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Athletes completing doping bans in the next year could be eligible to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics

Athletes completing doping bans in the next year could be eligible to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, which is an unintentional cause of pushing the Games back one year.

According to the Athletics Integrity Unit, about 40 of the 200 or so banned track and field athletes are international-level competitors who stand to gain from the Olympic postponement. The AIU maintains a global list of track athletes banned for doping violations.

COVID-19 has put the world on hold, and with it, all running competitions. This unprecedented landscape means that runners serving doping bans aren’t missing out on competition, while simultaneously avoiding regular testing. This seems like a very convenient loophole. However, WADA president, Witold Banka, told the Associated Press that they don’t have the ability to “cherry pick” when athletes’ bans end.

In order to achieve Olympic standard within the qualification window, an athlete would need to return to competition a few months clear of the qualification deadline (June 29) and subsequent Games. This means most runners whose sentences were completed around April 2021 would stand a chance at qualification.

Evan Dunfee, world championship medallist in the 50K race walk, says the situation is unfortunate. “I wish there was a solution, but it would never win at CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport).

People have tried before to prevent athletes from competing at the next Olympics, even if their ban had ended, and they lost that at CAS. Hopefully the AIU and WADA can double down on their efforts once testing resumes, and continue to stamp out cheating in our sport.”

(04/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru suspended for doping violation

Kenyan runner Daniel Kinyua Wanjiru, a former winner of the London Marathon, has been suspended due to irregularities in his biological passport, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old won the prestigious London race in 2017 and was fifth in the 2018 New York Marathon.

"The AIU has provisionally suspended marathon specialist Daniel Kinyua Wanjiru of Kenya with immediate effect for an Athlete Biological Passport violation under the @worldathletics anti-doping rules," the AIU said on Twitter.

He was suspended for "use of a prohibited substance/method".

With the charge having been issued, Wanjiru will now wait for his case to be heard.

The 27-year-old, who beat Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele to the 2017 London Marathon title, has a marathon PB of 2:05:21, set when winning the Amsterdam Marathon in 2016.

In a statement released by his management company Volare Sports, Wanjiru protested his innocence, adding that he has “never used doping”.

Wanjiru is also quoted as saying: “This statement comes from the heart. I am clean in the sports I do. The ABP (athlete biological passport) finding is confusing and frustrating me. Specialists have informed me about how this can happen and I have come to realise there can be hundreds of reasons found why HB is fluctuating.

“I feel I am already seen as a sinner of doping, but I am not. I am innocent.

“It’s very painful what’s happening to me now. I’ve always believed that those athletes who are suspended because of a doping violation, were indeed guilty of what they did. But I’ve realised that being charged of guilt is just easy and now proving being unguilty is hard.

“I stand for clean sports. My results of the past came through hard work only. I have never used doping. We are currently investigating the case. Knowing I have never used anything, I have faith everything will be all right.”

(04/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Matej Toth hopes his body can withstand one extra of year of training in his push to claim back-to-back Olympic 50km race walk titles in Tokyo next year

Following the decision by the International Olympic Committee to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by a year following the Covid-19 crisis, thousands of athletes have had to adjust their plans to peak for the summer of 2021.

Given the fact Toth has not completed a race for more than 18 months, the delayed Olympics would appear to be an advantage for the Slovakian, although he does not necessarily read the situation that way.

“My case is little bit complicated because I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make one more suitable winter preparation,” explains Toth, who will be aged 38 next year. “For me, it would be ideal if the Olympics was in October. But my personal benefit is not as important as the benefits of the majority of athletes.”

Currently in lockdown in Banská Bystrica, Toth, who is hoping to become only the second man in history to successfully defend an Olympic 50km race walk title, has experienced the full range of emotions in recent weeks.

In fantastic shape after a training camp in Tenerife and preparing to make his seasonal debut at the well-established international race walking meet in the Slovak spa town of Dudince in March, the coronavirus outbreak put an end to his plans.

“We tried to concentrate on training for as long as possible,” explains Toth. “But after the last training camp in Tenerife (we returned on 29 February) we realised the (Covid-19) problem is very serious. The competition was cancelled two weeks ahead of schedule. We tried to find other races, but day after day they were all cancelled too.

“It was very frustrating, I had been preparing for more than three months to complete in Dudince, with only one goal: to achieve the entry standard for Tokyo. I was very disappointed and sad. I thought I might as well throw my fitness in the rubbish bin. I was frustrated I could not compete but at that stage it seemed as though the Olympics would still go ahead. I realised it was impossible to do the entry standard and prepare for the Olympics – I didn’t have enough time for both.”

Yet once the IOC announced a postponement of the Games by a year to 2021, the decision brought clarity to athletes and it acted as a huge personal relief to Toth, who last completed a race when earning 50km silver at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin.

“The most important thing is the stress now eases,” says the 2015 world champion. “Now we can solve the most important thing – the health of the world. Before the decision to postpone the Games, we were under pressure. It was like we had fallen between two stools: preparing for Olympics and doing everything we could to stay healthy.”

(04/15/2020) ⚡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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There is no backup plan if the postponed Olympic Games can not be held in the summer of 2021

Tokyo Olympics organizers have no backup plan in the event the 2020 Summer Games, now postponed until 2021, must be postponed once again, a spokesman for the Games said on Tuesday.

The Associated Press reported that organizers are still moving forward with plans to launch the Games in July next year.

“We are working toward the new goal,” Tokyo Olympics spokesman Masa Takaya told journalists in a phone call on Tuesday. “We don’t have a B plan.”

He added that “Tokyo 2020 and all concerned parties now are doing their very best effort to deliver the games next year.”

The Games were set to begin this summer in Tokyo, and officials were initially reluctant to suggest the spread of coronavirus could disrupt plans for them to go ahead as planned. Some countries, citing concerns over the virus, said they would not send their athletes to the Games if they took place this summer. But Japan and the International Olympic Committee did not formally postpone the Games until late last month, as the pandemic continued to dramatically upheave daily life around the globe.

 

(04/14/2020) ⚡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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European cross-country champion Robel Fsiha could be stripped of title for doping

In February, Sweden’s Robel Fsiha was suspended for an anti-doping violation after he tested positive for an unnamed substance. Following the announcement of his suspension, the Eritrean-born runner requested his B sample be tested as well, but that, too, has come back positive, according to a report by Inside the Games.

Fsiha won the 2019 European Cross-Country Championships in December—the first Swede to win gold in the event—but now he could have his title stripped.

Fsiha was tested in Ethiopia in November, a month before he won gold at the European Cross-Country Championships. The test was analyzed in Lausanne, Switzerland, and it registered as positive for a banned substance in February.

When news of the positive test and Fsiha’s subsequent suspension broke, he told Expressen, a Swedish news outlet, that he hadn’t taken any banned substances, and that the only medication he’d taken recently had been for a cold. The Swedish Anti-Doping Agency is now investigating Fsiha’s case, and he could be stripped of his European championship and sentenced to a ban from competition for up to four years.

Before last season, Fsiha hadn’t had much of an impact in the athletics world, only competing in Swedish competitions from 2014 to 2018. In 2019, however, he competed internationally on several occasions, including at the world and European cross-country championships.

At the worlds, which were held in Aarhus, Denmark, in March 2019, he placed 17th in the senior men’s race. He was the top European and fastest athlete not representing an African nation in the event. The top Canadian men that day in Denmark were Ben Preisner in 77th and Rory Linkletter in 82nd.

Several months later, in December, Fsiha travelled to Portugal for the European Cross-Country Championships.

He won the 10K race in 29:59, 11 seconds ahead of second place. Switzerland’s Julien Wanders, the European 10K and half-marathon record-holder, came in fourth, 26 seconds behind Fsiha, and he will move into the bronze position if the Swede is stripped of his medal.

(04/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Kenyan steeplechase star was aiming for another global gold and a world record in 2020, but coronavirus outbreak has forced him to go back to the drawing board

Conseslus Kipruto knows what it takes to become an Olympic and world champion: talent, hard work, a never-say-die attitude. This, after all, is the man who won the Diamond League final two years ago wearing just one shoe.

But now the 25-year-old Kenyan will have to find another quality: patience. The postponement of Tokyo 2020 means Kipruto will have to wait another year to defend his Olympic title.

“It’s very disappointing, but we understand what’s going on in the world because of this coronavirus,”  he tells me from his home in Eldoret. “The way I’ve trained, the aim was to defend my title in Tokyo, but the IOC made the right decision, in my opinion.”

Kipruto has won four major 3000m steeplechase titles in the last four years. The first came at the Rio Olympics in 2016, followed by his maiden world title in London in 2017 and then gold at the Commonwealth Games the following year. Last year, he missed several months of vital training with an ankle injury. But he built a pool in his back garden, regained his fitness through aqua-jogging and went on to retain his world title in Doha by the thickness of his vest. It was an extraordinary story.

And he had been taking that impressive form into his preparations for Tokyo.

“My preparation was going very well,” he says. “We were pushing hard and actually I was on course to defend my title in Tokyo and was hoping to run a world record or close to a world record, so you can see why I am disappointed.”

Like thousands of athletes all over the world, Kipruto finds himself in fabulous shape but with no competitive racing on the horizon. There’s no guarantee that he’ll be in the same condition in 12 months’ time and the knock-on postponement of the World Championships in Eugene to 2022 means his next two years will have to be recalibrated.

“It’s really frustrating because I don’t know about next year,” he says. “My plans and my prayers were to have the Olympics this year and in 2021 to defend my title at the World Championships and then in 2022 to go to the Commonwealth Games (in Birmingham). Now I don’t know and I’ll have to go back to the drawing board.”

(04/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Chris Dennis
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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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Pregnant mom Meliessa Kegler runs her own marathon

After COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the Milwaukee Marathon, Meliessa Kegler created her own course and ran 26.2 miles, while 19 weeks pregnant.

A countless number of events have been cancelled due to COVID-19, including the Milwaukee Marathon this past weekend.

That didn’t stop 38-year-old Meliessa Kegler of Janesville, Wisconsin. She was determined to run the 26.2 miles even at 19 weeks pregnant.

“I mean, it’s weird. I mean any woman will tell you, pregnancy makes everything weird,” Kegler said with a laugh. “When I originally signed up for the marathon, I guess I was pregnant but I didn’t know, which probably wouldn’t have stopped me.”

She’s been training for months and when the race was canceled, she decided design her own course around Janesville. Kegler mapped out a 6.5 mile loop that she ran four times.

“A marathon is all mental. There is training that goes into it but that last 26.2 miles is just a celebration of what you’ve been through to get to that point,” she says.

(04/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Tim Elliott
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Nike Develops Face Shield for Health-Care Workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fight

With personal protective equipment in short supply for medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fight, Nike is offering up its services.

The Beaverton, Ore.-based athletic company announced today that its innovation, manufacturing and product teams have developed face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses in partnership with health professionals from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

Nike delivered its first shipment of face shields and PAPR lenses to OHSU on Friday. The sportswear giant’s PPE is being provided to medical systems located in the vicinity of its Oregon world headquarters, including Providence, Legacy Health Systems and Kaiser Permanente.

“Nike’s generous response to the COVID-19 crisis helps to instill an added layer of confidence and support for health-care workers that we can safely carry out the jobs we were born to do,” said Dr. Miko Enomoto, associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at the OHSU School of Medicine.

The Swoosh’s version of a face shield features elements of its footwear and apparel that have been repurposed, including TPU from its Air soles, collar padding meant for shoes and cords originally destined to become apparel. The full-face shield includes three parts which come together through a nine-step process, a collaborative effort of a few Nike teams at its Air Manufacturing Innovation facilities in Oregon and Missouri. Similarly, Nike is making PAPR helmets using the same TPU that is being utilized for the face shields.

n March, OHSU announced a $7 million donation from Nike’s current and former top brass — CEO John Donahoe and wife Eileen, Chairman Mark Parker and wife Kathy, and founder Phil Knight and wife Penny — to coordinate care and provide equipment as it combats COVID-19 in Oregon.

Other athletic companies based in the United States are also offering their manufacturing capabilities to help solve the PPE shortage. Last week, Under Armour said it has delivered 1,300 face shields to the University of Maryland Medical System and expects to make more than 500,000 fabric face masks and 50,000 fanny packs.

And New Balance said on March 27 that it is creating masks in its Lawrence, Mass., manufacturing facility to be used by health-care professionals.

(04/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ella Chochrek
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For more than a decade, Briton Sarah Tunstall has been among the most successful and visible runners on the World Mountain Running Association

A bronze medal at the 2008 European Championships at 22 and World Championships the following year thrust her into the scene's spotlight. In 2015, she won the WMRA World Cup and in 2017 raced to European silver and took a second world bronze. A fourth place finish in the World Cup standings last year at 33 showed that she's not disappearing from the circuit any time soon, even as the New coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc with the mountain running season calendar as well.

"2020 looks like it is going to be a strange and stilted season," Tunstall says. "Many races I would run have already been cancelled throughout France, Italy and Switzerland, and rightly so. I’d love to think we could be racing towards the end of the summer but after having the winter off I was in no rush to race anyway and I was already playing the early season by ear."

That also means that she isn't currently based in her usual early season training base in the French Alps, a regular part of her routine since 2015, when she was drawn to the region by a stubbornness to finally get back into the shape of her early career successes after a string of injury setbacks derailed her ambitions.

“I was citing the World Championships in Wales as my main excuse to be there - which it was - but having spent so much time there it became very difficult to return to the UK. We've been spending time in the Alps regularly ever since and will try to make it last as long as we can.”

She probably didn’t foresee that alpine lifestyle when she competed in regional and national cross country competitions and fell races as a junior athlete.

“I would make County cross country and England Fell teams but my best result - which I was delighted with - was finishing 10th at the English National Cross Country in my final year. It sounds like a cliché but I think that enjoying the sport is the main factor that will ensure a good transition (from junior to senior competition). Luckily this should be more likely in the fell/mountain scene as it can be less regimented or monotonous compared to track or road training.”

“If you’re still enjoying running,” she says, “that can be a big part of making the jump up to senior as running becomes more of a personal choice and if you enjoy it you will choose to keep running.”

She made two national teams as a senior in cross country, finishing second in the U23 race at the 2008 European Cross Country Championships and 55th at the World Cross Country Championships the following year. Yet her career and strongest interest still gravitated towards the mountains.

“On a selfish front I’d love them to stay that way so I can enjoy the simplicity of the beautiful races but I don’t want them to die out or get lost amongst the big brands or long, gnarly and overhyped races. I may be a traditionalist, but I find it quite conflicting to the understated sport of mountain running and think that the mountains should be able to sell themselves without excessive marketing."

(04/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The date for this year’s Big Sur Marathon has been confirmed after being postponed due to COVID-19

A month after it was postponed because of the coronavirus, organizers of the Big Sur International Marathon announced Monday the 35th edition will be part of a revamped version of an area traditional running weekend in November.

The marathon, originally scheduled April 26 but postponed because of coronavirus concerns, will be held Sunday, Nov. 15 from Big Sur to Carmel. The Monterey Bay Half Marathon, originally scheduled Nov. 15 on its traditional course in Monterey and Pacific Grove, has been moved to Saturday, Nov. 14.

“We don’t really have any goals as far as participation,” said Race Director Doug Thurston. “We hope as many of the April 2020 entrants will come back on Nov. 15.

“We will be prepared for them. But I think just having an event this year with all of the craziness in the world, I think that will be considered a win.”

In addition to the marathon and half-marathon changes, marathon organizers said other distance races originally planned for April 26 have also been switched to Monterey Bay Half Marathon weekend. All April race distances, except the 5K and 3K, will be held Sunday, Nov. 15 in their original locations on Highway 1.

Registrants who entered the April 5K will automatically be registered for a new 5K to be integrated within the Half Marathon on Nov. 14. The By-the-Bay 3K will not be held this year.

“First, we want to thank you for your patience and support over these past few weeks as our board, staff, and volunteers worked to navigate this new reality,” said event management via its website announcement.

While other Peninsula events postponed or canceled events this year, Big Sur organizers were hopeful of maintaining original dates. A decision was made in mid-March to postpone.

To reschedule, organizers worked with businesses throughout the Monterey Peninsula to determine if, for example, the Monterey Conference Conference and host hotels, would be able to participate.

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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7-year-old Steven Burgess runs backyard marathon to raise money for hospitals, non-profits during COVID-19 pandemic

A 7-year-old North Carolina boy is proof that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.Steven Burgess is staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with schools closed until at least May 15.

However, he came up with a plan to not only help others, but get some time outside in his backyard.According to ABC-affiliate WWAY, Burgess's mom, Eliza Burgess, said he decided he would run for 6 hours in his backyard to raise money for hospitals, food banks, and missions in his community like Vigilant Hope, Meals for Heroes and Nourish NC.

"It started out as something fun to do," Eliza Burgess said. "Then, I saw he was serious about it, so I thought, 'Let's share this and uplift some people.' I have been blown away by the amount of people who want to donate.

"Around 37,000 steps later, Steven Burgess raised more than $1,500.

Steven Burgess said keeping his mission at the front of his mind inspired him to keep his legs moving.

"I just wanted to raise money for the hospitals and give them help," Steven Burgess said.

Both Steven and his mom hope his mini marathon will show others how easy it is to make a difference from your own backyard.

"I think this will inspire others to show them what they can do," Eliza Burgess said, "I think the reason this inspired so much support is that people really do want to plug in and they want to encourage each other and we want to help, and sometimes we don't know what to do because we are all stuck at home."

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Kelsie Hoffman
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Kenyan Wesley Korir set to bounce back from injury, eyes Boston Marathon

Former Boston Marathon champion said he has been battling with the injury. 

Former Cherangany legislator Wesley Korir is hoping to return to Boston Marathon in September after a one-year injury lay off.

Speaking in Eldoret, the former Boston Marathon champion said he has been battling with the injury, which he picked during the 2019 Boston Marathon, for the past one year. Boston Marathon was switched from April 20 to September 14 following the outbreak of the coronavirus around the globe.

“My target is to run in Boston this year after the postponement of the event from April to September due to coronavirus. I am optimistic that my injury would have completed healed by then,” said the 2012 Boston Marathon champion.

Korir, who has been championing for athletes rights, said Boston and Chicago have been part and parcel of his marathon career having made his debut in 2008. “Boston and Chicago have been my best courses and returning to Boston this year will be great,” he said.

The two-time Los Angeles marathon winner, said the postponement of the Boston Marathon was a blessing in disguise for him as he will be ready. The 38-year-old runner said his target is to reclaim his position in Boston—a city he has spent much of his time as a youth and an athlete.

Korir featured in Chicago in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 but his luck came in 2011 when he finished second in 2:06.15.

He made his Boston marathon debut with a win in 2012 in 2:12.40 but failed to defend his title the following two years, finishing fifth in 2013 and 2014. He was fourth in 2016 and sunk deep in 2017 to place 15th. He won the Los Angeles Marathon in 2009 and 2011 in 2:08.24 and 2:09.19. 

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Kane Cornes ran a full marathon around his tennis court

Former Port Adelaide midfielder Kane Cornes completed an entire marathon, but did it isolation style – around his tennis court.

The SEN host ran a total of 42.2km in 239 minutes and raised $4,922 for the Hospital Research Fund the Fight campaign in the process.

Their aim is to help fund a clinical trial to find a cure for the coronavirus.

Cornes admits he underestimated the task he set for himself.

“It didn’t sound as crazy as it felt at about the 34km mark yesterday,” he told SEN’s Whateley.

“It was all fun and games until about 10 and the kids were playing footy on the tennis court as I was running and we had music going and it was all good, but fast forward about an hour and 20 minutes post that and it got really, really brutal.

“The idea just came about just staying home for 14 days after I came home from Victoria and doing the right thing and wondering how I was going to exercise. I went for a run around the tennis court on the first day back and I got to 20km and wasn’t too bad.

“I thought maybe I could do a marathon and raise some money, but it was very, very hard and I’m glad it’s done.

“I’m absolutely paying for it (this morning). For those that have done a marathon or any endurance event, it wasn’t the lungs in terms of the fitness, it was just the wear and tear on the legs.

“I didn’t understand, and I probably underestimated, the twists and turns of the tennis court. So, every 10 and then 30 metres you’re turning and it’s just brutal on your knees and your lower back and your hips and I’m not getting any younger.”

Cornes added that he had to reverse the direction he was running because of the soreness building up thanks to the constant turning around the tennis court.

“I changed (direction) at about the 22km mark I realised it was a stupid thing to do (doing the whole marathon in the same direction),” he said.

“I didn’t want to go back on my word and you say you’re going to do something and you usually do it, but I just had to (change direction) because my left hip was just killing and I thought I wasn’t going to finish unless I changed direction and it really helped that little change-up.”

The 300-gamer thanked everyone who watched the livestream and contributed by donating to the cause.

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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Study suggests that running and training for a marathon could help you live longer

Need another reason to sign up for a marathon? New research suggests training and running a marathon for the first time could reverse some of the effects of aging on our bodies.

Researchers found that for the 138 healthy, first-time marathon runners they tracked, training and completing the London marathon was associated with a four-year reduction in their "vascular age."

Specifically, they found that marathon training reversed the age-related stiffening of the body's main artery and helped reduce blood pressure.

As we age, the walls of our arteries, which deliver oxygen and nutrients to all our vital organs, grow thicker and stiffer, making our heart work harder to pump blood around our body. While a normal part of aging, this can contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia and kidney disease, the study said.

"Our study shows it is possible to reverse the consequences of aging on our blood vessels with real-world exercise in just six months," said senior author Dr. Charlotte Manisty, a senior lecturer at University College London and a consultant cardiologist at the Barts Heart Centre and University College Hospitals.

"These benefits were observed in overall healthy individuals across a broad age range and their marathon times are suggestive of achievable exercise training in novice participants."

The greatest benefits were seen in older, slower male marathon runners with higher baseline blood pressure, according to the study which published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The researchers didn't specify a particular training regimen, with participants encouraged to use the "Beginnner's Training Plan" provided by the marathon, which consists of approximately three runs per week that increase in difficulty for a 17-week period prior to the race.

The researchers found that the marathon training decreased systolic blood pressure -- when the heart beats -- by 4 units (mmHg), and diastolic blood pressure -- when the heart rests between beats -- decreased by 3 units (mmHg). Overall, the exercise reduced stiffness in the aorta, the main artery in the body.

The health benefits were not related to how fast the participants completed the race nor were the participants experienced runners, said Manisty. The average marathon running time was 5.4 hours for women and 4.5 hours for men -- below average completion times.

But Manisty said she didn't think the health benefits were unique to running a marathon. The key takeaway, she said, was to set a training goal and structure, and stick to it. Also, she said it was never too late to start sustained exercise, with the study finding the greatest changes in the oldest runners.

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Katie Hunt
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Michael Wardian set out for a virtual ultra marathon. He kept running for 2½ days.

n the early days of the second full month of the global novel coronavirus pandemic that has all but paralyzed the sports world, Michael Wardian went out for a run around the block. He woke up early Saturday morning, laced up his shoes and stepped outside to run around his Northern Virginia neighborhood.

He circled the block and then did it again. And then again and again. Wardian ended up running for more than 2½ days, skipping sleep and piling up miles. When he finally unlaced his shoes late Monday night, he’d run 262½ miles in all, winning a long-distance event called the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, a virtual race inspired by the social distancing recommendations that make a standard road race impossible in the midst of a pandemic.

The unique event was intended to fill a void for distance runners who saw their race calendars wiped clean by the spread of the coronavirus. It brought together more than 2,000 runners from nearly 60 countries and turned into a captivating affair with a drama-filled, controversial finish.

“We do not know when this situation is going to end, and this is a fun way to bring a whole bunch of people together to be able to test their fitness, join a community, and do something together when many people cannot leave their homes,” a Calgary-based distance-running outfit called Personal Peak wrote in a March post announcing the race.

The rules were simple enough. The runners had to honor social distancing recommendations and either compete on a treadmill or in some sequestered environment. Some, such as Wardian, circled their neighborhood, while others circled their backyard. One entrant did laps around his living room in Dubai, and another ran circles in a Canadian coffee shop that had been closed because of the virus.

Runners were connected via Zoom and required to run 4.167 miles each hour. After hitting their hourly mark, the runners flashed their watch to the camera and then waited for the next lap to begin at the top of the hour.

For each 4.167-mile lap in the race, Wardian made 10 loops around the block in his Arlington neighborhood. That means that once the race began Saturday morning, he passed the same neighbors, same trees, same parked cars — same everything — more than 620 times.

The race began with more than 2,400 entrants, but they slowly dropped, and Monday was mostly a duel between Wardian and a runner halfway around the world named Radek Brunner, who was pounding out miles on a treadmill in the Czech Republic. Wardian officially won shortly before midnight Monday after more than 62½ hours of running when Brunner was disqualified because of a technicality.

Brunner failed to start running his 63rd lap precisely at the top of the hour, apparently because of some technical difficulty or confusion, and organizers reluctantly said they had no choice but to disqualify him for a rules violation.

In winning the event, Wardian ran the equivalent of 10 marathons in a little more than 2½ days. That’s a bit farther than running straight from Washington to Pittsburgh. Perhaps equally impressive: A sleep-deprived Wardian consistently turned in sub-10-minute miles, but his fastest lap was his final one, when he averaged 7:23 over the event’s final four miles.

Wardian, who turns 46 on Sunday, is well-known on the ultra circuit, his running exploits growing longer each year. He has raced against horses, run around the Capital Beltway, completed marathons on seven continents (twice) and competed in the U.S. Olympic marathon trials and most every other premier distance event. Until this virtual competition, though, he had never run so many hours and so many miles consecutively, he said.

To prepare, Wardian ran a full marathon in his neighborhood the week before, knowing he would be in for a grueling turn in the virtual race. After the first hours of the event ticked by Saturday, the field whittled down quickly. Treadmills broke, hamstrings tweaked, work and real life beckoned, quick power naps turned into full-bore slumber. But mostly the miles and hours just became too much.

By Sunday evening, after 36 hours and 150 miles, the field was down to 14. By that point, Wardian was running in the dark, and his kids were nearing bedtime. Overnight, the runners kept dropping, and at one point, Wardian thought he would be joining them. Around 3 a.m., he briefly stopped running and walked over to his wife, Jennifer.

“I was crumbling in the middle of the night,” he later explained. “She asked if I was all right. I said, ‘No, I just don’t want to be doing this anymore.’ She said that’s not a good enough excuse.”

So he kept going, finding a second wind. He would usually finish his 4.167-mile lap in 40 or so minutes, which gave him a bit of time to catch his breath before lining up again at the top of the hour. This was the reflective period when others typically bowed out.

After 42 hours and 175 miles, Matt Shepard, who had been circling the Tall Timber coffee shop in Canada, Matthieu Weiner of Pennsylvania and Scott Martin from Oregon all dropped. Then Greg Armstrong in Tennessee an hour later. And then, after 46 hours of running, the last female runner, Anna Carlsson, who had been trekking through the outdoors near the northern tip of Sweden, had to stop. She had been running on a frozen lake that had been plowed for the occasion but had to drop when a snowstorm approached.

Finally, as the race hit the 48-hour mark Monday morning, just Wardian and Brunner were left. Both knew it wasn’t the speed or mile-pace that counted. It was a race of attrition, and the last man standing would be the sole winner. Brunner sneaked quick naps at the bottom of each hour, but Wardian hadn’t slept since Friday night.

“Sleep, what? None,” Wardian said at one point. “This is my money race. I don’t need to sleep.”

Because we live in virtual times, the entire event was streamed online, first on YouTube and later on Facebook, and thousands tuned in to watch the runners in Zoom’s now-familiar checkerboard format. The audience was able to engage and ask questions of the runners as they rested between laps.

“Let’s keep doing this!” Wardian said into the camera after he was 216 miles into the race.

And so they kept running into a third day and night. Even with 250 miles behind them — around 9 p.m. Monday — both were turning in a relatively fast pace, and Wardian had his sights set on what organizers say is the virtual backyard ultra record: 69 laps.

But then a whistle sounded for lap No. 63. Wardian took off running in the dark, but more than 4,000 miles away, Brunner stood still on his treadmill, seemingly unaware the lap had started. The online audience watched as Brunner fielded a phone call from race organizers, visibly in disbelief that after 62 hours of running, he was disqualified over what seemed like a minor infraction.

Wardian finished his lap and was slightly confused, too — and also disappointed the race was over and he couldn’t add another record to his lengthy race résumé.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virus scrapped your marathon? In Japan, there's an app for that

When the coronavirus outbreak forced organisers to cancel marathons in the Japanese city of Nagoya, they turned to tech to ease the disappointment, offering runners the chance to race alone.

The Nagoya Women's Marathon and Nagoya City marathon were scheduled for March 8 and expected to attract some 20,000 runners -- a potential health hazard during a global pandemic.

So instead of having racers run together, organisers have offered up two apps to allow participants to complete the marathons alone, tracked online.

"It's the first time the annual marathon events were cancelled, and it's the first time we launched apps to replace the real ones," one of the organisers of the Nagoya city marathon told AFP.

Instead of running the original route, registered participants can run wherever they like -- keeping an appropriate social distance -- and the apps measure and verify their performance.

There are two apps -- one for those who want to finish the marathon in one go and another for those who want to complete it by running over several days.

Runners can complete the marathons between March 8 and May 31, the official race website says.

The organisers said on their website that they wanted to respond to the spirit shown by those who trained for the now-cancelled races.

But they "don't recommend running in a big group," the official warned.

Those who are registered for the women's event and complete the marathon via the app will receive a T-shirt and a necklace as originally promised for finishers.

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the international sporting calendar, with the Tokyo marathon among the early fixtures to be affected.

Organisers cancelled the amateur portion of the race scheduled for March 1, affecting around 38,000 runners, who were not offered a refund.

They will, however, be eligible for a spot in 2021's marathon.

The pandemic has also forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to next year.

Japan has so far recorded over 3,600 coronavirus infections and 73 deaths.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Allowing Tour would be 'crime against humanity'

Allowing the Tour de France to go ahead as scheduled despite the Covid-19 pandemic would be "madness" and a "crime against humanity", former French sports minister David Douillet has said.

The outbreak has decimated the global sporting calendar and the Tour de France - which takes place in June and July - is one of the last major global sporting events that has not yet been cancelled or postponed.

French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said on Twitter last month that it was too soon to decide if the Tour should be cancelled but that if the race did go ahead it might be held without roadside spectators to minimise the risk of infection.

Douillet said the risks involved in staging the Tour outweighed the financial implications of postponing.

"God knows I am a fan of the Tour de France. If we have enough means to ensure that all the players in the Tour and the public can be tested and are all negative, then why not, but that's not very likely, so it can't happen. There is no vaccine, nothing, and people are dying."

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Do I Need to Clean My Watch and Shoes After a Run to Slow the spread of the Coronavirus?

Cleaning your tracker or phone after your runs can help cut down on the spread of germs.

Though not likely a way coronavirus will spread, keeping your shoes outside the door and washing your running clothes after a run, especially after being in high-traffic areas, are precautions you can take.

Overall, there’s no harm in taking extra precautions when coming in from a run, but the risk is not in being outside—the risk is in being close to other people.

Slowing the spread of coronavirus is at the top your mind right now with everything you do. You’re running alone, working out at home, maintaining at least a six-foot distance from other runners or people you might encounter outside, and staying home if you feel sick in order not not spread the virus to others.

And while logging your runs in Strava might be the new way you’re connecting with other runners from afar, with group running a no-go right now, have you given thought to how often you should clean your fitness tracker and phone? And we know you’re scrubbing your hands the minute you get in the door after a run and washing your sweaty clothes as normal, but what should you do with your shoes?

A new analysis in The New England Journal of Medicine found the virus can remain viable in the air for up to three hours, on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours, and on plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that airborne transmission may be possible in certain circumstances, such as during procedures in hospitals, this is different than droplet transmission, which happens when a person is in close contact (within one meter) with someone who has respiratory symptoms. So you shouldn’t be worried about going outside for a solo run.

But because the virus can last for a while on surfaces, you may risk coming in contact with the virus (or other germs) on your tracker or phone if your device happens to come in contact with droplets containing the virus. If you then touch your tracker and later your face, you are at risk of infection.

While you should be cleaning your phone and fitness tracker often, as they can already harbor germs and get generally gross and gunky from sweat, you probably didn’t before. But now is a good time to start. Here's how: 

Apple Watch - Use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to gently wipe the exterior surfaces of your watch or band (unless it’s fabric or metal).

Don’t use bleach and be sure to avoid getting moisture in any openings, and don’t submerge your Apple Watch in any cleaning agents, according to Apple.

Fitbit - Fitbit recommends regularly cleaning your band and wrist—especially after working out or sweating.

Rinse the band with water or wipe it with a small amount of rubbing alcohol (according to the CDC, isopropanol over 70 percent has been found to kill viruses similar to Coronavirus).

Don’t use hand soap, body soap, dish soap, hand sanitizers, cleaning wipes, or household cleaners, which may get trapped beneath the band and irritate skin.

Always dry the band well before putting it back on.

Garmin - Garmin suggests regular cleaning of your devices to prevent buildup of sweat or other particles.

Clean silicone or TPU elastomer bands with rubbing alcohol and a lint-free cloth, followed by rinsing with water.

Allow the band to dry before wearing.

As for keeping your shoes outside after a run or tossing your clothes in the wash? Washing your clothes (and drying them on high heat if possible) and ditching your shoes on your porch postrun is something David Nieman, D.PH., health professor at Appalachian State University and director of the Human Performance Lab at the North Carolina Research Campus would recommend until we learn more (especially if you’ve been running in crowded areas).

However, as Brian Labus, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada Las Vegas explains, there’s not much risk of catching coronavirus from your shoes after a run, as you were not wearing them in the hospital while you took care of sick patients. You can keep doing whatever you normally would do with your shoes after a run. If it gives you some peace of mind to leave them outside, there is nothing wrong with that.

Overall, there are no special precautions you need to take after returning from a run. The risk is not in being outside, the risk is in being close to other people, Labus says. Most important, remember to thoroughly wash your hands when you get back from a run, avoid touching your face and traffic buttons, and run alone.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner's World
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World 1,500m champion Cheruiyot rues missed chance to break record

World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot has said he had high hopes of peaking at the right time this season to make a serious attempt on the world record.

"When the year started, I had two items I wanted to accomplish - winning Olympic gold and breaking the world record. At the moment, the Olympic dream is gone, moved to 2021 and the dream chance of running at the higher level at full throttle looks bleak," he said on Sunday.

Hicham El Guerrouj's record of 3:26.00 has stood the test of time for over two decades and Cheruiyot, who has seen his rise from obscurity to blossom as a world champion feels he was the man to finally shatter the record.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has nipped in the bud his dream as he has no idea when he will return to action.

Cheruiyot is worried many athletes will struggle to regain fitness and sharpness in competition whenever the ban on sports competition is lifted.

With the shutdown of all training camps in Kenya, Cheruiyot, like many other athletes is facing the prospect of lazing at home in 2020 after the Covid-19 global pandemic wrecked the sports calendar.

Cheruiyot now has turned his focus on staying safe and forgotten his hope of chasing records.

His best time on the miler is 3:28.41, which he posted in Monaco in 2018.

"People break records when they run regularly and competitively at the highest level. So clearly from where we stand that is not going to be the case this year," he added.

Meanwhile, Olympic 5,000m silver medalist Hellen Obiri has urged fellow athletes to follow social distancing and practice good hygiene standards.

Obiri, the world 5,000m champion, who has been forced to amend her training program, says she only has one session in the morning to train.

She believes, like other sectors, sports will have to suffer initially before order is restored. However, she believes she will emerge out of the self-quarantine stronger and ready to battle her way to the top to win the only medal missing in her collection, Olympic gold.

"I have to train alone and it is difficult. It requires a lot of discipline and focus because distractions are many," Obiri said on Monday in Nairobi.

"These are difficult times, which call for special measures. As athletes and role models we must sensitise the need to keep safe and follow government directives. We must be very careful, that is why I can only afford to train once a day."

With no Diamond League meetings and the World Athletics Continental Tour having been postponed, Obiri has had to be careful not to peak too soon.

"There will be time for action and the important thing now is to remain safe and healthy. When everything is done and there is no coronavirus, we will train as a team and compete at the highest stage again," she said.

World Athletics President Seb Coe has said it will be a lot harder to stage all competitions in 2020 when the situation allows and athletes will have to select which events to take part in after Covid-19 is defeated.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Dr. Michael Joyner, the Guy Who Predicted the Sub-2:00 Marathon, Now Helping Lead the COVID-19 Fight

Dr. Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic is best known in running circles as being the guy who in 1991 published a paper saying a human being could run a marathon in 1:57:58. Joyner, an anesthesiologist and physiologist by trade, now is using his skills on a much more serious matter by helping lead the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project (CCPP19). The CCPP19 is a nationwide effort of researchers, institutions, and blood blanks to try to use plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to better treat patients suffering from COVID-19.

“What we’re trying to do is leverage the antibodies produced by people who have recovered from COVID-19. Harvest those antibodies from recovered patients and then give these antibodies in the form of plasma to people to either prevent disease in people that have been exposed but aren’t yet sick, to treat people who are in the hospital and try to keep them from going to the intensive care unit, or to try to shorten the stay in the intensive care unit. This is called convalescent plasma therapy. It’s been around since the late 1800s. It’s worked numerous times before,” said Joyner on this week’s LetsRun.com Track Talk Podcast.

Joyner said the goal is for people to continue to practice social distancing and proper pandemic control while groups like his develop better short-term treatments for COVID-19 before a vaccine can be made to really stop the virus.

“We believe it’s our best shot on kind of [a] biological goal in the short run, and then after that, we anticipate concentrated gamma globulin, like antibodies, [being] available toward the end of the summer. And then we are waiting for the vaccine and biotech cavalry to come to the rescue,” Joyner said.

Running did play a tangential role in getting Joyner involved with CCPP19. Joyner has always been interested in oxygen transport and physiology because of his days as a competitive runner at the University of Arizona. Recently, Joyner was on Twitter and he saw a retweet by David Epstein, the former Columbia 800m runner and former ProPublica journalist who, along with the BBC, broke the allegations that Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon Project were breaking anti-doping rules.

The retweet was a link to a Wall Street Journal article by Dr. Arturo Casadevall on using antibodies to try to treat the coronavirus:

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Letsrun
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99-year-old British WWII vet raises $22 million for health workers on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis

"It isn’t for me, it’s for all the people, the doctors and nurses, whichever country you are in," said Capt. Tom Moore.

It started off as a bit of encouragement, a nudge to her World War II veteran father to keep active in lockdown after breaking his hip 18 months ago.

Less than two weeks later, 99-year-old Capt. Tom Moore and his daughter have helped raise more than 18 million pounds, or $22 million, to support the staff and volunteers of the U.K.’s beloved National Health Service.

“I told him, I’ll give you a pound for every length that you do and if you do 100 by your 100th birthday that’ll be 100 pounds,” said Tom Moore's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, who lives with her father in Marston Moretaine, around 50 miles north of London.

Each day, Moore, armed with his walker, aimed to do enough lengths of the path in his 50-yard-long yard to finish the challenge in time for his birthday at the end of the month. They started a JustGiving page, and aimed to raise 1,000 pounds, or $1,244, by the end of the month.

Local media then picked up the story and the donations started rolling in. They smashed the initial target and the Moores then set a goal of 5,000 pounds. They soon upped it to 50,000 pounds, and then 250,000 pounds. In the end, it took just 11 days to raise 18 million pounds, with the number continuing to rise by hundreds of thousands on Friday morning.

“This is unbelievable, it really is. You can’t believe when you see these sums of money come along,” said Moore in a video interview, sitting in an arm chair and dressed in a shirt and tie.

During the war, he served with the British army India and Burma, now known as Myanmar, and went on to become an instructor at The Armoured Fighting Vehicle School.

In total, more than 900,000 people have donated, bringing record traffic to the JustGiving website. The numbers were so large that JustGiving had to ask donors to bear with them as they processed donations from thousands of Moore’s supporters.

He even caught the eye of Prince William, who called him a “one-man fundraising machine.”

While the image of the WWII vet in a suit jacket emblazoned with medals has in itself inspired many, so has the effort to help the country's socialized health service. The NHS is under unprecedented strain from coronavirus and workers facing similar equipment shortages as in the U.S., and Moore's challenge struck a chord.

We need to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Wear a face mask while out in public.  One of the best on the market is the Mindful Face Masks made by UjENA Fit Club.  Lifetime runner Bob Anderson wear these masks while out in public.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boilermaker 15k Road Race is being postponed most likely to September 13

Due to concerns surrounding the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the Boilermaker Road Race has been postponed.

This year’s edition of Utica’s popular race is expected to be pushed to Sunday, Sept. 13, from its usual summer date during the second weekend in July, according to a letter obtained by the Observer-Dispatch as well as numerous social media posts from race volunteers and participants Saturday.

Boilermaker officials are scheduled to make an official announcement Monday regarding plans for Utica’s premier 15K road race.

Boilermaker Sponsor and Marketing Director Jordan Peters would only confirm Saturday that the announcement will detail Boilermaker officials’ plans for its popular weekend of races, which draw 19,000 participants and tens of thousands of spectators to the Mohawk Valley each year.

“We think the people will need the race,” Peters said of the 43rd edition of the event.

The race, which began in 1978 among a small group of friends, has not been postponed or rescheduled at an time in the past. The Boilermaker weekend also includes the expo at Mohawk Valley Community College and Kids Run, among events.

Boilermaker President Mark Donovan told the Observer-Dispatch on March 13 that race officials were monitoring the coronavirus situation and developing plans and contingencies during the rapidly changing situation.

He noted the safety of runners, wheelchair athletes, spectators, as well as staff, volunteers and the community would continue to be a key factor in staging the race.

(04/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boilermaker 15k

Boilermaker 15k

The Boilermaker 15K is the premier event of Boilermaker Weekend. This world krenowned race is often referred to as the country's best 15K. The Boilermaker 15K is recognized for its entertaining yet challenging course and racing's best post-race party, hosted by the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, featuring Saranac beer and a live concert! With 3 ice and water stops every...

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With South Africa entering its last week of official lockdown, Comrades Marathon unlikely to take place on June 14

With South Africa entering its last week of official lockdown, the 2020 Comrades Marathon Association has admitted that the iconic race is ‘unlikely to go ahead’ on 14 June. But organisers have not yet officially communicated their decision on the race’s future due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It takes an extraordinary amount of resilience to run the Comrades Marathon, the 90km race between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It takes an equal amount of motivation and organisation to host the race, with thousands of moving parts all needing to come together on one day to make the experience for the approximately 27,500 runners a bucket list dream-come-true. 

Of course, it also takes money and support to make it happen, which means sponsors, and broadcast rights. A cancelled marathon would result in a massive loss of revenue, which is why it is no surprise that the race has yet to be called off, or postponed because of Covid-19. 

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) appears to be taking every available minute to make a call. It is almost certainly a vain undertaking because the Covid-19 virus is going nowhere quickly – all the data leads to that conclusion. 

Despite the national lockdown that started on 27 March 2020, the CMA maintained its position that the race was still scheduled for 14 June 2020 even though participants would not easily be able to continue training under the strict State of National Disaster conditions. CMA quickly changed that stance after a backlash on social media. 

“We are living through unprecedented, unpredictable and unimaginably challenging times,” CMA chairperson Cheryl Winn wrote to participants recently. 

“On behalf of the Comrades Marathon Association, I thank you for your patience and apologise for the extent to which uncertainty as to the status of the 2020 Comrades Marathon may have added to your burden of anxiety, over matters far graver than any road race, over the past month. A reminder that we have promised to put an end to the uncertainty by 17 April. 

“Considering the ramifications of the 21-day national lockdown, and as Covid-19 numbers in South Africa and around the world continue to escalate, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the 2020 Comrades Marathon will be staged on 14 June. 

“CMA’s main considerations at this stage are to encourage runners to abide by and respect all aspects and directives of Government in relation to the National Lockdown, in particular to stay at home and do not run outside of one’s own property, as well as regard for the eventual safety, welfare and potential un-preparedness of runners after having experienced a three-week interruption in training, during the critical build-up to such a gruelling endurance race. 

“With regard to possible postponement, which would require Athletics South Africa (ASA) sanction, the CMA Board is of the view that the race cannot be staged later than 4 October 2020 owing to climatic conditions.  Failing which the 2020 Comrades Marathon will have to be cancelled for the first and only time since World War 2 in the 99 year history of the race. 

We trust that runners will appreciate that within an extremely congested athletics calendar that is largely constructed around the Comrades Marathon, it is no easy task to identify an alternative date.

(04/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Craig Ray
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Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon

2020 race has been officially cancelled. Arguably the greatest ultra marathon in the world where athletes come from all over the world to combine muscle and mental strength to conquer the approx 90kilometers between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the event owes its beginnings to the vision of one man, World War I veteran Vic Clapham. A soldier, a...

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World Athletics announces protected window for 2020 national championships

World Athletics has put aside the weekend of 8-9 August, 2020, as the protected window for national championships this year, following the disruption of the international competition calendar by the coronavirus pandemic.

The newly established Global Calendar Unit has engaged actively with Member Federations, Area Associations, meeting directors and the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission in order to identify this window, a weekend when no Wanda Diamond League or World Athletics Continental Tour meetings are scheduled to be held this year.

The purpose of creating a protected window is to allow athletes to be able to compete in their national championships without scheduling conflicts, and Member Federations are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity if it is safe for athletes to compete in August. This applies primarily to the Northern Hemisphere, which is in its outdoor season.

The Athletes’ Commission has advised that elite athletes have a strong desire to compete this year if possible, and World Athletics will do everything it can to conduct an international competition season later this year to assist athletes to prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: “None of us can predict the future in these unprecedented times but we do know that different countries are at different stages of managing this pandemic so we are trying to give a structure to our athletes and Member Federations so they can begin to plan for the year ahead. If it is at all possible, we will schedule a belated outdoor season from August to October to help our athletes to figure out where they stand after the disruption of this year.

“We are hopeful that this can begin with national championships in many Northern Hemisphere countries in early August as travel restrictions across country borders will not impact these events. This will be followed by what we hope will be a solid international season, but of course we are dependent on the global response to the pandemic. Nevertheless, we think it’s better to offer our stakeholders some hope of a return to normalcy later this year.”

The Global Calendar Unit continues to work with the Diamond League and Continental Tour to reschedule the rest of the 2020 season and an announcement is expected towards the end of April.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the ability of all countries to resume competition at the same time or for athletes to have equal access to major competitions this year, the suspension of the Olympic qualification process will remain in place from 6 April to 30 November, 2020, as announced earlier this week.

This means that any results posted during this period will not be eligible for Olympic qualification or world ranking points.

Looking forward to next year, the Global Calendar Unit has agreed that the 2021 national championships protected windows will be on 5-6 June and 26-27 June, 2021, just prior to the end of the qualifying period for the Tokyo Olympic Games (June 29, 2021).

(04/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Gayle Hoy is a mother of three and she ran a marathon she had been training for on her driveway

Mother of three Gayle Hoy was determined to run the marathon she had been training for despite the lockdown - so she completed a 26.2 mile course by runing round the driveway of her Kirkliston home - 655 times.

And in the process she raised around £2,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK, a charity she has supported since a friend’s seven-year-old son was diagnosed with the condition a few years ago.

Gayle, 43, took up running shortly before her 40th birthday and has completed several previous marathons.

She was due to run the Manchester marathon last Sunday as part of a special challenge she set herself to run three marathons in seven weeks.

“I started training back in October. By the time coronavirus got quite serious over here, I knew in my head all these races were going to be cancelled and I thought I have done all this training - and by that point I’d already raised about £4,000 through a bake-off coffee morning and a raffle and things - so I could just run these locally.”

First she thought she could find a 26.2 mile route in the area near Kirkliston, but as the Stay at Home advice kicked in she decided it would have to be closer to home.

“I was thinking I could run in my driveway and my garden, so I tried it one Sunday afternoon. I ran a 5k between the garden and the driveway and every time I went into the garden the kids were firing their nerf guns at me and there were far too many trip hazards and there was the whirligig and the kids’ playhouse, so I thought no, this is far too dangerous. I decided I’d have to stick to the drive.”

The rest of the family all played their part.

Son Finlay, 12, was race director, plotting the route and measuring out the distance. Elder daughter Lara, nine, worked out the best camera angles for filming the effort on Facebook Live. Younger daughter Emilia, five, chalked rainbows on the drive and made posters.

And husband Euan had to count the laps.

“It was a great day and there was a real community buzz,” said Gayle. “People who were out for their daily exercise walked past and said ‘well done, keep going. My neighbors had made banners and were hanging out the windows cheering me on.

“I really enjoyed it - I was struggling towards the end and kept saying to my husband ‘How many laps to go?’ and he said ‘Just keep running’.”

She completed it in 6 hours 44 minutes - the slowest race she has ever run.

(04/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ian Swanson
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Paul Holliday runs marathon in living room for charity

As coronavirus lockdown restrictions continue to be enforced, Bolton Wanderers' head of marketing and communications - and keen runner - Paul Holliday had to think on his feet after his plan to raise money for charity by running a series of marathons had to be abandoned.

His solution? Running a full 26-mile marathon in his own living room.

Holliday, who has been furloughed during the crisis, streamed his efforts on social media on Wednesday as he ran 4,500 laps of his front room.

"I must confess that after the first couple of laps, the size of the task in front of me made me feel a bit daunted," he admitted to BBC Sport.

"But once I got into my groove I had no further doubts or issues.

"I had done a trial mile in my living room just over a week ago to see what it would be like and I felt dizzy after that.

"But I prepared well over the past couple of days by eating and hydrating well so I knew I'd have the energy to get this done."

Holliday, whose daughter Isabella has Down's Syndrome and ADHD, had planned to run three marathons this year in order to raise money for High Five, a Lancashire-based charity his wife and a friend set up to support the families of children with disabilities.

When the pandemic led to his outdoor runs being cancelled, however, Holliday pressed on with his aim to continue fundraising and streamed his indoor marathon to thousands via his Twitter account.

So far, he has raised over £2,000 - double his original target.

"I've been overwhelmed by the support of everyone; family, friends, colleagues and especially people who I've never met," he said.

"To be so generous during these uncertain times shows how kind-hearted people can be and I'm truly grateful."

Having finished in a time of four hours 38 minutes, how was he physically and what was the state of the living room?

"The carpet, quite miraculously, is unscathed. There aren't any signs of wear and tear but we've been wanting to replace it for years. I plan to do a couple more indoor marathons before the outdoor marathons resume so we will wait until after I've done them," he said.

(04/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jay Freeman
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American sprinter and long jumper, Jarrion Lawson cleared his name

Lawson, the only man besides Jesse Owens to win the 100 meters, 200 meters, and long jump at the same NCAA championships and the long jump silver medalist at the 2017 World Championships, took a drug test in June 2018 that revealed an Adverse Analytical Finding. That mere fact was essentially a death sentence. The test had been ordered by the Athletics Integrity Unit, World Athletics’ anti-doping arm. Since the AIU’s establishment in April 2017, it had prosecuted over 100 cases of Adverse Analytical Findings. Every single one of them resulted in a sanction.

So it came as no surprise when Lawson’s appeal of the resulting four-year suspension was rejected by an AIU Disciplinary Tribunal in May 2019.

Lawson told the AIU he had ingested the prohibited substance — epitrenbolone, a metabolite of the banned anabolic steroid trenbolone — unknowingly, the result of consuming contaminated beef. Yet that explanation was not enough; for the AIU to overturn the decision, Lawson had to prove “with actual evidence” the “specific source of the allegedly contaminated meat and demonstrate the likelihood that said meat was contaminated.” Despite his best efforts, Lawson could not do that.

Undeterred, Lawson, 25, appealed the AIU’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which heard his case in New York on November 21. The CAS appeal was a Hail Mary; the CAS panel that heard Lawson’s case admitted when it reached its decision in March.

“In ‘extremely rare’ cases, an athlete might be able to demonstrate a lack of intent even where he/she cannot establish the origin of the prohibited substance,” the CAS decision read, later noting an athlete such as Lawson would have to pass through the “narrowest of corridors” to prove his innocence without establishing the specific source of the prohibited substance.

“Common sense must count strongly,” the CAS decision read, “against it being a mere coincidence that he tested positive, for such a tiny amount of a dangerous and illegal prohibited substance as to be undetectable in his hair, and for no rational benefit, so soon after having eaten beef from hormone-treated cattle.”

Lawson was relieved to have the case settled in his favor. He doesn’t blame the restaurant for the contaminated beef — “we don’t know what’s going on in the meat industry” — and isn’t dwelling on missed earnings or competition opportunities.

“Anything that I may have missed out on, I think I will get everything that’s supposed to come my way,” Lawson says.

But Lawson isn’t completely ready to move on. The costs he was forced to pay — tens of thousands in legal fees, a hit to his reputation, and a year and a half of his prime — were severe; the next athlete in his situation might not be willing (or able) to pay them. He believes there are major flaws in the doping control process that need to be remedied

(04/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Mike Huber runs for 25 hours in virtual marathon and he was one of 2,400 runners from 64 countries

Mike Huber was supposed to travel to Calgary in June to run an ultra-marathon in support of The Rare Disease Foundation.

Then along came COVID-19. The world was turned upside down and the marathon, like all other events across the globe, was cancelled.

However, the die-hard running community didn’t hang up their bibs. Instead they went the extra mile.

Huber along with 2,400 runners from 64 countries from around the world, took part in the first annual Quarantine Backyard Ultra – the brainchild of Albertan ultra-marathon runner Dave Proctor and a company called Peak Run Performance.

Every runner around the world started the race at the exact same time at their own home – either on a treadmill or on the road.

They had to run a 6.7 kilometer loop every hour, starting again at the beginning of every hour, until they could no longer run anymore.

If an athlete finished the loop early within the hour they got to rest for the remaining time before setting out on the next loop. However, if a participant did not finish the loop within the allotted time, they were eliminated.

“That’s the game,” said Huber.

“It’s how much time do you have to rest versus not rest,” he said.

The strategy depends on the runner. Some people like more rest, explained Huber, and some people like less so they keep moving and their body doesn’t seize up. And then you have to eat.

A two minute warning would alert athletes get on their start line and if a runner failed to start at the exact time then they were disqualified.

Times were logged on an app called Strava through the athlete’s watches.

Runners also used the teleconferencing app called Zoom to allow them to interact with other racers and live feed while running.

“What makes the race really unique, and we joke about it in the running world, there’s only one winner,” said Huber.

Huber started his race at 6 a.m. PST on Saturday, April 4, and finished at 7 a.m. on Sunday.

(04/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Collen Flanagan
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Celia Duncan trained for months to run the London Marathon, then it was called off, but she runs 1,555 laps at her back garden

You have to be nuts to sign up for a marathon: training for months in the rain, the dark and the skin-stinging wind.

And all for what? To hang a bit of metal round your neck while nursing damaged knees, blistered feet and lost toenails.

So perhaps it is only to be expected that, with marathons cancelled worldwide (Paris, Manchester, Rome, Boston and counting), and with governments pleading for us to stay at home, all those stir-crazy runners would funnel their obsession somewhere else, somewhere more local, somewhere… like their garden.

In the past six weeks, thwarted would-be marathon men and women all over the world have launched a new craze for long-distance running in the confines of their own homes.

Chinese runner Pan Shancu, 44, was one of the first. On February 14, under lockdown in Hangzhou, Eastern China, the massage therapist ran 50km (31 miles) in four hours 48 minutes, lapping two treatment beds in his sitting room 6,250 times. ‘I could not bear sitting down any more,’ he said.

Now the trend has been embraced by us Brits. When the London Landmarks Half Marathon was cancelled last month, the organisers encouraged competitors to run locally instead.

Deborah Meredith, a 40-year-old mum-of-three and lunchtime supervisor at her local primary school in Telford, Shropshire, duly ran the full distance in her garden. ‘The neighbours thought I was crazy, but, with my three boys cheering me on, I put on my running number and did 250 laps.’

And now I too am officially a proud RFH (running-from-home) nutter. With my hard-won opportunity to run in the London Marathon postponed until October 4, last week I ran a half marathon in my back garden.

This is not a big space. In fact it is so small, my Endomondo tracker failed to register the distance I was running — something I discovered 15 minutes in.

So with a tape measure, my son worked out our postage-stamp lawn (approximately 5m squared) had a 13.5m circumference.

This meant that in order to run the requisite 21.1km or 13.1 miles I would have to complete 1,555.5 laps. One and a half thousand!

The nation’s favourite PE teacher Joe Wicks provided the warm-up session online, which I completed alongside my eight-year-old daughter.

Then I set off — past the choisya (annoyingly bushy), the olive trees (thankfully trimmed) and the vegetable patch (the lettuce had self-seeded on the lawn, I noticed), before reaching the home straight of our pot-lined patio.

And then I ran round again. And again. And again. And again.

By lap 1,343, I could feel a blister forming and my ankles ached from the strain of leaning inwards. Yes, I could grab energy chews off a garden table to keep my spirits up, and it was a relief to chuck my sweatshirt onto the patio rather than knotting it around my waist as I usually do. But the tedium was starting to kick in.

When I finally limped over the finish line, I’d been running for two hours 29 minutes. A personal worst. And yet, I’d done it: I’d run a half marathon. The garden may never be the same again — as my husband keeps telling me — but that’s not the point.

As the lockdown continues, other disappointed would-be marathon runners will be carving out more courses in their homes.

(04/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Celia Duncan
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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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TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2020 rescheduled to September 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic

The TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2020, one of the world's leading 10km road races and a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race, has been rescheduled from May 17 to September 13 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Attached is the press release issued by the race promoters Procam International in India earlier today, which includes quotes from Joint-Managing Director of Procam International Vivek Singh and TCS World 10K Race Director Hugh Jones as well as details of the transfer of runners' registrations and the re-opening of entries.

(04/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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TCS World 10K

TCS World 10K

2020 race was moved from May 17 to September 13 and now to November 22. The TCS World 10k Bengaluru has always excelled in ways beyond running. It has opened new doors for people to reach out to the less privileged of the society and encourages them to do their bit. The TCS World 10K event is the world’s richest...

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Greater Manchester Police Constable Damieon Hartley-Pickle is set for his garden half-marathon

Greater Manchester Police Constable Damieon Hartley-Pickles will be running a half marathon in his back garden in support of the Mahdlo Youth Zone and the NHS.

Oldhamer Damieon, also known as Barrowthon Man, has run a series of long distance runs in support of Oldham’s charities with his trusty wheelbarrow.

He was due to run the Oldham Half Marathon in March, but because of the coronavirus pandemic the event was postponed.

Not one to be knocked back, Damieon has taken matters into his own hands to spread some positivity during these unprecedented times and raise some much needed funds for Oldham’s health and youth services. His garden will host his next half marathon on Sunday, (April 12).

Lucy Lees, deputy chief executive at Mahdlo Youth Zone, said: “Damieon has been a long-time supporter of Mahdlo and once again he has gone above and beyond anything we could have expected.

“In these difficult and uncertain times Mahdlo’s members and Oldham’s young people need support more than ever and we are so grateful that Damieon has chosen to raise funds for us alongside the greatest of causes in our National Health Service.

“We can’t wait to see him charging around his garden to bring some positivity and light to Oldham – just 418 times and counting.”

Damieon Hartley-Pickles added: “It’s going to be an interesting challenge that’s for sure. I’ve run a fair few distance races over the years but this will be the first I’ve done so close to where I actually keep my wheelbarrow.

“After the Manchester Half was postponed I felt I needed to do something positive, to show everyone that amazing things are still happening in Oldham.

"The work Mahdlo has been doing to continue to provide youth services to the young people of Oldham over the last month has been fantastic and I know that the generosity of our local community will shine through when it comes to supporting them and our wonderful NHS.”

(04/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Nick Jackson
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Paula Radcliffe’s father dies at Salisbury District hospital

Paula Radcliffe has tragically revealed that her father Peter passed away yesterday in hospital.

The marathon world record holder took to social media to pay tribute to both her late dad and the NHS staff who looked after him.

She wrote on Instagram: "Yesterday I lost the best dad anyone could ever wish for.

"The kindest, wisest, most patient and brave man who leaves behind so many people who loved him so much and whose lives he enriched. He and my mum gave us everything we ever needed and so much fun and love.

"He was always there for me and the guidance and outlook on life he gave me will ensure he is forever with me.

"Everyone who knew him was better off for it. Thank you Dad, you will always be in our hearts and thoughts. Love you forever."

Radcliffe also expressed her gratitude to the staff at Salisbury hospital's intensive ward, who are currently dealing with a number of patients who have tested positive for coronavirus.

She added: "Heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the wonderful doctors and nurses of Radnor ward Salisbury District hospital who cared for him with such warmth and compassion.

"And to all those selflessly working so hard to save lives everywhere."

Radcliffe shared an online fundraising page for the Stars Appeal, which is aimed at aiding NHS heroes with equipment and treats as they battle the coronavirus crisis.

And the 2005 world champion runner also announced that she took part in last week's ClapForOurCares.

The British athletics legend ended her career in 2015, but her ladies marathon record of 2:15:25, set in in London in 2003, still stands.

Despite having suffered from asthma as a child, Radcliffe took up running with her late father, who was a keen runner in his day, helping her overcome the condition to become a champion.

(04/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Joe Brophy
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After trying to find a new date the Paderborn Easter Run has decided to cancel their race for 2020

The organizers just posted this: "Just over two weeks ago, it was announced that this year's Paderborn Easter Run would be postponed until late summer.

"In the past few days, the organisers of the Paderborn Easter Run have put all the facts, runners' interests, economic aspects, logistical challenges to the test and weighed up the pros and cons.

"It was with a heavy heart that we came to the conclusion that the Paderborn Easter Run 2020 should be cancelled altogether and that all energy and passion should be invested in the then still 74th Easter Run 2021.

"But what is Easter without the Easter Run? Because the "real" Easter run cannot take place this year, the organizers, together with the Sparkasse Paderborn-Detmold, have considered an alternative running event – the Paderborn Easter Solo Run. The most important requirement for participation is that all routes are run SOLO."

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
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Paderborner Sterlauf

Paderborner Sterlauf

It is well known that the fascination of running has steadily increased in recent years.But the Paderborn Easter Run has been around for 72 years. It is the oldest street race in Germany, organized by the SC Grün-Weiß Paderborn, enjoys even after so many decades of growing popularity and belongs to many already traditional Easter.There are even runners and helpers...

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World Athletics Championships Oregon pushed to 2022, dates have been confirmed

The World Athletics Championships in Oregon have been rescheduled to 15-24 July in 2022, following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Oregon World Championships were originally scheduled for 6-15 August, 2021, but have been rescheduled to the following year to avoid a clash with the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The World Athletics Council approved the new dates this week after extensive discussions with the sport’s stakeholders including organisers of two other major championships due to take place in July-August 2022, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the multisport European Championships in Munich.

The new schedule will prevent a direct conflict between any of these major events and, with careful programming, will ensure athletes can compete in up to three world-class competitions.

In an extraordinary international season for athletics, all three events will be held across an unprecedent summer of sport. The World Championships will begin a unique celebration of the sport, followed by the Commonwealth Games and the European Athletics Championships as part of the European Championships.

"This will be a bonanza for athletics fans around the world," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.

"They will be treated to six weeks of absolutely first-class athletics. More than 70 of our Member Federations are part of the Commonwealth and more than 50 of our Member Federations are European so our guiding principle in rescheduling the World Championships was to ensure enough space was created around the centrepiece World Athletics Championship for athletes to choose other major events to compete in. We were also very mindful that we did not want to damage the other major championships in 2022, because they are also very important to our sport.

"We believe we have found a solution that will allow athletes who are eligible for the other two events to compete in them with the Commonwealth Games Federation planning to stage the athletics programme towards the end of their event. This will showcase our sport to its best advantage in the circumstances and we will continue collaborating with all competitions on the detailed programming.

"We would not have chosen to have three major championships back-to-back but it will give us a unique opportunity to promote our sport and its stars around the globe over a six-week period.

"I want to particularly thank Oregon 21 LLC and all its stakeholders for their collaboration and flexibility as well as all World Athletics’ partners and broadcasters who are so critical to delivering the Games and taking it into the homes of millions of fans."

Niels de Vos, Executive Director of the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22, said: "I should like to thank Oregon’s stakeholders for committing so early to the postponement, allowing maximum flexibility on dates for our friends at World Athletics, just as they have been flexible with us in ensuring our plans can remain on track despite the 12 month postponement. Oregon 22, as we must now get used to calling it, will be kickstarting a global festival of international track and field championships in the summer of 2022 that will be a fantastic experience for athletes and fans alike."

CGF President Louise Martin said: “I would like to thank the leadership of World Athletics for a hugely constructive approach to working with the CGF. Our collective objective has been to ensure that, in this unprecedented time of global upheaval in all our lives, as well as its impact on the international sports calendar, the interests of athletes are at the centre of all decision-making. We will continue to work together to create space within our schedules to provide athletes with the opportunity to safely compete to the best of their abilities at multiple world class events."

Libor Varhaník, Interim Chair of the European Championships Munich 2022, said: "On behalf of all the stakeholders of the multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, I would like to thank World Athletics for working constructively and collaboratively with us in finding a new event date that respects the major events already scheduled in 2022. The international sports calendar has been hugely impacted as we battle this terrible global health crisis, and in discussions with World Athletics and the Commonwealth Games Federation our mutual goal has been to put the interest of our athletes at the forefront of our thoughts.

"The European Championships will continue to work closely with World Athletics and the Commonwealth Games Federation to ensure that athletes, media and sports fans are able to enjoy an amazing summer of sport across three world-class events in 2022, from Oregon to Birmingham and culminating in Munich in August on the 50th anniversary of its hosting of the Olympic Games".

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Guy Hudson runs 50k ultra marathon in back garden for Horsham foodbank funds

A determined Henfield dad took on a 50k ultra marathon in his own back garden after the race he was meant to be running had to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Guy Hudson decided to do 1,000 laps of his 50m garden course instead.

He exceeded his intended distance as well as his fundraising target, which saw him raise more than £1,000 to support the Horsham District Foobank which is experiencing an unprecedented level of demand for help at this time.

Guy said: “Originally I was going to do this just for a personal challenge but it occurred to me that I may be missing a trick if I didn’t also try and raise much needed funds for a local cause.

“It was amazing how many messages of support and kindness I received during the event and as donations were coming in, my daughter was shouting out the total and reading the messages.

“As of April 6, we’ve raised £1,101.80, an amazing amount from 55 people, some of which I don’t even know!

“I am so pleased that the Horsham Community Food Bank will be able to immediately begin using these funds to share support and kindness within the community that I live.”

Guy set off at 8.30am and hit the half way mark in 2hrs38 and the marathon in 4hrs42.

As he went passed his £500 fundraising target before the end of the marathon, he decided to continue until he reached 1,000 laps, and finished the whole fundraiser in 5hrs31.

Guy’s wife, Jo, and son, Sonny, both ran 200 laps (10k) each, while daughter Kitty looked after the food, drink and high-five station.

Guy said: “To even out the wear and tear on my ankles, hips and glutes, I’d decided to change direction every 20 laps which worked out well but became a little confusing remembering in the later hours of the challenge, so I decided just to stick to running clockwise.

“At first it took a while to get into the rhythm of just plodding round and round but as time went on, so did the headphones and sun cream and i just switched off.

“One of the weirdest things was how it seemed to get easier the longer I was going and the second half was definitely somehow ‘easier’ than the first.”

The money that Guy has raised will directly support the Horsham District Foodbank during the coronavirus crisis, for which Horsham Matters has adapted their service in light of Government advice and now provides a doorstep, contact-free delivery of three days’ emergency food for those experiencing financial poverty or for complex households needing support.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jasmin Martin
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Kenyan marathon runner Vincent Kipsegechi Yator, handed four-year doping ban

Another Kenyan athlete has been handed a doping ban after marathon runner Vincent Kipsegechi Yator was suspended for four years following positive tests for a number of banned substances.

Yator, who represented his nation at the Commonwealth Games and African Championships in 2010, was given a four-year-ban, having provisionally been suspended after testing positive in October.

The Athletics Integrity Unit announced the sanction after the 30-year-old was hit with two charges.

The first charge was related to the admitted presence of metabolites of testosterone after a test was taken on July 7 of last year, while the second was related to the alleged use of several banned substances including exogenous testosterone, trimetazidine, prednisone, prednisolone and clomiphene. 

The Kenyan argued that the presence of prednisone and prednisolone came from medication he was taking after he was allegedly in a road accident in 2018.

Yator's positive test came immediately after he broke his marathon personal best at the Gold Coast Marathon in Australia with a time of 2 hours 9min 59sec.

At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Yator finished fourth in the men's 5,000 metres behind team-mate Eliud Kipchoge - future holder of the marathon world record - who came second.

He also finished third at the Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii in December 2018.

Yator will not be eligible to compete again until October 1 2023 and has had all results from April 10 to October 1 in 2019 expunged.

He follows a string of high-profile Kenyans to test positive recently, with the most famous name of them all being Beijing 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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Paris government bans daytime outdoor exercise, Parisians can only exercise outdoors before 10:00 a.m or after 7 p.m.

On Tuesday, the Paris government banned residents from partaking in outdoor physical activity between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. This new rule follows a busy weekend in the city, where officials reported many people running and walking in parks.

The new rule, which goes into effect on Wednesday, restricts exercise to times when the streets are the quietest.

France has been under lockdown restrictions for over a month. Residents aren’t permitted to go outside of a 1K radius of their home, except for pharmacy or grocery needs. France, Italy, Spain and the U.K. are where the rules are the strictest at the moment, and also the countries whose death tolls are among the highest in the world. 

The BBC reports that Italy alone has hit over 17,000 deaths as of Tuesday.

Thankfully, Canadians are still allowed to exercise whenever they wish, as long as they’re obeying social distancing rules. Those rules include staying off of closed paths, tracks and sports fields. Canadians are also asked to remain two metres away from fellow exercisers at all times (unless they live together).

For the time being, runners should consider doing their daily activity in less populated areas like parking lots, roads or on the treadmill if they have one.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is suspended from April 6 2020 until November 30 2020

World Athletics announces today the qualification period for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is suspended effective from 6 April 2020 until 30 November 2020 included, following consultation with its Athletes' Commission, Area Presidents and Council.

During this period, results achieved at any competition will not be considered for Tokyo 2020 entry standards or world rankings, the publication of which will also be suspended.

Results will continue to be recorded for statistical purposes, including for world records, subject to the applicable conditions. But they will not be used to establish an athlete’s qualification status.

Subject to the global situation returning to normal, the qualification period will resume on 1 December 2020 and continue to the new qualification deadline in 2021 set by the International Olympic Committee (see qualification period table at the end). The total qualification period, which started in 2019, will be four months longer than it was originally.

Commenting on the decision, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “I am grateful for the detailed work and feedback from our Athletes' Commission and Council who believe suspending Olympic qualification during this period gives more certainty for athlete planning and preparation and is the best way to address fairness in what is expected to be the uneven delivery of competition opportunities across the globe for athletes given the challenges of international travel and government border restrictions.”

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. The end of the Olympic qualification periods are 31 May 2021 (for 50km race walk and marathon) and 29 June 2021 for all other events.

(04/08/2020) ⚡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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Facilities for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games could reportedly be used to help accommodate people with mild coronavirus symptoms

The Olympic Games was postponed last week due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen over one million confirmed cases since the outbreak began in China.

The Olympics has been rescheduled to July 23 to August 8 2021, with the Paralympics due to take place from August 24 to September 5 2021.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are considering using facilities which would have been used for the Olympic Games this summer to house coronavirus patients.

The Athletes’ Village is reportedly one of the venues being considered.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government are reportedly hoping to house people with mild symptoms of coronavirus.

It is claimed that this could reduce the risk of infected patients passing the coronavirus to members of their family, which would potentially spread the virus further.

Numerous facilities used for sporting events have been transformed to help countries combat coronavirus.

The Athletes' Village for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games is among the sporting venues to have opened its doors as a coronavirus medical facility.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi is set to be converted into a quarantine facility.

The 60,000 seat venue was used for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, with athletics also held there. 

Lord's Cricket Ground, which hosted the archery contests during the London 2012 Olympic Games, is offering its space to local hospitals.

Part of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York is set to be turned into a 350-bed temporary hospital, with the venue normally hosting the US Open each year in August and September. 

Facilities from Rio 2016 and the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games have already been put to use, while the ExCeL Centre in London, a venue for the 2012 Games, has just opened as a temporary hospital.

Tokyo Government officials are also negotiating to lease hotel buildings to secure further accommodation.

The drive follows an increase in coronavirus cases in Japan’s capital city in recent days.

A total of 89 new coronavirus cases were reported today in Tokyo, according to Kyodo News.

The number of overall cases in total has risen to over 770.

Japan has had more than 2,600 coronavirus cases in total since the outbreak started.

A total of 63 deaths have been recorded in Japan from coronavirus to date.

The rise in cases has led to Government officials encouraging the public to stay at home and refrain from making non-essential journeys.

Countries worldwide are seeking to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed over 56,000 people.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Pavitt
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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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After over 50 hours ultrarunner Mike Wardian runs 63 laps for 422K to win the virtual race Quarantine Backyard Ultra

The Quarantine Backyard Ultra started Saturday morning, and over 2,400 runners from more than 50 countries joined the virtual race. Runners ran 6.706K every hour for as long as they could, and over 60 hours later, only two runners remained: American Mike Wardian and Radek Brunner of the Czech Republic. Brunner missed the start of the 63rd lap and was therefore disqualified, making Wardian the winner after 422K.

With every passing lap of the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, more and more of the world’s best ultrarunners dropped out and registered DNFs. Last year at the Big’s Backyard Ultra, Maggie Guterl ran 60 laps for 402K, but a nagging back injury forced her to pull out of the race this weekend after just nine laps.

After 15 laps and 100K, Jamil Coury called it a day. Three laps later, Canadian Cal Neff dropped out. At the 100-mile mark, Courtney Dauwalter threw in the towel, along with 72-year-old Gene Dykes. Later on, after 31 laps, Canadian Dave Proctor (who helped bring the event into fruition), had to end his race due to back pain.

“It was a bit of a tough day for sure,” Coury said. “I was hoping to go as long as I could— 24 or 30 hours—but you never know with these things.” Although he didn’t get as far as he would’ve liked, Coury cut himself some slack, seeing as he’d run a marathon around a 27-metre course just four days earlier. In fact, just making it in time to race at all was an accomplishment for Coury, who slept at his office the night before and woke up only minutes before the event began.

“I was working late on Friday night, and i fell asleep at my office,” he said. “I fortunately had a pair of shoes and socks in my truck. I threw it on, started my livestream and just ran out the door.” Coury ran the first seven hours around his office’s neighbourhood, returning to finish work between laps. He eventually drove home (he made it to his treadmill with three minutes to spare before the start of the next lap) and made it to 100K before bowing out.

Dauwalter said she got to the 100-mile mark and decided that was “a solid day.”

“When I signed up I didn’t have major plans,” she said. “I wanted to make it at through the night, because that’s always special and fun to see the sunrise.” She did make it through the night, got her sunrise and retired from the race soon after.

“I think this is a really fun format,” she said. “It’s great with the camaraderie. You come back from a lap and go on the Zoom chat with the other runners.” Proctor also noted how fun it was to chat on the Zoom and YouTube feeds.

“It’s so unique,” he said. “When all the runners go off and do their thing, I get extraordinarily busy talking to everybody on YouTube.” He said that he spent around half of his time on the treadmill answering questions viewers had posted on the YouTube live video.

“I found that it was really quite rewarding. It gets your mind off of what you’re doing and it gives you something [else] to do.” While they were both still in the race, Proctor and Coury teamed up and answered questions together, adding some fun banter to the mix as well.

The two finalists had very different setups for the final laps. Brunner ran solo in his house on a treadmill while Wardian took to the streets with a support crew and several cyclists riding alongside him as he ran. The winner of multiple U.S. national titles at ultra distances, Wardian is well known in the running community. He has run the Western States 100 and the Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc multiple times, and he finished 11th at the 2011 Comrades Marathon and third at the 2010 Marathon des Sables.

Brunner is more of an unknown, at least in the North American ultra community, but like Wardian, he has an impressive running resume. He has represented the Czech Republic on multiple occasions, competing at the 24-hour, 100K and trail world championships. At the 2017 24-hour worlds in Ireland, Brunner came 14th. He has also run to the podium four years in a row in the Spartathlon, a 246-kilometre ultramarathon in Greece. Although he didn’t win, after this run, Brunner’s name has become much more well known in the ultrarunning community.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Pete Collins will be running half marathon on his street during lockdown

A Long Eaton dad plans to run more than 13 miles up and down his street for two charities close to his heart after the London Marathon was postponed.

Pete Collins, 35, of Charlton Avenue, has managed to get the whole neighbourhood involved, raising more than £1,200 in just a matter of days.

He hopes some residents will be cheering on the dad-of-one from their gardens or bedroom windows.

Mr Collins, a sales manager, lost his dad Stephen Collins, 58, to Motor Neurone Disease in 2008 and then his auntie just three years later to the same illness.

He has been raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association for more than 10 years and he planned to run the London Marathon in honour of his family on April 26.

But when it was postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown, he started to think of new ways for how he could raise money for the charity.

After a Whatsapp group was formed with around 75 percent of residents from the 45 homes on his street, he discovered some were undergoing cancer treatment.

It was then he decided to set himself the challenge to run 13.1 miles - which is a half marathon - up and down the street for both Motor Neurone Disease Association and Cancer Research.

He said: "I want to cover a minimum of half a marathon, which is about 110 to 115 lengths of the street.

"I had been training for the London Marathon since last August.

"But a week before lock down, the marathon was postponed. It knocked me, because I had been training and raised money.

"I did not know what to do but I kept running.

"Since the lock down, we have a street Whatsapp and it was being used for a range of things - 'I am going to the shops, does anyone need something?' or my 'kids are doing this craft exercise' - it was about sharing ideas.

"I thought I could do something here and engage with the street as well."

He pitched the idea to his wife first and then "put it to the street" who got behind the idea immediately.

He is now carrying out the challenge on Saturday, April 11 from around 9am.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Matt Jarram
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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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41-year-old athlete Edwin Kirwa won the Innovative Covid-19 Half Marathon in Iten Kenya

41-year-old athlete Edwin Kirwa won a one-of-its-kind half marathon that was held over the weekend dubbed the CoronaRun Half Marathon.

Kirwa, who is based in Embu, clocked a commendable 1 hour, 1 minute and 52 seconds for the 21km event.

Felix Kandie (1:03:31), who was running along the Iten-Kaptagat road came in second.

“This race has enabled me to know if I was on the right training schedule towards Boston Marathon which was to take place on April 20,” observed Kandie.

The unique race concept was developed by Dutch elite athlete management company Volare sports and involved over two dozen runners, Daily Nation reported.

Kicking off countrywide at 8 a.m. on April 4, each athlete raced around their home or compound of their choice in compliance with the social distancing directive, vital in combating the spread of Covid-19.

The athletes were then required to time themselves, and via GPS system, their finishing times were clocked at the Volae sports headquarters in Voorthuizen,  Netherlands.

The women's race was won by Fancy Chemutai from Kericho who clocked 1:10:05, with Margaret Wanjiru (1:15:28) declared the 1st runners up.

Hanna Biwott-van de Veen, Athletes Representative at Volare Sports, revealed that the innovative race concept was taken up by the enthusiastic athletes the moment it was pitched to them.

"On March 21, we informed the athletes of the idea and most of them responded very positively. As a management, we wanted to stimulate the athletes to keep training and keep their focus after all races having being cancelled,

All of them were disappointed and even frustrated that the coronavirus is spoiling their chances of winning races and running personal best times," she explained.

The virtual race has been hailed by the athletes as an innovative option to beat the Covid-19 lockdown and was a welcome relief for the elite athletes who had been starved of any competition following the outbreak of the deadly virus.

World Athletics President Seb Coe recently challenged stakeholders in the athletics world by announcing that the only way forward for the sport, post-coronavirus, was innovation.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Eddy Mwanza
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The 2020 Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon cancelled due to coronavirus

The Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) 2020 has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The health and safety of runners, organizing crew, volunteers, medical personnel, officials and police personnel, remained its top priority, said the organizers in a statement released today.

“We will automatically defer all individual registrations for this year to the following year.

“We plan to have KLSCM 2021 in the second week of June, pending confirmation from the city council,” said KLSCM project director Rainer Biemans.

He said the organizers could not find an available replaceable date or venue that would be suitable for an event of the magnitude for this year’s KLSCM.

“We have therefore decided that the only possible course of action would be to cancel this year’s event.

“This was not an easy decision as we understand the significance of the amount of time and preparation that has been put into this year’s event by all parties.

“Thank you to all our runners, volunteers and fans for your support and understanding,” he said.

He said all remaining Running Clinics, the Race Entry Pack Collection(REPC) and the Active Lifestyle Expo for KLSCM 2020 have also been cancelled.

However, he said the Run For A Reason (RFAR) charity initiative would continue until May 14 and all funds raised thus far would be disbursed to the respective charity beneficiaries.

“We implore everyone who is a part of the KLSCM family, and the wider national and global community to do their respective parts in combating the coronavirus.

“We have updated our frequently-asked questions (FAQ) section on our website to address this,” he said.

Runners can also follow KLSCM Facebook and Instagram pages or subscribe to their newsletter for further updates.

KLSCM 2020 was scheduled to be held on June 13 and 14 this year.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Rahmat Khairulrijal
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Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon

Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon

Standard Chartered Bank has been the title sponsor of the KL marathon since its inception in 2009 and we are honoured that our partnership will continue and as always, our aim is to make the Marathon bigger and better", said Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events and Project Director of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2018. The Standard Chartered KL...

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The Runner Statue-COVID-19 Mask Movement

Over the weekend, famous runner statues from Boston to Boulder donned a new look to support solidarity in slowing the coronavirus.

Runners are among the healthiest people. We prize and appreciate our good fortune, and want to encourage the same in others. We’d like everyone to be health—to follow federal guidelines, both for exercise and for disease prevention.

That was the thinking behind the Runner Statue-COVID-19 Mask movement. It began Saturday morning in Mystic, CT. By Sunday afternoon, it had spread to Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, Central Park in New York City, Davenport, Iowa, and Boulder, Colorado.

In each location, a well-known runner statue is now wearing a low-tech protective face mask. The message: Do your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Boston Marathon course has three such mask-wearing statues. In Hopkinton, “The Starter” George V. Brown wears a mask immediately adjacent to the Boston Marathon start line. Nearby, the statue of Rick and Dick Hoyt shows off their colorful masks.

Near the Marathon’s 19-mile mark in Newton, the double statue of “Old John” Kelley and his younger self shows them both wearing bandanna masks. These were fashioned by Ray Charbonneau from recycled road race t-shirts.

Born on a Morning Run

The story starts, like many, with a morning run. On Saturday morning, my wife, Cristina, and I met my brother, Gary, for an easy 3-mile jog on the banks of the meandering Mystic River in Connecticut. We had barely begun when Gary said, “You know what might be cool—to put a COVID mask on the Kelley statue.”

Mystics’s statue of John J. Kelley, 1957 Boston Marathon winner, has been a favorite local landmark for about five years now. It has a sparkling location in a tiny parklet that overlooks Mystic Pizza, made famous by the 1988 Julia Roberts movie. Before our biggest annual road races, Kelley is often attired in that’s year’s t-shirt.

Gary’s idea seemed so perfect that Cristina and I rushed home post-run to complete the mask project. To be honest, I merely “supervised,” since I have no sewing or crafting skills. Fortunately, Cristina is one of those creative types. She was even smart enough to realize that a statue mask would have to be larger than the bright masks she had already turned out for family members. Most statues are literally larger than life.

We rushed back to downtown Mystic to give Kel’ his new facemask. It was made of green shamrock material to honor his Irish roots. No one asked what we were doing, though several families strolled by and gave us an enthusiastic “thumbs up.”

Back home a few minutes later, I was ready for a nap. Then it hit me. I knew of a half-dozen other runner statues, and I knew runners who lived in those communities. What if I could get all those statues to wear covid masks?

Idea Runs Across the Country

Honestly, it took little effort on my part. A handful of friends, both new and old, “ran” with the suggestion. In Central Park and Cape Elizabeth, police quickly descended on my mask-placing co-conspirators. Moments later, having heard an explanation for the masks, the very same officers volunteered to help.

My buddy in Cape Elizabeth needed it. Marty Clark was struggling on crutches to give Joan Benoit Samuelson a facelift. Now we’ll let you in on one of Joanie’s secrets: She has no ears. (Makes you more aerodynamic.) Or maybe she just has hair over her ears. In both Cape Elizabeth and Davenport, IA, where the Bix-7 has erected statues of Samuelson and Bill Rodgers, my friends had trouble keeping the mask in place.

But Bix race director Michelle Juehring persisted until she achieved success. “I love the solidarity of this project—the way it says we’re all in this together,” she observed.

Rodgers was a big fan from the get-go. “I’m so glad to be wearing a mask next to Joan Samuelson in Davenport,” he said. “If others see us, and then they wear a mask also, we’re going to beat this disease in America.

At Central Park’s reservoir, thronged with walkers and runners, a socially-distanced crowd gathered around the Fred Lebow statue. When the onlookers realized what was going on, they broke into applause. “I was stunned,” said Scott Lange, who once worked for Lebow at New York Road Runners.

In Boulder, Rich Castro got a mask onto Frank Shorter only a couple of hours after we began with Kelley in Connecticut. Castro had already worn a mask around town on his morning errands. “I hope more people help us spread the message,” he said. “There are too many nonbelievers around.”

Shorter concurred. “Any and all expressions of solidarity are a good thing,” he said.

In Hopkinton, where the Boston Marathon begins, Tim Kilduff found a talented high schooler, Emily Karp, to make masks and corralled a Hopkinton Board of Selectmen member (John Coutinho) and photographer (Bruce MacDonald) for the effort. Today, Monday April 6, this team plans to mask 1946 Boston winner Stylianos Kyriakides at the marathon’s 1-mile mark. (Look hereto see why this requires a special effort.)

“This has been fun,” Kilduff said. “It’s a good thing. I think it might really catch on.”

(04/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Amby Burfoot (Podium Runner)
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Kenya's Asbel Kiprop said, Someone badly wanted to bring me down, but Asbel promises to clean his name

His name Asbel means determined.

And determination is the driving force behind three-time World 1,500 meters champion Asbel Kiprop in his quest to unravel the truth behind his doping saga.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games 1,500m champion, who is now serving a four-year ban for a doping offence, believes getting to the bottom of the saga will enable him to leave a legacy in athletics, one that will not only expose what he terms “corrupt athletics systems” but will also enable him to defend the game and clean athletes.

After clearing his name, former African Games and Africa 1,500m champion Kiprop, hopes to compete for Kenya again, perhaps at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon, or just for a short season.

Kiprop, 30, was provisionally suspended on May 2, 2018 after he tested positive for banned performance-enhancing substance Erythropoietin (EPO) in an out-of-competition test in November 2017.

Kiprop, the 2007 World Under-20 Cross Country champion, maintained his innocence but he was eventually found guilty of using EPO and was handed a four-year doping ban in April last year.

Kiprop will be eligible to compete by February 2022.

“I strongly believe there was an error somewhere that World Athletics and Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) must really still look at and rectify. I won’t even be looking at compensation but to clear my name,” Kiprop told Grace Msalame in an NTV lifestyle show ‘Unscripted.’

“Even if I finish the ban, I will not relent in my quest to find the truth. I will not allow the truth to die even if it will take me a decade or more. I will fight to clear my name. I also don’t want to go down on record as being the person who ruined Kenya’s rich athletics heritage,” said Kiprop, who said that he is back in training read to make a return to athletics, his beloved sport.

Kiprop, who has hinted at hiring a European lawyer who is also a known scientist to pursue his case to the end, said he would like to hang his spikes honorably.

“I never planned to end my athletics career this way, and that is why I am so determined,” said Kiprop, who is now based at Police Training College, Kiganjo. “I know it will be hard for me to return strongly to the level where I was, but I have a point to prove since I still have the energy to run.”

Kiprop said he didn’t have enough money to appeal his four-year ban through his former lawyer Katwa Kigen.

“By the time I was ready to appeal my ban, AIU told me I was time-barred and that is why I believe there is hope with my new scientist lawyer,” the lanky athlete said.

But who would have loved to bring Kiprop down and end his illustrious athletics career?

Kiprop believes that from the way AIU handled his case, he is the victim of a complicated web. He believes someone wanted to fix him after he had defended his Rosa and Associati management from doping allegations back in 2014.

(04/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Krishnan Padmakumar from India, runs full marathon inside his house

The 21-day lockdown amid coronavirus pandemic, people are driving crazy but they are somehow finding hacks to keep themselves active and fit. However, 46-year-old- Krishnan Padmakumar has gone to the next level by running a full marathon inside his house. Krishnan clocked an impressive 4 hours and 26 minutes to cover 42.2km, probably a first-of-its-kind feat in the country.

An engineer by profession and an avid runner, Krishnan is an active member of ITEN runners club, a group of city-based runners. The Thiruvananthapuram resident has in the past run many marathons with the latest being the Berlin Marathon. It was the idleness amid the nationwide lockdown that prompted him to attempt a marathon within the four walls of his house at Kowdiar.

In an interview with Times of India, he said “On a normal week, I run around 60-80km and also cycle in between. The shutdown made me stay away from my regular activity, that’s when I decided to do full marathon inside my house. It was also a way to overcome the boredom. A few of my friends staying abroad have also done similar run.” He has also video recorded the ‘apartment marathon’ partly and logged the timings on a fitness app.

He started the marathon by 4:15am on March 31, and he looped the run through the corridor, living room and dining area of his house and after around 1,200 loops of 35 meter each, he managed to complete the marathon by 8:40am. 

“By the time I woke up around 5am, he was already running. He had told me the previous night that he would be finishing the run which he could not, in the previous attempts. I supported him by giving him water and cheered him,” said his wife Sreedevi Gopalakrishnan.

While Krishnan was about to reach his target, Ambika, his 11-year-old daughter, made a handcrafted medal for him, with the slogan ‘Stay home, Stay safe’ on it. His son Aditya, who couldn’t witness the achievement, woke up with amusement knowing that his father had completed a full marathon inside the house.

(04/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Md Imtiaz
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Nelle Fox overcomes lyme disease, will be running the Boston Marathon

31-year-old Bridgewater resident Nelle Fox is getting ready to run in the Boston Marathon. "I remember being on the treadmill at the gym in December and I was seeing something about the coronavirus," Fox said. "I mentioned it to one of my training friends and she was like, 'What's that? Is that like a beer, you get it from drinking a beer?' And i mean, just like, we didn't think anything of it."

Because of the coronavirus, the Boston Marathon will be run in September.

"By the time that they had postponed it for me, that wasn't even a priority anymore," Fox said. "It was how can I protect my health? Because I am immunocompromised."

Fox is in remission from lyme disease, which she was diagnosed with in 2017.

"In my running training and life in general I was just exhausted," Fox said.

2017 was an eventful year for Fox. She met her husband Mike Fox on New Year's day. That fall, Nelle and Mike started Excel Rocktown, a running, coaching and consultation service that they're still offering today.

"It was such a success, so many people and friends came to work out with us," Mike said. "I was like man we should probably do this on a regular basis."

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foxes are using their platform to help runners keep running.

"Motivation is a struggle for almost every runner right now and even though we can't get together in a group," Mike said. "Go run there [are] virtual ways for us to see what we're each doing and we have to utilize those tools right now to help each other stay motivated to get out the door."

And Nelle is staying motivated, still focused on the Boston Marathon.

"It's gonna be an intense feeling," Nelle said. "I think I'll probably cry when I cross that finish line."

 

(04/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alex Flum
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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When the coronavirus outbreak forced organizers to cancel marathons in the Japanese city of Nagoya, they turned to tech to ease the disappointment, offering runners the chance to race alone

The Nagoya Women's Marathon and Nagoya City marathon were scheduled for March 8 and expected to attract some 20,000 runners -- a potential health hazard during a global pandemic.

So instead of having racers run together, organizers have offered up two apps to allow participants to complete the marathons alone, tracked online.

"It's the first time the annual marathon events were cancelled, and it's the first time we launched apps to replace the real ones," one of the organizers of the Nagoya city marathon told AFP.

Instead of running the original route, registered participants can run wherever they like -- keeping an appropriate social distance -- and the apps measure and verify their performance.

When the coronavirus outbreak forced organizers to cancel marathons in the Japanese city of Nagoya, they turned to tech to ease the disappointment, offering runners the chance to race alone.

The Nagoya Women's Marathon and Nagoya City marathon were scheduled for March 8 and expected to attract some 20,000 runners -- a potential health hazard during a global pandemic.

So instead of having racers run together, organizers have offered up two apps to allow participants to complete the marathons alone, tracked online.

"It's the first time the annual marathon events were cancelled, and it's the first time we launched apps to replace the real ones," one of the organizers of the Nagoya city marathon told AFP.

Instead of running the original route, registered participants can run wherever they like -- keeping an appropriate social distance -- and the apps measure and verify their performance.

There are two apps -- one for those who want to finish the marathon in one go and another for those who want to complete it by running over several days.

Runners can complete the marathons between March 8 and May 31, the official race website says.

The organizers said on their website that they wanted to respond to the spirit shown by those who trained for the now-cancelled races. 

But they "don't recommend running in a big group," the official warned.

Those who are registered for the women's event and complete the marathon via the app will receive a T-shirt and a necklace as originally promised for finishers.

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the international sporting calendar, with the Tokyo marathon among the early fixtures to be affected.

Organizers cancelled the amateur portion of the race scheduled for March 1, affecting around 38,000 runners, who were not offered a refund.

They will, however, be eligible for a spot in 2021's marathon.

The pandemic has also forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to next year.

(04/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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A Guide To Trail Etiquette In The Age Of Coronavirus-As people pack onto trails, etiquette matters now more than ever.

As more and more people are looking outside for exercise and recreation, trails across the country are becoming increasingly crowded. Trails near Los Angeles, Chicago and the Bay Area have closed in response to crowds so large that social distancing becomes all but impossible.

Other governments, like ones close to our home office in Colorado, have issued warnings that if trail users continue to neglect the rules of the off-road, additional trails will be closed. In an effort to stem the tide of bad trail manners and keep trail access open, trail runners are urging one another to be polite and follow directions.

Remember that running is a privilege and should be treated as such, and that environmental considerations are as important as ever. Whether you’re a trail veteran or are a first-timer in need of a primer, here’s a guide to trail etiquette and stewardship in the age of coronavirus.

Safety First

The coronavirus pandemic is an issue of life and death for many people, and your behavior should reflect that, on and off the trail. Make sure you’re keeping your trail runs chill and avoid as much risk as possible. Now is not the time to go for a technical, off-the-map ridge scramble or sustain an injury. Healthcare systems are already stretched in many areas, and trail runners should not add to that burden. Stick to runs that are within your regular routine.

Follow all CDC social-distancing guidelines, and do not run in groups. If you see people not complying with social distancing, kindly explain what it is, and that continued trail use depends on everyone doing their best to respect those guidelines. It’s possible that people not complying are simply unaware and could be new trail users, so practice compassion and kindness.

“If you need to recreate and you love our outdoors do it in communities close to your home,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis in response to his stay at home order. “This pandemic is not a vacation.”

Don’t go out if you feel sick or have been in contact with those who have. Stay as close to home as possible, because the farther you travel, the more potential you have to spread the virus.

“If you need to recreate and you love our outdoors do it in communities close to your home,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis in response to his stay at home order. “This pandemic is not a vacation.”

Know Before You Go

Plan ahead, even if you’re going to an area you’ve run in 100 times. Make sure your activity complies with local guidance, such as shelter in place or lockdown orders, and that it’s close enough you can get there with minimal travel. Check your local public land management’s website to be sure the trails are open, and what closures might be in place. If parks are closed, don’t go. Be sure that trail conditions are good, as running on muddy trails can cause erosion.

Make sure that your workout plans fit the time and terrain you’re aiming for, and don’t try to throw down a sick tempo run uphill through prime-time Boulder trail traffic. Avoid crowded trailheads, and use this as an opportunity to spread out to less popular spaces.

Pack It Out

Even if your local parks and trailheads are open, be aware that services might be limited due to coronavirus. You might need to use the bathroom ahead of time, and be prepared to pack out trash. At all times, comply with Leave No Trace principles.

Right Of Way

As more people take to the trails, it’s key that runners stay aware of their surroundings. If you listen to music, leave one ear open or the volume low enough that you can hear what’s happening around you. Politely give people warning if you’re going to pass them, and let them know which side you’ll be passing on.

Mountain bikers should yield to all pedestrians, and pedestrians should yield to equestrians (them’s the rules!). Typically, hikers should yield to trail runners and downhill traffic should typically yield to uphill traffic (the thinking here is that it’s less cumbersome to stop moving downhill than it is to pause while you’re hustling up).

No Touching

On singletrack, it can be tough to give everyone the six feet of social distance that they need, so make sure you give people plenty of warning that you need to pass them. If you’re being passed on a slope, move the uphill side of the trail to avoid stepping on the “critical edge,” which is the downhill part of the trail that’s prone to erosion and can narrow over time.

Since most singletrack is less than six feet wide, you might have to step off the trail slightly to allow others to pass (avoid running off-trail, as that will make it harder to prevent environmental damage than simply stepping off) and avoid stepping on delicate plants or soil. Stable rocks, if you can find them, are a safe bet. If you feel that trails are too crowded to pass safely, consider running at a different time or in a different place.

Remember, you can’t catch the coronavirus from a smile, and it’s important to be friendly and wave as we share the trails. We’re in this together, let’s support each other out on the trails.

It might feel like there’s suddenly a lot more folks occupying your home turf, but it bears remembering that we are the crowds. Being a runner, or a frequent trail user does not give you any additional privilege compared to a first-time user. Rather, it gives you the tools and responsibility to practice good communication and trail stewardship. Trails are shared spaces, and everyone should feel welcome for safe, outdoor activity.

Remember, you can’t catch the coronavirus from a smile, and it’s important to be friendly and wave as we share the trails. We’re in this together, let’s support each other out on the trails.

(04/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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Javelin star turned footballer James Campbell to run marathon in six-metre back garden to raise money for NHS

Brimscombe & Thrupp forward James Campbell will spend his 32nd birthday running the equivalent of a marathon to raise money for the NHS.

And it will all be done without breaking social distancing regulations because he will be running the 26.2 miles in the back garden of his Up Hatherley home in Cheltenham, which is around six metres in length.

Campbell, a former world class javelin thrower who was also on the books of Cheltenham Town as a youngster, plans to live stream his gruelling endeavour, which will take place on Wednesday, April 1.

He posted this tweet on Monday, vowing to cover the full marathon distance if he received 10,000 retweets, which did not take long to achieve and it has now been retweeted nearly 20,000 times:

"I tweeted that I'd run a marathon in my six metre long garden if I got 10,000 retweets and it got 10,000 in a very short period of time, so thanks to everyone that's retweeted and the support has been absolutely incredible," Campbell said.

"I am not sure of the start time yet, but it's on April 1, which is also my birthday.

(04/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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