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Eliud Kipchoge and Caterine Ibarguen were named World Athletes of the Year at the IAAF Awards

Kipchoge underlined his status as the world’s most dominant distance runner. The 34-year-old Kenyan won the London Marathon in April in 2:04:17 to finish comfortably ahead of one of the deepest marathon fields in history.

Five months later, he won the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:39 to smash the world record. His time in the German capital was 78 seconds faster than the previous world record, representing the biggest single improvement on a men’s marathon world record since 1967.

Not content with being the best triple jumper in the world, Ibarguen also tested herself against the world’s best in the long jump this year – and consistently came out on top in that too.

The 34-year-old Colombian won both horizontal jumps at the Central American and Caribbean Games, the IAAF Continental Cup and at the IAAF Diamond League finals – winning the latter two titles in two different cities within the space of 24 hours.

She was unbeaten in all eight of her triple jump competitions, ending the year with a world-leading mark of 14.96m in her specialist event and a national record of 6.93m in the long jump.

(12/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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New ownership has been announced for the Carlsbad 5000 being held April 7th

San Diego-based Groundwork Endurance, LLC announced this week that it has acquired the iconic Carlsbad 5000 road race from IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company. Under the leadership of local runners, including U.S Olympian Meb Keflezighi, Groundwork Endurance will welcome participants from around the world to Carlsbad, California April 6- 7, 2019 for the 34th annual Carlsbad 5000.

“I am delighted to join the local ownership team in building upon the legacy of the Carlsbad 5000. There is no better place than the San Diego coast to celebrate the sport that has meant so much to me,” said Meb, the only runner in history to win the NYC Marathon, Boston Marathon and an Olympic Marathon medal.

“I raced the Carlsbad 5000 twice during my professional career and both experiences were unforgettable. Having the opportunity to now help shape the direction of this amazing event for future generations is truly an honor. My wife and I are excited to watch as our three daughters run in their first Junior Carlsbad and we can’t wait to get more kids throughout the area to join in on the fun.” Known as the “World’s Fastest 5k”, the annual road race attracts amateur, competitive, and professional runners from around the world.

Since the inaugural edition in 1986, the Carlsbad 5000 has seen 16 World records and eight U.S. records, as well as numerous national and age group marks. The event is the home of the current female and male World 5K road records: 14:46, Meseret Defar (ETH), 2006 and 13:00, Sammy Kipketer (KEN), 2000.

“First and foremost, we want to thank the incredible running community that has made this race so special for more than 30 years,” said Ashley Gibson, the founder of Groundwork Endurance who spearheaded the effort to return race ownership to its local roots.

“The Carlsbad 5000 is not only a showcase of world- class talent but a celebration of family, friends, and community. Our team has a great appreciation for the unrivaled history of this race and we are committed to producing a fantastic event in 2019. April can’t get here soon enough!” Race weekend promises a fast oceanfront course, healthy competition, and energetic atmosphere for participants of all ages and paces. The event features multiple age-group races throughout the morning leading up to the legendary pro women's and men's races.

The popular Junior Carlsbad, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019, also features multiple races designed for children ages 12 and under. Kids distances range from a one-miler to the always entertaining 50-yard Toddler Trot and 25-yard Diaper Dash.

“The Carlsbad 5000 is truly one of the world’s great events and holds a special place in the hearts of the runners and longtime event staff alike,” said Dan Cruz, the race’s longtime Head of Communications.

“Few events can match the Carlsbad 5000’s tradition, spectator friendly course, electric race day atmosphere and I couldn’t be more pleased to continue working with the new ownership team.”

My Best Runs Director Bob Anderson has run the Carlsbad 5000 for 25 consecutive years.  

(12/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge feels that Geoffrey Kamworor will surpass what he has done in running

This evening, the IAAF will name their Athlete of the Year and Eliud Kipchoge discussed how he sees the future of running. The IAAF reported that Kipchoge was asked to evaluate the prospects of his training partner. He responded, “I think Geoffrey, in future will surpass what I have done in this sport.” Now that’s humility. Kamworor responded that he’s interested in continuing his half-marathon and cross-country career for now. Kamworor has won three World Half-Marathon titles and two World Cross-Country titles. He was also the 2015 World Championship silver medallist over 10,000m and the 2017 New York City Marathon Champion. As far as Kipchoge’s future plans are concerned, he’s not rushing to reveal his winter or spring schedule. But he is the feature runner in a newly published book, which he signed copies of today. The book is called, “Eliud Kipchoge 2:01:39.” The other athletes in the running against Kipchoge for Athlete of the Year are: Christian Coleman, Timothy Cheruiyot, Armand Duplantis, Emmanuel Korir, Noah Lyles, Luvo Manyonga, Kevin Mayer, Abderrahman Samba and Tomas Walsh. The award will be presented this evening in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (12/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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BMW Dallas Marathon defending champ Chandler Self wants to win again and run across the finish line this year

Through 24 miles, Chandler Self felt great, on pace to set a personal best and win her hometown marathon. She had more than a two-minute lead on her competition. But in the 25th mile, her quads locked up. "I remember thinking: 'This hurts so bad. The pain won't stop until I cross the finish line,'" recalled Self, a psychiatrist with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. "I kept pushing, willing my body to keep going." With the finish line in sight, her legs buckled. They wouldn't budge. She tried to get up but collapsed again. And again. And again. A fellow runner gave her a hand up. Self's body was so depleted that she needed a lift and a forward shove to reach the tape. She fell forward across the finish line in 2 hours, 53 minutes, 57 seconds. "It was like getting the wind knocked out of my sails," Self, an avid sailor, said. "And sailing with no wind is no fun. You can't move forward." Video of the finish garnered international attention. People were captivated by one runner's compassion toward another. For Self, who will again be among the elite women next Sunday in the marathon, last year's race represents her most notable career achievement and one of her most humiliating experiences. "The main takeaway for me is that I can fall, and I can get back up again," Self, 33, said. "I'm going to get up and try to run the Dallas Marathon again and cross the finish line strong." Added Self's dad, a marathoner and competitive sailor: "That was a huge learning moment, to sit there 200 yards from the finish line and have your body just collapse on you. It's huge to realize that every once in a while, everybody needs a hand up. Even in winning, you didn't do it all yourself." (12/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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81-year-old C.K. Murthy, will run the Singapore Marathon for the 29th straight year

In his own words, C. K. Murthy "extends the lives of buildings" for a living. So perhaps it does not come as a surprise that he knows a thing or two about active ageing and living life to its fullest. Next weekend, at the age of 81, the engineering consultant will take part in the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) for the 29th straight year. The chairman of CKM Consultants, who has overseen restoration projects of iconic Singapore landmarks like the Capitol building and Stamford House, told The Sunday Times that running has been a part of his life since he was a child. "From a very young age, I was running all the time," he said. "My uncle used to take me running up a hill near our place, at Chitradurga in Kartanaka state in India, where I was born." He arrived in Singapore in 1967 to take up a job in the faculty of architecture at the then University of Singapore, where he later became an associate professor. He became a Singapore citizen in 1985. Even in Singapore, he kept running. He frequently took his wife of 52 years, Suma, and their four sons - Arun, Abhishek, Ashvin and Anil - on jogs and runs at the Botanic Gardens, which is near their home. But the catalyst for his marathons was in 1988, when his two younger sons, Ashvin and Anil, said they wanted to run from home to Changi Airport - which was 25km away. The family completed the one-way run, and decided they enjoyed the literal cross-country journey. The following year, they decided to register for the Singapore Marathon, which was into its eighth edition then. "At the time, I had never even heard of a marathon," said Murthy, with a chuckle. "But since then, I've taken part in it, every single year." (12/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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World record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei is not going to be running the Honolulu Marathon due to injury

World half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei, who was to make her marathon debut at this weekend’s Honolulu marathon, now has to wait longer to realise the dream after she picked up an injury. The 24-year-old, who was lining up for her first marathon race after a brilliant show in the half marathon, twisted her leg during training while preparing for her debut. “I will not be running on Sunday because the injury I sustained means I could not have finished,” said Jepkosgei. “My preparations were going on well and apart from the small injury, I would have made history. It's a new race for me because I have not participated in a full marathon but I believe in my training,” added Jepkosgei who trains under the guidance of her husband Nicholas Koech. Jepkosgei further said that she will continue training once she heals as she looks forward to taking part in other races next year. “I look forward to running one of the marathons maybe early next year once the injury heals,” she said. Her withdrawal leaves former Honolulu Marathon champion Joyce Jepkirui, Vivian Kiplagat and Sheila Jerotich to battle it out for the crown won by Brigid Kosgei last year. (12/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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John Muritu improved the course record at Kumamoto Kosa 10-Mile Road Race to 45:56

The Kumamoto Kosa 10-Mile Road Race produced two of the fastest Japanese times ever, two national records, and record-setting depth. Up front, a larger-than-usual contingent of Japan-based Kenyans and top-level Japanese talent including Chicago 2:07:57 man Taku Fujimoto, Jakarta Asian Games steeplechase bronze medalist Kazuya Shiojiri and others pushed through a 14:10 first 5 km despite warm and humid conditions and a light headwind. The lead pack gradually whittled down to five by 15 km, where John Muritu, Fujimoto and Cyrus Kingori attacked at the base of a short downhill. In the last sprint Muritu got away to take 1st in 45:56, with Fujimoto next in 45:57 and Kingori 3rd in 45:58. Fujimoto's time was one second better than last year's winning time by half marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara and landed him at all-time Japanese #4. Following his 10000 m PB last weekend in Hachioji it looks like Fujimoto, a teammate of Fukuoka winner Yuma Hattori, has recovered well from his surprise sub-2:08 in Chicago. Shiojiri and three-time Kosa winner Jeremiah Thuku Karemi were left behind by the top three's final attack, Karemi taking 4th and Shiojiri 5th in 46:06 to position himself as all-time Japanese #10. Veteran 2:07 marathoner and former Hakone Ekiden uphill king Masato Imai had a surprisingly good day, taking 13 seconds off his 11-year-old PB for 9th in 46:22. (12/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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I would rather drop dead running a marathon than die in a hospital bed says 85-year-old Moon Fahel

A retired mechanical engineer, Moon Fahel was the oldest runner this year at the Humana Rock ’n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon. “Another 26.2 Mile Run by Mr. Moon at Age 85.5” read the back of his running shirt, perhaps offering inspiration to weary stragglers. Fahel didn’t break any records. But he has been in the news lately as the marathon’s oldest runner.  As Fahel warmed up Sunday among the thousands of other runners, strangers stopped by to chat. “I’ve seen him somewhere. He’s very encouraging. I just started about a year ago, and this is my second race,” said Jody Steinman, 53, of Fort Worth. Also on hand Sunday was Lee, Fahel’s wife of 61 years, who is torn by her husband’s late-life passion. “We all have our fingers crossed. I worry about him every time he leaves the house,” she said. Moon, however, runs without fear or worry about how the grueling race may end. “I’d rather drop dead running a marathon than die in a hospital bed,” he said. Born in Syria, educated at the University of Texas at Austin and an executive for H.B. Zachry Co. Fahel started running about five years ago. Before that he was a speed walker and did some kickboxing. In 2013, he ran his first and only half-marathon and was hooked, despite hot weather. “People were falling like dead flies,” he recalled. He now runs more than 1,000 miles a year in training and does only full marathons. Over those same five years, he has been treated for three kinds of cancer. “Cancer survivors can draw some strength from my story. I am a three-time survivor. I enjoy a full and healthy life, and running is part of it,’ he said. Standing 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing about 140 pounds, Fahel has a runner’s build. By running marathons, he has come to know his body better. “Usually, around mile 19 to 21, your mind begins to wonder why you are doing this. Your body starts asking, should I continue or stop,” he said. “At that point you should take some nourishment, typically a small bar of candy and some salt pretzels to prevent cramping,” he added. Fahel said that thinking about those he loves also gives him strength to continue. “I say, ‘I need to finish. They are waiting for me. They will greet me with joy.’ And that will get me through the next few miles, and then it’s a joy ride to the finish,” he said. After the race, Fahel usually goes out for dinner with his family, and the next day he wakes up feeling good. “I do not run for anyone else or to compete with anyone else. My objective is to have that moment of inner silence. And when I finish, sweating, gritty and tired, it feels good,” he said. (12/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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IAAF announced it plans to honor some of the most highly accomplished runners in history

The first runners on the list of those to be honored are American sprinter Jesse Owens, Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi, Czech distance runner Emil Zatopek, Dutch sprinter and hurdler Fanny Blankers-Koen, British distance runner Emil Voigt, Australian sprinter Betty Cuthbert, Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila, Polish sprinter Irena Szewinska and American Mildred “Babe” Didrickson Zaharias, who won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Olympics. IAAF president Sebastian Coe made the announcement in Monaco yesterday.  (12/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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The Reggae Marathon was Japan's Daichi Okano third marathon and first win

Okano, 26, despite being autistic, has been running competitively since the age of 15. However, this is his third competitive marathon and his first win clocking 2:47:17. He expressed that he enjoyed running the marathon, although it got a bit hot near the end. "My body felt light, I felt good this morning, so I was just able to keep my form and composure. It was my first time, but I had a really good run and I enjoyed it," said Okano, who was speaking through an interpreter. "It was hot, got pretty warm, but (it was) nothing too much out of the ordinary, so I was able to enjoy myself and have a good run," he added. Okano, who was running outside of Japan for the first time, said he is looking forward to competing in Jamaica again next year.  (12/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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Emma Bates Won the California International Marathon in her debut

On a near-perfect day for marathon running with sunny skies and comfortably cold temperatures, Brogan Austin of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Emma Bates of Boise, Idaho, won the USATF Marathon titles at the California International Marathon on Sunday Dec 2. Austin, 27, who entered today’s race with only a 2:24:39 personal best, was a surprise winner, while Bates, 26, was one of the favorites, despite making her marathon debut. Austin clocked 2:12:38 while Bates was timed in 2:28:18. Both athletes earned $20,000 in prize money plus a $1500 bonus for achieving USA Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying times. Emma Bates said in her pre-race interview on Friday that she had one simple goal for today: to win. When the gun went off, she paid no attention to the other 98 elite women and pounded aggressively through the opening stages of the race. She split 10-K in 34:41, a 2:26 pace. She slowed only slightly through halfway (1:13:24), but later admitted that she had started too fast. “I just felt so good,” Bates said with a laugh. “You get wrapped up in it, and there’s so many people running around you, all the guys, everybody cheering. The adrenaline is really hard to keep at bay. I went out a little too aggressive, I think. I definitely wanted to run the second half a little bit faster.” Like Llano, Bates had a big lead through the halfway point. The number-one seeded woman in the field, Stephanie Bruce, was a full 83 seconds back. Was Bates worried about getting caught? “I wasn’t,” she said. “I didn’t know where the other women were behind me, but I knew I was keeping a decent pace, a solid pace. So, I wasn’t worried at any point. I just wanted to run a fast time. At the end of the day, I just wanted to do my best.” Bates was never challenged. She cruised through the final miles and looked remarkably fresh at the finish line. Her time of 2:28:18 made hers the eighth-fastest USA marathon debut for a woman. It was also her first national title at any distance. “I said that I wanted to win,” she said.  (12/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon Director Dave McGillivray first run since his heart surgery

I “snuck” out the door this afternoon (Saturday) with a lot of nervousness and trepidation.  It was such a nice day and I was feeling anxious so I laced on the running shoes for the first time since October 11th.   I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do or where I was going...I just went.  I walked for about 2/10 of a mile and then started running (maybe shuffling).  Legs good.  Chest a little sore and sensitive but good.  Breathing a little labored but not too bad.   I ran for about a half mile and then I walked again for about 2/10 of a mile.  Then I ran again for about 1-mile and walk for 1/10 and then ran again.  In total, I “ran” about 3-miles and walked 6/10 of a mile.  I didn’t set any speed records but it was just good to “get back out on the road”.  I took it nice and slow.  While out there, my friend Steve Cooper from Ch. 7 Boston happened to be driving by and saw me running and pulled over to say hi and take a picture.  Great guy.  After a brief chat, I went on my way with another friend who was out for a run and coincidentally had quadruple bypass surgery 8 years ago!  All and all, I’m please with my “first day back running on the road” since my surgery 7 weeks ago.  I wonder if I will be sore tomorrow? (Dave McGillivray posted this on Facebook) (12/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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Leul Gebrselassie wins the Valencia Marathon clocking an outstanding 2:04:30

Leul Gebrselassie smashed the Spanish all-comers Record at the Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, an IAAF Gold Label road race, in the eastern Spanish city on Sunday December 2. Running for just the second time over the distance, the 25-year-old Ethiopian clocked 2:04:30 to finish almost a full minute inside the previous Spanish all-comers record set at this race last year. In a race of exceptionally strong depth, the top-three athletes dipped below 2:05 and no fewer than six men ran under 2:05:30, a figure only bettered in the Dubai marathon this season. In the women’s race Ethiopia’s Ashete Dido obliterated the course record and her previous best in 2:21:14 to take a commanding victory ahead of Kenya’s Lydia Cheromei, the leader for much of the race. Boosted by five pacemakers, the men’s opening splits were quite fast with the large heading group going through the five and 10-kilometer points in 14:48 and 29:47 respectively. By then, all the main favorites – Gebrselassie and the Kenyan pair of Mathew Kisorio and defending champion Sammy Kitwara – ran close together in ideal weather conditions of 55F (13C) and very slight wind.  Leul’s time is the fifth fastest winning time of marathons run over the last 12 months according to My Best Runs.  Only Berlin (2:01:39), Dubai (2:04:00), Amsterdam (2:04:06) and London (2:04:17) were faster.  2018 is clearly the best marathon year ever. (12/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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Yuma Hattori wins the Fukuoka Marathon the first Japanese runner to win in 14 years

25-year-old Yuma Hattori from Japan PR for the marathon before today was 2:09:46.  On the other hand the favorite,Yemane Tsegay from Ethiopia had run much faster.  But it was Yuma’s race today has he won by over a minute clocking 2:07:27 at the 72nd annual Fukuoka Marathon held today Dec 2 in Japan.  Yemane finished second clocking 2:08:54. Yuma is the fifth Japanese runner to break 2:08 this year.  2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi finished tenth clocking 2:12:03 adding another sub 2:20 performance to his list of many.  Breaking away from Yemane Tsegay and Amanuel Mesel at 36 kilometers, Yuma Hattori cruised to victory. “It is close to the time I had hoped for,” said Hattori, whose performance elevated him to eighth on the Japanese all-time list. Mesel finished third with 2:09:45. The race progressed on an even pace with 15:00 five-kilometer segments through 25 kilometers.  The first casualty of the relatively fast even pace, considering the unseasonably warm weather was Vincent Kipruto, former World Championships silver medallist who fell behind before 5km. Yuki Kawauchi began to drift back after 11km and Kentaro Nakamoto after 15km and Ghebreslassie at 17. Both Kipruto and Ghebrselassie dropped out before reaching the midway point. Bedan Karoki finished his pacing duties at 25km; the two remaining pacesetters forged on but the tempo slowed to 15:36 over the next five kilometers, by far the slowest of the day. The leading pack of nine was reduced to three by 35 kilometers, with Hattori, Mesel and Tsegay reaching the mark in 1:46:12. But at the water station one kilometer later, Hattori broke away. “I did not feel like I made a move,” Hattori said. “It was more like my competitions dropped off, so I decided to go.”                   (12/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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Shifaz Mohamed from Malvidez will train in Kenya to break his national marathon record at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Shifaz Mohamed will aim to break his national marathon record at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon slated for January 25, 2019, in Dubai. Shifaz Mohamed, departed on Tuesday to Kenya for a two-month training course. The training club, which Shifaz is visiting said that they are happy to welcome the national half-marathon and marathon champion, and that it is an honor for the club to train Shifaz. The club added that Shifaz's daily training and improvements will be directly monitored by their head coach.  (12/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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Beth Thorp suffered a brain seizure that paralyzed her right side but on Sunday she plans to finish the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half-Marathon

Thorp, 57, is one of the “Lucky 13,” a baker’s dozen of former Tri-City Medical Center patients chosen each year for six months of free fitness and race training and free entry fees for the 13.1-mile race. “Lucky 13” trainer Paul Carey hand-picked this year’s 13 team members from about 40 applicants. The team includes men and women ages 34 to 69 recovering from heart attacks, cancer, back and leg injuries and obesity and diabetes-related health problems. But a sad back story isn’t enough to make the team, Carey said. “The common thread among this year’s team members is gratitude and joyfulness,” he said. “They’re all fighters and team players. They’re ready to transform and change their lives by pushing themselves to find out what they’re made of.” Thorp’s brain injury wasn’t the first time she and her husband, Brad, had dealt with great adversity. In November 2008, the couple buried their 18-year-old son, Mitchell, after an excruciating five-year medical odyssey that maxed out their insurance, emptied their bank account and led them to specialists all over the country. The cause of his illness was never diagnosed. To find purpose in their grief, the couple gave back to the community that had supported them during Mitchell’s long health battle. In 2009, they launched the Mitchell Thorp Foundation, which each year provides more than $250,000 in support and counseling to the families of children with life-threatening illnesses. (12/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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AIMS World Record Award has been presented to Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta

AIMS is delighted to announce that the AIMS World Record Award has been presented to Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta in recognition of her “women-only” Half Marathon World Record of 1:06:11 set at the IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018 on 24 March 2018. Netsanet beat the previous record of 1:06:25 set by Lornah Kiplagat (Kenya), a record that has stood since 2007. Ermias Ayele, Race Director of the Great Ethiopian Run presented Netsanet with her award as part of a pre-race media event in advance of the Great Ethiopian Run on Sunday 18 November. The time of 1:06:11 has been officially recognised as the world record by the IAAF and by AIMS. AIMS set the world record criteria for performances on the road later adopted by the IAAF and have been awarding athletes in recognition of world record breaking performances since 1985. Netsanet Gudeta commented: “It is very special for me to receive this award in Ethiopia.” Ermias Ayele, race director of the Great Ethiopian Run, said: “We are very proud, on behalf of AIMS, to welcome Netsanet to our race and host her presentation here. Netsanet is an inspiration to women and girls in Ethiopia and the entire world.” (12/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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Gary Allen, founder of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and the Millinocket Marathon named race director of the year

Whether he’s designing race courses or participating on them, running has taken Gary Allen all over the country. This month, the Great Cranberry Island resident has had to make travel arrangements for a different reason. Allen was named the MarathonFoto Road Race Management Race Director of the Year on Thursday and inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame on Sunday. The two ceremonies took the founder of Crow Athletics and the Mount Desert Island Marathon from one end of the Eastern Seaboard to the other in just a matter of days. “It was definitely a tremendous honor to receive both awards, and it was even more humbling to be at both ceremonies in the same week,” Allen said. “Going from place to place for those few days was definitely a very busy time — I almost missed by connecting flight [back to Maine] — but it was worth it because it was a fun and special week.” Early last week, Allen made the trip to St. Petersburg, Fla., where he was named Road Race Management Race Director of the Year. In a press release prior to the ceremony, Road Race Management President Phil Stewart cited Allen’s work directing the MDI Marathon, which has received national attention from both Runner’s World and New England Runner for its scenery, design and atmosphere. The award, four-time Boston Marathon winner and 1976 United States Olympic team representative Bill Rodgers once said, is essentially “the gold medal of race directing.” Allen was nominated by friend O.J. Logue. He had no idea he was being considered, but the committee of directors, athletes, media members and others in the running community deemed him worthy. “The running community and the state of Maine have greatly benefited from [Gary’s] tireless energy and vision put forth into action,” Stewart said. “Gary has the extraordinary ability to create a concept and act upon it in a meaningful way. … His accomplishments and energy are legendary in Maine.” Three days later, Allen was named to the Maine Running Hall of Fame at Governor’s Hill Mansion in Augusta. The MDI Marathon itself was also included among the 10 inductees. In addition to his work with the MDI Marathon, Allen has received notoriety in recent years for his creation of the Millinocket Marathon. He created the race as a way to boost the Katahdin region’s local economy.  Gary is also going to be sharing his insights and knowledge  in his regular writings for My Best Runs in Running News Daily under the Marathon Man banner.   (11/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia returns to regain the title he won in 2016 at the 72nd Fukuoka Marathon

Two years ago, Tsegay stopped Patrick Makau from winning a third straight title at this race. Last year he finished a distant 26th in 2:18:05, slowed by a sudden back problem that hit him after five kilometres. In May he won the Ottawa Marathon with 2:08:52, has a personal best of 2:04:48 set in Rotterdam in 2012 and took silver at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. He trains with this year’s Chicago Marathon runner-up Mosinet Geremew and Shanghai winner Seifu Tura, boding well. The man who beat Tsegay in Beijing, Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, is also in the race. Ghebreslassie was fourth at the 2016 Olympic Games and won the New York City Marathon later that year. He set his personal best of 2:07:46 earlier that year, at the London Marathon. However, he’s failed to finish the last three marathons he started: New York, Dubai and London. He said he was hampered by injury in 2017 and early 2018, but is back on track now. “My training after London is going well,” he said. Vincent Kipruto, the runner-up at the 2011 World Championships, is also in the field. His best of 2:05:13 dates back to the 2010 Rotterdam Marathon, but more recently clocked 2:06:14 at the 2017 Berlin Marathon. Amanuel Mesel of Eritrea has run well here in the past, finishing fifth at both the 2016 and 2017 editions of the race. Although not an invited runner, Brett Robinson of Australia, a pace maker last year, is said to be in strong shape and ready for a fast performance in his debut over the distance.  2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi is also running and posted this on FB.  "I will run Fukuoka international open marathon Sunday. I ran this race 8 times( include 3 times of sub 2:10). I love this race and this city and people of Fukuoka. I believe I can end my bad flow of marathon since this summer," Yuki posted a few hours ago.  (11/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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A strong elite men´s field is set for the Valencia Marathon this Sunday

Five men in the Valencia Marathon field have previously run better than 2:06:00 on at least one occasion headed by Ethiopia’s Leul Gebrselassie. The 25-year-old boasts a 2:04:02 lifetime best clocked last January in Dubai on his debut over the distance, barely three seconds slower than his illustrious countryman Haile Gebrselassie’s career best. He finished tenth at this year’s World Half Marathon Championships held in Valencia and holds a 59:18 personal best for the distance clocked in Valencia last year. One of his stiffest opponents should be defending champion Sammy Kitwara, who turned 32 years earlier this week. The Kenyan clocked the 2:05:15 course record last year, his second ever behind his 2:04:28 career best set in Chicago in 2014. Kitwara has only raced once this year, finishing 15th in Lisbon over the half marathon when he clocked 1:01:12. He will be joined by his fellow Kenyan Norbert Kigen, who clocked 2:05:13 in Amsterdam in 2017. He will be making his second appearance of the season after dropping out in Boston last April. Mathew Kisorio, who clocked 2:06:36 in Paris earlier this year and ran a 1:02:18 time for the half marathon in the altitude of Eldoret last month and Solomon Yego (2:07:12) will also be in contention. Eritrea's Yohanes Gebregergis, a creditable seventh at the World Championships last year, should also be tipped as one of the main favorities.  The Madrid-based 24-year-old ran 1:00:16 for the half marathon in Lisbon earlier this year and holds a PR of 2:08:14. Ethiopia’s Deribe Robi, third last year in 2:06:38, might also be a factor on Sunday in his fourth marathon this year, his best effort being 2:08:51 in Seoul. (11/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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Caryl Smith Gilbert has been named 2018 Nike Coach of the Year

Caryl Smith Gilbert whose University of Southern California’s Track & Field women’s program won the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championship has been named 2018 Nike Coach of the Year. Smith Gilbert (Los Angeles, California) will be honored during the USATF Night of Legends event on Saturday, December 1 in Columbus, Ohio. In her fifth year as Director of USC Track & Field, Smith Gilbert led the Trojan women to the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship, the second in program history. The women claimed the title with a thrilling come-from-behind win in the 4x400m in which USC scored 52 of their 53 team points. The Trojan men saw stellar performances at the NCAA Outdoor Championships from would-be professionals Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin, in which they set three collegiate records en route to a fourth place team finish. In winter, Smith Gilbert’s men’s team finished second at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships and the women finished seventh after winning the Pac-12 Indoor title. "Caryl has become one of the world’s greatest coaches, and the consistent success of her athletes is a testament to that fact,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “USATF congratulates her on this richly deserved honor.” "This award is not about me; it's about allowing the world to have a preview of what women can do,” said Smith Gilbert. “This is a testament to all the years of hard work, but most importantly, it's about changing lives and helping people along the way. I've been fortunate to do that in my career." (11/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Jenny Hitchings is on a roll breaking four national age-group records in four months

Fifty-five-year-old Jenny Hitchings of Sacramento, Calif. has been on a roll, breaking no fewer than four national US age group records since turning 55 on July 1.

Most recently, she took down Joan Benoit Samuelson‘s 55-60 10K record at the Sacramento Food Bank’s Run to Feed the Hungry 10k, clocking 37:29–almost a minute faster than Samuelson’s record of 38:20, set in 2014. But this was only Hitchings’ most recent accomplishment. Starting in August, she has broken no fewer than three other US age-group records. 

On August 11 she took down Shirley Matson’s 5K record, set in 1997 at the Carlsbad 5000, with an 18:05 finish at the Susan B. Anthony Women’s 5K. In early September she broke the 10-mile record held since 1998 by S. Rae Baymiller, with a 1:01:20 finish at the Buffalo Stampede in Sacramento. And in early October at the Urban Cow Half Marathon, she set her third national age-group record of the year clocking 1:21:18 beating Shirley Matson previous record. 

When Jenny was 47 she ran a 2:46:10 marathon and she won her age-group at the 2015 Boston Marathon at age 52 clocking 2:52:51.  In 2015, she broke a 30 year old Age Group course record at Cal International Marathon (CIM) clocking 2:49:49.  

(11/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Running is better at reversing signs of ageing in comparison to other types of exercising

While the health benefits of running are widely known, such as helping you to build strong bones and strengthen your muscles, regularly going on leisurely runs could also slow down signs of ageing. A study published in the European Heart Journal by researchers from Leipzig University in Germany assessed the impact that different forms of exercise have on the human body, comparing the effects of endurance, high-intensity training and resistance training. Over the course of six months, the team studied 266 healthy volunteers as they took part in three workouts a week, each randomly assigned one of the three forms of exercise or put in a control group. All of the participants were described as being “previously inactive”, thus creating an even playing field for the study. Endurance training involved going on long runs, high-intensity training consisting of doing a warm up followed by running intervals, and the resistance training involved doing a variety of exercises such as crunches, chest presses and leg curls. The researchers analysed the white blood cells of the participants at the beginning of the study, a few days into the study and then at the end of the six-month period. The team noted a greater increase in telomerase activity and telomere length in the white blood cells of the participants who did endurance and high-intensity training in comparison to those who did resistance training or no exercise at all. Telomeres are stretches of DNA that can be found on the end of chromosomes that affect the way in which humans age. “Our main finding is that, compared to the start of the study and the control group, in volunteers who did endurance and high intensity training, telomerase activity and telomere length increased, which are both important for cellular ageing, regenerative capacity and thus, healthy ageing,” says Professor Ulrich Lauds, one of the authors of the study. (11/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Britain’s UTMB CCC winner Tom Evans will make his Western States 100 debut next June

Tom Evans is among a top line-up of confirmed elite runners for next year’s Western States 100. The world trail bronze medallist is one of 10 runners invited by organisers of the Ultra Trail World Tour, which includes the Western States 100.  Also due to take part in the world’s oldest 100-mile trail event on June 29, 2019, is Italy’s Francesca Canepa, who won the main UTMB race this year, and Spain’s Jordi Gamito Baus, who was second on this year’s UTWT standings. Britain’s Beth Pascall, who was fourth in this year’s UTMB, is another who will be heading Stateside. Evans wrote on Twitter: “So excited to announce that I will be racing Western States 100 next year! It will be my first 100 mile race. I can’t wait for the highs and lows of training to get to the start line. It’s going to be one big journey." The race from Squaw Valley to Urban along the Western States Trail was established in 1977 and has since become one of the world’s toughest and most prestigious trail running contests. (11/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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19-year-old Sydney McLaughlin who is one of the biggest track stars will be coached by Olympian Joanna Hayes

Sydney McLaughlin, who turned pro this past summer and signed with New Balance last month, has chosen a coach. The 19-year-old McLaughlin, one of the biggest track and field stars in the world, will be coached by Olympic gold medalist Joanna Hayes, Sydney's mother Mary confirmed on Tuesday night. Hayes, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the 100 hurdles in Athens, is currently a volunteer assistant track and field coach for sprints and hurdles at the University of Southern California. This past spring, Hayes helped the USC women capture its second NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship. McLaughlin, who graduated from NJ's Union Catholic High School in 2017 and now lives in Los Angeles, became the youngest U.S. track and field athlete to compete in the Olympics in 44 years when she advanced to the semifinals of the 400 hurdles in Rio in 2016 when she was just 17 years old. Then after compiling one of the greatest high school careers in U.S. history, McLaughlin turned in one of the most remarkable seasons by a freshman in NCAA history at Kentucky this past year. At the NCAA Championships on June 9th, McLaughlin won the women's 400 hurdles in 53.96 and followed that up about an hour later by splitting 50.03 on the fourth place 4x400 relay to help the Wildcats finish fourth in the final team standings. After the NCAA Championships, McLaughlin announced her intention to forego her remaining three years of college eligibility and turn pro. In addition to her NCAA title, McLaughlin ran 52.75 when she won the 400 hurdles at the SEC Championships on May 13, which is an NCAA record, a World Junior record, and the No. 1 time in the world for the season. She also ran personal bests of 50.07 in the flat 400, 22.39 in the 200, a wind-aided 11.07 in the 100, and ran three sub 50 splits this past spring. (11/28/2018) ⚡AMP
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Millinocket Maine needed a boost, sure. But not a handout. So Gary Allen started an entry free marathon to help the town

Long-distance runners have a reputation for being as wacky as they are driven. Gary Allen is proof positive of both.

As coach of the Mount Desert Island Middle School cross-country team, he trains his squad mostly by playing zombie invasion games behind the school. He has a screaming-loud stocking hat for every occasion. 

He’s ebullient and sometimes long-winded but knows how to affect reticence with an authenticity that would make any fellow Mainer proud. He treats everyone like his new best friend and begins each conversation with, “Hi. I’m Gary Allen.”

Allen has run a hundred marathons and won his age group in more than a few. In fact, he is one of a few worldwide who have run a sub-three-hour marathon in five different decades. 

He’s the founder of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and the Great Run, a six-hour ultramarathon where competitors simply run back and forth on Great Cranberry Island as many times as they can.  But none of that means much to the 4,500 people who call Millinocket, Maine USA home.

When they talk about a marathon, they’re talking about the one Allen first organized last year — the one that put the town on the long-distance map after Runner’s World picked up the story. The one that has more than 1,000 people clamoring to fly across the country for the opportunity to run here on December 10.

Like most of Allen’s schemes, this one started on a whim. Around Thanksgiving last year, he read yet another newspaper article characterizing Millinocket’s economic woes. 

“It’s not like I set out to find a little town to help. It’s more like a little town found me.” There’ve been a lot of those articles since the Great Northern paper mill closed here in 2008. In the years since, Millinocket has become a symbol for the failure of America’s manufacturing monotowns.

That doesn’t sit well with locals here. And it rubbed Allen the wrong way last fall too. Millinocket needed a boost, sure. But not a handout.

So Gary Allen decided to do what Gary Allen does best: he organized an impromptu marathon. This race was open to all and charged no entry fee. Instead, Allen suggested that participants take the money they would have spent on registration and spend it in Millinocket.

He didn’t advertise any of this except to post it to his Facebook page. Nonetheless, about 50 of his friends agreed to show up for what may well have been America’s first flash-mob marathon. Allen mapped the course on Google Earth.

It’s a gorgeous one: a lazy loop with lots of views of Katahdin and several miles on the iconic Golden Road, a 96-mile stretch of gravel connecting Millinocket and the Canadian border, before it drops back down into town for a finish at Veterans Memorial Park.

Allen warned participants that they’d need to be totally self-sufficient during the race. He printed out slips of paper detailing how to stay on the course. After they were done running, he figured they could have lunch or do some holiday shopping, then fuel up their cars and head home.

Millinocket might not even realize they’d been there. But word got out around in close-knit Millinocket. By the time Allen rolled into town, local businesses had emblazoned signs welcoming the runners. Locals set up a water station around the 5-mile mark and stood for hours guiding runners on the course and directing traffic. A cheering section assembled at the finish.

In other words, the marathon flash mob got flash-mobbed by the town they were supposed to be helping. And in that moment was born an unlikely love affair between one of Maine’s most charismatic runners and a town looking to get back on its feet.

After last year’s race, townspeople asked Allen if he’d organize another one. He agreed. And he said he thought he could make it bigger, better.

Earlier this year, he returned to Millinocket with a surveyor who could certify the course as an official Boston Marathon qualifier — the only one in the country without an entry fee.

As it turned out, Allen’s hastily drawn loop on Google Earth was less than 50 yards off the exact required distance. While Allen and the surveyor were in town, a total stranger offered the two men a house to stay in for as long as they needed.

That, says Allen, is the spirit of Millinocket — and Mainers in general, for that matter. For decades, the town was known as the “Magic City,” a nod to how it seemed to have sprung up overnight in what had previously been untrammeled wilderness.

Millinocket, founded in 1901, is but a blip. And like the Greek goddess Athena, it seemed to emerge fully formed from the mill itself — first as dozens of tar-paper shacks and rooming houses; soon after, as an Anytown, USA, with a bustling main drag and orderly blocks of houses. (Photo by Michael Wilson)

(11/28/2018) ⚡AMP
by Kathryn Miles
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Chris Weir has been training in a produce plant in Dallas as he gets ready to run the Antarctic Ice Marathon

Christopher Weir, is an avid marathon runner, among many other athletic pursuits. Chris, a successful Dallas businessman, has run the Dallas marathon four times and the New Orleans marathon once during the last few years. Running and finishing a marathon is special but after you’ve done it again and again, with thousands of others at each event; what do you do for an encore? Well, leave it to Chris to transcend from the mundane to the extraordinary. On December 13, the fourteenth Antarctic Ice Marathon will take place just a few hundred miles from the South Pole at the foot of the Ellsworth Mountains, the highest mountain ranges in Antarctica. Chris Weir will be on the starting line this year.  He has been training by running in the ice-cold environment of a produce plant in Dallas.  For Chris, the journey begins by flying to Punta Arenas, Chile on December 10. During the next 24 hours he, and the 54 other competitors from 14 countries around the world, will undergo a briefing about the marathon and the conditions under which it will be run. On December 12, the entire group will be transported by private jet for the four hour flight to Union Glacier, Antarctica, the icy location of the marathon. Union Glacier Camp is only accessible by air and the aircraft will land on a naturally-occurring ice runway on the Union Glacier, where competitors will take their first steps in Antarctica. Then, they will climb aboard a specially adapted van for a five mile ride to camp, where final preparations will be made for the epic event the following day. (11/28/2018) ⚡AMP
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Angad Chandhok was diagnosed with diabetes but he fought back and now runs marathons

For 23-year-old Angad Chandhok, life changed after getting diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. Diagnosed with diabetes in June 2013, Angad set his mind to not losing hope, and to fight back. Interestingly, Angad diagnosed himself by learning about the symptoms on the internet. "Endocrinologists play an important role in diabetes management, but over a period of time we as patients learn so much about it by ourselves," says Angad. He is a marathon runner and has participated in many full marathons. By taking a condition that needs management by the minute, along with a rigorous physical activity, Angad's purpose and achievements increase with every new day. He is now practicing for the upcoming Mumbai Marathon 2019. “Running helped me to manage my condition better. I decided to run Tata Mumbai Marathon earlier this year and later on ran the Medtronic Twin City Marathon in the US. During my first marathon, I could barely run a few miles and was in need of injectable insulin. Yet, I completed it and that was one of the happiest days of my life. At every step, I learned about my health condition. I am physically and mentally much more strong now," says Angad. From not being able to run 100m to now practicing for a 42.2km marathon, Angad has achieved a lot with diabetes. (11/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Honolulu Marathon world-record holder Gladys Burrill to Celebrate 100th Birthday

Honolulu Marathon world-record holder Gladys Burrill celebrated her centennial on Saturday during two 30-minute tributes. The first tribute was during a 9 a.m. breakfast and the second tribute was at 12:30 p.m., accompanied by a vegetarian lunch. During both tributes, the church and greater Manoa community joined her to celebrate her life journey and milestones through a pictorial history, along with interviews of both Burrill and her family. The Honolulu Japanese SDA Church says this is its way to honor "Gladyator"on her 100th birthday. Since 2004, Burrill participated in the Honolulu Marathon seven times, finishing the course five times. Her last one was in 2010 when, at age 92, she received the Guinness World Record as the oldest female marathon finisher. “Age is only a number,” Burrill says. She credits her positive attitude for giving her the strength to start running marathons. “It’s important to think positive and to dream. Just get out there and walk or run,” she advises. Good advice for her five children, 18 grandchildren, and 34 great-grandchildren. Burrill credits her good health, including a healthy mind and erect posture, to her faith and her healthy lifestyle. She currently walks ten miles a week and enjoys a mostly plant-based diet. (11/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Steve Polansky is ready to run his 36th California International Marathon this weekend

Steve Polansky never looks back — except, of course, when he is at the starting line of the California International Marathon, which begins on an uphill slope. “I like to line up and look back at the field,” says the 72-year-old resident of suburban Sacramento. “I can see thousands of runners behind me. It’s awe inspiring and takes my breath away.” The CIM, an annual race from Folsom to Sacramento, is one marathon that Polansky knows very well, having run it for 35 straight years. In fact, the past president of Mosaic Law Congregation in Sacramento is one of only 12 runners who have participated in every CIM since it began in 1983. “I signed up and loved the course so much that I contacted [the Sacramento Running Association],” recalls Polansky, a New York native and a retired obstetrician-gynecologist. In turn, he immediately was asked by the association, “Can you be a member of the board?” It was a response that definitely hit home for the regular synagogue-goer. “How often in Jewish life do you become president of something just because you showed an interest?” he says. This year’s California International Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 2, with the fastest runners finishing the 26.2-mile course about 135 minutes later — or about seven hours before the first night of Hanukkah begins. When the CIM premiered 36 years ago, 1,600 runners participated (and Polansky finished in 3 hours, 16 minutes). The course from Folsom Dam to the state Capitol has remained unchanged since 1983, and this year, with some 13,000 people signed up, the CIM has become the 10th largest marathon in the country, Polansky says.  (11/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Callum Hawkins has unfortunately withdrawn from the Fukuoka Marathon due to a hamstring situation

The Scottish 2:10 marathoner was set to race for the first time over 26.2 miles following April’s Commonwealth Games marathon on the Gold Coast, Australia. “I’ve had a strong build up to Fukuoka Marathon and was really looking forward to toeing the line with some of the world’s best marathoners once again,” said Hawkins in a statement. “I witnessed the amazing running scene when I won the Marugame Half Marathon in 2017 so was excited to be returning for the second time to a country I love to compete in. “Unfortunately, a slight niggle in my right hamstring has occurred this past week preventing me from running at race pace. “I’m therefore gutted to have to make the tough call to withdraw from the race. Thanks to the race organisers for the invitation and everything they have done for me up to now and I wish everyone competing an excellent race weekend.” (11/26/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenyan´s James Cherutich Tallam dominates Penang Bridge Marathon

It was a great day for Kenya here today, as runners from the African nation dominated the Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM) 2018 in both the men’s and women’s full marathon (42km) categories. James Cherutich Tallam clocked two hours and 24 minutes in the open men’s category; while Peninah Kigen finished in two hours and 46 minutes in the open women’s category. “I did not expect to win the race, especially in the final 4km, due to the bad weather. “However, I am grateful for this victory. I will use the cash money for my children’s education back home,” he said when met after the prize giving ceremony. Tallam, a professional athlete, took home RM22,000 in cash and a trophy. The prize was presented by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas. Meanwhile, a Penangite emerged tops in the Malaysian women’s full marathon category. Accountant Loh Chooi Fern, 26, clocked three hours and 17 minutes and took home RM22,000 in cash and a trophy. “This is my third victory in the same category in the PBIM. “This is also my best personal time since I first took part three years ago,” she said. (11/26/2018) ⚡AMP
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Jeffrey Price is not letting brain cancer slow him down as he gets ready to run 40 miles

Jeffrey Price is setting a big goal for himself. “This year I had brain cancer — had — but now I do not.” And he’s not letting that diagnosis slow him down. He’s running 40 miles in the Black Diamond ultramarathon. “I have to wear this machine. I’m carrying it on my back,” Price said. That device is called Optune. It sends electric pulses through Price’s brain to stop cancer cells from growing. The race director says this ultramarathon is different from others. “It’s smaller than most ultramarathons,” acting race director Jill Williams said. “It’s close-knit. Most people that are running it are in this group called Run it Fast.” Outside of Alamo was the halfway point for the race where runners could fuel up with drinks and snacks before heading out for the next 20 miles. The race went through Gadsden, Alamo and Bells before ending back in Jackson. Price says most of all this is a challenge for himself. “It’s been a blessing, and we’re trying to prove to all the users that you don’t have to stop doing everything that they want to do.” (11/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kanbouchia Breaks the Osaka Marathon women’s Course Record

Moroccan Soud Kanbouchia took the top spot in Japan's second-biggest marathon Sunday Nov 25, breaking the Osaka Marathon women's course record to win in 2:31:19. In the early going Kanbouchia had company from Hiroko Yoshitomi and Kasumi Yoshida on mid-2:27 pace, but with a surge at halfway she was on her own and stayed that way until the finish. Yoshitomi, this year's Boston Marathon 10th-place finisher who set a PB and CR of 2:30:09 two weeks ago at the Fukuoka Marathon and, incredibly, won the Ohtwara Marathon on Friday in 2:37:22, dropped off after 10 km to settle into mid-2:30s pace. Yoshida lasted longer but slowed dramatically after 25 km and was quickly retaken by Yoshitomi. But from the main pack of women behind them club runner Haruka Yamaguchi emerged to run both down, running almost even splits to take 2nd in 2:34:12, a PB by over four minutes. Yoshitomi hung on 3rd in 2:34:39, almost three minutes faster than her time 48 hours earlier. Yoshida settled for 4th in 2:35:31.  The men's race saw a five-man lead group made up of Kenyans Charles Munyeki and Julius Mahome, Moroccan Abdenasir Fathi, and Japanese amateurs Shingo Igarashi and Hideyuki Ikegami. Hideyuki dropped off after 15 km before a surprise DNF. After hitting halfway in 1:05:22 Fathi surged to gap the rest of the lead group, from which Mahome became detached after 25 km.Munyeki and Igarashi worked together the rest of the way, and when Fathi began to fade after 30 km they started to reel him in. By 37 km they overtook him, and it went down to the very last kilometer before Munyeki dropped Igarashi to take the win in 2:14:11. Igarashi was 2nd in 2:14:19, the second-fastest time of his career. Fathi hung on to 3rd in 2:17:37, finishing just 20 seconds ahead of Akihiro Kaneko who took 31 seconds off his best for 4th in 2:17:57.   (11/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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Salpeter smashes the course record in Florence and sets a new national record for Israel

Lonah Chemtai Salpeter smashed the course record at the 35th ASICS Firenze Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday (25). The reigning European 10,000m champion clocked 2:24:17 to clip nearly four minutes from the previous record of 2:28:15 set by Slovenia’s Helena Javornik in 2002. Her performance was also a national record for Israel, shattering the 2:35:59 standard set by Elena Dolinin in Berlin two years ago. Salpeter dominated the race, winning by more than six minutes over Kenyan Caroline Chepkwony.  Salpeter took the lead in the early stages, running with Gebiyanesh Gedamu from Ethiopia and Clementine Mukandanga from Rwanda, the trio passing 10 kilometres in 34:37 and 15 in 51:42. Salpeter and Gedamu reached the halfway mark in 1:12:38, but the Israeli started pushing the pace, building a gap of eight seconds over Gedamu (1:26:04 to 1:26:12) by 25 kilometres. Salpeter continued to pull away, extending her gap over Gedamu to one minute at 30 kilometres (1:43.16) and to more than four minutes five kilometres later, propelled by a 6:30 two-kilometre split between kilometres 33 and 35. She covered the challenging second half in 1:11:39 for a negative split to smash her previous personal best by 16 minutes. Her 2:24:17 performance was the sixth fastest time ever run on Italian soil and the fastest by a European this year. Salpeter set her previous best of 2:40:16 in Berlin in 2016, but recently showed good form with a half marathon PB of 1:07:55 in Lisbon in October. This year she made her breakthrough improving all her career best times on the track running the 3000m in 8:42.88, the 5000m in 15:17.81, the 10,000m in 31:33.03 at the European 10000m Cup in London last May. She won the 10000m European title in Berlin in 31:43.29. “The crowd gave me strong support along the course,” said Salpeter, who grew up in Eldoret, Kenya, and moved to Israel in 2008. “I did not fear the rain, because I was ready with any condition. Firenze is the springboard event of my marathon career.” Chepkwony clocked 2:30:46 for second ahead of Mukandanga who clocked 2:30:59 to knock nearly five minutes from her previous lifetime best. Croatia’s Nikolina Sustic improved her PB to 2:41:51, finishing fourth.  (11/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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My coach said when passing someone, pick up the pace, go by with certainty and show no sign of exertion - Larry Allen on Running File 3

Full circle. I am becoming Fred Dingley. He was my first cross country coach at Lee Academy way back in 1969.  

One late summer day a couple of years ago I headed for my usual early evening run at a favorite trail in Connecticut.

A welcome hint of fall was in the air. Dry, refreshing Canadian high pressure, breezes and gentle fall-like light had crept in for the first time in months, replacing the laser-bright sun and stifling humidity of a hot summer.

The trail I often run extends along the Pequonnock River Valley and the beautiful weather had it abuzz with happy runners, cyclists and walkers, a full house in the parking lot.  

At the top of the short hill leading from the lot to the trailhead; 15 young men from a local high-school cross country team gathered, bare-chested, stretching against a rail fence.

The 14 year-old newbie kids tried not to be conspicuous in their very presence but also were clearly checking out their bigger, stronger and more confident 17-18 year-teammates. The older ones innocently full of themselves, utterly oblivious to the younger kids.  

They all started running just before I shuffled up onto the trail. Within the first half mile I could already see the smaller, slower runners beginning to fall off the pace.

I caught the first kid soon after.   For a minute I was back in the early fall of 1969. My first coach, yes Fred Dingley, was the headmaster of the school.

In his 60s, he ran with the team some days. I was 14, 4’9” and weighed maybe 90lbs. I lacked fitness, confidence or any knowledge whatsoever.

Mr. Dingley caught me a few times in my first few runs that September and always had a word of encouragement as he passed.

He made me feel like if he could run 2-3 miles at his age I damn well could, even when I seriously doubted it two steps prior to him passing and three steps after he went by.  

Fred Dingley's teams were a perennial power in Maine. State Champions my first 2 years. My next coach, Howie Richard, led a team to my third championship in 4 years. I was fortunate.   

Early that first September I ran my first timed mile in 6:55. I proudly made my way to the top of the Junior Varsity by the end of the year and ran a 5:06 mile.

I won a race the next year and I will never forget being congratulated by the headmaster-coach in the school’s morning announcements.  

Mr. Dingley retired a year later and I've always hoped he kept running for years after.  

40 odd years later, I ran past the slower runners in the first couple of miles on the trail and made a point of doing what my coach had done; offering a quiet word of encouragement to each kid.

I wondered whether seeing a man in his 60s running by might do for one of them what it did for me years before.

Meanwhile, I also remembered how Howie Richard coached me as as a more accomplished runner 3 years later; he said when passing someone, pick up the pace, go by with certainty and show no sign of exertion, he explained, only slightly in jest, that "it demoralizes them a little and gives you an edge".

Maybe I should regret those ingrained competitive instincts but at more than 4 times the age of most I passed I think I should get a pass (no pun intended) for any insensitivity, real or imagined. I did try offer encouragement but that's a different thing, right? Can you intimidate someone (a little), feel better about your own remaining ability and give encouragement all at the same time? I hope so.   

I have no idea whether the team I saw in Connecticut that pre-season evening ended up a top team that year. I was impressed that most of the older kids ran the same 8 miles I did.

Based on those I passed, I remember wondering whether I might still be able to make the JV team of a HS team. In reality the dead sprint at the beginning of a 3mi high-school cross country race would be a big problem.

If I had any hope I’d have to use experience and wisdom (if any) to try and overcome my physical ability with a late charge from behind at the end. The real problem; the youngest and slowest kids I saw were all going to get much faster and stronger in coming months. I would not.  

At just past age 60 I was still holding up ok. I could still manage 5-12 miles almost daily. A few longer runs crept below 8 minutes per mile, I even managed a 6:25 mile at the end of one good run. It all took a sudden turn with an unexpected health problem a short time after this particular evening.

Having successfully dealt with my issues I’m again able to run or run/walk for shorter distances on the trail weekly, slower but just as happily. I still see competitive runners and teams, maybe the same ones; a few looking like collegiate runners home for a visit, some likely former undeveloped youngsters but not so much anymore and of course always a new crop of nervous 14 year old prospects.   

As for me, maybe I should just be happy being Fred Dingley. 

(Editor’s note: Larry Allen on Running is a regular MBR feature sharing the wisdom of Larry Allen, a 50 year accomplished runner and artist.  He is currently participating in the third Run The World Challenge.)

(11/25/2018) ⚡AMP
by Larry Allen
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Michael Johnson suffered a stroke in September and says he was scared and angry after attack

Michael Johnson has spoken of his anger after discovering he had suffered a stroke but insists an Olympic mindset will enable him to make a full recovery. The 51-year-old former Olympic sprint champion says he is “pretty much back to normal” after suffering a transient ischemic attack in September. Johnson, once the fastest man on the planet over 200m and 400m, said he had finished a training session at home when he felt “a strange tingling down my arm and left side”. He “decided not to take any chances” and headed straight to hospital. “After the MRI scan, I almost fell off the table. I could not walk or move my left leg,” he told the BBC. “The numbness of my arm was intense too. I could not feel my arm and moving my fingers was problematic. It was a lot of emotions. Once I was told I had suffered a stroke and I could not walk things get immediately real. “You start to think: ‘What is my life going to be like going forward? What is my quality of life going to be like? Will I be able to dress myself? Will I be able to take care of myself or will my loved ones have to take care of me?’ “I had a great team of doctors and they said that is what all stroke victims ask but unfortunately there is no answer to the questions – only time will tell. Some people make a full recovery, some make a partial recovery and how much time that takes there is no answer. That is difficult to hear and pretty scary. He added: “Doctors said the best chance of recovery was to immediately get into physical therapy. I did that two days after the stroke and I got out of bed with assistance and got behind the walker around the hospital - and ironically it was around 200m. I timed it and it took me around 15 minutes to cover that distance. (11/24/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya's Gilbert Kipruto Kirwa returns to Italy hopeful to clinch gold at Florence Marathon on Sunday

The 25-year-old has not raced since he clinched the bronze medal in Florence last year after he sustained an ankle injury. However, he returns feeling strong as he intends to recoup the missed opportunities hoping he will prove his mantle and secure a slot in the Kenya team to the World Championships next year in Qatar. "I have recovered and ready for the assault of the Florence course," Kirwa said on Thursday before departing to Italy. "It is about preparations and I have done my part and though there are some top names lined up, I believe the training has been good to withstand any challenge." Kirwa was the third-place finisher in the men's race last year. The Kenyan clocked his personal best of 2:06:14 in Frankfurt back in 2009 but ran 2:07:44 as recently as 2015 in finishing fifth at the Paris marathon. Later he was second at the Toronto Waterfall marathon in Canada clocking 2:09:01. But that will come under focus when he lines up at the Florence marathon course on Sunday. Kirwa will be up against China's Xiamen marathon champion Dejene Debela and Bonsa Dida from Ethiopia. After setting a personal best time of 2:07:10 in Eindhoven in 2017, Debela has won two marathons in China this year, clocking 2:11:22 in Xiamen and 2:12:08 in Beijing. "I hope to run well in Florence and see if I can defend my title in Xiamen next year. I believe I will have recovered, but it will be dependent on the performance in Italy," he said. (11/24/2018) ⚡AMP
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We live for that effortless and balanced feeling like you are floating above the ground - Larry Allen on Running File 2

It’s really impossible to pick one race or run as best or most memorable in a 50 years of running. I guess if I had to pick one thing it would come from the occasionally feeling one gets in a run or race, when it’s suddenly well within your ability and training, just effortless and fast, finding yourself perfectly balanced and feeling like you are floating above the ground and periodically reaching down with one foot or the other and giving yourself a little push to maintain your momentum and with little or no limits to how long you could keep it up.

Pure magic and joy whether in a training run or race. At it’s best “that feeling” was somewhat elusive when even a very fit young runner and certainly more so as we age.

There is still a strong pull to get out every day to try and find a glimpse of it regardless of the likelihood that you won’t. I’ve always thought that B.F. Skinner’s psychological studies of the power of variable, unpredictable patterns of reinforcement to modify our behavior were likely at work and I’m good with that.

My running friends and peers of a certain age and vintage share a little joke about the rules of gravity of middle age (and beyond) being clearly quite different than anything Isaac Newton theorized.  

(Editor’s note: Larry Allen is a 50 year runner and artist (self portrait).  His wisdom and knowledge of our sport is impressive and this is why we asked him to regularly share his thoughts here - Larry Allen on Running.  He is also participating for the third time in our Run The World Challenge.) 

(11/24/2018) ⚡AMP
by Larry Allen
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John Kern finished the Williams Route 66 Marathon this week, he completed his goal of running a marathon in all 50 states

An Alaska runner hit a milestone that took him 16 years to reach when he crossed the finish line at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, marathon. The Juneau Empire reports that when Juneau runner John Kern finished the Williams Route 66 Marathon this week, he completed his goal of running a marathon in all 50 states. The retired City and Borough of Juneau Capital Transit superintendent ran his first marathon in 2002. Kern continued running, aiming to qualify to race in the Boston Marathon. That goal led him to seek out races in other states, and a few years later he was at the starting line in Boston. Kern's next goal was to run 10 marathons in 10 different states, sending him a trajectory to racing in all 50 states. (11/24/2018) ⚡AMP
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With new, flatter course, the Seattle Marathon will once again circle the city. But this year, the runners, joggers, and walkers won’t be crossing Capitol Hill

Race organizers are rolling out a new route in 2018 that leans heavily on the Burke Gilman Trail but will no longer include the old course’s path through Capitol Hill via Interlaken. The changes mean crowds that used to gather on the northern fringes of Capitol Hill to mark mile 22.5 of the race will no longer fill Interlaken with the annual final boost of cheering and enthusiasm. They come after light rail construction on I-90 eliminated the bridge from the marathon course last year. Organizers responded to feedback about elevation gains and further tweaked the maps with a whole new layout in 2018. “We’re really excited about the changes, and we think you will be too,” organizers write. “We listened to your feedback about last year’s course, and we worked to make this one more runner (and walker) friendly, with less hills. That’s right. This year’s course is much flatter than last year.” The result for half marathon runners is a change from a 1,075-foot gain in 2017 to an 807-foot gain on this year’s new course. Marathoners are trading in a whopping 1,468-foot gain for the new, flatter rise of 1,165 feet. (11/24/2018) ⚡AMP
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European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter will be in the spotlight at the 35th edition of the Asics Firenze Marathon on Sunday

The 29-year-old has this year set Israeli records at various distances from the 1500m to the half marathon and she will be looking to add another to her collection this weekend. Before winning the continental 10,000m title in Berlin, she set a European-leading national record of 31:33.03 to win the European Cup in London in May. At the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018 earlier in the year she set a national record of 1:08:58 and reduced that mark to 1:07:55 in Lisbon last month. Salpeter is yet to fully master the marathon, though. She has completed three marathons to date – her one failure to finish came at the 2016 Olympic Games – and her finishing times have all been between 2:40:16 and 2:40:22, a surprisingly consistent series of times for someone who appears capable of going much quicker for 26.2 miles. This weekend Salpeter is aiming at improving the course record of 2:28:15 set in 2002 by Helena Javornik. She could even challenge the European-leading time of 2:25:25 set by European champion Volha Mazuronak. Salpeter will take on Kenya’s Caroline Jepchirchir Chepkwony, who set her marathon PB of 2:27:37 in Lubljana in 2013, Ethiopia’s Ayele Gebaynesh, who has a career best of 2:26:54, and Kenya’s 2:27:07 performer Sarah Jebet. Croatia’s ultramarathon specialist Nikolina Sustic will run her fourth Italian race this autumn after Venice, Turin and Verona. The world 100km champion set a marathon PB of 2:42:44 at the European Championships in Berlin, improved to 2:42:10 in Turin at the start of November and last week clocked 2:42:26 in Verona. (11/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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Former Taos Tiger soccer player, Travis Thompson continues athletic career as an ultrarunner

The "ultra" in "ultrarunner" doesn't modify runner. It refers to the distance of the race, which is ultra far. In the case of Travis Thompson, however, it would be fair to call him, "ultra," too. Once a Taos Tiger soccer player in the class of 2007, Thompson is now a passionate runner. This year's 55-kilometer Canyon de Chelly Ultramarathon (Oct. 13) in northeastern Arizona was Thompson's first ultra. He finished the 34.18-mile race in four hours and 40 minutes, an impressive third-place in a field of 134 finishers at a pace of under eight minutes and 15 seconds per mile. The race is organized by Shaun Martin, a well-known Navajo runner and educator featured in the recently released film "3,100: Run and Become." All proceeds from the race, which is so popular that registration is by lottery, support running programs for Native American youth. According to TrailRunner magazine, Martin runs "to celebrate life, to pray and to learn." It's hard to imagine a better setting than Canyon de Chelly. (11/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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Geraint Davies crosses the finish line to win the 2018 Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon at Georgia State Stadium

On a brisk holiday morning, more than 11,000 runners, walkers and volunteers kicked off their Thanksgiving festivities by participating in the Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, 5K and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia One Mile & 50-Meter Dash. The celebration culminated with a brand new exciting finish line on the football field inside Georgia State Stadium near downtown Atlanta with family and friends cheering on loved ones from the stands. The event has become a tradition for many including half marathon winner Geraint Davies. Now a resident of Boston, Davies, 28, graduated from Emory University and returned to Atlanta for the holiday to run the race and see his parents. Davies broke the finisher tape in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 23 seconds. No stranger to today’s event, this marks Davies third Thanksgiving win in Atlanta. He last won the race in 2015. But this is his first finishing on the Georgia State Stadium field. “It was new and exciting,” he said in a news release. “Now the event combines two of my favorite things for the holiday; football and turkey.” On the women’s side, Grace Tavani, 22, took first, breaking the tape in 1:22:59. Tavani, currently a University of Georgia cross country runner said she was optimistic as she stood on the starting line this morning. (11/22/2018) ⚡AMP
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We all thrive on solo runs but the camaraderie of a group or team run is special - Larry Allen on Running File 1

Funny thing about running. A lot of it is solitary and we all thrive on being alone so its fine, at least part of the time. Meanwhile there isn’t much better than the camaraderie of a group or team run.

Conversations wax and wane and the personal bonds formed and memories made are often inseparable and indelible. The miles disappear, the pace quickens and the distance covered grows, it’s somehow invariably easier to be inspired to do more as part of a group.

It seems like we runners need a little of both; the quiet of running alone, lost in thought but with a good dose of runs on a team or with a friend or friends. Both have a place and are magical in their own special way.

Bob Anderson’s MyBestRuns hosts a periodic online event, repeated through the year, called Run the World Global Challenge and it fosters what we do alone and the joy in being connected while doing it.

Each event involves a hundred runners or so from all over the planet having signed up and committed to a cyber team effort to accumulate the running and walking mileage necessary to circumnavigate the 24,901 miles around the planet earth over a couple of months.

Participants post a daily (or in the case of some serious athletes, multiple times daily) run or walk, with a picture and little diary entry. I think most of the miles by all involved are solitary but all as part of the team effort to accomplish a goal bigger than any one of us.

It’s a unique, fascinating and inspirational use of social media. It has motivated me personally to do more, to be earnest in my efforts to rehabilitate my body following some personal health issues. There is a commitment, low key personal accountability, a real sense of achievement and camaraderie as words of encouragement and quiet competition creep in as we each do our part to collectively make it around the world.

The often lovely posts feature photographs of places run and selfies taken that somehow serve to enlighten and makes the world a smaller and more peaceful place, slightly reminiscent of the way world travel does.

I’m midway through my third trip around the world since July. I’ve contributed a total of about 500 miles, about the distance from my adopted home in New York City to my native eastern Maine.

This third team has already made it 8,850 miles in the first 25 days of running and walking (and posting). We’ve done enough to make it roughly from California to Europe and at our current average of about 350 miles per day we will have made it around again on about January 8th of the new year.

If so it will have taken us a total of 71 days, a good 9 days faster than Jules Verne imagined and fantasized about back in 1873. Go team!

(Editor’s note: Larry Allen is a 50 year runner and artist (self portrait) who currently is dealing with a health issue.  

His wisdom and knowledge of our sport is impressive and this is why we asked him to regularly share his thoughts here - Larry Allen on Running. You can also follow Larry on our RTW Challenge feed.)

(11/22/2018) ⚡AMP
by Larry Allen
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Stomach issues can be a major limiting factor for runners running races

Nutritionists look at what is easiest to stomach while on the move, “Stomach issues can be a major limiting factor for runners, but various strategies can be put in place to combat them,” says Peter Antonio, registered nutritionist at the University of Birmingham Sport. “Different fuelling strategies can leave you feeling energised, accomplished and ready for more. Gastrointestinal reflux is common, and can be aggravated by fatty and spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate, especially when eaten on the day or close to your race. A low residue diet, such as white pasta, lean meat, white rice, tinned fruit and potatoes (skins removed) on the day before may be best for most runners. “During the race, ensure you stay well hydrated. If your stomach is upset following fluid intake, this most likely is due to you already being dehydrated. Learn by this for your next race.  “Simple carbohydrates are the best main energy source – such as sports drinks, gels and energy bars. They are portable, practical and easy to consume; but test them before your race.  Experiment with a 2-4% carbohydrate drink to begin with, and gradually increase. Beware of high fibre foods (some cereal bars, bread and fruit) and highly concentrated carbohydrate drinks, as these can cause issues.”  It is very differcult to push yourself when your stomach is upset.  If this happens you may not be able to pull out of it but learn from it for the next one.   (11/22/2018) ⚡AMP
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NCAA champ Cheserek breaks course record on a frigid day at the Manchester Road Race, and Celliphine Chespol of Kenya wins for the women runners

In frigid conditions, Clutching hand warmers to fend off the frigid cold, Edward Cheserek broke the course record, winning the 82nd Manchester Road Race in 21:16 Thursday morning. Cheserek, a 17-time NCAA champion from Flagstaff, Ariz., broke the record for the 4.748-mile race set by Aaron Braun (21:19) in 2012. It was his first time running Manchester. “I looked at the time, it was 21:17 or 16 and I thought that’s really OK,” said Cheserek, 24, who didn’t know he broke the record until somebody told him. “That’s a very good time.” Cheserek broke away from the pack at the top of the Highland Street hill and ran alone down Main Street toward the finish. Last year’s champion Paul Chelimo was second and Andy Butchart, who defied the elements by wearing a singlet and shorts, was third. Celliphine Chespol of Kenya was the women’s winner, outkicking last year’s winner Buze Diriba and 2016 winner Emily Sisson at the finish. It was the first road race for Chespol, 19, who is a steeplechaser. She ran the third fastest time (8:58.78 in the 3,000 meter steepchase in May 2017 at the Prefontaine Classic. “I’m so happy because this is my first time to run a road race,” Chespol said. It was about 16 degrees at the start but the wind chill lowered the temperatures to single digits. About 12,000 people ran and walked Thursday. (11/22/2018) ⚡AMP
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The new Half Marathon World Record holder Abraham Kiptum has shelved plans to compete at the Xiamen International Marathon in China

Kiptum, who is also the Daegu Marathon champion, had wanted to race in Xiamen, a southeastern province of Fujian in China in January, but his management has confirmed that he will be running earlier in Abu Dhabi just one month after breaking the world record in half marathon in Valencia. Kiptum broke the men’s world record clocking 58:18 to take five seconds off the mark set by Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese in 2010. Now he hopes his top form will be enough to help him secure his second marathon title this year and in fast time. Valencia is also the city where Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei broke the women’s world record in 2017. “I would like to reach the midway in 1:02:30 and finish under 2:05,” he said of his plans for that race on Sunday. “I know the good shape my body is enjoying at the moment is optimum because I set a best time last month in Copenhagen but I was eager to run in Valencia. It has one of the flattest circuits I have ever run and I was confident of improving on my best. But to set the world record has exalted me.” (11/22/2018) ⚡AMP
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Mo Farah says he is entertaining the idea to return to the track for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

The European and British marathon record-holder implies we shouldn't be surprised to see him in the starting blocks of the 10,000m as early as next year's world championships. Farah spoke to Britain’s Guardian newspaper yesterday, confirming he will return to London next year (he is considered the hometown favorite), and did not quash speculation that he could still dominate in the 10,000 meters. Farah, 35, has two Olympic golds in the 10,000m, as well as three world championships, and though he officially retired from the track after the 2016 Olympics, he’s quoted as saying that he missed the track, and that he felt he could still perform well. And further, that he would compete at whatever distance he felt would be most likely to win him a medal for Great Britain. (11/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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British Olympian Steph Twell, is set to make marathon debut in Valencia

British Olympian Steph Twell, who has been making a move to the roads after a fine career in cross country and track, will compete at the Valencia Marathon on December 2. Twell is now coached by Geoff Wightman and will take the step into the unknown after a strong seventh place finish at the Commonwealth Half Marathon in October. “At this stage of my career it just feels right to finally step up and challenge myself over the marathon distance,” says the 29 year-old, who currently training in America. “I’ve always had ambitions to see how I can fare over 26.2 miles. “Since becoming five times British 5000m champion on the track, I feel now would be a great time to dip my feet in the water to see if I can also have similar success on the roads.” For the Scottish athlete it will also be the realisation of long-held ambition fed by admiration for the likes of Paula Radcliffe. “Ever since winning the London Mini Marathon, having Paula Radcliffe as one of my early role models as well as always being able to cope with a healthy volume of training, I have had hopes to one day turn to this event and become a marathoner myself,” she says. (11/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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