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The doping charges brought against Bahrain's 400 meter world champion Salwa Eid Naser have been dismissed, the Athletics Integrity Unit announced on Tuesday.The 22-year-old Naser was provisionally suspended in June and charged with failing to meet 'whereabouts' criteria.
The AIU charged the Nigerian-born runner with four alleged 'whereabouts' failures which included three missed tests between March 2019 and January this year.But the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal did not confirm a missed test from April 2019, therefore meaning Naser had not missed three tests within 12 months which is required to prove an anti-doping violation.
The AIU added that it has the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.Naser stunned athletics in Doha last year when she powered to the third-fastest 400m time in history to win the world title.
Her time of 48.14 seconds has only been bettered by East German Marita Koch in 1985 and former Czech runner Jarmila Kratochvilova in 1983.The AIU is the independent anti-doping watchdog for track and field, set up in 2017.(10/20/2020) ⚡AMP
Athlete Refugee Team member Otmane Nait-Hammou is making a habit of rubbing elbows with some of the world's finest runners at World Championships.
In Doha last year, he lined up next to reigning world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto in the opening round of the 3000m steeplechase. On the Gdynia start line, he stood should-to-shoulder with Joshua Cheptegei, the world record holder in the 5000 and 10,000m.
"If it's destiny or luck I don't know,” he says, laughing when reminded of the company he’s managed to keep at the start lines of his last two World Championship appearances. "It's an honour for me and I feel really proud.”
He’s also taking great pride in what he managed to achieve in Gdynia representing the Athlete Refugee Team.
On Saturday, Nait-Hammou wasn’t the same athlete he was a year ago in the Qatari capital. There, starry-eyed and overwhelmed, he tumbled to the track on the first lap of his race and was the last to finish, more than 70 seconds after Kipruto. In Gdynia, he finished 67th in the field of 122, clocking 1:03:28 in his competitive debut over the distance, beating some of the world’s finest half-marathoners in the process.
The difference? Taking to the line as a fledgling professional athlete, both in practicality and in attitude.
An opportunity to train like a professional
Nait-Hammou began running in his native Morocco in 2012, a passion he continued to feed even when life threw challenges in his path. He went to France in 2015 to pursue his studies, but, unable to return to Morocco, he made the difficult decision to apply for asylum. That road took him to Sweden in 2016 where he watched, on a television in a refugee centre, a team of refugee athletes competing at the Rio Olympics.
Those moving images fuelled his imagination and his motivation. Three years later he himself would compete twice on the international stage, first at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, then again in Doha, modest outings that nonetheless helped him step up to the next level.
“A lot of things changed over the past year,” Nait-Hammou says. “I have a lot of solidarity and support that has changed my life." That includes sponsorship arrangements with On, his apparel sponsor, with the energy gel Maurten, from his French club ES Sartrouville and ongoing development support from World Athletics and Olympic Solidarity.
Together, he says, "these things have given me more confidence and motivation and excitement to train very hard, to push very hard in training. It's a huge difference from when you come to participate and when you come to perform.”
His increasingly professional arrangement allowed him to attend a training camp for the first time, a month-long stint at altitude in Font-Remeu, France, in July and August where he logged 150 to 160 kilometres per week for four straight weeks. It was a type of training he’d never attempted before. “The first week was tough. I was really tired. But then the second week was better, and the third even better.”
It also brought results. On 29 August, he improved his steeplechase best to 8:51.07 at a French regional meeting in Decines Charpieu, his first race in seven months. Two weeks later he finished seventh at the French championships. In between he won a regional 10km in 30:50.
All that set him up well for Gdynia.
“I felt confident at the start line, because I had the opportunity to train and prepare like a professional. That made a big change in my life and my approach. I can see in training that I am getting better. I'm not the same person I was in Doha.”
“I never ran under 30 minutes. Never. I'm still in shock. I still haven't realised what I’ve done. I broke my 10k PB inside a half marathon. In my first half marathon. And in a world championship. It's crazy.”
"I'm starting to think about doing some really strong training this winter for a good marathon early next year," he says, and then focus on the steeplechase during the track season. "I want to go to the marathon for a new adventure. I am excited and motivated for that.
“I'm not thinking the same after Gdynia,” he continues. “I hope I gave the inspiration to other refugees to do better than me in the next World Championships.
“I didn’t come this time to participate. I came to perform. We get the support from World Athletics, from my sponsors, to come to the World Championships, so I wanted to show that we can perform like other athletes. That refugees can be like normal people.
"I beat some Swedish athletes, I beat some Spanish runners. I beat some of the best athletes from other countries, who are all very good athletes. I feel really proud of that and that I was able to represent 69 million people from around the world, to show that we can do it.”(10/20/2020) ⚡AMP
The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...more...
Carbon-plated shoes have been on the running market for years, and they have taken over road racing on the promise that they can make runners more economical.
Efficiency is tied to a runner’s economy, which refers to the amount of energy expended to maintain a particular speed. The more efficient you are, the better your running economy. Nike’s promise with the Vaporfly 4% was to make runners up to four per cent more efficient, but new research is suggesting that these energy savings might not come from the carbon plate.
A group of researchers recently published a paper in Nature Journal that refutes some of the carbon-plated hype. They suggest that the stiffness of the shoe alone might not be significant when it comes to lessening the effort to maintain a particular pace.
The ankle joint
This paper assessed the bending stiffness of shoes (which is what the plate changes) and how much added stiffness improved running economy. Researchers added carbon plates to Adidas shoes that were 0.8, 1.6 and 3.2 mm thick. They found no difference in the flexion of the ankle joint or muscle activation in the feet or legs by adding the plates, meaning that they didn’t find these plates improved economy at all.
It’s not about the plate, it’s about the foam
While these researchers don’t believe that the plate alone is responsible for the improvement in running economy, they can’t deny that Nike has seen improvements through their carbon-plated shoes. Their new working hypothesis is that the magic isn’t in the plate, it’s in the foam – the plate is merely a prop to help the foam to do its thing.
When considered alongside World Athletics’ new shoe rules this hypothesis makes a little more sense. WA’s rules, which came out in early 2020, put a regulation on the plate (there can be only one per shoe), but they almost imposed an upper limit to stack heights, putting regulations on the foam as well. This could’ve been a happy accident or maybe they’re onto the fact that the foam is very much a part of the secret sauce of Nike, and other companies’, fastest shoes.
What does this mean?
There have been lots of hypotheses about how much faster one could’ve run if only they’d had carbon-plated shoes back in the day. Researchers in this study suggest that you probably wouldn’t have run much faster by slapping a stiff plate into the middle of your shoe’s foam. They concluded, “Changing footwear bending stiffness hardly changes athlete biomechanics and may not improve running economy. Therefore, if competitive distance runners went back in time, added carbon-fiber plates to their footwear, and re-raced, their performance would likely not change.”
But slapping some fancy new foam and a carbon plate onto your old upper – now that might have produced some faster times.(10/20/2020) ⚡AMP
Spanish ultrarunner Kilian Jornet made his 10K debut on Saturday at the Hytteplanmila, a road race in Norway that attracts a number of fast runners, including Jakob and Filip Ingebrigtsen. Jornet eked under 30 minutes with an impressive 29:59, while Filip finished in sixth place in 29:03. Jakob ran a shocking 35:05, although he was reportedly on pacing duty for his brother, which explains his surprisingly pedestrian result.
Before the Hytteplanmila, Jornet posted on Instagram to write a bit about his goals for the race. “It will be my first race on a flat surface, something that only two years ago I thought (and said) I would never do because I found running on the flat so boring,” he wrote. After making a few adjustments to his training, though, Jornet said he decided to give road racing a try. Unfortunately, he began to feel pain in his calf two weeks before the race, and he ended up taking it easy moving forward until race day.
“As a novice my expectations aren’t big,” he continued. “I would be really happy if I’m able to grab a few seconds to what is my ‘training PB,’ so to run around 29:30.” He fell short of this goal, although he still managed to run a sub-30 result for his first official 10K PB. Had he been healthy for the entire build to the race, he probably could have hit the 29:30 mark. Just a couple of months ago, he ran a 10K in 29:42, and that was immediately after running an all-out vertical kilometre for a challenge he calls the VK10K. If he can run that quickly after punishing his legs for 1,000m of climbing, he’s certainly capable of shaving at least 12 seconds off that time when he’s fresh and healthy. Hopefully he’ll give road racing another shot soon when he’s fully recovered so we can see what he can do.
Going into the race, we had hoped to see a Jakob-Jornet showdown. We didn’t really expect Jornet to keep up with the young Norwegian, but it would have been fun to see how one of the world’s best ultrarunners fared against one of the top track athletes. Last year, Jakob set the Norwegian 10K record at the Hytteplanmila with a 27:54, but he obviously didn’t make a push to challenge that this time around.
Instead, he paced Filip (who is fresh off a win at the Norwegian cross-country championships) for 7K before slowing down considerably and cruising to the finish. Jakob passed through 7K in 19:53 before slowing to 6:22, 4:10 and 4:40 splits for the final 3K. Filip had a strong eighth kilometre with a 2:48, but he suffered greatly in the last 2K, posting 3:03 and 3:17 splits.(10/19/2020) ⚡AMP
Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir will enjoy only a week’s rest after Saturday’s record-breaking victory in the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland.
Because she has the Valencia Marathon on December 6 in her cross-hairs.
"My season is not yet complete. I still have Valencia Marathon in December so I’ll prepare for that. I think this win gave me a lot. I'd like to run 2:17 or 2:18 for the marathon,” she said after winning yesterday’s World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in a world record time of one hour, five minutes and 16 seconds.
"This pandemic was difficult and it affected a lot of people. I used this time to train, I didn’t stop my training because I was trying to reach my shape.
"I am so happy with this. It’s a gift to all the Kenyans, to my family. I am going to rest now for one week to recover then I’ll continue training for Valencia," she told World Athletics.
Jepchirchir’s world records and the meteoric rise of Kibiwott Kandie have been the talk on the road racing circuit in this coronavirus-ravaged season.
On Saturday, Jepchirchir recaptured the crown she won last in 2016 in Cardiff.
It was a cat-and-mouse game in the last two kilometres between Jepchirchir, Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Melat Kejeta from Germany before the Kenyan out-sprinted them to triumph.
The 27-year-old Kenyan, who failed to defend her title in 2018 after taking a maternity break, improved her own women’s only half marathon world record by 18 seconds.
Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei finished sixth in 1:05:58 while compatriots Brillian Jepkorir (1:06:56), Rosemary Wanjiru (1:07:10) and Dorcas Kimeli (1:07:55) came in ninth, 10th and 11th. That saw Kenya finish second in the team event followed by Germany.
“My goal was to win but it’s unbelievable since I didn’t expect that I would beat the world record. It was a little bit windy, but the course was good for me," said Jepchirchir.
Kandie might have lost the battle to Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo, but his second place finish on his debut for Kenya could as well as signalled his entry to the elite club.
“It’s not that I lost my power in the last kilometres, but it’s my calculations that went wrong,” Kandie reflected.
“It was a good race and I enjoyed the course. It was my first time at the World Half Marathon Championships and I won!” said Kiplimo.
“It is hard to explain, because I am full of emotion.”(10/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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...more...
Registration begins for next years Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, with runners from across the UAE and further afield invited to secure a spot at next year’s event, which is scheduled to take place on Friday (Feb.19, 2021) on Al Marjan Island.
The 2021 World Athletics Gold Label race will be the landmark 15th edition of the event, which has proved to be a huge success down the years as both professional and amateur athletes gather in Ras Al Khaimah to compete.
Preparations for the event are now underway, with stringent safety measures to be implemented across the board in order to safeguard participants, volunteers, guests and residents, aligned with global best practice and national federal directives.
The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2021 is Bureau Veritas certified as a SafeGuard Assurance Programme, a four-step methodology designed to verify, certify and promote the hygiene and cleanliness standards of customer-facing businesses, ensuring all health, safety and hygiene procedures are effectively implemented.
The 2020 event, which took place earlier this year, attracted over 5,200 entries and saw Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh break the world record by 20 seconds in the elite female race as she recorded a time of 64:31.
Those runners wishing to compete at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2021 are advised to secure a place as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment, with registrations now open via the below link: https://www.therakhalfmarathon.com/registration/
New for next year’s event is the introduction of a Platinum Package, which is priced AED 550 and provides participants with an Elite Race Experience.
With only 100 slots available, Platinum Package runners will begin the race in a special area of the course and start ahead of other competitors, ensuring the best possible race conditions.
Aside from the Platinum Package, the earliest starting slot is Wave 1 at 7.30am, with the latest Wave 7 at 9am. Starting grids, consisting of no more than 400 athletes per Wave, will be marked for social distancing, with 15-minute intervals between each Wave beginning the race. Apart from the Platinum Package, which will stay open until capacity is reached (max. 100), each respective Wave will only go on sale once the previous one has sold out.
Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority shared, “Aligned with the strong upturn in the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality performance, we are delighted to announce that the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will be returning to the Emirate on the Feb.19, 2021. We look forward to hosting the stellar line-up of elite athletes, as well as local families and enthusiasts to join in what is sure to be a memorable event.”
CEO of RCS Sports and Events Enrico Fili’ said, “Once again, we are proud to support Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority in delivering the 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Al Marjan Island. We witnessed fantastic results in the 2020 race, with Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia smashing the women’s World Record by 20 seconds. This result has recently been ratified by World Athletics and we look forward to having another unforgettable elite line-up in 2021 that will ensure the event remains the fastest half marathon in the world.”(10/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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...more...
Palmisano produced the fastest clocking for 18 years in the 10km race walk when winning at Italy’s Endurance Festival Championships in Modena on Sunday (18) in 41:28.
Palmisano was contesting her third race in 15 days, following a world-leading 21:00.0 over 5000m in Trivio on 3 October and her 1:28:40 victory over 20km in Podebrady on 10 October.
The 29-year-old showed no signs of fatigue in Modena, though, and after a steady opening kilometre of 4:13 she picked up the pace and reached the half-way point in 20:50. She maintained that tempo for a few more kilometres and managed to move up a gear in the latter stages, covering the final kilometre in 4:04 to cross the finish line in 41:28.
Her winning time took 10 seconds off the previous Italian record, set 23 years ago by 1996 Olympic fourth-place finisher Rossella Giordano. 1993 world silver medallist Ileana Salvador had clocked 41:30 27 years ago but her time wasn’t officially recognised as an Italian record. Palmisano’s performance, however, is an improvement on both of those marks and takes her to sixth on the world all-time list. The last woman to cover the distance in a faster time was Norway’s Kjersti Tysse-Playzer, who clocked 41:16 in 2002.
“Today I wanted to have fun,” said Palmisano, whose previous best for the distance was 42:50, although she had also clocked 41:57.29 for 10,000m on the track. “It’s the first time I’ve done three races so close together, but I didn’t feel the fatigue from Podebrady in my legs. It wasn’t easy in the final two or three kilometres, but I pushed hard.”
Nicole Colombi, who represented Italy at last year’s World Championships, was second in 43:55. Francesco Fortunato won the men’s race in 39:06, moving him to third on the Italian all-time list.(10/19/2020) ⚡AMP
We have studied a variety of options for staging the 2021 Kagoshima Marathon, but with no end to the coronavirus crisis in sight we have come to the unfortunate conclusion, in light of the need to ensure the safety of the runners, event staff and local residents, that it would not be possible to hold the race as planned and that it must be canceled for the second year in a row.
We sincerely pray for a swift end to the crisis and that we can once again hold the Kagoshima Marathon as a safe event that will delight runners and locals alike. We will be working hard to make that a reality.
With regard to priority entry for those who were entered to run in 2020, we are still studying how we might move forward with improved coronavirus measures in the future, including examining the field size, and do not have a clear answer at this point.
We will post that information as soon as it has been determined and thank you for your patience until then. We are planning to hold events including a running clinic and an online marathon and will also post that information on our website as soon as all the details have been decided.
Kagoshima Marathon Organizing Committee
Major Japanese marathons still scheduled to happen in 2020 and 2021 marathon announcements to date:
Dec. 6: Fukuoka International Marathon (370) - scheduled with limited field size
Dec. 20: Hofu Marathon (2,724) - scheduled with limited field size
Jan. 10 - Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon (10,954) - canceled
Jan. 31 - Katsuta Marathon (10,627) - canceled
Jan. 31 - Osaka International Women's Marathon (423) - TBA
Feb. 7 - Beppu-Oita Marathon (3,141) - canceled
Feb. 14 - Ehime Marathon (9,554) - canceled
Feb. 14 - Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon (536) - TBA
Feb. 21 - Kyoto Marathon (13,894) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Kochi Ryoma Marathon (10,924) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Kumamoto Castle Marathon (10,444) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Kitakyushu Marathon (9,485) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Okinawa Marathon (7,990) - canceled
Feb. 28 - Shonan International Marathon (16,821) - rescheduled from Dec. 6
Feb. 28 - Himeji Castle Marathon (6,938) - canceled
Feb. 28 - Iwaki Sunshine Marathon (5,259) - canceled
Feb. 28 - Lake Biwa Marathon (174) - TBA
Mar. 7 - Kagoshima Marathon (9.356) - canceled
Mar. 7 - Tokyo Marathon (151) - postponed to October 17
Mar. 14 - Shizuoka Marathon (9,802) - canceled
Mar. 14 - Nagoya Women's Marathon (96) - scheduled with limited field size
Mar. 21 - Itabashi City Marathon (13,310) - canceled
Mar. 21 - Koga Hanamomo Marathon (8,766) - canceled
Mar. 21 - Saga Sakura Marathon (8.509) - canceled
Mar. 28 - Tokushima Marathon (11,010) - decision in early November
Mar. 28 - Sakura Marathon (5,614) - TBA
Apr. 18 - Kasumigaura Marathon (10,096) - decision by end of October
Apr. 18 - Nagano Marathon (8,082) - decision by end of October(10/18/2020) ⚡AMP
Over the last seven months, many people have been motivated to get outside and get active in the midst of coronavirus closures and precautions.
While exercising outdoors may be a relatively new endeavor for some people, one woman has been dedicated to her workout routine for years, and neither COVID-19 nor pregnancy have slowed her down.
Makenna Myler, 28, is nine months pregnant. She recently ran a mile in just five minutes and 25 seconds.
Myler, an avid runner, said she “cut back [her] mileage a lot,” running five to six times a week throughout her pregnancy.
She hoped she would still be able to run later in her pregnancy and voiced her anxiety to her husband.
“To keep me motivated, he said he would give me $100 if I could break 8 minutes doing the mile at 9 months pregnant,” she said.
This week, she met her goal.
“Feeling capable is everything to me,” Myler said in an interview with Buzzfeed. “Running has been a big outlet for me in that way. Running during pregnancy has been a beautiful process of accepting effort and patience, not forcing anything, and letting go of pace and forced mileage.”
Jennifer Lincoln, a gynecologist based in Portland, Oregon, said Myler’s rigorous regimen isn’t cause for alarm.
“In general, if someone has been doing a certain exercise prior to pregnancy, they can continue it in pregnancy, with some exceptions," she said. "General precautions should be taken, such as staying hydrated, stopping if you become dizzy or feel unwell, or if you have high-risk issues and your doctor has advised you to modify or cut back.”
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, and physical activity does not increase risk of miscarriage, low birth weight or early delivery.
Myler’s expected due date is Oct. 19.
“It’s funny, I kept waiting and waiting for the day when I would just be done or my body would break, but that day never came," she told Buzzfeed. "So yeah, I’ll probably still be running by next Monday.”(10/18/2020) ⚡AMP
A recent study of more than 1,000 people who exercise regularly found that just 14.3 per cent of treadmill owners are “extremely motivated” to train, but there’s more to this number than what’s shown on the surface.
The study looked at gym-goers and at-home exercisers, and it turns out that, while rates of enjoyment on the treadmill are relatively low compared to other machines, this seemingly low rate of motivation is actually the highest. We’ve outlined some of the more pertinent (when it comes to runners, at least) findings below.
Highest rates of motivation
Fourteen per cent might not seem like a lot, but 39.3 per cent of treadmill owners said they are “very motivated” to train. Another 39.3 per cent said they’re “somewhat motivated,” and just 7.1 per cent responded with “not at all or slightly motivated.” Other than owners of stationary bikes and ellipticals (who are grouped together), the 14.3 per cent of treadmill owners responded with the second-highest rates of extreme motivation. Overall, 53.6 per cent of treadmill owners are extremely or very motivated to train, which gives the machine the highest rate of motivation when compared to other machines or gear. The lowest on the list were owners of free weights and yoga mats.
One explanation for these higher rates of motivation could be due to the price of treadmills. As listed in the study, the average treadmill goes for $525, which is almost $300 more than the next most-expensive item (ellipticals and stationary bikes). After making such a big purchase, treadmill owners might feel obligated to use their expensive machines, which creates a sort of motivation to train. Conversely, yoga mats and free weights are much less expensive, and so owners of these items may not feel as pressured to use them.
Lowest rates of enjoyment
The treadmill’s rate of motivation might be much higher than other machines, but when it comes to actual enjoyment in training, it comes in second-last, just ahead of the elliptical and stationary bikes. Just 40.1 per cent of treadmill runners said they enjoyed their runs. Cyclists took the top spot in this category, with 52.6 per cent responding positively to this exercise.
If you like the treadmill, that’s awesome, and it’s a great way to get your run training in (especially during colder months). But if you’re not a fan of the treadmill, that doesn’t mean you won’t be motivated to use it.
This study shows that, even if you don’t take much enjoyment out of the training, you’ll likely still run on the treadmill anyway. Nobody said being a runner was easy, and forcing yourself to use the treadmill is a perfect example of why this is a tough sport.(10/17/2020) ⚡AMP
For the first time in the 28-year history of this event, a Ugandan athlete stood proud atop the podium, but it wasn’t the one most expected. In the men’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on Saturday (17), it was Jacob Kiplimo and not Joshua Cheptegei who reigned supreme, the 19-year-old coming of age with his first global title at senior level.
With a devastating surge over the last of the four laps, no one could live with Kiplimo and he hit the line a delighted champion in a championship record of 58:49, with Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie second in 58:54 and Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn third in 59:08.
Next in was Cheptegei, who had lost contact with the leaders with a little less than five kilometres to run, the king of the track demoted to fourth place on the roads but rewarded with a swift time of 59:21 on his debut at the distance.
“I couldn’t give more than that,” said Cheptegei, who set a world 10,000m record in Valencia just 10 days ago. “I have been training more for 5000m and 10,000m so I was not well prepared for it, but I’m very happy – running a sub-60 is really special for me. My body was really going very well but I discovered I still had some fatigue in the legs.”
In a race of outstanding quality, the first 10 runners broke 60 minutes, the first time that ever happened at the event and just the second time it has ever happened. This, despite a relatively pedestrian start that saw the leading contenders cruise through the opening lap waiting for one another to make a decisive move.
No Ugandan had ever won an individual medal in 23 previous editions of the event – their one team medal a men’s bronze in 2004 – but the nation has been a rising force in distance running these past few years so today’s result came as no surprise. Kiplimo, after all, had clocked a world-leading 7:26.64 for 3000m in Rome last month and 12:48.63 for 5000m so his credentials were unquestioned, and he had followed Cheptegei home at last year’s World Cross Country Championships.
His only half marathon before today was the 1:01:53 he ran in Kampala last year but from the outset today, he looked most at home at the distance.
In contrast to the women’s race, the men’s race set off at a conservative tempo, the leading contenders happy to coast through the opening 5km in 14:20 as Switzerland’s Julien Wanders towed them along out front.
A leading pack of 23 went through 10km in 28:23, and the gears slowly began to shift in the third lap, with Kandie and Ethiopia’s Guye Adola applying some pressure. Kandie stepped the pace up even more as he clicked through 15km in 42:17 and clocked the first sub-14-minute 5km split of the race with 13:54.
It whittled the leading pack to 11 with a lap to go, with Cheptegei passing the bell a few seconds behind Kandie in eighth place. Kandie was soon joined by Kiplimo as they ran uphill and as he saw the gaps open behind to Cheptegei, Kiplimo kept the pressure on, building a 15-metre lead over his teammate.
Kandie, too, began to fall off pace behind the smooth-striding Kiplimo, but with less than 3km to run he clawed his way back to Kiplimo’s shoulder. The pace now was red-hot, Kiplimo surging to 20km in 55:55, a 13:37 5km split giving him a four-second lead over Kandie as he ran downhill towards the coast for the final time.
Kandie refused to lie down, chasing Kiplimo for all he was worth as they neared the finish in a bid to keep the men’s crown in Kenya for the fourth successive championships, following Geoffrey Kamworor’s three straight wins between 2014 and 2018. But he simply couldn’t close down the advantage and he had to make do with silver.
“I feel great, it was my first time at the World Half Marathon Championships and I won!” said Kiplimo. “It is hard to explain, because I am full of emotion. Unbelievable. The weather was really good, as were the conditions and course. I'm so grateful for everyone who has supported me.”
Kandie led Kenya to gold in the team event, with Leonard Barsoton’s 59:34 and Benard Kimeli’s 59:42 giving them a cumulative time of 2:58:10. Ethiopia took team silver with 2:58:25, and Uganda bronze with 2:58:39. All three teams finished inside the previous championship record.(10/17/2020) ⚡AMP
The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...more...
Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal broke her own national 10km record at the Hytteplanmila 10km in Hole, Norway, on Saturday (17).
The 30-year-old clocked 30:32 to smash the previous mark of 31:25 she set at this race in 2017. The performance lifted the continental cross country standout to fourth on the 2020 world list and third all-time among Europeans, trailing just Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (30:05) and Paula Radcliffe (30:21).
Grovdal has raced little this season but she was on a tear from the gun to make this appearance count, reaching three kilometres in 9:10 and the midway point in 15:17 to finish 31st in the race overall among the 90 competitors.
Vienna Søyland Dahle was a distant second in 33:18.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who made his debut at the distance with a 27:54 course record in this race last year, wasn't really a factor in his return.
Opening with a modest 2:59 first kilometre, he worked his way back to the leaders after two kilometres and briefly took the lead at the four kilometre point. Zerei Mezngi then upped the pace after five kilometres with Ingebrigtsen and his brother Filip struggling to maintain contact. Mezngi extended his lead to six seconds at six kilometres and forged on largely unchallenged to win in 28:20. Narve Gilje Nordas was second in 28:28, while Filip Ingebrigtsen drifted back to finish sixth in 29:03.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who remained in contact through seven kilometres, slowed to a jog over the waning stages and eventually finished in 35:05.
Spanish mountain, trail and ultramarathon runner and ski mountaineer Kilian Jornet ran with the leaders early on, and finished 18th in 29:59.(10/17/2020) ⚡AMP
Kenyan runner who won London Marathon in 2017 is punished for biological passport violation
Daniel Wanjiru joins the list of high-profile Kenyan runners who have received an anti-doping ban recently.
The 28-year-old, who won the London Marathon three years ago, has been given a four-year ban due to biological passport irregularities – a ban which has been backdated to the day of his original suspension on December 9 last year.
This means he will be banned until December 2023, while his results since March 9 last year, which include 11th place in the 2019 London Marathon, have also been disqualified.
The 27-year-old, who beat Kenenisa Bekele to the 2017 London Marathon title, has a marathon PB of 2:05:21, set when winning the Amsterdam Marathon in 2016.
On his biological passport irregularities, a panel said: “That anomaly is far beyond any physiological possible adjustment and by itself carries a very high risk of thrombotic complications, coronary thrombosis and sudden death.”
You can read the full details of the case via the Athletics Integrity Unit here.
“I feel I am already seen as a sinner of doping, but I am not,” Wanjiru said when he heard of his provisional suspension. “I am innocent.”
Other top Kenyan runners currently serving bans include marathoners Jemima Sumgong and Wilson Kipsang plus miler Asbel Kiprop.(10/17/2020) ⚡AMP
British athletes are told what they must do to reach the Olympics and Paralympics – if they take place next year
British Olympic hopefuls will try to qualify for the rescheduled Tokyo Games in a track and field trials event staged in Manchester on June 26-27, whereas marathon contenders will race for places on the team on a multi-lap circuit in London on March 26.
With the Virgin Money London Marathon being held in October in 2020 and 2021, a new trials race over 26.2 miles has been created in the British capital with small elite fields battling for Olympic selection on a loop course.
For 10,000m runners, the trial event will be at the annual Highgate Harriers-organised event at Parliament Hill on June 5.
Race walkers, meanwhile, will have a 20km trial in Leeds in May or June and 50km trial in the spring at a European Race Walking Permit meeting.
At these trials athletes will be striving to qualify for Tokyo, although there remains uncertainty surrounding the staging of the Games themselves.
On the coronavirus pandemic, UK Athletics say in their selection policy statement: “Each of us is managing the impact of Covid 19 and we can see the impact it has had on society at large, the international calendar and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021.
“There is still considerable uncertainty surrounding the rescheduling of qualifying competitions. British Athletics is working closely with its international partners to ensure that British athletes have a fair and reasonable opportunity to meet the respective qualification and entry criteria outlined in the policy, and a realistic timeline in which to do so.”
AW understands the marathon trial will be held in a secure bio-bubble similar to the recent London Marathon, though, and is almost certain not to be cancelled.
UKA say their priority is to pick athletes capable of winning medals and reaching the top eight. Following this their selection will focus on picking “individual athletes demonstrating future global medal potential for the Olympic cycle running up to and including the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
The announcement follows the news that Britain’s new head coach, Christian Malcolm, has already started his job, albeit from Australia before moving back to the UK soon.
On the track and field trials at Sportcity, UKA’s selection policy states: “The first two placed eligible athletes in each individual trials event will be automatically selected for the same event, provided that, within at least one of the two qualification periods … the athlete has achieved at least one World Athletics qualification standard.”
Marathon and race walks selections will be announced March 30 although Callum Hawkins has already been preselected for the marathon. Athletes for all remaining events will be named on June 28 after the team has been approved by the British Olympic Association.
You can read the full Tokyo 2021 selection policy for Olympic athletes here and for Paralympic athletes here.
In an arena where endurance is king, speed also proved a precious commodity. In the end, Peres Jepchirchir needed both to reign supreme in the women’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on Saturday (17), powering to gold in 1:05:16, a world record* in a women-only race.
She led home Germany's Melat Yisak Kejeta, who smashed the European women-only record to take silver in 1:05:18, with Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw a close third in 1:05:19.
In a race blighted by falls, where three of the leading contenders saw their chances scuppered through unfortunate incidents, the race boiled down to a clash between those able to stay on their feet through the four laps around the streets of Gdynia.
On what was a cold, breezy morning alongside the Baltic Sea, the pace was scorching from the outset. Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei was one of the chief aggressors, leading a pack of 13 through the first 5km in 15:20. Midway through the second lap the first casualties began to show from that group and it was whittled to eight, with Turkey’s Yasemin Can another keen to push things along.
Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta’s race almost came to an abrupt stop as the leaders took a 90-degree turn on to the seafront, the defending champion taking a fall and losing several seconds to the leaders. It was a gap she would never close, the Ethiopian slipping farther behind during the third lap.
Can led a group of seven through 10km in 30:47, but on the third lap Jepchirchir made her first strong move, the women-only half marathon world record holder injecting a surge and putting many of those behind in visible distress.
At this point a trio of Ethiopians – Ababel Yeshaneh, Zeineba Yimer and Yehualaw – were coasting quietly in their slipstream along with Germany’s Kejeta, and as they turned away from the beach to head out on their final lap Yehualaw made her first move towards the front.
However, Jepkosgei soon seized the advantage again as they ran uphill, with a pack of seven reaching 15km in 46:24. The entire spectre of the race changed with 54 minutes on the clock. Yeshaneh surged to the front but soon began to drift towards the kerb due to the camber of the road, her legs tangling with Jepkosgei and both athletes hitting the deck.
Both were left some 30 metres in arrears by the time they were up and running, with Yehualaw, Can and Kejeta suddenly left alone out front, Yimer and Can also falling off pace as the leaders powered downhill towards the coast for the final time.
Yehualaw and Jepchirchir ran side by side, with Kejeta hanging tough in their slipstream, and as they turned for home with less than a kilometre to run the three ran side by side towards the finish.
Jepchirchir bided her time and took advantage as Yehualaw hesitated entering the finishing straight, the Kenyan 27-year-old digging in and surging clear to a memorable victory. Kejeta took more than three minutes off her personal best in second and the 28-year-old, who previously represented Ethiopia, was ecstatic with her runner-up spot.
"It's unbelievable," said Jepchirchir. "My goal was to win this race. I did not expect that I would beat the world record, but I realised that it could happen when we passed 20km. It was a little bit windy, but the course was good for me."
Back in third, Yehualaw led Ethiopia to gold in the team event to back up the title they won at the last edition two years ago, with Yimer’s 1:05:39 in fourth and Yeshaneh’s 1:05:41 in fifth giving them the quickest cumulative time with 3:16:39, smashing the championship record. Kenya took team silver with 3:18:10 while Germany took bronze with 3:28:42.
In a race of unprecedented depth, the first six women finished inside 66 minutes and the top nine finished inside 67 minutes.(10/17/2020) ⚡AMP
The date for Gdynia Half Marathon Mass start was moved from March to October 17,2020. This year's race will only be for Elite runners. The first race debuted in 2016, becoming one of the biggest half marathons in Poland in the first year. The race offers a unique opportunity to launch the spring season in Gdynia - "the city...more...
No women has lasted as long as Courtney Dauwalter in the race with no end and this year she hopes to push her limits even further
Courtney Dauwalter says that two more years of ultra running and the memories of the 2018 Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra will allow her to go further than ever this year – and to lift everyone else as a result.
The American runner is entered into one of the most awful and awesome race concepts this weekend.
Big Dog’s is a 6.7km loop in Tennessee and runners have one hour to complete the loop. They can go as fast or as slow as they want, so long as they are lined up on the start line when the next hour begins. The race keeps going until there is just one runner left. The last person standing is allowed to complete one final lap to claim victory.
In 2018, Dauwalter went for 67 hours (431km), the longest any woman has lasted, and finished second to record-setting Johan Steele. She felt completely “empty”, shook Steele’s hand on the start line of the 68th hour and let him go on his victory lap.
“I had no charge left mentally or physically to go on,” the 35-year-old said. “I didn’t even attempt to see if there was any battery charge left. I didn’t think I had any.
“Johan is very talented, inspiring and a great human. He teases me now that I ruined the game for him, as the last person doesn’t get to go on. So, he teases me that I stopped his game early. I’m hoping that that will echo in my mind a little, ‘Don’t be the one to ruin the game for someone’,” Dauwalter, who is sponsored by sports nutrition brand Tailwind, said.
“I think hindsight is a trick. Now I can sit here two years later and say, ‘Why didn’t I even try?’ But in the moment, I felt like I had nothing left and I’d end up as road kill out on the loop because I was so empty.”
“I don’t regret it, because I don’t think that is useful. But I do hope that memory of wondering if I could have just gone out and done one more and seen how I felt, that will keep the fire going on the later laps this time,” she said.
The final few runners typically complete the lap in 45 to 50 minutes. Dauwalter plans to take care of her body earlier in the race by applying anti-chafe cream, changing her socks and shoes, and sleeping.
“I think every experience helps us. For sure, just having a few more years of ultras in general, and training in general, will help. But being able to picture Big’s especially, the set up and what it feels like on day two or three will help,” she said.
Dauwalter has run other races that last for days, such as winning the Moab 240 Mile Endurance Run by more than 10 hours.
“You have a little more choice in those long trail efforts when you can lay down and sleep whenever or wherever you want,” she said. “In this format, you get your 10 minutes per lap and that’s the only time you get to shut your eyes.”
“I think I didn’t do it well the first time and I think it showed up in a lot of ways. That feeling of being empty, not having energy for my brain and body to process from being sleep deprived. I hope we do it better, and if we don’t I hope I’m at least better at being sleep deprived,” she said.
“If you can shut down your brain for even just five minutes it makes a big difference.”
There are only 15 runners at the event this year and each is only allow one crew member due to coronavirus. Usually the field is international, but there will be simultaneous Big Dog’s going on around the world as a result of travel restrictions. Each race will end when there is just one runner left locally. A world champion will be declared as the last person standing in the last race still going.
“The motivation is not be the one to ruin the game and help the ones around me to stay in so we can all keep looking for our limits. It’s such a cool format that we all lift each other up by just stepping up to the start line,” Dauwalter said.
She has no target in mind. Having a target may result in a loss of motivation when it is passed, Dauwalter said. But last year’s champion Maggie Guterl has said she is aiming for 100 hours.
“I love it. It’s the exact thing you need out there. I’m excited to spend time with Maggie, and do those four mile loops. That’s all we have to do.”
“It’s such a cool format, the possibilities are unknown. How far can we go if we keep lining up?”(10/17/2020) ⚡AMP
One hiker's recent encounter with a cougar was frightening enough to get the Humane Society of the United States to weigh in and offer survival tips.
On Saturday in Slate County, Utah, Kyle Burgess was chased by a cougar who was protecting her cubs for a horrifying six minutes, CBS reported. The 26-year-old appeared to be alone on his hike, and fortunately escaped unscathed after making loud noises at the ferocious feline.
The video of the encounter went viral, and even captured the attention of the Humane Society's president and CEO, Kitty Block. She tweeted a reminder of what to do if you see a cougar while hiking, and commended Burgess for his defense "The viral video of a runner & a mother cougar defending her kittens shows how critical it is to stay calm in these rare incidents," Block wrote on Tuesday. "He did the right thing slowly backing away & yelling. It's crucial to exit the conflict ASAP."
The Humane Society of the United States has also promoted its specific guidelines on what to do, should you encounter a cougar out in the wilderness.
First off, you shouldn't run if you see a cougar. "Running will provoke the predatory chasing behavior of cougars, as it would with other predators such as bears, coyotes, and wolves," the HSUS states. You should also pick up small children or pets that are with you.
Make sure to face the cougar directly, but keep your eyes on the cougar's feet. By avoiding looking into their eyes, you won't look aggressive.
If a cougar "displays aggressive behavior try to appear larger," you should raise your arms or "open your jacket over your head" to look larger as well. You can also do this by making noise; "yelling, blowing a whistle or an air horn" is recommended.
You can also use an umbrella to help fend off an attack by quickly opening and closing it while facing the cougar.
Just don't approach the cougar or make it feel cornered in. You should give it "ample space to run away" for when it decides to do so. If you also encounter the cubs, make sure that you don't "get between them and their mother."
In the rare instance that a cougar does attack, you should fight back any way that you can. In the past, people have fought back at these animals with sticks, their hands, baseball caps and garden tools. There are no repellants available for cougars specifically, but using pepper (capsaicin) spray or even a fire extinguisher, can prove to be helpful.
In the six-minute video of Burgess' brush with a cougar, viewers can see the creature following him in attack mode. "Go away!" he yells at the cougar. "Please, go away. I'm big and scary." He also made loud noises as the cougar approached him, baring its teeth.
"Dude, I don't feel like dying today," Burgess says at one point, while the cougar runs towards him, claws out. "Go with your babies." He curses under his breath while trying to escape the cougar. Ultimately, he throws a rock at the big cat, which sends it away.
"You see the two cubs and one kind of runs off, but then I didn't notice mom was right there and that's when I knew it was not a good situation to be in," Burgess told CBS News. "Those six minutes were so long for me."(10/17/2020) ⚡AMP
The young Norwegian track phenom and the seasoned Spanish ultrarunner will battle it out on the roads of Norway this weekend
Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen will reportedly take on Spanish ultrarunning legend (and resident of Norway) Kilian Jornet in the Hytteplanmila 10K road race on Saturday. Ingebrigtsen set the course and Norwegian records at the race in 2019 when he ran a 27:54. This will be his first 10K since the run last year. According to the race website, Hytteplanmila will be the first 10K road race of Jornet’s career, although he has a wealth of experience training and racing across multiple distances. The rare track-trail crossover between Jornet and Ingebrigtsen is set to start at 7:30 a.m. local time.
Jornet is one of the best trail and ultrarunners of all time. He has won so many of the world’s biggest races, from the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc to the Western States 100 and so many others. He also currently holds 14 official fastest known times, and he is the course record-holder at many races around the world.
He opened the VK10K with a 29:57 vertical kilometre, which meant he had to run his 10K (on tired legs) in almost exactly 30 minutes to finish under one hour. Even on fresh legs, a 30-minute 10K would be impossible for most runners, but Jornet hammered out a 29:42, bringing his total time to 59:39. Unless he adds some wild ultra aspect to Saturday’s run, like jogging 60K to get to the race or something else ridiculous (which actually wouldn’t surprise us too much), Jornet should be able to produce another sub-30 run.
Ingebrigtsen has had a stellar season this year. In May, he broke the Norwegian 5K road record with a time of 13:28. A few weeks later, he set the European 2,000m record at the Impossible Games in Oslo. Later in the summer, he added the European 1,500m and Norwegian 3,000m records to his resume. He also won national championships in the 800m and 1,500m. Whenever he has raced, whether on the track or on the road, Ingebrigtsen has been dialled in and ready to compete at every event this year, and he hasn’t finished worse than second place.
His 27:54 10K PB puts him in a tie for 10th all-time among Europeans, 41 seconds behind Swiss runner Julien Wanders‘s European record of 27:13 (and only 11 seconds off the second-fastest time ever run by a European). Ingebrigtsen could very well lower his own national record on Saturday and make a push for a spot higher on the all-time list.
Who will win?
There should be no debate here — Ingebrigtsen is going to win this race. The only questions are whether he will beat his own Norwegian record, and, if so, by how much? If he met Jornet on a trail or a course in the mountains, it might be a different story, but that’s not the case, and the Spaniard is entering Ingebrigtsen’s arena of choice on the weekend. Even though the race will likely end with Ingebrigtsen well ahead of the rest of the field, it will still be exciting to see how Jornet fares on the road and what he can do on fresh legs.(10/17/2020) ⚡AMP
Training and development are built around peaking at the end of a four-year cycle, so when the 2020 Tokyo Games were pushed back to 2021 there was much anguish.
For Laura Muir, a genuine medal prospect, it was a case of years of planning and preparation being tossed out the window.
Muir, a trained vet, had put the rest of her life on the backburner as she chased the Olympic dream.
“It was hard because I had set everything on hold really to focus on Olympics this year,” she explained. “My whole life was revolving around that goal, to be honest. I had no other plans.
“When that went there was that sinking feeling of ‘Oh, what now?’
“Then we had the Europeans still on just for a while and then they were cancelled, not even postponed. It was gutting because the Olympics only come around once every four years and it was something I was really looking to perform well at.
“At the same time, around March time, I could see the way Covid-19 was developing around the world and I wasn’t going to be surprised by a postponement.
“I’m just glad it wasn’t cancelled but was put back to next year. Hopefully, it can go ahead in 2021 as is now planned.”
Despite the disruption, Muir still managed to produce some outstanding performances in the truncated athletics season.
She delivered three sub-four minute runs over 1500 metres, including the world lead time of 3min 57:40sec which secured victory in a top-class field in Berlin last month. That race was her fifth win in a row. In the midst of it, she also set a new British 1000m record.
But Muir didn’t have it all her own way. A few days after Berlin, Jemma Reekie beat her in the 800m at the Diamond League meeting in Rome.
With Tokyo looming, Muir is uncertain about her winter programme and will take time to work out a plan with long-serving mentor Andy Young, who was named Performance Coach of the Year at the Scottish Athletics awards and also has Reekie in his stable.
“Putting any plans in place for the winter or the months ahead is so difficult right now,” said Muir.
“I’ve resumed training and hope to get in a strong block now. Whether that is here, or abroad, I don’t know – when and where are a bit up in the air in terms of a foreign camp. We will have to see how things go.
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. ...more...
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said on Friday he embraced new track technology that features pacemaking lights, a system used to great effect in two stunning world records last week.Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei (men's 10,000m) and Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey (women's 5,000m) blew two longstanding records apart in Valencia.
Both athletics had a team of metronomic pacemakers around them who utilised Wavelight technology -- a trackside visual time guidance system which lights up to indicate the world record pace."You have to innovate, there's no question about that," Coe said in Gdynia, Poland, ahead of Saturday's world half-marathon races.
While acknowledging there was a balance to be struck, Coe argued that technological advances were paramount in attracting new audiences.
"You need to create a connection and the key connection is understanding.
"Pace lights I have no problem with. Our one-day meetings are about entertainment and I think Wavelight that allow people on television, to understand a little bit more about the incredible talent, the incredible talent, the incredible speeds our competitors are running at actually lends to the type of understanding I want."
Coe also argued that pacemakers had been around for decades, notably citing Roger Bannister's first sub-four-minute mile as a "pace-made event".(10/16/2020) ⚡AMP
The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...more...
Grandma’s Marathon – Duluth, Inc. today is announcing a multi-year agreement to make ASICS the official running shoe sponsor of Grandma’s Marathon. The 45th annual race weekend will take place next summer, scheduled for June 17-19, 2021.
As a presenting sponsor for the next three years, ASICS Corporation will have a prominent presence at all marathon weekend activities including the Health and Fitness Expo, William A. Irvin 5k, Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and Grandma’s Marathon.
The partnership will provide participants with access to custom training plans in the ASICS Runkeeper® app, ASICS-sponsored celebration opportunities, and other benefits through the OneASICS™ loyalty program.
Grandma’s Marathon is also renewing its partnership with Race Roster to continue as the official registration company of all the organization’s events – Grandma’s Marathon, Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, William A. Irvin 5K, St. Fennessy 4K, Fitger’s 5K, Part Point 5-Miler, Minnesota Mile, and North End Nightmare 5K.
Race Roster is a subsidiary of ASICS Corporation and has been the registration platform of Grandma’s Marathon since 2017.
Shane Bauer, Grandma’s Marathon Executive Director: “ASICS is the ideal sponsor for Grandma’s Marathon events. They have a long history of uniquely meeting the needs of runners, race directors, and the running community by offering world-class race management, premium brand sponsorship, and marketing. This partnership brings the best of our worlds together while also enhancing our race day experience for participants. We look forward to working with them to support our running community.”
Alex Vander Hoeven, Race Roster & Runkeeper CEO: “We are thrilled to team up with Grandma’s Marathon and help participants train for this historical event. People often download the Runkeeper app to help them achieve their running goals. Our training plans are tailored to individual fitness levels and specific goals, so runners feel more confident and better prepared come race day. Race Roster has long supported this event from the race registration side. We are excited to make ASICS a part of that to take that partnership one step further.”
Grandma’s Marathon and ASICS officially launched their new partnership when registration for the 45th annual event opened on October 1, 2020.(10/16/2020) ⚡AMP
Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...more...
For the first time in the history of the championships, the women’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 will have two current world record-holders for the distance as Peres Jepchirchir and Ababel Yeshaneh line up against one another on Saturday (17).
From 2013 onwards there have been separate world records in women’s roads events — one for women-only races, and one for mixed races. And this year both half marathon records have been broken with Ethiopia’s Yeshaneh clocking 1:04:31 at the Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon in February and Kenya’s Jepchirchir running 1:05:34 in a women-only race at the Prague 21.1K in September.
Jepchirchir’s performance is the more recent of the two, so there is little doubt over the 27-year-old’s form heading into Gdynia. She is also a past winner of the title, having won gold in Cardiff in 2016, and she went on to set a short-lived world record of 1:05:06 in Ras Al Khaimah in 2017.
She gave birth to daughter Natalia at the end of 2017 and so missed most of 2018, but she returned to form last year with victories at the Lisbon Half Marathon (1:06:54) and Saitama Marathon (2:23:50).
Yeshaneh, however, is a formidable opponent and she’ll be lifted by the memories of their one previous clash, at the 2016 Delhi Half Marathon, where she finished three places and 36 seconds ahead of Jepchirchir.
Yeshaneh finished ninth in the 10,000m at the 2013 World Championships and 14th in the 5000m at the 2016 Olympic Games before devoting most of her time to road running. She has finished in the top two in 10 of her past 12 half marathons and has impressed over the full marathon distance, placing second in Chicago last year in a PB of 2:20:51.
Her final outing before heading to Poland was Ethiopia’s 15km trial race, in which she finished fourth. Knowing that she only needed to finish in the top six, though, she could well have been doing just enough to secure her spot on the team, wanting to stay fresh for Gdynia.
Saturday’s race isn’t just about the two world record-holders, though. Netsanet Kebede Gudeta and Joyciline Jepkosgei, the gold and silver medallists from 2018 – and, incidentally, the previous world record-holders of the two women’s half marathon marks—will also line up in Gdynia.
Gudeta won in Valencia two years ago in a women-only world record of 1:06:11, comfortably beating pre-race favourite Jepkosgei, who in 2017 had set two outright world records for the distance.
Since then, however, both women have had mixed fortunes. Gudeta hasn’t won a half marathon since 2018, but she equalled the Ethiopian record of 1:05:45 in 2019. She also failed to finish the 10,000m at the World Championships in Doha, but Saturday’s race could be an opportunity for redemption for the 29-year-old.
And while Jepkosgei — the fastest woman in history over 5km, 10km, 15km and 20km—hasn’t quite yet returned to her record-breaking form from 2017, the 26-year-old Kenyan impressed at last year’s New York City Marathon to win on her debut at the distance in 2:22:38, just a few seconds shy of the long-standing course record. Jepchirchir and Jepkosgei are joined on the Kenyan team by Rosemary Wanjiru, Dorcas Kimeli and Brillian Kipkoech.
Asics is inviting runners globally to form teams and complete a marathon distance between them in the fastest collective time possible.
The challenge, based on a Japanese long-distance, relay-race format called Ekiden, has been created by Asics following research showing that while the popularity of running has soared through lockdown, two-thirds of runners globally are missing the feeling of competing against others.
Participants in the "Asics World Ekiden 2020" will need to log their times via the Asics Runkeeper app between November 11 and 22.
Distances for the challenge can be completed either at once or accumulated during the challenge term. There will also be a customisable in-race audio experience.
Teams can be formed of up to six people, with each "marathon" split into six legs of varying distances. At the end of each leg of the race, participants will need to pass a digital tasuki, the narrow band of fabric used in the traditional Japanese Ekiden, to their teammate.(10/15/2020) ⚡AMP
Distance running’s triple world record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda says he’s under no pressure to deliver at Saturday’s World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland.
Cheptegei said he is not really bothered by the weather and competition in Gdynia, having already achieved what he had planned for from track despite the Covid-19 challenges.
“For me what is important is that I finished my track season well. A debut in the half marathon won’t put much pressure on me,” said Cheptegei, who is proud of having set two world records within seven weeks this year in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres.
The weather in Gdynia will range from between six to 11 degrees on the competition day.
The Ugandan lowered the previous mark of 26:17.53 set by Kenenisa Bekele on August 26, 2005 in Brussels to cement his standing as the new track sensation.
The 24-year-old 10,000m world champion had on August 14 in Monaco wiped out Bekele’s 16-year-old world record over the 5,000m after breaking the five-kilometre world record on the streets of Monaco in February.
In his first track race since the advent of coronavirus early this year, Cheptegei clocked 12:35.35 to beat Bekele’s previous record by two seconds.
Heading into Valencia last week, Cheptegei only had the 18th quickest time over 10,000m with a best in Doha of 26:48.36, over half a minute outside the record.
The Ugandan team to Poland this weekend also has 2018 World Under-20 Championships 10,000m silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo, who also played second fiddle to Cheptegei in last year’s World Cross Country Championships in Uganda’s 1-2 finish.
Kiplimo’s only other half marathon experience is his victory at Kampala Half Marathon in 1:01:53 in November last year.
Others in the Uganda team are Moses Kibet (1:00:59), Victor Kiplagat (1:00:16), Abel Chebet (1:01:41) and Stephen Kissa (1:00:00).(10/15/2020) ⚡AMP
On Wednesday, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced that it gave Kenyan marathoner Daniel Wanjiru a four-year ban following an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) violation. The 28-year-old Wanjiru has big wins to his name from the Amsterdam Marathon in 2016 and London Marathon in 2017, as well as a podium finish at the 2019 Vitality Big Half Marathon.
With race cancellations around the world, he hasn’t missed out on many racing opportunities during his suspension (which was issued by the AIU in April), but he is now officially banned from competition until December 8, 2023.
What is an Athlete Biological Passport?
Some drug tests can detect specific substances, but ABPs are more general, and according to the World Anti-Doping Agency, they monitor “biological variables over time that indirectly reveal the effects of doping.” Multiple rounds of blood tests are used to determine what the “normal” blood levels are for each individual athlete. Once this is set, any future changes or jumps in an athlete’s levels likely mean that they are doping.
According to the AIU’s disciplinary report on Wanjiru, he accepted a “volunteer provisional suspension” in December, agreeing not to race at all until a decision was made regarding his fate in the sport. Because of this, his ban retroactively starts on December 9, 2019. Four years from then, on December 8, 2023, the ban will be complete. As written in the report, Wanjiru told the AIU that he “did not have the medical or other means or motive to dope in any of the ways alleged, or at all.”
In addition to his ban, the AIU ordered that Wanjiru forfeit any results he recorded following the test in question, which was taken on March 9, 2019. He will also have to repay any prize money he won after this date. Unfortunately for Wanjiru, he ran all three of his races in 2019 after March 9, starting with his third-place finish at the Vitality Big Half Marathon on March 10, an 11th place at the London Marathon in April and finally another 11th at a 10,000m race in Kenya in July.(10/15/2020) ⚡AMP
Victoria Falls Marathon race director John Addison writes:We have decided to do this year’s event on December 13 as VIRTUAL.
Thanks to the amazing new features of the SportSplits Tracker app with REAL-TIME REMOTE RACING™, you can #RunVicFalls the virtual way from anywhere in the world.
This is absolutely incredible technology. It’s in real time, on the same route as the real event, with all the key points coming up on your phone as you pass them: the Bridge, the Zambezi River, the Big Tree etc.(10/15/2020) ⚡AMP
Developed in conjunction with the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls Marathon is an AIMS (Association of International Marathon and Distance Races) registered event. The marathon provides a platform for both local and international runners to pit themselves against the best! The marathon route is varied in terms of terrain, with some incredible scenery and opportunity to see...more...
Dita competed at eight editions of the World Half Marathon Championships and earned seven medals in the process, making her one of the most successful athletes in the history of the event. Her double victory in Edmonton in 2005, taking individual and team gold medals, remains one of the highlights of her career.
“I was surprised (to win by a significant margin),” she said of her 2005 triumph. “I was running a normal pace but maybe the opposition found it very cold. For me, it was good weather. I love to run in the rain.
“It was such a happy feeling to win my first gold medal at a major championship. For me, it was amazing and it was close to what it would have felt like to win a gold medal at the track and field World Championships.
“To win my gold medal was a great achievement,” she added. “It gave me much encouragement to run better in other races.”
Dita did exactly that, and three years later she won the marathon gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Along with her major championship medals, Dita was also successful at big city marathons. She won the 2004 Chicago Marathon and finished second in 2005. She also made it on to the podium at three editions of the London Marathon.
Today Dita divides her time between her native Romania and the USA, and is still involved in the sport as founder and president of the annual Bucharest International 10km.
She still runs and last year she completed the Berlin (3:07) and New York City (3:30) marathons. She hopes to one day complete the full set of six Marathon Majors by running the Boston Marathon.(10/15/2020) ⚡AMP
Utah runner Jessi Morton-Langehaug won the Moab 240 on Monday, completing the 240-mile (386K) route in 80 hours, nine minutes and 42 seconds. She finished well ahead of second-place finisher Jodi Semonell, who crossed the line in almost 83 hours flat.
Third place went to Christie Haswell, who won her spot on the podium with a finishing time of 83 hours and 44 minutes. This was a Moab 240 debut for all three women.
How it all shook out
Morton-Langehaug led early on, and for the first few checkpoints, she was ahead of Semonell, Haswell and the rest of the field. After the first day of racing, though, she was caught and passed by Semonell and Kamloops, B.C., resident Jessie Thomson-Gladish. She didn’t let the pair enjoy the lead for long, though, first passing Semonell after about 28 hours and then Thomson-Gladish at around the 41-hour mark. At one point, Thomson-Gladish had a multi-hour lead over Morton-Langehaug, but she couldn’t hold off the charging Utahan, and she ultimately faded to a sixth-place finish.
Semonell passed the Canadian just before the end of Day Two en route to her spot on the podium beside Morton-Langehaug and Haswell. The top three women were all far off Courtney Dauwalter‘s overall course record of 57 hours, 55 minutes and 13 seconds, but Morton-Langehaug’s 80-hour run is the fourth-fastest time ever posted by a woman on the 240-mile course.
Morton-Langehaug’s biggest win
This is easily the biggest win of Morton-Langehaug’s career, and it’s her fourth top finish of 2020. Her other race wins this year came at a 55K in March and a 100-miler in May (both in Utah) and a virtual marathon that she also ran in May. According to her Ultrasignup profile, the Moab 240 is also by far the longest race that Morton-Langehaug has ever run, with her next longest run coming in at 100 miles.(10/14/2020) ⚡AMP
Former Toronto Marathon champion Bernard Kipruto will not participate in any races this year after he picked a hamstring injury during the London Marathon.
Kipruto was disappointed with his seventh place finish at the race despite finishing one place better than top favourite Eliud Kipchoge, who placed eighth.
“I had prepared well for the race to win but I had challenges. I was one of the best competitors but the injury slowed me down hence I got this result that I did not plan for,” Kipruto said.
Apart from the injury, Kipruto also blamed the blistery weather conditions in London for his under-whelming performance.
“I don’t know how Ethiopians train in such wet and windy conditions but when it is sunny, we always beat them hands down,” he said.
Nonetheless, his performance at London Marathon was much improved from the Boston Marathon in September 2020, where he finished 10th.
Kipruto said he has taken vital lessons from this year that will be useful as he trails his focus on next year.
“After the race, I took time to review my performance. It was tough. This time, I want to get a good rest before deciding with my coaches on the plan for next year. I will be looking to participate in most of the major races next year, especially marathon races,” he said.(10/14/2020) ⚡AMP
The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...more...
On Wednesday morning, Athletics Canada made the decision to withdraw its team from the upcoming World Half-Marathon Championships set to take place this weekend in Gdynia, Poland.
With 24 hours until their flight, athletes were notified that the team would no longer be participating. On the women’s side, Rachel Cliff was the lone Canadian representative and on the men’s side Canada was sending Trevor Hofbauer, Justin Kent, Ben Preisner, Thomas Toth and Phil Parrot-Migas.
This event was postponed in March due to COVID-19, but is now set to go on Saturday. Several other countries, including the U.S. and Japan, pulled out of the championship in September, citing safety reasons.
“This was a very difficult decision, but we think it is in the best interests of the athletes and the team staff,” Simon Nathan, Athletics Canada’s high-performance director, said in a press release. “We know that this is disappointing news, but we have made this decision with our team’s health and safety at heart.”
While Athletics Canada officials were confident that WA was doing everything possible to protect participants, they felt there were too many risks that nobody could be expected to control.
“When we considered the risks associated with flying and transfers within airports, with the athletes being in publicly-accessed common areas like hotel lobbies and common dining areas, and the unknown of individuals’ compliance to safe protocols, we felt it was prudent not to expose our team to those risks,” said Dr. Paddy McCluskey, Athletics Canada’s Chief Medical Officer.(10/14/2020) ⚡AMP
European 10,000m record-breaker has decided to end her season early
Sifan Hassan will not be racing at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, instead deciding to end her season, which has included world and European record-breaking performances, earlier than originally planned.
The 27-year-old smashed Dire Tune’s world one-hour record by covering 18,930m on the track at the Van Damme Memorial meeting in Brussels last month before she ran 29:36.67 in the rain to break Paula Radcliffe’s European 10,000m record in Hengelo on Saturday.
The world 1500m and 10,000m champion had next been set to line up as part of the Netherlands team at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Poland on Saturday (October 17), where she would have been among the favorites, but she has decided with her coach Tim Rowberry to end her season.
After a short break, she will begin preparing for Olympic year.
“It has been a tough year, the uncertainty of competitions going ahead was always part of my training regime,” said Hassan. “To focus and push yourself every day in training is difficult, especially when you don’t know if it will be possible to deliver performances in a competition environment.
“The season was short, but the lead up to it was long. Therefore I decided to give myself some rest and focus for next year. I want to make sure I will be in top shape physically and mentally next year at the Olympic Games.
“I am very proud of my performances this season, the world hour record and the European record this weekend. Those results give me good faith that I am able to reach my highest potential, also in uncertain times. Therefore I look forward to next year with a lot of confidence.”(10/14/2020) ⚡AMP
Head coach Patrick Makau is confident that his team for the World Half Marathon Championships due Saturday in Gdynia, Poland will win both the team and individual titles.
Makau, who won silver medals at the 2007 Udine and 2008 Rio de Janeiro editions, said he is aware of stiff competition and the adverse weather that awaits them in Poland.
Makau said defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor might be missing in action but reckons that the selected team led by Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and Prague Half Marathon champion Kibiwott Kandie and 2017 World Cross Country Championships silver medallist Leonard Barsoton is equal to the task.
Makau, a former world marathon record holder, indicated that the women’s team is the finest ever with on form 2016 world half champion Peres Jepchirchir back in the team and Joycilline Jepkosgei out to make amends after settling for silver in Valencia 2018.
“This is a strong team and I can tell you the athletes are focused on the task ahead. They are determined to deliver,” said Makau.
Kamworor sealed his third consecutive title when he won in Valencia in 2018 in 1:00:02 as compatriots Barsaton, Barselius Kipyego and Jorum Okombo finished 12th, 15th and 18th. Alex Oloitiptip failed to finish the race.
Jepkosgei and Pauline Kaveke failed the test, settling for silver and bronze in Valencia as Netsanet Gudeta claimed victory not only in championship record but also in women’s only world record time of 1:06:11.
Kenya would also lose the team titles to Ethiopia.
“Kandie posted a world lead in half marathon with victory in 58:38 in Prague, Czech in September. This goes without saying that he will be the man to watch. We shall really bank on Barsaton’s experience,” Makau said adding that Bernard Kipkorir (59:07), Bernard Kimeli (59:07) and Morris Munene (59:22) also look strong by virtue of having good times.
Makau noted that even though the women’s team will be under pressure to deliver with the defending champion coming from Ethiopia, having Jepchirchir, who is fresh from setting a new women’s only world record in Prague with a time of 1:05:34, is a major boost.
“Peres is back and looks stronger after maternity leave and is eager to reclaim her title. One can easily see the hunger in Joyciline that she is ready to upgrade her silver to something better this time around,” said Makau. “They are ready to neutralise the weather and any challenge posed.”(10/13/2020) ⚡AMP
The Millinocket Marathon has been cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19. The annual race was to be held on December 5th. The conditions in the state have not improved to the level they would be able to hold the race. The marathon had no fee to run, but competitors and fans were asked to spend what they could in town to help the region economically. We spoke with race director Gary Allen who still hopes to help.
“You know cancelling the Millinocket Marathon was one of the toughest decisions I’ve made at this point. You know the business economy, this turned into something bigger than I ever imagined, I think it helped their morale as much as their pocketbooks.
They really deserved a break and it is heartbreaking for me not to be able to bring this break to them,” says Millinocket Marathon race director Gary Allen, “I’m hoping we can appeal to runners to dig into their pocketbooks to purchase something online or contribute to good causes up there.
Or even not cancel their hotel rooms and just let the hotels take the income from that as a way to get through this period. We are definitely going to be coming up with ways runners can still “run Millinocket” so to speak and make a difference.”
Gary also organizes the MDI Marathon which would have been this coming weekend. He hopes they will be able to continue both annual races next year.(10/13/2020) ⚡AMP
The Millinocket Marathon & Half has again joined forces with the Mount Desert Island Marathon, Half & Relay to create the Sea to Summit Maine Race Series, featuring two amazing events and a very special finishers medallion! This FREE event was started in 2015 to help a struggling Maine mill town that has been devastated by the closing of their...more...
The 2021 Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon are now canceled over COVID concerns.
Organizers broke the news Monday night, saying, in part:
“Believe me when I say we are devastated. This will be the first time we are unable to host this event since its inception in 2003, however the health and well-being of our running community is of utmost importance. Due to coronavirus-related concerns for our runners, spectators, volunteers, staff, vendors and the numerous partners and essential workers that support us throughout race weekend, we made the difficult decision to cancel Miami’s premiere endurance event.”
The races were supposed to take place on Jan. 31.
Registered participants will be emailed on Oct. 26 to choose whether they want to defer or switch their entry.
Those who defer can participate in the rescheduled 2022 event. Participants who decide to switch will be given the following options:
Access to a free online program leading up to the virtual event in January
Free entry into the Virtual 2021 Life Time Tropical 5K (Jan. 17), Virtual Half Marathon (Jan. 24) and Virtual Full Marathon (Jan. 31)
Guaranteed entry into the participant capped 2022 Life Time Miami Marathon and Half Marathon
Donate their registration fee to the Miami-Dade County Public
Get a refund for their registration fee (minus processing fees).(10/13/2020) ⚡AMP
Over the past 16 years of the existence of the current Miami Marathon, there was only just over 90 athletes who had run every single event. Before the inception of the Miami Marathon as we know it now (est. 2003), the race was originally known as the Orange Bowl Marathon which began in the late 1970s. One of our very...more...
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizers to postpone the 2020 ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon until next year.
Thousands of runners had already signed up to compete in the event which was due to take place on December 11.
But with the public’s health and safety remaining the organisers’ "top priority" the competition has been called off for 2020 as the search begins for a new date in 2021.
Aref Hamad Al Awani, secretary general of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, insisted implementing safety and precautionary measures in every event staged in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was key.
"With such an overwhelming response, both within the UAE and the region, the Sports Council is looking forward to organizing this popular event on another date during next year," said Al Awani.
"We are deeply committed to implementing the highest safety standards and precautionary measures in all global and community sporting events held in Abu Dhabi.
"This is based on the instructions of the competent Government agencies emphasizing great attention to the safety and health of everyone.
"Under its exceptional efforts in managing the optimal handling of the crisis and with the joint coordination with all concerned parties it led us to postpone the third edition of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon from December 2020 to 2021, in the context of ensuring the safety of everyone.
"We now look forward to welcoming all participants and unite with the solidarity and support of each other in overcoming these unfavorable times."
Kenyan duo Reuben Kipyego and Vivian Kiplagat came out on top in last year's event.
Race organizers said every runner registered for this year’s postponed event would be able to keep their place for next year with refunds given out to those that are unable to compete in 2021.(10/13/2020) ⚡AMP
The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...more...
Japan-based Leonard Barsoton has said that Kenya will rely on team work to down the challenge of Uganda and Ethiopia at the World Half Marathon Championships this Saturday in Gdynia, Poland.
Kenyan athletes will be heading to the world road race intent on retaining the men’s title currently held by Geoffrey Kamworor following his triumph in Valencia, Spain in 2018.
Kamworor won in 1:00:02 ahead of Bahrain’s Abraham Cheroben, who timed 1:00:22 while Eritrea’s Aron Kifle was third in 1:00:31.
This year Kamworor will not be competing but a strong team has been selected by Athletics Kenya and vowed to keep the crown home.
Kibiwott Kandie, fresh from winning Prague Half Marathon, will lead his compatriots Morris Munene, Japan-based Leonard Barsoton, Bernard Kipkorir and Bernard Kimeli in the Gdynia assault.
Nation Sport caught up with the 2014 Africa Cross Country champion Barsoton in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County where he had gone for the mandatory Covid-19 tests a requirement before their travel.
With the defending champion Kamworor missing in the start list, Barsoton said Kenya’s work was cut out for them particularly considering the threat set by double world record holder in 5,000m and 10,000m Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.
“We shall run as a team. The challenge is that we have been training differently and everyone has his own techniques of reacting but we hope for the best,” he said.
The in-form Cheptegei will lead a Ugandan team that also has Moses Kibet, Jacob Kiplimo, Abel Chebet and Stephen Kissa.Barsoton, whose career has been on the rise since he relocated to Japan in 2012, two years after completing high school, is relishing the challenge.
He has competed in the last three editions of the World Half Marathon Championship and will no doubt be a key plank in Team Kenya’s strategy to keep the men’s crown.
In Valencia, Barsoton finished 12th in a time of 1:01:14, a result he was not happy with but on the positive, learned about his shortcoming. He said he had a problem when he entered the race which he traced to his training and has worked to ensure he was ready for the Poland race.
My training has gone on well and we are ready to travel and meet other competitors after a long wait due to the coronavirus.
“It’s not easy when you are training alone because we are used to group training which pushes you to the limit. I believe since April I have done enough and I will be ready to fight for a podium finish on Saturday,” he said.(10/12/2020) ⚡AMP
Joshua Cheptegei made history on Wednesday when he set the 10,000m world record with a 26:11.00 run in Valencia. Cheptegei is arguably the best runner alive, and while he is riding an incredible high right now, it wasn’t long ago that he faced an enormous low after a massive mid-race collapse in 2017. Refusing to let this derail his career, Cheptegei pushed forward, and that is why he made it to where he is today.
While you probably won’t ever come close to Cheptegei’s level, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from his career. If you’re facing disappointments or tough times in running, channel your inner Cheptegei and trust that you’ll eventually climb out of this rut.
In front of a home crowd at the 2017 World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda, Cheptegei, then 20 years old, was on his way to the biggest win of his young career. Cheptegei had led for most of the race, and he had a 50-metre lead on Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor in second place. With less than a kilometre to go and the championship within reach, Cheptegei began to unravel, and he was eventually passed, not just by Kamworor, but by the next 28 runners as well. It was one of the biggest implosions in running history, and Cheptegei went from first place to 30th in the blink of an eye.
Many people would have let this result define them, but not Cheptegei. Later that same year, he ran to a silver medal in the 10,000m at the world championships. In 2018, he won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games, and he ended the year with the 15K world record. The following year, he upped his game once more, first redeeming himself with a win at the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark, then winning 10,000m world championship gold in Doha. His finale for 2019 was another world-record performance, this time in the 10K (although his mark was bettered by Rhonex Kipruto in early 2020).
Finally, in 2020 — the season that almost didn’t happen because of COVID-19 — Cheptegei had the year of his life, breaking world records in the 5K on the road in February, the 5,000m in August and then the 10,000m on Wednesday.
Odds are that you won’t have a collapse like Cheptegei did in Kampala in 2017, but even if you do, he’s proof that you can recover from it. Everyone will have slumps in their careers, whether in training or racing or both. But if you believe in your training and trust in your abilities, you’ll eventually leave those troubles behind, replacing them with PBs, race wins and great results.(10/12/2020) ⚡AMP
Both the Riga and Bucharest marathons were cancelled at the last moment at the weekend.
The Riga organizers stated: “Due to a sudden spike of covid-19 cases in Latvia and Government regulations, the 30th Rimi Riga Marathon was not be able to take place in person on 11 October, but virtually. That means you either have to register at our Virtual Club and run the distance of your choice, or, if virtual running is too much of a hassle for you, just run a distance of your choice during marathon weekend.”
In Bucharest, the race organization announced: “At the request of the authorities, the marathon race of professional runners within Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Marathon will no longer be held, given the current situation [the number of cases of COVID-19 in Bucharest has reached 2.28/1000 inhabitants]. This decision does not affect runners registered for the virtual races who will participate individually, under the conditions initially announced, between 11-18 October on the route and in the time slot they choose.”
“Public health experts have alerted authorities about the real risk to athletes coming to Bucharest to participate in the Marathon. We particularly regret that this decision must be taken so soon before the date announced for the event. However, we consider that it is an absolutely necessary decision.”
“We, the Bucharest Running Club team, together with the event partners, did everything possible for the physical event to take place in complete safety for professional runners. We hope that those qualities specific to the marathon runner: determination, endurance, planning – will help those who had prepared to compete to overcome this moment. It is a difficult moment, especially since the runners are right now in Bucharest, some of them from other continents”, said Valeria van Groningen, President of Bucharest Running Club.(10/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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...more...
Olympic runner Kara Goucher is calling out President Donald Trump for his "tone-deaf" remarks downplaying the severity of COVID-19 as her grandfather was "suffering greatly" and later died from the coronavirus.
Just hours before her grandfather's death Tuesday night, the athlete joined Anderson Cooper on CNN's Full Circle to discuss her grandfather's battle with COVID-19 and how she felt "disrespected" by the president's recent comments.
After Trump was discharged from the hospital and returned to the White House Monday night, he released a video message on social media, in which he asserted that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) — which has killed over 210,000 people in the U.S. alone — is nothing to be concerned about, in his opinion.
"One thing that's for certain: don't let it dominate you. Don't be afraid of it. You're gonna beat it. We have the best medical equipment, we have the best medicines, all developed recently. And you're gonna beat it," the 74-year-old said.
The message echoed a tweet Trump posted earlier in the day, in which he wrote: "Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"
Goucher said she was packing a bag to fly to Minnesota to see her grandfather, Calvin Haworth, for "one last time" when her sister forwarded Trump's message to her.
"I just felt really disrespected, I felt like my grandfather was disrespected, I felt like all the people who have been suffering through this were disrespected," Goucher told Cooper of the president's comments, trying to hold back tears.
"It just felt so tone-deaf and just really not the right thing to say," she said. "To say ‘Don’t let it dominate your life' — this is my life. This is his life. He is literally taking his last very painful breaths."
While the Olympian said she was "glad that the president got top care," not everyone can be so lucky.
"That is not the reality for hundreds of thousands of other people and their family members," she explained. "It just felt very dismissive."
"I was just not happy about that tweet at all," she added. "[My grandfather's] life is worthy and he deserves to be respected."
Goucher told Cooper that she and Haworth had a "rich, long relationship" as he raised the athlete and her sisters after their father passed away.
The professional runner said her grandfather was "contributing to [her] life and so many other lives" through his final moments.
She expressed the importance of having compassion in times like these and to "stop making this political."
"This needs to be about compassion and caring for your fellow citizens and doing what’s right to protect other people," she said. "This is a loss that shouldn’t be happening. We should’ve been able to see him in the last seven months and we should be able to sit there and hold his hand right now and we can’t."
"Please show compassion and think of life bigger than just yourself," she concluded.
Goucher announced her grandfather's death late Tuesday night on Twitter.
"Fight on Papa," he wrote alongside a picture of her family at her wedding. "He would be overwhelmed with the support he has received from you all."(10/11/2020) ⚡AMP
This recipe from Elyse Kopecky is a nutritional powerhouse.
When Shalane Flanagan traveled to Bend, Oregon, to kick off recipe testing for Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. with me, this Thai Quinoa Salad was the very first recipe to come out of the kitchen.
It was love at first bite. We continued to tweak the recipe, not because it needed much work, but because we secretly wanted an excuse to make it time and again. This is the salad Shalane made on a near weekly basis while training for the 2017 NYC Marathon and 2018 Boston Marathon.
We highly recommend the use of fish sauce (a store-bought condiment) to give the salad a true Thai-inspired umami kick, but if you’re vegan or vegetarian, the salad is crown-worthy made with just soy sauce.
Make this salad on a Sunday night for work lunches all week long or serve as a side dish with a juicy, grilled steak for a dinner set to impress.
Thai Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
3 green onions, white and green parts sliced
1 cup packed mint leaves, chopped (cilantro works too)
1 cup packed basil leaves, chopped
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeds removed, minced (optional)
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
â…“ cup fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as Red Boat)
Here is a foolproof method to cook quinoa: In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil 1½ cups water and the quinoa. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Transfer to a large salad bowl, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, put the olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce or tamari, honey, and fish sauce (if using) in a glass jar or bowl and stir to combine.
Once the quinoa is cool, add the carrots, cabbage, onion, mint, basil, and pepper (if using) to the bowl and toss to combine. Add the dressing and toss again. Taste and, if needed, add more fish sauce or soy sauce.
Top with the peanuts. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
This salad will stay fresh in airtight glass containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.(10/11/2020) ⚡AMP
Here are three ways to help execute it in your daily life.
Our personality traits dictate who we are in aspects of our life—from how you do your job to how you interact with your friends and family. So it’s no surprise that our personality traits carry over into our running life, too.
According to recent research out of the University of Oregon, the more goal oriented you are, the more likely you are to engage in physical activity.
In the study, published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers first asked 282 participants to fill out a survey that included four personality scales—the Planfulness Scale, the Brief Self-Control Scale, the Big Five Inventory-2, and the Grit Scale. Participants answered each question on a scale of 1 to 5—1 being that the participants strongly disagreed with the statement and 5 being that the participants strongly agreed with the statement.
Questions included things like: “Developing a clear plan when I have a goal is important to me,” “I am good at resisting temptation,” “Is systematic, likes to keep things in order,” and “I finish whatever I begin.”
Next, participants had to answer a free-response question about what their exercise goals were and how they might plan to achieve them.
Participants had access to the University of Oregon’s rec center and researchers monitored how often they swiped their ID card to exercise there within the span of 20 weeks (two college semesters).
Here’s what they found: While everyone who participated in the study went to the gym more in the beginning of the semester than they did at the end, those who gave themselves high scores on the Planfulness Scale—for instance, “developing a clear plan when I have a goal is important to me”—went to the gym more during both semesters than those who gave themselves low scores on the Planfulness Scale.
Specifically, for every one point someone scored themselves on the Planfulness Scale, they went to the gym 5.9 more times during the fall semester and 8.5 more times during the winter semester.
The more planful people are, the more likely they are to follow through on their goals, according to lead study author Rita Ludwig, Ph.D.(c), of the University of Oregon’s department of psychology.
“Being planful includes things like setting concrete steps to reach a goal, being willing to make sacrifices now for future rewards, and using the goal as motivation to overcome obstacles to success,” she said. “It may be that seeing how your everyday actions contribute to your long-term goal is the key to making progress and ultimately achievement.”
According to Ludwig, runners who exhibit planfulness in their everyday lives might stick to their training plans more and see better race results.
“Participants in our study included people who were trying to improve their running performance or prepare for upcoming marathons. Regardless of the specific goal, planful athletes more frequently went to the gym to make progress towards it,” she said.
Below, Ludwig offers a few tips on how to best execute planfulness in your daily life:
Set a specific goal.
Maintain focus on your goal.
Be mindful about how your everyday actions can either help or hinder your progress.
“Taking the time to intentionally plan may be beneficial for athletes who want to achieve a certain level of performance,” she said. “Long-term goal pursuit is, after all, a marathon— not a sprint.”(10/11/2020) ⚡AMP
The first FBK After Summer Competition track and field / atheltics meeting was held tonight in Hengelo. On a cool (high 40s) and rainy night, Faith Kipyegon came up well short of her goal in of the women’s 1000 world record of 2:28.98 as she ran just 2:32.82. Yomif Kejelcha (13:12.84) and Stewart McSweyn (13:16.05) were also nowhere near their goals of a pb in the 5000.
The story of the night belonged to reigning world 1,500 and 10,000 champ Sifan Hassan. She attacked Almaz Ayana’s 29:17.45 world record as she went out in 14:37 before fading to a European record time of 29:36.67, as Paula Radcliffe‘s European record of 30:01.09 which had stood since 2002 was destroyed. Outdoors, she is now the 6th fastest women in history at 1500, 9th fastest ever at 5000, 4th fastest ever at 10,000, and 10th fastest ever at the half marathon.
Viktoriya Khapilina and Youssef Sbaai came out on top at the Wizz Air Sofia Marathon on Sunday (11), winning the World Athletics Bronze Label road race in course records of 2:27:57 and 2:13:03 respectively.
Khapilina, who warmed up for this race with a 1:12:24 half marathon PB in Kovel last month, was part of a five-woman pack during the early stages. The Ukrainian passed through 10km in 35:08 alongside Kenyan trio Naom Jebet, Cynthia Kosgei and Marta Akeno as well as Uganda’s Clementine Mukadanga.
Running well inside the pace required to break the course record (2:32:35), Khaplina, Jebet, Kosgei and Akeno maintained their tempo to reach half way in 1:14:13. Mukadanga had drifted back, while Japan’s Haruka Yamaguchi had broken away from USA’s Jane Bareikis to reach the half-way point in 1:16:15.
Khapilina and Jebet increased the pace, leaving Kosgei and Akeno to fall off the lead pack. At 30km, reached in 1:45:01, the lead duo had a 51-second margin over the chasers with Yamaguchi a further two minutes in arrears.
Jebet struggled to keep up with Khapilina in the closing stages as the Ukrainian went on to win in 2:27:57, taking six seconds off the PB she set when winning the Krakow Marathon last year. Jebet finished second in 2:28:41 while Kosgei held on to third place in 2:32:10, all three women finishing well inside the previous course record. Yamaguchi came through for fourth place in 2:32:49.
The men’s race was even closer as Moroccan duo Youssef Sbaai and Radouan Nouini were given the same time at the finish with Sbaai given the verdict.
A group of seven men went through the opening 10km in 31:41, and six of them – Sbaai, Nouini, Mohamed Ali of the Netherlands, and Kenyan trio Duncan Koech, Jonathan Maiyo and Victor Chelokoi – were still in contention at the half-way point, reached in 1:06:46.
The pace then increased and Koech, Maiyo and Chelokoi fell out of the lead pack. Ali did likewise just before the 30km checkpoint, leaving the Moroccan duo to pass that marker in 1:34:04.
Locked in a duel for victory, Sbaai and Nouini forged ahead in the final 10 kilometres and opened up a significant gap on the chasers. Still neck-and-neck in their sprint for the finish line, they crossed the line almost together with Sbaai just getting the edge on his younger compatriot, both clocking 2:13:03.
The winning time is a course record, although the race record – set on a different course – still stands to Khristo Stefanov with his 2:11:26 clocking from 1997.
Ali finished third in 2:16:21 with Koech taking fourth place in 2:17:09, finishing 40 seconds ahead of Uladzislau Pramau of Belarus. Maiyo, competing for the first time in five years, was sixth in 2:22:32.(10/11/2020) ⚡AMP
The home of Sofia Marathon was founded thousands of years ago and today it continues to develop as the country’s cultural and economic centre. Sofia is Bulgaria’s capital and one of the oldest capitals in Eastern Europe.Sofia has been settled for many millennia. In honour of its hot springs, which you should visit after running the marathon in Sofia, in...more...
On Oct. 9 it was learned that Tokyo Olympics men's marathon team member Yuma Hattori (26, Toyota) will run the Dec. 6 Fukuoka International Marathon. It will be the first time a member of either the men's or women's Olympic marathon squads will have run a marathon since the teams were finalized.
For Hattori himself it will be his first marathon since taking 2nd at the Olympic marathon trials in September last year. His goal is to run 2:05.
According to an involved source, Hattori chose Fukuoka as his pre-Olympic marathon because he is familiar with the course from his victory there two years ago. He has already committed to running Fukuoka and has done multiple 40 km runs in preparation.
On Oct. 9 Hattori ran the 10000 m at the Chubu Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships. With a goal of running 28:30 he ran 28:16.28. Hattori was positive about his run saying, "My time was good. So was the way I ran."
In the summer he focused on improving his speed, breaking 28 minutes for 10000 m for the first time and then bettering that with a 27:47.55 in mid-September, the fastest time by a Japanese man this year. Looking toward a successful return to Fukuoka, Hattori said, "I want to focus all my training on being ready to break the Japanese national record (2:05:29)."(10/10/2020) ⚡AMP
The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the longest running races in Japan, it is alsoan international men’s marathon race established in 1947. The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009. Frank Shorter won first straight years from 1971 to 1974. Derek Clayton set the World Record here in 1967 running 2:09:37. ...more...
In 2019 a record 45,932 runners crossed the finish line and an estimated 1.7 million spectators cheered them on in the Chicago Marathon. The event generated $428 million for the local economy. Participating groups also raise a lot of money for charity. But the race will not be the same in 2020. Will the virtual event have the same impact?
Brett Geschke ran in his first Chicago Marathon in 2019. He said it was a rush like no other.
“You’re in the pen with the runner, and everyone’s got that nervous energy,” he said.
But this year COVID-19 is changing everything. The race is virtual for the first time in decades. There will be no crowds and no cheers. People run by themselves, clock a time, and cross their own finish line.
“It’s going to be a lonely existence out there for me for 26.2 miles, but I’ve got a good playlist set up,” said Geschke.
geshcke is part of a much smaller crowd than usual. He is trading the downtown streets for the lakefront trail. the Chciago Area Runners Association is running in small groups.
“This year, we had about 1000 that started the season and about 500 that are seeing it through,” said Greg Hipp, CARA Executive Director.
Staff is also seeing the downward trend in participation with those it trains who run for roughly 50 charities.
“All of the charity programs combined raise about $28 million dollars though the Chicago Marathon. With the marathon canceled, they still need support,” said Hipp.
This year charity runners were initially required to raise a minimum of about $1700.
“We started last year’s marathon with 350 people, and this year we have 167,” Hipp said.
One of the largest charities is Mercy Home, a shelter for at-risk and troubled youth in the West Loop.
“We are 100% privately funded at Mercy Home ,so it’s had a big effect on us,” said Jim Harding with Mercy House Heroes.
Last year the marathon brought in about $550,000.
“And unfortunately this year we’re at $130,000 right now,” he said.
There have been similar financial hits for more than 100 charities.
Thankfully Mercy Home says it is financially stable and able to stay on its feet as some runners sit it out during these unprecedented times.
Marathon officials said they continue to take an aggressive approach to encourage people around the world to run for a charity about which they are passionate.
The virtual marathon registration is open until Sunday.(10/10/2020) ⚡AMP
Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...more...
Des Linden feels pretty good now. Ask her again in three weeks, though.
The 2018 Boston Marathon champion and her husband, Ryan, are undertaking a unique challenge called Calendar Club. They’re running at least one mile to correspond with each calendar date. So one mile on October 1, two miles on October 2, three miles on October 3.
Simple enough for two elite athletes at the beginning of the month. But when it starts getting toward October 31? Ouch. That’s going to hurt.
In all, they’re scheduled for 496 miles this month, 196 of those in the last week. (In recent years, her highest total for a single week was 130 and a single month 480.)
Linden, 37, was inspired by a friend, Travis McKenzie, who did it in July. She and Ryan started watching it every day and they’d discuss it on their runs. How do you think he’s going to do? How do you think he’s going to break up the miles?
“We got sucked in,” she said.
In the absence of any races that she really wants to do on the pandemic-shortened calendar, it seemed a good time for them to try. “It’s a super odd year, and there’s nothing going on,” she said. “There’s no other year when we can try this, and we’re fascinated by it, and we figured why not?”
Linden, who is known as a geek about running and training, isn’t taking the challenge lightly. She and Ryan were already running about 10 miles a day in preparation for it. She didn’t want to fall apart as the mileage got more arduous, and if she were to get injured, she wouldn’t hesitate to pull the plug.
Typically during marathon training, Linden runs 14 miles in the morning and a second run of about 4 on days when she doesn’t have a long run or a workout scheduled. So she thinks she’ll do something similar in the second half of the month: On October 18, it will be 14 in the morning, 4 at night. The next day? 14 and 5. Then a single long run of 20 on October 20.
On October 21, things will really start to get interesting. She hasn’t figured out how she’ll divvy up 21, 22, and 23, but she thinks 24 will be a single long run. And then some division of mileage with the bulk in the morning and a shorter run in the evening up until the final day.
On the 31st, she plans a 26-miler for the morning run, leaving a final 5 for that night. Linden has never run longer than the marathon distance in a single run.
Brooks, Linden’s longtime shoe sponsor, is helping build a community around the miles with the hashtag #RunDestober. She’s been happy to see middle-of-the-pack runners designing their own challenges, based on minutes, not miles, in some cases, or based on kilometers. Linden’s sister, Natalie, is adding a quarter mile each day, so by the end she’ll be up to 7.75 miles.
“There have been a lot of people [participating],” said Linden of the folks sharing their runs on Instagram and Twitter with the #RunDestober hashtag. “I the beginning it’s super fun. We’ll see how the numbers taper off. There’s pretty good momentum, just having the different levels of it. People are pretty enthused. We’ll see if they endure.”
Linden does offer a few caveats: This is not a training plan; it’s a challenge. Her coach is in no way involved. She’s not doing any formal workouts, most of the miles are just at a very slow and steady pace. Her dog, Boston, has been doing a lot of running, but he’s too fast for this challenge.
“He’s super fit right now,” she said. “He can go 6:30 pace, that’s his sweet spot. Then he spends the rest of the day sleeping on his back.”
When this is over, she’s not sure what’s next. She anticipates needing some time off after Calendar Club ends. But whatever race catches her fancy next, this much is certain: She’ll have a solid base.(10/10/2020) ⚡AMP
This Saturday Jennifer Zayas along with two friends will lace up for the 27th annual Hartford Marathon.
Unlike past years, she won’t be starting at 8 a.m. and she won’t finish under the Arch in Bushnell Park, steps away from the State Capitol. She expects to see just one fan on the course.
Zayas will be heading out the door an hour early, running the entire 26.2 miles on the Farmington Canal Trail and relying on her husband for water, fuel and encouragement the entire way.
“Originally, I was signed up for the Chicago Marathon on the Autism Speaks team. In order to be on that team I had to raise money and I had so many people donate to me,” she said.
Because of COVID-19, Zayas’ race in Chicago was deferred until 2021, “but I felt overwhelmed by the support for the cause. I said I still have to run a marathon.”
Zayas is by no means the only athlete competing in the fall classic, even if she won’t see the more than 4,300 runners who are currently registered.
Adam Osmond, the co-founder of Run 169 Towns, will also be lacing up on Saturday.
“Every year I used to put together a relay team in the Hartford Marathon and I’m not stopping this year. Me and some of my coworkers are doing the virtual run and meeting in Hartford for it,” Osmond said. “We will keep our tradition alive.”
Planning races in the time of a pandemic
The Eversource Hartford Marathon is one of the largest races in the state, hosting more than 10,000 runners annually, second only to the Thanksgiving Day Manchester Road Race.
When it became clear that the pandemic was not going to allow for the usual spectacle, the nonprofit started brainstorming on how to keep the running community connected and motivated during this unusual season.
“Obviously being an event management company we have had to reassess everything. We started with our first virtual challenge – We Run CT event in April … but every event can’t just be a virtual event,” said Elizabeth Cowles, the Hartford Marathon Foundation Marketing Director. “Running for a cause that is important and relevant right now has been something that is imperative to race planning. It helps people feel good about what they’re doing and motivates them to sign up.”
All the proceeds from this year’s Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k will be donated to charity, including Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Connecticut Food Bank, Red Cross, Girls on the Run, Hospital for Special Care and others.
“With our Hartford Marathon being such a community event we couldn’t just let this year pass,” Cowles said. “We decided the best solution was movement with purpose, making every penny of registration fees a donation.”
Virtual racing, however, is just not the same.
“A lot of people miss their friends. They miss the fans,” Osmond said. “I used to run in a race every week, it’s like missing my family. Running is not just the actual race, it’s what happens before and after.”
Zayas, on the other hand, said she is excited for the intimate feel of a virtual race with just her two running buddies.
“It feels more intimate that I have my two running partners and I’ll be right there with them as they finish their first marathon,” she said.
Finances of Road Racing
Charity fundraising requires the continued support of sponsors – especially Eversource – during this year where the companies will not get nearly the same amount of publicity.
“It’s only because of our sponsors we are able to mail out medals, shirts and still donate all the money to charity,” Cowles said.
Other races, however, have not been as lucky.
According to Dani Kennedy, a member of the Manchester Road Race executive committee, the historic race will need to have at least 4,000 registrants for this year’s virtual event in order to break even.
“If you love the Manchester Road Race sign up and pay your $20, we need it,” she said. “Anyone who says they love a race needs to support their race.”
Although the Manchester Road Race is more than likely to make it through this challenging year, Kennedy said she is very concerned about other races not coming back.
“I’m concerned about a lot of other races. A lot of sponsors may not have the money they may have had previously to support events,” she said. “Even if COVID is over, it doesn’t mean financially everyone is back to normal.”
Keeping the momentum going
The Manchester Road Race attracts between 12,000 and 15,000 runners every Thanksgiving Day, so to connect them together the race’s executive committee developed a novel way for competitors in a virtual race to experience the course.
Instead of receiving a shirt and bib in the mail and encouraging participants to send in their self-recorded times like many other races – including the Hartford – are doing, Manchester Road Race has developed an app that will allow racers to track their mileage on the typical course.
“When you press start Jim Balcome will say ‘This is Thanksgiving in Manchester,’ just like usual. As you run, the app will show you moving along the traditional course with sounds bites at key locations of what you would usually be hearing,” Kennedy said. “It will give you splits and tell you when you are done. Then it will upload your time automatically.”
Racers will have from the Friday to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to complete the race to avoid any large crowds gathering on Thanksgiving morning.
“We are trying to help the town to not have hordes of people showing up,” Kennedy said. “If we allowed racing on Thanksgiving day we could easily have 5,000 people show up.”
Although some runners will certainly be gathering in Hartford this weekend to toe the line on Capitol Avenue, Cowles said the race is trying to strike the right balance of maintaining the community feel without the crowds.
“We have a mobile medal that has moved around the region so individuals can take photos,” Cowles said. It will start off in Bushnell Park on Saturday morning, but will be moved to Simsbury for the afternoon after spending Thursday at Fleet Feet Running Store and Friday in Glastonbury Center.
“We will definitely see people running the course, especially the half marathon course, but we aren’t encouraging it,” she said. “We want people to understand there is a reason we can’t.”
Opening of smaller races
Although many runners have continued running and competing during the pandemic, Osmond said the move to almost all virtual races has been especially challenging for his organization.
Virtual races do not count toward gaining entry according to Run 169 Towns rules.
“Each race to count has to be an officially timed, in-person race,” he said. “It was a little tough for people who have been close to finishing.”
This summer several smaller races have been held in person, including a Riverfront Scramble by the Hartford Marathon Foundation.
“We had one person finish the 169 towns since the start of the pandemic,” Osmond said.
Cowles said the Hartford Marathon Foundation is planning to hold at least a couple of in-person, holiday races later this fall which will include a staggered start in order to maintain social distancing at the events.
For those who are struggling to stay motivated to train or compete in a virtual race this fall, Zayas had one simple piece of advice.
“Remember why you signed up in the first place,” she said. “The work and effort you put into it, whether or not it’s in a large crowd or solo, it still takes the same amount of energy.”(10/10/2020) ⚡AMP
Gloria Rojas had been looking forward to the 2020 Chicago Marathon after missing last year’s race while recovering from being hit by a taxi as she crossed the street downtown after work.
When this year’s marathon was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns, she was disappointed but determined.
“I think I was with everyone: I was hoping the marathon was going to happen,” Rojas said. “But Chicago is a bunch of doers. We’re doing to do, whether it’s (in a group) or trying to prove it to yourself.”
Rojas, 26, is one of hundreds of runners competing in the Chicago Marathon virtually this year.
Registered runners could defer to next year’s race or were offered a chance to sign up to receive a medallion and T-shirt by competing as part of an online community this weekend in self-designed courses throughout Chicago. The virtual marathon was designed to help replace what would have been the 43rd running of the annual event that takes over the city’s streets and brings more than 40,000 participants from around the globe.
Running groups such as Chicago Area Runners Association and Black Chicago Runners will space hydration stations along the Lakefront Trail. CARA will also provide stations in five suburban locations.
CARA, which usually has about 2,000 runners in the marathon, will have about 700 members participating in the virtual event.
Some groups will hand out oranges, vaseline, running gel — and perhaps most important — support.
“A lot of our runners have been excited for the opportunity to accomplish this goal,” said Greg Hipp, CARA executive director. “A lot of them are taking pride running 26.2 (miles): ‘No matter what, we’ve found a way to accomplish this goal.’ ”
While runners head to the lake, forest preserves or neighborhood streets this weekend to fulfill their missions, they still will be longing for the sights and sounds along the traditional Chicago Marathon course.
The colorful parties in Lakeview East. The lively dancing dragons in Chinatown. The bridges crossing the Chicago River.
“I’m going to miss downtown, running over that red carpet on Wacker Drive,” said Mel Handy, 67, who has run the last 21 Chicago Marathons and is registered to run virtually. “I’m going to miss going through the neighborhoods with different good food being handed out. Someone always has a banana or orange slices.”
Cheering spectators who line the sidewalks, often with hilarious encouraging homemade signs, will be missed by some runners when they toil alone this weekend. Being one of thousands with the same goal was a meaningful experience to others.
“There’s nothing like the experience of being in Grant Park with 45,000 other runners,” said Gabriela Perez, who ran the Chicago Marathon 24 times and will run on Sunday. “It’s one of the most profound experiences, one of the reasons that brought me back every year. It’s that camaraderie.”
Rojas will miss the emotional component of the marathon, especially running through Pilsen.
“My favorite is Mile 18,” said Rojas, who has Selena songs on her playlist. “It’s bittersweet for me. I’m a first generation Mexican American. I want my parents to come watch (the Chicago Marathon in previous years). It can be a lot to ask. But the music is so loud, it reminds me of the music I listen to with my family. It feels like they’re next to me. Mile 18 is where you’re hitting that wall. You’re looking for anything to give you support.”
Downtown will look starkly different this weekend. Absent are the spectators jumping on the “L” to encourage friends along the course. Restaurants will be void of carb-loading runners on marathon eve. Hotels won’t reach capacity because of out-of-towners pouring into the city.
“We will miss the business that the marathon brings to Chicago tremendously,” said Liz Lombardo Stark, director of marketing and public relations for the Gibsons Restaurant Group. “Historically, the marathon brings in thousands and thousands of people to downtown Chicago. Runners and their families would come to Quartino the Saturday before the marathon to carb-load. Since we opened this has been Quartino’s single busiest night of the year.”
Last year, Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar served close to 2,000 pasta dinners and 360 pizzas on the night before the marathon, Stark said.
The group also offered a next-day “Marathon Monday brunch” every year at Luxbar. Doing so this year “doesn’t make sense for us,” Stark said, “but that had always been a huge success for us. Several out-of-town runners would stay at the Thompson and surrounding hotels, and visit for one last celebratory meal before heading home.”
This weekend, Quartino hopes to attract runners with its pasta offerings, pizzas for $5 from 10 p.m. to midnight nightly (dine-in only) and selected drinks that will be sold at 26.2% off on Sunday.
“Most restaurants have their busiest day on Mother’s Day or New Year’s Eve,” said Quartino managing partner Bob Kanzler. “For Q, Marathon Eve has always been the busiest. Over the three-day weekend (last year) we did over 5,000 covers. Even more than the Restaurant Show weekend.”
Some are driven by a worthy cause.
Lisa Niehaus, 60, a nurse from Kentucky, will run several half-mile loops on a trail in Cincinnati as part of her virtual experience. She plans to carry a red bandana with names of people who have donated to the charity she is raising money for — the American Heart Association.
“There’s a long history of heart disease in my family,” she said. “It was never an option to not do it for the people who are not here because of (heart disease).”
Niehaus said her father died of a heart attack at 64. She hopes her 94-year-old mother, who has survived multiple heart attacks, will make it to see her finish.
“I’ll be carrying this bandana,” Niehaus said. “It’s emotional. It will be great. It’s for everyone.”
Rojas will participate with GumboFit’s running series Road Less Traveled, which also featured 5-kilometer, half-marathon and marathon races and is a fundraiser for generating $10,000 in grants to five Black running and fitness organizations in Chicago.
The Chicago Marathon joined with GumboFit to allow 50 runners to earn a second medal with them during the Road Less Traveled socially distanced group run at Sauk Trail in Chicago Heights.
“Mentally, it will be hard,” Rojas said. “It’s not going to be around city. It’s eight loops of the same thing. I’m looking at the positives. It will be really nice to have nutrition every 3.4 miles. I’ll see my friends in the same spot.”
Randy Burt, 72, is one of four who have finished every Chicago Marathon since 1977.
He ran his virtual race earlier this week, starting at his Antioch home at 2:15 a.m. and running a 2-mile loop a little more than 13 times. He left power gels and water bottles in his mailbox to refuel.
It was his second slowest marathon time, he said, but that didn’t matter much this year. He talked to Chicago Marathon director Carey Pinkowski over the phone when he finished, complimenting the executives for offering the virtual option.
“When they said there was not going to be a marathon, at first I thought, OK, I’ll let myself heal,” he said. “Then I said, ‘Nope, I’ve been running 43 years. I’m running the marathon.’ Eventually they came out with the virtual marathon and I said that’s perfect. You miss all the excitement, the other runners and the spectators. Was I disappointed a little? Yes. But we have to settle for what we’ve got.”
Burt planned to drink a glass of wine and sit on his deck to celebrate before an early bedtime.
For first-timers, the cancellation brought another type of disappointment.
Ryan Hieronymus, 44, helps run the Rogers Park Running Group. He already ran a virtual marathon for the Champaign race that was canceled in the spring, so he feels prepared to do it again for Chicago.
He has run for more than 300 consecutive days and is eager to keep his streak alive, running his virtual marathon in Skokie. He’ll be running to raise money for the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.
“Chicago is so massive there are a lot of risks with that many people,” Hieronymus said. “I knew it was kind of a foregone conclusion. I think in my mind I already realized it. By the time Chicago was canceled, I had run one by myself already. I was going to do it whether it was a virtual event or just to keep up my training.”
Training for the virtual marathon during the pandemic has been a morale boost for many runners.
LaShaun Hobbs, 55, from Calumet City, has run several virtual races the last several months — from local 5Ks to the Boston Marathon. She’ll be running the Chicago Marathon virtually with a group of runners along the Lakefront Trail on Saturday.
In some ways, finishing a virtual race proves another type of mettle.
“It’s a different sense of accomplishment,” said Hobbs, who ran the Chicago Marathon in 2000 and 2018. “It’s a little bit harder. You really have to, toward the end, focus on your thoughts and really have to fight those negative thoughts of wanting to stop. You don’t have that support. You really are relying on your training and mental state of mind.
“It’s definitely been a great experience training during COVID and running different races. It definitely challenges your mental toughness.”
Hobbs plans to compete in the official running of the Chicago Marathon next year.
“I think I’ll be happy when everything goes back to normal,” she said, “and we can race in groups again.”
Tribune reporter Phil Vettel contributed.(10/10/2020) ⚡AMP
Even after you've quarantined and are no longer infected, doctors recommend you run with caution.
When Jordan D. Metzl, MD, and his colleagues at the HSS Sports Medicine Institute published their guidelines to returning to activity after recovering from COVID-19 in August, he never imagined the response he’d get from patients.
“I’ve been surprised at how many people have reached out to me,” says Dr. Metzl. He calls these individuals long haulers, people who are still having mild to moderate symptoms three to five months later. “Maybe they just didn’t know where to go, people weren’t talking about it. There are more people out there with these issues than I even realized.”
After working with athletes in their own practices, the HSS team knew it was important to create a framework for recreational athletes who had mild to moderate coronavirus, to understand how to best return to activity safely. This was especially important after realizing how recovery looked vastly different for different individuals, with some recovering quickly and others taking months even if they only had mild symptoms. Similarly, the American College of Cardiology Sports and Exercise released their return to play guidelines back in May, directed at competitive athletes and highly active recreational athletes. Because of the unpredictable nature of the virus, both sets of guidelines take a cautious stance.
What You Need to Know
According to the CDC, scientists have learned “that many organs besides the lungs are affected by COVID-19 and there are many ways the infection can affect someone’s health.” In particular, they are watching how the virus interacts and causes damage to the heart. The inflammation and damage they are worried about is called myocarditis.
“We’re still not entirely sure about the underlying mechanisms as it relates to all the cardiac injury that we’re seeing in hospitalized patients,” says Jonathan Kim, MD, a sports cardiologist and co-author of the ACC return to play guidelines.
To avoid putting stress on the heart before it’s ready, runners shouldn’t plan to pick up where they left off in their training. In the guidelines for competitive and highly active recreational athletes from the ACC, two weeks of full recovery is recommended with slow return to activity and evaluation by a medical professional. They also state that if you test positive for the virus, but are asymptomatic, it’s also best to follow these guidelines after quarantining per CDC standardsThe guidelines for recreational athletes vary slightly based on the types of symptoms the individual may have had (pulmonary, cardiac, musculoskeletal, etc.), but in general, they recommend returning to running after COVID-19 using the 50/30/20/10 rule. In your first week back, reduce your normal training load by 50 percent. If that is comfortable and you’re not experiencing new symptoms, the next week reduce by only 30 percent, followed by 20 percent, and 10 percent in the fourth week. By the fifth week, you can resume your regular training. “If you have a body system that’s been infected, it’s important to gradually tax that system to see where you are,” says Dr. Metzl. “If you try to run too hard too soon, you are only doing yourself a disservice,” says Emily Stoneman, MD, a physician and infectious disease expert at the University of Michigan.
“Giving your body time to heal will offer much more benefit in the long term than trying to push yourself when you are not fully recovered.”
Both these groups that set out guidelines for returning to activity recognize that, with the current uncertainty, their recommendations will likely change in the future. “I think we all submit that these recommendations will change,” says Dr. Kim. “As it relates to the conservative nature, time will tell.”Lessons Beyond CoronavirusSome of this advice can also be used to take us into flu season.
“Even before COVID I was always giving the advice that when you’re under the weather, that’s the time when you shouldn’t be going out and pushing yourself to the limits and very hard. There’s a whole new introduced variable with COVID-19, but it emphasizes the point that you always need to let your body recover if you have a viral infection,” says Dr. Kim. Dr. Metzl points out that it can be tough convincing runners, who are used to pushing through illness, bad weather, and stress, to take a break.
“We’re just programmed to run through everything,” he says. “Which honestly, in life in general, is probably a great attribute. We get stuff done. We don’t let stuff stand in our way.” But he emphasizes that now is not the time to just do what runners do. It’s important to be methodical in your approach to running after COVID-19. “As a sports doctor who’s seen patients that have all different issues as well as some of these post-COVID issues, I think this is a time where you need to really temper that runner mindset and put it in context with the fact that that’s not necessarily the best thing for runners right now. You want to be mindful, you want to be careful. You want to be more careful than you’ve been before.”
Runners can take this as an opportunity to tune into what their body is telling them, to practice being aware. “I think the most important advice is to listen to your body and back off if necessary,” says Dr. Stoneman.
But if you genuinely feel good and have no reason to believe you are sick, there should be nothing that stops you from getting out and enjoying a socially distanced run. “Keep on running,” Dr. Stoneman urges. “Even though most of the races are canceled, we are all training for life and our own sanity during these challenging times.”
The guidelines for recreational athletes vary slightly based on the types of symptoms the individual may have had (pulmonary, cardiac, musculoskeletal, etc.), but in general, they recommend returning to running after COVID-19 using the 50/30/20/10 rule.
In your first week back, reduce your normal training load by 50 percent. If that is comfortable and you’re not experiencing new symptoms, the next week reduce by only 30 percent, followed by 20 percent, and 10 percent in the fourth week. By the fifth week, you can resume your regular training.
“If you have a body system that’s been infected, it’s important to gradually tax that system to see where you are,” says Dr. Metzl.
“If you try to run too hard too soon, you are only doing yourself a disservice,” says Emily Stoneman, MD, a physician and infectious disease expert at the University of Michigan. “Giving your body time to heal will offer much more benefit in the long term than trying to push yourself when you are not fully recovered.”
Both these groups that set out guidelines for returning to activity recognize that, with the current uncertainty, their recommendations will likely change in the future. “I think we all submit that these recommendations will change,” says Dr. Kim. “As it relates to the conservative nature, time will tell.”
Lessons Beyond Coronavirus
Some of this advice can also be used to take us into flu season. “Even before COVID I was always giving the advice that when you’re under the weather, that’s the time when you shouldn’t be going out and pushing yourself to the limits and very hard. There’s a whole new introduced variable with COVID-19, but it emphasizes the point that you always need to let your body recover if you have a viral infection,” says Dr. Kim.
The Marathon Project will feature 50 men and 50 women racing on a flat and fast course in Arizona
NAZ Elite coach Ben Rosario of Flagstaff, Ariz. recently announced plans for a new elite-only race called The Marathon Project, an invitational event that will take place on December 20 in Chandler, Ariz., just outside of Phoenix. The Marathon Project will feature 100 of the best U.S. and international runners. With 50 men and 50 women on the start line and a course that is “as flat and fast as you could possibly imagine,” the race is bound to be exciting theatre for running fans across the globe.
The reason behind the race
The purpose is simple enough: it’s a chance for some of the world’s best marathoners to get into a race, which is something many have missed out on in 2020 due to COVID-19. “To keep this sport going, we needed to find a way to give our professional marathoners a chance to race and compete, and that was really the impetus for this whole thing,” Rosario said in a recent interview with Fox 10 Phoenix.
In order to follow local COVID-19 restrictions, the race course — which will be on a 6.9K loop — will be closed to spectators, and organizers have said they will “adhere to all USATF, World Athletics and State of Arizona” coronavirus testing guidelines for the athletes and everyone else involved. While the race won’t be open to the public, Rosario said they do plan on broadcasting the event live online (although they have yet to iron out those details).
Who gets to race?
Rosario and his team, which includes U.S. Marathon Trials champion Aliphine Tuliamuk, as well as top runners like Scott Fauble, Steph Bruce and Kellyn Taylor, want to see fast results at this race, and they’re hoping for sub-2:10 results from the men and sub-2:24 runs from the women. On the race website, it’s noted that “the top athletes are the priority,” and the fastest runners will be given pacers to help them through the early stages of the marathon.
There are several criteria for a guaranteed spot in The Marathon Project’s limited field. First, any runner who finished in the top 25 at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon gets automatic entry. The same goes for U.S. citizens who have run sub-2:28 (for women) or sub-2:13 (for men) marathons anytime since January 1, 2017. U.S. citizens who finished in the top 15 at a World Marathon Major in 2018 or 2019 will also be given automatic entry into the event. Finally, any former winners of World Marathon Majors (regardless of nationality) who are interested in racing will be guaranteed a spot on the start line. After athletes who meet this criteria are all accounted for and entered in the race, the remaining spots will be doled out to other athletes.
To be considered for (but not guaranteed) a spot in the race, athletes must have met at least one of the following times or results in recent years.
Competed in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon and finished in the top 50.
U.S. citizens who have run under 2:40:00 (for women) or under 2:20:00 (for men) since January 1, 2017 or later.
U.S. citizens who have run a half-marathon under 1:12:00 (for women) or under 1:04:00 (for men) since January 1, 2018 or later.
U.S. citizens who have run under 32:30.00 (for women) or under 28:30.00 (for men) for 10,000m on the track since January 1, 2018 or later.
U.S. citizens who have run under 15:45.00 (for women) or under 13:45.00 (for men) for 5,000m on the track since January 1, 2018 or later.
Finished in the top 5 at a USA Running Circuit/USATF Road Championship (5K to marathon only) in 2018 or 2019.
Recent NCAA graduates (U.S. or international) who finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2018 or 2019.
International athletes who have run under 2:35:00 (for women) or under 2:15:00 (for men) in the marathon, or under 1:10:00 (for women) or 1:03:00 (for men) in the half-marathon since January 1, 2018 or later.
The full fields have yet to be announced, but with such high standards to even be considered for a spot on the start list, The Marathon Project is bound to be a stacked and fast race.(10/10/2020) ⚡AMP