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It was the best Father’s Day gift the North Carolina A&T program director could have asked for.
At first, Duane Ross was in “coach mode” while he watched his son, Randolph Ross, compete in the 400-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. The track program director of North Carolina A&T was also nervous—knowing that Randolph was competing in his ninth race in 11 days and first national championship at Hayward Field—but he was confident his son would still find a way to qualify for the Tokyo Games on Sunday.
Randolph, running in lane eight, hit the homestretch in fourth place behind Michael Norman, Michael Cherry, and Elija Godwin. But the college sophomore charged the last 100 meters, switching gears to come from behind and pass Godwin for third in 44.74. Norman won in 44.07 and Cherry placed second in 44.35.
At 20 years old, Randolph made his first Olympic team—17 years after his dad finished second in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2004 Olympic Trials and represented the U.S. in Athens.
“It wasn’t about me having joy because he’s following in my footsteps; it was literally seeing the joy on his face [because] he’s accomplished something that he’s talked about for a while,” Duane told Runner’s World. “He’s been in track for awhile. He grew up around it, and that smile said it all. That victory lap and that smile just brought me to tears. When he came up and gave me a hug, he said, ‘Happy Father’s Day.’”
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Picking up track, just like his dad
Randolph was born on New Year’s Day 2001, and he’s the oldest son in a family with seven children. “I knew from this kid’s birthday that he was going to be special. 01/01/01,” Duane said.
Right around when Randolph was born, Duane was in the prime of his professional track career. He represented Team USA at four IAAF World Championships, including the 1999 meet in Seville where he earned bronze in the 110-meter hurdles (In 2010, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency disqualified all of Duane’s results in competition since November 2001 because of information uncovered by the BALCO investigation).
When Duane finished ninth in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2004 Olympic Games, 3-year-old Randolph was in the stadium in Athens, watching his father race.
“Even when I was competing, he was always with me, always at the track,” Duane said. “We were laughing about that the other day. One of his favorite music groups is The Temptations. [They’re] way before his age, but it’s my favorite group and when he was a child, whenever we were in the car, that’s what we’d listen to. We’ve always been very close.”
Randolph started competing in track and field when he was 5 years old. He also participated in football and basketball, but ultimately decided to focus on track going into his junior year at Garner Magnet High School in Garner, North Carolina.
“Competing in track and field was just different,” Randolph told Runner’s World. “You have a team, but it’s more individual, and I just felt like that’s where I belong more than on the football field or the basketball court.”
At the time, Duane was well into building the program at North Carolina A&T. He offered advice to his son when needed but otherwise left his early development to his high school coaches—and he felt like they left a lot of potential on the table.
“He never lifted weights in high school, never did real interval work. I wanted him to enjoy track and field,” Duane said. “He’s got so much more. People don’t realize he’s just getting started.”
As a senior in 2019, Randolph won the 400-meter title in 46.80 at the North Carolina state meet, and then decided to join his father’s college program at North Carolina A&T. Randolph said he made the decision to focus on track because the sport felt like a calling he wanted to pursue for himself.
“[My dad] didn’t have any pressure on us,” Randolph said. “He wanted us to do our own thing, find our own way, but we ended up following him regardless.”
The sprinter is happy to go in his father’s footsteps with a deeper understanding of the effort and discipline required to compete at the highest level of the sport. When he arrived on campus in Greensboro in the fall of 2019, Randolph joined his father and eventually his younger sister (Jonah Ross just finished her freshman year) on the squad Duane has been leading since 2012.
“Our whole team is basically family,” Randolph said. “We all get treated the same way and we all work just as hard. It’s been a blessing growing with the team.”
Dealing with the pandemic
During the 2020 indoor track season—his first with the Aggies—Randolph ran a world lead in the indoor 400 meters, clocking 45.44 in January. He and the rest of the NCAA qualifiers were in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships in March when the NCAA canceled the championship and the rest of the track season in the early stages of the pandemic. Instead of competing for NCAA titles, Duane had to inform his son that they were going home not knowing when they’d be able to compete or practice together again.
“He was a favorite in the 400 [meters], and he shed a tear when they canceled it,” Duane said. “I mean, that’s tough, and it was tough for me to tell him. … Quite a few [student athletes] shed a tear because they didn’t know what was next.”
To cope with the cancellations and stay-at-home orders, Duane honed in on regular zoom meetings, leaned into his program’s structure and discipline, and emphasized to his team the importance of focusing on themselves instead of outside competition. In September 2020, the squad was able to resume training together. By January 2021, the Aggies were prepared to take on the program’s best season to date.
At the 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships in March, the Aggies finished fifth overall in the men’s team competition, highlighted by the program’s first-ever NCAA title in the 4x400-meter relay. The relay squad ran 3:03.16, the fifth-fastest time in NCAA history. The team is also the first from a historically Black college or university (HBCU) to win an NCAA indoor title in the 4x400-meter relay since Morgan State won in 1966, according to North Carolina A&T athletics. In the open 400 meters, Randolph finished second and All-American Trevor Stewart placed seventh.
Coming into the championships as underdogs
Despite the mens team’s top-five finish during the indoor season, North Carolina A&T came into the NCAA Outdoor Championships, held at Hayward Field from June 9 through 12, ranked low among the top teams in the country. The week before the championship, USTFCCCA projected the men at No. 12 and the women No. 13.
“They see the rankings, but they do a good job of just using it as motivation and fuel,” Duane said. “They’ll pay attention to it, and then toss it to the side.”
In the men’s 400-meter final on June 11, Randolph won the NCAA title in 43.85, setting a new world lead in the third-fastest time in collegiate history, while his teammate, Stewart, finished fourth. Later that day, the sprinters contributed to the Aggies’ 4x400-meter relay victory. They also finished third in the 4x100-meter relay.
By the end of the meet, North Carolina A&T had blown up the pre-meet rankings, scoring 35 points for a third-place finish on the men’s side. The women’s team finished fourth overall with 31 points thanks to Cambrea Sturgis’s 100-200-meter sprint double.
‘A moment we’ll never forget’
A week later, Randolph returned to Hayward Field for three rounds of the 400 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Battling fatigue from the demand of back-to-back championships, Randolph still believed he would make his first Olympic team and even texted his father the morning of the final to share his goal. “I said, ‘Happy Father’s Day. Now let’s go make this team,” Randolph said. “He said, ‘That’s right. Thanks boy, I love you.’”
When he crossed the finish line and qualified for Tokyo, Randolph gave his dad a Father’s Day gift and a legacy that’s been 20 years in the making. Now he aims to win Olympic gold in the 400 meters and the 4x400-meter relay with his father in the stands this summer.
“Having the ability to actually follow in my dad’s footsteps all the way—the Olympics is as high as it gets when you go out there to compete for your country, it’s what everybody’s end goal is,” Randolph said. “Being able to share something with him, and basically almost live the same life he did growing up, wanting to work so hard for it, it’s a moment we'll probably never forget.”â€¨(06/27/2021) ⚡AMP
EUGENE, Ore. — The spirit of Molly Huddle lives on. Last week, Huddle announced her withdrawal from the 2020 US Olympic Trials, her 36-year-old body no longer able to generate the speed or smoothness that had carried her to five straight US 10,000-meter titles and an American record. But on a sunny Saturday morning at Hayward Field (82 degrees in Eugene at start), Emily Sisson delivered a run her erstwhile training partner would have been proud of, methodically squeezing the life out of the women’s 10,000-meter field to win in a meet-record of 31:03.82 despite 86-degree temperatures.
Actually, we know Huddle was proud of the effort
A Huddle comparison is selling Sisson short, however. This was dominance at a level we are unaccustomed to seeing at an Olympic Trials, particularly in an event in which 13 women in the field entered with the 31:30 Olympic standard. Only seven Americans (including Sisson) have ever run faster than her 31:03.82 today, achieved in the morning sun and without the aid of pacemakers. Her 12.70-second margin of victory left her almost a full straightaway clear of runner-up Karissa Schweizer.
Sisson had sealed the victory by building a 30-meter lead with three laps to go and would only pick it up from there, going 71.47-71.25-69.26 to close out a 15:14.67 final 5k and 4:44.45 final 1600. Schweizer took second in 31:16.52 to make the Olympic team at a second distance (she also made it in the 5k on Monday), while Alicia Monson gave On Athletics Club another Olympian by taking third in 31:18.55.
The top five women in this race will all be running in Tokyo — the top three in the 10k and fourth- and fifth-placers Elise Cranny and Rachel Schneider in the 5k.
Sisson lapped everyone in the field save for the top seven. The last person she lapped — in the final 100 meters — was none other than 2016 Olympian and 2015 world championship bronze medallist Emily Infeld, who stuck with the lead pack for 6k.
The race had been shifted to a 10 a.m. start to avoid the hot weather (forecast to reach 100 degrees when this race would have originally been run at 6:44 p.m.), though the conditions were still hot and sunny when the gun was fired. Sisson took the lead just before two kilometers, dropping the pace from 78’s and 78’s to consistent 75’s, whittling the pack to 10 by 5k (15:49.15). Sisson would continue tightening the noose all the way home. She dropped the pace to 74’s just after halfway, which was enough to drop former New Mexico teammates and new US citizens Weini Kelati and Ednah Kurgat, as well as 2016 Olympian Infeld by four miles.
By 6800, Schneider, Hall, and 2012 Trials runner-up Natosha Rogers had been dropped as well, leaving a four-woman battle for three spots between Sisson, Cranny, Schweizer and Monson. After running consistent 74’s, Sisson let a 75 slip in for her 18th lap. From there, however, Sisson’s pacing was masterful: each of her final seven laps was faster than the one that preceded it. A 72.58 fifth-to-last lap gave her a 10-meter gap with a mile to go, and with 41 starters, it became hard to keep up with who was where as Sisson had been lapping multiple runners per lap. She would press on to win in dominant fashion, while Schweizer, who trailed Monson by 3.5 seconds at the bell, would use a big last lap (68.81, fastest in the field) to take second, with Monson safe in third, over 16 seconds up on Schweizer.
For the record, Schweizer said she plans on running both the 5k and 10k in Tokyo.
Quick Take: Total masterclass
Sisson has had some great performances in her career (she’s made two Worlds teams at 10k, won two USA road titles, and won two NCAA titles), but she had never had one like this.
Not only did she make her first Olympic team and win her first USATF track title, she put on a wonderful performance. She took the lead after the mile and never gave it up. She started clipping off 75-second laps (5:00/mile) through halfway. That whittled the lead pack down to 10. Then she upped the ante again, lowering the pace to roughly 74s through 8k. That made it a four-woman race for the three Olympic spots. Then she started running 72s or better and it was game over.
Quick Take: Redemption for Sisson, who used the extra year to her advantage
When we spoke to Sisson a month ago, she admitted that had the Trials been held as scheduled in 2020, she likely would not have been in contention to make the team. Her body felt broken after dropping out of the Olympic Marathon Trials on a brutal Atlanta course, and after a stellar 2:23 debut in London in 2019, she struggled to make sense of the result.
“Usually I’m good at moving on from bad races, but I struggled with that one,” Sisson.
It didn’t help that, after COVID postponed the Trials, there was nothing to move on to.
But eventually, Sisson was able to get back on track (she praised her husband, her former Providence College teammate Shane Quinn, for his support) and work back to incredible fitness. In December, she ran 67:26 to miss Huddle’s American record in the half marathon by one second, and she looked strong in her three track 5k’s this spring, running 14:55, 14:53, and 14:59. She had never broken 15 minutes prior to this year. Her plan today was to play to her strength and make it a fast race, as she knew she was in the best shape of her life.
“There were some workouts where I had to ask [my coach Ray Treacy] to repeat my splits, like what did I just run?” Sisson said.
QT: Alicia Monson pushed her body to the brink (and to the hospital) to make her first Olympic team
The newly-formed On Athletics Club (editor’s note: On Sponsored the Road to the Trials on LetsRun.com) got its second 10k Olympian at the Trials as Alicia Monson finished 3rd to make the team, joining teammate Joe Klecker who was 3rd in the men’s 10k on the first night of the Trials.
Coach Dathan Ritzenhein had been very bullish on Monson heading into the Trials, but how would she perform on the biggest stage and in the heat? Superbly well. While Monson was overtaken by Karissa Schweizer on the final lap, she was the last athlete to get broken by Sisson.
However, the effort really took its toll.
After the race, Monson did not look well. She eventually was resting in the shade in the bowels of the stadium, and was brought back out for an interview by NBC’s Lewis Johnson, where Schweizer helped support her. Monson said in the interview, “I have never gone to that point in a race before and I’ve always kind of wanted to. I think today was a good time to do that.”
Monson was able to go to the victory stand and do the award ceremony for the top 3, but the heat was still taking its toll.
Later as first reported by Sarah Lorge Butler, it was revealed that Monson collapsed after the medal ceremony and started vomiting and was taken to the hospital.
Ritzenhein told LetsRun he believes Monson will be okay, adding “she is just the toughest person I’ve ever met.” For anyone who remembers Ritzenhein’s all-out racing style, that is high praise indeed. Ritz even said she’d be available for an interview after she left the hospital. That definitely is a LetsRun.com first.
Quick Take: Sisson & Monson’s all-in bets pay off
When USATF switched the schedule to put the women’s 10k after the women’s 5k, athletes who qualified in both had a choice to make. If you thought your best shot to make the team was in the 10k, would you double — and perhaps wear yourself out with a heat and final in the 5k — or give yourself only one shot to make the team and focus on the 10k?
Both Sisson and Monson (and their coaches) felt their best shot was in the 10k and both decided to skip the 5k entirely. That paid off when both made the team today.
But both Schweizer and Cranny decided to attempt the double, and that decision worked out nicely for them as well, as Schweizer made the team in both events and Cranny was the US champ in the 5k. All four women are first-time Olympians.
Quick Take: Sara Hall’s Olympic dream is denied yet again, but she achieved her career-best Olympic Trials finish in 6th
Some great US runners over the years have failed to make an Olympic team. Chris Solinsky, the #2 US man ever at 5,000 and 10,000, never made an Olympic team, and Sara Hall, the 2nd-fastest US women’s marathoner ever at 2:20:32, may also end up with that label. Hall, 38, finished 6th in today’s race in 31:54.50, which was a career-best finish for her at the Olympic Trials.
Sara Hall at the Olympic Trials
2004 – 11th in 5000
2008 – 9th in 1500
2012 – 8th in steeple
2016 – DNF in marathon, 14th in 5000
2020 – DNF in marathon, 6th in 10,000
“I made all the right moves I needed to, I just didn’t have it. You know, those girls are really strong,” said Hall after the race. “Sisson, I’m really happy for her… I’m so happy she made the team, she’s so deserving… I respect all those women so much… I thought I had a shot at this team but at the same time that’s my highest Olympic Trials finish… I’m thankful I was able to do that today.”
Hall said she was rooting for her fellow marathoner Sisson — the US’s 8th fastest marathoner in history at 2:23:08 — to make the team.
“Emily’s run was so impressive, I didn’t doubt that she could do this… living in Phoenix, I’m pretty sure we’re all gonna wish we were living in Phoenix like she is… I was rooting for her so much because of the disappointment in Atlanta that was similar to mine,” said Hall, who said she’ll be announcing a fall marathon soon.
Saying Hall won’t make the team in 2024 may not be wise. The date for the 2024 marathon trials isn’t set yet, but they might be less than 2.5 years away and Hall is running better than ever. Bernard Lagat made an Olympic team at 41 in 2016. Hall will be 40 when the 2024 Olympic Marathon Trials take place. Of course, the difference is Lagat had been on many teams before.
Regardless of whether she makes a team, Hall’s late-career transformation has been incredible. At the 2016 Trials, Hall had pbs of 32:44 for 10k and 2:30:06 for the marathon. Now her pbs are 31:21 and 2:20:32.
Quick Take: Sisson handled the heat like a pro
At the last Trials, Sisson said she was “pretty out of shape and I actually overheated.” She handled the heat with ease today. That may be because she lives in Phoenix, Arizona (although she hasn’t been there since March, spending her buildup in Flagstaff and then Providence).
She wore sunglasses during the race but they weren’t hers. She often runs with glasses in Phoenix but didn’t have any today, so she just borrowed her husband’s pair before the race.
Quick Take: Emily Durgin has a strong run in 9th
The top 8 spots were all filled by people with the Olympic standard of 31:25. The first person without the standard was 9th placer Emily Durgin of Under Armour. No one in today’s race ran a PB, but Durgin came the closest. When her collegiate career at UConn came to an end in 2017, she had pbs of 16:00.93/33:49. Now she’s improved them to 15:24/32:22 and she ran 32:25 for 9th.(06/27/2021) ⚡AMP
On an exceptionally hot day in California, Jim Walmsley won his third consecutive Western States 100 title Saturday in 14 hours, 46 minutes. Walmsley came through the Pointed Rocks aid station at mile 95 with a comfortable lead of about 81 minutes, and the live webcam followed his final mile by bike.
Walmsley, who lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., had admitted earlier in the week that he hadn’t been entirely healthy throughout his build up and had been nursing an IT band injury, leading to speculation that he might not even make it to the start line, but apparently he had nothing to worry about, as his remarkable result proved.
Walmsley ran 14:09:28 in 2019, the last time the race was run (it was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic), smashing the course record of 14:30:04 that he set in 2018, in his third appearance at the race. Today, he had put considerable distance between himself and Hayden Hawks by around mile 35, but it was clear another record was not going to be possible. (Hawks was in second position for most of the race, but shortly before Walmsley’s arrival at the finish line, announcers Dylan Bowman and Corrine Malcolm mentioned he was in danger of being passed by Tyler Green and Drew Holmen.)
Walmsley is only the third man with three consecutive victories; the other two are Scott Jurek, who had seven straight victories from 1999-2005, and Tim Twietmeyer, who won five times, three of them consecutively in 1994-1996.
Beth Pascall of the U.K. led the women’s race all day and is a good bet to win, but the top five were very close together throughout, making it too risky to call. Pascall won the Canyons 100K race in California in April, and shattered the record on the Bob Graham fell round in the U.K. last year. At the time of Walmsley’s finish, she was sitting at 7th or 8th overall, with Ragna Debats of the Netherlands (who is 42) and Ruth Croft of New Zealand (in her 100-mile debut) just outside the top 10 overall.
For the first time, there were live broadcasts on YouTube and by iRunFar, so fans could follow every minute of the race, with constant well-informed and passionate commentary from Bowman and Malcolm about the oldest and best-loved 100-miler in North America.(06/27/2021) ⚡AMP
The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...more...
Two-time Olympic Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the fastest woman alive, sped to a 10.71 second (wind +1.0 m/s) win in the women's 100m on Friday, the second day of Jamaica's national athletics championships.
With her trademark rocket start, Fraser-Pryce separated from the field at 50 metres and closed out the win to book her ticket to a fourth consecutive Olympic Games in Tokyo next month.
Rio Olympic 400m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson produced a late burst to take second in 10.82secs, ahead of reigning Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson-Herah with 10.84.
Fraser-Pryce, a four-time world 100m champion, told Reuters she was excited to beat a tough field in a quick time just a few weeks after setting a Jamaican national record with a blistering 10.63secs.
"It's amazing and I think all credit goes to my coach (Reynaldo Walcott). You know he's such a firm believer in what I can do and what I'm capable of," she said.
"After the 10.63 (June 5) it was rough! My hamstrings were just giving problems after that run, but I said champions show up no matter what, you always show up and you just have to make sure that when you get to the line you deliver," Fraser-Pryce added.
"The aim is definitely to stand on top of the podium in Tokyo," said Fraser-Pryce who battled through a toe injury to take bronze at the Rio Games five years ago.
"I mean, 2016 was bittersweet and it happened and I think I want to see what I'm able to do healthy and fit and ready to go, so I'm looking forward to that opportunity."
Shericka Jackson, who had set a lifetime best 10.77secs in the semi-finals, was elated to take second in 10.82secs and also punch a ticket to Tokyo. She moved up to joint 13th on the all time list.(06/26/2021) ⚡AMP
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. ...more...
We tested this stick-on wearable that measures your sweat rate and sodium levels to see if it can help you optimize performance.
Knowing your sweat rate and sodium loss during a workout can help you customize your pre- and post-run fueling, as well as what you consume on the run. But until now, that’s been a bit of a guessing game.
Most runners figure out their hydration strategy via trial and error, because everyone’s body reacts so uniquely to workout intensity and environmental conditions. “In the same distance race in the same environment, some athletes lose less than 14 ounces an hour and some athletes lose 85 ounce an hour,” explains Matt Pahnke, a principal scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.
But Gatorade’s new Gx sweat patch ($24.99 for two) aims to take the guesswork out of hydrating. It’s the first at-home device that allows you to test your fluid loss (the total amount of fluid you lose during a workout), sweat rate (the amount you sweat over the course of one hour), and sodium loss (the amount of sodium you lose through your sweat) in real-time.
This kind of advice is so important because dehydration can decrease your endurance and increase fatigue, a recent study published in Frontiers in Physiology found; it also leads to a higher rate of perceived exertion, according to older research. Meanwhile, electrolytes are crucial to fluid balance and muscle contraction and relaxation.
Slap the patch on your inner forearm—the spot that’s most representative of your whole body when it comes to sweat, says Pahnke—before you run. As you sweat, you’ll see the orange line start to fill up—that’s to calculate your sweat rate; the purple line represents your electrolyte losses. Use your phone camera to scan the patch into the Gx app afterward, and the app will translate your data into sweat profiles that can inform future workouts and deliver personalized insights that can help you optimize your performance.
“This isn’t something you want to do every time you go for a run,” explains Pahnke. “What we recommend is that athletes develop at least four profiles: two different exercise intensities, two different environments.” Think: lower intensity workouts in cool and warmer environments, plus higher intensity workouts in cool and warmer environments. Then, when you schedule a future run in the app, it can provide recommendations based on a similar duration, intensity, and environment you’ve already tracked.
For example, during a recent 4-mile, moderate-intensity run on an 81-degree day, I lost 1,058 ml/hr. My sodium level (how much salt is in my sweat) was low, between 398 and 858 mg/L. The problem: The app doesn’t really explain what that means. What it does, instead, is use that information to provide guidance for future runs: When I scheduled an hour-long run for the following morning, the app suggested I consume 30 grams of carbs and hydrate with 12 ounces of fluid pre-workout, then consume 20 to 45 grams of carbs during my workout, and consume 18 grams of protein post-workout (it also doesn’t explain how it generated those specific numbers).
The catch with the patch and the app is they’re only as useful as you make them—to get the full benefits, you need to be scheduling your workouts, checking out the pre-run plan and checking back in post-run. “The more information you put into it, the stronger the advice is going to be,” says Pahnke. That may work well for some runners, but it may seem like too much work for others.
While the data makes it seem like an exact science, think of it as more of a guideline, says Tamara Hew-Butler, Ph.D., an associate professor of exercise and sports science at Wayne State University. “The move toward measuring fluid and electrolyte loss is a good start, but it should never be followed as an exact rule,” she explains. “You also have to listen to what your body’s telling you.”
In studying hyponatremia—a condition where sodium levels in the blood are lower than normal—Hew-Butler says she looks at the number, but treats the symptoms (in the case of low sodium, that would mean nausea, headache, confusion, and fatigue; extreme thirst, less frequent urination, dark urine, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion are all hallmarks of dehydration). “You have to look at wearable data the same way,” she says. Translation: You don’t need a patch to tell you you’re thirsty. “Data always has to be taken into context, context being how you feel in the moment.”
Because here’s the thing: If I eat a good breakfast, I know that I don’t need 20 to 45 grams of carbs in an hour-long run; I likely wouldn’t hydrate on that run, either, unless it was in scorching hot temperatures. “If you’re doing an average run that lasts less than an hour, the basic rule is you don’t need to carry anything with you—as long as you have fluids and a variety of foods available afterwards,” says Hew-Butler.
If you’re planning to run more than 60 minutes, it’s smart to bring fuel and water with you. How much you bring could be inspired by what your Gatorade sweat profile tells you (in my case, 36 ounces per hour), but you shouldn’t force yourself to consume that on the go if your body isn’t craving it. Aiming to consume 20 to 45 grams of carbs per hour on longer runs is also a good idea, but only if you know what works for you and your gut.
It’s tempting to get caught up in exact numbers and data, but, when it comes to hydration and fueling, don’t focus too much on the numbers, says Hew-Butler. “Your body signals what’s happening inside of you, and you need to respond to what your body’s telling you instead of what a watch, an app, or an algorithm is recommending.”
The bottom line: If you struggle with nutrition and hydration issues during or after running, the Gx sweat patch may help you dial in your fueling—just be prepared to input as much data as possible to get the most out of the service and remember to still stay tuned in to your body’s signals. If you don’t have issues, it’s likely best to channel your energy into your training plan and continue listening to your body.(06/26/2021) ⚡AMP
Sir Mo Farah will not defend his 10,000m Olympic title later this summer after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Games.
The four-time Olympic champion missed the qualifying time in an invitational 10,000m at the British Athletics Championships and suffered a devastating blow in Manchester.
Farah needed to go under 27 minutes 28 seconds at the Regional Arena to earn his place on the plane to Tokyo ahead of Sunday night’s deadline.
But he clocked 27 minutes 47.04 seconds and will not defend the 10,000m title he won in 2012 and 2016.
Farah, a double 5,000m Olympic champion, said trackside: “I don’t know what to think or what’s next. If I can’t compete with the best why bother?
“There’s no excuse in terms of conditions – it is what it is. I genuinely thought I’d come out here, get the time and then go back to the training camp.
“I’ve had an amazing career. Thinking about it tonight it’s a bit shocking and I don’t really know what to say.
“I’m lucky enough to have so many medals. I’m one of these athletes who, if you can’t compete with the best, why bother?”
The invitational race was hastily arranged after Farah failed to qualify during the 10,000m trials in Birmingham earlier this month.
He was the second Brit home in eighth on that occasion, behind Marc Scott in 27 minutes 50.54 seconds, and blamed an ankle problem for hampering his attempt.
It was the first time he had lost a 10,000m race in a decade having decided to return to the track after focusing on the marathon since 2017.(06/26/2021) ⚡AMP
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. ...more...
Abdalelah Haroun, bronze medallist at the 2017 World Championships in London, has died aged 24. Qatar Athletics Federation chairman Mohammed Issa al-Fadala announced that he was killed in an incident in Doha, and mourned losing "a great hero". Haroun was seeking to qualify for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Qatari sprinter Abdalelah Haroun has died after a car crash in Doha, aged 24.
Haroun won the bronze medal in the 400m at the 2017 World Championships in London, and was seeking to qualify for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
He also won silver in the 400m at the World Indoor Championships in 2016, and double gold in the 400m and 4x400m at the Asian Games in 2018.
"Qatar sports and athletics, on a global level, lost a great hero," said Qatar Athletics Federation chairman Mohammed Issa al-Fadala.(06/26/2021) ⚡AMP
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Organizers, Health Officials Lift COVID-19 Race Restrictions, the race is on, and organizers invite the Quad Cities Community to the starting line this July 24.
Read the news coverage from the Quad City Times. An excerpt:
Race Director Michelle Juehring announced COVID-19 safety protocols were lifted Friday morning after consulting with the race's local medical team. Race organizers are calling the race an opportunity for the Quad-Cities community to "Come Back to the Start."
The race will held Saturday, July 24, starting off at 8 a.m. from 4th and Brady streets. Both the Quad-City Times Bix 7 and the Prairie Farms Quick Bix will start at 8 a.m.
"We have worked all along with officials from Genesis Health System and the Scott County Health Department," Juehring explained. "And in April we put some protocols in place to have an in-person race.
"We have been told that with the vaccination rates, the low positivity rate and the low rate of infections per 100,000 we can lift the safety protocols."
The 47th Quad-City Times Bix 7 race begins at 8:00 AM Saturday, July 24, 2021. Online registration is open at www.bix7.com. Registration fees will increase on July 2, 2021.
Volunteers are needed for race weekend. Learn more at www.bix7.com/getinvolved.
In addition to the website, you can stay connected with race news and training tips on our social media channels:
This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...more...
We know running is good for our physical and mental health, but now runners can add one more positive outcome to that list: it makes us more positive people. According to a recent World Athletics consumer research study, runners show greater confidence in associating themselves with positive personality traits, like being warm and friendly.
World Athletics and Neilson Sports collected online interviews from over 8,000 people across 10 countries (Australia, Colombia, France, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, UK, USA), including approximately 500 non-runners and 500 runners from each country. Across all 10 countries, 40 per cent of respondents considered themselves to be runners, with 30 per cent of those people running at least once a week. When compared with those who used to run but have stopped, and with those who have never run, runners were more likely to consider themselves to be warm and friendly, easy-going, family-oriented and optimistic.
Gender equality in running
Something that sets running apart from many other sports is that it appears recreational running has an equal participation split between men and women. The WA study found that out of all the runners who were interviewed, 53 per cent were men and 47 per cent were women. This was true whether they compared males and females who ran a few times a month or those who ran every day.
COVID upped our numbers
Thanks to the closure of gyms and other recreational facilities, thousands more people have taken to the roads and trails for exercise. According to the study, 13 per cent of all runners started in the last year, and every single one of them plans to continue running, even after the pandemic is over. Many of those who were already running before the pandemic but have since increased their mileage also plan to continue running with more frequency once the pandemic is over.
Other reasons to run
The #1 reason participants choose to lace up their sneakers is for their health, but other important factors are that they can go at their own pace, they don’t need a lot of equipment to get started and it helps them to de-stress. In fact, 73 per cent of participants agreed that running is just as good for their minds as it is for their bodies.
Finally, while we all love running, it appears that runners between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most passionate about the sport, with 50 per cent of them agreeing that running is a part of who they are.(06/26/2021) ⚡AMP
Eliud Kipchoge has no doubt been one of the most exciting and inspirational athletes of our time, and he has easily had the most successful marathon career in history. When he broke two hours in the marathon in 2019, running 1:59:40 at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, he broke down a barrier, accomplishing something that many thought was not possible. Fans now get to relive that experience again through the his upcoming film, Kipchoge: The Last Milestone. The official trailer has finally been released, and it will make you want to jump out of your chair and head out for a run.
he movie follows Kipchoge as he trains to break two hours, from his training grounds in Kenya to the high-tech facilities in Europe, and finally to Vienna, where he attempts to break one of the last true milestones in sport. Of course, while the sub-2 marathon has been one of his greatest accomplishments in the sport so far, his career is far from over. Most recently, he won the NN Mission Marathon in the Netherland in 2:04:30, and he will still be the man to beat at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
While the movie is set to come out this year, the actual release date has not yet been disclosed. For now, we will just have to watch (and rewatch and rewatch) the trailer in anticipation of one of the most exciting running films to be released in years.
He has the fastest time in the country this year in the 1500 meters, and he loves a good construction project.
Craig Engels burst onto the U.S. running scene in 2017, during his final year at the University of Mississippi. He was the athlete with the mullet and mustache who loved mugging for the television cameras—and he could run, too.
Engels just missed making the Olympic team in 2016, finishing fourth in the 800 meters and fifth in the 1500. But he broke through in 2019, earning a spot on Team USA for the world championships in Doha. He finished 10th in the 1500 in 3:34.24.
Now 27, Engels is hoping to make his first Olympic team, and things are looking good. He set his PR in the 1500 meters, 3:33:64, on May 29, which is the fastest time by an American so far this year. And in the first round at the Trials, he easily advanced to the semifinals, finishing third in his heat in 3:40.03.
Engels, who lives in Beaverton, Oregon, and trains with the Nike group under coach Pete Julian, spoke to Runner’s World on June 15, after he had just finished up at the laundromat.
He likes doing construction projects
Engels buys, renovates, and sells RVs. And last June, he bought a house in Beaverton on a large lot. He and teammates Eric Jenkins and Donavan Brazier built a fence to divide the lot, and Engels rents the front house out. When he’s in town, he lives in the back in a pole barn he converted into a house with the help of his teammates and father and by watching YouTube videos.
“Learned how to do plumbing, electrical, everything,” Engels said.
Pete Julian asked him to stop the physical labor until the Trials are over
“I’ve chilled out with extracurricular projects a little bit more,” he said. “No working on RVs, or at least not working hardcore. Pete kind of got upset with me. I was digging trenches and building chicken coops and just working on my property. Pete was like, ‘Can you just chill out until the Olympic Trials?’”
He regulates his social media time
For a period during the pandemic, he was trying to be good about responding to DMs, but then the demands people were making started to wear on him. These days, he isn’t on too much. “When I’m on my phone, I’m on craigslist, looking at RVs,” he said.
He has a new tattoo
It’s an image of a van, and it’s on his butt, according to the Winston-Salem Journal, which is Engels’s hometown newspaper in North Carolina. He told the paper he might show it off at the after-party if he makes the Olympic team.
Engels does not do much, if any, altitude training
The environment doesn’t suit him. He’s not sure if it’s the physical demands of the mountain air, or the sense of being cooped up to recover from tougher-than-usual workouts, but he doesn’t go to altitude.
“Pete’s okay with it,” Engels said. “We have a good enough relationship now and he knows me well enough to know it’s not a good fit. He’d rather me be happy at sea level than suffering at altitude.”
Recent workouts have gone well
Engels declined to give too many specifics, but he said he likes doing mile cut-downs. He’ll do two sets of a mile, 1200 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, getting faster each rep.
“I actually don’t know how many miles a week I’m running,” he said. “I don’t care, just whatever my body is feeling.”
He respects his competitors
There’s definitely more depth in the 1500 meters now than there ever has been, he said. But his goal is simple: “The goal is just to win.”(06/26/2021) ⚡AMP
The events can be gruelling and even dangerous, yet more and more people are signing up
John Stocker hadn’t slept in three-and-a-half days when he finally crossed the finish line after running more than 337 miles in an ultramarathon event in Suffolk, stopping only at brief intervals for food and rest.
Of the 123 people who started the race in Knettishall Heath on 5 June, he was the last person still running 81 hours later on Tuesday evening, and had to summon all of his physical and mental strength to get around the last lap.
“Your tiredness just takes over. And then I clipped my toe and went down on the concrete. I laid there thinking I wasn’t going to be getting back up,” the 41-year-old personal trainer said, as he recovered at home in Bicester. “But the whole reason I do these ultras is to show my kids that they should try to achieve as much as they can, and not be told by anyone that they can’t do something. That’s what kept me going.”
Ultrarunning has soared in popularity, with a report in May showing a 345% increase in participation globally over the past 10 years and thousands of events taking place annually. Meanwhile, participation in 5Ks has declined since 2015, and participation in marathons has levelled off.
The term broadly refers to any race over the length of a marathon, and can come in many shapes and forms – including the six-day, 251km Marathon des Sables across the Sahara, and the Spine Race across the Pennine hills covering 431km.
“It has been an explosion. When I came to ultrarunning about 14 years ago, I did a Google search and found about 60 races. Now we estimate there’s probably about 10,000,” said Steve Diedrich, the founder of the website Run Ultra. “The pandemic put people into two categories: the people who sat on the couch and the people who got off the couch. And those who got off the couch have pushed themselves further and become ultrarunners.”
Adharanand Finn, the author of The Rise of the Ultra Runners, said: “Generally as running has got more popular and more people have done marathons there’s a natural inflation. To tell people you’ve run a marathon is maybe not as impressive as it once was.
“These races are so epic and so huge, people are so impressed and it’s easy to get sucked in by that.”
The UK has a long history of ultrarunning in the form of fell races, but races specifically labelled as ultras are on the increase. The “back yard challenge” races, which originated in the US, are particularly gruelling; at the Suffolk event participants had to run a 4.167-mile (7km) route every hour until they could no longer carry on. If runners complete their lap early they can take a short break to sleep, eat and use the toilet before heading back to the start line.
“It’s like Groundhog Day. Because you get back to the tent and you’ve got a few minutes and then all of a sudden it’s your next loop, it starts all over again,” said Stocker. “I still have nightmares now of them blowing the whistle over and over again.”
Along with his fellow runner Matthew Blackburn, he beat the world record for the event previously held by Karel Sabbe, a Belgian dentist who ran 312.5 miles (502km) in 75 hours in October. Now the pair will head to Tennessee to take part in the back yard ultra world championships and compete against the best in the field.
The races are not without risk. The ultrarunning community is still reeling from the deaths of 21 runners in an ultramarathon event in China last month after high winds and freezing rain hit the course. The country has suspended all long-distance races and an investigation into the tragedy is being carried out.
“Through the history of ultraracing there have been issues with floods, cold exposure, heat exposure, a range of everything depending on the location,” but deaths are very rare, said Diedrich. In its 35-year history, two people have died taking part in the Marathon Des Sables.
“We have to have some sort of a safety net, because you’re asking people to push to the absolute limit of their exhaustion,” said Lindley Chambers, the owner of Challenge Running, which organised last week’s Suffolk back yard ultra. He said the route was carefully mapped out to avoid risk of injury and staff were on hand to aid runners at all times.
“You need to be sensible, and manage the risks as best you can,” he said. “But then on the other side, the runners want it to feel like an adventure, they want to feel like they’re challenged. They don’t want you to hold their hand all the way round.”
As predicted, it was a race for third place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase final on Thursday, at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, in Eugene, Oregon. And for Val Constien, third probably felt a lot like first.
Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs were the known entities. They’ve never missed making a national team in the event and their results on Thursday were no different. Coburn won in an Olympic Trials record of 9:09.41 and Frerichs was runner-up in 9:11.79. Then came Constien, a University of Colorado grad and 2019 Pac-12 champion, in 9:18.34—a personal best by six seconds.
“I think the U.S. steeple right now is the deepest it’s been in years,” Coburn said, after the race. “There’s so many women who have run under 9:30 this year. Knowing that strength and that depth, I wanted to just play off some of some of my strengths. If we were running 9:30 splits early in the race, I knew that was well within my comfort zone and I could push really hard the last year.
Since 2016, the U.S. team for world championships and the Olympics has remained constant: Coburn, Frerichs, and Colleen Quigley. And until Quigley announced her withdrawal from the race due to injury just days ago, many assumed the trio would make Team USA once again.
Quigley’s absence opened up an array of possibilities for a field that included eight athletes who had the Olympic qualifying time already (9:30). Until 800 meters to go, it looked like Leah Falland might have had a lock on the podium, but she caught a toe on a barrier and fell to the track. Although she got back up quickly and regained position, the combination of adrenaline and trying to regain position was too much. She had nothing left in the last 200 meters and placed ninth.
“I was just really cooked after all of it,” Falland said, in an emotional post-race interview. When asked how confident she was that she could have made the team, she said, “I knew I could do it. I knew it was in there. It was kind of shocking, to be honest. I worked really, really hard to get back to a place where I could contend for that team.”
When Constien saw Falland stumble, she recognized she had an opportunity.
“I kind of knew that was my shot…and then with 400 meters to go, I just ran as hard as I possibly could,” Constien said. “I had no idea where [Falland] was…I just gave it my all.”
Frerichs, 28, was analytical about her race, already identifying what she wants to work on between now and competing at the Tokyo Games. A member of the Bowerman Track Club, she’s the American record holder (9:00.85) and 2017 world championships silver medalist in the event, as well as 2016 Olympian. She said her second-to-last water barrier needs work, as well as her closing speed.
“I think we’re bringing an incredibly strong team [to Tokyo],” Frerichs said. “I mean, it took 9:18 to make the team today. That’s the fastest third-place finish that’s ever happened. That’s incredible. And then I think that Emma and I have consistently been battling up at the front and that force together makes a statement. We’re ready to have a special moment in Tokyo.”
Coburn, 30, is the 2017 world champion and the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, the first American woman to medal in the steeple. She and Joe Bosshard, her husband and coach, have created a Boulder, Colorado-based training group that includes Cory McGee, who just qualified for the Tokyo Games in the 1500.
Constien is a first-time Olympian who works a full-time customer support job for Stryd, a company that makes power meters that runners put on their shoes to figure out the optimal training intensity. She receives free apparel from TrackSmith but otherwise self-funds her running career, including paying her way to Eugene to compete at the Trials.
“I think that being a blue-collar runner is really cool. Anybody with a full-time job can still have Olympic aspirations,” she said.
Training in Boulder, Constien often runs with Jenny Simpson. She ran the Olympic qualifying time at the Portland Track Festival at the end of May. It was then that she realized it wasn’t enough to just make it to the final—she wanted to make it to Tokyo.
“It just seems like three weeks ago I woke up and said, ‘I could do this,’” Constien said. “So it was really fun. Goals change and dreams get bigger, so I’m really happy that this has happened.”(06/25/2021) ⚡AMP
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. ...more...
Western States is famously competitive - and this year is shaping up to be one of the toughest competitions yet with hot temps, and a stacked field.
Jim Walmsley and Magda Boulet will be back at the Western States Endurance Run this week.
And so will Clare Gallagher, Patrick Reagan, Max King and Brittany Peterson. And, so too is race pioneer Gordy Ainsleigh and 312 other inspired runners who have been training for more than a year and a half to get to the starting line. In fact, we’re all heading back to the Sierra Nevada range this weekend — even if vicariously — to what feels like a bit of normalcy returning.
After a year mostly away from the trail racing running scene, things are starting to feel like old times. With stacked men’s and women’s fields, scorching heat in the forecast and last year’s Covid-19 hiatus hopefully mostly behind us, it’s definitely the event the ultrarunning community has been looking forward to. The race begins at 5 a.m. PST on June 26 and it looks like it’s going to be an epic one. (Follow via live tracking or the live race-day broadcast.)
“Yeah, it will be good to be there and see people and actually be in the race,” says Walmsley, who won the race in 2018 and 2019 in course-record times. “It’s been an odd year.”
Odd for sure, but with deep men’s and women’s fields, hot weather, dusty trail conditions and the late June gathering of a few hundred runners on this hallowed ground feels somewhat normal. The mountains and canyons in and around Olympic Valley northwest of Lake Tahoe have been a sacred place for the native Washoe people for thousands of years before Gordon Ainsleigh’s first romp over the Western States Trail in 1974.
It’s been an especially odd year for Walmsley, who, for the second straight year, had planned to use the first half of his year training for the 90K Comrades Marathon in South Africa. But that was canceled last year (with just about every other big race, including the Western States 100) and this year, too.
So instead, after setting a new U.S. 100K road record in January, he took a sponsor’s entry into the Western States 100 from HOKA One One and will be once again lining up in America’s most celebrated trail running race. With notable first-timers Tim Tollefson and Hayden Hawks in the mix along with Walmsley, Reagan, King, Matt Daniels, Alex Nichols, Kyle Pietari, Mark Hammond, Stephen Kersh, Jeff Browning and Jared Hazen all returning with previous top-10 finishes, on paper anyway, the men’s race is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent memory or maybe ever, even though it’s comprised entirely of domestic runners.
The women’s race might be even more competitive with former champions Boulet, Gallagher (2019) and Kaci Lickteig (2016) leading the way, plus elite American runners Camille Herron, Addie Bracy, Camelia Mayfield and Keely Henninger and international stalwarts Ruth Croft (New Zealand), Audrey Tanguy (France), Beth Pascall (UK), Emily Hawgood (Zimbabwe), Kathryn Drew (Canada) and Ragna Debats (Spain) joining the fray.
Who are the favorites? It’s hard to tell. Most of those runners, including Walmsley and Boulet, have admitted to having dealt with some minor injuries, inconsistent training, a lack of motivation and other setbacks over the crazy year that was. Based on what runners have been reporting, it seems like most are just eager to get back and immerse in a competitive 100-miler and see what they can do.
However, one of the keys will certainly be who can survive the heat the best. The forecast is calling for high temperatures in the upper 80s to the high 90s on Saturday after and the canyons between Robinson Flat and Michigan Bluff could even reach over 100 degrees.
Walmsley has said he’s dealt with some IT band issues and has focused mostly on running with a lot of vert, focusing on getting optimal recovery, strength sessions and body work, as well as spending as much time running in extreme heat as possible. That includes running and hiking countless laps to the summit of 9,298-foot Mt. Elden in Flagstaff, averaging 20 to 25 hours per week on the trails and also spending a lot of time on a bike trainer.
But he’s also spent a lot of time in the infrared sauna in his home and spent time with family in the Phoenix area, where he ran in the afternoons amid 115- to 120-degree heat.
“The heat training is kind of lucky for me, because growing up in the heat in Arizona, I didn’t know any different,” Walmsley says. “I just thought everyone was roasting in the heat. It’s what I grew up with and I try to lean into those memories and embrace the heat.”
Boulet, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., has also gone out of her way to train in the heat. While she says her build-up has been inconsistent compared to previous years, she’s been doing a lot of climbing and descending in the heat, and also working on box jumps to strengthen her legs for the long descent into Auburn. She says a recent 40-mile run up 3,849-foot Mt. Diablo east of Berkeley, is a good indicator that she’s ready to roll.
“I’ve definitely been spending more time in the heat lately, which is something I personally don’t enjoy running in,” says Boulet, who won the race in 2015, DNF’ed in 2016 and placed second in 2017. “But I know the importance of preparing in the heat and falling in love with running in the heat by race day. You can be as physically as ready as possible in terms of your fitness, but if you don’t have the heat training and you’re trying to tackle some of the parts of the canyons that are in the middle of the race, It’s really tough.”
Given the extreme heat, it’s not likely that anyone will challenge Walmsley’s 14:09 course record set two years ago, when it was in the low-80s and cloudy on race day. But there’s also no snow on the course this year, so the early sections that have previously forced runners to hike and walk early on will likely be faster, and that will likely result in fatigue that will slow them down in later stages of the race.
“You’ve got to take what the course gives you,” Walmsley says. “I’ve learned that you don’t fight the course where you shouldn’t. I have some splits in mind that would get me there under 15 hours and maybe close to 14:30, but it’s going to be all about feeling out what the course is giving me, following those guidelines and not forcing it. Because anyone who forces it in that heat will be doomed.”(06/25/2021) ⚡AMP
The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...more...
Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich has had to cope with the restrictions on training and racing brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic but managed to smash the half-marathon world record.
When the 26-year-old Chepngetich was getting ready for the Istanbul Half Marathon in April she was just focused on running a good, confident race but she ended up obliterating the world record by 29 seconds and fulfilling a dream.
"I was thinking about 'world record, world record,' I can (now) say... in Istanbul, I broke the world record," Chepngetich told Reuters in an interview. read more
Following her impressive victory in Turkey, the 2019 world marathon champion set up camp in Ngong, an hour from Kenya's capital Nairobi to get ready for the Tokyo Olympics.
Among her competitors in the marathon will be compatriot and world record holder Brigid Kosgei.
Chepngetich understands that her own strong performances have turned up the pressure.
"I say I should focus at these Games because everybody now has an eye on me," she said. "I think when somebody is on a high level, there is a lot of pressure there."
But Chepngetich said all she can do is focus on herself and what she needs to do to bring a medal back home.
"I am preparing my mind for the Olympics, I am focusing for that Olympics," she said.
The past year has not been easy for Chepngetich.
As COVID-19 ground the world to a halt, with restrictions in place to stop the virus spreading bringing sport to a standtill, Chepngetich had to change her training approach, running with a small group as few races were available to test her progress.
"Athletics for me is my life, I don't have any other jobs," she said.
When races resumed in the autumn of 2020, it took her time to get back to full throttle.
Chepngetich finished third in the London marathon, which was won by Kosgei, where she also picked up an injury that she attributed partly to her long layoff.
"I relaxed and I came back to train with full force, because I was confirmed in London. So I forced my body until I got the hamstring injury," she said.
Chepngetich came second in New Delhi in November and in a 10km race in Madrid a month later.
"I was not 100% because of COVID (restrictions that limited practice and racing)," Chepngetich said.
But those races built up her momentum and when she arrived in Istanbul Chepngetich was able to fly.
"Last year's races made me more active than before, and that's why I ran well in Istanbul."
The soft-spoken Chepngetich grew up in Kericho County in eastern Kenya, born to parents who keep poultry and grow maize. She is the only athlete in the family of five and caught the running bug early at about nine years old, she said.
When she was around 16 running became more than just a hobby. She followed the exploits of compatriots Hellen Obiri, the Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist and 5,000 metres world champion in 2017 and 2019, and Faith Chepngetich, the 1,500m gold medallist at the Rio Games, and wanted to emulate them.
"I was admiring them (and promised myself) that one day I will be like them," she said.
When Chepngetich completed secondary school in 2015, she turned to athletics full-time and began training with older athletes in Kericho where a local coach gave her training tips.
That same year she competed in one of her first professional races in Nairobi, a 10km run where she came third.
A few months later, in Morocco, in her first competition abroad, she finished third again in a half-marathon.
The performances were encouraging and in 2017 wins in Adana, Paris, Milan and Istanbul and improving times gave her more confidence that she could be a professional athlete. Later that year, she won her first marathon race in Istanbul.
"That marathon gave me more confidence that I could do more," she said.
Since then Chepngetich has elevated her performances to become world marathon champion in 2019 and world record holder in the half-marathon with her scintillating performance in Istanbul and will be among the favourites for gold in Tokyo.
Despite all the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Cheptengish remains upbeat about her prospects and said she will continue to "think positive to race a beautiful race".
Reporting by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Ken Ferris(06/25/2021) ⚡AMP
In a joint statement today, the USATF Men’s and Women’s Long Distance Running Committees and the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Race Committee (CUCB) announced that the 2021 USATF 10 Mile Championships Presented by Toyota will be held in conjunction with the one-time-only fall running of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on September 12, 2021.
This will be the third time one or more of the USATF 10 Mile Championships have been hosted by CUCB: the women’s championships were part of the 2013 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, while race organizers hosted both the men’s and women’s championships in 2014. This year’s 48th running of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom moved from its traditional April date during cherry blossom season to September 12 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Participants in the Women’s Championship will start 12 minutes before the men so performances will be eligible for ratification as women's-only records. While eliminating any benefit of being paced by males, the separate start format also provides increased visibility for these talented female athletes.
The last time the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile hosted both the men’s and women’s USATF 10 Mile Championships in 2014, Janet Bawcom set an American women’s-only record of 52:12, a time that CUCB Race Committee member and former American University standout Keira D’Amato lowered to 51:23 last November in an elite-only, women’s-only pop-up event called the Up Dawg Ten Mile in Anacostia Park. Due to the homespun, ad hoc nature of the Up Dawg event, D’Amato earned no prize money.
D’Amato is planning to defend her record on September 12, this time with the added incentive of winning her first U.S. Championship and earning up to $15,000 — $5,000 for the win and $10,000 for an American Record.
“I am anticipating intense interest in the 10 mile championships as top U.S. athletes return to the roads after 18 months of limited opportunities due to Covid-19 and just a few months after being totally focused on the Olympic Track and Field Trials and the Olympic Games,” said Event Director Phil Stewart. “It should be quite a coming out party, well positioned before the plethora of fall marathons, including five of the six World Marathon Majors, taking place within six weeks. I am also excited about returning to our popular Memorial Bridge course after four years of bridge reconstruction.”
USATF Women’s Long Distance Running Chair Mickey Piscitelli added: “We are grateful that the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run continues, after nearly forty years, to make it possible for our elite athletes to earn a living doing a job they love. We are especially thankful in 2021 to have CUCB hosting our USATF 10 Mile Championships for both men and women. Professional runners throughout the world are anxious to get back to the business of setting World and American Records on the famously flat and fast course.”
While the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile has offered a prize purse for elite runners of all nationalities since 1984, the 2013 USATF Women’s 10 Mile Championships marked the first time the organizers introduced a separate prize purse of $14,400 for American Women. When the Men’s 10 Mile Championships were added to the slate in 2014, so, too, was an additional $14,400 for the American Men’s prize purse. In recent years, the event has also partnered with the RRCA for an additional $6,000 in prize money for RRCA Road Scholars and RunPro Campers.
The prize pool for the 2021 USATF 10 Mile Championships totals $26,000 for men and women. An additional $10,000 bonus will be awarded if a man or woman breaks the American Records of sub-45:54 and sub-51:23 respectively. International elite runners will be part of the field competing for an additional $20,000 in prize money.
The 2021 USATF 10 Mile Championships will be the fifth U.S. Championship Presented by Toyota this year. The 15K championship took place at the Gate River Run in Jacksonville, FL in early March, and will be followed by the 10K at the AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, GA on July 4, the 6K at the Women’s 6K Festival in Canton, OH on July 7, and the 20K at the Faxon Law New Haven Road Race in New Haven, CT on September 6.
Held virtually this year and last, the 2021 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Runs mark the 20th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day. Since 2002, over $10 million has been raised for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including $439,000 in 2020. Of that $439,000, $66,000 came from runners donating their entry fees instead of asking for a refund when race weekend in our Nation’s Capital was wiped out by Covid-19.(06/25/2021) ⚡AMP
The Credit Union Cherry Blossom is known as "The Runner's Rite of Spring" in the Nation's Capital. The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier...more...
The British Olympic Association is still trying to convince some athletes to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before the Tokyo Olympics next month, the BOA chief executive, Andy Anson, said.
The BOA said this month that it was on track to ensure all athletes and staff were fully vaccinated before the Olympics. The Tokyo Games, delayed last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, will begin on 23 July.
“We’re trying to convince them it’s the right thing to do,” Anson told the BBC on Friday. “People have got the right to choose, and we have to respect that. But it’s not necessarily that helpful.”
Japan has largely avoided the kind of Covid-19 outbreaks that have devastated other countries, but its vaccine rollout was initially slow and the medical system has been pushed to the brink in some places.
Many Japanese remain sceptical about the possibility of holding even a scaled-down Games safely during the pandemic. Organisers have excluded foreign spectators and limited the number of domestic ones for the event.
Anson said the Athletes’ Village in Tokyo will be “probably the toughest environment in sports at this time”.
“We are putting in place very strict protocols along with the organisers to make sure, to the fullest extent possible, we follow the rules of isolation, distancing, and just keeping in our own ‘semi bubbles,’” he said.
On Wednesday, a second member of Uganda’s Olympic delegation, an athlete, tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Japan.(06/25/2021) ⚡AMP
At a younger age, the human body is stronger and more vibrant. As one grows older, however, it is not unusual to start experiencing bodily discomforts and diminished overall strength. Flexibility also suffers the aging blow, which is why you will often see older folks looking a bit stiff and slow. For the same reasons, many people also experience joint pain as they approach their sunset years.
Now, joint pain affects around a third of adults, with the knees, shoulders, and hips being the most commonly affected areas. Alongside the pain, joint pain is often accompanied by discomfort, soreness, and a decreased range of movement. These aches and pains aren’t always ailments that can be treated. That is to say, the most we can do is learn to handle and cope with the pain. With that in mind, let’s look at how you may effectively deal with joint pain.
Physical Therapy and Support Devices
There are a variety of ways you can get relief from joint pain without taking medicine. For starters, excessive strain on your knees from excess weight could be the source of your knee pain. As a result, lowering weight can be an excellent way to help ease your pain, and this is also where knee braces come in. To make your knees even stronger while soothing the pain, knee braces can help. If you read full article coverage by Adam on the Best Knee Braces, you will learn the different types of knee braces for different situations. This will help you decide if you need one and which one you should get.
All the same, physical activity can help alleviate weight loss while easing knee pain. Exercising and eating a nutritious diet at the same time can help you reach your ideal weight. Cycling, swimming, and jogging are all low-impact exercises that can help you manage your joint pain. High-impact exercises, on the other hand, should be avoided because the strain will exacerbate the pain. You can get expert advice on the finest types of exercise to participate in.
If you’ve been suffering from joint pain for a while, you should be aware that there are many types of joint pain. The discomfort can be minor at times and intense at other times. Anti-inflammatory medicines, either over-the-counter or prescribed, can help you deal with moderate-to-severe joint discomfort and swelling.
Aspirin, celecoxib, ibuprofen, and naproxen are examples of these medications. Because of the numerous cases of joint pain, these medications are widely available in any pharmacy. However, you should be aware that some of these medications have side effects. This is why it is preferable to obtain these medications with a prescription from a licensed physician.Acetaminophen can be used to relieve minor discomfort that is not accompanied by significant edema. However, you must exercise extreme caution when using these medications because large doses might cause drug-induced liver damage, especially if you drink alcohol. You’ll need stronger medicines if you have significant joint problems. This necessitates the use of more potent opioids. However, because these drugs are known to cause drowsiness, this is why you must obtain them with a doctor’s prescription.
Joint discomfort, as previously stated, can be a major annoyance, causing you agony and lowering the quality of your life. Depending on the causes and type of joint pain you are suffering from, it pays to know how to handle discomfort. Aside from medication and physical therapy, there are a few low-cost activities you can do to alleviate joint discomfort. Take a look at the following home treatment routines:
Oftentimes, you will find that joint pain is worse in the evenings or after strenuous activity. Participating in these activities will only exacerbate the pain. As a result, if you have frequent joint problems, you should try to rest as much as possible. It’s also a good idea to avoid any activity that causes the pain. This will substantially assist you in dealing with the pain.
If you have a sore injury, ice can help relieve the pain by numbing the nerves in the area. Your joints can be treated in the same way. You can relieve pain by icing these joints for around 15 minutes multiple times.
Supporting or wrapping the afflicted joint can help with the pain. This can be done when the discomfort is significantly worse than usual. The bandage will keep the joint from moving, reducing pain.
Elevating your joint above the level of your heart can offer some relief from pain. Elevating an injury above the level of your heart reduces swelling by allowing fluid to flow away from the affected area.
Joint discomfort can have a significant impact on one’s quality of life. This is especially true if you have no notion of how to handle it. While medication is one option, you should also be aware of the various alternative strategies for dealing with aching joints. Thankfully, the article has highlighted some of the other options available to you.(06/25/2021) ⚡AMP
American record holder Hobbs Kessler has announced that he is turning pro and signing with Adidas. The 18-year-old from Ann Arbor, Mich., has had an incredible season, breaking the American high school indoor mile record (he ran 3:57.66 in February) and national U20 1,500m record (his 3:34.36 in late May bettered Jim Ryun‘s 55-year-old mark of 3:36.1). Kessler was set to join the track team at Northern Arizona University (NAU) this fall, but he now plans to only attend as a student.
Since his breakout performance in the indoor mile earlier this year, track fans have debated whether Kessler should turn pro. He committed to NAU last fall, but after such an incredible run (and continued success throughout the season), it became clearer and clearer that Kessler already has what it takes to compete as a professional.
In an interview with the website Track and Field News, Kessler said his mind was made up and that, despite his great runs this year, he was sure he would stick to the collegiate route. Then he went to the Portland Track Festival in May, when he ran his American U20 1,500m record, and he started to reconsider his options.
“The 3:34 was the turning point for all of this,” he said. “I’m in a position now that I don’t know that I will be in later, so I’m jumping on the opportunity that I have now and riding my momentum forward.” Kessler said he talked the decision over with multiple people from his family and team, and they all told him that going pro was the right call.
“It’s a bummer to miss out on the college [and] NCAA experience, but the positives outweigh the negatives,” he said. “Now I’m in a good position. My name is hot and I have a really good setup here running-wise and this gives me the ability to stay with my support system.”
When asked about the prospect of turning pro in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, which occurred before his decision to sign with Adidas, Kessler said, “the benefits of going pro would have to outweigh missing the experience of going to college.” While he will be missing out on the NCAA experience, he is still going to attend NAU and live with members of the school track team.
Kessler currently trains in Ann Arbor with former University of Michigan coach Ron Warhurst in a crew with two-time Olympic medallist Nick Willis and other high-profile athletes. Kessler will continue to work with Warhurst as a pro, and he will return to Ann Arbor in the spring and summer when he’s not at school.
Kessler has had a year of many firsts, and he has another coming up on Thursday evening, when he will race the 1,500m at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. He qualified for the trials with his run in Portland last month, a result that gives him the fifth-best seed time in the entire field. The first round of the men’s 1,500m kicks off at 6 p.m. PT.(06/25/2021) ⚡AMP
Four more world champions have been added to the fields for Meeting Herculis EBS as the middle-distance events once again look set to provide the highlights at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on 9 July.
World champion Sifan Hassan and Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon will renew their rivalry in the 1500m. Their head-to-head record, which Kipyegon currently leads at 7-6, dates back to 2014 and includes three World Championship finals, one Olympic final and nine Diamond League meetings.
This will be the first time they have clashed in Monaco, though, and it follows on from their recent encounter in Florence, where Hassan finished just ahead of her rival, clocking 3:53.63 to Kipyegon’s Kenyan record of 3:53.91.
Timothy Cheruiyot’s winning streak may have recently come to an end at the Kenyan Olympic Trials, but the world champion feels at home in Monaco. The 25-year-old has won there for the past three years, producing the two fastest times of his career.
He’ll take on Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen in Monaco. Although Cheruiyot has won all 11 of their clashes to date, Ingebrigtsen has consistently been the Kenyan’s biggest challenger on the circuit in recent years. He will also be buoyed by his recent European 5000m record of 12:48.45, set in Florence.
World champion Beatrice Chepkoech will return to the scene of her world steeplechase record and will take on USA’s 2017 world champion Emma Coburn. World 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi will contest her specialist event and will face France’s two-time European silver medallist Renelle Lamote.
Other additions to the field include European champion Miltiadis Tentoglou in the men’s long jump and world silver medallist Amel Tuka in the men’s 800m.(06/24/2021) ⚡AMP
Executive Director Shane Bauer said the organization is expecting to end the fiscal year with a loss of $500,000 to $600,000.
Due to the cancellation of events last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the number of entries being cut in half, the Grandma’s Marathon organization is anticipating a large deficit by the end of the fiscal year.
Executive Director Shane Bauer expects that deficit to be $500,000-$600,000. The last time the 501(c)(3) organization ended with a deficit was in 2014 and it was only around $7,000, according to 990 forms filed by Grandma’s Marathon.
“Over the last six years, leading up to last year’s cancellation due to the pandemic, we’ve had one of the most successful runs in the entire history of the event,” Bauer said. “So we had built up a decent enough reserve where we didn’t let any employees go or furlough anyone, which we were super-proud to be able to do as an organization.”
Bauer said the organization’s biggest revenues are race entries and sponsorship money. Sponsors stepped up in a big way this year, but race entries were capped at 50%, he said.
“Our registration revenue is far and above what we need to be able to put on the race for the runners,” Bauer said. “When they sign up we immediately start using that to organize the race, and I think that’s one of the big reasons it has the reputation it does for being so highly organized.
“Cut that in half and that’s what we have to work with," Bauer said. "But we’re not going to sacrifice the quality or the reputation of Grandma’s Marathon.”
Bauer said by canceling the race last year and holding it in a virtual format, the organization ended the 2020 fiscal year in the positive because most of the loss incurred for the cancellation ended up in the current fiscal year.
Any runner that was registered when the races were canceled last year was given a 40% discount on one entry fee to be used either this year or next year.
“We knew we would have come out way ahead if we would have just canceled the event this year, but there was no way we were going to do that,” Bauer said.
If the races were canceled again this year, runners registered at the time of the cancellation would have been given three 40% discounts to use over the next five years, which would have cost the organization even more money in the future.
"Despite the loss for this year, I think we'll be in a good position going into next year to start building (our reserve) back up again," Bauer said.
Bauer said the decision to move forward with the events this year was made with the Duluth community in mind.
“We knew we were going to be a very important event for the future of our industry and to get things going back in a safe running direction, and for the community, too,” he said. “Once we announced we were going to hold our event with the COVID-19 mitigation plan in place, we really started seeing other announcements of events in the area and concerts at Bayfront.”
The fiscal year ends Sept. 30 and registration for Grandma’s Marathon 2022 opens Oct. 1. Before then Grandma’s Marathon will be hosting its Park Point 5-Miler on July 5 and the Minnesota Mile on Sept. 10. Both of these events will allow full capacity and won't include staggered starts.
The Park Point 5-Miler has a capacity of 900 in-person entries and the Minnesota Mile has a capacity of 500. Bauer said they don’t sell out of entries for those races, but if they could somehow achieve that this year, it would really help mitigate their losses.
“It’s the 50th Park Point 5-Miler this year, so it’s a big anniversary year for the oldest road race in northern Minnesota,” Bauer said. “So it's going to be fun.”
A few changes were made this year to the events over the weekend to help with COVID-19 mitigation. One of the most noticeable was the use of Bayfront Festival Park.
Bayfront was used as the start and finish for the William A. Irvin 5K, so participants could spread out more before and after the race. It was also used as the venue for the Grandma’s Marathon "Big Top" concerts.
In the past, the "Big Top" concerts were held in a parking lot in Canal Park, but to allow people more space to spread out it was moved to Bayfront, and the feedback was great, said Zach Schneider, Grandma’s Marathon marketing and public relations director.
“Bayfront seemed like a big hit with both our participants and the community,” Schneider said.
Schneider said the organization is going to get together as a group and debrief on how this year went and that the use of Bayfront in the future would definitely be a part of the conversation.
“It’s a beautiful venue, obviously, and a venue that’s built for essentially exactly what we want to use it for during Grandma’s Marathon weekend,” he said. “I think it moves people out of the finish line area in a way that eases some of the congestion that we normally see with Grandma’s Marathon, so it’s certainly going to be discussed.”
Bayfront Festival Park Director Jeff Stark said there were an estimated 10,000-15,000 people total at Bayfront on Friday and Saturday. Stark said he also heard many positive comments about the setup and use of Bayfront over the weekend. Though, Stark said, they did hear from some marathon runners that “they felt like they were walking a marathon to get over there.”
“For the most part, it was a positive, warm reception,” he said. “I would hope (Grandma’s Marathon) would seriously consider keeping its events there.”(06/23/2021) ⚡AMP
Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...more...
There are more than 2,000 runners registered for the Faxon Law Fairfield Road Races, and organizers are expecting around 2,500 participants making it the largest Connecticut road race in nearly two years.
The two-day event begins Saturday at Jennings Beach in Fairfield with the 5K and the Lil’ Stags Fun race while the half marathon event will take place on Sunday.
“What we found out in the Branford Road Race and other races was it looks like most races are back to around 80-85% of what they were pre-COVID,” Event coordinator John Bysiewicz said. “Before COVID we had around 3,300 and I think we are going to be a number between 2,500 and 3,000 participants.”
The Fairfield University sponsored “Lucas Challenge” challenges runners to participate in both the 5K and half marathon, completing 16.2 total miles over two days.
Among the participants will be Everett Hackett, a 2008 Hall high school graduate who in 2017 became the first Connecticut male to win the Faxon Law half marathon in over a decade.
“He is one of the favorites and he is a Connecticut runner and he has won it before,” Bysiewicz said. “He was the first Connecticut runner (to win) we had in about 20 years, so we could see another Connecticut winner.”
Last year the race, like many others, was held virtually. Runners submitted times for the 5K event and/or the half marathon, and times were compiled and scored digitally.
“Last year we had a virtual race and we had about 800 people who did a half marathon or a 5K,” Bysiewicz said. “We scored the race based on their virtual times, we did a lot of virtual events last year and it was a lot of work. It was not the same fun you get with putting on a live event.”
In regards to fun this year is the post-race beach party returns, featuring live music, food vendors and a live awards ceremony.(06/23/2021) ⚡AMP
The Fairfield Half Marathon was founded in 1981 and is annually chosen by running magazines as one of the best races in America. Since its inception the event has raised funds for numerous charities. The Fairfield Fire Department and the Town of Fairfield have supported the event from the beginning providing many in kind services; from traffic and emergency services...more...
The defending WSER champion has been dealing with knee issues over the past few months, but he says he's ready to race this weekend
If you follow American ultrarunner Jim Walmsley on Strava and wondered why he’s been so quiet lately, he posted on Instagram on Tuesday to talk about an injury that has been nagging him for the past few months. Walmsley wrote that he has been dealing with knee and IT band issues, but he added that he has been pain-free for the past couple of weeks. His recovery couldn’t have come at a better time, as he is set to race the Western States 100 (WSER) in California on Saturday. Walmsley is the two-time defending WSER champion and course record holder, and he will be looking to make it three wins in a row this weekend.
As Walmsley wrote on Instagram, his knee and IT band issues began about three months ago. “It was at a point I saw as a crucial time to take it seriously and take some time to address it,” he said. He made big changes to his training schedule, taking five days off of running each week for the better part of a month. Walmsley said the injury came as a surprise, noting that his training load had been steady and his workouts had been going well for the previous month.
After his “reset with running,” Walmsley said he had eight weeks to go until WSER. While he might have felt better, he didn’t push himself too much, and he spent the next while taking care in his workouts and visiting his physiotherapist regularly. He added that he spent a lot of time riding his bike to make up for his lack of run training in this period.
Walmsley races at Hoka One One’s Project Carbon X 2, where he ran 6:14:26, just 12 seconds off the 100K world record. Photo: Hoka One One
“This block has been so much more work than usual,” he wrote. “I went through ups and downs with emotions, not knowing if I’d be able to line up healthy.” With just a few days to go until WSER, Walmsley’s careful training and build to race day worked out, and he said he feels better and healthier than he has at any point in the past three months.
“I feel like I’m gaining momentum at the right time,” he wrote, “and I couldn’t be more excited to be back at Western States ready to rock.”(06/23/2021) ⚡AMP
The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...more...
Women’s Running Pioneer Joan Ullyot Dies at 80
She started running at age 30 and was instrumental in lobbying for the women’s marathon to be included in the Olympic Games.
Dr. Joan Ullyot, whose running achievements and medical expertise made her a major pioneer of women’s running, died on June 18, at her home in Snowmass Village, near Aspen, Colorado. She was 80. The cause was a heart attack.
Ullyot’s book, Women’s Running, published in 1976, was the world’s first on the subject, and she was a leader as a writer, speaker, medical scientist, activist, and role model for all women who begin to run relatively late in life, in her case at 30.
Growing up in Pasadena, California, Ullyot went to Wellesley College, but at that time she was so uninterested in running that she never troubled to watch the Boston Marathon go by. A talented linguist, she aspired to the Foreign Service, until she learned that women diplomats were not permitted to marry. Switching to medicine, she attended the Free University of Berlin, and entered Harvard Medical School, becoming one of its early women graduates.
She held a fellowship in cellular pathology at the University of California, married, and had two sons, before growing discontent with her 30-year-old body.
“I was the ultimate creampuff. If I could become an athlete, anyone could do it,” she is quoted as saying in Running Encyclopedia.
She gave credit for her venturing into running to Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s seminal book Aerobics, and to assistance from the family black lab, who towed her up the local hill on her experimental first runs, as she told Gary Cohen in an extensive 2017 interview.
Her first race was San Francisco’s iconic Bay to Breakers, and within a few months she had run her first marathon, placing 13th at Boston in 1974, only the third time the race was officially open to women. Quickly, Ullyot began applying her varied intellectual skills and high energy to the totally new field of women’s running.
Within two years, she was winning races like Lilac Bloomsday in Spokane and Hospital Hill Run in Kansas City, representing the U.S. as both a marathoner and interpreter at the International Women’s Marathons in Waldniel, Germany, writing articles and columns for Runner’s World and Women’s Sport and Fitness, and traveling the world as a groundbreaking speaker.
“I talked all around the country on the same ticket as George Sheehan and Joe Henderson. It was great fun,” she said in the Cohen interview.
Absorbed in this new area of knowledge, she switched her medical specialty from pathology to exercise physiology. In 1976, only three years after she took her first running steps, she had researched and published Women’s Running with the World Publications division of Runner’s World.
She sold the idea to editor Joe Henderson and publisher Bob Anderson as a way of dealing with the numerous queries she was receiving, as a Runner’s World columnist, from new women runners. The book was a bestseller, and she followed with Running Free (1980; her own story plus profiles of runners such as Sister Marion Irvine) and The New Women’s Running (1984).
Ullyot’s own racing continued to progress, as she followed Arthur Lydiard’s training principles with guidance from U.S. marathoner Ron Daws. She ran Boston 10 times, winning the masters race in 1984, at age 43, with a 2:54:17. She won 10 marathons outright, and finally broke 2:50 at age 48, with her 2:47:39 personal record on the time-friendly St. George Marathon course.
She chose her races like her wines, with catholic enthusiasm, and was a loyal supporter of San Francisco’s local DSE (Dolpin South End Runners) events as well as eagerly taking international opportunities with the Avon Circuit and extending her active career through ultraracing.
Her medical standing made her an important advocate for women’s distance running in the years of lobbying and protest that led ultimately to the inclusion of all women’s events in the Olympic Games.
“Her research was presented…to the International Olympic Committee by the Los Angeles Olympic Committee before the vote to include the women’s marathon in the 1984 Games,” said former world record holder Jacqueline Hansen in an online tribute this week. That credit is also given in the citation for Ullyot’s induction into the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame in 2019.
Ullyot and her second husband, scientist Charles Becker, moved in the early 1990s to Snowmass. She coached the Aspen Runners Club for about 10 years from 1993, and kept in shape by biking until a nearly fatal crash. In her later years, she focused on walking.
Many tributes this week have recalled her high intelligence and zest for life.
“In the weeks leading to her unexpected death, Joan was characteristically high energy and had a blast,” wrote her son Ted Ullyot.
“In the 1970s, as we all worked to break down the myths that restricted women from running, Joan was our medical beacon, a feisty example of transformation from zero to 2:47 marathon, and an unstoppable personality, bigger than life, opinionated at the top of her mighty lungs, and with an unstinting appetite for fun and capacity for wine,” said Kathrine Switzer.
Ullyot also sustained her lifetime devotion to travel, reading, and friendships. These included many who were her competitors and collaborators in the 1970s and ’80s, years when their pioneering generation created, advocated, fought for, and left strong the visionary new sport of women’s road running.(06/23/2021) ⚡AMP
After breaking up with Nike in 2019 and landing a sponsorship deal with Gap’s Athleta, the brand’s first, track and field star Allyson Felix is launching her own shoe business.
On Wednesday, Felix debuted Saysh, which she pitches as a lifestyle brand designed with women in mind. Saysh’s first product, the Saysh One sneaker, retails for $150 and is currently available for preorder in three colors. Other products are in the works, according to the company’s website.
Customers are also able to buy membership to the “Saysh Collective,” which comes with workout videos and occasional interactions with Felix. An annual membership costs $150, while a monthly pass goes for $10.
The announcement comes after Felix finished second in the 400 meter at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials this past weekend, clinching her spot in the Tokyo Olympics. Felix is the most decorated female track and field star in U.S. history.
Time first reported on Felix’s shoe launch. In an interview with the magazine, Felix said the women’s footwear market is underserved, and that the mentality has often been to “shrink it and pink it.”
“It’s really about meeting women where they are,” Felix said. “It’s for that woman who has been overlooked, or feels like their voice hasn’t been heard.”
Felix departed a deal with Nike in 2019 after she said the company wanted to pay her 70% less following her pregnancy. She has since been invested in raising awareness around health-care inequities facing Black mothers.
Felix serves as Saysh president, while her brother and business partner Wes holds the CEO title. The company has raised $3 million in seed money from a broad range of venture investors, according to Time.
It’s unclear if Athleta, where Felix has a multiyear sponsorship deal to design clothing, will begin to carry the shoes in the future.(06/23/2021) ⚡AMP
The walk/run method is popular among beginners, but as we become stronger runners, many of us abandon the strategy altogether. This, of course, makes sense, since most people start a walk/run program with the goal of eventually running nonstop. What many runners don’t realize is that incorporating a walk/run into your training program can actually provide a number of benefits, regardless of your ability level.
Benefits of the run/walk
As we said, adding a walk/run into your program can be beneficial whether you’re training for your first 5K or your 10th marathon. Here’s why:
Running is a repetitive, high-impact activity that puts a lot of stress on your body. If you’re fairly injury-prone, or you’re trying to return to running after an injury, adding some walk breaks into your run will decrease the load on your body and allow you to go further than you otherwise would if you were to just run. This is particularly important for runners returning from injury because the affected area will be more sensitive and prone to re-injury.
The day after a hard workout, you might be sore or more tired than usual, and many runners in this situation will go out the next day and stubbornly do their scheduled miles despite how tired they are. What these runners are forgetting is that a recovery day is meant to help their bodies repair from the previous day’s workout, and this is only delaying their recovery. Adding some walking into your run, even if it’s only a minute or two every 10 to 15 minutes, can reduce the stress on your system and help you recover faster.
If you’re looking at trying out a longer race distance (say you’re going from a 5K to a 10K, or maybe you’re jumping to the half-marathon or marathon), using the walk/run method can help you increase your mileage gradually while reducing your risk for injuries.
For many runners, it can seem like a hit to the ego to walk during a run, but when used correctly, it can make running more enjoyable, reduce the risk of injuries and actually improve performance. Give it a try on your next easy run and reap the rewards.(06/23/2021) ⚡AMP
In one month from now, when the Olympic cauldron is lit in Tokyo’s National Stadium, the first Games to be held in the midst of a global pandemic will get under way.
But that won’t be the only reason why history will be made in the Japanese capital.
As is the case at every Olympics, dozens of nations will converge on the track, field and roads in a bid for glory, not only for themselves but also for the nations they represent.
Many events will naturally be dominated by the powerhouses within the sport, but there are several disciplines where medals could be won by athletes from nations that have not yet made much of an impact on the Olympic stage.
If, like many sports fans, you enjoy rooting for the underdog at major events, here are three athletes who could make history for their country when they compete in Tokyo next month.
1. Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, marathon - Israel
Lonah Chemtai Salpeter has in recent years progressed to become one of the best distance runners in the world.
In 2018 she won the European 10,000m title, then went on to set national records for the half marathon (1:06:09) and marathon (2:17:45).
She competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio but failed to finish the marathon. She then suffered a similar fate at the 2019 World Championships, having been in contention during the early stages.
But she will be buoyed by the fact that this year’s Olympics is being held in Japan, because last year she won the Tokyo Marathon in a Japanese all-comers’ record of 2:17:45.
Israel has never before won an Olympic medal in athletics. To date, their best result in an athletics discipline has been a fifth-place finish, achieved by triple jumper Hannah Knyazyeva-Minneko in 2016 and high jumper Konstantin Matusevich in 2000.
2. Joseph Fahnbulleh, 200m - Liberia
In the immediate aftermath of the recent NCAA Championships, videos of Joseph Fahnbulleh winning the men’s 200m went semi-viral as fans were stunned by the way he made up ground in the closing stages with his long and powerful stride.
What made his 19.91 victory all the more impressive is the fact he is still only 19 years of age.
Although he has been based in the US for most of his life, Fahnbulleh has Liberian citizenship and he recently announced he will represent them in Tokyo.
No athlete from Liberia has ever finished in the top eight in their event at the Olympics, let alone won a medal. The country’s best result to date was Jangy Addy’s 19th-place finish in the decathlon in 2008.
3. Amel Tuka, 800m - Bosnia & Herzegovina
It was something of a shock when Amel Tuka missed out on the Olympic final in 2016.
Just one year prior, the 800m runner from Bosnia and Herzegovina had clocked a world-leading 1:42.51 before going on to take bronze at the World Championships in Beijing. In 2016 he had hoped to become the first person from his country to win an Olympic medal, but it wasn’t to be.
He once again featured on the podium in 2019, taking silver at the World Championships in Doha. A strong tactician who knows how to produce his best when it matters, Tuka could well be in medal contention again in Tokyo later this year.(06/23/2021) ⚡AMP
Boston Marathon runners will line up at the traditional start in Hopkinton on the third Monday in April next year, a return to normal after two straight years of races derailed and delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Boston Athletic Association on Tuesday announced that the 126th Boston Marathon is scheduled to take place April 18, 2022. It will be the first race held on the traditional Patriot’s Day date since 2019.
Last year’s in-person race was canceled, and the B.A.A. held a virtual run all around the world. This year’s in-person race has been moved to October with a smaller field size, along with a virtual run option as well.
But next year, the marathon will be back on Patriot’s Day in April.
“Athletes from around the world strive to earn a place on the Boston Marathon start line each and every year,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. president and CEO. “The return to racing on the third Monday in April 2022 will certainly be one of the most highly anticipated races in Boston Marathon history.
“Though we are in the initial planning stages for 2022, we hope the traditional race date will also be complemented by a more traditional field size,” he added.
The B.A.A. will use the same registration process for qualified runners as it used for the 2021 race, allowing any athlete who has achieved a currently valid Boston Marathon qualifying time to submit a registration application from Nov. 8 to Nov. 12, 2021, through the B.A.A.’s online platform, Athletes’ Village.
Registration is not first come, first served. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Nov. 12. The qualifying window began on Sept. 1, 2019, and will close at 5 p.m. on Nov. 12.
Additional registration information, including entry fees, will be announced in the coming months. Achieving one’s qualifying standard does not guarantee acceptance into the Boston Marathon due to field size limitations. Those who are fastest among the pool of applicants in their age and gender group will be accepted.(06/22/2021) ⚡AMP
Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...more...
With a blistering last lap in 63.73 seconds, Elise Cranny of the Bowerman Track Club outkicked her teammate Karissa Schweizer and won the 5,000 meters in 15:27.81.
Schweizer was second in 15:28.11. Rachel Schneider, who trains in Flagstaff, Arizona, was third in 15:29.56. All three are making an Olympic team for the first time.
Abbey Cooper, who ran 15:07 in her preliminary heat on Friday, faster than the Olympic standard and her fastest time since 2015, finished fourth. She’ll be the Olympic alternate.
Given the warm weather in Eugene, Oregon—the temperature was 94 degrees—the race got off to a slow start. With a mile to go, the pace quickened considerably, shaking up the pack. With three laps remaining, the first four had separated themselves from the rest and there was no doubt the Olympic team would come from that group.
“It was pretty hot out there,” Cranny said. “It was a bit tactical and slow in the beginning.” The plan, she said, was to stay out of trouble and then “slowly squeeze it down.”
Schweizer’s take on the race plan: “With a mile to go, we were going to make it hurt,” she said.
Rachel Schneider looked around and realized four people were remaining and she had to beat only one of them. “We visualized this race quite a bit in a whole bunch of different scenarios,” she said. “I felt super confident I could go with whatever move, whenever it was made in the race.”
She downplayed the role of the weather: “It didn’t play a part at all,” she said. “Everyone is racing in the same conditions. During the warmup, I wore an ice vest. Outside of it, don’t worry about it.”
Cranny and Schweizer, who holds the American record in the 3,000 meters, are regular training partners of Shelby Houlihan. During 2020, Houlihan and Schweizer ran the two fastest American times ever for the 5,000 meters at an intrasquad race in Portland: Houlihan ran 14:23.92, the American record, and Schweizer ran 14:26.34.
On June 14, days before the start of the Trials, Houlihan announced she had tested positive for nandrolone, a banned substance, back in December. She subsequently appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled against her. The ruling kept her out of the Olympic Trials.
Despite the distraction of the Houlihan test, the Bowerman Track Club has had a good meet so far. On the first night of competition, Woody Kincaid and Grant Fisher made the team in the men’s 10,000 meters.
Earlier in the day today, Sean McGorty, Cranny’s boyfriend, raced the preliminary heats of the men’s steeplechase. He had to stop midway through to adjust his shoes and fell into last place. But he made his way back up through the pack and was able to advance to the final on time.
Cranny, doing her warmup for the 5,000 meters, was too nervous to watch him race. At one point she looked out and saw him in last. Other teammates in the 5,000 meters, Gwen Jorgensen and Vanessa Fraser, came to tell her the good news when he had advanced to the final. Bowerman teammate Karissa Schweizer finished second, and Rachel Schneider was third.(06/22/2021) ⚡AMP
Bruce Hoppel finished third in the men’s 800 meters with a time of 1:44.14 and secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for next month’s Olympics.
“I tried to give it everything I had,” Hoppel said in a post-race interview. “That wasn’t me out there. That was all my support, my family, my friends, my coaches, just everybody. I left it all out there. It’s incredible.”
While at Kansas, Hoppel dominated on the track, winning four Big 12 titles, including a sweep of the 800-meter title both indoors and outdoors during the 2019 season. Hoppel also collected five All-American honors and was a two-time National Champion. He also is the KU indoor school record holder in the 800 meters and the second-fastest in school history outdoors in the 800 meters.
Hoppel continued his success after leaving Kansas. He placed fourth at the 2019 IAAF World Indoor Championship in Doha, Qatar, and won the 2020 USA Indoor Championship. Also, in February, Hoppel set a new American record in the 1,000 meters at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston.
The Tokyo Olympics will take place from Friday, July 23, to Sunday, August 8, 2021.(06/22/2021) ⚡AMP
With mayhem all around on the fourth day of action at the US Olympic Trials, two-time world pole vault champion Sam Kendricks is relieved to be going to Tokyo. Two other winners of global titles – world 800m champion Donavan Brazier and 2011 world 1500m champion Jenny Simpson – will not be heading to the Games.
“A gold medal brings golden handcuffs,” Kendricks said. “Wherever we go somewhere it’s a world champion, and they expect a world champion’s effort. People follow in your wake when you’re ahead of the game.”
Clayton Murphy stayed ahead on Monday night (21) in Eugene.
He ran an evenly split world lead of 1:43.17 to win the men’s 800m, showing the form he had as 21-year-old to earn Olympic bronze in Rio in 2016. It was an emphatic response to those who were unsure he would ever recapture that.
That 800m – plus a historic pole vault competition won by Chris Nilsen and a front-running 1500m by Elle Purrier St Pierre – were the highlights of day four ahead of two rest days.
Shockingly, Brazier faded to last in the 800m and will miss a second successive Olympics. He was a pre-trials favourite in 2016, at age 19, coming off a 1:43.55 and NCAA victory, but he failed to get out of the first round then.
This time, NCAA champion Isaiah Jewett bolted ahead and built a lead with an opening lap of 50.60. Brazier crossed the 400m in 51.00 and attempted to reduce that gap on the final backstretch.
“I think I made a move a little too early and paid the price for it in the last 200,” he said.
Murphy, fifth at the midpoint at 51.67, said afterwards that he executed a perfect plan. He caught and passed Jewett, covering the second lap in 51.50. He said he had a “pretty serious hamstring issue” a few days before the trials but overrode it with adrenaline. He also overrode pre-trials form charts leaving him out of the requisite top three.
“It is hard not to read the middle-distance preview,” he said. “I kind of just accept it. As long as I handle it the right way, it is only motivation.”
Jewett was second in a PB of 1:43.85 and Bryce Hoppel, fourth at the 2019 World Championships, finished third in 1:44.14. Brazier eased to the finish in 1:47.88.
USA is sending “a pretty damn good team” to Tokyo, Murphy asserted. Jewett and Hoppel now sit at fourth and seventh on the 2021 world list, respectively.
“I think this is the most special moment in our sport,” said Murphy. “It is the most pure way to pick a team. This is what all those workouts pay off.”
Murphy and Brazier are qualified to run in the 1500m, but both said they probably would not. Brazier did not elaborate but said he was not running at 100 percent.
Jewett said his night was not over. He had a 10-page paper due for a course at the University of Southern California because a teacher had not granted his request for an extension.
Nilsen, an 18-year-old at the 2016 trials, said his goal then was to have his photo taken with Kendricks. In 2021, his 5.90m vault was enough to beat Kendricks and KC Lightfoot, second and third at 5.85m.
Matt Ludwig and Jacob Wooten were fourth and fifth at 5.80m, making this the first national competition ever featuring five men over 5.80m and 11 over 5.70m. It was also the first US meet ever to have three over 5.85m.
“This’ll go down in history as the hardest team ever to make,” Kendricks said.
The team in the women’s 1500m was also hard to make. An early stumble startled Purrier St Pierre, who on the spot decided to push the pace and led all the way thereafter.
Her time of 3:58.03 broke a trials record of 3:58.92 that Mary Slaney held for 33 years. Cory McGee was second in 4:00.67 and Heather MacLean, Purrier St Pierre’s training partner, was third in 4:02.09 as the top three all ran PBs. Shannon Osika was less than a tenth behind in 4:02.18.
Purrier St Pierre grew up on a dairy farm in rural Vermont and runs on dirt roads with her dog. She was shaken by the bumping to start the race.
“I couldn’t believe I’d just been shoved off the track,” she said. “After that, I thought I’d just go for it.”
Simpson, 34, the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, was aiming for a fourth Olympics but finished 10th in 4:07.76. Coincidentally, she was Purrier St Pierre’s roommate in Doha.
Simpson conceded it was “hard to believe” she had not made the team; she had been on every Olympic or World Championships team since 2007.
“The sport goes on without you,” she said. “You don’t make the Games, and the Games are fine and they go on without you.”
With temperatures soaring past 32C, Elise Cranny won the 5000m in 15:27.81. Karissa Schweizer was second in 15:28.11 and Rachel Schneider third in 15:29.56. Abbey Cooper, who met the Olympic standard by running 15:07.80 in the heats on Friday, was fourth in 15:31.05.
In the absence of the injured Christian Taylor, Will Claye took the triple jump with 17.21m (0.1m/s). Donald Scott was second at 17.18m and Chris Bernard third at 17.01m. “My sights have always been on the gold medal,” Claye said. "I want to win whether Christian is there or not. I feel for Christian. A year ago, I was going through the same thing.”
Curtis Thompson had the four longest throws of the competition and won the javelin with 82.78m.
Roy Jordan for World Athletics(06/22/2021) ⚡AMP
Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon have announced that the upcoming edition of their race, which is set for October 17, will only be open to residents of Japan. The country’s COVID-19 restrictions are still quite strict, and there is no word on when they might be eased, so organizers made the difficult decision to block any international runners from travelling to Japan and competing in the marathon. International athletes who were registered for the Tokyo Marathon will have their entries deferred until the 2023 event.
Earlier this year, Tokyo Marathon organizers set their race date, moving the event from its traditional late February or early March run date to the fall. The run wouldn’t have worked so early in the year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but they hoped it would be able to go ahead later in 2021. At the moment, the race is still a go, but it will be a Japan-only event.
When organizers decided on the October race date, they also noted that the event capacity would be lowered to 25,000 runners from the usual field size of around 38,000. Nothing has been published regarding the race capacity in its new field format.
Japan has been able to host many big road and track races throughout the pandemic, but they’ve mostly been for runners already living within the country’s borders. The Tokyo Marathon may be the biggest Japanese race to bar international competitors, but it’s certainly not the first. The pandemic forced many popular races to only welcome citizens and residents of Japan, including last year’s Fukuoka International Marathon and the 2021 Lake Biwa, Osaka International Women’s and Nagoya Women’s marathons.
Unfortunately for anyone hoping to run in Tokyo, they will have to wait more than a year to do so, as international entries aren’t being deferred to 2022, but 2023.(06/21/2021) ⚡AMP
The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...more...
Titus Ekiru believes he can run under two hours at the upcoming Chicago and London marathons.
The 2019 African Games half marathon champion led a 1-2-3 Kenyan finish as he set a new course record, ahead of Reuben Kipyego (2:03:55) and Barnabas Kiptum (2:04:17) in second and third respectively.
"I've been working hard in training to improve on the weak aspects of my performance. So far, so good; I believe that running under two hours is possible with the way my training has worked out so far. We are discussing with the management to explore the possibility of running at the Chicago and London marathons, among other races in the future," Ekiru said.
If he achieves this target, he would become the second man to ever run a marathon under two hours after marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge timed 1:59:40 during the INEOS Challenge in Vienna, Austria.
Ekiru admitted that he had dreamt of representing the country at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics until these hopes were dashed when Athletics Kenya named Eliud Kipchoge, Lawrence Cherono, Vincent Kipchumba and Abel Kirui as Kenya's representatives in the road races.
"It was my desire and hope that I would have been selected to compete in the marathon. Now that the team has been named, there's nothing much to do but to focus on the future. I can't compete in the 10,000m because I have not been specialising in it for a while," he said.(06/21/2021) ⚡AMP
Three years ago, it seemed implausible that Trayvon Bromell and Allyson Felix would represent the United States at a 2020 Olympic Games. Bromell was coping with a debilitating sequence of injuries, and Felix was coming off a difficult childbirth.
Now that it is the 2021 Olympics, they will be running for medals in Tokyo.
Bromell won the 100m in 9.80 (0.8m/s), and Felix made her fifth Olympic team during the USA Olympic Trials on Sunday night (20) in Eugene, Oregon.
The 25-year-old Bromell once thought his end had come. He left the Rio Olympics in a wheelchair after aggravating a heel injury.
He has had two achilles surgeries over the past five years, and in a span of three-and-a-half years ran three races. He was effectively out of athletics. He credited religious faith for turning around his life, on and off the track.
“When I went down in 2016, I realised I didn't know what was going on,” he said. “In 2018, I wondered if I wanted to live anymore. What resource am I not going to for this change?
“My mom told me to try God. Since devoting myself, things have changed.”
In a high-quality final, the top four men finished inside 9.90, and 9.91 – recorded by teenager Micah Williams of host University of Oregon – was only sufficient for fifth place. It was the fastest first five in trials history.
Ronnie Baker and Fred Kerley, the latter dropping down from the 400m, claimed the two other Olympic spots, finishing second and third respectively in 9.85 and 9.86. 200m specialist Kenny Bednarek was fourth in 9.89. World 200m champion Noah Lyles started poorly and was seventh in 10.05.
Following this victory and his world-leading 9.77 from earlier this month, Bromell will head to Tokyo as a gold-medal favourite.
“I feel with confidence sometimes comes complacency. And for me, I don't like to get complacent,” he said. “For me, I'm still going to go home and train as if I'm not being talked about at all.”
On a day celebrated as Father’s Day, the top two in the women’s 400m were both mothers.
Quenara Hayes – who became a mother in October 2018 and has this year returned to sub-50-second form – finished first in 49.78, just 0.06 shy of the PB she set when winning the 2017 US title.
Felix closed rapidly to clock 50.02. Third spot was taken in 50.03 by Wadeline Jonathas, who was fourth at the 2019 World Championships. Kendall Ellis clocked 50.10 for fourth place, narrowly missing a team spot by just 0.07.
“When your body is out for eight to nine months, plenty of nights I would cry,” said Felix. “I was trying to rush the process.”
Felix made the team, 17 years removed from winning a 200m silver medal in Athens in 2004. She gave birth to a daughter in 2018, and she was at Hayward Field to see her mother race.
“There has been so much that has gone into this,” Felix said, “and there were many times where I didn't think I would get to this moment.”
She said she was “absolutely sure” she would not try for Paris 2024.(06/21/2021) ⚡AMP
World Athletics today announced it was substantially increasing the prize money for athletes at its flagship world championships, starting with the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 next year.
US$2 million has been ringfenced from the fines paid by the Russian Athletics Federation for breaching the sport’s anti-doping rules, to go directly to athletes in the form of prize money at the WCH Oregon22 and at the WCH Budapest 23.
Speaking from the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “The last 18 months have been really tough for thousands of athletes who make their living from competing in events around the world. While we have focused on helping meetings around the world stage as many events as possible over this period – more than 600 events – we know many athletes had a very lean year last year and are still experiencing challenges this year.
“Last year we also set up an athlete fund, supported by some generous donations, to provide some financial relief to those athletes most in need. 193 athletes from 58 countries were granted up to US$3000 to go towards basic living costs such as food, accommodation and training expenses.”
World Athletics will fund the additional $1million per World Championships for the next two editions, with each of the 44 individual events receiving an additional US$23,000 of prize money at each championship.
At the most recent World Championships in Doha in 2019, US$7,530,000 in prize money was distributed to athletes who finished in the top eight of an event.
While the intention is to see the new funds go to as many athletes as possible in leading positions, the Athletes’ Commission and Competition Commission will make a recommendation to the World Athletics Council on how the funds will be allocated. The additional US$1 million in prize money will form part of the host city contract from 2025 onwards.(06/21/2021) ⚡AMP
Olympic champion hopes to beat the 10,000m qualifying standard for the Tokyo Games at an invitational race on the first day of the Müller British Athletics Championships
After shaking off the ankle problem which affected his performance at the Müller British 10,000m Championships and European Cup event at the University of Birmingham last week, Mo Farah will have another crack at the Olympic qualifying mark in a special invitational race on Friday June 25 at the Müller British Athletics Championships in Manchester.
Farah clocked 27:50.64 in Birmingham on June 5 as he finished second Briton home behind Marc Scott and eighth overall in a race won by Morhad Amdouni of France. But after seeking treatment for the injury, the 38-year-old is going to Sportcity in Manchester next week to attack the 27:28.00 qualifying mark.
Farah insisted in Birmingham last week that he can still get into shape to defend his Olympic title in Tokyo and rumours are he was in excellent form up until the eve of the British trials and European Cup race but the edge was taken off his fitness in the final fortnight due to the injury and slight illness.
This invitational 10,000m race will kick off a busy three-day Olympic trials meeting and will evoke memories of classic 10,000m races on Friday night at the AAA Championships from yesteryear.
Most notably, for example, Dave Bedford set a world record of 27:30.8 at Crystal Palace in 1973. Ironically, Farah needs to run just 2.8 seconds quicker next Friday too, although it is unlikely to be easy and the veteran distance runner will rely on several pacemakers to help him in his quest.(06/20/2021) ⚡AMP
Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson and discus thrower Valarie Allman won their respective events on the second day of action at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene on Saturday (19), booking their spots at what will be their first Olympic Games.
The 100m sprinters had to contend with changing winds throughout Saturday’s session. The breeze was on the athletes’ backs during the semi-finals, carrying Richardson to a swift 10.64 (2.6m/s) as she won her heat by 0.2 from Teahna Daniels. World Indoor Tour winner Javianne Oliver, Richardson’s training partner, won the other semifinal in a wind-assisted 10.83 (2.5m/s).
By the time of the final just under two hours later, the wind was blowing in the other direction. But despite the -1.0m/s headwind, Richardson was a clear winner in 10.86 from Oliver (10.99) and Daniels (11.03).
After the race, Richardson headed over to the stands and celebrated with her grandmother. “My grandmother embracing me is honestly great,” said Richardson. “She was always in my corner. She is my heart. She is my super woman. Being able to cross the finish line and run up the steps felt amazing after becoming an Olympian.”
Allman, like Richardson, was one of the other big favourites heading into the US Trials. She set out her stall in the qualifying round on Friday, throwing a meeting record of 70.01m – just 14 centimetres shy of the US record she set earlier this year. She came close to matching that in the final on Saturday, opening with 69.45m before improving to 69.92m in round two.
She rounded out her series with throws of 66.36m, 68.65m and 68.46m, sending a clear signal to her overseas opponents that she’ll be a force at the Olympics later this year. Micaela Hazlewood threw a PB of 62.54m to take second place, but she’ll have to wait and see if she’ll qualify through the world rankings. Third-placed Rachel Dincoff (60.21m) is in possession of a qualifying mark and so will be able to take up her place on the US team.
Scantling leads decathlon
Garrett Scantling has enjoyed one of his best ever starts to a decathlon and leads at the half-way stage with 4494 – almost 100 points up on his day-one score from earlier this year when he set his PB of 8476.
But in a high-quality and competitive contest, Kyle Garland (4424) and 2016 Olympian Zach Ziemek (4409) are close behind, setting up a potentially exciting finish for the second day of decathlon action.
Scantling started with a 100m PB of 10.53 and followed it with a wind-assisted 7.61m leap in the long jump, after which he took the lead. He maintained his position after winning the shot put with 15.91m, but dropped to third in the standings after the high jump as Garland (2.17m) and Ziemeck (2.14m) produced the best marks of that discipline and so moved up in the standings.
But Scantling produced a 48.86 run in the 400m, comfortably ahead of Garland (51.58) and Ziemek (50.89) to regain the lead at the end of the first day.(06/20/2021) ⚡AMP
Runners everywhere were shocked last month when they learned on May 23 that 21 athletes had died of hypothermia when extreme weather hit the Huanghe Shilin Mountain Marathon in the northwestern province of Gansu, China. According to a report by CNBC, 27 government officials deemed responsible for the incident, which was one of the world’s deadliest sporting tragedies in recent history, have been punished.
The Gansu government opened a formal investigation soon after the tragedy occurred, and on Friday they announced that several government officials had been dismissed from their posts, including the head of Jingtai county, where the race was held. The mayor and the Communist Party chief of the city of Baiyin, the jurisdiction in which Jingtai belongs, were also dismissed, while several others received major “demerit ratings” and disciplinary warnings.
According to the investigators, the tragedy was a public safety incident, caused by extreme weather, high winds and cold temperatures, along with unprofessional organization and operation. Just over a week ago, China’s sport administration also announced that it was suspending all high-risk sports events that lack a supervisory body, established rules and clear safety standards, including mountain and desert trail sports, wingsuit flying and ultra-long distance running.(06/20/2021) ⚡AMP
Women’s field - There are three former WSER champions entered in this year’s race: Gallagher, who won in 2019, 2016 winner (and 2019 third-place finisher) Kaci Lickteig and 2015 champ Magdalena Boulet. All three women are American, and they’ll be joined on the WSER start line by several of their high-profile compatriots. Brittany Peterson, the second-place finisher from 2019, will be in the race for just the second time in her career, along with Nicole Bitter, the seventh-place woman in 2019, which was also her WSER debut.
Pascall and Drew headline the international entries in the women’s field. Pascall, who hails from Great Britain, finished fourth in 2019, and she is a serious threat to take the win this year. Earlier in 2021, she won the Canyons 100K in California, and in 2020, she broke the Bob Graham Round FKT in her home country. She has also recorded two top-five finishes at the past two editions of the famed Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Pascall is in incredible form, and she’s a threat to run away with this year’s race, which would make her the first non-American woman to win the WSER title since Ellie Greenwood (who is British but lives in Canada) in 2012.
This will be Drew’s second WSER appearance, and she, too, has what it takes to improve on her result from 2019. She has several big wins to her name, including top finishes at the Chuckanut 50K and Canyons 100K in 2019. She has also represented Canada at the IAU Trail World Championships. B.C.’s Sarah Seads will also race in California, making her first WSER appearance.
When it comes to debut WSER runs, there are several big names to watch. New Zealand’s Ruth Croft is having a tremendous season, with a pair of big wins. Her first came at the Tarawera Ultra in Rotorua, New Zealand, where she won the overall title in the 102K race. A few months later, she was in action in Australia, where she won a 50K race in Katoomba, a town west of Sydney, at Ultra-Trail Australia.
France’s Audrey Tanguy is also running WSER for the first time. Tanguy has had a great year so far, first winning the Hoka One One Project Carbon X 2 100K event in Arizona in January and then following it up with a third-place finish at the Canyons 100K in April. She is also a two-time UTMB TDS winner (2018 and 2019).
Finally, there’s American ultrarunning star Camille Herron. The owner of multiple American and world records, Herron is another threat for the win at WSER. She has won the Comrades Marathon, multiple world championships and many other races around the world, and it shouldn’t be a surprise if she adds a top WSER finish to her resume.
Men’s field - The only WSER champion in the 2021 field is Walmsley, who has won the past two editions of the race. In 2018, he won in 14:30:04, and a year later, he set the course record with an incredible 14:09:28 run. This year, he has raced one ultramarathon, Hoka’s Project Carbon X 2, which he won in 6:09:26, coming extremely close to breaking the 100K world record of 6:09:14. That was several months ago, but if his fitness is anywhere close to where it was at that race, he should be able to lay down another historic WSER run.
Walmsley’s fellow American Jared Hazen, the 2019 runner-up, is also set to race this year. In 2019, Hazen ran a remarkable time of 14:26:46, which would have easily won him the WSER title if Walmsley hadn’t been in the race. He’ll be looking to take that final step onto the top of the podium this year.
A pair of Americans making their WSER debuts are Tollefson and Hayden Hawks. Tollefson has several big wins to his name in the past year alone, including titles at the 2020 Javelina Jundred 100 Miler and USATF 50-Mile Trail Championships. He has also recorded victories at the 120K Lavaredo Ultra-Trail race in Italy in 2019 and the 100K Ultra-Trail Australia in 2017, along with a pair of third-place finishes at UTMB in 2016 and 2017.
Hawks has won many races throughout his career, including the JFK 50-Miler in 2020. He set the course record of 5:18:40 at that race, beating Walmsley’s mark of 5:21:28 from 2016. The WSER course is twice as long as the JFK 50, but Hawks has proven he can match or better Walmsley’s efforts, so it will be interesting to see how he fares in California.
The U.S. Olympic track and field trials are set to start today, and American 1,500m and 5,000m record holder Shelby Houlihan will not be on the start line, after all. Mere hours after the USATF announced she would be permitted to compete, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee reversed the decision in an effort to remain in line with the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) ruling to uphold her four-year ban.
Earlier this week, the track and field world learned that Houlihan had received a four-year ban after she tested positive for the steroid nandrolone. She protested vehemently that she had ever taken performance-enhancing drugs, blaming the positive test on contaminated meat in a burrito she had eaten 10 hours before being tested.
The reversal came after pushback from the international anti-doping community as well as several prominent elite runners, who believed a banned runner should not be permitted to compete at trials. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which runs the anti-doping program for World Athletics, released a statement Thursday saying that the USATF must respect and implement the decisions of the CAS. The Clean Sport Collective also published a petition against letting her compete, signed by a number of athletes, including Des Linden, Steph Bruce, Mary Cain, Emma Coburn, Mason Ferlic, Molly Seidel, Emily Sisson and retired Canadian pro runner Nicole Sifuentes.
Under normal circumstances, athletes who test positive for a banned substance first have a hearing before the AIU, but with the Olympic trials so close, Houlihan took her appeal straight to the CAS in Switzerland. The CAS upheld her ban, which leaves her with only one option: to appeal the CAS decision before a Swiss Federal tribunal. According to sources, however, this avenue is only for matters of procedure, while the decision itself is binding. Not only will Houlihan miss this year’s Olympics, but she will miss the 2024 Games also.(06/19/2021) ⚡AMP
The team representing the U.S. in Tokyo is a mix of veterans and first-timers.
The U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials are taking place at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, from June 18 through June 27, and the top three finishers in each event will represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Here’s a list of those who have already qualified and have met the Tokyo Olympic Standard.
Aliphine Tuliamuk — Women’s Marathon
Qualified: First in 2:27:23
Olympic history: This will be Tuliamuk’s first Olympic appearance.
Molly Seidel — Women’s Marathon
Qualified: Second in 2:27:31
Olympic History: This will be Seidel’s first Olympic appearance.
Sally Kipyego — Women’s Marathon
Qualified: Third in 2:28:52
Olympic History: 2012 — Silver medal in the 5,000 meters.
Galen Rupp — Men’s Marathon
Qualified: First in 2:09:20
Olympic history: 2016 — Bronze medal in the marathon, fifth in 10,000 meters; 2012 — silver medal in 10,000 meters, seventh in 5,000 meters; 2008 — 13th in 10,000 meters.
Jake Riley — Men’s Marathon
Qualified: Second in 2:10:02â€¨
Olympic history: This will be Riley’s first Olympic appearance.
Abdi Abdirahman — Men’s Marathon
Qualified: Third in 2:10:03â€¨
Olympic history: 2012 — DNF in marathon; 2008 — 15th in 10,000 meters; 2004 — 15th in 10,000 meters; 2000 — 10th in 10,000 meters.(06/19/2021) ⚡AMP
In the first track final of the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, Woody Kincaid, Grant Fisher, and Joe Klecker earned spots on Team USA heading for Tokyo.
Kincaid, 28, finished in 27:53.62, by virtue of a blistering final 400 meters, which he covered in 53.47. His Bowerman Track Club teammate Fisher, 24, was less than a second behind in 27:54.29, and Klecker, also 24, of the new On Athletics Club in Boulder, ran 27:54.90.
Ben True, 35, finished in hard-luck fourth place; he couldn’t match the closing kick of the three Olympians and crossed the line in 27:58.88. True, who has never made an Olympic team, will be the alternate.
The race opened up with a fast pace, because most of the field did not have the 27:28 Olympic qualifying standard they need—along with a top-three finish—to earn a trip to the Games. This race was the last chance for them to run the standard.
Conner Mantz of BYU, Robert Brandt of Georgetown, and Frank Lara of Roots Running ran up front for the first two miles, but by halfway, reached in 13:56, the pace slowed, leaving no hope for anyone without the standard to get onto the team. Lopez Lomong dropped out, grabbing his right leg, as did Eric Jenkins, leaving only five men with the standard in the field.
The big crowd in the early miles was distracting for Kincaid. “My confidence was the lowest 10 laps in, that’s when the doubts really crept in,” he said in a press conference after the race. But as the miles clicked off, the pace slowed, and he made his way to the front, he felt better. “With four laps to go, this is what I had practiced in my mind over and over. I’m going to get into third or fourth position, just like practice, and that’s what happened.”
Kincaid said his last lap was the easy part: “It’s just everything you’ve got,” he said. “Getting there, in a position to win, is the hard part.”
He had praise for his teammate, Fisher, whom he runs with every day. “It’s a shame that I like him so much, because I have to race him all the time,” Kincaid said.
Kincaid said he plans to race the 5,000 meters and if he makes the team in that event, he’ll do both the 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters at the Games.
Fisher was soaking in the moment. “I’ve dreamed about this moment, but even now it doesn’t feel real,” he said in the post-race press conference. “I don’t even know how to describe it, but I’m just so happy.”
Klecker, the third-place finisher, had his collegiate career at the University of Colorado shortened by the pandemic. “This means a lot,” he said. “I mean I had my NCAA career cut short. I never won an NCAA title, but making an Olympic team makes up for that.”
He is the son of Janis Klecker, a 1992 Olympian in the marathon for the U.S. Her advice? Candy. “She told me that the night before she made an Olympic team, she ate a Snickers bar, and I followed that to a tee and it worked out,” Klecker said.
True said he was turning his attention to the 5,000 meters later in the meet, but he has plenty of other things to look forward to. His wife is expecting their first child on July 15, and he’ll make his marathon debut this fall.
Galen Rupp, who already is representing the U.S. in the marathon, finished sixth in 27:59.43.
It is the first Olympics for Kincaid, Fisher, and Klecker. The event represents a changing of the guard—the top three are a complete turnover from the 2016 squad, when Rupp, Shadrack Kipchirchir, and Leonard Korir were the Americans who went to Rio in the event.(06/19/2021) ⚡AMP
The primary purpose of training is to enable your body hold a faster pace for a longer time. The first step toward getting faster is building an aerobic base of easy miles and improving running economy through strides and short intervals. After you’ve developed a base, the best way to go faster for longer is through threshold training.
Mention threshold training in a group of coaches, and an Anchorman-like rumble will erupt in a minute or two. If you search threshold-training philosophy online, keywords like “tempo” and “steady state” seem to mean slightly different things to everyone. But there’s no need for things to escalate quickly into a brawl over slight disagreements on terminology, since the basic principles are universal.
What do we mean by threshold?
Contrary to conventional wisdom, lactate is a fuel source, not a boogeyman that forces you to slow down. However, it is associated with waste products that force you to slow down, so for most runners it’s a distinction without a difference. Lactate threshold (LT) is the tipping point when your body produces more lactate than it can use and waste products accumulate without being cleared.
Similar to LT, anaerobic threshold (AnT) measures the point at which your body starts burning glycogen rather than fat as its primary fuel source. AnT and LT are often close to one another, and most athletes can probably get by without differentiating them.
In lieu of lab testing, LT usually corresponds to an effort you could hold for about an hour, though it varies based on physiology, training background and the LT definition you prefer. It should feel somewhat hard, a seven or eight out of 10 on the perceived exertion scale, where you can talk in short sentences, but not sing.
You can calculate your LT heart rate (LTHR) by doing a 30-minute time trial. At 10 minutes, lap out your watch—the average heart rate for the final 20 minutes is your LTHR.
Why do we care about lactate threshold?
Lactate threshold is often the most important element in determining running success in long-distance races, even at races far longer than an hour. The power of LT likely comes from a few factors. First, it is trainable, meaning well-trained athletes will have higher LTs and will run faster in races (whereas VO2 max is less willing to budge). Second, exceeding LT results in relatively rapid onset of fatigue, so improving LT raises the “point of no return.” Finally, LT is usually associated with performance at lower levels of exertion like aerobic threshold and even more intense exertion levels, like VO2 max.
What matters is how fast you can run at your LT, or your velocity at LT (vLT). On trails, vLT gets a bit more complicated, mixing how fast you can run on flat ground with your ability on hills and technical terrain.
How can we improve vLT on trails?
High-volume aerobic training can improve LT the most. So before worrying too much about intricate workouts, build aerobic volume at “Zone two.” Zone two itself is subject to debate, but you can think of it as an aerobic intensity that is a five or six on the perceived exertion scale, or easy to easy-moderate exertion where you can comfortably hold a conversation. For my athletes, we use 81 to 89 percent of LTHR.
For most athletes, at least 80-percent of your training should be aerobic. Add fast strides and short intervals to aerobic training to improve running economy, and you are ready for intervals that directly target LT. The extent of aerobic training depends on your background and goals, but most athletes should spend at least a few weeks doing easy running before jumping into harder workouts.
Now is when “threshold” or “tempo” running comes in. Remember, tempo usually corresponds with the effort you could sustain for about an hour. It’s not a race—by training at LT, rather than going as fast as you can, you can elicit more improvement. The general principle is to run 20 to 45 minutes at LT over the course of a workout, broken up as needed, on terrain that suits your goals.
What are examples of LT workouts?
Within those general constraints—20 to 45 minutes at LT—LT workouts can take any form. You can do the LT workout in one tempo run, or over the course of intervals with half the recovery time or less (Coach Jack Daniels would call these “cruise intervals”). Here are five examples (do 20 minutes of easy running before and after each workout).
The Steady Freddie: Thirty minutes at LT on terrain similar to your race. This workout is hard, but not so taxing that you’ll need to be scraped off the trail with a spatula. You can also take a couple minutes of easy running recovery in the middle. This workout is simple and achievable, good for all levels.
The Cruisey Susie: Six to eight x 4 minutes at LT with two minutes of easy recovery. This “cruise interval” workout is an ideal intro to LT training, since the recovery periods make it comfortable. It has the benefit of making sure you are running fast at LT, since many trail runners will have biomechanical fatigue with sustained efforts that is lessened with shorter intervals. Don’t go too fast, even though you’ll be tempted to.
The Crooked Buzzsaw: Eight to 12 x 3 minutes uphill at LT with one minute of jog down recovery. For this workout, you need a long hill. This workout is relatively low stress, with reduced pounding, so is a great option for low volume runners or runners over 50.
Like Riding a Bike: Two x 20 minutes at LT with five minutes of easy recovery. This workout mimics the classic bike workout designed to improve power. Since the physiological principles are the same, it’s also one of the best run workouts, but comes with additional injury risk since 40 minutes at LT running involves lots of pounding on your legs. Only advanced runners should do the full workout.
Ladder to Heaven: 1/2/3/4/5/4/3/2/1 minutes at LT with one minute easy recovery. This workout is similar to the Cruisey Susie, but with some variation in interval length that keeps it fresh. Ladders are a great option to optimize time at LT while keeping the run interesting.
When are LT workouts most beneficial?
The goal is to train your body to go faster at LT, so it’s essential to do LT workouts rested and ready, providing enough recovery time afterward for adaptation. In general, do no more than two LT workouts each week. For trail runners, a great option is to embed a LT workout within a weekend long run. For example, the Crooked Buzzsaw (30 minutes at LT) can be added in the middle of a two- or three-hour run. Like all training, LT workouts have diminishing returns, so after four to six weeks, mix up your training, emphasizing more intense VO2 max efforts or longer aerobic threshold training.
Smooth is sustainable. Lactate-threshold training helps make your smooth pace faster, which means you’ll be able to sustain faster paces on race day.
A tribute to Ron Hill. World Athletics is deeply saddened to hear that Britain’s Ron Hill, the 1969 European marathon champion, died on Sunday May 23 at the age of 82.
Aside from his major championship medals and four world records, Hill is best known for his dedication to athletics. He laid claim to the longest unbroken streak of running every day, a stretch that lasted 52 years and 39 days, from 1964 to 2017.
Born in Accrington in the north-west of England in September 1938, Hill first came to prominence in the early 1960s and made his international debut at the 1962 European Championships in Belgrade. He failed to finish the marathon there, however, and fared only slightly better at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, finishing a distant 18th in the 10,000m and 19th in the marathon.
Hill rebounded one year later, though, and set the first world record of his career. Competing at the Leverhulme Park track in Bolton, Hill broke two of Emil Zatopek’s long-standing world records in one fell swoop, clocking 1:15:22.6 for 25,000m and passing through 15 miles en route in 1:12:48.2.
His championship performances started to improve in the late 1960s as he placed 12th in the marathon at the 1966 European Championships and seventh in the 10,000m at the 1968 Olympics, having been controversially overlooked for a place on the marathon team.
He set two more world records in 1968, both at 10 miles. In April he clocked 47:02.2 in Leicester to break Ron Clark’s record, passing through 10,000m in 29:09.4 and 15,000m in 43:54, an unofficial world best time.
Later that year, one month after his Olympic appearance, Hill attempted to break Gaston Roelants’ one hour world record of 20,784m. He fell slightly short of that target, covering 20,471m, but passed through 10 miles in a world record time of 46:44.0.
Though that was to be the last world record of his career, Hill became a big-time performer from that point onwards, winning big city marathons and landing major medals.
He won the European marathon title in Athens in 1969, then in 1970 he became the first British runner to win the Boston Marathon, smashing the course record by three minutes with 2:10:30. A few months later, at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, he came the second man to break the 2:10 barrier for the marathon, winning gold in a European record of 2:09:28, having covered the final 10km in 29:24 (2:04 marathon pace).
He went on to take bronze in the marathon at the 1971 European Championships before making his final Olympic appearance in 1972, placing sixth in the marathon – his highest ever finish at the Games.
Hill continued to produce world-class marathon times through the 1970s, including a 2:12:35 victory at the Debno Marathon in 1975 at the age of 36, ranking him eighth in the world that year. He finished fourth at the 1976 Olympic Trials, but went on to represent Britain at various masters championships.
Hill was ahead of his time with regards to training and he was one of the first elite athletes to use the Saltin-Hermansson diet – better known as the glycogen depletion diet or ‘carb-loading’ – which he credited as playing a big part in his success at the 1969 European Championships. Ever since, it has been adopted by millions of runners as a key part of marathon preparation.
Hill, who had a PhD in textile chemistry, often raced in breathable mesh vests to help keep cool. Towards the end of his elite career, he founded Ron Hill Sports and produced top-of-the-line running clothes. He also created the Ronhill and Hilly brands, both of which are still going strong today.
Hill’s streak of consecutive daily runs – which he defined as completing a distance of at least one mile at any pace – began on 20 December 1964 and lasted for more than 52 years. He even managed workouts after a car crash in 1993 when he broke his sternum, and after bunion surgery.
In December 2013 when his streak entered its 50th year, Hill’s total logged lifetime mileage stood at 158,628 miles. His streak ended on 30 January 2017 when he experienced chest pains during a run.
“I did everything I could to be the best in the world,” he said in 2019 in an interview with Inside The Games. “I couldn't train full-time, couldn't train at altitude, couldn't afford back-up support – I only ever had two massages in my life – and when I was injured I just had to run through it. I never made any money at it, but you can't take away the gold medals.”
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe paid tribute to Hill.
"Ron Hill turned the art of marathon running into a science and wrote the playbook for generations to come," said Coe. "He was a one-off. His contribution to the classic distance is immense."(06/18/2021) ⚡AMP
For months, they have trained in relative isolation. They have triple jumped in empty stadiums and chased qualifying standards on high school tracks. You may have heard this before, but the pandemic created challenges for American track and field athletes.
For those who managed to push through the long delay, a meet five years in the making has finally arrived: The U.S. Olympic track and field trials are set to start on Friday afternoon at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, a freshly renovated stadium that — barring something else unforeseen — will also host the world championships next year.
But first come the trials. As athletes from across the country bid to compete at the Tokyo Games this summer, here is a look at what to watch over the coming days:
What’s the schedule?
Glad you asked. It is a long meet — 10 days, with two rest days built in the middle — running from Friday through June 27. There are 40 events in all (20 for the women, 20 for the men), with preliminary rounds for most of them. On Friday, for example, there are preliminary rounds in events ranging from the women’s discus to the men’s 800 meters. There are also two finals scheduled for the first day, in the men’s shot put and the men’s 10,000. On Sunday, eight more champions will be crowned, including in the men’s 100. (More on that later.)
So who gets to go to the Olympics?
The top three finishers in each event qualify, provided they have reached the Olympic standard. If not, they have until July 1 to attain it.
Who are some of the most compelling athletes to watch?
Any list like this has to start with Allyson Felix, the nine-time Olympic medalist who is aiming to compete in her fifth and final Olympic Games. A onetime prodigy who is entered in the 200 and 400 meters, Felix, 35, long ago secured her place as one of the sport’s most revered and respected figures. She has advocated for gender equality since giving birth to her first child in 2018.
Felix’s retirement will leave a void among the American women, and Sha’Carri Richardsonseems prepared to help fill it. In April, she ran the sixth-fastest 100 in history. Richardson, just 21, is unapologetically brash while consistently coming through with fast times and big performances. She is easy to spot, too: Just look for her colorful hair.
In the women’s 1,500 meters, Elle Purrier St. Pierre is the favorite after a string of convincing victories this season. She grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont, where she would train by running to the Quebec border and back. Her sponsors include Cabot Cheese.
Donavan Brazier is the American record-holder and reigning world champion in the men’s 800. He seems determined after failing to qualify for the Olympics in 2016.
And Sam Kendricks, who has won back-to-back world men’s pole vault championships, is the heavy favorite in Oregon. His toughest competition figures to be in Tokyo, where Mondo Duplantis, who grew up in Louisianabut competes for Sweden, will be waiting. Duplantis, 21, already owns the world record but is seeking his first Olympic gold.
How about a few must-see events?
No, we didn’t forget about Noah Lyles, the world champion in the men’s 200 meters. Lyles wants to double in the 100 and 200 meters in Tokyo, and his 100-meter form has been coming along slowly. He will face a loaded 100-meter field in Eugene, Ore., headlined by the likes of Trayvon Bromell, who has run the fastest time in the world this year, and Justin Gatlin, the five-time Olympic medalist who has twice been suspended for doping. Americans have the six fastest 100-meter times in the world this year — and Lyles is not among them.
The field in the men’s 1,500 is also competitive. Matthew Centrowitz, the 2016 Olympic champion, was injured last year and benefited from the postponement. Craig Engels is the 2019 national champion, but he is equally renowned for his mullet. There is also a group of up-and-comers headlined by Cole Hocker, fresh off an N.C.A.A. title at Oregon, and Hobbs Kessler, the fastest high school miler ever.
The most anticipated showdown, though, could materialize in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. At the 2019 world championships, Dalilah Muhammad, 31, had to break her own world record to outrun Sydney McLaughlin, one of the sport’s rising stars. Muhammad, the Olympic champion in Rio, has been working in recent weeks to return to form after injuring her hamstring. McLaughlin, 21, spent much of the spring fine-tuning her speed and technique while competing in the 100-meter hurdles. If both athletes are healthy, their final — held on the final day of the meet — should be a highlight.
The trials got a harsh dose of reality this week when Shelby Houlihan, the American record-holder in the women’s 1,500 meters, was suspended from competing for four years after she had tested positive for an anabolic steroid. Houlihan has maintained her innocence, claiming she ate tainted pork from a food truck. For about eight hours Thursday, it seemed that Houlihan might still be able to run while she appealed the ban, but ultimately the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee stepped in and said that she could not participate in the trials.
Speaking of suspensions, that deep field in the men’s 100 meters is missing an important name: Christian Coleman, who won the 2019 world championship under a cloud of suspicion, and was subsequently suspended for missing a series of drug tests.
Also absent will be Christian Taylor, the two-time Olympic champion in the men’s triple jump. Taylor ruptured his Achilles’ tendon at a meet last month and underwent surgery. He has vowed to make a comeback in time for next year’s world championships.
On the bright side, several American runners will not be at the trials — but only because they have already punched their tickets for Tokyo. We are referring, of course, to the marathoners, whose trials were staged all the way back in the prepandemic era, in February 2020. Galen Rupp, Jacob Riley and the seemingly ageless Abdi Abdirahman, 44,qualified for the men, while Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel and Sally Kipyegomade the women’s team. (Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist, is expected to compete in the 10,000 on Friday, though he told OregonLive.com last month that he would treat the race as a rigorous training run and appears to have no intention of running the track event in Tokyo.)
Is it on television?
NBC and NBCSN will provide live daily coverage of the meet.(06/18/2021) ⚡AMP
After much anticipation, the newly renovated Hayward Field finally opened for business this spring, and athletes and track fans alike were in awe at the jaw-dropping $270 million dollar facility. Unless you’ve been fortunate enough to visit the stadium, however, you’ve likely only gotten to see it from the outside.
The inside of the stadium features a 270m oval track with a 140m straight for sprints. 23 feet below ground is the area known as the Vault where field event athletes can train during the winter months, which includes a pole vault pit, long jump pit, and a netted section for all the throws. To refuel after their workouts, athletes can head to the Waffle Shop (a tribute to the waffles shoe developed by Bill Bowerman), where they can get healthy snacks and meals or rehydrate at the Gatorade machines, and can even attend cooking classes to help them stay healthy when they’re at home.
Another unique aspect of the facility is Razor Bill’s Barbershop, where athletes can get their hair done, or even get their nails, hands and feet taken care of at the manicure/pedicure station. Finally, the state-of-the-art team lounge is a place where athletes can relax and hang out, and features ping pong tables and basketball nets where they can have some fun and unwind.
What many will notice above all else throughout the tour is the artwork featured in every room of the facility, which pays homage to Ducks and to the program’s history. This new stadium is a far cry from the historic Hayward Field the track world came to know and love, but the new facility rivals that major stadiums found in Europe and around the world.(06/18/2021) ⚡AMP
The 10000m race at the Kenyan Olympic Trials was one amazing event. The Kenyan Tokyo Olympic Trials happening June 17 to June 19 were moved from the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret, to Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani. Kasarani is located approximately 10 kilometres outside of Nairobi.
Athletics Kenya (AK) announced via press release that the changes are needed to test systems and requirements in readiness for the World Athletics Under-20 Championships which are planned for Aug. 17 to Aug. 22.
Geoffrey Kamworor clocked 27:01 for 10000m in the Kenyan Olympic Trials today. No one has run faster at altitude.
"I'm really happy to have qualified for the Olympics by running the fastest time in history in altitude. Now, we’re building on towards the bigger goal ahead," says Geoffrey Kamworor.
The altitude at the stadium is 1865 meters or 6118 feet.
Rodgers Kwemoi was second in a very fast 27:05.51 and Weldon Kipkirui Langat was third clocking 27:24.73. Ronex lead from the start but dropped out at 7k.
Geoffrey and Kwemoi were behind, when Geoffrey decided to break, Kwemoi resisted but with two laps to go Geoffrey made his big break and widen the gap winning by just over four seconds.(06/18/2021) ⚡AMP
If you’ve spent early mornings on the trails near downtown Austin, Texas you’ve probably crossed paths with Sarah Lancaster — 5 feet, 8 inches of mostly limbs and ponytail, casually eating up miles faster than you could drive on the Hike and Bike Trail, or sprinting so fast around the Austin High track off Lady Bird Lake that her male training partners have to tag each other in for pacing duty.
Lancaster is not just the fastest runner in Austin. She's one of the fastest women in the entire country, and she's competing at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., on Friday in both the 1,500- and 5,000-meter runs.
Her personal bests of 4 minutes, 5.55 seconds and 15:13.56 are only a few seconds off the Olympic standards of 4:04.20 and 15:10, meaning she can make this summer's Tokyo Olympics team if she can shave a few seconds off her best times and place in the top three.
Texas legend Trey Hardee, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the decathlon, recently declared Lancaster the best athlete in Longhorns history on Twitter, although that actually has as much to do with her pedigree as a dual-sport athlete at UT in tennis and basketball as it does her running resume.
At 33 years old, Lancaster is nearly 15 years behind most of her competitors in terms of specific training for distance running. She works full-time as an attorney in Austin, but nearly everyone who has run with her or coached her agrees: the former tennis ace possesses an unbeatable work ethic and killer instinct that makes her a natural on the track, no matter how late she found the sport.
Lancaster grew up in San Antonio playing every sport offered, but quickly found herself drawn to tennis and basketball. She started taking tennis lessons when she was six years old and was competing in statewide tournaments by the time she was 11.
Lancaster's mother, Kelly, says Sarah was competitive "in everything. It wasn't necessarily sports," and that she inadvertently stoked the fire a few times when Sarah drew a tough opponent during a travel tournament.
“I would say, ‘Oh gosh, you play so-and-so today, I just hope you get a point,’” Kelly Lancaster said. “Because maybe it was one of the top girls in Texas. She’s commented that I’d pack up our bags to check out of the hotel because I knew she was playing somebody (who was a top seed). And you can always go check back in, but if you don’t check out by 10 or 11, then you have to pay for a whole ‘nother day.
“She said, ‘I’d see mom packing up the bags and think, ‘Obviously, she doesn’t think I’m gonna win today, so I’m gonna show her!' I really didn’t do it for that reason. I was thinking, ‘We’re done, I’m tired, we’re going home.’ Little things like that, I guess, motivated her a little bit to prove me wrong.”
Lancaster played tennis, basketball and ran track during her freshman year at Alamo Heights High School before deciding to enroll in a tennis academy that her coach established more than 200 miles away in Conroe. The academy is no longer in existence, but at the time was affiliated with John Roddick, the older brother of tennis star Andy Roddick.
“I was 15 at the time and, looking back at it, I can’t believe my parents let me do that,” Lancaster said.
A typical day at the tennis academy included two hours of practice in the morning, home school sessions for five to six hours, and another afternoon practice session that could last anywhere from two to three hours. There were about five other female boarders, more young men, and a number of local kids from the area who drove in for practice every day.
“We had a good time,” Lancaster said. “It was definitely not your normal high school experience. ... We were at tournaments a lot, we would go to the movies or just normal things like that ... (but) you’re there to play tennis and you’re there to get good, you’re not there to be partying and having fun.”
Lancaster thrived in the environment, improving her national and state rankings to become one of the best players in Texas.
“For me, it was — I want to go and I want to get as good as I can and see what I can do,” she said of her motivation to attend the tennis academy. “Maybe a little part of me thought I was going to play professionally one day, but I think the focus for me was more on college ... making sure I was going to be recruited.”
Lancaster committed to Texas — "hands down my first choice" — but then suffered a stress fracture in her back and had to take a few months off from tennis. She moved back home and re-enrolled at Alamo Heights, where her old friends convinced her to play basketball again.
It was an easy sell. After all, she was already the best player when she was only a freshman.
"I talked to the UT tennis coach," Lancaster said. "'Hey, you know, I'd kind of like to play basketball. I think it would be fun for me and it might be good for me, coming back from this injury, to do a different sport.'" And she was agreeable to it as long as I taped my ankles for every practice or game."
The move was eerily prescient for her career at Texas. Also prescient — she ran a few track races (she said her best time was a 58-second 400 meters as a freshman).
Given her experience living away from home at the tennis academy, Lancaster’s transition to college and NCAA athletics was pretty seamless. The Texas women’s tennis team, which recently captured its third national championship, was solidly ranked within the top 10 to 20 programs in the nation during her years there, and as a senior in 2010, she helped the Longhorns to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament while totaling a 25-8 singles record, including an 11-0 mark in the Big 12.
“She is one of the best competitors I ever coached,” former UT women’s tennis coach Patty Fendick-McCain said in a text message. “She was the most solid player I ever coached at her position and when the chips were down, I always knew she would come through. She didn’t care what line she played, but that she would get a ‘W’ and contribute to the team.”
Of her own heroics on the court, Lancaster says simply that her personal highlight of her college tennis career was “probably the fact that we beat A&M every time we played them.”
Bored over the summer after her senior year and with one extra semester of school to complete, Lancaster and one of her tennis teammates filmed a video of her doing a trick layup shot. They sent it to their coach, who forwarded the video to the women’s basketball coach at the time, Gail Goestenkors.
To Lancaster’s surprise, Goestenkors told her to go play some pick-up games that summer with the team.
"I went and played with them over the summer, and it was really just pick-up games, coaches couldn't come," Lancaster said. "I didn't really feel like I was completely in over my head, you know — I wasn't like, 'Oh, I'm better than any of these people that have been playing their whole lives and have been recruited to play at the University of Texas,' (but) I felt like I could hold my own."
Sight unseen, based on positive feedback from the players on the team, Lancaster was invited to officially join the roster in the fall.
"None of the coaches had ever seen me play and they basically told me that they would let me play on the team, which was a little bit terrifying,” she said. “The first practice, I was like, please do not miss a layup, please do not miss a layup.
"I think part of it was, the team was really young, there were six or seven freshmen. There was really only one other senior at the time on the team and I think they were just kind of like, 'Sarah knows how to be a student-athlete, she can help these freshmen.' And I guess they confirmed with some other people that I wasn't a terrible basketball player."
Lancaster stepped into the leadership role naturally, had fun at practice and was fine with getting less minutes as the season went on. Her personal highlight from her basketball career didn’t even take place in the Big 12.
"My only basketball highlight is in seventh grade, when I scored 46 points in a game," she said with a straight face.
'That’s just not something you see every day'
Paras Shah remembers the first time Lancaster showed up to a casual evening workout with RAW Running a few years ago. She made it up Wilke Road — a notoriously brutal 300-meter, 10.8% grade hill in the Barton Hills neighborhood — for all eight repeats, just a few strides behind Shah and the other former NCAA Division I male runners in the group.
"I asked her where she ran in college and she said she didn’t," said Shah, who ran at LSU. "(I thought) that’s obviously not possible. I just didn’t believe her.”
Lancaster was always naturally fast.
In mile time trials throughout her athletic career, she’d routinely clock in just under 5:30.
"Every running drill we did, Sarah was fastest and had the best endurance," Fendick-McCain said. "Her attitude was to leave blood on the court if necessary. She had better endurance than any other player I ever coached or that she played against. If it was a test of wills and endurance, she would always find a way to win."
When Lancaster started law school, she played in various recreational leagues and just had fun ("law school was the most free time I've ever had in my life," she said) while casually completing her first half-marathon. But a few years into the workforce, she happened to meet UT club running coach Kyle Higdon, a UT graduate student, and she asked him to train her to break five minutes in the mile.
"I just felt like that would be a cool thing to say I could do," she said. "And I had actually talked to multiple guys who told me that they tried to do it and couldn't do it. So I was, you know, even more motivated to try."
With light mileage (20-25 miles per week) and a few basic workouts under her belt, she clocked 4:46 in her first 1,500 meter race — the equivalent of a 5:07 mile. By the end of the spring, she had improved to about 4:30 for the 1,500, an incredible time for a brand new runner, albeit one who was 28.
As she watched the Rio Olympics that summer, she wondered: Could she qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials?
“I had no concept of what a good time was,” she said.
The idea of the Trials wasn’t quite a solidified goal at that point — just a little bug in her head that popped up every now and then. With Higdon finishing his studies and moving on with his career, Lancaster evaluated her group running options, which, in Austin, are mostly marathon training groups that meet in the wee hours of the morning, or more casual after-work clubs.
She chose the latter, and started showing up to RAW. That’s where she met Shah, who helps organize the annual Schrader 1600 every May for high school runners and members of the community.
At the 2018 event, with about two years of casual training under her belt, Lancaster ran 4:37.55 for 1,600 meters. The girl who kicked the boys’ butts at RAW workouts every Tuesday was legit.
Mike Kurvath remembers the race very vividly. Then 28, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) track alum ran 4:17 in his section. At the time, he was thinking of moving on from running competitively.
"I remember that very specifically, because in the final 200 meters, she elbowed her way through a couple of high schoolers and it was a really strong move," Kurvath said. "That’s just not something you see every day.
"I was thinking that I was going to be done with running. After I saw that race ... it was actually quite inspiring. After a couple weeks of training with Sarah, you knew the potential was there. It gave me a second chance at my own running."
Kevin Kimball, a UT track alum, offered to help train her.
"Kevin was like, 'you could definitely run the Olympic Trials qualifying time,'" Lancaster said. “In the back of my mind, I had always thought I could … I haven't really been doing that much training and I can already run this fast, like, why can't I run, you know, sub-4:10 in the 1,500? I mean, looking back, that is kind of crazy to think about, but it probably benefited me that I had no real knowledge of running because I didn't see any limitations for myself.”
To make the 2021 Olympic Trials, the qualifying time in the 1,500 meters was 4:06, the equivalent of a 4:25 mile and 4:24 1,600 — a full 13 seconds faster than she had just run.
"Kevin was like, 'I think you can do it,' and I was like, 'all right, well, I'll give it a go.'"
2021 Olympic Trials
Lancaster definitely falls into the camp of athletes who benefited from having an extra pandemic year to train in preparation for the Olympic Trials.
She struggled with injuries in 2019 but regained form in early 2020, running an impressive 15:56 in a 5K time trial at the beginning of the pandemic. That made her consider switching events. She improved her time to 15:34 in December, then ran her Olympic Trials qualifying marks in a two-week period in May.
The major change she made in that six-month period was working with 1996 Olympian Juli Benson. The longtime coach has mentored some of the world’s best distance runners, including Jenny Simpson, whom she guided to a gold medal in the 1,500 at the 2011 World Championships.
"I was very taken aback," Benson said when Lancaster reached out to her. "That’s how unusual it is. I’ve been in the sport for a very long time and her story is really unique.
"I was certainly curious, but it was fairly late into the Olympic year to take on a new athlete who was trying to qualify for the Trials, but her story was so unique and her approach and perspective so intriguing that I definitely wanted to take up the challenge and she’s proven to be remarkable at every turn.
"She can handle everything I throw at her and it’s been really fun. It’s so rare and unique and surprising and refreshing and all of those adjectives, but she is an incredible athlete, I’ll say that."
For the Trials, Lancaster decided to focus on the 1,500, where she's the 14th seed, but also declared in the 5,000, where she's the 17th seed, as a backup plan in case she were to fall or otherwise not advance from her preliminary race. The first round of both races are Friday; the finals are on Monday.
Kurvath, who recently clocked his own personal best of 14:34 in the 5,000, said he knows Lancaster is capable of breaking the 15-minute barrier because they do all of their workouts together.
"I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the workouts, I’ve done the workouts," he said. "She’s been there with me and I just ran 14:34."
Benson thinks Lancaster is just tapping the surface of what she can do in the sport.
"The other thing that's really, really fascinating about Sarah — she has got the most incredible race instincts," Benson said. "She races as if she's been on a world-class stage for seven or eight years. Her instincts are brilliant. ... I think she really loves to compete and it’s really no more complicated than that. Yes, she has interesting genetics, yes, she has really interesting talent, but I think she keeps it really simple and just wants to go out and see how many people she can beat.”
Lancaster isn’t sure if she’ll keep racing after this year. The World Athletics Championships are hosted by the United States next year, which presents a unique opportunity. She’s engaged to be married this fall. She’ll be 34 next year. For right now, it’s all about soaking in the realization of a long-awaited dream.
And no, she’s not totally sure where her affinity for middle-distance running comes from, either.
"Tennis is an individual sport," she said. "It’s a high-pressure situation, you know you’re out there playing someone and you can only look at yourself (for) the outcome. You can’t blame anyone else. I think that translates to running. It’s you out there.
"I think I’ve always just wanted to win, I’ve always wanted to compete well and that’s just kind of ingrained in me. So I don’t know if I have a better answer for you than that.”(06/18/2021) ⚡AMP
Joseph K. Ngure has joined the Kenyan Athletics Training Academy staff as Director of Education and Race Director.
"He comes with lots of experience," says Bob Anderson (pictured with Joseph) managing director of the Academy in Thika. "He is a senior coach and AK certified official. He has been a school teacher and most recently was the head coach at Run2gether. He also brought Mountain Running to Kenya."
The Kenyan Athletics Training Academy is a unique facility offering training, education and for those living there an excellent meal plan and a pleasant atmosphere so athletes can focus on their running.
The staff and staff-athletes at the Academy welcome other athletes interested in improving, setting new PR's and hopefully winning races. The top athlete currently training at the Academy is Joel Maina, a 1:00:40 half marathoner.
The cost for a shared room is just 10k KES per week for a Kenyan Citizen. Or just $29US per night for non-citizens. Private rooms are also available.
"I met Joseph during our trip in January 2020 to Kenya," says Bob Anderson. "I found him to be very personable and knowledgeable. He was working as head coach for the Run2gether camp at the time."
Joseph left Run2gether earlier this year and contacted Bob Anderson about wanting to join his staff at the unique new project he had going in Thika.
Joseph took the job and says: “I have been involved in athletics on different levels and have learnt a lot. With the evolution and the dynamism in the sport, new approaches and professionalism need to be injected in order to move to the next level.
“I will work with the staff at our Kenyan Athletics Training Academy and offer expertise in competition organisaton, lias with grassroots and national federations to make sure the objectives of the Academy are achieved.”
Several unique and standard races are being planned along with time trials.
Joseph continued, “With the state-of-the-art facility in Thika new talents in the neighboring regions and elite runners will get wholestic training in preparation for local and international competitions
"I wish to lay strong tradition and culture of discipline, team work and integrity in accordance with World Athletics, Athletics Keny and AIU. More so inject the spirit of sportsmanship and respect to the sport and to the individual.”
The Academy is unofficially open now and the official opening date is September 1. A grand opening along with a race is being planned.(06/17/2021) ⚡AMP
Lilian Kasait Rengeruk and Hellen Obiri secured their Tokyo Olympic Games places by finishing in the top two of a women's 5000m final which saw four women dip under 15 minutes at the Kenyan Championships in Nairobi on Thursday (17).
On the first day of action at the Kasarani Stadium, the session got under way with Rengeruk running 14:52.18 for victory as a total of seven athletes finished under the Olympic qualifying standard of 15:10.00.
A group of eight had remained together until the pack approached the final lap, when five athletes – led by Rengeruk and Obiri – started to move away. Rengeruk picked up the pace with Obiri in pursuit, but the 2017 world cross country bronze medallist managed to hold off two-time world 5000m champion Obiri down the home straight. Obiri finished second in 14:52.51.
Two-time world 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop was just behind them, clocking 14:53.91, and world 5000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi also went sub-15:00 with 14:58.61 to finish fourth. World U20 champion Beatrice Chebet was fifth in 15:01.86.
“I didn’t expect to win. I thank God for victory and good health,” Rengeruk told Athletics Kenya. “The race was tactical. I didn’t have many races (in the lead-up) but my preparation was uninterrupted. My wish is to work as a team in Tokyo to ensure we deliver podium finishes.”
Joining her in Japan will be Obiri, who made her half marathon debut with a 1:04:51 performance in Istanbul in April and in Nairobi explained how she may switch her focus to road races after this year.
“I’m satisfied with my second place finish, what matters most was to finish in the top two,” she said. “I will go back and work hard in training to ensure I do well in Tokyo.”
Kipyegon wins 1500m
Faith Kipyegon remains on track for an Olympic title defence as she comfortably won the 1500m trials race in 4:02.10, with African champion Winny Chebet also claiming a team place thanks to her runner-up finish and Edinah Jebitok placing third.
Faith Kipyegon on her way to 1500m victory at the Kenyan Championships (© AFP / Getty Images)
“My focus is to defend my Olympic title in Tokyo,” said Kipyegon, also the 2017 world gold medallist. “It was a really good race here, which I really wanted to win. I know I will meet many good athletes in Tokyo but I have prepared really well.”
The men’s 100m saw Ferdinand Omanyala improve on the Kenyan record with a time of 10.02 (1.5m/s), with Mark Otieno second in 10.05 to also achieve the Olympic qualifying time.(06/17/2021) ⚡AMP