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People are going to be running the Boston Marathon remotely Due to COVID-19, for the very first time ever

On May 28, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced that, for the first time in its 124 years of existence, the 2020 Boston Marathon is canceled.

The event was originally scheduled for April 20, then rescheduled to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "While our goal and our hope is to make progress in containing the virus and recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on September 14 or any time this year," Boston mayor Marty Walsh announced on Twitter. Instead, a virtual marathon will be hosted over a number of days.

Here's the good news: runners who were originally registered for the 2020 Boston Marathon will be offered a full refund of their entry fee, according to a notice posted on the BAA website. And, they will have the opportunity to participate in the 124th Boston Marathon remotely anytime between Sept. 7 and 14.

In terms of logistics, participants will be required to complete 26.2 miles within six hours, and they will also need to provide proof of timing to the BAA. Information for how to enter the virtual race and how to submit those times is forthcoming - so stay tuned!

More good news: if you had requested a race refund prior to May 28, you are still eligible to participate virtually. In finishing the Boston Marathon remotely, participants will receive an official Boston Marathon program, T-shirt, runner's bib, and medal. Virtual events, including panels, will also be offered throughout the week.

According to the BAA, registration for next year's Boston Marathon (in 2021) will open toward the end of September, and runners cannot use their virtual times toward qualifying. That being said, runners can use their 2020 Boston Marathon qualifying time for the 2021 Boston Marathon, though further information is yet to be released.

(06/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Samantha Brodsky
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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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A 9-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and autism has raised $100,000 for charity after completing a marathon up and down his street using a walker

Tobias Weller completed the final leg of his 26.2-mile marathon in Sheffield, northern England, on Sunday surrounded by socially distanced neighbors and well-wishers.

Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that affect the ability to move. According to his JustGiving page, Tobias cannot stand or walk unaided, and requires support with most tasks, but, inspired by Captain Tom Moore, a war veteran who raised millions for the UK's National Health Service by walking laps of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday, Tobias set his sights on a marathon.

Tobias had been planning a sponsored 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) walk around a local park last month, but was unable to go ahead with it because of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Tobias is cheered on by neighbors as he walks along his street in Sheffield, northern England.

"Then I heard about Captain Tom and I thought why don't I use my walker to try to complete a marathon by walking up and down my street every day," he said in a video ahead of the marathon, admitting it would be a "ginormous challenge."

At the beginning of lockdown, Tobias could walk a maximum of 50 meters (164 feet) a day, but as he grew closer to completing his challenge -- which took him 70 days, according to the PA Media news agency -- he was walking up to 750 meters (half a mile) a day.

"I can't believe I completed a marathon, it's just awesome," he told Sky News.

He said: "Every bit of it has been totally awesome.

"I love it when my neighbors clap and cheer for me. I'm getting stronger and stronger every day. It's such a good feeling."

So far, Tobias has raised over £81,600 ($100,700) -- £50,000 more than his original target of £30,000 for Sheffield Children's Hospital and Paces School, a school that supports children and adults with neurological conditions, including Tobias.

Tobias' mother, Ruth Garbutt, said they were going to continue walking and were aiming to reach 50 kilometers (31 miles), PA Media reported.

"I'm so, so pleased that he's completed his marathon. He's done really well. He's tried so hard all the way through. He's really achieved a massive goal," she said, according to PA.

"I'm bursting with pride for my little boy. He's just magnificent."

(06/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Amy Woodyatt
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The world’s fastest woman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce not ready to retire yet

Like wine, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce gets better, and faster, by the year.

The world’s fastest woman isn’t dismissing the possibility of featuring at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene just yet.

The Jamaican, a mother of one, will be 35 then.

Speaking exclusively with NTV in an interview scheduled to air last night, the nine-time world champion confessed her love for Kenyan athletes. Especially multiple steeplechase world champion, Ezekiel Kemboi, and track queen Vivian Cheruiyot, who has since graduated to the marathon.

Fraser-Pryce would love to end her career “closer home” when Eugene, in the state of Oregon, hosts the global competition in July at a new Hayward Field stadium.

The meet was initially scheduled for next year but was pushed back by a year to give way for the Tokyo Olympic Games that were also postponed by a year owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It would be nice to finish (my career) so close to home where my friends who’ve always found it difficult to travel far can visit… no one thought it would be possible for me to come back from a C-section and win a championship at 32 years old, but I did, so you never know,” she told me on NTV Sport.

“I was very disappointed by the Olympics’ postponement. It’s like a timeline for me to achieve these things… I have a family now that needs me to take precautions so it was a bummer but there are lives at stake and that’s most important,” Fraser-Pryce added.

The 2020 Olympics would have possibly capped off a remarkable 10 months for the “pocket rocket”, who stormed the history books in Doha last year when she won the 100 metres final in a season best time of 10.71 seconds, to become the only athlete to scoop four 100m world championship gold medals.

The achievement was overshadowed by the fact that Fraser-Pryce did it as a new mother.

“I didn’t sleep at all the night before my final in Doha,” she confesses. “I was so anxious because my last championship had been three years before that.”

She skipped the London 2017 championships to have a baby.

Fraser-Pryce counts the 2019 win and her maiden 100m gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as her most memorable victories.

Her latest win in Qatar saw the introduction of her son Zyon to the world, as the Jamaican proudly ran her victory lap with the two-year-old boy in her arms.

“When I first found out I was pregnant I was so skeptical, but I want to show women that having a baby doesn’t have to end your career,” the sprinter says with conviction.

(06/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Idah Waringa
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2019 champion is running UTMB anyway

Spanish ultrarunner Pau Capell says he plans on running the 171K UTMB Mont-Blanc route even though the race is cancelled

On May 20, race organizers for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc announced that the 2020 edition was officially cancelled. The UTMB features seven events (all of which start in Chamonix every August), the most famous being the gruelling 171K ultra that takes runners through the Alps in France, Italy and Switzerland. Runners around the world were of course disappointed when the race was called off, no matter how inevitable that cancellation seemed to be. The men’s champion from 2019, Pau Capell of Spain, isn’t accepting the cancellation, and he has announced that he will be running the route on his own in late August.

Capell made this announcement soon after the UTMB was officially cancelled (just two days later), posting on Twitter and Instagram to say, “I will run UTMB! Alone, without a bib and with my support team.” He also posted that he plans to start the run at 6 p.m. on August 28, four days after the event was set to officially start.

There are many issues that could arise and ruin Capell’s plan, including potential travel restrictions and further lockdowns in his home country of Spain or in France. Both countries were under strict lockdowns for the past two months, and restrictions have only recently been loosened in each country. Many public health officials around the world have forecast a second wave of the coronavirus, so by August, Spain, France and the rest of the world could be back in lockdown, which would stop Capell from going.

There’s also the moral question of whether it’s OK to go and do this race when it’s been cancelled. UTMB organizers called the race off because it was the best way to keep everyone safe, and although Capell running on his own with a small support crew is much different than thousands of runners coming to race the UTMB events, it’s still a questionable decision.

Capell is an experienced ultrarunner, and he will undoubtedly come well prepared with enough supplies and a good crew, but there’s the possibility that people will follow in his footsteps and take on the UTMB solo as well. If this happens, it’s very possible that other runners won’t be as well prepared as Capell, and that could create issues for themselves and other runners around them.

If Capell is able to go through with his solo run, it will be interesting to see how it goes. When he won the race in 2019, he covered the 171K course in 20:19:07. It’s hard to imagine that he could beat that time without the adrenaline shot delivered from a real race with cheering spectators and other competitors, but we’ll just have to wait and see what type of run he can produce if the time comes.

(05/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Like A Starved Lion, Manangoi Back In Action Hungry For Success

With a hairline stress fracture on his heel, Elijah Manangoi missed the trip to Qatar to defend his 1500m world title, a crown that was aptly picked up by training partner Timothy Cheruiyot at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

And now, partly thanks to the break occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, Manangoi, nicknamed ‘The Lion’, has had time to fully recover without missing any major competition and is raring to go in search of the elusive Olympic title.

“The Olympic medal is the only one I don’t have,” Manangoi says with his eyes shining in confident determination.

“I feel like this pandemic has given me a chance to recover well. I am now injury free and I have returned to training fully, like I have never been injured before. I was rushing to be back in time for the Doha Diamond League but at least now, the break has given me time to recover well,” stated the Commonwealth Games champion.

“I think I have returned hungrier and I need to continue fighting. I am serious in my training and the competitions I will take,” he added.

Manangoi had hoped to recover well to travel to Doha, but a week to the Championship, pulled out of the race where Cheruiyot went on to clinch the title after a successful season in the Diamond League.

“Last year was too tough for me especially noting I didn’t go to defend my title in Doha. But I was very happy when my ‘brother’ Cheruiyot went and came back with the gold medal,” further added Manangoi.

Manangoi is already into his second week of training and on Tuesday he hit the track for the first time, training with Cheruiyot and two other team-mates from the Rongai Athletics Camp who will be part of the Maurie Plant Memorial Race on June 11.

This will be his first competition of the season, but his campaign will begin proper on August 4 at the Monaco Diamond League.

But even as he prepares for the make-up season, Manangoi has reiterated his focus is on Tokyo Olympics Games that was postponed to 2021, and an assault at the Olympic Gold, having pulled out in the semis due to injury at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

“This is my first journey towards the Olympics which is my big focus. The Diamond League is not so crucial in terms of winning, but I want to participate to get confidence to build up towards Tokyo,” he stated.

Manangoi has spent a huge chunk of his recovery time especially during the COVID-19 pandemic with family back at his Narok home, while also fanning his farming hobby, tending to his wheat farms.

“I have continued to train even while I am at home, taking morning runs and doing some physio in the house as well. Going back to the track feels great and we have literally hit the ground running,” he further stated.

(05/31/2020) ⚡AMP
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There are many races that will not survive the Pandemic

In this time of coronavirus when so much of normal life has been disrupted and locked down, running has once again been touted as a healthy habit to engage in, not just physically, but emotionally and psychologically, as well. And yet the great irony is that coming together by the hundreds and thousands to run in road races is considered a dangerous catalyst to the spread of the virus. And so as race cancellations increase and the calendar ahead is denuded of our annual mass gatherings, Running USA CEO Rich Harshbarger acknowledged the industry is “suffering tremendously” and that, since it has no league or players association, it is sometimes overlooked. 

While there has always been something of a prideful outsider’s mentality to the sport of running, being overlooked as an industry is an altogether different matter. So in April 2020, over 500 endurance event operators across the country — including Ironman and Running USA — banded together to launch the Endurance Sports Coalition, which sought longer-term funding for event operators. 

“Without specifically targeted help from the federal government,” said the Endurance Sports Coalition, “the endurance sports may not survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Many events with long and proud histories do not have the resources to weather this storm and will not be able to ramp up again next year.”

That’s the sound of strident individuality falling in the face of the existential threat brought about by the Coronavirus.

Long the backbone of the running industry, the individual event summoning thousands of individual runners is now finding that flinty independence has a cutting edge.  It has been the sports’ resolute refusal to aggregate its numbers to form anything beyond the individual race, that now threatens the viability of many long-standing events.

This lack of a wider view was first made apparent when Nike pulled out sponsorship of the Cascade Run-Off in Portland, Oregon, a classic 15K event that hosted the first open prize money road race on the fledgling Association of Road Race Athletes (ARRA) tour in 1981. When Nike pulled out a few years later and local organizers couldn’t find an immediate sponsor replacement, rather than seeing financial support coming from the broader road race community to bridge the gap until a new sponsor could be found, the event just died, taking with it a seminal milestone in the history of the sport. There was no sense that ‘we are all in this together”; it was every event for itself.

True, there have been some examples of multiple-race series over the years, most notably the 154-event Diet Pepsi 10K Series in the late Seventies, early Eighties.  And Dr. Scholl’s staged their Pro Comfort 10K series for a few years in the mid-`80s.  Elite Racing, Inc. founded the Rock ‘n’ Roll-themed series of marathons and half-marathons in 1998 and literally changed the game.  Competitor Group and now Ironman continued to develop the participation aspect of the RnR Series while largely eliminating the pro racing division. On that front, the Abbott World Marathon Majors branded six of the world’s preeminent marathons.  But in recent cycles, there has been a shift in public recognition from tour champions to Six-Star Finishers – due in part to the negative publicity of drug cheaters taking the series titles before having to give them up upon being caught.

But throughout its first four-plus decades, the running industry has primarily developed via an individual event, individual runner orientation. And that orientation was sufficient to grow the events even if it didn’t do the same for the sport at the leading edge of the events.  Yes, the elite sporting element has maintained a presence, but largely it has been managed more than promoted.

There are 44 million runners? 35,000 races? 17.6 million racers?  These are striking numbers reflecting a robust industry (though the number of racers has slowly been eroding for the last half-decade). But when every one of those numbers is constituted as a universe of one, they don’t add up to anything more than an academic data point. And now in the face of Coronavirus, road running’s mass gatherings are seen as Petri dishes of viral concern. But because the industry never successfully formed a league or developed a players association to create a larger force, it finds itself particularly vulnerable, exposing the weakness of the sport’s atomic event sensibility to help bridge a time of crisis. 

Runners were once ridiculed (“It’s spring and the saps are running” was a Boston favorite). Then the sport found broad acceptance through the original Running Boom. Still, I am reminded of those early years when you would go to meetings at City Halls looking for street closing permits and the like. And often race directors would tell city officials, “we will start very early and stay off main roads. Nobody will know we are there.” And I always wondered, is “nobody knows we’re there” a proper goal? Former Houston Marathon director David Hannah had a famous line about that mentality, “A long time ago running made an unconscious decision to be a closely held secret.”

It makes you wonder whether events, athletes, and agents are paying close attention to the current crisis. Have they figured it out yet?  Fish have. Birds have. Wildebeests have. Ants have.  And finally, an endurance events coalition has, too. There are safety and power and insurance in numbers. If this Coronavirus crisis doesn’t set this sport up for some sort of unified effort going forward, you just wonder whatever will?

(05/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Toni Reavis
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Diamond League Releases Its Revised Racing Calendar for 2020

A limited series of international meets is slated to begin in late August.

This month, the Diamond League announced a provisional 2020 racing calendar featuring 11 meets that will begin in late August and run until October.

Two months before each meet, the host cities’ respective event organizers will announce the format of the meet and any special guidelines (including social distancing regulations) that athletes should be aware of.

As the COVID-19 pandemic conditions continue to linger across the globe, event organizers are having to make tough decisions on whether to cancel races set for late summer and fall, or to carry them out with careful precautions.

For track athletes, most championship meets—including the U.S. Olympic Track Trials, the Tokyo Olympic Games, and the European Track and Field Championships—have been postponed or canceled because of coronavirus concerns. But the Diamond League and World Athletics still hope that there can be an abridged competitive season this year.

On May 12, the Diamond League, which typically hosts a series of meets in the summer that culminates in a final championship, announced a provisional 2020 racing calendar that will begin in late August and run until October. The calendar contains 11 meets that will be hosted in Monaco, England, and Sweden in August; Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy, and China in September; and the U.S. (Eugene, Oregon), Qatar, and China in October. Unlike in previous years, athletes competing in the meets will not earn Diamond League points, and there will be no final championship.

“Given the current discrepancies in training and travel opportunities, it would be impossible to ensure a level playing field and a fair qualification system during 2020,” the Diamond League said in the press release.

Instead of a uniform series of events, the 2020 Diamond League meets will likely vary greatly from each other. The press release explained that depending on the host city, some meets might feature one-off exhibition events (meaning just one or a select few events will take place), while others will have a more traditional schedule, albeit with special coronavirus precautions.

Two months before each meet, the host cities’ respective event organizers will announce the format of the meet and any special guidelines that athletes should be aware of. The hope is that the two-month lead time will give athletes time to mentally prepare for the meet, and allow organizers to make formatting adjustments as needed, based on their respective government restrictions.

“Some meeting organizers might choose to stage their events in innovative, alternative formats, and/or under social distancing regulations,” the Diamond League said in the press release.

Of course, the main issue with restarting meets while the pandemic is still ongoing is that gathering athletes and fans together in close proximity increases the risk of virus transmission. To help stymy the spread without cancelling events, other international sports—including baseball in South Korea and soccer in Germany—have prohibited spectators in the stands and enforced strict hygiene measures and testing protocols among players and staff members.

It’s possible that track meets might similarly restrict spectator capacity or ban fans altogether, in order to comply with crowd size restrictions. However, this measure will be a last resort, according to World Athletics president Sebastion Coe.

“Without the crowds, it’s a bad event,” Coe told Runner’s World in April. “I’d rather wait and put events back into the schedule when crowds are able to be there than have events with empty stands.”

It’s ultimately up to the hosting cities to determine what the meets will look like, who can compete, and who can watch—with many of those parameters determined by local government restrictions.

“The uncertainty over future government restrictions and timings in the different host countries requires flexibility and adaptability on the part of meeting organizers when planning, staging and offering competition opportunities to athletes,” the Diamond League said in the press release.

(05/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Usain Bolt Is Officially the World’s Fastest Dad

Congratulations to the world-record holder and his longtime partner on the birth of a baby girl!

Usain Bolt is a “girl dad,” after it was announced that he and longtime partner Kasi Bennett had their first child.

The 33-year-old world-record holder, who won nine Olympic gold medals and 11 world championships in his career, retired from the sport in 2017.

Usain Bolt is officially the fastest dad in the world.

Kasi Bennett, the longtime partner of the 100- and 200-meter world-record holder, gave birth to the couple’s first child, a girl. The news was first announced by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and confirmed by CNN.

Bolt announced the pregnancy back in January, and he held a gender reveal party in March, where he announced that he would be a “girl dad” like the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, who died in January in a helicopter crash.

The 33-year-old Jamaican set his world records in the 100 meters (9.58 seconds) and 200 meters (19.19 seconds) at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. His resume also includes 11 world championships and nine Olympic gold medals between the 2008, ’12, and ’16 Games.

The birth of his daughter comes less than three years into Bolt’s retirement from track and field, though he has been filling his time with other athletic pursuits. To name a few, Bolt joined an Australian professional soccer team, the Central Coast Mariners, in 2018, tied the 40-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Combine in 4.22 seconds , and ran a race in a zero-gravity plane.

(05/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Kipchoge, Bekele to face off in virtual relay marathon

Marathon icons Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele will hold a virtual team relay marathon between June 6 and 7, which may act as a dry run to their unprecedented clash in London in October.

With the world closed down and international travel not allowed in many countries, the two greatest marathon runners will form part of the teams that will compete in the relay race together with Uganda's world 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei and New York marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor.

All four runners are managed by Global Sports Communications, under the NN Running team, and are using the lockdown to offer fans and elite runners hope as they wait for the sports season to open starting in August.

"On June 6-7, we run as one in a worldwide virtual marathon relay. Assemble a team of four, or be assigned a team with three other runners from around the world. Run against, or even possibly with, superstars like Eliud, Kenenisa, Joshua and Geoffrey," said NN Running team on Friday.

The virtual relay marathon is open to all athletics across the world. Each individual runner will be required to run for 10.5km alone so the team completes a full marathon together. This allows participants to safely run solo in their own locations while running in a team via the virtual standings.

"My teammates and I are really looking forward to joining the relay in this wonderful initiative. Success comes with hard work," world marathon record holder Kipchoge said.

"It has been an unusual time whereby all runners had to readjust their plans after having prepared well towards their own goals for this past spring season," the Olympic champion continued.

Bekele and Kipchoge will clash in the rescheduled London marathon on October 4 with Kipchoge hinting at making an attempt to break the course record, which he set in winning the 2019 race in the English capital.

Kipchoge cemented his status last year as the greatest marathon runner of all time by clocking the third-fastest time in history and becoming the first man to achieve a quartet of victories at the London marathon.

He clocked 2:02:37, carving 28 seconds out of the London course record he set three years ago.

"I hope to win again. We all look forward to a positive future and I believe that this is a great first step in that direction. Marathon is a sport whereby elite athletes and fun runners are actually all racing in the same race. It's what makes our sport unique and I find the essence of this to be beautiful," said Kipchoge. Enditem

(05/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Sara Hall is transitioning to 5K/10K training with some help from her kids

At 37, marathoner Sara Hall is still at the top of her game. Though the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta did not go her way and she ultimately dropped out of the race, she ran her personal best of 2:22:16—the sixth-fastest time in American history—less than a year ago at the Berlin Marathon.

Hall is now using the quarantine period to transition into 5K and 10K training in preparation for the 2021 Olympic Trials on the track.

The shift to speed work comes with an added bonus: Hall can do workouts with her two high school age daughters, Hana and Mia, who are training to break five minutes in the mile. That’s about 10K pace for Sara.

“They will often hop in and out of my workout and it pushes them, which is fun to be able to be more actively involved in their training and goals,” she told PodiumRunner.

(05/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Johanna Gretschel
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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The 2020 abbott Longford Marathon cancelled due to Covid-19 Pandemic

The Longford Marathon Committee have taken the decision to cancel the 2020 Abbott Longford Marathon due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The committee released a statement today; "We have carefully considered the logistics and challenges posed by the pandemic to the safe and successful running of our event on August 30 and we have reluctantly concluded that it will not be possible to stage the event while ensuring the health and safety of the runners, stewards, supporters and volunteers.

"If you have already entered this year’s race, then we thank you sincerely for your support for our event and we are sorry for the inconvenience that this cancellation will cause you. Your entry will be automatically transferred to next year’s race, however if you prefer then we will arrange a refund of your entry fee instead. If you wish to obtain a refund then please contact us by e-mail at info@longfordmarathon.com and we will process a refund for you.

"We know that people have committed time and effort to training and preparation for this year’s race and we are organising a virtual event to mark the Abbott Longford Marathon to be held in the month of August 2020. More details on this will be announced on our website and our Facebook page very soon.

"The Committee wishes to thank our main sponsor Abbott for their ongoing support for the event through this difficult time.

"We intend to use the additional time and resources we have available to ensure that next year’s race will be a very special event, and bigger and better than ever before."

(05/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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Longford Marathon

Longford Marathon

The Friendly Marathon in the Heart Of Ireland. Ireland's friendliest marathon has a reputation for being one of Irelands best organised events, with a flat course, through the beautiful countryside of Longford, Roscommon and Leitrim beside the River Shannon. Take a place,its an ideal run for anybody training for the Dublin City Marathon in October. Organised by runners, for...

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Sara Hall, will be shooting for the women’s treadmill half marathon record on June 6 in Chaski Challenge

Inspired by the success of last month’s Quarantine Backyard Ultra, a handful of elite runners will attempt to break treadmill world records across five distances next week. Sara Hall, the fastest American female marathoner of 2019, is the headliner, and will be shooting for the women’s treadmill half marathon record of 1:20:43 (Hall’s pb is 1:08:58).

The event, which will be held on Saturday, June 6, and is known as the Chaski Challenge, is the brainchild of Tyler Andrews, a 2:15 marathoner who ran a world best of 2:46:06 for 50,000 meters on the track in 2018 (LRC recorded a podcast with him shortly before that race).

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Andrews had planned to spend the spring training with Jim Walmsley in Flagstaff as the two men prepared to race the famed Comrades Marathon in South Africa. Instead, Andrews is now based at his parents’ house in Concord, Mass., but is still training hard and wanted to create an opportunity to allow himself and others to demonstrate their fitness.

“A lot of people are really fit out there right now and have nothing to do with it,” Andrews says. “So we wanted to do that. And then just create a really compelling, fun, conversation-provoking event that people can watch on a Saturday night and have fun with.”

Similar to the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, the Chaski Challenge will feature a free live online broadcast and tracking of the record attempts around the country with cameras aimed at each elite runner’s treadmill. 2016 Olympian Marielle Hall and ultrarunner Kris Brown (13th at 2019 Western States 100) will serve as commentators.

“Chaski Endurance Collective, which is my coaching collective, we have a bunch of different athletes from different areas on staff and we were kind of just bouncing around ideas and talking about what could we do that’s kind of building off what Quarantine Backyard Ultra did really well, because that event just absolutely crushed it,” Andrews says.

Andrews also felt the inclusive nature of the Quarantine Backyard Ultra — anyone could sign up and compete — was one of the keys to its success, and to that end, the Chaski Challenge will feature free-to-enter 5k and 50k races, which anyone can sign up for and complete during a 24-hour window beginning on June 5 at 4 p.m. ET (there is an optional donation to Feeding America’s COVID-19 relief efforts).

At 6 p.m. ET on June 6, the broadcast will begin with the men’s 50k, which features Andrews, 2014 world 100k champ Max King, and Quarantine Backyard Ultra champion Mike Wardian (2:54 50k pb). Midway through that race, the men’s half marathon (featuring 61:51 man John Raneri) and the women’s half marathon (featuring Hall and 2:27 marathoner Renee Metivier) will begin. Mario Mendoza will also be attempting to break the 50-mile record; that attempt will begin prior to the broadcast.

(05/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Boston Marathon Runners disappointed over Marathon cancellation

The Boston Athletic Association announced this year's event will be held as a virtual event.

Those who were supposed to run the marathon this year can run the course anytime between September 7 and 14.

Runners will be required to complete the distance within six hours and provide proof of timing.    

The president of the Greater Springfield Harriers Running Club says cancelling the marathon was the right move.

"I think myself, like most runners we really understand it. With the marathon just how many runners, where they are coming from, the number of volunteers needed, it's just not the right thing to do,” said Bob Landry of the Greater Springfield Harriers.     

When the marathon was initially postponed on March 12 there were only about 20 COVID-19 cases in Boston but now there are more than 13,000.

(05/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Kenya’s long distance runner, Mikel Kiprotich Mutai has been handed a four-year ban with compatriot Japhet Kipchirchir Kipkorir getting a provisional suspension for doping offences

World Athletics’ (WA) Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Friday that it had found Mutai guilty of having tested positive to prohibited substance Norandrosterone.

Mutai’s suspension starts on March 20, 2020 for four years and his results dating back to December 15, 2019 will be nullified.

Mutai and another Kenyan long distance runner Alex Oloitiptip were flagged down on May 13 by AIU for separate violations of anti-doping rules. AIU is yet to determine on Oloitiptip’s case after the athlete was flagged down for his whereabouts violation.

In his last race, Mutai finished third during the Taipei Marathon in 2:17:14 on December 15 last year in Taipei, almost a month after claiming an ninth place finish at Nanchang International Marathon in China in 2:19:06.

Mutai had started the year at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon where he finished eighth in 2:12:54 on February 17, having won the race for the first time in 2016 in 2:12:12.

Mutai, who has personal best 2:09:18 from 2012 Dubai Marathon, would then finish sixth at New Taipei City Marathon in 2:25:32 on March 1 last year.

Mutai started his road running career at the 2008 Nairobi Half Marathon where he finished eighth has a chance to appeal the decision.

Kipkorir, who finished third at 2011 Gold Coast Marathon in personal best 2:10:50, too has tested positive to prohibited substance Norandrosterone.

Mutai, Kipkorir and Oloitiptip join several other Kenyans who have either been banned or under provisional suspension for various doping offences this year by AIU.

They are the 2017 London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru, Kennth Kipkemoi, 2014 World Under-20 800m champion Alfred Kipketer and former world marathon record holder, Wilson Kipsang.

Others are Mercy Kibarus, Vincent Kipsegechi Yator and Peter Kwemoi.

(05/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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CrossFiter Lee Davis set a new record with 16 Murph workouts in 24 hours

This Memorial Day, local Citadel alumni and Rhapsody CrossFit athlete Lee Davis set a new record for consecutive "Murph" workouts completed within 24 hours.

The Murph is a commemorative workout done by athletes around the world on Memorial Day in honor of the late Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEAL killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005.

Davis completed 16 rounds of the intense workout in 22 hours and 3 minutes. The Murph consists of: 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, 1 mile run. The prescribed standard is to do the workout in a 20-pound weighted vest, to mimic body armor.

In a press release, Rhapsody head coach Alan Shaw said: "Murph is, hands down, one of the most challenging workouts in CrossFit, but it’s about so much more than being a tough benchmark.

It’s what we as a community do to thank and pay tribute to those who gave their all for us."Davis is no stranger to tough physical challenges. In March he ran a 100-mile ultramarathon, and he hopes to run the length of South Carolina later this summer. 

His Murph application to the Guinness Book of World records is under review.

(05/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Connelly Hardaway
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90-year-old Lew Hollander, plans to complete virtual triathlon to celebrate birthday during pandemic

While alcohol and food purchases soar during the 2020 pandemic and most of the world binges on Netflix, it appears that we have all succumbed to a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle and the Quanran-15 pound weight gain will be a reality.

Then we get a boost of inspiration from someone showing us how to thrive during COVID-19. Lew Hollander, turning 90, will be completing a Virtual Triathlon on his birthday. Lew explains, "Well all the big plans and races for my 9th decade got delayed and/or cancelled by some microbe you cannot even see. So, what to do? On my birthday I am doing the Virtual PDX Triathlon 2020! I get a racing tank, a beach towel, sunglasses, a medal and results and I can do it close to home. I have a photographer, a timer, and my wonderful wife Karen to help! I am excited about that. Everyone should sign up to do it with me!"

The PDX Triathlon is celebrating its 39th year and due to Coronavirus has had to transition to a Virtual event for the first time ever. Athletes compete from May 30th – June 7th and includes a Olympic, Sprint & Super Sprint Triathlon, Duathlon, & AquaBike, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Kids Tri. Since the time period to complete the distances is over a week, many athletes take on the Beast Challenge by racing in multiple distances and events and earning the coveted BEAST medal. Why Racing Events produces the event and has provided athletes with rules and guidelines for participating in a virtual triathlon. Here is a link to the "How the Heck do you do a Virtual Triathlon" summary email which includes a link to the LIVE presentation explaining all the rules.

Their guidelines include details such as:

Where to swim and how to do it safely.

What to do if you don’t feel comfortable swimming due to lack of pool access and training.

Where to bike and how to do it safely.

Where to run and how to do it safely.

How to do transitions and how much time would be allotted between each leg of the race.

How to upload results for each leg of the race.

You can register to race with 90-year-old Lew at https://whyracingevents.com/pdx-triathlon-at-blue-lake/

Sherri McMillan, race director for WHY Racing Events explains “We could have just canceled the race but when you have athletes like Lew, it reminds you that quitting is not an option. Virtual racing is better than nothing and Lew teaches us that when presented with an obstacle, you stay the course! No excuses – just get it done!”

(05/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Boston Marathon has been canceled for the first time in its 124-year history.

The 2020 Boston Marathon has been canceled. 

BAA organizers said Thursday that they instead will have a “virtual event” in which participants who verify that they ran 26.2 miles on their own will receive their finisher’s medal. The race had originally been scheduled for April 20 before being postponed for five months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for a historic 124th Boston Marathon,” said Tom Grilk, the CEO of the Boston Athletic Association.

The BAA has announced that the 124th Boston Marathon will be held as a virtual event, following Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s cancellation of the marathon as a mass participation road running event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/tlIdvsU9sq

The B.A.A. will offer a series of virtual events & activities throughout September’s Marathon Week to bring the Boston Marathon experience to the world. This will include exclusive panel discussions, champions interviews, and a downloadable toolkit with signature race elements.

Although the title of Boston Marathon champion is contested by a few dozen elite athletes, the field includes more than 30,000 recreational and charity runners, with as many as 1 million people lined up along the course trek from Hopkinton to Boston’s Back Bay. That presented organizers with a social distancing problem that won’t be solved by the fall.

The cancellation is the first ever for the race, which began in 1897 when 15 men drew a starting line in the dirt in Ashland and headed for the city to commemorate the first modern Olympic Games the previous year. In 1918, the format was modified to a relay due to World War I; the 2013 race was stopped when two bombs exploded at the finish line, several hours after the winners had finished but while many recreational runners were still on the course.

For each of those years, the race was held in April on the state holiday to commemorate the battles in Lexington and Concord that marked the start of the Revolutionary War. Traditionally, the Red Sox have scheduled their first pitch for the morning so baseball fans could wander over to Kenmore Square after the game to see the runners pass by with one mile to go.

In March, when the race was postponed to Sept. 14, Mayor Marty Walsh cited the desire to salvage the estimated $211 million pumped into the city’s economy each year. The Boston Athletic Association and marathon runners also raise about $40 million for charity.

Walsh said at the time that there was no thought of excluding the tens of thousands of amateur runners who consider running Boston a bucket list achievement. The Tokyo Marathon went on as scheduled in March with just over 200 elite runners but not the 38,000 recreational runners who had signed up; spectators at the Los Angeles Marathon were advised to practice social distancing.

“That’s not the Boston Marathon. We’re an inclusive marathon,” Walsh said. “The Boston Marathon is for everyone.”

The 2021 Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19 and the 125th anniversary edition is scheduled for April 18, 2022.

(05/28/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Reigning Olympic 800 meters champion David Rudisha underwent surgery on Thursday

Reigning Olympic 800 meters champion David Rudisha will be sidelined for up to 16 weeks after fracturing his left ankle in the grounds of his home in Kenya.

His agent Michel Boeting confirmed Rudisha, who also won gold over 800m at London 2012, underwent surgery on Thursday.

A statement read: “On Tuesday, May 19, Rudisha twisted his left ankle at his rural home in Kilgoris, Narok County, Kenya.

“During a walk on the compound the 31-year-old stepped on uneven ground, and initially believed it was not a serious injury.

“He continued with exercises that wouldn’t cause further harm to his ankle but after a lack of improvement over the weekend, he underwent an examination and was diagnosed with an ankle fracture at St Luke’s hospital in Eldoret.

“Rudisha, who is attempting to compete at his third Olympic Games next year, is expected to be out of training for 12 to 16 weeks and hopes to resume rehabilitation after that.”

Rudisha’s winning run at London 2012 came in a world-record time of one minute 40.91 seconds, a record which still stands.

(05/28/2020) ⚡AMP
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Athletic superstars like Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele will take part in a worldwide virtual team relay marathon next month

Athletic superstars Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Joshua Cheptegei and Geoffrey Kamworor are to take part in a worldwide virtual team relay marathon next month.

The marathon, which will take place between 6 and 7 June, is open to all athletics fans worldwide.

An initiative of the NN Running team, MA RA TH ON is a virtual team relay marathon race where people around the world can form a team of four to cover the marathon distance.

Each individual runner covers 10.5k so the team completes a full marathon together, alone. This allows participants to safely run solo in their own locations while running in a team via the virtual standings.

“I can say that myself and my teammates are really looking forward to join the relay in this wonderful initiative," said Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder.

"It has been an unusual time whereby all runners had to readjust their plans after having prepared well towards their own goals for this past spring season.

"We all look forward to a positive future and I believe that this a great first step in that direction. Marathon is a sport whereby elite athletes and fun runners are actually all racing in the same race. It’s what makes our sport unique and I find the essence of this to be beautiful.“

(05/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sport Africa
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China's IOC member Li Lingwei said that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games could be a chance for athletes to become real champions

"We are all experiencing things that have never happened before in our lives. Once you go through a hard time, you can become a real strongman," Li said.

As the Tokyo Games postponed, the vice president of the Chinese Olympic Committee admitted it would affect the preparation of the teams, especially given that the COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading across the world and the time to restart sporting events globally remains uncertain.

"If you are preparing for a competition, you will have a clear goal with inner potential and passion. But if not, the daily training can be very boring," the former badminton world champion said she understood the athletes' feelings.

Despite many obstacles ahead, Li encouraged athletes to take this period as a chance to re-adjust since the situation is fair to everyone.

"Instead of waiting passively, athletes should make full use of this opportunity to self-reflect, recuperate from injuries and tackle shortcomings," the 56-year-old former legendary shuttler suggested.

"Today's hard work may not immediately pay off tomorrow, but will eventually bring you good results in the future."

Li, who is also a deputy to the National People's Congress of China, believed next year's Olympic Games will be a comprehensive examination, where athletes could show the world how they arranged their training and lives during the pandemic.

"Will you be fully prepared? Will you have your skills improved? Can you accept a high-intensive game schedule? An excellent athlete is not someone who only runs fast or jumps high, but one who is capable of dealing with various situations and having comprehensive abilities," Li noted.

"From this perspective, I think the champion of the Tokyo Olympics is the real champion."

The Tokyo Games will kick off on July 23, 2021, with Beijing Winter Olympics being held six months later.

Speaking of the legacies of Beijing 2022, Li focused on mental ones, saying "sports play an important role in children's education."

"Physical education is not only about doing exercises but to let the children learn to respect the rules, their rivals and referees, and know how to face success and failure, cooperation and competition," she pointed out.

(05/28/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge distributes food and face masks to athletes at Kaptagat in Elgeyo-Marakwet County

Eliud Kipchoge has appealed to more well-wishers to contribute towards the Covid-19 food stimulus programme for athletes, saying he’s eager to see the programme roll out to the rest of Kenya.

So far, the focus of the relief food has been in the Rift Valley region where the Olympic champion has himself distributed food to athletes in Kericho, Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties through the Ministry of Sport, his Eliud Kipchoge Foundation and other well-wishers.

On Wednesday, Kipchoge was in Elgeyo-Marakwet County again to assist athletes in his training base of Kaptagat after well-wishers Zaharia Hassanali and family in collaboration with Eliud Kipchoge Foundation gifted 24 athletes with food aid.

Kipchoge said many athletes have been suffering and need support because they can’t train on empty stomachs, forcing him to reach out to various corporates to help reach the vulnerable.

With more support from well-wishers, Kipchoge said he will go across the country to help athletes, footballers, volleyball players and any other sportspersons in dire need of support.

“I have been doing this for four weeks now, and I’m trying to reach those athletes who are vulnerable,” the world marathon record holder said.

“Today, I managed to meet 24 athletes who benefited from the exercise. I know how tough it is to train in an empty stomach and I will always support the upcoming in this exercise including those who are in other events.

“In these hard times, I know what the athletes are going through, and I would urge for more support so that together we can beat this pandemic which has affected the athletes’ lives.”

With elite runners depending on races across the globe, cessation of sports events due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus has forced the athletes into a tight financial corner.

Kipchoge also thanked Sara Janmohamed, who made 100 masks for the Olympic champion’s foundation, urging more youths to be innovative.

“I was touched by Janmohamed, who is still in secondary school, who was able to make 100 masks which I have also distributed to athletes. I would like to urge the youths to be more proactive in the fight against the Covid-19,” he said.

He urged athletes to continue training hard hoping that the next season would be better if the virus is contained.

“For now, apart from the food distribution, safety is more paramount but when competition resumes we shall come out stronger as athletes as we look forward to a better season,” said Kipchoge.

Kipchoge is preparing for the much awaited duel with Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele at the rescheduled London Marathon on October 4.

“Right now, safety is my priority and I will soon be starting my training and when that time comes, I will be able to tell you my training programme,” added Kipchoge.

Ismail Cheboror, one of the athletes who benefited yesterday, said he was touched by the support from the athletics legend and he is looking forward to be like him in future.

“I’m happy for the support I have received which will keep me going in my training. “Kipchoge is God-sent and I want to be like him in future because he always inspires me,” said Cheboror.

Sarah Jelagat, who is a road racer, couldn’t hide her joy after receiving her food ration, saying she has been struggling to put food on the table.

“I was preparing for a road race in the United States of America in March, but it was cancelled due to the virus and since then I have just been training to keep fit,” said Jelagat.

(05/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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The 2020 St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon has been moved to Nov. 21

The 21st annual race originally was scheduled for April 25. It was postponed on March 18 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials released this statement Tuesday:

"We appreciate the continued patience of our participants since our last update. Over the past weeks we have worked diligently with various host city partners to determine potential options and secure a new race date. After assessing all event scenarios, we are pleased to share the 2020 St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, has been rescheduled for November 21, 2020."

All registered participants of the event will receive an email with further information. The marathon and half marathon annually draw about 30,000 participants along with more than 20,000 spectators.

The starting line is on Lower Broadway, and the finish line is at Nissan Stadium for both races. 

Hendersonville's Scott Wietecha has won the last seven Nashville marathons.

(05/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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St. Jude Rock N Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

St. Jude Rock N Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

The St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon (formerly St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon) gives you the opportunity to enjoy an up close and personal tour of Music City, one of the New York Times’ top destinations in the world! Run through the Honky Tonks of Lower Broadway and take a musical tour through...

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Ex-800m World champ Eunice Sum eyes Olympic medal

The 2013 800 meters world champion Eunice Sum is focusing on winning an Olympic medal over the distance.

She has been training alone at her home in the leafy suburb of Elgon View in Eldoret following a government directive to ban social gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Nation Sport caught up with her at her maize farm in Ngeria, Uasin Gishu County.

Sum said that she is looking forward to a better season when competition resumes in the new schedule of the Wanda Diamond League in August after some meetings were cancelled owing to Covid-19.

“I have been following a training programme sent to us by our coach, though it’s challenging to train alone. We are used to group training which motivates us to persevere,” she said.

Sum is back to the drawing board after three races she was supposed to compete in were called off across the globe because of the virus.

She hopes to use the Diamond League races to sharpen her skills ahead of the Olympics Games that were moved to next year.

“I was in good shape for the cancelled races. I now want to use the Diamond League races to rectify small mistakes as I focus on the Olympic Games,” she said.

The athlete is also preparing to participate in the World Athletics Continental Tour which was moved to September 26 in Nairobi.

“All is not lost, and my training has been going on well. I want to improve my personal best time,” Sum said.

Concerning the Olympics Games, she said she has enough time to prepare. Her aim is to win a medal.

“My goal at the Olympics Games will be a top three finish because I’m missing an Olympic medal in my cabinet of trophies,” added Sum.

(05/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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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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Less than 300 days to go for Bathurst 2021 Cross Country Athletics World Championships

In less than 300 days’ time, the world’s best distance athletes will descend on New South Wales in Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021 on 20 March.

The weekend will include mass participation races, highlighted by a golden ticket event where amateur athletes will race for the chance to compete against the world’s best in the senior championship races. The event will also include the Australian cross country club challenge, which will pit athletics clubs from across the country against one another, racing for bragging rights as the best cross country club in the nation.

Brenda LaPorte, Chair of the Local Organising Committee, said organisers are working hard to fulfil the vision for the event with an outstanding athletic experience, a true celebration of the sport and Australian culture.

“The 2019 championships in Denmark certainly raised the bar and in 2021 we’re looking to take the World Athletics Cross Country Championships to an even higher level,” said LaPorte.

“We’re planning that everyone who visits Bathurst for the championships leaves with the memory of a truly unique, and warmly welcome, regional Australian experience.

“I’m also pleased to say that we will host an invitational para cross country race, which is the first time that para cross country has featured in a World Athletics Cross Country Championships.”

A technical and challenging championship course awaits participants with constant changes in terrain, elevation and direction breaking up a runner’s rhythm. The course has an uphill start and incorporates unique features such as the billabong and a run through a vineyard and its stunning autumn foliage. The senior races will comprise five loops of the two-kilometre course.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is looking forward to attending the event.

“I want to express my thanks to Athletics Australia, the NSW Government through Destination NSW, and the team at World Athletics for their efforts in producing what will be an extraordinary championship,” Coe said.

“This has been an exceptionally challenging year for the community and for sport globally, so I’m very excited about the prospect of a return to world championship competition next year. Bathurst promises to be a great celebration of sport, from elite to community level. I really love cross country. These championships will not only feature the best distance runners of their generation, but possibly of all time. I encourage anyone with young people in their family to attend as this is a truly inspiring event.”

Spectators at the event can expect action-packed racing on a looped course with easy access to all areas, along with a range of off-track entertainment and activities to keep the whole family engaged. For fans unable to get to Bathurst, the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021 will feature a live international television broadcast and live stream with more than 60 countries expected to broadcast the event.

“This will be the first World Athletics event to be held in Australia for 25 years, so it will be fantastic to welcome 550 elite runners from more than 60 countries to the famed Bathurst racetrack to compete,” said Stuart Ayres, New South Wales’ Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney.

Legendary Australian runner Rob de Castella is Head of Delegation for the Australian Team and said the host nation’s athletes have plenty of motivation to perform.

“Having only ever had one winner of the event, when Benita Willis blitzed the world back in 2004, the Australian team will need to overcome history,” he said. “But I know they are excited to race in front of a large, parochial home crowd who will spur them on. The team will also be inspired to etch their names into the sporting folklore of Bathurst’s Mount Panorama alongside other Australian sporting greats.”

(05/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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Over 18,000 Global Runners from 95 nations will Take Part in 6K, 10K or Remix Challenge Rock 'n' Roll VR5

The global community of walkers and runners came together for the fifth edition in the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running™ (VR™) Series, Rock ‘n’ Roll VR5, with over 18,000 people from 95 nations and 47 states registered to step up to the virtual start line. Rock ‘n’ Roll VR5 gave participants the opportunity to challenge themselves with two different race distances that included 10K and 6K options. In addition, the Remix Challenge was offered for those who took on both distances, with finishers earning access to three medals through the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Finisher Bundles.Participants were able to compete anywhere, indoors or outdoors, as long as the distance of their choosing was completed in one session between Friday, May 22 at 2 p.m. ET and event close Sunday, May 24 at 7:59 p.m. ET.

Participants in Rock ‘n’ Roll VR5 came from around the world and ranged in age from 18 to 82. The United States led the way with over 9,000 walkers and runners followed by the United Kingdom (over 800), Canada (over 700), Mexico (over 500) and Portugal (over 250).

Other nations represented included Bangladesh, Cuba, Ireland, Jamaica, Lithuania, Poland, South Korea and Thailand, among others. Of the 47 U.S. states represented, the greatest number came from California, followed by Texas, Virginia, New Jersey and Florida.

Nations joining a Rock 'n' Roll VR event for the first time were Afghanistan, Bermuda, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Syria, among others. To date, over 37,000 people from across the globe have joined the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running Club platform, giving them access to the series of weekly races, challenges, and rewards. Just under 8,000 participants took on a Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club™ Challenge leading up to Rock ‘n’ Roll VR5.

Several separate running and workout-based challenges were offered with the opportunity for special prizes such as a pair of Rock ‘n’ Roll Launch 7 by Brooks Running Company sneakers, a Rock ‘n’ Roll 26.2 or 13.1 Medal Display Hanger, and a Rock ‘n’ Roll by Brooks Running Company Run Club Stealth long-sleeve shirt + Rock ‘n’ Roll Cascadia 7” pair of shorts.

The challenges included the Brooks: Find Some Run Happy III Challenge, St. Jude: 100% Worth It Challenge, and George's Squatathon Challenge.

(05/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rock N Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Rock N Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series makes running fun. Each year, more athletes participate in Rock ‘n’ Roll running events than any other running series in the United States. What started as a simple idea in 1998 – a marathon with bands along the course celebrating each participant – soon transformed the running landscape igniting the second running boom. While...

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Ingebrigtsen v Cheruiyot: Impossible Games take shape

A world record attempt in the hurdles, a star-studded pole vault battle and a long distance showdown between Norway and Kenya in the middle distance will all be on the agenda when the Impossible Games take place in Oslo next month. 

Kenyan middle-distance star and reigning 1500m Diamond League Champion Timothy Cheruiyot is to go head to head with Norway’s Ingebrigtsen brothers in a one-off, team event at the Bislett Impossible Games next month. 

The Ingebrigtsens will run in Bislett while Cheruiyot-led rival team will compete in Nairobi, in what Oslo meeting director Steinar Hoen described as “the first virtual race at such a level in the history of athletics”.

The Maurie Plant Memorial Race, named in honour of the former Bislett organising committee stalwart, will see the two teams battle it out in an innovative new format over 2000 metres.

Both teams will start with five runners and end with three, and the winner will be the team with the best overall time from their top three runners. 

A Wanda Diamond League exhibition event, the Impossible Games were conceived by Bislett Games organisers to allow this year's Oslo Diamond League meeting to go ahead under Norway's coronavirus regulations. 

Instead of the usual, elite-level hunt for Diamond League points, the Impossible Games will instead showcase the innovative spirit of athletics with a series of set-piece exhibition events. 

Beyond the 2000m battle, the programme is taking shape for the Games, which will take place at Bislett Stadium on June 11. 

Confirmed events now include:

A long-distance pole vault showdown involving world-record holder Mondo Duplantis and record Diamond League Champion Renaud Lavillenie.

A 300m hurdles world record attempt from World Champion and Norwegian star Karsten Warholm

A Norway vs Finland duel in the women’s 200m hurdles

An all-Scandinavian discus competition involving Swedish World Champion Daniel Ståhl.

A Norwegian record attempt over 1000m by Filip Ingebrigtsen. 

The meeting will be shown on Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, with commentary from British middle-distance legend and 2000m European record holder Steve Cram.

(05/26/2020) ⚡AMP
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has lifted the country's state of emergency after a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Tokyo 2020 host nation

Japan declared the state of emergency on April 16 after fearing a second wave of infection from the virus, and further extended it in early May.

Its introduction came a week after Tokyo, Osaka and five other urban areas had restrictions placed on them from April 7.

Many areas of the nation had previously seen the restrictions lifted, but now the remaining five prefectures will join them.

These are the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, its neighbouring areas of Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama and the northern island of Hokkaido.

The nation has seen a fall in confirmed cases over the past month, recording its lowest number of new daily cases yesterday since February 29 with 14.

It has also seen a fall in the number of active cases, reaching a peak of 11,443 on April 28 with the number now down to 2,317.

However, the city and host of the 2020 Olympics, Tokyo, saw a return to double figures for confirmed cases in a day, suggesting that the threat of infection is still there.

"We had very stringent criteria for lifting the state of emergency," Abe said in a televised press conference today.

"We have judged that we have met this criteria.

"Today we will lift the state of emergency nationwide."

Economic Revitalisation Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told a panel today, according to Kyodo News, that the state of emergency is "no longer necessary in all prefectures".

Nishimura had suggested yesterday that this would be the announcement made with confirmed cases falling.

The day before Japan entered its state of emergency the country had 741 confirmed cases in a single day – the second highest daily rate after 743 new cases were reported on April 11.

There will still be some restrictions put in place by the Government, with citizens asked not to cross prefectural borders until the end of the month.

The first phase of lifting restrictions will see museums and libraries reopen, while restaurants will be open during the day, closing at 10pm which is two hours later than the state of emergency rules.

A second phase could start at the end of the month, which sources suggest could see shops and cinemas reopen.

However, places like gyms, karaoke bars and music venues will still be closed.

To date, there have been more than 16,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Japan, resulting in the deaths of 820 people.

The outbreak caused the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics until next year.

However, doubts remain about the rearranged Games taking place if COVID-19 remains prevalent. 

(05/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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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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The Lisbon Half Marathon, which had been rescheduled for September 6 2020, has again been postponed due to the pandemic, and now it will take place on May 9 2021

The EDP Lisbon Half Marathon, which had been rescheduled for September 6, 2020, has again been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. It will now take place on  May 9, 2021.

Portugal recently extended the ban on major events until at least 30 September. Rules around social distancing, mandatory use of face masks, capacity limits for enclosed spaces and an ongoing civic duty to remain home mean the organisers of the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon have had to take the decision to postpone the event to next year.

All runners registered for 2020 are now automatically registered for 9 May 2021. They will be emailed with the instructions on how to either: Confirm participation in 2021 on 9 May; exchange their registration for a voucher that can be used in 2021 or 2022 editions, or; transfer their registration to someone else, at no charge

The 36-month time limit for completing the series and becoming a “SuperRunner” only begins after the first race is completed.

Updated 2020 Race Calendar

The races in Prague (rescheduled for September 6), Copenhagen, Cardiff and Valencia are still scheduled to go ahead but the situation is changing daily in every country and government advice is updating.

(05/26/2020) ⚡AMP
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EDP HALF MARATHON OF LISBON

EDP HALF MARATHON OF LISBON

The Lisbon Half Marathon was originally scheduled for March 22 but due to the Coronavirus it has been moved to September 5, 2020.The EDP Lisbon Half Marathon is an athletic competition with competitive purposes and at the same time takes place the Mini Marathon with entertaining features. The Lisbon Half Marathon grew from the desire of a small group to...

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2020 Gold Coast Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

Organizers have confirmed that the 41st edition of the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon, due to be held on the weekend of 4-5 July, has been cancelled.

Plans for the race were put on hold in March but the organizers still hoped to deliver an event as scheduled.

The organisers’ statement read: “The Queensland Government’s strong approach to addressing the COVID-19 threat which includes restricted gatherings, reduced travel opportunities and a declaration that the Queensland Public Health Emergency has been extended to 17 August 2020 makes it impossible to deliver this year’s event.

“We have already started to work with our strategic partners, sponsors, and stakeholders to make sure the 2021 edition scheduled for 3-4 July will be a very special and memorable event.

“An exciting free virtual running event will be available this July and details will be released very soon.

“Those runners who have already registered for the 2020 Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon, will be contacted directly about the processing of registration fee refunds.”

(05/26/2020) ⚡AMP
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Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

2020 In considering the uncertainty of our ability to deliver an event in July, the Board of Events Management Queensland yesterday decided to suspend planning and entry registrations for the 2020 Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon, effective immediately. This suspension will be reviewed no later than 19 May 2020, or when a revised public health order provides us...

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Spanish ultrarunner Pau Capell says he plans on running the 171K UTMB Mont-Blanc route even though the race is cancelled

On May 20, race organizers for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc announced that the 2020 edition was officially cancelled. The UTMB features seven events (all of which start in Chamonix every August), the most famous being the gruelling 171K ultra that takes runners through the Alps in France, Italy and Switzerland.

Runners around the world were of course disappointed when the race was called off, no matter how inevitable that cancellation seemed to be. The men’s champion from 2019, Pau Capell of Spain, isn’t accepting the cancellation, and he has announced that he will be running the route on his own in late August.

Capell made this announcement soon after the UTMB was officially cancelled (just two days later), posting on Twitter and Instagram to say, “I will run UTMB! Alone, without a bib and with my support team.” He also posted that he plans to start the run at 6 p.m. on August 28, four days after the event was set to officially start.

There are many issues that could arise and ruin Capell’s plan, including potential travel restrictions and further lockdowns in his home country of Spain or in France. Both countries were under strict lockdowns for the past two months, and restrictions have only recently been loosened in each country.

Many public health officials around the world have forecast a second wave of the coronavirus, so by August, Spain, France and the rest of the world could be back in lockdown, which would stop Capell from going.

There’s also the moral question of whether it’s OK to go and do this race when it’s been cancelled. UTMB organizers called the race off because it was the best way to keep everyone safe, and although Capell running on his own with a small support crew is much different than thousands of runners coming to race the UTMB events, it’s still a questionable decision.

Capell is an experienced ultrarunner, and he will undoubtedly come well prepared with enough supplies and a good crew, but there’s the possibility that people will follow in his footsteps and take on the UTMB solo as well. If this happens, it’s very possible that other runners won’t be as well prepared as Capell, and that could create issues for themselves and other runners around them.

If Capell is able to go through with his solo run, it will be interesting to see how it goes. When he won the race in 2019, he covered the 171K course in 20:19:07. It’s hard to imagine that he could beat that time without the adrenaline shot delivered from a real race with cheering spectators and other competitors, but we’ll just have to wait and see what type of run he can produce if the time comes.

(05/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

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

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The Oslo Bislett Games has created a unique clash between Team Ingebrigtsen and Team Cheruiyot as part of the Impossible Games

While the Covid-19 outbreak has prevented Wanda Diamond League meetings from going ahead in their usual fashion, the Oslo Bislett Games has created a unique clash between Team Ingebrigtsen and Team Cheruiyot as part of the ‘Impossible Games’ on June 11th.

Racing over 2000m, the Ingebrigtsen brothers – Henrik, Filip and Jakob – will run at the Bislett Stadum, while world 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot and 2017 world champion Elijah Manangoi will form part of ‘Team Cheruyitot’ and will run in Nairobi.

The race will be shown on international TV as a split screen competition and is named ‘The Maurie Plant Memorial’ in honour of the Australian athletics agent who passed away in January.

“This will be the first virtual race at such a level in the history of athletics,” said meeting director Steinar Hoen.

“Maurie loved middle-distance running and he loved Bislett,” added Hoen. “But he also loved non-traditional arrangements of events. In his earlier years, serving the athletics family, he was the mastermind behind countless matches between countries around the world. Our idea is to honor him with such an event which is completely in line with everything he loved.”

Both teams will start with five runners and will have to finish with three. The winner of the match will be the team with the best overall time for three runners.

Individual times will count as well, and the Ingebrigtsen brothers will have one eye on the European record of 4:51.39 held by Steve Cram, who will be commentating on the race.

“Athletics Kenya is fully supportive of this creative idea from the Oslo DL,” added Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei. “Serious racing within a safe environment while also entertainment for avid athletics fans the world over is to be welcomed. Our planning has begun, and we thank Oslo for involving us.”

(05/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The 2020 edition of the UTMB might be cancelled, but now you can look back and enjoy the 2019 race coverage for free

This week, the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc was officially cancelled for 2020, and as a result, race organizers are releasing the 2019 event footage to runners and fans for free. This would have been the eighteenth edition of the trail race, but athletes will have to wait until 2021 to race through France, Italy and Switzerland again.

Luckily, fans of the event can rewatch last year’s run, and although it’s not as good as the 2020 race going ahead as planned, it’s still some good news in these hard times. The race footage can be viewed at the Endurance Sports TV website.

The UTMB is an event with seven different races, all of which take place in Chamonix, France, each August. The biggest of these events is the 171K UTMB Mont-Blanc race, which takes runners through the the Alps in France, Italy and Switzerland. Runners also have to climb more than 10,000m over the 100-mile event, which is higher than Mount Everest.

It is an epic race and challenge, and each year thousands of runners travel to France to see how they fare in one of the seven races (although a third of the UTMB Mont-Blanc runners don’t make it to the finish line). If you’ve never watched this event, you’ll definitely want to check it out.

“The UTMB is a huge event to be cancelled this year, yet we don’t want fans to miss out, and have therefore opened up all of last year’s content for free,” said co-founder of Endurance Sports TV Paul Shanley. “We hope that this will give runners the next best thing to look back on all of the action from 2019.”

The 2019 edition of the UTMB saw thrilling results, including American Courtney Dauwalter‘s win in 24 hours, 34 minutes and 26 seconds. This was Dauwalter’s first try at the UTMB, and she nailed it, beating the second-place female, Kristin Berglund of Sweden, by almost exactly an hour. Dauwalter finished in 21st place overall, and she was the second American finisher, crossing the line just seven minutes after fellow American Jason Schlarb.

Rewatching this event, or watching it for the first time, is a great way to get motivated for your own training. It can be tough to find inspiration to train right now during COVID-19 with no races to work toward, but watching UTMB 2019 will certainly give you the boost you need to get back into action.

(05/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

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

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World half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor is hopeful of making one more attempt to win the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia in 2021

Kamworor lost his title last year in Denmark, representing his first defeat in cross country in four attempts as he finished third.

Now, the 27-year-old believes he will overcome the health and safety challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to return to action and dominate cross country once more to win his third title as a senior.

"We shall bounce back stronger," Kamworor said on Monday. "However, what is important now is to stay safe, remain focused and stay positive. It is temporary what we are witnessing. Together we shall overcome."

Mount Panorama in Bathurst is better known as the home of Australia's premier endurance motor race, but next March 20 it will welcome the world's best endurance runners for what will be Australia's first World Athletics Series event in 25 years.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said he is looking forward to attending the event.

"I want to express my thanks to the efforts made in producing what will be an extraordinary championship," Coe said.

"This has been an exceptionally challenging year for the community and for sport globally, so I'm very excited about the prospect of a return to world championship competition next year."

Coe also noted that cross country is important to World Athletics, adding that there are no plans to remove it from the calendar.

"Bathurst promises to be a great celebration of sport, from elite to community level. I really love cross country. These championships will not only feature the best distance runners of their generation, but possibly of all time. I encourage anyone with young people in their family to attend as this is a truly inspiring event," he said.

Of the World Athletics Series events that were scheduled for 2020, only the World Half Marathon Championships will go ahead this year, on 17 October in Gdynia, Poland.

The World Indoor Championships will be held in Nanjing in March 2021, but the World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, and the World Race Walking Team Championships in Minsk, Belarus have yet to be rescheduled.

(05/25/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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New Zealand Daniel Jones has said he wants to extend his stay in Kenya during the lockdown period, to help with preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Originally set for a five-week stay in the East African country, Jones faced a dilemma when nations began to close borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic .

Instead of returning home the 29-year-old chose to stay in the revered town of Iten, a haven for distance runners around the world, and has now lived there for three months.

Speaking to Newshub, Jones said he definitely misses his life at home, but knows it will be worth the sacrifice.

"I miss my partner in New Zealand, but in the long term, I think it's going to be very beneficial for my running and if this helps me put on the New Zealand singlet, then it's all worth it," he said.

He will look to join Kiwis Zane Robertson and Malcolm Hicks, who both have the qualifying standard for Tokyo 2020 after running within the 2 hours 11min 30sec time-frame. 

With Tokyo 2020 postponed to next year because of COVID-19, Jones has more time to reach the standard.

However, he will have to cut around five minutes off his personal best to make the team, having ran 2:16:15 in Gold Coast in Australia in July.

His decision to stay in Kenya could be beneficial, as he remained healthy on nutritious foods while New Zealand was under tight restrictions.

Robertson, who has benefited from training in Iten, spoke highly of Jones' potential.

"Dan is genetically gifted, he's very humble, but he also has belief in himself," he said.

"He's got the guts, he's got the right type of attitude to make it."

(05/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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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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Having been cancelled due to the pandemic, this year’s Lewa Safari Marathon will be staged virtually, with Eliud Kipchoge leading the way

On Saturday, Kipchoge ran in a practice session at the Conservancy alongside Lewa Rangers to help drum up support for the virtual race.

The fastest marathoner in the world teamed up with World Half Marathon giant Geoffrey Kamworor alongside two other athletes, Philemon Rono and Jonathan Rotich.

Kipchoge’s presence at the Conservancy located in Kenya’s North was a boost for the wildlife rangers and Tusk’s Director of Programmes in Africa, Sarah Watson who joined them on the run.

“I urge everybody to participate and just run where they are. We are all part of the human family and we must keep strong, stay fit, observe directives from our government, and know this situation is not permanent.”

“I have never taken part in the Lewa (Safari) Marathon before, but it was very inspiring to run with the rangers today in this beautiful conservancy and motivate them. I would ask the rangers to continue doing a good job, because they are conserving our wildlife and environment.”

Kipchoge struck through the picturesque Lewa terrain, with a mouth-watering background of grazing elephants and buffalos as the Rangers struck in tow, looking to keep up with the pace of a world beater.

It was a win-win day for Kipchoge who also got to experience a different set-up from his Eldoret base where he has been training in isolation since all athletics camps were closed as the world battles to control the spread of the coronavirus.

“My team and I are honored and very excited to have run with Eliud and his team today. Eliud is our brother, friend and supporter who recognizes the challenges that we face as wildlife rangers. This run has boosted our morale and encouraged us to keep going in this difficult time,” said Edward Ndiritu, Lewa’s Head of Anti-Poaching.

Athletes who will have registered will run from wherever they are as they continue supporting the marathon which had hoped to raise close to Sh500mn this year to aid in Lewa’s conservancy projects.

This year’s race was set to be supported by Safaricom and Huawei, with Safaricom having stepped down their annual financial support and instead joined up with the Chinese electronics company to raise the annual budget.

 

(05/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Timothy Olobulu
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Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Safaricom Lewa Marathon

The first and most distinctive is that it is run on a wildlife conservancy, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to a number of endangered and threatened species- and also a catalyst for community development for its neighboring communities. For the past 17 years, funds raised from the marathon have gone...

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Leo Daschbach Ran a sub four minute mile Saturday night to join the HS list of just 11 who have done it

It took just .46 seconds for Leo Daschbach to reaffirm his status as the greatest high school boys distance runner in Arizona history on Saturday night May 24. 

The Gilbert Highland senior, who is also The Republic's reigning Boys Track and Field and Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, won the last race of his legendary high school running career at the Quarantine Clasico at Oak Ridge High School (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), finishing under the coveted 4-minute mark on a 3:59:54 time.

That puts him in ninth place in the nation's history among the 11 boys who broke the sub-4 mile and the first to reach the mark since 2017. Daschbach is the fourth person reach that time alongside Jim Ryun, Lukas Verzbicas and Michael Slagowski in a high school-only race, according to LetsRun.

“I’m really not surprised because this kid is a one-percenter. I’ve been in this sport 50 years and I’ve never seen anything like this," Highland boys track and field coach David Montgomery said.

The achievement makes Daschbach the best miler in state history. In addition, Daschbach got his second all-time national mark within a year after earned the second-best all-time mark in the 5K at the Desert Twilight cross country meet in September. 

On the final 200 meters of the mile race, Daschbach stormed from behind and went from the fourth to first place runner in his six-person heat and ran a stunning final lap. Knowing his clocked time at the 3:02.74 minute mark in the penultimate lap, he needed to catch up on 57.25.

"I was pretty much just focused on the moment and the race, making the right moves and when to surge," Daschbach said via text message. "I didn’t even know how close I was until I came across 100 meters left and saw 3:46 on the clock."

The Washington commit increasingly pulled away from his competition down the home stretch, leaving Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Col.) senior runner Cole Sprout to end in second place. Sprout just missed the sub-4 at 4:02.42.

Similar to the Quarantine Clasico, Sprout also came in second behind Daschbach at the Desert Twilight by a mere 2 seconds. 

Daschbach didn't believe that he could hit the sub-4. However, Montgomery said that Daschbach gained a new confidence over the past few weeks in his workouts and that this rare feat was within his reach.

"He (recently) ran another mile at 4:07 and from his time trial, he just didn’t feel it that day. He’s really been crushing workouts before this thing got going with these six kids doing this (Quarantine Clasico) in California," Montgomery said. "His leg speed is just phenomenal. That last lap, you can’t teach that. He’s very competitive and he doesn’t really care about records. He runs to win.

"He told me this a couple years ago: 'Coach, if you put me in a race, I’m running to win. If I win, great, and if I don’t, that’s OK, too.'”

(05/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Exercise and the Immune System

There seem to be two groups of people, those who “never get sick” and those who are chronically under the weather. Over the years, I have been a member of both camps. While I have previously suffered from overtraining syndrome and had what felt like chronic upper respiratory infections–which I wrote about in this RunFar article–I have more recently (and despite teaching high-school kids) avoided colds, flus, and other bugs. I’m sure writing that sentence will cause me to soon fall ill, though!

Why do we seem to get sick more often sometimes, and less sick in others? How does our immune system work to protect us from illness? And in what ways does exercise impact our immune system’s function? These are important questions for a community that enjoys pushing our bodies, sometimes in fairly extreme ways.

The Basics of the Immune System

I’ve mentioned this before and I think it’s worth mentioning again now: the human body is an incredibly clever system that works surprisingly well most of the time! One particularly clever element is our immune system. The immune system’s job is to protect you from outside intruders such as antigens (any toxin or foreign substance), including pathogens (bacterium, virus, or microorganism that can cause disease). Your immune system is broken into two main responses: innate immunity which is often referred to as non-specific immunity and adaptive immunity which is known as specific immunity

graphic showing how the immune system is broken down into two major response types, innate and adaptive immunity, and what those responses involve. Image: Hackney, A. C. (2013). Clinical management of immuno-suppression in athletes associated with exercise training: Sports medicine considerations. Acta Medica Iranica, 51(11), 751–756.

The innate immune system is referred to as non-specific because it mounts the same response each time no matter the type of intruder. The innate immune response includes what are known as your first and second lines of defense. The first line of defense includes not only physical barriers like your skin, but also chemical defenses like sweat, stomach acid, tears, mucus linings, and saliva. The second line of defense can be considered a chemical defense, in this case involving a variety of white blood cells. The white blood cells primarily responsible in the innate system are called neutrophils and macrophages. Both of these cell types are phagocytes, which means their job is to protect us via the process of phagocytosis (engulfing and digesting things that do not belong).ow a macrophage (the biggest of the phagocytes) identifies an intruder, engulfs it, and then uses enzymes in its lysosome to “digest” the invader. The macrophage then releases “signals” (in the form of cytokines) to sound the alarm to other cells. Image: Letstalkscience.ca/educational-resources/stem-in-context/immune-response

The adaptive immune response, called the specific response and the third line of defense, is a more complex chemical response because of how it learns to identify different antigens and is acquired over our lifetime starting from the moment we make our entrance into this world. Like the innate immune response, the adaptive response utilizes white blood cells to identify and destroy intruders, this time relying on a type of white blood cell called a lymphocyte. Lymphocytes are special in the sense that they develop memory when exposed to antigens, so that when you are exposed to them again your body is better prepared to fight them off. We develop our adaptive immunity from both natural exposures to antigens over the course of our lifetime and via other exposures like vaccines.

Moderate Aerobic Exercise is Good for the Immune System

Despite the field of exercise immunology being a relatively new area of scientific study with 90% of papers published after 1990, original studies date back over a century (4). Early research focused specifically on exercise-induced changes in cell counts (how many white blood cells were present before and after exercise of different intensities). From this vast body of scientific literature, we know that daily moderate exercise (up to 60 minutes of easy aerobic exercise) provides an overall “boost” to our immune system’s function, increasing our resistance to mild infections like the common cold (8). This is due to the enhanced recirculation of immunoglobulins (proteins that help recognize specific antigens), anti-inflammatory cytokines (molecules that help regulate inflammatory response), neutrophils (part of our innate immune response), and lymphocytes (part of our adaptive immune response) (4).

Can Exercise Be Bad for the Immune System?

If 60 minutes of aerobic exercise is good for our immune system, then is more better? It’s quite possible that you’ve become sick shortly after a big effort or goal race, and that’s exactly what researchers have found in widely published studies in the 1980s continuing through the present. These studies illustrate that infectious episodes (reported upper respiratory infection [URI] symptoms) increased after taking part in large endurance events. This includes a study from the 1982 Two Oceans Marathon–actually a 56-kilometer ultramarathon–where one third of the participants self-reported URI symptoms within two weeks of the race (4, 5). This and many other studies (generally conducted on major road marathon participants) helped to form the idea behind an exercise immunology theory known as the open window theory (5, 6).

The open window theory is the idea that after an intensive exercise session (either a long or hard effort) there is a period of time, generally three to 72 hours, where you have an increased susceptibility to illness. This was supported by what appeared to be a dramatic falloff of circulating lymphocytes (in particular natural killer cells, a subset of lymphocytes called T cells) post-exercise (1, 2). These values were shown to be as much as 40% below baseline cell counts (2). This was concerning because the initial studies reporting this rapid lymphocyte reduction also reported large rates of cell death (2).

That sounds bad. Well, those initial cell-death values were never substantiated–phew!–but where are the lymphocytes going if they are not dying? It turns out that lymphocytes are believed to shift to more peripheral locations in the body where they are more likely to encounter an antigen, such as in the lungs or gut (2). Think of this as white blood cell redeployment in which there is enhanced immune surveillance following strenuous exercise.

What Should Athletes Do to Decrease Illness Risk?

If we know that multiple factors influence our immune systems, what can each of us do to make sure our immune system functions properly? Address those factors!

Monitor your exercise workload. Adequate stress plus adequate rest equals optimal physiological improvement. But when this is thrown out of alignment and physical stress accumulates without appropriate rest, impairments in your immune system function may occur and result in an increased risk of getting sick (8). Regular exercise is good for your immune system, but a training load that is too high for too long can take its toll. Be sure to read our article on overtraining syndrome to learn more about the stress-rest balance.

Consider fueling strategies during exercise and avoid overall nutritional deficiency and caloric restriction. The scientific literature suggests that ingesting carbohydrates during prolonged or intense activity is associated with reduced stress hormones and reductions in inflammation. Additionally, maintaining a balanced and diverse diet that meets your needs and energy demands to match your training, including proper hydration, is important (2).

Practice good hygiene. Avoid close contact with individuals who are or have been sick recently, frequently wash your hands throughout the day, and avoid touching your face (nose, mouth, and eyes).

Practice stress management. Although short-term stress (like exercise) might have a positive effect on your immune system, chronic stress does not. Chronic stress can suppress your immune responses by decreasing the numbers and functionality of lymphocytes, and dysregulating your innate and adaptive immune responses (7).

Get adequate sleep. Sleep disturbances can depress your immune system, increase inflammation, and promote other poor health outcomes. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Learn more about how sleep and your immune system interact in our in-depth sleep article.

Evaluate your touchpoints with others. Be considerate of how you interact with the world around you, including at running events and races. Consider fist bumps over high fives, be considerate of how you interact with race volunteers, and minimize what you touch at aid stations. (I have a habit of touching everything.) Be cognizant of not only your own health, but also the health of others. Practicing good hygiene isn’t limited to only when it’s convenient.

(05/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by I Run Far
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A final decision will be made within the next two weeks weather the Boston Marathon will be held this Fall

A final decision will be made in the next week or two about whether to hold the Boston Marathon in September, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said Friday.

“The decision needs to be made soon,” Walsh told WGBH News. “You can’t cancel the marathon four days ahead of time.”

The decision also won’t be made lightly, Walsh said, noting that other cities that postponed marathons haven’t yet canceled them.

Earlier in the week, Walsh said the decision to reschedule the marathon from April to Sept. 14 was made with the hope that the disease “would no longer be a significant public health risk.”

Since then, thousands of Massachusetts residents have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and precautions like social distancing, the use of masks in public spaces, and bans on large public gatherings remain in effect.

The Boston Athletic Association told WBZ-TV on Tuesday that it is “actively exploring all options for this year’s race.”

Walsh said that he has been tested both for COVID-19 and the antibodies produced from exposure to the virus. The Democrat said he tested negative for COVID-19 and is still waiting for results from the antibody test.

(05/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Inside Zach Bitter’s 100-Mile Treadmill World Record

For many runners, running for even 10 minutes on a treadmill feels like torture. But on Saturday, May 16, Zach Bitter spent 12 hours, nine minutes, and 15 seconds on a treadmill. That’s how long the 33-year-old ultrarunner needed to break the 100-mile treadmill world record, averaging a 7:18 per mile pace.

Bitter is no stranger to the distance or that speed. Back in August, he captured the 100-mile world record on an indoor track in Wisconsin, finishing in 11:19:13—nearly an hour faster than he did on Saturday—with an average pace of 6:48.

However, though the distances were the same, the approach and execution were completely different this time around.

“The biggest thing was that I needed mental refreshers,” Bitter told Runner’s World. “On the track, I felt anxious if I stopped, like I was wasting time. On the treadmill, it was almost necessary to break, even if I was just switching treadmills.”

Bitter, who had two NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainers treadmills set up in his home for the event, didn’t do many test runs ahead of the event. He did know that the machines would time out after a few hours, so he switched between the two. Also, that gave him a safety net in case one malfunctioned.

He and his wife Nicole, who served as a one-woman crew for him, only ran into two issues. Because they were running the two treadmills, two camera setups, a fan, and an air conditioner in the room, they underestimated how much power was needed.

As a result, one of the treadmill’s screens went dark while Bitter was running. The treadmill was still running and counting, but they had to run an extension chord through the house to ease up the power output in the room. Another time, the treadmill briefly stopped counting. Luckily, they noticed and solved the problem.

“We had about four weeks to plan,” he said. “There was plenty of potential for things to go wrong, but luckily, nothing major really happened.”

Overcoming that mental hurdle added an unexpected challenge early on, but a major concern came in the form of under-fueling.

Bitter planned a fueling strategy similar to his strategy during his 100-mile track run last August. But he ran into some problems—the temperature at the indoor track was 60 degrees, a comfortable atmosphere for any run. Despite numerous attempts to mimic that in Bitter’s home with fans and air conditioning, his Phoenix home was more like 70 to 75 degrees throughout the run.

To his surprise, the additional heat wasn’t likely from outside.

“I was talking to Geoff Burns [an ultrarunner and doctoral student in biomechanics] afterward, and he said the one thing I didn’t consider was heat coming from the treadmills,” Bitter said. “Also, since I’m stationary, I’m just swallowing all of my own body heat, because instead of moving like on a track, I’m a little warmer in just a bubble. It was amazing how cool it was even five feet away from it.”

The additional heat meant Bitter was feeling dehydrated in the first couple of hours. Bitter tries to consume only liquid calories when he runs, relying almost entirely on S-Fuel Race+ hydration mix. He was forced to spend the next few hours playing catch-up, consuming electrolyte tabs and boosting his fluid intake to as much as 60 ounces in an hour.

A few hours later, his stomach felt like it was operating normally again.

The early issues were draining, but Bitter still had hours to go on the treadmill. To entertain himself, he would play around with the treadmill paces, typically shooting just above or just below seven-minute pace.

“I just try to keep my mind off the treadmill and the distance,” he said. “If you think too much, you can bite off too much of a chunk at once. It helped to go into a mile at one pace and then switch to another so I could worry about getting through that mile. As the day got longer, I shifted to three or four difference paces within a single mile. Those benchmarks helped me inch closer.”

He also filled his time listening to podcasts, music, and tuning into the live stream to listen to guests like Dean Karnazes, Jamil Coury, and Tim Tollefson talk about his attempt and running in general.

One surprise for fans was the appearance of comedian Bert Kreischer, who Bitter met a few years ago when he appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast for the first time. Kreischer ended up staying on the stream for a couple hours after a seven-mile treadmill run of his own. He spent a lot of time chatting with Courtney Dauwalter, Maggie Guterl, and Sally McRae. All four, along with Bitter’s wife, Nicole, even talked about potentially training Kreischer for a 100-miler himself. It’s still unknown if this will happen, but the trio of female ultrarunners did agree to train him if he did.

“Bert has said he wants to do an ultra,” Bitter said. “He thought about 50 miles in 24 hours on a treadmill. He’s definitely intrigued. I think he’ll do a 50K or 50-miler before he jumps to 100.”

Even with the distractions, the time on the treadmill wore on Bitter. At mile 87, he disappeared into the bathroom for two minutes to eat a lunch-box size bag of Boulder Canyon olive oil and sea salt potato chips.

“I just needed a break from being moved by the machine,” he said. “That was the only solid food I ate during it. In the end, I went through 12 packets of S-Fuel, the potato chips, and eight ounces of soda.”

After earning his second 100-mile world record in nine months, Biller, who stayed ahead of the world-record pace the entire day, he did a couple interviews. When that was finally done, he enjoyed two pounds of ground beef topped with melted cheese and sea salt, and a bag of pork grinds before calling it a day.

“Anything salty and savory,” he said.

A few days after, Bitter is feeling a little better. He isn’t planning to do a long run on the treadmill anytime soon, but due to the Phoenix heat, he will likely be back on it soon for some tempo runs.

(05/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Hugh Brasher addresses the uncertainty of holding the London Marathon this fall

Event director issues a message to runners who are targeting the rescheduled race on October 4

Event director Hugh Brasher has written an open letter to runners set to take on the Virgin Money London Marathon on October 4, highlighting the uncertainty and decisions to be made regarding the running of the 40th edition race.

The iconic marathon was originally scheduled for April 26 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When that decision was announced in March, organisers were confident that the event would be able to take place in the autumn but in his recent update, Brasher states: “this is a world where things are changing so rapidly on a day to day basis and that is now far from certain”.

“The London Marathon has always been so much more than ‘just a marathon’,” he adds.

In an interview last month, Brasher explained how scenarios for the rescheduled race are ever-evolving.

“There are so many scenarios and, in reality, nothing is off the table,” he said.

In his letter to runners published on Wednesday, he adds: “We know that you would like certainty. We understand and acknowledge that you want to know if you should start serious training or restart your fundraising campaign.

“However, much as we would like to, we cannot offer you certainty.

“The London Marathon Events team is working hard on many different possible scenarios and, as circumstances change, we come up with new ideas.

“We know we have a huge responsibility to you, our runners, but we know that responsibility goes much further. It extends to our charities which, through the sweat of a record 42,549 finishers, raised an incredible £66.4 million in 2019. It extends to our staff, our elite athletes, our volunteers, our medics, our communities and our city.

“Every decision we make will be in line with our values. This is about far more than putting on a marathon. We need to be sure it is right for society.”

(05/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletic Weekly
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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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Hardrock 100 canceled for second time in as many years

Avalanche debris in 2019, COVID-19 in 2020 wipe out famed ultra-marathon

The Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run can’t catch a break.

After unveiling a loaded field of U.S. and international runners selected through the lottery in December 2018, the Hardrock 100 ultra-marathon that starts and finishes in Silverton was canceled in 2019 after a winter of heavy snow left avalanche debris and dangerous high water along its 100.5-mile loop through the heart of the southern San Juan Mountains.

A year later with the same field of registered runners as 2019 set to compete, the Hardrock 100 board of directors once again had to cancel one of the world’s most iconic mountain ultra-marathons. This time, it is because of the global COVID-19 pandemic with public health orders in place prohibiting large gatherings such as the Hardrock, which has a field of 145 runners. Though it is a small field of athletes, hundreds more are involved in the form of pacers, crew members, media and run volunteers.

The Hardrock 100 continued to delay its decision until Saturday while similar events in the U.S., such as the Western States Endurance Run in California, canceled much earlier. Western States 100 made its decision March 27.

“This is a tough decision,” said Hardrock 100 director and co-founder Dale Garland in a phone interview with The Durango Herald. “I hated making it. It is not one where just sat down one day and decided to pull the plug. We realize we have an impact on the sport and the economics of the area, and it’s something done with a lot of consideration. I’m really sad, and I have heartache about it.”

The latest Hardrock 100 cancellation is another blow to Silverton, which suffered economically from the affects of less tourism because of the 416 Fire near Durango in 2018. Already in 2020, Silverton has seen the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, which brings more than 3,000 people to Silverton on Memorial Day weekend, canceled because of COVID-19. Many businesses in Silverton remain closed with only essential visitors allowed into the small mountain town of fewer than 700 residents. In 2019, DeAnna Gallegos, the director of the Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Hardrock 100 helped deliver $1 million to the local economy.

Past experience pays off

The cancellation is the fourth in Hardrock 100 history dating back to 1992. The previous cancellations were all because of natural causes. Along with the dense avalanche debris scattered across the course in 2019, the event was called off in 1995 because of too much snow and in 2002 because of extreme fire danger in the San Juan National Forest.

It was because of that first cancellation in 1995 that Hardrock is able to financially survive a cancellation, even with two in a row. After 1995, the board of directors established a reserve bank account to set aside funds in the case of another lost year.

“We just needed to make a decision by June 1, if we could,” Garland said. “Part of that is to honor people’s flight plans, vacation rentals and all those things. Also, we felt if we made a decision by June 1 we could still buy everything we needed. We hadn’t spent a whole lot of money with equipment, merchandise, awards or anything like that. So, we’re in pretty good shape and didn’t have to hit the reserve account very hard.”

A loaded field awaits fate

The run, which traverses across the rugged San Juan Mountains with 66,050 feet of elevation change at an average elevation of more than 11,000 feet, including the 14,048-foot summit of Handies Peak outside Lake City and seven mountain passes at higher than 13,000 feet, has become a legend among the world’s best ultra runners. Athletes must complete previous qualifying 100-mile races to even enter the lottery, which had a record 2,487 applicants for the 2019 race.

While U.S. stars such as Courtney Dauwalter, Dylan Bowman, Jeff Browning, Jason Schlarb, Sabrina Stanley, Darcy Piceu and Darla Askew were among those expected to run in 2019 and then in 2020, French stars Francois D’Haene and Xavier Thévenard were also highly-anticipated competitors who had gained a lottery spot.

It was expected to be the most talented field in the history of the event, and it has now been put on hold twice.

No announcement was immediately made regarding registration for the 2021 race and if it would once again carry over from the 2019 lottery or if there would be a new lottery.

“It’s up in the air,” Garland said. “That is a board decision, and it’s split. That’s why it hasn’t been decided yet. It’s been two years, so do we keep rolling people over or give 145 new people a shot at it? They’ve been waiting two years for a new lottery, as well. It’s a philosophical difference not resolved yet. We will keep people updated as soon as those decisions are made.”

Garland said making the event larger to accommodate the addition of new runners to the existing pool of 145 already selected would require discussions with the Bureau of Land Management and forest service, as that would exceed what the event’s permit is allowed. He did not indicate that there was a plan to try to increase the size of the event.

Alternative formats didn’t fit Hardrock’s image

Garland and the run committee considered alternative plans to the traditional Hardrock 100 this year. Some suggested it be conducted virtually. There was discussion of holding the event as usual but with staggered starts and without gatherings such as Camp Hardrock, the pre-race briefing and the awards banquet which would have brought all the runners together at the same time.

“I don’t think you can replicate the Hardrock experience virtually,” Garland said. “We entertained the idea, but no, we couldn’t do that. Then we looked to see if we could do it without all the experiences that make Hardrock what it is and build our community. At some point it was like, ‘What are we trying to create?’ Especially for a first time runner, we didn’t want that to be their experience.

“We also thought about doing a regional Hardrock and limiting it to the Four Corners states. But we couldn’t come to a philosophical agreement that we wanted to do something like that, either.”

While Garland said canceling the event stings, he is confident it can move forward and remain a special event. In a year in which the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in France and other U.S. events such as Western States and the Leadville 100 have been canceled, he believes the running community will understand.

“What does it say when we can’t do it two years in a row?” Garland said. “That’s why we wanted to wait and see as it got really close if things were going to change or not or if we could make it work. We kept trying to move forward, but we couldn’t do it.”

(05/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Hardrock 100

Hardrock 100

100-mile run with 33,050 feet of climb and 33,050 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 66,100 feet with an average elevation of 11,186 feet - low point 7,680 feet (Ouray) and high point 14,048 feet (Handies Peak). The run starts and ends in Silverton, Colorado and travels through the towns of Telluride, Ouray, and the ghost town...

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How to Open Up Your Shoulders So You Can Run Tall

Two easy arm swing stretches to waken your shoulders after hours hunched over computers and phones.

Chances are, as you’re reading this, you’re sitting, hunched forward over a computer or phone. That’s part of modern life, even in “normal” times. Today, with all of our conversations, meetings, work, entertainment, parties and more conducted online it is even worse; we rarely look up and step away.

And that’s a problem. “I’m realizing I feel awful, because I’m not moving except for runs and a couple walks here and there,” Mary Cain told Jen Ator of Women’s Running last week. We need movement, and, in this abnormal context, we need to take active measures to ensure we give our bodies chances to open up to the range of motion they would have in the outdoor, physical, diverse context they are supposed to be in.

With that in mind, we would all do well to adopt a plan to activate our bodies with regularly scheduled, strategic drills and stretches to counteract what sitting is doing to our posture and mobility. These are exercises we should be doing anyway, and stay-at-home regulations provide both an incentive and a new context where we might be able to do them more comfortably.

Shoulders, Pivotal But Overlooked

Some days I’m more disciplined than others when it comes to an all-day mobility routine, but I’m finding that, more than ever, I need to at least open my shoulders and get myself upright before I can run comfortably.

Shoulders are too often overlooked by runners. You wouldn’t think that they’d be that important, compared to legs that support and power us, or even arms that drive. But shoulders are for the arms what hips are for the legs, pivotal connection points, and they too get compromised in our current environment.

“Everything we do is forward,” says Laura Bergman, rehabilitation specialist and owner of Fascia Lines clinic in Winchester, Va. “If we look at life as a workout, we’re doing a whole bunch of forward exercises, so that muscles get really short in the forward position.” Our shoulders get rotated so far forward that we can’t comfortably swing our arms backwards.

“You try to have an arm swing, and you can’t because your shoulder can’t go back,” says Bergman. So your arms end up staying in front, reaching forward or rotating and moving across the front of your body. When your arms stay forward, your weight stays forward, your leg swing has to come forward to support you, you tend to bend at the waist, and because your hips are unnaturally rotated, you can’t drive your leg back for an effective push off. To get your elbows back consistently may require some release and retraining to create the necessary range of motion and postural endurance.

Shoulder Swings To Do Now, Before Every Run

Even if you’re not ready to invest the time for more robust shoulder intervention, every runner can benefit from doing dynamic warm-up moves before every run. Physios Jim and Phil Wharton recommend two arm swing stretches to cue an upright posture, get shoulders back, and activate the muscles that will keep them there.

During years as a cross-country coach, these were the first things our squads did every day, transitioning young runners from they day spent over desks and books. I still find them particularly effective and important now as I uncrumple myself from hours hunched over my computer screen and phone to prepare to run tall.

Start with a series of open-arm swings designed to stretch the muscles in the chest and shoulders using the opposing muscles between your shoulder blades.

Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart.

With arms straight, bring your hands together in front of you at about waist height.

Inhale.

Open your arms and swing them back as far as they can go, contracting the muscles in the middle of your upper back so that it brings your shoulder blades together.

Exhale.

Swing your arms forward and repeat, raising them slightly every time until you reach shoulder height.

Drop your arms back to the starting position, at waist height, and work up the body a second time.

Second, do a series of arm swings that stretch the front of your upper arms and shoulders while working the muscles on the backside, similar to the running motion.

Start standing tall with feet shoulder-width apart and hands comfortably by your sides.

Swing your arms straight back, keeping your elbows locked and palms facing each other. Keep your shoulders low and relaxed.

After a few swings to open up, touch your fingertips together at the back of the stretch or gently interlace them.

Keeping your elbows locked straight, gently raise your hands slightly while pulling your shoulders back and down, squeezing your shoulder blades together.

Hold for 2 seconds and release. Do 10 reps.

Shoulders activated, reach up to the sky and stretch to your full height, then drop your arms down and back while keeping your posture tall—and run lightly and efficiently down the street.

(05/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Podium Runner
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Could the New York City Marathon be canceled? Mayor Bill de Blasio says it's 'too early' to decide but options like virtual runs are being explored for the November 1 race

On Wednesday Mayor Bill De Blasio said it was 'too early' to decide whether to cancel the iconic annual New York City marathon set for November 1

He said he is in talks with race organizers and they are exploring other options

He praised the New York Road Runners clubs for their adoption of virtual races

'The thing we’re going to be most conservative about is large gatherings of people,' De Blasio said on the race that gathered over 53,000 runners last year 

Mayor Bill De Blasio says it too soon to tell whether the annual New York CityMarathon will be canceled or not - but has revealed that alternative options such as virtual runs are being explored.

On Wednesday the mayor was asked if the annual race, the largest marathon in the world that courses through all five boroughs, will still take place on its scheduled date Sunday November 1. 

'The marathon itself is obviously a ways off so we’re talking to them but it’s too early to come to any conclusions,' De Blasio said. 'But they are right at the table with us as we consider what to do.'

De Blasio expressed concern over maintaining social distancing at the race that gathers thousands of athletes. Last year there was a record 53,627 runners who crossed the finish line. 

The really big events are the last piece of the puzzle so we really have to think carefully about any large gathering and I think it’s safe to say it’s going to be a while until we’re comfortable with any large gathering.

'The thing we’re going to be most conservative about is large gatherings of people because that’s where you have the most negative impact with the resurgence of this disease,' De Blasio said.

He noted that in light of the crisis some organizations, such as the New York Road Runners club, have initiated virtual marathons as a way to keep big events going while maintaining social distancing after canceling all in person races through August 15. 

Marathons bring millions of dollars to America’s biggest cities. The most recent analysis of the TCS New York City Marathon found that the 2019 race injected $415million  into the local economy, as per CNBC.

He noted that in light of the crisis some organizations, such as the New York Road Runners club, have initiated virtual marathons as a way to keep big events going while maintaining social distancing after canceling all in person races through August 15. 

Marathons bring millions of dollars to America’s biggest cities. The most recent analysis of the TCS New York City Marathon found that the 2019 race injected $415million  into the local economy, as per CNBC.

(05/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Why you can still run your fastest marathon after 50

Back in 2014, in a bid to identify the best age for marathon running, a team of Spanish researchers analysed the finishing times of 45,000 athletes at the New York City Marathon. 

The results found that for men the golden age was 27 and for women 29. More surprising, perhaps, was the discovery that 18-year-old marathon runners had similar times to 60-year-old athletes. While that result can be partly explained by 60-year-old runners’ experience at the distance, there’s also some science to suggest why masters runners can still post some incredible times over the marathon.

Take Tommy Hughes. The 59-year-old Northern Irishman ran a time of 2:27:52 at last year’s Valencia Marathon, finishing just under four minutes faster than his son, Eoin, 34, who posted a time of 2:31:30. (Their combined time of 4:59:22 was a Guinness World Record for fastest father-and-son duo.) 

Following the result, the Hugheses took part in various physiological tests. Among other things, this tested their respective VO2 max (the amount of oxygen you can use while exercising). While Tommy and Eoin had very similar VO2 max scores – 65.4ml/kg/min for Tommy and 66.9ml/kg/min for Eoin – Tommy was seemingly able to run entire marathons at close to his VO2 max. Interestingly, the same is seemingly true of Gene Dykes, who ran a 2:54:23 marathon at the age of 70. The data would seem to suggest he ran the entirety of that race at 95 per cent of his VO2 max – an unbelievably high percentage.

So, one reason why it may be possible to run a blistering marathon in your fifties and beyond is some older runners’ ability to run close to their VO2 max for longer periods than some of their more youthful competitors. 

But there’s more: another study showed that lifelong exercise can counteract the age-related decline in VO2 max. In other words, if you’ve been running consistently for decades, your VO2 max will not decline at the same rate as your more sedentary peers.

That’s an interesting development, as there has previously been a belief that at a certain age – approximately around 70 – people’s VO2 max falls off a cliff. By contrast, the study suggests that the steepest declines occur as a result of exercising less, not simply of adding another candle to your birthday cake.

(05/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Prefontaine Memorial Run canceled

COOS BAY — The annual Prefontaine Memorial Run became the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic this week, when the long-running tribute to Marshfield great Steve Prefontaine was canceled for this year.

The Prefontaine Memorial Foundation committee agreed unanimously to cancel the event, which had been scheduled for Sept. 19, due to COVID-19 guidelines and concerns.

“This would have been the 41st year for our event, and though we regret the necessity of the cancellation, our foremost concern is to safeguard the wellbeing of our participants, volunteers and those who gather to watch and cheer on the walkers and runners,” said Bob Huggins, the executive director for the Foundation.

Huggins noted that refunds would be sent to people who already have signed up for the race.

The committee had hoped to be able to hold the race, which is the largest annual sports event on the South Coast, typically drawing more than 1,000 runners and walkers for its 10-kilomter race and 2-mile run walk and an associated high school cross country race.

“There are just too many situations we can’t control,” Huggins said. “The outdoor running portion of it is OK. The likeliness of getting COVID if you’re outdoor running is remote.

“But when we start dealing with indoor registration, start-line gathering with people around, handing out awards — there’s just too many things we can’t control.”

Plus, Huggins pointed out, “The governor’s proclamation that sporting events and large gatherings are prohibited through September pretty much made our decision for us.”

Locally and statewide, other big events also have been canceled, including the Hood to Coast Relay, the Butte to Butte run in Eugene, Cycle Oregon and county fairs.

The South Coast Running Club also this week canceled all its summer events, including the Jennifer’s Cathing Slough Classic in June, the rescheduled Roseburg to Coos Bay Relay in June, the Mayor’s Firecracker Run on July 4 in Mingus Park, the Circle the Bay in August and the Sunset Bay Trail Run on Labor Day Weekend.

“Given the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, we have made the difficult decision to cancel running events through September,” club officials said in a message sent out to members. “We believe this is the most responsible course of action.

“We are saddened by the circumstances that are causing us not to be hosting these events. We believe it is our role to keep our runners and their families healthy by decreasing exposure risk.”

This was going to be a particularly big year for the Prefontaine Memorial Run because the Road Runners Club of America had declared the run this year’s National Championship 10K race. But Huggins said RRCA officials already have told him they will award that distinction to next year’s run.

“We look forward to Sept. 18, 2021, when we plan to once again invite runners to take part in our premier event to honor our hometown hero, Steve Prefontaine, his celebrated running career and his memory,” Huggins said.

The annual run helps the Prefontaine Foundation fund a number of projects each year.

Huggins said projects made possible by the generous support of sponsors and the proceeds from the run include grants to support track and cross country programs in Coos County high schools, annual scholarships to high school seniors who participate in track or cross country, and helping fund the Pre Track Club, a summer training program at Marshfield High School.

This year’s sponsors include Nike, Pacific Properties, Tower Motor Company, Banner Bank, Vend West Services, Farr’s Hardware and North Bend Medical Center.

More information about the run and the Prefontaine Foundation is available at www.prefontainerun.com or by calling Huggins at 541-297-0230.

(05/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Senior Olympics official John Coates has warned that holding the postponed Tokyo Games next year faces real problems

A senior Olympics official has warned that holding the postponed Tokyo Games next year faces "real problems", with even a vaccine unlikely to stave off the threat of the coronavirus.

John Coates, the International Olympic Committee's pointman for Tokyo 2020, indicated that officials would start deciding in October if and how the pandemic-hit Games could go ahead in July 2021.

He told a roundtable organised by Australian media giant News Corp that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been clear the Tokyo Olympics could not be delayed a second time.

"We can't postpone it again and we have to assume that there won't be a vaccine or, if there is a vaccine, it won't be sufficient to share around the world," he said.

Without the safety net of a widely available vaccine, there could be enormous challenges in screening tens of thousands of people from all corners of the world, he said.

"We've got real problems because we've got athletes having to come from 206 different nations," said Coates.

"We've got 11,000 athletes coming, 5,000 technical officials and coaches, 20,000 media, we've got 4,000 working on the organising committee there at the moment, there will be 60,000 volunteers coming," he said.

"There's a lot of people."

Coates said if there are signs the pandemic is contained, even if not eradicated, by October, officials will start preparing "the different scenarios by which the sport could take place".

"Do we quarantine the Olympic village? Do all athletes when they get there go into quarantine? Do we restrict having spectators at the venues? Do we separate the athletes from the mixed zone where the media are?"

(05/22/2020) ⚡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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Could the New York City Marathon be cancelled, due to the Pandemic?

Mayor Bill de Blasio says it's 'too early' to decide but options like virtual runs are being explored for the November 1 race.

On Wednesday the mayor was asked if the annual race, the largest marathon in the world that courses through all five boroughs, will still take place on its scheduled date Sunday November 1. 

'The marathon itself is obviously a ways off so we’re talking to them but it’s too early to come to any conclusions,' De Blasio said. 'But they are right at the table with us as we consider what to do.'

De Blasio expressed concern over maintaining social distancing at the race that gathers thousands of athletes. Last year there was a record 53,627 runners who crossed the finish line. 

'The really big events are the last piece of the puzzle so we really have to think carefully about any large gathering and I think it’s safe to say it’s going to be a while until we’re comfortable with any large gathering.

'The thing we’re going to be most conservative about is large gatherings of people because that’s where you have the most negative impact with the resurgence of this disease,' De Blasio said. 

He noted that in light of the crisis some organizations, such as the New York Road Runners club, have initiated virtual marathons as a way to keep big events going while maintaining social distancing after canceling all in person races through August 15. 

Marathons bring millions of dollars to America’s biggest cities. The most recent analysis of the TCS New York City Marathon found that the 2019 race injected $415million  into the local economy, as per CNBC.

The marathon's organizers haven't released any statement on the future of the race yet. 

(05/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Marlene Lenthang
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

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

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Former world half marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir targets Boston conquest after recovery from fatigue and muscle cramp problems

Former world half marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir has recovered from fatigue and muscle cramp problems, which forced her out of the Ras al-Khaimah race in the United Arab Emirates in February.

The 26-year-old winner of the Saitama International Marathon says she is back to her best form as she continues her preparations for the Boston Marathon, which has been rescheduled for September after it was postponed from its original April 14 date.

Jepchirchir believes she has the strength and stamina to pull a fast one on her rivals and win the Boston marathon. However, she has to bide her time as COVID-19 has wrecked the sports calendar.

"My body has regained the fitness I always have whenever I go into major championships. My last race was in Ras al-Khaimah in UAE, which I had problems and could not finish. But I have recovered from the fatigue and feel strong now. I want to race, but there is no competition," Jepchirchir said on Wednesday from Kapsabet.

The Kenyan is among a horde of local athletes eyeing a rebound after the health situation improves and the global community lifts bans on international travel and allow sports competition.

"I am training, though not at full throttle. But I am ready to bounce back after what I feel like a long sabbatical," she added.

"I am happy now, and I will run with extra effort. In 2017, I took a sabbatical to give birth to my daughter, and I want to continue working hard, run a faster time."

Jepchirchir is a former Yangzhou International Half Marathon champion. She set a world record in the women's half marathon in Ras al-Khaimah in UAE back in 2017 when she clocked 65:06, which was three seconds quicker than the mark set by fellow Kenyan Florence Kiplagat in Barcelona in 2015.

(05/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Coronavirus Pandemic puts dreams of runners at Keringet Athletics Camp on hold

If there is an athletics camp in Kenya that has been badly affected by ban on sports activities due to coronavirus pandemic, is no doubt Keringet Athletics Training Camp in Nakuru County.

The camp was planning to start its second schedule of serious training from April 12 to 26 ahead of the World Under-20 Championships at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, from July 7 to 12.

The camp held its first training schedule at Keringet Boarding Primary School from November 18 to December last year. The youthful athletes from the camp have now been forced to stop training in line with the government’s directive for people to observe social distance to help stop the spread of the deadly virus.

World Under-20 1,500 meters silver medalist Edna Jebitok, Africa Under-18 3,000m champion Zenah Chemutai and silver medalist Deborah Jemutai are some of the big names from the camp who were hoping to make the Kenyan team before the virus struck.

Other notable names from Keringet Athletics Training Camp who due to step up training include Viola Chepkirui (3,000m) and Maureen Cherotich (1,500m).

Those in men’s category include Benson Sigei (5,000m), Michael Kibon (400m), Nehemiah Kimutai (5,000m), Dennis Kirui (3,000m) and Steven Masindet (800m).

Some of the junior runners from the camp to have donned the national team colors include Kipkemoi Misoi (3,000m steeplechase) and Benjamin Kipkurui who represented Kenya in 1998 World Junior Championships in France.

“These are some of the athletes who were looking forward to make the team but their hopes of featuring in the national team have been put on hold,” said camp coordinator David Bii.

The popular athletics camp in Kuresoi South was started by the late Livingstone Kimutai Ng’etich who is a former Athletics Kenya (AK) South Rift Valley branch chairman. The camp has produced talented runners in junior and youth competitions.

Since the camp was established in 1998, it has given North Rift region a good run for its money, producing more athletes in Kenya’s junior and youth teams.

The camp, under head coach Charles Ng’eno assisted by Charles Ngau and Mike Koskei, is best known for producing reigning Olympics 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich, former World and London Marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui, and World 800m bronze medalist Ferguson Rotich among others.

The latest sensation from Keringet Athletics Training Camp who gave North Rift runners a scare is Amos Kirui who beat a star-studded field that included the World Cross Country Championships champion Geoffrey Kamworor to win the senior men's 10km race in the National Cross Country Championships at Eldoret Sports Club last year.

But visiting the camp’s training ground, you would be baffled by the poor state of the camp that has now been reduced to a grazing ground.

Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, athletes used to train at Keringet Boys Primary School and along Molo – Olenguruone road and running the risk of being knocked down by motorists.

“The county government should speed up the construction of the athletics complex and this will help churn out more talents in the region,” said Bii. The devolved unit has set aside Sh50 million for upgrading the training camp. Apart from acquiring documents of the 20 acres of land on which the camp sits, nothing much has been done.

(05/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Francis Mureithi
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Everything We Know About Exercise and Depression A new meta-study, which followed 267,000 people, sheds a few answers

For exercise enthusiasts and those who study the mind-body connection—or perhaps better put, the mind-body system—it has long been known that physical activity helps with depression. And yet even as evidence for this effect continues to mount, “the incorporation of exercise as a key component in the treatment of depression is inconsistent,” write Felipe Barreto Schuch and Brendon Stubbs in the most recent issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports. Schuch and Stubbs, researchers at the University of Santa Maria in Brazil and King’s College in London, respectively, go on to explain that exercise ought to be more seriously considered and prescribed in treatment protocols, in the same way that talk therapy and medication, the two most common responses to depression, are. To support this recommendation, Schuch and Stubbs recently undertook a comprehensive review of exercise and depression. Here is a summary of the results.

Can Exercise Prevent Depression?

Lots of studies show that the more someone exercises, the less likely they are to have depression. This is true across cultural contexts. The challenge with these studies is that they are associative only. Yes, people may not experience depression because they exercise. But it’s also quite possible that people don’t exercise because they are depressed.

In an attempt to tease out the causal effect of exercise—that is, whether or not exercising is actually protective against depression—Schuch and Stubbs only reviewed studies that were designed as prospective cohorts. This means that a group of people who had no signs of depression were followed for at least one year. Researchers could then look at whether or not the people who exercised more had a lower incidence of depression. For their review, Schuch and Stubbs included 49 such studies that, taken together, followed 267,000 people and included different types of exercise. They found that exercise reduced the chances someone would experience depression by between 17 and 41 percent—a substantial effect that was observed across different countries, ages, and sexes.

Put simply: exercise helps prevent depression. Just because you exercise doesn’t mean you won’t ever become depressed, but it certainly reduces the chances that you will.

Can Exercise Treat Already-Existing Depression?

“Exercise can improve depressive symptoms in people with depression,” write Schuch and Stubbs. “However, similar to other treatments, exercise is not a panacea and may not work equally for all.”

Every part of the above statement is important. Exercise can—and often does—help, but not always and not for everyone. I know many people who experience (or have experienced) depression and who get so fed up when they are told, “Just exercise more.” If it were that easy, everyone would do it.

That said, there is convincing evidence that exercise should absolutely be included in a broader tool kit to help people who are experiencing depression. Schuch and Stubbs conducted a review of 25 studies that surveyed a total of 1,487 people and found that between 40 and 50 percent of people with depression respond to exercise, with an effect that, on a scale of small, medium, or large, is considered large. This on par with talk therapy and medication. And while the dropout rate for exercise is around 18 percent, it is 19 percent for talk therapy and between 26 and 28 percent for medication. It’s also important to note that these treatments are not exclusive and can be used together to great benefit.

How Does Exercise Prevent and Treat Depression?

According to Schuch and Stubbs, the neurobiological mechanisms underpinning the antidepressant effects of exercise are still unclear. However, there are a few hypotheses. Depression is associated with chronic inflammation, and regular exercise reduces inflammation. Depression is also associated with lower levels of a chemical called BDNF, which helps the brain grow and remodel. Regular exercise increases BDNF, so it could help a depressed brain outgrow its patterns.

Exercise is also associated with positive psychological changes. It increases confidence and self-determination and often takes place in a community, all of which are helpful for depression. Though pharmaceutical companies would surely love to zero in on a singular pathway for exercise’s positive effects on depression (so they could make a drug to mimic it), they shouldn’t get their hopes up. Exercise’s benefit is probably in the combination of all these pathways, and likely others we aren’t even aware of yet.

If you or someone you love is experiencing depression and needs help now, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or message the hotline.

Brad Stulberg (@Bstulberg) is a performance coach and writes Outside’s Do It Better column. He is also bestselling author of the books The Passion Paradox and Peak Performance.

(05/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brad Stulberg
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