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A decision on whether this year's London Marathon can be held has been delayed until next month

Decision on staging London Marathon 2020 has been pushed back until August 7, the organizers said on Monday.

The event, originally scheduled for April 26, was postponed to Oct. 4 after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the international sporting calendar in March.

In an open letter to all participants on Monday, event director Hugh Brasher said the delay was due to a need for further consultation with local NHS Trusts, the emergency services and local authorities.

"We know how important the Virgin Money London Marathon is to you, to charities and in showing the world the wonderful spirit of London, of Great Britain and of our running community," he said.

"So please bear with us while we finish the extensive work we have been doing to try to enable us to run together, safely.

"I will be in contact with our final decision and the options available to you no later than Friday, Aug. 7."

The cancellation of September's Great North Run raised concerns about the London Marathon going ahead due to the challenges faced by organizers in implementing social distancing protocols.

The London Marathon routinely attracts close to 40,000 participants and this year's race was set to pit the world's fastest runners Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele against one another.

The event is last of the World Marathon Majors still hoping to be held this year after Boston, Berlin, New York and Chicago shelved plans for their 2020 races. 

(07/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Hardik Vyas
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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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John Kelly smashes 31-year-old Pennine Way FKT

Kelly set a new best mark on the legendary Pennine Way FKT by 40 minutes

American ultrarunner and 2017 Barkley Marathons finisher John Kelly ran the FKT on the U.K.’s legendary Pennine Way early Thursday morning. The Pennie Way FKT was held for 31 years by Mike Hartley, a storied British ultrarunner, until today. Kelly surpassed Hartley’s time by 40 minutes to finish in two days, 16 hours and 40 minutes (the previous record stood at two days, 17 hours and 20 minutes).

The Pennine Way, which is travelled during the Spine Race (which Kelly won earlier this year, before the pandemic), is a 268 mile (431k) trail up the middle of England from Edale to Kirk Yetholm. Over the course of that 431K, the path gains just shy of 12,000m of elevation on extremely rough terrain. For a little context, the elevation is nearly twice the height of Mount Everest and the distance is like running from Toronto to Sudbury. It’s a lot of running and climbing.

This FKT attempt wasn’t Kelly’s first time traversing this course. He has run it over the course of the Spine Race, but this week’s effort was different. He was assisted and running through the summer (as opposed to January, when the Spine Race takes place) and working with nearly 20 hours of daylight as opposed to the eight he would’ve seen last time. On top of the daylight, this was a supported effort, so he didn’t need to carry any extra supplies.

Kelly was supported primarily by his partner Nicki Lygo who documented most of the effort on Twitter. Kelly dealt with some poor weather and significant stomach issues, but he still managed to pull it off. Initially, he was flying through aid stations in under 60 seconds, but slowed to 30 to 40 minutes toward the end when he would sleep for a bit and try to soothe his stomach.

While Kelly’s effort on Pennine Way is astonishing, he’s not done yet. He took on what he’s calling the Hartley Slam. Pennine Way was Part One and the Grand Round is Part Two. The Grand Round route involves nearly 300K of running, thousands of feet of elevation gain and over 600K of biking between its sections. Kelly attempted the Grand Round in 2019, but was unable to complete it, so he’s heading back for a second try two weeks after today’s finish.

Kelly is doing this challenge for two reasons: to have something to do since his 2020 race calendar was cleared and to raise money for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, a U.K. charity that helps disadvantaged youth. If fans are looking to donate, they can do so here. Tune back in two weeks time to follow Kelly on his journey to conquer the Grand Round.

(07/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Tick Check: A Guide for Running in Tick Country

Growing up, my dad wouldn’t let us bring our shoes inside during the spring and summer. It wasn’t because of how terrible they smelled, but rather because they had hitchhikers lurking! I grew up in Northern Wisconsin, as the daughter of two physicians, and in a hot bed for a variety of ticks. Along with shoes that never came in the house, “tick checks” were not just lyrics in a country song, they were a real thing.

For much of my life, ticks have been a problem in certain areas of North America, Europe, and Asia. Because of their regional geographic limitations, ticks were a vector for diseases that many did not have to worry about. However, as the climate warms, not only does tick population control in their traditional regions become increasingly difficult but they are also finding new habitats to thrive in.

What do we know about these creepy crawlies, what should we be on the lookout for, and what should you do for your own health and safety when running in tick country?

Tiny Vector, Big Problem

What’s a vector? A vector is an organism that can transmit a disease or parasite from one animal or plant to another. Along with ticks, other biting insects such as mosquitoes are excellent vectors. Not all ticks are actively carrying infectious pathogens that they can pass onto you, but when they are, they are capable of causing a wide range of viral and bacterial diseases.

Most ticks belong to one of two families, Ixodidae the hard ticks or Argasidae the soft ticks. Of the 950-plus species of ticks found throughout the world, only about 60 species are known to bite and transmit diseases to humans (1).

That brings up an interesting point. If only 60 species are disease-spreading vectors in humans, then what else do they do and are they good for something? They seem to have two important roles for the ecosystem more broadly. First, they are an important food source for reptiles, amphibians, and bird. And second, through being a disease vector in animals like deer, rabbits, and mice, they help control wildlife populations (9). Ticks can also be used as an ecosystem indicator, meaning that researchers monitor tick populations and their predators to get a sense of the general health and wellbeing of the ecosystem from a diversity perspective.

For the purpose of this article–and knowing that that this shouldn’t take more than one cup of coffee to read–let’s focus on the few most common types of ticks and the specific diseases they carry. In North American those are the blacklegged tick (also known as the deer tick), the lone star tick, and the American dog tick (also known as a wood tick) (3). Ticks are not a uniquely North American problem. The European relative to the blacklegged tick is the castor bean tick (sometimes called the sheep tick). Similar to the blacklegged tick, the castor bean tick is the leading cause of Lyme disease in Europe. In Asia, the longhorned tick is known to carry similar strains of bacteria found in blacklegged and lone star ticks (4). Ah, creepy crawlies!

Where Do These Critters Live?

I grew up in one of the hot beds for ticks in the Upper Midwest of the U.S., but over the past 30 years the real estate for ticks has grown exponentially. A warming climate has made winter survival and migratory animal hosts more plentiful, allowing ticks to travel into previously tick-void regions, and we as humans overlap more and more in the spaces (natural grass and woodlands) where those animals and their hitchhikers reside (5).

What that means is that tick populations are now fairly widespread, particularly over the U.S.’s Northeast, Midwest, South, and throughout the Rocky Mountains. There is a growing tick population (of western blacklegged ticks) in the Pacific Northwest. Curiously enough, one of their main and preferred hosts, is the western fence lizard which carries a specific protein in their blood that neutralizes the bacteria that is responsible for Lyme disease. Essentially, after feeding on this lizard, the tick becomes “cured” of its Lyme disease and so cannot spread it when it meets its next host. So cool!

How Do Ticks Spread Disease?

Most species of ticks live on a two to three-year life cycle that passes through four distinct life stages: egg, larva, nymph–baby ticks, how cute!–and adult. Even at the larva stage, ticks must have a blood meal in order to survive. Although ticks cannot fly or jump, they can detect a potential host by smell, body heat, moisture, vibrations, and even shadows (3). Once on a host, ticks transmit pathogens–generally bacteria–through the process of feeding. Depending on the tick, feeding can last as little as 10 minutes and as much as two hours, after this blood meal–maybe the creepiest thing I have ever typed–the tick will drop off the host to prepare for its next life stage where it will then transmit any acquired disease to its new host. When a tick bites you, it may secrete saliva that has an anesthetic property, numbing you to its presence. Unfortunately that saliva may also contain any pathogen the tick is infected with that it then transmits to you.

The most common tick-borne diseases in the U.S. are Lyme disease, ehrilichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick-borne relapsing fever, and babesiosis. In Europe, the castor bean tick is responsible for two tick-borne diseases, Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) (7). TBE is a viral infection that affects the central nervous system, encephalitis means inflammation of the brain, and can be fatal if left untreated. In Asia (and Russia), the taiga tick is known to be a vector for TBE. Finally, the most common tick-borne diseases in Asia (carried by the longhorned tick) include Lyme disease, TBE, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and a disease known as severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (8).

If left untreated, Lyme disease seems to include a long list of varying secondary symptoms and conditions such as cardiac problems (Lyme carditis), arthritis, severe joint swelling, and facial paralysis or weakness on one side of face. Interestingly, and not a common trait among tick bites, is that some people bitten by the lone star tick will develop an allergy to red meat called Alpha-gal syndrome (6). Most of these tick-borne diseases (aside from babesiosis which is a parasitic infection and requires treatment with antiparasitic drugs and TBE which is a viral infection and has no effective treatment but does have a vaccine in countries where it is endemic) can be treated with a course of antibiotics. Several different antibiotics are effective but deciding the right antibiotic for you (that takes into account your age, gender, other medical conditions, allergies, sun exposure, and more) is an important decision for your physician and care team.

How to Protect Yourself From Hitchhiking Ticks

So, should you never leave your house again? That’s definitely not my suggestion, but there are some things you can do to limit your risk of being bitten by one of these little guys and what to do in case it does happen.

Know Before You Go. Find out what kind of ticks are prevalent in the area in which you will be running. Know that they love tall grass, bushes, and overhanging foliage as a way to meet their new host, so use care to avoid these areas when possible.

Cover Up. Although not always easy when running, consider clothing garments that make identifying ticks easier and that serve as a protective barrier from your skin. This includes tall socks, long sleeves, and light-colored gear.

Add Repellent. If you are running or racing in a high-tick environment, use a tick repellent on your skin and clothing (containing about 20% DEET). Consider pre-treating your clothes with the repellent permethrin for an extended backpacking or camping trip in tick country.

Do a Tick Check. Once inside after your run, examine your gear, pets (ticks love dogs!), and clothing for any hitchhikers. Leave your shoes outside and tumble dry your clothes in the dryer on high for 10 minutes to kill any ticks that have made the journey onto them. Shower as soon as you can to help remove unattached ticks. Finally, perform a standard tick check in high-risk areas such as under the arms, in and around the ears, on the backs of the knees, throughout your scalp and hairline, between your legs, and around your waist.

But What If It’s Attached? If you find a tick that has managed to burrow, you want to remove it, in its entirety, as soon as possible. Using fine-tipped tweezers, pinch the tick as closely to your skin as you can and pull upward with steady pressure. Next, clean the bite area with soap and water. Dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet, or you can put it in a jar of rubbing alcohol (my dad’s favorite method). Watch for symptoms of tick-borne disease for the next 30 days, and contact your primary-care provider if you experience a rash, fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, or joint pain and swelling.

(07/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by I Run Far
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Guide dogs helping blind runners stay fit despite pandemic

Social distancing rules can make exercising a challenge for a blind runner who needs a volunteer tethered as a guide. But Thomas Panek has no problem because his running guide, Blaze, is a Labrador retriever.

"I'm doing all the things a person would normally do, except I'm doing it with the help of a best friend who happens to be 77 pounds of love wrapped in soft yellow fur," Panek said.

Panek, a blind runner with a wall full of ribbons from marathons he ran with a human guide, developed a canine running guide training program five years ago after he became president and CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind in suburban New York. Last year, he became the first blind finisher of the New York City Half Marathon to be guided entirely by dogs.

Now, he said his dog Blaze plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle amid gym shutdowns and other pandemic restrictions.

"The running guide program is incredibly important right now not only for physical health but emotional well being," Panek said in a recent Zoom interview. "For people who ran in the past and had to stop running because of the pandemic, this enables them to continue to exercise."

Panek has always been a runner and continued to compete in road races after he lost his sight to a genetic condition in his early 20s. Like other blind runners, he relied on volunteers holding a short tether to lead the way.

"I've had several guide dogs and I've always wanted to run with them, but I followed the rules," Panek said. Conventional wisdom said dogs would be unable to navigate safely while running, and that their health might suffer. "No guide dog program in the world would allow you to run with your guide dog," he said.

He set out to change that when he took the helm at Guiding Eyes and visually impaired runners asked him to consider a running guide dog program.

"I talked to my trainers and most of them said it's not possible, but I said let's try it and see what happens," Panek said.

The first step was redesigning the dog's harness.

"The traditional guiding harness is leather and metal, more like a saddle from horse and buggy days," Panek said. "You hold on and get pulled along. It's not ideal for really moving. And it restricts the dog's shoulders."

Trainers worked with the canine equipment maker Ruff Wear to develop a lightweight padded nylon vest that allows the dog a full range of motion. A modified Nordic ski binding on the vest connects an adjustable aluminum pole with an ergonomic hand grip. The setup is comfortable for the dog, allows the runner's arms to swing naturally and provides better feedback than the traditional harness, Panek said.

(07/26/2020) ⚡AMP
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After injuries and quarantine, Argentina’s Belén Casetta once again inspired to push for Olympic qualification

Successful and versatile throughout her youth, Argentina’s Belén Casetta pushed her own limits and found extraordinary inspiration at the 2017 World Championships.

Then, in the heats of the 3000m steeplechase at London’s Olympic Stadium, the Mar del Plata-born Casetta improved her personal best to 9:35.78 and became the second Argentine athlete – and first woman from the country – to reach a World Championships final. Argentina’s only other World Championships finalist was Antonio Silio, who finished eighth in the men’s 10,000m in Stuttgart in 1993.

In the final in London, Casetta was even more inspired. After cutting her personal best by seven seconds to reach it, she improved further, to 9:25.99, to finish 11th.

After that decisive moment, all kinds of obstacles seem to be at her path. But her no-quitting attitude has always prevailed, even during these challenging times when the Covid-19 pandemic has put her up to an even bigger test.

“I started 2018 very well, but after that I had an awful series of injuries (fibula, femur, two problems at the L2 vertebrae, stress fracture at the second metatarsal, tear of the femoral biceps),” explains Casetta from her training base in Tafí del Valle in the province of Tucumán. “I was able to return to form late in 2018.”

In 2019, after her latest injury, Casetta started the year quietly, with a silver medal at the South American Championships (10:04.54). Later she was second at the World University Games in Napoli and third at the Pan-American Games. Her season ended with a best performance of 9:40.05 (at Naimette-Xhovémont) and a ninth-place finish in the heats of the World Championships in Doha, this time unable to advance to the final.

After what she had been through in 2018, though, Casetta was happy to complete a full season and to be operating near her best as she started to turn her attention towards the Olympic year in a bid to qualify for her second Games.

Unforgettable trip to Kenya

As part of her preparations for 2020, Casetta and her coach, Leonard Malgor, headed to Iten in Kenya in February this year for a training stint. They planned on staying there until the end of March before returning to Argentina to take part in the South American Grand Prix.

Lockdown in Argentina was very strict, which made life difficult for Casetta, who, naturally as a world-class athlete, is a very active person.

“I was getting really desperate because as the days were passing, I felt I was losing all form I had gained while in Kenya,” she says. “Then, once I started to train, adapting to the circumstances of the small apartment, I started to lose motivation too, because I was getting bored of doing the same routines. I was finally able to run at home once a gym lent me a treadmill, but the machine broke down after two weeks.

“Once I couldn’t run anymore, I had to go back to jumping the rope and doing circuit training, which is far from ideal for me,” she adds. “I was almost going crazy.”

But Casetta has managed to find some positives in these difficult circumstances.

“Thankfully my family has always been by my side to support me,” she says. “The positive side of all this is that I have been able to share most of my time with them. As I am always away, training or competing, this confinement gave me the opportunity to spend more moments with my loved ones.

“Initially I saw the postponement of the Olympic Games as something positive, since I was recovering from an injury and trying to find my best shape. But as the days went by and I saw that my fellow competitors were training and I wasn’t, I started to get desperate again. Now that I have started to run, I see that I don’t have that much time to waste; I have to qualify and get ready for Tokyo.”

(07/25/2020) ⚡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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1972 Olympic silver medalist Ben Jipcho, a pioneering Kenyan middle distance runner, died on Friday

World Athletics is deeply saddened by the news that Ben Jipcho, a pioneering Kenyan middle distance runner, died on Friday (24). Jipcho, the 1972 Olympic silver medallist in the 3000m steeplechase and former world record holder in the event, was 77.

Jipcho died of multiple organ failur at the Fountain Hospital in Eldoret where he had been hospitalised since Wednesday (23).

"We are saddened by the loss of Jipcho, a pioneer of athletics in Kenya. My heartfelt condolences to his family and Kenyans at large," said Paul Tergat, President of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya.

Jipcho, who began his running career in the mid 1960s, rose to prominence in the 1968 Olympic 1500m final in Mexico City where he sacrificed his own ambitions to figure in the medal battle by acting as a pacesetter for Kipchoge Keino, who went on to win the title over Jim Ryun. Jipcho set out on a world record pace, covering the first lap in 56 seconds and bringing Keino through 800m in 1:55.3. Keino won in 3:34.91, an astounding performance given Mexico City's high altitude, an Olympic record that stood for 16 years while Jipcho eventually crossed the line tenth.

He returned to the Olympic stage four years later, and again in the same race with Keino, this time the 3000m steeplechase. Keino won again in Olympic record time by Jipcho caught Finn Tapio Kantanen at the line to take silver by a scant 0.02 in 8:24.62.

His finest championship performances came at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he raced race to victory in the 5000m and 3000m steeplechase and taking bronze in the 1500m.

He also won the 5000m title at the 1973 All-Arica Games and silver in the steeplechase at the 1970 Commonwealth Games.

Jipcho broke the world record in the 3000m steeplechase twice over the course of eight days in 1973, first clocking 8:19.8 on 19 June then smashing that performance with an 8:14.0 run on 27 June, both times in Helsinki.

Jipcho was later among the key stars of the International Track Association (ITA), a short-lived professional tour in the United States in the early 1970s.

In a post on the government's Facebook page, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogised Kipcho "as a pioneer athlete who helped cement Kenya's profile on the international stage as a top athletics nation".

Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon champion and a former Kenyan MP, told The Standard, "Jipcho gave us a foundation which we used to build our running career. We have lost a pillar that will be hard to replace."

(07/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Canadian runs 5,000m joggling world record of 16:50

Halifax native Michael-Lucien Bergeron now owns three joggling world records

On Thursday, Michael-Lucien Bergeron of Halifax ran the 5,000m joggling world record in his third attempt. His time of 16:50 was one second over the old world record, and two years in the making, beginning in 2018 at the BlueNose 5K in Halifax where he ran a 17:01, almost by accident. Two years later, with a small crew of close friends and family in tow, Bergeron ran his newest world record, adding to the half-marathon and 10K records that he already owns.

Bergeron specializes in the three-ball joggle, now holding three world records in the event – two on the roads and one on the track. Thursday was his fastest pace to date, having come seriously close to the record on several other occasions. Bergeron explains that his 17:01 5K in 2018 let him know that there was much more in the tank. “I was not aiming for the record then, but the finishing time convinced me that I could go for more. The second attempt in 2018 was part of a race in Halifax called Chase the Pace with the Road Hammers. The track was a little crowded, so I finished that event in 16:56.” Bergeron tried again in 2019, this time with a pacer through 3,000m (who didn’t joggle, just ran), but he faded in the last 2K, finishing in 16:58.

To prepare for a fast 5K, Bergeron said his training had to change. He was used to running around 120K weeks, but brought that down to about 80K and increased intensity. “I did multiple time trials and ran many fast intervals, keeping my mileage lower than usual – around 80K a week. I think the main improvement in my time was from the speed work that I’ve done in the last three months. I ran a 15:51 5K a month ago and knew I had the speed to joggle faster than before.”

With another record in the books, Bergeron is looking to lower his 10K record to under 35 minutes. “I did a 35:36 10K back in 2018, and I know with my current fitness that I could easily achieve this. With no races to enter, the plan is to run on the track, with a small team pacing and filming on the bikes.”

(07/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Garmin users still unable to Connect

Garmin is expected to be down until Sunday, but runners can upload to Strava manually

The Garmin.com website was back up and running Friday after being knocked offline Thursday, but the Garmin Connect app that thousands of runners rely on to track their workouts was still undergoing maintenance as a result of the global outage. The website is currently displaying the following message: “We are currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin.com and Garmin Connect. This outage also affects our call centres, and we are currently unable to receive any calls, emails or online chats. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and apologize for this inconvenience.” The company tweeted a similar message Thursday.

It’s not known whether any customer data was compromised during the outage, which flummoxed athletes all over the world Thursday as they attempted to upload their activity.

The cause of the outage is not yet public knowledge, though some news sources speculate that it was caused by a ransomware attack.

Fortunately, it’s possible to upload your activity to Strava manually, bypassing Garmin Connect. Here’s how:

Plug your Garmin into your computer using the USB you use to charge it. Navigate to Devices on Finder and click on your Garmin (Mac) or on the Garmin device under your File Explorer (PC). Click on the Activity folder and find the .fit file for today’s activity.

Go to Strava.com, click the + button at the top right corner, click Upload Activity, then File on the left.

(07/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Motivated by Mosquitos, Kyle Curtin Sets the Unsupported FKT for the Tahoe Rim Trail

The long days and the full moon created prime conditions for FKTs this week.

The longer days and the full moon made for a prime environment for fastest known time (FKT) attempts last weekend—and several records were taken down.

One of the most notable was the unsupported FKT on the Tahoe Rim Trail by Kyle Curtin, who is the current course record-holder for the Tahoe 200.

The 33-year-old was originally planning to run Western States the final weekend in June, but that was canceled in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. But he was in racing shape, so he made the decision to go for the 165-mile FKT on the Tahoe Rim Trail about a week before his July 3 attempt.

“I was looking at my time for Tahoe 200 around mile 171, and it was close to [Kilian Jornet’s] 2009 FKT on the trail,” Curtin told Runner’s World. “I was trying to link up with some friends to do it later this year, but seeing so many people going out and the moonlight, I thought this was the best time to do it.”

Curtin is no stranger to backpacking, fastpacking, or spending days on the trail without support—all of which helped when planning his FKT attempt. The week of, he scraped together his fueling and mileage plans; he organized the 10,000 calories he’d carry from the start, in the form of citrus- and fruity-flavored snacks during the day and coffee, chocolate, and nuts for nighttime. He also relied heavily on liquid calories from Nuun and Tailwind.

The toughest part of the FKT attempt was managing his water intake, which ended up nearly ending his journey. Though there are many natural water sources along the trail, the 35-mile section between Mount Rose and Edgewood Creek did not have one. There was an option for still water from Spooner Lake that was half a mile off the trail and tasted like “fish-tank water,” according to Curtin.

When he reached that point, he decided not to get water, but the long period with rationed water dehydrated him. Curtin estimates that he wasn’t able to refuel from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.—eight hours.

“Once I was out of water, I was in trouble,” he said. “I fell behind on calories, and that, too, put me in a hole. That’s when I had the biggest meltdown that night. I was suffering from dizziness, dehydration, and probably altitude sickness, and I was moving slow. I texted the photographer who was out with us that I was done. I laid down on the side of the trail and I think I took a 40-minute nap. I’m not totally sure, but when I woke up, I had a bunch of encouraging texts and that got me out of my temper tantrum.”

With some fresh calories in him and some rest, he powered through. At his final stop, 16 miles before the finish, he kept his mind on his mantra, “don’t be out here a second night.”

Over that final section, he thought he would cruise. Instead, he struggled over the 1,900 feet of gain and 2,700 feet of descent. Luckily, he found motivation to always keep moving in an unexpected source.

“Mosquitoes are encouraging,” he said. “If you stop, they’ll just start biting you immediately. That was really true at the end.”

It ended up taking him four hours to do the final 16 miles, and his perseverance helped him nab a 41-hour and nine-minute finish, good enough to get him the unsupported record and the second fastest time ever on the trail.

“My ankles are so swollen, but it was fun,” Curtin said. “I’m definitely thinking about doing some routes running or fastpacking on like the Hardrock course, which is one of my traditions, and some routes near where my family is in Asheville, North Carolina. For now, I’ll have some beer and pints of Ben & Jerry’s.”

Curtin isn’t the only one who took on the FKT this weekend. The women’s FKT on the Tahoe Rim Trail was actually broken twice. First, Helen Pelster took the unsupported record on July 2, finishing in three days, three hours, and 44 minutes—only 12 minutes behind her self-supported FKT on the trail in 2019.

But that was short-lived as Candice Burt broke the record days later, finishing her unsupported run in two days, 12 hours, and 47 minutes.

Another FKT worth mentioning is Joey Campanelli’s destruction of the Nolan’s 14 route—14 14,000-foot peaks—which he completed in 41 hours. The time bested Joe Grant’s 2018 time of 49 hours, 38 minutes. And on the women’s side, Sarah Hansel set the overall and unsupported women’s Nolan’s 14 FKT in 57 hours and 43 minutes.

FKTs, which have been popular for years, have been especially appealing to runners in the absence of races. Big records on routes like the Ice Age Trail and the Long Trail have been shattered during the pandemic, along with many others.

(07/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Mile runner Jim Ryun Receives the Medal of Freedom at the White House

Jim Ryun, the first U.S. high schooler to break four minutes in the mile and an Olympic silver medalist, receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the Oval Office, the nation’s highest civilian honor, on Friday.

President Donald Trump on Friday presented one of the nation’s highest civilian honors to Jim Ryun, a former Republican congressman and the first U.S. high schooler to break the 4-minute barrier in running the mile.

Ryun was the 1968 Olympic silver medalist in the 1,500-meter run and is a three-time Olympian. Trump presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony at the White House, calling him a “Legendary athlete and legendary runner."

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is presented to those who make especially meritorious contributions to the nation.

He joins a long line of Olympians to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali and Pat Summitt.

In a news release Tuesday, the White House said it is awarded “to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

“I’m very humble that I was even considered,” Ryun said by phone on Monday. “One of the things that’s really special about it, too, is that I’m getting it while I’m alive. Sometimes these are awarded after you’re dead.”

Ryun, 73, followed his running career, which included an eight-year span as mile world-record holder, by serving two terms as a U.S. Congressman for Kansas from 1996-2007. Last Friday marked the 54th anniversary of his mile world record performance of 3:51.3 at age 19.

Ryun competed in the Olympic 1500m in 1964 (at age 17), 1968 and 1972. He reached the final in 1968 and earned silver behind Kenyan Kip Keino. He remains the 11th-fastest miler in U.S. history and the oldest in the top 75.

Ryun reflected Monday about failing to make any of his junior high school’s sports teams. He was even cut from his church baseball squad. But within two years of starting cross-country in high school, he broke the four-minute barrier and made the Olympics.

When LeBron James was getting national TV coverage as a high school phenom, ESPN published a list of the greatest prep athletes in history. James was No. 3. Tiger Woods was No. 2. Ryun was No. 1.

Ryun said he still runs two or three days a week.

“But you can’t really call it running anymore. It’s so slow,” he said. “It’s certainly not very fast. It used to be four-minute miles. I’m not even sure I could do a four-minute half-mile now.”

(07/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by OlympicTalk
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The Detroit Free Press Marathon, is joining other large cities in canceling its fall event because of the coronavirus

For the first time since 1978, the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon will not take place in person this year.

Race weekend, which was scheduled for Oct. 16-18, 2020, will not take place downtown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Detroit’s Marathon Weekend is not just any weekend. It’s a celebration of athleticism, perseverance, community and the best Detroit has to offer. In March when our world as we knew it seemed to change, we were hopeful that we would be able to run together in October. As time has gone on, it has become clear to us that this will not be the case. It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing we will not be gathering together at the start line this year,” the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon staff said in a released statement Friday.

“After considerable consultation with public health and safety officials as well as discussions with our staff, volunteers, sponsors and most importantly our participants, we are announcing that the 43rd Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon will be run virtually due to COVID-19.”

Registered participants will have the option to participate in our virtual event, defer your registration to 2021 or 2022 at no cost or get a 50% refund on this year's event. Details of the virtual races will be available in a July 30 e-mail with further instructions.

Until then, registration is closed.

“We are heartbroken and disappointed. However, we are working to create the most engaging and collective virtual experience possible — there are celebrations still to be had this year! If we’ve learned anything from our community, it’s that the only way we persevere is together. So even if it’s virtually from our own start lines, we look forward to commemorating our achievements together, even if we’re apart.

“When we are able to return to the streets of Detroit in 2021, our race will not just be a run. It will be a celebration of our participants, supporters, volunteers and more. And celebrate, we will.”

(07/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anthony Fenech
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Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank Marathon

Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank Marathon

Our marathon course offers international appeal, traversing both downtown Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, crossing the border at both the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. You will run through historic neighborhoods, around beautiful Belle Isle, and along the spectacular RiverWalk. ...

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The International Olympic Committee reported a surprisingly large surplus of $73.9 million for 2019, before coronavirus struck

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reported a surprisingly large surplus of $73.9 million (£57.6 million/€63.6 million) for 2019, as surging financial income comfortably overturned the Lausanne body's operational deficit.

The result is of limited significance in a non-Games year.

It should nonetheless stand the masters of the Olympic universe in good stead as they battle a coronavirus pandemic which has already forced the postponement of the Movement's main cash cow – the Summer Olympics – and will make a deep mark on this year's accounts.

By way of comparison, in 2015 – the equivalent year in the prior Olympic cycle – the IOC posted a deficit of $325.8 million (£254.1 million/€280.2 million).

In 2017, another non-Games year, there was a surplus of just $8.7 million (£6.8 million/€7.5 million).

Financial income in the latest period amounted to $159.6 million (£124.5 million/€137.3 million), almost six times the 2018 contribution of $27 million (£21 million/€23.2 million).

An explanatory note attributes the bulk of the improvement to a "fair value increase" of $81.9 million (£63.9 million/€70.4 million) in the IOC's huge store of financial assets.

These stood at a towering $4.7 billion (£3.7 billion/€4 billion) on December 31, 2019.

The IOC's The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship programme continued to power away, delivering another $548.2 million (£427.6 million/€471.5 million) of revenue.

TOP has already yielded $1.65 billion (£1.29 billion/€1.42 billion) in the cycle to date – far in excess of the $1 billion (£780 million/€860 million) it produced over the entire 2013-2016 Olympic quadrennium.

With TOP income surging, the IOC's contributions from this revenue stream to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) have also been in particularly steep ascent.

In 2019, the accounts indicate, $88.2 million (£68.9 million/€75.9 million) of TOP programme revenue was distributed to the USOPC.

This is an increase of 176.5 per cent from the $31.9 million (£24.9 million/€27.4 million) distributed in 2015, i.e at the same stage in the last Olympic cycle.

Over the same period, distributions from TOP to other National Olympic Committees (NOCs) rose from $40.1 million (£31.3 million/€34.5 million) to $82.9 million (£64.7 million/€71.3 million) – an increase of 106.7 per cent.

Total assets at end-December 2019 were put at $5.3 billion (£4.1 billion/€4.6 billion), up from $4.1 billion (£3.2 billion/€3.5 billion) a year earlier.

The IOC's fund balance at the end of last year was said to total $2.5 billion (£1.95 billion/€2.15 billion), up from $2.4 billion (£1.87 billion/€2.05 billion) at end-2018.

(07/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Owen
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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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Mizuno has been announced as the new clothing sponsor of the Honolulu Marathon, still scheduled for December 13, 2020

Mizuno has been announced as the new clothing sponsor of the Honolulu Marathon for the 2020 event – still scheduled for 13 December 2020.

The Japanese apparel specialist will provide all finisher, commemorative and volunteer shirts and sell official merchandise at the Honolulu Marathon Expo.

The announcement comes at a time when nearly all Japanese marathons previously scheduled for 2020 have been postponed to 2021 and some events in the first two months of 2021 are already being cancelled, most recently the Ubusuki Nanohara Marathon, planned for 10 January. There are no prospects for Japanese marathon runners below elite level to compete domestically for the rest of the year.

The Honolulu Marathon was first held in 1973 and is the fourth largest marathon in the United States. From inception it was hugely popular in Japan as it was the most available marathon for non-elite Japanese Marathon runners before the advent of mass marathons in Japan only 13 years ago. To date about 470,000 Japanese runners have raced at the Honolulu Marathon. The size of the Honolulu Marathon field dropped from 24,500 in 2006 to 20,000 in 2007 after the first mass marathon in Japan was held in Tokyo that year.

For this year at least Honolulu Marathon may again stand out as the best chance for Japanese Marathon runners to race. Hawaii to date has had 1400 cases and 25 deaths. Although it has not yet waived its 14-day quarantine requirement such an announcement is anticipated.

“We are particularly proud to welcome such a premier athletic company at this difficult time,” said Jim Barahal, CEO & President of the Honolulu Marathon Association. “This demonstrates Mizuno’s long-term commitment to the people of Hawaii and Japan.”

(07/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu Marathon

The Honolulu Marathon’s scenic course includes spectacular ocean views alongside world-famous Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head and Koko Head volcanic craters.The terrain is level except for short uphill grades around Diamond Head. ...

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Elite runner Tommy Rivers Puzey, in life-threatening crisis, transferred to Scottsdale hospital

Flagstaff elite runner Tommy Rivers Puzey, a two-time Rock 'n' Roll Arizona marathon champion, was transferred to a hospital in Scottsdale on Thursday with hopes of helping his recovery from a life-threatening respiratory condition.

Puzey, 35, was hospitalized in Flagstaff for more than three weeks and for a week has been in an induced coma and on a ventilator to assist his breathing.

Jacob Puzey said transferring his younger brother to Shea Medical Center will allow him to receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) on a machine that replaces the heart and lungs function.

"Even with the ventilator, he wasn't able to get enough oxygen into his lungs," Jacob said. "They oxygenate the blood (on ECMO) rather than trying to pump it straight into the lungs. There are risks, but it didn't seem like the ventilator was doing enough."

In early June, Puzey had a major medical scare while running in the Grand Canyon with friend Derrick Lytle, unsure if he would survive. "Somehow after 12 hours we made it out as the sun rose," he wrote on a social media post. "Life is a fragile thing. Be grateful for each new day and hold tight all the good things this world has to offer."

Jacob Puzey said his brother has not tested positive for coronavirus and believed the issues in the Grand Canyon were due to dehydration and heat stroke. "He realized it was more in his lungs so it felt like pneumonia," which Tommy had when he was a child, Jacob said. 

Puzey still resisted going to the hospital, in part for financial reasons, until it became clear to him and his wife Stephanie that there was no alternative. The couple has three young daughters. Tommy works as a physical therapist in addition to his running career. 

"They've tested for bacteria, viral, fungul, all sorts of things," including cancer, Jacob said, but a definitive answer has yet to be identified.

Puzey is an internationally known trail runner who obtained a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University in 2017. His road racing successes including Rock 'n' Roll Arizona titles in 2016 and 2017 and finishing 16th at the 2017 Boston Marathon in 2:18.20. He also won the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in 2018 and 2019. 

At the 2020 Houston Marathon in January, Puzey was on pace for a personal best and to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials when tripped in a pothole late in the race, suffering meniscus and hamstring tears.

"He doesn't care what the end result is in terms of who wins the race," said Jacob, also a distance runner and running coach. "The way we were raised is wastefulness is an unpardonable sin. You don't waste your talents and opportunities.

"He knew he was in 2:14/2:15 shape at Houston. He was leading the charge of the pace group and pulling away. He never felt better in his life. The only regret he would have is that was his last shot in this Olympic window. He was knocking on the door of his full potential."

Puzey is widly admired in the running community for his work ethic, personality and intellect. In less than a week, more than 5,000 people donated more than $250,000 to a GoFundMe account on his behalf. 

Even while in the hospital in Flagstaff, Puzey posted several Instagram videos explaining his situation and reflecting on his love for his family and others. 

"It's been inspiring and humbling and at the same time not at all surprising," Jacob said. "It speaks to the incredible humanity that exists in the running community and to the impact he has add on individuals.

(07/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jeff Metcalfe
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2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia will Launch Virtual Mass Race

World Athletics and the Local Organizing Committee of the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 have launched a new initiative - a virtual mass race on October 17, the same day when the world's elite runners will compete for the championship.

The aim is to encourage runners all around the world to run a half marathon wherever they are on October 17. "It is important to clarify this does not mean that the 'real' mass race we have planned in Gdynia will not take place.

The virtual competition is an addition to our event. We just want to enable the global running community to be with us on October 17 and join the biggest half marathon in history," Michal Drelich, Head of the LOC said in a release.Intense efforts have been made to ensure the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 - including the mass race - can be held in 2020. The final decision will be taken by the end of August.

However, amateur runners who have previously registered for the mass race in Gdynia can already opt to switch to virtual competition, keeping all the benefits from the real mass race, including an Asics t-shirt, an official backpack and a uniquely designed finisher medal.

The idea behind the virtual run is far more universal, involving the global running community. As the event's official motto says: All you need is running.World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has invited runners around the world to participate in this virtual event."As a runner, I've been delighted to see so many more people take up or return to running to maintain their fitness in the challenging circumstances we have all faced due to the pandemic this year," Coe said.

"Having a goal is always good motivation to keep fit and I hope that runners around the globe will join in and take the challenge of running a half marathon wherever they may be on October 17," Coe said. 

(07/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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NYRR the nation’s largest nonprofit running association, announced on July 21 that it is laying off 11 percent of its workforce and furloughing another 28 percent, as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the running industry

New York Road Runners is reportedly laying off 11 percent of its workforce and furloughing another 28 percent.

Runners World reports 26 people were let go and 65 were furloughed. 

The moves affect 91 of the organization’s 229 employees—65 were furloughed and 26 were let go.

Since the pandemic began in March, NYRR officials have had to cancel more than 20 races, including the New York City Marathon in November, which was to have been its 50th anniversary.

Every year NYRR hosts some of the largest races in the world. In addition to the marathon, it holds the NYC Half, the women’s Mini 10K, and the Brooklyn Half, as well as dozens of smaller events at all distances throughout the five boroughs of New York City and in New Jersey. It also brings running to thousands of people every year outside of racing, with programming for children, seniors, and athletes with disabilities.

NYRR was a recipient of a PPP loan of between $2 million and $5 million when COVID-19 first hit, which, combined with budget cuts, allowed the organization to keep employees for five months.

This comes less than a month after the group announced it had to cancel this year's New York City Marathon due to the pandemic.

It's one of 20 races that have been canceled since March.

Top executives are taking a 15 percent pay cut and the president and CEO is taking a 20 percent cut. 

New York Road Runners is the nation's largest nonprofit running association.

(07/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Spectrum News Staff
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runDisney has announced that this year's Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend will transition to a virtual event

With circumstances surrounding COVID-19 continuing to change around the globe, we continue to make timely decisions about our operations after considering guidance from local and national health authorities. As we have shared before, we are basing our decisions on the safety and well-being of our Cast Members, athletes and our Guests, since there is nothing more important than that.

Registered participants have the option to either receive a full refund for the race or, for guests in the U.S., compete in a virtual race in their local area.

Those participants choosing to compete in the virtual event will be sent their race shirt and medal for each race they complete, plus a digital bib, digital tool kit with start/finish line and mile markers, digital goody bag, virtual playlist, and a Disney Gift Card (for select races). Gift Cards will be included for participants signed up for the Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Two Course Challenge.

Participants should look for an email starting tomorrow with instructions on making their selection. If a participant no longer has access to the original form of payment, a refund can be requested by check or a Disney Gift Card.

If participants do not make a choice before August 5th, they will automatically receive a refund.

(07/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Tom Bell
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Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Fantastic runs with an all-new Lumiere's Two Course Challenge and Disney Wine & Dine 10K, plus Half Marathon, 5K, runDisney kids races, Post Race Party and more! Join the celebration and prepare to feast on a whole new exciting menu of races during the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. All-new for this year is Lumiere's Two Course Challenge...

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Elijah Manangoi, the 2017 World 1500m champ, provisionally suspended

Elijah Manangoi, became the latest Kenyan to be suspended over anti-doping violations.

Manangoi has been provisionally suspended in a case of whereabouts failures, the Athletics Integrity Unit, track and field’s doping watchdog organization, announced Thursday. Athletes must provide doping officials with their whereabouts, or locations to be available for out-of-competition testing.

Three missed tests in a 12-month span can lead to a suspension, even if an athlete has never tested positive.

The Athletics Integrity Unit did not disclose details about Manangoi’s case, such as if or when he has a hearing to determine anything beyond the provisional ban.

Manangoi was unable to defend his world title in 2019 due to injury. Since July 2017, he is the only man to defeat Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot in the 1500m, doing so five times. Cheruiyot won the 2019 World title and is the Olympic favorite.

Other Kenyan distance-running stars have been banned in recent years for failing drug tests.

Rita Jeptoo had Boston and Chicago Marathon titles stripped, and Jemima Sumgong was banned after winning the Rio Olympic marathon after both tested positive for EPO. Asbel Kiprop, a 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017. 

Wilson Kipsang, a former marathon world-record holder, was earlier in July banned four years for whereabouts failures.

(07/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Warholm, Kipyegon, Cheruiyot and Kendricks are set to compete at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on August 14

Herculis organizers have announced another four global champions who are set to compete at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on August 14.

Two-time world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm will compete in Monaco for the first time in his career. The 24-year-old, who set a world best for 300m hurdles at Oslo’s Impossible Games last month, will have one eye on Kevin Young’s meeting record of 47.60, set just five days after the US hurdler set a world record of 46.78 to win the 1992 Olympic title.

"I've always wanted to run in Monaco because of the track," said Warholm. "I know people have run fast there before, and I've trained there too. It’s a nice stadium and I know I might be able to run even faster on it.

"In Norway we've been able to train very well, so my shape is actually good," he added. "I was hoping to get a chance to test myself, so when the opportunity came for Monaco, that was nice."

Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon and training partner Timothy Cheruiyot, the world 1500m champion, will also be in action. Kipyegon, who’s also making her Herculis debut, will contest the 1000m in which she’ll face world 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi and European 1500m champion Laura Muir. Cheruiyot, meanwhile, will line up for his specialist distance to take on Jacob and Filip Ingebrigtsen.

Two-time world champion Sam Kendricks has been confirmed for the pole vault. The North American record-holder will face world record-holder Mondo Duplantis, whose participation was announced earlier this month.

Other clashes include Olympic silver medalist Orlando Ortega and world bronze medalist Pascal Martinot Lagarde in the 110m hurdles, Ukrainian duo Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Yuliya Levchenko and world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the high jump, and world bronze medalist Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Ajla del Ponte in the 100m.

They will all join the previously announced stars, including double world champion Sifan Hassan, world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri, world 200m champion Noah Lyles, two-time world triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas and world 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei.

(07/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The 2020 Virtual Great North Run offers last chance to register before deadline

The deadline is approaching for anyone still wanting to sign up a virtual Great North Run Solo event which is one of two running challenges set to raise a whopping half-a-million pounds for a Covid-19 charity.

The online event was announced on the back of the cancellation of this year's half-marathon, due to the coronavirus crisis, and it will be taking place right up to September 13.

That's the day that should have seen the Great North Run celebrate its 40-year anniversary and the challenge - taking place during what would have been the normal training period for the world-famous half-marathon - is to complete 40 runs: one for every year of the event.

And medals await.

Runners, who pay £10 to take part, have just days left to register before the deadline of July 31.

The profits from that and from a second running challenge, Great Run Solo, will go to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal which helps patients, staff and volunteers affected by the virus.

Great Run Solo, also with a £10 entry charge, was first introduced in May as an idea to keep people active during lockdown and the combined events have had 30,000 entrants to date, with a fund-raising total now standing at more £200,000 and expected to increase to £250,000 in coming weeks.

The Great North Run Solo attracted the bulk of the entries, gaining more than 20,000 in just three weeks, making it what is believed to be the biggest virtual running challenge ever launched by an individual event in the UK.

Both events have been created by the organisers of the Great North Run as part of a campaign to give everyone a chance to commemorate the half-marathon this year despite its cancellation.

The Great North Run Reimagined campaign is also set to announce more plans soon for its main event which will take place on September 13 itself.

This will be the Official Virtual Great North Run, a real-time experience which will be open to all and free to enter. In return participants are being asked to fund-raise, as they would for the real deal, to support their own charities of choice.

Entries to take part in this are set to open on Monday, August 3.

Paul Foster, chief executive of The Great Run Company, said that the team is thrilled that so many people are keen to enter the solo challenge leading up to the big day.

“We believe it is the biggest virtual running challenge that has been launched by a single event in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic – if not ever," he said.

“We’d urge people to get involved in the virtual challenges and ensure the Great North Run still has a presence in 2020.”

(07/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Barbara Hodgson
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Great North Run

Great North Run

Great North Run founder Brendan Foster believes Britain is ready to welcome the world with open arms after the launch of the event's most ambitious plan to date. The Great World Run campaign seeks to recruit one runner from every country in the United Nations – 193 in total – to take part in the iconic half marathon in...

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Brazil's elite athletes return to training after more than four months of isolation

Brazil's elite athletes resumed normal training on Tuesday after more than four months of confinement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) said its training centers across the country were reopened with strict sanitary protocols.

"It's a good time for us to come back," open water swimmer Ana Marcela Cunha said. "I'm looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics and have a feeling of starting over to fulfil a dream. Today's first practise was a warm-up."

Brazilian athletes have been limited to home training regimes since mid-March, when facilities were closed and competitions suspended amid the escalating pandemic.

Those to make immediate use of the decision included gymnasts, judokas, weightlifters and divers, among others.

"We're facing a very difficult time, but we'll get through it," said BOC sport manager Jorge Bichara.

"We're going to resume training. We are going to work very hard next year so that the athletes arrive in good condition at the Tokyo Olympics and can represent Brazil."

(07/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei will target 5000m WR in Monaco

The postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to next July because of the coronavirus pandemic shattered plans for many sports stars including Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei.

After a perfect 2019 which included a World Cross-country title, the 5000m Diamond League trophy, 10000m world gold and the 10km World Record (WR), Cheptegei was staring at more glory this year.

He even intensified his credentials for the 10000m Olympic gold medal by taking 27 seconds off the previous mark to rewrite the 5km WR to 12:51 minutes at the Monaco Run in France on February 16.

Regardless, the coronavirus disruptions haven’t shifted Cheptegei’s eyes off the prize. “We have set strong targets which motivate him a lot,” his manager Jurrie van der Velden of Global Sports Communication (GSC) told Daily Monitor this week. The 23-year-old is set to return to Monaco for the 5000m race during the third leg of the Wanda Diamond League (DL) series at French Ligue 1 club AC Monaco’s home Stade Louis II on August 14.

This was agreed after the 5km WR five months ago. “We felt like Monaco DL in July would be a perfect moment to run 5000m as a last test for Olympics and we spoke with the organiser about it and he was supporting the idea,” says Jurrie.

But it is not just about Cheptegei gracing the Monaco track. “We are shooting for the WR. Monaco usually has very good weather conditions and a great track.”The postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to next July because of the coronavirus pandemic shattered plans for many sports stars including Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei.

After a perfect 2019 which included a World Cross-country title, the 5000m Diamond League trophy, 10000m world gold and the 10km World Record (WR), Cheptegei was staring at more glory this year.

He even intensified his credentials for the 10000m Olympic gold medal by taking 27 seconds off the previous mark to rewrite the 5km WR to 12:51 minutes at the Monaco Run in France on February 16.

Regardless, the coronavirus disruptions haven’t shifted Cheptegei’s eyes off the prize. “We have set strong targets which motivate him a lot,” his manager Jurrie van der Velden of Global Sports Communication (GSC) told Daily Monitor this week. The 23-year-old is set to return to Monaco for the 5000m race during the third leg of the Wanda Diamond League (DL) series at French Ligue 1 club AC Monaco’s home Stade Louis II on August 14.

This was agreed after the 5km WR five months ago. “We felt like Monaco DL in July would be a perfect moment to run 5000m as a last test for Olympics and we spoke with the organiser about it and he was supporting the idea,” says Jurrie.

But it is not just about Cheptegei gracing the Monaco track. “We are shooting for the WR. Monaco usually has very good weather conditions and a great track.”

The WR over the 12-and-a-half-lap race is at 12:37.45 set by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele on May 31, 2004 in Hengelo, Netherlands.

Since that feat last 16 years ago, his country mate Selemon Barega is the one who has come closest to that WR with 12:43.02 in Brussels, Belgium two years ago.

Going by his personal best of 12:57.41 which he set while winning the DL trophy in Zurich, Switzerland last August, Cheptegei is 20 seconds from the target but Jurrie believes the lockdown only got his act better.

“He’s doing well, even better than ever,” the Dutchman notes. However, Uganda still has travel restrictions in place with Entebbe Airport still closed because of Covd-19. GSC is planning on ways of taking Cheptegei to Monaco. “We’re working on that from various angles. Yeah it’s not easy, but if things were easy anyone would be successful,” added Jurrie. And WRs have fallen before at the Monaco DL. Last year, Dutch girl Sifan Hassan obliterated the mile WR to 4:12.33.

In 2018, Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech posted the 3000m steeplechase WR of 8:44.32, so did Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba deliver the 1500m best time ever in 2015.

(07/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Darren Allan Kyeyune
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NN Rotterdam Marathon postponed until next year

The 40th edition of the NN Marathon Rotterdam has been postponed again due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

It is now scheduled to take place on April 10-11, 2021. Every individual runner with a place in the 2020 edition will be able to use their place in the rescheduled event. All participants have already received an e-mail with further information.

“The restrictive guidelines related to COVID-19 made it impossible to organize the event in a way that traditionally fits the NN Marathon Rotterdam,” said the organizers. “It is a difficult decision for us but our main priority continues to be safeguarding the health of our participants, volunteers, spectators and stakeholders.”

The race organization is currently working to develop a “revolutionary” app that simulates the experience of running the NN Marathon Rotterdam. Runners will be invited to experience the app in due course.

(07/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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NN Rotterdam Marathon

NN Rotterdam Marathon

The marathon has been the biggest one-day sporting event in the Netherlands for many years in a row with over 35000 athletes professionals inclusive. The world's top athletes will at the start on the bustling coolsingel, alongside thousands of other runners who will also triumph,each in their own way.The marathon weekend is a wonderful blend of top sport and festival. ...

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For the first time since 1875, the United States will not hold an outdoor track & field championships this year

USATF, the governing body for track & field in the United States, announced the meet’s cancellation in a release on Monday, stating that its Covid-19 Working Group unanimously recommended against staging a mass gathering event in which athletes would have to travel to compete from all over the country.

“The safety hurdles were too steep to overcome,” the release read in part.

The US Olympic Trials — which double as the USATF Outdoor Championships in Olympic years — were originally scheduled to be held June 19-28 in Eugene, Ore., but that changed after the 2020 Olympics were postponed in March. In June, USATF announced it was exploring the possibility of holding a year-end meet — perhaps a national championship — on the weekend of either September 11-13 or September 18-20. That announcement was flooded with caution, warning that the meet would not be held if it was deemed unsafe to do so. Just over three weeks later, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to rage in the United States, USATF made the decision to cancel the meet entirely.

Though the US national championships have not always been run by USATF — which was founded in 1979 as The Athletics Congress and renamed in 1992 — a US championship track & field meet has been held in some form or fashion every year since 1876, when Ulysses S. Grant was president of the United States.

Though there won’t be a USA outdoor meet in 2020, track meets are still being held across the United States. In fact, the day before USATF announced the cancellation of nationals, Prairie View A&M University announced it would host three meets as part of USATF’s “Back to the Track” Series on July 23, July 30, and August 3.

(07/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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The 2020 edition of Medio Marathon de Madrid has been cancelled because of coronavirus

The 2020 edition of the Movistar Medio Maraton de Madrid has been cancelled due to coronavirus-related health and safety concerns for the athletes, spectators, volunteers and staff.

After being postponed from March 29th to October 4th, finally the organisation made the decision due to the current situation worldwide and the uncertainty about a massive event with almost 20,000 participants.

The Carrera ProFuturo 5K, the Expo and other side events have also been cancelled.

“Safety is the main concern and we look forward to hosting the 20th edition on April 11 2021,” said the organisers.

(07/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Medio Maraton de Madrid

Medio Maraton de Madrid

Live running as ever. There is no insurmountable barrier in the Half Marathon of Madrid! The most spectacular and well-known Half Marathon is back. Lace up your running shoes and test yourself against the clock around the city centre. Dream with your goals and make them come true! ...

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Tokyo Games look to be in trouble with marathons cancelling into 2021

The 2021 edition of Japan's Marugame Half-Marathon was cancelled, which is not a good sign for next year's Olympics.

On Monday morning, the Marine Corps Marathon became the most recent major marathon to announce that they won’t be running their 2020 event. While some 2020 marathons hold out, like London, most others have pulled the plug. While it’s not very surprising anymore when 2020 races cancel, it is most sobering when you see that events are looking shaky into next year. Even though July 2021 is still 12 months away, not even the Tokyo Olympics are safe just yet, and now Japanese events slated for next year are calling things off well in advance.  

Along with the Marine Corps Marathon, organizers of the Marugame Half-Marathon, one of Japan’s premier road races, cancelled their 2021 event on Monday. With this news, Marugame has become the third major Japanese race to cancel for 2021 and the first World Athletics labelled race to cancel. The event is one of the most competitive half-marathons in the world and was typically used as a tune-up race for the Tokyo Marathon. It was scheduled to run February 7, 2021. Canadian Rachel Cliff is no stranger to the race, running a 1:10:28 there in 2019 – one of the fastest-ever times run by a Canadian. 

With the Olympics looming, Japan cancelling races only five months out of their start date isn’t very promising. With the qualification window opening on December 1, the hope is that athletes will have the opportunity to travel, get into fast races and achieve the necessary standards. However, if travel bans remain and races continue to cancel, runners won’t be able to qualify for the Games. 

In addition to the matter of cancelled races, which is making the prospect of the 2021 Olympics appear more and more bleak, a recent poll of Japanese citizens has been released which shows that just one in four people hope to see the Games go ahead next summer. According to an article from the Agence France-Presse, 23.9 per cent of Japanese citizens want the Games to be held in 2021. Another 36.4 per cent of those polled said they would like to see the Olympics delayed even more, and 33.7 per cent of respondents simply think the event should be cancelled. 

The IOC and Japanese government have already stated that there is no Plan C for the Tokyo Games, and if they cannot be held in July 2021, then they won’t be held at all. 

(07/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Canadian Running
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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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For first time in 45-year history, Marine Corps Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed yet another event for long-distance running enthusiasts.

The Marine Corps Marathon, with its picturesque course that takes runners through some of the most historic parts of Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., will not be held in person in 2020 for the first time in its 45-year history. The main event had been scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 25.

“We explored various approaches to safely execute a live event and held numerous meetings with Marine Corps leadership, local government and public health officials,” said Rick Nealis, director of the Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) in a statement. “We understand this is disappointing news for many, but we could no longer envision a way to gather together in compliance with safety guidelines.”

Race organizers will instead offer participants opportunities to register and complete distances for certification via the Marine Marathon website.

“Health and safety are our top priorities during this challenging time,” said Libby Garvey, Arlington County Board Chair. “The Marine Corps Marathon is a treasured event and tradition in our community that Arlingtonians look forward to each year. As we celebrate the race’s 45th anniversary this year, we will be enthusiastically and virtually cheering on each runner. We can’t wait to welcome these dedicated athletes and fans back to Arlington in person in 2021.”

(07/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Eddie Timanus
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Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

Recognized for impeccable organization on a scenic course managed by the US Marines in Arlington, VA and the nation's capital, the Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the US and the world. Known as 'the best marathon for beginners,' the MCM is largest marathon in the world that doesn't offer prize money, earning its nickname, “The...

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RunCzech re-opens Prague. Running festival at the airport.

Runners flowed into the check in, showed their passports, got their start numbers, passed the security and boarded through the gate D6.

Then the airport shuttle busses took them to the runway, but instead of entering the plane, they lined up at the start of a 5km Runway Run. 

2,674 runners in total, were lucky enough to secure their places in this sold out once-in-a-lifetime event. They were split into different categories to abide by the public and health safety regulations.

Categories included an astonishing Sunset Run on Saturday evening, or a sunny Breakfast Run on Sunday morning, with many of them joining 3km dm Family Run distance.

Basically, runners were running with planes taking-off or landing over their heads.  To spice up the excitement, RunCzech and the Czech Athletic Federation organized an Elite Run with a live broadcast on Czech National TV.

Four Czech elite men and four women created mixed gender relays in an exhibition race of 500-1000-500-1000 meters on the runway. 

Afterward, Runners and their families continued to the Runway Park where they could see exhibited aircraft, closely examine airport special equipment, and spend the day with an entertaining and educational program for the whole family. 

The RunCzech organizing team, after recently being forced to cancel the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, was as equally excited as the runners.

“As the World awakens from bearing scars of the pandemic, this event shows us that runners are eager to come back to their passion, which is manifesting signals of reopening.

Our humble attempt is to demonstrate that the country is safe and competent, that the Czech Republic is running, which is a true physical verification of showing what a place can do and how it works. We simply hope to contribute to the Czech Republic’s post-pandemic recovery strategy,” summarizes Carlo Capalbo, the founder of RunCzech. 

Next, RunCzech has another surprise for a unique place to run, inside the historical cellars of the original Pilsen brewery on August 1.

(07/20/2020) ⚡AMP
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Organizers of the Altötting Half Marathon have announced its plans to allow the race to still go ahead in compliance with strict safety regulations

“In close coordination with the [state] health department, we have developed a hygiene concept that allows up to 1000 participants on the routes of the 21.1 km and 6km race on September 13,” said the race organizers. There will be no fun run.

Everything is slimmed down: no award ceremony, no changing rooms, no showers. The advertised medals or participant gifts will not be issued but there will be replacement medals for the 1000 approved participants.

Registration will close after 1000 entries have been received. There will be no late registrations.

The registration deadline is moved forward by one week (to 30 August) to have time to send start numbers by post. The increase in registration fees due from 1 July has been withdrawn due to the cutback in services. An option for clothes storage in emergencies (e.g. for runners arriving by rail) is still to be discussed.

Main coronavirus precautions:

· Use mouth protection in the warm-up area (Dultplatz is available, observe distance rules).· Running without a mask, but the mask must be put on again in the finish area. We provide masks in case someone loses theirs while running.· Delegation of monitoring personnel (e.g. dispersing groups)· Start numbers will be sent by post.· Flying start / no mass start, or small groups. As a result, strong equalization. Only approx. 500 runners each on the half marathon or 6km route.· Reduce stations in the forest to 2. No catering for 6 km. Dispensing of packaged water (bags), dispensing on tables etc. at least 3-4 meters apart, only one bag per table, then refill. There is no electrolyte, no bananas etc. Personnel with MNS and gloves. Dropped bags will be destroyed (after contact with the runner).· The address etc. of the participants must be made known via the registration system. For reports about companies / schools, this can easily be requested (or must be specified as a required field when registering)· Do not bring accompanying persons· All participants will be informed about the rules (e-mail, homepage)

Information to all participants via facebook and e-mail: Each participant must meet the following requirements:

There are no health restrictions or symptoms of illness. There was no contact with an infected person for at least two weeks. The hygiene measures (keep your distance, regular washing and disinfecting your hands) are observed.· Awarding of medals at the finish: medals are placed on a table where the runners take them themselves (supervision by staff)· Finish line arrangements: There is no electrolyte. Delivery of fruit, energy bars and water in a bag. The runner has to keep moving and cannot sit down. No banks etc. Due to the strong equalization at the start and the strong reduction in the number of participants no crowds are to be expected.

Atmospheric mile:

music bands etc. only in the outside area, so as not to attract spectators.· Urinal: yes, but max. 3 people at a time. Staff supervision, also to disperse groups forming when queuing· Toilets in the three adjacent schools.· No late registrations· No award ceremony· No showers· No hand in of clothes· No sports fair· No childcare· No warm-up program· No pasta party· No stilt walkers etc .· No changing rooms· no children’s run· no balloons· no Dixi toilets· No massages at the finish· no meals in the registration area

(07/20/2020) ⚡AMP
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OMV Halbmarathon Altotting

OMV Halbmarathon Altotting

The OMV Half Marathon Altötting is a 5Star Quality Road Race - awarded by European Athletics and German Athletics Federation. It is the first German race to receive five stars! The international OMV Half Marathon Altötting has been taking place in Altötting, in the "heart of Bavaria", for 29 years.What started small was continuously expanded by a 6 km...

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2021 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon has been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis

We regret to announce that the 75th anniversary running of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon scheduled for Feb. 7, 2021 will not take place.

After careful consideration we determined that, with no visible end to the coronavirus crisis in sight, for the health and safety of participants, volunteers, staff, medical and rescue personnel, fans along the course and everyone else involved with our event, our 75th running must be postponed for one year.

We apologize to everyone who had anticipated taking part in our race, but we ask for your understanding of this difficult situation. We hope for a solution to the coronavirus situation and look forward to welcoming you all to our next race on Feb. 6, 2022.

We will be busily preparing for that day and thank you all for your continued support of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon. Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon Organizing Committee.

This is the third major Japanese race of 2021 and, as far as I'm aware, the first World Athletics label race in 2021 worldwide to cancel. Marugame is Japan's premier winter half marathon, one of the deepest in the world and a key tuneup every year for top-level Japanese athletes competing in the Tokyo Marathon, Lake Biwa Marathon and Nagoya Women's Marathon.

(07/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, comes to the rescue of female athletes

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, through his Eliud Kipchoge Foundation in partnership with Sunblest from Kisumu, Saturday donated foodstuff and sanitary pads to 30 female athletes in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The pads, which are re-usable, were donated by PadMad which runs an initiative for menstrual health, sexual and reproductive health rights.

The athletics legend started the relief initiative in March following the suspension of all sporting events due to coronavirus. Many vulnerable runners have benefited and more stakeholders have been coming on board.

Kipchoge said that he will be ready to help and reach more athletes who are suffering due to the effects of Covid-19 if he gets more support from corporates.

The Olympic marathon champion urged athletes to remain patient as they seek to return to training once the virus in contained.

“It has been a long journey and I will be always ready to help athletes and vulnerable families during  this hard times when the virus stopped all competitions. It has been a long journey but I want to commend those who have supported us since we started the initiative,” said Kipchoge.

He also said that there is need for the government to open up training camps for athletes to train ahead of the season since many of them will be getting ready for various competitions after missing last season.

“We are grown-ups and we know that the virus is deadly. There is need for the government to consider athletes who will be preparing for races in the next season in various camps,” said Kipchoge.

“The sanitary pads are very important for the athletes. Today we donated food because runners need it especially now when there is no income,” said Wagenaar who was proud to meet Kipchoge for the first time.

(07/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Irish marathon runner Stephen Scullion reconsiders rash retirement announcement

Scullion has said that he “couldn’t retire in peace” with the Tokyo Olympics on the horizon and is reconsidering his shock decision to quit the sport.

Scullion, 31, posted a short tweet last night which said: “Today was my last race, I’ve decided to retire. For reasons I’ll talk about in future.”

But the Belfast athlete clarified his intentions this afternoon and said that the announcement was “a rash decision”.

Scullion ran a personal best time of 2:11:52 to finish fifth in the Houston Marathon last January, a result that saw him achieve the 2020 Olympic qualification standard.

“Anybody who listens to [my] podcast will know it’s been an up and down experience during Covid. Last night it caught up with me that I should be in training camp in Tokyo, preparing for the Games,” Scullion explained.

“Things got a little too much for me and I made a rash decision to announce some form of retirement. Retirement isn’t that easy and I didn’t speak to anybody about it.

“I’ve found training solo tough and I’m used to training camps with coaches, physio and friends around me 24/7. The answer might be that I don’t retire but try my best to relocate to somewhere I can have that company/support.

“From the messages I’ve received it’s really lovely to hear that I’ve inspired people and you’ve enjoyed following my career until now. It’s never bloody straightforward with me and having read all the tweets and messages you’re all so right and I couldn’t retire in peace knowing how close we got to the Olympics and bigger things ahead.”

(07/20/2020) ⚡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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Speedy six-year-old runs 50 miles to raise cash for Parkinson's UK

A COMMITTED mum and son duo have completed a 50-mile running challenge to raise money for a charity.

Six-year-old Harley Hodgson-Hease and his mum Suzi Hease raised about £130 for Parkinson's UK charity after running 50 miles in 50 days.

The 39-year-old mum said they started running together as they wanted to fundraise for the charity, being inspired by Harley’s great aunt and her close friend’s dad, who both have Parkinson’s disease.

“We decided to raise money for the charity to help fight this incurable illness,” she said.

“We have two really close people in our lives who are fighting this disease and we thought it’s the perfect opportunity to do something during lockdown.

“In the same time I wanted to find something me and Harley could do together to spend some quality time and to create a strong bond and relationship between us.

“Harley usually goes biking with his dad, so I wanted to find an activity both of us could enjoy.”

Miss Hease, of Harwich Road, Mistley said they were running about 2.6 miles around their house a couple of times a week to complete their mission.

She said: “Besides raising money for a charity we care for, it was a fun experience for us.

“We’re very proud of him, he was very dedicated.

“He was way better than me, sometimes leaving me behind, as I never ran before, but he is always running around or riding his bike.

“I think it was me who was holding him back.”

Harley is a Year 1 pupil at the Lawford CE Primary School, in Long Road.

Abbie Fairbairn, the school’s head teacher, said everyone is proud of his amazing fundraising.

She said Harley has shown he has really taken to heart the school’s values and is a fantastic ambassador for the school and his family.

“This kindness and generosity of spirit is particularly special in a time of lockdown,” she added.

“I am so glad that Harley has been able to share his achievement and how his medal to his friends in school so they can celebrate with him.”

(07/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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Why Do My Legs Itch When I Run?-Consider it growing pains for pounding the pavement.

When I first started running, an unexpected question popped to mind at the end of my first few workouts: Why do my legs itch when I run?

I knew I’d feel breathless, sweat profusely, and check my watch every 30 seconds in the hopes that five minutes had gone by since I last checked. What I didn’t expect was that I’d end my runs with actual red scratch marks down my thighs, thanks to the harder-than-I-meant-to scratching to ease the itch that kicked in just as I began to wrap things up.

Within a couple of weeks, the annoying itching that accompanied my runs stopped, and I forgot all about it. Then recently, I heard others anecdotally mention it, which made me think maybe it was not just a weird quirk with my body—maybe there’s actually something about starting running that really makes your legs itch.

Turns out, there’s a pretty reasonable physiological adaptation that could easily explain the itching. And in most cases—like mine—it’ll stop soon after your body gets used to the new exercise. But in some cases, there might be something more going on.

With many people starting running (or getting back into running) as a way to get in some exercise—or simply get a change of scenery—with gyms still closed due to the coronavirus, it’s a problem that lots of people may begin to experience. And if you’re one of them, you don’t need to freak out. Here’s everything you need to know about why your legs itch while you run.

Why do my legs itch when I run?

First, it helps to understand what happens to your body when you start a new aerobic activity. When you exercise hard enough to increase your heart rate for a sustained period of time, your muscles require more oxygen to help you get the job done. And you need greater blood flow to help deliver it.

“One of your body’s initial responses to running if you’ve never done it before is called vasodilation, where your blood vessels open up or expand to let more [blood] come through,” Geoff Burns, Ph.D., a researcher at the Michigan Performance Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan and competitive ultrarunner, tells SELF.

When you first start running, though, your body isn’t used to the increased demand on your blood vessels.

“If you think of the blood vessels in your muscles like city roads, when you start to run, you’re going to have more traffic on the road—it’s going to get congested,” he says. “These vessels aren’t mechanically used to expanding like that, and that might put pressure on some of the nerve tissue in the muscles or other mechanoreceptors there. That can give you that itchy sensation.”

That itchy feeling tends to be centered primarily in your legs, since your lower-body muscles are doing the most work when you run—meaning they’re going to require the most oxygen and thus greatest blood flow, he says. And it’s possible that you feel it more when you end your workout, because when you stop running, your blood pools briefly.

Can itchy legs while running be something else?

If your legs itching while running is caused by that physiological adaptation, it should only last a few weeks, says Burns—which was pretty much the case for me. After that time, your body should get used to that increased pressure in your blood vessels. Plus, your body helps the process along with other adaptations, like with the remodeling of existing blood vessels and the formation of new capillaries, which helps relieve some of that congestion.

(07/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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Athletics timetable for postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games released

For the first time in Olympic history, the women’s and men’s marathon victory ceremonies will both be held during the Closing Ceremony at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the updated athletics timetable reveals.

Inclusion of the marathon medal presentations in the Closing Ceremony will cap the 10-day athletics programme unveiled today, which follows the timetable previously announced for the 32nd Summer Olympic Games prior to their postponement in March.

The programme commences on Friday 30 July, 2021 with the opening round of the men's 3000m steeplechase and concludes on the final day of the Games, Sunday 8 August, with the men's marathon in Sapporo, capital of the mountainous northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. In between, competition will be spread over 16 sessions at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.

Athletics figures prominently in both of the Games' 'Super Saturdays', with three finals - the men's discus throw, women's 100m and the inaugural mixed 4x400m relay - scheduled for 31 August. Another seven athletics titles will be decided on Saturday 7 August, among 34 event finals scheduled for that day, the highest single day number during the Games. 'Golden Sunday' on 31 July, will include 25 medal events in all, capped by the men's 100m final.

As announced in October, Sapporo will host the marathons and race walks as part of a wide range of measures taken by Tokyo 2020 organisers in consultation with the IOC and international federations to mitigate the effects of the high temperatures which may occur in Tokyo.

Download the timetable.

As announced in June, the Tokyo 2020 qualification system already in force was adapted to fit the new dates of the Games.

The qualification principles remain unchanged with athletes able to qualify through entry standards and then the World Athletics World Rankings.

Athletes who have already met the entry standard since the start of the qualification period in 2019 remain qualified and will be eligible for selection by their respective Member Federations and National Olympic Committees, together with the other athletes who will qualify within the extended qualification period.

Due to the uneven training and competition opportunities around the world during the coronavirus pandemic, World Athletics announced on 7 April that the qualification period (for all events) was suspended from 6 April to 30 November 2020.

(07/19/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Is Reducing Inflammation Really the Best Way to Treat Running Injuries?

What is the role of inflammation in running injuries?

For a long time, inflammation has been identified as the main culprit for pain resulting from running injuries.

The inflammatory theory of running injuries asserts that, following minor damage from overuse to a muscle, tendon, or connective tissue, the body attacks the injured area with a rush of inflammatory cells which results in the pain, stiffness, and soreness at the injured site.

This inflammation has a detrimental effect on healing because the swelling and inflammation can cause secondary damage to the already-injured area.

To combat this, many treatments that have become mainstays of physical therapy offices and athletic training rooms are designed around reducing inflammation. This includes ice, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, and compressive wraps.

But is this inflammatory model valid?

By definition, inflammation has features that are observable both on the macroscopic level of sensations in your body (like pain, redness, swelling—things a doctor would call “clinical features”), and on the microscopic level of the inner workings of your cells—this consists mainly of special inflammatory cells which flood an inflamed area and mediate your body’s response to the injury.

If the cause of the pain or irritation at the site of an injury truly is inflammatory in nature, both the macroscopic and microscopic signs should be evident – but microscopic signs aren’t easily detectable.

Sensations like pain, redness, and swelling are easy to observe, but you need to actually look at tissue under a microscope or with high-tech biology equipment to see the cellular markers of inflammation.

As you might guess, runners and other athletes with mild or moderate overuse injuries aren’t too keen on letting researchers put a slice of their Achilles tendon or plantar fascia under a microscope in the name of science.

Partly because of the difficulty of observing the cellular signs of inflammation, the inflammatory theory of running injuries has been popular for quite a while. Problems with it have arisen only recently, as doctors and researchers have begun to thoroughly investigate the root causes of overuse injuries.

Treatments and rehabilitation vs inflammatory model

Using tissue samples taken from patients with chronic tendon or plantar fascia injuries who undergo surgery (and are hence being sliced open anyhow), recent studies have demonstrated a lack of inflammatory markers at the cellular level. Instead, what they observe in injured tissue under a microscope is profound damage and degeneration in the microscopic structure of the tissue.

Other research has highlighted the relatively poor track record of anti-inflammatory treatments like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroid injections. And the most promising emerging treatments for soft-tissue overuse injuries don’t appear to address inflammation at all.

The eccentric heel drop exercise developed for Achilles tendonitis and the decline squat exercise developed for patellar tendonitis both focus instead on attempting to fix the structure of the tendon through controlled eccentric stress, and the most successful rehab programs for knee injuries like IT band syndrome and patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee) are focused on improving hip strength and coordination to reduce damaging stresses on the knee from poor running mechanics. In essence, as our very own Matt Phillips pointed out, we need to think prehab rather than rehab!

More intensive emerging treatments like shockwave therapy or nitroglycerin patches don’t focus on reducing inflammation either—in fact, often the goal is to induce controlled inflammation or increase bloodflow, targets anathema to an inflammatory model of injury. This is in keeping with the fact that some researchers believe that inflammation is a helpful and necessary component of recovery.

Final notes and specific recommendations for rehabbing your injuries

So, knowing that the inflammatory model of injury is unsatisfactory, how does this inform the way we think about treating and rehabbing injuries?

First, it should give us pause when evaluating any new treatment, therapy, or device which claims to reduce inflammation.

Second, we should also acknowledge that many (if not all!) injuries are painful because there is real, physical damage to something in your body.

Instead of icing a bit or taking some ibuprofen before you run, your recovery plan should be more cautious and allow your body time to repair the damaged tissue.

While this might include taking time off from running, it might also be simply modifying your running schedule to put less stress on an injured area.

Finally, it means that you should concentrate your rehabilitation efforts on the treatments that are most likely to help with your particular injury (typically specific strength exercises and sometimes stretches) and put less emphasis on traditional anti-inflammation tactics like icing, anti-inflammatory drugs, compression wraps, and elevation.

Though we need scientific research on individual treatments to explicitly rule out specific treatments for specific injuries—for instance, the absence of inflammation in connective tissue injuries doesn’t necessarily mean we should throw out the notion that icing, for example, can be useful—an overall model of understanding the biology that underpins an overuse injury can help you prioritize your recovery plan.

(07/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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How "mindful running" can help you run faster, farther, and more peacefully

Ditch the headphones. Skip the smartwatch. It's time to meditate on the move.

The “Asics Blackout Track” is not like the one that sits next to your old high school football field. It’s a temporary indoor structure, built in a large warehouse on the outskirts of London. At only 150 meters, you have to complete 11 laps in order to finish a mile. The most noticeable difference, though: Inside, it is dark.

How dark? If it weren’t for the presence of a small traveling spotlight, runners wouldn’t be able to see more than a few feet in front of them at any given moment. In June, I ran 33 laps on this specially-built track as part of a study designed to determine how things like mental fatigue could impact performance.

This isn’t the first time scientists have studied physical exertion in low light conditions. In a study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, researchers examined 15 cyclists through four 20-kilometre cycling trials, paying attention to how “optic flow” affected “perceived exertion”—in other words, the ways in which visual cues influenced how hard athletes thought they were working. Performing when you can only see things right before you encounter them, they learned, provides greater senses of speed and of effort, but no significant difference in heart rate or cadence. The London experiment was an attempt to replicate these findings in the track setting.

My first 5K was very different than my usual runs: It took place in total darkness, with fog machines blasting and only that spotlight guiding me forward. The baritone hum of white noise (read: not Drake) played through giant speakers. By the eighth lap, I had lost track of how far I’d gone, but I felt very in tune with my breathing and my exertion levels. When my pace felt laboured, I dialled things back a bit. I felt like I was cruising, and I also wasn’t sweating my usual buckets. For jetlagged exercise, it felt great.

Five hours later, I repeated the experiment, this time with the lights on. People were cheering for me on the sidelines, and music (still not Drake, unfortunately) was bumping. This time, when I was able to track how far I’d gone, I felt like I was trying much harder. My heart rate was higher. I was breathless, and dripping sweat. It showed: Runners finished an average of 60 seconds faster with the lights on than they did in blackout conditions. But why?

“External feedback about the number of completed laps, distance covered, elapsed time, and lap time increases the ‘temporal demand’ of the task,” said professor Samuele Marcora of the University of Kent’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. When the lights were on, we felt like we were supposed to be performing. “On the dark track, runners felt less time pressure, which is clearly a good thing for people that run for relaxation purposes.”

What does this mean for those of us who don’t have ready access to a specially-constructed blackout track? “Over the years, the focus in sports has primarily been on physiology and physical conditioning,” says Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe. How hard can you go, and how fast, and how far? “This aspect of training often neglects the importance of the mind and of mental conditioning in our preparation, performance, and recovery.”

The “mindful running” school of thought dictates that if you can focus on how you feel while running, unencumbered by the compulsion to set a new personal best every time, that sentiment should factor more into the way you exercise. If you’re ready to chase some zen during your next run, try using these expert-backed tips.

1. Start small

For some, just ditching the music is hard enough. Instead of embracing the silence all at once, focus for five minutes at a time. “Even in that period, you can begin to zoom in a little on the running stride, the movement of the legs, and how your foot comes into contact with the ground,” says Puddicombe. “This gentle foot strike is your point of focus. Come back to it anytime you realize the mind has wandered off.”

It will wander off at first, assures Puddicombe. Probably a lot, actually. That’s okay. “Over time, this focus on rhythm allows both the body and mind to relax, so that we find a greater sense of ease and enjoyment in our running,” he says. “Soon, you may see an improvement in your performance, too.”

2. Make use of mantras

“When you find your mind wandering or thinking about the finish line, invite the intention you created into your awareness and silently repeat it, like a mantra,” suggests Danielle Mika Nagel, the director of mindful performance at Lululemon. Yes, a mantra is a sort of thought, but this particular thought helps to focus the mind instead of overwhelming it.

What makes a good mantra depends on things like your tolerance for affirmations and your affinity for expletives. One tip, though: Using the word "I" when talking to yourself can stress you out instead of bringing on waves of self-love and acceptance, according to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Try swapping “I” for “you,” and addressing yourself as if you were addressing a friend. “You may not have control over the 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts streaming into your awareness each day, but you do have control over which ones you hold on to,” says Nagel.

3. Learn your lessons

Sometimes it feels good to bang out a ten-miler or crush treadmill sprints. But once you start integrating this mindfulness training into your running workouts, you’ll come to realize that the lessons you learn can help you during those more intense runs, too. Taking this step back has taught me, for example, that The Suck only lasts so long—and that if I persist instead of panic during races, I’ll be cruising again within a mile or two.

4. Appreciate the little things

Maybe you’re good at staying on task for like, the first two miles of four. Hey, that’s progress! The more often you practice running mindfully, the more you’ll see full-body benefits.

“As the mind-body relationship improves, you will know when to start, stop, speed up, slow down—and when you’re about to get injured,” says Chevy Rough, a London-based human performance and mindfulness coach. “Running without distractions means you can stop basing your performance on what your smartwatch says and bring it in house.”

5. Go try it

If you don’t have a private blackout track at your disposal, a few gyms now offer dimly-lit treadmill-based classes in which you can give mindful running a shot. If you’re on your own, though, a do-it-yourself set-up isn’t hard: Trying covering up the treadmill console at the gym, putting your phone on silent, and grabbing a pair of earplugs. (Don’t blindfold yourself, though. That tends to be frowned upon.)

(07/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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THE 2020 NXN EVENTS, INCLUDING THE 8 REGIONAL QUALIFIERS AND NATIONAL FINALS ARE CANCELED

As we continue to navigate the evolving impact of COVID-19, we are cancelling the 2020 NXN events, including the 8 Regional Qualifiers and National Finals.

This was not a decision taken lightly, but the health and safety of our athletes, families, fans and employees is our top priority.

We understand NXN has provided a platform for intense competition, showcased some of the sport’s greatest talent, and gathered a strong community to celebrate their shared love for running.

We look forward to bringing NXN back in 2021.

(07/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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Sebastian Coe, the head of World Athletics, was voted in as a member of the International Olympic Committee on Friday

Sebastian Coe, the two-time Olympic 1,500 meters champion for Britain who became head of athletics' world governing body in 2015, was blocked from membership as recently as December over a conflict of interest.

But Coe changed his role at the marketing company he is currently running as managing director to a passive position, thus paving the way to IOC membership.

Coe's belated entry into the IOC club is significant because he has been mentioned as a potential future president of the Olympic movement.

Voting at the IOC Session, held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, saw 85 valid votes with six abstentions: 77 voted to approve Coe's membership, with eight voting against.

"Thank you to all of you who voted for our sport, our federation today," said Coe.

"I look forward, our whole sport looks forward, to working even more closely with all of you in performing and building upon all sports because at this time, of all times, the need for community in elite sport to thrive and flourish is probably never more important.

"Thank you very much for the position today."

As Coe signed his IOC oath, IOC president Thomas Bach let slip a greeting."Finally, welcome!" Bach said.

Also approved for individual IOC membership were Princess Reema Bandar al-Saud, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, former Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Cuban Olympic Committee (COC) board member Maria de la Caridad Colon Ruenes and acting Mongolian National Olympic Committee president Battushig Batbold.

(07/18/2020) ⚡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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Kenyans Brigid Kosgei and Lawrence Cherono, disappointed after Chicago Marathon cancelled

The cancellation of this year’s Chicago Marathon has left a number of Kenyan athletes disappointed.

This is the fourth Abbot Major Marathon race to be cancelled after Boston, Berlin and New York Marathon races were moved to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The race was primed for October 11 with an estimated field of around 45,000 runners and wheelchair athletes.

Chicago Marathon has good memories for the Kenyan athletes with Brigid Kosgei shattering the world record by clocking 2:14:04 lowering Paula Radcliffe’s time of 2:15:25 in last year’s women’s edition of the race.

Kosgei broke the world record a day after Eliud Kipchoge made history by becoming the first man to run under two-hours in a race dubbed INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria leaving no doubt that Kenya is an athletics powerhouse.

The Kapsait-based athlete zoomed to victory after beating Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh (2:20:51) by six minutes, while her compatriot Gelete Burka was third in 2:20:55.

Kosgei is hopeful that she will able to defend her London Marathon in October 4.

“I had two options, but with the Chicago Marathon race cancelled, I’m left to train for the London Marathon race, which we are still crossing fingers will be able to proceed,” said Kosgei.

Lawrence Cherono, who won the men’s race last year in a sprint finish against Ethiopians, has also been left disappointed by the cancellation.

Cherono clocked 2:05:45 beating Dejene Debela, who timed 2:05:46 ahead of fellow countryman Asefa Mengistu who came in third in 2:05:48.

“It’s really demoralising because all the races I was to compete in this year have since been cancelled and that has left me to just do my work as we focus on next year and hope the virus will be contained,” said Cherono.

Cherono was to race in the Boston Marathon as well as the now postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games.

“I have been working on my farm because there is no race I can participate in this year, but at the same time I’m waiting for the management to communicate if there will be any other small race that I can do as we wait for next year,” said a disappointed Cherono.

So far Tokyo Marathon remains the only successful major marathon that was held back in March. Toronto Marathon, which was scheduled for October 18,  has also been cancelled.

(07/18/2020) ⚡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 and more 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...

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The 2020 Financial Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis will go virtual this year, organizers announced Friday

The marathon, which organizers say is one of the largest in the United States, typically attracts runners from all 50 states and over 25 countries, according to a news release. 

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the November event will now be all virtual. Organizers said they worked with city officials and medical providers to come to the decision. 

"Beyond Monumental is fortunate to have a significant support system in place, and we feel a deep responsibility to keep everyone involved as safe and healthy as possible," the new release states.

Registrants have the option of going virtual, deferring to 2021 or donating their entry to the Monumental Kids Movement. 

Organizers are still reviewing in-person options for the Indy Half Marathon at Fort Ben scheduled for Oct. 3. 

(07/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Elizabeth DePompei
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Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Now one of the 20 largest marathons in the US, the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is the ideal fall marathon for everyone from the first time marathon runner to elite athletes. Starting and finishing at the Indiana State Capitol, the course highlights landmarks and historical neighborhoods throughout Indianapolis. Nationally recognized as flat and fast, this event has hosted Olympians, PR seekers,...

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Does running on a treadmill change your stride?

Treadmill running can alter your gait in small ways, here are the potential differences for runners to be mindful of

The treadmill is a training tool that almost all runners have used in their lives. Whether it’s a time-efficiency measure (you never have to stop at lights on a treadmill) or a controlled conditions choice (the weather is never bad indoors), the treadmill has its place in everyone’s training program. However, one small change in someone’s training can make a big difference over time – especially if it alters how you run.

Research suggests that there could be small differences between how your body works on a treadmill versus how it runs outside. While the differences are slight, having an insight into minor changes is one of the best ways to keep yourself injury free and moving smoothly.

Surface stiffness

The biggest difference between the treadmill and running on the road is surface stiffness. Authors report that most runners get their miles in on concrete, which is notably harder than a treadmill surface.

For most, a softer surface can provide runners’ legs with a bit of a break, however, researchers point out that this isn’t a benefit across the board.

In runners with lower-limb stress fractures (in their feet or shins), returning to running on a treadmill could improve recovery. On the other hand, for someone who’s dealing with an Achilles or a calf issue, the softer surface isn’t ideal. Treadmill running has been connected with higher strain on the soleus (muscle in the calf), which could aggravate both conditions.

The surface you’re running on matters, so if you’re returning from an injury, be open with your medical professional about where you run most often.

Belt speed variation

Belt speed was another factor that contributes to biomechanics. On older treadmills, the speed can become inconsistent, especially when running fast. If runners are looking to do a hard workout and running outside is an option, it seems more reliable in terms of pace and form than running indoors.

If indoors is your only choice, run by feel and worry less about speed – especially if you’re using an older treadmill.

Comfort level

This may sound like a non-issue, but runners who are accustomed to the treadmill are less likely to alter how they run. By contrast, individuals who weren’t avid treadmill users showed a tendency to alter their stride and also had a slight increase in energy cost, meaning a typically comfortable pace would feel a little more difficult. This discomfort can lead to higher turnover and shorter stride lengths. Basically, if you’re not used to the treadmill, it’s normal for it to feel a little difficult and awkward to start.

While runners are encouraged to use the treadmill as a training tool, if you’re not accustomed to it, start slowly, place extra emphasis on recovery and work your way up, as it can alter the way you run.

(07/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Think you're not made for running? These runners say think again

Step by step, you can get there from here.

If there’s one piece of advice Latoya Shauntay Snell wishes she had received at the beginning of her running journey, it’s this: “You don’t have to look or run like a gazelle to be a runner.”

Even without that advice, the 35-year old Brooklyn-based runner persevered from her first, few tentative strides back in 2013, and today, she’s got a list of over 200 running event finishes to her name. Snell makes a living inspiring others through her freelance writing and star influencer status, blogging under the handle the Running Fat Chef. “I came to the sport for weight loss, but it took reframing my mindset to stick with it,” she said.

Mirna Valerio, 44 — aka the Mirnavator — got into running with the goal of feeling better following a 2008 health scare. She had run in high school but like many adults, fell off her fitness regimen as a busy lifestyle took over. Her return to the sport began with just one mile. “It was hard and painful both physically and emotionally,” she admits. “But I met myself where I was and one mile became two, and then I built from there. If you want to be a runner, you have to run.”

Like Snell, Valerio has now run hundreds of races — and the longer, the better. Both women will tell you they found their love of running one step at a time. “You need to be patient with yourself and practice loving yourself,” said Valerio. “Running is an expression of self love and taking a holistic approach will lead to a better experience.”

Morgon Latimore, whose Latitude Pure Coaching business comes with the tagline “empowering all athletes,” agrees with this approach. “We want our athletes to have a healthy mind, healthy body and happy life,” he said. “Too many people are intimidated by running, looking at marathoners, Ironman finishers and really fast athletes. Instead, look at your own life and start where you are.”

Ready to run? Get started with these 3 tips

If you’ve never thought of yourself as a runner, Snell, Valerio and Latimore are here to say give it a try. They’ve got three tips to make the experience more enjoyable and less intimidating.

1. Build slowly.

Focus on the moment you are in, not where you want to go. “You will get there,” said Latimore, “but pace yourself and be patient.”

Sometimes that means pulling back. “Give yourself permission to take breaks if you need them,” said Snell. “I’m a sponsored athlete and yet, due to the stress of the pandemic, I didn’t run for several months because I couldn’t motivate. Take breaks and do something else if you come up against a road block.”

Valerio adds that it’s ok to take walk breaks if you need them. “Start at a conversational pace,” she said. “If you need to walk, walk. Then start back up again, and the next time, try to go a minute or two longer.”

2. Embrace the suck.

Even the most experienced of runners will tell you, not all runs are going to feel good. “I’d say there are about three of seven days when I think it sucks,” admitted Snell. “There are going to be rough days.”

When you first get started, you might be a bit overzealous and then hit a wall. “Your mind will get tired and you’ll get burned out,” Latimore cautioned. “You’ll tell yourself you’re not good enough, that it’s too painful, that you don’t want to go on. Prepare for that wall.”

3. Mark the small goals.

Even if you get knocked down by a bad run or two, getting up and back at it is important. “It takes a couple of weeks to notice the benefits,” said Valerio. “But pay attention to small things — you’re less winded, or you’re sleeping better, for instance.”

Latimore agreed. “You have to celebrate along the way,” he said. “Notice your progress in pace, or maybe you hit seven days in a row of training.”

Wherever you are on your journey, take heart that with patience and grace, you can reach your goal and become the runner you never thought you’d be. said Snell: “Breath by breath and step by step. You’re capable of doing anything and remember that you’re an athlete if you show up.”

(07/18/2020) ⚡AMP
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Colorado To Hold State 10-K Road Running Championships On Sunday

Bucking the trend of cancelled road races, USATF Colorado will hold their state 10-kilometer road running championships on Sunday hosted by the Colorado Springs Classic 10-K. The race, which was first cancelled then rescheduled, will be held on an out-and-back course starting at Monument Valley Park. Entries close today.

So far, 121 athletes have signed up for the race, including elite runners Fernando Cabada (2:11:36 marathoner), Lauren Masterson (the 2019 women’s champion), and Maor Tiyouri (2016 Olympic marathoner for Israel). The male and female winners will each receive $400 out of a $2000 prize money purse.

The event is organized by Mad Moose Events, a family-owned event management company founded by Justin Ricks. Organizers plan to have athletes start in small waves of 10 separated by one-minute intervals, and have posted hygiene guidelines to fight COVID-19 spread on the event website. Those guidelines include:

. Temperature Check: All runners must do a contact-less temperature check as they enter the start line area. If runner has a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or above, they will be sent home.

. Social Distancing: All runners maintain a minimum of six-foot (two meter) distance from others.

. No Post-Finish Hanging Out: Runners cannot congregate at the finish line after finishing.

. Results Posted Only On-Line: Printed results will not be posted at the finish line to discourage runners from congregating.

. Face Coverings: Masks or other face coverings must be worn when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Organizers also caution “high risk individuals and individuals from highly infected areas” not to attend the event.

For context, this is the only road race on the proprietary global Race Results Weekly event calendar for this weekend (there are some track competitions). Road races typically held this weekend include the Ann Arbor Mile – Dart for Art (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Buffalo Subaru 4-Mile Chase (Buffalo, N.Y.), Bill Luti 5-Miler (Concord, N.H.), Silks & Satins 5-K (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Summerfast 10-K (Vancouver, B.C.), Rock ‘N’ Roll Chicago Half-Marathon, Lululemon Edmonton 10-K, Marvejols Mende 22.4K (Lozere, France), Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10-K, and the Rockville Rotary Twilight Runfest 5-K (Rockville, Md.).

(07/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Recovered Michael Kibet is focusing on the Olympic Games

Ndalat Gaa cross country champion Michael Kibet has set his sights on a ticket to the postponed 2020 Olympic Games after missing out on the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar despite winning the 5,000m race during the national trials.

Kibet and second place finisher Daniel Simiu failed to meet the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) anti-doping threshold for the world show thus derailing their debut at the international stage.

They were replaced by third place finisher Africa cross country junior champion Nicholas Kimeli and and another junior runner Africa 5,000m silver medalist Jacob Krop.

Kibet says the disappoint from last now over and has his eyes set on ensuring that he does everything right to make the national team to Japan.

Kenya last won the 5,000m men's Olympic title in 1988 through John Ngugi and Kibet, who was not born then, feels he has what it takes to deliver.

Born on 3rd September 3, 1999, Kibet wants to become the only Kenyan to win the title since the country debuted at the Games in 1956 in Melbourne, Australia.

“Right now my focus is to run and bring the elusive Olympic Games 5,000m title," said Kibet, following an individual training session in Kericho County.

"It hurt so much to miss the World Championships and especially flying out of the country for the first time in Kenyan colours but that is behind me now."

Last year, he won the Palio Della Quercia 5,000m race, edging out Ethiopia's Mukta Idris in a 1-2 Kenyan podium finish alongside Erick Kiptanui in a meet record of 13:11.08 to better Hayle Ibrahimov's 13:11.34 set in 2012.

“I want to bring the title to Kenya by breaking the jinx. I am sure 2021 will be a great year for me in athletics,” he said.  

With the government directive in gathering, the two times Tuskys cross country champion trains in split groups that also has Geoffrey Koech, Sheila Chelang’at, national cross country champion Faith Koech and Naomi Chepkirui.   

He observes that the disappointments of last year were only bettered by the support he got from family, friends and training mates and has now ensured that he is tested whenever Doping Control Officers visit him. He has so far been tested six times and expects more when the world opens up for sports.

(07/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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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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World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri pulls out of Monaco event

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri won’t take part in women’s 5,000m race during the Monaco leg of the Diamond League on August 14.

Obiri, the Africa and Commonwealth champion, said it will not be possible for her to compete efficiently having not trained and tested track since retaining her World 5,000m title on October 5, last year in Doha.

Obiri and Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase), were among five world champions, who have been lined up by the organizers of the Herculis EBS meeting.

“You can’t go to such an event without having done speed work. We were hoping venues like the Nyayo National Stadium or Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani could be opened for us, but it has not happened,” said Obiri. 

Obiri, who is also the Continental Cup champion, said her only hope this season is the Doha leg that will go down on October 9.

The last time Monaco hosted a long distance track event for women was in 2017 where Obiri won the 3,000m race.

Sporting facilities in the country have remained closed since March this year after the government announced measure to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.

Before Doha, Obiri will line up for the Kip Keino Classic, one of the World Athletics Continental Tour events due September 24 in Nairobi.  

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the world champion in the heptathlon, will compete in the high jump, her best individual discipline.

Another middle distance star announced is Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda, the surprise 800m champion in Doha last year. 

Organizers also announced that Noah Lyles, the World 200m champion, will headline his favorite event. 

Others on the slate include world pole vault record-holder Armand Duplantis; Laura Muir of Great Britain, who will race over 1000m; and Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen, the European indoor 5000m record-holder.

(07/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Master 10,000m record-holder Kevin Castille receives four-year doping ban

Kevin Castille, an American masters runner, has received a four-year ban from USADA after testing positive for a steroid at the 2019 U.S. 10K Masters Championships. According to USADA, Castille, 48, tested positive for 19-norandrosterone following his first-place finish at the championships during an in-competition test. Norandrosterone is an anabolic steroid used to build muscle mass. 

Castille is a former 5,000m masters world record-holder and multi-time U.S. masters record-holder. He owns personal bests of 28:49.11 for the 10,000m and 1:03:58 for the half-marathon, which he ran at 45 years old. Castille still holds the masters world record in the 10,000m at 29:44.38, which he set in 2017. 

Castille was a standout runner in high school and was recruited by the University of Louisiana, but he didn’t run during his twenties.

During that time, he sold drugs and was arrested in 2001 for possession. According to The New Yorker, time in jail was his wakeup call. After being released, he took running much more seriously and made a name for himself in the masters community.  

Castille initially appealed his case through the arbitration process until several days before his hearing, when he signed the sanction acceptance. He has also been removed from all competition results from April 28, 2019 forward and asked to forfeit points and prizes. His ban runs through 2023.

(07/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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For the first time in Olympic history, the women’s and men’s marathon victory ceremonies will both be held during the Closing Ceremony at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Inclusion of the marathon medal presentations in the Closing Ceremony will cap the 10-day athletics programme unveiled today, which follows the timetable previously announced for the 32nd Summer Olympic Games prior to their postponement in March.

The programme commences on Friday 30 July, 2021 with the opening round of the men's 3000m steeplechase and concludes on the final day of the Games, Sunday 8 August, with the men's marathon in Sapporo, capital of the mountainous northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. In between, competition will be spread over 16 sessions at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.

Athletics figures prominently in both of the Games' 'Super Saturdays', with three finals - the men's discus throw, women's 100m and the inaugural mixed 4x400m relay - scheduled for 31 August. Another seven athletics titles will be decided on Saturday 7 August, among 34 event finals scheduled for that day, the highest single day number during the Games. 'Golden Sunday' on 31 July, will include 25 medal events in all, capped by the men's 100m final.

As announced in October, Sapporo will host the marathons and race walks as part of a wide range of measures taken by Tokyo 2020 organisers in consultation with the IOC and international federations to mitigate the effects of the high temperatures which may occur in Tokyo.

As announced in June, the Tokyo 2020 qualification system already in force was adapted to fit the new dates of the Games.

The qualification principles remain unchanged with athletes able to qualify through entry standards and then the World Athletics World Rankings.

Athletes who have already met the entry standard since the start of the qualification period in 2019 remain qualified and will be eligible for selection by their respective Member Federations and National Olympic Committees, together with the other athletes who will qualify within the extended qualification period.

Due to the uneven training and competition opportunities around the world during the coronavirus pandemic, World Athletics announced on 7 April that the qualification period (for all events) was suspended from 6 April to 30 November 2020.

On 25 June, World Athletics launched 'Road to Tokyo', an online tool to help athletes, media and fans track the qualification process for next year's Olympic Games.

Searchable by discipline, country and qualification status, the tool will provide a real time view of each event over the course of the Tokyo 2020 qualification period which ends on 29 June 2021.

(07/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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American ultrarunner John Kelly set a new best time on the legendary Pennine Way FKT by 40 minutes

Ultrarunner and 2017 Barkley Marathons finisher John Kelly ran the FKT on the U.K.’s legendary Pennine Way early Thursday morning. The Pennie Way FKT was held for 31 years by Mike Hartley, a storied British ultrarunner, until today.

Kelly surpassed Hartley’s time by 40 minutes to finish in two days, 16 hours and 40 minutes (the previous record stood at two days, 17 hours and 20 minutes). 

The Pennine Way, which is travelled during the Spine Race, is a 268 mile (431k) trail up the middle of England from Edale to Kirk Yetholm. Over the course of that 431K, the path gains just shy of 12,000m of elevation on extremely rough terrain. For a little context, the elevation is nearly twice the height of Mount Everest and the distance is like running from Toronto to Sudbury. It’s a lot of running and climbing.

This FKT attempt wasn’t Kelly’s first time traversing this course. He has run it over the course of the Spine Race, but this week’s effort was different. He was assisted and running through the summer (as opposed to January, when the Spine Race takes place) and working with nearly 20 hours of daylight as opposed to the eight he would’ve seen last time. On top of the daylight, this was a supported effort, so he didn’t need to carry any extra supplies. 

Kelly was supported primarily by his partner Nicki Lygo who documented most of the effort on Twitter. Kelly dealt with some poor weather and significant stomach issues, but he still managed to pull it off. Initially, he was flying through aid stations in under 60 seconds, but slowed to 30 to 40 minutes toward the end when he would sleep for a bit and try to soothe his stomach. 

While Kelly’s effort on Pennine Way is astonishing, he’s not done yet. He took on what he’s calling the Hartley Slam. Pennine Way was Part One and the Grand Round is Part Two. The Grand Round route involves nearly 300K of running, thousands of feet of elevation gain and over 600K of biking between its sections. Kelly attempted the Grand Round in 2019, but was unable to complete it, so he’s heading back for a second try two weeks after today’s finish.

Kelly is doing this challenge for two reasons: to have something to do since his 2020 race calendar was cleared and to raise money for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, a U.K. charity that helps disadvantaged youth. If fans are looking to donate, they can do so here. Tune back in two weeks time to follow Kelly on his journey to conquer the Grand Round. 

 

(07/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Kenyan Rodgers Kwemoi Chumo says that Coronavirus paused his marathon debut

Trouble has come in doubles for Commonwealth Games 10,000m bronze medalist Rodgers Kwemoi, who, in addition to failing to make his marathon debut, is locked up in Kenya away from his place of work in Japan.

Kwemoi, who runs for Aisan Kyobio, whom he signed for in 2015, has had a time time due to the coronavirus pandemic that has made a return to the island nation impossible due to travel restrictions.

“ I was to return to my work station in Japan on March 25, the date that all international flights were canceled,” said Kwemoi.

However, to keep himself fit as he waits on what's next, he does long runs and takes his free to tend to his cattle.

The former world junior 10,000m champion said also revealed his plans for the future, despite the uncertainties surrounding the world of sports.

His focus, he said, is to deliver a world and Olympics 10,000m title, which has been elusive for decades with his immediate focus being the 2020 Olympic Games set for Tokyo, Japan next year.

Naftali Temu was the last Olympics 10,000m winner at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games while Charles Kamathi was the last to win the world title at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton, Canada — the third after Paul Koech (1983) and Moses Tanui (1991).

“I want to run several 10,000m, 5,000m and road races but now am focusing on the Olympics. I want to bring the 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic titles,” said Kwemoi.

Despite his current struggles, Kwemoi can count himself lucky after he was considered for the Sh100,000-a-month scholarship programme by the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) courtesy of Association of National Olympics Committees of Africa (Anoca).

He is joined by Commonwealth Games 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal, 800m Africa Games bronze medalist Emily Cherotich, world 800m silver medalist Ferguson Rotich, world champion 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto and world 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot.

“I thank God and NOCK for selecting me. I will use the scholarship well as I prepare for the Olympic Games,” said Chumo.

He said that the scholarship will use it well as he prepares for Olympic Games, utilize it well.

“I don’t want to let those who chose me down. I will work to the best of my knowledge,” he said.

He joined Japan through former Africa cross country champion Leonard Barsoton after the world cross country in China.

“Going to Japan was my dream and all my prayers were answered because I had wanted to work in Japan like my friends,” he said.

He also hailed his employer for ensuring that, despite being away from work, he still gets his wages.

(07/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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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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