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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Los Angeles Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Marathon Challenge

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

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Autistic runner Jack Knight is ready for his first full marathon

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

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

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

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

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

Mercedes-Benz Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Vitality Big Half

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

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

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Beatie Deutsch from Israel wins Miami half-marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Miami Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boston Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(02/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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Chinese athletes forced to train in isolation due to coronavirus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This project also has influence in her running life.

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

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

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

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

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

Kertesz currently lives and trains in Boulder, Colo.

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

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Marathon Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Virgin London Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Austin Marathon Weekend

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

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

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

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

Here was some of the reactions: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

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

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By Defying Expectations, Nike NEXT% Moves Athletes Forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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New women's visually impaired marathon record

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Safe trip home everyone!

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

Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(02/08/2020) ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boston Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tokyo Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(02/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emma Costello
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Israeli marathon runner Beatie Deutsch is set to compete in the 2020 Fitbit Miami Half Marathon

Israeli marathon runner Beatie Deutsch is breaking records just four years after taking up the sport. But that isn’t what makes her so remarkable. It’s the stereotypes and cultural barriers she shatters every time she crosses a finish line in a long skirt, long sleeves and a head scarf.

The 30-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish mother of five, who was raised in New Jersey and moved to Israel in 2008, broke the course record for Israeli women at the 2018 Jerusalem Marathon, and has since won the Tiberias Marathon, the Israeli half marathon and marathon national championship. Her personal best marathon time of 2:32 is just shy of the Olympic qualifying standard.

Last May, she won a half marathon in Latvia, becoming the first known Orthodox Jewish woman to win an international race. This Sunday, she is running in the LIfe Time Miami Marathon, her first race in the United States. She is competing in the half marathon, and will be rooted on by Jewish fans in South Florida and all over the world, many of whom follow her on Facebook and Instagram (@marathonmother).

“Speedy Beatie,” as she has been nicknamed, is inspiring Orthodox Jewish women to take up running, women like Brocha Lipkind, a 45-year-old mother of five from North Miami Beach, who is participating in the Miami Marathon with a 54-member team called “Run4Yitzi.”

The group is raising funds for ALS-stricken Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz of Los Angeles, 47, who cannot move, talk or eat on his own but writes a weekly blog using eye movements to direct his computer.

“I think the stereotypical view people have of a religious Jewish woman is a woman with a million kids hanging on her, not working, not caring about herself and her individuality and we don’t always represent so well because maybe sometimes we look haggard,” Lipkind said. “Beatie is out there changing the face of what religious mothers and women look like. Even more so, she’s changing the face of what people think Jewish people are all about. She is out there surrounded by runners from all over, even Palestinian runners. She’s representing a culture of love and kindness, support for everybody.”

Deutsch grew up in Passaic, New Jersey., and though she was always tiny — she is barely over 5 feet now — she was athletic and coordinated. She didn’t watch sports because her deeply religious family didn’t own a television, but she was a talented gymnast. She stopped training at age 12 for modesty reasons because the coaches were men. She took taekwondo lessons and played basketball every Sunday with other girls at her school. She never considered running until four years ago, when she finished last in family races on the beach and vowed to get back in shape.

Her husband, Michael, an avid cyclist, fully supported her new hobby and even bought her a runner’s watch. She never imagined running marathons would result in becoming an international role model.

“Sports has such an important power to break down barriers,” she said by phone from Jerusalem. “Through the running community in Israel, I have come in contact with so many people, not just Jewish but also non-Jewish. In Israel, there are a lot of stereotypes about religious Jews and people have misconceptions about what we are able to do and how oppressed we are. I have been able to break down some of those barriers.”

Living in a “Haredi” community of strictly Orthodox Jews, Deutsch said “being different is not always accepted,” but she is slowly changing attitudes. She is proving that she can be a doting mother to five children under the age of 10, a devoted wife and a professional athlete.

(02/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michelle Kaufman
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The Miami Marathon

The Miami Marathon

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

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Running a marathon can actually improve damage in the knees of middle-aged adults, according to a new study

As part of research led by Dr Alister Hart of University College London and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, and conducted in part by London Marathon Medical Director Professor Sanjay Sharma, 82 healthy adults underwent MRI scans on both knees six months before and two weeks after their first marathon.

MRI scans before training and running the London Marathon showed signs of damage to key structures in the knees of the majority of the 82 participants in the study.

But after the marathon, the 71 participants who completed the training and the event itself saw a reduction in the damage sustained to a number of essential components of the knee, including cartilage.

However, there was also evidence of some wear and tear to other parts of the knee which are put under stress during running.

(02/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running For Science
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The Cape Town Marathon has been recognized by World Athletics with the Gold Label Status

The Cape Town Marathon has, for the fourth consecutive year, been recognized by World Athletics as worthy recipients of their prestigious Gold Label Status.

“We are once again proud, honored, and humbled to be the only World Athletics Gold Label Status marathon on the African continent, and one of only a select group of marathons in the world to have received this status. This achievement reflects the dedication and commitment of our team, the beauty of our city, the unconditional support of our partners and the incredible spirit of Capetonians who engage with runners from all over the world,” comments race director Janet Welham.

In order to achieve Gold Label Status, a full set of requirements need to be complied with, implemented and measured by World Athletics. They include commitment from the country, the city (which needs to be a desirable destination), a race that is a world class event of the highest standards, a quota of international elite athletes and stringent anti-doping requirements.

Cape Town has been re-awarded Gold Label status along with the most highly regarded cities in the world including Paris, Sydney and Prague.

Olympian long-distance runner and race ambassador Elana van Zyl-Meyer says: “The aim of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has always been to be recognized as one of the top marathons in the world. Gold Label status simply reinforces our commitment to constantly improve the race experience of all runners. Once again in 2020 we have the opportunity to bring the world’s top runners to Cape Town. But the celebration of running is about so much more than the elite field.

The Cape Town Marathon offers far more than a world-class race; it provides the platform for sustainable and lasting change through our Run4Change Legacy Program. This program supports and raises awareness for sustainability, peace, health, development, charities and various communities, all runners, spectators, partners and friends now have the opportunity to really get involved and run for more than just themselves.”

Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive of Sanlam Brand, adds: "As a business, Sanlam has always existed to enable financial resilience and prosperity. Our substantial growth across Africa (we're now in 34 countries) demonstrates our consistent commitment to investing in the diverse people of the continent. Partnering with Africa’s one and only Gold Label Status marathon is, therefore, something we are extremely proud of. It aligns with our values as an organization because the marathon's status provides us with numerous opportunities to affect positive change. Our decision to renew our support for the marathon for another three years, after six years of sponsorship, has been an easy one."

City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Dan Plato says: “The City of Cape Town focuses on continuously putting improved measures in place to enable world class events as these translate into more benefits for the economy and job creation for our residents. The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon’s growth over the years, attracting elite and international athletes, has been impressive and this Gold Label status is an indication of the race’s global appeal. As the City administration, we are committed to working with the race organizer to provide the necessary support to further elevate the marathon’s status to compete with the best in the world.”

Jakes Jacobs, President of Western Province Athletics, one of the event’s key partners, adds: “This accolade reinforces the fact that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is one of the best races in the world, on par with many of the other prestigious marathons in the world. We are extremely proud to have a race of this level on home soil.”

(02/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

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

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Allyson Felix will headline the 113th NYRR Millrose Games for this weekend

Allyson Felix leads a host of Olympic medalists at the world’s top annual international indoor track and field meet, the NYRR Millrose Games, live on NBC Sports on Saturday.

Felix, the most decorated female track and field Olympian with nine medals, competes in the 60m at the Armory in New York City. She takes on a field including U.S. 100m champion Teahna Daniels and 17-year-old Jamaican phenom Briana Williams.

NBC and NBC Sports Gold air live coverage of the Millrose Games on Saturday from 4-6 p.m. ET. Full start lists are here.

Athletes are preparing for the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., the following weekend, and the Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., in June. The world indoor championships, traditionally held in even years, have been postponed due to host nation China’s coronavirus.

Felix is racing indoors this season for the first time since 2016. She missed the last indoor season following the birth of daughter Camryn. Though Felix is predominantly a 400m sprinter, she said in the fall that she plans to be ready to race the 200m at the Olympic trials. The 200m comes after the 400m at trials, so it could be a safety net if Felix is unable to make the team in the 400m.

In other Millrose Games events, the 60m hurdles features Olympic 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod of Jamaica, plus the two fastest men from last year — world champion Grant Holloway and Daniel Roberts, both Americans.

World champion Nia Ali and world-record holder Keni Harrison are entered in the women’s 60m hurdles.

Another world champion, Donavan Brazier, leads an 800m field that includes fellow U.S. Olympic team contenders Bryce Hoppel, Brannon Kidder and Isaiah Harris.

In field events, Olympic champion Ryan Crouser takes on world champion Joe Kovacs in the shot put. Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris headlines the women’s pole vault.

Action concludes with the Wanamaker Men’s Mile. Two-time Olympic 1500m medalist Nick Willis of New Zealand aims to win that race for the first time.

(02/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

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

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Wounded war hero Luke Wigman is set to run seven marathons, on seven continents for a second time

War hero Luke Wigman will this week run seven marathons, on seven continents in seven days – for a second time.

Elite RAF paratrooper Luke, 33, from Selston, Nottingham, starts the epic race this Thursday in Antarctica as he bids to become the first Brit to ever run the World Marathon Challenge twice.

He scooped a Sun Military Award after completing the epic running challenge in 2017 after suffering horror leg injuries when he stood on a hidden bomb in 2011 in Helmand.

And now he is back to run it again – this time raising funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund – which supported him during his rehabilitation.

Married Luke, who was a Senior Aircraftsman with the RAF Regiment, revealed he agreed to take on the epic race with just two weeks’ notice.

He said: “My goals are different for this one, I want to survive. I’m not focused on running the best times every single day, I just want to get to the end in one piece.

“When you’re doing this, you don’t know what country you’re in, what time zone, but it’s all irrelevant.

“All you’ve got to remember is you’ve got 168 hours to run 183.4 miles.

“What makes the World Marathon Challenge so hard is the travel, you’re traveling for 60 to 70 hours on a plane, through the week.

“My injury is lower leg, and my blood flow through to the leg is quite bad, so the flying and the traveling is really hard for me.

“I could end up with an elephant leg by the third day just from the flying.

“But if I can get to the end in one piece and shed some light on the RAF Benevolent Fund, then it will be mission accomplished.”

Luke believes the endurance challenge is the toughest of its kind out there, saying: “It’s physically horrendous, it's mentally tiring and it’s a logistical nightmare, but you just need to get to the end.

“I couldn’t let the opportunity pass, the first time was such a success, this time I want to do it for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

“They have had a huge, direct impact, on my life since my injury in 2011.

“If I can replicate what I did three years ago then why not, I’ll do it again.

“This is an opportunity to pay them back, I can only do these incredible challenges because of the rehab I received and the support from the charities along the way.”

In 2017 Luke, who served with the crack Special Forces Support Group, ran consecutive 26.2 mile races in Antarctica, Chile, Miami, Madrid, Marrakech, Dubai and Sydney, in less than a week.

This year the route starts in Antarctica before jetting to Cape Town, South Africa, Perth, Australia, Dubai, Asia, Madrid, Europe, Fortaleza, South America before ending in Miami, North America.

Luke aims to complete the challenge despite his leg being re-built two years ago to repair scar damage caused by the bomb blast.

(02/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Willetts
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

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

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Driving Economic Growth Through Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

When in 2016, the management of Access Bank Plc in partnership with the Lagos State Government hosted the inaugural edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, it was basically to encourage healthy lifestyle by encouraging people to engage in physical exercise.

Three years down the line, Nigerians are beginning to feel other impacts of the Marathon, especially its contributions to the economic development of Lagos, the host city, in particular and the nation in general.At inception, the goal of the partnership was to provide strategic support to the country’s sports industry and promote a healthy and active lifestyle among citizens.

The campaign activities was built around the theme: ‘Running from the Old to the New’. The 2016 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon had 50,000 registered participants, and was ranked 2nd in Africa, after the Cape Town Marathon by the All-Athletics.com, and was ranked 71 amongst over 1,000 international marathons globally.

The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, in particular, has empowered a number of people in the hospitality industry, including food and drink vendors, fashion designers, advertisers, communication agencies and experts, technical officers, and volunteers that were all engaged from the planning stage to the completion of the marathon.

In Nigeria, tourists especially love “African souvenirs”, many of which are made available along the routes of the marathon and off-site. The 2018 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon hosted 35 gold label athletes, 12 silver and 13 bronze label athletes, including 120 international and 150 Nigerian elite athletes.

These numbers do not take into account the tourists who were also present as observers and supporters of the racers. In 2019, 120,000 people registered to run the 42km path from the National Stadium, Surulere to Eko Atlantic. Over the years, the marathon has grown, pulling in more sponsors and participants, and with them, more observers and enthusiasts.

Beyond the fit and active lifestyle that running promotes, marathons have become sport tourism events. People now participate in marathons for other reasons which include; self-esteem booster, self-actualisation, self-therapy, and even socialisation.Marathons are not only beneficial to the participants but also to the host cities. It is for this reason that more cities are launching races to promote tourism and boost their image.

According to a study performed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon generated “$253.49 million in total business activity to the Chicago economy,” which is “an equivalent of 1,742 full-time jobs and $85.94 million worth of wages and salary income.”

How does this happen? It’s simple, really. Tourists want to explore and get as much out of a city as they can, leaving room for brands to create packages that these tourists will find attractive.

A good example would be travel agencies creating packages specifically for the marathon period, or caterers putting together experience nights where tourists can experience the food culture of the host city. Sport-related brands have also seen a spike in business, increased sales, and top of mind awareness by pushing out content in line with the marathon’s theme of the year.

By hosting a marathon widely watched across the continent and the world, Lagos has consistently informed investors, tourists, and foreign governments that the state is ready for business.

(02/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Solomon Nda-Isaiah
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

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

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Middle-distance stars Jessica Hull and Stewart McSweyn have guaranteed their spots on the Australian team for the Tokyo Olympics

Middle-distance star Jessica Hull has guaranteed herself a spot on the Australian team for the Tokyo Olympics with a commanding victory in the women’s 5000 meters at the Melbourne Track Classic.

Hull, 23, surged to the front with 600 meters to go and powered away from Japan’s Hitomi Niiya to win in 15 minutes 06.12 seconds and claim her first national title.

As Hull had previously bettered the automatic qualifying mark, Thursday night’s victory saw her cement a spot in the Olympic squad.

“It is pretty surreal,” said Hull, who graduated last year from the University of Oregon and is now based in Phoenix.

“It’s been a long time, it’s been a dream and when you are a kid you think it is going to happen sooner.

“So in 2016 I was like ‘yeah, I’m going to Rio’ but obviously I was still young.

“But now in 2020 it is a reality and it is so exciting.”

Equally commanding was Stewart McSweyn, who became the first man in five years to complete the Australian 5000m/10,000m double.

Racing in a black armband in honor of his mentor and world athletics identity Maurie Plant, who died last month, McSweyn overcame some nervous moments before stamping his authority on Thursday night’s race.

He broke clear with five laps to go and powered away to win in 13 minutes 38.77 seconds.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I had to bring the A-game,” said the Tasmanian, who smashed the 10,000m record late last year at the Zatopek meet.

(02/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by John Salvado
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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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Organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend announced that they will increase the overall prize purse for Canadian athletes in the Ottawa 10K event

Organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend announced today they will be significantly increasing the overall prize purse for Canadian athletes in the Ottawa 10K event to CAD 35,000 (EUR 24,000) – the largest prize for any of Canada’s championship events this year.

As it has done since 2016, the 2020 Ottawa 10k will again host the Canadian 10K Championships with CAD 6,000 going to the top male and female Canadians in the 10K.

The Ottawa 10K will also maintain its unique gender challenge whereby the women are given a head start, and whoever crosses the finish line first (man or woman) wins an extra CAD 2,000.

The event will also host the Canuck 10K Team Competition, where a Canadian elite runner will have the chance to pick 3 compatriots to form a co-ed team of four. The fastest team wins CAD 6,000 to be split evenly amongst the team, as well as an additional CAD 1,000 that will go towards the Scotiabank Charity Challenge participating charity of their choice.

Organizers also announced today they have elected not to renew their World Athletics (formerly IAAF) gold certification for the Ottawa 10K event, choosing to focus their resources on participant experience, the Canadian 10K Championships and the development of Canadian athletes. The organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend have, however, renewed the gold certification for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.

Dylan Wykes, who won the men’s 10K in 29:56 last year, joins the organizing team as its new Elite Athlete Coordinator, replacing Manny Rodrigues, who had been in this volunteer role for the past 20 years. Wykes said: “The road racing scene in Canada is on fire right now with records being set in all distances.

I’m honored and excited by the opportunity to work with Ian and the entire Run Ottawa team as the Elite Athlete Coordinator. I know I have big shoes to fill, as Manny has done an incredible job over the past 20 years building the elite athlete program.

I’m looking forward to contributing to the Ottawa running community in a new way that doesn’t involve making my own two feet move fast”.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

Ottawa's course is fast, scenic and few elevation changes. Considered to be an excellent course for first timers and should provide an environment conducive to setting a PR. The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold Label 10Ks in the world. The Ottawa 10K attracts one of the...

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The coronavirus quarantine is no problem for determined Chinese runners

A report yesterday on the South China Morning Post‘s website focused on an interesting spin on indoor training: some Chinese runners who are forced to stay indoors due to the coronavirus quarantine have taken to running around their apartments to get their training in, and posting their workouts on social media.

One post by popular amateur marathoner Pan Shancu about running more than 6,000 loops of an eight-meter course in his apartment attracted thousands of admiring comments.

“I have not been outside for many days, today I cannot bear sitting down any more!” he wrote. “Let’s run laps around the two massage tables in the room, then! Yes, one lap is about 8m–I ran 50K, did it in 4:48:44, sweated all over, feels great!” he posted. Pan, who claims a 2:59 personal best, practices Chinese medicine in Hangzhou, about 500 kilometers from Wuhan, the center of the outbreak.

Running is very popular in China, which boasts an estimated 25 million enthusiasts. But even those without access to a treadmill are somehow managing to run.

The story quotes another woman, who posted a humorous and encouraging story on the Chinese social media site Weibo about a ‘race’ she ran in her home: “I swipe my race card and start in the kitchen, go through the living room, turn into my daughter’s room, the less than 20m-long racecourse has beautiful scenery and on my left my husband’s snoring is cheering me on, goji berry tea from the living room table is my mid-route nutritional supply, on the right, the handsome men and beautiful women on TV are waving, cheering me on,” the runner wrote.

“This is a silent battle. I put in a burst of speed and power on to the balcony. My husband’s verdict is that I have psychological issues.”

The World Health Organization’s latest situation report on coronavirus says there are now more than 20,000 confirmed cases worldwide in 23 countries. Four hundred and twenty-five people in China have died of the virus, and one person in the Philippines has died. As of yesterday there have been four confirmed cases in Canada, with no deaths.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Galen Rupp will tune up for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials by running the Sprouts Mesa Half Marathon this Saturday in Mesa, Arizona

Two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp is entered in the Sprouts Mesa Half Marathon Saturday in Mesa, Arizona.

This will be Rupp’s first race since he was unable to finish the Chicago Marathon in October because of a left calf strain.

Rupp said in a text message that Saturday’s half marathon will serve as a tune up for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb, 29 in Atlanta, Georgia. It will be Rupp’s first race since announcing he now is being coached by Northern Arizona University coach Mike Smith.

Rupp, who grew up in Portland and starred at the University of Oregon, won the 2012 Olympic silver medal in the 10,000 meters and bronze in the 2016 Olympic Marathon.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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On Sunday April 26, 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will celebrate 40 years

Virgin Money London Marathon, the world’s greatest marathon celebrates another landmark moment in its extraordinary history – The 40th Race.

From the legendary hand-in-hand finish of joint winners Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen in the very first London Marathon to countless world records; from one million finishers to £1 billion raised for charity; from crazy costumes to the incredible and inspiring examples of spirit and courage, The 40th Race – the name of this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon campaign – will celebrate them all.

The 40th Race campaign was launched at a star-studded reception on Tower Bridge, the iconic halfway point of the race, tonight (Tuesday 4 February) as a special film celebrating The 40th Race was released.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “This year will be The 40th Race and we are so proud of how far the event has come since that wet day back on 29 March 1981. The London Marathon has proved to be a unique force for good and continues to have an extraordinary impact on society. It is an event that has inspired profound social change.

“Every year on Marathon Day, London is transformed. On one amazing day, the runners take on the challenge of 26.2 miles as families and friends come out to support them. Charities, which spend months championing causes and runners, line the route. Many thousands of volunteers come together and more than 750,000 spectators line the streets, cheering on every runner – it is London, and the UK, at its best.

“We look forward to celebrating the rich history of the London Marathon and, as always, we are also looking to the future of the event and how we can continue to develop and grow the world’s greatest marathon.”

In the men’s elite race, the two fastest marathon runners of all time, world record holder Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) and Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) go head-to-head while women’s world record holder and defending champion Brigid Kosgei (KEN) leads the greatest female marathon field ever assembled, as she takes on 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) and world champion Ruth Chepngetich (KEN).

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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British distance-running great Mo Farah has withdrawn from next month's Big Half race in London with an achilles injury, organizers announced on Wednesday

The four-time Olympic gold medalist, preparing for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, suffered the minor injury in training.

Farah, 36, has won the half-marathon event for the past two years and was due to take on a field featuring Ethiopia star Kenenisa Bekele on March 1.

"I was really looking forward to racing the Vitality Big Half again," said Farah in a statement issued by event organizers.

"Everyone knows how much I love racing in London, but my priority is to be fit, healthy and competitive for the summer season and for that reason I have had to make the tough decision not to race this year."

Farah will continue his Olympic preparations in Africa after changing his mind about running the marathon in Tokyo to return to the track, having won double gold over 5,000 meters and 10,000m at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.

He won the 2018 Chicago marathon in a European record time but could only manage a fifth-place finish at last year's London Marathon.

Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder, is the favorite to win marathon gold in Tokyo. Farah is set to defend his 10,000m title in Japan instead.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

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

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Ethiopia´s distance runner Abadi Hadis has died at the age of 22

A regular competitor on the international track and road circuits, Hadis made his big breakthrough in 2016. Clocking PBs of 13:02.49 and 26:57.88, he was the fastest U20 athlete in the world that year at both 5000m and 10,000m. He also represented Ethiopia at the Olympic Games in Rio that year, finishing 15th in the 10,000m.

In 2017, while still a teenager, he finished third in the senior men’s race at the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, leading Ethiopia to the team gold medal. He went on to finish seventh in the 10,000m at the World Championships in London later that year.

Hadis went on to record a 5000m PB of 12:56.27 in 2018 and followed it with a half marathon best of 58:44. He replicated that half marathon time at the start of 2019 and followed it with a 26:56.46 10,000m PB in Hengelo. His last competition was the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, where he exited in the heats of the 5000m.

He is one of just five men in history to have bettered 13 minutes for 5000m, 27 minutes for 10,000m and 59 minutes for the half marathon.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Nike's controversial Vaporfly shoe has been permitted for use in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

World Athletics has temporarily updated its guidelines for sports shoes worn in competitive events ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July.

The new guidelines from the international governing body for athletics bans the trainer Eliud Kipchoge wore to break the two-hour marathon record.

Vaporfly meets new stipulations, However, Nike's Vaporfly range – including the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% and the Zoom Vaporfly 4% – meets the stipulations of World Athletics' amended Technical Rules.

These prohibit shoes with soles that are thicker than 40 millimetres and the inclusion of more than one carbon-fibre plate, or similar item, in the sole.

The news comes amid criticism of the fairness of allowing athletes to compete while wearing the Vaporfly range, which have thick, foam soles and carbon-fibre plates to improve speed.

In 2019, 31 of the 36 podium positions in the six world marathon majors were won by elite athletes wearing Vaporfly, as reported by the Guardian.

World Athletics' Moratorium, which forms part of the Clothing section of the guidelines, also states that, from 30 April, shoes have to be on the open market for at least four months before an elite athlete can wear them for a contest.

While Vaporfly remains within the amends, the prototype Air Fly trainer that Nike-sponsored Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge wore to run a sub-two-hour marathon in October 2019 will be banned under the regulations.

The sneaker has a much chunkier sole than the Vaporfly and reportedly includes three carbon-fibre plates.

It has been reported, however, that Nike still has time to make amends to the Alpha Fly ahead of a release in March – over four months before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on 24 July.

This could make it possible for athletes to wear the shoe during the major competition.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Eleanor Gibson
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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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Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) has been announced as a primary sponsor for the 14th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

This sponsorship with the world’s fastest half marathon is another major endorsement for the race, which recently announced an impressive lineup of world-class elite runners.

One of the leading banks in the UAE, CBD’s sponsorship of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon forms an integral part of its social responsibility strategy to promote a healthy lifestyle, a strategy that has seen the bank previously partner with other prominent runs in the United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Bernd van Linder, Chief Executive Officer of Commercial Bank of Dubai, said: “We are excited to be playing a significant part in such a high-profile international event, as one of the race’s Primary Sponsors. As the world’s fastest half marathon, this event elevates the UAE’s reputation as a top destination for elite sport and we are proud to be associated with the race.

“This initiative also aligns well with our overall social responsibility strategy to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst UAE residents. The RAK Half Marathon has engaged the local running community for many years and this year is poised to attract even more participants due to the increase in the category options on offer.

“At CBD, we are all looking forward to the 21st February and seeing thousands of happy, active people crossing the finish line.”

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, commented: “The world-renowned Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon goes from strength to strength with each passing year, so we are delighted to welcome on-board such an equally prominent partner as Commercial Bank of Dubai for the 2020 race.

“With just under a month to go, the anticipation is really building, so we’d really like to encourage as many runners as possible to sign up and come and enjoy this remarkable experience in the beautiful emirate of Ras Al Khaimah for themselves.”

Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, the popular Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon (www.therakhalfmarathon.com) will welcome thousands of professional and amateur runners from around the world. The annual premier road race will host a variety of race categories, including elite runners, club and recreational runners, people of determination and juniors.

In 2020, it will also introduce a new relay race category for the first time, while a 1 KM Fun Run designed for children will allow families to enjoy themselves as well. Registration is open until the 15th February.

A prize purse of Dh1,219,000 will be distributed among the leading elite runners as well as the UAE National and age group categories.

Among the favorites will be women’s marathon world record-holder, Brigid Kosgei from Kenya, while the men’s race will see Kenyan Benard Kimeli, who clinched back-to-back half marathon titles in Prague in 2018 and 2019, battle it out with the likes of Mosinet Geremew – one of only five men to complete a marathon in under two hours and three minutes – and European half marathon record-holder, Julien Wanders of Switzerland.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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The Surf City Marathon on February 2 paid tribute to the nine victims killed in the Calabasas, California, helicopter crash on Sunday

One week after a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, tragically killed nine people—including NBA legend Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna Bryant, 13—the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach, California, honored the crash victims in many ways.

Passengers on the helicopter—John Altobelli, 56; Keri Altobelli, 46; Alyssa Altobelli,13; Christina Mauser, 38; Ara Zobayan, 50; Sarah Chester, 45, and Payton Chester, 13—were traveling with Bryant and his daughter to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, when the helicopter crashed into a fog covered hillside.

Paying tribute was important because all nine of the helicopter crash victims were from Orange Country, including two passengers who lived in Huntington Beach, race organizer Dan Cruz told Runner’s World.

The city of Huntington Beach held a special vigil the night before the race at Pier Plaza for Christina Mauser, who was an assistant coach at Mamba Academy, and her husband, Matt Mauser, who was the lead singer in the Tijuana Dogs band that performed at the marathon finish line last year. “Our staff and runners were affected by the tragedy, and as the next big sporting event in Orange County, it was important to pay tribute and recognize those we lost who made such an impact in the local community,” Cruz said.

The race kicked off with a “24.2” moment of silence—24 for Kobe’s jersey number and 2 for Gianna’s jersey number—before the marathon and the half marathon, and all corrals were sent off with an eight-second countdown in honor of Kobe’s original jersey number for the Los Angeles Lakers. Special remembrance markers were also set up at miles 8 and 24. There were hundreds of selfies and high fives at the mile markers, and one runner left a special wreath at mile 24.

“The response was overwhelmingly positive, uplifting, and celebratory of the great legacy the victims left behind,” Cruz said.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jordan Smith
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Surf City USA

Surf City USA

The Surf City USA Marathon and Half-Marathon attracts more than 20,000 runners from around the world. The exclusive oceanfront course runs along the Pacific Coast Highway (which is more like a street than a highway in this area), past the Huntington Beach Pier and the famous Southern California surfing beaches. Weekend highlights include many Super Bowl parties, the three-day Active...

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Troy University graduate and microbiologist, Jessica Jones will compete in the World Marathon Challenge

Dr. Jessica Jones has run a long way from her hometown of Sulphur Springs, Indiana (population 374), and next week she will be running around the globe.

The 1999 Troy University graduate and microbiologist will compete in the World Marathon Challenge, a challenge in which competitors run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.

Jones’ journey has taken her to a variety of locations and planned career paths, but running has always come naturally for her.

Coming from such a small town in Indiana, she knows how unlikely her life story has been.

“As a young 17-year-old, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted — a degree in marine biology, to go to a smaller school, somewhere where it was warm and somewhere I could walk onto the cross country team,” Jones said. “It just so happens those factors liked up for me at TROY.”

A phone conversation with then-cross country coach (and Troy University Athletics Hall of Famer) Bob Lambert convinced Jones that TROY was the right destination for her.

She ran track and competed in cross country for two years at TROY, finding the University to be a home away from home.

“I loved it, I really did,” she said. “It was the perfect fit for me. TROY has grown a lot since I was there, but it was exactly what I was looking for — it wasn’t overwhelming to me, coming from a small town, and I was really happy to be a Trojan athlete.”

Jones stopped running in order to focus on her studies, and she later switched tracks, earning a Ph.D. in microbiology from South Alabama.

While she kept running to stay in shape, a national tragedy inspired her to enter the world of marathons.

“I started marathoning after the Boston Marathon bombing (in 2013),” Jones said. “I was already into running again pretty seriously at that point – 5k, 10k and half marathons. After the bombing, there was a big sense of community, and the runners all pulled together. It reminded me that’s where I felt happy was in the runner community at TROY. That motivated me to go for a marathon.”

Since then, Jones has competed in more than 30 marathons, recently winning the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon and the Mobile Marathon.

Now, the person who didn’t want to be overwhelmed in college is preparing to compete in Antarctica, among other exotic locales.

“I’ve been thinking about this for four or five years,” said Jones, who works as a supervisory microbiologist at the Food and Drug Administration Gulf Coast Seafood Laboratory on Dauphin Island. “A friend of mine at work, his niece ran this event either the first or second time it happened. I said, ‘Wow, that’s incredible, I can’t imagine doing that.’ Then I started thinking that maybe I can imagine it. She set the world record, and I said, ‘I’ve got to do that.’”

While Jones has traveled to Europe and South America before, this daunting challenge will be an entirely new experience.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Greg Phillips
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

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

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The 113th NYRR Millrose Games will host the greatest array of talent ever assembled

The 113th NYRR Millrose Games will host many of the world’s best track & field men and women to perform on centre stage on February 8 at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights in New York City. 

This year’s NYRR Millrose Games field is arguably the most talented overall since the meet moved to The Armory in 2012.

NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn takes it one step further: “This year’s Millrose Games features probably the greatest array of talent ever assembled in its 113-year history.”

Moreover, 16 women and 15 men are Olympians in the 113th NYRR Millrose Games.

Allyson Felix headlines the women’s side. Felix is a six-time Olympic gold medalist and is the most decorated athlete in the history of track & field. She is entered in the Women’s 60m and has her sights set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Joining Felix as the top women track & field athletes in this year’s NYRR Millrose Games are: Ajeé Wilson (competing in the Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m), the American Indoor and Outdoor record-holder in the 800m, two-time World Championships bronze medalist and two-time World Indoor silver medalist, Laura Muir (Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m), a four-time European Indoor champion and 2018 European 1,500m champion. 

Sandi Morris (Women’s pole vault), the World Indoor champion in 2018 and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, Kenni Harrison (Women’s 60m hurdles), the 100m hurdles world record holder, 2018 World Indoor champion and 2019 World silver medalist, Nia Ali (60m hurdles), 2019 World gold medalist in 100m hurdles and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, Wadeline Jonathas (Women’s 400m), 2019 World Championships gold medalist in 4x400m Relay.

Konstanze Klosterhalfen (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), the defending Women’s Wanamaker Mile champion and 2019 World Championships bronze medalist in the 5,000m, Nikki Hiltz (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), 2019 World Championships 1,500m finalist and last weekend turned in a PR 4:29.39 to win the mile at the Dr Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge at The Armory, Elinor Purrier (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), the 2018 NCAA Indoor Mile champion, runner-up in the 2019 New Balance 5thAvenue Mile Presented by NYRR with a time of 4:16.2 on the heels of winner Jenny Simpson’s 4:16.1 and this past weekend set a personal-best 9:29.19 to win the two-mile race at the New Balance Grand Prix, Brittany Brown(Women’s 400m), 2019 World Outdoor Championships 200m silver medalist.

The top men competing for feature Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs, who will reprise last year’s duel in the men’s shot put from the centre of the infield. Crouser is the 2016 Olympic champion and 2019 World silver medalist, while Kovacs is the 2015 and 2019 World champion and the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist.

Other top men competing in the 113th NYRR Millrose Games include, Omar McLeod (Men’s 60m hurdles), 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist, Grant Holloway (Men’s 60m hurdles), the 2019 World Championships gold medalist in the 110 hurdles, Ronnie Baker (Men’s 60m), 2018 World Indoor Championships bronze medalist in 60m and third fastest 60m in history. 

Donavan Brazier (Men’s 800m) 2019 World Championship gold medalist and American indoor and outdoor record-holder in 800m; and in 2019 he broke the Indoor world record in 600m at USATF Championships, Michael Saruni (Men’s 800m), NYRR Millrose Games champion, NCAA record-holder and Kenyan Indoor 800m record-holder, Isaiah Harris (Men’s 800m), 2018 NCAA champion, Bryce Hoppel (Men’s 800m), 2019 NCAA champion and World Championships finalist, Rai Benjamin (Men’s 300m), 2019 World Championships silver medalist in 400 hurdles and 2019 U.S. Champion 400m hurdles.

Filip Ingebrigtsen (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), Norwegian National record holder in both the 1,500m and mile, and 2017 World Championships bronze medalist in 1,500m, Nick Willis (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), two-time Olympic 1,500m medalist, silver (2008) and bronze (2016). When Willis ran a 3:59.89 last weekend in the New Balance Grand Prix it marked the 18th consecutive year he ran a sub-4-minute mile, tying John Walker’s record. Willis won a record-breaking fifth title at the Fifth Avenue Mile last September, Chris O’Hare, (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), 2018 NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion, Eric Jenkins (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), 2017 NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion, Paul Tanui (Men’s 3,000m), 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist in 10,000m.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

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

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The Israel running boom is in full swing with the Jerusalem marathon leading the way

When Danny Felsenstein (second photo) first competed in Israel, in one of the first Tiberias marathons, it was 1979 and distance running was relatively small. “At that time we would have 300 to 400 entrants in a race,” recalls Felsenstein.  “Now you get 35,000 in the Tel Aviv marathon, including the 10K and half marathon. The Jerusalem marathon is now a world-class event.  There has definitely been a running boom in Israel.”

This is reflected in what was an extraordinary 12-month period for Israeli track and road running last year. 2019 brought 13 new national records, six of them set by Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, whose achievements included breaking Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year European 10K record (30:05).  The Kenyan-Israelian Athlete has also run 2:19:46 for the marathon.  

Felsenstein has run races around the world including the London Marathon and in 1981 in Maccabiah he ran the half marathon, 10,000m and 5,000m, “all in one week and in that order.” A key influence in his early competitive years was Harriers’ Bryan Smith, whose wife Joyce won the first two London marathons in 1981 and 1982 and who still coaches sprinter Colette Hurley. 

Felsenstein made aliyah in 1982 and almost four decades later he is, at 62, still an active endurance runner, although these days he limits himself to the 5K and 10K distances. “I’ve got some competition,” he says, “but I’m in the top three in the 60 to 70 age group.” 

The masters athletics scene in Israel is very different from that in the UK, observes Felsenstein. “No vets do track and field and there are no dedicated vets leagues. It’s mostly road running, usually split into age categories.”

Felsenstein belongs to a team made up of colleagues from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is chair of the Department of Geography. “I train with the Dean of Social Sciences,” he says, ”and the head of the Hebrew University Business School is one of my closest rivals. Each year brings a reassessment of expectations.

“My aim is no longer to improve on what I did the previous year but to decline at a less rapid rate. I’m just happy to run, be fit and not be injured, especially having come through cancer six years ago.”

(02/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Jerusalem Marathon

Jerusalem Marathon

First held in 2011, the Jerusalem International Winner Marathon has become a major event with 30,000 participants, of which hundreds are elite competitors and runners from abroad. The course was especially selected to recount Jerusalem's 3,000-year historical narrative since the beginning of its existence. The race challenges runners while exposing them to magnificent views, exquisite landscapes and fascinating historical sites...

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