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Running News Daily is edited by Bob Anderson and team.  Send your news items to jaime@mybestruns.com  or bob@mybestruns.com

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Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich picked for Olympics

Stephen Kiprotich will join a select band of athletes to compete at three straight Olympic Games after he was chosen as one of Uganda’s three representatives in Tokyo this year.

Last week, the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) technical committee led by Faustino Kiwa sat and chose Kiprotich for one of the three quota slots.

The 2012 champion will line up for the 42km race in Sapporo, Japan, on August 8 alongside Fred Musobo and Filex Chemonges.Kiprotich’s selection follows a heated quest for three places where nine men had beaten the 2:11:30 qualification mark over two periods.

The qualification window was open from January 1, 2019 to April 5, 2020 and upon postponement of the quadrennial Games due to the coronavirus pandemic, it reopened from December 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021.

However, Kiprotich was still fourth in terms of best time behind Chemonges, Musobo and Solomon Mutai before Covid-19 pandemic. But UAF chose the 2013 world marathon champion thanks to a respectable show where he finished fifth with 2:09:04 at the NN Mission Marathon in Enschede, Netherlands on April 18.

“There was a comparison of performances before and after (the pandemic),” explained UAF’s secretary general Beatrice Ayikoru.

Before Covid-19, Chemonges had produced a national record of 2:05:12 in third place at the Toronto Marathon in Canada on October 20, 2019. Musobo, too, had a personal best of 2:06:56 in second place at the Daegu Marathon in South Korea on April 7, 2019.

On the same day, Mutai posted a PB as well, in third place at the Vienna Marathon in Austria yet Kiprotich’s best time was 2:08:31 at the Hamburg Marathon in Germany on April 28, 2019.“We had made it clear that those who qualified in 2019, we could not start selecting the team with 2019 qualification,” Kiwa said.

“We made it clear to all of them that they had to run afresh. So we used that for selecting. 2019 is long past, you can’t tell if one is still fit or not,” he added.

Post-pandemic, Kiprotich delivered a controlled race in Enschede ahead of compatriots Geoffrey Kusuro (2:09:53) and Chemonges (2:09:59), who finished sixth and eighth, respectively.

A week before Enschede, Mutai was undone by a stitch after 33km but Musobo braved the cold to post 2:08:04 in Siena, Italy.Kiprotich will become the first Ugandan to compete at three successive Olympic editions but his inclusion also means that 2015 world bronze medalist Mutai will miss a seventh straight 42km championship race.

(05/04/2021) ⚡AMP
by Allan Darren Kyeyune
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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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One of the fastest players in football star DK Metcalf eyes U.S. Olympic Trials with 100m race in California

NFL wide receiver DK Metcalf will race the 100m at Sunday’s USATF Golden Games and Distance Open at Mt. SAC in Walnut, Calif. Metcalf, who plays for the Seattle Seahawks, is currently one of the fastest players in the NFL, and although he has not released any info or statements on the race, many believe he has his eyes on a qualifying time for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Metcalf reportedly competed as a hurdler in high school, but, now 23, he hasn’t raced on the track in years. 

To earn a spot on the 100m start line at the U.S. Trials, Metcalf will have to run the qualifying standard of 10.05 seconds. For context, only 104 men in U.S. history have run that fast (or faster) over 100m. That may sound like a lot, but consider the fact that the World Athletics all-time American 100m rankings features thousands of runners, all of whom have run at least 10.55 seconds (which was the minimum time required to make this list). Of the thousands of men listed and even more who didn’t even break 10.55, only about 100 have hit the Olympic standard of 10.05.

To be fair, Metcalf is certainly fast. In a game last October versus the Arizona Cardinals, he chased down a runaway opponent, making a tackle after sprinting just under 115 yards (about 105m) and preventing what in most cases would have been an unstoppable touchdown.

On this play, Metcalf reached a max speed of 36.4 kilometres per hour. If he could run 36.4 kilometres per hour for a full 100m, he would be well on his way to a career in sprinting, as this would work out to a 9.88 finish. To hit Olympic standard, he will have to average 35.8 kilometers per hour over the course of the full 100m. The thing is, Metcalf didn’t average that speed in his full-field chase-down last fall, he merely reached that speed. It doesn’t make his accomplishment any less impressive (few people can run that quickly), but it does suggest that he won’t hit standard on Sunday. 

meterIf it takes him that long to hit that pace in a race, the rest of the field will be well ahead of him by the halfway mark of the sprint. It’s also important to note that Metcalf started his sprint while on his feet and already moving, but on Sunday he and his competitors will be at rest on blocks at the start of the race. Metcalf has likely been practicing his race starts in preparation for this event, but he will be racing athletes much more comfortable with this technique. 

We’re sorry to upset any NFL fans who really think Metcalf has what it takes to run 10.05 seconds (and we’re also sorry to Metcalf if he isn’t aiming to run Olympic standard and is instead just looking to have some fun on the track). Maybe he has been training hard for months and will manage to run well. After all, he’s a phenomenal athlete and one of the best sprinters in football. Numbers don’t lie, though, and based on the stats we can find, it shouldn’t be a surprise if he doesn’t run an earth-shattering time on Sunday.  

(05/04/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Canada´s Aaron Brown not worried about relay team’s Olympic chances

The Olympic bronze medalist liked what he saw in Louisana last weekend, and believes the team will be competitive.

Last weekend Athletics Canada made the unfortunate announcement that they’d decided to withdraw the Canadian team from the World Athletics Relays taking place in Poland this weekend. The decision was made in light of the COVID-19 situation around the world. Most of the athletes supported AC’s decision, and 2016 Olympian Aaron Brown told the CBC he isn’t worried about his relay team’s chances of making Canada’s Olympic roster.

Brown was a member of the 4x100m team that won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. So far, however, the only Canadian team that has already qualified for the Olympics is the women’s 4x400m squad, after their eighth-place finish at the World Championships in Doha in 2019. Brown’s 4x100m team with Gavin Smellie, Brendon Rodney and Andre De Grasse finished sixth in their heat and missed out on qualifying for the final by five 1000ths of a second. This means they have yet to qualify for the Games, and the World Relays would have been their best opportunity to do so.

Currently, the men’s 4x100m relay team is sitting in ninth in the world rankings, but after a solid performance in Louisiana last weekend, Brown told the CBC he feels confident his team will make it to Tokyo. The team last weekend consisted of Brown, Bismark Boateng, Jerome Blake, and EJ Floreal.

“To go 38.49 at this time of the season with people at different legs is encouraging,” Brown said.

He added that though it’s tough to say how the team would have done in Poland, he believes they would have been competitive with this squad. Without the WA Relays, the team won’t be competing for another month, and Brown is hopeful they’ll be able to run at a meet early in the Diamond League season, which begins on May 23 in Gateshead, England.

(05/04/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Dave McGillivray shares his expertise as Massachusetts brings back road races

As Massachusetts approaches the resumption of road races, a longtime race director for the Boston Marathon says there's a lot for organizers and health officials to consider.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week that road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place starting on May 10. Requirements include staggered starts and the submission of safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.

Dave McGillivray, who has been race director of the Boston Marathon for the past 34 years, says planning will need to be a cooperative, local effort.

"Instead of just making a blanket policy for everyone, that each individual community assesses for themselves their tolerance for something like this," he said.

Organizers and communities need to decide on the proper size of the event and who may be eligible to take part.

For example, McGillivray said, "Do you want runners coming in from outside of the state, from outside of New England, from outside of the country?"

He says race organizers will be trying to strike a balance between the appropriate space, time and budget for their event.

"Nothing can be more important now, given the virus situation and the mitigation process, than space and time," McGillivray said.

For its part, the Boston Marathon was postponed until Oct. 11, and the field will be limited to about 20,000. That's reduced from the 30,000 entrants allowed to race in 2019.

During the pandemic, McGillivray and his business were hired by CIC Health to run logistics for COVID-19 mass vaccination sites.

(05/04/2021) ⚡AMP
by Doug Meehan
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon was a success

Thousands of people, some from across the world, flocked to Lincoln on Sunday for the 44th annual Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon.

The race went on in-person this year after it went virtual due to COVID in 2019, making this event extra special.

"Today is outstanding," Ryan Regnier, the Marathon Director said. "I just think the community, the runners, the city, we just needed this event."

The Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon was one of only a handful of other races that are happening this year despite the pandemic. Because of that, this event grabbed international attention.

Dominic Korir, who won 1st place in the Half Marathon, and Iveen Chepkemoi, the female 1st place Half Marathon winner, made the trip to Lincoln all the way from Kenya. Alex Ekesa, the male winner of the Marathon, also traveled all the way from Kenya, while Lincoln native Amy Dulng was the first female to cross the finish line in the Marathon.

"Feels good to win it, I grew up here, so it's exciting to be able to win it today," Dulng said.

But not everyone there was running because it's their passion. For Chris Maxwell of South Dakota, this race meant much more.

"Two years ago I was laying in Madonna Rehab Hospital completely paralyzed, having my wife and mom have to blink for me," Maxwell said. "I had a friend come down and they were going to run this race and they encouraged me and I encouraged them and about three months ago I said, what the heck, lets do a victory lap."

Maxwell was diagnosed with Gullain-Barre Syndrome several years ago, fighting for his life. But now, a miracle, Maxwell ran the Half Marathon Sunday with the biggest smile on his face.

(05/03/2021) ⚡AMP
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Lincoln Marathon

Lincoln Marathon

The Lincoln National Guard Marathon and Half-Marathon is run on a citywide course that starts and finishes on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Runners in both races share a common start and run a loop route past the Nebraska State Capitol, along Sheridan Boulevard, past Union College, along the Highway 2 bike path, past the Lincoln County-City Building...

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Remedies to common joint and muscles ailments

People can only ever be happy when they are healthy. Amongst the most common issues that affect people’s well being and, in turn, their happiness, are joint and muscle pains. The aches that people feel in their muscles and joints can vary in severity depending on their main cause and on each person’s overall health conditions. Once you start feeling pain in your muscles or joints, it is important that you take quick action to try and get yourself treated and relieved from all the pain. Here are some interesting remedies that can help you get rid of the common joint and muscle ailments you may have been experiencing, once and for all.

Hot and Cold Packs

When your joints and muscles start aching, all you would be thinking about is how to stop the pain, especially if it gets too severe as a result of previous injuries. One of the quickest home remedies you can resort to in such cases is hot and cold packs. All you need to do is warm up the pack or place it in the freezer for a little while, depending on your injury, then place the pack over the affected area. You should alternate between hot and cold treatments so that you can get more effective long-term relief. Hot and cold packs work pretty quickly, and you should start feeling the difference after a couple of minutes of using them on the muscles or joints that hurt. 

Magnetic Bracelets

Those who struggle with muscle and joint pain often want a quick relief that can have strong long-term effects. Nowadays, many patients have been using magnetic bracelets for their quick and effective powers when it comes to treating common joint and muscle issues like arthritis or joint injuries. All you need to do is wear your arthritis bracelet around your arm wherever you go and relax as the pain will start fading away bit by bit. The magnetic bracelets can be a great remedy for those who are trying to avoid the constant consumption of painkillers, yet need effective results. 

Compression Bandages

The pain that results from muscle or joint ailments can often leave the patients suffering from swelling around the areas affected which can cause even more pain. An effective way to treat that swelling and reduce the pain a little is by using compression bandages and wrapping them around the painful areas. You may need to consult with your physician before taking this step because if you have any blood circulation problems, you would end up harming yourself even more. Make sure you use the compression bandages for only a set period of time and keep your doctor updated so that you can get relief without harming your muscles any further. 

Moderate Exercise 

Many people tend to avoid getting active altogether when they start feeling the slightest pain in their joints or muscles. However, sometimes moderate exercises can prove to be helpful in such cases as they get the blood flowing in the affected areas and help them recover quickly. The key is consulting with your physician before getting too active just so you know how moderate your exercises should be which allows your muscles to heal without getting harmed. If you are not sure where to start with your training, it can be a good idea to find a personal trainer to work with you on finding a suitable exercise routine for your specific case. 

Health Supplements

Sometimes the main cause of muscle and joint problems is lack of good nutrition and essential vitamins in the body. If that is the case for you, then it can be a good idea to try consuming more health supplements to boost your overall well-being and treat your ailments. Most essential health supplements can be found on sale in supermarkets and over the counter at most drug stores, so you should not face any issues when it comes to getting the nutrients you need. If you are taking any other medications, make sure you check with your doctor to see what dosage would be best for you so that you get the full benefits of the supplements.

Suffering from joint or muscle problems can be quite challenging, especially if the cause of your pain is an injury or a result of old age. The best way to treat such ailments is by following your doctor’s orders and getting the necessary nutrients and staying moderately active so that your body can heal properly. Try to stick to a routine with your home remedies so that you notice effective results quickly and get rid of the pain once and for all.

(05/03/2021) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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American ultrarunner Taggart VanEtten smashes 100-mile treadmill world record with 11:32:05 run

American ultrarunner Taggart VanEtten crushed the 100-mile (160K) treadmill world record on Saturday, running a mind-boggling 11:32:05 at an event in Morton, Ill. VanEtten’s run lowered the previous world record significantly, shaving 37 whole minutes off the 12:09:15 result that Zach Bitter set last May. His result works out to an incredible average pace of 4:18 per kilometer. 

It has been a tough couple of weeks for Bitter’s resume, as he has had his name erased from three ultrarunning world records in that time. First, Lithuania’s Aleksandr Sorokin beat Bitter’s 100-mile and 12-hour world records at an event in the U.K., lowering the two results to 11:14:56 and 170.309K, and now VanEtten has beaten Bitter’s 100-mile treadmill best. 

When Bitter set the 100-mile treadmill world record last year (beating Canadian Dave Proctor‘s record of 12:32:26), it was hard to imagine anyone running faster. He averaged 4:32 per kilometre over the course of 12 hours, and it seemed unlikely that someone else would come even close to that (or want to spend that long on a treadmill) for a while. Just under one year later, though, VanEtten decided to give the record a shot, and he produced an even more amazing result.

VanEtten announced his plans to run the treadmill 100-miler in January, writing about the record attempt on Instagram. “For years now I have been anti-treadmill,” he wrote. “However, for the sake of longevity in my running career I must utilize one for regular use.” At the time, he said he hoped to run under 12 hours — a goal that he ultimately shattered.

Running on a treadmill in a pub in Morton and keeping track of his progress on Zwift, VanEtten ran an impressively steady pace throughout. For the most part, he hovered between 4:10 and 4:20 per kilometre, and he never ran a kilometre slower than 4:58.

At 116K into the run, he posted one of his slowest kilometres of the day at 4:36, but he immediately made up for it by running 10K at sub-4:10 pace, including three sub-four-minute kilometres. His slowest kilometre of the day came at the 139K mark, but he regained his composure and remained steady in the 4:20s for the rest of the run. For context, his average speed of 4:18 per kilometre works out to a 43-minute 10K. Many people would be happy to run one 10K this quickly, but VanEtten ran 16 in a row at this pace. 

To make the feat even more impressive, this record attempt was only VanEtten’s second official ultramarathon event. His first came in November 2020, when he won the Tunnel Hill 100-miler in Illinois. Despite the fact that it was his first ultramarathon ever, VanEtten not only won the race, but he posted the second-fastest result in the event’s history. His 12:19:55 finish was only 11 minutes slower than none other than Bitter, who owns the Tunnel Hill 100 record of 12:08:36.

VanEtten’s still a rookie when it comes to ultrarunning, but based on his two results so far in the sport, it’s safe to say his name is one that fans will get used to hearing in the coming years. 

(05/03/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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After about a day of running, medical concerns force Dave Proctor to stop short of TransAlberta FKT

Mid-run medical concerns have forced Dave Proctor to call off his TransAlberta FKT (fastest known time) attempt. Around a day into what he hoped would be a 72-hour run across Alberta, Proctor decided it was in his best interest to get picked up and receive medical attention. He was taken to Foothills Medical Center in Calgary on Saturday, and after a round of tests, he has returned home.

Before his run, Proctor said he hoped to complete the 537K TransAlberta FKT in 72 hours or less. This would set two records, as it would be the fastest run across Proctor’s home province of Alberta and it would better his own Canadian 72-hour record, which currently sits at 500K. Pushing a stroller that contained all of his gear, food and water, Proctor set out on the Trans-Canada Highway on Friday morning, kicking the challenge off at the B.C.-Alberta border. 

Proctor’s goal for the opening 100 miles of the FKT attempt was to run somewhere between 14 and 16 hours. He hit that with time to spare, passing through 100 miles in 15 hours, 30 minutes. He then continued on through Calgary and powered toward the remaining two thirds of the run. Unfortunately, Proctor didn’t get much farther, and when things didn’t feel right on the other side of Calgary, he decided to call for a ride to take him to the hospital. 

Posting on Proctor’s behalf on Instagram, Stephanie Gillis-Paulgaard of Take Roots Consulting wrote, “Dave had to make a very tough call to end his TransAlberta run. He had some concerns and is now being cared for by our amazing healthcare workers. Of course there is disappointment but he’s happy with his effort.”

Before his run, Proctor said all he had in his mind as a set goal was to hit the first 100 miles between 14 and 16 hours. After that, he said, it was impossible to know how his body would react to the run. He averaged about 5:47 per-kilometer pace for the opening 100 miles, and he decided that carrying on for another 200 wouldn’t have ended well.  

“These decisions are never easy to make,” Gillis-Paulgaard said after Proctor returned home. “When you have concerns — any concerns — you leave it to the professionals.” Gillis-Paulgaard noted that Proctor’s tests at the hospital came back normal, but he’s at peace with the decision he made on the route.  

“The reality of completing the TransAlberta in the intended timeframe was not in the cards,” she said. “For now, Dave will rest and assess.”

(05/03/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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About six foreign athletes will participate in Olympic marathon test event in Sapporo

Six overseas athletes who have booked their spots in this summer’s Tokyo Olympic marathon will take part in the half-marathon race of the upcoming Sapporo Marathon Festival, the event’s organizers said Sunday.

Bart van Nunen of the Netherlands will run in the men’s race while Germany’s Katharina Steinruck will take part in the women’s event. They are among the six already in Sapporo to run in Wednesday’s Tokyo Olympic test event.

The organizers revealed the guidelines for virus countermeasures, which include daily coronavirus testing for athletes.

The event originally included races for the general public, but those have been cancelled, while the public has been asked to refrain from cheering runners from the roadside.

Honami Maeda, who will represent Japan in this summer’s Tokyo Olympic women’s marathon, will also run on Wednesday.

(05/03/2021) ⚡AMP
by The Japan Times
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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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Fitness tips for dedicated runners

Sometimes, running is about winning a marathon or being fast. For some runners who run every week, it can become a little bit of a chore that their main goal is to make their runs more tolerable instead of faster. Their goal is to increase their fitness and passion for the sport, not just to finish first. While it’s not the hardest exercise out there, running can be a little difficult if you don’t take care of a few essential factors that go a long way. This includes following a healthy diet, waking up early, taking breaks, and most importantly, listening to your body. After all, your goal should be to improve your overall health and increase your fitness. Maybe lose a few pounds along the way. If you’re really dedicated to your goals and want to enjoy every minute of your daily running routine, we’ve got something for you. Here are some of the best tips that will help you achieve your running goals and keep you motivated throughout your exercises.

Run Early in the Morning

This one may be easier said than done but accomplishing your running goals in the morning before breakfast can have a huge impact on your mood. Imagine getting that chore out of the way and still having the rest of the day to do anything else you want. You won’t have to worry about your workout all day, neither will you worry about the last meal you ate before your run. Getting up early in the morning may be difficult, but it’s worth it when you discover all the benefits of running at the break of dawn. 

Learn to Do Negative Splits

Negative splits is a technique applied by most runners to save energy and maintain their speed until the end of their races or runs. While it can be simple to explain, it takes a lot of time and practice to master. This long-distance running technique focuses on conserving energy and running at a slightly slower pace for the first half of the run so that the body can feel well enough to run at high speeds for the second half. This eliminates fatigue and helps runners gain more focus during their runs. Start adding negative splits to your next run, and you’ll be seeing amazing results in no time.

Take Care of Hydration and Nutrition

Drinking enough water throughout your day and consuming foods that are high on carbohydrates is the key to continuously providing your body with the energy it needs for the longest runs. You can try oatmeal which is one of the best food for runners as it contains a lot of carbs and protein and is easy on the stomach, so you can increase your portions without worrying about feeling full during your runs. Nutritionists at thesupplementreviews.org/best-greens-powder/best-greens-powders suggest that the carb intake and requirements for runners vary based on how long they run. They recommend trying different portions and experimenting to find out the suitable carb portion for every runner. 

Refuel in the Middle of Your Runs

It’s recommended to take on a few calories in the middle of your runs if you are running for more than an hour to help your body maintain its energy. You can stop in the middle to add some calories through powders, gels, chews, or even dried fruit and nuts. However, what works for other runners’ stomachs may not work for yours, so you’ll need to keep experimenting with different foods until you find your go-to food that doesn’t upset your stomach as you keep running. Water is also as important, you should aim to keep a bottle or a hydration backpack with you so that you can refuel on water every 20 minutes. While the recommended duration is 40 minutes before you take on any calories during running, and 20 minutes for hydration, you should experiment at your own pace and practice how you’re going to refuel in the middle of your runs.

Post-Run Recovery Is Important

A good recovery plan goes a long way in helping your body recover faster and preparing you for your next run. This is why you should make sure to eat a post-workout meal to provide your body with the needed nutrition. This meal should be rich in proteins, carbs, and fats. You may also want to include electrolytes if you’ve worked up a good sweat during your run. This can be done by consuming non-alcoholic beer or adding some salt to your post-run meal.

Running is a great exercise for increasing fitness, but it can be a little difficult to stay motivated and commit to a running routine. Especially for runners who practice this exercise daily. These tips will help you enjoy every minute of your runs as well as improve your health and keep your body prepared for long strenuous runs.

(05/03/2021) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Thousands of people, some from across the world, flocked to Lincoln on Sunday for the 44th annual Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon.

The race went on in-person this year after it went virtual due to COVID in 2019, making this event extra special.

“Today is outstanding,” Ryan Regnier, the Marathon Director said. “I just think the community, the runners, the city, we just needed this event.”

The Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon was one of only a handful of other races that are happening this year despite the pandemic. Because of that, this event grabbed international attention.

Dominic Korir, who won 1st place in the Half Marathon, and Iveen Chepkemoi, the female 1st place Half Marathon winner, made the trip to Lincoln all the way from Kenya. Alex Ekesa, the male winner of the Marathon, also traveled all the way from Kenya, while Lincoln native Amy Dulng was the first female to cross the finish line in the Marathon.

“Feels good to win it, I grew up here, so it’s exciting to be able to win it today,” Dulng said.

But not everyone there was running because it’s their passion. For Chris Maxwell of South Dakota, this race meant much more.

“Two years ago I was laying in Madonna Rehab Hospital completely paralyzed, having my wife and mom have to blink for me,” Maxwell said. “I had a friend come down and they were going to run this race and they encouraged me and I encouraged them and about three months ago I said, what the heck, lets do a victory lap.”

Maxwell was diagnosed with Gullain-Barre Syndrome several years ago, fighting for his life. But now, a miracle, Maxwell ran the Half Marathon Sunday with the biggest smile on his face.

(05/03/2021) ⚡AMP
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The 44th annual Lincoln marathon and half in-person races were a success

Thousands of people, some from across the world, flocked to Lincoln on Sunday for the 44th annual Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon.

The race went on in-person this year after it went virtual due to COVID in 2019, making this event extra special.

“Today is outstanding,” Ryan Regnier, the Marathon Director said. “I just think the community, the runners, the city, we just needed this event.”

The Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon was one of only a handful of other races that are happening this year despite the pandemic. Because of that, this event grabbed international attention.

Dominic Korir, who won 1st place in the Half Marathon, and Iveen Chepkemoi, the female 1st place Half Marathon winner, made the trip to Lincoln all the way from Kenya. Alex Ekesa, the male winner of the Marathon, also traveled all the way from Kenya, while Lincoln native Amy Dulng was the first female to cross the finish line in the Marathon.

“Feels good to win it, I grew up here, so it’s exciting to be able to win it today,” Dulng said.

But not everyone there was running because it’s their passion. For Chris Maxwell of South Dakota, this race meant much more.

“Two years ago I was laying in Madonna Rehab Hospital completely paralyzed, having my wife and mom have to blink for me,” Maxwell said. “I had a friend come down and they were going to run this race and they encouraged me and I encouraged them and about three months ago I said, what the heck, lets do a victory lap.”

Maxwell was diagnosed with Gullain-Barre Syndrome several years ago, fighting for his life. But now, a miracle, Maxwell ran the Half Marathon Sunday with the biggest smile on his face.

(05/03/2021) ⚡AMP
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Endurance Athletes Have an Increased Risk for Iron Deficiency

Poor performances and feelings of fatigue may signal a need to get your levels checked.

It’s common to associate a poor performance with low iron. “I had a bad race, maybe I should check my iron?” “I’m feeling fatigued during workouts—could it be my iron levels?” I get these questions from the athletes I work with a lot.

And while there are countless variables that can contribute to poor performances or fatigue, one thing we do know is that iron is important for runners. If your iron levels are low and you don’t do anything about it, you will eventually feel the negative impact on performance. Here’s what you need to know about both iron and ferritin levels.

What is iron and why is it important for athletes?

Iron is an essential mineral found in red blood cells that is important for oxygen transport in the blood and to muscles, energy production, cognition, and immunity. The reason many of us worry about our levels is that iron is lost in many ways: in the urine, through the menstrual cycle, blood loss in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, sweat loss, and the breakdown of red blood cells via the impact of our foot strikes. Plus, chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen)—ones often used by athletes—and antacids can also lead to iron deficiency. 
​

Iron levels are especially important for female athletes: According to a paper in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, the prevalence of iron deficiency is around 15 to 35 percent in female athletes and 3 to 11 percent in males. Females, endurance runners, vegans, vegetarians, and athletes with low energy availability are at an increased risk for iron deficiency.


What are some key symptoms of low iron?

The classic signs of iron deficiency, with or without anemia, include lethargy, fatigue, negative mood state, and difficulty concentrating. However, runners may notice symptoms that mimic overtraining, reduced work capacity during training, impaired responses to training, and ultimately poor performance. The only way to determine if low iron is the culprit is to have a blood test.

What about anemia?

Anemia is a condition in which the blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells. Although iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, it is one of many different types. It is possible to have iron deficiency prior to developing a diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia. Over time, iron deficiency will lead to anemia if no action is taken because the body will exhaust its iron stores, known as ferritin.

So what’s the deal with ferritin levels?

Ferritin, as mentioned above, is an important blood marker that indicates iron storage. There is a wide range for what is considered to be a “normal ferritin level,” ranging from 12 to 300 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

“However, linking ferritin levels (e.g. levels greater than 35ng/ml) directly to performance is very challenging, as there are so many things that impact performance,” Trent Stellingwerff, PhD, Senior Advisor for the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific tells Runner’s World.

In fact, high iron levels can be very toxic for the liver and heart. “We aim for ferritin greater than 35ng/ml and clinically normal hemoglobin, but appreciate individual athlete norms as well,” says Stellingwerff.

Thus, a current routine assessment of iron deficiency should include the following blood markers: ferritin, hemoglobin, and transferrin saturation. Iron deficiency occurs in three stages using the following ferritin levels proposed in a recent paper in athletes:

Stage1 - Iron deficiency/depletion: ferritin less than 35 ng/mL, hemoglobin and transferrin levels will still be normal. There is little evidence to suggest you will notice any fatigue at this point, but it’s important to correct and prevent iron deficiency anemia.

Stage 2 - Iron deficient non-anemia: ferritin less than 20ng/mL, low transferrin, and normal hemoglobin. You may start to feel some of the symptoms above and performance may be negatively impacted.

Stage 3 - Iron deficiency anemia: ferritin less than 12 ng/mL, low transferrin and hemoglobin. You will notice key symptoms above including impaired endurance performance.

How often should I have my iron levels checked?

As suggested in a recent 2019 article published in a European Journal of Applied Physiology, high-risk runners should be screened regularly and considerations for the frequency of iron blood screening are based on the athlete’s past history. Although not comprehensive, some guidelines are listed below:

Annually: runners with no history of iron deficiency, no fatigue after an extended rest period

Biannually: previous history or low ferritin (iron depletion stage 1), female, intention to increase training volume or training at altitude within the next 12 months

Quarterly: any recent history of iron depletion/deficiency, vegetarian/vegan, individuals with any evidence of low energy availability, high training volume, and fatigue/lethargy, plans to train at altitude within the next 6 months.

Ferritin, an acute phase reactant protein, can be falsely elevated with inflammation after intense exercise. Thus, it’s important to avoid any muscle-damaging or intense exercise about two to three days prior to your routine blood test. Other suggestions for standardization include testing first thing in the morning and in a well-hydrated state.

Work with your doctor to determine the best course of action and figure out if supplementation is right for you.

Should runners traveling to altitude be concerned about levels?

Training at low to moderate altitudes provides an environmental stimulus to increase red blood cells with the goal of improving performance at sea level. With this increase in red blood cell production, comes an additional need for iron. A review paper by Stellingwerff et al. (2019) suggests checking iron status prior to altitude training to ensure that levels are in the optimal range prior to leaving.

“However, if a runner is just going to altitude for a race or short period of time, the impact of iron is much less,” Stellingwerff says. “Although, all endurance athletes should aim to have ferritin levels well into the healthy and normal range.”

How can runners optimize iron absorption?

You can have a solid iron-rich fueling plan, but is your nutrient-timing and combination of foods on point? Iron absorption may be impaired post-exercise due to increased levels of hepcidin, a hormone released by the liver that regulates the ability to absorb or recycle iron (e.g. increased hepcidin levels will inhibit iron absorption).

Inflammation is believed to be a strong up regulator of hepcidin. According to an article published in Sports Medicine in 2020, hepcidin increases around three to six hours post-exercise and increases towards the end of the day.

Thus, the optimal timing for iron absorption is within 30 minutes after a morning workout when hepcidin levels are low. Runners can optimize iron absorption use the following strategies:
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Avoid dairy, coffee, and tea (which decrease absorption of iron) for an hour before or after a meal.

Cook with a cast-iron skillet or a product like a Lucky Iron Fish, which may be a cost-effective strategy for increasing the iron in conjunction with other methods according to one study.

Consume “heme iron” rich foods such as beef, eggs, tuna, lamb, and kangaroo (if available)

Improve absorption of “non-heme iron” sources (almonds, figs, apricots, kidney beans, green leafy vegetables, tofu, dark chocolate) by pairing with heme-rich sources and/or ~50 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C (1/2 cup of pineapple, strawberries, broccoli, or red peppers).

If taking an iron supplement (prescribed by a physician), take with vitamin C-rich food. Emerging evidence suggests alternate day dosing to be just as effective as daily for raising ferritin levels and better tolerated for runners with a sensitive gut.


Finally, not every bad race indicates your iron is low, but it is a good idea to get checked prior to taking any iron supplements. There is no evidence that higher ferritin levels are better (e.g. aiming for 300), and supplementation is not likely to improve performance in non-depleted runners. Iron supplementation should only occur under physician supervision.

You can have a solid iron-rich fueling plan, but is your nutrient-timing and combination of foods on point? Iron absorption may be impaired post-exercise due to increased levels of hepcidin, a hormone released by the liver that regulates the ability to absorb or recycle iron (e.g. increased hepcidin levels will inhibit iron absorption).

Inflammation is believed to be a strong up regulator of hepcidin. According to an article published in Sports Medicine in 2020, hepcidin increases around three to six hours post-exercise and increases towards the end of the day.

Thus, the optimal timing for iron absorption is within 30 minutes after a morning workout when hepcidin levels are low. Runners can optimize iron absorption use the following strategies:
​

Avoid dairy, coffee, and tea (which decrease absorption of iron) for an hour before or after a meal.

Cook with a cast-iron skillet or a product like a Lucky Iron Fish, which may be a cost-effective strategy for increasing the iron in conjunction with other methods according to one study.

Consume “heme iron” rich foods such as beef, eggs, tuna, lamb, and kangaroo (if available)

Improve absorption of “non-heme iron” sources (almonds, figs, apricots, kidney beans, green leafy vegetables, tofu, dark chocolate) by pairing with heme-rich sources and/or ~50 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C (1/2 cup of pineapple, strawberries, broccoli, or red peppers).

If taking an iron supplement (prescribed by a physician), take with vitamin C-rich food. Emerging evidence suggests alternate day dosing to be just as effective as daily for raising ferritin levels and better tolerated for runners with a sensitive gut.


Finally, not every bad race indicates your iron is low, but it is a good idea to get checked prior to taking any iron supplements. There is no evidence that higher ferritin levels are better (e.g. aiming for 300), and supplementation is not likely to improve performance in non-depleted runners. Iron supplementation should only occur under physician supervision.

(05/02/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Ultrarunner Candice Burt saves man from burning car

Early on the morning of April 17, American ultrarunner Candice Burt happened upon a brutal one-car accident on the side of a road near Soap Lake, Wash. Jumping into action, Burt called 911 and rushed to the wreck, where she found an unconscious man still inside the burning car. Burt managed to work the man free from his vehicle before help arrived, saving his life before rescue workers arrived on scene.

Burt, the winner of many ultramarathons across the U.S., posted about the incident on Instagram, writing that she was on her way home from Arizona when she saw the crash. She had been in Arizona for an FKT (fastest known time) attempt on the 1,200-kilometre Arizona Trail. Burt was forced to abandon her self-supported run due to a dental abscess, calling off the record attempt after just a few days of running. “Disappointing, yes,” she wrote on Instagram, “but I didn’t have much of a choice.”

Had she carried on with her run, though, she would not have been driving through Washington on April 17, and the man in the car likely would have died, as Burt noted that there was no one else around to help or call 911. “He would’ve died this morning if we didn’t cross paths,” Burt wrote.

When she first saw the wreck, Burt said she “did a double take,” not sure what she was looking at. She assumed that someone must have already seen it and called for help, but it became clear that no one else was around. Fuelled by adrenaline, she ran to the car, only to find that the door was badly dented and wouldn’t open.

“I was kicking the windows, searching frantically for something to shatter them,” she wrote. After hammering the windows a few times, Burt said she thought she heard someone moving inside. She moved to the sunroof, thinking it could be a way in. She managed to slide her fingers under the sunroof, then yanked until it snapped off to reveal the driver of the car inside, his face covered in blood. Burt began to scream at the man, and he woke up just enough to unbuckle his seatbelt and crawl out of the car.

After she called 911, Burt says it only took four minutes for the emergency crew to get to the scene, but to her, it felt like much longer. “I don’t know how it was only four minutes,” she said. “It felt like 15.” In those four minutes, the blaze grew into “a scorching, putrid chemical bonfire” that certainly would have killed the unconscious man had he still been inside the car.

(05/02/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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New Balance Cancels Its 2021 Outdoor T&F Championship

New Balance announced on Friday the cancellation of its national high school outdoor track and field meet, New Balance Nationals Outdoor, following continued concern of COVID-19 and for the safety of those competing around the United States, the company confirmed.

This summer would have been New Balance's first venture with the new iteration of New Balance Nationals Outdoor since the company moved on from the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation in May of 2020.

Previously, the organizations worked jointly together to hold NBNO, a national competition that featured some of the country's top athletes and saw some of the season's best performances.

After the restructuring, both organizations clarified that they would continue to hold a national meet -- New Balance would put on its new iteration with the same branding, while NSAF would continue to hold its national championships with a different title sponsor and name. NSAF has been holding national high school meets since 1991.

To be fair, it's been a confusing few months.

But all things aside, New Balance will not hold an outdoor meet in 2021.

(05/02/2021) ⚡AMP
by Milesplit
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Hosts Poland crowned first winners of World Athletics Relays Silesia 21

There was success for the host nation Poland on an action-packed first evening of competition at the World Athletics Relays Silesia 21, with Joanna Jozwik and Patryk Dobek teaming up to win the 2x2x400m.

It was the first of two finals at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzow on Saturday (1), with Germany winning the shuttle hurdles relay ­and a whole host of competitive 4x100m and 4x400m heats taking place.

Tactical victory on home soil

With two athletes taking it in turns to run their two 400m legs, the 2x2x400m is an event which favours the middle-distance athletes rather than sprinters but in Dobek the host nation had a bit of both. Previously better known as a 400m hurdler, the 27-year-old has stepped up to the 800m this year in superb style, winning the European indoor title in just his fourth competition at the distance.

In Silesia he was joined by his European Indoors teammate Jozwik, who claimed 800m silver in Torun, and together they powered to victory on home soil, clocking 3:40.92.

After a conservative start, Kenya were narrowly ahead after the first lap, with Naomi Korir handing the baton to Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich and Jozwik passing on to Dobek, who had helped Poland to a fourth-place finish in this event at the last edition of the World Athletics Relays in Yokohama in 2019.

Slovenia is only fielding one team in Silesia and they made their presence felt in this event, with Anita Horvat and Zan Rudolf challenging Kenya on the third and final legs. Kenya had the stronger finish, however, and it saw them secure second place in 3:41.79 as Slovenia were third in 3:41.95.

Germany holds off strong Polish challenge in shuttle hurdles

All-round stronger starts and composure under pressure helped Germany to victory in the mixed shuttle hurdles relay, the final event of the night.

Monika Zapalska began well to give Germany a slight lead on the first leg. Poland’s Zuzanna Hulisz made up a bit of ground on Zapalska towards the end of her leg, but Germany’s Erik Balnuweit got off to a swift start on the second leg, opening up another metre on Poland.

Krzysztof Kiljan maintained Poland’s second-place position on the second leg as the top two teams continued to pull away from Kenya in third. The positions stayed the same on the third leg with Anne Weigold holding on to the lead for Germany as Poland’s Klaudia Wojtunik tried to give chase.

Poland saved their strongest runner, Damian Czykier, for the final leg. At first it seemed as though Gregor Traber’s lead was unassailable, but Czykier closed well in the final stages. He clattered the final barrier, though, and so was unable to catch the German before the finish.

Germany won in 56.53 with Poland taking second in 56.68. Kenya took third in 59.89.

All to race for in qualifying events

Competition was fierce in the heats for the championship events, with qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games and World Athletics Championships Oregon22 up for grabs.

The women’s 4x400m heats were up first and hosts Poland secured a strong start as they won the event’s opening race, clocking 3:28.11.

Cuba’s quartet of Zurian Hechavarria, Rose Mary Almanza, Lisneidy Veitia and Roxana Gomez went quickest overall, leading from gun to tape to win the second heat in 3:27.90 ahead of the Netherlands with 3:28.40. It was a busy night for European indoor 400m champion Femke Bol as before lining up for the mixed 4x400m, she opened her campaign with a 49.81 anchor split for the Dutch women’s team – the fastest overall in the first round.

Like the Netherlands and Poland, who won this event in Yokohama in 2019, Belgium and Great Britain had already qualified for Tokyo as 2019 World Athletics Championships finalists. They all also made the final in Silesia where they will be joined by Germany, Italy and France on Sunday.

Belgium qualified third quickest for the final with 3:28.27, ahead of Great Britain’s 3:28.83.

There was joy for the Dutch men’s 4x400m team too as Jochem Dobber, Liemarvin Bonevacia, Ramsey Angela and Tony van Diepen combined to clock 3:03.03 and win the second heat, leading the list of qualifiers. But Poland didn’t share in the success of their female teammates as they missed out on the final by just one place. Their run did, however, gain them a spot at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon.

In that third heat, which was won by Botswana in 3:04.03, Italy’s Vladimir Aceti surged past Karol Zalewski – who was part of Poland's world indoor record-breaking team at the 2018 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham – with a split of 45.36 to finish second in 3:04.81 and pip the hosts for that place in the final.

The Japanese team ensured that they will also be heading for a home Olympics as Rikuya Ito, Kentaro Sato, Kazuma Higuchi and Kaito Kawabata clocked 3:03.31 to win the first heat.

Colombia’s Anthony Zambrano, the world 400m silver medallist, eased over the finish line in 3:04.64 to comfortably anchor his team to second place and a spot in the final along with South Africa, Belgium and France.

As expected, the mixed 4x400m heats provided some thrilling action, with Italy’s Edoardo Scotti, Giancarla Trevisan, Alice Mangione and Davide Re storming to a second heat win of 3:16.52 to lead the first round ahead of heat three winners Brazil with 3:16.53 and the Dominican Republic with 3:16.67.

Ireland, Belgium, Great Britain, Netherlands and Spain will be joining them in the final but Colombia and Poland will miss out after placing third and fourth in that high-quality second heat.

Colombia’s 3:17.61 was faster than the Netherlands’ winning time of 3:18.04 in the first heat, but they were run out of an all-important top two qualifying spot.

In that Netherlands team, Bol ran 50.72 after her earlier 49.81 in the women’s event.

Narrow margins in 4x100m

Things were tight at the top and bottom of the list of teams to qualify for the men’s 4x100m final, with just 0.001 separating Italy from Brazil to lead the first round and the exact same small margin between Denmark and Ukraine at the bottom, to see Ukraine just miss out.

European indoor 60m champion Marcell Jacobs and Italian record-holder Filippo Tortu both ran storming legs along with Eseosa Fostine Desalu and Davide Manenti to clock 38.45 in winning heat three ahead of South Africa, anchored by African champion Akani Simbine, while 2019 winners Brazil, anchored again by Paulo André Camilo de Oliveira, won heat two in a time just a thousandth slower.

Denmark ran a national record of 39.06 in that race to finish fourth behind Germany and Japan to secure their spot in the final, while the first heat was won by the Netherlands in 38.79 ahead of Ghana.

A strong team of Jamile Samuel, Dafne Schippers, Nadine Visser and Marije Van Hunenstijn led the qualifiers in the women's event to book their place in the final, as well as the major championships in Tokyo and Oregon. Together they clocked 43.28 to win the second heat ahead of Poland.

Just as the Danish team had the race of their lives in the men's event, so too did Ecuador in the women's and the quartet ran a national record of 43.86 in third to advance on time. Brazil was disqualified for a lane violation after originally winning the first heat ahead of Italy with 44.02, while heat three was won by France in 43.51.

They will be joined in the final by Switzerland and Japan.

Competition resumes on Sunday at 19:20 local time with the mixed 4x400m final.

(05/02/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Shura Kitata and Tigist Girma Win Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Trials

The much-discussed 35k Ethiopian Olympic marathon trial race was held today in Ethiopia without Kenenisa Bekele. Unless the Ethiopian Athletics Federation changes course, your Ethiopian Olympic marathon team will consist of the top three finishers from each race.

Here are the top five results from each race along with the credentials of the finishers. Race results and photos are courtesy of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation Facebook page with translation via Teferi Debebe.

The times of the men have been updated based on an update to the facebook page. The first results had Kitata winning by 20 seconds which made no sense given the photo of the finish shows it was close.

Shura Kitata 1:46:15 – 24-year-old was winner of 2020 London Marathon last October, runner-up in NYC and London in 2018, winner of Frankfurt and Rome in 2017. 2:04:49 pb (2018).2. Lelisa Desisa – 1:46:16 – 31-year-old is past winner of Dubai (2013), Boston (2013, 2015), NYC (2018), and Worlds (2019). Only 35th in Valencia last December. 2:04:45 pb (2013).3. Sisay Lemma – 1:46:19 – 30-year-old has never won a major. 3rd is his best major finish (Tokyo and London 2020, Berlin 2019, Dubai 2017). Past winner of Frankfurt, Vienna, Warsaw and Ljubljana. 2:03:36 pb (2019).4. Chalu Deso – 1:46:34  – Age not listed.  9th in Dubai (2:06:29) and 6th in Valencia (2:04:53). Past winner of Porto (2019 – 2:09:08).5. Kinde Atanaw – 1:47:03 – 28-year-old won Valencia in 2019 (2:03:51 pb), DNF Valencia in 2020. No other marathon results.

*The Ethiopian site now lists the times as 1:46:14.53, 1:46:15.10, 1:46:18.21, 1:46:33.67, 1:47:02.53 so we rounded them all up to the next second per rules protocol but we imagine most outlets will list the lower time.

Women’s Results

1. Tigist Girma – 1:59:23 – 27-year-old has never won a major (best finish is 5th and that’s the only major she ever ran — Tokyo 2020) but has twice run 2:19. 2:19:52 pb from Amsterdam 2019. Has won 2 of her career 13 marathons.2. Birhane Dibaba – 1:59:45 – 27-year-old was runner-up in Tokyo last year (2:18:35 pb) and 9th in Valencia (2:23:07). Also ran 2:18:46 for 3rd in Valencia in 2019. 2015 and 2018 Tokyo champ.3. Roza Dereje Bekele 2:00:16  – 23-year-old won Valencia (2:18:30) and was 3rd in London in 2019. Won Dubai and was 2nd in Chicago in 2018. No results in 2020. 2:18:30 pb (2019 Valencia).4. Zeineba Yimer – 2:03:41 –  22-year-old has two carer marathon finishers, a 2:19:27 for 5th in Valencia in 2019 and a 2:19:54 that got her 4th in 2020.5. Ruti Aga – 2:04:28 – 27-year-old was 2019 Tokyo champ. Has finished in the top 3 five other times (runner-up in Berlin in 2017 and 2018 and Tokyo 2018 and 3rd in Berlin 2016 and New York 2019). 2:18:34 pb from 2018 Berlin.

(05/02/2021) ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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New Salazar documentary questions reasons for his 2019 suspension

Nike’s Big Bet, the new documentary about former Nike Oregon Project head coach Alberto Salazar by Canadian filmmaker Paul Kemp, seeks to shed light on the practices that resulted in Salazar’s shocking ban from coaching in the middle of the 2019 IAAF World Championships. Many athletes, scientists and journalists appear in the film, including Canadian Running columnist Alex Hutchinson and writer Malcolm Gladwell, distance running’s most famous superfan.

Most of them defend Salazar as someone who used extreme technology like underwater treadmills, altitude houses and cryotherapy to get the best possible results from his athletes, and who may inadvertently have crossed the line occasionally, but who should not be regarded as a cheater. (Neither Salazar nor any Nike spokesperson participated in the film. Salazar’s case is currently under appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.)

Salazar became synonymous with Nike’s reputation for an uncompromising commitment to winning. He won three consecutive New York City Marathons in the early 1980s, as well as the 1982 Boston Marathon, and set several American records on the track during his running career.

He famously pushed his body to extremes, even avoiding drinking water during marathons to avoid gaining any extra weight, and was administered last rites after collapsing at the finish line of the 1987 Falmouth Road Race.

Salazar was hired to head the Nike Oregon Project in 2001, the goal of the NOP being to reinstate American athletes as the best in the world after the influx of Kenyans and Ethiopians who dominated international distance running in the 1990s. It took a few years, but eventually Salazar became the most powerful coach in running, with an athlete list that included some of the world’s most successful runners: Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, Matt Centrowitz, Dathan Ritzenhein, Kara Goucher, Jordan Hasay, Cam Levins, Shannon Rowbury, Mary Cain, Donovan Brazier, Sifan Hassan and Konstanze Klosterhalfen.

Goucher left the NOP in 2011, disillusioned by what she saw as unethical practices involving unnecessary prescriptions and experimentation on athletes, and went to USADA in 2012. An investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency followed on the heels of a damning BBC Panorama special in 2015, and picked up steam in 2017.

When Salazar’s suspension was announced during the World Championships in 2019, he had been found guilty of multiple illegal doping practices, including injecting athletes with more than the legal limit of L-carnitine (a naturally-occurring amino acid believed to enhance performance) and trafficking in testosterone – but none of his athletes were implicated. (Salazar admitted to experimenting with testosterone cream to find out how much would trigger a positive test, but claimed he was trying to avoid sabotage by competitors.)

That Salazar pushed his athletes as hard in training as he had once pushed himself is not disputed; neither is the fact that no Salazar athlete has ever failed a drug test. Gladwell, in particular, insists that Salazar’s methods are not those of someone who is trying to take shortcuts to victory – that people who use performance-enhancing drugs are looking for ways to avoid extremes in training.

That assertion doesn’t necessarily hold water when you consider that drugs like EPO (which, it should be noted, Salazar was never suspected of using with his athletes) allow for faster recovery, which lets athletes train harder – or that the most famous cheater of all, Lance Armstrong, trained as hard as anyone. (Armstrong, too, avoided testing positive for many years, and also continued to enjoy Nike’s support after his fall from grace.)

Goucher, Ritzenhein, Levins and original NOP member Ben Andrews are the only former Salazar athletes who appear on camera, and Goucher’s is the only female voice in the entire film. It was her testimony, along with that of former Nike athlete and NOP coach Steve Magness, that led to the lengthy USADA investigation and ban.

Among other things, she claims she was pressured to take a thyroid medication she didn’t need, to help her lose weight. (The film reports that these medications were prescribed by team doctor Jeffrey Brown, but barely mentions that Brown, too, was implicated in the investigation and received the same four-year suspension as Salazar.) Ritzenhein initially declines to comment on the L-carnitine infusions, considering Salazar’s appeal is ongoing, but then states he thinks the sanctions are appropriate. Farah, as we know, vehemently denied ever having used it, then reversed himself.

It’s unfortunate that neither Cain, who had once been the U.S.’s most promising young athlete, nor Magness appear on camera. A few weeks after the suspension, Cain, who had left the NOP under mysterious circumstances in 2015, opened up about her experience with Salazar, whom she said had publicly shamed her for being too heavy, and dismissed her concerns when she told him she was depressed and harming herself. Cain’s experience is acknowledged in the film, and there’s some criticism of Salazar’s approach, but Gladwell chalks it up to a poor fit, rather than holding him accountable.

Cain’s story was part of an ongoing reckoning with the kind of borderline-abusive practices that were once common in elite sport, but that are now recognized as harmful, and from which athletes should be protected.

Gladwell asserts that coaches like Salazar have always pushed the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable or legal in the quest to be the best, and that the alternative is, essentially, to abandon elite sport. It’s an unfortunate conclusion, and one that will no doubt be challenged by many advocates of clean sport.

(05/02/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Here's What To Know About Recycling Your Running Shoes

It probably won't surprise you, a runner, a definite wearer of shoes, to learn that the shoe industry is massive (producing 24.2 billion pairs a year, massive). Also unsurprising is that with its size comes a monster amount of waste as consumers continue to buy and ditch pair after pair.

The life cycle (from material processing, manufacturing, logistics, and eventual waste) is estimated to create 30 pounds of carbon emissions for each pair of running shoes.

Running brands aren't oblivious to the problem and seem to grasp that runners are caring more and more about the environment, but aren't willing to compromise on the quality of their footwear. In fact, that's where a lot of the dissonance comes into play. To truly reduce the carbon footprint of the sneaker industry, runners need to one day rely on fewer, yet more durable shoes.

But no shoe brand wants us to buy fewer shoes. Which means, it's up to them to find another way. And this April, just in time for Earth Day, many brands are launching new (or beefing up old) footwear recycling.

Currently, 85 percent of textiles are not recycled, with the average person throwing away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually.

In general, recycling shoes is a complex process and depending on the materials in the shoe it might not be possible. "Footwear is difficult to recycle because most shoes are made using multiple, mixed materials which are often stitched or glued together," says Shaye DiPasquale a publicist for the recycler TerraCycle.

"There is not a lot of physical recycling of footwear that goes on," says Eric Stubin, president of Trans-Americas Textile Recycling. The majority of 'recycled' shoes and clothes are shipped places to be reused. Stubin's company processes about 10 million pounds of post-consumer textile waste from clothing, shoes, and accessories every year.

Take polyurethane foam, a material researchers from Northwestern University only recently figured out how to upcycle. "Polyurethane foam waste has historically been landfilled and burned or down-cycled for use in carpeting," said William Dichtel, who co-led the research. "Our latest work effectively removes air from polyurethane foams and remolds them into any shape. This could pave the way for industry to begin recycling polyurethane foam waste for many relevant applications." Polyurethane, which is sometimes used in the midsole of shoes does not melt even in extreme heat. Previously, it could only be shredded or compressed in ways that make the material not durable enough for other uses.

In general, when clothing is recycled it tends to go to one of these four different end destinations:

Reused and repurposed as secondhand clothing (45%)

Recycled and converted into items like reclaimed wiping rags for industrial and residential use (30%)

Recycled into post-consumer fiber for home insulation, carpet padding, and raw material for the automotive industry (20%)

Landfills (5%)

Perhaps the most notable and lauded shoe recycling program is Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe, which is available at select Nike stores. Through the program any brand of athletic shoe is collected to be turned into a Nike Grind product-tracks, courts, walkways, and playground floors made from ground sneakers. Stubin considers the Nike Grind program to be the most "robust and viable program for footwear."

Earlier this month, the sandal company Teva announced its partnership with TerraCycle through a program it's calling TevaForever. For no additional cost, customers who sign up receive a pre-paid shipping label to send their worn sandals to TerraCycle. Their goal is to also turn the used sandals into running tracks, playgrounds, and more.

TerraCycle's footwear Zero Waste Box is an option that anyone can order and fill with shoes to be recycled. According to DiPasquale the shoes will either be manually or mechanically separated into fabrics, metals, fibers, organics, and plastics. The fabrics are reused, upcycled, or recycled. The metals are smelted for reuse elsewhere. Wood or paper fibers are recycled or composted. And the plastics are melted down and turned into pellets, flakes, or other usable formats to be molded into new products or packaging.

But what if you could buy a shoe with a promise that it will be recycled, rather than looking for a solution on the back end? On, the Swiss shoe company has recently launched its Cyclon shoe subscription which promises to be a closed-loop system. For a fee of $29.99 per month you are delivered the shoes, made of castor beans. When the shoes reach the end of their life, you let On know and they will send you a new pair along with everything you need to ship the old pair back to be recycled into new products.

Because of the concept, On was awarded the 2021 ISPO Product of the Year as well as a Sustainability Achievement award.

And on Earth Day, Salomon will begin selling its Index.01 shoe in the U.S., which is already available in Europe. Like On's concept, it promises to be a circular life-cycle shoe. As long as consumers send it back, partners of Salomon will recycle the TPU and polyester into raw materials for use in other products. In Europe specifically, the TPU will be recycled into Salomon ski boots.

What about socks? An oft-forgotten item that is more than likely to end up in the landfill. Smartwool has just announced its new partnership with Material Return starting April 21. Like Nike Grind, this program involves collecting old socks (can be any brand or material, but must be clean) to be ground up and used in other products. This is your chance to get rid of those lonely single socks that, let's be honest, won't ever find their match. Find a donation center here.

4 Other Ways to Donate or Recycle Your Shoes

Donating your shoes so someone else can get use out of them is probably the best thing you can do with that old pair.

Stubin's biggest piece of advice when donating your shoes: Don't judge your shoes too harshly. "A good pair of shoes, even if a runner deems them no longer useful, can likely find a second life," he says.

Even if the charity you donate to can't re-sell the shoes to a consumer, they can still sell it to a recycler. "So if a Goodwill sells clothing to Trans-Americas, we pay them for that material. There's a market price for that material," says Stubin.

Programs like One World Running and Soles4Souls (a popular choice among running stores) collect and distribute shoes and other clothing to people who need them. To date the Soles4Souls program has found second use for over 56 million pairs of shoes. Find a donation center near you here.

Soles4Souls partners with a lot of other high profile donation programs. The North Face's Clothes the Loop program, for example, will send your shoes to that recycling leader.

[Editor's Note: You can also join our Soles4Souls shoe drive! Get all the details here and help us put your old sneakers to good use.]

Also announced this month, Nike will soon start accepting lightly worn, good condition shoes into its refurbished program for resale in 15 authorized stores. You can also check with your local running store to see if they offer any sort of similar takeback program.

Extending the life of a garment by one year can reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent, according to the Thredup fashion footprint calculator. "So footwear that lives on and finds a second life for two to three years, conceivably reduces the carbon," says Stubin.

Recycling vs. trashing shoes is only a small fraction of the problem. Most of the carbon emissions related to running shoes happens in the manufacturing process. At the end of the day, the best thing that can be done is to buy less and make the products we do own last longer. But, as with every environmentally charged movement, we have to start somewhere and demand forward progress and innovation, while doing our part as individuals.

(05/02/2021) ⚡AMP
by Women’s Running Magazine
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5 Steps to becoming a runner

Want to start running? You'll be in good company, considering almost 60 million Americans regularly hit the road, trail, or tread, according to Statista research.

Though running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise out there, becoming a runner can be a little more complicated than just lacing up and putting one foot in front of the other. (Unless you don't care about burning lungs, aching legs, and shin splints, that is.)

Whether you've never run a full mile, want to finish your first 5k, or are ready to train for a half-marathon, these training, fueling, and injury-prevention tips will make you a better runner than ever—and yes, even help you enjoy every step.

1. Don’t be afraid to start with walking.

If you’ve never laced up your sneaks for a run before, ease into a consistent cardio routine by walking for about 20 minutes, three times a week, says Colleen M. Brough, DPT, director of the Columbia University RunLab.

From there, progress your walks into run-walk interval workouts, Brough recommends. Start with 20 minutes four times a week, then bump the time up to 30 to 35 minutes.

“Run-walk intervals help minimize the risk of injury and can make the process of starting out more enjoyable and less daunting,” says Megan Roche, MD, running coach for Strava. “Increasing the number and duration of running intervals versus walking intervals is a great way to progress over time.”

As you get more comfortable, alternate between 60 seconds of running and walking—and eventually work your way up to a non-stop run.

2. Use your breath to find your pace.

Sure, you might know how to run, but knowing what kind of pace you can hold is a whole other story.

New runners almost always start running too fast and then burn out, says Brandon T. Vallair, USA Track & Field Certified Level 1 Coach and owner of Run for Speed in Dallas.

Though you might associate the word "running" with speed, give yourself permission to slow it down.

To control your tempo, use the “talk test” and maintain a speed at which you can easily converse or sing, suggests Vallair. If you're gasping for breath, slow down. If you can belt out the chorus to a Bruno Mars song on your iPod, pick it up a bit.

"The idea is to finish each run wanting to do a little bit more or go a little bit faster," says Leivers. "It makes it easier to get out there the next time, because you feel like there's more to accomplish."

3.- Focus on minutes instead of miles.

How you measure your runs is totally up to you, but thinking in time instead of distance may be less daunting.

After all, setting out to run for 30 minutes gives you more wiggle room to have a bad day or take it slow than vowing to run three miles.

4.- Progress smartly and safely.

If you have your eyes set on a race (especially a half-marathon or longer), you'll (of course!) need to dial up your distance. However, it's key to do so slowly.

First, designate just one run each week as your long run, says Leivers. While you can add a mile or two to that run over time, keep the rest of your runs the same.

Leivers's number-one rule: Increase your total weekly mileage every other week by no more than the number of days per week you run. For instance, if you run three days a week, you can increase your mileage by three miles every other week.

And number two: Keep your long run to no more than half your weekly total mileage to prevent overdoing it during any single outing. So, if you run 10 miles a week, that long run should be five miles or less.

5.- Mix up your runs.

Once you can run for about 30 minutes straight, you can start adding intervals—which will help you improve your overall pace by switching up the stimulus on your body—to your routine, says Brough.

Plus, “switching up workouts is a great way to keep the fun rolling," says Roche.

Two ways to try intervals:

Hill strides: Run uphill for 20 to 30 seconds, then jog downhill or on flat road until recovered.

Speed intervals: Alternate between one minute at about 75-percent effort and one minute of easy jogging.

Sprint intervals: Alternate between one minute of all-out sprinting and five minutes of easy jogging.

(05/01/2021) ⚡AMP
by Women´s Health
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New CDC Guidelines Say You Don’t Have to Wear a Mask When Running Outdoors

Don’t leave your mask at home, though. Even outside, there are situations where you may still need it.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announces new guidelines that state you don’t need to wear a mask outdoors if you’re running on your own or with members of your household, except in certain crowded settings and venues.

The guidelines also state that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should continue wearing a mask during indoor activities including going to the gym or to a workout class.

While you don’t need to wear a mask or face covering when running outside, it’s best to still bring one with you in the case of an emergency or unplanned event.

Yearning for a run without worrying about a mask? The time has come.

According to new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you don’t need to wear a mask outdoors if you’re walking, running, biking, or hiking on your own or with members of your household, whether you’re fully vaccinated or not, except in certain crowded settings and venues.

Additionally, those who are fully vaccinated can go mask-free when attending small, outdoor gatherings, even if there are unvaccinated people in attendance, and dine at outdoor restaurants with friends from multiple households.

Previous guidance advised wearing a mask in any public setting, even outdoors, unless you were exercising solo in an area where you could maintain ample distance from others.

In a chart ranking the safety of numerous activities, the CDC now indicates that running or walking outside is among the safest activities you can do right now. Most other activities, particularly those held indoors (including going to the gym or to a workout class), should prompt mask-wearing—but that fully vaccinated people wearing masks have a much lower risk level of catching or transmitting COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.

Finally, there are other safety measures to keep in place when running, such as staying home when you feel sick and maintaining physical distancing when possible.

Can you head out for a run and leave your mask behind?

Not quite—it’s still worth carrying one with you on the run, even if you’re fully vaccinated, in the case of an emergency or unplanned event (like needing to stop in a store for food or drink), or in case you find yourself in a larger gathering than you’d anticipated, including in group runs and races. Consider tucking the mask into a pocket or your waistband to have it handy, or wear a buff that can easily be pulled up around your neck.

“While mask requirements have been updated, it is still prudent to keep your mask on hand at all times,” Vivek Cherian, M.D., internal medicine physician affiliated with the University of Maryland Medical System, told Runner’s World. “If you are running or biking, you can absolutely enjoy that mask-less, whether you’re vaccinated or not. However, it is always advisable to have it for a busy trail or having to go inside a store.”

If you’re on a group run or at a race, Cherian added that it’s important to be mindful of the vaccination status of others around you. If not everyone is vaccinated, or you are not sure, he advised that it’s best to wear a mask because it is still a possibility that you could be an asymptomatic carrier of COVID, despite having received the vaccine.

Are gyms safe for indoor training?

Participating in an indoor, high-intensity exercise class is listed as “least safe” on the CDC’s updated guidelines for those who are unvaccinated, but safe for the fully vaccinated. However, everyone in that class should still be wearing a mask, the CDC suggests.

At this time, home workouts are still your best bet for keeping up your fitness routine and helping to ensure your own health and the health of those around you. Gyms are open in most states—with caveats. Many require masks, distancing, smaller class sizes, reserved time slots, and even a switch to outdoor training. But, before you go, it’s important to weigh the risks and know how the virus is spreading in your community. (You can find a directory of state health departments here.)

“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,” 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, told Runner’s World previously.

And, no matter where you sweat, you should remember to wash your hands regularly, especially after your workout for an added layer of precaution.

When are you considered to be fully protected from COVID-19 after receiving a vaccine?

Two weeks after the second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

This is a developing situation. For the most up-to-date information, check resources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly. This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

(05/01/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Ultrarunner documents 100-mile Central Park FKT with short film

American ultrarunner Robbie Balenger set an FKT (fastest known time) in New York City’s Central Park on March 21, running nearly 100 miles in just over 18 hours. The Central Park Loop Challenge follows a roughly 10K route around the park, and it involves running as many laps as possible in one day. Balenger beat the previous record by five laps, and he documented his 98-mile run with a short film. The Central Park Loop Challenge marks Balenger’s first official FKT.

The record Balenger set out to beat in Central Park belonged to Aaron Zellhoefer, who ran 11 laps in just over 14 hours in June 2020. Balenger smashed that record, running five laps farther than Zellhoefer did and reaching the 100-mile mark. A big challenge with the Central Park Loop is the fact that the park is only open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. This means runners don’t have a full day to complete their FKT attempts, and the challenge officially begins at 6:05 a.m. and ends at 12:55 a.m. (although runners can start anytime between these hours).

That window works out to a little under 19 hours for runners attempting the Central Park Loop Challenge, and Balenger used almost all of the allotted time in his run. The rules of the challenge (which are listed on fastestknowntime.com) also state that only whole laps of the park count, and even if a runner covers 9K in their final lap, it won’t be included in their result. If two runners happen to run the same number of laps, the tie is decided by their times, and the faster result wins the FKT. In Balenger’s case, he ran much farther than anyone else before him, so no tie-breaker was needed.

Balenger notes that while he has run many ultra challenges before (in 2019, he ran 5,000 kilometres across the U.S.), he had never gone nearly as far in one shot as he did in his near-100-miler in Central Park. In his mini-documentary of the FKT attempt, Balenger also discusses his diet and how he completes all of his ultra-endurance adventures as a vegan. “It’s the best thing that I can do for my body to perform at my highest level,” he says.

Balenger’s diet and training clearly work very well for him, as he averaged 6:49 per kilometre over the 18-hour challenge. To learn more about his plant-based lifestyle and running career, click here, and to see his documentary, either watch the above video or head over to YouTube.

(05/01/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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The Latest, Best, and Most Scientific Hydration Strategies for Runners

Summer is just around the corner, race calendars are filling back up, and interest in ultra-marathon and ultra trail races is booming. In other words, it's time to think about optimal hydration practices again. And to get everything right this time - once and for all.

Fortunately, Larry Armstrong, PhD, is here to serve as our guide. Armstrong has ranked among the world experts in endurance hydration for 40 years, and has just written a new summary paper titled "Rehydration During Endurance Exercise: Challenges, Research, Options, Methods."

A lifetime runner himself, Armstrong understands that marathoners want practical hydration advice, and not just scientific gobbledygook. We've had enough of that through the decades, especially as it has changed in ways both subtle and substantial.

Drink Some, Not Too Much

Don't feel bad if you're confused about the best hydration strategies before a race. So are a lot of other runners. Armstrong's new paper clarifies the muddy issues, delivering the latest and most evidence-based data.

Temperature has a major impact on sweat rate, which nearly doubles between a marathon run at 45 degrees Fahrenheit and one run at 68. Additionally, the faster you run, the more you sweat per hour. (Although a 2:30 marathoner and a 5-hour marathoner will sweat about the same total amount over 26.2 miles.) Typically, the more you weigh, the higher your sweat rate. Genetics plays a role as well, partially determining your relative sweat rate and the amount of salt in your sweat.

A new threat appeared in the mid-1980s with the first reports of marathon runners who drank too much, leading to hyponatremia (low salt level in the blood). Severe hyponatremia, while rare among runners, can lead to seizures and even death.

It has generally been observed most often in women runners (possibly because of their small body size), in runners who exercise more than 4 hours at a time, and in runners with inherent high sweat rates and high sodium content in their sweat. Cases of hyponatremia seem to have dropped in the last decade, as runners have realized they should not drink as much as possible.

To avoid both dehydration and hyponatremia, marathoners need to find a smart middle ground. You don't want to drink too little, and you definitely don't want to drink too much. There's the challenge we all face.

The goal, which some runners have been slow to accept, is to plan for and accept modest dehydration. It's not a personal hygiene failing like BO or bad breath; it's the smartest way to run. Here's a little jingle I just invented, keep it in mind: "1-2-3, it's all for free."

In other words, you can lose up to 3% of your body weight in marathons, and it won't cause any harm. In fact, you might save time, as you walk and slurp less at fluid stations.

Based on Larry Armstrong's hydration guidelines, here are and nine specific tips and five ways to plan for your race (two of which are bad ideas).

9  Specific Hydration tips

Hydration Tip 1: Experiment with any and all hydration methods during training, and before using them in competition. Try to train in the conditions you will face on race day.

Hydration Tip 2: Measure body weight before and after an endurance run to get an estimate of your water loss per hour. Use this to inform your race-day hydration strategy.

Hydration Tip 3: During exercise, consume fluids at a rate less than 700mL/hr (that's about 24 ounces). Several exercise science groups and marathon medical director groups suggest a range of 400 to 800mL/hr (13 to 27 ounces).

Hydration Tip 4: Remember this key fact: Modest dehydration up to 3% is okay. In fact, it's commonplace and expected. It's not dangerous, and not likely to impair your performance. Don't try to replace all the sweat you lose.

Hydration Tip 5: If you lose more than 4% of body weight, consider a medical consult to see if you can figure out what's going on.

Hydration Tip 6: Be alert for stomach sloshing, bloating, nausea, or other perceptual cues of excessive drinking. If you experience any of these, limit your fluid intake.

Hydration Tip 7: Do not allow yourself to gain weight during endurance exercise. Weight gain puts you at increased risk of hyponatremia.

Hydration Tip 8: After training and racing in high heat, especially on consecutive days, look for deposits of white salt on your shirt or shorts. These could indicate that you are a heavy salt sweater, and are possibly becoming salt depleted, which could increase the risk of hyponatremia. In this situation, consider adding salty foods to your diet.

Hydration Tip 9: Do not believe that consuming salt and salty foods during an event will allow you to over-drink. This has been proven wrong, and could lead to a false sense of security that might predispose you to hyponatremia. Salts consumed while running will have little to no effect on possible hyponatremia.

5 Pre-Race Hydration Strategies

Do:

1) Drink only after you become thirsty: This approach is believed to minimize the risk of hyponatremia, and also prevent excessive dehydration.

2) Drink when you feel like it (ad libitum): This approach is slightly different than the first, though some draw no distinction. The first advocates paying attention to your thirst. The second: Drink when fluids are available and you feel like it.

3) Drink according to a pre-determined plan: This approach assumes that you have measured your sweat rate prior to the upcoming event. Thus, this strategy is individualized to your weight, pace, the expected weather, and your individual sweat-rate. It should optimize your performance while limiting the risk of hyponatremia. Bingo!

Don't:

4) Drink nothing: This strategy is not recommended by any sports medicine or sports nutrition group for exercise lasting more than 30 minutes.

5) Drink as much as you can: This strategy is not recommended by anyone, yet still apparently followed by as many as 9% of all runners. It could lead to hyponatremia, and will not optimize performance.

Bottom Line: Pick strategy 3. If you haven't done your homework, you can fall back on 1 or 2. Don't follow 4 or 5.

(05/01/2021) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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Kenenisa Bekele Will Not Run Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Trials

Kenenisa Bekele, the three-time Olympic champion on the track and second-fastest marathoner of all time, announced today that he will not compete in Saturday’s Ethiopian Olympic marathon trials, which will be held as a 35 km race in the city of Sebeta, 15 miles outside the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Considering that the Ethiopian Marathon coach Haji Adilo has told LetsRun.com the top three finishers across the line on Saturday will comprise the Ethiopian Olympic team, that would mean that Bekele’s dream of becoming the first person — male or female — in the professional era to win an Olympic gold on the track and the marathon would be over.

Bekele, however, is protesting his exclusion from the team as prior to COVID-19 it was stated that Ethiopia would select their marathon team based on who had the fastest times during the qualifying window and Bekele led the pack on that front by over a minute.

For the last month, speculation has flown about whether Bekele, who has not run a marathon since his near-world record of 2:01:41 in Berlin in September 2019, would compete in the trials. Today, we learned that he will not be running the Trials as a protest letter that Bekele wrote in Amharic to the Ethiopian Athletics Federation in which he also addressed the Ethiopian sports journalists was published on Twitter.

According to Ethiopian journalist Teferi Debebe, whom LetsRun.com spoke to on Wednesday evening, in the above document Bekele said he was 100% healthy but criticized the Ethiopian Athletics Federation for changing its selection criteria and staging its trials too close to the Olympic marathon in Sapporo, which will be held on August 8. The gap between the two races is 14 weeks. For reference, when Eliud Kipchoge won Olympic gold in 2016, there was a 17-week gap between Kipchoge’s spring marathon (London) and the Olympic marathon in Rio de Janeiro. Fourteen weeks between a 35 km race and a marathon is a relatively tight turnaround and Bekele said he would not be competing as a result. In the document, according to Debebe, Bekele mentioned how countries like the US are honoring selections from a long time ago.

Debebe told us that Bekele started off the letter by reminding the federation that he’s got an amazing resume of success in representing Ethiopia in the past. He’s very proud of his past performances on the world stage while representing the country, as was everyone in the country. He hopes to do so again in 2021 or he says he’ll have to consider “another option.” He also complained that in 2016 he was left off the team according to what he said was discrimination.

We asked Debebe if he thought Bekele’s appeal would be successful and he said yes. In fact, he guaranteed us that Bekele would eventually be named to the team. “His appeal is very powerful because it comes from Bekele. At the end, he says he will consider another option and that will get him a lot of support….Definitely, the federation is going to do something in my opinion.”

Debebe did add that he didn’t really agree that discrimination kept Bekele off the Olympic team in 2016 as while Bekele is from the Oromo tribe, so is Feyisa Lelisa who was selected and famously did his X protest.

Bekele is not the only notable athlete who will be missing Saturday’s Olympic trials, which will be contested over 35 kilometers rather than the 42.2-kilometer marathon distance. A reliable source confirmed to LetsRun.com that Birhanu Legese and Mule Wasihun will both miss out as well.

(04/30/2021) ⚡AMP
by LetsRun
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Canada wants athletes vaccinated ahead of Olympics

In the wake of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) second playbook announcement on Wednesday, top officials from Athletics Canada (AC) are calling for all athletes competing in this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games to be vaccinated before heading to Tokyo.

In an interview with CBC Sports, Athletics Canada CEO David Bedford called it a matter of “national interest” to have all athletes and support staff heading to Japan fully vaccinated before leaving the country. He argued that if the government is already expecting most Canadians to be vaccinated by July 1, it only makes sense that we would prioritize these people, who are heading into what he called a “potential petri dish.”

“We’re not asking for something that isn’t happening all over the world. Even Kenya has vaccinated their athletes,” he added. “I would love to see the government come out and say this is in the national interest, these athletes represent all of us, so let’s get this taken care of so everyone is safe and healthy.”

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Japan has many people concerned that the Olympics could turn into a public health disaster, despite the protocols officials will be taking to ensure participant safety. Many countries, including Australia, have already announced they will be vaccinating their athletes ahead of the Games, but David Shoemaker, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee, maintains the organization’s original stance that athletes will not be given priority vaccinations.

“We maintain that Canada’s front-line workers and most vulnerable populations should be the priority for vaccinations,” he said. “With the growing numbers of vaccines available to Canadians, we are hopeful that athletes will have access to them prior to Tokyo, which would provide an additional layer of protection to the significant countermeasures that have been put in place.”

The biggest takeaway from Wednesday’s playbook announcement was increased testing, which mandates that athletes must provide two negative COVID-19 tests prior to boarding the plane for Tokyo. While this may help curb the spread of infection somewhat, many are concerned that the incubation period of the virus could render these tests useless. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch explained to the CBC that if an athlete is exposed to the virus, it could be two to five days before they start shedding it. This means they could have two negative tests before leaving Canada, but still test positive upon arrival in Tokyo. He added that vaccinating athletes isn’t a perfect solution, but it is a key way to ensure all 15,000 athletes competing in the Olympic and Paralympic Games stay safe.

“Vaccinations for all athletes,” he said. “We’re in the vaccine era. It’s not foolproof, but again this is serious. The variants of concern are more transmissible.”

The Olympics are set to begin on July 23, and as of now, the IOC has maintained they will take place no matter what.

(04/30/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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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 Flying Pig Marathon is coming back, Marathon will run this fall in-person

 

The Flying Pig Marathon is coming back! Executive Director Iris Simpson Bush says the marathon will run this fall over Halloween weekend.

“As of Oct. 29 through Oct. 31, Flying Pig events will be returning in person. We know that 2021 can't look exactly like the Flying Pig has looked in the past but we are so excited to be coming back in person,” Simpson Bush said.

Specifics on the race are still being worked out especially with COVID-19 guidelines changing often. Bush says they’ve coordinated with the local health departments and will stay in contact as the race gets closer.“I think that it's fair to say we have held off this long because safety measures for our participants, volunteers and the community at large is of primary importance,” Bush said.

As for the runners themselves, Bush says their expecting a lot of new faces even though they aren’t sure what their capacity will be just yet.

“The research says that the industry is likely to attract a bunch of newbies because for many people it's the only thing they could do during the pandemic,” she said.This weekend, the virtual event is set to host around 5,500 participants.

The hope is this Cincinnati staple event will be a step toward normalcy as they plan for the return of runners from all 50 states and around the world.“Call it our return to flight. This year we plan to soar,” Bush said.

If you are signed up for the virtual event, you’ll have the first opportunity to sign up for the in-person event. Registration for the public will open up on May 10.

(04/30/2021) ⚡AMP
by Steven Albritton
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Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

This beloved race found it's name from Cincinnati's pork history which dates back to the early 1800's. Cincinnati is also known as "Porkopolis."Our weekend line up of events are designed to welcome athletes of all abilities from the Diaper Dash to the full Marathon and everything in-between, we truly have something for everyone. We even added a dog race several...

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Dave Proctor set to start TransAlberta run on Friday, he hopes to finish in 72 hours, and fans can track him the whole way

Canada’s Dave Proctor will start his TransAlberta FKT (fastest known time) attempt on Friday at 9 a.m. MDT, kicking the challenge off at the Alberta-B.C. border. He’ll follow the Trans-Canada Highway all the way across Alberta for 537K before reaching the border with Saskatchewan. Proctor hopes to complete this run in 72 hours or less, which would set the TransAlberta FKT and break his own national 72-hour record of 500K. The run starts Friday morning, and anyone interested in following along can track Proctor’s progress.

Proctor has had multiple Canadian and world records to his name, and he is the current national record holder over 24, 48 and 72 hours. His original plans for this spring involved running across the entire country in an attempt to set a cross-Canada speed record. He had actually hoped to complete that run in May 2020, but the pandemic forced him to postpone. Those plans have been put off once again due to COVID-19, but Proctor didn’t want to let his fitness go to waste.

Certain province-to-province travel might not be allowed right now, but Proctor is free to run within Alberta’s own borders, so he decided to shift his focus to a shorter but still gruelling challenge. While he hoped to complete his cross-Canada run in around 67 days (which would beat Al Howie‘s 1991 record of 72 days on the 7,200-kilometre route), Proctor will now look to run across Alberta in three days or less. 

“I have all this fitness, and I wanted to put it to the test,” Proctor said after announcing his run. “I wanted to go out and test myself with something really, really hard.”

The coast-to-coast run would have been supported, but Proctor will be all alone during the TransAlberta FKT, pushing his food, water and other supplies in a stroller. 

kilometer“After 200 miles, I can’t really say what the pacing strategy will be,” he said. “From there, it’s just a sustained effort and I have to hold on for dear life and pray that I make it in time.” More and more races are cropping up around the world after so few events last year, but the total is still far from where it was before the pandemic.

Proctor’s run isn’t an official race, but it is a chance for fans of the sport to watch something exciting and special. Follow his progress on the route here (his dot and route won’t appear on the map until he starts running) and check out his Instagram page for updates over the weekend. 

(04/30/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Chevron Houston Marathon opens registration for 2022

The Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) will open its first window of registration – Guaranteed Registration – for the 2022 Houston Marathon Weekend of Events this Saturday, May 1, with Open Registration available to all runners on June 2, 2021.

The in-person race for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Chevron Houston Marathon and the 21st annual Aramco Houston Half Marathon will take place Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, with the We Are Houston 5K presented by Aramco and Chevron on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022.

“We are grateful for the continued support from our running community throughout the past year and look forward to safely welcoming back our runners to the road in Houston,” said Wade Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee. “Through thoughtful planning alongside our city partners, we are confident that 2022 will be an event year that successfully celebrates the history and camaraderie of our runners, volunteers, race partners, and spectators – all who have made this event possible for the past 49 years.”

(04/30/2021) ⚡AMP
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Former NCAA champ Justyn Knight wants to double at the Tokyo Olympics

After missing the Olympic qualifying standard in the 1,500m by only 85 one-hundredths of a second at the USATF Grand Prix in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday, Canada’s Justyn Knight told CBC News that he is open to the possibility of running both the 1,500m and the 5,000m at the Tokyo Olympics, should he achieve standard in the event. His time of 3:35.85 was a personal best, but the 24-year-old says he knows he can do better.

“I wasn’t pleased with the time I ran,” he told the CBC. “I know I’m better than that, but I felt good.”

We tend to agree with the Markham, Ont., native, considering the conditions on Saturday were windy and rainy, far from ideal for a track race. On top of that, the young athlete explained that he hadn’t done any speed training leading up to this race, so he didn’t have his usual finishing kick we’ve come to associate him with.

"The last 400, I wasn’t able to accelerate the way I usually would,” said Knight. “It’s just embarrassing how the race got away from me with a lap to go.”

Knight holds the Canadian record for the indoor 1,500m with a personal best of 3:36.13, but isn’t sure he’ll have another opportunity to run the outdoor standard before the Games. Instead, he said he will now be shifting his focus to the May 23 Diamond League season opener in Gateshead, U.K., where he’ll be racing in his first 5,000m of the outdoor season.

He fell just 1.36 seconds short of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics, but this year he has already achieved standard in the event when he ran his PB of 13:09.76 in June 2019, and so it will be his main priority heading toward Tokyo. Still, he said doubling is “definitely something to consider” if he got standard in the 1,500.

“Right now, I am just focused on having a good season.”

(04/29/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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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 Copenhagen Marathon has been cancelled due to pandemic

The Copenhagen Marathon due to take place on May 16, 2021 has been cancelled.

Organizers said: “We unfortunately see no other option than cancelling this years version of the Copenhagen Marathon. The reason is that we are still awaiting the official guidelines for mass participation events, and we are getting so close that we are running out of time in regards to be able to organize and complete productions for the race.”

(04/29/2021) ⚡AMP
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Copenhagen Marathon

Copenhagen Marathon

The race is special in many ways But one thing is the course around almost every part of Copenhagen. The course goes to Frederiksberg which is a very beautiful part of the city. Theres a fantastic atmosphere in the city, and a lot of spectators along the route. The course is pretty fast, and the field of elite runners is...

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Protecht company will provide peace of mind for Boston Marathon participants

Protecht, the leading provider of financial security solutions for today's online economy, has been selected by the Boston Athletic Association to provide insurance coverage to participants who have registered for the 125th Boston Marathon, which will be held on Monday, October 11, 2021.  The financial protection will be offered through Protecht's RegShield insurtech platform.

"The Boston Marathon is a crown jewel in the endurance/registration space, and we are delighted to align with the Boston Athletic Association to provide registration insurance for this world class event," said Bryan Derbyshire, Protecht CEO.

Participants who elect to purchase registration insurance through RegShield, will be able to have entry fees and the COVID-19 health and safety fee refunded for multiple reasons including loss of job, pregnancy, illness, and injury. 

ProtechtProtecht, Inc. is a family of companies leveraging embedded technologies to distribute insurance solutions across today's sports, live entertainment and convention landscapes. We power our partners with financial and inventory control, security protocols, data analytics, customer engagement, and increased conversions. With over 100 years of combined experience in fraud, risk, insurance, finance and payments, our industry-leading technologies provide a robust economic infrastructure by giving peace of mind for business and consumers, while providing an end-to-end solution for our select insurance partners.

Protecht's RegShield platform provides the event organizers with the unique opportunity to offer financial protection within the registration space, giving athletes the option to cover their registration in case of injury, illness, or one of the 15+ covered reasons. The RegShield platform offers a wide variety of registration types and covers a range of event constituents, from everyday athletes and dedicated competitors to superfans and business professionals.

(04/29/2021) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Sara Hall will aim to defend her Mini 10K title as professional athletes return to NYRR races for the first time since 2019 due to pandemic

The 2021 Mastercard New York Mini 10K, the world’s original women-only road race, is expected to host approximately 1,200 runners on Saturday, June 12, including the return of professional athletes to New York Road Runners races for the first time since 2019. It will be the first regularly scheduled and largest NYRR race to take place since the COVID-19 pandemic began and will follow comprehensive health and safety guidelines and procedures.

“We are thrilled to be bringing back the Mastercard New York Mini 10K and our professional athletes for a race that has inspired and empowered women in the running community and beyond for nearly 50 years,” said NYRR interim CEO Kerin Hempel. “NYRR will ensure a smooth and safe experience for all involved in the event through the health and safety guidelines we have developed with the City of New York and medical experts.”

The event, taking place in Central Park, will operate under NYRR’s Return to Racing guidelines. Health and safety procedures were developed under the guidance of public health officials and medical experts and in partnership with the City of New York and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. As part of NYRR’s commitment to health and safety, guidelines for the general runner field will include masks, temperature checks, increased and staggered starts, self-hydration options, hand sanitation stations, and limited race amenities to uphold adherence to social distancing. Race registration for the general public will open on April 22.

Sara Hall will headline the professional athlete field, looking to defend her title from 2019, when she finished first in a time of 32:27 in a race that doubled as the USATF 10 km Championships. Hall, who has eight national titles to her name, was runner-up (2:22:01) at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon last October and then in December clocked the second-fastest marathon ever by an American woman (2:20:32) at The Marathon Project in Chandler, Ariz. The year prior, she was the top American finisher and fifth overall (2:22:16) at the Berlin Marathon. Hall is the only athlete in history to have won the Mini 10K, the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile, and the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K in New York.

“The Mini is such a great celebration of women, history, and running, and it was an honor to add my name to the winners’ list in 2019,” Hall said. “It’s been such a groundbreaking race in so many ways, so it seems fitting that it will be one of the first big events in New York City since the pandemic began. I’ve been really lucky to benefit from some cool new race opportunities over the last year, and it’s exciting to see the return of established and historic events like the Mini.”

The professional athletes taking part will be in a controlled environment. The field will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before traveling to New York and will undergo daily COVID-19 testing and tracing while in New York for the race. There will be a separation of the pro field and general field at the start, no guests will be allowed to accompany the athletes, and they will be required to wear masks at the start and finish. Additionally, there will be an elimination of touchpoints, including no large gatherings or in-person meetings until race morning.

The full professional athlete field – both the open division and wheelchair division – will be announced closer to the race; the event is the only all-women professional wheelchair race in the world.

The Girls’ Run at the Mastercard New York Mini 10K, a 1-mile race for girls ages 12-18, will follow the adult race, and there will also be a Virtual Mastercard New York Mini 10K, which runners can participate in from anywhere in the world from June 12-20.

Mastercard will serve as title sponsor of the event for the first time after becoming NYRR’s newest foundation partner in 2020. As part of its long-term partnership with NYRR, Mastercard will also serve as the presenting sponsor of professional women’s athlete fields at NYRR events and provide support to NYRR’s Run for the Future program.

“The New York Mini 10K is a momentous symbol of the perseverance and dedication shared by women all around the New York running community," said Cheryl Guerin, Executive Vice President of North America Marketing & Communications at Mastercard. "We are proud to partner with New York Road Runners on bringing this special race back and inspiring all New Yorkers to prioritize their health, wellness and exercise in their daily lives.”

From those who led the way 49 years ago, such as legends Kathrine Switzer and Nina Kuscsik and the event’s inaugural champion Jacqueline (Marsh) Dixon, to the more than 200,000 women who have finished the race since 1972, the Mini 10K has served as one of the most impactful women’s races in running history.  

The event was founded as the world’s original women-only road race in 1972, and was first called the six-mile Crazylegs Mini Marathon. The Mini 10K got its current name when race founder Fred Lebow convinced the sponsor to support a six-mile “mini” marathon—named for the miniskirt, a big fashion trend of the times. Seventy-two women finished that first race, which helped show that women deserved to run in road races as much as their male counterparts. Three weeks later, Title IX was signed into law, guaranteeing women the right to participate in school sports and creating new opportunities for female athletes. The International Olympic Committee added the women’s marathon to the Olympic program for the first time at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, a decision sparked by the growth of women’s road racing, which was led by the success of the Mini.

(04/29/2021) ⚡AMP
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New York Mini 10K

New York Mini 10K

Join us for the NYRR New York Mini 10K, a race just for women. This race was made for you! It’s the world’s original women-only road race, founded in 1972 and named for the miniskirt, and it empowers women of all ages and fitness levels to be active and to look and feel great on the run. Every woman who...

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Adidas Ad Features Orthodox Jewish Marathon Runner

Orthodox Jewish marathon runner and mother-of-five Bracha “Beatie” Deutsch stars in a new advertisement for Adidas.

Deutsch, 29, shared on April 20 the new Adidas Facebook ad, which features a partial view of her face and the message, “Where some see an Orthodox runner, I see my belief pushing me forward. Impossible is nothing.”

The US native, who moved to Israel a decade ago, also wrote a lengthy Facebook message about perseverance, saying, “if there’s anything I’ve learned from running, it is to stand strong and stay positive, to drown out the voices of self-defeat and hold on to faith. And that nothing is ever IMPOSSIBLE … Thank you @adidas for the opportunity to share this powerful message.”

Deutsch is the Israeli national champion in the marathon and half marathon, according to her website. She was named one of the 50 most influential Jews of 2019 by The Jerusalem Post.

In 2016, she finished sixth in the Tel Aviv Marathon just four months after began running. She had dreamed of competing in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, but recently lost a competition that would help her qualify for the Olympic Games.

(04/28/2021) ⚡AMP
by Shiryn Ghermezian
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Athletes and their close contacts will have daily coronavirus tests at this summer's Tokyo Olympics

"In principle, athletes and all those in close proximity with athletes will be tested daily to minimize the risk of undetected positive cases," Tokyo 2020 said in a statement.

Both athletes "and all those in close proximity with athletes will be tested daily to minimize the risk of undetected positive cases that could transmit the virus," Olympic officials said.

Other rules for Olympic participants will include a ban on the use of public transport and avoiding restaurants.

Olympic organizers hope that bolstering the rules will help build support for the 2020 Games in Japan, where polls show most people back either a cancellation or further delay.

"We are ready with you to take all the necessary measures to minimize the risks to make the Japanese people feel safe," International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach said at the start of the talks.

"Our top priority is health and safety for everyone –- not only for the participants of the Olympic Games but, first and foremost, also of our gracious hosts, the Japanese people."

'People are anxious'

Japan has seen a comparatively small virus outbreak, with just over 10,000 deaths, but it is now battling what experts call a fourth wave of the virus.

A new state of emergency was imposed on Tokyo and three other areas on April 25, and the government's top medical advisor warned Wednesday that discussions should start soon on how the Games could be held if infections remain high by the summer.

"What's very important is the situation of the infections and how overwhelmed the medical system is," Shigeru Omi told parliament in response to a question from an opposition lawmaker.

"I think it is time to discuss the Olympics," he added, while stopping short of calling for either a postponement or cancellation.

Olympic officials insist the Games can still be held safely, Hashimoto last week saying that organizers are "not thinking about cancellation".

"There are so many people who are looking forward to the Games," she said on Wednesday.

"But, on the other hand, there are a lot of people who are anxious. That's the reality, and we need to look at both sides."

Olympic chiefs took the unprecedented decision to ban overseas fans in March, in a bid to reduce virus risks. 

(04/28/2021) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Pacing fellow Paralympian Michael Roeger accidentally breaks marathon world record while pacing training partner

Australian Paralympic runners Jaryd Clifford and Michael Roeger both set marathon world records in their respective para athletics classifications on Sunday at the Athletics Australia Tokyo Qualifying Marathon in Sydney. Clifford, a visually-impaired athlete competing in the T12 classification, set out with the original plan to simply pace Roeger, who competes as a T46 athlete, as his right arm only goes until about his elbow. Clifford paced Roeger well, helping him to a new T46 world record of 2:18:53 before continuing on and completing the marathon himself and accidentally breaking the T12 world record after crossing the line in 2:19:08.

As Clifford, who competed for Australia at the 2016 Paralympics, wrote on Instagram, his world record came as a shock for a number of reasons. He had never run a marathon before, and the plan was never to complete the race. Instead, he wanted to pace Roeger for as long as he could, and then he would bow out. At around 36K, though, Clifford said he realized he was going to stick in the race until the very end.

“It hurt like hell, but it’s a day I’ll never forget,” he wrote. He crossed the line just 15 seconds after Roeger (who has much more experience in the marathon), beating the world record of 2:21:33 by more than two minutes. After the race, Clifford spoke to Athletics Australia, noting that he would never have guessed that he could have run such a fast marathon.

“I think [Roeger] asked me at 15K how many laps I had left in me, and I think I said I had two,” Clifford said. “Then I had one more, and then another. I feel a bit silly upon reflection, but I think psychologically all I was doing throughout the race was focus on Roegs.” Clifford may be an accidental marathoner, but if he chooses to focus on the longer race (he primarily competes in the 1,500m and 5,000m, two events in which he won gold at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships), there’s no telling how quickly he could run.

While his result in Sydney would easily qualify him for the Tokyo Paralympics, Clifford told Athletics Australia that he still plans to focus on the track this year. He has broken the T12 1,500m world record on multiple occasions in 2021, with the most recent coming in March after he ran 3:41.34 at a race in Canberra. He hopes to win gold in Tokyo in both the 1,500m and 5,000m.

Roeger, however, is all in on the marathon, and he will be looking to win gold in Tokyo. He is the reigning T46 world champion in the marathon, and the world record (which stood at 2:19:33) that he broke on Sunday was his own. Since debuting at the marathon in 2018, Roeger has broken the T46 world record four times (although his first race, which he ran in Melbourne, was not ratified). He will be the heavy favourite heading into this summer’s Paralympics, and if he wins gold, he will add to his lone Paralympic medal from 2016, which was a bronze that he won in the 1,500m.

(04/28/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Due to flight suspension India could miss Olympic qualifier world relays in Poland

Star sprinters Hima Das and Dutee Chand might miss the Olympic qualifying World Athletics Relays in Poland on May 1 and 2 as the Indian team's connecting flight to Amsterdam has been suspended following the record-shattering spike in the country's Covid-19 case load.

The women's 4x100m and the men's 4x400m relay teams were to board a KLM flight to Amsterdam in the wee hours on Thursday but the Dutch government has suspended flights from India effective Monday evening.

The Athletics Federation of India is trying to book an alternate flight available to any European city en route to Silesia in Poland where the event will be held.

There is no direct flight to Poland from India."There is a serious doubt that our team may not be able to take part in the World Relays. Many European countries have suspended flights from India. So we may be stuck and there is a high possibility that the team may not go for the event," a top AFI official told PTI.

"But still we are trying, talking to the government and to our embassies if they can help our athletes to fly in any European city like Frankfurt from where they can proceed to Poland. We are also trying for any connecting flight to Dubai or any other West Asian city."

India will also field teams in the men's 4x400m in the event to be held in Chorzow, Silesia, in Poland.The top eight teams from the World Athletics Relays will automatically qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

The women's 4x400m relay team has pulled out of the event as more than two members are unfit.

The Indian mixed 4x400m relay team has already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after reaching the final during the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

The AFI was hopeful of the women's 4x100m relay team qualifying for the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo.The World Relays will be the first major international event for Indian sprinters since the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha in April 2019.

(04/28/2021) ⚡AMP
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How COVID-19 has changed the Face of Running

Behind the scenes of ASICS’ “BE(AT) Your Personal Best” event.

It’s 8:00 am in the French woodland area of Morton, Domaine du Bois aux Daims, on April 24. Situated almost 300 miles from the country’s capital, a select group of Europe’s top runners, including Julien Wanders and Sondre Nordstad Moen, ponder at the start line of ASICS’ “(BE)AT Your Personal Best”, with some preparing for their first taste of competitive running in almost a year.

Lanyard-wearing event organizers disguised behind heavy-duty facemasks scurry around frantically with walkie-talkies and clipboards in hand, as a select few press and photographers scout out the best view points along the course. 

While, from the outside, it might look like any other pre-race meet, the events past year have made things a lot more complex.

Of course a return to a resemblance of normal doesn’t come without its barriers. Following a number of elite-only events like last year’s London Marathon, a handful of behind-closed-doors championships have taken place across the world, many of which have resulted subsequent positive COVID tests. Such is the worry, more recently with the Tokyo Olympicsjust a few months away, both the Jamaican and U.S. relay teams joined a host of others in withdrawing from the upcoming World Relay Championships.

(Photos by Anne-Sophie Soudoplatoff)

This trial and error approach to the now-successful return of athletics has created many barriers to overcome for an event to go ahead which can be both time-consuming and costly — something of an issue to a sport renowned for its severe underfunding in a vast majority of countries. Such barriers, though, for ASICS(TOKYO:7936.T +0.68%) are seen more as a hurdle — and one they’re keen to clear.

Taking place just West of Paris, in the heart of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, ASICS created a biosecure bubble within a Center Parcs location. Alongside negative COVID tests prior to travelling, upon arrival and before departure, each athlete resided alone in separate accommodation, with food and drink delivered to their doors.

For ASICS itself, the event was more than just another race. Three months in the making (a relatively short lead time in this field), the occasion marked the brand’s return to hosting live events and the follow-up to the launch of its new METASPEED Sky sneaker — ASICS’ answer to the “super shoe”. Equipped with a full-length carbon plate and a design that intends to improve its users overall performance, “(BE)AT Your Personal Best” was not only a test of the runners’ current condition in an Olympic year — but a test run of the sneaker itself too.

The 2.5km course saw runners head out along a wide asphalt path, before looping around a roundabout and back to the start. With near-on idyllic running conditions (a slight breeze, but nothing to be considered a headwind) and months of planning and testing behind them, the scene was finally set.

Pre-event much of the talk was about the current the European 10km and half marathon record-holder Julien Wanders’ planned attempt at attacking the 5km record too, but a bout of pneumonia two weeks prior saw him fall off the pace just over halfway. Instead it was Kenya’s Boniface Kibiwott who grabbed a personal best, winning in 13:24, followed by France’s Felix Bour (13:34) and Etienne Daguinos (13:36) who ran a new French under-23 record.

In the men’s 10km, pacer Hillary Kipkoech cruised to victory to set a new world-lead at 27:35, with Spain’s Jorge Blanco (28:27) and Sondre Nordstad Moen (28:35) almost a minute behind, while Sarah Lahti broke the Swedish women’s 5km record. Rounding things out was Mekdes Woldu who achieved a personal best in the women’s 10km with 31:47, finishing almost 2 minutes in front of Austria’s Julia Mayer (33:35).

In total, 24 of the 34 runners achieved personal best times in Domaine du Bois aux Daims, with one world leading time. And while these numbers and personal accolades are important — as well as the clear quality the METASPEED Sky brings — the real success story of ASICS’ “(BE)AT Your Personal Best” is a glimpse into the world of running’s new normal. 

Whether these restrictions stay in place for years to come or they’re simply a temporary measure, its success bodes well for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and how things might operate on a much larger scale – and suggests that the pandemic won’t keep sport down for long.

(04/27/2021) ⚡AMP
by Tayler Willson
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New modern pentathlon format for Paris 2024 gets thumbs up at test event

Modern Pentathlon test event have endorsed the new 90-minute format after the completion of four days of competition in Budapest.

Unlike the previous test events in Budapest and Cairo in 2020, different permutations of the format were rehearsed at the University of Public Service in recent days, with 12 athletes competing in the women’s final and 18 athletes taking part in the men’s final.

The new finals format begins with riding, followed by the fencing bonus round and swimming, before closing with the laser run combining shooting and running - with breaks of between five and 15 minutes in between each discipline..

The programme being tested involves an equestrian leg lasting 20 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of fencing, 10 minutes of swimming and 15 minutes for the laser run - with breaks between events.

All disciplines were set to take place on the same field of play in Budapest, except for the fencing ranking round which were held on the opening day.

The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) claimed there would be no more than a 120-metre walking distance separating the swimming, fencing bonus round, riding and laser run courses.

"The format is designed to create a more compelling spectacle for TV and online viewers - and for on-site audiences like the Olympic Games spectators who will become the first to see all five modern pentathlon disciplines in the space of 90 minutes at Paris 2024,” a UIPM release said.

Asked for his impressions of the new format after winning the men’s final, UIPM Pentathlon World Cup and Pentathlon World Championships medallist men’s winner Pierre Dejardin of France, said: "It goes very fast, it's quite hard

"The transition between swimming and Laser Run goes very, very fast.

"Shooting after swimming is really not easy but it brings a little something extra because it's harder, so you have to focus much more on the shooting than before.

"We start almost without warming up so we need to manage everything well.

"But it's interesting!

"Mentally, it's one and a half hours of intense pressure."

Asked if viewers might find the new modern pentathlon easier to follow and understand, Dejardin added: "Yes, definitely, because you can follow the whole pentathlon from beginning to end in only 90 minutes.

"Honestly, I am happily surprised that everything was running smoothly.

"Yes, it goes fast and it's harder but it's part of the change and we need this change so it's cool.

"I was a little scared because I didn't know how it was going to all work out.

"But in the end it doesn't change that much for us, even the 5 x 600m, and it's even better because it gives us an extra lap of running.

"It's all about managing your race."

Women’s winner Alice Rinaudo of Italy, the 2018 under-19 world champion, said: "I enjoyed the competition and I like this new format.

"I have to better manage the time but it can work really well and I like this sequence.

"One thing I would change is to have more time between Swimming and Laser Run - just five minutes more would be enough.

"If this can help to have more visibility or more spectators, obviously it’s important to change the format for Paris 2024."

UIPM secretary general Shiny Fang commented: "This is an exciting moment not only for our core Olympic sport but for the wider Olympic Games product. 

"Our test events have proved that the new Modern Pentathlon format is not just a dream but a reality.

"We can all look forward with confidence to the implementation of the format in 2022 and to the very special moment when spectators at the Olympic Games will see all five disciplines of the Modern Pentathlon in a 90-minute showpiece."

"It’s important to have feedback from the athletes, coaches and trainers. 

"We will study these documents and then we have to make some changes, or not – this is what we will find out in the next days. 

"But I would like to underline that all the feedback so far from athletes, coaches and trainers from the 10 nations competing here have been nearly 100 per cent positive.

"It was much more than we thought we could achieve."

(04/27/2021) ⚡AMP
by Mike Rowbottom
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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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Eliud Kipchoge leads athletes in getting Covid-19 vaccination

Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge was among Kenyan athletes who received their Covid-19 vaccination at Kenyatta University Referral Hospital on Monday.

Also to receive their AstraZeneca jab were Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepngétich, Geoffrey Kamworor, the former World Half marathon champion and record holder and 2019 National Cross Country champion, Amos Kirui.

“The only other way we can conquer this pandemic is getting vaccinated, “said Kipchoge, who had just arrived from the Netherlands where he won the NN Mission in 2:04:30 on April 18.

“Taking the vaccination is also one way of helping us prepare for the Tokyo Olympics well since that Covid-19 vaccination certificate could in days to come be the ticket for the Games,” said Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohammed oversaw the launch of the vaccination exercise for Team Kenya for the Olympic Games at Kasarani on April 8. 

Amina said her ministry in collaboration with their health counterparts and Nairobi Metropolitan Services had secured 3,500 Covid-19 vaccines for Team Kenya going for the Tokyo Olympic Games and other teams for international assignments.

Amina disclosed that it’s their target to inoculate a total of 3,500 athletes, coaches, officials and athlete handlers across the country not only for Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games but other events.

Those who have benefited from the vaccine are all personnel working on Safari Rally, World Athletics Under-20 Championships in athletics, World Athletics Continental Tour’s Kip Keino Classic and the 2021 Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy.

Others are Sports Kenya, the Kenya Academy of Sports, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya, Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund and all Ministry of Sports frontline staffers.

(04/27/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Hundreds of Japanese towns and cities have been forced to rethink plans to host Olympic teams because of the coronavirus

Japan's Olympic host towns pull out over pandemic.

The western town of Okuizumo spent more than $5 million preparing to welcome India's hockey team for a pre-Games training camp, only to scrap the visit because of Covid-19.

After sinking money into upgrading sports facilities, Okuizomo balked when it became clear it would have to provide bubble-like biosecurity measures with regular virus tests and medical care.

"We wanted to have one of the world's top tier teams visit our town and show their skills to local children," town official Katsumi Nagase told AFP.

"But that seems impossible now."

More than 500 municipalities signed up to host athletes and officials in a scheme aimed at broadening the Olympics' benefits beyond Tokyo.

Some, like Okuizumo, have already scrapped plans to host overseas athletes, while others are devising careful programmes they hope will keep everyone safe.

Instead of giving residents the chance to meet elite athletes and try out new sports, towns will have to ditch any physical contact, school visits and public training sessions.

Kurihara city in northern Miyagi prefecture was planning to host South Africa's hockey team, but decided the expense was no longer worth it given the limitations imposed by virus measures.

"It's a project that will use our tax resources," Hidenori Sasaki, an official with the local board of education, told AFP.

"If it becomes just athletes holding a training camp without any exchanges with local residents, local citizens won't enjoy the benefits."

In some cases, Olympic teams have cancelled, worried about the risk of infection before the Games.

Australia's swimming team ditched its plan to train in Niigata's Nagaoka city, its mayor told  media in March.

And Canada's table tennis team will no longer go to Nagano's Okaya city, which instead plans to put posters of athletes around town, said Tomoko Hirose of the city's planning division.

"Our cheering may become a one-way engagement, without physical exchanges, but given the situation, we just have to move on," she told AFP.

(04/27/2021) ⚡AMP
by AFP
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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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Canada withdraws from World Athletics Relays due to COVID-19

Athletics Canada has confirmed its withdrawal from the 2021 World Athletics Relays, with it being the latest nation to pull out of the event in Chorzów in Poland.

Scheduled to take place on May 1 and 2, Canada joins Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Australia in missing the event, while the United States reportedly has also withdrawn, but USA Track and Field has not confirmed this.

Athletics Canada made the decision in light of the COVID-19 situation in Poland, as well as a rise in cases in Canada and around the world.

The Canadian relay squad had been in Baton Rouge in Louisiana in the US over the past week to participate in its annual relay training camp.

Before withdrawing from the competition, the Canadian team were set to practice with races at Louisiana State University.

"The safety of our athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority," said Athletics Canada's high performance director Simon Nathan.

"Though showing signs of improvement, Poland is reporting a very high level of COVID-19 and travelers are strongly encouraged to avoid all non-essential travel in and out of Poland, even those who are fully vaccinated.

"Most of the Canadian team is not vaccinated, neither are most of the people who will be involved with the competition, therefore, there are increased risks associated with gathering alongside others from different parts of the world.

"We know this is disappointing news given the implications it may have on qualifying for the Olympic Games - however, we made this decision with our team's health and safety at heart.

"If an athlete were to contract COVID-19, it will compromise their preparation for Tokyo - even if they are asymptomatic - as they will be required to self-isolate.

"It will also compromise everyone with whom they have had close contact with, as they will have to isolate regardless of their symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test.

"These issues are magnified for a relay team, as compared to individual events."

Canada had entered men's and women's 4x100 meters relay teams as well as women's and mixed 4x400m relay teams for the event.

Poland recorded 7,235 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, with 193 new deaths.

(04/27/2021) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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Canada´s Cam Levins runs unofficial Canadian record with 1:01:04 half-marathon time trial

The result won't count, but Levins's new lifetime best is 24 seconds faster than the national record.

Levins smashed the Canadian half-marathon record on Sunday, running an incredible 1:01:04 time trial near Portland, Ore. Since he didn’t run it in a certified event or on a real course, his time won’t count as an official record, but he still deserves a lot of credit for posting such an amazing time. Levins’s new unofficial PB is 24 seconds faster than the Canadian half-marathon record of 1:01:28, a time that Jeff Schiebler ran in 1999, and it adds to his official national marathon record of 2:09:25. 

Levins seems to be as surprised as everyone else is by his new lifetime best, which he recorded on Strava. He posted on Instagram after his run, writing, “Accidentally ran an (unofficial) Canadian record in the half marathon this morning. 61:04 per Strava. Didn’t expect that, but pleasantly surprised.” Levins of course meant to go out quickly in the time trial, but it’s unlikely he thought he would come anywhere close to Schiebler’s 22-year-old record. 

His official half-marathon PB is more than a minute slower than the time he ran on Sunday, sitting at 1:02:14. Levins ran this time at the Houston Half-Marathon in 2020, and it’s the fourth-best half-marathon ever run by a Canadian. He also owned an unofficial PB of 1:02:12, a result that he posted in a time trial last August. He managed to shatter both of those times on Sunday with his new unofficial best, which works out to a blistering average pace of 2:54 per kilometer.

Back on Instagram, he wrote that he hopes to “get the chance to set [the record] in stone in the future” at a certified race. Regardless of the record books and his official or unofficial PBs, this run is a great chance for Levins to bounce back after a couple of disappointing results in the past year.

He kicked 2020 off with a great run in Houston, but he fell short of Olympic standard in his next two races (both of which were marathons). Sunday’s result is proof that he’s in the best shape of his life, though, and he might be able to use its momentum to carry him toward another big (and official) result in the coming months. 

(04/26/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Pacer Great Britain's Jake Smith makes mid-race decision to run full marathon and wins in 2:11:00

British road runner Jake Smith ran an impressive debut marathon on Sunday, taking the win at the Cheshire Elite Marathon in Wales in 2:11:00. His win was a big surprise, not because he was an underdog in the race, but because he wasn’t supposed to finish the marathon at all. Smith started the race as a pacer, but after his planned exit point, he decided to keep running on a whim, and he carried on to the finish line far ahead of second place and well under the Olympic standard of 2:11:30.

Smith is one of the fastest British half-marathoners ever, and his PB of 1:00:31 (which he ran at the 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, where he finished in 18th) is third-best in national history, behind only Callum Hawkins (1:00:00) and British legend Mo Farah (59:32). His success over 21.1K made him a perfect pacing candidate to help marathoners through the first half of their races, and he did so on several occasions before Sunday.

In October, just two weeks before he ran at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, Smith paced a group of elite men (including Canadian Cam Levins) at the London Marathon. As Smith wrote on Instagram after that race, he led that pack through 21.1K in 1:03:45, and instead of stopping, he kept going for another mile or so before his coach told him he had to get off the course. “The marathon life is not for me just yet,” Smith wrote.

Next up was the British Olympic Marathon Trials, once again in London, in March. Back on Instagram, Smith wrote before the race that he planned to run 25K, leading the front pack through halfway in around 1:05:00. Again, he went farther than originally planned, sticking in the race until 29K, writing that he was “tempted at one stage to keep going.” He fought this impulse, though, and pulled out well ahead of the finish, again noting that he wasn’t ready to run a full marathon, saying, “[I] think I’ll pass on the distance for a few more years.”

It turns out that waiting period was actually only a few weeks, and on Sunday, just a month after his run in the British Olympic Marathon Trials, Smith was back on pacing duties, but this time he let the urge to keep running win. He entered the event expecting to pace elite men in both the half and full marathons, but at around 27K into the run, he decided to finish the race. “Looked down at the watch at like mile 17 and thought ‘sod it,’ let’s try to run the Olympic time,” Smith wrote on Instagram.

He had carried the leaders close to two thirds of the way at that point, and with his role as a pacer fulfilled, he shifted focus to his own goal — one that he hadn’t known he wanted to hit until that moment mid-race. He ran away from the rest of the field and closed impressively (despite never having run that fast for that long before), crossing the line in 2:11:00, 38 seconds in front of the second-place runner. Smith’s run now places him at 30th all-time among British runners, and he didn’t even train specifically for the event.

To add to his achievement, Smith’s debut marathon win came just four days after he won a 1,500m, also in Wales, in 3:50.89. After his run on Sunday, he wrote on Instagram that he plans to focus on the shorter event this season, and based on both times, he’s certainly capable of thriving at either distance.

(04/26/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Lithuanian ultrarunner Aleksandr Sorokin breaks 100-mile, 12-hour world records at U.K. race

Lithuanian ultrarunner Aleksandr Sorokin broke the 100-mile and 12-hour world records at an event in Ashford, U.K., on Saturday, setting marks of 11:14:56 and 170.309K in the two categories. These results beat American Zach Bitter‘s world records, both of which he ran at the Six Days in the Dome event in Wisconsin in 2019. According to Centurion Running, the company that organized the elite-only event, Sorokin also broke the 150K world record (10:27:48) and the Lithuanian 50-mile best (5:32:01) on his way to the 12-hour finish. 

Sorokin is no stranger to big results, and his resume includes top finishes at the 2019 IAU 24-Hour World Championships, which he won with a total of 278K in 24 hours, and the 2017 Spartathlon ultra in Greece, where he completed the 246K course in a little over 22 hours. His list of accomplishments just got even more impressive, though, with his records from Saturday’s run. 

The event, which was dubbed the Centurion Track 100, featured a lineup of just 15 elite runners, each of whom was personally invited to compete. Entrants ran on a regular 400m track, and despite the race’s monotony and repetitiveness, Sorokin thrived, powering through each lap for 12 straight hours. He ran an incredibly even race the whole way, averaging 4:07 per-kilometer pace through 50K (he posted a 3:25:38 split), 4:08 pace after 50 miles (5:32:01) and the same at the 100K checkpoint (6:54:25).

After 100 miles (another 60K of running after he hit the 100K mark in the race), Sorokin faded only slightly, and his overall pace for the record run to that point was 4:12 per kilometre. His 170K in 12 hours works out to 4:14 per-kilometre pace. For context, that’s like running 16 straight 10Ks and finishing each one in about 42 minutes. Sorokin’s results bettered Bitter’s 100-mile record of 11:19:13 and 12-hour record of 168K from 2019. 

While Sorokin was chasing down his world bests, Britain’s Samantha Amend was busy working on records of her own. At the six-hour mark, Amend set the W40 British record of 72.995K, and she passed through 100 miles in 14:34:05, breaking the open national record for the distance. Several other athletes set national age group records over the various distances as well on Saturday. 

All records set in Ashford are still unofficial, but the Centurion Running website notes that the course was certified by UK Athletics, so the times should all be ratified soon. 

(04/26/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Shaunae Miller-Uibo smashes stadium record in Eugene

World-leading marks achieved at this stage of the season don’t tend to leave too much of an imprint on the world all-time lists, but Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s 49.08 to win the 400m at the USATF Grand Prix in Eugene – the first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting of 2021 – broke the stadium record for an iconic venue.

The Bahamian Olympic champion ran a well-timed race. She held a slight lead at half way and still had USA’s Lynna Irby for company on the final bend, but she opened up a clear margin on the rest of the field down the home straight to cross the line in 49.08, the fourth-fastest time of her career.

It also chopped 0.26 from the previous stadium record, set in 2003 by Ana Guevara. Global champions Sanya Richards-Ross, Allyson Felix and Tonique Williams-Darling are among the other past winners on the Hayward Field track, so Miller-Uibo will gain a boost in confidence knowing that she has out-performed such legendary athletes at this venue.

“The 400 is my favorite event, so I love coming in and trying to figure it out and having some fun with unravelling the secrets of it,” said the world silver medalist. “We’ve been really working on getting our strength up and now that we are in the middle of the season we are going to work on speed and getting ready to put down some great performances in the 200s.”

Irby finished second in 50.28, holding off Jessica Beard (50.38).

(04/26/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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NBC Olympics to use outdoor studio for Tokyo 2020 primetime show

In a first for the United States Olympic broadcaster, NBC Olympics' primetime coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Games will be anchored from an outdoor location.

The organisation has held US rights to the Games since Tokyo 1964, but has never before had its primetime show filmed outdoors.

Anchored by Mike Tirico, this year's show will come from a fifth-floor deck with a backdrop of the Tokyo skyline, including the Rainbow Bridge.

As COVID-19 is spread more easily indoors, the set could potentially aid in preventing infections, although this was not cited as a reason for open-air location.

The pandemic led to the Olympics and Paralympics being postponed by a year to 2021, with the Opening Ceremony now scheduled for July 23.

The set will be designed by Michael Sheehan and the TODAY show will also broadcast from the location.

It will be former National Football League play-by-play announcer Tirico's first Summer Olympics as the primetime host.

At Rio 2026, Tirico was a daytime host from an open-air set on Copacabana Beach.

"Tokyo is one of the great cosmopolitan cities in the world," said Tirico.

"The chance to use the city as our daily setting will help bring our viewers back in the States even closer to the Olympic experience."

The Olympics will also be broadcast on NBC's streaming service Peacock, which will show four live studio programmes every day to allow viewers to catch up on the action.

These four shows will stream for free on Tokyo NOW, Peacock's channel for live coverage and highlights, and will start from July 24.

All content will be produced by NBC Olympics.

"Peacock is thrilled to stream the most anticipated Olympics in history," said Jen Brown, senior vice-president of topical programming and development for Peacock.

"Our shows on the Tokyo NOW channel will give audiences the latest and greatest from the Games, including live competition each morning and quality coverage every night, all for free."

Rob Hyland, who joined NBC Sports in 1997, has been named the producer for the NBC Olympics' primetime show.

Hyland, who will be working on his 10th Olympics for the organisation, is an 18-time Sports Emmy winner has previously served as lead producer for two of the Games' most-watched sports - athletics at London 2012 and figure skating at Sochi 2014.

(04/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by Inside The Games
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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World and British records fall at Centurion 100-miler

Aleksandr Sorokin sets world marks while Samantha Amend breaks national best at ultra-running track event at Ashford in Kent

Aleksandr Sorokin set a world record for 100 miles with 11:14:56 at the Centurion Running Track 100 in Ashford on Saturday (April 24) and then carried on to break another global mark for the furthest distance covered in 12 hours with 105.825 miles (170.3km).

At the same event, Samantha Amend broke Eleanor Robinson’s long-standing UK record for 100 miles with 14:34:05.

Sorokin’s performances beat the previous records of 11:19:18 for 100 miles and 104.88 miles for 12 hours set by Zach Bitter in 2019 in Wisconsin. 

The Lithuanian, who won the IAU world 24-hour title in 2019 and who outside athletics works as a croupier in a casino, averaged 6:45 per mile (sub-3hr pace) for his 100-mile effort. This was despite having to finish his final preparations on a treadmill due to being quarantined in the UK on the eve of the race.

He celebrated by striking a Usain Bolt-esque lightning pose on the track and then watched Amend break a national record.

Robinson ran 14:43:40 at Milton Keynes in 1990 but Amend broke that mark by almost nine minutes as she finished under floodlights at the Julie Rose Stadium.

Amend, who works for an IT company and races for Belgrave Harriers, has clearly been building into good form after winning the Dorney Marathon in 2:52:36 at the start of April.

 

(04/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Can Yerba Mate Give You the Same Pre-Run Energy Boost as Coffee?

We investigate whether it’s time to turn over a new leaf when it comes to your hot beverage of choice.

Many of us call upon the powers of caffeine to perk us up and put a little more spring in our stride before workouts. Most often, we turn to coffee, but lately, some have been brewing up another drink that promises to energize the body without any jittery side effects: yerba mate.

There are only a handful of plants in the world that naturally produce caffeine, and yerba mate is one of them. This makes the herbal tea a potential stand-in for java, and it may have you wondering if it’s time to turn over a new leaf when it comes to your hot beverage of choice. Here’s everything you need to know about yerba mate’s benefits and if it can help in your PR pursuits.

What Exactly Is Yerba Mate?

Yerba mate is an herbal tea made from the dried leaves and twigs of the evergreen Ilex paraguariensis plant, which is native to South America. This is not the same plant that green tea hails from. Traditionally it is consumed from a container called a gourd (calabash) and sipped with a metal straw (bombilla) that has a filter at its lower end to strain out the leaf fragments.

Yerba mate is often described as earthy, vegetal, herbaceous, and bittersweet in flavor. Several brands of mate also contain tender stems and branches in the mix, which can impart a woodsy flavor to tea. 

What Are Yerba Mate’s Benefits?

Yerba mate may help give your runs a jolt. While the caffeine content of yerba mate will be impacted by a few factors, including brewing time and quantity of leaves used, it’s thought that a cup of the beverage contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine. In comparison, brewed coffee ranges from 60 to 180 milligrams in a 6-ounce serving. Yerba mate also contains two other stimulants—theophylline and theobromine—which may work together with caffeine to put more pep in your stride or help you shake off morning brain fog.

Caffeine has been shown to help improve athletic performance for a few reasons, including lowering perceived effort. But you may need more caffeine than yerba mate delivers for all the performance-boosting benefits. To effectively rev up your workouts and races, you’ll need between 3 to 6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. So for a 150-pound runner, that’s 204 to 408 milligrams of caffeine or roughly 5 to 10 cups of yerba mate. People who are not used to consuming caffeine (and are thus more sensitive to it) may get more of a boost from less.

For some people, the naturally caffeinated beverage delivers enough without the pre-run jitters or irritability. But this benefit remains largely anecdotal. And since the drink contains fewer acids than coffee, some people find this beverage is easier on their stomachs than coffee, which can be especially beneficial before a big workout.

What’s more, an investigation in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise reported that trained male cyclists who took 5 grams of capsulated yerba mate for five days and then the same amount again one hour before the exercise trials burned more fat during exercise and had improved time trial performance than when a placebo was consumed. So when paired with endurance activities like running and cycling, yerba mate could help aid in efforts to burn body fat and also improve athletic performance by conserving carbohydrate stores for high-intensity moments, but this was a very narrow study conducted only on trained males.

The optimal amount of yerba mate from a supplement or drink to consume daily and prior to exercise is still to be determined. Many studies have used standardized capsules, so we need more research to see if the same benefits would occur using brewed tea.

When yerba mate leaves are brewed, they release several types of antioxidants, which may limit oxidative stress (a harmful chemical process) and inflammation in the body, leading to a lower risk for several health conditions such as heart disease, dementia, and cancer. And while no research has shown any definitive links between yerba mate and the reduction of disease risk, a study in the British Journal of Nutrition speculates that the abundance of phytochemicals (plant compounds) in yerba mate is the main reason why 11 days of its consumption was found to improve the rate of strength recovery from eccentric exercise (weight lifting) by an average of 8.6 percent. It should be stressed that brewed coffee also contains a slew of antioxidants, and it’s not yet known which drink wins out for packing the biggest antioxidant punch.

Additionally, in one 40-day investigation, participants who drank a little over a cup (330 milliliters) of yerba mate each day lowered their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by about 8 percent and raised HDL (good) cholesterol by 4.4 percent, which may lower the risk for heart disease.

Yerba mate does contain a few essential minerals including manganese, iron, zinc, and copper, but levels are likely not large enough to make a big impact on your diet compared to what you get from foods.

It’s worth noting that there is some evidence that drinking large amounts of yerba mate for an extended period of time may increase the risk for upper-body cancers, namely in the esophagus, larynx, and mouth. One possible explanation is that the drying process of yerba mate produces polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), known carcinogens also found in tobacco smoke and grilled meat. A more likely scenario, however, is that the very hot temperatures that yerba mate is commonly consumed at in countries with frequent use induces tissue damage that leads to cancerous cell formation. As long as you are not brewing up liters a day and also letting your drink cool for a few minutes so that it is below 150°F before sipping, the cancer risk should be minimal. Levels of PAHs can vary considerably among brands.

The latest recommendations are that women who are pregnant should limit their intake of caffeine from any source, including yerba mate, as it may raise the risk for complications including low birth weight and miscarriage.

How Do You Use Yerba Mate?

To prepare yerba mate, fill the bottom third of the gourd with dried mate leaves before adding hot water, or use a tea strainer filled with a tablespoon or so of leaves set in a mug. You can also brew it up using a French press. Yerba mate tea bags are also available, but you’ll likely get the freshest flavor (and more of a caffeine boost) with loose leaf.

For the warmer days ahead, you can prepare mate like you would iced tea and keep a jug stashed in the fridge. A few brands are offering pre-made bottled or canned mate drinks, but read labels so you aren’t also drinking heaps of sugar.

Some sports nutrition products, like chews and gels, will include yerba mate extract as a way to deliver you a shot of caffeine when on the go. These products should tell you how much mate-derived caffeine you’re getting in a serving.

Remember, because it contains stimulants, sipping yerba mate within a few hours of bedtime may lead to a restless night.

(04/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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A Very Good Dog Crashed a High School Relay Race and Stole the Show

Humans aren’t the only ones who want a finisher’s medal.

Whether you are interrupting a race as runners go by or jumping into the field without officially entering (also known as banditing, which is always against race rules), it is pretty much always looked down upon by those who are running.

Yet not everyone seems to get the memo. Animals especially have trouble remembering to fill out the prerace forms, though they occasionally enjoy participating in the sport or making their presence known to the runners nearby. From deer to bears to elk to dogs, these are the most memorable creature encounters caught on camera during running events.

And down the stretch Fido comes!

In April of 2021, with high school runners back on the track after a year of COVID-restrictions, a puppy showed that humans weren’t the only ones tired of being away from competition. A puppy made its way onto a track during a 4×200-meter relay race at the Grizzly Invitational in Logan, Utah on Saturday. And we have to say, we’re impressed with the finishing kick this pup had. 

A Bear Crashes a 10-Miler

A group of runners were at the halfway point of the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run in Colorado Springs, Colorado, when a bear meandered across the road right in front of them, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported. The bear initially hesitated before a large enough gap in the crowd opened up. Although some participants seemed to remain calm, most were clearly not expecting to come across the bear on their route. (Nobody was harmed during the race.)

Cross-Country Deer

Football is supposed to be the fall contact sport. Unless there are deer. At an NCAA regional cross-country meet in Pennsylvania, a deer running full throttle collided with Justin DeLuzio, a senior competing for Gwynedd Mercy University. DeLuzio suffered bad bruising, but managed to finish the race with aid from a teammate.

Ludivine the Hound

The inaugural Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon in rural Elkmont, Alabama, welcomed an unexpected, and unofficial entrant last January. Ludivine, a two-year-old hound, wandered to the start line after being let out to pee. The dog went on to complete the entire 13.1 miles in 1:32:56, receiving a medal and heaps of praise for her efforts. The race has even been renamed to the Hound Dog Half Marathon in Ludivine’s honor.

Buddy the Elk

In the small town of Dayville, Oregon, locals are used to the occasional elk encounter. Which is why participants in the Bunny Hop 5K last Easter barely flinched when Buddy, one of the town’s notorious elk, jumped into the course. The animal stayed with a pack of runners for nearly the entire race, and even hung around for a few minutes at the postrace party.

Bear Cubs in Alaskan Triathlon

Ambling through the woods in Anchorage, Alaska, a family of black bears unexpectedly interrupted the running leg of the Golden Nugget Triathalon in May. While crossing the dirt path on the course, one of the curious cubs approached a runner, who calmly stepped back to let the family meander away. In a video of the encounter, one volunteer can be heard saying, “Just another day in Alaska.”

A Shetland Pony in a 10K

Imagine participants' surprise when they found themselves running alongside a horse at the Trafford 10K in Manchester, England. Mildred, a 12-year-old Shetland Pony, escaped from her field along the route and ran two kilometers before being caught by race marshals at the 9K mark. Watch our video on tips for running with a miniature horse in case you find yourself in this situation at your next race.

(04/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Almost Half of Recreational Runners Get Injured—But That Doesn’t Have to Be the Case

Nearly half of all recreational runners sustain injuries, according to new research—knee injuries account for 27 percent of injuries and Achilles tendon and calf injuries account for 25 percent of injuries.

Paying attention to your training load, the intensity of your runs, and your biomechanics can be helpful in preventing injuries. 

If you seem to always be getting injured, it’s best to consult with professionals—a running coach, sports medicine physician, physical therapist, etc.—to nail down the reason why and what you can personally do to stay healthy. 

It should go without saying that running is a high-impact sport. So if it seems like you and your running buddies are constantly taking turns battling injuries—big and small—you’re not alone: Nearly half of all non-professional runners sustain injuries, according to research by Jonatan Jungmalm, Ph.D., in the Department of Food, Nutrition, and Sport Science at the University of Gothenburg in Germany. 

As part of his doctoral dissertation, Jungmalm recruited more than 200 recreational runners between 18 and 55 years old and monitored them over a one-year period. “To take part in the study, they had to have been running for at least a year, have run an average of at least 15 km [9.3 miles] per week over the past year and have been injury free for at least six months,” Science Daily reported.

He found that 46 percent of these runners reported injuries over the course of a year, and the most common locations were the knee—accounting for 27 percent of all injuries—and the Achilles tendon and calf area, representing about 25 percent of all injuries. 

Those with a previous injury were almost twice as likely to sustain a running-related injury as those without one, according to a result of Jungmalm’s that was published recently in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 

Also, newer runners tend to have higher injury incidence rates, Jungmalm told Runner’s World. He added that previous research indicates that running-related injuries seem to be the biggest reason that recreational runners quit.

“For runners, I think the takeaway from this is the awareness of how common injuries can be,” he said. “Recreational runners will, on average, experience at least one injury in about 225 hours of running. What runners think about that wasn’t part of the research, but my experience as a runner tells me that many runners may not acknowledge the real risk of being injured.”

Also not part of the research was whether any specific strategies helped minimize injury risk, but physical therapist Carol Mack, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., owner of CLE Sports PT & Performance, told Runner’s World that risk factors include mismanagement of training load, experience, and biomechanics. 

With training load, many recreational runners track mileage, Mack said, and while that’s helpful, it doesn’t give a full picture of true load. Mileage is external load, but it doesn’t measure the body’s physiological response to a run, known as internal load. For that, you’d need to be aware of intensity, heart rate, and level of fatigue. For example, Mack said, think about a 10K run done on tired legs at a fast pace versus fresh legs at a slow pace. The distance is the same, but each workout feels different and has distinctive effects on the body.

“In Jungmalm’s work, it’s noted that four injuries occurred during a single session that was rated with the highest intensity, or a pace-related injury,” Mack said. “There is some evidence out there that higher intensity workouts are associated with injury occurrence. Therefore, recreational runners should understand that intense, pace-related workouts like tempo runs or speedwork can be very taxing on the body.”

She added that it’s best to consult with a coach about how to best incorporate them into your training, and it’s very important to give yourself enough rest and recovery after those workouts. 

Experience is also a factor, and as the research indicates, newer runners have higher injury rates. Mack said this might show up as not knowing when it’s okay to push through pain versus when it’s not, or not knowing how fast or far to take some training runs.

The biomechanics factor means paying attention to proper form, said Mack. For those who experience repeat injuries, this might be a major factor, and she added that running gait retraining may help.

If you seem to always be getting injured, it’s best to consult with professionals—a running coach, sports medicine physician, physical therapist, etc.—to nail down the reason why and what you can personally do to stay healthy. 

 

(04/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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