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Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay breaks world indoor 1500m record in Lievin with 3:53.09

On an evening of stunning middle-distance performances at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais, Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay produced the highlight by taking two seconds off the world indoor 1500m record*, winning at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in 3:53.09.

The world bronze medallist followed the swift early tempo as the pacemaker led the field through 400m (58.97) and exited just before 800m, which Tsegay passed in 2:05.94. With three laps to go, Tsegay had a four-second lead over double European indoor champion Laura Muir but she showed no signs of slowing down, passing through 1000m in 2:37.36.

The clock read 2:52.9 with two laps to go and Tsegay maintained her pace with another lap just outside 30 seconds. She dug in for the final circuit and crossed the line in 3:53.09, taking more than two seconds off the world indoor record set by compatriot Genzebe Dibaba in Karlsruhe in 2014.

Muir finished second in a British indoor record of 3:59.58 with teammate Melissa Courtney-Bryant taking third in 4:04.79.

“I’m very happy to set a world indoor record,” said Tsegay. “I have been training really hard and I set myself a target to break the world indoor record.”

Tsegay's record-breaking performance was book-ended by two other athletes who very nearly broke world records.

Ethiopian steeplechase specialist Getnet Wale won the men's 3000m in 7:24.98, the second-fastest indoor performance in history, while USA's Grant Holloway won the men's 60m hurdles in 7.32, just 0.02 shy of the world indoor record.

Wale, still only 20 years old, led an Ethiopian 1-2-3-4 finish in the men’s 3000m as Daniel Komen’s long-standing world record of 7:24.90 was put under serious threat. The pace was fast and even as Vincent Keter led the field through the opening 1000m in 2:31.05 with the second kilometre covered in 2:30.

World 5000m silver medallist Selemon Barega hit the front with three-and-a-half laps to go with fellow Ethiopians Wale and world steeplechase silver medallist Lamecha Girma close behind. Wale took a turn at the front with two laps to go, then Girma kicked hard with 300 metres to go. Having seemingly misjudged his finish, Girma eased off the gas slightly with one lap remaining, allowing Wale and Barega to pass him.

(02/10/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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2021 Gold Coast Marathon expects huge demand

Australia’s most popular holiday marathon event – the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon – is set to return in 2021 with the announcement that entries will open at 09.00 on Monday 15 February.

Mayor of the City of Gold Coast Tom Tate said it was welcome news for the Gold Coast and Queensland after the event was forced to turn virtual in 2020 in response to COVID-19.

“I’m thrilled to see the event back after the coronavirus-driven loss of the 2020 edition saw the Gold Coast miss out on many million of dollars in economic impact. For over 40 years the marathon and associated events have enticed thousands upon thousands of visitors to escape to the Gold Coast from their colder home climates for an unmatched sports holiday experience. We will miss our international runners this year but by staging a successful event in July the Gold Coast will showcase to the world that we are again open for major events” said Mayor Tate.

Village Roadshow Theme Parks General Manager of Marketing Renee Souter backed today’s announcement.“We are proud to support this iconic event as naming rights sponsor,” Ms Souter said. “The event showcases the Gold Coast like no other… When the runners and their families come to the Gold Coast they stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, shop in our shopping centres, and of course visit our theme parks.

Events Management Queensland CEO Cameron Hart said: “We have seen other smaller events adapting to the ‘new normal’ of event delivery with tight health regulations, social distancing and other responsible management measures. Subsequently we have developed extensive plans to balance all the health regulations while providing a world class running experience on course.”

“This year we have moved the ASICS Half Marathon from the Sunday to the Saturday to spread our crowd more evenly and we’ve cancelled the usual pre-race check-in centre and expo in favour of mailing out race kits. We have also implemented wave race starts, and we’ll be providing personal protection equipment to the runners.

The 2021 Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon will be run on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July, starting and finishing at the spectacular Southport Broadwater Parklands.

(02/10/2021) ⚡AMP
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Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is held annually in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It is Australia’s premier road race and was the first marathon in the country to hold an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label. The event is held on the first weekend of July and attracts more than...

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The benefits of running after 60

Running after 60 can be as beneficial to your health as it was in your 20s.

There’s no doubt that if you run for fitness your speed will slow down as you age. 

From your 30s onwards, a number of physical changes take place in the average person’s body. Aerobic capacity decreases, muscle mass reduces, muscle elasticity reduces, lung elasticity declines, bone density reduces, your metabolism slows, body fat increases, and your immune system becomes weaker, Owen Barder writes in the book “Running for Fitness.” 

All these changes have an adverse effect on running performance. Yet, older runners can continue to achieve amazing athletic feats. 

Benefits of running after 60

Canadian athlete Ed Whitlock ran a marathon in 2:54:48 at the age of 73. Carlos Lopes set the world marathon record at the age of 38. Hal Higdon, marathon runner and writer, at the age of 52 ran a 10km in 31:08 and a marathon in 2:29:27.

So you can’t run as fast as you did in your 20s and 30s. It’s all relative. The fact is you can continue to run into your 90s. 

The health benefits of running for seniors are generally the same as for everybody else. They include reductions in the risks of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer; reduced depression and anxiety; weight control; improved bones, muscles, and joints; improved mobility and coordination, and a psychological sense of well-being.

The risk for developing debilitating conditions increases as you grow older, so the benefits of running are increased. 

Keep in mind that even moderate running is good for your health. At the conference of the European Society of Cardiology, Danish researchers presented data on a subset of 2000 joggers. They found that jogging at a moderate pace for a total of one to two-and-a-half hours per week over two or three sessions reduced the risk of death more than 44 percent over non-runners. 

“Surprisingly, when individuals ran faster, longer or more frequently than this, the protective benefits of running disappeared,” writes Rashelle Brown. “Individuals who ran more often and more vigorously had about the same mortality rate as those who were sedentary.” 

Another study looked at others health benefits of running for seniors: the effects of running versus walking on functional movement of 30 adults with an average age of 69. The study found that those who ran several days per week walked with the same muscular economy of average 20-year-olds. 

If you want to start running for the first time or take up running after a long lull, it’s important to start out slowly. 

First, you should let your doctor know of your plans and take heed of any concerns she might have. 

Starting out with a walk or run program is a great strategy to build your muscles and endurance without risking injury that will set you back. Keep in mind walking can be just as health as running, except you have to walk longer to get the same health benefits as running.

Recovery after running

You also have to prioritize recovery more than when you were younger and build this into your running schedule. Also, use your experience to make more informed choices about your running. 

Muscle mass declines with age, so you need some strength training to counter that. Just don’t overdo it. Stressing core exercises or using light dumbbells would do the trick. 

Be diligent about stretching, both before and after exercise. As you age your flexibility decreases, and stretching compensates for that. 

Other advice includes booking a regular massage to loosen the muscles that tighten from running, eating well (meaning a diet high in protein, carbs, fruits and vegetables), going soft by running on surfaces with some give like trails or even grass, and staying motivated. 

“Keep entering races so you always have goals,” Jo Pavey writes in Runner’s World. “If you feel your fastest times are behind you, think about setting yourself a new set of (personal bests) for your new age group.”

(02/09/2021) ⚡AMP
by Janet O’Dell
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How should your running shoes fit?

Whether you run every day or once a week, it is crucial you have a pair of good-fitting and comfortable running shoes. If you do not, you could end up injuring your ankle or foot. There are many things to consider and look at when purchasing a pair of running shoes. So, here is a look at how to get the fit just right.

Be Aware That Sizes May Differ According to the Brand

The first thing to note is different brands of shoes can vary in size. You could try on the same size-number of shoes from two different brands and find one is a better fit than the other. Not having standard shoe sizes across the board can make it challenging to find the right pair of shoes, especially when you are shopping for running shoes. After all, you are sure to know that different running shoes can make or break your performance. 

For example, Nike is a classic when it comes to running shoes due to its design, durability, and affordability. It is also readily available almost anywhere along with other major brands. However, its sizes vary and may be different from other brands. You also have to consider other factors like shoe width. So, when buying running shoes for men or for women, be aware that one brand may fit better than another. Some experts recommend that your running shoes should be about a size larger than your usual shoe size because swelling can often occur during and after running.

Try the Shoes On

Obviously, trying on running shoes is the only way to know whether they fit you perfectly for maximum comfort and support. So, do not buy your running shoes online. Instead, head to a brick-and-mortar shoe store. Even better, visit a store that specializes in running shoes. The staff members will know exactly how to select the right size and fit of shoe for your specific feet. The fitting process will begin with measuring both feet while you are standing up. If one foot is slightly larger than the other, you will want a pair of shoes that fit the bigger foot. You can always change the lacing or wear an additional sock on your smaller foot. Unlike regular shoe fittings where you simply walk around the store to gauge the shoes’ comfort, you should go for a short run in the shoes before purchasing them.

Assess the Size and Fit

To assess the size and fit of the shoes when trying them on, begin by taking out the inserts and standing on them. The inserts should match the size and shape of each foot, and the tip should come to a point approximately where your toes narrow. Then put the insert back in the shoes and lace the shoes tightly enough to lock over your navicular bone, but not so tight that they constrict your blood vessels. Stand up and consider how well the shoes fit.

You should have about a thumbnail’s width between the front of the shoe and your longest toe. The width of the shoe needs to fit just as well as the length. Check there is no or little pressure on your little toe and only slight pressure on your big toe. Then, walk and preferably run in the shoes to see how they really feel.

Make sure the heel does not slip and nothing rubs or pinches against your ankle. You should also check the upper’s fabric. If it gathers, you could need a snugger fit. If it stretches or bulges, you may need a larger size shoe.

(02/09/2021) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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2021 Tata Mumbai Marathon will be held on May 30

The Tata Mumbai Marathon will be held on May 30, it's promoters Procam International announced here on Tuesday.

"With cautious optimism and hope, this decision has been taken after deliberation and collaborative efforts with the state and civic authorities, including the Indian and international athletics bodies," a media release issued here said.

"Guided by the prevailing government protocol, Procam International will look to conduct the on-ground event, with limited participation in the Full Marathon, Half Marathon and 10 km runs."

While limited numbers will run from their scheduled location, participants from across India and the world will be able to run with TMM from a location of their preference, via the official TMM 2021 App.

"The promoters shall continue to monitor the situation, with the single-minded focus of the safety of all participants, officials, volunteers and the running fraternity," the the release added.

The organizers claimed that the rescheduled date should give runners the necessary time to prepare as they continue with their training regimen.

They also said that details including the format of the race, registration details, safety measures, protocols and participant requirements, will be will be shared at a later date.

The Tata Mumbai Marathon is normally held in January.

(02/09/2021) ⚡AMP
by Times of India
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Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

Distance running epitomizes the power of one’s dreams and the awareness of one’s abilities to realize those dreams. Unlike other competitive sports, it is an intensely personal experience. The Tata Mumbai Marathon is One of the World's Leading Marathons. The event boasts of fundraising platform which is managed by United Way Mumbai, the official philanthropy partner of the event. Over...

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American track and field athlete Jordan Gray has launched a campaign for a women's decathlon event to be included at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Gray is the holder of the American record for women's decathlon, scoring 7,921 points at an event sanctioned by USA Track and Field (USATF) in 2019. 

The score was all the third highest of all time. 

The 25-year-old has now launched "Let Women Decathlon" in a bid to have the event included at Paris 2024, despite the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirming the programme for the Games in December. 

A petition supporting the campaign has garnered more than 3,100 signatures. 

"Today, hundreds of dedicated women decathletes around the globe are tirelessly training for their shot to make history at the 2024 Olympic Games," the petition description reads. 

"Jordan Gray is one of them. 

"She holds the highest decathlon score of any woman currently active in the sport, the American record, and the third highest score ever for women in the world. 

"On behalf of all female decathletes, all she wants is an equal chance to compete.

"Women’s decathlon is already in place at the highest levels of sport, including the USATF and World Athletics. 

"Like many of her peers, Jordan is prepared to represent her country in the heptathlon at the 2024 Olympics. 

"But she has a simple question for the IOC - 'If we’re succeeding in the 10 events of the decathlon, why aren’t we allowed to compete at the Olympics?'"

Gray's campaign for Paris is unlikely to be successful with the Paris 2024 programme already confirmed, but Los Angeles 2028 may be a more realistic target. 

She told NBC she hoped women's decathlon would have achieved Olympic inclusion by then.

"Hopefully in 2028, I’ll be 32 and rocking it at the US Championships in the decathlon," Gray said. 

The Paris 2024 Olympics Games will have an equal number of men and women competing for the first time.

A decathlon for men first appeared on the Olympic programme at Stockholm 1912. 

It is one of the few events not contested by both men and women at the Games.

Pentathlon was then added for female competitors at Tokyo 1964, before it was replaced by the heptathlon at Los Angeles 1984. 

(02/09/2021) ⚡AMP
by Nancy Gillen
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Runners will be able to support cancer charity at 2021 London Marathon

North-east people will find out today if they have been successful in securing a ballot spot in this year's London Marathon.

The event on Sunday, October 3, sponsored by Virgin Money, is set to be the biggest staged with 50,000 running from Blackheath to The Mall and another 50,000 running the virtual marathon from wherever they are in the world.

Macmillan Cancer Support is the charity of the year for Virgin Money and official charity partner for the 2021 London Marathon, and is inviting lucky runners who bagged themselves a ballot spot to join and fundraise for #TeamMacmillan, while reminding those who missed out that there is still time to apply for a charity place.

Funds raised through the Macmillan places will help the charity provide vital support, at a time when it is facing a loss of income due to Covid-19, and continue to do whatever it takes to be there for everyone, from day one of their cancer diagnosis.

Executive director fundraising, marketing and innovation for Macmillan Cancer Support Claire Rowney said: “We’re thrilled to be the official charity of the year for the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon and can’t wait to cheer on our Team Macmillan runners in what is set to be the biggest marathon ever.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on our income, at a time when people living with cancer need our support more than ever to help navigate through this anxious period.

"The vital funds raised through runners and supporters of this year’s event will help us continue to do whatever it takes to be there for everyone living with cancer.

“Whether you’re planning to run the 26.2 miles, cheer on our runners from the side-lines or make a donation as part of Team Macmillan, you will be helping us be there for everyone, from day one of their diagnosis.”

New research published by Macmillan Cancer Support reveals that an estimated 530,000 people across Scotland have turned to running or jogging to look after their mental health during the Covid-19 crisis.

People can join #TeamMacmillan with their ballot spot or can apply for a charity place in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon, at LondonMarathon.Macmillan.org.uk

(02/08/2021) ⚡AMP
by Kyle Ritchie
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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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Sandra Chebet wins fourth Nairobi Cross Country title and she is eager to represent Kenya at the Tokyo Olympic Games

Langáta’s Sandra Chebet blew away the field to seal her fourth victory in the senior women’s 10km race during the Athletics Kenya Nairobi Cross Country Championships at Kenya Prisons Service grounds, Nairobi West on Sunday.

Sandra, the 2017 Africa 5,000m silver medallist, her sister Emily Chebet (Langáta) and Margaret Nduta (Embakasi) went head-to-head in the first two laps of the five-lap course before Sandra went for the kill.

Sandra would tear the gusty course with ease to gradually build on her lead before carrying the day in 33 minutes and 48.7 seconds, beating Emily to second place in 35:07.8.

Ndunta eased home in third place in 35:41.6 followed by Ann Nasisyo (Langáta), Bency Cheruiyot (makadara) and Emily Chepkemoi (Kasarani) in 36:07.1, 36:26.1 and 36:27.5 respectively to seal their places in the Nairobi team for the National Cross Country Championships on February 13 in Nairobi.

“It’s feels great to retain my title and more so win for the sixth time in Nairobi. I have two junior titles here and this is my fourth senior crown. I thank God for the great health,” said Sandra, who is eager to break it to the big staged. 

“I really want to break the duck at the nationals where I have taken part several times without success,” said the 23-year-old Sandra, was fresh from finishing ninth at Discovery Cross Country 10km race in Eldoret the previous weekend.

Sandra, who trains at Lemotit Camp, Londiani, Kericho, is also eager to represent Kenya in 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympic Games later this year. 

Trizah Cherotich from Langáta won women’s Under-20 6km race in 21:25.6, beating teammate Dorcus Chepkemoi (21:49.0) and Westlands’ Regina Wambui (22:26.9) op second and third places respectively. Mirriam Chemutai was untouchable in girls’ under-18 5km contest, where she clocked 17:17.3, beating Fancy Chepkorir and Sharon Chepkemei in 17:22.7 and 17:40.9 in that order.

(02/08/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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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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USA’s Athing Mu sped to a 50.52 record clocking, to win the 400m at the Charlie Thomas Invitational in College Station

Two of the world’s most talented teenagers produced stand-out performances on either side of the Atlantic on Saturday.

USA’s Athing Mu sped to a 50.52 clocking to win the 400m at the Charlie Thomas Invitational in College Station. If ratified, the 18-year-old’s time would improve the official world U20 indoor record of 50.82 set by 2012 Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross.

The fastest indoor time ever achieved by an U20 sprinter, however, remains the 50.36 clocking set by Sydney McLaughlin in 2018; her time could not be ratified as a world U20 indoor record. Mu now moves to 20th on the senior world all-time indoor list and fourth on the senior US list.

In recent weeks, Mu has been lighting up indoor tracks on the US collegiate circuit. She clocked a North American U20 indoor record of 2:01.07 for 800m in January and followed it one week later with a world-leading 1:25.80 run over 600m. Last week she ran a 50.5 anchor leg in a 4x400m in Lubbock, hinting at her potential for the individual 400m.

Jamaica’s Charokee Young finished a distant second to Mu in College Station, running 51.93.

The men’s 400m in College Station also produced some swift times with Noah Williams setting an outright PB of 45.47 to win from Sean Burrell (45.57). St Lucia’s Julien Alfred won the women’s 60m in 7.17, having clocked 7.15 in the heats.

Adrian Piperi, the 2015 world U18 shot put champion, produced a big PB of 21.74m to move up to 11th on the US indoor all-time list.

European U20 long jump champion Larissa Iapichino got her 2021 campaign off to a flying start, quite literally, at the Italian U23/U20 Championships in Ancona on Saturday (6).

The 18-year-old leapt an indoor PB of 6.53m in the second round, beating her own national U20 indoor record, and then improved to 6.70m in round three. She went even farther in the fifth round, leaping 6.75m.

Her winning mark moves her up to fourth on the world U20 indoor all-time list and is just 13 centimeters shy of the world U20 indoor record set by Heike Drechsler back in 1983.

(02/08/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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2021 Sahara Marathon will go virtual

The solidarity race with the Saharawi refugees will be held in a virtual way during the last week of February. Participants will be able to run in their country while supporting the humanitarian project.in support of Western Sahara at this very delicate moment.

The Sahara needs us like never before. At a time when Covid19 has hit the whole world, the Saharawi refugee camps in Tindouf are experiencing an extremely complicated situation in which their precarious living conditions are compounded by the impact of the pandemic and the consequences of the war conflict that has resumed after 30 years of ceasefire.

In these circumstances and given the impossibility of performing the Sahara Marathon in person and with the assistance of runners from all over the world, the organisation of the solidarity race has launched a very special edition with a virtual event. Runners and supporters of the Saharawi cause will be able to participate in the prestigious race through a digital application that will be available once the registration is made (EUR 15 [USD 18]) and that will allow the athletes to run from anywhere in the world.

The Sahara Marathon is a solidarity race organised by the Saharawi Ministry of Youth and Sports and a group of volunteers from different countries. During the last twenty years, the race in the desert has served as a platform to denounce the unjust situation that exists in Western Sahara and to tackle countless solidarity projects in the refugee camps. Thousands of runners from all continents have travelled during this time to the Algerian desert to live the experience provided by this race and to bond with refugee families. In this unique edition of 2021, the objectives of the event remain, although the experience will be different.

Participants will be able to carry out their race during the last week of February. They will be able to choose the most appropriate distance (5, 10, 21 or 42 km) and even run in different distances or repeat the race throughout the week (the best time will be validated). The application also invites runners to upload their videos and messages of solidarity with the Sahara to their social networks. All the money contributed for this solidarity project, as well as the donations or acquisitions of the inscription pack (T-shirt, tubular scarf and bib number), will be used in the Sahara Marathon solidarity project, which on this occasion is about Saharawi families in need of direct help, through the purchase and distribution of a basic food basket bought on site to favour the local economy.

On 26 February, the usual date for holding the marathon in other editions, a race (5, 10 km and children race) will be organised in the Saharawi refugee camps, where Saharawi athletes will participate, with the aim of keeping the spirit of the Sahara Marathon alive . The pandemic has caused significant restrictions to humanitarian aid for the Saharawi refugee camps during the last year, as well as to all the visits of aid workers and people in solidarity with the Saharawi, leading the refugee camps to a humanitarian crisis that is added to the global health crisis,. We therefore invite all regular participants in the Sahara Marathon, as well as all those committed to this cause, to support this alternative project by participating in the virtual race or contributing a small donation via www.saharamarathon.org. As it says on the official race jersey: “The desert wind will spread the Saharawi voice around the world.”

(02/08/2021) ⚡AMP
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Sahara Marathon

Sahara Marathon

The Sahara Marathon is an international sport event to demonstrate solidarity with the Saharawi people. Its first edition is in 2001, from an idea of Jeb Carney. It’s organized by the Secretary of State for Sport, Government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic with the help of volunteers from all over the world. The Sahara Marathon, which along with the...

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German Ultrarunner Florian Neuschwander Breaks the 100K Treadmill World Record

He ran a 6:13 pace for six and a half hours on a treadmill!

German ultrarunner Florian Neuschwander has proven once again that he is a master of the treadmill, capturing the 100K treadmill world record on January 30.

The 39-year-old completed the distance in 6:26:08—an average of 6:13 per mile!—beating the previous record by six minutes.

Neuschwander, 39, is no stranger to treadmill records. He captured the 50K treadmill world record in March 2020, running 2:57:25. But that mark was bested a few more times before the end of the year by runners like Matthias Kyburz and Tyler Andrews.

In October, Neuschwander considered again going after the 50K record—Andrews’s 2:42:51—but instead, he thought he might be more successful going after the 100K record of 6:39:25, set by Mexican-American runner Mario Mendoza in June 2020.

“I planned this run because where I live, we have good snow and it’s icy, and I don’t like to run every day in the cold temperatures or slip,” Neuschwander told Runner’s World. “I always train on the treadmill in the winter and we decided to do it with about 10 to 12 weeks to prepare.”

Neuschwander kept his mileage relatively low for training, logging between 60 to 80 miles a week. He supplemented that with Zwift cycling and backcountry skiing. His biggest runs came on long treadmill efforts: two marathons, four 50Ks, and two 60Ks. The run that gave him the most confidence for his record attempt was a 50K test run he did, which he finished six minutes faster than his world record time.

With the help of one of his sponsors, Garmin, and treadmill company, H/P/Cosmos, Neuschwander set up in a small gym near his home in Germany. With plenty of fresh air flowing in and three screens in front of him to look at for entertainment and motivation, Neuschwander put some Squirrel Nut Butter on his feet to prevent blisters, donned his On Cloudflow shoes, and started up his treadmill and Zwift for the six-plus hours of running ahead. 


“The first half was flying by. It was really fast,” he said. “On the screens, I had comments, texts, and videos that helped me a lot from people who were watching the live stream. That helped me get through to the 60K, which I knew should be easy because I had done it before. After that, it was uncharted territory.”

Neuschwander’s treadmill speed was around 15.6 km/hr throughout the entire run, but his toughest stretch between came between 75 and 85K, when he got some cramps in his quads and he dropped his speed down to 15.1 km/hr (9.38 mph), his slowest of the day. He continued to take his Maurten mixed drink every hour for fuel, supplemented by water, which helped the cramps subside.

For the final 10K, Neuschwander added two Red Bulls mixed with water to his routine and cranked up the speed to 17 km/hr (10.5 mph). This turned out to be too fast after six hours of running, but that didn’t stop him from trying to go faster.

“I went again to 15.5, and then I’d move it up and down, up and down, up and down because I wanted to go faster faster faster,” he said. “But at the same time, I was afraid I’d cramp so I slowed down again. But that last 10K was 36:05, which meant I speeded up after six hours of running.”

Neuschwander got the record comfortably, finish six minutes ahead of the previous record with a time of 6:26:08. That’s an average of 6:13 per mile. The new record-holder admitted that he was worried he would have wobbly legs or that he’d fall down when he got off, but he didn’t experience that.

“For me, treadmill running isn’t really hard,” he said. “The main thing is to have fresh air. This is hard, but if you have a lot of fresh air, your heart rate goes down. In the gym, we had a big door open and it was nearly like outdoor running but in one place.”

With most things still shut down, celebrations were limited after his record run. Neuschwander said he celebrated with his wife and kid and he ate two big pizzas and had two beers.

With his race schedule uncertain at the moment because of the pandemic, Neuschwander plans to continue training for the 100K German Championships in the fall. There or in time, he hopes to capture the German 100K record—6:24:29. After seeing Jim Walmsley miss the 100K record by 11 seconds on January 23, he said his goal that he’d be happy with is a sub 6:20.

(02/07/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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People Are Double-Masking More and More and, Sometimes, That Includes Runners

While the CDC hasn’t officially recommended it yet, here’s what experts want you to know to stay safe and slow the spread

From healthcare workers to politicians, double-masking is the latest coronavirus trend. In a press briefing Wednesday February 3, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) director Anthony Fauci, M.D. said that double masking could be a common-sense approach in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. He even added that he wears two masks in situations where he won’t be able to sufficiently socially distance himself from others. But does that mean runners should think about wearing two masks when training?

Fauci said the CDC will continue to update recommendations as more research is completed, but in the meantime, here’s what you need to know about double-masking, according to David Nieman, Dr.PH., health professor at Appalachian State University and director of the Human Performance Lab at the North Carolina Research Campus, Brian Labus, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and Matt Ferrari Ph.D., associate professor of biology in the Eberly College of Science, and a researcher with the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State.

Why are people double masking?

First and foremost—the focus is still on using high-quality masks that will protect the wearer and others, explains Ferrari. That means it’s important to find a mask with good filtering material and a proper fit. Your mask should cover your nose and mouth, and fit snugly to the face with no gaps. (Get more helpful mask-wearing tips from the CDC here.) 

“Two masks might be the way to do that, but one really good mask, say a KN95, may still be better than two single-ply gaiters,” Ferrari says.

For context, an N95 respirator, the U.S. standard that should be reserved for healthcare workers, and the KN95 mask, the China standard, both filter 95 percent of aerosols and protect the wearer better than a single layer fabric mask.

“What we are usually talking about with double-masking is doubling up on the fabric masks to increase filtration,” Labus says. But the caveat is, both masks need to fit properly.

And, adding a less-effective fabric mask over an N95 or KN95 mask won’t provide much additional protection. However, medical professionals sometimes do this to help extend the life of the masks, as PPE has been in short supply. 

When might double-masking be necessary?

Wearing a well-fitting mask (or two) may be especially important for protecting others and yourself if you are in a setting where people are close together or breathing heavily, such as a gym.

“If you’re an athlete and going to be with other people indoors I would highly recommend double-masking,” says Nieman. 

Currently, the CDC suggests that you wear masks with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric, and avoid using those intended for healthcare workers, such as N95 or surgical masks. However, opting for a KN95 is okay, because U.S. healthcare workers don’t use that mask, explains Nieman.

“It gets old saying it, but if you have the luxury of avoiding settings where you would need to double-mask—indoors, poorly ventilated, crowded—then avoiding those settings is better than two, or three, or four masks,” says Ferrari.

For runners, this may mean avoiding a crowded gym and instead opting to run outside where there is plenty of space for distancing or setting up a home gym space. 

However, if you can’t avoid indoor settings with other individuals (say, for work or to care for others) then double-masking may provide the extra protection to reduce risk in high-density indoor settings. 

What is the best way to double-mask?

“As with a single mask, it’s about having a good fit to your face,” explains Labus. Ensure that your mask or masks cover from above your nose to below your chin, and that air is not escaping around the sides. 

“In addition to the extra filtration provided by the second mask, [doubling] can also allow the mask to fit better on your face, covering any gaps from the first mask,” Labus says.

But two bad masks are not necessarily better than one good one. In fact, the healthcare industry has shown that one, high-quality, well-fitted mask can be very effective, says Ferrari. And, leakage tends to be a problem in masks, so even if you’re wearing two masks, if they don’t fit well, they won’t be effective at protecting others, says Nieman.

What is the best mask to wear while working out?

That all depends on what the masks are made of. Masks like an N95 or KN95 are designed to filter out much smaller particles than a cloth mask and require more effort to breathe through. So, even if you are just wearing a single high-filtration mask, it’s likely not going to work to wear during intense exercise, because once you begin sweating, breathing will become more difficult.

It also depends on what type of exercise you are doing. If you’re lifting weights and don’t expect to get breathless as you would when doing treadmill intervals, a KN95 and cloth mask or two cloth masks may work just fine, says Nieman. But, once you start to sweat and breathe harder, that’s when it can get tricky.

Nieman recommends finding a mask that is at least double-ply with tightly woven fabric or one that is specially made for exercising, such as the Under Armour Sportsmask, which is used in his lab when tests are being done.

“Try to focus on workouts and activities where the mask isn’t the limiting factor. Outdoors and distanced is better for everyone,” says Ferrari. This might mean getting creative with your workouts if you live in a cold climate or trying other socially-distant cross-training activities like Nordic skiing.

The bottom line: Remember, the CDC has not yet changed their recommendations and still recommends a single fabric mask that’s at least two layers. While some are starting to wear two, it is still okay to wear a single mask, says Labus. That second mask can provide some extra protection, but wearing any mask is much, much better than not wearing one at all. 

“If you’ll be near others, or out running with friends, wear a mask. If you have to do an indoor workout with others in the gym make sure you’re masked up with the best filtering, best fitting mask(s) you’ve got,” says Ferrari.

 

(02/07/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Two Oceans Marathon Cancelled Due To COVID-19

Cape Town’s premier running event, the Two Oceans Marathon scheduled for Easter Saturday, April 3, has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 56 km race is the second largest ultramarathon in South Africa and has been held since 1970. According to a media release by the race organizers, “the current pandemic climate, [and] the health risks around hosting the… mass participation event are far too significant for the event to proceed safely.”

“It is never pleasant when an event like this is disrupted and which in turn affects the fixture calendar and the many athletes who are already planning for that day,” said Jakes Jacobs, President of Western Province Athletics (the provincial authority for the event). “However, it is even more painful to us when an event of this magnitude is forced to be cancelled. Unfortunately, the pandemic knows no bounds and… no one knows when it will be put under control or even be eliminated, if at all. We have consulted with Athletics South Africa regarding the race. Western Province Athletics and the organizers eventually took this final decision after taking into consideration the many factors in the management of the event and the current behavior of the virus.”

The organizers said while they did consider a postponement of the event to a later date, they are “planning alternative events and programmes… within the prevailing regulations”. These will be announced soon.

Cape Town’s premier running event, the Two Oceans Marathon scheduled for Easter Saturday, April 3, has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 56 km race is the second largest ultramarathon in South Africa and has been held since 1970. According to a media release by the race organizers, “the current pandemic climate, [and] the health risks around hosting the… mass participation event are far too significant for the event to proceed safely.”

“It is never pleasant when an event like this is disrupted and which in turn affects the fixture calendar and the many athletes who are already planning for that day,” said Jakes Jacobs, President of Western Province Athletics (the provincial authority for the event). “However, it is even more painful to us when an event of this magnitude is forced to be cancelled. Unfortunately, the pandemic knows no bounds and… no one knows when it will be put under control or even be eliminated, if at all. We have consulted with Athletics South Africa regarding the race. Western Province Athletics and the organizers eventually took this final decision after taking into consideration the many factors in the management of the event and the current behavior of the virus.”

The organizers said while they did consider a postponement of the event to a later date, they are “planning alternative events and programmes… within the prevailing regulations”. These will be announced soon.

The Two Oceans was also cancelled in 2020, when it would have been the 51st running of the ultramarathon (and the 23rd of the accompanying half-marathon). When it was last held in 2019, the winners were Bongmusa Mthembu and Gerda Steyn (her second consecutive victory). The race had 12,026 finishers; the combined total of 26,509 finishers in the ultra and half-marathon easily makes it the biggest running event in South Africa.

Almost simultaneously with this news, Athletics South Africa announced that track and field events can resume this weekend after several months of no activity. It is expected that the country’s COVID-19 lockdown level will be lowered by the government before or on February 15, which would increase the limit on the number of people allowed at public gatherings such as track and field meetings and road races.

(02/07/2021) ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Joy Kramarich: running and nursing during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and scary for all of us, but has been uniquely challenging for frontline healthcare workers. Joy Kramarich is a runner with the University of Toronto Track and Field Club (UTTC) Masters Division and a trauma nurse at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. She spoke with us about her experience working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and what running has meant to her during this difficult year

Not surprisingly, work for the 60-year-old Oakville resident has been demanding, challenging and marked with ambiguity since the pandemic began. Her hours have been long, working 12-hour shifts with minimal breaks, and she and many of her colleagues have been working double shifts and overtime in order to provide ongoing care to the high volume of patients who are coming through their doors.

For many people, working conditions like these would be an understandable reason to allow their running regime to fall by the wayside, but not for Kramarich. Her mileage has actually increased throughout the pandemic, and there have been many weeks where she’s run a solid 110 kilometres, despite working 60 hours or more.

“COVID and the government-mandated restrictions related to COVID has given me
tremendous focus with respect to my running,” she says. “The hours of the day have been relegated to work and running, since that was all there was and often still is.”

Kramarich has been running since elementary school, she has appreciated the ability to run even more throughout the pandemic, as it allows her to get outside and move, be alone with her thoughts and decompress from the stress of work. She explains that running has provided encouragement when it feels like life is so dismal for so many, and provides her with the motivation to carry on

Running has also been a source of gratitude for Kramarich, reminding her how lucky she is to be alive, that she can move and breathe and that she and her family are safe and healthy at a time so many people have lost so much.

“There are no races on the road or the track, no requirement to run a certain distance in a certain time. It has simply been about the ability to run, which I love and which I do every day, even on the days that I work.”

Kramarich emphasizes that while she is a runner, that is only a small part of who she is. She is a mother, a coach, a teacher and a nurse, and her goal is to make a difference in the lives of all of her patients and her families. The exceedingly high demands on the healthcare system over this last year, however, have made it increasingly difficult for her and her colleagues to provide the same level of care that they ordinarily could. She also recognizes that this has been a difficult time for everyone, not just healthcare workers, but stresses the importance of following the government guidelines and initiatives to help minimize the spread of the virus, pointing out that even runners who are healthy are not immune.

The hope, of course, is that we will soon be able to get back to training in groups and racing again. For Kramarich, that means getting back to training with her masters group at U of T.

“Now that I am a Masters athlete and at this time in my life, I am cognizant of the fact that running is now a leisure activity, something that I am able to do in my free time,” she explains. “I think it is fantastic that we can still run and participate in running events and track meets. It enables me to supplement my daily life with a much loved and easily accessible physical activity.

(02/07/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Four Recovery Nutrition Mistakes Runners Make

Even with the best of intentions, post-run recovery can take a hit due to confusion on nutrition recommendations or lack of planning or preparation.   Nutrition is a key player in your ability to bounce back for the next day of training, especially if you have done a long run, higher intensity session or a double day.   Make the most of it by taking these steps to ensure you are making the most of your post-run nutrition.

Mistake #1) No carb with protein post-workout

"But I had my protein shake post-workout, so I should be good!"  While it is a good idea to have some protein post-exercise to boost amino acid consumption and help with muscle repair, the priority should be to replace carbohydrates. Having carbohydrates with protein stimulates a higher insulin response, which can help with glycogen regeneration and muscle protein synthesis.  Aim for a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein (45-60G of carb) and 15-20G of protein.  A parfait of yogurt with berries and granola fits the bill.  

Mistake #2) No hydration

While running, you lose fluids and electrolytes,  even in winter!  Replacing lost fluids is a good way to ensure that you are setting yourself up properly for the next training session.  Scientific recommendations are to replace 150 percent of fluids lost based on body weight.  In general, aiming for 16-20 oz for every hour of exercise can be a good starting point.  It is a good idea to consider an electrolyte supplement like a sports drink post run long runs over 90 minutes in hot climates or at altitude.  

Mistake #3) Nutrition window

This one has gotten a lot of attention in the science community in recent years. The traditional recommendation has been to rush to replace nutrition in the magical 30-60 minutes post-exercise, suggesting a closed-door effect after an hour has elapsed.  You can keep replenishing glycogen, fluids, and electrolytes well beyond that 30-60 minute window, it just slows down. If you exercised 30-90 min, glycogen stores have most likely not been depleted anyway, so timing is not quite as important.  Guideline wise, if you are doing a double day of training, an interval session, or long run >90 min, try to have a recovery snack containing carbohydrate and protein to maximize recovery.  

Mistake #4) Taking a bunch of supplements instead of eating food

Other than the occasional recovery powder in a shake, taking supplements does not offer a huge recovery benefit.  Food contains calories plus micronutrients that your body needs to repair and rebuild.  Supplements may have micronutrients within them, but there is debate as to whether the supplement form is even utilized as well from the body and they will not have near as big an effect on performance and recovery as the food first approach will.  It might just result in very expensive urine. Plus, supplements are not regulated well. 

 

(02/07/2021) ⚡AMP
by Trail Running Magazine
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Ted Metellus has been named race director of TCS New York City Marathon

Ted Metellus has been named the race director of the TCS New York City Marathon, making him the first Black race director of any of the Abbott World Marathon Majors races.

The announcement from New York Road Runners comes on the heels of large-scale allegations of sexism and racism by current and former employees, first made in the fall of 2020. Jim Heim, the marathon's race director for the past 13 years, along with others in leadership roles, stepped down in January.

"For me in this position, it will shed a tremendous light on the talent that's out there, the ability that is out there, the chance that you may be opening up the doors for [somebody]," said Metellus.

Metellus, 47, is being promoted from vice president of events at NYRR, an organization he has worked with since 2001. He grew up running in New York City.

"Being born and raised in the Bronx, my mom was a maid and my dad was a janitor -- blue collar, hard workers," he said. "Organized sports wasn't something that was available to us, but when I was really young, everybody wanted to be the fastest kid on the block."

In high school, he joined the cross country and track teams, and even though he was one of the slowest members ("It was painful," he said), he loved running, and he loved bringing runners together. That led him to work on organizing large-scale events like Ironman, Rock 'n' Roll Marathons and the NYC Marathon.

"When people ask me, 'How do I get people to join and be a part of my team? How do I invite them in?' I say, 'No, no, no, you don't invite them in, you go to them,'" Metellus said.

Metellus is taking over as race director at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the running industry, causing cancellations of almost all major races worldwide in 2020. NYRR canceled all in-person races from March until the end of September, and the 2020 NYC Marathon was held virtually. This November, the hope is to have a safe in-person marathon with strict COVID-19 guidelines.

"The legacy I'd like to leave behind is for us to have a safe and enjoyable marathon this November -- because I know that's going to be a moment that people look back at, just like in 2001 when we had a marathon two months after 9/11 ... There will be moments in the history of running and even beyond when people will look back and say, 'What happened when...' and 'Who was the director when ..." and what were some of the takeaways from that and how we can use that moving forward."

Metellus hopes that his role helps create new opportunities for others as well.

"At the end of the day, what I would like is not to be the first and last. Who else am I opening up the doors for? When I look at the industry right now, who's going to be the next person and how do I lay the groundwork for them," he said.

(02/06/2021) ⚡AMP
by Aishwarya Kumar
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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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Eddie Izzard Completes 32 Marathons in 31 Days—All on a Treadmill!—to Raise Money for Charity

Even George Clooney joined the British comedian for the final minutes of her last marathon

Comedian Eddie Izzard, who admits she "doesn't like running", has notched up more than 830 miles, raising more than £275,000.

Eddie Izzard has raised over a quarter of a million pounds for charity after completing 32 marathons and performing 31 comedy gigs in just 31 days.

The 58-year-old ran a marathon on a treadmill every day in January, followed by a "Best Of" comedy gig as part of a "Run For Hope".

Using the social media hashtag #MakeHumanityGreatAgain, the British performer completed the challenge from Riverside Studios in London, but ran virtually through different cities around the world each time.

Izzard also chatted to a host of celebrities including George Clooney, Davina McCall, Joe Wicks, Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey and Dame Judi Dench, as she notched up the miles.

A dedicated Crowdfunder site has so far raised more than £275,000, and been supported by nearly 5,000 people, with over 12 hours of fundraising still to go.

Money will go to organisations working with disadvantaged and vulnerable people, including some of those dealing with the wider effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first five charities to benefit will be Fareshare, a UK charity fighting hunger and food waste, Walking With the Wounded, Care International, United to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases and Covenant House New York City - a US youth homelessness charity.

(02/06/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Miley Cyrus Prep Her Powerful Vocals for Her Super Bowl Pregame Show Performance With Treadmill Intervals

This may be the toughest speedwork and fastest recovery I’ve ever seen, but WTF Do I Know?

Miley Cyrus posted an Instagram video showing how she’s preparing for her Super Bowl LV pregame show performance on Wednesday, February 3.

The “Midnight Sky” singer is set to perform at the NFL’s pregame TikTok tailgate on Sunday, February 7.

To train for her performance, she runs on a Peloton treadmill while flawlessly belting out “Rebel Girl.”

Getting ready for a live performance is no small task, and many artists have told Runner’s World that running gives them an endurance boost they need when they’re on stage. Apparently Miley Cyrus includes treadmill intervals when prepping for her performances, too

On Wednesday, February 3, Cyrus posted a video of herself to her IGTV and Instagram story running on a Peloton treadmill—while belting out “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill. She captioned the video, “#SBLV PREP ☠️ Angels like you can’t fly with rebel girls like me 😈👼.” In the background of the video, you can also hear a person suggest she match her running pace with the rhythm of the song, which she does without missing a beat.

(02/06/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Man runs barefoot half marathon in the snow to break Guinness record

A Norwegian runner unofficially broke a Guinness World Record when he ran a half marathon in 1 hour, 44 minutes and 58 seconds while barefoot -- in the snow.

Jonas Felde Sevaldrud, who chronicled his record attempt in a YouTube video, said the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall inspired him to take up barefoot running, and his early attempts surprised him at how running barefoot over ice and snow wasn't as difficult as he imagined.

Sevaldrud said he decided to take on Dutch athlete Wim Hof's world record, which was set in 2007 when he ran a half marathon over ice and snow in 2 hours, 16 minutes and 34 seconds.

The runner said his first attempt at the record was called off prematurely when sharp ice caused injuries to his feet, but a few weeks later he tried again on some soft snow and had more success.

Sevaldrud said his final time beat his own goal of 1 hour and 50 minutes.

The runner said he is now waiting to hear back from Guinness about whether his attempt was successful.

(02/06/2021) ⚡AMP
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Morning vs. evening runs: which are better?

In the world of running, there are two types of people: early risers who are hitting the streets before the sun comes up, and evening runners who prefer to save their miles for after work. Of course, there are others, like those who enjoy a mid-day lunch run and shift workers who like to go out mid-morning or mid-afternoon, but for the majority of nine-to-fivers, morning and evening are their only two options. But is one better than the other? You’ll likely get a different answer depending on who you ask, but we’re here to settle the debate once and for all.

The case for the morning run

Running in the morning offers a lot of benefits. Aside from getting the opportunity to catch a good sunrise, running in the early hours is a great way to boost your mood and keep you happy for the rest of the day. Cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone, is at its highest levels first thing in the morning, which is why people who struggle with depression or anxiety feel the worst at this time of day. Running can help counteract that, making you feel cheerier as you go about the rest of your day.

Getting your run in early also means there’s less of a chance that something could get in the way of it later. No matter what happens during the day — whether you end up having to work late or a friend invites you over for dinner — your run is already in the books and will be unaffected. Additionally, the streets in the morning tend to be quieter, and many morning runners love the peace and tranquility of that time of day.

Finally, testosterone levels peak in the morning and then gradually drop throughout the day. For this reason, running in the morning is a great way to build muscle. If you’re including some strength training in your weekly plan, the morning is also a great time to get those workouts in, too.

The case against the morning run

Running in the morning isn’t all sunrises and tweeting birds. There are some drawbacks, and most of them have to do with how well your body functions that early in the day. Running in the morning puts you at a greater risk for injury because your muscles are stiffer and colder after having been at rest all night. This means that if you do run in the morning, it’s important to do a proper warm-up and to start slow to allow your body to ease into the run.

The early morning also isn’t a great time to put in hard workouts, because you are likely not fuelled properly for that run after fasting for eight to ten hours while you slept. Without enough calories (aka energy) in your system, you likely won’t be able to run as fast or as long, so it’s best to save your hard efforts for a time when you can at least have one good meal a few hours before your workout.

The case for the evening run

Many runners find that they can run faster or longer in the evening, despite putting in the same level of effort as they do in the morning. This is because by the time the evening rolls around, you’ve likely eaten a couple of meals and so you have more energy available to fuel your run. This is also when your body temperature peaks, and since you’ve been moving around during the day your muscles are warmer and more ready to work out. Not only does this mean runner will feel easier, but it will also lower your risk for injury.

The case against the evening run

Motivating yourself for an evening run is just as difficult as a morning run, but for a slightly different reason. Most of us hit our mental peak in the morning, which then slowly dwindles throughout the day, and we often feel sluggish or tired by the end of our workday. Those two factors combined make it easy to give in and skip our run. Of course, there is also a greater possibility that something could come up during the day that forces you to miss your evening run, which could make it difficult to stick to a consistent schedule. Most of the time, however, if you can push yourself to lace up your shoes, you’ll be surprised at how good you feel once you actually start running.

There are also more environmental factors to contend with in the latter part of the day, like increased traffic (and therefore decreased air quality), hotter temperatures in the summer months and a lack of light when the sun goes down early during the winter. If you go out running at this time, it is important to be prepared for whatever elements you may have to deal with so you can run safely.

Finally, while running in the evening may not force you to get up early, it could disrupt your sleep if you leave it too late. Sleep is a very important part of recovery, so if you’re finding that your sleep quality is worse after you run in the evening, you may want to try finding an earlier time to run.

The bottom line

When it comes down to it, the best time of day to run depends on you and your schedule. If starting your day with a run makes you feel energized and happy and helps you to stay consistent with your training, then by all means continue. Just make sure that you’re warming up properly and going to bed early so you’re not missing out on sleep. If getting up before the sun sounds like torture to you, then the evening run is the better option. If you can, avoid heavily trafficked areas so you aren’t breathing in so many fumes, and make sure you’re well-prepared for the environmental conditions you might encounter on your run.

(02/06/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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2021 Two Oceans Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

Cape Town’s premier running event, the Two Oceans Marathon scheduled for Easter Saturday, April 3, has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 56 km race is the second largest ultramarathon in South Africa and has been held since 1970. According to a media release by the race organizers, “the current pandemic climate, [and] the health risks around hosting the… mass participation event are far too significant for the event to proceed safely.”

“It is never pleasant when an event like this is disrupted and which in turn affects the fixture calendar and the many athletes who are already planning for that day,” said Jakes Jacobs, President of Western Province Athletics (the provincial authority for the event). “However, it is even more painful to us when an event of this magnitude is forced to be cancelled. Unfortunately, the pandemic knows no bounds and… no one knows when it will be put under control or even be eliminated, if at all.

We have consulted with Athletics South Africa regarding the race. Western Province Athletics and the organizers eventually took this final decision after taking into consideration the many factors in the management of the event and the current behavior of the virus.”

The organizers said while they did consider a postponement of the event to a later date, they are “planning alternative events and programmes… within the prevailing regulations”. These will be announced soon.

The Two Oceans was also cancelled in 2020, when it would have been the 51st running of the ultramarathon (and the 23rd of the accompanying half-marathon). When it was last held in 2019, the winners were Bongmusa Mthembu and Gerda Steyn (her second consecutive victory). The race had 12,026 finishers; the combined total of 26,509 finishers in the ultra and half-marathon easily makes it the biggest running event in South Africa.

Almost simultaneously with this news, Athletics South Africa announced that track and field events can resume this weekend after several months of no activity. It is expected that the country’s COVID-19 lockdown level will be lowered by the government before or on February 15, which would increase the limit on the number of people allowed at public gatherings such as track and field meetings and road races.

(02/06/2021) ⚡AMP
by Riël Hauman
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). The Ultra Marathon celebrated its 50th anniversary...

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Why Runners Should Treat Winter as a Training Tool

In the winter of 1939, when the military posted Swedish miler Gundar Hagg to the far north of that nordic country, he devised a unique training program of running on trails through knee- or hip-deep snow. Most days he would do 2500 meters in snow for strength, followed by 2500 meters on a cleared road for turn-over. But during those times when he couldn't find cleared roads-sometimes for weeks-he'd run up to the full 5K in snow. The next summer he set huge PRs, coming within one second of the mile world record.

Hagg continued his routine in subsequent winters, devising a hilly 5K loop in a different locale that trudged through snowy forest for 3000 meters then ended with a 2000 meter stretch of road where he could run at full speed. He kept improving, and the summer of 1942 he set 10 world records between 1500m and 5,000m.

While Hagg's routine was created out of necessity, he obviously valued the snowy training. When he moved to a city with a milder climate, he wrote in a training journal, "It will be harder running than any previous year. Probably there won't be much snow." And every winter he scheduled trips north to train on the familiar, tough, snowy trails.

Hagg isn't the only runner who has found winter training valuable. Roger Robinson, who raced internationally for England and New Zealand in the 1960s before setting masters road records in the '80s, recalls his training for the deep-winter English cross country championships of the 1950's and 60s. "We ran, often at race pace, over snow, mud, puddles, deep leaves, ploughed fields, scratchy stubble, stumpy grass, sticky clay, sheep-poo, whatever, uphill and down," Robinson says. "And thus, without going near a gym or a machine, we developed strength, spring, flexibility, and stride versatility that also paid off later on the road or track; I made one of my biggest track breakthroughs after a winter spent running long intervals on a terrain of steep hills and soft shifting sand."

Robinson, now 80, with two artificial knees, still runs in the cold and slop. "Running is still in great part about feeling the surfaces and shape of the earth under my feet," he says.

Hagg and Robinson are of a different generation than those of us with web-connected treadmills that can let us run any course on earth from the comfort of our basement, but they're on to something we might still benefit from: Winter can be an effective training tool. Here are five reasons you'll want to bundle up and head out regardless of the conditions, indeed, why you can delight when it is particularly nasty out.

1) Winter Running Makes You Strong

As Hagg demonstrated and Robinson points out, winter conditions work muscles and tendons you'd never recruit on the smooth, dry path. A deep-winter run often ends up being as diverse as a set of form and flexibility drills: high knees, bounds, skips, side-lunges, one-leg balancing

Bill Aris, coach of the perennially-successful Fayetteville-Manlius high school programs, believes that tough winter conditions are ideal for off-season training that has the goal of building aerobic and muscular strength. He sends the kids out every day during the upstate New York winter, and says they come back, "sweating, exhausted and smiling, feeling like they have completely worked every system in their bodies."

2) Winter Running Makes You Tough

No matter how much you know it is good for you and that you'll be glad when you're done, it takes gumption to bundle up, get out the door and face the wintry blast day after day. But besides getting physically stronger, you're also building mental steel. When you've battled snow and slop, darkness and biting winds all winter, the challenges of distance, hills and speed will seem tame come spring.

"If you have trained in deep snow, or battled up a slippery hill into freezing sleet, or lifted your feet out of sticky clay for an hour, the race can hold no fear," Robinson says. "If you do real winter training, Boston in April can throw nothing at you that you have not prepared for."

3) Winter Running Improves Your Stride

Running on the same smooth, flat ground every day can lead to running ruts. Our neuromuscular patterns become calcified and the same muscles get used repeatedly. This makes running feel easier, but it also predisposes us to injury and prevents us from improving our stride as we get fitter or improve our strength and mobility. Introducing a variety of surfaces and uncertain footplants shakes up our stride, recruits different muscles in different movement patterns, and makes our stride more effective and robust as new patterns are discovered.

You can create this stride shake-up by hitting a technical trail. But as Megan Roche, physician, ultrarunning champion, clinical researcher at Stanford and Strava running coach, points out, "A lot of runners don't have access to trails. Many runners are running on flat ground, roads-having snow and ice is actually helpful, makes it like a trail."

In addition to creating variety, slippery winter conditions also encourage elements of an efficient, low-impact stride. "One thing running on snow or ice reinforces is a high turn over rate and a bit more mindfulness of where your feet are hitting the ground," Roche says. "And those two things combine to a reduced injury risk." After a winter of taking quicker, more balanced strides, those patterns will persist, and you'll be a smoother, more durable runner when you start speeding up and going longer on clearer roads.

"Exercising in general, particularly during periods of higher cold or flu season has a protective effect in terms of the immune system," says Roche.  You get this benefit by getting your heart rate up and getting moving even indoors, but Roche says, "Getting outside is generally preferable-fresh air has its own positive effect."

Cathy Fieseler, ultrarunner and sports physician on the board of directors of the International Institute of Race Medicine (IIRM), says there's not much scientific literature to prove it, but agrees that in her experience getting outside has health benefits. "In cold weather the furnace heat in the house dries up your throat and thickens the mucous in the sinuses," Fieseler says. "The cold air clears this out; it really clears your head."

Fieseler warns, however, that cold can trigger bronchospasms in those with asthma, and Roche suggests that when it gets really cold you wear a balaclava or scarf over your mouth to hold some heat in and keep your lungs warmer. "Anything below zero, you need to be dressed really well and mindful of your lungs, making sure that you're not exposing your lungs to too cold for too long," Roche says.

For all its training and health benefits, the thing that will most likely get most of us out the door on white and windy days is that it makes us feel great. "A number of runners that I coach and that I see in clinics suffer from feeling more depressed or a little bit lower in winter," says Roche. "Running is a great way to combat that. There's something really freeing about getting out doors, feeling the fresh air and having that outdoor stress release."

Research shows that getting outside is qualitatively different than exercising indoors. A 2011 systematic review of related studies concluded, "Compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression, and increased energy." They also found that "participants reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and declared a greater intent to repeat the activity at a later date."

That "intent to repeat" is important. Running becomes easier and more enjoyable, the more you do it. "Consist running is really the most fun running," Roche says. "It takes 4 weeks of consistency to really feel good. Your body just locks into it."

Most people associate consistency with discipline, and setting goals and being accountable is an effective way to build a consistent habit. Strava data shows that people who set goals are much more consistent and persistent in their activities throughout the year. The desire to achieve a goal can help overcome that moment of inertia when we're weighing current comfort with potential enjoyment.

But the best way to create long-term consistency is learning to love the run itself. Runners who make it a regular part of their life talk little about discipline and more about how much they appreciate the chance to escape and to experience the world on their run each day-even, perhaps especially, on the blustery, cold, sloppy ones.

"I want to get out into whatever the weather is, the environment is. I want the experience," Robinson says. "Yes, in winter it's nice to stay warm inside; except when you go outside once a day to run, in whatever weather and on whatever footing nature provides. That's called living. It's also good for your later races."

(02/06/2021) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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US 800m star, Ajeé Wilson is on the comeback trail

The US 800m star is on the comeback trail, writes Elliott Denman, and about to hit the track for her first competition in 12 months

“It’s been crazy,” Ajee’ Wilson tells you, by way of telephone interview.

Which isn’t exactly late-breaking news.

Then again, when you are the No.1-ranked athlete in the world in a prime event on the programme of the “flagship sport of the Olympic Games,” a very good guess is that the last year has been a whole lot crazier for you than it’s been for so many of your contemporaries.

At 26 – she’ll be 27 on May 8 – the stellar speedster from Neptune, New Jersey, a Temple University graduate who now lives and trains in Philadelphia, is already the owner of 11 USA Track and Field national championship gold medals, holds both versions of the American record for 800m (1:55.61 outdoors, 1:58.29 indoors) and is a young veteran of both the 2016 Olympics and multiple editions of the world championships, And, too, she ran off with the top spot in the most recent complete edition of the Diamond League circuit in 2019.

That’s already a career dossier that puts her right up there with the best of the best in American track annals.

Nevertheless, she hasn’t competed in nearly a year and can’t really tell you “where I am” heading into the New Balance Grand Prix at Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze complex, on Saturday February 13. Her 2021 debut will thus be more than interesting as the track and field world catch up on her exploits and she catches up with her own sport.

Her most recent competitive outing was at the USATF Indoor Nationals in February last year in Albuquerque. Of course, she won it, in 2:01.98 and at altitude. It came a week after she’d won at New York’s Millrose Games, in an American record of 1:58.29, which held up as No.2 world time of the indoor season behind Jemma Reekie’s 1:57.9.

She’d opened her 2020 season with a 2:02.37 win in January at the New York Armory’s Dr Sander Invitational. But before that, her last prior major outing was third place at the World Championships in Doha in September 2019.

So that adds up to just three major competitions in a year and just four in nearly 16 months. What can the track and field world expect?

Wilson can’t really tell you – other than saying: “I’m pretty healthy, I’ve been training well, not bad at all (with her training group partners and coach Derek Thompson, almost always outdoors in Philadelphia, no matter the weather).

“I don’t have any issues, no nicks, no nacks.”

Yes, there were “some nicks, some nacks” for a brief stretch last summer but they’re long gone now and she’s more than anxious to get back into real racing.

She’s grateful, too, that, even through this brutal stretch of overlapping universal economic slowdown, and the devastations of the pandemic, her sponsor adidas has stayed with her and lent the ongoing support appropriate to a world-class athlete.

After the Staten Island start, she hopes to run The Texas Qualifer, a brand new outdoor meet in the Austin area on February 26-27 designed to help Tokyo Olympic hopefuls post qualifying marks. Focusing on events from the 800m up to 10,000m for men and women, the meet will be USATF-sanctioned, spectator-free and fully observant of Covid protocols.

“Hopefully” – a word almost all the global elite uses regularly these challenging days – the meet will evolve into a major stepping stone on the way to Japan in July.

Like every global Games candidate, she has no firm idea if the Tokyo Olympics will actually transpire as scheduled. And if so, in what form? As a strictly-for-TV extravaganza? As a spectator-free production? In a who-knows-what format?

“I’m just hopeful,” said Wilson. “Whatever they decide, that’s fine with me.”

She adds: “It’s obviously a bigger call than any of us can make.”

(02/05/2021) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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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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2021 Nagano Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

The Nagano Marathon organizing committee held the meeting on February 2nd at Nagano city and decided to cancel the 23rd Nagano marathon.

This is the judgement to put utmost priority to safety to participant runners and local residents considering the condition of coming April cannot be foreseen because 11 prefectures in Japan are still under the second proclamation of state of emergency due to the spread of new coronavirus.

The committee has considered the necessary infection prevention measures, however the spread ot the third wave infection, which began from around November last year, is continuing and the state of emergency period is expected to be extended.

for only this time, the applicant will be given a full refund of the entry fee and will also be given priority entry to the next Nagano marathon. In addition, we are planning to hold alternative events such as online marathon that can be held without runners becoming crowded. 

We are going to prepare for the next Nagano Marathon hoping new coronavirus will go down as soon as possible and both domestic and foreign runners will be able to participate in the next race with smiles.

Thank you very much for your continued support. The Nagano Organizing Committee. 

(02/05/2021) ⚡AMP
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NAGANO MARATHON

NAGANO MARATHON

The Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon is an annual marathon road race which takes place in mid-April in Nagano, Japan. It is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race competition. The Nagano Marathon has races for both elite and amateur runners. It is named in honour of the 1998 Winter Olympics which were held in Nagano. The course has a point-to-point style...

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What and when should you eat before, during and after your runs?

For runners, food is more than simple nutrition — food is fuel. What and when should you eat before, during and after your runs? What should you drink and how much? When you are training for a long race — 10K or more — you are going to have to change how you eat; we’ll show you how to make those changes.

Three Simple Food Rules

If you are starting to train for a long-distance race, these tips should help guide your eating habits.

1. Eat More

During marathon training you are burning many more calories than you were before, and you need to replace them. First, use this calculator to help you get an idea of how much you are burning. Keep in mind, however, that your calorie burn will depend on your gender, size and the intensity of your workout. Then replace those calories with nutrient-rich food — the rest of this guide will show you how. 

Looking to lose weight? It may surprise you, but long-distance running is not an effective weight-loss plan. One mile of running burns about 100 calories, but that doesn’t mean you’ll lose a pound for every 35 miles you log. Many studies show that running increases appetites, especially in new runners. The body seems to want to maintain its weight homeostasis and will pump out hormones that prompt runners to want to eat. If you are not trying to lose weight, by all means respond to those signals by eating more, but if you wish to lose weight, you have to be aware of how many calories you burn and how many you consume.

One tip? Running on an empty stomach pushes the body to use your fat stores as fuel and can help to fight weight gain.

If you do find the scale creeping higher as you train, watch your calorie intake and make sure to read rule #2.

2. Fight the Hunger

You will feel hungry when you are training for a marathon, a feeling commonly called “runger” within running circles. However, if you feel hungry all the time, it’s time for a dietary change to make sure you can go longer without feeling hungry between meals.

If hunger is an issue, ask yourself these questions:

• Are you getting enough protein? Carbs have long been seen as the holy grail to fast running, but protein is important because it stabilizes your blood sugar and helps you feel fuller longer.

• Are you eating enough before a run? Running on an empty stomach can often lead to sluggish workouts and clawing hunger later in the day.

• Are you eating often enough? If you are hungry after eating three meals, try spacing out the same amount of food into five smaller portions instead. The steadier input of food will help your body maintain stable blood sugar levels and stave off hunger. Also, have a variety of healthy snacks on hand so you don’t turn to calorie-laden food when you are hungry. Think a handful of nuts, a cup of applesauce or a banana.

3. Try and Try Again

Sure, food is fuel, but we’re not built on an assembly line. Your months spent training for a race are there to help you develop your form, your endurance and also your optimal diet. Throughout your training, try eating different types of foods and alter their timing little by little to see what works best. Then use that combination on race day.

Most runners can figure out their ideal diet through trial and error “but with guidance, the time from trial and error to success can be greatly decreased,” says Lauren Antonucci, a registered dietitian.

Let’s start by taking a look at how our bodies uses different types of food.

(02/05/2021) ⚡AMP
by Jen A. Miller
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Tokyo olympics chief Yoshiro Mori apologizes for remarks demeaning women

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics, already facing rising costs and significant public opposition to this summer’s Games, faced a new furor on Wednesday after the president of the Tokyo organizing committee suggested women talk too much in meetings.

The president, Yoshiro Mori, stoked a social media backlash after news reports emerged of his comments demeaning women during an executive meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee that was held online.

“On boards with a lot of women, the board meetings take so much time,” Mr. Mori, 83, said to laughter, according to a report in the Asahi Shimbun, one of the country’s largest daily newspapers. “Women have a strong sense of competition. If one person raises their hand, others probably think, I need to say something too. That’s why everyone speaks.”

Mr. Mori, a former prime minister, was responding to a question asking him to comment on the Olympic committee’s plan to increase the number of women board members to more than 40 percent of the total.

“You have to regulate speaking time to some extent,” Mr. Mori said. “Or else we’ll never be able to finish.”

The reports came just as Olympic organizers were releasing guidelines to reassure citizens and visitors that they would be able to secure the safety of athletes and others during the rescheduled Games this summer.

On Twitter, users quickly began calling for Mori to resign. Others suggested Mori’s age, and his outdated attitude, were the real problem.

At a news conference on Thursday, Mr. Mori said he had no intention of resigning. “I recognize the remark was against the spirit of Olympics and Paralympics,” he said. “I deeply regret what I said.” Mr. Mori said he wanted to retract his remarks, and he apologized “to those who felt uncomfortable.”

(02/05/2021) ⚡AMP
by Motoko Rich, Hikari Hida and Makiko Inoue
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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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Stanbic Bank Kenya unveil marathon queen Brigid Kosgei as brand ambasaddor

Stanbic Bank Kenya have engaged world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei as their brand ambassador for a period of two years.

Kosgei, the reigning London and Chicago Marathon champion, will now drive Stanbic Bank's new brand positioning and campaign dubbed “It Can Be,” aimed at inspiring and encouraging both the internal and external stakeholders to dream big and achieve their goals.

While unveiling Kosgei at a ceremony at Kempinski Hotel, Nairobi on Thursday, Stanbic Bank Kenya chief executive officer, Charles Mudiwa, said that they will engage the 2019 and 2020 London Marathon champion in many fields to enhance delivery and performance at their bank.

Mudiwa said their partnership with Kosgei is also in line with Stanbic Bank’s commitment to empower women.

“Through its women proposition DADA, the bank continues to proactively invest in women and their businesses for a more equitable and progressive society,” explained Mudiwa, adding that through various financial and non-financial offerings, the bank has managed to bring on board over 10,000 women, and the numbers keep growing.

“Brigid is a fitting international athlete and has achieved a great deal at such a young age and is a true reflection of the brand. Her determination and focus portrays the very essence of It Can Be,” said Mudiwa. “It Can Be speaks to the philosophy of who we are and where we are going as a Kenyan Bank.”

The 26-year-old Kosgei said that he was humbled by Stanbic Bank’s gesture and vowed to use the opportunity to sensitize the girl-child on the importance of education and sports.

“I dropped out of school since my parents were unable to pay my school fees and that is why I shall endeavor to give my children good education as well as push them into sports,” said Kosgei, adding that everyone faces challenges in life, but it should not deter us from going forth and achieving our goals.

Kosgei said Stanbic Bank has been there to support her journey and helped her realize her dreams.

(02/04/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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2021 Tokushima Marathon won´t take place and this is the second year in a row that the event has been cancelled due to the pandemic

On Feb. 3 the organizing committee for the Tokushima Marathon announced that this year's race, scheduled for Mar. 28, has been cancelled.

The second year in a row that the event has been called off, the committee's decision to cancel was unanimous.

With the national government's decision to extend the state of emergency in ten prefectures and the impending demands of vaccine distribution, the organizing committee felt that it was important to prioritize society's needs and not to ask medical staff to put time and energy toward a marathon. 

The 2300 people already entered will their entry fees completely refunded. They and others will also have the option to run a virtual 42.195 km race whenever they like using the race's official app.

With regard to next year's race, prefectural officials commented, "We will monitor the situation surrounding the virus moving forward and evaluate whether the race can be held."

With 11,010 finishers in 2019 Tokushima was one of the last big spring marathons still on Japan's spring calendar.

(02/04/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Tokushima Marathon

Tokushima Marathon

Come and join us for the Tokushima Marathon Kizuna where your family, and friends can be part of our fun event. ...

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The extraordinary feats of the world’s oldest marathon runner Sikh Superman Fauja Singh are to be immortalised in a biopic produced in his native India

Fauja Singh, 109, who broke marathon records and was dubbed the “Sikh Superman” before hanging up his running shoes six years ago, will be the subject of a Bollywood film, Fauja, tracing his remarkable career.

The life of Fauja Singh, the oldest marathon runner in the world, will be told in a Bollywood film.

The biopic on the ‘Sikh Superman’, titled Fauja will be directed by Omung Kumar. He will also produce it alongside Kunal Shivdasani and Raaj Shaandilya.

Omung is best known for Mary Kom, which starred Priyanka Chopra and won a National Film Award in 2014 for ‘Best Popular Film’. He also directed Sarbjit.

According to Deadline, Fauja will tell the story of how 109-year-old Fauja Singh shocked the world by breaking a number of records in multiple age brackets as a marathon runner.

Singh made his London marathon debut in 2000 at the age of 89. He has gone on to complete the famed marathon six times.

He has also completed marathons in New York and in Toronto twice.

The film’s screenplay is being adapted from his biography Turbaned Tornado, which was written by Khushwant Singh.

Vipul Mehta, who is known for the Gujarati film Carry on Kesar, has written the film’s script.

On the film, Omung said: “The story of Fauja Singh depicts the insurmountable odds stacked against him and what sheer power of will can make of someone who is challenged medically, by age and by society.”

Kunal added: “It is a beautiful story about a man whose life takes him on an epic journey making him a world icon as he discovers his passion for running marathons; eventually that guided him to make an impact on the world by bringing about a change to humanity.

“Omung is a dear friend and we share the same vision for the film, he has helmed Sarbjit and Mary Kom – two of the best and most successful biopics in the country and so having him chair the director’s role for this film was a unanimous decision.

“Our film intends to make the amazing journey of Fauja Singh personal to everyone watching it.”

Raaj said: “Fauja Singh is the real king and we are all honored to present his story in the form of a cinematic experience for the Indian diaspora world over.

“This story takes us on a journey through time and makes the realization of what our grandparents have been through hit home.

“It is a film that promises an instant connect.”

(02/04/2021) ⚡AMP
by Hugh Tomlinson
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2021 Eugene Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

After careful consideration, the 2021 Eugene Marathon will shift to a fully virtual event in late April of 2021. 

Over the fall and winter, the Eugene Marathon staff worked with partners at Lane County Public Health, the City of Eugene, the University of Oregon and PeaceHealth to plan for a COVID-modified, in-person event; but due to the current state of the pandemic and the projected timing of the vaccine roll out, it has become clear that putting on a safe, in-person event in April is not possible. 

“When we opened registration in the fall, we were hopeful that 2021 would be our year to return to in-person races and to our roots at Hayward Field,” Race Director Ian Dobson said. “But as we have gone through the planning process, it has become clear that our community partners and the medical support staff we rely on will still be very busy serving our community in a significant way by providing treatment and vaccinations.”

“We also acknowledge the impact that our event could have on COVID transmissions,” Dobson added. “The fact that we attract participants from all 50 states and around the globe is something we are extremely proud of, but right now it would clearly be irresponsible for us to put our community at risk by hosting an event with that sort of reach."

The Eugene Marathon, which takes place annually on the final weekend of April, consists of a Marathon, Half Marathon, Eugene 5K, Kid’s Duck Dash, and Health & Wellness Expo. All events, including a live-streaming Finish Festival will now take place virtually. A final schedule will be announced in March. All 2021 registrants have been notified by email and will be provided a week to defer their entry for free to 2022 or to stay in the virtual event.

“Life has changed significantly since we became the healthcare sponsor for Eugene Marathon in 2019. Through the challenges of the last year, it became apparent how socially conscious Eugene Marathon is as an organization. And this decision truly highlights their commitment to doing what’s right for our communities,” said Todd Salnas, chief operating officer, PeaceHealth Oregon. “We are proud to support this year’s virtual event and associated activities and look forward to the possibility of celebrating together in person at Hayward Field in 2022.”

“We are looking at innovative ways to approach the virtual race experience and make it as fun and interactive as possible,” Dobson said. “There will be multiple days of activities available throughout race weekend. “

 

(02/04/2021) ⚡AMP
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Eugene Marathon

Eugene Marathon

Consistently ranked in the top 15 races most likely to qualify for Boston by Marathon Guide, the Eugene Marathon is a beautiful, fast, USATF certified race with amazing amenities and an unrivaled finishinside Historic Hayward Field. The Eugene Half Marathon starts alongside full marathon participants in front of historic Hayward Field home of five Olympic trials, ten NCAA championships and...

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Cruz Culpepper runs 3:59.53 mile, joins father on list of sub-4 runners

Cruz and Alan Culpepper are just the 13th father-son duo to have both broken the four-minute barrier.

University of Washington freshman Cruz Culpepper opened his collegiate career in impressive style at the UW Indoor Preview on January 30, running a 3:59.53 mile for the first sub-four-minute result of his young career. With the run, Culpepper becomes the 11th UW runner to break four minutes in the mile, and he also joins his father, former U.S. Olympian Alan Culpepper, on the elite list. Cruz and Alan are the 13th father-son duo in history to have broken the four-minute barrier.

The Culpeppers:

Alan ran for the University of Colorado in the 90s, and he won the NCAA outdoor 5,000m crown in 1996. He represented the U.S. on the world stage on multiple occasions, and in 2000, he competed in the 10,000m at the Sydney Olympics. Four years later, he won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials to secure a spot on the team at the Athens Games, where he ran to a 12th-place finish in 2:15:26. (Alan’s wife and Cruz’s mother, Shayne Culpepper, also ran at the Olympics, competing in the 1,500m in 2000 and 5,000m in 2004.) Alan ran to consecutive top-five results at the Boston Marathon in 2005 and 2006 before retiring a couple of seasons later in 2008. 

Alan’s first sub-four mile came in 1998, when he was 26, at a meet in St. Louis. He posted a blazing-fast time of 3:55.12, which he followed up a month later with another four-minute mile in Massachusetts, where he ran 3:58.47.  

At just 18 years old (he’ll turn 19 in April), Cruz reached the sub-four milestone eight years earlier than his dad. His result comes just under a year since his last run at the UW track, when he came agonizingly close to breaking four minutes, competing as a high schooler, with a final time of 4:00.10. Cruz literally dove across the line in that race last year, giving everything he had in his attempt to go sub-four, but this year he fared much better, staying on his feet right through to the finish.

"It was fun,"  he said after the race. “It’s definitely cool to open up with a sub-four. I felt super comfortable all the way through it. I mean, it was tough, but I knew I could do it. I didn’t have anything slower than sub-four in my head.”

Joining more father-son duos

The website bringbackthemile.com names all 13 father-son duos on this exclusive list of sub-four milers, and it has several names running fans will recognize. Americans Matt Centrowitz Sr. and Matthew Centrowitz Jr. (the latter of whom is the reigning Olympic 1,500m champion) joined the list in 2009, John and Johnny Gregorek were added in 2015 and the Culpeppers are the newest pair to occupy a spot. 

(02/03/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Paris 2024 will have a contingency plan if COVID-19 crisis is not over

Paris will be ready to host the 2024 Olympics even if the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing as organisers have been working on contingency plans, Tony Estanguet, the head of the organising committee, said on Tuesday.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed by a year and organisers are facing a tough challenge to host the sporting extravaganza this July and August as the COVID-19 crisis rages on.

Speaking to Reuters at the Eiffel Tower, Estanguet said that Paris 2024 is preparing for any eventuality.

“When you organise events like this, you try to anticipate, but nobody could imagine that COVID-19 would create such a mess in our lives. We can predict a lot of things, but not this,” he said.

“What’s interesting is to see how we can react to unpredictable events. As early as last year, we had to re-organise and work on a new concept, in terms of competition sites, for instance, to see how we could adapt to a new context.

“In the end in a few months we managed to propose a project that was still ambitious and generated some savings. That’s the mindset we’re in. There’s no official plan B but we’re identifying the risks and the solutions. And we will be working on this until the end because risks constantly evolve.”

Asked if organisers would be ready to host the Games in 2024 if the situation was similar to this year, Estanguet said: “There are solutions.”

KEEP CALM AND STAY FOCUSED

With the 2020 Olympics delayed by a year, there were fears that the sharing of information between Tokyo and Paris would be impacted.

Estanguet, however, insisted both organising committees had been in constant contact, allowing the French to learn valuable lessons from their Japanese counterparts in terms of COVID-19 crisis management.

“Since 2018, we’ve been exchanging on security, transport, ticketing, volunteering - we’ve been sharing information for three years now and we’ve been benefiting from all the measures they set up last year,” he explained.

“Even if the Games have not happened yet, we’ve learnt a lot from Tokyo already.”

Preparations for sporting events can be severely disrupted by COVID-19 restrictions, as tennis players have recently discovered by going through a strict two-week quarantine ahead of tournaments in Australia.

Yet according to Estanguet, the Olympic Games are an athlete’s dream and the participants will be ready to adapt.

(02/03/2021) ⚡AMP
by Julien Pretot
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Marius Van Heerden, triple South African champion has died from COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic claimed one of the best middle distance runners ever produced in South Africa, Marius van Heerden, in Cape Town last Thursday (January 21). Van Heerden, a former South African senior record holder and junior champion in the 800 meters, as well as national senior champion over 1500m, was just 46 years-old.

Van Heerden represented South Africa at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and the 1997 World Championships in Athens. He first received national colours for a tour to India in 1993.

Van Heerden came onto the national scene in 1991 when he won the national U17 800m title in Germiston in 1:51.82. A year later in Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium he beat Hezekiel Sepeng (who is two months older) into second place to take the U19 gold medal in 1:49.17. A month earlier in Bellville he had run his best time of 1:48.63.

In September 1992 he finished sixth at the World Junior Championships in Seoul in 1:48.71.

The next year, 1993, he improved to 1:46.38 in Pretoria behind Johan Landsman, and also ran 1:46.55, 1:46.59, 1:46.87 and 1:46.89. The fastest time placed him fourth on the world junior list, with the 11th best time (Sepeng had the three quickest). He could not better this in 1994 and 1995, but in the Olympic year he reached the pinnacle of his career when he set a new South African record of 1:44.57 in Cape Town on April 12 — improving the national mark that had stood for 25 years behind the names of Dicky Broberg and March Fiasconaro. Although this performance was surpassed four times later in the year by Sepeng, who eventually won the silver medal in Atlanta, Van Heerden’s time placed him 23rd on the world list for the year. He also ran the fastest South African time for 1000m, a personal best of 2:17.64, as well as 1:45.52 and 1:45.99.

At the Olympic Games Van Heerden was eliminated in the first round when he finished third in his heat in 1:47.46. Three weeks before, he had been eighth in the Bislett Games in 1:46.31, then his fourth fastest time.

Earlier in the year he had run the best mile of his career when he finished third behind Johan Botha and Sepeng in 3:57.49 — also the third fastest SA time for 1996.

He never won the SA senior title over two laps, but the year 1997 started off well for him when he took the 1500m title in 3:42.11 — interestingly enough, at altitude in Potchefstroom. (He twice won the silver medal over 800m, in 1993 and 1998, and in 1995 the bronze; he was also third in the 1500m in 1996. As a junior, apart from his two 800m titles, he also won the silver medal over 800m in 1993 and over 1500m in 1991.)

A month later he ran his best 800 time of the year when he clocked 1:45.63 in Cape Town. At the World Championships he qualified for the quarterfinal with a third place in his heat in 1:47.56, but then finished only sixth in the next round and was eliminated.

He recorded the two fastest SA times for 1000m in 1997, with a best of 2:18.25.

In 1998 his best 800 was 1:46.83 (for 8th on the SA list) and in 2000 1:46.64 (also 8th). He finished his career with eleven performances under 1:47.00 and at the time of his death he was still seventh on the SA all-time list.

Van Heerden twice represented South Africa in international test matches and won the 800 on both occasions: against Italy in 1996 (1:49.4) and against Russia in 1998 (1:46.83).

(02/03/2021) ⚡AMP
by Riël Hauman
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Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon has been postponed to 2022

Stacked fields had been announced for the February 19 event but it will no longer take place this year

There will be no Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon this year, with organisers confirming that the 15th edition which had been scheduled for February 19 will now take place in 2022.

Stacked fields including three-time world half-marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, world half-marathon record-holder Kibiwott Kandie, world half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo, world half-marathon record-holder Ababel Yeshaneh (pictured), world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei and two-time world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri had been announced for the event.

‘Elite bubble’ procedures had been put in place for the race in Ras Al Khaimah, which is the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates, because of the pandemic.

It had also been set to include a 500-strong mass event, however the ever-changing pandemic situation has forced a rethink.

“After careful consideration, we have taken the decision to postpone the 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, which was set to take place on February 19th, 2021 on Al Marjan Island, to 2022,” the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said in a statement.

“This is a necessary measure to protect the wellbeing of our participants, spectators and staff in light of the ever-evolving situation. All registered participants will receive a refund, as per the cancellation policy and, as gesture of gratitude and a thank you for ongoing support, all UAE registered runners will receive their race pack and race medal.

“The safety of all visitors to Ras Al Khaimah remains our utmost priority and we are very grateful for the understanding and support of the event participants at this time. We hope any participants who planned to stay in Ras Al Khaimah will continue to enjoy the diverse beach, adventure and culture offer in the Emirate.”

(02/03/2021) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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2021 Mercedes Marathon postponed until 2022 due to pandemic

Runners who were looking forward to the popular Mercedes-Benz Marathon will have to wait until 2022 after it was announced Monday that the race will be postponed.

Birmingham Marathon, Inc. and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. (MBUSI) have jointly decided to postpone the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend out of caution amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The 20th Mercedes Marathon will now be held a full year later – in February of 2022.

“Based on the current situation with COVID-19 and the inability to secure event permits for the postponed April date, we could not in good conscience proceed with hosting the event this spring,” said Valerie Cuddy, Chairman of the event. “We understand it is a huge disappointment, but this is necessary for the health and safety of all involved. The pandemic has deeply impacted planning, access to resources needed to carry out the race and the uncertainty will not allow us to put on a quality event and protect our runners, staff and volunteers who have made the event so successful during its 19-year history.”

Birmingham Marathon, Inc. will be reaching out to all registered participants to confirm options to roll over registrations to the 2022 event.

The modified Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama’s Kids Mercedes-Benz Marathon is still taking place.

(02/02/2021) ⚡AMP
by Jordan Highsmith
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Mercedes-Benz Marathon

Mercedes-Benz Marathon

The race is a Boston Marathon qualifier and attracts racers from across the nation and around the world. The race was founded in 2003 as a fundraising effort for The Bell Center, a program for developmentally-challenged children. Celebrating 18 years, we're Alabama's premier running weekend! Bring the family and stretch out your legs on Saturday with our Regions Superhero 5K...

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Japanese woman Mariko Yugeta, sets W60 world record with 2:52 marathon in Osaka

Sunday’s Osaka Women’s Marathon in Japan saw many fast results, including a course record and world-leading time from Mao Ichiyama, who won the race in 2:21:11. Ichiyama’s win was not the biggest story of the day, however, as she and the rest of the field were overshadowed by Mariko Yugeta, a 62-year-old woman who posted an age group world record of 2:52:13.

Yugeta’s time was good enough for 48th place, and it smashed the previous W60 world record of 2:56:54, which she set in 2019.

Not only is this a world record for  Yugeta, but it’s also a personal best. That’s right — she’s 62 years old and beating times she set years ago. Since joining the W60 age group, Yugeta has broken the marathon world record three times. Her first record run came in November 2019, when she became the first W60 runner to break three hours in the marathon. She ran 2:59:15 at the Shimonoseki Kaikyo Marathon in Japan, shattering the previous world record of 3:02:50 that France’s Claudine Marchadier set in 2007.

Yugeta´s next record-breaking run came just one month after her initial sub-three-hour result, this time at Japan’s Saitama International Marathon. Despite having run a marathon weeks earlier, she managed to lower her own record even more, finishing in 18th place in 2:56:54. She failed to break her record in 2020, but she did post another sub-three-hour result, running the Osaka Women’s Marathon in 2:59:23. Finally, Yugeta ran her current PB of 2:52:13 on Sunday, but she isn’t satisfied just yet.

As reported by Japan Running News (JRN), Yugeta is registered for the Nagoya Women’s Marathon, which is set for March 14, and she says she will be looking to run even quicker than she did in Osaka. “I want to keep my legs in perfect condition and go for 2:50 or 2:51,” she said.

This might seem too ambitious, but as the JRN article notes, Yugeta struggled in the final weeks of her build to the Osaka Women’s marathon. She reportedly dealt with fatigue (which is understandable, as she runs incredibly high mileage, hitting 800K per month in the summers) and pain in her glutes. Fortunately, she was able to remedy this discomfort through acupuncture treatments, and she said her run in Osaka was pain-free.

Still, even though she felt fine on race day doesn’t mean the ghosts of those nagging issues weren’t affecting her. With those problems behind her, she could have a better build ahead of the Nagoya Women’s Marathon, which could mean the W60 world record will be lowered once again.

(02/02/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Osaka International Womens Marathon

Osaka International Womens Marathon

The Osaka International Ladies Marathon is an annual marathon road race for women over the classic distance of 42.195 kilometres which is held on the 4th or 5th Sunday of January in the city of Osaka, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Kansai Telecasting Corporation, the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Radio Osaka and Osaka City. The first...

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2021 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has been moved to April 10

This year’s edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon earlier slated for February 13, has now been shifted till April 10, the organisers disclosed yesterday.

Last week, the Nilayo Sports Management Chief Executive Officer, Bukola Olopade, stated that the number of athletes taking part in the 2021 event was reduced from its usual 100,000 runners to 300 to stay within the regulatory procedure of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on why it was postponed, Olopade stated that even though Lagos State government, the sponsors and the organisers were fully ready, there was the need to move the event forward to April 10 due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Olopade added: “We are not going to increase the number from 300 runners even though a lot of foreign athletes want to use the silver label Access Bank Lagos City marathon to cement their qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.

“As we speak, this Lagos city marathon has been listed by World Athletics as qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics. Even the April 10 date is already on their website,” Olopade said, adding that the 300 tickets available for the 2021 edition would be distributed to athletes both from the country and those coming from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, United Kingdom, USA and other countries.

“The 2021 Lagos City Marathon would be exclusive for the 42km race. The 10km race and the wheelchair race won’t be part of this year’s edition. The health of the athletes and everyone, who will attend the event, is very important to us. The absence of the 10km race won’t take away the glamour of the event.”

“Lagos State has become a sports tourist attraction because of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. We are always happy to support and make sure that the marathon happens and get better every year. We are looking forward to the April 10 date to show to the world that Lagos is a destination place to visit,” Olopade stated.

(02/02/2021) ⚡AMP
by Gowon Akpodonor
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

“The IAAF and AIMS have a special interest in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon so if you see their top officials at the third edition, don’t be surprised. Lagos is one of the few marathons in the world that got an IAAF Label after just two editions. This is a rare feat. The event had over 50,000 runners at...

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Commonwealth 10,000m bronze medalist, Rodgers Kwemoi, will be seeking a win at the Ras Al Khaimah

Kwemoi, will be seeking a win at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon to make up for the pain of missing out on victory at last Sunday's Discovery Kenya Cross Country Championships in Eldoret.

The former world junior 10,000m champion finished third behind winner Nicholas Kimeli and Africa Games' 5,000m champion Robert Kiprop.

“This is part of my speed and endurance build-up ahead of for RAK but I have to run well at the national championships cum trials first. My preparations have been good and that is why I had to run well in this race,” the Mount Elgon-born athlete said. 

However, it will be a tall order for Kwemoi in the United Arab Emirates as he will have to upstage a star-studded roster in the men's category including world Half Marathon record holder, Kibiwott Kandie, world half marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda and former world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor.

Others hoping to start off the year in style include former world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, RAK silver medalist Alexander Munyao, Stephen Kiprop and New York Marathon champion Shura Kitata of Ethiopia.  

Kwemoi will also be chasing an Olympics slot in 10,000m and is optimistic he can end the country's dry spell in the long distance race since the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games.

“I want to run 10,000 m as I focus on the Olympics. I want to bring the 10,000m Olympic gold after Kenya having the dry spell over the medal,” Kwemoi said.

(02/02/2021) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Ukrop Monument Avenue 10k date has been moved to June

The Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k presented by Kroger won’t be held as a traditional single-day event on March 27 due to ongoing public health and safety guidelines associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 10k will take place on June 3-6, 2021.

The rescheduled event will be held in a socially-distanced manner over four days at two locations: Byrd Park in the City of Richmond and Dorey Park and the Virginia Capital Trail in Henrico County.

Two official 10k courses will have a start and finish line, mile markers, directional signage, on-site packet pick up, and a finisher zone, and can be accessed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from June 3- through June 6.

Timing will be available at both course locations to provide official results for participants. Participants can expect minimal traffic in Byrd Park where roads will be closed at the start and finish lines.

Dorey Park and the Virginia Capital Trail provide a course free of vehicular traffic.

Each course will also have markings for the one-mile Kids Run throughout the event weekend.

(02/01/2021) ⚡AMP
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Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K

Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K

Making a resolution to be more active? Looking to break a personal record? Want to do something for yourself? Hoping to start a fun new tradition with friends and family? This is the event for you! Join the thousands of others who will take to the Avenue for the 10k. Enjoy block after block of great local bands and spirit...

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African Games 5000m champion Robert Kiprop destroyed a strong field to win the men’s 10km race at the Discovery Kenya Cross Country

African Games 5000m champion Robert Kiprop destroyed a strong field to win the men’s 10km race at the Discovery Kenya Cross Country held Sunday at the Eldoret Sports Club.

Running on a near-flat course and under a scorching sun, Kiprop timed 30:17.8 to dethrone last year’s winner Nicholas Kimeli who finished second in 30:20.8 while Commonwealth Games 10000m bronze medallist Rodgers Kwemoi placed third in 30:25.3.

World 10000m bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto was fifth after crossing the finish line in 30:33.5

Kiprop who trains at St Patrick’s High School Iten alongside Kipruto said he is now eyeing a slot in Kenya’s team for the Africa Cross Country slated for Togo in March 1-2.

“It was a very tough race considering the opponents I was facing with the likes of Kipruto and Kwemoi. This is my first race this season and I am now going to work hard as I prepare for the national championships. I am also targeting Olympics in 5000m,” Kiprop said in an interview after the race.

On his part Kwemoi said he was using the race as a warm up for the upcoming Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon scheduled for February 19 at the United Arab Emirates.

The fast-rising Daisy Cherotich from Nandi stunned bigwigs in the corresponding women’s race when she took the lead in the second lap of the 2km loop to win the race in 33:53.6

 

The 20-year-old said she is now shifting her focus to the nationals in a fortnight as she eyes to make her maiden appearance in Kenyan colours.

“I was not expecting to win today but I thank God I made it despite the tough competition. I know it will be much tougher at the nationals but I will do my best,” said Cherotich.

Eva Cherono timed 34:01.9 to finish second as Eunice Chebichi closed the podium in 34:15.7

Reigning Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli was fifth in 34:31.3 while African Games 5000m champion Lilian Kasait who recently won the Prison’s championships ranked seventh in 34:41.0

In the boy’s 8km race, Gideon Rono reigned supreme in 23:01.6 as Monicah Jepngetich emerged top in the girl’s 6km race after clocking 20:55.6

The event also doubled as the Central Rift championships, with the region picking their team for the nationals slated for Ngong Race Course in a fortnight.

Selected Results

10km senior men

1 Robert Kiprop 30:17.82 Nicholas Kimeli 30:20.83 Rodgers Kwemoi 30:25.34 Titus Kiptotich 30:28.75 Rhonex Kipruto 30:33.56 Emmanuel Rutto 30:37.1

10km senior women

1 Daisy Cherotich 33:53.62 Eva Cherono 34:01.93 Eunice Chebichi 34:15.74 Gladys Chepkirui 34:26.25 Valary Jemeli 34:31.36 Jackline Rotich 34:31.8

6km junior women

1 Monica Jepngetich 20:55.62 Jackline Jepkoech 21:00.13 Sharon Jerono 21:10.24 Brenda Jepchumba 21:27.25 Zena Jeptoo 21:29.56 Deborah Chemutai 21:33.6

8km junior men

1 Gideon Rono 24:01.62 Brian Kiprop 24:31.73 Emmanuel Maru 24:36.94 Emmanuel Kiplagat 24:39.45 Levy Kibet 24:43.56 Ismael Kirui 24:46.1

(02/01/2021) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Olympians finish 1, 2 in Osaka Women's Marathon

Japan Olympic team member Mao Ichiyama won the Osaka Women's Marathon in a race record 2 hours, 21 minutes, 11 seconds on Sunday, finishing ahead of fellow Tokyo Olympian Honami Maeda.

Organizers moved this year's race off public streets due to the coronavirus pandemic, rerouting it to 14-plus laps of a 2.8-kilometer circuit around Osaka's Nagai Park, finishing inside Yanmar Stadium Nagai.

Ichiyama's time was about two minutes shy of the Japan women's record of 2:19:12 run by 2004 Olympic champion Mizuki Noguchi at the September 2005 Berlin Marathon.

Both Ichiyama and Maeda entered the race aiming to break Noguchi's record, but Maeda fell off the pace early on, while Ichiyama's pace slackened around the halfway point.

Ichiyama did break Noguchi's meet record of 2:21:18 from 2003, while Maeda still managed a personal best of 2:23:30.

 

(01/31/2021) ⚡AMP
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Osaka International Womens Marathon

Osaka International Womens Marathon

The Osaka International Ladies Marathon is an annual marathon road race for women over the classic distance of 42.195 kilometres which is held on the 4th or 5th Sunday of January in the city of Osaka, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Kansai Telecasting Corporation, the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Radio Osaka and Osaka City. The first...

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Thinking About the Boston-Chicago Double? Before You Commit, Here Are a Few Things to Consider

The rare chance to run two major marathons on back-to-back days is tempting...

The 2021 World Marathon Majors schedule isn’t set in stone, but if all goes to the current plan, it is going to look vastly different this fall.

With the announcement that the Boston Marathon will take place on October 11, the six World Marathon Majors will be run within a six-week period between September 26 and November 7. And, don’t forget about the Olympic Marathons, which will take place on August 7 (women’s) and August 8 (men’s).

Berlin Marathon: September 26

London Marathon: October 3

Chicago Marathon: October 10

Boston Marathon: October 11

Tokyo Marathon: October 17

New York City Marathon: November 7

Yes, you’re seeing that correctly—Chicago and Boston are scheduled to be on back-to-back days.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen back-to-back marathon majors like this. The London Marathon and Boston Marathon have been a day apart 11 times in the history of the races, since both events happen in April. The most recent occurrence of this was in 2011.

While we may see watered-down elite fields at these races as a result of this packed schedule, an intriguing challenge has also emerged: a marathon major double with Chicago and Boston.

In additional to a physical challenge, the logistics of running races in different parts of the country on consecutive days is complex—but it’s not unheard of. We see this in the World Marathon Challenge, where runners like Becca Pizzi run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. Michael Ortiz, a New York City-based runner, ran back-to-back 100-milers on his quest to complete 100 100-milers in 100 weeks, which he finished in October 2020.

The master of consecutive races is Michael Wardian. He did 10 marathons in 10 days, and he’s even doubled up marathons on the same day when, in 2013, he won the Rock ’n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon in the morning and then took 10th at the Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon that night.

If your interest is piqued by this challenge, here’s a few things you need to consider, with some tips from the master himself.

You need to get entry into each marathon

For starters, the races are tough enough to get into, with Chicago’s drawing and guaranteed-entry systems, and Boston’s qualifying times.

If by chance you do get into both, you’re shelling out $180 for Boston and $205 for Chicago, and that’s if you’re from the U.S. If you’re an international runner, the race entry fee is more like $240 and $230, respectively.

You need to pick up both race bibs

An often-overlooked facet of race weekend is bib pickup. Typically these large marathons don’t have race-day bib pick-up, which poses a problem if you’re running another marathon the day before the race.

Some races, like Boston, are usually pretty good about letting someone else pick up your bib for you, if you follow their requirements. Wardian recommends recruiting a team to help you out with this.

Here’s a possible scenario for the Chicago-Boston weekend:

Fly to Boston on Friday to get that bib

Fly to Chicago on Saturday to pick up that bib

Run the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, then later in the day fly to Boston

Run the Boston Marathon on Monday

But that extra flight and overnight stay in Boston is big cost just to pick up a bib. And speaking of costs...

The cost of traveling from the Midwest to New England on race weekend will be high

Assuming someone can pick up your bib for you in Boston, you’ll need, at minimum, a flight from your hometown to Chicago, a flight from Chicago to Boston, then a flight from Boston back to your hometown. If your hometown is either Chicago or Boston, then lucky you! You can eliminate one of those flights.

Flights are cheap right now because of the pandemic, but they could go up soon if COVID-19 cases start to decline, with the vaccine. In the third quarter of 2019, the average cost of a flight originating at Chicago’s O’Hare airport was $333.50, and the average cost of a flight originating at Boston’s Logan airport was $329.45, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. (However we recently spotted some late-afternoon, one-way flights from O’Hare to Logan for less than $200 on Google Flights!) Based on that information, your flights could run you close to $1,000.

Keep in mind, because you have a limited window for the time of departure for your flight from Chicago and Boston, the best option time-wise might not be the cheapest option available. Remember, your whole morning and early afternoon are likely spent running and getting to the airport. Also you won’t want to arrive too late in Boston, since you have an early wakeup to get out to Hopkinton.

Let’s say you take an Uber to the airport for each flight, and with expected surge costs, that could cost you $50 per Uber ride. Add in two nights of hotel stays, which will likely surge as well because of the big crowds in town. A quick scan of TripAdvisor shows that both Chicago hotel rooms and Boston hotel rooms the night before the respective marathons are running upward of $400.

And this doesn’t even including food! Which means you’re easily looking at $2,500 spent on the weekend—and I think that’s generous estimate.

Consider the training and between-race recovery

If you’re still not deterred by those unique logistics and costs posed by the possibility of a Chicago-Boston double—or even doing all six marathons in six weeks—Wardian has some tips for you. (And no, Wardian has not committed to doing the six-in-six, but he said it piqued his interest.)

Train for this race weekend like you would for an ultra.

Get your body used to running back-to-back hard efforts by doing back-to-back long runs. This way, you’ll be used to feeling heavier legs on day two much earlier than when you’re fresh.

Pack light when traveling.

You can check a bag, but like any race, bring your shoes, apparel, and fuel for the race in your carry-on. I put my gels in a Ziploc bag when going through security, and I don’t usually have a problem. Speaking of gels, you’ll need gels or chews for two races. Don’t forget that.

Eat soon and often.

When you finish the first race, get your drop bag, change into some warm clothes, and start getting calories in. I focus on drinking coconut water and having a smoothie. On the plane, bring your own water bottle and food, so you don’t have to rely on the flight attendants. These collapsible water bottles are great for traveling.

Recovery is key, especially on the airplane.

I wear my CompresSport compression gear during my first race. After that, I try to get my feet elevated for a bit. On the plane, I try to book an aisle or window seat so I can stretch my legs a bit. I also bring a lacrosse ball and use it to roll out muscles when I’m sitting. Also, get up and walk around every 45 minutes during the flight—you likely will have to, with how much water you’ll be drinking. Highly recommend the aisle seat.

(01/31/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Getting off on the right foot on snowshoes

Snowshoeing can be a relaxing romp in the woods or a serious workout. You may have to widen your stride to avoid stepping on your own snowshoes, and a pair of trekking poles can help your balance, especially on hilly terrain. But mostly it's just like walking.

Choose the right 'shoes

Snowshoes come in different shapes and sizes, even women-specific models. The pair on the left are for deeper snow or heavier people; the pair on the right work best for packed trails or racing. Snowshoes have a weight rating. Consider not only your body weight but the clothes and boots you're wearing and what you're carrying in your pack.

Pack a snack

Snowshoeing can burn up a lot of energy. It's also important to stay hydrated. A waist pack is convenient for carrying water and snacks.

Travel with a friend

Although a solo trip can be relaxing and reflective, there is safety in numbers, particularly when outside in cold weather. Juergen Schroeer of Normal and Patricia Carlson of Bloomington travel together on a trail at McLean County's Comlara Park, northwest of Hudson, during a recent winter

Follow the signs

Some places have marked snowshoe trails, such as this one at Rapid River, Michigan, in the Hiawatha National Forest. But regular hiking trails in parks are generally fine for snowshoeing. Even city parks or public golf courses can be a fun options

Stay off of ski tracks

It's common winter courtesy to stay off ski tracks when hiking or snowshoeing. That's true whether its a track left by a skier on their own or a groomed trail, such as this one at Razorback Ridges in Sayner, Wisconsin, which has both ski trails and snowshoe trails

Don't forget to laugh

(01/31/2021) ⚡AMP
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There’s a running boom in Chicago, pandemic leads more people to lace up

It’s cheap. It relieves stress and improves health. 

Huffing and puffing — one foot after the other — in an old sweatshirt and gym shoes.

The people behind a running boom in Chicago are grabbing what they have in their closets and heading out the door to burn calories and stress. Or at least that’s what appears to be happening.

“This is anecdotal, there’s no data to support it, but it’s being observed, just the number of people you see running. It’s a visible change, and it’s being discussed by the entire running industry,” Chicago Area Running Association Executive Director Greg Hipp said Thursday.

Normal indicators, like a bump in race registrations (they’re off or on hold) or shoe sales (they’re down) aren’t accounting for the bump.

It makes perfect sense, though.

“When the economy is challenged, more people run because it’s affordable. People who can’t go to the local gym have taken up running,” Hipp said.

“They’re not running for sport, it’s for mental and physical health,” Hipp said.

“The running industry is in crisis. It will be interesting to see how many of these new runners will fall in love and turn to the sport side of it.”

Manya Gupta, 38, of Logan Square, is part of the new wave of runners.

The Rush University Medical Center physician held this belief for a long time: “I’m not a runner. I hate running.” But the stress of treating coronavirus patients became too much, and she needed a way to cope, so she laced up.

“I decided to go for a run one day last month and it felt really good. It was crazy, I just ran one mile, but I felt like I relieved a load of stress,” she said.

“I always discounted the stress-relieving effects of running, mostly because I just assumed I hated it so much. But I have to say it really does work, and it’s free.”

Dave Zimmer, owner of Fleet Feet Chicago, is keeping a close eye on the trend.

“We want to bring these people into the fold because we believe it will be great for us and them in the long run,” said Zimmer, noting injury prevention and reduction are Fleet Feet’s main goals.

Sales have gone down significantly since the state’s stay-at-home order kicked in last month, Zimmer said. His seven stores have pivoted to virtual shoe fittings, online sales and curbside pickup.

“The clearance section of our website is being shopped quite a bit these days, and those items are just as good, but may be from last season and present the best value in these challenging times.”

 

(01/31/2021) ⚡AMP
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Geoffrey Kamworor makes winning comeback at police cross country championship

In his first race since his car accident, the former half-marathon world record holder won the race in a time of 29:22.3.

The last time Kamworor competed was in the National Cross Country Championships on February 15, 2020, and he won with a time of 30:04.9. On June 25, the 28-year-old was struck by a motorcycle during his morning run, resulting in multiple injuries including a fracture in his right tibia that required surgery. He appears to have fully recovered from his injuries and according to the Kenyan news site Pd Online, he was excited to compete.

“It has been a long time coming. It’s time to race again!” he said to the news outlet prior to the race. “After months of working hard to recover from my injury, I’m very excited that I will have an opportunity to defend my title.”

The race was competitive, with a  number of strong athletes toeing the line against Kamworor including Joesphat Kiprotich who placed in second with a time of 29:52.6 and Casius Masinde running 30:13.0 for third. On the women’s side, Sheila Chelang’at won the 10K race in 33:34.6, followed by Hyvin Kiyeng in 33:39.8 and Edith Chelimo in 33:40.5.

Kamworor will also be racing the 2021 Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates on February 19, and if this result is any indication of his current fitness, it will be exciting to see what the former world record holder will do over the longer distance. He has held the title of world half-marathon champion four times, culminating in his world-record run at the Copenhagen Half-Marathon when he ran an incredible 58:01 for the win. He is also a two-time winner of the New York City Marathon, which he won in 2017 in a time of 2:10.53, and again in 2019 in 2:08.13.

(01/30/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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2021 GO! St. Louis Marathon returns in April

The GO! St. Louis Marathon Weekend will go on this year, after the big event was canceled last year because of the pandemic, organizers announced Friday.

The event will take place on April 10-11 in downtown St. Louis and will have the theme “Stronger Together.”

The course mostly travels along Great Rivers Greenway’s Mississippi Greenway: Riverfront Trail, featuring a downtown finish at Kiener Plaza. There will be a full marathon, half marathon, and 10K races.

GO! St. Louis has hosted several virtual and in-person races this year, implementing several safety and physical distancing measures.

They include reducing the number of people who can register at less than 10 percent of a typical race, limiting the numbers of people allowed in 10 minute start time waves, requiring masks for runners at the start and finish lines and encouraging mask use while passing other runners.

(01/30/2021) ⚡AMP
by Valerie Schremp Hahn
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GO! St. Louis Half-Marathon

GO! St. Louis Half-Marathon

The GO! St. Louis Half Marathon presented by PNC Bank was introduced in 2003 and has become the most popular race during the two-day weekend. After a huge success in 2017, St. Louis’ hometown race will once again be staged in front of the historic Arch Grounds on the riverfront. Start at the Gateway Arch and make your way into...

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2021 Barkley Marathons are still on

Laz Lake, the director of the famed race, says the 2021 event is still happening with COVID-19 protocols in place

Due to the COVD-19 pandemic, the 2020 running of the uniquely demanding race, the Barkley Marathons, was canceled for only the second time since it began in 1986. While the future of many running events in 2021 is still uncertain, Barkley Marathons organizer Laz Lake says this year’s running of the coveted race, held at Frozen Head State Park in Wartburg, Tenn., is still on, albeit with a few changes.

The race, scheduled to take place in late March, typically is capped at 40 participants, but this year Lake says many of the non-American participants have opted to defer until next year.

Twenty-nine runners are signed up so far, and officials are in the process of identifying those who have either been vaccinated or have had COVID and have recovered. These criteria constitute the participant’s “COVID passport,” and Lake says anyone on the waiting list must meet those criteria in order to be granted entry. At this point, officials say there are six wait-listers who have their COVID passports.

In an email, Lake outlined the COVID-19 protocols that will be in place for the event, which he says are different than a typical road race. Officials’ biggest concern is the matter of social distancing, which will only be required for a short time at the race start, since runners very quickly spread far apart on the course. In his email, Lake acknowledged the difficulties of hosting an event during the COVID-19 pandemic

For this reason, many of the race’s normal activities, such as the potluck dinner, will not be included in the event itinerary. Finally, Lake says that as the state of the pandemic continues to evolve, the situation is subject to change. As of now, the race will go ahead for any approved applicants who have their COVID passports, but this year’s participant list will be much more local. The only question left, then, is one asked every year: will anyone actually finish the race

(01/30/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Your Next Doctor's Appointment Should Be Outdoors

David Sabgir, founder of Walk with a Doc, on why exercise is 100 times better than medicine

Fifteen years ago, David Sabgir, a practicing cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio, tried something new that would prove to be revolutionary. Having spent countless years vainly urging his patients to get more active, even if just to take a walk around the block, in a moment of desperation one winter day, he asked a patient to meet him outside the clinic. “I decided I wanted this patient to say no to my face,” Sabgir remembers, laughing. “I said, ‘Can I invite you to join my family and me in the park one Saturday morning?’” His patient’s response was immediate and enthusiastic. “That was really kind of magical,” Sabgir says.

Based on the good response, Sabgir went on to ask other patients to attend a group outing. In the end, when he finally hit the park after the snows of winter had melted, Sabgir was joined by over a hundred patients and colleagues. Since then, this simple idea—walk the talk with your patients—has caught on with health care providers in nearly every discipline. The organization Sabgir went on to found, Walk with a Doc, now supports provider-led walking excursions for patients around the world, with nearly 500 Walk with a Doc chapters leading monthly outings in 48 states and 25 countries, on six out of seven continents.

Sabgir, who has personally led more than 450 outings, estimates that over the last decade, Walk with a Doc has helped hundreds of thousands of people get outside. Nearly 40 percent of participants say it’s their first time out [for the purpose of well-being] in years, if ever.

We caught up with Sagbir recently, as his organization finished its most ambitious outing yet: 50 consecutive miles.

Outside: You’ve just led the longest walk of your organization’s history. What motivated you to try for 50 miles?
Sabgir: The idea grew out of these 50-mile walks that leaders in American history have organized over the years. Teddy Roosevelt started it in 1908, to improve the readiness of American troops, and JFK and Bobby Kennedy picked up that mantle 50 years later. It’s now been over 55 years since the first Kennedy March, so we thought the time was right for a big event.

How did it go?
It went great. Collectively, we had 158 people walk over 1,700 miles. I believe 14 people did the full 50 miles. And we exceeded our major fundraising goal.

I’m embarrassed to say that I myself did not do the walk. Although my training went fantastically—I still feel the endorphins pumping from a 26-mile walk my wife and I did the previous weekend—I injured my back lifting a planter a few days before the event. Most likely I herniated a disk.

That must have been disappointing.
Despite being in pain, it was a ten out of ten for me. After the event, I went home and was pretty much flat on my back the rest of the day. Thank God the park was literally next to my house.

Our original goal was: let’s all walk 50 miles. But seeing the looks on the faces of our attendees when we announced that distance, I realized it just wasn’t right. A lot of them were thinking, I can’t walk 50 miles. We want them to be a part of every walk, so we ended up designing options for everyone. The goal became to push yourself: if five miles is a reach, we want to help you do that.

Over the years, you’ve inspired thousands of health care providers to hit the trails with their patients. Why do you think this idea has caught on?
My goal was pretty simple—just get more people outside and moving. Probably 5 percent of my patients were achieving the weekly recommendations, and probably 80 percent were not doing anything at all.

Initially, I didn’t think the idea was that revolutionary. I know from studies that walking or any physical activity is by far the best medicine. But no one was doing it. I spent months Googling this to see what other people had already done. I knew it had to be around already—it was too easy, and it made too much sense.

We were also at the right time in history. The internet had been out for, what, eight years when we started? So it was easy to coordinate, and cell phones made it even easier. We just got to be the lucky ones to ride this roller coaster. We added 189 chapters last year. And this year we are on pace to add about 20 per month. These days, I’m 90 percent cardiologist, 10 percent Walk CEO.

You say the couch is the dangerous thing. How much can something as simple as walking help?
To say exercise is the best medicine is a massive understatement. It is 100 to 1,000 times better than the best medicine.

There’s this negative cycle to inactivity, a cascade where excess weight leads to back pain, leads to bad sleep. I see it magnified every time I open the exam-room door: back pain, arthritis, sleep apnea, coronary artery disease, depression, anxiety. Being active reduces stroke and heart disease by 50 percent, depression by 50 percent, and Alzheimer’s by 50 percent. The answer is right there! The fact that we aren’t doing this before more invasive or expensive interventions is sickening. We aren’t taking care of what we can take care of easily.  

What kind of patients tend to join a walk?
It’s pretty diverse. A lot of times it’s people that may be scared about either a recent diagnosis or a family member with a diagnosis. And they may bring out someone, like a sick family member, that they are concerned about. But they are so diverse that I have a hard time categorizing them. When we’ve surveyed our walkers, around 78 percent say that they feel they are getting more physical activity then they otherwise would have without Walk with a Doc.

I’m constantly impressed by our walkers. I had one patient who came to the walk every month for years, even after she couldn’t walk. She just loved being in the park with us. It would warm your heart to see her covered with blankets on a 30-degree day, out in her wheelchair. She eventually left us an endowment that we have allocated completely to partnerships with medical schools, to raise the next generation of walking doctors.

Being stretched too thin is a common complaint of doctors. Why ask them to lead walks on the weekend?
People still feel strongly about their health care providers. For a lot of the 30 to 40 percent of attendees doing this for the first time, it’s comforting to have a health professional out there with them. A lot of them are scared to do this, even though the actually dangerous thing is staying on the couch. And they think, If my health care professional is out here with me, then it must be good for me.

Yes, doctors—really all health care providers—are stretched thin. I see in the range of 2,000 to 2,500 patients a year. Visits are 30 minutes each for new patients, 15 minutes for repeats. It’s easy to get nervous about your numbers. But, gosh, what you get back from these outings is so much more than you put in.

And what has been the reception among doctors who participate?
For starters, it feels really good to help your patients actually meet their goals. So that’s a primary reinforcer. But there’s also something special about being outside and opening up with your patients that I didn’t necessarily expect.

Typically, patients get a very brief allocation of time with their provider. They don’t love that—and trust me, your doctor isn’t thrilled about it either. People who go into health care dream about forming connections. On Saturday mornings, suddenly there’s time to connect. You get to meet your patient’s family. They get to meet your family. There is time to talk about the bigger picture, health or otherwise. You form friendships very quickly.

What a great thing to be able to offer a patient: Hey, I’d like to meet you outside of here—I’ll be at the park next Saturday, and we can catch up, and I can learn more about your family.

What’s next for you and for Walk with a Doc?
Every morning I’m like a kid at Christmas—you never know where a request for a new chapter will come in from. Australia, Nigeria. I want to stay in the game as long as I can, and I want to see thousands of walks around the world.

We now have partnerships with 25 medical schools. That’s part of our grand vision. We want to transform the way medicine is practiced, to make it more open, accessible, and rooted within a community. I hope that there will be a time, within my lifetime, when people won’t remember when they didn’t take walks with their doctors. There are around 855,000 doctors in the U.S. and so many more nurses and nurse practitioners. With a broad enough net, we can reach every community. That’s what keeps me going—imagining that this incredible, simple, powerful thing is eventually going to be all over the world.

(01/30/2021) ⚡AMP
by Outside On Line
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Billy Yang’s Latest Film Takes Us Through the Amazing Career of Zach Miller

We caught up with the popular trail-running filmmaker to learn all about his latest project.

Zach Miller has been a household name in trail and ultrarunning since his out-of-nowhere victory at the 2013 JFK 50 Miler. Since then, the 34-year-old has raced and won some of the biggest races on the ultra calendar.

Billy Yang: I started off a fan like everyone else. He’s an unassuming guy, as his friends from Colorado Springs, Colorado, say in the film. I was totally guilty of that. When I first met him, here’s this guy that shocked the ultrarunning community out of nowhere. There were a lot of oddballs at that point in time, but Rob Krar was crushing the competition and dominating the scene. I figured that I’d see what this guy was about.

I was doing a film at Lake Sonoma 50 miler in 2014, which ended up gaining a lot of traction. I followed four runners and this guy Zach Miller kind of spoils my film by winning the whole thing. Over that weekend, we hung out and got dinner with the Nike team. He really was this aw shucks, blue-collar guy who has this flip phone. So I wanted to know, who is this guy?

What did you discover?

Yang: Well, he’s clearly a rabbit—a pacesetter in a race. In that JFK race, everyone thought he’d go 30 or 40 miles with Rob and drop back. But Rob’s wheels came off, and he ended up winning and later signing with the Nike Trail Running team. Fast forward to 2017, here is this guy who has this Steve Prefontaine-esque mindset of racing as hard as you can and giving his best. He even has the mustache.

So, I wanted to tell a three-dimensional story around him with a focus on UTMB as his white whale.

The UTMB crown has alluded every male American that has toed the line in Chamonix, France. It seems like one of the last, to use a climbing analogy, first ascents in running. Zach has been to UTMB three times, once with you there. Were you hoping or waiting to see if Zach could get it?

Yang: I’d be wrong to say the story wasn’t centered around this big, awesome white whale that is UTMB. When I zoom out, I do think that the end we have is kind of perfect. The way the outcome is so imperfect. The finish isn’t a given. For two years, we racked this story. I don’t tell the story about the 2019 race when he dropped out. What we see is his racing style and the only thing that’s a given is how hard you decide to push. That was kind of the spirit of the film.
Miller is now the subject of filmmaker and trail runner Billy Yang’s latest film, Zach. Yang spent years following Miller and capturing every detail of his life for this project that is now available on YouTube.

We caught up with Yang to hear more about what went into the making of his latest project and what he learned from spending so much time with Miller.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

You mention the climbing analogy. My inspiration was actually a film called Free Solo. You can take as many stabs at it and the things you want to do is right in front of you. For Alex Honnold, that was El Capitan. He kept coming back. For Zach, that’s UTMB. Sometimes, it’s just challenging and that mark of a good story is learning how to pivot and complete the story without that Disney outcome.

I finally decided after years of working on this that we needed to wrap this up. We can’t keep chasing this victory that I saw in my head.

Zach is a well-known runner. What do you hope viewers see that they may not have before about him?

Yang: In a way, I’m hoping to introduce him to a new crowd. Zach is a runner, he what makes Zach who is is way more. He grew up in Kenya, and is parents were missionaries. Faith plays a big role in his life. Mentorship and giving back is so important to him. The mindset of ‘do the best you can’ shows in all aspects of his life and at the center of that, I wanted Zach to be a model for people. He’s probably not genetically built like Kilian Jornet or Jim Walmsley or Eliud Kipchoge. But what you see is all the hard work, the miles, and the little things he puts in. He’s so easy to root for.

At the end, we don’t totally see it, but you slightly detail where Zach is at after foot surgery. What’s he up to now?

Yang: He’s not running at the moment. He’s working on building out a short bus that’s turning into a home on wheels. He plans to travel the world in it. That’s the epilogue.

Do you think we see an American man winning UTMB in the coming years?

Yang: I think between Zach, Tim and Jim, and maybe some others no currently at the forefront, someone will do it. Zach said it’s a puzzle you have to put together and for whatever reason, that hasn’t been put together yet. I think it will happen in the next five years and I would bet money it will be one of those three.

(01/30/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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NCAA May Not Accept Christian Noble’s 13:37 Division II 5K Record Due to Pacing Lights

On Sunday night, Christian Noble of Lee (Tenn.) University ran the fastest indoor time ever by a Division II 5,000-meter runner. Noble’s 13:37.39 at the Magic City Elite meet in Birmingham, Ala., was an 11-second personal best and almost four seconds faster than the previous DII best of 13:41.08, run by Abilene Christian’s Nicodemus Naimadu 16 years ago. It was a stellar performance, run mostly alone — Noble led every step of the final 15 laps after pacemaker Garrett O’Toole stepped off the track after two kilometers.

And it may not count.

On Monday afternoon, Dave Milner, the meet director of Magic City Elite, was forwarded an email by an NCAA official, inquiring about “Illegal Assistance by the use of pacing lights.” Milner said the official told him the case will go before a committee to determine whether the NCAA will recognize the mark. Noble easily surpassed the automatic qualifying mark for the NCAA Indoor Championships (14:03.43), but if the NCAA fails to recognize his performance on Sunday, he would have to run another race in order to qualify — at a time when indoor competitions are in short supply.

“Christian’s coach Caleb Morgan called me [on Thursday] and told me, I’ve heard through the grapevine that they’re not going to allow the mark,” Milner says.

The NCAA does not maintain official collegiate records. The USTFCCCA, which does keep track of records, currently lists Noble as the Division II record holder, but that may change, depending on the NCAA’s findings.

“Our aim with records and marks that originate in-season is to follow the competition rulings the collegiate governing body has upheld,” USTFCCCA director of media, broadcasting, and analytics Tom Lewis wrote in an email to LetsRun.com.

The Magic City Elite meet utilized Light Speed Pacing — a system similar to the Wavelight technology that helped Joshua Cheptegei break world records at 5,000 and 10,000 meters last year in Monaco and Valencia (Milner also used Light Speed at the Five & Dime Athletics Meeting in December, in which Jenna Hutchinsset a girls’ high school 5,000 record of 15:34.47). Light Speed uses 16 lights, which are evenly-spaced on the infield just inside lane 1 and programmed to light up to indicate a specified pace.

Ahead of the meet, Milner asked his chief official to check the NCAA and USATF rulebooks to ensure the Light Speed system was okay. They couldn’t find anything that suggested the lights were illegal.

All five races at Magic City (two high school races and three open races) utilized Light Speed; Noble and Wingate University’s Tai Smith, also entered in the men’s 5,000, were the only collegiate athletes entered in the meet. In the men’s 5,000, Milner instructed David Hudman, the operator of Light Speed Pacing, to set the pace at 13:40 — a time that both Noble and post-collegiate athlete James Quattlebaum were targeting. Noble ran 13:37; Quattlebaum wound up fading and finishing second in 14:07. Smith, the only other finisher, ran 14:24 — 47 seconds behind Noble. An NCAA official declined to say whether Smith’s time, currently #4 in Division II, is in jeopardy as well.

What the rulebook says

Electronic lights such as Light Speed are specifically allowed under both USATF and World Athletics rules, but under NCAA rules, they are prohibited.

Here is what NCAA Track & Field Rule 6, Section 4, Article 1a.4) (see page 57 here, emphasis added):

For the purpose of this rule, the following shall be considered assistance, and therefore not allowed: Pacing in races by persons not participating in the same race, by lapped competitors or those about to be lapped, by competitors of the opposite gender in the same race, or pacesetting by any kind of technical device that benefits the field.

But the NCAA’s 2020-21 championship qualifying criteria states that “qualifying marks must be made in a scheduled collegiate or open track and field meet conducted under the NCAA Rules of Competition or an open track and field competition conducted under the competition rules of the NCAA, USATF or IAAF.” The Magic City Elite meet was an open competition conducted under USATF rules (the meet was USATF-sanctioned) — and again, pacing lights are explicitly legal under USATF rules.

After realizing this, we immediately wondered why is this even being investigated. The NCAA rulebook says athletes can be disqualified only “on the report of an official, or from a properly filed protest.” So who filed the report or protest?

Mark Kostek, the secretary rules editor for NCAA men’s & women’s track & field/cross country, declined to disclose the identity of the individual who filed the report, stating only, “an outside source provided video evidence of the pacing lights being utilized.”

We asked Kostek who at NCAA would make the final call about whether Noble’s mark will stand and he replied in writing, “This answer is not within my purview. I only interpret if a violation occurred…After viewing the race it was clear that the athlete(s) did receive the benefit of pacesetting by the utilization of a technical device which by rules is not allowed.”

That doesn’t mean that the mark is definitely not allowed. Noble’s coach, Caleb Morgan, submitted an appeal to the NCAA on Thursday.

What a joke – pacing lights should be encouraged during a pandemic

Let’s bring some common sense into the equation. The pacing lights did not change the outcome of the race. For the NCAA to prevent the top distance runner in Division II from competing at the national championships because there were pacing lights in a three-person race — which he won by 30+ seconds — at a tiny meet in January is utterly nonsensical in any year, but particularly this one, when we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Pacing lights can actually make a race safer from a COVID-19 perspective as compared to having a real human pacer (though the Magic City meet featured both). Plus the NCAA qualifying criteria says you can qualify at open meets run under USATF rules, as was the case here.

The whole situation is farcical, a perfect storm of an out-of-date rule and an unknown third party trying to rain on one of the brightest moments of the 2021 indoor season.

Last year, after Wavelight technology started to become widespread, World Athletics and USATF updated their rulebooks to make clear pacing lights were legal. The NCAA, whether out of stubbornness or indifference, did not follow their lead and update its own rules.

So now we have a situation where a collegiate athlete can be paced by a professional runner — who, unlike a pacing light, can break the wind — but not by a set of lights. If pacing lights can be used to set a world record, why can’t they be used to set an NCAA record as well?

“The thing that bothers me most about this is that, big picture, this kind of technology makes a track meet more engaging for the fan as much as it helps the athlete,” said Milner.

There are a few silver linings. Even if Noble’s mark does not count for NCAA qualifying purposes, he is already qualified for NCAAs in the mile (he is the DII leader at 4:00.60) and will go for a qualifier in the 3,000 this weekend. And since the meet was USATF-sanctioned and the race followed USATF rules, Noble can still use it to qualify for this summer’s US Olympic Trials — if he makes the cut (the auto standard is 13:25.00).

Which means that, regardless of what any NCAA committee determines, 13:37.39 is Christian Noble’s official personal best. In the eyes of USATF. In the eyes of World Athletics. And in the eyes of anyone with common sense.

 

(01/30/2021) ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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