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The Chicago Marathon faces more competition this year to attract elite runners because of the pandemic.

Don’t expect the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to have a wide array of the world’s best runners this year.

Competition to sign them up will be fierce because the world’s six major marathons, which are normally spread across the spring and fall months, are all being scrunched into an eight-week window in September, October and November because of the pandemic.

The Boston Marathon, for instance, a race that’s traditionally held on the third Monday in April, will take place Oct. 11, the day after Chicago’s marathon.

“I’m not going to say it’s not a challenge, but it gives us an opportunity to go a little deeper and find athletes who may have not had a chance in the last year or two and have them here where they may do something memorable,” said Carey Pinkowski, the longtime director of the Chicago Marathon who built the race into a world-class event.

Pinkowski said he expected top athletes, many who run one marathon in the spring and one in the fall, to start deciding next month what races they’ll run.

“We’ve had some nice discussions with managers and coaches,” he said.

“You never know, we may see one of the stars we’ve seen in the past,” he said, noting the unpredictability of the pandemic that caused Chicago, along with many other cities, to cancel its marathon last year.

“This year is a transitional year, so we’ll just have to get through it,” he said. “We hope to be back to normal in 2022.”

Marathon organizers anticipate the number of non-elite runners this year to be in line with previous years.

In 2019, the last year the marathon took place in Chicago, a record 45,786 runners crossed the finish line in Grant Park.

Pinkowski cited positive developments with vaccinations taking place around the country and said there was “a great deal of optimism” for this year’s race.

(03/26/2021) ⚡AMP
by Mitch Dudek
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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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2021 Fukuoka International Marathon will be Its final running

The prestigious Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship will be discontinued after the 75th edition in 2021 due in part to a lack of sponsors, a source close to the matter said Friday.

The international men's marathon held in the southwest Japan city is one of the longest-running footraces in Japan. First held in 1947 in Kumamoto Prefecture, it moved to Fukuoka permanently in 1959.

The marathon has served as a qualifier for Olympics and world championships.

The marathon is one of six events, each one of the world's oldest footraces, that received a World Athletics heritage award in October.

Some of Japan's greatest racing moments, including those involving Olympians Toshihiko Seko and twin athletes Shigeru So and Takeshi So in the 1970s and 1980s, have been witnessed at the Fukuoka marathon.

The Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, considered the oldest marathon in Japan, will be absorbed into the Osaka Marathon from 2022. It was run on the banks of the Shiga Prefecture lake for the 76th time in February.

(03/26/2021) ⚡AMP
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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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Differences between running on grass and running on concrete

If you live in an area with the option to run on both grass or concrete, it can be difficult to decide, especially when you don’t know the pros and cons of each.

Running on grass makes running a little more difficult due to the softer impact. Alternatively, running on concrete provides a harder impact surface, making the running process a little easier as you don’t need to put as much force into pushing away from the ground with each stride.

In this short article, we are going to talk about the pros and cons of running on grass VS running on concrete.

Running On Concrete

If you were to think back to all your runs, the majority of them have probably been on concrete, as this is the most common surface for runners; however that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best or worst way to do things, it depends on your goals and preference.

Pros

The most common benefit of running on concrete is the fact that it tends to be a lot easier, as it doesn’t require you to use as much force as you would when running on grass.

This also means you’ll be able to run faster, so don’t get discouraged if your running time is faster on concrete, as this is to be expected.

Cons

If you spend a lot of time running on concrete, it can put stress on your joints, leading to arthritis and issues later on down the road. You’re also more prone to falling over due to potholes and other debris you typically find left on the street.

Running On Grass

Running on grass is not as common as concrete; however, it’s definitely something worth considering as it comes with certain benefits. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s important to purchase the right trainers for running on grass, if you want to go down this route. There are significant differences in terms of quality requirements compared to running on concrete.

Pros

Grass is a softer surface, so you’re going to be demanding more out of your leg muscles with each step. This means you’re going to be training harder, which is great if you love a challenge.

In addition, you won’t be putting as much stress on your joints as you would with concrete, helping prevent injuries in the future.

Cons

The first problem with grass is that when it rains, it becomes slippery and can lead to you falling over. Also, it tends to be a little uneven in places, which means one leg is going to be working harder in the other, so you’ll probably get tired quicker.

This can also lead to you tripping over an uneven patch of grass. While this is bad, it’s still better than falling over on the concrete.

If you’re an experienced runner who is looking to build leg strength and challenge yourself, we recommend running on grass.

On the flip side, if you’re relatively new, it’s best to start with concrete and move onto grass once you’ve got a bit more experience.

We hope this article has shown you the differences between running on grass VS concrete. If you have any questions, drop a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

(03/26/2021) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Tokyo Olympics torch relay got off to a low-key start after a year's coronavirus delay on Thursday

Tokyo Olympics flame begins journey across Japan, with fans kept away as it embarked on a four-month journey across Japan that will end at the opening ceremony on July 23.

Spectators were barred from the departure ceremony and first leg over ongoing fears about the coronavirus, which forced the 2020 Games' historic postponement a year ago.

But organizers hope the 121-day relay, which will criss-cross Japan and involve 10,000 runners, will build excitement and enthusiasm as doubts persist about holding the Games safely.

Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto said the flame was "a ray of light at the end of the darkness".

"This little flame never lost hope and it waited for this day like a cherry blossom bud just about to bloom," she told the ceremony at the J-Village sports complex in Fukushima, the former operations base for the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Azusa Iwashimizu, one of Japan's 2011 World Cup-winning women's footballers, was the first to carry the rose-gold, cherry blossom-shaped torch, accompanied by former teammates.

Iwashimizu then passed the flame to the next runner, Fukushima high school student Asato Owada, who was wearing the same torchbearer's uniform of white tracksuit with a red diagonal stripe.

A handful of fans, wearing the compulsory masks, watched the relay's second section, but clicking cameras were the loudest sound. Cheering and large crowds are banned at the relay, to prevent virus infections.

"I think it somewhat lacks excitement because there are rules," spectator Tetsuya Ozawa told AFP. 

The torch will take a circuitous route, first heading south to the islands of Okinawa before reversing course for the northern region of Hokkaido and finally back to Tokyo.

But there are still challenges ahead for organizers. Several dozen torchbearers have dropped out, citing issues including scheduling conflicts and concerns about the coronavirus.

(03/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by AFP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Duluth´s Lakewalk to reopen by Grandma’s Marathon

Duluth has finished reconstructing the boardwalk portion of its popular Lakewalk, but people should not be tempted to use the fenced-off stretch of path running toward Canal Park quite yet, warned Mike LeBeau, construction project manager.

“That section of the Lakewalk remains a construction site that’s closed to the public. We need people to stay off it and stay safe,” he said.

Favorable weather has enabled crews to make quicker progress on the project than anticipated, and LeBeau referred to the work as “probably about 95% done.” But he said grading, landscaping and the installation of a paved asphalt path for wheeled traffic still awaits.

LeBeau said the project is fully on track to meet the goal of reopening before Grandma’s Marathon, June 19.

The Lakewalk was badly damaged by back-to-back storms that undermined the path, leaving holes in it up to 3 feet deep after an October 2018 battering.

Since then, more than $16 million has been invested in efforts to bolster the shoreline and rebuild a path through Canal Park that would be less susceptible to future damage. A combination of state, federal and local funding have all been brought to bear on this Phase 3 of the restoration project.

To lessen the pounding the Lakewalk receives from storms, LeBeau described the revetment that has been installed, beginning with 10- to 12-ton toe stones, many of them the size of an automobile, that were dug into the lake bottom roughly 30 feet from the water’s edge. These base reinforcements then were backfilled toward shore with what LeBeau described as filter stone and core stone topped by two layers of armor stone.

Finally, an 18-inch-thick concrete wall was installed, with the top lip of that structure sitting about 2 feet above the surface of the newly constructed Lakewalk.

The Lakewalk, too, has been elevated about 3 feet above its original level.

“We know that waves will still break over the top in really big storms. But it’s a matter of protecting the Lakewalk, so the wave energy won’t undermine it again,” LeBeau said.

In addition to building a more resilient Lakewalk, the city is significantly enlarging it. The original 6-foot width of the boardwalk will grow to 10 feet, and the paved trail will go from 7 to 12 feet wide.

LeBeau explained that the city enlarged the Lakewalk in recognition of its current popularity and in anticipation that the volume of users it accommodates will continue to grow.

(03/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by Peter Passi
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Grandmas Marathon

Grandmas Marathon

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

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The most effective ways to burn fat while running

Are you looking to shed more fat on your next morning jog but aren’t sure how? While running is a great calorie burner on its own, there are a few ways you can tweak your cardio workout to maximize your fat-burning potential while staying fit. With these tricks, you can become the ultimate fat-burning machine that will help you reach your goal weight in no time. 

Reduce Snacking Before Workouts

It’s easy to get carried away with carbo-loading before an endurance run. Carbo-loading is the perfect way to fuel your body before a workout, but if you overeat, you won’t be able to burn enough fat. Only carbo-load excessively before a marathon to boost your energy but keep as many calories off your plate as possible to avoid belly bloat and weight gain. On average, runners who have a pre-training snack are more likely to display lower levels of fat metabolism. Eat something in the middle of your run to keep your metabolism in working order.

Use Fat Burning Supplements

With fat-burning supplements, it’s possible to eat reasonable portions while still shedding unwanted pounds. Specific vitamins and nutrients can shift your body from fat-storage mode into fat-melting mode. For example, a vitamin D supplement helps to ensure body cells respond to insulin, which pushes glucose into the cells. A calcium, omega-3, and CLA supplement will help you shed fat faster. Thermogenic fat burners found on Amazon can also support healthy weight loss, especially if they contain the energy-boosting ingredient L-carnitine. 

Focus on Running Uphill

Runners typically jog on flat surfaces because they’re easy to find and simple to train on. However, if you give yourself a bit more of a challenge and run uphill, you’ll quickly notice the benefits of hill training. You’ll feel exhausted at a faster rate than on a flat surface, which is good news for your waistline. Running up a steep hill will land you in the fat-burning zone and increase overall performance in future runs, but be careful not to overexert yourself. After running up the hill, go back down to its base to rest before continuing your workout.

Try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training is a form of exercising that involves getting your heart rate to 90% of its maximum beats per minute. Through HIIT training, runners can instantly propel themselves into the fat-burning zone for a few minutes at a time. To do this, run as fast as you can for 1-2 minutes. Then, slow down to a jog, so your heart rate has the time to stabilize. Since your heart rate spiked quickly, your body’s working overtime to bring it back down. Regulating a quickening heart rate burns significantly more calories in 30 minutes than straight endurance jogging.

Resistance Training

The amount of weight you lose during a workout is directly tied to what you do before you start exercising. Strength or resistance training will improve muscle endurance and strength, but it also helps to burn more calories during a second workout and at rest. Runners with a low resting heart rate have a built-in fat furnace because their muscles require a lot of energy and calories to stay large. Creating a resistance training routine will benefit your overall fitness as well, so start lifting weights and performing squats to burn more fat.

Track Eating Habits

When you start to work out, you tend to consume more calories than you expect. Exercising multiple times a week will put you in a calorie deficit, which sets off an alarm in the part of your brain that regulates hunger. To stay on top of your eating habits, write down everything you eat inside a journal or on your phone. After the first week, examine where the bulk of your calories are coming from. Are you eating more junk food than you realized? Do mornings start well but end in a binge at night? Locate the possible problems of your diet and tackle them quickly.

(03/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Welsh runner Natasha Cockram has Tokyo in her sights

Cockram won British marathon title in October despite an ankle injury but now goes into Friday’s Olympic trials fully fit

Six months ago Natasha Cockram endured an injury-hit build-up to the Virgin Money London Marathon but still finished first British woman home.

Struggling with an ankle injury, she only managed two training runs of eight and five miles in the final three weeks before the race plus, of course, plenty of cross-training. Yet on that damp, cool morning in the British capital she overtook Naomi Mitchell in the closing stages to take the national title in 2:33:19.

The 28-year-old has enjoyed a much better build-up to the British Olympic marathon trials in Kew Gardens on Friday (March 26), though, which makes her one of the leading contenders for Olympic selection.

“It’s been a lot smoother than London,” she told AW this week on her preparations for Friday’s big event. “For quite a few weeks after London (last October) I was just focusing getting healthy again.

“But now I’ve got in all the work I wanted to and have had some good consistency. I’m injury free which is the hardest part coming into a race.”

Cockram was a teenage talent who won multiple Welsh titles and the British under-17 indoor 1500m title before going off the boil for a spell until eventually finding her niche in the marathon.

From 2012-15 she studied at Tulsa University in Oklahoma but emerged with a knee injury that was so bad that medics told her “to reconsider her career choice” because running seriously was out of the question.

“I went from 40 miles a week (as a teenager in Wales) to instantly up to 100 miles a week when I went out there and I was constantly burned out and didn’t really perform,” she remembers.

On returning to the UK she realised she needed an operation. “Luckily I had (health) insurance back in the States so I went back there and had knee surgery, which put me out for a year, then I came back just to keep fit initially,” she says.

“I pretty much gave up running after university and then started up again just for fun and did a few mountain running races. But I began training more and in 2017 I ran 2:49 for the marathon in Dublin then 2:45 in Newport in 2018 off cross training. Then I ran 2:35 in Dublin later that year after getting a coach and training more seriously.”

Cockram has been guided by Texas-based coach Tony Houchin for the past four years and the relationship is working. In Dublin in October 2019 she broke Susan Tooby’s long-standing Welsh marathon record with 2:30:49 despite running with a large bruise on her leg after her horse kicked her on the eve of the race.

That performance armed her with the belief that she could beat the Olympic qualifying time of 2:29:30. Conditions in London did not allow it last October but she remains confident she can do it this week at Kew Gardens.

“As a child I wanted to go to the Olympics but I don’t think it was a realistic view back then. Even at university it wasn’t realistic and even going to the Commonwealths didn’t seem realistic back then,” she says.

(03/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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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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Dave McGillivray will be honored with the Third Lantern Award

Dave McGillivray, president of DMSE Sports and long-time race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, will be honored at Lantern2021 and he will deliver the keynote address. This is the Old North Church & Historic Site’s re-imagined and virtual Lantern Ceremony that will be held on Sunday, April 18, at 7 p.m.  The annual event commemorates the 246th anniversary of Old North Church’s fateful lantern signals and Paul Revere’s ride. This one-of-a-kind experience is an uplifting and enduring event that supports the Old North Church & Historic Site’s virtual and on-site programs that aim to inspire children and adults alike to consider the ways they can build a more just and equitable world.

Old North Church, built in 1723, is Boston’s oldest standing church and one of the most famous churches in the United States. The iconic fame of the Old North Church began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when church sexton Robert Newman and vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River and Revere embarked on his journey. That fateful night ignited the American Revolution. Educational programs, tourism operations, and preservation of Old North Church & Historic Site are managed by the Old North Foundation, a secular 501(c)3 organization; the church is also a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

Lantern2021 will be an uplifting evening featuring original music from singer-songwriter Ryan Ahlwardt (formerly of Straight No Chaser). The night will also include a spirited performance of the poem "Paul Revere's Ride" and reflections on the role of active citizenship in the ongoing struggle for justice and equity. The event concludes with the ceremonial lighting and hanging of the two lanterns in the iconic steeple as a beacon of freedom and justice.

“I’ve received a few awards in my lifetime but this one is really special,” said McGillivray. “Knowing all those who have been a recipient of the award or who have spoken at the ceremony in the past, I am humbled and touched by this true honor.” 

Previous recipients of the award include Senator Ed Markey, Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and Representative Lori Trahan, among other luminaries.  President Gerald Ford spoke at Old North Church in 1975 for the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration. 

“Dave’s tenacious commitment to community building and his lifelong drive to create positive change embody the values of the Old North Church & Historic Site and light the way for others to actively engage in their communities,” said Nikki Stewart, Executive Director of the Old North Foundation. “Whether through art, activism, volunteering, philanthropy – we all have the power to hang lanterns that ignite change.”

Although McGillivray is best known as the race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, he and his company, DMSE Sports have directed many of the country’s most prestigious races. Recently, McGillivray’s unique set of skills and experience led to his appointment managing logistics for mass vaccination sites at Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, the Reggie Lewis Center and the Hynes Convention Center. Dave is an athlete, businessman, and philanthropist who embodies Old North’s core value of active citizenship. At Lantern2021, Dave will share his personal journey and inspire us to “hang a lantern” in our communities. 

Lantern2021 is a virtual family-friendly event that will celebrate the heroic actions of April 18, 1775 and Old North’s legacy of active citizenship.

McGillivray will be introduced as the keynote speaker by Governor Charlie Baker. In his videotaped remarks, Governor Baker said, “Long before the pandemic, and over the course of the last year, Dave McGillivray has proven time and again to be a shining example of the spirit of service to others. Dave is a man of many talents and he's shared them readily in support of his community and the entire Commonwealth.”

(03/24/2021) ⚡AMP
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Shanghai Half Marathon is set for April 18

The 2021 Shanghai Half Marathon, featuring 6,000 runners, has been scheduled for April 18, organizers announced on Wednesday.

The 21-kilometer routes starts from Fenghe Road, close to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in the Pudong New Area. Runners will go past the 2010 World Expo site and the riverside New Bund Leisure Park before reaching the finish line at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center.

The annual event was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Making a return, the event this year will not invite elite runners from overseas, but foreign runners meeting health requirements are welcome.

Those interested can log on to the official website (www.shang-ma.com) before March 26 noon for registration. A draw will be held to distribute quotas, and the result will be announced on March 30. The entry fee is 160 yuan (US$24.5).

All runners and front-line staff are required to hand in nucleic acid test reports taken within seven days ahead of the event. Fifteen ambulances and 21 medical spots will be arranged along the route, with water and snack supply stations set up every 5km.

 

The top three men and women finishers will win 50,000 yuan (US$7,785), 30,000 yuan and 20,000 yuan, respectively. The first 200 male and 100 female finishers will also win quotas for the 2021 Shanghai Marathon, which will be held in the second half of the year.

(03/24/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ma Yue
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Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon has established itself as the marquee running event on China’s Marathon calendar. Every November, tens of thousand participants run passing the many historical places of this city such as Bund Bull, Customs House, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theater, Shanghai Exhibition center, Jing’an Temple, Nan Pu Bridge, Lu Pu Bridge, Long Hua Temple, Shanghai Stadium. The course records...

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New Zealand Olympians to get early access to Covid-19 vaccine

Olympic athletes eligible to jump the queue for Covid-19 vaccine on compassionate grounds or to compete in events of "national significance", says New Zealand's minister responsible for response to coronavirus.

Athletes representing New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics later this year will be able to apply to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they depart.

Chris Hipkins, the minister responsible for New Zealand's response to the global health crisis, said people would be eligible to jump the queue for the vaccine on compassionate grounds or to compete in events of "national significance".

The latter category would include Olympians, Paralympians and the national cricket team, who will be travelling to Britain to play India in the final of the ICC World Test Championship in June.

"The key yardstick here is people travelling in an official capacity and ensuring their participation is in our national interest," Hipkins told reporters.

"They will have to make an application and it will depend on what sort of events they are participating in, to whether they fit the national interest criteria.

New Zealand has been one of the most successful countries at containing the virus and started the second round of its vaccine rollout for border and quarantine workers last week.

New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) secretary-general Kereyn Smith, who had lobbied for Olympians to be vaccinated early, said the announcement would be a relief to many athletes who were "hanging on the edge of their seats".

"It's not mandatory but we feel it's a very positive and important step in keeping our athletes safe," she told Radio New Zealand.

(03/24/2021) ⚡AMP
by Reuters
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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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Covid-Safe Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Planned for October 3

The 2021 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon is scheduled to take place as a reduced-size, COVID-safe event on Sunday, October 3, race organizer Twin Cities In Motion announced. The race, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, will limit marathon participation to 4000 runners, and COVID-safety measures will be in place throughout the event.

Registration for the 2021 marathon and other Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend events will open on Thursday, April 8. The marathon race runs from downtown Minneapolis to the State Capitol grounds in St. Paul.

“We’re optimistic about our ability to host an in-person event this fall,” Twin Cities In Motion Executive Director Virginia Brophy Achman said. “Our team has consulted medical and crowd science experts and worked closely with relevant public agencies to get to this point. That work will continue until race day as we properly calibrate the event to this fall’s public health situation.”

Participants can expect to see changes in the event from previous editions. While plans will be modified to match conditions later in the year, Twin Cities In Motion is telling participants to expect:

• Reduced field sizes in all marathon weekend races

• Mask-wearing requirements except while racing

• Social distancing requirements across the event weekend

• Spectating discouraged and spectator access limited in certain areas

• Reduced touchpoints when possible

“While there will be noticeable differences from pre-COVID days,” Brophy Achman said, “we plan to do all we can to maintain the spirit and energy of the event despite the constraints. The power of the event lies in the thousands of personal achievements that culminate at our finish line, and we’re excited to return those moments to our participants’ lives after all they’ve endured.”

The return of the event to streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul will also reestablish an important fundraising platform for dozens of local nonprofits who use the marathon to raise money and awareness of their organizations. Runners raised more than $1 million at the last in-person edition of the race in 2019.

“The TCM team is pleased to be preparing for an in-person race, because it’s the work we love to do,” Twin Cities In Motion President Dean Orton said.

“But we know the event is an important annual event in our community and we’re excited to be bringing back all the meaningful elements marathon weekend offers – from youth fitness to volunteer opportunities, from economic impact to the unique fundraising platform we offer.”

Registration for the marathon will be conducted online through the Twin Cities In Motion website, tcmevents.org, beginning at 10:00 a.m. CDT on April 8. Registration will also open for the following Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend events:

• Medtronic TC Family Events

• TC 5K, presented by Fredrikson & Byron P. A.

• TC 10K

Those events take place at the State Capitol grounds on Saturday, October 2. Registration will also open for the TC Loony and TC Ultra Loony Challenges – where runners participate in the TC 5K and TC 10K prior to running either the 10 mile or marathon the following day. The registration drawing for the Medtronic TC 10 Mile held on October 3 will be open in mid-summer.

More than 25,000 runners participated in the 2019 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend, including more than 7,000 marathoners and more than 13,000 10 milers.

(03/24/2021) ⚡AMP
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Medtronic TC 10 Mile

Medtronic TC 10 Mile

Based in Indianapolis, USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United...

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The most remarkable line-up has been announced for Istanbul Half Marathon

Organizers of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon have announced the most remarkable line-up in the history of this World Athletics Elite Label road race, to be held on 4 April.

Having staged a successful edition under intense measures against Covid-19 in September last year, the event is now set to host a limited number of 4000 participants on its traditional date of the first Sunday of April.

The race will see the long-awaited clash of the reigning and former world record-holders over the distance. Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya, now the world’s fastest half-marathon runner, improved the time set by his compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor in Valencia in December, bringing down the world record to 57:32 from 58:01. Kamworor, who has three World Athletics Half Marathon Championships gold medals under his belt, will be back on the roads following his recovery from surgery after he was hit by a motorcycle in June last year.

The two Kenyans will be joined by two sub-59 minute runners in Amedework Walelegn of Ethiopia, the Istanbul Half Marathon record-holder who won in 59:50 in 2018, and Uganda's Stephen Kissa, who made his debut over the distance in February 2020 and finished the year with a time of 58:56. Kenya’s Leonard Barsoton, sixth at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia last year, will also be one of the fastest athletes on the start line.

Home hopes in Istanbul will be led by Kaan Kigen Ozbilen, who holds the national record with 59:48. Aras Kaya, European cross country champion in 2019, will also be a strong contender in the event that incorporates the National Half Marathon Championships.

The women’s field is equally as strong. Kenya’s marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei and the women-only half-marathon world record-holder Peres Jepchirchir, plus the second fastest female half-marathon runner of all time Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia, will head the line-up.

Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the race record-holder and the reigning world marathon champion, will be a co-favorite in the race along with Joan Chelimo Melly.

The European women-only record-holder Melat Kejeta from Germany will also be on the start line on 4 April. The home crowd expects Kejeta’s record to be challenged by Yasemin Can.

Kamworor, Kandie, Kosgei and Yehualaw had been among the athletes set to race at the Ras Al Khamimah Half Marathon in February before it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

(03/24/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place in April on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is now a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the Istanbul...

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Karla Del Grande, 67, has been named female athlete of the decade by World Masters Athletics

Toronto’s Karla Del Grande, a 67-year-old sprinter with multiple masters world records to her name, has been named the Female Athlete of the Decade (2010 to 2019) by World Masters Athletics (WMA).

Nominated alongside five other women who have run, jumped and thrown their way into the WMA record books, Del Grande was selected as the best of them all, adding yet another accolade to her already lengthy resume. 

As outlined on the WMA website, to be nominated for the Athlete of the Decade awards, athletes had to have broken a WMA record and won a WMA Championship in at least two different age groups in the previous decade. Del Grande checked these boxes many times over, as she set a whopping nine world records (five outdoor, four indoor) between 2010 and 2019 and won multiple gold medals at the world championships. 

Competing outdoors in the 2010s, Del Grande set the 100m and 200m world records in the W60 and W65 categories, and she added a W65 400m world best as well. Indoors, she ran to 60m (W60), 200m (W60 and W65) and 400m (W65) world records.

Additionally, Del Grande owns an incredible 17 Canadian indoor masters records and 12 national outdoor records, some of which date back to the early 2000s when, at the age of 49, she first began competing in masters athletics. 

This is not the first time Del Grande has been honoured as a masters athlete. In 2018 and 2019, the WMA named her the Female Sprint Athlete of the Year, and again in 2019, the NCCMA (North American, Central American and Caribbean Masters Athletics) gave her overall Female Athlete of the Year honours. She has also been inducted into the Ontario and Canadian Masters Athletics Halls of Fame. 

At 67, Del Grande still has a few years left in the W65 division to better her own world records, and while the 2020s have only just started, it shouldn’t be a surprise if she’s nominated for Athlete of the Decade once again come 2030. 

(03/23/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) will host its Tokyo Olympics track and field trials in the Dutch city of Hengelo in June

EAF President Derartu Tulu Thursday announced that besides the track and field trials being held in the eastern Netherlands city, Ethiopia will also hold trials to pick its Olympic marathon teams in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 2.

The Hengelo trials will run on June 6 and 7 and will feature events from the 800 to 10,000 meters at the Blankers-Koen Stadium which will be hosting FBK Games, part of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series.

Over 90 Olympic track probables, along with 20 coaches, have been in residential training in three different hotels across Addis Ababa from November 3 last year.

Golden Jubilee championships.

Before the Hengelo trials, these elite athletes will feature in the six-day, 50th Ethiopian national athletics championships to be held in Addis Ababa from April 6 to 11.

The Golden Jubilee national championships will have prize money and will be broadcast live as part of EAF's Olympics countdown.

There has been a tug-of-war between Ethiopia's athletics federation and the country's Olympic committee over preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Reports from Addis Ababa indicate that the athletes will now move into one hotel, starting today, "so that it's good for the team spirit."

Sources within Ethiopian athletics yesterday indicated that EAF is expected to take over all the preparations "because the Olympic committee has failed to honor its commitments for the last four months."

Zurich time trials

EAF's highly-respected President Tulu is Africa's first black female Olympic champion, winning gold in the 10,000 meters at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

Ethiopia were initially scheduled to hold their marathon trials on April 4 at home, but the arrangements were met with protests from the athletes, prompting the switch to Zurich where a 35-kilometer time trial is planned instead of a full, 42-kilometer race.

(03/23/2021) ⚡AMP
by Elias Makori
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How to increase your running stamina

Whether you’re an elite marathon runner or starting week 3 of a 5K program, running further and faster are two common training goals for people of all fitness levels.

While there’s no hard and fast rule or “one best way” to boost running stamina, there are some general guidelines you can follow that will help you perform better while staying injury-free.

How to increase stamina

To increase your stamina, you need to have a working definition of what it is. The easiest way to understand stamina in relationship to running, according to Steve Stonehouse, NASM-CPT, USATF certified coach, director of education for STRIDE, is to think of it as your body’s ability to sustain effort for a long period of time.

In general

1. Start slow and tackle small steps

Even if you feel ready to bump up your distance or speed, it’s a smart idea to go slow and aim to make incremental gains in your training program. This is especially true if you’re new to a regular running schedule.

If you’ve been averaging 4-mile runs, don’t bump it up to 7 miles. To avoid injury and burnout, go up in small steps, such as increasing by 1 mile each week.

“Progress should be over many weeks, allowing time for recovery, but getting harder and harder,” Harrison explains.

2. Add strength training

If you’re not already doing resistance training workouts, then you need to add them to your running program.

Performing strength training exercises at least 2 to 3 days a week can help improve running economy, according to a review of literature from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

3. Commit to training

You have to be consistent with your training to increase running stamina.

“Training needs to progress from less total training and less intense training to more total training volume and more intense sessions,” says Harrison.

If your running workouts don’t progress in volume or intensity over the course of months, there will be no progression.

4. Alter rest times and intervals

Other than simply increasing the number of miles you run each week, Stonehouse says he likes to limit recovery time between intervals, while also increasing the intensity of the running intervals. Both are great steps toward building stamina.

However, he does point out that the recovery period both during the workout and after is critical, especially when it comes to avoiding injuries.

5. Sprint interval training

Sprint interval training is a type of high-intensity training used in many sports like running to help boost stamina and speed.

In fact, a 2017 studyTrusted Source found that six sessions of sprint interval training improved the running performance, both endurance and anaerobic, in trained runners.

The intervals of work performed are at 100 percent of your effort, or all-out sprints. The rest periods are longer to help with recovery.

6. Train for your distance

The distance or time of the intervals will be relative to the race distance you’re training for, according to Stonehouse.

For example, if you’re training for a marathon, “speed work” may consist of mile repeats. But if the training is for a 1,600-meter or 1-mile race, the speed work may be repeats of 100 meter, 200 meter, or 400 meter distances.

7. Slowly increase weekly mileage

The overall goal for a beginner should be to slowly increase mileage while getting stronger with resistance training. Following a training plan can help beginners build stamina and endurance while reducing the risk of injury.

8. Increase running volume

Running 1,600 meters or 1 mile may not seem too difficult, but if you’re racing against the clock, every second counts. And when you consider that a mile or 1,600 meters is an aerobic event, Harrison says you have to be incredibly fit to run it faster.

The best way to get incredibly fit, he says, is to run lots of miles per week, and progressively increase them over time.

9. Stay hydrated

While hydration may not be a specific training strategy, it does affect your ability to increase stamina.

Since you lack the cooling effect of the air flowing by your body when you run on a treadmill, Harrison recommends using a fan or running in a facility with air conditioning.

“Running in 70-degree temps with no airflow on a treadmill is more like running in 85-degree temps outdoors,” he explains.

That’s why hydration before, during, and after your workouts is so important. For longer sessions, consider consuming carbs and electrolytes while exercising.

(03/23/2021) ⚡AMP
by HealthLine
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Dunkin’ will serve as the official coffee and donut of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon

 Pittsburgh runs on Dunkin’ is taking on a whole new meaning this week, as P3R and Dunkin' team up for the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. Through this collaboration, Dunkin’ will serve as the official coffee and donut of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, to keep runners of STEEL fueled throughout their training, and help them celebrate after their runs. 

Dunkin’ will kick off the 2021 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend with a special black and gold Pittsburgh Marathon donut at participating local Pittsburgh locations, so runners and fans alike can join in to celebrate the virtual weekend of events. The donut will feature vanilla flavored icing with black and gold sprinkles and will be available at participating Dunkin’ locations April 30 through May 2, 2021. 

“We are always excited to participate in collaborations that furthers our strong connections with the local community, ” said Anthony Braun, COO and CFO of Heartland Restaurant Group, a Dunkin’ franchisee. “We are thrilled to keep the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon participants running on Dunkin’.”

Dunkin' is the world's leading baked goods and coffee chain, serving more than 3 million customers each and every day. Dunkin’ offers more than 30 varieties of donuts as well as dozens of premium beverages, bagels, breakfast sandwiches and other baked goods.

“Teaming up with Dunkin’ is important to us because we know that coffee and running go hand-in-hand,” said P3R VP of Partnerships & Runner Experience, Caroline Fitzgerald. “Dunkin’ is the perfect place to fuel-up pre-run, and to celebrate post-run.” 

(03/23/2021) ⚡AMP
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Dick's Sporting Good Pittsburgh Marathon

Dick's Sporting Good Pittsburgh Marathon

This race is your game - however you decide to play it. As a competitor. A fund raiser. An enthusiast. A veteran. A team player. It's whatever you want it to be. It's whatever you make it. It's YOUR game..... Run it. Play it. Own it. Love it. Runners will race on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, cross each of...

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Eugene Marathon Is Offering Medals Made of Wood

Organizers of the Eugene Marathon, which typically finishes at Hayward Field, were able to procure some of the old steps from the east grandstand, and those steps are being refashioned into race medals for this year’s virtual marathon and half marathon, scheduled for April 23 through 25. Next year’s event medals will feature the old Hayward wood as well.

Race director Ian Dobson told Runner’s World the organization submitted a proposal to the University of Oregon in order to get his hands on the antique steps. When approved, he then filled his truck and moved the wood to the race’s storage facility. Dobson also had them tested to make sure they didn’t contain any lead paint. (They didn’t.)

In the past, the race medals had come from overseas, which is the industry standard. For this, the race’s staff selected a local designer for processing and fabricating. “For the whole project, we were able to keep everything local,” Dobson said.

The medals are being made from the interior wood of the grandstand; they might look new, because that section of wood was unweathered by nearly a century of rain, wind, and snow. To maintain a connection to their historic past, the medals will be cut in the same proportion as the former Hayward Field steps.

Additionally, the unusual medals are driving participation for this year’s race, which will be virtual—for the second year in a row—in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dobson said fewer than 100 spots remain for the marathon ($75) and about 500 spots remain for the half marathon ($60).

Race packets—including shirts, numbers, and medals—will go out before the race to everyone who signs up. So technically, there’s nothing stopping memorabilia collectors from registering in order to get the medal, even if they have no intention of doing the race.

Dobson’s not worried, though. “We trust the running community,” he said.

(03/23/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner´s World
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Eugene Marathon

Eugene Marathon

Consistently ranked in the top 15 races most likely to qualify for Boston by Marathon Guide, the Eugene Marathon is a beautiful, fast, USATF certified race with amazing amenities and an unrivaled finishinside Historic Hayward Field. The Eugene Half Marathon starts alongside full marathon participants in front of historic Hayward Field home of five Olympic trials, ten NCAA championships and...

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Sebastian Coe warns Italy not to be on wrong side of history following Schwazer doping clearance

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has warned Italy to not be on the "wrong side of history" after a court cleared Olympic race walking champion Alex Schwazer of doping in a criminal case.

An Italian court in Bolzano ruled last month that urine samples belonging to Schwazer, who was given an eight-year ban before the Rio 2016 Olympics, were "highly likely" tampered with.

The criminal court case was dismissed after the court stated it was possible that the sample was tampered with to show up a positive result.

Schwazer was given the lengthy ban as it was his second doping offence, having previously served a three-and-a-half year suspension for testing positive for erythropoietin before the London 2012 Olympics.

The Italian has not disputed results of that first test.

He did claim he was a victim of foul play related to his second ban, which was handed to him following a sample from January 1 2016.

It had initially given negative results, but a new analysis revealed traces of steroids.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) gave the Beijing 2008 50-kilometre race walk champion an eight-year ban for his second offence, but after the Italian court ruling, Coe criticised its decision.

"We do resolutely reject any attempt by the athlete or any individuals associated with the athlete to undermine or seek to annul the final CAS ruling," said Coe in a press conference.

"It was an award based on what can be best described as far-fetched manipulation theories."

The ruling in Bolzano has led to a suggestion that Schwazer could appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

CAS rejected an appeal from Schwazer to overturn his lengthy ban in August 2016 and the Swiss Federal court upheld CAS' ruling when the Italian later appealed to it.

Schwazer was stripped of a World Race Walking Team Championships title won in Rome in 2016 as a result of the second anti-doping violation.

"I don't want Italy to be on the wrong side of history here," added Coe.

"The Athletics Integrity Unit and World Athletics stand absolutely by the position they've taken.

"The issue is clearly one that is exercising Italy and it is important that we remain very firm and very resolute here.

"I don't want Italian track and field to be tainted, I just hope that people recognise that this is an important issue and history will be unkind."

(03/22/2021) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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General Entry for Tokyo Marathon 2021 is now open

Tokyo Marathon 2021 General Entry started from today, Monday, March 22 at 10 a.m. The entry will be open until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31. The Tokyo Resident Entry is only available through the Japanese page.

Entries made through the English page will not be subject to the Tokyo Resident Entry, even if the registered address is in Tokyo.

Any information pertaining to the Tokyo Resident Entry will only be available in Japanese.

*The selection result is scheduled to be announced in mid- April 2021 on "My Entry".

*The selection is not based on first-come basis.Once the entry exceeds the field size, the selection will be made by drawing.

Due to heavy access, loading may be slow. In such cases, please wait for a while and try again.

(03/22/2021) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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2021 Austin Marathon's half marathon, 5K races approved as in-person for April

Austin's running scene will get back on track in late April, with the 2021 editions of the Austin Half Marathon and 5K receiving approval from city officials.

Both events were approved through the City of Austin's new special event permitting process. The events, which were originally scheduled for February 14, will now happen on April 25.

Part of the event plan includes a capacity limit for both events, which organizers say is a 53% reduction from years past. 6,500 participants will be able to take part in the half marathon, while 500 will be able to take part in the 5K.

Austin's running scene will get back on track in late April, with the 2021 editions of the Austin Half Marathon and 5K receiving approval from city officials.

Both events were approved through the City of Austin's new special event permitting process. The events, which were originally scheduled for February 14, will now happen on April 25.

Part of the event plan includes a capacity limit for both events, which organizers say is a 53% reduction from years past. 6,500 participants will be able to take part in the half marathon, while 500 will be able to take part in the 5K.

"The 2021 Austin Half Marathon, an event that represents Austin’s commitment to health, has also shown a commitment to COVID-19 safety," said Don Hastings, Austin Public Health Assistant Director for Environmental Services. "The Austin Marathon team has worked creatively over several months to re-invent this signature event in a way that emphasizes the health and safety of its participants and our community."

In addition to the capacity limitations, the event plan calls for a number of other COVID-19 mitigation practices, including reducing the density of runners at the starting line and along the course, enhanced sanitation protocols, an elimination of mass gathering activities, and discouraging spectators from attending.

More details on the 2021 events are available online.

 

(03/22/2021) ⚡AMP
by Kasey Johns
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Austin Marathon Weekend

Austin Marathon Weekend

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

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2021 Shamrock Marathon was a success but with most runners participating virtually

For the last 48 years, there’s been a sea of green at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront as the Shamrock Marathon took place. The 2020 race was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, it was back, but for most runners, in a virtual sense.

“It’s still hurting. We’ve got a long climb up, but we feel this is the start and through the support from all the runners, we’ll get through it,” said J&A Racing co-owner, Jerry Frostick.

This year, almost 4,000 people ran “virtually” on their own and about 2,400 chose to run a J&A course at the Oceanfront.It was a scene that Frostick says was emotional.

“It’s unbelievable. I think what we were hoping to get was the positivity and momentum that — if we keep behaving, and doing what we’re supposed to be doing, and the vaccines are coming out — then, we’re coming back. I don’t mean just J&A and the Shamrock Marathon, but us as a community,” said Frostick.

The runners, were all smiles, like one family who missed the event and has been a part of it since 2018.Runners Steve and Rebecca Vennettilli say they participate every year, and even the kids run. They say it’s been a long time coming, but now there’s a light and the end of the tunnel.

“When it was cancelled last year, we thought that was it. And now, actually looking back, we can get through it. We can get back to this point,” said Steve Vennettilli.

(03/22/2021) ⚡AMP
by Aesia Toliver
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Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend

Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend

The Shamrock Marathon was born in 1973. It was the brainchild of Jerry Bocrie, who along with his wife Lori would serve as race director for 30 years. The inaugural marathon had 59 entrants and 38 finishers, and the weekend also featured 1-mile, 2-mile, and 6-mile races. In 1976, the 6-miler gave way to an 8k, which has remained a...

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Scheduling casts doubt over Miller-Uibo's bid for 200-400m Olympic double

Bahama’s Shaunae Miller-Uibo has hit out at athletics chiefs over the scheduling of races that could derail her hopes of becoming the first runner to claim a 200-400 metres Olympic double in 25 years.

The women’s 400m semi-finals at this year’s Tokyo Games are scheduled to take place two days before the final, as compared to the men’s event, which has an extra day’s gap.

An overlap of the 200m and 400m races also mean Miller-Uibo, who won gold in the 400m at the Rio Olympics five years ago, will have to run twice on successive days if she wants to secure the double, while the men will only have to do so once.

The 26-year-old, who aims to emulate Michael Johnson, Marie-Jose Perec and Valerie Brisco-Hooks, said the Bahamas Olympic Committee’s request to amend the schedule had been rejected.

“As much as I wanted a new title in the 200 metres, I also wanted to defend my Olympic one,” Miller-Uibo told The Times. “The guys have an opportunity where their events don’t clash and so all we were asking for was an opportunity to double.

“With the guys they had a two-day break between the 400m semis and final. Had they opened that up for the girls then it would have been fine.”

Miller-Uibo said she was almost certain to ignore the 400m, shifting her focus to the shorter distance and a potential battle with Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith.

“She’s a great competitor,” Miller-Uibo said. “I think we’ll bring the best out of each other.”

Miller-Uibo’s comments come days after World Athletics announced a series of pledges to “further advance the role of girls and women” in the sport.

(03/21/2021) ⚡AMP
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Yang smashes world 20km race walk record with 1:23:49

Yang Jiayu chopped 49 seconds off the world record to win the 20km race walk in 1:23:49* at the Chinese Race Walking Championships in Huangshan on Saturday (20).

The 2017 world champion made a break in the first kilometre and passed through 5km in 20:55. She reached half way in 41:52 with a comfortable lead over world and Olympic champion Liu Hong and then gradually increased her pace in the second half.

After going through 15km in 1:02:44, she covered the final five kilometres in 21:09 to cross the line in 1:23:49, finishing 38 seconds ahead of Liu.

Liu's 1:24:27 runner-up clocking was also inside the previous world record of 1:24:38, set by Liu in La Coruna in 2015.

“My goal for the race was to break the world record,” Yang told Xinhua. “I walked in a very fast pace at the early stages. Then my coach told me to slow down a little bit and stay in a relatively comfortable pace. The last three kilometres was the most difficult part which was a challenge for my body.”

World silver medallist Qieyang Shenjie was third in a PB of 1:24:45, securing her spot on China’s Olympic team as the race served as a trial event for the Tokyo Games.

It’s the first 20km race in which more than one woman has finished inside 1:25:00. In a race of exceptional depth, 2015 world silver medallist Lu Xiuzhi finished fourth in 1:25:51 and world bronze medallist Yang Liujing was fifth in 1:25:59. The first 10 athletes finished inside the Olympic qualifying standard of 1:31:00.

On a landmark day for Chinese race walking, Asian Games champion Wang Kaihua won the men’s 20km event in a national record of 1:16:54, a performance that moves the 27-year-old to third on the world all-time list, just 18 seconds shy of the world record.

Olympic silver medallist Cai Zelin finished just ahead of Zhang Jun to take second place, both men recording 1:17:39 to move to equal third on the Chinese all-time list. 21-year-old Cui Lihong just missed out on a top-three spot but was rewarded with a big PB of 1:17:52 to become the eighth-fastest Chinese man in history. It’s just the second time in history in which four men have finished inside 1:18 in a 20km race.

(03/21/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Olympic hopes ready to bloom at Kew Gardens

Marathon runners and race walkers are poised for thrilling and richly symbolic races on March 26 in Kew Gardens

If athletes taking part in the Müller British Athletics Olympic Marathon and 20km Walks Trials in Kew Gardens this month need to focus their minds on what is at stake, they merely need to glance to the side of the course during their race.

The event on March 26 coincides with ‘Sakura season’ – the time of year when cherry blossom trees come into bloom. Not only will it provide a picturesque back-drop but it is the national flower of Japan and a timely reminder to the runners that their efforts on the roads of south-west London could see them win a ticket to Tokyo.

Tom Bedford, the race director, describes it as an amusing twist of fate. It certainly was not in anyone’s mind when the Borough of Richmond venue was chosen ahead of Manchester, Dorney Lake and various horse and motor-racing courses to host the Olympic trials.

Instead, the main requirements were a fast, flat and sheltered course that can help athletes nail Olympic qualifying standards, plus the reliability factor of a venue during such an uncertain pandemic-hit period.

Marathon runners will tackle one small lap followed by 12 big laps, therefore passing the cherry blossom trees and Japanese gardens a dozen times. Organisers have worked in recent months with course measurer Hugh Jones to iron out some of the mild corners on the route, which means the course is not just aesthetically pleasing but fast too.

Bedford is certainly happy with the progress made and points to one particular straight that is almost an entire metric mile in distance.

Contenders like Steph Davis have already checked out the course and Bedford describes it as “more of a flat road relays kind of course” such as the well-known circuit used at Sutton Coldfield for road relays “as opposed to the kind of course you get in big city marathons”.

This is partly because the path is only about four metres wide in places. However, with small fields and multiple pacemakers to ensure the going is quick through the first 30km in order to achieve qualifying times of 2:11:30 and 2:29:30, this should not be an issue. Plus, the course includes none of the inclines that the well-known Sutton Coldfield course contains.

“Our intention has been to make it as fast as possible,” says Bedford. “My advice to athletes is that they just switch off and go to sleep for an hour and follow ‘the train’ and then get ready to go when the pacemakers drop out.”

Amusingly the event also has an unofficial mascot, which Bedford discovered at Kew Gardens recently with AW photographer Mark Shearman. ‘Eric the peacock’ (see below) is a Richmond resident although runners will be hoping he doesn’t stray on to the course on race day.

On a more serious note, Bedford has been helped by his father, Dave, the former London Marathon race director with organising the event. Among other things Bedford Jnr was based in Portugal during the winter and fell ill with coronavirus in January, so his dad stepped into help primarily with technical areas.

The duo have also worked closely with staff at UK Athletics such as competitions and events director Katie Brazier during what has inevitably been a tricky few months due to the pandemic. Was there a particularly bad moment when the race was in doubt?

Bedford says shortly after Christmas when the virus began to surge and hospitals were in danger of being over-run was a worrying time. The Richmond Runfest, which was due to be held at the same venue on the Saturday and Sunday following the trials events on Friday, was postponed until mid-May. Apart from this, the organisers have been keen to give the Olympic hopefuls a near-definite goal to work toward.

“It’s been tough for athletes and they have my utmost respect for how they’ve managed to get themselves through this with everything from problems seeing physios to not even having a national endurance coach in charge during the winter,” says Bedford.

Spectators will not be allowed on race day, but each runner will be permitted one Tour de France-style ‘soigneur’ to help with their drinks. After the mild controversy relating to the British trials for the European Indoor Championships not being streamed, British Athletics are this time showing the action from Kew Gardens while there is still the possibility BBC may show the races too.

This will be the first time for 40 years that a British Olympic marathon trial has been staged as a standalone race in a similar style to the US Olympic trials. In 1980 the AAA Championships and trial for the Moscow Olympics took place in Milton Keynes. It was won by Ian Thompson in 2:14:00 from Dave Black and Andy Holden as 195 men finished. Yet from 1983 onwards the national championships and trials have been part of the London Marathon and the battle for selection is often a ‘race within a race’ with television struggling to capture the action.

There are also obvious comparisons with the standalone US Olympic marathon trials that have taken place in recent years in Atlanta (2020), Los Angeles (2016), Houston (2012) and New York (2011) with the latter, in the city’s Central Park, on a similar multi-lap course to the one we will see in Kew Gardens.

“There is such an appetite for this event,” Bedford enthuses. “I’ve always been a fan of the American trials system. The men’s race will be great on March 26 but the women’s race is going to be an absolute cracker as there are so many top runners in it. And if the athletes can make it as competitive as I think it’s going to be then this kind of trials race could become the norm.”

The venue has great history, too, with the Borough of Richmond being something of a home to British distance running. Not only does the area feature popular training areas of Bushy Park, Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common but it was birthplace of the London Marathon and parkrun.

In the race for Olympic selection, runners and race walkers will finish in front of Kew Gardens’ iconic Palm House glass building. The most symbolic feature, though, will surely be the cherry blossom trees that they will pass on a long winding road that will end, for some, on the streets of Tokyo.

(03/21/2021) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Will There Be Fans at the Hayward Field Olympic Trials? After 2020, holding the event at all will be a victory in itself

Compared to other pandemic-inspired dystopias, the rise of the avatar sports fan wasn’t horrible, so much as mildly depressing. The NBA’s Disneyland bubble (and recent All-Star game) had “virtual bleachers” where viewers could glimpse their spectral selves on screen. Then there was the strange analog equivalent where people paid $100 for the privilege of attending the Super Bowl as a cardboard cutout. In an era of increasing atomization, these images felt like a vision of a nightmare future where yet another in-person communal experience had been phased out. Last March, when asked about the prospect of competing in an empty arena, LeBron James’s initial response was, essentially, forget it. “If I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fans in there, I ain’t playing,” he said.

For track and field athletes, on the other hand, one could make the obvious joke that competing without spectators—as many runners did last year—would be business as usual. But even as having vacant seats at major championships remains a recurring issue for the sport, there are still places where, in pre-pandemic times, one could reliably find an infectious mass enthusiasm for watching fit people chase each other around the oval. In the United States, the most obvious example is, of course, Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, which is slated to host its fourth consecutive Olympic Trials in June. The venue’s combination of historical significance and high-energy fan base have always given it a special aura, colloquially referred to as the “Hayward Magic.” Even for those who don’t buy into the idea that occult forces might be wafting through the air of the Pacific Northwest, the quadrennial spectacle of the Trials at Hayward has delivered some big-time moments—starting in 1972 when Steve Prefontaine broke the American record in the 5,000-meters to punch his ticket to his first, and only, Olympic Games.

“This is a very special place for people who are really passionate about running,” says Eugene resident and two-time Olympic Trials champion Nick Symmonds. At the 2008 Trials, Symmonds was the first finisher in the famous “Oregon sweep” of the men’s 800-meters, where all podium spots were claimed by Eugene-based runners—to the roaring delight of the home crowd. While some have argued that it would be “better for the sport,” if U.S. track and field were less Oregon-centric, there’s no question that Hayward’s reputation for track fanaticism is justified. “At Hayward, you can have 10,000 people watching an early-season college dual meet,” Symmonds told me. According to a 2018 survey by the University of Oregon Foundation, the average attendance for weekday and weekend track meets at Hayward over the previous five years was 6,146 and 6,259 spectators, respectively. Those are impressive numbers for U.S. track and field. Symmonds told me that, as a professional, he had raced in national championships at other big venues across the country, like Des Moines and Sacramento, and likened the experience to competing in a “ghost town.” As he put it, “There was no one in the stands there to watch other than mom and dad.”

Unfortunately, the lingering reality of the pandemic might mean that even the Hayward Field Olympic Trials are destined for ghost town status. With fewer than 100 days to go (the Trials are scheduled to take place June 18th through 27th), it’s still uncertain whether spectators will be allowed to attend. COVID infection rates might be dropping as vaccines become more widely available, but the likelihood of packed stands by early summer seems remote.

“We are certainly hopeful that we will have fans at the Olympic Trials, but we are far from certain that that is going to be the case,” Michael Reilly, the CEO of TrackTown USA, the local organizing committee for the Trials, told me. Reilly generously pointed out that infection rates in Oregon had been “increasingly good.” Although the state is not yet allowing spectators at sporting events, Reilly said that his team was working with co-organizers like the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Track and Field to apply for an exemption to submit to the governor’s office.

For now, the idea is to plan for a scenario in which fans will be allowed to attend with appropriate safety measures—testing, masks, social distancing, etc. (Reilly told me that it was still too soon to say whether the vaccine could play a role in any safety protocols.) “We are building operating plans that anticipate that spectators will be at the Trials,” Reilly told me. “If, for whatever reason, we can’t have fans, we will be prepared to go either way. Fortunately, many of the operations of the event, as it relates to conducting a track and field competition, really don’t depend on whether there are spectators.”

In a tantalizing irony, Hayward last year completed an extensive renovation that more than doubled its max seating capacity to 25,000. (The permanent seating capacity for the new facility is listed at 12,650, but it can be expanded to accommodate larger crowds.) The project, which is estimated to have cost around $270 million, transformed a relatively quaint facility into an opulent mega-stadium that includes a ten-story tower, a “hydrotherapy room,” and an on-site barbershop.

So far, the only athletes who have gotten to experience this architectural epiphany are members of the University of Oregon’s track and field team, leading Eugene’s Register Guard to posit that Hayward 2.0 is currently “little more than the most spectacular collegiate training facility in the nation.” As the paper reports, the university is hoping to host outdoor track meets later in the spring, culminating in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which are scheduled to take place the weekend before the Trials.

Should both of these events end up happening without any spectators there’s still the silver lining that, hey, at least they weren’t canceled. And while it might be tempting to assume that all athletes prefer to race in front of a packed house, that, of course, isn’t necessarily the case. Molly Huddle, who won the women’s 5,000 and 10,000-meters at the 2016 Trials and will be looking to make her third Olympic team this June, told me that the first time she competed at a Hayward Trials in 2008, she was so stimulated by the crowd energy that she ended up running poorly. She says she had to consciously “de-sensitize” at subsequent Trials in order to run well enough to make the team. “It will probably not feel like Hayward, because of the new stadium and because there are no knowledgeable, dedicated fans there like there always are,” Huddle says about the prospect of competing at a spectator-less Trials. “Usually, I just try and pretend it’s just a mid-season meet to take the pressure off. So it will be easier to do that.”

Meanwhile, the organizing committee for the Tokyo Games has yet to decide on whether overseas fans will be allowed to attend. (According to a press release from the International Olympic Committee, a decision is expected in the coming weeks.) To be honest, it’s hard to imagine that there will actually be a ban on international visitors—not least because the Japanese government and the city of Tokyo reportedly spent more than $1.25 billion on the new Japan National Stadium—but, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to never say never.

(03/21/2021) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Registration Now Open for a Safe, Socially Distanced AJC Peachtree Road Race

This year will be a limited-capacity, two-day event held in-person and virtually on July 3-4. The in-person event in Atlanta will implement strict COVID-19 safety measures. Atlanta Track Club members receive guaranteed entry and priority choice of preferred race day. Non-members enter by lottery and race day preference will be accommodated as spots remain. The Club invites people to join/renew membership before registering to immediately receive their guarantee. 

(03/21/2021) ⚡AMP
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

The AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by the Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 48th running, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. Come kick off your Fourth of July festivities with us! If you did not get...

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Kiplimo set to star at Campaccio cross country

Reigning world half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda will be in the spotlight at the 64th edition of the Campaccio in San Giorgio su Legnano when the first leg of the World Athletics Cross Country Permit series takes place on Sunday (21).

The popular Northern Italian cross-country race was originally scheduled for its traditional 6 January date, but it was postponed until the end of March due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. For the first time in its long history, the Campaccio will be held in spring.

Kiplimo won the world half-marathon title in Gdynia in 58:49 last October and ran the second-fastest time in history over the 21.1km distance with 57:37 in Valencia last December. The 20-year-old also set PBs on the track last year, clocking 7:26.64 in the 3000m in Rome and 12:48.63 in the 5000m in Ostrava. In 2019 he won the world cross-country silver medal in Aarhus. In the build-up to the Campaccio, Kiplimo dominated the men’s race at the Italian Cross Country Club Championships in Campi Bisenzio near Florence in rainy conditions.

Kiplimo will race against his younger brother Oscar Chelimo, who won the BOclassic 5km World Athletics Label road race in Bolzano last December. In 2018 Chelimo finished seventh in the 5000m at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Tampere and won the 3000m at the Olympic Youth Games in Buenos Aires. One year later, the 19-year-old won the world under-20 cross-country bronze medal in Aarhus and finished fifth in the 5000m at the African Games in Rabat. 

Another Ugandan runner in the line-up is 2017 and 2018 world mountain running silver medallist Joel Ayeko.

Last year’s surprise Campaccio winner Mogos Tuemay will return to San Giorgio su Legnano to defend his title. The Ethiopian runner set his 10,000m PB in Hengelo in 2019 with 27:23.49 and finished 18th at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Aarhus in 2019.

The top Italian runner is Eyob Faniel, who broke Stefano Baldini’s national marathon record with 2:07:19 in Seville last year. Faniel improved Rachid Berradi’s long-standing Italian half-marathon record with 1:00:07 at the Tuscany Camp Half Marathon in Siena at the end of February. Faniel also won the 2019 BOclassic road race and equalled Daniele Meucci’s 10km national record with 28:08 at the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid last December.

“I have always used cross-country competitions as preparation for the marathon,” said Faniel. “I finished ninth in 2017 and 10th in 2018 in my previous two appearances at the Campaccio. This year I am in different form, as I trained for shorter distances to prepare for the half-marathon. The turning point in my career was my win at the Boclassic in Bolzano in 2019.”

Faniel will battle for top place among Italian runners against Iliass Aouani, who won the national individual cross country title in Campi Bisenzio last week. Aouani, who graduated in engineering at the Syracuse University in New York, finished fourth at the 2019 World University Games in Naples in the 10,000m and equalled the national indoor mile record with 4:00.07 last year in Boston. 

Other Italian runners to watch out for are Yohanes Chiappinelli, who won the European bronze medal in the 3000m steeplechase in Berlin in 2018, plus 2017 European indoor 3000m finalist Yassin Bouih, 2019 world mountain running silver medallist Cesare Maestri and 2017 world mountain running gold medallist Francesco Puppi.

In the women’s race, Lilian Kasait Rengeruk from Kenya will be bidding to win the Campaccio title for the second time, three years after her triumph in 2018. Rengeruk won the world cross country bronze medal in 2017 and finished fifth in the 5000m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha with her PB of 14:36.05. 

Rengeruk will take on Winfred Mutile Yavi, who finished fourth in the 3000m steeplechase in Doha and won the past two editions of the Cinque Mulini Cross Country Permit race in San Vittore Olona in 2019 and 2020. Yavi clocked a world all-time best in the indoor 2000m steeplechase with 5:45.09 in Lievin last February. 

The line-up also features Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu, who finished sixth at the 2019 World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Aarhus. 

Nadia Battocletti leads the Italian contingent. Battocletti won two consecutive European under-20 cross-country gold medals and the European under-20 silver medal in the 5000m in 2019. The daughter of former Italian cross-country star Giuliano Battocletti finished sixth in last year’s edition of the Campaccio. She won her first national senior cross-country title in Campi Bisenzio last weekend after being sidelined by an injury problem at the end of January.

The other top Italian runners are Ludovica Cavalli, who won the Italian under-23 titles in the 1500m and 5000m last year and in the 3000m indoors in 2021, plus 3000m steeplechase specialist Martina Merlo (PB 9:41.06).

“Despite the restrictions due to the global pandemic, we managed to put together a world-class field. We are proud to announce that the special guest will be fresh European 60m champion Marcell Jacobs, who will offer his support for all athletes,” said Campaccio Technical Director Marcello Magnani.

Claudio Pastori, President of the local Unione Sportiva Sangiorgese, said: “We are determined to organise the Campaccio race this year. It is important to give a message of hope to the younger generation in this difficult period.”

(03/21/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Emily Sisson and Clayton Young winners at Gate River Run

Emily Sisson started fast and never looked back.

On a blustery, windy Saturday morning in Jacksonville, Sisson turned in a dominant effort to win the 44th Gate River Run in dominant fashion.

Sisson, a professional runner who competes for New Balance, was superb in her first 15K. She built a lead not long into the Gate and stretched it throughout. Clayton Young, the men’s winner, didn’t have nearly the buffer as Sisson. He overcame a bunched pack in the final mile and won by two seconds in 43 minutes, 52 seconds.

Sisson finished in 48:09, nearly a minute in front of Lindsay Flanagan. It was the fifth-fastest women’s time in the race history.

Sisson was coming off of a personal-best 14:55.82 in the 5K at the Sound Running Invite earlier this month in Los Angeles, but a 15K was not a distance in her wheelhouse.

“I wanted to run pretty aggressively from the start. With the win, that was kind of an unexpected element so I had to run a bit off field,” Sisson. “It was such an amazing field. They did a great job putting this on. I had a great time.”

Sisson’s win earned her $10,000, and she picked up an extra $5,000 for being the first person across the finish line with the five-minute equalizer bonus.

“The only part I found really tricky was the last bridge at the end,” I was going up into the wind on it and I felt like I was nearly walking,” Sisson said. “Then we had the downhill to the finish so that was nice.”

John Raneri led at the 5K split, but that 18-second margin dissipated by the time the Hart Bridge. Young, in a pack of runners at the Green Monster, slowly began chipping away inside that final mile and a half. A newcomer to the race, Young said that he didn’t know when to start his final kick until he saw the finish line not far in the distance.

Young pulled away in the final mile and turned in a 43:52. He was two seconds in front of Abbabiya Simbassa (43:54). The top 11 men’s finishers were stacked together and separated by just 23 seconds. The race’s 2019 winner, Shadrack Kipchirchir was third in 43:55. Last year’s winner, Frank Lara finished seventh in 44:02.

“They don’t call it the Green Monster for nothing. I was surprised there was such a pack at the top of that gigantic overpass,” Young said. “I hadn’t done this last mile before so I didn’t know when to make my move but I saw the finish line and I was like, now or never, and so I made my move and just didn’t look back.”

(03/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Justin Barney
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Gate River Run

Gate River Run

The Gate River Run (GRR) was first held in 1978, formerly known as the Jacksonville River Run, is an annual 15-kilometer road running event in Jacksonville, Fla., that attracts both competitive and recreational runners -- in huge numbers! One of the great running events in America, it has been the US National 15K Championship since 1994, and in 2007...

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A maximum of 10 Russian track and field athletes will be able to compete at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics

Ten Russians to compete in Tokyo Olympic as World Athletics restored its Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) scheme after a council meeting.

The council has decided to allow ANAs “to start competing again, subject to a cap of 10 for the Olympic Games”, said Rune Andersen, chair of the Russian Taskforce overseeing the country’s reinstatement efforts.

The ANA scheme allows Russian competitors who meet strict anti-doping criteria to participate in global track and field events, but under a neutral flag and in neutral clothing.

World Athletics temporarily suspended the ANA scheme in November 2019 as part of the suspension of the Russian athletics federation (RusAF) reinstatement process following charges by the track doping watchdog Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) that RusAF helped cover up missed tests by Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko.

That decision meant that there were no Russian athletes at this month’s European indoor championships in Torun, Poland.

There had been 29 Russians competing as ANAs at the Doha world champs in September/October 2019, winning two golds, three silvers and one bronze medal.

(03/20/2021) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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No winners in 2021 Barkley Marathons

Only 15 people have finished the Barkley in the past 35 years.

Officials said the Barkley Marathons were over at around 4:30 p.m. on Friday. They said that there were no winners.

Keith Dunn said that runners dropped out as temperatures were expected to drop overnight.

A single marathon usually goes for around 26 miles, but not the Barkley Marathons. It takes participants through a 100-mile unmarked, off-trail course through Frozen Head State Park instead.

On Thursday, runners took off and started the event. The marathons have fans all around the world, but only 15 people have finished it in the past 35 years. There were no finishers in the 2020 marathons after the COVID-19 pandemic closed Tennessee State Parks, effectively canceling the race.

Runners have 60 hours to finish the 100-mile race. There is no online registration and participants must figure out how to apply through word-of-mouth.

"After a bride memorial for the members of the Barkley family who no longer are with us, the cigarette was lit at 3:04 a.m.," said Keith Dunn, an official with the race.

They must also find books on the course and tear out the page corresponding with their race number to prove they ran a full loop. They are given a new race number for each loop.

Officials said that the Morgan County Cattleman's Association provides food for participants to purchase through the race, and the Morgan County Tourism Alliance offers field guides for runners. They are designed by locals and explain fauna and flora in the area.

Runners are also issued a standard watch set to the race time, and no other watches are allowed. This year's watch was an analog pocketwatch.

Dunn also said that one person dropped out of the race five and a half hours into the race. He also said that this year's marathons feature more newcomers than veterans, because of travel restrictions.

A documentary was also made about the race in 2014 — The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young.

(03/20/2021) ⚡AMP
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Former top tennis pro runs David Goggins's 4 x 4 x 48 ultra challenge

James Blake, an American retired professional tennis player who climbed as high as fourth in the world rankings in his career, recently completed ultrarunner David Goggins‘s 4 x 4 x 48 Challenge. Blake has been running for a few years, and since retiring from professional tennis, he has competed in a few races. The 4 x 4 x 48 was unlike any running event the former tennis pro had ever attempted before, though, and he was understandably exhausted after the two-day challenge.

4 x 4 x 48

The 4 x 4 x 48 Challenge is simple to explain, but far from easy to complete. Participants run four miles (6.4K) every four hours for 48 hours. This works out to 48 miles (77K) and a lot of short naps (or very little sleep at all) in two days. Goggins has turned this into an official event, and the 2021 edition ran from March 5 to 7.

“Goggins, thank you. I just finished my 4 x 4 x 48,” Blake said in a video he posted to Twitter. “Thank you for coming up with this challenge and putting me to the test. I dug deep plenty in my career to win tennis matches, but nothing like this.”

Blake said he had “no real rest, no real sleep” over the course of the 48-hour event. He added that he questioned himself during each of the 12 four-mile legs, but he pushed through those tough moments and and eventually made it to the finish two days after he started.

Not a new runner

While this was Blake’s first time running the 4 x 4 x 48 Challenge, it wasn’t his first time completing a running event of any kind. After retiring from tennis in 2013, he got into running, and in 2015, he ran the New York City Marathon. He crossed the finish line in 3:51:19.

In 2020, Blake ran 21.1K in the virtual NYC Marathon as part of a relay with running legend Meb Keflezighi. The pair of former professional athletes teamed up to raise funds for a couple of charities. Blake ran to support his own charity, the James Blake Foundation, which raises money for cancer research, while Keflezighi ran for the NYRR Team for Kids.

(03/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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7 things not to do on a run

1. Don’t stop because your watch dies

We get it, it’s super annoying when you’re out for a run and your watch conks out, but that’s no reason to walk home. A lot of people like to say, “Strava or it didn’t happen,” meaning that if your run isn’t on Strava, you might as well have skipped the workout altogether. Here’s a little secret, though: even if you can’t upload your run to Strava or track it on your watch, it’s still worth doing. There might not be documentation of the work you’re putting in, but your body doesn’t care about that, and as long as you continue to train, you’ll get faster.

2. Don’t run sick

If you’re sick, take a few days off and rest. Running while sick could make you more tired than you already are, and that could turn a two-day cold into a week-long illness. It’s unfortunate that you’ll have to miss a few days of training, but if you don’t rest now, you’ll probably end up missing even more days later.

3. Don’t race in training

Running with other people can be a great motivator, but don’t get too obsessed with who’s faster in training. If you push yourself too hard, whether on easy days or during speed sessions, you could end up injured. Training is not the time to let your ego cloud your judgment (well, there’s really no good time to let that happen), and if you do, your training session could turn into a race with your running buddies. This might be fun in the moment, but it could ruin you for future training sessions and real races.

4. Don’t train without a goal

Whether your goal is to run a PB, to be active a certain number of days each week or anything else, it’s good to have something to work toward. If you don’t go into your runs without a specific goal in mind, it will get easier and easier to skip training sessions.

5. Don’t eat something new before a run

In training and racing, don’t try eating something new before you go out for your run or during your run. This is especially important in racing, but it’s even worth keeping in mind during training, too, as a new food before your workout could ruin your session. Stick to the foods you normally eat before or during training to avoid any stomach issues mid-run.

There is an exception to this rule. If you want to work a new food into your pre- or mid-run nutrition plan, then you of course have to test it out in training. Be very intentional about this and try testing it on easy runs to start, then add it to workouts before making it part of your race plan. The last thing you want is surprises at the track or on the race course.

6. Don’t forget to go to the washroom

Speaking of surprises, always go to the bathroom before your run. Even if you don’t think you have to go, please, just try. This has always been important, but it’s especially necessary now, as many public washrooms are closed due to the pandemic. Be safe. Avoid surprises.

7. Don’t hog the trail

If you’re on a trail, share the space with everyone else. Remember that there are other people out there, so be aware of your surroundings. If you see someone coming or hear movement behind you, make room and let them pass. No one likes a trail hog.

(03/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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International spectators to be barred from entering Japan for Olympics

International spectators will not be allowed to enter Japan for this summer’s Olympic Games amid public concerns over coronavirus, organisers said on Saturday, setting the stage for a drastically scaled-back event.

Some 600,000 Olympic tickets purchased by overseas residents will be refunded, as will another 300,000 Paralympic tickets, Toshiro Muto, the chief executive of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee told a news conference.

He declined to say how much the refunds would cost.

The Olympic Games were postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the outbreak has chilled public opinion toward the event, both organisers and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga have vowed to press ahead with the Games.

The decision on international spectators will “ensure safe and secure Games for all participants and the Japanese public,” Tokyo 2020 organisers said in a statement following five-way talks that included the head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and the Tokyo governor.

“People who are involved in the Olympics in some way may be allowed to enter the country, whereas regular visitors will not be able to,” Tokyo 2020’s Muto said.

He said costs for hotel cancellations would not be covered. Organisers may also consider cutting the number of staff members who will participate in the Games.

The Games are scheduled for July 23 to Aug. 8, and the Paralympics from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

Media polls have shown that a majority of the Japanese public are wary about letting in international spectators to watch the Games as the country grapples with the tail-end of a third wave of the pandemic.

STRIPPED-DOWN GAMES

A stripped-down Games means the government will not get the tourism boom it had long counted on. Japan has grown increasingly reliant on foreign tourists, particularly from Asia, to bolster its weak domestic economy.

Like other countries, it has seen tourism unravel with the pandemic and its hotels and restaurants have been hit hard.

Saturday’s decision did not cover local spectators. Muto said organisers will decide next month on caps for spectators in venues.

“It’s very unfortunate,” Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said of the decision on international spectators, speaking to reporters after the meeting.

But she added that the conclusion was “unavoidable” given that the main priority for holding a successful Games would be the health of the athletes and the Japanese public.

Kyodo news service earlier reported that organisers were leaning towards barring overseas volunteers from helping at the Games.

Sources told Reuters earlier this month that the Japanese government had concluded it will not be able to allow spectators from abroad.

Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by William Mallard, David Dolan and Frances Kerry

(03/20/2021) ⚡AMP
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Usain Bolt says that, the best thing about his life is being able to give back, as he donates 150 laptops to schools

The Usain Bolt Foundation focuses on children at the basic and primary school level.

IN A bid to help Jamaican youngsters with their education during the pandemic, the greatest sprinter of all time – Usain Bolt – has shown his generosity once more.

The Usain Bolt Foundation has made a donation of 150 laptops to schools in rural Jamaica. Several schools will benefit from this initiative, valued at forty thousand USD (US$40,000).

The legend’s official website reports that the eight times Olympic champion said that these initiatives through the Usain Bolt Foundation are pivotal to honour his commitment in ensuring that the children of Jamaica benefit from his hard work.

Bolt said: “The best thing about my life is being able to give back, especially to the children.  The current global pandemic has forced many children to do only online classes and highlights the need for technology in schools.  We will keep working to provide much needed equipment and support the education of the next generation.”

The Usain Bolt Foundation focuses on children at the basic and primary school level.  It continues to impact children across the country and that its caring hands will continue to ignite hope and assist, where possible.  Last year, the Usain Bolt Foundation donated printers and other supplies to twenty-one (21) Early Childhood Institutions in rural Jamaica and seven schools in his home parish of Trelawny received computers or tablets.

Bolt became a father himself last summer when he and his girlfriend, Kasi J Bennett, welcomed their child. The couple named their baby, Olympia Lightning Bolt, her first and middle name a nod to the sprinter’s career, signature celebration and record-breaking speed.

Just after the new arrival, via a post on Instagram, Bolt, 33, said: “Now we have started a new chapter together with our daughter Olympia Lightning Bolt I look forward to what the future will bring for us but be reassured that I will be the rock for this family.”

Olympia shares her name with the daughter of another Olympic champion. Tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, officially named their daughter Alexis Olympia but refer to her simply as Olympia.

(03/19/2021) ⚡AMP
by Rodney Hinds
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2021 Tokyo Marathon plans to go ahead in October with reduced field of 25,000

The organizers of the Tokyo Marathon held a special board meeting Mar. 19 to discuss plans for staging this year's race on Oct. 17. As a measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the decision was made to reduce the field size from 38,000 to 25,000 participants. The race's slogan will be "The Day When Tokyo Once Again Becomes One." Entries will be open Mar. 22 to 31.

Rough guidelines were also established for the process by which the final decision on whether the race can go ahead will be made. If a state of emergency is declared within a month prior to the marathon, it will be cancelled at that time. "Holding a safe and secure event is our number one priority," commented an official.  International entries will be accepted.

Because the 2020 edition of the race was held with only elite athletes, mass-participation runners were given the option of transferring their entries to either the 2021 or 2022 editions. Roughly 7,000 people opted to run 2021, meaning about 18,000 further entries will be accepted. Part of the course will be changed, and there will also be an uncertified 10.7 km run.

This year's Tokyo Marathon was originally scheduled for Mar. 7, but amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis organizers decided last October to postpone it., prioritizing holding it close to its usual capacity over holding it on-schedule with a drastically reduced field again.

Because Tokyo was rescheduled for October when elite marathons are scheduled to take place around the world and Japanese athletes are in the middle of ekiden season, it is expected that there will be problems with attracting elite athletes from abroad and within Japan. Race director Tadaaki Hayano commented, "With the Paris Olympics on the horizon I hope that young athletes and newcomers will come into sight." With Kengo Suzuki (Fujitsu) having set a new men's national record at the Lake Biwa Marathon last month at age 25, hopes are high for a race where the next generation will shine.

(03/19/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo is set to star at Campaccio cross country the first leg of the World Athletics Cross Country Permit series takes place on Sunday

Reigning world half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda will be in the spotlight at the 64th edition of the Campaccio in San Giorgio su Legnano when the first leg of the World Athletics Cross Country Permit series takes place on Sunday.

The popular Northern Italian cross-country race was originally scheduled for its traditional 6 January date, but it was postponed until the end of March due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. For the first time in its long history, the Campaccio will be held in spring.

Kiplimo won the world half-marathon title in Gdynia in 58:49 last October and ran the second-fastest time in history over the 21.1km distance with 57:37 in Valencia last December. The 20-year-old also set PBs on the track last year, clocking 7:26.64 in the 3000m in Rome and 12:48.63 in the 5000m in Ostrava. In 2019 he won the world cross-country silver medal in Aarhus. In the build-up to the Campaccio, Kiplimo dominated the men’s race at the Italian Cross Country Club Championships in Campi Bisenzio near Florence in rainy conditions.

Kiplimo will race against his younger brother Oscar Chelimo, who won the BOclassic 5km World Athletics Label road race in Bolzano last December. In 2018 Chelimo finished seventh in the 5000m at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Tampere and won the 3000m at the Olympic Youth Games in Buenos Aires. One year later, the 19-year-old won the world under-20 cross-country bronze medal in Aarhus and finished fifth in the 5000m at the African Games in Rabat. 

Another Ugandan runner in the line-up is 2017 and 2018 world mountain running silver medallist Joel Ayeko.

Last year’s surprise Campaccio winner Mogos Tuemay will return to San Giorgio su Legnano to defend his title. The Ethiopian runner set his 10,000m PB in Hengelo in 2019 with 27:23.49 and finished 18th at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Aarhus in 2019.

The top Italian runner is Eyob Faniel, who broke Stefano Baldini’s national marathon record with 2:07:19 in Seville last year. Faniel improved Rachid Berradi’s long-standing Italian half-marathon record with 1:00:07 at the Tuscany Camp Half Marathon in Siena at the end of February. Faniel also won the 2019 BOclassic road race and equalled Daniele Meucci’s 10km national record with 28:08 at the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid last December.

“I have always used cross-country competitions as preparation for the marathon,” said Faniel. “I finished ninth in 2017 and 10th in 2018 in my previous two appearances at the Campaccio. This year I am in different form, as I trained for shorter distances to prepare for the half-marathon. The turning point in my career was my win at the Boclassic in Bolzano in 2019.”

Faniel will battle for top place among Italian runners against Iliass Aouani, who won the national individual cross country title in Campi Bisenzio last week. Aouani, who graduated in engineering at the Syracuse University in New York, finished fourth at the 2019 World University Games in Naples in the 10,000m and equalled the national indoor mile record with 4:00.07 last year in Boston. 

Other Italian runners to watch out for are Yohanes Chiappinelli, who won the European bronze medal in the 3000m steeplechase in Berlin in 2018, plus 2017 European indoor 3000m finalist Yassin Bouih, 2019 world mountain running silver medallist Cesare Maestri and 2017 world mountain running gold medallist Francesco Puppi.

(03/19/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Eliud Kipchoge ready for Hamburg Marathon redemption

Kenyan Olympic champion and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge, is hoping to return to the top of the podium at the NN Hamburg Marathon on April 11 to redeem his stature following his shock London defeat last year.

The distance running star will be featured at the elite-only marathon for those looking to secure an Olympic qualifying time after few chances to compete in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Kipchoge saw his 10-marathon winning streak ended at the 2020 London Marathon on Oct. 4 but has had the time to recover and build back up at his training camp in Kaptagat, Kenya.

He will be running in Germany to gauge his shape ahead of a planned Olympic title defense in the summer.

"My number one goal is to run a beautiful race in Hamburg. A beautiful race will give people hope. It is another step that we are on the right track to normality," Kipchoge who ran the standing 2:01:39 world record at the 2018 Berlin Marathon tweeted on Thursday.

According to his management, NN Running, the Rio 2016 gold winner is hoping to reignite his marathon supremacy at the city where he made a victorious debut over the distance in April 2013.

"Hamburg has a lot of memories for me, it was my first exposure to the marathon and I remember thinking I didn't know what would happen at 25km, 30km, 35km and 40km. That memory of 'will I hit the wall' is still there. It was the beginning of my life in the marathon," Kipchoge told the NN Running website on Wednesday.

The impressive 2:05:30 win at the 2013 Hamburg Marathon sparked off a career switch from track running that yielded 11 wins in 13 marathons started for the Kenyan.

Prior to London 2020 where he clocked 2:06:49 for eighth, Kipchoge's only other loss at the distance came at the 2013 Berlin race where he was beaten to second by compatriot Wilson Kipsang who ran a then world record of 2:02:32.

Kipsang has since been banned for four years for Whereabouts Rules violations.

"Winning there gave me confidence that I could run the marathon and it played a big role in my career. Now I am running Hamburg again in a very different situation. We have very few races globally and it is a good opportunity to test myself, run well and offer hope to the world," Kipchoge remarked.

On Oct. 12, 2019, he became the first man to cover the classic 42.192km marathon distance in under two hours at the specially arranged INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria where he stopped the timer at 1:59:40.

However, like every other sportsperson around the world, Kipchoge was affected by the pandemic, admitting to NN Running that life has been "very hard."

Forced for several months to stay within his compound because of restrictions on movement implemented by the Kenyan government to control the virus, it was not an easy period for the first man in history to run a sub-two-hour marathon.

He spent the lockdown months by organizing a food distribution drive in partnership with several local companies and individuals to feed other affected runners who have not been as fortunate as him.

"It was really hard to go training and not mix with people to fight the virus. I am happy to have since resumed training with the team, but we continue to make sure we do so safely within the protocols because the virus is still with us.

"Life has been hard but that is the way of the world - we need to get through it but I think we are on the right track to a brighter future," the three-time London marathon winner underscored.

After suffering an untimely ear blockage, Kipchoge suffered his first marathon defeat in seven years in London but insists he is in "great mental and physical shape" and is looking forward to competing on the streets of Hamburg.

(03/19/2021) ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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World Athletics Council opens Tokyo 2020 door for Russian athletes

World Athletics Council today agreed to reinstate the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) scheme, suspended since last March, allowing individual Russian competitors to qualify for this summer’s scheduled Tokyo 2020 Games.

The scheme - which allows Russian athletes who meet anti-doping criteria to take part in international competition - was suspended in March last year following the latest scandal involving the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF), which has been banned since November 2015 following the revelations of state-sponsored doping.

Rune Andersen, the World Athletics' Russia Taskforce chairman, said that Russian athletes would be able to apply for ANA status immediately, but there will be a cap of 10 athletes for the next Olympics and at World Athletics Championships.

He added that this was dependent on RusAF continuing to satisfy the requirements agreed for their eventual return.

RusAF faced expulsion from World Athletics last year for obstructing an anti-doping investigation into world indoor high jump champion Danil Lysenko and failing to pay outstanding fines.

After missing its July 1 payment deadline RusAF stood on the brink, but a last-minute intervention by Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin, who made an "unconditional" offer to pay the outstanding fine of $6.31 million (£4.52 million/€5.28 million), saved them.

On March 1 this year a final plan for the reinstatement of the RusAF was unanimously approved by the World Athletics Council following the recommendation of Andersen.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe warned at the time that the initial approval was "not the end but the beginning of a long journey, with an incredible amount of work for RusAF to do to rebuild trust."

Reflecting upon the original creation of the ANA scheme earlier this month in a Sports Law Q&A podcast, Coe told British lawyer Jonathan Taylor: "I didn’t for all sorts of reasons want to visit the sins of the parents upon the children in our Russia challenge.

"What in simple terms does that mean?

"If I could identify clean athletes that were untainted but in a tainted system then my responsibility was to try and find a construct that would allow them to compete.

"That’s where we got our Authorised Neutral Athletes from, and many of them have maintained international competition in the last few years.

"They don’t have the panoply of uniforms and national anthems but most of them are just relieved to be competing."

One Russian track and field athlete was able to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics under the recently instituted ANA scheme - long jumper Darya Klishina.

(03/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Mike Rowbottom
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Runners will turn their neighborhood streets green for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle

The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, one of the city’s most celebrated running events, is set to kick off in neighborhoods across Chicago and around the world this weekend. For more than four decades, runners have participated in this popular road race to commemorate the start of the outdoor running season and continue the city’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

This year’s virtual race will continue the tradition as runners compete in a variety of distances from Friday, March 19 to Sunday, March 21. 

“We’re thrilled to see so many runners continue the tradition of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle in a new and unique way this year,” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “As a past participant, I know the energy and excitement the Chicago running community brings to this event and while we can’t be together this year, we look forward to returning to the streets of downtown very soon.”

More than 8,000 participants, including seven past champions, are expected to bring the spirit and celebration of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle to their own communities this weekend. While this classic road race is known for its 8K run, Shufflers will also have the opportunity to participate in the 2-Mile Walk or The Mile.

Participants can download a personalized digital event bib number and will have access to a unique finisher certificate once they submit their event results.

Registered participants are also invited to add some extra excitement and competition to their race weekend experience by competing in The Deloitte Team Competition. The Team Competition is a fun way to bring the camaraderie of race day to running clubs, groups of friends, and corporate teams during this unique time. Teams will be scored in one of five divisions based on the average finish times submitted by the team over the weekend.

In addition to the run and walk, event organizers are also excited to launch a virtual Health & Fitness Expo.

The digital marketplace will feature event partners and exhibitors offering the public an opportunity to explore the latest in running footwear, apparel and nutrition.

Individuals still interested in taking part in the 2021 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle can sign up today through 11:59 a.m. (Central Time) on Sunday, March 21. The cost of an entry is $30 for United States residents and $55 for participants residing outside of the United States.

For additional information on the 2021 event, visit shamrockshuffle.com.

(03/18/2021) ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K

Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K

The Shamrock 8k is a huge celebration of the beginning of running season. It is the world's largest timed 8k, starting and finishing in Chicago's Grant Park. Runners feel the energy of over 30,000 runners and a big cheering crowd (present during the entire course.)The excitement lasts throughout the after-party, where participants find beer, food and live music. The flat...

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Laura Muir believes that the delay of the Tokyo Olympics could help her chances of winning medals

Laura Muir says she is more robust ahead of Tokyo Olympics; the 1500m British record holder opted to not compete at the European Indoor Championships to focus on the outdoor season and Olympics in July.

British middle-distance runner Laura Muir believes delaying the Olympics has given her a better chance of glory.

The British record holder over 1500 metres insists she is now more "robust" ahead of the rescheduled Games in Tokyo this summer.

Her 2019 season was disrupted by calf and Achilles problems when she finished fifth in the 1500m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, despite running her second-fastest time.

But, after the enforced delay amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the double European Indoor 1500 and 3000m champion has reaped the benefits.

"I'm certainly in a better position than had the Olympics been last year," Muir told the PA News agency.

"As much as it was disappointing for everything to be postponed, the overall picture has worked out for me, luckily.

"It's helped me, I had a lot of issues heading into Doha and off the back of it, the issue with my Achilles, and I wasn't in spikes for a number of weeks.

"This time last year I was just getting back into things but now I'm in a much stronger position than I was. Luckily having the last year we were able to build on things to make me more robust.

"We've incorporated more strength and conditioning into training, specific areas which I'm targeting. You don't want to fatigue yourself too much but if there was an area where I was weaker I could strengthen it so I'm not so susceptible."

Muir, 27, finished seventh in the 1500m at Rio 2016 after slipping out of medal contention with 200m left.

This year she has focused on training and her only indoor race came in the World Indoor Tour Lievin in February where she set a new British 1500m indoor record of three minutes 59.58 seconds.

Muir opted not to compete at the European Indoor Championships in Poland this month for a second defence of her titles to focus on the outdoor season and Olympics.

(03/18/2021) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Sebastian Coe claims he went out of his way to keep competitive options open for differences in sexual development athletes

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has defended the decision his Federation took over athletes with differences in sexual development (DSD), claiming he had sought to keep competitive options open in the female category even though a different alternative may have been open to him.

The World Athletics rules, which went into effect in 2019, cap athlete testosterone levels in women’s events from the 400 metres through the mile for athletes with DSD such as South Africa’s Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya.

World Athletics said that no female athletes would have a level above the cap - five nanomoles per litre - unless they had a DSD or a tumour, and that in the case of athletes in the DSD category testosterone-suppressing medication would need to be taken in order to bring levels into the agreed range.

Semenya has lost appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland against the World Athletics regulations over the past two years.

But earlier this month the South African Government’s Department of Sport, Arts and Culture pledged R12 million (£576,600/$803,000/€671,500) to help her appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against her testosterone ruling.

Speaking in a Sports Law Q&A podcast, Coe told British lawyer Jonathan Taylor: "If I’m being hard-nosed about it, if I’d stuck simply to the definitions around biology then I would probably have got support for preventing those athletes from competing at all in a female category,

"I didn’t want to do that."

Coe added: "So finding the right level of controllable testosterone over a period that allowed them to compete at those distances was for me absolutely in alignment with every philosophy, every principle that I went into the sport for.

"But then you get the next challenge about human rights.

"I am very acutely conscious of human rights.

"But the question I then ask is whose human rights are we talking about here?

"Are we talking about the millions of girls that enter athletics and want to feel that they are competing at least on a level footing, do I have a concern about them?

"Yes I do.

"But I also wanted to preserve that in a way that didn’t stigmatise and cause hurt to other athletes.

"It was a difficult decision to make.

"The easier decision would frankly have been to have sat there and done nothing at all, which if I’m being honest is where pretty much the most of sport has gone now.

"We have a similar challenge around transgender and our policy there was in large part driven and in alignment with what we have done around DSD.

"So you don’t come into any sport at the level I chose to get elected at and think you are going to make a lot of friends.

"You do have to do what you think is in the best interests of the sport and possibly that judgement is made way beyond the term that you are serving."

Referring to the decision taken in 2016 to ban Russian athletes competing in the wake of the scandal over organised doping in that country, Coe added: "I know that the approach we took about Russia didn’t leave us in a position of unalloyed joy with other sporting organisations out there.

"When we all went to the Rio Games you could feel the icy blast about what we’d done.

"But I don’t want athletics to ever be on the wrong side of history."

(03/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Mike Rowbottom
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One of the legends of the Boston Marathon Dick Hoyt dies at 80

Boston Marathon legend Dick Hoyt, has died at the age of 80, his family confirmed to WCVB.

Hoyt passed away in his sleep Wednesday morning, according to longtime Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray.

For close to 40 years, Dick Hoyt was a fixture of the marathon course, pushing his son, Rick, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, from 1981 until 2014.

“The message is: Yes, you can. There isn’t anything you can’t do as long as you make up your mind to do it," Dick Hoyt told WCVB in 2016. "There is no ‘No’ in the Hoyt vocabulary.”

In addition to Boston, the pair competed in more than 1,100 marathons and triathlons.

"We are tremendously saddened to learn of the passing of Boston Marathon icon Dick Hoyt. Dick personified what it means to be a Boston Marathoner, finishing 32 races with son Rick. We are keeping his many family & friends in our prayers," the Boston Athletic Association said in a statement after news of his passing.

Hoyt was a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard for more than 30 years.

Originally planning to retire after the 2013 race, Dick Hoyt returned in 2014 to honor those killed and injured in the Boston Marathon bombings. Team Hoyt was stopped at the 25-mile mark when the explosions halted the event.

A bronze statue of Dick and Rick Hoyt was dedicated near the Marathon's start line in Hopkinton in 2013. Dick Hoyt served as the Grand Marshal of the race in 2015.

 

(03/17/2021) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Twelve cities from around the globe have expressed interest in hosting the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships in 2023

The strong international interest in hosting this new event, which will combine elite and mass races in a unique format, is a ringing endorsement of a festival concept designed to unite the international road running community. 

The creation of the World Athletics Road Running Championships, incorporating the World Half Marathon Championships, was approved by the Council in December, and cities around the world were asked to indicate their interest in hosting the event.

The 2023 event will include elite races over both 5km and the half marathon, accompanying mass races, and a week-long festival of supporting events, including parkrun events across the host city, a global running conference, health and fitness expos and clinics.

Potential hosts will have to submit formal bids by 1 June and the World Athletics Council will select the host city in July.

World Athletics Continental Tour

The World Athletics Council has approved a greatly expanded Continental Tour calendar for 2021, including 85 Gold, Silver and Bronze meetings, after the new international series was launched successfully last year.

Despite the challenges created by the pandemic, 29 Continental Tour meetings were held last year, including seven Gold meetings (of the 10 that were originally scheduled).

This year’s calendar includes 15 Gold meetings, with two in Africa following the addition of a second meeting to join Nairobi, and three Gold meetings to be held in the United States. The venues for the new meetings will be confirmed shortly.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe welcomed the commitment of meeting directors and Member Federations across the six continental Areas to create new competition opportunities for the athletes.  

“We wouldn’t have chosen to launch a new global athletics tour on the eve of a pandemic, but the Continental Tour proved to be such a strong concept that it thrived even in these adverse circumstances,’’ he said.

“The tour has expanded substantially in 2021, and we’re delighted that it has been embraced so enthusiastically across the world. I’m particularly pleased to see that the US has stepped up to stage three Gold meetings as well as at least nine other Silver and Bronze meetings. These will provide new and vital competition opportunities and prize money for athletes and strengthen our sport both in the USA and internationally. We see the expanded US calendar as an early legacy of the decision to take our flagship event, the World Athletics Championships, to Oregon in 2022.

“We will continue to drive innovation and boost the competition opportunities available to our athletes around the world, with our immediate focus on the World Athletics Relays Silesia 2021, to be held in Poland in just six weeks’ time.”  

Competition dates

The Council confirmed the dates for the 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships, which will be held in Cali, Colombia from 2-7 August, 2022, and the 2023 World Athletics Indoor Championships, which will be held in Nanjing, China from 17-19 March, 2023. 

(03/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Running improves your brain function

Having a brain block at work? Going out for a mid-day run may have more effects on your brain than just a psychological break in the day. 

While the immediate benefit of running, the release of dopamine and other endorphins, is oh-so-good for a stressed-out brain, recent studies have shown running causes more profound, long-lasting changes to brain function. Curious researchers are working hard to uncover how and why aerobic exercise stimulates the brain. 

Running to Remember

Two studies this year, published only a week apart, showed that aerobic exercise improved memory.

One of the studies, from the American Academy of Neurology, looked at 206 adults before and after a six-month exercise program. By the end of the program, the participants saw blood flow to the brain increase by 2.3 percent on average, which is what the researchers believe led to a 5.7 percent improvement on executive function tests and 2.4 percent improvement on verbal fluency. 

“Our study showed that six months’ worth of vigorous exercise may pump blood to regions of the brain that specifically improve your verbal skills as well as memory and mental sharpness,” said study author Marc Poulin in a press release.

Other study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, also looked at blood flow to the brain, but over a year’s worth of aerobic exercise. The exercise group saw a remarkable 47 percent improvement in their memory scores. However, these were among individuals who had memory issues to begin with, which could account for the more staggering results. 

Osteocalcin, a hormone, is another reason memory can be improved by running, among many other incredible functions it helps with.

Brain Health and Brain Function is Boosted

One study that came out of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology found an association between cardiorespiratory fitness and the brain’s ability to produce N-acetyl aspartic acid (NAA). According to Tartar, NAA is a marker of exactly how active the brain is. 

“A central question raised by this work is whether we can modify NAA through physical activity and fitness interventions, providing an effective method to enhance cognitive performance and brain health across the lifespan,” said researcher Ryan Larsen in a press release. 

At the Kavli Institute for the Brain and Mind in California, they’re looking at how running improves motor skills, starting with mice. One of their studies, published in Nature Communications, examined how mice running on a wheel over the course of a week performed better on several tests for motor skills, including walking quickly along a balance beam or staying on a rotating rod. The researchers believe that the type of plasticity they saw in mice brains can easily be translated to humans. By incorporating running, athletes may see performance enhancement in other areas that require fine motor skills.  

There are many other ways that scientists know that exercise can improve brain function. But they still don’t know why. “We can look at the after effect and see if somebody exercises for a few months, we can start to see changes in their cognitive functioning,” says Dr. Tartar. “They have better attention, better executive function, but we really want to see how.”

There are several chemical reactions that are set off by running and exercise that prove that brain health is better off, but the ‘why’ is still yet to be determined. Dr. Tartar would like to find the mechanisms behind things like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Irisin. 

She calls BDNF, a protein released during muscle activity, food for the brain. It supports neuron survival and health, while promoting overall neural health and cognition. Irisin is a hormone secreted from muscles during exercise that also promotes neural health and cognition. But exactly how these proteins and hormones work needs further study to be truly understood. 

Remember that hormone, osteocalcin? It also plays a role in emotion, by increasing serotonin and dopamine, and it’s been shown to decrease anxiety and depression.

Anecdotally, psychologists have known for years that exercise boosts mood by having study participants self-report their feelings. But with the combined efforts of exercise scientists and neuroscientists, there is data from the brain that corroborates that. 

(03/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by Malissa Rodenburg
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Athletes have reacted to Nike's pregnancy announcement

Decorated Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix calls it "beautiful and heartbreaking".

Nike’s latest advertisement is receiving mixed reactions from athletes and sports fans on social media. The ad, which includes the caption, “To every mother, everywhere: you are the toughest athlete,” features several clips of pregnant women and mothers participating in sports, and appears to be the company’s way of showing their support to pregnant athletes.

While the ad is a step in the right direction for the company, many athletes, including Allyson Felix, Kara Goucher and Alysia Montaño, are criticizing Nike for not acknowledging their past treatment of pregnant female athletes.

In 2019, Felix, Goucher and Montaño publicly criticized Nike for its treatment of sponsored athletes during and after pregnancy, and they called the company out for having no pregnancy protections in their contracts. Since then, Nike has announced a new pregnancy policy that protects female athletes from pay reductions for 18 months surrounding pregnancy. This new ad showing support for pregnant women is a welcome change and a step in the right direction, and while many athletes are supportive of it, they are pointing out one thing it’s missing: an apology.

Felix was among the first to express her opinion, which she shared in a Twitter thread. She began by praising the ad for its content, calling it powerful and saying it celebrates mothers and reminds them that they are athletes. She goes on to encourage her followers to watch the ad, but for a different reason.

“I agree with every word in this ad,” she said in a Tweet. “I also think you should watch this ad so that you will hold Nike accountable for it.”

She continues by saying that the ad was hard to watch, given her personal experience as a formerly Nike-sponsored athlete. She points out that it was she, along with several other athletes, who pushed Nike to support athletes’ maternity — a fact the ad fails to mention. Felix calls the ad “beautiful and heartbreaking,” saying that while it celebrates all the right things, it ignores the struggle it took to get to this point.

Goucher echoed Felix’s statements in a response to her thread, saying she appreciates the ad’s sentiment, but this level of support was not a reality for her or dozens of other mother runners.

“Acknowledging the way we were treated and receiving an apology (let alone the money withheld from us) would go so far,” she added.

Montaño added her comments in an Instagram post, saying while she is grateful for all the positive changes happening in the world of women’s sports, it is infuriating to watch Nike seemingly dismiss the past and fail to apologize for the experiences of past athletes.

“Yes. We want Nike to sponsor athletes and support them through pregnancy, and thereafter, but we want them to acknowledge the fight and the struggle that it took to get them to make a change,” she said. “We DO NOT WANT them to use our women to make money and while doing so forcing their athletes that have been mistreated to post advertisements as a way of sweeping their struggles under the rug.”

She goes on to highlight the work of other companies, organizations and brands who have a history of supporting women, including her own nonprofit, &Mother, and her partner brand, Cadenshae. Montaño concludes by saying that she and other athletes welcome Nike’s desire to support female athletes, but says they must rectify their former actions if they wish to do that.

Many others on Twitter and Instagram are commenting with support for the athletes, while also acknowledging the beauty and the power of the ad. This new ad by Nike is exactly the type of imagery we need to see, but coming on the heels of controversy over their treatment of pregnant athletes, it comes across as disingenuous to those who are familiar with the backstory.

(03/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Tips for running in March

The weather this month can get weird — here's how to deal with it.

We’re about half-way through March, and depending on where you live, you’re (hopefully) beginning to see the first signs of spring. Of course, in some parts of Canada, winter is still in full-force, in others, April showers have already begun, and some places seem to experience all four seasons in one day.

This can make it pretty hard to figure how to prepare properly for a run, so here are our best tips for running during a Canadian March.

Check the weather

In the summer, you can safely assume it’s going to be hot and dress for the occasion. In the winter, you pretty much always know you’re going to need a hat, gloves and at least a couple of layers of clothing. The same cannot be said about March. As we gradually make the transition into spring, the temperature from one day to the next can vary significantly, so always check the weather before heading out so you know what you’re in for.

Consider more than just the temperature

Ambient temperature is important, but if that’s all you look at, you might be in for an unwelcome surprise once you get outside. For example, 10 C on a sunny, windless day will feel very different than 10 degrees on a rainy day with gusting winds, so always pay attention to the ‘feels like’ temperature, wind, rain and any other factors that might affect your run.

Watch out for wind

Not only can wind make your run feel a lot colder, it can also make it more dangerous. Strong winds can blow things like tree branches, recycling or garbage bins and other loose items onto your path as you’re running, so if you choose to go running on a particularly windy day, make sure you stay vigilant, and avoid running through a residential neighbourhood on garbage day.

Dress for the rain

A rainy run in the middle of July can be a refreshing relief from the constant heat, but rain in March is just downright cold. If you’re running in the rain this month, make sure you invest in a good water-resistant jacket to keep you from getting soaked, and don’t hang around in your wet clothes too long once your run is over.

Check the trail conditions

With the weather starting to warm up and the days starting to get longer, many runners will be itching to get back on the trails. If you decide to do this, try as best you can to get an idea what the trail conditions are like before you head out.

As the ground starts to thaw, the trails could be pretty slick, and at this time of year, a warm few days followed by another cold snap can make them icy as well. Additionally, if you start out on the trails and the conditions are looking treacherous, you’re better off turning around and trying again another day.

(03/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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The 44th annual Gate River Run will take place this weekend with little changes prompted by coronavirus pandemic

Race Director Doug Alred said the race will be a little different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re going to have a lot of social distancing guidelines in place,” Alred said.

The field is limited to 8,000 runners for the 15K. There will also be two different start lines. One start line will be at the corner of Duval and A. Phillip Randolph streets. The second start line will be at the corner of Adams and A. Phillip Randolph streets. The runners will merge just before the Main Street Bridge. Masks are required except while running.

“It’s requiring a lot more things,” explained Alred about the preparations. “We’ve been doing some smaller races and we’ve been kind of using some of the guidelines that we would use at the River Run and see how they go, so those things have worked really well.”

Despite the changes, Alred said runners will still feel a sense of tradition.

“We’re going to have hands on the course. Most of the water stations will still be there, they’ll be run a little bit differently, and the finish line is going to look exactly the same,” said Alred. “As long as people cooperate and wear their mask when they’re supposed to, I think it’ll go great. It’ll be a safe event for everybody, and most people who come will feel like this is a traditional run.”

The Gate River Run said it is expecting one of the best elite fields in recent years because of the limited number of races last year.

(03/16/2021) ⚡AMP
by Jennifer Ready
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Gate River Run

Gate River Run

The Gate River Run (GRR) was first held in 1978, formerly known as the Jacksonville River Run, is an annual 15-kilometer road running event in Jacksonville, Fla., that attracts both competitive and recreational runners -- in huge numbers! One of the great running events in America, it has been the US National 15K Championship since 1994, and in 2007...

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Bernard Lagat wants to stay with Wildcats after impressive first year on staff

Bernard Lagat had been called a lot of different things: Olympian. All-American. World champion. At Washington State, his alma mater, he is simply “Lagat,” which translates to legend in any language.

A few weeks ago, Lagat was called something totally unfamiliar: Coach.

“I feel like I’m still an athlete, so when someone would say ‘Hey, Coach,’ I sometimes wouldn’t respond,” Lagat says with a laugh. “But then it was, ‘Oh, wait, that’s me.’”

Lots of prominent Tucson athletes have become coaches: Terry Francona, Adia Barnes, Steve Kerr, Stacey Iveson. But few broke into the coaching business like Lagat, the 46-year-old five-time Olympian who moved to Tucson 19 years ago and soon won the 1,500-meters silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

A few days before Thanksgiving, Lagat was named the interim cross country coach at Arizona, replacing his coach of 25 years, James Li, who chose to retire; Li recently moved to Shanghai, where he now coaches elite distance runners.

Until that day, Lagat’s only coaching was that of his son, Miika, a freshman at Rincon/University High School, and a few of Miika’s friends interested in running. But Miika has since become an emerging tennis prospect and Lagat’s coaching days appeared to be over.

The timing couldn’t have been better. For the first time since his Olympic debut in 2000, Lagat is not absorbed by trying to qualify for the Summer Games. He doesn’t view his quick introduction to coaching as anything related to his title of interim coach.

Asked if he would like to be hired as Arizona’s full-time cross country coach, Lagat didn’t hesitate.

“I would, I’d like this to be long term,” he says. “Funny, if you had told me about this even a year ago — if you asked if I could see myself coaching — I’d be like, ‘Ah, no.’ But that has changed 100%. I would love to continue. The job grows on you. I want to see my relationships with the athletes grow.”

(03/16/2021) ⚡AMP
by Greg Hansen
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Four smart ways structuring your routine can Increase focus

Generally speaking, the focus is the ability to collect and direct your attention. Those who have an excellent focus are typically very successful. This typically applies to academic accomplishment, different work results, athletic performance, skill acquisition, and many other things.

Now, it seems like these days it’s pretty hard to have a good focus. Many studies have shown that an average individual has attention that normally lasts about eight seconds. This is not good news. Even a goldfish has a longer attention span.

People should work on enhancing it because when they do, they become much more productive and manage to do every single task for a particular day. If you’re dealing with this issue and you’re not sure how can you improve it, here are some tips that are very helpful!

Wake up earlier

A lot of research has been done on Presidents and CEOs of companies, and what these studies often show is that these successful and driven people often have many traits and habits in common, and one of them is waking up early. HuffPost co-founder and power-woman Ariana Huffington, Facebook creator and informal leader of the online world Mark Zuckerberg, and business magnate Richard Branson are all early-risers. As the author of this Inc.com article notes, “The average U.S. individual wakes up between 6:00 and 7:30 a.m., which means when I’m up at 5 a.m., I have a good one to two hours before my phone starts buzzing.” Imagine the productivity you could have during all that quiet time. Even if you start the day slowly with a cup of coffee and the morning paper or you enjoy have a bit of music playing in the background to offset the silence, you’ve still got quite a head start on the competition. You can also be more productive if you leave this time for exercise, as you won’t be able to come up with the many excuses that often go with sweat sessions that come later in the day. The brain children behind innovative San Diego-based beach accessory company Slippa make sure to get up to surf every morning before they start their day, as that’s how they clear their heads.

Now, we’re not saying that this will be an easy transition for you if you’re used to sleeping later but give yourself a gradual transition and watch the magic happen.

This one goes hand in hand with #1, as it’s easier to get up early day in and day out if you keep a regular routine. There have been numerous studies that show the health benefits of getting the proper amount of sleep each night, and that starts with going to bed and getting up around the same time as much as possible.

Meditate More

If you’re not a yogi or someone who goes to therapy on the regular, you might think this sounds like a lot of self-help bunk. But the harsh life reality is that you’re going to be thrown a lot of curveballs, and meditation will help you to be centered enough to handle them with no (or few!) problem(s). One of the biggest misconceptions about meditation is that it takes a long time and, if you’re already worried about your productivity and focus, this might seem counterintuitive. All you need to do is download a meditation app to realize that sessions can range anywhere from five minutes to over an hour. On top of the increase in focus, meditation has been shown to reduce stress, lessen the effects of aging, and increase happiness. Say it with us: “Ommmm…”

Eat Well and Exercise

You might think, “Duh,” in reaction to seeing this recommendation, but you’d be surprised by how many people let these things go by the wayside in the name of getting things done. But the thing is that all of these things are cyclical in that you might feel like you need more time to dedicate to your business so you neglect these things, but neglecting these things can lead to poor focus and energy levels, which leads to decreased productivity. Take the time to shop well at the grocery store to keep your body running at its best, and even if it’s just a daily 20-minute HIIT routine, you’ll reap the benefits ten-fold.

None of these suggestions on routine changes to increase focus is reinventing the wheel, but implementing these small tweaks will mean big improvements in your life.

(03/16/2021) ⚡AMP
by Andy Sowards
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Australian athlete Corey Philpott tows 1.5-ton truck 42K to complete World’s Strongest Marathon

Australian athlete Corey Philpott recently completed a challenge dubbed the “World’s Strongest Marathon” in a suburb of Sydney. Philpott travelled 42.2K while towing a 1.5-ton Ford Ranger pickup truck behind him, finishing the haul in 16 hours, 12 minutes and beating the car-pulling marathon world record by more than an hour.

World’s Strongest Marathon

As Philpott wrote on Instagram, he first learned about the World’s Strongest Marathon when he saw British athlete Ross Edgley complete the challenge in 2016. Edgley pulled a 1.5-ton Mini Countryman around a Formula One race track in the U.K., and although this piqued Philpott’s interest, he didn’t think it was a challenge he would ever attempt. 

“It always seemed like an awesome concept to me but I never ever thought I was fit enough or had the courage to put it out into the universe and say I’m going to give it a crack,” Philpott wrote. Then COVID-19 hit, and Philpott decided to try it out after all. 

“One night, I had just finished watching a video of Ross on YouTube,” he wrote. “Once that video finished, I walked out to the lounge room to my parents and told them in 2021 I will be completing the World’s Strongest Marathon.” For added accountability, Philpott announced his plans on social media, and from there, he had no choice but to power forward. 

As Philpott told 7News Australia, he trained for eight months, and his schedule consisted of weight training, regular runs and car-towing practice. “I’d start at about one or two in the morning [and] get four or five hours [of] training in before work.” 

When Edgley ran his marathon, it took him more than 19 hours to cover 42.2K. In 2019, an Oregon resident named Justin True beat Edgley’s time, pulling a 1.5-ton Suzuki SUV the length of a marathon in 17 hours, 36 minutes. Philpott lowered the record once again, beating True’s time by one hour, 24 minutes. 

While Philpott admitted that he wanted to break the world record and use the World’s Strongest Marathon to launch his athletic career (he describes himself as a “hybrid athlete” on his Instagram page), the challenge was much more than just a chance to get his name in the news. He turned the event into a fundraiser for ChildSafe Australia, an organization that is dedicated to supporting children and putting an end to child sexual abuse. 

This cause is close to Philpott’s heart, as he said his wife was abused as a child, and she continues to struggle today. “The whole time [during the marathon], I was just thinking about my wife,” he told 7News. “That’s what brought me to raise awareness for ChildSafe.” 

(03/16/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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