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Running News Daily is edited by Bob Anderson and team.  Send your news items to jaime@mybestruns.com  Get your race featured and exposed.  Contact Manuel@mybestruns.com or call 650-209-7820

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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay will start it's 121 day journey March 26, 2020

The concept for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay across Japan will be "Hope Lights Our Way", uniting the Japanese people around messages of supporting, accepting and encouraging one another.

The Olympic flame is often associated with a message of peace and hope, as it is carried around the host nation, and as such has become one of the most powerful symbols of the Olympic Movement.

In 2020, the Olympic flame will not only symbolise the sunrise of a new era spreading the hope that will light our way, but will also serve to spread the joy and passion of the Japanese around the Olympic movement as the Games approach.

Upon its arrival in Japan, the Olympic flame will initially be put on display at various locations in the Tohoku region, to help underscore this message of hope in the areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The Relay will travel to all 47 prefectures in Japan, showcasing the varied cultural and scenic attractions of each region.

The Relay will commence on March 26 2020 in Fukushima Prefecture, and start its journey southwards. The torch is likely to traverse the inland prefectures of central Japan against the backdrop of Japan's famous cherry blossoms, which typically bloom there in early April.

The Relay will then proceed southwest until it reaches the islands of Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, in early May.

It will make its way back up to the north of the country, passing through Kyoto in late May, all the way up to Hokkaido, where it will arrive in mid-June. The Relay will then turn southwards again and complete its long journey in Tokyo after spending three days in each of the four prefectures outside of the capital that are hosting events during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The torch will traverse Japan for a total of 121 days. The precise route of the Relay will be firmed up during the coming months and announced in 2019, following approval by the IOC.

March 12 is the lighting ceremony in Olympia Greece and the Greek leg of the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay will continue until March 19 when there is a handover ceremony in Athens, Greece.

The Flame arrives at Matsushima Airfield, Miyagi, Japan on March 20, 2020.

(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Sarah Reinertsen has been the only amputee to have completed the World Marathon Challenge

For a long time, people with disabilities were defined by what they couldn't do -- Sarah Reinertsen is choosing to be defined by what she can do as an amputee.

She's not just breaking down barriers, she's blazing a trail for all who come after her.

"Growing up, I knew I was different, right, and I was OK with being different but I was not OK with being told I couldn't do something," Reinertsen said.

"I was born with a tissue disease that meant that my thigh bone stopped growing, so although I had two legs, my left leg was extremely shorter than my right leg."

Reinertsen and her family decided to amputate her leg when she was just seven years old. "That was a really hard time for me," she said.

From age 7 to 11, Reinertsen struggled to make peace with her new reality.  "I was the only kid in my entire school that had a physical disability that you could see," she said.

"I had coaches that wouldn't let me play with the other kids on the main field. They would make me go kick a soccer ball on the side of the wall by myself and so for many years of my childhood I used to believe that narrative. I used to believe that I wasn't good enough."

That all changed when she went to one of her dad's 10k races -- like she did most weekends. But this race changed her life.

"There was a woman in the race who was an amputee and she was doing the 10k and I just thought, I had never seen another amputee on one of these road races with my dad and so I just thought 'wow, if she can run in this six mile race, maybe I could run and do a six mile race,'" Reinertsen said.

She's been running ever since. She learned the ins and outs of prosthetics and backed by Nike and Ossur Prosthetics, Reinertsen ran one race after another. But that was just the beginning.

"I knew this guy named Jim McClaren who had done an Iron Man on a prosthetic leg and I was like 'Jim that's so cool that you did an Ironman, I want to do an Iron Man just like you' and he said 'well I don't know of a girl on a prosthetic that can do it' and I was just like 'are you kidding, you do know a girl because you're looking at her, I'm going to do the Iron Man,'" Reinertsen said.

She not only did the Iron Man, she qualified for the world championship in Kona, Hawaii. She was one of only 10 in the physically challenged division and the only woman.

"I just believed that I could do it," she said. That belief has knocked down barriers all over the world.

She's also the only amputee to have completed the World Marathon Challenge.  That is running seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.

"It's sort of like a long race with sort of like naps in between," she said.

When she's not taking the athletic world by storm herself, Reinertsen is working with Nike's Innovation Kitchen, designing sportswear that gives independence to anyone who wants it, regardless of the physical challenges they may face.

(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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For the third year in a row, Caster Semenya went undefeated in the 800 meters

For the third year in a row, Caster Semenya went undefeated in the 800 meters. And though there was no global championship to cap it off, this was her most impressive year yet as she broke 1:56 five times and broke 1:55 three times (after never having broken 1:55 prior to 2018).

Only one woman in history had ever accomplished either of those feats: Pamela Jelimo, who broke 1:55 four times and 1:56 eight times during the 2008 season.

One of the reasons Semenya ran faster in 2018 was that, more so than in previous years, she chose to cut loose and chase times rather than solely concentrating on wins.

At the Diamond Leagues in Paris and Monaco and the Continental Cup in Ostrava, Semenya — running without a pacemaker — went out hard from the gun and was rewarded with the three fastest times of her life, including a sparkling 1:54.25 PR in Paris that ranks her fourth on the all-time list.

For much of her career, Semenya from South Africa has faced criticism for “sandbagging” — she made winning look so easy that some thought she was intentionally holding back. Maybe a (very fast) pacemaker could have helped her this year, but the Semenya we saw in 2018 was one that pushed herself to her limits.

The question now becomes: have we seen the last of this version of Caster Semenya? The IAAF announced that it will be implementing new eligibility regulations for the female classification that include testosterone limits for women in events between 400 and the mile (the events that Semenya just so happens to run).

Semenya challenged the ruling, with a decision due by the Court of Arbitration for Sport due in March. That decision will determine the future of the women’s 800, because it has become clear over the last three years that, as things stand, no non intersex or transgender woman is beating Caster Semenya.

(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 confirms to install Olympic flame cauldrons in stadium and waterfront

Reports that cauldrons would be established both in the Olympic Stadium and on Tokyo's waterfront near the Yume-no-Ohashi Bridge were confirmed at a meeting of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.

Under the Olympic Charter, the flame must be in public view for the entirety of the Olympics.

Tokyo 2020 organisers stated, "So that as many people as possible can view the flame, two separate cauldrons will be deployed.

"One will be set up inside the Olympic Stadium and used only during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies; another, to which the flame will be transferred after the Opening Ceremony, will be placed in Tokyo's bustling waterfront area, allowing the wider public to view it and experience the spirit and excitement of the Games.

"The flame will only be displayed in one location at a time."

"A number of locations, including Games venues, live sites and tourist attractions in Tokyo, were considered as the site for the cauldron outside of the Olympic Stadium.

"Tokyo 2020 took into account the IOC's stipulation that the location should be a symbolic site which would allow as many people as possible to view the flame without having to purchase tickets for the Games.

"Considering all these factors, as well as security and operational issues, it was decided that the Ariake side of the Yume-no-Ohashi Bridge in the waterfront area would be an ideal location.

(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Strong field is expected at Osaka Women´s Marathon

2016 winner Kayoko Fukushi, who will be running her first marathon since the Rio Olympics, and the duo of Tomomi Tanaka and Rei Ohara, who went head-to-end until the final meters of the 2016 Nagoya Women's Marathon are running too.

Ohara is already in for the MGC Race (Marathon Grand Championship), but the rest of the home crowd will have to be under 2:28:00 if among the top three Japanese women and under 2:27:00 if in the next three.

Hanae Tanaka has a slightly easier route, only needing to clear 2:28:20 to get in via the two-race sub-2:28:00 average the same way Ohara did in Berlin this year. With only eight women qualified so far versus twenty-one men hopes are high for a few more to join the list and bring the women's numbers up at least half the men's. Highest potential among the first-timers is Natsuki Omori, a team mate of last year's winner Matsuda.

Ethiopian Sutume Asefa Kebede has the best relatively recent time among the internationals in the field with a 2:24:00 in Dubai 2016, but the probably favorite to push the front end of the race is 2018 Prague Marathon winner Bornes Chepkirui of Kenya with a 2:24:19 best from her Prague victory. Three other Africans are positioned at the 2:26 to 2:27 level, perfect to help pace the Japanese women along to MGC marks. Look for more coverage closer to race date.

(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Timothy Ritchie will run the Boston Marathon for the second time and hopes to finish strong this year

Tim Ritchie pulled out a baseball analogy when describing his success in past marathons. "I'm 2-3," Ritchie said on Friday. "I've had two good ones and three bad ones. I'd like to even the score and bat .500 Monday."

Ritchie, 30, of New Haven will run the Boston Marathon for the second time. His last time in Boston was one of the bad ones — it was his first marathon, he went out too hard and struggled in the last 10K.

But his last marathon was one of the good ones — in fact, it was the best. Ritchie won the U.S. 2017 national championship at the California International Marathon Dec. 3 in Sacramento in 2:11:56, a personal best by close to three minutes. Only Olympian Galen Rupp, who won the Chicago Marathon in 2:09, ran a faster time by an American in 2017.

Ritchie, who grew up in Worcester, went to Boston College, where he starred on the track and cross country teams. He was an assistant at BC for the track and cross country teams until the fall of 2016, when he left the job and moved to New Haven with his fiancee and started to concentrate on his running.

In Boston in 2013, he finished in 2:21. At the Olympic Trials in 2016, he finished in 2:22 and ran a similar time at New York City later that year.

"I would be good for 20 miles then collapse over the last 10K," he said. "You've got to learn from your mistakes — or even if there weren't mistakes, you always have to try to improve, in the training and the fueling.

"For CIM, the training was really consistent. Higher volume workouts were the key. We didn't really have these major long runs but we had a lot of kind of long runs at a good pace. Like 16-18 miles, maybe twice a week."

(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Don’t use winter as an excuse instead make it a reason to go outside and run says Marathon Man Gary Allen File 1

I get lots of questions about winter running. Many wonder about traction on ice and snow or even how to dress in cold temperatures. At our just run Millinocket Marathon & Half held in Northern Maine the air temperature was between 4F and 6F at the start depending if you were standing in the sun or not.

It was pretty icy on the Golden Road as runners headed north towards Mt Katahdin. (pic). 

The fact is that running on ice is not that difficult in standard running shoes. When we run, vs when walking, our individual foot strikes are in contact with the ground for much less time, meaning we are almost already falling forward, coupled with the fact that when running we  exert about 1.5 times of our body weight in down force per stride, which makes us into traction machines. The tricky part of running on ice and snow is turning or stopping. This is when we fall.

As far as what to wear? In temps below 10F it’s always about layers.  For example a tech tank top, a tech short sleeve, a tech long sleeve, plus a wind jacket on top. Tights plus wind pants on the legs, two hats and face protection, if windy, and gloves with mittens over and you’re good to go! 

As I like to tell runners, don’t use winter as an excuse instead make it a reason to go outside and run!

(Marathon Man Gary Allen - Read more from Gary here at My Best Runs.  Gary is one of only a few marathoners in the world who has run a sub three hour marathon in each of the last five decades.  In 2020 he wants to make it six.  No one in the world has done that.)

(12/19/2018) ⚡AMP
by Gary Allen
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Best Racing Moment of 2018 and My Best Runs 2019 World Best 100 Races were announced today

My Best Runs "Best Racing Moment in 2018" and the My Best Runs "2019 World Best 100 Races" were announced today in Mountain View, California at the My Best Runs (MBR) headquarters.

First on the agenda was the announcement of the 2018 Best Racing Moment. MBR founder Bob Anderson stated, "Eluid Kipchoge was all smiles as he crossed the finish line at the Berlin Marathon September 29." 

"He had just smashed the world marathon record clocking 2:01:39.  Eliud ran the last 17k without pacers, pushing himself, taking off one minute and 18 seconds off of Dennis Kimetto's record."

"The world has rarely seen one event so dominated by one man, Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge," says Bob who also was the founder of Runner's World magazine (1966) and publisher for 18 years.

Eliud has won many awards this year including World Athletes of the Year at the IAAF Awards.

Next up on the agenda was the annoucement of the 4th Annual My Best Runs 2019 World Best 100 Races. 

"There are so many good races in the world.  This list could easily be much bigger.  However, as we have done now for four years, we have narrowed it down to the top 100," stated Bob. 

The featured race at 44 of the best 100 are marathons.  There are 20 half marathons and 14 10ks.  There is the Western States 100 miler and the Comrades Ultra marathon in South Africa.

The shortest race is the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile in New York City.  The longest is the 156 mile Marathon Des Sables coming up March 5 in Morocco. 

Most offer prize money totally million of US dollars.  The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon coming up January 26 is offering $1,316,000.  This marathon which was first held in 2000 top four men at the 2018 race all ran under between 2:04:00 and 2:04:06.  Four women ran between 2:19:17 and 2:19:53.

"It is good to see over $21 million (from races MBR are featuring) in prize money being offered runners," says Bob.  "Running is what these runners do and the money is well deserved and important for our sport."

Of course the Berlin Marathon is one of our top 100 but so is the Valencia Half Marathon (Spain) where Abraham Kiptum broke the world half marathon record in the 2018 race by clocking 58:18. 

The Birell 10k Race in Prague, CZE also made the list again for the 4th year. 18-year-old Phonex Kipruto from Kenya clocked 26:46 while Caroline Kipkirui clocked 30:19.  "This is one fast evening race and obviously belongs on our top 100 list," stated Bob.

The list has races from 23 different countries. 

"You can not go wrong in running any of these races," says Bob Anderson. "Your biggest challenge in many of these races will be to be able to be on the starting line. But if you can get in, you will have a blast."

(12/19/2018) ⚡AMP
by My Best Runs
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Sara Hall will join women´s Elite 2019 Boston Marathon Field

Sara Hall and reported yesterday Jordan Hasay will join defending champions Desiree Linden and Tatyana McFadden on the starting line of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, part of the event's elite women American field.

John Hancock, the financial services company which manages and bankrolls the race's top athletes on behalf of the Boston Athletic Association, reported earlier today that Hasay and Hall would be part of a 29-athlete elite American field.

"American distance running has never been stronger, and we're honored to support this talented U.S. elite team to showcase their dedication and passion for being the best of class," said John Hancock chief marketing officer Barbara Goose.

"With defending champions Des Linden and Tatyana McFadden leading the way, all runners are sure to persevere in the world's most historic race. We'll be cheering for everyone on Patriots' Day."

Hasay, 27, whose 2:23:00 marathon debut in Boston in 2017 remains the fastest-ever by an American woman, also signed up for the 2018 edition of the race but was unable to start due to a stress reaction in her heel.

She had backed up her Boston performance with a 2:20:57 in Chicago in October, 2017, but has not run a marathon since. Hasay was the 2017 USA 15-K and 20-K road running champion.

Hall, 35, was the 2017 USA marathon champion and is the only American athlete in history with national road racing titles from the mile to the marathon. She ran a personal best 2:26:20 at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon last May, but dropped out of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon last October after running 25 kilometers with a "tweaked" peroneal, according to her official Twitter account.

(12/19/2018) ⚡AMP
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Marios Giannakou from Greece was the youngest finisher in one of the most difficult races in the world at Al Marmoom

Marios Giannakou is a 26-year-old runner from the city of Drama in Macedonia, Greece. His extraordinary story of perseverance, as he transformed himself from a smoker into an ultra-fit runner, can serve as an inspiration to all.

He was the youngest finisher in one of the most difficult races in the world, the 270-kilometer (168 mile) “Ultra Marathon”, which took place in the deserts of Dubai between December 11–15.

Giannakou wasn’t always a fit athlete who loved challenges. Weighing more than average and a regular smoker, he changed his attitude and life and began running at the age of 22.

Speaking with the Greek Reporter, Giannakou says that he never saw running as a simple athletic competition, or a personal challenge where you try to achieve the fastest time.”It is an activity where you are on your own. You have the time to think and solve problems for yourself,” he says.

His ultra-long distance running adventure began in 2015, when he participated in several competitions in the region of Rhodopi in Greece’s Thrace. He ran distances of 82 kilometers (51 miles) and even 161 kilometers (100 miles) in separate races there.

In early 2018, he decided to run with his friend Chronis in the Arctic for the distance of 150 kilometers (93.2 miles). ”We finished together, we had the same time” he said proudly.

Asked about his decision to participate in Dubai’s Ultra-Marathon, Giannakou laughed.

”We saw the cold, now it was time to see how the desert is” he said, laughing over the extraordinary accomplishments he has had in less than one year.

(12/19/2018) ⚡AMP
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Meb Keflezighi is going to be a pacer at the 2019 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend

Event organizer J&A Racing said that Keflezighi will serve as a pacer for the Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon and make special appearances throughout the weekend.

Keflezighi is the only athlete with an Olympic medal to go with victories in the Boston and New York City marathons. He retired from professional running last year after competing in 26 marathons and many shorter distance races. He has stayed involved in running, focusing particularly on promoting youth health and fitness.

“I know many runners travel to this event from all over the country because it is an amazing event and Virginia Beach has a vibrant local running community,” Keflezighi said in a statement.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to run the half marathon and experience race weekend for myself.”

“Meb’s passion for the sport of running and involvement with youth fitness makes him a perfect fit for the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend,” said Jerry Frostick, co-owner of J&A Racing. “He is an inspiration to runners of all ages, and we know his presence will bring an added excitement to race weekend for our participants and spectators.”

(12/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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Jordan Hasay is working toward 2020 Olympics after latest injury setback

Even through two significant foot injuries in 2018, Jordan Hasay remains optimistic about her long-term running career and is focused on having a successful year leading up to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Hasay captured the attention of the running world when she finished third at the Boston Marathon in April 2017.  Jordan shattered the record for an American woman in her marathon debut by nearly three minutes.

Six months later, Hasay cemented her status among the world’s elite marathon runners with a third-place finish at the Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:20:57, the second-fastest marathon time ever recorded by an American woman.

Hasay, an 18-time All-American at the University of Oregon, had her sights set on breaking Deena Kastor’s American record this year when she suffered two separate fractures to the bone in her left heel.

In April, Hasay withdrew from the Boston Marathon the day before the race after an MRI revealed the significance of the initial injury.

Hasay said she was encouraged the first injury healed so well, and she expects to make a full recovery from the most recent setback.

She’s thankful to be able to return the Central Coast and spend time with family while she rests and recovers.  Sacrificing eight weeks of running is a concession Hasay is ready to make for what she hopes will be a long career ahead.

“You’ve got to find things that can make you smile each day when you’re out injured like that, because you’re not out there doing what you love the most,” Hasay said.

“I see it as sort of the beginning of my marathon career, and hopefully we’ll figure it out so I don’t have these sort of injuries again.”

(12/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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Sarah Sellers has confirmed she will be running the 2019 Boston Marathon

In April, Sarah Sellers started the Boston Marathon with the elite female runners — it was just her second career marathon — and posted a surprising second-place finish.

At the 2019 race, she will return as part of the John Hancock US Elite Team. Sellers’s appearance was announced Tuesday along with the rest of the top American runners John Hancock, the race’s primary sponsor, will bring to Boston as part of its elite runner program.

Sellers will join Desiree Linden, whose intention to return to defend her victory was previously announced, and 2017 third-place finisher Jordan Hasay as the top American women in the field for the 2019 Boston Marathon on April 15. Sarah Hall, the 2017 US National Marathon champion, is also part of the team.

Flash Back: Sellers crossed the finish line in second place at the prestigious 26.2-mile race in rain-soaked conditions as a virtual unknown. Few online road-race results existed for Sellers, and she was not listed among the elite field. In the wet and windy conditions, Sellers wore a nondescript outfit, with no visible sponsors, and simply clicked the timer on her watch after crossing the finish line.

Her time of 2 hours 44 minutes 4 seconds left her in second place, and she was among seven American women in the top 10. Desiree Linden was the first American woman to win the race since 1985, a historic finish in a race full of surprises.

(12/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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Moroccans won the world’s longest desert Al Marmoom ultra marathon in the men’s division

El Morabity finished the world’s longest desert Al Marmoom ultra marathon of 270 kilometers in under 32 hours (31:17:29), ahead of French runner Muriel Robert and Iranian runner Akbar Najdi Niryan.

In the women’s category, Moroccan Aziza Raji achieved finished second (40:03:20) behind American runner Magdalena Boulet (37:27:59), while Russian Oskana Riyapova finished third (42:17:43).

The sporting event brought together runners from 35 countries who specialize in endurance races.

The victory comes a week after Rachid El Morabity and his brother Mohammed scored Morocco a gold medal during the Oman Desert Marathon. The brothers won first and second places, respectively.

(12/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s Mary Keitany was voted the 2018 New York Road Runners Pro Performer of the Year

Four-time TCS New York City Marathon champion garners public vote after recording second-fastest time in event history. 

Mary Keitany was voted the 2018 New York Road Runners Pro Performer of the Year by the public after recording the second-fastest time in New York City Marathon history en route to her fourth title, and winning her third NYRR New York Mini 10K.

The NYRR Pro Performer of the Year award recognizes the top athlete for his or her outstanding achievements at NYRR races over the entire year. 

“It’s a great honor to win the NYRR Pro Performer of the Year award,” Keitany said. “This one means a lot because it is the fans who choose. I was pleased to win the TCS New York City Marathon and the NYRR New York Mini 10K in 2018, and I look forward to continuing my success in NYC in the future.”

Keitany, 36, won her fourth TCS New York City Marathon title in November, easily out-pacing the field to finish in 2:22:49, just 17 seconds off the course record.

Her second-half split was faster than the U.S. half marathon record of 1:07:25, and she now has the second-most New York City Marathon victories in history in the women’s open division after Grete Waitz.

Earlier in the year, Keitany won her third NYRR New York Mini 10K in a time of 30:59, the fifth-fastest time in the event’s 47-year history.

"By winning her 4th TCS New York City Marathon and third NYRR New York Mini 10K this year, Mary Keitany put on a show for runners and viewers around the world with her amazing performances on the roads in 2018," said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners.

"Mary is like to New York Road Runners, and we are extremely grateful to have one of the greatest marathoners of all-time be such an inspiration to our running community here in New York." 

(12/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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The Shenzhen International Marathon course record was broken on Sunday

The first runner to cross the finish line was Edwin Kipngetich Koech from Kenya, who finished the marathon in 2:09:44. Koech took home a prize of US$20,000.

The runner-up prize went to an Ethiopian contestant, Bekele Muluneh Metaferia, who was only 56 seconds faster than the second runner-up, Samuel Ndungu Wanjiku, also from Kenya. Metaferia was awarded US$15,000, while Wanjiku received US$10,000.

The first woman to cross the finish line was Mulu Seboka Seyfu from Ethiopia. She finished in a time of 2:27:12, according to the organizer.

Kenyan runner Flomena Chepchirchir Chumba and Ethiopian runner Ashu Kasim Rabo finished in second and third place, respectively.

The first Chinese contestant to finish the full-length marathon was a 28-year-old man named Zhang Zhenlong from Inner Mongolia. It took him 2 hours 20 minutes and 43 seconds to finish the race, approximately 11 minutes longer than the Kenyan winner.

“I’m very satisfied with the result because it’s my best result in recent years. Today’s weather is very comfortable and the drizzle during the race also helped me maintain my strength,” Zhang told the Shenzhen Daily.

(12/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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Vlad Ixel traded his alcohol and cigarette addiction for an addiction to trail running

Vlad Ixel decided trail running was a healthier addiction than cigarettes and alcohol. 

Ixel, who came second in the North Face 50 behind Chinese phenomenon Yan Longfei on Saturday, decided to quit alcohol, cigarettes and meat two days before his 25th birthday. Later that week, he decided to run his first-ever marathon.

“When I was 24, the only running I would ever do was to the liquor store before it closed to make sure I had enough bottles,” said the 31-year-old Ukrainian, who has been based in Hong Kong for the past four years. “I couldn’t sleep without my six beers.”

”The high I got from crossing the finish line was far greater than anything I felt on a night out with drugs or alcohol, and with my addictive personality it just began to snowball. Since then, I’ve literally never stopped running,” Ixel said.

He’s not exaggerating. Ixel quickly became one of Hong Kong’s most active elite runners. He is sponsored by North Face and runs roughly 30-35 ultra-marathons a year.

In addition, Ixel has quickly developed a strong presence as an online running coach and motivator, having accrued over 20,000 Instagram followers.

Ixel moved to Hong Kong from Perth, Australia for his running career.

“When I was living in Perth there was maybe only two or three races a year. So when I started racing in Asia I met some friends who told me I should come down to Hong Kong for race season. I ran the 2013 Northface 100 and I thought ‘Wow this place is awesome, this is where I need to be.’

(12/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ed Whitlock’s world 70 plus marathon record has been broken by Gene Dykes

Many thought Ed Whitlock’s 2:54:48 Marathon world Record for 70 plus was untouchable until Gene Dykes came on the scene this year.  

The 70-year-old Gene Dykes, a retired computer programmer clocked 2:54:23 December 15 in Jacksonville, Florida. This breaks the world record for 70 plus by 25 seconds.  

He was over a hour ahead of second place in his division and Gene ran the fastest time for men 55 plus.  (Click on the link to read more about Gene in our exclusive two part profile done a couple of months back.)

Gene has only been racing serious a few years now.  He had gone under three hours twice already this year and felt he was ready to break the world record by year end.

He decided to hire a coach recently and ever since then Gene has been winning and setting records from 1500m to 200 miles.  

Unlike a lot of marathoners he also believes in running races up to 200 miles.  Another key element he says is to make sure his weight is just right. It is hard because he loves to eat.  

(12/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s Edwin Kipngetich Koech produced the Shenzhen Marathon’s first ever sub 2:10

The 26-year-old Koech enjoyed a comfortable lead after 25 kilometers and went on to win in 2:09:44.  This is his second sub-2:10 run behind his personal best of 2:07:13 achieved in Milan last April. Koech took home a prize of  US$20,000.

A leading group of more than 10 runners paced the race in the early stages. Only five men were left when the leaders passed the 20-kilometer mark, and that pack was trimmed to just three runners, Koech his compatriot Samuel Ndungu and Bekele Muluneh of Ethiopia, by the time they hit 25 kilometers in 1:17:09.

After covering the five-kilometer section between 25 and 30 kilometers in 14:41, Koech broke and built up a lead of more than half a minute and never looked back.

Bekele Muluneh improved his PR by 40 seconds to finish second in 2:11:19. Ndungu, a two-time Lake Biwa marathon winner with a PR of 2:07:04, settled for third place in 2:12:15.

Pre-race favourite Seboka lived up to expectations in the women’s race. She won in 2:27:12 to improve on her runner-up finish from last year while taking down the course record of 2:33:25 set by last year’s winner Viktoria Poliudina of Kyrgyzstan.

Seboka broke away from Kenyan veteran Flomena Chepchirchir near the halfway mark and when she passed the 25-kilometer water stations in 1:26:27, the margin had been widened to some 10 seconds.

The 34-year-old Ethiopian kept extending her lead and claimed the convincing win with an advantage of nearly five minutes.

It is Seboka’s second title in China this year as she also won the Dalian International Marathon in 2:28:59 seven month ago. The Ethiopian has finished within 2:30 in each of her three outings in 2018 with a season’s best of 2:25:01 registered in Seoul.

The 37-year-old Chepchirchir, who finished 10th in Shenzhen last year, took second place in 2:32:05, which was her best mark since achieving her PR of 2:23:00 back in 2013. Ashu Kasim of Ethiopia was a remote third-place finisher with a clocking of 2:38:35.

(12/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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He hopes to be the only man on earth to run a sub three hour marathon in six consecutive decades - Marathon Man Gary Allen introduction

Gary Allen is going to sharing his thoughts and knowledge here in MBR’s Running News Daily under the banner “Marathon Man Gary Allen.”

In his first column I sent him some questions so we all could get a flavor of what makes this incredibly creative and talented man tick.  I know I am looking forward to his writings here and I hope you are too!

So Gary, how did you discover running?

”I wanted to be a hockey player,” wrote Gary “but there weren’t enough kids on the small Maine Island I am from for a team. Then in 1972 I saw a skinny guy named Frank Shorter run into a stadium in Munich and I was like cool, you can win a gold medal just for running.”

How important is running to you?

“I have been involved with running for my entire life so assigning importance to who and what I am is like trying to describe how big the universe is to an ant. It is impossible for me to adequately portray how all encompassing running is to me as a part of my life,” says Gary. 

Does being an accomplished runner help you put on first class events?

“Absolutely! The races I direct are direct reflections of what and how I expect races to be run. I would never ask anyone to do something I haven’t done so I merely apply my expectations and my creativity to every race I help to organize.”

What one race you have run stands out as number one?

“Ahhhhh I can’t narrow it down to one race. However, Boston is always high on every list. I have one more to run to make a quarter century of unicorn chasing. The Burning Man ultra (photo) is a race I love beyond words. It helped change my thinking about how races run.

“A combination of an other worldly environment and no entry fee helped to expand my thinking. NYC (19 finishes) is where I was inspired to become a race director after watching Fred Lebow in action in 1980. It is reality true, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere! 

Tell us about your coaching?

“I have coached at the HS level and coached many individuals over the years but my current team is at Mount Desert Elementary School where I have been the XC coach for the past 12 years.

“My philosophy is pretty simple, make running fun and kids will want to run more and the more they run the better they get at running which is of course even more fun for them!

“One of of our key workouts is called, zombie tag. We run in the surrounding Maine woods and trails and I assign a few zombies and the rest of the team tries to run away and not get caught. 

“I also love to hide pizzas in the woods and have the kids run around and find them! Apparently my methods work cause in the past decade plus we have won almost every meet we’ve run!”

What are your personal goals as a runner?

“As a race director: I want to leave our sport better than I found it.

”As a coach: I want to inspire the next generations of runners to think about running for their entire lives. Rather they run or not matters little, but I want them to always remember and to love running knowing some will go on and be involved in our sport as competitors, coaches or even as race directors.

”As a competitor: I have accomplished pretty much every goal I’ve set for myself. Of late I struggle some with the naturally selfish nature of being a long distance runner.

“The single dimensional, ‘I’m training for,’ ‘Look at me’ has become less and less appealing to me over the years.

“As you know one of my proudest achievements is joining the five decades Sub 3 hour marathon club. At this point nobody on earth has run a sub 3 hr marathon in six consecutive decades so maybe it’ll give it a shot in 2020!

“Incidentally Joan Benoit Samuelson is the only other Mainer on the list and the only woman who has done this and I wouldn’t count out Joanie to run a sub 3 for her 6th decade.

Can you give us some background info?

“For Work: Lobsterman, Boat Builder, Carpenter, Yacht captain, Farmer, Auctioneer, Coach, Inspirational speaker.”

”Some Personal Records: Marathon 2:39:10, Half Marathon 1:13:20, 50 miles 6:21.

”My family settled on Great Cranberry Island in the 1670s.  I am 12th generation. It’s a small offshore Island off the coast of Maine. It’s probably the most unlikely place to become a runner as the main road is only two miles long. I built my own house by hand from trees growing on my land. I dug my well with a shovel figuring they used to do it that way so why couldn’t I?”

(12/16/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Why is Core Work so important for runners but many of us don’t take the time to do it

While the need for incorporating speedwork and recovery into a running plan may speak for itself, when it comes to understanding the importance of including core work, the answer may be a little less obvious.

But that’s certainly not because it is any less important. Known as the power house of the body, the core impacts every movement and activity of the human structure. In fact, your ability to stand up, sit back, bend over and get out of bed are all driven by your core. You can think of it as the power house of muscle that holds you up and lets everything operate around you.

From the movement and extension of each limb, to the forward propulsion of your body, a strong core is at the foundation, and it grounds together your pelvis, abdominals, hips and back so they can work in sync. Especially when it comes to running.

Within the motions of running, when you plant your foot down in front of you and step out into your stride, your body receives a load that is several times your body weight. This energy is transferred through your entire body, allowing you to move forward, pushing off and landing for your next stride.

As that power and energy works its way through your body, reaching your core, a strong core is able to transfer the energy, due to its enhanced stability, instead of losing energy. Energy lost is running slowed down, while a strong core that maintains the stability of your torso and your body is one that can more effectively bring the energy in and use it.

When the core is stable and keeps everything aligned, the energy can be used to then generate increased running energy helping you maintain a stronger speed, proper posture and effective load dispersal that works to prevent injury.

It is important to remember that the core is made up of far more than just your abdominal muscles and includes (to name a few): the back, hip flexors and pelvis.

The abdominal muscles component is actually a selection of several sets of muscles, whereby there are deep running muscles which we can’t see, and then the rectus abdominus on the top, which we typically think of as creating the “six-pack.” Strengthening your core, however, and having it be strong enough to stabilize your body and transfer energy, has nothing to do with a six pack or aesthetics, and instead everything to do with power and transfer of load.

When this load transfer is effective and properly dispersed, not only does your running benefit, but your injury risk decreases, your posture improves and your performance is enhanced as a result.

(12/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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Chinese runner Yan Longfei is having great success from the marathon and beyond

China’s Yan Longfei broke yet another Hong Kong course record at the North Face 50 with a time of four hours, 45 minutes and five seconds, shattering the previous record by more than 40 minutes at Tai Mei Tuk.

It was the third Hong Kong trail running record broken in less than two months for Yan, who smashed the Lantau 70 record back in late October and did the same in the TransNT back in November. And once again, he did so “without running seriously.”

“Yan Longfei is ridiculous, he’s just a phenomenal athlete,” said the North Face-sponsored Vlad Ixel, who finished second with an impressive time of 5:26:55. “I knew that I was racing for second place from the beginning.”

It was the first time running the North Face 50 trail for Yan, who said he enjoyed taking in the scenery and saying hello to hikers.

“I just treat these races as practice,” explained Yan, who elected to run the 50 instead of the 100 because he is running the Shenzhen International Marathon on Sunday. “Hong Kong’s trails are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. I had done the Lantau and Hong Kong trails before but it was my first time doing this course. I really enjoyed it.”

(12/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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Squeezing in a Workout After Your Flu Shot Could Make the Vaccine More Effective

Just got your flu shot and wondering if it's safe to push through your usual workout? Your arm might be sore for a couple days, but that's no reason to avoid the gym.

"There is no danger in returning to regular activities after the flu vaccine, including exercise," Carolyn Kaloostian, MD, MPH, a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, told POPSUGAR. "In fact, small studies have shown increased antibody development (and thus protection) from the flu vaccine after participating in exercise."

This should come as no surprise, as exercise is known to bolster the immune system. That said, it's probably best to avoid strenuous strength workouts while your arm heals.

"Aggressive activity of the vaccinated area may increase the pain after the vaccine," said Michael Ison, MD, professor of infectious diseases at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a practicing physician at Northwestern Medicine. "Aerobic activity won't hurt, but arm weights might be best avoided for the first one or two days after getting the vaccine."

(12/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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Lance Armstrong will run the Austin Marathon for Charity

The Austin Marathon, which will take place on February 19th, 2019, has Lance Armstong on the start list. Armstrong will be a Charity Chaser, and hopes to raise over $1 million in support of the Austin community.

Armstong told race organizers, “I’m honored to be the Charity Chaser and help Austin Gives Miles surpass it’s $1 million goal,” said Armstrong. “My training for the Austin Marathon has begun and I’m ready to amplify the positive effects Austin Gives Miles and its official charities have on our community.”

During the 2018 Austin Marathon, Austin Gives Miles donated $670,000 to the Central Texas Community. The 2019 event will be the 28th running of the marathon. Lance Armstrong’s personal best is 2:46:43 clocked at the New York City Marathon.

(12/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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Mina Guli is running 100 marathons in 100 days to highlight a looming global water shortage

Mina Guli's world tour of marathons began in New York on November 4 and has so far taken in France, the Vatican, India and Hong Kong.

The 48-year-old Australian is galloping across the planet, 42 kilometres (26 miles) at a time, with barely a moment to adjust her watch before it’s on to the next stop.

Her unorthodox world tour began in New York on November 4 and has so far taken in France, the Vatican, India and Hong Kong. Guli, a former lawyer, will race through dozens more places — including in Jordan, Kenya and Mexico — before she gets back to New York on February 11 for a triumphant final marathon.

“Running is not my favourite thing in the world to do by any stretch of the imagination,” Guli said. But it has opened her a path to adventure — like in Uzbekistan where city streets were closed for her, she had a police escort and the mayor joined her for a jog.

“When you see all the traffic banked up at the traffic lights for you, you just think ‘wow I need to be running faster or something’,” she said. Despite an itinerary that would be the envy of many a seasoned traveller, Guli and her six-strong support team have no time for tourism.

Often they bed down in tents and try each day to meet people either bearing the brunt of drought or working to save water. “So many things have gone wrong. So many times I’ve sat there in absolute exhaustion, unable to keep my eyes open, let alone stand up and walk in a straight line, let alone run a marathon,” she said.

But a determination to fight for her chosen cause and improve life for younger generations gets her back on her feet. “When… I think about the hopes and dreams of those kids I take my hands off my face, I stand up, I stop throwing myself a pity party and I continue running.”

(12/14/2018) ⚡AMP
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Mulu Seboka of Ethiopia will return to Shenzhen Marathon on Sunday, eyeing to improve on her finish from last year

In the absence of last year’s winner Viktoria Poliudina of Kyrgyzstan, the 34-year-old Seboka is the top returning runner.

Although she may not be in the same form as three years ago when she set her personal best of 2:21:56 PB in Dubai, the vastly-experienced Ethiopian, who has clocked sub-2:30 performances each every year since 2012, is still keen to improve on her 2:35:28 clocking last year and take down Poliudina’s course record of 2:33:25.

It will be Seboka’s third race of the year. She clocked 2:25:01 to finish fourth in Seoul in March and scored a 2:28:59 victory in Dalian two month later.

Kenyan veteran Flomena Chepchirchir, who just celebrated her 37th birthday earlier this month, will also be competing in Shenzhen for the second straight year, after finishing a distant 10th in 2017. Her best performance this year was a sixth place finish in Prague in 2:32:10.

Ethiopian duo Melkam Gizaw and Ashu Kasim are also title contenders. The 34-year-old Kasim set her PB of 2:23:09 to claim the title in Xiamen back in 2012, while Gizaw, 28, registered her life-time best of 2:24:28 to finished second in Seoul in 2016. But neither has run a race so far this season so their competitiveness remains to be tested.

(12/14/2018) ⚡AMP
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Former hurler Seamus Hennessy has completed the Antarctic Ice Marathon in 7:05:33 hrs

Former Tipperary (Ireland) hurler Seamus Hennessy has completed the Antarctic Ice Marathon in aid of Suicide Awareness in a time of 7:05:33 hours.

Hennessy, who won an All-Ireland medal with Tipperary in 2010, signed up for the grueling 26.2 mile challenge to raise money for two local charities close to his heart - Pieta House and Living Links Tipperary.

Hennessy left for Punta Arenas in South West Chile on December 8 before making his way to Union Glacier in the Antartic which is home to the southernmost marathon on the planet with conditions reaching a windchill temperature of -20C.

In 2000, when Hennessy was just 11 years old, he lost his mother Josie to suicide. In January 2013, while watching the Late Late Show at home in Cloughjordan with his father, his attention was caught by Cycle Against Suicide founder Jim Breen who was on the show to speak about the devastatingly high rates of suicide in Ireland at the time, ten suicides per week.

"Watching him, I felt I could contribute too by sharing my own story in the hope of helping others avoid the same devastating tragedy that had befallen my family and so began my involvement in sharing my story in various schools, communities, GAA clubs and at events around Ireland."

(12/14/2018) ⚡AMP
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GDL Electrolit Half Marathon makes history and achieves the IAAF gold label

The 32-years-old GDL Electrolit Half Marathon made history for Mexican running this Thursday it was announced that it has achieved the IAAF Gold label.

By reaching this label, at the same time as the maximum certification that can be granted to the IAAF, the Half Marathon becomes the first athletic event in the country to achieve such status.  

Fernando Ortega, general director of the Municipal Sports Council of Guadalajara (Comude) was pleased to have collaborated so that this Half Marathon is already among the 50 best in the world.

At the same time, the leader said they remain firm in their plan to make it the best in Latin America.

(12/14/2018) ⚡AMP
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Berlin marathon silver medalist Amos Kipruto is in his preparations for the Tokyo marathon in March 2019

Berlin marathon silver medalist Amos Kipruto is optimistic he will excel at the Kolkata 25km road race in India on Sunday and boost his preparations for the Tokyo marathon in February 2019.

Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, Kipruto, who was overshadowed by the world record set by Olympics Champion Eliud Kipchoge at the Berlin Marathoin in September, where he settled for silver medal, said it is time for him to become a man on his own and stake claim to the gold medal in the Indian city.

"In 2018, I was third in Tokyo and second in Berlin. In both cases I was not given the required attention. But I have a chance to correct that and win with a course record time in India. That is what is motivating me to go for the title," he said. Kipruto together with World half marathon record holder Eric Kiptanui together with former Chicago marathon champion Florence Kiplagat is departing Nairobi on Thursday for India.

Kipruto did not mince his words saying his eyes are firmly on the course record of 1:13:48 set by Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele last year. "I am fit and strong and want to break that record," said Kipruto. I have a fast best time in half marathon of 1:00:24 from Sweden and I believe running fast in 25km is achievable."

(12/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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New pace group times for the 2019 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon to help runners qualify for Boston

The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon, known for its fast and flat course, scenic views, and enthusiastic finish line, has always been a runner’s top choice to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

In an effort to aid participants who aim to qualify for the 2020 Boston Marathon, J&A Racing today announced new pace group times for the 2019 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon.

The move comes following this year’s change in Boston qualifying standards for 2020 and beyond. For many years runners have chosen the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon as their Boston qualifier course of choice.

The 2019 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon pace groups will feature times from 3:00 to 4:50 to align with the new Boston Marathon qualifying times, which are faster than in years past.

“The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon is a great race to run if you’re hoping to toe the line at the Boston Marathon,” said Jerry Frostick, co-owner of J&A Racing.

“Our goal is to make sure our races offer the best possible experience for participants of all abilities, and these updates to our pace teams will help our faster runners achieve their goals.”

(12/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Seamus Hennessy a former hurler is ready for challenge of a lifetime in the Antartic Ice Marathon

A dodgy knee ended Seamus Hennessy’s days hurling with Tipperary, but two bad knees aren’t going to stop him running a marathon on the frozen plains of Antarctica.

Hennessy won an All-Ireland in 2010, coming off the bench to score a point in the final win over Kilkenny, and hurled his last with Tipp not long after when a seemingly innocuous complaint turned into a career-ending injury.

When he was ten years old his mother Josie, the heart and soul of her family and the local community in Cloughjordan, felt like she could no longer go on in this world and took her own life, leaving behind a massive void.

Today Hennessy will run 26.2 miles in her honor at the Antarctic Ice Marathon on Union Glacier at the bottom of the world as he aims to raise $250,000US for charities aimed at suicide prevention and helping those left behind under the Running for Josie banner.

(12/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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It is important to understand that we are not bullet proof as runners - Larry Allen on Running File 4

I went out for a slow, difficult three mile run the evening prior to my pacemaker being implanted.  My heart, although not functioning properly, was thankfully strong enough for that one last run without artificial help.

My friend, a nurse, probably saved my life by getting me into a walk-in clinic that next morning.  Everything went fine and I am now running again but with a pacemaker (recent photo in NY Central Park). 

Let me share some advice. There is a fine line between being tired or feeling weak from a hard workout or thinking maybe fatigue or weakness is “just” natural decline with age making things harder  vs. something feeling “off” enough to seek help.

It’s a blurry line but I guess my best advice is to be keenly observant of your own physical traits and patterns and when anything falls outside of a normal range for you, again, see someone. I think it’s very important to understand that we aren’t “bullet proof” as runners.

I remember in the 70s Dr. George Sheehan wrote and in lectures said that we, as marathon runners, were essentially immune from having a heart attack. It wasn’t long after that Jim Fixx died of a sudden heart attack while running on an easy training run.

Almost every day when I run in Central Park in NYC I run right by the spot where Ryan Shey died suddenly of an undiagnosed cardiac condition early in the 2007 Olympic Trials Marathon, on a downhill section, it was a cool day and the pace early in the race was conservative (for him).

A friend, physician and Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon from Maine has a sad but growing list of lifelong runners from northern New England alone that have met similar fates without knowing they had a health issue.

We have to understand that even as very fit runners we are vulnerable, and that goes hand in hand with understanding the importance of listening to your body.We all have to be our own best advocate and our own best piece of medical monitoring equipment.

It’s easier with all of the new technologies however, as runners, we have intuitive ability that puts us in touch with our own bodies. We must listen carefully to all of it and also try to overcome another trait we have as runners, our stubbornness, which can certainly be our strength and our weakness at the same time. 

Recovery has been tricky. After my pacemaker was  functioning I was diagnosed with intermittent (paroxysmal) Afib which is treatable with medication. At first I didn’t quite understand that Afib progressively becomes more persistent or permanent and that treatment options become less effective or sometimes completely ineffective as it goes along. 

I ran again for a bit over a year but my Afib was gradually getting worse and eventually the stronger medications needed weren’t easily tolerable. It got harder to run yet again. My remaining option was a cardiac ablation. After careful consideration I had it done early this past summer.

The good news is that my Afib has not reoccurred since. The bad news is that it’s a lengthy healing process. I am six months into it and have probably walked about 600 miles. I’ve gradually added short stints of jogging into my walks and only recently a few miles of continuous very slow running.  

I’m told that it will take perhaps 3-5 months to fully heal and hopefully then I’ll be able to run more normally.

(Larry Allen on Running is a regular MBR feature sharing the wisdom of Larry Allen, a 50 year accomplished runner and artist.  He is currently participating in the third Run The World Challenge.)

(12/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Richard Donovan is planning on finishing his 3,000 mile journey across America this weekend

Irish Ultra runner Richard Donovan is close to completing the equivalent of running nearly 130 marathons. The well-known record setter is currently undertaking the epic Trans North America Run, a 3,100 mile run across the US, travelling from San Francisco to New York, to raise funds for fellow runner Alvin Matthews, who became paralysed in 2014.

Alvin is a dam builder and suffered a 25ft fall in Lebanon last year. He had previously completed two races that Richard had organised, the Antarctic Ice Marathon and the North Pole Marathon, and was due to take part in the Volcano Marathon in South America when he had the accident. To help raise funds for Alvin, Richard began his adventure across the US on May 19th in San Francisco. 

Richard is no stranger to endurance running and currently holds the world record for completing seven different marathons on seven different continents in less than five days back in 2012. During his North American travels, Richard has managed to cover 50 miles in one day, all part of his training for a run he is set to undertake across Antarctica.

“I wanted to see and experience what I considered to be real America, with some of its epic scenery, and I wanted to do it in the heat of the summer. After the start at the Golden Gate Bridge I ran through the rolling hills of California, ‘wine country’, to Lake Tahoe,” he explains.

Although an experienced ultrarunner, Richard has faced considerable hardship during his trans-America run. Blisters were the biggest issue in the first few weeks. I was in a bad situation, getting up daily with a lot of pain. My skin had split in places and I had what I can only describe as very bad open wounds to a couple of toes,” he said.  Injuries were not the only peril that Richard faces, with Mother Nature proving a formidable foe.

“I could hear the howls of coyotes around me during the evening,” he recalls. There were also shadows that appeared to be racing nearby, but I could never see an animal. It was only when I decided to look up that I noticed it was buzzards circling overhead. Of course I encountered many snakes along the route, and had a close encounter with one in particular.”

Richard has been averaging 35 miles per running day. The total distance of the run is 3,200 miles. It’s the equivalent of the flight distance across the Atlantic from New York to Dublin. Richard intends to finish the run this Saturday in Battery Park, New York.

(12/12/2018) ⚡AMP
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Keri Mandell, is planning to run seven marathons on all seven continents in seven days

She’s really gearing up to run 183.4 miles in a week, including in Australia, Africa and Antarctica. Something only 103 people have ever done.

For comparison, 536 people have been to outer space. And yet the only thing that scares her about any of this is the airplane. “I don’t really like to fly,” she said. But while that might be true, this 36-year-old yogi, CrossFit coach, marathoner, Ironman triathlete and businesswoman is not really the type to not do what she sets her mind to.

To that end, Mandell is in the process of raising funds so she can participate in the 2020 World Marathon Challenge—a grueling contest.  When the specifics aren’t yet known for the 2020 event, locations for the 2019 challenge are: Novo, Antarctica; Cape Town, South Africa; Perth, Australia; Dubai in the UAE; Madrid, Spain; Santiago, Chile; and ending in Miami.

Self described as “wicked competitive” when she wants something and “so Type-A” all the other times, Mandell is no stranger to pushing past limits she used to have.

(12/12/2018) ⚡AMP
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Runners who entered the Bank of America Chicago Marathon non-guaranteed entry drawing learned Tuesday if they were selected to participate in the 2019 race

Last year, a record 44,610 marathoners crossed the finish line of the 2018 Chicago Marathon and a similar field is expected for the 42nd annual race on Oct. 13, 2019.

“Today marks an exciting day for our 2019 marathon runners as they begin their training journey to our finish line,” Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon executive race director, said in a statement. 

”I cannot wait to celebrate their strength, perseverance and individual stories 10 months from now.”

Runners who did not receive their entry through the drawing Tuesday can still sign up through the marathon’s charity program. Runners who received entry Tuesday will join the list of guaranteed entrants, which includes marathon and Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle legacy finishers, time qualifiers, international tour group participants, charity runners and those who canceled their 2018 entries.

(12/12/2018) ⚡AMP
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The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon has been named Best Half Marathon in America in 2018

The half marathon category received the most nominations for this year’s edition of The BibRave 100. Voters cited the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon’s lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a highlight.

In addition, the race weekend experience also received top marks. One voter said, “It highlights what makes Indianapolis great, and this race screams ‘Hoosier Hospitality.’” 

Named one of “America’s Most Iconic Races” by Runners World, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is one of the nation’s largest half marathons (for the past 20 years) and annually attracts participants from all 50 states and 15+ countries around the world.

Known as The Greatest Spectacle in Running, the race starts and finishes in downtown Indianapolis and includes a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500. The flat, fast course is packed with thousands of the nicest volunteers you’ll ever meet, 16 course aid stations and nearly 100 course entertainment acts. The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is the 500 Festival’s largest fundraiser. Race registrations help support the 500 Festival’s free youth programs and events.  

A definitive List of the Best Races in America. The #IndyMini  also earned awards for Exceptional Race Management and Awesome Medals and Bling. In addition, the 500 Festival 5K was listed among the nation’s top 15 5K races.

The 500 Festival was presented with these honors during an awards ceremony held at The Running Event, a conference and retail trade show for the running industry taking place in Austin, Texas.  

(12/12/2018) ⚡AMP
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Don Kardong Founder and Race Director of the Lilac Bloomsday Run will retire after the 2019 race

Don Kardong, Founder and Race Director of the Lilac Bloomsday Run, will retire following the 2019 Lilac Bloomsday Run on May 5. Jon Neill, an attorney, Lilac Bloomsday Association Board Member, and Bloomsday’s Elite Athlete Coordinator, will take over as Race Director upon Kardong’s departure.

"It's been a privilege to be associated with Bloomsday all these years, and to have worked with so many great people who donate their time to make it happen. I may be leaving the Race Director position, but I plan to continue to be involved after I retire,” said Kardong.

Kardong has been an instrumental force in the development of Bloomsday from its birth in 1977. What was initially a small idea hatched after a chance meeting in the elevator of City Hall between Kardong and Mayor David Rodgers, has blossomed into a Spokane tradition.

Kardong served as President of the Lilac Bloomsday Association from 1982-1984 and over 20 years as Elite Athlete Coordinator before accepting the position of Race Director in the summer of 2004. Since Bloomsday’s inception, Kardong has been at the forefront, leading Bloomsday’s mission of providing a celebration of spring and physical fitness to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities.

“As we prepare for the 43rd running of Bloomsday, we have a great deal to be proud of,” said Bloomsday President Mark Starr. “Don Kardong is a household name in Spokane and highly regarded in the national running community. With Don’s retirement we are excited to welcome Jon Neill as our new Race Director.

Jon has worked closely with Don and the Spokane community for many years now. His knowledge of Bloomsday and its inner workings is second to none. I’m excited to be a part of this team and look forward to Bloomsday’s future.” Neill will take over as Race Director following the 2019 Lilac Bloomsday Run. 

(12/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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Austin Marathon was named 2018 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism

The Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour is proud to be named a 2018 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports tourism by Sports Destination Management.

The Austin Marathon, produced by High Five Events, one of the largest privately owned event production companies in the United States, injected $37.5 million into the Austin economy during race weekend, a $3.1 million (8 percent) increase from 2017. High Five Events partnered with the expert faculty at St. Edward’s University’s Bill Munday School of Business to calculate the findings. 

”The Austin Marathon’s annual multi-million dollar economic impact benefits Austin and stimulates our local economy,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. 

”We’re proud to host one of the country’s top marathons, one that annually attracts runners from all 50 states and more than 30 countries. More runners are realizing there’s no better city to recover in!”

Other large-market champions include 2018 NCAA Final Four, 2018 NFL Draft, and The Honda Classic. Sports Destination Management is the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market. 

“The Austin Marathon is an excellent example of a sports event that showcases the City of Austin and offers multiple options that appeal to everyone, from the veteran endurance runner to the person who is dipping a toe into the waters of racing for the first time,” said Mary Helen Sprecher, Managing Editor, Sports Destination Management.

(12/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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Dallas Marathon, Texas’ longest running and largest marathon continues title partnership with BMW global brand through 2023

The Dallas Marathon today announced a multiyear title sponsorship extension with BMW of North America and the Dallas-Fort Worth Area BMW Centers.

Texas’ longest running marathon and the largest annual sporting event in North Texas will continue to be known as the BMW Dallas Marathon through 2023.

“We are thrilled to be extending our title partnership with BMW for the next five years, which includes the Dallas Marathon’s 50th anniversary in 2020,” said Paul Lambert, President of the Dallas Marathon. 

”As one of the world’s most admired and distinguished brands, BMW has partnered with us in elevating our guest experience for the thousands of participants and spectators who travel far and wide to participate in our Marathon Weekend of Events.”

The Dallas Marathon was BMW’s first title sponsorship of a major U.S. running event when its partnership was launched in 2016. In just two years, BMW has coordinated several exclusive initiatives for BMW Dallas Marathon participants, including a chance to receive a VIP trip and entry to the BMW Berlin Marathon through its sweepstakes program.

Additionally, the Dallas-Fort Worth BMW Centers work with the Dallas Marathon in coordinating a series of free 5K social runs leading up to race weekend to help promote awareness and excitement throughout the local community. “BMW is looking forward to extending our title partnership with an iconic marathon that represents our brand very well in a major metropolitan market,” noted Craig Westbrook, VP of BMW North America. 

”Together, BMW and the Dallas Marathon will continue to fuel health and wellness and raise funds for the race's beneficiary the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.”

(12/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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Rick Rayman marks 40 years of running every day, and he’s planning his next marathon, the Miami Marathon

Yesterday in Toronto, Rick Rayman, 72, marked 40 years of running every day. He celebrated with his friend Steve DeBoer, 64, of Rochester, Minn., who travelled to Toronto to mark the occasion with him, with–what else?–a short run. Both men occupy high positions on the Streak Runners International site–Rayman is #2 on the international list, and DeBoer, 64, who has a 47.5-year streak going, is #3 on the US list. 

(Rayman is considerably ahead of the next person on the international list, Tyler Brett Forkes, who is also Canadian, and whose streak is at 27.9 years.)

Rayman’s streak began in 1978, but not with any real intention behind it. Then his friend Brian Williams, at the time a sportscaster with CBC television, commented on the air one evening that his friend Rick Rayman had run every day for 278 days. 

”That’s what made me think, why don’t I keep going?” says Rayman, who is Director of Student Life at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry, and still teaches three days a week. So what constitutes a streak? How far do you actually have to run every day for it to count?

According to the streak site, the answer is one mile. Rayman’s personal standard slightly higher: 30 minutes minimum. But he often runs for an hour or more, and longer on weekends.

More impressive than that is the fact that he has run every edition of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which celebrated 29 years this year–and that was Rayman’s 365th marathon. (And his 13th in 2018 alone.)

“I remember when there were only 600 runners, and it finished at the Flatiron building,” says Rayman. He’s planning his next marathon, the Miami Marathon. Rayman tells us that many streakers plan when to end their streaks, so they aren’t forced to stop due to injury. Not him.

“I plan to run until I can’t any more.”

(12/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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With a smile on his face 88-year-old Sadao Ito finishes the Honolulu Marathon in 17:50.52

Sadao Ito crossed the finish line at the Honolulu Marathon — nearly 18 hours after he set out on the course.

He’s 88 years old. Ito, who’s from Japan, was this year’s final finisher in the 26.2-mile course that winds through Honolulu, Waikiki and Hawaii Kai. Ito crossed the finish line with a time of 17:50.52.

More than 20,000 people competed in the Honolulu Marathon and battled gusty winds to reach the finish line.

(12/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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Yuki Kawauchi and Desiree Linden will return to defend their titles at the Boston Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi and Desiree Linden battled through dismal conditions last year, running in freezing rain and driving winds to claim their dramatic victories.

Known for his high-volume, high quality racing, Kawauchi has won over 30 marathons, holds the Japanese 50K national best time and has competed on three IAAF World Championships Marathon teams. But it was his victory in Boston that was his biggest to date. 

”My victory in Boston was a moment in my marathon life that I will never forget,” Kawauchi said.

“I look forward to meeting all my fellow runners in Boston and running together with them.” Linden, a two-time U.S. Olympian, captured headlines across the US with her victory, the first by an American woman in 33 years in the race.

“In 2007, I ran my first Boston Marathon; I absolutely fell in love with the event, the course, the city, all of it,” Linden said.

“I thought I had every experience imaginable racing in Boston, but in 2019 I’m thrilled and proud to have another first as I’ll start the race as the defending Boston Marathon champion.”

(12/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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Running 655.48 laps on a 400m track was mind boggling but I did it in 24 hours

We did it! 1. 24 hr World Best- 162.919 mi at 8:50 per mile 2. 100 mi Track American Record- 13:25 3. 200K Track AR- 17:07:27  

I’m grateful to be back on the horse and to finish a tough year on a very positive note! I credit my PT Laurie Massey Cain for helping me get my body back together and feeling good.  

It was really hard (to say the least hahaa)! 655.48 laps on a track was mind boggling.  I mentally and physically prepared myself to work through any road blocks, hydrate and fuel well, maintain structural integrity, and keep moving.

I changed my shoes twice to keep my feet happy. I had an amazing crew of Conor, Ron Foster, and my friend Gretchen Connelie from NYC keeping me going! I hit a low point around 2-3am and had to get some Taco Bell and beer and walk a few laps. Slowly but surely I got going again.

It was really fun to run through the night and then anticipate seeing the sunrise! There was an overwhelming amount of support out there of people cheering us on throughout the 24 hrs- thank you very much for coming out.

There’s a lot of great photos and moments, esp Howie Stern and Jubilee Paige.    Desert Solstice Invitational Track Meet - 100 Miles & 24 Hour Track Run is such a well run event, and I can’t say enough positive things about how much attention to detail Aravaipa Running w/ Hayley Pollack and Jamil Coury put into it and all the record keeping.

It was incredible to share the track with so many talented athletes. Our US 24 hr teams will be rock solid! The showdown next Oct. in France will be epic!   I’m pretty tired now! I think I’ll take it easy for a while and enjoy the moment!  

(Camille Herron posted this on her Facebook account today.  She finished her epic run on Sunday Dec 9 in Phoenix, Ariz) 

(12/10/2018) ⚡AMP
by Camille Herron
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Steeplechase Olympian Donn Cabral, made his marathon debut clocking 2:19:16 at Honolulu, finished in fourth place

Kenya's Titus Ekiru still managed to threaten the course record at 46th Honolulu Marathon, clocking 2:09:01.

Second place went to Reuben Kerio, another Kenyan, who was in third place at halfway but was able to catch up. He clocked 2:12:59.

Yator, who had been with Ekiru at 25-K, ended up third in 2:15:31 and fourth position went to two-time USA steeplechase Olympian Donn Cabral of Hartford, Connecticut, who made his marathon debut in 2:19:16.

He flies back east tonight because he has an exam tomorrow morning. "It was just fun, this was fun," said Cabral, who is in law school at the University of Connecticut.

"The wind was rough for many miles. When the wind was not rough, I felt the humidity pretty strong. The course was a lot tougher than I expected."

(12/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenyan Erick Mose Moyenye continues dominating the Cancun Marathon

For the third time in the history of the Cancun Marathon, Erick Mose Moyenye was at the top of the podium, as he did in 2013 and 2014.  

For women, Mary Akor of the United States was the winner. Erick Mose Moyenye clocked 2:24:41. On the second step was Nixon Cherutich who clocked 2:28:34. William Mutai third with 2:29:26, all three from Kenya, but the last two representing Mexico City.

For the ladies, the American Mary Akor managed to make a first place with a record of 2:54:53, to leave the Kenyans Salina Jebitok with 2:59:05 and Scola Kiptoo with 3:01:04 in the second and third position respectively.

(12/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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Morocco’s Mohammed Ziani and Tigist Girma of Ethiopia beat the rain and cold weather to take top honours at the Guangzhou Marathon

The 25-year-old Mohammed Ziani emerged victorious from a four-man battle to claim his first marathon title clocking 2:10:44, 43 seconds shy of the course record set by compatriot Abdellah Tagharrafet in 2015.

It was the third marathon for Ziani, who clocked 2:13:40 to finish fifth in Guangzhou last year. The race began in rainy and cold conditions with the temperature of about 45F degrees.

A leading group of six, including two pace-setters, brought the field through 10km in 30:28 and 20km in 1:00:57. The pacers stepped off the course at 25km and 30km respectively.

The other four leaders, including Ziani, Tsegay Tuemay of Eritrea as well as Ethiopian duo Gadisa Shumie and Balew Derseh, remained together until they passed 40km in 2:03:59.

After a series of unsuccessful mini-breaks in the following kilometers, the quartet were still shoulder-to-shoulder until they reached the final kilometer.  

Tuemay was the first to fade away while Ziani broke away to build a lead of several meters.  Shumie sped up in the last 10 meters but his effort were in vain as he clocked the same time as Ziani did but had to settle for second.

The 20-year-old Derseh finished third in 2:10:53 in his marathon debut. Flomena Cheyech of Kenya, the fastest entrant in the women’s race, stayed in the leading pack in the early stages but quit the title contest after 15km.

The race was then dominated by two Ethiopians, Girma and Zinash Debebe, who led together from 15km to 35km, before Girma pulled away to notch the convincing 2:26:44 victory.

The 25-year-old Girma improved her personal best by 2:16 but her winning mark is still shy of the 2:25:12 course record set by fellow Ethiopian Rahma Tusa last year.

(12/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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Making his debut Colby Mehmen, was the winner at BMW Dallas Marathon

It was over halfway through Sunday’s BMW Dallas Marathon, and not much was going right for contestant Colby Mehmen, who was making his marathon debut.

The problems started days before the race, when Mehmen, a 24-year-old, Princeton, Texas, native aiming to earn an Olympic trials qualifying standard got sick, contracted a fever and started having issues with his asthma.

Then, though Mehmen managed to jump out to a commanding lead within the first 10 miles of Sunday’s race, he started hurting around Mile 16. Gage Garcia, the only other runner nearby, took advantage, chipping away at Mehmen’s lead before narrowly pulling ahead by Mile 20.

And quickly approaching was what Mehmen considered the toughest and most important part of course: the Winsted Drive Hill. But somehow, the very immensity of that challenge spurred Mehmen to victory: Mehmen fought hamstring pain, the daunting hill and a formidable opponent to regain a solid lead by Mile 22, catapulting him to a first-place finish in the Dallas Marathon with a final time of 2:22:40.

“When we hit that hill, I just tried to... take the lead and see what happened,” Mehmen said. “Around Mile 21 or 22, I finally got loosened up again, and just brought it home...I got a little bit of a gap on him and then tried to pull away.

“That was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, with my hamstrings tightening up, to really pull away at the point.”

(12/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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America’s Camille Herron sets a new world 24-Hour track record

Camille Herron set the women’s world 24-hour track record today December 9 at the Desert Solstice Invitational Track Meet in Phoenix, Arizona.  She ran 162.8 miles in 24 hours and broke the previous record of 161.55.

Camille also set a new American women’s 100 mile track record (13:25) and American women’s 200k track record. She also won the race outright. Hard work and believing in herself paidoff.

Camille is exhausted but is already talking about running 170 miles in her next 24-hour race! She ran sub 9 minute pace for five consecutive 50ks.  And she was still smiling every lap.  

The Desert Solstice is a pure endurance challenge.  Only 30 of the top American endurance runners are invited, and in order to qualify, runners must have run at least 124 miles (198.4K) in 24 hours, or 100 miles in under 17:30.

The race is a qualifier for the 24-hour national team. According to the iRun4Ultra site, 11 world records and 60 US national records had been set here before this weekend.  

Camille won a $2000 and a $1000 bonus for setting the records and hopefully a lot more from her sponsors. But she does not do this for the money. 

(12/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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No Japanese Women Runners qualify for Olympic trials at the Saitama Marathon

Marie Imada finished fourth for Japan's best performance in the Saitama International Marathon on Sunday, failing to meet the qualifying standards for the Marathon Grand Championship, 2020 Olympic trials. 

In the race won by 20-year-old Dalila Gosa of Bahrain in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 35 seconds, Imada clocked 2:29:35, neither making the top three and running under 2:29:00, nor finishing in the top six under 2:28:00 to earn a place in next fall's MGC Race.

Only eight women have met the qualifying standards so far for the MGC Race to be held Sept. 15 next year in Tokyo. The MGC is a race that will determine two of the three members for both the men's and women's marathon teams for the Tokyo Olympics.

On Sunday, Imada and Saki Tokoro fell behind the leading pack around the 23-kilometer mark, while the IAAF Race turned into a duel between Gosa and fellow Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel down the final stretch.

"I was able to win because I trained hard. I'm very happy," Gosa said. "I'd like to work more on speed and endurance, and be able to maximize my performance." Habtegebrel crossed the finish line at the Saitama Super Arena four seconds after Gosa, and Kenya's Sylvia Jebiwot Kibet took third in 2:28:38.

Mao Kiyota, who competed in the world athletics championships in London last summer, finished fifth in 2:31:07, and Tokoro came home sixth.

(12/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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Joshua Kipkorir wins in style at the Singapore Marathon today

Kenya’s Joshua Kipkorir took the top honors at the 36th edition of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon that was held on Sunday (9) in Singapore, Malaysia. Kipkorir who carried a personal best of 2:09.50 that he got at the 2017 Mumbai Marathon where he was finished insecond place upset big names that included race favourite Paul Lonyangata, the winner of the last two Paris Marathons, but he did not even feature in the top 20.

The 24 year-old took charge of the lead group by the halfway mark and opened up a 300m gap on the chasing pack and it was a lead he never relinquished. The 2016 and 2014 Nairobi marathon led 1-2-3 Kenyan podium finish as he to cut the tape in 2:12.20.

“This is my first time here. I like the course, it’s very nice. I have no problems with the heat,” said Kipkorir.

He was followed by 2016 winner, Felix Kirwa of 2:13.43 with Andrew Kimutai closing the first three podium finishes in 2:14.29. Cosmas Matolo and Felix Kiprotich finished in fourth and fifth place in 2:16.06 and 2:16.28 respectively.

(12/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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