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It is not only the athletes who have been forced to adjust during the Covid-19 pandemic but also their coaches

For Nelio Moura, former coach to 2008 Olympic long jump champion Irving Saladino, the lockdown has created a coaching conundrum spanning not just one country but two continents.

The Brazilian horizontal jumps coach works with several athletes from his homeland, including South American women’s long jump champion Eliane Martins, Uruguay’s South American long jump champion Emiliano Lasa and a trio of leading Chinese athletes.

Back on 19 January, Moura flew from Brazil to China completely unaware of the new coronavirus but by the time he landed in China two days later he says “the news of the coronavirus was everywhere,”

“The situation was getting worse, but we kept to the plan and two weeks later we flew to Madrid,” he explains.

Mersha Asrat, coach to three-time Olympic track champion Kenenisa Bekele, believes his role in the these challenging times is to put a plan in place to “survive the storm.”

With both the opportunity to race - in the foreseeable future - and group training taken away from athletes, he believes this has impacted on motivation.

Yet as a coach Asrat insists he has to remain positive.

“All my athletes need to be strong – a role model for others with their behaviour,” he says. “As a coach, I have to tell them that this will pass.”

With no events on the immediate horizon he has advised his athletes to rein back on the training – and he has recommended combining a mixture of endurance running and strength training.

“There are no races happening for some time so this is a time when they can run three time a week alternating with workouts. I’ve given them all individual workouts with a meaning. This is an opportunity to work on their strength exercises, to improve and even become masters of the workout.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding future international competition, Dale Stevenson, coach to 2019 Diamond League shot champion and World Championship bronze medallist Tom Walsh, is preparing his athletes with the mindset that events will re-start sooner rather than later. 

“When full training resumes, I’m hoping that it is a step in for us rather than a step back,” he explains. “So when they go back to normality they’ll feel as if they are a full-time athlete.”

Stevenson, a 2012 Olympic shot put representative for Australia, says as a coach he had to react quickly in March as New Zealand went from a level two alert to a full level four lockdown in a matter of 48 hours.

For athletes who remained in Christchurch such as Walsh, the main task for Stevenson and his coaching team was to source gym equipment while for others in his training group who has moved back to different regions the main task was to identify training implements during this frantic period.

The coach has been immensely impressed with how the athletes have readjusted to training in a full lockdown. Some have revealed great improvisation skills with one athlete converting a cow shed into a throwing area and another making a homemade hammer out of a kettle bell.

Stevenson too has been forced to adapt.

Patrick Sang, coach to world marathon record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and world half-marathon record-holder Geoffrey Kamworor, believes “delegating greater authority” to his athletes following training restrictions created by the Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge he has faced.

Sang coaches a large group of athletes based out of a training group in Kaptagat, Kenya, but government restrictions around group gatherings put in place in March meant athletes had to head home to their families and train alone.

Breaking down his athletes into smaller groups of track and marathon athletes the initial challenge was communication but having alleviated this issue thanks to WhatsApp and other methods it has been his lack of a “coach’s eye” on the progress of his athletes which has proved the biggest obstacle.

“Our coaching is very much one on one and the ‘coach’s eye’ is an instrument we use to see how the individual athletes are responding to the workload at any given time. The activation of the coach’s eye in these circumstances is not possible. You are relying on the feedback of the athletes.”

Sang insists the athlete manager, Valentijn Trouw, has played a pivotal role in maintaining the information flow to athletes to help them maintain a positive stance in challenging times.

And positivity is the keen message Sang likes to emit at all times.

“We’ve experienced calamities before and normally they don’t last forever,” explains Sang. “We have a time scale and a race plan (for later in the year) we are looking at and our energies are focused on the remaining part of the season.”

Coach to a group of athletes led by 2017 World 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon, Dutch-based Bram Som says it is important to stay focused on the “circle of influence” and not the “circle of concern” during the Covid-19 crisis.

“One of the biggest challenges is that you no longer look an athlete in the eye to see how he or she is behaving,” explains Som, a former European 800m champion. “To counter this you have to improve your conversation skills, ask the right questions and listen carefully.”

Som insists the middle-distance athletes he coaches have largely been able to carry out long runs, interval and hill sessions as normal but he has also introduced solo time trials to keep the athletes focused. Flexibility, he insists, is key.

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Running industry walloped by COVID-19, and it may take years to recover

Races in the busiest season of the year have been canceled or postponed while retail sales plummet.

With more than a third of this year’s competitive road racing schedule canceled or postponed by the coronavirus, and running stores enduring massive drops in sales because of restrictions on retail businesses, America’s running industry is bracing for months or years of fallout.

The effects of COVID-19 on the sport may not be all bad, many in the running community believe, citing a running boom that followed the Great Recession in 2008. The only thing a runner really needs to run is a pair of running shoes.

“People turn to this sport in particular in times of economic downturns and crises,” said Rich Harshbarger, chief executive of Running USA, an industry trade group. “We saw this in the late 2000s. People gave up their country club memberships and returned to simpler sports like running. You saw a downturn in golf, you saw a downturn in skiing — things that are more expensive. Runners turned to the sport, or returned to the sport, to relieve stress. And, to get and remain healthy.”

But the number of road race registrations — more than 17.6 million in 2019, according to Running USA — is bound to decline significantly this year and maybe beyond. Meanwhile, many running stores are prohibited from having customers in their stores, as is the case with other “non-essential” retail stores, and that has hit them hard.

Sales have declined 80% at Runner’s Roost in Lakewood and 70% at In Motion Running in Boulder, according to owners of those stores. The Lakewood store cannot have customers inside but is finding other ways to fill shoe orders, and owner Sonya Estes senses an influx of newcomers to the sport because of COVID-19 — just as Running USA predicted.

“We can look at all the bad, or we can look at the good, and the good in this is that running has been touted as one of those things that is great for your mental and physical health,” Estes said. “To have the governor stand up there and say, ‘Get out and go for a hike,’ or, ‘Go for a run, just don’t do it in a large group,’ I think long-term it’s going to be amazing for the business. When you see gyms and rec centers close down, I’ve never seen so many people up on Green Mountain or at Bear Creek. People that wanted to work out are now embracing running. If they find that they really like this, I think long-term, for running, it’s actually a good thing.”

In Motion Running has remained open, in part because owner Mark Plaatjes practices physical therapy at In Motion Rehabilitation, a clinic attached to the rear of the store, and that stayed open. Only two retail customers are allowed in the store at a time, though, and store personnel disinfects after customers leave.

Like Estes, Plaatjes has seen newcomers. “It’s definitely nice to see new people coming in that we haven’t seen before,” Plaatjes said. “Once our regular customers come back, I’m sure that will translate into an increase in sales and participation in running.”

Both stores are offering non-contact curbside service and home deliveries. They and other running stores are offering virtual gait analysis to assist customers in choosing the right shoes, a process that normally is conducted on treadmills inside the stores. Customers submit videos of them running so trained staff can analyze them and recommend shoes constructed for their anatomical particulars.

The carnage in road racing could be significant, though. Running as a solitary fitness or mental healthy pursuit is one thing, but for many runners, the social aspect of the sport comes out in racing. Races are community celebrations of the running lifestyle. That part of the sport has been dealt a devastating blow, and officials fear it could take years to recover.

Spring is the busiest season of the year for racing, with 35% of America’s races scheduled in March, April and May. Most of those have been canceled or postponed until fall. Some of those events, and the companies that support them by providing timing and other event services, may never recover. The vast majority of the road race industry is comprised of small businesses with eight employees or less, according to Running USA’s Harshbarger.

“It absolutely can be a fatal blow, and unfortunately it will be for a lot of the industry,” Harshbarger said. “We were already seeing some event management companies have to close their doors. Their sole business is to go around their region or their city and help produce events. When those events cease to have revenue, their livelihood evaporates.”

The Bolder Boulder was able to reach quick agreement with the City of Boulder and the University of Colorado (where the race finishes) to postpone from Memorial Day to Labor Day. But the Cherry Creek Sneak, which was scheduled for April 26, is still waiting for the City of Denver to approve a new date it sought to reserve in September. So is the Colfax Marathon, which includes a half marathon, a 10-miler and marathon relay that were scheduled for May 17.

Colfax race director Andrea Dowdy said 14-15,000 medals for her races were scheduled to arrive last week, and there’s no guarantee those races will be held this year.

“We feel very comfortable that operationally we’re in a sound place, so that when the city says to us, ‘You can have an event this fall,’ or ‘We need all events to wait until the spring,’ we can work either way,” Dowdy said.

Harshbarger fears that races will “cannibalize” each other if they are rescheduled in the fall, which is already the second-busiest season with 31% of the nation’s races scheduled in September through November. The Bolder Boulder has already folded its Fortitude 10K, normally scheduled for Labor Day in Fort Collins, into the Boulder race. In effect, both races will be run concurrently in Boulder.

If the Cherry Creek Sneak and the Colfax event are added, September would become an extremely crowded race calendar in Denver. And that would come on top of non-running events already scheduled in the city or looking to reschedule then. Dowdy and Cherry Creek Sneak race director Pat Downing can only wait on word from the city’s Office of Special Events.

“They need to form a new process on how they’re going to allocate a very limited number of spaces into a space now that is overcrowded,” Downing said.

Another question that arises: What will races look like when they do resume?

“Who knows, resurgence or not, what social distancing guidelines are going to be?” Harshbarger said. “Let alone the emotional fog of, ‘Do I really want to get in a corral with 50 people? Do I want to get in a race with 10,000 people?’ We don’t know. When we come through this — and I don’t know when that is, a year? Maybe two years? — I do think the sport will be strong. I do think there will be demand to do this. I think there will be new guidelines and corral set-ups. But history shows us that runners are resilient.”

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele talk training and sub-2

The two distance running greats had been set to go head-to-head in the London Marathon on Sunday

Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele should have been in London this week, preparing for a mouthwatering marathon clash on the streets of the UK capital.

Thursday morning would have seen them speak with the world’s media in the elite men’s pre-race press conference, but instead, on Friday, they dialled into a telephone conference from their respective homes in Kenya and Ethiopia.

While it is too early to know whether the two fastest marathon runners in history will take part in the rescheduled event on October 4, they were both happy to share insight into their current lives amid the coronavirus crisis.

They talked about what might have been had Sunday’s race taken place as planned, plus their training and thoughts on the sub-two-hour marathon.

SOLO TRAINING

Social distancing measures mean that NN Running Team athletes Kipchoge and Bekele must now train alone, rather than as part of the big groups they are used to. How does that affect them both physically and mentally?

“You cannot run really in a strong way because you are alone,” said Kipchoge, who is based in Eldoret.

“Physically I am training to make sure that I am fit but when you have the whole team then you can train to make sure that you are in the best-ever shape.

“Mentally, you can get tired early,” he added, “because if you have an hour run and you’re running alone, then you can really get tired because you are running alone, you are thinking alone.

“I have been with a team for the last 15 years and it’s really crazy for me. I can say it is not comfortable at all, but safety is my number one priority.”

Bekele has also found it a challenge.

“It is not really nice to run alone but of course it’s not possible to run together,” he said. “It is difficult to prepare and it has affected us a lot.

“I’m trying to maintain my performance, but it’s really not efficient. I am praying that this time will be over soon.”

On his sessions, he added: “I am doing four or five days a week outside, alone just running in the forest.

“Most of the time I am staying at home.”

SUB-TWO

Both athletes had an incredible 2019, with Kipchoge having broken two hours for the marathon with 1:59:41 in the non-record eligible INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna and Bekele having run 2:01:41 to win in Berlin, missing the Kenyan’s official world record mark by just two seconds.

Would their plan for the London Marathon on Sunday have been to go for an official sub-two?

“I was coming to London as a defending champion and not really to run under two hours but I trust that it would have been a good race, an interesting one, but I don’t think it would have been under two hours,” said Kipchoge.

“I think on Sunday, if the London Marathon could have happened, we could actually have had the best race ever.

“Kenenisa has run 2:01:41 and I have run 2:01:39. It could have been the best-ever time and London could have been the best race ever between two people who have the fastest times in the marathon.”

Bekele agreed that it would have been a great clash but that two hours would have been unlikely.

“London is of course a really great race to bring us together,” he said. “I don’t think the time would have been under two hours.

“Maybe if there were good weather conditions, it could have been possible maybe around a world record, if we had been pushing together. I don’t think under two hours would have happened this time.”

BUT IN THE FUTURE?

“Absolutely, why not?” Kipchoge replied, when asked if he thinks someone in the next 10 years could run a competitive marathon in under two hours.

“Personally, I tried last year, and I ran under two hours, but I trust and believe in all my mind and my heart that in the next 10 years, one human being will run under two hours in a normal marathon. That is my view.

“Human beings need to be shown the way, and I trust that I have shown everybody the way.”

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Laz Lake’s virtual ultra has higher participation than UTMB

Laz Lake’s The Great Virtual Road Race Across Tennessee, which began May 1st and runs through August 31, has amassed an astonishing 10,000+ participants. The event, which will see runners travel virtually on foot across the state of Tennessee (roughly 1,000K), has 10,174 registered runners and is still open for entry.

Runners have four months to tackle this behemoth of a race, and if they finish with enough time to spare, they can go for the out-and-back route and complete an additional 1,000K (this would require averaging 16K a day for four months)

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Even with major sporting events banned in France until September, UTMB organizers are still trying to make the race happen

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed that major sporting events would be cancelled until at least September. UTMB, one of the world’s biggest trail races, is set to run August 24 to 30 in Chamonix, France. Despite this announcement, Catherine Poletti, co-founder of UTMB, thinks that the race will go ahead, just with some changes to the original plan.

Poletti says that while the race won’t be able to accommodate their 10,000 entrants, if they capped the event at 5,000, it might be possible.

“We are working on the barrier measures, not only for the start, but on all fronts,” she told Le Dauphine. “We are committed to not giving up. We still want to organize the event in compliance with the rules. The entire economic community of the Mont-Blanc valley needs this. We are a race outside a mass stadium, which can adapt to the rules set by the government.”

While UTMB will hopefully be able to run, events like the Tour de France are facing cancellation. The Tour, which was already rescheduled from June to August, will be well over the gathering cap of 5,000 people and is considered a major sporting event. No official statement has been made yet in regard to the Tour.

 

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Ecotrail de Bruxelles

Ecotrail de Bruxelles

This event is credited with four new qualifying points for the UTMB race. The goal is finally to propose a 85% green route! This change required to leave the Atomium, located in the northern "not too green" of Brussels.The new start will be given to the heart of the capital of Europe, at the foot of the European institutions!This new...

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Kenyan runners are not earning money, not able to train as hard as usual but are trying to be positive during this COVID-19 crisis

The coronavirus has brought most elite sports to a grinding halt. While athletes who compete in individual sports are at an advantage, marathon runners too are finding it difficult to maintain their competitive edge.

Albert Korir, Henry Kiprop and Felix Kandie are professional marathon runners. Under normal circumstances, each of them would run 180 to 300 kilometers (111 to 186 miles) every week as part of their usual training routines. However, as in most other countries, Kenya's government has implemented restrictions of movement in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This means Kenyan athletes, like Korir, Kiprop and Kandie, are now forced to train alone, and the restrictions have also forced them to roll back their training regimes – by as much as 200 kilometers less than prior to the pandemic. The sudden reduction in training doesn't come without risks.

"I went from 200 to 50 kilometers a week, so I am worried," Albert Korir says. "When you start active training again you might get injuries."

Korir usually runs two marathons a year. In 2019 he finished first in Houston and second in New York – while setting a personal best in the Canadian capital, Ottawa. Even though the restrictions on movement in Kenya have only been in place for a few weeks, the 26-year-old has already noticed that his fitness is starting to suffer.

"When you're training you breathe hard. Your body is not fit like before, like when you were training hard," he said. "There's even been some changes like weight gain."

Trimming their distances isn't the only problem; elite runners usually train in camps with up to 50 other competitors, but now many are forced to train alone.

For Felix Kandie the coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time. He had been looking forward to running in what would have been his third Boston Marathon this year. But on April 20, the day when it was originally scheduled for, Kandie was at home – as the coronavirus had forced this year's Boston Marathon to be postponed.

"Now I would have been in Boston racing a few days ago," he said.

Kandie could get another shot if the Boston Marathon goes ahead in September, as organizers are hoping. But when the coronavirus outbreak started, he had already completed 80 percent of his training program in preparation for the event. Last year the 33-year-old had an incredible campaign, placing fourth in the Boston marathon and fifth in Berlin.

He told us that he would stick to his training program as closely as possible despite the restrictions. But at the same time he noted that individual training just wasn't as effective as training in a group.

"You need people there to push you. You need them to make you more competent," he said. "When you're training alone you may feel like you're running fine, but you're actually not getting something out of running alone. In a group you're able to assist each other in all decisions, the speed walking sessions and the morale sessions."

Henry Kiprop was getting ready for this year's Milano Marathon when the pandemic put paid to those plans. He was runner-up at the 2019 Venice Marathon with a time of 2:10, and he had been aiming to knock five minutes off his previous best. Now he is concerned about what this forced break and the absence of optimal training will do to his future performances.

"A marathon is like a process. You do it this year, you do it next year, and finally you have mastered the art of marathon running," he says.  "If you're told to go and run the London Marathon without training, that is quite impossible."

Financial impact 

Quite apart from the restrictions on training, many elite runners are also facing severe financial concerns. Korir is sponsored by German sports giant Adidas, but he still depends on races as his main source of income.

"We have to run and compete. If you don't have any races, then you don't have any finances so it will be difficult for us athletes."

Although many runners find themselves in the same boat, Kiprop believes the financial impact will vary.

"It all depends on the individual. All the marathons that I have been running, I have used my money well," he said. "I've invested in some real estate. So it may take me some time before things get bad for me."

While some can cushion the financial burden better than others, it is a precarious situation for all.

Like Kiprop, Kandie also invested his earnings when he started racing. He knew he can't run forever and needed to secure his financial future. But despite having a what he believes to be a sound financial plan, he would rather not tap into his savings.

"If things continue into next season. If things stay the same there will be big challenges because you have to use the investments that you have," he said.

'No competitions = no prize money'

So is anybody listening? World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation recently set up a fund to help track-and-field athletes during the coronavirus crisis. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is well aware of the athletes' financial problems.

"Clearly, if there are no competitions, there's no prize money. So the first objective is to try and get competition back into their world again," he says. 

What that may look like and when it'll come about depends on how quickly the coronavirus is contained.

For professional marathon runners this means continuing to make the best out of a difficult situation. But they know bouncing back to pre-coronavirus levels could take a while. They'll simply have to rely on their endurance and resistance to get them through what is looking more and more like a marathon, not just for professional runners, but people of all walks of life all over the globe.

(05/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alima Hotakie
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The 51st Annual Running of the Peachtree normally held July 4th has been moved to Thursday November 26

Atlanta will celebrate family, fitness and the Founding Fathers this fall as the AJC Peachtree Road Race moves from the Fourth of July to Thanksgiving Day in 2020. The 51st Running of the Peachtree will take place on Thursday, November 26, Atlanta Track Club announced today. It marks the first time in the event's history that it will not be held on July 4.

"As Atlanta and the nation continue to take precautions to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, we understand that Peachtree participants, volunteers, medical staff and the other first responders who keep them safe need more time to prepare for this year's race," said Rich Kenah, race director of the Peachtree and Atlanta Track Club's executive director. "We are thankful for the opportunity to move forward together with all of Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day in a responsible and safe format."

More than 45,000 people have already registered for this year's AJC Peachtree Road Race. All confirmed participants will remain registered with no further action needed. Current registrants will also have the option to complete the race virtually, move their entry to 2021 at no charge, transfer to a new participant, donate their registration fee to Atlanta Track Club's community initiatives or receive a refund. A full list of options can be found here.

Additionally, Atlanta Track Club plans to reopen registration for the Peachtree on August 31 -September 6 for members of the Club. For non-members it will open September 7 and will close on September 13 or when the event reaches capacity. Kilometer Kids Charity entries will remain open throughout the spring and summer.

The Club also announced efforts to plan and implement new safety measures at this year's race including fewer participants on each start line, longer separation between waves, re-imagining hydration stations and working with MARTA to get people to and from the event. "As it has been for 55 years, health and safety is Atlanta Track Club's top priority. COVID-19 has pushed us to review our best practices and protocols in the areas of event and program safety," Kenah said. "As this situation evolves and changes, we will make decisions based on the advice and information the Club receives from health experts."

Participants who chose to pick up their numbers in person will be able to do so at the Peachtree Health & Fitness Expo on November 23, 24 and 25 at the Georgia World Congress Center. This year's Peachtree Junior for children ages 14 & under will be held on Friday, November 27. Registration is open now.

The AJC Peachtree Road Race will replace the Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, 5K, Mile and Dash, which will be canceled for 2020. The Triple Peach Series presented by Mizuno will instead include the Publix Atlanta Half Marathon on February 28, 2021. Those registered for the Triple Peach will be automatically registered unless a refund is requested

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

2020 race has been moved from July 4th to Thanksgiving day November 26. The AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by the Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 48th running, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. Come kick...

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Shalane Flanagan Adopts a newborn Baby Boy Jack Dean Edwards

She’s a four-time Olympian for Team USA, and now Shalane Flanagan is a mom.

The former track and field and marathon star announced she and husband Steve Edwards became parents after adopting a newborn son this week.

“By far, the greatest gift we have ever been given. Jack Dean Edwards,” she captioned an Instagram slideshow of the swaddled baby. “On April 28th, Steven and I welcomed Jack with full hearts and open arms into our family through adoption.

“I was not prepared for a love like this."

Jack arrived Thursday at 8:56 a.m., weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces, Flanagan wrote.

The couple previously fostered teenage sisters, and soon after began looking into adoption. Flanagan opened up about the process in a March 2019 article with Women’s Running, saying they had applied for an infant adoption but were also exploring foster adoption.

“There’s such a need and my heart goes out to these kids,” she said. “I feel like Steve and I are in such a fortunate position to be able to give kids care and a home. …

“We may adopt an infant. We may adopt toddlers. We don’t know, but we’re putting ourselves in a position for whatever kids are in need. It’s scary but exciting. It’s a totally different life, but it’ll be fun.”

Flanagan, a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, who now lives in Portland, Oregon, made her Olympic debut in 2004 on the track, and four years later won a bronze medal that was later upgraded to silver in the 10,000-meter in Beijing. She switched to marathon after that, finishing 10th in London and sixth in Rio.

Along with Des Linden and Kara Goucher, Flanagan helped usher in a new generation of U.S. women’s marathoners, and in 2017 her win at the New York City Marathon ended a four-decade drought for U.S. women’s runners.

She retired from elite racing in October 2019 to pursue a career as a coach. NBC also hired her as an analyst.

Several fellow Team USA stars were quick to congratulate Flanagan on Instagram, including Goucher and Allyson Felix, both of whom are also mothers.

“Congrats Shalane!” Felix wrote. “So happy for you"

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Chros McDougall
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Falmouth Road Race 2020 will be Run At Home virtually for this summer

The 2020 New Balance Falmouth Road Race, originally set for August 16, will be going virtual to become the New Balance Falmouth Road Race “At-Home Edition.”

The 48th running of the iconic race will be celebrated worldwide as a virtual event beginning August 15 – on  the birthday of late founder Tommy Leonard – and concluding on August 29, with runners covering 7 miles in their own neighborhoods any time during that period.

With the Falmouth Board of Selectmen implementing a “no large event” policy through the end of August, race organizers have designed an experience for everyone to have fun while staying fit and focused on a goal this summer.

Registration will open on May 18, and the first 5,000 to enter will be guaranteed a spot in the 2021 New Balance Falmouth Road Race. Further details on the 2020 New Balance Falmouth Road Race “At-Home Edition,” including registration information, personalized athlete interactions, gift bags, contests, and virtual content, will be announced soon.

For more than 45 years, Falmouth Road Race, Inc. has promoted health, wellness, and pride in the community. In these unprecedented and uncertain times, the organization is striving to be consistent in its mission, continuing to provide its dedicated participants, enthusiasts, and the community with an event to be proud of and one that supports people in need.

“With safety always the top priority, we see an ‘At-Home’ event as the ideal option for 2020,” said Scott Ghelfi, president of the Falmouth Road Race, Inc., board of directors. “Although it’s sad to think of a summer in Falmouth without the usual race spectacle along our shores, conducting an ‘At-Home’ event will not only give runners from everywhere the chance to experience the Falmouth spirit but also give Falmouth Road Race, Inc. a way to show support for the town, our medical community, and our Numbers for Nonprofits participants, who are raising funds that will be needed now more than ever.”

Among the ways in which the race will show its commitment to nonprofit partners and the community through the “At-Home Edition:”

The organization will be purchasing a total of $25,000 worth of gift cards from businesses throughout Falmouth to randomly award to participants. The intention is to assist the community now and help bring visitors back to town when it is again safe to travel.

Falmouth Road Race, Inc. will donate $5,000 to Cape Kid Meals, the “grab-and-go” meals program for students.

Proceeds from the “At-Home Edition” will again allow annual scholarships to be awarded to high school seniors who are Falmouth residents.

Numbers for Nonprofits charity program partners will continue to receive support to maximize their fundraising efforts, including free registration for those running for a charity who raise a required minimum dollar amount for that organization. Incentive prizes and experiences, including a swag package, a donation match, and two chances to win a free entry into the 2021 New Balance Falmouth Road Race, will be offered to select participants by the race and its online fundraising partner, GoFundMe Charity.

“Running at home, together but apart, is the best way for all of us to show that we care about Falmouth – the town, its people, the race and its tradition – in 2020,” said Ghelfi. “Tommy Leonard wouldn’t want it any other way.”

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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Falmouth Road Race

Falmouth Road Race

2020 will be a virtual race. The New Balance Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite runners and recreational runners out to enjoy the scenic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is dedicated...

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Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race has been Cancelled for 2020 with Refunds for all Participants

 Due to ongoing concerns regarding the impact of COVID-19, and recent guidelines announced by the Maine Governor’s office, the board of directors of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K road race voted on Tuesday to cancel the 2020 race scheduled for August 1.

“COVID-19 and its impact on our state, the nation, and the world is unprecedented and after significant review and in partnership with our medical partners we have made this very difficult decision. We know this will be disappointing for those of us who look forward to the race each year but the health and safety of our runners, volunteers, spectators, staff, and community remains paramount,” said David Backer, President of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K. 

The $55 race entry fees will be automatically refunded to all registered runners over the coming weeks. Additionally, given demand for registration, race organizers have announced that all 2020 registrants will have an opportunity for early entry into the 2021 race. Race organizers will release details about the early entry process when finalized. 

The 2020 race beneficiary, JMG, will remain the beneficiary for the 23rd running which will be held, as is tradition, on the first Saturday in August of 2021.

“This has been a heartbreaking decision for all of us but is the right and only decision to be made at this time of uncertainty and unknowns”, said Joan Benoit Samuelson, Race Founder and Olympic gold medalist. “The TD Beach to Beacon 10K will return next year, consistent with the enduring nature of our sport, team and community.”

Samuelson continued, “As we run apart, we gain new strengths and appreciation for those who keep pace with us in our daily lives, especially those who have been on the frontlines of this pandemic with selfless endurance and courage.”

Race organizers will share updates in the coming weeks on plans for how the TD Beach to Beacon 10K community can stay connected during this time. 

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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TD Beach to Beacon 10K

TD Beach to Beacon 10K

Joan Benoit Samuelson, a native of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, won the first-ever women's Marathon at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and is founder and chair of the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K. "A long time dream of mine has been realized" says Samuelson. "I've always wanted to create a race that brings runners to some of my most...

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With his race event cancelled, 72-year-old Eric Spector inspires other seniors to remain active

The key is to commit to staying fit, whether during a pandemic or not, says Eric Spector.

If these were normal times, Eric Spector would be in the final phase of training for the race of his dreams — the annual Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile trail run from Squaw Valley to Auburn. It's an event he calls the Superbowl of ultramarathons.

But with the June event canceled, along with most other activities, due to the coronavirus crisis, the 72-year-old fitness enthusiast has been forced to adapt his fitness routine.

Rather than rigorously training in the hills above Palo Alto, Spector has turned to power walking. And rather than swimming and exercising at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, he has set up a gym in his garage where he can lift weights, ride a stationary bicycle and generally keep moving.

"The key is working up a sweat and getting the benefit of a cardiovascular workout," said the Palo Alto resident, who has participated in more than 20 marathons in the United States and abroad and was the oldest person to complete the 2018 Rio del Lago 100-Mile Endurance Run in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Though a committed runner, Spector, who turns 73 on May 5, is no exercise snob. In fact, he's a promoter of exercise for anybody and everybody through his Twitter page, [ @fitatallages.

"It doesn't really matter what activity somebody chooses — the benefits of being fit are extraordinarily clear," he said."It prevents so many diseases and, if you get sick, your recovery time is usually much shorter because of your fitness.

"Whether you speed walk, bicycle, play racquetball, hike — the most important thing is that you do it regularly and that you sweat. With those two ingredients, it provides a longer, healthier, more vigorous life."

On his Twitter feed, Spector often shares links to inspirational stories of older athletes as well as small exercise tips like:"Well, you don't want to run? Then dance."

During the stay-at-home order, he has been sharing the many ways athletes, from Olympians to coaches, have adapted their fitness routines. One marathoner who qualified for this year's Olympics in Tokyo, shared this philosophy with the New York Times: The only thing athletes can control at this point, since competitions and events are canceled, is their training routines. Another story that Spector shared from Sports Illustrated features a running coach who provided some creative inspiration to those looking to compete or exercise: He organized a virtual ultramarathon where participants mapped out their own running loop in their backyards, neighborhoods or treadmills and livestreamed their runs on Zoom.

Spector said the key is to commit to staying fit, whether during a pandemic or not. He recommends picking an exercise and following through with a routine. This can be anything from walking around the block once a week to walking around the backyard everyday. Tracking when, where and for how long you do a particular activity will help you maintain a routine and stay motivated.

Exercise wasn't always a priority for Spector.

As a young man he was overweight and working long hours at a New York City startup.

"I wasn't at all plugged in to athletics of any kind — I'd really done nothing more than work and eat and put on some weight," he said.

But he became intrigued when some of his business school classmates flew in from California to run the 1978 New York City Marathon.

"I thought, 'If these guys can do it, I should be able to do it,' so I bought some sneakers, went out for a run to the west side of the Hudson River and barely made it," he said.

Spector kept at it, and a little more than a year later, he entered the 1979 New York City Marathon.

"It was my first running event ever but I did quite well and loved it," he said."I really loved the fitness, the clarity of mind, the stream of consciousness as you're running."

He grew to love the "runner's high," which he describes as"a kind of a euphoria, where you're not even conscious of the effort. It's just the rhythm and the joy of physical activity.

"For me, that kind of activity has been a mainstay of mental health and sanity, with the benefit of staying fit," he said.

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Chris Kenrick
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Western States 100

Western States 100

2020 race has been cancelled. The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the...

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More than 13,000 runners are getting prepared for virtual Pittsburgh Marathon

Runners from across the United States and the world are gearing up to run their committed distances from wherever they are as the DICK’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon goes virtual in 2020.

13,000 runners from 43 states and 5 countries will either run outside or on treadmills on what should’ve been the weekend of the 2020 race.

Thirty percent of runners this weekend will be completing their first marathon and 23% of runners will be completing their first half-marathon.

All ages will be running this weekend or have already completed their virtual marathon, including 81-year-old Henry Wood, a Pittsburgh native. Wood finished his 28th Pittsburgh Marathon and 51st marathon overall on April 19.

Raffi Wilbur is a 5-year-old double-amputee who will be completing the Chick-Fil-A Kids Marathon alongside his father.

More than 1,100 runners have already raised over $350,000 for local and national nonprofits.

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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Dick's Sporting Good Pittsburgh Marathon

Dick's Sporting Good Pittsburgh Marathon

This race is your game - however you decide to play it. As a competitor. A fund raiser. An enthusiast. A veteran. A team player. It's whatever you want it to be. It's whatever you make it. It's YOUR game..... Run it. Play it. Own it. Love it. Runners will race on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, cross each of...

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World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui has high hope to win the rescheduled Boston Marathon

World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui says he briefly lost interest in training after organizers of the Boston marathon pushed the event back to September.

However, he has learned to live with the situation and has slowly resumed training hoping he will be fit to return to competition in September and prove his critics wrong to win another major marathon race.

Kirui, who won gold in the men's marathon at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London, has experienced torrid performances since.

He failed in his bid to win in Boston last year settling for fifth place at 2:08:55 and finished 14th at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

"The fear of contracting the virus made it hard to train in the first place. People were scared and locked themselves up. But I have found a way to train in Nakuru and I have been enjoying my runs with hope to compete in Boston if it will not be canceled," Kirui said on Wednesday.

But with news coming in that the Berlin Marathon has been canceled, Kirui is still fearful his hard work in training might go down the drain should organizers in Boston opt not to stage the event altogether until 2021.

"September is not far away. Already there will be no marathon in Berlin, but we hope America will open up and allow us to compete. People need to return back to life and see what sports can offer. I can only pray to God for things to change," he added.

Kirui's best performance since his win in London was a second-place finish at the 2018 Boston Marathon. He was also sixth in Chicago race in the same year. But he is still optimistic to turn his career around and chase gold in the 2020 season.

"There will always be some race that will boost your career and I believe after a turbulent time in the last two years, I can get a win and stabilize my running again. There is a lot of competition from the younger athletes, but that is what is helping me remain focused. A small slip will be hard to recover from," added Kirui.

Of importance to Kirui is to return to competition and gauge how his solo training has fared.

"When the world is back to normal and we have a sports competition, we will be glad and happy. For now, our health and safety is the priority. But while we maintain a safe distance, we need to focus ahead beyond COVID-19 and strategize on how to compete again," he said.

(04/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei wants to improve her time when competition resumes

New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei will target a better performance to improve her time when competition resumes in the 2020 season.

Jepkosgei, who had hopes of returning to the marathon course in London in April, has had to chill at home and venture into farming after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of almost all competitions this year.

"I had plans to run in London on April 26, but as you know that event has been pushed back to October 4 and that brings another challenge because I had other plans for that period of the year," Jepkosgei said on Thursday from Iten.

Jopkosgei clocked 2:22:38 in New York, but improving that time is something she is seriously thinking about. "I want to run faster," she said. "I know I can improve on my time."

"However, the cancellations of the London race hit me hard because I had done well in training knowing the caliber of opponents to expect. But the choice was not mine to cancel, what they did was in good faith and for the good of everyone," she added.

Now Jepkosgei has to find some inspiration to help her go through the period where there is no competition and training is limited.

"The challenge is to maintain my physiotherapy schedules, eating healthy foods and preventing any stress at this point. To remain healthy, I have chosen to deny myself several tasty foods because I have to always check my diet," she added. 

(04/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Salazar has appealed against the ban to the Court of British anti-doping agency Arbitration for Sport

UK Athletics said Wednesday it had at last handed over an internal report into its relationship with banned American coach Alberto Salazar during the time he worked with track star Mo Farah to Britain's national anti-doping agency.

The report dates back to 2015 and was prompted by a BBC documentary on Salazar.

The disgraced coach is currently serving a four-year ban imposed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in October for offences that include trafficking in testosterone, tampering with the doping control process and administering illicit infusions of the fat-burning substance L-carnitine.

Salazar, who denies wrongdoing, has appealed against the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Just over a month ago, an independent review of both the 2015 report and another undertaken two years later, was published.

But United Kingdom Anti-Doping executive chief Nicole Sapstead demanded to see the original report in full after UK Athletics merely provided an edited summary.

UK Athletics responded by saying it was "wholly wrong and inaccurate" to suggest they were "being obstructive in this matter," with chief executive Joanna Coates saying earlier this month the report would go to UKAD just as soon as all confidentiality procedures had been completed.

UK Athletics confirmed Wednesday the report had been sent over, a statement saying: "UKA can confirm that the 2015 report has been provided to UKAD.

"UKA remains fully committed to protecting the integrity of the sport and the pursuit of clean athletics and we will continue to assist UKAD with any further queries."

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Farah, twice champion at both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, worked with Salazar from 2011-2017.

The British distance great, who has never failed a drugs test, is not accused of any wrongdoing.

(04/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Ben Banks ran his own Brighton Marathon by doing laps in his back garden

“It was very repetitive” was Ben Banks’ verdict on the 26.2-miles he ran by covering hundreds of laps in the back garden of his Thurston home.

The 25-year-old had been due to run the Brighton Marathon a week before, until it was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

Many of us might’ve taken the opportunity to put our feet up - but, having caught the running bug, Ben decided to go ahead anyway and run the 26.2-miles by doing laps of his garden.

He admitted the so-called ‘route’ got a bit samey after a while, even with his attempts to bring in a bit of variety by running in different directions across the lawn.

Without the scenic routes and cheering crowds of most marathons, Ben admitted it was a “mental struggle” - although his relatives came out of the house regularly to offer him moral support.

However, once he was a couple of hours in, Ben told himself that he’d gone too far to give up half-way through.

And he even surprised himself by setting a new personal best, with a time of 4hrs, 13mins and 43secs.

Ben had originally aimed to run the Brighton Marathon for the charity Mind, as people close to him have been affected by mental ill health in the past.

However in light of the current pandemic, he has chosen to donate half of the money he is raising from the run on Sunday, April 26 - the same day as the London Marathon - to the Charities Aid Foundation, to help those affected by the crisis.

“I saw the campaign and wanted to do something to help out,” he said.

“I’ve still been doing my training, so wanted to put that to some use as well - especially at the moment, when getting outside to do anything is difficult.

“It was very repetitive but I tried to mix it up a bit, anything to make it a bit more interesting!. “It was a lot harder than a normal marathon. The only support I had was my family - every so often they would come out to see how I was getting on.

“It was a mental struggle but I really wanted to complete it. I knew I could have a rest at the end!”

Ben hopes to be able to run the Brighton Marathon itself later in the year.

(04/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Andrew Papworth
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Brighton Marathon

Brighton Marathon

The Brighton Marathon is one of the UK’s favorite marathons. With stunning coastal scenery in one of the country’s most energetic cities, this is the perfect race for runners with all different levels of experience. The fast and beautiful course of the Brighton Marathon makes this a ‘must do’on any runners list. Come and experience it for yourself over 26.2...

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Like everywhere else, lives and plans in Japan have been put on hold by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus

Japan was one of the first countries after China to detect cases of the virus, its first on 16 January, but taking until 7 April for official numbers to climb enough for the national government to declare a state of emergency.

The official response within Japanese athletics has been similar, simultaneously fast and slow. The Tokyo Marathon on 1 March was one of the first outside China to put a stop order on this year’s edition, announcing that it would cancel its mass-participation race and go ahead as an elite-only event. The Nagoya Women’s Marathon on 8 March echoed that days later.

But while other road races joined Nagoya in following Tokyo’s lead, outdoor track season appeared ready to go forward. Some individual events in early April were voluntarily cancelled, but after 2008 Olympic 4x100m silver medallist Naoki Tsukahara was diagnosed with the coronavirus on 30 March, the JAAF Athlete Committee submitted a formal written request to the JAAF that all competitions through the end of May be cancelled or postponed. The JAAF went one better, cancelling or postponing everything through the end of June, including the National Championships.

So where did this leave Japan’s athletes? For some, it put fresh-caught dreams straight on to ice. Tokyo, Nagoya and Lake Biwa were the culmination of a three-year process to put together the best Olympic marathon teams Japan could. After these races, on 8 March the JAAF confirmed the line-ups of Honami Maeda, Ayuko Suzuki, and Mao Ichiyama for women, and Shogo Nakamura, Yuma Hattori and Suguru Osako for men.

On 15 March at the 20km race walk Olympic trials, Nanako Fujii and Koki Ikeda joined Kumiko Okada, Toshikazu Yamanishi, Yusuke Suzuki and Masatora Kawano on the Olympic race walk teams. Eiki Takahashi was added a few weeks later.

Japanese athletes have it easier. Low official infection numbers and the absence of a lockdown have meant comparatively fewer restrictions, but it’s still meant changes. Yuki Saito, assistant coach for both marathon runner Suzuki and 5000m Olympic team favourite Ririka Hironaka, said: “Suzuki was supposed to get physiotherapy at the Japan Institute of Sport Science, but it’s been closed and that’s been an issue. With 11 athletes on our team, we never have more than four or five running together. We can’t do out-of-town training, and since the declaration of emergency, the university where we do workouts has been closed. We’re probably going to use some nearby parks twice a week. With more people working from home there’ll be more around, so we have to be careful not to come too close.”

Post-collegiate Japanese athletes also have a little more peace of mind thanks to the corporate team system. Team members are salaried employees of the sponsor company, meaning that if the situation stretches on for months, they should still get paid whether or not they compete. That means less financial vulnerability than many professional athletes elsewhere.

But there is still the frustration of carefully worked-out plans thrown out the window and no races on the immediate horizon. Brendan Reilly, agent for all three women on the Olympic marathon squad, said: “We had race and/or training plans in place, and the last of those was scrapped in early April.”

For now, like everywhere, it’s a holding pattern. Like everywhere, Japanese athletes are doing what they can to stay optimistic and focused, and to help transmit the same feelings to the general population as the situation becomes more serious. From the members of the 4x100m team to high jump national record-holder Naoto Tobe to marathon runner Hattori, they’ve been posting workouts the average person can do at home, baking tips, and just positive messages.

“Sport is not only essential to maintain and elevate our physical and mental health,” wrote National Sports Agency commissioner and Olympic gold medallist Daichi Suzuki, “but also gives people pride, joy, dreams, excitement, courage. I hope all of us in the sport community can work together as one to help bring this public health threat under control.”

It’s a sentiment everyone in the sport worldwide can take to heart as we all face uncertainty in the year to come.

(04/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner for world Athletics
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UTMB organizers are still trying to make the race happen

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed that major sporting events would be cancelled until at least September. UTMB, one of the world’s biggest trail races, is set to run August 24 to 30 in Chamonix, France.

Despite this announcement, Catherine Poletti, co-founder of UTMB, thinks that the race will go ahead, just with some changes to the original plan.

Poletti says that while the race won’t be able to accommodate their 10,000 entrants, if they capped the event at 5,000, it might be possible.

“We are working on the barrier measures, not only for the start, but on all fronts,” she told Le Dauphine. “We are committed to not giving up. We still want to organize the event in compliance with the rules.

The entire economic community of the Mont-Blanc valley needs this. We are a race outside a mass stadium, which can adapt to the rules set by the government.”

While UTMB will hopefully be able to run, events like the Tour de France are facing cancellation.

The Tour, which was already rescheduled from June to August, will be well over the gathering cap of 5,000 people and is considered a major sporting event. No official statement has been made yet in regard to the Tour.

(04/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...

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Athletics Kenya´s president Jack Tuwei welcomed the global fund to bail out athletes during the pandemic by the world athletics

Kenya's athletes will benefit from a 500,000 U.S. dollar global fund, which World Athletics launched on Tuesday to help athletes with their financial needs through the Covid-19 pandemic period.

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei welcomed the move saying it will help bail out athletes who are most effected by the lack of competition with a complete lockdown of sports competitions globally.

"Certainly this fund will cushion them (athletes) from the effects of this virus. Every sector needs help and we thank World Athletics for coming up with such an initiative for athletes," Tuwei said in Nairobi.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said the fund would be used to assist athletes who have lost most of their income in the last few months due to the suspension of international competition while the world combats the global health emergency.

Coe said it was important that the sport supports its athletes who are most in need during the current circumstances.

"I am in constant contact with athletes around the world and I know that many are experiencing financial hardship as a consequence of the shutdown of most international sports competition in the last two months," said Coe.

Most professional athletes rely on prize money as part of their income.

"We're mindful that our competition season, on both the track and road, is being severely impacted by the pandemic. We are hopeful that we will be able to stage at least some competition later this year, but in the meantime we will also endeavor, through this fund and additional monies we intend to seek through the friends of our sport, to help as many athletes as possible," Coe added.

The World Athletics head will chair an expert multi-regional working group to assess the applications for assistance, which will be submitted through World Athletics' six Area Associations.

The members include Olympic champion and 1500m world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj, and Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi among others.

(04/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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The 2020 Fukuoka Marathon has been Cancelled

In the midst of the novel coronavirus crisis both in Japan and abroad and in light of the disease's constantly changing impact and the difficulty of assessing the future situation, the organizers of the 2020 Fukuoka Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 8, have made the decision to cancel this year's race.

We apologize to everyone who had looked forward to the Fukuoka Marathon and to everyone involved with it, but we ask for your understanding.

We hope that the coronavirus crisis comes to an end quickly and that everyone can return to their daily lives, and we ask you all to take care of both your physical and mental health until that day comes.

The Fukuoka Marathon Organizing Committee.

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Fukuoka Marathon

Fukuoka Marathon

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. ...

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The postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics could be cancelled if the coronavirus pandemic isn't brought under control by next year

The postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be cancelled if the coronavirus pandemic isn't brought under control by next year, the organising committee's president said in comments published Tuesday.

The pandemic has already forced a year-long delay of the Games, which are now scheduled to open on July 23, 2021, but Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said no further postponement was possible.

In an interview with Japan's Nikkan Sports daily, Mori was categorical when asked if the Olympics could be delayed until 2022 if the pandemic remains a threat next year, replying: "No."

"In that case, it's cancelled," Mori said. 

Mori said the Games had been cancelled previously only during wartime and compared the battle against coronavirus to "fighting an invisible enemy".

If the virus is successfully contained, "we'll hold the Olympics in peace next summer", he added. "Mankind is betting on it."

Under heavy pressure from athletes and sports associations, Japanese organisers and the International Olympic Committee agreed in March to a year-long postponement of the Games.

Organisers and Japanese officials have said the delayed Olympics will be a chance to showcase the world's triumph over the coronavirus, but questions have arisen about whether even a year's postponement is sufficient.

On Tuesday, the head of Japan Medical Association warned it would be "exceedingly difficult" to hold the Games next year if a vaccine had not been found.

"I would not say that they should not be held, but it would be exceedingly difficult," Yoshitake Yokokura told reporters at a briefing.

And last week a Japanese medical expert who has criticised the country's response to the coronavirus warned that he was "very pessimistic" that the postponed Olympics can be held in 2021.

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Saucony company announced almost 100 per cent of its new apparel will be made using renewable resources

Saucony recently announced that the company will focus on sustainability as it moves forward, and almost all of its new products will be made with renewable materials.

The company is even developing its first biodegradable shoe, which is “one small step toward reducing our footprint for good.” Hundreds of millions of pairs of shoes are produced every year, and hundreds of millions more are tossed in the trash and end up in landfills.

With more sustainable practices and materials used, companies can significantly lower the amount of waste humans produce on a yearly basis.

Eco-Friendly production.- Natural, organic and recycled materials were used to produce Saucony’s new Spring 2020 collection. The company’s “environmentally conscious materials” include recycled polyester, which it produces by melting existing plastic (water bottles, for example) and turning it into a new polyester fibre. 

Saucony is looking to use as much recycled polyester as possible without sacrificing the comfort and durability of its products.

Saucony’s eco-friendly materials also include recycled nylon and organic cotton. Even the tags attached to clothing will be made with a mix of recycled post-consumer waste and paper.

The first-ever biodegradable Saucony shoe was the focus of a Super Bowl ad in February. In the commercial the narrator asks the question, “What if the shoes we threw away actually went away?” That is the goal of the biodegradable shoe, which is still in development: to have a shoe which, when thrown away, won’t just sit in landfill and take decades to decompose.

The first biodegradable shoe will be added to the Saucony Originals line, and it will be made from natural materials and renewable resources while also remaining completely free of plastics, bioplastics and plastic derivatives.

In addition to creating this eco-friendly shoe, its manufacturing process will use less electricity, and it won’t be built using petroleum-based glues and threads. It’s a shoe that is environmentally friendly from its earliest stages of production until the end of its life.

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Ultrarunner Gary Robbins ran 100 miles on treadmill in virtual race to raise money for the B.C. Search and Rescue Association

This past weekend, Gary Robbins went for a run on his treadmill, and he didn’t stop for almost 26 hours. He ran in the Aravaipa Strong virtual race, competing in the 100-mile event, and his run doubled as a fundraiser for the B.C. Search and Rescue Association. Running for 26 hours is hard enough, but Robbins made it even tougher on himself and climbed around 17,500 feet in addition to running 100 miles.

His challenge has raised over $15,000 for the B.C. Search and Rescue Association, and donations can still be made to support the cause.

The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association is a non-profit society that represents 79 search and rescue groups across B.C. Across the province, 2,500 volunteers are available in over 80 communities 24/7, collectively putting in 100,000 hours of work each year.

These groups have an incredible rate of success, with 95 per cent of subjects found or rescued within the first 24 hours of a call. The Search and Rescue Association gets some support from the provincial government, but it relies on donations to stay active.

Robbins hoped to raise $5,000 for the non-profit, but he has tripled that goal and the total now sits above $15,000.

Robbins’ official time for the 100-mile run was 25:53:42. Although this is almost 10 hours slower than the winner of the 100-mile Aravaipa Strong event (American Sarah Emoto won the virtual race in 16:15:46), Robbins likely had a much harder run than any of the other competitors as it included 17,500 feet of elevation.

Robbins is no stranger to ultramarathons, and before the coronavirus outbreak he was gearing up for another shot at the Barkley Marathons this year. Even with a history of ultrarunning, Robbins struggled with the treadmill run.

“Happy to have gotten through this so that I never have to think about anything like this again,” he tweeted. “It was challenging in all the ways I thought it’d be and lots more ways I hadn’t envisioned. My body is completely wrecked.” His wife, Linda Barton-Robbins, also tweeted post-race, saying that her husband couldn’t even make it up their stairs at home.

The Aravaipa Strong virtual race took place from April 17 to 26, and runners could choose from seven distances, starting with 5K up to 100 miles. The races featured over 2,000 runners worldwide from 29 different countries. Ten per cent of the proceeds from the race were donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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World Athletics has created a fund to support athletes during the pandemic

World Athletics, together with the International Athletics Foundation (IAF), has today launched a US$500,000 fund to support professional athletes experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who also chairs the IAF, said the fund would be used to assist athletes who have lost most of their income in the last few months due to the suspension of international competition while the world combats the global health emergency.

Established in 1986 to support charitable causes involving athletics, the International Athletics Foundation, under the Honorary Presidency of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, has allocated resources from its budgets for 2020 and 2021 to assist athletes in need through this process.Coe will chair an expert multi-regional working group to assess the applications for assistance, which will be submitted through World Athletics’ six Area Associations.

The members will include: Olympic champion and 1500m world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj, Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi (representing the WA Athletes’ Commission), WA Executive Board members Sunil Sabharwal (Audit Committee) and Abby Hoffman, WA Council members Adille Sumariwalla, Beatrice Ayikoru and Willie Banks, IAF Executive Committee member and former WA treasurer Jose Maria Odriozola and Team Athletics St Vincent and the Grenadines President Keith Joseph.

The working group will meet this week to establish a process for awarding and distributing grants to individual athletes and to look at other ways to raise additional monies for the fund.Coe said it was important that the sport supported its athletes most in need during the current circumstances.

“I would especially like to thank Hicham for bringing this idea to us, and Prince Albert for his strong support of this project. I am in constant contact with athletes around the world and I know that many are experiencing financial hardship as a consequence of the shutdown of most international sports competition in the last two months. Our professional athletes rely on prize money as part of their income and we’re mindful that our competition season, on both the track and road, is being severely impacted by the pandemic.

We are hopeful that we will be able to stage at least some competition later this year, but in the meantime we will also endeavour, through this fund and additional monies we intend to seek through the friends of our sport, to help as many athletes as possible.

"HSH Prince Albert II added: "I created more than 35 years ago the International Athletics Foundation with the late Primo Nebiolo to encourage and promote athletics and grant financial assistance to athletics federations and the most deserving athletes.

Since its inception the Foundation has distributed for these purposes more than US$30 Million. I am delighted that we can put our resources behind this initiative so we can make a difference to the lives of athletes who are suffering financially at this time.

We hope that this support will help those athletes preparing for international competition, including next year’s Olympic Games, to sustain their training, support their families and that this will relieve them of some stress in these uncertain times.’’El Guerrouj said: “The pandemic is causing economic pain to people from all parts of society, including athletes, and this is a time when we must come together as a global community to help each other.

I am delighted that Seb and World Athletics reacted so positively to my suggestion that we create a fund for athletes, and have made it happen with the support of the International Athletics Foundation.

The suspension of competition has had a huge impact on many professional athletes because they can’t earn prize money so I’m really pleased that we have found a way to assist them.”

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The 2020 San Francisco Marathon has been postponed from July 26 and moved to November 15

We have all been watching as the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to evolve and affect every aspect of our lives right now. In order to prevent the spread of the illness and to not overwhelm the healthcare system around the world, governments have taken a wide array of measures including limiting large scale events.

The City and County of San Francisco has led the charge and helped flatten the curve, yet there is still more to be done and the health and safety of our participants, staff and volunteers is always our first priority. Following further discussions with the City and County of San Francisco, we have made the decision to reschedule the San Francisco Marathon to November 15, 2020. We are grateful for the support of the City and County for their flexibility and assistance in selecting this new date to ensure our runners can still enjoy this iconic City event. We are working to implement new race day safety measures that we will share over the coming months.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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San Francisco Marathon Weekend

San Francisco Marathon Weekend

2020 race has been moved to November 15 from July 26. The San Francisco Marathon (Full Marathon, 1st Half Marathon, 2nd Half Marathon, 5K and Ultra marathon) will fill San Francisco’s streets. The course is both challenging and rewarding. You’ll enjoy waterfront miles along the Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Crissy Field; feel your heart pound as you race across the...

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A family of three generations of Greenwich will undertake marathon on balcony

A Greenwich family of three generations say they are "blown away" by the response to their plan to walk a marathon on their balcony.

Ruth, 87, Charles, 58, Deborah, 57, and James Montlake, 31, will be walking a marathon's distance together on their balcony on the cancelled London Marathon date.

The challenge will be in aid of myeloma, a type of blood cancer that Charles was diagnosed with in December last year.

Charles told the PA news agency: "Myeloma UK is a charity which does a lot of good work and when I was first diagnosed in December, like many people, I didn't know anything about myeloma ... they really were there for me and I feel like in what we're doing, we're giving something back."

The family estimates that the challenge on the 11-metre-long balcony will take over 10 hours and around 4,000 lengths to complete.

They began the marathon at 9am on Sunday, and are expecting friends and family to cheer them on from the park below their flat.

Charles told PA: "As we live in Greenwich, we're very close to the marathon ... we always walk up the hill to watch it start and then come back down to cheer people as they pass by.

"We're obviously going to miss the marathon ... so we're going to do it ourselves!"

Aside from Charles's weekly chemotherapy at Guy's Hospital, he and the rest of the family must isolate, with neighbours delivering shopping for them.

Charles told PA: "We've been very lucky (during lockdown) because James is not normally in the UK. It's really nice to have our son with us and that has really helped us a lot.

"Apart from that, we've barely had a moment to get bored, we've all got things to do."

The challenge started with a £260 target to correspond with the marathon's 26-mile distance, but the family now has a target of £10,000 due to funds pouring in.

Charles's mother Ruth, who normally uses a walking frame, said: "I'm really quite excited about it ... this has been a wonderful opportunity to help.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Euan O'Byrne Mulligan
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A retired teacher living with cancer has inspired his daughter to run a virtual fundraising event for the charity helping him through his illness

Lizzie Shankland-Fee said the courage of her dad, former Huntington School deputy head Gordon Fee, was driving her on to organise a social-distancing marathon with a group of friends.

Gordon, 80, was a gymnast who marked his 60th birthday by turning six back-flips. He still boasted a six-pack when he turned 75. But after running the 2018 York 10K Gordon felt breathless and tests showed he had the lung cancer mesothelioma.

He underwent surgery, chemotherapy and other gruelling treatments, and was not expected to live beyond a year, but Gordon, his wife Linda and their family are continuing to take each day as it comes, supported by York Against Cancer.

The charity gave them a free short break at its Whitby apartment and Gordon has also taken part in its free exercise sessions. “The holiday was magical,” said Lizzie, 40.

“The apartment is a magnificent penthouse and the views of the beach are phenomenal. “Some days Dad struggled but he could watch us taking the kids down to the beach. When he was well we carried him down there and he had the most amazing day, just watching us burying the kids in the sand! It was perfect. We now live for the rainbow days and memories we can make together.”

But Lizzie, a teacher who lives in Manchester, has not been able to see Gordon and his wife Linda since coronavirus struck. They are self-isolating at home in York.

Lizzie has set up a JustGiving page, where wellwishers can sponsor her and leave messages of support.

She says her dad was very touched when she told him what she was doing. “People have left such lovely messages and for him to be able to read them is really sweet.”

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Haydn Lewis
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A Backyard London Marathon challenge in aid of Manorlands proved a runaway success

What began with a conversation between four people, who were due to take part in yesterday's marathon around the streets of the capital before it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, escalated.

The quartet spread the word among fellow members and friends of Keighley & Craven Athletic Club and Craven Energy Triathlon Club.

And 41 entrants – equating, with relay teams, to more than 100 people – each pounded the 26.2-mile-distance around their gardens and yards yesterday.

They 'lined-up' on a virtual Zoom start line at 9.30am for the challenge, which so far has raised around £13,000.

Organiser Gary Chapman, 52, of Haworth, said the response had been "remarkable".

"I have been a member of both clubs for many years and I've never been as proud with so many people stepping-up at no notice to support Manorlands," he added.

"I help with the Keighley & Craven club's junior section and was inspired throughout the day with photos/videos of our wonderfully-talented youngsters pinging their way through to me on WhatsApp as I ran the entire 26.2 miles myself in my garden – it got me through the pain, with 6,400ft of ascent and 17,400 garden steps to negotiate in 372 laps!"

Also among those taking part were junior coaches Sue Straw and Tony Booth, with their children Dylan and Maizie. Tony ran the whole marathon in four hours 26 minutes, while the rest of the family completed it in relay formation. Sue also organised for a number of juniors to complete a virtual relay.

Dick Ballantine, 54, a headteacher from Haworth well-known for some of his long-distance challenges, stepped-up to the mark. He ran around his field, occasionally being accompanied by daughter Poppy on her horse. "Despite a nasty injury at six miles he completed the next 20 in lots of pain to show his support for Manorlands," said Gary.

Other participants included Pablo and Mel Vasquez and their children Marcela, six, Santi, ten, and Seb, 12, who between them completed the full marathon distance. Pablo said: "It was a fantastic family day for a great cause."

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alistair Shand
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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The 2020 sports season is lost to many sportsmen, but Eliud Kipchoge hopes to return stronger in 2021 and win a back-to-back Olympic title

In 2016, Kipchoge reclaimed Kenya's gold in the marathon, which was first won by the late Samuel Wanjiru at the magnificent Bird's Nest stadium in the 2008 Beijing Olympics but was lost at the 2012 London Games to Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.

Now the 35-year-old is dreaming of adding another feather to his illustrious cap by having a great addition to his impressive distance running record to win the second gold on the Olympic marathon.

"If all goes well next year 2021, I will defend my title in the marathon in a competitive field and probably post a good time. It will add more to my running career," Kipchoge told the Olympic Channel.

Over a decade ago, Kipchoge felt like he had the inspiration and energy to finally get crowned the Olympic champion in Beijing.

He was making his second appearance at the Games having clinched bronze at the Athens Games in 2004. But he had to wait another eight years to win the Olympic title."I was really in shape in Beijing.

Even with two laps to go my mind was telling me, 'You will be Olympic Champion this year'. But I had no more fuel and Kenenisa Bekele won the race," he said.

Now the two men, despite missing out to meet at the London marathon on Sunday, are set to clash at the Tokyo Games in 2021. It will be their fifth meeting over the marathon distance. Kipchoge has won all four previous shows.

"It's true, Bekele beat me several times on the track. But I have won all the races in the marathon," said Kipchoge.

Kipchoge became only the second Kenyan after Wanjiru to win an Olympic marathon.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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NN Running Team releases a short documentary followed several training groups in Africa called The long run, an inside view

The NN Running Team has possibly the most stacked lineup of long distance runners in the world. With world, European and national record-holders, and names like Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenise Bekele, the team uniform can often be seen in the lead at the world’s biggest races. NN Running recently released a min-documentary called The long run, an inside view, which takes viewers into several training camps and focuses on the importance of the long run, which is an integral part of every marathon training plan.

It’s a brief look at what training is like for the world’s best marathoners, and it has great lessons for runners of all levels.

The NN Running Team doesn’t have one set training location, so the film looks at groups in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. In the doc, Kipchoge and Bekele are interviewed in their home countries of Kenya and Ethiopia, respectively, along with Kenyan half-marathon world record-holder, Geoffrey Kamworor, and Joshua Cheptegei, the 5K and 10K world record-holder from Uganda.

Switzerland’s Julien Wanders, the European half-marathon record-holder, is also a member of the NN team, and shots of his training in Iten, Kenya, are included in the film. Selly Chepyego is the only woman from the team featured in the documentary. In 2019, Chepyego, who is from Kenya, came in third at the Berlin Marathon, and earlier this year she was fourth at the Tokyo Marathon.

When we see videos of elite athletes in training, a lot of the time they’re shots from hard workouts on the track. Sometimes there are clips from long runs, but that training session is never the focus. This mini-documentary shows just how important the long run is, especially for marathoners.

“[Marathon training] is basically 90 to 95 per cent mileage,” Victor Chumo says in the film. “If you don’t do it, the chances that you are going to perform [are] less likely. That’s where you find some athletes who are less prepared. When he reaches around 35 to 40K, that’s when he faces some kind of problems or challenges.”

Kipchoge says his group rarely talks during their long runs, because it is a time to “concentrate on yourself.” Just like any other session, the long run requires your focus and attention. Wanders emphasizes that the long run is not a race, and although it can be tempting to run fast and push your training partners, it’s absolutely necessary to hold back and save your speed for another day. They also mention that, rain or shine, the long run always gets done. This is one of the most important parts of marathon training, so you can’t skip it.

Even if you don’t run marathons, there are lessons to be learned from this film, but besides the lessons, it’s just a fun look into the lives (or at least one part of the lives) of some of the world’s best runners.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Kenyan Margaret Chelimo says that 2020 Tokyo Olympics was her big target this season

Restriction introduced by the government to fight the spread of Covid-19 such as social distancing and banning of social gatherings has forced several athletes to take a much closer interest in their side activities.

One such athlete is world 5,000m silver medalist Margaret Chelimo. Now getting used to training individually she has found herself with more me-time at her farm in Kapng’etich in Nandi County and spends it farming.

She said that after her morning run, she goes to her farm where she has planted maize, beans, sugar cane and other crops.

When Nation Sport visited her on Sunday she was busy on her sugarcane plantation. This planting season she dedicated two acres of land to the sugar producing cash crop, a new venture for her she duly informed.

She is among many other farmers in the region who are now abandoning the traditional maize farming which they feel doesn’t bring any value to them due to poor market prices.

“I have decided to venture into sugar cane farming because I have been planting maize for a long time and I’m not getting any profits,” said Chelimo.

Of course the farming activity comes after her individual run to keep her body in shape for the season, when it will resume. Remember athletics is her main bread and butter business at this stage in her life.

Chelimo bagged silver in last year’s Doha World Athletics Championships women’s 5,000m after clocking 14:27.49 behind race winner, compatriot Hellen Obiri who timed 14:26.72.

In 2018, she won silver for Kenya in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 5,000m, finishing second to Obiri after crossing the line in 15:15.28. Chelimo started the season explosively, winning the BOclassic Silvesterlauf 5,000m race in 15:30.

In January, Chelimo stunned World Cross Country champion Obiri to win the Cross Internacional de Italica in Seville, Spain after cutting the tape in 28:37 ahead of compatriot Beatrice Chebet (28:49).

High in confidence she was all primed to run in the Doha Diamond League series 3,000m race on April 17 before the athletics calendar was suspended following the outbreak of coronavirus.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was her big target this season before the Games were pushed to next year.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot will be grateful returning to action in London marathon

Olympic champions Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot have urged their fans to remain hopeful even as the world battles the effect of coronavirus globally.

The two were due to compete on Sunday in London marathon (April 26), but the race, like many across the globe, has been postponed. Organizers have picked on Oct. 4 as the new dates if the health situation allows.

Cheruiyot, who has recovered from a tendon injury, which ruled her out of the Berlin marathon last year, says despite there being no competition across the sports spectrum, she was happy to be healthy and said she will live to compete again soon.

"Today, there will be no London marathon, but we will be back in action soon. Stay positive and stay healthy," said Cheruiyot on Sunday from Eldoret.

On his side, Kipchoge, who is unable to train with his teammates, says the virus will be defeated and sports will flourish yet again.

"We will return to action stronger and with a lot of hope," said Kipchoge.

"The important thing is to remain focused and disciplined. We have a war to fight against the coronavirus, but we have a responsibility to remain healthy and safe."

The two were also named in the Kenya team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics before it was pushed back to 2021.

But with no guarantees, Cheruiyot hopes to remain injury free and will always honor a call to represent the country in the Olympics. However, Cheruiyot is non-committal on her fitness when the new dates for the Tokyo Olympics.

"One year is a long time and we want to be in our best shape and compete. But we will be patient and see how the season unfolds. The important thing for now is to remain safe, there are no immediate plans on sports and we have to live with that. Until then, we just train as often as we can under the health guidelines," he said.

Already the London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher has said that while he hopes the London Marathon will take place as normal on Oct. 4, it might have to be slimmed down to an elite only race.

"But in today's society, you can never say never. We are trying to stay really agile and to keep scenario planning. And at the moment, I don't want to discount anything until it becomes really impossible," he said.

Brasher also would not confirm whether Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele had signed up for October's revised race. 

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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NEW DATES OF JULY 16-19 SET FOR 2020 NEW BALANCE NATIONALS OUTDOOR

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have moved the 2020 New Balance Nationals Outdoor to the new dates of Thursday-Sunday, July 16-19. These are tentative dates and depend totally on the guidance of national, state and local governments. We will continue to post updates as further definitive information is available (hopefully next 2-4 weeks). We continue to be cautiously optimistic we can host the meet on the new scheduled dates and wish everyone good health and safety in the meantime.

Registration was opened for the meet two weeks ago. Please go HERE to register. While we have opened registration, we aren’t accepting payments at this time.

Once it is confirmed that the meet will indeed take place, entry fees will then be activated. Registrants will be notified of due dates and changes as they arise. Notification will be via the email system in Athletic.net using the email address on your account. It is important that registrants check the email address you have in the Athletic.net system to ensure that it is accurate.

Another of the most important things to know about qualifying for NBNO is that we have adopted standards to allow for using marks from the 2020 indoor and 2019 outdoor seasons for qualifying. Please go to the updated STANDARDS page for more information on that.

We have also relaxed entry standards for the freshman events.

Other details regarding the meet remain the same at this time. You can view those by going to the MEET INFO page.

We hope next month that we’ll be able to confirm our hosting of the meet. Meanwhile, again, good health and safety to all.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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People are still running in Central Park but the thought of it now makes me nervous

(Editor’s note: I asked my friend Larry Allen to give me his overview of the situation back east due to COVID-19. Larry is a lifetime runner and is a cancer survivor. Him and his wife live in New York City and has a weekend house in Connecticut.)

“Hi Bob, Sorry to be so slow to respond. We are in Connecticut at our weekend place. We were without internet for 10 days, our cell service is nil and our phone only functions with working internet. It was a real catch22 to find a way to get a service appointment, certainly because we were untethered digitally but more so because the ISP was overwhelmed and.short staffed. We finally got through on Twitter and now with a new router & modem I think we’re back in the modern world, to the extent we can bear to be.

"My oncologist and my internist essentially booted me out of the city in early March due to my still compromised immune system. I was due to have a CT scan and some other post-chemo exams a month ago, just to be certain all was still ok and that I had no reoccurrence of the cancer. Unfortunately the Doctors won’t let me near a hospital, they explained that the risk to go without followup exams for the near term was less than the risk of showing up at the hospital and possibly being infected with my immune system as it is.

"We are safe here for now. Concerned about the food supply and basic services but there’s not much more to be done than hunkering down and hoping that the trends begin to turn.

"I’ve been able to continue running six days, 25-35 miles a week. I try to go to the rail trail near our home which is usually my peaceful place. The odd hybrid bureaucratic nature of the shared federal/state/local responsibility for the trail has spared it from being closed as is the case for all other state and local parks with less complicated governance. The bad news is this: there are huge numbers of people suffering from “cabin fever” in lovely spring weather after a long winter and too few places for people to get out for some exercise. Naturally the rail trail has gotten too crowded for safety so other than going at dawn or dusk or during a rainstorm it’s not really an option. I guess it’s somewhat of a blessing that there are far fewer cars on the road so hitting the pavement is less treacherous than it might be. One has to assuming e the air quality is better too.

"As you know we live very close to Central Park and it is one of my favorite places to run.  I really enjoyed running with you there last year.  

"People are still running in Central Park. I don’t know how but the very thought of it makes me very nervous now." 

(Photos:  me a couple of weeks back,  enjoying a run with Bob in the park last Feb 2019 and Bob and I at a Speak Easy the night before.  Bob's wife Catherine took the shot.  When life was normal.) 

(04/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Larry Allen
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I was suppose to be running the Big Sur Marathon today

Today was the day I was supposed to run the Big Sur International Marathon. With all major races cancelled or postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic I am reading about all my fellow runners moving forward with their own virtual races. I did about 10 miles this weekend, but got too bored on my treadmill to go a full marathon. Looking forward to when we can race for real again.

(04/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Winton Jew
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

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

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The Chicago Marathon Is Allowing Runners to Cancel Their 2020 Race Entries

Runners who do choose to cancel will have guaranteed entry into the 2021 race.

The Chicago Marathon—scheduled for Sunday, October 11, this year—has announced a cancellation option for runners registered for the 2020 race. The policy is not new for the race, but this year is slightly different with the uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, which has put many races this year in jeopardy because of the risks related to mass gatherings.

Chicago organizers sent an email (obtained by Runner’s World) to entrants on Tuesday announcing the option to cancel would be available starting May 5. Runners will have the option to cancel and earn guaranteed entry to the 2021 race. At the moment, there is no deadline by which runners have to cancel.

However, there are several caveats runners should note when making their decisions.

The move is one we’ll likely see from various races around the world that are canceling or postponing their events due to the coronavirus. The Boston Marathon and the London Marathon were both postponed until the fall, and the Berlin Marathon will not happen as scheduled because of coronavirus restrictions in place in Germany.

(04/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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The 2020 Boston Marathon was postponed but some experts are saying maybe it should be canceled altogether until the fall of 2021

The 2020 Boston Marathon was postponed due to the coronavirus. Could it be canceled altogether?

Marty Walsh is "hopeful" the race will happen in September. Some experts aren't sure it should.

For the first time since the 19th century, April will pass in Boston without a Boston Marathon.

Rather than cheering crowds, the course was overcome by eery silence this Patriots’ Day, after the 124th edition of the race was postponed until Sept. 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has said he hopes runners and fans will still embrace the “once-in-a-lifetime” late-summer race. But as a clearer picture begins to emerge of the steps needed to effectively beat back the virus, it’s increasingly unclear whether the 2020 marathon can — or should — happen at all.

“I do not think such a race will be wise in September,” said Glen Weyl, a co-author of a report released this week by Harvard’s Safra Center for Ethics on the steps needed to combat the pandemic in order to safely return to normalcy.

The Safra Center report and others, released by both right-leaning and left-leaning groups, broadly recommend a similar path forward: While certain nonessential businesses may be allowed to reopen in phases as COVID-19 testing and tracing is ramped up, bans against mass public gatherings — like concerts and sporting events — should remain in place until mass immunity or a vaccine is developed, which is expected to take at least another year.

Given its usual pool of 30,000 runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators along the 26.2-mile course, it’s hard to foresee the Boston Marathon going forward in any recognizable way in September, according to Weyl.

“Anything even close to the current format could not work,” he told Boston.com.

Walsh is aware of the bleak projection; in a recent CNN interview, he acknowledged the possibility that concerts and sporting events may not be able to resume in Boston until 2021.

And during a press conference Wednesday, he noted the recent cancellation of the Berlin Marathon — a 60,000-person race scheduled two weeks later than the Boston Marathon and in a country with more widespread testing — after city officials extended a ban on all events of more than 5,000 people through Oct. 24.

“To be honest, we haven’t had those conversations yet,” the mayor said during a press conference Wednesday, when asked about the chances that the Boston Marathon would happen as planned in September.

“I am hopeful that we will be able to have the marathon, because certainly it felt on Monday there was a void in the city of Boston,” he added. “But we will have more conversations and discussions.”

The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the annual race, says it will follow the guidance of city and state officials on matters of public health and safety, particularly when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will remain flexible to address and explore all factors with public officials as we plan for the race,” the BAA told Boston.com in a statement. “Our priority remains the health and well-being of members of our community.”

The marathon has never been canceled in its history. Only in 1918, due to World War I, was the annual Patriots’ Day race changed to a military relay race. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the usually 38,000-runner Tokyo Marathon last month narrowed down its field to 200 elite runners and advised spectators against gathering along the route.

Walsh, however, has dismissed the notion of stripping the Boston Marathon of its defining characteristics.

“That’s not the Boston Marathon,” he said last month, when asked about restricting the race to elite runners. “We’re an inclusive marathon. The Boston Marathon is for everyone.”

While the Berlin race will not take place in September “as planned,” the Boston Marathon isn’t the only major event still slated for this year.

Major marathons in London and Madrid, originally scheduled in April, have also been postponed until the fall. And the New York City Marathon is  still officially planned to go forward on Nov. 1.

Experts say certain social distancing measures could be incrementally repealed this summer in the so-called second phase of the coronavirus response. However, they agree that bans on large gatherings will be the last to be lifted.

Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Association commissioner under President Donald Trump, wrote in a recent report that while “the majority of schools, universities, and businesses” could reopen during the second phase, “social gatherings should continue to be limited to fewer than 50 people wherever possible,” until a vaccine has been approved.

The liberal-leaning Center for American Progress made a similar recommendation.

“Gatherings of more than 50 people must continue to be banned,” the think tank wrote in a report earlier this month. “Once herd immunity has been achieved through mass vaccination, all remaining restrictions can be lifted.”

Given the timeline for developing a treatment for the disease, epidemiologists at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health estimated in a report last week that the bans on large gatherings may not be “fully relaxed by early- to mid-2021,” with intermittent social distancing possibly needed until 2022.

“It depends on the data and information we have available to us and where we are with the coronavirus, what cases are still active, how much testing do we have, how many people are immune to the virus,” Walsh told CNN last week.

There are also some concerns about a second wave of coronavirus hitting in the fall in conjunction with flu season when the weather gets colder.

In a recent New York Times interview, bioethicist Zeke Emmanuel ridiculed the notion that the largest gatherings — specifically conferences, concerts, and sporting events — could be put off until later in the year.

“When people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility,” Emmanuel said. “I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”

(04/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Nik DeCosta-Klipa (Boston.com)
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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More about the 2020 Berlin Marathon Cancelation

The decision was made after the Germany government banned group gatherings of more than 5,000 people until after October 24.

On April 21, the Berlin Marathon announced that the race will not happen as planned on September 27, due to coronavirus restrictions on group sizes in Berlin.

The announcement did not mention whether the race is canceled outright or will be postponed for a later date.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact a huge number of lives across the globe, large races set for the fall have begun to seem less and less likely to happen. And on April 21, the unfortunate news came: the Berlin Marathon, scheduled for September 27, has been canceled due to coronavirus restrictions.

According to an announcement on the race’s event page, the marathon can’t be run as scheduled because of an ordinance set in place by the German government prohibiting all events with more than 5,000 people from now until October 24.

The announcement did not mention whether the race is canceled outright or will be postponed for a later date. It also didn’t mention whether or not registered runners will be able to receive a refund for their race bib or roll over their registration to 2021.

The announcement did not mention whether the race is canceled outright or will be postponed for a later date. It also didn’t mention whether or not registered runners will be able to receive a refund for their race bib or roll over their registration to 2021.

“We will now deal with the consequences, coordinate the further steps, and inform you as soon as we can. Let us remain strong together,” said the Berlin Marathon event team in an Instagram post.

Eliminating the Berlin Marathon from the fall race schedule is especially sad news for the running community, as the fast course has hosted spectacular performances over the years, including Eliud Kipchoge’s current marathon world record of 2:01:39.

The cancellation also puts into question the likelihood of whether the other World Major Marathons—Boston, London, Chicago, and New York City—will happen as planned later this year.

The Chicago Marathon, still scheduled to run on October 11, recently announced a cancellation option for runners registered for the 2020 race. Meanwhile, Boston and London—which were originally planned for this month but postponed until September 14 and October 4, respectively—as well as New York City, scheduled for November 1, have not yet made announcements about coronavirus-related schedule changes.

(04/25/2020) ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

2020 Marathon has been cancelled. The story of the BERLIN-MARATHON is a story of the development of road running. When the first BERLIN-MARATHON was started on 13th October 1974 on a minor road next to the stadium of the organisers‘ club SC Charlottenburg Berlin 286 athletes had entered. The first winners were runners from Berlin: Günter Hallas (2:44:53), who...

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IOC and Japan clash over who pays for additional costs arising from postponement of Tokyo 2020

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been forced to backtrack after irritating the Japanese Government and Tokyo 2020 by suggesting Prime Minister Shinzō Abe had agreed to cover additional costs following the postponement of the Olympic Games.

In a question and answer-style statement on its website yesterday, the IOC said Abe had "agreed that Japan will continue to cover the costs it would have done under the terms of the existing agreement for 2020, and the IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the costs".

"For the IOC, it is already clear that this amounts to several hundred millions of dollars of additional costs," the IOC added, repeating a comment made by President Thomas Bach in an interview with a German newspaper last weekend.

While Japan is obligated to cover added costs in the Host City Contract for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics it signed with the IOC in 2013, the statement prompted chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga to deny any agreement had been reached.

"It's not true there has been an agreement on an additional cost burden," he said.

The IOC has since deleted the statement, which has sparked an open conflict with organisers, referencing Abe and an agreement regarding the additional costs, reported by Kyodo News to be around $3 billion (£2.4 billion/€2.8 billion).

Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya said organisers had asked the IOC to remove the comment, telling a teleconference involving Japanese media that it was "not appropriate for the Prime Minister's name to be quoted in this manner".

In an update to the post today, the IOC said: "The IOC and the Japanese side, including the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, will continue to assess and discuss jointly the respective impacts caused by the postponement."

The u-turn from the IOC adds to already considerable uncertainty surrounding numerous areas of the organisation of the rescheduled Games and will be viewed by some as the IOC's latest communications error.

The IOC faced criticism from athletes and others for continuing to insist Tokyo 2020 would take place as planned this year, despite the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, which eventually led to the postponement of the Games until 2021.

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshirō Mutō had previously admitted the decision will result in "massive" extra costs.

The IOC has conceded adjustments will be required to reduce additional expenditure, while John Coates, chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020, said last week those involved in the organisation of the Games would assess "all opportunities to explore the scope and service levels" at the rearranged event to find savings.

Coates also suggested some of the "nice haves" at the event, such as live celebration sites across Japan, would have to be cut to save additional costs.

(04/25/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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New dates are set for the 2020 US Olympic Trials

 New dates for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials — Track & Field are set, USATF announced today. The event will take place June 18–27, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. 

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were postponed due to the novel coronavirus, thereby necessitating the postponement of the corresponding Olympic Trials. USATF worked closely with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and TrackTown USA to secure the new dates. 

The competition schedule will remain much the same. While there is a possibility that some of the timings of the competition windows may shift, the events taking place on each day will not change.

The schedule of events can be found here. Existing ticket customers will have their tickets automatically rolled over to the new dates in 2021. Customers who wish to request a refund will be able to do so at TrackTown20.com beginning on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time.

Ticketing policies and procedures for refund requests will also be available at TrackTown20.com on that day. This refund process will remain open for 90 days. The Olympic Trials will be contested in a new, state-of-the-art Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field will be presented across NBC Sports’ numerous platforms. Broadcast information will be released later.

(04/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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The race director of London Marathon admits that the event may include only elite runners

The race director of the London Marathon has refused to rule out staging the event as an elite-only race in the autumn if social distancing rules make it impossible to run as normal.

Hugh Brasher told the Guardian that while organisers still hoped to hold the event with 45,000 mass participants on 4 October, they were now scenario-planning around 10 other options because of the global pandemic.

“The flame is still burning,” said Brasher. “And is there hope? Absolutely. But you have to do what’s right for society. You usually have 750,000 people out in central London watching 45,000 runners. Then there’s the medics, the 6,000 volunteers and the transport system. There’s masses to take into account when making any decision.”

When asked directly whether the London Marathon – which was due to take place this Sunday before being pushed back – might have to be only for elite athletes if social restrictions had not eased completely, Brasher replied: “Honestly, I don’t know. But in today’s society, you can never say never. We are trying to stay really agile and to keep scenario planning. And at the moment, I don’t want to discount anything until it becomes really impossible.”

Last month’s Tokyo marathon was staged as an elite-only race, with the field reduced to just 300 runners and the streets largely deserted. Most major spring marathons subsequently decided to postpone their races to the autumn – but those events also look in doubt with no vaccine in sight and, ominously, the Berlin marathon has already cancelled its race in September.

“Our decision will be made by the back end of August at the latest,” explained Brasher. “It will be based on the government guidelines, and what we and society think is right and what feels right.”

Brasher would not confirm whether Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele, who were due to meet on Sunday in a clash for the ages, had signed up for October’s revised race. However he told the Guardian: “We always want to get the most competitive race. This was going to be the 40th London marathon, and its greatest race. It was going to be spectacular. But we want to make October 4 spectacular too. So that’s what our focus is.”

Last year the London Marathon raised £66.4m for charities, again making it the biggest single-day fundraising event in Britain. And while Sunday’s race will not take place, organisers are still hoping that thousands of people will spend the day raising and donating money for charities as part of a nationwide 2.6 Challenge – in which people tackle something related to the numbers two and six.

More than £1.5m has already been raised for the campaign, and Brasher said he hoped it would prove a lifeline for many charities which usually rely heavily on the race to fund their work.

“The London Marathon is normally about so many scripts and so many stories,” said Brasher. “It’s the greatest athletes in the world with the everyday athlete – who are doing this incredible challenge with the gods of the sport such as Kipchoge, Bekele and Brigid Kosgei, on the same day, on the same course, with the same crowd. In fact, the everyday person gets more people watching them. That’s the incredible thing. And, of course, they are raising so much money for charity too.”

 

(04/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Keizo Yamada a former Boston marathon champion dies at 92

Keizo Yamada, who won the 1953 Boston Marathon and last ran the race in 2009, died of natural causes on April 2, his wife said Thursday. He was 92.

Yamada, who was born in Akita Prefecture in 1927, spent the war years as a youth in Manchuria and after being repatriated competed for Japan in its first postwar Olympics, the 1952 Helsinki Games.

His finishing time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 51 seconds in Boston was considered the world's fastest marathon at the time until it was found the course failed to meet the standard distance. His triumph was the subject of the Japanese movie "Shinzo Yaburi no Oka" ("Heartbreak Hill").

"His victory during the recovery period after the war energized the Japanese people," two-time Boston Marathon champion Toshihiko Seko said in a statement. "It's an honor to have won the same race as Mr. Yamada."

After retiring from competition, Yamada continued running marathons and took part in the Boston Marathon, running in 15 straight until his final one in 2009. That year, Yamada, who ran roughly 340 full marathons in his career, announced he would run no more.

Yuki Kawauchi, who won in Boston in 2018, also paid tribute to Yamada.

"He was a giant among Japanese legends. Despite being an elite runner, he devoted his life to promoting the marathon," Kawauchi said.

The 33-year-old Kawauchi, who has competed in more than 100 full marathons, did so for most of his career while serving as a civil servant in Saitama Prefecture, earning him the nickname "citizen runner."

"Mr. Yamada initiated the citizens' marathon boom with his activities throughout the nation," Kawauchi said. "One of my targets is to run in 340 marathons by my 50th birthday."

(04/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Mike Raffan completes home ultra-marathon in his garden just seven weeks after heart surgery

A north-east man completed a 106-mile ultra-marathon in his garden- just seven weeks after undergoing major heart surgery.

Mike Raffan ran the extraordinary distance in just 27 and a half hours.

He lives near Collieston and started the effort at 6 am last Friday before finishing just after 9am on Saturday with short 10-minute breaks every so often.

To succeed with this, he mapped out a 100m route (16 laps per mile) in his garden.

He had only recently recovered from a serious heart operation.

Last year Mike noticed that he was finding it hard to breathe while running uphill, as though there was a weight on his chest. Over time, it got harder and harder and he sought medical advice.

He said: “Tests revealed that I have an anomalous right coronary artery from the opposite sinus with an intermural circuit, which basically means I was born with my right artery growing out of the wrong place.

“The surgery I needed was too specialist to be done in Aberdeen, so I had to go to Glasgow Golden Jubilee Hospital. I had the operation on February 25 and was out of hospital after just three days.

“The nurses on the ward were not sure about discharging me so early as they had never let anyone out in less than four days – the preference is seven. However, I passed all their fitness tests and the surgeon said it was OK for me to go.”

Mike  has so far raised more than £1,300 for the Glasgow Golden Jubilee Hospital, as a thank you to the medical team who looked after him during his surgery.

After just 10 days of being home, Mike went for a slow two-mile run with his wife Annette keeping an eye on him.

“Every time I went out, I felt I had to hold my chest. The rehab physiotherapist told me this was due to the impact and that my chest bones had not fused together properly, so I started doing a lot of cycling instead to get to get my fitness back.

“It’s only been in the last two weeks I have started running properly again. I relied on muscle memory and stubbornness to get me through the challenge. The run was slow. Stopping every 50m to turn around was like doing a bleep test for 27 hours.”

(04/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Walker
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Kenya's Flomena Cheyech, a former Commonwealth Games champion, eyes Singapore Marathon

Kenya's Flomena Cheyech, a former Commonwealth Games champion, was looking forward to announcing her return from maternity leave at the Suzhou Half Marathon in China on March 15.

However, she cut short her preparations as the world battled coronavirus. However, a month down the line, there is no sign of sports competition returning, but that has not meant Cheyech would stop training.

"I have focused on running the marathon again in 2020, and I will continue training. It is a challenge at the moment because of restrictions, but once this health condition has been lifted, I will head back to China for another race, whenever that is," Cheyech said on Friday from Eldoret.

Her focus is now health and fitness for the Singapore Marathon in December, which she believes will have offered her enough time to recover and shake off the rust from two years of having no competition.

"I do hope everything will be back to normal by the time we run at the Singapore Marathon in December," she said.

Cheyech previously ran in Singapore, finishing second and was fourth at the London world marathon championships in 2017. She also won the Saitama Marathon back in 2017.

The 38-year-old has not raced since 2018, but she feels the long delay occasioned by COVID-19, is a blessing to her.

"It was right to have all sporting events pushed back for a good future to curb the spread of the virus. Everyone will return stronger and more competitive, which means that you must be in your best form to challenge for a title," said Cheyech.

The former world half-marathon athlete is not crying over the loss of opportunity to gauge herself in Suzhou Half Marathon. Still, instead, she rejoices at the prospect of challenging for a spot in the Kenya team to the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games or the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

With training camps closed, Cheyech spends most of her time at home after she has done her morning run.

"Athletics is our job, but with most activities canceled or postponed, we have no alternative but to do some parenting and help our children with their studies," said Cheyech.

Cheyech, who defeated compatriot Caroline Kilel to win her first gold for Kenya at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014, is hopeful Kenya will retain the marathon titles in Tokyo and at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

(04/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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STANDARD CHARTERED MARATHON SINGAPORE

STANDARD CHARTERED MARATHON SINGAPORE

The Singapore Marathon is an annual international marathon race which is held in December in the city of Singapore. It is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. It has grown significantly since its inaugural race in 1982 – the 2013 event attracted a total of 60,000 entrants for all categories. There are four separate categories of competition: the full marathon,...

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Tokyo Olympics delay could boost my medal chances says Mo Farah

Olympic champion Mo Farah has said the delayed Games could work in his favor and boost his chances of winning gold in Tokyo.

The Olympics has been been postponed until next year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and is set to begin on July 23, 2021.

Farah, who announced his ambition to compete at the Games in November after his retirement from track athletics, said the postponement has given him more time to prepare.

"It is probably, in my honest opinion, not a bad thing for me because it gives you a bit more time to train for it, to do more races, because I would have gone from the marathon and then the following year straight to the track," he told Athletics Weekly.

"Obviously, I'm not a spring chicken any more. You take what you can from it. You'll definitely see me doing a similar thing to what you've seen before.

"Do a few races and get strong and get fit and then from there go on to the track and use the track leading up to the Tokyo Olympics."

"I'm not thinking about marathons, to be honest with you. I'm just thinking, Tokyo."

(04/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series introduces new virtual run club globally

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series announced Monday the new Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running (VR) Series, giving walkers and runners a start line from anywhere in the world amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The new series will be offered through the new Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club (VRC), an online platform allowing runners to race, engage and connect with a new series of weekly races, challenges and rewards.

“For over twenty years, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series community has been Bringing Fun to the Run through a mixture of music, community and celebrating achievement,” says Andrew Messick, President & CEO for The IRONMAN Group.

“At our core, it is about finding fun and motivation in the moments that challenge us. While this seems truer and more important than ever before, this has always been the brand’s heartbeat. We believe that this new Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club will enable the running community to stay active, find structure and reach their finish lines in a positive, flexible and safe environment as they come together through a common passion.” 

The Rock ‘n’ Roll VRC will offer challenges and virtual races in a variety of distances for all levels of runners and walkers. The first virtual race, Rock ‘n’ Roll VR1, will be a 5K run and will be open to anyone in the world. Starting this week, virtual races will begin weekly on Fridays at 5 p.m. ET and close Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.

To compete for and earn rewards, participants will track their activity by a GPS and heart rate monitor and upload the information to their member dashboard. The VRC is compatible with many different wearable technology devices.

Rock ‘n’ Roll VRC will also have other features that give users access to playlists, coaching, nutritional information and more.

More information about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Series and Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club are available on www.runrocknrollvr.com.

(04/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach

Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach

Featuring three days of free concerts on the beach, 13.1 miles of live bands and a spectacular boardwalk finish, it's no wonder why over 20,000 runners and walkers participate in the Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon. Warm ocean breezes, clean sandy beaches and rolling surf provide a stunning backdrop to this Labor Day Weekend extravaganza. The half marathon...

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Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele, two of the world best marathon runners, were due to clash on Sunday in London but have been forced to shelve the plans with the event postponed due to the coronavirus

The two of the world best marathon runners, will be at their homes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Eldoret, Kenya with their families.

Kipchoge reminisces that it was this week seven years ago that he made his debut in a marathon in Hamburg, Germany, clocking an impressive 2:05.30.

"On this day in 2013, I ran the very first marathon of my life. The memories of my debut in Hamburg are actually really good, I won this marathon in 2:05:30. It has been a beautiful journey so far," Kipchoge said on Wednesday.

But with the prospect of the two clashing in London on Sunday now impossible, Kipchoge will focus on remaining fit for future competitions.

London would have been their fifth time racing together in a marathon. Kipchoge has won all four previous encounters.

However, for Bekele (2:01:41), he believes a clash between the two would serve as the highlight of the track and field program, especially should the pair be included in their respective teams for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

It's anticipated Kenenisa will return to the Olympics after his shock exclusion by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation for Rio 2016.

Kipchoge has already secured his spot in the Kenya team and will do everything to defend his title.

"One year is not a long time," Bekele, 37, a three-time Olympic champion, albeit on the track, told the Olympic Channel regarding the Games postponement to July 2021.

"I hope I can stay in good shape, disciplined, because one year is just tomorrow. The most important thing is to stay healthy and stay fit."

Bekele, who has overcome an Achilles tendon injury, believes he can shave more than a minute off his personal best, and even lower the official world record to less than two hours.

The current mark of 2:01.39 was set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018.

Only Kipchoge has run under two hours, albeit in closed conditions and with aids, at the Vienna course back in October, where he posted a time of 1:59.40.

"I'm sure, it's possible to run that time [two hours]," Bekele told the Olympic Channel.

"I can run maybe faster than the world record, maybe close to two hours or something. It's down to the weather conditions and a good course."

(04/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Kenya's Gladys Cherono changes plans after Berlin race cancellation

Gladys Cherono has been forced to defer her dream for a fourth Berlin Marathon title with the 2017 World marathon champion, Geoffrey Kirui also putting on hold his debut in the race.

The organisers of the race that was due for September 27 have been forced to cancel the marathon after the Berlin Senate, the executive body that governs the city, extended the ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 participants until October 24 due to the novel coronavirus.

"We have learned from the press conference of the Berlin Senate on April 21, 2020, that according to the Containment Ordinance, all events with more than 5,000 persons will be prohibited until October 24, 2020. This applies to many of our events, but especially to the Berlin Marathon,” said a statement on the event’s website.

This is the first cancellation of a World Marathon Majors race this year owing to coronavirus, and it raises questions about the likelihood of other races taking place around the same time, including the rescheduled London Marathon, which is to take place on October 4.

Cherono, the 2014 World Half Marathon champion, was due to make her fifth appearance in Berlin where she won on her debut in 2015 before capturing the title again in 2017 and 2018.

Last year, the 36-year-old Cherono failed to finish the race after she fell sick just before the race.

Perhaps Cherono’s memorable victory was in 2018 when she triumphed with the fourth fastest time in marathon by then of 2:18:11, which still remains the course record.

“You can only understand what is happening across the world as nations battle to not only control the spread of Covid-19 but also get a cure for the disease,” said Cherono. “It’s impossible to plan for a race until October or November there.”

Cherono, who is now training alone in Eldoret under her coach-cum-husband Joseph Kwambok, said if all goes well she could compete in London due October or New York City Marathon planned for November 1.

(04/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

2020 Marathon has been cancelled. The story of the BERLIN-MARATHON is a story of the development of road running. When the first BERLIN-MARATHON was started on 13th October 1974 on a minor road next to the stadium of the organisers‘ club SC Charlottenburg Berlin 286 athletes had entered. The first winners were runners from Berlin: Günter Hallas (2:44:53), who...

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Col Bignell plans to run London Marathon around his living room

Col Bignell, from Co Down, said he intends to raise money for the health service with his 26.2-mile run.

Col Bignell had been looking forward to travelling to the capital this weekend for the world famous run, but with the event postponed to October, Mr Bignell decided to run in his living room, which will involved going back and forth thousands of times.

The 26-year-old, originally from London, dared his Facebook friends to give him the push to do it by giving his post 260 likes.

He said he intends to raise money for the health service with the 26.2-mile run.

“I just thought I’d give something a bit different a go,” he told the PA news agency.

“I’ve marked out the space and it’s around 12 foot, so I’ve worked out it’ll probably take me about 7,000 back and forth, which is quite a lot. I’ll be running laps of my front room around 11,500 times.

“But I’ve seen Tom Moore and the lady who did the stairs and thought, if they can do it, why not do something myself.”

Retail worker Mr Bignell said he wanted to mark the day he had been due to run his first marathon.

“The London Marathon is still going ahead in October, but I thought it would be nice to have something on that day to mark the day I would have done it.

“The new date is two days after my wedding, hopefully it all still goes ahead. My fiancee thinks I’m crazy.”

Mr Bignell said he is aiming to raise £260.20 for the NHS with the length of the marathon being 26.2 miles, and has already raised £140 towards that goal.

“Any more would be great but that is the minimum I am hoping to raise,” he said.

(04/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Sir Mo Farah pays emotional tribute to former trainer Neil Black after his sudden death

‘Double-double’ Olympic champion says he has ‘lost a good friend’ after his old trainer and the former performance director at UK Athletics died at the weekend at the age of 60.

Four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah says his “heart is broken” after former trainer Neil Black died suddenly at the weekend.

Black, the former performance director of UK Athletics, is believed to have died from natural causes at the age of 60, just six months after resigning from his position with the governing body.

The news, which was announced by UKA alongside a brief statement from his family, triggered an outpouring of emotional tributes from athletes past and present who worked with Black, with Farah among the very best to have benefited from his work after claiming consecutive 5,000m and 10,000m doubles at London 2012 and Rio 2016 during their time together.

“I have lost a good friend!” Farah wrote on Twitter. “Known him since I was 14 years old. Neil supported me all the way in my career since I was kid!! My heart is broken ... I wouldn’t be where I am today without Neil Black ... no one knew me like he did!! We lost a great man.”

Black’s death came as a shock to all of those who had worked with him, given he was last seen in the public eye at the 2019 World Athletics Championship in Doha last October. The disappointing tally of five British medals proved Team GB’s worst performance since 2005, and that combined with his support for controversial American trainer Alberto Salazar – the former trainer of Mo Farah who has been banned from athletics for four years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for numerous drugs-related offences – cost Black his position.

However, such was the regard for his contribution towards the sport, UKA continued to use Black in an advisory role ahead of the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

The former UKA boss was described as a man who dedicated his life and passion to the sport after achieving his “dream job” and who was “like a second father” to budding young sportsmen and women making their way in track and field, with dozens of athletes posting messages of condolence on Twitter along with Farah.

(04/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jack de Menezes
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