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Kitata conquers Kipchoge while Kosgei retains title at London Marathon and US Sara Hall finishes second

The man is fallible after all. Eliud Kipchoge’s reign of invincibility came to a crushing end with an eighth-place finish at the Virgin Money London Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label race, as Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata won a dramatic, last-gasp sprint to take the honours in the men’s race.

Kipchoge, the Olympic champion and world record-holder and unbeaten in 10 previous marathons, had been widely expected to claim an unprecedented fifth London title in his first race since making history by breaking the two-hour barrier in Vienna.

His principal challenger, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekeke, had been forced to withdraw with a calf injury just two days before the race, while Kipchoge had cut a confident figure in the build-up as he discussed how well his preparations had gone.

Moments before he went to the start-line, fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei had raced to a runaway victory to retain her London crown, and few predicted anything but a Kipchoge triumph to complete a Kenyan double.

But this time, the race did not follow the usual script. Looking comfortable among a lead group of nine runners for much of the race, Kipchoge appeared to be biding his time before launching a characteristic surge of pace to break up the field.

On this occasion, though, the attack failed to materialise. Instead, the tables were turned on the mighty Kenyan as his rivals launched a breakaway with three miles of the race remaining.

With Kipchoge unable to respond, a lead group of five soon turned into a three-way battle between Kitata, fellow Ethiopian Sisay Lemma and the towering Kenyan, Vincent Kipchumba. Kipchoge, meanwhile, was disappearing into the distance.

In one of the most exciting finishes in London Marathon memory, Kipchumba was the first to strike for home, only to be overtaken on the line by the diminutive Kitata. Just a single second separated the two men as Kitata clocked a winning time of 2:05:41.

“I prepared very well for this race,” Kitata, 24, said afterwards. "Kenenisa Bekele helped me. I am very happy to win the race.”

Lemma was third in 2:04:45 while Kipchoge crossed the line in eighth in 2:06:42 – his slowest ever time in a city marathon. It was his first defeat since 2013.

“I am really disappointed,” Kipchoge said afterwards. “I don't know what happened.

“The last 15km, I felt my right ear was blocked and I had cramp in my hip and leg.

“It just happened in the race. I started well. It's really cold but I don't blame the conditions.”

It was a remarkable outcome to an extraordinary race, which was staged for the first time over 19 laps of a closed-loop course around St James’s Park in central London after the original race scheduled for April had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The course was also off limits to spectators to maintain a ‘biosecure’ bubble for the athletes and support staff. It was just a shame that no one was there to witness in person one of the most dramatic men’s races in the event’s 40-year history.

By contrast, the women’s race followed a more predictable path.

Kosgei, the overwhelming pre-race favourite after obliterating Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record when she won in Chicago last October in a stunning 2:14:04, delivered another imperious performance to retain her London crown.

Her time of 2:18:58 may have been 38 seconds slower than her victory a year ago, but her winning margin of more than three minutes spoke volumes for her dominance. At the age of just 26, she is already taking the marathon into uncharted territory.

“I just tried my best,” she said afterwards. “The weather affected us today. There was some wind and rain all the way, which made our muscles colder. No one could warm up so it was difficult to even finish.”

Earlier in the race, Kosgei’s main challenge came from fellow Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the world champion and London debutant, as the pair set a hot pace to break away just before the 10-mile mark.

The halfway split of 1:08:15 put the duo on track to lower Mary Keitany’s women’s only world record of 2:17:01, though the soggy conditions and tight corners on the looped course were never going to be conducive to record-breaking times.

Chepngetich made a brave attempt to surge away from Kosgei after the midway point, though the attack was swiftly countered and the pair settled into a more sedate pace for several miles, ending all thoughts of breaking records.

It was after the 19-mile mark that Kosgei made the decisive attack and this time Chepngetich had no answer, dropping back quickly and looking suddenly fatigued as she evidently paid the price for going with the early pace.

As Kosgei’s race turned in a one-woman exhibition over the closing miles, the real contest was taking place further back in the field as veteran Sara Hall of the US overhauled Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere to move into third place before training her sights on the tiring Chepngetich.

In an exciting sprint finish that presaged the men’s race a couple of hours later, Hall, 37, found the energy to burst past the Kenyan with just 80 metres remaining, crossing the line in second place in a lifetime best of 2:22:01 for her first ever top-three finish in a major city marathon. Chepngetich finished four seconds behind her.

It was also the first time an able-bodied US athlete had made it on to the London Marathon podium since Deena Kastor’s victory in 2006 – an achievement that will help atone for Hall’s disappointment in failing to gain selection for the Tokyo Olympics at last year’s US Olympic trials.

 

(10/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Simon Hart for World Athletics
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge loses to retain 2020 London Marathon title.

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge loses the 40th London Marathon  after finishing at 8th position in time of 2:08:42.Shura Kitata from Ethiopia won with a time of 2:05:42 which was a close finish with Vincent Kipchumba 2:05:45.Lemma Sisay came third 2:05:45  after leading from 25km to almost 41.8km where the high pace set by Kitata edge him out of the lead and settled at third position

The men race which was full of surprises saw Eliud Kipchoge who has won four London marathons and never lost for seven years over the distance dropped at 22-mile mark  due to stomach issues,hip problem and right ear blockage.

The men had 3 pace makers who helped them crossed 5km in 14:48,10km 29:45 and all through 15km in 44:31. At 25km , Lemma Sisay hicked the pace higher making the group goes in a single lane.Vincent Kipchumba picked a paced through 30km at 1:29:00.Mo farah on the chasing pack  was pacing for European athletes who wanted to beat personal best and also Olympics qualifyers time.

In the women category ,world record holder Brigid kosgei swept a win in 2:18:58 followed a distance away by Hall Sara of USA 2:22:01 while Ruth Chepngetich settle at 2:22:05.Sara Hall set her pb after outshining Chepngetich(KE) in the last 300m who had harmstring problem.

The women race had pacemakers than included Vivian Kiplagat that did a nice job despite harsh weather conditions with incessant rain with alot of humidity and low temperatures of about 9 degrees celsius.The 19.7 laps race around St. James Park rather than normal  traditional route was tough for the majority of the athletes that saw the likes of Vivian Cheruiyot dropped in the middle of the race.The 2020 London marathon route was change to loop running due to covid-19 pandemic that has affected all sports facilities in the entire world.

(10/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Willie Korir reporting from Kenya
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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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Hard work behind scenes ensures Island Marathon on today

Having jumped through a variety of health and safety hoops to make it happen, organisers of the Isle of Wight Marathon are delighted it will be going ahead as planned this morning (Sunday).

After putting in much spadework to prove they can meet the Covid-19 guidelines set out by UK Athletics and Run Britain, Ryde Harriers this year’s event will go ahead from the Isle of Wight Community Club, Cowes, at 11am.

Event co-organiser, Chris Lewis, said: "Many thanks to the Isle of Wight Council's safety advisory group and Public Health England for helping us to set this up this year.

"To limit the time on the course, there will be an 11am start for slower runners, with the main group starting as normal at 11.30am — expected to catch the slower ones at the four-mile stage, where overtaking can be done safely and socially distanced."

 

This year, the Isle of Wight Marathon will see some returning winners, with the likes of Gary Marshall (Ryde Harriers) and Sarah Hill (Farnham Runners), who also holds the women’s record for the Cowes course.

Other runners to look out for are Ross Skelton and Ryde Harriers Joe Wade and Charlie Metcalfe.

Due to Covid-19 mitigations there is no entry on the day with 220 runners pre-entered.

The history

First run in 1957, the Isle of Wight Marathon is the oldest continuously run marathon in the UK and 25th in the world list of oldest marathons.

In its early years, it was seen as an elite event, with the best marathon runners in the UK turning up to compete — officially men-only until 1976.

With its 1,505ft of ascent, the old ‘classic’ course was reckoned to be one of the toughest road marathons in the UK.

  The modern route

The present course, run from Cowes, over the much 'quieter' — in terms of traffic — West Wight roads.

It is still no mean undertaking, with 785ft of ascent and a particularly long hill at 24 miles — a huge physical and mental challenge for any marathon runner.

"We are asking runners to turn up as late as possible, to limit their use of the venue and to leave straight after finishing, to limit contact between people," added Chris. 

From the start, the course heads from Cowes to Shalfleet, via Gurnard and Porchfield, before taking the main road to Yarmouth.

After a brief section along the cycleway, runners return via Thorley, Wellow and Shalfleet, before heading to Porchfield again and returning to Cowes via Pallance Road, the notorious hill at 24 miles.

This year we have some returning winners in Gary Marshall (Ryde Harriers) and Sarah Hill (Farnham Runners) who also holds the women’s record for the Cowes course.

 

Other runners to look out for are Ross Skelton, Joe Wade and Charlie Metcalfe (last two Ryde Harriers).

(10/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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How music tempo can affect your running pace and recovery

The tempo of your running tunes can make all the difference, according to a small study.

If you always run with a pumped up soundtrack, you may be onto something – research has found that listening to fast tempo music while running can help you increase your speed without perceiving it as more intense.

The study, published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, saw 12 runners undertake a session of a 10-minute rest, a 20-minute self-paced treadmill run and a 20-minute recovery period lying down. They carried out the session listening to either static noise, fast tempo music or slow tempo music, and had their heart rate and rate of perceived exhaustion measured at regular intervals throughout.

Runners who were given fast tempo music chose faster speed settings on the treadmill and had a higher peak heart rate, but didn’t report a change in perceived exhaustion. Additionally, the runners who listening to slow tempo music in the recovery period showed faster heart rate recovery and lower blood lactate at the end of the session.

It’s only a small sample, but if you already hit the roads to something speedy and warm down to Adele then you may be onto something.

(10/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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According to Spotify, this is the most popular song on running playlists

Spotify has revealed that Eye of the Tiger, the theme song from Rocky III, is the most popular song included on running playlists in the UK.

The massive 1982 hit will feature on Spotify's UK Running playlist, to which the streaming service has added five hours of tracks for this weekend's virtual London Marathon. The UK's most popular running playlist is now eight hours long, ideal for 'back of the pack' runners needing a boost. More than 45,000 runners will take part in the event this Sunday.

Spotify has also announced it has had more than 25,000 streams of London Marathon-inspired playlists in the past month among UK listeners, almost all of whom, it has to be assumed, were preparing for Sunday’s event. The streaming platform reported a 36 per cent rise in streams on April 26, when the 40th race was originally set to take place.

If you’re planning to put together your own playlist on Sunday, the five most popular songs included in running playlists in the UK on Spotify are:

“Survivor” by Eye of the Tiger

“Titanium” by David Guetta featuring Sia

“Can't Hold Us” by Macklemore featuring Ryan Lewis

“Lose Yourself” by Eminem

“Wake Me Up” by Avicii

Five most popular artists included in running playlists in the UK on Spotify:

Calvin Harris

David Guetta

Kanye West

Eminem

Avicii

(10/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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5 High-Energy Exercises That’ll Make Every Run Feel Easier

Add a little extra pep in your step with these power-boosting moves designed to help you run more effortlessly.

There’s a reason why elite runners are often compared to gazelles—the speedy, long-distance runners of the animal world. They bound so effortlessly, it’s like they have springs under their feet.

That bounce is key to being a faster, more efficient runner. “When I think of springiness, I think of muscle tension or the ability to produce power,” says Danny Mackey, head coach of the Brooks Beasts, one of America’s premier middle-distance track teams.

Your muscles and tendons are elastic, meaning they lengthen and shorten like a rubber band. When they stretch (when your foot hits the ground during a run), they store energy; when they recoil (when you push off the ground), they release that energy.

The more energy those muscles and tendons can store, the less work they have to do to generate explosive power and acceleration. Fortunately, the amount of energy your muscles and tendons can store isn’t predetermined, and it’s easy to build and improve that capacity, according to Mackey.

Plyometrics (exercises where you quickly and repeatedly stretch and contract muscles by jumping and rebounding) and other explosive motions can help increase that capacity, research shows. These types of exercises train your reactive strength, or your muscles’ ability to deliver the max amount of force in the least amount of time. “Not only will that make each stride more powerful, it keeps you at a lower risk for injury,” says Mackey. “It also keeps training fun.”

How to use this list

Perform each move below as directed. Mackey recommends incorporating all five into your training every other day. “Our bodies are awesome at adapting, and you’ll see the results pretty quickly, even in your easy runs,” he says.

ou can do these moves as part of your warmup (just make sure you’re at least a little warmed up before doing Pogos and Single-leg Stride Hops), or your cooldown.

Want to get even more bang for your buck? “Do an 8-second uphill strider immediately after each move,” says Mackey. “That will really help parlay the mechanics of these moves into your run.”

For an added boost, lace up a pair of the Brooks Levitate 4. It features an updated outsole geometry and is loaded with Brooks’ best energy return cushioning, yet it’s 20 percent lighter than previous models. Simply put, that means even more springy bounce to your step, with a faster heel-to-toe transition for a more efficient stride overall.

1. Single-Leg Explosive Hip Thrust

How to do it: Lie face-up on the ground with knees bent, feet flat on floor, arms resting at sides. Extend your right leg either toward the ceiling or straight out (depending on your strength and flexibility). Lift left toes so you’re on your heel. As you quickly drive your hips toward the ceiling, roll from your left heel to your toes. Slowly lower back down. Repeat 10 times then switch legs.

Why it works: Running is a series of single-leg movements, so unilateral exercises are key for building strength. This variation of a hip thrust targets your glutes, hamstrings, and calves in the same way toeing off in the gait cycle does, says Mackey. “Your brain likes to have these cues, and the more you reinforce this motion, the easier it will be to tap into it when you’re running.”

2. Snap-Down

How to do it: Begin by standing with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Lift up onto your toes, reaching your arms toward the ceiling. As quickly as you can, drop your arms down to your sides while simultaneously dropping your heels toward the ground and sending hips back into a high squat position. (This motion is similar to using a ski erg). Hold that position for a few seconds, then return to start and repeat 10 times.

Why it works: “I use this a lot as a prep-type drill before any sort of Olympic lifts or sprints,” says Mackey. “I like it for explosive work because you’re taking your body weight and essentially catching it before you fall. Runners don’t do a lot of that eccentric work, but it’s a really good way to build power.”

3. Pogo

How to do it: Stand with feet together. Jump rapidly up and down in place, keeping feet in a dorsiflexed (toes up) position. Land on your mid-foot to the ball of your foot and aim for a snappy reaction to the ground, which will drive you into your next hop. Repeat 20 times. (You can also perform these on one leg at a time.)

Why it works: This move really zeroes in on building up that tension and power in your lower legs, says Mackey. The spring should come from your calves, so don’t bend your knees too much. And “don’t worry so much about how high each hop is,” says Mackey. “Focus more on the frequency of your hops”—that’s what’s going to give you more springiness over time.

4. Forearm Plank Bird Dog With Knee-to-Elbow Crunch

How to do it: Start in a forearm plank position, elbows directly underneath shoulders, feet hip-width apart, and back flat. Extend left arm and right leg out straight, then, as quickly as you can, curl in to bring your left elbow to touch right knee. Hold for a second, then explosively drive your arm and leg back out. Repeat 10 times, then repeat on the opposite sides.

Why it works: Your legs get most of the credit in running, but your core is your real powerhouse. This plank variation adds an extra balance challenge to an already classic exercise, while also tapping into your posterior chain on the extension part of the move, says Mackey.

5. Single-Leg Stride Hop

How to do it: Stand to the right of a bench or box and place your right foot on top of the bench or box. Drive your left knee up, pushing off the bench so your whole body is in the air (your arms should mimic the form of an arm swing while sprinting). Catch yourself slowly as you come back down. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

Why it works: This move hits a couple major power-building elements: “It’s unilateral; it isolates your quads; you’re really working your hip flexion, which is important when it comes to speed; and you’ve got to move your whole bodyweight, which is tough,” says Mackey.

(10/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Running enthusiasts filled the streets of Helsinki with the Helsinki City Running Day half marathon

The organizers recommended wearing a mask at the start. Shortly after leaving, there were trash cans on offer to get rid of the mask.

Olympic Stadium the surrounding areas were teeming with runners on Saturday morning. Due to the coronavirus situation, the Helsinki City Running Day was only allowed to run in the autumn, and the runners and their support teams gathered to wait for the start of their own series.

If the cancellation of races is remembered for the coronavirus, precautions will certainly be remembered in this case as well. In the first group of the half marathon, which started at 11 o’clock, the recommendation to use a face mask at the start was followed quite well. have fallen on, Paavo Nurmi statue kuuluukset told that the half-mile run there are garbage cans considerations, which a surgeon can not leave.

At that point, the queues were already starting to stretch and the safety gaps were forming longer than the starting area. The worst congestion was also eased by the fact that the runners set off for the half marathon in groups. The starters were divided into five groups, the last of which did not leave until 40 minutes after the first.

The Helsinki City Running Day half marathon started on Saturday at 11 am. The organizers recommended wearing a face mask at the beginning of the run.­

Helsinki During City Running Day, we will run in six series and the expectations were to get 7,000 participants on the streets of Helsinki. There are as many goal-oriented athletes as there are those who take part in the event from the sheer joy of running.

Outi Alastalo awaited the start of the half marathon for those in his support forces Elisa Puustinen and Sini Honkasen with. The detached house was going on the route for the second time, the first participation was in 2017.

The fastest the half marathons reached the finish line on Saturday in about an hour and ten minutes. The men’s series won Aki Nummela on time 1.09.51. Second place Jussi Utriainen lost to him for 21 seconds.

“This was the first race of more than 10 kilometers for me since December last year,” Nummela said in a press release from the Finnish Sports Confederation.

Nummela plans to run his first marathon of the season next Saturday in Vantaa, where the Finnish Championship medals will be awarded.

“This was a good preparatory exercise.”

The number one in the women’s series was Maria Söderström in time 1.19.48. His victory came by a fair margin, for second place Oona Hilkamo three minutes and 23 seconds left.

The start of the marathons in Helsinki was at 2 p.m.

(10/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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Helsinki City Run Half Marathon

Helsinki City Run Half Marathon

Helsinki City Run is an annual half marathon that takes place every May as a road running event around the streets and parks of Helsinki. Starting in 1994 and organized by Suomen Urheiluliitto, the race has become popular over the years, attracting a record number of 17,000 participants in 2013. Helsinki City Run is the biggest running event in Finland...

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High school cross-country will have a different look this fall

High school’s cross-country season picks up the pace in earnest this week, and as expected during these pandemic times, with a much different and abbreviated look.

Masks and social distancing of course are required of the athletes and coaches, and the protocols for practices established by the MIAA Rules Modifications and Guidelines are strictly enforced.

The season of competition is limited to a handful of dual meets for each school. Gone in 2020 are the invitational meets during the early and midseason that provided valuable tuneups for the district and All-State meets, which also are out for this year.

“Coach (Michael) O’Malley and I have spent last 6-8 months nearly losing out minds about how we’re going to accomplish any kind of significance to the season in this kind of environment,” longtime Wachusett Regional boys’ cross-country coach Brian Wallace said, while referring to his collaboration with the Mountaineers’ girls coach. “My kids have been good — I think they’re probably doing better than I am. I’m in the wrong age group.”

Wallace, who retired from teaching at Wachusett 10 years ago, is very much physically active and in fine health, but he turns 70 this month, and older citizens have always been a chief concern during these times. “It’s an issue,” he admits.

Nonetheless, Wallace’s enthusiasm for the season hasn’t waned. Wachusett remains on remote learning for now, so athletes are not using locker room facilities for practice. Coaches are responsible for ensuring social distancing is maintained between runners as much as possible. When runners hit the roads, in “pods” of athletes of no more than the same 5-10, the masks remain on.

Runners use their own water bottles and cannot share. Water fountains are used as refill stations only.

The Mountaineers’ four-race season starts Wednesday at Westboro, with their other dual-meet opponents including Algonquin, Leominster and Shrewsbury. There has been discussion of a possible meet of the five-team, geographically based pod at season’s end, but that’s like what this season is — wait and see.

And with the limits of only 10 runners embarking at a time, dual meets will now feature two heats at each. While many meets feature 10 varsity runners for each team, the event will be split into heats of five-and-five, starting a minimum of 3 minutes apart. For proper social distancing, the starting line accommodates 6 feet between runners and teams 14 feet apart. Cones leading up to the finish separate teams to run on their own side of the finish line.

Courses for visiting teams can only be previewed virtually and cannot be sampled during the minutes before a meet.

Pack running, forever an effective approach for team success, is challenged by the following MIAA guideline — “Runners should maintain social distancing throughout the race and not cluster on the course.” (We know teams will find a way).

The masks must be on at the start of the race but can be dropped down from nose and mouth when socially distancing, but athletes must be prepared to restore the mask to proper position at the conclusion of the race.

An added challenge to team scoring is the elimination of numbered tongue depressors handed to finishers to help in tabulation. Many local teams are still figuring out identification logistics such as numbers on uniforms, with possibilities of video at the finish being used to help.

“Something for the kids is better than nothing,” Wallace said. “They’re making the best of it, and I’m pleased with their approach to it. Their attitude about it has been a highlight for me this season.”

“They are so happy to be back together,” coach Nicole Fossas said of her Shepherd Hill girls’ cross-country squad. “They care deeply, they just want to be back together again.”

The Rams, defending CMass Division 1 champions and fifth-place finishers at All-States, are making the most of the 90-minute limit to practices. Like at Wachusett, Shepherd Hill’s school days are being conducted remotely.

“They could be here for three hours,” Fossas said. “They come with their masks on, I squirt all their hands with hand sanitizer. We have some dynamic warmups, go over what we’re doing for the day, and then send them out. There could also be non-running supplemental work, we just fit in what we can. Whatever we don’t finish, they do at home.”

Longer distance runs are reserved for the weekends on their own. Shepherd Hill begins its season Tuesday, and pod dual-meet opponents include Leicester, Tantasqua, Southbridge, Bay Path and North Brookfield.

Fossas and boys’ coach Len Harmon have been developing a 2.5-mile course that covers the fields surrounding Shepherd Hill and Dudley Middle School, as opposed to 2019 3.1-mile route that traveled on area roads.

“We’re troubleshooting as we go along,” Fossas said.

St. John’s High coach Mark Murray is also impressed with the attitude of his runners.

“In many ways, we’re going day by day,” he said. “I’m impressed with how our kids are respectful, they’re following the rules, and they understand that if there’s an outbreak, it can all be over. They’ve been pretty good about that.”

While the vast majority of St. John’s students attending in-house classes (only about 8% remote, according to Murray), the coach must supervise locker room protocols before each practice. There’s an X taped onto each socially distanced locker to be used for changing, and runners are ushered in no more than 16 at a time, the 50% capacity mandated by the MIAA. This year, St. John’s cross-country has 50 runners between varsity and JV, and another 21 are in the middle school program.

Runners must bring their belongings to the outdoor workout, before Murray can lock them up in his car upon the beginning of practice. Students are closely monitored to make sure masks are on, even after practice while walking about the St. John’s campus. Protocols have athletes washing their running gear each night.

“For the most part, the kids have been really, really good,” said Murray, whose team opens Tuesday against defending state champion St. John’s Prep of Danvers. The Pioneers’ pod is that of their new affiliation, the Catholic Conference, and the five-meet schedule is filled out by BC High, Catholic Memorial, Malden Catholic and Xaverian.

Only three years ago, St. John’s of Shrewsbury captured the Division 1 All-State crown, so the season starts with a duel of true cross-country powers. “I’m so pumped,” Murray said. “How great it is going against the state champs.”

Road meets also pose participation challenges. Bus capacities are limited to 25, so schools may have to keep home competitors from sub-varsity heats.

“We’ll figure it out. Everyone’s been very positive,” Murray said. “I’m so excited to have a season, giving the kids a chance. They’re grateful they have a season, and they’re enthusiastic about taking on the Catholic Conference.”

More Miles for Myles

Though it will be run virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Miles for Myles 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Fun Run is definitely on, taking place from Oct. 11-18.

For much of the past two decades, the Lunenburg PTO managed the highly successful event and had announced it would be stepping aside before the 2019 race. The Lunenburg Cross-Country and Track & Field Booster organization has stepped up to conduct the event, with Kate and Pete McCarron on board.

The event is dedicated to the son of Kate and Pete — Myles John McCarron, a Lunenburg High student-athlete who died at age 16 while a passenger in a speed-related accident. The Lunenburg Track and Field Association established the race in 2002, and the Lunenburg PTO later took over the event.

Miles for Myles has raised more than $200,000 toward what is now the Mulligan/McCarron Lunenburg Athletic Facility, as well as providing funds for school-wide programs and the No Need to Speed campaign.

Funds raised at this year’s event will support the Lunenburg Cross-Country and Track & Field Boosters, a scholarship for a Lunenburg student-athlete, the Lunenburg Food Pantry and Lunenburg Turkey Hill Family Lions Club.

(10/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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lawyer of Caster Semenya is preparing to approach the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the ban

The lawyer of South Africa’s Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, barred from certain races unless she takes hormone suppressants, has told AFP he is preparing to approach the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the ban.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Semenya has differences of sexual development (DSD), a condition that causes her body to produce elevated testosterone levels.

The World Athletics governing body in 2018 banned Semenya and other DSD athletes from races between 400 metres and a mile unless they take hormone-suppressing drugs.

Semenya, 29, unsuccessfully challenged those rules at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

She then turned to Switzerland’s Supreme Court, which dismissed the appeal last month.

“It didn’t come as a complete surprise,” Semenya’s lawyer Gregory Nott said in an interview on Wednesday, noting that Swiss federal court cases were “very difficult to win”.

“As usual in Caster’s being, she took it very strongly and very well,” he recalled. “She is also up for further fighting.”

Nott said a legal team was preparing the paperwork to take the case before the European court (ECHR) — a process that would take “a few more months”.

Semenya would then decide whether to proceed or not, he added.

“We are merely the horse and she is the jockey, so we listen to what Caster has to say,” said Nott. “She has a mind of her own.”

In its judgement, the Swiss court concluded that the CAS decision “cannot be challenged”.

“Fairness in sport is a legitimate concern,” the court said, adding that the ECHR also attached “particular importance to the aspect of fair competition”.

(10/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Agence France Presse
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2020 London Marathon athletes to wear social-distancing tech

Staff and athletes in Sunday's London Marathon must wear social-distancing technology around their necks.

The Bump device, which makes an audible alert when the wearer is too close to others, will be worn by the 100 elite competitors and 500 event coordinators.

The race, 19 laps of a closed course in St James's Park, screened from public view, is the first major marathon since the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers say.

Non-elite runners can participate in a 24-hour virtual version of the event.

The device will not be worn during the race, however, with athletes taking them off just before the starting line.

The Bump uses radio-frequency technology, allowing organisers to track when athletes and staff are within a defined distance of one another.

And if one tests positive for coronavirus in the subsequent two weeks, those who have been in close proximity will be notified.

The device was designed by robotics company Tharsus, based in Blyth, Northumberland.

"This weekend's event is the culmination of months of planning around how to deliver a socially distanced 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon that is safe for all participants and stakeholders," director Hugh Brasher said.

"This technology has played an important role, giving our athletes and internal teams extra confidence to engage with the event safely."

(10/03/2020) ⚡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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Valencia Half Marathon announces the names of the first athletes taking part in its ambitious ‘Elite Edition’

The Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP is organising an Elite Edition marathon and half marathon to be held on 6 December 2020 and it can now confirm the names of the first male and female athletes who will seek to achieve the most ambitious sporting goal possible by trying to set new race records.

in the Valencia Half Marathon Elite Edition, which will also be held on 6 December but without overlapping on the course with the marathon, will include a team of athletes who will seek, in the fast streets of Valencia Ciudad del Running, to approach the world record for both men (58:01) and women (1h04:21).

The Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto, who achieved the world record at 10K (26:24) in the Ibercaja Valencia 10K, is the big favourite to fight for a world-beating time at 21,097.5 metres, along with another runner who has not yet premiered in the half marathon, the Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo (26:41 at 10K). And up to ten more runners with times below 60 minutes augur well for a very fast race. Stephen Kiprop (58:42), Bedan Karoki (58:42), Bernard Ngeno (59:07), Alexander Mutiso (59:09), Julien Wanders (59:13 and European record), Philemon Kiplimo (59:28), Geoffrey Koech (59:36), Gabriel Geay (59:42), Alfred Barkach (59:46) and Kelvin Kiptum (59:53) will be running to beat their best times.

And in the women’s race, distance debutante Ethiopian Letensenbet Gidey, with the world’s best time over 15K (44:20) along with Kenyan Sheila Chepkirui, winner of the 10K in Valencia and Prague, will fight for the best women’s time in history alongside the experience of 2019 winner Senbere Teferi (1h05:32).

For Marc Roig, International Elite Coach for the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon “we have worked hard in recent months to put together two lists that include the highest-level elite athletes, to break our own records and get as close as possible to the world records for the two distances. Along with these names, there are others to be confirmed that will, without a doubt, make Valencia the biggest race of 2020”.

The Valencia Marathon Elite Edition will also look forward to achieve this ambitious goals.

(10/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 26thyear. For the third year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and an...

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From landmarks to country lanes - 87-year-old prepares for unique 40th London Marathon

Ken Jones is gearing up to compete in his 40th London Marathon, however the 87-year-old will take to a start line with a difference.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the marathon is being run locally by competitors, so Jones will be running laps around the Strabane countryside near his home.

Jones, who has taken part in over 112 marathons, is the oldest man competing in the event and has been an ever-present since the first London Marathon in 1981.

(10/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Strava announces new feature: #statmaps

Stat maps allows runners to colour-code their routes based on eight different factors

Today Strava announces a new feature to their platform, which they call #statMaps. Stat maps brings coloured lines to the previously orange GPS file that traces your route. This will allow for runners to better visualize their training and activities. The colour of your map will change based on several factors: pace, speed, heart rate, elevation, power, time and temperature.

Runners get to choose the element of their workout that they want to be highlighted after it’s over. For example, if you did interval work, you could choose to highlight heart rate to contrast your rest versus your work. Stat maps will be available to subscribers, but all users will be able to see the custom treatments on their feeds. Maps are created by adding a hashtag to a title or description.

Customization options

Pace #PaceMap – Darker colors are faster paces

Speed #SpeedMap – Darker colors are faster speeds

Heart Rate #HeartrateMap – Darker colors are higher heart rates

Elevation (Absolute) #ElevationMap – Darker colors are higher elevation/altitudes

Elevation (Gradient) #GradientMap – Red is climbing, Green is descending

Power #PowerMap – Darker colors are higher power outputs

Time #TimeMap – Darker colors appear later in the activity

Temperature #TemperatureMap – Red is hotter

The one person who #statmaps might not work so well for, is the person who usually does and out-and-back as their GPS file will overlap. However, if you’re a loop king or queen, this feature is pretty cool.

(10/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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World Athletics announces new Road World Championships

WA announces 5K to be included in 2023 world half-marathon championships, rebrands it Road Running World Championships

On Tuesday morning, World Athletics announced a new event coming in 2023 – the Road Running World Championships. This new championship will be part of the existing World Athletics Half-Marathon Championships, but will also feature the world 5K championships as a new event, and could potentially include others (like the road mile) in the future.

“Road running has become an increasingly significant part of our sport over the past 20 years and it deserves greater recognition within our World Athletics Series events,” World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon said in a press release.

The 2020 World Half-Marathon Championships are scheduled to run October 17 in Poland. While the U.S. and Japan have pulled out of the race, Canada named their team last week. Rachel Cliff is the lone Canadian representative on the women’s side, and on the men’s side, Canada is sending Trevor Hofbauer, Justin Kent, Ben Preisner, Thomas Toth and Phil Parrot-Migas.

Parrot-Migas was a late addition to the team, but last week he successfully appealed Athletics Canada’s initial decision to leave him off the team, meaning he will be running in Poland in three weeks’ time.

World cross-country to move to even years

WA also announced that as of 2024, their cross-country championship will move to even years to align with the Olympics. This is in anticipation of hopefully transitioning cross-country to an Olympic event once again.

(10/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Kenyan runner suffers broken ribs, hand after hippo attack

Edwin Mokua is in hospital after he was attacked by a hippopotamus on a training run near Nyahururu, Kenya

On Monday, Kenyan road runner Edwin Mokua was attacked by a hippopotamus while out for a training run near Nyahururu, a town between Eldoret and Nairobi. As unlucky as Mokua was, he was fortunate enough to have been running with a training partner, Denis Kipkoskei, who came to his rescue and scared off the group of hippos. According to a report from the Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation, Mokua was set to race the Izmir Marathon in Turkey on Sunday, but he will be on a running hiatus for the next while as he recovers from broken ribs and a fractured hand. 

Mokua was running behind Kipkoskei along the River Ewaso when he was attacked. “I passed by the animals, but didn’t see [Mokua] when I looked back seconds later,” Kipkoskei told Daily Nation. “Then I saw him struggle to free himself from one of the hippos. I scared off the rest before turning my energies to the one that was attacking him.” Mokua is lucky to have gotten away with only a few broken bones, and he is currently staying at the hospital in Nyahururu. 

The Izmir Marathon would have been Mokua’s debut at the distance. He has run several half-marathons, and he boasts a PB of 1:02:50, which he ran in Japan in 2015. Earlier in 2020, before COVID-19 put a hold on racing worldwide, Mokua took the win at the Trabzon Half Marathon, also in Turkey, in 1:03:03. The half-marathon in Trabzon was his only competition of the year, and while he had plans to pick his season back up with Sunday’s race, his marathon debut will have to wait. 

(10/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele out of London Marathon due to a calf injury

Kenenisa Bekele withdrew from Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a calf injury two days before he was to duel world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge.

“I was in good shape but then I picked up a niggle in my left calf after two fast training sessions close together in the last weeks of preparation,” was posted on Bekele’s social media. “I have been having treatment every day since then and I truly believed I would be ready, but today it is worse and I now know I cannot race on it.”

Bekele did not mention the injury in a Wednesday press conference, sitting socially distanced from Kipchoge at a table.

The marathon, with more than 40 elite men entered, was headlined as a duel between the two fastest marathoners in history. It was postponed from its traditional April date and moved to a looped course in St. James’s Park due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kenyan Kipchoge lowered the world record to 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Last year in Berlin, the Ethiopian Bekele won in 2:01:41 without Kipchoge in the field.

Kipchoge has won 11 of his 12 career marathons. Bekele, a more accomplished track runner who won Olympic gold medals and lowered world records at 5000m and 10,000m, has never beaten Kipchoge in a marathon.

“This race was so important to me,” Bekele posted. “My time in Berlin last year gave me great confidence and motivation and I was looking forward to show that again, I have worked so hard for it. I realise many people around the world have been looking forward to this race and I am sorry to disappoint my fans, the organisers and my fellow competitors. I will take time to recover and become fit again and I hope to be back in London next year.”

(10/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by OlympicTalk
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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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2020 Košice Peace Marathon slashes field to 200 runners

At the last moment, with only days to go, the Košice Peace Marathon (SVK) has restricted its marathon field to 200.

Organizers said in a statement: “We regret to say that, according to the current regulation of the Government of the Slovak Republic, which entered into force on October 1, 2020, we have had to significantly reduce our marathon field. Only 200 domestic runners will take part.

“We apologize to everyone for the complications caused and thank you for your support so far. We are doing everything we can to ensure that the oldest marathon in Europe, in its 97th year, can at least take place in such a minimized form.”

(10/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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kosice Peace Marathon

kosice Peace Marathon

The Kosice Peace Marathon is the oldest European marathon.This year for the organizers of Kosice Peace Marathon is also about memories and flashbacks. One of the fastest marathon courses has been created in Košice 20 years ago on that occasion it was the 1997 IAAF World Half Marathon Champioships. Tegla Loroupe and Shem Kororia were awarded from the hands of...

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Run with Paula Radcliffe in the fast 10k virtually

The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships are just a couple of weeks away, and race organizers in Gdynia, Poland, have provided one last challenge ahead of the free virtual mass participation race.

The Fast 10k with Paula Radcliffe is the final test of fitness for participants who plan to run the half-marathon, and they can do it (virtually) alongside one of the best marathoners in history, after whom the challenge is named. 

Radcliffe is an Olympian, a British and European record-holder many times over and the former women’s marathon world record-holder. Her marathon best was only recently beaten by Brigid Kosgei, who lowered Radcliffe’s longstanding record of 2:15:25 at the Chicago Marathon in 2019. In a promotional video for the Gdynia event and her virtual challenge, Radcliffe says the “World Half Marathon Championships have a very special place in my heart.

It was my first world title. I won three World Half Marathon Championships and all of them were extremely special to me.” She won the world half-marathon titles in 2000, 2001 and 2003, the same year she set her marathon world record. 

This is the last of the virtual “warmup events” that have been organized for competitors by the Gdynia 2020 team. There was also a one-mile run with World Athletics head Seb Coe and a 5K with British Olympian Eilish McColgan, among other events. It’s easy to participate. Simply head to the event website, download the Gdynia 2020 tracking app and head off on your 10K challenge in preparation for your virtual half-marathon. 

The mass participation race was cancelled and changed to a virtual format for 2020 due to COVID-19, but the elite race is still set to go ahead. The race has a number of big names ready to run, and it should be an exciting one to watch.

Newly-minted 5,000m world record-holder Joshua Cheptegei will be debuting at the distance in Gdynia, and he will be lining up alongside a strong Canadian team that’s made up of Trevor Hofbauer, Justin Kent, Phil Parrot-Migas, Benjamin Preisner and Thomas Toth. The lone woman heading to Poland to represent Canada is former national half and full marathon record-holder Rachel Cliff. 

For anyone interested in participating in either the The Fast 10k with Paula Radcliffe challenge or the virtual half-marathon, it’s not too late to sign up.

(10/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

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 that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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2020 Athens Authentic Marathon has been cancelled due to covid-19

The 2020 ‘Athens Marathon. The Authentic’ that was scheduled to take place on November 7-9, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Making the most of any minute of the last three months, the Top Management and Executives of our Federation made any possible effort during their discussions and cooperation with the relevant Greek Health Authorities, in order to make sure that every possibility for this annual Historic Race to go along, was studied. Even by following a very strict manual of rules and regulations, staging only the Marathon Race and not the shorter races, reducing the number of participants and having all participants to go through a COVID-19 test before the Race, at the expenses of our Federation, was not enough. It seems that even such measures would not secure the absolute safety of runners’ health, which is and will be the top priority in our minds. Taking under consideration all the above, we are extremely sorry to announce today that the 2020 Athens Marathon will not be held,” the announcement said.

Within the next days, the Athens Marathon Organizing Committee will contact each one of the registered runners via personalized email, informing him/her about the options they have, either deferring their registration into next year’s event (2021 Athens Marathon) or receiving full refund of the entry fee already paid.

“We are very optimistic that after this pandemic is over we will all run together in our races in 2021, a very important year for Greece since it coincides with the anniversary of the 200 years after the Greek revolution.”

They also announced the launch of a new, Special Edition Virtual Race. More details will be released within the next few days.

The Special Edition Virtual Race is going to be a race for all, full of surprises, that will allow participants to test themselves either running alone on the route of their choice, or being joined by a small number of friends and/or family members.

“We sincerely thank all parties that contributed so far to an excellent preparation for the event, and especially OPAP S.A., the Athens Marathon Grand Sponsor, as well as the Attica Region, the Cities of Athens and Marathon, the Hellenic Olympic Committee, the rest of our Sponsors and Supporters. But most of all, we thank and applaud the protagonists of the Athens Marathon; the staff members, the thousands of volunteers and participants that all these years have shown such love and confidence to the Athens Marathon, turning it into a unique race of international status,” the statement concluded.

 

(10/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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Athens Marathon

Athens Marathon

The Athens Classic (authentic) Marathon is an annual marathon road race held in Athens, Greece, normally in early November. The race attracted 43.000 competitors in 2015 of which 16.000 were for the 42.195 km course, both numbers being an all-time record for the event. The rest of the runners competed in the concurrent 5 and 10 kilometers road races and...

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Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepngetich will use controversial shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge in the London Marathon

Kenyan duo Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepngetich will use controversial shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge in the London Marathon on Sunday.

Kenya's Kipchoge broke the two-hour barrier in an unofficial event in Vienna last October when he wore the platform Alphafly Next% shoes.

While the shoes allowed by World Athletics' regulations, they are estimated to improve running economy by up to eight per cent.

Kipchoge's record led to calls for the Nike shoes to be banned, but women's marathon world record holder Kosgei is adamant the runner makes the difference rather than the footwear.

Asked which shoes she would be wearing in the her London Marathon title defence, 2019 champion Kosgei said: "The ones Kipchoge will use.

"You know the shoes could not run. It is someone who can run, it's not the shoes, it does not depend on the shoes.

"If I use the training shoes and the body is not there, you cannot run good. So for me it's just the body which enables me to run good, it is not the shoes."

Kosgei's fellow Kenyan -- reigning world champion Chepngetich -- also confirmed she would wear the shoes.

Kosgei and Chepngetich said their training had been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, with their training camps both closed temporarily, leaving the pair having to train alone.

At the Chicago Marathon in October last year, Kosgei set a world record with a time of 2 hours 14 minutes 4 seconds, but she will not be targeting a better time on Sunday.

"We did not get a group like last year, (when) we are in groups together we just had to push each other. So it's not like in Chicago but I will try," she said.

(10/02/2020) ⚡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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Valencia half marathon has attracted some of the world’s best distance runners

Along with its World Athletics Platinum Label marathon on December 6, the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP will also stage an elite half marathon on the same day, and both races have attracted some of the world’s best distance runners.

In recent years Valencia has built a reputation as a city that produces fast times. Two world records have been set in the men’s 10km in the Spanish city, along with two women’s world records for the half marathon.

Fast times will be the target once again on 6 December. 2019 Tokyo Marathon champion Ruti Aga, who has a PB of 2:18:34, is the fastest woman in the field, but fellow Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba’s PB is just one second slower at 2:18:35.

Mare Dibaba, the 2015 world champion, is also in the field, along with Ethiopian compatriots Zeineba Yimer and Tigist Girma – all of whom have sub-2:20 PBs.

Peres Jepchirchir, who recently broke the world half marathon record, is also set to compete, as are fellow Kenyans Joyciline Jepkosgei, the former world half marathon record-holder, Joan Chelimo and Fancy Chemutai. USA’s Jordan Hasay completes the field.

Kinde Atanaw, who set a course record of 2:03:51 last year, will defend his title when he lines up against fellow Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, whose 2:02:48 PB makes him the third-fastest man in history.

Others in the field include world champion Lelisa Desisa, Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, European record-holder Kaan Kigen Özbilen and Ethiopian half marathon record-holder Jemal Yimer, who will be making his marathon debut.

The half marathon will be held on the same day without overlapping with the marathon, but the end goal is the same: fast times. The course records of 58:18 and 1:04:51 – which are just shy of the world records (58:01 and 1:04:31) – are expected to come under threat.

World 10,000m bronze medalist Rhonex Kipruto, who set a world 10km record of 26:24 in Valencia earlier this year, will return to the Spanish city to make his half marathon debut. World cross-country silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda is also among the athletes entered.

Ten other runners with sub-60-minute PBs are in the field, including 2019 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon champion Stephen Kiprop, 2016 world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, 2019 Valencia Half runner-up Bernard Ngeno, European record-holder Julien Wanders and African cross-country champion Alfred Barkach.

World 10,000m silver medallist Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia will make her half marathon debut and will take on Sheila Chepkirui, the second-fastest woman in history over 10km (29:46), and 2015 world 5000m silver medalist Senbere Teferi, who won in Valencia last year in 1:05:32.

The organizers will create a health bubble around the race and take stringent safety measures to ensure the event carries minimal health risk. The race will have its own medical app, which will be supported by an external consultant to collect all the data and ensure, if necessary, the traceability of the movements made by the athletes and other people involved in organizing the race.

(10/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 26thyear. For the third year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and an...

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Sifan Hassan is among the top names entered for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

Based on the figures at the entry deadline, 157 men and 127 women from 62 teams have been entered for the championships.

Even with the expected slight drop in numbers ahead of the publication of the official start lists, the figures compare favorably to previous editions, most of which ranged between 150 and 250 athletes.

World 1500m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan, who also holds the world record for the mile, is one of several standout entries for the women’s race.

The Dutch runner will take on Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh and Kenya’s 2016 world half marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, who respectively hold the outright and women-only world records for the half marathon.

Ethiopia's Netsanet Gudeta, who won in Valencia two years ago in a women-only world record time, will defend her world half marathon title.

In one of the highest-quality fields ever for a half marathon, 15 of the men entered have sub-60-minute PBs and a further 14 have PBs inside 61 minutes. The 10 fastest women entered have PBs of 1:06:30 or faster, while 21 women in total have sub-69-minute PBs. Area record-holders for Africa, Europe and Asia are also entered.

(10/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

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 that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Ethiopia`s Degitu Azimeraw withdraws from London Marathon after positive COVID-19 test

An Ethiopian runner had to pull out of the London Marathon after she and the coach of two other elite marathoners tested positive for the coronavirus, the race director said Tuesday.

Degitu Azimeraw, who won the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon, and coach Haji Adilo tested positive in Ethiopia.

"As a result (of the positive tests), they didn't get on the plane," London Marathon event director Hugh Brasher said in a conference call ahead of Sunday's race.

Adilo is the coach of Ethiopian runners Shura Kitata and Alemu Megertu, both of whom will remain in the race because there was no "face-to-face contact" with their coach in the past two weeks, Brasher said.

The London race has all the trappings of a 2020 sporting event: hotel bubble for athletes, competition modifications and no spectators. Athletes and their coaches are staying at a hotel reserved only for them outside London.

Protocols required virus testing before athletes left for London and on the day of their arrival. They'll also be tested on Friday.

Instead of snaking along the River Thames, the athletes will compete on a 26.2-mile (42.2 kilometer) closed-loop course consisting of 19.6 clockwise laps around St. James' Park, ending on the Mall. It should be a fast course for defending champions Eliud Kipchoge, Brigid Kosgei and their challengers, but potential wet weather could dampen hopes of world records.

"Heavy rain is not ideal conditions to do a world record in," Brasher said of current forecasts. "You want light winds, you want dry conditions.

"We, whatever the conditions, believe that there will be some incredible racing that will live long in people's memory, and it could be incredibly quick."

Only one other World Marathon Major -- Tokyo -- was held this year as Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York all canceled because of the pandemic. Like Tokyo, London's field was reduced to elites only.

Even with prize money slashed nearly in half, the event has drawn elite runners who have had few opportunities to compete during the pandemic.

(10/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Associated Press
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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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Eliud Kipchoge has unveiled the shoes he will use for London Marathon this Sunday, inspired by Kenyan flag

Eliud Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder, will be cladding a Kenyan flag-inspired Nike “Alpha fly N% Kenya”, custom made for him for this race.

"The shoes for Sunday's competition. Inspired by colours of the Kenyan flag, representing (the) great people of this beautiful country and to celebrate one year anniversary of the achievement 1:59:40 in marathon distance by EK," Kipchoge posted in his official Facebook page.

It is an Alpha fly N% shoe, just like the one he used during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna last year.

The personal details include a green-and-red colourway – a nod to the national flag of Kenya. The shoes also feature the runner’s initials and 1:59:40 – the time he ran in Vienna.

The Kenyan distance running legend became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours after clocking 1:59:40.2 in Vienna.

This Sunday, Kipchoge comes face-to-face with Ethiopia's distance running great Kenenisa Bekele, who is also the second fastest man in marathon.

There were some complaints after the Ineos 1:59 Challenge with ritics claiming that the shoe had multiple carbon plates and there were calls for it to be banned from competition.

However, Kipchoge and Nike have always insisted that it’s not about the shoes but the person using them.

“The shoes have not been banned hence I am looking forward to another great show on them as I seek my fourth victory on the course,” said Kipchoge during the launch of domestic tourism at the Serena Mara in the Maasai Mara, Narok County in August.

Defending women’s London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei also used similar shoes when she set the women’s world marathon record in winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04, just a day after Kipchoge’s exploits in Vienna.

Then Bekele would come close to breaking Kipchoge’s world marathon record of 2:01:39 set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018 by two seconds when he won in Berlin in 2:01:41 last year.

Nike's Vaporfly range was the talk around the world with the feeling that it gave undue advantage to other runners owing to its sole technology.

However, World Athletics — the global athletics governing body —  said it will not ban the shoes but would instead institute tighter regulations around high-tech running shoes.

(10/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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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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Registrations is now open for the 2021 Eugene Marathon which will finish at the new Hayward Field Stadium

2921 registration is now open for the Eugene Marathon! Mark your calendars for April 23-25, 2021 and mark your finish line for Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. That’s right, in 2021 – if all goes as planned – you will get the opportunity to once again Run in the Footsteps of Legends and cross the finish line at the newly renovated and always iconic Hayward Field. 

 Since the moment we canceled the 2020 race due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have dedicated our time and effort to looking forward to 2021 and doing all that we can to make it the finest and safest Eugene Marathon yet. Our team is working with our partners – including Lane County Public Health, the City of Eugene, the University of Oregon and PeaceHealth – to develop plans for a safe, accessible and exciting event.

Additionally, taking into consideration the context of COVID-19, we are offering the option to sign up for a virtual race experience that will include top-notch virtual race technology, a live-streaming virtual expo, sponsor perks, and all the swag of a traditional Eugene Marathon sent in a custom race box straight to your front door. .

In the event that an in-person event cannot take place, all 2021 registrants will be transferred to the 2021 virtual event.

(09/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Eugene Marathon

Eugene Marathon

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

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Canada’s Marco Arop sets sights on Tokyo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(09/30/2020) ⚡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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Spain will send a team of five men and three women to the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on October 17

Spain announces squad for World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020.

The men's squad is led by Juan Antonio Perez, who boasts a 1:00:58 career best set in Valencia last year, and includes Adel Mechaal and veteran Ayad Lamdassem, both multiple medallists at the continental level on the track and in cross country.

Elena Loyo, the reigning national half marathon champion, leads the women's team.

Spanish team for Gdynia

Men: Antonio Abadia, Jorge Blanco, Ayad Lamdassem, Adel Mechaal, Juan Antonio Perez.

Women: Marta Galimany, Elena Loyo, Laura Méndez.

(09/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

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 that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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10km world record holder Rhonex Kipruto is set to make his half marathon debut in Valencia

Rhonex Kipruto, the 10km world record holder, will make his Half Marathon debut in December after being named as part of the stellar cast for the Valencia Half Marathon.

The 2019 10,000m world bronze medalist will be returning to the city in which he broke the 10km world record in January this year, running 26:24, and he hopes for second time luck in his debut over the 21km.

He will contest for the title alongside 2016 World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, currently training in Japan as well as compatriots Alfred Barkach, Stephen Kiprop and Kelvin Kiptum. Also named in the elite list is Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo.

Sheila Chepkirui who won the Valencia and Prague 10km runs will headline the Kenyan cast in the corresponding women’s race where she is set to compete against defending champion Senbere Teferi.

Meanwhile, Joyciline Jepkosgei will be returning to the city where she broke the Half Marathon world record in 2017, but will be going the full distance this time round.

The 27-year old comes into the Marathon elite list on the backdrop of winning the New York Marathon last year, which was also her first attempt at the full marathon. Jepkosgei seems to have some special love for Valencia as she also won a World Half Marathon silver medal there in 2018.

Peres Jepchirchir, the holder of the current women only World Half Marathon record will also be in the line up for the race as well as Fancy Cherono and Joan Chelimo.

The Ethiopian charge will be led by Azmera Abreha (2h18:33), Ruti Aga (2h18:34), Birhane Dibaba (2h18:35), Zeineba Yimer (2h19:28), Tigist Girma (2h19:52) and Mare Dibaba (2h19:52).

The men’s race will be highlighted by Boston and Chicago Marathon Champion Lawrence Cherono who will also use the race to test himself with an eye on next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Reigning world champion Lelisa Desisa and fellow Ethiopian Birhanu Legese will offer competition for the Kenyan.

The race will be held on December 6.

(09/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Timothy Olobulu
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 26thyear. For the third year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and an...

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Kenya's Lawrence Cherono will headline the 2020 Valencia Marathon assault

Kenya's Boston and Chicago marathon champion Lawrence Cherono will lead the 2020 Valencia Marathon assault, organizers confirmed on Wednesday.

Cherono will take on Ethiopians Birhanu Legese, holder of the third-fastest time of 2:02:48 in marathon history and Kinde Atanaw, the race defending champion and current record holder for the Valencian course in a race slated for December 6.

"I feel great that I will finally compete this year after the coronavirus shattered by season, including my Olympic debut. Now I have a chance to race before starting again on my Olympic preparations," Cherono, who was named by Athletics Kenya in their Olympic men team alongside world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and world marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto, told Xinhua.

In the women's elite race, former world half-marathon record holder and winner of the 2019 New York Marathon winner Joyciline Jepkosgei will spearhead the event.

Jepkosgei will return to the same course she shattered the world record in 2017 in half marathon and will face up against fellow countrywoman Joan Chelimo.

Kenyan Peres Chepchirchir, the current half marathon record holder and Fancy Chemutai will also be in the frontline.

"Elite edition of the Valencia marathon and half marathon will be held on Dec. 6, we can now confirm the names of the first male and female athletes who will seek to achieve the most ambitious sporting goal possible by trying to set new race records," the organizers said in a statement.

The women will also have a strong Ethiopian presentation including Azmera Abreha, Ruti Aga, Birhane Dibaba, Mare Dibaba, Tigist Girma and Zeinaba Yimer, all the women have run the 42km race under 2:20.

(09/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...

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2020 London Marathon is set to be the race of the year

Top two long distance runners Kipchoge and Kenenisa come face to face on October 4

Bekele is the second fastest man in the 42.2 km race London Marathon is set to be the race of the year

Almost a year to the first anniversary of Eliud Kipchoge making history by being the first human to run the marathon below 2 hours in Vienna, he is set to run his first marathon after that triumphant race.

Come next Sunday morning, on the start line will be these two men among other elite runners, as they put their enviable times on the line.  

Eliud Kipchoge holds both the world record (2.01.39) set in 2018 and a sub-2-hour personal best marathon time of 1:59.40, while Kenenisa Bekele is the second fastest man in the 42.2 km race having come two seconds shy of beating the world record in 2019.

A sub-2 hour in this race is out of question, but could we have a world record?

Considering the very elite field that will be running and the expected fast pace due to a modified course, many pundits are rooting for a world record.

Why should we fancy a world record? One just needs to look at the assembled elite field and an equally elite squad of pacemakers and will see why a record could be a possibility.

Of the 45 elite men chosen to run this race; five have a personal best time of below two hours and four minutes (2:04), eight are sub-2:05 and 11 sub-2:06.  

Without considering the times of the remaining runners, this already promises to be a very fast race.

The frosting on the cake are the eight elite pacemakers led by Sir Mo Farah and Kenya’s Victor Chumo and you have an atmosphere close to that of INEOS 1:59 Challenge; where the 41 elite pacers kept Kipchoge’s pace at a high tempo throughout.

Unlike in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge though, should the world record be broken in the London marathon, it will stand.

This is because the pacemakers will not be rotated throughout the race as they did in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge - but will be the same through the first 30 kilometers after which, they will drop out.  

Secondly, the pacers will not form a deliberate human shield around the athletes to protect them from head winds.

Lastly, the corners of the course have not been specially modified to aid the athletes as they go round them.

There is a counter argument that a world record is not a possibility. The main thrust of this argument is that the race will have very many twists and turns during the 19 laps in the 2.15km route.

The race will also be run on concrete compared to asphalt which athletes argue is softer on the knee joint.

Furthermore, if history is anything to go by, in the last 17 years, the world record has been broken seven times and all of them, at the Berlin marathon.

(09/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Paul Ochieng and Gerald Lwande
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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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This year 30th annual Rimi Riga Marathon’s will take place physically and in person October 11 with some restrictions

This year, the Rimi Riga Marathon’s 30th anniversary race on October 10-11 will take place in person, while adhering to government restrictions regarding COVID-19.

The restrictions allow us to organize a real race, at the same time placing strict restrictions on all who travel to Latvia from countries with high infection rates.

We have thought about those of you who will be unable to come to Riga this year and take part in the Rimi Riga Marathon in person, but who really want to run, finish and receive a 30th anniversary medal.

In May, we already stated with certainty that the marathon will happen - adapted to the new reality or virtually - and everyone who completes it will receive a unique anniversary medal. This year’s medal designer is Junichi Kawanishi, who also designed the medals for the Tokyo Olympics.

Please follow the instructions to ensure you participation in Rimi Riga Marathon 2020!

Option #1.

Participants who are currently in Latvia and wishing to run in person: please visit your User profile on our website and select DPD Pickup Point to receive your race number and check whether your mobile phone is correct (find settings and choose edit if necessary). To reduce crowding and the risk of COVID-19, the Rimi Riga Marathon EXPO will not happen, and we will send everything necessary using the Rimi Riga Marathon’s official courier, DPD.

Option #2.

Participants arriving from abroad to run in person: please bear in mind that, if your country is on the Covid-19 red or yellow list,  you will have to self-isolate for 10 days after entering Latvia and before picking up your race number.

If you still want to take part in the 2020 Rimi Riga Marathon in person (which means that either you are from a country with low infection rates or you are willing to self-isolate for 10 days to take part in the 2020 Rimi Riga Marathon in person).

Option #3.

Participants wishing to run, but unable to come to Riga or self-isolate for 10 days: you can still take part in our VIRTUAL RACE and receive the 30 th anniversary medal by post. All the necessary information about the Virtual race you will find on our website.

If you are not registered yet, and would like to run Rimi Riga Marathon anywhere in the world and receive the official 30th anniversary medal by post, please register now, and we’ll let you know about the next steps. Our virtual platform allows runners to compete anywhere and register the results by the most popular running apps and time-keeping watches. 

Option #4.

Participants wishing to postpone their entry until May 15-16, 2021.

We do hope that one of the above options will fit you, and we are looking forward to welcoming you to Riga in October 2020 and May 2021!

(09/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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Lattelecom Riga Marathon

Lattelecom Riga Marathon

If you have never been to Riga then, running a marathon or half-marathon could be a good reason to visit one of the most beautiful cities on the Baltic Sea coast. Marathon running has a long history in Riga City and after 27 years it has grown to welcome 33,000 runners from 70 countries offering five race courses and...

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Camille Herron to Attempt Overall US 48-Hour-Record this Weekend

Camille Herron, the 24-hour world record-holder, is targeting the 48-hour world record this week in New Jersey. The event, which begins today, offers races from a 144-hour event all the way down to a six-hour run. Herron will get started on Friday, October 2 at 9 a.m. ET and end on Sunday, also at 9 a.m.

The current women’s world record stands at 397 kilometres and is held by Sumie Inagaki of Japan, but Herron wants to go one step further and become the overall U.S. record holder. This would require her to beat Olivier LeBlond, who ran 262 miles (or 421.9K) in 48 hours in 2017. The world record for the event is held by Yiannis Kouros of Greece who has run 433K on the roads.

Herron says she’s fit and ready to race this week. After having eight-consecutive races cancelled, she can’t wait to see a start line. “I keep signing up and they keep getting cancelled, but now that we’re under seven days out, I feel like it’s going to happen.” Herron explains that she was originally scheduled to race in Hungary this fall, but due to the travel ban, she wasn’t able to attend. This is what brought her to singing up for Three Days at the Fair. She chose the 48-hour event because regulars told her it’s the most competitive event of the week.

Herron says she’s going into this weekend with an open mind. “I’m not really sure what’s possible. I keep getting closer to Yiannis’s world records. For example, when I ran my 24-hour world record, I was only six per cent off his. Most women’s records are 10 to 12 per cent off men’s, but I’m getting pretty close. I don’t know what’s possible until I try, so I’m aiming for the men’s records. I’m trying to think big and get the most out of myself.”

Herron says while her motivation dwindled a bit at the beginning of the pandemic, having Three Days on the calendar reignited the flame. “I’ve been digging deeper since committing to this race. The competitor in me is still there – it’s just a matter of race opportunities coming back, and the world getting normal again.”

(09/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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How to train safety for marathon season during the pandemic

With less access to gyms and people sitting for longer stretches as they work from home, many runners are experiencing more aches and pains than usual, says Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Here, experts weigh in on how to stay motivated and get across the virtual finish line injury free:

Create a support network.

Remember, you won’t have water stations every mile and frequent aid stations like you would during a live marathon. “You should map out your course and leave supplies like water bottles, energy chews and Vaseline at different points,” says Cristina Martello, a physical therapist and running-analysis specialist at SPEAR Physical Therapy in New York City. She also suggests stashing extra masks with supplies. “Most sportswear companies make masks that are less constrictive, more breathable and they can stand up to the condensation from heavy breathing,” she says.

Aaron Mares, associate medical director for the Pittsburgh Marathon, emphasizes the importance of sharing your route with someone or using a buddy system while still following local and state social distancing guidelines.

Use the virtual format to your advantage.

Most marathons require runners to rise before dawn to arrive at the starting line, which can be tough if you aren’t a morning person, notes Chad Asplund, professor of family medicine and orthopedics within the sports medicine division at the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis. “One positive of the virtual format is that you can choose a time that works best for you,” he says. “Having a window of days also gives you more flexibility with weather. If it’s raining or really hot the day you planned to run, there’s no penalty for postponing.” Dr. Asplund also points out that many traditional marathons ban headphones, so while there won’t be crowds, at least runners can listen to their favorite playlist.

Listen to your body more than your training program.

Most typical marathon-training plans are 16 to 20 weeks. If you’re struggling with 6 miles and your plan has you jumping to 15, consider scaling back, Dr. Mares says. “A lot of us are out of our normal routines and deconditioned,” he says. “Don’t beat yourself up if you feel sore at Mile 8 of a 12-mile run when in past years you normally wouldn’t have problems.”

Brett Toresdahl, research director for the Hospital for Special Surgery Primary Care Sports Medicine Service in New York, says in general that soreness that goes away with warming up and within the first mile of a run is OK. “If there is pain that gets worse throughout the course of a run and causes a runner to limp or change how they run, that should be seen by a sports medicine specialist,” he says. Many physical-therapy clinics are open or offering telemedicine.

Don’t neglect cross-training.

“The biggest mistake people make is thinking as long as they get their long runs in they’ll be able to get through 26 miles,” Ms. Martello says. “Half the battle is doing shorter runs and cross-training.”

Dr. Asplund says if you’re short on time, it’s better to skip an easy run day and focus on strength. “Runners are great at going straight ahead,” he says. “Injuries arise when the gluteus medius and external hip rotators are weak. These are the muscles that stabilize the pelvis.” Try this workout to build hip stability.

Embrace recovery days.

Runner’s bodies tend to break down two to four weeks before race day, Ms. Martello says. Typical overuse aches and injuries include shin splints, patellofemoral pain (also known as runner’s knee) and Achilles and hip flexor tendinitis, she says. “The best way to prevent these aches from sneaking up on you is to put a lot of stress on recovery days,” she says. Recovery days should include icing, self-massage, like foam rolling, and mobility work and stretching. And if you’re feeling pain, take a day off, she says.

Take your taper weeks seriously.

Some people find it challenging to cut back after working up to big miles. But the marathon taper, a gradual decline in mileage that typically starts two weeks before the event, prepares the body to be at its peak on race day, Ms. Martello says. “This isn’t the time to sneak in miles you missed or bang out heavy squats,” she says. She suggests combining short runs with dynamic warm-up exercises such as monster walks and walking knee hugs to help keep the muscles fluid.

(09/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jen Murphy
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One of the weekend's biggest virtual events saw competitors chasing marathon world record pace

The Berlin Marathon held a unique virtual running event on the weekend. Runners from around the world were charged with the task of beating Eliud Kipchoge‘s marathon world record of 2:01:39. The event was aptly named the 2:01:39 Challenge, and it gave participants that amount of time (and not a second more) to see how far they could get and how close they could come to Kipchoge’s best mark. Participants had the full weekend to complete their two-hour tasks (they could also sign up to race with hand-cycles, inline skates or wheelchairs), and more than 14,000 people worldwide showed up to compete.

No one broke Kipchoge’s record (no runners, at least), but there were still some impressive results in the final standings.

The 2:01:39 Challenge of course got its name from Kipchoge’s world record, which he ran in Berlin in 2018. While no one came close to his record, several runners covered decent distances in the allotted amount of time. Mexico‘s Ramos Herrera won the event with a final distance run of 34.2K, which works out to an average pace of 3:33 per kilometre. If he held this pace for a full 42.2K, Herrera would cross the finish line of a marathon in a little over 2:30.

This is a pretty quick time, and although it’s nothing to scoff at, it’s far off Herrera’s marathon PB of 2:23:57. Herrera ran the 2019 in-person Berlin Marathon, finishing in 2:24:55.

On the women’s side, a German runner named Ekaterina Logashina won the event, covering 29.31K in the 2:01:39. In a full marathon, this pace of 4:09 per kilometre would work out to 2:55 finishing time.

The third-place woman, who was only registered under the name Shirley R, is from Canada, according to the results page. She ran 28.95K, not far behind first place. 

Relay record:

The event was mostly virtual, but there were some in-person relays held in Berlin on Sunday. A team of four German elite women covered 36.58K in the two-hour event, about 6K shy of Kipchoge’s record. The team included 2016 Olympic marathoner Anja Scherl and elite marathoner Melat Kejeta, who boasts a PB of 2:23. There was also a men’s relay team, and the foursome was able to eke out a record-breaking time, crossing the line in 2:01:34. The group of four men included Philipp Pflieger and Richard Ringer, a pair of Olympians who represented Germany in Rio in 2016. 

(09/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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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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A study estimates a loss of more than $ 6.7 billion in cancellation of the Japan marathons

A study released on September 27 by Katsuhiro Miyamoto, professor emeritus of theoretical economics at Kansai University, estimated that the cancellation or postponement of 460 marathons and road races in Japan from the fall of 2020 through the spring of 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis would result in an estimated economic loss of 710 billion yen (USD 6.74 billion, EUR 5.75 billion).

For races with more than 2000 participants, apart from direct losses such as entry fees and accommodation costs, the study’s calculation included linked losses such as reduced purchases of supplies and materials, and secondary losses such as reduced spending by vendors due to decreased income. After performing the calculation for a number of representative races, numbers for other races were estimated based on their field sizes.

The loss due to the cancellation of November’s Osaka Marathon was estimated at 18 billion yen (171m USD, 145m EUR). Its 2019 race attracted 33,000 participants from across the country, making it the second-largest in Japan. The Kobe Marathon, likewise cancelled, is expected to face losses of 7 billion yen (66.5m USD, 56m EUR). Whether the 2021 Tokyo Marathon goes ahead as scheduled in March is yet to be decided, but with 38,000 entrants in 2020 its losses should it be cancelled are expected to total 29 billion yen (275m USD, 235m EUR).

Since the beginning of the 2000s the number of mass participation marathons across Japan has increased dramatically. The races help promote the region in which they are held and boost tourism and related consumption. Many attract foreign runners to make the trip to run in Japan. Professor Emeritus Miyamoto noted, “As an economic loss, the cancellation and postponement of marathons represents a negative stimulus to regional economic revitalisation.”

According to R-bies Inc., the Tokyo-based operator of an online race entry site, of the races in its system scheduled after the end of September, more than 130 have already cancelled. Doshisha University professor Hiroaki Ninomiya, a specialist in sports economics, commented, “Even if races are able to go ahead there is a risk of major deficits. Moving forward, rather than just going ahead with an event no matter what, it will be essential to develop income streams other than entry fees to make races profitable.”

The study estimates only losses for the upcoming year and does not include losses for the hundreds of races cancelled between February and September this year.

(09/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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World Half Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kamworor will not defend his title in Gdynia

World Half Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) will not defend his title – held since the 2014 race in Copenhagen – at the upcoming world championships in Gdynia (POL) on 17 October.

He suffered a traffic accident back in June from which he has not yet regained full fitness.

Joshua Cheptegai and Jacob Kiplimo spearhead a Ugandan team that could capitalise on Kamworor’s absence from the Kenyan squad. Both have shown impressive form this year. For Cheptegai it would be his debut at the distance.

Japan, USA, Australia and New Zealand have cancelled their participation in the championships because of the coronavirus.

(09/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Helmut Winter
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

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 that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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The 29th Zagreb Marathon officially cancelled due to COVID-19

"After several months of efforts by us to provide all the necessary conditions for the 29th Zagreb Marathon, we would like to inform you that, unfortunately, we have to cancel the races. The Zagreb marathon was supposed to be held on Sunday, October 11, 2020, with a start and finish on Ban Josip Jelacic Square. Still, unfortunately, like all major marathons in the world, this year, it suffered the same fate," said the organizers on their official website.

"Precisely because many marathons have been canceled in Europe and the world, many runners wanted to take part in the Zagreb Marathon, which this year also received a Bronze label from World Athletics. As the epidemiological situation in all countries has significantly deteriorated and there are many registered participants from Croatia and the world, we cannot consciously run the risk of endangering the health of our runners and the potential spread of the infection to other fellow citizens. The Zagreb Marathon is a major international sports event, which primarily aims to promote a healthy life, and we certainly want it to stay that way," the statement continued.

However, to mark October 11 and the day of the marathon in the spirit of running, the organizers announced they would hold virtual races, and preparations are now underway. All information will be published on the Zagreb Marathon website.

"Unfortunately, this year is uncertain and difficult for the organization of all events. As much as we hoped that the races would be possible with all organizational changes and adherence to epidemiological measures in the start zone, unfortunately, there are too many participants for the current epidemiological situation," the organizers concluded and expressed hope "that this year is really an exception and that we will all welcome 29th Zagreb Marathon, October 10, 2021, with joy and satisfaction."

(09/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Daniela Rogulj
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Zagreb Marathon

Zagreb Marathon

Zagreb Marathon is a marathon and half marathon in Zagreb, Croatia. The marathon race is organized annually in October and was started in1992. The number of participants has increased over the years. Zagreb Marathon has an international character with participants from all over the world. ...

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Vivian Cheruiyot will be heading to London Marathon for the fourth time

Cheruiyot is on the celebrity elite list of athletes who will jet out Sunday night for the eagerly-anticipated London Marathon next weekend.

Big names will be on parade in the women’s race. Cheruiyot will be up against compatriots; world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich, Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli Aiyabei, world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, who is also the defending champion, and debutant Edith Chelimo.

There will be special focus on the men’s race which has two of the finest athletes over the distance competing. World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Berlin Marathon champion, Kenenisa Bekele.

Cheruiyot mainly trained in Kaptagat and Eldoret. She scaled down her training schedule a bit when the race was postponed from April 26 to October 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cheruiyot told Nation Sport she was in great shape before the race was cancelled. The athlete, who spoke after a speed session at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret, said she was disappointed when the race was put off.

“I had finished my programme and I was ready to conquer the world. If the race was to be held then, I would have been in a very good position,”  she said.

After the setback, Cheruiyot encouraged herself that things will return to normal since health was more important.

“Everyone has been affected by the virus because it is a worldwide pandemic. We are happy that athletics is opening up slowly, which is a good sign,” she said.

“My preparations for the race have been thorough for the last two months. So far, so good. I expect stiff competition on Sunday, but I am ready for the challenge ahead,” Cheruiyot said.

Asked if she is in good shape compared to 2018 when she last won the race, Cheruiyot said that she feels "much better."

“My prayer is to run well and clock a personal best. But the most important thing is to win the race. There are able competitors in the race because everyone has trained hard. I will focus on my race,” Cheruiyot said.

She said usually there is the pre-race anxiety over how the race will unfold, but she does not fear her opponents because she has prepared adequately.

“I don’t fear anybody, but there is always tension over how the big day will turn out. Every runner is good in her own right. The  thought that may stick in your head is the position you will be after the 42 kilometres race,” she said.

Cheruiyot said running in a loop will be an advantage though doing that for 42km is really challenging, but she will do her best.

“The route was changed due to the virus. I love going one way instead of running in a loop which is not hard because I have done this before in the track events.  But I will concentrate on the race. I’m aiming for good results."

Cheruiyot said that training for speed was very important because it helps an athlete prepare for anything that might come up towards the end of the race.

The athlete, fondly known as “pocket rocket”, has won many accolades in her career.

Cheruiyot started participating in international races in 1998 when she represented Kenya in the World Cross Country Championships in Marrakech, Morocco. She emerged fifth in the junior category.

Cheruiyot later switched to track events with her specialty being the 5,000m and 10,000m races where she registered mixed results.

(09/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Coach Addy Ruiter on star pupil Cheptegei, he will be the new standard

When Joshua Cheptegei made history to wipe 1.99 seconds from Kenenisa Bekele’s world 5000m record in Monaco in August, it generated an outpouring of ecstasy in a mild-mannered Dutchman situated some 9000 kilometres away in Uganda.

“I’d been following the race by livestream and after he set the record I was leaping around the house, I was very happy,” explains Cheptegei’s coach, Addy Ruiter.

Yet despite the inevitable nerves Ruiter experienced that night, he was also very optimistic.

Some four weeks earlier, Cheptegei completed a track session on a far from standard grass oval track in Kapchorwa which filled his coach with confidence.

“That day, Joshua showed me he was in 12:30 shape (for the 5000m) and at a much higher level than Bekele’s 12:37 (5000m world record),” he said. “Knowing he was that much further ahead of the world record was important because we knew the likely hot conditions he would face in Monaco would slow him down a little.”

Still aged just 23, the world cross country and 10,000m champion appears armed with all the qualities to become the dominant distance runner of his generation.

After taking down Bekele’s world 5000m record his next target is the Ethiopian’s 15-year-old world 10,000m record of 26:17.53 which he will attack on October 7, in Valencia.

Some ten days later the Ugandan sensation will make his eagerly-awaited debut over the 21.1km distance at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 in Poland where he will look to claim his first world road title.

‘Coaching was in my blood’

His potential looks limitless, yet behind every great athlete is always a great coach and there is little doubt the avuncular Ruiter ticks all the boxes as a knowledgeable and innovative foil for the super-talented Cheptegei.

Born and raised in the small city of Papendrecht in western Holland, Ruiter was a handy schoolboy athlete but with a curious nature he was quickly drawn to coaching and recalls guiding a number of runners as a high school student.

“Coaching was in my blood,” he says.

Yet running and coaching back then could not dislodge his passion for travel. With an interest in the world around him and a desire to experience different cultures, he would spend periods of time working to save enough money to visit many far flung parts of the world.

He travelled extensively through Asia, spent prolonged periods in Australia and in total has visited 97 countries around the globe.

The Dutchman re-engaged with running for a short period of time around the age of 30. He trained hard and whittled his 10km personal best down to 30 minutes. Then the travel bug took over once again.

“I was someone with a talent but not enough of a talent to train so for a long period of time,” he adds.

On Gdynia: ‘he is capable of winning’

That next target is the world 10,000m record followed by his half marathon debut in Gdynia. There will be huge expectations around Cheptegei, but Ruiter is slightly cautious.

“It was sad they were forced to postpone the original race back in March because we had enjoyed the perfect preparation,” he says.

“In recent months we have been preparing to run the 5000m and 10,000m world records, so this time it has not been a perfect preparation. But even without an ideal build up he is capable of winning the race.”

In the longer term the priority is the track climaxing with the 2024 Paris Olympics, from which point the road and the marathon will be the main priority and of all surfaces, Ruiter believes the road is the one best suited to the Ugandan.

(09/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Hellen Obiri ponders plans for Olympics and beyond

Hellen Obiri came close to walking away from the sport eight years ago.

The Kenyan, aged 22 at the time, was so disappointed with her performance at the 2012 Olympic Games, she considered quitting there and then. She had won the world indoor 3000m title earlier that year and went on to improve her 1500m PB to 3:59.68 at the start of the outdoor season, making her one of the fastest women on the startline for the Olympic final.

But she finished right at the back of the field in 12th place – later upgraded to eighth following the disqualification of four athletes from that race – and was unable to explain what had gone wrong.

Thankfully, however, she soon got over the disappointment and her career has gone from strength to strength.

She is now the only woman in history to have won world titles indoors, outdoors and at cross country. One medal is missing from her collection, though.

“I’ve won a lot but I’m not yet there,” she says. “Olympic gold is the only medal that's missing from my collection.

“At the start of the year we were training for the Olympics in 2020 but then of course we received the sad news that there would be no Olympics this year,” she added. “It’s hard to put your dreams on hold for another year when you wanted to achieve something good, but we have to be patient and train hard for 2021. The pandemic has affected the whole world. All we can do now is look ahead to 2021.”

Had the Games gone ahead this year, the 30-year-old would have been one of the big favourites over 5000m, the event in which she won world titles in 2017 and 2019. She has raced just three times on the track so far in 2020, but produced world-leading times in two of those appearances.

The 5000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting was her season opener and she won convincingly in 14:22.12, the fourth-fastest time of her career. Just earlier this week, in a high-quality 3000m that she described as being “like a championship final”, she triumphed again in 8:22.54, the second-fastest time of her career behind the outdoor African record of 8:20.68 on the same track in Doha.

In a year with no major championships and with world rankings and Olympic qualifying suspended, performances in 2020 may not count for much. But Obiri has sent a clear message to her competitors that, even in an off year like this one, she is hard to beat. And she will be an even more formidable opponent in an Olympic year.

“I have one more race in Nairobi (at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting on 3 October), then I’ll take a break and start to prepare for the Olympics,” she said. “I hope to do even better in 2021.”

(09/28/2020) ⚡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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Paul Chelimo: “Go Hard Or Suffer The Rest Of Your Life”

THE WILD CARD of the U.S. distance scene? That would be Paul Chelimo. He’s unpredictable on the track: witness his blistering 57-second opening at last year’s USATF 5000, his brutal pace for half the race, then a switch to slowish sit-and-kick tactics for the second half of what turned out to be a runner-up performance.

Chelimo can also be unpredictable—as well as funny—off the track. He had plenty of people going this spring with his social media demonstration of how to use a bathtub as a treadmill.

Then there’s his April training account via Twitter: “I drank liquid bleach and went for a tempo run, now I’m seated somewhere on the trail breathing fire… KABOMMMM!!!”

In jest? Of course. Much of the time that’s how the 29-year-old Chelimo operates. But he’s dead serious about where he’s going in this sport. It shows in his oft-repeated mantra: “Go hard or suffer the rest of your life.”

He tells us, “I’m not a perfectionist, but I like being close to perfection in everything I try to do. If I feel like I’m tying up in a workout or in a race, if I don’t go hard, then I’m definitely going to suffer. If I don’t go hard at the Olympics next year, it’s going to be tough for the sponsors to believe in me.”

Still, he has to laugh often, he says, because “I have funny things going on.” He describes one workout that happened the day after he raced at one of Winston-Salem’s Camel City events:

“I went for a long run and it was pouring rain that day, it was crazy. Luckily, I can swim, you know? I ran from the hotel because I missed the shuttle. I was running to where we usually begin our long runs. I got to like, mile 2, and I figured out, ‘Wow, there’s a reason why this year they said they were going with a shuttle.’ It turns out that where we used to cross the water, there was a lot of water, and nothing like a bridge.

“I couldn’t even jump; over the years we used to just jump over the water. And I was like, ‘Man, I’m not going to miss a long run today.’ Because if I decided to go back, that would mean I’m not going to do the long run. And by the side I saw a tree that fell across the water. And I figured I can just jump on this tree and cross. Trust me, it wasn’t a good idea.

“The next thing I saw was just red—it was dirty water. I fell in the water. My whole body. It’s a good thing I can swim. It was like 10-feet deep. I had headphones on and long-run gear and I was drowned, I was drained. I just crossed through and kept going. I met the guys and they were like, ‘How did you get here? Why are you sweating like this?’ I told them what happened and they started laughing at me. They were like, ‘Man, you’re crazy!’ When I am running, there’s a lot of stories happening.”

Chelimo always has been an interesting story himself. He came to the U.S. from Kenya 10 years ago as a recruit for NAIA school Shorter in Arkansas. After winning several national titles, he transferred to UNC Greensboro, where he was twice a runner-up in the NCAA 5000.

In ’14 he entered the Army’s World Class Athletic Program where he found an accelerated path to U.S. citizenship and started to emerge as world class. Two years later his 3rd in the Trials 5000 led to his impressive silver medal performance in Rio, with a then-PR 13:03.90. He landed on the podium again at the London Worlds with his bronze. In ’18, he ran his lifetime best 12:57.55, a mark that makes him the No. 4 American ever.

Last season, however, he didn’t run as well as he had hoped. No longer in the Army, he was competing for Nike but still working with WCAP coach Scott Simmons.

“It was a different thing,” he says, noting that the biggest change came when his wife, Brenda, gave birth to their daughter, Arianna, at the end of ’18. “She has to eat, she has to dress well, she has to get some nice stories, she has to go to school. I had to step up and properly care for my daughter.”

Arianna makes her appearance in the interview, running to her father but tumbling en route and erupting in tears. “She fell down, but she’s OK,” assures Chelimo. “When she sees me, every time she wants all the attention.” He adds, “But definitely, I was able to pick up fitness as the season went by.”

That led him to Doha, where everything went perfectly in the 5000 final, until it didn’t. “I really don’t know what happened to me,” he explains. “When we got to 400 to go, I felt like, ‘Yeah, I think I’ve got the gold this time.’ And just after that, at 300 to go, my legs started tying up; 200 to go I’m in 3rd place and I can’t even move anymore. I mean, [normally] no one can match me in the last 200m.”

Instead, he struggled to 7th in 13:04.60, more than 3 seconds away from a podium spot. “It told me I have an issue with strength,” he says. “If it gets to the point where my legs just give up, it’s time to do it a different way.” So he and Simmons revamped his training to focus on that deficit.

With almost no races this season—2 XC meets in January, 2 indoor affairs in February—Chelimo got frustrated at first, tweeting in May, “Someone find me a race before I lose my mind.” He included a photo of plants growing in his spikes.

“It got to a point.” He acknowledges the frustration, but says he got past it: “I just made up my mind. It doesn’t do any good stressing about racing. The only thing is to stay positive. When you panic, bad things happen. When I stay consistent, that’s the best thing. And trust me, I never, never go to the starting line unless I am really ready to run a race.”

His only “competition” of 2020 after winning the USATF Indoor 3000 was, yes, a triathlon of sorts, where he and his training partners battled in the long jump, shot and discus. For the record, he probably won’t be lured away from the distances after hitting PRs of 13-9½ (4.20) for the long jump, 23-8¾ (7.23) for the shot and 55-9¼ (17.00) for the discus. 

He explains that the impromptu field event competition followed a 20M (32K) long run at 9500ft (2895m) of altitude. “I’m a very competitive guy. It was good for me mentally. At first I thought it was going to be easy. When you’re on the runway, you think you’re going to jump really far, but then once you’re in the air, you start worrying about getting injured and breaking your leg.”

He says that if ’21 goes according to plan, he hopes to hit the Olympic 10K standard of 27:28.00 in the early season and tackle both of the long track races at the OT: “I’ll definitely double. The 5K comes first, which is perfect for me, because the 10K is not my main goal.”

Recall that in May ’19 he ran his first 10,000 in 8 years, scoring a PR 27:43.89 in Stockholm. That came two months after his debut half-marathon (62:19) in New York.

“At this point, I’m trying to move up in distance,” he says. “A few years down the line, I might be dropping into marathons, that is my big goal. I mean, in 2028 in LA, I’m going to be in the marathon hopefully.”

Chelimo sums up his career ambition by saying that for him, medals mean much more than records. “I feel like I was built for championship races. I have a tough mentality. It wouldn’t do me any good to break the American Record and not medal at the Olympics. My big goal is I want to peak really well for the Olympic Games. I don’t want to get distracted.

“I want to be smart and I want to be patient.”

 

(09/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Track and Field News
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Why Kipkemboi is relishing to pace at London Marathon

In 2011, Kipkemboi joined Rock High School in Tororo, Uganda after his brother,Eliud Kibet Too, who is also an athlete secured a place for him. He sat his Form Four exams and when he was unable to continue to Form Five, Kipkemboi returned home.

That is when he started training after being inspired by what his brother was doing. Kipkemboi joined Complete Sports stable before shifting to Global Sports Communication.

When London Marathon was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Kaptagat-based athlete Noah Kipkemboi engaged high gear in training instead of reverse considering the importance of the race.

His mind had been set on the initial April 26 race date, but organisers moved the event to October 4 owing to travel restrictions and Covid-19 health concerns. Now only elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes will be held in an enclosed loop.

Coronavirus scuttled the global sports calendar that resulted in the cancellation of major events including the Olympic Games that were postponed to next year in Tokyo, Japan.

Kipkemboi is one of the pacemakers for some of the best athletes in the world. Defending champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge (2hours:01 minute:39 seconds), Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem, Amsterdam Marathon champion Vincent Kipchumba and 2016 Mumbai Marathon champion Gideon Kipketer will line up on the big day in London.

The spotlight will be on Kipchoge, the first man to run a sub-two hours (1:59:40) in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria, last October as he goes head-to-head with his great rival, Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele.

Nation Sport recently caught up with Kipkemboi training at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Uasin Gishu County. 

Together with his colleagues from the Global Sports Communication stable, the athletes were tying up loose ends as they prepare for the race.

Kipchoge, who is also the Olympic marathon champion, Kipkemboi and Victor Chumo, who was also a pacemaker in Vienna, took turns to set the pace when we found them training at the Kipchoge Stadium.

In an interview with Nation Sport, Kipkemboi said that he is privileged to be among the pacemakers who will be leading some of the best athletes in the world. He is satisfied with his preparations.

"It will not be an easy task because some of the best athletes will be competing in the race. That means the pace will be fast, but I’m ready for the assignment,” said Kipkemboi.

He said that after competitions were cancelled because of the virus in April, he was disappointed. He had to train alone and he followed the Ministry of Health directives on social distancing.

“It was not easy training alone because athletes are used to training in a group. Nevertheless, I stayed focused. I am in good shape. My colleagues and I are putting some final touches. I believe I will perform well in the huge task ahead,” said the runner.

Kipkemboi said he was delighted when he was picked as one of the athletes who will set the pace in London.

“It will be my first time to pace in a major marathon. This has made me work extra hard in training because this race will need effective preparations. I don’t want to disappoint anyone,” he said.

Kipkemboi joined the Global Communications stable in 2017 and has been rising steadily. He was among the athletes who paced for Kipchoge during the sub-two project in Monza, Italy, where he missed the mark.

Kipkemboi was again selected last year among the 41 pacemakers for Kipchoge in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna. Kipkemboi rates the Vienna race as one of the best he has ever participated in.“That was a good race because it brought together many athletes from different countries for a worthy course,” said Kipkemboi.

Last year, he finished in ninth position in the Lisbon Half Marathon in a personal best of 60:52, before emerging third in Sevenhills Road Race in Netherlands.

Kipkemboi was second during the Kass Half Marathon in 2018 and he was also second in the Kakamega Half Marathon last year.

Kipkemboi was born in 1993 in Legetet, Uasin Gishu County. He went to school at Legetet Primary School and then proceeded to Ndubeneti Secondary School. However, he dropped out of school for lack of fees.

In 2011, he joined Rock High School in Tororo, Uganda after his brother ,Eliud Kibet Too, who is also an athlete secured a place for him. He sat his Form Four exams and when he was unable to continue to Form Five, Kipkemboi returned home.

That is when he started training after being inspired by what his brother was doing. Kipkemboi joined Complete Sports stable before shifting to Global Sports Communication.

(09/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo needs to convince sponsors Olympics will really happen

IOC President Thomas Bach this week will join a number of Japanese government and city officials, local organizers and other top International Olympic Committee leaders in repeating a message they’ve failed to convey forcefully enough to local sponsors

TOKYO -- The only thing more difficult than staging next year's Tokyo Olympics in a pandemic might be convincing sponsors to keep their billions of dollars on board in the midst of economic turbulence and skepticism.

To make the point this week, IOC President Thomas Bach will join a number of Japanese government and city officials, local organizers and other top International Olympic Committee leaders in repeating a message they've failed to convey forcefully enough to deep-pocketed sponsors: Trust us, the Tokyo Olympics will open on July 23, 2021.

Bach and IOC vice president John Coates — who oversees Tokyo preparations — are expected to speak remotely to Japanese officials as they meet on Thursday and Friday. The agenda includes plotting countermeasures against COVID-19: quarantines, rules for athletes entering the country, testing, vaccines and the presence or absence of fans.

Few firm details are expected until late in the year or early in 2021, which accounts for the uncertainty.

The subtext is assuring sponsors that the Olympics will happen. Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto has acknowledged the word's not getting out.

“The fact the Olympics are going to take place — the fact itself — is not fully distributed to the public," Muto, speaking in Japanese, said last week. "People need to be more convinced that, yes, the Olympics will be taking place for sure.”

A former deputy governor of the Bank of Japan, Muto has been vague about how many domestic sponsors are renewing their contracts. He says of the 68 sponsors: "They are all positive.”

”We're still in the middle of negotiations. We're not in the phase of speaking about any concrete results," he said.

Surveys have shown a majority of Japanese companies and the pubic don't think the Olympics will happen next year — or should happen. A poll published in June by Japanese broadcaster NHK said two-thirds of sponsors were undecided about extending for another year.

Keeping domestic sponsors on board is financially critical. Recruited by the giant Japanese advertising agency Dentsu Inc., domestic sponsors have paid a record $3.3 billion — at least twice any previous Olympics — to the local organizing committee. This is over and above a dozen permanent Olympic sponsors who have signed long-term with the IOC. Some also have individual contracts with Tokyo organizers.

John Grady, who teaches sports law at the University of South Carolina, said the postponement has “created countless problems and ripple effects."

“With the uncertainty of the Tokyo Games occurring with few or limited fans, local sponsors would be right to be cautious in investing more sponsorship dollars if they cannot reach fans on site,” Grady wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “The lack of a wider international fan base that is typical at an Olympics would shrink the global audience who has access to seeing local sponsors’ activation efforts around Olympic venues in the host city.”

Despite the uncertainty, it will be difficult for sponsors to step away in a country where conformity and teamwork are valued and national loyalty could be called into question.

Japan also has a long history of supporting the Olympics, and many in decision-making roles recall fondly the positive impact of the 1964 Tokyo Games, which showed the country's rebirth just 19 years after defeat in World War II.

“There's a strong underlying narrative that this event is really good for the country,” Robin Kietlinski, who teaches and researches Japanese sports and history at LaGuardia Community College in New York, said in an interview with the AP.

“I think there is almost historic pressure to have it go smoothly and to benefit Japan in some way," she added. “Whether that's financially, or whether that is getting their companies seen. There is something, too, about the rising China and — especially compared to 1964 — how Japan is somewhat in the shadow of this huge economy next door.”

Japanese organizers are saying little about how 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes, staff and officials will be safe in Tokyo.

“The environment, when it comes to Tokyo, will be different than from the environment today," Bach said this month. “We only do not know which way.”

Bach has said that even if rapid tests and a vaccine were available, they will not be the “silver bullet."

A study last week from the University of Oxford showed Tokyo to be the most expensive Summer Olympics dating from 1960. And the meter is still running.

The Kyodo news agency also reported again this week on more details about the bribery scandal that seemed to have helped Tokyo land the Olympics.

David Leheny, who teach politics as Japan's Waseda Univeristy, suggested “hard-fought” talks are taking place with sponsors.

“My guess is that there will be a round of negotiation for lighter sponsorship contracts, with the firms holding most of the cards on the terms if they remain cohesive,” Leheny said in an email.

“The organizers don’t want to give up on any sponsors but also don’t want to look like extortionate bullies in the midst of a pandemic/recession ... none wants to be the first to be seen as abandoning them."

 

(09/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Things trail runners don’t have to deal with

Being a trail runner certainly has its perks

If you’re a trail runner, you might find road running to be very annoying. There are a lot of things that road runners have to worry about, like traffic, fellow pedestrians and much more. There are definitely things that runners need to be ready for on the trails, too, but the road is a very busy place. Here are some of the most annoying things that road runners have to put up with on a regular basis.

Cars

Cars are everywhere. If you’re running on the side of the road, you’re essentially putting your safety in the hands of drivers. You can do everything possible to be safe, but if a driver is texting or distracted, they could give you a scare. There are also those drivers who hate runners for some reason. Maybe they had a traumatic experience in gym class many years ago during the beep-test or in cross-country and they vowed to never run again. Whatever the case may be, there are some drivers out there who do, in fact, see runners, but choose not to give them any room on the side of the road. To the drivers out there who do respect runners, you’re good people and we appreciate it.

Dogs

Yes, you may encounter wild dogs on the trails, but they tend to stay away from humans. Domesticated dogs, on the other hand, aren’t afraid of people, and if they see you running by their homes on the road, they might decide to chase after you. If you do happen to come across a domesticated dog on the trails, they’re probably leashed or very well-behaved (otherwise their owner probably wouldn’t have let them run free), so you have nothing to worry about.

Stop lights

There’s nothing worse than being in the zone on a run only to be forced out of it when you have to stop at a light. You stop your watch, you stand there awkwardly and by the time you’re allowed to cross the street, you’re out of that groove from before. On the trails, you can stay dialled in for as long as you want, whether that’s 30 minutes or eight hours, and you get to decide when you want to stop.

Boring routes

Some road routes can be fun, but a lot are just repetitive, and after a few minutes of running, you can get bored. When you’re running on the trails, you have to be focused or else you could trip and fall. This keeps you engaged and alert throughout your entire run.

Foot traffic

Trails have certainly gotten busier during COVID-19, but there can be days when you go for a run and never see another person on the trail. On the roads, especially in cities, you have to dodge walkers and other runners on the sidewalks. This is just tedious, and if it’s super busy, you really won’t get much of a workout in.

“Run, Forrest, run!”

Everyone on the trails is there for the same reason as you: they like to hike, run, mountain bike or just be in nature. When you’re on the road, those people from before, the ones who hate runners, will decide to shout things like, “Run, Forrest, run!” at you as you pass by, which is of course hilarious and so original. You won’t hear anything like that on the trails. Instead, you just get a nice “Hello” from everyone you pass.

We aren’t saying the trails are better than the road, but there are definitely some perks to running in the woods.

(09/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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SARA HALL REFLECTS ON HARD WORK AND MOTHERHOOD IN BUILD UP TO LONDON MARATHON

Running At Peak Form Into Her Late 30s, Hall Continues Lifelong Pattern Of Putting In The Effort

When the future of racing in 2020 looked bleak as the COVID-19 crisis swept the world last spring, Sara Hall didn’t lose hope.

“I started training for a marathon in faith, before I knew there would be any real competitions,” said Hall, who has been eager to finally move past her heartbreaking performance from February at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, where she dropped out at mile 22.

“It would have been easier just to hit the couch, but I set my mind on running a marathon, some way some how.”

Even if it meant racing 26.2 miles by herself, she said.

Ryan Hall, a two-time U.S. Olympic marathoner who retired in 2016, said his wife’s relentless competitive drive is one of his biggest challenges as her coach.

“She loves to train hard, but has a hard time taking extended breaks,” he said. “She is always ‘chomping at the bit’ to get back out there.”

When Hall heard that the London Marathon would host a highly secure, elite-only race amid the pandemic, she jumped at the precious opportunity.

On Oct. 4, she will face some of the world’s best marathoners, including defending London champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya and U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion Molly Seidel.

“Getting into the London Marathon felt like such a reward for a lot of perseverance this year — being willing to put in the work on faith alone,” said Hall, 37. “It felt against all odds to get to toe the line in a world marathon major.”

‘Against all odds’ is a familiar theme for Hall, a mother of four who has posted the fastest times of her career well into her 30s, including a 2:22 marathon last year in Berlin, where she finished fifth. Last month, with two male pacers, she ran a personal best of 1:08:18 in a half marathon along the Row River Trail in south of Eugene, Oregon, making her the sixth-fastest American woman ever in that distance.

A former Foot Locker Cross Country National Champion in high school and distance standout at Stanford University, Hall has competed at the highest levels of distance running for two decades — a great accomplishment in itself.

“It’s definitely surprised me,” she said of her longevity in the sport. “I think it’s a lot of factors, but I think the biggest are being naturally durable and learning to be really mentally-emotionally resilient.”

Ten years ago, after disappointing results as a 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter runner on the track, Hall thought her elite running career was over. She credits her Christian faith and Ryan with convincing her she had more to achieve.

Since then, she’s not only moved up to and mastered the marathon distance, she’s done it while becoming a mother to four adopted sisters from Ethiopia.

“When we adopted them, I didn’t think I’d be able to keep competing, but instead I’ve improved every year since they’ve been here,” said Hall, who is using her race in London to raise money for homeless children in Ethiopia, where she and Ryan have spent a lot of time working on various causes.

“I get to model to (my daughters) so many character aspects I want to instill in them: picking yourself up after defeat, taking risks, hard work, commitment,” she said. “Running is the greatest teacher.”

Inspired by their parents, three of the Halls' daughters have become runners. The oldest, Hana, currently a freshman runner at Grand Canyon University, won the Division 2 Arizona Cross Country Championships last fall. Hana and Mia, 16, both ran with their mom at the half marathon in Oregon.

In addition managing her kids’ remote learning and getting in her workouts, Hall has made time to discuss the racial justice movements happening across the United States.

“I’ve told my daughters about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor,” she said. “We’ve discussed the movement in the U.S. and the systemic racism over the last 400 years that is the backstory to these recent events. I personally have been learning a lot.”

Despite the world’s turmoil in recent months, Hall has maintained extraordinary focus on the road ahead.

In the London Marathon, which will be held on a closed-loop course around St. James Park, she hopes to snag a new personal best and would love to finally land on the podium, after finishing fifth at the Frankfurt and Berlin Marathons.

“I’m focused on having my best marathon yet,” she said.

(09/26/2020) ⚡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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Dec. 6th’s 2020 California International Marathon Canceled Due to COVID-19

The 38th annual California International Marathon, organized by the Sacramento Running Association and scheduled to run Sunday, Dec. 6 2020, has been canceled due to health and safety guidelines associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. All 2020 CIM registrants will receive a voucher for free registration into either the 2021, 2022, or 2023 CIM.

“After 37 years of world class production, the CIM has established itself as a Sacramento institution, a valuable civic amenity, and an important cornerstone event on the annual national running scene. Because of this, the CIM cancellation is a devastating blow to the Sacramento region and to the larger running community,” said Sacramento Running Association Executive Director Scott Abbott.

The CIM annually hosts over 15,000 participants, 75,000 spectators, and 4,000 volunteers over the course of marathon weekend, while filling nearly 10,000 hotel room nights and adding an estimated $11 million economic impact to the Sacramento region.

In addition to the impact on local hotels, restaurants and retailers, the event historically raises over $500,000 for local charities and community organizations through leveraged fundraising and direct giving every year.

“Local, regional, and state health officials worked very hard over the past few months to help us find a way for the event to happen, and we appreciate their efforts and their commitment to helping us fulfill our duty to our participants and stakeholders. Ultimately, there were too many uncertain variables in play that prevented our ability to put on this year’s CIM,” added Abbott. “Through this process, however, we are encouraged that we have identified safe policies and protocols for bringing in-person running events back to our community very soon, and we are looking forward to providing leadership in this space for Sacramento.”

Associated canceled events include November’s Run The Parkway, The Capitol 5k, and UC Davis Children’s Hospital maraFUNrun.

For runners still planning to train for a marathon this fall, the CIM has launched “Project 26.20” a virtual platform with training incentives and a race day virtual experience. More information can be found at runsra.org/project-26-20

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

Other SRA events include the Super Sunday Run, the Credit Union SACTOWN Run, the Gold Country Half, the Capital Cross Challenge, and Youth XC Series.

(09/26/2020) ⚡AMP
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California International Marathon

California International Marathon

The California International Marathon (CIM) is a marathon organized by runners, for runners! CIM was founded in 1983 by the Sacramento Running Association (SRA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The SRA Board of Directors is comprised of runners with a combined total of 150+ years of service to the CIM. The same route SRA management created for the 1983 inaugural CIM...

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Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli Aiyabei is currently ranked as the 10th fastest woman in marathon history

Vegetables vendor who conquered the Frankfurt marathon, ranked as the 10th fastest woman in marathon history.

This is after breaking the course record in Frankfurt last year, winning in two hours, 19 minutes and 10 seconds.

But she’s not done yet and will be seeking to move up the pecking order at the London Marathon next Sunday.

Her’s is an amazing story of a late bloomer who started off selling vegetables to eke out a living before taking to athletics.

In London, she will be competing against compatriots, defending champion Brigid Kosgei, 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot, world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich and debutant Edith Chelimo.

Aiyabei told Nation Sport that her preparations for the London race are complete and that she looks forward to a good race.

“My training was injury free and I’m happy because despite the Covid-19 challenges, I managed to train well and I’m just waiting for the race day,” said Aiyabei.

She also said that training in a group helps athletes gauge their limit but she has been training alone which she feels that she has done well so far.

“It’s my first time to compete in London Marathon and I will be doing my best despite the fact that I was training alone. I trust I did well and finished my training programme and I will be implementing what I have done so far,” she added.

Went there to set up business

Aiyabei joins the long list of athletes who started their training and ventured straight into the road and marathon races. She trains in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, where she has called home since 2011 when she went there to set up business but decided to join athletes who used to train every day.

Aiyabei comes from a humble background and after graduating from Kapkitony High School in Elgeyo Marakwet, life was hard and she decided to shift base to Iten where she started a small business to keep her going. The athlete decided to look for some income generation and her mind clicked Iten, a busy town full of athletes training for various races where she thought there could be good circulation of cash.

It was while she was selling her vegetables and fruits, that she could see athletes training every day and she was attracted to the sport.

“Poverty pushed me to Iten town where I used to hear that athletes were camping and I wanted to go there and make money. In my interaction with them, I came to love the sport and I started training in the morning and evening every day,” said Aiyabei.

She started training on road races and she later had her first child, Michelle Chebet, before getting back to serious training.

“With good training I’m very much sure that I can still lower that time but my target is to also run a world record time in the near future,” said Aiyabei.

At the Frankfurt Marathon, Aiyabei broke from the leading pack with her husband Ken Tarus pacing for her in the initial stages before he dropped out of the race after feeling unwell.

“It was tough running alone when the pacemaker dropped but I kept going because I wanted to win the race. Breaking early saved me because the Ethiopian athlete (Kebede) looked strong and she would have beaten me in the final part of the race,” said Aiyabei.

(09/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Hellen Obiri won the 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha

With about 90 seconds to go in the women’s 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday (25), it looked as though Hellen Obiri would register a rare defeat in the Qatari capital.

Little more than 24 hours earlier, the world cross-country champion from Kenya had explained how Doha was one of her favourite cities to race in, having set her 3000m PB here in 2014 and retained her world 5000m title last year in the Khalifa Stadium.

But when world steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech breezed into the lead with about 550 metres left in tonight’s 3000m race, Obiri kept her cool for another 200 metres before she unleashed her trademark kick for home, eventually winning in a world-leading 8:22.54.

The field of 15 women, loaded with world and Olympic medallists, was paced through the first kilometre in 2:48.46. Obiri and Chepkoech were tucked behind the pacemaker with world 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop and world 5000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi also near the front of the tightly-bunched pack.

After the pacemaker dropped out at the 1600m point, Obiri led the pack and reached 2000m in 5:39.70, the pace having slowed slightly. Eight women were still in contention with two laps to go with Obiri, Chepkoech, Tirop and Kipkemboi still occupying the first four places.

Chepkoech made her move as she entered the home straight for the penultimate time, but Obiri responded with about 350 metres remaining, her head rocking and arms fighting, as is often her style at the end of races.

Tirop and Chepkoech made up some ground in the final stages, but Obiri held on to win in 8:22.54, the second-fastest time of her career behind the 8:20.68 African outdoor record she set on this track six years ago.

The next five women to cross the line were all rewarded with PBs. Tirop and Chepkoech finished second and third respectively, both timed at 8:22.92, while Kipkemboi (8:24.76) and 2015 world steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng (8:25.13) were fourth and fifth. For the first time in history, seven women finished inside 8:27.

“Doha has become like a second home to me as I've won so many races here, including the World Championships last year,” said Obiri. "The season has not been the best for everyone but I am happy it is coming to an end."

(09/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo Olympics announces potential cost-reduction plan for 2021 event

Friday morning, the Tokyo Olympics organizers announced a proposal to cut the number of officials for next year’s event by 10 to 15 per cent in order to save money. Cutting the number of officials is just one part of their cost-reduction proposal, which reportedly includes 50 other measures to simplify the Games. 

Other proposed measures include reducing invitations for both the opening and closing ceremonies, cutting team welcome ceremonies at the Olympic Village, reducing the decoration budget, a shorter window for training venues and giving fewer officials access to official bus services (and instead encouraging them to take public transit).

According to Inside the Games, IOC President Thomas Bach addressed organizers this week, urging them to work diligently and comprehensively. “Nobody can expect from us that we know already, exactly what needs to be done in 10 months from now to ensure a safe environment for everybody,” he said.

Earlier this year, the IOC said that the Olympics wouldn’t happen without a vaccine. However, in recent weeks they’ve back pedalled on that statement, suggesting that it will go on either way. At a press conference this week, Bach cited the Tour de France as a sports event that was successful without a vaccine. 

The Games are scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021. 

(09/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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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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Canadian group honours RBG with virtual run

The Running Women Global Community is hosting a virtual run in honour of Bader Ginsberg. Here's how you can participate

In July, Zahra Nafar of Ottawa created the Running Women Global Community when she felt there wasn’t a space for BIPOC and LGBTQ women to freely participate in the running groups that already existed. It turns out that Nafar spotted a gap in runners’ experience that had long been felt by many women, as within days, her Facebook group grew to a few thousand members from all over the world. Nafar has announced that the group’s first virtual run will be in honour of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who died on September 18.

Nafar says, “I know the positive changes that running can make to the lives of women and I am keen on keeping this community strong and free of advertisement, discrimination, hate and to help cultivate support for all those who present as women.”

In honour of the late RBG, as she was known, Nafar and her colleagues have put together a virtual run. It’s free to enter and all proceeds will go towards women’s shelters worldwide. Runners have between now and December 31 to complete their run – they could even make a run in honour of RBG their last official act of 2020, with the event closing at midnight.

(09/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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