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The Cold, Hard Reality of Racing the Yukon Arctic Ultra

Temperatures were brutally low at this year’s running of the 300-mile competition, and one frostbitten competitor may lose his hands and feet. Is this just the price of playing a risky game, or does something need to change?

Roberto Zanda left the Carmacks checkpoint of the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra just before noon on February 6. He was at least 150 miles into the 300-mile race—he’d already been slogging down a dogsled trail through the Yukon backcountry for more than five full days. Temperatures had plunged below minus 40 Fahrenheit on the first night out of Whitehorse, the small Yukon city where the race began; along the race course, temperatures consistently ranged from the minus 20s to the minus 40s.

In short, conditions were brutal. Of the eight racers who’d begun the 100-mile version of the variable-length event, just four had finished. Of the 21 who’d started the 300-miler, only the 60-year-old Zanda and two others remained. Most of the rest had scratched with frostbite or hypothermia.

When Zanda left the checkpoint, hosted in a village rec center, a race medic wrote on the event’s Facebook page that the racer had paused only for “a short rest and a big meal. He was looking very strong.”

Just over 24 hours later, Zanda was in a helicopter, being rushed to Whitehorse General Hospital with hypothermia and catastrophic frostbite, lucky to be alive. He now faces the likely amputation of both hands and both feet. What went wrong?

This was the 15th running of the Yukon Arctic Ultra, an annual race in which competitors choose their distance—marathon, 100 miles, 300 miles, or, every second year, 430 miles—and their mode of transportation: a fat bike, cross-country skis, or their own booted feet. Race organizer Robert Pollhammer, 44, who runs an online gear store in his native Germany, started the event in 2003 after being involved with Iditasport, a similar event on the Alaskan side of the border.

The Yukon race takes place on part of a trail built each year by the Canadian Rangers for the Yukon Quest, a 1,000-mile dogsled race, and it’s as much a feat of logistics as it is an athletic contest. It’s continuous, not a stage race; competitors are self-sufficient, carrying all their camping and survival gear, spare layers, food, and water in sleds they pull behind them. Temperatures are cold enough to kill, and it’s dark for roughly 14 hours every day. Nonetheless, eager ultra racers travel from around the world for the event, paying anywhere from $750 to $1,750 USD to enter (depending on when they register and the distance they’re attempting), plus the cost of flights, hotel, and gear. The total can easily add up to $5,000 or more.

The entrants tend to be experienced ultra and adventure racers; many athletes have already completed events like the Gobi March or the Marathon des Sables. Most competitors come from Europe, although this year’s race also saw entrants from South Africa and Hong Kong. The race organization offers a survival course a few days beforehand—a crash education in moisture management, layering, and cold-weather injuries. Generally speaking, the racers are accomplished athletes, but they may not have extensive experience with severe cold. The challenge lies in keeping themselves safe while moving through the Yukon’s remote, frigid backcountry.

The race is billed as “the world’s coldest and toughest ultra,” and there have been plenty of serious injuries before: flesh blackened by frostbite, frozen skin peeling off racers’ faces like wax, and bits of fingers and toes lost to amputation. But what happened to Zanda is by far the worst medical outcome yet, and it has shocked former racers, event organizers, and fans. It has also led to discussions and debates, often heated, about where a race organization’s responsibilities end and a racer’s personal assumption of risk begins.

As Zanda moved out of Carmacks, his Spot tracker showed him clipping along steadily at around three miles per hour. Between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., his beacon’s transmissions became more erratic—but that’s fairly normal in the Yukon, where satellite signals can be weak or inconsistent. Between 9 and 10 p.m., the problem cleared up and the Spot began sending signals every few minutes.

The last blip came in at 10:08 p.m., at route mile 189.7, and then the device went into sleep mode. After a strong ten-hour, 25-mile push from Carmacks, Zanda appeared to have stopped to camp for the night.

In the morning, as the sun rose, his tracker still hadn’t moved. The race crew wasn’t concerned yet—Zanda had taken a 12-hour rest once before during the race, as had some other athletes. At 9:32 a.m., Pollhammer posted on Facebook that two volunteer trail guides were headed out to check on him. “His Spot has not been sending for a long time now. Once we have news I will let you all know.”

The trail guides are the race’s safety net, patrolling hundreds of miles by snowmobile to check on the athletes and, when necessary, evacuate them from the course. They motored down the trail toward Zanda’s Spot location, but when they got there, in late morning, they found only the racer’s harness and sled, loaded with a tent and sleeping bag, a stove and fuel, and—crucially—the Spot device. Zanda was gone.

They called back to Pollhammer, who contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and then they began searching the area, looking for some sign of where the racer might have left the packed trail and wandered into the forest. The Mounties were about to launch a search of their own when the call came in: Zanda had been found. A helicopter was dispatched and landed near him. The trail guides, advised by the incoming medical team, did what they could to care for Zanda while they waited. As Pollhammer put it in an email to me: “No time was lost.”

A few days later, Zanda spoke to a Canadian television reporter from his hospital room in Whitehorse. He wore a pale-green gown, and his hands were heavily bandaged, nearly up to his elbows. His feet and shins were the same. He said he’d left his sled behind to go look for help because his feet were freezing up. He and his family members have also told race organizers that Zanda had lost the trail and went in search of the next marker, leaving the sled behind while he scouted.

Hypothermia must have already had Zanda in its grip by then, muddying his mind and compromising his decisions. His sled was his lifeline, containing everything he needed to stay alive and the only tool he had to call for help. He wandered through the cold and dark all night while the sled sat on the trail, sending out a reassuring beacon to the world that all was well.

I competed in this year’s Yukon Arctic Ultra—my first attempt—and I didn’t last long. Twenty-two hours in, suffering from frostbite on three fingertips, I scratched from the event, one of four 100-mile racers who decided to quit.

I never met Zanda, though for all I know we could have been standing side-by-side at the start line. On the afternoon of day one, he left the first checkpoint 19 minutes ahead of me. That night, I passed by as he bivied on the side of the trail. A couple hours later, I put up my own tent, crawled inside, and was trying to change into dry clothes with my hands briefly exposed. That was long enough for frostbite to set in.

Early the next morning, Zanda and two other racers passed my tent. I heard them go by but didn’t call out. I was waiting until daylight to push the help button on my Spot. I’ve thought about those encounters a lot since I learned about what happened to Zanda. It’s impossible not to hear his story and ask: Could that have been me?

Easily. I knew when I signed up for the race that amputations, or even death, were among the potential consequences. At such low temperatures, exhausting yourself to the degree required to complete an ultramarathon is a good way to erase whatever thin margin of safety you’ve managed to create. But while some of my friends had concerns, I wasn’t really worried. That disconnect is what allows many of us to put ourselves in these situations.

Zanda wasn’t the only person hospitalized. Nick Griffiths, another 300-mile racer, scratched on day two. The frostbite on his left foot had become severe by the time he was whisked from the trail to a remote checkpoint for eventual evacuation to Whitehorse. Griffiths spent five days in the hospital, and he will eventually lose his big toe and two others next to it. (To preserve as much healthy tissue as possible, doctors will allow the toes to “self-amputate,” meaning that the dead tissue will simply fall off.) Losing the big toe, in particular, could have a serious impact on Griffiths’ future ability to walk, hike, and run.

“I’m hoping I’ll be all right,” he told me from his home in England, where he’s been reading up on athletes who’ve lost toes. “I’m not expecting to be able to go and do ultras or things like that, but there’s other challenges. It’s not ideal, but there’s no point jumping up and down about it. It’s done.”

I’m not sure I could muster the same acceptance if I were in Griffiths’ position, let alone Zanda’s. Understandably, the Italian racer’s friends and family are extremely upset. In the days after his rescue, the race’s Facebook page filled up with furious comments from people demanding to know how this could have happened, why Zanda wasn’t checked on sooner, why the race hadn’t been canceled entirely when the weather refused to relent. Zanda’s wife, Giovanna, wrote, in Italian, “It’s been too many hours before you decided to verify what happened. He didn’t die by miracle.” His brother, Paolo, posted, “Why they promise you safety when they do not care about you?” To which Pollhammer replied, “Nobody promises safety.”

That much is certain. The waiver I signed when I filed my registration paperwork last summer listed the risks I was assuming as including but not limited to “dehydration, hypothermia, frostbite, collision with pedestrians, vehicles, and other racers and fixed or moving objects, sliding down hills, overturning of ice-rocks, falling through thin ice, avalanche, dangers arising from other surface hazards, equipment failure, inadequate safety equipment, weather conditions, animals, the possibility of serious physical and/or mental trauma and injury, including death.”

Still, even as we sign our lives away, participating in an organized race may provide us with an illusion of safety in a way that an independent backcountry trek might not. If so, I suppose it becomes our job to tear down that illusion and make clear-eyed choices about the risks. That’s easier said than done, of course.

Throughout the aftermath of this year’s race, Pollhammer has remained calm as he answered his critics, walking the fine line of showing empathy for Zanda and his family while making it clear that he believes the error was the racer’s. Initially he seemed shaken, unsure about running the event again next year, but he has since announced the 2019 dates. I asked Pollhammer if, with the benefit of hindsight, he would do anything differently. He said that the rules and safety procedures evolve almost every year, and next year will likely be no different. But there are limits to what he can do, no matter how much he tweaks his protocols

“We can increase the list of mandatory gear, make people carry a sat phone, warn athletes even more so than we do now,” Pollhammer said. “We can do many things. However, we won’t be able to make sure people don’t get hypothermic and start making mistakes when they are out there. It they don’t act, or if they act too late, it will always mean trouble. I wish I could take that away from them, but it is impossible.”

Or as Nick Griffiths put it, “I can’t blame anybody for it—it was my own fault.”

As for Zanda, he told the CBC that he’ll be back out racing again—on prosthetics, if need be.

(02/21/2021) ⚡AMP
Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

The Yukon Arctic Ultra is the world's coldest and toughest ultra! Quite simply the world's coldest and toughest ultra. 430 miles of snow, ice, temperatures as low as -40°C and relentless wilderness, the YUA is an incredible undertaking. The Montane® Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU) follows the Yukon Quest trail, the trail of the world's toughest Sled Dog Race. Where dog...


This new spike technology has a place in sport, provided everyone has reasonable access

In the past 12 months, despite minimal conventional competition opportunities, seven track world records have fallen. Beyond those, track has also seen countless area, national and age-group records fall – in seemingly more frequent succession than recent years.

For some of these records, the runners wore what are being referred to as super spikes – spikes with added foam, and in some cases, an embedded carbon-fibre plate, similar to the plates now found in many marathon shoes. Nike has a sprint (Air Zoom Viperfly), mid (Air Zoom Victory) and long-distance (Dragonfly) version of these spikes, and runners sponsored by several other companies, like New Balance, are wearing prototypes.  

With similar technology, these spikes are doing for track what the Nike Vaporfly 4% did for road running – they’re leading fans, pundits, and professional athletes to question whether the shoes are hindering or helping the sport, and whether this emerging technology should be better regulated.

The new rules

In recent years, the thinking around shoe technology has shifted, and brands are now creating ‘super shoes’ that include more foam and a stronger plate. (Spikes always had plastic plates, and now some have carbon plates.) This changed was first seen on the road, and resulted in new regulations when it comes to in-competition footwear. In the fall of 2020, World Athletics announced new rules that declared a limit of 25 mm in stack height on the track. While that remains a far cry from the 40 mm limit on the roads, 25 mm is much higher than track runners were accustomed to. The average spike at the time had a stack height of about 5 mm and was developed based on the principle that lighter is faster and less is more. 

Lack of access

Beyond limiting stack heights, the new WA rules also mandated that shoes had to be widely available to all runners in order to be used in Olympic competition. However, for a lot of Olympic hopefuls, they need every little advantage possible to find themselves on a start line at the Games, and WA rules aren’t making these shoes any easier to access for early-season competition. Many companies have made versions of the new spikes ‘available’ online – in a size 15 men’s. This technically complies with the ‘widely available’ rule but is obviously severely limiting.

solid training block

Fans are quick to point a finger at the new shoes for the many records that have fallen in the last 12 months, but as some have pointed out, it may also be due to training schedules that are not constantly being interrupted by meets. During the pandemic, runners have competed much less than usual, swapping weekly racing for intense training camps. These changes in training schedules may have allowed people to simply run more and become stronger, as they’re no longer dropping mileage to taper for competition. 

Some top athletes are opting out of using the super spikes for their track events. For example, to set the 5,000m American record over the summer, Shelby Houlihan wore a pair of spikes released back in 2008.  While Houlihan was kicking it old-school, several of her teammates, including Canadian Mohammed Ahmed, were wearing the then-unreleased Nike Dragonfly spikes. In a low-key meet, with some technically out-of-date spikes, Houlihan ran a 14:23.92 – faster than any American woman ever has over the distance. 

What about doping?

Some have raised the issue of doping as a possible factor. When the pandemic first hit, athlete drug testing was temporarily suspended. As a result, there was a weeks-long period where runners everywhere could, in theory, have cheated without getting caught. A few months later, though testing has resumed, we’re seeing out-of-this-world results. This is obviously a bigger conversation for another day, but I personally don’t believe that all of these athletes took advantage of that brief testing gap in order to break records.

As spike technology is improving, so are pacing technologies and track surfaces – the world keeps on turning, and running must turn with it. While these new spikes are certainly among the many changes that are bringing about faster times, they’re not the sole reason, and in my opinion, it’s reductionist to say they are. We’re living in a completely different world than we were a year ago, and maybe some of the changes the pandemic brought have positively impacted training. It’s entirely possible that forcing life to slow down helped some athletes speed up.

While I believe these ‘super shoes’ should be truly accessible in order to be used in competition, I also believe that innovation is inevitable. The super spike will one day be replaced by a new technology that will ‘ruin’ the sport all over again, and we’ll be missing the days when carbon and extra foam were the biggest deal on the block. 

(02/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly

High school 3,000m record-holder Katelyn Tuohy will make her collegiate debut this weekend

More than a year after announcing that she had committed to attending North Carolina State University in the fall of 2020, American high-school superstar Katelyn Tuohy is finally making her collegiate debut at the Camel City Invitational in Winston-Salem, NC on Saturday, Feb. 20.

This will be Tuohy’s first race since she won the 1,500m at the New York high school state meet on March 7, 2020.

With everything that has happened,  it’s easy to forget that this is one of the United States’ most decorated high school runners’ freshman year. According to an interview with Let’, Tuohy’s coach, Laurie Henes, made the decision to have the young runner sit out the cross-country season last fall because she was not fully healthy when she arrived on campus.

Instead, they decided to take it slow, pointing out that it didn’t make sense to rush her back into a fall season that didn’t have an NCAA championship.

Evidently, Tuohy is now healthy enough to race, and she will be competing for NC for the first time this weekend in the 3,000m. She is the current high school record-holder at the distance, running a 9:01.81 in January 2019 to break Mary Cain’s previous record of 9:04.51.

With only three weeks until the NCAA XC Championships, this race will be a good test of her fitness, and track fans everywhere will be watching to see what she’ll do this Saturday.

(02/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton

South African marathon runner Gerda Steyn is training and staying positive ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Gerda Steyn is happy with how training is going ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

The Risidale road runner will run the marathon distance for South Africa at the Olympics in August and before then has lined up some races to build her fitness.

On 24 January, Steyn won the Dubai 10km with her best 10km time – just one of the many races she has won in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in recent years.

“I was really pleased to run 32:33 for the 10km because I am currently in the middle of a training block, so I couldn’t really have expected to run my best 10km performance, but [it] definitely helped me gain some confidence in what I can do for my next race,” Steyn told Northcliff Melville Times.

“I am still seeing improvement in a lot of my speed sessions and tempo workouts, so I trust that this will result in better performances in races too. Every training cycle is different and normally this time of the year I would be doing high altitude training in Lesotho, so I’m just looking to make the most out of training at sea level.”

Upcoming races for Steyn include the RAK (Ras Al Khaimah) Half Marathon in the UAE, dubbed the fasted half-marathon in the world, on 21 February, and the Half Marathon World Championships in Poland on 29 March.

“I have been very focused on staying injury-free with more emphasis on recovery in between sessions and also making sure that I am well prepared for every workout because it’s not just your performance on the day, but all the small building blocks beforehand that will count towards obtaining your target times.”

Steyn said she was excited about representing South Africa for the first time at the Olympics.

“[It] will be an incredible opportunity,” she said.

“The pandemic has affected everyone and as a sportsperson, it has been a tough past 12 months, especially with all the uncertainty with regards to race dates and race cancellations. I promised myself right from the start that I will not give up and that by the end of the year I want to look back knowing that I did everything in my power to seek opportunities and still make 2020 a year to remember.”

This she did.

“Running has been my greatest outlet. I was able to stay positive through my love for running and having the support from many great people in my life. I miss running in a social environment and competing knowing that I am sharing the roads with thousands of runners but I was extremely grateful to have had an invitation to run the 2020 London Marathon which kept me focused on training and improving.”

(02/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Nicholas Zaal
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. ...


The North Face Just Dropped the First Carbon-Plated Trail Running Shoe

Controversial speed is coming to a mountain near you

I’ve tested out carbon-plated shoes from a variety of running brands over the last 12 months. A movement that began with Nike’s NEXT% line — which propelled Kenyan legend Eliud Kipchoge to a mind-boggling sub-two hour marathon back in late 2019 — has now firmly taken over the sport.

For the skeptics out there, these shoes are legit. There’s a reason the success of Nike’s shoe led to allegations of “gear doping,” new rules from the World Athletics body, and a call to arms for competitors like Adidas, ASICS and Saucony. The shoes generally combine tall, lightweight foam (which running journalist Amby Burfoot once compared to having extra leg muscles), with a carbon insert, meant to facilitate maximum energy retention — to “propel you froward” as the brand copywriters like to say.

After all that initial noise, they’re not only here to stay; they’re poised to take over other sub-sections of the sport. Yesterday, The North Face dropped a first look at its VECTIV series, the world of trail running’s first official carbon-plated running shoes.

I have zero complaints about my carbon-plated shoes. (Lately, I’ve been running in the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%s and the Saucony Endorphin Pros.) In a year without races, they’ve helped me to log some benchmark times I’m proud of. That said, those shoes are noticeably reliant on dry, clean surfaces. They like asphalt, they prefer track. Whenever either is slick from rain or snow, or — god forbid — roots or leaves get involved, they have a ton of trouble gripping the ground.

The North Face, a brand as synonymous with all-elements gear as any on the planet, has designed a carbon-plated shoe that can actually handle unforgiving trails. Most running brands have their athletes come in and test out prototypes on a treadmill; TNF trail runners logged up to 600 miles in a single pair, and much of them on punishing terrain. One runner ran 93 miles around Mt. Rainier in them this past summer.

The premier release in TNF’s line, the FLIGHT VECTIV, aims for stability and strength, like any other reliable trail running shoe. It has a high-grip outsole, while its mesh fibers are literally reinforced with Kevlar. But it’s built for speed. The shoes contain a 3D plate directly underneath the foot, alongside a rocker midsole. Ultrarunner Pau Capell described the shoes as a “downhill weapon.” Trail runners often have to slow down due to practical concerns, not for lack of spirit. These shoes are designed to let them fly.

And, crucially, to avoid injury while doing so. The maximalist foam included in carbon-plated shoes blunts the impact of runners logging so many miles. Ultrarunners are on another level entirely; they’re incessantly susceptible to stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, sprained ankles, cramps, and broken toes. But the VECTIV line — which also includes the INFINITE and the ENDURIS, two shoes less concerned with speed — promises 10% less “impact shock.” It could bring more newcomers to the sport, and keep around those who already love it.

(02/20/2021) ⚡AMP

Obiri eyeing double events at Tokyo Olympics

World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri is keen to compete in both 5,000m and 10,000m events at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The 31-year-old has already vowed to go all out for her maiden Olympic gold, the only medal missing in her cabinet.

In what could be her final appearance at the Summer Games, Obiri who bagged a silver medal in 5,000m in Rio Games, said she is ready to contest in both races.

“Probably I am going to double in 5k and 10k if I will make the Kenyan team,” said Obiri after anchoring her Kenya Defence Forces mixed relay team to victory at the national cross country championships.

Obiri did both events at the 2019 World Championships in Doha winning the 5,000m race and finishing a distant fifth in 10,000m.

The Commonwealth Games champion will follow in the footsteps of her compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot who did the double in 2016 clinching a gold medal in 5,000m and a silver in 10,000m.

Despite making the team for Africa Cross Country Championships in the mixed relay category, Obiri said she will skip the continental showpiece slated for Lome, Togo on March 7 as she heightens her preparations for the Olympics.

At the same time, Obiri disclosed that she is set to kick start her track season at the Diamond League season opener in Rabat on May 23.

“Right now I am focused on the buildup towards the Olympics. I am looking forward to the Diamond League season where I intend to compete in 1,500m at the Rabat meeting,” she said.

The African champion was set to make her debut in the half marathon at the cancelled Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon that was slated for Friday.

(02/20/2021) ⚡AMP

The new and improved Hayward Field sits ready for the Olympic Trials, whenever that comes

There was a lot of hope that the new Hayward Field would be a major attraction before the pandemic hit, and it finally looks like events will return in some form or another.

The 2021 Olympic games are scheduled to start in Tokyo on July 23rd.

We spoke to an athlete training for her shot at an Olympic medal to see how uncertainty is playing a role in everything.

Raevyn Rogers, an 8 time all-American, 6-time national champion, and the recipient of the prestigious Bowerman Award with the Oregon Ducks is training for her return to Track Town USA for the 2021 Olympic Trials. After the 2020 summer Olympics were postponed last March, she had to refocus.

"I expected it, so it was kind of hard to be sad," Rogers said. "It was just one of those things that were like "ok so what is the plan now?"

The Olympics are scheduled to take place in Tokyo from July 23rd to August 8th. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently released their first resource playbook for a safe and successful event. One line reading...

"...limiting the number of time athletes and support staff stay in the village, restrictions on socializing outside the village, their movement between official games venues, and a COVID-19 screening system that will see athletes and support staff screened during the games."

But before the Olympics, Hayward Field will hold the 2021 Olympic Trials- slated for mid-June. After running for the Ducks in college, Rogers feels a bit of a "home-court advantage."

"performing in front of the home crowd, I always want to do my best and perform my best," she said. "That's just the kind of pride that I want to carry when it comes to just how much I associate and really care for the University of Oregon."

The atmosphere at Hayward is electric, but due to the pandemic, runners in Olympic trials could be at a loss without a crowd.

"It's not just the noise, but more so the energy," Rogers said. "With the tradition of coming of the Bowerman Curve, there's so much tradition and so much energy that these passionate track fans give."

After running on tracks internationally, Rogers says Hayward has potential as an Olympic venue.

"We've got to get the parking and the hotels a little more situated but the track alone and the facility alone is just Olympic standard."

Rogers was also recognized by her alma mater, as they used her photo on the new Bowerman Tower at Hayward. Photos of Steve Prefontaine, Ashton Eaton, and Bill Bowerman are also on the tower.

A major event people were looking forward to this year was the IAAF 2021 Track and Field World Championships, but because of the pandemic, that will happen in 2022.

(02/20/2021) ⚡AMP

2021 Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon has been postponed again

After being postponed in 2020 before being officially cancelled altogether, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & ½ Marathon has met the same fate in 2021.

Race officials announced on Wednesday that the event, which was originally scheduled for April 24-25, has been moved to the fall due to COVID-19 risks. A likely target date for the rescheduled event could be Nov. 20-21, the same date the event was rescheduled for last year.

The race, which starts on Lower Broadway and wraps up near Nissan Stadium, usually draws about 30,000 participants and has a $40 million economic impact, according to Nashville Sports Council President and CEO Scott Ramsey.

“While this is a disappointing way to start the year, officials from Rock ‘n’ Roll and the City of Nashville feel confident the event will be better positioned for a strong return,” an official statement from the marathon read.

“Based on Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville utilizing Nissan Stadium as a key venue for the event, the new Fall 2021 race date is dependent on the Tennessee Titans home schedule and thus will be confirmed and communicated as soon as the NFL schedule is available for us to work through with host city officials and stakeholders.”

The race may be scaled down to accommodate local health and safety guidelines. All participants registered for the 2021 race will be receiving an email with further details. Hendersonville’s Scott Wietecha has won the race each of the last seven years.

(02/19/2021) ⚡AMP
St. Jude Rock N Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

St. Jude Rock N Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

The St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon (formerly St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon) gives you the opportunity to enjoy an up close and personal tour of Music City, one of the New York Times’ top destinations in the world! Run through the Honky Tonks of Lower Broadway and take a musical tour through...


Nagoya Marathon announced that race will have up to 11,000 participants

The Mar. 14 Nagoya Women's Marathon announced this year's field yesterday, the same day that vaccinations officially began in Japan. It's another domestic-only race, but it has a great potential trio up front and looks to be going ahead with a mass-participation race.

Up front are last year's Osaka International Women's Marathon winner Mizuki Matsuda, 25 km national record co-holder Sayaka Sato, and Tokyo Olympics marathon team member Ayuko Suzuki. Suzuki is only 9th by recent time, but with a half marathon best of 1:07:55 and this being her first shot at a fast marathon she's definitely got the potential to stay with Matsuda and Sato.

Reia Iwade and Rei Ohara have both run 2:23 but neither has been near that level in the last few years, Iwade in particular having dropped out of Osaka last month and only running 1:13:10 last weekend at the National Corporate Half. Mao Uesugi, Haruka Yamaguchi and Mirai Waku all ran Osaka too, so whether they start and how seriously they run remains to be seen. Yomogi Akasaka had a breakthrough to win December's Hofu Yomiuri Marathon in 2:29:21 and could be a surprise.

Nagoya is heavy this year on talent in the first-timer department, Ikumi Fukura coming in top-ranked with a best of 1:09:58 and four others with bests under 71 minutes. Olympian Mai Ito ran well at the National Corporate Half with her best time since before Rio and will be looking to finish her first marathon since Osaka in January 2017. Further down the field, 62-year-old Mariko Yugeta will be trying to better the 2:52:13 60+ world record she set in Osaka this year.

Pre-corona, Nagoya was the largest women-only marathon in the world. Last year it was held as an elite-only race, but this year it took mass-participation entrants up to a limit of 11,000. Earlier this month Nagoya issued a statement inviting entrants to switch to a virtual race, but at this stage it looks like it will go ahead with an on-site race for every entrant who still wants to run, assuming no extension to the current state of emergency set to expire on Mar. 7.

With every other race in Japan that size having already canceled or postponed this season, going ahead with its race would put Nagoya in a class of its own and give some much-needed hope that things are actually starting to turn around.

(02/19/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
Nagoya Women's Marathon

Nagoya Women's Marathon

The Nagoya Women's Marathon named Nagoya International Women's Marathon until the 2010 race, is an annual marathon race for female runners over the classic distance of 42 km and 195 metres, held in Nagoya, Japan in early March every year. It holds IAAF Gold Label road race status. It began in 1980 as an annual 20-kilometre road race held in...


Former Russian athletics chief Dmitry Shlyakhtin was on Wednesday banned for four years

Shlyakhtin was banned for four years over the Lysenko doping cover-up affair, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced.

Four other former RUSAF officials received the same punishment from athletics' independent anti-doping watchdog: executive director Alexander Parkin, Artur Karamyan, Elena Orlova and Elena Ikonnikova.

The quintet were found guilty of obstructing an investigation into high-jumper Danil Lysenko, a silver medallist at the 2017 World Championships in London.

Shlyakhtin and the others were suspended last year for "serious breaches" of anti-doping rules.

Russia has been banned from competing as a country in athletics since 2015, after the World Anti-Doping Agency found evidence of widespread doping in the sport.

Some Russian athletes, including Lysenko, have been allowed to compete under a neutral flag.

But last year Lysenko had that status removed by athletics' governing body, then called the IAAF, after he failed to provide the whereabouts information he is required to give to submit to doping tests.

The AIU's 15-month investigation found that Shlyakhtin and Parkin had been involved in the "provision of false explanations and forged documents to the AIU in order to explain whereabouts failures by the athlete".

The ex-RUSAF five can appeal the verdict while Lysenko's case is still ongoing.

RUSAF has until March 1 to present its plans for reform and remains under the threat of exclusion from the IAAF and the Tokyo Olympics.

(02/19/2021) ⚡AMP

Olympic Trials Winner Shogo Nakamura withdraws from Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

After experiencing mild pain in the outer ankle of his left foot and being diagnosed with peroneal tendonitis, Tokyo Olympics men's marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) has made the decision to withdraw from the Feb. 28 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.

Nakamura will take a few days off to rest and plans to resume light jogging next week. However, in combination with not meeting his performance goals at an intensive training camp last month, he has decided to err on the side of caution and withdraw.

Comments from Nakamura:

Lake Biwa was going to be my first race since the New Year Ekiden and my first marathon in a long time, so I'd been looking forward to it.

The pain has already faded and doesn't look like it will get in the way of training, but after looking carefully at the situation we decided not to risk more serious injury and to withdraw in favor of being ready for the Tokyo Olympics. 

I apologize to everyone who had been expecting to see me run. My first priority is to get back on my feet and do the work necessary to show up at the Tokyo Olympics ready to race. I hope that you will all support me and cheer me on there.

(02/19/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner


In 2022 the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon and Osaka Marathon were held together. It is a male-only competition and has IAAF Gold Label status. It was first held in 1946 and, having taken place every year since then, it is Japan's oldest annual marathon race. The early editions of the race were held in Osaka until a switch to Tokyo...


2021 Vermont City Marathon is back, but it’s moving to October

The Vermont City Marathon is back for 2021, but it’s moving to the fall. That’s one of several things that will be different this year.

Whether you’re a runner or an onlooker, this year’s marathon will be smaller with a different route-- no beltline this year. But even with those changes, officials tell me having a race at all is a sign of things getting back to normal.

At a virtual press conference on Wednesday, RunVermont announced their plans for the 2021 Vermont City Marathon to happen in person.

Instead of the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, the race is set for Oct. 24 with a mini-marathon the day before.

“One of the benefits we believe the move and date will allow us is that we hope that we will be able to engage the primary asset for this event and that is the community at large,” said Peter Delaney, the executive director of RunVermont.

But the day is about the runners and it will have a different look.

“It will be moving to a two-loop 13.1-mile course. The start and finish will be co-located at Waterfront Park,” Delaney said.

Officials say the loop will pass along all the main highlights like the bike path and Church Street.

“Additionally, the format changes will include wave starts. We will have multiple waves, size is yet to be determined,” Delaney said.

With the date change and the unknowns of the pandemic, organizers are shrinking the field of runners down from over 7,000 relay runners and marathoners to about 3,500. Runners who signed up for the 2020 race didn’t get a refund, so the Vermont City Marathon is giving them first dibs on signing up for this October event.

“All of the eligible participants for 2021 will be those people who are registered with us for 2020,” Delaney said.

The city says the Vermont City Marathon will be one of many big events in a post-pandemic world.

“I think when we get together this way this fall, it’s going to be one of the moments-- I hope there are many-- that I think will be a special moment of being on the other side of this pandemic,” said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington.

As for that route change, Run Vermont tells me that’s only for this year. They will return to their normal course for the 2022 Vermont City Marathon.

(02/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ike Bendavid
People's United Bank Vermont City Marathon

People's United Bank Vermont City Marathon

The race is held annually on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend normally. Runners in the Vermont City Marathon can compete in the full marathon, on a two-person relay team running half marathons, or on a three-to-five person relay team running legs ranging from 3.1 to 6.2 miles. The Vermont City Marathon is a Boston Marathon Qualifying Race. We automatically...


Seiko Hashimoto has been named Tokyo 2020 chief

Seiko Hashimoto, who will head the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee after a sexism row forced its last chief to step down, is a seven-time Olympian and was one of just two women in Japan's cabinet until she took the job.

The 56-year-old politician, who was also minister for gender equality and women's empowerment, will replace Yoshiro Mori, 83, after he sparked uproar with claims that women talk too much in meetings.

The appointment comes just over five months before the virus-postponed Games, with public opinion in Japan still largely against holding the massive event this year.

Hashimoto is a passionate Olympian, who competed at seven consecutive winter and summer Games, in speed skating and as a sprint cyclist, winning a bronze for skating in 1992.

She has said she was raised being told by her father "'you were born to go to the Olympics'... even before I knew that the Olympics was."

She entered politics in the 1990s and after a period balancing sports and statecraft, her final Games as an athlete was in 1996, and she began to work her way up the ranks of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Following Mori's sexist remarks, Hashimoto said she wanted to hold "thorough discussions" with the Tokyo Olympics boss about his views.

"The Olympics' fundamental principle is to promote women's advancement in sport at all levels and organizations in order to realize gender equality," she said.

But Hashimoto is no stranger to controversy herself.

In 2014, she faced a sexual harassment scandal after photos emerged of her hugging and kissing a male figure skater over 20 years her junior.

Purportedly taken at a booze-fuelled party in Russia's Sochi after the Winter Olympics, the images appeared to show Daisuke Takahashi in the clutches of Hashimoto, head of the Japanese delegation to Sochi.

Takahashi said he regretted the drunken moment but did not think he had been harassed by the married Hashimoto, who apologized for any "misunderstanding" caused by the photos.

As Tokyo Olympics boss, Hashimoto faces an uphill struggle to convince a sceptical Japanese public the event can be held safely this summer despite the pandemic.

She has called cancellation or another postponement "inconceivable", echoing the sentiments of Tokyo 2020 organizers and the International Olympic Committee.

"For the Games next year, athletes are continuing to work hard in the environments they find themselves in. So I feel we have to hold it at any cost," she said in September.

(02/18/2021) ⚡AMP
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. ...


2021 Flying Pig Marathon moves the race event in person to late October

Over the past few months, we have been working closely with City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County leadership and medical leadership to seek guidance in planning our spring races, including the Bockfest 5K and Flying Pig Marathon. 

To that end, we have mutually determined that spring of 2021 will be too early to hold in-person events.

Our 2021 Race Schedule will be as follows:

·    Bockfest 5K (virtual format only), on or by March 6. Registration is open at

·    Flying Pig Marathon Weekend (virtual format only), May 1 & 2. Registration for all races is open at

·    Flying Pig Marathon/Queen Bee Half Marathon (planning for in-person events), October 29-31. Registration for these events will open March 1, 2021 and virtual registrants will have the first opportunity to transfer to in-person events. 

On behalf of our staff and board of directors, we want to thank Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Cincinnati City Manager Paula Boggs Muething and Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus for their guidance and continued support of Pig Works. We also want to recognize the dozens of corporate partners, thousands of volunteers and numerous community partners for their on-going loyal support of the “Pig.”

Additionally, we are very proud of the “new playbook” our team has developed over the past year to ensure the safety and security of our participants, volunteers, spectators and community-at-large. We can reassure you that all of these measures will be in place when we can gather again at the Start Line this fall.

Stay active and stay healthy.

(02/18/2021) ⚡AMP
Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

This beloved race found it's name from Cincinnati's pork history which dates back to the early 1800's. Cincinnati is also known as "Porkopolis."Our weekend line up of events are designed to welcome athletes of all abilities from the Diaper Dash to the full Marathon and everything in-between, we truly have something for everyone. We even added a dog race several...


Eliud Kipchoge will make his final marathon appearance prior to his Olympic title defence at the NN Mission Marathon in Hamburg

The one-off marathon, organised jointly by his management firm Global Sports Communication, the NN Running Team and the Hamburg Marathon, carries the tagline ‘The fastest way to Tokyo’ and is an effort to provide another much-needed competitive opportunity for athletes to not only run a fast race in the lead-in to the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but in many cases to help them achieve the qualification standard.

The race, which will take place around a looped 10.5-kilometer city center course, is expected to attract about 100 invited elite athletes.

Kipchoge, the world record-holder, will of course attract the bulk of the attention. His appearance will come after a disappointing eighth place finish at the London Marathon last October where he clocked 2:06:49.

The Kenyan kicked off his marathon career in 2013 with victory in the Hamburg Marathon, and said he's delighted to return to compete in the northern German.

"In Hamburg, I am going back to the genesis of my marathon career," he said. "I hope to inspire many people around the world by running a beautiful race in the streets of this beautiful city."

Kipchoge, 36, has gone on to win 11 of his 13 races over the classic distance and has produced two of the three fastest performances of all-time, topped by his 2:01:39 world record at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

One year later, Kipchoge became the first athlete to break the two-hour barrier in the event, when he clocked 1:59:40 at an exhibition event in Vienna.

In Tokyo, Kipchoge will aim to become just the third man to win back-to-back Olympic marathon titles.

(02/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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. ...


Organizers promise an unforgettable experience for Al Marmoom Ultramarathon

Preparations for next month’s 50KM Al Marmoom Ultramarathon have picked up pace and organisers have promised a safe and unforgettable race that will test the participants’ endurance and resolve.

Organized under the umbrella of Dubai Sports Council, in association with Dubai Municipality and FittGROUP, the 50km Al Marmoom Ultramarathon will take place on Friday, March 5 in Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve.The event will also offer two shorter races of 10km and 5km, and all three races will take runners into the desert, across some fascinating landscape.

All participants will receive finisher medals and the top three rankings in each category, male and female, will be awarded trophies.

Registration for the event is still open through the official website,, or Hopasports (, and race organisers have organised a series of practice sessions, or ‘build up’ runs, for registered participants in Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve every Friday, until Feb.26.

Speaking about the race, Danil Bornventure, Race Director of FittGROUP, said: “The 50km Al Marmoom Ultramarathon will be a challenging race, that will test participants’ endurance, both mental and physical stamina, as well as strength and courage.

“Following the popular success of Al Marmoom Dune Run, we are offering the shorter distances of 10km and 5km to encourage the many runners who wish to experience the challenge of a desert race.This event brings together the growing running community, both elite and recreational runners.“It is being organised after unprecedented demand from runners who are looking for challenging competitions at all levels.”

Speaking about the health and safety measures in place, Bornventure added: “The health and safety of participants, organizers and crew is our highest priority. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will follow all the guidelines and protocols of the relevant authorities and ensure that every precautionary measure is implemented and adhered to.

“We will act vigilantly to safeguard the wellbeing of everyone involved.”Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve is the largest project of its kind in the world, spread acros more than 40 hectares of pristine shrub land that is home to 204 species of native birds, 158 species of migratory birds and many other endangered species, as well as Arabian Oryx, Arabian gazelles, sand Gazelles, foxes, and wild cats.

With natives of more than 200 countries calling Dubai their home, Dubai Sports Council has also been regularly launching new initiatives and adding new events to its calendar for the benefit of every member of Dubai’s diverse community.Through such events, the Council also seeks to provide members of the community an opportunity to compete in unique events like Al Marmoom Ultramarathon in a fun-filled environment, and also encourage them to embrace a physically active lifestyle.

(02/17/2021) ⚡AMP
Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Launched under the initiative of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of DubaiHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve will host the world's longest desert ultra-run Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon. Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is a 300km, 100km and 50km race across desert terrain and will be held 9th to 11th December...


Beatrice Chepkoech sets sights on victory at World Indoor event in Torun

Fresh from breaking the world 5-kilometer road race record on Sunday in Monaco, world 3,000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech will be seeking to continue her rich vein of form at World Athletics Indoor Tour in Torun, Poland today.

This time round, Chepkoech will feature in the 3000m, where she will face Genzebe Dibaba, the world indoor record-holder and three-time world indoor champion at the distance.

Chepkoech has had a stellar year so far in the 3000, winning the opening World Athletics Indoor Tour  in Karlsruhe, then set an indoor PB of 8:34.21 over the  distance to place third in Lievin and setting a world 5km record of 14:43 in Monaco three days ago.

However, It is not going to be a  two-horse race though. Ethiopian teenager Lemlem Hailu, who stole the show in Lievin to win in a PB of 8:32.55, is also in the line-up as is her compatriot Fantu Worku.

World indoor 3,000m bronze medallist, Bethwell Birgen face off with world 5,000m silver medallist Selemon Barega of Ethiopia in the men's 1,500m event. Poland's Marcin Lewandowski is also in contention and the meeting record of 3:35.57 looks to be a realistic target for the field.

Collins Kipruto, won the event last year in 1:45.86, has been entered for the 800m, where he will line up against world indoor champion Adam Kszczot of Poland.

However,  Elliot Giles, who won in Karlsruhe and Lievin, starts favourite but will have to contend with European indoor silver medallist Jamie Webb and Swedish record-holder Andreas Kramer.

African bronze medallist Habitam Alemu will start as favourite for the women’s 800m, a scoring event in this year’s World Athletics Indoor Tour. Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo, Poland’s Joanna Jozwik and Ireland’s Nadia Power – all of whom hold their respective national indoor records – will ensure the race is a competitive one.

(02/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by William Njuguna
European Athletics Indoor Championships

European Athletics Indoor Championships

Witness six sessions of action-packed sport over three days of intense competition as some of the best athletes in the world compete for prestigious European titles. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this thrilling event and get closer to the action. ...


U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials winner Aliphine Tuliamuk will be the first elite female athlete to receive financial assistance as she recovers from childbirth and trains for the 2021 Olympics

In November 2007, Paula Radcliffe won the New York Marathon, a mere nine months after giving birth to her first child. In 2011, Kara Goucher finished fifth at the Boston Marathon and set a new PB only 7 months after delivering her baby. 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the women’s 100m at the World Championships in 2019, with her two-year-old son in the audience.

While there have been many incredible stories of female athletes who have returned to sport after childbirth with great success, the reality is that many struggle during those first weeks, months and years, and are sometimes forced to choose between their athletic careers and their families.

The U.S.A. Track and Field (USATF) Foundation has now committed to providing support for these women through a new grant program, with U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials winner Aliphine Tuliamuk as the first recipient of financial assistance.

The USAFT Maternity Grant Fund will provide assistance to elite female Track and Field athletes and runners during their pregnancy and postpartum when they are recovering. The USATF  Foundation website says “this fund will allow elite females athletes confidence that there is financial assistance available if needed.” The fund was started with a donation from USATF Foundation Director Lisa Larson, who says that although pregnancy and childbirth can be unpredictable, it is clear that female athletes can return to sport better than ever when given the proper support.

Tuliamuk, the first recipient of the grant, won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February 2020.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the Olympics were postponed, she and her partner took this extra time to start growing their family, and Tuliamuk gave birth to the couple’s first baby girl last month.

She is now preparing to compete in the marathon at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, which will take place only 6.5 months after her daughter was born. Tuliamuk is very thankful to be the first recipient of this new fund, and she says it will help cover the couple’s babysitting needs so she can rest and return to training as quickly as possible.

"Iam so grateful that USAFT Foundation chose me as their first recipient of the maternity grant,” she tells, “being a new mom is challenging enough, let alone being a new mom who’s representing her country in the summer Olympics 6.5 months postpartum.”

(02/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton

Lace up and get ready to run, Atlantic City plans April Fools Half Marathon and 8K

Atlantic City is hosting a half marathon and an 8K the last weekend in April.

If you're looking for a race to run this spring, registration is now open for the April Fools 8K, which will be run on the Atlantic City Boardwalk on Saturday April 24th.

If you're up for more of a challenge, the April Fools Half Marathon (which goes for 13.1 miles) will also be run on the boardwalk on Sunday, April 25th.

The Atlantic City Boardwalk provides the perfect fast, flat course for runners of any level. Running by landmarks like Boardwalk Hall and Steel Pier in the cool, spring air sounds really nice.

The reason why the races will be run on two consecutive days rather than concurrently, is for the safety of the runners, as we're still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration for both the half marathon and the 8K will be capped at 250 runners.

To keep in compliance with state social distancing guidelines, the races' 'Start' line will feature small “waves” of distanced runners at a time. Runners who register will be emailed specific details about their start times for the AmeriHealth April Fools Half Marathon & 8K by April 1, 2021.

And Atlantic City Marathon offers a virtual option, too, so you can run on your own where you're most comfortable. If you are not comfortable yet with in-person racing, you can chose the virtual race option for the distance you plan to run.

Virtual runners will earn a short sleeve event specific technical shirt and Virtual Challenge finisher medal that will be mailed to you prior to race weekend, according to organizers.

(02/17/2021) ⚡AMP
April Fools Half Marathon

April Fools Half Marathon

Fun, Fast, Flat! The April Fools themed event offers the best finisher medals, free photos, free beer and a post-race party at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and LandShark Beach Bar on the Atlantic City Beach & Boardwalk. It's your chance to get fit and party like Buffett! FREE PHOTOS! Custom Finisher Medals and Technical Shirts for ALL runners Live Runner...


Survey shows that over half of Japan firms want Olympics cancelled or postponed

Over half of Japanese firms believe the Tokyo Olympic Games should be cancelled or postponed, a survey by think tank Tokyo Shoko Research showed on Monday, casting further doubt over the fate of the troubled Games.

Japan is struggling to contain the coronavirus and lags behind western countries in rolling out vaccines, even as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed to get conditions in place to host the once-postponed Summer Olympics from July 23.

The survey, conducted online on Feb. 1-8, showed 56.0% of the companies polled feel Japan should cancel or postpone the Games, up from 53.6% in the previous survey in August.

Only 7.7% of the firms surveyed said the Games should proceed in full form as scheduled this year, down from 22.5% in the previous survey.

while another 17% said it should proceed with no spectators, the survey showed.

Over 70% firms said cancelling or postponing the Games will barely have any impact on their earnings.

The survey, which covered over 11,000 firms, was conducted before Friday’s resignation of Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori over sexist remarks that left the Olympics searching for a chief five months from the opening ceremony.

(02/16/2021) ⚡AMP
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. ...


Ultrarunner Tom Evans prepares for his biggest race at Olympic marathon trials

Like many, ultrarunner Tom Evans has struggled with the lack of races in lockdown. The former army captain burst onto the ultrarunning scene in 2017, coming third in the six-day Marathon des Sables, and last year he set a new record in the Tarawera 102km Ultra Marathon, in New Zealand. But he has had to adapt to circumstances and is now setting his sights on the marathon in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

We talked to the 29-year-old about swapping the trails for the pavements, his mental strength, the Olympic marathon trials and his role as a Garmin ambassador.

You’ve set your sights on the Tokyo Games. How did this happen?

‘At the beginning of the pandemic, Tokyo was not on my list whatsoever – I very much planned on staying on the trails and running long rather than running fast. I guess what the pandemic has taught me is that I like structure and I’m a very goal-orientated athlete and person. I have to have goals, whether it’s “Today I’m going to list 10 things on eBay” or something bigger; I have to set goals and achieve those goals. It’s the same with my running, with there being so little opportunity to race, I thought I need something to set my sights on and if something is going to happen, it’s going to be the Olympics.

‘[With the lockdown restrictions] we couldn’t drive to run or go on training camps, which is how I would normally do my trail running and my ultrarunning. It’s all been very much running from the door, so I’ve been running a lot more on the road, which has led to running a bit quicker and that’s opened my eyes to what I could run at the marathon trials at the end of next month.’ [The event will take place on a looped course in Kew Gardens, London, on Friday, March 26.]

How do you feel about the trials?

‘I’m really excited – for me, it’s really unknown. I think I’ll be able to take a lot of lessons I’ve learnt from ultrarunning into the race and I’m really looking forward to the challenge. It’s been great fun training for it and to now get the opportunity to push myself to the limits and see what I’m capable of.’

‘You know that during a marathon you’re going to hurt and you know that when it starts to hurt, the training that you have done before is what’s setting you up to keep doing it. I go into a race saying, “I know this is going to hurt” and when it starts hurting I think, “Bring it on; I’ve done the training, I trust myself and I knew this was going to happen and now it’s happening, it’s no surprise.”’

(02/16/2021) ⚡AMP
by Jane McGuire
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. ...


Virgin Money tickets go on sale for second virtual London Marathon

The organizers of the marathon are releasing 50,000 virtual tickets which, combined with the 50,000 in-person participants, would make it the largest marathon ever.

Last year’s marathon was awarded a Guinness World Records title for the most users to run a remote marathon in 24 hours with 37,966 finishers.

It was also the most inclusive marathon in the forty-year history of the event, with participants able to complete the marathon at any time on the day.

Hugh Brasher, event director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “Our first virtual Virgin Money London Marathon last year was a real eye-opener for us.

“Everyone did the marathon their way: some ran the whole way, others walked, while some broke up the distance into manageable parts over the day and night. It was an incredible, inclusive day when the spirit of the London Marathon brought everyone together in a unique way.”

All finishers, whether virtual or in-person, will be sent an official medal and a New Balance finisher’s T-shirt.

(02/16/2021) ⚡AMP
by Tom Saunders
TCS London Marathon

TCS 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...


Chinese marathon couple share their love of running

Every morning at 4 o'clock, 84-year-old Hu Yingfu and 75-year-old Wang Zhangmin from Hefei, east China's Anhui Province will gear up, head out and run for 10 kilometers as their wake-up exercise. They have been doing this for decades and nothing has ever stopped them – not aging or the cold in winter.

Having been married for 54 years, Hu and Wang have finished more than 100 marathons all over China.

In their earlier years, both were haunted by various health problems. Hu suffered from gastroptosis and tracheitis; Wang vomited often and had persistent diarrhea because of her stomach trouble. One day, Wang followed her friend's suggestion and began to jog as exercise.

It did not take Wang too long to realize that running helped her shake off health problems she had suffered for decades. After Hu retired in 1997, he followed his wife's example to make strides on the track as well, which in turn fixed his gastroptosis.

In 2004, 58-year-old Wang attended a national 1,500-meter race for senior citizens and was the fourth to cross the finish line. Since then, the couple started signing up for every running competition they could find. Soon they wanted to try something even more challenging, and what could be a better choice than a marathon?

In 2011, Wang and Hu ran their first full marathon in the Shanghai Inter National Marathon. Seventy-four-year-old Hu had bloody toes by the time he was midway through, but still managed to finish the 42.195 kilometers race in four hours and 18 minutes.

"There is a process doing everything. I began to feel the fun after finishing several marathons. That sense of accomplishment is remarkable," said Hu to Xinhua News Agency. "I was always top 3 of my group at 70s. Many who are younger than me lost to be."

Having left their footprints in most of the marathon tracks in China, the couple cannot remember how many medals they have won. However, both Hu and Wang are convinced that it's their pursuit of fun, health and confidence that keeps them running. 

Running has also added more vibrancy into their lives. Hu and Wang made a lot of new friends through participating in marathon events. For example, Wang Hongcai, vice-president of the Hefei Marathon Sport Association (HMSA), said he only began to run marathon due to the encouragement of Hu and Wang.

"I used to be 95 kilograms, now I'm 65. Running healed my hypertension which I fought for three years with medicine," said 52-year-old Wang Hongcai. He also revealed that the total number of registered members of HMSA went from fewer than 100 to more than 4,000 thanks to role models Hu and Wang. 

In 2017, Hu and Wang attended the Beijing International Marathon to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, which in China is also known as "Golden Marriage." That day was also Hu's 80-year-old birthday. Though Wang had sprained her leg one month earlier, she still managed to finish the competition.

The organizing committee prepared a special gift for the couple. Their numbers were 13520 and 14520. In Chinese, "520" sounds similar to "I love your" while "13" and "14" combined together sounds like "my whole life."

One of Wang's favorite sayings is "Life is a marathon." The sport has been there as he and his wife support each other and move forward with their lives. "Every marathon finished is another 42.195 kilometers extended for our love," said Hu, whose goal is to become the world's oldest marathon runner. "As long as our hearts beat on, we will keep running."

(02/16/2021) ⚡AMP

Runners of Lincoln Marathon won´t be able to finish inside memorial stadium this year

The Lincoln Marathon’s finish line will look quite a bit different from how it has in recent years.

But this change isn’t entirely pandemic-related.

Runners will cross the finish line on the track at Ed Weir Stadium, which was the race’s original finish line. Since 2010, the finish line has been on the 50-yard line inside Memorial Stadium.

The change was made because of the Husker spring game, which is set to take place the day before the race.

The Lincoln Marathon, which also includes a half-marathon, is scheduled for May 2.

Turf renovations were going to require the same change during last year’s race. But the event transitioned to a virtual format because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln worked with the Lincoln Track Club to help determine the new finish line, said Ryan Regnier, president of the Track Club.

“They have been supportive in helping us find an alternative, recognizing the importance of the marathon to the Lincoln community,” he said. “There is some nostalgia associated with finishing on the track since it served as the original finish line for the race.”

The rest of the 2021 course will be the same as previous years and will be certified as a Boston Marathon qualifier.

(02/15/2021) ⚡AMP
by Kelsey Stewart
Lincoln Marathon

Lincoln Marathon

The Lincoln National Guard Marathon and Half-Marathon is run on a citywide course that starts and finishes on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Runners in both races share a common start and run a loop route past the Nebraska State Capitol, along Sheridan Boulevard, past Union College, along the Highway 2 bike path, past the Lincoln County-City Building...


Saburo Kawabuchi declines offer to head Tokyo Olympics as Mori resigns

Saburo Kawabuchi, 84, a former Japan Football Association president and soccer player, will decline an offer to become head of the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics, Nikkei learned Friday.

Kawabuchi was slated to replace Yoshiro Mori, 83, as president of Tokyo 2020. Mori, who had said he would resign over sexist remarks he made during a board meeting held on Friday of last week, made that official.

"I resign as Tokyo 2020 president today," the former prime minister said. "The most important thing is to hold the Games in July, so I cannot be any hindrance to this aim."

Mori's appointment of Kawabuchi as successor, and the vague selection process had also been criticized. It is now unclear who will be appointed to the position, less than six months before the Olympics are due to start.

Mori had said during a meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee in Tokyo on Feb. 3 that board meetings with women "take so much time." Because of their "strong sense of competition," he said, if one person raises their hand, others probably think, 'I need to say something, too.'

The remarks came during a discussion over efforts to increase female representation on the committee's board.

Mori withdrew his comments the next day and apologized to "everyone who was offended," saying the remarks "ran counter to the spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics."

Andrew Parsons, president of International Paralympic Committee, said in a Friday statement that he hopes "the domestic and international reaction over the last seven days can be harnessed" and "society places greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion, not just in terms of gender representation, but race, sexuality, and persons with disabilities."

(02/15/2021) ⚡AMP
by Rurika Imahashi
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. ...


Müller has become an Official Partner of the Torun 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships

European Athletics has today announced that Müller, who develop, manufacture and market a wide range of branded and private label dairy products, are an Official Partner of the Torun 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships, which will be held in the Polish city from 5-7 March.

European Athletics Interim President Dobromir Karamarinov said: “I am very pleased to welcome Müller as a new member of the European Athletics family. Müller were a National Sponsor of the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships and are now upgrading their role to become a top tier partner for Torun.

“I would like to thank Müller for reaffirming their commitment to our sport, a partnership which I am sure will benefit all of us. As an Official Partner, Müller will not only receive an extensive range of onsite marketing benefits in Torun but also extensive European-wide brand exposure on free-to-air television thanks to our long-term deal with our Official Broadcast Partner Eurovision,” added Karamarinov.

Michael Inpong, Strategy and Marketing Director at Müller UK & Ireland, said: “We are really excited to become an Official Partner of the Torun 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships. It will be a proud moment to see the famous red Müller logo at such a prestigious event. It is a partnership that makes sense, as our aim is to add taste to life and inspire people to live happier and healthier lifestyles.

We are confident that by working together with European Athletics we can do just that.”European Athletics CEO Christian Milz commented: “The fact that an international consumer brand as recognisable as Müller is joining our roster of top tier partners for the Torun 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships is testament to the importance of this event.

It also demonstrates a high level of trust and confidence in the work that European Athletics and the Local Organizing Committee have put in over the past months in order to be ready to stage this first major athletics event in 2021.”

Müller joins SPAR, Le Gruyère, LIQUI MOLY and Toyo Tires as a top tier partner of European Athletics, along with Eurovision as the Official Broadcast Partner, Atos as Official Digital Partner and MONDO as an Official Supplier of Torun 2021.

(02/15/2021) ⚡AMP
European Athletics Indoor Championships

European Athletics Indoor Championships

Witness six sessions of action-packed sport over three days of intense competition as some of the best athletes in the world compete for prestigious European titles. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this thrilling event and get closer to the action. ...


2021 Marine Corps will hold 17.75km event on March 20

The Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) will be hosting a limited-capacity, in-person, live version of the Marine Corps 17.75km on Saturday 20 March.

It will be held in a new location aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. The event has previously been hosted in Prince William Forest Park.

Beginning on Tuesday 16 February runners who deferred from the cancelled 2020 event will be invited to opt into the live version, followed by runners registered for the virtual event. Those registered for the virtual 17.75km may opt into the in-person event beginning on Thursday 18 February. Further instructions will be sent to the e-mail address provided by participants during registration within the next few days.

Any remaining entries available for the limited in-person 11.03-mile event will then be opened to the general public on Monday, 22 February

The field of 500 participants will be divided into two social-distanced, separate start times to be held at 08.00 and 10.00.

Virtual 17.75km registration remains open at Runners must register before 18 February for an opportunity to opt into the live version. All finishers receive a Tun Tavern-themed shirt, finisher medal and collectible bib.

(02/15/2021) ⚡AMP
Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

Recognized for impeccable organization on a scenic course managed by the US Marines in Arlington, VA and the nation's capital, the Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the US and the world. Known as 'the best marathon for beginners,' the MCM is largest marathon in the world that doesn't offer prize money, earning its nickname, “The...


Alternative therapies for runners: do they work?

As runners, we will do just about anything to keep ourselves injury-free so we don’t have to miss even a single day of training. For that reason, we’re constantly on the lookout for the latest gadget or trend in therapy that promises to vanquish all of our aches and pains for good. Over the years, many alternative therapies have become popular, and some of them more effective than others. We spoke with Blaise Dubois, sports physiotherapist and former consultant with the Canadian national track and field team, who explained which therapies work, and which ones may not be worth your money or time.

First, Dubois explains that there is a difference between what is working for prevention, and what is working for treatment, as well as what is science-based and what is working in the clinical setting. For many of the therapies we will be discussing, there appears to be more clinical evidence that they work (i.e., runners are using them and feeling some amount of relief) than actual scientific proof that they are effective. He notes that even without robust scientific evidence, if something feels as though it is working for you, there may be at least some therapeutic value in it.


Acupuncture has been popular for many years, as both a preventative therapy and as a treatment for injury. Despite its popularity, the scientific evidence that it actually works is less than convincing.

“There is absolutely no evidence that acupuncture works in prevention,” says DuBois, “but there is some evidence of it working for the treatment of some conditions.”

Interestingly enough, he says studies have shown that ‘placebo acupuncture’ typically works just as well as the real deal. Why? Because if the person believes that the treatment is working, it will. In the same way, real acupuncture doesn’t work if the person doesn’t believe that it will. This doesn’t mean that acupuncture has zero value as a treatment, but in most cases it will only work if you believe it will.

Dry needling

Dry needling is similar to acupuncture, but it goes deeper into the muscle. The goal of the procedure is to treat underlying trigger points (tight bands in a muscle fibre) that can disrupt function, restrict range of motion or cause pain and tenderness. Research has indicated that it is a safe and effective approach to managing pain, but it is rarely used as a standalone procedure, and is typically part of a larger physiotherapy treatment plan.

Epsom salts bath

Epsom salts break down into magnesium and sulfate in water, and the theory is that when you soak in an Epsom salt bath, these get into your body through your skin. There is no scientific evidence to prove that this works, but simply soaking in warm water can help relax sore and tired muscles. Dubois says that in his opinion, an Epsom salts bath is no better than a regular bath.

Ice bath

Dubois says that there are a few systematic reviews on ice baths showing that their subjective effect is greater than the objective effect. In other words, there is less scientific evidence to prove that ice baths work, but athletes tend to report that they help reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Dubois says ice baths are not a good option for injury prevention because DOMS is a natural part of the process for muscle adaptation from training, and reducing it too much can actually slow down your progress. For this reason, he recommends that athletes who want to use ice baths only use them near the end of the season when they want to recover faster because they have many competitions in succession. He suggests using ice baths sometimes during the season as a test to see how your body reacts, but to only do so when it’s really necessary.

“When you have a big competition, don’t use a method that you’ve never used before, because you don’t know how your body will adapt,” he says.

Compression socks

“Compression socks are exactly the same thing as ice baths,” says Dubois. “Subjective results are greater than objective results.”

He says that if you think you’re getting some benefit from them, you should use them at the appropriate time in your training so as not to impede muscle adaptation. Additionally, if you use compression socks every day and you feel they allow you to train more, Dubois says that this could be dangerous because you could become dependent on them, and if you forget them one day, your workout or your race will be ruined.

Foam rolling, massage, and massage guns

All of these types of therapies provide a neurophysiological effect, and while Dubois says that he loves getting massaged himself, he admits that there are many myths surrounding how or why it might be effective.

“They don’t decrease lactic acid, they don’t increase vascularization of the tissue,” he says.

There are neurophysiological benefits to massage, but there is no specific science showing that you will recover faster if you receive massage or use a massage gun or foam roller. Additionally, if you’re using a self-massaging tool, there is the possibility (although Dubois says it is small) that you could be too aggressive with it and end up causing further injury. He does not recommend using a foam roller or massage gun before your race or workout, because it could decrease your muscle tension and actually make you more prone to injuries. Instead, he suggests using it before bed.


Dubois likens this type of therapy to acupuncture, noting that whether it works is more dependent on patient belief than anything else. He admits he is not an expert on reflexology, but says that there is no scientific evidence that it is effective.

The bottom line

Mechanical Stress Quantification in running

View on the original site.

Does this mean you should never use any of these types of therapies? Not necessarily — in fact, Dubois will use some of them for his own patients from time to time. He explains that just because the science is inconclusive does not mean we shouldn’t try it, but we have to be critical of everything we see or hear about. So what does Dubois recommend for runners who want to prevent injury?

“80 per cent of the job of preventing injury is load management,” he says. “We need to look at all the stress the person is putting on their body, and we need to be sure that they are in a good zone to create adaptation.”

Runners can help themselves out by having the proper shoes and managing their training volume to a level their bodies can handle, but Dubois says that the two most important ways to prevent injuries are eating well and sleeping well. These two things are far more important than any therapy tool or practice you use.

(02/14/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine

Did You Come Up With the Best Idea Ever on the Run? Brooks Wants to Help Make It Come True

That invention or business venture can finally come to fruition with Brooks’s backing of $25,000 to $100,000

From now until March 3, runners can submit their ideas to Brooks’s Runfulness Project for a chance to have their idea become a reality, with help from The Run Fund.

One runner will win $100,000, and four others will receive $25,000.

The Runfulness Project is in association with the release of the brand’s most cushioned shoes, the Glycerin 19 and Glycerin 19 GTS.

Ever feel that sensation on a run when you’re experiencing both a runner’s high and shower thoughts? You know what I’m talking about: that moment where you feel euphoric, forget about your feet hitting the pavement, and all of the sudden a brilliant idea pops into your head. It could be an invention, a business venture, or a community program

Brooks calls this phenomenon “runfulness”: noun, 1) mindfulness unlocked by running.

In conjunction with the release of the Glycerin GTS 19 (formerly the Transcend) and the Glycerin 19—Brooks’s most cushioned shoe that makes us mortals feel like we can run on clouds—the brand has launched The Run Fund, similar to last year’s fellowship program by Tracksmith, to help your on-the-run ideas come true.

Do you have a dream of building a neighborhood playground, creating a dog communication device, or opening a sweet and savory ice cream shop? You can submit your idea, in essay or video form at Four runners will receive $25,000 from the Run Fund, and one grand prize winner will receive $100,000.

The panel of judges who’ll narrow down the top five entries are “individuals who know a thing or two about starting and running successful companies or turning ideas into action,” said the company. The panel includes:

Jay Ell Alexander, owner and CEO of Black Girls RUN!

Hooman Radfar, co-founder and CEO of Collective

Rodney Hines, CEO at Metier Brewing Company

Kate Glantz, head of social impact at Luma Pictures.

The top winner will be determined by the running community via social media. So go out for that run, create a proposal, and start your submission at Brooks’s website now.

(02/14/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

14:43! Chepkoech breaks world 5km record in Monaco

Beatrice Chepkoech broke the world 5km record at the Monaco Run on Sunday (14), clocking 14:43*.

The performance by the 29-year-old Kenyan bettered the previous record in a mixed gender race of 14:48 set by Caroline Kipkirui in 2018, and is also one second faster than Sifan Hassan's 14:44 record for a women's-only race, until this morning the fastest time ever produced over the distance since the 5km was introduced as a world record event in November 2017.

Chepkoech battled strong winds during the early stages of the race along the Monaco coastline but fought on over the latter stages to claim a second world record, this one joining her 8:44.32 record in the 3000m steeplechase set in 2018, also in Monaco.

"I'm so happy because I didn't expect it," said Chepkoech, the 2019 world champion in the steeplechase. "It was cold and there was a lot of wind, but I tried to follow my pace maker and everything was perfect."

She may not have had the world record in mind initially, but Chepkoech did set her sights on victory from the outset. 

Despite the winds, Chepkoech had already forged a six-second lead just 500 metres into the race, before reaching the first kilometre in 2:57, 15 seconds clear of Meraf Bahta, her nearest competitor. Splits of 2:59 for the second kilometre and 3:01 for the third followed before she and pacesetter Luuk Maas decided to up the tempo as they approached the Larvotto Tunnel portion of the course, at the northeastern edge of the Principality's main port, a second time. 

Since the winds had died down, she said, "my pacemaker told me ‘we can do it, let’s push it’."

She did.

After a 2:57 fourth kilometre, Chepkoech ended her morning's work with a 2:47 closing kilometre to take ownership of the world record.

Chepkoech had already illustrated her strong early 2021 form with an 8:34.21 career best over 3000m indoors in Lievin on 9 February. She'll race next at the Copernicus Cup leg of the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting series in Torun, Poland, on 17 February before returning home to resume her training.

Joshua Cheptegei, who set the men's world record of 12:51 at this race last year, successfully defended his title, clocking 13:13.

The 24-year-old Ugandan ran at or near the front from the gun but it was clear early on that the conditions would not be conducive for a serious assault on his year-old record.

"The wind was incredibly difficult," said Cheptegei, who covered the opening kilometre in 2:44, 13 seconds behind the pace that propelled him to the world record last year. Kilometre splits of 2:41, 2:37 and 2:38 followed before he closed with a 2:32, the fastest of the race.

Kenyans Bethwell Birgen and Davis Kiplangat clocked 13:17 and 13:19 to round out the top three with Morhad Amdouni of France fourth in 13:19, one second outside of the European record set by compatriot Jimmy Gressier at this race last year.


(02/14/2021) ⚡AMP
Herculis 5k

Herculis 5k

The 5km Herculis course runs from the Port Hercule to the Quai Albert 1er and through the Boulevard Princesse Grace, give yourself a chance to run across the principality of Monaco and to participate in a fast, exclusive and official race. ...


Three American Records and 10 National Records Fall at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix

Elle Purrier’s indoor two-mile American record was just one of many highlights in New York.

Many of the best track and field athletes in the world returned to competition—some for the first time in several months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic—at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on February 13. The event, typically held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, was relocated to the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, New York, because the Boston venue is serving as a mass vaccination site.

And the athletes made the most of this racing opportunity by breaking three American records and 10 national records total on Saturday.

Almost one year after shattering the American record in the mile at the Millrose Games, Elle Purrier broke another national record by winning the women’s two-mile in 9:10.28. Her time improves on the previous American record (9:18.35) set by Jenny Simpson in 2015. Purrier’s performance is also the third-fastest two-mile ever run in history. For Purrier, the victory follows a runner-up finish and 2:02.05 personal best in the 800 meters at the Prickly Pear Invitational in Phoenix, Arizona on February 6—her first race of 2021.

“I felt pretty confident going in, but you never know when you’re just training,” Purrier told journalists in a virtual mixed zone. “[Coach] Mark [Coogan] felt pretty confident about my fitness level, but after that [race] I’m feeling pretty good now.”

Looking back on her mile record a year ago, Purrier—who trains under Coogan with the New Balance group in Boston—said navigating the challenges of 2020 brought some silver linings to her process.

“Millrose was probably one of the biggest highlights of my career, and I think stopping after that was kind of a bummer because I felt like I was on a roll and the team was on a roll,” Purrier said in the mixed zone. “But we were able to kind of just wait it out this summer and get into some great training. And I went home and I find a lot of happiness there, and so I think that built this up to another great training block this fall and this winter.”

The 2018 NCAA mile champion followed the pacemaking set by Leah Falland, who brought the field through the first mile in 4:41. For the remaining laps, Purrier and steeplechase world champion Emma Coburn ran 1-2 in the front. With three laps to go, Purrier broke away from Coburn to seal the win and the record, running the final 400 meters in 63 seconds.

Five seconds behind Purrier, Coburn finished second in a personal best of 9:15.71. In the same race, Julie-Anne Staehli of Canada (9:22.66) and Amy-Eloise Markovc of Great Britain (9:30.69) broke national records for their respective countries.

Hoppel Sets a World Best for 2021

About 20 minutes later, Bryce Hoppel followed the momentum by running a world lead and U.S. national record in the 1,000 meters. The former Kansas Jayhawk and NCAA 800-meter champion broke the previous American record (2:16.76) set by the late David Torrence in 2014.

“It means everything,” Hoppel said. “It’s just something you dream of as a kid, and I couldn’t have done it without all the support that I have, my family, and my coach. They all make it possible. I mean, it feels awesome to get it. That was what I was going for.”

Behind Hoppel, Marco Arop of Canada finished second in 2:17.10, and Charlie Grice finished third in 2:17.20, a national record for Great Britain.

An American Record for Donovan Brazier

Two weeks after being forced to withdraw from the American Track League meet due to COVID-19 exposure, Donavan Brazier returned to the track with a vengeance.

The 2019 world champion lowered the American record by winning the men’s 800 meters in 1:44.21, more than two seconds ahead of runner-up Jamie Webb of Great Britain. Brazier set the previous American record (1:44.22) at the Millrose Games last year.

After Saturday’s victory, Brazier said his coach, Pete Julian, didn’t want him to hold back, and the strategy proved to be successful.

“Pete wanted me to go out and die. That was literally what he said, word-for-word,” Brazier said. “He said, ‘go out hard, see if you can hold it, and we’ll just gauge where you’re at from a fast pace.’ ... I don’t think I’m quite where I was at in Millrose last year, but I still think I’m in decent shape.”

Ajeé Wilson Returns to Competition

The women’s 800 meters featured an unexpected performance from a four-time world championship medalist and American record-holder.

Ajeé Wilson was a late entry to the meet after receiving treatment for a hamstring injury earlier in the week. Unlike her signature racing tactic of leading from the gun, Wilson ran behind the race-leader Kaela Edwards until the homestretch, where she sprinted ahead to finish first in 2:01.79.

“Not knowing exactly how things will play out with my body, I wasn’t trying to take any chances and felt a little more comfortable hanging behind,” Wilson said. “That’s something that we’ve been working on in practice. We’re maybe five strong in our group now, so that definitely prepared me for today and just being comfortable and also making sure I was still in a good position so when I wanted to move, I could.”

The performance is Wilson’s first race since winning the 800 meters at the 2020 USATF Indoor Championships on February 15, 2020. After Saturday’s race, Wilson said she didn’t feel comfortable traveling for competition last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as she interacts with people who are more at risk of catching the virus. Instead, she focused on training at her home base in Philadelphia. Her next competition will be the Texas Qualifier in Austin, Texas from February 26 to 27.

“Although things aren’t much better, I'm feeling a little more comfortable with the precautions we're all taking to be safe,” she said.

Behind Wilson, Sophia Gorriaran—a 15-year-old high school sophomore from Rhode Island—finished fifth in 2:03.94. One week earlier, Gorriaran notched the standard to compete at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials by running 2:02.44 against a professional field at the American Track League meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Two National Records in the Men’s 1500

The men’s 1500 meters featured two national records. Oliver Hoare—who trains under coach Dathan Ritzenhein with the On Running pro group in Boulder, Colorado—kicked to victory in 3:32.35, a national record for Australia. Jake Wightman of Great Britain finished second in 3:34.48, and Sam Tanner—a sophomore at the University of Washington—finished third in 3:34.72, breaking the national record for New Zealand.

The women’s 1500 meters was won by Heather MacLean who out-paced Cory McGee in the final lap to win in 4:06.32.

Michael Norman Races the 400 Meters for the First Time in a Year

For the first time since the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, track fans got to see Michael Norman compete in his signature event, the 400 meters.

The former USC Trojan and NCAA champion—who broke the world record in the indoor 400 meters (44.52) at the NCAA championships in 2018—battled with his training partner Rai Benjamin down the homestretch to secure the victory in 45.34. Benjamin finished second in 45.39.

“The instinct just kicked in,” Norman said. “We're very competitive at practice, especially when it comes to competition. So having that little fun practice rivalry going on, I couldn't have Rai beat me in the race, but he's an amazing competitor, so it was a lot of fun.”

In 2019, Norman failed to make the world championship final in Doha after suffering from an injury in the semifinals. He raced once in 2020—9.86 in the 100 meters at a COVID-adjusted meet in Fort Worth, Texas last July. After a long hiatus from competition, Norman said he felt pleased with the effort on Saturday.

“I’m feeling good,” Norman said. “There's a lot of work that needs to be done, but the main purpose of today was just to go out and compete, have fun and to kind of knock the cobwebs off because it's been over a year since I’ve run that distance.”

Another National Record for Shaunae Miller-Uibo

In her second meet of the year, Shaunae Miller-Uibo broke another Bahamian national record by running 50.21 to win the women’s 400 meters. The time makes her the eighth-fastest performer all-time indoors. The 2016 Olympic champion achieved the mark two weeks after breaking the national record in the indoor 200 meters at the American Track League meet, where she ran a personal best of 22.40.

World record-holder Keni Harrison also ran a world leading time on Saturday. The 2018 world indoor champion won the 60-meter hurdles in 7.82 seconds.

In the same race, Sydney McLaughlin finished last in 8.56. The race was McLaughlin’s highly anticipated return to the track after earning silver in the 400-meter hurdles and contributing to Team USA’s winning performance in the 4x400-meter relay at the 2019 World Championships. Saturday’s race was McLaughlin’s first time contesting the event since 2015, when she was in high school.

After the race, she said the race was an exercise in training with her non-dominant leg over hurdles. “It’s something we've been thinking about for awhile, just being able to hurdle efficiently with both legs, and what better way to do that than the short hurdles?” McLaughlin said. “It's such a short race and such a fast-paced race that you can really work on that technique. It was good to get into a fast race and really be forced to use it without being able to think that much.”

Noah Lyles Keeping His Eyes on Tokyo

Noah Lyles did double duty in the sprints on Saturday. The 2019 200-meter world champion ran the first round of the 60 meters in 6.76 seconds and returned to the track to contest the 200 meters. Holding off competitors Deon Lendore and Jaron Flournoy, Lyles made it to the finish line in 20.80, well off the typical winning times in his signature event.

While Lyles admitted he wasn’t pleased with the time (and his body language conveyed as such), he still took the experience as a lesson moving forward in his bid to represent Team USA and win more medals at the Tokyo Games this summer.

“We’ve been training for a lot of strength and endurance and it obviously paid off because I was able to come into the 60, warm up, and then I was able to shake off any type of fatigue I had from it,” Lyles said. “I still feel really good, even coming off of the 200, like I could run three more. So I actually feel strong, which is really what we were trying to get out of training, and coming here was to see how much speed we got in the tank. To be honest, it actually proved that what we’re doing is working.”

Trayvon Bromell Crosses First in the 60 Meters

After battling a series of injuries for the past few years, Trayvon Bromell returned to his winning ways on Saturday. After leading the 60-meter semifinal in 6.53, the 2016 world indoor champion won the final in 6.50 by breaking away from his competition in the second half of the race. Runner-up Demek Kemp followed in 6.65.

Looking back on the challenges of the past few years, Bromell credited his spirituality with his return to form and a newfound motivation.

“I'm here to run and make an impact on kids, adults who may have lost hope,” Bromell said. “I feel like my testimony of what I’ve been through gives people that, and it shows the sport in another light than just winning medals or running fast times. That’s all good, but what impact do you leave? I’m trying to be impactful, not impressive.”

(02/14/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

Athletes urge prime minister to save sports facilities

A coalition of athletes, celebrities and health bodies have written to the prime minister asking for the "fullest possible support" to help sports and exercise facilities survive the pandemic.

In a letter seen by the BBC, they said they were "deeply concerned" thousands of shut pools, gyms and leisure centres were at risk of permanent closure.

Colin Jackson, David Weir, Jonnie Peacock, Beth Tweddle and Keri-Anne Payne are among the Olympians and Paralympians to have signed.

Davina McCall, David Walliams, Mel Chisholm and Zoe Ball have also put their names to the letter.

Referring to a "deep drop in activity across all ages and backgrounds", the group says "facilities…are a cradle for developing our national sporting heroes.

More than 200 athletes call for abusive coaches to get lifetime bans

"The threat of losing these places has brought us together as a collective voice, to hope that everything is done to ensure these essential facilities are available to support our recovery, and enhance the health of the nation.."

Tens of thousands of sports clubs, swimming pools, leisure centres and gyms have been forced to shut in recent months as a result of coronavirus restrictions and the winter national lockdown with 100,000 jobs thought to be at risk.

"We know that for every pound the government spends on sport and physical activity, it gets almost four pounds in return", the group tells Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"Savings into the billions on serious physical and mental health conditions, social care, and preventing an estimated 30 million GP visits a year."

"It's a hard time, we're all over-eating," signatory and fitness enthusiast McCall told BBC Sport.

"Obesity and being overweight - Covid loves that. This is what we're trying to avoid, we've got to get this nation fit. We're going to do it through fitness and through people going to team sports, it's so important."

Activity levels taken a "significant hit"

Last month Sport England announced an extra £50m was being directed towards grassroots sport after a "significant hit" to activity levels. It has already invested £220m since the start of the crisis.

The government announced a £100m recovery fund for public leisure facilities last year, but estimated losses across the sector far exceed that amount.

"This is a clear warning from our nation's health and medical experts, academics, athletes and other champions of our sector, of the grave risk facing the mental and physical health of our communities" said Huw Edwards, the chief executive of Ukactive, which represents the physical activity industry and is calling for tax cuts and additional financial support.

The government said that sport and physical activity was at the heart of its coronavirus recovery plan, and that the return of community sport remained a priority as lockdown restrictions are relaxed.


(02/14/2021) ⚡AMP

Glutamine has become more popular among runners, but does it actually provide any benefit?

Running has so many benefits, but when done at a high volume and intensity, it can end up causing some less desirable side-effects, like decreased immune system function, increased digestive distress and chronic fatigue.

To deal with some of these unwanted side effects, some runners may look to supplements for help. Originally used by bodybuilders, glutamine has become much more popular among runners, but does it really help? Continue reading to find out if you should add glutamine to your supplement regime. 

What is glutamine?

Glutamine is an amino acid, which is a building block of protein. It is considered non-essential, because your body produces glutamine naturally, so you don’t have to get it from your food. It performs many functions in the body, including:

aiding in immune system functionality

preserving the digestive tract

moderating the inflammatory response

stimulating protein synthesis, which is impacted by exercise

involved in the synthesis of certain antioxidants

helping to rebuild your glycogen (energy) reserves

While your body does create glutamine itself, it can also be found in many foods, including meat, fish, dairy products, legumes and cereals, and is available in supplement format as capsules or powders.

The benefits of glutamine

There are many proposed benefits of glutamine, but not all of them are science-based. One of these supposed benefits is aiding in muscle recovery and repair, which is why it’s popular among bodybuilders. While this sounds good, in reality, glutamine is mainly used by the cells of the intestines and the liver, so it doesn’t really do much to help with muscle repair after your long run. Another reason some people choose to take a glutamine supplement is to strengthen their immune system, but this has also not been shown to be true.

There are some benefits to glutamine supplementation. Following a long or hard run, your muscle glycogen stores are depleted, and the faster you can replenish them, the better it is for muscle repair. Studies have shown that consuming glutamine along with a glucose drink can help your body reconstitute your body’s glycogen supply faster. Glutamine has also been shown to play a protective role in your digestive system, so if you struggle with GI distress, adding a glutamine supplement may help repair the lining of your digestive tract and reduce inflammation.

Should you take a glutamine supplement?

If you’re struggling with digestive distress or you feel as though you’re not recovering as quickly as you’d like after your runs, a glutamine supplement may be an appropriate choice, but the truth is this supplement is not as beneficial as it’s sometimes made out to be. If you do choose to try a glutamine supplement, talk to your doctor before adding a new supplement into your regime, especially if you are already taking other supplements or medications. 

(02/13/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton

University of Oregon student Cooper Teare clocks 3:50.39 mile in Fayetteville

University of Oregon student Cooper Teare made a huge breakthrough on the first day of the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville on Friday (12), smashing his outright mile PB with 3:50.39 to move into the world indoor all-time top 10.

There were huge PBs across the board as his teammates Cole Hocker (3:50.55) and Charlie Hunter (3:53.49) finished second and third.

In an all-Oregon line-up, Angus Folmi and Reed Brown set the early pace, going through 600m just inside 1:26 and 1000m in 2:24.3. Teare, Hocker and Hunter maintained that tempo for the final two laps with 21-year-old Teare kicking to victory in a collegiate record of 3:50.39. His time ranks him seventh on the world indoor all-time list, just behind fellow US athletes Bernard Lagat and Johnny Gregorek, but ahead of Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz.

Hocker, aged just 19, crossed the line in 3:50.55 – the fastest indoor mile ever recorded by a teenager and good enough for eighth on the world indoor all-time list. Hunter’s 3:53.49, meanwhile, took a second off his own Australian indoor record, set just two weeks prior on the same track.

The en-route 1500m splits of 3:35.46, 3:35.63 and 3:36.94 respectively were also outright PBs for all three men.

Isaac Grimes produced another world-leading mark in Fayetteville. The 23-year-old long jumper went out to 8.04m in round two then improved to a lifetime best of 8.27m in round five. He went even farther in the final round, sailing out to 8.33m. He now ranks just outside the US indoor all-time top 10. JuVaughn Harrison was second with 8.09m.

Elsewhere in Fayetteville, Bryce Deadmon sped to an indoor 400m PB of 45.22, the third-fastest time in the world this year, to win comfortably from Champion Allison (45.99).

The sprint hurdles finals were swift, too, with teenager Grace Stark winning the women’s race in 7.96 from Pan-American Games silver medallist Chanel Brissett (7.98), while former world U20 record-holder Trey Cunningham ran 7.55 to win the men’s event.

Fast 400s were the highlight of the first day of the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson on Friday (12). 20-year-old Randolph Ross won the fastest heat in a PB of 45.21, finishing just ahead of Jacory Patterson (45.24) and Trevor Stewart (45.55). Trinidad and Tobago’s Dwight St Hillaire took the second heat in 45.64 with 400m hurdles specialist Kyron McMaster placing second in 45.92.

Jamaica’s 2015 world champion Danielle Williams won the 60m hurdles in 7.87, while Tavarius Wright was the men’s 60m flat winner in 6.57.

At the Texas Tech Shootout in Lubbock, world U20 silver medallist Twanisha Terry trimmed her 60m PB to 7.13, while Brendon Stewart won the men’s short sprint in 6.58. Teenager Bailey Lear set an outright PB of 51.94 to win the women’s 400m.

(02/13/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Comrades Marathon denies financial problem speculations

Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) Tried to distance itself from inaccurate media speculation that 100-year-old road vehicles are in a dangerous financial position.

This comes after this week’s announcement that the 2021 race was canceled due to the coronavirus, as it was in 2020.

“We want to correct recent media reports claiming that the Comrade Marathon Association is facing financial difficulties and the future of the race is at stake,” Cheryl Win said in a statement on Friday.

“On the contrary, despite the cancellation of the second consecutive edition of the Comrade Marathon due to Covid-19 and the resulting blockade and consequent restrictions on mass participation sporting events, it is actually in a healthy financial position. ..

“Last year, we hosted our first highly successful virtual comrade marathon event and planned another event on June 13th, and we’ve accumulated 28 million rants over the last two decades to sustain our future. We are in a privileged position to have more than a reserve fund for our world-famous event.

“In fact, the CMA is currently in a very healthy financial position, thanks to the careful financial management of the current board and the foresight of the previous administration to secure funding in anticipation of a future’rainy day’. It is in.

“The oldest, largest and most famous ultramarathon in the world, and one of South Africa’s most important sports treasures, is facing a tight financial future or is on the verge of closing. I want to stop speculation.

“The mention of potential staff reductions is premature and unfounded. To staff who have provided viable suggestions to survive the storm and continue to serve the organization diligently in the current harsh climate. Thank you.

“The CMA Board’s top priority is to protect the health, safety and well-being of runners, staff, volunteers, sponsors, stakeholders and South Africans, while its top priority is to be a symbolic state agency. Maintaining a volunteer marathon and is economically important for stakeholder sports in Kwazul Natal and South Africa for the next 100 years.

“What CMA is doing effectively and responsibly is to string the purse in case the next comrade marathon can be held safely, in line with the green light from the state and national athletics federations. Protecting all possible resources. With government regulations. “

(02/13/2021) ⚡AMP
by Richard Damato
Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon

Arguably the greatest ultra marathon in the world where athletes come from all over the world to combine muscle and mental strength to conquer the approx 90kilometers between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the event owes its beginnings to the vision of one man, World War I veteran Vic Clapham. A soldier, a dreamer, who had campaigned in East...


The Effects That Two Weeks of Detraining Can Have on Your Body

The good news? It’s not necessarily a dealbreaker for your fitness.

Between school, work, or family obligations, life can sometimes get in the way of our training without us even realizing it. Other times, you may want to step away from logging your miles because you feel an injury coming on and don’t want it to develop into something more serious.

We can probably all relate to these scenarios in one way or another. But just how much of a difference does it make if you take a couple weeks off from running? Potentially quite a bit, suggests a new study in the European Journal of Sport Science.

Researchers looked at the effects of two weeks of detraining on heart and lung function and muscular fitness in 15 endurance-trained male athletes between the ages of 19 and 26.

They found that the weeks off resulted in a significant decrease in VO2 max (the measurement of the maximum oxygen delivery and utilization for cardiovascular exercise), exercise time to exhaustion, knee extensor strength, as well as maximal stroke volume (the max volume of blood pumped from the left ventricle of the heart per beat). However, they didn’t lose knee flexor strength or muscle endurance, and they seemed to maintain their lean muscle mass, researchers concluded.

One caveat to keep in mind is that this was a small study that used a similar sample group as well—only well-trained young men.

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In terms of real-world applicability—if you take some time away from running, you’re likely to see some detraining effects but, fortunately, they probably won’t be so dramatic, according to Carol Mack, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., even if you’re sidelined because of injury.

“Two weeks in the grand scheme of things will not make or break your overall health,” she told Runner’s World. “It’s still possible to reach your goals even if you were training for a race and have to take a week or two off.”

The trick in ensuring your time off from running doesn’t turn into deconditioning is by cross-training, she added. Unless you’re on strict bedrest, there is almost always an activity you can do to incorporate a little fitness into each day. Depending on your injury or reason for not running, you can engage in some kind of non-impact exercise, such as swimming, biking, yoga, and even housework.

“If your break is due to a non-injury cause, like a busy work schedule or bad weather, it’s important to find some way to get your heart rate up on the days you would have been running, even if it’s only for 15 minutes,” Mack said.

Also important to note is that you need to come back into training gradually after those couple weeks off. Mack noted that reconditioning will depend on a few factors, such as the amount of fitness someone had prior to their break, the length of time of the break, and if they were able to do any cross-training in the meantime.

“After a two-week break, reconditioning would take around a week, but this could be longer or shorter depending on these factors,” she said.

(02/13/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

How To Go All-In On Winter Training

Winter isn’t about sitting back and waiting. Winter is when you stack up the chips that will let you go all-in and bet on yourself for years to come.

There is a temptation to treat winter as a hibernation period. Curl up in front of the metaphorical fire. Sip your figurative hot cocoa. Put your allegorical feet up and recover for spring. I’m not sure what an “allegory” is off the top of my head, and the dictionary is on the other side of the room, so I’m keeping it in for the parallel structure. Hey, we’re talking about winter, and it’s not the time to work too hard.

You know what, though? Screw all that. Sure, if you are feeling run-down or had a big year, take an extended offseason. But in my book (which may or may not be full of allegories), winter isn’t about sitting back and waiting. Winter is when you stack up the chips that will let you go all-in and bet on yourself for years to come.

When I look back at athletes I coach that became “overnight successes,” one thing becomes clear: an overnight success is usually earned with year-over-year, all-caps WORK. It only seems like it happened overnight to people that weren’t paying attention.

Winter is when breakthroughs happen. The rest of the world often just doesn’t see them until later. So pour a cup of hot cocoa–the carbs, fat, and protein will help fuel this discussion of how to go all-in on the surest bet of all: your own future.

Health Building

I talked a big game in the intro, but all that swagtastic talk about betting on yourself requires you to be healthy and feeling fresh. If you only take one thing away from this article, make it this: adaptation happens when an athlete feels good.

In training discussions, fatigue is often celebrated as a sign of hard work. But the body rarely adapts through persistent fatigue. During training, athletes introduce substantial stressors from the cellular level on up to the entire musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and endocrine systems. That stress manifests itself in the stress hormone cortisol, muscle breakdown that can be measured via creatine kinase levels, thyroid and sex hormone variation, changing red-blood-cell production and numerous other biomarkers.

The musculoskeletal system is under load, and microtrauma from activities like running can cause deformities even before they become full-blown overstress injuries. All of those stress-related perturbations combine with mental health and lifestyle to create an immensely complex stress equation.

That stress is good in moderation—it’s what leads to adaptation. But go a bit too far, and injury and stagnation await. Think of those biomarkers mentioned above. All of them have long tails, where they’ll often be out of whack for longer than you’d expect based on the usual assumptions that recovery happens in a couple days. And when those biomarkers are not in the optimal range, it will be difficult to perform with the efficiency needed to make running outputs take less energy. So training in a fatigued state can actually create a more inefficient athlete that does more work but gets slower and more tired.

One of my favorite studies was published in 2016 in the journal Physiology Reports. The authors had elite middle-distance runners at a training camp do blood tests each day. If any of the biomarkers measured were negatively moving from baseline, the athletes reduced intensity and volume. After the camp, all of the athletes improved their running economy, and there were no injuries. In other words, feeling good is a proxy for the physiological context to actually adapt to the work being completed.

Unlike those athletes, we can’t get blood tests each day. That’s why it’s key to be dialed into how you are feeling. The first priority of winter is making sure that you have the adaptation time needed to create the physiological context where the work you are doing can translate into long-term, sustainable progress.

Stress Management

Training stress is the first variable in the equation. If it has been a long season, leading to persistent fatigue for more than a day or two at a time, take an off-season. Many pros I coach will take two to six weeks fully off. However, the response rate to time off is highly variable. A pro whose genetics seem designed to create speed may just get faster in that time. Someone with a different genetic context may find themselves playing catch-up for months, delaying progress.

Takeaway: Start with a reset of a few days, increasing the true offseason time if needed physically or mentally. You can still be active, just avoid structured training. And don’t take time off for its own sake unless you need the mental reset.

Next, consider all the non-training stress in your life. Winter is a good time for reflection and reevaluation, particularly given the helpful restart of the New Year. What’s adding to your life, either in joy or uplifting challenges or giving you life through all the millions of ways you may find meaning? All that stuff can stay in, even if it takes away from your running.

What is dragging you down? Maybe consider streamlining those parts of life, going full Marie Kondo on your negative stresses that are not necessary for being a good and fulfilled human.

Takeaway: Try to support a life context that lets you get the most joy out of your time on Earth, optimizing sleep and relaxation time, remembering that life isn’t just about athletics or work.


We are what we eat. That’s why I am a mix of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and chocolate milk. When it comes to nutrition, I am not an expert, but I don’t want you to ever worry about the specifics of it too much. Instead, just make sure you are eating enough. My main guideline for athletes is to ensure they are getting plenty of protein to adapt and recover, and winter is a great time to dial in nutrition for your physiology and background.

Mental Health

Rates of mental health issues go up significantly in winter. Researchers theorize that the correlation is partially related to physiological responses to reduced sunlight, along with context-specific issues unique to winter. And on a broader scale, this whole being-human thing is hard. If the goal of winter training is to get the tools to bet on yourself, the most important tool is taking actions that support the mental health that allows you to say “I am enough” and truly mean it. Because as every study in the Journal Of Incontrovertible Facts says, you are amazing just as you are, including (especially!) the parts of yourself that you might not always love.

Takeaway: Winter is a great time to start going to therapy, as is every other season. If you have long-term mental-health issues, consider talking to a psychiatrist and discussing medication if that is warranted. Open up with friends and supporters and friendly dogs and patient trees too.

Base Building

Breakthroughs don’t come from big, hard workouts. That seems counterintuitive, but it’s the most important realization to have about the methodology of running training. Big, hard workouts provide neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and biomechanical stimuli that lead to adaptations relatively rapidly. However, to perform close to your genetic potential and stay healthy, those adaptations require an aerobic foundation that is constantly developing over many years. Without that consistent focus on aerobic development, an athlete gets good at going hard, and eventually, that means going hard—and slow—compared to what they are truly capable of.

Base building is all about developing the building blocks that raise the adaptations from the harder stimuli way higher. Most of your training should be easier than aerobic threshold, the intensity where the body switches from relying primarily on lipid oxidation for fuel to glycogen. By avoiding excessive intensity, the body increases the density of capillaries around working muscles, increases the recruitment of Type I slow-twitch muscle fibers that are more resistant to fatigue, and improves oxygen processing via a number of other variables from mitochondria biogenesis to metabolic efficiency.

However, we are not just an aerobic system. The classic formulation of “MAF” Training relying on a strict heart rate cap to make sure all base building is easy essentially views athletes as closed loop systems, lungs with legs. During base periods, it’s also essential to develop the neuromuscular, biomechanical and musculoskeletal systems via higher-output training in order to create positive feedback cycles where aerobic development actually leads to improved running economy. That is why Lydiard base periods or Canova intro periods deviate from strict easy running to add more intense training elements in moderation.

The hard part about developing a solid base is that it takes time. Aerobic adaptations are a slow burn, the tortoise that wins the race over the intensity-focused hare, but only when you zoom out and see the whole picture. Winter is when there is time to zoom out and contextualize growth across multiple training cycles. Later on, athletes can learn to apply base principles throughout the year to let them continually adapt to new training interventions without having to go through a dedicated base period.

Increase Easy Volume

More easy running leads to faster running with time. Aerobic energy sources are dominant in all events longer than track sprints, even ones that feel hard like the mile or 5K. Think of easy running as gathering fuel for the fire. Yeah, it’s not super sexy to be out there chopping wood.

Why can’t I just light up these few sticks and have a party? The answer is that there is almost no limit to the amount of fuel we can gather during winter because the aerobic system can continue to adapt long after intensity-focused training adaptations are maximized. Any athlete can light a match with a hard workout. I want athletes to be putting that match to a few tons of kindling that is ready to burn.

Takeaway: If you have time and stress to spare, increase the volume of easy running each week. Start by increasing the frequency of your runs until you are running four to six times per week, then add volume to each run, a longer run and even doubles where you run twice in one day (for advanced athletes). Back off at the first sign of excess stress, since increasing volume can be risky. Make sure your legs stay warm during winter runs, which some studies show may reduce injury rates and improve muscle performance. Don’t be the athlete wearing shorts in freezing temperatures.

Add Steady Running or Tempo Running in Moderation

Purely easy running all the time risks reinforcing bad habits. Slog enough, and you may get good at slogging at the expense of all else. Coaches like Lydiard and Canova emphasize some higher-quality aerobic work in moderation to overcome that concern, while consistently developing all energy systems that are important for running.

Takeaway: After a few weeks of easy running and strides (see next section), add relaxed up-tempo runs of 15 to 40 minutes one or two times per week. This doesn’t need to be incredibly structured, but can just be natural progression runs that finish slightly faster on days you feel good.

Consider Cross-Training

Running is just one path to aerobic development. At the cellular level, the body doesn’t consider aerobic stresses too differently, so activities like biking or elliptical or swimming or hiking are great additions too. I like every athlete I coach to have a cross-training option they enjoy since it can support long-term growth and give a back-up option for the inevitable setbacks that will happen along the running journey.

Takeaway: Add one or two cross-training sessions each week. It can be as simple as 20 minutes on the spin bike in the afternoons or a hike with your dog.

Speed And Strength Building

During winter training, start by prioritizing your mental and physical health, even if that means less exercise. When you have a solid health foundation, work on improving your aerobic base through easy running and cross training at least four to six days a week. And now comes the really good stuff. Put that health and aerobic base in a speed and strength context that allows gains to compound over time.

Easy running gets reinforced by speed, making future easy runs more economical. The strength work adds to the economy bucket too, backing up those adaptations. That improved easy running creates a stronger base that makes the speed more efficient. And a positive feedback loop can get rolling.

Your fitness can be like a snowball going down a hill, picking up mass as it goes until it’s a massive fitness snow mountain by the end of winter. The coolest thing of all? That positive feedback cycle between aerobic development from easy running and neuromuscular, biomechanical and musculoskeletal development from speed and strength can continue for many years. So this winter may lay the long-term groundwork for seeing that your true limits are far beyond where you thought they were.

Do Strides

Short bursts of faster running provide a power and strength stimulus, almost like plyometrics, and that power improvement distributes to every effort you do. Every major training approach for elite athletes in the last century has at least some focus on this element, and it’s key to train like the elite, boss-mode athlete you are. There are some fascinating studies that back up the real-world approaches, showing that improving maximum output can enhance running economy at all efforts even with no underlying aerobic changes. Best of all: the adaptations can get rolling in just a few weeks.

While it’s uncertain where that physiological change is coming from, it’s most likely related to how the neuromuscular system interacts with the musculoskeletal system, with the body increasing power output and efficiency per step. If you think of running as a bunch of small forward leaps strung together, improving maximum smooth output may make each of those little leaps cover more ground and happen more quickly. And those gains can accrue over many years, making the easy running-strides feedback cycle one that you can lean on throughout a running career.

Takeaway: After two to four weeks of easy running, add 4 to 8 x 15- to 30-second uphill strides sometime in the second half of one to three normal easy runs each week. These hill strides are just controlled efforts at the fastest pace you can go without sprinting. Google “power hill strides” for a full video tutorial. Later on in winter, you can add flat-ground strides for a heavier neuromuscular stimulus, since turnover will be higher. But flat strides come with greater injury risk, so be careful and only do them if you are 100-percent healthy.

Develop a Consistent Strength and Mobility Routine

Many studies show that strength work can improve running economy and decrease injury risk. Plus, the goal of running training is to find your strong, embracing your full athletic self. Strength work is indispensable, but you don’t necessarily need to do a progressive overload routine that gets harder as you go or requires a gym. Instead, find sustainable routines that you repeat over and over throughout your running life.

Reinforce good patterns

Every runner is different, and there is no set way you have to run and train. However, you want to make sure that you aren’t developing habits that are undercutting your growth. If you have had lots of injuries or feel like you have room to improve your form, consider a gait analysis, working with a PT or strength coach, and/or partnering with a running coach.

Takeaway: We can all use some help sometimes. For example, even though I am a running coach, I have a coach. She is also my wife, so I think I get a discounted monthly rate.

Going All-In On Your Future

As winter comes to a close, you should have a big stack of chips at the ready. You’re working on your health, mentally and physically. Your aerobic base is bigger than ever, and your speed endurance is high too. You’re strong and stable, fast and fresh. As winter progresses, you can add a more traditional weekly workout or tempo run, but there’s no rush. That high-octane aerobic engine you are building will be ready when it’s time.

And when you are ready to crank it up? Start to lay some of those chips down with hard workouts, focused long runs or training races. Bet wisely, but don’t be scared either. You have a big pile, and you can afford to lose a few if you have some setbacks.

Most likely, though, those harder efforts will just give you more chips to put down. Spring will come around, and you’ll be unable to see the dealer from behind your big stack. You’ll be the power player at the table, ready to dictate the action. You wait for the right moment, playing it smart, and then it’s time.

Time to go ALL-IN.

(02/13/2021) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine

Open up the tracks or risk losing a generation of athletes

Welsh Athletics is campaigning for more athletes to be allowed to use sports facilities but the problem affects athletes of all ages and abilities in every part of the UK

Amid fears of a ‘lost generation’ of athletes there is growing frustration over track and field facilities being out of bounds to most runners, jumpers and throwers during lockdown. A campaign has started in Wales, for example, for the rules to be relaxed so that more competitors and coaches can use specialist sports venues.

The story has been covered on BBC Wales and their report says only 16 athletes in Wales currently hold an elite athlete exemption to allow them to use facilities. However this is a problem in the rest of the UK too.

At my local track in the south-west of England the athletes are advised by the guardians of the facility to stay in shape during lockdown by running on a muddy and relatively narrow path on the fields outside the track. Yet this means running close to elderly dog walkers, whereas everyone would be far safer if they were allowed to hop over the waist-high fence to use an empty track which, even at the best of times, has the proverbial tumbleweed blowing across it.

Meanwhile, little more than a javelin throw distance away, there is a small skate park which is also, in theory, out of bounds during lockdown. But while athletes have been warned they face a life ban from the track if they dare to use it, there are dozens of kids every day not just blatantly ignoring the skate park rules but vandalising signs saying the area is closed.

Only one local athlete has an exemption to use the track, the teenage high jump talent Sam Brereton, although ironically he has been training a few hundred miles away in Loughborough recently. In the last couple of years the same track has been used on one-off occasions by international athletes Elliot Giles and Chris Thompson when they have visited the area. Lately, though, the only people to use it are the occasional kids or middle-aged joggers who choose to ignore the warning signs.

To be fair to the people who oversee the track and skate park, they are merely following Government guidelines. The area is also almost impossible to ‘police’.

Critics are also quick to take their frustration out on governing bodies like UK Athletics, but the situation is complicated with track and field facilities across the nation run by a variety of local councils or schools or, in the case of my local track, a volunteer group. Some tracks are easy to stroll on to as well, whereas others are behind walls or fences as part of a leisure centre complex, for instance.

There is little comparison, for example, between the Olympic Stadium in London and a quiet track in one of the rural corners of the country. Yet the Government guidelines make no allowance for these differences. They are all simply labelled no-go zones. Period.

Welsh Athletics chief executive James Williams told BBC Wales: “There’s a very real risk of us losing a generation of very talented elite athletes due to the fact that they simply can’t access the facilities they normally would be able to.”

Williams has been joined by fellow CEOs from triathlon, cycling and swimming in their campaign. “There are huge spaces with just a handful of athletes on there,” adds Williams. “There is scope to expand the list (of elite athlete exemptions) while maintaining reasonable Covid restrictions.”

Governing bodies in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are doubtless similarly frustrated, not just in athletics either. Jack Buckner, the 1986 European 5000m champion and currently the chief executive of British Swimming, has been critical of the Government’s decisions in the past to keep swimming pools closed.

Sprinter Hannah Brier was at the forefront of the BBC Wales report and says she is supported by Welsh Athletics but doesn’t classify as elite. Consequently she has been forced to do her sessions on playing fields and roads where, some of the time, she has not felt safe after being subjected to jeers and catcalls from passing drivers.

This is not a sudden problem either. It has been creeping up on the sport for most of the past year.

In March last year and shortly before the first English lockdown I wrote a piece for the editorial leader column of AW entitled: ‘Will we see another lost generation?’

On social media this week, one AW reader, Grace Hough, said: “Something is definitely not right. Our track is deserted but there are athletes who would be safer in there than in footpaths.”

Another, Ian Halliday, said: “At mine, I am a key holder, our club has sole control over access, trained Covid officers, robust procedures. Instead of being trusted to run those procedures in line with 1-1 or 2+0 guidance we are forced into a park where we are in proximity to 500+ people at any one time.”

Chris Tomlinson, three-time Olympic long jumper, also tweeted recently: “When are the non-funded athletes meant to find competitions to qualify for Tokyo yet alone find training facilities?”

Sadly, nothing is likely to change during the current lockdown. In the near future, though, if the pandemic persists then solutions involve widening the number of athletes with exemptions to use facilities.

Or how about simply allowing athletics clubs to use their own common sense and to apply safety procedures according to their own unique set-up and facilities? After building a reputation for acting super-responsibly and safely in the past year, haven’t they earned that right?

(02/13/2021) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly

Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay sets new indoor world record in 1,500 meters

LIEVIN, France -- Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia set a new 1,500 meters indoor world record by finishing in 3 minutes 53.09 seconds on Tuesday at a meet in northern France.

A world bronze medalist, Tsegay followed the fast tempo set by the pacemaker and held on to prevail over double European indoor champion Laura Muir and her teammate Melissa Courtney-Bryant. Muir set a new British indoor record by running 3:59.58.

"I'm very happy to set a world indoor record," Tsegay said. "I have been training really hard and I set myself a target to break the world indoor record."

Tsegay took more than two seconds off the previous record set by Genzebe Dibaba in 2014.

(02/13/2021) ⚡AMP


Eliud Kipchoge, the great Marathon runner, first person running a marathon below 2 hours joins Michael Jordan and Cristiano Ronaldo launching his own NIKE clothing line. Kipchoge launched the NIKE EK-line earlier this morning. The EK-line includes shoes such as the Alpha-Fly and the Pegasus as well as other running apparel. The line is inspired by Eliud’s achievements in athletics but also embodies a close connection to his Kenyan roots and mantra: ‘No Human Is Limited’.

he EK-line is available as of now in NIKE stores around the world as well as their online store. This unique collection is a NIKE initiative to honor the greatest marathon athlete in history. The campaign slogan ‘Run unlimited’ aims to spread Eliud’s legacy on a global scale. Eliud’s mission? Inspire the entire world to run!

Eliud Kipchoge: “It is a long time now since I started running, and while my runs have changed, I’ve always experienced the same joy. I’m incredibly proud to represent Kenya around the clock and with this collection from Nike Running and myself, people can now wear the flag all around the world. That’s how people can become one.”

(02/13/2021) ⚡AMP
by Podium Runner

No Hugs Or High-Fives: Olympic Organisers Unveil Athlete Rulebook

No socialising, no handshakes and definitely no hugs — that’s what athletes at the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics can expect this summer, according to a virus rulebook released Tuesday by organisers.

The 33-page document — the last in a series of “playbooks” drawn up in a bid to ensure the Games can go ahead safely — also warns athletes they could be kicked out of their events if they break strict anti-virus rules.

Under the guidelines, athletes will be tested for the virus at least once every four days, and will be barred from competing if they return a confirmed positive test.

Their time in Japan will be “minimised to reduce the risk of infection,” and those staying at the Olympic Village will be expected to “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact.”

Organisers told AFP on Tuesday that they still plan to hand out around 150,000 free condoms to athletes, but the new rulebook urges them to “limit your contact with other people as much as possible.”

“If you have been to the Games before, we know this experience will be different in a number of ways,” the guidebook warns.

“For all Games participants, there will be some conditions and constraints that will require your flexibility and understanding.”

The guide for athletes and team officials is set to be revised in April and again in June, and follows the release of handbooks for sports officials, media and broadcasters last week.

The document lays out further detail on virus testing for athletes, with a negative test required within 72 hours of travelling to Japan and again immediately upon arrival.

There will be no quarantine for athletes, and they will still be allowed to attend training camps in Japan before the Games begin, but all movements must be rigorously logged and the use of public transport is subject to permission.

Athletes “must not visit gyms, tourist areas, shops, restaurants or bars” and can only go to “official Games venues and limited additional locations”.

They are also advised to wear masks at all times except when they are competing, training, eating, sleeping or outside in open space.

The virus rulebooks are being released as organisers, Olympic officials and Japan’s government works to build confidence that the Games can go ahead safely despite a surge in infections globally.

While vaccinations are recommended for athletes, they will not be a requirement to participate in the Games.

Support for hosting the virus-postponed event remains low in Japan, with around 80 percent of Japanese backing cancellation or further postponement — something organisers have ruled out.

The rollout of the virus rules has been overshadowed by a row over sexist comments made by Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori, who faces calls to resign after claiming women speak too much in meetings.

So far, he has apologised but declined to step down.

(02/13/2021) ⚡AMP

Cleveland Marathon has a new title sponsor, Union Home Mortgage

"We are proud to be headquartered in the Cleveland area and believe in investing in our community to make it a better place for all of us," said Bill Cosgrove, president and CEO of Union Home Mortgage, in a statement.

Union Home Mortgage is an independent mortgage banking company based in Strongsville, Ohio.

"The marathon has exceptional leadership and has been a hallmark event and economic driver for our region for decades," Cosgrove said about one of the oldest marathons in the United States.

The Cleveland Marathon was founded soon after Union Home Mortgage got its start in 1970.

The Union Home Mortgage Cleveland Marathon is scheduled to be held in person on May 15 and 16.

Last year's marathon, sponsored by Rite Aid, was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the marathon was run virtually, according to

Helped by technology and low interest rates, Union Home Mortgage has grown during the pandemic.

The mortgage banker has recently added sponsorships for the Gasparilla Bowl and PGA pro Jason Dufner.

In July, Union Home Mortgage said it would add a third building to its Strongsville campus and create 450 jobs by this summer, thanks, in part, to receiving Ohio Job Creation Tax Credits.

(02/12/2021) ⚡AMP
by Mary Vanac
Cleveland Marathon

Cleveland Marathon

The Cleveland Marathon features a relatively flat and fast course, great volunteer support and a scenic view of downtown Cleveland and its major landmarks. The course has been designed for our athletes to enjoy views of Browns Stadium, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lake Erie and many other Cleveland highlights. The Cleveland Marathon began in 1978 in an...


2016 Olympic steeplechaser Colleen Quigley announced that she was leaving Bowerman Track Club, and has finally revealed that she will be training under former FSU coach, Josh Seitz

In a turn of events that surprised many in the running community, American Olympian Colleen Quigley announced on February 4 that she is leaving the Bowerman Track Club, where she’s trained for the last five years.

The 28-year-old, who competed in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, will now be coached by Josh Seitz, who worked with her when she attended Florida State University (FSU).

She announced that she would be leaving the BTC on her Instagram page. In a heartfelt post, she spoke about helping her coach, Jerry Schumacher, recruit more women to the team, which, at the time Quigley joined, consisted only of three other women, including Shalane Flanagan, Emily Infeld and Sammy Silva. Since then, the BTC women’s squad (affectionately named the ‘Bowerman Babes’) has grown into one of the most dominant groups of female distance runners in the country.

Quigley also wrote an ‘Open Letter to the BTC’ on her website, in which she described what the team has meant to her over the last several years, and gave special shout-outs to many of her teammates and coaches.

"BTC, you were the perfect place  for a young athlete fresh out of college to land,” she wrote. “If going pro had meant training alone at age 22, I don’t think I ever would have made it. You gave me teammates and coaches who supported me and my goals.”

In an Instagram Live on Thursday, Quigley finally announced that her new coach would be Seitz, who is currently the assistant cross country and distance coach at Portland State University, where he has been coaching since 2017. According to his Portland State profile, in his four years on staff, he has helped a few steeplechase athletes set school records, and has led one steeplechaser to two podium finishes at the Big Sky Outdoor Championships.

Quigley´s teammate Kate Grace also announced that she would be leaving the BTC and will be heading to Colorado to train with Emma Coburn on Team Bosshard. There have been several changes to the Bowerman Track Club over the last year, with Gabriela Debues-Stafford, Sinclaire Johnson and Amos Bartelsmeyer joining the squad, and Ryan Hill, Andrew Bumbalough, Grace and Quigley leaving. Quigley has not yet announced any new sponsorship deals.

(02/12/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton

Running documentary follows runners of the NAZ Elite marathon team during the final months leading up to the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to train at the elite level or what it takes to make it to the Olympic Marathon Trials, you now have the chance to find out.

The film A Time and Place goes behind the scenes of the Northern Arizona (NAZ) Elite marathon team, following six Olympic hopefuls leading up to the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials that took place on February 29, 2020.

The athletes in focus include Scott Fauble, Scott Smith and Sid Vaughn on the men’s side and Kellyn Taylor, Stephanie Bruce and U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials winner Aliphine Tuliamuk for the women.

With much of the commentary for the film provided by NAZ Elite head coach, Ben Rosario, A Time and Place gives you an in-depth look at the sacrifice, struggle and determination required to compete in the marathon at the elite level.

Flagstaff, Ariz., acts as the backdrop for the film, as the team trains during the final months leading up to the trials. Throughout the film, each athlete gives viewers a bit about their background and explains what qualifying for the trials (and, hopefully, the Olympics) means to them. You get the chance to watch the team push themselves through some intense workouts to give you insight into exactly what it takes to be an elite marathoner. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot of hard work.

Finally A time and Place culminate with the trials themselves, which is, not surprisingly, the most exciting part of the film. It gives viewers a unique opportunity to watch the trials from the perspective of the athletes and coaches, and, of course, revel in the excitement of Rosario and the rest of the team as Tuliamuk has the race of her life. Watching her cross the finish line in first place from the vantage point of her coach is a truly thrilling experience, even through the TV screen.

A Time and Place is an eye-opening look behind the scenes of the lives and training of some of the best marathon runners in the United States, and allows viewers to feel the frustration of defeat and revel in the victories of athletes who spend months training for one career-defining day. While it does require a certain level of running-nerdiness to get into, it is a great film for anyone with a curiosity and interest in the world of elite running. The film will be available to stream for 24 hours beginning on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. for $15.

(02/12/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton

Joshua Cheptegei set two world records in Monaco in 2020, now he is ready to open season in return to Monaco this Sunday

A lot has changed since this time last year, but one thing that has remained the same is the fact that Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei is a dominant force in the world of running. In 2020, he set three world records in just four races, two of which were in Monaco.

He is set to return to Monaco on Sunday to race a 5K, opening his season the same way he did in 2020. Every race Cheptegei entered last year was a thriller, so you won’t want to miss his run on Sunday. 

Cheptegei won last year’s Monaco 5K, absolutely crushing the rest of the field and running to a world record of 12:51. He smashed the 5K world record while also bettering his own PB by a whopping 33 seconds. His win in Monaco came just a few weeks before the season was put on hold due to COVID-19, but when Cheptegei made his comeback in August, he was in similar form. 

His second race of the season was also at a 5K in Monaco, although this time he was racing on the track. He ran to the 5,000m world record, posting an incredible time of 12:35.36. Two months later, Cheptegei broke his third record of the year at a 10,000m race in Valencia, Spain, where he hammered out a remarkable 26:11.00 result.

Finally, just 10 days after his run in Spain, Cheptegei raced the World Half-Marathon Championships in Poland, and while he didn’t win, he still finished in a blazing-fast time of 59:21 to finish fourth in his debut at the distance. 

Cheptegei is one of the most exciting runners to watch right now, and he’ll likely wow the running world once again on Sunday. Even if he can’t break his own 5K world record (because, let’s be honest, that 12:51 will be extremely tough to beat), he’s apt to run an amazing race. 

Alot has changed since this time last year, but one thing that has remained the same is the fact that Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei is a dominant force in the world of running. In 2020, he set three world records in just four races, two of which were in Monaco. He is set to return to Monaco on Sunday to race a 5K, opening his season the same way he did in 2020. Every race Cheptegei entered last year was a thriller, so you won’t want to miss his run on Sunday. 

Why should you watch? 

Cheptegei won last year’s Monaco 5K, absolutely crushing the rest of the field and running to a world record of 12:51. He smashed the 5K world record while also bettering his own PB by a whopping 33 seconds. His win in Monaco came just a few weeks before the season was put on hold due to COVID-19, but when Cheptegei made his comeback in August, he was in similar form. 

His second race of the season was also at a 5K in Monaco, although this time he was racing on the track. He ran to the 5,000m world record, posting an incredible time of 12:35.36. Two months later, Cheptegei broke his third record of the year at a 10,000m race in Valencia, Spain, where he hammered out a remarkable 26:11.00 result. Finally, just 10 days after his run in Spain, Cheptegei raced the World Half-Marathon Championships in Poland, and while he didn’t win, he still finished in a blazing-fast time of 59:21 to finish fourth in his debut at the distance. 

Cheptegei is one of the most exciting runners to watch right now, and he’ll likely wow the running world once again on Sunday. Even if he can’t break his own 5K world record (because, let’s be honest, that 12:51 will be extremely tough to beat), he’s apt to run an amazing race.

Cheptegei isn’t the only reason you should watch the Monaco 5K. In the women’s race,

Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech is the biggest name in the field, and she could have a big performance, too. Chepkoech is the 3,000m steeplechase world record holder (a title she earned in Monaco in 2018), and she’s coming off a successful 2020 season. 

Her current 5K road PB of 16:25 may not be anything special, but she ran that seven years ago and hasn’t raced the event since. She is a much stronger athlete now, and she will be looking to lower that significantly on Sunday.

(02/12/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
Herculis 5k

Herculis 5k

The 5km Herculis course runs from the Port Hercule to the Quai Albert 1er and through the Boulevard Princesse Grace, give yourself a chance to run across the principality of Monaco and to participate in a fast, exclusive and official race. ...


The president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori to quit, sources say, as he vows to end controversy

The head of the Tokyo Olympics is poised to resign in a sexism row after saying that 'annoying' women talk too much in meetings. 

Mori’s resignation would be bound to raise new doubts over the viability of holding the postponed Games this year.

The sources, who have knowledge of the matter, said Mori would be replaced by former Japan Football Association president and mayor of the Olympic village, Saburo Kawabuchi.

Kawabuchi, 84, represented Japan in football at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and helped Japan co-host the 2002 FIFA World Cup with South Korea.

Mori made the sexist remark - that women talk too much - at a Japanese Olympic Committee board meeting early this month, setting off a storm of criticism at home and abroad.

Mori, 83, told Nippon TV he would “explain his thoughts” at a meeting on Friday but he had to deal with the issue. He did not confirm the reports that he would step down.

“I cannot let this problem prolong any longer,” Mori said, and he again apologised for the remark.

A spokesman for the organising committee declined to comment.

Mori first retracted the comment about women at a hastily called news conference on Feb. 4, acknowledging it was inappropriate and against the Olympic spirit.

But he declined, at that time, to resign.

Pressed then on whether he really thought women talked too much, Mori said: “I don’t listen to women that much lately, so I don’t know”.

Olympic and ruling party officials told Reuters this week that Mori’s resignation could imperil the Games.

They said his deep network of politicians and Olympic officials was key to pulling off a successful Games.

But his comment on women drew sharp criticism in parliament, where opposition lawmakers demanded his resignation, and from the public on social media.

“Because of Mori’s comments, I’ve recognised again the importance of gender equality and diversity,” ruling party lawmaker Masazumi Gotoda said on Twitter.

“Discrimination is absolutely unacceptable.”

Mizuho Fukushima, head of the opposition Social Democratic Party, said on Twitter: “This is the result of many, many women raising their voices. Of course, this doesn’t resolve the problem. We need to create a society of gender equality.”

Mori was due to meet his expected successor, Kawabuchi, on Thursday to discuss the handover, one of the sources said.

(02/11/2021) ⚡AMP
by Yoshifumi Takemoto
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. ...


2016 Olympic 800m silver medalist Francine Niyonsaba bids to race 5,000m at Tokyo Olympics

Francine Niyonsaba, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the women’s 800m, announced this week that she will be attempting to qualify for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics in the 5,000m after being barred from running any event between 400m and the mile unless she takes testosterone-suppressing measures.

The 27-year-old from Burundi finished in second place behind Caster Semenya at both the 2016 Olympics and the 2017 world championships, and both athletes (along with 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Margaret Wambui) have been at the centre of an ongoing and heated debate about hyperandrogenism in women’s sport. In April 2018, the IAAF announced that any athlete who has Differences of Sexual Development (DSD) will be ineligible to compete in any event between the 400m and the mile. Having DSD means that the athlete has levels of circulating testosterone (in serum) that are five nanomoles/litre or above and is androgen-sensitive.

According to the regulations, if an athlete with a DSD wishes to compete in any of the restricted events, she must fulfill the following criteria:

(a) she must be reconized at law either as female or as intersex (or equivalent);

(b) she must reduce her blood testosterone level to below five nmol/L for a continuous period of at least six months (e.g., by use of hormonal contraceptives); and

(c) thereafter she must maintain her blood testosterone level below five nmol/L continuously (ie: whether she is in competition or out of competition) for so long as she wishes to remain eligible.

In light of these new restrictions, many DSD athletes, including Semenya and Niyonsaba, have instead chosen to compete in other events. Semenya has previously said she is bidding to make the Tokyo Olympics in the 200m, while Niyonsaba has chosen to jump up in distance. In 2019 she alluded to this decision in an interview with the Olympic Channel. When the interviewer asked her what she would do if she was forced to move up in distance, her response was “I can even run the marathon.”

“Running to get good results is just about training,” she said. “Nothing else. I’m always saying ‘be what you are, whatever you do.’ That’s how you get to success.”

She added that she will keep her vision and her passion because she loves running, and she will not stop. According to her Instagram, Niyonsaba recently ran a 10K cross-country race in 33:45, and while it doesn’t translate directly to the track, she was not far off the Olympic 10,000m qualifying standard of 31:25. Certainly the world of track will be watching to see what she does next, but with her determination, we expect great things.

“In my dream, I want to retire with the gold medal,” she said. “I know… I want to retire with the gold medal.”

(02/11/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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. ...


American 10-mile record holder Keira D’Amato has signed her first professional contract with Nike

Ten-mile American record holder and rising marathon star Keira D’Amato has officially signed a pro contract with Nike. The 36-year-old real estate agent was essentially unknown before this past year, but despite the COVID-19 pandemic, she had the season of her life in 2020. She announced her partnership with Nike on Tuesday via Twitter.

D´Amato has raced several times over the last year, and it seems she keeps getting better every time she toes the line. In June she ran a blazing 5,000m PB in a time of 15:04, and followed that up by winning a 10,000m in July in 32:33.44. She then went on to win the Michigan Pro Half-Marathon in another personal best time of 1:08:57 in October, followed by a 5K road win in 15:08, which was also a PB for the Virginia runner.

Her arguably biggest successes came in her final two races of the year, when D’Amato won the Up Dawg 10-Miler in Washington, D.C., in November, beating Olympic Marathon Trials second-place finisher, Molly Seidel. 

D’Amato ran an incredible 51:23, breaking the American 10-mile record by 49 seconds and finishing more than two minutes ahead of Seidel.

Finally, in December D’Amato had the race of her life at The Marathon Project in Arizona, where she ran to an enormous 11-minute PB of 2:22:56.

In a turbulent year, D´Amato has proven to the world that she is the real deal. While she won’t be competing as a part of the Olympic Marathon team in Tokyo this summer, she has certainly positioned herself as one of the best American distance runners to look out for in 2021, and with this new pro contract backing her up, we expect to see big things from her this year.

(02/11/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton

Rock 'n' Roll marathon will be returning to Las Vegas in February 2022

The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series is returning to Las Vegas next year, but there will be some changes.

The IRONMAN Group, which organizes the marathon series, announced Tuesday that it will stage its next edition of the run on Feb. 26 and 27, 2022.

A full 26-plus mile marathon will not be included in the return, however. Instead, there will be a half-marathon, 10K and 5K races through the Las Vegas Strip.

"We are extremely excited to start this next chapter for the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas event," Elizabeth O'Brien, managing director for Rock 'n' Roll in North America, said in a press release. "Moving to February will provide our participants the same amazing experience of the biggest running party on earth, with a few new twists along the way."

The annual marathon was normally held in November, though last year's event went "virtual" due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

O'Brien said the race was moved to February to guarantee the race date.

"Moving to February further evolves this one-of-a-kind event because it is a Vegas weekend carved out just for Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas," Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events, said in a release. "We look forward to again partnering with The IRONMAN Group and developing the new experiences runners can look forward to."

The full marathon was eliminated after organizers could not find courses that "lived up to the high expectation we set for ourselves, or what our participants deserve," O'Brien said.

(02/10/2021) ⚡AMP
by Matthew Seeman
Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas

Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas

Run the Strip at night in Vegas. The half marathon course is as flat and festive as they come – perfect for runners and walkers of all ability levels....


2021 Centenary Comrades Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) Board has cancelled the Comrades Marathon, scheduled for June 13.

After having late last year undertaken to make announcements in mid-February regarding requirements for qualification and the staging of the 2021 Comrades Marathon, the decision to cancel will come as a disappointment to tens of thousands of runners; and has also been a tough call for CMA organisers to make, in what is the world-renowned Race’s Centenary year.

This decision comes in the wake of engagements with KwaZulu-Natal Athletics, Athletics South Africa, the National Coronavirus Command Council, members of the medical fraternity and governmental departments; and was a moral and practical imperative given the ongoing uncertainty and unprecedented circumstances of the Ccoronavirus pandemic, the onset of a second wave and a significantly more infectious variant of Covid-19, as well as the ongoing National State of Disaster and its associated restrictions.

The CMA Board is determined the health, safety and welfare of Comrades runners, officials, volunteers and the general public remains paramount even after having held out hope the road running event would be hosted in June.

The impending third wave of Covid-19, widely anticipated around April to June has ended any such hopes and makes the hosting of any mass event in the near future highly unlikely.

However, the good news is the Comrades Centenary Celebrations are imminent.

With the first Comrades Marathon having been held on May 24,1921, the CMA will launch its Centenary Celebrations on May 24.

Other great news is that the CMA has confirmed its 2nd Comrades Marathon virtual event will take place on June 13, in which runners will be able to run in any location, outside in their garden, or neighbourhood, all at their own pace, in a similar fashion to last year’s successful inaugural Race the Comrades Legends which saw 43 788 participants from more than 100 nations uniting in a single virtual event.

CMA cairperson, Cheryl Winn urged runners to accept and respect the CMA’s decision which has been made in conjunction with KZNA, ASA and government restrictions, and most importantly, with the utmost regard for the health and welfare of our athletes, volunteers and all other stakeholders.

A secondary consideration was the risk of committing precious resources towards the staging of an event which might later be cancelled at short notice and the CMA Board’s obligation for the preservation of the 100-year-old event’s assets into the future.

(02/10/2021) ⚡AMP
Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon

Arguably the greatest ultra marathon in the world where athletes come from all over the world to combine muscle and mental strength to conquer the approx 90kilometers between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the event owes its beginnings to the vision of one man, World War I veteran Vic Clapham. A soldier, a dreamer, who had campaigned in East...

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