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Armed with Smarts and Science, Camille Herron Sets an Astounding Record in Greece

The American ultrarunner credits patience and reduced carbohydrate intake to helping her smash the women’s course record in the Spartathlon, the iconic 153-mile race from Athens to Sparta

Camille Herron continues up to her usual record-breaking ways, smashing the women’s record at the 40th edition of the daunting Spartathlon ultra-distance running event in Greece on October 2. 

Herron, a 41-year-old Lululemon-sponsored runner from Warr Acres, Oklahoma, covered the 153-mile course in 22 hours, 35 minutes and 30 seconds. She shaved more than two hours off the previous record and became the first woman to finish the course in under 24 hours in the 40-year history of the race. 

Spartathlon was created in 1983 to send runners on a journey following the ancient route of Pheidippides, a courier who ran the distance between Athens and Sparta to seek military aid during a battle against the Persians in 490 B.C.. The modern-day race route includes flat roads and mountainous trails with more than 10,000 feet of elevation gain.

Incredibly, Herron averaged 8:55 mile pace, with her fastest mile clocking in at 6:28 (for the seventh mile).

“Wow, it was so much fun because we were running in the footsteps of Phidippides,” Herron says. “The whole time I was running, I was just trying to imagine what he did running on those ancient roads and paths. It’s a little different nowadays having cars and like all these things we have to dodge along the way. But it was incredible. I just loved the whole day because I love both road running and trail running and the course had big sections of each. To have a race that combined all of that, the process in my mind was all about a journey to a destination.”

Greek runner Fotis Zisimopoulos was the overall winner in 19:55:09, a new course record that broke the longstanding mark of 20:25:00 by ultrarunning legend Yiannis Kouros in 1984. Herron finished third overall behind Zisimopoulos and Norway’s Simen Holvik (22:35:31) and shattered the women’s record of 24:48:18 set by Poland’s Patrycja Bereznowska in 2018.

The Spartathlon course starts with a fast urban road section between Athens and Corinth—where dodging vehicles, traffic and pedestrians is necessary—before transitioning onto trails and meandering through vineyards and orchards before eventually going into the Geraneia Mountains. The final section of the course consists of downhill and flat road sections that lead to Sparta.

As she’s known to do, Herron started fast. But she was surprised to have five other women running seven-minute mile pace alongside her. She made a judgment call to slow down a bit, knowing she had a lot of running ahead of her and needed to save her legs.

“In my mind I’m thinking, ‘This is way too fast,’” Herron says. “I was worried we weren’t going to have our legs under us to hit the mountain section. So I ended up just backing off and let all of these women go. They were just hammering it. I was like, ‘Whoa, this is crazy!’ But at the same time, I was inspired by the other women in the race that they had the courage and the strength to go for it. I was like, ‘Hey, you go girl.’”

Finland’s Noora Honkala and Satu Lipiäinen were at the front, followed by Hungary’s Szvetlana Zétényi, Switzerland’s Stine Rex and Germany’s Sarah Mangler. They all wound up building 10- to 30-minute gaps on Herron. But when they entered the trail section with significant climbing, Herron tapped into her uphill abilities and started closing the deficits to the other women. Once back on the roads, she snapped back into her quintessential quick stride turnover and quickly made up the 12-minute gap to pass Lipiäinen, the second-place woman. 

Out front, Honkala ran fast and pushed the pace the whole day. When she entered the mountain phase of the race, she had a 26-minute gap on Herron. But Herron’s relatively strong trail and downhill running abilities paid huge dividends, and with 20 more miles to go, she caught and passed Honkala. Herron surged the rest of the way, ultimately building a gap of more than 50 minutes on Honkala (23:23:03). Lipiäinen finished third (23:48:34), followed by Zétényi (27:57:49) and Rex (28:18:35) in what was the most competitive women’s race in the history of the event.

Herron continues to improve with age, especially in longer events. In February,  she set multiple masters world records and U.S. records at the Raven 24-Hour race in South Carolina, running 150.43K (93.47 miles) in 12 hours, and then crossing the 100-mile mark in 12:52:50. 

Then in March, Herron set a new women’s world record after logging 435.336K (or 270.505 miles) in 48 hours at the Sri Chinmoy 48-Hour Festival in Canberra, Australia. That mark not only broke the existing women’s 48-hour world record of 411.458K (255.668 miles) set by U.K. runner Joasia Zakrzewski, but it also surpassed the all-time American record of 421.939K (262.181 miles) previously set by Olivier LeBlond in 2017. In surpassing LeBlond’s mark, Herron became the first female runner ever to hold an overall American record at any distance.

Herron credits her recent testing with Trent Stellingwerff, the Director of Innovation and Research at the Canadian Sports Institute, for helping discover that Herron has a high VO2 max and produces a naturally high fat oxidation rate when she’s running long distances. Herron underwent that testing as part of Lululemon’s FURTHER initiative, which is backing scientific studies for women as a means to better understand women’s sports performance.

Working with her dietician, Herron used that knowledge to cut back on her carbohydrate intake during Spartathlon to less than 50 grams per hour, down from the 60 to 75 grams per hour that she had been consuming in events earlier this year and in prior years.

Her main source of fueling? Aside from taking a gel every hour, she consumed sections of honey and salt sandwiches that her husband and coach, Conor Holt, served her at aid stations.

“Those changes were life-changing,” Herron says. “I mean, you hear about athletes in marathons and shorter races that are trying to increase carbohydrate intake. But we learned my body is naturally wired for fat oxidation, so I ended up backing off my carbohydrate intake and it made me feel better. It just paid off later in the race. I wasn’t having the gut problems I’ve had in the past, so I was able to just run like a ‘Steady Freddie’ and perform better. It just shows the longer I go, the stronger I am, and I’m able to really show what my natural physiology is capable of beyond a hundred miles.” 

Colt said Herron’s training also played a key role in her success. She put in significant mileage during stints in Oregon, Colorado, and Oklahoma during the summer and then arrived in Greece a week before the race so she could run the course over several days.

“We did our homework and we did the training and she was ready,” Colt says. “She’s got a few more good, good ones in her, I think.” 

Herron dedicated her performance to German ultrarunner and friend Nele Alder-Baerens, who is suffering from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and can no longer compete. She said she’s inspired by women like Alder-Baerens, who holds the world record for running 85.492K (53.1 miles) in six hours.

She’s grateful for the opportunities Lululemon is providing and is excited to see what continued sports science testing with the Canadian Sports Institute will reveal, especially as it relates to adapting to training and racing through perimenopause.

“It’s important for the general visibility of women and showing what happens when a brand really gets behind women,” Herron says. “Most sports science is based on men, but we’re studying women. I mean, we’re making it happen. The support from Lululemon has just been incredible. And it just goes to show what happens when women are supported in sports. It feels like there’s no ceiling.” 

(10/07/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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The Road to the Paris Olympics and here is What You Need to Know.

American runners are about to begin training for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon

It’s early October, which means it’s the peak marathon season for many runners. But with an Olympic year on the horizon, it also means America’s top marathoners are about to hit the road to Paris.

More specifically, the men’s and women’s 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon races—scheduled for February 3 in Orlando, Florida—are just four months away. And that means the top U.S. runners hoping to represent their country at  next summer’s Olympics are about to begin preparing for the all-or-nothing qualifying race that decides which six runners will represent Team USA next summer on the streets of Paris.

Although several top American runners are racing the Chicago Marathon on October 8, even they have their eyes on a much bigger prize next February.

“There’s nothing in my mind that compares with being an Olympian and being in the Olympic Games,” says 26-year-old Utah-based Nike pro Conner Mantz, who returns to Chicago after finishing seventh last year in 2:08:16 in his debut at the distance. “So putting that first has been the plan for a long time. We’re just putting that first and we’re working backwards through the season with other races.” 

Registration will open for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in early November for runners who have surpassed the qualifying times in the marathon (2:18:00 for men, 2:37:00 for women) or half marathon (1:03:00 for men, 1:12:00 for women). The qualifying window extends through December 3—the race date of the last-chance California International Marathon, which for decades has been one of the most popular Olympic Trials qualifying races.

In 2020, a record 708 runners—465 women and 243 men—qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta just before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. But USA Track & Field lowered the women’s qualifying standard by eight minutes from the more attainable 2:45:00 plateau, which means there will most likely be a much smaller women’s field this year.

But even so, amid the handful of runners who have a legitimate shot at making the Olympic team, there will also be dozens of dreamers, wannabes, and just-happy-to-be-there elite amateurs who have worked hard, put in the miles, and earned the chance to be on the start line of the deepest and most competitive U.S. distance-running races that only happen once every four years.

The men’s and women’s races will run simultaneously with the men beginning at 12:10 P.M. EST. and the women starting 10 minutes later. Runners have complained that a high noon start means they will be forced to race in hot, humid conditions. Over the past decade, the average temperature on February 3 in Orlando has been 69.6 degrees Fahrenheit at noon, rising to 73.3 at 4 PM. But actual temperatures have varied drastically, from 81 degrees Fahrenheit at 2 P.M. last year to 56 at the same time the year before. USATF officials have responded by saying that the start times are to accommodate live coverage on NBC and to match the expected conditions in Paris.

Here’s an update and overview of what’s next, who the top contenders are, the course, and what to expect in the next four months.

The 26.2-mile U.S. Olympic Trials course runs through downtown Orlando and consists of one 2.2-mile loop and three eight-mile loops. The marathon course will run through several neighborhoods, main streets, and business districts in Orlando, including Central Business District, City District, South Eola, Lake Eola Heights Historic District, Lake Cherokee Historic District, Lake Davis Greenwood, Lake Como, North Quarter, Lawsona/Fern Creek, SoDo District, and the Thornton Park neighborhood. It will then head east to and around The Milk District neighborhood and Main Street. (Notably, the course will come close to Disney World, which is about 15 miles to the southwest.)

Unlike the Olympic Marathon course in Paris, which will challenge runners with significant hills in the middle, the Orlando course is mostly flat. Each loop has a few minor variations in pitch, but only 38 feet separate the high and low points on the course. Ultimately, though, it’s a spectator-friendly route with chances for family, friends, and fans of runners to see the action several times. 

The top women—based on personal best times and recent race results—are Emily Sisson, Emma Bates, Keira D’Amato, Betsy Saina, and Lindsay Flanagan. But the U.S. Olympic Trials races almost always produce surprises with a few great runners having off days and a few good runners having exceptional days, so there is reason to expect the unexpected.

Sisson lowered the American record to 2:18:29 last year when she finished second in the Chicago Marathon. She’s running Chicago again on October 8 along with Bates, who has said she’s hoping to break the American record. In January, Sisson, 31, chopped her own American record in the half marathon in Houston with a 1:06:52 effort, and most recently won the U.S. 20K Championships (1:06:09) on September 4 in New Haven, Connecticut. Bates, also 31, hasn’t raced at all since her sterling fifth-place effort at the Boston Marathon in April, when she slashed her personal best to 2:22:10. 

While Chicago will be another good place to test themselves, both have unfinished business after Bates was seventh at the 2020 Trials and Sisson dropped out near the 21-mile mark.

The same goes for Flanagan, 32, who has been one of America’s best and most consistent marathoners for the past five years. She placed 12th at the trials in 2020. She had a breakthrough win (2:24:43) at the Gold Coast Marathon in 2022 followed by a strong, eighth-place finish (2:26:08) at the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year. In August, she ran perhaps the best race of her career, when she finished ninth (2:27:47) at the world championships in Budapest amid hot, humid conditions.

The 38-year-old D’Amato, meanwhile, just capped off another strong season with a 17th-place showing (2:31:35) at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, a year after finishing eighth in the world championships and setting an American record 2:19:12 at the 2022 Houston Marathon. She was 15th at the Trials in 2020 in 2:34:24, just two years into her competitive return to the sport after having two kids and starting a career in real estate in her early 20s.

“It’s such a huge goal of mine to become an Olympian,” says D’Amato, who lowered Sisson’s U.S. record in the half marathon with a 1:06:39 effort at the Gold Coast Half Marathon on July 1 in Australia. “It’s really hard for me to put words into this because my whole life, wearing a Team USA jersey has been like a huge dream. And when I left the sport (temporarily), I felt like I said goodbye to that dream and I kind of mourned the loss of being able to represent my country. I feel like it’s the greatest honor in our sport to be able to wear our flag and race as hard as possible.”

Saina, a 35-year-old Kenya-born runner who ran collegiately for Iowa State University, became a U.S. citizen in late 2021. She placed fifth in the 10,000-meters at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro while competing for Kenya. She’s spent the past several years splitting time between Kenya and Nashville, Tennessee, where she gave birth to a son, Kalya, in December 2021.

She’s returned with a strong fourth-place 1:11:40 result at the Tokyo Half Marathon last October and a fifth-place 2:21:40 showing at the Tokyo Marathon in February. In May, Saina won the U.S. 25K Championships in Michigan. Two weeks ago she broke the tape at the Blackmores Sydney Marathon in Australia in 2:26:47.

Other top contenders include but are not limited to Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Molly Seidel (who’s personal best is 2:24:42), 2022 U.S. Olympic Trials champion Aliphine Tuliamuk (2:24:37, 11th in Boston this year), Susanna Sullivan (2:24:27 personal best, 10th in London this year), two-time Olympian and 2018 Boston Marathon winner Des Linden (2:22:38), and Sara Hall (2:20:32, fifth at last year’s world championships), plus Kellyn Taylor (2:24:29), Nell Rojas (2:24:51), Sarah Sellers (2:25:43), Lauren Paquette (2:25:56), Dakotah Lindwurm (2:25:01), Annie Frisbie (2:26:18), Sara Vaughn (2:26:23), Tristin Van Ord (2:27:07), and Jacqueline Gaughan (2:27:08).

The list of potential men’s top contenders isn’t as clear-cut, partially because there are so many sub-2:11 runners and several fast runners who are relatively new to the marathon. But all that suggests a wide-open men’s race where more than a dozen runners are legitimately in the mix for the three Olympic team spots. That said, the top runners on paper, based on both time and consistent results over the past few years, are Scott Fauble, Jared Ward, Galen Rupp, Conner Mantz, Leonard Korir, Matt McDonald, and C.J. Albertson.

The 31-year-old Fauble, who was 12th in the Olympic Trials in 2020 and owns a 2:08:52 personal best, has finished seventh in the Boston Marathon three times since 2019 and also finished seventh in the New York City Marathon in 2018. Ward is a 2016 U.S. Olympian and has three top-10 finishes at the New York City Marathon and a 2:09:25 personal best from Boston in 2019. He’s 35, but he just ran a 2:11:44 (27th place) at the Berlin Marathon in late September.

Rupp, who won the past two U.S. Olympic Trials Marathons and earned the bronze medal in the marathon at the 2016 Olympics, is nearing the end of his competitive career. He boasts a 2:06:07 personal best and has run under 2:10 more than any American in history, including when he finished 19th at the world championships (2:09:36) last year. He’s a bit of a wild card because he’s 37 and hasn’t raced since his lackluster 17th-place showing at the NYC Half Marathon (1:04:57) in March, but the world will get a glimpse of his fitness in Chicago this weekend.

Mantz followed up his solid debut in Chicago last fall with a good Boston Marathon in April (11th, 2:10:25) and solid racing on the track and roads all year, including his recent runner-up showings at the Beach to Beacon 10K in August and the U.S. 20K Championships in September.

McDonald, 30, who was 10th in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, has quietly become one of the best marathoners in the U.S. while serving as a postdoctoral associate in chemical engineering at M.I.T. His last three races have clocked in at 2:10:35 (Boston 2022), 2:09:49 (Chicago 2022), and 2:10:17 (Boston 2023). The only other runner who rivals that kind of consistency is Albertson, 29, who has run 2:10:23 (Boston 2022), 2:10:52 (Grandma’s Marathon 2022) and 2:10:33 (Boston 2022) in his past three marathons and was seventh in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2020 (2:11:49).

The men’s race will likely have a mix of veteran runners and newcomers who have run in the 2:09 to 2:10 range since 2022. Among those are 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials runner-up Jake Riley (2:10:02 personal best), who is returning from double Achilles surgery; 2016 U.S. 10,000-meter Olympian Leonard Korir (2:07:56), who ran a 2:09:31 in Paris in April; Zach Panning (2:09:28, plus 13th at the world championships in August); U.S. 25K record-holder Parker Stinson (2:10.53); Futsum Zienasellassie who won the California International Marathon last December in his debut (2:11:01) and then doubled-back with a new personal best (2:09:40) at the Rotterdam Marathon in the spring; Abbabiya Simbassa, who ran a solid debut marathon (2:10:34) in Prague this spring; and Eritrean-born Daniel Mesfun (2:10:06) and Ethiopian-born Teshome Mekonen (2:10:16), who both received U.S. citizenship within the past year; and solid veterans Nico Montanez (2:09:55), Elkanah Kibet (2:10:43) and Nathan Martin (2:10:45).

Additional sub-2:12 runners who will  be in the mix are Andrew Colley (2:11:26), Clayton Young (2:11:51), Brendan Gregg (2:11:21), Josh Izewski (2:11:26), Jacob Thompson (2:11:40), and Kevin Salvano (2:11:49).

As noted previously, some top contenders will season their marathon legs one final time at the flat and fast Chicago Marathon on October 8. An even more select few will opt for the New York City Marathon on November 5. After that, nearly every American with eyes set on an Olympic berth will double-down over the holiday season for that one final, critical marathon training cycle. Expect to see a wide range in heat training, from sauna protocols, to warm weather training trips, to simply an adjusted race day strategy.

Of course, with the Olympic Marathon falling under the purview of World Athletics, qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Marathon team is not quite as simple as finishing on the podium in Orlando. Any American looking to have a breakout performance and finish within the top three at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon will need to have run under 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women within the qualification window, which spans from November 1, 2022 to April 30, 2024. Given the possibility of oppressively hot and humid temps on February 3 in Orlando, they’re best bet is to secure that time now.

These qualification standards are in accordance with a new rule from World Athletics, which allows national Olympic committees to circumvent the typical Olympic qualification process of running under 2:08:10 for men and 2:26:50 for women, or being ranked among the top 65 in the world on a filtered list of the top three athletes from each country. The catch, though, is that three other runners from said country must have met one of these two standards. If this sounds complicated, that’s because it is.

For the hundreds of elite amateurs on the cusp of hitting that coveted U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying time, it’s do or die mode. While a few made the cut at the Berlin Marathon on September 24, one of those opportunities was lost when the Twin Cities Marathon was canceled on October 1 because of excessive heat. Temperatures are shaping up for an auspicious day in Chicago this weekend, and many more will give it a final shot at the Columbus Marathon on October 15; Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on October 28; the Philadelphia Marathon on November 18; and the last-call California International Marathon, a point-to-point race ending in Sacramento, California on December 3. 

Ultimately, only six American runners will likely continue on along the road to Paris and earn the chance to run in the men’s and women’s Olympic marathons next August 10-11. For a handful of younger runners, the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials will be a motivation to reinvigorate the Olympic dream or keep a faint hope alive, at least until the 2028 U.S. Olympic Trials that will determine the team for the Los Angeles Olympics. But for many runners, the journey to the U.S. Olympic Trials in Orlando will lead to the end of their competitive road running careers as new jobs, young families, a switch to trail running, and other priorities will take hold. 

“I think the Olympic Trials is an important part of American distance running,” says Kurt Roeser, 36, a two-time U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier who works full-time as a physical therapist in Boulder, Colorado. “I’m glad that they kept it the same event for this cycle and hopefully for future cycles because it gives people like me a reason to keep training. I’m older now and I’m not going to actually have a chance to make an Olympic team, but for somebody that’s fresh out out of college and maybe they just barely squeak in under the qualifying time, maybe that’s the catalyst they need to start training more seriously through the next cycle. And maybe four years from now, they are a serious factor for making the team.” 

(10/07/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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He Qualified for Team USA. Then Came the Bill.

Even as trail and ultrarunning explode, the spoils of professionalization aren’t spread equally across the sport. Athletes on this year’s U.S. 24-hour team are looking to change that

Scott Traer qualified for his first U.S. national team more than a decade ago in 2012. He was new to the sport and naive about what it took to compete at the international level—even after being selected as one of the country’s best athletes in the 24-hour discipline, a niche tributary of trail and ultrarunning where athletes complete as many laps around a track as possible within 24 hours.

While the 24-hour race format may seem eccentric, well-known names like Courtney Dauwalter, Kilian Jornet, and Camille Heron have dabbled in the ultra-track scene. International governing bodies regulate the discipline with USA Track & Field (USATF), the national governing body for track and field, cross country, road running, race walking, and mountain-ultra-trail (MUT) disciplines, overseeing the American contingent. 

Traer, then 31, was working odd construction jobs in and around Boston to make ends meet while training when he got the call from USATF that he had been selected for Team USA.

“I was really excited,” says Traer. “Then, I found out that I had to pay for everything. So I was like, ‘Forget about it.’” 

That financial reality took the wind out of Traer’s sails. He didn’t have the disposable income to foot the bill for international travel and didn’t have paid time off from his jobs. While he was disappointed that he wouldn’t get to represent his country in 2012, he was still determined to pursue his dream of chasing a career in coaching and racing. 

Now, Traer, 42, is a full-time coach living near Phoenix and working with the Arizona-based event organization Aravaipa Running as an assistant race director. He has earned top accolades in the sport, including a course record at the Javelina 100K and a Golden Ticket to Western States at the Black Canyons 100K, eventually leading to a top-ten finish at the Western States Endurance Run. 

True to his blue-collar roots, he is known for racing in unbranded gear, typically a long-sleeve, white SPF shirt unbuttoned and flapping in time with his stride. Ten years after making his first 24-hour team, he re-qualified for the opportunity to compete for the U.S. again, this time for the 2023 IAU 24-Hour World Championships in Taiwan (which international sports federating bodies officially refer to as Chinese Taipei), on December 2. 

The catch: USATF is only providing a stipend of $600 to Team USA athletes.

Oregon ultrarunner Pam Smith has competed on Team USA seven times in the 24-hour and 100K world championship events. Now, she’s serving as the Team USA manager to help steward the next generation of ultra athletes. But that passion has come at a cost. 

“I estimate I’ve spent around $10,000 in personal funds to be able to compete at the world championships and to represent the USA at these events,” says Smith, 49, who finished fourth at the 2019 IAU World Championships in France. “USATF does pay for the manager’s travel expenses, but there is no other compensation; in fact, the managers have to use their own funds to cover some fees, like membership dues and background checks.”

It might surprise fans of the sport that many of their favorite athletes are paying significant money to sport the red, white, and blue uniform—and that many can’t compete because they cannot shoulder the cost. The U.S. is known for strong 24-hour runners, and the men’s and women’s teams both won gold at the previous IAU 24-Hour World Championships in 2019 in Albi, France, with two individual podium spots. 

“The U.S. has many of the best 24-hour runners in the world,” says Smith. “It’s a shame that these athletes don’t even get their airfare covered.”

While Smith’s airfare is covered, her work and that of her colleagues is presumed to be done on a volunteer basis. (A quick online search shows a flight to Chinese Taipei from most U.S. cities costs in the $1,500-$2,400 price range.)

Trail running, particularly the elite side of the sport, is at an inflection point. While some races dole out prize money, and a select few athletes at the top of the sport command respectable salaries, most runners at the elite level rely on a scattershot combination of brand partnerships and personal funding to float their racing. While the sport’s very best athletes are well compensated professionals, most “sponsored” trail runners earn between $10,000 and $30,000 per year. Between travel, gear, nutrition, and other expenses, many runners at the elite level are fronting their own cash to compete. 

When Chad Lasater qualified for Team USA after a strong run at the Desert Solstice 24-Hour Race, he hadn’t planned on making the team. But, when he found out he’d qualified, he started looking into the logistics and was shocked to discover he’d be responsible for paying his way to Taipei. 

“The cost of airfare, lodging, food, and time away from work can be significant, especially when traveling to somewhere like Taipei,” says Lasater, 51, from Sugar Land, Texas. “I feel that everyone should have an equal opportunity to be on the U.S. team, and the cost of traveling to the world championships should not preclude anyone from accepting a spot on the team. We should really be sending our best 24-hour athletes to the world championships, not the best athletes who can afford to travel.”

Teams that rely on individual brands or athletes to foot the bill will prefer runners with sponsorships or disposable income and can afford to take time off work and pay for childcare. 

At the top of the sport, like the world championships, it’s routine to see completely unsponsored runners competing with no brand affiliation, especially in the eccentric realm of 24-hour track events. Even some sponsored runners don’t always get their travel expenses covered. 

While a world championship event is certainly a big deal, it doesn’t command the same fanfare and media attention as other marquee events, like the Western States Endurance Run or Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, where many brands prefer to focus their resources. 

Jeff Colt, a 32-year-old professional ultrarunner for On who lives in Carbondale, Colorado, publicly debated the merits of returning to Western States in California this year or competing in the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Austria in early June. (The trail running world championships and 24-hour world championships are different events, but the Team USA athletes who compete in each one face similar challenges when it comes to funding and market value to brands.) He ultimately decided to claim his Golden Ticket and compete at States. More eyeballs on the event mean a higher return on the investment for running brands, which in turn elevates athletes’ value to their sponsors 

“My sponsor, On, was clear that they supported my decision either way, but they were more interested in me running Western States,” says Colt. “And rightfully so. There’s a lot of media attention at races like States and UTMB, which allow brands to activate and get visibility for their logo. That support feels good as an athlete, too. It’s not just better for the brand.”

Nike has an exclusive partnership with USATF; all athletes competing at any world championship event in the mountain-ultra-trail disciplines (as well as the Olympics and World Athletics Championships for track and field and the marathon) must wear Nike-issued Team USA uniforms that are provided to the athletes free of charge, with the exception of shoes. Any photos or videos of professional runners at these events are less valuable to competing running brands because their athletes will appear bedecked in another company’s logo. This disincentivizes many brands from investing in unsponsored athletes’ travel expenses and limits athletes’ ability to get financial support, most of which currently comes from shoe and apparel brands in the trail running industry. And if athletes cannot compete because of illness or injury, they must return parts of the kit. Even if they keep the kit, many sponsored runners’ contracts prohibit them from training and racing in the gear, so it gathers dust at the back of their closets. 

Arizona runner Nick Coury, preparing to compete on his third U.S. 24-hour team, says this contract limits the economic opportunities of unsponsored athletes—partially because it disallows an athlete to place another sponsor’s logo on the Nike gear. 

“This is especially upsetting to many because Nike provides large sums of money to USATF for this arrangement, yet neither passes through significant support to national teams despite USATF being a nonprofit aimed at ‘driving competitive excellence and popular engagement in our sport,’” says Coury, 35, from Scottsdale, Arizona. “USATF is taking money from Nike, restricting elite athletes to fund themselves through sponsorship, and doing little to nothing to encourage a competitive national team.”

One athlete, sharing anonymously, reported selling parts of their Nike kit to help offset travel expenses. “It’s the same kit [100-meter and 200-meter track and field superstar] Noah Lyles wears, so it’s super valuable.”

Traer thinks it’s unfair that athletes are forced to wear Nike gear and render free labor supporting a huge company, especially when the 24-hour team isn’t fully funded. Lyles, an Adidas athlete who won the 100-meter dash at this year’s World Athletics Championships in Budapest, had to wear Nike gear while warming up and racing, too. But his travel and expenses were paid in full by USATF, and his Adidas relationship benefits because track and field stars get considerably more exposure than ultrarunners. Furthermore, in track and field, the world championships serve as a prelude to the biggest running event on the calendar, the Olympics, which take place every four years and attract an expansive viewership that reaches far beyond hardcore running fans.

“It bothers me because Nike is making a huge amount of money,” Traer says. “I don’t want to hear that there isn’t enough money to support athletes because I see smaller brands in our sport that have less money doing a much better job supporting athletes.” 

Nancy Hobbs is the chairperson of the USATF Mountain and Ultra Trail Running Council, the division of USATF that oversees the U.S. 24-Hour Team. Her executive committee has been discussing more equitable distribution of funds. Initially, funding was based on the number of years the championships had been held and how many athletes were attending. 

Ultimately though, it comes down to the relatively small amount of Nike money that USATF allocates to the USATF MUT Running Council.

“With a certain amount of money in the budget, we could choose to send fewer athletes (i.e., just a scoring team with no spares in case of injury, etc.), but the council discussion has been on the importance of fielding a full team with some additional athletes for attrition and providing more athletes an opportunity to compete internationally (provided they qualify for the team based on selection criteria),” says Hobbs. 

Though the compensation for mountain-ultra-trail athletes may feel low, it is significantly higher than in the past. In 1999, a mere $250 was distributed to each MUT subcommittee, totaling $750 for all 1999 expenses. In 2013, MUT teams received $25,000 in funding for travel. This year, $83,000 was distributed across all of the teams it sends to international championships for MUT disciplines. 

“We’ve come a long way with MUT since 1998,” says Hobbs. “We have more work to do. This is a volunteer-driven group which is passionate about our sport and trying to provide athletes opportunities through championships, teams, and programs within the structure of USATF.”

Coury qualified for his third U.S. 24-hour team in 2021 and broke the American 24-hour record. He’s had to fund his travel out of pocket for all three international appearances. He says the lack of funding limits the team’s ability to compete on the world stage. 

“I’ve found it extremely challenging to train for a 24-hour event while holding a full-time job, as have others, and I know I haven’t and won’t hit my personal potential as a result,” says Coury. “We’ve seen an explosion in the competitiveness and interest in trail races, and part of that is the ability for ultrarunners to make a living as professional athletes. We see very few runners in the 24-hour space who can go professional, which reflects in our team’s competitiveness.”

While Team USA won both gold medals in 2019, international competition is escalating. Coury says opening up additional funding would help draw elites and strong amateurs alike to try their hand at the 24-hour format, which would help Team USA’s standing on the world stage. 

“Athletes like Courtney Dauwalter and Camille Herron have represented Team USA multiple times and been key to our results,” says Coury. “Yet I am certain they must weigh training, qualifying, and representing Team USA against the sponsorship opportunities in trail ultrarunning, where financial support is much greater. I imagine there would be more interest from some of our most capable athletes if we had a better financial story around the team, providing a path for it to fund an athlete’s career instead of costing out of pocket. Given the prospects of making a living at a trail race versus paying to represent Team USA, I’m positive we’re discouraging some of our best athletes from even wanting to try.”

In previous years, Team USA has resorted to raising money through bake sales and selling T-shirts to raise funds for the team’s travel expenses. Past team captain Howard Nippert made and sold ice bandanas to support the team. This year’s captain Smith is hosting fundraising dinners. Coury says that the ultrarunning community has stepped up to support the team where traditional funding has failed. 

“It reminds me in some ways of the amateur athlete situation back in the 1970s, where representing your country came at a significant financial burden and really made athletes reconsider it,” says Coury. “Why isn’t USATF making it desirable to train and compete for Team USA? Why is it seemingly doing the opposite?”

The 24-hour team is at a crossroads: either it will receive adequate funding and support to send the best team possible to the world championships, or it will maintain this status quo while Team USA falls further and further behind on the international stage. Traer has launched a petition on Change.org to draw attention to the funding issue and is determined to sound the alarm about how a lack of funding holds athletes and all of Team USA back. 

“No one should have to decide that they made Team USA but can’t afford to pay to wear their country’s flag,” says Traer. “If an athlete earns their spot on the team, they should get the support they need to compete. End of story.”

(10/07/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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American runner postpones wedding to compete at World Road Running Championships

Last weekend, American middle-distance runner Sam Prakel faced a challenging decision: choosing between love and representing his country at the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia.

Prakel had originally planned to marry his long-time partner Katie Landwehr on Sept. 30. However, when he received an invite to join Team USA for the World Athletics Road Running Championships on Oct. 1, he made the difficult choice to postpone the wedding.

During a pre-race press conference, Prakel shared, “It’s a tremendous honour to represent the U.S. […] they have the world’s best track team. I even had to reschedule my wedding for a week later so I could be here for this event. It’s wonderful to be here and represent the U.S.”

The tough decision appeared to pay off for Prakel as he clinched the bronze in the men’s road mile with a time of 3:56.43, earning a prize of USD $3,500. Prakel finished third, with his compatriot Hobbs Kessler securing gold in his senior national team debut with a time of 3:56.13. Great Britain’s Callum Elson also earned his first world championship medal, narrowly beating Prakel for silver with a time of 3:56.41.

Prakel revealed that he was able to reschedule the wedding for the following week, which raised questions among track fans about why Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen did not make a similar decision, considering the circumstances of winning another world championship medal. Ingebrigtsen married his longtime partner Elisabeth Asserson on Sept. 23 and celebrated their honeymoon in the Maldives the past week.

Perhaps the bonus will help fund an unforgettable wedding and honeymoon for Prakel and his future wife.

(10/07/2023) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon extends warm welcome to canceled Twin Cities Marathon athletes

The TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon is extending a helping hand to several elite runners who were affected by the last-minute heat cancellation of the 2023 Twin Cities Marathon last Sunday.

Although Canada’s largest marathon had been sold out for months, marking the first time in the race’s history that the marathon has reached full capacity this early. There ended up being several withdrawals in the men’s and women’s elite fields two weeks before the Oct. 15 race day.

Jim Estes, the manager of the elite program at the Twin Cities Marathon, reached out to TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon race director Alan Brookes, exploring the possibility of accommodating some of the elite runners. Brookes shared that he and Jim have a close relationship and have worked on elite teams at Chicago and Houston marathons. “We ended up extending three spots to athletes who did not get the chance to run the marathon in Minnesota,” says Brookes.

This period is crucial for U.S. marathoners, as many are shooting to qualify for U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando next February. The fall marathon season represents a final opportunity to secure a qualification spot there or to chase an Olympic qualifying time of 2:08:10 (men) and 2:26:50 (women) before the trials.

Toronto was not the only marathon to offer invitations. The McKirdy Micro Marathon in Valley Cottage, N.Y., the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and the Philadelphia Marathon have also offered spaces in their elite fields for athletes originally slated to compete in Twin Cities.

The Twin Cities Marathon was set to host nearly 8,000 runners on Oct. 1 but ended up being abruptly canceled just two hours before its 7 a.m. start due to soaring temperatures. Despite the short notice, many runners who had traveled to Minnesota decided to go ahead with their race on their own. The temperature in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minn., reached a high of 27 C (80 F) by 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Eli Asch, the race director of Twin Cities, defended their decision to cancel the race in an interview with Runners World, stating, “We saved lives.” However, Asch did not confirm whether the race would provide refunds or offer credits to the 20,000 registered participants but said the race’s intention is to be “as generous as possible.”

(10/06/2023) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Daniel Mateiko will be making his debut in marathon at the Chicago marathon

After recording the fastest time over the half marathon distance in the world this year at the fourth edition of the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland, Daniel Mateiko will be making his debut in marathon at the Chicago marathon, the fourth largest race in the world that is slated to be held on Sunday (8) in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

The 25 year-old who clocked a world leading time of 58:36, breaking the UK and Irish all-comers’ record ahead of the 2019 All-Africa Games 10,000m bronze medallist, Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia, said that the world should expect shocking results in Chicago despite having a deep elite field that includes the second fastest man in the world Kelvin Kiptum.

“This is my first time to participate in a marathon and a world major. This means I have to work extra hard to keep up with the pace,” said Mateiko.

He explained that he made a good run while pacing at the London marathon early this year where Kiptum ran the second fastest time in the world.

“I had good pacing at the London marathon where I dropped at the 30km mark, just 12km remaining. Some race organizers saw what I could do. At the same time, I have a very good management ( NN Running Team) that looks for great races for their athletes,” he said.

The inaugural Eldama Ravine Half marathon champion said the training is so intense to conquer the world.

Mateiko who finished in second place at this year’s Ras Al Khaimah half marathon also missed out to represent Kenya at the 2021 Olympic Games after finishing 6th during the Kenya National trials.

“Expect good things from me. Right now, I am preparing very well when I received the invitation,” he added.

Having the personal best time standing at 58:26 set during his third position at the Valencia Half marathon last year, Mateiko has set the goal of improving on his time too.

Mateiko who runs under the Global Sports Communication stable in Kaptagat, went ahead to finish third at the Valencia Half marathon in 58:26, Copenhagen third after timing 59:25, RAK in sixth place in 58:45 and Ravine half marathon.

He will be facing off with some of the best experienced marathoners that include Kiptum, the defending champion Benson Kipruto and the Tokyo Olympics marathon bronze medalist, Bashir Abdi.

(10/06/2023) ⚡AMP
by John Vaselyne
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Bank of America Chicago

Bank of America Chicago

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...

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Chebets sets focus on 2024 Olympic Games after stellar season

Commonwealth Games 5000m champion Beatrice Chebet has said she has honed her skills sufficiently to secure a podium finish at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. 

Chebet, who blazed to the bronze medal in her specialty at the Budapest World Championships in July, said she is ready to secure the coveted gold at the quadrennial global extravaganza that will be held in July and August.  

"I have prepared well for the Olympics and I'm grateful for the fine form I've accomplished this year," Chebet said in an exclusive interview.

"Winning an Olympic medal is everyone's dream and I am no different," she added. 

Chebet spoke a couple of days after storming the gold medal in the 5km race at the inaugural World Road Running Championships held in Riga on Sunday. 

The victory confirmed her status as a dominant force on the international front.

She cruised through the course in an amazing 14:35 to register the fifth fastest time in the history of the 5km road race ahead of compatriot Lilian Rengeruk, and Ethiopia's Ejgayehu Taye, who settled for the silver and bronze medals respectively.

The victory further embellished her rich trophy cabinet which also boasts a gold bagged at the World Cross Country championship held in Bathurst, Australia in February.

Chebet said the presence of compatriot Faith Kipyegon in the race is a great source of inspiration, adding that she is not quaking in the boots at the mere thought of facing her over the distance. 

Despite crashing to Kipyegon and Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands in the 5000m at the World Championships in Belgrade, Hungary, Chebet said she will do her best to reclaim her bragging rights in the 12-lap race.

 "It will make the race all the more interesting and I believe the country is bound to benefit immensely if we field a strong team in Paris," Chebet said. 

"Her presence in the race will also take the competition a notch higher," she added. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved Kenya's request to field Kipyegon in both the 1500m and the 5000m races at the upcoming Paris Games. 

(10/06/2023) ⚡AMP
by Tony Mballa
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Kelvin Kiptum believes he can break world record at 2023 Chicago Marathon

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, and that means one thing to marathon fans: it’s time for the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. This year’s elite field will be one to remember, with the great Sifan Hassan competing in her second career marathon against the 2019 world champion and the third-fastest marathoner in history, Ruth Chepngetich. The men’s side is just as exciting, with the relatively unknown Kelvin Kiptum on the verge of greatness, targeting Eliud Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:09 on Sunday.

The young star

At 23 and with only two career marathons to his name, Kiptum has quickly established himself as one of the best distance runners in the world. Although, despite his achievements in London, he remains relatively unknown on the major marathon scene. Kiptum is self-coached and did not enter marathoning from a prolific track career like Kipchoge, Mo Farah, or Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

Kiptum made his marathon debut last December at the 2022 Valencia Marathon, taking a commanding victory in 2:01:53, the fastest debut in history. He continued his dominance at the 2023 London Marathon, where he shattered Kipchoge’s course record and came within 16 seconds of the world record, with a 2:01:25 finish.

In June, Kiptum was selected for Team Kenya in the 2023 World Athletics Championships marathon. However, he declined the invitation to focus on a fall marathon instead. He settled on Chicago, which is widely regarded as the fastest marathon major in North America. 

In a pre-race interview with Olympics.com, Kiptum said he is well-trained for the Chicago course and believes he can become the first man in history to run a 2:00 flat on Sunday. Kiptum’s choice of Chicago over the other fall majors, Berlin and NYC, indicates his eagerness to chase the world record. Chicago’s primarily flat course, with only 70 meters of elevation gain, makes it an ideal setting.

Kiptum’s competition

If Kiptum intends to hit the halfway mark around 60 minutes, there are not many in the field who can keep up with him. The 2020 Olympic marathon bronze medallist, Bashir Abdi, is listed as the second fastest athlete in Chicago with a personal best of 2:03:36. Abdi finished fifth here in 2019 and will be looking to improve on his time of 2:06:14.

Kiptum will also face off against one of the best tactical marathoners in the world and the reigning champion, Benson Kipruto. Kipruto comes off a second-place finish at the 2023 Boston Marathon, where he was runner-up to his training partner, Evans Chebet. Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura knows the Chicago course well, having won the race in 2021 and finished as runner-up to Kipruto last fall. If the race becomes a tactical affair, it’s hard to look past these two as the favourites but they don’t quite have the sub-2:02 speed to hang with Kiptum early.

American men chase Olympic standard

Another entertaining race within the race to watch will be the battle between top Americans Galen Rupp, Conner Mantz and Leonard Korir as they aim to achieve the 2024 Olympic marathon standard of 2:08:10. The only American to break that mark since 2020 is Rupp, who did so at the 2021 Chicago Marathon where he finished second. Currently, no American men have met the Olympic qualifying mark for Paris, and the U.S. Marathon Trials are just four months away in February 2024.

(10/06/2023) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Bank of America Chicago

Bank of America Chicago

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...

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Kenyans are favorites in Munich, Hendel chases Olympic dream

A group of Kenyan runners headed by Luke Kibet could be challenged by Sebastian Hendel in the race for victory at the GENERALI MUNICH MARATHON on Sunday. The German elite runner hopes to dip under the Olympic qualifying time of 2:08:10 when he will finish in the Munich Olympic Stadium. Athletes from Kenya are the fastest on the women’s start list as well. Catherine Cherotich has a personal best of 2:26:41.

Including events at shorter distances well over 20,000 runners have so far registered for the 37th edition of the GENERALI MUNICH MARATHON. More than 5,000 of them will run the classic distance through the Bavarian capital, starting and finishing inside the Olympic Stadium. Entries are still accepted at: www.generalimuenchenmarathon.de

The GENERALI MUNICH MARATHON will be streamed live from 8.55 am (CET).

"After a great elite race comeback with two course records a year ago we are now looking forward to more thrilling races at the GENERALI MUNICH MARATHON on Sunday. Additionally I hope that Sebastian Hendel can produce a strong performance and makes the next step with a sub 2:10 time,“ said Race Director Gernot Weigl. Relatively warm temperatures are expected around midday on Sunday. While the elite athletes will have already finished their races water supply at the course has been increased for the fun runners. 

With a personal record of 2:08:45 Luke Kibet is the fastest runner on the start list. The 28 year-old Kenyan achieved this time in Chuncheon, Korea, four years ago. Kibet has prepared for the GENERALI MUNICH MARATHON in Iten, Kenya, where he joined the strong training group of Germany’s marathon record holder Amanal Petros. While compatriots Edwin Kimaiyo and Cosmas Kiplimo are number two and three on the start list with PBs of 2:09:12 and 2:09:44 respectively Bernard Muia could be in for a surprise.

He has only a 2:13:40 to his credit so far, but the Kenyan ran this time in Nairobi in high altitude. Muia is a training partner of Samwel Mailu, the course record holder of the Vienna City Marathon and world half marathon championships bronze medalist. He is a said to be in fine form. Benson Nzioki, also from Kenya, is tipped to produce a good debut. 

Sebastian Hendel was fourth in Munich a year ago with a 2:10:37 debut. When the 27 year-old returns to the GENERALI MUNICH MARATHON he wants to break 2:10 and hopes to become the third German to break the Olympic qualifying time of 2:08:10. “My shape is good and actually better than a year ago. I want to run the first half in 64:20 and then hope to achieve the Olympic standard with a negative split,“ said Sebastian Hendel. If he should be able to run such a time he will most probably be in contention for victory as well.

With personal bests of around 2:27:00 three Kenyan women head the elite start list. With 2:26:41 Catherine Cherotich is the fastest of the three. It is worth noting that she ran her PB in Nairobi. Because of the high altitude she should be able to run faster on Sunday in Munich. While Caroline Chepkwony took the Enschede Marathon in 2019 with 2:27:00 Munich’s elite race coordinator Michael Kraus expects Teclah Chebet to do well. She has won six of her seven marathons and most recently took the race in Linz, Austria, this spring with a PB of 2:27:18.

Elite runners with personal bests:

MEN

Luke Kibet KEN 2:08:45

Edwin Kimaiyo KEN 2:09:12

Cosmas Kiplimo KEN 2:09:44

Sebastian Hendel GER 2:10:37

Cornelius Chepkok KEN 2:11:46

Jackson Rutto KEN 2:12:02

Merhawi Ghebreslasie FRA 2:12:34

Amos Birgen KEN 2:13:09

Bernard Muia KEN 2:13:40 

Alessandro Giacobazzi ITA 2:15:25

Benson Nzioki KEN Debüt

WOMEN

Catherine Cherotich KEN 2:26:41

Caroline Chepkwony KEN 2:27:00

Teclah Chebet KEN 2:27:18

Beatrice Cheburet KEN 2:30:41

Flomens Ngurasia KEN 2:30:42

(10/06/2023) ⚡AMP
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Generali Munich Marathon

Generali Munich Marathon

The GENERALI MUNICH MARATHON has held the elite label of the WORLD ATHLETICS since 2020 and the marathon route is officially measured and recognized. The route runs from the Olympic Park and Schwabing to Leopoldstraße with the Siegestor, via Königsplatz and the Pinakotheken to the English Garden. From there past the Chinese Tower and Art Nouveau villas in Bogenhausen, through...

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Dominate your next race: try this broken tempo run

If you’re training for a longer-distance event, you’ve probably encountered the tempo run. While the tempo session is a staple for many runners aiming to speed up in the half and full marathon distances, a traditional tempo that has one running almost the entire session at a near-race pace can feel intimidating and exhausting in the earlier stages of training. A broken tempo run, where the sections of tempo effort are simply broken up, can be a great way to get familiar with that touch race day effort without trashing your legs (and feeling disheartened).

What is a tempo session?

The word ‘tempo’ in this context refers to the extended nature of the harder effort in this workout, not the pace. Tempo pace can vary, but short tempo runs are often done close to your one-hour effort (think 10K pace) while longer ones can be done near marathon pace. This workout should be done near half-marathon pace, or if you prefer to run by feel, at a comfortably hard effort.

Tempo sessions build aerobic fitness and discipline. They help runners dial in race pace, and a broken tempo session will aid with getting in quality time at the right intensity. If you’re new to longer distances, long training runs can be daunting: a broken tempo session is the remedy.

The workout

Add this session in place of a speed workout or harder training day, and adjust as necessary to meet your goals. Reps can be tweaked to be anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on level of fitness and goals. Total time at intensity can range from 15-45 minutes.

Warm up with 15-30 minutes of easy running, followed by a set of drills and strides (or a dynamic warmup of your choice).

Run 4-8 x 5:00 at half-marathon effort (or pace) with 30-60 seconds of easy recovery running between each harder effort.

Cool down after the workout with 5-15 minutes of easy running.

Make sure you follow a quality workout, like this one, with an easy running or rest day.

 

(10/05/2023) ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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Eliud Kipchoge unsure of what next after the 2024 Paris Olympic Games

Five-time Berlin Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is yet to make up his mind on where he will run next after the Olympic Games in 2024.

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge is not certain about returning to the streets of Berlin next year.

The four-time London Marathon just made history in Berlin, winning his fifth title on the course and the streets of the German capital remain his favorite. However, his not sure whether he will be chasing history on the same course come next year.

He made his debut at the Berlin Marathon in 2013 where he finished second and since then, he has only recorded wins. He returned in 2015 where he bagged his first title and also competed in 2017, winning his second title.

He set his first world record in the edition of the marathon in 2019 and later proceeded to lower his time at the 2022 edition of the event. The 2014 Chicago Marathon champion then made history, bagging his fifth title in the 2023 edition of the marathon.

The streets of Berlin have been good to him but he might just ditch them next year. His huge plan is to successfully defend his Olympic title but he is yet to decide what next after the Olympic Games.

“I’ve not yet decided where to run next…I always handle one thing at a time and I always focus on that philosophy.

I trust that is the only way to take me places. Any decision that comes to my mind I’ll just let the world know,” Kipchoge said.

He will be looking to become the first man to win the Olympic title in the marathon three times and he believes he still has it in his legs to go.

The 38-year-old started off his 2023 season at the Boston Marathon where he finished a disappointing sixth due to a problem with his left leg. He clocked 2:09:23 to cross the finish line in the race that was won by compatriot Evans Chebet.

He then went back to the drawing board and went back to successfully defend his Berlin Marathon title dominantly.

(10/05/2023) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

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

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Revenge in the air as strong Kenyan women head to Chicago Marathon

Kenya lost the world record in the Berlin Marathon and they might just be going for it at the Chicago Marathon.

Defending champion Ruth Chepng’etich headlines a strong women’s field set for duty at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 8.

Chepng’etich will be joined by a strong Kenyan contingent who will be looking to bring back the world record to Kenya.

Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa shattered Brigid Kosgei’s world record at the Berlin Marathon and the Kenyan ladies will have their work cut out to bring back the glory. Assefa clocked 2:11:53 to obliterate Kosgei’s world record time of 2:14:04.

Chepng’etich has a Personal Best time of 2:14:18, the third fastest time in the women’s marathon. She has had quite a busy 2023 season and will be looking to end her season in the streets of Chicago.

The 29-year-old kicked off her season with a win at the National Cross-country championships before reigning supreme at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon.

The two-time Chicago Marathon champion then competed in two Half Marathons, finishing second at the Istanbul Half Marathon and later finishing third at the 21K Buenos Aires Ñandú.

On the track, she has competed in three 10,000m races. She started off with a win at the Kenya Prisons Track and Field Championships before finishing third at the National Championships. She was also in action at the World Championships where she finished eighth.

She will enjoy the company of Joycilline Jepkosgei, an able marathoner in her own right. Jepkosgei has won two major marathons, the New York City Marathon and London Marathon and she will be looking to add the Chicago Marathon to her already decorated cabinet.

Jepkosgei competed at the Boston Marathon earlier this year but unfortunately faded to finish a disappointing 12th.

She is yet to win any race this season and might just shock the world in her debut in the streets of Chicago. Her Personal Best time currently stands at 2:17:43 and she will be angling to improve her time.

Potential threats to the chances of the duo winning the race are Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan and Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba.

Hassan, the double Olympic champion, made her debut at the London Marathon earlier this year and to everyone’s surprise, clinched the top prize.

She competed at the World Championships in the 1500m, 5000m, and 10,000m and finished among the top five in the three races. She is definitely in impeccable form and will be hoping to end her season on a high.

Dibaba, the former 1500m world record holder, will also be looking to replicate her compatriot’s performance and maintain the glory of Ethiopia in long-distance running.

(10/05/2023) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Bank of America Chicago

Bank of America Chicago

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...

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Sawe targets Valencia Half Marathon after Riga dominance

Fresh from leading Kenyans to a clean sweep of the podium in the 21km race at the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia, Sebastian Sawe has shifted his focus to the 2023 Valencia Half Marathon.

Sawe, who finished sixth at last year's edition of the Valencia race in 59:06, is hoping to improve on both time and position when the race goes down on October 22.

Nandi-based Sawe, who is the national cross country champion, said he wants to replicate his Riga form in Valencia.

"The experience in Riga was good. I want to try my best and improve on my time and position from last year,” said the reigning Berlin Half Marathon champion.

In Latvia, Sawe clocked 59:10 to edge Daniel Simiu to second in 59:14 as Samuel Mailu completed a Kenyan podium sweep in one hour. This was the third time a team swept the podium after 1995 and 1997.

In 1995, Moses Tanui, Paul Yego, and Charles Tangus swept the podium in France after clocking 61:45, 61:46, and 61:50 respectively. In 1997, Shem Kororia (59:56) led Tanui (59:58) and Kenneth Cheruiyot (60:00) to another sweep.

Meanwhile, Sawe said he also has an eye on next year's Olympic Games, where he will seek a ticket for the 10,000m.

“I will be targeting the 10,000m since I am not ripe for marathons. I only run in half marathons and 10km,” said the Seville Half Marathon champion.

(10/05/2023) ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world. Valencia is one of the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and an atmosphere that you will not find...

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Scot breaks M65 800m world record held by Canadian for nearly 30 years

A world record held by a legendary Canadian runner for almost 30 years was toppled on a track in Italy on Friday, as Britain’s Paul Forbes ran 2:13.74 in the 800m at the European Masters Athletics Championships for a new outdoor world’s best in the M65 division.

Forbes shaved just more than half a second off the longstanding record time of 2:14:33 set by Toronto’s Earl Fee in Buffalo in 1995. With his performance in Italy, the 67-year-old Forbes also sliced 0.93 seconds off his own British M65 800m record, which he set last year at the World Masters Athletics Outdoor Championships in Tampere, Finland.

As he did in Tampere, Forbes topped the podium in both the M65 800m and 1,500m events in Pescara, Italy, running the latter in 4:44:40 on Sept. 23. That effort was only five seconds off the 4:39.15 British M65 outdoor 1500m record he set at a meet in Glasgow in July.

The European Masters Athletic Championships, which ran from Sept. 21 to Oct. 1, featured thousands of athletes from across the continent.

Although Fee’s 800m decades-long record has fallen, the celebrated Canadian runner’s name still features prominently in the list of world masters records. Fee, who is originally from Saskatchewan, still holds the 800m world masters records in the M70 (2:20.52) and the M90 (3:42.52) age groups. According to the latest list of records published from World Masters Athletics, the Canadian still holds nearly a dozen indoor and outdoor masters world records in events ranging from the 200m hurdles to the mile.

In 2019, Fee broke his 60th world record by running 1:29.15 in the M90 400m, a feat he accomplished in oppressive 33 C heat at the North, Central American and Caribbean Masters Athletics (NCCMA) meet at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium. That same year, Fee and fellow Canadian runner Karla Del Grande were named the overall Athletes of the Year by the NCCMA.

Fee was inducted into the Canadian Masters Association Hall of Fame in 2009. The association’s award for the Canadian Masters Athlete of the Year in track is named in his honor.

(10/04/2023) ⚡AMP
by Paul Baswick
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International elite athletes determined to keep the Valencia Marathon on the world podium

The Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso announces its initial list of international athletes with a view to maintaining its ambitious objectives for the event in the ciudad del running on December 3.

Valencia is the third fastest marathon in the world for men and women thanks to the times of 2:01:53 and 2:14:58, respectively, achieved last year, and in 2023 it aspires to remain on the podium of the fastest marathons in the world.

The announced debut of Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei over the distance will be one of the biggest sporting highlights of the day and a challenge not only for him, but also for the top Kenyan and Ethiopian favorites.

There are five runners with sub-2h05 times who will be looking to improve their performances on a course that is ideal for personal bests. These runners include Alexander Mutiso (2:03:29), Sisay Lemma (2:03:36), Leul Gebresilase (2:04:02), Chalu Deso (2:04:53) and Titus Kipruto (2:04:54).

Some of them already have experience of getting the most out of the fast streets of Valencia Ciudad del Running, as is also the case for Kibiwott Kandie (2:13:43, a time far from his real level due to a bad start in New York), who will try to match the impressive records he has achieved in two Valencia Half Marathons when he runs the full 42,195 meters.

In the women’s race, the marathoners Tsegay Gemechu (2:16:56), Almaz Ayana (2:17:20), Worknesh Degefa (2:17:41), Joan Chelimo (2:18:04) and Hiwot Gebrekidan (2:19:10), all of whom have experience over the distance, are also expected to put up a tough fight in Bosena Mulatie’s exciting debut.

(10/04/2023) ⚡AMP
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO

The Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Marathon is held annually in the historic city of Valencia which, with its entirely flat circuit and perfect November temperature, averaging between 12-17 degrees, represents the ideal setting for hosting such a long-distance sporting challenge. This, coupled with the most incomparable of settings, makes the Valencia Marathon, Valencia, one of the most important events in...

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Simiu's says he allowed Sawe to take gold in the spirit of sportsmanship

World 10,000m silver medalist Daniel Simiu said the move to let fellow Kenyan Sabastian Sawe take gold in the half marathon at the World Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia on Sunday was in the spirit of sportsmanship.

He said the humane part of him informed his decision because sport is not always about winning.

Sawe pulled away from the field earlier on and was cruising towards apparent victory. Behind him, Sawe was battling Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer for the runner-up spot.

With less than 200m to go Simiyu let the lead go saluting his passing teammate Sawe in what appeared to be a sign for Sawe to go on and bag gold.

“It is not that I was not strong, I wanted to tell the world that there are good people out there and it’s not always about winning. I wanted Sawe to win because I have been on the world stage so I wanted him to also have a feel,” Simiu said.

He further added that his actions were meant to send a message to the world that there is still hope for humanity.

“I wanted to send a message to the world that there are still humane people out here; that you can come first and give your competitor a chance to also win. It’s not always about winning because if I wanted to, I would have won,” he added.

Kenya, however, went on to sweep the three medals with Sawe leading the pack in a time of (59:10), followed by Simiu (59:14) and Samuel Nyamai who recorded a personal best of 59:19 to take third place. Bernard Kibet came in eighth in a time of 1:00.13.

Simiu was fresh from winning a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August and was in search of a gold medal to add to his collection in Riga.

He further added that he was not done yet and that he was going to relax and start training as he is set to participate in the Delhi Half Marathon scheduled for October 14.

“Next week, I will be in Delhi for the half marathon. The season is not yet over, we are just closing the track season and now we are coming to the road events and after that, we wrap it off with cross country,” he said.

(10/04/2023) ⚡AMP
by Teddy Mulei
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World Athletics Road Running Championships

World Athletics Road Running Championships

The inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships, which will take place on September 30 and October 1, 2023, in Riga, will be the most significant public sporting and athletics event in the history of the Baltic countries. A flat, single-lap half-marathon course in the Baltics' largest city. All courses are traffic-free. This unique global running festival, which will crown the...

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90-year-old woman sets U.S. half-marathon age-group record

Just months after blazing to a new world age-group standard in the 1,500m, 90-year-old Dot Sowerby has broken the U.S. half-marathon age-group record, underscoring her message that age isn’t an obstacle to breaking down barriers.

The grandmother and longtime runner from Greensboro, N.C., completed the 2023 Life Time Chicago Half Marathon in 3:33:47, breaking the former 3:46:56 record set by Harriette Thompson six years ago at the Rock N’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon at age 94. (That effort by Thompson months before her death in 2017 still makes her the oldest woman on record to have completed a half-marathon, a record previously set by Canada’s Gladys Burrill in 2012 at age 93.)

Sowerby, who took up running in her late forties, told ABC News Chicago after her record-breaking half-marathon on Sept. 24 that she hopes her latest feat inspires others to chase their dreams, regardless of their age.

“I think older people can do anything, and I just like to keep active, and you’re never too old to get out there and run,” Sowerby said.

Sowerby has been reinforcing this message through her actions as well as her words this year, both in road races and on the track. In July, she thrilled a hometown crowd at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in Greensboro by running the 1,500m in 11:30.62, taking more than a minute off the record held by North Vancouver’s Lenore Montgomery, who covered the distance in 12:34.67 at a track meet in Surrey, B.C., in Sept. 2020.

The championships saw Sowerby rack up an impressive collection of medals, including gold in the 400m (2:35.33), 800m (5:52.93), long jump (1.05m) and shot put (4.51m), and silver in the 100m.

Her success at this year’s USATF championships came just one week after she collected six gold medals at the 2023 National Senior Games in Pittsburgh.

“I have a philosophy that you are never too old to do something like running or whatever you want to do,” Sowerby told Greensboro’s News & Record heading into the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships.  “When I came along, they would not let girls in high school and college run because they thought they were too fragile or something. So, I did my first race when I was 50 years old.”

According to the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K website, Sowerby trains almost every day, varying her workouts from running to swimming to exercise classes. She typically begins training at 6 a.m. “One of my motivations is to inspire others to keep exercising, no matter your age or circumstance—just get out there and do something,” she said.

(10/04/2023) ⚡AMP
by Paul Baswick
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Chicago Half Marathon/5k

Chicago Half Marathon/5k

The Chicago Half Marathon gives you the chance to run on traffic restricted Lake Shore Drive! This scenic half marathon course starts in Historic Jackson Park, site of the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, and winds through the beautiful Hyde Park neighborhood and University of Chicago campus. The course then takes runners along Chicago’s south Lake...

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Portuguese Rosa Mota breaks half marathon world record for veterans running 1:26:16 in Riga

Portuguese Rosa Mota broke the half marathon world record for athletes between 65 and 69 years old, completing the distance in 1:26:16 hours, taking more than six minutes off the previous best mark.

In the parallel race to the World Road Championships, the Olympic marathon champion in Seoul 1988 was 13th overall and won the race in her age group, surpassing the mark of Swiss Emmi Luthi, who had run in 1:32.56 in 2009.

Rosa Mota was more than 22 minutes behind the runner-up, Finnish Kaarina Back (1:48.41).

Last week, Rosa Mota had won the European cross-country veterans championship, at the same level.

(10/03/2023) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Road Running Championships

World Athletics Road Running Championships

The inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships, which will take place on September 30 and October 1, 2023, in Riga, will be the most significant public sporting and athletics event in the history of the Baltic countries. A flat, single-lap half-marathon course in the Baltics' largest city. All courses are traffic-free. This unique global running festival, which will crown the...

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Olympian Anne-Marie Comeau Pursuing a Fast Time at TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

On October 15th the 27-year-old from St. Ferréol les Neiges in Quebec will race the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, her first competitive marathon since her inauspicious debut in Philadelphia in 2019.

This time around the former cross-country skier will come prepared having followed the program set by her new coach, two-time Canadian Olympic marathoner, Reid Coolsaet. The two paired up in November 2022. Coolsaet has developed both her physical and mental preparation and Comeau has a specific goal in mind.

“I talked to Reid last week,” she reveals. “My first goal is to go under 2:32. But he told me if I want to take risks in my race I should try to do 2:29:30 or just under 2:30. He told me it’s a big risk to start at this pace but I like to take risks.”

Once again, the race will serve as the Athletics Canada Canadian Marathon Championships with medals and a lucrative prize purse including $8,000 to the national champion. Comeau is more cautious.

“For sure I will be happy if I am finishing on the podium,” she says. “But I don’t think about it. I don’t have a lot of experience in marathon races. I would just like to do another marathon because the last one was in 2019.

“It’s a ‘couple’ of years so I want to start back doing one and see how I can fuel correctly in the race. Because my first one - it was very bad nutrition. I will give all that I have. I have done a lot of work. I am excited to see what it can give.”

Comeau laughs at her recall of that Philadelphia race, a 2:41:10. But in March of this year she showed that her training is going well as she finished second at the Project 13.1 (Half Marathon) in New York’s Rockland State Park. Her time of 1:11:30 indicates that with the right volume of training she is certainly capable of dipping under the 2:30 marathon barrier.

More recently she won the half marathon at the Marathon Beneva de Montreal in 1:13:56. That result came during her buildup for Toronto Waterfront. She did not back off her training one bit.

“I am not a person that does a lot of high mileage,” she reveals. “My biggest week with the training in the marathon buildup was 155km. It was mostly about 130km a week. I also use other sports in preparation.

“I am not competing anymore in cross-country skiing. But I am doing a lot of cross- country skiing in the winter and a lot of skiing up mountains but I don’t do competition anymore.”

Cycling with her boyfriend Jean-Philippe also has a place in her overall fitness. And she is also an accomplished mountain and trail runner. Last March she represented Canada at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships finishing 15th in the women’s vertical race and 17th in the ‘up and down’ race.

“I always loved running,” Comeau admits with a laugh. “I was running for training (for cross-country skiing). The two sports work very well together and since the age of 8 years I was running races in the woods. When I was a skier I was always running in the summer and even in the winter.

“I wanted to try and see what my potential was in running. When I was skiing it was not perfect for running. So when I stopped I was able to concentrate my energy and see what I can do.

For income Comeau works as an accountant for a medium size firm while studying to become a tax specialist. Recently she left a major accounting firm so she could cut back on her hours to devote more time to training and recovery.

In her down time she says she enjoys going for bike rides and also pursuing a more relaxing pastime.

“My boyfriend (national team trail runner) Jean-Philippe Thibobeau and I like to explore breweries,” she says with a laugh. “We love this activity and when we travel we try to choose different breweries and match our trip with that.”

Comeau is eager to line up at Toronto Waterfront and for the first time really see what she is capable at the marathon distance. A surprise could be in store.

About the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier running event and the grand finale of the Canada Running Series (CRS). Since 2017, the race has served as the Athletics Canada national marathon championship race and has doubled as the Olympic trials. Using innovation and organization as guiding principles, Canada Running Series stages great experiences for runners of all levels, from Canadian Olympians to recreational and charity runners. With a mission of “building community through the sport of running,” CRS is committed to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process.

To learn more about the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, visit TorontoWaterFrontMarathon.com.

(10/03/2023) ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Two-time Olympic champion Ashton Eaton embraces distance running

It’s been seven years since two-time Olympic and world decathlon champion Ashton Eaton called it a career, but he has not hung up the running shoes quite yet. The 35-year-old ran in the Portland Half-Marathon over the weekend and tweeted about how taken aback he was by the toughness of distance running.

Eaton finished the half marathon in just under an hour and 50 minutes for 530th place overall. Eaton took to social media post-race to share how his body was feeling. “I think I ran 1:49. During the run, I felt fine, but now I feel like I can’t move at all. Insanely painful.”

During Eaton’s professional career, despite being the only decathlete to break the 9,000-point mark twice, he was never particularly dominant at distance events. His weakest event of the 10 was known to be the final one—the men’s 1,500m—an event where he only had a personal best of 4:14.48.

Eaton wasn’t only surprised by how painful half-marathons are; he also posted that he was astonished by the variety of running styles. “Runners are basically like fingerprints,” wrote Eaton. “I’ve always admired the mental toughness of distance running, and now even more so. It was a very cool experience.”

It’s clear that Eaton is now embracing life as a distance runner in his retirement. Last week, Eaton was named an event ambassador at India’s Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 15.

Eaton and his wife, Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton, retired from the sport at the prime of their respective careers in 2017. Eaton was coming off defending his Olympic gold medal at the Rio Olympics. While Theisen-Eaton won bronze in the heptathlon at the same Olympics. The multi-events power couple now live and reside in Oregon with their three-year-old boy.

(10/03/2023) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Portland Marathon

Portland Marathon

Portland is the unrivaled leader of the running world. It is the birthplace of the American distance running movement. It is home to several of the world's largest brands in the active lifestyle industry as well as the most talented athletes in the sport. People get running here. Businesses, schools, non-profits, and kids get excited about it. Add that local...

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Kenyan Mark Otieno details his path to 2024 Paris Olympic Games

Mark Otieno ended his doping ban earlier this year and he has his work cut out if he has to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Kenyan sprinter Mark Otieno has officially begun his journey towards the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and has set a target to hit in order to make it to the global stage next year.

The Olympic Games are scheduled for Friday, July 26 to Sunday, August 11. In order to qualify for the showpiece, Otieno must hit the qualifying mark which stands at 10.00 by June 30 next year.

His Personal Best time currently stands at 10.05, meaning he has to put in the hard work to ensure that he hits the qualifying time for the men’s 100m.

In a post on his X (Twitter) handle, Otieno said: “Off-season training begins today, and it marks day one of my journey to the Olympics. I need to run 10.00s before June 30th, 2024.

"My personal best is 10.05s, so that means a new personal best for me to get to the Olympics. Grateful that I have a chance at redemption.”

Earlier this year, Otieno’s doping ban came to an end and he has been taking his time to come back into competitive racing.

He was banned back in 2021 during the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics hours before he stepped on the start line of the men’s 100m semifinal.

At the time, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) reported that he was banned due to the presence of the prohibited substance Methasterone in his system.

After ending his doping ban, the Kenyan has competed in one race, the 5° Meeting Brazzale in Italy, where he finished second in 10.39.

(10/03/2023) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

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

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Kenyan runner Philemon Rono breaks old Košice marathon record

Kenyan Philemon Rono won the 100th edition of the International Peace Marathon in Košice (MMM) in a course record of 2:06:55.

"I'm happy that I managed to create a record. It's a great achievement, I appreciate it a lot," said Rono.

He beat Lawrence Kimaiya's previous record from 2012 by six seconds.

In a dramatic finish, he pushed the Ethiopian Kebede Wami Tulu to second place (+1 s). The Eritrean runner Berhane Berhe Tesfay, who crossed the finish line 12 seconds after the winner, came third.

A three-time MMM champion, Kenyan Reuben Kiprop Kerio was fourth with a time of 2:07:56 h. Had he won, he would have equaled the Hungarian runner József Galambos's score. Galambos won the Košice marathon four times.

Marek Hladík was the best Slovak male runner on Sunday. He is the winner of the 2020 edition. On Sunday, he was classified at the finish line in 9th place with a time of 2:22:14 h.

In the women's category, the Kenyan Jackline Cheron enjoyed the victory, finishing the run in 2:24:43 h. Two Ethiopian runners shared the stage with her - Adawork Aberta Saduro (+1:36 min) and Ayantu Kumela Tadesse (+1:50 min).

Among Slovak women, Veronika Páleníková was the best. She ended in sixth place with a time of 2:45:52 h.

(10/02/2023) ⚡AMP
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kosice Peace Marathon

kosice Peace Marathon

The Kosice Peace Marathon is the oldest European marathon.This year for the organizers of Kosice Peace Marathon is also about memories and flashbacks. One of the fastest marathon courses has been created in Košice 20 years ago on that occasion it was the 1997 IAAF World Half Marathon Champioships. Tegla Loroupe and Shem Kororia were awarded from the hands of...

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Kenyan Kandie wins Giro al Sas in Trento

The former half marathon world record holder, the Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie, triumphed solo in the 76th edition of the ‘Giro al Sas’ which this evening opened the ‘Trento Running Festival’ in anticipation of tomorrow’s ‘Trento Half Marathon’ . The twenty-seven year old Kenyan unraveled the knot during the ninth of ten laps of around a thousand meters arriving in Piazza Duomo, to close the race in 28’48” and leave behind the acclaimed host Yeman Crippa (Fiamme Oro, 28 ’52”).

For the multiple Italian record holder and European champion of the 10,000 metres, this is the first second place in the race hosted by ‘his’ Trento: Kandie’s acceleration was too sudden for the current state of form of Massimo Pegoretti’s pupil, who however succeeded to better manage their energy to prevail over the other Kenyans Chales Rotich (28’59”) and Alex Korio (28’59”).

“My condition is not at its best, after the intense summer season, but at the Giro al Sas I like to grit my teeth and still chase important results – Crippa’s comment -. But it would have been useless to try to accelerate further: with the current state However, given my form, I wouldn’t have been able to resist a further push from Kandie.”The Kenyan, for his part, explained that he understood “on the ninth lap that it was the right moment to try the sprint. I accelerated and saw that my opponents were unable to respond and so I continued to the finish line.

I wanted to do well at the Giro al Sas: the atmosphere here in Trento was special with a lot of fans ready to applaud. I’m really happy to have participated in the event for the first time. Now I’m continuing the finishing: in three weeks in Valencia I’ll try to recover the world record for the half marathon, even though I know it will be tough.”

(10/02/2023) ⚡AMP
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Giro Al Sas 10 km

Giro Al Sas 10 km

Ten spectacular km along the most suggestive streets of historical Trento’s downtown. History Traditionand a prestigious roll of honor. Giro al Sas 10km race that takes place in the most suggestive streets of historical Trento’s downtown, ideated in the far 1907 to give homage to the saint protector of the city, San Vigilio. The competition was suspended during the war...

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Cardiff Half Marathon: Vincent Mutai and Mestawut Fikir win 2023 titles

Vincent Mutai and Mestawut Fikir clinched victory in the 2023 Cardiff Half Marathon.

Kenyan Mutai out-sprinted course record holder and compatriot Shadrack Kimining to win the men's race in one hour and 35 seconds on a humid day.

Ethiopian Fikir had the edge in a close finish in the women's race, with just a second splitting the top three.

Josh Hartley and Martyna Snopek won the wheelchair races as the event celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Meanwhile more than 27,000 club and amateur runners also covered the 13.2 miles (21km) course.

Former winners Kimining and Geoffrey Koech returned to the Welsh capital in a strong field in the men's race that was decided in the final straight.

Both were in the lead group that completed the first 10km in 28:29 before 28-year-old Mutai showed the stronger kick.

He said: "I feel good. This was my first time running this course, it was a bit challenging, but it was really enjoyable and now I am a winner so I am so happy and very surprised."

Former women's race winner Beatrice Cheserek also returned and led early on, but the Kenyan was dropped before a three-way sprint for the line.

Fikir beat fellow Ethiopian Aminet Ahmed and last year's runner-up Viola Chepngeno to add the Cardiff title to the Antrim Coast Half Marathon two months earlier in 1:08:13.

Bridgend's Adam Bowden and Beth Kidger of Brighton Phoenix earned Welsh half-marathon titles.

Bowden beat Meirionydd's Rhodri Owen and Pontypridd Roadent Adam Bull while Kidger - ninth in the overall women's race in her first half-marathon - edged out a strong Welsh contingent including Anna Bracegirdle and Olivia Tsim.

"I was on my own at the start because I was trying to be sensible with the pace as this is my first real half marathon," said Kidger.

"The fact it's mainly flat really helped and I definitely want to do more half marathons in the future."

Hartley was tipped as the athlete to beat in the men's wheelchair race despite the presence of former winners Tiaan Bosch and Richie Powell. And so it proved as the Coventry Godiva Harriers athlete led from start to finish - crossing the line 10 minutes ahead of second-placed Bosch.

Snopek - who won the Great North Run's wheelchair race in 2018 - won the women's wheelchair race.

"I ran my own race the whole way through and stuck to my plan," said Hartley.

"It was my first time racing here, the atmosphere was really good and the conditions were a nice surprise."

The race is a member of the SuperHalfs, a global series of the world's most prestigious half-marathons including races in Lisbon, Prague, Copenhagen and Valencia.

(10/02/2023) ⚡AMP
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Wizz Cardiff Half Marathon

Wizz Cardiff Half Marathon

The Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon has grown into one of the largest road races in the United Kingdom. The first event took place back in 2003. The event is not only the UK’s second largest half marathon, it is Wales’ largest road race and Wales’ largest multi-charity fund raising event. The race is sponsored by Cardiff University and supported by...

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Twin Cities Marathon canceled due to heat two hours before start

Nearly 20,000 runners in Minnesota were left frustrated on Sunday morning after the Twin Cities marathon and 10-miler was canceled two hours before its 7 a.m. start due to heat.

The temperature in Minneapolis was forecasted to reach an unseasonably high 28 C (82 F) by 11 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. The average high for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area around this time of year is around 18 C.

In the days leading up to the race, organizers had cautioned about potentially unsafe weather conditions. However, the race was still planning to proceed with extra safety measures implemented.

The Sunday morning forecast in Saint Paul elevated the races into black-flag status (which stands for “extreme and dangerous conditions”), which prompted the cancellation. As many as 8,000 runners were set to compete in the marathon, with 12,000 in Twin Cities 10-miler, and tens of thousands of spectators on the streets of both cities.

“It saddens Twin Cities In Motion and our partners to be unable to hold the races that runners have been pointing toward for months, but the safety of participants and the community will always be our primary concern,” said race organizers in a press release. “Extreme heat conditions can tax both runners and our emergency medical response systems. We ask the entire running community to come together for the safety of everyone involved.”

The race made the announcement at 5:30 a.m., only an hour and a half before the race’s expected start time. Despite the short notice, many runners who had traveled to Minnesota still went out to run at their own discretion.

Many runners took to social media to scrutinize the race’s decision: “Sad and pathetic, let’s just cancel all races cause they are outside of people’s comfort level,” one runner said. “What a waste of everyone’s time to make a last-minute decision like this,” said another.

The race organizers have not yet confirmed whether they will provide refunds or offer a credit to participants but intend to make an announcement later in the week. 

(10/02/2023) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend offer races, walks and activities for every age and ability level! Learn more about the weekend's events and activities by using the navigation bar at the left or top of your screen. The Twin Cities Marathonis a running event in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. The TCM was first run in 1982, and typically takes...

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Jepchirchir takes third global half marathon title in Riga

Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir underlined her status as one of the all-time greats by claiming a third world half marathon title at the World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 23 on Sunday (1), the 30-year-old utilising her fearsome finishing speed to take gold in 1:07:25.

She was followed home by compatriot Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi in 1:07:26, with Catherine Reline Amanang’ole completing a 1-2-3 for Kenya in 1:07:34.

“I wanted to win three times and make history, and thank God I have made it,” said Jepchirchir. “It was my birthday this week and I told my husband I would work extra hard to get the win.”

Jepchirchir led Kenya to a decisive victory in the team title, their first since 2016, when they also swept the medal positions. Their top three had a cumulative time of 3:22:25, with Ethiopia second with 3:27:55 and Great Britain and Northern Ireland claiming bronze with 3:29:15.

“I am so happy for team Kenya,” said Jepchirchir. “I knew we would sweep this as a team because I trust my colleagues so much.”

On a cool, sunny afternoon in the Latvian capital, Jepchirchir once again played a very patient game, the Olympic marathon champion and women-only half marathon world record holder content to let the pace remain steady through much of the race, knowing she possessed a gear no one else could live with when it counted most.

The early pace was relatively pedestrian, with a group of 22 hitting the 5km mark clustered together, led by Britain’s Samantha Harrison in 16:25. But that pack began to whittle soon after, with a group of eight passing 10km in 32:19.

Jepchirchir, Chelimo Kipkemboi and Reline Amanang’ole took turns at the front soon after, with British duo Harrison and Calli Thackery also putting in a shift in the breezy conditions. But in the third quarter, Harrison and Thackery began to lose contention while the Kenyans started to apply pressure up front, Amanang’ole passing 15km in 48:33 and six athletes left in the battle for the podium positions.

That was soon down to five, with Ethiopia’s Ftaw Zeray dropping away. Jepchirchir ran at the back of the pack as they approached 20km, marking her opponents’ every move. But as they ran through the old town and back towards the finish, alongside the River Daugava, Jepchirchir began to take closer order, with just one Ethiopian, Tsigie Gebreselama, sandwiched among the four Kenyans.

The 20km mark, reached in 1:04:20, was Jepchirchir’s cue to make her first big effort, surging to the front and quickly checking the effect on her rivals, with only her compatriot Irine Jepchumba Kimais dropping away. But with Kipkemboi soon taking up the pace, the Kenyans swiftly had what they wanted – with Gebreselama dropping off the leading trio.

Leading into the wind in the final kilometre, Kipkemboi began to veer around the road, hoping for assistance from those behind, but by then it was every woman for themselves, Jepchirchir smartly sitting in her teammate’s slipstream until she drew inside the final 400 metres, at which point she unleashed that renowned change of pace, surging to gold.“When I saw the tape, I started celebrating,” said Jepchirchir, who admitted she couldn’t sleep the night before as she was worried about the race. But with another global title in the bag, she has big plans for the year ahead.

“Next month I’m going to run the New York City Marathon,” said Jepchirchir, who will then train her sights on retaining her Olympic marathon title. “That’s my prayer; I pray to God for good health to get that chance. I will try my best.”

Silver medallist Chelimo Kipkemboi said: “It was great to run with Peres today. I am always proud to run for Kenya. I was fourth at the World Championships on the track so to get a medal today is very special. It’s very nice to see that I’m progressing and next, I will race the Valencia Half Marathon.”

Amanang’ole was content with her bronze, saying: “It was a very tough race but I’m super excited because it is my first time running this event.”

 

(10/01/2023) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Road Running Championships

World Athletics Road Running Championships

The inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships, which will take place on September 30 and October 1, 2023, in Riga, will be the most significant public sporting and athletics event in the history of the Baltic countries. A flat, single-lap half-marathon course in the Baltics' largest city. All courses are traffic-free. This unique global running festival, which will crown the...

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Japanese High School Race Canceled After 22 Runners Stung by Killer Hornets

Three boys were taken to the hospital, but, luckily, no one sustained serious injuries.

Running in the great outdoors occasionally means coming into contact with wildlife—some harmless, some concerning. A race last weekend in Kokonoe, a small town in Japan’s Kusu district, was canceled after killer hornets crashed an ekiden, a marathon-length relay race around the Kokonoe countryside. 

Eighteen boys’ teams from schools in the Kyushu and Tokushima Prefectures were invited to compete in the ekiden. But while practicing on the course the day before the race, 22 competitors were stung by killer hornets, according to Japan Running News. The boys sustained no serious injuries, but at least three athletes from the Miyazaki and Kagoshima teams were taken to the hospital for treatment.

It’s unclear whether the killer hornets in question were northern giant hornets, aka “murder hornets,” or something else. On Saturday, the day before the race, town officials investigated the hornets’ nest, which they’d built in the cracks of a tree trunk. Its location made it difficult to remove, so they ultimately decided to cancel the event at 8 p.m. the night before. Previously, the ekiden has only been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a typhoon.

“We had the scouted the course in advance but didn’t notice the hornet nest,” said a spokesperson from the Board of Education. “We would like to apologize to all the high schoolers who had been looking forward to running our race.”

Japan Running News reports that this isn’t the first time killer hornets have led to canceled foot races in Japan. 

(10/01/2023) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Prince William goes unnoticed on early morning Central Park run

It’s hard to imagine Prince William and an entourage of bodyguards jogging through Central Park without being swarmed by fans, but that’s apparently exactly what happened on Tuesday morning.

While onstage later in the day at the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit, the Prince of Wales shared that he’d very much enjoyed his morning jaunt. “I decided to join the hordes of New Yorkers doing their morning routine,” he said. “It was wonderful waking up in New York on a sunny morning rather than the rain we had yesterday. It was beautiful getting some fresh air this morning.”

The Prince clearly inherited his love of running from his family. His mother, Princess Diana, was a known fitness enthusiast and participated in races at her children’s schools, as did his father, King Charles. Queen Elizabeth was even the official starter of the 2018 London Marathon, at the age of 92.

New York is a popular place for celebrities to run, and a morning’s trek through Central Park will probably offer a glimpse or two of some well-known people. The TCS New York City Marathon, held this year on November 5, often has a star-studded line-up, with past editions including musician Alicia Keys, actors Ashton Kutcher and Bryan Cranston and Canadian fave Ryan Reynolds.

The Prince of Wales has yet to tackle the marathon, despite mentioning in 2021 that he would like to have that accomplishment under his belt. His wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, said she had her doubts. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” she said on Good Morning Britain.

If and when the Prince does tackle 26.2, it’s unlikely he’ll manage to run it as stealthily as he did Tuesday morning’s training session.

 

(10/01/2023) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Jakob Ingebrigtsen runs five-minute beer mile at bachelor party

Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen has had a season to remember on the track. The 23-year-old has set world records over 2,000m and two miles, but one record he recently attempted and missed was the beer mile world record.

In his hometown of Sandes, Norway, Ingebrigtsen chose to partake in a beer mile as part of his bachelor party. The world record holder over two miles posted a respectable beer mile time of five minutes and 22 seconds, but it was well short of the 4:28 world record held by Canada’s Corey Bellemore.

Although Ingebrigtsen ran the beer mile coming off potential jet lag and two Diamond League titles on the weekend in Eugene, Ore., which included the third-fastest mile time in history—3:43.73, he was short in breaking the five-minute barrier.

Bellemore called out Ingebrigtsen on his Instagram story, challenging him to a head-to-head matchup in the discipline. “I am always game,” posted Bellemore.

According to his brother, Kristoffer’s Strava page, Jakob chose to run the beer mile with his friends and brothers as part of his bachelor party. Ingebrigtsen is planning to marry his longtime partner Elisabeth Asserson later this year in Norway.

The rules of the beer mile are that runners have to complete four laps around a 400m track while consuming a beer before each lap. The beers must have a minimum volume of 340 mL and an alcohol by volume (ABV) content of five per cent or higher. We cannot confirm if Ingebrigtsen abided by the recognized rules of beermile.com and may need to see the footage to ratify his result.

Ingebrigtsen had a nearly perfect 2023 season, setting multiple world and European records in middle distances. He also defended his 5,000m world title at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest but lost his coveted jewel, the men’s 1,500m, for the second consecutive year, placing second to Great Britain’s Josh Kerr.

(10/01/2023) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Don't talk down your 5K: celebrating your running achievements

It’s easy to get caught up in the prestige of completing a marathon. Runners often hold the 42 km distance up as the ultimate running accomplishment, but while crossing the marathon finish line is significant in many runners’ lives, we shouldn’t overlook the shorter distances. The idea that someone’s effort, dedication and accomplishment should be measured solely by the distance they cover is a limiting perspective. Here at Canadian Running, we believe 5Ks deserve just as many accolades as any other distance, and here’s why.

Appreciating individual experience levels

For someone who has recently started running, completing a 5K can be a monumental milestone. It may represent overcoming personal challenges or pushing through physical limitations. On the flip side, a 5K may not be as daunting for a seasoned runner, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. Each person’s running journey is unique, and it’s important to honour the progress made, regardless of the distance covered.

Understanding personal circumstances

Life circumstances, injuries and health conditions can impact a person’s running achievements. What may seem like a small step for one runner could represent an enormous triumph for another. Someone recovering from an injury or managing a chronic illness might find completing a 5K an extraordinary achievement. It’s important not to underestimate the mental and physical determination required to conquer personal hurdles, regardless of the distance.

The power of speed and improvement

Running is not solely about distance. Some runners may have a natural inclination for shorter distances and achieve impressive times in a 5K. Training to run a fast 5K is hard work, and we should celebrate that dedication to training just as much as the endurance exhibited by marathon runners. 

Embracing diversity in running

The running community is made up of individuals from various backgrounds, body types, and capabilities. The idea that a marathon is the ultimate goal can be discouraging for those who may not have the desire, physical ability or time to train for it. By recognizing the accomplishments of all runners, regardless of the distance they cover, we foster an inclusive and supportive environment that encourages everyone to pursue their personal goals.

Whether it’s a 5K or a marathon, every step taken is a testament to a runner’s perseverance and commitment. So let’s not talk down the significance of a 5K, but rather celebrate it as an impressive accomplishment in its own right. Remember, in the world of running, it’s the stride that matters, not just the distance. Keep pushing, keep improving and celebrate every milestone!

(10/01/2023) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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St. Paul firefighters tackling the Twin Cities Marathon in full gear for a cause

Among the sea of runners in shorts and tank tops in the Twin Cities Marathon, two will stand out for what they’re wearing: They’ll be in their St. Paul firefighter turnout gear and helmets.

Their heavy gear won’t be ideal for the expected temperatures, but that’s not why they’d rather not be there. It’s because of what their presence represents: Capt. Kyle Bode and firefighter Bryan Buxton are taking part in the marathon for their fallen co-workers, who they wish were alive and not having people run in their memories.

They’re trying to bring attention to the job-related risks to firefighters: cancer, cardiac problems and suicide linked to trauma that builds up from what firefighters witness in their work. Five active-duty St. Paul firefighters have died of such causes in the last eight years.

After St. Paul Fire Capt. Chris Parsons passed away of a heart attack at age 48 in June, Bode said he was sick of seeing his friends from the fire department die.

“I don’t like sitting around and I’m frustrated and I want to do something,” Bode said recently. He said the community might notice when individual firefighters die unexpectedly, “but I don’t know if anyone realizes the big picture of how many people we’ve lost.”

Bode and Buxton enjoying taking on challenges — like the impromptu time they decided to see who could do the most burpees (Buxton reached 750 over three hours). And the men knew they needed to do something on a large scale. Running a 5K in their full gear wouldn’t cut it.

They thought participating in the marathon in their gear would be a way to raise awareness and donations to a nonprofit foundation for firefighter wellness.

More than 20,000 people are registered for the Twin Cities Marathon and 10-mile race on Sunday. With projected highs in the 80s this weekend, and the National Weather Service saying it will feel more like summer than fall, organizers are warning racers to prepare for high temperatures and high humidity. St. Paul firefighters and paramedics will be along the route in the Capital City to ensure racers are safe and healthy, said Deputy Fire Chief Roy Mokosso.

Getting support from fellow firefighters

Some of the stigma around mental health has meant firefighters not talking about the horrors they respond to on emergency calls, and Bode and Buxton are trying to break that down just by asking for help with the marathon.

“In the past, it’s been very difficult for firefighters to ask for help because we’re the ones that help people,” Buxton said. “We’re making that change and we’ve reached out to people at the fire department and said, ‘We need help. We’re not sure if we’re going to be able to complete this task.'”

Off-duty firefighters will be along the marathon route to provide nutrition and hydration to Buxton and Bode, as well as moral support.

Buxton has run the distance of a marathon (26.2 miles), but not an official marathon; he’s done triathlons, mud races with obstacle courses, and rucking events (long walks while carrying a weighted rucksack).

Bode has run seven marathons, mostly the Twin Cities Marathon, and competed in Iron Man triathlons.

“I’m pretty slow,” Bode said. “I wouldn’t qualify for Boston (the marathon) or anything. I just like to push myself.”

They’ll stick together through the race course

Bode has been a St. Paul firefighter for nearly 18 years and the department’s health and wellness coordinator for about a year. He works with all firefighters and with cadets as they go through the department’s fire academy.

“My focus has been on trying to prevent some difficulties that firefighters face later on, whether it be mental health or making sure they keep their health a priority,” he said.

The St. Paul Fire Department has a peer support group, a peer fitness team and a cancer task force that works to reduce how much exposure firefighters have to dangerous chemicals from fires.

Buxton is a St. Paul firefighter of 10 years who’s currently a training assistant. He’s helping to run the fire academy that started Monday.

Buxton and Bode initially thought they’d walk Sunday’s marathon, but then they realized the time limit is six hours. They’re planning a combination of jogging and fast walking, and their goal is to complete it in time.

They’re going to start at the back of the pack and stay together the whole time. They plan to wear about 40 pounds of turnout gear — that’s the protective jacket, air tanks (but not the breathing masks they’d usually wear with them) and helmet that firefighters don to battle fires. They’ll likely start and end the race in pants that are part of the gear, but otherwise wear shorts.

Both men are also paramedics for the fire department, and said they’ll be watching over each other. They’ll be making sure they get plenty of electrolytes and hydration. If they feel overheated, Bode said they’ll take off their jackets until they cool down.

“We have a rule in the fire service: Two in, two out. You go in the fire together, you leave the fire together,” Buxton said. “We don’t want anybody to be alone and we’re taking that same tactic in this race. We’re going in together, we’re coming out together.”

Mokosso, the deputy fire chief, will be running Sunday’s 10-mile race for Capt. Parsons. Mokosso wasn’t planning to run this year, but after he saw that Parsons had signed up before he died, he asked Parsons’ family if he could take his spot and run in his honor.

“Chris has been at the top of my mind every run,” Mokosso said of his preparation for the race. “We were both the same age, we had a lot of things in common, and he and I had run a couple of marathons together.”

Annika Parsons, Chris’ younger daughter, said every way that people honor her father is meaningful to her and her family.

Chris Parsons was known for his statewide advocacy for firefighter health and safety, and he was physically fit, “so when it happened to him, it showed how it can happen to anyone,” Annika Parsons said. “Getting the word out really can help firefighters in the future, too.”

When Bode and Buxton need motivation, they expect they’ll be remembering their co-workers and families they left behind: Capts. Chris Parsons and Mike Paidar, and firefighters Tommy McDonough, Jason Woodbury and Shane Clifton.

(09/30/2023) ⚡AMP
by Mara H. Gottfried
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Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend offer races, walks and activities for every age and ability level! Learn more about the weekend's events and activities by using the navigation bar at the left or top of your screen. The Twin Cities Marathonis a running event in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. The TCM was first run in 1982, and typically takes...

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Tigst Assefa on how career threatening injury spurred her to breaking world marathon record

Ethiopian marathoner Tigst Assefa defied a career-threatening injury to smash the world record and has revealed the relentless journey from setback to historic triumph.

Ethiopian marathoner Tigst Assefa left the world in awe with her remarkable feat, smashing the women's world record in Berlin last Sunday by clocking an astonishing two hours, 11 minutes, and 53 seconds.

However, her journey to this historic achievement was not without its hurdles. In a shocking revelation, Assefa disclosed that just four years ago, she was told her athletics career was effectively over following a severe Achilles tendon injury during the 2019 Valencia half-marathon.

At the time, medical experts in both Spain and Italy, where she received subsequent treatment, painted a grim picture. They concluded that her chances of returning to the sport were minimal. 

Yet, defying the prognosis, Assefa, fueled by determination, familial support, and the unwavering belief of her coach, embarked on a relentless journey to prove the naysayers wrong.

"I did not give up. I told myself I will get back and make history," Assefa declared in an exclusive interview with BBC Afaan Oromoo. 

Reflecting on the injury that almost derailed her career, she added, "I will never forget my injury. But at the same time, it helped me to work hard. I could not have seen this day if it were not for the injury."

Assefa's unyielding spirit and competitive drive were pivotal in her triumphant return to the pinnacle of marathon running. 

"I am fiercely competitive. I don’t like to lose," she asserted, revealing that her newfound goal is to complete a marathon in under two hours and 10 minutes. 

"It could be broken [again] with better training. This is because [in Berlin] I was not tired. I had energy," Assefa stated.

Behind this extraordinary athlete stands the guiding force of coach Gemedu Dedefo, who believes that with the right support, women in athletics can achieve even greater feats.

(09/30/2023) ⚡AMP
by Festus Chuma
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Three exercises to never sprain your ankle again

For most runners, especially those tackling trails, ankle sprains are a frequent problem that can impact their training and performance. It’s a common temptation to downplay the discomfort of an ankle sprain and underestimate its possible repercussions, but sometimes disregard can only aggravate the issue. Ankle sprains often result from weak muscles and insufficient attention to the foot, which, in turn, can place increased stress on the ankle joints. So, how can you avoid them for good?

David London, a physiotherapist with The Runner’s Academy in Toronto, shares three exercises with a resistance band and a dumbbell for strengthening the muscles and tendons around the ankle, to help make sure you never sprain your ankle again. “Preventing ankle sprains through targeted exercises is paramount for runners,” says London. “Ankle instability issues can lead to a host of injuries, including shin splits, knee pain and hip issues.”

The purpose of these three exercises is to build eccentric strength around your ankles, making them resilient, to prevent further sprains.

Banded ankle extensions: Using dumbbell and band. Make sure you have enough resistance and place the band on either side of your ankle bone, making sure the force is pulling back and downwards. Now lean forward and put your weight through the ankle and the foot. And you should feel a little bit of that resistance creating some space in the joint, and stretching through the back of your ankle.

One-legged pendulum balance: Pick up one dumbbell and create a tripod with your foot. Put the balance in your big toe, your pinky toe and your heel, making sure your balance is strong and set before you lift your other foot off the ground. Once you find your balance pass the weight side to side like a pendulum without letting the ankle roll.

Eccentric calf raises: Put your heels over the edge of a step with your toes on the ball of your feet. Elevate your heels as high as you can by standing on the balls of your feet. Come up straight and come down slow without letting that foot wobble to strengthen those muscles around the ankle. Repeat five to ten times.

David London points out that strengthening improves mobility around the joint and also reduces the risk of experiencing this recurring injury during high-impact activities. “Incorporating these exercises into a runner’s training regimen can significantly enhance performance and allow them to continue training without setbacks,” says London.

(09/30/2023) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Naked trail race in England brings out running buffs

Scores of runners in England joined in a bold display of raw talent this month, baring all for a 5K trail run in which participants stripped down to their socks.

The Naked 5K took place Sept. 10 near Orpington, a community just southeast of London. The town is home to the Naturist Foundation, an organization dedicated to the “pursuit of personal well-being and wellness through naturist recreational activities,” according to its mission statement. The group’s 53-acre Brocken Hurst property is host to a range of Naturist Foundation events, from concerts and holiday celebrations to this month’s 5K trail run, which was the 20th such race the group has organized.

The organization’s milestone event appears to have attracted not just a large crowd, but a fairly speedy one. Leading the pack of 130 runners was Mark Jessett of Llandudno Junction, Wales, who won the race in 18:50. (As the race format would leave runners few options for pinning on a race bib, runners are given lightweight anklets to make chip timing possible.)

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Nature Foundation featured a shot of Jessett wearing nothing but his winner’s medal. “Congratulations to the winner of yesterday’s #BH5K trail run, with a time of 18m50s,” reads the post. “An impressive feat given the heat, with a high of 30ºC! We had extra water stations and misting sprays, but not surprisingly some DNFs too.”

No matter how liberally Jessett might have applied sunscreen for the race, the blistering rays clearly left an impression on the Welshman. “Scorching conditions!” he wrote in his Strava recap of the Naked 5K, in which he described the race as “basically a trail course through trees with a short section of road.”

In a reply to the Naturist Foundation’s post on X, he wrote: “Thanks everyone and well done to everyone else also! Fantastic day out in lovely (but scorching) conditions surrounded by so many friendly people!”

Others who responded to the post offered Jessett kudos for a strong run given the heat and, at times, challenging terrain, while some were curious about what motivates runners to sign up for the Naked 5K, and what kind of crowds the races attract.

One commenter replied that “some are running club members a bit bored of the regular parkrun and fancy a change. Many are regulars that we only see twice a year. Some are doing it for bucket list or charity reasons. Some do get the naturist bug as a result.”

The Naturist Foundation hosts its next Naked 5K in May.

(09/30/2023) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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How robotics tech can help elite athletes get faster

Runners wearing an exoskeleton suit were able to sprint nearly one second faster over 200 metres, a recent small study found. Researcher Giuk Lee out of Seoul, South Korea, has been working with a team to create an “exosuit” that helps people sprint faster, the New Scientist reported on its website. The suit may have the potential to help elite athletes significantly improve their running performance.

Lee explains that the exosuit weighs 4.4 kg and has electrical motors on its back that control two steel cables attached to the wearer’s hips and thighs, The length of the cable running between each hip and thigh shortens as the wearer extends their legs backward, assisting them and speeding up the motion.

The team asked nine non-elite runners to sprint 200 metres to test the exosuit’s performance, twice while wearing the suit and twice without it. The participants ran 0.97 seconds faster, on average, when wearing the suit. The team has recently developed an exosuit that weighs only 2.5 kilograms and are currently investigating whether this may be a potential tool for elite athletes to use in training.

“One of the elite runners has been training with the lighter exosuit and it has helped them run faster even without wearing it,” Lee said to New Science. “This may be because it helps them to feel and remember how to engage the right muscles to run faster.”

The team is working on a customized exosuit for Kyung-soo Oh, a former national elite runner in South Korea. They’re hoping Oh will be able to beat the world record for running 100 metres while wearing the suit. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt holds the men’s record is 9.58 seconds, set in 2009.

This is certainly not the first time robotic science and running have crossed paths. In 2022, a U.S. start-up called Shift Robotics launched a Kickstarter campaign for what they claim is the world’s fastest shoe. The “Moonwalker” apparently lets you walk at the speed of a run while maneuvering stairs, through crowds, hills and even getting on public transit. The Moonwalker is available for the public to order now for USD $999.

(09/30/2023) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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3 Athletes on Why They’re Running the Marine Corps Marathon

One of the largest marathons in the world to draw in 30,000 runners from all 50 states

The 48th Marine Corps Marathon (MCM)—“The People’s Marathon”—is the fourth-largest marathon in the U.S. and largest urban ultramarathon (they offer a 50K and 10K, too).

Each year, the U.S. Marine Corps holds the MCM a few weeks before the anniversary of its establishment. On October 29, 30,000 runners will toe the line in Arlington, Virginia, to follow the course as it winds through the nation’s capital. We caught up with three runners aiming for the finish line this year.

Rosie Gagnon, who lives in Berryville, Virginia, will be running the 50K MCM race in honor of her son, Marine Corps veteran, James Morris, who passed away by suicide in Ferurary 2018.

Even struggling through his mental health battles, Morris had endless confidence in his mother. Though Gagnon had been a runner for over two decades, Morris had  encouraged her to run her first marathon. And when she completed that, he challenged her to dream even bigger–a 100 miler.

Morris passed away while Gagnon was training for this ultra, but she was determined to keep running in his memory.

“I actually bonked really hard,” Gagnon says, laughing. “I quit 60 miles in. I reached a point where I hit a wall–throwing up and crawling on the ground–and felt it was symbolic of what my son had gone through, because he got to the point where he couldn’t see how he could go on.”

The pain of this first race was disappointing but also a blessing. Morris says the experience taught her that, no matter how dark life gets, you keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Shortly after, Gagnon joined Wear Blue: Run to Remember, a group that honors the service of American military members through running. You may have seen one of them at races across the country wearing their bright blue shirts and the name of a fallen veteran. Gagnon challenged herself to run 100 ultramarathons in memory of Morris, and to raise awareness about military and veteran suicide. This will be her first time running the Marine Corps Marathon, and it will be her 60th ultra.

Running has become not only an outlet for spreading awareness about the importance of military mental health awareness and resources, but it’s been an outlet for grief.

“I used to wake up everyday wondering, ‘How can I live with this pain for another 40 years?’ and the one outlet where I found comfort was through running,” Gagnon says. “I focused on one race at a time, trying to get to that 100. I thought it would take longer, but it’s been moving pretty fast. I’m more than halfway through now!”

“If all I can do is put on shoes and run for somebody,” she says. “I’m going to do that.”

Between working a full-time job, managing clients in her running coach business, and raising three kids under the age of six, Kelly Vigil squeezes in training for the MCM when she can. Originally from northern Virginia, Vigil now lives in Charleston, South Carolina, and has run the MCM four times. This year, she’s running the 50K option.

“It’s my all-time favorite race,” she says. “When you get there, everything is taken care of,and everyone is super excited to be there. The spectators are amazing, which is hard to get in a marathon unless you’re running one of the major ones. At mile 21, you still have people cheering you on.”

Her husband was in the Marine Corps for six years, which makes her particularly connected to the race. Another reason is because Vigil used to work full-time in the charity running field, working with organizations to create their race programs.

“Athletes who are running for a cause aren’t necessarily going to feel more pressure, but there’s more meaning as to why they’re doing it,” Vigil says. “It helps them push forward when their body or mind isn’t in it anymore.”

As a mom of young kids, training isn’t always easy, but Vigil gets it done. Her long runs are timed so that she has an allotted amount of time to be away training on Saturday. Whatever mileage she gets done is what it is, and Vigil is happy with that.

“I’m not very strict with my training plan,” she says. “A lot of my running includes a stroller (with my two-year-old) or I might split up my runs in the morning and evening. I’m just doing what I can.”

Also a certified running coach, Vigil is currently working with other athletes  who are running the MCM.

“Coaching keeps me in the community even when I’m not training for something,,” she says. “We’re all going after these different goals and doing what we can to stay consistent and do the work.”

For some, a commute to work includes traffic, to-go coffee, and a few swear words as someone cuts you off on the highway. But Jessica Hood’s commute to the office involves lots of marathon training.

Hood is extremely busy, so she puts in her miles by running to work. The total distance from her house to her office is about 14 miles, but depending on her training schedule, she’ll run seven or so and then hop on the metro bus for the rest of the way. Her office has a gym and showers, so she’s not taking a seat at her desk in sweaty running clothes.

“I do what I have to do and it probably takes a shorter amount of time,” Hood laughs. “You know, because you’d be sitting in DC traffic.”

Hood moved to the DC area about two years ago and works in finance, but her main passion is running. She began posting running content on social media in 2022 and developed a hearty following of 37k on Instagram and 81.5k on TikTok.

“It’s super cool how runners can get connected through social media,” she says. “I have a lot of running friends who don’t live in DC, but we all meet up at certain events and races across the country.”

Because of her influencer status, Hood is part of the MCM Social Media Influencer program, where she’s an advocate for the race. Though it’s sold out now, she spent months encouraging people to sign up through her posts online. This year will be her first time running the MCM marathon, though she’s spectated before and the energy was like nothing else.

“I thrive off of race day energy,” she says. “I love running and take it seriously, but it’s also about the fun of it and doing it with other people. So having a lot of people in my DC community running with me makes me so happy.”

Due to the race’s overwhelming popularity, early bird registrations for next year’s event opens January 1, 2024, with military members being able to register December 31. The Marine Corps Historic Half takes place May 19, 2024, and is part of the MCM series.

(09/30/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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The 2024 Boston Marathon Acceptance Letters have Arrived. Here’s What the Data Tells Us.

A record-breaking number of qualified applicants registered for 128th running of the world’s oldest annual marathon

The 128th Boston Marathon presented by Bank of America just began informing qualified applicants of their status this morning, and the numbers are as fascinating as they are fast.

After 33,058 qualifier applications came flooding in during registration week earlier this month to run next year’s race—taking place on April 15, 2024—22,019 applicants were accepted (pending final verification).

“This year’s registration week resulted in the highest number of qualified applicants in race history, a testament to the strength of the marathon community,” said David Tyrie, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for Bank of America.

To gain entry into the Boston Marathon requires each runner to have an official qualifying race prior to applying, with finishing times established by both gender and age. However, with such high demand for the race by qualified runners, the unofficial “cut-off” times for being accepted into the race are often minutes faster than the official qualifying standards.

For the 2024 Boston Marathon race, this year’s “cut-off” time needed to gain acceptance was 5 minutes, 29 seconds or faster than the official qualifying time. For example, say you are a 40-year-old male applicant. The official B.A.A. qualifying standard for this age/gender is 3 hours, 10 minutes. But in order to be accepted into next year’s race, any qualifying times slower than 3 hours, 4 minutes, 31 seconds would not be accepted.

This stout benchmark translated this year to more than 11,000 applicants not being accepted into next year’s Boston Marathon.

Looking into the 22,000-plus runners who were just notified of their acceptance—with ages ranging from 18 to 82—here’s how the numbers break down: 12,535 men, 9,440 women, and 44 non-binary athletes from all 50 states. In addition, automatic entry is offered to those who’ve finished 10 or more previous Boston Marathons, and 660 of these applicants were granted entry.

What’s also interesting is that over one-third of the entire field at next year’s Boston Marathon will be newbies—11,391 of the accepted applicants will be running Boston for the first time.

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) was established 1887, and has become a non-profit organization that manages the Boston Marathon and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round programming. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, along with international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City.

Athletes interested in running next year’s race as part of a fundraising effort, affiliated with select charity programs, are invited to contact the nonprofit or organization to see what opportunities there are. Read more about the race’s charity program.

The 2025 qualifying window has already begun on September 1, 2023, and further registration information will be announced following the conclusion of the 128th race. Stay tuned—and keep training.

(09/30/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Agai, Kerio seek to defend Kosice Marathon titles on Sunday

Margaret Agai and Reuben Kiprop Kerio will be seeking to defend their titles at the Kosice Peace Marathon on Sunday in Slovakia.

Agai won the title in a new course record of 2:24.04, smashing the previous mark of f 2:24:35 held by Ethiopian Ayuntu Tadesse.

Agai, who has a personal best time of 2:23:28 set while winning the 2013 Daegu Marathon, starts as favourite in the race. 

The 2022 Kigali Peace Marathon champion is familiar with the course and will be up against the Ethiopian trio of Adawork Aberta (2:23:39), Ayantu Kumela (2:24:29) and Maeregu Hayelon(2:24:42)among others.

In the men's race, Kerio who will be chasing his fourth title, will be up against three-time Toronto Marathon champion Philemon Rono (2:05:00), Kebede Tulu (2:05:19), and Aychew Bantie (2:06:23).

Kerio, who won the title in 2:07:16 ahead of Ethiopians Bantie Dessie Aychew (2:07:19) and Mehasha Tadesse Yohans (2:07:19), will have a big task shaking off experienced Rono who has dominated many marathons across the world.

Coming into the race with a personal best of 2:07:00 set at the 2019 Eindhoven Marathon when he finished second, Kerio has won the race three times thus 2017, 2021, and 2022.

Kerio has also won in other marathons including victories at Rock and Roll in 2019 and Brescia in 2016. He finished second at the Eindhoven and 2020 Xiamen Marathon. He was fourth and fifth at the 2018 Kosice and Izmir marathons respectively.

Rono, popularly called the Baby Police due to his height and body size, will be the man to watch after winning the Toronto Marathon titles in 2016, 2017, and 2019.

Elsewhere, Kenyans will be chasing the Trento Half Marathon titles in Italy. Alex Korio with a personal best of 58:51 will be the best Kenyan on the course behind Ethiopian Muktar Idris with a PB of 58:40.

The duo will be up against the Kenyan pair of Dickson Nyakundi (60:39) and Bernard Wambua who has 60:51.

In the women's race, Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa Debele with 66:14 leads Kenyans Joyciline Cherotich, and Christine Mutua with Ethiopian Etenesh Diro making his debut in the race.

(09/29/2023) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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kosice Peace Marathon

kosice Peace Marathon

The Kosice Peace Marathon is the oldest European marathon.This year for the organizers of Kosice Peace Marathon is also about memories and flashbacks. One of the fastest marathon courses has been created in Košice 20 years ago on that occasion it was the 1997 IAAF World Half Marathon Champioships. Tegla Loroupe and Shem Kororia were awarded from the hands of...

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A battle of former winners expected at Sunday's Cardiff Half Marathon

The 20th edition Cardiff Half Marathon takes place on Sunday with strong fields assembled for the men's and women's races.

A battle of titans is expected at the 20th edition of the Cardiff Half Marathon scheduled for Sunday, October 1.

Shadrack Kimining leads the men’s field with a Personal Best time of 59:27 and will be returning to Cardiff looking to chase the course record. He has sweet memories of the event since it’s where he made his international debut with victory back in 2016.

His last trip to Cardiff came in 2019 where he lost out to Leonard Langat in the closing metres to finish second in 59:32.

Last year’s winner Geoffrey Koech (59:32) will also be returning, looking to better his winning time of 60:01. Koech has since won the prestigious Boston Half Marathon and more recently finished third at the Prague Half Marathon in April.

Benard Biwott (59:44) who won the Santa Pola Half Marathon and Wesley Kimutai (59:47) who finished second at the prestigious Rome Ostia Half Marathon in March will also be competing.

Challenging the Kenyan charge will be Hicham Amghar (59:53) of Morocco who will be looking to dip under the magical 60-minute barrier for a third time this year having finished fifth at Ras Al Khaimah in February with 59:53 and again in Istanbul finishing second in 59:58.

David Kimaiyo is an exciting debutant owing to his 10km best of 27:26 set at Castellon in February.

Bereket Zeleke (62:27) was fifth at the World U20 Cross Country Championships running for his native Ethiopia and made his debut for the distance in Antrim finishing 10th.

Further International interest sits with Morocco’s Omar El Harrass (61:55), Japan’s Takuya Kitasaki 61:51), and debutant Ben Eidenschink from the USA who was sixth at the US Cross Country Championships in 2022 and has a 10,000m best of 27:51.

Mestawut Fikir (66:44) of Ethiopia heads the start lists for the women’s race following her runaway victory at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon last month.

Her compatriot, Betelihem Afenigus (66:44) sits just two seconds slower on paper and won the popular Venlo Half Marathon earlier this year.

Challenging the Ethiopians will be defending champion Beatrice Cheserek (66:48) who will be familiar with the course and as a fierce competitor will be looking to retain her title on Sunday. So far this year Cheserek has won three half marathons, in Santa Pola, Riyadh and Tallinn.

Viola Chepngeno (66:48) was the runner-up last time and is another athlete who has been extremely busy over the last 12 months, along with Koech, also winning in Boston and lowering her P.B. for 10km to 31:05 in France this April.

Dorcas Kimeli (67:10) became the third fastest in history over 10km with 29:57 at the Birrell Grand Prix in Prague in 2019 and has previously raced in Cardiff back in 2017.

Costa Rican Record Holder for the Half Marathon and for the Marathon, Diana Bogantes-Gonzalez (73:08) will be in action in Cardiff, along with Marcela Joglova (73:46) of the Czech Republic.

Jenny Nesbitt (72:54) will head the Welsh contingent joined by Caryl Edwards (71:18), Anna Bracegirdle (73:21), Olivia Tsim (73:38), and Beth Kidger (76:27).

Further British Athletes of note include Olympian Sonia Samuels (72:19), Cambridge Half Marathon Champion Verity Hopkins (73:35), and Kirsteen Welch (74:42) of Exeter Harriers.

Josh Hartley (49:06) is the outstanding entry in the Men’s Wheelchair race, joined by 2018 Champion Tiaan Bosch (51:14) and multiple Cardiff winner Richie Powell. Martyna Snopek (63:02) is a previous winner of the Great North Run and will be racing in Cardiff on Sunday.

(09/29/2023) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Wizz Cardiff Half Marathon

Wizz Cardiff Half Marathon

The Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon has grown into one of the largest road races in the United Kingdom. The first event took place back in 2003. The event is not only the UK’s second largest half marathon, it is Wales’ largest road race and Wales’ largest multi-charity fund raising event. The race is sponsored by Cardiff University and supported by...

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Kiptum eyes world record at next week's Chicago Marathon

London Marathon champion Kelvin Kiptum has his eyes set on breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s world marathon record when he steps up to compete at the 2023 Chicago Marathon on October 8.

Kiptum won the London Marathon on April 23 in a time of 2:01:25, in what was his second-ever marathon race—nearly obliterating the world record of 2:01:09 set by Kipchoge at the Berlin marathon in 2022.

He ran the fastest-ever marathon debut at the 2022 Valencia Marathon, becoming the third man in history to break two hours and two minutes after he wrapped up the race in 2:01:53.

Only three men in history have run under 2:02, and Kiptum is the only marathoner to do it under the age of 35.

The 23-year-old announced his attendance in the Chicago Marathon on his Facebook page with an exciting message informing his fans to prepare for an incredible showdown.

“I’m heading for the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Get ready for the show,” the post from Kiptum read.

The elite athlete reportedly opted out of the Budapest 2023 World Athletics Championships and the Berlin Marathon to focus on Chicago.

A lot of fans had expected to witness the duel between Kiptum and Kipchoge at the Berlin Marathon track to gauge his speed against the two-time Olympic champion.

He will be joined by 2022 Chicago Marathon winner Benson Kipruto who set a personal best time of 2:04:24 when he won the race.

Kipruto also finished third in the 2022 and 2023 Boston Marathon with times of 2:07:27 and 2:06:06. He will be eying to defend his title against a youthful and promising Kiptum.

The two will be joined by fellow Kenyans John Korir who has a marathon best of 2:05:01 and debutants Daniel Mateiko and Wesley Kiptoo.

The Kenyan contingent will face a hard time from Somali-based Belgian Bashir Abdi who won gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

USA’s Galen Rupp, silver medalist in the men’s 10,000m at the London Olympics and bronze medalist in the men’s marathon in the 2016 Rio  Olympics, will represent the hosts in the race.

They will also face stiff competition from Seifu Tura who won the 2021 Chicago Marathon and placed second at the 2022 edition.

Defending champion Ruth Chepngetich will lead the women’s pack seeking to break Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa’s record of 2:11:53 set just recently at the Berlin marathon.

Chepng’etich, who won the Chicago Marathon in October last year, was only 14 seconds away from breaking the previous world record by Brigid Kosgei of 2:14:04.

She will be joined by Joyciline Jepkosgei, who finished second in the 2022 edition of the London Marathon, and Stacy Ndiwa who has a  PB of 2:31:53.

Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba will be a tough opponent for the Kenyan ladies. Dibaba is the current world record holder in indoor mile, 3,000m and 5,000m. She is also a gold medalist in the 1,500m at the 2015 World Championships.

USA’s Emily Sisson, who currently holds the American record in the marathon, will be seeking to upset the African girls. Sisson set the record on October 9 during the Chicago Marathon when she finished second in a time of 2:18:29.

The event has attracted  47,000 participants, the biggest field ever with the 2019 edition having featured 45,932 participants.

(09/29/2023) ⚡AMP
by Teddy Mulei
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Bank of America Chicago

Bank of America Chicago

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...

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Add plyometrics to your warmup for increased power and strength

Plyometrics, a.k.a jump training, involves quick, explosive jumping movements that help build muscle strength. With the aim of having minimal contact time with the ground, plyometrics help runners train their fast-twitch muscles to respond more quickly.

Adding plyometric movements to the end of your warmup (after you have run easy for 10 minutes) is a great way to prepare your body for the most efficient and effective training session possible.

A-skips and B-skips

Skipping drills activate the calf muscles, quads and core, improving co-ordination and balance while warming up the muscles.

A-skips:

Begin standing tall with your arms at your side.

Skip forward while focusing on driving one knee upward as high as possible while keeping the opposite leg extended. When one knee is at its highest point, push off the toes of the other foot.

Swing your opposite arm forward to chest height as the knee rises, and alternate arms legs and arms.

B-skips:

As you lift one knee, flex the hip and knee to a 90-degree angle. When your knee reaches its highest point, extend your leg in front of you, then pull it back down quickly before the next step.

Co-ordinate this motion with the opposite arm, swinging it to your chest as your knee comes up. The entire process should look like skipping with added leg extension and flexion.

Box jumps or vertical jumps

These exercises can improve running speed and efficiency by enhancing lower body strength and power. You will need a sturdy box or platform.

Stand facing the box, with your feet shoulder-width apart, and keep a slight bend in your knees.

Bend your knees and hips, exploding upward with maximum effort, and swinging your arms forward for momentum. Land on the box with both feet, keeping your knees slightly bent to absorb the impact.

Carefully step or jump back down to the starting position.

Bounding

Bounding involves exaggerated running strides with an explosive push-off. It activates the hip flexors, glutes, and hamstrings, improving your running stride and power.

Stand upright with good posture, and keep your feet hip-width apart.

Take a large, exaggerated stride forward with one leg, and as you push off with your back leg, engage your core and swing your arms for momentum.

After landing on the front foot, immediately transition into another bound with the opposite leg.

If you’re new to plyometrics, it’s important to start with low-intensity exercises and gradually increase intensity and volume. Because of the potential risk for injury, consider consulting a trainer or coach to make sure you are using proper form and technique.

(09/29/2023) ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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Boston Marathon has a cutoff once again, runners had to run 5:29 faster than the qualifying time for their age and gender to gain entry into the 2024 race

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced on September 28 that the cutoff for the 2024 Boston Marathon is 5:29.

In other words, it wasn’t enough for applicants to run a qualifying time for their age group and gender. They had to be significantly faster than their time standard.

According to race officials, 11,039 runners who qualified were unable to be let into the race.

This reverses the trend from the past two years, coming out of the pandemic, when there was no cutoff time. Everyone with a valid qualifying time who applied for the 2022 and 2023 races got in.

The 2021 race, which was held in October that year, had a cutoff of 7:47, because the field size was much smaller—only 20,000 runners—coming out of COVID. The 2020 edition of the Boston Marathon was canceled.

The B.A.A. announced on September 15 that for the 2024 race, there had been 33,000 applicants during the one-week registration period, a record. The field size is set at 30,000 and about 73 percent of those—this year, 22,019 runners—are time qualifiers. The other 8,000 entrants run for charities or receive invitational entries.

The previous record for applications was 30,458 in 2018 for the 2019 race. That number of applicants resulted in a cutoff of 4:52. Also in 2018, the race tightened the qualifying times by five minutes across every age group.

“Just four years after we adjusted the race’s qualifying standards by 5 minutes for all ages and divisions, more than 33,000 athletes earned Boston Marathon qualifying times,” said Jack Fleming, the B.A.A.’s president and CEO, in a written statement. “While we’re unable to accept all into the field, we applaud and recognize the many athletes who circled the 128th Boston Marathon on their calendar as a goal race to strive towards.”

The B.A.A.’s early announcement of the record number of applicants helped some Boston hopefuls brace for the news they wouldn’t gain entry into the race. Across social media, runners prepped for disappointment.

Robert Wang, founder of the World Marathon Majors Challenge Facebook group, which closely tracks the ins and outs of getting into various races, said he was hoping to establish a streak of 10 consecutive years of running Boston, after which he would no longer have to worry about the cutoff time; qualifying would give him automatic entry. (He was up to four.) He had already booked refundable hotel rooms in Boston for April 2024.

He was shocked to see the B.A.A.’s announcement of the number of applicants on the evening after registration closed. “It was the first time in recent memory the B.AA has released an estimate of the number of applicants with the close of registration,” said Wang, 50, of Canton, Ohio. “I knew immediately that I was not getting in with my 2:54 with 33,000 applicants.”

Road racing appears to be emerging from a slump that began during the pandemic, when most events were canceled, and extended through 2021, even as races returned to the calendar. Now many races are seeing registration numbers that match or exceed their pre-pandemic totals.

The qualifying period for the 2024 marathon ran from September 1, 2022, through the last day of registration, September 15, 2023.

(09/28/2023) ⚡AMP
by Sarah Lorge
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Three ways runners get better with age

Recent performances in distance running have demonstrated the ability of athletes to break records well into their late 30s and 40s, particularly in longer distances. Sports scientist Sian Allen, a research manager for the Lululemon innovation team, recently shared three ways athletes are able to improve their performances as they age, and her observations hold true for both professionals and regular runners hoping to continue to smash PBs.

1.- Years of training wisdom

A recent study published in the Annual Review of Psychology points out that our crystallized intelligence–the stored knowledge that we accumulate over the years–doesn’t peak until we are in our 60s. Years of learning carry over to improved running performance.

In a recent article in The Irish Times, Swiss researcher and ultrarunner Dr. Beat Knechtle explains that the boost in older endurance athletes’ performances has a lot to do with experience and mindset. “Experience, starting slow, going slow, focusing on the aim … younger athletes always tend to want to achieve a place, a podium, a time,” he said. “The older ones like me say the first aim is to finish, and finishing means preparing.”

2.- Improved physical awareness

As we age, we become more familiar with our bodies and are capable of understanding the feedback signals our brain is receiving, a process referred to as interoception. Anyone who has competed over years or decades can probably attest that they have become far better at “reading their body” over time.

A recent study also pointed out that athletes, from sprinters to endurance athletes, are better at this skill than non-athletes. The wide range of runners were more confident in their interoceptive abilities and could hone these over time.

3.- Better pacing skills

Just as years of experience can help runners learn to troubleshoot and adjust on race day, they also learn how to pace themselves effectively. Research has shown that older marathon runners are more likely to use steady-state or negative pacing strategies, rather than trying to put “time in the bank” in the first half of a marathon.

With more learned control and a greater willingness to be conservative in the early stages of a race, older runners are better able to plan and execute speedier race performances.

(09/28/2023) ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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How unleashed dog robbed Kenyan marathoner Ksh 1 million in Argentina

Robert Kimutai Ngeno went into the race with ambitious goals which were halted by a dog.

Robert Kimutai Ngeno headed to the Buenos Aires Marathon in Argentina on Sunday with one goal in mind, to win the race and walk away with more than Ksh 1.1 million  ($7900US). 

However, things did not turn out as expected for the 29-year-old who was looking very comfortable leading the pack at the 21km mark.

An unleashed dog emerged and suddenly began pursuing him and he was unable to keep the focus. As reported by Sports and Lifestyle Africa, a small crowd of spectators came to Ngeno’s aid, chasing away the dog that had interrupted his race.

The Kenyan was primed to win but the disruption from the dog forced him to settle for third place.

His compatriots, Cornelius Kibet Kiplagat and Paul Kipngetich Tanui finished first and second in respective times of 2:08.29 and 2:09.57.

He had opened his season with the 42km debut at the Stockholm Marathon earlier this year with an impressive fourth-place finish and was hoping for a good outing in Argentina but he leaves the country in heartbreak.

(09/28/2023) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Buenos Aires Marathon

Buenos Aires Marathon

The Maratón of Buenos Aires is an annual marathon foot-race which takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the Southern Hemisphere's Spring, usually in October. The 21st edition of the Buenos Aires Marathon started on October 9, 2005 at 7:30 at the 9 de Julio Avenue and Córdoba Avenue in the Recoleta neighborhood, being the start also the end point. ...

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Police in Zambia ban former president from running in public

Police in Zambia have warned ex-president Edgar Lungu against going for runs in public, telling the former leader of the south-central African country that his workouts constitute “political activism” and are breaking the law.

Lungu, 66, who served as the country’s president from 2015 to 2021, has been told by police that the regular Saturday runs he has been holding with members of the public and supporters of his Patriotic Front party should be considered political events, and that he will need to obtain law enforcement’s permission before setting out on any similar group runs in the future.

According to the BBC, police in the capital of Lusaka—where Lungu has been venturing out on his runs—said the Patriot Front’s failure to notify them of “public gatherings or demonstrations … amounts to a breach of the law. This is to ensure public safety.” The statement added a “procession of a former head of state should be done with his security detail and devoid of political activism.”

However, Lungu’s lawyer, Makebi Zulu, told the BBC that police were overstepping their bounds by demanding he ask their permission to go running in public, and that any further action taken by police would be met with a legal response.

“Mr. Lungu has been jogging since time immemorial and his motivation has never been to contravene the law,” said Zulu.

The lawyer further told AFP that “it’s the police who are violating the law. No law states that you require a police permit for such events.” He also seemed to hint that political rivals are involved in the police crackdown on Lungu’s runs, saying “this is a recipe for anarchy and the police should stop listening to politicians.”

Lungu announced his retirement from political life after losing the 2021 presidential election to Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development. The group runs and other recent public appearances by the former leader has fuelled speculation that Lungu may be making a play for the presidency in the country’s general election in 2026.

(09/28/2023) ⚡AMP
by Paul Baswick
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Banned Kiwi Olympian Zane Robertson arrested in sexual assault probe

Two-time New Zealand Olympian Zane Robertson, who is serving an eight-year suspension for anti-doping rule violations, was arrested last week in a sexual assault probe at his home in Kenya, where police say they found an unlicensed AK-47 assault rifle and 23 rounds of ammunition.

Robertson—who holds New Zealand’s records in the marathon (2:08:19), half-marathon (59:47) and 10K (27:28), was visited by police at his home in the town of Iten on Sept. 20 to question him about a sexual assault complaint made against the 33-year-old, according to Kenya’s Standard newspaper.

Tom Makori, sub-county police commander, told the Standard authorities arrived at the house to arrest the runner for questioning in a sexual assault investigation, after a woman claimed she was victimized by Robertson at a house party the previous day. “The suspect has been living in Kenya for several years. He has bought land and built his residence. Our preliminary investigations indicate that the AK-47 in his possession was unlicensed,” Makori said.

“Police had gone to arrest him for questioning in relation to a sexual assault complaint, but he declined to open the door. Later, after the police gained entry, they discovered that he was in possession of a gun,” he added.

Police had not released an update on when, or if, Robertson will be officially charged in connection with either the sexual assault probe or the weapons arrest. “We may seek more time to conclude investigations,” said Makori.

The arrest comes exactly one year to the day that the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand provisionally suspended Robertson for anti-doping rule violations.

In May 2022, Robertson tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) during the Greater Manchester Run—a finding later confirmed by B-sample testing. He breached the rules for the presence and use or attempted use of the prohibited substance and for tampering, or attempted tampering, with any part of the doping control process. His attempt to submit fraudulent documents to defend himself led to another charge.

In March, the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand handed Robertson an eight-year suspension for the violations, making him ineligible to compete until September 2030. However, Robertson announced his retirement from professional running a month before receiving the suspension.

In addition to breaking national records, the now-disgraced runner had distinguished himself by winning bronze in the men’s 5,000m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He finished 12th in the 10,000m at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio and 36th in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon, in 2:17:04.

(09/27/2023) ⚡AMP
by Paul Baswick
Zane Robertson
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Adidas new single-use racing shoe releases to the public–for CAD $650

Last weekend’s Berlin Marathon saw the impossible become nothing when Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa shattered the women’s marathon record by two minutes and 11 seconds, winning the race in 2:11:53. Assefa not only garnered attention for her outstanding performance and record-breaking time, but also for the cutting-edge carbon-plated racing shoes she was wearing: Adidas  Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1, which made their debut appearance in the race.

These record-breaking carbon-plated racing shoes from Adidas were released to the U.S. market on Sept. 26, and have already sold out, priced at USD $500 (CAD $650). What sets these shoes apart, besides their hefty price tag (approximately $450 more than the average running shoe), is their unique one-race design. Despite their high cost, these shoes are designed to last through a single marathon.

The shoe’s appeal to a wider audience raises concerns about its environmental impact. Adidas has openly acknowledged that these shoes are indeed intended for a single race, which has prompted criticism regarding environmental waste, and flying in the face of some brands’ efforts to create more sustainable running footwear.

On its website, Adidas describes the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 as “a running shoe like no other,” boasting “unique technology that challenges the boundaries of racing.” Weighing in at a mere 138 grams, the shoe features an innovative Lightstrike Pro foam design with a full-length carbon plate that is reportedly bouncier and lighter than the Lightstrike Pro foam in the shoe’s predecessor, Adios Pro 3. The shoe also incorporates a liquid rubber outsole, a substantial 39-mm heel stack and a front rocker. This rocker propels the runner forward at even greater speeds while requiring less energy expenditure.

In recent years, marathon running has witnessed the rise of “super shoes” as all the major brands compete to develop the fastest carbon-plated racing shoe on the market for their athletes. The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 represents the latest innovation in marathon technology, helping runners shave precious seconds, if not minutes, off their race times.

(09/27/2023) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Cherop wants a chance to compete in marathon in Paris Olympics

Fresh from finishing second at the Buenos Aires Marathon on Sunday in Argentina, former world marathon bronze medalist Sharon Chemutai Cherop wants Athletics Kenya to give her a chance to represent the country at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. 

The former Boston Marathon champion said she has had a good season and the Buenos Aires race was her last assignment this year. 

Cherop finished second in 2:24.56 behind compatriot Rhoda Jepkorir Tanui, who won the race in a course record of (2:24.52). Pamela Rotich came third in an all-Kenyan podium sweep.

Cherop said she hopes to fly the country's flag high if offered the Paris 2024 slot.

“I am proud of my country. I have always wanted to represent my country since I was a junior athlete and if offered the opportunity to run at the Olympic Games, I will do my level best to make the country proud,” said Cherop.

Cherop said she had a good outing in Argentina and was happy to have redeemed her image following her performance in the half marathon last month in the South American nation.

“I have closed a season on a good note after running many races this year. I really need to rest until next year and set up good plans for the year. But the best of all would be to represent my country at the Olympics,” she added.

She said she has been in the game for more than 20 years and first represented Kenyan at the 1999 All Africa Games, finishing 4th in the 10,000m.

“I have been running since 1999 and I won my first medal at the 2000 World Youth Championships in 5,000m. That is how long I have been in this game,” she said.

She said she had wanted to run her best race in a bid to improve on her time in Bueno Aires but as much as that was not achieved, the second position was good enough.

The 2012 Boston Marathon champion said she prepared well for the race. 

“I started preparing for this race after winning the Milan marathon. This year alone, I have run two marathons and a number of half marathons,” she added.

Cherop won the Milan Marathon after timing 2:26.13 back in April after recovering from an injury.

In Milan, she edged out Ethiopian Ethlemahu Sintayehu (2:26.30) and compatriot Emily Kipchumba Chebet for third position after timing 2:28.08.

She is also remembered for winning a bronze at the 2011 World Athletics Championships behind the champion Edna Kiplagat and Priscah Jeptoo in an all-Kenya podium sweep.

She went ahead to win the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and finished third at the 2011 Boston Marathon before winning the race the following year.

In men, Cornelius Kibet Kiplagat (2:08.29) led his compatriot Paul Tanui (2:09.57) and Robert Kimutai Ng’eno (2:10.16) in a 1-2-3 podium sweep for team Kenya.

In other races over the weekend, Charles Mbatha Matata won the Leo Lion Half Marathon in France. The Kenyan won the men’s title in 1:01.34 followed by countrymate Vincent Kipkorir Kigen (1:02.21) and Ethiopian Getachew Masresha Kidie (1:02.23).

(09/27/2023) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

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

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Jakob Ingebrigtsen marries his longtime partner

Between setting world records, winning Diamond League titles and even taking on beer miles, Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway has had a September to remember. On Sept. 23, he added another milestone to his life by marrying his partner of seven years, Elisabeth Asserson, in their native Norway.

Asserson and Ingebrigtsen’s love story began when they were just 16, and Ingebrigtsen popped the question in 2021. Their wedding had an American-style flair, featuring 10 attendants, with Ingebrigtsen’s brothers Henrik, Filip and Kristoffer proudly serving as groomsmen.

The wedding took place at the Bragernes Church in Drammen, Norway, which is quite a distance from Ingebrigtsen’s hometown of Sandnes, which is approximately 400 km away. Asserson had a connection to the church, as one of her grandmothers hailed from Drammen, which is a short distance from Oslo.

The guest list was extensive and reportedly included several of Ingebrigten’s competitors and friends. However, one notable absence was his former coach and father, Gjert Ingebrigtsen.

According to the Norwegian magazine Se og Hør, Gjert was not in attendance and posted a cryptic photo on his Instagram on the wedding day, bearing the message: “You must not endure so much the injustice that does not befall yourself.”

As Ingebrigtsen takes a break from training, the newly married couple plans to celebrate with a honeymoon in the Maldives. Whether Ingebrigtsen will incorporate sand sprints and swim training into his honeymoon activities remains to be seen.

(09/27/2023) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Ethiopian Afera Godfay Confident of Success At TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Afera Godfay won the 2019 Dongying Marathon in China with a superb personal best 2:22:41 then almost completely vanished from the world scene for a few years.

There was a third-place finish in the Xiamen Marathon, also in China, a year later but that performance largely went under the radar.

On October 15th the 31-year-old Ethiopian will target the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon with high expectations. Indeed, in April this year she ran 1:10:25 at the Rabat International Half Marathon in Morocco which encouraged her to chase a new marathon personal best in Toronto. This will mark her first ever visit to Canada.

“Training is going great,” she reports. “I do my training six days a week - every day except Sunday. I cover a long distance with speed. Three days a week I run with (coach Gemedu Dedefo’s) group.

“My goal is to win (Toronto Waterfront) with a good time. I hope to run 2:24.”

The group is currently celebrating the great success of one of their members, Tigist Assefa, who smashed the world marathon record with her astonishing 2:11:53 in Berlin on Sunday. No doubt the result will provide inspiration to Afera.

The buildup is creating excitement as she is eager to return to her past level. Five times she has run under 1:10 for the half marathon distance over the years and she can now sense she is coming into form. Afera has a good reason for her absence those few years.

“It was because I gave birth to my child,” she explains. “And it was a bit hard to get back to my previous condition. I have one child and her name is Maranata.”

Afera comes from a small town in the war torn northern Ethiopian province of Tigray called Alaje. Although she moved to Addis in 2010 her parents still live in Tigray. She is thankful that they were not affected by the two-year-old war that lasted until November 2022 and which led to widespread famine.

Once a year, when her training program allows, she will visit her parents and friends in Alaje. She comes from a long line of farmers. Growing up under hardship likely fuelled her desire for success in road racing. But she also had mentors.

“My inspiration is Meseret Defar,” she declares. Defar is a two time Olympic 5,000m champion and a national hero in Ethiopia.

As a young athlete Afera had success at shorter distances and represented Ethiopia at the 2010 World Cross Country Championships. She finished a solid 8th in the Under 20 race in Bydgoszcz, Poland helping the Ethiopian team to a silver medal finish behind Kenya.

Two years later she again represented her country at the African Championships over 10,000m. She placed 7th in that meet which was held in Porto Novo, the capital of Benin. Asked why she turned to marathon racing her answer is simple: ““It’s because I have a good endurance and, money-wise, I find it better.”

Although she has not been to Toronto before coach Gemedu Dedefo made the journey a few years ago and will undoubtedly have some excellent insight into how best to race the course. And, travelling with her from Addis will be previously announced Ethiopian stars Derara Hurisa, Adugna Takele, and Yohans Mekasha who will feature strongly in the men’s race while Waganesh Mekasha will battle with Afera for the $20,000 first place prize money.

Once again, the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon promises a memorable contest and the Ethiopian flag will surely be waved in celebration at the finish.

About the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier running event and the grand finale of the Canada Running Series (CRS). Since 2017, the race has served as the Athletics Canada national marathon championship race and has doubled as the Olympic trials. Using innovation and organization as guiding principles, Canada Running Series stages great experiences for runners of all levels, from Canadian Olympians to recreational and charity runners. With a mission of “building community through the sport of running,” CRS is committed to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process.

To learn more about the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, visit TorontoWaterFrontMarathon.com.

(09/26/2023) ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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