Running News Daily

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2021 NYC Half Cancelled Due to Pandemic-Related Health and Safety Concerns

The 2021 United Airlines NYC Half is cancelled due to health and safety concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The race, which takes place annually in March, is one of the world’s largest half marathons. The decision was made in consultation with the Mayor’s Office of New York City, and was announced today by New York Road Runners (NYRR), the event organizers.

The cancellation marks the second consecutive year the United Airlines NYC Half has been cancelled. This year’s event, which had been scheduled for March 15, 2020, was canceled at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak. The event annually features 25,000 participants on a course that runs from Brooklyn to Manhattan. 

Runners who had previously registered for the cancelled 2020 United Airlines NYC Half and opted to defer entry to 2021 will have the option to choose a full refund for their 2020 entry fee or defer entry to the 2022 event. Runners who earned entry to the 2021 race through an NYRR incentive program do not need to take any action; runners will receive an email informing them their entry will be deferred to 2022.

All runners impacted by the 2021 cancellation will be contacted directly by NYRR. Runners from around the world will be invited to participate in the 2021 Virtual United Airlines NYC Half. Details will be announced soon.     

NYRR normally hosts approximately 50 in-person running events annually. In addition to the cancellation of the 2021 United Airlines NYC Half, NYRR will not be organizing its normal schedule of races in the first quarter of 2021.

This fall, NYRR re-introduced in-person running events through the Return to Racing Project, which feature many new health and safety protocols. The races are limited to a few hundred runners in compliance with city and state event guidelines. More information on the 2021 race calendar will be shared at a later date.

(12/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

The United Airlines NYC Half takes runners from around the city and the globe on a 13.1-mile tour of NYC. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elites, runners will stop traffic in the Big Apple this March! Runners will begin their journey on Prospect Park’s Center Drive before taking the race onto Brooklyn’s streets. For the third...

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A team of 160 COVID-19 fighters are set to run 2020 Guangzhou Marathon

Some 160 COVID-19 fighters will form a team to run the 2020 Guangzhou Marathon on December 13, the event organizer announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

The Guangzhou Marathon registered these medical workers who have been fighting against the coronavirus epidemic from hospitals and disease control centers in Guangzhou. The southern Chinese city had sent more than 2,000 medical workers to Hubei province earlier this year to fight the coronavirus.

"Persistence, concentration and never give up -- the spirit of our virus fighters fits the marathon spirit so well," Ouyang Ziwen, director of the Guangzhou sports bureau said.

"The virus fighters deserve the greatest respect and tribute, and the marathon will be one of the best ways," he added.

A total of 20,000 runners will run the 2020 Guangzhou Marathon. Because the epidemic has been well controlled in China, sports events are being held again. Last week, Shanghai, Nanjing and Chengdu all held marathon races.

"This has demonstrated China's strong ability to recover and enormous vitality," Ouyang said.

(12/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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Guangzhou International Marathon

Guangzhou International Marathon

The Guangzhou Marathon was launched in 2012 and certified by CAA as the A level event. From 2014 to 2017,Guangzhou Marathon was recognized as the CAA Gold Medal Race for four consecutive years. The year of 2018 has seen this event was upgraded as IAAF Gold Label Road Race after it was awarded as IAAF Bronze and Silver Label Road...

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Athletes at the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics will face regular testing, restrictions on mingling and potential punishment for non-compliance with health rules

Athletes at the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics will face regular testing, restrictions on mingling and potential punishment for non-compliance with health rules, organisers said Wednesday as they outlined plans for holding the Games.

After months of talks, officials issued a 54-page report outlining how they believe the Games can go ahead, even if the pandemic is not under control by the new start date of July 2021.

Quarantine requirements will be waived for overseas spectators, who will also be able to use public transport, but they will have to observe rules ranging from mask-wearing and a ban on cheering to keeping their ticket stubs to help contact-tracing.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto acknowledged strict safety measures will make the games "different", but expressed hope they can still be held in a celebratory atmosphere.

"It will be simple rather than festive, but I hope it will be something moving that encourages people through the power of sport," he said.

Athletes will be screened on arrival in Japan and then undergo regular tests every four to five days during their stay at the Olympic Village.

An infection control centre will also be set up to deal with positive cases, which organisers say they presume will occur.

However officials have not yet announced how competition rules would be affected if an athlete contracted coronavirus during the Games.

All athletes must sign up to a code of conduct that includes avoiding speaking loudly, avoiding physical contact with others and wearing masks when not training or competing.

They will also be asked to leave Japan as soon as their events are over, rather than stay on in the country for sightseeing.

Penalties for non-compliance have yet to be determined and will be drawn up in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee.

"This is not a law, but we need to be careful and ask people to lay out precautions," said Muto.

"We will create a system that allows team leaders or athlete representatives to provide cautions."

Concrete measures to determine how many fans will be able to attend will be decided in the spring, with infection rates around the world at the time taken into account.

Organisers have decided that imposing a two-week quarantine on visiting fans is "impractical" given the time constraints, and will instead ask them to download tracking apps and abide by rigorous safety guidelines.

Muto said organisers were working on the assumption that a vaccine will not be available by the time the Games begin, despite positive results in tests in recent weeks.

He added that the cost of the virus countermeasures had not yet been calculated, although reports last week estimated them at $1 billion.

The same report calculated that postponing the Games from their original date this year will add another $2 billion to the price tag.

Enthusiasm for the Games has been waning in Japan, with a poll in July showing just one in four people wanted to see them held in 2021. 

(12/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by AFP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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2021 Mercedes Marathon postponed due to the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the postponement of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend.

Organizers of the events, originally scheduled for February 19 through 21, 2021 in downtown Birmingham, say safety concerns about the virus are behind the decision. Instead, the races are tentatively scheduled for sometime in the spring.

“This was a very difficult decision, but it is in the best interest of all participants and spectators,” Event Chair Valerie Cuddy said. “The COVID-19 situation is too fluid to accurately predict the conditions we will see in February. We don’t want to do anything to risk the health and safety of anyone involved as we are also following the lead of the City of Birmingham as they are delaying the approval of city-wide events. And please remember our official charity, The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs, as we all navigate through this time.”

The decision affects the Mercedes-Benz Half and Full Marathon, the Marathon Relay and the Regions Superhero 5K normally scheduled for the Saturday or Sunday. A modified Mercedes-Benz Kid’s Marathon, sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, will still take place.

Children run 25.2 miles in weekly increments or in organized sessions at their schools. Instead of running the final mile on Feb. 20, 2021 in downtown Birmingham, they will run through organized activities at their respective schools or they can run that mile virtually. Participants will still receive their finisher medals.

MBUSI President and CEO Michael Goebel said the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance has taken extensive safety precautions since restarting after a four-week shutdown earlier this year due to the virus.

“We could not in good conscience support holding the event in February and potentially create an environment where COVID-19 could thrive,” Goebel said. “We will make every effort to help make sure the 20th Anniversary race takes place – whether it happens in 2021 or 2022.”

(12/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by William Thornton
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Mercedes-Benz Marathon

Mercedes-Benz Marathon

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

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2021 Ooredoo Doha Marathon postponed due to COVID-19

The much-anticipated annual event, which draws thousands of international and local runners and spectators each year, was scheduled to take place in January 2021. 

While restrictions have eased since full lockdown earlier in the year, organizers took the view that postponing until a later date would allow the best – and safest - possible event for all involved. 

A new date will be shared with all parties as soon as it has been decided. 

Sabah Rabiah Al-Kuwari, Director PR at Ooredoo, said: “The Ooredoo Doha Marathon is one of the most popular events on the sporting calendar in Doha, and it’s an incredible event every year.

It’s an honor for us to support it as part of our commitment to promoting a healthy, active lifestyle for all, which is a key feature of our corporate social responsibility strategy. While some sporting events are now going ahead, it was decided that in order to ensure everyone’s health and safety - but still put on an event of the calibre for which the Marathon is known - it’s in everyone’s interests to postpone until a later date.

We look forward to sharing this new date with everyone as soon as we can, and wish everyone the best of luck with their training in the meantime!” 

(12/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Tribune News Network
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Ooredoo Doha Marathon

Ooredoo Doha Marathon

We started the Ooredoo Doha Marathon as a way to bring people together, encourage them to live healthier lifestyles and give back to the community. Funds raised by entry fees to the Ooredoo Doha Marathon will be donated to a range of worthy charities in Qatar. The marathon features four courses for all abilities of runners including a full marathon,...

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Indian Avinash Sable looks to push himself more after surprising half marathon success

Considering the dominance with which he won the Indian competition at the 2020 Delhi half marathon (his time of 1.00:30 was nearly four minutes in front of the second placed Indian (1.04:16) and shattered the old national record of 1.03:46 by nearly three and a half minutes), it's hard to overlook the fact that Avinash Sable had been treating the race almost like an afterthought.

"I only found out I was going to be taking part in the race until about a month ago," says Sable, who, on Sunday, was running only the third half marathon race of his career. The 26-year-old's priority, he says, remains the 3000m steeplechase event, in which he is the reigning national record holder, more so since that's the race for which he qualified for the Tokyo Olympics last year.

Yet, after he had originally made the cut for Tokyo at the World Championships in Doha, Sable hadn't really had any sort of competition. He had travelled for a month to Morocco last year and then had headed to the high altitude training center in Ooty in preparation for the Olympics. That event, like most of the year's athletics competitions, would be cancelled even as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world.

Sable's decision to compete in New Delhi was largely a response to this predicament. "It's incredibly frustrating to train the entire year and not have any competition to take part in. You can only see where you need to improve during competition," he says. This assessment is backed up by his coach Amrish Kumar as well. "He needed to take part in a competition. Any competition, even a 1500m race would do," says his coach Kumar.

The need for competition is particularly acute for Sable, owing to his inexperience as a runner. It was only in 2015 that the then 21-year-old sepoy in the Indian Army, who had completed tours of duty at the Siachen glacier, Sikkim and Rajasthan, had been scouted by the army running program.

"He is a very strong runner and he gets better with every race that he runs. But unless he competes, he won't ever know what mistakes he is making. He will always be short of confidence when he competes against the elite runners, who have been running for many years," says Kumar.

While a half marathon is seven times the distance of the 3000m steeplechase, there were elements of preparation the two events had in common. "Both races need a certain amount of endurance. If you can train for endurance in the 21km race, that will also help you out in the 3000m race," says Kumar.

The postponement of the Olympics had also worked out in Sable's favour. "Of course, he was looking forward to taking part in the Olympics this year. But at the same time, we knew that it would be very difficult for him to compete for a good position based on his current level. So when the Olympics was postponed, I motivated Avinash by reminding him that he could get much stronger by next year," says Kumar.

What that additional training time meant was that instead of focusing on the Olympics, Sable could work on building his base for the next season. Even more fortuitous for Sable was that the Delhi half marathon fell right in the middle of his endurance training period. "When we got the opportunity to take part in the half marathon, he was already running 280km each month. He only did two or three training sessions focused on the half marathon before the race," says Kumar.

It speaks to Sable's far improved physical conditioning that he recorded the time he did with as little practice as he had, improving on his previous best half marathon time of 1.03:58. He certainly felt so himself. "Before the race I wasn't very nervous. Coach only told me to sleep well and not worry about how the others were doing. He told me that while my target was to go under 1 hour, there wasn't going to be a chance that I'd do worse than 1 hour and one minute," says Sable.

(12/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Kalidas Hirave
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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Four-time European champion Itkina dies at the age of 88

Itkina amassed a brilliant record on the continental stage, winning individual gold medals at three successive European Championships. Itkina won the 200m title in 1954 before winning back-to-back European 400m titles in 1958 and 1962 as well as helping the Soviet Union to the 4x100m relay title in 1954. She also won bronze in the 200m at the 1958 European Championships and the 400m at the first edition of the European Cup in 1965.

Itkina also won 34 Soviet national titles indoors and outdoors at a range of distances but she narrowly fell short of adding an Olympic medal to her distinguished resume, finishing fourth on an agonising four separate occasions.

Itkina finished fourth in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at 1960 Olympics in Rome as well as fourth in the 4x100m relay at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

Unfortunately for Itkina, the 400m was only added to the Olympic programme at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo (and the 4x400m as recently as Munich 1972) where she finished fifth in the final at the age of 32.

Itkina was one of the pioneers of the 400m, setting four world records between 1957 and 1962 and taking the record down from 55.2 to 53.4.

After retiring from competitive athletics, Itkina became a sports coach and headed the track and field team for Belarusian Dynamo. 

(12/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by European Athletics
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Emily Sisson will be targeting Molly Huddle’s 67:25 AR at Sunday’s Valencia Half Marathon

At times, the 2020 track & field season has felt like one giant record chase. With the vast majority of major championships cancelled, athletes have shifted their targets from medals to times. And with the ability to focus on one race with the sole goal of running as fast as possible, records have tumbled around the globe. Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei took down Kenenisa Bekele‘s 16-year-old 5,000-meter world record in August. In the span of one hour in October, Letesenbet Gidey broke Tirunesh Dibaba‘s 5,000-meter world record and Cheptegei fully erased Bekele from the outdoor record books by breaking his 10,000m mark. Domestically, Shelby Houlihan chopped over 10 seconds off her American 5,000-meter record back in July, taking it down to 14:23.92.

The latest installment of the Great Record Chase of 2020 comes on Sunday in Valencia, where distance studs Rhonex Kipruto, Jacob Kiplimo, and Gidey will have the half marathon world records in their sights. Just a few minutes back, Emily Sisson — one of the few Americans making the trip to Spain (Jordan Hasay is also entered in the marathon) — will be shooting for a mark of her own: the 67:25 American half marathon record, currently held by her friend and occasional training partner Molly Huddle.

says Ray Treacy, who coaches both Sisson and Huddle. “That’s the goal and see how she feels the last 5k…We’re just hoping for the best and she gets her reward for all the hard work she’s done over the last four or five months, because this is her only race.”

Sisson hasn’t raced since dropping out of the US Olympic Marathon Trials in February, though she did run the virtual New York City Marathon in 2:38:00 in October (Treacy says the aim was merely to get in a good long run effort, adding that it felt “easy” for Sisson and that she recovered “immediately”). Considering her goal is to make the Olympic team at 10,000 meters next year, Treacy did not want Sisson to run another marathon this fall, making the half marathon a natural distance for a target race. And with USATF opting not to send a team to the World Half Marathon Championships, Valencia was the best option.

Treacy says Sisson’s fitness is “really, really good” at the moment, with the 29-year-old clocking 24:37 recently for a five-mile time trial and averaging 5:05 pace for a 4 x 2-mile workout — well under American record pace (AR paceis 5:09). Currently, Sisson sits #2 on the all-time US list thanks to her 67:30 in Houston last year.

There are a couple of potential stumbling blocks, however. First, Sisson may not have any company during the race. The top women will be aiming to run the world record (64:31) or close to it, which is beyond Sisson’s abilities. Though there are two other women — Kenyans Brenda Jepleting (67:07) and Sheila Chepkirui (67:37) — with personal bests close to Sisson, it’s unclear whether they’ll try to run with her or opt for the more aggressive pace up front.

Treacy believes Sisson should be able to handle that situation just fine, though. She was alone for most of the second half of her marathon debut in London in 2019 and came out with a stellar 2:23:08 personal best.

“She’s pretty good at doing that anyway, so I’m not worried about it,” Treacy says.

The larger concern is the weather. The high of 58 degrees in Valencia on Sunday is fine, but the projected winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour could prove problematic.

While Sisson still has several years of her prime remaining, record opportunities like this are precious. Under Treacy, Huddle only raced one half marathon per year from 2015 to 2020, and three of those came on a relatively tough course in New York. Even when Huddle did finally set the record in Houston in 2018, she wasn’t 100% as she had gotten sick a few days earlier.

“[Huddle] never had the opportunity to run really, really fast,” Treacy says. “Certainly when Molly was in the shape she was in Rio, (where she ran an American 10,000m record of 30:13 at the 2016 Olympics), I think she could have run 66:30, 66:40.”

(12/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 26thyear. For the third year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and an...

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Meditation for runners and its benefits

Sitting motionless in a room for an extended period of time might seem like an odd way to improve your running, but meditation is a tool used by some of the world’s best runners to take them to the next level.

Two-time Western States champion Timmy Olhsen uses meditation as a central tenant of his training. Two-time OCC champion Ruth Croft has gone on week-long silent meditation retreats.

Here are some ways to get started:

Why meditate?

There are a number of benefits for runners. Firstly, it can help you concentrate or to “stay present”. This is particularly useful if you have a specific split or pace in mind. Over the course of a 5km, 10km or even a marathon it can be easy for your mind to drift and for you to unwittingly slow down. But if you are “present”, you can focus on keeping your legs spinning.

Conversely, mediation can distract you. If you are battling through a low point on a 100km race, you can use meditation techniques honed at home to focus on your breathing rather than your ailing body. You can refocus to the moment and forget about what is to come and the negative thoughts circling in your head.

Meditation lowers anxiety in general. Being less stressed will help your training in general because you will find it easier to stick to a routine and waste less mental energy so you can push yourself during the session. It will also help you relax and sleep, so your body can recover in full.

Where to start?It can be hard to know where to start. Do you just sit down with crossed legs and float away in your mind’s eye to distant peaks? There are loads of meditation apps for beginners and you can plug in and listen to instructions for short five-minute bursts and build from there.

(12/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Falmouth Road Race Charity Runners Raise $2.3M in 2020 At-Home Edition

Despite a pandemic that forced the 48th running of the Falmouth Road Race to become a virtual event, runners participating in its Numbers for Nonprofits Program presented by Cape Cod Healthcare raised $2,323,801 for Massachusetts-based nonprofit organizations – including over $184,000 for nine Falmouth nonprofits alone.

“We’re incredibly proud that so many of our loyal charity runners stuck by both the race and their nonprofits in this challenging year,” said Scott Ghelfi, president of the Falmouth Road Race board of directors.

“As the economic and human toll of COVID-19 continues into 2021, we’re already looking toward how our 49th running can further support both Falmouth and our valued partners.”

The funds raised in 2020 bring the Numbers for Nonprofits total to almost $45 million since 2000.

About Falmouth Road Race, Inc. The Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite and recreational runners out to enjoy the iconic 7-mile seaside course.

The nonprofit Falmouth Road Race organization is committed to promoting health and fitness through community programs and philanthropic giving.

(12/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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Falmouth Road Race

Falmouth Road Race

The Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite runners and recreational runners out to enjoy the scenic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is dedicated to promoting health and fitness for all in...

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Pig Works Launches Lifetime Membership Program to Support Flying Pig Marathon

Pig Works, the umbrella organization of such signature events as the Flying Pig Marathon powered by P&G, Queen Bee Half Marathon and TQL Beer Series, is offering an exclusive lifetime membership program that includes registration to Pig Works events, merchandise discounts and VIP experiences.

“Our lifetime memberships will create a new financial model to ensure the sustainability of events like the Flying Pig Marathon and Queen Bee Half Marathon during a time when we have had to cancel most of our 2020 events,” said Iris Simpson Bush, CEO of Pig Works. “Our membership program offers discounts for our loyal participants who sign up for multiple events, while giving them VIP (Very Important Pig) treatment. We appreciate their support and are looking forward to welcoming them into our Membership Program.”

The program offers a lifetime of race registrations for a one-time fee, depending on the level chosen. Every plan includes registration for the membership owner to all races during Flying Pig Marathon Weekend, the first weekend in May, for life.

Membership levels include:

1. The Whole Hog ($2,500), including lifetime complimentary race entry into all Pig Works events, along with such perks as VIP experiences, pre-race meet and greets, back bibs identifying the member as “Pig Works Lifetime Member” and 20% off merchandise.

2. Makin’ Bacon with Beer and Honey ($1,500), including lifetime registration for Flying Pig weekend events, five years of complimentary registration to other Pig Works events, VIP experiences, merchandise discounts and early access to expos.

3. All Bacon-All the Time ($1,000), including Flying Pig weekend registrations, VIP experiences, merchandise discounts and early access to expos.

Information on the Lifetime Memberships, including the complete list of benefits, is available at www.pigworks.org/life. Memberships will be limited to 300 and can be purchased for yourself, a friend or as a fundraiser for your non-profit organization. Once assigned, the lifetime membership is non-transferable.

(11/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

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

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New York Road Runners Announces Leadership Transition

New York Road Runners (NYRR) today announces that a leadership transition plan has been initiated. Michael Capiraso, President and Chief Executive Officer, will depart on December 31. An external search for the new Chief Executive Officer is underway. 

“Over the past several months, the Board of Directors has listened to the concerns raised and recommendations offered by the community NYRR serves, including its employees and members of the broader running community. In order to achieve our mission to help and inspire people through running, we will recruit new leadership to the organization,” said George Hirsch, Chairman of the Board of New York Road Runners. “The entire Board of Directors and I thank Michael Capiraso for his 10 years of contributions and dedication to this organization.” 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have served the NYRR running community for the past 10 years. I am proud of the growth the organization and I have achieved and the impact we have had, and I wish NYRR continued success,” said Capiraso.

Kerin Hempel has been appointed interim Chief Executive Officer. In this capacity, Kerin will provide daily oversight of the organization while the Board conducts a search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer.

“I strongly believe in the future of NYRR and its ability to positively impact lives all over the world,” said Hempel. “I look forward to once again working with NYRR’s talented staff and helping navigate the organization through this critical period, as we identify the best candidate to lead NYRR over the long-term.”

Kerin has a long history with NYRR, including serving as the organization’s Vice President of Strategy & Planning from 2010 to 2014. She has worked in strategy and advisory roles for several prominent companies and organizations, both in-house and as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. and Sparrow.

(11/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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What to Wear for Running in Cold Weather

Cold weather doesn’t mean that you have to banish yourself to the treadmill all winter long. Thanks to new technology in winter running clothes, runners no longer have to trudge through outdoor winter runs wearing lots of heavy and uncomfortable clothing.

Follow these tips to run safely and comfortably in the cold weather.

Head and Neck:

On cold days, you’ll lose a reported 10% of your heat from your head. That’s why it’s so important to keep it covered. You also want to protect your skin from the cold and wind, as well as prevent frostbite and chapped skin and lips.

Here’s what you’ll need for your head and neck.

Thermal hat:

A fleece or wool hat is perfect for keeping your head warm during winter runs. You can easily tuck it into your pants if you feel like you’re starting to overheat.

Neck gaiter or bandana:

Often worn by skiers, a neck gaiter can be extremely valuable on a frigid, windy day to protect your neck and face. You can pull it up over your mouth to warm the air you’re breathing in, which is especially helpful when you first start your run. Some runners wear a simple bandanna over their mouth for the same purpose.

Another alternative is a Buff, which is a seamless tube of microfiber fabric that can be worn in many ways, including as a balaclava.

Balaclava:

Also known as a ski mask, a balaclava is a type of headgear that covers your whole head, exposing only your face or part of it, and sometimes only your eyes. They’re usually made of fleece or wool and are only necessary if the temperature or wind chill is below 10 F.

Skin and lip protection:

Cold weather and wind can chap your lips and make exposed skin crack. Protect your lips with Chapstick or Vaseline. You should wear sunscreen as the winter sun and glare off of snow can give you sunburn.

You can also use Vaseline on your nose and cheeks (or anywhere else on your face) to prevent windburn and chapping.

Upper Body:

The key to winter running dressing, especially with your upper body, is layering. Not only do layers trap body heat, but they also allow sweat to move through the layers of clothing. Moisture is wicked away from your first layer to your outer layers where it can evaporate.

The layer closest to your body should be made from a synthetic wicking material, such as DryFit, Thinsulate, Thermax, CoolMax, polypropylene, or silk. This will wick the sweat away from your body, keeping you dry and warm.

(11/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Dathan Ritzenhein talks about becoming head coach of On Athletics Club

The three-time Olympian outlines his journey from success on the track and roads to becoming head coach of On Athletics Club

I was ready to move on – my body had just about had it!

I was happy that I got just about everything I could out of it. I had some really significant foot problems towards the last two years of my career and I found it pretty hard to do a lot of really good quality in training so, when the opportunity from On came up, I was really excited for it.

I can see why a lot of athletes could really struggle with retirement. For me, I was fortunate to go into a situation and a position where I could still have a lot of involvement with the sport. You’re not pushing your body but you’re there and involved with the thing that you love.

For 16 years I was a professional runner and before that at college and high school. It’s really all I know and a lot of athletes are like that.

It’s not really a job, it’s a lifestyle, and with every workout you take that attitude home so when athletes finally do make that call and go into retirement there’s a void sometimes.

If you don’t have a passion – whether it’s your work, your family, a hobby – something that you can put that same energy and devotion into, it can be difficult.

There’s an old quote that says ‘athletes die twice’ and it’s true. It’s like a little part of you dies when you know you’re never going to be at the peak of your physical prowess again.

I had come to that realization already but I do miss the feeling of doing the incredible stuff that you think ‘man, not many people can do that’. Already that seems far away.

Coaching is the next best thing to racing

We have eight runners in the On team so you’re managing varying degrees every day but you have the same emotional highs and lows that you have as a runner.

If someone runs really well then the high is really high but then you also have to manage it if someone is hurt and there’s that low.

The runners thrive off an energy that I bring so I can’t bring anything negative.

If someone is not feeling good then I’ve got to help that person but then I’ve got to bring positivity to the person that’son fire and doing really well. That part is a balancing act which is maybe a little different from life as an athlete.

The job is much more consuming than I’d realised

There’s so much stuff that gets done behind with the scenes which, as an athlete, you don’t even really know is going on. Dealing with the agents, the meets and all of that stuff – it just gets done or, as a runner, you pay your agent to deal with a lot of those things.

There’s a misconception that you write the training plan, you’re at the track and then it’s done – but it’s not really like that!

It’s such a rewarding job

It (running) was my real passion for 25 years. Eventually the body is done but being able to help others do it, see others do it…

As a long career goes on you maybe get numb to some emotions. Because you’ve been around it for so long, you’ve doneso many things, you kind of forget the first-time emotions of something really exciting and to see that has been rewarding for me.

Most of these guys and women are coming out of college and there’s lot of unknown. Then throw that on top of the COVID world where there’s more unknown – it’s great to be able to help guide them and to see the excitement when things go well.

This is a special opportunity for these guys and I’m happy that I can be part of it.

(11/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Euan Crumley
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Japanese Government considers private healthcare requirement for Tokyo 2020 visitors

The Japanese Government is reportedly considering making private health insurance compulsory for visitors attending next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

According to Kyodo News, a proposal was presented by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

The proposal would reportedly see visitors required to take out private health insurance coverage, as well as testing negative for coronavirus.

Visitors may also be required to submit a report on their health status.

The proposal has been made due to the current system requiring the Japanese public to bear the financial cost of treating overseas visitors.

This became an issue earlier this year regarding the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The cruise ship was docked in Yokohama in February when it recorded around 700 coronavirus infections, with Japanese hospitals ultimately treating visitors with the infections.

Laws would need to be amended for private health coverage to be required, Kyodo News reported.

The Olympics are now scheduled for July 23 to August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

Organisers are working on a series of coronavirus countermeasures to protect athletes and spectators during their stay in the Japanese capital.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has recently revealed her hopes of holding the Games with "full spectators present".

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshirō Mutō has also previously said measures for fans, including non-Japanese residents, would be drawn up by the spring.

Hopes of a successful staging of the Games have been boosted by progress in the development of COVID-19 vaccines, although it may still be some time before they are available to the wider public.

(11/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Pavitt
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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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9,000 runners defy COVID-19 at Shanghai Marathon

Around 9,000 runners – some wearing protective masks – took part in the Shanghai International Marathon Sunday, Chinese media said, a rare mass event in a year when the coronavirus laid waste to most such sports.

Prior to the race, officials touted it as an opportunity to show how China – where the virus emerged late last year before unleashing a pandemic – is moving ahead despite the continuing global health crisis.

The prestigious New York, Berlin, Boston and Chicago marathons all fell victim to the coronavirus this year, while London and Tokyo were open only to elite runners.

Bucking that trend, the marathon in Shanghai went ahead under sunny skies following several days of rain and with virus prevention measures in place to thwart infections.

Shanghai is on edge following a scattering of recent local cases, but China has largely got to grips with the epidemic thanks to strict lockdowns and aggressive mass testing.

Runners had to pass a coronavirus test in order to take part and were ordered to wear a mask immediately before and after the race. Some kept them on the whole time.

About 9,000 runners had been expected to take part, down from 38,000 in previous Shanghai marathons. No overseas athletes flew in for the race, and spectators were told to stay away.

Distance running is booming in China, with state media saying there is marathon fever.

In February, when the country was shut down by the pandemic, one fanatical runner jogged the equivalent of an ultra-marathon inside his small apartment.

(11/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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More details about the Delhi Half Marathon Record performances

t was a great morning for the 2020 World Half Marathon bronze medallists as Ethiopians Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Amedework Walelegn both picked up $37,000 wins ($27k for 1st, $10k for event records) in event record time today at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

The headline performance came in the women’s race where Yehualaw, the 21-year old who just missed out on winning in Delhi by 1 second last year in 66:01, ran an unofficial 64:46, the second-fastest women’s half marathon in history on a records-eligible course.

The 5 Fastest Women’s Half Marathons Ever1 64:28* Brigid Kosgei KEN 2019 Great North Run 08.09.20192 64:31 Ababel Yeshaneh ETH 2020 RAK Half 21.02.20203 64:46 Yalemzerf Yehualaw ETH  2020 Delhi Half 28.11.20194 64:49 Brigid Kosgei KEN 2020 RAK Half 21.02.20205 64:51 Joyciline Jepkosgei KEN 2017 Valencia 22.10.2017*Not records eligible

In the men’s race, the Walelegn, also 21, won a three-way sprint finish in an unofficial 58:52 as two-time defending champion Andamlak Belihu of Ethiopia and Stephen Kissa of Uganda also broke 59:00 to finish second and third respectively. The order of finish today was the same as it was at World Half last month as in Poland Walelegn was third, Belihu was 5th and Kissa 19th. 2017 and 2019 world 5000 champion ran Muktar Edris of Ethiopia also ran very well today in his debut as he was in fourth in 59:04 .

The course this year was different than in years past due to Covid-19 but the event record coming in was 59:06 for the men and 66:00 for the women.

Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw produced a stunning run over in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon  2020, a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race, to clock the second fastest  women’s time ever over the distance when she crossed the line in the  Indian capital in 64:46. 

The 21-yearold, who had to settle for third at the World Athletics Half  Marathon Championships last month when she slipped around 80 metres  from the line, bounced back with aplomb to take the $27,000 first prize and  an additional $10,000 as an event record bonus. 

In the men’s race, the event record – with the course having been  changed significantly from previous years – also fell when Amdework Walelegn outsprinted his Ethiopian compatriot and two-time defending  champion Andamlak Belihu to win in 58:53, the latter coming home in  58:54 and just missing out on an unprecedented third title. 

A blistering pace from the gun was set in the women’s race by the  Kenyan male pacemaker Alex Kibarus and several of the elite field were  quickly dropped. 

Six women – three Kenyans: Irene Cheptai, 2019 world marathon  champion Ruth Chepngetich and marathon world record holder Brigid  Kosgei; and three Ethiopians: two-time defending champion and event record holder Teshay Gemechu, world record holder Ababel Yeshaneh and Yalemzerf Yehualaw – followed Kibarus through 5km in 15:27. 

World marathon record holder and recent London Marathon winner  Kosgei was forced to drop out midway through the eighth kilometre, holding her leg as she limped to the side of the road. 

A kilometre later, Gemechu also started to suffer and lost contact with the  leaders although she hung on to eventually finish fifth.

Chepngetich, Cheptai, Yehualaw and Yeshaneh went through 10km  together in 30:49 as a thrilling race started to take shape. 

Cheptai was the next to fall away, becoming detached in the 12th kilometre with the remaining trio going through 15km in 46:15. 

With just three kilometres to go, and within the space of a few hundred  metres, first Chepngetich and then Yeshaneh found themselves unable to  stay with the pace. 

However, Yehualaw continued to follow Kibarus, and once he dropped  out with two kilometres to go it was just a question of how much she would  take off Gemechu’s 2019 course record of 66:00. 

In the end, she improved the mark by more than a minute, aided by a  strong run over the final quarter of the race. 

Yehualaw won in 64:46 but Chepngetich also ran the race of her life to  finish in a personal best of 65:06 and move up to equal-sixth on the world  all-time list.  

“My training since the world championships told me that maybe I could  break the course record as I ran 65:19 there, but this was more than I  expected, and I hoped for a win here after just losing by a second a year  ago,” said Yehualaw. 

“My plan was to push hard with two kilometres to go and that helped my  fast time, and it was also very nice weather,” she added, with early  morning temperatures in Delhi around 12-14 degrees Celsius. 

In the men’s race, three pacemakers took field through 3km in 8:22 and  then 5km in 13:57 – well under 59-minute pace – with Belihu always to the  fore. 

The main pacemaker, Uganda’s Abel Sikowo, continued to forge ahead  and passed 8km 22:17 and then 10km in 27:50, with eight men still directly  in the wake of Sikowo who was doing an admirable job in keeping the  tempo high and sub-59 times definitely in sight. 

Just after 12km Sikowo dropped out and Belihu, along with Kenya’s  Leonard Barsoton, dictated matters at the front for the next two kilometres  although, as he was later to admit, this decision might have cost the  defending champion dearly in the later stages of the race. 

Eight men were still in contention at 15km, which was passed in 42:00. By  18km the leading group had slimmed just slightly to six men: the Ethiopian  quartet of Belihu, Walelegn, 2017 and 2019 world 5000m champion Muktar  Edris who was making his competitive debut over the distance, Tesfahun  Akalnew, Barsoton and Uganda’s Stephen Kissa. 

Akalnew started to falter shortly afterwards and with two kilometres to go,  Edris and Barsoton also started to drop off the back of the group as their  challenge for a place on the podium began to evaporate. 

Belihu, Walelegn and Kissa passed the 20km checkpoint in 55:59, and just  a hundred or so metres later, Walelegn threw down the gauntlet. 

However, Kissa was still full of running and darted between the two  Ethiopians with 500m to go and held the lead for the next 300 metres  before Walelegn found another gear and passed the Ugandan on his  right as he sprinted for the line. 

Walelegn finished in 58:53, the third fastest time of the year and an event record by 13 seconds as well as a personal best by 15 seconds. Belihu was  just one second in arrears and Kissa two seconds further back, both men also setting personal bests. 

“I had a few bad patches but in the final kilometre I felt strong. I was  second in Delhi in 2018 and this is a much faster course which has less  sharp turns,” commented Walelegn, reflected on the new circuit which  incorporated two six-kilometre loops. 

“I have to be happy as I ran a personal best. After the pacemaker  dropped out I pushed the pace but I think this might have left me with a  bit less energy when we sprinted in the last kilometre,” reflected Belihu,  who just fell short in his bid to be the first three-time winner in Delhi. 

In fourth place Edris ran 59:04, the second fastest debut over the distance  ever, while Avinash Sable smashed the Indian record by more than three  minutes when he ran 60:30 in tenth place.

(11/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Lets Run
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CJ Albertson Just Ran a 2:09 Marathon on the Treadmill. He Doesn’t Care What You Think About It.

Albertson, 27, has been doing a lot of cool things recently. His highlights from the last month:

On November 1, he ran 50.4 kilometers on his treadmill in 2:42:00. The treadmill world record for 50k (and fastest time anyone had covered 50 kilometers, period) was 2:42:56.

On November 8, he ran a 50,000-meter world best of 2:42:30 by running 125 laps around his old track at Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif.

On November 15, he ran 37 miles on his treadmill at 5:56 mile pace — the longest run of his life.

His most recent effort was his most impressive yet: on Sunday, he ran an approximate 2:09:58 marathon on his treadmill, and felt so good, he added on an extra mile even faster.

Though Albertson knew what the treadmill world record was (2:17:56 by Tyler Andrews in June), he didn’t go into his run thinking of it as a world record attempt. He just wanted to see if he could run a 2:10 marathon on a treadmill.

So he went into his guest bedroom, opened the French doors, and set up a fan to get some air flowing from outside. He laid out his fuel: seven gels, one bottle of water, and one bottle of carbs and electrolytes. He cued up the Panic! At the Disco station on Amazon Music. Finally, he wheeled in his television and prepared to binge Community. He didn’t mind that his music would mostly drown out the dialogue.

“I’ve seen all the episodes like, five times,” Albertson says. “It’s just something that clears my mind.”

And then he set his Peloton treadmill to 12.1 miles per hour (2:10:00 marathon pace) and he ran. And ran and ran and ran.

Six miles in, he began to hurt.

“I’m like, okay, I’m probably not going to go a marathon,” Albertson says.

But he muscled through the rough patch, and as he neared the end, he was feeling good. So good, in fact, that he didn’t want to stop. So after passing 26.2 miles, Albertson cranked the treadmill up to its max speed of 12.5 miles per hour (4:48 pace) and ran one final mile before stepping off with a final time of 2:14:46 for 27.22 miles.

Albertson says that before Sunday, he’d never experienced the “runner’s high.” But after his 27.22-mile effort, it hit him.

“I was walking around the house pumped up, kind of like a fighter when you see them just hopping around, randomly yelling,” Albertson says.

That feeling, and the fact that he accomplished his goal of running an entire marathon at 2:10 pace, is enough for Albertson. He won’t be submitting the effort as an official world record; he didn’t record the run or calibrate the treadmill prior to the attempt. And though he set the grade to 1.5% to account for the lack of wind resistance (“I read something that said that’s about accurate for that pace”), he isn’t going to waste time trying to figure out what the performance was worth. (Albertson thinks he came through 26.22 miles in just under 2:10 — he set the treadmill to 4:55 pace for the final mile of his marathon (2:10 pace is 4:57 pace)– and says he split roughly 2:09:50 from mile 2 to mile 27.22).

“That’s kind of the fun, that’s kind of the mystery — what was that effort worth really?” says Albertson. “I’ll never know. No one will ever know.”

Albertson says he still considers his marathon personal best to be the 2:11:49 he ran to place seventh at the Olympic Trials in Atlanta in February, but is hoping to break 2:10 at the Marathon Project on December 20 in Arizona, where he’ll face Scott Fauble (2:09:09 pb) and Canadian record holder Cam Levins (2:09:25 pb), among others.

The fact that breaking 2:10 is now a realistic goal for Albertson, who works as a professor and head cross country coach at Clovis Community College, is fairly remarkable. He was a solid runner at Arizona State, posting personal bests of 7:59, 13:50, and 8:45 in the steeple, but by no means a future star; he never even qualified for the NCAA cross country championships (he did make it to NCAAs in the steeple as a junior in 2016, though he didn’t make the final).

After graduating in 2017, Albertson spent a year away from competitive running. But when he returned in 2018, training for the Two Cities Marathon in Fresno, he tried a different approach, throwing in several long runs of over 26 miles in his buildup. It worked: he won the race in 2:17:45, qualifying for the Olympic Trials.

Since then, Albertson has incorporated hard long runs of 26-32 mile into his weekly routine, doing them almost every Sunday when he’s in serious training. And he has improved drastically. In March 2019, he shaved 58 seconds off his personal best by running 2:16:47 to win the Modesto Marathon and followed it up with a world best for the indoor marathon, clocking 2:17:59 at the Armory in April. In the fall, he ran another big pb of 2:14:51 to repeat at Two Cities before running yet another pb of 2:13:40 a month later to finish second at CIM. Then he took almost two minutes off of that time to finish seventh at the Trials.

Albertson, who is self-coached, views his Wolverine-like ability to recover as a gift that must be nurtured. He tried traditional training in college, but it was only once he leaned into making these long, hard efforts a regular part of his training that his career truly took off.

“It comes really easy and natural for me to do what people would say [are] hard long runs,” Albertson says. “So I feel like I kind of have to take advantage of that, and it works for me. I was decent in college. But I was not seventh in the nation in college, ever. I wasn’t even close.”

Mentally, Albertson is also well-suited for the monotony of grinding away on a track or treadmill for hours on end. He likes running best when he doesn’t have to worry about splits or surges and can just lock into a pace, comparing it to meditation.

“I like the rhythm,” Albertson says. “A treadmill, you’re in perfect rhythm all the time. A track, you can get into that rhythm too. There’s just something about it that is relaxing but also allows you to push hard. And so I don’t have to think about anything, I just get the physical act of running hard and fast. There’s something really soothing about that to me.”

Albertson posts all of his training on Strava, and because many of his workouts are ridiculous, they tend to generate a lot of discussion (example: this five-page thread on LetsRun after Albertson ran 27 miles at 5:09 pace in February). Albertson says he sometimes gets a laugh out of seeing strangers on the internet overanalyze his runs, but for him, setting obscure records and logging mind-bending treadmill workouts are a way to have fun and keep training interesting. They’re not what the sport is about.

“Any race is gonna mean a lot mean than any sort of a record, because competing, that’s what the sport is: you race people,” Albertson says. “…It really doesn’t matter what you do in practice. When I line up December 20, it’s like, who cares? I don’t care what anyone else did [in practice], no one cares what I did. We’re just racing and the person who crosses the finish line wins.”

(11/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Lets Run
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Why Running Outside in the Winter Is So Good for You

The mental and physical benefits make it worth the extra effort

Sure, the treadmill can be a valuable training tool in winter. But most of the time, gearing up, embracing the outdoors, and hitting the roads is the better option. What’s the difference, you ask? Training outside any time of year—but especially during the year’s darkest days—unlocks a host of mental and physical benefits. Here are four reasons to take your workouts outdoors this winter.

Amy Kugler understands firsthand how running can help combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Back in 2013, when the 30-year-old content strategist had just moved to Seattle, she found herself unconsciously upping her mileage as a way to cope with the lack of sunshine. “The rainy season kicked in around September and it was gray all the time,” she says. “My husband would encourage me to get out the door because he saw that when I returned from my runs, I was much happier.”

Robert J. Stock, a California-based psychotherapist, says that about 5 percent of Americans suffer from SAD, and as many as 10 percent more have a subclinical variant they may not recognize. “There are theories that the lack of light in winter triggers hormonal changes, with the leading belief being that the brain may create less serotonin, one of the important chemicals to create a sense of well-being,” he explains. Running, then, can be a great antidote. “Running outside, preferably in daylight, creates endorphins that give a runner a happy feeling and greater energy rush,” Stock says.

Even with a schedule and climate that often prevents her from training in the sunlight, Kugler feels better after training outdoors through winter. And that's no coincidence. A 2016 Harvard and Syracuse University study showed that the elevated levels of carbon dioxide often present in indoor environments can have negative effects on cognitive function. Translation: breathing fresh, oxygen-rich air—not just exposure to sunlight—can positively affect more than just your mood. “Would I love a sunny day?” she asks. “Yes. But more importantly, I am out there, and the endorphins make all the difference.”

Winter Weather Beats Summer Weather

Truly, it does. Instead of slowing the pace to build endurance in the heat, winter weather makes everything better: you’ll sweat less and remain better hydrated. You’ll feel more energized. Your heart will run slower and you might find yourself adding on a mile or two some days, rather than quitting early. “Breathing in the cold air wakes you up and makes you feel alive,” says Baltimore-based running coach Alison Staples. “I wouldn’t miss it.”

You’ll Feel like a Boss

If you haven’t noticed, there aren’t many people out running on the roads in the middle of winter. If you have the chutzpah to get out there, your tenacity deserves a few pats on the back. When he first arrived at the University of Wisconsin to join the track team, Under Armour runner Morgan McDonald was a bit unsure about running in the cold. Originally from Sydney, Australia, he’d never encountered real winter conditions (the average low temperature in January in Madison, Wisconsin, is a bone-chilling 11 degrees Fahrenheit). “It can be a bit daunting,” McDonald says. “But once you get used to it, you’ll be glad you tried.”

Professional runner and coach Breanna Sieracki, who lives in Minnesota and runs in just about any temperature, agrees. “You have to be tough to get out there,” she says. “It will make you more resilient and ready to handle anything.”

You’ll Make Real Gains

Winter running is about mental toughness, to be sure. You’ll emerge stronger and ready to handle the rough spots in a race come spring. But it also adds up to physical benefits. “With the exception of a few big marathons, like Houston, most of your races will be in warmer months,” says Sieracki. “So winter can be great for base building.” With the break from races, winter is the perfect time to build up your base so that you’re ready for that harder training come spring.

Use this time to work mostly in your aerobic zone, laying down a firm foundation. Think of your training as a pyramid—your wintertime base miles form the bottom layer on which your other efforts can rest. Skip out on this step and spring training and racing won’t get you nearly as far. The case for winter running couldn’t be stronger. As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, make a plan for joining the ranks of winter warriors. Your mood and your body will thank you.

(11/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Outside
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We Now Have the Lab Data on Nike's Breaking2 Runners

To pick their two-hour marathon team, researchers tested some of the greatest runners on the planet. Now they're revealing what they found.

Here’s a quick and convenient way of finding out whether you’re ready to run a two-hour marathon. Head to the track and run six laps (roughly 1.5 miles) at two-hour pace (4:34.6 per mile), then run one more lap as fast as you can. Have a nearby exercise physiologist fit you with a portable oxygen-measuring mask, to measure your energy consumption at that pace. Then crunch the data to see whether your metabolism is settling into a sustainable pattern, or whether it’s spiraling out of control toward a fiery explosion.

That’s one of several tests that at least 16 elite runners underwent during the selection process for Nike’s 2017 Breaking2 race, which Eliud Kipchoge ended up winning in 2:00:25. Now the scientists responsible, including teams from Andrew Jones’s group at the University of Exeter in Britain and the Nike Sport Research Lab in Beaverton, have published some of the data in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It’s grouped and anonymized, so we don’t get to obsess about the individual details of Eliud Kipchoge’s physiology, but it’s a pretty rare window into the characteristics of best-of-the-best runners. Here are some of the highlights.

The runners were “predominantly of East African ethnicity,” with average bests of 1:00:04 for the half marathon and 2:08:40 for the marathon at the time of testing (they’ve since run, on average, 59:53 and 2:06:53). All were drawn from the global pool of Nike-sponsored runners, with a particular focus on those with half marathon times that suggested the ability to handle two-hour pace. The only runners we know for sure were among the subjects are Kipchoge and his fellow Breaking2 finalists, Zersenay Tadese and Lelisa Desisa. The inclusion of runners like Tadese, who at the time held the half marathon world record of 58:23 but had only run 2:10:41 for the marathon, helps explain the relatively modest average marathon time.

The testing, which was completed at either the Nike campus or the University of Exeter, included a bunch of body measurements like height, weight, body fat, lung function, and the length and girth of various parts of the leg and foot. This stuff is interesting, since some researchers believe that factors like the length of the Achilles tendon can influence running economy, but there were no unusual results. Biomechanical testing of ten of the runners who were examined in Exeter found that six were forefoot strikers and four were heel strikers, and the most efficient runners had the shortest ground contact time with each step. Again, this is more or less what you’d expect based on previous studies of elite runners.

They also did a VO2 max test on the treadmill, with the speed increased in stages until the runners gave up. Between each treadmill stage, the runners hopped off the treadmill briefly to have their fingers pricked for a lactate measurement to determine their lactate threshold. Here there were some more surprising results. The average VO2 max was just 71.0 ml/kg/min, which is unexpectedly low given that the range expected for elite endurance athletes is typically about 70 to 85. The lowest value among the Nike runners was 62, which is astonishingly low, and the highest was 84, which is high but far from unprecedented. You can think of VO2 max as the size of the aerobic engine; whatever gifts made these runners special, it apparently wasn’t having a huge engine.

You’d expect, then, that they must be extraordinarily efficient. Their running economy, which is a measure of how much energy you burn at a given pace, was indeed pretty good, averaging 189 ml/kg/km on the treadmill. That’s consistent with previous studies that found typical values of around 190 ml/kg/km in elite runners (and substantially better than the values of 210 or higher seen in recreational runners at slower paces), although there was a lot of individual variation between the most and least economical. As in previous studies, there was an inverse relationship between VO2 max and running economy: those with the highest VO2 max tended to have the worst economy, and vice versa. Whether that’s inevitable for some physiological reason, or simply a reflection of the fact that even elite runners are unlikely to hit the genetic lottery twice, remains a topic of spirited debate.

To measure running economy, you have to be running aerobically, since oxygen consumption is used as a proxy for energy consumption. If you’re having to burn a lot of anaerobic energy to maintain the pace, the energy estimate will be inaccurate. Interestingly, only seven of the 16 runners were able to fulfill this requirement while running at 2:00 marathon pace. The other nine were above their “critical speed” at that pace, which tells you pretty much right away that they had no hope whatsoever of running a two-hour marathon. (To be fair, the testing had to be slotted in between seasons for some of the runners, so they may not have been in peak condition.)

In the classic mathematical model of marathon performance, there are three variables: VO2 max, running economy, and a third variable that represents what fraction of VO2 max you’re able to sustain over the course of a marathon. That third variable is often approximated by the lactate threshold, which is the speed at which your lactate levels begin to gradually creep up as you start relying more on anaerobic energy.

But well-trained marathon runners are actually able to run the distance at a slightly higher speed than their lactate threshold. In this study, the runners hit their lactate threshold at 83 percent of VO2 max on average. Their critical speed, which is roughly when lactate levels start shooting up more steeply instead of just creeping up, occurred at 92 percent of VO2 max. Marathon pace tends to be somewhere between those two markers. In fact, a previous study by Jones and Anni Vanhatalo found that elite marathoners tend to run their marathons at 96 percent of critical speed, which in this case works out to 88 percent of VO2 max.

If you run the numbers, using lactate threshold as marathon pace predicts that the runners in the study should average 2:15:24 for the marathon. Using critical speed predicts 2:02:55. Using the Goldilocks value of 88 percent of VO2 max, in contrast, gives a prediction of 2:08:31—almost exactly corresponding to their average best time at the time of testing, which was 2:08:40. The takeaway: your critical speed (which you can calculate as described here) offers a pretty good estimate of marathon pace, assuming your training is adequately geared for the distance.

After all this testing, the team selected Kipchoge, Desisa, and Tadese. Kipchoge turned out to be a great choice. Desisa is a mixed bag: he was injured before Breaking2, and hasn’t run particularly fast since, but he did win last year’s World Championships and also won New York in 2018 and was second in Boston in 2019. You could do worse. Tadese, on the other hand, has never really managed to put it together in the marathon, despite stellar lab values (in earlier testing, he had the best running economy ever measured).

What was missing for Tadese? Jones and his colleagues suggest that the mathematical model needs a fourth variable, which they call “fatigue resistance,” representing “the extent of the deterioration of the three [other variables] over time.” A previous study from the Breaking2 researchers explored how critical speed changes over two hours of exercise. The gist: it gets worse, and some people have a greater decline than others. Maybe Kipchoge is unusually gifted in this regard; maybe Tadese got dealt a weak hand. It seems clear that fatigue resistance is an important ingredient for marathon success, but the problem for running scientists is that there’s no convenient way of measuring it—other than, well, running a marathon.

For more Sweat Science, join me on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for the email newsletter, and check out my book Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance.

(11/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Outside
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Daniel Mateiko and Evelyne Chirchir Dominates 2020 Eldama Ravine Half Marathon

Daniel Mateiko and Evelyne Chirchir are the new winners of the second edition of Eldama Ravine Half Marathon held on 28/11/2020.Mateiko won 21km men in 63:01 followed closely by Ronald Kurui and Emmanuel Bor finished third in 63:23.

In women 21km category, Evelyne Chirchir won with a wider lead of almost a minute with time of 70:24 where Jackline Jepkemoi and Frankfurt Champion Valary Ayabei  came second and third consecutively in time of 71:27: and 71:46.

Norah Jeruto won 10 km women 33:53, Dorcas Kimeli second in 34:07 and Daisy Cheptemei third 35:23.  In 10 km men that was dominated by juniors Kenneth Renju closed 29:58 followed a distance by Weldon Kurui 30:16 and Michael Kibet wrapping top 3 with 30:20.

The race was ran with all athletes wearing a mask and only top 10 were allowed to remain after the race and the rest were released to go home.This was due to covid-19 government guidelines on combating the spread of virus.

(11/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Willie Korir
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Walelegn breaks course Record Time for 2020 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

Ethiopian  Amedework Walelegn is the new  course record holder of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in men's race with time of 58:53.

Ethiopian Amedework Walelegn dethroned his campatriot 2018 and 2019 winner Andamlak Belihu in a nail-bitting finish to win the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon men's race in a course record time of 58:53. Andamlak who was second settled for silver medal with a time of 58:54 while Stephen Kisa of Uganda Pocket bronze in 58:56.

Walelegn who is 21-years- old broke 2014 course record set by his compatriot Guye Adola in 2014.

In women category Yalemzert Yahualaw beat reigning Marathon Champion Ruth Chepngetich by winning in a time of 64:46 while Ruth followed a distance in 65:06. Abadal Yeshaneh of Ethiopia was third with time of 65:21.

The course was different from the normal course because of covid-19 pandemic protocol. The runners had to cover around 4.5 km starting at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and then ran on two loops of about 6 km , before getting to the finish line outside the stadium by the same route. The route was sprayed with chemicals to minimise the effect of the annual toxic smog that blankets the megacity in winter due to traffic and industrial pollution crop subble, burning and cold temperature.

(11/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Willie Korir
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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World cross country champion Hellen Obiri opens cross country season with victory in Machakos

World cross country champion Hellen Obiri launched her season in style, winning senior women's 10km race during the opening leg of Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series at the People's Park, Machakos.

Obiri, who is also the World 5,000m champion, took over the lead from world 3,000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech after 3kms to tear apart the muddy course for victory in 32 minutes and 29.2 seconds.

With Chepkoech, the world record holder in steeplechase, pulling out after 6kms, Caroline Nyaga from Kenya Police Services, came second in 32:46.8.

Steeplechaser, Kenyan-born Winfred Mutile of Bahrain, finished third in 32:47.5.

"The course looked challenging after the morning downpour but it's a great way to start the season as I focus on more races before the Tokyo Olympic Games next year," said Obiri.

Obiri, who won silver in 5,000m at the 2016 Rio Summer Games, said she will decide on whether to double up in 5,000m and 10,000m during the Tokyo Summer Games due July 23 to August 8 next year.

"With the World Cross Country Championships having been postponed to 2022, I will concentrate my energies on Olympics," said Obiri.

(11/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Olympian Molly Seidel runs 34:33 10K dressed in a turkey suit

On Thursday, Olympic marathon qualifier Molly Seidel ran a 34:33 10K dressed as a turkey (wings and all). That’s 3:26 per kilometre, in full turkey garb. A few weeks ago she announced her goal of becoming the Fastest Known Turkey (impersonator) and accomplished her task on Thanksgiving morning.

Seidel was accompanied by a few friends and family members for a small race on Cranberry Island, Maine. 

The 26-year-old has had a good year, already qualifying for the 2021 Olympics in the marathon. On top of being a future Olympian, she is an NCAA champion in the 10,000m and she owns a 2:25:13 personal best from the London Marathon.

Seidel was participating in the 2020 Virtual Peachtree 10K, one of the most prestigious 10K races in the U.S. In order to clock the fastest time possible, Seidel will run the distance twice.

Her first attempt was yesterday’s literal turkey trot and her second will come in a few days’ time, back home in Boston in typical running clothes. She predicts that she’ll shed 30 seconds when she ditches the suit. 

Seidel did confirm on Instagram that she in fact cooked a turkey, after dressing as one for her run. 

(11/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Best-case scenario for Games is venues full of spectators - Tokyo governor

•With Covid-19 infections on the rise in many countries around the world, Olympics organisers have yet to decide whether to allow spectators into venues next year and if so, how many.

•The Japanese government is preparing to pause the travel campaign in Osaka and Sapporo following sharp rises in Covid-19 cases

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Tuesday that the best case scenario for the 2020 Olympics postponed until next year is to have venues full of spectators, as organisers wrestle with how to plan for the Games amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

With Covid-19 infections on the rise in many countries around the world, Olympics organisers have yet to decide whether to allow spectators into venues next year and if so, how many.

Koike, speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, said organisers were still hopeful venues could be filled with spectators when the Olympics begin in July.

“The best-case scenario ... would be when all athletes from all countries come here in safety and with peace of mind and the Olympics can, as in previous years, be held with full spectators present as well,” said Koike.

Organisers have said previously they will not make a decision on spectator numbers until the spring. Although Japan has largely avoided the huge numbers of COVID-19 infections seen in other countries, daily cases in Tokyo rose to records above 500 last week.

Koike warned that Tokyo was seeing a rise in infections among older residents, including cases where people had contracted the virus while eating out and brought it home to elderly relatives.

She is due to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga later on Tuesday to discuss a domestic travel promotion campaign introduced by the government earlier this year to try to stimulate local economies hit by the near-complete absence of foreign tourism amid the pandemic.

“It is clear that the movement of people is having an impact on the increase in cases,” Koike said. “It is necessary to look at what kind of restrictions on the movement of people might be needed.”

The Japanese government is preparing to pause the travel campaign in Osaka and Sapporo following sharp rises in Covid-19 cases, the minister handling the government’s coronavirus response said on Tuesday.

(11/28/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Kilian Jornet drops out of 24-hour running world record attempt, feeling dizzy and seeking medical evaluation

The mountain running superstar swapped trails for tracks in an attempt to beat Yainnis Kouros’ 303.506km record set in 1985

Jornet completes 134km before doctors advise him to seek help for dizzinessKilian Jornet has dropped out of his 24-hour running record due to dizziness. The famous mountain runner did continuous loops of a track in Norway in an attempt to set a new distance covered in a day.

Jornet had run 134km after 337 laps. The record he was going for is Yainnis Kouros’s 303.506km set in 1985.

The Salomon team shared an Instagram story, firstly showing Jornet receiving physio on his knee, then announcing he dropped out and finally explaining: “Kilian was feeling dizzy, so he received medical attention on the track. Although he was feeling better, the medical professionals decided it was best for him to go for further evaluation.”

Kouros, from Greece, is considered the best road ultra runner of all time. His 24-hour record has stood for an incredible 35 years. He also holds the 48-hour record on a track (473km), set in 1996 and the six-day record (1,036km) set in 2005.

Jornet is no stranger to turning over historical records. He set the record on the 106km Bob Graham Round in England in 2018, beating Billy Bland’s time that had stood for 36 years.

Kilian Jornet has dropped out of his 24-hour running record due to dizziness. The famous mountain runner did continuous loops of a track in Norway in an attempt to set a new distance covered in a day.

Jornet had run 134km after 337 laps. The record he was going for is Yainnis Kouros’s 303.506km set in 1985.

The Salomon team shared an Instagram story, firstly showing Jornet receiving physio on his knee, then announcing he dropped out and finally explaining: “Kilian was feeling dizzy, so he received medical attention on the track. Although he was feeling better, the medical professionals decided it was best for him to go for further evaluation.”

Kouros, from Greece, is considered the best road ultra runner of all time. His 24-hour record has stood for an incredible 35 years. He also holds the 48-hour record on a track (473km), set in 1996 and the six-day record (1,036km) set in 2005.

Jornet is no stranger to turning over historical records. He set the record on the 106km Bob Graham Round in England in 2018, beating Billy Bland’s time that had stood for 36 years.

However, the 24-hour record presented a challenge out of Jornet’s comfort zone. He is best known for his domination in the mountains. He has won nearly every high profile trail race, and holds the records at many of them.

He has won the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc three times, Hardrock 100 four times, setting the course record in 2015 and winning with a dislocated shoulder in 2017.

Jornet has six 31km Sierre Zinal titles, setting the record on his latest win in 2019. He won the Western States in 2011. He also holds seven 42km Zegama-Aizkorri wins in Spain.

“For me it’s an unknown terrain,” Jornet said before his 24-hour record attempt. “If I tell you some predictions I will be lying because I really don’t have a clue. I’ve never ran a race on a track and the longest distance I’ve trained on flat is 90km.”

(11/28/2020) ⚡AMP
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WHO announces new physical activity guidelines

According to new WHO guidelines, adults should be doing up to 300 minutes of exercise a week

On Tuesday the World Health Organization announced their physical activity guidelines, taking aim at the inactivity caused by the global pandemic. According to WHO, one in five adolescents and one in four adults aren’t getting enough physical activity, which is costing roughly $54 billion in direct health care. They’re recommending up to 300 minutes of activity a week in adults and 60 minutes a day for children and adolescents.

While this shouldn’t be a problem for an avid runner, some research suggests that even among historically active populations, activity levels have dropped since the pandemic began. One study reported that the group that saw the biggest downward swing in activity levels has been the under-40 crowd, with younger people formerly responsible for the most activity of anyone ahead of the pandemic, and the least as lockdown restrictions eased.

People aged 24-35 saw the biggest rise and fall between January 22 and June 17, with many users in this age bracket removing exercise from their schedule completely. This can likely be attributed to the high-stress situations that many young families were experiencing in their home life. With young children, jobs and limited access to child care, exercise fell to the wayside.

The WHO recommends between 150 and 300 minutes of activity for adults, which is actually a lot of running when it’s broken down. That would mean going on a 43-minute run every day to hit 300 minutes. However, walking, cycling and strength training all count as well. When considered from this angle, it’s an extremely attainable number.

How to get back into running

Thankfully, no matter what stage of the pandemic your country is in, chances are you can go for a run. If you found yourself taking an unscheduled break from the sport over the past few months, returning should be done gradually. Start with walk-runs and work your way up slowly. The rule of thumb is to add about 10 per cent to your mileage each week.

(11/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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North Carolina runner reclaims basketball mile world record in 4:33.73

Dylan Sorensen beat the previous record by just .02 seconds

In May, University of North Carolina (UNC) track coach Dylan Sorensen broke the world record for the fastest mile while dribbling a basketball. He ran an impressive 4:37 to beat the record by 15 seconds. In the months following Sorensen’s run, his record was lowered twice, and heading into his attempt on November 18, the time to beat was 4:33.75. He managed to win the record back, but he cut it close, running a 4:33.73, just 0.02 seconds quicker than the previous mark. Sorensen used his run as a chance to raise money for the FORevHer Tar Heels program, a UNC nonprofit for female student athletes.

A popular challenge

Since former U.S. Olympian Nick Symmonds ran a world record time of 5:29 in August 2019, the basketball mile has become really popular. Not long after Symmonds’s run, a runner from California Polytechnic State University named Thomas Schauerman became the first person to break five minutes in the event, completing the mile in 4:52. Sorensen was the next to beat the record with his 4:37 in May.

A couple of months later, Sorensen’s mark was beaten by former OFSAA 3,000m champion Tennessee Tremain of Guelph, Ont., who ran 4:33.9. In September, the record was lowered once more when Yale University cross-country runner Thomas Cirrito posted a 4:33.75, just barely bettering Tremain’s time. Now, the record is back in Sorensen’s name, but at the rate this event is contested, it might not be his for long.

The women’s basketball mile has also been a popular challenge this year, and it has been lowered on several occasions, including once in July when Sydney Masciarelli ran 5:08.5. Masciarelli recently signed with UNC, so she will be coached by Sorensen, meaning the two will have plenty of chances to work together to run more basketball miles. The current women’s record sits at 4:58.56, and it belongs to BYU’s Whittni Orton.

Sorensen’s run

Sorensen ran at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and while still competing, he posted PBs of 3:47.28 for the 1,500m 4:06.27 for the mile. These are quick times, and Sorensen’s experience in the world of elite track has clearly served him well with his record attempts. His 4:33.73 basketball mile result works out to a blazing-fast pace of 2:50 per kilometre. As he said after the run, “the record is a very small part of this,” noting that his main focus was to raise money for FORevHer Tar Heels. He has yet to post how much money he fundraised, but his run garnered a lot of attention, so the final tally could be quite high.

(11/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Defending champion Gemechu eyes hat-trick of course records at Delhi Half Marathon

Two-time defending champion Ethiopia''s Tsehay Gemechu on Thursday said she is aiming to break the course record for the third time in the women''s race of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday.

The 21-year-old Gemechu made a huge impact on her ADHM debut in 2018, setting a women''s course record of 66:50. She then went on to better her own record by 50 seconds when she ran a stunning personal best of 66 minutes last year.

"This year again I''m going to try for the course record. After corona I have done a lot of training and I am in shape to go even faster than last year," Gemechu said at the pre-race press conference.

Her compatriot, men''s defending champion Andamlak Belihu, who will be aiming for an unprecedented third successive victory like Gemechu, also expressed his desire to break the course record.

The 22-year-old is coming off a fifth place finish in the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships and said he is in good shape despite the coronavirus pandemic stalling training earlier this year.

"I came fifth in the World Half Marathon Championships and after that I trained for a month to five weeks and my training improved. So, I''m expecting to go for the race record like last year. I''m in similar or maybe even better shape," Belihu said.

"Last year, I was just four seconds outside the course record (59:06 set by Ethiopia''s Guye Adola in 2014) and I think I can find the difference," the two-time champion added.

The 16th edition of the ADHM will see one of the best fields of international elite athletes with an unprecedented 13 men, having run under the world class bench mark of one hour, and seven women clocking sub-67 minutes results.

This year''s ADHM has two women''s world record holders in Kenya''s Brigid Kosgei (marathon record) and Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh (half marathon record) and an enticing battle between the two is on the cards.

"I am coming here looking to show what I can do after finishing fifth at the World Half," Yeshaneh said.

"I fell there (about three kilometres from the finish) and was very frustrated, finishing in tears, because I know I was in shape to win but you just have to pick yourself up and carry on. I have brought the shape I had in Poland to Delhi."

On the other hand, Kosgei stunned the world when she broke the long-standing women''s world marathon record by more than a minute at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, clocking 2:14:04, with Yeshaneh a distant second on that occasion although she still ran a superb personal best of 2:20:51.

However, Yeshaneh prevailed with a world record 64:31 at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February this year with Kosgei (64:49) finishing second. More recently, Kosgei won the London Marathon on October 4 with a timing of 2:18:58.

"After London, I took 10 days off, but I have since had six weeks very good preparation for this race. I have a good record in half marathons, but I am not going to make predictions about this race as it is a very tough field," commented Kosgei.

(11/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon seeks to transition to 5,000m after Olympic Games

Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon is considering a new challenge after the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Speaking at her Global Sports Communication training camp in Kaptagat, Kipyegon said she will be upgrading to the 5,000m event  after a successful career in the three-lap race.

“My focus has now shifted and I want to compete in 5,000m after the Tokyo Olympic Games. This is my dream as I seek new challenges in my career,” said Kipyegon.

However, the reigning world 1,500m champion added she is not keen on doubling like her mentor, Vivian Cheruiyot — who dominated both the 5,000m and 10,000m races before heading for the roads.

“When I was young, I used to watch Vivian (Cheruiyot) running across the world and I admired her, hence started taking the sport seriously. Now that I have the opportunity to showcase my talent, I hope to make it to the top, like her, when I transit to the next level,” said Kipyegon, who was with former world 3,000m steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng.

Kipyegon has had a stellar career over 1,500m, which, in addition to the Olympic and world titles, saw her win numerous Diamond League Series legs, 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as well as cross country.

Elsewhere, the Diamond League on Tuesday released its provisional calendar for the 2021 season, which will consist of 14 athletics meetings beginning in Rabat in May and ending in Zurich in September.

(11/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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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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Two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui seeks redemption in Valencia after skipping Amsterdam race due to pandemic

Two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui is targeting a podium finish at the Valencia Marathon on December 6 to cure the pain of missing out on the Amsterdam Marathon that was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We have been crying due to lack of races across the world and now a chance has come our way. I have to do my best to ensure I get to the podium,” Kirui said.

A late entry into the marathon start list, Kirui expects a tough race as all the other athletes have been training intensely with their eyes fixed on the prize. 

 "This will be the battle for the greats. All athletes heading to Valencia are ready and that shows the race will be tough. Expect fireworks at the finish line,” the 2012 London Olympics marathon silver medalist said. 

Kirui has had a chequered career in road races and will be relying on his pedigree to reap dividends despite the long period of sporting inactivity.  He won the world marathon title in 2009 in Berlin and defended the title in 2011 in Daegu. 

Kirui also crossed the finish line first and second at the  Chicago Marathon in 2016 and 2017.

Another marathoner hoping to reap from the virtue of patience is two-time Toronto marathon champion Philemon Rono who missed out on the Boston Marathon that was similarly cancelled due to the pandemic. 

Rono, who has been training at Kaptagat for the better part of the year, is confident his efforts will earn him a podium finish in the Spanish city. 

"This is my first race after Toronto Marathon in 2019 and it is one that came by chance. I have to secure good results because my fitness is in top gear,” Rono, who started out as a pacesetter, said.  

Popularly known the 'Small Police' in athletics circles, Rono won the Toronto marathon in 2017 before losing the title to Benson Kipruto in 2018. However, he reclaimed his title in 2019.

(11/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...

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Christian Coleman has formally appealed doping ban

Men's 100-meter world champion Christian Coleman has formally appealed against his two-year ban for missing multiple doping tests, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said Thursday.

The court also received an appeal by the World Athletics governing body against a decision to clear women's 400-meter world champion Salwa Eid Naser on a technicality despite facing similar charges as Coleman.

The verdicts in the separate cases will have a big impact on two of the most anticipated sprint events at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Coleman is challenging a two-year ban imposed last month by an independent tribunal at track and field's Athletics Integrity Unit.

The American sprinter had three so-called "whereabouts failures" -- missed tests or not updating details where sample collection officials could find him -- in a one-year period to trigger a doping violation.

Coleman asked for his ban, which currently rules him out of the Olympics, to "be eliminated, or in the alternative, reduced," the court said in a statement.

He had previously avoided a ban before the 2019 worlds in Doha, Qatar, when he benefited from the same technicality later cited to clear Naser.

In Naser's case, World Athletics is appealing against the tribunal's decision last month to let her off without a ban.

Although the Nigeria-born Bahraini did have three whereabouts incidents within a 12-month calendar period, they technically counted as spanning more than one year.

World Athletics has requested a two-year ban for Naser, CAS said, adding it is now appointing panels of judges to handle the cases.

CAS typically take several months to prepare and judge an appeal, although fast-track decisions can be reached if all parties agree to cooperate.

(11/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Associated Press
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Defending champions Belihu and Gemechu believe that course records could fall at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020

The topic of discussion at the traditional pre-race press conference for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Thursday was whether the course records could be broken at this year’s World Athletics Gold Label Road Race on Sunday (29). The response was resoundingly positive from everyone.

"I have been training very well, and I was disappointed with my fifth place at the World Half Marathon Championships in Poland last month, so I am in shape and very motivated to run well here," commented the two-time men’s defending champion Andamlak Belihu, from Ethiopia.

"Last year, I was just four seconds outside the course record (59:06 set by Ethiopia’s Guye Adola in 2014) and I think I can find the difference." On Sunday, Belihu will be bidding for an unprecedented third successive title in the Indian capital but the course he will cover is radically different to the one he won on in 2018 and 2019.

To comply with prevailing health-related related measures, the runners will cover around 4.5 kilometres, starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, and then embark on two loops of approximately six kilometres, before returning to the finish outside the stadium by the same route.

"However, with smoother corners, less undulations and with the elite runners not having to contend with mass-race participants, I believe this is a faster course than previous years," said race director Hugh Jones.

Belihu’s compatriot Tsehay Gemechu, who revised the women’s course record when winning in both 2018 and 2019 - it currently stands at 66:00 - concurred with the comments about course records being in danger.

"I am in shape to go even faster than last year," said Gemechu. However, the defending champion will face an even stronger set of rivals on Sunday than the two outstanding fields she defeated in the past two years.

On the start line will be Gemechu’s fellow Ethiopian and world half marathon record holder Ababel Yeshaneh.

"I am coming here looking to show what I can do after finishing fifth at the World Half. I fell there (about three kilometres from the finish) and was very frustrated, finishing in tears, because I know I was in shape to win but you just have to pick yourself up and carry on. I have brought the shape I had in Poland to Delhi," said Yeshaneh

This year’s Airtel Delhi Half Marathon can boast of not one but two world record holders in the women’s race.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei stunned the world when she broke the long-standing women’s world marathon record by more than a minute at 2019 Chicago Marathon, clocking 2:14:04, with Yeshaneh a distant second on that occasion although she still ran a superb personal best of 2:20:51.

However, at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February this year Yeshaneh prevailed in a world record 64:31 with Kosgei second in 64:49. More recently, Kosgei won the London Marathon on 4 October in 2:18:58. "After London, I took 10 days off, but I have since had six weeks very good preparation for this race. I have a good record in half marathons, but I am not going to make predictions about this race as it is a very tough field. Some of the ladies may be better prepared as they competed at the World Half Marathon Championships last month," commented Kosgei.

(11/26/2020) ⚡AMP
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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World Triathlon proposing a new elimination style race for inclusion at Paris 2024

A new elimination style individual event is being proposed by World Triathlon for inclusion at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

insidethegames understands World Triathlon has put forward five medal events - the eliminator for men and women, the traditional elite races and a mixed relay - on its Paris 2024 event programme that it has submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The exact format of the eliminator concept - which could see athletes compete over a set number of rounds, with the lowest few athletes removed from the field after each heat - has not yet been confirmed.

The distance of the event and other details such as the order of the disciplines has also not yet been ironed out, but it has been suggested it could use the super sprint format of a 400 metres run, a 10km bike and a 2.5km swim.

World Triathlon believe the eliminator concept would not increase its athlete quota for Paris 2024 and it could be held using the same course as the mixed relay, which is set to make its Olympic debut at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games next year.

The IOC, which is due to confirm the Paris 2024 event programme at its Executive Board meeting next month, has outlined its opposition to new events if they increase the number of athletes but has suggested it is open to their inclusion if it is contested by the same set of competitors.

World Triathlon President Marisol Casado has consistently spoken of the need to enhance the sport's presence at the Olympics.

Casado, who will face a challenge from Denmark's Mads Freund when she stands for re-election during the organisation's virtual General Assembly on Sunday (November 29), has previously floated ideas such as races including semi-finals and finals in order to improve the appeal of triathlon.

(11/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Liam Morgan
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

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

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Kenya's Brigid Kosgei dismisses fears over virus and Delhi pollution

Women’s marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei said on Thursday she was gearing up for New Delhi’s half-marathon on Sunday, dismissing fears around the novel coronavirus outbreak and polluted air in the capital city.

The 26-year-old, who won the London Marathon in October, will race alongside many of the world’s leading long-distance runners at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020.

“When I told my family that I want to go to India for a marathon even during a pandemic, they supported my decision and told me to do well and take care of myself,” Kosgei told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.

India’s confimed cases of coronavirus infections stands at 9.27 million, the second-highest in the world after the United States, according to a Reuters tally.

Elite runners were being tested daily for infections and kept in bio-secure bubbles, race organiser Procam International said, adding there would be 60 healthcare officials across the course for health emergencies on Sunday.

To tackle Delhi’s hazardous air, anti-smog machines would be installed along the 21-km route for the elite runners, and sprayed with treated water.

Hundreds of other enthusiasts were participating in the shorter races.

Doctors have slammed the holding of a marathon in Delhi, which is facing one of the worst spells of air pollution this year, complicating efforts for controlling the coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday, the average concentration of deadly particulate matter PM2.5, which can potentially cause respiratory diseases including lung cancer, was seven times the prescribed safe limit of the World Health Organisation.

Each year Delhi suffers one of the worst air pollution levels globally partly due to local vehicle emissions, toxic waste and smoke from the thousands of small unregulated industrial units.

(11/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Neha Arora
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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Amateur Runner, 23, Kaito Iwasa Hoping for Breakthrough at Fukuoka International Marathon

Local Hiratsuka resident Kaito Iwasa, 23, will run the 74th Fukuoka International Marathon on Dec 6. With the number of entrants limited to a select few due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Iwasa earned the right to stand on the starting line by meeting the strict qualifying standards. "Fast times will come later," he said. "Before anything else I just want to enjoy this one."

Iwasa graduated from Kasugano J.H.S. and Oiso H.S. He attended Chuo University. where he was part of the ekiden team. After graduating from Chuo this year he started working at a local company in April, training all the while for next spring's Tokyo Marathon. When Tokyo was postponed until next October due to the coronavirus crisis, he started looking for another race he could run and heard that Fukuoka would be happening. 

In March this year Iwasa ran the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon as the final race of his college career, recording a respectable 2:19:51. "Fukuoka is an elite race," he said. "To be honest I didn't think I had a chance." But in a field of 94 his Lake Biwa time earned him bib # 83. He hopes to break 2:15.

Still in his first year of full-time work, it's a challenge for him to balance his job and training. "My life can't be completely focused on running like it was in university," Iwasa says. "but I've been able to work it so far so that I can still train six days a week." He gets up at 5:00 a.m. to run, generally following Route 1 along the coast or in the Hiratsuka municipal park, before heading to work. 

At Chuo Iwasa was selected as one of the entry members for the Hakone Ekiden but never made it to the starting lineup. That disappointment is what drives him now. "I want to stay involved with athletics and someday coach an athlete who will run the Hakone Ekiden's Fourth Stage through Hiratsuka," he says. "I want to show younger athletes that you can still have a career in athletics even if you're in the workplace."

(11/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Fukuoka Marathon

Fukuoka Marathon

The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the longest running races in Japan, it is alsoan international men’s marathon race established in 1947. The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009. Frank Shorter won first straight years from 1971 to 1974. Derek Clayton set the World Record here in 1967 running 2:09:37. ...

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2021 Los Angeles Marathon has been rescheduled for May 23 due to coronavirus

The 2021 Los Angeles Marathon has been rescheduled for May 23 and the LA Big 5K to May 22 because of the coronavirus pandemic, pending final approval of all city partners, applicable health departments and other governmental agencies, organizers announced.

The 36th edition of the marathon had been scheduled to run March 21 and the LA Big 5K for March 20. LA Big 5K is customarily run on the eve of the marathon.

The McCourt Foundation also announced Tuesday format changes to two other races it operates. The 2021 Rose Bowl 5K will be run Jan. 16-17, and the Rose Bowl Half-Marathon on March 27-28. The 2021 Rose Bowl 5K and Half Marathon had both been scheduled for Jan. 17.

Both events are being planned for two days on separate weekends in January and March to ensure proper runner and walker distancing, as well as a safer, more manageable event flow, according to the foundation operated by the family of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.

The rescheduling was made “after careful consideration and following guidance provided by the Medical and Operations Advisory Group,” the foundation said.

March and May event dates will continue to be evaluated to meet the highest possible health and safety of participants, volunteers and partners, according to the foundation. These considerations will include:

Significantly limiting field sizes;

COVID-19 vaccinations and rapid-testing for participants;

Mask use; and Hygiene practices and procedures.

The McCourt Foundation announced in July a major course change to the Los Angeles Marathon, replacing the “Stadium to the Sea” course used since 2010 to a “Stadium to the Stars” course, from Dodger Stadium to Brentwood, where runners will double back on San Vicente, Sepulveda and Santa Monica boulevards, ending at Avenue of the Stars in Century City.

The change was made because “the dramatically increased costs quoted by the city of Santa Monica for the 2021 running of the marathon and future events made remaining in Santa Monica financially infeasible,” the foundation said.

“The finish on Avenue of the Stars also allows exciting modifications not previously possible in Santa Monica,” the foundation added, “such as enhanced spectator viewing and celebrations at the finish line.”

The “Stadium to the Sea” course began at Dodger Stadium and ended near the Santa Monica Pier.

The Los Angeles Marathon has been held in March since its inaugural edition in 1986 except for 2009 and 2016.

(11/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Steven Herbert
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Los Angeles Marathon

Los Angeles Marathon

The 36th annual Los Angeles Marathon presented by ASICS returns on Sunday, November 7, 2021! From the Stadium to The Stars, experience the city of dreams a whole new way as you run through entertainment’s most iconic landmarks including West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, followed by a finish line celebration in Century City. The LA Marathon is...

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Chicago Marathon hopeful about 2021 mass participation race

Organizers are forging ahead with planning their 2021 and runners will be accepted through a tiered entry system.

As 2020 draws to a close, the pandemic has yet to be resolved. Unfortunately, few World Majors ran in 2020, and the two that did (Tokyo and London) both had extremely small fields. However, the Chicago Marathon is optimistic about the possibility of running a mass participation race next fall. Organizers announced recently that they’re moving forward with planning the October 10, 2021, race. 

The Chicago fields are set to be selected through a tiered application system, which is now open to a limited number of people and will open to the public in January. According to Inside the Games, a limited application window will also open to runners who deferred their 2020 entries. The 5K is set to take place the day before, on October 9. Organizers told ITG, “We are moving forward with hope and optimism. The health and safety of participants, volunteers, spectators and the Chicago community remain at the forefront of our planning, and we are doing everything we can to safely bring the Chicago Marathon back to our city streets.”

No spring world majors for 2021

With the spring remaining uncertain, Boston has pushed their race to the fall, along with London. Both races historically ran in April, with Berlin, Chicago and New York taking the fall spots. Tokyo typically runs in March, but is now also scheduled for October. With all of the majors slotting themselves into a six-week period, the quality of the fields will certainly be diluted, but the return of mass participation races will be a welcome change. 

(11/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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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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Indian Steeplechase runner Avinash Sable wants to challenge the best at Delhi half-marathon

India’s 3,000-meter steeplechase record holder and Olympic hopeful Avinash Sable, starved of track races ahead of the Tokyo Games due to the pandemic, will run the weekend’s Airtel Delhi half marathon to keep his competitive juices flowing.

“My goal is to stay with the leading pack of elite runners and give a good timing,” Sable said from his base in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

His coach Amrish Kumar said the target was to clock 60 minutes for the 21.0975 km race. “He has been doing really well in training. In the lockdown period too he has been training consistently. He can go all out,” Kumar said.

If Sable achieves his ambitious target, he will better the national best—1:03:46 by Kalidas Nirave. The Indian best in the Airtel race is 1:03:54. Sable has not run under 64 minutes.

Sable often used to run road races in winter months when there are no track races, but has never attempted to race with the elite group led by Kenyans and Ethiopians due to the scorching pace they set. The elite winner usually runs under 60 minutes.

The surge in coronavirus cases across the globe has disrupted the athletics calendar as well. Sable said Sunday’s race will be a good platform to test his nerves. “I’m hungry to run hard and fast,” he added.

“The season has been frustrating. There was no competition because of the pandemic. I have done good endurance training. So I thought this will be a good platform to test myself against international athletes at home.

“I don’t run in marathons now—the last was in 2017. Both steeplechase and half marathons are tests of endurance. I was doing high-altitude training in Ooty in July and shifted to Bengaluru in August under Amrish sir,” Sable said.

Last year, the Maharashtra runner’s heroic efforts at the Doha world championships earned him a ticket to the Olympics. He lowered the national record twice in steeplechase, clocking a best of 8min, 21.37 secs (Olympics qualification mark: 8 min, 22 secs) in the final, finishing 13th out of 16 competitors.

“In steeplechase, I have worked on my speed, strength and hurdle technique. I know we will not get many competitions before Olympics. I have to work harder to improve,” said Sable.

(11/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Navneet Singh and Avishek Roy
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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Diamond League unveils 14-meet schedule for 2021 track and field season

The Diamond League on Tuesday released its provisional calendar for the 2021 season, which will consist of 14 athletics meetings beginning in Rabat in May and ending in Zurich in September.

Doha will stage a meeting on May 28 after which Rome will host the first European event of the season on June 4, with Oslo hosting a week later. Meetings in Stockholm, Monaco and London are scheduled for the first two weeks of July.

"The calendar is strictly provisional at this stage and remains subject to changes depending on the global health situation in 2021," organizers said in a statement.

After a one-month break for the rearranged Tokyo Olympics, action will resume in Shanghai on Aug. 14.

Eugene will host its first Diamond League meeting on Aug. 21, with China to hold its second event of the season the following day.

The final leg will take place in Europe with meetings in Lausanne, Paris and Brussels before the season finale in Zurich from Sept. 8-9.

 The calendar remains provisional and is subject to changes depending on the global health situation, the Diamond League said.

The 2020 calendar was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with several events cancelled and others rescheduled.

2021 Diamond League calendar

Rabat — May 23

Doha — May 28

Rome — June 4

Oslo — June 10

Stockholm — July 4

Monaco — July 9

London — July 13

Shanghai — Aug. 14

Eugene — Aug. 21

China — Aug. 22

Lausanne — Aug. 26

Paris — Aug. 28

Brussels — Sept. 3

Zurich — Sept. 8-9

(11/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Keira D’Amato destroys American women’s-only 10 mile record

Keira D’Amato‘s magical year of running continued this morning when she smashed the American record for 10 miles in an all-women’s competition at the specially-arranged Up Dawg Ten Miler in Washington, D.C.  Running on a multi-loop, certified course in Anacostia Park and against a backdrop of still-vibrant fall foliage, D’Amato soloed to a 51:23 finish time, smashing Janet Bawcom‘s record of 52:12 set at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile in April, 2014.

“I didn’t really have anything prepared to say,” said a tearful D’Amato to the small crowd of officials, volunteers, family members and media gathered at the race finish line.  She continued: “Thank you to all the volunteers and everyone for coming out and helping.  I actually really don’t know what else to say.”

D’Amato, 36, attacked the record from the start.  She needed to average 5:13 per mile, and hit the first mile in 5:10.  She had already separated herself from the four other women who were competing, including 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon runner-up Molly Seidel.  She held a level pace through 4 miles (20:40), but picked it up with a 5:05 fifth mile.

Although the weather was clear and windless for the 8:00 a.m. start, temperatures were cold (the limited group of officials and spectators wore winter clothes).  Nonetheless, D’Amato threw off her headband in the fifth mile, and her arm warmers in the seventh reflecting how hard she was working.  She clocked 5:03 for mile six and 5:07 for mile seven, building a good cushion on the record.

About 48 minutes into the race, D’Amato got a stitch on her right side.  She could be seen on the broadcast rubbing her ribs next to her bib number, and raising her right arm to lift her rib cage, a common technique to relieve stitch pain.  Although her final mile was her slowest (about 5:23), the record was never in doubt.

While D’Amato’s mark fell short of the absolute (mixed-gender) American record of 50:52 set by Molly Huddle en route at the 2018 Aramco Houston Half-Marathon, it was remarkably close given the fact that she did not have the benefit of any runners near her to help with the pace or to create a draft.  She ran the entire course today with only the lead cyclists for company.

Today’s record was only one of several great performances by D’Amato this pandemic year, a full-time realtor from Midlothian, Virginia, who does not have a kit sponsor.  Before the pandemic in January and February she ran personal bests for the half-marathon and the marathon of 1:10:01 and 2:34:24, respectively, but really began to shine over the summer.  She clocked 32:33.44 for 10,000m on the track in July, blasted a 1:08:57 solo half-marathon in October, and a lonely 15:08 road 5-K (course not certified) earlier this month.  She used all of these performances, she said, to tune-up for today’s race which she helped fund out of her own pocket.

(11/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Iva Barr, Oldest London Marathon competitor has passed away at 93-years-old

IVA BARR, who became the oldest London Marathon competitor when she finished the 2016 race at age 88, has sadly passed away at 93-years-old.

Barr, from Bedford, first entered the London Marathon back in 1981 and completed 20 in total after confirming that the 2016 race was to be her last.

She tackled the first 14 miles of that year’s race before taking the Underground to Westminster and walking the final part to the finish at The Mall.

At the time the marathon enthusiast, who ran as a member of the Bedford Harriers Athletics Club and participated in marathons for “30-odd years”, said she would “never forget” her final attempt, despite not quite completing the route.

(11/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Matthew Roscoe
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Ababel Yeshaneh, Brigid Kosgei, Kibiwott Kandie and Jacob Kiplimo will renew rivalry at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

The fastest half-marathon in the world has attracted the best half-marathon runners on the planet again.

The 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 19 will see reigning champions Kibiwott Kandie and Ababel Yeshaneh defending their titles while world half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo and world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei will try to wrestle their titles off them.

The event, which is often known simply as ‘the RAK Half’ and which takes place on a super-fast course in the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates in three months’ time, will see mouth-watering clashes in separate men’s and women’s races. More entries are expected to be announced in coming weeks but so far they include:

» Kibiwott Kandie – fastest man in the world over 13.1 miles in 2020 with 58:38 from Prague in September and winner in Ras Al Khamah in February with 58:58. The Kenyan (below) was also runner-up in the World Half Marathon Championships in 58:54, making him the first man to run sub-59min three times in one year.

» Jacob Kiplimo – the Ugandan took the world-marathon title ahead of Kandie in Gdynia last month following a track season that saw him run 7:26.64 for 3000m and 12:48.63 for 5000m. Only 20, he also took world cross-country champs silver behind Joshua Cheptegei in Aarhus last year.

» Ababel Yeshaneh – set a women’s world half-marathon record of 64:31 to win the Ras Al Khaimah race in February. At the World Half in Gdynia she was fifth but the Ethiopian fell in the closing stages. Over the marathon she was runner-up to Kosgei in Chicago last year with 2:20:51.

» Brigid Kosgei – world record-holder for the marathon with 2:14:04 from Chicago in 2019 and winner of the last two London Marathons, whereas over 13.1 miles the Kenyan (below) was 18 seconds behind Yeshaneh in Ras Al Khaimah this year in the second-fastest time in history.

The race is often dominated by east African distance runners but Sara Hall of the United States is one of the early entries, too, and will be sure to attract interest from US fans after her battling runner-up performance at the London Marathon in October.

“This is the fastest half-marathon course in the world and we want it to maintain its fame,” says Ras Al Khaimah Half race director Andrea Trabuio.

With the coronavirus pandemic causing problems around the world, Trabuio says the elite races and non-elite events will be run separately on February 19 in order to maintain social distancing. With the non-elite event there will be seven waves with about 400 runners in each wave with temperature checks at the start and masks being worn for the first few hundred meters.

(11/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2020 goes virtual

THE Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) announced the introduction of its inaugural Virtual Run, which will take place from Dec 5 to 13 and offers free registration.

Organised by Dirigo Events and with Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia as title sponsor, the KLSCM 2020 Virtual Run will offer the full marathon, half marathon, 10km and 5km distance categories.

“We wanted to create something for our runners that would motivate and re-energize everyone about running again because without events to train for, enthusiasm levels often drop easily, ” said Dirigo Events director Rainer Biemans.

“And with the pandemic continuing to spread, it is now more important than ever for all of us to maintain our health at optimum levels and keep our immune systems strong.

“We also understand that a lot of people are struggling financially at the moment, so we decided to make registrations free of charge to encourage as many people as possible to take part, ” added Biemans.

Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia is eager to play its part in encouraging Malaysians to maintain a healthy lifestyle in these trying times.

“In response to our runners’ enthusiasm to stay fit virtually and remotely, we are delighted to elevate their running experience with the new and interactive KLSCM virtual run, ” said the bank’s managing director and chief executive officer Abrar A. Anwar.

“We hope that the continued commitment of our KLSCM sponsorship will provide tangible ways for runners to keep active and engaged during such testing times, ” he added.

KLSCM Virtual Run is designed to provide a proper challenge to participants who are required to complete their entered distance in a single attempt.

Runners will receive an e-bib once successfully registered and an e-certificate upon completion.

A dedicated digital application – the KLSCM 2020 VR app – has been developed that can be downloaded for free and will enable participants to track their run, submit their results, share their activity feed.

The application comes packed with a host of other engaging features such as category leaderboards and even an Augmented Reality selfie filter.

There will also be no limits or quotas to the participation numbers for any distance or category.

Participation will only be limited by age (12 years old and above for 5km, 15 years old and above for 10km and 18 years old and above for half and full marathons).

In addition, there will be no specific cut-off times for each distance.

Participants can complete their run anywhere outdoors, at a location of their choice, any time between 12.01am on Dec 5 and 11.59pm on Dec 13,2020 (GMT+8).

Each successful registration is entered into the runner’s KLSCM participation history.

(11/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon

Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon

Standard Chartered Bank has been the title sponsor of the KL marathon since its inception in 2009 and we are honoured that our partnership will continue and as always, our aim is to make the Marathon bigger and better", said Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events and Project Director of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2018. The Standard Chartered KL...

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Finalists for Female Athlete of the Year 2020

With just 11 days to go until the World Athletics Awards 2020, the names of the five finalists for the Female World Athlete of the Year 2020 have been confirmed.

In spite of the many challenges presented by the global Covid-19 pandemic this year, the five athletes, who represent five countries and four area associations, have excelled, producing brilliant performances across a range of athletics disciplines in 2020.

The finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Letesenbet Gidey, Ethiopia- set a world record of 14:06.62 over 5000m- was second in the 5000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco

Sifan Hassan, Netherlands- set a world record of 18,930m in the one hour run- set a European record of 29:36.67 over 10,000m, the fourth fastest performance in history

Peres Jepchirchir, Kenya- won the world half marathon title- twice broke the world half marathon record for a women-only race (1:05:34 and 1:05:16)

Yulimar Rojas, Venezuela- undefeated in four triple jump competitions indoors and outdoors- broke the world indoor triple jump record with 15.43m

Elaine Thompson-Herah, Jamaica- undefeated in seven 100m races- ran world-leading 10.85 over 100m

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live at the World Athletics Awards 2020 to be staged as a virtual event on Saturday 5 December and streamed live on the World Athletics YouTube channel, its Facebook page and via Twitter.

(11/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Ethiopia’s Andamlak Belihu eyeing course record at 2020 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

This year has been tough for all of us, especially athletes since we have not been able to train at our optimum level due to the circumstances.

However, it's always exciting to come back to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and I have trained to the fullest in the last one month for the race.

The World Half Marathon Championships in October was really difficult for me. With the training areas closed for a considerable amount of time, it was hard for me to get the desired result.

But my fitness levels are really good and I am feeling confident. The feeling about myself is brilliant at the moment and I am coming not just to win, but to aim for the course record timing as well.

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is the most prestigious half marathon for a reason. The course is exquisite and India is a beautiful country with a rich culture much like Ethiopia.

I am really looking forward to a cracking race and I am very confident about improving my timing this year.

All the athletes in the race are going to bring out their A-game and that's what will make the contest all the more exciting.

It's going to be a bit different this time though, as the people of Delhi will not be able to cheer us on. However, safety ensured for everyone involved in the event is important.

Extremely grateful to know all teams involved have worked hard to detail out various Covid-secure protocols and better running conditions have been given topmost priority.

(11/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Andamlak Belihu
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot has missed out on the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year Award

Cheruiyot was Kenya's sole flagbearer for the coveted award. World Athletics has released the final five nominees for the award with the winner expected to be announced virtually on December 5.

Uganda's world record holder in the 5,000m and 10,000m Joshua Cheptegei is the favorite for the gong. He broke world records at 5,000m (12:35.36), 10,000m (26:11.00) and 5km on the roads (12:51) and was fourth at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships on his debut over the distance.

Two-time 400m hurdles world champion Karsten Warholm of Norway makes the cut for the award after a stellar season on the track.

He ran a world-leading 46.87 in the 400m hurdles, the second-fastest performance in history, and was undefeated in nine 400m/400m hurdles races and set a world best of 33.78 in 300m hurdles

Former world javelin champion Johannes Vetter, of Germany, is in the mix after winning eight of his nine javelin competitions and throwing world-leading 97.76m, the second farthest throw in history

World Pole vault record holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden makes the shortlist. He broke the world record in the pole vault twice (6.17m and 6.18m) and produced the highest outdoor vault of all time (6.15m) and was undefeated in 16 competitions.

USA'S Ryan Crouser will be e hoping to break the trend and win the award. He was undefeated in 10 shot put competitions and his 22.91m world-leading performance moved him to equal third on the world all-time list

A three-way voting process determined the finalists. The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans voted online via our social media platforms.

The Council’s vote counted for 50 per cent of the result, while the Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25 per cent of the final result.

(11/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Sebastian Coe has urged the Government to act now and get children back playing sport

 If schools can open then why can't clubs? Sport can save our children and Prime Minister Boris Johnson must act now!

The Covid-19 pandemic is a watershed moment in our times. The pandemic has not only upended the way we live our daily lives but it has also become a catalyst that has led us to prioritise health and safety above all else.

In the process, unprecedented measures have been implemented and England is now in the throes of another nationwide lockdown, with families again forced to keep their distance, households prevented from mixing, and people unable to work.

While the restrictions are intended to curb the spread of the virus, they are also producing dire and unintended consequences.

Perhaps we all assumed that everyone across the nation would face the same hardships during the lockdown. However, many didn’t fully appreciate that it would end up hitting hard some of our poorest communities, particularly children living in poverty.

A study by UCL found that a fifth of schoolchildren had done little to no home learning over the summer term, perhaps because of a lack of access to the internet, laptops or computers at home.

What has now begun to emerge, is a mental health epidemic among our children, which we can’t afford to ignore. The NSPCC recently revealed that calls to ChildLine reached nearly 43,000 between March and October, with counsellors supporting children who were feeling isolated, anxious and insecure after being cut off from their networks of social support such as friends and teachers.

It is these sobering statistics that should spur us into action. We, and in particular the Government, have an opportunity to fix the problem before it becomes overwhelming. We must find ways to balance the restrictions with solutions that can help preserve the mental health and wellbeing of our youngest and most vulnerable.

Sport is an obvious solution. Ensuring children receive regular physical education, structured exercise and a means to run around and play during the lockdown can lead to unquestioned mental health benefits; improving self-confidence, nurturing positive relationships among peers, bolstering their mood, fostering social cohesion in communities and of course staying fit and healthy.

I’ve said it before. Sport is the hidden social worker in many of our neighbourhoods. Disadvantaged families often rely on support that sport gives them, whether it’s in the form of an after-school club, or a charity that caters for the young in the community.

Unfortunately, current Government restrictions have meant that many charities and community clubs have been restricted or prevented from providing that support to the people that need it most at a time when they need it the most.

(11/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Bernard Lagat Completes Interim Coaching Staff at Arizona Cross Country

Arizona cross country has completed its staff for the 2020-21 season as the program will be led by the trio of Dave Murray, Bernard Lagat and Doug Keen. 

Lagat, one of the most decorated distance runners of all time, has been a volunteer assistant coach at Arizona for 15 years. The 11-time All-American and two-time medalist at the Olympic Games is considered an American distance running legend as he has competed in five Olympic Games and qualified for the 2020 Olympics earlier this year.

 "I am honored to join Fred Harvey and be a part of the Arizona cross country and track & field program," Lagat said. "Having been a volunteer assistant coach for the last 15 years, I have gotten to know many of the great student-athletes that continue to proudly represent the University of Arizona.

I look forward to passing on the knowledge and experiences that I have gained as a student-athlete and professional. It is a privilege for me to follow in coach Li's footsteps and lead the next generation of Wildcats to success on and off the track." 

Lagat won a silver medal in the 1500m at the 2004 Olympics and won a bronze medal in the 1500m at the 2000 Olympics while finishing in fourth in the 5K at the 2012 Olympics and fifth in the 5K at the 2016 Olympics. He has also won two gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal at the World Championships. 

Off the track, Lagat has served as a chair member of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) and the United States Track & Field Advisory Boards.

"Coach Dave Murray will be a great mentor to not only the student-athletes, but the coaches as well," said director of track and field & cross country Fred Harvey. "His knowledge of Arizona Track & Field and Cross Country is priceless. Bernard Lagat is one of the world's all-time great distance runners and will bring a level of comfort and confidence to our student-athletes since he has been in the program for over 15 years and understands their training methodology. Doug Keen brings a level of excitement as well as an understanding of building cross country teams.

His ability to structure four Arizona High School State Cross Country Championship teams will be instrumental as we prepare for an upcoming spring cross country and track & field season."

(11/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Arizona Athletics
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British marathon trials for Tokyo 2020 to be held at Kew Gardens

The British Olympic marathon trials for Tokyo 2020 are scheduled to take place at Kew Gardens on March 26 next year.

British athletes usually fight for their spot on the GB team at the London Marathon, but after the 2021 event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, British Athletics have decided to stage a new event.

The Olympic qualifying marks are 2:29:30 for the women and 2:11:30 for the men.

The new marathon trial event will also act as the British Marathon Championships for 2021.

Major events director of UK Athletics said: "We're delighted to confirm the British Championships incorporating the Olympic Marathon Trial race is to be held at Kew Gardens.

“It is an iconic venue and lends itself well to a marathon course over multiple laps.”

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are due to take place on July 23-August 8.

 

(11/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alicia Turner
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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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