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2020 Mountain Running Championship in Golden BC Canada have been canceled

The 2020 NACAC Mountain Running Championship in Golden, BC, Canada has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Limits on the number of participants in events to no more than 50 imposed by the British Columbia government means the host Golden Ultra will have to be cancelled.

The 17th annual North American, Central American & Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championships was to be held in conjunction with the Golden Ultra in Kicking Horse Resort in Golden, British Columbia, Canada on Friday, September 18, 2020. The uphill course was 10.3 kilometers with a total of 1205 meters of ascent and 135 meters of descent.

Meghan Roche (second photo) at the 2017 NACAC Mountain Running Championships in Golden, Canada.

This race would also have served as the 2020 Canadian Mountain Running Championships and their selection race for the 2020 World Mountain Running Championships.

Team leaders from the participating NACAC countries (U.S., Canada, Mexico and El Salvador) deemed it impractical to find a new host race and date by which a safe championship could be held in 2020.

The participating countries are planning to organize a 2021 NACAC Mountain Running Championship to be held in Canada with the host event and date TBD. Selection criteria for the 2021 U.S. team will be announced later in 2020.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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Two elite athletes Mary Cain and Nick Willis sign with Tracksmith as full-time employees

Tracksmith, the independent running apparel brand out of Boston, announced its newest pair of partner athletes: Mary Cain and Nick Willis. This is not a traditional partnership, though, as Cain and Willis will both be working as full-time employees for the company in addition to running for the brand.

The duo will represent Tracksmith as they both work toward the Tokyo Olympic Games, which are set for July 2021, and they will do it as amateurs, a term that Tracksmith is looking to reclaim for everyone who loves to run.

In a post entitled “For the love” on the Tracksmith website announcing the brand’s newest partnership, founder and CEO Matt Taylor talks about the word “amateur,” which comes from Latin roots meaning “to love” and “I love.”

Taylor says “amateur” only recently became a term for non-professionals (around the 19th century or so), and now the team at Tracksmith wants to take the term back to its roots and refer to anyone who loves to run as “amateurs.”

In sports, athlete sponsorships are always dictated by results, and the better an athlete performs, the stronger their brand partnerships become. On the other hand, if their results start to decline, it’s not uncommon to see these relationships deteriorate and disappear.

This won’t be the case for Cain and Willis, because, working as Tracksmith employees and representing the brand as amateurs, they will have “the freedom to participate in the sport with no expectations or pressures outside of the ones they place on themselves.”

Cain made international headlines in November when she told the New York Times about the abuse she sustained while running with the Nike Oregon Project (NOP) under now-banned coach Alberto Salazar. Cain won gold in the 3,000m at the the world junior championships in 2014 before leaving the NOP a year later. In 2020, she returned to racing for the first time since 2016, and she is now working toward making her first U.S. Olympic team.

Cain’s official role at Tracksmith is New York community manager, and she will help grow the company’s “on-the-ground and virtual efforts in one of the most vibrant running scenes in the world.”

Willis, who’s 37 years old, tweeted he was leaving Adidas on Sunday, and there was some speculation that he might be retiring. Today, he tweeted again, saying, “I’m not retiring; I’m turning amateur.” Willis is a two-time Olympic medallist for New Zealand, having won silver in the 1,500m in Beijing in 2008 and bronze in the same event eight years later in Rio.

Willis is quoted on the Tracksmith site, saying, “It may sound counterintuitive, but I always discovered that my running career thrived the most when I embraced more. My best years, my fastest times, all emerged from times in my life when my running came, well, second.”

He’ll be looking to qualify for his fourth Olympics in 2021 while working as the athlete experience manager at Tracksmith, building programs to “inspire, motivate and deepen our community’s connection to the sport.”

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Berlin Marathon´s organizers have said they need more time to examine their options as discussions continue on whether the race will take place in 2020

SCC Events had previously announced that the World Marathon Major would not take place on its original September 27 date, leading to many publications reporting the race as cancelled.

This was due to restrictions put in place by the local Government, which placed a ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people until October 24.

A decision is still to be made by SCC Events on this year's race, however, with further information to be released by the end of June at the latest.

Many major marathons around the world have faced a similar fate with the races in Boston and London, which are also part of the World Marathon Majors, postponed to September and October respectively. 

"Due to the size of the event and the large number of people involved, we need a little more time to examine different options for this implementation of the further procedure," SCC said.

"In addition, at the moment we cannot work on the upcoming tasks in full team strength; like many others, the SCC Events team is currently on short-time work.

"Nevertheless, as usual, we put all the available energy into this process and will contact you by the end of June at the latest with details on the further procedure relating to the BMW Berlin Marathon. 

"If we have new information beforehand, we will of course let you know immediately."

In Germany, there are more than 172,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide, resulting in the deaths of more than 7,600 people.

The 2018 edition of the race saw Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge smash the men's marathon world record in a time of 2 hours 1min 39sec.

This was nearly bettered by Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele last year, who was two seconds short on his way to victory.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

The story of the BERLIN-MARATHON is a story of the development of road running. When the first BERLIN-MARATHON was started on 13th October 1974 on a minor road next to the stadium of the organisers‘ club SC Charlottenburg Berlin 286 athletes had entered. The first winners were runners from Berlin: Günter Hallas (2:44:53), who still runs the BERLIN-MARATHON today, and...

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Sebastian Coe says that children will need more access to sport in post-pandemic world

Children will need more access to sport in the post-pandemic world and there is a pressing need to press authorities to stop school sports “withering on the vine”, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said on Friday.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the sporting calendar across all disciplines and levels from school to professional.

Coe told Reuters he was planning to launch a campaign to protect the long-term future of athletics when the global lockdowns and cancellations end.

“I want our sport to be a campaigning sport and if we are not about young people and access to the sport we might as well pack up and go home,” the 63-year-old said.

“I am not going to be shy or pussy foot around this any longer. This has to be addressed and this has to be the long-term thinking when we come out of this.”

A healthier population would be better placed to weather future storms like the coronavirus outbreak, Coe added.

“We have got to hit this hard now. We have get into education departments and we can’t let politicians talk a good game about this and not deliver,” Coe said.

“The very fact that any child in the UK is 50% less likely to be active between the age of eight and nine, and 12 and 13, is wrong. It just cannot be right. Whichever way you view that, that has to be wrong,” he added.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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George Gibbs has pledged to run 3km every day for two weeks, the equivalent of a marathon, to raise money for ChildLine Foundation

He is eight-year-old George Gibbs who started fundraising when he was just four, taking part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.

The Linslade Lower pupil who lives in Rosebery Avenue with his motoring journalist dad Nick, PR planning executive mum Frances and little sister Addie, three, has already reached his £500 target and is now thinking of doubling it.

George and Frances set off every morning at 9am, running along the canal between the Globe bridge and Tesco bridge.

And the Year 3 schoolboy has only one complaint about his pace-setting partner: “Sometimes Mum can’t keep up with me. Otherwise she’s fine.”

Dad Nick said: “They run at roughly the same pace . . . I like to think I’m a little faster.”

He added: “George was keen to do something to help a charity during lockdown.

“We looked at various worthwhile causes and he decided on ChildLine.

“Calls have increased by 300 per cent and are from vulnerable youngsters who have no-one else to turn to.

“He wanted to help children who were not safe at home and suffering because of the current situation.”

George says he enjoys running because it makes him stronger, but this particular exercise is purely for fundraising purposes.

He normally does the 2km Junior Parkrun every Sunday held at Parson’s Close Recreation Ground.

His sporting hero isn’t the magnificent Sir Mo, but racing driver Lewis Hamilton.

And all his plans for the future involve the motoring world.

He confesses: “I want to be a car designer or a racing driver or own a car company.”

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bev Creagh
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Dublin Marathon organizers are to meet this week to decide if this year's race can go ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic

A board meeting with the organizers will take place on Thursday to decide if the race can safely proceed.

"There is a board meeting, of the marathon organizers, on Thursday of this week," race director Jim Aughney told the The Irish Times.

"We will be considering all aspects of the matter, whether we feel it's still safe to proceed, or whether we might defer that decision for another short while.

"But either way we will be making some statement on the matter by the end of next week."

The Dublin Marathon is currently scheduled for October 25.

It is the fourth largest marathon in Europe and will see 25,000 people pound the pavements of the city.

The ban on mass gatherings of over 5,000 people is set to expire in September.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alex Dunne
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KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....

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Swedish Athletics Association now tightens rules for Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes

As concerns increase over rising violations of anti-doping regulations, Kenyan athletes will now face more intense scrutiny before competing in Sweden.

This is after the Swedish Athletics Association on Monday said they are sharpening rules for athletes who train in countries where out-of-competition tests are not quite advanced, with Kenya and Ethiopia classified in this category.

According to EME News, an independent track and field information agency, quoting Swedish public broadcaster SVT, Swedish Athletics Association secretary general Stefan Olsson has expressed concerns over the capacity of anti-doping testing in Kenya and Ethiopia.

“There is no prohibition on going there, but if they do, we should really have knowledge of where the athletes are, how long they should be there, with what training group, coach and manager they train with,” Olsson said.

“It may be that we contact Swedish anti-doping so that they can add extra resources before, during and after these trips,” he added.

Kenyans and Ethiopians have always featured prominently in athletics competitions in Sweden, both in road racing and in track and field.

Athletes from Kenya have been regular winners at the annual BAHAUS-galan Diamond League meeting in Stockholm whose new 2020 date was on Tuesday set for August 23 after changes in the global track and field calendar by World Athletics.

At last year’s meeting, Rhonex Kipruto and Timothy Cheruiyot triumphed in the 10,000 and 1,500 meters races, respectively, with Agnes Jebet Tirop winning the 5,000 meters in a race that also featured eight Kenyans, including two-time world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri.

Ethiopian and Kenyan athletes have won 13 titles out of the 20 on offer in the men’s and women’s divisions of the annual Stockholm marathon.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Elias Makori
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Nike will be donating 30,000 pairs of shoes to frontline workers fighting Covid-19

Nike is donating 30,000 pairs of shoes — specifically designed for healthcare workers — to health systems and hospitals in cities across the United States.

The Air Zoom Pulse, which was released in November 2019, is the company's "first shoe designed for the healthcare athlete, an everyday hero," Nike said in its announcement on Monday.

The company went to OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon, to study those in the profession. They took into account the challenges of those on the job — including long hours on their feet and liquid spills — and the comfort needed for long shifts.

Nike (NKE) partnered with Good360, a non-profit specializing in efficient distribution of product donations, to help deliver the shoes to workers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and New York City, and within the Veterans Health Administration, according to Nike.

The company said health care workers in New York City and Los Angeles will also receive about 95,000 pairs of soccer socks offering mild compression.

"The effort is led by messages of gratitude to healthcare professionals," Nike said in its release. "From one athlete to another, Nike athletes recognize the physical and mental resilience of healthcare athletes."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted his appreciation for the sportswear company.

"Thank you so much for supporting our front line health care heroes," he wrote on Monday.

Hospitals across Europe — including Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris and Belgium — will receive an additional 2,500 pairs, Nike said.

More than 3.5 million cases of the novel coronavirus, including at least 251,000 deaths, have been recorded worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Nike's donation comes as healthcare workers continue to help battle the coronavirus pandemic, often putting themselves at risk. Many are helping patients without adequate supplies and equipment.

Nike said some of its teams came together to help create and donate full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to help protect healthcare workers.

To date, Nike and the Nike Foundation have committed more than $25 million to Covid-19 relief efforts, according to the company.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Lauren M. Johnson
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Scottish runners now are allowed to run more than once a day

Scottish runners hoping for some relief from the restrictions of lockdown – formally extended a further three weeks last Thursday (7 May) – got some unexpected good news at the weekend. 

While First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was at pains to emphasise last night (Sunday, 10 May) that ‘Stay at Home’ remains unequivocally the Scottish government’s message to citizens – despite a shift in that of the UK government to ‘Stay Alert’ – one small but significant change has been made to the restrictions we’ve all had to live with for the last 49 days. 

From Monday, Scots will be allowed to run – or take any exercise outside – more than once a day.

In line with previous regulations, that exercise should still be taken close to home; group exercise or training, with people not from one’s own household, remains forbidden, and parks are still to be used only for exercise. 

With the UK and Scottish governments increasingly taking different views on how best to manage and combat Coronavirus, it’s no surprise the situation for runners in England is different: the much anticipated gradual easing of restrictions on outdoor activity outlined in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own Sunday night address only apply there. 

From Wednesday, runners south of the border will be able to take unlimited exercise, and have been very explicitly granted permission to drive to do so. English parks can also be used once again for leisure, sport or sunbathing, but either alone or with members of one’s own household. 

Social distancing regulations – keeping 2m away from those not in one’s own household – still applies to all runners across the UK. 

There was no word from either the Scottish or UK government on when any sort of public gatherings – like training sessions, group runs or races – might again be permitted. 

But with Boris Johnson speaking about some hospitality and ‘other public places’ opening in July at the earliest, and providing several stringent conditions are met, life returning to normal for runners seems unlikely soon.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Third Rock n Roll Virtual Series Race worldwide has registered over 15,000 participants from 87 nations

The global community of walkers and runners came together for the third straight weekend with over 15,000 people from 87 nations and all 50 states stepping up to the virtual start line for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3, the third edition in the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running™ (VR™) Series. Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3 gave participants the opportunity to challenge themselves with two different race distances that included 8K and 15K options.

In addition, the first ever virtual Remix Challenge was offered giving participants who took on both distances a chance to earn access to three medals through the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Finisher Bundles. Participants were able to compete anywhere, indoors or outdoors, as long as the distance of their choosing was completed in one session between Friday, May 8 at 2 p.m. ET and event close Sunday, May 10 at 7:59 p.m. ET.

Participants in Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3 came from around the world and ranged in age from 18 to 82. The United States led the way with over 9,000 walkers and runners followed by Canada (over 700), the United Kingdom (over 650), Mexico (over 350) and Spain (over 200). Other nations represented included Australia, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Japan, and Malaysia, among others.

Of the 50 U.S. states represented, the greatest number came from California, followed by Texas, Florida, Virginia and Washington. Nations joining a Rock 'n' Roll VR event for the first time were, Barbados, Cameroon, India, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay, among others.

Over 8,000 participants took on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club™ Challenges leading up to Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3. Participants embarked on several separate running and workout challenges with the opportunity for rewards in the comfort of their own community. The challenges included the SiS Challenge 1: Tempo Run, a 55 Minute Tempo Workout; Community Challenge 3: Aleks' "Don't Miss the Beep" Challenge, a 50 Minute Interval Run in one session; and Brooks Challenge 2: #FindSomeRunHappy II: 60 minutes of running over 2 sessions with some ideas on how to #RunHappy. Special prizes such as a pair of Rock ‘n’ Roll Launch 7 by Brooks Running Company sneakers, a $100 gift card to Science in Sport, and a Rock ‘n’ Roll Tie Dye Trio bundle were all awarded out. In total, over 30,000 runners and walkers from across the globe have joined the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running Club platform to date, giving them access to a series of weekly races, challenges, and rewards.

This week, Rock ‘n’ Roll VR4 will offer two distances for the global community, including an 5K and 12K. Racing begins on Friday, May 15 at 2 p.m. ET and concludes on Sunday, May 17 at 7:59 p.m. ET. The virtual Remix Challenge returns for a second straight week for participants who want to take on both of this weekend’s race distances of a 5K and 12K can earn access to three medals. In addition, participants who complete each of the Remix Challenges for races RnRVR3 through RnRVR6, will have the opportunity to purchase a special RnRVR6 finisher bundle that not only includes the Remix Challenge medal, but also a celebratory ENCORE medal to commemorate their success.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rock N Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Rock N Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

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

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London Marathon Counts on Eliud Kipchoge

Where will the next marathon world record be set? This autumn, the London Marathon is aiming for the duel between top stars Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele. Kipchoges unofficial world record of less than two hours should not be in danger. However, the Berlin Marathon, notorious for world records, cannot take place as planned.

The Corona crisis has also had far-reaching consequences for the marathon scene. The London Marathon, for example, had to be postponed from 26 April until 4 October.

However, it is still unclear whether the event will also be open to amateur runners or if only professionals like world record holder Eliud Kipchoge are allowed to compete. According to "Athletics International", the organizers have asked all athletes originally invited for April to come back for the fall date. This includes the Kenyan Kipchoge.

He holds the official marathon world record of 2:01:39 hours (Berlin Marathon 2018) as well as the unofficial world record of 1:59:40 hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna 2019 under laboratory conditions with constantly changing pacemakers and drinks and food available at all times.

Kenenisa Bekele, who missed the official world record at the 2019 Berlin Marathon by only two seconds, is also expected to compete in London. A direct duel between the two top runners could come to happen in October. For Bekele, an improvement of the official world record could be possible. 

"With good weather conditions and if we both worked together on the pace, a time in the range of the world record might have been possible", Athletics International quotes hin speaking about the cancelled event in April.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Martin Jahns
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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On May 14, British Columbia will reopen provicional parks

British Columbia has announced that phase two of the province’s four phase return will begin mid-May, and will include the reopening of provincial parks for day use (on May 14), along with small social gatherings.

This is very good news for runners as they’ll be able to access their favourite trails and maybe even recruit a training partner or two.

B.C.’s parks and trails have been closed since late March. According to the provincial government, B.C. residents could almost double the number of social contacts they have currently and still maintain flat transmission rates. Phase two also includes the ability to visit healthcare professionals like physiotherapists, chiropractors and counsellors.

Gatherings of over 50 people remain banned for the foreseeable future, which includes professional sports and concerts.

While the province remains a long way from a complete return to normalcy, these developments are encouraging news. The province’s runners will be able to achieve a level of relative normal, just in time for the nice weather.

So on May 14, gather one or two running buddies and hit your local trails for your first group run of the spring.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Kenya´s Vincent Kipchumba can´t wait to run against world’s best in London

The postponement of the London Marathon from April to October due to the coronavirus pandemic hit Vincent Kipchumba hard.

Kipchumba, who is the reigning Amsterdam Marathon champion, was delighted to have been included in the elite men’s list and had been following a program that he hoped would give him a chance to challenge for glory in Europe’s capital center.

“It was also going to give me a chance to make some money. When I heard it was postponed I felt traumatised," said Kipchumba.

“At least the race was postponed to October but we are still not sure if the virus will have been contained by then. It’s my prayer that things get back to normal because athletics is my career, and to many others out there.”

Kipchumba, had been training in Kapsabet, Nandi County under the watchful eye of his coach Claudio Berardelli. He said that even though the London race had been pushed back by six months it will not diminish his desire to make his debut in a Majors race.

“When I was informed that I will be competing in London Marathon, I was happy because this was a dream come true for me. I have been eyeing a place in one of the biggest marathons in the world,” said Kipchumba.

He also said that he will be privileged to compete with some of the best athletes in the world over the distance.

“Competing with the world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Berlin Marathon champion Kenenisa Bekele is something I even didn’t think will be possible but here we are waiting for the big day,” said Kipchumba.

However, just like many other elite athletes, the coronavirus has played havoc with his schedule.

He was due to participate in the Roma Ostia Half Marathon, as part of his build up for London, but the race was cancelled.

(05/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Kenyan runners call for Athletics Kenya to provide services to help athletes

Last week, two Kenyan distance runners were suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit for anti-doping violations. This added to the already long list of Kenyan athletes to receive anti-doping sanctions in 2020, which includes 2017 London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru and former marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang.

According to a Daily Nation report, these latest suspensions have prompted athletes to call for Athletics Kenya to start a support program with counselling for athletes dealing with depression, whether it was caused by doping bans, loss of fame or other life stressors.

Asbel Kiprop is an Olympic and world champion in the 1,500m, and in 2019, he was banned from competition for four years following a failed test in 2017. Kiprop has been adamant that he is innocent, and in the fallout from his doping scandal, his life took a downward spiral.

“I became an alcoholic, my wife left and friends deserted me,” he said. “I never planned to end my athletics career this way.” Kiprop, who tested positive for EPO, said he plans on returning to professional racing after serving his ban.

Jemima Sumgong, another Kenyan marathoner who was banned for doping, described a similar fall from grace after also testing positive for EPO.

“It was tough for me when I was suspended,” she said. “There was no one to turn to.”

Sumgong, who won gold in the Rio Olympic marathon, said she was close to falling into a depression of her own following her doping scandal.

Speaking from experience, she said Athletics Kenya needs to provide counselling for athletes who are going through tough times, whether due to doping bans or for other reasons.

“There are athletes who might end up being banned for committing errors unknowingly and it can affect them mentally,” she said. “Athletics Kenya needs to come up with a counselling department because these people are also human despite having done something wrong.”

Wilfred Bungei is another Kenyan athlete who has dealt with depression, although not because of a doping scandal. In 2008, Bungei won Olympic gold in the 800m, and soon after retiring from professional racing in 2010, he became an alcoholic.

“There is a lot of loneliness up there when [athletes] are winning and success has come to their lives,” Bungei told the Daily Nation. “They are, therefore, easily lured into alcoholism, promiscuity and other destructive lifestyles just to hide from the real monster that brought them down.”

Bungei emphasized the importance of athlete support, and he agreed with Sumgong, stating that Athletics Kenya has a duty to look after its athletes. Athletics Kenya has yet to comment on the possibility of starting a support or counselling program.

(05/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Billy White, 10, wasn’t going to let being stuck indoors stop him from running a marathon

10-year-old Billie White runs a marathon in his house! Here he shares his story with that’s life!

Watching the news after brekkie, I was amazed. A man quarantined in a hotel had run a 42km marathon - smashing out thousands of laps of his tiny room!

I could do that! I thought, hopping up. I had nothing better to do!

In grade 5, I hadn’t been to school for a couple of weeks because of the coronavirus.

After running through the playroom and the kitchen, I looped the dining room table, then sprinted to the front door. <Tap!>

Once, I’d hit it, it was time for another lap. ‘What are you doing?’ my parents, Sarah and Simon asked.  ‘A marathon!’ I puffed.

Later on, when Mum took me, my sister, Keira, 12, and brother, Toby, seven, for a walk around the lake near our house, I zoomed past the slowpokes seven times!

‘You’ve got to keep your energy up, Billy!’ Mum said back home, making me stop to eat a banana, a boiled egg, or slurp down some energy drink.

By 30km, I was pretty tired.  I just want an ice cream, I thought. But I was determined.

Then, at 9pm, after running for 13 hours, and clocking up 58,000 steps, I did the final lap around our block as Mum and Dad cheered me on in the dark.

‘42!’ I yelled proudly, collapsing on the grass.

Now, I’m hoping my epic achievement will go viral - the good way!

(05/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Beth Young
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Finland, the Czech Republic and Norway are all preparing for track meets in June

After weeks and weeks of race cancellations, there’s finally some good news coming from the world of track and field: meets are set to be held in Norway, the Czech Republic and Finland in June.

Each of the meets will have limited events and restrictions on the number of people present, but professional track and field will officially be back all the same. They aren’t the Diamond League or Olympic competitions you’d expected to watch this summer, but they’ll be something to watch, and hopefully a sign of more events to come.

Norway’s the Impossible Games will be held in Oslo on June 11, the same date that was set for the 2020 Oslo Diamond League. There will be a small programme of events, including a world record attempt in the 300m hurdles by Norway’s Karsten Warholm, the two-time defending world champion in the 400mH.

The Impossible Games will also feature 100m, 200m, 600m and 3,000m races, as well as some field events. No spectators will be in the stadium for the event, but it will be broadcast live on television.

World Athletics reported on a Czech government announcement that says as of May 25, public gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted. Thanks to these looser restrictions, the Czech Athletics Federation has plans to start a six-event series, with the first meet set for June 1.

The meet schedule and competition lineup has yet to be finalized, but confirmed events include women’s javelin, men’s shot put and men’s 300m. The dates of the series’ following five events haven’t been announced, but organizers say they will include a different lineup of competitions than the first.

Maximusport, a Finnish sports website, reported that track and field events will make a return on June 7 in Lahti, Finland. In order to follow government guidelines for COVID-19, only 50 people will be allowed on the field or track at one time and the number of athletes for each event will be limited.

Although runners will have no choice but to get close with their competitors on the track, field athletes will be asked to keep a safe distance between themselves at all times. Few events have been confirmed for the first competition, but 200m hurdles and 3,000m races will reportedly be part of the programme.

Norway, the Czech Republic and Finland have all seen steady drops in coronavirus numbers over the last month, and they have reported fewer than 300 COVID-19-related deaths each.

(05/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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The Riga Marathon could be a virtual run for 2020

The Riga Marathon, has appealed to runners to take part in a virtual race on the date of its postponed event.

“Just like you, we are very eager to celebrate running and keep the spirit of marathon alive, even it is not possible together in person,” said the organisers.

Runners are invited to go for a family run on May 16, or to run their chosen distance of marathon, half marathon or anything else on May 17.

Depending on the restrictions set in the country, the participants will run, adapting to the new reality, or virtually if Covid-19 restrictions remain in place, the organizers of the event indicate.

"It is not possible to predict the development of the pandemic and the restrictions that will be in place in the autumn, however, we have decided to run this year on October 10-11," comments Aigars Nords, the director of the Riga Marathon.

"If the restrictions are completely lifted, the Riga Marathon will take place with a scope appropriate to an anniversary edition. If the restrictions remain in force, we will adapt by introducing creative innovations that will allow the anniversary marathon to run smoothly, following the instructions of epidemiologists.

For the first time in the history of the event, the marathon could also take place virtually, offering participants the opportunity to run the distance individually, recording the distance and time in a specially created application," he points out.

The Riga Marathon has been held annually since 1991.

(05/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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Lattelecom Riga Marathon

Lattelecom Riga Marathon

If you have never been to Riga then, running a marathon or half-marathon could be a good reason to visit one of the most beautiful cities on the Baltic Sea coast. Marathon running has a long history in Riga City and after 27 years it has grown to welcome 33,000 runners from 70 countries offering five race courses and...

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Training tips for staying home

Before you begin an at-home fitness regime, Pamela Geisel, MS, CSCS, exercise physiologist & manager of performance services at Hospital for Special Surgery (a partner of New York Road Runners), has some advice to help you assess the best kind of workout for yourself.

“We tend to gravitate to things we like and are good at,” Geisel says, “but now is an excellent time to focus on where our weaknesses may be.”

If you lack flexibility, for instance, now is a good time to work stretching into your routine. If you have always wanted to do a full push-up, focus on strength. Geisel also recommends a five-minute warm-up and cool-down added to each workout.

“If you are someone who has been working out three or four days [a week], now is not the time to start working out six or seven days a week,” says Geisel. She follows the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines, which recommend 2–3 days a week of strength, balance, and flexibility training, in addition to 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise weekly.

Look for workouts like yoga or dance that combine these aspects into a single class. For runners Geisel also recommends a workout that involves all three planes of motion: front to back, side to side, and rotational.

While many of us are searching for ways to stay fit keep in mind that changes to routines and daily lives can add stress and anxiety, as can changes in mood and sleep patterns, all of which are heightened now during the pandemic.

“A healthy diet, proper nutrition, and a good night’s sleep go a long way in keeping us healthy!” says Geisel. She recommends that runners set an alarm, limit exposure to blue light (from computers and other screens) before bed, and make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep.

We all want a return to our previous routine, but now might be the time to step back and reassess your training. If you adapt a new routine, ease into it, following best practices, good form, and taking days off to recover.

Find those exercises you enjoy – and most importantly, have fun.

(05/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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Thousands of runners pay tribute to Ahmaud Arbery

Runners around the world run to honor Arbery, who was shot dead in February and would have turned 26 on Friday

Thousands of people around the world are jogging to celebrate the birthday of man they never knew – Ahmaud Arbery. It is part of a global campaign to pay homage to 25-year-old Arbery, nicknamed Maud, who was shot and killed by two white men while out jogging in Georgia. Ahmaud was born on 8 May 1994 and would have turned 26 on Friday.

The idea for a global run in Arbery’s name came from his high school football coach, Jason Vaughn, who last saw Arbery when they crossed paths on a run. Arbery loved running. Now, the hashtag #IRunWithMaud has travelled the world, with runners from London to New York completing the 2.23-mile trip – a tribute to the date of his death, which occurred on 23 February. The hashtag now has more than 60,000 posts on Instagram.

The worldwide run follows news this morning that Arbery’s killers will face murder charges over the attack. Gregory and Travis McMichael told officers they thought Arbery resembled a suspect in a series of nearby break-ins. The pair were charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Police were aware of the crime for more than two months but did not charge the McMichaels until after the shooting gained widespread attention. When video footage of Arbery’s killing circulated online, celebrities such as LeBron James and Naomi Campbell called for justice, as well as politicians Kamala Harris and Joe Biden.

“Exercising while black should not be a death sentence,” said Harris in a tweet on Tuesday.

(05/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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New Balance To Create New High School National Meets

On Thursday, New Balance, the title sponsor of New Balance Nationals Indoor and New Balance Nationals Outdoor since 2010 and 2011, respectively, announced it will be parting ways with the National Scholastic Athletic Foundation and will be creating its own meet starting in 2021.

"Our priority has been and will continue to be to provide a first-class event that offers the opportunity for high school students to compete against the best in the country," Tom Carleo, the Vice President of Performance Running at New Balance, said in a press release. "We are excited to continue to bring the energy and competition the New Balance High School Nationals is known for and are committed to providing a seamless transition for the high school athletes."

It will end a 10-year partnership with NSAF, an organization that in recent years has worked to bring international-based meets to high school athletes in the United States. Recent opportunities have included meets in the Caribbean and Europe.

NSAF continues to plan an outdoor national championship meet this calendar year, tentatively scheduled to be held from July 16-19 in Greensboro, North Carolina. But New Balance is not currently found anywhere as a sponsor.

Starting in 2021, the New Balance High School Nationals meet will be held at the New Balance Track and Field Center on 168th Street in New York City on March 12-14. The move by New Balance will align with the opening of The TRACK at New Balance, a state-of-the-art indoor track and field facility which is set to open in Brighton, MA, in 2022.

New Balance will release details about its 2021 indoor and outdoor meets in the following months.

(05/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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High schooler Ryan Schoppe almost breaks 4 minutes in Time Trial

Today was scheduled to be the UIL 6A state meet. La Porte senior Ryan Schoppe would have been competing to win his third 3200m state title and trying to go for his first 1600m win after his runner-up finish in 2019.

Back in March, the 2020 season was cancelled thanks to COVID-19, so today's state meet isn't happening. That hasn't slowed down Schoppe, in fact we have seen him speed things up.

We've witnessed him put in some exceptional efforts in time trials during this cancelled 2020 season turning in PRs in the 1600m and the 3200m. Today, he ran the 1 Mile at his local track to replace what would have been the final race in his high school career.

In the previous time trials, Schoppe was paced by family members riding bicycles. Today, he had real live runners pacing him. The 2019 UIL 6A state champion Cole Lindhorst (4:07.41) from Katy Tompkins and former Kingwood High School and University of Texas freshman Nick Majerus (2019 UIL 6A XC state meet 10th place finisher) alternated pacing duties.

(05/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics holding talks with IOC over Olympic revenue share

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has said the organisation is holding discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over securing its share of revenues expected from the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Several International Federations (IFs) are set to request an early payment of sums they expected to receive from the IOC from the Games, after the postponement created cash-flow challenges.

World Athletics are one of three IFs in the top group for revenue distribution, along with the International Swimming Federation and the International Gymnastics Federation.

Each are expected to receive around $40 million (£32 million/€36 million) from the IOC from revenue secured from Tokyo 2020.

Coe told the Financial Times that the governing body had begun negotiations with the IOC to seek part of the revenue.

"Like many Olympic sports, we are very grateful but also reliant on the share of the IOC broadcast revenues," Coe said.

"We work in that four-year business cycle and not having those revenues in the year that we were planning means that we have to be very careful."

The postponement of Tokyo 2020 may delay payments to IFs, with the International Cycling Union admitting last month it was anticipating "both a possible postponement to 2021 of payment of Olympic revenues initially expected in the second semester of 2020, and a probable reduction of the sum paid to the IFs".

The International Handball Federation has told the IOC that it can get by without extra financial assistance and suggested that it target available support at other bodies which may be in more need.

World Athletics has also been impacted by the postponement of the 2021 World Athletics Championships in Eugene.

The event was moved to 2022 to avoid a clash with the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

World Athletics, together with the International Athletics Foundation (IAF), confirmed last week that they would establish a support fund for athletes.

The fund is worth $500,000 (£400,000/€459,000) and is aimed at helping athletes through the financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Established in 1986 to support charity in athletics and founded by Honorary President Prince Albert II of Monaco, the IAF has allocated resources from its budgets for 2020 and 2021 to assist the athletes.

Coe, who also chairs the IAF, said the fund would help athletes who have lost income over the past few months due to the suspension of international competition.

He will chair a working group which will assess applications submitted through World Athletics' six Area Associations.

(05/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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To Run or Walk the Hills, That Is The Question

Those old enough to have learned to drive with a manual transmission were probably told they had to shift gears when the tachometer reached a certain RPM. Once you became proficient at it, you simply knew when to shift, by feel or sound, and didn’t need to look at the gauge much less think about it. The same is true of changing between running and walking uphill, but, surprisingly, it isn’t as simple, involving many variables. In fact, it is so complex that the choice of when to run or walk up a hill was the focus of a mountain runner student’s recent honors thesis.

Jackson Brill, a Salomon-sponsored runner and soon-to-be-graduate of the University of Colorado-Boulder, wrote his thesis on “To Run or Walk Uphill: A Matter of Inclination” toward earning his degree in Integrative Physiology. In researching it, he worked with his advisor, prominent CU faculty member, Dr. Roger Kram, Ph.D., Integrative Physiology, who runs the locomotion lab that did the original Nike 4% testing.

The Study

Brill’s thesis centers on the point at which uphill trail and mountain runners transition to walkers. He measured three different speeds at which this can occur. First is the “Preferred Transition Speed” (PTS), where people prefer to switch—any slower, humans prefer to walk, any faster, they prefer to run. The second is the “Energy Optimal Transition Speed,” (EOTS), where exercise economy — the cost required to maintain a certain speed — indicates transitioning to walking is mechanically better. (Note: Brill shies away from saying “more efficient” as there is no way to truly measure mechanical power in runners.) Finally, there is the heart rate optimal transition speed (HROTS); a third measure that is basically the same idea as EOTS but using heart rate as the efficiency indicator. At HROTS, heart rate is the same between walking and running. Slower than this speed, walking heart rate is lower than running heart rate. Faster than HROTS, vice versa.

Brill’s study set out to examine the effect that incline had on PTS and EOTS, and to determine “how heart rate is influenced by gait selection.” Brill’s hypothesis was that at certain speeds it would be more efficient to walk on steeper inclines and that both speed and incline play into PTS and EOTS. In other words, that both measures would get slower at steeper inclines.

“I thought this would occur because both walking and running are more metabolically demanding at steeper inclines and, thus, there would be greater drive to minimize energetic cost,” he says. “Finally, I hypothesized that HROTS and EOTS would be equal at each incline. I thought this would occur because heart rate generally correlates with energetic cost during steady state endurance exercise.”

Brill based his study on testing ten “healthy, high-caliber, male trail and mountain runners.” He tested the runners in two sessions, one where the treadmill was set at 0 degrees and 15 degrees and a second at 5 degrees and 10 degrees. PTS and EOTS were determined from metabolic cost data for walking and running at three or four speeds per incline near the expected EOTS.

Expected and Unexpected Research Findings

Image Courtesy Jackson Brill

Brill’s study and analysis produced expected and unexpected results. Consistent with prior research, the study showed that at all inclines walking generally required less metabolic power at slow speeds and running required less at faster speeds, and that the transition would arrive at a slower speed on steeper inclines. Also consistent with prior research was that PTS would be less than EOTS at shallow inclines. The reasons we transition sooner than what would be most metabolically efficient is unclear, but theories point to biomechanical factors, such as sparing fatigue on specific muscles.

This changed at a higher incline, however. At 15 degrees, PTS and EOTS were the same. Since this was only on average (not all of the subjects showed this change), Brill is cautious with drawing conclusions “especially because no prior research looked at PTS and EOTS on these steep inclines and, thus, nobody else has validated such a finding,” he says. However, he observes: “There’s physiological plausibility for PTS and EOTS to converge at steeper inclines since the greater intensity of the steeper inclines means that subjects are closer to their VO2 max and energetic cost or oxygen consumption begins to become a limiting factor at higher intensities, unlike lower intensities on the more gradual inclines.”

Unexpectedly, the study determined that HROT did not equal EOTS at all inclines and, accordingly, that heart rate is not a reliable predictor of when a runner will shift to walking. Therefore, athletes and coaches shouldn’t rely on heart rate monitors to govern gait.

Further Questions

As part of Brill’s written conclusion, he states: “Energetic, biomechanical, and neuromuscular factors may influence gait transition, and these should be studied in further detail, especially on inclines commonly experienced by trail and mountain runners, where the question of gait transition has large performance implications.” He says he’d love to delve into the effects of fuel utilization and carb sparing, local fatigue and the relative strength and weakness of specific lower leg muscles.

Image courtesy: Jackson Brill

Brill points out that the study was limited by the fact that the subjects weren’t able to place their hands on their quadriceps or knees to facilitate knee extension during late stance due to the constraints of the mouthpiece and breathing tube that collected expired air. This may have influenced metabolic cost and discomfort, especially at 10 and 15 degrees, and thus artificially distorted the results. Brill’s thesis also recognizes that the limitations of lab-based research eliminated a variety of relevant factors such as the steepness of the incline, length of the climb, ground surface, and the overall duration of the effort, which all weigh on an individual’s gait selection. Those factors are crucial, along with fueling choices, a runner’s unique leg strengths and weaknesses, use of poles or no poles, at what point in the run the incline comes, and, perhaps most importantly, whether there are other runners to pass or be passed by, or observers to cheer or jeer.

Impact of the Study

Brill says he thought this study was “important because many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes believe that deciding whether to walk or run uphill is solely determined by speed or solely determined by incline.” He wants runners and coaches to understand the “nuance and complexity of gait selection.” Additionally, many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes rely on cardiovascular or energetic models in their training—in the sense of VO2 max and anaerobic threshold workouts—and he wanted to determine whether that reliance was well founded. “Furthermore,” he says, “since coaches and athletes often utilize heart rate monitors to approximate cardiovascular stress or energetic cost, I also wanted to learn if this was a useful tool for approximating EOTS.”

Beyond heart rate, Brill says, “The practical importance of this finding is that if someone says ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going slower than 12 minutes per mile’ or, alternatively, ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going steeper than 10 degrees,’ they’re dumb, because ultimately the speed of transition—whether we’re talking PTS, EOTS, or the unknown transition speed that optimizes performance—is a function of both incline and speed, not just one or the other.”

Expected and Unexpected Research Findings

Brill’s study and analysis produced expected and unexpected results. Consistent with prior research, the study showed that at all inclines walking generally required less metabolic power at slow speeds and running required less at faster speeds, and that the transition would arrive at a slower speed on steeper inclines. Also consistent with prior research was that PTS would be less than EOTS at shallow inclines. The reasons we transition sooner than what would be most metabolically efficient is unclear, but theories point to biomechanical factors, such as sparing fatigue on specific muscles.

This changed at a higher incline, however. At 15 degrees, PTS and EOTS were the same. Since this was only on average (not all of the subjects showed this change), Brill is cautious with drawing conclusions “especially because no prior research looked at PTS and EOTS on these steep inclines and, thus, nobody else has validated such a finding,” he says. However, he observes: “There’s physiological plausibility for PTS and EOTS to converge at steeper inclines since the greater intensity of the steeper inclines means that subjects are closer to their VO2 max and energetic cost or oxygen consumption begins to become a limiting factor at higher intensities, unlike lower intensities on the more gradual inclines.”

Unexpectedly, the study determined that HROT did not equal EOTS at all inclines and, accordingly, that heart rate is not a reliable predictor of when a runner will shift to walking. Therefore, athletes and coaches shouldn’t rely on heart rate monitors to govern gait.

Further Questions

As part of Brill’s written conclusion, he states: “Energetic, biomechanical, and neuromuscular factors may influence gait transition, and these should be studied in further detail, especially on inclines commonly experienced by trail and mountain runners, where the question of gait transition has large performance implications.” He says he’d love to delve into the effects of fuel utilization and carb sparing, local fatigue and the relative strength and weakness of specific lower leg muscles.

Brill points out that the study was limited by the fact that the subjects weren’t able to place their hands on their quadriceps or knees to facilitate knee extension during late stance due to the constraints of the mouthpiece and breathing tube that collected expired air. This may have influenced metabolic cost and discomfort, especially at 10 and 15 degrees, and thus artificially distorted the results. Brill’s thesis also recognizes that the limitations of lab-based research eliminated a variety of relevant factors such as the steepness of the incline, length of the climb, ground surface, and the overall duration of the effort, which all weigh on an individual’s gait selection. Those factors are crucial, along with fueling choices, a runner’s unique leg strengths and weaknesses, use of poles or no poles, at what point in the run the incline comes, and, perhaps most importantly, whether there are other runners to pass or be passed by, or observers to cheer or jeer.

Impact of the Study

Brill says he thought this study was “important because many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes believe that deciding whether to walk or run uphill is solely determined by speed or solely determined by incline.” He wants runners and coaches to understand the “nuance and complexity of gait selection.” Additionally, many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes rely on cardiovascular or energetic models in their training—in the sense of VO2 max and anaerobic threshold workouts—and he wanted to determine whether that reliance was well founded. “Furthermore,” he says, “since coaches and athletes often utilize heart rate monitors to approximate cardiovascular stress or energetic cost, I also wanted to learn if this was a useful tool for approximating EOTS.”

Beyond heart rate, Brill says, “The practical importance of this finding is that if someone says ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going slower than 12 minutes per mile’ or, alternatively, ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going steeper than 10 degrees,’ they’re dumb, because ultimately the speed of transition—whether we’re talking PTS, EOTS, or the unknown transition speed that optimizes performance—is a function of both incline and speed, not just one or the other.”

(05/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Podium Runner
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Kenya: 1000 Needy Kenyan Athletes to Benefit From Food Relief and Cash Stipends

he Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage has identified over 1000 needy athletes who are set to benefit from food packages and cash stipends.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed revealed this as she flagged off an initial donation of food packages to 58 athletes based in Eldoret on Thursday morning.

"Eliud Kipchoge has helped us identify the needy athletes who really deserve to get these food packages as an initial relief. These are athletes who were meant to participate in the World Youth Championship in July and other local races which have since been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic," Mohamed said.

The CS also revealed that her ministry is working on giving out a cash stipend to Kenyan athletes to cushion them during these hard times.

"Other than athletes, we also have rugby players, footballers in the Kenyan Premier League and Kenya Women's Premier League and many other sportsmen and women. We haven't forgotten them and we will soon be rolling out cash stipends to them," she said.

"Our plan is to give them Sh 10,000 each but we are still on the planning phase of how we will roll it out successfully," she added.

The CS called on corporate entities to partner with the ministry for this initiative.

"We have some money from the Sports Fund for these activities but it can never be enough to reach all the needy and deserving athletes. I call upon organizations to come on board and help us reach more sportsmen and women," she emphasized.

The food packages donated to the athletes in Eldoret have maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil, pasta among other foodstuffs.

(05/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge, the legend, is leading from the front in distributing relief food to vulnerable athletes in the Rift Valley

On Friday, the Olympic champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge spent his day in Kericho County distributing the food which was flagged off by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Thursday.

Kipchoge, along with his Eliud Kipchoge Foundation, was picked as the ambassador of the relief project by the Ministry of Sport to motivate and come to the aid of athletes who have lost huge potential income owing to cancellation of races as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite.

The food was donated by the ministry and well wishers, including the Hindu Council of Kenya, with Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo joining Amina in flagging off the consignments on Thursday.

The packages being given to each athlete, have, inter alia, maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil and pasta.

Athletes in Kericho were excited to not only receive the portions, but also have a close encounter with their legend Kipchoge who became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours in Vienna last October.

Kipchoge was, perhaps, difficult to identify, given that he wore a face mask in tandem with public health directives, but his Nike jumper and unique, grey Nike Zoom shoes along with the spring the famous spring in his step as he moved up and down, unloading the consignments from trucks, gave him in.

Seeing the legend “live” was huge consolation for the disruption in the Kericho athletes’ training programmes by Covid-19 precautions that outlaw group training sessions and races from being held.

Kipchoge’s programme too has been seriously disrupted by the pandemic.

Last month, he had been lined up with his Ethiopian Global Sports Communication stable mate but rival, Kenenisa Bekele, at the London Marathon.

Then in July, he was primed to defend his Olympic marathon title in Sapporo.

But while the April 26 London Marathon was postponed to October 4, the Olympic Games have been pushed to July and August next year, holding all factors constant.

Kipchoge has now to juggle between staying in shape and helping out the disadvantaged athletes, indeed the hallmark of a selfless legend.

n Friday, Kipchoge will be on the food relief mission in Kapsabet, Eldoret, Iten and Kaptagat.

"Through Eliud Kipchoge, we have identified 58 athletes who are very needy and deserve to get these food packages,” CS Amina said on Thursday while flagging off the food convoy at Nyayo National Stadium.

“The effects of the pandemic mean they cannot compete and they do not have any source of income.”

The CS, who announced earlier in the week that cover 1,000 sportsmen and women will benefit from the relief food, also appealed to the private sector and individuals to supplement the government's efforts in helping the vulnerable sportsmen and women.

(05/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Dilemma for Women's world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei to defend Chicago or London titles

World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei is in dilemma on which race to participate in come October.

The London Marathon was postponed from April to October 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile the Chicago Marathon is scheduled for October 11.

Kosgei would love to run both Majors but she is certainly not a superwoman and must choose one.

According to the Kapsait-based athlete, she was in good shape in March and looking forward to the season before Covid-19 outbreak struck leading to the suspension of the athletics calendar.

“My preparations for the London Marathon race where I was going to defend my title were in top gear because I had less than two months to finalise my programme before coronavirus disrupted it,” said Kosgei at her home.

She was also named in the Kenya marathon team to the Olympic Games which were postponed to next year due to the virus.

She said that her programme had been all geared towards defending her title in London race then preparing for an assault on Tokyo Olympics gold.

“But now I have to wait for to next year. I believe I will still be in good shape to run and win the race,” said Kosgei, who is under Rosa Associati management.

With five months to go before the London and Chicago marathons are held Kosgei has all the time to decide as she picks up on her training.

She is currently training individually in Eldoret, following the government directives of social distancing. “When the camps were closed, the only thing possible was to training a lone. So I am doing that here in Eldoret, but how I miss competitive running. I cannot wait for things to return to normal,” she said.

She has also been tending to her five-acre potato farm in Kapsait, with the help of her husband Mathew Kosgei whom she says has been very supportive of her career.

Kosgei won last year’s prestigious London Marathon with a time of 2:18:20 ahead of compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot who clocked 2:20:14 while Ethiopia’s Rosa Dereje was third in 2:20:51.

She broke the women’s marathon record in Chicago last year clocking 2 hours, 14 minutes and 04 seconds.

She is optimistic of lowering her personal best in the near future.

(05/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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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The Missoula Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

We are disappointed to announce that we will be cancelling the Missoula Marathon weekend of events for 2020.  This was a very challenging and difficult decision for the Run Wild Missoula Board of Directors and the Missoula Marathon race committee.

We take great pride in putting on our race and love being a part of the energy and excitement of race weekend.  

We recognize the pride that our community takes in supporting the race and showing off Missoula to thousands of people from across the U.S. and from around the world.

We know that marathon weekend has a significant economic impact for our local hotels, restaurants, retailers, breweries and other small businesses.

Race weekend also provides the opportunity to showcase our amazing sponsors, and, finally, proceeds from the race allow us to make donations to local organizations who are doing great things in our community.

But we also recognize that we have a larger commitment to the Missoula community.  In the current pandemic scenario, we are obligated to consider the health and safety of participants, volunteers, vendors, and community members.

Through stay at home orders and social distancing directives issued by the Governor’s office and local health departments, Montana has done an admirable job in managing the spread of the virus within our state.  But, in discussions with our medical director and local health officials, there is serious concern about a potential spike in virus cases in Missoula in the days and weeks following the marathon should the race be held as scheduled.

Those same thoughts and concerns have also been expressed by others in the community, including our volunteers and race committee members.  And, as we have now topped 1 million cases in the U.S., it is also reflective of the number of events in Montana and around the country that have been cancelled in May, June, July – and beyond. 

Further, there is no timeline, in Montana or elsewhere, suggesting when large group events involving thousands of people such as races and concerts will be allowed to resume. 

So, in consideration of the public health of the Missoula community and our participants, we realize that the only responsible action is to cancel the race for 2020.

This is not the outcome we envisioned for the 14th Annual Missoula Marathon.  But we do intend to be back in June, 2021.  Until then – Stay Active, Stay Healthy, Stay Safe, and Stay Strong.

(05/08/2020) ⚡AMP
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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Kenyan Mary Keitany is ready to shed off added weight after hip injury lay-off

If you are familiar with former London Marathon champion Mary Keitany, the first thing you will notice when you meet her is the extra bit of weight she is obviously carrying.

Understandably, Keitany has been nursing a hip injury picked last year that has prevented her from engaging in any serious training.

Many may not be aware that she sustained the injury when she competed in last year’s London Marathon finishing fifth in 2:20:58 as compatriot Brigid Kosgei romped to victory in 2:18:20.

Keitany told Nation Sport that she has been treating the hip injury since then.

She lined up for the New York Marathon against the advise of her doctor and is paying the price for that.

Running as the defending champion, she finished second in 2:23:32 as New York got a surprise winner in the name of newcomer Joyciline Jepkosgei, who romped to a marathon debut win of 2:22:38 while Ethiopia’s Ruti Aga sealed the podium in 2:25:51.

In the new season, Keitany was to debut in Boston Marathon in April but she pulled out because the hip injury, that had been aggravated in New York and just could not heal, seriously affected her preparations.

“I was supposed to compete this year in the Boston Marathon but I had to cancel in February because I could not prepare adequately. I saw it wise to take a break this season,” said Keitany, who is also the world record holder in a women’s only marathon.

She did just that before starting easy training recently.In the new season, Keitany was to debut in Boston Marathon in April but she pulled out because the hip injury, that had been aggravated in New York and just could not heal, seriously affected her preparations.

“I was supposed to compete this year in the Boston Marathon but I had to cancel in February because I could not prepare adequately. I saw it wise to take a break this season,” said Keitany, who is also the world record holder in a women’s only marathon.

She did just that before starting easy training recently.

or a major marathon which is always competitive, I need four months of good training so that I can gun for a win. We hope by then the virus will have been contained and business back to normal especially in USA which has been seriously hit,” said Keitany at her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Keitany said that the coronavirus pandemic may have stopped races but the athletes will come out stronger. “I really feel for the athletes who had their races cancelled or rescheduled. They didn’t get the money and I’m crying for that athlete who was going for his/her first race but it was cancelled due to the virus,” she said.

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Dathan Ritzenhein Retires at Age 37

Dathan Ritzenhein, a high school prodigy who went on to become a two-time global medalist, three-time Olympian, five-time national champion and a 2:07 marathoner, has decided to retire after 16 years of professional running. 

The 37 year-old, who grew up in Rockford, Mich., and competed for the University of Colorado during his collegiate career, decided that he had accomplished all of his main goals and the time was right to shift his focus away from competitive running.

“I guess I’m not necessarily 25 and retiring in my prime,” Ritzenhein told Race Results Weekly by telephone from his Michigan home yesterday just after finishing a hard 10-mile run.  He continued: “I have things that I wish that I have done in my career, but I’m also very satisfied, too.  I think right now it’s something that I thought a lot about the last year. 

I’ve had a lot of nostalgic moments, looking back a lot more than looking forward.  So, I don’t know that I had a lot more goals that I was looking to accomplish.”

While still competing for Colorado, Ritzenhein made his first of three Olympic teams in 2004, despite finishing only 22nd at the USA Olympic Trials in the 10,000m.  Ritzenhein made the team because he was one of only five athletes entered who had the Olympic “A” standard of 27:49.00 (he had run 27:38.50 in his debut at the distance in April, then a U.S. collegiate record).  Trials winner Meb Keflezighi opted for the marathon (where he would win the silver medal) and Bob Kennedy dropped out.  That left Abdi Abdirahman, Dan Browne (who would also compete in the Marathon) and Ritzenhein to run the 10,000m in Athens, the three remaining finishers who had the standard.  Running on a badly injured foot in Athens, Ritzenhein failed to finish.

“My first one was a miserable experience where I hobbled my way on,” Ritzenhein said of making his first Olympic team.  He continued: “I made the standard, and just not many people had it.  Bob Kennedy had it and Meb, and Dan Browne and Abdi.  Meb ended up running the marathon and Bob Kennedy dropped out of the 10-K, and I knew I just had to finish the race.”

Ritzenhein made his professional racing debut at the Boclassic 10-K in Bolzano, Italy, on December 31, 2004, the day after his 22nd birthday.  He pushed the pace with two laps to go in the 8-lap race and finished third behind Sergey Lebed of Ukraine and Stefano Baldini of Italy (Baldini was the reigning Olympic Marathon champion).  Ritzenhein had signed with Nike just prior to the Athens Olympics, and Brad Hudson became his coach.  He won both the USATF cross country and 10-K road running titles in 2005, and under Hudson’s coaching jumped right to the marathon in 2006, making his debut at the New York City Marathon.  It was a controversial decision, and after a 1:05:35 first half he finished 11th in 2:14:01, calling the discomfort he endured in the last four miles “undescribable.”

Almost exactly a year later, Ritzenhein returned to New York for the 2008 USA Olympic Trials Marathon (which were held in November, 2007), and he finished second to Ryan Hall in 2:11:07, a personal best.  He would go on to finish ninth in the Olympic Marathon the following year in Beijing, and it looked like Ritzenhein was going to focus mainly on the marathon.

But unlike other track runners who moved up, Ritzenhein wasn’t so quick to abandon the track, cross country or road races below the marathon distance.  He used his marathon strength to great effect in training, and his track running was never better.  In one of his best years, 2009, he set the American record for 5000m of 12:56.27 (since broken), ran a 10,000m personal best of 27:22.28 when he finished sixth at the IAAF World Championships 10,000m, and won a bronze medal at the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships, running 1:00:00.  He was also the runner-up at the USATF championships for both the 10,000m and half-marathon, and finished 10th at the London Marathon.

“That’s what always drove me,” said Ritzenhein.  “I would always have these goals and you’d have these valleys between them.  Really high moments, like the American record, bronze medal at the world junior championships (in cross country), or the world half-marathon championships.  Those are the races where you just feel invincible.”

But he was not invincible.  Ritzenhein suffered numerous injuries throughout his career (he recalled having over 40 MRI’s), and had to have surgeries three times.  He missed most of 2011 due to a surgery to his right Achilles tendon, but his long recovery (made even longer by a lingering infection) set him up for his most dramatic year, 2012.

“After three years away from the track I had doubts,” Ritzenhein said.  “I poured it all out there.  At the Olympic Trials it was an epic day.  I didn’t have the standard and quite a few people in the race did.”  He added: “It seemed like an impossible task.”

Ritzenhein said that he will always be a runner, and that he’ll still run hard sometimes (he averaged a six-minute pace on yesterday’s 10-miler, he said).  He already coaches a few athletes, including marathoner Parker Stinson.

“This isn’t the end for sure,” he said.  “This is all I know.  The sport of running is my passion and my love.”  He added: “I’m looking forward to continuing to give back to the sport; coaching is a passion of mine.  I love writing, to talk to people, and give people advice.  It’s in my DNA.  I’ll always run.  It’s just something I can’t go without.”

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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The Quad-City Times Bix 7 will be held virtually in July 2020

The Quad-City Times Bix 7, Prairie Farms Quick Bix, and Arconic Jr. Bix will be held virtually in July 2020, race leaders announced today – continuing the Bix tradition in a way that honors the caution necessary in this time of pandemic.

This unprecedented decision was made out of an abundance of caution, and in concert with the Bix 7 medical and safety support team, said Michelle Juehring, race director.

The greatest factor has been, and will continue to be, the safety of race participants, volunteers, spectators and the community as a whole. This year, the spirit of Bix will go beyond the city of Davenport, Iowa.

“Our team has been working diligently over the past months, exploring every option to  make this year’s Quad-City Times Bix 7 a safe and successful event,” Juehring said. “For more than 45 years, the Quad-City Times Bix 7 was held on the last Saturday of July. This year, participants will have the whole month of July to Run With The Best.”

Participants can complete their race distance during the time frame of July 1-July 25, at any location: sidewalk, treadmill, trail, living room or track. Runners and walkers will submit their times online. A finisher’s certificate can be printed and shared to social media. An official race T-shirt will be mailed.

Registered runners for the Quad-City Times Bix 7, Praire Farms Quick Bix and Arconic Jr Bix will have two options. Transition into the 2020 Quad-City Times Bix 7 Virtual Race or transfer race entry into the 2021 race. An email will be sent to registered runners with detailed instructions.

“The 2020 Quad-City Times Bix 7, Prairie Farms Quick Bix, and Arconic Jr. Bix may not be the races we are accustomed to, but it will certainly be historic," Juehring said.

“Please, stay safe, look out for each other and throw out kindness like confetti. This year we will Run With The Best – together, apart.”

Register today at www.Bix7.com to Find Your Happy Pace!

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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Bix 7 miler

Bix 7 miler

This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...

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Laz Lake’s The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1,000K, has over 18,000 signups

Just two weeks ago, Laz Lake, race director of the Barkley Marathons, launched the registration page for his latest event, The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1,000K, and as of today, over 18,000 people have signed up.

The race officially began on May 1, and runners have until August 31 to complete the 1,021.68K route. Although some runners have already been at it for almost a full week, registration is still open, and the total number of participants keeps climbing. Lake’s race is certainly one of the longest on the 2020 virtual event calendar, but it might claim the title of biggest field, too.

Runners won’t actually run across Tennessee, since it’s a virtual race, but their progress will be monitored and updated on a live map of the state and race route. This way, there’s a visual of how far an athlete has come and how much longer they have to go.

They will also be able to see the progress of fellow runners, so racers will know exactly where they stack up against the 18,000 other competitors. For people who think 1,000K isn’t far enough, there’s an out-and-back 2,000K option.

The race entry fee is $60, and with over 18,000 racers, that’s a lot of money (over $1 million). On the event signup page, there is a donation button where people can give money to help Feeding America, an organization that provides food and support to over 40 million Americans each year.

The race webpage doesn’t specifically say what percentage of race entry fees will be given to Feeding America, but an overall goal to raise $100,000 is listed on the site.

In addition to The Great Virtual Race, there’s the Doggie Run Across Tennessee for Animal Shelters.

This event is for people who want to run with their dogs (as the name suggests), and it costs $30 to enter. All of the proceeds from this event will be donated to animal shelters in the U.S.

Registration for the race is open until August 1, but as the website states, “the longer you wait, the less time you have.” August is still a long way off, but if you leave your 1,000K race until the last 30 days, you might have a hard time finishing before the cut-off, so sign up sooner rather than later if you plan on racing.

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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The Cape Town Virtual Marathon will offer an interactive and immersive race experience for athletes across the globe

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon race organisers are adding a virtual version of the iconic city marathon to its existing bouquet of events.

The virtual marathon will offer an interactive and immersive race experience for athletes across the globe by superimposing the race route on top of streets, open spaces and gardens, complete with live tracking, distance markers, and push messages with information about key landmarks as they are passed.

The creation of this virtual race will allow athletes to compete in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on October 18 from anywhere in the world, starting at 6.30am local time, wherever they are.

The race will be available through the Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon app, an integrated digital platform that will launch in the coming weeks.

“We are excited to introduce this digital offering.

“The app will track participants as if they are running the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon route, whether they find themselves in New York, Naples or Knysna, making this a virtual race like no other.

“I am certain that having a race on the horizon will give athletes a tangible goal to work towards, and the extra motivation needed to maintain their training within the parameters of the lockdown levels they may find themselves in,” said marathon chairperson, Francois Pienaar.

As it is still too early to predict whether the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be staged in its original format on October 18, the race organisers remain in close contact with Athletics South Africa and all relevant roleplayers as the months progress.

“While this is a significant challenge, it’s also the perfect time to be innovative, which is why we have reached out to and gained support from our sponsors, partners and stakeholders to bring the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon to our global marathon family, no matter where they are,” added Pienaar.

Western Province Athletics president Jakes Jacobs has called the introduction of the virtual marathon an example of how race organisers can find creative solutions to the challenges they may face.

In this uncertain time, we believe the way forward is to be responsible and prioritise the safety of all participants and stakeholders.

(05/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Charmaine Slater
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a City Marathon held in Cape Town, South Africa, which is sponsored by Sanlam, the City of Cape Town and Vital Health Foods. The marathon is held on a fast and flat course, starting and finishing in Green Point, near the Cape Town Stadium. Prior to existing in its current format, the Cape Town...

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Kenyan Faith Chepng'etich hopeful of returning stronger once the Athletics season resume

Coronavirus pandemic has put all athletics activities on hold but Olympics 1,500 meters champion and former World Champion Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon is hoping to restore her faith in the race when the athletics season resumes.

Chepng’etich, 26, claimed silver medal at last year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha in a time of 3min, 54.22secs, more than two seconds behind Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands.

The athlete has said the cancellation of major athletics meetings is a big setback to her plans of bouncing back to the top of her speciality.

“I’m hopeful of making a strong comeback. I miss serious athletics competitions,” Chepng’etich told Nation Sport on Monday from her individual training base.

Chepng’etich, who won a gold medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in a time of 4:08.92, is determined to stamp her authority as the queen of the race by retaining the Olympic crown and registering victories in the Diamond League series once the athletics season resumes proper in 2021 after the deadly virus has been contained.

“My campaign has been jolted by the arrival of coronavirus pandemic which has halted sports globally but that will not bog me down,” said Chepng’etich.

She added: “It is not easy for an athlete who has been consistent in training and strategising for major races for more than six months to adjust. However, as a true sportswoman, I’m now alive to the fact that the planned events will not be held this year.”

Ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games which have now been pushed to next year, Chepng’etich also stepped up her training to participate in the Diamond League series this year.

“My body has been responding very well to my training schedule and I have no injury worries. I was banking on the good form to prepare for a good fight with my opponents in the Diamond League and the Olympics,” said Chepng’etich.

“After the cancellation of the Olympic Games and Diamond League meetings, my training program has taken a new twist. I was hoping to make a big comeback before this deadly virus invaded our country and forced me to change my way of training and socializing inside and outside the track with my coach and other athletes,” said Chepng’etich.

“I have wonderful moments with my baby everyday after completing my morning and afternoon workouts.”

“My baby girl Alyn was born in June 2018 and is almost celebrating her second birthday. She is now big and talking. I’m enjoying the way she is keeping me busy. Her noise, perfect touch and the way she is doing some joyful little things in the living room is hilarious and makes motherhood more enjoyable after a rigorous training in the track,” added Chepng’etich.

(05/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Francis Mureithi
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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More than 13,000 Participants Worldwide have been Taking Part in Rock 'n' Roll Virtual Running Series Race

The global community of walkers and runners came together for the second straight weekend with over 13,000 people from 75 nations and all 50 states taking to the virtual start line for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2, the second edition in the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running™ (VR™) Series. Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2 offered participants two different race distances that included 10K and Half Marathon options.

Participants have the ability to compete anywhere, indoors or outdoors, as long as the distance of their choosing was completed in one session between Friday, May 1 at 2 p.m. ET and event close Sunday, May 3 at 7:59 p.m. ET.

Participants in Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2 came from around the world and ranged in age from 18 to 77. The United States led the way with over 7,000 walkers and runners followed by Canada (over 500), the United Kingdom (over 500), Mexico (over 250) and Spain (over 150).

Other nations represented included Argentina, Croatia, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Norway, and Turkey, among others. Of the 50 U.S. states represented, the greatest number came from California, followed by Texas, Florida, Virginia and Arizona. Nearly 10,000 participants took on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club™ Challenges leading up to Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2. Participants embarked on several separate running and workout challenges with the opportunity for rewards in the comfort of their own community.

The challenges included the United Airlines Challenge 1: Escape to San Francisco, which saw participants complete a 1.7-mile run, the exact distance it would take to cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge; The St. Jude Challenge 1: 10,800 Strong, a 5-mile run in one period for the Heroes of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and a Community Challenge 2: Geena's "Oh, a Tree" Challenge a 50-minute fartlek, A.K.A “speed play”, session of consecutive running (a workout that helps the body adapt to various speeds, conditioning you to become faster over longer distances).

Special prizes such as a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hydration Backpack, Rock ‘n’ Roll Medal Display Hanger; and a Rock ‘n’ Roll by Brooks Running Company Accessories Bundle were awarded out. In total, 27,000 runners and walkers from across the globe have joined the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running Club platform giving them access to a series of weekly races, challenges, and rewards.

This week, Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3 will offer two distances for the global community, including an 8K and 15K. Racing begins on Friday, May 8 at 2 p.m. ET and concludes on Sunday, May 10 at 7:59 p.m. ET. In addition, the first ever virtual Remix Challenge will be offered during this weekend’s races. Participants who take on both the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3 8K and 15K can earn access to three medals beginning Friday, May 8 at 2 p.m. ET. To register for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3, runners need to sign up for the distance they would like to do through the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club platform and connect to their tracker app. Runners can then complete their registration by going to the “Events” tab and clicking “Register Now” on the virtual race page.

(05/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon

Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon

2020 race postponed and no new date has been set as of May 7. ROCK the streets where it all began. The Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & 1/2 Marathon returns for its 23rd year in 2020. Run through historic neighborhoods including Balboa Park and Old Town. The Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay are packed with live entertainment on course...

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Elite Spanish runners, who have just been allowed to train outdoors again, report being reprimanded by members of the public.

“Due to my elite national athlete status I can train at any time of the day.” tweeted marathon runner Javier Guerra. “We should understand that we are in an extreme situation but always with respect.”

Carlos Mayo added: “I have received five verbal attention calls, including a lady screaming from her balcony.

I have felt a lot of helplessness because I consider that I was not doing anything wrong, complying with the rules and doing it at a certain time for the reasons that I have already explained.”

(05/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Grandma’s Marathon Kicks Off Virtual Races

Grandma’s Marathon weekend may be canceled this year, but runners are still hitting the pavement to clock in their times.

Beginning Monday, registered runners could run their races, including the William A. Irvin 5K, the Garry Bjorklund half marathon or the full marathon.

Each participant can print out their own race bib and then submit their times online. While those times won’t be race official, all runners will receive a medal later this summer.

“They were excited that they could finish their time right away and log it before it gets too warm where they run. So it’s nice there’s a big window so runners can either follow the same training program that they were planning to run and complete their races in June,” marketing and public relations director of Grandma’s Marathon Mandi Peterson said.

More than 200 people have already finished their races. Registered runners have until July 31 to submit their times.

(05/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Claudia Chakamian
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Grandmas Marathon

Grandmas Marathon

Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...

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The Bolder Boulder 10K race is offering a free virtual event

While you can’t run the BOLDERBoulder 10K in person this year, the race is offering a free virtual event. Anyone can run, jog, or walk a 10K from any location for a VirtuALL event on Memorial Day May 25, 2020.

The race is a Memorial Day tradition that typically attracts around 47,000 in person finishers. Because of the coronavirus outbreak this year, the race postponed the in person event until Labor Day in September.

But to keep the Memorial Day tradition alive, the race is offering a fun, free event that offers:

A VirtuALL Memorial Day 10K Bib to download and personalize any way you like.

Option to purchase a limited edition t-shirt or hat for $25 per item. Remember the days we OverCome and your accomplishments.

We give $5 of your purchase to the Colorado COVID relief fund.

Submit your time for a customized Participant’s Certificate.

To learn more go to https://bb10k.bolderboulder.com/

(05/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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BOLDER BOULDER

BOLDER BOULDER

In 1979 we dreamt of attracting a few hundred of our friends to race though the streets of Boulder, Colorado to celebrate Memorial Day with our families. Fast forward almost 40 years and the Bolder BOULDER has grown to become one of the largest and most highly acclaimed 10K’s in the world. Almost 1.2 million runners, joggers, walkers and spectators...

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World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki says athletes must learn from Covid-19 crisis

The road racer flew to Japan to sign a deal with Toyota Motor Corporation before the suspension of international flights.

He managed to fly to Tokyo moments before Kenya suspended all international flights due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

And from the experience, Bedan Karoki, the 2016 World Half Marathon silver medalist, says the Covid-19 crisis serves as a wake-up call to sportsmen and women. That was barely one week after competing in Tokyo Marathon on March 1.

The 2020 edition of the Tokyo Marathon was restricted to elite athletes only. The race organisers had canceled the event for 38,000 fun runners due to health and safety fears.

“I had just come home after competing in Tokyo Marathon when the first case was reported. I had to make quick decision to go back to Japan, where I had to sign a deal to start working with Toyota Motor Corporation in April. My fears were that Kenyan authorities could cancel all international flights immediately and I had to rush back. 

“Though there are no group training sessions here in Japan, we train individually to keep fit. My new company has a large training ground. 

“But Covid-19 has been a wake-up call to sportsmen and women. I have realised that careers and earnings can come to an abrupt end. Some of us are lucky to be earning some money from our employers,” said Karoki, who previously competed for DeNA Cooperate team in Tokyo.

Karoki, who comes from Nyandarua, was on the marathon reserve list for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games team.

Since his debut in the national team at the 2011 at All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique, where he won silver medal in 10,000m, Karoki has always donned the national team colours – featuring prominently in 10,000m, World Cross Country and World Half Marathon championships alongside three-time World Half Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor. 

He has finished second behind Kamworor at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championship in Guiyang, China and World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, United Kingdom in 2016.

(05/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Dennis Okeyo
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Some Kenya athletes are keeping themselves busy working on farms during this crisis

Coronavirus pandemic has shook the sports world globally, causing a stoppage of all sports competitions and tournaments.

From March 13 when Kenya reported her first confirmed case of coronavirus, Kenyan sports has suffered, and local athletics has not been spared either.

In March, athletes who have been training in various camps across the country in readiness for the season were forced to go back home and engage on other things following a ban on all sports activities and social gatherings by the government in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The government also put in place guidelines on social distancing. Many of the athletes are now venturing into farming, which promises good earnings after missing the entire athletics season.

World record holder in 3,000 metres steeplechase Beatrice Chepkoech has been busy helping her parents at home with fetching firewood and picking tea leaves at the family farm.

Chepkoech retreated to her rural home in Besiobei Village in Konoin, Bomet County where she trains alone and also spends the rest of her time helping her parents.

“The entire season is now going to waste and we have been left to just do easy training as one way of keeping fit. But as an athlete, I also need to be in good form just in case the virus is contained and competitions are open,” said Chepkoech.

She is now focusing on next season as she seeks to break the world record in the distance, and to win a gold medal in 2020 Olympic Games which have been postponed to next year.

Japan-based Rodgers Kwemoi is now concentrating on maize farming in Furfural village in Matunda, Uasin Gishu County after failing to travel back to Japan.

The 2016 World Under-20 champion in 10,000m has been working and at the same time training in Japan but he couldn’t go back due to the virus where he is signed up by Asian Corporate team in Japan. He told Nation Sport that he is now concentrating on maize farming as he waits for things to come back to normal.

“I’m now busy spraying pesticides on maize in my farm. As athletes we depend on running and we feel wasted because the whole season has now gone to waste,” said Kwemoi.

He is keen to represent Kenya at the Olympics after coming in fourth place at the Doha World Championships last year.

World Under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto is also busy planting trees in Kimamet village in Kamwosor, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

(05/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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The organizers of the Stirling Scottish Marathon have moved the event to May 9 2021 due to the pandemic

The organizers of the Stirling Scottish Marathon, Classic Run Events, have issued the following message to all registered runners.

Dear Runner, I hope you and your family are keeping well during these very difficult days.

We are writing to update you on the status of the Stirling Scottish Marathon, which was scheduled to take place on the weekend of October 10th and 11th this year.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, after very careful consideration, we have taken the decision to postpone this year’s event.

The event is being moved to the weekend of May 8th and 9th 2021, with the marathon taking place on Sunday the 9th of May. 

During the lockdown period we have been closely monitoring all advice and guidelines from the Scottish Government.

In assessing all current available information it is our view that there is a very high risk that social distancing restrictions for mass gatherings will extend into the summer and autumn months.

If this is the case it will severely impact our ability to organise and deliver the world class marathon that we promised.

All of our team are bitterly disappointed in having to make this decision but the welfare of our runners, colleagues, volunteers and suppliers is paramount.

Given the risk we decided an early decision would be in the best interests of all runners as many have already made travel and accommodation arrangements for the weekend in October.

All entries for the October 10th and 11th dates will be deferred to the new dates in May 2021.

While we hope you will join us in 2021 and support the re-arranged event, plus all the charities involved, and any runner unable to take part on the new date can request a refund.

We would like to thank our charity partners, sponsors, Stirling Council and all our key stakeholders for their understanding and support on this matter.

We appreciate that you have been training hard in readiness for the Stirling Marathon weekend but we look forward to seeing you, and many new participants, on the start line next spring when the world will undoubtedly be a safer place.

Entries for the 2021 event are now open at thestirlingmarathon.co.uk 

Stay safe and healthy.

With our very best wishes to you and your family.

The Classic Run Events Team.

Speaking after today's announcement, Councillor Chris Kane, Convener of Community Planning and Regeneration: said: “This was a tough call to make but I applaud the organisers for taking this decision early, and communicating it clearly with all participants.

“The Marathon was gearing up to be one of the key components of our events calendar and I have no doubt it will remain one of the most eagerly anticipated attractions in Scotland next year when we are hopefully all in a better situation.

“I thank everyone who has signed up so far and hope to see you all at the finish line next year in May.”

(05/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Stirling Scottish Marathon

Stirling Scottish Marathon

“Run through the heart of Scotland and run through history” Run the most picturesque marathon in the world! The winner of the men’s and women’s elite competition will walk away with a £2,000 cash prize. There are cash prizes for the top three runners in each age group. ...

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Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech 3000m Steeplechase world record holder wants to lower that record once things get back to normal

The coronavirus pandemic may have jolted Beatrice Chepkoech's lofty plans this season, but like a seasoned barrier racer she has quickly regained her footing and her sights for the big prize.

The 3,000m women’s steeplechase world record holder still maintains her goal of lowering her record when competition resumes.

Chepkoech was in fine fettle at the beginning of the season as she looked ahead to the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Her win in the World Indoor Tour in Dusseldorf where she broke the 1,500m national record was clearly a sign of things to come before Covid-19 put paid to any further ambitions, at least for now.

Catching up with her at her home in Besiobei village in Konoin, Bomet County, Chepkoech seemed to have come to terms with the virus’s disruption easily talking about her botched plans this season.

She said that this year she had targeted bringing home the Olympic Games women’s steeplechase gold medal, the only diadem missing from her cabinet.

“I started the season well by winning in 1,500m and setting the national record during the World Indoors Tour. I was using the races to prepare for the season and my focus was to start the Diamond League series in super form,” said the champion.

Chepkoech had signed up for the Doha Diamond League 3,000m race before it was cancelled due to the virus.

“The World Tour was postponed to next year with Diamond League races following suit. These thoroughly disrupted our plans. But what to do. We just adjust and plan ahead,” she said.

She had no problems engaging this writer on her plans, saying her meticulous planing for the season had more or less gone to waste after lockdown restrictions were imposed almost the entire globe following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Chepkoech said she had been doing easy training over the past few weeks but planned to step up her regiment from next week as she targets the new season.

“The current situation is not permanent. Things will normalise and I intend to come back even stronger.”

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour donated Nearly $23,000 to Paramount Theatre

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour donated $22,780 to Paramount Theatre. The donation, in conjunction with Austin Marathon weekend, has increased annually since High Five Events took over in 2017. Nearly 2400 participants registered for the KXAN SimpleHealth 5K benefitting Paramount Theatre.

A portion of their registration fee supports the historic Austin theatre and its educational programs. The event is a part of Austin Marathon weekend and is the only 5K to run on historic South Congress Avenue.  

“We are thrilled to continue this partnership and be the recipient of funds from the KXAN SimpleHealth 5K. The funds from this event support our Education programs serving over 22,000 students each year. Performing, experiencing and learning through the arts helps all young people have the creative confidence they need to be successful in their communities,” said Maica Jordan, Chief Development Officer.

“These funds have immediate and enormous impact on our ability to serve the students most in need. Thanks to all who participated in the 5K and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.”

Inspired by the power of the arts to change lives, the Paramount Theatre strives to engage all Central Texans through extraordinary live performances and films, to ignite the intellect and imagination of our youths through Paramount Education programs, and to ensure the preservation of the crown jewels of downtown Austin. Constructed in 1915 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Paramount Theatre is one of the world's few surviving examples of a fully operational early twentieth-century vaudeville theatre.

More than 250,000 guests attend performing arts events, concerts, film, and talks downtown each year; the Paramount is a principal venue for the SXSW Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival, the Moontower Comedy Festival, and the Summer Classic Film Series. 

“The historic Paramount Theatre has a massive impact on Austin through its shows, community engagement, and educational programs," said Jack Murray, co-owner High Five Events. "We’re excited to grow our partnership and proud to continue our support for the Paramount through the KXAN SimpleHealth 5K."

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 30th year running in the capital of Texas on February 14, 2021. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 35+ countries around the world. The start and finish locations are just a few blocks apart. They are within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants.

The finish line is in front of the picturesque Texas State Capitol. The Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Registration is currently open.

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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Austin Marathon Weekend

Austin Marathon Weekend

The premier running event in the City of Austin annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With a downtown finish and within proximity of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Come run the roads of The Live Music Capital of the World where there's live music...

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World Under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto eager to lower his world record

Conoravirus lockdown has only made Rhonex Kipruto hungrier and he is now thinking of lowering his person best in 10 kilometers that happens to be the world record.

The World Under-20 men’s 10,000m champion believes that with good preparations his record can dip further.

Kipruto started the season in explosive fashion breaking the 10km world record at the Valencia Ibercaja road race. He clocked a blistering 26 minutes 23 second, lowering the previous world record of Joshua Cheptegei’s time of 26:38, by a massive 15 seconds.

In his great form he was all set to assault his own record before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the athletics calendar.

“I was right on target in my training and was focused on getting a place in the Olympic Games and going for the gold medal.

“But that has to wait now up to next year,” said Kipruto who is also the world bronze medalist in 10,000m.

Nation Sport caught up with Kipruto at Kimamet village in Kamwosor, Elgeyo Marakwet County where he was busy planting trees with his younger brother, Africa Under-20 10,000m champion Bravin Kogei.

According to Kipruto, when the camps were closed, they decided to go home and train individually.

The two normally wake up early in the morning for their normal run that covers about 21km before settling down to some easy farm work.

This they said was also part of their efforts to stop soil erosion and landslides that usually affects the community in this rather hilly area.

“Our training programme didn’t change it’s only that we are doing it alone which proves hard because we are used to group training back in Iten.

He has taken missing his much anticipated runs in the Diamond League in his stride and looking ahead to other promises.

“The virus has stopped the entire world but I want to say that we will come out of this situation stronger. Don’t be surprised to see athletes running faster times next season,” hinted Kipruto.

He termed the world record as the perfect gift for his training mates who helped him during the December holidays pushing him to his limits during preparations.

“Before I competed in January, I was training with a group comprised of various high school students who were at the holiday camp and they really pushed me in my training which later earned me a world record when I competed in Valencia,” he said.

Asked about Cheptegei, Kipruto said that he respects the world 10,000m champion but insists he is beatable.

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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The Calgary Marathon race weekend is going virtual for 2020

Calgary Marathon organizers have announced that the event (which includes a 5K, 10K, half and full marathons and a 50K) will take the virtual route for the 2020 season.

Organizers had postponed the race weekend—which had originally been set for May 31—until the fall, but given the uncertainty of COVID-19, they have decided to go virtual instead. In addition to the marathon race weekend, Run Calgary will hold several other virtual events throughout the rest of 2020.

Over 6,000 people have already signed up for the Calgary Marathon Race Weekend, and on May 4, registration will re-open for anyone else who would like to enter the virtual events. Entrants in each of the races will have from May 31 to September 27 to complete their runs.

After completion, runners upload their results to the RunKeeper app, where race leaderboards will be compiled. Anyone who had already registered for the race weekend and doesn’t want to compete in the virtual event has the option to defer their run until the 2021, 2022 or 2023 events.

The new virtual race series, which is called the 2020 Run Calgary Virtual Running Festival, features six events. The virtual festival starts with the Calgary Marathon on May 31 and has events throughout the summer and fall until December.

Participants won’t just get to race and see where they stack up against other runners—they will also receive race swag and medals, bibs and finishers’ certificates. Run Calgary organized a virtual event in 2019, well before COVID-19, and it did extremely well, selling out in just three hours.

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Scotiabank Calgary Marathon

Scotiabank Calgary Marathon

Organizers of the 56th Annual Scotiabank Calgary Marathon, originally scheduled for Sunday, May 31st, have announced that the race will be a virtual event. This is Canada's oldest marathon, Canadians and runners from around the world love this race, consistently voting in the Best Road Race in Alberta. There is a full-marathon, half-marathon, 10k, relay, 5k family walk/run and...

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It is not only the athletes who have been forced to adjust during the Covid-19 pandemic but also their coaches

For Nelio Moura, former coach to 2008 Olympic long jump champion Irving Saladino, the lockdown has created a coaching conundrum spanning not just one country but two continents.

The Brazilian horizontal jumps coach works with several athletes from his homeland, including South American women’s long jump champion Eliane Martins, Uruguay’s South American long jump champion Emiliano Lasa and a trio of leading Chinese athletes.

Back on 19 January, Moura flew from Brazil to China completely unaware of the new coronavirus but by the time he landed in China two days later he says “the news of the coronavirus was everywhere,”

“The situation was getting worse, but we kept to the plan and two weeks later we flew to Madrid,” he explains.

Mersha Asrat, coach to three-time Olympic track champion Kenenisa Bekele, believes his role in the these challenging times is to put a plan in place to “survive the storm.”

With both the opportunity to race - in the foreseeable future - and group training taken away from athletes, he believes this has impacted on motivation.

Yet as a coach Asrat insists he has to remain positive.

“All my athletes need to be strong – a role model for others with their behaviour,” he says. “As a coach, I have to tell them that this will pass.”

With no events on the immediate horizon he has advised his athletes to rein back on the training – and he has recommended combining a mixture of endurance running and strength training.

“There are no races happening for some time so this is a time when they can run three time a week alternating with workouts. I’ve given them all individual workouts with a meaning. This is an opportunity to work on their strength exercises, to improve and even become masters of the workout.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding future international competition, Dale Stevenson, coach to 2019 Diamond League shot champion and World Championship bronze medallist Tom Walsh, is preparing his athletes with the mindset that events will re-start sooner rather than later. 

“When full training resumes, I’m hoping that it is a step in for us rather than a step back,” he explains. “So when they go back to normality they’ll feel as if they are a full-time athlete.”

Stevenson, a 2012 Olympic shot put representative for Australia, says as a coach he had to react quickly in March as New Zealand went from a level two alert to a full level four lockdown in a matter of 48 hours.

For athletes who remained in Christchurch such as Walsh, the main task for Stevenson and his coaching team was to source gym equipment while for others in his training group who has moved back to different regions the main task was to identify training implements during this frantic period.

The coach has been immensely impressed with how the athletes have readjusted to training in a full lockdown. Some have revealed great improvisation skills with one athlete converting a cow shed into a throwing area and another making a homemade hammer out of a kettle bell.

Stevenson too has been forced to adapt.

Patrick Sang, coach to world marathon record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and world half-marathon record-holder Geoffrey Kamworor, believes “delegating greater authority” to his athletes following training restrictions created by the Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge he has faced.

Sang coaches a large group of athletes based out of a training group in Kaptagat, Kenya, but government restrictions around group gatherings put in place in March meant athletes had to head home to their families and train alone.

Breaking down his athletes into smaller groups of track and marathon athletes the initial challenge was communication but having alleviated this issue thanks to WhatsApp and other methods it has been his lack of a “coach’s eye” on the progress of his athletes which has proved the biggest obstacle.

“Our coaching is very much one on one and the ‘coach’s eye’ is an instrument we use to see how the individual athletes are responding to the workload at any given time. The activation of the coach’s eye in these circumstances is not possible. You are relying on the feedback of the athletes.”

Sang insists the athlete manager, Valentijn Trouw, has played a pivotal role in maintaining the information flow to athletes to help them maintain a positive stance in challenging times.

And positivity is the keen message Sang likes to emit at all times.

“We’ve experienced calamities before and normally they don’t last forever,” explains Sang. “We have a time scale and a race plan (for later in the year) we are looking at and our energies are focused on the remaining part of the season.”

Coach to a group of athletes led by 2017 World 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon, Dutch-based Bram Som says it is important to stay focused on the “circle of influence” and not the “circle of concern” during the Covid-19 crisis.

“One of the biggest challenges is that you no longer look an athlete in the eye to see how he or she is behaving,” explains Som, a former European 800m champion. “To counter this you have to improve your conversation skills, ask the right questions and listen carefully.”

Som insists the middle-distance athletes he coaches have largely been able to carry out long runs, interval and hill sessions as normal but he has also introduced solo time trials to keep the athletes focused. Flexibility, he insists, is key.

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Running industry walloped by COVID-19, and it may take years to recover

Races in the busiest season of the year have been canceled or postponed while retail sales plummet.

With more than a third of this year’s competitive road racing schedule canceled or postponed by the coronavirus, and running stores enduring massive drops in sales because of restrictions on retail businesses, America’s running industry is bracing for months or years of fallout.

The effects of COVID-19 on the sport may not be all bad, many in the running community believe, citing a running boom that followed the Great Recession in 2008. The only thing a runner really needs to run is a pair of running shoes.

“People turn to this sport in particular in times of economic downturns and crises,” said Rich Harshbarger, chief executive of Running USA, an industry trade group. “We saw this in the late 2000s. People gave up their country club memberships and returned to simpler sports like running. You saw a downturn in golf, you saw a downturn in skiing — things that are more expensive. Runners turned to the sport, or returned to the sport, to relieve stress. And, to get and remain healthy.”

But the number of road race registrations — more than 17.6 million in 2019, according to Running USA — is bound to decline significantly this year and maybe beyond. Meanwhile, many running stores are prohibited from having customers in their stores, as is the case with other “non-essential” retail stores, and that has hit them hard.

Sales have declined 80% at Runner’s Roost in Lakewood and 70% at In Motion Running in Boulder, according to owners of those stores. The Lakewood store cannot have customers inside but is finding other ways to fill shoe orders, and owner Sonya Estes senses an influx of newcomers to the sport because of COVID-19 — just as Running USA predicted.

“We can look at all the bad, or we can look at the good, and the good in this is that running has been touted as one of those things that is great for your mental and physical health,” Estes said. “To have the governor stand up there and say, ‘Get out and go for a hike,’ or, ‘Go for a run, just don’t do it in a large group,’ I think long-term it’s going to be amazing for the business. When you see gyms and rec centers close down, I’ve never seen so many people up on Green Mountain or at Bear Creek. People that wanted to work out are now embracing running. If they find that they really like this, I think long-term, for running, it’s actually a good thing.”

In Motion Running has remained open, in part because owner Mark Plaatjes practices physical therapy at In Motion Rehabilitation, a clinic attached to the rear of the store, and that stayed open. Only two retail customers are allowed in the store at a time, though, and store personnel disinfects after customers leave.

Like Estes, Plaatjes has seen newcomers. “It’s definitely nice to see new people coming in that we haven’t seen before,” Plaatjes said. “Once our regular customers come back, I’m sure that will translate into an increase in sales and participation in running.”

Both stores are offering non-contact curbside service and home deliveries. They and other running stores are offering virtual gait analysis to assist customers in choosing the right shoes, a process that normally is conducted on treadmills inside the stores. Customers submit videos of them running so trained staff can analyze them and recommend shoes constructed for their anatomical particulars.

The carnage in road racing could be significant, though. Running as a solitary fitness or mental healthy pursuit is one thing, but for many runners, the social aspect of the sport comes out in racing. Races are community celebrations of the running lifestyle. That part of the sport has been dealt a devastating blow, and officials fear it could take years to recover.

Spring is the busiest season of the year for racing, with 35% of America’s races scheduled in March, April and May. Most of those have been canceled or postponed until fall. Some of those events, and the companies that support them by providing timing and other event services, may never recover. The vast majority of the road race industry is comprised of small businesses with eight employees or less, according to Running USA’s Harshbarger.

“It absolutely can be a fatal blow, and unfortunately it will be for a lot of the industry,” Harshbarger said. “We were already seeing some event management companies have to close their doors. Their sole business is to go around their region or their city and help produce events. When those events cease to have revenue, their livelihood evaporates.”

The Bolder Boulder was able to reach quick agreement with the City of Boulder and the University of Colorado (where the race finishes) to postpone from Memorial Day to Labor Day. But the Cherry Creek Sneak, which was scheduled for April 26, is still waiting for the City of Denver to approve a new date it sought to reserve in September. So is the Colfax Marathon, which includes a half marathon, a 10-miler and marathon relay that were scheduled for May 17.

Colfax race director Andrea Dowdy said 14-15,000 medals for her races were scheduled to arrive last week, and there’s no guarantee those races will be held this year.

“We feel very comfortable that operationally we’re in a sound place, so that when the city says to us, ‘You can have an event this fall,’ or ‘We need all events to wait until the spring,’ we can work either way,” Dowdy said.

Harshbarger fears that races will “cannibalize” each other if they are rescheduled in the fall, which is already the second-busiest season with 31% of the nation’s races scheduled in September through November. The Bolder Boulder has already folded its Fortitude 10K, normally scheduled for Labor Day in Fort Collins, into the Boulder race. In effect, both races will be run concurrently in Boulder.

If the Cherry Creek Sneak and the Colfax event are added, September would become an extremely crowded race calendar in Denver. And that would come on top of non-running events already scheduled in the city or looking to reschedule then. Dowdy and Cherry Creek Sneak race director Pat Downing can only wait on word from the city’s Office of Special Events.

“They need to form a new process on how they’re going to allocate a very limited number of spaces into a space now that is overcrowded,” Downing said.

Another question that arises: What will races look like when they do resume?

“Who knows, resurgence or not, what social distancing guidelines are going to be?” Harshbarger said. “Let alone the emotional fog of, ‘Do I really want to get in a corral with 50 people? Do I want to get in a race with 10,000 people?’ We don’t know. When we come through this — and I don’t know when that is, a year? Maybe two years? — I do think the sport will be strong. I do think there will be demand to do this. I think there will be new guidelines and corral set-ups. But history shows us that runners are resilient.”

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele talk training and sub-2

The two distance running greats had been set to go head-to-head in the London Marathon on Sunday

Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele should have been in London this week, preparing for a mouthwatering marathon clash on the streets of the UK capital.

Thursday morning would have seen them speak with the world’s media in the elite men’s pre-race press conference, but instead, on Friday, they dialled into a telephone conference from their respective homes in Kenya and Ethiopia.

While it is too early to know whether the two fastest marathon runners in history will take part in the rescheduled event on October 4, they were both happy to share insight into their current lives amid the coronavirus crisis.

They talked about what might have been had Sunday’s race taken place as planned, plus their training and thoughts on the sub-two-hour marathon.

SOLO TRAINING

Social distancing measures mean that NN Running Team athletes Kipchoge and Bekele must now train alone, rather than as part of the big groups they are used to. How does that affect them both physically and mentally?

“You cannot run really in a strong way because you are alone,” said Kipchoge, who is based in Eldoret.

“Physically I am training to make sure that I am fit but when you have the whole team then you can train to make sure that you are in the best-ever shape.

“Mentally, you can get tired early,” he added, “because if you have an hour run and you’re running alone, then you can really get tired because you are running alone, you are thinking alone.

“I have been with a team for the last 15 years and it’s really crazy for me. I can say it is not comfortable at all, but safety is my number one priority.”

Bekele has also found it a challenge.

“It is not really nice to run alone but of course it’s not possible to run together,” he said. “It is difficult to prepare and it has affected us a lot.

“I’m trying to maintain my performance, but it’s really not efficient. I am praying that this time will be over soon.”

On his sessions, he added: “I am doing four or five days a week outside, alone just running in the forest.

“Most of the time I am staying at home.”

SUB-TWO

Both athletes had an incredible 2019, with Kipchoge having broken two hours for the marathon with 1:59:41 in the non-record eligible INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna and Bekele having run 2:01:41 to win in Berlin, missing the Kenyan’s official world record mark by just two seconds.

Would their plan for the London Marathon on Sunday have been to go for an official sub-two?

“I was coming to London as a defending champion and not really to run under two hours but I trust that it would have been a good race, an interesting one, but I don’t think it would have been under two hours,” said Kipchoge.

“I think on Sunday, if the London Marathon could have happened, we could actually have had the best race ever.

“Kenenisa has run 2:01:41 and I have run 2:01:39. It could have been the best-ever time and London could have been the best race ever between two people who have the fastest times in the marathon.”

Bekele agreed that it would have been a great clash but that two hours would have been unlikely.

“London is of course a really great race to bring us together,” he said. “I don’t think the time would have been under two hours.

“Maybe if there were good weather conditions, it could have been possible maybe around a world record, if we had been pushing together. I don’t think under two hours would have happened this time.”

BUT IN THE FUTURE?

“Absolutely, why not?” Kipchoge replied, when asked if he thinks someone in the next 10 years could run a competitive marathon in under two hours.

“Personally, I tried last year, and I ran under two hours, but I trust and believe in all my mind and my heart that in the next 10 years, one human being will run under two hours in a normal marathon. That is my view.

“Human beings need to be shown the way, and I trust that I have shown everybody the way.”

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Laz Lake’s virtual ultra has higher participation than UTMB

Laz Lake’s The Great Virtual Road Race Across Tennessee, which began May 1st and runs through August 31, has amassed an astonishing 10,000+ participants. The event, which will see runners travel virtually on foot across the state of Tennessee (roughly 1,000K), has 10,174 registered runners and is still open for entry.

Runners have four months to tackle this behemoth of a race, and if they finish with enough time to spare, they can go for the out-and-back route and complete an additional 1,000K (this would require averaging 16K a day for four months)

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Even with major sporting events banned in France until September, UTMB organizers are still trying to make the race happen

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed that major sporting events would be cancelled until at least September. UTMB, one of the world’s biggest trail races, is set to run August 24 to 30 in Chamonix, France. Despite this announcement, Catherine Poletti, co-founder of UTMB, thinks that the race will go ahead, just with some changes to the original plan.

Poletti says that while the race won’t be able to accommodate their 10,000 entrants, if they capped the event at 5,000, it might be possible.

“We are working on the barrier measures, not only for the start, but on all fronts,” she told Le Dauphine. “We are committed to not giving up. We still want to organize the event in compliance with the rules. The entire economic community of the Mont-Blanc valley needs this. We are a race outside a mass stadium, which can adapt to the rules set by the government.”

While UTMB will hopefully be able to run, events like the Tour de France are facing cancellation. The Tour, which was already rescheduled from June to August, will be well over the gathering cap of 5,000 people and is considered a major sporting event. No official statement has been made yet in regard to the Tour.

 

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Ecotrail de Bruxelles

Ecotrail de Bruxelles

This event is credited with four new qualifying points for the UTMB race. The goal is finally to propose a 85% green route! This change required to leave the Atomium, located in the northern "not too green" of Brussels.The new start will be given to the heart of the capital of Europe, at the foot of the European institutions!This new...

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Kenyan runners are not earning money, not able to train as hard as usual but are trying to be positive during this COVID-19 crisis

The coronavirus has brought most elite sports to a grinding halt. While athletes who compete in individual sports are at an advantage, marathon runners too are finding it difficult to maintain their competitive edge.

Albert Korir, Henry Kiprop and Felix Kandie are professional marathon runners. Under normal circumstances, each of them would run 180 to 300 kilometers (111 to 186 miles) every week as part of their usual training routines. However, as in most other countries, Kenya's government has implemented restrictions of movement in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This means Kenyan athletes, like Korir, Kiprop and Kandie, are now forced to train alone, and the restrictions have also forced them to roll back their training regimes – by as much as 200 kilometers less than prior to the pandemic. The sudden reduction in training doesn't come without risks.

"I went from 200 to 50 kilometers a week, so I am worried," Albert Korir says. "When you start active training again you might get injuries."

Korir usually runs two marathons a year. In 2019 he finished first in Houston and second in New York – while setting a personal best in the Canadian capital, Ottawa. Even though the restrictions on movement in Kenya have only been in place for a few weeks, the 26-year-old has already noticed that his fitness is starting to suffer.

"When you're training you breathe hard. Your body is not fit like before, like when you were training hard," he said. "There's even been some changes like weight gain."

Trimming their distances isn't the only problem; elite runners usually train in camps with up to 50 other competitors, but now many are forced to train alone.

For Felix Kandie the coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time. He had been looking forward to running in what would have been his third Boston Marathon this year. But on April 20, the day when it was originally scheduled for, Kandie was at home – as the coronavirus had forced this year's Boston Marathon to be postponed.

"Now I would have been in Boston racing a few days ago," he said.

Kandie could get another shot if the Boston Marathon goes ahead in September, as organizers are hoping. But when the coronavirus outbreak started, he had already completed 80 percent of his training program in preparation for the event. Last year the 33-year-old had an incredible campaign, placing fourth in the Boston marathon and fifth in Berlin.

He told us that he would stick to his training program as closely as possible despite the restrictions. But at the same time he noted that individual training just wasn't as effective as training in a group.

"You need people there to push you. You need them to make you more competent," he said. "When you're training alone you may feel like you're running fine, but you're actually not getting something out of running alone. In a group you're able to assist each other in all decisions, the speed walking sessions and the morale sessions."

Henry Kiprop was getting ready for this year's Milano Marathon when the pandemic put paid to those plans. He was runner-up at the 2019 Venice Marathon with a time of 2:10, and he had been aiming to knock five minutes off his previous best. Now he is concerned about what this forced break and the absence of optimal training will do to his future performances.

"A marathon is like a process. You do it this year, you do it next year, and finally you have mastered the art of marathon running," he says.  "If you're told to go and run the London Marathon without training, that is quite impossible."

Financial impact 

Quite apart from the restrictions on training, many elite runners are also facing severe financial concerns. Korir is sponsored by German sports giant Adidas, but he still depends on races as his main source of income.

"We have to run and compete. If you don't have any races, then you don't have any finances so it will be difficult for us athletes."

Although many runners find themselves in the same boat, Kiprop believes the financial impact will vary.

"It all depends on the individual. All the marathons that I have been running, I have used my money well," he said. "I've invested in some real estate. So it may take me some time before things get bad for me."

While some can cushion the financial burden better than others, it is a precarious situation for all.

Like Kiprop, Kandie also invested his earnings when he started racing. He knew he can't run forever and needed to secure his financial future. But despite having a what he believes to be a sound financial plan, he would rather not tap into his savings.

"If things continue into next season. If things stay the same there will be big challenges because you have to use the investments that you have," he said.

'No competitions = no prize money'

So is anybody listening? World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation recently set up a fund to help track-and-field athletes during the coronavirus crisis. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is well aware of the athletes' financial problems.

"Clearly, if there are no competitions, there's no prize money. So the first objective is to try and get competition back into their world again," he says. 

What that may look like and when it'll come about depends on how quickly the coronavirus is contained.

For professional marathon runners this means continuing to make the best out of a difficult situation. But they know bouncing back to pre-coronavirus levels could take a while. They'll simply have to rely on their endurance and resistance to get them through what is looking more and more like a marathon, not just for professional runners, but people of all walks of life all over the globe.

(05/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alima Hotakie
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