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Valencia Marathon joins the select group of holders of the World Athletics’ Platinum Label

The new platinum Label is yet another step forward in terms of sport and organizational excellence. Here, one should note that the Valencia Marathon was awarded the Gold Label in 2016 — the very first Spanish marathon to achieve this.

World Athletics’ (formerly the IAAF) Platinum Label takes into account demanding new standards covering the organization, rigorous application of IAAF rules, the institutional support given by public authorities, commitment to improving the trial and applying worldwide anti-doping measures, as well as other requirements to enhance service to and the safety of all those taking part in the race.

To celebrate this distinction, the event is launching a new registration modality limited to 100 running bibs which, in addition to the services offered to all runners, includes a special charity fee for Save The Children – 2020 charity – and numerous premium services such as access to the VIP area, a post-race poncho, an invitation to the Breakfast Run, etc. and the option to bring someone else along.

The announcement of the award of the Platinum Label comes in a year in which the Valencian trial will celebrate its 40th anniversary on the 6th of December.

For that event, the Organizers expect 30,000 runners will cross the Starting Line next to Plaça de la Marató (Marathon Square). All efforts will be focused on catering to their needs over the next few months.

(01/31/2020) ⚡AMP
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...

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Callum Hawkins of Great Britain will be targeting a second victory at the 74th Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon on Sunday

Callum Hawkins, who won the race in 2017, joins 2012 Olympic and 2013 world champion Stephen Kiprotich as a marquee name on the men’s side while Helalia Johannes, the bronze medallist in the marathon at last year’s World Championships, leads the women’s field.

Hawkins, who collapsed in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Marathon while leading, finished fourth in the World Championships marathon in both 2017 and 2019.

Briton Charlotte Purdue (1:08:45), Japan’s Mao Ichiyama (1:08:49) and Australian Sinead Diver (1:08:55) have the fastest personal bests in the field. All came in 2019: Purdue’s in the Sanyo Women’s road race in December, Ichiyama’s in Hakodate in July and Diver’s in Marugame in February. Two others - Ellie Pashley and Reia Iwade - also have sub-70 minute credentials.   

Eri Makikawa, the 2014 Marugame winner with a best of 1:10:28, is also back after skipping the race in recent years.

The men’s field is much stronger.

Both Zane Robertson and Kelvin Kiptum have sub-1 hour bests, while Hawkins’ best is exactly 60 minutes. In fact, the 20-year-old Kiptum has cracked 60:00 twice, both last year. That may qualify Kiptum as the favorite on Sunday. Robertson was second in Marugame in 2015.

The race also serves as a qualifying race for the Japanese team for the World Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020.

Several runners, including Japanese national half marathon record holder Yuta Shitara, are running as a tune-up for next month’s Tokyo Marathon. Yuki Sato, a four-time national 10,000m champion, and Shuho Dairokuno, 2019 national 10,000m champion, will also be contesting both Marugame and Tokyo Marathon. Although not an invited runner, Shitara’s twin brother Keita will be running also.

Other top Japanese include Yuma Hattori, the 2018 Fukuoka Marathon champion, Taku Fujimoto, second in the 2019 Fukuoka Marathon, Tetsuya Yoroizaka, the second fastest 10,000m runner in Japan and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi.

(01/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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Antonio Arreola and Steve Schmidt became the first runners to break three hours in the marathon over six consecutive decades.

It was unday morning in Houston and Antonio Arreola and Steve Schmidt became the first runners to accumulate six decades of sub-3-hour marathons (6DS3). Both ran a sub-3 in the late 1970s and every decade since, adding the 2020s in Houston. They finished hand-in-hand, with arms raised, after running the last five miles together.

They finished in chip times of 2:58:07 for Schmidt, and 2:58:18 for Arreola, who started ahead of Schmidt in the start-corral throng.

Schmidt caught Arreola from behind at 21.5 miles, and encouraged him the rest of the way. “I had the strong sense that he was holding back to run with me,” said Arreola. “Steve was a godsend. He really pulled me along.”

Arreola and Schmidt proved several things about veteran runners. First, that they have high Marathon IQs: Both ran perfectly paced efforts. Second, that they have high Emotional IQs, able to handle pressure with aplomb.

Schmidt, 59, is a retired helicopter pilot from Orion Township, Michigan. He ran his first sub-3, 2:46:22, in 1979, and set his marathon PR, 2:37:03, in 1984.

Arreola, 60, is a retired project manager from San Jose, California. He ran his first sub-3, 2:58:03, in 1976, and his marathon best, 2:46:17, in 2001.

Conditions for the Aramco Half Marathon and Chevron Houston Marathon were near perfect with temps in the high 40s most of the way. Runners felt a bit buffeted from the wind at times, but all the races produced excellent performances, particularly the half marathon where nine runners broke 60 minutes, and 14 Americans bettered 62 minutes.

Schmidt had been battling a cold 10 days before the marathon, and felt a bit rough the first 10 miles. “I had to tell myself, ‘Believe in the process. Trust your training. I knew I had put in the work.’” After the halfway mark, reached in 1:29:13, he kept feeling better and better. He was also wondering where Arreola was.

The two had met the previous day, and hoped to run together, but didn’t lay down a firm plan. During the first half, Schmidt scanned the field ahead, hoping to spot Arreola, but never could. They came together quite suddenly at 21.5.

“Tony, I’ve been looking all over for you,” Schmidt said to his new friend.

Arreola also said he felt bad in the early going, especially when he passed the first mile in 7:23. “That scared me,” he said. “It didn’t feel good the way it should have. I couldn’t figure it out.”

When the crowded streets thinned a little, he worked his pace down to 6:43, and passed the half marathon in 1:28:34. From 21 to 23, he suffered through several ups-and-downs at highway underpasses, but by then Schmidt had arrived to help. “I started lifting my knees a little more to relieve the quads, and that seemed to help,” Arreola said.

At the 25 mile mark, Schmidt looked over at Arreola, and said, “We got this.” They ran the last mile in 6:36, the fastest mile of the marathon for both. “I’m elated and a little relieved, Schmidt said after the race. “I put a fair amount of pressure on myself this last year. It’s been a focus. I wasn’t sure it would happen, but now it has. I don’t think it has sunk in yet.”

“Today was the highlight of my 48 years in running,” said Arreola. “I feel great. This was hard to plan for. I had some health issues. But it was a great experience to run another sub-3 today, and especially to meet and finish with Steve. He’s an outstanding guy.”

With his performance, Arreola leapt back to the top of the list for “longest span between sub-3s.” He had been supplanted in December by Iain Mickle. The current top three are:

Antonio Arreola, 43 years, 45 days: from Dec.5, 1976 to Jan. 19, 2019

Iain Mickle, 42 years, 151 days: from Jul. 10, 1977 to Dec. 8, 2019.

Blake Wood, 41y, 102 days: from Dec. 7, 1975 to Mar. 19, 2017

Another group of 6DS3 aspirants are planning to chase the goal next month in the Phoenix Marathon: Reno Stirrat, Jim Garcia, and Peter Lagoy. The Phoenix course has a net elevation drop of 900 feet, so it’s open season on razzing these guys about their race selection.

On the other hand, Stirrat is the Methuselah of the group at 65 years old, so maybe we should cut him a little slack.

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Podium Runner
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Organizers of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing has postpone the event to March 2021

We know that China is doing all it can to contain the new Coronavirus and we support them in all their efforts but it is necessary to provide our athletes, Member Federations and partners with a clear way forward in what is a complex and fast-moving set of circumstances.

The advice from our medical team, who are in contact with the World Health Organisation, is that the spread of the Coronavirus both within China and outside the country is still at a concerning level and no one should be going ahead with any major gathering that can be postponed.

We have considered the possibility of relocating the event to another country and would like to thank the cities that have volunteered to host the championships. However, given concerns still exist regarding the spread of the virus outside China, we have decided not to go with this option, as it may lead to further postponement at a later date.

The indoor season for athletics falls within a narrow calendar window (up to the end of March) and we believe we will be able to find a suitable date in 2021 to host this event. We would like Nanjing to be the host given the extensive planning and preparation they have put into this event.

We have chosen not to cancel the championships as many of our athletes would like this event to take place so we will now work with our athletes, our partners and the Nanjing organising committee to secure a date in 2021 to stage this event.

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing

World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing

The IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships is being held in Nanjing in China, the first time this emerging nation has hosted the world´s major indoor athletics championships. The brand New Cube Arena is a multi-porpose venue and has a very limited capacity of just 3,000 seats which in a city with a population of 8.5 million means tickets will be...

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Actor Jared Padalecki is ready to run Austin Marathon for second year

Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki apparently wants more positivity in life. That is why he says that he has decided to do things which he feels like doing. Ideally, the things through which others will benefit as well. He has, hence, taken the decision to go on Austin Marathon for the second time in a row. It was last year when the Marathon took place in Austin, and this time it will be on February 16, 2020.

Jared Padalecki posted a long caption on Instagram along with his picture where he announced his decision. He starts off with him thinking about what has happened in his life. Those events made him reflect on “life, love, loss, and all of the blessings” he experienced in his days. Therefore, the Supernatural celebrity will now give time to himself, giving more time to the things that he wants to do.

His post also says we can expect some marathon training updates, as he prepares over the coming weeks. Jared also ran in 2019 finishing the full marathon in 3 hours and 57 minutes.

Supernatural’s Padalecki also told that during the time that he made for himself he decided to go on a run around the city of Austin. He expressed his love towards the city, mentioning that he even convinced his few friends to move over there. “I love being here”, he wrote in the caption. On February 16, Ascension Seton Austin Marathon run will take place.

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon will begin at 7 a.m. local time. The start line will be at 2nd Street & Congress Avenue and end at 9th Street & Congress Avenue.

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Austin Marathon Weekend

Austin Marathon Weekend

The 2020 Austin Marathon will celebrate its 30th year running in the capital of Texas. The premier running event in the City of Austin annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With a downtown finish and within proximity of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Come...

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Linda Carrier, 57, is ready for global challenge

Upon crossing the finish line of a marathon, endorphins high and glowing with accomplishment, any devoted runner might start thinking about the next one.

In a few weeks, Linda Carrier will finish six laps of a seven-kilometer ice airstrip in Antarctica and board a plane, not for home in Pinehurst, but to Cape Town, South Africa.

There will be another race to run 12 hours hence.

Going from subzero temperatures to a summer day will call for a wardrobe overhaul, but a half day and 2,500 miles after finishing the first marathon, Carrier will set off on another 26-mile course.

That’s just the first leg of the World Marathon Challenge, which will see Carrier and 40 other runners from around the world run seven marathons on seven continents. They have all of 168 hours to do it.

Extreme athleticism has been in vogue for a while as a way to subvert midlife crisis, but Carrier took up running as a teenager soon after she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She first ran a half marathon in 1995 at 33, and has been gradually pushing her physical boundaries ever since.

Carrier has run more than 100 marathons and half-marathons. Not just any marathons, either: Berlin, Chicago, New York, London, Tokyo and three times at Boston. She celebrated her 50th birthday by running a 50-mile trail ultramarathon in Washington state.

“I never let diabetes define me". She said. When she was diagnosed with diabetes, there was no question of slipping into inactivity as she learned to give herself insulin and moderate food intake.

“Running added to the complexity of the equation, but my doctors said it was really helping,” she said.

Carrier dove into distance running on a lark. She ran her first marathon in Honolulu with friends and hoped, at best, to come through it alive.

As forms of exercise go, running is easily the most accessible. There’s no equipment needed, aside from a decent pair of shoes, and any trail or stretch of road will suffice for a course. It wasn’t long before Carrier started noticing her fellow runners’ shirts, and the names of groups that transcend national boundaries and unite people who make a hobby of running regular marathons.

She was soon drawn into the fold and found herself ticking off all the boxes: qualifying for Boston, then onto the other major cities. Now 57, Carrier has run marathons in 29 states, which means she only has 21 to go.

“The key to this schedule is you start out and just start to build,” she said. “Her training schedule basically got it where I was learning to run on tired legs. Running seven marathons and flying over 33,000 miles straight, through all of the time zone changes and running in different temperatures, you’re going to be tired.”

“Linda is an inspiration to so many within the diabetes community as she represents our goal of helping individuals with diabetes live longer, healthier lives,” said Mark Grant, vice president of the Americas region for the Diabetes Group at Medtronic. “We are humbled that our MiniMed 670G has supported her journey, and look forward to following her future successes.”

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Mary Kage Murphy
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge ® is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours, or seven days. The clock starts when the first marathon begins in Antarctica. ...

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The Russian Athletic Federation (RusAF) is facing possible expulsion from membership in World Athletics

Russian Athletics Federation could be expelled from World Athletics Congress after a damning report by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which accused it of failing to accept responsibility for multiple alleged doping violations or recognizing any need to change.

The AIU also recommended the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) process remain suspended until all the charges have been fully investigated, which means that even Russian athletes who can prove they are not involved in the ongoing doping scandal would not be able to compete as neutral athletes at the 2020 Olympics this summer.

The four-year ban imposed on Russia by WADA in December 2019, which is now being appealed, was widely regarded as toothless, since it allowed Russian athletes who can prove they are clean to compete in Tokyo as Authorized Neutral Athletes. But the AIU’s latest recommendation is not to allow this.

The current recommendations concern the alleged obstruction of the investigation into whereabouts failures by Russian high jumper, world championships silver medallist Danil Lysenko, in the form of forged documents and false explanations. But the implications could be far-reaching for Russian athletes in all Olympic sports.

The Russian federation was suspended in 2015 following allegations of a widespread state-sponsored doping of athletes at the Sochi Winter Games of 2014, but in September 2018 the suspension was lifted early, prompting an outcry from numerous athletes. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was given a deadline for handing over data from the Moscow Laboratory, which it failed to meet, leading to the latest ban, handed down in December 2019.

High jumper Mariya Lasitskene and pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova competed as neutral athletes at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. Both won gold medals in their events.

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Kenyan world record-holder Brigid Kosgei goal is to win the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

World record-holder Brigid Kosgei has promised to go all out and win next month’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

Termed ‘the world’s fastest half marathon’, the 14th edition of the annual race will be held of February 21 with Kosgei expected to set the field alight alongside a line-up of world-class elite runners.

“I am really excited to come back to the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon after two years. My only experience in that race was in 2018 when I came in seventh (with a time of 66:49),” Kosgei said.

“I know that this year the line-up is one of the best ever for a half marathon and I really hope to run fast.”

Having smashed Paula Radcliffe’s long-standing marathon world record by 81 seconds last year in Chicago with a time of 2:14:04, the Kenyan star enjoyed an incredible 2019 where she won every single race she competed in, including the London Marathon and Great North Run where she set impressive times of 2:18:20 and 64:28 respectively. The Kenyan, who will celebrate her 26th birthday the previous day of the race, is expected to kick-start her preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Kosgei can expect stiff competition from a host of top runners, including recent winner of the Comrades Marathon, Gerda Steyn of South Africa when the 21.1km race is run on Ras Al Khaimah’s Marjan Island. Steyn kicked off her running journey in the UAE with the Desert Road Runners Club and distinguished herself by becoming the first woman to complete the Comrades ultra-marathon in under six hours.

Her personal best of 2:27:48 for the full marathon in New York last year earned her a qualifying spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alaric Gomes
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Kenyan Bedan Karoki and world marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto are among a star-studded line up for this year’s Tokyo Marathon on March 1

The duo will be joined by two-time winner Dickson Chumba, Honolulu marathon champion Titus Ekiru and defending champion Birhanu Legese of Ethiopia.

Karoki will be returning to the Japanese capital after clinching silver last year when he clocked 2:06:48 just two minutes shy off Legese.

Kipruto, the 2018 Berlin Marathon silver medallist will be making his debut alongside the in-form Ekiru who enjoyed massive success in 2019 winning Milano City Marathon, Portugal City Half Marathon while also clinching gold in Half Marathon in African Games in held in Rabat, Morocco.

For the experienced Chumba- the 2014 and 2018 champion- he will be looking to claim a third title after dropping to a third-place finish last year in 2:08:44.

Kenyans will however be wary of the threat posed by Legese whose mark of 2:04:48 is the second-fastest winning time in the Japanese capital after Wilson Kipsang’s 2:03:58 in 2017.

In the women’s field Kenya’s duo of Sally Chepyego and Frankfurt marathon champion Valary Aiyabei will take on the defending champion Ruti Aga and 2015 champion Birhane Dibaba both of Ethiopia.

Aga attained the third-fastest time during last year’s win as she clocked 2:20:40

Tokyo marathon is the first stop of six World Marathon Majors.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Gilbert Kiprotich
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Nico Young will begin his final high school track and field season and will be going after the 3000m indoor record

The Newbury Park (CA) High School senior and Northern Arizona University signee will go after the American U20 indoor 3,000 meter record of 7:56.31, which was last set by Chris Derrick -- while he was with Stanford in 2009 -- at the Millrose Games on February 8 in New York City. 

If accomplished, Young, 17, would also surpass Drew Hunter's national high school 3K record of 7:59.33 for the distance. Hunter accomplished that feat in 2016, becoming the only high school athlete to ever go under 8 minutes indoors -- only two athletes have done it across both seasons; German Fernandez owns the outdoor 3K record in 7:59.83. 

But here's the twist. 

Young, running unattached, will be entered in the professional field. As per National Federation of High School State Associations (NFHS) rules, Young will be able to race against pros and collegians -- and not lose his remaining CIF eligibility -- based upon the fact that Millrose does not offer a high school race at the distance. 

A year ago, all but one runner in the 12-person field broke 8-minutes, with Stanford's Grant Fisher leaning past Wisconsin's Morgan McDonald at the line to win in 7:42.62. 

Young has raced once since cross country, putting down a 1,500m performance (outdoors) of 3:52.39 at the Arcadia Winter Championships qualifier on Jan. 25. 

And he's still relatively fresh since coming off a record performance at Nike Cross Nationals, where he broke the 5K meet record at Glendoveer and ran a winning time of 14:52.30. 

While Young has just one indoor performances overall -- he was eighth in the boys mile at the New Balance Grand Prix in 2019 -- those around him remain confident he will excel in the field. Young's head coach, Sean Brosnan, said Young will not seek out a fast mile in 2020, with focus instead placed on 3,000 and 5,000 meter races. 

Meaning: While Young could run fast 1,600 meter and mile races in 2020, his objective will not be on going under 4 minutes for the distance as a high school senior. 

In recent years, there have been five sub-8:10 efforts since 2010, including performances from Hunter, Edward Cheserek (2x) and Lukas Verzbicas (2x) -- national cross country champions in high school.

Young ran 8:13.31 for 3K in February of last year at the Rossi Relays. He remains in fitness and has been eyeing several records attempts to begin 2020. 

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Cory Mull
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Controversial Nike Vaporflys will be allowed by World Athletics but running shoe rules will tighten

World Athletics will not be imposing a blanket ban on the controversial hi-tech Nike Vaporflys that have transformed athletics when it announces its long-awaited decision on shoe technology on Friday, the Guardian understands.

Instead the sport’s governing body is expected to announce a temporary suspension of any new shoe technology until after the Tokyo Olympics this summer, alongside the launch of a comprehensive research project to examine just how advantageous the shoes, and others like it from rival brands, are at elite level.

World Athletics is also likely to introduce a tighter set of regulations for new shoes in the future, including the need for companies to present any prototypes to it for approval before they can be used in competition.

Such has been the Vaporflys’ dominance in recent years that athletes wearing them claimed 31 of the 36 podium positions in the six world marathon majors in 2019.

The Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge also wore a pair when he set an official men’s world record in Berlin in 2018 with a time of 2hr 01min 39sec – while his compatriot Brigid Kosgei smashed Paula Radcliffe’s women’s record in the Next% version of the shoe last October in 2:14:04.

However the shoes, which were introduced in 2016, have deeply divided the athletics community, with some supporting the technological arms race as part of an inevitable evolution of the sport – and others warning that it is deeply unfair to athletes who are not sponsored by Nike.

Kipchoge has denied that, saying: “They are fair. I trained hard. Technology is growing and we can’t deny it – we must go with technology.” But the small number of studies conducted on the Vaporflys suggest that, depending on the model and athlete, they can typically improve a person’s running economy by 4-5% – which translates to at least a minute- to 90-second advantage for an elite male runner over 26.2 miles and even more in an average club athlete.

Vaporfly shoes will help me reach my marathon dream. Should I use them?

Where that leaves the Nike AlphaFly, the next generation prototype shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge when he ran the first sub-two hour marathon in October in an unofficial event is unclear. It is understood that these shoes – which are said to contain three carbon plates and improve running economy by 8% – have not yet been submitted to World Athletics experts for inspection.

Even if the AlphaFlys are banned at elite level there will be no restrictions on ordinary athletes buying and wearing them in races when they are released in the shops by Nike.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Boston marathon champion Lawrence Cherono said Tuesday that representing Kenya at the Tokyo Olympics will be a big achievement, winning gold will be dream come true

Lawrence Cherono, 31, said his main hurdle to securing a ticket to the Olympics will be in defending his title at the Boston Marathon in April.

However, he hopes to make the provisional team, set to be named in February for the Olympics.

For a country that has over 20 elite runners who have posted a faster time of 2:06.00, picking the best three will be a hard task for the coaches' selector panel.

But Cherono has showed a strong desire to represent the country and believes his good performance in the last season will convince the coaches to offer him his maiden show for the country at the global championship.

"The competition for position in the Kenya team is tough. With all my accomplishments, I have not been lucky to represent the country at the Olympics. It will be a great honor if I will be part of the team to Tokyo," Cherono said.

Cherono's debut in marathon was in Seville, Spain where he won in 2:09.39.

He then moved to China and was second at the Lanzhou marathon clocking 2:12.33 back in 2015. Later that year he finished seventh at the Shanghai marathon with a time of 2:14.22.

In 2016, he was second at the Hengshui Lake marathon, won in Prague marathon and claimed the silver medal at the Hong Kong city marathon. He has also finished first in Honolulu, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Chicago and Boston.

If winning in Boston again, Cherono will secure his ticket to Tokyo to join defending champion Eliud Kipchoge, who has already been confirmed for the Olympics.

But it will not be a walk in the park for Cherono in Boston. He will be up against 2018 Boston winner Yuki Kawauchi of Japan, former World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui who has a personal best of 2:06:27 he recorded at the 2016 Amsterdam marathon.

Also chasing the title in Boston is the 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Kenyan Philes Moora Ongori and Ethiopian Dadi Yami Gemeda will join 2020 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon elite field

In a statement signed by Head Communications and Media, Olukayode Thomas, he said Ongori who started her career in Japan and won a number of All-Japan Corporate titles is delighted to be selected to run in Lagos.

Ongori was on the track running the 10,000 meters for Kenya at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics.

She came to prominence in the half marathon in 2008 when she won the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon in the fastest time of the year.

At the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships she won the silver medal.

Ongori won on her marathon debut at the Rotterdam Marathon in 2011, setting a time of 2:24:20 hours.

Ongori made her full marathon debut in April 2011 at the Rotterdam Marathon and she outran the more experienced Hilda Kibet in the final stages to win the race in a quick first-time run of 2:24:20 hours.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

“The IAAF and AIMS have a special interest in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon so if you see their top officials at the third edition, don’t be surprised. Lagos is one of the few marathons in the world that got an IAAF Label after just two editions. This is a rare feat. The event had over 50,000 runners at...

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Brazier and Ali kick off World Athletics Indoor Tour with dominant victories in Boston

The 2020 World Athletics Indoor Tour began with national records and fantastic performances in Boston, as world champions Donavan Brazier and Nia Ali kicked off their Olympic campaigns with victories at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday night (25).

Brazier, the world champion in the 800m, dominated the men’s 600m. In the final event of the evening, Brazier came through 400m in 49.62, and obliterated the field to win in a meeting record of 1:14.39. Brazier, who owns the world indoor best for the 600m with his 1:13.77 from last year’s US Indoor Championships, won by nearly six seconds from Michael Stigler.

“It feels great,” said Brazier, who was contesting his first race since the World Championships. “This is my tradition so far while being a professional. I’ve run at the Reggie Lewis Center four years straight now and I’ve come out with four wins in a row – so I might as well just keep coming back.”

Ali started her indoor season right where she left off, winning the 60m hurdles in 7.94. The world 100m hurdles champion pulled away over the final barrier to beat world indoor silver medallist Christina Clemons, who finished in 7.98.

“It means a lot to start off the season here,” said Ali after running her fastest 60m hurdles time since winning the 2016 world indoor title. “My family is able to get down and see me and I appreciate that. Especially being from the East coast. I know the crowd is always good to me, so I love it.”

In the women’s 1500m, Jessica Hull of Australia sat on the shoulder of Konstanze Klosterhalfen for 1450m before bursting to the front in the final straight to win in 4:04.14, taking more than two seconds off the Oceanian indoor record.

Klosterhalfen, the German athlete coming off a bronze medal in the 5000m at the World Championship in Doha, finished second in 4:04.38. Ciara Mageean finished third in 4:06.42 to break her own Irish indoor record.

In his first indoor race as a professional, Bryce Hoppel, who did not lose a race collegiately last year, nipped Jake Wightman at the line to win the 1000m in 2:17.41. Wightman, who set a British indoor record of 2:17.51, led going into the final lap, but Hoppel clocked a 27.1 final circuit pick up the win.

World indoor bronze medallist Bethwell Birgen of Kenya won a duel over Edward Cheserek, who announced this week he would be competing internationally for Kenya, in the 3000m. After the pacemaker stepped off the track with just over 1000m to go, Cheserek and Birgen traded the lead before Birgen unleashed a stunning final 300m, closing his last lap in 26.33 to take the win over Cheserek, 7:44.21 to 7:46.74.

In the women’s two miles, Elinor Purrier buried the competition over the final lap to win in 9:29.19 as 2017 world steeplechase champion, Emma Coburn, finished third.

Gabby Thomas blitzed a 36.52 to win the 300m. Thomas, a graduate of Harvard University, won the first heat by a wide margin and held on for the win after Shamier Little beat out Kendall Ellis in the second heat, 37.07 to 37.36.

“It was really great to compete at home, here in Boston,” Thomas said. “Especially this being my first year out of college and having that energy around me, it’s a really an amazing feeling.”

Chris O’Hare of Great Britain held off a hard-charging Nick Willis in the men’s mile, winning 3:59.62 to 3:59.89.

Demek Kemp won the 60m in 6.50, taking 0.05 off his personal best. Trayvon Bromell, running the 60m for the first time since winning the 2016 world indoor title at the distance, finished seventh in 6.84. Obi Igbokwe, a senior at the University of Houston, won the men’s 400m in 46.50.

In the field events, Pablo Torrijos of Spain kept his cool after four successive fouls in the men’s triple jump, eventually sailing out to 16.75m in the fifth round to seal the victory. Amina Smith of the US cleared 1.89m to win the women’s high jump.

The World Athletics Indoor Tour will next head to Karlsruhe, Germany, on 31 January, when athletes will continue to chase tour ranking points as well as wildcards for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Nike has completed the internal investigation into the shuttered NOP

In a Women’s Running story, journalist Erin Strout says Nike has completed the internal investigation it committed to in the wake of Mary Cain’s explosive New York Times video. 

And while it won’t be making its findings public, it did identify and share some specific initiatives relating to its professional female athletes.

Cain’s video exposed unethical coaching practices at the Nike Oregon Project, which was shut down 10 days after USADA served head coach Alberto Salazar with a four-year ban for doping violations on September 30, 2019–practices that included body- and weight-shaming, public weigh-ins and criticism that severely damaged Cain’s physical and mental health and led to her quietly leaving the NOP in 2015. Cain disappeared from the competition circuit, but is now working her way back into the scene under a new coach, while advocating publicly for women athletes.

The iniatives Strout listed include: 1.- Studying how elite training affects female athletes, 2.- Hiring more female coaches, 3.- Creating a new senior-level position to oversee international women’s sports marketing, 4.- Creating a group of pro female athletes to inform and advise the company on concerns specific to its female athletes, 5.- A new partnership with CrisisTextLine, a confidential, free text message service for people in crisis (in Canada, the service is run by Kids Help Phone).

Strout reports that Cain was invited to participate in the investigation but declined, telling her she perceived a lack of transparency. Regarding the initiatives announced, Cain said she “supports anything that promotes women’s health and opportunities in sports,” but was critical of the decision not to share the results of the investigation publicly, calling it “weak and cowardly.”

After an absence of more than three years, Cain recently started racing again. She had a disappointing 3,000m race at the Dr. Sander Invitational in New York on the weekend, but acknowledged in a post-race interview that regaining competitiveness will take time and incremental improvement.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Nontuthuko Mgabhi from Richards Bay aims to be the first woman from Africa to run the World Marathon Challenge

A Richards Bay woman is aiming to become the first woman in Africa to run the World Marathon Challenge - seven marathons on seven continents in seven days - in February.

On Suday, a 15km and 5km fun run and walk was held in Bulwer to raise awareness about her attempt and to help raise funds for it.

Nontuthuko Mgabhi, 32, will use the challenge to raise R3.5million for Khipinkunzi Primary School in Mtubatuba.

“I wanted to do something special for my birthday and was asked to give a motivational speech at the primary school last year, which has 657 pupils from Grade R to Grade 7. When I arrived at the school, I saw the poor state it was in and wanted to make a difference,” Mgabhi explained.

She is aiming to raise R3.5million to build five classrooms, two administration offices and to revamp the school.

Participating in the World Marathon Challenge means she would have to cover 295km and spend about 68 hours flying. The first marathon is in Antarctica on February 6, the second will be Cape Town on February 7, February 8 is in Perth, February 9 in Dubai, February 10 in Madrid, February 11 in Fortaleza in South America, and finishing in Miami on February 12.

Mgabhi said she started running in 2013, when a friend asked her to participate in the East Coast Radio Big Walk with her.

Ten months later, she participated in the Comrades Marathon and has since completed more than 50 marathons, including four Comrades and 15 ultra marathons.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Kwazulu-Natal
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge ® is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours, or seven days. The clock starts when the first marathon begins in Antarctica. ...

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Defending champ Ruti Aga and last year's winner Birhanu Legese will be back for 2020 Tokyo Marathon

Ethiopia is pretty far down the road to overtaking Kenya as the world's leading marathon nation, and its presence is heavy in both the women's and men's fields for the Olympic year 2020 Tokyo Marathon. Lacking London's star power the Tokyo fields won't win many nominations for best of 2020, but with loads of World Marathon Majors top three finishers and winners of next-tier gold label marathons they're still fields at a level most other races would love to be able to pull off.

On the women's side, with PBs of 2:18:34 and 2:18:46 defending champ Ruti Aga and past winner Birhane Dibaba lead a main of twelve top-tier invited elites, of which nine were born in Ethiopia. The other three, Valary Jemeli Aiyabei, nationality transfer Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, and Selly Chepyego Kaptich, were all born in Kenya.

With Tokyo not counting in last-chance Olympic qualification for Japanese women the top entrant from outside those two countries is Japan's Haruka Yamaguchi, an amateur who took 7th in this past weekend's Osaka International Women's Marathon in 2:26:35. Former Canadian national record holder Rachel Cliff and locals Kaori Yoshida, Risa Noguchi, Shiho Kaneshige and Yurie Doi fill out the rest of the sub-2:30 set.

On the men's side Ethiopians make up five of the eleven invited internationals including the top four, with last year's winner Birhanu Legese leading the way in 2:02:48. Things are heavily stacked in the 2:04 to low-2:05 range, perfectly designed to set it up for the Japanese men. Their task and its payoff are simple: be the top Japanese guy in 2:05:49 or better and replace national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike) on the Sapporo 2020 Olympic marathon team.

Osako's there to stop them, fresh off a 25 km tempo in Dubai. His main competition is previous national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda), who said last week that 2:05 isn't good enough and that if he doesn't run 2:04 in what he's calling his final marathon in Japan then he'll turn down the Olympic team spot.

Shitara's got that crazy edge working, which can count for a lot, but the biggest danger to Osako is probably going to be the ultra-disciplined Hiroto Inoue (MHPS), who ran 2:06:54 in Asics behind Shitara's NR two years ago, then made the switch to the Next% this season and promptly crushed the course record on the New Year Ekiden's longest stage. Put him in the same shoes as Osako and Shitara and they'd better watch out.

Kenta Murayama has the goods to be the other three's equal, but with his sponsor team Asahi Kasei having lost the plot when it comes to marathoning it would be a surprise to see him go much below 2:08. With twelve current sub-2:10 Japanese men in the field it's one of the best domestic races ever assembled, but apart from Murayama and possibly his talented teammate Shuho Dairokuno it's hard to see any darkhorses breaking through to the level of Osako, Shitara and Inoue. 

Mizuki Matsuda's 2:21:47 win in Osaka last weekend bumped her up into the 3rd Olympic women's spot but left her vulnerable to others in Nagoya, but with all the main men in Tokyo it's even harder to see anyone in Lake Biwa a week later going better than what they might do here.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Kapsait Athletics Training Camp in Elgeyo-Marakwet County, moulds future stars

Kapsait Athletics Training Camp in Elgeyo-Marakwet County has been on the news of late, thanks to Brigid Kosgei’s awe-inspiring performances in athletics that saw her break the world marathon record on October 13.

Kosgei, who trains and resides in Kapsait, timed 2 hours, 14 minutes and four seconds in Chicago Marathon last year to break Briton Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old record by a minute and 24 seconds.

World Under-20 5,000 meters champion Edward Zakayo is also a Form Four student at the Kapsait Athletics Secondary School housed in the same compound.

Lately, the camp has been receiving prominent visitors. On Monday, Koji Jitsukawa who is the executive director and head of Africa Region at Yamanashi Gakuin University in Japan presented training kits to the school.

Koji said the university was keen on partnering with upcoming athletes as one way of improving young talent. The Japan-based private university has been supporting Kenyan athletes since 1988.

“As a university, we are proud of our role in nurturing young talent. We want to support them and to promote their education and sports at the same time. We already have two Kenyan students at the university and they have been doing well,” Koji said.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Breaking away from her final challenger after 30km, Mizuki Matsuda went on to win the Osaka Women’s Marathon in 2:21:47 on Sunday

It was the third-fastest time in the history of the Osaka Women’s Marathon and puts Matsuda sixth on the Japanese all-time list, but more importantly, she ran under the time (2:22:22) required to be considered for the third spot on the Japanese Olympic marathon team.

If no one runs faster than 2:21:47 at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon in March, Matsuda will clinch the team spot.

“I don't think anybody in Japan can run such a time,” said Matsuda, who finished fourth at last year's Marathon Grand Championship, Japan's main trial race for the Olympic Games.

“It was not the time I was hoping for, but I had achieved the minimum requirement,” added Matsuda, who also won in Osaka in 2018. “In order to be competitive at the Olympics, I need a national-record-level personal best. I also need to work on the final part of the race because I slowed down too much at the end today.”

The race was fast from the start with Matsuda clocking 16:36 at 5km, 33:07 at 10km, 49:44 at 15km and 1:06:17 at 20km. “In the early part of the race I was bit worried that we were going too fast,” said Matsuda, who reached the half-way mark in 1:09:54. “It was faster than my half marathon personal best (1:10:25).”

By 25km, the lead pack consisted of Matsuda, Bahrain’s Mimi Belete and two pace-makers. “The race went well until 30km,” said Matsuda, “but then it started to get tough. Each kilometre felt very long.

“I knew four runners had faster personal bests, so I expected them to be running in front of me. When I started to run alone in front (after 30km), I looked around and asked myself, ‘where are they?’ I was running with the goal of breaking the national record (2:19:12). I had to think that way to get under 2:22.”

Immediately after the 30km check point, Matsuda checked her watch and appeared to pick up the pace for the next two kilometres. She was unable to get back on schedule for a finishing time inside 2:20, but she started to open up a gap on Belete before going on to win in 2:21:47.

Belete, who suffered from stomach problems, particularly in the latter stages, held on for second place in 2:22:40, just 78 seconds shy of the PB she set in Amsterdam three months ago.

“In my country the Olympic team spots are given to those with the fastest times,” explained Belete. “Although someone may run a faster time, I think I can be selected with the today’s time.”

Ethiopia’s Sintayehu Lewetegn finished third with 2:23:03, the second-fastest time of her career and just 18 seconds short of her personal best. Meskerem Assefa, one of the favourites, was fourth while Australian veteran Lisa Weightman was fifth in 2:26:02, the second-fastest time of her career.

Matsuda and compatriot Haruka Yamaguchi, who clocked 2:26:35 as the second Japanese finisher, were the only athletes among the top 10 to set a PB.

Last year’s runner-up Rei Ohara was suffering from a cold and achilles problems. She lost contact with the leaders after 17km and eventually finished 13th in 2:28:12.

Kayoko Fukushi, the 2013 world bronze medallist, lost contact with the leaders after 20km and dropped out after 25km. “I will start my training with running the Nagoya Women’s Marathon in mind,” said Fukushi, who is still pursuing what would be a fifth consecutive Olympic team.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Osaka International Womens Marathon

Osaka International Womens Marathon

The Osaka International Ladies Marathon is an annual marathon road race for women over the classic distance of 42.195 kilometres which is held on the 4th or 5th Sunday of January in the city of Osaka, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Kansai Telecasting Corporation, the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Radio Osaka and Osaka City. The first...

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Murielle Ahoure will lead the women’s 60m line-up at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

World 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and World Indoor 60m champion Murielle Ahoure will lead the women’s 60m line-up at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow on 15 February.

Fraser-Pryce has a personal best over 60m of 6.98, the eighth-fastest time in history. The time gave her gold at the World Indoor Championships, Sopot 2014.

Fraser-Pryce, who won four world titles, Berlin 2009, Moscow 2013, Beijing 2015 and Doha 2019, maybe targeting the World Indoor Championships in March.

Ahoure, the 2018 World Indoor champion, was second to Fraser-Pryce in Sopot 2014. She was also second at the World Indoor Championships 2012.

Ahoure has a personal best of 6.97, the sixth-fastest time in history.

Jamaicans Natalliah Whyte, who has a 7.12 personal best, and Christiania Williams with 7.14 as her career-best, are also in the field.

World youth 200m record-holder Amy Hunt of Great Britain will also enter with her 7.34 personal best.

(01/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Marie Allen
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Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow returns to Scotland and the Emirates Arena on the 15th of February. Forming part of the World Athletics World Indoor Tour, the top-ranked indoor meeting in the world will feature the biggest athletics stars from across the globe aiming to start their Olympic and Paralympic year with a bang. One year on from hosting...

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Track and field stars, led by the legendary Usain Bolt, praised tribute to basketball hero Kobe Bryant

Bryant, a legendary player for the Los Angeles Lakers, is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, 26 January. He was 41-years-old.

Usain Bolt, who shared a photo of him and Kobe, wrote: “Still can’t believe @kobebryant 🙏🏿🙏🏿#RIP.”

Jamaica’s 2011 World 100m champion, Yohan Blake, also expressed shock at the news. 

“Still can’t believe this news,” said Yohan Blake.

Former American athlete Sanya Richards-Ross also commented on Kobe’s death. “I’ve taken an intentional break from social media, but this warrants all our love and prayers…The world has lost a legend, an icon, but Bryant’s loss is unimaginable. Praying for his family and the families of the other lives that were lost in this terrifying accident. #RIPKobe”

American triple jumper, Will Claye, said: “I’m broken.”

“You are a superhero to me. It’s not fair, and I don’t want to believe it. My heart goes out to Vanessa, your girls and your parents. You’ve been getting me through a lot of days lately, and I thank you because only you could really understand the battle I’m in right now. I appreciate you Bean 🙏🏾 Rest easy,” said Claye.

Former American 100m hurdles champion Lolo Jones was at a loss for words.

“I don’t even know what to say, man,” she started out saying.

“The words won’t do justice. I can only pray for the comfort of your friends and loved ones. A lot of people looked up to you for your accomplishments as an athlete, but I was inspired by what you were doing after your career… writing books, directing movies, businesses. You showed that athletes can continue to do great things after retirement. I was honored to have you as a teammate,” said Jones, who shared a photo of herself and Kobe at the Olympic Games.

Wallace Spearmon wrote “#RIP to a legend @kobebryant . Life is short, live it… True Love is eternal; embrace it… Tomorrow isn’t promised, don’t wait… RIP mamba.”

Nike Running posted “Mamba forever."

Our condolences to Kobe and Gianna’s family and everyone involved in today’s tragedy.

(01/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tyler Day broke Galen Rupp’s American collegiate 5,000m record indoor record on Saturday at Boston University

Tyler Day of NAU (Northern Arizona University) broke Galen Rupp’s American collegiate 5,000m indoor record on Saturday at Boston University. Day finished second at the Boston Terrier Invitational in 13:16.95 to Nike’s Paul Tanui who won in 13:15.72.

Rupp announced only two weeks ago that he’s now coach by Mike Smith, head coach at NAU, who also coaches Day. Rupp made the move after his former training group, the Nike Oregon Project, was shut down in October.

Smith is one of the most successful men’s distance running coaches currently working in the NCAA. He helped the NAU men to back-to-back cross-country championships in 2017 and 2018. Rupp has reportedly been working with the coach for several months. The runner told The Oregonian that he plans to remain in Oregon but will have his training overseen by Smith. Rupp is currently training for the upcoming US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta.

As for Day, Saturday was a breakout performance. Day’s previously held 5,000m indoor personal best was from 2019, where he ran 13:55.40 in Birmingham, Alabama at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Day’s a senior majoring in journalism who has been a big part of NAU’s cross-country dynasty.

(01/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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More People Are Running Ultras Than Ever Before That’s not a guess. It’s a scientific fact.

Ultrarunning has become more mainstream over the past few decades as many runners have turned their attention to the trails to go beyond 26.2.

That’s not just an opinion, it’s a scientific fact backed by the research conducted by RunRepeat and the International Association of Ultrarunning, which teamed up to examine 5,010,730 race results from 15,451 races—roughly 80 percent of all ultras believed to have taken place worldwide since 1996.

With that much data, we can safely make some conclusions about the sport and where it’s headed. (You can read the entire report RunRepeat.) Here’s what stood out to our Runner’s World editors.  

It’s no surprise that as ultramarathons enter the mainstream, more people are signing up for races. This is a huge change compared to road races—5Ks have seen a decline since 2015, according to a RunRepeat and World Athletics study, while marathons have leveled off. In comparison, ultras have grown 345 percent since 1996 from 34,401 ultrarunners in 1996 to 611,098 in 2018.

That’s not to say everyone is doing the extreme distances. In fact, only about a quarter of ultrarunners prefer distances over 50 miles .

There is still a massive gender disparity in the ultrarunning world. In 2018, only 16 percent of race participants were female. Yikes! Work needs to be done to rectify that, but the current trend is promising.

That 16 percent represents around 97,700 women, whereas around 4,800 total women competed in ultras in 1996. The overall percentage still needs to tighten up, but it is exciting to see that there have never been more women going beyond 26.2 than right now.

Most numbers seem to point up in the study, except for the average pace we see in races longer than 26.2. On average, ultrarunners are moving at about at 13:16-per-mile pace. That’s 1:41 per mile more than in 1996 when the average pace was 11:35. This is likely because of the increase in amateur participation.

That becomes clearer when we look at the longer race paces that actually become faster when the race is longer. Over 50 miles is typically where you’ll find the most dedicated ultrarunners, which translates to more training and faster times. With this is mind, it also makes sense that the longer distance paces have remained fairly steady over the years whereas the 50K distance has seen the biggest slow down in pace, going down more than 2 and a half minutes slower than in 1996—a 23-percent change.

The average pace may be declining, but females are gaining on—and even passing in some circumstances—the men.

Women have slowed down from a 12:25 to a 13:23—40 seconds—at all distances above the marathon. However, men have slowed down from 11:24 to a 13:21—a 1:57 difference. Yes, that’s a two-second difference between the average paces for the genders.

However, women, on average, are faster than men by 0.6% during races longer than 195 miles. We think Courtney Dauwalter, Camille Herron, and Maggie Guterl would agree with that information.

The average age of participants has gone down by a little over the last decade—43.3 years old to 42.3. It’s not a huge shift, but it’s still a sign that the participants are skewing a little younger.

That’s unlike the rest of the running world that has seen all race’s average ages steadily increase since 1996. When we look at the 5K to marathon, the average age goes up from 39.3 to 42.5, according to a RunRepeat and World Athletics study. The study states this is likely because of more dedicated runners sticking with it into their 60s and 70s.

Don’t let age fool you though. Anyone can run. Take it from George Etzweiler and Gene Dykes.The Demographic Is Getting Younger

The average age of participants has gone down by a little over the last decade—43.3 years old to 42.3. It’s not a huge shift, but it’s still a sign that the participants are skewing a little younger.

That’s unlike the rest of the running world that has seen all race’s average ages steadily increase since 1996. When we look at the 5K to marathon, the average age goes up from 39.3 to 42.5, according to a RunRepeat and World Athletics study. The study states this is likely because of more dedicated runners sticking with it into their 60s and 70s.

Don’t let age fool you though. Anyone can run. Take it from George Etzweiler and Gene Dykes.

The U.S. does Lag Behind the Rest of the World.  Some of the best ultarunning talent in the world might come from the U.S. for both men and women, but overall, the country’s average pace is ranked eighth. Taking the podium spots when it comes to average speed over all distances beyond 26.2 miles are:

South Africa (10:36 average pace). Sweden (11:56). Germany (12:01)

After that, the Netherlands (12:41), United Kingdom (12:44), Belgium (13:03), and Australia (13:18) rank ahead of the U.S (13:22).

(01/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Moroccan athlete Hicham Laqouahi won the 31 Annual Marathon International de Marrakech

Laqouahi covered the distance of 42,097 km in 2h 06mn 32sec, thus breaking the marathon record which was since 2013 under the credit of the Kenyan athlete Stephan Tum (2h06mn35s). The second position in this 31st edition of MIM went to Kenyan Jacob Kendagor (2h 07mn 16s), followed in third place by the Ethiopian Feleke Wondouser (2h 07mn 32s).

In the Ladies category, the Ethiopian Negeri Hawi Alemu won the title of this 31st edition by finishing the race in 2h 27mn 56s.

Great performance for the Moroccan athlete Souad Kanbouchia who gleaned the second position with a time of 2h 28mins 07s, followed by the Ethiopian athlete Bere Asayech Ayalew who climbed the third step of the podium, with a time of 2h 28mins 20s.

In the Men's Half Marathon, the Moroccan athletes dominated the race by holding the top three steps of the podium hands down.

Thus the athlete Mohamed Reda El Aaraby won the title by finishing the race with a time of 1h 01mn 25s, followed by his compatriots Omar Ait Chitachen (1h 01mn 52s) and Hamid El Janati (1h 01mn 58s) respectively.

In the Ladies category, the domination was also 100% Moroccan. Thus, the first place was occupied by the athlete Oumaima Saoud (1h 11mn 20s), followed by his compatriots Kaoutar Farkoussi (1h 11mn 25s) and Hajjiba Hassnaoui (1h 12mn 13s).

In a press statement at the end of this international sporting event, the winner of this edition, Hicham Laqouahi, said he was very proud and happy to have broken the Marathon of Marrakech record and his personal record .

"This performance is the result of long and hard training throughout this year," added this native of Marrakech and member of the Achbal Marrakech athletics club, highlighting the excellent quality of the circuit as well as the good organization of this event.

In a similar statement, the winner of the men's half-marathon, Mohamed Reda El Aaraby, congratulated himself on having managed to achieve "the minimum which allows him to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games", expressing the wish to be in able to represent Morocco well at this major international sporting event.

In a statement to the MAP, the director of this sporting event, Mohamed Knidiri, stressed that this 31st edition was a success on all fronts, since we exceeded the number of 14,000 participants, who come from 70 nationalities, indicating that 50% of the participants are foreign to the Marathon, while 30% are foreign to the half-marathon.

(01/26/2020) ⚡AMP
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Marrakech Marathon

Marrakech Marathon

The magical town of Marrakesh offers an exceptional setting, a very mild climate in January and a beautiful circuit considered as one of the fastest in the world. It goes along the alleys of palm trees, orange, and olive trees, but also the ramparts of the city. The International Marathon of Marrakesh is not only expected to reconquer the prime...

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I never expected to hold to world marathon record for so long said Paula Radcliffe in Dubai this weekend

British marathon legend Paula Radcliffe revealed that she hadn't expected her world record to stand the test of time for so many years and said that it was only a matter of time before a new mark came about.

Radcliffe's women's world record of 2:15:25 seconds mark set at the London Marathon in 2003 had stood for 16 years until Kenyan Brigid Kosgei etched a new mark of 2:14:04 seconds at the Chicago Marathon last October.

And Radcliffe, who won the London Marathon in 2002, 2003 and 2005 apart from clinching gold at the World Championship in Helsinki in 2005, had felt an inkling of what was to transpire after watching Kosgei at the Great North Run just a month prior to the new world record being set. "I think when I saw Brigid Kosgei running in the Great North Run prior to Chicago, I knew that she was in shape to be able to beat the time," Radcliffe told the Khaleej Times on Friday.

As always, Radcliffe was in Dubai to attend the 21st edition of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

"You never expect to hold a world record even as long as I did but certainly not forever. So, it is always a matter of time until it is beaten," she added.

The 46-year-old Radcliffe also did the commentary for the race and felt that it was a great day of racing. Ethiopian Olika Adugna Bikila won the men's title while countrywoman Worknesh Degefa Debele won the women's title.

"Again, we saw excellent racing," felt Radcliffe. "Every year, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon produces usually very fast times and very good racing.

"Today (Friday), because of the conditions maybe, the times were not so fast. But still, it was very impressive racing and it was exciting to watch. Getting to see so many men coming into the final 300-400 metres together, produced a very, very exciting finish. And good wins and first and second for debutants in Dubai.

"Dubai is always known for bringing through the debutants with a good race. On the women's side, I think Worknesh went out very bravely and very strongly.

"She paid the price (recurrence of a back problem) a little bit in the second half but still managed to have a very dominant victory," added Radcliffe.

Radcliffe also paid a glowing tribute to Dubai after the city put on another good show. "I think it is the support, the course and the organisation. It is second to none," Radcliffe said about what makes the Dubai Marathon so special.

"It is a very fast course and conditions are usually good. The organisation is really strong so it helps the athletes to not have to worry about anything else other than their performance.

"And now, we are in the 21st year. Year upon year, it builds reputation and standing. So, now, it is the place to come in January if you are running well," she added.

(01/26/2020) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

In its relatively brief history (the race was first held in 2000), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has become one of the fastest, most respected and the most lucrative marathon in the world in terms of prize money. Each year thousands of runners take to the roads in this beautiful city in the United Arab Emirates for this extraordinary race...

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Hong Kong canceled its largest marathon because of the coronavirus threat to the city

The Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, originally scheduled for Feb. 8 and 9, will be scrapped for the first time since the bank began sponsoring it in 1997. The event involves 70,000 people this year and the government “believes it has to be canceled,” Lam said on Saturday as she raised the response level to “emergency.”

Hong Kong will face challenges on “multiple fronts” in 2020, Lam said, citing protests that have rocked the city since June and the spread of the coronavirus from China to at least 11 other countries.

“More protests and violence may come,“ she said. “An economic recession may also be something we cannot avoid. The epidemic will make matters worse for many industries.”

The government also extended school holidays for non-tertiary students to Feb. 17, and will indefinitely halt flights and rail services to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus originated, she said.

Lam’s comments came hours after she returned to Hong Kong from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She said she was in touch with advisers while traveling and denied criticism that her trip led to a delay in taking action against the virus.

“The government will continue monitoring the situation and be open to suggestions from various sectors,” Lam said. “The Chief Executive and Financial Secretary will roll out relief measures for industries when necessary.”

Lam also said Hong Kong will source masks and seek help from China’s State Council to increase the local supply, after pharmacies across the city sold out the stocks. In contrast, her government had enacted a rare emergency rule several months ago to impose a ban on face masks as part of a crackdown on protesters.

The virus, which started in December in a seafood and poultry market in Wuhan, poses a threat to Hong Kong’s economy, which is particularly vulnerable after seven months of protest that tipped the economy into recession in the third quarter. Lam has withdrawn a proposal that would’ve allowed for extraditions to China and triggered millions to rally against it, but protests have continued against abusive police tactics and eroding democratic freedoms.

(01/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Blake Schmidt, Natalie Lung, and Fion Li
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STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

The Hong Kong Marathon, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is an annual marathon race held in January or February in Hong Kong. In addition to the full marathon, a 10 km run and a half marathon are also held. Around 70,000 runners take part each year across all events. High levels of humidity and a difficult course make finishing times...

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Kilian Jornet is always up to something and this ultra feat might top his list

Kilian Jornet is always up to something: Breaking the records for the fastest ascent and descent on Mount Everest, winning some of the biggest ultramarathons in the world—including the 2017 Hardrock Endurance Run in a sling—and living his best life with his wife Emelie Forsberg in the mountains of Norway.

This time around, Jornet challenged his ski partner and world-class BASE jumper Tom Erik Heimen, 44, of Norway, to a race up and down one of the most-iconic climbing mountains in the world: Romsdalshorn. Sitting at more than 5,000 feet, both would have to climb up between 1,300 to 1,500 feet and descend to be declared the winner—Jornet doing so on foot and Heimen BASE-jumping down to the bottom.

Both took separate routes. Jornet went up the north face and climbed down Halls Renne on the other side while Heimen went up Halls Renne and BASE-jumped off the north face. This way, the two would cross paths during their treks.

“It was very unpredictable who would be faster,” Jornet said about the challenge. “I knew I could climb much faster, but the downhill is down climbing so it takes as much time as going up for me. And I also knew that Tom Erik [has] a very good physical level, so he would be quick to climb and of course very fast on the way down.”

As you can see in the video, Jornet has no issue ascending, finishing in just over 30 minutes before beginning his descent. Heimen reached the top 15 minutes after crossing paths with Jornet during his descent and quickly suited up for his jump.

Heimen hit the ground two minutes after takeoff, but Jornet made it to the bottom in a time of 52:26. Heimen’s time was 53:55.

“What surprised me most with the challenge was how fast Kilian is descending the technical and steep Halls Renne with the challenges of loose rocks all the way,” Heimen said. “I know he is very fast going up, and had no doubts that he would beat me to the summit, but I was expecting him to spend more time climbing down than climbing up.”

Jornet’s latest antics add to a constantly growing number of wild races and feats that runners are attempting like Nick Symmonds going for the fastest mile while dribbling a basketball, Mario Mendoza’s 50K treadmill record, or Cynthia Arnold smashing the triple-person stroller marathon record.

Who knows what we’ll see next?

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(01/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Japanese Yuta Shitara plans for the Tokyo Marathon and his last chance to make the Olympic team

In an interview in Miyazaki on Jan. 23, former men's marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara, talked in no uncertain terms about his plans for the Tokyo Marathon, his last chance to earn a ticket to the 2020 Olympics.

It's going to take breaking current record holder Suguru Osako's 2:05:50 national record to take the third spot on the Olympic team. But, said Shitara, "Even if I break the national record and am chosen, unless I run 2:04 I won't deserve to run in the Tokyo Olympics.

" If he runs a 2:05 national record, he said unambiguously, "I'll probably turn it down."Commenting on Shitara's statement, his coach Satoshi Ogawa said, "I think he has complete confidence about winter races, but when it comes to summer races he's not as sure he can perform as expected.

He probably thinks that there are other people who can do better in summer races."Shitara also said, "Tokyo will be the last marathon I run in Japan," indicating that he plans to shift his focus to competing in high-level races abroad. The Tokyo Marathon is more than sufficiently high-level, regularly featuring athletes who have run in the 2:02 to 2:03 range, but, said Ogawa, "He wants to take on the challenge of competing internationally.

He doesn't want conservative races, he wants to go fast and hard. For him it's all or nothing.

"At the 2018 Tokyo Marathon Shitara ran a then-national record 2:06:11. After a planned confrontation with the man who broke his record failed to materialize at last year's Tokyo, the anticipation for his showdown with Osako this year is already building.

(01/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Worku and Yavi are in the spotlight at the Cinque Mulini cross country in Italy

Ethiopian teenager Tadese Worku and defending champion Winfred Mutile Yavi from Bahrain will be in the spotlight at the 88th edition of the Cinque Mulini in San Vittore Olona, Italy, the seventh leg of this season’s World Athletics Cross Country Permit, on Sunday (26).

The 2020 edition of the famous Italian cross country race will be highlighted by a battle between the new wave of African stars, duded “Generation Z” by race organisers, and the best Italian middle distance runners.

Three of the top four finishers in the U20 race at last year’s World Cross Country Championships - Worku, Oscar Chelimo from Uganda and Leonard Kipkemboi Bett from Kenya - will line-up in the men’s race.

Worku, who turned 18 on 20 January, won the U20 silver medal in Aarhus last March. He has been one of most consistent cross country runners this season with back-to-back wins in the World Athletics Cross Country Permit meetings in Elgoibar and Seville. Worku also won the Giro di Castelbuono road race last July, finished third at the Giro al Sas in Trento and set career best times of 7:43.24 in the 3000m and 13:18.17 in the 5000m.

Chelimo, the younger brother of 2018 Cinque Mulini winner Jacob Kiplimo, won bronze in the same Arhus race and took bronze in the 3000m at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. The 18-year-old Ugandan clocked 7:44.82 in the 3000m and 13:20.10 in the 5000m.

Bett won the world U20 steeplechase title in 2018 and went on to finish fourth in the U20 race in Aarhus. He set his 3000m steeplechase lifetime best of 8:08.61 in Doha last May.

Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo will fight for another top-three placing after winning in Alcobendas on 24 November and finishing second in Soria one week earlier. The 22-year-old trains with Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa under the guidance of Italian coach Massimo Pegoretti.

Morocco’s 1500m specialist Abdelati Iguider will test his shape over a longer distance with the aim to continue the proud Moroccan tradition in San Vittore Olona, which started with the wins of Khalid Skah in 1991 and Salah Hissou in 1999 and the runner-up finish by Soufian El Bakkali in 2017. Iguider won the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.

Another interesting entrant is Kenya’s Jackson Muema, who won the cross country race at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Crippa will carry Italian hopes for a top-three placing after finishing fourth for the second consecutive year at the Campaccio Cross Country race on 6 January. During a successful 2019 season Crippa finished eighth in the 10,000m at the World Championships clocking 27:10.76 to break the national record. Last December he won European Cross Country bronze after winning the U20 race in 2014 and 2015 and finishing third in the U23 race in 2016 and 2017. Crippa trained for three weeks in Monte Gordo in Portugal in preparation for the Cinque Mulini and will be aiming to become the first Italian to reach the podium since Stefano Baldini in 2005.

The Italian line-up is completed by Yohanes Chiappinelli, the European 3000m steeplechase bronze medallist in 2018, Cesare Maestri, silver medallist at the 2019 World Mountain Running Championships and winner at last week’s Vallagarina Cross Country race in Rovereto, and Italian 5000m champion Marouan Razine, who finished sixth at the Campaccio this year.

Yavi targetting successful defence

Yavi will return to San Vittore Olona to defend the title she won last year in snowy conditions. The 20-year-old went on to finish fourth in the 3000m steeplechase at the World Championships after improving her lifetime best to 9:10.74 in Monaco.

Kenyan hopes will be carried by Mercy Cherono, world silver medallist in the 5000m in Moscow 2013, and Gloria Kite, who finished third in the 2019 Cinque Mulini and in the 2020 Campaccio and set her 3000m PB with 8:29.91 in Doha last May.

The women’s race will be also highlighted by 20-year-old Kenyan Jackline Jerono, who won two recent cross country races in Allonnes and Le Mans, France, and Jasmijn Bakker from the Netherlands, who was fourth in the U23 race at last month’s European Championships.  

Rising Italian middle distance star Nadia Battocletti will aim to continue her successful season after claiming her second European Cross Country U20 title and finishing sixth at the Campaccio. The daughter of former distance runner Giuliano Battocletti won the European U20 silver medal in the 5000m last year.

Other Italian runners in the field are world U20 mountain running champion Angela Mattevi and Valeria Roffino, who finished 11th at the European Cross Country Championships.

(01/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto will be featured at the Tokyo Marathon on March 1 as part of his preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games

Kenyan Amos Kipruto is  set to use Tokyo Marathon as Olympic build-up.

However, the Olympic Games will depends on whether he makes the final cut. Kipruto finished third in last year's  Tokyo Marathon in 2:06.33 and will be seeking to improve on his performance. 

" I have taken my training a notch higher and I do about 35km in a day—20km in my morning run and 15km in the evening. Marathon is not a one-day affair  as everything—ranging from endurance and speed among other things have to be perfect,” said Kipruto.

Kipruto shot to fame in 2018 when he finished second behind Eliud Kipchoge who posted a new world marathon record in Berlin.

“Covering 200km a week is not easy and I will have to take one step at a time.  I have been working closely with my coach Claudio Berardelli and I have a good training programme,” added Kipruto, who trains at 2 Running Club.

With top runners chasing Olympic slots, Kipruto said he is still waiting to see if he will make the shortlist for the Tokyo Games.

“For now, my focus is Tokyo Marathon. If I will be named in the team to the Olympics, I will be glad to represent my country.  It is the pride of every runner to compete for his or her country at the global stage,” he added.

Kipruto made his debut for the country at the World Championships in Doha last year and will be ready if offered a chance to compete at the Olympic Games. 

(01/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Race Committee is excited to Offer $10,000 World Record Bonuses at this year’s race

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Race Committee is excited to announce new World Record bonuses being offered at this year’s race, scheduled for Sunday, April 5. These new bonuses are in addition to the $10,000 bonuses that have been offered to the first U.S. male and female breaking the American Record for the last three years.

Since the race started in 1973, the annual Runner’s Rite of Spring ® has been the site of 10 world and nine American records. The first World Record was set in 1986 when Portugal's Rosa Mota ran 53:09, and the most recent was in 2007 when Ethiopia's Teyba Erkesso set the Single-sex Women's World Record with a time of 51:44 (which still stands).

The first American Record set at the event was in 1976 by Julie Shea in 57:04, and the most recent by Janet Bawcom with a Single-sex Women's American Record of 52:12 in 2014.

Event Director Phil Stewart said, "As the 19 world and American records show, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile has long been the venue for extraordinary international and American stars to showcase their talents on the streets of the Nation's Capital. We hope that offering the new World Record bonuses will set the stage for our 20th World or American record performance as the event closes in on its gala 50th running in 2022. Our organizing committee has always taken great pride in staging a world-class sporting event for these elite athletes alongside a beloved spring tradition for 16,000 participants taking up to three times as long to cover the same distance."

The addition of the bonuses brings the total amount of prize money and bonuses up for grabs in 2020 to $116,500. A complete breakdown of that $116,500 includes the aforementioned $20,000 should both men’s and women’s World Records be broken (see times below); $10,000 for the first American man to break Greg Meyer’s American Record of 46:13, set here in 1983; $10,000 for the first American woman to break Bawcom’s American Record of 52:12, set here in 2014; $40,000 in open prize money, plus a possible $3,500 in time bonuses, paid equally to the top-ten men and women; and $25,000 in American prize money, again paid equally to the top-ten American men and women.

In addition, race organizers have collaborated with the Road Runners Club of America to offer a total of $6,000 to the top-three American men and women who qualify as past recipients of RRCA Road Scholar Grants, or are RRCA RunPro Camp alumni. Finally, the Washington Metropolitan Area Team Championship Division offers $1,000 to the first place men’s and women’s teams consisting of talented, open-division DC-area Running Club Store or Running Club teams.

(01/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The 2020 race is cancelled. The Credit Union Cherry Blossom is known as "The Runner's Rite of Spring" in the Nation's Capital. The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals,...

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Defending champion, International Medalists and National Record-Holders to Headline Women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile

Defending champion and world championship medalist Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany, former NCAA champion Elinor Purrier, Canadian record-holder Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, and Pan American Games champion Nikki Hiltz of the United States will lead the NYRR Wanamaker Mile women’s field at the 113th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 8 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center.

The signature event at the NYRR Millrose Games has taken place every year on the women’s side since 1976 and will be broadcast live nationally on NBC for the fourth consecutive year from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET, in addition to streamed live online on NBC Sports Gold.

“This year’s women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile will feature some of the sport’s biggest rising international stars, including Konstanze, Elinor, Gabriela, and Nikki, who will headline a world-class field,” said NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn. “We are excited to fill The Armory and cheer on these tremendous athletes.”

Klosterhalfen led the NYRR Wanamaker Mile from wire-to-wire last year, winning the race in 4:19.98 and breaking a 31-year-old German national record in the process. She went on to win a bronze medal over 5000 meters at the IAAF World Championships in Doha in October. The 22-year-old, who competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics, is the indoor German national record holder over one mile, 1500 meters, 3000 meters, and 5000 meters.

“I'm happy to be back in here to race the NYRR Wanamaker Mile again,” said Klosterhalfen. “Last year was my first time in New York and the atmosphere was great. I hope it'll be a good start into my 2020 season.”

Purrier was the runner-up at the 2019 New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile and represented the U.S. at the 2019 world championships, qualifying for the final in the 5000 meters. She was an 11-time All-American at the University of New Hampshire, where she won the 2018 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the women’s mile.

“The first time I ever ran in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile was when I was in college and it has been a special race to me ever since,” Purrier said. “It was the first time I had the chance to compete on such a big stage and against some of the world's best runners. It was one of the best opportunities I was given as a young emerging runner and certainly was a building block that helped establish my career. Now, as I represent New Balance, and return to the start line I feel very excited for this opportunity once again. Being invited to the NYRR Wanamaker Mile is a great privilege as it is one of the most pristine, competitive, and fun indoor races.”

DeBues-Stafford is the Canadian record-holder in the 1500 meters, mile, and 5000 meters, and finished sixth last year in the 1500 meters at the World Athletics Championships, smashing her own national record in the process. She represented her country at the Rio 2016 Olympics and the last two World Athletics Indoor Championships, and has won four consecutive national 1500-meter titles.

Hiltz represented the U.S. at the world championships last year after winning gold over 1500 meters at the Pan American Games. She also secured victories at the BAA Mile, Adidas Boost Games Mile, and the USATF Road Mile Championships. In her last trip to New York, she finished fourth at the 2019 New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile.

(01/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Ethiopian Haftamnesh Tesfay leads a quartet of sub-2:22 runners at the 39th edition of the Osaka Women’s Marathon

Four runners from abroad have faster personal bests than the Japanese: Ethiopians Tesfay and Meskerem Assefa, Mimi Belete of Bahrain and Kenyan Bornes Jepkirui. Tesfay ran 2:20:13 in her debut at the 2018 Dubai Marathon, at the time the fourth fastest marathon debut in history. She followed up with a 2:20:47 run in Frankfurt later that year. Assefa won the Nagoya Women’s Marathon in 2018 and later in the year finished 11 seconds ahead of Tesfay in Frankfurt with a 2:20:36 PB. Although they did not have a good 2019 season, both have sub-2:20 potential and said they are running to win on Sunday.

With a 2:21:22 performance to her credit, Mimi Belete is the third fastest in the field; more importantly, she set that at last October’s Amsterdam Marathon, clipping more than a minute from her previous best. Belete was a solid performer on the track, with 1500m and 5000m medals Asian Games medals in her collection.

Defending champion Fatuma Sado and Jepkirui, who was third last year, are back. Jepkirui improved her personal best to 2:21:26 in the 2019 Ljubljana Marathon. The last runner to win back-to-back titles was Lidia Simon who won in 1999 and 2000. Before the Romanian, Katrin Dorre also collected back-to-back victories. The German won in Osaka a record four times. Her daughter, Katharina Steinruck, a 2:27:26 marathoner, will be running this year.

For Japanese women, it is the second to last opportunity to secure the third spot on the Olympic marathon squad. The first two finishers at September's Marathon Grand Championships (MGC) were automatically selected for the team. But third place finisher Rei Ohara, who finished four seconds behind the automatic-qualifying spot for the team, is not confirmed. Four years ago at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon, Ohara finished one second behind Tomomi Tanaka who clinched the final spot on the team bound for Rio. Thus Ohara is a sentimental favourite here, but if somebody runs faster than 2:22:22 in Osaka, or later in Nagoya, Ohara will be out.

Ohara could have chosen to sit and wait, but she decided run in Osaka.

“The memory of missing the team by one second four years ago still haunts me,” Ohara said, speaking at today’s pre-race press conference. “I could have sat and waited, but I want to be a challenger. On Sunday I want to go after the team berth which eluded me at the MGC.”

That sets up the clash between Ohara, who was third in the MGC, Mizuki Matsuda, fourth in the MGC and Kayoko Fukushi, seventh in the MGC, as a potential highlight of the race. Fukushi is the fastest with a 2:22:17 personal best from the 2016 Osaka race. Matsuda is six seconds slower with 2:22:23, recorded in the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

“I have done the best training possible,” said Matsuda, who also attended today’s press conference. “I will run on Sunday as if it is the last race of my life.”

Finally, newly minted Japanese half marathon record holder Hitomi Niiya, who blitzed to a 1:06:38 victory in Houston last weekend, will run as a pacemaker. 

(01/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Osaka International Womens Marathon

Osaka International Womens Marathon

The Osaka International Ladies Marathon is an annual marathon road race for women over the classic distance of 42.195 kilometres which is held on the 4th or 5th Sunday of January in the city of Osaka, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Kansai Telecasting Corporation, the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Radio Osaka and Osaka City. The first...

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Ethiopians Worknesh Degefa sizzles 2:19:38 in Dubai, while debutant Olika Adugna prevails in men's race

For tenacity, Worknesh Degefa was the star of the show in the 21st anniversary race of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race on Friday 24, the Ethiopian enduring mid-race physical problems to clock 2:19:38 and win the women’s race. But for sheer opportunism, debutants Olika Adugna of Ethiopia and Eric Kiptanui of Kenya carried the day, outwitting the tried and tested marathoners, to finish first and second in the men’s race, in 2:06:15 and 2:06:17.

Degefa won by half a minute from compatriot Guteni Shone, with another Ethiopian Bedatu Hirpa further back in third; but the measure of the blanket finish of the men’s race was that Beshah Yerssie ran 2:06:34, which would have been a world record two decades ago, yet his 11th place meant he got zero prize money.

The mass sprint was more reminiscent of a track event. And sure enough the sprinters won; or rather the former track men. The experienced marathoners were keeping a close eye on one other and ignoring Adugna and Kiptanui, but when it came down to speed rather than staying power, Adugna followed the initial sprint of Kiptanui from 500 metres out, then whizzed past him after another 100 metres, and took the victory and the $100,000 first prize. Two more Ethiopians followed on 2:06:18, with Tsedat Abeje getting the nod over Lencho Tesfaye.

Degefa won this race on her own debut in 2017, and finished fourth the following year, yet though she could only finish second to Ruth Cheongetich last year, she said that her national record of 2:17:41 followed by victory in Boston last April meant that she now felt "really confident as a marathon runner".

Accordingly, she set out to underline her status as world’s sixth fastest woman. She asked for a fast pace, and approaching halfway, with a lead of over a minute, she was on course for a 2:16 clocking. But then a back injury that has blighted her training and caused her miss New York in November flared up, and looking distinctly uncomfortable, she dropped off the pace.

With her lead reduced considerably by the end, she only just managed to cross the line before collapsing and needing medical attention. But she revived soon enough to say, "I’m really proud that I managed to keep going when my back was giving me so many problems. I want to sort them out, because my aim is to represent my country in the Olympic Games (Tokyo in August)." That would be after defending her Boston title in April.

Degefa also won $100,000, out of an overall prize pot of a million dollars. And after expressing his surprise that the leaders should have followed a relatively sedate pace - "At 40k, I realised that, with my speed I could win," - Adugna underlined the financial primacy of road running, and marathons in particular nowadays when he completely dismissed the idea of returning to track. Then again, a hundred grand is a powerful argument for sticking to the roads.

 

(01/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

In its relatively brief history (the race was first held in 2000), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has become one of the fastest, most respected and the most lucrative marathon in the world in terms of prize money. Each year thousands of runners take to the roads in this beautiful city in the United Arab Emirates for this extraordinary race...

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Two Canadian elites will be on the start line of the 2020 Boston Marathon

The 2020 Boston Marathon announced its elite lineup on Wednesday morning, and 2018 third-place finisher Krista DuChene, 43, is on the list. DuChene will be returning for her third consecutive Boston Marathon.

DuChene had a strong 2019, with her most recent result coming from the Berlin Marathon, where she won the masters race in 2:32:27–her fastest marathon time since 2015.

The new qualification system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games allows athletes who’ve placed in the top 10 at a World Major to be considered for entry. If DuChene can have a good day, her placing in Boston could also place her in the conversation for Olympic team selection. The team will be selected at the end of May, only six weeks after the Boston Marathon.

Other women on the elite list are Worknesh Degefa (2:17:41), Des Linden (2:22:38), Edna Kiplagat (2:19:50) and Magdalyne Masai, whose personal best 2:22:16 was from her victory at Toronto in 2019.

In the men’s race, Dylan Wykes, the fifth-fastest Canadian marathoner of all time, will also be on the start line. The former professional runner has been making his way onto the elite scene for the past year and a half. The race that really caught people’s attention was when he became the Canadian 10K champion in 2019.

Other elites to watch are Lawrence Cherono (2:04:06), Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45) and Philemon Rono (a.k.a Baby Police), the three-time STWM champion and Canadian all-comers record-holder, who holds a personal best of 2:05:00.

(01/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20, is now postponed to September 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak, Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants...

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The Hong Kong Marathon prize money competes with major world marathons

The men’s and women’s winners of next month’s Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon  will each receive a cash award of US$65,000 (HK$507,000) from the organizers, a figure which does not lag far behind other major races around the world.

Although the amount remains the same as last year, the annual Hong Kong showpiece, to be held on Sunday, February 9, is still attractive to many distance runners from marathon powerhouses such as Kenya and Ethiopia, with all top 10 finishers to be rewarded.

The runner-up will receive US$30,000 with US$15,000 going to the third-placed finisher, down to US$1,000 to the runner who finishes 10th.

There will be an additional bonus for runners who can break the 42.195-kilometer course record starting from Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui to the finish in Victoria Park on the Island side. But after Barnabus Kiptum, of Kenya, set an impressive time of two hours, nine minutes and 20 seconds for the men’s in 2019 and Volha Mazuronak of Belarus’s 2:26:13, which was also set last year, it would be a touch challenge to collect that extra US$12,000 (HK$93,600) cash bonus.

But if they can’t beat the course record, there is still be a consolation prize of US$10,000 if a runner can finish below 2:10 in the men’s and 2:28 in the women’s.

Local runners may struggle to beat the overseas legions to collect the cash awards, but the best Hong Kong runner is still rewarded with a cash prize of US$3,400 (HK$26,500), down to US$200 for the 15th place finisher. 

Hong Kong runners may also find it difficult to set personal bests because of the difficult course, which involves running up to the top of Stonecutters Bridge from the 10km mark before going through the Western Harbour Tunnel when they reach the Island side. But it serves as a good opportunity to secure some prize money.

In Asia, the 2020 Tokyo Marathon, which will be held a month after the Hong Kong event, offers US$98,000 to the men’s and women’s champions as one of the six marathon majors in the world. The Seoul International Marathon, also in March, rewards each winner US$80,000, provided they can finish below 2:10 for the men’s and 2:24 for the women’s. If not, the two winners receive US$40,000 each.

The Dubai Marathon in UAE once offered a stunning cash prize of US$200,000 for the winners, but the 2020 event only sees a top prize of US$100,000, which is the same amount offered by the two Majors in the United States – the Chicago and New York City Marathons. The Boston Marathon, which began in 1897 and usually takes place on the third Monday of April, hands out the biggest cheque of US$150,000 to the 2020 champions.

At least 4,000 marathon runners have entered the IAAF “Gold Label” event in Hong Kong, including home favorite Christy Yiu Kit-ching who aims to get into the top five in the women’s category to secure her berth for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

(01/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Chan Kin-wa
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STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

The Hong Kong Marathon, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is an annual marathon race held in January or February in Hong Kong. In addition to the full marathon, a 10 km run and a half marathon are also held. Around 70,000 runners take part each year across all events. High levels of humidity and a difficult course make finishing times...

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Will the Course Records Fall For the Third Straight Year at 2020 Dubai Marathon!

It’s a good week to be a running fan and we  get an appetizer with the Dubai Marathon. Though it’s not the most historic race or the most challenging course (flat with only six turns), Dubai always cranks out fast times and sets the tone as the year’s first major (but not technically an Abbott World Marathon Major) marathon.

The names in this year fields aren’t all familiar, but the depth is certainly there again in 2020: there are 11 sub-2:08 men entered — among major marathons in 2019, only Boston (15) had more. On the women’s side, Boston Marathon champ Worknesh Degefa returns to Dubai, where she ran 2:17:41 to finish second last year, to lead a field of six sub-2:24 women. There’s also $100,000 for the win — one of the richest first-place prizes in marathoning, and life-changing money for most of these athletes.

Many athletes use Dubai as a stepping stone in their careers: show up, run a fast time, and use the performance to boost their appearance fees at major marathons. But since Dubai itself rarely offers appearance fees (outside of the years Haile Gebrselassie or Kenenisa Bekele showed up), the winner doesn’t always return to defend their title and it can be hard to predict a favorite from what is always a deep field.

This year’s men’s race is wide open. Ethiopia’s Solomon Deksisa, coming off a runner-up finish in Amsterdam, is the fastest in the field by PR (2:04:40), but seven other men have run within two minutes of his best. Realistically, any of those guys could win, but two stand out as particularly intriguing.

The first is another Ethiopian, Andualem Belay. Entering 2019, Belay had run 14 marathons, breaking 2:11 just once (2:09:59 at 2015 Dubai). Then Belay, now 27, dropped a 2:08:16 pb to win the Castellon Marathon in Spain, followed by a 2:08:51 victory in Riga and another huge PR of 2:06:00 to win Lisbon in October, breaking the course record in all three instances. That’s a pretty unbelievable breakthrough for a guy who was a relatively mediocre marathoner before last year, but after his 2019 campaign, he’s clearly among the favorites in Dubai.

Unlike the men’s race, there is a clear favorite on the women’s side: Worknesh Degefa. The Ethiopian, who won Boston last year, has raced Dubai three times and has run a PR each time: a debut 2:22 win in 2017, 2:19 for 4th in 2018, and 2:17 for 2nd last year. With reigning Dubai champ Ruth Chepngetich opting for London instead this year, Degefa is the class of the Dubai field.

While Degefa is the fifth-fastest woman of all time, only one other woman entered in Dubai has broken 2:21: Buzunesh Deba, the 2014 Boston Marathon champ who hasn’t done anything of note since finishing 3rd in Boston in 2015. Barring a major breakthrough, Degefa should roll here.

(01/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

In its relatively brief history (the race was first held in 2000), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has become one of the fastest, most respected and the most lucrative marathon in the world in terms of prize money. Each year thousands of runners take to the roads in this beautiful city in the United Arab Emirates for this extraordinary race...

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Mo Farah confirmed he will compete in the Vitality Big Half in London on March 1

Mo Farah will launch his 2020 season in London after confirming he will run the Vitality Big Half on March 1.

Sportsmail reported last week that Farah was in talks to run in the capital and now he has signed to face off against three-time Olympic gold medallist Kenenisa Bekele.

The race will serve as early-season preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, where Farah will run the 10,000m after turning his back on the marathon. 

He will be racing in Britain for the first time since his former coach Alberto Salazar was banned for anti-doping violations - a verdict that has brought renewed scrutiny on their relationship.

Farah said: 'I am really looking forward to coming back to The Vitality Big Half and kicking off my 2020 season. 

'Everyone knows how much I enjoy racing in London. It's my home city and it always gives me a buzz to come back and race here.'

Farah is also expected to run at the Anniversary Games at the London Stadium in July.

(01/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Riath Al-Samarrai
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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The Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP is one of several events that has already benefited from adopting the World Athletics road race medical protocol

The World Athletics road race medical protocol, developed for last year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha, has drastically reduced the number of medical emergencies at other road races that have introduced the management system.

Organised alongside the International Institute for Race Medicine (IIRM), World Athletics held Race Emergency Medicine Workshops in Tokyo, Doha, Valencia and Singapore last year. Race medical directors and health professionals were invited to attend as a way of improving their knowledge and race-day management skills.

Dr Luis Cort, the medical director for the Valencia Marathon, Half Marathon and 10km, visited the World Athletics headquarters last year and attended the race Emergency Medicine Workshop in Doha. He then adopted the World Athletics medical protocols for the marathon and 10km in Valencia in December and noticed a marked improvement in the treatment of runners.

Despite a significant increase in the number of runners at last month’s Valencia Marathon, there was a dramatic reduction in the number of transfers made to city hospitals. Just two of the 23,600 runners had to be transferred to hospital on the day of the race. Over the previous three years, the number of hospital transfers had ranged between 16-19 from an average of 17,000 participants. In addition, all episodes of heat stroke were treated in the on-site medical tent.

“After my first year of working for the Valencia Marathon in 2016, I realised we needed to focus on runners’ pathology,” said Cort. “For example, when a runner fainted at the finish line, we wouldn’t immediately know what had happened with them, so in most cases we’d have to transfer them to a city hospital. I decided that we should work with protocols and try to treat as many people as possible in our medical tent.

“Although our marathon is in December, Valencia is still hot at that time of year, especially for people travelling from colder countries, so heat stroke is a common problem. We made a huge effort to train our staff in runners’ pathology, especially heat stroke. We improved our medical devices according to World Athletics’ recommendations, and all our staff knew what to do in case of an altered mental state. We also trained our doctors in the finish line and the recovery area.

“We insist on trying to keep runners walking if possible, and not sitting them down when they cross the finish line,” he added. “With this simple measure alone, we cut down on the number of admissions to the medical tent.

“This year, we tried to treat as many runners as we could at our medical tent, and only transferred runners to the city hospital if we could not fully treat them in our medical tent. As a race that attracts many people from overseas, we have to be as effective as possible so that patients’ travel schedules aren’t disrupted.”

Cort would urge other people in his field to attend a World Athletics-IIRM Race Emergency Medicine Workshop.

“Not many people do this kind of job so you can sometimes feel quite alone,” says Cort. “But attending one of these workshops will not only improve your knowledge of runners’ pathology, it’s also an opportunity to meet other medical directors and share their knowledge.”

Stéphane Bermon, Director of the World Athletics Health and Science Department, now hopes that even more road races will follow suit.

“Valencia’s success story shows the efficacy of the medical strategies implemented this year through the counselling and training that we provided,” says Bermon. “The economical and image impacts were also very important for the Trinidad Alfonso foundation and the city of Valencia in their role of main sponsors.”

(01/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...

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Saitama International Marathon will be canceled this year due to problems with attracting elite athletes and other issues

It has been learned that the Saitama metropolitan government and the JAAF, organizers of the Saitama International Marathon used as a selection race for World Championships and Olympic teams, plan not to hold the race this year due to problems with attracting elite athletes and other issues.

Launched in 2015 as the successor to the discontinued Yokohama International Women's Marathon, the annual Saitama International Marathon was the first World Athletics-certified marathon in the prefecture of Saitama.But due to its hilly course Saitama earned a reputation for slow times, and cases of elite Japanese women canceling plans to run became more and more frequent.

At last month's fifth edition, despite the opportunity to earn a place on the 2020 Olympic team only one elite Japanese woman competed. According to a person involved in the situation, it was no longer possible to justify spending over 700 million yen (~$6.4 million USD) to hold a national team selection race with decreasing participation and popularity.

In light of that situation, the consensus has been reached not to hold the event this year. However, with the accompanying mass participation race having attracted almost 20,000 runners last year to rank it as one of Japan's biggest marathons, the organizers are exploring options to reshape it as a mass participation amateur event beginning next year.

However, due to the necessity of closing major roads for an extended period of time, costs for road closure permits and security for the event are high. And because of excellent mass transportation access to the event from the Tokyo metropolitan area, some critics have pointed out that the lack of people staying in local hotels for the race limits its economic benefit to the region.

Costs have also been high due to changes the organizers have made every year in an effort to make the course flatter. Despite those efforts, in including Saitama in the series of races through which Japanese women could qualify for the MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials the JAAF set the qualifying time one minute slower for Saitama than for the Osaka International Women's Marathon and Nagoya Women's Marathon.

Even so, not a single athlete qualified at either edition of Saitama held within the qualifying window. Compared to the lone Japanese woman who competed in Saitama in December ten are set to race in Osaka this weekend, illustrating Saitama's lack of popularity.

(01/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Saitama International Marathon

Saitama International Marathon

The Saitama International Marathon is a women's marathon held in Saitama, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Saitama Prefecture, Saitama City, Nippon Television Network and the Yomiuri Shimbun. The event is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race. The competition took the place of the Yokohama Women's Marathon which was held in Yokohama from 2009 until 2014 and...

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Switzerland’s Julien Wanders has already smashed one of his European records in 2020, and he will be looking to another record in Ras Al Khaimah

Switzerland’s Julien Wanders  is confirmed to compete at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on 21 February. He is one of eleven athletes with lifetime bests under the one hour-mark to be recruited for this year’s race. 

It was in the same race last year when Wanders set the current mark of 59:13 to break Mo Farah’s previous record of 59:32. Farah has since run faster - 59:07 in the Great North Run last September - although that mark was set on a downhill course and is not valid for record purposes.

Wanders has started his season in stellar form with a third place finish in the 10K Valencia Ibercaja in 27:13 - he also equaled his European 5km record of 13:29 en route - which sliced twelve seconds from his previous record and the Iten-based Swiss has aspirations of following suit in Ras Al Khaimah next month.

“RAK will be a perfect opportunity to test my shape and lower my PB over the half marathon before the World Championships in March,” said Wanders, referring to the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland on March 29.

Wanders finished eighth at the last edition of the World Half Marathon Championships and fourth in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon last year - something he will be looking to improve upon judging by his comments after last year’s race. "The only thing is I was fourth! I just missed out on the podium but otherwise I'm happy," he said.

The men’s field also includes Ethiopians Andamlak Berihu (59:10), Mosinet Geremew (59:11), Solomon Berihu (59:17) and Amdework Walegegn (59:22) and Kenya’s Benard Kimeli (59:07 PB) who finished one place ahead of Wanders in Valencia.

(01/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Ethiopians Soloman Deksisa and Seifu Tura lead a strong men's field for the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

The men's race is guaranteed a new champion as no previous winners are entered for this year's Dubai Marathon.

Ethiopian men have triumphed at the past eight editions of the race and that trend looks set to continue as a strong Ethiopian contingent - including six men with PBs faster than 2:07 - will be in action on Friday.

With a PB of 2:04:40, 25-year-old Deksisa is the fastest athlete on the men's start list. Despite his relatively young age, the talented Ethiopian has built up plenty of experience at the marathon distance after a brief track career.

At the age of just 20, he won the 2014 San Diego Half Marathon with a personal best of 1:00:12, then two years later he moved up to the marathon and ran an impressive 2:06:22 debut in Rotterdam to finish second.

Since then he has fully focused on the 42.195km distance and claimed his first marathon victory in Mumbai in 2018 before winning again in Hamburg a few months later. It proved to be his best year so far as he ended it with a 2:04:40 PB to finish third in Amsterdam. His lifetime best is just one minute outside the Dubai course record set in 2019 by Getaneh Molla.

Deksisa’s compatriot Seifu Tura is another of Ethiopia’s crop of rising stars who made an impressive marathon debut with a solid second place in 2:09:26 in Seoul in 2017.

Still just 22, Tura enjoyed his best day at the 2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon when he took full advantage of the renowned fast course to carve a big slice off his personal best, improving by four minutes to run 2:04:44 for seventh. The young Ethiopian has also sealed marathon wins in Milan and Shanghai, while setting a half marathon personal best of 59:17 in Buenos Aires in August.

With a best of 2:06:00, Andualem Belay Shiferaw may not be the fastest in the field, but he will be feeling confident after being unbeaten at the marathon distance in 2019. He set his PB in his most recent race, winning the Lisbon Marathon in October.

Aychew Bantie Dessie, 38-year-old Birhanu Bekele Berga and Limenih Getachew Yizengaw are the other sub-2:07 performers in the field. If the conditions are kind - temperatures are expected to be about 19C at the time of the race - then they could improve on their times on the flat and fast course.

Bahrain's Aweke Ayalew and Kenya's marathon debutant Eric Kiptanui will be looking to end Ethiopia's winning streak in Dubai. Ayalew made his marathon debut in Frankfurt last year, finishing third in 2:07:12, while Kiptanui's half marathon PB of 58:42 suggests he could run a swift time in the marathon.

(01/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

In its relatively brief history (the race was first held in 2000), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has become one of the fastest, most respected and the most lucrative marathon in the world in terms of prize money. Each year thousands of runners take to the roads in this beautiful city in the United Arab Emirates for this extraordinary race...

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Ethiopian record-holder Worknesh Degefa will target a second victory at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Worknesh Degefa will start as red-hot favorite thanks to her enviable record on the flat and fast streets of Dubai. In 2017, the diminutive 29-year-old stunned an experienced field by winning in Dubai on what was her marathon debut, clocking 2:22:36. A year later, she finished fourth and improved her PB to 2:19:53.

Last year she finished second in Dubai in 2:17:41, taking 15 seconds off the Ethiopian record with what is now the fifth fastest time in history.

Aside from her three appearances in Dubai, the only other marathon she has contested is the 2019 Boston Marathon, which she won in 2:23:31.

Fellow Ethiopian Bezunesh Deba will be racing in Dubai for the first time. The 32-year-old set her PB of 2:19:59 when winning the 2014 Boston Marathon, but didn't race at all in 2019 so will be treating this as a comeback race.

Kebede Megertu Alemu made a big step up in the second half of 2018. She chopped eight minutes from her half marathon PB with 1:06:43 in Copenhagen and reduced her marathon best to 2:21:10 to finish second in Frankfurt.

Bedatu Hirpa will be one of the youngest in the field. The 2015 world U18 1500m champion has switched to the roads in recent years and clocked a marathon PB of 2:21:32 in Frankfurt in 2018.

Two years after making her marathon debut in Dubai, world cross-country silver medalist Dera Dida is back and aims to improve on the PB of 2:21:45 she set on her previous visit.

Dubai has often been a happy hunting ground for marathon debutantes, so 20-year-old Hawi Feysa will be hoping for a strong run in her first race at 42.195km. The 2017 world U20 cross-country silver medalist finished eighth in the 5000m at last year's World Championships.

(01/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

In its relatively brief history (the race was first held in 2000), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has become one of the fastest, most respected and the most lucrative marathon in the world in terms of prize money. Each year thousands of runners take to the roads in this beautiful city in the United Arab Emirates for this extraordinary race...

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World marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei is the standout name in the women’s field for the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

Brigid Kosgei who broke the world marathon record (pending ratification) with her stunning 2:14:04 run in Chicago last year, will return to the UAE after finishing seventh at the 2018 edition of the race. Her official half marathon PB is 1:05:28, but she also won last year’s Great North Run – a slightly downhill point-to-point course – in 1:04:28, the fastest time in history for 13.1 miles.

“I am really excited to come back to the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon after two years,” said Kosgei. “I know that this year the line-up is one of the best ever for a half marathon and I really hope to run fast.”

The 25-year-old Kenyan is one of several women in the field with a PB inside 66 minutes. She will line up against Fancy Chemutai, whose best of 1:04:52 is just one second shy of the world half marathon record, 2016 world half marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, who briefly held the world record following her 1:05:06 victory in Ras Al Khaimah in 2017, Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta, who set a women-only world record to win the 2018 world half marathon title, and Joan Melly Chelimo, the fourth-fastest woman in history.

Rosemary Wanjiru, who recently went to third on the world all-time 10km list with 29:50, will be making her half marathon debut.

In the men’s race, world marathon silver medalist Mosinet Geremew will take on Two-time Prague Half Marathon winner Benard Kimeli and European record-holder Julien Wanders.

Ethiopian trio Andamlak Belihu, Solomon Berihu and Amdemwork Walelegn are also in the field along with Kenyan duo Alexander Mutiso and Kibiwott Kandie.

(01/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Maegan Krifchin And Recent Georgia Tech Grad Avery Bartlett Join Atlanta Track Club Elite

As the Olympic year approaches, Atlanta Track Club Elite announced Friday that it has added a middle distance star and a marathon standout to its team of Olympic hopeful athletes.

Recent Georgia Tech graduate Avery Bartlett will begin his professional career in Atlanta starting with the 2020 indoor track and field season. Bartlett is the 2018 ACC Champion in the 800m. He holds the second fastest 800m and 1500m times in school history. His 1:47.54 set in 2019 trails only Atlanta Track Club Elite teammate Brandon Lasater (1:47.38, 2015) on the Yellow Jacket all-time list.

Bartlett was born in Atlanta but grew up in Tallahassee, Florida. He returned to Atlanta to study at Georgia Tech, the school from which both his parents, his grandfather and great grandfather all graduated.

“This city has always meant a lot to me. I see putting on an Atlanta Track Club singlet as my way to fully contribute to the city’s success,” said Bartlett. “Atlanta Track Club gives me the opportunity to train with some of the best and put my limits to the test.”

Bartlett joins a talented group of middle distance men in Atlanta which includes Lasater and Abraham Alvarado, the 1,000m runner up at the 2019 USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships.

With just 11 weeks until Atlanta hosts the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon, veteran marathon star Maegan Krifchin has returned to Atlanta to train with Atlanta Track Club Elite. Krifchin, who placed 7th in the 2016 Trials, comes to Atlanta after training in Washington D.C. She previously ran with the Club in 2017. The Long Island, New York native and Syracuse University alum holds a personal best of 2:32:47 in the marathon and 1:09:51 in the half marathon.

“I came to Atlanta Track Club to be part of a community where I can support others and they can support me,” said Krifchin. “I thrive in this kind of environment and I am excited to see what we can do together.”

Krifchin is one of eight Atlanta Track Club athletes qualified for the Trials which will be held on February 29. Bridget Belyeu, Laurie Knowles, Lacey Krout, Morgan VanGorder, Wilkerson Given and Matt McDonald are also qualified for the race.

“Avery and Maegan each bring new talent, experience and personality to Atlanta Track Club Elite,” said Coach Amy Begley. “We look forward to seeing Avery compete with the nation’s best this season and to have Maegan join the hometown team competing for a spot in Tokyo.”

Founded in 2015, Atlanta Track Club Elite is sponsored by Mizuno USA and coached by Amy and Andrew Begley.

(01/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour announced today a sponsorship deal with Camp Gladiator

The Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour announced today a sponsorship deal naming Camp Gladiator (CG) as its Official Community Fitness Partner. The agreement marks the second consecutive year in a row that CG and its trainers will be actively involved during race weekend.

CG trainers will warm-up participants on race morning and cheer for everyone at multiple Official Cheer Stations along the course. The 29th annual Austin Marathon, owned and produced by High Five Events, will take place on February 16, 2020.

“Running a marathon can be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding physical fitness experiences,” said Ally Davidson, Founder and co-CEO of Camp Gladiator. “At CG, our goal is to show up for our community and share the joy of fitness with everyone. We are excited to encourage Austin Marathon runners every step of the way as they challenge themselves to finish strong during this awesome Austin event!!” 

CG is an outdoor group fitness company whose mission is to positively impact the physical fitness and ultimately the lives of as many people as possible. CG strives to be everywhere there are people and actively partners and engages at the community level to support, encourage and facilitate people of all athletic backgrounds in their long-term health and fitness pursuits. 

“Last year’s participants were blown away by the on-course energy provided by CG trainers at their Official Cheer Stations," said Jack Murray, co-owner High Five Events. "We’re glad CG is coming back for a second year and we know they’ll energize Austin Marathon participants!"

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 29th year running in the capital of Texas in 2020. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 30+ countries around the world.

Having start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, being within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, and finishing in front of the picturesque Texas State Capitol makes the Austin Marathon the perfect running weekend destination.

(01/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Austin Marathon Weekend

Austin Marathon Weekend

The 2020 Austin Marathon will celebrate its 30th year running in the capital of Texas. The premier running event in the City of Austin annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With a downtown finish and within proximity of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Come...

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Kenyan Eric Kiptanui faces a stern test as he makes his full marathon debut at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 24

Eric Kiptanui is the sole Kenyan contestant  in the elite men's field. The 29-year-old is half marathon specialist and is the sixth-fastest man over the distance, thanks to the 58:42 he clocked  while winning Berlin Half Marathon in 2018.

He won the Barcelona Half Marathon last year  in 1:01.40 and also bagged the 2018 Lisbon Half Marathon in 1:00:05. Kiptanui finished ninth at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in October last year, posting 1:02:23.

He was also one of the pacemakers used by world marathon record holder, Eliud Kipchoge when he broke the sub two-hour marathon mark in Vienna last year.

Kiptanui will have to contend with a strong Ethiopian lineup led by Solomon Deksisa and Seifu Tura. Deksisa has a personal best of 2:04:40 while Tura's PB is 2:04:44.

Despite his relatively young age, the talented Deksisa has built up plenty of experience at the marathon distance after a brief track career.

At 20, he won the 2014 San Diego Half Marathon with a personal best of 1:00:12, then two years later, he moved up to the marathon and ran an impressive 2:06:22 debut in Rotterdam to finish second.

Since then he has fully focused on the 42.195km distance and claimed his first marathon victory in Mumbai in 2018 before winning again in Hamburg a few months later. 

2018 proved to be his best year so far as he ended it with a 2:04:40 PB to finish third in Amsterdam. His life-time best is just one minute outside the Dubai course record set in 2019 by Getaneh Molla. Kenya last won the Dubai Marathon in 2012 through David Barmasai.

In the absence of defending and World champion Ruth Chepngetich, Ethiopia will have the edge in the race with the likes of Worknesh Degefa, Deba Dejene, Alemu Megertu, Dera Dida and Guteni Shone all present.

(01/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

In its relatively brief history (the race was first held in 2000), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has become one of the fastest, most respected and the most lucrative marathon in the world in terms of prize money. Each year thousands of runners take to the roads in this beautiful city in the United Arab Emirates for this extraordinary race...

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Irish runner Stephen Scullion has qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games after he finished 5th in the Houston Marathon

Scullion recorded a time of 2:11:52. This in fact beat his personal best by over 9 seconds.

The Belfast’s man time was just 22 seconds outside automatic qualification. However, he still secured his passage to the Olympics after he secured a top five finish in a gold label race.

Things have got better and better for Scullion after struggling in Doha. He finished second in the Dublin marathon behind Morocco athlete Othmane El Goumri. He ran a personal best then at a time of 2:12:01. However, his run in Texas on Sunday even bettered that.

It will be a first Olympic appearance for the 31 year old and he is fully deserving of it. In fact, it makes it even better considering he retired from athletics when he was in his 20’s.

However, he has been committed to the cause for the past five years and he is a prime example of hard work pays off in the end.

It’s absolutely magnificent to see an Irish athlete reach his potential and getting a shot to show his potential once again on the World stage at the Olympic Games. One thing is for sure he will knuckle down now and train even harder to get himself right and hopefully he can take home a medal for us to celebrate this summer.

(01/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anthony Redmond
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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, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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After struggling with fatigue last year Amy Cragg is focused on making the olympic team

With seven weeks until the Olympic Marathon Trials, the defending women’s champion, Amy Cragg, is training well and putting in hundreds of miles in the mountains of Colorado. Despite a rough year in 2019, she expects to contend for a spot on the Olympic team bound for Tokyo. It would be her third Olympic team.

After the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Cragg, who turns 36 next week, sat down with her husband, Alistair Cragg, and her coach, Jerry Schumacher, to talk about her future.

The results of that conversation: They decided everything in her training would be geared toward making the Games in 2020, even though she briefly considered stopping her career then.

“I’m still around,” she told Runner’s World.

Cragg had a spectacular seven-month stretch between 2017 and 2018. In August 2017, she won the bronze medal at the world championships in London. The following February at the Tokyo Marathon, she finished third in 2:21:42. It was a a PR by almost six minutes, and the performance put her fifth on the U.S. all-time list.

She was announced as part of the Chicago Marathon field for 2018 but withdrew with an injury. In 2019, she raced only twice on the roads and both times the results were disappointing. She was seventh in 1:13:27 at the Prague Half Marathon in April, after previously hinting she might attempt to break Molly Huddle’s American record in the event (1:07:25). In August, she struggled at the Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, finishing 14th in 34:40. After that, she withdrew from the 2019 Chicago Marathon.

“It was just overall fatigue,” Cragg said. “I think we just went too hard for too long. I ‘cooked myself’ is what I’ll say. Took some time off when we realized it wasn’t coming around for Chicago. Now I’m feeling a lot better and ready to go.”

Cragg said she went through a period of weeks when she felt tired and worn down, but then she would have glimmers of hope in strong workouts and think she needed to “keep plugging away.” After Beach to Beacon, she realized her fatigue was getting worse instead of better and decided she shouldn’t attempt Chicago.

She took a full three weeks with no running—and followed that up with about a month and a half of slowly building into full training again. At times, she worried her career was ending.

“You talk to any distance runner, you go through those ups and downs regularly,” she said. “It’s like you just can’t seem to get out of the slump. You don’t know whether to push harder or let go. I’ve been used to it over the years. But there was definitely still that fear that I might have overdone it; I’d hope it’s not undoable.”

(01/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sarah Lorge Butler
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Many are expressing skepticism over the reasons UKAthletics gives for refusing to hand over samples

Before retiring as head of WADA, Sir Craig Reedie announced that WADA would investigate athletes who trained with disgraced former Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar, a list that includes 2:05 marathoner Sir Mo Farah. However, UKAthletics has refused to hand over Farah’s samples for re-testing, and as a result has been criticized by Russia for creating a “wall of mistrust.”

Salazar, along with NOP doctor Jeffrey Brown, was issued a four-year ban for doping violations in September, 2019, and the NOP itself was shut down by Nike in the ensuing weeks. Salazar is appealing the ban.

A report in the Telegraph says samples are habitually stored for up to 10 years so that as technology advances they can be re-tested using more accurate methods. UKAthletics CEO Nicole Sapstead claims samples are the property of UKAthletics, and that further testing, without compelling new evidence that they contain prohibited substances, degrades the samples.

According to WADA’s Blood Sample Collection Guidelines, “Samples collected from an Athlete are owned by the Testing Authority for the Sample Collection Session in question. The Testing Authority may transfer ownership of the Samples to the Results Management Authority (RMA) or to another ADO upon request.”

RUSADA deputy general director Margarita Pakhnotskaya referred to the World Anti-Doping Code, whose Article 6.5 states that “Samples may be stored and subjected to further analyses for the purpose of Article 6.2 at any time exclusively at the direction of the Anti-Doping Organization that initiated and directed Sample collection or WADA.”  (Article 6.2 describes the purpose of analysis of samples.)

Farah, who left the NOP in 2017 to return to the U.K., has never failed a drug test. He was recently quoted as saying that if he had been aware of the activities that got Salazar banned, he would have left sooner.

The 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medallist in both the 5,000m and the 10,000m is planning a return to the track for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

UKAthletics has been the focus of negative publicity since the Salazar ban, which came down in the midst of the World Championships in Doha.

(01/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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