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The 2020 European Athletics Championships cancelled because of coronavirus

The 2020 European Athletics Championships in Paris have been cancelled amid the coronavirus crisis.

The event was due to be staged at the French capital's Charlety Stadium from 25-30 August.

Great Britain topped the medal table at the 2018 championships in Berlin.

"We had hoped in these troubled times to offer European athletes a major event to aim for at the end of this summer," said European Athletics interim president Dobromir Karamarinov.

"The health and safety of all athletics' stakeholders - including athletes, fans, officials, partners and everyone connected with the sport - is paramount."

A statement on the European Athletics website said: "The decision to cancel was driven by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the associated risks linked to the current situation, which are far from being under control, as well as the existing ban on mass gatherings in France."

The Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have been postponed until next year, while the World Athletics Championships in Oregon have been moved to 2022.  

(04/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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Should I wear a face mask while running and exercising outside?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a face mask in public.

But what if you’re zooming past people on a bike or running on an empty trail? Many people have asked if they still need a mask. Let’s face it: they’re not the most comfortable accessory when sweating your way through a workout.

Here’s what you should know to stay as safe as possible while exercising outdoors.

Should I wear a mask while exercising outdoors?

The answer depends on where, and potentially when, you’re exercising.

The CDC recommends wearing a mask in public settings where it’s harder to stay away from people, like grocery stores and pharmacies. Currently, the rule is to maintain at least six feet between yourself and others. If you’ve jogged along Kelly Drive or in Wissahickon Valley Park, you know that’s often impossible, especially on sunny Saturdays.

“If you’re in an area where you know you’re going to be crossing paths with a lot of other people, you 100% should be wearing a mask, but in general, try to avoid those situations,” says Patrick Davitt, the director of the University of Sciences’ Health Science Program.

Davitt suggests finding less crowded areas and avoiding peak hours. As an avid runner currently training for a 100-mile race, he runs almost daily, often still outside, and without a mask during early morning jaunts.

“As long as you’re running alone in an unpopulated area, you can keep the mask at home,” says Davitt. “But if you see someone in your oncoming path, cross the street well in advance — it’s just common courtesy as a runner.”

Avoid people, even if you’re wearing one

Make the effort to hop off the sidewalk or swerve into the grass. As a runner or biker, playing the game of coronavirus Frogger is extra important since others may not see you whizzing by from behind.

This applies even if you’re wearing a mask. Experts say that masks don’t replace social distancing, which remains one of the most important ways to slow the spread of the virus.

“Keeping that six feet of distance from someone else is more important than anything else,” says Bucks County Health Director Dr. David Damsker.

If wearing a mask, remember it won’t make you invincible. You may also need to adapt your workout, but don’t let this discourage you.

“Running and being outdoors is good for you, so you don’t want to stop,” says Davitt. “Just understand that exercising with something that’s covering your mouth, that you’re not used to wearing, is likely to change how your workout looks, and that’s okay.”

How to exercise with a mask

The obvious change: wearing a mask makes it harder to breathe. You may need to decrease the volume and intensity of your workout.

“Airflow will be restricted, so your body will have to work harder to perform at the same rate as you would without the mask, and that becomes exponentially true as the intensity goes up,” says Davitt. “The faster and harder you’re breathing, the more the mask is going to affect that.”

Listen to your body. This is extra important if you have underlying conditions, like asthma. Don’t be afraid to slow down and take breaks. Davitt says now may be a good time to back off a little anyway, especially if you’re prone to pushing yourself to your limit.

“If you go too hard, that can compromise your immune system, which you don’t want right now,” says Davitt.

To get used to exercising with a mask, practice inside. Wear it for at least an hour and get moving. Five minutes of jumping jacks is a great place to start.

“If it’s irritating your face, you need to find a way to reposition it or find another mask that works better for you,” says Dr. Alexis Tingan, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and sports medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Make sure your mask is comfortableComfort is crucial so that you don’t adjust your mask once outdoors — which, experts emphasize, is essential to avoid spreading the virus. It’s challenging enough to avoid fidgeting with a mask when you’re not sweating it out, so take time to find the right fit. 

One of the most comfortable Face Masks on the market is being made by UjENA Fit Club.  These are made from high quality four-way stretch fabric.  These Mindful Face Mask is what lifetime runner Bob Anderson is wearing all the time while in pubic. 

A proper fit will also help you avoid a rash. If the mask starts to bother you, address it immediately.“Running has an analgesic effect, so your pain sensitivity gets temporarily dulled” says Davitt. “But it’s just like avoiding a blister — if you continue, you might be limited from going outside at all the next day.

”You may have to head home earlier than planned. If you’re far from home in a crowded area, Davitt says to act strategically. Can you use your shirt as a barrier to readjust the mask? Or shrug your shoulder to your ear to reposition?

Avoid touching the mask with your hands.As the weather gets warmer, working out with a mask becomes less appealing. Choose a style that’s optimal for exercising.“I’d advise against the ear-loop medical masks. They can get soggy,” says Tingan.

“While the CDC recommends cotton for indoor situations, there’s no set guidelines on exercising. Cotton is going to be incredibly uncomfortable and you’ll become much more likely to touch the mask.”

 

Cotton absorbs sweat, but it’s not moisture-wicking. The sweat stays in the fabric, often leaving you soaking wet by the end of a workout. Finding a breathable material is key. If you’re shopping online, look for the words “breathable” and “microfiber.”

“You’ve got to work with your resources. The mask prevents droplets from going out into the air, so anything is better than nothing,” notes Tingan. “But if cotton makes your workout miserable, then you’re less likely to wear it correctly, or to wear a mask altogether.”

You may want to find an alternative for exercise. Tingan recommends balaclavas and buffs.

Balaclavas cover the whole head and neck; look for a style that covers the mouth and nose. Avoid wool, and look for microfiber, an absorbent, fast-drying material.

A buff is a tube of stretchy material that you can pull up over your nose and mouth. Its name comes from one of the main brands that makes them; they’re also sometimes called “neck gaiters.”

“Balaclavas and buffs have elastic and a close fit, so they’re also less likely to move around when you’re running,” says Tingan.

If you go the cotton route, consider wearing a sweatband around your forehead. This helps trap sweat to prevent you from wiping your face.

Virtual exercise and races

Own a treadmill, stationary bike or bike trainer? If you’re anxious about exercising outdoors, it may be worth checking out trending virtual exercise apps like BitGym, Virtual Runner, and Zwift allow runners and bikers to explore different courses, often simulated from those around the world. Some apps, like Zwift, allow you to also compete with others.

“I can be cycling alongside someone from Sweden or Brazil, or running down the road and see this cartoon avatar trying to pass me,” says Davitt of Zwift. “It’s making the indoor workout more fun, and it brings back a sense of camaraderie that’s missing while we’re all social distancing.”

(04/18/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Comrades Marathon 2020 has been officially postponed

The 2020 Comrades Marathon has been postponed indefinitely. The postponement of the most famous and historic ultramarathon in South Africa was announced on Friday morning by Athletics South Africa.

The Comrades Marathon route travels between two cities, Pietermaritzburg and Durban. The direction changes, however, between “up” and “down” years. “Up” years see racers run 87K with about 2,000 meters of elevation gain. “Down” years are a bit further, hitting 90K, but the run is a net downhill.

It was set to be a down year in 2020, so the race was scheduled to start in Pietermaritzburg and head to Durban, on South Africa’s east coast. The cut-off for the Comrades Marathon is 12 hours.

Both Jim Walmsley and Camille Herron, American ultra running legends, were set to compete at the 2020 event was originally scheduled for Sunday June 14.

The news follows the April 9 announcement that South Africa would be extending its lockdown by another 14 days, before re-evaluating the country’s public health needs. 

Aleck Skhosana, president of Athletics South Africa, told Sport24, “The Comrades Marathon is therefore postponed from 14 June to a suitable date that will be determined between ASA, KZN Athletics and the Comrades Marathon Association as soon as conditions around the management of the virus allow us to under the guidance of the Government.”

(04/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon

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

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The ruling decathlon world champion Niklas Kaul intends to use the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to work on his weaknesses

"For me, as a younger athlete, the postponement to 2021 due to the corona crisis is only a minor problem. It gives me the chance to improve and work on my apparent gaps and update my technical skills in several topics," the 22-year-old 2019 Doha winner commented.

Inner conflicts might, in the first place, tear older athletes as many intended to take the 2020 Olympics as their career ends.

Some might decide to add another year and months of intense training efforts. Others have to face the hard truth of an unexpected end of their career as a sportsman.

"We all know that sport is only playing a side role at present. Health is the most important topic for society," the youngest athlete ever to win the decathlon crown added.

Restricted training is providing the opportunity to concentrate on other things, the Mainz-born university student said.

This week he joined a list of sports celebrities cheering triathlon champion Jan Frodeno as a virtual crowd.

The German ironman winner set up a home triathlon to raise money for charity projects around his adopted home town Girona in Spain. Like many parts of the country, the region has been struck by the virus crisis.

"I am happy to be part of Jan's fantastic challenge to some extent as he deserves respect for action like that in hard times," Kaul emphasized. Frodeno managed to collect over 200 000 euros from fans, sponsor partners, and fellow sportspeople.

Athletes must be creative at present, Kaul stated. "Current training efforts are far from what we do in normal times. Things usually look different ahead of a major event like the Olympics," the student on his way to be a teacher of physics and sports at the Johannes Gutenberg-University commented.

"To reduce the effort was a mental problem for most of us as it came somehow unexpectedly," he added. He feels exceptionally sorry for athletes having to quit now. "For many athletes, this was the last chance to attend the Olympic Games."

To care for the staff of clubs and associations is the most important task now. "All parts of society are affected, and help is needed for many people in trouble since the virus outbreak," he underlined.

For athletes who decided to continue, the goal must be to use the break in the best possible way. He called it an unknown challenge. "The ones making the best out of a difficult situation will be the ones benefitting most in the end."

He decided to subordinate everything possible to be ready when the Games take place in 2021. To shift the Games to 2021 was the right step, he stressed.

Kaul stopped a training camp in South Africa after the announcement of the IOC to shift the Games to next year.

The decathlon athlete expects the European Championships scheduled for the end of August to be postponed as well.

Until further plans can be set up, he sticks to jogging, ergometer training, and a little jumping around in the backyard," he said. "We have some weights and medicine balls around."

Kaul emphasized training like that is only suitable to keep a certain fitness level. Sprints and technique training can't take place orderly.

While the break is taking off pressure from athletes' shoulders, it must be clear "that we can't go on like that for several months."

(04/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Oliver Trust
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Faith Chepng’etich has said her main priority remains defending the title she won in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 when the Olympics are held in Tokyo after coronavirus-enforced postponement

Olympics 1,500 metres champion Faith Chepng’etich, who also won the world title in London in 2017, has been training alone following government ban on public gatherings and sports activities.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were postponed to 2021 in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Talking to Nation Sport on phone at her home in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, Chepng’etich yesterday said she as embarked on long runs and speed work to stay fit as she waits for coronavirus pandemic to be contained.

The athlete has said she is in good shape, having recovered from a hip injury she suffered at the 2019 World Championships and had been looking forward to posting good results at the Olympics in Tokyo before the games were postponed to next year.

“I was in good shape this year and I was hopeful of retaining my title and to even run my personal best compared to last season. The virus has stopped the world and we just have to understand and wait,” said Chepng’etich who trains under the Global Sports Communication in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The athlete said her plan was to use the Diamond League races to gauge her performance ahead of the Olympics, but she must now continue training for next season.

(04/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Geoffrey Kamworor’s dream of sealing a fourth World Half Marathon crown is still alive despite coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted sports activities globally

Coronavirus pandemic might have delayed Kamworor’s plans of achieving his goal after the championship was postponed from March 29 to October 17 in Gdynia, Poland but the 27-year-old is leaving nothing to chance.

Although the intensity of his training has reduced following government regulations aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, Kamworor is using all the tricks in the book to keep himself fit in readiness for any eventuality.

“As it looks, this year will have few activities, especially the long distance races,” said Kamworor, who runs for 20 kilometres daily in Eldoret in addition to working out on the treadmill.

“I have been reduced to that and there is nothing someone can do especially when the world is battling to stay safe from coronavirus,” the current World Half Marathon record holder said.

He reckons the current situation has instilled in athletes a strong sense of discipline, forcing them to change their training regimes.

(04/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The next World Half Marathon Championships will be held in Gdynia, Poland. It was scheduled for March 29, 2020 but was postponded until Oct 17, 2021 due to the Coronavirus. The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events...

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Boston Marathon was supposed to be run on Monday, and officials tell Boston Marathon runners to stay home, wait for official September start

Monday represents the originally scheduled date of the 2020 Boston Marathon until the coronavirus pandemic moved the race to September.

Officials in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the site of the start of the race, are reminding runners to remain home on Monday and wait for the fall to run the marathon.

The Hopkinton select board issued a statement Wednesday night “strongly urging” runners to remain home and avoid the marathon course.

Parking restrictions in downtown Hopkinton, around the Town Common, and in locations near the start line will be in place, the town said.

“In the spirit of keeping not only those who run, but the citizens of Hopkinton and its first responders safe, we are asking everyone to continue complying with the Commonwealth’s Stay-at-Home Advisory,” Select Board Vice Chair and Boston Athletic Association Liaison John Coutinho said in a statement.

Normally, 4,000 local, state and federal law enforcement officers and 480 members of the National Guard are on hand for the running of the Boston Marathon. There are also 1,900 medical personnel present, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

“We urge anyone considering running the Boston Marathon course this weekend to stay home, follow social distancing guidelines, and help flatten the curve. Groups of runners would divert valuable, urgent resources from the cities and towns along the course. We must work together to stop the spread of coronavirus, so we can run again in September,” a BAA spokesperson said.

In March, officials announced that for the first time in the marathon’s 124-year history, it would be postponed. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said that rescheduling the event versus canceling it saves regional economies roughly $211 million. Charities gain around $40 million from the event.

Gov. Charlie Baker designated Sept. 14 as a state holiday so people could take the day off and celebrate a new version of Marathon Monday.

(04/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Bonner
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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The International Olympic Committee will face several hundred million dollars of added costs because of the postponement of the Tokyo Games

President of  the International Olympic Comittee, Thomas Bach spoke in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt on Sunday.

Estimates in Japan put the overall cost of the postponement at $2 billion-$6 billion. Except for the IOC portion, all added costs will be borne by the Japanese side according to an agreement signed in 2013 when Tokyo was awarded the Olympics.

Bach said it was “impossible to say for now” the extent of the added costs for the IOC caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We agreed with the prime minister that Japan will continue to cover the costs it would have done under the terms of the existing agreement for 2020, and the IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the costs,” Bach said. “For us, the IOC, it is already clear that we shall be faced with several hundred million dollars of additional costs.”

Before the postponement, Japanese organizers put the official cost of the games at $12.6 billion. However, a government audit report in 2019 said the costs were at least twice that. All but $5.6 billion of it is in taxpayer money.

Tokyo said the 2020 Games would cost about $7.3 billion when it won the bid seven years ago.

On Friday, the CEO of the Tokyo organizing committee said the pandemic left some doubts about the games going ahead next year.

“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not,” Toshiro Muto said, speaking through an interpreter. “We certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer.”

Bach was asked about the possibility of another postponement. He did not answer directly, but said later in the interview that Japanese organizers and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “made it very clear to me that Japan could not manage a postponement beyond next summer at the latest.”

Bach was also asked if the pandemic provided an opportunity for some athletes to violate the doping rules with no threat of testing. Bach countered that the delay could allow new testing methods to be developed. He also said tests made before the Olympics would be saved for 10 years for retesting.

(04/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Stephen wade
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Two-time defending women's Two Oceans Marathon ultra-marathon champion, Gerda Steyn, confirms bid for Two Oceans hat-trick in 2021

Two-time defending women's Two Oceans Marathon ultra-marathon champion, Gerda Steyn, has confirmed her return to the race in 2021.

According to the official Two Oceans Marathon website, this will be no ordinary return as the current Two Oceans Marathon queen has left it in no doubt that her intention is to "defend her title".

In other words, one of the finest - male or female - long-distance athletes South Africa has produced is setting her sights on a hat-trick of Two Oceans Marathon wins come Easter Saturday, 3 April, 2021.

Steyn was of course gunning for a Two Oceans Marathon treble at what would have been the 51st edition of the race on 11 April, 2020.

Like so many sporting events scheduled to take place, the 2020 edition of the race had to be cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.

Steyn potentially joins a super-elite list of runners.

Should Steyn be victorious once again in 2021, she’ll become the first athlete to win three titles in a row since Lesotho's Angelina Sephooa did so between 1997-1999.

Steyn would also join a small group who have won the Two Oceans Marathon three times or more.

First to win three titles was Beverley Malan in 1982, 1983 and 1985

Monica Drogemuller claimed the title in 1990, 1991 and 1992

Angelina Sephooa won in 1997, 1998 and 1999

The Nurgalieva twins, Olesya and Elena, claimed victory in 2008, 2010, and 2011; and 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2012, respectively

“I simply love this race,” said Steyn.

“I have to come back and try and make it number three in a row.”

Steyn almost causes women's Two Oceans Marathon ultra record to tumble in 2019.

Steyn won her first Two Oceans title in 2018 when she defeated Dominika Stelmach by just over two-and-a-half minutes.

Twelve months ago Steyn clinched victory by an astounding 10 minutes ahead of runner-up, Irvette van Zyl.

Her victory in 2019 was decidedly more emphatic.

(04/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Manfred Seidler
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

2020 race cancelled. Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). The Ultra Marathon celebrated...

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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge says he has focused on strength training while in isolation to stay injury-free

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge urges athletes to continue training to avoid injury.

Kipchoge, whose season was wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, has returned to his family in Eldoret from their training camp in Kaptagat to heed a Kenyan government call to remain safe and avoid public places.

The Olympic marathon champion was due to defend his title in Tokyo in August and use the London marathon on April 26 as his gauging race, though both competitions have been pushed back to 2021.

Kipchoge warned fellow athletes not to switch off training, saying if they push their bodies too much whenever the situation around the world improves, they will be prone to injuries.

"Keep training, doing what you used to do. I have a physio all the time and when something emerges, it easy to solve it. The actual period on course and the long runs help me chase away the injuries," he added.

(04/16/2020) ⚡AMP
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Switzerland’s Julien Wanders very much at home in Iten Kenya

Switzerland’s long distance running star Julien Wanders fell in love with Iten in 2014 when he was just 18 years old, and later found the love of his life in that land.

On that first visit, he told his parents he wanted to be training in Kenya, and that wish came to pass.

So smitten was Wanders, the European Half Marathon record holder, that when the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, he decided to remain in Iten and continue with his individual training, following the guidelines set by the government of Kenya after all the camps were closed.

“I had the chance to go back home to be with my family but decided to stay here,” he said.

“I have a perfect opportunity to train here alone as we focus on the next season which we are not sure when it will start. I’m happy that the government of Kenya reacted early enough to fight the spread of the virus unlike other countries,” said Wanders, who is under the Global Sports Communications stable.

He hails his girlfriend Joan Jepkorir for supporting him during his training.

“Of course another reason why I decided to remain was because of my girlfriend who I have been dating for the last three years. She has been helping me very much in my training,” he added.

Jepkorir, a graduate of Kenyatta University, also runs a restaurant in Iten.

Wanders, has been training in Iten for the past six years and the love for running made him pack his bags and head to the North Rift region that is teeming with world beaters.

Wanders is under coach Marco Jaeger, who is based in Geneva.

“It has been a long journey for me since I started training in Iten and I am focused to improve my performance after choosing the place as my second home. I have achieved a lot and my performance has improved tremendously,” he said.

(04/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Natalie Bowbanks is going to run her London Marathon in her parents’ back garden

A runner will be taking on the entire 26-mile distance of the London Marathon in her parents' back garden in Co Armagh to raise money for the NHS.

Natalie Bowbanks, from Tandragee, has already smashed her £1,000 fundraising target as she aims to run 2,096 laps of the garden on April 26.

No stranger to marathons, the practice manager at My Dentist in Portadown is a pacer at the Belfast City Marathon and has competed in 64 events worldwide, but this will be her first in Tandragee.

Natalie has run marathons in New York, Paris, Berlin, Lanzarote and Dublin, as well as completing the Belfast City Marathon for the past 10 years.

The disappointment after the cancellation of the London and Belfast events because of coronavirus inspired the 38-year-old to help out the NHS.

So far, Natalie has raised more than £1,200 and is thinking of increasing her target to £2,000.

"I knew when London was cancelled I would probably cover the distance anyway, but I didn't think of the back garden at that stage," she explained.

"Obviously, there were going to be certain restrictions, so I kind of just pinched the idea from other people that I had seen all over the world who I would follow on social media.

I just thought that I would follow suit.

"I don't specifically know where the money will go in the NHS, but I have a few friends that work as nurses and doctors.

"Hopefully the money can go to personal protective equipment or wherever it's needed."

Natalie set up her GoFundMe page on Friday evening and raised £500 within 24 hours.

(04/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ralph Hewitt
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Tyrone footballer Conor Meyler's dad has pulled off the incredible feet of completing a full marathon from his garden shed to raise money for hospital his wife works in

Seanie Meyler, a former inter-county player himself, celebrated his 54th birthday on Monday by taking on the mammoth task 'with little to no training' for a special reason.

Fundraising for the intensive care unit (ICU) South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen, where his wife works, he has already pulled together over £19,299 for the cause.

“She works with a team of dedicated and hard-working nursing staff to give top-class attention and nursing care to individuals who are in this high-risk unit,” as the GoFund Me page said.

“I plan to run a marathon on my 54th birthday on 13th April 2020 in my garden shed on a borrowed treadmill, and the funds raised will all go to a comfort fund for this nursing staff.”

Tyrone forward Meyler provided live updates during the day as his dad hit the treadmill and ran the 26.2 miles in just 3 hours and 56 minutes.

In blowing away his £4,000 target, Meyler has helped raise vital funds for the ICU at the frontline of the battle against coronavirus.

(04/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by James Wyllie
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Athletes completing doping bans in the next year could be eligible to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics

Athletes completing doping bans in the next year could be eligible to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, which is an unintentional cause of pushing the Games back one year.

According to the Athletics Integrity Unit, about 40 of the 200 or so banned track and field athletes are international-level competitors who stand to gain from the Olympic postponement. The AIU maintains a global list of track athletes banned for doping violations.

COVID-19 has put the world on hold, and with it, all running competitions. This unprecedented landscape means that runners serving doping bans aren’t missing out on competition, while simultaneously avoiding regular testing. This seems like a very convenient loophole. However, WADA president, Witold Banka, told the Associated Press that they don’t have the ability to “cherry pick” when athletes’ bans end.

In order to achieve Olympic standard within the qualification window, an athlete would need to return to competition a few months clear of the qualification deadline (June 29) and subsequent Games. This means most runners whose sentences were completed around April 2021 would stand a chance at qualification.

Evan Dunfee, world championship medallist in the 50K race walk, says the situation is unfortunate. “I wish there was a solution, but it would never win at CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport).

People have tried before to prevent athletes from competing at the next Olympics, even if their ban had ended, and they lost that at CAS. Hopefully the AIU and WADA can double down on their efforts once testing resumes, and continue to stamp out cheating in our sport.”

(04/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru suspended for doping violation

Kenyan runner Daniel Kinyua Wanjiru, a former winner of the London Marathon, has been suspended due to irregularities in his biological passport, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old won the prestigious London race in 2017 and was fifth in the 2018 New York Marathon.

"The AIU has provisionally suspended marathon specialist Daniel Kinyua Wanjiru of Kenya with immediate effect for an Athlete Biological Passport violation under the @worldathletics anti-doping rules," the AIU said on Twitter.

He was suspended for "use of a prohibited substance/method".

With the charge having been issued, Wanjiru will now wait for his case to be heard.

The 27-year-old, who beat Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele to the 2017 London Marathon title, has a marathon PB of 2:05:21, set when winning the Amsterdam Marathon in 2016.

In a statement released by his management company Volare Sports, Wanjiru protested his innocence, adding that he has “never used doping”.

Wanjiru is also quoted as saying: “This statement comes from the heart. I am clean in the sports I do. The ABP (athlete biological passport) finding is confusing and frustrating me. Specialists have informed me about how this can happen and I have come to realise there can be hundreds of reasons found why HB is fluctuating.

“I feel I am already seen as a sinner of doping, but I am not. I am innocent.

“It’s very painful what’s happening to me now. I’ve always believed that those athletes who are suspended because of a doping violation, were indeed guilty of what they did. But I’ve realised that being charged of guilt is just easy and now proving being unguilty is hard.

“I stand for clean sports. My results of the past came through hard work only. I have never used doping. We are currently investigating the case. Knowing I have never used anything, I have faith everything will be all right.”

(04/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Matej Toth hopes his body can withstand one extra of year of training in his push to claim back-to-back Olympic 50km race walk titles in Tokyo next year

Following the decision by the International Olympic Committee to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by a year following the Covid-19 crisis, thousands of athletes have had to adjust their plans to peak for the summer of 2021.

Given the fact Toth has not completed a race for more than 18 months, the delayed Olympics would appear to be an advantage for the Slovakian, although he does not necessarily read the situation that way.

“My case is little bit complicated because I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make one more suitable winter preparation,” explains Toth, who will be aged 38 next year. “For me, it would be ideal if the Olympics was in October. But my personal benefit is not as important as the benefits of the majority of athletes.”

Currently in lockdown in Banská Bystrica, Toth, who is hoping to become only the second man in history to successfully defend an Olympic 50km race walk title, has experienced the full range of emotions in recent weeks.

In fantastic shape after a training camp in Tenerife and preparing to make his seasonal debut at the well-established international race walking meet in the Slovak spa town of Dudince in March, the coronavirus outbreak put an end to his plans.

“We tried to concentrate on training for as long as possible,” explains Toth. “But after the last training camp in Tenerife (we returned on 29 February) we realised the (Covid-19) problem is very serious. The competition was cancelled two weeks ahead of schedule. We tried to find other races, but day after day they were all cancelled too.

“It was very frustrating, I had been preparing for more than three months to complete in Dudince, with only one goal: to achieve the entry standard for Tokyo. I was very disappointed and sad. I thought I might as well throw my fitness in the rubbish bin. I was frustrated I could not compete but at that stage it seemed as though the Olympics would still go ahead. I realised it was impossible to do the entry standard and prepare for the Olympics – I didn’t have enough time for both.”

Yet once the IOC announced a postponement of the Games by a year to 2021, the decision brought clarity to athletes and it acted as a huge personal relief to Toth, who last completed a race when earning 50km silver at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin.

“The most important thing is the stress now eases,” says the 2015 world champion. “Now we can solve the most important thing – the health of the world. Before the decision to postpone the Games, we were under pressure. It was like we had fallen between two stools: preparing for Olympics and doing everything we could to stay healthy.”

(04/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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There is no backup plan if the postponed Olympic Games can not be held in the summer of 2021

Tokyo Olympics organizers have no backup plan in the event the 2020 Summer Games, now postponed until 2021, must be postponed once again, a spokesman for the Games said on Tuesday.

The Associated Press reported that organizers are still moving forward with plans to launch the Games in July next year.

“We are working toward the new goal,” Tokyo Olympics spokesman Masa Takaya told journalists in a phone call on Tuesday. “We don’t have a B plan.”

He added that “Tokyo 2020 and all concerned parties now are doing their very best effort to deliver the games next year.”

The Games were set to begin this summer in Tokyo, and officials were initially reluctant to suggest the spread of coronavirus could disrupt plans for them to go ahead as planned. Some countries, citing concerns over the virus, said they would not send their athletes to the Games if they took place this summer. But Japan and the International Olympic Committee did not formally postpone the Games until late last month, as the pandemic continued to dramatically upheave daily life around the globe.

 

(04/14/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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European cross-country champion Robel Fsiha could be stripped of title for doping

In February, Sweden’s Robel Fsiha was suspended for an anti-doping violation after he tested positive for an unnamed substance. Following the announcement of his suspension, the Eritrean-born runner requested his B sample be tested as well, but that, too, has come back positive, according to a report by Inside the Games.

Fsiha won the 2019 European Cross-Country Championships in December—the first Swede to win gold in the event—but now he could have his title stripped.

Fsiha was tested in Ethiopia in November, a month before he won gold at the European Cross-Country Championships. The test was analyzed in Lausanne, Switzerland, and it registered as positive for a banned substance in February.

When news of the positive test and Fsiha’s subsequent suspension broke, he told Expressen, a Swedish news outlet, that he hadn’t taken any banned substances, and that the only medication he’d taken recently had been for a cold. The Swedish Anti-Doping Agency is now investigating Fsiha’s case, and he could be stripped of his European championship and sentenced to a ban from competition for up to four years.

Before last season, Fsiha hadn’t had much of an impact in the athletics world, only competing in Swedish competitions from 2014 to 2018. In 2019, however, he competed internationally on several occasions, including at the world and European cross-country championships.

At the worlds, which were held in Aarhus, Denmark, in March 2019, he placed 17th in the senior men’s race. He was the top European and fastest athlete not representing an African nation in the event. The top Canadian men that day in Denmark were Ben Preisner in 77th and Rory Linkletter in 82nd.

Several months later, in December, Fsiha travelled to Portugal for the European Cross-Country Championships.

He won the 10K race in 29:59, 11 seconds ahead of second place. Switzerland’s Julien Wanders, the European 10K and half-marathon record-holder, came in fourth, 26 seconds behind Fsiha, and he will move into the bronze position if the Swede is stripped of his medal.

(04/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Kenyan steeplechase star was aiming for another global gold and a world record in 2020, but coronavirus outbreak has forced him to go back to the drawing board

Conseslus Kipruto knows what it takes to become an Olympic and world champion: talent, hard work, a never-say-die attitude. This, after all, is the man who won the Diamond League final two years ago wearing just one shoe.

But now the 25-year-old Kenyan will have to find another quality: patience. The postponement of Tokyo 2020 means Kipruto will have to wait another year to defend his Olympic title.

“It’s very disappointing, but we understand what’s going on in the world because of this coronavirus,”  he tells me from his home in Eldoret. “The way I’ve trained, the aim was to defend my title in Tokyo, but the IOC made the right decision, in my opinion.”

Kipruto has won four major 3000m steeplechase titles in the last four years. The first came at the Rio Olympics in 2016, followed by his maiden world title in London in 2017 and then gold at the Commonwealth Games the following year. Last year, he missed several months of vital training with an ankle injury. But he built a pool in his back garden, regained his fitness through aqua-jogging and went on to retain his world title in Doha by the thickness of his vest. It was an extraordinary story.

And he had been taking that impressive form into his preparations for Tokyo.

“My preparation was going very well,” he says. “We were pushing hard and actually I was on course to defend my title in Tokyo and was hoping to run a world record or close to a world record, so you can see why I am disappointed.”

Like thousands of athletes all over the world, Kipruto finds himself in fabulous shape but with no competitive racing on the horizon. There’s no guarantee that he’ll be in the same condition in 12 months’ time and the knock-on postponement of the World Championships in Eugene to 2022 means his next two years will have to be recalibrated.

“It’s really frustrating because I don’t know about next year,” he says. “My plans and my prayers were to have the Olympics this year and in 2021 to defend my title at the World Championships and then in 2022 to go to the Commonwealth Games (in Birmingham). Now I don’t know and I’ll have to go back to the drawing board.”

(04/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Chris Dennis
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Pregnant mom Meliessa Kegler runs her own marathon

After COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the Milwaukee Marathon, Meliessa Kegler created her own course and ran 26.2 miles, while 19 weeks pregnant.

A countless number of events have been cancelled due to COVID-19, including the Milwaukee Marathon this past weekend.

That didn’t stop 38-year-old Meliessa Kegler of Janesville, Wisconsin. She was determined to run the 26.2 miles even at 19 weeks pregnant.

“I mean, it’s weird. I mean any woman will tell you, pregnancy makes everything weird,” Kegler said with a laugh. “When I originally signed up for the marathon, I guess I was pregnant but I didn’t know, which probably wouldn’t have stopped me.”

She’s been training for months and when the race was canceled, she decided design her own course around Janesville. Kegler mapped out a 6.5 mile loop that she ran four times.

“A marathon is all mental. There is training that goes into it but that last 26.2 miles is just a celebration of what you’ve been through to get to that point,” she says.

(04/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Tim Elliott
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Nike Develops Face Shield for Health-Care Workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fight

With personal protective equipment in short supply for medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fight, Nike is offering up its services.

The Beaverton, Ore.-based athletic company announced today that its innovation, manufacturing and product teams have developed face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses in partnership with health professionals from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

Nike delivered its first shipment of face shields and PAPR lenses to OHSU on Friday. The sportswear giant’s PPE is being provided to medical systems located in the vicinity of its Oregon world headquarters, including Providence, Legacy Health Systems and Kaiser Permanente.

“Nike’s generous response to the COVID-19 crisis helps to instill an added layer of confidence and support for health-care workers that we can safely carry out the jobs we were born to do,” said Dr. Miko Enomoto, associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at the OHSU School of Medicine.

The Swoosh’s version of a face shield features elements of its footwear and apparel that have been repurposed, including TPU from its Air soles, collar padding meant for shoes and cords originally destined to become apparel. The full-face shield includes three parts which come together through a nine-step process, a collaborative effort of a few Nike teams at its Air Manufacturing Innovation facilities in Oregon and Missouri. Similarly, Nike is making PAPR helmets using the same TPU that is being utilized for the face shields.

n March, OHSU announced a $7 million donation from Nike’s current and former top brass — CEO John Donahoe and wife Eileen, Chairman Mark Parker and wife Kathy, and founder Phil Knight and wife Penny — to coordinate care and provide equipment as it combats COVID-19 in Oregon.

Other athletic companies based in the United States are also offering their manufacturing capabilities to help solve the PPE shortage. Last week, Under Armour said it has delivered 1,300 face shields to the University of Maryland Medical System and expects to make more than 500,000 fabric face masks and 50,000 fanny packs.

And New Balance said on March 27 that it is creating masks in its Lawrence, Mass., manufacturing facility to be used by health-care professionals.

(04/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ella Chochrek
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For more than a decade, Briton Sarah Tunstall has been among the most successful and visible runners on the World Mountain Running Association

A bronze medal at the 2008 European Championships at 22 and World Championships the following year thrust her into the scene's spotlight. In 2015, she won the WMRA World Cup and in 2017 raced to European silver and took a second world bronze. A fourth place finish in the World Cup standings last year at 33 showed that she's not disappearing from the circuit any time soon, even as the New coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc with the mountain running season calendar as well.

"2020 looks like it is going to be a strange and stilted season," Tunstall says. "Many races I would run have already been cancelled throughout France, Italy and Switzerland, and rightly so. I’d love to think we could be racing towards the end of the summer but after having the winter off I was in no rush to race anyway and I was already playing the early season by ear."

That also means that she isn't currently based in her usual early season training base in the French Alps, a regular part of her routine since 2015, when she was drawn to the region by a stubbornness to finally get back into the shape of her early career successes after a string of injury setbacks derailed her ambitions.

“I was citing the World Championships in Wales as my main excuse to be there - which it was - but having spent so much time there it became very difficult to return to the UK. We've been spending time in the Alps regularly ever since and will try to make it last as long as we can.”

She probably didn’t foresee that alpine lifestyle when she competed in regional and national cross country competitions and fell races as a junior athlete.

“I would make County cross country and England Fell teams but my best result - which I was delighted with - was finishing 10th at the English National Cross Country in my final year. It sounds like a cliché but I think that enjoying the sport is the main factor that will ensure a good transition (from junior to senior competition). Luckily this should be more likely in the fell/mountain scene as it can be less regimented or monotonous compared to track or road training.”

“If you’re still enjoying running,” she says, “that can be a big part of making the jump up to senior as running becomes more of a personal choice and if you enjoy it you will choose to keep running.”

She made two national teams as a senior in cross country, finishing second in the U23 race at the 2008 European Cross Country Championships and 55th at the World Cross Country Championships the following year. Yet her career and strongest interest still gravitated towards the mountains.

“On a selfish front I’d love them to stay that way so I can enjoy the simplicity of the beautiful races but I don’t want them to die out or get lost amongst the big brands or long, gnarly and overhyped races. I may be a traditionalist, but I find it quite conflicting to the understated sport of mountain running and think that the mountains should be able to sell themselves without excessive marketing."

(04/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The date for this year’s Big Sur Marathon has been confirmed after being postponed due to COVID-19

A month after it was postponed because of the coronavirus, organizers of the Big Sur International Marathon announced Monday the 35th edition will be part of a revamped version of an area traditional running weekend in November.

The marathon, originally scheduled April 26 but postponed because of coronavirus concerns, will be held Sunday, Nov. 15 from Big Sur to Carmel. The Monterey Bay Half Marathon, originally scheduled Nov. 15 on its traditional course in Monterey and Pacific Grove, has been moved to Saturday, Nov. 14.

“We don’t really have any goals as far as participation,” said Race Director Doug Thurston. “We hope as many of the April 2020 entrants will come back on Nov. 15.

“We will be prepared for them. But I think just having an event this year with all of the craziness in the world, I think that will be considered a win.”

In addition to the marathon and half-marathon changes, marathon organizers said other distance races originally planned for April 26 have also been switched to Monterey Bay Half Marathon weekend. All April race distances, except the 5K and 3K, will be held Sunday, Nov. 15 in their original locations on Highway 1.

Registrants who entered the April 5K will automatically be registered for a new 5K to be integrated within the Half Marathon on Nov. 14. The By-the-Bay 3K will not be held this year.

“First, we want to thank you for your patience and support over these past few weeks as our board, staff, and volunteers worked to navigate this new reality,” said event management via its website announcement.

While other Peninsula events postponed or canceled events this year, Big Sur organizers were hopeful of maintaining original dates. A decision was made in mid-March to postpone.

To reschedule, organizers worked with businesses throughout the Monterey Peninsula to determine if, for example, the Monterey Conference Conference and host hotels, would be able to participate.

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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7-year-old Steven Burgess runs backyard marathon to raise money for hospitals, non-profits during COVID-19 pandemic

A 7-year-old North Carolina boy is proof that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.Steven Burgess is staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with schools closed until at least May 15.

However, he came up with a plan to not only help others, but get some time outside in his backyard.According to ABC-affiliate WWAY, Burgess's mom, Eliza Burgess, said he decided he would run for 6 hours in his backyard to raise money for hospitals, food banks, and missions in his community like Vigilant Hope, Meals for Heroes and Nourish NC.

"It started out as something fun to do," Eliza Burgess said. "Then, I saw he was serious about it, so I thought, 'Let's share this and uplift some people.' I have been blown away by the amount of people who want to donate.

"Around 37,000 steps later, Steven Burgess raised more than $1,500.

Steven Burgess said keeping his mission at the front of his mind inspired him to keep his legs moving.

"I just wanted to raise money for the hospitals and give them help," Steven Burgess said.

Both Steven and his mom hope his mini marathon will show others how easy it is to make a difference from your own backyard.

"I think this will inspire others to show them what they can do," Eliza Burgess said, "I think the reason this inspired so much support is that people really do want to plug in and they want to encourage each other and we want to help, and sometimes we don't know what to do because we are all stuck at home."

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Kelsie Hoffman
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Kenyan Wesley Korir set to bounce back from injury, eyes Boston Marathon

Former Boston Marathon champion said he has been battling with the injury. 

Former Cherangany legislator Wesley Korir is hoping to return to Boston Marathon in September after a one-year injury lay off.

Speaking in Eldoret, the former Boston Marathon champion said he has been battling with the injury, which he picked during the 2019 Boston Marathon, for the past one year. Boston Marathon was switched from April 20 to September 14 following the outbreak of the coronavirus around the globe.

“My target is to run in Boston this year after the postponement of the event from April to September due to coronavirus. I am optimistic that my injury would have completed healed by then,” said the 2012 Boston Marathon champion.

Korir, who has been championing for athletes rights, said Boston and Chicago have been part and parcel of his marathon career having made his debut in 2008. “Boston and Chicago have been my best courses and returning to Boston this year will be great,” he said.

The two-time Los Angeles marathon winner, said the postponement of the Boston Marathon was a blessing in disguise for him as he will be ready. The 38-year-old runner said his target is to reclaim his position in Boston—a city he has spent much of his time as a youth and an athlete.

Korir featured in Chicago in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 but his luck came in 2011 when he finished second in 2:06.15.

He made his Boston marathon debut with a win in 2012 in 2:12.40 but failed to defend his title the following two years, finishing fifth in 2013 and 2014. He was fourth in 2016 and sunk deep in 2017 to place 15th. He won the Los Angeles Marathon in 2009 and 2011 in 2:08.24 and 2:09.19. 

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Kane Cornes ran a full marathon around his tennis court

Former Port Adelaide midfielder Kane Cornes completed an entire marathon, but did it isolation style – around his tennis court.

The SEN host ran a total of 42.2km in 239 minutes and raised $4,922 for the Hospital Research Fund the Fight campaign in the process.

Their aim is to help fund a clinical trial to find a cure for the coronavirus.

Cornes admits he underestimated the task he set for himself.

“It didn’t sound as crazy as it felt at about the 34km mark yesterday,” he told SEN’s Whateley.

“It was all fun and games until about 10 and the kids were playing footy on the tennis court as I was running and we had music going and it was all good, but fast forward about an hour and 20 minutes post that and it got really, really brutal.

“The idea just came about just staying home for 14 days after I came home from Victoria and doing the right thing and wondering how I was going to exercise. I went for a run around the tennis court on the first day back and I got to 20km and wasn’t too bad.

“I thought maybe I could do a marathon and raise some money, but it was very, very hard and I’m glad it’s done.

“I’m absolutely paying for it (this morning). For those that have done a marathon or any endurance event, it wasn’t the lungs in terms of the fitness, it was just the wear and tear on the legs.

“I didn’t understand, and I probably underestimated, the twists and turns of the tennis court. So, every 10 and then 30 metres you’re turning and it’s just brutal on your knees and your lower back and your hips and I’m not getting any younger.”

Cornes added that he had to reverse the direction he was running because of the soreness building up thanks to the constant turning around the tennis court.

“I changed (direction) at about the 22km mark I realised it was a stupid thing to do (doing the whole marathon in the same direction),” he said.

“I didn’t want to go back on my word and you say you’re going to do something and you usually do it, but I just had to (change direction) because my left hip was just killing and I thought I wasn’t going to finish unless I changed direction and it really helped that little change-up.”

The 300-gamer thanked everyone who watched the livestream and contributed by donating to the cause.

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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Study suggests that running and training for a marathon could help you live longer

Need another reason to sign up for a marathon? New research suggests training and running a marathon for the first time could reverse some of the effects of aging on our bodies.

Researchers found that for the 138 healthy, first-time marathon runners they tracked, training and completing the London marathon was associated with a four-year reduction in their "vascular age."

Specifically, they found that marathon training reversed the age-related stiffening of the body's main artery and helped reduce blood pressure.

As we age, the walls of our arteries, which deliver oxygen and nutrients to all our vital organs, grow thicker and stiffer, making our heart work harder to pump blood around our body. While a normal part of aging, this can contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia and kidney disease, the study said.

"Our study shows it is possible to reverse the consequences of aging on our blood vessels with real-world exercise in just six months," said senior author Dr. Charlotte Manisty, a senior lecturer at University College London and a consultant cardiologist at the Barts Heart Centre and University College Hospitals.

"These benefits were observed in overall healthy individuals across a broad age range and their marathon times are suggestive of achievable exercise training in novice participants."

The greatest benefits were seen in older, slower male marathon runners with higher baseline blood pressure, according to the study which published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The researchers didn't specify a particular training regimen, with participants encouraged to use the "Beginnner's Training Plan" provided by the marathon, which consists of approximately three runs per week that increase in difficulty for a 17-week period prior to the race.

The researchers found that the marathon training decreased systolic blood pressure -- when the heart beats -- by 4 units (mmHg), and diastolic blood pressure -- when the heart rests between beats -- decreased by 3 units (mmHg). Overall, the exercise reduced stiffness in the aorta, the main artery in the body.

The health benefits were not related to how fast the participants completed the race nor were the participants experienced runners, said Manisty. The average marathon running time was 5.4 hours for women and 4.5 hours for men -- below average completion times.

But Manisty said she didn't think the health benefits were unique to running a marathon. The key takeaway, she said, was to set a training goal and structure, and stick to it. Also, she said it was never too late to start sustained exercise, with the study finding the greatest changes in the oldest runners.

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Katie Hunt
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Michael Wardian set out for a virtual ultra marathon. He kept running for 2½ days.

n the early days of the second full month of the global novel coronavirus pandemic that has all but paralyzed the sports world, Michael Wardian went out for a run around the block. He woke up early Saturday morning, laced up his shoes and stepped outside to run around his Northern Virginia neighborhood.

He circled the block and then did it again. And then again and again. Wardian ended up running for more than 2½ days, skipping sleep and piling up miles. When he finally unlaced his shoes late Monday night, he’d run 262½ miles in all, winning a long-distance event called the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, a virtual race inspired by the social distancing recommendations that make a standard road race impossible in the midst of a pandemic.

The unique event was intended to fill a void for distance runners who saw their race calendars wiped clean by the spread of the coronavirus. It brought together more than 2,000 runners from nearly 60 countries and turned into a captivating affair with a drama-filled, controversial finish.

“We do not know when this situation is going to end, and this is a fun way to bring a whole bunch of people together to be able to test their fitness, join a community, and do something together when many people cannot leave their homes,” a Calgary-based distance-running outfit called Personal Peak wrote in a March post announcing the race.

The rules were simple enough. The runners had to honor social distancing recommendations and either compete on a treadmill or in some sequestered environment. Some, such as Wardian, circled their neighborhood, while others circled their backyard. One entrant did laps around his living room in Dubai, and another ran circles in a Canadian coffee shop that had been closed because of the virus.

Runners were connected via Zoom and required to run 4.167 miles each hour. After hitting their hourly mark, the runners flashed their watch to the camera and then waited for the next lap to begin at the top of the hour.

For each 4.167-mile lap in the race, Wardian made 10 loops around the block in his Arlington neighborhood. That means that once the race began Saturday morning, he passed the same neighbors, same trees, same parked cars — same everything — more than 620 times.

The race began with more than 2,400 entrants, but they slowly dropped, and Monday was mostly a duel between Wardian and a runner halfway around the world named Radek Brunner, who was pounding out miles on a treadmill in the Czech Republic. Wardian officially won shortly before midnight Monday after more than 62½ hours of running when Brunner was disqualified because of a technicality.

Brunner failed to start running his 63rd lap precisely at the top of the hour, apparently because of some technical difficulty or confusion, and organizers reluctantly said they had no choice but to disqualify him for a rules violation.

In winning the event, Wardian ran the equivalent of 10 marathons in a little more than 2½ days. That’s a bit farther than running straight from Washington to Pittsburgh. Perhaps equally impressive: A sleep-deprived Wardian consistently turned in sub-10-minute miles, but his fastest lap was his final one, when he averaged 7:23 over the event’s final four miles.

Wardian, who turns 46 on Sunday, is well-known on the ultra circuit, his running exploits growing longer each year. He has raced against horses, run around the Capital Beltway, completed marathons on seven continents (twice) and competed in the U.S. Olympic marathon trials and most every other premier distance event. Until this virtual competition, though, he had never run so many hours and so many miles consecutively, he said.

To prepare, Wardian ran a full marathon in his neighborhood the week before, knowing he would be in for a grueling turn in the virtual race. After the first hours of the event ticked by Saturday, the field whittled down quickly. Treadmills broke, hamstrings tweaked, work and real life beckoned, quick power naps turned into full-bore slumber. But mostly the miles and hours just became too much.

By Sunday evening, after 36 hours and 150 miles, the field was down to 14. By that point, Wardian was running in the dark, and his kids were nearing bedtime. Overnight, the runners kept dropping, and at one point, Wardian thought he would be joining them. Around 3 a.m., he briefly stopped running and walked over to his wife, Jennifer.

“I was crumbling in the middle of the night,” he later explained. “She asked if I was all right. I said, ‘No, I just don’t want to be doing this anymore.’ She said that’s not a good enough excuse.”

So he kept going, finding a second wind. He would usually finish his 4.167-mile lap in 40 or so minutes, which gave him a bit of time to catch his breath before lining up again at the top of the hour. This was the reflective period when others typically bowed out.

After 42 hours and 175 miles, Matt Shepard, who had been circling the Tall Timber coffee shop in Canada, Matthieu Weiner of Pennsylvania and Scott Martin from Oregon all dropped. Then Greg Armstrong in Tennessee an hour later. And then, after 46 hours of running, the last female runner, Anna Carlsson, who had been trekking through the outdoors near the northern tip of Sweden, had to stop. She had been running on a frozen lake that had been plowed for the occasion but had to drop when a snowstorm approached.

Finally, as the race hit the 48-hour mark Monday morning, just Wardian and Brunner were left. Both knew it wasn’t the speed or mile-pace that counted. It was a race of attrition, and the last man standing would be the sole winner. Brunner sneaked quick naps at the bottom of each hour, but Wardian hadn’t slept since Friday night.

“Sleep, what? None,” Wardian said at one point. “This is my money race. I don’t need to sleep.”

Because we live in virtual times, the entire event was streamed online, first on YouTube and later on Facebook, and thousands tuned in to watch the runners in Zoom’s now-familiar checkerboard format. The audience was able to engage and ask questions of the runners as they rested between laps.

“Let’s keep doing this!” Wardian said into the camera after he was 216 miles into the race.

And so they kept running into a third day and night. Even with 250 miles behind them — around 9 p.m. Monday — both were turning in a relatively fast pace, and Wardian had his sights set on what organizers say is the virtual backyard ultra record: 69 laps.

But then a whistle sounded for lap No. 63. Wardian took off running in the dark, but more than 4,000 miles away, Brunner stood still on his treadmill, seemingly unaware the lap had started. The online audience watched as Brunner fielded a phone call from race organizers, visibly in disbelief that after 62 hours of running, he was disqualified over what seemed like a minor infraction.

Wardian finished his lap and was slightly confused, too — and also disappointed the race was over and he couldn’t add another record to his lengthy race résumé.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virus scrapped your marathon? In Japan, there's an app for that

When the coronavirus outbreak forced organisers to cancel marathons in the Japanese city of Nagoya, they turned to tech to ease the disappointment, offering runners the chance to race alone.

The Nagoya Women's Marathon and Nagoya City marathon were scheduled for March 8 and expected to attract some 20,000 runners -- a potential health hazard during a global pandemic.

So instead of having racers run together, organisers have offered up two apps to allow participants to complete the marathons alone, tracked online.

"It's the first time the annual marathon events were cancelled, and it's the first time we launched apps to replace the real ones," one of the organisers of the Nagoya city marathon told AFP.

Instead of running the original route, registered participants can run wherever they like -- keeping an appropriate social distance -- and the apps measure and verify their performance.

There are two apps -- one for those who want to finish the marathon in one go and another for those who want to complete it by running over several days.

Runners can complete the marathons between March 8 and May 31, the official race website says.

The organisers said on their website that they wanted to respond to the spirit shown by those who trained for the now-cancelled races.

But they "don't recommend running in a big group," the official warned.

Those who are registered for the women's event and complete the marathon via the app will receive a T-shirt and a necklace as originally promised for finishers.

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the international sporting calendar, with the Tokyo marathon among the early fixtures to be affected.

Organisers cancelled the amateur portion of the race scheduled for March 1, affecting around 38,000 runners, who were not offered a refund.

They will, however, be eligible for a spot in 2021's marathon.

The pandemic has also forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to next year.

Japan has so far recorded over 3,600 coronavirus infections and 73 deaths.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Allowing Tour would be 'crime against humanity'

Allowing the Tour de France to go ahead as scheduled despite the Covid-19 pandemic would be "madness" and a "crime against humanity", former French sports minister David Douillet has said.

The outbreak has decimated the global sporting calendar and the Tour de France - which takes place in June and July - is one of the last major global sporting events that has not yet been cancelled or postponed.

French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said on Twitter last month that it was too soon to decide if the Tour should be cancelled but that if the race did go ahead it might be held without roadside spectators to minimise the risk of infection.

Douillet said the risks involved in staging the Tour outweighed the financial implications of postponing.

"God knows I am a fan of the Tour de France. If we have enough means to ensure that all the players in the Tour and the public can be tested and are all negative, then why not, but that's not very likely, so it can't happen. There is no vaccine, nothing, and people are dying."

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Do I Need to Clean My Watch and Shoes After a Run to Slow the spread of the Coronavirus?

Cleaning your tracker or phone after your runs can help cut down on the spread of germs.

Though not likely a way coronavirus will spread, keeping your shoes outside the door and washing your running clothes after a run, especially after being in high-traffic areas, are precautions you can take.

Overall, there’s no harm in taking extra precautions when coming in from a run, but the risk is not in being outside—the risk is in being close to other people.

Slowing the spread of coronavirus is at the top your mind right now with everything you do. You’re running alone, working out at home, maintaining at least a six-foot distance from other runners or people you might encounter outside, and staying home if you feel sick in order not not spread the virus to others.

And while logging your runs in Strava might be the new way you’re connecting with other runners from afar, with group running a no-go right now, have you given thought to how often you should clean your fitness tracker and phone? And we know you’re scrubbing your hands the minute you get in the door after a run and washing your sweaty clothes as normal, but what should you do with your shoes?

A new analysis in The New England Journal of Medicine found the virus can remain viable in the air for up to three hours, on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours, and on plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that airborne transmission may be possible in certain circumstances, such as during procedures in hospitals, this is different than droplet transmission, which happens when a person is in close contact (within one meter) with someone who has respiratory symptoms. So you shouldn’t be worried about going outside for a solo run.

But because the virus can last for a while on surfaces, you may risk coming in contact with the virus (or other germs) on your tracker or phone if your device happens to come in contact with droplets containing the virus. If you then touch your tracker and later your face, you are at risk of infection.

While you should be cleaning your phone and fitness tracker often, as they can already harbor germs and get generally gross and gunky from sweat, you probably didn’t before. But now is a good time to start. Here's how: 

Apple Watch - Use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to gently wipe the exterior surfaces of your watch or band (unless it’s fabric or metal).

Don’t use bleach and be sure to avoid getting moisture in any openings, and don’t submerge your Apple Watch in any cleaning agents, according to Apple.

Fitbit - Fitbit recommends regularly cleaning your band and wrist—especially after working out or sweating.

Rinse the band with water or wipe it with a small amount of rubbing alcohol (according to the CDC, isopropanol over 70 percent has been found to kill viruses similar to Coronavirus).

Don’t use hand soap, body soap, dish soap, hand sanitizers, cleaning wipes, or household cleaners, which may get trapped beneath the band and irritate skin.

Always dry the band well before putting it back on.

Garmin - Garmin suggests regular cleaning of your devices to prevent buildup of sweat or other particles.

Clean silicone or TPU elastomer bands with rubbing alcohol and a lint-free cloth, followed by rinsing with water.

Allow the band to dry before wearing.

As for keeping your shoes outside after a run or tossing your clothes in the wash? Washing your clothes (and drying them on high heat if possible) and ditching your shoes on your porch postrun is something David Nieman, D.PH., health professor at Appalachian State University and director of the Human Performance Lab at the North Carolina Research Campus would recommend until we learn more (especially if you’ve been running in crowded areas).

However, as Brian Labus, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada Las Vegas explains, there’s not much risk of catching coronavirus from your shoes after a run, as you were not wearing them in the hospital while you took care of sick patients. You can keep doing whatever you normally would do with your shoes after a run. If it gives you some peace of mind to leave them outside, there is nothing wrong with that.

Overall, there are no special precautions you need to take after returning from a run. The risk is not in being outside, the risk is in being close to other people, Labus says. Most important, remember to thoroughly wash your hands when you get back from a run, avoid touching your face and traffic buttons, and run alone.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner's World
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World 1,500m champion Cheruiyot rues missed chance to break record

World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot has said he had high hopes of peaking at the right time this season to make a serious attempt on the world record.

"When the year started, I had two items I wanted to accomplish - winning Olympic gold and breaking the world record. At the moment, the Olympic dream is gone, moved to 2021 and the dream chance of running at the higher level at full throttle looks bleak," he said on Sunday.

Hicham El Guerrouj's record of 3:26.00 has stood the test of time for over two decades and Cheruiyot, who has seen his rise from obscurity to blossom as a world champion feels he was the man to finally shatter the record.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has nipped in the bud his dream as he has no idea when he will return to action.

Cheruiyot is worried many athletes will struggle to regain fitness and sharpness in competition whenever the ban on sports competition is lifted.

With the shutdown of all training camps in Kenya, Cheruiyot, like many other athletes is facing the prospect of lazing at home in 2020 after the Covid-19 global pandemic wrecked the sports calendar.

Cheruiyot now has turned his focus on staying safe and forgotten his hope of chasing records.

His best time on the miler is 3:28.41, which he posted in Monaco in 2018.

"People break records when they run regularly and competitively at the highest level. So clearly from where we stand that is not going to be the case this year," he added.

Meanwhile, Olympic 5,000m silver medalist Hellen Obiri has urged fellow athletes to follow social distancing and practice good hygiene standards.

Obiri, the world 5,000m champion, who has been forced to amend her training program, says she only has one session in the morning to train.

She believes, like other sectors, sports will have to suffer initially before order is restored. However, she believes she will emerge out of the self-quarantine stronger and ready to battle her way to the top to win the only medal missing in her collection, Olympic gold.

"I have to train alone and it is difficult. It requires a lot of discipline and focus because distractions are many," Obiri said on Monday in Nairobi.

"These are difficult times, which call for special measures. As athletes and role models we must sensitise the need to keep safe and follow government directives. We must be very careful, that is why I can only afford to train once a day."

With no Diamond League meetings and the World Athletics Continental Tour having been postponed, Obiri has had to be careful not to peak too soon.

"There will be time for action and the important thing now is to remain safe and healthy. When everything is done and there is no coronavirus, we will train as a team and compete at the highest stage again," she said.

World Athletics President Seb Coe has said it will be a lot harder to stage all competitions in 2020 when the situation allows and athletes will have to select which events to take part in after Covid-19 is defeated.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Dr. Michael Joyner, the Guy Who Predicted the Sub-2:00 Marathon, Now Helping Lead the COVID-19 Fight

Dr. Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic is best known in running circles as being the guy who in 1991 published a paper saying a human being could run a marathon in 1:57:58. Joyner, an anesthesiologist and physiologist by trade, now is using his skills on a much more serious matter by helping lead the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project (CCPP19). The CCPP19 is a nationwide effort of researchers, institutions, and blood blanks to try to use plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to better treat patients suffering from COVID-19.

“What we’re trying to do is leverage the antibodies produced by people who have recovered from COVID-19. Harvest those antibodies from recovered patients and then give these antibodies in the form of plasma to people to either prevent disease in people that have been exposed but aren’t yet sick, to treat people who are in the hospital and try to keep them from going to the intensive care unit, or to try to shorten the stay in the intensive care unit. This is called convalescent plasma therapy. It’s been around since the late 1800s. It’s worked numerous times before,” said Joyner on this week’s LetsRun.com Track Talk Podcast.

Joyner said the goal is for people to continue to practice social distancing and proper pandemic control while groups like his develop better short-term treatments for COVID-19 before a vaccine can be made to really stop the virus.

“We believe it’s our best shot on kind of [a] biological goal in the short run, and then after that, we anticipate concentrated gamma globulin, like antibodies, [being] available toward the end of the summer. And then we are waiting for the vaccine and biotech cavalry to come to the rescue,” Joyner said.

Running did play a tangential role in getting Joyner involved with CCPP19. Joyner has always been interested in oxygen transport and physiology because of his days as a competitive runner at the University of Arizona. Recently, Joyner was on Twitter and he saw a retweet by David Epstein, the former Columbia 800m runner and former ProPublica journalist who, along with the BBC, broke the allegations that Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon Project were breaking anti-doping rules.

The retweet was a link to a Wall Street Journal article by Dr. Arturo Casadevall on using antibodies to try to treat the coronavirus:

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Letsrun
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99-year-old British WWII vet raises $22 million for health workers on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis

"It isn’t for me, it’s for all the people, the doctors and nurses, whichever country you are in," said Capt. Tom Moore.

It started off as a bit of encouragement, a nudge to her World War II veteran father to keep active in lockdown after breaking his hip 18 months ago.

Less than two weeks later, 99-year-old Capt. Tom Moore and his daughter have helped raise more than 18 million pounds, or $22 million, to support the staff and volunteers of the U.K.’s beloved National Health Service.

“I told him, I’ll give you a pound for every length that you do and if you do 100 by your 100th birthday that’ll be 100 pounds,” said Tom Moore's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, who lives with her father in Marston Moretaine, around 50 miles north of London.

Each day, Moore, armed with his walker, aimed to do enough lengths of the path in his 50-yard-long yard to finish the challenge in time for his birthday at the end of the month. They started a JustGiving page, and aimed to raise 1,000 pounds, or $1,244, by the end of the month.

Local media then picked up the story and the donations started rolling in. They smashed the initial target and the Moores then set a goal of 5,000 pounds. They soon upped it to 50,000 pounds, and then 250,000 pounds. In the end, it took just 11 days to raise 18 million pounds, with the number continuing to rise by hundreds of thousands on Friday morning.

“This is unbelievable, it really is. You can’t believe when you see these sums of money come along,” said Moore in a video interview, sitting in an arm chair and dressed in a shirt and tie.

During the war, he served with the British army India and Burma, now known as Myanmar, and went on to become an instructor at The Armoured Fighting Vehicle School.

In total, more than 900,000 people have donated, bringing record traffic to the JustGiving website. The numbers were so large that JustGiving had to ask donors to bear with them as they processed donations from thousands of Moore’s supporters.

He even caught the eye of Prince William, who called him a “one-man fundraising machine.”

While the image of the WWII vet in a suit jacket emblazoned with medals has in itself inspired many, so has the effort to help the country's socialized health service. The NHS is under unprecedented strain from coronavirus and workers facing similar equipment shortages as in the U.S., and Moore's challenge struck a chord.

We need to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Wear a face mask while out in public.  One of the best on the market is the Mindful Face Masks made by UjENA Fit Club.  Lifetime runner Bob Anderson wear these masks while out in public.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boilermaker 15k Road Race is being postponed most likely to September 13

Due to concerns surrounding the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the Boilermaker Road Race has been postponed.

This year’s edition of Utica’s popular race is expected to be pushed to Sunday, Sept. 13, from its usual summer date during the second weekend in July, according to a letter obtained by the Observer-Dispatch as well as numerous social media posts from race volunteers and participants Saturday.

Boilermaker officials are scheduled to make an official announcement Monday regarding plans for Utica’s premier 15K road race.

Boilermaker Sponsor and Marketing Director Jordan Peters would only confirm Saturday that the announcement will detail Boilermaker officials’ plans for its popular weekend of races, which draw 19,000 participants and tens of thousands of spectators to the Mohawk Valley each year.

“We think the people will need the race,” Peters said of the 43rd edition of the event.

The race, which began in 1978 among a small group of friends, has not been postponed or rescheduled at an time in the past. The Boilermaker weekend also includes the expo at Mohawk Valley Community College and Kids Run, among events.

Boilermaker President Mark Donovan told the Observer-Dispatch on March 13 that race officials were monitoring the coronavirus situation and developing plans and contingencies during the rapidly changing situation.

He noted the safety of runners, wheelchair athletes, spectators, as well as staff, volunteers and the community would continue to be a key factor in staging the race.

(04/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boilermaker 15k

Boilermaker 15k

The Boilermaker 15K is the premier event of Boilermaker Weekend. This world krenowned 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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With South Africa entering its last week of official lockdown, Comrades Marathon unlikely to take place on June 14

With South Africa entering its last week of official lockdown, the 2020 Comrades Marathon Association has admitted that the iconic race is ‘unlikely to go ahead’ on 14 June. But organisers have not yet officially communicated their decision on the race’s future due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It takes an extraordinary amount of resilience to run the Comrades Marathon, the 90km race between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It takes an equal amount of motivation and organisation to host the race, with thousands of moving parts all needing to come together on one day to make the experience for the approximately 27,500 runners a bucket list dream-come-true. 

Of course, it also takes money and support to make it happen, which means sponsors, and broadcast rights. A cancelled marathon would result in a massive loss of revenue, which is why it is no surprise that the race has yet to be called off, or postponed because of Covid-19. 

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) appears to be taking every available minute to make a call. It is almost certainly a vain undertaking because the Covid-19 virus is going nowhere quickly – all the data leads to that conclusion. 

Despite the national lockdown that started on 27 March 2020, the CMA maintained its position that the race was still scheduled for 14 June 2020 even though participants would not easily be able to continue training under the strict State of National Disaster conditions. CMA quickly changed that stance after a backlash on social media. 

“We are living through unprecedented, unpredictable and unimaginably challenging times,” CMA chairperson Cheryl Winn wrote to participants recently. 

“On behalf of the Comrades Marathon Association, I thank you for your patience and apologise for the extent to which uncertainty as to the status of the 2020 Comrades Marathon may have added to your burden of anxiety, over matters far graver than any road race, over the past month. A reminder that we have promised to put an end to the uncertainty by 17 April. 

“Considering the ramifications of the 21-day national lockdown, and as Covid-19 numbers in South Africa and around the world continue to escalate, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the 2020 Comrades Marathon will be staged on 14 June. 

“CMA’s main considerations at this stage are to encourage runners to abide by and respect all aspects and directives of Government in relation to the National Lockdown, in particular to stay at home and do not run outside of one’s own property, as well as regard for the eventual safety, welfare and potential un-preparedness of runners after having experienced a three-week interruption in training, during the critical build-up to such a gruelling endurance race. 

“With regard to possible postponement, which would require Athletics South Africa (ASA) sanction, the CMA Board is of the view that the race cannot be staged later than 4 October 2020 owing to climatic conditions.  Failing which the 2020 Comrades Marathon will have to be cancelled for the first and only time since World War 2 in the 99 year history of the race. 

We trust that runners will appreciate that within an extremely congested athletics calendar that is largely constructed around the Comrades Marathon, it is no easy task to identify an alternative date.

(04/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Craig Ray
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Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon

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

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World Athletics announces protected window for 2020 national championships

World Athletics has put aside the weekend of 8-9 August, 2020, as the protected window for national championships this year, following the disruption of the international competition calendar by the coronavirus pandemic.

The newly established Global Calendar Unit has engaged actively with Member Federations, Area Associations, meeting directors and the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission in order to identify this window, a weekend when no Wanda Diamond League or World Athletics Continental Tour meetings are scheduled to be held this year.

The purpose of creating a protected window is to allow athletes to be able to compete in their national championships without scheduling conflicts, and Member Federations are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity if it is safe for athletes to compete in August. This applies primarily to the Northern Hemisphere, which is in its outdoor season.

The Athletes’ Commission has advised that elite athletes have a strong desire to compete this year if possible, and World Athletics will do everything it can to conduct an international competition season later this year to assist athletes to prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: “None of us can predict the future in these unprecedented times but we do know that different countries are at different stages of managing this pandemic so we are trying to give a structure to our athletes and Member Federations so they can begin to plan for the year ahead. If it is at all possible, we will schedule a belated outdoor season from August to October to help our athletes to figure out where they stand after the disruption of this year.

“We are hopeful that this can begin with national championships in many Northern Hemisphere countries in early August as travel restrictions across country borders will not impact these events. This will be followed by what we hope will be a solid international season, but of course we are dependent on the global response to the pandemic. Nevertheless, we think it’s better to offer our stakeholders some hope of a return to normalcy later this year.”

The Global Calendar Unit continues to work with the Diamond League and Continental Tour to reschedule the rest of the 2020 season and an announcement is expected towards the end of April.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the ability of all countries to resume competition at the same time or for athletes to have equal access to major competitions this year, the suspension of the Olympic qualification process will remain in place from 6 April to 30 November, 2020, as announced earlier this week.

This means that any results posted during this period will not be eligible for Olympic qualification or world ranking points.

Looking forward to next year, the Global Calendar Unit has agreed that the 2021 national championships protected windows will be on 5-6 June and 26-27 June, 2021, just prior to the end of the qualifying period for the Tokyo Olympic Games (June 29, 2021).

(04/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Gayle Hoy is a mother of three and she ran a marathon she had been training for on her driveway

Mother of three Gayle Hoy was determined to run the marathon she had been training for despite the lockdown - so she completed a 26.2 mile course by runing round the driveway of her Kirkliston home - 655 times.

And in the process she raised around £2,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK, a charity she has supported since a friend’s seven-year-old son was diagnosed with the condition a few years ago.

Gayle, 43, took up running shortly before her 40th birthday and has completed several previous marathons.

She was due to run the Manchester marathon last Sunday as part of a special challenge she set herself to run three marathons in seven weeks.

“I started training back in October. By the time coronavirus got quite serious over here, I knew in my head all these races were going to be cancelled and I thought I have done all this training - and by that point I’d already raised about £4,000 through a bake-off coffee morning and a raffle and things - so I could just run these locally.”

First she thought she could find a 26.2 mile route in the area near Kirkliston, but as the Stay at Home advice kicked in she decided it would have to be closer to home.

“I was thinking I could run in my driveway and my garden, so I tried it one Sunday afternoon. I ran a 5k between the garden and the driveway and every time I went into the garden the kids were firing their nerf guns at me and there were far too many trip hazards and there was the whirligig and the kids’ playhouse, so I thought no, this is far too dangerous. I decided I’d have to stick to the drive.”

The rest of the family all played their part.

Son Finlay, 12, was race director, plotting the route and measuring out the distance. Elder daughter Lara, nine, worked out the best camera angles for filming the effort on Facebook Live. Younger daughter Emilia, five, chalked rainbows on the drive and made posters.

And husband Euan had to count the laps.

“It was a great day and there was a real community buzz,” said Gayle. “People who were out for their daily exercise walked past and said ‘well done, keep going. My neighbors had made banners and were hanging out the windows cheering me on.

“I really enjoyed it - I was struggling towards the end and kept saying to my husband ‘How many laps to go?’ and he said ‘Just keep running’.”

She completed it in 6 hours 44 minutes - the slowest race she has ever run.

(04/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ian Swanson
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Paul Holliday runs marathon in living room for charity

As coronavirus lockdown restrictions continue to be enforced, Bolton Wanderers' head of marketing and communications - and keen runner - Paul Holliday had to think on his feet after his plan to raise money for charity by running a series of marathons had to be abandoned.

His solution? Running a full 26-mile marathon in his own living room.

Holliday, who has been furloughed during the crisis, streamed his efforts on social media on Wednesday as he ran 4,500 laps of his front room.

"I must confess that after the first couple of laps, the size of the task in front of me made me feel a bit daunted," he admitted to BBC Sport.

"But once I got into my groove I had no further doubts or issues.

"I had done a trial mile in my living room just over a week ago to see what it would be like and I felt dizzy after that.

"But I prepared well over the past couple of days by eating and hydrating well so I knew I'd have the energy to get this done."

Holliday, whose daughter Isabella has Down's Syndrome and ADHD, had planned to run three marathons this year in order to raise money for High Five, a Lancashire-based charity his wife and a friend set up to support the families of children with disabilities.

When the pandemic led to his outdoor runs being cancelled, however, Holliday pressed on with his aim to continue fundraising and streamed his indoor marathon to thousands via his Twitter account.

So far, he has raised over £2,000 - double his original target.

"I've been overwhelmed by the support of everyone; family, friends, colleagues and especially people who I've never met," he said.

"To be so generous during these uncertain times shows how kind-hearted people can be and I'm truly grateful."

Having finished in a time of four hours 38 minutes, how was he physically and what was the state of the living room?

"The carpet, quite miraculously, is unscathed. There aren't any signs of wear and tear but we've been wanting to replace it for years. I plan to do a couple more indoor marathons before the outdoor marathons resume so we will wait until after I've done them," he said.

(04/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jay Freeman
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American sprinter and long jumper, Jarrion Lawson cleared his name

Lawson, the only man besides Jesse Owens to win the 100 meters, 200 meters, and long jump at the same NCAA championships and the long jump silver medalist at the 2017 World Championships, took a drug test in June 2018 that revealed an Adverse Analytical Finding. That mere fact was essentially a death sentence. The test had been ordered by the Athletics Integrity Unit, World Athletics’ anti-doping arm. Since the AIU’s establishment in April 2017, it had prosecuted over 100 cases of Adverse Analytical Findings. Every single one of them resulted in a sanction.

So it came as no surprise when Lawson’s appeal of the resulting four-year suspension was rejected by an AIU Disciplinary Tribunal in May 2019.

Lawson told the AIU he had ingested the prohibited substance — epitrenbolone, a metabolite of the banned anabolic steroid trenbolone — unknowingly, the result of consuming contaminated beef. Yet that explanation was not enough; for the AIU to overturn the decision, Lawson had to prove “with actual evidence” the “specific source of the allegedly contaminated meat and demonstrate the likelihood that said meat was contaminated.” Despite his best efforts, Lawson could not do that.

Undeterred, Lawson, 25, appealed the AIU’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which heard his case in New York on November 21. The CAS appeal was a Hail Mary; the CAS panel that heard Lawson’s case admitted when it reached its decision in March.

“In ‘extremely rare’ cases, an athlete might be able to demonstrate a lack of intent even where he/she cannot establish the origin of the prohibited substance,” the CAS decision read, later noting an athlete such as Lawson would have to pass through the “narrowest of corridors” to prove his innocence without establishing the specific source of the prohibited substance.

“Common sense must count strongly,” the CAS decision read, “against it being a mere coincidence that he tested positive, for such a tiny amount of a dangerous and illegal prohibited substance as to be undetectable in his hair, and for no rational benefit, so soon after having eaten beef from hormone-treated cattle.”

Lawson was relieved to have the case settled in his favor. He doesn’t blame the restaurant for the contaminated beef — “we don’t know what’s going on in the meat industry” — and isn’t dwelling on missed earnings or competition opportunities.

“Anything that I may have missed out on, I think I will get everything that’s supposed to come my way,” Lawson says.

But Lawson isn’t completely ready to move on. The costs he was forced to pay — tens of thousands in legal fees, a hit to his reputation, and a year and a half of his prime — were severe; the next athlete in his situation might not be willing (or able) to pay them. He believes there are major flaws in the doping control process that need to be remedied

(04/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Mike Huber runs for 25 hours in virtual marathon and he was one of 2,400 runners from 64 countries

Mike Huber was supposed to travel to Calgary in June to run an ultra-marathon in support of The Rare Disease Foundation.

Then along came COVID-19. The world was turned upside down and the marathon, like all other events across the globe, was cancelled.

However, the die-hard running community didn’t hang up their bibs. Instead they went the extra mile.

Huber along with 2,400 runners from 64 countries from around the world, took part in the first annual Quarantine Backyard Ultra – the brainchild of Albertan ultra-marathon runner Dave Proctor and a company called Peak Run Performance.

Every runner around the world started the race at the exact same time at their own home – either on a treadmill or on the road.

They had to run a 6.7 kilometer loop every hour, starting again at the beginning of every hour, until they could no longer run anymore.

If an athlete finished the loop early within the hour they got to rest for the remaining time before setting out on the next loop. However, if a participant did not finish the loop within the allotted time, they were eliminated.

“That’s the game,” said Huber.

“It’s how much time do you have to rest versus not rest,” he said.

The strategy depends on the runner. Some people like more rest, explained Huber, and some people like less so they keep moving and their body doesn’t seize up. And then you have to eat.

A two minute warning would alert athletes get on their start line and if a runner failed to start at the exact time then they were disqualified.

Times were logged on an app called Strava through the athlete’s watches.

Runners also used the teleconferencing app called Zoom to allow them to interact with other racers and live feed while running.

“What makes the race really unique, and we joke about it in the running world, there’s only one winner,” said Huber.

Huber started his race at 6 a.m. PST on Saturday, April 4, and finished at 7 a.m. on Sunday.

(04/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Collen Flanagan
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Celia Duncan trained for months to run the London Marathon, then it was called off, but she runs 1,555 laps at her back garden

You have to be nuts to sign up for a marathon: training for months in the rain, the dark and the skin-stinging wind.

And all for what? To hang a bit of metal round your neck while nursing damaged knees, blistered feet and lost toenails.

So perhaps it is only to be expected that, with marathons cancelled worldwide (Paris, Manchester, Rome, Boston and counting), and with governments pleading for us to stay at home, all those stir-crazy runners would funnel their obsession somewhere else, somewhere more local, somewhere… like their garden.

In the past six weeks, thwarted would-be marathon men and women all over the world have launched a new craze for long-distance running in the confines of their own homes.

Chinese runner Pan Shancu, 44, was one of the first. On February 14, under lockdown in Hangzhou, Eastern China, the massage therapist ran 50km (31 miles) in four hours 48 minutes, lapping two treatment beds in his sitting room 6,250 times. ‘I could not bear sitting down any more,’ he said.

Now the trend has been embraced by us Brits. When the London Landmarks Half Marathon was cancelled last month, the organisers encouraged competitors to run locally instead.

Deborah Meredith, a 40-year-old mum-of-three and lunchtime supervisor at her local primary school in Telford, Shropshire, duly ran the full distance in her garden. ‘The neighbours thought I was crazy, but, with my three boys cheering me on, I put on my running number and did 250 laps.’

And now I too am officially a proud RFH (running-from-home) nutter. With my hard-won opportunity to run in the London Marathon postponed until October 4, last week I ran a half marathon in my back garden.

This is not a big space. In fact it is so small, my Endomondo tracker failed to register the distance I was running — something I discovered 15 minutes in.

So with a tape measure, my son worked out our postage-stamp lawn (approximately 5m squared) had a 13.5m circumference.

This meant that in order to run the requisite 21.1km or 13.1 miles I would have to complete 1,555.5 laps. One and a half thousand!

The nation’s favourite PE teacher Joe Wicks provided the warm-up session online, which I completed alongside my eight-year-old daughter.

Then I set off — past the choisya (annoyingly bushy), the olive trees (thankfully trimmed) and the vegetable patch (the lettuce had self-seeded on the lawn, I noticed), before reaching the home straight of our pot-lined patio.

And then I ran round again. And again. And again. And again.

By lap 1,343, I could feel a blister forming and my ankles ached from the strain of leaning inwards. Yes, I could grab energy chews off a garden table to keep my spirits up, and it was a relief to chuck my sweatshirt onto the patio rather than knotting it around my waist as I usually do. But the tedium was starting to kick in.

When I finally limped over the finish line, I’d been running for two hours 29 minutes. A personal worst. And yet, I’d done it: I’d run a half marathon. The garden may never be the same again — as my husband keeps telling me — but that’s not the point.

As the lockdown continues, other disappointed would-be marathon runners will be carving out more courses in their homes.

(04/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Celia Duncan
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2020 rescheduled to September 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic

The TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2020, one of the world's leading 10km road races and a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race, has been rescheduled from May 17 to September 13 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Attached is the press release issued by the race promoters Procam International in India earlier today, which includes quotes from Joint-Managing Director of Procam International Vivek Singh and TCS World 10K Race Director Hugh Jones as well as details of the transfer of runners' registrations and the re-opening of entries.

(04/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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TCS World 10K

TCS World 10K

2020 race was moved from May 17 to September 13 and now to November 22. The TCS World 10k Bengaluru has always excelled in ways beyond running. It has opened new doors for people to reach out to the less privileged of the society and encourages them to do their bit. The TCS World 10K event is the world’s richest...

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Greater Manchester Police Constable Damieon Hartley-Pickle is set for his garden half-marathon

Greater Manchester Police Constable Damieon Hartley-Pickles will be running a half marathon in his back garden in support of the Mahdlo Youth Zone and the NHS.

Oldhamer Damieon, also known as Barrowthon Man, has run a series of long distance runs in support of Oldham’s charities with his trusty wheelbarrow.

He was due to run the Oldham Half Marathon in March, but because of the coronavirus pandemic the event was postponed.

Not one to be knocked back, Damieon has taken matters into his own hands to spread some positivity during these unprecedented times and raise some much needed funds for Oldham’s health and youth services. His garden will host his next half marathon on Sunday, (April 12).

Lucy Lees, deputy chief executive at Mahdlo Youth Zone, said: “Damieon has been a long-time supporter of Mahdlo and once again he has gone above and beyond anything we could have expected.

“In these difficult and uncertain times Mahdlo’s members and Oldham’s young people need support more than ever and we are so grateful that Damieon has chosen to raise funds for us alongside the greatest of causes in our National Health Service.

“We can’t wait to see him charging around his garden to bring some positivity and light to Oldham – just 418 times and counting.”

Damieon Hartley-Pickles added: “It’s going to be an interesting challenge that’s for sure. I’ve run a fair few distance races over the years but this will be the first I’ve done so close to where I actually keep my wheelbarrow.

“After the Manchester Half was postponed I felt I needed to do something positive, to show everyone that amazing things are still happening in Oldham.

"The work Mahdlo has been doing to continue to provide youth services to the young people of Oldham over the last month has been fantastic and I know that the generosity of our local community will shine through when it comes to supporting them and our wonderful NHS.”

(04/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Nick Jackson
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Paula Radcliffe’s father dies at Salisbury District hospital

Paula Radcliffe has tragically revealed that her father Peter passed away yesterday in hospital.

The marathon world record holder took to social media to pay tribute to both her late dad and the NHS staff who looked after him.

She wrote on Instagram: "Yesterday I lost the best dad anyone could ever wish for.

"The kindest, wisest, most patient and brave man who leaves behind so many people who loved him so much and whose lives he enriched. He and my mum gave us everything we ever needed and so much fun and love.

"He was always there for me and the guidance and outlook on life he gave me will ensure he is forever with me.

"Everyone who knew him was better off for it. Thank you Dad, you will always be in our hearts and thoughts. Love you forever."

Radcliffe also expressed her gratitude to the staff at Salisbury hospital's intensive ward, who are currently dealing with a number of patients who have tested positive for coronavirus.

She added: "Heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the wonderful doctors and nurses of Radnor ward Salisbury District hospital who cared for him with such warmth and compassion.

"And to all those selflessly working so hard to save lives everywhere."

Radcliffe shared an online fundraising page for the Stars Appeal, which is aimed at aiding NHS heroes with equipment and treats as they battle the coronavirus crisis.

And the 2005 world champion runner also announced that she took part in last week's ClapForOurCares.

The British athletics legend ended her career in 2015, but her ladies marathon record of 2:15:25, set in in London in 2003, still stands.

Despite having suffered from asthma as a child, Radcliffe took up running with her late father, who was a keen runner in his day, helping her overcome the condition to become a champion.

(04/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Joe Brophy
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After trying to find a new date the Paderborn Easter Run has decided to cancel their race for 2020

The organizers just posted this: "Just over two weeks ago, it was announced that this year's Paderborn Easter Run would be postponed until late summer.

"In the past few days, the organisers of the Paderborn Easter Run have put all the facts, runners' interests, economic aspects, logistical challenges to the test and weighed up the pros and cons.

"It was with a heavy heart that we came to the conclusion that the Paderborn Easter Run 2020 should be cancelled altogether and that all energy and passion should be invested in the then still 74th Easter Run 2021.

"But what is Easter without the Easter Run? Because the "real" Easter run cannot take place this year, the organizers, together with the Sparkasse Paderborn-Detmold, have considered an alternative running event – the Paderborn Easter Solo Run. The most important requirement for participation is that all routes are run SOLO."

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
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Paderborner Sterlauf

Paderborner Sterlauf

It is well known that the fascination of running has steadily increased in recent years.But the Paderborn Easter Run has been around for 72 years. It is the oldest street race in Germany, organized by the SC Grün-Weiß Paderborn, enjoys even after so many decades of growing popularity and belongs to many already traditional Easter.There are even runners and helpers...

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World Athletics Championships Oregon pushed to 2022, dates have been confirmed

The World Athletics Championships in Oregon have been rescheduled to 15-24 July in 2022, following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Oregon World Championships were originally scheduled for 6-15 August, 2021, but have been rescheduled to the following year to avoid a clash with the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The World Athletics Council approved the new dates this week after extensive discussions with the sport’s stakeholders including organisers of two other major championships due to take place in July-August 2022, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the multisport European Championships in Munich.

The new schedule will prevent a direct conflict between any of these major events and, with careful programming, will ensure athletes can compete in up to three world-class competitions.

In an extraordinary international season for athletics, all three events will be held across an unprecedent summer of sport. The World Championships will begin a unique celebration of the sport, followed by the Commonwealth Games and the European Athletics Championships as part of the European Championships.

"This will be a bonanza for athletics fans around the world," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.

"They will be treated to six weeks of absolutely first-class athletics. More than 70 of our Member Federations are part of the Commonwealth and more than 50 of our Member Federations are European so our guiding principle in rescheduling the World Championships was to ensure enough space was created around the centrepiece World Athletics Championship for athletes to choose other major events to compete in. We were also very mindful that we did not want to damage the other major championships in 2022, because they are also very important to our sport.

"We believe we have found a solution that will allow athletes who are eligible for the other two events to compete in them with the Commonwealth Games Federation planning to stage the athletics programme towards the end of their event. This will showcase our sport to its best advantage in the circumstances and we will continue collaborating with all competitions on the detailed programming.

"We would not have chosen to have three major championships back-to-back but it will give us a unique opportunity to promote our sport and its stars around the globe over a six-week period.

"I want to particularly thank Oregon 21 LLC and all its stakeholders for their collaboration and flexibility as well as all World Athletics’ partners and broadcasters who are so critical to delivering the Games and taking it into the homes of millions of fans."

Niels de Vos, Executive Director of the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22, said: "I should like to thank Oregon’s stakeholders for committing so early to the postponement, allowing maximum flexibility on dates for our friends at World Athletics, just as they have been flexible with us in ensuring our plans can remain on track despite the 12 month postponement. Oregon 22, as we must now get used to calling it, will be kickstarting a global festival of international track and field championships in the summer of 2022 that will be a fantastic experience for athletes and fans alike."

CGF President Louise Martin said: “I would like to thank the leadership of World Athletics for a hugely constructive approach to working with the CGF. Our collective objective has been to ensure that, in this unprecedented time of global upheaval in all our lives, as well as its impact on the international sports calendar, the interests of athletes are at the centre of all decision-making. We will continue to work together to create space within our schedules to provide athletes with the opportunity to safely compete to the best of their abilities at multiple world class events."

Libor Varhaník, Interim Chair of the European Championships Munich 2022, said: "On behalf of all the stakeholders of the multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, I would like to thank World Athletics for working constructively and collaboratively with us in finding a new event date that respects the major events already scheduled in 2022. The international sports calendar has been hugely impacted as we battle this terrible global health crisis, and in discussions with World Athletics and the Commonwealth Games Federation our mutual goal has been to put the interest of our athletes at the forefront of our thoughts.

"The European Championships will continue to work closely with World Athletics and the Commonwealth Games Federation to ensure that athletes, media and sports fans are able to enjoy an amazing summer of sport across three world-class events in 2022, from Oregon to Birmingham and culminating in Munich in August on the 50th anniversary of its hosting of the Olympic Games".

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Guy Hudson runs 50k ultra marathon in back garden for Horsham foodbank funds

A determined Henfield dad took on a 50k ultra marathon in his own back garden after the race he was meant to be running had to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Guy Hudson decided to do 1,000 laps of his 50m garden course instead.

He exceeded his intended distance as well as his fundraising target, which saw him raise more than £1,000 to support the Horsham District Foobank which is experiencing an unprecedented level of demand for help at this time.

Guy said: “Originally I was going to do this just for a personal challenge but it occurred to me that I may be missing a trick if I didn’t also try and raise much needed funds for a local cause.

“It was amazing how many messages of support and kindness I received during the event and as donations were coming in, my daughter was shouting out the total and reading the messages.

“As of April 6, we’ve raised £1,101.80, an amazing amount from 55 people, some of which I don’t even know!

“I am so pleased that the Horsham Community Food Bank will be able to immediately begin using these funds to share support and kindness within the community that I live.”

Guy set off at 8.30am and hit the half way mark in 2hrs38 and the marathon in 4hrs42.

As he went passed his £500 fundraising target before the end of the marathon, he decided to continue until he reached 1,000 laps, and finished the whole fundraiser in 5hrs31.

Guy’s wife, Jo, and son, Sonny, both ran 200 laps (10k) each, while daughter Kitty looked after the food, drink and high-five station.

Guy said: “To even out the wear and tear on my ankles, hips and glutes, I’d decided to change direction every 20 laps which worked out well but became a little confusing remembering in the later hours of the challenge, so I decided just to stick to running clockwise.

“At first it took a while to get into the rhythm of just plodding round and round but as time went on, so did the headphones and sun cream and i just switched off.

“One of the weirdest things was how it seemed to get easier the longer I was going and the second half was definitely somehow ‘easier’ than the first.”

The money that Guy has raised will directly support the Horsham District Foodbank during the coronavirus crisis, for which Horsham Matters has adapted their service in light of Government advice and now provides a doorstep, contact-free delivery of three days’ emergency food for those experiencing financial poverty or for complex households needing support.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jasmin Martin
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Kenyan marathon runner Vincent Kipsegechi Yator, handed four-year doping ban

Another Kenyan athlete has been handed a doping ban after marathon runner Vincent Kipsegechi Yator was suspended for four years following positive tests for a number of banned substances.

Yator, who represented his nation at the Commonwealth Games and African Championships in 2010, was given a four-year-ban, having provisionally been suspended after testing positive in October.

The Athletics Integrity Unit announced the sanction after the 30-year-old was hit with two charges.

The first charge was related to the admitted presence of metabolites of testosterone after a test was taken on July 7 of last year, while the second was related to the alleged use of several banned substances including exogenous testosterone, trimetazidine, prednisone, prednisolone and clomiphene. 

The Kenyan argued that the presence of prednisone and prednisolone came from medication he was taking after he was allegedly in a road accident in 2018.

Yator's positive test came immediately after he broke his marathon personal best at the Gold Coast Marathon in Australia with a time of 2 hours 9min 59sec.

At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Yator finished fourth in the men's 5,000 metres behind team-mate Eliud Kipchoge - future holder of the marathon world record - who came second.

He also finished third at the Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii in December 2018.

Yator will not be eligible to compete again until October 1 2023 and has had all results from April 10 to October 1 in 2019 expunged.

He follows a string of high-profile Kenyans to test positive recently, with the most famous name of them all being Beijing 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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Paris government bans daytime outdoor exercise, Parisians can only exercise outdoors before 10:00 a.m or after 7 p.m.

On Tuesday, the Paris government banned residents from partaking in outdoor physical activity between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. This new rule follows a busy weekend in the city, where officials reported many people running and walking in parks.

The new rule, which goes into effect on Wednesday, restricts exercise to times when the streets are the quietest.

France has been under lockdown restrictions for over a month. Residents aren’t permitted to go outside of a 1K radius of their home, except for pharmacy or grocery needs. France, Italy, Spain and the U.K. are where the rules are the strictest at the moment, and also the countries whose death tolls are among the highest in the world. 

The BBC reports that Italy alone has hit over 17,000 deaths as of Tuesday.

Thankfully, Canadians are still allowed to exercise whenever they wish, as long as they’re obeying social distancing rules. Those rules include staying off of closed paths, tracks and sports fields. Canadians are also asked to remain two metres away from fellow exercisers at all times (unless they live together).

For the time being, runners should consider doing their daily activity in less populated areas like parking lots, roads or on the treadmill if they have one.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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