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Germany’s 1964 Olympic 80m hurdles champion Karin Balzer died on Tuesday at the age of 81

Born Karin Richert in 1938, Balzer made her Olympic debut in 1960 at the age of 22 and missed out on making the Olympic final by one place. One year later she married her coach, former pole vault Karl-Heinz Balzer, with whom she had briefly fled East Germany two years prior, only to return after being threatened by the Stasi.

Balzer won her first major medal when taking silver at the 1962 European Championships in Belgrade. A talented all-rounder, Balzer’s first world record in the sprint hurdles came when she was contesting a pentathlon. She clocked 10.5 in the 80m hurdles to equal the mark that was already shared between Gisela Birkemeyer and Betty Moore.

That performance made her one of the favourites to win the Olympic title in Tokyo that year, but the competition was stiff. It what ended as one of the closest finishes in Olympic history, Balzer won by 0.01 from Poland’s Teresa Cieply with Australia’s Pam Kilborn a further 0.01 behind in third.

Balzer had equalled the Olympic record of 10.6 in the semi-finals. Her time of 10.5 in the final would have equalled her own world record, but the wind was marginally over the limit at 2.3m/s.

She gave birth to her son Andreas in 1965 and returned to the track one year later, winning the European title in Budapest. Balzer was East Germany’s flag bearer at the 1968 Olympics but she was unable to retain her title in Mexico City, eventually finishing fifth. It was the last time the women’s 80m hurdles was contested at a major event as the discipline was extended to 100m from 1969 onwards.

Balzer set the first official world record for the 100m hurdles, clocking 13.3 in Warsaw in June 1969. She improved the mark on two further occasions that year and became the first woman to better 13 seconds.

She also won her second and third European titles in 1969 and 1971. By the end of 1971 she had reduced the world record to 12.6, the seventh official world record of her career, and was named East German Sportswoman of the Year.

While in training for the 1972 Olympics, her fourth Games, Balzer’s son Andreas was involved in an accident and put in a coma. He died the day before the 100m hurdles final, but her husband didn’t tell Balzer until after the race, in which she earned the bronze medal.

Balzer retired in 1973 and gave birth to her second son, Falk, who went on to win European silver in 1998 and world indoor bronze in 1999. Along with Falk, Balzer and her husband coached Anja Rucker, the 1999 world 400m silver medallist.

A trained chemist, Balzer worked as a school teacher after her retirement from athletics and later worked as a lecturer in Cologne.

(12/18/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The Rome Marathon is under new management with a new name, logo and new date, Sunday March 29 2020

The Rome marathon is under new management and will be run Sunday March 29 it was announced this morning at the Ara Pacis Museum.

With a new name and logo, the new management has a desire to show that Rome loves sports and, in particular, running.

An international level marathon with tens of thousands of athletes, half of them from hundreds of countries will showcase Rome, a unique city for its charm, monuments, history and heritage. 

The Marathon looks to the future, but at the same time retains its unique charm represented by a path that runs the history of Rome and its symbolic monuments said the new director of the event, Michaela Castelli.  

Run Rome The Marathon is the most fascinating race in the world. you will feel your heart beat each of the 42.195 km that you will run.

Your steps will cross the same roads where the ancient romans used to walk more than two thousand years ago. every view will tell you a story. Every sight will be eternal like Rome is.

The course will carry through Foro Italico, the Mosque of Rome, you will be running on the same steets trampled a few millennia ago by the ancient Romans. On the route, you won’t miss Piazza Navona, Via del Corso, Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Spagna, with the famous stairway of Trinità dei Monti. The main character of the marathon will be the Colosseum, majestic background, start and finish points of the race.

Running and monuments, sweat and history, personal achievements and medals to conquer, joy, thrills and tears. Rome will surround you, will embrace you, will capture you, Rome awaits you.

The marathon has ancient roots, here in Rome it has a strong tradition. We can go back a century, up to April 2, 1906, when Dorando Pietri won the marathon crossing the finish line in Piazza di Siena. Or we can go back 60 years, to the magic night in 1960 when during the Olympic Games in Rome, Ethiopian Abebe Bikila opens the season of African Marathoners, running bare footed the whole race. His run through Appia Antica enlightened only by torches became pure history in athletics, as well as his winning photo while crossing the finish line at the Arco di Costantino.

The marathon we all know and that will be held on Sunday, 29 March 2020 has its roots in 1995 with Italia Marathon Club, and has been awarded with the prestigious Gold Label IAAF in 2011. In 2019 FIDAL hosted the event and for 2020 a new organizing committee took place, made up by Infront, Corriere dello Sport – Stadio, Italia Marathon Club and Atielle Roma.

More than 115 countries took part in the past editions.

(12/17/2019) ⚡AMP
by Cesare Monetti
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Run Rome The Marathon

Run Rome The Marathon

Sunday, March 29 2020 you will have the feeling of going back to the past for two thousand years. Back in the history of Rome Caput Mundi, its empire and greatness.Run Rome The Marathon is a journey in the eternal city that will make you fall in love with running and the marathon, forever. The rhythm of your heartbeat will...

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John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association announced 16 Boston marathon champions will be running the 2020 Boston Marathon

In a joint statement this morning, John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association announced that sixteen prior race champions, including 2018 winner Desiree Linden, would run the 2020 Boston Marathon scheduled for Monday, April 20.  The 2020 race, always held on the third Monday in April, will be the 124th running of the world’s oldest marathon.

“In our 35th year as principal sponsor of this historic race, we are excited to welcome back our accomplished champions,” said John Hancock chief marketing officer Barbara Goose through a statement.  “Their return is a testimony to the tradition and legacy that is the Boston Marathon. These champions are not just racing each other, they are chasing history.”

While today’s announcement included the race’s four open and wheelchair division champions from 2019 –Lawrence Cherono of Kenya, Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia, Manuela Schär of Switzerland and Daniel Romanchuk of the United States– it is the inclusion of Linden, a two-time Olympian, which will likely get the most attention, at least domestically.  Linden, 36, who won the bitterly cold and rain-soaked edition of the race in 2018 where three quarters of the elite field couldn’t finish, will run Boston for the eight time.  Moreover, she plans to double back from the USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon which will take place 51 days earlier in Atlanta on February 29.  A top-3 finish there would put her on her third Olympic team.

“Running the Boston Marathon seven weeks after the U.S. Olympic Trials is a plan that has been in the works for roughly a year,” Linden explained in a written statement.  “I crossed the finish line in 2019 and knew if my body was capable, I wanted to return to Boston in 2020. My coach, Walt Drenth, and I had some long conversations on doing the double, how we would tailor the training, and if it was reasonable to expect to run well in both races.  We were both excited about the challenge.”

Linden’s marathon career began inauspiciously in Boston in 2007 when she finished 18th in 2:44:56, a time which would only have qualified her for next year’s Olympic Trials by four seconds.  But when she returned to the race in 2011, she was a different athlete, nearly winning in a personal best 2:22:38 after a thrilling three-way battle against Kenya’s Caroline Kilel and Sharon Cherop on Boylston Street.  Kilel got the win in 2:22:36, just two seconds ahead of Linden and six seconds ahead of Cherop.

Other prior race champions in the open division announced for the 2020 marathon were Yuki Kawauchi of Japan (first in 2018); Edna Kiplagat (2017), Geoffrey Kirui (2017), and Caroline Rotich of Kenya (2015); and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia (2013 and 2015), the reigning World Athletics marathon champion.  Prior wheelchair division champions who have entered were Tatyana McFadden of the United States (2013 – 2016, 2018), Marcel Hug of Switzerland (2015 – 2018), Ernst van Dyk of South Africa (2011 – 2016, 2008 – 2010, 2014), Hiroyuki Yamamoto (2013) and Masazumi Soejima (2007 and 2011) of Japan, and Josh Cassidy of Canada (2012).

“The race for the tape on Patriots’ Day will surely be both competitive and compelling, as John Hancock has fielded a tremendous team of champions,” said Tom Grilk, the B.A.A. CEO.  “With 16 returning champions, the roads leading to Boston will be filled with many of the most decorated runners and wheelchair racers in history. Another memorable chapter in Boston Marathon history will surely unfold on April 20.”

The Boston Marathon –which recorded 26,632 finishers in 2019– is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, a confederation of the world’s top marathons, and is also a World Athletics Platinum Label road race.  The Platinum Label is new for 2020 and has been given only to a super-elite group of eight marathons so far: Tokyo, Nagoya Women’s, Seoul, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York (two to four more may be added, according to World Athletics).

(12/17/2019) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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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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Yuki Kawauchi ran his 100th marathon at the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon in Japan

2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi is not like most other competitive marathoners, who typically don’t race more than two or three marathons a year. Yesterday Kawauchi ran his 100th marathon, at the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon in Japan, about 150 kilometers southwest of Hiroshima.

Kawauchi won this race last year, in 2:11:29. This year he finished in 2:14:17, in seventh place, making it his 94th marathon finishing in 2:20 or under.

Students of Kawauchi’s career know that his first marathon was 10 years ago, at the 2009 Beppu-Ōita Marathon in Japan, where he finished 20th in 2:19:26. (He brought his time down twice more that year, in Tokyo and Hokkaido.) This means he has averaged more than nine sub 2:20 marathons per year.

While most competitive marathoners don’t race that distance more than twice a year, Kawauchi races about once a month.

It’s a different kind of impressive from the traditional quest to be the fastest in the world. A 2:08 guy (from Seoul in 2013), Kawauchi may not challenge the world’s fastest marathoners, but he dominates in sheer volume of running. He’s had his share of podium finishes–in addition to winning Boston last year in conditions that drove many of his faster competitors off the course (his 79th sub-2:20 finish), he has stood on the podium at the Gold Coast Marathon four times, and last year he won the BMO Vancouver Marathon, adding to the list of smaller marathons he has won. According to his Wikipedia page, Kawauchi entered nine marathons in 2012 and won five of them.

Kawauchi races ultra distances as well, which some say is his secret weapon. And he comes from a family of runners–his two younger brothers are also marathoners, and this year he returned to Boston with his mom, Mika Kawauchi, who started running marathons at age 52 and qualified easily.

At the rate he’s going, we predict that by next summer he’ll have 100 sub-2:20 finishes.

(12/17/2019) ⚡AMP
by Canadian Running
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Des Linden will race the U.S. Olympic Trials and the Boston Marathon in 2020

Des Linden was undecided whether to race the Feb. 29 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials as recently as a month ago. But now Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon winner, is not only committed to trials but also the April 20 Boston Marathon.

It would be, at 51 days, by far her shortest break between marathons, which has so far included 19 marathons dating to 2007. She’s 36 years old, and it may be her last Olympic cycle.

“I only have so many more chances at Boston. I love being there. Obviously, the Olympics [window] is closing down as well,” she said. “I like the trials and the competitive way we pick our team. I can’t imagine, at this point, watching either of those races and feeling like I had no effect on either outcome.”

If Linden does make the Olympic marathon team — by placing top three at trials in Atlanta — she would be in line to race four marathons over a little more than nine months when including last month’s New York City Marathon.

Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa and American Sara Hall ran the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3, 29 days and 35 days, respectively, after racing the world championships and Berlin Marathon. Neither finished New York, however.

This past August, when Linden committed to the New York City Marathon, she added that she might not race the trials. After her performance in New York — the top U.S. woman in sixth place — she decided she was ready for the trials-Boston double, which she had been considering since placing fifth at this past April’s Boston Marathon.

As far as how it will impact her trials build-up, Linden said her team will re-evaluate the process weekly. She hasn’t committed to a pre-trials half marathon.

“We’re obviously aware of what’s down the line, so we’re trying to get as much quality as we can without going too deep into the well,” she said. “It’s certainly going to be out there, but we’re trying to run well at both and not say, ‘This isn’t going well,’ and just train through it.”

Linden has been treating every marathon as if it could be her last. She has been incredibly consistent, placing no worse than eighth in her last 11 marathon starts dating to 2013.

Neither of Linden’s previous Olympic experiences was especially memorable. She dropped out of her first one in 2012 with a stress fracture in her femur. She was seventh in Rio, missing a medal by less than two minutes. The Kenyan-born gold and silver medalists were later busted for EPO and are serving lengthy doping bans.

“I don’t feel like I have anything to prove and anything unfinished,” at the Olympics, Linden said in August. “Quite frankly, the last experience is a hard sell to get back out there to try to compete for medals when you’re not even really sure what the field is all about. It’s a little bit difficult to be excited about that with the way we are about the [World Marathon] Majors. People investing in anti-doping have really been solving that problem [at the majors]. It’s a little tricky [at the Olympics], but certainly representing your country is special.”

Linden is the most experienced of a deep group of U.S. Olympic marathon hopefuls after the recent retirement of four-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan.

(12/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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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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$12 million raised to battle childhood cancer, other life-threatening diseases at St. Jude Memphis Marathon

This year, 26,000 participants from all 50 states and 17 foreign countries  gathered in the Bluff City alongside 40,000 spectators for the 18th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend presented by Juice Plus+®. Among this year’s participants were more than 7,200 St. Jude Heroes who raised $12 million to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.

One such St. Jude Hero, Adam Higham, became the 2019 top marathoner. The Collierville, Tennessee resident finished first this year with a time of 2:29:17. Since running his first marathon here in 2012, Higham has steadily worked his way to the top – having earned seventh place in 2015, then working up to second place in both 2016 and 2017.

“In the 18 years of St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, more than 250,000 runners have come from across the country and around the world to embrace our great city and provide hope for our patient families in what can be the darkest time of their lives. Watching these tens of thousands of dedicated athletes running for a reason and raising more than $90 million in since the event’s inception reminds us of the power of people of every background to unite together to change the lives of those most vulnerable: our sick children from across the globe,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“We offer our most heartfelt gratitude to Adam and to all of the devoted St. Jude Heroes, volunteers, partners, safety officials and supporters who helped make this year’s race weekend the best yet.”

Tia Stone of Searcy, Arkansas was the first female to cross the marathon finish line with a time of 2:58:20. Pius Nyatika of Memphis, Tennessee was the top male half marathoner, and set a new half marathon course record with a time of 1:04:20. Rebecca Robinson of Windermere, Cumbria, England was this year’s first female half marathoner with a time of 1:16:17.

The first to cross the 10K finish line was Dylan Hassett (female) of Alpharetta, Georgia with a time of 34:29. Shortly after, Owen, a St. Jude patient from Jonesboro, Arkansas finished with a time of 40:27. Tyler Pasley of Shelbyville, Illinois – 2018’s top 10K finisher – lead this year’s 5K with a time of 16:04, while Amber Douglas of Camden, Tennessee crossed as this year’s top female 5K finisher with a time of 21:13.

Since its inception in 2002, St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend has helped raise more than $90 million to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.® Events like this help ensure no family at St. Jude receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

The 2019 event weekend was made possible with the support of 4,000 volunteers; more than 20 sponsors, including Juice Plus+, Landers Auto Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, AutoZone, Lancôme, Shaw Floors, American Airlines, Campbell Clinic, FedEx, Kroger, Mitsubishi Electric, My Salon Suite, My Town Movers, Prairie Farms and more; partners Breakaway Running, Downtown Memphis Commission, the City of Memphis, Memphis Runners Track Club and National Black Marathoners Association; as well as national St. Jude Heroes coach Kevin Leathers.

(12/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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British marathon champion Charlotte Purdue clocks 68:45 in Japan for her second fastest ever time winning the Sanyo half-marathon on Sunday

Britain’s Charlotte Purdue won the half-marathon in 68:45 for the British marathon champion’s second fastest ever time over 13.1 miles and her quickest on a record-eligible course (behind her 68:08 recorded at this year’s Great North Run).

It is over a minute quicker than she ran at the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon in February.

Purdue beat, among others, Japanese Olympic marathon trials winner Honami Maeda (69:08).

Sara Miyake was third in 69:23, while Canada’s Rachel Cliff set a national record of 70:06 in sixth.

(12/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Sanyo Ladies Road Race

Sanyo Ladies Road Race

The Sanyo Ladies Road Race is held at the Okayama City circle course on december, also known as the Sanyo Women's Road Race, is an annual road running competition for women held in December in Okayama, Japan. It features both a 10k runand Half Marathon race. Sanyo Shimbun, a daily newspaper, is the title sponsor for the event. The day's...

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Nike’s Fastest Shoes May Give Runners an Even Bigger Advantage Than First Thought

Anyone who saw Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya break the two-hour marathon barrier in October very likely saw something else, too: the thick-soled Nike running shoes on his feet, and, in a blaze of pink, on the feet of the pacers surrounding him.

These kinds of shoes from Nike — which feature carbon plates and springy midsole foam — have become an explosive issue among runners, as professional and amateur racers alike debate whether the shoes save so much energy that they amount to an unfair advantage.

A new analysis by The New York Times, an update of the one conducted last summer, suggests that the advantage these shoes bestow is real — and larger than previously estimated.

At the moment, they appear to be among only a handful of popular shoes that matter at all for race performance, and the gap between them and the next-fastest popular shoe has only widened.

We found that a runner wearing the most popular versions of these shoes available to the public — the Zoom Vaporfly 4% or ZoomX Vaporfly Next% — ran 4 to 5 percent faster than a runner wearing an average shoe, and 2 to 3 percent faster than runners in the next-fastest popular shoe. (There was no meaningful difference between the Vaporfly and Next% shoes when we measured their effects separately. We have combined them in our estimates.)

This difference is not explained by faster runners choosing to wear the shoes, by runners choosing to wear them in easier races or by runners switching to the shoes after running more training miles. In a race between two marathoners of the same ability, a runner wearing these shoes would have a significant advantage over a competitor not wearing them.

The shoes, which retail for $250, confer an advantage on all kinds of runners: men and women, fast runners and slower ones, hobbyists and frequent racers.

Many other brands, including Brooks, Saucony, New Balance, Hoka One One and Asics, have introduced similar shoes to the market or plan to. These shoes may provide the same advantage or an even larger one, but most do not yet appear in sufficient numbers in our data to measure their effectiveness.

What makes these shoes different is, among other things, a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole, which stores and releases energy with each stride and is meant to act as a kind of slingshot, or catapult, to propel runners. The shoes also feature midsole foam that researchers say contributes to increased running economy.

Whether the shoes violate rules from track’s governing body, World Athletics, depends on how one interprets this sentence from its rulebook: “Shoes must not be constructed so as to give athletes any unfair assistance or advantage.” It does not specify what such an advantage might be.

“We need evidence to say that something is wrong with a shoe,” a spokesman for the governing body, then called the I.A.A.F., told The Times last year. “We’ve never had anyone bring some evidence to convince us.”

In an announcement earlier this year, the group said, “It is clear that some forms of technology would provide an athlete with assistance that runs contrary to the values of the sport.” It has since appointed a technical committee to study the shoe question, and to make a report with recommendations. (The report was originally intended to be released to the public by the end of the year; it will now reportedly be released in 2020.)

When we asked Nike last year about whether its shoes might violate I.A.A.F. rules, a spokesman said the shoe “meets all I.A.A.F. product requirements and does not require any special inspection or approval.”

Last Thursday, the company said in a statement, “We respect the I.A.A.F. and the spirit of their rules, and we do not create any running shoes that return more energy than the runner expends.”

There is no such thing as a large-scale randomized control trial for marathons and shoes, but there is Strava, a fitness app that calls itself the social network for athletes. Nearly each weekend, thousands of runners compete in races, record their performance data on satellite watches or smartphones, and upload their race data to the app. This data includes things like a race name, finish time, per-mile splits and overall elevation profile. And about one in four races includes self-reported information about a runner’s shoes.

In all, this data includes race results from about 577,000 marathons and 496,000 half marathons in dozens of countries from April 2014 to December 2019.

How we measured the shoes’ effect

[These approaches are essentially identical to the ones The Times used last summer. See that article for more examples and methodological details.]

We measured the shoes’ performance using four different methods — each with its own strengths and flaws:

1. Using statistical models2. Studying groups of runners who ran the same pair of races3. Following runners as they switch shoes4. Measuring the likelihood of a personal record in a pair of shoes

None of these approaches are perfect, but they all point to the same conclusion: Something is happening in races with the Vaporfly and Nike Next% shoes that is not happening with most any other kind of popular shoe.

Besides race times and the names of shoes, we also have data on runners’ gender and approximate age. For some of the more serious runners, we have detailed information about their training volume in the months leading up to a race. We also know about the weather on race day.

When we put this information into a statistical model, times associated with Vaporfly and Next% shoes are a clear outlier — about 2 percent faster than with the next-fastest shoe. The model estimates the effect of wearing these shoes compared with the effect of wearing other shoes.

No statistical model is perfect, and it’s possible that runners who choose to wear Vaporfly or Next% shoes are somehow different from runners who do not. Regardless of the decisions that went into this model — even when trying to control for runners’ propensity to wear the shoes in the first place — the outputs were similar.

Strava is very popular among runners. At last year’s Berlin Marathon, for example, more than 10,000 runners uploaded race information to Strava, and this year, more than 14,000 did. Crucially for our purposes, about a thousand of those runners ran both races, and a subset of them reported racing in different shoes.

We could then examine the change in performance of two similar runners — people with similar race performances and, ideally, training regimens — and compare the improvement of a runner who switched shoes with a runner who did not. In Berlin, runners who switched to Vaporfly or Next% shoes improved their times more than runners who did not, on average.

For two athletes and a single pair of races, this might not tell us much. But in our data, there are thousands of instances when pairs of runners ran in the same two races.

When we perform this calculation for every pair of races in our data and measure the effect of switching to any kind of popular shoe, we see that runners who switch to these Nike shoes improved significantly more than runners who switched to any other kind of shoe. No other shoe comes close to having the same effect.

More than 110,000 athletes uploaded data for more than one marathon, and about 47,000 uploaded data for three or more marathons. The Strava data allows us to follow these repeat racers over time and as they change shoes.

When we aggregate the change in race times for runners the first time they switch to a new pair of shoes, runners who switched to Vaporflys or Next% shoes improved their times more than runners who switched to any other kind of popular shoe.

Race times are, in many ways, a crude way to measure performance. One marathon may be hilly or full of sharp turns; others may be flat and straight. Weather, too, is important, with higher temperatures typically resulting in slower times. And yet race times are how runners qualify for prestigious races, like the Boston Marathon, and most runners know their personal best times by heart, regardless of whether the race they ran was flat or hilly, on a hot day or a cold one.

We can follow the runners in our data with this measure in mind, testing whether a runner’s fastest time is more likely when he or she switches to any kind of shoe.

Someone can run a personal best for all kinds of reasons unrelated to shoes. A runner may train more, execute a better strategy on race day or run an easier course. Regardless, we found that runners who switched to these shoes were more likely to run their fastest race than runners who switched to any other kind of popular shoe.

(12/16/2019) ⚡AMP
by Kevin Qealy and Josh Katz
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Rachel Cliff sets new Canadian half-marathon record at the Sanyo´s Ladies Road Race

Rachel Cliff beat her own personal best to to set the new Canadian half-marathon record. It is also her fourth time setting a Canadian record in 2019.

At the Sanyo Ladies' Half-Marathon in Okayama, Japan, Cliff finished in sixth place but did so with a time of 1:10:06, beating her previous record of 1:10:08 that she accomplished in 2018 at the Woodlands Half-Marathon. Charlotte Purdue of England won the race with a time of 1:08:48 followed by Honami Maeda of Japan taking second clocking in at 1:09:08. 

Cliff set the Canadian 25K, 30K and marathon records at the Nagoya Women's Marathon earlier this year. The Vancouver native is searching to be apart of the Tokyo Olympics after she was left off the team in 2016 Olympic team. 

The 31-year-old also won bronze in the 10,000 metre at the 2019 Pan-Am games in Peru. 

Cliff was the lone Canadian in the top-10 at the Sanyo Ladies' Half-Marathon.

(12/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Sanyo Ladies Road Race

Sanyo Ladies Road Race

The Sanyo Ladies Road Race is held at the Okayama City circle course on december, also known as the Sanyo Women's Road Race, is an annual road running competition for women held in December in Okayama, Japan. It features both a 10k runand Half Marathon race. Sanyo Shimbun, a daily newspaper, is the title sponsor for the event. The day's...

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An 84-year-old Canadian man, Roy Jorgen Svenningsen, became the oldest person to ever run a marathon in Antarctica as he completed the Antarctic Ice Marathon

The senior runner, Roy Jorgen Svenningsen, was not the only marathoner to set a record at the extreme running event as this year's winner, William Hafferty of the United States, clocked a new record time coming in at an impressive 3 hours, 34 minutes and 12 seconds.

Runners braved windy, yet sunny, conditions as they made two laps around the Union Glacier exploration camp just 965km from the South Pole.

The first woman across the finish line was Lenka Frycova from the Czech Republic with a time of 4 hours, 40 minutes and 38 seconds.

There were three Irish runners, with James Murphy first across the line, finishing fifth overall, in a time of 4:21:15, while Sean O'Hagan finished in 5:30:46 and Paul Grealish in 6:42:37.

But it was the most senior of the runners that inspired most, when Svenningsen crossed the line at 11 hours, 41 minutes and 58 seconds.

Race organisers said it made him the oldest person to ever complete a marathon on the continent.

They also said Svenningsen, who will soon turn 85, has completed more than 50 marathons around the world having run his first in Calgary, Canada back in 1964.

(12/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Antarctic Ice Marathon

Antarctic Ice Marathon

The Antarctic Ice Marathon is run over the classic 42.195km (26.2 miles) marathon distance. The race encompasses an individual competiton, with male and female divisions. There is also an option to run a half marathon - the Frozen Continent Half Marathon - which commences at the same time as the marathon. ...

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Like father, like son: BMW Dallas Marathon winner Aaron Sherf makes his dad, a longtime competitor, proud

The Dallas Marathon has always been part of Aaron Sherf’s life. His dad, Cary, has completed the annual Dallas footrace 38 consecutive years.

On Sunday, Aaron, 30, of Norman, Okla., made his running poppa proud by winning the 49th edition of the BMW Dallas Marathon in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 21 seconds.

“It’s always fun to come back to Dallas,” said Aaron, who grew up in South Garland until his family moved to Arizona when he was six. “It feels good to finally win it.”

Conditions started cool in the mid-50s but quickly warmed into the 70s as the sun broke through the fog by mid-morning. Many of the front and middle of the pack runners set personal bests before conditions became more challenging.

Logistically, the race seemed to go smoothly, starting with a high-energy sizzle video and pyrotechnics at the start and an emotionally charged finish line, energized by Mark “Hawkeye” Louis, of KSCS, 96.3FM fame.

“Everything worked out perfectly,” said executive race director Marcus Grunewald. “I guess I have a race director’s high. I don’t want it to end, but at the same time, I’m looking forward to next year.”

Sherf, who placed third overall in 2016, found himself in fifth place at the halfway point. He said he intentionally ran a slower, more conservative pace to account for the unseasonably warm conditions. At Mile 16, he caught a glimpse of the leader.

That gave him the boost he needed to kick his pace up a notch. He secured the lead by Mile 18. Though he began to struggle at Mile 24, he credits relay runners including the boys high school relay anchor, Will Muirhead of Lovejoy for helping stay strong.

As he turned toward the finish line in front of Dallas City Hall, he saw the pedestrian bridge with a banner, notifying runners they were 100-meters from the finish line.

“Oh my gosh!” Sherf said. “It was so amazing. It almost turned into a track meet.”

(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by Debbie Fetterman
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BMW Dallas Marathon

BMW Dallas Marathon

The BMW Dallas Marathon is the result of the efforts of a pioneering group of brave Dallas runners, who had the foresight to establish an annual 26.2-mile race more than 40 years ago. In 1971, Tal Morrison – the official founding father of the marathon – placed a $25 ad in Runner’s World beckoning runners from around the country to...

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Eliud Kipchoge believes he can break the marathon world record in London

Eliud Kipchoge believes he could break his own world record when he bids to become the first able-bodied athlete to win the Virgin Money London Marathon for a fifth time next April. 

The Kenyan superstar, who created history with his groundbreaking run of 1:59:41 in October, has announced he will race in the UK capital once again in 2020 for the 40th edition of an event he has won four times in four appearances. 

Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour run in Vienna was not eligible to be considered for world record purposes, given the controlled conditions in which it was achieved, but he can see the two-hour barrier being broken in a big city marathon in the not-too-distant future. 

For now, the official world record stands as the 2:01:39 which the Olympic champion ran in Berlin last year and, though he insists there is plenty of training to do between now and the London race day of April 26, he won’t rule out going quicker come springtime.  

“Absolutely,” was Kipchoge’s answer when asked if he could create yet more history in London, where he won in a time of 2:02:37 earlier this year which broke his own course record. “It is possible.”

Has what he achieved in Vienna in fact given him the confidence that anything is possible?

“Absolutely, yes.”

Kipchoge is undoubtedly the dominant force in world marathon and his achievements have gained recognition across the globe, with the 35-year-old currently in Britain to attend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, where he will receive the World Sport Star of the Year award.

He is feted as a hero, too, in his native country, where he received a very different kind of medal. 

“Everyone in Kenya is recognising me,” he said. “I can say it is a crazy time. There was no need for a big procession because the president honoured me with the national certificate. I was given the honour – the golden heart – the highest recognition by the Head of State.”

(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by Euan Crumley (Athletics Weekly)
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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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Eliud Kipchoge will defend his title at the 2020 London Marathon

World Athlete of the Year Eliud Kipchoge will defend his title at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum event, set to take place in the British capital on 26 April.

Kipchoge, who earlier this year became the first person to cover 42.195km within two hours, has his sights set on continuing his incredible streak of record-breaking performances at what will be the 40th edition of the London Marathon.

In September last year he set an official world record of 2:01:39 in Berlin, then in April earlier this year he smashed his own course record to win in London in 2:02:37. The Olympic champion from Kenya will be aiming to become the first person to win five London Marathon titles.

Kipchoge is currently tied with Ingrid Kristiansen in the London Marathon history books for the most wins by an able-bodied athlete. The Norwegian great won four London Marathon titles between 1984 and 1988.

If Kipchoge continues his unbeaten run at the London Marathon next April – where he won in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 – he will surpass Kristiansen’s tally.

“I am delighted to be returning to the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2020,” said Kipchoge. “I love running in London where the crowd support is always wonderful. Breaking the two-hour barrier in Vienna was an incredible moment. It showed that no human is limited and that is a belief that continues to drive me on to set new objectives.

“Making history in London is my next target. I am proud that I am currently the only male able-bodied athlete to have won this great race four times and that no one, male or female, has won it more than that.

“Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest marathon runner of all time,” said event director Hugh Brasher. “Eliud’s belief that no human is limited resonated with millions in every walk of life and we are delighted that this extraordinary and truly inspirational man will be part of the 40th race.”

Kipchoge was given the highest honour of Kenya following his performance in Vienna, the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH).

As well as his four Virgin Money London Marathon titles and the Olympic gold medal he won in Rio in 2016, Kipchoge has also won the Berlin Marathon on three occasions and the Chicago Marathon once. In addition, he has won the overall Abbott World Major Marathon series titles four times.

He is the first of the elite runners to be announced for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon. Further names will be revealed in January.

 

(12/15/2019) ⚡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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15 Mind-Blowing Race Moments From 2019-From Kipchoge to Kosgei and all of the upsets, records, and victories in between, 2019 was a major year for running.

1-Kosgei Shocks Everyone in Chicago-On October 13, Brigid Kosgei made history when she won the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04. The Kenyan ran almost perfectly even splits to achieve her goal in the Windy City, passing the halfway mark in 1:06:59 before clocking 1:07:05 for the second half.

2-Eliud Kipchoge Dips Under 2-Hour Marathon Barrier-In his second attempt at breaking the two-hour barrier in the marathon, Eliud Kipchogeof Kenya accomplished the feat with a stunning run of 1:59:40 on the streets of Vienna in October.

3-Joan Samuelson Crushes Her Goal 40 Years After Boston Victory-In 1979, Joan Benoit Samuelson set a national and course record when she won the Boston Marathon as a 21-year-old college student. Forty years after her historic victory, Samuelson, 61, set out to run within 40 minutes of her winning time at the 2019 Boston Marathon. On April 15, the 1984 Olympic champion wore a similar Bowdoin College singlet to honor her 1979 win and shattered her goal, crossing the finish line in 3:04. “To be here, 40 years later and being able to run, let alone being able to run a marathon, I feel blessed,” she said.

4-Jim Walmsley Obliterates His Own Western States Record-Ultrarunning star Jim Walmsley maintained his Western States winning streak when he obliterated his own course record in June. Navigating 100 miles from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California, Walmsley broke the tape in 14 hours and 9 minutes, which broke his own course record by more than 20 minutes

5-Donavan Brazier Breaks 34-Year-Old American Record-Donavan Brazier had the race of his life when he broke one of the oldest American records on his way to winning gold in the 800 meters at the IAAF World Championshipsin Doha, Qatar. With 250-meters to go, Brazier ran away from the field to secure the first 800-meter world championship gold medal for the United States in a time of 1:42.34. 

6-Dalilah Muhammad Sets World Record Twice-Dalilah Muhammad made history twice this season when she broke the 400-meter hurdles world record and lowered it once again on her way to winning the world championships.

7-Sifan Hassan Wins Unprecedented Double at Worlds-At the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Sifan Hassan won two gold medals that no man or woman has achieved in the history of the world championships or Olympic Games. The Dutch runner, 26, kicked off the competition by winning the 10,000-meter final in a national record time of 30:17:33. 

8-Maggie Guterl Becomes First Woman to Win Backyard Ultra-For 60 hours straight, Maggie Guterl ran the same 4.2-mile trail loop to become the last runner standing in the Big’s Backyard Ultra race. The Durango, Colorado, native ran 250 miles on her way to becoming the first woman to win the brutal race that rewards the person who can run for the longest amount of time.

9-Geoffrey Kamworor Breaks Half Marathon World Record-Holding a 4:25-mile pace, Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya shattered the world record at the Copenhagen Half Marathon in September, running 58:01. The performance, which was 17 seconds faster than the previous record, took place in the same city where the 26-year-old won his first of three half marathon world championship titles in 2014.

10-Joyciline Jepkosgei Debuts in NYC Marathon, Beats Mary Keitany-In her first marathon, Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya secured a title in a major upset. The half marathon world record-holder raced like a veteran in the New York City Marathonto beat four-time champion Mary Keitany in a winning time of 2:22:38, only seven seconds shy of the course record.

11-Kenenisa Bekele Wins Berlin Marathon 2 Seconds Shy of World Record-One year after Eliud Kipchoge set a world record that many believed would be untouchable for at least a few years, Kenenisa Bekele nearly surpassed it at the Berlin Marathon. The 37-year-old Ethiopian won the race in 2:01:41, just two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s record. 

12-Freshman Sha’Carri Richardson Shatters 100-meter Collegiate Record-In her first ever NCAA Outdoor Championship, Sha’Carri Richardson made history. In the 100-meter final, the LSU freshman sprinted to victory in a collegiate record of 10.75.

13-Drew Hunter, Athing Mu, and Colleen Quigley Win First Pro Titles-The USATF Indoor Championships brought out exciting breakthroughs for three young athletes. In the men’s 2-mile, 21-year-old Drew Hunter won the crown out of the “slower” heat by running a world-best time of 8:25.29. The women’s 600 meters was won by 16-year-old Athing Mu who defeated world silver medalist Raevyn Rogers in an American record time of 1:23.57.

14-BYU Snaps NAU’s Winning Streak at the NCAA Cross Country Championships-The Brigham Young team had a banner day at the NCAA Cross Country Championshipsin November. Battling muddy conditions, the BYU Cougars secured the team victory over three-time defending champions Northern Arizona in the men’s race. With a team total of 109 points, BYU beat NAU by 54 points to win the program’s first NCAA cross-country championship in history.

15-Joshua Cheptegei Sets 10K World Record After Winning Two World Titles-Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda capped off a banner year when he set a world record in the 10K on December 1, running 26:38 to win the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso in Valencia, Spain. Earlier this year, he won the world cross-country championships and the world championship 10,000 meters in Doha, Qatar.

 

(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Barsoton and Shone smash race records at Kolkata 25K

Kenya’s Leonard Barsoton and Ethiopia’s Guteni Shone ripped up the record book at the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K 2019 as the pair set new event records for the World Athletics Silver Label Road Race – the only 25km race in the world with such a distinction – on Sunday (15).

Barsoton, the 2017 World Cross Country Championships silver medallist, crossed the line in 1:13.:05 to take 43 seconds off the event record set by Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele in 2017 while Shone clocked 1:22:09 to win by more than a minute. She clipped took almost four minutes off the event record of 1:26:01 set by her compatriot Degitu Azimeraw two years ago.

Both of the winning times rank just outside the top 10 all-time marks for the 25km distance.

A large group of 11 runners in the men’s race went through the halfway point at 12.5km together in 37:11 (the 10km split being 29:41). However, over the next 2.5 kilometres several runners dropped off the back of the pack and just six were left at the front as 15km was passed in 44:21.

Despite the Ethiopian pair of Betesfa Getahun and Bayelign Yegsaw surging and pushing hard over the next five kilometres the same six – Barsoton, Getahun, Yegsaw, Uganda’s Felix Chemonges, Ethiopia’s Dagnachew Adere and Tanzania’s Faraja Damasi – were still more-or-less together as 20km was passed in 59:05; but with four kilometres to go Barsoton pushed hard for home and the move proved to be decisive.

Barsoton threw in a final 5km split of 14:00, the fastest 5km of the race, to win in 1:13:05 with Getahun, still with plenty of running in his legs despite his 2:05:28 marathon debut in Amsterdam less than two months ago, second in 1:33:33 and Yegsaw third in 1:33:36.

“It was a tough race and a tough course, and it was a close competition until the 20K mark, after which I broke free from the pack. I have been training hard this year, leading a disciplined life: sleeping early, rising early and training hard,” reflected Barsoton, whose previous credentials also include a half marathon personal best of 59:09 in Valencia in October.

"I had planned to push hard from 20km but looking at the other runners I decided to wait a little bit and then went at 21-k. But to beat a record of Bekele’s is so special. I’m very excited. 

“Next year, for sure I will make my marathon debut, but I don’t know where yet. However, I think I can run 2:03, a crazy time. If I can beat Bekele’s record here, I can run that sort of crazy time,” added Barsoton.

Bekele’s brother Tariku Bekele drifted off the back of the leading pack just after 13 kilometres and eventually finished 10th in 1:15:53 while Kenya’s 2009 and 2011 world marathon champion Abel Kirui, a late addition to the race, was a distant 11th in 1:18.08.

In contrast to the way the men’s race unfolded, Shone was out on her own over the last 10 kilometres.

After a group of seven women had passed 10km in 33:37, Shone started to increase the tempo and by the halfway point just had her training partner Desi Jisa for company.

The Ethiopian-born Bahraini hung on doggedly for another couple of kilometres but by 15km, which Shone passed in 50:03, the 2019 Sevilla Marathon winner was starting to pull away from her rival.

Shone passed 20km in 1:06:00 with Jisa now 42 seconds back and the gap continued to grow over the final five kilometres, which was covered in 16:09, before Shone crossed the line in 1:22:09.

Jisa hung on to take second in 1:23:32 with another Ethiopian-born Bahraini, Tejitu Daba, exactly one minute further back in third. The first five finishers were inside the former women’s event record.

“I have practiced (trained) very hard throughout the year and it is yielding results now,” Shone said.

“The temperature was a little hot and since the running was through the city there were many turns and bents to make the race tough. Moreover, you did not know what kind of surface to expect next, so you had to keep guessing. All of that made the course challenging and worth the run,” she added.

 

(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Diane Leather and Roger Bannister – the similarities and differences of two trailblazers

The world reverberated with the news that Roger Bannister had become the first man to run the mile in less than four minutes on 6 May 1954. Twenty three days later, a landmark was achieved in the women’s mile when fellow Briton Diane Leather became the first to dip under five minutes – unheralded, and, at the time, without fanfare.

Bannister’s progress continued to top the sporting agenda as he beat his Australian rival, and by then world mile record-holder, John Landy at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, before hoovering up the European 1500m title and retiring to start a stellar career in medical research.

Leather remained as a runner until 1961, but while she won two silver medals in the 800m at the European Championships, and captained the women’s team at the 1960 Rome Olympics, she never got the chance to run at her best distance in a major international championship.

Less than a month after Bannister had clocked 3:59.4 at the Iffley Road track in Oxford, Leather recorded 4:59.6 at the Alexander Sports Ground in Birmingham – reacting with the words “Oh good. At last” – and the following year she ran 4:50.8 and then 4:45.0, which remained a world record until 1962.

By then Leather – who had also set an 800m world record of 2:09 in 1954 – had retired, aged 27. Women’s records for the mile were not ratified until 1967, and she never had the opportunity to race over her preferred distance at an international championship.

Both runners were honoured at the World Athletics Heritage Mile Night in Monaco last month with awards being made to Leather’s daughter, Lindsey Armstrong, and Bannister’s daughters Erin Bannister-Townsend and Charlotte Bannister-Parker.

The contrast in recognition for two great athletes who both died in 2018 was mirrored, oddly, in a contrast in recognition within their own families.

Lindsay Armstrong had no idea that her mum had been an athlete, or indeed a world record-holder, until she was 11.

“She didn’t tell me herself,” recalled Lindsay, who runs Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon. “I learned about it when I found some scrapbooks that one of her brothers had kept. They were on the bottom shelves somewhere in the sitting room, just tucked away.

“I didn’t know what to do about it – it was almost as if I was being naughty!

“In the end it wasn’t really such a big conversation. She said it was just something she used to do.

“I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. She wasn’t shy and retiring. But it was just something she’d done.

“On the day she broke five minutes for the mile, she had broken an 800m record earlier that day – it may have been a national record. So she had two great legs on her.

“She ran in the Olympics in 1960, but again they still didn’t allow her to run the mile. There was nothing further than the 200 until 1960 and then they were allowed to do the 800m. So she was the women’s team captain but she didn’t get to the final. Because, you know, it was six years past her prime. We have still got her Olympic jacket at home. She stopped soon after that.

“She didn’t talk about her athletics. I know that in later years according to people that knew her then that she felt somewhat slighted, and instead of letting it upset her she just turned away from athletics earlier than she would have done.

“But she did a lot of officiating in athletics after her career. So she didn’t really turn away from the sport. She always loved it.

“She was an extraordinary athlete. She ran the 400m, she ran the relay, she was a cross country champion. She did a huge range of distances.

“She was a chemist and she went on to be a child social worker. That was her passion. She was more than just an athlete. She was an extraordinary woman who really did change lives.

“She was beautiful – so beautiful. You could see it in the film we just watched. And it was really lovely to see. We were so proud of her. To be here with all these other extraordinary runners – she would have loved to be here.”

By contrast, Bannister’s daughters Charlotte, who is a Church of England Minister at the University Church in Oxford, and Erin, an accomplished painter, recalled their father introducing athletics into their life from the point where they could remember.

“I think it would be fair to say that my father was a pretty humble man throughout his life considering what he achieved both medically and athletically,” said Charlotte.

“But in terms of us being aware that he was a runner and that running was important was something that happened right from the start of my very consciousness.

“We were encouraged to run every day. There was a little park outside our house which was a square, and he would run every day of his life, right until he had a car accident and he no longer could. But it was deeply engrained within our childhood. Much more… why it was good for you…

Her sister continued the narrative: “Why he loved to be outside… being outdoors, and including other sports, including climbing and walking, and tennis, and sailing, and a whole range of sports. He was always trying things that weren’t necessarily to do with athletics. So things like sailing were quite dangerous, but they gave us enormous fun.”

Charlotte recalled: “He would train us to get off the starting line. He just loved watching people run, and he would come to our school sports days and he would look around the field and he would say that young boy or that young girl, they have got great style.

“And then of course he was broadcasting at the Olympics as a journalist – that was one of the times we were allowed to watch television, to see the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games.

“He didn’t generally talk about his athletics, but during anniversaries of his achievements he would sometimes talk about them, and he would talk about how his father had taken him to see athletics very early on.

“I remember going to Crystal Palace with him a lot. And then of course when he was Chairman of the Sports Council he would have to attend a lot of sporting events and if my mother couldn’t make it he would take one of us children.

“And then of course there were interviews. When something happened in the athletics world, he used to get rung up by the BBC and asked to comment on things to do with drugs, apartheid, politics…”

Both recalled travelling to Vancouver in 1967 for the unveiling of a statue depicting the decisive moment of the Vancouver Mile race, when Landy looked back inside him as their father was making his decisive burst of speed in the lane outside.

Charlotte added: “We used to have very interesting Sunday lunches, where there were always discussions around politics, athletics and sport, and it would be a summary of the week’s news and what was going on in the wider world. So there was no sense of not being involved in what was his passion – or of him not passing on his passion to us.”

(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has been awarded a Doctorate Degree of Law by the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom

According to the university, he was honored due to his commitment in the field of sports and being a marathon record holder.

The award comes days after Laikipia University also conferred Kipchoge a Doctorate Degree in Science during its seventh graduation ceremony.

An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements such as enrollment, a dissertation and the passing of comprehensive examination.

It is also known by the Latin phrases honoris causa ("for the sake of the honor") or ad honorem ("to the honor").

The degree is typically a doctorate or less commonly, a master’s degree, and may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous post-secondary education.

The degree is often conferred as a way of honoring a distinguished person's contributions to a specific field or to society in general.

(12/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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Former Tokyo Marathon winner Sarah Chepchirchir, has been officially banned because of abnormalities in her athlete biological passport, which is usually evidence of abusing erythropoietin

Sarah Chepchirchir has previously been a training partner of 2016 Olympic Games marathon Jemima Sumgong, her sister-in-law, who is currently serving an eight-year drugs ban, under Italian coach Federicco Rosa. 

The 35-year-old's ban has been backdated until April 11 last year and all her results from that period have been wiped from the record books.

Chepchirchir's most notable performance came in 2017, winning the Tokyo Marathon in a personal best 2 hours 19min 47sec.

She had also set a course record at the Paris 20K in 2013, covering the 20 kilometres distance in 65min 03sec.

Chepchirchir's other personal bests included 68:07 for the half-marathon and 31: 39 for 10km.

She represented Kenya only twice in major international competitions, with a best performance of fifth in the half-marathon at the 2011 All-African Games in Maputo.

Nearly 50 Kenyan athletes are currently suspended for doping offences.

The latest runners to be provisionally suspended by the AIU are Mercy Jerotich Kibarus and James Kibet.

(12/14/2019) ⚡AMP
by Duncan Mackay
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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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Sergio Mena is one of the favorites in the men's half marathon in Dallas and he will cap a rigorous and rewarding fall by running his debut half marathon

Commerce’s Sergio Mena will cap a rigorous and rewarding fall by running his debut half marathon Sunday.

Mena, 25, took his final two exams, Tuesday and Thursday, to complete his master’s degree in business administration at Texas A&M-Commerce. His parents came from Spain on Wednesday to watch him walk the stage at Friday’s graduation ceremony. He hadn’t seen them in 18 months.

“I have no idea how I’m going to do everything,” Mena said by phone last weekend. “I’m going to try to stay calm. It’s exciting.”

On Sunday, he will be among the favorites to win the runDallas BMW Dallas Marathon half. It won’t be easy. Missouri City’s Richard Powell hopes to defend his title. Powell clocked a 1 hour, 8 minutes, 9 seconds last year.

Former Rice standout Gabe Cuadra placed second overall at the October 2019 Koala Health & Wellness Houston Half in 1:08:16. Dallas’ Cody Campbell and Drew Wiles also hope to be in the mix. Campbell’s half marathon personal best is a 1:10. He’s using Dallas as a tuneup for his goal race, the Jan. 19 Chevron Houston Marathon. Wiles, a former Woodrow Wilson standout, won the Dallas Running Club Half Marathon last month in 1:09:19.

Mena grew up in Cuenca, Spain, about an hour from Madrid. He didn’t run competitively until age 16. He quickly progressed under coach Alberto Fernandez Gil’s tutelage, racing internationally and earning a scholarship to Eastern Kentucky University.

He completed his undergraduate degree in three years so he used his final year of eligibility to run at A&M-Commerce while working and studying for his MBA. He wasn’t sure he’d continue running after he used up his NCAA eligibility.

His former coach, Luke Scribner, persuaded him to join the Nomad Running Society, a local running group designed to be inclusive and bring liked-minded runners together. It helped renew his passion for the sport. He also realized that running provided structure to his days and balanced the stress of work and school.

“I need it,” Mena said of running. “I was doing it just for fun. I wasn’t caring how long or how many miles.”

In late summer, Mena decided to make the Dallas half his goal race. His training has gone well. He finished the eight-mile Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot in 41:47, just 25 seconds behind three-time champion Tyler McCandless, of Boulder, Colo., an Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon.

(12/14/2019) ⚡AMP
by Debbie Fetterman
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BMW Dallas Marathon

BMW Dallas Marathon

The BMW Dallas Marathon is the result of the efforts of a pioneering group of brave Dallas runners, who had the foresight to establish an annual 26.2-mile race more than 40 years ago. In 1971, Tal Morrison – the official founding father of the marathon – placed a $25 ad in Runner’s World beckoning runners from around the country to...

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Peter Snell has died in Dallas. He was a three-time Olympic champion and world mile record-holder

Three-time Olympic champion and world mile record-holder Peter Snell has died in Dallas. He was aged 80.

Snell, who is regarded as one of the greatest middle-distance runners, won the 800 meters at the 1960 Rome Olympics aged 21, and the 800-1,500 double at the 1964 Tokyo Games.

He was the first man since 1920 to win the 800 and 1,500 at the same Olympics. No male athlete has done so since.

Snell also won two Commonwealth Games gold medals in the 880 yards and mile at Perth in 1962.

He twice held the mile world record, and held world records in the 800 meters, 880 yards, 1,000 meters, and the 4x1-mile relay.

Snell's death was confirmed by family friend and New Zealand sports historian Ron Palenski, who heads New Zealand's Sport Hall of Fame.

“It is very sad news, a grievous loss for New Zealand,” Palenski said. “In terms of track and field, he is probably the greatest athlete New Zealand has had.”

Snell was coached by Arthur Lydiard, an innovator who was regarded as one of the world’s finest coaches of middle and long distance athletes. Lydiard also coached Murray Halberg to win the 5,000 meters at Rome in 1960.

Snell was the best miler of his generation, at a time when the mile was the blue riband event of world athletics. He began immediately after Roger Bannister's epoch-making sub-four-minute mile and while the glow of that achievement still suffused the sport.

In his physique he was unlike milers of the time: Snell was strong and powerful — more like a 400-meter runner — and not like the mostly lithe athletes who vied for world supremacy over the mile.

His stride was so powerful he often scarred the tracks on which he ran, kicking up puffs of debris, especially on grass or cinder tracks. Lydiard's training — based on massive mileage mostly on the road rather than the track — gave him enormous stamina but he also had unusual speed.

Snell's friend and training partner, Olympic marathon bronze medalist Barry Magee said “there will never be another New Zealand athlete like him.”

“He won three Olympic gold medals, two Commonwealth Games gold medals, and broke seven world records. He was the best-conditioned athlete of his time.”

Snell’s wife, Miki, said he died suddenly at his home in Dallas around noon on Thursday. He had been suffering from a heart ailment and required a pacemaker for several years.

Snell’s athletics career was relatively short. He retired in 1965 to pursue educational opportunities in the United States.

"Peter Snell was like a god to me," says MBR founder Bob Anderson.  "I started running in February 1962 and Peter was my hero.  I met him at one of our National Running Weeks in the early 80's and it was like meeting a rock star."

Snell graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in human performance from the University of California, Davis, and later with a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Washington State University.

He became a research fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1981, later becoming director of the university's Human Performance Center.

Snell was knighted by New Zealand in 2009. A statue in his honor stands at Cooks Gardens, Whanganui, near his birthplace of Opunake, where he broke the mile world record for the first time in 1962.

(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Associated Press
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World marathon record holder, Mary Keitany said she is delighted that the national government through the president has finally rewarded her success

President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday feted marathoner Mary Jepkosgei Keitany with the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW) award during the Jamhuri Day celebrations garden party at State House, Nairobi.

Speaking to Nation Sport on Friday, Keitany said that the award came as a surprise to her at a time she is almost retiring from the sport.

“I’m happy that the president has finally rewarded my exploits in the sport. Since I started running, this is the first time I have been rewarded by the government,” said the former New York Marathon champion.

Keitany also said that after being rewarded, she feels energized and will be looking forward to a good season next year.

“The award has given me morale to continue working hard and I want to say that I will be training harder for better results next year. For now, I’m still recovering after the New York Marathon race which I managed to come in second,” said Keitany, who is also the former World Half Marathon record holder.

Keitany uses some of her race earnings to support development in her community having partnered with Shoe4Africa to build a school in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County.

Keitany becomes the second marathon star to be recognized by the president after world men's marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge who was feted with Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.) award during Mashujaa Day celebrations in October in Mombasa.

(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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The Amica Newport Marathon, BankNewport 10 Miler, and Ocean Road 10K have all been named in the top 100 races in the USA by online racing resource Bib Raves

After a popular voting round followed by a judged round, these three events have secured top spots in their categories. All three events are annually produced by Portsmouth-based Gray Matter Marketing.

“It’s such a great feeling to have our runners nominate us to receive national recognition for events that we work hard on, and are very proud of,” says Lisa McCurdy, Director of Communications at Gray Matter Marketing. “The local support for our events has been outstanding, and runners from around the country and across the globe come to Rhode Island to not only run our races, but to enjoy visiting our beautiful state.”

The Amica Newport Marathon & Half Marathon was named as one of the top 20 half marathons in the USA. The race, which is scheduled for October 11th, 2020, is a gorgeous tour of Newport’s most stunning running routes, from downtown on Thames street out on to Ocean Drive and back through Bellevue Ave. to Easton’s Beach for a stunning seaside finish. The race regularly attracts more than 3,000 runners annually, many from out of state. In 2019 alone, the race raised more than $150,000 for local and regional nonprofits through direct donations and runner fundraising.

The BankNewport 10 Miler and Ocean Road 10K were both named in the top 20 races with a distance of 10 miles or less. The eigth annual BankNewport 10 Miler will be on May 31st, 2020, starting and finishing at Fort Adams and following the loop of Ocean Drive. The race benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County and the Fort Adams Trust, and is a part of a three-race New England 10 Miler series with the other events in Portland, Maine and Stowe, Vermont.

The Ocean Road 10K, also celebrating its eighth year in 2020, is in Narragansett, Rhode Island on October 4th. Benefitting the Narragansett Historical Society, the course is flat and fast, running one-way from Point Judith Lighthouse to Narragansett Town Beach. The Ocean Road 10K has grown exponentially in popularity each year, selling out in late summer despite an increase in the field size. The event is expected to sell out again in 2020. 

In addition, for the second year in a row, RaceRaves has named the Amica Newport Marathon and Half Marathon as the top event in Rhode Island for its distance; in 2018, the online race review website ranked the best marathons by state, and this year the site ranked the half marathons. 

(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Ryan Belmore
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The Newport Marathon and Half Marathon

The Newport Marathon and Half Marathon

Whether you're an advanced runner looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon, or just looking for a scenic jog and walk, The Newport Marathon and Half Marathon promises a good time for participants of all speeds. The Newport Marathon is proud to partner with local charitable organizations to help raise money and awareness. Gray Matter Marketing will donate upwards of...

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A New York Times study finds the Nike Next% and Vaporfly could lead runners to improved odds of a personal best

The New York Times repeated, with a larger sample size, the study of the Nike Vaporfly that they conducted in 2018. Their updated study included the Nike Next% and the findings were surprising. We knew the Vaporfly and Next% were arguably some of the best shoes on the market, but the NYT finds that their current dominance is undeniable.

The New York Times repeated, with a larger sample size, the study of the Nike Vaporfly that they conducted in 2018. Their updated study included the Nike Next% and the findings were surprising. We knew the Vaporfly and Next% were arguably some of the best shoes on the market, but the NYT finds that their current dominance is undeniable.

The study founds that, “The Zoom Vaporfly 4% or ZoomX Vaporfly Next% — ran 4 to 5 percent faster than a runner wearing an average shoe, and 2 to 3 percent faster than runners in the next-fastest popular shoe.” The name four per cent was born out of Nike’s finding that the shoe could make the wearer four per cent more efficient–efficiency translates to less effort at the same pace, which means a runner can go faster. So the claim that the shoe makes a runner faster as opposed to simply more efficient is new.

Another key finding was that men had a 73 per cent chance of running a personal best in the shoes, while women had a 74 per cent chance, “In a race between two marathoners of the same ability, a runner wearing these shoes would have a significant advantage over a competitor not wearing them.” The Times also reports, “In the final months of 2019, about 41 per cent of marathons under three hours were reported to have been run in these shoes (for races in which we have data).”

When someone first comes to running, they find that after the initial agony of getting your legs used to the motion, there’s quick improvement. You’ll run a 5K personal best and then a subsequent PB just weeks (or even days) later. Because you’re new to the sport, the time melts away in the first few races.

But as you progress and become better, it can take months and even years to run a personal best. And for the competitive runner, staying patient is the hardest part. But what if someone told that runner who’d been trying to PB for 14 months, 27 days and 13 hours, that if they spent $330 CAD they had a 73 per cent chance at finally improving? If they have the budget, that’s an appealing statistic.

Two weeks ago Molly Huddle, who has the sixth-fastest marathon time among American women in 2019 (she ran a personal best 2:26:33 at the London Marathon), replied to a tweet by sports journalist Cathal Dennehy about the AlphaFly (Nike’s next step in the carbon-plated game). The shoe was first seen on the feet of marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge, who raced to a 1:59:40 finish in them at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna last month. Huddle’s comment: “Kinda nervous as to how this would affect the Olympic Trials over here @usatf.”

It’s not just Huddle who has noticed the effect the shoe (or prototype versions) could have on the US Olympic Marathon Trials. Runners are qualifying for the event at unprecedented rates. With the qualifying window still open for another five weeks, entries are already nearing the thousands.

It’s important to note that the qualifying standard for the trials did get two minutes easier (2:43 in 2016 to 2:45 in 2020). But does two minutes warrant a potentially doubled field size or are technological advantages, like the Nike shoes, the reason for the jump? The New York Times’ finding would suggest the latter.

(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon has once again been named Best Half Marathon in America by The BibRave 100

The race was also named in the Top 10 Best Weekend Experience category, while the Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K was named one of America's Top 25 races, 10 miles or less. The 500 Festival presented the accolades during an awards ceremony for The Running Event in Austin, Texas.

“The entire OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon team is ecstatic that our half marathon has been named best in the nation for the second consecutive year,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival.

“What makes this accolade even more special is that it is voted on by participants. With so many great half marathons in this country, we are elated that ours stood out as the favorite among runners, walkers, and wheelchair participants."

Rankings in the list are based on runner nominations, running industry surveys, and online voting.

Voters indicated the Mini's lap around Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a major highlight. The 2020 Indy Mini is scheduled for Saturday, May 2. 

(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Reed Parker
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OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

The mission of the 500 Festival is to produce life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. As an organization providing multiple events and programs, many of which are free to attend and impact over 500,000 people annually, our mission to...

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The 113th NYRR Millrose Games set for February 8th will feature dozens of Olympians and world class runners

The 113th NYRR Millrose Games are scheduled for Saturday, February 8th, and the distance action will be highlighted by a pair of 3,000-meter races featuring both the men’s and women’s 2019 NCAA cross country champions competing against Olympians.

Women’s champion Weini Kelati of the University of New Mexico will take on a loaded field that includes defending Millrose champion Alicia Monson of the University of Wisconsin, while men’s winner Edwin Kurgat of Iowa State University will battle Olympic silver medalist Paul Tanui, among others.

“I’m looking forward to returning to NYC and competing in the Millrose Games,” Monson said. “I totally enjoyed the whole experience last year and winning the 3k was very special. I guess I will not be the unknown collegiate athlete in the race like last year, but that makes my second appearance at the Millrose Games exciting and something to look forward to.”

The historic NYRR Millrose Games, taking place at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center, will feature dozens of Olympians and world championship contenders as they prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next summer.

The women’s race figures to be a thrilling battle between Kelati and Monson, the two women who have distinguished themselves as the best distance runners in the NCAA.

The two runners have faced off nine times since September 2018, with Kelati holding a narrow 5-4 advantage over her rival. At the 2019 Millrose Games, it was Monson kicking to the win in a time of 8:45.97, with Kelati finishing sixth. However, in their most recent meeting at the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky., Kelati broke away from Monson and the field early, winning the 6,000m race in 19:47.5, and defeating the runner-up Monson by 10 seconds.

Kurgat of Iowa State comes in off the momentum of his victory at NCAAs, covering the 10,000-meter course in 30:32.7 to complete an undefeated cross country season. However, the favorite in the race figures to be Tanui, a four-time global medalist for Kenya. Tanui earned silver in the 10,000m at the Rio Olympics just behind Mo Farah, and owns three bronze medals over the same distance from the 2013, 2015, and 2017 World Championships. Tanui will look to use Millrose as a stepping stone for yet another medal in Tokyo.

Other contenders to look out for include NCAA runner-up Joe Klecker of the University of Colorado, US Olympian Hassan Mead and former NCAA champion Justyn Knight of Canada. Knight, who has made two World Championship finals in the 5,000m, finished second at Millrose in 2018.

More athletes and fields will be announced for the NYRR Millrose Games in the coming weeks. Already announced is a thrilling shot put duel between Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs, as well as world record-holder Keni Harrison opening her season in the 60m hurdles.

(12/13/2019) ⚡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 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Runners Raised for Charity in 2019 an Event Record $27.1 Million

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that more than 12,000 runners raised an event record $27.1 million through its 2019 Charity Program. The funds raised deepen the impact of the program, which has contributed over $234 million to local, national and international causes since 2002. 

"The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a celebration of humanity and the stories that come to life across 26.2 miles of roadway," said Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon executive race director. "Today, we celebrate the individuals who continue to challenge themselves by taking on the distance and those who decide to make their race more meaningful by dedicating it to a cause greater than themselves. We look forward to welcoming a new field of competitors in 2020 as we enter another decade of racing in Chicago."

The Charity Program represents nearly 25 percent of the expected 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon field, which also includes runners who have secured their entries through one of six guaranteed entry applications and the non-guaranteed entry drawing. Runners who did not receive an entry through the drawing can still sign up through a limited number of entries available through the event's official Charity Program.

In its 43rd year on Sunday, October 11, 2020, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon welcomes thousands of runners from more than 100 countries and all 50 states, including a world-class elite field, top regional and Masters runners, race veterans, debut marathoners and charity runners. The race's iconic course takes runners through 29 vibrant neighborhoods on an architectural and cultural tour of Chicago. Annually, an estimated 1.7 million spectators line the streets cheering on more than 45,000 runners from the start line to the final stretch down Columbus Drive.

As a result of the race's national and international draw, the Chicago Marathon assists in raising millions of dollars for a variety of charitable causes while generating $378 million in annual economic impact to its host city.

The 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, will start and finish in Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 11. 

(12/12/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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Andrew Davis set the British 40+ Record in Valencia clocking 2:14:36 for his age group breaking the previous 2:15:16 masters mark

After breaking the British M40 marathon record in Valencia this month, Andrew Davies plans to spend next year enjoying off-road races before returning to the roads to try to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

The Welshman, who turned 40 on October 30, clocked 2:14:36 in Valencia on December 1 to break Steve Way’s national masters mark of 2:15:16 which was set in Glasgow in 2014. Before that, Ron Hill held the veterans’ record from 1979 for 34 years.

“We’ve planned it for quite a few years ago now and Valencia seemed potentially to be the first good one to do shortly after I turned 40,” says Davies, who also knocked more than half a minute off his PB. “I heard good feedback about it from other runners who said it was a fantastic marathon so I’ve been eyeing it up for quite a while.”

He added: “It was a pretty tough ask. I was at the Commonwealth Games when Steve Way broke the record so it’s quite nice that I know him quite well.

“I knew I was in quite good shape because I’d equaled my 5km PB in August (14:33) and also got a half-marathon PB in September (64:46), but it was still a case of nailing it on the day.”

Davies was paced by Jonny Mellor in Valencia and was also able to chase fellow Welshman Charlie Hulson, who clocked 2:14:22 on his marathon debut.

So what are Davies’ secrets of running so well aged 40? “I think I’m quite lucky in terms of injuries,” he explains. “I don’t do anything stupid in terms of mileage. If I have a cold or illness then we’re sensible and take it easy. I eat healthy and sleep a lot and have regular massage – all the usual stuff really. I think it’s all just come together, and it’s been a case of ticking over and doing the right things.”

Davies is based in mid-Wales and puts in some of his training miles with his dog as he does his long runs around Lake Vyrnwy on the edge of Snowdonia. He works four days a week as a college lecturer but has enjoyed Monday off as an easy day and also Thursday afternoons, in order to do a hard marathon session in recent months.

As for plans for 2020, Davies, who is coached by Steve Vernon, says: “Doing a marathon build-up twice a year is quite draining. I’m hoping to do a bit more trail running, especially during the early part of next year and will get back into the mountains where I belong.”

He adds: “I’d like to get the vet 40 record for a few other distances too – although some of the records are quite outstanding. I’d like to do Armagh (5km) in February for example, to try to get into the top few masters for that distance. When it comes to masters records, the marathon has been the ultimate one to get, though.”

(12/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

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

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The Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon is taking place this weekend

Thousands of people are hoping the weather will hold out and be nice this weekend as the annual Gulf Coast Marathon takes off.

Thousands of people are making their way here to South Mississippi to pound the pavement in this weekend’s races, including a marathon and half-marathon on Sunday. Both marathons begin at 7 a.m.

The full marathon begins at Henderson Point in Pass Christian. The half-marathon will take off from Jones Park at the same time Sunday. Both races end at MGM Park in Biloxi.

If you plan to travel along Highway 90 this weekend in these areas you may want to take an alternate route.

Last year, more than 3,500 people signed up and this year it looks like they’ll be topping that number.

Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes will join other half-marathoners at Jones Park Sunday.

This is the fourth year of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon.

(12/12/2019) ⚡AMP
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Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

Founded in 2015, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, a Coastal Running Fest, celebrates the local flare and beauty of running along the scenic beaches from Pass Christian to Biloxi. Races include a marathon (26.2 miles), half marathon (13.1 miles), 5K (3.1 miles) and kids marathon race program (a 1.2 mile fun run). The Coors Light Finish Festival will be held...

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The BMW Dallas Marathon is the oldest marathon in texas starting 49 years ago

Nearly 18,000 runners will take part in the BMW Dallas Marathon this weekend. 

That is quite the turnout for an event that started 49 years ago with just a few hundred participants.

“It started as a grass roots effort with a bunch of running friends who decided they wanted to have a marathon,” said Mark “Hawkeye” Louis, the marathon’s vice president.

Now, it is the oldest marathon in Texas.  And while it has changed routes over the decades, the race still pays homage to its roots back when it was known as the White Rock Marathon.

Video from the Jones Film Library at SMU shows some of those early races, including the very first in 1971 when the route never left the lakeside.

“They’d just circle White Rock Lake two and a half times,” Louis said. “But today, people insist the route includes the lake. That’s the legacy of the marathon and the epicenter for running in Dallas.”

The tribute also poses some potential peril for runners. 

Running to the lake from the starting point, and high point, at Dallas City Hall means the return trip includes some uphill climbing.

But that's part of the fun of it all too, right?

The marathon will run -- pun intended-- Friday through Sunday.

(12/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by Chris Sadeghi
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BMW Dallas Marathon

BMW Dallas Marathon

The BMW Dallas Marathon is the result of the efforts of a pioneering group of brave Dallas runners, who had the foresight to establish an annual 26.2-mile race more than 40 years ago. In 1971, Tal Morrison – the official founding father of the marathon – placed a $25 ad in Runner’s World beckoning runners from around the country to...

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Dina Asher-Smith, four-time European gold medallist will race in front of the London Stadium for the final time before going for a first solo Olympic sprint title at Tokyo 2020

Asher-Smith will take on a world class field at the Diamond League event in London, where British fans will get a chance to give their heroes a rousing send-off before they board the plane for Japan.

The news follows the recent announcement that Asher-Smith’s British teammate and fellow world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson will also compete at the Müller Anniversary Games, along with the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow (February 15) and Müller Grand Prix Gateshead (August 16).

“I’ve always been vocal about my love of competing in front of a home crowd, so to finish my Olympic preparations by competing at the London Stadium will be special and truly is the best send-off I could ask for,” said Asher-Smith.

“2019 has been a whirlwind of a year – the best of my career so far. I hope 2020 can be even better, and to put in a great performance at the Müller Anniversary Games would be a huge boost for me ahead of Tokyo.”

(12/11/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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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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European record-breaking Turkish athlete Kaan Kigen Ozbilen thinks he can run a marathon under 2:04:00 and win a medal in Tokyo

Ozbilen broke Mo Farah’s European record in the Valencia Marathon on Dec. 1, finishing at 2:04:16 mark, nearly a minute better than Farah's 2:05:11.

Ozbilen finished the race at second place, trailing only to Ethiopian debutant Kinde Atanew, who won in a course record of 2:03:51.

"My training partner is the world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and all my training level was showing under 2:04:00. So, it was an expected result which had to come earlier. But before the world championship in June, l broke a toe and lost six weeks of training and possibly a world medal," Ozbilen told Anadolu Agency on Monday.

"I am very happy to be a part of European athletic history," Ozbilen said. "My next goal and dream is the Tokyo Olympics medal."

The 33-year-old runner also added that he is planning to run until he is 40.

The athletes have professional family lives and 33 is a mature age, he said, adding that he is also planning to race in the 2024 Olympics.

Responding to a question on the secrets of his success, he noted: "The majority of this comes from genetics. It is about choosing the correct discipline, and my results show l chose marathon as the correct discipline for myself."

"What I see in Turkey is a problem in talent selection and very few clubs are supporting athletes at very low incomes.

"You can not expect a young athlete to grow for European record only with 2,000-3,000 Turkish lira ($345-$517) monthly support," Ozbilen stressed.

Noting that a-2:04:16 marathon result is not a one-day result, but it is "a 10 years [long] journey," he said, adding that it starts at young ages with successful middle distance results, such as 3:35-3:37 maximum for 1,500 meters (4,921 feet).

"After the athlete moves to 5,000 m and 10,000 m, you must reach 13-13:10 in 5,000 m and you must run around or under 28 minutes in 10,000 m," he added.

The federation and clubs must give Turkish athletes long term sufficient and individual support to have successful results, he added.

Indicating that breaking the world record would not be easy, he said: "Definitely, I will do my best and develop. I put my goals step by step and now my next step is to run under 2:04 and to get a medal in the Tokyo Olympics."

In response to a question on the reason for running for the Turkish flag as a Kenyan-origin athlete, "I love to run for the Turkish flag. Firstly to clarify, l did not get any money or any promise to be Turkish," he stressed.

"My brother Onder Ozbilen was in Kenya and he was known as a big brother in my region for selecting young talents. It took me a year to convince him that l still have big targets.

"We started to run after our dream. To be the best of Europe in front of Mo Farah's record was a dream that only we believed in and now we will go to our new dream of Olympic or World medal."

(12/11/2019) ⚡AMP
by Fatih Erel
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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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It may come as a surprise, but Nike's popularity is not growing as fast among Strava users as other brands

The running/cycling/social media platform Strava, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, has just published its much-anticipated Year in Sport. One of the most striking pieces of information in it, not surprisingly, concerns shoes. The fastest-growing shoe on Strava is not the Nike Vaporfly or NEXT%, as you might expect. In fact, it’s not even close.

That distinction belongs to the HOKA Carbon X, the brand’s carbon-plated racing shoe introduced last summer and worn by two-time Western States champion Jim Walmsley when he set the 50-mile world record in California in May 2019.

The second-fastest growing model is the Adidas Solar Glide, and the third is the Fresh Foam Beacon by New Balance, one of the shoes favored by American ultrarunner and multiple age-group record-holder Gene Dykes.

What the research did show, however, is that among Strava runners who ran the World Major Marathons and logged what shoe they were wearing, Nike NEXT% wearers posted the fastest times. Three guesses as to which shoe was next fastest: that’s right. The Vaporfly.

Some other interesting facts emerging from Strava’s research over the past year: we knew that running is hugely popular in Japan, but the Japanese are not stopping at the marathon–according to Strava in 2019, the island nation has more ultramarathoners per capita than any other country in the world.

Further, almost 24 per cent of runners in Japan have completed a marathon or ultra. That’s an increase of 23 per cent over last year, and more than double the percentage of marathoners and ultrarunners in the next most marathon-mad country, France (which had 10.4 per cent). The US was third, with 7.6 per cent.

(12/11/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Weather in Louisiana can be unpredictable, but the Louisiana Marathon has avoided any major issues from Mother Nature since its inception in 2012

Even with warm conditions in 2017 and near-freezing temperatures in 2018, the weather has been about as good as can be expected for Baton Rouge runners.

The 2019 Louisiana Marathon might be different, however, as the city is expecting a roller coaster of a weekend.

“We’ve had great weather for the most part for seven years,” Louisiana Marathon race director Jonathan Dziuba said. “Two years ago, it was really warm and runners don’t necessarily like that. We have emergency and contingency plans in place for warm weather as well as for cold weather, as well as dangerous tornadoes, high winds and lightning and things like that.”

Regardless of the weather, Dziuba and the race production team made sure they could accommodate the injuries that might arise from extra cold or warm weather. That won’t change this weekend.

The high of 66 and low of 35 is forecast for Saturday’s Louisiana 5K and quarter-marathon (that's the good part). Consistent rain and thunderstorms are expected during those morning runs, WBRZ chief meteorologist Josh Eachus forecasted.

The weather is set to be clear and sunny Sunday for the half and full marathons, but temperatures will drop between 35 to 40 at race time.

Dziuba said he's confident the race will run smoothly regardless of the weather.

“I keep hearing (about) this terrible weather, but the weather actually looks fantastic,” Dziuba said. “Other than this rain Saturday, after the races are over, I’m not sure what everybody’s talking about. It looks really good and we work very closely with the National Weather Center. We have direct lines to meteorologists and weather agencies in 15-minute increments (during the races).”

The race production crew takes extra precautions to accommodate the various weather outcomes.

Runner safety is paramount to the Louisiana Marathon team, said race communications director Erin Rosetti, and a color-coded event alert system keeps marathon participants aware of the ever-changing weather conditions.

 

(12/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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Louisiana Marathon

Louisiana Marathon

Welcome to the Louisiana Marathon Running Festival. Rendezvous with runners from 50 states and over 30 countries who share a passion for Louisiana as they race our fast, flat and festive courses. Stick around for the best Finish Fest on the bayou and enjoy tastes of gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, duck confit and couch du lait (to name a few dishes...

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Nike employees protested at the Beaverton, Ore. headquarters on Monday following the reopening of the building named after Alberto Salazar

On Monday, the day that the sportswear giant Nike reopened the Beaverton, Ore. headquarters building named after disgraced coach Alberto Salazar, Nike employees staged a protest regarding its mistreatment of women, and were threatened with termination if they spoke to the media.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, “A flier circulating among employees read, “Join us for a campus walk to celebrate what women bring to sport and to raise awareness of how Nike can support our female athletes and employees.”

There was another flier circulating ahead of the protest–this one was also distributed by Nike employees but had a different tone. It read, “No employee is permitted to speak to news media on any NIKE-related matter either on- or off-the-record, without prior approval from Nike Global Communications.” The policy continues, “Failure to comply with NIKE’s media policy could result in termination of employment.”

Nike spokesperson Greg Rossiter said to The Willamette Weekly that this cautionary flyer was not officially distributed by the company. “We respect and welcome employees’ feedback on matters that are important to them. The flier prepared by some employees was not officially distributed by Nike.”

The US Anti-Doping Agency banned Salazar in September for four years following a years-long investigation and secret arbitration case. The details appear in a BBC report and a statement by USADA outlining the specific charges, which include trafficking in testosterone (a banned substance), illegal methods and evidence-tampering at the Nike Oregon Project’s Beaverton, Oregon headquarters. Salazar is former coach to Mo Farah and Kara Goucher and current coach of marathoner Galen Rupp and the newly-crowned 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan, among others.

Nike shut down the NOP training group 11 days later. Salazar’s athletes have since found new coaches and training groups.

Following the dissolution of the NOP, American prodigy Mary Cain came forward and told her story about her experience with the group. According to Cain, the NOP’s “win at all costs” mentality involved Salazar and his assistant coaches (who are not named) pushing her to take birth control pills and diuretics to lose weight, weighing her and verbally abusing her in front of her teammates. Cain’s success on the track came at a huge price: she didn’t have her period for three years, which weakened her bone health so much that she endured five stress fractures. Her success dwindled, and when she left the program, nobody really knew why.

On Monday, protesters signs read, “We believe Mary.”

(12/10/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Veteran Olympian and cancer survivor Kikkan Randall, Shares 3 Tips for athletes facing setbacks and Fitness Comeback

As a veteran Olympian, cancer survivor and marathoner-in-the-making, Kikkan Randall has learned a lot along the way about how to thrive on life’s toughest days.

In a series of interviews with Women’s Running, Randall shared her key messages for athletes facing setbacks, be it cancer or injuries, and life after the disease.

1.-Keep moving. Continue to set goals.

Fresh off her Olympic experience and years as an elite athlete, Randall was in great shape when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2018. Even though she faced a rough road ahead, which included surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, Randall was determined to maintain some fitness.

“I made the commitment to stay as physically as active as I could through my treatment, and that was super important,” she says, noting that she did cardio and strength training. “Knowing I could do a workout every day, even at lower level, it felt like a little victory.”

Not only did easy exercise help with fluid retention caused by cancer-fighting drugs, it lifted her mood and gave her a sense of control.

“Be open-minded about what you can do,” Randall says. “Always be willing to try. I had a ten-minute rule for myself. I would go out and try to do something for ten minutes, if it went well I would keep going, and if it was too awful, I would go home and rest.”

2.- Surround yourself with people who give you hope.

Just as Randall needed a powerful support system to get her to five Olympic Games, she leaned on a strong team to get her through cancer treatment.

Her husband, Jeff, kept her focused on her good prognosis, while her toddler son, Breck, provided a much-needed distraction from her worries. Her parents took care of her while she received treatment in Alaska and the list goes on.

Liz Stephen, Randall’s ski buddy, was with her when she received her diagnosis and visited Randall on days when she felt especially terrible.

“Everybody around me was just really proactive and positive, and that encouraged that side of my personality,” Randall says.

She also drew inspiration from Gabe Grunewald, who died in June after a ten-year battle with adenoid cystic carcinoma. Last fall, Randall met Grunewald at an AKTIV Against Cancer event.

“I just finished chemo a week earlier, and she was just congratulating me and was so positive,” Randall says.

In May, Randall ran the Brave Like Gabe 5K as a virtual participant to show support for Grunewald, who was in the hospital at the time, battling complications from cancer. Randall recalls struggling through the solo run.

“I thought, ‘I’m out doing this for Gabe, so I’m not going to quit.’ I came back at the end of that run, and I felt recharged and I sent her a picture,’” she says.

Since Grunewald’s death, Randall says she’s as motivated as ever to run and honor her role model’s memory.

3.-Be patient with your fitness comeback. Celebrate your progress.

Randall says her body bounced back well after the rigors of cancer treatment, but women shouldn’t expect to immediately regain their fitness.

“As soon as you finish treatment, you are so motivated you’re like, ‘I just want to get back to the way I was.’ It takes time,” she says, “And there are some lingering (treatment) effects that take a while to iron out.”

As you gradually build your fitness, remind yourself how far you have come already.

“Celebrate what you can do is my biggest thing,” she says.

Even for Randall, an Olympic champion, marathon training has been a grind, starting with the intense pounding on her legs she didn’t experience in skiing. In addition, she had to adjust to the fact that, unlike in skiing, she can’t use downhills to recover.

“I’m celebrating the fact that my treatment’s been effective, and we have a good, optimistic look forward on being cancer free,” she says. “I’m just really grateful for that.”

(12/10/2019) ⚡AMP
by Theresa Juva-Brown
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Eritrean born Efren Gidey, went from refugee to U20 podium at Euro Cross

The European Cross Country Championships took place in Lisbon, Portugal on Sunday, with Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen taking home gold in the 6.2K U20 race for the fourth straight year, and by a 38-second margin. Ayetullah Aslanhan of Turkey was second. But most astonishing was Eritrean-born Efrem Gidey, racing for Ireland for the first time, bringing home the bronze medal and contributing to his team’s fourth-place finish.

According to a report by the Irish news outlet RTÉ Sport, Gidey’s participation wasn’t assured until the last minute, due to visa issues. The athlete had spent six months in a refugee camp in Calais with his family before landing in Dublin in March, 2017. He runs with the Clonliffe Harriers, where he didn’t excel right away (small wonder, considering what he had been through, and that he arrived speaking no English), but soon found his niche. Earlier this year Gidey set a national record for Ireland of 14:34.22 in the senior boys’ 5,000m.

In the 10.2K senior men’s race, another Eritrean-born athlete, Robel Fsiha of Sweden, took gold. Aras Kaya of Turkey was second, and Yemaneberhan Crippa of Italy was third. (Julien Wanders, pacer to Eliud Kipchoge at INEOS 1:59, finished just off the podium in fourth place. Filip Ingebrigtsen, last year’s champion, finished 12th. All three Ingebrigtsen brothers also ran as pacers for Kipchoge.)

In the 8.3K senior women’s race, Turkey’s Yasemin Can won gold for the fourth consecutive year. Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal of Norway took silver and Samrawit Mengsteab of Sweden won bronze.

In the 4.3K U20 women’s race, Nadia Battocletti of Italy won gold, Klara Lukan of Slovakia took silver and Mariana Machado of Portugal won bronze.

In the 8.3K U23 men’s race, Jimmy Gressier of France won gold, Elzan Bibic of Serbia took silver, and Abdessamad Oukhelfen of Spain took bronze. In the 6.3K U23 women’s race, Anna Emilie Møller of Denmark won gold, Jasmijn Lau of the Netherlands won silver and Stephanie Cotter of Ireland took bronze.

The course, which had a short (500m) loop and a longer 1,500m loop, featured some tight turns and some hills, but although conditions were overcast, it did not appear particularly muddy.

(12/10/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Hiwot Gebrekidan and Gebretsadik Abraha took an Ethiopian double at the Guangzhou Marathon, smashing the course records

Hiwot Gebrekidan and Gebretsadik Abraha took an Ethiopian double at the Guangzhou Marathon, smashing the course records at the World Athletics Gold Label road race on Sunday (8).

The 24-year-old Gebrekidan enjoyed a comfortable sole lead before 30km and wrapped up her convincing victory with a lifetime best of 2:23:50, smashing the 2:25:12 course record set by compatriot Rahma Tusa in 2017.

Helped by a pacemaker, the women’s race was soon reduced to a duel between Gebrekidan and Kenya’s Celestine Chepchirchir before the 5km water tables. The duo led side-by-side and when they passed 25km in 1:24:38, they were already nearly five minutes ahead of the chasers and well on track to attack the course record.

After a further two kilometres, the in-form Ethiopian broke clear from Chepchirchir and continued widening the gap until the finish.

It is Gebrekidan’s second title over the classic distance following her victory two years ago at Lake Tiberias where she achieved her previous PB of 2:25:45.

The 23-year-old Chepchirchir, who set her PB of 2:24:48 in Seoul nine months ago, finished second in 2:27:10 while local runner Zhang Meixia finished as a remote third finisher with a career-best time of 2:32:01.

The top six finishers in the men’s race all beat the 2:10:01 course record set by Morocco’s Abdellah Tagharrafet in 2015.

The 27-year-old Abraha emerged victorious from a three-man battle in the last 10 kilometres to take the top honours in 2:08:04, which is the fastest time achieved by the former Prague and Marrakesh marathon winner since 2014.

Abraha, whose personal best of 2:06:23 was registered back in 2012, patiently hid himself in a lead pack of more than 10 runners that passed the 10km mark in 30:27 and 15km in 46:03.

The leaders were trimmed to 10 by 25km in 1:16:11 and further cut to six after another five kilometres in 1:31:38. Abraha then started his powerful charge, with only Kenya’s Mike Kiptum and Emmanuel Naibei managing to keep up with his pace by 32km.

The 27-year-old Kiptum, a 2:06:22 performer, quit the title contest before 40km. Abraha waited for another kilometre to finally pull clear and never looked back before hitting home in style.

Naibei knocked nearly two minutes off his PB to take the second place in 2:08:27. Kiptum held off a strong challenge from Chinese runner Dong Guojian in the last kilometre to notch the third place with a margin of just two seconds in 2:08:58.

(12/09/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Guangzhou International Marathon

Guangzhou International Marathon

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

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Kenyan Elisha Barno and Kenyan Jane Kibii claimed the top men’s and women’s at the 37th annual California International Marathon

The winners were joined by an estimated 13,000 marathon and marathon relay registered runners who started in Folsom and ran the downhill course to finish in front of the State Capitol in Downtown Sacramento.

Rain was not falling, but clouds were forming as runners took their places in corrals at the starting line. Cool, but mostly dry weather is one of the hallmarks of the annual race.

Barno, of Kenya, finished with the day’s top time of 2:13:36 to take the men’s race, in which the three top finishers pushed one another. When one felt good, he brought the others along.

At the 24th mile, the three were running strong together at a 5:01 per mile pace.

“At 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) I tried to move and I saw, like, these guys, they are very strong,” Barno said. He made his final move in the penultimate mile, he said.

Both race winners, Kibii and Barno, take home $12,000 in prize money, plus performance bonuses.

(12/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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California International Marathon

California International Marathon

The California International Marathon (CIM) is a marathon organized by runners, for runners! CIM was founded in 1983 by the Sacramento Running Association (SRA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The SRA Board of Directors is comprised of runners with a combined total of 150+ years of service to the CIM. The same route SRA management created for the 1983 inaugural CIM...

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Titus Ekiru shatters Honolulu Marathon course record

On Sunday morning, Titus Ekiru of Kenya shattered the Honolulu Marathon course record, running a 2:07:59 to defend his title and win the race by more than five minutes. Second place went to Wilson Chebet in 2:13:13 and third place to Edwin Koech in 2:14:19.

Kenya’s Margaret Murikui was the women’s winner, in 2:31:09. Betsy Saina, who was third at the Toronto Marathon (where she ran her personal best of 2:22), and 10th in Boston this year, was second on Sunday clocking 2:31:51. Third place went to American Renee Metivier in 2:43:17 who, with that time, has secured her spot at the US Olympics Trials.

Titus Ekiru of Kenya broke the course record in repeating his victory of last year, winning the 47th Honolulu Marathon.

Ekiru now owns two of the three fastest Honolulu times. The previous record of 2:08:27 was set by Lawerence Cherono two years ago.

Humberto Baeza (2:36:26) and Polina Carlson (2:57:38) were the top Hawaii male and female resident finishers. Maui’s Matt Holton (2:42:36) and Malia Crouse (3:12:25) claimed the kama‘aina awards for runners born and residing in Hawaii.

In the wheelchair division, Masazumi Soejima won his 13th Honolulu Marathon and seventh in a row with a winning time of 1:35:37. Megan O’Neil won the women’s race in 2:48:08.

Around 19,500 people started this year’s race, with another 5,900 taking part in the “Start to Park” 10k race and another 2,700 participating in the Honolulu Marathon’s “Merrie Mile” run on Saturday.

(12/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu Marathon

The Honolulu Marathon’s scenic course includes spectacular ocean views alongside world-famous Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head and Koko Head volcanic craters.The terrain is level except for short uphill grades around Diamond Head. ...

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The man who inspired the Barkley Marathons has died at age 70

Barry Barkley of Shelbyville, Tenn., for whom race director Lazarus Lake (aka Gary Cantrell) named the Barkley Marathons, died on December 5. An obituary in the Shelbyville Times-Gazette says Barkley “loved the outdoors, playing pool, and his animals.”

Trail Running Magazine reach Laz by email. He offered the following on his friend’s passing: “the ultramarathon community lost one of its own this week, with the passing of barry barkley (70). most only know of him indirectly; from the race that bears his name, but he has been a quiet contributor to the sport for the past 42 years. it was always his preference to operate quietly in the background, but he did get enjoyment from the notoriety of his namesake race. since 1979 literally thousands of ultrarunners have met barry at the races. only a handful ever knew who he was. that was how he wanted it. Barry barkley will be sorely missed.”

Barkley’s photo shows he bore a marked resemblance to Laz himself, who started the race in 1986 after hearing about the 1977 escape of James Earl Ray (the man who killed Martin Luther King, Jr.) from Brushy State Penitentiary. After more than two days on the lam, Ray had only covered 13 kilometres before being re-captured. The former ultrarunner Laz, who knew the area well, is said to have responded, “I could do at least 100 miles,” and created the race, naming it for his friend, neighbour and running partner. The race course goes through the grounds of Brushy State, which closed in 2009.

The race is a notoriously difficult 100-miler, with a number of quirks that set it apart from any other race on Earth. It involves five laps of a 20-mile loop that many believe is significantly longer than 20 miles, along an unmarked course that changes slightly every year, with huge elevation gains and losses. GPS are not allowed–Laz issues each racer an inexpensive watch that shows only the time, counting down from the 60-hour cutoff. Cheating is impossible, since runners must present specific pages torn from books hidden along the course, in order to start the next lap.

Runners can replenish their water stores at two locations, but otherwise there are no aid stations–they can meet their crews only between loops, back at camp in Wartburg, Tennessee’s Frozen Head State Park.

(12/09/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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McLaughlin and Coburn confirm their return to the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston

Sydney McLaughlin and Emma Coburn will return to the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, the opening leg of the 2020 World Athletics Indoor Tour, in Boston on 25 January.

McLauglin, who'll be returning to the meeting for the third time, is coming off a stellar first season in the professional ranks that saw her win the silver medal over 400m hurdles and gold in the 4x400m relay at the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019. McLaughlin also won the Diamond League title and ended the season with a lifetime best of 52.22 for the 400m hurdles, making her the second-fastest woman in history. In Boston, McLaughlin will compete in the 500m.

Also returning to Boston with a medal from the World Athletics Championships is Emma Coburn, who will be making her sixth appearance. Coburn, won silver in the 3000m steeplechase in Doha, will line up in the two mile.

Great Britain’s top ranked men’s 1500m specialist, Jake Wightman, is also set to come back to the meeting. Wightman won bronze medals over 1500m at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships in 2018, and finished fifth in the 1500m at the World Championships in a time of 3:31.87, a lifetime best and a new Scottish record. He will race in the 1000m in Boston.

Now in its 25th year, the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix has played host to nine world records and 13 US records.

(12/08/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Andrew Schoeder of Madison, Wisconsin, and Sarah Mulcahy of Fort Kent were crowned champions of Saturday’s fifth annual Millinocket Marathon

Andrew Schoeder and Sarah Mulcahy won the fifth annual Millinocket Marathon.

Two Bangor, Maine residents, Gabe Coffey and Flori Davis, won the accompanying Millinocket Half-Marathon. Both races were held simultaneously amid temperatures in the low 20s and a light, chilling breeze.

Schroeder, whose wife Angela is a Millinocket, Maine native, was the overall marathon champion with a time of 2 hours, 53 minutes and 23 seconds.

He ran among the leaders throughout the first of two 13.1-mile laps that made up the marathon route, which began and concluded in downtown Millinocket.

The 39-year-old Schroeder then took control during the second lap and finished nearly six minutes ahead of his closest rival, Iain Ridgway of Worcester, Massachusetts. Ridgway was the only other runner to finish in less than three hours with his time of 2:59.13.

“I thought anything under about 3:10 and on a good day a finish in the top 5 would be good,” said Schroeder, who ran a 2:38:13 at this year’s Boston Marathon.

Buster Brown of Lamoine was the top Maine finisher in the marathon, placing third in 3:07:09.

Mulcahy, the only runner to complete all five Millinocket Marathons, used this race as an early training run for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and won the women’s division for the fourth time with a clocking of 3:08:38. That effort was good for fourth place overall.

Mulcahy will compete in the Olympic Trials next Feb. 29 in Atlanta. She qualified during the 2018 California International Marathon with a time of 2:44:28. Six days later she won the women’s division of last year’s Millinocket Marathon.

“This was a training run for me so I didn’t push anything,” said the 34-year-old Mulcahy, who along with other runners dealt with tricky traction along some portions of the course Saturday due to snow that fell earlier in the week. “There’s no risking injury before February.”

Laura Richard of Fredericton, New Brunswick, was the second-fastest woman in the marathon field and 11th overall in 3:32.49. Jennifer Schott of Nashville, Tennessee, was next, placing 19th overall in 3:46.47.

Coffey, a former Bangor High School distance running standout who now is competing as a freshman at Bates College in Lewiston, won the men’s half-marathon by more than two minutes with his time of 1:19:54.

“It’s the start of indoor track for me so I’m building up mileage,” said the 18-year-old Coffey. “I wouldn’t say I’m in the best shape but I’m in good enough shape to come out here, give it a good run and have some fun.”

Robert Ashby of Brunswick finished second in 1:22:11 with Brewer’s Kris Garcia third in 1:23:26.

Davis, who gave birth to a child on June 18, was surprised with her victory in the women’s half-marathon but she won comfortably with a time of 1:30:32. That was good for 17th place overall.

“I had no idea what the course was like so I went into it completely blind,” said the 32-year-old Davis. “It was a little hillier than I expected and the first half was really hard and I haven’t trained at all through snow or ice so half the time I was just trying not to fall down.

“I was not expecting at all to win. I was just running it for fun.”

Sarah Russell of Cumberland was second in the women’s division in 1:33:19 while Kayla Morrison of Limington placed third in 1:34:25.

More than 2,300 runners pre-registered for the free-to-run races, which were created by entrepreneur and veteran distance runner Gary Allen of Cranberry Island in 2015 in an effort to support Millinocket’s economic rebound from the closing of the Great Northern Paper Co. mill.

“It’s a great race with a lot of support,” Schroeder said. “Everybody’s so positive, it was just a lot of fun. People were cheering the whole way.”

(12/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Millinocket Marathon

Millinocket Marathon

The Millinocket Marathon & Half has again joined forces with the Mount Desert Island Marathon, Half & Relay to create the Sea to Summit Maine Race Series, featuring two amazing events and a very special finishers medallion! This FREE event was started in 2015 to help a struggling Maine mill town that has been devastated by the closing of their...

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Mariko Yugeta runs 2:56:54 at the Saitama marathon taking off over two minutes from her previous 60 plus world record

The Japanese 61-year-old runner Mariko Yugeta was the first woman in the world over 60 years to run a marathon in less than 3 hours.  On November 3 at the Shimonoseki Kaikyo marathon she clocked 2:59:15.  This was three minutes and 35 seconds faster than the previous record set by the French woman Claudine Marchadier in 2007.

Just a month later, Mariko Yugeta improved on her record at the Saitama marathon.  Today December 8 she clocked 2:56:54 which means she averaged 4:12 per kilometer. 

She has run 100 marathons and her PR before today was 2:58:15 set in 2017.  But those who knew her, already pointed out that Mariko Yugeta was capable to run 2:57 thanks to her good habits of life and training on the track of Kawagoe. 

The Saitama International Marathon is a women's marathon held in Saitama, Japan, and has the IAAF Silver Seal. This race replaced the women's marathon that was held from 2009 to 2014 in Yokohama and which in turn was the successor to the international women's marathon held in Tokyo between 1979 and 2008.

Saitama's first international marathon, held on November 15, 2015, also served as a selection for female marathon representatives from Japan for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

(12/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Saitama International Marathon

Saitama International Marathon

The Saitama International Marathon is a women's marathon held in Saitama, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Saitama Prefecture, Saitama City, Nippon Television Network and the Yomiuri Shimbun. The event is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race. The competition took the place of the Yokohama Women's Marathon which was held in Yokohama from 2009 until 2014 and...

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Jepchirchir wins Saitama Marathon in near record time

Breaking away from Fatuma Sado with 10km to go at the Saitama Marathon, Peres Jepchirchir, running her first marathon outside of Kenya, won the World Athletics Silver Label road race in 2:23:50.

The Kenyan’s winning mark was the second fastest time at the Saitama Marathon, just 32 seconds shy of the course record of 2:23:18 from 2016. Jepchirchir, the 2016 world half marathon champion and former world record-holder at the distance, was contesting just the third marathon of her career. Her official best for the marathon was a modest – by her standards – 2:46:15 recorded in Eldoret in 2018.

Two pace makers – Stacey Ndiwa and Perine Nemgampi – pushed the race at course record pace with Jepchirchir, Belaynesh Oljira, Sado and Rahma Tusa in tow. Their pace up to 15km (50:36) was consistent and steady, but it dropped slightly before the half-way point, reached in 1:11:31.

At 29km, Oljira was surprisingly the first of the top contenders to fall off the pace, and with the pacemakers exiting the course at 30km, Sado, Tusa and Jepchirchir formed the lead trio, nine seconds ahead of Oljira.

With Jepchichir forcing the pace, Tusa fell behind at 31km and then Sado did likewise one kilometre later, leaving Jepchirchir out in front alone.

Jepchirchir slowed slightly in the closing stages, but at 40km she had a two-minute lead over Sado. Her margin had grown to almost three minutes by the finish line, which she crossed in 2:23:50.

Sado, who dropped out of last year’s Saitama Marathon before going on to win the Osaka Women’s Marathon one month later, finished second, while Oljira, the fastest woman in the field with a PB of 2:21:53, finished third. Nina Savina of Belarus finished fourth in a PB of 2:28:44, taking 22 seconds off her best set in Warsaw earlier this year.

Kaori Yoshida was the first Japanese finisher, placing sixth. She was aiming to improve on her PB of 2:28:24 and was on pace to do so up until 20km, which she reached in 1:11:13. Her pace dropped in the second half, though, and she fell outside of PB pace, eventually finishing in 2:35:15.

Incidentally, 61-year-old Mariko Yugeta set a world masters’ best for the 60+ age group, clocking 2:56:54. She improved on her previous best – 2:59:15, her first sub-three-hour marathon – recorded last month in Shimonoseki.

(12/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Saitama International Marathon

Saitama International Marathon

The Saitama International Marathon is a women's marathon held in Saitama, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Saitama Prefecture, Saitama City, Nippon Television Network and the Yomiuri Shimbun. The event is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race. The competition took the place of the Yokohama Women's Marathon which was held in Yokohama from 2009 until 2014 and...

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Pacer Wins Abu Dhabi Marathon by 2 Minutes, Takes Home $100,000

Though he was supposed to drop out at 30K, Reuban Kipyego went on to break the tape in 2:04:40.

Reuban Kipyego took his pacing duties an unexpected step further when he won the Abu Dhabi Marathon on Friday, December 6.

As the designated runner who was tasked with pacing the elite field through a specific point in the race, the 23-year-old Kenyan was expected to drop out around 30K. But Kipyego kept running all the way through the finish line, breaking the tape in a time of 2:04:40.

The pacemaker turned champion beat runner-up Joel Kimurer by a minute and 41 seconds. As the marathon champion, Kipyego earned $100,000 in prize money.

“I was setting the pace for the first 30K feeling very good, and when I turned back to see that the pack was not close behind, I decided that I was going to push to the finish line,” Kipyego told race organizers after his victory.

Kipyego ran faster for the second half of the race after leading the field through 13.1 miles in 1:02:54. The performance improves on his previous personal best of 2:05:18 from a runner-up finish in his debut at the Buenos Aires Marathon on September 22.

Though his action was rare, Kipyego was not the first pacemaker to keep running all the way through the finish line.

In 1994, Paul Pilkington was hired as the rabbit to lead the elite field through 15.5 miles of the Los Angeles Marathon, but he continued on for the entire 26.2, winning the race in 2:12:13. Simon Biwott was supposed to lead the runners through 28K of the 2000 Berlin Marathon, but he ended up leading right through the line, winning in 2:07:42.

In his second pro race, Geoffrey Ronoh upset then-world record-holder Wilson Kipsang at the 2014 Olomouc Half Marathon. Instead of stopping at 10K, the pacemaker won in a course record 1:00:17.

For runners who are on the bubble of winning podium prize money, signing on to be a pacemaker in a large race is an easy way to earn guaranteed payment. While they are expected to drop out before the race ends—and most do—they are allowed to finish the race if they choose to.

“For me, the conditions were ideal and the course was beautiful,” Kipyego told the race organizers. “I’m already looking forward to returning to Abu Dhabi to defend my title.”

(12/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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Man Runs a Marathon in 24 Hours While Doing Home Repairs Along the Way

Beau Miles of Great Britain documented his challenge in the film A Mile an Hour.

For many of us, it can be hard to find time to run each day. On some days, we have a spare 30 minutes to squeeze in a few miles; other times, when we’re lucky, we have a full hour to devote to training. Most of the time, running comes second to all of our other obligations. But maybe that doesn’t have to be the case.

For Beau Miles, a British runner and filmmaker, his chores and other duties are scheduled around his running.

Last year, Miles decided to take on a challenge: in the span of 24 hours, he would run 26.2 miles and also check off various chores around the house. The distance around his property in England was about one mile, so to cover the marathon distance, he would run three laps in the first hour and one lap every hour for the next 23 hours. When he wasn’t running, he planned to finish tasks such as woodworking, gardening, and cooking.

The inspiration behind Miles’s challenge was to have the “ultimate day of running and fixing and being,” he said in A Mile an Hour, the documentary that captured his 24-hour run.

“The marathon itself is not the guts of this project, merely a skeleton,” Miles wrote on his blog. “In between each lap, in the barn, and around the farm, I’ll be keeping busy with a variety of projects.”

Miles, a skilled carpenter as well as an experienced trail runner, began his 24-hour marathon at noon. After he finished his laps, he changed and began tackling his list of chores, which included everything from a two-minute task (fixing a key ring) to a day-long project (building an outdoor table). When his alarm signaled the top of the hour, he laced up and headed out for another mile around his home.

Staying laser-focused on both running and working made Miles extremely productive. By the time he’d finished five miles, he’d also planted six trees, made a canoe paddle, picked up trash along his route, and painted a fence. To fuel his run, he ate licorice each hour. Around dinnertime, he cooked homemade bread and soup for himself and his wife, Helen, then sat down to eat dinner and drink a glass of red wine after mile 11.

Though eating a full meal—plus wine—midway through a marathon sounds like a recipe for disaster, by spacing out the miles, the runner could digest and keep moving. “My body feels fine with all of the resting and eating,” Miles said in the film.

Miles slept for a total of 30 minutes, broken up into two 15-minute increments. Instead of doing chores during the wee hours of the morning, he dozed, rising each hour to do a lap in the dark.

“Getting up is horrible,” he said in the film. “But once you’re up, you’ve started the lap, and there’s no turning back.”

In a blog post later, Miles reflected on his challenge.

“Aside from about 30 minutes of sleep, the 24-hour period was the busiest, most diverse day of my life,” he wrote. “Running, as a circuit breaker each hour, was the perfect way to re-set how I felt, what I would do next, what I was doing (and feeling), and what I’d just done.”

(12/07/2019) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Jerry Ogata, 93-year-old, proves that never is too old to run

Competing in a world class race like the Honolulu Marathon can be a life-long dream. And this 93-year-old runner's dream started when he retired.

Completing a marathon has been described as a religious experience. The euphoric feeling of success after enduring 26.2 miles only slightly outweighing the pain.

Being a Marathon Finisher is an accomplishment many runners aim -- for years, setting goals early in their lives.

But when I asked Jerry Ogata -- why he runs marathons -- his answer, may surprise you.

"I enjoy it. That's the only reason I get," he said.

Jerry Ogata is one of the oldest people registered to run the 2019 Honolulu Marathon. At 93-years old, he's been competing in races for 30 years, but admits his desire to become a marathoner came late in life.

"After I retired, I envied other people running. I envied them because whenever there was a race and I saw them running I though gee I wish I was one of them," Ogata said.

Ogata grew up in the Ewa Plains on a plantation, where he says he ran and hiked as a kid. But his first race came decades later.

"When I was 60 I guess. That was in Honolulu, the Pineapple Run in Wahiawa," Ogata said.

Since then, he was hooked.

"Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu -- but different times, Honolulu maybe I ran several times."

He placed in his age division the last time he ran the Honolulu Marathon, finishing in 10 hours and 36 minutes. That's about a 24 minute mile.

And if Jerry's late choice of hobby might surprise you -- he likes surprises. Like the time he kept his wife in the dark about their honeymoon.

"We went to Japan to climb Mount Fuji -- I told her for our honeymoon we're going to Japan. When we got there I told her we're climbing Mount Fuji. That was a surprise for her"

His wife Jean says she'll be with him at the finish line.

(12/07/2019) ⚡AMP
by Maleko McDonnell
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Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu Marathon

The Honolulu Marathon’s scenic course includes spectacular ocean views alongside world-famous Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head and Koko Head volcanic craters.The terrain is level except for short uphill grades around Diamond Head. ...

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An insider look at the California International Marathon course - Here's everything you need to know about the course

This weekend is the California International Marathon, an event that attracts many Canadians. Canada Running Series masters champion Allison Drynan is a 2:42 masters marathoner who’s running the race for the fifth time this Sunday. The CIM veteran has shared some of her key course insights for those racing.

For all the Johnny Cash fans out there, this race begins just across the American River from the Folsom State Prison, which Cash sang about in Folsom Prison Blues. The prison was also the location of a live album recording in the 1960s.

A net downhill course, the first half of the course is rolling, but flattens out over the halfway mark. This sets the stage for some definite personal best potential. 

At mile 20, runners will literally hit a wall.  There’s a brick wall facade with 10K to go. This reminds you that the race is really getting underway.

At mile 22 runners will pass under a bridge that’s decorated for the race. The banner will say 4.2 miles to go.  

The race begins at a prison and ends at the California State Capitol building, which connects with the State Capitol Park. It’s very picturesque and decorated for the holidays. The 42.2K between the two iconic locations is a net downhill course that takes you through lovely countryside and some quaint little towns (Orangevale, Fair Oaks and Carmichael) before you head into the Sacramento city centre.

Unlike most other marathons, there are two different finishing chutes, one for women and one for men. Drynan explains that both finish lines are the exact marathon distance, no athlete has had their choice of finishing chute contested. For the lead females it’s great to not have to worry about a man breaking their tape or ruining their photo opp.

CIM is one of the most popular Boston Qualifiers in the country, with those who’ve achieved their marks presented the opportunity to ring the BQ bell.

This year’s weather forecast is calling for some rain, but pleasant temperatures and low wind.

Following the race, if you’re a wine drinker, you’re in one of the best places to celebrate. Napa, Sonoma and Lodi are all fabulous wine regions within about an hour of Sacramento, so if you get tired of the many craft beers and diverse restaurants available in this university city, you can hit some vineyards after your race in the spirit of re-hydration.

(12/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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California International Marathon

California International Marathon

The California International Marathon (CIM) is a marathon organized by runners, for runners! CIM was founded in 1983 by the Sacramento Running Association (SRA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The SRA Board of Directors is comprised of runners with a combined total of 150+ years of service to the CIM. The same route SRA management created for the 1983 inaugural CIM...

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Hongkonger runs the length of Japan, battling loneliness and becoming ‘the runner of past, present and future’

Wong Ho-fai runs 500km in one week, as part of his trans-Japan run from Wakkanai to Okinawa

Hong Kong ultra runner Wong Ho-fai completed an epic run from the north of Japan to the south, but it was one week in particular that stood out as an incredible feat.

After passing Tokyo, Wong worried that time was against him. So, he ran 500km in seven days.

“There was loneliness from Tokyo to Hiroshima,” he said, “but I let it subside by focusing on myself, and ran about 500km. I didn’t plan it, I just went fast. I was lonely, but I used the time to reflect. I was lonely but I was also afraid time was running out, so I was driven by fear, which made me more alert.”

Wong, 35, started his 3,250km run in Wakkanai in northern Japan on August 18 and arrived in Okinawa after 73 days of running at the end of October, and has since been relaxing in Japan and trying to readjust back in Hong Kong.

“I’m living a parallel life,” Wong said. “Part of me is living in the past, in Japan. Part of me is living in the present, in Hong Kong and a third part of me is living in the future, imagining running across America.”

Wong has long dreamed of running from coast to coast across the US, and has been building towards it with a 1,400km run around Taiwan and now across Japan.

Wong is trying to not get ahead of himself by spending time on his own and meditating.

“I try to live moment by moment, just like in Japan,” he said.

The start of the mission in Japan was delayed and so Wong set off too fast and injured himself. He was forced to rest, but the break gave him time to meet one of his heroes, ultra running legend Scott Jurek who told him “there is magic in suffering”.

Since returning from Japan, Wong has been getting rid of a lot of his belongings. He dreams of a life like he had during the run.

“I try to live as simple as I can,” he said. “After throwing away a lot of my stuff, I feel better. I feel much lighter.”

(12/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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'I puked, fouled myself and collapsed - it was great': Meet the record-breaking ultra marathon runner fuelled by beer and burritos

At the ultra running World Championship, competitors looped a 1,500 metres circuit continuously for 24 hours and, with time running out, American Camille Herron was suffering.

She had thrown up twice, stopped to lie down twice, and had such serious bowel issues the officials had forced her off the course to shower and change her clothes. By the finish Herron had run 168 miles, the equivalent of running 6½ consecutive marathons, each in an average time of 3 hr 44 min.​

She certainly means it when she says: “I want to change what people think is possible. Especially for women.”​

Herron’s feat was a world record, she finished sixth in the race overall (including the men) and moved to third best on the United States all-time list for both genders. To get there she had to endure multiple setbacks.​

“I was trying this new fuelling plan with this new product and it wasn’t going well,” Herron explains. “The race was in France, so most of the rest rooms were squat toilets. For 350 athletes, they only had three normal toilets.”​

On her third bathroom stop in quick succession, she found a queue of athletes so decided to carry on. “But on that lap my bowels sort of unleashed themselves,” she says, laughing about it now. “But this is ultra running. S--- happens. Literally!”​

She switched her food to cups of mashed potato, makeshift burritos and her secret weapon – beer. Her condition did not improve but then a switch flicked in her mind.​

“After puking the second time, with 2½ hours to go, I just said to myself, ‘Let’s drop the hammer, let’s go beast mode’.”​

Herron started to fly. “I like to think of myself as a boxer, throwing punches,” she says. “Those last few hours were awesome, the most fun I’ve ever had in a race.”​

Surely she doubted, during the low moments, that it would all come together so spectacularly?​

“No,” she says. “I had already accepted before the race that I would be challenged. So at no point did I feel defeated. It was like ultra chess, we had to brainstorm how to deal with the problems. In the night, that’s the hardest part, because the brain is shutting down, so you’re trying to keep the light on.”​

Herron discovered the benefits of beer by accident. “I was in a trail race, really struggling, sitting in a chair. I’d tried everything and it wasn’t working and my husband just said, ‘You want a beer?’ I popped out of my chair after that. It got my blood flowing again.”​

During her latest world record she downed three Belgian beers along the way. “It settles my gut and helps me focus,” she laughs.​

Herron’s achievements are all the more astonishing as she has had to overcome a lopsided body, re-teaching herself how to run after years of injuries. She was born with her right thigh bone twisted inwards and has an extra bone in her right foot. “There’s something developmentally quirky about how I’m built,” she says. To reduce the strain on her body she re-learnt to run lifting her legs from the ground rather than pushing off. It means she looks like she is roller skating rather than running. “It’s like I’m prancing,” she says. “But I’m light on my feet. As a marathon runner, I had a great engine but I wasn’t fast enough because I wasn’t powerful. But as there’s less impact, for ultras it has turned out to be an advantage.”​

Since readapting her style, Herron has had only one injury, following a serious accident in February in which her car flipped upside down.​

Her steel was instilled from an early age. Herron’s grandfather was shot in both legs in the Second World War and awarded two Purple Heart medals, which are given for members of the US military wounded or killed while serving. He and Herron’s father were also basketball players under tough Olympic coach Henry Iba.​

“You had to be hard-nosed to play for him,” she explains. “My dad told stories of playing for six hours straight without water. So at age seven, I used to play in the yard, without water, until I blacked out. Then I’d get a sandwich and play some more. I was thinking, ‘This is what I got to do, push myself to extremes’. I was training for ultras without realising it.”​

Another formative event came when she was 17 and her whole family were made homeless by the strongest tornado ever recorded.​

“We get tornadoes all the time in Oklahoma,” she recalls, “so when we left the house I didn’t take anything. But it was crazy, four people in our area lost their lives, our house was flattened. But though we lost everything, I thought: ‘I’m still alive.’ At 17, that’s a big thing to realise, the value of your life. It changed my perspective.” From then on she started running on Sundays instead of going to church, to celebrate her life.​

Herron now believes that she can eventually chase down the men’s ultra running world records and she is partly driven by the inequality she feels is rampant in the sport. The normally upbeat Herron turns serious as she recounts her struggles for recognition in ultra running.​

“In my breakout year in 2015 I won two world titles and broke a world record and I thought I should get an agent,” she says, “but he couldn’t find me a sponsor. Then Jim Walmsley [a top male US runner] dropped out of Western States [a big US race] and I caught him in the world 100km championships, and he gets sponsored by Hoka. I was p----d.”​

She fired her agent and joined Walmsley’s agent, who eventually got her a sponsorship deal with Nike. Recently she was left fuming after a race in France offered prize money for the top 20 men, but only the top five women. And the women’s race was half the distance.​

“Sometimes it’s like a throwback to the 1970s,” she says. “I can’t believe it’s 2019 and women are still fighting for equal prize money. While everyone looks at the men like they’re superstars, I see people looking at me and tutting. I’m pretty tall, and I run aggressively and people don’t like it. I hear them saying, ‘She’s going out too fast’. So it’s a big motivation for me to run faster. To beat the men.”​

The way she is going, she might end up leaving them all behind. They can collect up her beer bottles when they come by.

(12/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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