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Francine Niyonsaba runs 5,000m debut, finishes just off Olympic standard in 15:12.08

World and Olympic 800m silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi raced a 5,000m in Spain on May 22, and she finished with a national record of 15:12.08.

Niyonsaba’s result was just off the Olympic standard of 15:10.00, and it was her first official race over 5,000m. Like South Africa’s Caster Semenya, Niyonsaba is an athlete with DSD (differences of sexual development), and a 2019 World Athletics ruling prevents her from competing in any events from 400m up to the mile. 

Niyonsaba, Semenya and other DSD athletes (who have higher-than-usual rates of testosterone) had to make a tough decision when WA barred them from competing in certain events. They could take hormone-suppressing drugs to lower their testosterone levels, drop down in distance to compete in sprinting events like the 100m and 200m or jump up to races longer than a mile. Refusing to take any hormone suppressants, Semenya has spent the past couple of seasons testing out both ends of the racing spectrum, running races as short as 200m and as long as 5,000m. 

Semenya has made progress in both arenas, but her PBs of 23.49 seconds in the 200m and 15:52.28 in the 5,000m are well off the Olympic standards of 22.80 and 15:10.00. Niyonsaba, however, has set her sights solely on the 5,000m, and her undivided focus on the longer race seems to have paid off, as she is now just a couple of seconds away from qualifying for the Tokyo Games. 

Niyonsaba announced her plans to compete in the 5,000m in February, and she now has a little over a month to lower her PB by a couple of seconds in order to qualify for the Summer Games. (The Olympic qualifying window closes on June 29.) After the race, Niyonsaba took to social media to express her excitement in the run, writing, “So happy to be back in international competition with a great debut of 15:12 in the 5K..it was a big challenge but I faced it with great determination and perseverance.” 

(05/27/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Registration for 2021 Honolulu Marathon opens in June

The Honolulu Marathon will be held in 2021 after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Early registration for Hawaii residents will be open from Tuesday, June 1, through Monday, June 14.

Get Hawaii’s latest news sent to your inbox, click here to subscribe to News 2 You, a daily newsletter.

Mainland resident registration will be open Tuesday, June 15, through Wednesday, June 30, and general registration for everywhere else — excluding Japan — will open on Thursday, July 1.

The event draws tens of thousands of people from all over the world and the Department of Health believes it can be held safely.

Those who were registered for 2020s Honolulu Marathon will be allowed to register for 2021s Honolulu Marathon for free and should receive an email with a unique transfer code.

The 2021 Honolulu Marathon will be held on Sunday, Dec. 12.

(05/26/2021) ⚡AMP
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Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu Marathon

The Honolulu Marathon’s scenic course includes spectacular ocean views alongside world-famous Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head and Koko Head volcanic craters.The terrain is level except for short uphill grades around Diamond Head. ...

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Report says that Japan's heat will impair Olympic athletes' performance

The impact of climate change will likely lead to "impaired" performances at the Tokyo Olympics, according to a report backed by leading athletes.

In the report, titled Rings of Fire, it is argued that summer heatwaves in Tokyo during the past three years indicate that conditions will be tough.

Concerns over heat have caused the marathon to be moved from Tokyo.

Professor Mike Tipton said he expects Tokyo to be the most "thermally stressful Olympics" of recent times.

The University of Portsmouth professor helped to produce the report, which was backed by athletes, the British Association for Sustainability in Sport (Basis) and scientists from the Priestley International Centre for Climate at Leeds University.

He told BBC Sport: "The take-home message is you've probably got to move the Olympics to a different time of the year rather than a different geographical location or time of the day and I think that's something, going forward, the International Olympic Committee will have to start considering.

"I would be fairly confident to say that performances will be impaired across a lot of sports. The sport as a spectacle will be impaired in terms of the performance level of the people who are doing it."

Mara Yamauchi, who competed in the marathon for Britain at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, backed the report.

(05/26/2021) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Reasons why training with a coach is better than training on your own

Most people who start training decide to start on their own with a random program they have found from who knows where. The problem with this approach is that the program probably wasn’t designed for them. As a result, many end up failing because they either lost interest or became discouraged. This is one of the reasons why working with a professional trainer or coach is a better option, but there are many others. Let’s take a look at why you should consider hiring a coach instead of training on your own.

You Know Nothing About Fitness

If you’re like most people, your knowledge of fitness probably comes from a mix of things you have heard from friends or online. There’s probably a lot of misinformation in there too. Personal trainers and coaches have learned all about fitness and use scientifically proven methods and principles. They will not only be able to help you with things like how often you should train to reach your desired goals and at what intensity, but they can give you nutrition and lifestyle tips as well.

They Can Create a Plan Tailor-Made for You

People go to the gym for all sorts of reasons: some are trying to lose weight, some want to build muscle, others may want to improve their endurance, and some may want to get pure strength. All of these people will need to use different approaches if they want to reach their objectives. This is something a personal trainer will be able to help you with. The personal trainers at CLUB4Fitness, for example, will sit down with you and create 30 to 60-minute training sessions tailor-made for you. They will be able to help you whether you want to lose weight and keep it off or improve your strength and cardiovascular performance.

More Accountability

Another major benefit of working with a personal trainer or coach is accountability. You’re not obligated to work out on days you don’t want to, but you are less likely to miss sessions if you know you’ll have someone to answer to. A personal trainer will also help you keep your eyes on the prize and remind you of why you’re training in the first place.

Better Results

At the end of the day, you are more likely to get results when you work with a coach. A lot of people end up stopping training because they hit a plateau. Others may lose weight, but not in the way they wanted. In many cases, this is because there’s something wrong with your nutrition or your routine. A coach will be able to tell you what you’re doing wrong.

Better Technique

Another very important reason why everyone should consider at least starting with a coach is to prevent injuries. Many exercises can cause serious damage if you do them wrong. A coach will be able to teach you the proper posture and technique for any exercise. This will not only reduce the chances for injuries but maximize your results as well. These are all reasons why going with a personal trainer or coach is usually the best option. Look at personal trainers and coaches in your area and see if any offer free consultations so you can test the waters.

(05/26/2021) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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2021 ASICS Falmouth Road Race Announces 8,000 In-Person Runners for August 15

Falmouth Road Race, Inc., organizers of the 49th Annual ASICS Falmouth Road Race, one of America’s premier running events of the summer season, today announced that it will host a field of 8,000 in-person runners for its upcoming event on Sunday, August 15.

Those who registered during the initial registration window and selected, “If given the chance, I would like to run in Falmouth” will be guaranteed a place within the limited in-person field. Runners who have not yet registered but are looking to secure a guaranteed in-person spot in this year’s event can do so by registering to run on behalf of a charity. A comprehensive list of 164 charitable organizations is available by visiting www.falmouthroadrace.com/charity-program. For more information on general registration, please visit www.falmouthroadrace.com.

“On the heels of Governor Charlie Baker’s announcement lifting all coronavirus restrictions in Massachusetts effective May 29, and after close consultation with the Town of Falmouth, public safety officials, our medical team, and our partners, we are excited to announce a field of 8,000 in-person runners for the 49th ASICS Falmouth Road Race,” said Scott Ghelfi, president of the Falmouth Road Race, Inc. Board of Directors. “We are excited to welcome athletes back to Falmouth for this summer tradition and we look forward to welcoming a full field for our 50th running next August.”

Aside from the newly announced in-person portion, the 49th ASICS Falmouth Road Race will still feature a virtual SBLI Kids At-Home Challenge and the race’s At-Home Edition, where participants will lace up their running shoes and go 7 miles in their own neighborhoods between August 7 – 14.

For nearly 50 years, Falmouth Road Race, Inc. has promoted health, wellness and pride in the community. In these unprecedented and uncertain times, the organization is striving to be consistent in its mission, continuing to provide its dedicated athletes, enthusiasts, and the community with an event to be proud of and one that supports people in need.

 

(05/26/2021) ⚡AMP
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Falmouth Road Race

Falmouth Road Race

The Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite runners and recreational runners out to enjoy the scenic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is dedicated to promoting health and fitness for all in...

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2021 Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon set for Oct. 17, could be in-person

The 41st Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and 1/2 Marathon could be in-person this year.

Organizers announced Tuesday that the Board of Trustees voted 10 to 0 on plans to move forward with having the event on Oct. 17.

The marathon was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Organizers stated they are working with local and state health departments to ensure safety for all the participants.  

“After such a challenging year, people can bring a bit of normalcy back to their health and wellness regimens," said Race Director Darris Blackford.

Blackford stated the course and the capacity of the event are under review.

People can register for the race starting June 1.

Those who have registered will get a full refund if the marathon is cancelled, according to a release.

(05/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brandon Bounds
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Columbus Marathon

Columbus Marathon

The Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon, first run in 1978 and held annually since 1980, features a flat, fast course which saw nearly 20 percent of finishers qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2010. The event has sold-out in mid-August the past eight years. There are 7,000 runners in the full marathon and 11,000 in the half marathon, making it...

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Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc officials confirm plans for 2021 in-person race

Organizers of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc announced on Friday that their ultramarathon will be back this year after missing 2020 due to COVID-19.

The storied ultramarathon features multiple events, including the classic 171K UTMB race that takes athletes around Mont Blanc and through parts of France, Italy and Switzerland. Race organizers were able to confirm the running of the event after the French government released its latest COVID-19 guidelines, and it is officially locked in for August 23 to 29.

While the race is set to run later this year, there will be COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines in place for all racers. Like most mass participation races that have been held since the start of the pandemic, masks will be mandatory at the start and finish lines, and racers will be asked to wear them when they approach aid stations along the route. They will also be required to wash their hands as they pass through, and there will be no self-service at aid stations, which will help avoid the potential spreading of germs from each runner. 

The race start will also feature waves, and crowds will be limited along the course. The number of spectators permitted may vary throughout the route, though, as it will be dependant on the rules of each town, region and country that runners pass through on the course. There will reportedly be other restrictions in place, but organizers have yet to finalize all of the details. 

There’s also the matter of travel restrictions, which the race of course cannot control. The French government is set to introduce a “Sanitary Pass” on June 9, and this will allow outsiders from other European countries to visit France. For Canadians and other non-Europeans, organizers said the Sanitary Pass details are still being figured out, but they will keep all potential UTMB racers in the loop as the matter progresses.

Sanitary Passes will be mandatory for everyone participating in any French events of more than 1,000 people, and it requires individuals to have one of three things: proof of full vaccination, a recent negative COVID-19 test or a certificate of COVID-19 recovery. Anyone who does not qualify for a Sanitary Pass will be unable to get their bib ahead of the race.

(05/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

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

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Registration is now open for third edition Of Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon in November

The third edition of the Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon, which will take place on November 26.

Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Adnoc have announced that the event will take place with robust safety precautions in place to safeguard the health and well-being of participants and spectators following the postponement of the 2020 race due to COVID-19.

Taking place ahead of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, the 2021 Abu Dhabi Marathon will celebrate the nation’s journey and achievements while cementing Abu Dhabi’s growing reputation as a world-class sporting destination. As title sponsor, the Marathon reinforces Adnoc’s commitment to elevating the health and well-being of the community as the company continues to support the UAE’s efforts to promote healthy lifestyles.

Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “After the success of the second edition of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon in 2019, which attracted over 16,500 runners from the UAE and overseas, we look forward to welcoming back all runners this November to compete in the various distances on offer. The public’s health and safety remains our number one priority, and we are confident that the third edition will be another great day out.

“Abu Dhabi is in the process of improving the recovery phase of COVID-19 to become one of the safest destinations in the world, in terms of precautionary measures in dealing with the prevailing pandemic situation, which has largely contributed for the UAE to host a number of world sporting events in recent times.”

All participants must be fully vaccinated to take part in the 2.5km, 5km, 10km, Marathon and Marathon Relay events. All participants who registered in the 2020 race will automatically be enrolled in the 2021 event.

(05/25/2021) ⚡AMP
by Mathew Smith
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Molly Seidel, Molly Huddle, Des Linden, Edna Kiplagat and Sara Hall, to Headline Mastercard New York Mini 10K on June 12

The 2021 Mastercard New York Mini 10K, the world’s original women-only road race, will feature the return of professional athletes to NYRR races for the first time since 2019. The all-star lineup on Saturday, June 12 will include U.S. Olympians Molly Seidel, Molly Huddle and Des Linden and past Mini 10K champions Sara Hall, Edna Kiplagat (and Huddle) in the open division, and two-time defending champion Susannah Scaroni and five-time TCS New York City Marathon champion Tatyana McFadden in the wheelchair division.

Seidel was the runner-up at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, running 2:27:31 in her first-ever marathon to secure a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. She finished in sixth place at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon and is also a four-time NCAA champion. This will mark her third race appearance in New York; she won the 2017 NYRR Midnight Run and finished as runner-up at the 2017 USATF 5 km Championships.

“Although it’s my first time running the Mini, I’m well-aware of the race’s significance as the first-ever road race just for women,” Seidel said. “I’m excited that this is another step forward in returning to mass-participation and elite running, especially in a place as important to road racing as New York City. Personally, this race is a great opportunity to come down from the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona, and test my legs as I prepare for the Olympic Games marathon in August.”

Linden won the Boston Marathon in 2018 and is a two-time U.S. Olympian in the distance, and she just missed out on a third Olympic Games appearance after placing fourth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials last year. To kick off 2021, she ran a 2:59:54 in the 50K, a new world best for the distance.

Huddle is a two-time Olympian, having run the 5,000 meters at the London 2012 Games and setting the 10,000-meter American record at the Rio 2016 Games. In New York, she won the 2014 Mini 10K and is a three-time champion of the United Airlines NYC Half. She made her marathon debut at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, taking third place as the top American.

Hall, whose participation was announced last month, won the event in 2019 in 32:27 in a race that doubled as the USATF 10 km Championships. She has eight national titles to her name and was runner-up (2:22:01) at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon last October and then in December clocked the second-fastest marathon ever by an American woman (2:20:32) at The Marathon Project in Chandler, Ariz.

Kiplagat has a storied history in New York, having won her New York City Marathon debut in 2010 and followed that with a second-place finish in the 2011 NYC Half and a victory in the 2012 Mini 10K. Outside of New York, she has won the World Championships Marathon in 2011 and 2013, the London Marathon in 2012, and the Boston Marathon in 2017.

“I am excited to return to the Mini 10K for the fifth time,” Kiplagat said. “It is a special feeling to stand on that starting line and feel the support of not only the women running with you, but all of the women who came before you. It is a very special race and I’m happy to be going back to New York City.”

In Central Park, they will be challenged by a number of athletes competing in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials later in June, including Laura Thweatt, Emma Bates, Lindsay Flanagan, Maggie Montoya and Emily Durgin. 

The event will also feature a professional wheelchair division for the third time, making it the only all-women professional wheelchair race in the world. U.S. Paralympian Scaroni is the two-time defending champion in the wheelchair division, having raced world-best 10K times in both of her victories, including a 22:22 in 2019. She followed that performance by setting an American best in the marathon of 1:30:42 to win the 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, and then took third place at the TCS New York City Marathon that fall. Scaroni will once again line up against five-time New York City Marathon champion and 17-time Paralympic medalist McFadden, who is in search of her first Mini 10K title.

“The Mini 10K always means so much to me because the feeling of being on that line surrounded by so many women reminds me of how big of a celebration road racing is for the human spirit,” Scaroni said. “This year raises even more emotions – the opportunity to again unite with one another highlights the beauty of road racing and its ability to continuously bring us together through adversity.”

 To mitigate the risk of spread of COVID-19, the professional athletes taking part will be in a controlled environment. The field will be required to provide proof of a full vaccination series or negative COVID-19 test before traveling to New York and will undergo daily COVID-19 testing and tracing while in New York for the race. There will be a separation of the pro field and general field at the start, no guests will be allowed to accompany the athletes, and they will be required to wear masks at the start and finish areas. Additionally, there will be an elimination of touchpoints, including no large gatherings or in-person meetings until race morning.

(05/25/2021) ⚡AMP
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New York Mini 10K

New York Mini 10K

Join us for the NYRR New York Mini 10K, a race just for women. This race was made for you! It’s the world’s original women-only road race, founded in 1972 and named for the miniskirt, and it empowers women of all ages and fitness levels to be active and to look and feel great on the run. Every woman who...

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New date for 2021 Union Home Mortgage Cleveland Marathon

The Union Home Mortgage Cleveland Marathon will now take place in person on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24 in downtown Cleveland, organizers announced Monday.

It was originally scheduled to take place the weekend of May 15-16.

“We are thrilled to have a date for our in-person event and can’t wait to welcome our runners, volunteers and spectators back to Cleveland,” said Jack Staph, executive director of the Union Home Mortgage Cleveland Marathon. “We remain confident in our health and safety plan that has been developed with local and state health officials and University Hospitals, and we thank our runners for their patience and understanding.”

Registration is now open.

The Union Home Mortgage Cleveland Marathon is one of the 50 oldest races in the country.

(05/24/2021) ⚡AMP
by Julia Bingel
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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...

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U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials winner, Tuliamuk Has Petitioned to Have Her Daughter Accompany Her to the Tokyo Olympics

Aliphine Tuliamuk, the winner of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, has petitioned organizers of the Tokyo Olympics to allow her four-month old baby to come to the Games with her, according to The Washington Post.

Tuliamuk, who secured her Olympic berth on February 29, 2020, and her fiancé Tim Gannon were planning to start a family after the Summer Games. But when the Games were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, they moved their timeline up, and Tuliamuk gave birth to their daughter Zoe on January 13.

In March, the International Olympic Committee announced that no foreign spectators would be allowed at the Games in August. At the moment, this means that Zoe and Gannon wouldn’t be allowed to travel to the event.

“If I’m going to perform my best, she’s going to have to be there with me—and I hope she will be,” Tuliamuk said to The Washington Post.

Tuliamuk added that Zoe is still breastfeeding and has spent very little time away from her.

In a statement to the Washington Post, the IOC said, “National Olympic Committees [NOCs] are responsible for the composition of their delegations at Games time and the IOC is aware that a small number of them have been dealing with requests from athletes to bring their children on a case-by-case basis.”

The way things are set up now, Team USA is allowed to being around 600 persons to the Games, which includes athletes, trainers, coaches, and more. If Zoe and Gannon attended, two people would have to be removed from the current roster, according to The Washington Post. No family or visitors are allowed to attend as the local government stipulations state.

The USOPC said in a statement to the Washington Post that it is handling the case, but not decision has been made yet.

Tuliamuk likely isn’t the only athlete in this situation. Other mothers in sports—such as tennis star Serena Williams, soccer star Alex Morgan, and nine-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix—have raised similar concerns.

Tuliamuk will wait until a decision is rendered to decide what to do.

“I’m grateful to know everyone is working really hard to help make this work,” Tuliamuk said. “I’m just not ready to leave her behind.”

(05/24/2021) ⚡AMP
by Andrew Dawson
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Ethiopia´s Ketema Negasa sets men’s 50K world record with 2:42:07 run in South Africa

Ethiopia’s Ketema Negasa broke the men’s 50K world record on Sunday, running 2:42:07 at the Nedbank Runified race in South Africa. Negasa led the way as he and three other runners beat American CJ Albertson‘s previous record of 2:42:30. In the women’s race, Des Linden‘s recent 2:59:54 world record remained unbeaten, but South Africa’s Irvette Van Zyl ran a national record of 3:04:23, which is the second-fastest women’s result in history.

Negasa’s record

Negasa is primarily a marathoner, but he has never been able to match the necessary times to shine in Ethiopia. He owns a marathon PB of 2:11:07, a time that would rank him in the top 10 all-time among Canadian runners but isn’t even in the top 250 results in Ethiopian history. After his run on Sunday, though, it looks like ultras may be his forte.

It’s important to note that Albertson’s world record, which he set in November 2020, came on a track, while Negasa’s run on Sunday was on the road. Ultrarunning world bests are unique in this sense, because while Albertson and Negasa ran on completely different surfaces, their runs count in the same category of the 50K in general, as the International Association of Ultrarunners introduced a rule that eliminated surface-specific records in 2014. In other World Athletics-sanctioned events, the surface comes into play. For example, the 5K and 5,000m world records both belong to Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, but they’re two different times. 

Negasa’s run worked out to an average per-kilometer pace of 3:15 for the full 50K, which helped him top Albertson’s result by 23 seconds. He crossed the line in first place, and he was followed closely by Machele Jonas, who also beat Albertson’s record with a 2:42:15 run. Third went to Mphakathi Ntsindiso in 2:42:18, and in fourth place was Kiptoo Kimaiyo Shedrack, who just beat Albertson’s record in 2:42:29. 

Irvette Van Zyl run 

Had the Nedbank Runified race been held a couple of months earlier, Van Zyl would have broken the women’s 50K world record. Since the race took place in late May, though, Van Zyl was late to the party, and her time is second-best to Linden’s. When she ran her race in Oregon, Linden became the first woman to break three hours over 50K, and she smashed Aly Dixon‘s previous record of 3:07:20.

While Van Zyl didn’t manage to beat Linden, she did crush Dixon’s result with her 3:04:23 finish, which is the new South African 50K record. Behind Van Zyl was Lilian Jepkorir Chemweno, who finished in second place in 3:05:00, which is now the third-fastest 50K in history. 

(05/24/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Canadian Cam Levins dips under Tokyo marathon standard with a week to spare

Canada's Cam Levins raced Sunday knowing it was his last shot. Two previous failed attempts lingered in the back of his mind. He ran in the rain, and all alone for the last 25 kilometers, conditions not conducive to fast times.

"(But) nothing was going to stop me today is what I told myself," Levins said.

The 32-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., finally dipped under the Tokyo Olympic standard in the marathon with just a week to spare. Levins, the Canadian record-holder in the event, ran two hours 10 minutes 30 seconds to win the S7 Marathon in the mountains in Styria, Austria.

The qualifying standard of 2:11.30 had to be accomplished before June 1.

Levins had been well on pace twice in the past seven months, in London in October, and then in Chandler, Ariz., in December. But both times, he hit the proverbial wall with a few kilometers to go. He dropped out in London and finished almost a minute off the standard in Arizona.

"In both (races) I was feeling fine until I very, very suddenly wasn't, could barely move," he said.

He was feeling "great" again on Sunday, "but I certainly thought about (the previous two attempts) as I was coming up to 34, 35K," Levins said. "I went past it and continued to feel great, and it was a pretty emotional moment getting through that and knowing that I was going to be OK."

Levins said a big part of the problem in his previous two attempts was his fuelling - not eating enough in the few days pre-race.

"I was a little concerned about putting on excess weight when I'm not training as much leading into the marathon, so the week before the race, I was careful about what my intake was," he said. "(This week), I just kind of threw that out the window, and said, 'You know what? I'm not going to worry about that.'"

He tested out his theory in a fast half-marathon time trial last month.

Sunday's conditions on an empty Austrian highway - it's currently under construction - made his performance all the more impressive.

t rained most of the way. At the 25-kilometer mark the rain was coming down in sheets.

And neither of his two pace-setters were keeping proper pace. One dropped out just five kilometers in. The other stepped off the course when Levins passed him with more than 25 kilometers left to go.

"I had to go past 17 or 18 but he was already off pace and I needed to go. So a lot of that race was by myself," Levins said. "So, I think I have lots left in the tank."

The time doesn't guarantee Levins a spot on the Tokyo Olympic team, as four Canadians have qualified and Canada can only take three.

Trevor Hofbauer is the only Canadian guaranteed a spot after winning the Canadian championship. Ben Preisner (2:10.17) and Tristan Woodfine (2:10.51) have also run the Olympic standard.

"I hope I'm selected," he told The Canadian Press from Austria. "But I definitely feel like I've done everything that I can today, and I'm proud of my effort no matter what. Hopefully this gets me on the Olympic team. I definitely did everything I could. And I'm very happy and proud of that."

(05/24/2021) ⚡AMP
by Canadian Press
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Marathon runner completes epic 110-day challenge running the same marathon course since February 1

A runner has finished an epic challenge of completing 110 marathons in 110 consecutive days.

Gary McKee ran the same 26.2 mile (42km) circuit around his home in Cleator Moor, Cumbria, UK every day since 1 February, in memory of his father.

The 51-year-old has raised more than £110,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospice at Home West Cumbria, smashing his initial target of £10,000.

Cheering crowds welcomed him home as he crossed the finish line.

He said he was pleased the town had turned out to greet him.

"I enjoyed the moment. I did look up at the sky and think of the people who you have been running for and the people you run in memory of, and there have been lots of them. I thought about my dad," he said.

"It's a wonderful feeling because everyone had a smile on their face. It has captured the imagination of the town of Cleator Moor and further afield."

Initially after completing the challenge he was holding a cup of tea to keep warm, but he said he was "looking forward to a beer".

Mr McKee is no stranger to challenges - he has previously climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked through New Zealand and ran from Land's End to John O'Groats.

He was inspired to fundraise for Macmillan after his father was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. He died from an unrelated illness in 2003.

His 16-year-old son Alfie and nephew Stuart McKee have also been taking part by cycling 110 marathons in 110 days, and a younger son, Beau, and daughter Minnie have done their own running challenges.

He has also been accompanied by friends Kevin Hetherington, who took part in 55 marathons, and Michael Watson, who joined him for 44.

Mr McKee, who would often complete a marathon before starting his shift at Sellafield, said he would not necessarily be sorry to end the challenge.

Speaking before his final run he described it as an "emotional day".

"I know that it's coming to an end and people tend to think you can't wait to get finished and have a rest," he said.

"But the way I see it is that when you finish donations stop coming in and that's a little bit of a sad part of it."

Sue McDonald, Macmillan fundraising manager for Cumbria, said: "To smash out 110 consecutive marathons is an incredible feat.

"The support from Gary's children and the community has been phenomenal - and to get messages of support from Mo Farah, Sally Gunnell and yesterday from Kevin Sinfield has given everyone such a boost over the many long days.

"There's quite a few tears of joy and pride today - and with good reason."

(05/23/2021) ⚡AMP
by BBC
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Japanese study finds just two COVID-19 cases out of 1,118 running events

In November, the Japanese Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF) released a study looking at the link between in-person running events and COVID-19 cases. At the time, the study focused on 787 races held in Japan between July and October, and just one COVID-19 case was found. The JAAF has continued with this research, and as Japan Running News (JRN) reports, the numbers are still incredibly low, and while the study now includes 1,118 races, only one other COVID-19 case has been linked to a running event, bringing the total to two.

The updated JAAF study expanded its scope to look at races held between April 1 of last year and March 31, 2021. This added many more races to the study, with a total of 1,044 track meets and 74 road races covered. These 1,118 events featured 750,389 participants (including runners and race officials), two of whom tested positive for COVID-19 within two weeks of the races they attended.

Track races accounted for most of the race participants in the year-long study period, with 568,271 runners and 147,942 officials. Of that group, one person tested positive for COVID-19. The other positive case came from one of Japan’s road races, which collectively hosted 25,936 runners and 8,240 officials.

An important note in the study is that more than half of these races did not allow spectators. There were some races that allowed fans, but most didn’t, which likely helped keep COVID-19 cases down. JRN adds that vaccinations only began in mid-April in Japan, meaning the study was in no way influenced by the vaccines’ effects.

This study is good news for the International Olympic Committee and athletes worldwide hoping to compete at the upcoming Tokyo Games, as it helps to show that sporting events (or running races, at least) can be run safely during a pandemic without becoming super-spreader events. Of course, the Olympics will be a much bigger affair than any of the races included in the study, but the JAAF’s findings are still reason to be hopeful.

(05/23/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Eliud Kipchoge wants to run ‘all major marathons’

Boston, New York, and Tokyo are on the GOAT marathoner's bucket list

Eliud Kipchoge has revealed he would like to run “all major marathons” in the remainder of his career.

Speaking to Gordon Mack on the Flotrack podcast, the GOAT marathoner said because he has already run Berlin, London, and Chicago, the remaining major marathons on his “bucket list” were Boston, New York, and Tokyo.

He said because he plans to focus firstly on the Tokyo Olympics this summer, before a busy autumn of marathons, he would “close” his bucket list before “jumping in” again on January 1 2022.

Kipchoge also suggested he might be interested in dabbling in ultrarunning for a fresh challenge.

“I would love to try 80km, 60km. I need to go to California and hike for six hours," he said. He added that he was looking forward to the next phase of his running after his professional career is over: “I’m really excited to approach life in another dimension,” he said, “to go up the mountains with different people, with different lifestyles.”

He said, “I’m really excited to instil inspiration in the youth of the whole world. To travel along the big cities, in every country if possible, to send positive vibes.”

Kipchoge was speaking to Flotrack ahead of taking part in NN Running’s MA RA TH ON virtual marathon relay this weekend. Like others taking part in the virtual race, he will run a 10.5km relay on May 22-23 which will be added to the efforts of three teammates to make up the full marathon distance.

(05/23/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Canadian Ultrarunner Runs 1,000K in Fewer Than 10 Days to Win the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee

After finishing in 148th overall in last year’s race, Morris was on a mission to win.

For the second year in a row, the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee (GVRAT) has been won by a Canadian, and once again in a record-breaking performance.

Varden Morris, 50, who lives in Calagary, Alberta and is from Jamaica, completed the 1,000K distance (a little more than 621 miles) in 9 days and 23 hours, averaging more than 100K a day. Morris beat out fellow Canadians Matthew Shepard, 33, and Crissy Parsons, 40, who finished in 13 days and 15 days, respectively.

“Honestly, I’m in disbelief,” Morris told Runner’s World. “Just hearing stuff on social media about the magnitude of what I just did. I knew it was possible but after finishing and realizing that not many people have done what I’ve done, it baffles my mind.”

Last April, Barkley Marathons creator Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell came up with the idea of hosting a virtual ultra, giving people four months to run twice the distance of the Last Vol State 500K—and more than 19,000 runners signed up. One of them was Morris, who went out with the fastest of the bunch, but due to lack of training, he picked up a few injuries and was forced to slow down. He finished 148th overall.

After that, Morris decided he wanted to win the 2021 race, so he studied the training methods of successful ultrarunners and increased his mileage. By the start of 2021, he was running about 14 miles a day for a week before upping that mileage by four miles to his daily total until he reached a max of 36 miles a day. In March alone, he covered 965 miles.

On May 1, when GVRAT finally began, Morris set out to not only win, but to also finish in fewer than 10 days.

“My strategy was to run as close to possible to the same average distance every day,” he said. “Most people try to put in most miles in the first few days. My plan was to be consistent. I went a little above my average the first day by 10 percent, but I was doing mostly the same miles every day.”

Morris ran around his neighborhood in Calgary, with a routine of running for six hours and resting for five. He rotated through three pairs of Asics shoes, and for fuel, he focused on solid foods like boiled eggs with veggies, Jamaican sweet potato pudding, toto (a Jamaican pastry), and fruit, such as grapes, bananas, oranges, and watermelon.

No day was easy. Morris said he often found himself contemplating if he would complete the run he was on. On the first day, he picked up a groin injury that lasted a couple days. Another day, he ran through rain and hail with winds over 25 mph.

“Every minute was important,” he said. “Each day was more and more difficult. There was a sense of uncertainty if I would finish. It wasn’t something easy. It was something very difficult. We just took it one day at a time.”

When Morris woke for his final push of 44 miles, he was hurting but he knew he was ahead of his fellow Canadians. His wife, who also served as his crew chief, joined him for the first 15 miles of that final push, and his daughter ran the final four miles with him.

Celebrations included a big meal at home of meat and veggies and some non-alcoholic wine. With the record in hand, Morris plans on running back across Tennessee; part of the GVRAT format allows runners to run back across Tennessee as many times as they like during the four-month period.

Morris said he will be taking it much slower back across.

During last summer’s GVRAT, Cantrell faced criticism when he deleted a GVRAT finisher’s post on Facebook that described the runner’s experience receiving racist and homophobic slurs during his runs.

(05/23/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Twenty-one dead as extreme weather hits ultramarathon in China

Hail, freezing rain and high winds hit runners at high-altitude, 100km race in Yellow River stone forest in Gansu province

Twenty-one people have died after hail, freezing rain and high winds hit runners taking part in a 100km (62-mile) ultramarathon in a mountainous part of northern China.

More than 700 rescuers and army personnel used thermal-imaging drones and radar detectors to try to find runners caught by the storm in the race in Yellow River stone forest near Baiyin in north-western Gansu province, officials said.

At around noon, the high-altitude section of the race between 20-31km was suddenly affected by disastrous weather. In a short period of time, hailstones and ice rain suddenly fell in the local area, and there were strong winds. The temperature sharply dropped,” Baiyin city mayor, Zhang Xuchen, said on Sunday.

Rescue teams were dispatched but at around 2pm, weather conditions worsened and the race was immediately called off as local authorities sent more rescuers to help, Zhang added.

“This incident is a public safety incident caused by sudden changes in weather in a local area,” he said, adding that provincial authorities will further investigate its cause.

Temperatures in the mountainous terrain dropped further overnight on Saturday, Xinhua news agency said, making search and rescue “more difficult”.

A “significant” drop in temperatures had been forecast in most parts of Gansu over the weekend but there was anger on Chinese social media that officials had failed to plan for bad weather.

“Why didn’t the government read the weather forecast and do a risk assessment?” one commentator wrote.

“This is totally a man-made calamity. Even if the weather is unexpected, where were the contingency plans?”

At the news briefing on Sunday, Baiyin officials bowed and apologised, saying they were saddened by the tragic deaths of the runners and that they were to be blamed.

The Gansu provincial government has set up an investigation team to further look into the cause of the deaths, the People’s Daily reported.

Gansu, one of China’s poorest regions, borders Mongolia to the north and Xinjiang to the west.

Yellow River stone forest is famous for its rugged mountain scenery marked by stone stalagmites and pillars, and is used as a location in many Chinese television shows and movies, according to the China Daily.

Its rock formations are believed to be 4 billion years old. Xinhua said a total of 172 people were taking part in the race.

(05/23/2021) ⚡AMP
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Mo Farah has revealed his daily routine as he trains for the Tokyo Olympics this summer

On a typical day, Farah said, he’ll have a little toast for breakfast, before going out for a 10 or 12 mile run around 9 or 9.30 am. When he has come back and showered, he might answer a few emails before taking a nap. In the afternoon he’ll go for a light jog, covering five or six miles. In total he will usually run around 17 to 18 miles, apart from Sundays when he will often do a long 20 mile run.

At the time of recording, Farah was taking part in a training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona, 7,000 feet above sea level. Farah said a handful of fellow Team GB athletes were due to join him there, including Laura Muir and Andrew Butchart.

Although he is the reigning Olympic champion, Farah still has to qualify for the games at the Müller British Athletics 10,000m Championships in Birmingham on Saturday, June 5.

Asked about his high-mileage training regime, Farah told Wicks, 'You have to be able to put in the work.' 'Anything is possible in life if you condition yourself, condition your body – you can get through it.'

He added: 'With me, I have to run that kind of distance and condition my body. I’m not just going to turn up at the Olympics and try and win off the back of one month, two months, three months – it’s the whole leading up to it. Condition your body, get yourself in the best shape that you can.'

Describing how he maintains his focus, Farah described himself as 'an addict.'

He said, 'When you go out for a run, or when you do a session, you feel that relief – that’s what drives me. Having so many people behind you and knowing you’re doing it for your country, that’s what keeps me going.'

He added, 'I think what keeps me going to this day is 2012 – what I did in 2012 and how it happened – that bit drives me every day.

'Over the years I’ve learned from races and making mistakes – it’s OK to make mistakes. If you get it wrong in a race, it’s OK! As long as you learn what went wrong, it’s easier to fix it' Farah told Wicks.

(05/22/2021) ⚡AMP
by Jacob Moreton
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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2021 Gold Coast to be biggest mass event in Australia

The Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon will be the largest mass-participation event in Australia since COVID-19 decimated the event and festival industry across the nation more than 12 months ago.

With the lure of an all-Aussie line-up on the podium this year the elite athlete participation is looking exceptional with qualifying opportunities for World Championships 2022 and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at stake.

Australians haven’t enjoyed a win in the Gold Coast Marathon since 2009 when Lauren Shelley took out the female 42.195km event and in 2006 when Lee Troop won the men’s event.

Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe welcomed the return of the Gold Coast Marathon.“We know big events like the Gold Coast Marathon are important for supporting local jobs and our economic recovery,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The Gold Coast Marathon is shaping up as significant national event which is great news for accommodation providers and the Gold Coast’s many world-class holiday experiences.”

Events Management Queensland CEO, Cameron Hart said they were anticipating between 16 – 20,000 runners this year for an event that might look and feel a little different to previous years, but it would be a fitting celebration of the return of community and mass participation events.

“We have had to make some changes to accommodate the implementation of a COVID-safe plan however, I think people understand the need for some precautions in the best interest of everyone’s health and wellbeing.

“One of the biggest changes has been moving the ASICS half marathon from Sunday morning to Saturday morning. This means the number of people in the precinct and on the course is considerably less with the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Marathon still kicking off on the Sunday morning, but a little earlier than in previous years.

“I am delighted that we have already attracted some of Australia’s greatest marathon and wheelchair marathon and half marathon athletes. With their sights on wearing the green and gold in 2022, we are set for some very serious racing.”

Destination Gold Coast and Events Management Queensland Chairman, Paul Donovan said whilst they would certainly miss the international competitors at this year’s event the fact that Australians had really embraced the opportunity to compete again would make it a spectacular experience that will revitalise the event industry.

To accommodate the mailing of all participant race kits and cater for changes in supply chains entries for the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon and associated races will close at 11:59pm on Friday June 4, 2021.

(05/22/2021) ⚡AMP
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Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is held annually in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It is Australia’s premier road race and was the first marathon in the country to hold an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label. The event is held on the first weekend of July and attracts more than...

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Study finds that 28 per cent of runners got started running during the pandemic

A recent study from RunRepeat found that 28 per cent of current runners got started in the sport during the pandemic. The study surveyed close to 4,000 individuals, and it found out more about these new runners and what they want out of running. From training motivations to race preferences, their answers may be a surprise to veteran runners. With that said, when the pandemic is considered, their responses make a lot of sense.

Race participation

While most “pre-pandemic runners,” as RunRepeat refers to them, love to race, about half of new runners aren’t too keen on the idea of competition. Of those surveyed, 63 per cent of pre-pandemic runners plan to race (either virtually or in person) in the coming 12 months, but just over 50 per cent of new runners said they will do so.

Of the runners who said they will race at some point in the next year, a whopping 85 per cent of pre-pandemic runners said they hope that event will be held in person. The new runners who said they would race, though, don’t mind virtual events as much, and only 68 per cent of the group said they want to run an in-person race.

That leaves a relatively large chunk (about 31 per cent) of new runners who would prefer to compete in virtual races. RunRepeat found that new runners are 115 per cent more likely to run a virtual race than pre-pandemic runners. At first, this might sound ridiculous to pre-pandemic runners, but it makes sense if you think about how these new runners entered the sport.

New runners didn’t get into running for races, and it was instead used as a way to pass the time and keep fit while gyms were closed around the world. Plus, new runners started running when their only competition option was to race virtually, and with no in-person events to compare these runs to, they prefer the virtual format.

Running motivations

Motivations to run also vary between the two groups. About 34 per cent of pre-pandemic runners are motivated by competition, but that only drives 22 per cent of new runners. Social interaction is another reason to get out for some people, but this only excites 11 per cent of new runners compared to 16 per cent of pre-pandemic runners. This makes sense, too, as new runners weren’t permitted to run together, so they have yet to experience the fun of group workouts.

There’s no denying that we have experienced a running boom in the past year or so, and that’s due to the pandemic. It was easy to understand why so many people picked up running during lockdown (it was one of the only activities people could do), but it wouldn’t have been as easy to guess why these new runners have stuck with the sport.

(05/22/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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HOW ULTRARUNNER TOM EVANS ESCAPES HIS COMFORT ZONE

The ultrarunner started his sporting career for a bet, and discovered a love of pushing his limits that has kept him moving ever since.

“My thought process can best be described as ‘minimal’,” laughs Tom Evans, describing his 2017 entry into the six-day, 251km Marathon des Sables, held annually in the Sahara Desert. As well as being possibly the toughest race on the planet, it also happened to be Evans’ first. “I knew it was the hardest race out there, and I thought there was no point in doing the easy ones,” he says. “I’d jump straight in at the deep end.”

Though he lacked any formal training, Evans’ self-belief carried him to an unbelievable third place – the fastest time run by any European in the race’s history – and, naturally, skyrocketed him into the world of professional ultrarunning. “I was always sporty,” explains the 29-year-old. “I represented England at rugby, hockey and athletics events while at school. Looking back, I wasn’t necessarily the best, but I always tried the hardest. After school, I realised I didn’t want to go to university, so at 18 I joined the army. I’d always felt I had something to prove, and in the army an easy way to do that was by keeping fit. The army is an endurance-based organisation, which suited me really well.”

After the Marathon des Sables, Evans capped off a successful streak by winning the 101km CCC race at the 2018 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. The following year, he left the army to pursue running full-time, and he hasn’t looked back. Next on his schedule is Red Bull’s official charity partner event the Wings for Life World Run on May 9 – a unique race with no finish line, in which runners compete against a ‘catcher car’ until it overtakes them. This year’s participants will still compete at the same time, but – due to COVID-19 restrictions – they’ll run against a virtual car, via an app.

It’ll be different from Evans’ past experiences at the annual event, but he’s a master of adaptability. Currently holed up in Loughborough with his fiancée, professional triathlete Sophie Coldwell, he’s keeping busy by switching snowy trails for road running and has even smashed the Three Peaks challenge on a treadmill. Here’s how Evans keeps pushing forward...

The Red Bulletin: You came third in the Marathon des Sables after entering for a bet. How?

Tom Evans: My friends did [the race] in 2016 and finished in the top 300. I thought I could do better, and over a few beers they bet me I couldn’t. I signed up the next morning. There’s a lot of crossover with the military, because you’re sleeping outside under the stars and pushing yourself to your limits every day. Through running the race, I discovered this ability to suffer for a very long time in the heat. Two years later, I left the army to become a full-time professional athlete.

Ultrarunning is one of the most punishing sports. Is it all down to this natural ability?

No, I train very hard and I get used to suffering. I know in any race there will come a point when I’ll want to stop. When I get there it’s like, ‘Right, I knew it was going to happen, so now’s the time to embrace it, but also know that the minute after you stop, it’s going to stop hurting.’ I think I can withstand a lot, but I want to know how long I can actually keep feeling uncomfortable for.

Many people struggled to find focus during lockdown. What kept you motivated?

It’s very easy to keep a habit once you have it, but it’s very difficult to start the habit in the first place. I think people go from never running at all to loving it. Then there’s the other side of that: as soon as you do stop something like running, it’s very difficult to start again. So, for me, it’s about keeping as much consistency as possible. I always set mid-term and long-term goals – I’m very goals-based. Having gone from boarding school to the military, I like knowing what I’m doing.

Typically I drive to the Peak District or Snowdon or the Lake District, where there are phenomenal trails, but I wasn’t able to do that in lockdown. So I started running from my door instead. Road running suits me well, because it’s easier to collect data on your run. You don’t have to pigeonhole yourself into a certain distance or event. I run because I love running, and it’s a brilliant thing to be able to do.

What’s your plan for the Wings for Life World Run?

Because it’s a charity event, my goal is to raise as much awareness for spinal cord research as I possibly can by putting in a performance that people talk about. It’s going to be a long, uncomfortable run, which is my sweet spot. I think the best way people can physically prepare is to go on the website and play around with speeds; look at how far you can get [while] running at a certain pace. Because it’s on the app, you can challenge your friends virtually, which keeps the competition alive.

(05/22/2021) ⚡AMP
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Increasing Endurance With Easy/Moderate Long Runs

You may have heard the training saying: "Easy runs easy; hard runs hard." I think there's an important addition to a well-rounded training plan, particularly for trail runners: "Medium runs medium."

The strict polarization between easy and hard serves a purpose. The grey area between aerobic threshold (an effort you can sustain for a few hours or more) and lactate threshold (around an hour, with variance) is a bit like a vacation to Cancun. It's fun to visit, but stay there too long and it starts to wear out its welcome, and before long you'll be covered in sunburn welts while Ted Cruz walks by in the saddest Hawaiian shirt. Countless running careers have been undercut in that grey area.

But that doesn't mean the grey area is all bad. 

It gets back to the old correlation versus causation conundrum. Athletes that do their easy runs with too much effort likely have an overall approach to training that is less sustainable. They chase the quick gains and more impressive Strava files from moderate running, get some of those quick gains, then assume that those gains will continue. At that point, the transition from rapid initial gains to marginal long-term gains pulls them out to the deep end. They keep doing many moderate runs, see less progress, fail to adapt their training to a more polarized approach, and eventually find themselves treading water via injury or stagnation.

As discussed in this article on the science and art of easy running, that model plays out every year in college programs across the country. Faster easy running often coincides with faster racing, leading to an association that can undercut growth after the aerobic, endocrine and nervous systems rebel against the chronic stress. Or in athletes that start their running journey later in life, any run might be moderate at first, creating an understanding that all running should be moderate even as fitness grows. That's when you'll sometimes have success with interventions involving heart rate caps, since excessive moderate running can undermine both low-level aerobic efficiency and upper-level aerobic capacity.

The key word there is "excessive"-we don't need to throw the moderate-running baby out with the polarized-training bathwater. In fact, I am going on the record to say I am against throwing out babies or bathwater altogether. I am brave to take that stand, thank you for saying so.

The key word there is "excessive"-we don't need to throw the moderate-running baby out with the polarized-training bathwater. In fact, I am going on the record to say I am against throwing out babies or bathwater altogether. I am brave to take that stand, thank you for saying so.

In coaching, my wife Megan and I rarely program specific "moderate" days because these grey-area runs can be counterproductive when they are inefficient, like when completed on sore legs or during periods of high life stress. That is why doing moderate running all the time can be so negative-if an athlete feels like crap and forces the pace, it becomes a hard run that can tear them down. Instead, we use the looser term "easy/moderate." 

Easy/moderate definition

Easy/moderate runs involve starting very easy. As the run progresses, athletes have permission to find ease of motion without urgency, while covering ground with smooth flow on flats/downhills and efficient purpose on uphills. The runs are faster if an athlete feels good, slower if they don't. Heart rate may be below aerobic threshold on downhills and flats, and closer to lactate threshold on climbs. Essentially, easy/moderate runs allow training to be dictated by the body and brain, rather than obligation to numbers on a plan or compulsion to push each day to the limit. Two major physiological principles are important to apply easy/moderate runs.

Principle One: Steady running around aerobic threshold can have major benefits for endurance, or major negative effects when forced

Coach Renato Canova works with many of the best marathoners of all time, and these types of steady effort long runs are key to his system. In his book Marathon Training: A Scientific Approach, Canova refers to steady effort runs as being around what he calls aerobic lipidic power, essentially meaning the effort is both fast and sustainable. His training system for marathoners revolves around increasing that power so that output at lactate threshold and aerobic threshold get very close together. That's why the top marathoners don't look like they're breathing all that hard at 5-minute miles-they have wildly impressive output around aerobic threshold.

Steady runs may improve lipid oxidation at higher outputs, whereas purely easy runs don't always have the same benefit. In addition, these runs could improve the power and recruitment of Type-I slow-twitch muscle fibers, while also spurring the production of mitochondria and capillaries. And since the runs are faster, the muscular output is greater, leading to more strength.

But there are downsides too. Go too hard, and some of those aerobic benefits erode away, while endocrine and nervous system stresses go sky-high. A steady run forced on tired legs leads to injury risk, with little benefit other than mental toughness. And if you're after mental toughness through increased discomfort, you could just stick your finger in the trash compactor. 

The goal is to run with as much pace as possible with as little effort as possible, since that is when running economy improves the most. And we don't want to have to call a plumber to clean the trash compactor.

We frame these runs as easy/moderate to emphasize that athletes should err on the side of relaxed. The goal is to run with as much pace as possible with as little effort as possible, since that is when running economy improves the most. And we don't want to have to call a plumber to clean the trash compactor.

Principle Two: In trail running, athletes must train for the specific musculoskeletal demands of running efficiently over varied terrain

Steady runs are especially important for marathoners, who often use long runs to lock into faster paces. Meanwhile, easy/moderate runs are geared toward trail runners who are running over varied terrain, with different paces, outputs and even form depending on the trail. The trail athletes face a much wider range of musculoskeletal and biomechanical stresses, emphasizing the ATHLETE part of being a runner. Easy/moderate runs build specific adaptations to uphills and downhills, particularly during long runs that start to approximate race pace for ultra runners. We like athletes to apply five rules to add some structure to these unstructured effort days.

Guideline One: Start easy for the first 10 minutes

Let the body kick into a fully aerobic gear. No pace is too slow, like all easy runs.

Guideline Two: Let your body dictate the effort by finding ease of motion, without urgency

After those 10 minutes, listen to your body. What is it saying? "I feel good and fresh" = time to let the effort roll. "I am a bit ragged" = take it easier. "Five, five dollar, five dollar foot loooong" = go to Subway post-run. The cue of finding ease is what I like athletes to lock into in ultra races, and easy/moderate long runs are great for practice.

Guideline Three: Flow on the downs and smooth on the flats

On downhills, heart rate will be lower, so it's a good time to practice running with focused, purposeful flow. As you adapt to the musculoskeletal demands, downhills will become free speed. On flatter terrain, embody smoothness with relaxed arms and no urgency.

Guideline Four: Efficient purpose on the ups, with the option to progress effort on good days

Easy/moderate runs can become extra effective workouts for trail runners due to the uphill stress. If you walk most of the ups in training, try to run a bit more. If you walk some of the ups, try to run all but the steepest grades. If you rarely walk, add a bit more power into your stride. For all athletes, on days you feel good, some of the steeper ups may approach lactate threshold effort, and that's great for fitness. Just make sure you're not fading too hard as the run goes on, which may indicate pacing that exceeds your current fitness levels.

Guideline Five: Fuel well

Because easy/moderate runs are higher overall effort, they are also higher risk. Fueling is key to improve endurance and adapt to the training you are doing, while also mitigating some of that risk. 

For our athletes, easy/moderate long runs on trails are a staple outside of base period. Sometimes, they will even include 20-30 minute moderately hard tempo runs after a warm-up, which is how we can spur more long-distance adaptations without doing 30 or 40 mile runs in training. Every 4-6 weeks, a mid-week trail run may be a similar approach, often in aerobic build weeks.

Easy/moderate means that you're giving your body the love and respect to let it tell you what it's ready for. Use these runs in the context of a well-rounded training plan with high-end speed and low-end aerobic development, and your body will probably be telling you that it's ready for race-day breakthroughs.

(05/22/2021) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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Five tips to help you deal with pre-competition nerves

Feeling anxious before a major competition is normal. Our fight-or-flight response has helped us humans to survive all these years. Nowadays, it helps us to be ready for a major physical challenge by increasing glucose in our blood and making us feel alert.

But pre-competition nerves can become excessive to the point of having a detrimental effect on your performance. Thankfully, though, there are plenty of strategies which we can use to dampen down the effects of anxiety before competition.

During the many years I competed as an elite athlete, I found myself feeling anxious before major competitions all the time. Through experimenting and practice, I honed a pre-race routine which helped me to feel calm, yet focused completely on delivering my all in the forthcoming race. But everyone is different, and what works for one person will differ from the next. What matters is what works for you, so it’s worth spending time testing out various ways of dealing with nerves. When you arrive at a strategy that works, write it down and stick with it!

My tips for managing nerves are as follows:

1. Plan ahead on practicalities

Logistical mishaps on, for example, transport and your kit are things which, if they go wrong, generate high anxiety. Eliminating this as a potential source of nerves is an easy win, by being fully on top of all these things in advance. During the current pandemic, complying with Covid-safety measures makes being organised about logistics even more important.

2. Just do your best

Worries about how you will perform compared to your rivals or others’ expectations can be debilitating. But ultimately, all you can do is your best, on any given day, whatever level that is. If you give it 100% no matter what, you can walk away knowing you could not have done better, regardless of the result. Focusing on this is a good strategy for banishing anxieties about comparisons. Spending a few moments visualising yourself delivering a good performance can also help.

3. Less is more

Immediately before an event, rest is vital. So resist the temptation to squeeze in more training, hoping that a final training session will help on competition day. Training takes time to have an effect and last-minute exertion is more likely to tire you out than make you perform better. If you are well-rested, you are more likely to perform well.

4. Have a goal

Plans do not always work out, but simply having a goal gives you something to focus on if you feel anxious before an event. Goals can be adjusted during an event – they need not be set in stone.

5. Transport yourself away

Finding an absorbing activity like reading a gripping novel or watching an exciting film will stop you from over-thinking the event or worrying excessively. Activities like this can be mentally refreshing and bring you to the start line feeling excited and ready to produce a massive physical effort.

The fight-or-flight response means we have peaks and troughs in our states of preparedness for any major challenge. To be on your top form when necessary, you must allow time and space for the troughs, i.e. for resting and decompressing. So along with learning how to manage nerves before competition, always make time for a good rest afterwards to recharge.

(05/22/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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How Much Will Hitting the Wall Hurt Your Marathon Time?

New big-data study digs into hitting the wall in the marathon, revealing who is most likely to crash, when, and how much it will cost you.

A massive new analysis of marathon splits and finish times provides us with more information on “hitting the wall” than anything previously published. It also answers some questions we have never thought to ask before.

Ireland’s Barry Smyth became interested in marathon data about five years ago. Since then, he has published a handful of big-data articles analyzing performances and even the training behind performance. He has summarized some of this work in nontechnical articles at Medium.com. Smyth is director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at University College Dublin.

In his new paper, “How recreational marathon runners hit the wall: A large-scale analysis of late-race pacing collapse in the marathon,” Smyth dug into an astonishing 4.1 million marathon performances achieved by 2.7 million different runners from 2005 to 2019. For each performance, he collected every 5K split (8 of them per marathon), plus the final 2.195K split. The paper is published by PLOS One and is available in free, full-text form. 

Smyth eventually refined his list of runners to 717,000 unique individuals for whom he could locate multiple marathon performances. This allowed him to draw conclusions about the career arc of individual performances. He managed to collect marathon finish-times that extended backwards and forward nine years from the time of each runner’s personal best marathon.

With all this data, Smyth could have chosen to concentrate on any number of different explorations. In this paper, he focused on: male vs female HTW (hitting the wall) differences, how much time you will lose when you HTW, and when in your career you are most likely to HTW.

A last preliminary note: Smyth established an arbitrary but objective definition for HTW. He took runners’ splits from 25K to the finish, and compared this pace with their splits from 5K to 20K. Runners who slowed by at least 20 percent for at least a 5K distance late in the race were defined as HTW-ers.

Who’s more likely to hit the wall, a male marathoner or a female marathoner?

The guy. No contest. Twenty-eight percent of male runners hit the wall versus just 17 percent of female runners. This data held relatively constant for different ability levels and age-groups.

Women tended to hit the wall slightly sooner than men — at 29.3K vs 29.6K — but their bad patch lasted slightly less distance than the men’s — 9.61K vs 10.7K. This meant that more women recovered from their slow running prior to the finish line than men.

How much time will you lose when you hit the wall?

On average, men lost 31.5 minutes and the women lost 33.2 minutes.

Men slowed more when they hit the wall, suffering a relative slowdown of 40 percent vs 37 percent for women. This was calculated by comparing the runner’s finish time in the given HTW marathon with their best marathon time in recent years.

The time difference is a trivial amount, mostly influenced by the well-established male-female gap in marathon finish times. In Smyth’s data set, men who HTW had an average finish time of 4:37 vs women who averaged 5:07.

When in your marathon career are you most likely to hit the wall?

Both men and women are most likely to hit the wall in the three years prior to their PR effort. This is the point where you are improving, and “going for it,” but maybe haven’t put all the pieces together yet. During this 3-year period, 40% of men are likely to HTW vs 28% of women.

During years 4–9 prior to your PR, the equivalent percentages are lower: 26% (men) and 16% (women). In the three years after your PR, the percentages are 32% (men) and 21% (women). Smyth speculates that we may ease off on the throttle a bit in the years after a PR.

Who suffers most from HTW, fast runners or slower runners?

The answer here is faster runners, which is a bit counterintuitive. You might expect that they have less to lose. However, Smyth’s data shows the opposite. “Faster runners are associated with higher costs when they hit the wall,” he noted in an email. This is both an absolute and relative cost.

Smyth believes this finding is a function of the fact that fast runners have very fast personal records. When they attempt to beat these records, they risk a lot. Also, slower runners may have proportionally slower PRs. They might not have tried as hard in their marathon bests as fast runners did. This means that slower runners may have more margin for error if they mis-pace a marathon.

Here’s a table with data from a few marathons (including the 6 world marathon majors) showing an example of Smyth’s approach:

The Big Picture: Make Better Decisions

In his concluding remarks, Smyth notes that his huge data set allows him to do lots of slicing and dicing.

Yet he cautions that we shouldn’t lose sight of the big picture. The reasons for HTW and the outcomes of HTW are largely similar across all runners: You probably didn’t train enough, you probably didn’t pace the marathon correctly, maybe you didn’t fuel and hydrate properly… and, as a result, you’re going to pay a price — a steep price.

“Runners and coaches have the potential to impose some level of control on whether a runner will hit the wall by focusing on making better decisions,” he writes. He adds that these better decisions could be especially helpful to male runners and to all marathoners who are chasing a personal record.

(05/22/2021) ⚡AMP
by Podium Runner
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Chris Balestrini and Krista DuChene break Canadian 50K records

On a hot, sunny morning in Hamilton, Ont., Chris Balestrini and Krista DuChene ran a blazing-fast 50K, both setting new Canadian records of 2:48:32 and 3:22:22, respectively. Both athletes took several minutes off the previous Canadian records, proving that a little early summer heat wasn’t going to get in their way.

Balestrini’s run improves on Cal Neff’s 50K record by nearly three minutes, which he set earlier this year in Texas in 2:51:27.

Prior to the run, Balestrini told us he was confident he could outdo Neff’s record-setting pace of 3:26 per kilometer, which he did handily, holding an average pace of 3:25 per kilometer. Balestrini is a 2:17 marathoner, but this was his first official ultramarathon.

On the women’s side, DuChene shattered the previous Canadian record set by Catrin Jones in 2015 at the IAU 50K World Championships in Doha, Qatar, where she ran 3:28:20. Duchene’s 3:22 lowers that record by an incredible six minutes, making her average pace per kilometer 4:02 for the win.

This was DuChene’s second ultra of her career, having run a 54 kilometer trail race last fall. That run, she told us, gave her confidence knowing that she’d already completed the distance once before.

There have been no official results posted yet, so currently there is no news of how Phil Parrot-Migas or Rachel Hannah finished.

(05/21/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Unusual chance for SA runners to qualify for Olympic marathon, ASA approves a 50km race to act as qualifier

Athletics SA (ASA) is planning to use the Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50km ultra-marathon in Gqeberha on Sunday as part of the qualifiers for the 42.2km Olympic marathon.

The banking giants put together a race to allow the top ultra-marathon runners an opportunity to break the 50km world record. Also in the running are athletes from East Africa among other internationals.

Given lack of opportunities for standard marathon (42.2km) events in SA currently, due to Covid-19, ASA will allow the local athletes to use the race to qualify for the Olympics in an unprecedented development.

The men's qualifying time is 2:11:30, while the women's is 2:29:30. This means those who qualify will be timed for the first 42.2km they run in the 50km race. This development should come as good news to local Olympic hopefuls who had already given up on qualifying due to lack of races and opportunity to travel for races abroad.

The deadline for Olympic marathon qualification is at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, the eagerly awaited 50km ultra-marathon record attempt on Sunday will start with the women's race at 7.15am, and followed by the men's race at 7.45am. Britain’s Aly Dixon is the women's 50km record holder with a time of 3:07:20, while the men's record is held by the late SA long-distance sensation Thompson Magawana.

Magawana clocked 2:43:38 when he won the Two Oceans 50km ultra-marathon race in 1988.

Comrades Marathon champion Gerda Steyn, three-time Soweto Marathon champion Irvette van Zyl and former Comrades champion Charne Bosman will spearhead the SA women's challenge against the foreign contingent of Bashanke Bilo (Ethiopia), Dominika Stelmach (Poland) and Russian Alexandra Marozova.

Philemon Mathiba of Nedbank Running Club, Lutendo Mapoto and Sithembiso Mqhele of the Murray & Roberts Running Club are some of the prominent male runners confirmed for the historic event in Gqeberha.

The winner in both men's and women's races will walk home with the prize money of R100,000.

“It is all systems go and we are happy and are behind this race. We see this as a chance for the men and women who have not qualified for the Olympics to try their luck [to qualify]. We will measure their time by 42.2km and if they go on to finish the 50km race that would be a bonus,” ASA president James Moloi told Sowetan yesterday.

(05/21/2021) ⚡AMP
by Charles Bayoli
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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2021 Akron Marathon Announces Blue Line Striders Training Program with SummaCare and Summa Health

The Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health is thrilled to announce its Blue Line Striders training series in partnership with SummaCare, giving its running community a sneak peek into the new FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay course.

During the Blue Line Striders training runs, happening once a month leading up to race day, participants will have the opportunity to run different sections of the Akron Marathon course. Additionally, each time runners meet, a doctor from Summa Health will join to discuss a health topic common for runners. All distances and paces are welcome!

Each Blue Line Striders training run has been carefully chosen based on the training plans outlined by the Akron Marathon and is the perfect supplement to assist runners leading up to each race.

Blue Line Striders training runs will begin at 7:00 a.m. and will preview sections of the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon course:

4 miles: Sat., June 12, Relay Leg 1, 199 S. Broadway St, Akron, OH 44308

7 miles: Sat., July 10, Relay Leg 2, 199 S. Broadway St, Akron, OH 44308

7 miles: Sat., Aug. 21, Relay Leg 4, 1466 N. Portage Path, Akron, OH 44313

12 or 20 miles: Sat., Sept. 4, 199 S. Broadway St, Akron, OH 44308

Runner’s Choice: Sat., Oct. 9, 499 Memorial Parkway, Akron, OH 44310 

“As the new presenting sponsor of this year's Akron Marathon Race Series, Summa Health is actively making a deeper connection with our blue liners and supporting runners not only on race day, but throughout their training season in a meaningful way,” states Anne Bitong, president and CEO of the Akron Marathon. “This program is their way to show its incredible level of support, and was designed to act as the perfect complement to the Akron Marathon training calendar.”

Topics discussed by Summa Health physicians will include common spring/summer injuries, the importance of long runs, the importance of cross-training/core work/stretching, personal record tips, avoiding the wall, and post-race recovery.  

“We are thrilled to bring the expertise of our physicians to those participating in the Blue Line Striders Training Series,” said Dr. Nilesh Shah, Summa Health Sports Medicine Medical Director. “We know physical activity can sometimes come with injuries. By having these discussions, we hope to foster a safe and fun running environment for all, regardless of pace or experience.”

(05/21/2021) ⚡AMP
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Akron Marathon Race Series

Akron Marathon Race Series

The marquee event of the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series, the Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay presented by First Energy receives a fresh new look ! Runners will experience an unforgettable start inside the historic grounds of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens before taking an exclusive foot tour of the City of Akron. The Goodyear Half...

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Košice Peace Marathon registration now open

The oldest marathon in Europe will take place for the 98th time on Sunday, October 3, 2021.

If you want to be part of it, sign up now and enjoy the unique atmosphere of this running feast. Breathtaking history, enthusiastic spectators and a fast course make this marathon one of a kind.

The Košice Peace Marathon offers many other projects and activities throughout the year. One of them is the large charity event called VSE City Run.

This time we’re going to run for the Mental Health League. It provides irreplaceable services and therapy for those who need to seek help for their soul.

This year, VSE City Run will take place in virtual form. Thanks to the latest technologies, namely the iWatt mobile app, you will be able to participate in this event from anywhere in the world from June 6 until June 20, 2021.

All runners will collect kilometers to reach the common ambitious goal of 400,000 kilometres. Ten times around our planet. And if that goal is met, it will be turned into financial aid for the Mental Health League.

(05/21/2021) ⚡AMP
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kosice Peace Marathon

kosice Peace Marathon

The Kosice Peace Marathon is the oldest European marathon.This year for the organizers of Kosice Peace Marathon is also about memories and flashbacks. One of the fastest marathon courses has been created in Košice 20 years ago on that occasion it was the 1997 IAAF World Half Marathon Champioships. Tegla Loroupe and Shem Kororia were awarded from the hands of...

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Ultra-Marathoners Share Their Top Tips for Every Kind of Runner

Here are their tips to help you achieve your running goals.

Schedule time to run

It might sound silly, but practically every athlete recommended setting time aside in your schedule. “The less I have to decide, the easier it is to get out,” explains Bradley. “I stick to a similar run plan week to week and month to month, so I don’t have to even think about getting out the door, I just do it.”

Sharman, the Leadville 100 Trail Champion in 2017, agrees: “Create a routine and stick to it unless you have genuine reasons not to. After a couple of weeks, the routine will become the norm and will be much more self-reinforcing.”

Even when you’re traveling, carve out some time for yourself to run

“For me that involves morning runs/activity to get me out the door and to kickstart my day,” Allen says. “When I travel and don’t know where I’m going, it can seem overwhelming, but if I’m committed to [it], I can have a general plan to explore and it usually works out in the end.”

Sign up for a race

“Find an event to sign up for that is just a little bit outside of your comfort zone,” suggests Boulet. “It will help motivate you to get out and train if you’ve paid your entry fee and declared to your friends and family (some of whom will hopefully join you!) that you will do this event.”

It helps if the race is in a beautiful place or somewhere you’ve had on your bucket list for ages, adds Bradley. “It makes it a lot easier to stick with it when everything starts to fall apart when you are in love with the project, race or goal.”

Hire a coach

While a few of these athletes are paid to run (and do it full time), many juggle full-time jobs with their passion for running. One commonality is the insight a coach can provide. “Not only does it take a lot of the strategic guesswork off my plate, but it also gives me another person to be accountable to,” Bowman says.

If a coach is out of the question, look for support in running groups

Coaches can be expensive, and that might be out of the question for you. There are other options to hold yourself accountable. When Boulet doesn’t feel like running, she reaches out to her network. “I have an extra cup of coffee and call a friend to schedule a running date,” she says. “Making a commitment to meet someone always works for me.”

Get out the door

Mental toughness is something that these athletes have in spades. They head out on practice runs that dwarf my measly 20- to 30-mile weeks. But if you don’t feel you have it, don’t fret. “Toughness is not something you’re born with, it’s a skill you can gain with practice,” Boulet says. “Practice being tough in regular training or it won’t be there on race day,” Sharman adds.

If you don’t feel an urge to get up and run every single day, that’s okay. “I like to get out the door even if I’m feeling tired,” Allen says. “I tell myself to see how I feel for the first ten minutes and I go from there.”

No matter what your training day looks like, remember to listen to your body

Sometimes you’ll jump up out of bed and hit the road. Other days, you might feel lazy and not want to go. Do it for your mental health, or bargain with yourself. “I remind myself how much better I feel after running than I did before,” Boulet says.

But remember to take rest days, too. “A common mistake for newer ultra and trail runners isn’t that they aren’t training hard enough, it’s that they aren’t training smart enough and respecting rest and recovery,” says Krar. “Remember that a single run or single race does not define you. There will be bumps along the way and they’re to be expected. Most importantly, run with a purpose. Show up and do your best.”

A little mental prep goes a long way

Everyone needs a little help to get through a long-distance race. The monotony of one foot in front of the other can use a spike. “I’ve used mediation apps like Headspace and Calm,” says Bowman. “These apps cultivate mental and emotional poise, so when adversity inevitably arises, I’m less likely to be overwhelmed by it.”

Running is a journey (literally), so “don’t aim for the stars, aim for the trees,” Bosio says. “Make resolutions that are reasonably attainable. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t stick with it 100 percent. Tomorrow is always another day!”

 

 

(05/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Meg Lappe
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New York City Marathon could boost city economy

There is yet another sign of the economy jogging steadily forward out of pandemic recession: the organizers of the New York Marathon say it will be run again this year—on November 7—after last year’s event was cancelled. COVID-19 shut down marathons and sporting events of every kind around the world in 2020, which meant a lot of lost revenue for cities and businesses.

This year’s New York Marathon will be smaller. It will have 33,000 runners instead of more than 50,000 in 2019. There will be staggered start-times to prevent crowding, and runners will be subject to whatever COVID restrictions and test protocols are in effect in the fall. 

When the 2020 marathon was cancelled in New York City, more was lost than 26-miles of sweat and strain for the runners. “The economic impact is quite significant,” said Scott Rosner, academic director of the Sports Management Program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. He has run in the New York City marathon himself.

Rosner said that for big cities, marathons bring entry fees and charity fundraising plus “all the visitors.” He said it helps because “hotel occupancy rates are high, you know, street vendors, especially on the race route.”

Overall, this kind of event will likely bring in tens of millions of dollars for New York according to sports economist Andrew Zimbalist at Smith College. But this year it means more than just money, he said “Symbolically, it’s significant because we’re coming back, and with the marathon and sports generally, it’s a community re-establishing itself.”

Zimbalist said, however, the really big money for cities still depends on fully restoring professional team sports like baseball, football, basketball and hockey. 

(05/20/2021) ⚡AMP
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...

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2021 Grandma's Marathon announces post race concert

Five local groups will take the stage at Bayfront Festival Park on Saturday, June 19 as part of the 45th annual Grandma’s Marathon weekend, it was announced today.

The all-day celebration, which is free and open to all ages, was moved to Bayfront this year from its traditional place near the finish line in Canal Park. Rock-a-Billy-Revue will kick the off the live show at 9:00 a.m. Saturday and be followed throughout the day by Boxcar, Whiskey Trail, and Big Wave Dave & The Ripples.

“The past year has been extremely tough for so many in Duluth and our surrounding communities, and we feel very fortunate and honored to have received such generous support through the years,” Finance & Operations Director Linda Hanson said. “This is an opportunity not just to celebrate a job well done but also to provide a huge thank you to everyone who has ever been part of Grandma’s Marathon. There is no doubt we would not be here without each and every one of them.”

Participants in both Grandma’s Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon will receive a free drink ticket after completing their race, and those tickets can be redeemed all day Saturday at Bayfront Festival Park. Beverages will be provided by Superior Beverages & Coca-Cola, and food will be provided by Famous Dave’s.

Bayfront Festival Park will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 19. Sounds Unlimited will play music between sets, and a full lineup of the day’s live music is below:

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Rock-a-Billy Revue

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Boxcar

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Big Wave Dave & The Ripples

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Whiskey Trail

7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Big Wave Dave & The Ripples

Boxcar will also play a live set on Friday, June 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. following the 27th annual William A. Irvin 5K, which will start and finish for the first time this year in Bayfront Festival Park. Admission for that show is also free and open to all ages.

The musical lineup is one of several pieces Grandma’s Marathon has added back into its 2021 weekend plan following the recent loosening of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. Another significant change will be that masks or face coverings will no longer be required, though still strongly encouraged, through most parts of the weekend’s events.

“Grandma’s Marathon is a large event that is still going to attract people from all over the country, from all different walks of life, and potentially with many different comfort levels,” Marketing & Public Relations Director Zach Schneider said. “We want everyone involved to feel as comfortable and as safe as possible, so we encourage everyone to take proper precautions in terms of masks and distancing even in areas it’s not technically required by the guidance.”

The only area where masks or face coverings will still be required is on the shuttle bus before and after the race, in keeping with current public transportation guidelines.

(05/20/2021) ⚡AMP
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Grandmas Marathon

Grandmas Marathon

Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...

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American Olympic steeplechaser Colleen Quigley signs with Lululemon

American Olympic steeplechaser Colleen Quigley announced on Instagram on Wednesday that she has signed a new sponsorship deal with Lululemon. The former Nike athlete has been without a sponsor since February, and in her announcement video explained she chose Lululemon because she wanted a sponsor that “understood the whole me.”

This is the second big announcement from Quigley this year, coming a few months after she surprised the running world when, in early February, she left the Bowerman Track Club, where she’d been training for five years. Her new coach is Josh Seitz, who worked with her while she attended Florida State University.

Quigley explains her decision on her website in a post titled “Why lululemon?” In this post, she talks about the expectations that are often placed on professional runners and what they’re told they should or shouldn’t do, and explains that she no longer wants to let that dictate her actions.

“This runner does more than run. And finally this runner will no longer work with brands or people who don’t accept and even celebrate every side of her both off and on the track,” she said.

Along with her announcement, she has included a contest in which she is giving away four $150 Lululemon gift cards and four pieces of autographed Lululemon apparel. If you want to enter the contest you must first subscribe to Quigley’s newsletter.

(05/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei misses 3K WR in Ostrava

All eyes were on Joshua Cheptegei ahead of Wednesday’s Ostrava Golden Spike meet in the Czech Republic, as the 24-year-old Ugandan was looking to break the 3,000m world record. Cheptegei ended up running to a disappointing finish, falling well short of the record, but the meet was far from uneventful, as several other athletes posted remarkable times. Among these impressive performances were runs from teenaged Brits Max Burgin and Keely Hodgkinson in the men’s and women’s 800m races and an amazing showing from Cheptegei’s compatriot Jacob Kiplimo in the 10,000m. 

Cheptegei falls short 

Cheptegei had an incredible 2020 season that saw him run three world records (5K, 5,000m and 10,000m) in four races. He had already raced twice in 2021 ahead of Wednesday’s meet, and he was itching to add another record to his resume, so he targeted Kenyan Daniel Komen‘s 3,000m mark of 7:20.67, which has been the time to beat for 24 years.

Before the run, Cheptegei’s agent, Jurrie van der Velden, told LetsRun.com that this record could be the toughest one Cheptegei has tried to beat, and after he finished 13 seconds behind Komen’s time on Wednesday, that appears to be true. Cheptegei opened the race on world record pace, and he passed through the first 1,600m in 3:55. He proceeded to slow considerably in the following few laps, though, and crossed the line far off the world record. 

British domination 

Young Brits won both 800m races. Hodgkinson’s win wasn’t too much of a surprise, as she has had a tremendous season so far. The 18-year-old opened her season in Austria in January with a U20 indoor 800m world record of 1:59.03 (which American Athing Mu lowered a month later with a 1:58.40 run in Arkansas), and she followed that up with a win in the women’s 800m at the European Indoor Championships. On Wednesday, she broke two minutes for the first time outdoors, winning the women’s race in Ostrava in 1:58.89, which is a new U20 European record. 

The men’s 800m was the first race of the season for Burgin, but he ran extremely well and took the win in 1:44.14. Like Hodgkinson, Burgin (who turns 19 on Thursday) now owns the U20 European 800m record, and his result in the Czech Republic is a new world-leading time for 2021. Both Hodginson’s and Burgin’s times are under the Olympic 800m standards. 

Kiplimo crushes the 10,000m 

With all of the attention on Cheptegei, Kiplimo managed to fly under the radar until his race. Then, lining up in the men’s 10,000m, the 20-year-old flew away from the rest of the field, and 25 laps later, he stopped the clock in 26:33.93. This is a new world-leading time, it crushed the second-place finisher (who crossed the line in 27:07.49) and it shattered Kiplimo’s previous PB of 27:26.68 by close to a full minute. Before the race, Kiplimo said he was hoping to break 27 minutes, and he accomplished this goal with ease. His result now puts him at seventh-best in history at the distance. 

Canadian sprints 

Canadian sprinters Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown were both in action in Ostrava. De Grasse raced the 100m, and he crossed the line in 10.17 seconds. He finished in third place behind American Fred Kerley (9.96) and Justin Gatlin (10.08). Brown also finished in third place, although he raced the 200m. Brown ran 20.40 seconds, and he finished behind Kenny Bednarek of the U.S. (19.93) and Kerley (20.27). Both De Grasse and Brown are set to race at the Gateshead Diamond League on Sunday in the U.K.

(05/19/2021) ⚡AMP
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2021 Boilermaker Logo Unveiled

The Boilermaker Road Race conducted a press conference on Wednesday to commemorate one of its favorite traditions, the unveiling of an annual race logo. Since 1992, the non-profit organization has sought to create a distinct design, both identifiable with the Boilermaker brand yet unique to each and every race.

The 2021 logo, designed by race sponsor McGrogan Design, is especially significant for a variety of reasons. Most notably, it is associated with a historic version of the almost 44-year old road race. 2021 will see the first live, in-person Boilermaker run outside of its traditional second Sunday in July date. The new logo prominently features the permanent finish line arch on Court Street, a Utica landmark, and also represents a shift from the organization’s recurring color scheme to a fall-themed color palette.

“This unique take on Boilermaker 44 pays respect to the challenging and historic circumstances we find ourselves in while also looking forward to much better days, just ahead,” said Boilermaker Marketing Director, Jordan Peters. “The beloved finish line arch is a perfect symbol for the reunion of the Boilermaker with its community this fall.”

Race officials also addressed registration dates and information for the 2021 race at the press conference. Although not yet in a position to open registration due to questions surrounding its permitted race capacity, officials are targeting mid-June to make such information available with registration shortly thereafter.

Coinciding with the logo unveiling, the Boilermaker has made available, for online purchase only, a small number of limited edition performance shirts featuring the new logo set against an outline of the iconic race course. They can be found by visiting boilermaker.com while supplies last. 

(05/19/2021) ⚡AMP
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Boilermaker 15k

Boilermaker 15k

The Boilermaker 15K is the premier event of Boilermaker Weekend. This world krenowned race is often referred to as the country's best 15K. The Boilermaker 15K is recognized for its entertaining yet challenging course and racing's best post-race party, hosted by the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, featuring Saranac beer and a live concert! With 3 ice and water stops every...

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British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith lays down Tokyo marker with 200m win

Seb Coe, who knows a thing or two about winning Olympic titles, is convinced that Dina Asher-Smith will be Team GB’s poster girl in Tokyo. Her rivals in the 100m and 200m will have something to say about that, but there were encouraging signs as Asher-Smith blitzed her way to victory in her first outdoor race of the season in Savona.

Asher-Smith has not competed in the 200m since winning world championship gold in Doha in October 2019. But in a low-key meeting in Italy all her familiar traits – including a lightning start and a bend so exquisite that the Italian commentator shouted “mamma mia!” as she powered round it – were evident as she came home in 22.56sec.

The 25-year-old would have perhaps wanted to go a touch faster, given the Olympics are scheduled to start in 10 weeks. But her dominance was clear with her closest challenger, Britain’s Beth Dobbin, more than half a second back at 23.06sec.

“It’s good to be back on track and it’s good to be back doing the 200m,” Asher-Smith said. “It has been a year-and-a-half since the world championships in Qatar and since I was doing my last 200m, so it’s nice to be back over that distance again.”

However she knows bigger tests await, starting in 10 days when she races in Gateshead against the reigning 200m Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, the double Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and the new American sensation Sha’Carri Richardson. “My next race is the Diamond League in Gateshead,” said Asher-Smith. “I am really excited to be running at home. It will be nice.”

Another Briton, Andrew Pozzi, opened his summer with victory in the 110m hurdles with 13.42sec. But the performance of the night came from the Italian Marcell Jacobs, who set the national record in the 100m with a storming 9.95sec run.

(05/19/2021) ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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The athletes' NN Running Team is organizing a global online mass run and Kipchoge, Bekele and Cheptegei are set to participate

Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is set to take part in an online virtual mass run this weekend (22-23 May) along with some 30,000 members of the public who have signed up.

Organised by the Kenyan's Dutch-based NN Running Team, the event - dubbed MA RA TH ON - is being held for the second time. In 2020, some 106,000 registrations were accepted, with participants clocking a distance far enough to run around the world 28 times.

"I am really excited for this coming Saturday and Sunday as the world is running as one," Kipchoge said in quotes reported by the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation.

"It’s not about running fast, it’s not about winning, but it’s all about participating."

The event sees teams of four around the world run just over 10.5 kilometers each, for a total of the marathon distance 42.195 km.

Each runner runs alone, and records their activity on the Strava application. Additionally, ten teams will each have an NN Running Team athlete compete alongside them.

Among the elite athletes competing are Kipchoge, his fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, and 5 km and 10 km world record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.

"I am very happy that we organize this event again. It has given all the participating athletes a huge motivation in a difficult year," Kamworor said according to the KBC.

Kipchoge's last event was the NN Marathon in Enschede, Netherlands, in April, which he won in 2:04:30.

Kamworor finished second in the Istanbul Half Marathon in 59:38 in April; Bekele won a half marathon in London (1:00:22) at the start of March; while Cheptegei's last outing was a third place finish in a 1500m race at the Ugandan Athletics Federation Trials in April.

(05/19/2021) ⚡AMP
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2021 Marine Corps Marathon races will be held in person

Lace up those running shoes, because the Marine Corps Marathon is returning live and in-person.

The event’s races, hosted annually in D.C. and Arlington, will be held in-person from Oct. 29 to Oct. 31 after it ran as a virtual-only event last year.

Race Director Rick Nealis told WTOP that despite not holding a physical marathon in over a year, organizers have “adapted” in hosting smaller events with similar layouts. With that experience along with his military logistics background, Nealis said the event will go off without a problem while working together with local officials to ensure everyone’s safety.

“You almost have to pinch yourself when you realize it will be two years since we’ve had that many runners come across the finish line, as we’ve transitioned through a real tough year in 2020,” said Neails.

Health and safety measures will be in place adhering to local guidelines, including a reduction in the size of the field and dividing runners into scaled and socially-distanced start times. Nealis said he expects the race to have two-thirds of its usual field of runners, about 15,000 participants, because of restrictions.

The races usually generate about $100 million for the region. While that may not happen this time, they will bring some necessary aid to local businesses impacted by the pandemic.

“The fact that it’s Halloween just makes it even kind of more magical that it’s a treat,” said Nealis. “There’s no trick in what we’re doing. This is all about treats.”

Those who are currently registered for a virtual run or deferred from the 2020 events will have the first opportunity to switch to the live event. All three races have a virtual option. They can be run from Oct. 1 to Nov. 11.

Access to the virtual event is closed at this time. General entries will be made available to the public at noon on Wednesday, May 26.

Despite the allure of running in the event, Nealis said there may be “little trepidation” from some runners about coming back. For those who do participate this year, organizers hope the races run as smoothly and safely as possible.

(05/19/2021) ⚡AMP
by Abigail Constantino
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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...

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Kenya's 2017 World Under-18 400m hurdles silver medalist Moitalel Mpoke has qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The 20-year-old Mpoke clocked 48.89 seconds to win his 400m hurdles on Saturday during the South Eastern Conference Outdoor Championships at the E.B Cushing Stadium, Texas, United States.

Mpoke met the Olympic qualifying standard by 0.01 seconds to also improve his personal best within three weeks by 0.72 seconds.

Following his win, Mpoke became the first athlete in the history of Texas University  to run a sub 49 seconds in the 400m hurdles breaking a 34-year-old record of 49.05, which was previously held by Craig Calk.

Mpoke becomes third athlete from Kenya to qualify for Tokyo Olympic Games in sprint events after Hellen Syombua and Emmanuel Korir all in 400m.

However, Korir, who is a  specialist in 800m qualified for Tokyo Olympics when he doubled up in 400m and 800m at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships.

Surprisingly, Korir reached the semi-finals in 800m but stormed the final of the 400m to finish sixth. He run an Olympic qualifying standard time of 44.37 seconds in the semis.

Syombua qualified during the 2019 African Games trials running 51.09 seconds to also set a new 400m national record.

So far 51 Kenyan athletes have attained the Olympic qualifying standards ahead of the national trials set for June 17 to 19 at Kipchoge Keino Stadium, Eldoret.

However, the number includes eight athletes named in the final men and women's marathon team.

(05/18/2021) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) unveiled the official opening ceremony uniforms for the Australian Olympic team for Tokyo 2020 at Sydney's Wylie's Baths on Tuesday.

The uniforms, designed by Australian lifestyle fashion brand Sportscraft, include a blazer, shirt, semi-formal shorts, dress, and some accessories, while Australian sneaker brand Volley designed the footwear.

Nine athletes, from Olympic medallists to those making their Olympic debut in Tokyo, including dual Olympic medalist in canoe slalom Jess Fox, showcased the uniforms at the side of the ocean pool.

The design process was inspired by the electric lights, vibrant colors, and bustling atmosphere synonymous with Tokyo. In order to ensure the uniforms represented Australian culture, the design opted for a minimalist and timeless design, whilst creating impact by showcasing Australia's iconic green and gold colors. The angles used in the designs were inspired by Japan's famous Shibuya Crossing intersection, along with elements of the Southern Cross.

Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic team Ian Chesterman said unveiling the uniform was a fantastic milestone for athletes on their journey to Tokyo.

"The design has a distinct Australian feel and I look forward to the Australian community seeing the official Australian Olympic uniforms for Tokyo 2020."

(05/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Joshua Cheptegei will go for Komen's legendary 3000-Meter World Record on Wednesday

Last year, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei set world records in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters as part of an unforgettable 2020 season.

On Wednesday at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, he will try to go one better and become just the third man to hold the 3,000, 5,000, and 10,000 records simultaneously. Yes, that’s right. Cheptegei will attempt to break Daniel Komen‘s legendary 7:20.67 3,000-meter world record which has stood for nearly 25 years — since September 1, 1996.

Cheptegei´s camp is under no illusions as to the difficulty of the feat.

“It’s a big ask for Joshua to break [the 3,000-meter world record], we have to be realistic about that,” Cheptegei’s agent Jurrie van der Velden told LetsRun.com. “But we believe it’s possible with the training he’s done. It will be the toughest attempt for him thus far.”

There are several reasons why. First is the 3,000-meter record itself is one of the longest-standing men’s world records and has scarcely been challenged since. Only Hicham El Guerrouj, who ran 7:23.09 in 1999, has come within four seconds of the mark. Even the great Kenenisa Bekele, previous holder of the 5,000 and 10,000 records, never ran faster than 7:25.79.

Second is Cheptegei’s skillset. While the World Athletics scoring tables say 7:20 is equivalent to 12:36 and 26:15 for 5,000 and 10,000 — both marks Cheptegei has bettered — it will be tougher for Cheptegei who, as a distance specialist, is more suited to the longer events. He will need a lot of speed to break 7:20.67 — it’s 3:56 mile pace for seven-and-a-half laps — and Cheptegei, whose 3,000 pb is 7:33.26, has yet to demonstrate the raw 1500 speed of Komen, who had a personal best of 3:29.46.

In Cheptegei’s defense, he has barely raced the 1500. His Tilastopaja profile lists just three races at the distance, the most recent of which was a pb of 3:37.36 on April 24 in Kampala (elevation: 3,937 feet). He will have to run close to that pace for twice the distance to break Komen’s record.

Cheptegei does have a few things working in his favor, however. He has an ace pacemaker in Australia’s Stewart McSweyn, who ran 3:30 and 7:28 last year, and will also benefit from the pacing light system that aided Cheptegei in his world records in Monaco and Valencia last year. The pace is scheduled for 2:26-2:27 per kilometer, with Dutchman Richard Douma serving as the first pacer through 1200 meters before giving way to McSweyn, who will attempt to go through 2000.

Cheptegei also has Nike’s superspikes, which have made Komen’s once-untouchable record seem more attainable. For eight years — from 2012 through 2019 — no man broke 7:28 for 3,000. In the last eight months, five men have done it, all in Nike spikes.

(05/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Sebastian Coe says that Tokyo Olympics can be delivered safely and securely

Japan is currently battling a fourth wave of coronavirus infections and Tokyo, along with several other prefectures, remains under a state of emergency until the end of May.

Against that backdrop, a petition calling for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics has been submitted to organizers after garnering hundreds of thousands of signatures, and the CEO of leading Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten has called plans to host the Games a “suicide mission.”

But Coe remains confident that the Olympics, already postponed by a year amid the pandemic, will be able to get underway as scheduled on July 23.

“Should we have the Games? Yes, we should. Can we have them safely and secure? I believe we can,” Coe, a four-time Olympic medalist and president of World Athletics since 2015, told CNN Sport.

“I’m not cavalier about that. But I do think there are systems that are now tried and tested. We know so much more about these systems than we did a year ago.”

Organizers have outlined strict plans in the hope that the Games can be staged safely, including rigorous test and trace measures and restricted movements for athletes.

“For the athletes, it’s going to be a sterile experience,” added Coe.

“I think we have to accept that. Their day will almost certainly be village to venue, venue back to village and maybe training tracks in between.

“There is going to be no sightseeing, there are going to be no karaoke bars. I mean, the serious athletes would not be looking for that anyway, but it’s going to be tough.”

Coe, who was chairman of the London 2012 organizing committee, said he “can’t really speculate” on a scenario where the Games would be canceled — a decision that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said rests with the International Olympic Committee.

He also highlighted the importance of hosting the Olympics for the thousands of athletes who qualify to compete in Tokyo.

“There’s a rather sobering statistic: 70% of competitors that are chasing an Olympic slot are only going to have one chance of this,” said Coe.

“To pull the plugs on an Olympic Games when football, tennis, rugby and so many other sports are now up and running — and some even with crowds — where cities are coming out of lockdown and are moving towards normalcy, I can see no good reason why you wouldn’t want to do everything you possibly can to make sure that you’re not discarding a generation of athletes who have spent over half their young lives in pursuit of this one moment which is real life for them and their families and their friends and the systems that have been in place to support them.”

With infection rates and vaccine rollouts varying around the world, there are fears that some countries may not be in a position to send athletes to Tokyo come July.

Organizers have said that vaccines are part of a “toolbox” of countermeasures for the Games to be held safely, but also said that they won’t be mandatory for athletes in order to compete.

“I do think that the bulk of the world will be at the Games, and I really hope that they are able to avail themselves if they have vaccines going in their communities,” said Coe.

“At the moment, the National Olympic Committees around the world are in dialog with their own governments in different ways.

“I’ve not been one that has actually favored mandating it, that athletes have to be vaccinated to be there, but I do encourage them if they are available to avail themselves of them.”

(05/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Gina Moralez
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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New York City Marathon Will Return in November

The race will have 33,000 entrants, instead of the usual 55,000. But staging it will satisfy runners desperate to run again.

The New York City Marathon, one of the biggest events staged in the city each year, will return in November with a reduced but still sizable field of runners, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Monday.

The race will take place on its usual date, the first Sunday in November, with about 33,000 runners instead of the typical 55,000 leaving the starting line on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island. The 26.2-mile race through the five boroughs, months after the returns of teams and fans to baseball stadiums and indoor arenas, is expected to be a milestone in New York’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s the North Star,” Ted Metellus, the race director, said of the marathon’s return. “It’s the thing that says we’re back.”

The announcement comes as New York continues to emerge from the kind of pandemic restrictions that led to the cancellation of last year’s marathon. With vaccinations rising and coronavirus cases decreasing, the city and state continue to end or ease rules on everything from dining in restaurants to attendance at ballparks and fitness centers.

For months, city officials and health experts have been in discussions with leaders of New York Road Runners, the organization that owns and operates the marathon, about the scale of this year’s race.

Officials agreed to reduce the size of the field this year to prevent overcrowding, though any plan to control crowds along the course — and any restrictions that might be imposed on them — remain unclear.

The smaller field will help to reduce the number of people on the ferries and buses that shuttle runners to the starting village at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and create more room for social distancing among participants once they arrive.

Officials plan to begin the race with a staggered start, sending runners onto the course a few at a time, every few seconds. The process, which will take several hours, is one that the Road Runners have been using in smaller races for several months.

The change, however, will also lengthen the race day, and require the city to close streets for more hours than usual.

To compete, runners will be required to test negative for the coronavirus in the days before the race or show proof of full vaccination, though organizers must still determine policies about when tests will take place, who will pay for them and the consequences for someone who tests positive. Runners will not be required to wear masks while on the course.

Those requirements may change, Metellus said, as organizers monitor changing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local mandates.

“Those changes will dictate a lot of change we see in the event,” said Metellus, who predicted the guidance would continue to evolve until race day.

For now, the organization said it was re-evaluating just about anything that may cause crowding, including rethinking aid stations, which are usually set up on every mile of the course, and reimagining bag drop off and pick up. First aid will remain at every mile marker, but hydration stations may be more spaced out, with volunteers following various safety guidelines. And while runners will still be able to drop off a bag of their belongings, they will not be able to bring their bags to the start.

A field of more than 30,000 runners will provide plenty of room for everyone who had registered for the 2020 race before it was canceled or who opted to defer to 2021. (About 54 percent of the 30,000 early registrants for the 2020 race opted to run the 2021 race.)

ImageVolunteers handing out water in 2019. Organizers expect monitoring guidance from health officials as they plan everything from aid and hydration stations to the size of the field.

Volunteers handing out water in 2019. Organizers expect monitoring guidance from health officials as they plan everything from aid and hydration stations to the size of the field.Credit...Sarah Blesener for The New York Times

The organization is still figuring out how to fill all the spots in the race, but it has decided not to hold a new drawing. Other avenues of entry into the race will include runners who complete and volunteer for a specified number of New York Road Runners events and those who have completed 15 or more New York City Marathons. Registration for those who qualify for a guaranteed entry will take place during the second week in June.

Organizers also plan to have a significant contingent of charity runners who pledge to raise about $3,000 for a chosen organization when they participate.

Many charities rely on the marathon to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. But New York Road Runners also relies on charities for a significant portion of its revenue, since the charities pay about three times as much as an individual runner does to secure a place in the race. The individual registration fee for the 2020 race was $295.

Organizers expect interest in any open spots to be high. The Boston Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 11, was oversubscribed by more than 9,000 runners, all of whom had met the qualifying standard for their age groups.

Officials with New York Road Runners had predicted earlier in the spring that the 2021 race would take place without revealing the size and scope of the event. New York’s event will join an unusually crowded calendar of major marathons, a situation that will force top runners into difficult decisions about where and when to race.

Marathons in Boston, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo that usually take place in February, March and April have moved to the fall this year, joining races in Berlin, Chicago, New York and Washington. Elite runners usually do only one race in the spring and one in the fall. The Berlin Marathon (Sept. 26), the London Marathon (Oct. 3) and the Tokyo Marathon (Oct. 17) all have plans to take place before New York’s race in November.

Organizers can’t quite plan how New Yorkers will respond to their beloved marathon returning to all five boroughs. While there are significant modifications to the course experience, including limiting mass gathering locations, “it’s still New York City,” Metellus said. “The city will still live and breathe.”

(05/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by Matthew Futterman and Talya Minsberg (NY Times)
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Every runner should keep a training log, Logging your workouts can be a great way to gain confidence

Most runners have set training plans as they work through the season and toward specific goals and races. It can be easy to always look ahead at what’s on your schedule today and tomorrow, but sometimes it can be beneficial to look back on the training you’ve done and the work you’ve put in to get to a race. Keeping a training diary and logging details about your workouts can give you a boost of confidence whenever you’re lacking motivation. Here are a few tips for keeping a training log, and reasons why you should do it.

Remembering the good

Everyone knows how great it feels to really crush a workout. Unfortunately, runners tend to have short memories, and not long after a great run, you can forget all about your triumph from a few days before. Taking notes on how you felt and reminding yourself of the times you ran can give you a big shot of confidence when you re-read your diary before a big race.

Embracing the bad

Bad workouts suck, and while it would be nice to just forget about them as soon as they’re finished, they can help you down the road. If you trudged through a long run at a snail’s pace or bonked mid-workout but managed to push through, you can improve your mental game by looking back on those bad times. You went to the bottom of the well in training and survived, so you know you’re capable of doing it again on race day.

You should practise nutrition and hydration plans in training so you don’t have any mishaps on race day, so it’s a good idea to keep track of what works for you and what doesn’t . Then, when you’re preparing for your race, you can get a reminder from your past self and plan accordingly.

Entries can be short

You don’t have to write a long, in-depth entry for every workout, but be sure to include some details so that when you re-read each log, you’ll have an easier time remembering how it felt on the day. Details could include temperature/weather conditions, clothing choices, how you felt, who you ran into (or ran with, if applicable), you average pace, any troubling aches or pains you may have experienced and your splits.

Lots of options

You can record details of your training in workout tracking apps, you can write in a document on your computer or you can go the old-fashioned route and write handwritten notes. You can even make voice recordings after each workout and add them to one big audio file that you can listen to as you drive to and warm up for a big race. With so many options, there’s no reason not to keep a training diary.

(05/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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IOC to plant forest in Africa to offset carbon emissions

The announcement is part of the International Olympic Committee's goal of hosting a future carbon-positive Games.

In January 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its plan to become climate positive by 2024, with the goal of reducing its carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030. On Wednesday, the organization revealed that it has committed to planting an “Olympic forest” to offset more than 100 per cent of the carbon emissions created by the Olympic Games.

The Olympic forest will be back by the United Nations as a part of the Great Green Wall initiative to restore the Sahel region in Africa, between the Saharan desert and the Sudanian savanna. According to Inside the Games, experts are expecting the population in that area to grow significantly in the coming years, and this forest will create biodiversity and improve food security in the region.

The IOC claims that both the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and the Beijing Olympics are on track to being carbon-neutral, and they are looking to host climate-positive Games in the future as a part of their Olympic Agenda 2020+5.

(05/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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World record-holders will headline a stunning cast of athletic talent for the 60th edition of the Golden Spike in Ostrava

Paul Chelimo, Joshua Cheptegei, Genzebe Dibaba, Barbora Spotakova and Anita Wlodarczyk have all gone where no other athlete in history has, while with his indoor world record of 18.07m earlier this year, Hugues Fabrice Zango showed he has the potential to one day surpass Jonathan Edwards’ triple jump world record of 18.29m.

With 1500 fans allowed in the stadium, every set of eyes will be trained on Cheptegei when he takes to the track for the men’s 3000m, the final event on the programme. Edged by Duplantis for Male World Athlete of the Year in 2020, the Ugandan 24-year-old has been untouchable on the track since 2019, setting world records at 5000m and 10,000m.

Cheptegei’s current best for 3000m is 7:33.26, but the enlisting of Australia’s Stewart McSweyn – a 7:28 man – as pacemaker suggests the Ugandan is ready to take a massive chunk off that. If conditions are favourable, he looks primed to challenge Daniel Komen’s 3000m world record of 7:20.67, which has stood for 25 years. The world 10,000m champion sharpened his speed last month with a 3:37.36 1500m PB at altitude in Kampala. Olympic 5000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo is likely to be his closest pursuer.

Elsewhere in the distance events, world half marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo will open his season over 10,000m where it seems the 20-year-old Ugandan’s personal best of 27:26.68 is due for serious revision. In the men’s 3000m steeplechase, 2019 Diamond League champion Getnet Wale of Ethiopia will be looking to improve on his best of 8:05.21, having clocked a blazing 7:24.98 for 3000m indoors back in February.

Poland’s world bronze medalist Marcin Lewandowski takes on Ugandan record-holder Ronald Musagala in the men's 1500m. European Indoor 800m champion Patryk Dobek will race the two-lap distance in Ostrava, and the Pole remains undecided between the 800m and the 400m hurdles for the Tokyo Olympics. He should get a good indicator of his medal chances at the longer distance on Wednesday as he takes on seasoned veterans Adam Kszczot and Amel Tuka.

Genzebe Dibaba is the star attraction in the women’s 1500m, her first outing at the distance in which she holds the world record since August 2019. The Ethiopian made an eye-catching half marathon debut last December when clocking 1:05:18 in Valencia, but she failed to finish on her only outing since, an indoor 3000m in February. Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo should be her biggest rival. In the women’s 800m, European indoor champion Keely Hodgkinson should be tough to beat.

Richardson takes on Schippers and Okagbare

In the sprints, the women’s 200m will take top billing, with fans eager to see what Sha’Carri Richardson can produce after her red-hot form in recent weeks. The 21-year-old US sprinter clocked wind-legal 100m times of 10.72, 10.74 and 10.77 already this season and she seems primed to dip below 22 seconds over 200m for the first time. Also in the field is two-time world champion Dafne Schippers and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare.

Olympic 100m bronze medallist Andre De Grasse will face 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin in the men’s 100m and while both have edged below 10 seconds this year, they will have it all to do to beat 400m specialist Fred Kerley, who clocked 9.91 (2.0m/s) in Miami last month.

Kerley is also slated for the 200m, which takes place 80 minutes after the 100m. In the latter, Kenny Bednarek should prove tough to beat, having run 19.94 behind Noah Lyles at the USATF Golden Games recently.

In the men’s 400m, 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James will be looking to return to his best as the clock counts down towards the Tokyo Games. The Grenadian opened his season with a 44.88-second clocking in Phoenix, USA, last month, though Vernon Norwood is the quickest in the field this year with his 44.64.

Olympic bronze medallist Yasmani Copello headlines the men’s 400m hurdles, while Denmark’s Sara Slott Petersen is the quickest on paper in the women’s event.

(05/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Athing Mu continues breaking records

Athing Mu broke an American under-20, 400-meter record with a time of 49.84 to win the SEC title Saturday night at E.B. Cushing Stadium.

The Aggies claimed six event titles across the three-day meet that finished with the women’s team placing fourth in overall team points with 82 and the men’s team placing seventh with 67 points. Winners included Deborah Acquah in the long jump, Moitalel Mpoke in the 400-meter hurdles, Tyra Gittens in the heptathlon, Brandon Miller in the 800-meter, Mu in the 400-meter and the women’s 4x400-meter relay team. The Aggies will practice next week to prepare for the NCAA West Prelims at E.B. Cushing Stadium.

Mu won the women’s 400-meter in record-breaking fashion, more than a full second faster than all other runners to set an American under-20, SEC meet, facility and Texas A&M program record. She now is the third fastest collegian all-time and ranks fifth on the all-time world under-20 list. Mu usually runs the 800-meter but opted to run the 400-meter this week.

“There is no reason to overrun the 800-meter when I’ve already ran a fast time,” Athing Mu told 12thman.com. “I came in this weekend with the plan to run a secondary event and help continue to keep my legs moving without doing the 800-meter.”

The time was the second American under-20 record Mu set this outdoor season as she broke the 800-meter record at 1:57.73 in April at the Michael Johnson Invitational. This time she was able to set it in front of a near-capacity crowd, a first for this outdoor season.

“When I was cheering on the men’s 800-meter, I thought, ‘Wow, it’s actually feeling like track and field again,’” Mu told 12thman.com.

Miller won the men’s 800-meter title with a personal best time of 1:45.95 to become the fourth fastest American on the under-20 all-time 800-meter list. This is Miller’s second SEC Championship this year as he won the 2021 SEC Indoor 800-meter Championship in February.

Mpoke became the first athlete in school history to run a sub-49 in the 400-meter hurdles with a collegiate-leading time of 48.89. The previous record was held by Craig Calk and stood for 34 years. Mpoke met the Olympic qualifying standard by .01 seconds.

“I don’t think there was a poor event in the whole championship and this meet will probably stick out as one of the best meets in the country this year,” A&M coach Pat Henry told 12thman.com.

Bryce Deadmon clocked a personal best time of 44.50 in the men’s 400-meter to make him the third best performer in school history and ninth best all-time. He also ran the anchor in the men’s 4x400-meter with a 43.82 split as he, Mpoke, Omajuwa Etiwe and Devin Dixon finished second at 3:01.73, good for the No. 5 time in the NCAA this season.

Acquah placed second in the triple jump at 14.13m (46-4.25) after claiming the women’s long jump SEC title at 6.80m (22-3 ¾). Gittens placed second in the women’s high jump at 1.93m (6-2.25) after winning the SEC heptathlon title. Lamara Distin finished third in the women’s high jump at 1.93m (6-2.25), but because she failed her first two attempts, she dropped to third overall. It was her first top-three finish in an SEC event.

(05/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by Cade Draughon
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Petition to cancel Tokyo 2020 Olympics submitted with 350,000 signatures

A petition calling for the cancellation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been submitted to organisers, having reached 350,000 signatures in just nine days.

The submission of the petition comes amid rising COVID-19 cases in Japan, while concerns over the fate of the Games have grown due to Japan's low vaccination rate, the spread of new variants and the state of emergency in place in Tokyo and other prefectures.

"Stop Tokyo Olympics" campaign organiser and former Tokyo Governor candidate Kenji Utsunomiya said the Games, due to open on July 23, should only be held when Japan can welcome athletes and foreign visitors with little restriction.

"We are not in that situation and therefore the Games should be cancelled," Utsunomiya said.

"Precious medical resources would need to be diverted to the Olympics if it's held."

Utsunomiya, who is also a lawyer, finished second in last year's Tokyo gubernatorial election behind incumbent Yuriko Koike after winning over 800,000 votes.

The petition was also submitted to Tokyo Governor Koike.

Tokyo is to remain under a state of emergency until at least the end of the month due to rising COVID-19 cases.

Japan recorded 7,058 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, close to the daily high of 7,855 from January 9.

Another 101 deaths related to the virus were also reported in the Olympic and Paralympic host country yesterday.

When asked about the petition, Koike said she would work towards a "safe and secure" Olympics.

"Though there is a global pandemic, it is important to hold safe and secure Tokyo 2020 Games," she said, according to Reuters.

High-profile Japanese athletes like Masters golf champion Hideki Matsuyama and women's tennis great Naomi Osaka have expressed their concerns with the Olympics going ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, Japan has reported over 658,000 COVID-19 cases, resulting in the deaths of at least 11,165 people.

(05/16/2021) ⚡AMP
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Ekiru and Gebrekidan break Italian all-comers’ records in Milan

Kenya’s Titus Ekiru and Ethiopia’s Hiwot Gebrekidan recorded world-leading times of 2:02:57 and 2:19:35 to break the Italian all-comers’ records at the Generali Milano Marathon, a World Athletics Label road race, on Sunday (16).

It was Ekiru’s second victory in Milan, having won in 2019 in 2:04:46, the previous Italian all-comers’ record. Gebrekidan, meanwhile, was competing in Italy for the first time and was rewarded with a four-minute PB.

This year’s race, held in ideal 13C temperatures, was staged on a 7.5km circuit in front of the Castello Sforzesco in the heart of Milan.

In the men’s race, the leading pack of 10 athletes set a consistent pace in the first half, passing 5km in 14:47, 10km in 29:28 and 15km in 44:13. Leading South African runner Stephen Mokoka, acting as a pacemaker in Milan, reached the half-way mark in 1:01:48.

Ekiru started to push the pace after 30km, covering the next five-kilometre segment in 14:11 and the following one in 14:34. He maintained that pace to the end and, having covered the second half in 1:01:09, went on to cross the finish line in 2:02:57.

The 29-year-old now moves to fifth on the world all-time list, level with former world record-holder Dennis Kimetto.

The first five men finished inside the previous Italian all-comers’ record. Reuben Kipyego finished second in 2:03:55 ahead of Barnabas Kiptum (2:04:17), 2018 Milan Marathon winner Seifu Tura from Ethiopia (2:04:29), Leul Gebrselassie from Ethiopia (2:04:31), and Gabriel Gerald Geay, who set a Tanzanian record of 2:04:55.

“At 20 km I felt in very good shape and I tried to push the pace,” said Ekiru, the 2019 African Games half marathon champion. “I feel emotional. Maybe I can run 2:01 in the future.”

Unlike the men’s contest, the women’s race was a one-runner affair with Gebrekidan making a break in the early stages.

After covering the first 5km in 16:43 as part of a leading pack, the 26-year-old Ethiopian made a break and went through the half-way point inside 70 minutes with a lead of 20 seconds, hinting at a finishing time inside 2:20.

By the time she reached 30km in 1:38:28, Gebrekidan’s lead over Kenya’s Racheal Mutgaa had grown to 84 seconds. Gebrekidan’s pace dropped only slightly in the second half and she held on to win in 2:19:35, breaking the previous world-leading time and Italian all-comers’ record of2:20:08 set by Kenya’s Angela Tanui in Siena last month.

"I trained very well and I prepared for this race at the Istanbul Half Marathon," said Gebrekidan, whose previous PB of 2:23:50 was set at the 2019 Guangzhou Marathon. "I will celebrate this win with my family."

Mutgaa went on to finish second in 2:22:50 ahead of Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba (2:23:10). With the first seven women finishing inside 2:25, it was the deepest ever women’s marathon held in Italy.

(05/16/2021) ⚡AMP
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Milano Marathon

Milano Marathon

Passion is what allows us to go beyond our limits. It’s what makes us run when our heath is bursting in our chest, it’s whats makes our legs move even if they’re worn out. It’s passion against sacrifice, and the winner will be declared though hard training, hearth and concentration. Milano Marathon has been presented in the futuristic Generali Tower,...

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Spanish UTWT race launches campaign to get trail running into the Olympic Games

The organizing team of the Penyagolosa Trails race in Castellón, Spain, has launched a campaign titled Make Trail Olympic in an attempt to get the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to add off-road running to the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles. Organizers of the race, which is a stop on the Ultra-Trail World Tour, have written a manifesto in which they include eight reasons why trail running deserves a spot in the Olympic program, and they have also created a petition that they hope will sway the IOC.

The Penyagolosa Trails team introduced this campaign on Thursday, three years to the day that they hosted the Trail World Championships on their home course in Spain. In their manifesto, the team notes that trail running not only deserves to be included in the Olympics, but that it meets the IOC’s requirements for a sport to be added to the Games.

Trail running “is present in more than 75 countries and five continents,” the manifesto reads, adding that the sport has an established world championship system, which as another important note for the IOC. They add that trail running represents the “core values” of the Olympics, which are “excellence, friendship and respect.”

On the more technical side of the Games, doping control is mentioned. “Trail running fights against doping through the global anti-doping system based on the intrinsic value of sport, which is often referred as ‘sportsmanship,'” the manifesto says. “Anti-doping programmes are designed to protect the health of athletes and provide them with the opportunity to pursue excellence without the use of prohibited substances or methods.”

One of the most important parts of the manifesto (and perhaps the point that would have the most impact on the IOC if they view this petition) quickly dives into the popularity of the sport. As the authors explain, there are millions of trail runners worldwide, and the sport has seen tremendous growth in recent years. This growth isn’t slowing down, and trail running sees more and more new members each year, as well as new deals with major athletic brands.

he U.S. is a country where trail running is extremely popular, which is why the team from Penyagolosa Trails say the 2028 Games will be a perfect time to add the sport to the Olympic program. “The United States has a great history in organizing ultra-trail races,” the manifesto says, “and California hosts the world’s oldest 100-mile race, which in turn is one of the most prestigious: the Western States Endurance Run.”

It might be a long shot to get another running event into the Olympics, but the Penyagolosa Trails organizers make some valid points. It’s certainly fun to imagine an Olympic trail race, and if that one day becomes a reality, it will no doubt contribute to the already booming sport. To view the full manifesto and to sign the petition to have trail running added to the Olympics, click here.

(05/16/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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