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Kenya: 1000 Needy Kenyan Athletes to Benefit From Food Relief and Cash Stipends

he Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage has identified over 1000 needy athletes who are set to benefit from food packages and cash stipends.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed revealed this as she flagged off an initial donation of food packages to 58 athletes based in Eldoret on Thursday morning.

"Eliud Kipchoge has helped us identify the needy athletes who really deserve to get these food packages as an initial relief. These are athletes who were meant to participate in the World Youth Championship in July and other local races which have since been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic," Mohamed said.

The CS also revealed that her ministry is working on giving out a cash stipend to Kenyan athletes to cushion them during these hard times.

"Other than athletes, we also have rugby players, footballers in the Kenyan Premier League and Kenya Women's Premier League and many other sportsmen and women. We haven't forgotten them and we will soon be rolling out cash stipends to them," she said.

"Our plan is to give them Sh 10,000 each but we are still on the planning phase of how we will roll it out successfully," she added.

The CS called on corporate entities to partner with the ministry for this initiative.

"We have some money from the Sports Fund for these activities but it can never be enough to reach all the needy and deserving athletes. I call upon organizations to come on board and help us reach more sportsmen and women," she emphasized.

The food packages donated to the athletes in Eldoret have maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil, pasta among other foodstuffs.

(05/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge, the legend, is leading from the front in distributing relief food to vulnerable athletes in the Rift Valley

On Friday, the Olympic champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge spent his day in Kericho County distributing the food which was flagged off by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Thursday.

Kipchoge, along with his Eliud Kipchoge Foundation, was picked as the ambassador of the relief project by the Ministry of Sport to motivate and come to the aid of athletes who have lost huge potential income owing to cancellation of races as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite.

The food was donated by the ministry and well wishers, including the Hindu Council of Kenya, with Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo joining Amina in flagging off the consignments on Thursday.

The packages being given to each athlete, have, inter alia, maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil and pasta.

Athletes in Kericho were excited to not only receive the portions, but also have a close encounter with their legend Kipchoge who became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours in Vienna last October.

Kipchoge was, perhaps, difficult to identify, given that he wore a face mask in tandem with public health directives, but his Nike jumper and unique, grey Nike Zoom shoes along with the spring the famous spring in his step as he moved up and down, unloading the consignments from trucks, gave him in.

Seeing the legend “live” was huge consolation for the disruption in the Kericho athletes’ training programmes by Covid-19 precautions that outlaw group training sessions and races from being held.

Kipchoge’s programme too has been seriously disrupted by the pandemic.

Last month, he had been lined up with his Ethiopian Global Sports Communication stable mate but rival, Kenenisa Bekele, at the London Marathon.

Then in July, he was primed to defend his Olympic marathon title in Sapporo.

But while the April 26 London Marathon was postponed to October 4, the Olympic Games have been pushed to July and August next year, holding all factors constant.

Kipchoge has now to juggle between staying in shape and helping out the disadvantaged athletes, indeed the hallmark of a selfless legend.

n Friday, Kipchoge will be on the food relief mission in Kapsabet, Eldoret, Iten and Kaptagat.

"Through Eliud Kipchoge, we have identified 58 athletes who are very needy and deserve to get these food packages,” CS Amina said on Thursday while flagging off the food convoy at Nyayo National Stadium.

“The effects of the pandemic mean they cannot compete and they do not have any source of income.”

The CS, who announced earlier in the week that cover 1,000 sportsmen and women will benefit from the relief food, also appealed to the private sector and individuals to supplement the government's efforts in helping the vulnerable sportsmen and women.

(05/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Dilemma for Women's world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei to defend Chicago or London titles

World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei is in dilemma on which race to participate in come October.

The London Marathon was postponed from April to October 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile the Chicago Marathon is scheduled for October 11.

Kosgei would love to run both Majors but she is certainly not a superwoman and must choose one.

According to the Kapsait-based athlete, she was in good shape in March and looking forward to the season before Covid-19 outbreak struck leading to the suspension of the athletics calendar.

“My preparations for the London Marathon race where I was going to defend my title were in top gear because I had less than two months to finalise my programme before coronavirus disrupted it,” said Kosgei at her home.

She was also named in the Kenya marathon team to the Olympic Games which were postponed to next year due to the virus.

She said that her programme had been all geared towards defending her title in London race then preparing for an assault on Tokyo Olympics gold.

“But now I have to wait for to next year. I believe I will still be in good shape to run and win the race,” said Kosgei, who is under Rosa Associati management.

With five months to go before the London and Chicago marathons are held Kosgei has all the time to decide as she picks up on her training.

She is currently training individually in Eldoret, following the government directives of social distancing. “When the camps were closed, the only thing possible was to training a lone. So I am doing that here in Eldoret, but how I miss competitive running. I cannot wait for things to return to normal,” she said.

She has also been tending to her five-acre potato farm in Kapsait, with the help of her husband Mathew Kosgei whom she says has been very supportive of her career.

Kosgei won last year’s prestigious London Marathon with a time of 2:18:20 ahead of compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot who clocked 2:20:14 while Ethiopia’s Rosa Dereje was third in 2:20:51.

She broke the women’s marathon record in Chicago last year clocking 2 hours, 14 minutes and 04 seconds.

She is optimistic of lowering her personal best in the near future.

(05/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...

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The Missoula Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

We are disappointed to announce that we will be cancelling the Missoula Marathon weekend of events for 2020.  This was a very challenging and difficult decision for the Run Wild Missoula Board of Directors and the Missoula Marathon race committee.

We take great pride in putting on our race and love being a part of the energy and excitement of race weekend.  

We recognize the pride that our community takes in supporting the race and showing off Missoula to thousands of people from across the U.S. and from around the world.

We know that marathon weekend has a significant economic impact for our local hotels, restaurants, retailers, breweries and other small businesses.

Race weekend also provides the opportunity to showcase our amazing sponsors, and, finally, proceeds from the race allow us to make donations to local organizations who are doing great things in our community.

But we also recognize that we have a larger commitment to the Missoula community.  In the current pandemic scenario, we are obligated to consider the health and safety of participants, volunteers, vendors, and community members.

Through stay at home orders and social distancing directives issued by the Governor’s office and local health departments, Montana has done an admirable job in managing the spread of the virus within our state.  But, in discussions with our medical director and local health officials, there is serious concern about a potential spike in virus cases in Missoula in the days and weeks following the marathon should the race be held as scheduled.

Those same thoughts and concerns have also been expressed by others in the community, including our volunteers and race committee members.  And, as we have now topped 1 million cases in the U.S., it is also reflective of the number of events in Montana and around the country that have been cancelled in May, June, July – and beyond. 

Further, there is no timeline, in Montana or elsewhere, suggesting when large group events involving thousands of people such as races and concerts will be allowed to resume. 

So, in consideration of the public health of the Missoula community and our participants, we realize that the only responsible action is to cancel the race for 2020.

This is not the outcome we envisioned for the 14th Annual Missoula Marathon.  But we do intend to be back in June, 2021.  Until then – Stay Active, Stay Healthy, Stay Safe, and Stay Strong.

(05/08/2020) ⚡AMP
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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Kenyan Mary Keitany is ready to shed off added weight after hip injury lay-off

If you are familiar with former London Marathon champion Mary Keitany, the first thing you will notice when you meet her is the extra bit of weight she is obviously carrying.

Understandably, Keitany has been nursing a hip injury picked last year that has prevented her from engaging in any serious training.

Many may not be aware that she sustained the injury when she competed in last year’s London Marathon finishing fifth in 2:20:58 as compatriot Brigid Kosgei romped to victory in 2:18:20.

Keitany told Nation Sport that she has been treating the hip injury since then.

She lined up for the New York Marathon against the advise of her doctor and is paying the price for that.

Running as the defending champion, she finished second in 2:23:32 as New York got a surprise winner in the name of newcomer Joyciline Jepkosgei, who romped to a marathon debut win of 2:22:38 while Ethiopia’s Ruti Aga sealed the podium in 2:25:51.

In the new season, Keitany was to debut in Boston Marathon in April but she pulled out because the hip injury, that had been aggravated in New York and just could not heal, seriously affected her preparations.

“I was supposed to compete this year in the Boston Marathon but I had to cancel in February because I could not prepare adequately. I saw it wise to take a break this season,” said Keitany, who is also the world record holder in a women’s only marathon.

She did just that before starting easy training recently.In the new season, Keitany was to debut in Boston Marathon in April but she pulled out because the hip injury, that had been aggravated in New York and just could not heal, seriously affected her preparations.

“I was supposed to compete this year in the Boston Marathon but I had to cancel in February because I could not prepare adequately. I saw it wise to take a break this season,” said Keitany, who is also the world record holder in a women’s only marathon.

She did just that before starting easy training recently.

or a major marathon which is always competitive, I need four months of good training so that I can gun for a win. We hope by then the virus will have been contained and business back to normal especially in USA which has been seriously hit,” said Keitany at her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Keitany said that the coronavirus pandemic may have stopped races but the athletes will come out stronger. “I really feel for the athletes who had their races cancelled or rescheduled. They didn’t get the money and I’m crying for that athlete who was going for his/her first race but it was cancelled due to the virus,” she said.

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Dathan Ritzenhein Retires at Age 37

Dathan Ritzenhein, a high school prodigy who went on to become a two-time global medalist, three-time Olympian, five-time national champion and a 2:07 marathoner, has decided to retire after 16 years of professional running. 

The 37 year-old, who grew up in Rockford, Mich., and competed for the University of Colorado during his collegiate career, decided that he had accomplished all of his main goals and the time was right to shift his focus away from competitive running.

“I guess I’m not necessarily 25 and retiring in my prime,” Ritzenhein told Race Results Weekly by telephone from his Michigan home yesterday just after finishing a hard 10-mile run.  He continued: “I have things that I wish that I have done in my career, but I’m also very satisfied, too.  I think right now it’s something that I thought a lot about the last year. 

I’ve had a lot of nostalgic moments, looking back a lot more than looking forward.  So, I don’t know that I had a lot more goals that I was looking to accomplish.”

While still competing for Colorado, Ritzenhein made his first of three Olympic teams in 2004, despite finishing only 22nd at the USA Olympic Trials in the 10,000m.  Ritzenhein made the team because he was one of only five athletes entered who had the Olympic “A” standard of 27:49.00 (he had run 27:38.50 in his debut at the distance in April, then a U.S. collegiate record).  Trials winner Meb Keflezighi opted for the marathon (where he would win the silver medal) and Bob Kennedy dropped out.  That left Abdi Abdirahman, Dan Browne (who would also compete in the Marathon) and Ritzenhein to run the 10,000m in Athens, the three remaining finishers who had the standard.  Running on a badly injured foot in Athens, Ritzenhein failed to finish.

“My first one was a miserable experience where I hobbled my way on,” Ritzenhein said of making his first Olympic team.  He continued: “I made the standard, and just not many people had it.  Bob Kennedy had it and Meb, and Dan Browne and Abdi.  Meb ended up running the marathon and Bob Kennedy dropped out of the 10-K, and I knew I just had to finish the race.”

Ritzenhein made his professional racing debut at the Boclassic 10-K in Bolzano, Italy, on December 31, 2004, the day after his 22nd birthday.  He pushed the pace with two laps to go in the 8-lap race and finished third behind Sergey Lebed of Ukraine and Stefano Baldini of Italy (Baldini was the reigning Olympic Marathon champion).  Ritzenhein had signed with Nike just prior to the Athens Olympics, and Brad Hudson became his coach.  He won both the USATF cross country and 10-K road running titles in 2005, and under Hudson’s coaching jumped right to the marathon in 2006, making his debut at the New York City Marathon.  It was a controversial decision, and after a 1:05:35 first half he finished 11th in 2:14:01, calling the discomfort he endured in the last four miles “undescribable.”

Almost exactly a year later, Ritzenhein returned to New York for the 2008 USA Olympic Trials Marathon (which were held in November, 2007), and he finished second to Ryan Hall in 2:11:07, a personal best.  He would go on to finish ninth in the Olympic Marathon the following year in Beijing, and it looked like Ritzenhein was going to focus mainly on the marathon.

But unlike other track runners who moved up, Ritzenhein wasn’t so quick to abandon the track, cross country or road races below the marathon distance.  He used his marathon strength to great effect in training, and his track running was never better.  In one of his best years, 2009, he set the American record for 5000m of 12:56.27 (since broken), ran a 10,000m personal best of 27:22.28 when he finished sixth at the IAAF World Championships 10,000m, and won a bronze medal at the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships, running 1:00:00.  He was also the runner-up at the USATF championships for both the 10,000m and half-marathon, and finished 10th at the London Marathon.

“That’s what always drove me,” said Ritzenhein.  “I would always have these goals and you’d have these valleys between them.  Really high moments, like the American record, bronze medal at the world junior championships (in cross country), or the world half-marathon championships.  Those are the races where you just feel invincible.”

But he was not invincible.  Ritzenhein suffered numerous injuries throughout his career (he recalled having over 40 MRI’s), and had to have surgeries three times.  He missed most of 2011 due to a surgery to his right Achilles tendon, but his long recovery (made even longer by a lingering infection) set him up for his most dramatic year, 2012.

“After three years away from the track I had doubts,” Ritzenhein said.  “I poured it all out there.  At the Olympic Trials it was an epic day.  I didn’t have the standard and quite a few people in the race did.”  He added: “It seemed like an impossible task.”

Ritzenhein said that he will always be a runner, and that he’ll still run hard sometimes (he averaged a six-minute pace on yesterday’s 10-miler, he said).  He already coaches a few athletes, including marathoner Parker Stinson.

“This isn’t the end for sure,” he said.  “This is all I know.  The sport of running is my passion and my love.”  He added: “I’m looking forward to continuing to give back to the sport; coaching is a passion of mine.  I love writing, to talk to people, and give people advice.  It’s in my DNA.  I’ll always run.  It’s just something I can’t go without.”

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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The Quad-City Times Bix 7 will be held virtually in July 2020

The Quad-City Times Bix 7, Prairie Farms Quick Bix, and Arconic Jr. Bix will be held virtually in July 2020, race leaders announced today – continuing the Bix tradition in a way that honors the caution necessary in this time of pandemic.

This unprecedented decision was made out of an abundance of caution, and in concert with the Bix 7 medical and safety support team, said Michelle Juehring, race director.

The greatest factor has been, and will continue to be, the safety of race participants, volunteers, spectators and the community as a whole. This year, the spirit of Bix will go beyond the city of Davenport, Iowa.

“Our team has been working diligently over the past months, exploring every option to  make this year’s Quad-City Times Bix 7 a safe and successful event,” Juehring said. “For more than 45 years, the Quad-City Times Bix 7 was held on the last Saturday of July. This year, participants will have the whole month of July to Run With The Best.”

Participants can complete their race distance during the time frame of July 1-July 25, at any location: sidewalk, treadmill, trail, living room or track. Runners and walkers will submit their times online. A finisher’s certificate can be printed and shared to social media. An official race T-shirt will be mailed.

Registered runners for the Quad-City Times Bix 7, Praire Farms Quick Bix and Arconic Jr Bix will have two options. Transition into the 2020 Quad-City Times Bix 7 Virtual Race or transfer race entry into the 2021 race. An email will be sent to registered runners with detailed instructions.

“The 2020 Quad-City Times Bix 7, Prairie Farms Quick Bix, and Arconic Jr. Bix may not be the races we are accustomed to, but it will certainly be historic," Juehring said.

“Please, stay safe, look out for each other and throw out kindness like confetti. This year we will Run With The Best – together, apart.”

Register today at www.Bix7.com to Find Your Happy Pace!

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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Bix 7 miler

Bix 7 miler

This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...

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Laz Lake’s The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1,000K, has over 18,000 signups

Just two weeks ago, Laz Lake, race director of the Barkley Marathons, launched the registration page for his latest event, The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1,000K, and as of today, over 18,000 people have signed up.

The race officially began on May 1, and runners have until August 31 to complete the 1,021.68K route. Although some runners have already been at it for almost a full week, registration is still open, and the total number of participants keeps climbing. Lake’s race is certainly one of the longest on the 2020 virtual event calendar, but it might claim the title of biggest field, too.

Runners won’t actually run across Tennessee, since it’s a virtual race, but their progress will be monitored and updated on a live map of the state and race route. This way, there’s a visual of how far an athlete has come and how much longer they have to go.

They will also be able to see the progress of fellow runners, so racers will know exactly where they stack up against the 18,000 other competitors. For people who think 1,000K isn’t far enough, there’s an out-and-back 2,000K option.

The race entry fee is $60, and with over 18,000 racers, that’s a lot of money (over $1 million). On the event signup page, there is a donation button where people can give money to help Feeding America, an organization that provides food and support to over 40 million Americans each year.

The race webpage doesn’t specifically say what percentage of race entry fees will be given to Feeding America, but an overall goal to raise $100,000 is listed on the site.

In addition to The Great Virtual Race, there’s the Doggie Run Across Tennessee for Animal Shelters.

This event is for people who want to run with their dogs (as the name suggests), and it costs $30 to enter. All of the proceeds from this event will be donated to animal shelters in the U.S.

Registration for the race is open until August 1, but as the website states, “the longer you wait, the less time you have.” August is still a long way off, but if you leave your 1,000K race until the last 30 days, you might have a hard time finishing before the cut-off, so sign up sooner rather than later if you plan on racing.

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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The Cape Town Virtual Marathon will offer an interactive and immersive race experience for athletes across the globe

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon race organisers are adding a virtual version of the iconic city marathon to its existing bouquet of events.

The virtual marathon will offer an interactive and immersive race experience for athletes across the globe by superimposing the race route on top of streets, open spaces and gardens, complete with live tracking, distance markers, and push messages with information about key landmarks as they are passed.

The creation of this virtual race will allow athletes to compete in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on October 18 from anywhere in the world, starting at 6.30am local time, wherever they are.

The race will be available through the Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon app, an integrated digital platform that will launch in the coming weeks.

“We are excited to introduce this digital offering.

“The app will track participants as if they are running the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon route, whether they find themselves in New York, Naples or Knysna, making this a virtual race like no other.

“I am certain that having a race on the horizon will give athletes a tangible goal to work towards, and the extra motivation needed to maintain their training within the parameters of the lockdown levels they may find themselves in,” said marathon chairperson, Francois Pienaar.

As it is still too early to predict whether the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be staged in its original format on October 18, the race organisers remain in close contact with Athletics South Africa and all relevant roleplayers as the months progress.

“While this is a significant challenge, it’s also the perfect time to be innovative, which is why we have reached out to and gained support from our sponsors, partners and stakeholders to bring the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon to our global marathon family, no matter where they are,” added Pienaar.

Western Province Athletics president Jakes Jacobs has called the introduction of the virtual marathon an example of how race organisers can find creative solutions to the challenges they may face.

In this uncertain time, we believe the way forward is to be responsible and prioritise the safety of all participants and stakeholders.

(05/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Charmaine Slater
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a City Marathon held in Cape Town, South Africa, which is sponsored by Sanlam, the City of Cape Town and Vital Health Foods. The marathon is held on a fast and flat course, starting and finishing in Green Point, near the Cape Town Stadium. Prior to existing in its current format, the Cape Town...

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Kenyan Faith Chepng'etich hopeful of returning stronger once the Athletics season resume

Coronavirus pandemic has put all athletics activities on hold but Olympics 1,500 meters champion and former World Champion Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon is hoping to restore her faith in the race when the athletics season resumes.

Chepng’etich, 26, claimed silver medal at last year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha in a time of 3min, 54.22secs, more than two seconds behind Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands.

The athlete has said the cancellation of major athletics meetings is a big setback to her plans of bouncing back to the top of her speciality.

“I’m hopeful of making a strong comeback. I miss serious athletics competitions,” Chepng’etich told Nation Sport on Monday from her individual training base.

Chepng’etich, who won a gold medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in a time of 4:08.92, is determined to stamp her authority as the queen of the race by retaining the Olympic crown and registering victories in the Diamond League series once the athletics season resumes proper in 2021 after the deadly virus has been contained.

“My campaign has been jolted by the arrival of coronavirus pandemic which has halted sports globally but that will not bog me down,” said Chepng’etich.

She added: “It is not easy for an athlete who has been consistent in training and strategising for major races for more than six months to adjust. However, as a true sportswoman, I’m now alive to the fact that the planned events will not be held this year.”

Ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games which have now been pushed to next year, Chepng’etich also stepped up her training to participate in the Diamond League series this year.

“My body has been responding very well to my training schedule and I have no injury worries. I was banking on the good form to prepare for a good fight with my opponents in the Diamond League and the Olympics,” said Chepng’etich.

“After the cancellation of the Olympic Games and Diamond League meetings, my training program has taken a new twist. I was hoping to make a big comeback before this deadly virus invaded our country and forced me to change my way of training and socializing inside and outside the track with my coach and other athletes,” said Chepng’etich.

“I have wonderful moments with my baby everyday after completing my morning and afternoon workouts.”

“My baby girl Alyn was born in June 2018 and is almost celebrating her second birthday. She is now big and talking. I’m enjoying the way she is keeping me busy. Her noise, perfect touch and the way she is doing some joyful little things in the living room is hilarious and makes motherhood more enjoyable after a rigorous training in the track,” added Chepng’etich.

(05/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Francis Mureithi
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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More than 13,000 Participants Worldwide have been Taking Part in Rock 'n' Roll Virtual Running Series Race

The global community of walkers and runners came together for the second straight weekend with over 13,000 people from 75 nations and all 50 states taking to the virtual start line for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2, the second edition in the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running™ (VR™) Series. Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2 offered participants two different race distances that included 10K and Half Marathon options.

Participants have the ability to compete anywhere, indoors or outdoors, as long as the distance of their choosing was completed in one session between Friday, May 1 at 2 p.m. ET and event close Sunday, May 3 at 7:59 p.m. ET.

Participants in Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2 came from around the world and ranged in age from 18 to 77. The United States led the way with over 7,000 walkers and runners followed by Canada (over 500), the United Kingdom (over 500), Mexico (over 250) and Spain (over 150).

Other nations represented included Argentina, Croatia, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Norway, and Turkey, among others. Of the 50 U.S. states represented, the greatest number came from California, followed by Texas, Florida, Virginia and Arizona. Nearly 10,000 participants took on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club™ Challenges leading up to Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2. Participants embarked on several separate running and workout challenges with the opportunity for rewards in the comfort of their own community.

The challenges included the United Airlines Challenge 1: Escape to San Francisco, which saw participants complete a 1.7-mile run, the exact distance it would take to cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge; The St. Jude Challenge 1: 10,800 Strong, a 5-mile run in one period for the Heroes of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and a Community Challenge 2: Geena's "Oh, a Tree" Challenge a 50-minute fartlek, A.K.A “speed play”, session of consecutive running (a workout that helps the body adapt to various speeds, conditioning you to become faster over longer distances).

Special prizes such as a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hydration Backpack, Rock ‘n’ Roll Medal Display Hanger; and a Rock ‘n’ Roll by Brooks Running Company Accessories Bundle were awarded out. In total, 27,000 runners and walkers from across the globe have joined the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running Club platform giving them access to a series of weekly races, challenges, and rewards.

This week, Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3 will offer two distances for the global community, including an 8K and 15K. Racing begins on Friday, May 8 at 2 p.m. ET and concludes on Sunday, May 10 at 7:59 p.m. ET. In addition, the first ever virtual Remix Challenge will be offered during this weekend’s races. Participants who take on both the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3 8K and 15K can earn access to three medals beginning Friday, May 8 at 2 p.m. ET. To register for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3, runners need to sign up for the distance they would like to do through the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club platform and connect to their tracker app. Runners can then complete their registration by going to the “Events” tab and clicking “Register Now” on the virtual race page.

(05/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon

Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon

2020 race postponed and no new date has been set as of May 7. ROCK the streets where it all began. The Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & 1/2 Marathon returns for its 23rd year in 2020. Run through historic neighborhoods including Balboa Park and Old Town. The Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay are packed with live entertainment on course...

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Elite Spanish runners, who have just been allowed to train outdoors again, report being reprimanded by members of the public.

“Due to my elite national athlete status I can train at any time of the day.” tweeted marathon runner Javier Guerra. “We should understand that we are in an extreme situation but always with respect.”

Carlos Mayo added: “I have received five verbal attention calls, including a lady screaming from her balcony.

I have felt a lot of helplessness because I consider that I was not doing anything wrong, complying with the rules and doing it at a certain time for the reasons that I have already explained.”

(05/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Grandma’s Marathon Kicks Off Virtual Races

Grandma’s Marathon weekend may be canceled this year, but runners are still hitting the pavement to clock in their times.

Beginning Monday, registered runners could run their races, including the William A. Irvin 5K, the Garry Bjorklund half marathon or the full marathon.

Each participant can print out their own race bib and then submit their times online. While those times won’t be race official, all runners will receive a medal later this summer.

“They were excited that they could finish their time right away and log it before it gets too warm where they run. So it’s nice there’s a big window so runners can either follow the same training program that they were planning to run and complete their races in June,” marketing and public relations director of Grandma’s Marathon Mandi Peterson said.

More than 200 people have already finished their races. Registered runners have until July 31 to submit their times.

(05/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Claudia Chakamian
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Grandmas Marathon

Grandmas Marathon

Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...

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The Bolder Boulder 10K race is offering a free virtual event

While you can’t run the BOLDERBoulder 10K in person this year, the race is offering a free virtual event. Anyone can run, jog, or walk a 10K from any location for a VirtuALL event on Memorial Day May 25, 2020.

The race is a Memorial Day tradition that typically attracts around 47,000 in person finishers. Because of the coronavirus outbreak this year, the race postponed the in person event until Labor Day in September.

But to keep the Memorial Day tradition alive, the race is offering a fun, free event that offers:

A VirtuALL Memorial Day 10K Bib to download and personalize any way you like.

Option to purchase a limited edition t-shirt or hat for $25 per item. Remember the days we OverCome and your accomplishments.

We give $5 of your purchase to the Colorado COVID relief fund.

Submit your time for a customized Participant’s Certificate.

To learn more go to https://bb10k.bolderboulder.com/

(05/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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BOLDER BOULDER

BOLDER BOULDER

In 1979 we dreamt of attracting a few hundred of our friends to race though the streets of Boulder, Colorado to celebrate Memorial Day with our families. Fast forward almost 40 years and the Bolder BOULDER has grown to become one of the largest and most highly acclaimed 10K’s in the world. Almost 1.2 million runners, joggers, walkers and spectators...

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World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki says athletes must learn from Covid-19 crisis

The road racer flew to Japan to sign a deal with Toyota Motor Corporation before the suspension of international flights.

He managed to fly to Tokyo moments before Kenya suspended all international flights due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

And from the experience, Bedan Karoki, the 2016 World Half Marathon silver medalist, says the Covid-19 crisis serves as a wake-up call to sportsmen and women. That was barely one week after competing in Tokyo Marathon on March 1.

The 2020 edition of the Tokyo Marathon was restricted to elite athletes only. The race organisers had canceled the event for 38,000 fun runners due to health and safety fears.

“I had just come home after competing in Tokyo Marathon when the first case was reported. I had to make quick decision to go back to Japan, where I had to sign a deal to start working with Toyota Motor Corporation in April. My fears were that Kenyan authorities could cancel all international flights immediately and I had to rush back. 

“Though there are no group training sessions here in Japan, we train individually to keep fit. My new company has a large training ground. 

“But Covid-19 has been a wake-up call to sportsmen and women. I have realised that careers and earnings can come to an abrupt end. Some of us are lucky to be earning some money from our employers,” said Karoki, who previously competed for DeNA Cooperate team in Tokyo.

Karoki, who comes from Nyandarua, was on the marathon reserve list for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games team.

Since his debut in the national team at the 2011 at All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique, where he won silver medal in 10,000m, Karoki has always donned the national team colours – featuring prominently in 10,000m, World Cross Country and World Half Marathon championships alongside three-time World Half Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor. 

He has finished second behind Kamworor at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championship in Guiyang, China and World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, United Kingdom in 2016.

(05/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Dennis Okeyo
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Some Kenya athletes are keeping themselves busy working on farms during this crisis

Coronavirus pandemic has shook the sports world globally, causing a stoppage of all sports competitions and tournaments.

From March 13 when Kenya reported her first confirmed case of coronavirus, Kenyan sports has suffered, and local athletics has not been spared either.

In March, athletes who have been training in various camps across the country in readiness for the season were forced to go back home and engage on other things following a ban on all sports activities and social gatherings by the government in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The government also put in place guidelines on social distancing. Many of the athletes are now venturing into farming, which promises good earnings after missing the entire athletics season.

World record holder in 3,000 metres steeplechase Beatrice Chepkoech has been busy helping her parents at home with fetching firewood and picking tea leaves at the family farm.

Chepkoech retreated to her rural home in Besiobei Village in Konoin, Bomet County where she trains alone and also spends the rest of her time helping her parents.

“The entire season is now going to waste and we have been left to just do easy training as one way of keeping fit. But as an athlete, I also need to be in good form just in case the virus is contained and competitions are open,” said Chepkoech.

She is now focusing on next season as she seeks to break the world record in the distance, and to win a gold medal in 2020 Olympic Games which have been postponed to next year.

Japan-based Rodgers Kwemoi is now concentrating on maize farming in Furfural village in Matunda, Uasin Gishu County after failing to travel back to Japan.

The 2016 World Under-20 champion in 10,000m has been working and at the same time training in Japan but he couldn’t go back due to the virus where he is signed up by Asian Corporate team in Japan. He told Nation Sport that he is now concentrating on maize farming as he waits for things to come back to normal.

“I’m now busy spraying pesticides on maize in my farm. As athletes we depend on running and we feel wasted because the whole season has now gone to waste,” said Kwemoi.

He is keen to represent Kenya at the Olympics after coming in fourth place at the Doha World Championships last year.

World Under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto is also busy planting trees in Kimamet village in Kamwosor, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

(05/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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The organizers of the Stirling Scottish Marathon have moved the event to May 9 2021 due to the pandemic

The organizers of the Stirling Scottish Marathon, Classic Run Events, have issued the following message to all registered runners.

Dear Runner, I hope you and your family are keeping well during these very difficult days.

We are writing to update you on the status of the Stirling Scottish Marathon, which was scheduled to take place on the weekend of October 10th and 11th this year.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, after very careful consideration, we have taken the decision to postpone this year’s event.

The event is being moved to the weekend of May 8th and 9th 2021, with the marathon taking place on Sunday the 9th of May. 

During the lockdown period we have been closely monitoring all advice and guidelines from the Scottish Government.

In assessing all current available information it is our view that there is a very high risk that social distancing restrictions for mass gatherings will extend into the summer and autumn months.

If this is the case it will severely impact our ability to organise and deliver the world class marathon that we promised.

All of our team are bitterly disappointed in having to make this decision but the welfare of our runners, colleagues, volunteers and suppliers is paramount.

Given the risk we decided an early decision would be in the best interests of all runners as many have already made travel and accommodation arrangements for the weekend in October.

All entries for the October 10th and 11th dates will be deferred to the new dates in May 2021.

While we hope you will join us in 2021 and support the re-arranged event, plus all the charities involved, and any runner unable to take part on the new date can request a refund.

We would like to thank our charity partners, sponsors, Stirling Council and all our key stakeholders for their understanding and support on this matter.

We appreciate that you have been training hard in readiness for the Stirling Marathon weekend but we look forward to seeing you, and many new participants, on the start line next spring when the world will undoubtedly be a safer place.

Entries for the 2021 event are now open at thestirlingmarathon.co.uk 

Stay safe and healthy.

With our very best wishes to you and your family.

The Classic Run Events Team.

Speaking after today's announcement, Councillor Chris Kane, Convener of Community Planning and Regeneration: said: “This was a tough call to make but I applaud the organisers for taking this decision early, and communicating it clearly with all participants.

“The Marathon was gearing up to be one of the key components of our events calendar and I have no doubt it will remain one of the most eagerly anticipated attractions in Scotland next year when we are hopefully all in a better situation.

“I thank everyone who has signed up so far and hope to see you all at the finish line next year in May.”

(05/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Stirling Scottish Marathon

Stirling Scottish Marathon

“Run through the heart of Scotland and run through history” Run the most picturesque marathon in the world! The winner of the men’s and women’s elite competition will walk away with a £2,000 cash prize. There are cash prizes for the top three runners in each age group. ...

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Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech 3000m Steeplechase world record holder wants to lower that record once things get back to normal

The coronavirus pandemic may have jolted Beatrice Chepkoech's lofty plans this season, but like a seasoned barrier racer she has quickly regained her footing and her sights for the big prize.

The 3,000m women’s steeplechase world record holder still maintains her goal of lowering her record when competition resumes.

Chepkoech was in fine fettle at the beginning of the season as she looked ahead to the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Her win in the World Indoor Tour in Dusseldorf where she broke the 1,500m national record was clearly a sign of things to come before Covid-19 put paid to any further ambitions, at least for now.

Catching up with her at her home in Besiobei village in Konoin, Bomet County, Chepkoech seemed to have come to terms with the virus’s disruption easily talking about her botched plans this season.

She said that this year she had targeted bringing home the Olympic Games women’s steeplechase gold medal, the only diadem missing from her cabinet.

“I started the season well by winning in 1,500m and setting the national record during the World Indoors Tour. I was using the races to prepare for the season and my focus was to start the Diamond League series in super form,” said the champion.

Chepkoech had signed up for the Doha Diamond League 3,000m race before it was cancelled due to the virus.

“The World Tour was postponed to next year with Diamond League races following suit. These thoroughly disrupted our plans. But what to do. We just adjust and plan ahead,” she said.

She had no problems engaging this writer on her plans, saying her meticulous planing for the season had more or less gone to waste after lockdown restrictions were imposed almost the entire globe following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Chepkoech said she had been doing easy training over the past few weeks but planned to step up her regiment from next week as she targets the new season.

“The current situation is not permanent. Things will normalise and I intend to come back even stronger.”

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour donated Nearly $23,000 to Paramount Theatre

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour donated $22,780 to Paramount Theatre. The donation, in conjunction with Austin Marathon weekend, has increased annually since High Five Events took over in 2017. Nearly 2400 participants registered for the KXAN SimpleHealth 5K benefitting Paramount Theatre.

A portion of their registration fee supports the historic Austin theatre and its educational programs. The event is a part of Austin Marathon weekend and is the only 5K to run on historic South Congress Avenue.  

“We are thrilled to continue this partnership and be the recipient of funds from the KXAN SimpleHealth 5K. The funds from this event support our Education programs serving over 22,000 students each year. Performing, experiencing and learning through the arts helps all young people have the creative confidence they need to be successful in their communities,” said Maica Jordan, Chief Development Officer.

“These funds have immediate and enormous impact on our ability to serve the students most in need. Thanks to all who participated in the 5K and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.”

Inspired by the power of the arts to change lives, the Paramount Theatre strives to engage all Central Texans through extraordinary live performances and films, to ignite the intellect and imagination of our youths through Paramount Education programs, and to ensure the preservation of the crown jewels of downtown Austin. Constructed in 1915 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Paramount Theatre is one of the world's few surviving examples of a fully operational early twentieth-century vaudeville theatre.

More than 250,000 guests attend performing arts events, concerts, film, and talks downtown each year; the Paramount is a principal venue for the SXSW Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival, the Moontower Comedy Festival, and the Summer Classic Film Series. 

“The historic Paramount Theatre has a massive impact on Austin through its shows, community engagement, and educational programs," said Jack Murray, co-owner High Five Events. "We’re excited to grow our partnership and proud to continue our support for the Paramount through the KXAN SimpleHealth 5K."

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 30th year running in the capital of Texas on February 14, 2021. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 35+ countries around the world. The start and finish locations are just a few blocks apart. They are within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants.

The finish line is in front of the picturesque Texas State Capitol. The Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Registration is currently open.

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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Austin Marathon Weekend

Austin Marathon Weekend

The 2020 Austin Marathon will celebrate its 30th year running in the capital of Texas. The premier running event in the City of Austin annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With a downtown finish and within proximity of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Come...

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World Under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto eager to lower his world record

Conoravirus lockdown has only made Rhonex Kipruto hungrier and he is now thinking of lowering his person best in 10 kilometers that happens to be the world record.

The World Under-20 men’s 10,000m champion believes that with good preparations his record can dip further.

Kipruto started the season in explosive fashion breaking the 10km world record at the Valencia Ibercaja road race. He clocked a blistering 26 minutes 23 second, lowering the previous world record of Joshua Cheptegei’s time of 26:38, by a massive 15 seconds.

In his great form he was all set to assault his own record before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the athletics calendar.

“I was right on target in my training and was focused on getting a place in the Olympic Games and going for the gold medal.

“But that has to wait now up to next year,” said Kipruto who is also the world bronze medalist in 10,000m.

Nation Sport caught up with Kipruto at Kimamet village in Kamwosor, Elgeyo Marakwet County where he was busy planting trees with his younger brother, Africa Under-20 10,000m champion Bravin Kogei.

According to Kipruto, when the camps were closed, they decided to go home and train individually.

The two normally wake up early in the morning for their normal run that covers about 21km before settling down to some easy farm work.

This they said was also part of their efforts to stop soil erosion and landslides that usually affects the community in this rather hilly area.

“Our training programme didn’t change it’s only that we are doing it alone which proves hard because we are used to group training back in Iten.

He has taken missing his much anticipated runs in the Diamond League in his stride and looking ahead to other promises.

“The virus has stopped the entire world but I want to say that we will come out of this situation stronger. Don’t be surprised to see athletes running faster times next season,” hinted Kipruto.

He termed the world record as the perfect gift for his training mates who helped him during the December holidays pushing him to his limits during preparations.

“Before I competed in January, I was training with a group comprised of various high school students who were at the holiday camp and they really pushed me in my training which later earned me a world record when I competed in Valencia,” he said.

Asked about Cheptegei, Kipruto said that he respects the world 10,000m champion but insists he is beatable.

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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The Calgary Marathon race weekend is going virtual for 2020

Calgary Marathon organizers have announced that the event (which includes a 5K, 10K, half and full marathons and a 50K) will take the virtual route for the 2020 season.

Organizers had postponed the race weekend—which had originally been set for May 31—until the fall, but given the uncertainty of COVID-19, they have decided to go virtual instead. In addition to the marathon race weekend, Run Calgary will hold several other virtual events throughout the rest of 2020.

Over 6,000 people have already signed up for the Calgary Marathon Race Weekend, and on May 4, registration will re-open for anyone else who would like to enter the virtual events. Entrants in each of the races will have from May 31 to September 27 to complete their runs.

After completion, runners upload their results to the RunKeeper app, where race leaderboards will be compiled. Anyone who had already registered for the race weekend and doesn’t want to compete in the virtual event has the option to defer their run until the 2021, 2022 or 2023 events.

The new virtual race series, which is called the 2020 Run Calgary Virtual Running Festival, features six events. The virtual festival starts with the Calgary Marathon on May 31 and has events throughout the summer and fall until December.

Participants won’t just get to race and see where they stack up against other runners—they will also receive race swag and medals, bibs and finishers’ certificates. Run Calgary organized a virtual event in 2019, well before COVID-19, and it did extremely well, selling out in just three hours.

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Scotiabank Calgary Marathon

Scotiabank Calgary Marathon

Organizers of the 56th Annual Scotiabank Calgary Marathon, originally scheduled for Sunday, May 31st, have announced that the race will be a virtual event. This is Canada's oldest marathon, Canadians and runners from around the world love this race, consistently voting in the Best Road Race in Alberta. There is a full-marathon, half-marathon, 10k, relay, 5k family walk/run and...

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It is not only the athletes who have been forced to adjust during the Covid-19 pandemic but also their coaches

For Nelio Moura, former coach to 2008 Olympic long jump champion Irving Saladino, the lockdown has created a coaching conundrum spanning not just one country but two continents.

The Brazilian horizontal jumps coach works with several athletes from his homeland, including South American women’s long jump champion Eliane Martins, Uruguay’s South American long jump champion Emiliano Lasa and a trio of leading Chinese athletes.

Back on 19 January, Moura flew from Brazil to China completely unaware of the new coronavirus but by the time he landed in China two days later he says “the news of the coronavirus was everywhere,”

“The situation was getting worse, but we kept to the plan and two weeks later we flew to Madrid,” he explains.

Mersha Asrat, coach to three-time Olympic track champion Kenenisa Bekele, believes his role in the these challenging times is to put a plan in place to “survive the storm.”

With both the opportunity to race - in the foreseeable future - and group training taken away from athletes, he believes this has impacted on motivation.

Yet as a coach Asrat insists he has to remain positive.

“All my athletes need to be strong – a role model for others with their behaviour,” he says. “As a coach, I have to tell them that this will pass.”

With no events on the immediate horizon he has advised his athletes to rein back on the training – and he has recommended combining a mixture of endurance running and strength training.

“There are no races happening for some time so this is a time when they can run three time a week alternating with workouts. I’ve given them all individual workouts with a meaning. This is an opportunity to work on their strength exercises, to improve and even become masters of the workout.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding future international competition, Dale Stevenson, coach to 2019 Diamond League shot champion and World Championship bronze medallist Tom Walsh, is preparing his athletes with the mindset that events will re-start sooner rather than later. 

“When full training resumes, I’m hoping that it is a step in for us rather than a step back,” he explains. “So when they go back to normality they’ll feel as if they are a full-time athlete.”

Stevenson, a 2012 Olympic shot put representative for Australia, says as a coach he had to react quickly in March as New Zealand went from a level two alert to a full level four lockdown in a matter of 48 hours.

For athletes who remained in Christchurch such as Walsh, the main task for Stevenson and his coaching team was to source gym equipment while for others in his training group who has moved back to different regions the main task was to identify training implements during this frantic period.

The coach has been immensely impressed with how the athletes have readjusted to training in a full lockdown. Some have revealed great improvisation skills with one athlete converting a cow shed into a throwing area and another making a homemade hammer out of a kettle bell.

Stevenson too has been forced to adapt.

Patrick Sang, coach to world marathon record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and world half-marathon record-holder Geoffrey Kamworor, believes “delegating greater authority” to his athletes following training restrictions created by the Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge he has faced.

Sang coaches a large group of athletes based out of a training group in Kaptagat, Kenya, but government restrictions around group gatherings put in place in March meant athletes had to head home to their families and train alone.

Breaking down his athletes into smaller groups of track and marathon athletes the initial challenge was communication but having alleviated this issue thanks to WhatsApp and other methods it has been his lack of a “coach’s eye” on the progress of his athletes which has proved the biggest obstacle.

“Our coaching is very much one on one and the ‘coach’s eye’ is an instrument we use to see how the individual athletes are responding to the workload at any given time. The activation of the coach’s eye in these circumstances is not possible. You are relying on the feedback of the athletes.”

Sang insists the athlete manager, Valentijn Trouw, has played a pivotal role in maintaining the information flow to athletes to help them maintain a positive stance in challenging times.

And positivity is the keen message Sang likes to emit at all times.

“We’ve experienced calamities before and normally they don’t last forever,” explains Sang. “We have a time scale and a race plan (for later in the year) we are looking at and our energies are focused on the remaining part of the season.”

Coach to a group of athletes led by 2017 World 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon, Dutch-based Bram Som says it is important to stay focused on the “circle of influence” and not the “circle of concern” during the Covid-19 crisis.

“One of the biggest challenges is that you no longer look an athlete in the eye to see how he or she is behaving,” explains Som, a former European 800m champion. “To counter this you have to improve your conversation skills, ask the right questions and listen carefully.”

Som insists the middle-distance athletes he coaches have largely been able to carry out long runs, interval and hill sessions as normal but he has also introduced solo time trials to keep the athletes focused. Flexibility, he insists, is key.

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Running industry walloped by COVID-19, and it may take years to recover

Races in the busiest season of the year have been canceled or postponed while retail sales plummet.

With more than a third of this year’s competitive road racing schedule canceled or postponed by the coronavirus, and running stores enduring massive drops in sales because of restrictions on retail businesses, America’s running industry is bracing for months or years of fallout.

The effects of COVID-19 on the sport may not be all bad, many in the running community believe, citing a running boom that followed the Great Recession in 2008. The only thing a runner really needs to run is a pair of running shoes.

“People turn to this sport in particular in times of economic downturns and crises,” said Rich Harshbarger, chief executive of Running USA, an industry trade group. “We saw this in the late 2000s. People gave up their country club memberships and returned to simpler sports like running. You saw a downturn in golf, you saw a downturn in skiing — things that are more expensive. Runners turned to the sport, or returned to the sport, to relieve stress. And, to get and remain healthy.”

But the number of road race registrations — more than 17.6 million in 2019, according to Running USA — is bound to decline significantly this year and maybe beyond. Meanwhile, many running stores are prohibited from having customers in their stores, as is the case with other “non-essential” retail stores, and that has hit them hard.

Sales have declined 80% at Runner’s Roost in Lakewood and 70% at In Motion Running in Boulder, according to owners of those stores. The Lakewood store cannot have customers inside but is finding other ways to fill shoe orders, and owner Sonya Estes senses an influx of newcomers to the sport because of COVID-19 — just as Running USA predicted.

“We can look at all the bad, or we can look at the good, and the good in this is that running has been touted as one of those things that is great for your mental and physical health,” Estes said. “To have the governor stand up there and say, ‘Get out and go for a hike,’ or, ‘Go for a run, just don’t do it in a large group,’ I think long-term it’s going to be amazing for the business. When you see gyms and rec centers close down, I’ve never seen so many people up on Green Mountain or at Bear Creek. People that wanted to work out are now embracing running. If they find that they really like this, I think long-term, for running, it’s actually a good thing.”

In Motion Running has remained open, in part because owner Mark Plaatjes practices physical therapy at In Motion Rehabilitation, a clinic attached to the rear of the store, and that stayed open. Only two retail customers are allowed in the store at a time, though, and store personnel disinfects after customers leave.

Like Estes, Plaatjes has seen newcomers. “It’s definitely nice to see new people coming in that we haven’t seen before,” Plaatjes said. “Once our regular customers come back, I’m sure that will translate into an increase in sales and participation in running.”

Both stores are offering non-contact curbside service and home deliveries. They and other running stores are offering virtual gait analysis to assist customers in choosing the right shoes, a process that normally is conducted on treadmills inside the stores. Customers submit videos of them running so trained staff can analyze them and recommend shoes constructed for their anatomical particulars.

The carnage in road racing could be significant, though. Running as a solitary fitness or mental healthy pursuit is one thing, but for many runners, the social aspect of the sport comes out in racing. Races are community celebrations of the running lifestyle. That part of the sport has been dealt a devastating blow, and officials fear it could take years to recover.

Spring is the busiest season of the year for racing, with 35% of America’s races scheduled in March, April and May. Most of those have been canceled or postponed until fall. Some of those events, and the companies that support them by providing timing and other event services, may never recover. The vast majority of the road race industry is comprised of small businesses with eight employees or less, according to Running USA’s Harshbarger.

“It absolutely can be a fatal blow, and unfortunately it will be for a lot of the industry,” Harshbarger said. “We were already seeing some event management companies have to close their doors. Their sole business is to go around their region or their city and help produce events. When those events cease to have revenue, their livelihood evaporates.”

The Bolder Boulder was able to reach quick agreement with the City of Boulder and the University of Colorado (where the race finishes) to postpone from Memorial Day to Labor Day. But the Cherry Creek Sneak, which was scheduled for April 26, is still waiting for the City of Denver to approve a new date it sought to reserve in September. So is the Colfax Marathon, which includes a half marathon, a 10-miler and marathon relay that were scheduled for May 17.

Colfax race director Andrea Dowdy said 14-15,000 medals for her races were scheduled to arrive last week, and there’s no guarantee those races will be held this year.

“We feel very comfortable that operationally we’re in a sound place, so that when the city says to us, ‘You can have an event this fall,’ or ‘We need all events to wait until the spring,’ we can work either way,” Dowdy said.

Harshbarger fears that races will “cannibalize” each other if they are rescheduled in the fall, which is already the second-busiest season with 31% of the nation’s races scheduled in September through November. The Bolder Boulder has already folded its Fortitude 10K, normally scheduled for Labor Day in Fort Collins, into the Boulder race. In effect, both races will be run concurrently in Boulder.

If the Cherry Creek Sneak and the Colfax event are added, September would become an extremely crowded race calendar in Denver. And that would come on top of non-running events already scheduled in the city or looking to reschedule then. Dowdy and Cherry Creek Sneak race director Pat Downing can only wait on word from the city’s Office of Special Events.

“They need to form a new process on how they’re going to allocate a very limited number of spaces into a space now that is overcrowded,” Downing said.

Another question that arises: What will races look like when they do resume?

“Who knows, resurgence or not, what social distancing guidelines are going to be?” Harshbarger said. “Let alone the emotional fog of, ‘Do I really want to get in a corral with 50 people? Do I want to get in a race with 10,000 people?’ We don’t know. When we come through this — and I don’t know when that is, a year? Maybe two years? — I do think the sport will be strong. I do think there will be demand to do this. I think there will be new guidelines and corral set-ups. But history shows us that runners are resilient.”

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele talk training and sub-2

The two distance running greats had been set to go head-to-head in the London Marathon on Sunday

Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele should have been in London this week, preparing for a mouthwatering marathon clash on the streets of the UK capital.

Thursday morning would have seen them speak with the world’s media in the elite men’s pre-race press conference, but instead, on Friday, they dialled into a telephone conference from their respective homes in Kenya and Ethiopia.

While it is too early to know whether the two fastest marathon runners in history will take part in the rescheduled event on October 4, they were both happy to share insight into their current lives amid the coronavirus crisis.

They talked about what might have been had Sunday’s race taken place as planned, plus their training and thoughts on the sub-two-hour marathon.

SOLO TRAINING

Social distancing measures mean that NN Running Team athletes Kipchoge and Bekele must now train alone, rather than as part of the big groups they are used to. How does that affect them both physically and mentally?

“You cannot run really in a strong way because you are alone,” said Kipchoge, who is based in Eldoret.

“Physically I am training to make sure that I am fit but when you have the whole team then you can train to make sure that you are in the best-ever shape.

“Mentally, you can get tired early,” he added, “because if you have an hour run and you’re running alone, then you can really get tired because you are running alone, you are thinking alone.

“I have been with a team for the last 15 years and it’s really crazy for me. I can say it is not comfortable at all, but safety is my number one priority.”

Bekele has also found it a challenge.

“It is not really nice to run alone but of course it’s not possible to run together,” he said. “It is difficult to prepare and it has affected us a lot.

“I’m trying to maintain my performance, but it’s really not efficient. I am praying that this time will be over soon.”

On his sessions, he added: “I am doing four or five days a week outside, alone just running in the forest.

“Most of the time I am staying at home.”

SUB-TWO

Both athletes had an incredible 2019, with Kipchoge having broken two hours for the marathon with 1:59:41 in the non-record eligible INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna and Bekele having run 2:01:41 to win in Berlin, missing the Kenyan’s official world record mark by just two seconds.

Would their plan for the London Marathon on Sunday have been to go for an official sub-two?

“I was coming to London as a defending champion and not really to run under two hours but I trust that it would have been a good race, an interesting one, but I don’t think it would have been under two hours,” said Kipchoge.

“I think on Sunday, if the London Marathon could have happened, we could actually have had the best race ever.

“Kenenisa has run 2:01:41 and I have run 2:01:39. It could have been the best-ever time and London could have been the best race ever between two people who have the fastest times in the marathon.”

Bekele agreed that it would have been a great clash but that two hours would have been unlikely.

“London is of course a really great race to bring us together,” he said. “I don’t think the time would have been under two hours.

“Maybe if there were good weather conditions, it could have been possible maybe around a world record, if we had been pushing together. I don’t think under two hours would have happened this time.”

BUT IN THE FUTURE?

“Absolutely, why not?” Kipchoge replied, when asked if he thinks someone in the next 10 years could run a competitive marathon in under two hours.

“Personally, I tried last year, and I ran under two hours, but I trust and believe in all my mind and my heart that in the next 10 years, one human being will run under two hours in a normal marathon. That is my view.

“Human beings need to be shown the way, and I trust that I have shown everybody the way.”

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Laz Lake’s virtual ultra has higher participation than UTMB

Laz Lake’s The Great Virtual Road Race Across Tennessee, which began May 1st and runs through August 31, has amassed an astonishing 10,000+ participants. The event, which will see runners travel virtually on foot across the state of Tennessee (roughly 1,000K), has 10,174 registered runners and is still open for entry.

Runners have four months to tackle this behemoth of a race, and if they finish with enough time to spare, they can go for the out-and-back route and complete an additional 1,000K (this would require averaging 16K a day for four months)

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Even with major sporting events banned in France until September, UTMB organizers are still trying to make the race happen

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed that major sporting events would be cancelled until at least September. UTMB, one of the world’s biggest trail races, is set to run August 24 to 30 in Chamonix, France. Despite this announcement, Catherine Poletti, co-founder of UTMB, thinks that the race will go ahead, just with some changes to the original plan.

Poletti says that while the race won’t be able to accommodate their 10,000 entrants, if they capped the event at 5,000, it might be possible.

“We are working on the barrier measures, not only for the start, but on all fronts,” she told Le Dauphine. “We are committed to not giving up. We still want to organize the event in compliance with the rules. The entire economic community of the Mont-Blanc valley needs this. We are a race outside a mass stadium, which can adapt to the rules set by the government.”

While UTMB will hopefully be able to run, events like the Tour de France are facing cancellation. The Tour, which was already rescheduled from June to August, will be well over the gathering cap of 5,000 people and is considered a major sporting event. No official statement has been made yet in regard to the Tour.

 

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Ecotrail de Bruxelles

Ecotrail de Bruxelles

This event is credited with four new qualifying points for the UTMB race. The goal is finally to propose a 85% green route! This change required to leave the Atomium, located in the northern "not too green" of Brussels.The new start will be given to the heart of the capital of Europe, at the foot of the European institutions!This new...

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Kenyan runners are not earning money, not able to train as hard as usual but are trying to be positive during this COVID-19 crisis

The coronavirus has brought most elite sports to a grinding halt. While athletes who compete in individual sports are at an advantage, marathon runners too are finding it difficult to maintain their competitive edge.

Albert Korir, Henry Kiprop and Felix Kandie are professional marathon runners. Under normal circumstances, each of them would run 180 to 300 kilometers (111 to 186 miles) every week as part of their usual training routines. However, as in most other countries, Kenya's government has implemented restrictions of movement in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This means Kenyan athletes, like Korir, Kiprop and Kandie, are now forced to train alone, and the restrictions have also forced them to roll back their training regimes – by as much as 200 kilometers less than prior to the pandemic. The sudden reduction in training doesn't come without risks.

"I went from 200 to 50 kilometers a week, so I am worried," Albert Korir says. "When you start active training again you might get injuries."

Korir usually runs two marathons a year. In 2019 he finished first in Houston and second in New York – while setting a personal best in the Canadian capital, Ottawa. Even though the restrictions on movement in Kenya have only been in place for a few weeks, the 26-year-old has already noticed that his fitness is starting to suffer.

"When you're training you breathe hard. Your body is not fit like before, like when you were training hard," he said. "There's even been some changes like weight gain."

Trimming their distances isn't the only problem; elite runners usually train in camps with up to 50 other competitors, but now many are forced to train alone.

For Felix Kandie the coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time. He had been looking forward to running in what would have been his third Boston Marathon this year. But on April 20, the day when it was originally scheduled for, Kandie was at home – as the coronavirus had forced this year's Boston Marathon to be postponed.

"Now I would have been in Boston racing a few days ago," he said.

Kandie could get another shot if the Boston Marathon goes ahead in September, as organizers are hoping. But when the coronavirus outbreak started, he had already completed 80 percent of his training program in preparation for the event. Last year the 33-year-old had an incredible campaign, placing fourth in the Boston marathon and fifth in Berlin.

He told us that he would stick to his training program as closely as possible despite the restrictions. But at the same time he noted that individual training just wasn't as effective as training in a group.

"You need people there to push you. You need them to make you more competent," he said. "When you're training alone you may feel like you're running fine, but you're actually not getting something out of running alone. In a group you're able to assist each other in all decisions, the speed walking sessions and the morale sessions."

Henry Kiprop was getting ready for this year's Milano Marathon when the pandemic put paid to those plans. He was runner-up at the 2019 Venice Marathon with a time of 2:10, and he had been aiming to knock five minutes off his previous best. Now he is concerned about what this forced break and the absence of optimal training will do to his future performances.

"A marathon is like a process. You do it this year, you do it next year, and finally you have mastered the art of marathon running," he says.  "If you're told to go and run the London Marathon without training, that is quite impossible."

Financial impact 

Quite apart from the restrictions on training, many elite runners are also facing severe financial concerns. Korir is sponsored by German sports giant Adidas, but he still depends on races as his main source of income.

"We have to run and compete. If you don't have any races, then you don't have any finances so it will be difficult for us athletes."

Although many runners find themselves in the same boat, Kiprop believes the financial impact will vary.

"It all depends on the individual. All the marathons that I have been running, I have used my money well," he said. "I've invested in some real estate. So it may take me some time before things get bad for me."

While some can cushion the financial burden better than others, it is a precarious situation for all.

Like Kiprop, Kandie also invested his earnings when he started racing. He knew he can't run forever and needed to secure his financial future. But despite having a what he believes to be a sound financial plan, he would rather not tap into his savings.

"If things continue into next season. If things stay the same there will be big challenges because you have to use the investments that you have," he said.

'No competitions = no prize money'

So is anybody listening? World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation recently set up a fund to help track-and-field athletes during the coronavirus crisis. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is well aware of the athletes' financial problems.

"Clearly, if there are no competitions, there's no prize money. So the first objective is to try and get competition back into their world again," he says. 

What that may look like and when it'll come about depends on how quickly the coronavirus is contained.

For professional marathon runners this means continuing to make the best out of a difficult situation. But they know bouncing back to pre-coronavirus levels could take a while. They'll simply have to rely on their endurance and resistance to get them through what is looking more and more like a marathon, not just for professional runners, but people of all walks of life all over the globe.

(05/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alima Hotakie
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The 51st Annual Running of the Peachtree normally held July 4th has been moved to Thursday November 26

Atlanta will celebrate family, fitness and the Founding Fathers this fall as the AJC Peachtree Road Race moves from the Fourth of July to Thanksgiving Day in 2020. The 51st Running of the Peachtree will take place on Thursday, November 26, Atlanta Track Club announced today. It marks the first time in the event's history that it will not be held on July 4.

"As Atlanta and the nation continue to take precautions to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, we understand that Peachtree participants, volunteers, medical staff and the other first responders who keep them safe need more time to prepare for this year's race," said Rich Kenah, race director of the Peachtree and Atlanta Track Club's executive director. "We are thankful for the opportunity to move forward together with all of Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day in a responsible and safe format."

More than 45,000 people have already registered for this year's AJC Peachtree Road Race. All confirmed participants will remain registered with no further action needed. Current registrants will also have the option to complete the race virtually, move their entry to 2021 at no charge, transfer to a new participant, donate their registration fee to Atlanta Track Club's community initiatives or receive a refund. A full list of options can be found here.

Additionally, Atlanta Track Club plans to reopen registration for the Peachtree on August 31 -September 6 for members of the Club. For non-members it will open September 7 and will close on September 13 or when the event reaches capacity. Kilometer Kids Charity entries will remain open throughout the spring and summer.

The Club also announced efforts to plan and implement new safety measures at this year's race including fewer participants on each start line, longer separation between waves, re-imagining hydration stations and working with MARTA to get people to and from the event. "As it has been for 55 years, health and safety is Atlanta Track Club's top priority. COVID-19 has pushed us to review our best practices and protocols in the areas of event and program safety," Kenah said. "As this situation evolves and changes, we will make decisions based on the advice and information the Club receives from health experts."

Participants who chose to pick up their numbers in person will be able to do so at the Peachtree Health & Fitness Expo on November 23, 24 and 25 at the Georgia World Congress Center. This year's Peachtree Junior for children ages 14 & under will be held on Friday, November 27. Registration is open now.

The AJC Peachtree Road Race will replace the Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, 5K, Mile and Dash, which will be canceled for 2020. The Triple Peach Series presented by Mizuno will instead include the Publix Atlanta Half Marathon on February 28, 2021. Those registered for the Triple Peach will be automatically registered unless a refund is requested

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

2020 race has been moved from July 4th to Thanksgiving day November 26. The AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by the Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 48th running, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. Come kick...

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Shalane Flanagan Adopts a newborn Baby Boy Jack Dean Edwards

She’s a four-time Olympian for Team USA, and now Shalane Flanagan is a mom.

The former track and field and marathon star announced she and husband Steve Edwards became parents after adopting a newborn son this week.

“By far, the greatest gift we have ever been given. Jack Dean Edwards,” she captioned an Instagram slideshow of the swaddled baby. “On April 28th, Steven and I welcomed Jack with full hearts and open arms into our family through adoption.

“I was not prepared for a love like this."

Jack arrived Thursday at 8:56 a.m., weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces, Flanagan wrote.

The couple previously fostered teenage sisters, and soon after began looking into adoption. Flanagan opened up about the process in a March 2019 article with Women’s Running, saying they had applied for an infant adoption but were also exploring foster adoption.

“There’s such a need and my heart goes out to these kids,” she said. “I feel like Steve and I are in such a fortunate position to be able to give kids care and a home. …

“We may adopt an infant. We may adopt toddlers. We don’t know, but we’re putting ourselves in a position for whatever kids are in need. It’s scary but exciting. It’s a totally different life, but it’ll be fun.”

Flanagan, a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, who now lives in Portland, Oregon, made her Olympic debut in 2004 on the track, and four years later won a bronze medal that was later upgraded to silver in the 10,000-meter in Beijing. She switched to marathon after that, finishing 10th in London and sixth in Rio.

Along with Des Linden and Kara Goucher, Flanagan helped usher in a new generation of U.S. women’s marathoners, and in 2017 her win at the New York City Marathon ended a four-decade drought for U.S. women’s runners.

She retired from elite racing in October 2019 to pursue a career as a coach. NBC also hired her as an analyst.

Several fellow Team USA stars were quick to congratulate Flanagan on Instagram, including Goucher and Allyson Felix, both of whom are also mothers.

“Congrats Shalane!” Felix wrote. “So happy for you"

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Chros McDougall
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Falmouth Road Race 2020 will be Run At Home virtually for this summer

The 2020 New Balance Falmouth Road Race, originally set for August 16, will be going virtual to become the New Balance Falmouth Road Race “At-Home Edition.”

The 48th running of the iconic race will be celebrated worldwide as a virtual event beginning August 15 – on  the birthday of late founder Tommy Leonard – and concluding on August 29, with runners covering 7 miles in their own neighborhoods any time during that period.

With the Falmouth Board of Selectmen implementing a “no large event” policy through the end of August, race organizers have designed an experience for everyone to have fun while staying fit and focused on a goal this summer.

Registration will open on May 18, and the first 5,000 to enter will be guaranteed a spot in the 2021 New Balance Falmouth Road Race. Further details on the 2020 New Balance Falmouth Road Race “At-Home Edition,” including registration information, personalized athlete interactions, gift bags, contests, and virtual content, will be announced soon.

For more than 45 years, Falmouth Road Race, Inc. has promoted health, wellness, and pride in the community. In these unprecedented and uncertain times, the organization is striving to be consistent in its mission, continuing to provide its dedicated participants, enthusiasts, and the community with an event to be proud of and one that supports people in need.

“With safety always the top priority, we see an ‘At-Home’ event as the ideal option for 2020,” said Scott Ghelfi, president of the Falmouth Road Race, Inc., board of directors. “Although it’s sad to think of a summer in Falmouth without the usual race spectacle along our shores, conducting an ‘At-Home’ event will not only give runners from everywhere the chance to experience the Falmouth spirit but also give Falmouth Road Race, Inc. a way to show support for the town, our medical community, and our Numbers for Nonprofits participants, who are raising funds that will be needed now more than ever.”

Among the ways in which the race will show its commitment to nonprofit partners and the community through the “At-Home Edition:”

The organization will be purchasing a total of $25,000 worth of gift cards from businesses throughout Falmouth to randomly award to participants. The intention is to assist the community now and help bring visitors back to town when it is again safe to travel.

Falmouth Road Race, Inc. will donate $5,000 to Cape Kid Meals, the “grab-and-go” meals program for students.

Proceeds from the “At-Home Edition” will again allow annual scholarships to be awarded to high school seniors who are Falmouth residents.

Numbers for Nonprofits charity program partners will continue to receive support to maximize their fundraising efforts, including free registration for those running for a charity who raise a required minimum dollar amount for that organization. Incentive prizes and experiences, including a swag package, a donation match, and two chances to win a free entry into the 2021 New Balance Falmouth Road Race, will be offered to select participants by the race and its online fundraising partner, GoFundMe Charity.

“Running at home, together but apart, is the best way for all of us to show that we care about Falmouth – the town, its people, the race and its tradition – in 2020,” said Ghelfi. “Tommy Leonard wouldn’t want it any other way.”

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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Falmouth Road Race

Falmouth Road Race

2020 will be a virtual race. The New Balance Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite runners and recreational runners out to enjoy the scenic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is dedicated...

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Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race has been Cancelled for 2020 with Refunds for all Participants

 Due to ongoing concerns regarding the impact of COVID-19, and recent guidelines announced by the Maine Governor’s office, the board of directors of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K road race voted on Tuesday to cancel the 2020 race scheduled for August 1.

“COVID-19 and its impact on our state, the nation, and the world is unprecedented and after significant review and in partnership with our medical partners we have made this very difficult decision. We know this will be disappointing for those of us who look forward to the race each year but the health and safety of our runners, volunteers, spectators, staff, and community remains paramount,” said David Backer, President of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K. 

The $55 race entry fees will be automatically refunded to all registered runners over the coming weeks. Additionally, given demand for registration, race organizers have announced that all 2020 registrants will have an opportunity for early entry into the 2021 race. Race organizers will release details about the early entry process when finalized. 

The 2020 race beneficiary, JMG, will remain the beneficiary for the 23rd running which will be held, as is tradition, on the first Saturday in August of 2021.

“This has been a heartbreaking decision for all of us but is the right and only decision to be made at this time of uncertainty and unknowns”, said Joan Benoit Samuelson, Race Founder and Olympic gold medalist. “The TD Beach to Beacon 10K will return next year, consistent with the enduring nature of our sport, team and community.”

Samuelson continued, “As we run apart, we gain new strengths and appreciation for those who keep pace with us in our daily lives, especially those who have been on the frontlines of this pandemic with selfless endurance and courage.”

Race organizers will share updates in the coming weeks on plans for how the TD Beach to Beacon 10K community can stay connected during this time. 

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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TD Beach to Beacon 10K

TD Beach to Beacon 10K

Joan Benoit Samuelson, a native of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, won the first-ever women's Marathon at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and is founder and chair of the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K. "A long time dream of mine has been realized" says Samuelson. "I've always wanted to create a race that brings runners to some of my most...

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With his race event cancelled, 72-year-old Eric Spector inspires other seniors to remain active

The key is to commit to staying fit, whether during a pandemic or not, says Eric Spector.

If these were normal times, Eric Spector would be in the final phase of training for the race of his dreams — the annual Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile trail run from Squaw Valley to Auburn. It's an event he calls the Superbowl of ultramarathons.

But with the June event canceled, along with most other activities, due to the coronavirus crisis, the 72-year-old fitness enthusiast has been forced to adapt his fitness routine.

Rather than rigorously training in the hills above Palo Alto, Spector has turned to power walking. And rather than swimming and exercising at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, he has set up a gym in his garage where he can lift weights, ride a stationary bicycle and generally keep moving.

"The key is working up a sweat and getting the benefit of a cardiovascular workout," said the Palo Alto resident, who has participated in more than 20 marathons in the United States and abroad and was the oldest person to complete the 2018 Rio del Lago 100-Mile Endurance Run in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Though a committed runner, Spector, who turns 73 on May 5, is no exercise snob. In fact, he's a promoter of exercise for anybody and everybody through his Twitter page, [ @fitatallages.

"It doesn't really matter what activity somebody chooses — the benefits of being fit are extraordinarily clear," he said."It prevents so many diseases and, if you get sick, your recovery time is usually much shorter because of your fitness.

"Whether you speed walk, bicycle, play racquetball, hike — the most important thing is that you do it regularly and that you sweat. With those two ingredients, it provides a longer, healthier, more vigorous life."

On his Twitter feed, Spector often shares links to inspirational stories of older athletes as well as small exercise tips like:"Well, you don't want to run? Then dance."

During the stay-at-home order, he has been sharing the many ways athletes, from Olympians to coaches, have adapted their fitness routines. One marathoner who qualified for this year's Olympics in Tokyo, shared this philosophy with the New York Times: The only thing athletes can control at this point, since competitions and events are canceled, is their training routines. Another story that Spector shared from Sports Illustrated features a running coach who provided some creative inspiration to those looking to compete or exercise: He organized a virtual ultramarathon where participants mapped out their own running loop in their backyards, neighborhoods or treadmills and livestreamed their runs on Zoom.

Spector said the key is to commit to staying fit, whether during a pandemic or not. He recommends picking an exercise and following through with a routine. This can be anything from walking around the block once a week to walking around the backyard everyday. Tracking when, where and for how long you do a particular activity will help you maintain a routine and stay motivated.

Exercise wasn't always a priority for Spector.

As a young man he was overweight and working long hours at a New York City startup.

"I wasn't at all plugged in to athletics of any kind — I'd really done nothing more than work and eat and put on some weight," he said.

But he became intrigued when some of his business school classmates flew in from California to run the 1978 New York City Marathon.

"I thought, 'If these guys can do it, I should be able to do it,' so I bought some sneakers, went out for a run to the west side of the Hudson River and barely made it," he said.

Spector kept at it, and a little more than a year later, he entered the 1979 New York City Marathon.

"It was my first running event ever but I did quite well and loved it," he said."I really loved the fitness, the clarity of mind, the stream of consciousness as you're running."

He grew to love the "runner's high," which he describes as"a kind of a euphoria, where you're not even conscious of the effort. It's just the rhythm and the joy of physical activity.

"For me, that kind of activity has been a mainstay of mental health and sanity, with the benefit of staying fit," he said.

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Chris Kenrick
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Western States 100

Western States 100

2020 race has been cancelled. 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...

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More than 13,000 runners are getting prepared for virtual Pittsburgh Marathon

Runners from across the United States and the world are gearing up to run their committed distances from wherever they are as the DICK’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon goes virtual in 2020.

13,000 runners from 43 states and 5 countries will either run outside or on treadmills on what should’ve been the weekend of the 2020 race.

Thirty percent of runners this weekend will be completing their first marathon and 23% of runners will be completing their first half-marathon.

All ages will be running this weekend or have already completed their virtual marathon, including 81-year-old Henry Wood, a Pittsburgh native. Wood finished his 28th Pittsburgh Marathon and 51st marathon overall on April 19.

Raffi Wilbur is a 5-year-old double-amputee who will be completing the Chick-Fil-A Kids Marathon alongside his father.

More than 1,100 runners have already raised over $350,000 for local and national nonprofits.

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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Dick's Sporting Good Pittsburgh Marathon

Dick's Sporting Good Pittsburgh Marathon

This race is your game - however you decide to play it. As a competitor. A fund raiser. An enthusiast. A veteran. A team player. It's whatever you want it to be. It's whatever you make it. It's YOUR game..... Run it. Play it. Own it. Love it. Runners will race on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, cross each of...

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World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui has high hope to win the rescheduled Boston Marathon

World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui says he briefly lost interest in training after organizers of the Boston marathon pushed the event back to September.

However, he has learned to live with the situation and has slowly resumed training hoping he will be fit to return to competition in September and prove his critics wrong to win another major marathon race.

Kirui, who won gold in the men's marathon at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London, has experienced torrid performances since.

He failed in his bid to win in Boston last year settling for fifth place at 2:08:55 and finished 14th at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

"The fear of contracting the virus made it hard to train in the first place. People were scared and locked themselves up. But I have found a way to train in Nakuru and I have been enjoying my runs with hope to compete in Boston if it will not be canceled," Kirui said on Wednesday.

But with news coming in that the Berlin Marathon has been canceled, Kirui is still fearful his hard work in training might go down the drain should organizers in Boston opt not to stage the event altogether until 2021.

"September is not far away. Already there will be no marathon in Berlin, but we hope America will open up and allow us to compete. People need to return back to life and see what sports can offer. I can only pray to God for things to change," he added.

Kirui's best performance since his win in London was a second-place finish at the 2018 Boston Marathon. He was also sixth in Chicago race in the same year. But he is still optimistic to turn his career around and chase gold in the 2020 season.

"There will always be some race that will boost your career and I believe after a turbulent time in the last two years, I can get a win and stabilize my running again. There is a lot of competition from the younger athletes, but that is what is helping me remain focused. A small slip will be hard to recover from," added Kirui.

Of importance to Kirui is to return to competition and gauge how his solo training has fared.

"When the world is back to normal and we have a sports competition, we will be glad and happy. For now, our health and safety is the priority. But while we maintain a safe distance, we need to focus ahead beyond COVID-19 and strategize on how to compete again," he said.

(04/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei wants to improve her time when competition resumes

New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei will target a better performance to improve her time when competition resumes in the 2020 season.

Jepkosgei, who had hopes of returning to the marathon course in London in April, has had to chill at home and venture into farming after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of almost all competitions this year.

"I had plans to run in London on April 26, but as you know that event has been pushed back to October 4 and that brings another challenge because I had other plans for that period of the year," Jepkosgei said on Thursday from Iten.

Jopkosgei clocked 2:22:38 in New York, but improving that time is something she is seriously thinking about. "I want to run faster," she said. "I know I can improve on my time."

"However, the cancellations of the London race hit me hard because I had done well in training knowing the caliber of opponents to expect. But the choice was not mine to cancel, what they did was in good faith and for the good of everyone," she added.

Now Jepkosgei has to find some inspiration to help her go through the period where there is no competition and training is limited.

"The challenge is to maintain my physiotherapy schedules, eating healthy foods and preventing any stress at this point. To remain healthy, I have chosen to deny myself several tasty foods because I have to always check my diet," she added. 

(04/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Salazar has appealed against the ban to the Court of British anti-doping agency Arbitration for Sport

UK Athletics said Wednesday it had at last handed over an internal report into its relationship with banned American coach Alberto Salazar during the time he worked with track star Mo Farah to Britain's national anti-doping agency.

The report dates back to 2015 and was prompted by a BBC documentary on Salazar.

The disgraced coach is currently serving a four-year ban imposed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in October for offences that include trafficking in testosterone, tampering with the doping control process and administering illicit infusions of the fat-burning substance L-carnitine.

Salazar, who denies wrongdoing, has appealed against the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Just over a month ago, an independent review of both the 2015 report and another undertaken two years later, was published.

But United Kingdom Anti-Doping executive chief Nicole Sapstead demanded to see the original report in full after UK Athletics merely provided an edited summary.

UK Athletics responded by saying it was "wholly wrong and inaccurate" to suggest they were "being obstructive in this matter," with chief executive Joanna Coates saying earlier this month the report would go to UKAD just as soon as all confidentiality procedures had been completed.

UK Athletics confirmed Wednesday the report had been sent over, a statement saying: "UKA can confirm that the 2015 report has been provided to UKAD.

"UKA remains fully committed to protecting the integrity of the sport and the pursuit of clean athletics and we will continue to assist UKAD with any further queries."

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Farah, twice champion at both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, worked with Salazar from 2011-2017.

The British distance great, who has never failed a drugs test, is not accused of any wrongdoing.

(04/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Ben Banks ran his own Brighton Marathon by doing laps in his back garden

“It was very repetitive” was Ben Banks’ verdict on the 26.2-miles he ran by covering hundreds of laps in the back garden of his Thurston home.

The 25-year-old had been due to run the Brighton Marathon a week before, until it was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

Many of us might’ve taken the opportunity to put our feet up - but, having caught the running bug, Ben decided to go ahead anyway and run the 26.2-miles by doing laps of his garden.

He admitted the so-called ‘route’ got a bit samey after a while, even with his attempts to bring in a bit of variety by running in different directions across the lawn.

Without the scenic routes and cheering crowds of most marathons, Ben admitted it was a “mental struggle” - although his relatives came out of the house regularly to offer him moral support.

However, once he was a couple of hours in, Ben told himself that he’d gone too far to give up half-way through.

And he even surprised himself by setting a new personal best, with a time of 4hrs, 13mins and 43secs.

Ben had originally aimed to run the Brighton Marathon for the charity Mind, as people close to him have been affected by mental ill health in the past.

However in light of the current pandemic, he has chosen to donate half of the money he is raising from the run on Sunday, April 26 - the same day as the London Marathon - to the Charities Aid Foundation, to help those affected by the crisis.

“I saw the campaign and wanted to do something to help out,” he said.

“I’ve still been doing my training, so wanted to put that to some use as well - especially at the moment, when getting outside to do anything is difficult.

“It was very repetitive but I tried to mix it up a bit, anything to make it a bit more interesting!. “It was a lot harder than a normal marathon. The only support I had was my family - every so often they would come out to see how I was getting on.

“It was a mental struggle but I really wanted to complete it. I knew I could have a rest at the end!”

Ben hopes to be able to run the Brighton Marathon itself later in the year.

(04/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Andrew Papworth
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Brighton Marathon

Brighton Marathon

The Brighton Marathon is one of the UK’s favorite marathons. With stunning coastal scenery in one of the country’s most energetic cities, this is the perfect race for runners with all different levels of experience. The fast and beautiful course of the Brighton Marathon makes this a ‘must do’on any runners list. Come and experience it for yourself over 26.2...

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Like everywhere else, lives and plans in Japan have been put on hold by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus

Japan was one of the first countries after China to detect cases of the virus, its first on 16 January, but taking until 7 April for official numbers to climb enough for the national government to declare a state of emergency.

The official response within Japanese athletics has been similar, simultaneously fast and slow. The Tokyo Marathon on 1 March was one of the first outside China to put a stop order on this year’s edition, announcing that it would cancel its mass-participation race and go ahead as an elite-only event. The Nagoya Women’s Marathon on 8 March echoed that days later.

But while other road races joined Nagoya in following Tokyo’s lead, outdoor track season appeared ready to go forward. Some individual events in early April were voluntarily cancelled, but after 2008 Olympic 4x100m silver medallist Naoki Tsukahara was diagnosed with the coronavirus on 30 March, the JAAF Athlete Committee submitted a formal written request to the JAAF that all competitions through the end of May be cancelled or postponed. The JAAF went one better, cancelling or postponing everything through the end of June, including the National Championships.

So where did this leave Japan’s athletes? For some, it put fresh-caught dreams straight on to ice. Tokyo, Nagoya and Lake Biwa were the culmination of a three-year process to put together the best Olympic marathon teams Japan could. After these races, on 8 March the JAAF confirmed the line-ups of Honami Maeda, Ayuko Suzuki, and Mao Ichiyama for women, and Shogo Nakamura, Yuma Hattori and Suguru Osako for men.

On 15 March at the 20km race walk Olympic trials, Nanako Fujii and Koki Ikeda joined Kumiko Okada, Toshikazu Yamanishi, Yusuke Suzuki and Masatora Kawano on the Olympic race walk teams. Eiki Takahashi was added a few weeks later.

Japanese athletes have it easier. Low official infection numbers and the absence of a lockdown have meant comparatively fewer restrictions, but it’s still meant changes. Yuki Saito, assistant coach for both marathon runner Suzuki and 5000m Olympic team favourite Ririka Hironaka, said: “Suzuki was supposed to get physiotherapy at the Japan Institute of Sport Science, but it’s been closed and that’s been an issue. With 11 athletes on our team, we never have more than four or five running together. We can’t do out-of-town training, and since the declaration of emergency, the university where we do workouts has been closed. We’re probably going to use some nearby parks twice a week. With more people working from home there’ll be more around, so we have to be careful not to come too close.”

Post-collegiate Japanese athletes also have a little more peace of mind thanks to the corporate team system. Team members are salaried employees of the sponsor company, meaning that if the situation stretches on for months, they should still get paid whether or not they compete. That means less financial vulnerability than many professional athletes elsewhere.

But there is still the frustration of carefully worked-out plans thrown out the window and no races on the immediate horizon. Brendan Reilly, agent for all three women on the Olympic marathon squad, said: “We had race and/or training plans in place, and the last of those was scrapped in early April.”

For now, like everywhere, it’s a holding pattern. Like everywhere, Japanese athletes are doing what they can to stay optimistic and focused, and to help transmit the same feelings to the general population as the situation becomes more serious. From the members of the 4x100m team to high jump national record-holder Naoto Tobe to marathon runner Hattori, they’ve been posting workouts the average person can do at home, baking tips, and just positive messages.

“Sport is not only essential to maintain and elevate our physical and mental health,” wrote National Sports Agency commissioner and Olympic gold medallist Daichi Suzuki, “but also gives people pride, joy, dreams, excitement, courage. I hope all of us in the sport community can work together as one to help bring this public health threat under control.”

It’s a sentiment everyone in the sport worldwide can take to heart as we all face uncertainty in the year to come.

(04/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner for world Athletics
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UTMB organizers are still trying to make the race happen

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed that major sporting events would be cancelled until at least September. UTMB, one of the world’s biggest trail races, is set to run August 24 to 30 in Chamonix, France.

Despite this announcement, Catherine Poletti, co-founder of UTMB, thinks that the race will go ahead, just with some changes to the original plan.

Poletti says that while the race won’t be able to accommodate their 10,000 entrants, if they capped the event at 5,000, it might be possible.

“We are working on the barrier measures, not only for the start, but on all fronts,” she told Le Dauphine. “We are committed to not giving up. We still want to organize the event in compliance with the rules.

The entire economic community of the Mont-Blanc valley needs this. We are a race outside a mass stadium, which can adapt to the rules set by the government.”

While UTMB will hopefully be able to run, events like the Tour de France are facing cancellation.

The Tour, which was already rescheduled from June to August, will be well over the gathering cap of 5,000 people and is considered a major sporting event. No official statement has been made yet in regard to the Tour.

(04/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...

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Athletics Kenya´s president Jack Tuwei welcomed the global fund to bail out athletes during the pandemic by the world athletics

Kenya's athletes will benefit from a 500,000 U.S. dollar global fund, which World Athletics launched on Tuesday to help athletes with their financial needs through the Covid-19 pandemic period.

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei welcomed the move saying it will help bail out athletes who are most effected by the lack of competition with a complete lockdown of sports competitions globally.

"Certainly this fund will cushion them (athletes) from the effects of this virus. Every sector needs help and we thank World Athletics for coming up with such an initiative for athletes," Tuwei said in Nairobi.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said the fund would be used to assist athletes who have lost most of their income in the last few months due to the suspension of international competition while the world combats the global health emergency.

Coe said it was important that the sport supports its athletes who are most in need during the current circumstances.

"I am in constant contact with athletes around the world and I know that many are experiencing financial hardship as a consequence of the shutdown of most international sports competition in the last two months," said Coe.

Most professional athletes rely on prize money as part of their income.

"We're mindful that our competition season, on both the track and road, is being severely impacted by the pandemic. We are hopeful that we will be able to stage at least some competition later this year, but in the meantime we will also endeavor, through this fund and additional monies we intend to seek through the friends of our sport, to help as many athletes as possible," Coe added.

The World Athletics head will chair an expert multi-regional working group to assess the applications for assistance, which will be submitted through World Athletics' six Area Associations.

The members include Olympic champion and 1500m world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj, and Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi among others.

(04/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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The 2020 Fukuoka Marathon has been Cancelled

In the midst of the novel coronavirus crisis both in Japan and abroad and in light of the disease's constantly changing impact and the difficulty of assessing the future situation, the organizers of the 2020 Fukuoka Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 8, have made the decision to cancel this year's race.

We apologize to everyone who had looked forward to the Fukuoka Marathon and to everyone involved with it, but we ask for your understanding.

We hope that the coronavirus crisis comes to an end quickly and that everyone can return to their daily lives, and we ask you all to take care of both your physical and mental health until that day comes.

The Fukuoka Marathon Organizing Committee.

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Fukuoka Marathon

Fukuoka Marathon

The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the longest running races in Japan, it is alsoan international men’s marathon race established in 1947. The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009. Frank Shorter won first straight years from 1971 to 1974. Derek Clayton set the World Record here in 1967 running 2:09:37. ...

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The postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics could be cancelled if the coronavirus pandemic isn't brought under control by next year

The postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be cancelled if the coronavirus pandemic isn't brought under control by next year, the organising committee's president said in comments published Tuesday.

The pandemic has already forced a year-long delay of the Games, which are now scheduled to open on July 23, 2021, but Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said no further postponement was possible.

In an interview with Japan's Nikkan Sports daily, Mori was categorical when asked if the Olympics could be delayed until 2022 if the pandemic remains a threat next year, replying: "No."

"In that case, it's cancelled," Mori said. 

Mori said the Games had been cancelled previously only during wartime and compared the battle against coronavirus to "fighting an invisible enemy".

If the virus is successfully contained, "we'll hold the Olympics in peace next summer", he added. "Mankind is betting on it."

Under heavy pressure from athletes and sports associations, Japanese organisers and the International Olympic Committee agreed in March to a year-long postponement of the Games.

Organisers and Japanese officials have said the delayed Olympics will be a chance to showcase the world's triumph over the coronavirus, but questions have arisen about whether even a year's postponement is sufficient.

On Tuesday, the head of Japan Medical Association warned it would be "exceedingly difficult" to hold the Games next year if a vaccine had not been found.

"I would not say that they should not be held, but it would be exceedingly difficult," Yoshitake Yokokura told reporters at a briefing.

And last week a Japanese medical expert who has criticised the country's response to the coronavirus warned that he was "very pessimistic" that the postponed Olympics can be held in 2021.

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Saucony company announced almost 100 per cent of its new apparel will be made using renewable resources

Saucony recently announced that the company will focus on sustainability as it moves forward, and almost all of its new products will be made with renewable materials.

The company is even developing its first biodegradable shoe, which is “one small step toward reducing our footprint for good.” Hundreds of millions of pairs of shoes are produced every year, and hundreds of millions more are tossed in the trash and end up in landfills.

With more sustainable practices and materials used, companies can significantly lower the amount of waste humans produce on a yearly basis.

Eco-Friendly production.- Natural, organic and recycled materials were used to produce Saucony’s new Spring 2020 collection. The company’s “environmentally conscious materials” include recycled polyester, which it produces by melting existing plastic (water bottles, for example) and turning it into a new polyester fibre. 

Saucony is looking to use as much recycled polyester as possible without sacrificing the comfort and durability of its products.

Saucony’s eco-friendly materials also include recycled nylon and organic cotton. Even the tags attached to clothing will be made with a mix of recycled post-consumer waste and paper.

The first-ever biodegradable Saucony shoe was the focus of a Super Bowl ad in February. In the commercial the narrator asks the question, “What if the shoes we threw away actually went away?” That is the goal of the biodegradable shoe, which is still in development: to have a shoe which, when thrown away, won’t just sit in landfill and take decades to decompose.

The first biodegradable shoe will be added to the Saucony Originals line, and it will be made from natural materials and renewable resources while also remaining completely free of plastics, bioplastics and plastic derivatives.

In addition to creating this eco-friendly shoe, its manufacturing process will use less electricity, and it won’t be built using petroleum-based glues and threads. It’s a shoe that is environmentally friendly from its earliest stages of production until the end of its life.

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Ultrarunner Gary Robbins ran 100 miles on treadmill in virtual race to raise money for the B.C. Search and Rescue Association

This past weekend, Gary Robbins went for a run on his treadmill, and he didn’t stop for almost 26 hours. He ran in the Aravaipa Strong virtual race, competing in the 100-mile event, and his run doubled as a fundraiser for the B.C. Search and Rescue Association. Running for 26 hours is hard enough, but Robbins made it even tougher on himself and climbed around 17,500 feet in addition to running 100 miles.

His challenge has raised over $15,000 for the B.C. Search and Rescue Association, and donations can still be made to support the cause.

The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association is a non-profit society that represents 79 search and rescue groups across B.C. Across the province, 2,500 volunteers are available in over 80 communities 24/7, collectively putting in 100,000 hours of work each year.

These groups have an incredible rate of success, with 95 per cent of subjects found or rescued within the first 24 hours of a call. The Search and Rescue Association gets some support from the provincial government, but it relies on donations to stay active.

Robbins hoped to raise $5,000 for the non-profit, but he has tripled that goal and the total now sits above $15,000.

Robbins’ official time for the 100-mile run was 25:53:42. Although this is almost 10 hours slower than the winner of the 100-mile Aravaipa Strong event (American Sarah Emoto won the virtual race in 16:15:46), Robbins likely had a much harder run than any of the other competitors as it included 17,500 feet of elevation.

Robbins is no stranger to ultramarathons, and before the coronavirus outbreak he was gearing up for another shot at the Barkley Marathons this year. Even with a history of ultrarunning, Robbins struggled with the treadmill run.

“Happy to have gotten through this so that I never have to think about anything like this again,” he tweeted. “It was challenging in all the ways I thought it’d be and lots more ways I hadn’t envisioned. My body is completely wrecked.” His wife, Linda Barton-Robbins, also tweeted post-race, saying that her husband couldn’t even make it up their stairs at home.

The Aravaipa Strong virtual race took place from April 17 to 26, and runners could choose from seven distances, starting with 5K up to 100 miles. The races featured over 2,000 runners worldwide from 29 different countries. Ten per cent of the proceeds from the race were donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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World Athletics has created a fund to support athletes during the pandemic

World Athletics, together with the International Athletics Foundation (IAF), has today launched a US$500,000 fund to support professional athletes experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who also chairs the IAF, said the fund would be used to assist athletes who have lost most of their income in the last few months due to the suspension of international competition while the world combats the global health emergency.

Established in 1986 to support charitable causes involving athletics, the International Athletics Foundation, under the Honorary Presidency of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, has allocated resources from its budgets for 2020 and 2021 to assist athletes in need through this process.Coe will chair an expert multi-regional working group to assess the applications for assistance, which will be submitted through World Athletics’ six Area Associations.

The members will include: Olympic champion and 1500m world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj, Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi (representing the WA Athletes’ Commission), WA Executive Board members Sunil Sabharwal (Audit Committee) and Abby Hoffman, WA Council members Adille Sumariwalla, Beatrice Ayikoru and Willie Banks, IAF Executive Committee member and former WA treasurer Jose Maria Odriozola and Team Athletics St Vincent and the Grenadines President Keith Joseph.

The working group will meet this week to establish a process for awarding and distributing grants to individual athletes and to look at other ways to raise additional monies for the fund.Coe said it was important that the sport supported its athletes most in need during the current circumstances.

“I would especially like to thank Hicham for bringing this idea to us, and Prince Albert for his strong support of this project. I am in constant contact with athletes around the world and I know that many are experiencing financial hardship as a consequence of the shutdown of most international sports competition in the last two months. Our professional athletes rely on prize money as part of their income and we’re mindful that our competition season, on both the track and road, is being severely impacted by the pandemic.

We are hopeful that we will be able to stage at least some competition later this year, but in the meantime we will also endeavour, through this fund and additional monies we intend to seek through the friends of our sport, to help as many athletes as possible.

"HSH Prince Albert II added: "I created more than 35 years ago the International Athletics Foundation with the late Primo Nebiolo to encourage and promote athletics and grant financial assistance to athletics federations and the most deserving athletes.

Since its inception the Foundation has distributed for these purposes more than US$30 Million. I am delighted that we can put our resources behind this initiative so we can make a difference to the lives of athletes who are suffering financially at this time.

We hope that this support will help those athletes preparing for international competition, including next year’s Olympic Games, to sustain their training, support their families and that this will relieve them of some stress in these uncertain times.’’El Guerrouj said: “The pandemic is causing economic pain to people from all parts of society, including athletes, and this is a time when we must come together as a global community to help each other.

I am delighted that Seb and World Athletics reacted so positively to my suggestion that we create a fund for athletes, and have made it happen with the support of the International Athletics Foundation.

The suspension of competition has had a huge impact on many professional athletes because they can’t earn prize money so I’m really pleased that we have found a way to assist them.”

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The 2020 San Francisco Marathon has been postponed from July 26 and moved to November 15

We have all been watching as the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to evolve and affect every aspect of our lives right now. In order to prevent the spread of the illness and to not overwhelm the healthcare system around the world, governments have taken a wide array of measures including limiting large scale events.

The City and County of San Francisco has led the charge and helped flatten the curve, yet there is still more to be done and the health and safety of our participants, staff and volunteers is always our first priority. Following further discussions with the City and County of San Francisco, we have made the decision to reschedule the San Francisco Marathon to November 15, 2020. We are grateful for the support of the City and County for their flexibility and assistance in selecting this new date to ensure our runners can still enjoy this iconic City event. We are working to implement new race day safety measures that we will share over the coming months.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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San Francisco Marathon Weekend

San Francisco Marathon Weekend

The San Francisco Marathon (Full Marathon, 1st Half Marathon, 2nd Half Marathon, 5K and Ultra marathon) will fill San Francisco’s streets. The course is both challenging and rewarding. You’ll enjoy waterfront miles along the Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Crissy Field; feel your heart pound as you race across the Golden Gate Bridge; speed past landmarks like Coit Tower, Golden Gate...

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A family of three generations of Greenwich will undertake marathon on balcony

A Greenwich family of three generations say they are "blown away" by the response to their plan to walk a marathon on their balcony.

Ruth, 87, Charles, 58, Deborah, 57, and James Montlake, 31, will be walking a marathon's distance together on their balcony on the cancelled London Marathon date.

The challenge will be in aid of myeloma, a type of blood cancer that Charles was diagnosed with in December last year.

Charles told the PA news agency: "Myeloma UK is a charity which does a lot of good work and when I was first diagnosed in December, like many people, I didn't know anything about myeloma ... they really were there for me and I feel like in what we're doing, we're giving something back."

The family estimates that the challenge on the 11-metre-long balcony will take over 10 hours and around 4,000 lengths to complete.

They began the marathon at 9am on Sunday, and are expecting friends and family to cheer them on from the park below their flat.

Charles told PA: "As we live in Greenwich, we're very close to the marathon ... we always walk up the hill to watch it start and then come back down to cheer people as they pass by.

"We're obviously going to miss the marathon ... so we're going to do it ourselves!"

Aside from Charles's weekly chemotherapy at Guy's Hospital, he and the rest of the family must isolate, with neighbours delivering shopping for them.

Charles told PA: "We've been very lucky (during lockdown) because James is not normally in the UK. It's really nice to have our son with us and that has really helped us a lot.

"Apart from that, we've barely had a moment to get bored, we've all got things to do."

The challenge started with a £260 target to correspond with the marathon's 26-mile distance, but the family now has a target of £10,000 due to funds pouring in.

Charles's mother Ruth, who normally uses a walking frame, said: "I'm really quite excited about it ... this has been a wonderful opportunity to help.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Euan O'Byrne Mulligan
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A retired teacher living with cancer has inspired his daughter to run a virtual fundraising event for the charity helping him through his illness

Lizzie Shankland-Fee said the courage of her dad, former Huntington School deputy head Gordon Fee, was driving her on to organise a social-distancing marathon with a group of friends.

Gordon, 80, was a gymnast who marked his 60th birthday by turning six back-flips. He still boasted a six-pack when he turned 75. But after running the 2018 York 10K Gordon felt breathless and tests showed he had the lung cancer mesothelioma.

He underwent surgery, chemotherapy and other gruelling treatments, and was not expected to live beyond a year, but Gordon, his wife Linda and their family are continuing to take each day as it comes, supported by York Against Cancer.

The charity gave them a free short break at its Whitby apartment and Gordon has also taken part in its free exercise sessions. “The holiday was magical,” said Lizzie, 40.

“The apartment is a magnificent penthouse and the views of the beach are phenomenal. “Some days Dad struggled but he could watch us taking the kids down to the beach. When he was well we carried him down there and he had the most amazing day, just watching us burying the kids in the sand! It was perfect. We now live for the rainbow days and memories we can make together.”

But Lizzie, a teacher who lives in Manchester, has not been able to see Gordon and his wife Linda since coronavirus struck. They are self-isolating at home in York.

Lizzie has set up a JustGiving page, where wellwishers can sponsor her and leave messages of support.

She says her dad was very touched when she told him what she was doing. “People have left such lovely messages and for him to be able to read them is really sweet.”

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Haydn Lewis
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A Backyard London Marathon challenge in aid of Manorlands proved a runaway success

What began with a conversation between four people, who were due to take part in yesterday's marathon around the streets of the capital before it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, escalated.

The quartet spread the word among fellow members and friends of Keighley & Craven Athletic Club and Craven Energy Triathlon Club.

And 41 entrants – equating, with relay teams, to more than 100 people – each pounded the 26.2-mile-distance around their gardens and yards yesterday.

They 'lined-up' on a virtual Zoom start line at 9.30am for the challenge, which so far has raised around £13,000.

Organiser Gary Chapman, 52, of Haworth, said the response had been "remarkable".

"I have been a member of both clubs for many years and I've never been as proud with so many people stepping-up at no notice to support Manorlands," he added.

"I help with the Keighley & Craven club's junior section and was inspired throughout the day with photos/videos of our wonderfully-talented youngsters pinging their way through to me on WhatsApp as I ran the entire 26.2 miles myself in my garden – it got me through the pain, with 6,400ft of ascent and 17,400 garden steps to negotiate in 372 laps!"

Also among those taking part were junior coaches Sue Straw and Tony Booth, with their children Dylan and Maizie. Tony ran the whole marathon in four hours 26 minutes, while the rest of the family completed it in relay formation. Sue also organised for a number of juniors to complete a virtual relay.

Dick Ballantine, 54, a headteacher from Haworth well-known for some of his long-distance challenges, stepped-up to the mark. He ran around his field, occasionally being accompanied by daughter Poppy on her horse. "Despite a nasty injury at six miles he completed the next 20 in lots of pain to show his support for Manorlands," said Gary.

Other participants included Pablo and Mel Vasquez and their children Marcela, six, Santi, ten, and Seb, 12, who between them completed the full marathon distance. Pablo said: "It was a fantastic family day for a great cause."

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alistair Shand
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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The 2020 sports season is lost to many sportsmen, but Eliud Kipchoge hopes to return stronger in 2021 and win a back-to-back Olympic title

In 2016, Kipchoge reclaimed Kenya's gold in the marathon, which was first won by the late Samuel Wanjiru at the magnificent Bird's Nest stadium in the 2008 Beijing Olympics but was lost at the 2012 London Games to Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.

Now the 35-year-old is dreaming of adding another feather to his illustrious cap by having a great addition to his impressive distance running record to win the second gold on the Olympic marathon.

"If all goes well next year 2021, I will defend my title in the marathon in a competitive field and probably post a good time. It will add more to my running career," Kipchoge told the Olympic Channel.

Over a decade ago, Kipchoge felt like he had the inspiration and energy to finally get crowned the Olympic champion in Beijing.

He was making his second appearance at the Games having clinched bronze at the Athens Games in 2004. But he had to wait another eight years to win the Olympic title."I was really in shape in Beijing.

Even with two laps to go my mind was telling me, 'You will be Olympic Champion this year'. But I had no more fuel and Kenenisa Bekele won the race," he said.

Now the two men, despite missing out to meet at the London marathon on Sunday, are set to clash at the Tokyo Games in 2021. It will be their fifth meeting over the marathon distance. Kipchoge has won all four previous shows.

"It's true, Bekele beat me several times on the track. But I have won all the races in the marathon," said Kipchoge.

Kipchoge became only the second Kenyan after Wanjiru to win an Olympic marathon.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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