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The Enduring Mystery of Muscle Cramps

A new study suggests that strength training is more important than electrolytes for preventing cramps

Any discussion of muscle cramps needs to start by revisiting retired baseball infielder Munenori Kawasaki’s detailed explanation of how he avoided a repeat of the cramp that had hobbled him the previous day.

Kawasaki: Monkey never cramps. Because a monkey eat every day banana. Two.

Interviewer: So how many did you have today?

Kawasaki: Three.

I love that interview so much that it pains me to cast doubt on his advice. It’s based on the traditional view of exercise-associated muscle cramps, which attributes them to dehydration and the loss of electrolytes like sodium and potassium (which bananas contain in abundance) from prolonged sweating. That theory dates back almost a century, and it remains dominant: a survey of 344 endurance athletes, published last year, found that 75 percent of them believed that taking extra sodium wards off muscle cramps.

The problem is that science keeps failing to back this theory up. Starting more than a decade ago, a series of studies has compared crampers with non-crampers at marathons, triathlons, and other endurance races and has failed to find any differences in the athletes’ hydration or electrolyte levels. Instead, a rival theory blaming cramps on “altered neuromuscular control” first proposed in the 1990s by Martin Schwellnus, a sports physician at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, has been gaining support. The basic idea: it’s a nerve problem that occurs in excessively fatigued muscles, essentially leaving a switch temporarily stuck in the on position.

But this theory, too, has a problem: unlike the electrolyte theory, it doesn’t give us an obvious solution or countermeasure to prevent cramps. The closest thing so far is a product called HotShot, a spicy drink developed by Flex Pharmaceuticals that triggers some of the same nerve receptors as pickle juice (long known as a folk cure for cramps) and hot peppers. There’s a bit of evidence from a HotShot-funded study published by Penn State researchers in 2017 that this jolt to the nerves makes your muscles a little more cramp-resistant and shortens the duration of cramps stimulated in the lab. But it’s hardly a panacea; even in that study, all the subjects still ended up cramping. Schwellnus himself warned that muscle cramps are a complex phenomenon with many different contributing factors, so we shouldn’t expect a simple solution.

What we’re left with is a search for factors we can control that might influence cramp risk. That’s the goal of a new study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research from a research team at the University of Valencia and Jaume I University in Spain. It recruited 98 runners preparing for the Valencia Marathon, ran them through a series of tests before and after the race, and looked for differences between crampers and non-crampers. Some of the results were predictable, while others were surprising.

The good news, from the study’s perspective, is that 20 of the runners suffered muscle cramps during or immediately after the race. A total of 84 runners (72 men and 12 women) completed all the pre- and post-race testing, which means that 24 percent of them cramped, with similar rates in men and women. That’s roughly consistent with the stats from other races. Once again, urine and blood tests found no differences in dehydration or electrolyte levels before, during, or after the race.

Instead, the biggest difference was in the blood levels of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase, both markers of muscle damage, which were significantly elevated immediately after the race and 24 hours later in the crampers. For example, day-after creatine kinase averaged 2,439 international units per liter. in the crampers compared to 1,167 in the non-crampers. This, too, is consistent with previous studies, suggesting that cramps occur in muscles that are fatigued to the point of damage.

The harder question is what predisposes some runners more than others to this kind of damage. One previous study suggested that crampers actually start the race with elevated muscle damage, perhaps because they didn’t back off their training enough. In this study, though, there was no sign of elevated muscle damage in the pre-race testing and no difference in the amount of time between the final training run and the start of the race.

In fact, most of the training variables the team assessed—the runners’ number of previous marathons, weekly training volume, and so on—were the same in both groups. Just one differed: 48 percent of the non-crampers reported regular lower-body resistance training compared with 25 percent of the crampers.

Another often discussed risk factor for cramps is pacing. A few previous studies have found that runners who end up cramping tend to have started the race more quickly compared to their eventual average pace, suggesting that they’re paying the price for overestimating their fitness. There’s a problem with this type of analysis, however: the cramp may cause the late-race slowdown rather than the other way around.

To get around this issue, the Valencia researchers brought all their subjects in for a VO2-max test prior to the marathon. This allowed them to assess their starting pace relative to their actual fitness instead of relative to their eventual finish time. Here’s what the average speed for each 5K segment looked like for the crampers (black circles) and non-crampers (white circles), as a fraction of speed at VO2 max:

There are no significant differences between the groups until after the 25K mark. If anything, the crampers started a little bit slower relative to their lab-measured fitness. This punctures the idea that cramps are a punishment for bad pacing. I apologize for any cramp-shaming I’ve done in the past: it wasn’t your fault after all. Unless you were neglecting your lower-body strength training, that is. The obvious news-you-can-use nugget from the new study is the apparent protective effect of resistance training. I got the same advice a few years ago from Juan Del Coso, the author of an earlier study that implicated muscle damage in late-race slowdowns: he suggested leg exercises such as squats with loads to up to 80 percent of max to protect your legs from damage.

But at this point, it’s probably worth recalling Schwellnus’s note of caution. People get cramps for all sorts of reasons, including underlying injury, disease, and medication side effects. The exercise-associated cramps you get during a running race may be influenced by some of these secondary factors. They may also be influenced by your genes: one of the best predictors of cramping is whether you’ve cramped in the past. And despite the paucity of evidence, it’s entirely possible that, in some people, traditional risk factors like dehydration or electrolyte depletion may play a role. So before I get too excited about squats as the new miracle cure, I’d like to see whether a few months of strength training actually reduces cramp risk in a randomized trial.

It’s tricky to get those sorts of studies funded, though—there’s no pharmaceutical money, no sports-drink money. So for now, if you’re struggling with recurring cramps, you’re left with trial and error. It’s worth giving strength training a shot (and not just for its cramp benefits). I’d be open to giving HotShot a try, too. And, hey, whatever the evidence says, I love bananas.

(09/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online

Runner tapped by black bear on popular B.C. path

A runner got the closest thing to a bear high-five we've ever seen

The interaction was filmed by a fellow runner, Sam Abdullah, who reported the incident to B.C. Conservation Officer Services. While the bear tap was kind of cute, almost high-five like, conservation officers told the CBC that this is atypical behaviour and that a healthy amount of fear is normal for bears and good for the safety of runners. “The concern is that if the bear is losing its fear of humans, it could become more of a danger.”runner in Coquitlam, B.C. had an encounter with a bear on Saturday, but it was different than other bear attacks. CBC reports that around 11 a.m., a runner was descending the popular Coquitlam Crunch path when a bear emerged from the bushes, tapped her leg and then allowed her to continue running.

If runners encounter a bear, they’re advised to back away slowly and make themselves big. Having a friend along is also recommended for safety. Runners can learn more at While these encounters are rare, they do happen and the best practice for runners is to know how to react in a way that’s safe for everyone.

(09/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine

Hassan and Farah break one-hour world records in Brussels

Britain's Mo Farah and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands set respective men’s and women’s world one-hour records* at the Wanda Diamond League exhibition meeting at the King Baudouin Stadium tonight.

Britain’s multiple world and Olympic champion held off the challenge of his training partner, home athlete Bashir Abdi, to set a new mark of 21,330m – eclipsing the 2007 mark of 21,285m set by Haile Gebrselassie. Abdi finished eight metres behind.

Hassan’s record also came after a titanic battle with Kenya’s world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei, although it later transpired the latter had been disqualified for stepping on to the infield in the closing stages.

The Dutch world 1500m and 10,000m champion reached 18,930 metres as the hour elapsed, beating the existing mark of 18,517 metres set by Ethiopia’s Dire Tune in 2008.

Moving into the final quarter of an hour, Tune’s mark seemed certain to be bettered, given that both women were more than a minute ahead of world record pace. The only question remained – which champion would secure it?

As they shadowed each other, swapping the lead but never getting away from each other, it was impossible to predict who would triumph. Hassan said afterwards that she thought Kosgei would “run away from her”.

But when the gun went to mark the final minute with the pair halfway down the back straight, Hassan moved ahead once more, and this time it was decisive.

Looking once behind her, the Dutch athlete took off, pumping her arms, going for broke. Kosgei, baring her teeth, did everything in her power to stay in touch, but there was no catching up, and when the 60 minutes elapsed, Hassan slowed to a halt halfway down the back straight after a crazy sprint finish.

"I didn't feel good before the start of the race, I even puked," revealed Hassan. "After 30 minutes of racing, I finally felt better. It was in the final 20 minutes that I gained the confidence I needed. When there were only two minutes left on the clock, the fun began. I just gave everything I had left. I am so happy with the win and the world record. It wasn't easy."

As the men’s race moved into the final quarter of an hour, the ghostly figure of the current world record holder, Gebrselassie, was shown in virtual shape, running at their side. They were bang on the pace.

With 10 minutes to go, they moved ahead of the world record schedule. They passed 18,000 metres in 50:43.

Inside the final five minutes, the home runner, who the day before had confessed that he expected Farah to beat him, moved to the lead, but the multiple champion was shadowing him still.

As advertised, the Wavelight visual pace-guidance system employing differently coloured LED lights installed on the inside edge of the track made the pursuit of records on the night immediately intelligible.

With three minutes remaining, both men were 30 metres clear of the leading blue lights, showing the intended pace, and the green lights snaking behind them, showing the actual world record pace.

A second world record appeared in the offing – and the same question was being asked. Who would break it?

The gun went to mark one minute to go, then Farah made a significant break. He charged around the bend as the final seconds ticked away, and at the same spot where Hassan had earlier triumphed, Farah did too, taking a few seconds to realise it was all over.

“The world record is yours, Mo!” said the stadium MC.

Abdi had the consolation of lowering the world best for 20,000m from 56:26 to 56:20.2*, having led his friend through that mark.

"I was very excited to be back on the track," said Farah. "I knew I was in a great shape after the hard work I did in the last six weeks. At a certain point, with just 10 laps to go, it became tough so I was happy that Bashir took the lead, but I felt great with just one minute to go. A fast last lap is still my best tactic."

Kenya’s Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon had to settle for another near miss as she attempted to beat the world 1000m record of 2:28.98 set on this track in 1996 by Russia’s double Olympic champion Svetlana Masterkova.

Having finished just 17 hundredths of a second short at last month’s opening Diamond League meeting in Monaco, Kipyegon seemed on track to achieve her ambition with 200 metres remaining, but faltered slightly over the final few metres to cross the line in 2:29.92.

Norway’s 19-year-old European 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who has already reduced the European record to 3:28.68, made a bold effort to improve on that but his honourable solo effort saw him finish in 3:30.69, with Jesus Gomez of Spain a distant second in 3:34.64.

In the pole vault, Sweden’s 20-year-old world record-holder Mondo Duplantis saw the last challenger, home vaulter Ben Broeders, fall away with a best of 5.70m.

The European champion then went on to clear a meeting record of 6.00m at his first attempt before having another crack at 6.15m, a centimetre higher than the best outdoor clearance ever made, by Sergey Bubka in 1994. He didn’t make it. But surely his time will come sooner rather than later.

Twenty-year-old Rani Rosius, who had won the Belgian title in 11.39, needed 11.43 to earn another prestige victory in the women’s 100m, with France’s Carolle Zahl second in 11.56.

Britain’s world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson had said the day before that this meeting – where she was competing in the 100m hurdles and the high jump – was effectively the highlight of her season, and she had a reasonably satisfactory result in the first of them, which was won by home champion Anne Zagre in 13.21.

Despite an uncertain start, Johnson-Thompson drew on her strength to take fourth place in 13.57 – inside her previous season’s best of 13.73.

Zagre was chased home by Denmark’s Mette Graversgaard, who clocked 13.26, and Belgian compatriot Sarah Missinne, who ran a season’s best of 13.55.

Johnson-Thompson went on to equal her season’s best of 1.84m in a high jump won by Australia’s Nicola McDermott with 1.91m.

Poland’s Iga Baumgart-Witan won the women’s 400m in 52.13, while the men’s 200m went to Italy’s Eseosa Desalu in 20.39.

(09/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Mike Rowbottom for World Athletics

Kenya commits to new World Athletics' anti-doping program

Kenya is backing World Athletics' (WA) new testing program that was launched on Tuesday targeting top road runners in marathon, half-marathon and long distances.

With the running calendar slowly resuming amid global COVID-19 setbacks, WA's anti-doping watchdog Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is stepping up measures to increase testing of athletes in Kenya. 

Kenya which currently has laws to criminalize doping in the country, has been embroiled in doping scandals involving its top runners.

Some of the country's top athletes serving sanctions for the doping offices includes 2008 Beijing Olympics 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, 2016 Rio Olympics women's marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong, and former three-time Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, among others.

"We have been informed that the AIU is going to organize a number of group testing sessions specifically for road runners. The sessions will be held at a number of locations across Kenya during September," the country's athletics running governing body Athletics Kenya said in a statement on Thursday.

"Athletics Kenya is providing them with all the required logistical support for a smooth and safe conduct of these activities in line with health guidelines of our government. We are hundred percent committed to supporting the AIU in its aim of protecting the integrity of our sport," it said.

The group testing sessions will include some advance-notice testing, where the main focus will be on building the profiles of athletes for the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) program.

The samples collected from these athletes will be used to establish the initial values for their ABP profiles before regular non-notice target testing resumes on a much more extensive basis in 2021.

(09/04/2020) ⚡AMP

Green light for Czech races

Every day there is a new change in coronavirus restrictions and we are constantly looking for solutions on how to organize a safe event.

We set up a meeting with representatives of Liberec and Ústí nad Labem regions and their corresponding hygiene station last week. We can happily announce that we have received a green light for organizing the Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon (September 19) and the Mattoni Liberec Nature Run (October 4).

We can’t wait to see you at the starting line and then release you to the course. However, there will be some regulations that all of us have to follow for maintaining safe conditions:

Masks will be mandatory to wear during the pick-up of start numbers, in the technical area and in start and finish corridor

The start of the race will be operated in several stages (starts will be divided after few minutes) – There will not be any showers or taping zone in technical area (lockers and depository will remain, but the amount of people will be limited)

There was a modification in timings of racing day to avoid groupings of runners from various races (times were updated at our website)

There will be limitations of some products at refreshment stations

We will send you more specific steps and regulations by email just before the race. We would like to ask you to follow these instructions. We strongly believe that none of them will affect your joy after you cross the finish line. You still have a chance to participate in a top-class race, whether you choose to run through an industrial area or granite quarry. Thank you for understanding and we are looking forward to seeing you all.

If you are going to participate in later races (the Mattoni Half Marathons in Olomouc, Karlovy Vary and ÄŒeské BudÄ›jovice) please wait for more information. Meetings are being held in the following week.

(09/04/2020) ⚡AMP
Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon

Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon

Enjoy the urban run at the Ústí Half Marathon. The course leads alongside the river Elbe opening a view to impressive rock formations, Strekov castle and then crossing the area of a chemical factory which is a perfect example of industrial architecture of the First Republic. The Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon is an annual half marathon race which takes...


2021 registration for Boston Marathon has been Postponed

Registration for the 2021 Boston Marathon has been postponed, the Boston Athletic Association announced Thursday. Registration was supposed to take place in September, but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The B.A.A. also announced the formation of the COVID-19 Medical & Event Operations Advisory Group, which is comprised of medical, public safety, and race operations experts, as well as city and state officials. The group will establish a framework to advise the B.A.A.’s leadership, board of directors, and staff on when, and how, the Boston Marathon and other large, in-person B.A.A. road races can be held safely again.

“COVID-19 has affected mass participation road races in ways that we never could have imagined,” said Tom Grilk, C.E.O. of the B.A.A. and co-chair of the advisory group. “Convening this cross-sector group of professionals with decades of experience in epidemiology, viral infection, mitigation strategies, and our own race operations was entirely necessary to begin planning for the 125th Boston Marathon.”

The Medical & Event Operations Advisory Group will recommend strategies that address the health and safety of participants, volunteers, staff, and community members. Recommendations will be developed in accordance with the most current guidelines issued for large-scale events by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. The group will develop framework for the B.A.A. that addresses risk factors specific to the Boston Marathon including size and other local and international considerations for the pandemic. Outcomes, including an updated registration timeline for the 125th Boston Marathon, will be shared.

“We seek to determine with some specificity how and when large-scale road running events organized by the B.A.A. may be able to reasonably resume, while also providing input on which operational aspects will change as events are organized and managed,” said Dr. Aaron Baggish, Co-Medical Director for the B.A.A. and Boston Marathon, Director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center, and co-chair of the advisory group.

“September is usually a time for the B.A.A. to begin opening registration for April’s Boston Marathon and planning for an already established field size. We know, however, that we cannot open registration until we have a better understanding of where the virus may be in the spring. This group will be immensely helpful in helping the B.A.A. determine a safe return to in-person running events of magnitude,” said Grilk.

The 2020 Boston Marathon, originally scheduled for April 20, was postponed to September 14 by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 28, following Mayor Walsh’s announcement cancelling the marathon as a live, mass participation road running event, the B.A.A. announced the Boston Marathon would be held as a virtual event from September 5 to 14.

(09/04/2020) ⚡AMP
Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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...


Jerusalem marathon cancels 2020 event race due to the pandemic

The Jerusalem Marathon hosts approximately 35,000 participants from Israel and abroad and is a world renowned sporting event.

Following the second wave of coronavirus, the Jerusalem Municipality, in accordance with the Ministry of Health, has decided to cancel the 2020 Jerusalem Winner Marathon.

The event, which had been delayed since March, was set to take place on November 6. The next Jerusalem Winner Marathon is set to take place March 3, 2021 and will be the 10th annual Jerusalem Marathon.

(09/03/2020) ⚡AMP
Jerusalem Marathon

Jerusalem Marathon

First held in 2011, the Jerusalem International Winner Marathon has become a major event with 30,000 participants, of which hundreds are elite competitors and runners from abroad. The course was especially selected to recount Jerusalem's 3,000-year historical narrative since the beginning of its existence. The race challenges runners while exposing them to magnificent views, exquisite landscapes and fascinating historical sites...


World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge given the power to read

Ancient Greek philosopher Plato once said: “Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”

And with the elite-only October 4 London Marathon basically down to a battle of mental strength, Kenya’s defending champion Eliud Kipchoge has always stressed the importance of training the mind. There couldn’t be a better way to do this than read, read and read.

That’s why a consignment of books to Kipchoge’s Kaptagat training camp on Wednesday, courtesy of Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, couldn’t have come at a better time.

Last year, while on a visit to Kipchoge’s Global Sports Communications camp, CS Amina promised to help equip the camp’s library to keep athletes busy after training. The books eventually arrived and were handed over to Kipchoge by Kenneth Boit on behalf of the CS.

Resumption of sports

“My training is going on well, although this time it was different from what we are used to due to the Covid-19 pandemic whereby all camps were closed and I have been training alone," said Kipchoge.

The Olympic champion and world record holder is looking forward to the resumption of sports saying many athletes are suffering because almost all competitions were cancelled.

"We look forward to resumption of sports because this is what athletes depend on and it has been hard for many of them to put food on the table. Competition is slowly coming back and we hope things will normalise soon and the virus shall be contained,” said Kipchoge.

(09/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich

Elite athletes will be protected in bio secure bubble for 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon

The Virgin Money London Marathon today announced plans for the biosecure bubble for the historic elite-only races on Sunday 4 October.

The races will take place on a closed-loop circuit around St James’s Park in central London on Sunday 4 October. The elite men’s race will see one of the most eagerly anticipated match-ups in marathon history with world record holder and defending champion Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) going head-to-head with Kenenisa Bekele (ETH), the man who came within two seconds of his world record last year.

In the elite women’s race, defending champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei (KEN) will return, as will the two best marathon wheelchair athletes in the world: Daniel Romanchuk (USA) and Manuela Schar (SUI).

Special permission has been granted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to allow athletes and support staff to travel and compete in the biosecure bubble, with strict guidelines on testing, travel, accommodation and competition.

Flora also announced that Paula Radcliffe, who famously won three London Marathon titles and broke two world records when Flora was headline sponsor of the event, has become an official Flora Running Ambassador to mark the partnership.

In order to create and preserve a biosecure bubble around the athletes, the following measures will be put in place:

Testing: Athletes will be tested for Covid-19 in their country of origin/home four days prior to travel and again on arrival at the hotel. Testing will continue at the hotel until the Friday before the event. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 or displays symptoms will be placed in quarantine immediately and, in the case of athletes, will not be able to participate in the race.

Athlete-only hotel: The athletes will stay in a hotel outside London which will be used exclusively by athletes and support staff, plus a team from the Virgin Money London Marathon. The hotel was chosen for its 40 acres of grounds where athletes will be able to train during Race Week inside the bubble. An extensive hygiene protocol will be in place in the hotel and it will be mandatory for everyone inside the bubble to observe social distancing rules and to wear face coverings at all times, apart from when training, while dining and in their own rooms. All athletes and their support staff will have single rooms.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Government, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), The Mayor of London, The Royal Parks and all our stakeholders for helping us put on the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon for elite athletes. Sports fans all over the world are eagerly anticipating these great races in this unique environment.

“It is our duty and responsibility to ensure this event is held in a safe and secure environment. We have looked at other examples and taken learnings from other sports which have returned to action as we developed our detailed plans for this biosecure bubble around the event.

“By finding a hotel for exclusive use and putting in place the strict testing, hygiene and security measures to protect the bubble, we are confident we have created the safest environment possible for everyone.”

The Virgin Money London Marathon also revealed details of the course for the elite races at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Each race will comprise 19 x 2.15 kilometre clockwise laps of St James’s Park plus an extra 1345m with the Finish Line in its traditional place on The Mall.

2020 Virgin Money London Marathon elite race route map

The course will be sealed off from the public to maintain the integrity of the biosecure bubble. There is no spectator access and there will be no public viewing points along the course.

(09/03/2020) ⚡AMP
TCS London Marathon

TCS London Marathon

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


Joshua Cheptegei targets world 10,000m record in Valencia

World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei hopes to create another magical moment in his rising career as he plans an assault on the world 10,000m record at the NN Valencia World Record Day on Wednesday 7 October at Turia Stadium in Valencia, Spain.

The one-off event aims to capitalise on the Ugandan’s stunning recent form, which last month saw him lower Kenenisa Bekele’s world 5000m record in Monaco. In Valencia, Joshua will be targeting the stunning mark of 26:17.53 set by Kenenisa in Brussels 15 years ago – the longest standing men’s 10,000m world record in history.

As a further measure of the quality of the world 10,000m record, no athlete other than Bekele has come within five seconds of the time. But following Joshua’s 1.99-second improvement on the Ethiopian’s 5000m mark in Monaco, the Ugandan will be confident he can mount a strong challenge in Valencia.

“I am very excited to be given the opportunity to target the 10,000m world record,” said Cheptegei, whose current personal best for the distance is 26:48.36. “As my performance in Monaco showed, I am in outstanding form, so I would like to make the most of my current shape by attacking the 10,000m world record.

“Kenenisa’s 10,000m world record is one of the toughest in the books, but my training continues to go well and this gives me real confidence I can set another world record. I have many happy memories in Valencia, having set the world 10km road record there last year, so hopefully we can once again create something truly special in Valencia, were running plays such an important role.”

In an attempt to add the 10,000m world record to the 5000m track world record and his current world road records over 5km and 15km, Cheptegei  will be utilising world-class pace making support as well as the innovative Wavelight technology.

Following his world record bid in Valencia, Cheptegei plans to make his debut over the 21.1km distance at the rescheduled World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on 17 October.

(09/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Peres Jepchirchir and Sheila Chepkirui are set to clash in Prague

When it became clear that it wouldn’t be possible to hold the Birell Grand Prix in Prague, organisers of the World Athletics Gold Label road race set about creating an alternative event. After much planning, RunCzech has been given the green light to stage the Prague 21.1km, an invitation-only elite half marathon on a looped circuit in Letna Park in the Czech capital on 5 September.

Thirty-five of the world’s best road runners will be in action on Saturday morning, running 16-and-a-half laps of the 1280m course. The men’s race will start at 6:20am local time, and then the women’s race will begin at 8:00am. The event will be broadcast live on Czech Television and spread to the whole world.

It is hoped that the flat course and intense competition will lead to fast times. The Czech all-comers’ records stand at 58:47 for men and 1:04:52 for women. As the women’s race is being held separate from the men’s, they may also have their eye on breaking the women-only world record of 1:06:11.

Peres Jepchirchir, the 2016 world half marathon champion, leads the women's field. The 26-year-old Kenyan set a world record of 1:05:06 – which has since been broken – back in 2017, then became pregnant and gave birth to her daughter later that year. She returned to form in 2019, winning the Lisbon Half Marathon in 1:06:54.

Sheila Chepkirui may have the slowest official PB of the field, but that’s largely due to the fact she has contested just one half marathon to date and it was at altitude in Nairobi. Given her record at other distances – including her two sub-30-minute clockings for 10km, one of which was in Prague – the 29-year-old Kenyan will be one of the big favourites this weekend.

Ethiopia’s 2015 world 5000m silver medallist Senbere Teferi and Kenya’s Edith Chelimo are the two other sub-66-minute runners in the women’s field.

Joan Melly Chelimo and Netsanet Gudeta had originally been set to compete, but both are late withdrawals due to injury.

With nine sub-60-minute performers, the men’s field is also of an extremely high standard.

Stephen Kiprop finished third in Prague last year, just two months after clocking a lifetime best of 58:42 to win the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon. He stands equal sixth on the world all-time list, but he’ll be up against Kibiwott Kandie, another sub-59-minute runner, and two-time Prague winner Benard Kimeli.

Kandie won this year’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in a world-leading 58:58, just six days after winning the highly competitive Kenyan cross-country title. Kimeli, who won in Prague in 2018 and 2019, turned to track racing in July and was rewarded with a 5000m PB of 13:16.61.

Others in the field with the potential for a top-three finish include Ethiopia’s two-time Delhi Half Marathon winner Andamlak Belihu, 59:28 performer Philemon Kiplimo and fellow Kenyan Abel Kipchumba.

“The pandemic has deprived these great athletes of the chance to participate in races all across the world,” said Carlo Capalbo, president of the organising committee. “We wanted to find a way of doing something spectacular for everyone. While this race is coming at what would normally be the end of the season, we hope in a way that it will be the start, a spark that gets race organisers all over the world thinking creatively about how to keep the sport alive.”

(09/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athlietics
Prague Half Marathon

Prague Half Marathon

Start the RunCzech season with one of the biggest running events in the Central Europe! Every year the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon excites spectators with performances of elite athletes breaking records. Enjoy a course with incomparable scenery in the heart of historic Prague that follows along the Vltava river and crisscrosses five beautiful bridges. Take in majestic views of the...


Ethiopian and Kenyan runners to renew rivalry in Prague's half marathon

The World Half Marathon records are at stake as Kenyan and Ethiopian runners take over the Prague half-marathon on Saturday with the resumption of road races after the COVID-19 disruptive season.

The organizers have assembled a strong field in both men's and women's events with the sole aim of breaking men's 58:30 and women's 1:06:01.

The star-studded half-marathon is limited to 35 of the most celebrated distance runners in the world currently.

Men and women will compete separately, running on a flat, fast oval course through Letna Park in Prague in 16.5 laps. A course and a field designed to wage an all-out assault on the current world record.

Two Kenyan women, Peres Jepchirir and Edith Chelimo, will be up against Ethiopian's world half-marathon women-only record holder Netsanet Gudeta.

However, the men's race sees the withdrawal of the 2018 Prague half-marathon champion Joan Chelimo who cited unpreparedness.

Stephen Kiprop, Kibiwott Kandie and Benard Kimeli, all from Kenya, will be aiming to break the world record of 58.01 currently being held by their compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor.

Kandie holds the fastest time of 58:58 this year when he won the RAK Half in the UAE in February.

"Assembling this field of runners turned out to be a monumental feat. And that was only the start. Ensuring their health and safety posed other challenges. But we have established a set of protocols designed to make sure that no one is compromised," said Carlo Capalbo, the president of the Runczech organizing committee in a press statement on Tuesday.

(09/03/2020) ⚡AMP
Prague Half Marathon

Prague Half Marathon

Start the RunCzech season with one of the biggest running events in the Central Europe! Every year the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon excites spectators with performances of elite athletes breaking records. Enjoy a course with incomparable scenery in the heart of historic Prague that follows along the Vltava river and crisscrosses five beautiful bridges. Take in majestic views of the...


General entries to the first virtual Virgin Money London Marathon have sold out

General entries to the first virtual Virgin Money London Marathon have sold out with 45,000 places taken up for this unique version of the world’s greatest marathon.

Following the announcement that the London Marathon could not take place in its usual format on Sunday 4 October, runners across the UK – and worldwide – were invited to complete The 40th Race – Your Way.

Participants have 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds to run, jog or walk the 26.2 mile distance on the course of their choice, anytime from 00:00 to 23:59:59 BST on Sunday 4 October. A new app is being developed, powered by TCS, to enable participants to log their 26.2 miles and earn the unique finisher medal and New Balance finisher T-shirt.

Priority was given to runners and charities with places in the 2020 event and then general entries opened on Wednesday 26 August.

The 20,000 general entries were snapped up by runners from 81 different countries, 51 per cent women and 49% men. Outside the UK, the biggest number of entries came from Australia, Hong Kong and the USA.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director for the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “The response has been amazing and the spirit of the London Marathon will shine brightly across the globe on Sunday 4 October.

“London is the most popular marathon on the planet with more than 457,000 people applying in the ballot for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon. This first virtual London Marathon, The 40th Race, has offered a unique chance for runners around the world to earn that coveted finisher medal and T-shirt and we believe it is the biggest virtual marathon ever staged. It is also the most inclusive race in our history with runners having 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete the 26.2 miles.

“We hope that millions will be raised for charities by our participants and we look forward to sharing their stories.”

There are a limited number of charity places left for the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon.

(09/02/2020) ⚡AMP
TCS London Marathon

TCS London Marathon

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


The Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Marathon series cancelled for 2020 and 2021

With the next two editions of the Montreal event cancelled, it's fair to assume the race series might never make a comeback in Quebec.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series announced on Friday that the Marathon International de Montréal has been cancelled for 2020 and 2021. The Montreal race, which was scheduled for September 19 and 20, is the only Canadian event in the global series. With this pair of cancellations, it looks like the Rock ‘n’ Roll series might not return north of the border in the foreseeable future, even after 2021.

This year’s running would have been the 30th edition of the Marathon International de Montréal, but the fate of that anniversary race is now uncertain. 

The Marathon International de Montréal normally features four events over two days, and runners could choose between a 5K, a 10K, a half-marathon or a full marathon. In 2019, these races attracted more than 18,000 people, with 9,500 runners in the half and 3,100 in the full.

This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions from the Government of Quebec, Rock ‘n’ Roll organizers were forced to pull the plug on the popular race. In the cancellation announcement, organizers added that “after evaluating the future viability of the Marathon International de Montréal, we have concluded that we cannot operate the event in 2021.” 

The announcement went on to apologize to runners who had already registered for the event and to thank the city for its help in years past. Other Rock ‘n’ Roll races have been cancelled in 2020, but runners signed up for many of those events have been told they will be returning.

Rock ‘n’ Roll events in San Diego, Seattle and Savannah, Ga., already have dates set for 2021, and while nothing is set for the Las Vegas race, organizers said they are “determined to come back … even stronger in 2021.” Others have said they cannot return in 2021, but they’re already set to be run in 2022, such as races in New Orleans and Florida.

Montreal joins Rock ‘n’ Roll events in Colorado and New Jersey, to name a couple, that were cancelled this year and next with no promise of a 2022 race. 

(09/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath


Start on the iconic bridge of Montreal, whose name is in homage to the French Explorer who discovered Canada, Jacques-Cartier. Kilometers 1 to 10 of St. Helena Island and Notre Dame Island, admire the stunning views of Montreal across the river and enjoy the entertainment on the course along the shore of two islands. Kilometers 16 a 17 City Hall...


Tarzisius Caviezel, will take over the presidency of the Swissalpine Association

There will be a changing of the guard at the Swissalpine. Tarzisius Caviezel, will take over the presidency of the Swissalpine Association from founder and longtime president Andrea Tuffli.

“The time has come for a succession plan,” says Tuffli. When he launched the Swissalpine in 1986 as an ultramarathon over 67km with an altitude difference of more than 2200m, many thought it crazy. Although there were high alpine mountain runs in Switzerland back then, a run in such terrain and over such a long distance was new in Europe. However, the Swissalpine quickly established itself and became known internationally as the ultimate challenge.

That Tuffli is now giving up management of the club is not only due to his age of 78 years. At the end of July this year a new Königslauf, the K68, was launched at the Swissalpine. The new route was met with universal enthusiasm.

The K68 will establish itself as the new Swissalpine classic over the next few years. The framework of the Swissalpine with the K68, the K43 and the K23 is largely fixed. After the slimmed-down event held this year on July 27 the supporting and adventure programme will be restarted in the future if Coronavirus conditions allow it.

Caviezel, with roots in Davos, will take over the presidency of the Swissalpine Association on 1 January 2021. Since the beginning of 2013 and until the end of the current year he has been working as Landammann (Chief Magistrate of the Canton). “Caviezel has excellent connections in politics, business and sport,” says Tuffli. From 2004 to 2011 Caviezel held the presidency at HC Davos.

“The Swissalpine is a brand that is associated with Davos and belongs to Davos,” notes Caviezel. He makes no secret of the fact that he had some doubts when the T88 was started in St. Moritz in the previous two years. “For this year’s 35th event we decided to go back to our roots and that the Swissalpine is a pure Davos event,” Caviezel notes with satisfaction. This is also important because it guarantees support from Destination Davos Klosters. "We have to pull out all the stops to ensure that events like these, which originated in Davos and have grown successfully over decades, continue to be held here,” emphasises Caviezel. “As a Davos trademark, the Swissalpine is not yet as old as the HCD and the Spengler Cup, but it is also an excellent brand.”

Caviezel describes the K68, newly launched this year with start and finish in Davos, as the supreme discipline of the Swissalpine – “a dream run over four passes and through eight valleys. We will stick to this concept. ”The future Swissalpine President personally followed the events at the K68 premiere on 25 July on the Fanezfurgga at 2580m altitude. “The K68 is tough and rough . But all the runners and spectators I spoke to were enthusiastic about the new route,” says Caviezel. “I was also fascinated myself; you have to experience it up close.”

Originally, Gian Gilli was expected to succeed Tuffli as president, and the Engadiner is a proven and experienced specialist in major sporting events. But as part of the new concept for a purely Davos event Gian Gilli voluntarily resigned from the office. It also makes perfect sense to him that the Swissalpine Davos Association can be led into the future by a personality strongly anchored in Davos.

(09/02/2020) ⚡AMP
Swiss Alpine Marathon

Swiss Alpine Marathon

The Swissalpine Davos is not only the oldest marathon in Grisons but also the second-largest ultra-marathon in Switzerland. However, it is no longer just the races that are the main attraction. The point is to be part of the mountain-runner community that meets for the annual running event in the Alpine town of Davos. We call it «Swissalpine Spirit». ...


World under-20, 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo has shifted his focus to the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo

After missing out on a chance to represent Kenya at the postponed World U20 championships in Nairobi next year, world under-20 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo is has shifted his focus to the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The Olympics and the U20 championships, both of which were set for last month, were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 5,000m Olympic title has been proved elusive for Kenyan athletes since 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, when John Ngugi won the event.

However, Zakayo, the All Africa Games champion said: “It is a bad feeling after missing out on the world under 20 since I was prepared to win gold and close the junior ranks especially on home soil."

"I missed the world under 18 title in 2017 to Selemon Barega and I was not happy. Even though I have revenged twice, at the world under 20 in Tampere and at the All Africa Games, I was not satisfied at all.” 

Speaking during the Athletics Kenya Food Distribution programme at the Kapsait training camp, the reigning Commonwealth Games 5,000m bronze medalist  added: “The federation should supervise how the 5,000m runners train and help them like the Ugandan federation is helping Joshua Cheptegei (the world record holder over the distance)."

Apart from missing out on the world under 20, Zakayo will be forced to repeat Form Four and he fears this might prove a challenge to his ambitions.

"The national trials will be hard nut to crack. Without making it at the trials, you can’t feature in the national team for Olympics. Last year I missed out on the world championships in Doha, Qatar since despite featuring at the the All Africa Games, there were still trials to Doha,” added Zakayo.

(09/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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


The Prague half-marathon will be holding an elite-only event and announces world record attempt

Early this Saturday something very fast will be happening in the Czech capital of Prague.

RunCzech, organizer of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon and other top-class events, will be holding an elite-only half-marathon in Letná Park called the Prague 21.1 KM – Ready for the Restart.  The objective?  Get at least one man to break 58:30 and one woman to break the women-only world record of 1:06:11 on the special 16.5-lap course which will be closed to the public.

“The pandemic has deprived these great athletes of the chance to participate in races all across the world,” said RunCzech president Carlo Capalbo through a statement.  “It has deprived us from witnessing some of the great performances that we’re accustomed to seeing.  We wanted to find a way of doing something spectacular for everyone.”

Spectacular, indeed.  Capalbo’s team has assembled a superb field of nine women and 18 men who will have the benefit of strong pacemaking.  Five women on the entry last have broken 1:06:00 for the half-marathon, led by Kenyans Joan Chelimo, Peres Jepchirchir, and Edith Chelimo.  Ethiopians Senbere Teferi and Netsanet Gudeta have also broken 66 minutes (see full athlete list below).  On the men’s side, nine men have broke 60:00 led by Kenyans Stephen Kiprop, Kibiwott Kandie, and Benard Kimeli (see full list below).

Interestingly, the fastest times ever run on Czech soil are 58:47 by Ethiopia’s Atsedu Tsegay in Prague in 2012, and 64:52 by Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei in Prague in 2017.  Jepkosgei’s time was achieved in a mixed-gender race.  The fastest times in the world this year are 58:58 by Kibiwott Kandie and 1:04:31 by Yeshaneh Ababel of Ethiopia.  Both marks were achieved at the RAK Half in the UAE on February 21.

Saturday’s event will also be a demonstration project for adidas, a long-time partner of RunCzech.  All of the athletes will be wearing the World Athletics-approved adizero adios Pro (39mm sole thickness) racing shoe.  The shoe, which sells in the United States for $200 a pair, has an ultra lightweight mesh upper, LightStrike Pro foam, a carbon fiber heel plate, and five carbon-infused “energy rods” in the forefoot which, the company says, were “inspired by the bone structure of the foot.”  The shoe weights 7.9 ounces (224 grams).

“adidas has 70 years experience of working with elite athletes on shoes designed to win races,” said adidas Running’s design vice-president Sam Handy through a statement.  “Our expertise has continually evolved as athletes and sports science has progressed.  This shoe is our pinnacle race product, representing all those decades of dedication, experience and collaboration.”

Capalbo is not only hoping for fast times, but is also trying to inject some life into road running which has been hit hard by the pandemic.  While in-stadium athletics is already back to a high level, most road races have had to switch to “virtual” status, where athletes run on their own, or have simply been cancelled.  Capalbo wants to show what is possible, even during a pandemic.  Saturday’s event will be held in compliance with current Czech regulations for fighting COVID-19.

“While this race is coming at what would normally be the end of the (RunCzech) season we hope in a way that it will be the start, a spark, that gets race organizers all over the world thinking creatively about how to keep the sport alive.”

The Prague 21.1 KM – Ready for the Restart will be broadcast live on ÄŒT Sport, and there will be an international live stream with English language commentary.

(09/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
Prague Half Marathon

Prague Half Marathon

Start the RunCzech season with one of the biggest running events in the Central Europe! Every year the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon excites spectators with performances of elite athletes breaking records. Enjoy a course with incomparable scenery in the heart of historic Prague that follows along the Vltava river and crisscrosses five beautiful bridges. Take in majestic views of the...


2021 Tokyo Marathon may be moved to fall due to coronavirus

Tokyo Marathon organizers are weighing the possibility of rescheduling next year's race to the fall, should the coronavirus appear likely to remain an obstacle by the usual date in March, sources close to the matter said Monday.

The organizers restricted this year's event to elite competitors in response to the coronavirus pandemic but have indicated they are against excluding general entry runners for a second year in a row.

General entrants excluded from this year's race, after initially being accepted via lottery, were given automatic entry to next year's event, scheduled for March 7, or the 2022 event.

The Tokyo Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors. This year's races in Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York have all been canceled, while the London Marathon will feature only elite runners after being postponed from April to October.

(09/01/2020) ⚡AMP
Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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...


Sir Mo Farah will be targeting a new record in Larne on September 12

Athletics legend Sir Mo Farah will race in the upcoming P&O Antrim Coast Half Marathon.

The four-time Olympic champion has confirmed his entry for the race in Larne on September 12.

It is another major coup for the organizers who have assembled a stellar line-up of runners to compete in Northern Ireland.

The field also includes two-time world champions Aly Dixon and Iraitz Garro who will be joined by European champions Marc Scott, Jo Pavey and Gemma Steel.

"Hi guys, really looking forward to taking part in the Antrim Coast Half Marathon in Larne on September 12," Farah said in a video confirming his entry.

"One of my good friends James is organizing it and I said 'yes, I'll do it'. We have some great history. I am just really looking forward to it. I can't wait.

"Hopefully it is a fast course. It is really exciting."

Elite race organizers James McIlroy believes next month's field is one of the best ever assembled in Ireland or Britain.

"It is a brilliant line-up and we have a course to match; a very fast course which the runners will love," McIlroy said.

"We are looking forward to Sir Mo and the other elite runners coming over for a great race."

McIlroy added: "I have known Mo for over 20 years. We were room-mates when we were with Team GB, and before that at the UK Athletics High Performance Center.

"It is brilliant that Mo has cleared his diary to come here and race."

(09/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Gareth Fullerton


The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...


Western States site name to be changed

After researching the etymology of the racist and sexist term "squaw," officials of the California ski resort have decided to change its name.

The famed Western States 100 ultramarathon starts in Squaw Valley, Calif., near a river, some roads and several ski lodges of the same name, which many have found troubling for its racist and sexist roots. The area is also known as Olympic Valley, as it was the site of the 1960 Olympics, but for years, locals and tourists have all called it by its other name. It was recently announced that this will soon change, as owners of the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski resort have finally decided to drop that title.

“With the momentum of recognition and accountability we are seeing around the country, we have reached the conclusion that now is the right time to acknowledge a change needs to happen,” said Ron Cohen, the president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “We have to accept that as much as we cherish the memories we associate with our resort name, that love does not justify continuing to use a term that is widely accepted to be a racist and sexist slur.” Cohen went on to say the resort will find a new name to “reflect our core values, storied past and respect for all those who have enjoyed this land.”

The Western States 100 starts right at the ski resort and travels 100 miles southwest to Auburn, Calif. Race director Craig Thornley tweeted the statement from Cohen and his team, adding, “It’s really gonna happen.” Thornley’s tweet received mixed reviews from his followers, with some people saying the name should have been changed long ago, while others seem to think it’s fine the way it is.

As a member of the Washoe Tribe (a Native American tribe with origins near Lake Tahoe), Helen Fillmore, told a local radio station in July, when she is around people discussing the local resort, all she hears are racial slurs. 

“All of a sudden people are asking if you ski and telling you about how they’re going to go ski, racial slur. ‘Let’s go ski, racial slur,’” Fillmore said. “People don’t even think twice about how that word is impacting the person they’re talking to.” The dropping of the resort name will be welcome news to Fillmore and other members of the Washoe Tribe, although they have had to wait a long time for this change. 

The resort’s new name will be released in early 2021, and officials say it will begin to be implemented after the 2020/2021 ski season, meaning that by June, when the Western States 100 is set to be held, the race’s start should be at a newly-named location. 

(08/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
Western States 100

Western States 100

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...


Ryan Hall plans to run his first ultramarathon in Colorado

Ryan Hall retired from professional running in 2016, and since then, even though he has participated in a few races, his focus has been on powerlifting. On Saturday, Hall, the U.S. half-marathon record-holder, announced that he is getting back into racing, but instead of his once-preferred distances of 21K or 42K, he will be running a 69K race — his first crack at an ultramarathon.

To add to this already-daunting challenge, he will be racing after running just five times in 2020. The event, the Grand Traverse Mountain Run, is set to be held on September 5 in Crested Butte, Colo.

In an Instagram video announcing his race plans, Hall said the Grand Traverse will be an “epic challenge,” adding that he likes to “make it even more epic by not training.” He cited his running of the World Marathon Challenge (WMC) in 2017, an event for which he apparently trained very little. The WMC is a week-long event that sees participants run seven marathons in seven days on all seven continents. Despite his minimal training for that challenge, Hall finished in fifth place.

Although he was already heavily invested in weightlifting in 2017, Hall had only been retired from professional running for a year. Now more than four years removed from the lifestyle of an elite runner, Hall may have a tougher time getting through such an arduous challenge. 

He noted that he has incorporated other cardio exercises into his training, like boxing, but after averaging less than one run per month all year, he acknowledged that this won’t be an easy undertaking. “I’m going to be in way over my head on this one,” he said, “but that’s where I like to be as an athlete.” 

Hall said he is “so stoked for this challenge,” which features more than 2,700m of elevation gain, and he asked any of his ultrarunner followers to leave him tips for the race.

(08/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath

Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto now declares next target, after beating Covid-19

World and Olympics 3,000 meters steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto is now raring to go after beating Covid-19.

The athlete tested positive for coronavirus three weeks ago, but has now returned a negative test for the virus and cleared to resume training.

Kipruto, who was due to start his season at the Monaco Diamond League, was forced to skip the race after contracting the deadly virus.

The Mosoriot-based Kipruto is focusing on his training as he looks forward to a better season after missing his first race.

“I’m happy because I have now been given clean bill of health after numerous tests which all turned negative. I have started training while following protocols from the Ministry of Health. My target is to improve my performance,” said Kipruto.

Kipruto will be waiting to get invitation from the Diamond League races where he hopes to lower the world record currently held by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen formerly known as Stephen Cherono of 7:53.63.

“My target this season is to run a world record time. With good preparations, I know it will be possible. The record has been there for a very long time and I need to bring it home,” he said.

He had been cleared to run.

Kipruto was among the 15 athletes who had been cleared to compete in Monaco Diamond League in France after getting special dispensation visas to travel to the Principality.

He said when he received the results, he went into isolation at his home where health officials have been visiting him to offer him guidance on how to manage the virus.

“It has been hectic for me but I’m happy because I didn’t have any complications until I was declared fit to go on with my life. I have been training alone jumping the barriers which I had created at home before.

“I watched the Monaco race on television and I was impressed with how the athletes are still strong despite taking a break due to the virus which disrupted sporting events across the globe,” said Kipruto.

Athletes invited to compete abroad are supposed to undergo mandatory tests for Covid-19 72 hours before competing in any race.

Kipruto is also eyeing the Kip Keino Classic which shall be held on October 3 at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.

(08/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich

The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 mass race cancelled

The Local Organizing Committee of the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 has today announced that Covid-19-related health and safety restrictions have forced the cancellation of the mass participation race that was to accompany the elite championships on October 17.

A record number of more than 27,000 amateur runners had registered to compete on the streets of Gdynia. Instead they will be offered the opportunity to join a virtual competition with the goal of participating in the world’s largest individual half marathon.

The #AllYouNeedIsRunning project has already been endorsed by running and athletics greats including Eilish McColgan, Stefano Baldini, Marek Plawgo, Robert Korzeniowski and the President of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe.

Since the beginning of March, when the event was postponed from 29 March to 17 October, intensive discussions and efforts have been made to find a solution that would enable the Local Organizing Committee to hold the event in its original format, featuring both the championships race and the record-breaking mass race.

A comprehensive document outlining modifications to the event setup and extra safety procedures was created and presented to the Polish government and relevant healthcare and sanitary bodies.

Unfortunately, holding a mass race for thousands of runners proved to be impossible in the current circumstances.

World Athletics and the LOC continue to prepare for the elite championships and will make a final decision on their future as soon as possible.

“Surely, that’s not how we imagined the outcome of three years of preparations to this event,” said Michal Drelich, head of the LOC. “I would like to thank the entire team and our partners from World Athletics and the host city of Gdynia for their incredible effort to develop alternative event formats, race courses and new procedures that were supposed to make both the elite run and the mass race happen in the safest possible way, with massively enhanced social distance and minimized touchpoints between athletes, staff and volunteers.

“However, under the current restrictions regarding mass participation events and seeing no perspective for these to be released soon, we are forced to cancel the mass race. We have postponed this decision as long as possible but now it is time to accept the reality. Our efforts are now focused on the virtual mass race and doing whatever it takes to stage the elite competition.”

Registered mass race runners are invited to join the virtual competition with their starting kits – including bib number, official Asics t-shirt, official event backpack and the unique finisher medal – planned to be shipped to them successively in the coming weeks.

The virtual race is also open for new running enthusiasts from all over the world. You only have to create your account on the newly launched platform at

Joining the race is free of charge but you can purchase a medal, t-shirt or other merchandise items as an option. Additionally, a loyalty program and three months of complimentary subscription to TIDAL and Runkeeper Premium are offered to registered runners.

Drelich said that despite the difficult and frustrating situation, organizers want to show that #AllYouNeedIsRunning.

“We are runners ourselves,” Drelich said. “We miss spectacular events which not only give us motivation but also allow us to meet friends and deliver all those positive emotions. In the recent months, it was often going out for running session that made us refresh our brains and focus on our goals. We truly hope that 17 October, despite all the adversity, will be a great exhibition of love for running. Wherever you are on that day, let’s run together.

(08/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The Chinese city of Yangzhou will host the 2022 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships. China, one of the fastest-growing markets in road running, had 24 World Athletics Label road races in 2019, more than any other country. It hosted the World Half Marathon Championships in 2010 in Nanning and will stage the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing in 2021. ...


Stop Counting Your Running Mileage

It’s the one training metric virtually all runners track, but running scientists think we can do better

Even in this brave new world, with wearable technology that tracks and shares our every twitch and palpitation, the fundamental unit of training data for runners is still very old-school: How many miles did you run last week? In fact, as a new opinion piece in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy notes, the rise of GPS watches has only strengthened our obsession with tracking mileage. And that, the article’s authors argue, is a problem—or at least a missed opportunity.

The authors have plenty of cred in the world of running science. Lead author Max Paquette is a biomechanist at the University of Memphis (and the husband, for what it’s worth, of 15:10 5,000-meter runner Lauren Paquette). Chris Napier and Rich Willy are highly respected physical therapists and researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Montana. And Trent Stellingwerff is a physiologist and coach who works with the Canadian Olympic team (and the husband of two-time 1,500-meter Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff). They’ve all tracked plenty of mileage totals in their time. But they think it’s time to move on.

The first part of their paper explains why relying on mileage alone to track training is a problem. Their basic point is fairly obvious: the distance you cover often isn’t a good proxy for how much stress you’re putting on your body. An easy 10K trail run is very different from 10 x 1,000 meters all-out on the track in spikes. And, more subtly, an easy 10K run is harder on your body if you’re exhausted from previous training than if you’re fresh.

There are two reasons to care about getting an accurate sense of the training stress you’re incurring. One is that it will determine how tired you are (in the short term) and how much fitter you get (in the long term). Getting the balance between fatigue and fitness right determines how fast you’ll race. The other is that it will determine, or at least strongly influence, your risk of injury.

On the first question, there’s a fairly long history of research into figuring out a better way of quantifying the balance between fitness and fatigue. What you need is something that takes into account how hard you run, not just how far. There are different ways of measuring “hard,” either externally (pace) or internally (heart rate, perceived effort). Either way, if you multiply duration by intensity for each day’s session, you get a measure of “training impulse” that carries a lot more information than mileage alone. When I covered Nike’s Breaking2 project, the scientific team used a method like this to analyze the training of the three runners. (For kicks, they analyzed mine too, and concluded that I needed to train harder, because I wasn’t building up much cumulative fatigue. They were right.)

Cyclists have already taken this information to heart, in part because power meters make it easy to quantify exactly how hard you’re pushing at any given moment. Software like TrainingPeaks can also calculate equivalent “Training Stress Scores” for running, based on pace data. In my circles, no one asks what your training stress was last week, but the idea is definitely out there. You can do a simple, tech-free version yourself by multiplying the duration of your run (in minutes) by the session’s average perceived effort (on a scale of 1 to 10), and totaling the points you accumulate each week. That would give you a better sense of how hard the week was, in a physiological sense, than mileage alone.

Having said all that, it’s the second problem—injury risk—that makes the new paper most interesting. Most studies that have looked for links between training patterns and injuries have used mileage as the sole measure of training load. Some also look at running pace. What’s missing once again is a combination of those two, but in this case it’s trickier to figure out what that combination should be.

The paper includes a fascinating table that compares three different scenarios that each involve 10K of running: an easy run on a soft trail in cushioned shoes when fresh; a similar easy run when tired; and a track session of 10 x 1,000 meters in rigid spikes. The paces represent an elite runner: 6:00 miles for the fresh easy run, just under 7:00 miles for the tired run, and 2:45 per kilometer (4:25/mile pace) for the intervals. For the tired run, the runner’s average cadence drops from 180 to 177, but the total time is greater, meaning that he takes more steps in total. For the track session, cadence jumps to 198, but the time elapsed is way less. Here’s how the total number of steps compares:

If you care about injury risk, this is a big difference! But there are more variables to consider. The faster you run, the harder your foot smacks into the ground: the track session has a peak vertical ground reaction force of 3.3 bodyweights, compared to just 3.1 for the fresh easy run and 2.9 for the tired easy run. That difference adds up with each step. Similarly, the peak Achilles tendon force is 11.5 bodyweights on the track, compared to 10.0 for the fresh run and 9.1 for the tired run.

At this point, it would be cool to give a formula for how you combine these and other variables to give you an estimate of how likely you are to blow your Achilles. Unfortunately, no one knows the answers. There have been some early attempts: a study published a few years ago at the University of California, Davis, had nine college runners wear a hip-mounted accelerometer in order to calculate the cumulative ground reaction forces that they experienced with each stride over a 60-day period. With such a small sample, it’s hard to draw any conclusions—but the three runners who ended up getting injured did, on average, accumulate more ground reaction force per run.

What Paquette and his colleagues are really calling for is more research like the UC Davis study. Wearable tech has advanced so much in recent years that it’s possible to get detailed biomechanical information from ordinary consumer devices. And with further development, these devices may be able to narrow it down and estimate the load on individual parts of the body like shin bones and Achilles tendons. Somewhere in that mountain of data, there should be one or more measures of cumulative training load that beat mileage as a predictor of injury risk.

Will this approach usher in a new era of perfectly predictable training? Probably not. “Even with the best monitoring approaches,” the authors acknowledge, “differences in individual runners’ tissue load capacity will always make injury prediction elusive.” Predicting race performance will be equally challenging, I suspect. Better data will allow us to improve our guesses, but some fundamental randomness and uncertainty will remain.

That’s not the real reason we still focus on mileage, though. Regardless of whatever superior alternatives scientists come up with, mileage will endure because it has tangible physical meaning both inside and outside the narrow world of running obsessives. The daily struggle is transmogrified into a single number that conveys exactly how far your feet have carried you in the past week, and that you can casually mention (modestly rounding down, of course) in response to the inevitable question from a co-worker or relative. In a pursuit whose meaning and purpose is abstract at the best of times, that’s not nothing.

(08/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online

In a Naked Pandemic Race, You Can Leave Your Hat On

When we can’t go outside without covering our faces, there’s a special appeal in the opportunity to uncover everything else.

In a lot of ways, the 5K I ran on Saturday was like any other race: The tall, skinny guys zipped out front, fast. Spectators rang cowbells. I heard the “Rocky” theme twice along the course.

Except the spectators were naked. And I was, too.

That’s because the race was the Bouncing Buns Clothing Optional 5K, held at the Sunny Rest Resort, a nudist resort in Palmerton, Pa.

“Not enough of us do things outside the box anymore, particularly as we get older,” said Ron Horn, race director and co-owner of Pretzel City Sports, which put on the race.

I’ve run a handful of Pretzel City’s clothed (or as naked runners call them, “textile”) races, but the nude events never appealed to me, not when there were a zillion other races to run.

But this year, it caught my attention in part because almost all other races have been canceled because of the coronavirus. In this pandemic season of covering our faces in public, why not uncover everything else? What a fun way to experience some freedom in a time of pressing fear, grief, restrictions and disappointments.

But I hesitated. I’ve been to “toptional” pools in Las Vegas, so nudity wasn’t that much of an obstacle. But running naked? It seemed so — uncomfortable.

And yet: I kept getting the emails about this race, in a year flooded with bad news that had come very close to home. In March, four members of my family were sick with Covid-19. In June, my brother was in the hospital for weeks after a driver struck him while he was on a bike ride.

I’ve spent five months trying to find glimpses of joy in small, simple things, like the sight of a bird on the tree I planted last year, or the feel of my dog’s very soft ear. But the idea of a big, outlandish thing that might bump me out of my gloom had a certain draw.

When a friend who lives in upstate New York said she was 90 percent willing to commit to making the trip to participate in this race, I thought maybe I should go, if for nothing else than to see her.

“What else do you have to do?” she asked.

Sunny Rest was founded as a nudist resort in 1945 and, except for the lack of clothing, looks like a lot of other campgrounds, with mobile homes, cabins, tents and RVs. There’s a pool, spa, volleyball and tennis courts, hot tub, and hiking and biking trails. Most people go about their daily activities wearing nothing but shoes or sandals, maybe a hat. It’s private property, so laws against public nudity are not an issue. Pretzel City has been putting on races there for 13 years.

The events are meant to be fun, but the race organizers recognize that there is something of a taboo around nudity, so it anonymizes race results when posting them online, listing participants only by first name, last initial and home state. Knowing the privacy concerns, Pretzel City’s race director announced before the race that a photographer and I would be covering the event, and that we would include only those runners who consented to being photographed and interviewed.

Several runners were eager to talk to me, including Bruce Freeburger, 69, who drove from Detroit to run this race. He operates the website Its slogan: “I did wear shoes!”

“It’s not ‘Girls Gone Wild,’” he said of naked runs. He believes that those who run nude tend to be “unselfish, and more sportsmanlike.”

As soon as I pulled into Sunny Rest (after showing my ID and having the license plate of my car recorded by security), I saw a man in a wide-brimmed sun hat and no pants walking toward the pool.

By the time I parked near the race start, I felt prim. Some runners were clothed, but most were in some state of undress. A woman breastfed her child while she checked in. A man waited to run in just sneakers and a Viking helmet — he hung his mask from one of the horns when he wasn’t near other people. I saw my friend, already stripped down. She fit right in. I gave her an elbow bump and took off my shorts. It didn’t feel weird, at all.

To prepare for the experience, I’d tried running completely naked on the treadmill in my basement, and determined that going braless was impractical for me. So I took the Donald Duck approach and wore a hat and sports bra but no bottoms. When I checked in, I was handed a race bib and a T-shirt, but then a staffer — naked except for mask and gloves — wrote my race number with a marker on my leg. Where was I going to pin a bib anyway?

I lined up near the start, a body in a sea of 115 bodies, ages 9 through 78, all standing six feet apart. The energy felt zippier here than at a normal race — almost giddy. While most of the runners were from Pennsylvania, only a handful were also members of the Sunny Rest Resort. That meant almost everyone had traveled to this place — from places as far away as Ohio, Delaware and West Virginia — for the opportunity to do something unusual.

Runners were required to wear masks to pick up their packets, and asked to wear them when near other people. Pretzel City also moved the start and finish area away from the more crowded part of the resort toward the camping sites, so we had more space to spread out. Over a bullhorn, Horn asked us to put our arms straight out by our sides and said, “If you are touching someone you are not sleeping with, you are standing too close.”

After the initial newness of being aware of my butt bouncing around, everything felt pretty much the same as in a clothed race. We started at 10:15 a.m., and I’m usually done running by 8 a.m. in the summer, so it was hot. I was grateful for my hat, and the sunblock and anti-chafing balm I’d applied all over my body. By the first mile, I was coated in sweat.

“I don’t have a shirt to wipe off my face!” another runner shouted. The more experienced naked runners had thought to carry little towels.

Part of the course was an out and back, so I saw the leaders coming back as I went out. With a full view of their entire, naked forms in motion, I felt appreciation, in the same way I’d look at a nice painting.

I didn’t worry about anyone else appreciating my body — from the naked ladies cheering from their trailer’s outdoor bar to the gentleman doing naked squats on his deck. The race didn’t feel sexualized at all, and I didn’t worry about which parts of my body were not perfectly flat and smooth, about what parts of my body shook with every step. I was just another body in motion.

I was feeling what many runners had told me before the start of the race — that this was freeing. Richard Whalen, 43, of Folcroft, Pa., said that for him it’s also a celebration of who he is now. He’s a recovering alcoholic who took up running after he stopped being too hung over to run in the morning. “There’s a sense of freedom here to show off your beautiful body.”

That’s also why Jim and Susan Fiordeliso of Yardley, Pa., came too. Last year, Mr. Fiordeliso, 53, had heart surgery, after which they vowed to take better care of their bodies. That included moving to a plant-based diet, as well as lots of walking and running. They’ve lost 210 pounds between them. It was their first time at a nude race, and they treated it as a celebration of their new lives. “I loved it and I would do it again,” he said.

And then there’s just the fun of it. “I’m not a nudist type. I’m not an exhibitionist type,” said Michael Lyons, 35, of Douglassville, Pa., who has done both naked road races and bike rides. “I’m just a goofball who likes to do fun things.”

I finished in 30 minutes, 26 seconds, good enough for fifth place in my category. My award: a medal that I wore at around my neck with nothing but my sandals, bandanna and a fresh coating of sun block.

Jen A. Miller, the author of “Running: A Love Story,” writes The Times’s weekly running newsletter.

(08/30/2020) ⚡AMP

celebrities who love running

We runners love to find people in our gang. Whether it's swapping training plan advice or stalking Strava stats, our running pals are some of our best. But sometimes, we find inspiration in unlikely places - the celebs we follow on Instagram to start.

We've already rounded up these celebrities you didn't know were marathon runners, but of course, you don't need to run a marathon to be a runner, so we've found this list of celebs who have spoken about their love of putting one foot in front of another.

Meghan Markle Speaking to Shape years before becoming a royal, Meghan explained that she gets a lot more from running than just the fitness side of it. 'I love running but i think you have to find a work out routine that really speaks to you beyond trying to get goals for your body. For me, running, I need it as much for my head and to clear my head as I d for keeping in shape.'

Ellie Goulding The 'Starry Eyes' singer has often spoken about her love of running in interviews, recently sharing her 'run for heroes' 5K time of 23 minutes! Goulding completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon in 2014, finishing with a time of 1 hour 41 minutes.

Bear Grylls-The Man vs. Wild host had to run as part of his military training, and after taking a short break after he got out, he started up again to get in shape for TV.

'Now I really enjoy running,' he told Runner’s World. 'We live in a pretty hilly area in North Wales, and I run three times a week for about 40 minutes as part of my training.'

Jennifer Aniston The Friend's star is known to mix up her workouts to stay in shape. Aniston has been spotted out running over the years, but her trainer told Women's Health she also loves spin classes and boxing for cardio.

Jennifer Lawrence Jennifer Lawrence is said to incorporate running into her Hunger Games training, however in an interview in 2012, she admitted she was worried about people critiquing her running style. 'I’m most nervous about everybody making fun of the way I run' Lawrence said, 'I do, like, karate hands. Instead of running with my hands closed together like a normal person. It’s like I’m trying to be aerodynamic or something, so my hands are straight like razors'.

Mark Zuckerberg In 2016, the Facebook founder did a 'year of running challenge', where he attempted to run 365 miles in a year to encourage other Facebook members to get moving. Zuckerberg finished the challenge five months early.

Kate Middleton The Duchess of Cambridge is said to be a runner. In a 2018 interview with Bryony Gordon, the Duchess revealed she would never be allowed to take part in a large event like the London Marathon due to the security risk.

Gordon Ramsay The celebrity chef is a well-known runner, with an impressive marathon PB of 3:30:37.

Eva Longoria In an interview with Health the Desperate Housewives star said, 'I'm a runner, first of all. I run a lot. But I also do SoulCycle, Pilates, yoga. I usually mix it up.

Victoria Beckham Victoria Beckham's workout regime is said to include a daily 5K. Speaking to Vogue Australia, Posh Spice herself said, 'I go for a three mile run every morning and I work out for an hour with a PT, which gives me just enough time to get to the kitchen to puree Romeo's avocados'.

Reese Witherspoon The Big Little Lies star is often spotted on daily jogs with friends and her husband around LA.

Boris Johnson The Prime Minister himself recently spoke about his running regime, saying he has 'lost nearly a stone' running with his dog. The PM is running to lose weight after admitting he was 'too fat' when he caught coronavirus earlier this year.

Chris Evans Radio presenter Chris Evans has completed the London Marathon a total of five times, with a PB of 4:41:06 was in the 2017 race.

Eminem After Eminem got sober, he turned to running, regularly logging 17 miles on the treadmill. 'It gave me a natural endorphin high, but it also helped me sleep, so it was perfect. It’s easy to understand how people replace addiction with exercise,' he told Men’s Journal.

Will Smith On November 18, Will Smith knocked something else off his bucket list: he finished the Havana Half Marathon, also known as the Marabana.

According to the official race results, the actor completed the race—which went through the streets of Cuba’s capital—with a net time of 2:29:04.

Richard Branson Sir Richard Branson ran the London Marathon in 5:02:24 in 2010 and loved it so much he signed up to be lead sponsor the following year.

(08/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

Why a Trail Runner Was Trying to Help With a Wildfire in Arizona

Don’t fight fires with running gear. Let the pros handle it.

Trevor Murphy rolled out of bed for his run around 8 a.m. on August 22. His first 100 miler, the Javelina Jundred, was nearing, so he got up for some early morning miles in the McDowell Mountains of Arizona.

When driving there, he hadn’t heard on the news that a series of lightning strikes had ignited a few wildfires during the night. When he arrived to a closed gate at the trailhead, he assumed it was because of the park still being closed in the morning.

He parked before the gate on the side of the road, and took off for 20 miles. About two miles in, he saw a glow in the distance that made it clear a fire had started. At five miles, he was right on top of a small section of brush that was on fire, burning in the morning air. He immediately called 911.

The fire was burning on one side of the trail, having stopped because of the fire line the trail created. Still, Murphy feared it might cross and enter the nature preserve on the other side. He decided to act.

“The trail was the only thing stopping the fire from moving to the nature preserve; it was the only chance of stopping it,” Murphy told Runner’s World. “It would’ve been pointless to try and stop the fire if there wasn’t already a fire break built-in. I was just trying to make sure it held. I was working on the trail for hours at first, trying to widen it.”

Doing what he could with only the his running gear on him, he slowly chipped away.

“I stayed on the perimeter of the fire and I worked on stomping out the flames that were small enough to do that with my feet,’” Murphy said. “I started doing that hours before the TV helicopter arrived. I was out there maybe two to two and half hours before that.”

When he figured he could do no more, Murphy ran out of Fort McDowell Mountain Regional Park and went home. That wasn’t without achieving minor internet fame when a live TV chopper captured him stomping out smaller fires. His actions in the viral video have received mixed review since it happened and has spread around the internet.

“Honestly, I didn’t think twice about it,” Murphy said. “My adrenaline was going, and I never felt like my life was in danger. A lot of people think I went up there with the intention of fighting the fire. I just happened to run into it on my run.”

The fire itself in the McDowell Mountains has remained, but is 90 percent contained at this point thanks to local fire-rescue efforts. The fire has burned more than 615 acres.

Though this will be a run that Murphy will likely never forget, Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management Officer John Truett recommends a different approach if you ever encounter a similar situation.

“This was careless behavior and frankly, not logical,” Truett told Runner’s World. “Most people who would find themselves in a situation like this would have turned around. Fire managers on the McDowell fire were actively monitoring the fire and had strategies and tactics in place on how to suppress the fire safely. His actions simply put his life and those who would be required to save him in peril. His actions were irresponsible and so is promoting this type of behavior.”

In addition, Truett warned that aircraft could’ve been doing bucket work or retardant drops, and the fire could’ve increased in size, putting anyone nearby in potential danger.

(08/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

7 ways to run faster, according to expert running coaches

Achieving a faster pace can be a thrill for runners, and it also happens to be great for your overall health.

"We get stronger, faster, fitter, and leaner when we introduce a new stress, like speed training workouts, to our body," says Elizabeth Corkum, a Road Runners Club of America certified running coach.

Whether you're looking to increase your pace for race day or just seeking an extra boost for your workouts, here are seven tips on how to bump up your speed.

1. Add tempo runs

Tempo runs are 10 to 45 minute runs at a steady pace, according to Corkum. These workouts can help runners develop discipline by controlling their speed and help their bodies learn how to handle stress.

These should be done at a controlled pace, meaning you should be able to maintain the same pace throughout your run. The first few minutes of the run should feel easy and you might even feel like you are holding back a bit.

However, by the middle to end of the run you should start to feel uncomfortable. "At the end of your tempo run is when it will really start to feel like a speed workout," says Corkum.

Tempo runs build strength and speed because they push you to reach your anaerobic threshold. Your anaerobic threshold is the point where your body produces lactic acid — a byproduct of working out. When lactic acid builds up in your muscles, it makes your legs feel heavy and the run becomes more difficult.

So, the sooner you reach your anaerobic threshold, the sooner you'll burn out, and the harder it will be to finish — let alone run faster. That's where tempo runs come in, because they train you to run longer and faster before hitting that threshold.

"Increasing this threshold by training smart allows you to run faster for longer periods of time before that feeling of fatigue or lactic acid takes over,"says Audrey Springer, a Road Runners Club of America certified running coach. "An athlete could do this as a workout for a duration of 15 minutes and build all the way up to an hour or more depending on the race they are training for."

Compared to sprints and hill runs, tempo runs are lower intensity, longer workouts. The pace for tempo runs will be faster than an easy run or jog, but still slower than a sprint like a 5k or 10k pace. One tool that Springer uses is Jack Daniels' VDOT Running Calculator to help her runners set a tempo run pace.

Springer says there are three different types of tempo runs.

Lactate threshold: This is where the athlete will run at a pace they could ideally hold for one hour. If the run is 30 minutes they should feel as if they are pushing hard but they could hold it for another 30 minutes if they were racing.

Marathon/half marathon pace: This type of tempo run should be run at the pace you plan to achieve on race day. This will be slower than the lactate threshold pace.

Progressive: This is also often referred to as negative split run. During this run you will gradually increase speed so your last mile will be fastest. These types of runs are great for establishing a pace, building stamina, and developing mental toughness to help you finish your runs strong.

2. Start weight training

Weight lifting, or strength training, can help you run faster, improve your form, and avoid injuries.

Body weight and plyometric movements that are explosive, such as jumping squats or lunges, can be great for working on speed and power in sprints. "The explosive nature of these movements teaches muscles to contract at a faster and more efficient rate," says Corkum.

Meanwhile, lifting heavy weights with barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells, can help distance runners maintain power, good form, and efficiency during longer runs such as a 10k or half marathon. However, if you are just starting to weight train, Springer recommends using just body weight at first — like with resistance bands or push-ups — in order to perfect form and avoid injury.

Many weight training movements can also build core muscles. "The core keeps your trunk stabilized, improves your posture and running form, and allows you to generate more power running faster while using less energy," says Springer.

A 2017 review published in the journal Sports Medicine found that adding strength training to a running routine 2 to 3 times a week had a strong, positive effect on running performance. Strength training improved performance in time trials by 3% to 5% in those logging around one to two miles and 2% to 4% in those running around three to six miles.

Runners should spend equal amounts of time building upper body and lower body strength. "It is just as important because the upper body counters the lower body in the running motion," says Corkum.

For building speed, Corkum recommends weight training two to three times a week on non-consecutive days. If you weight train after a run, she suggests waiting at least four to six hours to prevent soreness.

3. Introduce interval training

Interval training is a type of running workout where you alternate between short, intense bursts of running and a brief recovery. The goal of interval training is to maintain the same speed on your first interval as your last one. A 2016 medical review published in The Journal of Physiology found that running sprint intervals builds muscle as well as aerobic endurance.

Another 2018 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research assessed 16 trail runners that added interval training to their routine. Each runner completed six interval training sessions over the course of two weeks with two days of recovery between each session. After the training program, the runners were able to run an average of 3.6 more meters in 30 seconds. The study also found that participants increased their speed by an average of 6% in a 3000 meter run.

"Once you begin to incorporate interval training into your workout plan, you will notice your longer runs will become easier and faster," says Corkum.

When you first start interval training, Springer suggests sticking to once a week. The bursts in interval training can be measured by time or distance. Here are two types of interval training workouts that Corkum recommends for running on a track:

Sprint the 100m straightaways on a track and walk or lightly jog the 100m curves. Repeat this four times around the track, so you end up with eight total sprints.

Run for two minutes at 85% effort then take a one minute recovery. Repeat this four times.

4. Practice fartleks

Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning "speed play." A fartlek run consists of alternating between speed and recovery runs. They can last 20 minutes or longer depending on the runner.

Coupling periods of moderate to high intensity running with a slower pace will put stress on both your aerobic and anaerobic treshhold. This will help you build both speed and endurance.

While fartleks are similar to interval training, they are done at an easier effort and slower pace over a longer period of time.

If you are a competitive runner, you can tap into this speed play during a race to help you pass another runner. "Fartleks are all about pushing your pace and effort and figuring out what your limits are," says Corkum.

5. Run hills

Both coaches agree that running hills is a great way to introduce speed training into your running routine. "It is a great stepping stone from aerobic running to sprint repeats on a track," says Corkum. Uphill training will help you become a faster runner and also increase your VO2 max, making you a more efficient runner. VO2 max is a measure of how much oxygen a person can utilize during intense exercise. "The better your body can be at utilizing oxygen, the more energy you'll be able to output or the faster and longer you'll be able to run, " says Springer.

6. Don't forget to take breaks

Oftentimes, runners will skip recovery days out of fear they're losing progress if not constantly running. "What you actually end up doing when you skip recovery days is slowly digging your own grave in terms of progress," says Corkum.

If you moderately work out everyday and don't find yourself improving, Corkum says it's probably because you aren't resting: "A golden rule in running is to make the hard days hard and the easy days easy."

The reason you're sore the day after a workout is because training causes microtears in your muscles. When you rest, those muscle fibers rebuild, slightly stronger than before. Without recovery days, your body is unable to rebuild itself.

According to Corkum, here are some signs you may be pushing too hard and skimping on recovery:

7. Stay consistent

It's important to have a strong aerobic foundation before you begin incorporating speed training into your workout routine. Corkum recommends that new runners or runners that have taken extended time off spend at least four weeks building up their endurance before beginning speed workouts.

"Those easy runs where you can always run further and faster are really important for establishing a strong foundation for running," says Corkum.

Building this endurance will also help you establish a routine to become a more consistent runner, which is important for building speed. "Remember that you get better at what you do often, not occasionally," says Springer, "while rest days are very important so is building a routine and staying consistent."

(08/30/2020) ⚡AMP

12-hour treadmill race sees male winner run 150K, top female 120K

Adam Holland and Bridget Dawes put their treadmills to good use on Friday to win the final event of the Personal Peak Summer Race Series

The final event of the Personal Peak Summer Race Series (SRS) was held on August 22, with American Bridget Dawes winning the women’s race and Adam Holland of the U.K. taking the men’s crown. The virtual race was 12 hours long and participants ran on their treadmills, racing at the same time. Dawes ran 121K, smashing her competition and beating the next-best finisher by 18K. The men’s race was a much tighter affair, with Holland eking out a win over American Danny Domres, running 151K to Domres’s 149K. Holland won the four-race series, once again edging Domres out for the top spot. After only competing in three of the four races, Dawes finished in 18th overall (despite winning the three events she entered).

Personal Peak (the same company that helped organize the Quarantine Backyard Ultra) started the SRS on May 30 with a 20-minute race and wrapped the series up on August 22 with the brutal 12-hour event. There were also 45-minute and three-hour races in June and July. Each race was run on the treadmill, and every one was a battle to see who could run the farthest. The male and female winners of each event earned 100 points. Everyone else was awarded points based on how far back they finished from the leaders. Keeley Milne won on the women’s side in Race One, and Domres took the men’s win. Dawes didn’t race the 20-minute event.

Next up was the 45-minute race, which Dawes won. Domres got his second win in a row on the men’s side, boosting his points to a perfect 200. Holland wasn’t too far behind, and he improved his points total to 190.7 after two races. The next race, which lasted three hours, was when Holland ruined Domres’s win streak, and in the women’s race, Dawes won once again. The last event, the 12-hour Race Four, would decide who would win the series for the men. Unfortunately for Dawes, even if she won (which she did), she wouldn’t win the women’s series.

Going into the 12-hour race, Domres had 291.7 points and Holland had 290.7. To win the series, Holland had to win by more than one per cent of Domres’s final distance. While the two men were thousands of kilometres apart, the real-time racing made for an exciting day of running. In the end, Holland ran 151.92K to come from behind in the series and take the crown in a thrilling finish. Domres made it tight (just as it had been the entire series), finishing just behind Holland with 149.51K. Both men were close to the 12-hour treadmill world record of 155.08K, which was set earlier this year. The final series standings saw Holland at the top with 390.7 points and Domres in second with 390.1.

Dawes won the women’s event with 120.96K, which crushed second place’s 102K and also earned her third place overall, only behind Holland and Domres in the final rankings. She went on to finish in 18th overall and as the 12th place woman in the series standings, even though she had a perfect record through the final three races. Had she competed in Race One, she likely would have not only won the women’s series, but probably finished as the top runner overall. Instead, American Michele Sollenberger was the top female finisher in the series, winning with 364.9 points.

(08/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine


The Wanda Diamond League today announces further changes to its 2020 calendar, with the postponement of a second Chinese meeting until 2021.

Originally scheduled to have taken place on 17th October, the meeting would have joined Shanghai to become one of two Chinese meetings on the Wanda Diamond League circuit. 

The new meeting has now been postponed, and is to be launched in 2021, when the Wanda Diamond League hopes to return to a full calendar of 15 meetings.The new host city, as well as further details about the meeting, will be revealed in due course.

The 2020 Wanda Diamond League season will now culminate in Doha on 25th September. 

(08/30/2020) ⚡AMP

Reggae Marathon will go virtual this year

Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K  will go virtual this year. That is the decision of the organisers, the Jamdammers Running Club of Kingston, supported by their partners and stakeholders. 

“COVID-19 has altered the ‘runscape’ worldwide, and Jamaica is no exception.  With the rise in positive cases locally and globally, we took the decision to cancel the physical participation this year, in the interest of the international and local participants, with the objective of staying safe.  However, we look forward to returning to the normal participation in 2021,” said Alfred Francis, race director.

Francis further added that “this is the first time in its 19 years of running that Reggae Marathon is being cancelled. 

"We had put many plans in place to celebrate the 20th staging, but we have had to rethink them in light of the negative impact of the pandemic.  We will have additional information on our website for persons who have already registered and are looking at the various options offered in light of the cancellation.“

Since its inception in 2001, Reggae Marathon has seen 24,890 participants, of which 13,169 or 53 per cent were visitors from more than 40 countries worldwide.

(08/29/2020) ⚡AMP

Virtual Boston Marathon is about to be run

Missing: Boston’s raucous crowds and smiles for miles. Still there, sort of: Wellesley College’s iconic “scream tunnel” and the thunderous cheers along the finish line on Boylston Street.

The 124th running of the Boston Marathon finally gets underway next month, but virtually — meaning real runners will do the hard work, and an interactive mobile app will help augment their not-quite-authentic experience.

Rather than lining up in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and making the long trek to Boston, athletes will run this year's marathon solo because of the coronavirus pandemic. A weeklong TV special and the new mobile app will showcase their stories as they go the distance on their own.

Amazon and WBZ-TV are teaming up on a “Boston Marathon Live” broadcast that will be aired nightly starting Monday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 13.

Co-produced by the Boston Athletic Association, which puts on the marathon every year, the show will air at 8 p.m. EDT and again at midnight on television and be streamed on

The marathon normally is run on a Monday in April, on Massachusetts' unique Patriots Day holiday, but was postponed to mid-September because of the pandemic. Then, at the end of May, it was canceled altogether — the first time in its 124-year history that the storied race in its traditional format was scrapped.

Instead, registered runners are being encouraged to complete the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) distance by themselves — wherever they are in the world — and share accounts of their preparation, motivation and execution.

Athletes also will be able to use a mobile app the BAA is rolling out to upload their routes and finish times. The app includes audio cues that will sync with an individual runner's progress and play at key mile markers, such as the roar of the crowd as runners approach the irrepressible women of Wellesley, a marathon tradition, and the finish on Boylston in downtown boston.

“Boston Marathon Live” will be hosted by WBZ-TV anchor Lisa Hughes. Each show will feature interviews with marathon personalities, including champions, and profiles on people participating in the virtual edition.

(08/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by William J. Kole
Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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...


Athletics Kenya readies to replace athletes in U-20 team

Athletics Kenya (AK) will select more youth and put them in camps in various regions ahead of 2020 World Under-20 Championships slated for August 17-22 next year in Nairobi.

While welcoming proposed health protocols issued by the government to guide resumption of sports activities countrywide, AK’s Youth Development chairman Barnaba Korir on Thursday said many athletes who could have made Team Kenya for the championship this year will not be eligible to compete in 2021.

He said this as 14 upcoming athletes at Kapsait Athletics Camp in Elgeyo Marakwet received assorted food donation and Sh3,000 for their upkeep to shield them from adverse effects of Covid-19.

“We shall continue giving support to the youth and at the same time we are aware that many athletes who could have made the team this year will not be eligible to compete in 2021. AK Youth Committee will go back to the drawing board to identify other athletes and prepare for the World Under-20 Championships slated for next year,” said Korir.

The athletes who have been struggling to put food on the table were happy to get food rations from the federation.

Kapsait is home to world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei who is currently training for the London Marathon race slated for October 4.

The youth are among 1,400 probables who had been identified for residential training in various parts of the country to prepare for the World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi before Covid-19 struck, halting sports activities worldwide.

AK started distributing food rations two months ago across the country in collaboration with Ministry of Sports.

“We thank the Ministry of Sports through the Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed who has given guidance in the distribution of food. We hope the virus shall be contained and we shall get the best team for the global event next year as we seek to bag more medals,” added Korir. During the food distribution exercise, AK’s Youth Development head coach, Robert Ng’isirei, asked the young athletes to continue training.

(08/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich

Run across Europe (virtually) in this 2,500K race

The Great European 2,500 is a virtual relay that takes runners the distance of London to Budapest

If your motivation is waning after months without races, the Great European 2,500 could be the slump-buster to get you excited to run again. The virtual race is a 2,500K run for teams of up to six, 12 or 24 people with a route that starts at Buckingham Palace in the U.K. and weaves through eight countries before its finish line in Budapest, Hungary. In the year when you can’t travel wherever you would like for a race, you can participate in a virtual run through some of the best places Europe has to offer. The event starts on October 3, and teams have until December 3 to collectively complete the 2,500K run.

How it works

“Run anywhere,” a promotional video for the event says, “and race across Europe.” You don’t even have to run, actually. Organizers say any time you travel by foot — whether that’s on a training run, a walk with your dog or a hike — you can log your mileage. Using any tracking app you like, from Strava to MapMyRun or something else, participants track their individual kilometres and upload them to the race website. If you don’t have a GPS watch or a phone to track mileage, you can manually log the distance you ran, but organizers note this is not encouraged.

Teams are split into groups based on the number of members and their genders. There are open (more than 50 per cent male), female and co-ed (at least 50/50 men and women) categories, and teams can have up to six, up to 12 or up to 24 racers (although you can have fewer participants than the total allotment in each category, such as four runners in the “up to six” division). As you and your teammates log your runs, you’ll be able to see your progress on a map of Europe and where you stand compared to the rest of the field.

You have two months to complete the 2,500K route. Registration for this event closes on October 24 at 11:59 p.m. If you want to race but can’t find anyone to run with, organizers recommend visiting the Great European 2,500 Facebook page to find any teams who are looking for extra runners.

What you’ll “see”

Race organizers will follow along as each team runs across Europe, highlighting different parts of the virtual route along the way. For example, the route takes runners through Paris and by the Eiffel Tower, over the Swiss Alps, past former Olympic sites in Germany and so many other global attractions. You won’t be there in person, but you can learn about the different places you run by, even if it is virtual.

To learn more about the race and to sign up, click here.

(08/29/2020) ⚡AMP

Japan keeping 5,000-spectator limit with coronavirus cases in Olympic host country high

apan is set to keep the limit of spectators at sporting events at 5,000 as coronavirus cases in the Olympic and Paralympic host country remain high.

The limit had been put in place until the end of August but is set to be extended, as reported by news agency Kyodo.

This will affect Nippon Professional Baseball games and J-League matches, although organisers of the latter had already decided to keep the 5,000 spectator limit until at least September .

The limit was increased from 1,000 to 5,000 on July 10.

Japan has reported more than 1,000 coronavirus cases for the past three days, leading to the extension of the spectator limit.

In total, the country has reported more than 53,500 cases and 1,085 deaths.

There are also concerns about the coronavirus figures in Japanese capital Tokyo, which is due to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.

There have now been more than 17,000 cases of coronavirus in the city, with 338 deaths.

To prevent the spread of the virus, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike urged people to avoid travelling or returning to their hometowns during the holidays.

Venues serving alcohol are also expected to close by 10pm until the end of August.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Japan and around the world, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were delayed by a year and are now scheduled to open on July 23 2021.

Coronavirus countermeasures are viewed as key to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games taking place next year following their postponement.

The process will be led by the Japanese Government as part of a three-party council, which will also feature the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.

Meetings are set to begin this autumn to determine "robust countermeasures" and which are expected to be announced by the end of 2020.

With thousands of athletes due to arrive from across the world to take part in the Games, the health situation outside Japan will also need to improve if they are to go ahead.

(08/29/2020) ⚡AMP

Eugene woman sets Oregon Pacific Crest Trail speed record: 455 miles in 7 days

When Emily Halnon’s mother died of cancer earlier this year, she decided to honor her memory by trying something big. 

She chose one of Oregon’s most grueling challenges. 

In the early morning darkness of Aug. 1, the 35-year-old Eugene resident laced up her shoes at the Oregon-California border and stepped onto the Pacific Crest Trail.

Then she started running.

Over the next week, Halnon ran up mountains and down river valleys, through a frigid thunderstorm and boiling temperatures, felt her shins ache and feet swell up on 17-hour days in remote wilderness.

When she reached the Washington border on Aug. 9, Halnon had set a new speed record for the Oregon section of the PCT: 455 miles in 7 days, 19 hours and 23 minutes.

That’s averaging 57 miles per day.

The supported speed record — meaning she was helped by a team along the way — is the fastest among both men and women, and the fastest overall, according to the website Fastest Known Time, the best metric for tracking trail times.  

In the process, Halnon raised $32,000 for the Brave Like Gabe foundation, which funds rare cancer research.

“It was a celebration of my mom — she was my fuel,” Halnon said. “There have been days when the grief is crushing. Channeling myself into this, into something that would make her proud and that felt like it mattered, was my way of working through it.”

But the run was also about fun. Halnon was supported by a team of friends who threw impromptu dance parties on the trail, invented romance stories to keep her smiling and created a wilderness spa one night near Diamond Peak. 

“There was a lot of singing and dancing and laughing — Emily has fun with the process,” said Eric Suchman, a close friend and social studies teacher at North Eugene High School. “But she's also very tough, very driven. When things are difficult, she can dig deep.”

“Emily is a badass,” said Danielle Snyder, who previously held the women's speed record on the Oregon PCT. “She can be laid-back and goofy. But in the end, she’s a badass.”

Distance running comes in the family

Emily Halnon was inspired by her mother. 

Growing up in Vermont, Andrea Halnon modeled how to be an athlete and runner even in later years.    

"She had a health scare when I was a teenager and that motivated her to start being more physically active," Emily Halnon said. 

It started with walking 5 kilometer races. Then running them. Next came 10 kilometer races and a half marathon. The year Andrea Halnon turned 50, she ran her first marathon. Not finished, she learned to swim so she could complete a triathlon at 60.

The mother inspired her daughter. The duo ran their first marathon together on Emily's 23rd birthday.

“She beat me by 20 minutes,” Emily said. 

The first time Emily visited Oregon was to run the Eugene marathon. But it was trail running in the Pacific Northwest that brought her in Oregon for good, where she started running major distance, including five 100-mile ultramarathons. Her mom supported her every step.

“The joke was how many times she would post on Facebook during those races,” Emily Halnon said. “It was usually about 18 times per race." 

Andrea Halnon was diagnosed with a rare form of uterine cancer in December of 2018 at 65 years old.

“When that first round of chemo didn't work, her oncologist had terrifyingly few options to offer her,” Emily Halnon wrote on Instagram. “One of them was giving up, something my tenacious mother would never do. But dealing with rare cancer often means running out of options. And my mom ran out of treatment options within months of her diagnosis.”

Explore Oregon Podcast:Discover the other half of Oregon on the 750-mile Oregon Desert Trail

Andrea Halnon fought for 13 months, still riding her bike, walking and staying active amid chemotherapy. 

“The way she fought was extraordinary,” Emily Halnon said.

Andrea Halnon died in January. But her toughness lived on through her daughter.

Inspiring more female athletes

The idea of establishing speed records in the outdoors isn’t a new idea, but its appeal has grown over the past decade.

In a time when every blank spot on the map has been filled, and every mountain route climbed, doing adventures in the fastest known time — known as an FKT — has become one way athletes test themselves.

Emily Halnon had her eye on the Oregon PCT since 2015, but once her mom passed, she decided she’d shoot for the FKT.

One of the first people she reached out to was Snyder, who’d set the women’s speed record in 2019. Snyder responded with enthusiasm.

“I work with women to be bold and step into their own, and it was really exciting to have Emily go for it,” said Snyder, who finished the Oregon PCT in 9 days and 15 hours. “Trail running draws a lot more males than females, especially for FKTs. Encouraging more women to go for them is about more than a record.”

Halnon upped her training and milage. She ran the Timberline Trail and climbed Hardesty Mountain three times in one day.   

“In a lot of ways, I’ve been training for this for eight years,” she said. 

How to prove a record

Part of the FTK isn’t just accomplishing it, but being able to prove the record.

As speed records become popularized, some records have proved to be fraudulent. The bar is high for proving a FKT, especially on a high profile route like the Oregon PCT.

Halnon signed up for a Garmin In Reach that allowed people to track her, a blue dot on the map, from a computer screen. In addition to time-stamped pictures, she got a second GPS device — a watch — that took a computerized track she could submit.

“There’s not a governing body for FKTs,” she said. “But the process is pretty rigorous." 

The run and her team

On Aug. 1, Halnon headed to the PCT on the Oregon-California border. It was dark when she began running, but that would become a common theme. 

Her pace was straightforward: run strong and steady on flat, downhill or slightly uphill terrain, while moving to a “strong hike” for steep climbs.   

Earlier that week she’d announced her attempt on Instagram, adding that she would be raising money for rare cancer research. She had modest expectations — maybe $4,500.

Popular hikes:Shellburg Falls Trailhead closing, access moved to new location

“I waffled on the fundraising part of it in the middle of a pandemic,” she said. “But I just decided, if people have the means to give, great. If not, that’s understandable.”

Halnon’s attempt was for a “supported” record — as opposed to a self-supported record. It means she had a team, and it turned the effort into a communal undertaking. 

Halnon’s boyfriend Ian Petersen and dog Dilly met her at many trail crossings for water, fresh clothes, shoes, snacks and sometimes a hot meal — like a race car coming into a pit stop. Different friends paced her on the trail. 

The challenge of eating and romance novels

The first two days spanned a massive area, taking her from California all the way to Crater Lake National Park — a total of 131.5 miles. 

And it became clear what a big challenge might be: eating.

“Every half hour I’d say, ‘time to eat again,’ and she just hated that,” said Snyder, who ran with Halnon on the second day. “When you’re running like this, your body stops processing food as well. You feel crappy and don’t want to eat. It makes you feel tired and nauseous.

“I’d say: ‘I don’t care what you say, you have to eat. If you don’t, you won’t make it through the day, let alone to Washington.’”

Far from the cliché of Cliff Bars and Gu Energy packets, Halnon and many ultra runners opt for tastier fare: Cheetos, gummy worms, Swedish fish, rice crispy treats and Fritos. At stops, she ate quesadillas and instant mash potatoes. 

The days were long. She averaged 16 to 17 hours each day, reaching camp in darkness, sleeping 2 to 5 hours and getting up before dawn to do it again.

Her feet swelled up a half size and shins ached. The mental willingness to keep going meant Halnon’s running partners also had to keep things fun. They danced, sang Taylor Swift music and made up romance novellas.  

“When I did my run, I listened to a lot of romance novels to keep me occupied,” Snyder said. “They’re great. So, on the second day, Emily told me to play her one, but I hadn’t downloaded any. So she was like: ‘Fine! Then you have to tell me a romance story!’

“So I made up a romance story for her. I think the major plot points were about me finding a random trail man and falling in love in the forest. It was pretty bad, but it worked, and it helped us get through a lot of miles.”

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The best day on the PCT: hog dogs, friends and Diamond Peak

There were plenty of difficult days on the trail, but the highlight was day four — 48 miles from  Windigo Pass to Charlton Lake.

The run brought her past emerald lakes and below Diamond Peak, and was close enough to Eugene that her friends threw a mini trail party. 

After 22 miles, she stopped for a break and was surprised when her friend Eric Suchman brought her a hot dog, French fries and ice-cold Powerade from Dairy Queen.

“It was so perfect,” she said. “I’d been fantasizing about a cold beverage for miles and love hot dogs."

That night, after passing the 200-mile mark, she ran into camp in daylight for the first and only time — and she wasn't alone.  

“My Eugene running friends have showed up in force,” she wrote on Instagram. “They meet me 3 miles up the trail to run me in hooting and hollering, to a beautiful lakeshore set up with a grill, coolers, a fireside massage and friends! Everything a girl could dream of greeting her halfway through this PCT run.

“I am ready to head back out onto the trail with recharged legs and a fuller heart and soul.”

She would need that boost. The weather had changed and would bring the biggest challenge yet.

The worst day: thunderstorm and darkness across Mount Jefferson

Day six was one Halnon had been waiting for the entire trip: 59 miles from McKenzie Pass to Brietenbush Lake, across the Three Sisters and Mount Jefferson wilderness areas, the most scenic stretch of the PCT in Oregon.

But the weather had turned against her. A cool thunderstorm blew in, bringing high winds, little visibility and rain that became a winter mix at high elevations. 

“Records aren’t supposed to be easy,” she said.  

From McKenzie Pass she ran across the slick lava rock in a thin rain jacket that wasn’t nearly warm enough, then across exposed ridgelines.

Historic lookout:'One of the last of its kind,' Olallie Mountain Lookout burns down

“It was wet for 14 hours, but the winds on the high ridges were most dramatic,” said Suchman, who ran with her that day. “There were times when we were almost getting blown over. There were no other people on the trail that day, but we passed a ton of tents that looked really warm and cozy.”

As darkness fell, Halnon and Schuman reached a pit stop at Woodpecker Ridge. 

“I shiver through changing clothes and burrow into a sleeping bag with hot ramen,” she wrote, adding that she fell asleep. “I could stay here forever. Warm and not moving.”

One problem: to keep on pace, she had to complete another 10 miles to Breitenbush Lake.

“I reluctantly stand up and groggily start moving,” she wrote. “The next 10 miles are an unending torture chamber of running. Violent river crossings. Icy snow fields. Rocky trails that are hard to follow and travel. Harsh cold again.”

They stumbled into camp at 4:30 a.m.

Just a few hours later, she had to wake up again.  

“I was totally broken the next morning,” Suchman said. “But she woke up at 7:30 a.m. Honestly, watching her get out on the trail was one of the most incredible accomplishments I’ve ever seen.”

Indeed, Halnon ran another 53 miles from Breitenbush Lake to Barlow Pass near Mount Hood on day seven, finishing at 2 a.m.

It set up a final sprint for the record.  

Sprint to the finish, and huge amount of money for rare cancer research

Halnon posted on Instagram throughout the trip, and gradually saw the amount of money she was raising tick upward, all the way to $14,000.

“What I heard from a lot of people was that in the middle of this darkness, the pandemic and everything else, a lot of people were looking for something positive to follow and be part of,” Halnon said. “The run gave them a way to do it.”

The morning of her final day on the trail, she posted: "I'm going for the overall FKT (fastest known time). Can you help me get there with donations to @bravelikegabe?”

To get the fastest known time overall, she needed to finish the final 57 miles by 3:30 a.m. 

“I thought: ‘I can do this, but this day needs to go well,’” she said.

Normally, Halnon said she doesn’t look at her phone during runs. But this time, she kept checking in because the amount of money raised began to rise quickly. 

“I’d get service, press refresh, and see thousands more dollars coming in,” she said. “And I thought: this is why I’m out here.”

But her shin, which had hurt for days, was throbbing. Luckily, Joe Uhan, a physical therapist from Eugene, was along to help at her next pit stop on the trial. 

“People spring into action when I arrive and I'm on Joe's table, his fingers digging magic into my shin, while Lucy spoon-feeds me ramen,” Halnon wrote. “Ian reads me comments people have left about why they're donating. I am a puddle on Joe's table. Cancer has touched and challenged so many lives. And so many people are inspired by my mom.”

The final stretch

The final push was not easy. 

Hanlon was doing well time-wise, but the Bridge of the Gods at Washington's border felt as far away as Australia as she entered the rocky, uneven terrain of the Columbia Gorge.

“I thought about my mom a lot,” she wrote as darkness fell. “I push as hard as I can, which doesn't amount to much speed or grace at mile 446. But I am emptying myself out for this run.”  

Finally, she saw headlights in the distance. Excited hollers. Then the outline of the bridge.

“I hit the bridge surrounded by a tidal wave of love,” she wrote. “The Washington sign cracks me like an egg. I feel so strong and so raw as I finally stop running after 7 days and 19 hours and 23 minutes.”

Her time is a few hours faster than Brian Donnelly, who set the self-supported record of 7 days, 22 hours and 37 minutes in 2013. The final push raised the total over $30,000, which has increased to $32,000. All the money will be donated to Brave Like Gabe for rare cancer research, Halnon said.

After the run, Halnon spent a lot of time sleeping and eating. And thinking about her mom.

“In some ways, I’m glad that she couldn’t follow the blue dot on the screen because it would have really worried her,” Halnon said. “But she would have been beyond proud. And for me, this was my way of feeling connected to her.”

You can still donate to Helnon and the Brave Like Gabe fund here.

Fastest known times on Oregon Pacific Crest Trail 

Supported, female

Emily Halnon: 7 days, 19 hours, 23 minutes (Aug. 9, 2020) 

Lindsey Ulrich: 9 days, 13 hours, 39 minutes (Aug. 5, 2020)  

Danielle Snyder: 9 days, 15 hours, 8 minutes (Aug. 31, 2019) 

Scott Loughney and Yassine Diboun: 8 days, 12 hours, 5 minutes (July 25, 2016) 

Self-supported, male

Brian Donnelly: 7 days, 22 hours, 37 minutes (Aug. 17, 2013) 

Emily Halnon's record, day by day

Day one: California border to Keno Access Road, 61.5 miles / 8,900 feet of elevation gain

Day two: Keno Access Road to Crater Lake National Park, 70 miles / 9,300 feet

Day three: Crater Lake to Windigo Pass, 58 miles / 6,700 feet

Day four: Windigo Pass to Charlton Lake, 48 miles / 6,400 feet

Day five: Charlton Lake to McKenzie Pass, 57 miles / 6,800 feet

Day six: McKenzie Pass to Brietenbush Lake, 59 miles / 8,800 feet

Day seven: Brietenbush Lake to Barlow Pass, 53 miles / 5,700 feet 

Day eight: Barlow Pass to Bridge of the Gods, 57 miles / 8,500 feet

Total: 463.5 miles* / 61,100 feet of climb 

* Mileage taken from Halnon's GPS. It's slightly longer than official Oregon PCT listed milage of 455, but that's normal for GPS systems.  

(08/29/2020) ⚡AMP

London Marathon releases race day schedule

A series of elite events will take place in St James’s Park on October 4

The race schedule for the elite-only Virgin Money London Marathon has been announced, with a series of events taking place throughout the day on Sunday October 4.

The action will kick off with the elite women’s race at 07:15 before the elite men’s race at 10:15 and the wheelchair races at 13:10.

As announced earlier this month, the 2020 London Marathon will not feature a mass race and the elite racing will take place within a “secure biosphere” in St James’s Park.

As recently confirmed by World Athletics, the times recorded in London will be eligible for Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification.


07:15 – Elite women’s race

10:15 – Elite men’s race

13:10 – Wheelchair races

The elite men’s field features distance running greats Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele in a highly-anticipated clash, together with Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, who placed second and third in 2019.

Britain’s Mo Farah will be a pacemaker to athletes looking to achieve the Olympic marathon qualifying standard of 2:11:30, with his compatriots Jonny Mellor, Chris Thompson and debutants Ross Millington and Ben Connor all set to run.

World record-holder and defending London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei leads the women’s field and is joined by five other women who have run inside 2:20: Ruth Chepngetich, Roza Dereje, Vivian Cheruiyot, Valary Jemeli and Degitu Azimeraw.

Among the leading British women confirmed to race are Steph Twell and Lily Partridge.

In the wheelchair races, both Daniel Romanchuk and Manuela Schär will defend their titles.

Athletes will cross the same traditional finish line on The Mall after each completing 19.8 laps of the St James’s Park course, while mass runners will take on their 26.2 miles from home or anywhere in the world as part of the event’s first virtual edition.

(08/28/2020) ⚡AMP
TCS London Marathon

TCS London Marathon

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


Bashir Abdi and Sir Mo Farah talk about their upcoming one hour world record attempt

When the global implications of COVID-19 were made clear in early March, the UK’s Mo Farah and Belgium’s Bashir Abdi immediately thought about their families. Abdi had just come off of a stellar performance at the Tokyo Marathon – finishing 2nd in a time of 2:04.51 to break his own national record. He then went to Belgium to spend some time with his family but was planning to return to Ethiopia for a training camp in the spring. Farah was still in Ethiopia, training through an injury and looking to find his next race. Deciding to transition back down to the track from the roads meant that he wanted to sharpen his skills a few times in the leadup to the Olympic Games.

Neither, however, had any plans to line up at the beginning of September in an empty stadium in Belgium to break a world record. But since the end of July, the two have been training in Font-Romeu, France, with the goal of breaking Haile Gebrselassie’s one hour record. On September 4, they will be chasing a distance, rather than a time, at the reimagined AG Memorial Van Damme competition.

Months earlier, in highland Ethiopia, Farah was focused on getting into some races. “At that time I wasn’t thinking anything except finding a race to test myself,” he said. “I was supposed to go leave at the end of March but so many countries were going into lockdown and I left quickly to make sure I didn’t get stuck and could get back to the UK to be with my family.”

With his four children at home due to school closures, Farah embraced the time with his family after his safe arrival. It allowed him to recover from his injury and was a welcome distraction to the Olympic Games being cancelled. He even got some of his competitive juices flowing while being a stay-at-home dad, challenging his kids and his wife to competitions like mini-triathlons, and shooting football penalties in a dizzied state.

Abdi was in Belgium but was so sure of his plans to return to Ethiopia in April, that he left many of his belongings in a house the Mudane team rents outside of Addis Ababa. Instead, he trained in the uncertainty in a much colder and damper Belgium, and was able to care for his wife before she gave birth in June. “Cancelling the Olympics was obviously sad to hear, especially after getting so much motivation from the race in Tokyo,” Abdi said. “But the most important thing is health, and it was nice to get to spend more time with my family. It would have been a difficult period welcoming in a new child and training for the Games.”

Even as they both embraced the circumstances and stayed in shape at home, the itch to compete lingered. Thus, as soon as the idea was presented to chase the record, they were in.

While in cycling, the one hour record is an oft-contested event, in running it is far more rare. Although the event has roots dating back to the mid-1800s, it never garnered comparable popularity, despite legends such as Paavo Nurmi, Emil Zatopek, Jos Hermens, and the current record holder, Haile Gebreselassie, owning impressive titles at various points.

To get the record, Farah will have to beat Gebreselassie’s distance of 21,285 meters, which he ran in 2007 at the 46th Golden Spike Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic. However, Gebreselassie had an important asset on his side, which Farah and Abdi will not: a packed stadium. Because of the pandemic, the event will be closed off to spectators. In the final meters when they are throwing down the hammer, the arena will remain still and silent.

But little phases Farah at this point in his career, whose accomplishments are too long to list. “I’ve been running since I was 12 and over the years you just learn from races what works for you and what doesn’t work for you,” he said. Obviously this is a different style of running, but he plans to employ similar tactics for this attempt. “It’s really first just about getting fit – once I’m fit enough to run under 60 minutes for a half marathon I can build smaller components from there.”

(08/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Hannah Borenstein

Brigid Kosgei will be targeting records in Brussels

Brigid Kosgei is set to make her serious track debut at the AG Memorial Van Damme Diamond League meeting in Brussels on September 4, when she will join Sifan Hassan in attacking the one-hour world record.

Netherlands’ Hassan was announced for the event earlier this month, with the world 1500m and 10,000m champion targeting Dire Tune’s 2008 mark of 18,517km.

Now world marathon record-holder Kosgei has been added to the field as she works toward the defence of her title at the elite-only Virgin Money London Marathon on October 4.

According to her World Athletics profile, the Brussels meeting will be Kosgei’s first serious track event, with only road performances – including her incredible 2:14:04 marathon in Chicago last October – listed so far.

The 26-year-old has a half-marathon PB of 64:28 which she set when winning the Great North Run last year. Although that course is not record-eligible, Kosgei’s performance there is the fastest ever half-marathon time run by a woman.

The Kenyan’s best time for 15km is 48:54.

The meeting will also include a men’s one-hour event, with Britain’s four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah among those targeting Haile Gebrselassie’s 21,285km mark.

He will be joined by his training partner Bashir Abdi of Belgium and Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon will aim to break the world 1000m record of 2:28.98 – a mark she missed by just 17 hundredths of a second in Monaco – when she lines up at the AG Memorial Van Damme.

The women’s 1000m replaces the 4x400m mixed relay event which had originally been planned, with the Borlée brothers having decided to end their season due to “slight injuries”.

Another change to the programme is the cancellation of the triathlon which had been set to see Belgium’s Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam and Britain’s world gold medalist Katarina Johnson-Thompson go head-to-head in the 100m hurdles, shot put and high jump.

Thiam has withdrawn from the meeting due to injury and Johnson-Thompson will now contest just the hurdles and high jump.

According to organizers, Thiam is suffering “continuous pain at the Achilles tendons and does not want to take any risk”.

The triathlon shot put will be replaced by a women’s 100m, while Brazil’s Olympic champion Thiago Braz has been added to the pole vault field alongside world record-holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden.

Organizers had initially hoped to be able to welcome around 9000 spectators “in a safe and secure way” but the event is now set to take place behind closed doors.

(08/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly

Tokyo Marathon 2021 could exclude non-elite runners again due to pandemic

Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon are considering excluding runners from the general public for a second consecutive year over coronavirus concerns, Jiji Press learned Thursday.

Next year’s Tokyo Marathon, scheduled for March 7, may accept elite athletes only. The Tokyo Marathon Foundation will make a decision on the matter early next month, informed sources said.

In this year’s race, held on March 1, participation by some 38,000 runners from among the public was canceled due to the spread of the new coronavirus. Spectators were asked to refrain from watching from along the marathon route as elite athletes ran in the race, which served as a qualifier for Japanese athletes for the men’s marathon in the Tokyo Olympics.

Suguru Osako set a new Japanese record of 2 hours, 5 minutes and 29 seconds to place fourth in the race. He was later selected to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, which has been postponed by one year to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tokyo Marathon, which started in 2007, is one of the largest marathon events in Japan in terms of the number of participants.

The foundation has already notified runners from the general public for this year’s race that they are eligible to participate in the Tokyo Marathon for next year or for 2022. They were initially asked to choose the year by last month, but the selection process has been postponed.

(08/28/2020) ⚡AMP
Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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...


2020 Boston Marathon Virtual Experience Launches Thursday

The new 124th Boston Marathon Virtual Experience mobile app is scheduled to launch to registered participants on Thursday, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

This year's in-person marathon, originally scheduled for April 20, was postponed until September and then ultimately canceled altogether due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In its place, the B.A.A. said it would be holding the marathon virtually, with registered participants completing 26.2 miles within their neighborhoods instead of on the race course itself.

The Boston Marathon Virtual Experience will run from Sept. 5 to Sept. 14, with daily programming available in the app starting Sept. 7 and a Mile 27 Post-Race Party on Sept. 14.

The new mobile app and web platform will only be accessible to registered participants, who will login with the email they used to register for the race. The app will include:

• Spectator tracking for friends and family of participants• Map tracking for participants to see where they would be on the actual Boston Marathon course• A virtual toolkit with printable winner's breaktape, mile markers, cheer cards and instructions to make an at-home finish line• A downloadable bib with each participant's number• Results and leaderboards• Audio cues from Boston Marathon champions, the roar of the Wellesley Scream Tunnel, crowds on Boylston Street and other iconic elements• Pre-race audio, including the Star-Spangled Banner and official start sound• A photo booth with Boston Marathon stickers to share on social media• A Shake Out Run for participants to practice the app's functionality before their big day

Participants will be able to submit their times by using their phone's GPS tracker, a compatible device like a Garmin or Fitbit or by manually uploading a time directly to the app or web platform.

(08/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Marc Fortier
Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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...


After dealing with a plantar fasciitis problem in Europe, Donavan Brazier ends his season

Donavan Brazier’s 2020 outdoor season is over.

The reigning outdoor champion and U.S. record-holder in the 800 meters has been dealing with nagging plantar fasciitis problem in his right foot according to Pete Julian, Brazier’s coach.

Not that anybody could tell from his performances. Brazier won his 10th consecutive race -- a streak that dates to 2019 -- Sunday in the Stockholm Diamond League meet, taking the 800 in 1 minute 43.76 seconds with a late charge on the home straight.

And, for Brazier, that was that.

In a text message, Julian said Brazier’s has been dealing with “one of those types of injuries that most runners can relate to. Not bad enough to stop but not good enough to bring fuzzy happiness. It’s all always about finding the right combination of what you can and cannot do.

“As long as he was getting through the training and making a little bit of progress from week to week, and with the support of his doctor, I welcomed the adversity as a teaching tool. He did a great job keeping his head straight and focusing on winning stead of whining. By Stockholm, his foot was feeling better and you could tell in the way he raced.”

Just the same, Brazier and Julian decided enough was enough.

“He was fishing on the banks of Stockholm the next day,” Julian said.

Julian said the runners in his training group will go different directions soon. Craig Engels, Jessica Hull, Raevyn Rogers and Shannon Rowbury are entered in a meet in Goteborg, Sweden on Saturday. After that, Julian and some of his athletes will head home.

Engels is penciled into the 1,500 at the Diamond League in Brussels on Sept. 4. Hull and Rowbury are scheduled for the 1,500 in Berlin on Sept. 13.

“Shann and Jessica want to stay in Europe and keep racing any willing participants,” Julian said.

(08/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe

Napoli City Half Marathon to restart in February

The countdown for the Napoli City Half Marathon has started. The registrations are officially open for the 8th edition of the race, scheduled for February 28, 2021.

Napoli Running, a project of RunCzech, is ready to restart and with all health and safety measures advised by the Italian Institutions and FIDAL (the Italian Federation of Athletic), will organize an event which organizers call a “must” in the international calendar of road running.

The success of the 2020 edition, the last international mass participation event which took place in Europe before the lockdown, is still in the minds of the 7,000 runners, including 1500 visitors from 61 countries around the world.

The event has an economic impact on the Naples metropolitan area of approximately 4 million euro (4.7m USD), and is seen by more than 500 million viewers worldwide.

The Napoli City Half Marathon 2020 celebrated remarkable performances by the winners, Kenyan Henry Rono (RunCzech Racing) in 1:00:04 (a course record) and the compatriot Viola Cheptoo in 1:06:47, second fastest performance of all time on Italian soil.

2021’s route will start from Viale Kennedy and the Mostra d’Oltremare, and will lead the runners through the most fascinating areas of the city, running along the coast for more than 15km.

Organizers promise compliance with all the health and safety measures advised by the Italian authorities to ensure a safe event.

(08/27/2020) ⚡AMP
Napoli City Half Marathon

Napoli City Half Marathon

The Napoli City Half Marathon is the most growing running event in Italy. The race, certified by IAAF / AIMS/ European Athletics, is held inoptimal conditions with an average temperature of 10 ° C. From thewaterfront to the Castel dell'Ovo, the Teatro San Carlo to the Piazzadel Plebiscito, the course will lead you through the most fascinatingareas of the city,...


Reigning Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon has set her sights on the world 1000m record in Brussels

Reigning Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon has set her sights on the world 1000m record at the Memorial Van Damme, a Wanda Diamond League meeting in Brussels on September 4.

Kipyegon, who came up 0.17 shy of Svetlana Masterkova's 2:28.98 record at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco earlier this month, will give it another try in the same stadium and meeting where the record was set in 1996. Kipyegon's 2:29:15 performance in Monaco elevated the 26-year-old Kenyan to No2 all-time over the distance.

Organizers also announced that Brigid Kosgei, the world record-holder in the marathon, has joined the field in the women's one-hour run, a bid on the 18.517km world record in that event, which includes double world champion Sifan Hassan. Kosgei, who smashed the marathon world record with a stunning 2:14:04 run in Chicago last year, will be making her track debut. 

Slight injuries by key local athletes have forced some changes to the programme.

Nagging achilles tendon pain has sidelined Olympic heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam, cancelling her triathlon duel with world champion Katerina Johnson-Thompson of Great Britain. Johnson-Thompson will still compete in the 100m hurdles and the high jump.

Injury woes have also struck the Borlee brothers, thus cancelling the mixed 4x400m relay. That made room on the programme for the women's 1000m.

Meanwhile, the removal of the triathlon shot put has made room for the women's 100m to give rising Belgian star Rani Rosius an opportunity in the spotlight. The 20-year-old improved her career best to 11.39 at the national championships recently to move up to No2 on the Belgian all-time list.

Olympic champion Thiago Braz of Brazil has joined the men's pole vault field, taking on world record holder Mondo Duplantis and local star Ben Broeders.

Local restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have forced the meeting behind closed doors but will be broadcast live across several platforms. Details will be announced shortly.

(08/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Shannon Rowbury just might make her fourth US Olympic Team post-pregnancy

Shannon Rowbury proved she can run elite times post-pregnancy. Next year, she hopes to be the latest example that an Olympic career doesn’t end with motherhood.

“Having a child isn’t a death sentence,” she told fellow Olympic runner and mom Alysia Montaño in a recent On Her Turf interview. “You can come back even better.”

Rowbury, a 35-year-old, three-time Olympian, raced this month on the Diamond League circuit for the first time in three years and since having daughter Sienna in June 2018.

It went pretty well. She clocked her second-fastest 5000m ever, a 14:45.11 to place fifth in Monaco.

Only four other Americans have ever gone faster. One is retired (Shalane Flanagan). It’s very possible that two of the others could focus on other distances next summer (Shelby Houlihan and Molly Huddle).

Rowbury is right in the mix to make a fourth straight Olympics, given three U.S. women qualify per event. She can become the oldest U.S. woman to race on an Olympic track since Gail Devers in 2004, and one of the few moms to do so.

Rowbury is the former American record holder at 1500m and 5000m with a pair of fourth-place finishes from racing the former at the last three Olympics.

In 2018, she returned to training eight weeks after having Sienna. Ramping up too quickly led to a stress fracture in early 2019. She felt fatigued from sleep deprivation and breastfeeding and struggled with her identity.

Will I ever be the same? How much do I have left? Who am I without sport? 

“I love my daughter,” she said last year, “but I loved my life before as well.”

She kept running. Rowbury placed sixth in the 5000m at the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships, racing on a lack of training due to the injury. She missed an Olympic or world championships team for the first time since 2007, when she graduated from Duke.

Then in November, she won the U.S. 5km title on the roads in New York City. Rowbury raced for the first time this year in July and is still in Europe, torn while spending three weeks away from Sienna and husband Pablo Solares, a former middle-distance runner from Mexico.

“I felt very strongly that I would never prioritize my career over my family and over my daughter,” she said. “My performance right now is testament to the fact that you can have a healthy, natural weaning process, and you can still compete at a very high level.”

Rowbury partly dismissed motherhood earlier in her career because she was afraid of potential consequences. In more recent years, runners including Rowbury, Montaño and Allyson Felix fought for maternity protection in the sport, such as with health insurance through USA Track and Field and in sponsor contracts.

“I don’t think that any woman should be told she needs to do something in order to compete as an athlete or to pursue her dreams,” Rowbury said.

(08/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Yahoo Sports OlympicTalk
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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


Kenyan Victor Chumo looking forward to London Marathon duties

As world marathon Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, the biggest threat to the Kenyan's 2:01:39 mark, prepare for the October 4 London Marathon, ‘Rabbit’ Victor Chumo is preparing for an equally daunting task.

Chumo will be pacing for Kipchoge as he seeks to retain his title in the streets of London and has revealed his kind of routine as he battles to stay sharp for the task ahead.

The reigning Barcelona Half Marathon champion disclosed that he has been running at least 30km daily ahead of what is expected to be a highly-charged race.

Chumo will be guiding the elite-runners only event, occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, where he leads the first group while Chicago Marathon champion, Mo Farah, will be pacing for the second group.

He said he fully understands what is at stake now that it will be the third time pacing for the only man to have dipped under two hours over the distance.

“I first paced Kipchoge during the Nike Breaking 2 where he ran 2:00: 25. I then paced him during Ineos 1:59 Challenge, running 1:59:40. With this, he has trust in me and I have to once again deliver," said Chumo.

Kipchoge will be chasing his fifth title in London after winning the 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 editions.

“There will be a strong field in London and that needs a strong pacesetter. You can imagine how speedy the race will be with some of the greatest marathon runners on show,” said the former Kenya Defence Forces man.

Kipchoge and Bekele (2:01:41) will also have to contend with some of the toughest challengers including nine who have dipped under 2:06.

They include Mosinet Geremew (2:02:55), Mule Wasihun (2:03:16), Sisay Lemma (2:03:36), Tamirat Tola (2:04:06), Marius Kipserem (2:04:11), Shura Kitata (2:04:49), Vincent Kipchumba (2:05:09), Sondre Nordstad Moen (2:05:48) and Gideon Kipketer (2:05:51).

Other pace-setters include Noah Kipkemoi, who also paced at Ineos Challenge, Erick Kiptanui, Alfred Barkach, Shadrack Kimining, Matt Clowes (Great Britain), and Jake Smith (Great Britain).

(08/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
TCS London Marathon

TCS London Marathon

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


2020 Virtual TCS New York City Marathon will be Featuring Elite and Celebrity Athletes

Although the long-planned 50th edition of the TCS New York City Marathon cannot take place this year due to the COVID pandemic, the virtual version will still offer some of the usual star power of the in-person race. Race founders and organizers New York Road Runners announced today that national champions Steph Bruce (Hoka Northern Arizona Elite) and Emily Sisson (Team New Balance) will among those running their own 42.195-kilometer race during the October 17 to November 1 Virtual TCS New York City Marathon event window.

"New York is a dream goal of mine," said Bruce in a video message from her home in Flagstaff, Ariz. "And even though 2020 looks different I still need a reason to get out there to train and race."

Bruce, the 36 year-old mother of two boys, finished sixth at the 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta last February. She has a personal best of 2:27:47 and has won national road running titles at 10 km (2018) and the half-marathon (2019). She has run the TCS New York City Marathon twice, finishing 10th in 2017 and 11th in 2018. Despite the pandemic, she's done a pair of 5000-meter track races this year, running 15:29.95 and 15:19.21. She has run 11 career marathons.

"At every level we all need something tangible to train for," Bruce recently wrote on Twitter. "Something that gets us out the door and fired up. I've been training for some big opportunities coming up. I'm not gonna waste them."

Sisson, 28, made an excellent marathon debut in London in April, 2019, clocking 2:23:08, despite falling during her warm-up and banging her knee. In her second marathon, the 2020 USA Olympic Trials, she failed to finish. The hilly course left her legs trashed, she said.

"It sounds dramatic, but that was probably the most disappointing race I've had in my career," she told NBC Sports recently.

Sisson had planned to run the 2020 TCS New York City Marathon before it was cancelled on June 24. She's hoping that the virtual race --which does not offer any prize money-- will fill some of the void in her training and racing schedule.

"Nothing gets me as fit as marathon training," Sisson said in a video statement today. "I'm hoping to use this as a springboard into the new Olympic year of 2021."

New York Road Runners also announced that 17-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden would be competing as a wheelchair racer. McFadden, 31, has won the women's wheelchair division of the TCS New York City Marathon five times.

"I'm so excited to be running the virtual TCS New York City Marathon this fall," McFadden said through a video statement.

Other noteworthy participants include American Olympic marathon medalists Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi, former pro tennis player James Blake, reigning TCS New York City Marathon men's wheelchair division champion Daniel Romanchuk, and former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber.

"Virtual racing continues to redefine the runner experience by creating an innovative and safe way to participate during these challenging times while also providing an opportunity for runners from all over the world to stay connected through running," said New York Road Runners president and CEO Michael Capiraso through a statement. "We are excited to welcome an inspiring group of prominent runners to our third-annual Virtual TCS New York City Marathon."

(08/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...


The Virtual Air Force Marathon 2020, Sells Out Amidst COVID-19

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Air Force officials had cancelled the 2020 Air Force Marathon which would have been held Saturday, Sept. 19. However, call it foresight or a stroke of luck, ironically a virtual race option was already planned to be added this year and all seven virtual events are now sold out.

“Being an Air Force event, we initially created the virtual option so military members anywhere in the world had the opportunity to still be a part of the event if they could not be here in person,” said Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director. “Little did we know that our initial intention would have a whole new meaning behind it.”

The virtual race allows runners from all over the world to join in from afar. Participants will virtually complete the Air Force Marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, Tailwind Trot or Fly! Fight! Win! Challenge Series race.

Runners will be required to run their selected distance during the month of September and encouraged to upload their race results online.   

“We were hopeful that we would get a good turnout but we never expected to sell out and sell out so quickly,” said Hough. “I think the appeal is that running in a virtual race allows runners to have the ability to run their event from wherever they are and have the flexibility to pick anytime to run it throughout the month.” 

With the success of the number of participants in this year’s marathon, Hough said that he is considering to continue to offer virtual events in the future. 

This year’s virtual race will have more than 11,600 athletes participating from all 50 states and 32 countries.

Once athletes complete their selected race, participants will receive their 2020 bib, commemorative patch, official race shirt, and finisher’s medal celebrating this year’s featured aircraft, the HH-60G Pave Hawk.  Challenge Series athletes will receive finisher’s medals for all three races selected in addition to a special Fly! Fight! Win! finisher’s medal and quarter zip pullover.

Along with the virtual race, there will also be a virtual Health and Fitness Expo where athletes will be able to shop their favorite expo booths and learn about new products and developments in health, fitness, and nutrition. The virtual expo will be available online Sept. 1-30 and is free and open to the public.

(08/26/2020) ⚡AMP
Air Force Marathon

Air Force Marathon

The first official marathon was held on September 20, 1997, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Air Force, and is held the third Saturday in September each year. 2023 marks the 27th year and is set forSeptember 16th, 2023. To commemorate our rich history in flight, each year one aircraft is chosen to be highlighted during the marathon and on...


With the marathons cancelled, Emily Sisson chose a virtual one

Sisson, a 28-year-old based in Arizona, plans to run exactly 26.2 miles for the virtual competition with no prize money (Sisson is sponsored by New Balance, which is a New York Road Runners partner). She said last week that she was still deciding on her route.

“It’s hard to find somewhere where I can get 26.2 miles without having to stop for traffic,” she said.

Sisson originally planned to race the in-person New York City Marathon. When it was canceled in June, she was left in a foreign state — training without any competitions on the horizon. She was eager once told about the virtual option.

“Obviously, a virtual race can’t completely replace the New York City Marathon,” she said. “But it’s something to put on my schedule, to work towards and train for right now.

“That’s the reward for working really hard.”

Sisson, after her marathon debut in London in April 2019, spent last fall and winter with Leap Day circled. She flew to Atlanta among the contenders to make the three-woman U.S. Olympic marathon team. Many tapped her the overall favorite.

But her legs felt off early on the hilly course, Sisson shared on the Ali on the Run podcast in April. Tightness crept up around mile 11. She looked at the elites around her. Laura Thweatt was bounding. Des Linden was floating.

Sisson’s quads were taking a beating. She was dropped around mile 20 and, by mile 22, stepped off the course and into the arms of her husband, Shane Quinn.

“It sounds dramatic, but that was probably the most disappointing race I’ve had in my career,” she said last week. “I’ve never had to drop out of a race before. I’ve also never blown up like that in a race before. Take that back, I fainted once. I’ve never had a race where I performed so far off where my fitness level was.”

Sisson implemented the plan B that coach Ray Treacy discussed the night before. If your chances of finishing top three are done, pull the rip cord and save your legs for the 10,000m at the track trials in June.

Sisson’s legs were “destroyed.” She took three weeks off from running, consulting with a chiropractor while weighing the risk of that long of a rest. She also knew that the Olympics were under threat of postponement, which eventually was announced on March 24, three and a half weeks after the marathon trials.

The U.S. Olympic marathon team of Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel and Sally Kipyego is expected to remain in place for next year. The track trials are now in June 2021. Sisson will race this virtual 26.2 miles, then will probably focus on the 10,000m. Her unfinished business in the marathon — the in-person variety — will be on the agenda after the Tokyo Games.

Sisson will set at least one personal best this year. Her virtual marathon will be her longest-ever solo run, though Quinn will likely ride a bike alongside her. She will put on headphones and probably listen to music.

“It’s hard hitting pause on a low,” Sisson said, reflecting on the Atlanta trials. “It’s nice to have something else right now.”

(08/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Nick Zaccardi

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon launches first ever Virtual Club and Racing Series

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon will involve a "unique alternative race format" with virtual and possibly "physical components", its event organiser said on Monday (Aug 24).

In a press release, event organiser Ironman Group said that these components are being explored "depending on regulations to replace the traditional road race". 

The race format will allow runners to take part in the race "safely and virtually", said Ironman Group, and they can still enjoy the "signature finisher experience", complete with the finisher photo. 

"With the health and safety of the runners, community and supporters being of utmost importance, race organisers will continue to work closely with relevant Government agencies for the unique race format for the 2020 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon," said the organiser.


In order to help runners stay active and train for the December marathon, the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Virtual Club (VC) platform has also been launched.

The platform, which is free to join, includes weekly races and challenges, an online store with redeemable rewards, training and nutritional resources, and performance tracking.

"Runners can track their training data easily, compare themselves against their peers across local and global leader boards," said the press release. 

"They can also improve their performances through the nutrition and training guides available and join themed weekly challenges and races to build up their training mileage for the race at the end of the year."

Part of the platform is the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Virtual Racing Series, where a total of 15 races will allow runners to gear up for the "grand finale", said Mr Geoff Meyer, who is Asia managing director for Ironman Group.

"That will build every week, all the way down to that weekend in December where we call it our grand finale," he said at a virtual news conference on Monday.

As part of the race day, the physical component could involve participants running on treadmills or clocking their runs outdoors. And there will be an augmented reality course "through the heart of Singapore", said Mr Meyer.


For the virtual reality component, runners can create avatars who can navigate through the virtual marathon route in real time, competing with fellow runners, said the press release.

Given that planning for the race is still ongoing, more details will be shared soon, said Ironman Group.

“We would love to be launching a 50,000-person event running through the streets of Singapore, but obviously this is not to be the case in our current environment. The safety of our athletes, volunteers, staff and all Singaporeans is our priority," said Mr Meyer. 

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong said: “The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon will be a unique experience this year. With the launch of new innovative solutions, we will be able to continue training and connecting with fellow runners and athletes from around the world."

(08/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Matthew Mohan


The Singapore Marathon is an annual international marathon race which is held in December in the city of Singapore. It is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. It has grown significantly since its inaugural race in 1982 – the 2013 event attracted a total of 60,000 entrants for all categories. There are four separate categories of competition: the full marathon,...

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