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Jamaican Usain Bolt tests positive for covid, days after celebrating his 34th birthday

Usain Bolt has tested positive for coronavirus just days after partying with guests including England star Raheem Sterling for his 34th birthday in Jamaica, according to reports in the country.

Nationwide90fm, a radio station in Jamaica, reports that the greatest sprinter of all time has contracted the disease and will spend time in self-isolation as a result. 

The publication says Bolt took a test for the virus a few days ago following his party on Friday last week, and discovered on Sunday that he had tested positive. 

Today the sprint star posted a video on his Twitter page confirming he is in self-isolation at his home in Jamaica and took a Covid-19 test on Saturday, but is yet to get the results.

He said: 'Good morning everybody, just waking up. Like everybody, I've checked social media, social media's saying I'm confirmed [as having coronavirus]. I did a test on Saturday because I have work [abroad].

'I'm trying to be responsible so I'm going to stay in for me and my friends. Also, I have no symptoms. 

'I'm going to quarantine myself and wait to see what the protocol is. Until then, I'm quarantined by myself and just taking it easy. Be safe out there.'

(08/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ollie Lewis
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World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot unstoppable in the Stockholm Diamond League on Sunday

World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot stamped his authority to seal his season’s double with an emphatic front-running victory in the Stockholm Diamond League on Sunday.

World 800m bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich might not have been lucky yet, but staged an improved performance to finish fourth as compatriots, Continental Cup 1,500m champion Winny Chebet and World 5,000m title holder Hellen Obiri failed to click in their respective races.

Nine days after clocking a world lead of three minutes and 28.45 seconds in Monaco, missing a personal best by four seconds, Cheruiyot timed 3:30.25 this time around in the Swedish capital.

Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen once again played second fiddle, finishing second in 3:30.74 as Australian Stewart Mcsweyn dug in for third in personal best 3:31.48.

“It was a bit windy, but the pace was good and I am pleased with my win today. We are travelling around many countries but we are following all precautions and wearing masks so I am happy to be racing,” said Cheruiyot.

Ingebrigtsen noted that his target was to get close to Cheruiyot and see if he could beat him, but the Kenyan still looked stronger.

“I didn't have the great legs that I had in Monaco, it was a tough race, it wasn't too easy today, “said Ingebrigtsen

“I am closing in on him though, and it’s just a matter of time before I beat him.”

The Norwegian, who set a new European record and personal best 3:28.68 in Monaco, explained that his goal to get a fast race this season and he did that in Monaco.

In the men's 800m, Rotich clocked 1:45.11 to lose the battle to World champion American Donovan Brazier, who sealed his second win in 1:43.76.

Marco Arop from Canada and Swede Andreas Kramer settled second and third in 1:44.67 and 1:45.04 respectively.

Laura Muir from Britain, who finished second behind Kenya’s World 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich in 1,000m race in Monaco, cashed in on Chepng’etich's absence to win the metric mile race in Stockholm.

Muir returned a world lead of 3:57.86 in a race where Chebet settled fourth in 4:02.58 as Obiri, the Olympic 5,000m silver medallist, who won the 5,000m in Monaco, came in 12th in 4:10.53.

(08/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Norway`s Karsten Warholm powered to the second fastest 400m hurdles performance of all time to highlight the Bauhaus Galan Wanda Diamond League meeting in Stockholm on Sunday

Running in lane eight, Warholm went out in his typically rampaging style, building a visible lead by the third hurdle. He then added to it with each stride, powering off the final bend and into the home straight very much alone, showing no signs of slowing down. For some moments, Kevin Young’s 46.78 world record, set at the Barcelona Olympic Games 28 years ago, looked to be under serious threat. 

But it didn’t come to pass after the 24-year-old Norwegian clipped the final barrier, costing him valuable ticks of the clock. He nonetheless did claw his way closer to Young’s venerable performance, clocking 46.87 to break his own European record by 0.05 seconds and solidify his No.2 position on the world all-time list. 

“I hit that last hurdle because I went really hard for the first nine, and stuff like this happens,” said Warholm, who sped to a 47.10 performance in his season’s opener in Monaco just over one week ago.

“But I think I was rewarded by just going all in at the end and I got a great time. It's a great lesson for me to always run until the finish line.” 

Frenchman Wilfried Happio was second in 49.14, just ahead of compatriot Ludvy Vaillant who clocked 49.18. 

But he wasn’t finished. Warholm chose to double back 94 minutes later in the 400m and won big there as well, clocking 45.05, well clear of Slovenia’s Luka Janezic who clocked 45.85. 

(08/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Boston 10K for Women cancelled, will be run virtually in 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the all-women’s race will not be held in its traditional mass participatory form this October.

organizers of the Boston 10K for Women, are proud to introduce a virtual event for race participants to enjoy this October. Though the 44th running of the event was initially slated for Monday, October 12, organizers have followed the guidance of state, city, and public health leaders in deciding not to hold the mass participatory road race and surrounding events in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning on Wednesday, October 7 and continuing through Monday, October 12, race participants will have the opportunity to complete the 6.2-mile distance at a time and location of their choosing. Participants can share their times to a leaderboard, and will receive a 2020 participant shirt, training plan, and products from race sponsors. 

Registration for the 44th edition of the Boston 10K for Women will open on Monday, August 24 at 10:00 a.m. For a reduced entry fee of $25, those who sign up by Monday, September 14 will receive a commemorative long-sleeve shirt and participants will have the option to donate additional funds to one of the event’s official charities. Registration will occur at www.boston10kforwomen.com.

The virtual event will include the mailing of a pre-race participant package, and several perks sent via e-mail. There will be no programming at Boston Common on Monday, October 12.

The race is the largest all-women’s sporting event in New England, and traditionally attracts thousands of women from around the world, including an elite field competing for $17,000 in prize money. Last year, Rhode Island’s Molly Huddle won her fifth title on the flat and fast course, breaking the Charles Street breaktape in a time of 31:50, adding to her 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2015 victories.

Established in 1977 as the Bonne Bell Mini Marathon, the Boston 10K for Women is the longest-running all-women’s sporting event in New England. With thousands of runners and spectators each year, it’s New England’s largest all-women’s road race, and has been organized every year by Conventures, Inc. The race features a flat out-and-back course through Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood and scenic stretches of Memorial Drive in Cambridge. More than 181,000 women have raced in the event since its inception.

(08/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Reebok Boston 10K for Women

Reebok Boston 10K for Women

The Reebok Boston 10K for Women, formerly known as the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women and the Bonne Bell Mini Marathon, is a major 10K held annually in Boston, on Columbus Day, popular as both an elite world-class competition and a women's running event promoting health and fitness. Feel the empowerment as you unite with over 7,000 fellow...

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2020 Amsterdam Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

The 2020 Amsterdam Marathon has become the latest race to be cancelled because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The event was due to be held on October 18, but has been called off because of the rise in cases of Covid-19 in the Netherlands; the country has reported more than 400 cases per day since August 4.

In a statement, Ron van der Jagt, managing director of race organiser Le Champion, said, ‘It’s extremely regretful that we have had to cancel the TCS Amsterdam Marathon due to the corona crisis.

‘It is our mission to help as many people as possible to take part in sports and exercise and contribute to a healthy society.

‘Public health is always our top priority, which is why we wanted nothing more than to allow the TCS Amsterdam Marathon to take place in a safe, responsible way with a modified edition this year.

‘However, the development of the corona crisis over the past few weeks, both in the Netherlands and beyond, has made it impossible for this edition to go ahead.’

Runners will be able to defer their place to the 2021 edition of the race. Similar to London Marathon, organisers are also developing an app that will allow runners to take part in a virtual race on what would have been race day.

(08/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jane McGuire
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TCS Amsterdam Marathon

TCS Amsterdam Marathon

Do you want to enjoy Amsterdam in October and all that the city has to offer you? Want to feel a real athlete and start and finish in the historic Olympic stadium? Or run across the widely discussed passage under the beautiful National Museum? Then come to Amsterdam for the 44rd edition of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon in October! The...

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Colorado runners rule Pikes Peak Marathon

Colorado runners ruled the Pikes Peak Marathon on Sunday in a year without elite international competition.

Seth DeMoor, of Englewood was the first to the summit of Pikes Peak and held off David Sinclair to win the men’s race in 3 hours, 36 minutes and 31 seconds, unofficially. Sinclair finishes in 3:38:20.

Denver’s Brittany Charboneau reached summit behind Allie McLaughlin but made up ground during the descent and won the women’s race in 4:25:21. Golden’s Ashley Brasovan was second with McLaughlin, of Colorado Springs, finishing third.

 

(08/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Pike's Peak Marathon

Pike's Peak Marathon

2020 has provided more than its fair share of challenges, but we are eager to host a top-notch race experience on August 23rd that provides a safe, fun, and challenging event for all those participating. The 2020 Pikes Peak Marathon will look different from prior events: no vendor expo, no beer garden, no pizza, no post-race party… but you...

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New Wisconsin justice sworn in during ultramarathon

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- New Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Jill Karofsky finished her 100-mile ultramarathon Sunday after being sworn in mid-run. Karofsky was sworn in around 1 p.m. Saturday at the 35-mile marker of her route in south-central Wisconsin. State Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Dallet administered the oath of office in Basco. Karofsky began running Saturday at 6 a.m. WMTV-TV reports the run took her about 34 hours to complete. Karofsky shared an image of herself at mile 99 on Twitter around 3 p.m. Sunday. The liberal-leaning Karofsky defeated incumbent Daniel Kelly in April to narrow the court’s conservative majority to 4-3.

(08/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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In-person running races start again in Colorado with new coronavirus precautions

After a five-month hiatus, Colorado road runners are starting to have a few options for in-person racing with a pair of events scheduled over the next three weeks and another coming in October.

Previously scheduled for May 9, the Greenland Trail races will be held Aug. 29-30 in Larkspur, governed by strict regulations developed with the Tri-County Health Department. Spread out over two days instead of one for a maximum of 250 runners each day in compliance with health department orders, those races will include an 8-mile, 4-mile, 50K (31-mile) and 25K (15.5-mile). Runners will start one at a time in 8-second increments for social distancing.

Soon to follow will be the Labor Day Half Marathon in Parker, which also will offer a 10K and a 5K. The Greenland and Parker races are produced by Colorado Runner Events, which staged the Cookie Chase 5K this past Sunday in City Park. That race attracted 300 runners.

On Thursday, organizers of the Colfax Marathon announced a new race to be held Oct. 10 in City Park. Called the Welcome Back Denver 5K, it will be limited to 700 runners with four hourly start groups of 175. There will be multiple starting line chutes with groups of 25 people launching in 2-minute increments.

On Sunday, the Pikes Peak Marathon (up and down the mountain from Manitou Springs) will be held, but the Pikes Peak Ascent (one way) originally scheduled for Saturday was canceled.

“The Marathon, being a smaller field and spread out over 13 miles, is more manageable,” said Ron Ilgen, president of the Pikes Peak Marathon. “We’ve gone through exhaustive work in redefining the event in order to meet government health guidelines at all levels. We are able to keep the runners at the required six feet distance at both the start and finish areas, as well as requiring that they wear facemasks while in Manitou Springs. We also ask that they pull up their facemasks when they pass on the course.”

No one is under the illusion that road racing as we knew it before the pandemic is coming back anytime soon. In addition to the health rules related to the pandemic, demand so far has been low.

“I think there’s a lot of people that are not ready to come back,” said Jessica Griffiths, race director for Colorado Runner Events. “There’s people saying they’re ready, but they’re not actually signing up. The shorter distances could possibly sell out. The 50K maybe has 50 people in it right now. People have not been training for that distance because they didn’t expect it to happen. The 25K (has) about 100 people right now.

“Demand is very down. But for the people that are wanting to come out, they’re very enthusiastic, and they seem very, very grateful that we’re even trying to put on an event. It’s been a challenge. The guidance changes a lot.”

The Cookie Chase had more than 1,400 finishers in 2019, so the 300 that turned out this week represented a huge drop.

“Not that we wanted or were allowed to have a large event, but it gives you an idea of where the demand is currently,” Griffiths said. “We had small waves start from 7 a.m. until 9:30, so those 300 people were very social distanced throughout the 3 miles.”

Griffiths said guidelines mandated by Tri-County Health for the Greenland Trail races include:

-Registration tables and portable restrooms must be cleaned and recorded on an hourly timesheet.

-Only pre-packaged food and sealed bottles of liquids are allowed at the finish line.

-Hand sanitizer is required on all tables.

-Staff and volunteers must wear masks at all times.

-Staff and volunteers are required to have temperature checks and COVID-19 screenings.

Similar rules will be in place for the Labor Day races, including the staggered start, Griffiths said, although the interval times for the start launches may be tweaked depending on how the Greenland races go.

“We paced it out,” Griffiths said. “If you have an elite runner who’s running about 6-minute miles, and one person starts every 8 seconds, they’re going to cover 120 feet before the next participant starts. Even the walkers, in 8 seconds, will cover 30-35 feet before the next person starts. It will be very strung-out. We wouldn’t have people running in big groups. I think for the people that are coming, they are just excited to have something to train for and something to do that’s in person, even if it’s not going to be the same.”

Colfax Marathon officials Andrea Dowdy and Creigh Kelley spent much of the summer working through ideas on how a return to racing would look, not just for their races but for the industry at large. They came up with a set of guidelines in concert with state and city public health officials that have been reviewed by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The resulting document has been offered to other races — in Colorado and around the country — as a template.

Denver officials allowed the Cookie Chase to happen last weekend under those guidelines. Now the hope is that other races will be able to follow the template, although Kelley says it’s impractical to stage races longer than 5Ks until COVID-19 restrictions are eased or lifted.

“We knew we needed to create recommended guidelines so that race directors or event organizers, including charities — all these charities that are losing a lot of money — would have a document they could read and understand that would allow them to begin to think about putting on an event so they don’t have to wait another year,” Kelley said, adding that 10-15 race directors around the country will be using the template to bring their races back. “Our whole mission was to give our industry a way they can get their arms around the possibility of putting on an event again, safely.”

(08/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Paris Marathon cancelled: Rescheduled November race called off due to coronavirus

Event had been postponed from April until November but with coronavirus cases on the rise across France, a decision has been taken to cancel the race until 2021

The rescheduled Paris Marathon on 15 November has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The race was originally scheduled to take place on 5 April, but was postponed at the start of the coronavirus crisis and moved to the end of the year in the hope that conditions would improve sufficiently to a level where the mass participation event could take place.

But with cases in France on the rise once again, a decision was taken to cancel the full event, meaning there will be no race for professionals or for the thousands of amateur runners who take part.

"Faced with the difficulty that many runners, especially those coming from abroad, had in making themselves available for the 14th/15th November, it was decided that it would be better and simpler for those concerned if we organised the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris in 2021," organisers said in a statement.

"There will be great disappointment among those who have sacrificed time training for what had become an autumn marathon.

(08/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Renovated Helsinki Olympic Stadium to re-open on August 22

The Helsinki Olympic Stadium will be re-opened on Saturday (August 22) following the completion of renovation work at the venue.

The stadium has been closed since 2016 amid renovation work, which was funded by the Finnish Government and the City of Helsinki.

The renovation is claimed to have respected the original architecture of the venue, with sustainable choices made.

City of Helsinki officials say the stadium has been extended by adding a level of underground facilities, which will meet the requirements of national and international events and serve the city's residents and visitors more comprehensively all year round.

Stands will be able to seat 36,200 people, with the capacity rising to 50,000 spectators for concerts.

The new shelter roof is made of three million kilos of steel and received a constructional Steelwork Award for 2019.

The stadium now has 12 bookable meeting and multipurpose facilities, as well as indoor exercise facilities.

It is claimed the renovated stadium is an example of Finnish functionalist style combined with modern functionalities.

"The Olympic Stadium is one of the iconic sites in Helsinki," said Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki.

"The massive renewal is a testimony of the city's great commitment to holding its history and identity in high regard.

"In these difficult times, in particular, the great input and focus on events and experiences is important – not only for the entire events industry but for all of us who live in Helsinki.

"The renewed, modern, function-focused and sustainably refurbished stadium serves Helsinki in many ways and also contributes to our international attractiveness now and long in the future."

The original stadium was inaugurated on June 12 in 1938, with construction beginning four years earlier.

Construction took place prior to Helsinki's planned hosting of the 1940 Olympic Games, after they were moved to the Finnish capital from Japan.

The Games were later cancelled due to the outbreak of World War Two.

Helsinki would ultimately host the Summer Olympics in 1952, with the stadium having a maximum capacity of 70,000 at Games-time.

"The Olympic Stadium crystallises a unique part of our past and embodies memorable moments in Finnish history," said Annika Saarikko, Finland's Minister of Science and Culture.

"I find it inspiring that the heart of the Olympics summer of 1952 is now ready to go on as the venue of the unforgettable moments of both sports and culture.

"The stadium is a bold example of functionalist architecture.

"I am convinced that its architects Yrjö Lindegren and Toivo Jäntti would be proud and content to examine the results of the refurbishment work now completed.

"The improvements allow us to make sure that the stadium is not only a monument of the past but also a part of the most heart-stirring Finnish sports and cultural experience in the future."

Nasima Ramyar, the chair of Stadium Foundations, added: "For generations, the stadium has been the arena of moved spectators with beating hearts.

"Besides the sports and entertainment experiences of the audiences, the new stadium makes the Helsinki locals and other Finns move, in the concrete meaning of the word.

"The new and renewed premises of the stadium will open a full world of physical exercise where both clubs and individuals can enjoy physical activities in the facilities of the legendary sports venue."

The stadium will be opened and inaugurated for a second time on Saturday, with a live television broadcast showing the ceremony.

Members of the public will then be able to book tickets for visits to the Stadium Tour, which will be conducted in line with Government COVID-19 guidelines on public gatherings.

The stadium's athletics track will be opened to the public from September 14 to 19.

The first match of the National League Women's Finnish Football Championship Series is the opening fixture scheduled for the re-opened venue.

The stadium is scheduled to host the UEFA Super Cup in 2022.

(08/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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A recent poll shows that more than half of Japanese companies want the Tokyo Olympic Games to be cancelled or postponed again

Japan's Kyodo news agency said on Thursday that in the online survey by Tokyo Shoko Research covering 12,857 companies, 27.8 percent want the Tokyo Games to be canceled while 25.8 percent said the sporting event should be postponed again.

That means a combined 53.6 percent of the responding firms are against holding the games from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.

The survey, which was conducted between July 28 and Aug. 11, shows that 46.2 percent want the games to go ahead in some way -- 22.5 percent are in favor of holding the Olympics as planned, 18.4 percent want it to be held but with fewer spectators and 5.3 percent without any spectators.

Japan is suffering a second wave of COVID-19 infections, with new confirmed cases increased by 1178 in the country and 339 in Tokyo.

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko is urging residents to take thorough precautions in every aspect of daily life.

Tokyo 2020 organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori has said that the delayed Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled from July 24 to Aug. 9 this year, could not be held next year if COVID-19 pandemic continues as it is. He also said that the games will have to be canceled if it could not be held next year.

The organizers will start discussing concrete countermeasures against COVID-19 this autumn onwards with the Japanese government and Tokyo Metropolitan government. 

(08/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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World champion Ruth Chepng’etich promises thrilling battle at London Marathon

World champion Ruth Chepng’etich says her clash with world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei at London Marathon on October 4 will “read like a script from a thriller.”

“Nothing can really describe that rare moment when some of the best marathoners clash,” said Chepng’etich, who has been training in isolation in Ngong, Kajiado County.

“People should expect thrills and a tough battle. That is why I want to be in one of my best shape before meeting my good friend Brigid and the rest of the star-studded pack,” explained Chepng’etich as the London Marathon organisers Friday unleashed the star-studded elite cast for the rescheduled race on October 4.

NTV has exclusive rights for the race in Kenya and will broadcast the eagerly-awaited clash live.

The 26-year-old Chepnng’etich said everyone will be heading into the race with unknown qualities owing to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

“You really can’t tell what someone has been doing in isolation or predict the winning time,” said Chepng’etich, adding that it will feel great running her first World Marathon Majors race.

“It will take a lot of courage and focus to face some of these athletes who have conquered races at the World Marathon Majors like Brigid and Vivian Cheruiyot. I have a lot to learn from them too,” she said. Kosgei, who has a personal best of two hours, 14 minutes and four seconds, will be making her third stab at the London Marathon, having won last year in 2:18:20 after finishing second behind compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot in 2018 clocking 2:20:13.

Agemates, Kosgei and Chepng'etich will have company in Cheruiyot, who won in London in 2018 in a career best 2:18:31, and Valary Aiyabei, the winner of the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon (2:19.10).

British athletics legend Mo Farah has agreed to be one of the pacemakers for this year’s London Marathon with his aim to help fellow Britons make the qualifying time for the Olympics.

The 37-year-old will also hope to tee up a spectacular final duel between two fellow legends in Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele and Kenya’s world record holder Eliud Kipchoge.

(08/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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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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For First Time in its 61-Year History the Karatsu 10-Miler has been cancelled for 2021

Amid the continued spread of the coronavirus, the 61st edition of the Karatsu 10-Mile Road Race, scheduled for Feb. 14 next year in Saga prefecture, has been cancelled.

According to city officials it is the first time the race has ever been canceled. The event's organizing committee met on Aug. 11 to discuss the possibility of staging the race but decided that with a large number of runners coming from across the country and the risk of spreading the virus among locals watching along the course it would not be advisable to move forward.

Known for its start and finish at the municipal track and field grounds and for passing through nationally-recognized scenic areas, the Karatsu 10-Miler attracts top corporate league and collegiate runners every year.

A record 1035 people entered last February's 60th anniversary edition.Translator's note: Karatsu joins the Marugame Half, Ome 30 km, Kumanichi 30 km, and nine large marathons among major events in the first quarter of 2021 to have already cancelled.

(08/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Karatsu 10 Mile Road Race

Karatsu 10 Mile Road Race

It is a tournament held in Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture.Four classes of "High school 10 km", "Girls 10 km", "High school girls 5 km", "General 10 miles" (approximately 16 km) will be held.In addition to top runners, citizen runners and high school students run through the rainbow Matsubara. ...

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Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins runs 1:02:12 solo half-marathon

Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins posted to Instagram on Friday that he ran a new personal best in the half-marathon, hitting 1:02:12 for 21.1K in a solo effort. The runner’s old personal best was a 1:02:14 from the 2020 Houston Marathon in January.

This is just one of the many impressive solo efforts that runners are putting on paper during the pandemic. Just two weeks ago, American marathoner Sara Hall ran a half-marathon personal best as well, hitting 1:08:17. 

Levins wrote, “Unofficial half-marathon PB this morning in 62:12. Went out fast (2:38 first kilometre) and hung on. Lots of wind that caught up with me by the end but overall pleased with the effort and happy to know that my fitness during this difficult time has been maintained. Finished the morning by helping remove some graffiti on a sign around the course.”

Levins’s initial plan for this spring was to run the Rotterdam Marathon and hopefully hit the Olympic standard (2:11:30) there. It was cancelled as the world settled into the new normal of pandemic life.

Like all runners, Levins is unsure about what the future of road racing looks like, but he’s managed to get himself in the best half-marathon shape of his life and hopefully he can test himself on a real start line sometime soon. 

(08/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Man running from California to Delaware raising money for kids with cancer stops in Avon’s Nottingham Park

Peter Halper running over 3,000 miles to raise money for kids with cancer

Peter Halper is a man on a mission.

The Wisconsin resident stopped in Avon’s Nottingham Park on Tuesday as part of Emery’s Thunder Run, a 3,076-mile, four-month trek to raise funds for kids with cancer.

He started planning this run two years ago and was originally scheduled to start his run from California to Delaware in April. However, he postponed it to July to allow more information about COVID-19 to come out. He’s received a few questions along the way about running cross-country during a pandemic.

It’s a good question, and I appreciate the question, but we’re not running despite a pandemic, I’m running because of it, more or less because the parents who are going through Neuroblastoma with their kids, they still got to deal with the same problems. Their issues don’t go away, so it just compounded everything for them, so it’s even more important that we continue on,” Halper said.

Halper and his team of rotating volunteers are coordinating the run to raise money for Emery’s Memory Foundation.

“This run is a crazy stunt to help us find real solutions for the childhood cancer crisis,” the Emery’s Memory Foundation website says. “Funds from this run will go to Neuroblastoma research, support families in treatment and raise awareness about Neuroblastoma.”

Neuroblastoma is a form of cancer that starts in certain types of very primitive nerve cells found in an embryo or fetus, according to http://www.cancer.org.

Emery, the foundation’s namesake, is Halper’s sister’s granddaughter, who died at age 3 of Neuroblastoma Stage 4. Halper had never met his great-niece.

“The first time I met Emery was at her funeral,” Halper said. “When I was sitting in the pews, it hit me like a ton of rocks. How are these parents going to do what they are about to have to do? I decided that day that I was going to offer to run for them, for their foundation.”

Generosity from town to town

Halper’s four-month schedule includes running over a marathon a day for six days a week, taking Sundays off — that’s almost 115 marathons in four months. Upon arriving in Avon, he was a little over 1,000 miles into his run.

He will leave the valley and head east, over Vail Pass. Once in Kansas, he’ll take some time to spend some with family there. Halper has four children and is looking forward to seeing his wife.

“I’m not technically in the exact middle, but Denver, Colorado, feels like the middle and it’s kind of a big transition area to the plains so I feel like I’m in the middle,” he said.

However, he is planning to return either before leaving Denver or once arriving in Delaware — the Grizzly Creek Fire canceled his segment from Glenwood Springs to Gypsum.

“If it doesn’t open soon, I’ll go to Delaware, finish and I’ll buy a plane ticket back to Denver the day I get to Delaware, come back here and finish,” he said, adding he wants the run to be as continuous as possible to send a strong message to the parents and children dealing with Neuroblastoma. “We’re willing to suffer for them. We will finish all of it, even if we have to come back.”

Halper has been running for 11 years and has found a unique ability to run long distances.

“I hated running when I first started,” he said. “I’m not a professional runner. I’m not a sponsored runner. I’m a carpenter by trade. That’s what I do at home.”

Running across the western part of the country so far, Halper has noticed a surprising amount of generosity.

“It’s always been the people with the least offering the most,” he said. “I haven’t gone through a town where people haven’t been really generous and kind. I think that spirit is still really strong.”

He says Native American reservations have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There, you can see it on their faces and the way they carry themselves. Everything’s boarded up that you can tell wasn’t boarded up months ago,” he said.

The Emery’s Thunder Run has a goal of raising $200,000. As of mid-August, it has raised over $109,000. To donate, sponsor a mile or learn more, visit http://www.emorysmemoryfoundation.com.

“I have good days and bad days, like you might expect,” Halper said Tuesday, “but I’m feeling good today.”

(08/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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Japan’s finest athletes to assemble at Golden Grand Prix

Most of Japan’s finest athletes will be out in force for the Seiko Golden Grand Prix, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Tokyo, on Sunday (23).

The meeting, to be staged at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium, was initially intended as a late spring preview for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but those plans were halted in their tracks with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Postponed at first from its original date, it’s now being held as a national event without spectators to align with restrictions on public gatherings. Nonetheless, it will still provide a strong competitive opportunity for Japanese athletes on the track that will host the Games next year.

World U20 3000m champion Nozomi Tanaka will be the focus of attention after her 8:41.35 performance in Fukagawa last month to break the national 3000m record. She will contest the 1500m on Sunday where she’s already improved to 4:08.68 this season, not too far from the national record of 4:07.86.

The men’s 100m features five of the fastest 11 Japanese men of all time. Asian champion Yoshihide Kiryu, the first Japanese athlete to break the 10-second barrier, has a 9.98 career best as does Yuki Koike, who clocked his at the Diamond League meeting in London Last year.

They'll be joined by Ryota Yamagata, who has clocked 10.00, and Shuhei Tada, who led off Japan's bronze-winning quartet at the past two World Championships. Kiryu and Koike (heats) were also on the 4x100m relay squad in Doha.

Aska Cambridge, a 4x100m relay Olympic silver medallist in Rio four years ago, will also be in the field.

The men’s 200m features Olympic 4x100m silver medallist Shota Iizuka and world 4x100m bronze medallist Kirara Shiraishi.

Sprint hurdlers Shunya Takayama and Asuka Terada will also be in action. Takayama twice equalled the Japanese 110m hurdles record of 13.36 last year before breaking it outright with 13.30 and then reducing it further to 13.25. Terada set two national records last year in the 100m hurdles, first with 13.00 and then with 12.97 two weeks later.

On the infield, the men’s long jump is building to be a competitive event, with Koki Fujihara, who broke the Japanese U20 record last year with 8.12m, taking on national record-holder Shoutarou Shiroyama and 2018 world U20 champion Yuki Hashioka.

Naoto Tobe, the World Indoor Tour winner in the high jump in 2019, heads the field in his event. Tobe, who improved to 2.35m indoors in 2019, will take on Takashi Eto, a 2.30m jumper. Daichi Sawano, Seito Yamamoto and Masaki Ejima, all 5.71m men last season, will compete in the pole vault.

National record-holder Haruka Kitaguchi leads the javelin throw field, joined by three other Japanese women who’ve thrown beyond 60 metres: 2018 national champion Marina Saito, 2011 Asian bronze medallist Yuka Sato and two-time Asian bronze medallist Risa Miyashita.

The men’s javelin is of a similar high standard with four 80-metre throwers entered: Asian bronze medallist Ryohei Arai, 2012 Olympic finalist Genki Dean, Takuto Kominami and Yuta Sakiyama.

Organisers will also provide some of Japan's finest high school athletes an opportunity to compete against their nation's best athletes on the Olympic Stadium track through a ‘Dream Lane’ set aside in nine men’s and nine women’s events.

The decision to include high school athletes came after the Interscholastic Sport Games, the annual national high school championships in 30 sports, were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A selection committee, which included 2000 Olympic marathon champion Naoko Takahashi, 2008 Olympic 4x100m relay silver medallist Shinji Takahira and High Performance Committee Track & Field Director Kazuhiko Yamazaki, selected 28 athletes. Some of the athletes include Kosuke Kawata, who has a 10.39 best in the 100m and Haruto Ishizuka, a 3:44.62 1500m runner.

(08/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Beers, Bomb Suits and Blue Jeans: The Weirdest Mile-Run Records Known to Man-13 baffling ways humans have covered 5,280 feet

The running and drinking communities have long shared an unlikely Venn diagram. In the 1930s, some athletes would bring beer along for lengthy workouts, believing that its hearty grains might propel them to longer distances. For decades, at the end of the Berlin Marathon, runners who’ve made the podium are given medals and enormous boots of Erdinger. And these days, running clubs like Toronto’s RUNTOBEER start and finish at breweries around the city. Hell, there’s even a craft brewery in Chico, California, called Sufferfest that’s operated by lifelong runners and makes light, low-calorie ales designed for the highly active beer drinker.

Still, there is no greater (nor less subtle) collision of these two disciplines than the infamous Beer Mile, a concept that is arguably more popular than any internationally sanctioned event in the entire sport of track and field. It’s an irresistible blend — the familiarity of elementary-school gym class with the low-class hijinks of college — and it’s at the forefront of an unofficial, utterly unasked-for movement in both the amateur and professional running circles: run four laps hard, but make it weird.

In the last five months, runners have set two new, preposterously specific mile-run records: one while handcuffed, and one while wearing a pair of blue jeans. It would be tempting to laugh these efforts off, if only they weren’t so fast. (The jeans miler rumbled in at an unholy 4:06.) And really, at the end of the day, it’s fun to embrace these races, which wed the appeal of an old, oft-forgotten sport with stunts and gimmicks that thrive on social media.

Which is exactly what we’ve done. Below, find the 13 weirdest mile-run records known to man — including the fastest miles ever run in a bomb suit, with a dog and under the influence of chocolate milk.

Fastest Beer Mile

Corey Bellemore, 4:33

Bellemore actually ran a 4:24 about a year after his 4:33 mark, but got disqualified for leaving a combined 4.5 ounces of beer in his “empties.” Those judges are serious. As is his running ability; he’s an Adidas-sponsored athlete with a personal best of 3:57 to his name. Which is a crucial theme in the world of wacky mile records: always eager for a challenge, the pros inevitably hijack the bonkers creations of layman runners. Just six years ago, for instance, the running world had celebrated its first sub-five beer mile. Check out the full catalogue of all-time bests here, including stats on the favored beers. (Budweiser is currently in the lead, though Bellemore, a Canadian, prefers the craft stuff from Ontario’s Flying Monkeys Brewery.)

Fastest Mile in Jeans

Johnny Gregorek, 4:06

This past May, Asics athlete Johnny “The Jet” Gregorek ran a blistering 4:06 in a pair of Levi 501s. It was enough to beat Dillion Maggard’s former record time of 4:11, and horrify millions across the internet who think wearing jeans on a plane should be a “criminal offense.” Gregorek, who is a middle-distance star with a silver medal from the 2019 Pan American Games, trained for his record by running 100-meter sprints in the blue jeans to break them in. On race day, he also managed to raise $31,000 for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in an homage to his late brother. Levi’s donated $5,000.

Fastest Walking Mile

Tom Bosworth, 5:31

Of all the feats listed here, this is the only one that doesn’t actually involve running. And yet, it’s also the only one you’re likely to find at a legitimate track meet. Racewalking is very much a sport, despite the fact that it looks like several minutes of that “This one is serious” dash people make for the bathroom after eating bad shellfish. The only rule? Keep one foot in contact with the ground at all times, which distinguishes it from the leaps and bounds of running. Distances usually start at 3,000 meters, and hike all the way up to 100 kilometers (that’s 62 miles), but mile races have some popularity, too. At the 2017 Diamond League in London, British race walker Tom Bosworth clocked in at 5:31, to the delight of a very excited commentator.

Fastest Mile Downhill

Mike Boit, 3:27

We recently covered a virtual, March Madness-style running tournament called “Survival of the Fastest,” in which runners were pitted against each other each week to race a new, specific distance. Downhill racing was allowed in the competition (even encouraged) and by the time the bracket had been whittled down to a final four, every runner involved was hitting start on Strava from the top of a mountain in order to ensure the most competitive time possible. It really does make an absurd difference. Hicham El Guerrouj has holds the official world record for the mile run (3:43), but Mike Boit’s performance in 1983, when he sprinted down a hill through the center of Auckland to a 3:27 finish, is the fastest a human being has ever covered 1,600 meters on his own two feet.

Fastest Mile in Alaska

Ben Blankenship, 3:57

“An Alaskan Mile” was an official selection for the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival in 2018, and it chronicles an effort by eight elite runners — with Oregon and Olympian pedigrees among them — to become the first to break the four-minute barrier on Alaskan soil. As Trevor Dunbar (one of the runners, the event organizer and from Kodiak, himself) points out, Alaska only has three months where such an accomplishment would be remotely possible, and even then, high winds or even frost could arrive right before the gun goes off. It’s worth the 20-minute watch if you’re interested, but just know that Alaskans were amped to see Minnesotan Ben Blankenship go well under four, setting a new state record.

Fastest Mile on a Treadmill

Anthony Famiglietti, 3:58

It’s Anthony Famigletti’s party, and he’ll run a 3:58 mile on a treadmill if he wants to. A former Olympian who competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in Beijing, Famiglietti recruited the fastest American miler ever, Alan Webb (3:46), to help him start breaking four-minute miles into his forties. It worked. This is Famiglietti late last year, on his 41st birthday, running at a 3:58 pace for a full mile on his treadmill. Forget anything you’ve heard about treadmills juicing performance; that’s irrelevant here. Him staying on that machine is akin to deftly canoeing through Class V rapids. And better yet, he got to do it at his own Reckless Running store in Mooresville, North Carolina, which he owns with his wife.

Fastest Mile with a Dog

Anthony Famiglietti, 3:59

More Famigletti. Another impressive sub-four — this one a year earlier, at age 40 — but all credit here goes to Bailey the dog, who casually rolled out of bed to brush against the pinnacle of human athletic achievement, and wanted more. Famigletti affixed Bailey to his waist via a hands-free “bungee” leash (which doesn’t exactly square with our dog running tips, by the way) and ran hard to earn his time. But the fact that Bailey basically dragged an adult 5,280 feet and didn’t once chase a squirrel is the real takeaway here.

Fastest Backwards Mile

Aaron Yoder, 5:54

The Guinness World Record for fastest backpedaled mile ended with the following exchange:

Fastest Chocolate Milk Mile

Mars Bishop, 4:56

On paper, it’s the PG-rated beer mile. But subbing chocolate milk for beer is no joke, and arguably more likely to end in puke penalties. At the 2nd Annual Chocolate Milk Mile in Cranston, Rhode Island, runners slugged cups of the good stuff from East Providence’s Munroe Dairy Farm. A number of runners had to run shame laps for spewing, but runner Mars Bishop torched the track to the tune of 4:56. Because the rules to the Chocolate Milk Mile are exactly the same as the Beer Mile, beermile.com has apparently decided to include the results in its database. (Under beer of choice, they put a chocolate milk logo.) With all respect to Bishop, this record — from 2017 — seems ready to be broken again.

Fastest Mile While Handcuffed

Jeremy Greenwald, 4:52

Save your “running from the cops” jokes, YouTube’s finest have already handled that. Besides, we’re legitimately interested in this from a physical standpoint. Despite the amount of long-distance runners you see without much meat on their arms, the mile is a bang-bang event, where many competitors rely on a dramatic, arm-pumping “kick” in their last lap. To break five with those arms rendered useless is a real challenge. It’s clear from the video that Greenwald, a former Division 1 runner at Georgia Tech, had to rely heavily on his core muscles while keeping his shoulders straight and back; after all, if he fell, the whole thing was over. The previous record for this “event” was 6:37.

Fastest Mile in a Bomb Suit

Daniel Glenn, 8:57

Advanced Bomb Suits weigh 80 pounds, and are reinforced with Kevlar ballistic panels that can withstand blasts traveling at supersonic speeds of over 1,600 m/s. If you’ve seen The Hurt Locker, you have an idea of how serious they are: soldiers routinely get heat exhaustion from just walking around a few paces in one, so for Lt. Daniel Glenn to complete a full mile in one is unheard of. But to do so at the clip of an average American mile time (nine to 10 minutes) is staggering. Even more impressive: he did it in Florida.

Fastest Mile While Juggling

Zach Prescott, 4:43

Yeah, you were probably going to get through your entire life without discovering that “joggling” existed, and you would’ve been just fine. Sorry. Joggling is running while juggling three objects in time, and for decades, Kirk Swenson was the undisputed king of the sport. He joggled a 4:43.8 way back in 1986. Then Boston University runners Zach Prescott came along, and threw three lacrosse balls around en route to a buzzer-beater 4:43.2 victory. Guinness World Records is still in the process of verifying the new record.

Fastest Mile in Death Valley While Wearing a Darth Vader Suit

Jonathan Rice, 6:13

This happened and and there is NOTHING any of us can do about it.

(08/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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Donavan Brazier Keeps Win Streak Alive, Runs 1:15.07 For 600m in Hungary

Meet organizers for today’s Gyulai Memorial meet in Székesfehérvár, Hungary, the second World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meet of 2020, were hoping that 800m American record holder and world champion Donavan Brazier would be able to beat Johnny Gray‘s 1:12.81 world best for the 600 meters, which has stood since 1986. But Brazier, who won the 800 at last week’s Herculis meet in Monaco, never had the same intentions and didn’t attack the mark in today’s race.

Brazier actually barely won the 600 in 1:15.07, as he had to come from way behind to beat Puerto Rico’s Wesley Vázquez (1:15.31). Vázquez, the Puerto Rican record holder at 800 who was 5th at Worlds last year, had close to a five-meter lead when he hit the homestretch but tied up on the way home and Brazier got the win, passing Vázquez with roughly 20 meters to go. Vázquez remains the world leader at 600 as he ran 1:14.85 in Puerto Rico on August 1

Race organizers said Brazier’s splits were 24.07 for 200 and 48.43 for 400 (Gray’s pace averages out to be 48.54 per 400). Brazier’s time today was well off his pb for 600 as Brazier owns the fastest time ever indoors (1:13.77 in 2019) and ran 1:14.39 indoors this year as well. For comparison’s sake, when David Rudisha ran his 1:40.91 800m WR, he hit 600 in 1:14.30. Non-US visitors can watch today’s race at this link.

Brazier has now won nine straight races across all distances, dating back to July 2019.

In other action of note in Székesfehérvár, American Noah Lyles won the men’s 100 in 10.05 (+.3 m/s) over Brit Adam Gemili‘s 10.28 and the 200 in 20.13 (+1.3 m/s) as Italy’s Eseosa Desalu was second in 20.35.

The resurgence of 2018 NCAA 400 champ Lynna Irby of the US continued in the women’s 200 as Irby won that in a seasonal best 22.55 (+.7 m/s) over 2015 and 2017 world champ Dafne Schippers (22.94). It was Irby’s best time since May 2018.

There was an upset in the men’s triple jump, as 2019 world bronze medalist Hugues Fabrice Zango of Burkina Faso jumped a world-leading 17.43m to defeat world/Olympic champ Christian Taylor (17.34). And in the 110 hurdles, Spain’s Orlando Ortega got the best of American world champion Grant Holloway for the second time in six days. Just as in Monaco, Holloway got out to a fast start, but once again, Ortega ran him down off the final hurdle and won in 13.21 to Holloway’s 13.22.

 

(08/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Big Sur Marathon Foundation Suspends Operations Amidst Pandemic

Plans for all 2021 races have been frozen until further notice

CARMEL, CA –The Big Sur Marathon Foundation (BSMF) announced Thursday that they will suspend all race operations, effective September 30, 2020. Citing the many unknowns concerning the coronavirus pandemic, organizers say the timeline for resuming race planning and registrations is unclear and ever-changing.

“We are devastated about canceling all our in-person events and programs for 2020 and now for 2021,” said Race Director Doug Thurston. “That said, we have refocused our staff’s creative efforts on producing our Big Surreal Virtual Challenge and look forward to hearing how our runners enjoy the experience.”

By placing the 36-year-old nonprofit organization in a  hibernation of sorts, race officials hope to minimize financial and operational damage so the organization can once again organize world-class races when safe to do so. Securing permits  to hold large mass-participation events  like marathons likely won’t happen until vaccines or other coronavirus therapeutics are widely in use. 

As a result, the following events/programs have been cancelled:

The November 2020 Monterey Bay Half Marathon in-person and virtual races. Registration had not yet opened for either event.

The JUST RUN youth fitness program for the 2020-2021 school year.

BSMF has suspended all plans for the following 2021 events/programs:

The April 2021 Big Sur Marathon weekend of races

The June 2021 Run in the Name of Love

The November 2021 Monterey Bay Half Marathon 

With no current races on the horizon, the BSMF Board also made the difficult decision to reduce their staff to just two employees – Race Director Doug Thurston and Administrative Manager Chris Balog. Five of the organization’s seven full-time employees have been laid off.

The organization says it will continue to monitor updates regarding the pandemic including vaccine development and distribution and remain hopeful that they will be able to safely hold races and other programs in 2022.

For answers to common questions related to these updates, please visit the FAQ page located on the Big Sur Marathon website. BSMF asks fans to continue to monitor their social media pages and websites for updates in the months to come.

The Big Sur Marathon Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create beautiful running events that promote health and benefit the community. Under the brand are three individual race weekends: Big Sur International Marathon in April,Run in the Name of Love 5K and 2K in June, and theMonterey Bay Half Marathon, 5K and 3K in November. In addition, the Foundation oversees the award-winning JUST RUN® youth fitness program.

(08/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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Moroccan steeplechaser Soufiane El Bakkali has huge admiration for Kenyan athletes.

In fact, as the delayed elite season opened with the Monaco Diamond League meeting last week, El Bakkali was excited upon seeing the Kenyan contingent at the Stade Loius II in the heart of the principality.

“The men from Africa!” he screamed and then posed for selfies with the Kenyan delegation headed by coach Bernard Ouma.

“He actually asked for the group photo on our way out of the track,” Ouma added, describing the Moroccan as an “amiable character.”

“We had our last breakfast together in Monaco on Sunday on his way to Paris,” Ouma added on Thursday.

First-placed Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali competed in the men's 3,000 metres steeplechase event during the Diamond League Athletics Meeting at The Louis II Stadium in Monaco on August 14, 2020.

The 24-year-old Moroccan has now expressed his interest in running with the Kenyans at the October 3 Kip Keino Classic leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour at the Nyayo National Stadium.

This sets up a potentially mouthwatering race given that El Bakkali ran the season’s best (world lead) time of eight minutes, 8.04 seconds to win in Monaco ahead of Kenya’s Leonard Bett (8:08.78).

Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali (top photo) celebrates after winning the men's 3,000 metres steeplechase event as second-placed Leonard Bett of Kenya looks on during the Diamond League Athletics Meeting at The Louis II Stadium in Monaco on August 14, 2020.

Down with Covid-19, Kenya’s world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto should be fit by then to set up a classic from 4.23pm at Nyayo National Stadium on October 3, according to the draft programme of events. “El Bakkali’s management say he wants to fly from the Doha Diamond League meeting (September 25) direct to Nairobi,” Kip Keino Classic meet director Barnaba Korir confirmed on Thursday. “We are finalising the arrangements for him and this (steeplechase) definitely should be one of the highlights of the Kip Keino Classic.”

With, bizzarrely, Morocco having failed to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games since the legend Hicham El Guerrouj struck a 1,500, and 5,000m double in Athents 16 years ago, the north African nation is banking on El Bakkali to pan the elusive medal at the Tokyo Games, now shifted to next summer.

Olympics 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto (right), and another athlete during training at St Francis Cheptarit High School in Mosoriot, Nandi County on August 06. 

El Bakkali (PB 7:58.15) won silver at the 2017 World Championships in London and followed up with bronze in Doha last year, finishing behind Kipruto and Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma whom he could face at the Kip Keino Classic on October 3.

He was fourth at the 2016 Rio Games and was the only Moroccan athlete signed up by Visa (credit card) in its promotions for Tokyo 2020.

On Thursday, Ouma, who is preparing his athletes for this weekend’s second Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, said there could also be a possibility of bigger names coming to Nairobi in October.

“It (Kip Keino Classic) will be a very entertaining meet,” he summed it up.

(08/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Elias Makori
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London Marathon Elite Fields Released, 2020 elite field will be the best in years

Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele face battle from six more sub-2:05 runners in elite men’s race.

World record holder Brigid Kosgei among six sub-2:20 athletes in elite women’s race.

The Virgin Money London Marathon today confirmed the full fields for the historic elite men’s and women’s races on Sunday 4 October.

The elite men’s race – headlined by the greatest marathon runners in history, Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) and Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) – will include eight athletes who have run sub 2:05 marathons, including Mosinet Geremew (ETH) and Mule Wasihun (ETH) who were second and third respectively at the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Sisay Lemma (ETH), Tamirat Tola (ETH), Marius Kipserem (KEN) and Shura Kitata (ETH) are the other men to have run inside 2:05 while Sondre Nordstad Moen (NOR), who broke the European hour record in Norway earlier this month by running 21.132km, is also included.

The news that World Athletics will lift its suspension of the Olympic qualification system for marathon races from 1 September means there will also be a clutch of athletes racing with the ambition to achieve the Olympic standard of 2:11:30.

Adding yet further superstar quality to the event, the Virgin Money London Marathon can also announce that Sir Mo Farah will be a pacemaker for this group of Olympic hopefuls.

Farah, the four-time Olympic champion, said: “The London Marathon has been so important to me since I was a schoolboy and when they asked me to do this I thought it would be great to help. I am in good shape, I’ll be in London that week and it fits in with my training.

“I’ve been training here in Font Romeu with some of the British guys who are going for that Olympic qualifying time and they are good lads. I know just how special it is just to compete for your country at an Olympic Games and it would be great to help other athletes achieve this. With the current global situation and lack of races, the Virgin Money London Marathon in October is the best chance for athletes to run the Olympic qualifying time.”

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “This is the greatest Olympian in British track and field history coming to run as a pacemaker to help others achieve their dreams of making the Tokyo Olympic Games. It is a wonderful gesture of togetherness from Sir Mo and I’m sure his presence and support will inspire the athletes chasing that qualifying time on Sunday 4 October.”

At present only two British athletes other than Farah have run inside this time: Callum Hawkins, who has been pre-selected for the Olympic Games marathon, and Jonny Mellor who ran 2:10:03 in Seville in January. Farah himself has opted to run on the track at the Olympic Games.

Mellor is one of a number of British athletes running the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – The 40th Race – on Sunday 4 October. Other British men joining Mellor on the Start Line are Chris Thompson and debutants Ross Millington and Ben Connor.

Among the leading domestic women confirmed to race are Steph Twell, who ran a personal best (PB) of 2:26:40 in Frankfurt last year to go sixth on the British all-time rankings, and 2018 British marathon champion Lily Partridge.

The elite women’s field is headlined by world record holder Brigid Kosgei (KEN). Confirmed today are five other women who have run inside 2:20: current world champion Ruth Chepngetich (KEN), 2019 Valencia Marathon champion Roza Dereje (ETH), 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN), 2019 Frankfurt Marathon winner Valary Jemeli (KEN) and 2019 Amsterdam Marathon champion Degitu Azimeraw (ETH).

Ashete Bekere (ETH), the winner of last year’s BMW Berlin Marathon, Alemu Megertu (ETH), the 2019 Rome Marathon champion, plus Sarah Hall (USA) and Sinead Diver (AUS) are also included in a star-studded race.

(08/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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The Helsinki Marathon will be held as planned on October 3rd

The Helsinki City Marathon has a long history it was organized for the first time in the year 1981 and it has always been the most international and largest marathon event in Finland.

This year will be the 40th edition for HCM – come and celebrate it with us at the renewed Helsinki Olympic Stadium! The Garmin Helsinki City Marathon’s route will offer you a beautiful sea views and also offers views of Helsinki’s city center on October 3rd, 2020.

Protective measures are in place as follows:

Participants will be divided in smaller start groups.

There will be enough space in start groups/start area to keep distance to other runners.

Start and Finish area will be built to be more spacious than normally.

We kindly instruct our runners to keep a safe distance to other runners. We hope you all will show understanding for the exceptional practicalities that in the end enable the event during these challenging times.

Based on the guidance given by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare it is not allowed to participate in a public event if you have any symptoms related to illness caused by coronavirus (including fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, fatigue, rhinitis, nausea, diarrhoea, or a sudden loss of smell and/or taste).

“If you have any of these symptoms, you cannot take part in the event,” warned race organizers.

(08/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Helsinki City Marathon

Helsinki City Marathon

2020 marathon has been moved to October 3 instead of May 16. The Helsinki City Marathon is an annual marathon held in Helsinki, Finland. It was established in 1980 and is normally held in August. The 2007 marathon drew more than 6,000 participants and 50,000 spectators. The course starts near the statue of Paavo Nurmi...

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Mo Farah will be the pacemaker for the elite men's race at October's rescheduled London Marathon

Briton Mo Farah, 37, is among the competitors to have achieved the Olympic-qualifying time of two hours 11 minutes 30 seconds.

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, who won last year's event, leads the men's field with Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia.

Reduced fields of 30-40 athletes will also compete for the elite women's and wheelchair titles on 4 October.

The races will take place on a bio-secure closed course amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"The London Marathon has been so important to me since I was a schoolboy and when they asked me to do this I thought it would be great to help," said Farah, who finished third in 2018 and fifth last year.

"I am in good shape. I'll be in London that week and it fits in with my training."

Ethiopians Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, who finished runner-up and third respectively in 2019, are among eight athletes who have run marathons in under two hours five minutes.

Brigid Kosgei of Kenya heads up the women's elite field alongside compatriot and world champion Ruth Chepngetich.

Ethiopia's Roza Dereje and Kenyans Vivian Cheruiyot, Valary Jemeli and Degitu Azimeraw are the other picks of the line-up.

The full elite wheelchair fields will be released next week.

The route will consist of laps of about 1.5 miles, taking in The Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Birdcage Walk and Buckingham Palace.

(08/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Ultrarunner Ryan Sandes broke his own 100K FKT in South Africa

South African ultrarunning champion Ryan Sandes set a new record on Tuesday for the 13 Peaks Challenge, a gruelling 100K run that features 6,200m of climbing. Sandes is quite familiar with this challenge. Not only did he own the previous record, but he is the founder of the 13 Peaks route.

He first ran the challenge in March 2019, and then again in September, when he set the last record of 15 hours, 51 minutes and 48 seconds. His most recent shot at the run was even better, beating his best time by two hours and covering the multi-peak route near Cape Town (where he lives) in 13 hours, 41 minutes and 10 seconds. 

Sandes spoke with Canadian Running in April, just after he finished his #HomeRun, a 100-miler that he ran on a 110m loop that went around and through his house. At the time, a strict quarantine was being enforced in Cape Town, and running around his property was Sandes’s only option. Now, as is the case around most of the world, South Africa‘s restrictions have eased and Sandes was able to tackle the 13 Peaks Challenge once again. 

13 Peaks:

As the name suggests, the 13 Peaks Challenge covers 13 mountains in South Africa’s Table Mountain National Park, starting and finishing at a peak called Signal Hill. As Sandes told Red Bull after his first time around the circuit, “The idea came about when I just jotted down some peaks which I thought would make a nice logical route.” He said he “just wanted to do a good, chilled day out on foot.” Sandes didn’t put much planning into the route other than which peaks he wanted to summit, and so before he ran it the first time, he had no idea how long it would be. 

“I probably should’ve actually measured the distances between the points, but because it was on quite a small piece of paper, I reckoned it was 40K. Max 55,” he said. “It was to be an eight-hour mission.” It turned out to be much longer, and he and a friend he enlisted to run with him covered a little over 100K. 

After completing the route yet again and setting a new best time, it looks like he might hold onto the record for a while. But we won’t be surprised if he goes after the 13 Peaks again, just to see uf he can beat himself. As he showed the ultra world when he ran his #HomeRun challenge, Sandes doesn’t need races to keep him busy during this pandemic. He just needs a route to run and a time to beat. 

(08/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei now eyes 10,000m record

Freshly minted 5,000 meters world record holder Joshua Cheptegei will be looking to smash the 10,000m world record before the Olympics.

However, the Ugandan, 23,  said it will depend on if organisers of Diamond League races and other major events include the 5,000m and 10,000m races.

Cheptegei, who is also the World Cross Country Championships 10km champion, shattered Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old world 5,000m record on Friday last week, setting a new time of 12 minutes and 35.36 seconds during the Diamond League leg in Monaco.

“I would like to improve my 5,000m world record as well as take a shot at the 10,000m world record. I’m in good shape. Let’s hope more long distance events on the track will be organized,” he said.

Bekele, who has since moved to road running, holds the 10,000m world record, having broken it twice - the first time on June 8, 2004 (26:20.31) in Ostrava, Czech Republic and on August 26, 2005 (26:17.53) in Brussels, Belgium.

Cheptegei is alive to the fact that staying healthy is key during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s hard to predict the future since it’s in God’s hands. The best you can do is to strive to remain healthy,”  he said.

The 10,000m race had not been held as a Diamond League event for over five years and World Athletics (WA) scrapped the competition entirely from the Diamond League alongside 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase last year. The longest track race is 3,000m but events that will accommodate 5,000m and 10,000m won’t have them featured on prime time.

Only four events have been lined up in this year’s Diamond League series that have been delayed with some events being scrapped owing to Covid-19.

The next events are in Stockholm, Sweden on August 23; Rome, Italy on September 18 and Doha on September 25.

(08/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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AJC Peachtree Road Race has been cancelled, will be run virtually

The Atlanta Track Club bought time and considered going to great lengths to stage The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race as an in-person race. However, the coronavirus’ continued pervasiveness claimed another landmark sporting event. Initially delayed from its customary July 4 date to Thanksgiving Day in hopes that COVID-19 would have been under better control, the Peachtree now will be run solely in a virtual setting.

“We’ll do so with mixed emotions, but we’ll do it knowing that this is going to be the safest route and also the route that delivers the most authentic Peachtree possible,” track club executive director Rich Kenah told the AJC.

The long-standing Atlanta tradition will no longer be an event featuring 60,000 runners and walkers making their way through the streets, cheered on by a mass of spectators. Instead, participants will design a 6.2-mile course of their choosing with the use of an app and run on Thanksgiving. The track club will create the app that will enable participants to track their times and measure their performance against other finishers.

In May, when Kenah pushed the race from July 4, its home since the race’s inception in 1970, to Nov. 26, he described himself as “cautiously optimistic” that the world’s largest 10-kilometer race could be run down Peachtree Road. However, the spread of COVID-19 has not been curtailed as hoped, particularly in the state of Georgia. Bringing together tens of thousands participants, plus race staff, became less and less of a feasible option. Kenah said that it seemed that the chances of getting a permit from the city of Atlanta to hold the race decreased on a daily basis.

“And, to be honest with you, as we made some educated guesses, we never thought that the Southeast and Georgia specifically would be seeing the level of virus we’re seeing right now,” he said.

Custodian of a tradition cherished by thousands of Georgians, Kenah acknowledged feeling the aggravation shared across the state and region, saying that, “I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I feel as if we’re here as a result of a failure of leadership and collective sacrifice. And that frustrates me.”

Kenah added that he was not referring to any leader in specific.

“No, we as a country just need to own this together,” he said. “I’m not pointing fingers, but it disappoints me that, here we are, that our schools are day to day, our sporting events are being taken down one by one, and the rest of the world seems to have made the sacrifices necessary to try to get back to a new normal.”

(08/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Sugiura
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

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

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The Sparkasse 3-Lander Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

The Sparkasse 3-Lander Marathon – starting in Germany, traversing Switzerland and finishing in Austria – has been cancelled for this year’s edition due on 4 October.

Registration fees are transferable for the 2021 or 2022 editions. The 2021 race will be held on 10 October.

(08/20/2020) ⚡AMP
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Sparkasse 3-lander-Marathon

Sparkasse 3-lander-Marathon

The Sparkasse 3-Country-Marathon will be conducted in accordance with the International Competition Rules (IWB). It is a point-to-point course that is measured according to Rule 240.3 of the IWB and the provisions of the Association of International Marathon and Road Races (AIMS). The surveying protocol is deposited with the ÖLV and the AIMS. We are glad that you want to...

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100 years ago Britain's Albert Hill completed a monumental middle distance double at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp

It was 100 years ago, on 19 August, that Britain's Albert Hill completed a monumental middle distance double at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, the last man to achieve that distinction until New Zealand's Peter Snell in 1964. Yet it was the power of his arguments as much as the strength of his legs and lungs that enabled him to become an Olympic legend.

The British selection committee originally chose him only for the 800m after finishing second to the UK-based South African Bevil Rudd in the AAA 880 yards championship, but because he had not contested the mile Hill was omitted from the 1500m team. Hill had set his sights on going for an Olympic double and forcefully argued his case with Sir Harry Barclay, the influential AAA honorary secretary.

As he recalled: "The committee were opposed to my attempting the 800 and 1500m. But I was adamant on tackling the double and in the end Sir Harry bowed to my arguments. Most of the critics, too, were against my decision – the more so because I had been defeated by Bevil Rudd. Many considered Rudd as the greatest middle distance runner of that era. But when he beat me at Stamford Bridge my leg was still troubling me. Shortly afterwards, with the aid of a bandage above the ankle, it improved 100 per cent and I was determined to show the critics that I was not the has-been they thought I was."

Born on 24 March 1889, Hill had first made a name for himself as a cross country and long distance track runner, winning the AAA 4 miles title in 1910 aged 21, but after war service in France as a wireless operator with the Royal Flying Corps he was 30 by the time he was able to resume his athletics career. Coached by the legendary Sam Mussabini, he quickly made his mark at shorter distances by winning the AAA 880 yards and mile double in 1919, equalling the British record of 4:16.8 later in the year. A chain-smoking railway ticket collector who trained just twice a week, Hill was confident he could challenge the world's best at the Olympics the following year.

There was a shock in store when the composition of the 800m heats was revealed. As Hill wrote over 30 years later: "Our astonishment was great when we discovered that all the champions in the 800m were put in one heat! The Belgian authorities thought this the best thing to do, to give the other athletes a chance. This was their explanation, and nothing could be done about it, as the programmes had already been published. The first three in my heat, as it happened, took the first three places in the final, but in a different order."

Hill realised that Rudd, who would later win the 400m title, would be his most dangerous opponent and, entering the final straight, the South African led by three or four metres.

"Everyone expected an easy victory, but I was watching him closely, and noticed his arms beginning to come up high, and his body getting stiff. The stiffer his action became the more I forced myself to relax, arms down, body slightly forward. And turning on full speed, I caught up with him 20 yards out, going on to beat the American Earl Eby by a yard with Rudd third."

His time was a British record of 1:53.4 and he regarded that race as the most satisfying of his career in terms of judgement and tactics. In seventh place was the Dutchman Adriaan Paulen, who would serve as President of the IAAF from 1976 to 1981.

(08/19/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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2021 Okinawa Marathon has been Cancelled due to the pandemic

In light of the continued development of the coronavirus crisis, the organizing committee of the 29th Okinawa Marathon scheduled for Feb. 21, 2021 has decided to postpone the race for one year out of concern for the safety and well-being of the participants and volunteers who help make our event possible, for the local spectators along the course, and for everyone else involved in the race. The new date for the 29th running will be Feb. 20, 2022.The organizing committee had explored options and began preparations for holding the race, but the following are the reality of the current situation in relation to the coronavirus:

1.- Eliminating the risk of infection among 15,000 participants, staff and volunteers is not possible.

2.- In the event of second and third waves of infection it would not be possible to establish adequate emergency medical services to deal with coronavirus infections, making it impossible to ensure the safety of the race.

3.- Due to the nature of the marathon as an event, it is not possible to avoid people being crowded close together.We ask for the understanding of all runners and supporters who had been looking forward to our race, and we hope to see an end to this situation soon that we can welcome you all to our 29th edition in 2022.

Like our race's catchphrase says, "People, dreams, love: You'll find them all here." We'll continue to work toward that ideal, making a race where runners and locals can come together and share the moment in space and time. We can't wait to see you again at the Okinawa Marathon.

(08/19/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Okinawa Marathon

Okinawa Marathon

The Okinawa Marathon runs through different cities, towns, and villages in central Okinawa. The marathon aims to encourage people to enjoy running and increase their fitness level throughout Okinawa. The Marathon Race Committee hopes that the marathon will help the international and inter-cultural exchanges and it will add to your memorable experiences while you’re in Okinawa. ...

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2020 Rock n’ Roll Savannah Marathon cancelled due to COVID-19

The 2020 Rock n’ Roll Savannah Marathon and Half Marathon has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series made the announcement Tuesday morning, saying the health and safety of the community is an “utmost priority.”

The race was originally scheduled for Nov. 7-8. Organizers say the race will return to Savannah on Nov. 6-7, 2021. All registered participants will be receiving an e-mail with further information.

“We thank our participants for their commitment and look forward to providing them with an exceptional race experience in the future,” Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series said in a news release.

In 2019, the Rock n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon brought thousands of people to Savannah to race and attend other weekend events. Event headliner ‘The Strumbrellas’ performed in Forsyth Park.

Last year’s half marathon winner, Ace Brown, told News 3 that the Rock n’ Roll marathon is unlike any other event in the City.

“There’s nothing like it man, there’s nothing like it,” Brown said after crossing the finish line. “Coming around a turn, and there’s a band there, there’s nothing like it.”

Each year, runners have the chance to qualify for other races, such as the Boston Marathon.

(08/19/2020) ⚡AMP
by Lauren Wolverton
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ROCK N ROLL SAVANNAH

ROCK N ROLL SAVANNAH

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah races has become a landmark event for the Hostess City of the South, featuring charming, scenic courses through the historic downtown district and southern hospitality at every turn. The marathon and 1/2 marathon courses are official! Look forward to a Saturday start in historic downtown Savannah at the intersection Bay Street and Bull Street, adjacent...

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Everything you need to know about Nike’s newly-released plated spikes

Nike has quietly been working on two pairs of spikes that every runner will want to get their hands on – they’re called the Dragonfly and the Air Zoom Victory and were released earlier this summer and have since sold out worldwide. The shoes are lightweight but more padded with the addition of ZoomX foam, the same material first used in the Vaporfly and perfected in subsequent models. 

The Dragonfly is what Mohammed Ahmed wore to break his own Canadian 5,000m record and run one of the fastest times over the distance in history, and what Joshua Cheptegei wore to break the 5,000m world record on Friday. That’s two top-10 5,000m times in the space of one month in this particular pair of shoes. 

How does this compare to Nike’s road shoes?

The Dragonfly shoe seems to be everything that the Vaporfly is on the road. After companies were going more and more minimal for years (with the exception of Hoka) Nike started going maximal. While restrictions will limit how high this spike can go, its softer material and bigger stack height set it apart from the other shoes on the market. 

Before the Dragonfly, spikes had almost no cushioning. Now, with the addition of the full-length plate and a decent amount of ZoomX foam, the shoe will feel plush relative to spikes most middle distance runners are used to. 

While this shoe is more expensive than other spikes on the market, it isn’t shockingly priced. Most runners will spend around C$150 on a pair of good spikes and the Dragonfly sets you back $195 – a price increase but much more affordable than the $330 sticker on the NEXT%. 

Designed for events ranging from the 1,500m to 10,000m, this shoe will be on the feet of many runners through winter 2020 and summer 2021.

The Dragonfly isn’t the only Nike shoe that dropped this summer. The Air Zoom Victory is also built for middle distance running, but this shoe has an air bag and carbon-plate along with ZoomX foam. Slightly more expensive than the Dragonfly (coming in at $230), this shoe can be worn for any event from the 800m through to the 5,000m. 

These shoes are going fast and are currently sold out in almost every size except for men’s 13 and 14. Much like Nike’s road shoes, if runners want to get their hands on these spikes, they’ll need to watch for a re-release date and act quickly. 

(08/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Aaron Scott and Josh Lunn from England are among 50 local elite athletes invited to take part in the elite only London Marathon

There was disappointment on the local running scene after the organisers were left with no choice but to pull the plug on this autumn’s rearranged mass participation 2020 race because of the coronavirus crisis.

 

However a version of the prestigious event will go ahead on October 4 for elite runners only and excitingly local hot shot Scott will be on the start line alongside his Helpston Harriers second claim teammate Lunn.

The race will now take place on a 20- lap spectator- free course around St James Park in the heart of the capital.

“It’s amazing to be part of such a unique event” said Scott. “I think there is going to be 40 to 50 maximum on the startline for both the men’s and the ladies races.

“That will only include a dozen domestic athletes, so to feature with Josh is incredible. Training over lockdown has been on track. I worked on my 5km speed and managed five or six efforts of between 14:30 and 14:45 which was plenty fast enough for where I wanted to be.

“I have done plenty of laps of the Stamford Town Cricket Club outfield. I reckon I’ve racked up over 1000 miles around the boundary. People might think that’s a little odd, but all of us runners are a bit bonkers. The pitch is fast, traffic free and I can switch off and just use my lap times to compare week on week, month on month or even year on year improvement.

“London is going to be 20 loops of just over 2km around The Mall, Horse Guards Parade and Birdcage Walk, so it’s also good mental preparation for that. The aim is a big personal best, but the focus of my current training has been to forget about any goal times and run to effort.

“Around three to four weeks out I can start to see what pace my training suggests. I’d like to think that will be 2:14 to 2:15, but I also want to give myself the possibility of going even faster.

“It’s going to be an odd experience running around a closed loop, and I can imagine it’s going to be a tougher mental battle than ever. Usually at London you can rely on the crowd support in the last 10k, but there will be none of that.

“With Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele set to do battle there could be a world record chance, so I’m very excited to have a front row seat for that.

“It’s helped having a target now as I lost a lot of motivation in lockdown,” Lunn said. “I’m very excited as it’ll be a niche event and probably never happen again.”

(08/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alan Swann
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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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Joshua Cheptegei thanks Kenenisa Bekele for inspiring him

Joshua Cheptegei shaved two seconds from Kenenisa Bekele’s world 5000m record in Monaco and here we take a look at their remarkable runs

On crossing the 5000m finish line with a time of 12:35.36 on the clock at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco on Friday night, Joshua Cheptegei smashed a world record which had stood for 16 years, two months, and 14 days.

The Ugandan was aged just seven when Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele stormed to his historic 12:37.35 in Hengelo. Until Friday night, no athlete since had come within five seconds of the mark, with Selemon Barega going closest with his 12:43.02 in Brussels in 2018.

Ahead of the meeting in Monaco, which was the first more traditional style Diamond League event of this pandemic-affected summer, Cheptegei was open about his goal.

“I believe if there is a time to attack the world record, it is this year,” he told the NN Running Team, of which both he and Bekele are a part.

“It is now or never.”

Cheptegei gave his thanks to Bekele for inspiring him, while Bekele – who ran his 26:17.53 world 10,000m record the year after his 5000m mark – offered his congratulations to his younger team-mate.

“I’ve learned that anything is possible, if you have the right mindset and believe,” said Cheptegei. “I really thank Kenenisa so much for inspiring me when I started running.

“He has always been a big inspiration and motivation to me.

“This record is a special moment for me and I like to thank Kenenisa for his inspiration.”

In an Instagram post, Bekele wrote: “I have great memories of running my world record in Hengelo 16 years ago. It is very difficult to run any world record. Congratulations to my teammate Joshua Cheptegei for running a new world record for 5000m tonight in Monaco.”

To which Cheptegei replied: “You are forever my all time role model and idol. Your career inspires me the most. I am forever grateful to emulate and follow your footsteps.”

(08/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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U.K.’s Dina Asher-Smith has said the stakes are a bit too high for her to jump back into racing

While the track community celebrated a return to elite and high-profile racing over the weekend at the Monaco Diamond League, not every athlete is ready to get back into competitions just yet. According to an Athletics Weekly report, British 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith has said she might skip the entire 2020 track season if the global pandemic doesn’t improve. She said it “comes down to how safe the races are,” and that she isn’t “in the mood for racing for racing’s sake this year.”

Not worth the risk

After her world championship win in Doha in 2019, Asher-Smith showed the world that she’s a threat for gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Her immediate focus is working toward the 2021 Games, but that isn’t her only goal. She said she will be eyeing Tokyo, the Commonwealth Games, two European Championships and the Paris Games, all in the next four years. At just 24 years old, Asher-Smith will likely be a force to be reckoned with for at least the next two Summer Olympics, and while she would of course like to race this year, it’s hardly a priority for her.

“We’re going to have a very intense four years,” she said. “So it’s better to build that foundation. That’s what I’d prefer to do.” She added that since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, she doesn’t “fancy running any risk” and that “it’s about making smart decisions at the moment.”

Asher-Smith won’t miss too much if she skips the 2020 season as a whole. Even if she wanted, she couldn’t qualify for Tokyo 2021 right now since Olympic qualification won’t be open for track athletes until December 1. She will miss out on minor racing opportunities, but that doesn’t appear to be a big concern of hers.

“I don’t fancy catching coronavirus at an event,” she said. She also noted that she has spent the pandemic working “on the things that you don’t normally get the luxury or the time to be able to do,” such as taking extensive looks into her psychology, nutrition and even her personal marketing as an athlete. 

“In elite sport, you’re always chasing the next thing and the next. You never get a time to sit back and reflect.” Whether she races or not this year, Asher-Smith appears to be confident that she will be ready to compete at next summer’s Olympics, and if her pandemic training has gone as well as she says, then the rest of the sprinting world better be on high alert come Tokyo.

(08/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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2019 Paris Half Marathon champion Antonina Kwambai says that she is ready for Valencia Marathon

Following a successful return of athletics at the Monaco Diamond League on Friday, Taipei Marathon champion Antonina Kwambai is hopeful her return will be as epic when the Valencia Marathon goes down in the Spanish city on December 8.

The 2019 Paris Half Marathon champion said she has undergoing rigorous training ahead of the race, hoping to lower her personal best time in what she calls a fast course.

Kwambai has a personal best time of 2:27.43 clocked while finishing second at the 2019 Warsaw Marathon and remains optimistic that the coronavirus pandemic health situation will have improved by the time she heads to Europe.

This will be her third marathon race after Warsaw and Taipei.

“I have fully resumed training in readiness for the Valencia Marathon, targeting a sub-2:23 time," said Kwambai.

When the first COVID-29 case in the country was announced in March, Kwambai was preparing for a trip to the United States of America to run at the Los Angeles Marathon but as fate would have it, the government introduced restrictions which meant she could not fly out.

“First, I was told there was a delay at the airport and later I was told that the race had been cancelled. I was disappointed because I had done all that was needed to travel to the USA but I had to accept the decisions made by the authorities since people's health,” added Kwambai, the 2018 Lille Half marathon.

“After missing out at the outing, I did not lose hope but maintained my training under manager Renato Canova with coach John Litein ensuring that I follow the program to the later,” said Kwambai, who had ran 21 half marathons across the world before taking onto the full marathon.

After signing with Renato, she says she expects to register good results. On Sunday, she was on the training track with an easy run and fitness routines.

“I have done well in half marathons with a personal best of 67:49 set at the Roma Austria half marathon and I have a 10,000m PB of 31:02 set at the Valencia Track and Field Championships,” she said.

Apart from the international races, she finished third at the 2018 Eldoret Family Bank Half Marathon, finished third at the Kabarnet 10km race and second at the inaugural Rimoi Half Marathon last year.

(08/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

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

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Flora has returned as a sponsor of the London Marathon

The margarine brand previously backed the event as the headline partner from 1996 to 2009 and has signed-on again until 2023 with a new partnership.

This year's London Marathon, with Virgin Money as its headline sponsor, has been re-arranged for October 4 from its original April 26 date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only elite races will be held on a St James' Park loop course in a "bio-secure environment", organizers said.

Mass-participation runners, including many who will be running for charity, will still be able to celebrate the occasion by completing the 26.2 mile distance on a course of their choice from wherever they are in the world.

This year's London Marathon will be the 40th edition of the race, which is part of the World Marathon Majors alongside Tokyo, Boston, Chicago, Berlin and New York.

Flora will support runners who are fundraising for small charities by donating £1,000 ($1,300/€1,100) per week to one lucky participant who shares their story.

Other prizes will also be available including running kit and places in the 2021 race.

Britain's Paula Radcliffe, who won two London Marathon titles and broke two world records when Flora was the headline sponsor of the event, has been named as an official Flora running ambassador to mark the partnership.

She will provide exclusive training and nutrition tips as part of a new "keep running" content hub.

"Everyone has such fond memories of our previous partnership with Flora and we are delighted to be able to renew that relationship," said Hugh Brasher, event director of the London Marathon.

"It is particularly fitting that Flora, which has played such a large part in our history, is back as a partner for the 40th race on Sunday 4 October.

"It says so much about the status of the London Marathon that we are welcoming this new partnership at a time when so many businesses in so many industries are facing an uncertain future."

Britain's charity sector is facing a £10.1 billion ($13.2 billion/€11.1 billion) funding shortfall as a result of COVID-19, according to Probonoeconomics.com,

"We're really excited for Flora to be partnering with the Virgin Money London Marathon," said Flora's marketing director for the UK and Ireland, Catherine Lloyd. 

"Flora has been an iconic and versatile brand within British kitchens for generations and a staple of nutrition plans for runners since the 1960s. 

"Many still remember when the event was known as the Flora London Marathon, so we're delighted to rekindle our friendship and be back in the race.

 

(08/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Dan Palmer
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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 was named ambassador for Run as One

Reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge was named the ambassador of the fund-raising initiative “Sunfeast India Run As One”.

Kipchoge became the first man on the planet to cover the marathon distance in less than two hours. The 35-year-old clocked 1:59:40 to create an athletic spectacle in Vienna, thus elevating his credentials as the world’s greatest marathoner.

“India is very close to my heart and I have had the opportunity to witness the warmth and hospitality of this beautiful nation,” Kipchoge was quoted as saying in a media release.

“The idea of helping people through running or walking or jogging, is a thoughtful way of engaging people for a good cause. And this is the reason I have joined Sunfeast India Run as One as its Ambassador.”

The “virtual event” will support people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic with the citizen-led movement bringing together people of 28 states and eight union territories. The 30-day movement will kick-start on Saturday while registrations will continue till September 11.

(08/17/2020) ⚡AMP
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Competition updates Because of COVID-19

Here is a round-up of updates relating to international competitions, from cancellations to postponements and confirmations.

This story covers announcements made since the start of July. Up until the end of June, most other significant announcements were incorporated into our 'new normal' reporting pages.

IAU 50km World Championships (27 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Following the development of the coronavirus situation in Jordan and across the region, it is with regret that we have to inform you of the cancellation of the 2020 IAU 50 km World Championships that was planned for 27th November in Aqaba, Jordan."

Announcement (15 August)

Marathon des Alpes Maritimes Nice-Cannes (29 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Unfortunately, after having tried everything to keep the race going, we find ourselves obliged to cancel the 2020 edition of the Marathon des Alpes Maritimes Nice-Cannes. To stem the spread of the coronavirus epidemic which is currently affecting France, the Mayor of Nice, Christian ESTROSI has just decided to cancel the sporting events which bring together more than 300 competitors scheduled in Nice on the calendar for this end of year 2020."

Announcement (15 August)

Paris Marathon (15 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Faced with the difficulty that many runners, especially those coming from abroad, had in making themselves available for the 14th / 15th November, it was decided that it would be better and simpler for those concerned if we organised the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris in 2021."

Announcement (12 August)

Frankfurt Marathon (25 Oct 2020) - cancelled

The race organisers have decided to cancel the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon 2020. The 39th edition of Germany’s oldest city marathon was to have taken place on 25 October. "We have not taken this step of cancellation lightly and have done our utmost to find solutions and alternatives," says race director Jo Schindler. "Now we have to face the cold reality that cancellation is inevitable."

Announcement (11 August)

Nairobi Continental Tour Gold Meeting (3 Oct 2020) - rescheduled

The Kip Keino Classic, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting which was moved to 26 September, was rescheduled once again and will take place on 3 October.

Doha Diamond League (25 Sep 2020) - rescheduled

The 2020 Wanda Diamond League today announced a further change to its 2020 calendar, with the date for the Doha Diamond League brought forward by around a fortnight. The fifth meeting of the season was scheduled for 9 October after it could not be held as the traditional season opener in April, but will now take place instead on 25 September.The plan is to stage 12 disciplines. A list of athletes who will compete in the Qatari capital will be announced in due course.

Annoucement (3 August)

Valencia Half Marathon 2020 - cancelled

The 2020 Medio Marathon Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP, scheduled for Sunday 25 October has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. In a statement, the organisers said: "SD Correcaminos (running club), the organiser of the Valencia Half-Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP, after fully appraising the health situation and consulting all the authorities involved, hereby announces the cancellation of the 30th edition of the race. The results of the appraisal and consultation showed that it was impossible to go ahead with the race, which was scheduled for the 25th of October 2020."

Announcement (30 July)

Great Ethiopian Run (15 Nov 2020) - postponed

"The 20th edition of TOTAL Great Ethiopian Run International 10km was scheduled to be held on 15 November 2020. However, due to the current situation of Covid-19, we are forced to postpone the race. We will announce the new date on a later date. Please bear with us while we work through the details to deliver the 20th edition of our flagship race."

Announcement (27 July)

Nanjing Continental Tour Gold Meeting 2020 - cancelled

Following the decision taken by China's National Administration of Sports to suspend all international sporting events until next year, organisers of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nanjing have announced that the competition will not go ahead this year.

Announcement (25 July)

Shanghai Diamond League (19 Sep 2020) - cancelled

Following the decision taken by the National Administration of Sports to suspend all international sporting events until next year, we are sorry to announce that the 2020 Shanghai Diamond League will not go ahead as planned on 19th September. The meeting will return next year, taking its traditional place as one of the early-season events in the Diamond League calendar.

Announcement (24 July)

Müller Grand Prix, Gateshead (12 Sep 2020) - cancelled

The Wanda Diamond League today announced a further change to its 2020 calendar. The Müller Grand Prix in Gateshead, UK, scheduled for 12 September to have been the fifth competitive meeting of the season, has been cancelled.

Announcement (23 July)

ISTAF (13 Sep 2020) - confirmed

“With 3500 spectators instead of 45,000, the ISTAF will certainly be different this time, but it may be a first small step back to normal," said meeting director Martin Seeber. "We want to set an example for sport and be a beacon for athletics."

Announcement (21 July)

Hamburg Marathon (13 Sep 2020) - cancelled

Major sporting events in Hamburg, which have been postponed until late summer and autumn 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has been raging since spring 2020, will no longer take place this year, but will be postponed until 2021.

Announcement (21 July)

Madrid Half Marathon (4 Oct 2020) - cancelled

"The organisation of the Movistar Madrid Half Marathon and the ProFuturo Race announce the cancellation of the 2020 edition, originally scheduled for 29 March and which, due to the coronavirus health emergency, was postponed to 4 October. The circumstances are still not ideal for the celebration of these two sporting events with a joint participation of close to 20,000 people, and the prospect for the coming months does not offer security guarantees for participants, spectators, volunteers and the organisation team either."

Announcement (21 July)

Rotterdam Marathon (24-25 Oct 2020) - postponed

"With pain in our hearts we have decided to reschedule the event due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The NN Marathon Rotterdam is now scheduled to take place on the 10th and 11th of April 2021. Every individual runner with a place in the 2020 edition will be able to use their place in the rescheduled event."

Announcement (20 July)

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon (7 Feb 2021) - cancelled

"The 75th anniversary running of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon scheduled for 7 February 2021 will not take place. After careful consideration we determined that, with no visible end to the coronavirus crisis in sight, for the health and safety of participants, volunteers, staff, medical and rescue personnel, fans along the course and everyone else involved with our event, our 75th running must be postponed for one year."

Announcement (20 July)

Meeting Liege (9 Sep 2020) - cancelled

"There will be no 19th edition of the Meeting International d'Athlétisme de la Province de Liège this year. The applicable corona measures meant it is not possible to organise the event properly later this summer. The 19th edition can take place in July 2021 and we are also looking forward to the 20th anniversary of this international event in 2022."

Announcement (16 July)

Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 - postponed

Senegal and the International Olympic Committee have mutually agreed to postpone the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 to 2026. This postponement meets the requirement of responsibility and the concern for efficiency imposed by current circumstances.

Announcement (15 July)

Great Birmingham Run (11 Oct 2020) - cancelled

"There’s no option to stage the event as planned, or at a later date in the year."

Announcement (15 July)

Chicago Marathon (11 Oct 2020) - cancelled

Event organisers and the City of Chicago announced the decision to cancel the 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and all race weekend activities in response to the ongoing public health concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcement (13 July)

Toronto Marathon (18 Oct 2020) - cancelled

Working closely with the City of Toronto and Mayor John Tory, event organisers Canada Running Series have made the decision to cancel the event due to Covid-19 related health and safety concerns. "We are pleased to announce that we will be transitioning to a virtual event this year, to continue to offer the best possible running and fundraising goals in these challenging times."

Announcement (13 July)

Athens Authentic Marathon (8 Nov 2020) - confirmed

In accordance with the Protocol for Road Races approved by the Health Committee of the General Secretariat of Sports for Sports and the Ministry of Sports, SEGAS (Hellenic Athletics Federation) and its partners have taken up further actions and announce today that, given the current circumstances, the 2020 Athens Marathon will be staged as planned on 7-8 November 2020.

Announcement (13 July)

Seiko Golden Grand Prix Tokyo (23 Aug 2020) - postponed

Originally set to take place on 10 May, the Seiko Golden Grand Prix – a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting – will now be held on Sunday 23 August. “Only domestic athletes will participate,” read a statement on the meeting’s website. “We are also considering allowing high school athletes to play a role. Details will be announced once they are confirmed.”

Announcement (13 July)

(08/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Jim Walmsley says he can take a 2:05 marathoner in a trail scenario

Walmsley on the road versus trail argument

Jim Walmsley ran a 1:04:00 in the Houston Half-Marathon on Sunday. Since his performance, many people have been critical of his race and returned to comparing the trail and road running scenes in a futile attempt to try and identify which discipline is more difficult.

Walmsley is an ultra and trail runner who’s the Western States 100 course record holder, and was formerly a high school and collegiate track runner (8:41.05 3,000m steeplechaser). Walmsley was ranked 23rd male on Sports Illustrated’s Fittest 50 athletes in 2018 (marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge ranked 21st) and is very well known for his accomplishments on the trails.

His 1:04:00 at Houston qualified him exactly for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials where he will run his marathon debut. As Walsmley straddles the boundary between ultra-trail runner and road runner, he’s become a focal point for the trail versus road argument.

Walmsley was a guest on the Citius Mag podcast the week following his half-marathon and was asked to address some of the comments. Here’s what he had to say regarding a 2:05 marathoner being thrown into the Western States Endurance Run. “The way that I attack the downhills, I will break your quads and you won’t be able to jog the flats after. Like, give me a 2:05 guy, you don’t need Western States, call me up, give me a 2:05 guy, give me a couple hours in the canyon and I’ll be the first one out.” This is a clip starting at minute 58 in the podcast.

Walmsley adds that of course a marathoner could learn to be good at ultra running, but it takes practice. He’s not denying that road runners wouldn’t be capable of becoming strong trail runners, what he’s saying is that like anything in sport, it takes practice.

(08/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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These two best friends ran a marathon in Crocs

Their socially distant ‘Croc-athon’ raised over £2000 for charity

Two students have completed a marathon wearing Crocs to raise money for an anti-slavery charity.

Best friends Carrie Hallam and Mhairi Russell ran the 26.2-mile distance together in Edinburgh on July 11th in aid of International Justice Mission UK. The global organisation works in more than 20 countries to abolish human trafficking and slavery, and regularly shares rescue stories of survivors.

Having discovered the prevalence of these abuses, the athletic duo was compelled to do something practical to make a difference.

'Lockdown has brought to light the injustices that exist across the globe. One of the most shocking things to me was learning that there are over 40 million people experiencing modern slavery today,' Hallam explains.

Wearing layered pairs of socks inside their sandals, Hallam and Russell crossed the finish line after 4 hours and 32 minutes.

The choice to run in Crocs was inspired by their united love of the world-famous brand.

'We see Crocs as a wholly misunderstood footwear,' Hallam tells Runner's World UK. 'They're bright, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. They are also lightweight, breathable and they prevent plantar fasciitis – what more do you want in a pair of running shoes?!'

Although neither Hallam nor Russell had run a marathon before, they were equally eager to tackle the distance.

'After being locked down for two months, Carrie and I both had an excess of time and energy – we thought that a marathon was a great fitness challenge that would give us something to focus on and train for,' Russell says.

In their four-week training period, the pair focused on getting used to the challenge of running in Crocs.

After much experimentation, they devised a strategy to enhance the comfort of their footwear. 'We ended up with the perfect set up of prophylactic blister plasters, a pair of running socks and a pair of thicker hill walking socks,' Russell reveals.

Aware of the risk of running in less-than-suitable shoes, the women took a number of measures to fend off the threat of injury. Their training included intense strength-building, such as squats and lunges, and their race was run predominately on grass.

Having successfully completed their first marathon, the duo have set new running goals for themselves. While Russell now hopes to run a sub 1:45 half-marathon (also in Crocs), Hallam is planning to run another full marathon in under four hours.

'Perhaps long term, we’ll claim we are aiming to do an ultra in crocs, but we won’t be held to that one!' says Hallam.

(08/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Des Linden is considering a move to the trails

Linden says UTMB and Comrades are bucket-list races

The 2018 Boston Marathon champion and one of America’s most beloved distance runners is eyeing up some of the world’s most competitive trail races. While it’s far from a done deal, as she’s still got some unfinished business on the road, Des Linden wants to conquer both UTMB and the Comrades Marathon before her running days are over.

Linden told slowtwitch.com that ultra racing, specifically Comrades and UTMB are bucket list items for her. “I don’t spend too much time on the trails, to be honest, I think that’s why there’s so much intrigue. Exploring Chamonix and the Mont-Blanc region on foot and in a race atmosphere just looks pretty incredible.”

UTMB and the Comrades Marathon are two of the most competitive ultra races in the world. UTMB lasts several days and covers 171K, Comrades is a little shorter running either 87 and 90K depending on the year. Trail running is gaining popularity and as it does, more road runners will move from the marathon to even longer distances. (Side note: American distance legend Shalane Flanagan has also been seen doing some trail runs lately). It’ll be interesting to see, as more elite roadies make the move, if they can catch the best in the trail running business.

Jim Walmsley is a great example of a runner who has been successful at every running discipline – but his dominance lies on the trails. Walmsley made his road marathon debut at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trails. His run there was hyped as one of the most exciting storylines, with some going so far as to claim he had an outside shot at the Olympic team. Walmsley ran extremely well (a 2:15 on the insanely hilly Atlanta course is no small feat) to finish 22nd – a far cry from an Olympic berth, but an impressive debut nonetheless.

While Linden is looking to one day attempt a reverse-Walmsley, and it’ll be interested to watch her trajectory. She could help runners answer the age-old question of: do road results translate to the trails?

(08/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Are Virtual Races the New Normal?

“Virtual racing is where it’s at. It’s the future of racing with this pandemic looming over our heads. If you want to make money, then you might want to consider converting your events to virtual instead of simply cancelling them.”

The argument in my brain ensued. I found myself pondering, “Virtual races aren’t really the new normal, are they?”

Virtual races have been around for the better part of a decade. I’m not oblivious to that. In fact, virtual races make for an excellent fundraising platform. Since the pandemic hit and our world turned upside down, the fate of races across the globe was sealed for the foreseeable future.

For the obvious reasons, not only have virtual races filled a void in these unprecedented times, but they have kept the supply chain of swag and buckle manufacturers afloat — along with providing race directors with employment. In some sectors, virtual races have created employment opportunities. For runners among us that have been met with disappointment from event cancelations, virtual races have provided an incredible outlet to fill that void and keep runners engaged and motivated and perhaps, even less anxious at the state of our world today.

Some would say virtual races have created (or transformed) social media communities, where novice and experienced runners alike have found inspiration and validation for their effort — no matter how big or small. Virtual races have also engaged people to perhaps pick up a pair of running shoes for the first time, lace up, and join the global community of runners, even if their motivation to do so has simply been driven by a shirt, medal or online bragging rights.

At the end of the day, whatever it takes to preserve our sanity and keep us moving is a good thing. And maybe, just maybe, when all this is over, our running community will have gained a few members for life from this surge in virtual races.

But the diehards among us would argue that virtual races will never replace the deep-rooted community, electric energy at the start of a race and the exhaustion and exhilaration of the finish line. There’s the sound of cowbells, people cheering and seeing friends and family as you come bounding across the finish line—your face marred with dirt as every ounce of your body screams for you to stop. But you’ve endured 32 hours of unrelenting terrain for 100 miles and willed yourself to complete what you started. The buckle or medal that you receive is only the cherry on your sundae!

The unpredictability of race day includes variables like weather, trail conditions and how your body reacts to the highs and lows that come with running an ultra, such as the unknown terrain. Then there are people you meet along the way, the community of runners and volunteers who make racing all worth it. All of this, plus the stories that we get to tell, and the friendships and bonds we make that shape who we’ve become. With each ultra-distance race, we weave a small piece of fabric that forever becomes a part of the large tapestry that we call the ultrarunning community.

None of this can be replaced by virtual races. Virtual races are a great placeholder, but a placeholder nonetheless — not the new normal. So, run all the virtual events you want until we resume real life racing, but don’t fool yourself into believing that virtual races are the future of running. At least, for my personal sanity, I hope that’s not the case!

(08/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ultra Running
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16-Year-Old Rheinhardt Harrison Runs 4:01.34 At Music City Distance Carnival

Rheinhardt Harrison's kick is no secret.

Over the past few seasons in Florida and beyond, the Nease (FL) High School student-athlete has built a strong tradition on finishing hard across a variety of distances.

But on Saturday night in Nashville, Tennessee, the 16-year-old athlete took that strength to a new level, accomplishing an incredible milestone as he scored a new sophomore class record in the full mile with an official time of 4:01.34 at the Music City Distance Carnival at Lipscomb Academy.

Harrison's full performance, which saw a 57.35 second last lap, surpassed Edward Cheserek's former mark of 4:03.29, which was last accomplished in 2011. The mark also landed a new 16-year-old age group record, passing Nathan Green's mark of 4:06.20, which the current Borah High School senior accomplished in 2019.

As this track meet was held on the back end of the 2020 track and field season, Harrison's mark still goes down as a sophomore class record, even though he's within days of beginning his junior high school season.

The performance was in part derived from the field around Harrison, as five men broke four minutes in the mile, including winner Kieren Tuntivate, a Harvard graduate who set a new Thailand national record with a time of 3:57.87.

Harrison was in eighth after the first lap before making his way down to sixth overall, netting a new Florida state record. The time is a current US No. 2 effort.

Of note, particularly, is Harrison's progression from his last race in June, when the Floridian ran 4:09.79 for the full mile at the Desert Dream Last Hurrah Invitational.

But perhaps training has begun to fully kick into gear under Tom Schwartz, the coach of the Tinman Elite professional group in Boulder, Colorado. Schwartz has long coached talented young distance runners, though in recent weeks he's formed a junior group, the Tinman Junior Elite, of which Harrison is a part of.

The Nease athlete was one of a handful of athletes under that junior training group competing on Saturday.

She came agonizingly close.

But few would argue the Moses Brown (RI) School freshman, who is just 15 years old, didn't continue to impress, lowering her personal record under 2:03 as she finished fifth overall in a professional field in a time of 2:02.97.

Biding her time over the first lap, the Rhode Islander ran 60-flat before following in a rather remarkable 62-second quarter, hitting her last 200m in 31 seconds.

While Gorriaran didn't surpass the rather outrageous freshman and 15-year-old age group records, she once again lowered her US No. 1 and re-set her own Rhode Island state record in the process.

Kipyego posts a sub-1:50: Finding himself in Heat 2 of the men's 800m, Darius Kipyego was on a mission.

But while the St. Raphael Academy (RI) junior didn't break 1:48, he did claim another sub-1:50 performance, netting a time of 1:49.98, which secured his second performance under that barrier this season.

Kipyego is now one of just two athletes -- John Lester being the other -- to have run under 1:50 twice over the 2020 season. Kipyego, however, accomplished that feat in two legitimate races, while Lester secured his second performance in a time trial.

Judson Greer goes sub-14:30 in The 5K: Melissa's Judson Greer was aiming for a special performance in the 5K on Saturday.

And the Texan certainly accomplished that feat, posting a US No. 3 time of 14:28.70 in a men's professional field.

Only Nico Young -- who ran 13:50.55 in June, which was the No. 4 fastest performance in high school history -- and Matthew Farrell (14:25.23) ran faster in 2020. Greer's performance will go down as No. 44 all-time for the distance and the No. 1 junior performance of the year.

Greer, like Harrison, is coached by Tom Schwartz of Tinman Elite. Jack Scherer, a high school junior from Oshkosh North in Wisconsin, went 14:45.88.

(08/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Mile Split
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Lynn Rathjen of Grand Island broke the American age-group record in the mile August 9th

Lynn Rathjen, a high school cross-country coach and retired physical therapist in Grand Island, Nebraska, has been running consistently for the past 40 years. But he didn’t give a whole lot of thought to setting age-group records until his son, Andrew, looked them up.

As Rathjen was approaching a new age category—he turned 75 in January—a few marks suddenly looked attainable. He signed up for the USATF indoor and outdoor masters championships, with the goal of gunning down some fast times.

Then COVID-19 intervened, canceling the races Rathjen had targeted. But on August 9, at the socially distanced Lincoln Mile in Nebraska, he got his shot—and set an American 75–79 record for the road mile, running 5:59.18.

Rathjen took more than 17 seconds off the previous record, 6:17, set by multi-time masters champion Doug Goodhue in 2017. Rathjen ran mostly evenly, he said, hitting 3:00 for the half-mile split, slowing slightly on his third quarter, and finishing strong.

“I had a good sprint at the end,” he said, “and I could see the overhead big clock, which was a motivator in getting under 6:00.”

Rathjen was a strong high school runner, but he gave up the sport until he was about 35. Since then, he’s been running consistently, but never with high mileage—he rarely exceeds 20 miles per week in an effort to preserve his good health. In his practice as a physical therapist, he saw many runners who progressed too quickly from beginners to the marathon over the course of a year or two, before sidelining themselves with debilitating injuries.

Runners in their 70s who stick to the track and shorter distances on the roads continue to rewrite the American age-group records books. It’s not just the celebrity marathoners, like Gene Dykes and Jeannie Rice, who are lowering times; athletes like Patton, Goodhue, and Paul Perry, who earlier this year ran fast times indoor times for the 3,000 meters and mile at the Armory in New York, are finding success as well.

(08/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sarah Lorge Butler
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European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen from Norway set his second European record of the season in the 1500m with 3:28.68 in the Monaco Diamond League on Friday

After breaking the European 2000m record with 4:50.01 at the Impossible Games in Oslo where he had the advantage of being paced by his brothers, Ingebrigtsen was racing against not only his older brother Filip but also the reigning world champion Timothy Cheruiyot from Kenya who was decisively beaten by the Ingebrigtsens in the virtual head-to-head clash between Oslo and Nairobi.

Aided by his training partners who were acting as his pacemakers, Cheruiyot blazed through the early stages in an unfathomably fast pace on his unofficial season’s debut. These exertions appeared to be catching up on the world champion as the pack closed up on Cheruiyot at the bell with Ingebrigtsen looming into view and Great Britain’s Jake Wightman also rounding into contention.

Ingebrigtsen was in position to strike off the final bend but the forward-leaning Cheruiyot kicked away again, holding the Norwegian off to win in a world leading 3:28.45 after an overly exuberant first 400 meters of 52.59. In contrast Ingebrigtsen ran a much more steady paced race and was rewarded with a phenomenally fast time of 3:28.68.

Ingebrigtsen’s time eclipsed Mo Farah’s European record of 3:28.81 which was set in the same stadium seven years ago and the teenager moves to eighth on the world all-time list which is still headed by Hicham El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26.00.

“I felt like I kept the same pace...going from 3:30 to 3:28 it's double the achievement. It's crazy,” said Ingebrigtsen whose previous lifetime best stood at 3:30.16.

Ingebrigtsen was gearing up for not only his Olympic debut in Tokyo as well as the now-cancelled European Championships in Paris where more continental honors must have surely beckoned. Despite the decimation of the summer calendar due to the coronavirus pandemic, motivation has by no means been lacking for the ebullient and popular Norwegian.

“This year I have been doing every session, I never skipped a single one because I was very motivated after Doha. That's why I can run this fast. It's unbelievable to run this fast in one race. It's one shot, one chance,” he said.

The Stade Louis II Stadium is the foremost venue for middle distance runners searching for fast times. Behind Ingebrigtsen, Wightman moved to fourth on the European all-time list - ahead of both Sebastian Coe (3:29.77) and Steve Cram (3:29.67) among others - with a marvelous lifetime best of 3:29.47.

Filip Ingebrigtsen, who had to concede the family record of 3:30.01 to Jakob tonight, almost matched his lifetime best with 3:30.35 in fourth. Reigning European indoor champion Marcin Lewandowski from Poland was seventh in 3:33.99.

(08/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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Ohme Road Race to skip 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis

The organizers of the Ohme 30 km Road Race have announced that next year’s 55th edition scheduled for 21 February will not be held, with the next planned running bumped back one year.

Organizers cited the difficulty of ensuring safety and security during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. “We have carefully discussed the situation with the different organizations involved, but given the nature of a large-scale event with 20,000 participants we decided that it would not be possible to do it in a safe and secure way at this point,” they explained. The Ohme-Hochi event is the largest 30km race in the world.

The 2020 event was held in February amid concerns that it should be cancelled in the midst of the initial spread of the coronavirus in Tokyo, but with measures including the use of masks and disinfectants and a ban on high-fiving it was held without incident.

One of Japan’s most popular races, Ohme joins the Marugame Half Marathon, the Kumanichi 30 km, and six Japanese marathons with fields of over 8000 in already cancelling next year’s race. Ohme was previously cancelled in 1996, 2008 and 2014 – all due to heavy snow.

(08/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Ohme Road Race

Ohme Road Race

Ohme-Hochi 10K Road Race is organized by Ome Athletic Association in Ome, Tokyo, Japan in the month of February. The road race held just outside Tokyo, is part of a longstanding exchange program between the BAA and the Ohme Road Race, which is sponsored by the Hochi Shimbun. The events include 30K Race and a 10K Run. The number of...

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Six-year-old runs marathon to raise money for teacher's illness

Poppy Maxwell is running a full marathon to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. Poppy Maxwell, a Year 2 student from Yaxley, took on the challenge on July 18 after her favourite teacher was diagnosed with breast cancer. On route to finish the race by August 14th, she has already raised over £2,000 for the life-saving charity.

Poppy, whose mother, Amy, is also a runner, has been pounding the pavements regularly since last summer. The budding athlete had initially planned to run 10km in 10 days, but after much consideration, she settled on a longer project – 42km over the course of her summer holidays.

'I wanted to challenge myself and I knew a marathon would be hard, but I wanted to try and raise lots of money,' Poppy tells Runner’s World UK.

While the experience has been mostly enjoyable so far, it has not been without its obstacles.

'Running when it’s hot is really hard!' Poppy admits. The young runner also finds the long stretches tough, taking walking breaks when needed to cover the distance.

Despite these struggles, Poppy stays focused by varying up her routes and running with the support of her family. 'We run in different places including Holkham beach and on trails,' reveals Amy.

Initially ‘a bit apprehensive’ about Poppy’s marathon, Amy and dad Gary have since been blown away by their daughter’s perseverance. 'We've been impressed with her determination and she never complains (unless it's hot!)' Amy says.

Poppy also knows that to complete the marathon, she needs to follow every runner’s favourite training rule – carb up. 'I like to eat pasta, mashed potato and apple Soreen. I want to be a strong runner,' she says.

With just days to go until she finishes her marathon, Poppy is already thinking of her next running goal. 'I'd like to get a new Junior parkrun PB and when I'm older I'd like to start my own Junior parkrun.'

(08/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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This doctor ran 22 miles wearing a face mask to prove they don’t affect oxygen levels

'I feel for the people who don’t like wearing them, but this is one of the things that’s going to help us.

There’s no shortage of excuses that people give for not wearing a face mask while exercising during the coronavirus pandemic: Face masks are cumbersome, they’re uncomfortable, and they make it hard to breathe.

Many people have even subscribed to the myth that masks actually deplete oxygen levels while working out. But Tom Lawton, an intensive care doctor, recently disproved that theory by testing it out himself—all while nearly completing a marathon.

'I work in intensive care, I know physiology so I knew that this wasn’t true,' he told CTV News.

His goal: to run a 35K (about 21.74 miles) around his hometown of Bradford, while wearing a face mask and tracking his oxygen levels.

'I thought: How can I demonstrate it? How can I reassure people who would like to do their bit and wear a mask but are scared?' Lawton told CTV News.

Lawton monitored his oxygen levels during his entire run using a pulse oximeter to track actual data of how the mask impacted his breathing. He checked his oxygen levels every half hour during his run, and noted that any reading above a reading 95 percent was considered 'normal.'

'The [reading was] 98 to 99 all the time, completely normal oxygen levels all the way,' he says. Translation: He had no breathing problems during his entire run.

'It’s certainly unpleasant, and I feel for the people who don’t like wearing them, but this is one of the things that’s going to help us,' he said.

Looking for a super-breathable face mask? Here are some of the best face masks for running and outdoor workouts.

(08/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Runner Courtney Dauwalter’s record attempt on Colorado Trail stopped after hospitalization

The ultrarunner was diagnosed with acute bronchitis

Courtney Dauwalter’s attempt to break a record along the Colorado Trail has ended — for now — due to acute bronchitis.

Dauwalter, 35, of Golden, had stepped onto the start of the Colorado Trail in Durango Wednesday at 2 p.m. with a goal to run the 486 miles to Denver in record time.

Her husband Kevin Schmidt wrote on her Instagram Monday around 6 a.m. that Dauwalter was wheezing in the crew’s RV that morning, so her crew decided to take her to an emergency room in Leadville.

According to her Garmin GPS, she stopped running east of Twin Lakes, which would mean she had completed more than 300 miles of the 486-mile trail in a little more than five days.

(08/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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Run Rabbit Run canceled due to COVID-19

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Run Rabbit Run, the ultra running race known around the nation, has been canceled, according to a release from race directors.

“While you’re running, you’re socially distanced, but there’s a lot of other factors involved from bringing people from all over, aid stations, volunteers, the community,” said race co-founder Paul Sachs. “Ultimately, it was not the safe or right thing to do this year. We’ll be back next year.”

The announcement explained that directors put together a strict mitigation plan for racing but ultimately couldn’t get a team of medical providers to commit.

All 2020 registrants have been bumped to 2021, which might cause some longterm backup for those on the waiting list. Run Rabbit Run and other ultra races are popular and already have long lists of people hoping to run. With the way permitting works, Run Rabbit Run can’t accommodate any more runners.

“We deferred everybody to next year, so we’re full already,” Sachs said. “I expect some people will drop out, but the reality is there won’t be many open slots.”

A similar situation is occurring in Silverton.

The Hard Rock 100, another famous Colorado ultra marathon, was canceled due to COVID-19. This is the second consecutive year the Hard Rock 100 will not happen, as it was canceled due to snow last summer.

(08/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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