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World Half Marathon record holder Kandie Kibiwott and world defending champion Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda will face off at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February next year

Kandie and  Kiplimo to renew rivalry in Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

The two are fast becoming rivals in the 21km race having faced off several times this year. 

In their latest meet-up on December 6, the Kenyan emerged top after clocking a world record 57:32 to finish ahead of Kiplimo at the Valencia Marathon. 

Kandie's win was revenge for his loss at the hands of the Ugandan at October's World Half marathon Championships in Gydnia, Poland where the latter crossed the finish line in in 58:49 — five seconds ahead of Kandie. 

In 2019, Kandie 42:39 edged Kiplimo (43:00) in the San Silvestre Road Race in Brazil. Other entrants in men's category include Alexander Mutiso Munyao, Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew, Japan-based Bedan Karoki and Stephen Kiprop, winner of the 2019 edition. 

Geremew won the Dubai Marathon in 2018 and came second in the London Marathon in 2019 with a time of 2.02.55, clocking the 4th fastest time ever in that distance.

 Meanwhile, Mutiso recently placed 4th in Valencia in 57.59 and was runner-up in the men’s 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in 59:16.

In the women's category, World Half Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir will battle against World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and 2019 World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich.

Jepchirchir has fond memories of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, where she set her personal best time of 1:05.06 in 2017 on her way to victory.  Chepngetich recently clocked a remarkable time of 1.05.06 at the New Delhi Half Marathon.

At the 20th Dubai Marathon in 2019, she won in a course record breaking time of 2.17.08, securing the world’s 4th best marathon time ever. Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh will also be in contention.

(12/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by William Njuguna
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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The Marathon Project is an elite only marathon being held Sunday Dec 20 in Chandler Arizona

When COVID-19 postponed or canceled all of the year’s major marathons in the U.S., two running industry insiders—Ben Rosario, the coach of NAZ Elite in Flagstaff, and Josh Cox, an agent to many marathoners, including several on the NAZ team—brainstormed a way for some of the country’s fastest athletes to race.

The result is The Marathon Project, an elite-only 26.2 that takes place at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday, December 20, on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Chandler, Arizona.

The course is on a flat, two-mile stretch of road with roundabouts at each end. Runners go up one side of the road and back down the other for a 4.2-mile loop that they’ll do parts of six times. The course is built for fast times, not for variety.

The race will be broadcast live on USATF.tv, and a 90-minute replay of the race will be available on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday evening. The broadcast will include veteran commentator Paul Swangard as well as Des Linden and Bernard Lagat, two experienced marathoners who should bring some insightful analysis.

Who is racing?

The race brings together 53 men and 44 women, plus 14 male pacers. Several were top-10 finishers at the Olympic Marathon Trials in February, the last chance these runners had a chance to race a major marathon on U.S. soil.

The top women include Sara Hall, who finished second in 2:22:01 at the London Marathon in October, and Keira D’Amato, who recently set a women’s-only 10-mile American record.

Stephanie Bruce, Emma Bates, Kellyn Taylor, and Julia Kohnen (who were sixth, seventh, eighth, and 10th, respectively at the Trials) also figure to be in the mix.

On the men’s side, Americans Scott Fauble and 2016 Olympian Jared Ward are among the top contenders. Four top-10 finishers from the Trials—Marty Hehir (sixth), CJ Albertson (seventh), Colin Bennie (ninth), and Matt McDonald (10th)—will also line up.

The men’s race also brings several international entrants. Amanuel Mesel Tikue of Eritrea boasts a PR of 2:08:17, although it dates back to 2013. Jose Antonio Uribe Marino of Mexico hopes to hit the Olympic standard of 2:11:30 to qualify for the Games, and Cam Levins of Canada also is looking for a strong performance to put him on the Canadian Olympic team.

Will Sara Hall set the American record?

Hall, 37, has been on a tear lately. After dropping out of the Trials at mile 22, she redeemed herself with a PR in a solo half marathon in Oregon and that runner-up finish in London, which she earned by way of a furious finishing kick in the race’s final meters.

The American record for the marathon, Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36, has stood since 2006. Hall has asked for a pacer to take her through the halfway point in 69:40, faster than Kastor’s record.

But in a prerace press conference, Hall was reluctant to call it a record attempt. “I want to go into this race with the mindset of trying to run as fast as possible,” she said on the Zoom call. “I can be all or nothing, and I don’t want to be in a scenario where I’m running really well and if I’m just off the American record pace, it feels like I’m failing. I think that would still be a big success, a big PR. That’s my main focus, just running as fast as I can.”

Hall added that she has done a lot of training faster than record pace. “I think [the record is] definitely possible based on my training,” she said.

In addition to Hall’s requested pace for a 2:19:20 marathon, the women’s race will have three other pace groups: 2:23, 2:26, and 2:29:30, which is the Olympic qualifying standard. The men will have two pace groups: 2:09 and 2:11:30.

What’s in it for the runners?

Rosario announced a modest prize purse: $5,000 for each winner, $2,000 for second, and $1,000 for third.

Otherwise, athletes are racing for sponsor bonuses—shoe companies often pay their athletes extra money for breaking certain times, although the terms of these deals aren’t publicly known.

Then, of course, there’s the joy of racing, when events have been hard to come by for the past 10 months.

“Every opportunity we have to be on a starting line is a gift in 2020,” Bruce said.

What safety measures are in place?

The race is following safety guidelines set out by USA Track and Field, World Athletics, and the state of Arizona. Participants must take two COVID-19 tests, separated by 24 hours, within the seven days before the race—which, of course, must both be negative. Most participants are staying in a race hotel near the course, creating a bubble environment of sorts.

But runners are traveling from all over to get to the race. Hehir, who is finishing up his final year of medical school, is traveling to the race from Philadelphia, where he has spent the past two weeks working in an ICU filled with COVID-19 patients.

“It’s just as scary as it’s hyped up to be,” Hehir said of Covid. “Yes, not everyone ends up in the ICU, but when you end up there, you are incredibly sick. It’s definitely a bleak place to be.”

He said he gave some “extra thought” into committing to the race, but he praised the precautions the race had put in place. “These opportunities are far and few between,” he said, “and as long as we feel like it’s being done in a safe way, a lot of us are going to jump on it.”

(12/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sarah Lorge Butler (Runner's World)
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Usain Bolt says that he weighs up the possibility of technical role as fatherhood teaches him patience

World’s fastest man Usain Bolt says that he has not ruled out the possibility of becoming a coach in the near future.

Bolt was speaking on Thursday at the Digicel Business Masterclass Series, a virtual event aimed at giving an inside look at the experiences of business leaders on the island, imparting their knowledge and lessons learnt along their road to success.

Three years after his retirement from athletics, Bolt has pursued other business interests but when asked if coaching was something that he would consider doing, he said that he was wary of the prospect because of his lack of patience. However, he says that the lessons he has learnt in raising his first child, Olympia, has helped him to develop that quality and is not closing the door completely on the option.

PATIENCE NEEDED

“You have to have the patience to deal with athletes, and for me, I don’t have that patience,” Bolt said. “But now that I have a little one, I’m learning to have patience. So maybe in the near future I might get to the point where I can say maybe [I could be] a coach. But before Olympia, no.”

For the majority of his career, Bolt trained under Racers Track Club founder and head coach Glen Mills. The partnership yielded eight Olympic titles, 11 World Championship gold medals, and the world records in both the 100m and 200m.

Bolt says that he recognises the qualities that coaches must have in developing talent and appreciates the challenges that Mills had to deal with during their training sessions.

“As a coach, you have to be very patient,” he said. “You will get athletes and you will have to tell them the same things over and over and over again. I wasn’t one of those athletes, but it’s hard for a coach. I’m not going to say that I made it easy for my coach. He had to shout at me at times.”

Additionally, he spoke about the respect and trust that he had in Mills during his career and how that respect was important to his reaching the highest level of athletics.

“I always say to people, ‘If coach [Mills] tells me tomorrow you are going to wake up and run eight seconds, I’ll believe him’,” he said. “That’s how much I believe in my coach because he has proven himself to me.”

(12/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Daniel Wheeler
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Haile Gebrselassie prepares for the 20th edition of the Great Ethiopian Run will go ahead next month with many COVID-19 precautions in place

Two-time Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie announced on Tuesday that he and the Great Ethiopian Run (GER) organizers plan on going ahead with their race in a month’s time on January 10.

This will be the 20th edition of the 10K race in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, an event that Gebrselassie founded in 2000 after he won his second Olympic 10,000m gold medal at the Sydney Games. Gebrselassie says he and his organizing team are expecting 12,500 participants to toe the line at the January race, and they have a number of COVID-19 precautions in place to make the event as safe as possible for everyone involved. 

The GER was originally scheduled for November, but organizers decided to postpone the event for a couple of months. As explained on the event website, the GER team has used this extra time to consult with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to create COVID-19 guidelines that will be enforced on race day. The biggest change for the upcoming run is the race capacity, which has been reduced to about a quarter of its normal size. The expected field of 12,500 is close to 30,000 fewer runners than the GER saw in 2019. This is by no means a small field, especially during a pandemic, but it is substantially smaller than organizers have seen in years past.

The week before the run, all participants will receive their race shirts along with masks, which will be mandatory on race day. Only when on the race course will athletes be permitted to remove their masks. On the day, all participants will undergo temperature checks, and organizers have asked anyone who feels unwell or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to skip the race. A wave start will be implemented, with groups leaving in 15-minute intervals, and runners will have to carry their own water on the course, as there will be no hydration stations on the route. Finally, an “exit flow operation” will be organized to avoid crowds at the finish line.

While Gebrselassie’s announcement was welcome news to some, many people have been critical of the call to hold the race while COVID-19 persists around the world. This has been a popular topic of debate in recent months, as more and more races have made comebacks or announced plans to return to racing during the pandemic. 

(12/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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World champions Ruth Chepngetich and Peres Jepchirchir added to Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon line-up

The fields for the Ras Al Khamimah Half Marathon continue to go from strength to strength with world champions Peres Jepchirchir and Ruth Chepngetich being added to the line-up for the World Athletics Gold Label road race on 19 February 2021.

World marathon champion Chepngetich, who recently set a half marathon PB of 1:05:06, will be making her Ras Al Khaimah debut. Jepchirchir, who won the world half marathon title in October in a women-only world record of 1:05:16, will return to the scene of her 2017 triumph when she set a world record of 1:05:06.

But the Kenyan will be up against the three fastest women in history when she lines up in Ras Al Khaimah. World record-holder Ababel Yeshaneh, Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw and marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei will also be returning to the United Arab Emirates in February.

Yeshaneh and Kosgei have clashed twice to date, both races resulting in world records. Their first duel came at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, which Kosgei won in a world record of 2:14:04 while Yeshaneh placed second in 2:20:51. Just four months later, Yeshaneh levelled the score by winning in Ras Al Khaimah in a world record of 1:04:31. Kosgei was runner-up in 1:04:49, the second-fastest time in history.

Yehualaw, meanwhile, finished third at the recent World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, just a few seconds behind Jepchirchir. Six weeks later, she won the New Delhi Half Marathon in 1:04:46, the second-fastest time in history.

USA’s Sara Hall, who placed second at this year’s London Marathon, finishing between Kosgei and Chepngetich, is also in the field.

Three former winners – including the joint course record-holders – have been added to the men’s line-up. 2019 champion Stephen Kiprop and two-time winner Bedan Karoki, who jointly hold the course record at 58:42, will return to Ras Al Khaimah alongside 2015 winner Mosinet Geremew.

They will take on the previously announced defending champion Kibiwott Kandie, who recently set a world half marathon record of 57:32 in Valencia, and world half marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda. Kiplimo reduced his PB to 57:37 in Valencia earlier this month, making him the second-fastest man in history for the distance.

Alexander Mutiso, who ran 57:59 in Valencia to move to fourth on the world all-time list, will also be in action in Ras Al Khaimah.

Switzerland’s Julien Wanders and Norway’s Sondre Nordstadt Moen complete the line-up.

(12/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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Three-Time World Half Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kamworor Shares Seven Treadmill Training Tips

Three-time world half marathon champion and two-time world cross country gold medalist Geoffrey Kamworor is among the finest endurance runners of his generation. During lockdown the Kenyan star began using a treadmill at home and has continued to do so as part of his rehabilitation from a recent injury he suffered after a motorbike knocked him to the ground during an early morning run in June. Here the two-time New York Marathon winner offers his seven top treadmill training tips.

Take time to practice: 

Kamworor urges novice treadmill runners to be patient in order to become accustomed to running on the machine before engaging in any intense sessions.

“It takes take time for people to adjust and learn how to run on a treadmill,” he explains. “I learned pretty quickly how to do so, but for others it can take a little longer.”

Warm up properly:

When jumping on the treadmill it should be treated no differently to running outside in that it requires a thorough warm up.

“Run slowly at first,” he says. “The good thing with a treadmill you can easily set the pace. Maybe start at a walking pace, then slowly increasing the speed to running pace.”

Embrace its versatility:

Kamworor believes the treadmill can be used for many different types of sessions, from tempo runs to fartlek and even speed sessions. A favourite fartlek session of his is three minutes of fast running at a speed of between 20-22kmph followed by one minute of jogging at 10kmph, then repeated. 

“I set the calculations into the machine so 10 seconds before I’m scheduled to run at full speed again this allows the machine to gradually adjust to full speed.”

Speed sessions:

While acknowledging it is a little trickier to replicate track speed sessions on the treadmill he insists it is far from impossible.

“It is not something easy because it requires a lot of calculations but this is something you can learn over time, and, for me, it works perfectly. Normally, I would train on the track in a group but the treadmill allows me to do the speed session alone if necessary.”

Flat gradient:

Some treadmill users emphasise the importance of always running at a slight gradient but as many of Kamworor’s quicker sessions are run on the flat he prefers to replicate this with a 0.0 % gradient during many of his treadmill sessions.

“The option is there, though, to run on a slight incline or decline if you want to,” he adds.

Visualize a route:

Kamworor personally prefers not to listen to music when treadmill running, because he likes to stay fully concentrated. He does, however, suggest to any treadmill runners to visualize a running route when on the treadmill.

“Whether you are on a speed session or tempo run it is importance to visualize, even if you are visualizing a competition. It is important to think positively about running.”

Cool down:

Like on any run, Geoffrey says it is important not to neglect the cool down on the treadmill. “It is important to reduce the speed to 10kmph or less,” he says. “Twenty minutes is a nice cool down time.”

(12/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Olympic Marathon Trials Winner Shogo Nakamura Plans to Run Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

On Dec. 15, Olympic marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura (28, Fujitsu) sat for an online interview from his training base in Tokunoshima, Kagoshima, revealing that he plans to run the Feb. 28 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.

Reporting that his training has been progressing steadily, Nakamura enthusiastically said, "The goal is to win in Lake Biwa to build up some momentum for the Olympics. Time is important too, but the main goal is to win." 

Lake Biwa will be a year and a half since Nakamura's last marathon, the Sept., 2019 MGC Race Olympic trials.

Since his victory there everything about the Olympic marathon has changed, with the venue forcibly relocated to Sapporo and the Olympics themselves postponed for a year. But through it all he has remained true to his path without wavering. 

Nakamura ran his debut marathon at Lake Biwa in 2018, and it is no accident that he is returning there for his final marathon before the Olympics. "I was the top Japanese finisher in 2018 and got my place at the MGC Race there," he said. "

But instead of just going back to where it all started, I want to go into the Olympics with a fresh new mindset. I want to win this time, not just be the top Japanese man."

Before that, Nakamura will kick off his Olympic year early at the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden national corporate men's championships. He expects to be put on either the critically important Fourth or Fifth Stage, but whichever it ends up being, he said, "I want to win my stage and help my team succeed."

(12/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

The Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon held in Otsu, Shiga, is one of the prominent Japanese marathon races of the year. It is a male-only competition and has IAAF Gold Label status. It was first held in 1946 and, having taken place every year since then, it is Japan's oldest annual marathon race. The early editions of the race were held...

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Sebastian Coe says that he is not sure Russian doping issue can be resolved in near future

World Athletics President, Sebastian Coe said on Friday, that he wants the suspended Russia to return as an “accountable and responsible” member federation but he is not sure of resolving the Russian doping issue in the near future.

Russia was suspended in 2015 after World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of mass doping among Russian track and field athletes. “I hope it in the foreseeable future, I am not sure, I will use the word ‘near’. I cannot quantify that (future) but that has to be our ambition,” Coe answered when asked if he is hopeful of resolving the Russian doping issue in the near future.

“It’s not a good thing to have a country like Russia sitting outside our sport. I want Russia to be back as a fully functioning member federation with accountability and responsibility, that every other member federation accepts,” Coe said during an interaction with PTI.

The Russian federation paid a multi-million dollar fine in August to avoid expulsion from World Athletics. “I am optimistic, we are moving in right direction. There is a new president of the federation elected recently (Pyotr Ivanov) and the (WA) Task Force thinks at last, there is a federation president who is seized of the importance of driving a change,” Coe said.

World Athletics in September gave Russia a six-month extension to finalise it’s reinstatement plan, before it decides on it’s potential fresh sanctions or even expulsion. ” Our task force chaired by Rune Andersen gave an update report to the (WA) Council last week. We had two days of council meeting and he (Andersen) said ”he is more optimistic about the process that we are in,” the 64-year old said.

“The re-instatement roadmap is going to be with us datelined beginning March. Hoping it might be a little bit earlier. It then allows us to look at the status of authorised neutral athletes (ANA). But there is another (trail) of complexities in that because the WADA is still waiting the outcome of an appeal (by Russian athletes) to the Court of Arbitration of Sports,” the double Olympic medalist added.

Coe was asked how difficult it was to conduct dope tests of athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are continuing (testing of athletes) though it is challenging. There are travel restrictions… logistic challenges getting to the athletes. But we have continued our testing processes. Right at the beginning of the pandemic, I had advised the athletes very strongly not to conclude that they are going to be in a test free zone,” he answered.

“The nature of testing has changed, now it is intelligence-led, it is incremental and sequential. We know who, how and where the challenges are. Most of the athletes are very happy that we are taking that approach,” he added.

(12/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by FS Desk
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Athletics Kenya celebrating 70th anniversary

Athletics legend celebrated the 70th anniversary since the advent of sport in the country Tuesday with advice to the government and Athletics Kenya (AK) to develop the game across the board and deal with doping menace firmly.

Some of the legends, who numbered 70, expressed concerns that Kenyan athletes, especially women, were not lasting either on track and road running for long, and called on AK to get to the bottom of it.

The first Kenyan women at the Olympics (1968 Mexico) Lydia Stephens (100m/200m) and Tecla Sang (400m), who spoke passionately on how they competed for fun and enjoyment rather than money, want deliberate efforts made to develop sprints in the country.

The 1988 Olympics gold medallists Julius Kariuki (3,000m steeplechase), John Ngugi (5,000m) and legendary sprinter Rose Tat-Muya said the government and AK must fight doping for the sport to continue existing well.

The first Kenyan to win steeplechase title at the Olympics, Amos Biwott, who achieved the feat at the 1968 Summer Games and the Fatwel Kimaiyo, who still holds the 110m hurdles national record set at 1974 Commonwealth Games, also voiced the same concerns.

They advised athletes to use traditional and natural food rather than supplements as Wilson Kiprugut Chumo, the first Kenyan to ever win an Olympic medal during the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games, urged athletes to train hard and put God first.

“We need to start the children off at an early age. I started athletics at the age of five when I was at kindergarten in Mombasa,” said the 75-year-old Stephens, adding that she would not have gotten the chance to compete for Kenya if she had not left Mombasa to school elsewhere.

“That is why I want to urge AK and coaches to cast their nets wider. We can produce great sprinters if we are to develop the talent that is rich across the country,” said Stephens.

“We concentrate only in rift valley where there are distance running athletes. The place too has great runners for instance Julius Sang.”

Tata-Muya, the youngest ever Kenyan to compete at the Commonwealth Games (1974), said they never used supplements or went to the gym, but performed well setting national records that are yet to be broken.

“We consumed natural foods, trained well and respected our coaches,” said Tata-Muya, who still holds the 400m hurdles national record.

(12/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Japan's former Olympic marathon champion Naoko Takahashi has donated her winning bib at the 2000 Sydney Olympics to the World Athletics Heritage Collection

Naoko Takahashi, the first woman to run a marathon in under two hours 20 minutes, has become the latest athletics star to generously donate a competition item from their career to the World Athletics Heritage Collection.

Takahashi clocked an Olympic marathon record of 2:23:14 on 24 September 2000 to win at the Sydney Olympic Games. It was the first Olympic victory at the marathon by a Japanese woman and her Games record was not broken until 2012.

Takahashi moved to the front of the race at the 20-kilometre point along with her compatriot Ari Ichihashi and Romania’s Lidia Simon. Ichihashi dropped off the pace five kilometres later, leaving Takahashi and Simon to battle for the title. The two ran together until 35 kilometres when Takahashi broke away, quickly establishing a 30-metre lead. She extended it over the next five kilometres and although Simon narrowed it slightly over the waning two kilometres, Takahashi, wearing bib number 2338, went on to a comfortable victory.

It is that bib which she has very kindly donated today.

“I am happy to see my Sydney bib join the Heritage collection,” said Takahashi. “I would like the bib’s donation to help increase interest in the marathon, and the challenge and beauty of distance running. It might also help motivate more people to take up running for fitness and fun, or perhaps even competitively, picturing themselves in my shoes.”

Daughter Of The Wind

There was no underestimating Takahashi’s national popularity and fame after her Olympic triumph. She was the subject of a comic strip entitled "Kazekko," or "Daughter of the Wind". Launched in May 2001, the strip told Takahashi’s life story and at its height attracted 700,000 readers weekly.

Takahashi’s career was inspired by the legend of Ethiopia’s two-time Olympic marathon champion Abebe Bikila. As she developed as a runner, Takahashi was also impressed by the running of Japan’s Yuko Arimori, who raced to Olympic silver in 1992 and bronze in 1996.

Yet it was only when her training partner Hiromi Suzuki won the 1997 world title in the marathon that Takahashi, who had debuted with a seventh place finish in 2:31:32 in Osaka in January of that year, truly believed that her future lay in the marathon.

Audience Of 55 Million

Takahashi, who was coached by the late Yoshio Koide who last year was posthumously awarded the World Athletics Plaque, won the first of her two Berlin Marathon titles in September 2001 with a landmark 2:19:46 performance, a world best and the first time in history that a woman had broken 2:20 for the distance.

Estimates vary but it is believed that 55 million Japanese, nearly half of the country’s population, watched Takahashi’s Berlin race on television.

“I am really happy about the (Berlin TV audience),” Takahashi told The Japan Times in 2003. “It’s an honour that people still remember me, and you can tell that people’s awareness of the sport is big.”

“There are so many different sports these days and the level of viewership is a tribute to the people who came before me and built the marathon up and made it as popular as it is now. Being a part of that is amazing and I am grateful.” 

(12/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Diamond League meets were postponed due to the pandemic and all 14 meets are set to return in 2021

The 2021 Diamond League program is officially set, and all 14 meets are scheduled to return after many were forced toward cancellation this year due to COVID-19. The season will kick off on May 23 in Rabat, Morocco, and it will continue in full force until September 8 and 9 at the Diamond League Final in Zurich.

While it will be exciting to see any and all events next year after so few meets in 2020, one that many track fans will be looking forward to will be the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., which will be the first major international meet held at the University of Oregon’s newly renovated Hayward Field. 

2021 event programs 

After cutting the 200m and any event longer than 3,000m from many 2020 Diamond League events (including the final), World Athletics recently announced they will be reversing this decision in 2021. There are now 32 disciplines (16 for men and 16 for women) that will be held at the various Diamond League events.

As it stands now, there will be either 3,000m or 5,000m races (which are counted on the Diamond League schedule as one discipline) at all but two Diamond League events next year. Only the Stockholm and Monaco will not feature these longer runs.

As for the 3,000m steeplechase, the Oslo, London and Lausanne meets are the only three that will not include this event. The 200m will be held at every meet other than the two separate events in China. The two-day Diamond League Final in Zurich will see all 32 disciplines contested. 

Hayward field was prepared for competition this year, but events were, of course, unable to run as planned due to the pandemic. Everything is ready to go for 2021, though, and there are two meets scheduled to be held at Hayward before the Prefontaine Classic: the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Both of these meets are set for June, and while they’re certainly major events, they don’t compare to the Pre Classic, which will attract top athletes from all over the world. The Pre is a one-day affair slated for August 21, and it will feature a number of exciting events. For running fans, the main competitions to look forward to at Hayward will be the men’s and women’s 100m and 200m races and the men’s and women’s 1,500m.

(12/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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The importance of exercise to stay healthy, energetic and independent as you get older

Many adults aged 65 and over spend, on average, 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group.

They're paying a high price for their inactivity, with higher rates of falls, obesity, heart disease and early death compared with the general population.

As you get older, it becomes even more important to remain active if you want to stay healthy and maintain your independence.

If you do not stay active, all the things you've always enjoyed doing and taken for granted may start to become that little bit harder.

You may struggle to pursue simple pleasures, such as playing with the grandchildren, walking to the shops, leisure activities and meeting up with friends.

You might start to get aches and pains you never had before and have less energy to go out. You may also be more vulnerable to falling. 

This can all lead to being less able to look after yourself and do the things you enjoy.

Strong evidence

There's strong evidence that people who are active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia.

If you want to stay pain-free, reduce your risk of mental illness, and be able to go out and stay independent well into old age, you're advised to keep moving.

Recent evidence suggests that regular exercise can reduce the risk of falling in older adults.

It's that simple. There are lots of ways you can get active, and it's not just about exercising.

"As people get older and their bodies decline in function, physical activity helps to slow that decline," says Dr Nick Cavill, a health-promotion consultant.

"It's important they remain active or even increase their activity as they get older."

Most people as they get older want to stay in touch with society – their community, friends and neighbours – and being active can ensure they keep doing that.

What is physical activity?

Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. It includes anything from walking and gardening to recreational sport.

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week.

Ideally, you should try to do something every day, preferably in bouts of 10 minutes of activity or more.

One way of achieving 150 minutes of activity is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.

(12/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by NHS
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President of the UAE Athletics Federation Ahmad Al Kamali has been suspended for six months upholding corruption charges

President of the UAE Athletics Federation Ahmad Al Kamali has been suspended for six months and fined 5,000 euros ($6,080) for gifting watches to delegates in an attempt to win votes, the World Athletics ethics board said on Tuesday.

The Athletics Integrity Unit had provisionally suspended Al Kamali from any athletics-related activities last October, preventing him from standing in election for the vice president’s role at World Athletics, formerly known as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

World Athletics said in a statement that Al Kamali was alleged to have gifted Rolex and/or UAE branded Continental watches to delegates at the Confederation of African Athletics Congress in 2015 while he was a member of the IAAF Council.

Al Kamali admitted giving watches to the delegates but said the retail value of the gifts did not exceed $40 to $50.

“Mr Al Kamali has been found to have violated the Code of Ethics by his conduct... in giving gifts of more than nominal value and failing to act with dignity and respect for his opponents as a candidate for IAAF office,” World Athletics said in a statement.

“The purpose of the prohibition on giving valuable gifts is to maintain the integrity and impartiality of IAAF officials and of the IAAF as an institution...

“Accordingly, the Panel considers it appropriate to impose a 6 month ban upon Mr Al Kamali from taking part in any athletics-related activity including holding any relevant office in athletics (whether at national, regional or world level).”

(12/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Reuters
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Tokyo's governor can see, no circumstances under which the virus-postponed 2020 Olympics will be cancelled, despite rising coronavirus infections in Japan and continued public scepticism

In an interview with AFP, Yuriko Koike warned Tuesday that the fate of the Tokyo Games would impact future Olympic events, including the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing and the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

She acknowledged that a majority of the Japanese public now opposes hosting the Games next year, but said she was convinced those concerns could be overcome.

"The Japanese public and Tokyo residents are looking at the current conditions," Koike said.

"We are preparing for the future."

The 2020 Games are the first in history to be postponed during peacetime, and organizers and officials have been at pains to insist that they can still be pulled off next year.

A further postponement has been ruled out by Olympic and Japanese officials and Koike said "there are no circumstances" under which she could envisage the Games being cancelled.

"Citizens of the world are seeing the Tokyo Games as a symbol that humanity will have defeated the coronavirus, that will lead to the Beijing Winter Games and then the Paris Games after that," she said.

"Unless Tokyo takes full efforts against the coronavirus, then what will happen to Paris four years from now?" she said.

"I think we have to make Tokyo a success first, otherwise it will leave a serious impact on Paris."

But domestic opinion appears at odds with the confident tones sounded by Japanese officials and organizers.

A poll released Tuesday by national broadcaster NHK found just 27 percent of respondents support holding the Games next year, with 32 percent backing cancellation and 31 percent favoring a further postponement.

Koike said she believed that would change, pointing to the extensive virus countermeasures that have been drafted by the government, Tokyo and Olympic organizers.

"I am convinced that people will come to see hope again, once coronavirus measures are firmly implemented," she said.

(12/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by AFP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Seb Coe says that athletes must take their place in the queue for the COVID-19 vaccine

Healthy Athletes should take their place in the COVID-19 vaccine queue behind people with more pressing needs despite events such as next year’s Olympics looking set to be highly dependent on competitors arriving free from the virus, the head of world athletics Seb Coe said on Friday.

Most athletes in their 20s and 30s, across all sports, would be just about last in line in most countries when it comes to handing out the vaccine but the pressure to create a COVID-safe environment at sporting events has raised the question of whether they should be treated as a special case.

Coe trod a careful line when asked about the issue at a media conference on Friday. “We have to be sensitive here - there are many claims on that priority,” he said.

“Most of us are dependent on our front line workers and our emergency services and we also recognize that there are vulnerable people in the community and we want to make sure that we look after them as much as possible.

“I’m not sure that it is for sport to be pressing the case for fit young people. I would like, on the other hand, that when the vaccine does become available and that the athletes have the opportunity to make use of it that they do.

“I’m not mandating it and I don’t think it’s my job to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do in that area - I think that has to be a very personal and individualistic view.

“I hope they do avail themselves of it, I certainly would if I had the opportunity in the lead up to a Games like that, but it’s very much a personal decision.”

Coe, who won double Olympic gold over 1,500 meters and was the driving force behind Britain’s hosting of the 2012 Games, was confident next year’s Tokyo event, postponed from 2020, would go ahead, and said that if any country could respond to the challenge of a re-arranged Olympics it was Japan.

“I think the Games will go ahead. I was in Tokyo a week ago and spent 48 very intensive hours talking to the organizing committee and the government,” he said.

(12/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Mitch Phillips
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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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With the 50K race walk dropped from the Paris 2024 program, World Athletics has the opportunity to suggest a new event format to Olympic organizers

The 50K was cut as part of the IOC’s goal of hosting a completely gender-equal event in 2024, with a 50-50 split between male and female athletes, and WA has now been tasked with creating a mixed-gender event. WA officials have said they plan on organizing a mixed-gender race-walk relay, and with so much still up in the air, it’s fun to think up different options for a new Olympic athletics event.

With that in mind, here are a few race formats we’d love to see in future Summer Games (even though they probably won’t ever be included).

Canadian Olympic race walker Evan Dunfee took to Twitter following the news of the 50K being cut to suggest a few alternatives for WA to consider. For one format, he said athletes could be tasked with walking 1K repeats until they can no longer hit a certain pace. For the men, this could be four-minute per-kilometre pace and for women it could be 4:30. The winners of the men’s and women’s 20K race walk events at the Rio Games averaged sub-four-minute and sub-4:30 paces, respectively, en route to their victories, so this event could go on for a while. It would be held on a track, and the last athletes standing would take home the gold.

The elimination mile is so much fun to watch, and we really think it should be raced more often. Athletes line up to start the race as they normally would, but they have to be prepared to sprint at the end of each lap, rather than saving their legs for a kick at the end of the mile-long race. The last-place runner at the end of each lap is eliminated, slowly cutting the field down until the final lap, when it’s a battle to see who can hold on for the win. This makes for entertaining and drama-filled racing, as every 400m, fans get to see athletes sprint to survive.  

We know it’s highly unlikely that the IOC would OK an ultramarathon, but a last runner standing event would be really cool to see in the Olympics. Just like Big’s Backyard or the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, this race would see athletes run 6.7K every hour until only one runner remained. This is similar to Dunfee’s idea for the race walk, but longer, and the race format sees athletes run until they either drop out or fail to complete a 6.7K lap within the one-hour time limit. This would also work out well in terms of keeping the Games gender-equal, as this ultra format pits men against women. 

Don’t get lapped

Another one of Dunfee’s ideas was a race in which an athlete’s only aim is to not get lapped. This could work for race walkers or runners, and it would probably be a lot like the elimination mile. Like Dunfee’s 1K repeat suggestion, this format could go on for a long time, but it would certainly be entertaining to watch the top athletes chase down their competitors. 

Beer mile 

Again, we understand that the IOC will probably never accept the beer mile as an Olympic event, but we can dream. The beer mile is always a fun race to watch, and seeing it on the Olympic stage would make it all the more exciting. It also helps that a lot of Canadians are good at the beer mile, so this would boost our national medal standings.

(12/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Genetics could be a poor predictor of athletic talent according to a new research

When describing the best runners in the world, a lot of people might say the top athletes are simply built for the sport or that they have the right genes for running. It’s a fair assumption that an athlete’s prowess is mostly due to winning the genetic lottery, but new research out of the Human Kinetics Journal suggests otherwise.

Through case studies of five elite athletes, researchers found that genetic testing couldn’t distinguish between an elite athlete and a non-elite participant. 

The study looked at five elite track runners (including one Olympic champion) and compared their scores to 503 non-athletes. Each runner’s genotype score (essentially an assessment of DNA) was observed and used as the basis of comparison. The results were surprising, indicating that genotype has very little to do with predicting international medallists.

Researchers found that elite speed-power athletes scored higher than endurance athletes when looking at the speed-power genotype score. This makes sense.

What doesn’t make sense is that using this same score, 68 non-athletic participants scored higher than the elite athletes. That’s 14 per cent of the non-athletic population in the study who, based on their speed-power genotype alone, should be better athletes than the elite participants. Another surprising finding was that when the endurance genotype was assessed, the speed-power athletes scored higher than the endurance runners. 

Study authors noted that there is “considerable interest in understanding whether [genetic] information can be utilized to identify future elite athletes.” From what they found in their research, it would be incredibly difficult to predict who would grow up to become an elite athlete based on genetics alone. It can’t be denied that genetics play a role in an individual’s success in sport. If that were all that mattered, though, those 68 non-athlete participants who scored higher than the five elite athletes in this study would likely be elite athletes themselves. 

With all this in mind, the next time someone suggests that an athlete won the genetic lottery, kindly point to this study and note that genetics may not be entirely responsible for one’s success. There are many more factors that make an athlete, and this sample strongly suggests that it takes much more to become a world-class runner than just a good pair of lungs and some fast-twitch muscle fibres. 

(12/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Canadian Running
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Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill That Would Ban Trans Women and Girls from Female Sports

Democratic Hawaii Rep. and former 2020 Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard introduced a bill into the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday that would dictate Title IX protections for female athletes be based on biological sex—a term often used to refer to gender assigned to a person at birth—thats advocate have decried as inherently transphobic.

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding, and is well known for its requirement that women’s sports programming receive equal support to men’s programming.

Gabbard, who declined to run for re-election in 2020 and is in the final days of her Congressional term, introduced the bill, titled the “Protect Women’s Sports Act,” with Republican Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin. Republican Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler introduced a similar bill, titled “the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act,” into the Senate in September. (Loeffler’s bill has not been taken up for a vote.)

“Title IX is being weakened by some states who are misinterpreting [it], creating uncertainty, undue hardship and lost opportunities for female athletes,” Rep. Gabbard said in a statement. “Our legislation protects Title IX’s original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men and women athletes based on sex.”

“Title IX was designed to give women and girls an equal chance to succeed, including in sports,” said Rep. Mullin in a statement of his own. “Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports diminishes that equality and takes away from the original intent of Title IX.”

If implemented into law, the bill would deny federal funding to schools that “permit a person whose biological sex at birth is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls.” It was immediately decried by LGBTQ+ advocates.

“It’s shameful that one of Rep. Gabbard’s last acts in Congress is to attack trans youth,” said Chase Strangio, deputy director for Trans Justice with the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project in a statement provided to TIME. “While this bill will not advance, it has already sent a dangerous message to trans youth and is spreading the same lies that are fueling attacks on trans youth in state legislatures.”

“Rep. Gabbard’s harmful and unnecessary bill is not about protecting girls and women’s sports. There’s no evidence in the 18 states with policies that allow transgender athletes to participate on teams consistent with their gender identity that inclusion negatively impacts athletic programs,” added GLAAD’s Alex Schmider, Associate Director Transgender Representation. “This is more about opportunistic people like Rep. Gabbard who, under false pretense, claim to be protecting girl’s sports to justify discrimination.”

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, concurred, describing Gabbard’s “play for attention” as “embarrassing” in a statement. “She should be ashamed of trying to burnish her right-wing credentials with attacks on transgender student athletes,” Keisling’s statement continued. “It’s just a hurtful attempt to get on TV without any regard to the damage such rhetoric does to transgender kids.”

Gabbard did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment on the backlash.

Gabbard’s record on LGBTQ+ rights received increased scrutiny during her 2020 presidential campaign. In the early 2000s, she worked for her father, Hawaii state Senator Mike Gabbard, and his anti-gay organization The Alliance for Traditional Marriage, that campaigned against the legalization of same-sex marriage in Hawaii. She has since publicly reversed her position and signed an amicus brief challenging the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.

“In my past I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, they were very hurtful to people in the LGBTQ community and to their loved ones,” Gabbard said in a video apology posted shortly after she announced her presidential candidacy. “My views have changed significantly since then and my record in Congress over the last six years reflects what is in my heart: a strong and ongoing commitment to fighting for LGBTQ rights.”

Yet advocates argue the introduction of “Protect Women’s Sports Act” goes directly against those commitments.

A number of state legislatures have tried to pass legislation over the past year aimed at prohibiting trans women and girls from participating in female sports teams. Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” into law in March, which said no female sports teams could be open to “students of the male sex” and a “dispute” could be resolved by presenting a signed physician’s statement on the student’s sex based on their “internal and external reproductive anatomy.” A federal judge struck down the law in March, writing that the state had not provided a “legitimate interest” the Act served “other than an invalid interest of excluding transgender women and girls from women’s sports entirely, regardless of their physiological characteristics.”

“This is a victory for all women and girls in Idaho,” the ACLU tweeted at the time. “Trans people belong in sports.”

(12/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Middle of a Run Sometimes Feels Like the Hardest, Right? Here‘s How to Push Through

New research published in the journal Cortex found that in tasks that extend over time—such as a training run or race—people tend to put most of their effort into the start and finish, and much less into the middle.

While it’s human nature to do this, there are a few ways you can approach this lower point of effort, such as adding in sprints to the middle of your runs to mix things up or gradually building intensity over time.

Do you typically begin your runs like a racehorse coming out of the gate and end your runs with a recharged kick, but find the middle miles to be the most grueling part? Well, you’re definitely not alone.

It turns out that when doing tasks that extend over time—such as a training run or race—people tend to put most of their effort into the start and finish, and much less into the middle, according to a recent study published in the journal Cortex.

Researchers asked 18 people to play a simple computer game in which they controlled a spaceship that shot down asteroids. They were told that for each session, top performers would get an additional financial bonus, paid after the last session.

They found that participants tended to invest high levels of effort in the beginning and toward the end of a game, in a U-shaped pattern. This is consistent with previous research, which includes athletes in track races, swimming, rowing, and cycling, which all involved what they called a STIM pattern, short for “stuck in the middle” effect.

In terms of why this happens, it’s likely an unconscious belief in balancing cost and reward, according to study coauthor Nitzan Censor, Ph.D., a professor in the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

“The STIM pattern reflects higher reward at the beginning and end, and the longer the task goes on, the more people tend to perceive that the middle part simply costs too much in terms of effort,” he told Runner’s World. “The result is that effort can decrease by quite a bit over the course of a task, especially if the beginning and end are seen as especially rewarding.”

For example, you might love the excitement of the start line and, honestly, who doesn’t embrace seeing the finish line during a race of any distance? But if you’re hooked on those two elements as your rewards, you might actually be decreasing the amount of effort you put in during the race itself.

f you’re someone who needs that extra motivation during the middle portion of your miles or your training cycle, there are a few possible ways to approach this point of lower effort, according to certified running coach Kourtney Thomas, C.S.C.S. The first is to simply acknowledge that this is what people naturally tend to do.

“Just knowing this is common, and that most people tend to exert less effort in the middle of training, can be helpful for giving yourself a break,” she told Runner’s World.

But if that mindset is sabotaging your training runs and races—by slowing you down, for example—then you can make tweaks based on modifying that “middle time” of your training. For example, you can start at an easier pace—as opposed to gunning it right out of the gate—and build intensity over time, said Thomas. That can help to shorten the period of less effort.

Another tweak to consider is having different goals for the middle of your run, she added. Getting started and reaching a certain goal—like time or distance—provide their own rewards, but for the rest, it helps to mix it up.

“Maybe this is where you introduce some sprints, for example,” said Thomas. “That creates mini goals in the midst of your longer run.”

(12/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Halifax Road Hammers to run 14,000K for city's homeless

Thirty teams of four will each run 477K in the month of December for the club's #StridesForShelter initiative

Members of the Halifax Road Hammers, one of the biggest running clubs in Nova Scotia, have a busy few weeks ahead of them with their December-long initiative #StridesForShelter. This fundraising challenge will see 30 teams of four runners each running 477K. The campaign started on December 1, and the teams of Road Hammers have until the end of the month to hit that 477K goal, which represents the number of homeless people in Halifax. In total, the club will run a collective 14,310 kilometres by December 31 while raising funds and supporting an important cause along the way.

The CBC recently reported that Halifax had reached its current total of 477 people living homeless in the city. This number is more than double the 230 people who were reported homeless in October 2019. Within that group of 477 people exists a smaller population of 375 citizens who are considered chronically homeless, which means they haven’t lived in suitable housing for at least six months. Once again, this is more than double the results from the 2019 report, which said 140 people were chronically homeless.

Road Hammers head coach and founder Lee McCarron says he knows how difficult this year has been for everyone, including his athletes. “We have a group of incredible runners on our team,” he says. “This is a group of people who each have personal challenges and obstacles they have had to overcome during the pandemic, and yet they have found a way to stay focused and supportive of each other throughout. I wanted to package up that energy, grit and determination and offer it to a group of people who need our help.”

The #StridesForShelter initiative is an opportunity for the Road Hammers to team up (while still running apart) with one another and work toward a collective running goal while also giving them the chance to support a greater cause as well. “By focusing on our mindset, action and attitude we can take the best care of ourselves and do what we can to strengthen our community,” McCarron says. The proceeds from the club’s fundraiser will go straight to Shelter Nova Scotia, a nonprofit that operates six facilities in the province and supports more than 1,300 people each year.

Anyone interested in learning more about Shelter Nova Scotia or donating to the organization can click here. If you do donate, be sure to include that you’re supporting the #StridesForShelter fundraiser when asked “Who are you honouring?”

(12/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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IOC passes on cross-country, adds breakdancing to Paris 2024 program

The 2024 Games won't feature cross-country or 50K race walk events

In July, World Athletics (WA) said it would lobby to get cross-country included in the Paris 2024 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) dashed any hopes of an Olympic cross-country race in Paris, though, as it was announced on Monday that breakdancing would make its Olympic debut instead. This decision comes as part of the IOC’s efforts to showcase more youth-focused events that are “inclusive, engaging and can be practised outside conventional arenas.” The IOC also noted that the 50K race walk has officially been cut from the 2024 program, and it will be replaced by a new (but so far undetermined) mixed-gender athletics event.

No XC in 2024

WA released a statement following news of the IOC’s decision to pass on cross-country for the 2024 Games. “Cross-country is an exciting and fast-growing sport around the world, so we are clearly disappointed it will not feature at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” the statement reads. “However, we have developed what we believe is a really exciting mixed relay product and have been encouraged by the commitment from the IOC that they will continue to work with us to realize our vision of seeing cross-country in a future Olympic Games.”

WA’s plan for the cross-country event, which was released in July, featured slots for 15 countries, each of which would have had a team of two men and two women. The race would have been a 20K relay in which each runner covered two laps of a 2.5K course. Had cross-country been approved for the 2024 program, it would have been the first time the sport was included in the Olympics since the 1924 Games, which were also held in Paris.

Replacing the 50K

Gender equality is the other main focus (in addition to youth) of the IOC heading toward 2024. The Tokyo Olympics are set to have females represent 48.8 per cent of all athletes competing at the Games next summer, but the IOC announced that it will be a 50-50 split in Paris with the same number of male and female athletes. Because of this, the 50K race walk was cut, as it has traditionally only been contested by men. The IOC has given WA until May 31, 2021, to propose a new mixed-gender event to replace the 50K race walk. In the WA response to the IOC’s news, it says officials are “only considering a mixed-gender race walk event” to replace the 50K.

(12/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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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 records ratified: Gidey's 5000m and Cheptegei's 10,000m

The monumental performances of Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey and Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, to break two of the sport’s most revered world records within one glorious hour, have been officially ratified.

Gidey’s 5000m mark of 14:06.62 and Cheptegei's 10,000m performance of 26:11.00 were both set at the aptly named NN Valencia World Record Day on 7 October.

Gidey went first, producing a stunning run that clipped more than four seconds from the previous record set by Tirunesh Dibaba 12 years earlier. A few minutes after the 22-year-old crossed the line, Cheptegei took his turn, churning out 25 laps of the track in an average of less than 63 seconds apiece to better Kenenisa Bekele’s 15-year-old benchmark by more than six seconds. The records for those two events had never been broken on the same day.

The two-race meeting was held at the Spanish city’s intimate Turia Stadium before a crowd limited to less than 150 due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

That scene was in stark contrast to those in Oslo, on 6 June 2008, when Dibaba took command of the world 5000m record with a 14:11.15 run and three years earlier, in Brussels on 26 August 2005, when Bekele clocked 26:17.53 to clip 2.57 seconds from his own year-old mark. The roar of capacity crowds at the events, both fixtures of the Golden League series, were crucial in those record assaults. In Brussels, the pulsating beat provided by an African expat drum orchestra added to the thunder produced by the crowd of 47,000 that packed the King Baudouin Stadium.

That was absent in Valencia, but it didn’t seem to matter to either Gidey or Cheptegei whose phenomenal form and singular focus landed both in the record books. For Cheptegei, whose performance came 54 days after he broke the world 5000m record in Monaco, where attendance was also restricted, the circumstances of the setting wasn’t anything new.

“I wanted to show the sports lovers of the world that the track is exciting," said the 24-year-old, who became the 10th man to hold the 5000m and 10,000m world record concurrently.

Pace setters brought Cheptegei through the first half in 13:07.73, before the Ugandan forged on alone over the final 12 laps. He slowed slightly over the sixth kilometre but then picked up the pace in the seventh to steadily build a gap on Bekele's legendary mark before sealing it with a 60-second final lap.

Alluding to the coronavirus pandemic, Cheptegei added, "In this difficult situation, I hope things like this can still give us joy and some hope for tomorrow."

Gidey, a cross country standout with two world U20 titles to her credit and a bronze medal finish at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, last year, arrived in Valencia with just one race on her CV this season, a solid 14:26.57 run in Monaco, but reportedly in form suggesting that she could run significantly faster. 

Unlike Cheptegei, who made no secret about his planned assault on the record, Gidey opted for a more understated approach in the lead-in to the meeting, choosing to play down pre-race talk of her attack on Dibaba's mark. But her ambitions became evident when she passed the 3000-metre point nearly seven seconds ahead of world record pace. She closed the deal with back-to-back 67-second laps before crossing the finish.

“I have been dreaming about this (setting a world record) for six years,” said Gidey, who hadn't won a 5000m race since 2016. "I am very happy now."

 

(12/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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A test event for the Olympic marathon in Sapporo is now due to take place during the Hokkaido-Sapporo Marathon Festival on May 5

The confirmation of the date is among updates made to the calendar of test events by Tokyo 2020.

Olympic marathons and walking races are being held in Sapporo, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, because of concerns over the heat in Tokyo.

The test race will be organised by the Hokkaido-Sapporo Marathon Festival Committee.

This race on May 5 will test the course for the Games.

World Athletics officials visited the marathon course on August 8, exactly one year prior to the men’s marathon race at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Air quality, heat stress, temperature and relative humidity were all measured as the officials cycled the route, and World Athletics said it was encouraged by the results.

A Para-athletics test event for track and field has also been given a date, and is now set to take place on May 11 at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

Wheelchair rugby's test event has also been confirmed, and is scheduled for April 3 and 4 at Yoyogi National Stadium.

An artistic swimming test event is the first scheduled in 2021, due to run from March 4 to 7 at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

The final test event is currently set to be for 3x3 basketball at Aomi Urban Sports Park from May 14 to 16.

Test events for skateboarding, gymnastics and volleyball, plus track and BMX cycling, are all scheduled as well.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are due to take place from July 23 to August 8 in 2021 following their postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Paralympics are timetabled to run from August 24 to September 5.

(12/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon will take place this weekend

Founded in 2015, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, a coastal running fest, showcases the local culture with a beautiful beach side run from Pass Christian to Biloxi and it’s set for this weekend.

Things kick off at the runner village at MGM Park in Biloxi. Saturday morning is the Chevron Mississippi Gulf Coast Kids Marathon one mile run and the Margaritaville 5K at Point Cadet Plaza in Biloxi followed by the full/half marathon along the Coast on Sunday.

The weekend will finish in MGM Park as you watch runners cross the finish line on the jumbotron.

You can check out COVID protocols on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon’s website.

(12/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

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

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Gasparilla Distance Classic Race will be Postponed to May 2021

In response to ongoing public health concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gasparilla Distance Classic Association, announced today that the 44th Running of the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Race Weekend Events, originally scheduled for February 19-21, 2021, will be postponed to Mother's Day Weekend, May 7-9, 2021. 

On October 21, 2020, the Gasparilla Distance Classic Association announced its plans for an in-person 2021 Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic (PGDC) Race Weekend in February.

The organization’s extensive and detailed 2021 PGDC Race Weekend COVID-19 Mitigation Plan had been reviewed and approved by the city and Tampa General Hospital’s Infectious Disease Services Team. 

At the time, Hillsborough County's COVID-19 Statistics showed a COVID-19 Positivity Rate of just over 5%. The Association was encouraged and eager to move forward safely.The landscape has changed dramatically. 

(12/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Gasparilla Distance Classic

Gasparilla Distance Classic

Run through the city streets of this city overlooking the waters of Tampa, Florida’s Hillsborough Bay at the Gasparilla Distance Classic, which includes a full slate of running events for runners at all levels, including a half marathon, 8K, 15K and 5K. Mostly fast and flat and great for beginners, the race’s half marathon and 8K races take place on...

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Qualifying systems approved for World Athletics Championships Oregon22 and World Athletics U20 Championships Nairobi 21

The World Athletics Council has approved the qualification systems for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 and the World Athletics U20 Championships Nairobi 2021.

As was the case in 2019, athletes will be able to qualify for the World Championships by achieving an entry standard or through their placing on the world rankings.

In line with the recommendation from the Race Walking Committee, approved by the Council last year and confirmed again last week, the World Championships will feature 20km and 35km race walking events for men and women in Oregon.

The qualification period for the marathon and 35km race walk opened on 30 November 2020 and ends on 29 May 2022. For the 10,000m, 20km race walk, relays and combined events, the window runs from 27 December 2020 until 26 June 2022. For all other disciplines, the qualification period is 27 June 2021 to 26 June 2022.

Defending world champions will be offered a wild card entry, as will the winners of the 2021 Diamond League, Race Walk Challenge, Combined Events Challenge and the leading hammer performers on the Continental Tour. Area champions in selected disciplines and top-10 finishers at Platinum Label marathons during the qualification period shall also be considered as having achieved the entry standard.

The target number of athletes for each discipline is the same as in 2019, with one exception: there will be 60 places available in both the men’s and women’s 35km race walks; an increase on the 50 places for men and 30 places for women in the 50km race walk in 2019.

With the World U20 Championships in Nairobi having been postponed from its original dates in 2020, the qualification period has been updated. The new qualification windows are: 1 October 2019 to 5 April 2020 and 1 December 2020 to 8 August 2021.

World Athletics

(12/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Professional runner nearly killed by pickup driver on rural Chilliwack road

Gary Robbins said the driver came at him intentionally while he was in the bike lane

Professional trail runner Gary Robbins has spent countless hours in the woods of British Columbia dodging roots, rocks and mud, even the occasional wild animal.

But while training for a road race on a rural Chilliwack road on Wednesday, Robbins came face to face with real danger: An angry man in a pickup truck running him off the road.

Robbins was doing speed training just after noon along Prairie Central Road. He was running west in the bike lane against traffic, as runners and pedestrians are advised to do where there are no sidewalks.

Up ahead he saw a pickup truck dragging a trailer towards him in the middle of the bike lane. He could see the driver looking right at him and not moving out of the bike lane. At the last second Robbins was forced to jump off the road. He landed on a slick, muddy area and he wiped out, hit the pavement leaving him scraped and swollen.

“He was pulling the trailer down the middle of the bike lane just enough to give him the chance of not killing me but ruining my day,” Robbins said Thursday, adding that he is used to trail running rather than road running.

“I told my coach, I’d rather deal with bears. Bears don’t drive trucks.”

Asked if there was any chance the driver didn’t see him, in the middle of the day, with overcast skies, Robbins said he knows he saw him because their eyes met.

“I really wish I could give him the benefit of the doubt but he looked at me right before, a second before I had to jump and he didn’t swerve.”

Robbins isn’t seriously injured, although he did report the matter to police. Given how fast it all happened, he didn’t get a make or model of the pickup truck, but it was pulling an enclosed trailer with lettering on it. He thinks it had a “J” or a “K” or both.

If he could say something to the driver?

“Honestly, I would like that person to have to stand in front of me and my wife and our five-year-old son and just look us in the eyes for 60 seconds. If this person had misjudged the width of their trailer by a few inches, my son might not have a father today and it’s not an exaggeration to say that could have happened.”

(12/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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How long can trail race organizers survive if there is no Hong Kong-wide Covid-19 vaccine until 2022 and sports are still restricted?

.The government has warned there may be no vaccine until 2022 and it may be the death of trailrunnning companies

Is there a storm brewing as more trail users could mean more clashes between runners and hikers when racing returns?

Trail races have been cancelled for most of 2020 because of Covid-19 Social distancing restrictions. The lack of income is taking a toll on trail race organizers’ bottom line, and as the Hong Kong government has said it will be “lucky” to get a citywide vaccination by 2022, there is a long road ahead.

“Many organizers and those supporting the sport are really struggling,” said Janet Ng, a founder of Trail Runners Association of Hong Kong (TRAHK) and organiser of the Vibram Hong Kong 100.

“Some organizers have now seen two years of their events being cancelled – last year because of the political unrest then followed by Covid-19. No organiser can afford to keep their staff and pay rent for this long without the ability to hold any events, big or small.

“There has been no indication from the government as to when events might be able to restart, adding to the financial uncertainty. I don’t think many events can survive another year of cancellations.”

She added that charities and NGOs that depend on an annual trail race to raise funds will also suffer.

There is the Employee Support Scheme (ESS) available for Hong Kong companies to cover salaries, but other than that there is no specific support for trail race organisers. Ng said TRAHK has proposed safety guidelines to the Home Affairs Bureau and the Food and Health Bureau but the responses have been negative. They include Social-distancing, masks and hand-sanitising.

“The guidelines follow those recommended by the International Trail Running Association (ITRA, the international trail running body). This contrasts with the approach in other territories, where events have been allowed to restart with safety protocols in place.

“The reasonableness and logic here is obviously questionable. Trail running is non-contact, doesn’t involve a ball which all the players touch, takes place outdoors and can easily embrace social-distancing. So it is much safer than many other sports from the perspective of transmission of disease. It makes no sense that riskier sports have been allowed to resume, but trail running has not,” Ng said.

he wider implication of another raceless year is a loss of status for Hong Kong. The area is a running mecca for trail lovers across Asia and it may cede its desirable status to another country in the region, costing much-needed tourism dollars, Ng said. Not to mention the affects on mental health when thousands of runners do not have goals to work towards.

Micheal Maddess, race director at Action Asia, is deeply frustrated by the government’s lack of action. He has a group of full-time staff and warehouses for kayaks, bikes, ropes and other equipment for his races. He has been rejected for the ESS and other grant applications and blames an insurance company mix up with their MPF. He continues to pursue action to rectify the issue. His warehouse landlords have refused to reduce rent.

“It’s frustrating that there are so many Covid-19 loopholes. There’s so many people who can come over the border untested, or walk in and out the hospital without being tested. The fitness community is asking, why should we suffer because of the government?,” he said.

Maddess pointed to Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist with the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health, who was recently quoted by RTHK saying evidence suggests the virus does not spread as quickly outdoors.

“Trail running relieves stress and improves mental well-being. I just wish our government can realise this as fitness is so beneficial to mental wellness, and in the tough times Hong Kong is facing now, what better industry to invest in?,” he said.

Steve Carr, a founder of RaceBase, is in a less tight spot. The company has little to no overheads and his income comes from teaching. But he is still frustrated. He has reached out to the government, and the only helpful responses he receives are from the police. Unfortunately, all they can say is that there will be no races for a while.

A lot of organisers have turned to virtual races, giving people a set window to run a course or distance and upload their time. Carr worries the government may even restrict this form of income.

“People are going to get annoyed before long. The sheer volume of virtual races that are appearing, and saying you have to complete it over a weekend, then you have 300 people running that weekend. It’s just 300 people running a race,” Carr said.

Martin Cai, founder of The Green Race, has gone from three to one employee over the course of the pandemic. However, he does give credit to the government.

“They haven’t just handed the money out, but if you’re paying attention they’ve put in opportunities to expand, improve and gain some capital,” he said.

Cai was given a Cyberport grant, designed for tech ideas. He pitched innovative ideas for timing and interactive running apps to a “Dragon’s Den” style panel. His business is in an incubation lab, with mentors and funding to help realise the plans.

“How long can we last? If we are just sitting waiting, then not long. The advice I’ve had from mentors in the programme is very quickly make your plan B your plan A,” Cai said.

“Our plan B is virtual events, which is a distant plan B. People want to meet up, race together and enjoy the community. Running virtually doesn’t compare, but this funding has given us an opportunity to make something that is as interactive and exciting as possible on a virtual scale.”

There is a danger that by the time it is ready, races will be back on and the work will have become redundant. But, it will lay foundations for other innovations.

“This pandemic has really shaken business models. Take timing – a lot of traditional timing methods are ’80s methods. It works so there hasn’t been a need to change. But this pandemic has turned the business models on their heads and we all hold the timing methods in our hands.

“I think there is going to be a quite a shake up in terms of how races are done with the technology available. I think for the better. Things stayed static, and the price too, but it should make races more affordable if we leverage technology,” Cai said.

An offshoot of the travel restrictions, and indoor venues being shut, is there are more hikers on the trails than ever before. Each of the race organisers said they were happy to see so many Hongkongers discovering the joys of the outdoors. But, there may be unintended frictions on the horizons.

Even before the pandemic, there were clashes between hikers and trail runners. Trail markers were tampered with or removed as hikers became annoyed with crowds of runners.

Cai worries the boom may limit race organisers’ creativity. They will be forced to run the same routes time and again in different directions, as the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) try and restrict clashes between popular races and popular hiking routes.

Maddess has been banging the drum for a while to be allowed on less busy routes. The AFCD only permit races on “named trails”.

“The AFCD need to look at ways to reduce the stress on some of the busier trails by either building new trails or encouraging use of lesser used “no name” trails by upgrading them or opening them up for events,” he said.

Racing is not the only aspect of trail running. You can run for free, any time, anywhere. There is a huge community of supportive runners and each trail organiser mentioned that it gives them hope.

“For me, it’s been really hard, because my thing is hanging out with people, it’s about mental health,” Carr said. “People recognise that race directors are being hit, so they want to support in whatever way that is possible, even if that is just running the course. It’s going to be a long slog, but the community will get around.”

Cai added: “It’s a really difficult time, and everyone is going through it in one shape or form. The community has stepped up, so many times people have offered their time. It really has helped and it has been amazing. I know we will get through this. It doesn’t mean it’s not difficult, but we will get through it together.”

(12/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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4 Foods That Help Fight Post-Run Inflammation

These foods and spices pack an anti-inflammatory punch and are worth incorporating into your diet.

Inflammation is your body’s normal response to tissue damage. However, in excess, it can wreak havoc on your body, triggering everything from minor aches and pains to more serious issues like heart disease and cancer. For runners, keeping inflammation to a minimum can aid in the recovery process. When inflammation becomes widespread and chronic, recovery between runs takes longer, and performance undoubtedly suffers.

While many folks may immediately reach right for the over-the-counter NSAID, consider that the foods we eat can play a role in fighting inflammation.

Rather than detailing all of the foods to eliminate, let’s look instead at foods to add to your daily diet. Your best defense is to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. As a side benefit, you’ll also be upping your antioxidant intake, which helps with the oxidative stress that comes with endurance running/racing. Certain foods and spices pack even more of an anti-inflammatory punch and are worth incorporating into your diet.

Turmeric

In my humble opinion, turmeric is truly a superhero in the spice world. In studies, turmeric has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory ability. Curcumin, the primary anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric, is shown to be comparable to traditional over-the-counter drugs. Adding ginger or black pepper will increase its effectiveness.

Cherries

Cherries have been used since the 1950s in the treatment of gout and arthritis. Studies confirm that cherries and cherry juice reduce inflammation and pain.

Watermelon

The lycopene in watermelon is a well-documented inhibitor of many inflammatory processes. A study conducted in Spain showed watermelon to be effective in preventing exercise-related muscle soreness.

Ginger

The anti-inflammatory compounds, gingerols, have been shown to help reduce arthritis-related pain, as well as exercise-induced pain. Although this list is by no means complete, it highlights some of the most effective natural anti-inflammatories that can be found right in the produce department.

(12/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Podium Runner
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2020 World Athletics Indoor Championships has been postponed to 2023

The 2020 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, the capital city of east China's Jiangsu Province, has been postponed to March 2023, the governing body of world athletics sports announced on Thursday.

Earlier this year, the World Athletics has decided to delay the 2020 World Indoor Championships for one year to next March, due to COVID-19 outbreak.

"While we have been liaising with the organizing committee and the Chinese Athletics Association to evaluate the staging over the past few weeks, given the current global situation, there is still significant uncertainty about the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the early part of 2021," World Athletics wrote in a statement on its official website.

The statement said the indoor season for athletics falls within a narrow calendar window (up to the end of March) so it is not possible to extend the event to later in 2021.

"We would like Nanjing to be the host of our World Athletics Indoor Championships given the extensive planning and preparation they have put into this event," the statement said, adding that the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships will be held in Belgrade, according to the original plan.

(12/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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Fargo Marathon to be held in the fall of 2021 due to the pandmic

The Sanford Fargo Marathon, which after 16 straight years of running was unable to be held this past year because of the coronavirus pandemic, is scheduled to run in the fall of 2021.

Normally held in May, the marathon will be held Sept. 20-25.

“It just didn’t make sense for us to try to do an event in May,” said marathon director Mark Knutson. “There is no clear light at the end of this pandemic tunnel. We figured it would be best to push it out to September and hopefully we will be in the clear by then.”

Knutson said the fall schedule is a “one-time thing” with officials planning to hold the marathon in the spring again.

Last year’s spring marathon was postponed due to COVID, with hopes of running the event last August. But that too was canceled due to COVID.

“It’s been a challenge. It’s been hard for everyone … runners and event organizers,” Knutson said. “On the positive side, I have seen a lot of people doing more outdoor activities. More runners, bikers and walkers. If there is something positive to glean off this, it might be this.”

The marathon has drawn 20,000 or more participants for the eight different events it has held the past few years. Knutson is hoping for that same number again next fall.

The full marathon, half-marathon and 10K runs will start and finish in the Fargodome. The course for the full marathon has yet to be finalized, but Knutson is hoping it can run through the campuses of Concordia and Minnesota State Moorhead.

“Schools could be in full session which might be nice,” Knutson said. “It would provide a lot of fanfare and student support.”

(12/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Kevin Schnepf
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Fargo Marathon

Fargo Marathon

2020 events have been moved from May 9th to August 29. The Fargo Marathon is a week full of events, The Fargo Marathon is bound to have something for everyone. From the Cyclothon, Furgo Dog Run, Largest Kid's Race, 5K Walk/Run, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Relays, there is a distance for all! Start and Finish inside the Fargo...

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2021 Rīga marathon Rescheduled to take place in August

For the first time in history, the 2021 Rimi Rīga marathon will be held in August instead of May, but the running season will be extended throughout the year, organizers said December 10.

The 31st Rimi Rīga marathon is scheduled for 28 and 29 August. It is planned that there will be a half-marathon, full marathon, 5 and 10 kilometer distances, as well as the children's run. the organizers informed on Thursday. Participants will be able to participate in children's days, 5 km and 10 km, as well as a half-marathon and marathon run.

On 15 and 16 May, when the Riga marathon was originally scheduled, a new hybrid running event will take place. It will take place on certified routes in the city, but will be without a common start and finish, and will stand out with other unusual features of future running events. In addition, the marathon Virtual Running Club will organize competitions and challenges throughout the year.

Aigars Nords, director of the Rimi marathon, said that even the most optimistic forecasts exclude the possibility of preparing for the marathon in May.

The participants registered for the Riga marathon in May 2021 will automatically be transferred to the marathon on August 28 and 29.

On the other hand, registration for the hybrid event on May 15 and 16, as well as the Riga marathon on August 28 and 29, will be disclosed in the spring, or as soon as the possible restrictions are clearer.

(12/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Lattelecom Riga Marathon

Lattelecom Riga Marathon

If you have never been to Riga then, running a marathon or half-marathon could be a good reason to visit one of the most beautiful cities on the Baltic Sea coast. Marathon running has a long history in Riga City and after 27 years it has grown to welcome 33,000 runners from 70 countries offering five race courses and...

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Route approved for relocated marathon at Tokyo olympics

A route has been approved for the Olympic marathon, which is to be held in the northern city of Sapporo to avoid the Japanese capital's summer heat, Tokyo 2020 organizers said Friday. A dummy-run marathon will take place on May 5 to test the circuit, which starts and ends at Sapporo Odori Park in the city center, the organizing committee said.

The controversial decision to relocate the marathon and race-walking events was made in November 2019, before the Games were postponed by a year due to the coronavirus.

The Tokyo Olympics are now due to open in July 2021, and officials are insisting they will go ahead even if the pandemic is not under control.

The marathon will have three laps -- the first much longer, crossing the Toyohira River, while the second and third laps repeat a section of the first.

"Sapporo has a rich background in road running, particularly marathon events, and we want to inspire... fans around the world to travel to Sapporo for its future mass races," said Jakob Larsen, competition and events director for World Athletics, which has approved the route.

It is not exactly the same route as the annual Hokkaido Marathon in the city, but "it does follow much of the traditional course", he added.

Olympic officials first proposed moving the marathon after disastrous scenes at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships, where dozens of athletes needed medical attention in hot and humid conditions.The Tokyo Olympics are now due to open in July 2021, and officials are insisting they will go ahead even if the pandemic is not under control.

The marathon will have three laps -- the first much longer, crossing the Toyohira River, while the second and third laps repeat a section of the first.

"Sapporo has a rich background in road running, particularly marathon events, and we want to inspire... fans around the world to travel to Sapporo for its future mass races," said Jakob Larsen, competition and events director for World Athletics, which has approved the route.

It is not exactly the same route as the annual Hokkaido Marathon in the city, but "it does follow much of the traditional course", he added.

Olympic officials first proposed moving the marathon after disastrous scenes at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships, where dozens of athletes needed medical attention in hot and humid conditions.

It became a major sticking point between Tokyo officials and the International Olympics Committee, but eventually the city gave its grudging support for the move.

(12/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Fresh from winning in Valencia, World Record Holder Peres Jepchirchir believes she deserves a Team Kenya ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Speaking at her home in Kapsabet Wednesday upon arrival from Spain, the world half marathon record holder said her ambitions will be fulfilled once she gets an opportunity to fly the Kenyan flag in the Japanese capital.

 “My target is to run for Kenya at the Olympic Games next year. I have done a lot for the country and I think that's the only way to repay me,” said Jepchirchir.

Jepchirchir ran the fifth-fastest time over 42km while winning the Valencia Marathon on Sunday, clocking 2:17:16.

In Valencia, Jepchirchir defeated compatriot and New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei in a Kenya 1-2 podium finish.

Jepchirchir latest heroics throws spanner into the work for Athletics Kenya, who have already named a team to Tokyo.

It comprises of world record holder Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04), world champion Ruth Chepngetich (2:17:08) and 2018 London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot (2:18:31) while Valary Aiyabei (2:19:10) and 2014 world half marathon bronze medallist Sally Chepyego (2:21:06) are the reserves.

“Just like Athletics Kenya included me in the world half marathon where I delivered the title in a world record, I believe I have what it takes to repeat the feat at the Olympic Games next year,” added Jepchirchir. 

"My target for the year was to run 2:17 at the Berlin Marathon to give myself a chance in the provisional team but unfortunately, that race was cancelled. I thank God I still did it in Valencia and I hope I will be considered."

(12/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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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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Canadian Ben Flanagan wins debut half-marathon in 1:03:19 one of the fastest times in Canadian history

Canadian Ben Flanagan ran his debut half-marathon on Sunday at a small race in South Carolina, and he posted one of the fastest times in Canadian history to take the win.

Despite never having raced a full 21.1K, Flanagan — an Olympic hopeful in the 5,000m and 10,000m — ran to a blazing-fast time of 1:03:19, which puts him in 10th all-time among Canadians.

Flanagan has only raced twice since February, but his brief transition to the road couldn’t have gone better, and he looks to be in great shape heading into 2021. 

 Flanagan, a former University of Michigan runner and NCAA 10,000m champion, may have won the race by a healthy margin of 19 seconds, but his victory wasn’t a sure thing until the late stages of the run. The course followed a 6.4K loop, and very early on, Flanagan and eventual second-place finisher Matthew McClintock of Maine were dropped by Kenya’s Athanas Kioko. Flanagan and McClintock ran together for much of the race before the 25-year-old Canadian pulled away for sole possession of second place. Not long after that, Flanagan overtook Kioko (who was also eventually caught by McClintock) and carried on to take the win. McClintock took second place in 1:03:38 and Kioko held onto third in 1:03:47.

Trying something new 

After the race, Flanagan posted on Instagram, writing, “Tested out the half-marathon this weekend and am happy to walk away with a W and by-default PR. Really pleased with the decision to get creative during a year with limited racing opportunities and fully intend to return to the track a stronger athlete.”

While Flanagan won’t be making a career of road racing just yet, he has certainly shown the running world that he has promise at the longer distances. With his time, he sits just behind Olympian Reid Coolsaet (1:03:16) on the all-time Canadian list, and he will have plenty of opportunities in the future to climb higher than 10th place. 

(12/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Tommy Hughes has won the prestigious Athletics Weekly World Masters Athlete of the Year award.

The 60-year old former Maghera man has had a remarkable year of running achievements, despite a much reduced programme due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Back in October, he set a record-breaking time for athletes aged over 60 when he clocked 1.11.09 at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon. 

Commenting on that performance, the judges said: “Tommy set a stunning world masters half-marathon record of 71:09 at Larne to even overshadow Mo Farah’s victory. 

“He also set a world indoor M60 3000m record of 9:41.24 and wins the world masters male award.”

It is a remarkable time for someone entering his seventh decade. However, Tommy says he is nothing but thankful to running for even getting him this far.

At the peak of his powers Tommy was ready to compete at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

He had qualified after running 2:13:59 in the Marrakesh Marathon in Morocco, but a stress fracture in his foot significantly affected him in Barcelona.

The men’s marathon was the last event and because of the closing ceremony taking place that night, anyone with a finishing time longer than 2:45 would redirected to a finish outside the stadium. As he soldiered around the streets, he was determined to finish inside the stadium. He managed to do it, finishing 72nd in 2.32.55.

Tommy got married at 21, moved to Maghera, and in his own words began ‘piling on the pounds.’

To counteract that, he played Gaelic football and went for runs on his own. That provided him with something of a revelation, a passion and a huge talent, for running.

At the Rotterdam Marathon in April last year, he ran 2:30:15, and in Frankfurt in October, 2019 he teamed up with his eldest son, Eoin, to become the fastest father-son marathoners of all time. Tommy ran an over-55s world record of 2:27:52, while Eoin clocked 2:31:30 for a combined time of 4:59:22.

(12/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by The Down Recorder
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Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Welcome to the new Antrim Coast Half Marathon hosted by Larne AC. The redesigned P&O Ferries Antrim Coast Half Marathon (formerly Larne Half Marathon) course promises to be one of the flattest and fastest in the UK & Ireland, taking in many prominent landmarks & stunning scenery along the route. ...

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Seb Coe believes Daniel Rowden, Jake Wightman and others are on the right track to succeed at the highest level

Ever since the 1990s Seb Coe has regularly been invited to meet various 800m prodigies who have been touted as his successor. He has usually obliged and passed on some of the wisdom gained from a career that included a world and still-standing British record of 1:41.73. In turn, he has listened to them and has often been slightly disheartened with their approach.

When it comes to the current crop, though, Coe is impressed. The president of World Athletics says they are making all the right noises and he is optimistic they can build on what has been a vintage year for the two-lap event in the UK.

Daniel Rowden, Elliot Giles, Jake Wightman, Kyle Langford and teenager Max Burgin have all run 1:44 in 2020. One race in Zagreb saw Rowden, Giles and Wightman finishing one-two-three and Coe says he enjoyed a one-hour conversation on Zoom with Rowden recently to talk about his training and approach to athletics.

“I’m pleased (with the current crop),” says Coe, “because I’ve always kept quite close and every few years I’ve often been asked to sit down with 800m or 1500m runners – even going back to Frank Dick’s time – and sometimes I’ve left slightly with my head in my hands with regards the way they’ve thought about the event and the types of things they’ve done in training in order to get to the top.”

But Coe adds: “This is the first generation where I can really put my hand on my heart and say that they really are doing the right things.

“On the basis that I think they’re doing the right things, it’s hardly a surprise that they’re performing the way they are.”

Rowden’s best of 1:44.09 equalled the best time of Coe’s big rival – the Olympic 800m champion Steve Ovett – and it ranked the 23-year-old third in the world rankings in 2020.

“I had a very good chat with Daniel the other day,” says Coe. “I’m not the font of all knowledge when it comes to 800m running and I certainly wouldn’t tell them how to run 800m finals. They’d be better off speaking to Steve Ovett or Joaquim Cruz about that!

“But I do know what it takes to get to the top of 800m running and what I’m pleased about is that they’re wanting to learn, wanting to understand and reaching out and the very fact that I’m sitting down with Daniel, who is keen to understand the nature of the event, is a really good sign.”

(12/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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2021 Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon to go ahead

After Japanese races due to be held in Spring have consistently been cancelled or postponed the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, has bucked the trend.

After consultation with all parties involved the organising committee of the 10th anniversary Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, scheduled for 25 April, will go ahead while taking appropriate precautions against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

As one of the measures to allow the race to be safely staged, the field size on race day will be cut to 70% of its usual level, 7,000 runners, to reduce crowd density on the course. The remaining 30%, 3,000 runners, will be given entry to an online half marathon to allow them to participate ‘virtually’.

Priority will be given to people who were entered in the cancelled 2020 edition.

The 3km race will be cancelled in order to further reduce numbers, and all entrants in that division will have their entry fees refunded. The organizing committee thanked all runners for their understanding.

(12/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Gifu Half Marathon

Gifu Half Marathon

The Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon is an annual half marathon road running competition held in Gifu, Japan. First held in 2011, the race is also called the Naoko Takahashi Cup, named after Naoko Takashi, the retired local runner who won the marathon at the 2000 Sidney Olympics and broke the marathon world record in 2001, becoming the first woman to...

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What should runners eat?

As a runner, you often wonder whether to eat whole grains, fruits, carbs, or proteins after a workout. By knowing what to eat and when to eat it, you can have an edge when running. The proper diet will build up your stamina and make you feel energized. Keep reading for six of the best foods that runners can eat.

1) Sirloin Steak

Lean beef is a popular protein source that is always available at the grocery store. This meat can help you produce healthy red blood cells, supply you with iron and zinc, and strengthen your body’s immune system. Red blood cells are vital, especially for runners, who need adequate oxygen flowing to their muscles. 

If you aren’t sure how to cook sirloin steak, there are plenty of easy tutorials to get started. Sirloin steak is a simple and delicious food that provides the protein you need as an athlete. 

2) Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein and a popular choice among runners for many reasons. Vitamins A, E, B, and zinc are found in eggs, which helps boost your immune system. This ingredient can also help you maintain red blood cells, which helps oxygen flow in your body.

If you opt for Omega-3 fat-enhanced eggs, you also have the added benefit of fighting inflammation. 

3) Salmon

Salmon is another way to get those beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids into your system. Consuming Omega-3 regularly can even help fight against soreness after workouts. By including fatty fish in your diet, you can also enjoy its anti-inflammatory benefits.

4) Whole-Grain Bread, Pasta, and Cereals

Consuming pasta before a big run is a common tradition. This is because runners need to eat a high amount of carbohydrates each day to stay focused and energized. If you choose to eat pasta, avoid sauces high in fat or butter. Try a veggie-loaded sauce or tomato sauce instead to keep your nutrients in check. 

To be smart when consuming carbs, choose whole-grain bread and pasta over other refined carbs that have a lower glycemic index. It is ideal to get your whole grains and nutrients in with foods like cereal, fruits, and nuts before you start running. 

5) Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a delicious food to get your daily source of potassium from, much like bananas. You can also get as many carbohydrates from sweet potatoes as you would from rice in a similar portion. Perhaps the biggest benefit of sweet potatoes is that they can taste delicious as a side for dinner or as a substitute in other dishes.

Try having mashed or baked sweet potatoes after a run to help build immunity and recover quickly. 

6) Almonds

As a runner, it is smart to eat almonds anywhere from three to five times a week. This is because almonds contain vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and can help you recover faster. You can have almonds as a snack roasted or plain or as almond butter on toast. For a twist, try throwing these nuts into a stew or casserole for a delicious flavor at dinnertime.

Load Up With The Right Food

By fueling your body with the right food, you can go on every run feeling energized and ready for the day. Foods like lean beef or eggs are a great way to incorporate protein into your diet. Other foods like almonds or salmon can help you recover faster and even help fight inflammation. Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand, so as a runner, make sure you are eating the right foods!

(12/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Half marathon world record holder Kibiwott Kandie eyes Olympics 10,000m title

Newly-crowned world half marathon world record holder Kibiwott Kandie is planning a stab at the 10,000m Olympic title at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Kandie is now hopeful of glory on the track although he has never run in the 10,000m race before. 

"I have run 10,000m in training but I never took it seriously. But I know that I have the tools to succeed on track and that is why I will be seeking a slot in Team Kenya to Tokyo," Kandie said

Nonetheless, Kandie believes that competing against seasoned athletes in 10,000m will be no child's play. 

Consequently, the man who broke Geoffrey Kamworor's half marathon record at this Sunday's Valencia Marathon has planned a rigorous training session ahead

"The key thing is to be committed in training and to work hard. It will not be easy but if I work hard for it, then I am confident of good results," Kandie said. 

Kandie set a new world record of 57:32 to smash the previous 58:01 mark set by his compatriot Kamworor at the 2019 World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Second-placed Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda clocked 57:37 as he lost out to the man he had beaten to the World Half Marathon title in October in Gdynia, Poland. 

Not satisfied with this feat, Kandie is dreaming big about his world record. 

"My next target in the half marathon will be to break this new world record by reducing it to 56:00. I know that it will not be easy to achieve but with hard work, it is possible," Kandie said.

(12/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Omondi Onyatta
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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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Breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing have been confirmed as additional sports proposed by the Paris 2024 organizing committee

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided the event programme and the athlete quotas for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games on Monday as breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were confirmed as additional sports proposed by the Paris 2024 organizing committee.

Skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing have already been included in next year's Tokyo Olympic Games while breaking, having proved a great success at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, will make its senior Olympic Games debut.

Paris 2024 has assigned Place de la Concorde, an iconic square at the heart of Paris which links the Champs-Elysees to the Tuileries Gardens, to host the urban sports including skateboarding, sport climbing and breaking while the surfing competitions will be held at Teahupo'o site in Tahiti, French Polynesia in southern Pacific Ocean.

As a consequence of the exceptional situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the IOC and Paris 2024 have committed to reducing the cost and complexity of the Olympic Games.

The athlete quota set for Paris 2024 is 10,500, including new sports, which is 592 fewer than that of Tokyo 2020 (11,092). And the overall number of events was also reduced from 339 to 329.

"With this programme, we are making the Olympic Games Paris 2024 fit for the post-corona world. We are further reducing the cost and complexity of hosting the Games," said IOC President Thomas Bach.

The highest quota reduction was made in weightlifting, which also had four events removed from the programme. The sport now has five events per gender, with a quota of 120 athletes, compared to 196 in Tokyo (and prior to that, 260 at Rio 2016), with the specific weight classes to be finalized by the IWF in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Gender equality is another main feature of the Paris 2024 programme.

Tokyo 2020 next year will be the first gender-equal Olympic Games, with an overall 48.8 percent female participation, which will be further increased at Paris 2024, reaching the exact same number of male and female athletes for the first time in Olympic history.

Paris 2024 will also mark growth in mixed events on the programme, compared to Tokyo 2020, from 18 to 22.

The Olympic programme is developed in thorough consultation with the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee, International Federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and athletes, and finalized by the IOC Executive Board upon the recommendations of the Olympic Programme Commission.

(12/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Ex-800m world champion Marina Arzamasova handed four-year doping ban

Former 800 meters world champion Marina Arzamasova has been banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after failing an anti-doping test.

An out-of-competition sample provided by the Belarusian on July 29 2019 was found to contain LGD-4033.

Also known as ligandrol, it is ordinarily used to treat conditions such as muscle wasting and osteoporosis and is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency as it stimulates muscle growth.

Arzamasova's B sample also tested positive for LGD-4033.

The athlete, who had been provisionally suspended since August 2019, requested a hearing in front of a three-person AIU Disciplinary Panel, which was held remotely last month.

Arzamasova blamed contaminated supplements for the presence of LGD-4033, but this rejected by the panel, which found the 32-year-old "failed to establish that her ADRV [anti-doping rule violation] was not intentional".

As a result, there was no need to deliberate over Arzamasova's degree of fault or negligence, so a four-year ban was applied.

Arzamasova won the 800m world title in Beijing in 2015, posting a personal best of 1min 57.54sec.

The Belarusian also won the European title in Zürich in 2014.

At the Rio 2016 Olympics, Arzamasova paced seventh in the 800m final in 1:59.10, and at London 2012 she failed to go beyond the heats.

Arzamasova may not compete again until July 29 2023.

All of her results between July 29 and August 22 in 2019 have been disqualified.

The ruling can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Belarus is one of seven countries considered by the AIU to represent the highest doping risk, along with Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Ukraine.

Per the AIU database, Arzamasova is now among nine track and field athletes from Belarus currently banned for doping.

(12/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ali Iveson
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Derartu Tulu has been nominated to be permanent President of Ethiopian Athletics Federation

Derartu Tulu, the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal, has been officially nominated as the permanent President of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF).

The 1992 Olympic 10,000 metres champion has been serving as Interim President since November 2018.

Tulu stepped in when double Olympic 10,000m gold medallist Haile Gebrselassie stood down two-years into a four-year term

Gebrselassie announced his resignation, citing "irreconcilable differences", a day after a group of athletes protested in Sululta, south of the capital Addis Ababa, over a lack of facilities and services from the Federation.

Like Gebrselassie, the 48-year-old Tulu is a two-time Olympic 10,000m champion.

Her first victory in Barcelona entered Olympic legend when she beat Elena Meyer in an iconic race at South Africa's first Games appearance since the end of apartheid.

Then, eight years later in Sydney, Tulu won her second title before returning at Athens 2004 to win a bronze medal.

During a glittering career, Tulu also won the gold medal in the 10,000m at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton and the silver at Gothenburg in 1995.

She also won the London and Tokyo Marathons in 2001 and the New York City Marathon in 2009.

Tulu, who has been nominated by the Oromia regional state, will face opposition from Tefera Mull in the election on Sunday (December 14).

He has been nominated by the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region.

Another of Ethiopia's Olympic gold medalist from Sydney 2000, the marathon winner Gezahegn Abera, has been nominated for the EAF Executive Board.

Belayeneh Kindie, the chief executive of the BK Business Group, one of the largest commodity trading companies in Ethiopia, has also been put forward for the Executive Committee.

(12/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Duncan Makay
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World Athletics has revealed it is disappointed at the omission of a cross country event at the Paris 2024 Olympics

World Athletics "disappointed" at omission of cross country for Paris 2024, but is set to "develop" the mixed gender race walk that has been added to the Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the Executive Board's approval of the Paris 2024 programme yesterday.

There were 41 applications made for new medal events from a range of sports, but these were all rejected.

The IOC claimed limiting the overall number of events is a key element in curbing the growth of the Olympic programme, as well as additional costs.

Subsequently, there is set to be an overall athlete quota of 10,500, significantly less than the 11,091 competitors that had been expected, with exactly 50 per cent male and female participation. 

A final programme of 329 events will feature at Paris 2024, down from 339 from Tokyo 2020.

The World Athletics proposal to include cross country on the Olympic programme for the first time since Paris 1924 was rejected.  

The race walk programme was also considered, with the men's 50 kilometre event cut with a view to replacing it with the mixed gender competition. 

"Cross country is an exciting and fast growing sport around the world so we are clearly disappointed it will not feature at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, even more so given the heritage of cross country in France at the Paris 1924 Olympic Games," a statement from World Athletics said. 

"However, we have developed what we believe is a really exciting mixed relay product and have been encouraged by the commitment from the IOC that they will continue to work with us to realise our vision of seeing cross country in a future Olympic Games.

"Regarding the long race walk, we will consult with our athletes and Competition Commission to develop an event that is able to feature both men and women. 

"The IOC has suggested this could be any mixed gender event using any current venue, however we are only considering a mixed gender race walk event."

World Athletics have to confirm the mixed gender event by May 31 next year.  

Approval was given for World Sailing's new mixed kiteboarding and mixed 470 events, which will replace the men's and women's 470 classes.

A decision has been postponed over the mixed offshore event, which was due to replace the men's finn. 

The IOC said this will allow the assessment of the key considerations around the cost, safety and security of the athletes.

"We're looking forward to continuing our close collaboration with the IOC and the Paris 2024 Organising Committee to answer the important questions on the mixed offshore event to ensure safety and security of the world's best sailors," said World Sailing chief executive David Graham. 

"Offshore sailing is an exciting way of showcasing the sport and engaging fans worldwide with the thrill of adventure, esport integration and sailors battling the elements. 

"Marseille will be a perfect venue for the Paris 2024 Olympic sailing competition, and we're excited to progress the development of our sport with the IOC and Paris 2024.

"It is obviously disappointing to receive an athlete quota reduction, but this has impacted many sports, not just sailing. 

"We appreciate the difficult decisions the IOC had to make in order to deliver the requirements set out in IOC Agenda 2020."

(12/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Nancy Gillen
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Kyrgyzstani runner Maria Korobitskaya won a license to compete in the Tokyo Olympics

Maria Korobitskaya won a license to the Olympic Games in Tokyo after winning a gold at the Tashkent International Marathon on December 6 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Korobitskaya finished first in 42.195 km with the result of 2:26:42 (the Olympic standard - 2:29:30).

Korobitskaya became the sixth athlete from Kyrgyzstan to win a license to the Olympics in Tokyo.

Previously licenses were won by Aisuluu Tynybekova and Atabek Azizbekov in wrestling, Darya Maslova and Yulia Andreeva in marathon run, and Denis Petrashov in swimming. 

(12/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by AKIpress
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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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Ayad Lamdassem breaks Spanish record with 2:06:35 in the Valencia Marathon

Ayad Lamdassem rolled back the years to break the long-standing Spanish record in the Valencia Marathon on Sunday (6), leading five Spaniards under the 2:10-barrier on home soil.

Now 39, Lamdassem has been on the fringes of the Spanish national team in recent years but he is now a shoo-in for Olympic selection for a third time after finishing 12th in a national record of 2:06:35, eclipsing Julio Rey’s previous record of 2:06:52 from the Hamburg Marathon in 2006. He also moves to sixth on the European all-time list, surpassing the likes of former European record-holders Antonio Pinto from Portugal and France's Benoit Zwierzchlewski.

Lamdassem’s lifetime best prior to yesterday’s race stood at 2:09:28 from the 2013 London Marathon. His aim was to simply eclipse the 2:09-barrier but the veteran far exceeded his pre-race expectations with a first-half split of 63:10 setting him up nicely for an even faster time.

"I came to improve my personal best seven years later but in the end I broke the record and I am very happy. With age I have a lot of experience, I take good care of myself and you know how to improve your technique. I came here to drop below 2.09, but after passing through halfway I knew it was my day. I'm very happy,” said Lamdassem as reported by Marca.

Hamid Ben Daoud was the second Spaniard home in 14th in 2:07:03 followed by world tenth-placer Daniel Mateo who finished 18th in 2:08:22. Yago Rojo and Camilo Santiago also ducked inside the 2:10-barrier, clocking 2:09:56 to finish 28th and 29th respectively. 

The German record also fell to Amanal Petros in just the second marathon of his career. Petros finished 16th in 2:07:18 to slash more than one minute from Arne Gabius’ previous record of 2:08:33.

Petros’ main objective was to secure the Olympic qualifying standard of 2:11:30 but the former European U23 10,000m silver medallist ended up getting dragged to a significantly faster time. 

“We actually planned a half marathon split of around 65 minutes. Then I wanted to pick it up the last ten kilometres but I couldn't find the right pacemaker for this group after the start. I then just kept running with another group because I felt good,” he told Leichtathletik.de after the race.

His teammate Richard Ringer also achieved the Olympic qualifying standard on his debut at the distance. He finished 36th in 2:10:56.

Other top European performances came from Dutch record-holder Abdi Nageeye who finished 15th in 2:07:09 while European record-holder Kaan Kigen Ozbilen from Turkey faded to 19th in 2:08:50.

(12/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by European Athletics
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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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World Athletics will allow development shoe, if they meet technical specifications

Athletes will be allowed to wear shoes still under development in international competitions and events where World Athletics rules apply, upon approval of the shoes' specifications, after a rule change by the sport's governing body.

The shoes will have to meet the same technical specifications as other approved shoes, World Athletics said.

The amendment - rubber-stamped by the World Athletics Council on Friday - applies to competitions sanctioned by World Athletics, area associations or member federations at which its rules apply.

But such "development shoes" will not be permitted in the World Athletics Series or at the Olympics.

A debate over runners' shoes has been raging since high-tech footwear developed by Nike played a starring role in two of the biggest distance-running achievements of 2019.

Eliud Kipchoge's sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna and Brigid Kosgei's record-breaking run at the Chicago Marathon brought Nike's Vaporfly shoes into the spotlight, sparking debate over whether the advanced footwear gave runners an unfair advantage.

World Athletics banned the shoes from professional sport earlier this year, following which Nike launched a new version of its Alphafly shoe that complies with new rules introduced by the governing body.

Manufacturers use development shoes to conduct tests with sponsored athletes before making them available in the market.

World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon welcomed the amendment, insisting it would not affect the competition's integrity.

"The use of competition to complete the final testing of development shoes by manufacturers has always been an important part of the shoe development process," Ridgeon said.

"With shoe manufacturers agreeing to our new process of submitting specifications and shoes, if required, for approval ahead of being worn in competition, we are confident that this amendment will not impact the integrity of competition."

Prototypes can be worn for a period of 12 months, after which they no longer qualify as development shoes and can no longer be used in competitions.

(12/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Hugh Lawson
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Aliphine Tuliamuk announces pregnancy and planning for Tokyo Olympics

Aliphine Tuliamuk, who won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 29, is due with her first child, a daughter, in January and plans to race at the Tokyo Games on Aug. 7.

Having a full pregnancy between qualifying for and competing in an Olympics is, of course, rare. The one-year Olympic postponement from July 2020 to July 2021, announced four weeks after the marathon trials, made it possible for Tuliamuk.

“My family plans were to race the Olympics [in 2020], and then run the New York City Marathon in November of this year and then, after that, start a family,” she said.Aliphine Tuliamuk, who won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 29, is due with her first child, a daughter, in January and plans to race at the Tokyo Games on Aug. 7.

Having a full pregnancy between qualifying for and competing in an Olympics is, of course, rare. The one-year Olympic postponement from July 2020 to July 2021, announced four weeks after the marathon trials, made it possible for Tuliamuk.

“My family plans were to race the Olympics [in 2020], and then run the New York City Marathon in November of this year and then, after that, start a family,” she said.

Tuliamuk will make a rare turnaround for a top-level marathoner. Many others returned from pregnancy to race 26.2 miles, but most after a longer break.

Notably in recent years, American Kara Goucher had son Colt in September 2010, then finished fifth in the Boston Marathon nearly seven months later. (Goucher also raced a half marathon less than four months after childbirth.)

Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe had daughter Isla in January 2007, then won the New York City Marathon that November.

In diving, Pat McCormick had son Tim in March 1956, then, eight months later, repeated as Olympic champion on the springboard and platform.

“One thing that I’ve been craving in this period is to hear stories of women who were having families and still planning to get back into competitive sports,” Tuliamuk said, “and I’m so excited that I’m going to be one of those women that other women will look up to because we need role models.”

“When I’m running, I don’t even feel like I’m pregnant,” Tuliamuk said two weeks ago. “It’s mostly just running for the love of it.”

Rosario hasn’t written a workout for Tuliamuk in months.

“Wake up every day, try to get a run in,” he said. “If your body tells you not to, then don’t.”

Rosario leans on experience from coaching another NAZ Elite pro, Stephanie Bruce, who twice returned from childbirth to marathoning. Bruce was sixth at trials and is racing another 26.2-miler, The Marathon Project, on Dec. 20, before turning focus to the Olympic track trials 10,000m.

Bruce stressed that every pregnancy and return to elite running is different, but she is confident her teamate can run well in Tokyo.

“It’s not like in the past where women were told, well, you can just race until you’re done racing, and then you can start a family,” said Tuliamuk, who recently re-signed with apparel sponor Hoka One One for the next four years. “You can do both of them.”

(12/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Nick Zaccardi
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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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11 Minutes of Exercise a Day May Help Counter the Effects of Sitting

The sweet spot for physical activity and longevity seemed to arrive at about 35 minutes a day of brisk walking or other moderate activities.

Walking for at least 11 minutes a day could lessen the undesirable health consequences of sitting for hours and hours, according to a helpful new study of the ways in which both inactivity and exercise influence how long we live. The study, which relied on objective data from tens of thousands of people about how they spent their days, found that those who were the most sedentary faced a high risk of dying young, but if people got up and moved, they slashed that threat substantially, even if they did not move much.

For most of us, sitting for prolonged periods of time is common, especially now, as we face the dual challenges of Covid-related restrictions and the shortening, chilly days of winter. Recent surveys of people’s behavior since the start of the pandemic indicate that a majority of us are exercising less and sitting more than we were a year ago.

Not surprisingly, there could be long-term health consequences from this physical quietude. Multiple past epidemiological studies show links between sitting and mortality. In general, in these studies, couchbound people are far more likely to die prematurely than active people are.

But how active an active person should be if he or she hopes to mitigate the downsides of sitting has remained unclear. If you sit for eight hours at work, for instance, then stroll for half an hour in the evening — meaning you comply with the standard exercise recommendation of about 30 minutes of exercise most days — is that enough movement to undo most of the health risks of too much sitting?

ome past research had suggested the answer is no. A 2016 study involving more than a million people found, instead, that men and women needed to exercise moderately for about 60 to 75 minutes a day in order to diminish the undesirable effects of sitting.

That study, though, like most similar, earlier research, asked people to remember how much they had moved or sat, which can be problematic. We tend to be unreliable narrators of our lives, overestimating physical activity and underestimating how much we sit. But if large numbers of people misremember this way, the paradoxical result is that exercise looks less potent than it is, since the studies’ “active” people appear to have needed plenty of exercise to gain health benefits, when the objective amount of exercise they actually completed was less, and this smaller amount produced the gains.

So, for the new study, which was published last week in a special issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine devoted to the World Health Organization’s updated physical activity guidelines and related research, many of the authors of the 2016 review decided to, in effect, repeat that earlier research and analysis, but, this time, use data from people who had worn activity monitors to objectively track how much they moved and sat.

The scientists wound up gathering results from nine recent studies in which almost 50,000 men and women wore accelerometers. These studies’ volunteers were middle-aged or older and lived in Europe or the United States. Combining and collating the nine studies’ data, the scientists found that most of the volunteers sat a lot, averaging close to 10 hours a day, and many barely moved, exercising moderately, usually by walking, for as little as two or three minutes a day.

The researchers then checked death registries for about a decade after people had joined their respective studies and started comparing lifestyles and life spans. Dividing people into thirds, based on how much they moved and sat, the researchers found, to no one’s surprise, that being extremely sedentary was hazardous, with people in the top third for sitting and bottom third for activity having about 260 percent more likelihood of premature death than the men and women who moved the most and sat the least. (The researchers controlled for smoking, body mass and other factors that might have influenced the results.)

Other combinations of time spent sitting and moving were less alarming, though, and even heartening. People in the middle third for activity, who exercised moderately for about 11 minutes a day, were significantly less likely to have died prematurely than people who moved less, even if all of them belonged to the group that also sat the most.

Crunching the numbers further, the researchers concluded that the sweet spot for physical activity and longevity seemed to arrive at about 35 minutes a day of brisk walking or other moderate activities, an amount that led to the greatest statistical improvement in life span, no matter how many hours someone sat.

Of course, this study was observational and does not prove that exercise caused people to live longer, only that physical activity, sitting and mortality were linked.

But the results strongly suggest that if we sit all day, as so many of us do, we should aim, too, to get up and move, says Ulf Ekelund, a professor of epidemiology and physical activity at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, Norway, who led the new study. “Brisk walking is excellent moderate exercise,” he says, and, in half-hour stints — or even less — might help to lengthen our lives.

(12/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by NY Times
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Emily Sisson Comes Up 1-Second Short of American Half Marathon Record in Valencia

America’s Emily Sisson nearly set a record of her own. The 29-year-old Team New Balance star who ran for Providence College had targeted Molly Huddle’s absolute American record of 1:07:25, but fell achingly short by just one second.

“Definitely bittersweet,” Sisson told Race Results Weekly via text message just after exiting drug testing in Valencia this morning. “Was disappointed to fall short of my goal but trying to keep things in perspective.”

Sisson went out at slightly over American record pace, splitting 10-kilometers in 32:02 (1:07:35 pace). Maintaining that tempo, she ran 16:02 for the next 5-K, but picked it up in the final quarter of the race. With the wind at her back, from 15-K to 20-K, she ran a 15:58, putting her on 67:33 pace at 20k, then did everything she could to shave seconds in the final 1097 meters. Sprinting down the light blue carpet on the finish straight in the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, she stopped the clock at 1:07:26.

“Being able to race again was incredible and the Valencia did a wonderful job putting on this event,” she said.

This is the second time that Sisson has come close to Huddle’s record. In Houston in January, 2019, she clocked 1:07:30 at the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon. She is now the only American woman to have run 1:07:30 or better twice during a career.

Sisson has every reason to be optimistic about next year. She already has her Tokyo Olympic 10,000m qualifying mark of 30:49.57 set at Stanford University in 2019, and finished second, fourth, and third, respectively, in the last three USATF 10,000m Championship races. She had dropped out of the Olympic Trials Marathon last February after running with the leaders through the first half of the race.

“I’m glad I could end 2020 with a solid performance,” Sisson concluded. “Looking forward to building off this heading into the new Olympic year.”

(12/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 26thyear. For the third year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and an...

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