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Shelby Houlihan & Josh Thompson Complete Bowerman TC Sweep of 1500s at 2020 USATF Indoors

The Bowerman Track Club has owned the women’s distance events at USA Indoors in recent years, sweeping the 1500 and 3000 (or the equivalent mile/2-mile) every year since 2017. Well, more accurately, Shelby Houlihan — who earned seven of those eight titles — has owned the distance events.

Today, a Bowerman TC man finally got into the act as Josh Thompson (3:44.07) held off defending champ Craig Engels (3rd, 3:44.62) and the surprising Nick Harris (2nd, 3:44.57) in the 1500 to earn BTC’s first men’s indoor title since 2016. Coupled with another dominant Houlihan victory, it gave BTC a sweep of the metric mile at this year’s USATF Indoor Championships and capped off a successful weekend that saw Jerry Schumacher’s outfit sweep the top three spots in both the women’s 1500 and 3000.

Mens Race

Thompson, who was trying to make it as a steeplechaser this time last year, announced himself as one of the country’s best milers by placing third in the 1500 at USA outdoors last year. Now, after his first national title, there’s no doubt about his best event.

Thompson ran a tactically perfect race, which began by putting himself in ideal position on leader Garrett O’Toole’s shoulder at 400 meters. Once Willy Fink took the lead shortly thereafter, Thompson followed along, content to stay in second as Engels moved behind him into third.

The pack was still tightly bunched when Thompson made his move to the lead at 300 to go, with the Oregon Track Club’s Vincent Ciattei following along into second. But with Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy a scratch, this was always going to come down to Thompson vs. Engels, and that’s what happened once Engels passed Ciattei into second at the bell. Engels made a concerted effort to get around Thompson on the back straight, but Thompson would not yield, fighting him off and forcing Engels to run wide around the final turn. Engels, spent from the effort of trying to pass Thompson, had nothing left in the home straight, and he faded to third, nipped by unsponsored Harris at the line, as Thompson powered away to win in 3:44.07 with a 26.86 final lap.

Womans Race

he women’s race wasn’t quite as dramatic, especially once American mile record holder Elle Purrier was announced as a pre-race scratch following her 4th-place finish in last night’s 3k. The racing began in earnest when Karissa Schweizer took the lead with three laps to go, and it was the BTC show from there as Houlihan and Quigley followed her into second and third. It would remain that way until just over 200 to go, when Houlihan moved to the front, and, as usual, no one could match her top gear as she closed out national title #13 in 4:06.41 with a 29.87 final lap (non one else could even break 31 seconds). Quigley barely held off the impressive Schweizer for second, 4:08.30 to 4:08.32

(02/16/2020) ⚡AMP
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USATF Indoor Championships

USATF Indoor Championships

America's greatest track and field athletes will be descending upon Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Indoor national championship! For three days, the nation's greatest athletes will be racing, jumping and throwing to see who will be America's national champion! Don't miss your chance to see dozens Olympic and World Championship medalists compete for national titles at this once-a-year event! Based...

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Chumo and Bekere take Barcelona half marathon wins

Kenya’s Victor Chumo and Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere took their respective titles at the eDreams Mitja Marato Barcelona, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on Sunday (16). On a perfect day for running, the 33-year-old Chumo succeeded after a thrilling sprint finish in 59:58 while Bekere was an overwhelming victor to smash her career best by exactly four minutes to 1:06:37.

Paced by the Kenyan pair of Cornelius Kiplangat and Boniface Kibiwot, the men’s race kicked off at a moderate tempo as the large main group went through the opening 5km in 14:18. The rhythm then heated up over the following kilometres, with the lead pack reaching 10km in 28:04, well on schedule to attack the course record of 59:44 set in 2018. Six men remained in contention: Kenyans Chimo and Moses Koech, Uganda’s Stephen Kissa and Mande Bushendich, and Eritrea’s Abrar Osman and Ethiopia’s Tesfahun Alkanew.

Once the pacesetters dropped out the six athletes took turns with the pacing duties. First Chumo took command, then Osman, the only athlete with sub-60 minute credentials, pushed hard. Even Kissa moved to the front on his first ever try over the distance.

By 15km, the clock was reading a promising 42:24 with six men still battling it out. But the speed decreased a bit over the following kilometres with a 54:14 19km split eliminating any chance of a course record. Over the closing kilometre, Chumo, Koech and Kissa proved to be the strongest and pulled away targeting a sub-one hour run.

Chumo prevailed at the tape in 59:58, clipping five seconds from his previous best with Kissa and Koech next in 1:00:00, an interesting debut for the Ugandan and a career best for the 22-year-old Kenyan by 11 seconds.

“I have been looking for an under 60 minute time for so long so I’m very satisfied with my win and my clocking today,” Chumo said.

Bekere dominates women’s race, Dereje falters

Held simultaneously with the men’s race, the women’s contest began conservatively as the four-woman leading group went through the opening five kilometres in 15:51. That pack included pre-race favourite Roza Dereje, her fellow Ethiopians Ashete Bekere and Asnakech Awoke plus Kenya’s Dorcas Kimeli. Always paced by Daniel Feyisa, the quartet passed 10km in 31:32 for a 15:41 5km split, but not fast enough to threaten either the world record or the course record set by Florence Kiplagat in a then world record of 1:05:09. By then, Britain’s Charlotte Arter travelled in fifth (32:390 alongside Ugandan Rachael Chebet while Germany’s Alina Reh ran 22 seconds behind that duo.

After another 15:51 5km section for an overall 47:23 15km split, the big surprise came when Dereje simply could not live with the pace and began to struggle leaving behind any chance of a podium finish. Simultaneously, Bekere, the winner at the last Berlin marathon in a PB of 2:20:14, began to push hard and Kimeli soon lost ground. Awoke managed to keep up with her compatriot for some 1200m, Bekere’s relentless pace proved too fast. She broke from Awoke with three kilometres remaining and finished unchallenged in 1:06:37 for a massive PB. Awoke’s 1:07:04 was also a lifetime best by over three minutes. Kimeli completed the podium six seconds behind Awoke in 1:07:10 also a career best for the Kenyan. As for Dereje, she finished two minutes behind the winner in 1:08:38.

Arter managed to hold off the late challenge by fast-finishing Reh to finish fifth in 1:10:01, seven seconds ahead of the German.

(02/16/2020) ⚡AMP
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Barcelona Half Marathon

Barcelona Half Marathon

The half-marathon in Barcelona, also known as the Mitja Marató de Barcelona. It’s the second largest running event in Barcelona next to the Marathon. The route takes the runners from the Arc de Triomf, by the old town to the Plaça Catalunya. From there it goes down the famous Ramblas and along Avenida del Paral·lel. Then it goes through the...

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Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon on Friday asked Chinese residents who have registered for the March 1 race to voluntarily defer their entry until next year

Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon on Friday asked Chinese residents who have registered for the March 1 race to voluntarily defer their entry until next year due to concerns about the ongoing outbreak of a new coronavirus.

Registered runners from China who defer entry will have their fees for next year’s race waived, said the organizers, who earlier announced they would grant automatic qualification for the 2021 event.

The organizers had previously said a separate entry fee would apply, but decided to remove the additional cost following a request from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

“With the change of our condition for deferring entry, we would like to sincerely request all registered runners residing (in China) to defer their entry voluntarily,” the race organizers said in a statement.

The deferred entry will be offered to 1,820 runners of various nationalities based in China, where the coronavirus outbreak has caused more than 1,300 deaths and led to restrictions on travel in and out of the country.

(02/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Jemma Reekie wins 1500m in Glasgow to continue fine start to 2020

Jemma Reekie continued her sensational start to 2020 by winning the 1500 metres at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow.

The 21-year-old had already broken three British indoor records this month and produced a blistering final lap to overtake Ethiopian Dawit Seyaum on the home straight and finish in four minutes and 4.07 seconds.

The time did not threaten the British record she set last weekend – it was about three-and-a-half seconds out – but the Scot showed impressive determination and composure to make her move down the inside.

Reekie admitted she feared she might be boxed in at one stage but she forced her way through.

"A few points I had to get my elbows out," she said. "That's middle-distance running for you. I am just learning so getting the confidence that I can do that was good.

"I was hoping I was going to beat my own British record but it's OK, I will take the win."

(02/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow returns to Scotland and the Emirates Arena on the 15th of February. Forming part of the World Athletics World Indoor Tour, the top-ranked indoor meeting in the world will feature the biggest athletics stars from across the globe aiming to start their Olympic and Paralympic year with a bang. One year on from hosting...

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Jamaican sprinter Akeem Bloomfield won the men’s 400m at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

Akeem Bloomfield, who said he will be focusing more on the 400m this season, took the event in 46.20secs. He beat American Obi Gbokwe 46.11 and Yousef Karam (KUW) 46.49.

Nathon Allen, the other Jamaican in the field, finished at the back of the field in 47.89.

In the women’s 400m, Jamaicans Janieve Russell ran 60.87 for 5th and Stephenie-Ann McPherson, who didn’t finish.

Jessie Knight of Great Britain took the top spot in 51.57.

 

(02/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anthony Foster
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Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow returns to Scotland and the Emirates Arena on the 15th of February. Forming part of the World Athletics World Indoor Tour, the top-ranked indoor meeting in the world will feature the biggest athletics stars from across the globe aiming to start their Olympic and Paralympic year with a bang. One year on from hosting...

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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei goes for 5km world record in Monaco

The World Cross-country and 10,000 meter champion will be making an attempt at a third world record when he runs in the 5km Herculis race. The record stands at 13.22 minutes.

Joshua Cheptegei, who left for Monaco on Wednesday, will on Saturday be seeking a rare triple in the city state of Monaco.The World Cross-country and 10,000 meter champion will be making an attempt at a third world record when he runs in the 5km Herculis race.

The record stands at 13.22 minutes. Uganda Police coach Benjamin Njia is confident Cheptegei will set a new mark.“He is on form. That record should fall,” said Njia from Cheptegei’s training area of Kapchorwa.

Cheptegei first rose to world record form in 2018 when he shaved eight seconds off the 15km world record record at the NN ZevenHeuvenloop race in Holland.

Cheptegei goes into Saturday’s race just two months after breaking the 10km road race record in Valencia. He clocked 26 minutes 38 seconds.

Cheptegei's average pace was two minutes and 40 seconds per kilometer in Valencia, passing through 5km in 13 minutes 24 seconds."What a year it has been," he said. "I can't believe it." I knew that Valencia was going to be a really fast course, one of the fastest in the world.

So to get to achieve what we came here for is something really special."Saturday’s race will be his first competition of a season where he is ultimately eyeing Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games in August.

Cheptegei is the only Ugandan to set three world records. John Akii-Bua is the only other Ugandan world record holder. Akii-Bua shot into the headlines when he became the first man to run the 400m hurdles under 48 seconds.

He clocked 47.82 seconds to win gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

(02/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by James Bakama
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Herculis 5k

Herculis 5k

For the 2019 edition, Monaco Athletics Federation is associating the world’s best track meeting 2018 and the Monaco Run to launch the 5km Herculis! From the Port Hercule to the Quai Albert 1er and through the Boulevard Princesse Grace, give yourself a chance to run across the principality of Monaco and to participate in a fast, exclusive and official race. ...

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An amateur Chinese marathon runner under coronavirus lockdown ran 31 miles in his living room to pass the time

A Chinese amateur marathon runner who has been under lockdown during the coronavirus outbreak has been keeping active by running 31 miles around two tables in his living room.

Pan Shancu, a Chinese medicine health therapist from Hangzhou, managed to complete 6,250 laps around his apartment in just under five hours, the South China Morning Post reported.

In a viral post on Weibo, which included a video of himself running, Pan said: "I have not been outside for many days, today I cannot bear sitting down anymore! Let's run laps around the two massage tables in the room, then!"

He even shared proof of the feat by adding screenshots of his running app results, writing: "Yes, one lap is about 8 meters (26ft) — I ran 50km (31 miles), and did it in 4:48:44, sweated all over, feels great!"

Pan is one of many millions of people around China who have been confined to their homes for weeks as authorities struggle to crack down on the spreading coronavirus, which originally came from the city of Wuhan, around 370 miles from Hangzhou.

Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, was placed on lockdown on February 5 in an effort to contain what the World Health Organization has now called Covid-19, according to The Guardian.

The reported amateur marathon runner is not the only person getting creative with indoor exercise.

According to SCMP, one woman even wrote a lengthy "commentary" of her "one-person race" at home on Weibo, saying: "I swipe my race card and start in the kitchen, go through the living room, turn into my daughter's room, the less than 20m-long racecourse has beautiful scenery and on my left, my husband's snoring is cheering me on.

"This is a silent battle. I put in bust of speed and power on to the balcony. My husband's verdict is that I have psychological issues," she continued.

Currently, more than 1,600 people have died of the virus in China and more than 45,000 cases have been confirmed globally.

(02/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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How Japanese-Style Training Inspired Jim Walmsley’s Olympic Trials Approach

The Western States 100 record holder has been putting in 175-mile weeks to prepare for Atlanta.

For Jim Walmsley, the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials will be less about outcome and more about process.

Walmsley, 30, is well-known for his success in ultrarunning as the Western States 100 record holder and four-time Ultrarunner of the Year honoree. On February 29 in Atlanta, he’ll carry that distinction into the championship with the goal of bridging the gap between ultra and marathon runners.

“In a lot of ways I feel like I’m bearing a torch for ultrarunners,” Walmsley told Runner’s World. “The stereotype of most trail or ultra races is that it’s all really slow and you can either take them on for fun or after you’re really done running. [Training for Trials] feels like a responsibility [to show] we work pretty hard and we can hold our own as well.”

By embracing an incredibly high-mileage approach, competing in a variety of races, and being transparent about the highs and lows of training on Strava, Walmsley hopes to shift the conversation.

“I think there’s a lot of mutual respect that can be gained,” Walmsley said. “Getting ultrarunners to watch the marathon and marathoners to watch ultrarunning, [we’re] making it about running rather than distance.”

The Flagstaff, Arizona, native started his running career on the track, where he honed his speed in the steeplechase at the U.S. Air Force Academy. As a senior, he finished 12th at the 2012 NCAA championships. In the NCAA semifinal, he ran a personal best of 8:41.05—nine seconds slower than the Olympic standard—and just missed qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Trials.

After graduation, Walmsley said he went through a difficult time in his life. He was charged with a DUI and later discharged from the military when his unit was caught in a cheating scandal. The events caused Walmsley to sink into a deep depression. Eventually, following the advice of his therapist, he began ultrarunning to feel like himself again.

“Ultrarunning doesn’t take special talent,” he told Runner’s World in 2017. “It takes motivation and the will to achieve something extraordinary. A lot of people are sparked to get into the sport when they are in a low spot.”

His breakout year came in 2016 when he shattered course records at the Bandera 100K and the Lake Sonoma 50 miler. After two missed attempts at winning the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, Walmsley finally accomplished his goal in 2018, when he broke the course record with a time of 14 hours and 30 minutes. That same year, he logged nearly 5,000 miles on Strava.

In the fall of 2018, Walmsley shared a surprising goal: He wanted to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. Rather than try to OTQ in the marathon—which seemed like a more natural fit for the ultrarunner—he decided to aim for the standard in the half marathon (1:04). Many admired Walmsley’s bold aspiration, especially given he had to average 4:53-mile pace to qualify.

At the 2019 Houston Marathon on January 20, Walmsley finished 27th overall in exactly 1:04:00. Afterward, he told Runner’s World that his performance gave him confidence to work toward his goals in the marathon.

“I have some plans up my sleeve to give myself a chance to do something exciting [in Atlanta]—to really push the envelope for myself and make things exciting for people to watch and cheer for an ultra guy,” he said in Houston.

Walmsley carried his momentum from Houston through the rest of 2019. He set the world best in the 50-mile distance (while averaging a 5:48-minute mile), shaved more than 20 minutes off his Western States 100 record, and won the World Mountain Running Championship 14K race.

“It’s probably been my most versatile year of different types of races I’ve tried to take on,” he said.

(02/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runners World
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The families of three female high school runners have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from participating in girls sports

The families of three female high school runners filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from participating in girls sports.

Selina Soule, a senior at Glastonbury High School, Chelsea Mitchell, a senior at Canton High School and Alanna Smith, a sophomore at Danbury High School are represented by the conservative nonprofit organization Alliance Defending Freedom. They argue that allowing athletes with male anatomy to compete has deprived them of track titles and scholarship opportunities.

“Mentally and physically, we know the outcome before the race even starts," said Smith, who is the daughter of former Major League pitcher Lee Smith. “That biological unfairness doesn't go away because of what someone believes about gender identity. All girls deserve the chance to compete on a level playing field.”

The lawsuit was filed against the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and the boards of education in Bloomfield, Cromwell, Glastonbury, Canton and Danbury.

“Forcing girls to be spectators in their own sports is completely at odds with Title IX, a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for women in education and athletics,” attorney Christiana Holcomb said. "Connecticut’s policy violates that law and reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women.”

The Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference says its policy follows a state anti-discrimination law that says students must be treated in school by the gender with which they identify and the group believes the policy is “appropriate under both state and federal law.”

The lawsuit follows a Title IX complaint filed last June by the girls' families and the Alliance Defending Freedom with the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, which is investigating the policy.

The lawsuit centers on two transgender sprinters, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, who have frequently outperformed their cisgender competitors.

The two seniors have combined to win 15 girls state indoor or outdoor championship races since 2017, according to the lawsuit.

The three plaintiffs have competed directly against them, almost always losing to Miller and usually behind Yearwood. Mitchell finished third in the 2019 state championship in the girls 55-meter indoor track competition behind Miller and Yearwood.

“Our dream is not to come in second or third place, but to win fair and square,” Mitchell said. “All we're asking for is a fair chance.”

Yearwood, a senior at Cromwell High School, and Miller, a senior at Bloomfield High School, issued statements vehemently defending their right to run in girls events.

“I have faced discrimination in every aspect of my life and I no longer want to remain silent," Miller said. “I am a girl and I am a runner. I participate in athletics just like my peers to excel, find community, and meaning in my life. It is both unfair and painful that my victories have to be attacked and my hard work ignored.”

Yearwood said she also is a girl and has been hurt by the efforts to “tear down my successes.”

“I will never stop being me!" she said in her statement. "I will never stop running! I hope that the next generation of trans youth doesn't have to fight the fights that I have. I hope they can be celebrated when they succeed not demonized. For the next generation, I run for you!”

The American Civil Liberties Union said it will represent the transgender teens and defend the Connecticut policy in court. Attorney Chase Strangio, deputy director for Trans Justice with the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, said transgender girls also are protected by Title IX.

“The idea that the law only protects the individuals with XX chromosomes as compared to individuals with XY chromosomes is found nowhere in the legislative history of Title IX, in any implementing regulation or in any other aspect of the interpretation of Title IX over the last 50 years by the courts,” he said.

The attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom is asking the court to prevent the transgender girls from competing while the lawsuit moves forward. No hearing date on that request had been scheduled Wednesday, the day before the state's indoor track championships begin.

Connecticut is one of 17 states that allowed transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions in 2019, according to Transathlete.com, which tracks state policies in high school sports across the country. Eight states had restrictions that make it difficult for transgender athletes to compete while in school, such requiring athletes to compete under the gender on their birth certificate, or allowing them to participate only after going through sex reassignment procedures or hormone therapies, according to Transathlete.

Yearwood and Miller have said they are still in the process of transitioning but have declined to provide details.

(02/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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Air quality levels ready to be monitored in Nairobi ahead of World U20 Championships

The World Athletics U20 Championships Nairobi 2020 will be the first global track and field championships where air quality will be measured and analysed.

As part of World Athletics’ continued pilot programme to measure air quality at sporting venues around the world, a Kunak air quality monitor was recently installed at the Kenyan capital’s Kasarani Stadium, the venue for this year’s World U20 Championships.

With the support of the local organising committee, World Athletics’ health and science department will measure both clinical and environmental data. The Kenya Urban Road Authority and Nairobi City Council have also shown interest in how the data is collected and analysed.

“We are happy that World Athletics has installed the air quality monitor in Nairobi,” said Lt General Jackson Tuwei, Athletics Kenya President and Chairman of the World U20 Championships organising committee. “The equipment will not only help in the area of sports, but also the city of Nairobi and other Government of Kenya agencies involved in environmental issues.”

“We are delighted that World Athletics has installed the first air-quality equipment in a sports facility in Kenya,” added Michael Rabar, CEO of the World U20 Championships Nairobi 2020. “The equipment will help measure and enable assessment of the air quality and be able to determine the effects on the residents of the city of Nairobi. It will be a great study to help sensitise all parties on the importance of clean air and be part of the event legacy.”

It is the second air quality monitor installed in Africa by World Athletics, following the installation of a monitor in Addis Ababa at the end of 2018.

“Our pilot programme was mostly a feasibility study to better understand the possible challenges of installing and maintaining high-end air quality devices in remote places and countries,” said World Athletics Health & Science Department Director Stéphane Bermon. “We are also keen to draw the attention of some of our member federations and competition organisers on the growing importance of air quality for people who exercise, both mass and elite.

“In addition, we want to fine-tune our air quality network prior to and during World Athletics Series events,” added Bermon. “In Nairobi we’ll replicate the study we conducted in Yokohama correlating air quality, performance and respiratory symptoms.”

An air quality monitor was installed in Yokohama ahead of last year’s World Relays. The data collected from there has recently led to a peer-reviewed scientific publication.

Air quality will be monitored at all future World Athletics Series events, including this year’s World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia and the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships in Minsk. A device will also soon be installed in Oregon ahead of next year’s World Athletics Championships.

The data collection and analysis will help event organisers to design safer timetables, while also providing insights to the ongoing research into the correlation between air quality and the performance of athletes.

World Athletics is also developing a customised service for organisers of road races, offering a portable air quality device that can be installed a couple of days before the race or fitted to a bike or electric car. The set-up enables World Athletics to produce an air quality map with high temporal and spatial resolution while also providing race organisers with advice and recommendations on how to mitigate the air pollution risks.

(02/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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Kenya's Fancy Chemutai targets fast time at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

Two years ago, Kenya's Fancy Chemutai narrowly missed out on breaking the world record at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon.

However, as she returns to the United Arab Emirates city for the Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 21, only one thing rings in her mind, win the race and prepare for her transition to the full marathon later this year.

"I had problems with my leg last year and it was the reason I did not post good results. But I have overcome it and I am looking forward to doing well in at the Al Khaimah Half Marathon next week," said Chemutai on Thursday.

Chemutai came just one second shy of the world record in February 2018 when she won in Ras Al Khaimah in a stunning 64 minutes 52 seconds.

Last year in January, Chemutai ran off an ankle injury to finish second at the Houston Half Marathon in a time of 66:48.

Now she believes she will be strong enough to challenge the course record in UAE, currently held by compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei in 64:52.

Chemutai will, however, be up against a strong challenge from compatriots Brigid Kosgei, who was seventh at 66:49 in 2018, Joan Chelimo (65:04), Peres Jepchirchir (65:06) and debutante Rosemary Wanjiru as well as Ethiopia's reigning world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta.

"I have plans to run the full marathon, but the injury slowed me down," she said. "Now that I am back in action, I will discuss with the coaches and see how fast I can move to the marathon." 

(02/14/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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A refugee athlete has been selected as an elite runner for the Tokyo Marathon for the first time in the event’s history

Yonas Kinde, who currently lives in Luxembourg, will take part in the Marathon on March 1 2020.

Yonas participated at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as a member of the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He continues his training as an IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship Holder and will compete as part of his efforts to secure selection in the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020.

He comes from Ethiopia, the country of the famous “barefoot runner” Abebe Bikila. Abebe is known for winning gold medals in the marathon at two consecutive Olympic Games, including the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964. For Yonas, it has been a dream to run in Tokyo, as he deeply admires Abebe – an Ethiopian hero.

“Growing up, Abebe was an inspiration to me and I am delighted to be able to run in Tokyo, where he achieved so much”, Yonas says. “Through my participation, I hope to send the message that, if supported, refugees can unlock great potential.”

Those who participate at the elite category are runners who meet specific requirements set by the Japan Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF).

Yonas received the elite runner status following an initiative of Japan for UNHCR (J4U), the national partner of the UN Refugee Agency in the country. 

It will be Yonas’s first visit to Japan. During his stay, he will train at the Tokorozawa Campus of Waseda University.

The refugees’ participation at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 gave courage and hope to millions of people who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution. It also testified to the enormous strength of refugee athletes, who strive to do their best despite facing adversity.

Yonas Kinde is a marathon runner and Ethiopian refugee, who arrived in Luxembourg five years before he was selected for the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Rio 2016. He threw himself into life in Luxembourg, taking French classes regularly, and working as a taxi driver to earn a living, all the while pushing himself to become a better runner. Yonas began running in Ethiopia as a teenager, and after fleeing to Luxembourg he competed and won several titles in Luxembourg, France and Germany.

(02/14/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Course and Mexican all-comers’ records under threat at Guadalajara Half Marathon

Kenya’s Geoffrey Koech, Shadrack Korir, Lucy Cheruiyot and Perine Nengampi lead the Kenyan contingent aiming to rewrite the course and Mexican All-comers’ records at the 34th Electrolit Guadalajara Half Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on Sunday.

Almost a month after running personal bests under 60 minutes in Houston, Korir (59:27) and Koech (59:36) will now target the course record of 1:01:48, set by their countryman Mathew Kisorio last year. The fastest half marathon run on Mexican soil is 1:01:27 by Simon Biwott in 1999.

Two more Kenyans, Benson Kipruto, a 2:05:13 marathoner, and Cosmas Kipchoge, who boasts a personal best of 1:00:06, are also top contenders for the podium. 

Ethiopia’s Haymanot Alewe will try to spoil a Kenyan medal sweep. A 1:00:26 runner over the distance, the 22-year-old showed his fine early season form with a 28:17 10km in Thailand on 26 January. 

Two-time Olympic finalist and two-time winner Juan Luis Barrios (2015-2016) carries the Mexican hopes in the elite race. He finished fifth in 2019.

In the women’s race, Lucy Cheruiyot is well positioned to threaten the Mexican all-comers’ and course record of 1:08:53, set by Ethiopia’s Afera Godfay Berha last year. The 23-year-old has run faster six times in her career, twice in 2017 when she set her personal best of 1:07:23 and more recently last October when winning the Cardiff Half Marathon in 1:08:20.

Her fellow Kenyan Perine Nengampi, a 1:08:04 half marathoner, will join her in trying to regain the top spot on the podium for the country, but Abeba Gebremeskel, who shows a marathon lifetime best of 2:22:29, will try to keep the trophy in Ethiopian hands. 

Three other sub-70 minute Kenyans, Margaret Agai (1:09:43), Visiline Jepkesho (1:08:12) and Winfridah Moseti (1:08:44) should also feature prominently on Sunday.

Mexico’s Madai Perez, the fastest Spanish speaking woman over the marathon distance (2:22:59), returns to Guadalajara after missing the 2019 edition. The 40-year old has stepped on the podium seven times, including wins in 2003 and 2006.

The 34th edition of the race, powered by Granvita, celebrates Guadalajara’s 478th anniversary of its foundation. A Marathon Parade with 21 sculptures representing the race’s 21 kilometres, will also grace the 34th edition. This urban art exhibit will be displayed throughout a month, before moving to other Mexican cities.

(02/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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21k GDL Electrolit

21k GDL Electrolit

A success of the 31st Guadalajara Electrolit Half Marathon, bringing together 12,000 athletes, a figure that represents 33 percent more attendance than the previous year made the start one of the larges outings in the history of this event. Under the slogan "Running is Friendship", this sporting event had the Glorieta Minerva as the starting and finishing point, and toured...

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Ethiopia’s rising star Roza Dereje is the one to beat at the Barcelona half Marathon

The 22-year-old Roza Dereje won last year with a 1:06:01 lifetime best and seems ready to improve on that performance. She also bettered her marathon career best thanks on  December 1 to 2:18:30 to win the Valencia Marathon. That time placed her among the top-ten on the all-time world list.

“I want to run as fast as possible on Sunday,” Dereje said. “I have my own dream and a clear goal in terms of clocking but I need to see how I feel on the race day. If the weather is fine I hope you all can enjoy something special.”

The world record is 1:04:51 set by Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei in Valencia in 2017. Dereje will be paced by her compatriot Daniel Feyisa.

Her stiffest opponent should be fellow Ethiopian Zeineba Yimer who holds the quickest time among the entrants, 1:05:46 for third at Ras Al Khaimah exactly one year ago. The 21-year-old made a remarkable marathon debut in Valencia last December clocking 2:19:28 for fifth, the same place she managed at the last World Half Marathon Championships also held in Valencia. Yimer enjoyed a fine 2019, clocking a 10,000m career best of 30:46:24 in Hengelo and a winning 46:52 time at the Valencia 15km in June.

Kenya’s Dorcas Kimeli should also be a factor. The 22-year-old belongs to the exclusive sub-30 minute 10km club, breaking that barrier in Prague last September when she ran an impressive 29:57 to finish second. More recently, Kimeli finished second in a cross country race in Thika where she beat world half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei by a couple of seconds.

Germany’s Melat Kejeta will try to give a scare to the theoretical podium placers. The 28-year-old Ethiopian-born runner boasts a 1:08:41 best for the distance and made a solid marathon debut in Berlin last September clocking 2:23:57.

Two other women have dipped under 70 minutes, Germany’s Alina Reh and Britain’s Charlotte Arter. Reh, a multiple European U20 and U23 champion with a 1:09:31 best, will contest her third race over the distance while Arter, 28, returns to the setting of her 1:09:41 best.

(02/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Barcelona Half Marathon

Barcelona Half Marathon

The half-marathon in Barcelona, also known as the Mitja Marató de Barcelona. It’s the second largest running event in Barcelona next to the Marathon. The route takes the runners from the Arc de Triomf, by the old town to the Plaça Catalunya. From there it goes down the famous Ramblas and along Avenida del Paral·lel. Then it goes through the...

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A look at the latest from Adidas, Adizero Pro carbon-plated shoe

Adidas has announced the release date of its commercially available carbon-plated shoe. The Adizero Pro is made of a Carbitex carbon-plate, a Lightstrike midsole (padded by a bit of Boost at the heel) and a Continental rubber outsole.

The shoe will be available to select markets on April 1, 2020 and worldwide on May 15, 2020.

Prototype versions of this shoe have been seen on the feet of four-time New York Marathon Champion Mary Keitany, 10K world record-holder Rhonex Kipruto, and even in 2008, on the feet of the former marathon world record-holder Haile Gebrselassie.

This is the first time the company is using Lightstrike in a running shoes (a TPU foam that made its debut in basketball). Adidas believes Lightstrike’s combination of stability and energy return will be appreciated by runners, especially over the full marathon distance.

The Adidas prototype that debuted at the 2020 Houston Marathon isn’t the shoe that was announced today. The all-white shoe had very subtle markings, with huge stack height and a line through the midsole, that presumably sandwiches a carbon plate.

While this isn’t the prototype that is hitting the market this spring, it could be a version of the carbon-plated shoe that we’ll see in available commercially in the fall.

Adidas joins Saucony, New Balance, Hoka, Under Armour, Brooks and Nike, which all have announced the release of their latest carbon-plated shoes this spring.

(02/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Boston Marathon dream becomes reality for cancer survivor

When Amber Bell was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, she thought her days of running marathons might be over. But this mom of three refused to accept that and has persevered, continuing to run while undergoing nearly four years of cancer treatment. This spring, Amber will be among the thousands of people running the Boston Marathon while raising money for charity.

Amber began running in college as a way to relieve stress and to feel good mentally and physically. Her running evolved into a love for training and racing. During a charity run benefiting cancer research in the summer of 2016, Amber realized something wasn’t right with her body.

“I just didn’t feel well the entire time I was running. I knew something was wrong, and I attribute that to being so active and physically aware of what was happening,” Amber says.

Devastated to learn she had stage 4 colon cancer, Amber worried about what that meant for her future and for her family. She also worried that cancer might take away her ability to run. After talking with her oncologist at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, they mutually decided that she could still run if she felt up to it.

“He said whatever my body has the ability to do—do it, that it’s only going to help me, not harm me.” After a long recovering from surgery, she went on her first post-diagnosis run, which was a day she will never forget.

“I remember just sobbing and thinking, ‘I’m back to me. I have my body back. I can still do this, and it hadn’t been taken from me.”

Like many marathon runners, Amber dreamed of running the Boston Marathon. Qualifying for the race is difficult for runners at peak performance—for Amber, it now seemed impossible. Then she heard about another opportunity to participate in the race. Amber teamed up with Boston Medical Center, one of the Boston Marathon’s 43 official charity teams raising money for nonprofits, and began training to run the renowned 26.2-mile marathon on April 20.

The Boston Athletic Association’s Boston Marathon Official Charity Program was established in 1989 and provides entries to nonprofit organizations. The organizations then recruit runners, who fundraise and, in exchange, receive a marathon entry. In 2019, the Boston Marathon broke a record, bringing in $38.7 million for nonprofit organizations.

Amber has raised about $9,000 for her charity team. She’s also working hard to prepare for the race, but it’s not without its challenges. Every other week, she receives chemotherapy to treat her cancer.

“I don’t feel well for several days following treatment, which prevents me from running,” Amber says. “So, it’s kind of like a week on and a week off, and I’ve just had to deal with that. It’s frustrating because it feels like I’m taking two steps forward and one step back. But I have to focus on the fact that I’m still taking steps forward.”

(02/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Kelly Warner
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Prices for Air Force Marathon will rise March 2

Organizers are encouraging participants to register before prices go up March 2.

“This is the time of year when runners are making decisions to participate in fall races and begin their training.” Brandon Hough, marathon director, said in a release.

Prices for the marathon and half marathon will rise by $10 — from $85 to $95 for the marathon, and $75 to $85 for the half — March 2 while the cost of the 5K and 10K races will increase by $5. (The 10K race will rise to $45 while the 5K will rise to $30.)

The new prices will be in effect until May 3.

The price for the Fly! Fight! Win! Challenge Series, in which runners compete in the 5K, 10K and either the half marathon or marathon, will increase by $10, and the Tailwind Trot 1K Kids’ Run will increase by $3.

Active duty, reservists and guard members may receive up to $10 off registration costs.

New this year, a virtual option is also available to allow runners from all over the world to join in from afar. Runners will choose between the half marathon or marathon and will need to run their selected distance between Sept.12 to 27.

All registered runners receive a race shirt, virtual goodie bag and optional complimentary commemorative patch. Everyone who finishes also receives a medal celebrating this year’s featured aircraft, the HH-60G Pave Hawk. Medals are presented to participants at the finish line by Air Force senior leaders.

All races begin and end at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, except the 5K and Tailwind Trot which take place on the campus of Wright State University.

(02/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Thomas Gnau
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Air Force Marathon

Air Force Marathon

Well run marathon held annually in September in Dayton Ohio....

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Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir will be back for another shot at the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon title on February 21

Peres Jepchirchir will be up against women’s marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei while the men’s race will see Benard Kimeli, battle with Mosinet Geremew – one of only five men to complete a marathon in under two hours and three minutes.

European half marathon record-holder Julien Wanders of Switzerland is also in the line up.

A prize purse of Sh32.9 million (AED 1,219,000) will be distributed among leading elite runners as well as the UAE national and age group categories. Registration will close on Saturday.

The annual premier road race hosts a variety of race categories including elite runners, club and recreational runners, people of determination and juniors.

This year, it will also introduce a new relay race category for the first time, while a 1km fun race designed for children will allow families to enjoy themselves as well.

Jepchirchir, who set the then world record of 65.06 at the course, is keen to bounce back to victory this year.

“I have prepared well. I just want to run a good time on the course,” she said.

Jepchirchir, the Lisbon Marathon winner, broke Florence Kiplagat’s mark before Joyceline Jepkosgei slapped a new record.

She is still fresh from winning winning Saitama Marathon in Japan, the Lisbon Half marathon champion is optimistic that despite the classy line-up, she is not worried to take on the world-beaters in a race set for February 21 in the United Arab Emirates.

Kosgei, the world marathon record holder at 2:14:0 set at 2019 Chicago Marathon, will carry his 64:28 personal best, to the quality field.

Women’s defending champion Fancy Chemutai (64.52), Joan Chelimo (65.04), a former world half marathon silver medallist Mary Wanjiru as well as world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia, are also hungry for glory.

But the stars must be at their best to stop the 25-year-old Kosgei, who will compete in her first race this season -and still enjoying a 10-race winning span since 2018 Chicago Marathon.

(02/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Komen
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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Six Scots have been confirmed in the field for the Muller Indoor Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Saturday

Laura Muir spearheads the Scottish contingent as she lines up in the 1000m, where she will attempt to break the world record.

She will be joined in Glasgow by her training partner, Jemma Reekie, who has been in extremely impressive form in recent weeks, breaking three British indoor records as well as beating Muir last weekend.

Reekie will race the 1500m, the event in which she broke the British indoor record last weekend when she clocked 4 minutes 0.75 seconds in New York last weekend.

Also in excellent form is Nikki Manson who will compete in the high jump on the back of breaking the Scottish record last weekend with a leap of 1.93m.

In the 800m, Josh Kerr and Guy Learmonth will go head-to-head but they will face stiff competition as also in the field is reigning World Indoor champion, Adam Kszczot, of Poland

Completing the Scottish entries is Heather Paton in the sprint hurdles, who is another athlete who has been on record-breaking form in recent weeks having broken her own indoor record over 60m this season. Jake Wightman, who broke the British 1000m record a fortnight ago was due to appear but has withdrawn after illness disrupted training.

The Scots will be in good company at the Emirates, with a star-studded field having been lured to compete.

GB heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who is the current world champion, will compete in the long jump while Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce will line up in the 60m. The Jamaican is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and returned to the sport last summer having given birth to her son.

Also in action is man of the moment, Mondo Duplantis, who broke the pole vault world record last weekend.

(02/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Susan Egelstaff
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Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow returns to Scotland and the Emirates Arena on the 15th of February. Forming part of the World Athletics World Indoor Tour, the top-ranked indoor meeting in the world will feature the biggest athletics stars from across the globe aiming to start their Olympic and Paralympic year with a bang. One year on from hosting...

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28-year-old Megan Youngren will be the First Openly Transgender Athlete to Compete at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Megan Youngren became one of 63 women at the California International Marathon to officially qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic marathon trials, the race that will determine the team for Tokyo. Her 40th-place finish in 2:43:52 came as both a relief and a reward, after four months of intense training. But it also marked another significant moment: With her qualification, Youngren is set to make history on Feb. 29 as the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials.

“I’m open to talking about it to people because that’s the only way you make progress on stuff like this,” says Youngren, who first started taking hormone medication as a college student in 2011. She came out publicly as transgender in ’12 and finalized paperwork for her transition in ’19.

“To my knowledge, and that of other staff who have been with USATF for many years, we do not recall a trans competitor at our Marathon Trials,” spokesperson Susan Hazzard says. Just last month, Chris Mosier was interviewed by The New York Times as the first transgender athlete to qualify for and participate in an Olympic trials in the gender with which he identifies. Mosier is the first trans man to compete with cisgender men at the 50-kilometer race walk in Santee, Calif. “For me, it’s all about making a pathway for all the trans athletes that come after me,” he told the Times.

In 2013, Youngren started running to lose weight and boost her health after transitioning, and now she primarily races on trails and runs up and down mountains for fun. Youngren says that running helped alleviate any lingering symptoms from a case of shingles. By 2014, she was running consistently, but with little structure to her training. An Alaska native, Youngren ran her first marathon at the 2017 Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks in 4:48, on a course with an unforgiving 3,285 feet of elevation gain and loss. Despite the difficulty and cramping, she credits that race as the one that got her hooked on the 26.2-mile distance.

At the 2019 Los Angeles Marathon, Youngren managed to get her time down to 3:06:42, which propelled her to seek out a sub-three-hour goal for the first time. At the time, she was working at a bakery and her job required a lot of manual labor, but she still managed to fit in runs after work. When the bakery closed in September, it freed up some time in her day to run more, and Youngren’s mileage eventually reached 85 per week, with the majority on trails.

“I thought that if I worked incredibly hard and took some huge risks that I could run a 2:45,” Youngren says. “People will try to put it down by saying, ‘That’s too easy because you’re trans.’ But what about the 500 other women who will qualify? There’s probably someone with the exact same story. I trained hard. I got lucky. I dodged injuries. I raced a lot, and it worked out for me. That’s the story for a lot of other people, too.”

Before the California International Marathon, Youngren’s previous PR was a 2:52:33 set in August at the Anchorage RunFest’s Humpy’s Marathon, where she battled heavy winds and was on qualifying pace through 18 miles.

“I’ve had multiple times this year when I thought I was going to hit that time but then fell apart,” Youngren says. “This time, it was really hard but I made it through. The race itself broke me mentally.”

(02/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Chris Chavez
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

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

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The 35th Annual Los Angeles Marathon will be the biggest field ever

The experience of running from the ‘Stadium to the Sea’ has never been more popular. The 2020 Los Angeles Marathon presented by ASICS will welcome the largest field in the 35-year history of the event on Sunday, March 8.

With less than 30 days until race weekend, the marathon team notes that the event continues to build on its strong legacy of being Southern California’s most popular running event and is on track to sell out well in advance of race day.

“Our goal in celebrating this milestone 35th edition is to raise the bar of the marathon’s positive impact on the Los Angeles community,” said Murphy Reinschreiber, Chief Operating Officer of The McCourt Foundation (TMF).

On January 1, 2020 Conqur Endurance Group merged with The McCourt Foundation (TMF). The combined entity with offices in Los Angeles and Boston, produces a portfolio of events including the Los Angeles Marathon presented by ASICS, Pasadena Half Marathon & 5K at the Rose Bowl, the Santa Monica Classic 5K/10K, the LA BIG 5K, Boston Waterfront 5K Fitness & Wellness Festival, Tour de South Shore and the Educational Update.

Reinschreiber continued,“With incredible neighbourhood support, exciting competitive wheelchair and elite races, amazing charity partners and compelling athlete stories, the marathon continues to deliver experiences and life-changing moments unmatched by any other event in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

“Now operated by a non-profit, the increased size of the marathon is a strong initial indication of our intention to grow the marathon’s charity, community and economic footprint. This year we will surpass our previous registrant record of 26,054 and can’t wait to deliver another world-class experience.”

To celebrate its 35-year history, the Los Angeles Marathon launched a ‘35 Reasons’ campaign featuring the stories behind the event. The 26.2-mile road race is a community tradition, taking runners by several major LA landmarks from Dodger Stadium to the finish line, just a few steps from the Santa Monica Pier.

Marathon weekend kicks off with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center starting on Friday, March 6. The free expo is open to the public and features interactive exhibits, live entertainment and the official Los Angeles Marathon Merchandise Store, where all runners pick up their race packet.

The running begins on Saturday with the BIG LA 5k. The course starts and finishes at Dodger Stadium and runs through Elysian Park. This family-friendly event starts at 08:00 PT and is open to participants of all ages and abilities, including kids races for children from kindergarten to seventh grade. All participants will receive a race shirt, finishers medal and post-race refreshments.

On Sunday, the 35th Los Angeles Marathon will commence with the wheelchair start at 06:30, and the elite women scheduled to start at 06:45. Runners enjoy a ‘one-of-a kind pre-race starting line venue’ at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles is a global destination event with runners from all 50 US states as well as 69 countries registered to participate. Nearly 32% of the 2020 field will be participating in their very first marathon.

The marathon’s charity platform educates and empowers 74 local and national charities to raise awareness for their causes and increase fund-raising efforts. Since 1985, the Los Angeles Marathon has helped charities raise over US$54 million for a variety of causes and non-profit organizations.

The 35th running of the event also welcomes 125 legacy athletes who have competed in all previous 34 editions of the race.

(02/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Los Angeles Marathon

Los Angeles Marathon

The LA Marathon is an annual running event held each spring in Los Angeles, Calif. The 26.219 mile (42.195 km) footrace, inspired by the success of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, has been contested every year since 1986. While there are no qualifying standards to participate in the Skechers Performnce LA Marathon, runners wishing to receive an official time must...

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It is tough but I just keep going as I battle colon cancer head on

A little past 7 on Christmas Eve morning, about 15 minutes before sunrise, I headed out for my Tuesday morning four mile run through Central Park. I’ve done the same thing, at the same time on 19 Tuesdays since late spring. It wasn’t easy this time.

Lately it has gotten a lot harder. The hills in the park seem to have gotten a fair bit bigger. In spite of having run six days a week since Memorial Day my fitness hasn’t improved in a typical way.

I start my run at home and finish near a diner at Columbus Circle. Kristen leaves the apartment a little after I do and takes a duffel of dry clothes on the subway to meet me. We’ve gotten the timing down so we arrive at about the same time.

I towel off and change clothes in the restroom of the diner. A quick coffee and a bagel and off to Mt Sinai for my weekly chemo treatment.I haven’t really kept it a secret that I was diagnosed with colon cancer in March. A fair number of friends know.

I have made a point of not talking about it much; choosing not to allow myself to become a victim of the diagnosis or to have “C” as a new middle initial or for any of it to become an unintended and unwanted new identity so....a lot of folks might not know.

I seek no pity, no attention nor to raise money to cure anything. You should know I share all of this only in an attempt to get it out of my head and move on.

At the same time, if this encourages anyone to stay active in spite of a health condition or more importantly to listen to your body and when something feels off, see a Dr, get a colonoscopy as I did, good.

Tuesday wasn’t meant to be my last run to a chemo appointment but it will be. The side effects have gotten increasingly more difficult and unmanageable. My Dr. said that I had already realized the benefits of the treatment and continuing would be more harmful than helpful.

He gave me the best Christmas gift ever by agreeing it’s time to stop. I’ve managed to cover about 800 miles since I recovered enough from surgery to begin running in late May.

My Dr. supported my attempt to try and run through my treatments. He seemed to intuitively know that after 50 years as a runner that it would be good for me both mentally and physically.

I’m not sure he initially thought I could keep it up. In time I think he began to think I might. I never doubted It. The nurses in the infusion suites were endlessly supportive and maybe even amused (or maybe bemused) by what I was trying to do.

All of my runs each week fell into a nice predictable pattern. Tuesday’s morning run to the hospital was always filled with intent; to be of good cheer about where I was headed and why. I always intended to minimize dread by running to the treatment, to take it head on.

Wednesday was a day off from running because I had no choice. I’d wait until late day to get out on Thursday to give myself as many hours as I could post-chemo. It usually worked.

I’d be a little gauzed over from the lingering effects but a gentle run in the woods seemed to wash it away. Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday were life as usual, as much as possible, with a daily run of 4-7 miles, mostly in the Connecticut woods.

It was all combined with slowly building anxiety as the days crept toward the next Tuesday. And so it went through the summer heat & humidity, the crisp lovely days of fall and the darkening cold days of early winter.

My Dr. said that the effects of the chemo would be cumulative and therefore more difficult as time went on. It was steadily getting harder over the months but with a certain amount of guile it was manageable, at least until early December.

Over the last few weeks there were new side effects weekly; amplified and lingering. I kept my routine, running every day but one each week.

My Tuesday run through the park had the intent I always meant it to have but coming as my 6th run in a row and over the hills of the park, it began feeling as difficult as the last 4 miles of a marathon.

Christmas week the side effects reached a point where quality of life was being impacted; sleep, eating, GI distress, weight loss and profound fatigue. It was hard to imagine continuing the treatment until early February.

My Christmas Eve morn run to the diner was a real beast. I struggled but made it. Big body chills, afterward a real doubt that I could get through the day without being hospitalized if I had my scheduled treatment.

I couldn’t eat after changing into my dry clothes. I wasn’t able to get warm no matter what I did. I felt crummy to say the least.

As Kristen and I talked about what to do, we both recalled a meeting with my Dr. back in June in which he said in my case chemo was optional but that research said a good outcome was slightly more likely if I did it. It made sense to take advantage of every opportunity presented to us and we quickly agreed to the 6 months of chemo.

I knew, we knew, that I’d reached a point where I needed to ask my Dr. what I could or should do. When I saw him mid morning he told us there was no statistical difference in the effectiveness of my particular treatment lasting 3 months vs. 6 months.

I’d made it 4.5 and he agreed that I had reached a place where stopping made sense. He shared with us that he had seen my decline and nearly recommended stopping a week prior but decided to wait and see if I bounced back.

I clearly hadn’t....and just like that I was done. What’s next? Beyond Christmas morning with my still sleeping family, it’ll be the beginning of a few weeks of getting the residual drugs metabolized out of my body and my blood counts rebuilt to normal levels.

I will have a lot of follow up blood tests and CT scans in the months and years ahead. I’m a really lucky one in that I caught this early, it hadn’t spread into my lymph nodes or anywhere else. The expectation is that I will be ok.

I’ll continue running six days a week. I might even run through the park to the diner on Tuesday mornings. I’m not sure my dear night owl of a partner would be quite so enthusiastic about continuing to leave at 7am with a bag of dry clothes. Maybe I can get her to keep doing it if I try to go at a more civilized hour...

Updated Feb 12 - I have continued running 6 days a week since Christmas. I’m still rebuilding my strength from the damage done to my blood from 4.5 months of chemo.  

It’s slow but I’m gaining some strength. I managed my first 30 mile week recently and have gotten pace back down into the 8s per mile and my long run to 8 miles a couple of times.

In March I’ll go in for my first round of post chemo tests and my first colonoscopy (which will be necessary annually from here on). As a runner my body has done a very good job of keeping me informed of where I am and where I’ve been through all of this.

It was intolerance to normal running that led me to be a persistent pest with my Drs and led to the early (and luckily timely) diagnosis, running through the chemo kept me in touch with what was happening to my blood count.

I had blood tests every week prior to treatments and I was often able to tell my Dr what I felt like the blood test would show just from how different or difficult the running had been in the week prior.

Accordingly I’m pretty optimistic about what the tests in March will show, just as a result of how I’ve felt putting in a few more miles and even doing so a little more quickly...

Photos were taken Feb 2019 during a run in Central Park with MBR editor Bob Anderson.  

(02/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Larry Allen
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Chen Huang of China and Denmark's Kristina Madsen both claim fourth wins in race five of World Marathon Challenge

Chen Huang of China and Denmark's Kristina Madsen continued their domination of the World Marathon Challenge in Madrid, Spain on Tuesday (February 11) with their fourth victories out of the five marathons held so far.

"Well, I ran the course last year, I did a 3:12 last year, my personal best last year, so I knew what was coming. Embraced all the hills, I like the uphills and I like the downhills, so it's just a perfect course for me, perfect." Says Madsen.

The athletes are attempting to run seven marathons in seven days which began last week in Cape Town (Africa), followed by Novo (Antarctica), Perth (Australia), Dubai (Asia), Madrid (Europe), Fortaleza (South America) and Miami (North America).

In Madrid, Chen completed the marathon held on the Jarama motor racing track in a time of three hours, 14 minutes, 32 seconds, finishing almost four minutes ahead of Frenchman Olivier Thiriet.

Madsen won the women's race in 3:18:25, crossing the finish line alongside Thiriet and almost five minutes clear of American Jessica Jones in second place.

Chen's only finish off the winner's podium was in Antarctica where he was fourth, while Madsen's only defeat so far was when she took second place behind Jones in Perth.

Immediately after the race, the athletes travelled to Fortaleza in Brazil for race six on Wednesday (February 12) with the concluding race in Miami in the early hours of Thursday (February 13).

(02/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge ® is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours, or seven days. The clock starts when the first marathon begins in Antarctica. ...

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Autistic runner Jack Knight is ready for his first full marathon

Jack Knight (Left) may not be able to tell you he wants to run a full marathon, but he does, and will run his first on Sunday at the Mercedes Marathon.

Jack has autism, and has limited communication skills, but he has a goal and that is to run 26.2 miles. He has trained with running partner Kevin Burke for almost three years.

“He’s accomplishing his goals and motivating others,” said Burke. “When we first started to run, he smacked the pavement, now he’s a smooth runner and we have watched him change physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Jack has completed four half-marathons with Burke and will have the support of his parents, Diane and Greg Knight, along with 50 or so other runners who will support Jack by running the full, half-marathon or in the marathon relay as part of Kulture City, which promotes inclusion, acceptance and awareness for autism.

(02/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sheldon Haygood
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Mercedes-Benz Marathon

Mercedes-Benz Marathon

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

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Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono will replace injured Farah, to battle Bekele in London Half Marathon

Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono has been drafted in to replace injured Mo Farah and battle Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele in the March 1 Vitality London Half Marathon.

Cherono, one of the world's most successful marathon runners, will take on Bekele as part of his training ahead of his title defense on the streets in Boston in April.

Cherono, who has been selected to represent Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is the reigning champion of both the Boston and Chicago Marathons and has an incredible record of eight wins in 11 races over the 42km distance.

"I am really looking forward to going to London to run in such a high-quality race. I'm thankful for the opportunity. It is exactly the test I was looking for as I prepare for the Boston Marathon and I am sure it will be a great race," Cherono said on Wednesday.

The London Half Marathon, which starts close to London's iconic Tower Bridge, will offer Cherono a stern test gauging his fitness against Bekele, he is to fight at the Tokyo Olympic games later in August.

Bekele is the current world record holder for 5000m and 10000m and the second-fastest marathon runner in history having clocked 2:01:41 in winning Berlin race in 2019.

Both men will use the London Half Marathon as crucial preparation for upcoming marathons.

Bekele is working towards a mouth-watering match-up between himself and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge on April 26 while Cherono will defend his Boston Marathon title six days earlier on April 20.

As well as Cherono and Bekele, the reigning Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem from Kenya and a host of leading British athletes including Chris Thompson, Dewi Griffiths and Ross Millington will race in this year's event.

Mo Farah withdrew from this year's race due to injury and is still in Kenya to continue with his training.

(02/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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London Marathon Events is offering $453,000US of funding to 30 elite athletes as they prepare for the Olympics including Alex Bell

World Championships semi-finalist Alex Bell is one of 30 British athletes who have been offered funding from London Marathon Events (LME) for the 2020 season as part of LME’s extensive and longstanding support of British endurance running.

Bell, who reached the semi-finals of the 800m in Doha last year, was one of eight athletes on last year’s inaugural LME funding programme who represented Great Britain at the 2019 World Championships.

Three others – Marc Scott, Ben Connor and Zak Seddon - continue on the LME programme for 2020 while another four – Charlotte Purdue, Steph Twell, Aimee Pratt and Neil Gourley – have progressed from LME funding to British Athletics’ Olympic Podium Potential Funding after hugely successful performances in 2019.

The athlete programme is part of a larger £350,000 ($453,000US) funding commitment from LME to British endurance running that includes support of the World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) and training camps for British endurance athletes.

Bell said: "I am extremely grateful to receive another year of help from London Marathon Events. I had a memorable year on the track last year reaching the World Championships semi-finals and now I have the Tokyo Olympic Games as my big motivation for 2020. This funding will be crucial to help and support me in a year that could be the biggest of my career to date."

LME has worked with British Athletics to select the nominated individual athletes and the funding is designed to provide a bridge for endurance runners to the WCPP and to improve the standard of British endurance running across all distances.

In addition to the 15 athletes who are continuing on the funding programme, 15 new names have been added to the list including Rosie Clarke (third photo) and Elizabeth Bird, who both ran the 3000m steeplechase at last year’s World Championships, Piers Copeland, 1500m silver medallist at the 2019 Under-23 European Championships, and Stephanie Davis, who last year ran the ninth fastest marathon time in history by a British woman.

The athletes were shortlisted by a panel of British Athletics and London Marathon Events endurance experts and range from middle-distance runners to marathon specialists. No athlete currently funded through the British Athletics WCPP is eligible to receive London Marathon Events individual funding.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “We are passionate about effectively supporting British endurance running and the first year of this new initiative of funding individual athletes has produced good results. Eight of our funded athletes were selected for the World Championships and now four of those have progressed onto the British Athletics Olympic Podium Potential Programme. The aim of this funding was to provide a pathway for talented endurance athletes and these results show it is working.

“We wish this year’s funded athletes every success and we hope to see a number of them in Team GB at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.”

The full list of athletes to be offered London Marathon Events funding is:

Mohamud Aadan (Thames Valley), Charlotte Arter (Cardiff AAC, Alexandra Bell (Pudsey & Bramley), Elizabeth Bird (Shaftesbury Barnet), Emile Cairess (Leeds City), Hayley Carruthers (Birchfield Harriers), Rosie Clarke (Epsom & Ewell), Natasha Cockram (Micky Morris Racing Team), Jamaine Coleman (Preston), Ben Connor (Derby)

Piers Copeland (Wimborne), Stephanie Davis (Clapham Chasers), Nick Goolab (Belgrave Harriers), Derek Hawkins (Kilbarchan AAC), Jake Heyward (Cardiff AAC), Sarah Inglis (Lothian Running Club), Tish Jones (Belgrave Harriers)

Matt Leach (Bedford & County), Jonny Mellor (Liverpool Harriers), Amy-Eloise Neale (Wakefield District Harriers), Jennifer Nesbitt (Cardiff AAC), Verity Ockenden (Swansea Harriers), Chris O'Hare (Edinburgh AC)

Lily Partridge (Birchfield Harriers), Marc Scott (Cambridge & Coleridge), Zak Seddon (Bracknell AC), Jake Smith (Cardiff AAC), Jenny Spink (Bristol & West), Chris Thompson (Aldershot Farnham & District), Alice Wright (Worcester AC)

(02/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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The reigning 800m world champion Donavan Brazier sees an NFL career in his future

For most people, winning a world championship and racing for an Olympic medal would be enough to satisfy them. Donavan Brazier wants to try for more, but not in running. He wants to take a shot at making it in the NFL.

The 22-year-old 800m world champ and American record-holder has his sights set on Olympic gold, and he is the obvious favourite to win in Tokyo. At the 2019 world championships in Doha, Brazier won in an American record time of 1:42.34, which was over a second ahead of silver.

In an interview with Reuters before his win at the Millrose Games this past weekend, Brazier expressed his interest in an NFL career.

“When I’m in practice and I’m going through a lot of pain and training, I start thinking about anything else I’m good at so that I don’t have to do track,” he said. “The first thing I think of is NFL wide receiver.” Apparently this is not just a dream—he might really act on it, saying that he will consider trying out for an NFL team in the next couple of years.

This wouldn’t be the first time that a track star has transitioned into another sport. In 2018, Usain Bolt joined the Central Coast Mariners, a professional soccer team in Australia. He played for the club for two months (he even scored two goals in a friendly match) but ultimately walked away from the sport in November 2018.

It will be interesting to see if Brazier follows through with these plans, and if he does, to see how far he can go. If he does make it in the NFL, it will be a tall order for him to match the success of his track career. On Saturday at the Millrose Games, he took the win in the 800m in 1:44.22, a new U.S. men’s indoor record.

Brazier told Reuters that he sometimes get “too ahead of myself” in competitions. Hopefully he doesn’t look too far ahead to his NFL goals until he reaches a few more of his dreams on the track first.

(02/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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The true test of the newest Nike shoe will be in under three weeks' time at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Last week Nike released their newest line of shoes which includes the Air Zoom Alphafly Next%, complete with a 39.5 mm stack height, falling just under World Athletics’ new ruling of a maximum of 40 mm. Since the release of the so-called super shoe shoe (that conveniently follows all of World Athletics’ new rules) there has been heavy speculation that Nike was tipped off, but WA claims that’s not the case.

World Athletics told The Guardian last week, “We spoke to several shoe companies, including Nike, a few days before we released our new shoe regulations to let them know what we were planning. But that was the extent of it.”

Alex Hutchinson has written extensively on this topic (including in the current issue of Canadian Running Magazine). He spoke to Nike and claimed on Twitter that according to the company, the commercial version of the Air Zoom Alphafly Next% isn’t all that different from the shoe Eliud Kipchoge wore to break the two hour barrier in October.

Here are the major takeaways from the thread: 1.- Kipchoge’s Alphafly prototype was legal, and basically identical to the upcoming consumer version. 2.- World Athletics measured a size eight as 39.5 mm [stack height], which is their reference size (WA rules actually say size 42). 3.- Heel-toe offset will be 8 mm in commercial shoe.

If the Kipchoge shoe was, in fact, nearly identical to the consumer version (available February 29 in limited release), then perhaps World Athletics’ assertion that no shoe company had advance notice is credible.

When asked last week about what the future holds for running shoe technology, Hutchinson points out that we don’t actually know how good the Alphafly is yet. He wrote in an email, “Seeing Kipchoge run sub-two in the earlier prototype was obviously impressive, but there was a lot going on in that race. With the original Vaporfly, we had actual external lab data telling us how good it was. But for subsequent models, we’re just guessing. Just because it looks crazy doesn’t mean it’s substantially better than previous models. I guess we’ll find out—but for now, that knowledge gap makes predictions about the Alphafly’s impact difficult.”

The true test will come at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials when the shoe will go head-to-head against other companies’ carbon-plated creations for the first time. That event will have spectators watching shoes just as closely as the runners.

(02/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

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

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Beatie Deutsch from Israel wins Miami half-marathon

An ultra-Orthodox mother of five won the half-marathon at the 18th annual Life Time Miami Marathon and Half Marathon event.

American-Israeli Beatie Deutsch, 30, finished with a time of 1:16:4 to win in the women’s category on Sunday, the Miami Herald reported.

It was Deutsch’s first race in the United States. She is working to qualify to represent Israel in the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. That race currently is scheduled for a Saturday, however, and the Sabbath-observing Deutsch would be unable to compete even if she can reach the Olympic qualifying time.

Deutsch, who moved to Israel from New Jersey in 2009, is known for running in a skirt, sleeves that fall below her elbows, and a headscarf.

In May, Deutsch was the top female finisher in a 13-mile half-marathon race in Riga, Latvia, reportedly becoming the first ultra-Orthodox woman to win an international athletic competition.

This year, for the first time, the Miami Marathon offered kosher-certified meals for athletes at the finish line, the Miami Herald reported.

(02/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Marcy Oster
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The Miami Marathon

The Miami Marathon

Over the past 16 years of the existence of the current Miami Marathon, there was only just over 90 athletes who had run every single event. Before the inception of the Miami Marathon as we know it now (est. 2003), the race was originally known as the Orange Bowl Marathon which began in the late 1970s. One of our very...

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A look at who's got a shot at making the American Olympic marathon squad

The U.S. Olympic Trials are less than three weeks away. The fields are finalized, the tapers are starting soon and runners and fans are anticipating one of the most exciting trials yet.

Here’s a look at which runners we think are most likely to place in the top three and be named to the U.S. Olympic squad after the February 29 race in Atlanta.

Women’s field.- The favorites to make this Olympic team are Sara Hall (Asics), Des Linden (Brooks), Molly Huddle (Saucony) and Emily Sisson (New Balance). Hall has been extremely consistent over the past year, running personal bests in both the marathon and the half (a 2:22:16 in Berlin and a 1:08 in Houston just a few weeks ago). Linden is a gamer and someone who shows up no matter the conditions. She’s also an Olympic marathon veteran.

Huddle and Sisson are training partners who have helped each other improve over the marathon distance. Huddle has been a staple on the American distance scene for years (she’s a multi-time American record holder) and Sisson is the rising star who has flourished alongside Huddle. The pair own 2:23:08 (Sisson) and 2:26:33 (Huddle) marathon personal bests and know how to show up on race day. But the knock on Sisson is that she’s only run one (albeit, fantastic) marathon, and inexperience could be her downfall.

Our best bet for the top three, in order, is: Hall, Huddle, Linden.

The dark horses.-  Jordan Hasay (Nike) and Amy Cragg (Nike) are the dark horses. We just haven’t seen enough to know where these two runners are at. Hasay’s most recent result is a DNF from the Chicago Marathon. Admittedly, her training group had just folded and her former coach was charged with doping infractions, so her racing conditions weren’t ideal. But Hasay hasn’t even gotten on a start line since then.

As for Cragg, she’s the 2017 World Championship medallist and 2016 Olympian over the distance. Cragg’s results are few and far between over the past two years, but she put it all together at the Tokyo Marathon in 2018 to run a 2:21:42–one of the fastest American times in history. Both Hasay and Cragg boast the best personal bests of the bunch, but with no indication of fitness, it’s impossible to predict where they’ll end up in 20 days’ time.

Men’s field.- The favorites in the men’s race are Galen Rupp (Nike), Leonard Korir (Nike), Scott Fauble (Hoka) and Jared Ward (Saucony). Rupp was almost a dark horse, due to his poor resume from the past year, but on Saturday he clocked a 1:01:19 in a tune up half-marathon in Arizona. So he’s in good shape.

As for the other three, all hold personal bests from 2019 around the same time. Korir’s is 2:07:56 from Amsterdam and Fauble and Ward’s are both from Boston 2019 at 2:09:09 and 2:09:25. Among these three it’s really a toss-up, based on past performances, as to who makes the team.

Our best bet for the top three, in order, is: Rupp, Ward, Korir.

The dark horses.- The dark horses in this event are the masters men: Bernard Lagat (Nike) (45) and Abdi Abdirahman (Nike) (42).  Like in women’s marathoning, the men are also proving that age is just a number on the race course. Lagat and Abdirahman have both recently clocked 2:11 and 2:12 marathons and are in the conversation for the team if they have a good day in Atlanta.

(02/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

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

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Jackie and Melissa Williams will honor their late mother by running the Boston Marathon April 20

The running duo, along with their father, Mike Williams, held a fundraiser Saturday night at the Holyoke Lodge of Elks.

The sisters also set up a donation page in the hope of collecting $15,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where their mother, Sue, underwent treatment in 2015.

Jackie Williams, who lives in East Boston, will run her fifth Boston Marathon this year. She sat out last year’s race after enduring a windy and rainy trek in 2018. “It was a monsoon the whole time,” she said.

Training with her sister has made the grueling runs more bearable, logging dozens of miles weekly over Boston’s streets.

The Williams sisters, along with runners from Dana-Farber, are coached by Jack Fultz, who won Boston in 1976. “I feel better with where I’m at then in past years,” she said. “I feel good about it.”

The Dana-Farber team requires runners to raise a minimum of $7,500 apiece. The proceeds will benefit the Claudia Adams Barr Program, which supports cancer research at the institute. Sue Williams underwent treatments at Dana-Farber, including an experimental course.

So far, the sisters raised $4,000 in donations, with the goal of exceeding the $15,000 minimum. “When you’re not thinking about running, you’re thinking about the numbers to the fundraising,” Jackie Williams said. “I’ve been lucky in the past years and raised about $50,000 in total.”

The Holyoke fundraiser brings together family, friends and former Holyoke High classmates. “It’s a nice time to get all the people who loved her together and celebrate her life,” she said. “I feel like this fundraiser is the fun part of the season.”

Jackie William 32, recalled a photo taken of her and her mother at mile-24 in the 2015 marathon.

“The first year I ran, my mom was a patient at Dana-Farber undergoing a clinical trial. She passed away the summer after that,” she said. “It was my first marathon, and I had never run that far in my life. I hugged her, and I just started sobbing.”

The site of her mother inspired her to cover the final two-miles.

In high school and college, Jackie Williams was a cheerleader. “It took my parents by surprise that I was doing this,” she said. “They thought I was a little bit crazy. I called her after all my long runs.”

Though she ran track and cross-country in high school, the Boston Marathon is a first for Melissa Williams. “It’s going a lot better than I expected. It helps to be on a good team. A lot of people from Dana-Farber get together,” she said.

Melissa Williams takes tips from her sister about pacing, how to run hills, and to enjoy the experience. “I’m such an optimist that in my head everything is going good,” she said. “I’m a positive thinker. It’s going according to plan.”

(02/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Dennis Hohenberger
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon will distribute surgical masks to runners and volunteers if they request them over concerns about the coronavirus

According to a statement from the organizers, four “preventive safety measures against the coronavirus” will be taken during the event, which will be held on March 1.

The masks will be on offer upon request at the Packet Pick-up and at the venue in the finish area on the race day.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers and antibacterial wet-wipes will also be available at the relevant venues, it said.

There will be operational revisions of the aid stations, but it is not clear what revisions will be made.

The statement said that it is a “personal choice” for the registered runners to make, whether to participate in the event.

“Please pay careful attention to your own health,” it read. “One each individual must consider carefully. We would like to request the cooperation from all participants to monitor the body temperature, and if you have fever or experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, we advise you to refrain from participating in the event.”

Tokyo Marathon organizers last week announced that runners living in China will automatically be entered into the 2021 race if they fail to take part in this year’s competition.

Some 1,800 runners living in China registered for this year’s race.

(02/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Chinese athletes forced to train in isolation due to coronavirus

Chinese athletes preparing for Tokyo 2020 have been forced to train in isolation due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Olympic hopefuls are being kept "behind closed doors" around the country, an official told Xinhua.

Coranavirus has killed more than 1000 people and spread to at least 27 countries since it originated in Chinese city Wuhan.

More than 40,000 people have been infected and the World Health Organization has declared a global emergency.

"Athletes are training behind closed doors in camps in various domestic and overseas cities in preparation for the Olympic Games and qualifying tournaments," said Liu Guoyong, the vice president of the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC).

"Up until now, no athlete from the national team has reported to be or is suspected of being infected with the virus.

"We will do our best to prevent all athletes from becoming infected."

The COC has been in contact with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the participation of Chinese athletes in Tokyo 2020 qualifiers, Liu said.

This comes after China's women's football team were kept in quarantine in Brisbane after arriving in Australia for an Olympic qualification tournament.

The squad had been in Wuhan, where the event was due to take place before the virus forced its move.

Four players were unable to leave China at all, including experienced midfielder Wang Shuang, with the tournament schedule this month re-jigged.

Liu added that Chinese athletes would have special arrangements for accommodation and transport.

"There will be over 100 Olympic qualifying tournaments around the world between February and April," he said.

"Hopefully the Chinese athletes can prepare well and claim more Olympic berths.

"The IOC has asked various international sports federations to provide all possible assistance and convenience to Chinese athletes."

The World Athletics Indoor Championships, initially scheduled for March in Nanjing, is the most high-profile sporting event to be postponed because of the virus so far. It has been delayed by a year until March 2021. The Hong Kong Marathon was also cancelled as well as many other events.  

The opening test event for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, an Alpine Skiing World Cup in Yanqing, was also cancelled.

Other sports affected include boxing, football, wrestling, basketball, tennis, hockey, badminton, diving, equestrian, golf and biathlon.

German Olympic Sports Confederation President Alfons Hörmann described the virus as the "greatest threat" to Tokyo 2020, with Japan one of the countries with confirmed cases.

This year's SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit in Beijing, scheduled for between April 19 and 24, is also at risk.

"We will keep a close eye on the development of the situation to decide when sporting events can be resumed," Liu said.

(02/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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Emma Kertesz will be running the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials at the end of the month

Emma Kertesz returns to the 2020 United States Olympic Team Trials in the Marathon later this month in Atlanta.

Kertesz is a graduate of Central Catholic High School and a former University of Toledo runner. She competed four years ago in the same event in Los Angeles where she finished 39th.

Returning to the trials for the second straight cycle was painful.

"I tore my hamstring," Kertesz said. "I ran the California International Marathon to qualify for the trials, and then I've been dealing with what I thought was some high hamstring tendinitis. I'm pretty sure on even 80 percent training I'll be able to hit the qualifying standard and then I'll deal with my hamstring after.

"And then I got an MRI and found out that I actually had a tear in my hamstring. So I ended up take off almost three months."

But Kertesz still had a spot in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon. She recently took a leave from her teaching job to focus on applying for doctoral programs; she would ultimately like to work at the local or state level with education curriculum or research.

The doctoral program starts in the coming months, all while running an average of 85 miles per week over the last several weeks while training for the trials.

"Now that the field is doubled in size than it was in 2016 where I was 39th," Kertesz said. "But I think that I have a good shot of placing in the top 40. I'd like to be competitive and maybe I eke out a personal best that would be great, especially on that kind of course."

If Kertesz is not busy enough, she still has a side project she is working on related to her family's ancestry -- specifically her father David. At 18-years-old, he found out he was adopted and is a Navajo Native American.

"It's emotional but it's cathartic for both of us," Kertesz said. "Ultimately, it's brought us closer together and given me a chance to reflect on my dad more as a person more than just being my dad."

This project also has influence in her running life.

"I have a greater appreciation for diversity in this sport," Kertesz said. "(Watching videos of Billy Mills win the gold medal) that's really awesome that a Native American who came out of nowhere really if you watch that race to win a gold medal that was just so great."

Mills won the gold medal at the 1964 Olympics in the 10,000-meter race. At the time, Mills set a world record in the 10,000-meter event and is still the only American to ever win gold in the 10,000-meter race.

"You don't really see in terms of American distance runners a lot of Native Americans being represented," Kertesz said. "It feels really special to be a part of that and to represent my ethnicity on this stage."

One strategy she will carry with her to this stage in Atlanta is something she learned from Dave Carpenter, her coach at Central Catholic, is to make sure to stay competitive in the race and not worry about setting a personal record.

When Kertesz competed for the Rockets, she was an All-American in the 10,000-meters at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Kertesz currently lives and trains in Boulder, Colo.

(02/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Steve Slivka
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

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

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Ultrarunner Kristina Madsen of Denmark wins Antarctica Marathon overall at World Marathon Challenge

Race director Richard Donovan had to do some last-minute scrambling to reschedule travel and race times at the 2020 World Marathon Challenge when weather conditions prevented the group from flying to Antarctica on Thursday as scheduled.

Time waits for no man or woman when you have only seven days to run seven marathons on seven continents, so instead, the challenge kicked off in Capetown, South Africa, where elite ultrarunner Kristina Madsen of Denmark was the first female to cross the finish line. On Day 2 of the challenge, in extremely cold, windy conditions, Madsen won the Antarctica marathon outright in 3:54:20.

Madsen, 34, is a veteran of both WMC (she was second female last year) and many ultras and Danish national teams.

The third marathon is underway in Perth, Australia today, having started at 11:30 p.m. local time.

That wasn’t the only last-minute change to this year’s challenge. There were originally 42 competitors from 15 countries participating (25 men and 15 women), and one Canadian, Elaine Du.

But travel restrictions due to the coronavirus meant seven individuals who were either from China or who had recently traveled there could not participate. Donovan has offered to bring all seven back for the 2021 challenge at no charge.

(02/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge ® is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours, or seven days. The clock starts when the first marathon begins in Antarctica. ...

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Sue Nicholls, 74, is set to run her ninth London Marathon

A Burnham-On-Sea pensioner is set to run her ninth London Marathon this Spring – her 21st worldwide marathon in total – as she proves that age is no barrier to running.

Sue Nicholls, 74, is in training for the London Marathon on April 26th in aid of Cancer Research UK.

“I will be running the Paris Marathon on April 5th followed by London three weeks later, which will be my ninth in London and 21st overall! I have also entered the Toronto Marathon next October.”

“Cancer Research UK is a great cause that is very close to my heart,” she told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

We reported in 2011 how Sue began running for the charity in memory of her late husband.

Since then, she has gone on to raise around £25,000 for the charity – an incredible sum.

She says: “Age is no barrier – I love running. It keeps your body and mind active.”

Last year, she completed the London Marathon in a time of 4 hours, 3 minutes and 52 seconds, winning the event’s 70+ age category for a second time!

Sue also completed the Great Wall Of China Marathon in 2018, and traveled to the Arctic Circle in 2019 to complete the Midnight Sun Marathon on the longest day of the year.

In 2017, we reported here that she had been awarded a special medal in recognition of completing worldwide marathons in London, Boston, Tokyo, New York, Chicago and Berlin.

(02/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour is making final preparations for one of the largest event weekends in its 29 years

Austin Marathon Prepares for One of the Largest Event Weekends in its 29-Year History. Highlights of this world-class event include four events for participants of all speed and abilities, two Guinness World Record attempts, and one 3-block-long finish line festival. The return of the FloSports live broadcast will highlight the elite field competition and showcase runners in their final tune-up before the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.

More than 16,000 runners from all 50 states and 35 countries will run Austin’s streets. The 29th annual Austin Marathon, owned and produced by High Five Events, will take place on February 16, 2020.

“It’s amazing to see the growth of the Austin Marathon and I’m proud that the city of Austin continues to embrace and support Austin Marathon weekend,” said Leo Manzano, Olympic silver medalist and Austin Marathon Race Ambassador. “Everyone loves Austin Marathon weekend, from runners who travel from around the world to Austin families who complete the Manzano Mile together.”

Fleet Feet Austin will kick off Austin Marathon weekend by hosting the Austin Marathon Shakeout Run on Friday, Feb. 14th. At the Austin Marathon Health and Fitness Expo, participants can test the industry’s latest products and chat with the Austin Marathon Pacers. They can also purchase Official Under Armour + Austin Marathon gear at the Fleet Feet Store, including the limited-edition Austin UA HOVR Machina. The two-day Austin Marathon expo will take place on Friday, Feb. 14th, and Saturday, Feb. 15th. Children, families, and elites will participate in the Manzano Mile presented by Dole Packaged Foods on Saturday, Feb. 15th. The family-friendly Austin Marathon KXAN Simple Health 5K will begin at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16th, 45 minutes after the Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon. Registration is still open.

The first world-record attempt is by Drake Muyinza. He will attempt to run the world’s longest fashion runway by running 26.2 miles and changing outfits every four miles. The current record is two miles. The second world-record attempt is by Vicar David Peters. He will attempt to run the fastest marathon in a cassock, beating four hours and 16 minutes. Both Guinness World Record applications are still pending. The 2020 course was designed to provide a better participant and spectator experience and allow enhanced traffic flow along the course. Participants will still finish with the picturesque Texas State Capitol as their backdrop. Tens of thousands of spectators will cheer along Austin streets. Race-course highlights include two GU Energy Labs Energy Zones, live music, and 22 aid stations with nuun performance.

(02/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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Austin Marathon Weekend

Austin Marathon Weekend

The 2020 Austin Marathon will celebrate its 30th year running in the capital of Texas. The premier running event in the City of Austin annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With a downtown finish and within proximity of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Come...

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Some reaction to the cancelling of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon due to the Coronavirus

Public health is our top priority. To support the government’s epidemic prevention efforts, the organiser cancelled the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon originally scheduled for February 9.  Entry fees will be fully refunded with details to be announced shortly.

Local and international racers offer their thoughts as some 70,000 people deal with the fallout and lost training time

Here was some of the reactions: 

Gone Running’s Peter Hopper, who runs a local group which has been helping numerous runners prepare for the race, said this as the news reached those training for the marathon.  

“It's of course really sad that it has been necessary to cancel the Standard Chartered,” said Hopper, who has been holding weekly training sessions for the race. “I know how people feel after training diligently leading up to this and it is a big disappointment. However, at this stage, not knowing how serious the coronavirus can be, it is better to err on the side of caution. I am sure it was not an easy decision to make.”

Mainland Chinese runners have already faced a wave of cancellations with the upcoming Wuhan and Wuxi marathons axed and others scheduled as far ahead as June provisionally suspended. The overall reaction has been that of understanding, despite many runners having already booked hotels and plane tickets.

“I was ready to run for my third year and did not think that [the race] would be cancelled not because of HK separatists making trouble, but because of an epidemic. I have just cancelled my flights and hotel,” wrote one.

A Weibo running account had similar comments, including one which stated, “I would never have thought this race would be cancelled because of this reason.”

Bhoovarahan Desikan, 52, was planning on having the 2020 edition be his 100th marathon. His first marathon was in Hong Kong in 2005 and the 2020 race would have been his 15th. He ran marathons in Seoul, Moscow, Shenzhen and Taipei all last year. He said he “fully understands” the reason for cancellation and has no complaints, and will look to another race in the near future.

“We can’t control everything in life,” said Desikan, who was going to run with a number of friends from his running group, which is based out of Tung Chung. “As long as I am fit and alive to run, there will always be a marathon around.”

Hong Kong runner Christy Yiu Kit-ching, who was targeting a top five finish in hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo before she had to pull out due to an injury, said public health and safety are paramount to the race.

“Although I have an foot injury and decided not to participate few weeks before, as one of the Hong Kong runners, I still feel disappointed with the cancellation of (the marathon),” she said.

Yiu, 31, who competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, said the race has been in question for multiple reasons since this summer.

“In fact, many of us has worried about the cancellation or the arrangement of (the marathon) since last year when the draw lots was launched. I’m sure everyone has noticed that lots of competitions have also already been cancelled due to the the social violence.”

Ireland’s Caitriona Jennings, who competed for her country in the marathon during the 2012 Olympics in London, and now lives in Hong Kong, was planning on running the race February. She echoed Yiu’s statement that this was the right decision by the government.

Amy Mumford, who is a mother of five and cancer survivor, said running and competing gives her a formidable sense of self and empowerment. She said she has been getting up at three or four in the morning out in Clearwater Bay as part of her training and regular running routine.

“The coronavirus is spreading rapidly and it seems unavoidable to have had to cancel the Standard Chartered Marathon,” said the 41-year old who recently won the China Coast Marathon. “There will be many people as devastated as I am. All the training, compromise, nutrition and emotion involved. I think the most important aspect is everyone’s safety and health ... running makes my heart sing and for all those other runners out there, see you next year.”

Hong Kong expat, Aaron Tennant who is originally from the UK and was hoping to break the four hour barrier in his race, said he is definitely dealing with mixed emotions given the amount of effort he had put into his preparation.

“It is frustrating to see the training go to a waste,” said the 30-year-old. “But I completely understand the decision to cancel the marathon. I will look for an alternative, and so will the 70,000 other runners.”

(02/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

The Hong Kong Marathon, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is an annual marathon race held in January or February in Hong Kong. In addition to the full marathon, a 10 km run and a half marathon are also held. Around 70,000 runners take part each year across all events. High levels of humidity and a difficult course make finishing times...

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By Defying Expectations, Nike NEXT% Moves Athletes Forward

Call it the ultimate test run: When Eliud Kipchoge broke the two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna this past October, he was wearing a prototype of the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%.

"For runners, records like the four-minute mile and two-hour marathon are barometers of progress. These are barriers that have tested human potential. When someone like Eliud breaks them, our collective belief about what's possible changes," says Tony Bignell, VP, Footwear Innovation. "Barriers are inspiring to innovators. Like athletes, when a barrier is in front of us, we are challenged to think differently and push game-changing progress in footwear design.”

The NEXT% platform is the ultimate expression of Nike's ambition to engineer footwear with measurable performance benefit. NEXT% is all about creating more efficient intersections between the body and technology to enable athletes to shatter personal boundaries — and sometimes, as our athletes have shown, break records. It is the ultimate meeting of sports science and purposeful design.

“The groundbreaking research that led to the original Vaporfly unlocked an entirely new way of thinking about marathon shoes,” says Carrie Dimoff, an elite marathoner and member of Nike’s Advanced Innovation Team. "Once we understood the plate and foam as a system, we started thinking about ways to make the system even more effective. That’s when we struck upon the idea of adding Nike Air to store and return even more of a runner’s energy and provide even more cushioning.”

Nike NEXT% is a footwear innovation system engineered to give athletes a measurable benefit. Informed by sport science and verified by the Nike Sport Research Lab, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% features three critical components, working together to help runners on race day:

Nike’s newest race-day shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% features two new Nike Zoom Air pods, more ZoomX foam and a single carbon fiber plate (all updates from its predecessor, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%), and an ultra-breathable, lightweight Flyknit upper – all adding up to improved cushioning and running economy.

The shoe is part of a suite of products releasing in summer 2020, including the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% and Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% FlyEase, complementary training shoes that translate the principles of the Alphafly to rigorous daily use, and track spikes (the Nike Air Zoom Victory) that extend the NEXT% design ethos to new disciplines.

For the Tempo NEXT%, the NEXT% system is specifically tuned to training. The plate shifts from carbon to a composite — softer for added comfort over higher mileage — but still serves to provide stability and transition throughout a runner's full stride. ZoomX, prized for its energy return and responsiveness, sits above the plate at mid and forefoot. For maximum impact protection and durability, Nike React Foam is used at the heel. The same Nike Zoom Air pods featured in the new Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% are also placed in the Tempo’s forefoot to offer responsive cushioning and a sensation of propulsion.

The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% and Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% FlyEase give athletes of today an opportunity to stamp their mark and motivate athletes (and designers) of tomorrow to set even greater goals.

(02/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Olympic organizers say ‘we have never discussed cancelling the games’ over coronavirus outbreak

Tokyo Olympic organizers are trying to shoot down rumours that this year’s 2020 Games might be cancelled or postponed because of the spread of a new virus.

Japan has so far reported no deaths from the coronavirus that has killed more than 200 people in China. Japanese organizers have hesitated to say much for several days, but on Friday they addressed the rumours. So did the International Olympic Committee, which also has said little.

The Olympics open on July 24, just less than six months away.

“We have never discussed cancelling the games,” Tokyo organizers said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Tokyo 2020 will continue to collaborate with the IOC and relevant organizations and will review any countermeasures that may be necessary.”

Rumours of a cancellation have spread in Japan with reports that the Swiss-based IOC has met with the World Health Organization about the outbreak. The WHO has called the virus a global emergency.

“Preparations for Tokyo 2020 continue as planned,” the IOC said in a statement. “It is normal practice for the IOC to collaborate with all the main UN agencies, as necessary, in the lead up to the games and this naturally includes the WHO.”

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, speaking earlier in the week to the heads of 62 municipalities, warned about the dangers. Japan has also urged citizens not to travel to China.

“We must firmly tackle the new coronavirus to contain it, or we are going to regret it,” she said.

Rumours have spread online with thousands of comments on Twitter under the hashtag in Japanese “Tokyo Olympic Cancelled.”

The IOC has faced challenges like this before, and carries insurance for such possibilities. It has cancelled Olympics during wartime, and faced boycotts in 1980 and 1984. It also held the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City just months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

The mosquito-borne Zika virus also cast a shadow over the run-up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The larger problem for the Olympics could come with qualifying events in China and elsewhere being cancelled or postponed. International federations will have to reschedule events and Chinese athletes could present extra challenges and screening.

World Athletics, the governing body of track and field, announced earlier in the week it was postponing the world indoor championships in Nanjing, China, until next year. The event had been scheduled for March 13-15.

Travel, screening and allaying fears are certain to be more complicated if the outbreak continues. The 11,000 athletes expected to compete at the Tokyo Olympics will also face pressure to stay safe.

Sponsors and television networks who have invested billions of dollars will also try to keep the games on track.

Demand for Olympic tickets in Japan is unprecedented, exceeding supply by at least 10 times. Organizers say 7.8 million tickets are being issued for the Olympics.

Organizers say they are spending about US$12.6-billion to put on the Games. But a national audit bureau says the costs are twice that much.

(02/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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New women's visually impaired marathon record

A 43-year-old Japanese runner has set a new world record in the women's marathon, for visually-impaired athletes.

Misato Michishita finished the Beppu Oita Mainichi Marathon in the visually impaired category, with a time of two hours 54 minutes and 22 seconds.

The event was held on Sunday in Oita Prefecture, western Japan. Her time was one minute, 52 seconds faster than the previous world record she set in 2017.

After a slow start, Michishita took the lead with a faster pace than the previous world record. She geared up after the 25-kilometer mark, moving clear of the top group, and maintained a comfortable lead all the way to the finish line.

Michishita almost completely lost her eyesight due to a disease when she was a junior high school student. She won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.

Michishita was selected to compete in the Tokyo Paralympics this summer on an informal basis, after winning the World Para Athletics Marathon title last April in London.

 

(02/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tibi Ușeriu has finished the Yukon Arctic Ultra race and said The road seemed at one point without end

Fabian Imfeld from Switzerland was able to maintain his comfortable lead all the way to the finish line. After a stay at Pelly Farm that Fabian considers his home away from home, he went back to the Pelly Crossing Finish line. It has been really great to see him come in. All the way he had done very well. Always positive and in a good mood. Fabian had already been with us last year and had experienced issues with a bit of frostbite which meant he could not finish. Not this time! Congratulations!

Tiberiu Useriu has got a similar story. He tried the 430 last year and got very bad frostbite – even though he had already considerable experience with cold weather races. I was very happy to see that, instead of trying to overtake Fabian, which I am sure he wanted with all his heart, he actually took the rest his body needed. Lesson learned. Tibi finished. Zero problems with frostbite this time.

The Romanian also has a very interesting story and I think it is okay if I share it here. In his home country he is famous for  his athletic achievement but also his life change. The short version is that he had a very difficult youth and I am sure a lot of people would have thought that his entire life would go the wrong way. A lost case for society. He stumbled and fell. Tibi realised he needed to change and he got up again. Now he is helping kids in Romania who are faced with the same or similar problems to get back on track. Doing these races he can show them that anything is possible. And he is leading a project with a great team of people to create a permanently marked long distance hike trail in Romania. An exciting project that creates jobs and will help with tourism. Congratulations, Tibi! And good luck with your work!

As those two were approaching the finish line we had still hopes that Patrick O Toole and Paul Deasy from Ireland would also get to Pelly. However, Patrick had to be pulled at McCabe due frostbite on a finger. Paul originally left that checkpoint but about 10 km in he experienced stomach problems and just could not get warm. So, he made the right decision and did not continue.

All athletes and crew arrived safely back in Whitehorse. Some hours ago we had a very nice little party at the Coast High Country Inn. Trail stories were exchanged and I have seen a lot of happy faces.

Safe trip home everyone!

(02/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

The Yukon Arctic Ultra is the world's coldest and toughest ultra! Quite simply the world's coldest and toughest ultra. 430 miles of snow, ice, temperatures as low as -40°C and relentless wilderness, the YUA is an incredible undertaking. The Montane® Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU) follows the Yukon Quest trail, the trail of the world's toughest Sled Dog Race. Where dog...

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Three indoor American records were set Saturday at the 113th NYRR Millrose Games in front of a sold out crowd

American records fell in three events as athletes entertained a sell-out crowd at the Armory and the113th NYRR Millrose Games Saturday afternoon in Washington Heights. 

Elle Purrier raised the bar in the NYRR women’s Wannamaker mile smashing the American Record in 4:16.85. At the bell, Purrier powered ahead to outpace Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen at the wire and break one of the oldest American records in the books, a 4:20.5 by Mary Slaney in 1982. Her en route time at 1,500m was 4:00.23, the second-fastest time in U.S. indoor history 

In the New York Presbyterian men’s 800 meters, Donavan Brazier added another record to his resume, crossing the line in 1:44.22 to break his own mark of 1:44.41 set here last year in finishing second. Brazier holds both the indoor and outdoor U.S. records. Ajeé Wilson put on a show in the women’s 800 meters, biding her time through 600 meters when she surged to go ahead of Jamaica’s Natoya Goule to cross the line in 1:58.29, bettering the AR of 1:58.60 she set in 2019 to win the Millrose title. 

USATF CEO Max Siegel and USATF COO Renee Washington presented the World Athletics Heritage Plaque to the Armory to honor the NYRR Millrose Games’ Wanamaker Mile. 

In a showdown between the reigning Olympic and World champions in the men’s shot put, Rio gold medalist Ryan Crouser blasted the sixth-best throw in American indoor history, a 22.19m/72-9.75 in round five, that gave him an almost three-foot margin of victory over Doha winner Joe Kovacs, who threw 21.34m/70-0.25. 

Another world-leading performance came in the women’s pole vault, where Sandi Morris scaled 4.91m/16-1.25, a height only she and Jenn Suhr have ever bettered on the U.S. indoor all-time list. 

Keni Harrison, the world record holder in the women’s 100m hurdles, won the 60m version of her specialty in 7.90, with Daniel Robertstaking the men’s race in 7.64. Coming through 200m in 20.61, 400m hurdles World Championships silver medalist 

Rai Benjamin won the Jane & David Monti 300m in 32.35, making him the No. 8 all-time U.S. indoor performer. 2018 World Indoor bronze medalist Ronnie Baker won the men’s 60m in 6.54, and ‘18 USATF Indoor women’s 60m champ Javianne Olivertook the women’s dash in 7.13. 

World Championships fourth-placer Wadeline Jonathan powered away from the field in the Cheryl Toussaint women’s 400m to win by more than a second in 51.93, while Team USATF steeplechaser Allie Ostranderunleashed an unbeatable kick over the final 100m of the Mike Frankfurt women’s 3,000m to win in 8:48.94.

(02/08/2020) ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Galen Rupp breezed to victory Saturday in the Sprouts Mesa Half Marathon

Galen Rupp covered the 13.1-mile course in Mesa, Arizona in 1:01.19. He crossed the finish line comfortably in front of veteran road-racer Matt Llano, second in 1:02.05.

The race was the first for Rupp since he was forced off the course late in the Chicago Marathon in October with a left calf strain, and only his second since undergoing surgery in 2018 on his left heel.

Rupp said going into Saturday’s race that it would serve as a tuneup for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

It also was the first time Rupp had raced since announcing he is being coached by Northern Arizona coach Mike Smith. Rupp, 33, had been coached by Alberto Salazar since attending Portland’s Central Catholic High School.

Salazar is serving a four-year ban for violating doping rules. Salazar is appealing the ban.

Rupp is a two-time Olympic medalist. The former University of Oregon runner won the silver medal in the 10,000 meters in 2012, and the bronze in the marathon in 2016. He will be attempting to make his fourth U.S. Olympic team at the marathon trials in Atlanta.

(02/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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Eliud Kipchoge has called Kenya's team kit for Tokyo 2020 unique and awesome, despite mixed opinion

Eliud Kipchoge, who became the first runner to complete a marathon under two hours in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in October, said that it bears the colors of the national flag and resonates well with the new generation, according to Kenyan news service, Daily Nation.

“I think it will turn tables as far as sport is concerned. 

"I trust I will see Kenyans draped in the Kenyan colors in all streets of our towns,” said Kipchoge. 

“It is a good thing that Nike has promised to make these awesome clothes available on retail.”

Kipchoge also added that it absorbs and drains moisture fast, tailoring it to the conditions set for Tokyo.

The launch took place on Tuesday in New York, including 1500 meters champion Timothy Cheruiyot alongside athletes from other nations such as United States and Brazil. 

However, the reception was not loved by all, with athletics fan Jack Waiyaki calling it a "Tasteless, poor design."

"The name 'KENYA' should be clearly seen and dominant," said Waiyaki. 

"The other kit does not need to be changed- it is a well known global trademark and brand that sends fear to rivals."

The honeycomb kit sparked controversy on Twitter after the announcement with one user joking, "I'm no longer Kenyan."

Another Facebook user, Mosdef Apollo said, "Did someone get paid for that? 

"The laziest designer, there is no iota of creativity - return that thing, it doesn't befit Kenya."

One other commenter asked if the vest was "inspired by bees."

One supporter, Kamal Kaur said, "Modern, vibrant and it stands out."

Kenya won all 13 of their Olympic medals from Rio 2016 in athletics with their last non-athletics medal coming at Seoul 1988. 

(02/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Kenya’s David Barmasai Tumo won the 2020 edition of the Lagos Marathon

Kenyan long-distance runner David Barmasai Tumo wins Lagos marathon. He won the race in 2 hours, 10 minutes 22 seconds. The 42km race commenced from National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

It was a clean sweep as Debeko Dakama and Paul Waweru Chege also from Kenya joined Barmasai on the podium finishing second and third.

The male and female 42km runners competed for the grand prize of $50,000 while the second and third place winners will get $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.

In 2011, David has a personal best of 2:07:18 hours, set winning of Dubai Marathon and came fifth at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics.

The 42km race commenced from National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, at about 6:30am and ended at Eko Atlantic City.

Since the inception of the annual marathon festival, no Nigerian has emerged winner, now in its fifth edition.

 

(02/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Taiwo Okanlawon
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

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

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Boston announces their 2020 start times and Elite women will start behind the men

On Thursday morning the B.A.A. released start times for the 2020 Boston Marathon, and the timetable came with one major change for 2020: the women will start behind the men.

Over the past few years it has become tradition for the elite women to start ahead of the elite men, but the 2020 Boston Marathon has reversed the order, citing safety concerns. The press release says, “To minimize the amount of passing of athletes down course, the elite men will start eight minutes prior to the elite women.

This change is being implemented to help increase the safety of athletes within the elite women’s division, who in previous years were at risk of being overtaken by both the elite men and their accompanying lead vehicles in the second half of the race route.”

The B.A.A has promised that the new order will not compromise the women’s coverage.

2020 start times, 9:02 a.m. ET Men’s Wheelchair Division Start, 9:05 a.m. ET Women’s Wheelchair Division Start, 9:30 a.m. ET Handcycle Program & Duo Participants Start, 9:37 a.m. ET Elite Men’s Division Start, 9:45 a.m. ET Elite Women’s Division Start, 9:50 a.m. ET Para Athletics Divisions Start, 10:00 a.m. ET Wave One Start, 10:25 a.m. ET Wave Two Start, 10:50 a.m. ET Wave Three Start, 11:15 a.m. ET Wave Four Start.

(02/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Four-time 100m world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce says she believes she can keep the younger generation at bay to win Olympic gold in Tokyo

The 33-year-old became the oldest women to win a world or Olympic 100m title with victory in Doha in September.

She only came back to competition early last year after spending two years away from the sport to have her son Zyon.

"I definitely believe it's possible, considering the year I had and the room to improve," the Jamaican said.

"There are things that I do personally that I missed out on and have gone light on.

"That time out actually gave me the time to just mentally refocus on the goals that I want to achieve and I'm going to soldier on and I'm definitely looking forward to making it to my fourth Olympic Games."

Fraser-Pryce won 100m gold at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, before taking bronze behind compatriot Elaine Thompson and American Tori Bowie at Rio 2016.

She also confirmed that she intends to double up by competing in the 200m, the event in which 24-year-old Briton Dina Asher-Smith won gold in Doha.

"The plan last year was to do the double, and my coach decided he didn't want me doing the double, considering I just came back off a break," added Fraser-Pryce, who is a nominee for the World Sportswoman of the Year at the Laureus Awards in Berlin on 17 February.

"So, this year we are attempting to do the 100 and the 200, and my programme has been geared towards that."

Fraser-Pryce began training ten weeks after Zyon's birth in 2017, but had to run with a special band stabilising her stomach following a caesarean section.

Zyon accompanied her on a lap of honour after her 100m triumph in Doha.

(02/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Renee Seman ran six of the world’s major marathons after she learned she had breast cancer

When Renee Seman learned she had Stage 4 breast cancer in 2014, she set a goal for herself: to use her remaining time to run marathons. Six of them, in fact, in New York, Chicago, Boston, Berlin, Tokyo and London.

Together, they constitute the Abbott World Marathon Majors, a collection of the most distinguished marathons in the world. Since 2006, only about 6,500 people have completed all six, the organization said, including Ms. Seman, who finished her final race, the London Marathon, in April.

“She knew that it was incurable from the moment it was diagnosed, and she was determined to make the most of her time,” Ms. Seman’s husband, David Seman, 48, said of her illness last week.

“It almost increased her focus and determination,” he said.

Ms. Seman, who died on Jan. 29, Mr. Seman said, ran all six races after receiving her diagnosis, drawing the attention and support of runners and cancer survivors. A profile about her in Runners World was published shortly before last year’s London Marathon. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her 6-year-old daughter, Diane. They live on Long Island.

It isn’t uncommon for patients facing a terminal diagnosis to make bucket lists of goals they want to accomplish before they die, said Melissa Ring, the director of regulatory and compliance at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

“People will take a look back at their life when there is an initial shock of a terminal diagnosis,” said Ms. Ring, who has worked in hospice and palliative care for over 20 years.

Ms. Seman started running to become healthy before having her first child, her husband said. She started by running 5Ks and 10Ks, and was training for a half-marathon in Brooklyn when she received her diagnosis, she told Runner’s World.

After learning she had cancer, Mr. Seman said, she thought of only two things: spending as much time as possible with her daughter, and earning the Abbott World Marathon Majors’ Six Star Finishers medal.

In 2019, Ms. Seman ran her last two marathons, in Tokyo and London, eight weeks apart. This required her to train as much as she could while undergoing chemotherapy.

Ms. Seman did not pause or panic. Instead, after Berlin, she began working with Daphne Matalene, 46, a running coach.

“Even when you are super healthy and super trained it still takes a lot out of you,” said Ms. Matalene, who has run five of the six marathons. “Renee was totally undeterred by that. Her goal was not to win; it was not even to run her fastest.”

Ms. Matalene came up with a training regimen that worked around Ms. Seman’s treatment schedule. Ms. Seman would run easy miles in the morning and then have chemotherapy treatment in the afternoon. Days later, once she had recovered, she would do a long run of 12 to 16 miles.

Many runners who try to complete the six races are dealing with health issues or recently had a health scare, said Lorna Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

(02/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sandra E. Garcia
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Conor O’Keeffe is ready to run 32 marathons in 32 days in 32 counties with 32 pounds on his back

He is putting an extra challenge on himself as he will start his feat with 32 pounds on his back, removing one pound each day. For Conor,  it symbolizes the weight of depression that has been lifted off his shoulders.

The 28-year-old from Glanmire has set himself a Herculean challenge.  The fact Conor, whose goal is to raise €100,000 for Pieta House, is starting his epic trek on April 1 shouldn’t for a minute make you think he isn’t serious.

The 6ft 3in athlete insists: “I want to discover what I am capable of. I want to do something huge.” Conor is a law graduate who, as a skilled Thai boxer, fought in front of 2,000 people in Neptune Stadium for an Irish title while still a student in UCC. He has never settled for half-measures.

“I know how to train to do that, to do something huge,” he says, “and now I want to go that extra mile. I might be mad in the head!” adds Conor, who climbed Kilimanjaro in his teens, with a smile.

It wasn’t that long ago that the young ultra-runner, ‘Enduroman’ champion, and supreme Thai boxer felt he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

“I want to raise awareness around depression and raise awareness about the valuable services offered by Pieta House,” says Conor of his marathon attempt.

“When I lost my way and suffered from depression, I didn’t know where to turn. My life was a constant battle of ups and downs, huge highs and crashing lows.”

Things are different now. Depression no longer weighs Conor down. On each of the 32 days of his epic journey, he will shed one pound of weight from his back, signifying he is rid of the ‘Black Dog’ that used to snap at his heels.

Depression plagued Conor in his teens. His sporting prowess gave him only a temporary reprieve.

“School didn’t really suit me,” he reflects. “Even though I achieved good results when I repeated my Leaving Cert.

“I was a chubby kid and I didn’t really feel I belonged at school and I didn’t get on with the teachers. I always had an adventurous streak. I needed stimulation to get me out of trouble.”

He found that stimulation in a boxing club on Cork’s Northside, with the Siam Warriors, excelling at Muay Thai boxing. “It was a really big deal for me to come up the club’s ranks and get a shot at my first Irish title in 2013,” says Conor. However, a cyst was found on his brain and that put an end to his fighting career.

Since then, he has transformed as an ultra runner and in 2019 he won Enduroman 200, a 200 mile (324 kilometer) foot race. Conor was plagued by depression in previous years and lost his way after he left college. He was drinking and smoking, chasing women as a way to fill a part of him that was missing in his life.

Conor had lost all self-respect and it was through running he found his true self again, an ambitious and single-minded man with a determination to inspire and engage others. Conor is a passionate mental health advocate and has shared his own journey through public talks for corporations and charities.

His experiences allow him to enlighten others and his message resonates because audiences are gripped by this enthralling tale. The next leg is the most demanding and it will require him to push his body to new extremes.

(02/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emma Costello
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