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European indoor 5000m record-holder Marc Scott stormed to a British record in Barrowford on Saturday evening, clocking 13:20 to just miss the European best at the Podium 5km

European indoor 5000m record-holder runs 13:20 on the road, while triathlete Beth Potter impresses with 15:24 to go fifth UK all-time.

Marc Scott stormed to a British record in Barrowford on Saturday evening, clocking 13:20 to just miss the European best at the Podium 5km.

Alex Yee was also under the previous UK record time of 13:27 which had been set by Nick Goolab in Monaco in February, with the 2018 UK 10,000m champion running 13:26.

Yee’s fellow triathlete Beth Potter was also in impressive form as she won the elite women’s race in 15:24 to move to fifth on the UK all-time list.

World University Games champion Jess Judd was second in 15:36 for a time that puts her joint 10th UK all-time.

Racing on a loop course in Lancashire in blustery conditions, Scott led through the first kilometre in around 2:39 before Omar Ahmed took over at the front and led through 2km in 5:22 from Scott and Yee.

Scott was in the lead again at 3km, which he passed in around 8:03 with Yee and Ahmed close behind, and the eventual winner went through 4km in 10:43, a couple of seconds ahead of Yee.

As Scott crossed the finish line with a British record time on the clock, he also came close to the European best of 13:18 set by France’s Jimmy Gressier in the same Monaco race that Goolab had set the previous top UK mark.

This latest result continues a string of strong performances by US-based Scott, who broke the European indoor 5000m best with 13:08.87 in Boston in February.

(08/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jessica Whittington
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CANCER SURVIVOR FULFILLS GOAL OF RUNNING 5K

To his friends and family, Mohawk Valley athlete Jason VenBenschoten of Westmoreland is a walking miracle.

WESTMORELAND, N.Y. - To his friends and family, Mohawk Valley athlete Jason VenBenschoten of Westmoreland is a walking miracle.

Jason suffered a brain hemorrhage due to a cancerous tumor back in 2018. He was in a coma for over a day that doctors thought he wouldn't come out of. When he did, Jason couldn't walk and had trouble with his vision.

Jason registered for this year's Boilermaker Road Race, but because he still struggles with running, Jason couldn't participate in the race virtually without his friends there to make sure he doesn't fall.

So this year he created his own fake (faux) Boilermaker that he called the "Fauxlermaker". Jason said throughout his road to recovery, he couldn't imagine being able to run as he did on Saturday.

"When I woke up from cancer I couldn't walk at all so and the fact that I'm running is a big deal for me," said VenBenschoten.

The 5K (3.1 miles) course began at Jason's house and ended at the 7 Hamlets Brewery in Westmoreland. At the finish line, Jason's friends and family watched as the group of 10 runners crossed the line. A Boilermaker representative was also there to greet him with an honorary 2020 Boilermaker hat and pin.

"It was awfully good of them to come out and give that to me. I never officially ran a race but now I have an official finish," said VenBenschoten.

His wife Bethany VenBenschoten also ran with him and said she couldn't be more proud after all that he's been through.

"Every day, every time he opens his eyes in the morning I'm proud because he went through some of the hardest things anyone would ever have to go through."VenBenschoten.

Jason ended with a time of 37 minutes beating his 45-minute goal. Jason plans on running the Boilermaker next year.

(08/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Strength training exercises to improve running efficiency

Strength training is a crucial aspect of a runner’s program. Whether you have Olympic goals or are working towards you first 5K, a strength program has a place in your weekly routine. Brittany Moran, Jess O’Connell and Dylan Wykes are all accomplished runners and knowledgable about the benefits of a strength routine.

Moran is a 2:36 marathoner who’s also a chiropractor out of The Runner’s Academy in Toronto. On top of being a talented marathoner, Moran is a Hyland’s ambassador. Hyland’s Leg Cramp Pills bring runners relief from leg, calf and foot cramps–all of which can interfere with training and competing. Runners want to be their best on race day and one aspect of that is working strength training into their routine. Another aspect of performing at your best is having the necessary tools to succeed, like Hyland’s cramp remedy.

O’Connell also has an impressive running resume. The runner holds a 5,000m personal best of 15:06.44 and is a 2016 Olympian. She is currently training for the 2020 Olympics and has her own coaching business, Grit, on the side. Wykes is a 2012 Olympian in the marathon and the 2019 Canadian 10K champion. The runner is also the co-founder of Mile2Marathon, one of the most successful running clubs in Canada.

Together, this group of three makes up a pretty killer set of running advisors and they’ve broken down the most important (no fuss) strength exercises that runners can do anywhere.

Why strength training?

O’Connell says that runners love running, which can become a problem. She explains, “Runners love running but a lot of them would be well served by adding a strength program. Running is a repetitive motion that follows the path of least resistance, but the path of least resistance isn’t necessarily the best path. Becoming stronger means you can recruit muscles more efficiently which will speed you up and make you less injury prone.”

Activation

Every runner should be doing an activation routine. These are quick neuromusclar routines (about five minutes long) done before any run or weight session that help warm the runner up and get them ready to workout. O’Connell swears by activation and always does 10 reps of each exercise below before she heads out the door. She explains, “With these exercises I’m not looking to build strength, I’m only looking to warm myself up. But, take your time here and be mindful of what you’re trying to activate. Know the intent of the exercise.”

Dead bug

The key to the dead bug is to keep your back as flat as possible. Ideally, you can feel your low back touching the ground through the entire movement. Start at neutral and then extend your opposite arm and opposite leg.

Hip bridge

Start with your back on the ground, knees bent and push your hips towards the sky. Hold there for one to two seconds and lower.

Leg raises

This exercise works your glutes, so make sure they feel engaged through this movement. Start on your side and lift your leg before slowly lowering.

Exercises for marathoners

Wykes explains that a strength program is really helpful to marathoners at the end of their race. “Our strength program focuses on developing good function in the muscles. We do things that help you fire well while you’re running. We want you to get the most out of each muscle.”

But the runner also acknowledges that strength work needs to be functional. Wykes recommends keeping your routine simple, 30 minutes maximum, and making sure everything in your strength routine can be done at home.

Monster walks

The aim of monster walks is to engage your glutes. Start with your legs shoulder width apart in squat position and walk horizontally.

Squats

With squats be sure not to let your knees flare and focus on moving your butt back as opposed to down.

Exercises to improve your running gait

Moran reminds runners that the important areas to strength train are their core and single-leg stability. She says that these exercises don’t need to be fancy, but they do need to be intentional. She recommends working this routine into your post-run plan at least a couple times a week.

Front and side plank

The plank works your core. Be sure to keep your back level and core engaged through the entire 30 second hold.

Bird dog

The bird dog focuses on back strength, because don’t forget, your core includes your back.

Single-leg dead lift

Also known as the hip hinge, this exercises is good for you hamstrings, glutes and overall stability. Start in your a marching A position and then lower your upper body, while raising your back leg. With the marching A, you want to focus on having your toe pointed toward the sky, strong posture through your upper body and an engaged core.

(08/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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World Athletics amends Olympic qualification timeline for road athletes

Marathoners and race walkers will be able to qualify for Tokyo 2021 as of September 1

World Athletics announced the suspension of Olympic qualification for all athletes until December 1. On Tuesday, this was officially amended for road athletes, and now marathoners and race walkers will be able to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as of September 1. The reason for this change is simply due to the limited number of qualifying opportunities for these athletes ahead of May 31, when the qualification period ends. As it stands now, track and field athletes will still have to wait until December to qualify for the 2021 Olympic Games.

Olympic qualifying

When discussing the decision to move the start of the qualification period up to September, Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, noted the lack of mass participation road races around the world due to COVID-19.

Most of the major marathons have already been cancelled or postponed for the remainder of this year and the evolution of the pandemic makes it difficult to predict if those scheduled for the first half of next year will be able to go ahead,” Coe said. He added that marathoners and race walkers cannot be expected to compete as often as track athletes who run shorter distances and still produce high-quality times that would qualify them for Tokyo. He said the qualifying window for road athletes would be “really narrow … without this adjustment.”

Along with the suspending Olympic qualification back in April, World Athletics froze the world rankings until December 1. These will remain frozen as originally planned, although world records are still up for grabs, as long as they’re ratifiable.

World Athletics can amend the qualification period, but that doesn’t mean mass participation road races will suddenly start to pop up once again. In the announcement released on Tuesday, several racing opportunities are outlined, the biggest of which is the London Marathon. The last World Marathon Major standing, the London Marathon is set for October 4, and organizers have refused to cancel even as the coronavirus pandemic persists around the world.

The statement says London Marathon organizers are working with World Athletics to ensure athletes will have a chance to qualify for Tokyo 2021. Whether this means the event will be an elite-only run is unclear, but a decision regarding the fate of the race is expected within the next week.

World Athletics is also working closely with the Abu Dhabi Marathon with the hope that they can provide athletes with another qualification opportunity before the end of the year. For race walkers, two major race walking events are expected to be held between the September 1 and November 30.

Many Canadians have yet to qualify, but Athletics Canada has already confirmed that marathoners Dayna Pidhoresky and Trevor Hofbauer and race walker Evan Dunfee have guaranteed spots for Tokyo. The rest of the Canadian team will be announced next June.

(08/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Paris 2024 could feature a mixed cross-country relay

Cross-country hasn't been included in the Olympics since the 1924 Games

World Athletics has announced plans to include a cross-country mixed relay event in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Cross-country hasn’t been featured in the Olympics for almost a century, and it was last included in the 1924 Olympics, which were also in Paris. If the Paris 2024 organizing committee and World Athletics can work out a plan for the mixed relay, cross-country will make its return to the Games 100 years since its last competition and in the same city.

The event would feature 15 countries, and each team would be made up of four runners (two men and two women). The race would be 20K, and the teams would alternate between male and female runners, with each athlete covering two laps of a 2.5K course.

The president of World Athletics Sebastian Coe has expressed his excitement for a potential Olympic cross-country event. “My love for athletics began with cross-country,’’ he said. “When I joined my first athletics club, Hallamshire Harriers, the club president was Joe Williams, who ran in the last Olympic cross-country race in Paris in 1924. It would be hugely symbolic for this wonderful athletic discipline to return to the fold after a century.”

As of July 26, the Paris Games are just four years away, and an additional running event would be welcome news for Olympic hopefuls around the world. World Athletics officials and Paris 2024 organizers will reportedly meet soon to discuss more details for the prospective relay.

(08/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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The Weight of Gold: Lolo Jones Is Determined to Make It Back to the Olympics

Lolo Jones, who's featured in HBO's new sports documentary The Weight of Gold, is one of the few Olympians to compete in both the Summer and Winter Games. It's a feat just a little more than 100 athletes in the history of the Olympics have achieved out of the thousands who have qualified over the years. For her part, Jones has competed with the best in the world in both track and field and bobsled — and she's not done with the Olympics yet.

Jones made her Olympic debut in the 100m hurdles at the 2008 Summer Games and competed again in 2012, placing seventh and fourth, respectively. She took up bobsledding in an effort to get past her disappointment and ultimately competed with the US Olympic bobsled team at the 2014 Winter Games, placing 11th.

Though she had every intention of continuing her Olympic career in track and field, Jones withdrew from the Olympic trials in 2016 after sustaining an injury earlier in the season. She also didn't make the cut for the 2018 bobsled team, which she said was devastating. "At the end of the day, to make a bobsled team, it's a very subjective process. It's not like track and field where the top three cross the line, and they go," Jones told USA Today at the time. "You can have better results, and I have better results than the girls who are going, but at the end of the day it's a subjective process." She added that she didn't think she'd return to bobsled after that.

Instead, Jones has focused her energy on qualifying in hurdles for the 2020 Olympics — which are now happening in 2021 — in Tokyo. In late 2019, she told FanSided that she was still gunning for a spot on the Olympic team, though she recognizes the challenges of competing against athletes who are much younger. "I'm feeling the aches and pains of basically all the times I've crashed in a bobsled at 90 miles an hour, every hurdle hit I've had," Jones said. "So it's built up, but what's great about it is the fact that I'm super strong and determined to finish out my goals." She added that her ultimate goal is to make the podium — and she's not giving up on that dream yet.

(08/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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NEW DATE FOR DOHA MEETING

The 2020 Wanda Diamond League today announces a further change to its 2020 calendar, with the date for the Doha Diamond League brought forward by around a fortnight.

The fifth meeting of the season was scheduled for October 9th after it could not be held as the traditional season opener in Spring, but will now take place instead on September 25th. 

The plan is to stage 12 disciplines, a list of athletes who will compete in the Qatari capital is to be announced in due course.

Due to the ongoing global health situation and ever-changing COVID-19 regulations, the 2020 Wanda Diamond League calendar remains provisional and subject to further changes.

Following exhibition events in Oslo and Zurich earlier this summer, the competitive season is set to begin in Monaco on August 14th.

The 2020 Wanda Diamond League will not be a structured series of events leading to a final as is usually the case. Athletes will therefore not earn Diamond League points this season, and there will not be a single, 24-discipline final in Zurich as originally planned.

A total of six meetings, including a street event, are currently scheduled to go ahead between August 14th and September 25th.

(08/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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In-person backyard ultra lasts 27 hours, winner runs 181K

Aaron Ellison ran 27 laps to win the Capital Backyard Ultra on Sunday

After months of virtual backyard racing, an in-person backyard ultra event was held in Maryland over the weekend. The event started on Saturday and lasted 27 hours, with American ultrarunner Aaron Ellison taking the win after running 181K. Event organizers took precautions to make the run as safe as possible for all racers and volunteers, and the race field was capped at 30 runners. Ultimately, 22 people raced, and Ellison came out on top, outlasting each of his competitors and earning a Golden Ticket to the Big’s Backyard Ultra, which will be held in Tennessee in October.

Originally scheduled for May, the Capital Backyard Ultra was postponed due to COVID-19, but the event’s rain date worked out, and 22 runners faced off at the Potomac, Md., course. Participants ran 4.167 miles (6.7K) every hour until one runner was left standing. When runners finished their 6.7K laps, they could sit and rest for the remainder of the hour. Once the hour was complete, any runners not back registered a DNF and the rest were sent back onto the course to see who could complete another lap before their 60 minutes were up.

From the start of the 20th lap, Ellison and two other runners, Shawn McDermott and Trevor Baine, were the only racers left on the course. The trio duked it out for six more hours, but McDermott and Baine couldn’t keep up with Ellison, who never ran a lap slower than 52 minutes. His consistent eight to 12 minutes of rest after each lap gave him a massive advantage, and it was only a matter of time before he won the event.

With his win, Ellison booked his spot in the Big’s Backyard Ultra, which race director Laz Lake declares to be the backyard world championships. Maggie Guterl won the 2019 Big’s Backyard after running 402K. This will be Ellison’s first shot at the world championship event.

(08/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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World and Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto tests Covid-19 positive

World and Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto’s bid to kick-start his season has suffered a major blow after he was ruled out of next week’s Monaco leg of the Diamond League after testing positive for Covid-19.

Kipruto revealed the setback to Nation Sport on Saturday, a day after completing his preparations for 3,000 metres steeplechase race at Monaco’s Stade Louis II where he had promised a sub eight-minute run.

Kipruto, 25, was among 15 Kenyan athletes who had been cleared to compete in the Monaco leg after getting special dispensation visas to travel to the Schengen area.

Kenya is among countries whose nationals have not been cleared to travel into European Union nations owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The athletes were, however, cleared to travel after Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei intervened on their behalf at the Embassy of France in Nairobi.

The athletes travelling to Monaco are, however, still required to undergo a Covid-19 test 72 hours before the trip.

The rest of the contingent is expected to travel to the principality on Monday.

Kipruto disclosed that he was tested on Thursday at Eldoret’s Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and the results turned out out positive.

"It's indeed sad that the test came back positive. I don't know where I got it because I have been following the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health," Kipruto told Nation Sport on Saturday.

He said that he was waiting for the officials from the hospital to give him the way forward on management of the condition.

"I am in contact with officials from the hospital and I'm waiting for them to give me the way forward. I don't feel anything (symptoms) for now," said Kipruto.

Kipruto was expected to line up in the steeplechase on Friday alongside compatriots Abraham Kibiwott and Vincent Kipchumba, a pacesetter.

He had told Nation Sport on Thursday that he was keen on building up speed with the world record in his specialty his ultimate goal.

“I have had enough time to train since March when all the races were cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic. I am happy I was invited for the Monaco race. I’m looking forward to the race which I want to run under eight minutes,” Kipruto had said on Thursday.

The world record is held by Kenya-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen (formerly known as Stephen Cherono) at seven minutes, 53.63 seconds.

“I will be using the race to gauge my performance as I prepare to lower the world record time which has been out of the country for a long time. If I’m the Olympic and World champion, what makes it hard for me to break the world record?” posed Kipruto on Thursday.

(08/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Ultrarunner runs 106K, climbs 10,000m in Double Canmore Quad Challenge

Andy Reed ran the challenge in the Canadian Rockies twice in one go to set the FKT for the route in 26 hours, 33 minutes and 24 seconds

Canmore, Alta., runner Andy Reed set the fastest known time (FKT) for the Double Canmore Quad Challenge in late July, covering the route in 26 hours, 33 minutes and 24 seconds. The single lap of the Canmore Quad features four peaks which runners must run up and down: the Mount Lady MacDonald, Grotto Mountain, the East End of Rundle (EEOR) and Ha Ling Peak. Reed decided to double up for the challenge, running each mountain twice and covering 106K with 10,000m of elevation gain in the process.

Rules of the Canmore Quad

With no set route or starting point, the rules of the Canmore Quad are pretty simple: summit each of the four peaks and return to where you began as quickly as possible. Runners can start their attempts wherever they want, and the freedom to design one’s own route adds a level of creativity and strategy to the run that other FKTs and endurance challenges lack. This is a similar format to many fell running records in the U.K., such as the 214 Wainwright Peaks and Lake District 24-Hour runs. For Reed’s challenge, he stuck to the same rules as a single Canmore Quad and just doubled up on the mileage.

Reed’s Double Quad run

According to Reed’s blog, he had completed the Canmore Quad on multiple occasions before his latest run, but he had never tried two circuits. In an Instagram post that he published after he had completed the challenge, Reed wrote that the run “wasn’t all fun and games.” He explained in another post that the weather was not on his side during the attempt. “We were hit by snow, hail, thunder and lightning, rain and sun,” he wrote, “but all in all an incredible day and a bit!” Despite the struggles he faced on the route, Reed finished the Quad twice over and earned the FKT for the challenge.

(08/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Courtney Dauwalter sets off on 788K Colorado Trail FKT attempt

The American ultrarunner is busy tackling one of her biggest challenges yet

American ultrarunning phenom Courtney Dauwalter started a week-long fastest known time (FKT) attempt on the Colorado Trail on Wednesday. The 788K route, which features more than 27,000m of elevation gain, starts in Durango and goes all the way to Denver. Dauwalter is hoping to beat the current record of eight days and 30 minutes set by Bryan Williams in 2017. She posted on Instagram to announce the FKT attempt, noting that this will be her first shot at a 500-mile run. “What does it feel like to run that far?” she wrote. “I’m excited to find out!”

Dauwalter started her run on August 5 at about 4 p.m., according to her tracking feed. To beat Williams’s FKT, she’ll have to arrive just outside of Denver at the trail’s end by the late afternoon on August 13. Running almost 800K in eight days is a tall order, but if anyone can accomplish it, it’s Dauwalter. She is one of the best ultrarunners in the world, and the longer the race, the better for her. This may be her first time running a 500-mile route, but as she proved at last year’s Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (her first time racing the famed ultramarathon), just because she’s new to something doesn’t mean she won’t crush it immediately.

Dauwalter finished 21st overall at the UTMB and won the women’s race, beating second place by an hour. She covered the 171K route in 24 hours, 34 minutes and 26 seconds and crossed the line as the second American, male or female. Other big results on her resume include a win at the Western States 100, the overall crown at the Moab 240 Endurance Run and many other wins and podium finishes. A week-long trek through Colorado’s mountains is a big undertaking, but as Dauwalter has proven time and time again, she is up for the grind. To follow her run, check out her Garmin tracker.

(08/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Cindy Ofili’s Prerun Warmup Primes Your Muscles for Movement

The pro runner demonstrates her go-to stretches and exercises that prevent injury and improve performance.

Speed workouts are an integral part of your training for a reason: They help you build muscle and become a faster, more efficient runner.

“Flirting with faster paces during interval training and other speed workouts will get you to faster results over time and help you break through,” John Honerkamp, running coach and former head coach at New York Road Runners, previously told Runner’s World.

But the key to a great interval workout is a proper warmup. You can’t perform your best—and you can even risk injury—if your muscles aren’t primed for action. Dynamic drills—such as leg swings, quad stretches, and hamstring scoops—are all great options. In fact, pro runner Cindy Ofili, a 100-meter hurdler who came in fourth for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympic Games, also warms up with these types of moves before she hits the track.

Ofili shared her typical warmup routine via a YouTube video on her account so that you can incorporate these moves the next time your schedule calls for a speed workout.

“It’s really important to stretch before you work out—I can’t stress that enough,” Ofili said in the video. “It helps [prevent] injuries. It also allows your body to function properly, and it just makes the workout a lot easier.”

[The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training will teach you all the fundamentals to get the most out of your weight session.]

Ofili demonstrates 15 of her go-to warmup moves that you can do before your workouts to get your muscles loose. All you need is a resistance band (like this one).

Dynamic Straight-Leg Hamstring Stretch With Band

Dynamic Bent-Leg Hamstring Stretch With Band

Dynamic Quad Stretch

Hurdle Stretch

Butterfly Stretch

Seated Calf Stretch

Seated Glute Stretch

Wall Calf Stretch

Ankle Roll

Spiderman Push-Up Stretch

Scorpion Stretch

Supine Spinal Twist

Hip Stretch/Activation With Band

Lateral Leg Swing With Band

Saggital Leg Swing With Band

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2osAEhywMc#action=share

(08/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Sara Hall Runs Impressive Half Marathon PR—Without the Hoopla

Her 1:08:18 puts her sixth on the list of U.S. performers.

In the Oregon woods, on a bike trail along the shore of Dorena Lake, 30 miles south of Eugene, elite athlete Sara Hall ran her first race in more than five months on the roads—just her, two male pacers, and two of her four daughters, Hana and Mia, following at a distance.

Hall, 37, finished the half marathon in 1:08:18, a personal record by 40 seconds and good for sixth-fastest American of all time. She averaged 5:12 pace.

It felt like a mirage. The race, called the Row River Half Marathon and staged by the organizers of the Eugene Marathon, began at 5:52 a.m., just as the sun was beginning to rise over the hills and the overnight fog was disappearing. The small pack of runners disappeared east along the bike path to a turnaround point, came back a little more than an hour later, and quickly left the area—an effort to avoid the heat of the day and to discourage any spectators in the COVID era.

It was a far cry from Hall’s last race, the Olympic Marathon Trials on February 29 in Atlanta, where close to 700 men and women started the event and 200,000 screaming fans crammed the streets with signs and cowbells. Hall, a 2:22 marathoner who thought she was in the best shape of her life and in a good position to make her first Olympic team, dropped out after the 22-mile mark.

Typically a frequent racer, Hall has had to live with the disappointment from the Trials for five months, with no opportunities to redeem herself after the pandemic shut down all races of note. Pro runners like her have been scrambling to find opportunities to test their fitness outside of their own training while keeping within guidelines for safe events during the pandemic.

“It felt surprisingly really good, yeah,” Hall said immediately after finishing. “I wasn’t sure how I’d feel out here. I’ve been pretty buried in training because there’s no races to freshen up for. So I just am, like, grinding for forever. And I was like hopefully my legs come around. To run a big PR like that without really a race atmosphere is really encouraging.”

Hall, who lives and trains at altitude in Flagstaff, Arizona, says she’s more of a competitor than a time trialer. Without the adrenaline of a pack, she wasn’t sure if she’s be able to access all her energy. But she was.

“I tried to just keep telling myself the mantras that keep me going in training,” she said. “But it’s a little harder. When I ran my last half, it was in Houston in a pack of African runners, and I was just getting gritty and mixing it up with them. It’s definitely a different mode out here. But I’m super thankful to the guys that were helping me out through the race. That helped a lot.”

Hall was paced by Eric Finan of Eugene and Jared Carson of Portland, both of whom were also entered into the Trials.

Race director Ian Dobson, a U.S. Olympian in 2008 and friend of Ryan Hall and Sara Hall since their days at Stanford University, floated the idea of putting on a socially distant race to them a couple of months ago. All participants and staff had current negative COVID tests and provided information for contact tracing, should it be necessary. Everyone but the runners wore masks.

It was an opportunity for Hall to get a tuneup race in—she has a marathon coming up in the fall—and a chance for the events team of the Eugene Marathon to host a race, after their flagship event was canceled in April.

“We wanted to take this unique opportunity to have someone like Sara be part of the event,” Dobson said. “And we want to be part of the storytelling—what does success for the running community look like during the Coranvirus?”

He said he hopes that big races make a speedy return instead of morphing into one-off boutique events with five or fewer participants. “The mass participation road race is such a cool thing,” he said. “That’s the business we’re in; it’s what we want to do. That said, given the current reality, this is what we can do.”

The Row River course was USATF-certified and the race is in the process of being sanctioned by USATF, which would make Hall’s time eligible to appear on record lists. She and her family are staying in Eugene for another week or so for more sea level training, as she prepares for the next marathon.

“I feel over-the-moon excited,” she said of the upcoming race. “I think I’m going to be the happiest person on that starting line. I’ve put in so much training just on faith that there would be opportunities. And even though everything was just canceled canceled canceled, to be able to have an actual race—I just wanted to cry when I got in. The trials was a massive disappointment, and I really want to be able to turn the page on that and continue to build and improve.”

Although Hall can’t yet say what race that is, observers believe it is the London Marathon, which yesterday announced it will host an elite-only version of its race around a loop in St. James Park.

Hall’s daughter Hana, 20, finished the Row River Half in 1:20:03. Her daughter Mia, 16, who has only been running for a year, finished in 1:23:18.

(08/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Taking all safety precautions, Turku and Monaco are ready to kickstart the international season

After a delay of more than three months, the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting series kicks off on Tuesday (11) with the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland. Three days later, the Herculis EBS Meeting in Monaco will signal the start of the scaled down 2020 Wanda Diamond League season.

As recently as two months ago, with event postponements and cancellations becoming the norm, it began to seem more and more unlikely that any season would emerge from the havoc that the coronavirus pandemic has left in its wake. But Jean-Pierre Schoebel and Jari Salonen, respectively the directors of the Monaco and Turku meetings, saw things differently.

From the beginning of the pandemic, both have continued their work under the assumption that their events would go ahead. Instead of waiting until next year, Salonen pushed his meet back two months, hoping the situation would improve. Schoebel too, bided his time. Lockdown restrictions in the Principality eventually eased, paving the way for his meet, like Turku’s, to go on after all, albeit under strict conditions.

“Life is beginning to start again,” Schoebel said. “The Herculis EBS meeting in Monaco gives the possibility to show that, yes we have been confined, but now life is starting again and that we can live again.” 

But in order to do that, Schoebel added, “We have changed everything,” from the athletes’ travel and accommodation logistics to the way the competition will be staged and conducted. “We studied everything to ensure we'd provide the maximum security to everyone involved in the meeting.”

‘We've never worked as hard as this year’

Staging an international competition has its challenges under the best of times. Throw in a slew of unprecedented public health and safety concerns, global travel restrictions and painful budget cuts, and you find yourself facing a near impossible chore.

“We’ve never worked as hard as this year,” Schoebel said. “I can't tell you how difficult the situation has been.”

Especially with bringing athletes from the United States, Kenya and Uganda, for example, countries that are not yet on the European Union’s Schengen Area “safe” list, therefore limiting non-essential entry.

For months Schoebel and his team have worked closely with French and Monegasque authorities investigating ways to secure entry visas and formulate transport options for athletes arriving from outside of the European Union.

Mandatory testing in Monaco, selective in Turku

But the athletes, who include world and Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, women’s steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri, will have to adhere to strict health protocols prior to and upon arrival in Monaco. All will be tested for Covid-19 prior to departure and will be required to take another test upon arrival in Monaco before they’re cleared to compete.

Schoebel said he’ll require all athletes, even those arriving from within the European Union, to follow a strict testing protocol.

For Salonen and his team in Turku, the regimen won’t be quite as demanding since very few athletes will be arriving from outside of the Schengen zone.

“We made a decision quite early that we would concentrate on athletes coming only from Europe or within the Schengen area, to minimise the risk.”

Athletes arriving from countries not on Europe's current list of “safe” countries will be tested, he said.

“We will also be ready to test on-site. Finland is considered a very safe country, from our authorities’ point of view, so we are very careful with those coming from the other countries.”

Cooperation

The testing in Turku is also being organised with the Herculis meeting in mind.

"We have also agreed to help Monaco with some athletes, to test them in Turku in order for Monaco to know that healthy athletes are coming from Finland,” Salonen said. “I think this is very important, that meetings work together in order to make sure that athletes are healthy during the tour, and therefore the meet organisers can be more safe. 

Both are expecting a similar number of athletes, Turku about 150 athletes across 12 disciplines, including 50 to 80 from outside of Finland, and Monaco between 140 and 150 across its 14 events. All will be more or less secured in the meeting bubble from arrival until departure.

Confined to the bubble

To help maintain that bubble, Monaco organisers switched hotels this year, choosing to accommodate the athletes at the Riviera Marriott located across the street from the Stade Louis II, keeping everything and everyone within walking distance.

“And from the hotel they will have direct access to the warm up track. It's very convenient, they won't see or interact with anyone.”

Similarly in Turku. 

While there will be some doubling up in rooms, mostly among athletes who train or travel together, there will be more single accommodations than in other years, Salonen said.

“The main idea is to try to isolate the athletes from all the other personnel who are not involved with them, as well as the public and media. That is the main idea in our programme. From the transport to the hotel and from the hotel to the stadium area, we will maximise the isolation, therefore secure the social distancing.”

That also means that any pre- and post-meet press conferences and media interviews at both competitions will be held virtually or individually with strict distancing protocols.

Social distancing on the programme 

Social distancing regulations have also forced logistical changes within the stadium, particularly in Monaco, for both athletes and spectators. The call room area, where athletes gather just prior to their race, is too small to meet current social distancing guidelines, so it was moved to the stadium’s infield. That move forced the long throw events off of the programme this year.

Schoebel said his team worked closely with Salonen's when formulating their respective programmes, which ensured that a strong slate of throws events would be available in the Finnish meet that week.

Salonen said that as of 1 August, Finland will no longer mandate limits on outdoor gatherings. But to play it safe, and to serve as an example, Turku will voluntarily cap attendance at between six and seven thousand, roughly half of the sell-out crowds the meeting typically attracts.

Monaco, on the other hand, will allow a maximum of 5000 spectators who will be directed towards their seat through seven of the stadium’s gates. They will be seated in every other row and will be obliged to wear masks. Concession stands will be closed but spectators will be allowed to bring bottled water.

Budget cuts

Another factor shared by both meetings are vastly reduced operating budgets this year. Salonen said his was cut by about 25%, while Schoebel said his was slashed nearly in half. But both say that they’re glad they will be able to provide athletes with a paycheck.

“Of course we want to help them as much as we can,” Schoebel said. “And we're pleased that we can give prize money and some appearance money.”

Albeit less than in the past. But Salonen is quick to add that managers and athletes have been very understanding of the financial situation the pandemic has sown. “We’ve had no problem with our negotiations this year. Athletes are craving competition.”

Minimising the risk

Yet for all the precautions, risks do remain. That’s part of the game right now, one that both are confident they’re going to win.

“I think that all we can do is to minimise the risk,” Salonen said. “With the (good) situation that we have in Finland at the moment, the possibility of the virus coming to us is very, very, very low if we use the protocol we have built - to bring healthy athletes to Turku, so that they can leave healthy. The existence of corona in Turku at the moment is almost zero. And we need to make sure we can keep it that way.”

“We're making a big effort as we know the athletes want to get back into competition,” Schoebel said. “And I hope we will succeed.”

(08/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele are set for London Marathon

The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will not feature a mass race and will be an elite-only event, with Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele set to be among those racing on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park on October 4.

Meanwhile, organisers have also confirmed that next year’s edition will not take place in April but will be moved to October 3 “to give the best chance for the mass race to return in 2021”.

The 2020 event will see elite racing take place within a “secure biosphere”, which organisers describe as a contained safe environment like that of Formula 1 and football, and as recently announced by World Athletics the times recorded in London will be eligible for Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification.

While the men’s race is set to host the highly-anticipated clash between distance running greats Kipchoge and Bekele, world record-holder Brigid Kosgei has been announced for the women’s event, with David Weir and Manuela Schär set to lead the wheelchair fields.

Organisers are yet to announce the elite field sizes and how the races will be set off, including whether it will be by waves, but it has been confirmed that athletes will cross the same traditional finish line on The Mall after completing 19.8 laps of the St James’s Park course.

There will be no spectator access in order to maintain the biosphere, but BBC Sport plans to broadcast eight hours of coverage during the day.

UK Athletics had previously announced that next April’s London Marathon would be the GB Olympic trial race for the postponed Olympics in Tokyo but the national governing body will now work on new qualification plans following confirmation that the 2021 race has been moved from spring to autumn. Selection will still take place in 2021.

“It is a very fast course,” said event director Hugh Brasher, with London Marathon Events having experience of looped course racing as they were part of the organising team for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge event in Vienna last October, when Kipchoge broke the two-hour barrier.

“The course is faster than the current London Marathon course. It is not the fastest course, it is not as fast as Vienna, but it is a quick course. What we want to do is provide an environment that really excites the athletes. There is a lot of technology out there at the moment with which to do that, and how we can invite people in, in virtual reality, how we can create an atmosphere.

“It is important that we try and show that the sport can still take place. Sport plays such an incredible part in British psychology and the London Marathon reflects that in a way that very few, in fact no other, sports do. What we talk about is that it is the only event where you are taking part at the same time as the gods of the sport.

“At least here the elite athletes will be in London, they will be going head-to-head, and they will be able to celebrate the competition together. To be able to say that those athletes are coming to London is enormously exciting for the sport, for them, and we hope it adds to the inspiration and the feeling that we really want people to have on October 4, people who are on their own journey of that 26.2 miles.”

(08/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jessica Whittington
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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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Donavan Brazier believes he has a chance at legendary record

On the night of the biggest race of his life, Donavan Brazier met the man whom he is trying to succeed and, perhaps, supplant.

David Rudisha, the two-time Olympic 800m champion and world-record holder, told Brazier before the Oct. 1 world championships 800m final that he believed in the 22-year-old American more than any other man in that night’s event.

Later that evening in Doha, Brazier proved the sidelined Kenyan prophetic, winning in a national record 1:42.34 and becoming the first American to win a world title in the event.

Brazier, in his first global championship final, also ran the fastest time by somebody that young since Rudisha’s 2012 Olympic title and world-record epic pulled that field to personal bests.

Rudisha’s mark of 1:40.91 — from a race Brazier has watched dozens of times — is still significantly faster. That hasn’t stopped followers from wondering if Rudisha’s days as world-record holder may be numbered.

Sounds like Brazier may be wondering, too.

“I think I definitely have the opportunity,” Brazier told NBC Sports’ Leigh Diffey in a watchback of his 2019 Diamond League and world titles. “If we’re looking at guys that are currently racing right now, I think I might have the best opportunity to do it.”

Brazier exercised caution. He was by no means predicting such a feat.

“David Rudisha, when he first broke it, he was a once-in-a-century athlete,” Brazier said. “For someone to break it so quick and just to say it so nonchalantly, I think it’s not really giving David Rudisha the respect that he deserves. A 1:40.91 is a really dangerous record to break.”

(08/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Olympic Talk
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At the Los Angeles Games 36 years ago, Canadian Silvia Ruegger finished in eighth in the first-ever women's Olympic marathon

On August 5, 1984, the inaugural women’s Olympic marathon was held in Los Angeles. Fifty runners lined up for the 42.2K run and American Joan Benoit-Samuelson took the win in 2:24:52, grabbing the first Olympic gold in women’s marathon history. Three Canadians raced that day 36 years ago in L.A., including marathon legend and former national record-holder Silvia Ruegger. Ruegger finished in eighth place on the day, running to a 2:29:09 top-10 finish. That was the sole Olympic race of Ruegger’s career, and since then, no Canadian — male or female — has finished in a higher position in the Olympic marathon. 

Women’s marathoning through the years 

Benoit-Samuelson won the race in L.A. in impressive fashion, beating silver medallist Grete Waitz of Norway by more than a minute to take the gold on home soil. Going into the race, Benoit-Samuelson was a two-time Boston Marathon champion, and a year later, she won the Chicago Marathon and set an American record in the process. Her time of 2:21:21 stood as the national marathon record until 2006, when Deena Kastor beat it at the London Marathon. Benoit-Samuelson is still the fourth-fastest woman marathoner in U.S. history. 

The women’s marathon has come a long way since its introduction to the Olympics in 1984. At the time, the world record was 2:24:26, set by Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway (who finished in fourth in L.A.). Today, 36 years later, that record has been lowered by 10 minutes, and it currently sits at 2:14:04 following Brigid Kosgei‘s dominant performance at the 2019 Chicago Marathon.

Canadians at the 1984 Games 

Ruegger qualified for the Olympics at the 1984 Ottawa Marathon, which she won in a Canadian record of 2:30:37. She broke that record just a few months later in L.A., becoming the first Canadian woman to dip below 2:30 in the marathon. Ruegger raced alongside fellow Canadians Jacqueline Gareau (1980 Boston Marathon champion and the previous national record-holder before Ruegger won the Ottawa Marathon) and Anne Marie Malone. Gareau didn’t finish the race in L.A., but Malone recorded an impressive result to follow Ruegger’s, finishing in 17th place with a final time of 2:36:33. 

The following year at the 1985 Houston Marathon, Ruegger beat her record yet again, posting a 2:28:36. This remained the Canadian record for almost 30 years before it was broken in 2013 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon by both Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene. A car accident following her record in 1985 left Ruegger to deal with injuries for the rest of her career, and she never returned to her previous record-setting form. Ruegger passed away in August 2019 at the age of 58 after a battle with cancer, but she remains one of the greatest athletes in Canadian history.

(08/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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2020 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Goes Virtual

Thank you for your interest in the 20th Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon – the Run to Remember! Our special thanks for hanging in there and being patient with us as we have worked through the unprecedented times of COVID-19 as we made our decision.

We are announcing that we are transitioning from a traditional Marathon weekend as we have done the past 19 years to a Virtual OKC Memorial Marathon. We have studied every way to have the race and every reason we shouldn’t and the facts are clear.

We are very disappointed, but with the rising numbers of COVID cases, it simply makes it impossible and would be irresponsible for us to bring 25,000+ runners together on the streets of Oklahoma City. There is no way to execute a traditional Marathon in 2020.

We pledge to you to make the Memorial Marathon one of the most amazing virtual runs you have ever experienced! But for the health of our community, we must run virtually! We will work with the best platforms to make it a 20th year to remember.

For instance, you will still experience the 168 seconds of silence as we all pause to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. The reason you run this race will still be made available to you via technology and our media partners.

What this means for you the runner–

All runners currently registered for the 2020 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon will be automatically transferred to the Virtual OKC Memorial Marathon and can run the race any time between October 4-18, 2020.

Anyone not currently signed up for one of the five races can still do so at okcMarathon.com, there will be no more price increases and registration will close on Thursday, October 1st.

If you are already registered and choose not to run virtually, you may–

Donate your registration to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, a private 501(c) 3 and the sole beneficiary of the Memorial Marathon proceeds.

Defer to the 2021 OKC Memorial Marathon

Defer to the 2022 OKC Memorial Marathon

You will need to make your decision on this by next Wednesday, August 12th and you will be responsible for going to okcMarathon.com to make that change.

If you choose to run the Virtual OKC Memorial Marathon, you will receive your event shirt, medal and other swag (depending on your race) ahead of October 4th

You will also receive a coupon code for a 20% discount to the 2021 race after your time has been posted as our way of saying thank you for Running to Remember in this special anniversary year.

If you are running the Kids Memorial Marathon, our team will work with you and your team to make sure it is a Run to Remember and provide the educational material for you to use at home or at school.

We will still honor the Changing the Course of OKC Challenge and you will receive that commemorative coin if you ran the Marathon or Half Marathon in 2019 and virtually in 2020. You have been monumental in our race and we are grateful.

The Oklahoma Standard Challenge is still on if you virtually run the 2020 Marathon or Half Marathon in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa’s Route 66 Marathon in November. You will receive that commemorative medal in your Route 66 race packet.

If you are running the Memorial Marathon Relay, the Governor’s Challenge is still in place. Governor Stitt and his team will be running and your goal is to beat his team’s time to get a special commemorative t-shirt that says “I beat the Governor!”

Of course, this is not how we had envisioned our 20th Memorial Marathon. As you know, it takes committed sponsors, thousands of volunteers to work the course and water stops. The tireless help from the cities of Oklahoma City, Nichols Hills and the Village that host our course and law enforcement, paramedics, fire fighters and medical personnel to staff 16 medical stations along the course provide amazing support. All of these people are already working extra hours to keep our communities safe.

We CAN still run the Memorial Marathon in October 2020 and make it very special. We will just be running together for the same cause by running separately and working to prevent the spread while furthering our mission by Looking Back and Running Forward.

We look forward to running this journey with you and to seeing your face at the start line on April 25, 2021. In the meantime, I hope you will run virtually with us and enjoy the technology and media that will be made available to make this an experience you will always remember.

(08/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

2020 marathon postponed to Oct 4. The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is about more than running, it is about celebrating life. This is the spirit in which the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon was conceptualized by two Oklahoma businessmen who, while on a morning run, created the outline for this inspiring event. A group of volunteer chairmen and some Memorial staff,...

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London Marathon mass race will be cancelled, the race is set just for elite runners

An elite-only version of the London Marathon is set to be held on a revised route on Oct. 4, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The race, which normally attracts almost 40,000 runners, was originally postponed due to the ongoing complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, it is now expected to be cancelled, with a short loop race on a fan-restricted circuit and featuring Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele replacing it.

The Boston, Berlin, New York and Chicago marathons have all been cancelled and though London always looked likely to join them, race director Hugh Brasher remained hopeful it would happen and had previously said a final decision would by made by Aug. 7.

An official announcement is now expected later on Thursday.

It is set to confirm that an elite-only race will be held on a multi-lap course in and around a central London park, with controlled access to limit fan numbers, and headlined by the only two men to have gone under two hours, two minutes for the marathon.

Defending champion Kipchoge, who became the first man to run a sub-two hour marathon in an unofficial race in Vienna last October, is seeking a record fifth London title.

He has won 11 of the 12 marathons he has started, including the 2016 Olympics in Rio and holds the official world record of two hours, one minute, 39 seconds.

Bekele has three Olympic and five world championship golds over 10,000 and 5,000 metres, distances in which he still holds the world record, as well as 11 cross country world championship golds.

He ran 2:01:41 in Berlin last October to miss Kipchoge's world record by two seconds.

(08/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Reuters
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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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Sifan Hassan will headline the 5000m field at the Golden Spike, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Ostrava, Czech Republic on September 8

Hassan is the top name announced by organizers today to mark one month to go to the meeting's 59th edition.

Primary among the 27-year-old Dutchwoman's ambitions will the meeting record of 14:30.18 set by Meseret Defar in 2007.

“Going back to Ostrava to compete at the Golden Spike is very special to me," she said.

"Back in 2013 it was the Golden Spike that gave me the chance to run for the first time at a big international competition. It was a surprise to me that I won this race. After that I was able to compete at the highest level. So Ostrava means a lot to me and I really look forward to compete there again."

Hassan clocked 4:04.02 to win on that occasion, a PB in that early stage of her international career. She's gone on to clock 3:51.95 and 14:22.12 for the 5000m, both among her wide-ranging collection of European records.

This year's 1500m race will feature 22-year-old Jemma Reekie of Great Britain, a double winner at last year's European U23 Championships whose breakthrough 2020 indoor season included personal bests with 1:57.91 and 4:00.52 in the 800m and 1500m, respectively. Organisers are hoping she can mount an assault on Gudaf Tsegay's meeting record of 4:00.96 from 2017.

Poland's 2018 European Championships medallist Sofia Ennaoui (4:01.00 PB) and Simona Vrzalova, who was fifth at the last edition of the European championships and who is from Ostrava, are also in the field.

Reekie's well-known training partner, the continental European indoor and outdoor 1500m champion Laura Muir, will headline the 800m. She has a 1:58.42 career best and is certainly targeting another sub-two minute performance. She'll take on top Czech runner Diana Mezulianikova and Slovak Gabriela Gajanova. 

(08/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The Pikes Peak Marathon is still on but with some changes

The Pikes Peak Marathon will take place on Aug. 23 as originally scheduled. The Pikes Peak Ascent, scheduled for Aug. 22, was canceled in late May.

In partnership with El Paso County Public Health, race organizers have developed a plan that will ensure the safety of runners and community members in accordance with Gov. Jared Polis’ COVID-19 guidance.

“We are pleased to be able to continue this 66-year Pikes Peak region tradition in 2020 and feel confident the event will be safe and enjoyable for all participants and volunteers,” said Ron Ilgen, president of Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc.

The usual fanfare that surrounds the race will be muted this year, and many of the leadup and post-race events will be canceled or reduced due to limitations on gathering. Social distancing requirements will be enforced at the start and finish, and some aid stations may be eliminated. Runners will start in small waves, down from the usual 100-person waves. Masks or cloth face coverings will be required before and after the race and at packet pickup. Registered runners will receive an email with full details about the specifics.

Marathon runners were given notice on May 28 that the race was in jeopardy, and all received the option to defer their entry to 2021, receive a full refund, stay in the event pending approval, or receive a partial refund and donate the rest to nonprofit partners. The vast majority of runners have taken no action to date, implying they intend to stay in the event.

Interested runners who are not already signed up can still put themselves on the waitlist in case entries become available, though that is not guaranteed.

“Even with the required limitations and changes this year, I am confident the runners will still have the memorable running experience that the Pikes Peak Marathon is famous for,” Ilgen Said. 

(08/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Pike's Peak Marathon

Pike's Peak Marathon

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

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World U20 3000m champion Nozomi Tanaka confirmed for Golden Grand Prix

Organizers of the Seiko Golden Grand Prix have announced another wave of Japanese stars – including four national record-holders – for the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Tokyo on 23 August.

World U20 3000m champion Nozomi Tanaka will head to Tokyo looking to extend her winning streak. The 20-year-old won four consecutive races last month and broke the Japanese 3000m record with 8:41.35 in Fukagawa. She will contest the 1500m in the Japanese capital and after going to No.2 on the Japanese all-time list with 4:08.68 last month, she will have one eye on the national record of 4:07.86.

Sprint hurdlers Shunya Takayama and Asuka Terada will also be in action at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix. Takayama twice equalled the Japanese 110m hurdles record of 13.36 last year before breaking it outright with 13.30 and then reducing it further to 13.25. He capped his 2019 campaign by reaching the semifinals of the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.

Terada set two national records last year in the 100m hurdles, first with 13.00 and then with 12.97 two weeks later.

"I am so happy to race at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix 2020 Tokyo," said Terada. "We are fortunate to have this event despite the pandemic. From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to express my respect and gratitude to all the medical workers and people involved in preparing this stage on which we feel safe and we can focus on our performance.

"This would be my first race of the season and my return to the Golden Grand Prix for the first time in nine years, since the first edition in 2011. I'm really excited to race in the new stadium that will be the venue for the Olympic Games next year. I will race as if this were the actual Olympic Games!

"I will miss the fans in the stadium but with television coverage and internet streaming fans won’t need to miss us."

Sho Kawamoto is the fourth national record-holder who will be racing in Tokyo. The 27-year-old won the 800m at the 2014 Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Tokyo in a Japanese record of 1:45.75.

Other confirmed athletes include Olympic 4x100m silver medallist Shota Iizuka and world 4x100m bronze medallist Kirara Shiraishi, who will clash in the men’s 200m, and rising Japanese stars Midori Mikase in the 100m and Reimi Yoshimura in the steeplechase, the national U20 record-holders in their respective events.

(08/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Jonar Hildur, race director of the Islandsbanki Reykjavík Marathon reports that the 2020 race, scheduled for 22 August, has been cancelled. “Recent changes here in Iceland have made it impossible for us to go forward with this event”

Jonar Hildur, race director of the Islandsbanki Reykjavík Marathon reports that the 2020 race, scheduled for August 22, has been cancelled.

“Recent changes here in Iceland have made it impossible for us to go forward with this event and fulfil the most recent requirements of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management which went into effect on the 31 July."

Registered participants have been sent an e-mail with further instructions.

“We hope to have the next race on the 21 August 2021.”

(08/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Islandsbanki Reykjavik Marathon

Islandsbanki Reykjavik Marathon

In 1983 two young entrepreneurs working at a travel agency were looking for an opportunity to interest more tourists in visiting Iceland when they came up with the idea of starting an international road race in Reykjavik. A year later the first run was held with 214 participants. These were natives and runners from seven other nations. Since then the...

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World 3,000 meters steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech is the latest entrant in the Wanda Diamond League in Monaco on August 14

The world record holder over the distance, who has been training in Kericho, will compete in the 5,000m race which she will use to improve her endurance and speed.

The last race she participated in before sports activities were suspended owing to Covid-19 pandemic was the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Dusseldorf, Germany in February. She set a national indoor record after clocking 4 minutes 03.09 seconds in 1,500m.

The athlete told Nation Sport that she is looking forward to a good performance even though she has not trained as well as she had wanted to.

BROKE RECORD

Chepkoech has fond memories of Monaco because it is the venue where she broke the 3,000m steeplechase record two years ago after clocking  8:44.32.

"I'm delighted that I will be racing once again after a long break due to the virus which has disrupted the sporting world. I'm looking forward to running well since we are starting another season,” she said.

"I will be competing in the 5,000m race because I want to improve my speed and enhance endurance. Competition is changing and we need to change with the times,” she added.

Chepkoech said training has been good despite being alone because of the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health on social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus.

"When you train as a group other athletes push you to a certain limits and that sharpens your skills. Training alone has been good but I can't say that I'm in perfect shape," she said.

TRAINED ALONE

The Monaco race will kick start a series of events across the world.

"The whole season went by without competition. Most athletes  stayed at home and trained alone while some  did farming. For  my part,  I have been helping my parents with picking tea on the farm and at the same time training to stay fit.  I'm happy we are now slowly going back to competitions,” she said.

Chepkoech will be joining other Kenyans who have been enlisted for the Monaco meet include 1,500m Olympic champion Faith Chepn’getich and Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus  Kipruto.

(08/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Paul Chelimo says that he is willing to die in a race

United States Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo was the guest on last week’s LetsRun.com Track Talk podcast and he had a lot of interesting things to say about his career, running fast, his goals, doping in Kenya, racism in America, his daughter, his rivalry with Lopez Lomong, and a lot more.

As a teenager in Kenya, Chelimo ran a tryout race in the hopes of earning a scholarship to come to the United States. Though Chelimo ran poorly, he still made it to the States, and the rest is history. He arrived at NAIA Shorter (Ga.) University with $450 to his name. He’d move on to UNC Greensboro and become a two-time NCAA runner-up, but then joined the Army thinking his running career may be over. Fortunately for Chelimo, he was accepted into the Army World Class Athlete Program and in 2016 he burst onto the professional scene in the biggest way possible, ending up with an Olympic silver in the 5,000m in Rio.

Chelimo revealed two factual things of note we had not heard before. First, he said his ultimate goal is to run the Los Angeles Olympic marathon in 2028.

And he revealed that he missed two out-of-competition drug tests when he was first put into the anti-doping pool after bursting onto the scene in 2016. He said he was unfamiliar with the whereabouts system and how it worked so he missed two tests. “Since then I was so strict, because I knew if I just missed the last one, the third one, it’s gonna be a huge mess,” he said, explaining that a lack of familiarity with the system may be why runners in Kenya are now getting whereabouts failures of their own.

More highlights from Chelimo’s comments below. You can click on the timestamps to listen to them.

[60:06] On what he thinks of Moh Ahmed running 12:47 for 5,000m and Lopez Lomong going sub-13:00 and whether that makes him scared or confident:

“I never get scared. As long as we start from the same starting line in a race, and we finish at the same finishing line in a race [it] really, really doesn’t scare me…

“Usually they say it’s the lion that is smart that strikes the meat. My goal is, it’s towards the Olympics…

“If you’re going to show up and run really fast, and try to frustrate me or frustrate anyone else, I really don’t care. I have a strong mind…. I know they can run fast now. They can pace me. I don’t have to pace them anymore… So it’s good. It’s good for the sport, actually.”

On whether his rivalry with Lomong is overstated:

[62:37] “You know, it gets to a point like when someone is becoming dominant. It’s time someone else tries to break that dominance and I see Lopez Lomong try[ing] break the dominance that I’ve had in the 5K and I like it. I like challenges and Lopez Lomong is very competitive. We’re going to show up and we’re going to race and whoever wins is a champion that day.”

Chelimo says his ultimate goal is running the Olympic marathon in LA 2028, so that makes it easy to avoid taking the shortcut of doping.

[63:41] “Eventually the big goal is to get to LA 2028 in the marathon, think about me being in the LA 2028 marathon. It’s gonna be big. So I just want to keep going and keep going to when I get there.  I just want to have a long career. That’s that’s what my big goal is and I just don’t want to be greedy and that’s why I don’t support the drug cheats because I know the more patient you are, the more you get. I know like if I cheat today, yeah, I’ll make a lot of money. But what happens if I get busted? I stay out of running for four years…. And it’s so easy in track and field to be so greedy. It’s so easy to be greedy, especially when people are smoking you in races. It’s so easy to be greedy and try take the shortcuts but let them… I’m happy with what the anti-doping [authorities] are doing and everything because people are getting busted. Which shows it’s working.”

On being willing to die in a race:

[89:19] “Really, it’s all about life. I just have to put food on my table. I just have to hustle hard and I just have to make a living. People hate, they don’t know what I’ve been through…  I ran a 5k on a dirt track in Kenya. I ran like eight laps. And I got kicked out of the track because I got lapped in a 5k, running barefoot. And I remember I ran a cross country race in Kenya. I was third to last. I was like, second or third to be last….So, coming from that, and now Nike [is] sponsoring me, I have the best shoes in the world and you want to put me in a race against someone who has had shoes the whole time? You’re gonna think that guy is gonna beat me? I mean I’m just gonna do my best, just to do all I can win the race because I know where I’ve come from…. And I really, really want it. So am I guy, I’m willing to die in a race. And trust me if I die in a race one day, that’s the best way I could die man. I could be happy because I know I was hustling and I know I was digging deep. So that’s pretty much it. That’s pretty much me.”

(08/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Lets Run
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Boston Marathon charity runners were devastated by the cancellation of the iconic race due to the coronavirus pandemic

Boston Marathon charity runners say they deserve spot in future race after coronavirus cancellation.

Boston Marathon charity runners devastated by the cancellation of the iconic race due to the coronavirus pandemic say they are not getting a fair shake from race organizers, who will not give them a spot in a future race after raising upwards of $10,000 each this year.

Many charity runners are sounding the alarm after they’ve seen how other major marathons have handled these unprecedented circumstances — allowing 2020 fundraising efforts to carry over to future years.

“All charity runners are asking is to be treated fairly,” said Tony Clish, who started an online petition for existing fundraising to count for 2021. “I’ve raised $15,000, and I don’t have a place in a future Boston Marathon. That feels wrong.”

Clish — who lives 30 miles outside of London, England — in his petition notes how the New York City Marathon has allowed charity runners to have a three-year period to defer their bibs, and they’re not obligated to do further fundraising to secure their place.

“Boston runners feel exploited,” said Clish, 58, who has been raising money for the American Red Cross, one of 171 charities involved in the 2020 marathon fundraising programs.

The Boston Athletic Association said they offered all 31,500 people registered for the 2020 marathon the same opportunity to request a full refund of their entry fee. Some charity runners have been offered a spot in the 2021 marathon, but they have to fundraise again.

“With the 2021 Boston Marathon being just nine short months away, and with the unknown nature of the pandemic, no participants were offered deferments for a future year,” the association wrote in a statement.

Some charities are acknowledging the challenge presented to 2020 runners and offering them a chance to run in 2021 with a lower fundraising minimum.

“The B.A.A. provides each nonprofit with its invitational entries,” the association said. “Each organization then directly manages its own application process, athlete selection, and fundraising minimums, deadlines, and requirements.”

At the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, for example, runners are required to raise 50% of the 2020 fundraising minimum to participate in next year’s marathon.

“The American Red Cross of Massachusetts intends to honor our commitment to ensure every interested runner on the 2020 team has a path forward to participation on Team Red Cross in either the 2021 or a future Boston Marathon event,” Kelly Isenor of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts said in a statement.

But even raising an additional $5,000 to secure a bib for next year is simply not feasible, said Emerson College senior Maddie Lynch, 21, who has already raised $10,000 for the American Red Cross.

“Raising that money has been so rewarding,” she said. “I reached out to every person close to me, and tapped every resource, really scraping for every dollar. An extra $5,000 just wouldn’t be possible.”

Given the uncertainty over the next year and the field limitations, it would make more sense for 2020 charity runners to receive a bib that’s valid for the next five years, said Michelle Mirzoian, 40, who lives in Chicago.

“The B.A.A owes me a spot in that race,” said Mirzoian, who has raised money for 261 Fearless. “To just tell us to go raise it all again next year, during a recession and pandemic, is just heartless.”

(08/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Rick Sobey
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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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Recovery is the key to performance for runners

Many new runners believe that the more they run, the fitter and faster they will get. While this is true to a certain degree, performance gains actually happen not during activity, but during recovery – those periods of downtime when muscles and tissues repair themselves from the microtears inflicted during a workout – which is why runners need to pay as much attention to recovery as they do to training. Making sure you’re adequately recovered between workouts is also a good way to avoid getting injured.

Michael Watts, Under Armour’s Director of Global Athlete Performance, says recovery is “arguably more important than the training.” He adds that “Recovery can help us maximize our adaptation, or it can help us get ready for another training session, or it can help us get ready for an event.” 

Watts says the most important aspect of recovery is planning for it. “I think most of us, when we start to think about training for a marathon or a half-marathon, we spend a lot of time on the training aspect: I’m going to run this pace and this many miles, I’m gonna do this on this day, and we forget to plan recovery.”

One easy way to train yourself to plan for recovery is, when designing or choosing a training plan, always include “easy” running days between hard workout days. For example, if you plan to do some combination of tempo runs, fartleks, track intervals and strength training once or twice a week, as well as your weekly long run, for best results schedule them at least a day or two apart, and either run easy on those days or take the day off. That way, after each hard or long session, you’ll be adequately recovered by the time the next one comes around.

Watts recommends having a recovery system that’s built into your training plan. “The tools, really, are the things that come and go, because technology changes and companies develop different tools,” says Watts. “We say, ‘Don’t chase the shiny objects, just make sure you have a bit of a system.’ For example, if you are going to do cold therapy, or contrast bathing, or infrared sauna, or whatever it might be, just know why you are doing that and how it fits into your system, rather than just doing it.” 

It’s also important to have practical, lightweight, packable alternatives when traveling – such as compression socks and a stick roller, when you would normally use compression boots and a bulkier foam roller if you were at home. 

Recovery starts with your cooldown

Getting into the habit of doing a proper cooldown after every workout is an excellent way to promote recovery. Always take several minutes to move around, jogging or walking, after your workout. Foam rolling and stretching (carefully, and avoiding any areas that may have been strained during your workout) can also be extremely useful, as are regular consultations with a physiotherapist and massage therapist. 

The importance of sleep

Watts says that sleep is the No.1 recovery modality in helping both body and mind recover from hard exertion. “The science and research are growing, and we are starting to really understand the importance of sleep, not only for our health, wellness and longevity but also for our performance,” says Watts. He adds that the research recommends eight to 10 hours of sleep per night for athletes, with 20 to 25 per cent of sleep time being REM (rapid eye movement) and 15 to 20 per cent being deep sleep.

Watts can’t emphasize enough how important sleep is for performance: “Sleep can help repair and regenerate both the body and the mind, so it’s an essential recovery tool for athletes,” he says, pointing out that sleep reduces inflammation, promotes the production of human growth hormone, regulates blood sugar levels and hormonal responses throughout the body and allows the brain and body to detoxify. He adds that it’s while we sleep that the adaptations we’ve been training actually occur in the body (not while we are working out), so your best performance as an athlete depends on planning for adequate sleep, creating an environment that’s conducive to getting enough sleep and cultivating habits that protect your sleep.

(08/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Canadian Lucia Stafford breaks U23 1,000m Canadian record

On Sunday evening, Lucia Stafford broke a nearly 40-year-old record, running a 2:38.70 1,000m at Birchmount Stadium to break Glenda Reiser’s record of 2:41.4 which she ran in August 1973. The run was planned as a record attempt, and since it was officially timed, is ratifiable as a Canadian record. She was paced by older sister Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, who recently announced that she’s joining the Bowerman Track Club this fall. 

Stafford is coming off of a killer season, winning U Sports cross-country in 2019, running a strong indoor season in 2020 and now setting her third Canadian U23 record (she already owns the 1,000m and 1,500m indoors). Stafford’s 2019 and 2020 success is well deserved, as she struggled with Graves’ disease for a number of years leading up.

In 2018, the runner had a low-key season, and when she was racing, her performances weren’t as strong as in previous years. Some thought she was experiencing a plateau, not uncommon for someone who’s been so dominant for so long, but this wasn’t the case. In 2018, Stafford was undergoing treatment for an autoimmune disorder that causes an overactive thyroid. Since partially eradicating her thyroid gland, Stafford feels like herself again and is back running the way she wants to be. 

In a summer with very little on the calendar, scheduling time trials and record attempts is keeping runners motivated. Despite missing out on international competition, Stafford is among the many runners knocking out impressive times on their own. 

Others impressive results from the weekend:

Out west, the impressive middle distance results keep flowing in. This week, 2018 Canadian 800m champion Lindsey Butterworth ran a huge personal best in the 1,500m, running under 4:10 for the first time to finish in 4:07. In other west coast results, Natasha Wodak also had a great run to hit a personal best in the 3,000m in 9:00. Finally, John Gay broke four minutes in the mile for the first time, just sneaking under the wire to finish in 3:59. 

(08/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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The Course for Olympic marathon at Tokyo 2020 is set to be measured

The course due to be used for the marathon discipline at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is set to be officially measured later this year.

As part of preparations for the rescheduled Olympics, now due to take place from July 23 to August 8 2021, the marathon course in Sapporo is set to be officially measured and certified later in 2020, as reported by Japan Running News.

Organisers are planning to stage a test event on the course at some point in 2021, most likely between March and May.

"Whether it will be a half or full marathon is still a topic for discussion," said Tokyo 2020 chief executive Yoshiro Mori.

The course at Odori Park in Sapporo is set to stage the women's marathon on the penultimate day of the Games, Saturday August 7, with the event starting at 7am JST to avoid likely hot weather during the middle of the day.

The men's marathon takes place on the course the following day, Sunday August 8, again starting at 7am JST, with the victory ceremony for this discipline set to take place as part of the Closing Ceremony for the Games.

The Odori Park course will also be used on Thursday August 5 for the men's 20km race walk final starting at 4.30pm JST and on Friday August 6 for the men's 50km race walk final and women's 20km race walk final, starting at 5.30am JST and 4.30pm JST respectively.

(08/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Neil Shefferd
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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 2020 Long Beach Marathon has been cancelled due to the coronavirus concerns

The 36th annual Long Beach Marathon and all of its weekend activities have been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The race weekend was originally scheduled to take place Oct. 3-4 — along with the Aquarium of the Pacific 5K, Aquarium of the Pacific Kids Fun Run, 20M Bike Tour and the marathon and half-marathon highlighting the event, Oct. 4.

“Announcing yet another canceled event is not what we had in mind,” event manager Natalia Mendez said in a statement. “We monitored every step and kept faith, that with intense planning, enhanced safety protocols and alterations to the event we would be able to host the 36th running of the Long Beach Marathon. It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that our hand was forced, and we join the growing list of live events being devastated by the effects of this pandemic.”

The goal is for the event to return Oct. 10, 2021.

“We know many of you share our disappointment that the Long Beach Marathon cannot take place this year,” said Mendez. “It’s difficult but a necessary precaution that we support.”

Organizers said that all registered runners should look for an email regarding options and instructions.

One of the options is to participate in a virtual marathon. If you choose for the virtual option, runners must complete the 13.1 mile (half-marathon) or the 26.2 (marathon) and submit proof through the Virtual Run Submission Link before Oct. 4. The submission link will go live Sept. 28

“We hope you will join us virtually on race weekend so you can #RunLongBeach how you want, where you want, and when you want,” Mendez said.

Last year’s L.B. Marathon saw 15,000 runners from 44 different states and six countries compete. Nate Clayson won the last year’s men’s marathon (2:28.57) and Sergio Reyes (1:06.25) won the half-marathon.

Andrea Guerra (1:18.43) won the women’s half-marathon and Nina Zarina (2:45.09) was the marathon winner.

The marathon joins the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Long Beach Pride festival and parade, the Dark Harbor Halloween event and scores of conventions and other activities that have been canceled due to the pandemic in the city.

(08/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Damian Calhoun
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Long Beach Marathon & Half Marathon

Long Beach Marathon & Half Marathon

Come experience one of the most scenic events in California, “Run Long Beach”. Starting in Downtown Long Beach, runners head towards the historic Queen Mary and then through Shoreline Village. After running next to the Pacific Ocean on the flat beach path, half marathoners will continue down Ocean Boulevard while full marathoners veer right and head through Belmont Shore toward...

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The 2020 Moscow Marathon set to be run as planned on September 20

Don’t miss the chance to take part in the largest running event in Russia. The Moscow Marathon offers a unique opportunity to run 42.2 km and 10 km through the very heart of city. Join us to run an incredible road race and discover breathtaking views of Moscow on the run.

September 20, 2020. The largest running event of Russia. 42.2 km and 10 km. Unique routes through the very heart of Moscow.

Run the Moscow Marathon to discover breathtaking views of Russia’s capital. You’ll see world-famous attractions on the course, including the Kremlin, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow City, and four of the Seven Sisters skyscrapers.

Don’t miss the chance to take part in the largest running event in Russia on September 20.

Moscow Marathon is a member of The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and the qualifying race for the Abbott WMM Wanda Age Group World Championship 2020.

The Moscow Marathon route offers a spectacular tour of Russia’s capital, from the embankment of the Moskva River by Moscow City, to the Garden Ring, across Krymsky Bridge, along the Boulevard Ring and on Tverskaya Street, through Teatralny Passage and under the walls of the Kremlin before finally reaching the finish line at the Luzhniki Olympic Complex.

Over the course of the race, participants will be able to see more than 30 world-famous attractions, including the Kremlin, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow City, and four of the Seven Sisters skyscrapers.

The Moscow Marathon is a member of The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS). Routes of 42.2km and 10km races are certified by AIMS. This year both distances of Moscow Marathon are measured by IAAF-AIMS Course Measurer Sergei Korneev (cat. B).

(08/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Moscow Marathon

Moscow Marathon

The Absolute Moscow Marathon is the biggest event of its kind in Russia that also attracts runners from all over the world. It is a citywide celebration of sports, camaraderie and healthy lifestyle. For the last 5 years the event has grown from a small local race to an important international running event. Over 20 000 participants from all over...

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South African 400m world record holder and Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk tests positive for COVID-19

Wayde van Niekerk, the reigning Olympic, former world champion and world record holder in the 400m, has tested positive for COVID-19. The 28-year-old South African sprinter was intending to race both the 400m and 100m at a meet in Trieste, Italy today, but his positive test means he will not be allowed to compete.

Track fans outside South Africa have not had the pleasure of watching Van Niekerk race in the two years since his 2017 world championships victory, since he sustained a serious knee injury during a charity rugby match in November 2017. But he had indicated he was back to fitness and ready to compete before receiving the bad news this week. Van Niekerk was tested in Italy, where he has been in quarantine since arriving on July 19 after traveling via Amsterdam and Venice with a small group of athletes, according to a report on the Olympic Channel. 

The report quotes his manager, Peet van Zyl, as saying he is not ill and has not had a fever or any other symptoms. Van Zyl added that all of the athletes and coaches had been tested four times in the previous 14 days.

Before his season was put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, van Niekerk won three races in South Africa at two separate meets. He ran a 10.10-second 100m and 20.31 in the 200m on February 22, and a week later he won a 400m race, posting a 47.42. These times were all far off his PBs of 9.94 for the 100m, 19.84 in the 200m and 43.03 for the 400m, but they were his first competitive runs in two years.

Sub-43

In the 2016 Olympics in Rio, van Niekerk set the current 400m world record to win the gold medal. When racing resumes, he wants to be the first runner to dip below 43 seconds in the 400m.

“If I don’t go sub-43 that means I am not growing,” he said. “There’s no other goal than the sub-43 right now. That’s what I am working for and that’s where I want to be at.” Although he still isn’t at that level, his runs earlier this year gave him confidence that he can achieve this goal as he moves forward. 

(08/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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British middle distance star Laura Muir is the latest confirmation for the LOTTO Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, set for Chorzow on September 6

French pole vault legend Renaud Lavillenie, British middle distance star Laura Muir and high jump sensation Yaroslava Mahuchikh are the latest confirmations for the LOTTO Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, set for Chorzow on September 6.

An exciting duel is expected in the men's pole vault, where Lavillenie will take on Polish star Piotr Lisek. The two have a long-standing rivalry, with Lavillenie leading 42-19 in head-to-head encounters. But the Pole turned the tables last year and will hope to continue the trend.

“Among the vaulters the atmosphere is great, we like to joke around, as well as support each other,” Lisek said. “But when it comes to competition, each of us focuses on the battle and on his own goals.”

Muir, the reigning European 1500m champion with a 3:55.22 lifetime best, will headline that event. She’ll face Polish star Sofia Ennaoui, who finished second to Muir over the distance at the most recent editions of the European indoor and outdoor championships. Ennaoui, known for her spectacular finishes, will be hoping to challenge the British star in front of a home audience.

Another reigning European champion, Elvira Herman from Belarus, will be in action in the 100m hurdles. This race will also feature a strong Polish challenger in the form of Karolina Koleczek, with a best of 12.75 from last year.

The women's high jump competition is also shaping up to be exciting, with three World Championships medalists in attendance. The world U20 record holder Yaroslava Mahuchikh of Ukraine, still only 18, is the 2019 silver medalist with a best of 2.04m. Joining her in Chorzow will be her countrywoman Yuliya Levchenko, World Championships runner-up in 2017 and the Pole Kamila Licwinko, the bronze medalist that year. 

They'll join two-time world 200m champion Dafne Schippers, 2017 world javelin throw champion Johannes Vetter and reigning world discus throw champion Daniel Stahl, who have been previously announced.

Many of Poland's other top athletes will also be competing. Some of the confirmed stars include 1500m world medallist Marcin Lewandowski, shot putters Michal Haratyk and Konrad Bukowiecki, standout hammer throwers Pawel Fajdek and Wojciech Nowicki, European 400m champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic and European indoor 60m champion Ewa Swoboda.

In accordance with current Polish sanitary laws and social distancing regulations, attendance in the Silesian Stadium will be limited to 50% of the stadium's capacity, which will allow 27,000 spectators to watch the meet live.

(08/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Competition updates

Here is a round-up of updates relating to international competitions, from cancellations to postponements and confirmations as of July 31.   Things are changing regularly and updates are made every day.  

Valencia Half Marathon 2020 - cancelled

The 2020 Medio Marathon Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP, scheduled for Sunday 25 October has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

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

Announcement (30 July)

Great Ethiopian Run (15 Nov 2020) - postponed

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

Announcement (27 July)

Nanjing Continental Tour Gold Meeting 2020 - cancelled

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

Announcement (25 July)

Shanghai Diamond League (19 Sep 2020) - cancelled

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

Announcement (24 July)

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

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

Announcement (23 July)

ISTAF (13 Sep 2020) - confirmed

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

Announcement (21 July)

Hamburg Marathon (13 Sep 2020) - cancelled

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

Announcement (21 July)

Madrid Half Marathon (4 Oct 2020) - cancelled

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

Announcement (21 July)

Rotterdam Marathon (24-25 Oct 2020) - postponed

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

Announcement (20 July)

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon (7 Feb 2021) - cancelled

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

Announcement (20 July)

Meeting Liege (9 Sep 2020) - cancelled

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

Announcement (16 July)

Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 - postponed

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

Announcement (15 July)

Great Birmingham Run (11 Oct 2020) - cancelled

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

Announcement (15 July)

Chicago Marathon (11 Oct 2020) - cancelled

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

Announcement (13 July)

Toronto Marathon (18 Oct 2020) - cancelled

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

Announcement (13 July)

Athens Authentic Marathon (8 Nov 2020) - confirmed

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

Announcement (13 July)

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

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

Announcement (13 July)

Paris Marathon (15 Nov 2020) - postponed

Having already been rescheduled from 5 April to 18 October, organisers of the Paris Marathon have pushed the date back to 15 November. "We will, of course, be monitoring the situation as it develops," they said, "and will be carefully respecting the directives of the health authorities and state services with whom we are cooperating closely."

Announcement (6 July)

(08/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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New dates set for World Athletics Series events postponed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic

The World Athletics Council has approved new dates for the World U20 Championships Nairobi 2020 and the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships Minsk 2020.

The World U20 Championships will now be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 17 to 22 August, 2021, one week after the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Under the competition’s rules, athletes aged 16, 17, 18 or 19 years on 31 December, 2021 will be eligible to compete.

The World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships have been rescheduled for 23-24 April, 2022 in Minsk, Belarus.

The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Yangzhou 2022 have also had a small date change, moving back one week, from 20 March, 2022, to 27 March 2022.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: “The disruption caused by the global pandemic has made it more difficult to schedule international events over the next two years but we want to give as much certainty as we can to our athletes, Member Federations, host cities and partners. We have done our best to choose dates that we believe are achievable and offer the best chance for our athletes and event hosts to shine on the international stage.”

Bathurst World Cross Country organisers request alternative dates

World Athletics has also updated the Council on conversations with organisers of the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021 to explore alternative dates for the event.

This is due to ongoing travel and gathering restrictions resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic and the measures currently implemented within Australia to contain it. This includes the closure of Australia’s international borders.

The Board of the Local Organising Committee, World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021, the Athletics Australia board and the New South Wales Government have reinforced their strong desire to host this World Championship and have asked World Athletics to postpone the event to a future date to be determined.

World Athletics will work closely with all stakeholders in Australia to explore the feasibility of other dates. At this time the event remains in the calendar for 20 March 2021.

National championships windows, 2021-2024

In an effort to assist long-term planning for the athletes and Member Federations and in line with the Global Calendar Hierarchy, the Global Calendar Unit has agreed on the following national championships protected windows from 2021-2024.

2021

Protected national championships window 1 - 5-6 June

Protected national championships window 2 - 26-27 June

2022

Protected national championships window - 25-26 June

2023

Protected national championships window 1 - 8-9 July

Protected national championships window 2 - 29-30 July

2024

Protected national championships window 1 - 8-9 June

Protected national championships window 2 - 29-30 June

(08/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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Long hours, short nights and ulcers: Portland Track defies the coronavirus to stage elite meets

If Portland Track’s Jeff Merrill feels a little ragged, well, no wonder.

The legwork it takes to stage elite track meets during the coronavirus pandemic would be a strain on anybody.

“It’s an around-the-clock type of thing,” Merrill says. “The days all kind of blur together.”

Portland Track has put on two popup meets, the Big Friendly 1 on July 3 at Portland’s Jesuit High School and the Big Friendly 2 (the Bigger Friendly) on July 17 at McKenzie Track, 40 miles outside of Eugene.

Big Friendly 3 is being planned for Friday at an undisclosed location somewhere in the Portland area. Organizers are staying mum about the location to discourage spectators and prevent potential spread of the virus.

The effort it’s taken to get to this point would exhaust a marathoner. Portland Track has consulted with Oregon’s three, Nike-sponsored elite distance groups — the Bowerman Track Club, Oregon Track Club Elite and coach Pete Julian’s unnamed group.

The Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League have advised. The office of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed off. So have Multnomah and Lane counties, and, presumably, the county in which the next one will take place if it’s not Multnomah. So has USA Track & Field.

Portland Track organizers have arranged with Providence-Oregon for participants to be tested twice in a 48-hour period shortly before race day. They have had to find available tracks suitable for Olympic-level athletes that meet USATF’s sanctioning criteria.

In the case of McKenzie Track, that meant building an inside rail the day before the meet, even while on the phone to Lane County Health and Human Services.

“We weren’t sure the meet was going to happen because a new mask order was going into effect and we wanted to find out for sure that we were OK to hold it,” Merrill says.

They were — once they had passed the hat to participants to pay for the rail. Portland Track is a shoestring operation with an all-volunteer board and next-to-no budget. Merrill, who is a Portland Track board member and works fulltime for Nike, hasn’t slept much this month.

None of this is easy. All of it is time consuming. Start with finding a track.

“It’s pretty hard,” says Portland Track president Michael Bergmann. “I’ve learned about all the tracks in the state, from Lane Community College, to George Fox, to Linfield, to Mt. Hood Community College. All of those guys have rails. But the schools are closed. The campuses are closed. Most of those places don’t want to take the risk of having any sort of event, which I totally understand and respect.”

McKenzie Community Track & Field didn’t have those concerns, which made the track available on July 17 — providing Portland Track brought the rail.

But that track’s tight turns make it less suitable for running fast and setting records, which is what athletes such as Donavan Brazier, Craig Engels, Konstanze Klosterhalfen, Raevyn Rogers and Shannon Rowbury of Team Julian, Nijel Amos and Chanelle Price of OTC Elite, and Josh Kerr of the Brooks Beasts want to do.

“A good call out is, when you’re looking at an aerial view on Google Maps, you want a track with a soccer field in the middle because those are wider,” Merrill says. “If they just have a football field in the middle, they’re a little narrow.”

The Thorns became involved because some players are fans of Tracklandia, a talk show Portland Track streams and Merrill co-hosts with two-time Olympian Andrew Wheating.

Thorns defender Emily Menges, who ran track at Georgetown, has been known to join the pre-pandemic post-show gatherings at an adjacent restaurant. When Merrill mentioned Portland Track was trying to set up a coronavirus testing protocol, Menges put the organizers in touch with the Thorns training staff. That led Portland Track to Providence for the testing.

“Their system is awesome,” Bergmann says.

On race day, Portland Track is serious about keeping out spectators and holding down the number of people around the track.

At McKenzie Track, “we had folks from their board at the front of the road access with a checklist,” Bergmann says. “Nobody got past who wasn’t on the list. When people come into the facility, we do a temperature check and give them a wristband to show they’ve been checked.”

Athletes are asked to wear masks when not competing. Portland Track board members do everything from labeling and handing out race bibs to counting laps to handling the public address announcing.

They had hoped to livestream the McKenzie meet, but rural Lane County couldn’t provide the necessary bandwidth. That shouldn’t be a problem Friday.

J.J. Vazquez, a Portland State professor who runs the production company Locomotion Pictures, is set to be in charge of streaming the action live on Portland Track’s free

There should be plenty to watch. Team Julian, OTC Elite, the Brooks Beasts of Seattle and Little Wing of Bend will compete. Seattle-based post-collegians mentored by University of Washington coaches Andy and Maurica Powell also figure to be there.

Bergmann has hinted there could be surprises — either entries or record attempts — but declines to be more specific.

The Bowerman Track Club has opted out, choosing instead to hold intrasquad time trials.

Bergmann says BTC coach Jerry Schumacher “knows what we’re doing. But they’ve been pretty successful doing it their way. He has his plan. I’m not going to beg him.”

The people at Portland Track have enough on their plate as it is. They aren’t getting rich.

On their own time, they are providing the region’s Olympic-level athletes a chance to do what they train to do.

“We’re having a blast,” Merrill says. “Although, I might have an ulcer.”

(08/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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Benwood Fire Captain runs 8 miles geared up for a special cause

One fully-geared up firefighter is running 8 miles for a cause that could be life-changing to kids with cancer.

It would have been the 23rd annual Debbie Green Memorial 5k/Walk for Leukemia. But this year one man is running… all by himself.

Garson Taylor is the Captain of the Benwood Fire Department. He would have ran the 5k for the 6th time if it didn’t get canceled due to the epidemic.

The annual 5k then didn’t get to raise around $15,000 to $20,000 for kids with cancer like it usually does every year.

Still Taylor managed to raise $3,200 from his own run. He ran Saturday morning from the center of Benwood towards Marshall Street until he got to Moundsville… all for the kids.

“At first I just did it just to do it, and then I got to meet the families of these kids that are sick, and seeing their smiles. They don’t even know me. I don’t know them, so it’s a really great thing.”

The Debbie Green Memorial 5k/Walk for Leukemia started 23 years ago.

It all dates back to 1972… the year 6-year-old Debbie Green died from Leukemia. Over 40 kids with cancer have been helped since.

If you’d like to donate to the cause, you could stop by Happy Tails Pet Salon.

Taylor says he’s hoping to reach between $4,500 and 5,000 dollars for kids with cancer.

(08/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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Debbie Green 5k

Debbie Green 5k

2020 event has been canceled. Proceeds of the event will benefit a local recipient who suffers from leukemia Pediatric Cancer. Start and finish lines located at Wheeling's Heritage Port. Course Records: Male - Maroud Marofit 13:46 (2013) Female - Susan Jerotich 15:39 (2014) Debbie's Story: Debbie Green was a 7 year old girl from Benwood, WV. She was like every...

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Boston bomber’s death sentence overturned

According to multiple reports, on Friday Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston overturned the death sentence meted out to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the now-27-year-old who was convicted for his part in the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon, which killed three people at the scene including eight-year-old Martin Richard, and injured hundreds of others. (Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, died in a shootout with police three days after the bombings, after killing MIT police officer Sean Collier.) Tsarnaev will face a new trial to determine what sentence he should receive.

The Globe and Mail reported today that Tsarnaev, who was 20 at the time of the bombings and whose trial concluded in 2015, is in prison in Florida, and quoted Thompson as saying, “Make no mistake: Dzhokhar will spend his remaining days locked up in prison, with the only matter remaining being whether he will die by execution.”

Some members of the public demonstrated against the death penalty outside the court on June 24, 2015, the day of Tsarnaev’s sentencing.

The report quotes Thompson saying the trial judge erred in accepting certain jury members’ claims that despite massive publicity surrounding the case, they could impartially assess the evidence presented. At the time, his lawyers argued the case should not have been heard in Boston.

The race was halted after the two bombs, contained in backpacks, detonated near the finish line on Boylston Street at 2:49 p.m. on April 15, 2013.

(08/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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How to makes the weekly long run a key part of your training plan

When starting to train for a race of almost any distance beyond the sprints, the weekly long run is key to building endurance. The main principle is to add mileage gradually over time. In the case of the marathon, a four- to six-month build is recommended, and less for a half-marathon or 10K race. Most training plans are conveniently built on a weekly schedule, and your weekend long runs are interspersed with short, easy runs, once- or twice-weekly speedwork sessions and/or strength training and recovery time.

How to incorporate the long run into your weekly routine

The point of the weekly long run is to build your endurance. Starting with a modest goal, such as being able to run for at least an hour without stopping, those who are new to running should run at a pace that lets them carry on a conversation. “You want to be able to actually do the long run, to be able to start it and to finish it – to me that’s where the win is, regardless of your pace,” says Under Armour runner and YAMAJO Run Crew founder David Joseph, who is based in Montreal. Putting in those weekly long runs will give you the confidence to go the distance on race day.

For a first half-marathon, a good rule of thumb is that a runner should have some experience with the 10K before they begin training, and similarly, those tackling their first marathon should have raced a half-marathon first, according to Joseph.

Initially, you’ll be better off running without a watch and getting used to what an easy, conversational pace feels like. More experienced runners might prefer to train by distance rather than time, starting with a long run of 12K to 15K. Adding a kilometre each week, after training for a couple of months you’ll have your long runs up to or beyond 21K and be well on your way to a successful result in the half-marathon – assuming you’re also running shorter distances, and occasionally running fast, in between your weekly long runs.

Under Armour trainer and former Canadian national decathlon champion Rich Hesketh, who is based in Calgary, recommends that beginners build mileage slowly: “Keep your increases quite progressive in a linear fashion,” he says. “Don’t try and have big jumps or go too long at the same pace for more than a couple of weeks. As a principle of progressive loading, we could look at up to one to two kilometres per week for marathon training. And you’ll eventually get to the point where you’re doing your three- and four-hour long runs.”

Keep your long runs easy

It’s important to do the long run at an easy, comfortable, conversational pace in order to train your aerobic system and slow-twitch muscle fibres, which are what the body uses during all but the final sprint of the marathon. You can work on speed over short distances during your mid-week runs. On race day, the two elements of your training (endurance and speed) will come together, and if you’ve also dialled in your nutrition and recovery, you should be able to hold your goal pace and sprint across the finish line. The challenge is to trust that this process works!

Runners should be guided by the 80/20 rule: run 80 per cent of mileage at an easy pace and 20 per cent at a faster pace (steady state, tempo or race pace). Many runners think they will only get faster if they hammer every workout, but this is a very unwise approach that will likely lead to overtraining and injury. Hesketh explains, “People feel like they’re not working hard enough – they feel like they’ve got to go out and blast a hard run. And that’s not necessary – in fact, that steady, even pace, once you find your pace and your cadence for that, will go a long way in your ability to maintain and improve your running.”

Use a heart rate monitor

The best way to determine how fast to run your long runs is to calculate 220 minus your age, and keep your heart rate at or below 60 to 65 per cent of that. For best results, use a wrist-based or chest strap heart rate monitor. For example, a typical 30-year-old’s max heart rate would be around 190 beats per minute, so on long runs their heart rate should not exceed 123 beats per minute. You might feel like you could easily go faster, especially at the beginning of a long run, but you should resist the urge and save the speed for your short midweek runs. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, Under Armour Edition offers accurate wrist-based heart rate monitoring to keep you honest! And in addition, Under Armour’s MapMyRun app offers heart rate analysis, whose detailed heart rate graphs help runners train at the right intensity.

Your total weekly mileage should increase by not more than 10 per cent per week. Let’s say, for example, that you’re running 6K to 8K four times a week, plus your 10K weekly long run (to start). That’s 34K to 42K total for that week. The following week, if you increase your long run to 13K while keeping your other runs at roughly the same length, you’re now running 37K to 45K per week – an increase of around eight per cent. Keep in mind that as you gain fitness and experience, you’ll want to make your mid-week runs a bit longer, as well. (There’s a certain amount of mental math necessary to make sure you’re increasing your mileage at an appropriate rate – not so slowly that you don’t reach your goal, but not so quickly that you end up overtrained, and possibly injured.) Always schedule at least one or two rest days or easy run days between the long run and your next speed workout.

Shoes for the long run

For your long runs, you want a shoe with plenty of cushioning. The UA HOVR™ Infinite 2 is an excellent high-mileage shoe and perfect for the long run. The midsole is made with UA’s signature HOVR cushioning foam, and the shoe has the embedded chip in the heel to give you all your key running metrics via the UA MapMyRun™ app. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, Under Armour Edition also comes pre-loaded with UA MapMyRun™, so you can also receive real-time audio cues on your form and cadence.

f you prefer a shoe that will work well for easy runs, speedwork and tempo runs as well as the long run, the most versatile choice would be the UA HOVR™ Sonic 3, which has all the lightweight cushioning and flexibility you need. It, too, comes with the built-in chip that connects to the UA MapMyRun™ app.

(08/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Qatar hoping to host 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Persian Gulf nation hosted the World Athletics Championships in 2019 and will hold the football World Cup finals in 2022

Qatar is keen on on hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The gas-rich Persian Gulf nation has expressed an interest in hosting the world's biggest sporting events in a letter to the International Olympic Committee.

Qatar is turning its focus to taking the Games to the Middle East for the first time as it prepares to host the region's first World Cup in 2022.

"Today's announcement marks the beginning of a meaningful dialogue with the IOC's Future Host Commission to explore our interest further and identify how the Olympic Games can support Qatar's long-term development goals," Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Olympic Committee, said in a statement.

"For many years, sport has been a major contributor to our nation's development. It is this proven track-record and wealth of experience, along with our desire to use sport to promote peace and cultural exchange, that will form the basis of our discussions with the commission."

An interest in bidding for the Olympics comes as Qatar continues to face corruption allegations over how it won the rights to host the World Cup in a Fifa vote in December 2010.

In April, American prosecutors revealed new details of alleged bribes paid to Fifa executive committee members to gain their votes.

An earlier Fifa investigation found some of Qatar's conduct "may not have met the standards" required by Fifa but concluded there was no "evidence of any improper activity by the bid team." Qatar has denied any wrongdoing.

Fifa had to move the World Cup from its usual June-July slot to November-December 2022 due to the desert country's fierce summer heat.

While the Summer Olympics is typically held in July and August, Qatar did stage the world track and field championships last year across September and October at an outdoor stadium using air conditioning.

The next Summer Olympics are the rescheduled Tokyo Games in 2021, followed by Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.

(08/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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ASICS introduces new mask made for runners

The latest product from ASICS was designed with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind

This week ASICS announced that the company’s Institute of Sport Science (ISS) has developed a face mask with the performance, comfort and protection of runners in mind. The mask, called the ASICS Runners Face Cover, was designed after countries all around the world not only endorsed the wearing of masks, but enacted laws enforcing it. If you’re a runner who would feel more comfortable wearing a mask while out for your runs on the roads or trails around other people, the ASICS face cover could be a great option.

The face cover features air vents that offer unobstructed airflow while still managing to prevent the spread of droplets. Its adjustable cord helps accommodate all runners, and it locks in place to ensure that it fits snugly on anyone’s face. The face cover is designed with a washable, quick-dry fabric, and as a bonus, each mask is made from approximately 31 per cent recycled materials, so you’re helping the environment while also protecting people around you as you run.

In a statement from the company, Kenichi Harano, the executive officer and senior general manager at the ISS, said, “We know how important it is for runners to protect themselves and others when running, but also that many find face covers uncomfortable and restrictive. So, we created the ASICS Runners Face Cover, uniquely designed for runners with cutting-edge technology.” The company estimates that it will be available to order in Canada by mid- to late-September on the ASICS website for C$60.

(08/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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The World Athletics Council has confirmed the competition format for a cross country event to be included in the Olympic Games

The event, which has been proposed for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, would be a mixed team relay for 15 countries.

Each team would be composed of two men and two women. Each member of the team would run two legs of the 2.5km course, alternating between male and female athletes as each athlete completes the 2.5km course and hands over to a teammate.

World Athletics will meet with the Paris 2024 organising committee in the near future to work out further details of the proposal.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said he was delighted at the prospect of cross country returning to the Olympic Games 100 years after it last appeared at the 1924 Paris Games.

“My love for athletics began with cross country,’’ he said.

“When I joined my first athletics club, Hallamshire Harriers, the club president was Joe Williams, who ran in the last Olympic cross country race in Paris in 1924. It would be hugely symbolic for this wonderful athletic discipline to return to the fold after a century, and for a new generation of runners to fall in love with the glorious challenge of running off-piste.”

(08/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

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

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The injured runner’s guide to training through a pandemic

How to cross-train with limited facility access

Injury is never fun, but it’s especially not fun when gyms are closed and local pools cut their lane swims off at 25 minutes in length. These COVID-19 safety measures have meant that injured runners are a little hard up for training facilities. Until they’re injured, runners certainly take for granted that their primary mode of exercise can be done anywhere. As a runner who found herself injured during a pandemic, I was thankful to already own a road bike, but I was also looking for other ways to workout. Because of my time cross-training, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for staying fit when you can’t hit the road, track or trails.

Buy some workout bands

One of the most common causes of injury is inefficiencies which can be remedied through strength training. If you’re looking to make a more sustainable change, Max Paquette, a biomechanist, recommends strength training over gait retraining. “Strength training builds resilience, which makes your body better equipped to handle stress and in turn makes you less likely to injure the tissue. The idea that only changing gait would be more beneficial than strengthening tissue isn’t always accurate.”

If you aren’t comfortable going to the gym (as it turns out, lots of Canadians aren’t), purchasing resistance bands is one of the cheapest ways to incorporate some “weight” training into your routine. These resistance bands run from around $10 to $35 and can be purchased on Amazon or at your local running store, or if you’re looking to support an elite athlete, 2017 steeplechase world champion Emma Coburn sells them on her website.

Lake jogging is your friend

Pool running is difficult to do right now, as many public pools have opted out of opening lane swims due to social distancing regulations. If you happen to live in an area with a lake or river nearby, lake jogging is a great alternative.

A few notes on water running: it’s harder in a lake, due to the current. Also, runners are encouraged to purchase a flotation belt (which cost around $40 on Amazon) to improve form and work the muscles that they actually use when running. To make the time pass faster, throw some intervals into your water jog. A few sets of 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off is hard work, and it gets you to 60 minutes of no-impact running in no time.

Cycling is also a great alternative

If you have access to a bike, take it for a spin. The bike is a great place to do interval workouts which mimic those you would do running. But it’s important to note that cycling can lead to very tight hips, so pay special attention to them when you’re rolling out and stretching after your workout.

Don’t forget to go on walks

If you’re able to walk without pain, getting out for a few kilometres is a great idea. This will help prepare your body for the load of running when it’s eventually able to handle it again.

Get treatment

Almost all practitioners are open again for in-person visits, including physiotherapists, chiropractors and massage therapists. If you’re comfortable, getting treatment is a great idea to expedite the healing process.

Focus on what you can control

To heal an injury quickly, runners should be doing their best to sleep a lot and eat well. This is easier said than done, but in most cases, focusing on the simple things can make a huge longterm difference.

(08/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Last year's Fukuoka International Marathon winner El Mahjoub Dazza of Morocco has been handed a four-year doping ban

2019 Fukuoka Int'l Marathon winner Dazza handed 4-year doping ban,  the Athletics Integrity Unit said Friday.

"The World Athletes Disciplinary Tribunal has banned long-distance runner El Mahjoub Dazza of Morocco for four years with effect from 10 January 2020 for an Athlete Biological Passport violation under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules," AIU said on its Twitter account.

The 29-year-old Dazza, who has been under provisional suspension since January for an "atypical passport result," will lose all results from May 4, 2019, to Jan. 10, 2020. The decision is subject to appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Pending any appeals, it means he will lose his 2019 Prague Marathon and 2019 Fukuoka International Marathon titles, in the latter case elevating runner-up Taku Fujimoto to winner. Fujimoto failed to earn a place on the Olympic team through the December race.

The AIU is a watchdog founded by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2017 to combat doping in the sport of athletics.

(08/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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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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Run with Rivs takes off in support of beloved runner Tommy Rivers Puzey

The outpouring of support from the Flagstaff running community for one of their own, Tommy Rivers Puzey, continues. 

For the community, which encompasses all levels of running from pro to fitness nuts in town, lifting up one of their own whom so often has helped others is a no-brainer.

"Rivers and his family are one of ours and this is a really hard time for them and a tough diagnosis what he is fighting," Mike Smith, Northern Arizona director for cross country and track and field, said over the phone Friday. "That's a fight that he's got to undertake, but we know in community we can let him and his family know there are lots of folks behind them.

"Sometimes it is the community lifting you up and other times you are called to do the lifting. Right now for the Flagstaff running community, it is time to lift. ... He's one of us and we got to take care of our people."

Smith and Run Flagstaff owner Vince Sherry organized Run with Rivs, a charity event to continue to raise funds for Rivers Puzey's cancer treatment and the medical costs.

Much like NAZ Elite head coach Ben Rosario, Sherry's impression of Rivers Puzey, address by many as Rivers, are nothing but positive. Sherry described the notable runner as someone who just went to everything he could and was quickly ingrained into the Flagstaff running community not long after he first moved to town.

Sherry said he never really had to ask Rivers where he would be, but chances are he would just be there.

Whether at a group run, a bagel run or when Rivers would run to and from Northern Arizona's campus for classes each day, it is usually hard to miss him.

"We were doing Wednesday group runs and the reason that everyone got to know him was because he showed up to absolutely everything," Sherry said. "We had Wednesday group runs and he would be at Wednesday group runs, and then on Thursday he would be at the bagel runs and he would do his own runs. You could look out the window and see the route he would do to get to NAU on the urban trail. ... We would see him with his backpack on and I would be at the counter at the shop and, 'Oh, there goes Tommy,' and then a few hours later, 'There he goes again.'"

NAZ Elite This Week: Tommy Rivers Puzey's ties run deep with squad, Kellyn Taylor

With the type of person Rivers is, it is easy for so many to step up to the plate and help him in his battle with pulmonary NK/T-Cell lymphoma. For Sherry it was an easy decision to make with Smith.

"In part in how it stemmed was that Tommy relates to people in a lot of ways; he's funny and he's got a way about him and is really kind and considerate," Sherry said. "He looks out for other people."

Participants can choose to run, ride, hike, paddle, or walk as many miles and as many times as they want between Saturday, Aug. 1, and Sunday, Aug. 9. Participants are then are asked to donate after signing up and can use the hashtags #RunWithRivs, #RideWithRivs #HikeWithRivs and #TriWithRivs to share their experience. They are also asked to mention @runwithrivs on any posts on social media.

Participants make their own challenge and share their journey. That's what Sherry and Smith wanted, people to have fun with it like Rivers would want.

Sherry said he and others involved with the event will share the photos, videos and other posts that participants share on social media onto the event's Instagram page. Sherry said he hopes the posts connect with Rivers and his family throughout Rivers' battle and his hopeful recovery.

 

(08/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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Original Coubertin drawing of Olympic rings sells for €185,000 ($216,000US) at auction

An original drawing of the Olympic rings sketched by Baron Pierre de Coubertin sold for €185,000 (£169,000/$216,000) at an auction in Cannes today.

That was €85,000 (£77,000/$99,000) above the estimate experts predicted it would fetch.

The figure included the 27 per cent commission fee of €234,950 (£214,032/$275,479).

"The drawing was sold to a Brazilian collector," Alexander Debussy, associate director of Cannes Auction House, said. 

Last December, the manifesto drawn up by Coubertin which led to the revival of the Olympic Games sold for a record $8,806,500 (£6,764,543/€7,916,191) at an auction in New York City.

The founder of the modern Olympics created the five interlocking rings in 1913 in blue, yellow, black, green and red on a white field.

It is believed he intended the rings to represent the five continents of Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

He claimed the colours of the rings together with the white of the background included the colours composing every competing nation's flag at the time.

In a survey published earlier this year the Olympic rings were voted among the top 10 most recognisable logo or symbol of all-time. 

Coubertin introduced the rings in the August 1913 edition of Olympic Review.

His original drawing is in graphite and gouache on a 21x27.5 centimetre piece of white card, which he has autographed.

The new Olympic symbol and flag were officially approved at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Congress at the Sorbonne University on June 15 in 1914, held to mark the 20th anniversary of the decision to revive the Games and the formation of the Olympic Movement.

But the shadow of World War One hanging over the world meant the rings and flag did not appear at an Olympic Games until the Opening Ceremony of Antwerp in 1920. 

Cannes Auction House had put a reserve of €50,000 (£45,000/$57,000) on the item – which was from a private Swiss collection – but estimated bidding would reach between €80,000 (£73,000/$91,000) and €100,000 (£91,000/$114,000).

The 5,000-word handwritten manifesto sold in New York City was purchased by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, the President of the International Fencing Federation.

In February it was announced that he had donated the document to the Olympic Museum.

(08/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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Russian athletics federation Could be expelled from membership of World Athletics

The council of World Athletics has announced that the Russian Federation (RusAF) will be expelled from membership of World Athletics if it does not make the outstanding payments of a USD 5 million (420m EUR) fine and pay USD 1.31 million (954,600 EUR) in costs before 15 August.

The Council followed the recommendations of the Taskforce, delivered by chairperson Rune Andersen in his report. Andersen expressed his disappointment that the Taskforce had seen “very little in terms of changing the culture of Russian athletics” in the past five years.

Russian Minister of Sport Oleg Matytsin has sent a letter to World Athletics, which promises payment of the overdue amounts by 15 August, in the light of which the Taskforce’s recommendations were:

To recommend to Congress that it resolves to expel RusAf from membership of World Athletics, in accordance with Article 14.1 of the Constitution, on the basis that the matters that led Congress to suspend RusAF from membership pursuant to Article 13.7 have not been satisfactorily addressed.

To recommend that a Special Congress meeting be convened as soon as possible to allow Congress to consider and vote on the proposal to expel RusAF. In the circumstances of the ongoing and worsening pandemic, that Special Congress meeting should if possible be held virtually, to avoid delay.

That pending Congress’s decision, the “Neutral Athlete” mechanism will not be made available to Russian athletes.

This decision is suspended, but will come into effect immediately and automatically if any of the following conditions are not met:

Payment in full of the two outstanding RusAF invoices to be received on or before close of business in Monaco on 15 August 2020.

The RusAF Reinstatement Commission to provide the draft plan referenced in the third paragraph of Council’s decision of 12 March 2020 – of suitable scope and depth, with an implementation plan and progress indicators – to the Taskforce on or before 31 August 2020.

Any changes required by the Taskforce to the draft plan to be incorporated to the Taskforce’s satisfaction on or before 30 September 2020.

The Plan to be brought into effect and satisfactory progress achieved against the plan (as determined by the Taskforce, based on the input of the international experts appointed by World Athletics), as reported by the Taskforce to Council at each of its subsequent meetings.

In relation to Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANAs):

Athletes may apply for ANA status for 2020 competitions in accordance with the process specified by the Doping Review Board.

No ANA status will be granted to any athlete for 2020 competitions unless and until conditions (1) to (3) above are met.

If conditions (1) to (3) are met, then in accordance with Council’s March decision, (1) no more than ten athletes (in total) will be granted ANA status for World Athletics Series events. (The ony such event scheduled for 2020 is the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia); (2) there is no cap on ANAs for other international competitions in 2020.

Council’s March 2020 decision to allow up to 10 Authorised Neutral Athletics for World Athletics Series events and the Tokyo Olympics will be reviewed no earlier than December 2020, based on an assessment of the progress made by RusAF against the reinstatement plan.

The Council decided in March to sanction RusAF’s admitted breaches of the Anti-Doping Rules during the Lysenko investigation with a USD 10 million fine (8.4m EUR), with USD 5 million to be paid by 1 July 2020 and the other USD 5 million suspended. The Council also required RusAF to pay related costs by 1 July 2020

(07/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Valencia Half Marathon cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation

The 2020 Medio Marathon Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP, scheduled for Sunday October 25 has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The event was the final race in the inaugural year of the SuperHalfs series – all of which have now been cancelled and/or postponed into 2021.

All registered runners will receive instructions from the organising club SD Correcaminos on the options available regarding their 2020 race entries and how to proceed with their chosen option:

1. To swap the 2020 entry for a place in the 2021 edition (24 October 2021).

2. To request a full refund of the entry (with the exception of the voluntary charitable donation, which will be paid as planned to PayaSOSpital, this year’s charity).

3. To donate the entry fee as a token of your solidarity with the Race Organisation.

“Although all of our plans are delayed we keep our focus on working hard to set up an innovative running series that will bring together five of the world’s most beautiful half marathons with the aim of promoting running, environmental sustainability and tourism,” said a spokesperson.

(07/31/2020) ⚡AMP
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 25th year. For the second year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and...

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With safety precautions, and new courses Heartland Marathon will go on as planned

Race organizers are assuring runners that the Heartland Marathon is taking place this year in person as planned.

The race, in its sixth year, is set for Sept. 27.

Organizers said they’re not considering a virtual event. They think they can host a safe event for runners and volunteers.

“We’re going to do our best to follow what other people have been doing so far and do everything we can to make this safe and comfortable for people,” said Tom Whitaker, president of the Omaha Running Club, the organization that hosts the Heartland Marathon.

Whitaker, who is the race director for the Heartland Marathon, said they have about 150 runners signed up for this year’s event. He said they’d be happy with a field of 350 to 400 runners.

Last year’s event, which also included a half marathon, 10K and marathon relay, drew about 700 participants.

This year’s race has no cap, but organizers will make an effort to keep runners socially distanced.

Start times will be staggered, Whitaker said, and they plan to have multiple starting chutes.

Organizers will consider whether to ask runners to sport masks at the start line, he said.

Courses will change from past years, Whitaker said. The plan is to keep the courses on trails and to avoid major streets. Course maps will be released at a later date.

Organizers have been in touch with officials at the Douglas County Health Department, Whitaker said. Pinning down exact plans may not happen until closer to race day as they continue to evaluate regulations and restrictions, he said.

“We’re in the business to support local runners,” Whitaker said. “Our goal is to do everything we can to help runners. We thought it was important to come up with a way to continue offering a quality event that would be valuable to runners.”

Registration for the race is open. Prices increase Sunday.

Registration fees won’t be refunded, Whitaker said, but there could be an option for runners to defer to the 2021 race.

(07/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Kelsey Stewart
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Heartland Marathon

Heartland Marathon

Join us for the Heartland Marathon presented by the Omaha Running Club. We’re excited to offer a variety of events for everyone. Choose your distance of the 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon or grab some friends and run the Marathon Relay. This year’s routes will take you through Nebraska and Iowa. Runners will start in historic downtown Omaha, cross back and...

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Paris 2024 Olympic Games, could be featuring a mixed cross-country relay

Cross-country hasn't been included in the Olympics since the 1924 Games.

World Athletics has announced plans to include a cross-country mixed relay event in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Cross-country hasn’t been featured in the Olympics for almost a century, and it was last included in the 1924 Olympics, which were also in Paris.

If the Paris 2024 organizing committee and World Athletics can work out a plan for the mixed relay, cross-country will make its return to the Games 100 years since its last competition and in the same city.  

The event would feature 15 countries, and each team would be made up of four runners (two men and two women). The race would be 20K, and the teams would alternate between male and female runners, with each athlete covering two laps of a 2.5K course. 

The president of World Athletics Sebastian Coe has expressed his excitement for a potential Olympic cross-country event. “My love for athletics began with cross-country,’’ he said. “When I joined my first athletics club, Hallamshire Harriers, the club president was Joe Williams, who ran in the last Olympic cross-country race in Paris in 1924. It would be hugely symbolic for this wonderful athletic discipline to return to the fold after a century.” 

As of July 26, the Paris Games are just four years away, and an additional running event would be welcome news for Olympic hopefuls around the world. World Athletics officials and Paris 2024 organizers will reportedly meet soon to discuss more details for the prospective relay.

(07/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

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

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