stands as the Belarusian record, was set at the 2016 London Marathon.

The 2018 European champion has maintained a high level of competitiveness in recent seasons, taking the top honours two years ago in Dusseldorf and last year in Hong Kong before finishing fifth at the World Championships in Doha last September.

(01/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tata Mumbai Marathon

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

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Registration opens for The Lincoln Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lincoln Marathon

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

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Japan Airlines to offer 50,000 free flights to foreign nationals during Tokyo 2020

Japan Airlines will give away up to 50,000 domestic return tickets to foreign nationals who visit the country during the time of next year's Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

The seats will be offered as part of a campaign designed to entice those who travel to Japan for the Games to visit other areas of the nation.

According to Japan Airlines, a supporting partner of Tokyo 2020, its Win a Trip initiative will allow visitors to Japan to "experience regional attractions".

The campaign is due to begin in February, with further details expected to be released in the middle of next month.

Japan Airlines said passengers will be able to fly for free from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to select local destinations.

The campaign will cover overseas members of Japan Airlines' mileage programme who will stay in Japan during the July-September period.

The Olympic Games in the Japanese capital run from July 24 to August 9, before the Paralympics are held from August 25 to September 6.

The scheme is part of an attempt to use Tokyo hosting the Olympics and Paralympics to boost tourism in Japan.

Haneda and Narita airports are both expected to add more international flights to cope with the influx of visitors to Japan for the Games.

Around 31 million visitors were reported to have visited Japan last year, while 600,000 overseas visitors are set to arrive for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

(01/04/2020) ⚡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, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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I didn’t know Ultra running was even a thing until recently says a Pulitzer Prize winner John Archibald

I didn’t know ultra running was even a thing, until recently.

And then I read about a guy in Kansas last year who was about to complete a 50 kilometer race when, before he could cross the finish line, he was struck by lightning and killed on the spot.

Ouch. 

I thought at first it was the saddest thing I’d ever heard, a guy running for hours, pushing himself beyond limits I could fathom, to die in a flash before he could reach the end.

But the more I thought of it, the more I thought I might be wrong. Maybe it was just the opposite. Maybe it was a beautiful, poetic way to exit this realm, testing one’s body, stretching one’s will beyond earthly bounds. The race couldn’t break him. It took a bolt from the sky.

I couldn’t even define the sport, much less participate in it, for my knees hurt when I drive 26 miles in a comfortable car. Ultra running is anything longer than a marathon, really. The sport is a global phenomenon, and big in Alabama, too, from the Bearly Ultra, a 27-mile trail race sponsored by the Birmingham Ultra Trail Society – or BUTS – to 50 mile and 100 mile races across this state.

It seems so surreal, so impossible. I knew Birmingham was home to Micah Morgan, one of the best ultra runners in the country, because I’d read how she finished the Badwater 135, a 135-mile race that starts in Death Valley, Calif., and ends impossibly at the summit of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states.

But I’ve come to see the people who are committed to ultra running, and they are very real. I look across the office at my colleague, Bob Sims, who entered a couch-to-5k program eight years ago when he couldn’t run a single mile. Last year, at the age of 62, he ran in two 100 mile races.

That’s remarkable.

I see my colleague Anna Beahm, who started running in high school to get her mind and body right but was driven to longer distances for the joy of competition, for the sheer badness of doing something 99 percent of humanity cannot or will not do. She ran four ultra races last year – three 50ks and a 50-miler.

I can understand those things. Even if I will never be a 1 percenter.

What I didn’t get, until I talked to BUTS president Lisa Booher, was the depth and the breadth and the complexity of the ultra running world in Birmingham. I always thought of running as a solitary exercise, a plodding one-foot-in-front-of-the-other fight against boredom.

“I think that’s why you have to have friends,” Booher said.

Which was not as pointed or personal as it sounds now.

“I fell in love with the running because of the competition,” she went on. “I kept running because of friends.”

That’s what I really didn’t get about this exercise in super endurance and hyper drive. It can be a form of moving meditation, as Booher puts it, a time of self-discovery and exploration. But running 50 or 100 miles requires more than a solitary soul.

It requires a crew and volunteers and an understanding that simply competing in events like these amounts to a part-time job. It takes support and sustenance and friendship. It requires conversation, often, mid-race, about anything but the running itself, or the pain, or the shoes. It requires a community.

It’s a good thing Alabama has one of those. An ultra one.

John Archibald, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is a columnist for Reckon by AL.com. His column appears in The Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times, the Mobile Register and AL.com. Write him at jarchibald@al.com.

(01/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by John Archibald
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Video game icon Mario and flying cars could be part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Opening Ceremony

Mario, the famous plumber who stars in numerous Nintendo games, is in line to take "center stage" with organizers hoping to deliver a message of peace.

At Rio 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe dressed up as Mario in the handover segment of the Closing Ceremony.

Other Japanese characters including Hello Kitty, robotic cat Doraemon and footballer Captain Tsubasa also appeared with Tokyo 2020 expected to again highlight Japan's famous cartoon industry.

According to Kyodo News, one idea is for rival characters to shake hands in line with the Olympic Truce.

The message of peace could also be displayed by the release of paper doves.

People riding in flying cars might be used to highlight Japanese innovation, meanwhile.

This could also see hydrogen, a next-generation energy source, used as the fuel which lights the Olympic cauldron.

In what would be another example of organizers using the Games to promote the disaster-hit region of Fukushima, a plant from the prefecture may produce the hyrdrogen.

Around 16,000 people died after an earthquake and tsunami caused an accident at a nuclear power plant there in 2011. 

The Japanese leg of the Olympic Torch Relay will begin in Fukushima with some using the term "Reconstruction Olympics".

Baseball and softball matches will also be held there, while flowers grown in areas affected by the earthquake will be used in bouquets for medal winners. 

Japan's fight against natural disasters could also be a theme of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, which will be held at Tokyo's New National Stadium on July 24.

Mansai Nomura, a famous Japanese actor, is the creative director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for both the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He has been tipped to coordinate the events together as a "four-part series", instead of them being separate entities. 

(01/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Dan Palmer
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

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

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Terry Patterson says he's completed more than 10,000 miles running races

"It really keeps your heart running good, it keeps your breathing down, and it keeps your weights down," said Patterson. 

His first marathon was in 2002, the Cherry Blossom Road Race. He got the marathon bug and started looking for races in other states.

One of the most memorable races was in Disney World. 

"I was running against a lot of people and I ran with a lot of people, and they told me about the 50 states and they told me what I had to do," said the 65-year-old Patterson. 

18 years later, he completed 83 marathons, 33 half- marathons, and more than 1,000 miles in smaller races like 5Ks and 10Ks. He's completed marathons in all 50 states.

He says Little Rock, Arkansas was his favorite. He did a 5K and a marathon there.

Medals and ribbons all over his house from winning his age division at 65.

"I do get a lot of accolades for how old I am and I do brag about how fast I can run," said Patterson. 

Patterson says whenever young people see him running here they do a double take.

"It really helps me feeling good, feeling young," and Patterson. 

He ran a 3-hour, 52-minute marathon in Seattle last fall and qualified for the Boston Marathon in April.

He says his wife is his biggest helper. She runs with him and travels to his races and posts photos on his social media page..

"My wife is my cheerleader, my number one fan," said Patterson. 

He's signed for another 12 marathons in 2020 and says he hopes to sign up for his first international marathon in China.

Patterson says his next marathon will be at the museum of aviation on January 18th.

(01/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Abby Kousouris
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Ethiopia’s defending champions Dejene Debela and Medina Deme Armino will return to China with the aim of retaining their titles at the Xiamen Marathon

The tall and long-legged Debela, who will celebrate his 25th birthday next Thursday, edged compatriot Afewerk Mesfin by just two seconds last year to take a second successive Xiamen victory in 2:09:26.

He went on to earn a runner-up finish in Chicago last October in 2:05:46, improving his personal best by 84 seconds, which suggests he has the ability to challenge the 2:06:19 course record set by Moses Mosop of Kenya in 2015.

Debela has an unbeaten record on Chinese soil, winning two titles in Xiamen and emerging victorious at the 2018 Beijing Marathon.

While Debela is eyeing a hat-trick, Shura Kitata is expecting third-time lucky in Xiamen.

The 23-year-old Ethiopian has progressed rapidly in recent years and is the fastest man on paper with a PB of 2:04:49, which was set from his second-place finish at the 2018 London Marathon. He came close to that mark last April when he returned to London to finish fourth in 2:05:01.

After a third-place finish in 2016 and a runner-up spot in 2017, Kitata will be keen to set his foot on to the top step of the podium and challenge the course record which also stands as the Chinese all-comers’ record.

Salah Eddine Bounasr of Morocco is another man to watch on Sunday. Although it will be his first outing in the southern Chinese city, the 29-year-old arrives in good form. He has been unbeaten since his Beijing Marathon title in September 2017. He clocked a winning time of 2:09:29 in Vienna in 2018 and reduced his career best to 2:07:52 in Otsu last March.

Kenyan duo Reuben Kerio and Kennedy Cheboror also renewed their lifetime bests in 2019. The 25-year-old Kerio clocked 2:07:00 in Eindhoven and won the Rock 'n' Roll Madrid Marathon last year, while Cheboror, 29, improved his PB to 2:06:59 when finishing fourth in Daegu and went on to win the Gyeongju Marathon in October, which was his third title in six races since debuting over the classic distance in 2016.

The 22-year-old Armino will also face a challenging title defence in the women’s race. Last year Armino trimmed almost two minutes off her PB to score an upset victory over a strong field in 2:27:25. And the field she will face on Sunday is even stronger.

Armino’s compatriot Yebrgual Melese leads the women’s elite list with a PB of 2:19:36, which was achieved from her third-place finish in Dubai two years ago. She is also the only woman in the field that has ever run faster than Mare Dibaba’s course record of 2:19:52 set in 2015.

The 29-year-old Melese has built a reputation for her consistency, having won titles in Houston, Prague and two straight victories in Shanghai.

Fellow Ethiopian Afera Godfay is also a serious title contender. The 28-year-old grabbed her first international marathon victory in Dongying last April and improved her PB to 2:22:41, which made her the second fastest entrant in Xiamen. More recently, she clocked 2:29:18 to finish 10th at the Ljubljana Marathon three months ago.

Ethiopian runners swept all 10 of the women’s titles in Xiamen over the past decade. Volha Mazuronak of Belarus would be the biggest hope to break such dominance this year.

The women’s field also includes local runner Li Zhixuan, the fastest Chinese woman in 2019 as she improved her PB to 2:26:15 last March, and Hiwot Ayalew of Ethiopia, a former steeplechase specialist who clocked 2:26:40 three months ago on her marathon debut.

(01/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

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

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Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot eyes world record and gold at Olympics

World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot believes the return to action of his training mate Elijah Manangoi will propel the two to post fast times on the track even as they plot to attempt breaking the world record this year.

Cheruiyot had until last year been playing second fiddle to his training mate and friend Manangoi.

However, a hamstring injury ruled out Manangoi from defending his title in Doha, setting the stage for Cheruiyot to climb to the top and reign supreme on the global stage. 

Now Cheruiyot is dreaming of shuttering the 3:26.00 world record set by legendary Moroccan middle-distance runner Hicham El Guerrouj, which has been unchallenged for the last two decades.

“The victory I earned in the Doha World Championships last October meant a lot to me because it (gold) was something I had yearned for the past four years.

“I know the record has been there for long and Kenyan athletes have been top of the leaderboard in fast times in the race so, it would be nice if we can work together to attempt breaking it.

“The focus should be on how to train and for sure the record. What I know is it will go down at some time,” Cheruiyot said on Tuesday in Kericho.

But of greater concern to Cheruiyot going into the new season in 2020 will be being able to prove to the world that he is his own man and can emerge from the shadows of his training mate Manangoi to stage his own contest and win.

That will be at the Tokyo Olympic Games. “Of course every athlete has his focus on the Olympic Games. A win at this stage will go a long way in cementing my name among Kenya’s best athletes. For now, my focus is to make the team for the Olympic Games and try to win a medal,” Cheruiyot added.

 

(01/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Xinhua
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto dreams of winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics in the 10,000m

Kenya hopes a new breed of young talented runners will end their wait for gold at the 10k race at the Olympic Games.

For long Ethiopian runners and Britain's Mo Farah have reigned supreme in the ultimate track distance as Kenya played catch up.

However, head coach Julius Kirwa believes the country might have turned over a new chapter as its production chain has churned out top stars that are keen to take over the baton and dominate in Tokyo.

Kirwa said the emergence of young versatile distance-running talent out of East Africa is nothing new. However, one of the stars in question is the World bronze medalist Rhonex Kipruto, who leads the way among the current generation.

"He has shown time and again that he has the talent. His time will certainly peak in 2020 and I believe the Olympic Games is the ultimate stage for any athlete to prove their excellence in the competition of their choice," said Kirwa on Thursday in Nairobi.

Kipruto emerged on the international scene in 2018 when he won the world under-20 title in 10,000m in Tampere, Finland by a margin of almost 20 seconds, he backed this up by setting a world-leading 26:46 for 10km on the road in Prague.

Kipruto, who turned 20 in October, won the 10,000m in 26:50.16 in Stockholm Diamond League and then came close to that mark to take world bronze in Doha.

But ahead of the 2020 season, Kipruto is focused on discipline and hard work to walk in the steps of his mentor and World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge.

"I know it is the Olympic year in Tokyo, but the main thing should be discipline and hard work, which will guide me to be what I want to live like Eliud," said Kipruto.

Kipruto's coach Ian Kiprono is hopeful his athlete will weather the storm and climb up from bronze to gold in Tokyo.

"He needs to get rooted in doing his homework, training hard and remaining disciplined. The results will always come in," said coach Kiprono.

"The great Kenyan runners all have an amazing simplicity about themselves. That's another trait I look for in an athlete. A calmness, not forgetting where they came from," he added.

(01/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Xiaoxia
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Strong Elite Field Grows For Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

San Silvestre Vallecana

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

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Tracy Sundlun settles Lawsuit against the Rock N Roll Marathon Series he co-founded

Tracy Sundlun, the former track coach who helped create the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series, has settled his breach-of-contract lawsuit against the company he co-founded.

The deal with Competitor Group Inc. was quietly reached recently in San Diego federal court, where the case was moved after being filed last January in San Diego Superior Court.

Sundlun, 67, sued CGI for $146,000 — the amount he says he was owed in a severance agreement after being let go by the international firm in July 2016.

The Santee resident known as “Mr. Marathon” had been senior vice president of Competitor Group, which has changed ownership of the years. CGI is now a part of Ironman-operator World Triathlon Corp., a unit of Chinese-based Wanda Sports Group.

On Tuesday, Sundlun lawyer David Greifinger said: “The case has settled and the terms are confidential. Neither Tracy nor I can make any comment.”

CGI and World Triathlon Corp. didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lawyers for CGI said in court filings that Sundlun was denied his severance because he violated its terms. They said he disparaged the company in a Times of San Diego story that appeared in November 2016. Sundlun denies any disparagement.

CGI alleged that Sundlun slammed the company when he said “the elite-athlete budget has been cut again” and “I just know that … [the elite-athlete budget] just keeps getting cut.”

In the run-up to a possible trial before Judge Linda Lopez, CGI lawyers issued a subpoena to freelance writer Ken Stone, a Times of San Diego contributor represented pro bono by Dan Gilleon of San Diego.

Along with a request for documents, the CGI lawyers set a deposition date for Stone. (Only previously published documents were provided.) But with both parties agreeing not to call Stone as a witness, the deposition order was dropped.

On Dec. 11, the same day as the canceled deposition, the case was settled in Lopez’s court. 

Sundlun declined to comment on the case against his employer of nearly 20 years.

With Tim Murphy, Sundlun helped grow Elite Racing — organizer of the original Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon in San Diego and the Carlsbad 5000. (Elite essentially became the events arm of CGI in December 2007.)

In May 2017, Sundlun told Times of San Diegothat CGI owed him well over $160,000 and hadn’t been reimbursed for all his business expenses. He also said he was owed $2,000 monthly COBRA health insurance payments.

Among personal mementos yet to be returned, he said at the time, was private correspondence with his daughter and files related to his friendship with basketball great Wilt Chamberlain. (Sundlun coached Wilt’s Wonder Women, an outgrowth of the La Jolla Track Club.)

On May 12, 2017, Sundlun filed a complaint against CGI with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Greifinger said then that CGI was using the Times story as an excuse not to pay 38 weeks’ severance on his $200,000-a-year salary, plus other benefits.

“That doesn’t justify their not paying him,” he said. “(They) unilaterally backed out of the settlement agreement.”

Originally based in Mira Mesa, CGI moved to Sorrento Valley in March 2017.

But after being acquired in June 2017 by Ironman (owned by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin), CGI’s staff shrank from over 200 to about 20.

Former CGI president and CEO Josh Furlow — who let Sundlun go in 2016 — was himself fired in January. 

“Somebody had to be the fall guy” for corporate losses, said an industry veteran who didn’t want to be named.

On Dec. 12, Magistrate Judge Lopez ordered both sides to file a joint motion for dismissal of the case by Feb. 10, 2020.

Sundlun is a member of the Running USA Hall of Champions and the National High School Track and Field Hall of Fame.A U.S. track team manager at the 2016 Rio Olympics, he continues to be active in the sport.

Next month, he’ll be a race director of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the 50-kilometer men’s race walk, again being staged in Santee.

(01/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Times of San Diego
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Faniel ends Italian drought in Bolzano while Kipkemboi equals course record

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(01/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The Boilermaker Road Race Prepared for New Year’s Day Registration

December 30th, 2019 (Utica, NY) In a turn from tradition, the Boilermaker Road Race will conduct a limited-time registration window beginning at midnight on New Year’s Day.

Beginning at 12 AM on January 1st, runners will have 20 hours and 20 minutes to register or until 2,020 spots have been filled. The New Year’s Day registration applies exclusively to the 15K and includes several perks.

These include lowest possible pricing, the opportunity to purchase a limited edition, neon training shirt and a free access to an interactive Boilermaker training video, filmed during the 2019 race. 5K registration will not be available until the race’s normal registration period in March.

The special registration period is open to anyone registering for the 15K, regardless of previous participation in Boilermaker events.

The Priority Status of 2019 finishers or deferrals will not be affected by this registration period in any way. As is typical, the race will continue to hold its traditional registration process in March, beginning with Early Access followed by Open Registration. The race caps will not change.

“We are all about challenging people to live healthy and fulfilling lives,” said Boilermaker Marketing Director, Jordan Peters. “The new year is a time of goal  setting so it is our hope that people will dedicate themselves to a healthy 2020 by committing to a great challenge like the Boilermaker 15K. If it leads to a faster race sell-out in March and our Charity Bib partners benefit as a result, that would be great as well.”

(12/31/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boilermaker 15k

Boilermaker 15k

The Boilermaker 15K is the premier event of Boilermaker Weekend. This world renowned race is often referred to as the country's best 15K. The Boilermaker 15K is recognized for its entertaining yet challenging course and racing's best post-race party, hosted by the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, featuring Saranac beer and a live concert! With 3 ice and water stops every...

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Richard Maher, Race Director of the Eugene Marathon since the event’s inception in 2007, is retiring from his position

Courtney and Andy Heily, who founded the event with Maher in 2005, will maintain their positions on the Board of Directors alongside Maher. Ian Dobson has stepped into the role of Race Director after serving for three years as the Assistant Race Director.

“It's been a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of the Eugene Marathon all these years,” Maher said. “I may be leaving the Race Director position, but I plan to continue to be involved. I count myself as lucky to have worked with so many wonderful staff, volunteers, family and friends who dedicate their time to make this special event happen each year.”

Maher was an instrumental force in the development of the Eugene Marathon from its beginning.

“Back in 2005 we contacted Richard about possibly starting a marathon in Eugene,” Courtney Heily said. “Within weeks of that initial conversation, Richard had rallied his troops and began the pivotal early work with the cities of Eugene and Springfield, the University of Oregon and various other stakeholders. Within six months, we had a game plan and decided to roll the dice and see what happened.” 

Since 2007, Maher and the Eugene Marathon team conducted 13 total events for a combined 125,000+ participants, including thousands of volunteers. The race has earned a “Best Marathon” award four times in various categories by Runner’s World and is annually acknowledged as one of the best races for those aspiring to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

“Andy and I cannot thank Richard enough for taking a risk with us and helping create this amazing event that we all love,” Courtney Heily said. “I will miss working with Richard regularly, but I am also happy and excited for him as he moves into this next chapter of his life.”

“We have a great deal to be proud of as we look ahead to 2020. The Marathon grew from a crazy idea back in 2005 to an annual event that Eugene residents and others look forward to each spring. We never would have gotten to where we are now without Richard.”

Dobson has assumed the role of Race Director following two years as the Assistant Race Director and Elite Athlete Coordinator. He is an Oregon native, 2008 Olympian in the 5,000 meters and Eugene resident since 2010. Joining Dobson on the Eugene Marathon staff are Becky Radliff as Director of Event Operations, Jon Marx as Marketing & Content Coordinator and Courtney Heily remains Executive Director.

“Ian’s contributions to the marathon have been huge over the past two years,” Heily said. “We know he’ll do an excellent job as Race Director and I have no doubt that with the team we have, along with all the key volunteers who have worked on this race since the beginning, that the marathon will continue to grow.”

A decorated marathoner in his younger years, Maher is planning to use his extra time to start training again and says he’d like to run the half-marathon in 2020 and the full in 2021.

(12/31/2019) ⚡AMP
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Eugene Marathon

Eugene Marathon

Consistently ranked in the top 15 races most likely to qualify for Boston by Marathon Guide, the Eugene Marathon is a beautiful, fast, USATF certified race with amazing amenities and an unrivaled finishinside Historic Hayward Field. The Eugene Half Marathon starts alongside full marathon participants in front of historic Hayward Field home of five Olympic trials, ten NCAA championships and...

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The registration price for Grandma’s Marathon increases on January 1

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

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

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

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

(12/31/2019) ⚡AMP
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Grandmas Marathon

Grandmas Marathon

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

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Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie comes from behind to crack course record in Sao Paulo

Little-known Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie timed his finish to perfection at the Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre, overtaking pre-race favorite Jacob Kiplimo in the final stages of the 15km World Athletics Bronze Label road race with a 42:59 course record on Tuesday.

Marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei won the women’s race by more than a minute, clocking 48:54 to finish just 20 seconds shy of the course record.

Kandie and Kiplimo broke away from the other three men in the lead pack just after the half-way stage. Just before the climb up Brigadeiro Luis Antônio Avenue, Kiplimo took advantage and entered Paulista Avenue – less than 700 meters from the finish line – with a comfortable lead, seemingly destined to become the first Ugandan winner of the race.

But Kandie started kicking hard in the final 40 meters of the race and overtook Kiplimo just before the line, stopping the clock at 42:59 to win by one second. Both men finished well inside the previous course record of 43:15 that had been set by Paul Tergat back in 1995.

Kosgei, contesting her first race since clocking a marathon world record of 2:14:04 (pending ratification) in Chicago in October, lived up to her status as the pre-race favorite in the women’s contest.

Compatriot Pauline Kamulu tried sticking with Kosgei in the early stages, but it didn’t last long as the 25-year-old already had a clear lead at the five-kilometer mark.

By the time she reached the uphill section of the race, her opponents were no longer in sight. Realizing that she wasn’t far off course record schedule, Kosgei increased her pace in the closing stages but ultimately finished just shy of the mark in 48:54. She became just the third woman in the event’s history to complete the course within 49 minutes.

(12/31/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Saint Sylvester Road Race

Saint Sylvester Road Race

The Saint Silvester Road Race (Portuguese: Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre) is a long-distance running event, the oldest and most prestigious street race in Brazil. Regarded as the main international event in Latin American athletics, the Brazilian competition is held yearly in the city of São Paulo on December 31. São Paulo's race was originally known as a "marathon", although...

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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have announced a $20,000 bonus for world-class performances at the 2020 edition

Organizers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have announced a $20,000 bonus for world-class performances at the 2020 edition of the race.

In a statement signed by Olukayode Thomas, Head Communications and Media Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Bukola Olopade, who is the consultant for the race which now has the prestigious IAAF Silver Label, said the aim is to encourage excellent performances at Africa’s biggest and best one-day event.

According to the CEO of Nilayo Sports Management company, runners who run below 2 hours 10 minutes will be entitled to a share of the $20,000 bonus.

“As we have earlier promised, the 2020 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will witness a lot of innovations, one of which is the introduction of the $20,000 bonus for world-class performances.

“We are already bringing in some of the best runners from across the globe and we are confident that this unique bonus will further spur them to give their best,” Olopade added.

As explained, the incentives range from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the time recorded by the runners.

(12/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

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

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Luca Naso plans to run the entire coast and perimeter of Italy, the islands of Sicily and Sardinia included starting January 1 because he believes in the value of dreams

As the first rays of sun timidly wash over the eastern Sicilian city of Catania on January 1, Luca Naso will be lacing up his running shoes and heading out the door for an easy 15 kilometer run.

While there is nothing particularly eventful in Luca’s choice to run while the rest of the city (and country) sleeps off the festivities of the night before, it will not be his only run of the day. He will run another 15 kilometers again later in the day, starting from where he left off in the morning, sleeping in Riposto, a seaside village 30 kilometers north of Catania. 

As far as New Year’s resolutions go, Luca’s is an ambitious one: he plans to run the entire coast and perimeter of Italy, the islands of Sicily and Sardinia included, for a total of 8,800 kilometers (5,468 miles), running 15 kilometers twice a day, for a total of 30 kilometers a day, six days a week.

“I’m not sure how the idea of this challenge came about, but since it was born, it has only grown day by day to become a real dream”, said Luca. “I decided to do it because I believe in the value of dreams and I am convinced that knowing your dreams and making efforts to make them come true will make us better people.”

Naso, 38, is a prominent astro-physicist who caught the running bug in 2008 and has since run four marathons, including the Berlin Marathon and Beijing Marathon.  It was while working in China that Naso met his wife, Yan Yan, who will accompany him on bike as far as Messina, approximately 90 kilometers north of Catania.

Luca’s plan is to circle Sicily (counter-clockwise) and then cross over to Calabria where he will start his run along the perimeter of the boot, running counter-clockwise from the southern regions during the winter months. If his calculations go according to plan, he plans to reach Rome by September 2020.

And while Luca is being assisted by a technical team that includes a coach, nutritionist and doctor, the logistical and organizational aspects of Naso’s endeavor are complicated, as his daily needs of lodging, food, transportation of luggage and other equipment will be in different towns and cities every day of the year.

“I hope that all of the passion that I am putting into this challenge can motivate other people to realize their dreams” said Naso. 

Luca can be followed on the following Link:

https://www.facebook.com/correreaiconfini/

(12/30/2019) ⚡AMP
by carla Van Kampen reporting from Rome
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Thousands of runners will take part in the 2020 Ooredoo Doha Marathon

More than 4,500 runners will take part in the 2020 Ooredoo Doha Marathon on January 10, organisers have announced.

The Ooredoo Doha Marathon is a popular highlight of the Doha sporting calendar, attracting professional athletes alongside a vast number of local runners. Last year’s event saw some 4,000 participants take to the streets for the race, which took place over a scenic course passing some of Doha’s most iconic landmarks. 

As well as the competitive full 42.2km marathon, the event includes distances for all ages and abilities, including a 1km family fun run and a 10km run. 

Ooredoo held a press conference at its headquarters, Ooredoo Tower in West Bay, in the presence of representatives from both Ooredoo and the sponsoring companies to announce the sponsors. 

For the 2020 Ooredoo Doha Marathon, the sponsors will be Huawei, North Oil, Qatar Airways, Aspire, Alkalive, Kidzania, QIC, Al Watan, CHOC’LATE and Aspetar. 

As in previous years, and in line with Ooredoo’s corporate social responsibility strategy, all funds raised through marathon entrance fees will be donated to charity. This year’s chosen beneficiary will be Qatar Cancer Society. 

Speaking of the sponsorships, Manar Khalifa al-Muraikhi – Director PR and Corporate Communications – said: “We’re delighted to be working with such an incredible group of sponsors as we prepare for what is always one of the most popular events on Doha’s sporting calendar. 

“Our corporate social responsibility strategy includes a clear mandate to support and promote sporting events that contribute to the development and maintenance of a healthy, balanced lifestyle, in line with the United Nations Sustainability Goals, and this event is an ideal way for us to show this support in a practical way.” 

She added: “Our sporting slogan is ‘Empowering you to win’ and, in organising this event, we believe we can empower people in Qatar to get out there, join in, be active and enjoy fitness. 

“We look forward to working with our sponsors to make the 2020 Marathon bigger and better than ever before and we thank them for their generous contribution.”Al-Muraikhi took the opportunity to thank the sponsors.

“We are beyond grateful to our sponsors of the Marathon. These invaluable partners enable us to create and host an incredible event for both the cream of the international running crop and for our local running community, an event that brings together elite athletes, keen runners and families who want to stay active together.”

(12/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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Ooredoo Doha Marathon

Ooredoo Doha Marathon

We started the Ooredoo Doha Marathon as a way to bring people together, encourage them to live healthier lifestyles and give back to the community. Funds raised by entry fees to the Ooredoo Doha Marathon will be donated to a range of worthy charities in Qatar. The marathon features four courses for all abilities of runners including a full marathon,...

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Two-time Olympian and American record holder Molly Huddle wants to criminalize doping

Molly Huddle is a two-time Olympian and American record-holder who’s calling upon the U.S. government to pass a bill to criminalize doping conspiracies that target international sporting events. The bill was unanimously passed in the House of Representatives last month and must now be passed by the Senate in order to become law.

Huddle has been outspoken about the negative consequences of doping for those who make the choice to compete clean. She wrote in the Providence Journal on Friday that, “Nothing compares to the Olympic Games as a platform for athletes to become heroes, and four years is a long time to wait for another shot at glory.

An elite runner’s whole career may only last eight years. Due to doping, it is now common for results to change months or even years after the last athlete crosses the finish line.” Huddle is hoping that the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act will be passed shortly. The Act would also protect whistleblowers and allow athletes to seek restitution when they lose earnings to dopers.

With the Olympic games only seven months away and Russia (responsible for one of the largest state-sponsored doping scandals in history) in the midst of appealing its four year ban, athletes are concerned about whether their clean performance will see an equal playing field.

The bill was named after Russian Dr. Gregory Rodchenkov, who unveiled crucial information about the Russian state-sponsored doping four years ago, letting anti-doping organizations know that policing individual athletes alone wasn’t enough.

In 2019 alone, several medal upgrades have been handed out to runners who were denied their moment at previous World Championships. On top of medal upgrades, countless athletes have received the news that someone who placed ahead of them at a championship or Games has received a suspension, but know they won’t receive an upgrade. Just because someone cheated once doesn’t mean all of their performances can be proven dirty.

For example, Canadian 800m record-holder Melissa Bishop was second in the 2015 World Championships to Marina Arzamasova who earlier this year received a provisional suspension for Ligandrol, which is reportedly often present in supplements used by bodybuilders. Bishop went on to finish fourth in the Rio Olympics and fifth in the 2017 World Championships.

(12/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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Daniel Simiu Ebenyo and Norah Jeruto smashed the men’s and women’s course records at the 48th edition of the Corrida Pédestre Internationale de Houilles on Sunday

In the men’s race, in the absence of the two-time defending champion Julien Wanders, Frenchman Jimmy Gressier set a very aggressive pace from the gun. He hit the first kilometer in a very fast 2:40, a blazing 26:40 pace.

At his instigation a small group broke from the rest of the field: Kenyans Ebenyo, Felix Kipkoech and Nibret Melak along with Ethiopian Haftu Teklu, who finished fifth at last year’s event.

The leading group slowed the tempo, going through three kilometers in 8:10. Then Ebenyo, who had improved his career best to 28:23 one month ago, made his move and broke from the field. After two of the three laps, Ebenyo’s pace was faster than the 27:25 course record set by Wanders last year.

The gap continued to grow over the next few kilometers before Ebenyo produced an impressive display of strength in the waning stages to break the tape in 27:12, improving the course record by 13 seconds.

With this time, Ebenyo ends 2019 as the fourth fastest fourth 10km runner of the year.

After a fierce final sprint battle, Teklu edged Gressier to take second in 27:43, 27 seconds faster than his personal best set in this race last year. Gressier, who was given the same time, improved his previous best by 30 seconds.

“I gave everything,” said Gressier, who clinched a third consecutive European U23 cross country title in Lisbon earlier this month. “I was only expected a time today, not the place.” He will be targeting Wanders’ 27:25 European record next week in Nice.

As expected, the women’s race was fast as well. Norah Jeruto fulfilled her status as pre-race favorite following her 30:07 career best last September in Prague. The Kenyan, 24, made up the difference quickly ahead of the Ethiopian pair of Nigsti Haftu Tesfay and Gete Alemayehu, the defending champion and course record holder.

Jeruto captured a convincing victory in 30:32, breaking the course record by 40 seconds. Tesfay, who won the Corrida de Langueux in June, finished runner-up in 30:52, 20 seconds adrift of the winner.

Alemayehu finished third and bettered her personal best by four seconds, crossing the line in 31:08, four seconds ahead of Liv Westphal, who improved the French national record by five seconds. Westphal, 26, finished fifth at the European Cross Country Championships.

(12/30/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Corrida de Houilles

Corrida de Houilles

It is one of the most prestigious races and undeniably one of the most beautiful 10 km road races in the world.Corrida international pedestrian Houilles combines festive atmosphere and high level sport. In 2013 the event receives the international label IAAF "and offers in the heart of town a popular 10 km and a 10 km" Elite "on 3 laps....

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Camille Herron's secret to ultra distance domination? Low mileage and speedwork

Speedwork for an ultrarunner may a little counter intuitive, but Herron insists that it’s been very important for her huge results. “Speedwork helps train my legs and mind for the long ultras to keep springing and stay light. These also happen to be two of my favourite things to tell myself mid-race.” Just like speed training is important for marathoners, it’s also important for ultrarunners.

Herron’s speed philosophy

Herron says when she first got into ultrarunning she made the mistake of bringing her mileage way higher than it had been before. “I assumed I just needed to be running more than I was as a marathoner. I didn’t really know how ultrarunners trained. I just thought it meant more [than the marathon]. But this really high mileage made me tired and flat.”

When Herron re-dedicated herself to the sport two years later, she knew her training approach needed to be different. “In 2015 I decided to go back to the approach that kept me fast as a marathoner. This meant no long run longer than 22 miles and two-week workout cycles.”

How the workouts fit into her week

Herron likes to add a progression run into her long run or pickups at the end. “I like progression runs during my long run. This means I’ll change the pace during the last 30 minutes, so I’ll do 15 to 30 seconds of hard sprinting at a time. If I’ve been running for three hours and I throw in these pickups, I actually feel like I recover faster.”

For short intervals Herron will also add 90-second repetitions a couple of times a month. “This feels like all-out sprinting for me now, but it’s a good way to remind my body to be springy and light. I don’t do track workouts any more, because as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more protective of my body. So instead of the track, we usually run on a dirt road. She continues, “I’m 37 years old now, so the speedwork is more about effort than pace for me. Speed just helps to raise the ceiling for everything else.”

How she keeps the milage high without doing long, long runs

Herron’s long runs are only 18 to 22 miles, short even by marathon standards, but the runner incorporates a second run into her long days to keep mileage up. “One unique thing about my training approach is the low mileage, but on long run days I run again in the evening. My second run is 35 or 50 minutes, depending on how long the run in the morning was,” she says. “I feel like this helps me recover faster than if I did it all at once.”

Up next

Before the end of 2019, Herron will have begun her longest race to date–a 48-hour race in Arizona. “I have a window to start the race between December 28 and January 1. Right now we’re just watching the weather to see when it’ll be optimal, and I’m hoping to start on the 28th.”

The runner is very excited about her first multi-day event. “I’ve never done a 48-hour race–this is my first time getting into the multi-day stuff. I had to push through so many challenges with the 24-hour race that I’m so excited to see what’ll happen over 48.”

(12/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Think of running in winter as a training tool to make you stronger, tougher, healthier and happier

In the winter of 1939, when the military posted Swedish miler Gundar Hagg to the far north of that nordic country, he devised a unique training program of running on trails through knee- or hip-deep snow. Most days he would do 2500 meters in snow for strength, followed by 2500 meters on a cleared road for turn-over. But during those times when he couldn’t find cleared roads—sometimes for weeks—he’d run up to the full 5K in snow. The next summer he set huge PRs, coming within one second of the mile world record.

Hagg continued his routine in subsequent winters, devising a hilly 5K loop in a different locale that trudged through snowy forest for 3000 meters then ended with a 2000 meter stretch of road where he could run at full speed. He kept improving, and the summer of 1942 he set 10 world records between 1500m and 5,000m.

While Hagg’s routine was created out of necessity, he obviously valued the snowy training. When he moved to a city with a milder climate, he wrote in a training journal, “It will be harder running than any previous year. Probably there won’t be much snow.” And every winter he scheduled trips north to train on the familiar, tough, snowy trails.

Hagg is of a different generation than those of us with web-connected treadmills that can let us run any course on earth from the comfort of our basement, but they’re on to something we might still benefit from: Winter can be an effective training tool. Here are five reasons you’ll want to bundle up and head out regardless of the conditions, indeed, why you can delight when it is particularly nasty out.

1) Winter Running Makes You Strong

As Hagg demonstrated and Robinson points out, winter conditions work muscles and tendons you’d never recruit on the smooth, dry path. A deep-winter run often ends up being as diverse as a set of form and flexibility drills: high knees, bounds, skips, side-lunges, one-leg balancing…

Bill Aris, coach of the perennially-successful Fayetteville-Manlius high school programs, believes that tough winter conditions are ideal for off-season training that has the goal of building aerobic and muscular strength. He sends the kids out every day during the upstate New York winter, and says they come back, “sweating, exhausted and smiling, feeling like they have completely worked every system in their bodies.”

2) Winter Running Makes You Tough

No matter how much you know it is good for you and that you’ll be glad when you’re done, it takes gumption to bundle up, get out the door and face the wintry blast day after day. But besides getting physically stronger, you’re also building mental steel. When you’ve battled snow and slop, darkness and biting winds all winter, the challenges of distance, hills and speed will seem tame come spring.

“If you have trained in deep snow, or battled up a slippery hill into freezing sleet, or lifted your feet out of sticky clay for an hour, the race can hold no fear,” Robinson says. “If you do real winter training, Boston in April can throw nothing at you that you have not prepared for.”

3) Winter Running Improves Your Stride

Running on the same smooth, flat ground every day can lead to running ruts. Our neuromuscular patterns become calcified and the same muscles get used repeatedly. This makes running feel easier, but it also predisposes us to injury and prevents us from improving our stride as we get fitter or improve our strength and mobility. Introducing a variety of surfaces and uncertain footplants shakes up our stride, recruits different muscles in different movement patterns, and makes our stride more effective and robust as new patterns are discovered.

You can create this stride shake-up by hitting a technical trail. But as Megan Roche, physician, ultrarunning champion, clinical researcher at Stanford and Strava running coach, points out, “A lot of runners don’t have access to trails. Many runners are running on flat ground, roads—having snow and ice is actually helpful, makes it like a trail.”

In addition to creating variety, slippery winter conditions also encourage elements of an efficient, low-impact stride. “One thing running on snow or ice reinforces is a high turn over rate and a bit more mindfulness of where your feet are hitting the ground,” Roche says. “And those two things combine to a reduced injury risk.” After a winter of taking quicker, more balanced strides, those patterns will persist, and you’ll be a smoother, more durable runner when you start speeding up and going longer on clearer roads.

4) Winter Running Makes You Healthier

“Exercising in general, particularly during periods of higher cold or flu season has a protective effect in terms of the immune system,” says Roche. You get this benefit by getting your heart rate up and getting moving even indoors, but Roche says, “Getting outside is generally preferable—fresh air has its own positive effect.”

Cathy Fieseler, ultrarunner and sports physician on the board of directors of the International Institute of Race Medicine (IIRM), says there’s not much scientific literature to prove it, but agrees that in her experience getting outside has health benefits. “In cold weather the furnace heat in the house dries up your throat and thickens the mucous in the sinuses,” Fieseler says. “The cold air clears this out; it really clears your head.”

Fieseler warns, however, that cold can trigger bronchospasms in those with asthma, and Roche suggests that when it gets really cold you wear a balaclava or scarf over your mouth to hold some heat in and keep your lungs warmer. “Anything below zero, you need to be dressed really well and mindful of your lungs, making sure that you’re not exposing your lungs to too cold for too long,” Roche says.

5) Winter Running Makes You Feel Better

For all its training and health benefits, the thing that will most likely get most of us out the door on white and windy days is that it makes us feel great. “A number of runners that I coach and that I see in clinics suffer from feeling more depressed or a little bit lower in winter,” says Roche. “Running is a great way to combat that. There’s something really freeing about getting out doors, feeling the fresh air and having that outdoor stress release.”

Research shows that getting outside is qualitatively different than exercising indoors. A 2011 systematic review of related studies concluded, “Compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression, and increased energy.” They also found that “participants reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and declared a greater intent to repeat the activity at a later date.”

(12/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Podium Runner
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Rock N Roll has added a 6.15 mile distance to their Nashville program

Hometown area codes have become a cultural point of pride.

Now, Nashville's 615 pride is also a race distance.

The Rock 'n' Roll race series has announced that it's adding another event. A new 6.15-mile event will join the marathon, half-marathon and 5K distances, along with the kids fun run, for a weekend of Rock 'n' Roll running fun in Nashville.

It comes in honor of Nashville's beloved area code.

The 6.15-mile race will take place alongside the 5K on April 25 at 6:45 a.m. They will be followed by the marathon and half-marathon at 7:15 a.m.

(12/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

The St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon (formerly St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon) gives you the opportunity to enjoy an up close and personal tour of Music City, one of the New York Times’ top destinations in the world! Run through the Honky Tonks of Lower Broadway and take a musical tour through...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(12/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Ultra marathon runner Will Mather has faced sleet, snow, and high winds during a month long challenge which will see him clock 500 miles

A brisk jog on Christmas Day morning probably fills most of us with dread - so spare a thought for Will Mather who is spending December running 500 miles.

Ultra marathon runner Will has faced sleet, snow, and high winds that blew him off a footpath during his ongoing quest to raise funds for charity.

The dad, from Hadfield, regularly takes to the fells, trails and roads around Glossop.

But he has stepped up his routine for a Christmas challenge in support of Mummy’s Star - which supports women and their families affected by cancer during pregnancy.

Will has been running an extra mile each day of the month, working up to 31 miles on New Year’s Eve.

“I started ultra running in 2017 when I had this idea and have thought about how to do it ever since,” he says.

“I could have chosen February where I'd only have to do 28 days but If I'm going to do it I need to do it right so it had to be a month with 31 days.”

Will has taken the last week of December off work so he’ll have time to meet his daily challenges when the miles really ramp up.

Haulier Will is being backed by his wife Zoe and sons Oliver and Riley during his challenge.

He says: “I’ll be doing this challenge for my local charity Mummy’s Star. It's an amazing charity and when I was introduced to it and read some of the stories it made me think what would I do if me and my wife were in that situation?

“This is the only charity of its kind so without the support mummy star gives there is no support. I think they play a vital part in these situations.”

Some days have been tougher than others but Will has been helped along the way by family and friends who have joined him on his runs.

“I got the wall feeling rubbish long days at work and just simply knackered (4-5hours sleep isn't the best) I still got out and did the 20miles, getting home at 10pm I had a shower and eat my tea in bed. Sleep was needed,” he wrote on his 20th day.

On day 16 he wrote: “16 miles around kinder trying to find a path as the clouds were low and the everything covered in snow.”

While on day 9, Will started his run at the eye wateringly early hour of 3.30am.

“Day 9 was a 9mile run on my own with the moon and badgers keeping me company at 3.30am, it does mean I can get a small rest period before I do 10 miles tomorrow evening,” he wrote.

(12/28/2019) ⚡AMP
by Beth Abbit
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McSweyn breaks 10km record in Zatopek win

Running machine Stewart McSweyn is eyeing Tokyo Olympics glory after becoming the first man in more than two decades to win a hat-trick of Zatopek 10,000m titles.

The 24-year-old Tasmanian broke a national record that had stood for eight years in Melbourne on Saturday night, powering through the final lap on his own before saluting the crowd with three raised fingers as he crossed the line in 27 minutes and 23.80 seconds.

His time was more than one second faster than Ben St Lawrence's previous Australian-best mark of 27:24:95, set in 2011.

McSweyn also capped his massive year on a personal level by shaving more than 27 seconds off his own personal best time and cracking the Olympic qualifying standard in the process.

The versatile and rangy Kind Islander has also qualified for the 1500m and 5000m at Tokyo 2020 and now faces a big decision about which events he will contest.

"I'm kind of leaving it all open," McSweyn said.

"I'm just going to wait and see what I think is my best chance because I was in the (5000m) final in Doha (at the 2019 World Athletics Championships) and I want to go further than that next year.

"I want to try and be the guy who competes for medals."

Training partners Brett Robinson and Jordan Williamsz set the pace for McSweyn early and he had Queensland's Patrick Tiernan for company until the final lap, when he kicked into another gear and left his rival behind.

"To run that fast was probably a bit of a surprise but I think we owe a lot to Pat Tiernan for setting up that race," McSweyn said.

"What he was able to do after the pacemakers dropped out was pretty amazing.

"I know I was hurting the last 10 minutes and I was hanging on for dear life, so I think half the credit definitely goes to Pat for his run."

McSweyn is now within reach of matching Australian legend Steve Moneghetti's record of four consecutive Zatopek titles, claimed from 1989-92.

Earlier, dual Olympian Genevieve Gregson revealed she would target a spot in the 10,000m event at Tokyo after claiming her first Zatopek crown.

The 30-year-old Queenslander has already qualified for the 3000m steeplechase and will attempt to combine the two events.

Gregson won the Zatopek in 32:47:83, ahead of Canada's Andrea Seccafien (32:48.30), and would need to shave almost one minute and 23 seconds off her time to reach the Olympic standard.

"The goal was to win here, get my auto spot and now chase the time," Gregson said.

(12/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Algeria readies for 2020 African Championships

Next June the best of Africa’s athletes will converge on the Algerian capital Algiers for the 22nd African Championships in Athletics.

The stakes of the competition are quite high, as it will be one of the last opportunities for the continent’s athletes to achieve qualifying standards for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) has been working in collaboration with the Algerian Athletics Federation (FAA) to organise a successful championships on and off the field.

“We are satisfied, but it is not a surprise for us,” said CAA Director General Lamine Faty, after a recent inspection visit to Algiers. “Each time Algeria commits to organise an African competition, we know that everything will be perfect thanks to the human resources and other capacities at its disposal. To keep it short, we have always found what we are looking for in Algeria.''

The competition, scheduled for 24-28 June, will take place at the 5 July Stadium. The site is undergoing renovations and will have a capacity of 80,000 once repair works are over.

Opened in 1972 by Algerian President Houari Boumediene, the stadium has hosted several major sports events since. It was the main venue for athletics during the 1975 Mediterranean Games, the 1978 and 2007 All Africa Games as well as the 2000 African Championships.

Faty told Algerian media in November that even with the repair work going on at the stadium and its annex, the CAA delegation was “more than satisfied with the progress of the work and also optimistic for the future.”

FAA and CAA officials are keen on ironing out several logistical aspects central to the success of the championships, such as visas and transportation for athletes, officials and journalists, as well as accreditation and protocol procedures.

The organisers want a quality broadcast of the event, to allow a large TV audience to follow the competition in as many African countries as possible.

Another matter of prime importance to the organisers is ensuring that strict anti-doping measures are in place before and during the competition.

Algeria will be hosting the championships for the third time, after Annaba in 1988 and Algiers in 2000.

In 1988, Algeria finished second on the medal table, with just one gold medal less than first place Nigeria with 11 gold. The hosts fared better 12 years later, topping the medal table with 12 gold at the 2000 edition, six more than runners-up Tunisia.

After a lackluster performance during the 2018 championships, however, the race is on for the country’s athletes to improve on the two gold and one bronze won in Asaba, Nigeria, in 2018.

One of those helping to train home athletes for the forthcoming event is former middle-distance runner and now coach Abderrahmane Morceli.

“Our athletes are in very good condition,” says Morceli. “We are preparing very well and they are in very good shape.”

Morceli and his brother Noureddine, the three-time world 1500m champion, are among those coaching Algeria’s athletes, not only for the African championships, but for other competitions planned for 2020 including the African Cross Country Championships in Lome, Togo, and the Tokyo Olympic Games.

These athletes include Taoufik Makhloufi, the 31-year-old middle-distance runner who brought home Algeria’s lone medal – a silver in the men’s 1500m – from the World Championships in Doha earlier this year. There is also Adbelmalik Lahoulou, the reigning African 400m hurdles champion and Yasser Triki, the 22-year-old African Games gold medallist in the long jump.

Morceli says he tries to teach them dedication to hard work and instill in them a thirsty for glory.

“After the junior level, if you want to become an Olympic or world champion you need more conviction and more training camps. We have many, many talented young athletes in Africa that never keep going because they don’t have enough training and enough conviction.”

Morceli is confident in Algeria’s pool of talent however, and says the extra incentive provided by the country’s sports official will spur them to give the best of themselves.

“They have good prize money from the minster (of sports) and the Olympic committee and they have big motivation now.”

(12/28/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Veteran Kenyan runner Sammy Kitwara banned for anti-doping violation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

(12/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

San Silvestre Vallecana

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

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A Winnipeg man Junel Malapad runs 100 kilometers on Boxing Day

A Winnipeg man spent Boxing Day doing something very different.

He hit the pavement in support of Siloam Mission.

For the fifth straight year, Junel Malapad, who is a local ultramarathon runner, spent the day running.

He calls the annual run ‘Change Boxing Day to Running Day’.

His goal this year was to run 100 kilometers.

He started at 4 a.m. Thursday and spent the day running a three-kilometer loop at The Forks.

“Siloam Mission helps out a lot of homeless people, and people should not freeze to death in our city, they could be picked up and helped out. Siloam Mission does a lot of great things that way, so that's the reason why I’m running today," said Malapad.

Throughout the day, Malapad was joined by fellow runners for parts of the route.

Donations were collected at The Forks and will be dropped off at Siloam Mission.

(12/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by Devon McKendrick
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Ben Preisner and Emebet Anteneh, won the Boxing Day 10 Miler, beating the reigning champions Matt Hughes and Robyn Mildren.

The 99th annual Boxing Day 10 and 4 Miler took place on Thursday morning in Hamilton, Ont. The race draws huge crowds of runners to compete in an off-distance road race. Among the runners were Olympians, Canadian record holders and national champions.

This year saw two new victors in the men’s and women’s races, Ben Preisner and Emebet Anteneh, who beat reigning champions Matt Hughes and Robyn Mildren.

Preisner caught Canadians attention when he won the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon. There he ran a two-minute personal best, hitting 1:03:02 for the half-marathon win. He won Thursday’s 10 miler in 48:18, just 13 seconds off of Hughes’ course record. Second place went to ACXC (national cross-country) champion Mike Tate (48:47) and third place to the Canadian steeplechase record holder Hughes (49:21).

In the women’s race, Emebet Anteneh won in 55:18, almost a full minute ahead of the second place finisher. Anteneh has been a force on the Canadian roads in 2019. She ran a 1:10:28 at the Edmonton Half-Marathon and a 16:04 5K in the fall. Anteneh comes from a track background, owning an extremely impressive 14:43.29 5,000m personal best.

Second place in the women’s race went to Sanna Mustonen (56:04) and third place to Leslie Sexton (56:19).

(12/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Boxing Day 10 Miler

Boxing Day 10 Miler

Come run our 100th annual event (2020). The course is both scenic and challenging, taking runners through Hamilton in Ontario. Snowman medal for all finishers (Gold Snowman medals for the very fast). Indoor registration, refreshments and awards. Spectators are welcome in the gymnasium. Change rooms with showers for entrants. All entrants will receive embroidered cotton baseball cap at bib pickup....

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Ultras are not for everyone and here are five reasons why.

Ultras are tough and are not for everyone.  Here are five reasons why:

1. Trail running is hard.  Trail running is fun. But it’s also tough. The many variables in trail running such as the terrain, the weather, the mountains mean that the trails will challenge you regardless of the distance. Training on the trails means challenging yourself daily in the trails and mountains. If you decide to race on the trails, getting to the start line is a courageous act no matter how far you’re going.

2. Longer doesn’t mean better.  On paper, it appears as though a 5K trail race is less daunting than 200 miles through the wilderness. But that’s like comparing apples to elephants. A 5K trail race is it’s own beast, which requires focused training and execution. A 200 mile ultra through the trails and mountains is entirely different and unique. Both distances are challenging and deserve kudos.

3. Know what makes you happy.  If short and steep is your jam–then that is awesome. If mental and physical perseverance with limited sleep makes your heart dance, that’s great too. Know what makes you happy, while remaining open to new experiences. Being a real trail runner means knowing your ‘why’ and not caring what the world thinks.

4. Ultras aren’t for everyone.  But neither are 10Ks. Despite the fact that social media can be saturated with images and videos of everyone and their uncle finishing 100-milers, the trail running world is so much more. Trail running is simply running on the trails, which can include any distance and any terrain off the road. As long as you’re not having a party on the pavement, you are a trail runner.

5. Make it meaningful.  One of the keys to success in any area of life is meaning. Whatever distances you decide to focus on, make it count and don’t forget to smile.

(12/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by Tory Scholz
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American gymnastic Shannon Miller was named Tata Mumbai marathon ambassador

Miller's tally of five medals (two silvers, three bronzes) at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona was the most medals won by a US athlete across sport at the Summer Games.

Shannon Miller will be the International event ambassador of the 17th Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020. The announcement about the association with the seven-time Olympics medallist and nine-time world champion was made by Procam International, the race promoter.

She was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and established a foundation devoted to women’s health to help them make health a priority.

Her tally of five medals (two silvers, three bronzes) at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona was the most medals won by a US athlete across sport at the Summer Games.

The TMM is amongst the world’s leading marathons and with prize money of $ 405,000, the race in Mumbai on January 19 will witness over 50,000 participants, including leading Indian, international distance runners, amateurs and fitness enthusiasts.

The American sporting ace stated: “Sport has the power to bring the community together and a marathon is an ideal example. It is a great leveller. At the start-line, everyone comes together with a touch of anxiousness and excitement. I have been fortunate to be part of events which have sport on the highest of levels, a wonderful sense of goodwill and sportsmanship.”

(12/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

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

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Tokyo is reported to be still short of 14,000 hotel rooms required during the hosting of Olympic Games

With around 10 million visitors expected for next year’s Games, the Nikkei Asian Review has reported that the Japanese capital is still facing a significant shortage of available hotel rooms.

Meanwhile the Jiji Press has quoted a recent estimate by the major Japanese travel agency JTB Corp that the number of visitors in 2020 will increase by 7.9 per cent to 34.3 million.

JTB claim that South Korean visitors to Japan will rise by around 15 per cent from 2019 following an improvement in bilateral ties.

Visitors from China and Southeast Asian countries are also projected to increase.

"Tokyo's hospitality industry has taken care of the accommodation for the estimated 11,000 athletes expected to compete in 33 events at the Games,” the travel.com reported. 

Around 46,000 other suites are already reserved for Olympic officials and global dignitaries.

But bookings in the rest of the city as well as neighbouring communities on Japan's main island of Honshu are reported to have already reached capacity.

Demand for hotel space shot up in 2018, when a record 31.8 million tourists visited Japan, nearly a nine per cent increase from the previous year.

In response to the scarcity, short-term housing prices for Airbnb rentals in the area have reportedly rocketed to more than $840 (£650/€760) per night.

Additionally, some luxury cruise liners have volunteered to stay in port to take on extra visitors for the duration of the Games.

(12/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by Mike Rowbottom
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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The 4th Annual My Best Runs World’s Best 100 Races for 2020 have been announced

It was made official today (Dec 26) the My Best Runs 2020 World's Best 100 Races.  The editors at My Best Runs lead by MBR and Runner's World magazine founder Bob Anderson considered thousands of races; races that are the best, most interesting and unique and races that if you can get into won't let you down.  

"There are well over 100,000 official running races around the world," stated Bob Anderson from his office in Mountain View California, "and these are our 100 of the best.  It was very hard to only pick 100 since there are many more I know I would enjoy to run or at least watch."

Bob Anderson loves to race.  The soon to be 72-years-old (Dec 28) has run over 1000 races (including time trials) since he started racing in April of 1962.  He still races and in fact won his age-group in winning the second half at the San Francisco marathon in 2019 and placed third in his age-group at the London Vitality 10k last May.  In 2012 he ran 50 races, 350.8 miles and averaged 6:59 pace.  

His My Best Runs website and the UjENA Fit Club website keeps him and his team plugged in to the current racing scene.  

"We did not consider races which are more local in nature.  Even through I love local races we only considered races that are international in scope.  A race if you travel too, you would not be disappointed.

"With our nearly 80,000 unique visitors monthly from countries around the world, we considered all races around the planet," says Bob Anderson.  "Some of these races are very hard to get into.  But not impossible.  If you can get in,  these all would be a good racing experience for you.  I hope to run more of these myself."

We would love to get your feedback on these races and recommendations for 2021.  Post your comments or email Bob Anderson at bob@mybestruns.com (photos - Boston Marathon, Carlsbad 5000, Semi de Paris)

(12/26/2019) ⚡AMP
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Reigning Boston Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono can´t wait to defend Boston crown next year

Cherono, who trains in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet County will face Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa, 2017 winner Geoffrey Kirui, 2018 champion Yuki Kawauchi among other quality runners.

“I’m delighted that the elite field has been announced early enough for us to prepare well. In the next three months I will be training for the race which is one of the toughest courses in the world,” said Cherono.

Cherono also said that the announced line-up looked strong and it will be a tough challenge for him to retain the title.

“The 2017 champion Geoffrey Kirui and 2018 champ Yuki Kawauchi and 2013 winner Lelisa Desisa will be competing with me. They have all won before and will be hungry for another title. But so will I. I expect serious fireworks on the Boston roads."

Cherono won the Boston elite men’s race in a sprint finish, clocking 2:07:57 to beat Desisa to second place (2:07:59) while Kenya's Kenneth Kipkemoi settled for third in 2:08:07.

Cherono said it was the final kick that saved the day for him.

“Desisa is a tough athlete and we were together in the leading pack up to the last 50m to the tape. That’s when I sprinted leaving him behind and his body couldn’t react and that’s how I was able to win the race,” said Cherono, who is also the Chicago Marathon champion.

Kirui, who bagged victory in 2017 is also looking forward to a good run and he is well intent to recapturing the crown.

The athlete, who normally trains at his home in Keringet, Nakuru has since shifted to Kaptagat in Elgeyo Marakwet in a bid to improve his performance.

“I have been training in the two regions (Kaptagat and Keringet) and both areas have similar conditions which are good for training.”

Kirui finished second in a rain soaked race in 2018 and fifth this year.

In the women’s category, 2015 champion Caroline Rotich will compete against 2017 champion Edna Kiplagat and reigning champion Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa.

Degefa won this year’s race in 2:23:31, Edna Kiplagat was second in 2:24:14 while USA’s Jordan Hasay was third in 2:25:20.

(12/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tata Mumbai Marathon

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

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David Rudisha’s 2012 Olympic 800m triumph has been chosen as the athletics moment of the decade

Over the past two weeks, athletics fans from around the world have been casting their votes on the World Athletics Instagram page, whittling down a long list of 16 moments.

In the final stage of voting, Rudisha was up against Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record from Berlin in 2018. The votes were close, but Rudisha ultimately had the edge, 1151 votes to Kipchoge’s 939.

Rudisha’s victory in London in 2012 was the greatest moment of the Kenyan’s career. Leading up to those Games, he had twice broken the world record in 2010 and won the world title in 2011. He arrived in London undefeated throughout the 2012 season and with the four fastest times in the world that year. Unsurprisingly, he started as the overwhelming favorite.

But few would have predicted that Rudisha would have been capable of breaking his own world record in a non-paced championship setting. One of the few people who perhaps had an inkling of what was to come was Kenyan teammate Timothy Kitum, whom Rudisha had told before the race: “Don’t follow me or you’ll die towards the end. Go for the silver.”

It turned out to be good advice as Rudisha was unchallenged. He passed through 200m in 23.4 and 400m in 49.28. He already had a two-metre lead as he entered the back straight for the second time and his advantage only grew as the race progressed, reaching 600m in 1:14.30.

Urged on by the 80,000 fans who were sensing a stunning moment in the making, the long-striding Rudisha maintained his lead to the finish, crossing the line in 1:40.91 and punching the air as he did so, a lifetime’s ambition realised.

“I have waited for this moment for a long time,” said Rudisha. “I had no doubt about winning, but to come here and get a world record is unbelievable.”

(12/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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