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Kenya’s Elijah Motonei Manangoi banned for doping offence

Kenyan middle-distance athlete Elijah Manang'oi has been banned for two years for a doping offence.

Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) had on July 23 flagged down the 2017 World 1,500m champion over whereabouts failures.

But AIU has since found Manang'oi guilty and banned him for two years starting December 22, 2019 - which is the date of third whereabouts failure - to December 21, 2021.

"Disqualification of all competitive results obtained by the athlete since 22 December 2019 with all resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of any  titles, awards, medals, points prizes and appearance money," read the ruling from AIU.

Manang'oi had three missed tests in the 12-month period beginning on July 3, 2019 followed by November 12 and December 22 of the same year.

In the first incident, Manang’oi asserted that, on July 2, 2019, his connecting flight from Frankfurt to Nairobi had been delayed and as a consequence he only arrived in Nairobi at around 11pm on July 2 2019.

Manang'oi claimed that his luggage did not arrive with him from his original departure destination (San Francisco) and that his house key was in his luggage.

No negligence

Manang’oi stated that he had tried to change his Whereabouts information but “couldn’t do because time couldn’t allow because it was already past midnight”. As he did not have his house keys, he had stayed in the nearest airport hotel which led in turn to his missed test in Rongai the following morning.

However, AIU indicated that the athlete’s explanation failed to demonstrate that no negligence on his behalf caused or contributed to his failure to be present and available for testing during his designated time slot on July 3, 2019 or to update his Whereabouts information.

On  November 12 missed test, Manang'oi stated that, on the morning of the said date, he was returning home from a night shift connected to his role with the Kenya Police Service, but that due to traffic, he had been unable to make it to his nominated address before the end of his specified time slot.

The AIU concluded that the athlete should have updated his Whereabouts information as soon as he encountered the traffic jam. That the athlete should have appreciated that there was a risk that he would not be present and available for testing at his registered Whereabouts location during his 60-minute time slot that day.

 

(11/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Nike will release a carbon-plated trail shoe

Nike will release its first carbon-plated trail shoe – the ACG Mountain Fly. This futuristic (almost Yeezy-looking) shoe has a Gore-Tex upper to keep water at bay and a React midsole, coupled with a carbon plate for stiffness and propulsion.

This is a shoe that’s designed to be weatherproof. This shoe is part of Nike’s new ACG all-conditions gear line.

For trail runners, a solid outsole is a key detail that the ACG takes care of. This shoe features a hard rubber that wraps up around the big toe for ample protection and uses thick lugs on a sticky outsole for a strong grip. The upper is also unique with its turtleneck-like ankle cover and new enclosure system.

The lacing system doesn’t require the user to tie their shoes – in fact, the laces are hidden under the Gore-Tex. All they have to do is pull or loosen, and they’re on their way. 

While the Mountain Fly seems geared toward the trail runner, it could also certainly be used as a winter running shoe for those who live in harsher climates. If you’re someone who’s looking for a versatile cold-weather shoe, this could be your perfect buy. At $285 CAD ($217US),  it’s also slightly more affordable than Nike’s top-end carbon-plated racing shoes. 

One caution about this shoe: while its stack height is certainly lower than the company’s road racers, it still appears a little higher than other trail shoes. If you’re new to roots, rocks and unsteady footing, maybe opt for a shoe that sits a little lower to the ground until you’re comfortable with your new running surface. The shoe will be available on Nike.ca next Thursday. 

(11/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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These Track Photographers Are Giving Back to an Oregon Community Hit Badly by Wildfires

Just weeks after photographing a track meet in the area, they are selling photos to help with recovery.

The night prior to the Big Friendly track meet on July 17, Jake Willard was so excited he couldn’t sleep.

It had been months since the Eugene, Oregon-based photographer covered a race of any kind, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. And he couldn’t wait to shoot the elite-only competition at the McKenzie Community Track, situated among towering pine trees next to the McKenzie River in Vida, Oregon.

On July 17, Willard and fellow photographers Howard Lao and Tim Healy took pictures of some of the world’s best athletes. They watched world bronze medalist Shannon Rowbury run 8:40.26—the fastest performance in the world at that point—to win the women’s 3,000 meters. Olympic silver medalist Nijel Amos ran a world lead in the men’s 600 meters. And three professional training groups competed against each other in a rarely contested mixed-gender relay, among other standout performances.

The meet at the McKenzie Community Track was the second of five competitions in the Big Friendly Series, which were COVID-adjusted events organized by Portland Track this summer. With most tracks closed during the pandemic, Portland Track scrambled to coordinate competitions with different facility organizers. And the McKenzie Community Track board of directors was one of the groups that offered to help.

We thought [hosting the meet] was a really good gesture,” Duane Aanestad, vice president of McKenzie Community Track and Field, told Runner’s World. “We got the track here, there’s nothing going on, go for it.”

Big Friendly organizers required negative tests from everyone in attendance, didn’t allow spectators inside the facility, and asked the competitors—some racing for the first time this year—to socially distance. While documenting these unprecedented moments, Willard felt at peace for the first time in months.

“It felt like a good day, and the athletes had fun with it,” Willard told Runner’s World. “There was a noticeable camaraderie for everyone in attendance, a lot of smiles, a lot of laughing, a lot of elbow bumps instead of high-fives. It was cool to see everyone there enjoy that for a moment, life was normal. Track was the center of our universe.”

But weeks after the Big Friendly meets, the same community that welcomed local track athletes needed major assistance. In early September, the region was nearly decimated by the Holiday Farm Fire, a 173,000-acre blaze that burned more than 430 homes and infrastructure in the McKenzie River Valley. As reported by The Oregonian, the photographers and Portland Track organizers responded to the crisis by giving back to the community that opened its doors to them.

“[McKenzie board of directors] were such a great, welcoming community when we were trying to figure this out,” Michael Bergmann, president of Portland Track, told Runner’s World. “We were literally flying by the seat of our pants, and so we just wanted to return that favor as part of the track and field community in bringing that care for a community that’s in pain.”

As Lao monitored the fire from his home in Portland, he emailed Willard and Healy on September 12, suggesting they sell prints of their photographs from the competition and donate the proceeds. In coordination with Portland Track, the photographers each donated three photos for an Etsy shop, where funds from every photo sold goes to the McKenzie Community Recovery Fund. As of November 10, the Portland Track Store has made 12 sales.

“It was a really big team effort from everybody,” Lao told Runner’s World. “We’re just trying to get some relief down to the people there. The track was used for a track meet in the summer and then it was used for a safe meeting place during the fire. It’s more than just a track.”

Retired track coach Jeff Sherman is one of the local contacts that helped coordinate the Big Friendly. When the fire hit the McKenzie community, Sherman and his family were able to evacuate to eastern Oregon. But many were unable to leave because debris blown over by the blaze blocked the roadways. Residents took refuge in the track infield, where a fire crew worked tirelessly to protect them from the flames.

“[The fire] burned right up to the fencing on the track and a metal building with hurdles stored inside, it scorched the back of that,” Sherman said. “From what I understand, people were there for about four or five hours.” He said rescue crews ultimately led residents to safety with road-clearing equipment around 5 a.m. local time.

Weeks later, the McKenzie community is working to rebuild after the fire’s mass destruction. But the gesture from Portland Track and the photographers is providing a bright spot in a time of need.

“[Portland Track] were reaching out from the get-go to ask if we needed help,” Aanestad said. “It seemed like we were part of a family, and you take care of family.”

(11/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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JAAF Study of 787 Races Held Since July Finds One Case of Someone Contracting COVID-19

On Nov. 9 on its website the JAAF published the results of a research report looking at 787 races and track meets nationwide held during the period from July 1, when competitions resumed following months of cancelations and postponements in the early days of the coronavirus crisis, through Oct. 4. The report documented only one case of someone who was involved in one of the races contracting COVID-19 in the two weeks following the event they attended.

The study surveyed 53 organizations including the JAAF and corporate and collegiate league governing bodies. As of Nov. 6, 47 of the groups had returned responses. A total of 571,401 athletes and 98,035 officials and staff took part in the 787 races covered by the survey. 529 of those events were held without spectators, and JAAF guidelines specify safety measures such as simplified opening ceremonies and race staff wearing masks and goggles when assisting struggling athletes.

 

(11/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Japan Running News
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How This Nurse, Who Works in a COVID-19 ICU, Changed Her Diet and Ran Off 105 Pounds

“I feel like a new person. Doctors who haven’t rotated in the ICU in a while don’t recognize me.”

Name: Lindsay JendrekAge: 38Occupation: NurseHometown: Knoxville, Tennessee

Start Weight: 227 poundsEnd Weight: 122 poundsTime Running: 15 months

I’ve been overweight since childhood, and my weight progressed to actual morbid obesity after I had my son, Harrison, in March 2018. I struggled with hyperemesis gravidarum during my pregnancy, and when I got my appetite back, I started eating everything in sight. I also suffered from postpartum depression, and I was dedicated to breastfeeding; I kept telling myself that a brownie smothered in peanut butter, along with half a Papa Johns pizza, would help my milk supply.

It wasn’t until I saw professional pictures we had taken for my son’s birthday in March 2019 that I thought, Wow, this has gotten bad. You’re tired. You’re inactive. You’re cranky. Do you want Harrison to struggle with his weight the way you did?

I signed up for Weight Watchers the next day.

This wasn’t my first time with the program. Nearly 10 years before, I had massive success with it. I’m a nurse, so I know the dangers and ineffectual results of what I consider to be fad diets and restrictive eating. I wasn’t interested in fasting, keto, or meal replacement shakes.

My diet was pathetic. Lots of refined carbs. Lots of fast food (I’m looking at you, McDonalds), ice cream, pizza, and eating out at restaurants. I ate until I hurt. I ate even after I was full. I ignored my cues. I ate “for my milk supply.” I ate because it made me feel warm and content. I ate because I thought it made me happy.

That needed to change, but I needed to do it my way. I didn’t want to eliminate carbs or dairy. I needed portion control and balance. I also didn’t need a quick fix, because I would simply gain the weight back.

The first couple of weeks on Weight Watchers were difficult, but I liked the point system and followed it. My stomach was so used to being stretched full of food that it was constantly letting me know, “Hey girl, we could do with some chicken McNuggets right about now!”

What I learned through that was balance. I still have peanut butter, but not an entire jar. I occasionally have Vanilla Cokes, but not every day. I enjoy Sonic Blasts weekly. I had Chick-fil-A for lunch the other day. I splurge when I want to.

I’m a creature of habit, so I eat lots of the same things now: Big salads with salmon, ground turkey quesadillas, scrambled eggs and turkey bacon, peanut butter protein bars, or hard-boiled eggs and banana. We keep a Tupperware of grilled chicken nuggets in the fridge, and I’m constantly snacking on those. I’m satisfied when I eat now, and I stop eating when I’m full, regardless of what’s left on the plate.

My eating habits weren’t the only thing that helped me. My husband, KJ, who has been a runner for more than a decade, convinced me to try running. He used to be overweight, and I would mock him: “How boring. How tedious. Your poor knees.”

I started walking with the stroller in the park when Harrison was a baby. In April 2019, when I started my weight-loss journey, I ramped up the walking. I hit the hills. I went faster. I got an Apple watch because, again, I like numbers.

I’m not one for group workout classes; I prefer my own pace, literally. Running can be as social or as solitary as you want. Me. The baby. And our walks which were slowly but steadily speeding up. Over the next few months, it turned into running.

I remember the early attempts to run at the park, pushing a 40-pound stroller. I could barely run five-hundredths of a mile without my lungs screaming for mercy. I was discouraged and embarrassed. The friend I was walking with was barely flushed, while I was sweating buckets.

But five-hundredths turned into one-tenth. One-tenth turned into two-tenths. Then one day I knocked out half a mile without stopping, and I never looked back.

Since then, I’ve progressed significantly. Those brisk walks in 2019 turned into countless 5Ks and 10Ks. I even hit a distance PR in October of 11.15 miles. I did it with KJ, both of us at our new weights—him 60 pounds down and me at 105 pounds down to 122.

Running is so cathartic for me. I’m a nurse in the COVID ICU at my hospital, and I can be having the worst day, but a run will turn my mood around; four steps into the run, I will start smiling because I know I will feel amazing when I finish.

I lost pretty much half my body weight, and I feel like a new person. Doctors who haven’t rotated in the ICU in a while don’t recognize me. I also try to look at the future I have now. KJ is a pilot for a major airline, and when he would suggest trips, I so often said no. This is my life now, and I don’t want to waste it.

To anyone who wants to go on a similar journey, there is no quick fix. When people have ask me how I lost weight, I say diet and exercise. There’s no magic pill. There’s no secret eating formula. It took work, effort, and sweat, and I love my life now.

 

(11/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Meet the man with 84 FKTs and counting

Jason Hardrath is running toward his goal of setting 100 FKTs

Because of COVID-19 and cancelled races worldwide, 2020 has been the year of the FKT (fastest known time), and while many runners have only recently started chasing route records, this is something that Jason Hardrath of Bonanza, Ore., has been into for years. An elementary school teacher in Oregon and lifelong runner, Hardrath has recorded the most FKTs on the official website of fastest known times, currently sitting at 84, and his ultimate goal is to reach 100.

Falling into running

Hardrath says he started running when he was 12 or 13, when he discovered running in phys-ed class. “I became obsessed with trying to break the six-minute-mile as a middle-schooler,” he says. “In the last PE mile of the year, I ran 5:57. That sort of solidified a goal-setting mindset in me.” He stuck with running throughout high school and university, after which he transitioned into marathons and Ironman triathlons. “I was always seeking out the next big challenge I could absorb myself in.”

That all came to an abrupt halt, though, when a brutal car accident left him with a collapsed lung, several broken ribs and tears in his ACL and MCL. While he couldn’t run during his recovery, he was able to hike. This soon led to climbing, and when he eventually made a return to running, he combined these two passions.

“I still can’t run like I used to, but I can at least run a bit,” he says. “And now I have this cool set of mountaineering skills which made FKTs a natural fit to express that skill set.”

Hardrath says his record is a 50-50 split between FKTs that he created and pre-existing FKTs that he beat. For his first few records, he didn’t plan on submitting them as official FKT routes, only deciding to do so after the fact. The first FKT he sought out, though, came in 2018 when he was in Hawaii.

“I managed to win some prize money at a race,” he says, modestly adding that he only won “because nobody fast showed up.” He put that money toward a trip to Hawaii, where he decided to go after the FKT on Mauna Kea, the island’s 4,200m volcano. Hardrath ran the 40-mile route up the mountain, successfully grabbing the route’s unsupported (meaning he had no outside help) FKT in a little over 12 hours.

Now, two years and more than 80 route records later, Hardrath is still chasing FKTs. Some of his biggest results include the Mount Rainier and Mount Shasta “infinity loops.” The Rainier Infinity Loop is in Washington, and it features a 209K route with more than 12,000m of elevation gain that Hardrath completed in two days and seven hours. California’s Mount Shasta Infinity Loop is about half the length of the Rainier route, coming in at 104K with 7,300m of climbing. He finished that route in a little over one day and 10 hours.

Chasing 100

Last year, Hardrath decided to only run FKTs rather than races. “I got ahead of the whole 2020 FKT craze,” he says, “because in 2019, I realized I hadn’t gone a year without paying for multiple races since 2002 or 2003. So I decided that in 2019, I would go a whole year just doing FKTs and not pay for a race.” Hardrath made it through 2019 without competing in any official races, and “then obviously 2020 happened and I couldn’t have raced even if I’d wanted to.”

Luckily, he says he hasn’t tired of chasing FKTs and finding exciting new routes, so the pandemic preventing him from racing didn’t bother him too much. “I love this stuff. I already like it better than racing.” His plans for 2020 had originally been to run his first big international FKTs (Hardrath has only completed route records in the U.S. so far), but travel restrictions put those goals on hold. Instead, as he saw his total number of completed routes climb, he shifted focus and decided to make reaching 100 FKTs his new goal.

Hardrath says he’s “normally a leaf on the wind” when it comes to picking routes to run. He has a notebook with close to 150 options, but he doesn’t have a very strict schedule for when he wants to complete each individual run. Without a week-by-week plan, he has the freedom to complete whichever route feels right to him (based on weather or any other conditions) at the time. That’s not the case for his 100th FKT, though, and he says he “ran into a route that seems kind of perfect” for that milestone.

Hardrath says he loves routes on which he can put his running and climbing skills to use, and he also prefers runs with “some degree of heinousness to them,” which is why he has chosen a route through the Washington Bulgers to be his 100th. “It includes the 100 highest peaks in Washington,” he says. “There’ll be mountains, volcanoes and ridgeline peaks, which will be great for climbing. And something about doing 100 peaks for my 100th FKT just makes it feel special.”

Hardrath doesn’t have a set timeline for reaching his 100th FKT, but at the rate he’s running, it’ll likely be sooner than later. Even when he hits 100, don’t expect him to slow down. He says he loves what he does, and he didn’t start because of FKTs. If these records didn’t exist, he’d still be running and climbing all of these routes. Reaching 100 is just a cool bonus.

(11/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Illinois runner posts FKT on Chicago Lakefront Trail

Andrew Rylaarsdam ran 57K along the Windy City's waterfront in 3:28:37 to set a new record on the out-and-back route

On Saturday, former NCAA Division III collegiate runner Andrew Rylaarsdam ran the 57K round trip on the Chicago Lakefront Trail (CLT) in record time, completing the out-and-back route in 3:28:37. This is the fastest known time (FKT) for the CLT, which runs along Lake Michigan. En route to his FKT, which beat the previous record by more than 20 minutes, Rylaarsdam ran a 2:31:06 marathon split and passed through 50K in in 2:59:33. He averaged a pace of 3:38 per kilometre throughout the ultramarathon, which, according to his Strava profile, was his longest run to date.

Rylaarsdam’s run

Rylaarsdam ran at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich., and he now lives in Chicago. Heading into the run, he had to beat fellow Chicagoan Joe Cowlin‘s time of 3:51:18, which has been the route FKT since August. Rylaarsdam set out to run a sub-three-hour 50K, and once he accomplished that, the overall FKT was pretty much his as long as he didn’t have an extraordinary implosion in the closing kilometres. He ultimately smashed Cowlin’s time and set a pretty high bar for the next runner who goes after the route record.

In his post-run writeup for fastestknowntime.com, Rylaarsdam wrote that he was “able to stay relaxed and get in a good rhythm” from the start, when he opened with six-minute miles (3:44 per kilometre). “The miles gradually quickened and soon I was clicking off 5:45 pace,” he wrote. “It felt good. It was hard to tell how long it would feel good.”

At around 33K, he said things started to get tough, but he pushed hard for the next 17K to fight for that sub-three 50K split, which he managed to reach with just seconds to spare. “From there, it was just about hanging on,” he wrote. Despite cramps in his legs and rising temperatures in the mid-morning sun, Rylaarsdam made it to the route finish line well below the record.

In his writeup, Rylaarsdam added a word of thanks to Jamie Hershfang, who paced him on a bike throughout his whole run. He had other pacers along the route, but Hershfang was the only person who knew exactly what Rylaarsdam was in for ahead of the attempt after having run the CLT female FKT just a month earlier. She covered the CLT in 4:14:43, and she actually had to run 59K (two kilometres farther than Rylaarsdam’s run) due to a route blockage on her way back toward the finish. Even with the unexpected hiccup, she managed to run a quick result and, like Rylaarsdam, set a high bar for future attempts.

(11/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Elite runners need a specific combination of physiological abilities to have any chance of running a sub-two-hour marathon, new research shows

The study is based on detailed testing of athletes who took part in Nike's Breaking2 project -- an ambitious bid to break the two-hour barrier.

Professor Andrew Jones, of the University of Exeter, said the findings reveal that elite marathon runners must have a "perfect balance" of VO2 max (rate of oxygen uptake), efficiency of movement and a high "lactate turn point" (above which the body experiences more fatigue).

The VO2 measured among elite runners shows they can take in oxygen twice as fast at marathon pace as a "normal" person of the same age could while sprinting flat-out.

"Some of the results -- particularly the VO2 max -- were not actually as high as we expected," Professor Jones said.

"Instead, what we see in the physiology of these runners is a perfect balance of characteristics for marathon performance.

"The requirements of a two-hour marathon have been extensively debated, but the actual physiological demands have never been reported before."

The runners in the study included Eliud Kipchoge, who took part in Breaking2 -- falling just short of the two-hour target -- but later achieving the goal in 1:59:40.2 in the Ineos 1:59 challenge.

Based on outdoor running tests on 16 athletes in the selection stage of Breaking2, the study found that a 59kg runner would need to take in about four litres of oxygen per minute (or 67ml per kg of weight per minute) to maintain two-hour marathon pace (21.1 km/h).

"To run for two hours at this speed, athletes must maintain what we call 'steady-state' VO2," Professor Jones said.

"This means they meet their entire energy needs aerobically (from oxygen) -- rather than relying on anaerobic respiration, which depletes carbohydrate stores in the muscles and leads to more rapid fatigue."

In addition to VO2 max, the second key characteristic is running "economy," meaning the body must use oxygen efficiently -- both internally and through an effective running action.

The third trait, lactate turn point, is the percentage of VO2 max a runner can sustain before anaerobic respiration begins.

"If and when this happens, carbohydrates in the muscles are used at a high rate, depleting glycogen stores," Professor Jones explained.

"At this point -- which many marathon runners may know as 'the wall' -- the body has to switch to burning fat, which is less efficient and ultimately means the runner slows down.

"The runners we studied -- 15 of the 16 from East Africa -- seem to know intuitively how to run just below their 'critical speed', close to the 'lactate turn point' but never exceeding it.

"This is especially challenging because -- even for elite runners -- the turn point drops slightly over the course of a marathon.

"Having said that, we suspect that the very best runners in this group, especially Eliud Kipchoge, show remarkable fatigue resistance."

The testing, conducted in Exeter and at Nike's performance centre in Oregon, USA, provided a surprising experience for a group of amateur runners in the UK.

"We tested 11 of the 16 runners at Exeter Arena a few years ago," Professor Jones said.

"Some local runners were there at the time, and it was a real eye-opener for them when a group of the world's best athletes turned up.

"The elite runners were great -- they even joined in with the local runners and helped to pace their training."

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Exeter. 

(11/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by University of Exeter
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Experts talk about how to run after a coronavirus diagnosis

When Jordan D. Metzl, MD, and his colleagues at the HSS Sports Medicine Institute published their guidelines to returning to activity after recovering from COVID-19 in August, he never imagined the response he’d get from patients. 

“I’ve been surprised at how many people have reached out to me,” says Dr. Metzl. He calls these individuals long haulers, people who are still having mild to moderate symptoms three to five months later. “Maybe they just didn’t know where to go, people weren’t talking about it. There are more people out there with these issues than I even realized.” 

These consensus recommendations can be helpful for runners who are unsure how to navigate getting back to training after their COVID-19 diagnosis, especially if they were asymptomatic or only had mild symptoms. “We’re trying to find a balance between people feeling safe when they’re back to strenuously exercising while also not overdoing it with unnecessary testing,” says Jonathan Kim, MD, a sports cardiologist and co-author of the ACC return to play guidelines.

Because of the unpredictable nature of the virus, these guidelines take a cautious stance. 

What You Need to Know

According to the CDC, scientists have learned “that many organs besides the lungs are affected by COVID-19 and there are many ways the infection can affect someone’s health.” In particular, they are watching how the virus interacts and causes damage to the heart. The inflammation and damage they are worried about is called myocarditis. 

“We’re still not entirely sure about the underlying mechanisms as it relates to all the cardiac injury that we’re seeing in hospitalized patients,” says Dr. Kim. 

To avoid putting stress on the heart before it’s ready, runners shouldn’t plan to pick up where they left off in their training. In the guidelines for competitive and highly active recreational athletes from the ACC, a minimum of 10 days of full recovery is recommended with slow return to activity and evaluation by a medical professional if your symptoms are moderate or lingering. 

If you experienced no symptoms or mild symptoms, the updated ACC recommendations state that you are okay to navigate returning to running on your own. “One of our takeaway points is that you want to take your time getting back up to regular training levels, but you’re probably okay to do that on your own and you don’t need to go see a cardiologist and worry about getting all these tests,” says Dr. Kim.

And of course, while you are still sick, regardless of severity, you should abstain from exercise. “If you test positive in the setting of being exposed, the idea is to wait because we know that when symptoms evolve they can sometimes evolve pretty dramatically after the first week. Once you know you have it, you need to socially isolate and not exercise,” says Dr. Kim.

He also recommends runners pay attention if clear cardiac symptoms arise when they return to running after COVID-19, such as new chest tightness, excessive shortness of breath, feeling winded during a workout that is normally easy, feeling lightheaded, or passing out. Those are all indications that you are not ready to be running again.

 

 The guidelines for recreational athletes vary slightly based on the types of symptoms the individual may have had (pulmonary, cardiac, musculoskeletal, etc.), but in general, they recommend returning to running after COVID-19 using the 50/30/20/10 rule. In your first week back, reduce your normal training load by 50 percent. If that is comfortable and you’re not experiencing new symptoms, the next week reduce by only 30 percent, followed by 20 percent, and 10 percent in the fourth week. By the fifth week, you can resume your regular training. 

(11/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Malissa Rodenburg
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Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshirō Mutō has fuelled hope of foreign fans being allowed to attend the postponed Olympic Games by revealing a plan for spectators would be drawn up by next spring

Toshirō Mutō also confirmed athletes, coaches and officials would be exempt from Japan's 14-day isolation period and suggested fans travelling from overseas might not need to do it either.

But anyone entering the country is likely to face stringent measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

"By the spring, we will be coming up with measures for spectators, including non-Japan residents," said Mutō to a news conference.

"For non-Japanese, we need to be sure we secure a spectating opportunity for them."

Mutō was speaking after a meeting involving officials from Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japanese Government.

A series of high-tech devices were recently tested at a packed Yokohama Stadium as Tokyo 2020 organisers bid to come up with ways to safely allow spectators into venues.

The 32,402-seater stadium – which will host the Olympic baseball and softball competitions – reached 100 per cent capacity during the three-day experiment with fans screened for body temperature and high-spec cameras tracking movement.

Mutō said spectators might be asked to be less vocal to avoid potentially spreading coronavirus.

"Whether we are going to have full capacity or not, the decision has not been made yet because various experiments are taking place," he said.

"There's a possibility that we may ask spectators to refrain from shouting and speaking in a loud voice."

Japan currently imposes a two-week quarantine period on foreign travellers, but Mutō revealed that rule would be lifted for athletes ahead of Tokyo 2020.

"Athletes, coaches and Games officials that are eligible for the Tokyo Games will be allowed to enter the country, provided significant measures are made before they get to Japan," said Mutō.

The chief executive said officials were also considering whether to ease travel restrictions for overseas fans attending the Olympics.

"Regarding spectators from overseas, whether they need to go through a 14-day quarantine or not, whether we can waive that or not will depend on the situation," said Mutō.

"There is a possibility this quarantine is waived if they meet certain conditions."

Mutō said routes between underground stations and nearby venues could be monitored, but conceded it would be "difficult to control their movement and behaviour".

"After the entry into Japan, we can't follow the spectators and general consumers like we do athletes, so what should we do?" said Mutō.

"We need to make sure the screening is sufficient before they enter into the country."

Around 4.48 million tickets for the Olympics have been sold as well as 970,000 for the Paralympics.

Tickets for the Games will be valid for 2021, but Tokyo 2020 will offer refunds to fans who are no longer able to attend.

"The spectators' anxiety of not knowing if they can actually go to the Games or not is understandable," added Mutō.

"We would like to be considerate of the spectators as much as possible while we take preventive measures at the same time to be able to accommodate as many as possible."

(11/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Geoff Berkeley
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Japan's Kane Tanaka 117-year-old set to carry Olympic torch ahead of Tokyo Games

Kane Tanaka, the world’s oldest person, will take part in the Olympic torch relay ahead of the Tokyo Games, according to a report in the Japanese newspaper the Mainichi Shimbun. At 117, Tanaka is officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest person alive.

She was already scheduled to carry the torch in the 2020 relay, but those plans were put on hold when the Games were postponed due to COVID-19. Tanaka’s new date to carry the Olympic flame is set for May 11, by which time she will be 118 years, 129 days old. 

Tanaka was born in Fukuoka, Japan, on January 2, 1903, just seven years after the first modern Olympics in Athens. Now, more than a century later, she is ready to play a role in the 2021 Olympics. At her care home in Fukuoka, Tanaka will be pushed in a wheelchair for 200m as she carries the Olympic flame. She was added to the relay lineup when Nippon Life Insurance Co., a Japanese company that has sponsored the 2021 Olympics and Paralympics, suggested it to organizers. The Nippon team said they “wanted her to send a positive message about this time of long-living.” Tanaka’s 61-year-old grandson accepted on behalf of his grandmother, saying his family wants “people to see Kane happily carrying the Olympic flame.”

The Mainichi Shimbun report says Tanaka is in good shape, but notes that the plans may be cancelled if she isn’t feeling well on the day of the relay. Because of this, the torch relay is going to be a surprise event for Tanaka, who has not been informed of the plans. “When we were first approached about her doing it, we worried what might happen given her age, but we were getting worked up over nothing,” her grandson told the Mainichi Shimbun. “We’ll be happy if the people who see her holding the torch up and looking well can think, ‘There’s hope in going on living.'”

The last time the Olympics were held in Tokyo (which was in 1964), Tanaka was 61, as old as her grandson is now and almost half her current age. In her lifetime, she has lived through a total of 49 Olympics (both summer and winter editions), and the 2021 Games will be the 50th. 

(11/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Organizers of San Antonio’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon have decided to postpone the 2020 events due to concerns about Covid-19

Organizers of San Antonio’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon & Half Marathon, scheduled for Dec. 5 and 6, have decided to postpone the 2020 events due to concerns about Covid-19.

World Triathlon Corp., which does business as Ironman, operates the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon series in cities across the U.S. and abroad.

Its officials said there were indications from meetings leading up to the San Antonio event that regional health and safety authorities were “satisfied” that the marathons’ participants, staff and the public would have been “sufficiently protected” from potential Covid transmission. 

Yet, after further conversations with city and health officials, and following a recent spike in Covid cases in the area, the decision was made to call off the event.

Thousands of runners from across the U.S. participated in the 2019 San Antonio marathon. The plan now is to bring the event back to the Alamo City on Dec. 4 and 5 in 2021.

(11/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by W. Scott Bailey
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Rock N Roll San Antonio

Rock N Roll San Antonio

Take a running tour through San Antonio with live entertainment along the course. Then celebrate your finish with a festival, beer garden and headliner concert! The end of fall 2019 brings the 12th annual running of San Antonio’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & Half Marathon, which — like its counterparts in San Diego and Virginia Beach— features live bands to...

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A new study shows that working out while wearing a mask won’t sabotage your fitness goals

Though gyms and fitness studios are currently closed in England due to the second lockdown, that doesn’t mean the spread of coronavirus is under control. To help mitigate the spread, many gyms and indoor training facilities require clients to wear masks or face coverings. The good news: Early research suggests they don’t actually hinder your performance in terms of time to exhaustion or peak power output, and had no discernible negative effect on blood or muscle oxygenation levels, rate of perceived exertion, or heart rate in young, healthy adults.

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan gathered a small sample of 7 men and 7 women, ranging from slightly inactive (not meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week in Canada) to elite cyclists and tested the effects of wearing a three-layer cloth face mask, a surgical mask, and no mask on their exercise performance. (The Association of American Medical Colleges suggests that cloth masks should have at least two layers whenever possible to be most effective.)

The study participants started with a brief warm-up on a stationary bike, then underwent a progressive-intensity exercise test, during which they had to maintain the same pedal rate while the resistance was continually increased until exhaustion, Phil Chilibeck, PhD, professor at the University of Saskatchewan College of Kinesiology and co-author of the study explained to Runner’s World. Heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, and rate of perceived exertion were recorded every 30 seconds.

Each of the three tests were done on a different day to allow full recovery between tests, Chilibeck added. Additionally, participants were required to maintain similar diet, sleep, and exercise routines for 24 hours before each test.

The results, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that wearing a mask had no effect on performance or muscle oxygen levels. Since there was no difference in time to exhaustion between conditions, the peak power reached at the end of each test was similar in mask and no-mask conditions for all participants, Chilibeck explained. Researchers also did not see any effects of the masks during exercise on arterial (blood) oxygen levels, which would decrease if breathing was affected.

And while droplet spread was not measured, all masks used were tested in a previous study in which they were shown to effectively minimise droplet spread, according to Chilibeck.

Though the participants represented a wide range of fitness levels, it’s important to note that these tests were conducted on a very small sample size (just 14 young, healthy adults), and more research is needed on larger populations to draw sweeping conclusions about the general population.

(11/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner´s World
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In a recent IOC Sustainability Session, Seb Coe discussed the importance of having a "the collaboration of sport and science"

Climate change and sustainability are a couple of the most talked about issues in the world today. No matter where you are, this conversation is relevant, and the matter was recently covered in a virtual meeting featuring the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and a number of international sporting federations. World Athletics (WA) was among the federations present on the call, and organization president Seb Coe delivered the day’s closing remarks.

In a WA article recapping the “IOC Sustainability Session,” Coe touched on how important it is for all international sporting federations to join the fight against climate change, noting that “sustainability does really have to sit at the heart of pretty much everything that we do” as organizations. 

“We are witnessing around us irreversible changes,” Coe said on the call. “The only way that those changes can be addressed through our own portfolio [as sport federations] is the collaboration of sport and science.” Coe discussed the World Athletics Sustainability Strategy, which was released in April. This is a 10-year plan that aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN). The UN introduced these 17 SDGs to its member states in 2015, announcing the organization’s hopes to accomplish each one by the year 2030. 

The SDGs focus on humanitarian issues, matters of equality and climate action, and both the IOC and WA have pledged to join in the push toward reaching these goals. The WA Sustainability Strategy states that the federation will work to “Establish itself as a sustainability leader in sport,” with a focus “across six dimensions.” Included in these dimensions is climate change and WA’s plan to decrease its yearly carbon output by 10 per cent each year over the next decade. This would mean that WA would become carbon neutral as an entire federation (which includes all WA events and member organizations) by 2030. 

“We really want to do this to push forward on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” Coe said in his speech to other sport federation representatives. “We think we can make a real difference here, both in awareness of the issues, but also in recognizing some of our own fragilities across our supply chains, particularly in the delivery of our events.”

Coe added that he and the WA team are aware that this “will be an ambitious journey, but at the end of that we want to be best in class in the delivery of sustainable events — because that is what the world is now going to demand of us.” 

(11/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Hasay only ran a 1:14:27 half-marathon on Monday as warming up for Valencia Marathon

Jordan Hasay, 29, ran the fastest marathon debut in U.S. history in 2017, finishing the Chicago Marathon in 2:20:57. This time remains the second-fastest marathon ever by an American woman, and Deena Kastor‘s national record of 2:19:36 is the only instance of a woman going faster.

Hasay has since been touted as the runner most likely to break Kastor’s record, but she has consistently fallen short of that mark. While her marathon debut was remarkable, Hasay has had a difficult time following up that result. 

Hasay completed a half-marathon in Portland on Monday, finishing in 1:14:27. This was a far cry from her goal, but she cited poor weather as the reason for her time. With only three and a half weeks until her marathon in Valencia, Hasay will hopefully surprise fans with a strong race.

A difficult two years

Hasay’s strongest result in the past two years came from the 2019 Boston Marathon, where she ran a 2:25:20 – an extremely impressive time on one of the hilliest marathon courses in the states. However, since Boston, Hasay has struggled. The 2019 Chicago Marathon fell just a few days after her former coach, Alberto Salazar, had been suspended. She ultimately didn’t finish that race and went on to come 26th at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials a few months later.

Neither of those results were what she had been hoping for. While her recent history isn’t particularly encouraging, Hasay is someone who’s proven she can rise to the occasion on race day, and we very well could see a stellar performance in three weeks’ time. 

Other runners who could threaten the record

While no one has run quite as fast as Hasay’s 2:20, there are several women closing in. Sara Hall ran a personal best in terrible weather at October’s London Marathon, finishing second in 2:22:01. Hall is scheduled to race the upcoming Marathon Project this December in Arizona.

 Emily Sisson is another runner to watch. The 29-year-old ran a 2:23:08 at the 2019 London Marathon. While Hasay is certainly still among the strongest marathoners in America, she’s no longer the only person who stands a chance at taking down Kastor’s record. 

(11/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO

The Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Marathon is held annually in the historic city of Valencia which, with its entirely flat circuit and perfect November temperature, averaging between 12-17 degrees, represents the ideal setting for hosting such a long-distance sporting challenge. This, coupled with the most incomparable of settings, makes the Valencia Marathon, Valencia, one of the most important events in...

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Belgian sprinter Cynthia Bolingo saw her 2019 season wiped out by a chronic issue with her Achilles tendon

For many elite athletes, pain is a constant companion. Whether it’s on the track, in the gym or on the treatment table, their capacity to endure is typically off the charts.

Yet there’s a good kind of pain and a bad kind of pain, and over the past 18 months Cynthia Bolingo has endured all too much of the latter. First, the Belgian sprinter saw her 2019 season wiped out by a chronic issue with her Achilles tendon.

But as hard as it was it was nothing compared to 2020, when Bolingo lost her beloved father, Mutien, to Covid-19.

“My dad was very sensitive, caring, and a very helpful person,” she says. “I was so sad. It was the hardest period of my life.”

Her father knew little about athletics, but that never stopped him being one of Bolingo’s biggest fans. In her early years she would often question her ability, thinking she was too short or too muscular to be a world-class athlete.

“He said: ‘No, you are a beautiful woman and you are so strong in your sport,’” recalls Bolingo. “He took a big interest and always tried to give me advice.”

Last year she had her big breakthrough, rewriting the Belgian indoor 400m record three times at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow. In the final she clocked 51.62 to win silver, just one hundredth of a second behind Switzerland’s Lea Sprunger.

Back home, her father was overcome with pride.

“After my medal he said: ‘I told you you would become a big star of athletics!’”

At the beginning of May this year, Mutien became ill and soon found himself in hospital, having tested positive for Covid-19. His condition continued to deteriorate in the days that followed and Bolingo soon received a phone call informing her he didn’t have long left.

“The hospital said you can come to see him and I said okay, but it was so complicated,” she says. “When I was there (I realised): this is the last time I’ll see my dad alive.”

His passing hit Bolingo hard, and for a long time athletics was the last thing she wanted to do.

“I took almost one or two months with nothing – no sport, only my family,” she says. “It was a tragic event for me and my family and it was difficult not to give up. But I was lucky. I was surrounded by my closest friends, my family, and I was not alone. But every single morning I said to God: ‘Why my dad?’”

In time, she found her way back to normality: training, socialising with friends, all the little ways one can move forward after a tragic loss.

A few weeks after winning her European medal in Glasgow, Bolingo felt a pain in her Achilles, but it was so slight at the time that she felt safe in continuing to train. A bad idea, in hindsight.

“Month after month it wouldn’t get better and so I called a doctor. It was a big inflammation and the doctor said: ‘If you continue training, it’ll be very hard to come back.’ I took a decision to stop my season.”

Bolingo had been hoping to compete both as an individual and in the 4x400m at the World Championships in Doha, but in August last year she had to finally pull the plug.

“I was so happy after Glasgow, it felt like my career was beginning. I thought: I’ll make the final at the World Championships, and why not top five or top six with my relay team? But after a few months I went down and down and down, then I was at home watching it on TV. I was full of frustration.”

Bolingo had been hoping to compete both as an individual and in the 4x400m at the World Championships in Doha, but in August last year she had to finally pull the plug.

“I was so happy after Glasgow, it felt like my career was beginning. I thought: I’ll make the final at the World Championships, and why not top five or top six with my relay team? But after a few months I went down and down and down, then I was at home watching it on TV. I was full of frustration.”

(11/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Postponement of the 15th International Marathon “ALEXANDER THE GREAT”

This was just announced.  The Organizing Committee of the two events of Thessaloniki, the 15th International Marathon “Alexander The Great”– bwin and 9th `International Thessaloniki Night Half Marathon-ZeniΘ, considering the coranavirus epidemic worsening in our country during the last days  which has led to local lockdown and always in contact and cooperation with the relevant authorities, would like to inform you about the postponement of the 15th International Marathon “ALEXANDER THE GREAT”, which was going to be conducted on 28th – 29th November.

Having as primary concern the protection of public health and the implementation of the state’s measures in order to avoid the spread of Covid -19, as well as our goal to offer high quality services to our runners, both the 15thInternational Marathon “Alexander The Great”– bwin and the 9th International Thessaloniki Night Half Marathon-ZeniΘ will be conducted in 2021. The entries of the already registered runners are valid for 2021 and you will get informed about the new dates of the events very soon.

Stay safe and run healthy! Life is a marathon and we must win!

(11/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Alexander the Great Marathon

Alexander the Great Marathon

Born in Marathon of our Greece in 490 B.C. by the heroic effort of the soldier Phedippides who ran this distance to announce to the Athenians the victory of the Greeks, falling dead due to the overexertion. Today in every corner of the world thousands of marathons are being conducted, making thus this sport the one with the most participants...

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Only one case of COVID transmission in 787 Japanese races

On November 9, JAAF published the results of research into 787 races and track meets held nationwide held from July 1, when competitions resumed following months of cancelations and postponements in the early days of the coronavirus crisis, through to October 4.

The report documented only one case of someone who was involved in one of the races contracting COVID-19 in the two weeks following the event they attended.

The study surveyed 53 organisations including the JAAF and corporate and collegiate league governing bodies. As of  November 6, 47 of the groups had returned responses. A total of 571,401 athletes and 98,035 officials and staff took part in the 787 races covered by the survey.

529 of those events were held without spectators, and JAAF guidelines specify safety measures such as simplified opening ceremonies and race staff wearing masks and goggles when assisting struggling athletes.

(11/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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2021 Osaka International Women's Marathon will Be Held Jan 31 With Limited Field

On Nov. 11 the organizers of the Osaka International Women's Marathon announced that the race's 40th anniversary running will take place on Jan. 31, 2021.

Along with strict anti-coronavirus health check requirements for all participants, the field size will be limited by tightening Osaka's usual sub-3:10 qualifying standard to sub-2:50. Fans, supporters and locals will also be asked to watch the race on TV instead of turning out to cheer courseside. 

A spokesperson for the organizing committee commented, "We expect the sub-2:50 qualifying time to reduce the field size from about 500 to around 100. We had originally planned to have more runners for the race, but we hope that people can understand the necessity of these restrictions.

We hope that the race will show greater than ever unity in women's marathoning and its willingness to take on the challenges leading to the Olympics."

The domestic invited elite athlete field is scheduled to be announced in late December. The race will begin at 12:10 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2021 starting and finishing at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. The half marathon usually staged alongside the marathon has already been canceled for 2021.

Translator's note: Although the article specifies that a domestic elite field will be announced in late December, the Japanese-language guidelines mention domestic and international elite athletes. 

(11/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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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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Defending champions Tsehay Gemechu and Andamlak Belihu set to face tough opposition at Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Organizers of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon have announced that Tsehay Gemechu and Andamlak Belihu will defend their titles at the World Athletics Gold Label road race on Sunday 29 November.

The Ethiopian duo will both be aiming for an unprecedented third successive victory in the Indian capital, but both will race strong fields containing world champions.

Last year, Gemechu improved her own course record from 2018 by 50 seconds when she ran a stunning personal best of 1:06:00.

Ideally, Gemechu would like to go even faster this year but, like so many runners around the world, her training and racing this year have been hugely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Covid-19 is a disaster which has affected everyone's life all over the globe and, definitely, it has affected my training, not least in the early stages of the pandemic when we were all fearful of infection,” said Gemechu, who will turn 22 next month.

“Later, my coach and I decided to take care of ourselves, taking into account all the advice from the World Health Organization, and I started my own individual training programme with my main goal of coming back to Delhi.”

Gemechu will have a host of outstanding rivals in this year's race, arguably the strongest women's field ever seen in the history of the Delhi Half Marathon with seven women having run under 67 minutes.

Among them are two of her compatriots, Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Netsanet Gudeta, as well as world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich.

The in-form Yehualaw finished second at the 2019 Deli Half Marathon, just one second behind Gemechu, and showed she's a rising star of distance running by finishing third at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia last month in a personal best of 1:05:19.

Gudeta, the 2018 world half marathon champion, was eighth in Gdynia after falling over mid-race, but helped Ethiopia to team gold.

Chepngetich won the world marathon title in Doha last year, having clocked PBs of 1:05:30 for the half marathon and 2:17:08 for the marathon earlier in the season. More recently, she finished third at the London Marathon in 2:22:05.

Belihu will be aiming to finally go into new territory on the streets of Delhi, perhaps even finishing inside 59 minutes, and confirm his place as the most successful runner in Delhi Half Marathon history after having also placed second in his race debut in 2017.

“I have been training well in Addis Ababa for the last couple of months and I am very thankful to have the opportunity to race in Delhi, a city I always enjoy returning to and racing in,” said Belihu, who will turn 22 just over a week before race day.

“This has been a difficult year, for everyone around the world, not just professional athletes, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and I have been training alone much more than I am normally used to,” he added. “But my fifth place at the World Half Marathon Championships in Poland last month has assured me that I am in good shape and I am confident I can put up a good defence of my title.”

The 2020 Delhi Half Marathon will be unlike any previous edition with an estimated 60 elite international and Indian runners in action on the Delhi roads, with the traditional start and finish still in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The event will follow the highest level of safety and hygiene standards with bio-secure zones to ensure a Covid-19-free race.

(11/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon

Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is a haven for runners, creating an experience, that our citizens had never envisaged. The streets of Delhi converted to a world-class running track. Clean, sanitized road for 21.09 kms, exhaustive medical support system on the route, timing chip for runners, qualified personnel to ensure smooth conduct of the event across departments. The race...

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2021 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Postponed to October

Just weeks after pulling off a very successful first virtual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, race officials announced the 2021 date will not be run in April as has been customary, but postponed until October hoping for a better chance to run the race in person. To help make that happen, the 2021 Memorial Marathon is postponed to the weekend of October 2-3, 2021.

The Half Marathon, 5K and Kids Marathon will be run on Saturday, October 2 and the Marathon and Relay on Sunday, October 3, 2021, to best distance runners at the Start and Finish Lines. Race officials are still considering whether or not to include a bike race – more details coming in 2021. The October dates also provide the opportunity to hold the Health & Fitness Expo in the new Oklahoma City Convention Center.

The decision to move the race to October is based on recommendations from the Memorial’s Come Back Team of community leaders, health officials, emergency management, first responders and in consultation with major marathons around the world.  

“While the virtual Memorial Marathon exceeded our expectations this year, we realize how meaningful it is to all be together in person for the #RUNtoREMEMBER,” said Kari Watkins, Race Director. “This is not just another marathon, this is one of Oklahoma City’s signature events that brings our whole community together. If a few more months allows people to run together, it’s worth the delay.”

Also new, Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon has been chosen as one of the qualifying marathons for the 2021 Series (3rd Edition) of the Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Rankings. During the qualifying period of January 1 through December 31, 2021, runners can compete in eligible marathons across the world to earn ranking points. At the end of each qualifying period, the top-ranked runners in each age group will be invited to the 2022 AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships.

(11/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

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

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Tokyo Olympics organizers said news of a coronavirus vaccine was a relief on Tuesday but insisted their bio-security planning for the postponed Games remained unchanged

Olympic officials have regularly said that a coronavirus vaccine is not a precondition for staging the Games, now scheduled to open a year late in July 2021.

But they have acknowledged that a successful shot would make their task significantly easier, and welcomed the 90 percent effectiveness shown by one trial vaccine.

"The organising committee is not disconnected from society... and I heard the vaccine news," Tokyo 2020's Games delivery officer Hidemasa Nakamura told reporters at a briefing.

"And the organising committee is feeling the same as you probably felt, positive sentiment and relief," he added.

But he added: "What we are doing right now is not thinking about the vaccine, because we don't have a vaccine yet, but rather focusing on testing, social distance and also the cooperation between the athletes and the other stakeholders."

"I think that is what we need to do to create a safe Games."

Global markets and sentiment soared after US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said tests involving more than 40,000 people had provided results that were a "critical milestone" in the search for a vaccine.

The news is likely to be a shot in the arm for Japanese officials and their Olympic counterparts, who have faced continuing scepticism about whether the Games can be held next year if the pandemic is not under control.

On Sunday, Tokyo hosted its first international sporting event since the pandemic, a four-nation gymnastics meet that organisers hailed as proof the Games were possible despite the virus.

While the event involved only about 30 athletes and 2,000 socially distanced spectators, Nakamura said it was still evidence that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are feasible.

"Ultimately the Olympics and Paralympics are an accumulation of each competition in each venue, so the fact that a competition was held in November in a safe manner is a huge message," he said.

Sunday's event featured stringent rules for foreign athletes from the United States, China and Russia, who travelled on charter planes and were restricted to designated hotel floors, assigned buses and competition venues.

Athletes had to isolate themselves before coming to Japan, and test negative 72 hours before arrival. They were also tested every day after their arrival.

Spectators at the event had to wear face masks, sanitise their hands and undergo temperature checks, and were told not to shout or cheer.

International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach, who is due in Japan next week for the first time since the Games were delayed, said the event had set "an example that sports can be organised safely even under the ongoing health restrictions".

(11/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Des Linden and Grayson Murphy to Run in 2020 Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon

The FRESHJUNKIE Racing team has announced that running champions Des Linden and Grayson Murphy will be traveling to Coastal Mississippi to participate in the 2020 Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon on Sunday, December 13, 2020.

In 2018, Des Linden was the first American female to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years and then participated in the Margaritaville 5K, part of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon weekend. Grayson Murphy is the 2019 World Mountain Running Champion as well as the XTERRA Trail Run World Champion.

Founded in 2015, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, a “Coastal Running Fest,” offers participants and spectators an opportunity to explore the rich culture and stunning scenery of The Secret Coast. With a beautiful beach-side run between Pass Christian, Mississippi and Biloxi, Mississippi, runners are invited to participate while enjoying unobstructed views of the nation’s longest man-made beach and the Mississippi Sound.

With health and safety as top priority, and in accordance with the Coastal Mississippi Promise of health and safety, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon team continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and guidance from the CDC and other leading health authorities. FRESHJUNKIE Racing is committed to open communication with participants, volunteers, partners, and the racing community, and will continue to update the status of the event with any new information.

"We are thrilled to welcome Des back to the Coast and excited that she is returning to race the Half Marathon alongside Grayson Murphy,” said Craig Sweeney, co-founder of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon. “We are fortunate to have committed partners like Coastal Mississippi who helped to make this opportunity happen."

“It is an incredible honor to welcome such accomplished, world-renowned athletes to our beautiful Secret Coast,” said Milton Segarra, CEO of Coastal Mississippi. “The Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon is a phenomenal event that truly showcases Coastal Mississippi’s exceptional offerings and unparalleled scenery. With additional plans in place to execute the safest, most enjoyable experience for participants and spectators alike, we look forward to another greatly successful event this year, and for many years to come.”

(11/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

Founded in 2015, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, a Coastal Running Fest, celebrates the local flare and beauty of running along the scenic beaches from Pass Christian to Biloxi. Races include a marathon (26.2 miles), half marathon (13.1 miles), 5K (3.1 miles) and kids marathon race program (a 1.2 mile fun run). The Coors Light Finish Festival will be held...

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Organizers cut down runners to 10,000, for 2021 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

The organizers of the annual Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has announced two major changes to the 2021 edition of the Silver Label race.

Bukola Olopade, the race consultant and CEO for Nilayo Sports Management Company has revealed that only 10,000 runners across the world will be allowed to participate in the 2021 Marathon in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Olopade explained further that the drastic reduction in the number of runners was in adherence to safety protocols put in place by the World Athletics, Presidential Task Force, Sports Ministry and other relevant bodies to checkmate the further spread of COVID-19 in the country.

He said: “We’ve stepped back to take a breather and ensure that all strategies are put in place to have a race that would fit the protocols put together by the World Athletics, PTF, Ministry of Youth and Sports so that at the end of the day, we do not put brands and even the state in trouble, and I can say now we have mapped out our strategies and ready to deliver a safe race”

The former Ogun State commissioner also revealed that outside the reduction of runners to 10,000, the 10km race which has always been the crowd puller since it was introduced into the Lagos Marathon has also been suspended from the 2021 race.

He said: “We are only focusing on our flagship race which is the 42km that already has a Silver Label from the World Athletics, with what we are putting in place for 2021, we hope we can be upgraded into the Gold Label”

Beyond the usual fanfare, Mr. Olopade said the goal for 2021 is to stage a world-class event that is equally safe for all.

Already, activities for the 2021 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has officially commenced with the flagging off of registration procedures on Thursday by top officials of the lagos state sports comission.

(11/10/2020) ⚡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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The start list of elite runners for Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon is quite impressive, especially in the case of the women

The Valencia half and full marathons are set to run on December 6 as elite-only races, and they will make for a must-see event. The start lists are quite impressive, especially in the case of the women, where the fields might be even stronger than they were at the London Marathon.

On the men’s side, the fields will see over 30 runners with personal bests under 2:10. Evan Esselink is the lone Canadian representative. The 2:18 marathoner will be looking to run a personal best and possibly secure the Olympic qualification time of 2:11:30. Two Canadian men have secured standard thus far – Trevor Hofbauer and Tristan Woodfine. 

Esselink first appeared on the roads in 2015 when he ran a 1:04:53 half-marathon in Indianapolis. He has since lowered his personal best considerably, running a 1:02:17 in 2019. He’s run only one marathon, finishing STWM 2019 in 2:18:38. 

The women’s field

In the half-marathon, one of the world’s greatest-ever track runners Genzebe Dibaba is making her debut alongside Letesenbet Gidey, the new 5,000m world record-holder. Emily Sisson will also be in the mix, one of America’s budding new talents on the road. Sisson has a 1:07:30 personal best in the event (and has run a 2:23 marathon). 

The marathon field includes headliners Joyciline Jepkosgei, Ruti Aga, Peres Jepchirchir and American Jordan Hasay. Jepkosgei is the 10K world record-holder, Aga is one of the fastest-ever women’s marathoners (2:18:34), Jepchirchir is the reigning world half-marathon champion and Hasay has been hunting the American marathon record for over two years. While Hasay owns the second-fastest women’s marathon time in U.S. history, her recent results have been disappointing by her standards. The runner most recently finished 26th at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February 2020. 

The marathon fields will see a total of 35 runners with personal bests under 2:10 – a remarkably deep field, running at a pace that is sure to see many people qualify for the Olympics. Beyond running standard, the top 10 men and women in the marathon will automatically achieve standard as this is a platinum-level race.  The front runners will be 2:02 marathoner Birhanu Legese, Lawrence Cherono and Lelisa Desisa.

(11/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO

The Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Marathon is held annually in the historic city of Valencia which, with its entirely flat circuit and perfect November temperature, averaging between 12-17 degrees, represents the ideal setting for hosting such a long-distance sporting challenge. This, coupled with the most incomparable of settings, makes the Valencia Marathon, Valencia, one of the most important events in...

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Canadian Justin Kent and Natasha Wodak continue stellar seasons ahead of December marathon

Despite having limited opportunities to race this year, Justin Kent and Natasha Wodak have had great seasons. The pair of B.C. runners have both run half-marathon PBs in 2020, they took the wins in the virtual Canadian 10K Championships in July and they’re both headed to Arizona in December to compete in the Marathon Project with some of the top marathoners in North America.

Over the weekend, they added another couple of big results to their lists of accomplishments for 2020, with Kent breaking the Canadian 20,000m track record in 1:01:01 on Saturday and Wodak coming close to the national half-marathon record with a 1:10:01 showing at the Fierce Half Marathon in B.C. on Sunday. 

Kent’s 20,000m record 

Kent’s 20,000m best is his first Canadian record. Tom Howard was the previous record-holder in the 20,000m with a time of 1:01:10, which he set in 1974. Kent’s result works out to an average pace of 3:03 per kilometre, and while this was on the track and not the road, the result is proof that he’s in tremendous form with just over a month to go until the Marathon Project, which is set for December 20. The race will be his debut marathon, and he’ll undoubtedly be chasing the Olympic standard of 2:11:30. 

Kent was supposed to run for Team Canada at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Poland in October, but Athletics Canada pulled out of the race just days before it was held due to health and safety concerns. In lieu of the world championships race, he ran a solo half-marathon and set his PB of 62:34. With that result and his shiny new Canadian record, Kent will be a runner to watch at the Marathon Project and beyond in 2021. ⁣⁣

Wodak’s near miss 

Earlier in 2020, Wodak became the first Canadian woman to run sub-1:10 in the half-marathon when she ran a 1:09:41 at the Houston Half Marathon in January to set the national record in the event. She only got to enjoy the record for two weeks, though, because in February, Andrea Seccafien ran 1:09:38 at a race in Japan, which is the current Canadian best. Wodak, who owns the 10,000m national record with a time of 31:41.59, was looking to lower the half-marathon bar once again at the Fierce Half Marathon on Sunday, but she came up just short. Still, her 1:10:01 is the third-fastest time in Canadian history, and if she had run it in any other year, it would have been the national record.

Even though she couldn’t beat Seccafien’s time on Sunday, this result is a good sign for Wodak, and it looks like she is in great form just six weeks out from the Marathon Project. Unlike Kent, Wodak has run a marathon before, but just once — seven years ago when she posted a 2:35:16 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2013. This is basically her Debut 2.0 at the distance, and based on her last few years of results, it would be safe to bet that she will smash her marathon PB. Wodak will have her eye on the Olympic standard of 2:29:30 in Arizona, and she’ll have dozens of the best road runners in North America to work with as she chases that time. 

(11/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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World Athletics has announced contenders for COVID Inspiration Award

World Athletics has announced the Herculis Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco, the Ultimate Garden Clash and the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia as the nominations for the special COVID Inspiration Award.

The international governing body revealed the award aims to recognise event organisations in a year of unprecedented challenges, roadblocks and disruptions brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The three events were nominated to show the organisers efforts to meet those challenges and provide competitive opportunities for athletes and entertaining events for fans around the world.

"Necessity has been the mother of invention for all of us in this pandemic year and we have seen some really creative initiatives and programmes from our athletes and our event organisers, who have had to reinvent their operations and surmount huge obstacles in order to provide competition for our athletes and fans, which is the lifeblood of our sport," Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President, said.

"We wanted to recognise their enormous resilience and creativity this year by presenting this special award to one of those events that have been exceptionally innovative this year."

The World Athletics Council selected the three nominations.

The Herculis Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco was put forward with World Athletics claiming the event overcame unprecedented public health and safety concerns, global travel restrictions and painful budget cuts to stage their annual competition.

The event marked the start of the heavily interrupted Diamond League season on 14 August and saw Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei break the men’s 5,000 metres world record in front of a crowd of 5,000 spectators.

The event featured 132 athletes, including 13 reigning world champions.

A total of 36 countries participated in the event despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, with 14 world-leading performances achieved at the meeting.

Of those 14 performances, 11 remained the year’s best performances at the end of the season.

(11/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Pavitt
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Kenyan´s Rhonex Kipruto and Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda contest key talking point in Valencia race

Last month, Kiplimo shocked the world by winning the World Half Marathon title in 58min, 49sec, beating a strong field featuring Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie who came second in 58:54 and Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn who sealed the podium places in 59:08.

Both Kipruto and Kiplimo have been preparing for the race individually, although the Kenyan has kept his cards very close to his chest.

The two athletes last met during the 2018 World Under-20 Championships held in Tampere, Finland, where Kipruto bagged gold in a course record time of 27:21.08.

Kiplimo wound up in second place after timing 27:40.36, while Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi was in third in 27:48.41.

Kipruto is no stranger to Valencia, the athlete having set the world record over 5km (13:18) in the 12th edition of the 10K Valencia Ibercaja on January 14. However, this year’s race was assigned a Gold Label status by World Athletics.

Kipruto has been training in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet for the race, which he reckons will be a close contest.

“We have some few weeks before competition. I have been out of competition since January and naturally, I want to perform well. It will be a tight race but I will do my best.  I always believe in going for glory,” he told Nation Sport Sunday.

He is not bothered by his rival Kiplimo and has vowed to stick to his game plan, the last details of which he will finalise in training weeks ahead of the race.

The 2016 World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki who is currently training in Japan, Alfred Barkach, Stephen Kiprop and Kelvin Kiptum will be also compete in the 21km race.

Sheila Chepkirui who won the Valencia and Prague 10km Run in January will compete in the women’s 21km race. She will come up against defending champion Senbere Teferi from Ethiopia.

(11/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world. Valencia is one of the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and an atmosphere that you will not find...

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Benard Cheruiyot Sang and Diana Chemtai Kipyogei of Kenya won in the men’s and women’s category respectively in Sunday’s Istanbul Marathon.

The world’s only intercontinental marathon, in addition to being in the World Athletics' Gold category, the 42.195-kilometer (26.2-mile) event was run without spectators this year to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.

Sang completed the race at 2 hours, 11 minutes and 49 seconds, his personal best. He was followed by fellow Kenyan Felix Kimutai at 2:12:00. Ethiopia's Zewudu Hailu Bekele took third, finishing in 2:12:23.

Diana Chemtai Kipyogei won the top women's title by completing the race in 2:22:06. Ethiopia's Hiwot Gebrekidan and Tigist Memuye secured the second and third spots with running times of 2:24:30 and 2:37:52 respectively.

In a separate event for local athletes, Yavuz AÄŸralı won the marathon's Turkish championship by completing the course at 2:19:23. In women’s, Tubay Erdal, who took sixth in the general category, won the Turkish championship by finishing the race in 2:41:11.

The marathon reversed its course for the first time this year. Instead of starting from the Asian side of the city, athletes took off from the European side. Another change to this year’s race was crossing the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge over the Bosporus twice this year.

The marathon began at Yenikapı, a venue allocated for large-scale rallies, on the city’s European side, to give more space to runners amid the pandemic. Athletes then crossed a route straddling in front of the city’s ancient city walls before reaching the iconic Galata Bridge. They then headed to BeÅŸiktaÅŸ and climbed Barbaros Boulevard, a long uphill stretch needed to reach the bridge. After a U-turn at Altunizade on the Asian side, they returned to Europe to wrap up the race.

The pandemic forced organizers to scrap the 15-kilometer race and an 8-kilometer “public” run. Instead, participants were given the opportunity to “Run Alone, With Us” in which they could take part in virtual races of 5, 10 or 15 kilometers.

There were also a pandemic-limited number of participants, as only 4,000 people ran the race compared with around 37,000 last year.

Athletes were required to keep a distance of 1.5 meters between them at the starting line and took off at five-second intervals in different groups to prevent crowding. They were only allowed to remove their masks after the marathon began.

 

(11/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Daily Sabah
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N Kolay Istanbul Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Marathon

At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon. In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the...

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17-year-old Tierney Wolfgram runs a 2:31:49 marathon for a new American junior record

On Saturday November 6, Tierney Wolfgram, a 17-year-old runner from Minnesota, broke the American U19 marathon record of 2:34:24, which Cathy O’Brien set in 1984. Wolfgram, who is in her rookie season at the University of Nevada, ran a blistering 2:31:49 marathon, smashing O’Brien’s 36-year-old mark and catapulting her into the top 65 of all time among U.S. women marathoners.

Wolfgram was paced to the record time by two of her Nevada Wolfpack teammates, Adam Sjolund and Carson Leavitt, who were the only other runners in the race. 

Although quite young, Wolfgram already has a lot of experience in the marathon, and she even competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Atlanta in February, where she ran to a 76th-place finish in 2:42:47. She qualified for the Trials in 2018, when — at the age of 15 — she finished as the sixth female runner at the Twin Cities Marathon in Minnesota. For a while in that race, Wolfgram actually held the lead. She opened the first 5K with a 17:32 split, which put her more than 30 seconds ahead of second place.

At 10K (which she passed through in 35:42), she still had the lead, but was only up nine seconds on the next closest runner. Wolfgram faded considerably in next 11K, and by the halfway point she was in sixth place, where she stayed for the rest of the race. She crossed the line in Minnesota in 2:40:03, which was an age group world record and well under the U.S Trials qualifying standard of 2:45:00.

If O’Brien’s career is any indication of what Wolfgram could accomplish in the coming decade or two, then the young runner has an exciting few years ahead of her. O’Brien ran her U19 record at the 1984 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, where she finished in ninth. Four years later, O’Brien was back at the Trials, where she climbed the ladder to a third-place finish, earning her a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

She ran to 40th place at the Seoul Games, and in 1992, she finished in 10th at the Barcelona Olympics. 

Wolfgram still has years left in her marathon career, but she has already accomplished so much. Her record is the latest addition to her running resume, but it will almost certainly not be the last, and her name is definitely one to remember. 

Wolfgram’s run on Saturday was the 13th-fastest of the year from an American woman, and it’s tied for 64th-fastest in U.S. history. The race was specifically organized for the record attempt, and only Wolfgram and her two pacers ran the course. She ran an evenly-paced race, averaging 3:36 per kilometre.

After the race, she posted on Instagram to write about her run and thank Sjolund and Leavitt. “There are no words to describe the mass of my gratitude for these two guys,” she wrote. “They kept me in line and controlled me in the early miles, broke the wind for me the entire way and lent me strength during the tough parts. Never once did I feel the loneliness that running a marathon brings, and it’s all because of them.” 

(11/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Improving your mental focus with meditation can help you when running, so you are able to keep pushing and hit your splits

Sitting motionless in a room for an extended period of time might seem like an odd way to improve your running, but meditation is a tool used by some of the world’s best runners to take them to the next level.

Two-time Western States champion Timmy Olhsen uses meditation as a central tenant of his training. Two-time OCC champion Ruth Croft has gone on week-long silent meditation retreats.

Here are some ways to get started:

Why meditate?

There are a number of benefits for runners. Firstly, it can help you concentrate or to “stay present”. This is particularly useful if you have a specific split or pace in mind. Over the course of a 5km, 10km or even a marathon it can be easy for your mind to drift and for you to unwittingly slow down. But if you are “present”, you can focus on keeping your legs spinning.

Conversely, mediation can distract you. If you are battling through a low point on a 100km race, you can use meditation techniques honed at home to focus on your breathing rather than your ailing body. You can refocus to the moment and forget about what is to come and the negative thoughts circling in your head.

Meditation lowers anxiety in general. Being less stressed will help your training in general because you will find it easier to stick to a routine and waste less mental energy so you can push yourself during the session. It will also help you relax and sleep, so your body can recover in full.

Where to start?

It can be hard to know where to start. Do you just sit down with crossed legs and float away in your mind’s eye to distant peaks? There are loads of meditation apps for beginners and you can plug in and listen to instructions for short five-minute bursts and build from there.

Meditation is surprisingly hard. You will find your mind wandering after just a few seconds. Start small, just a few minutes a day, and do not beat yourself up if you have to constantly refocus as you get distracted over and over.

Breathing

Meditating is not just about the mind. There are a number of breathing techniques which supplement the practice, like single nostril breathing, focusing on your breath, long deep breaths, and short fast breaths.

Sit in a comfortable position, shut your eyes and focus on each breath – in, out, in, out. After a few breaths, begin to deeply inhale. Concentrate on where the air is flowing by expanding your belly and not just lifting up your rip cage. Do this five times and then return to regular breathing.

You can repeat this as many times as you like. It is an easy beginners’ routine, but it will allow you to practice refocusing on the moment and staying present when you are getting anxious. When running, if you are getting negative thoughts or experiencing a low, you will then be able to bring yourself back to the moment by focusing on your breath and continuing to push your body.

Meditation while running

You should practice the techniques you learn at home out on the track or trail. It will improve your running and you will be better equipped to call on what you have learned when you need it during a race.

Try staying present by counting your steps. It might sound easy, but you will find your mind drifting to other things after just a few steps. Even if you are counting, you will probably be simultaneously thinking things like, “I wonder how many steps I can get to before I lose count”, but in time you will be able to fill your mind with the numbers only.

Another technique is to focus on body parts, not just legs. Really concentrate on your arms, feel them swinging and brushing against your shirt or body, for example.

Practice gratefulness. Think explicitly about how lucky you are to be able to run and go outdoors and your mood should improve, and your performance with it.

Set intentions

Every day does not have to be a personal best run. But energy flows, where energy knows. If you know what you want out of a day, a session or a race, it will help with mindfulness – an offshoot of meditation.

Write down your training day’s intention. It can be a heart rate, a time, a feeling, a thought. It can even be “rest, today’s training is to rest and not feel guilty about not training”.

And on days you do not meet your intention, think about why but do not get bogged down in it. Tomorrow is another day.

(11/08/2020) ⚡AMP
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Can Running With a Weighted Vest Improve Your Performance?

Most of us want to boost our speed, but can adding heft to our miles help slash splits?

Earlier this year, the coronavirus outbreak forced gyms and fitness studios to close, which forced us all to get creative with our running and training routines. One popular running add on: a weighted vest.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the idea of working out or running with a weighted vest originated. The military and firefighters have long used weight vests in training to mimic the load of equipment they carry during duty. But the trend became more mainstream when CrossFit incorporated weighted vests into certain memorial Workout Of the Days (WODs) to make them more challenging.

But can adding heft actually improve your running performance? We asked running and fitness experts to break down the benefits, risks, and everything in-between.

The Benefits of Running With a Weighted Vest

Wearing a weighted vest while walking or running essentially increases the load on both your muscles and connective tissues. “That weight increase brings a challenge and a new stressor on the body, and change only occurs when the body is stressed,” says Mat Forzaglia, certified personal trainer and founder of Forzag Fitness in New York City. “By adding stress, you can improve your overall fitness.”

Sure, you can add stress by doing speed intervals or lifting weights, but “the idea is that by increasing weight while walking or running, the athlete is making weighted training as specific to their sport as possible,” explains Jason Fitzgerald, USATF certified coach and creator of Strength Running in Denver, CO.

When it comes to boosting endurance and increasing speed, it’s possible to move the needle when done safely and progressively. “Running with a weight vest has the potential to make you faster by reducing your injury risk so you can train long-term, and by increasing your aerobic fitness,” explains Fitzgerald.

Even if you’re not initially running at the same speed or intensity that you usually can (and you probably won’t be able to!), you can still reap the benefits. “Weighted walks or low-intensity running are more challenging than the same activity without a vest, so respiration will be higher at lower intensities, and that can help boost endurance while reducing an athlete’s risk of injury,” says Fitzgerald. “Plus, added strength gains will help mitigate injury risk—and staying healthy is one of the best performance enhancers possible.”

Can Running With a Weighted Vest Build Muscle?

While running with more weight on your body will help you build some muscle, it will be marginal compared to other forms of resistance training. “It won’t be like if you were to squat or deadlift,” says Forzaglia. “It can help you learn to endure heavier weight for longer periods of time.”

What About Weight Loss?

Just like with all other forms of exercise such as walking, running, cycling, and weight lifting, running with a vest is one method that burns calories. But your diet and lifestyle play important factors as long-term weight loss is more complicated than simply: Calories in need to be less than calories out.

“Adding weight and stress to your runs will help burn more calories, but how quickly you lose weight will vary depending on your body composition, nutrition, and other factors,” says Kenny Santucci, NASM, personal trainer and creator of STRONG New York in New York, NY.

“The extremes of exercise will always be more productive, such as high-intensity, long-duration, and very frequent exercise,” adds Fitzgerald. Follow these science-backed tips if you’re interested in running for weight loss.

How To Properly Run With a Weight Vest

If you’re going to try it, it’s important that you’re ready and capable to do so in order to prevent injury. “One of the most important things to consider when it comes to training is being prepared to train,” explains Santucci. If you’ve never run before, or you don’t typically use weights to train, Santucci doesn’t recommend running with a weight vest as the joints won’t be prepared to handle the load.

“Running with extra weight does increase the stress of running, so it can be an injury risk,” explains Fitzgerald. “I’d advise that you begin by hiking [or walking] with a weighted vest, and once that feels good, reserve only very slow running for the vest.” In other words, strap on a weight vest for your shorter, easier running days, or try hiking or walking with a vest on cross-training days. You don’t want to slot this in on recovery days as the extra load will not allow your body to fully recover.

Fitzgerald also points out that it’s not smart to wear a weighted vest during any kind of speed workout. “The goal is speed, and a vest will slow you down,” he says.

Forzaglia suggests using a weight vest during the off-season. “It’s a tool you can utilize in the strength training block, early in the off-season,” he says. “It’s not something to try as you’re leading up to a race.”

How to Choose The Correct Weight

Training with a weight vest adds a whole new load onto the body. In order to not end up too sore—or worse, injured—you should start light, with a weight possibly even less than you think you can handle so your body can get used to this new load. “Err on the conservative side and wear enough weight that you just notice it at first,” says Fitzgerald. “You can always add more later.”

Santucci recommends starting with 10-pounds and then gradually increasing from there. “You’ll work up to the standard weight vest amount for women, which is 14 pounds, or men, which is 20 pounds,” he says. “Your goals will determine how much weight you add.”

Forzaglia recommends vests that have individual single pound or two-pound weights that you can progressively add in or on to the vest as you get stronger and feel more comfortable with the vest.

How Often Should You Do It?

This really depends on your goals. In the beginning, all experts agree to start slow as your body gets used to the additional weight. Doing too much too often may end up sidelining you. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can work it into your routine.

“The frequency with which you wear a weight vest does depend on the race you’re training for but in general, a few times per week will work well for most runners,” says Fitzgerald.

(11/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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The 13 Best Pieces of Running Gear to Fend Off Winter’s Chill

Reach for these accessories to survive the season’s coldest days.

In much of the country, the “-ber” months see reduced daylight, warm temperatures, and a runner’s motivation. Let’s admit: It’s hard to drag yourself out of bed when it’s pitch black outside and your breath crystalizes the instant it escapes your lips. Or, if we do gear up for a run, it’s often on a treadmill at the gym, avoiding any wintry slop outside.

But with the right attitude and tools, you can make it through. Being equipped with the proper winter accessories—like the selections below—that fend off all but the worst Mother Nature delivers will help bring back the joy of playing outside.

Gloves Before Sleeves Before Pants

As the temperature begins to slide, you’ll see runners sweating buckets beneath windbreakers and running pants. Resist that temptation to bundle up because, as soon as you’re moving, you’ll quickly overheat. If you’re unaware what you should be wearing given the conditions, you can always turn to our What to Wear tool. And take our advice: The first thing you should reach for is a pair of thin gloves to wear with shorts and a T-shirt because fingers often get chilly first. As the winds pick up and the temperature dips further, swap the tee for a long-sleeve shirt, then progress to pants and a jacket when the conditions worsen.

Layering Is Wise

Smart runners know to dress in layers. A thin jacket can be tied around your waist easily if you find yourself too warm. Beneath that, look for a synthetic base layer that will wick sweat away from your skin or wear a half-zip top that you can use like a window—open it to dump heat quickly so you don’t get too clammy.

You can apply the same concept to your hands. As the temperature gets too low for lightweight gloves, slip a mitten over top to boost your warmth and comfort. Modern materials even allow you to operate your smartphone or watch without taking your hands out of the mittens.

What about your head, where you lose the most heat? Unless you’re bald, you might find a hat to be too warm on any days when it’s not cold enough to snow. In that case, consider pulling on a headband or Buff, which you can use to shield your dome from the cold wind relentlessly pounding your forehead.

(11/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Dr. Jill Biden is a runner and in fact has run a marathon

The Second Lady is still active in the Komen Race for the Cure.

It was a charity race that got you started running, wasn’t it?

I started running after Joe and I were asked to kick off a Komen Race for the Cure in the early ’90s. After sounding the horn, we ran to get out of everyone’s way, and I got so winded that I said, “I’m going to start running.” My first run was around my neighborhood in Delaware—about a third of a mile. I kept increasing the distance until I got the bug.

What did you like about it?

It was such a feeling of freedom. I love running outside. It was a good feeling. I mean, I felt good about myself, and so that’s why I continued. I started when I was, what, 40, so I’ve been running almost 20 years. And I’ve been pretty consistent with it. I mean, I’ve had things in my life happen where I’ve had to slow down a little bit, but I’ve always gone back to it.

How many Susan G. Komen races have you participated in?

Oh, I’m not sure about the exact number—probably a handful or so. Over the years I’ve also completed several 5K, 10K, and half-marathon races for other cancer charities.

Why are you participating in the Komen race this year?

This year, I am serving as the Honorary Chair for the Washington D.C. Race for the Cure along with Joe. It’s the second year in a row we’ve done this, and we are honored to continue the tradition. On the eve of race day, Joe and I will host breast-cancer survivors for a special reception at our home. It’s a really special event and gives us a chance to spend time with survivors and their loved ones before the race. We’re really looking forward to it.

In addition to your work with Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure, you’ve been very involved in breast-cancer awareness. Why is it such an important issue for you?

Back in the early ’90s, I had several friends who got breast cancer. One died. I felt like I had to do something, and I couldn’t just sit by. Being an educator, I thought, Well, maybe there’s something I could do in education. So I started the Biden Breast Health Initiative, and I have health-care professionals go to high schools in Delaware, and we talk to them about good health practices, breast self-examination, and early detection. So not only is that awareness created for them, but they take that message home to their moms and grandmoms, and they start a dialogue. We’ve reached more than 10,000 young women.

What’s typical for a daily workout? Where do you usually run and how many miles?

Well, you know, my goal is five miles at a nine- to 10-minute pace five days a week. But between teaching and administration responsibilities, I barely make that any more. Like, for instance, this morning I had a breast-cancer event here [at the house, the Vice President’s Residence at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.] at breakfast. I knew I was limited for time, so I did a little over four miles on the treadmill. I try to adapt my workout to where I am—I could be in another city or country—so it often depends on what I’m doing. I also try to incorporate a little bit of weight training, because I think that’s really good for your bones. That’s my basic workout.

How do you change your training when you’re preparing for a race, as you are now?

When I’ve done races, I’ve been pretty disciplined about setting up a plan for myself and then following that plan on a daily basis. That’s how I got ready for the 1998 Marine Corps Marathon, which is the only one I’ve done. I’ve done several half-marathons and 10-mile races. In the next couple months, I would love to train for the Army 10-Miler [in Washington, D.C.], and so I feel like I could work up to that.

You’re pretty close to the race in the beginning of June, so what are you aiming for now? Are you still doing five miles or are you trying to ramp it up?

Usually because of time, I can’t go over five miles—sometimes maybe I could do six or seven, and sometimes I could just do three. Because, you know, my days are pretty filled, so I have to run in the morning or whenever I have time, and then I’ve got to build in that time to get back and showered and changed and read my briefing for an event. I have to factor all of those things in.

So what’s your best time?

My best time was my only time [the Marine Corps Marathon]. I finished in 4:30:32. My goal was 4:30, so I feel like I met that goal and I was ecstatic. I have to say it was one of the highlights of my life. I saw my family at several spots along the way. And I tell you, at the end of that race, I felt like I could run five more miles. My adrenaline was through the roof.

Would you consider running another marathon?

I always said I only wanted to do one marathon, but I’ve also learned to never say never!

So now do you run with the Secret Service?

Oh, yeah. That’s another big change in my life now—I usually have someone ahead of me and someone behind me. But they’ve been great. I just say to them, “I need to pretend you’re not here,” because I love to run by myself, and they’re pretty respectful of that.

Are the Secret Service in cars or are they actually running?

No, these guys are runners. I mean, these guys are fit, and they’re good runners.

You said you love to run by yourself. Why is that? Is it because you use that time to think or is it meditative for you?

I think that running creates a sense of balance in my life. And it really calms me down. It’s a great feeling to just get out and lose myself in a run. I think that’s why I continue to run because, as you know, once you get that, you kind of crave that time for yourself.

So I guess you don’t exercise with your husband?

Sometimes Joe runs with me, but he’s not a runner. He’s an athlete, and he does a lot of exercise. Like last night, he was playing football out on the front lawn with our granddaughter who loves to play football. So he likes to do a lot of sports, but I think once you’re a runner, you really stick with it.

But I have heard you do run with some of your staff.

A lot of people on my staff run, so that’s nice. If we get time and we’re in a different city, we’ll go out and do a run.

Obviously this is a very fit administration. Is it motivating? The President and First Lady are known for it. Do you ever run with either the President or First Lady?

You know, I really love what Michelle is doing with Let’s Move! Let’s face it, we really did need something like this in this country to fight childhood obesity. I see Michelle at events or we pass one another on the way to meetings, but life is a little too hectic. I mean, that would be great, but it just isn’t reality that we would have time to do that.

So do you feel more pressure to perform well as a runner now that everyone knows you?

Well, when I’m out running, people don’t recognize me, which is great. I don’t feel pressure; I’m not out to beat anybody or hit a certain time. I just do it for the enjoyment of it. I’m doing it for myself.

How do you make the time to run? How do you carve that time out?

Well, I definitely make it a priority. That’s not always possible, but my office knows that it goes first on the list. It’s really an important part of my life, and I try to be pretty true to it.

Do you have a preferred workout outfit?

I don’t have a workout outfit. The usual, you know, black pants and a T-shirt.

Do you listen to music when you run?

Oh, yeah, I do.

Can I ask what’s on your iPod?

What’s on my iPod? Well, certainly Bruce Springsteen. [Biden was born in New Jersey.] I don’t know what else. My kids are runners, by the way. I have two sons and a daughter and two daughters-in-law, and they’re triathletes, my two sons and their wives. So if they hear something good, they’ll say, “Oh, Mom, let me put this on your iPod.”

(11/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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2021 Nagano Marathon to Happen April 18th With Field of 8,000 But No International Entries

The 23rd Nagano Marathon will go ahead as scheduled on Apr. 18, 2021, employing trial coronavirus countermeasures. To comply with government directives on crowd density the field will be limited to 8,000 participants.

On a first-come first-served basis priority will be given to runners who entered the canceled 22nd edition of the race.  All entrants are asked to monitor their health closely and to stay home if they feel unwell in the time leading up to the race.

This event cannot be held without the help and cooperation of every participant in the field in making sure it goes off smoothly. Thank you for your understanding. 

We are sorry to inform you that the Nagano Marathon Organizing Committee will not accept foreign entries for the 23rd Nagano Marathon, considering that the future for the relaxation of immigration restrictions is uncertain due to COVID-19. We sincerely apologize to those who were looking forward to the race.

Priority entry for foreign runners entered in the 22nd Nagano Marathon’s priority will be carried forward to the 24th Nagano Marathon.

 

(11/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Japan Running News
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Modern pentathlon set for new format for Paris 2024 Olympics

The Executive Board of the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has approved a new format for the Paris 2024 Olympics, which will now feature a 90-minute event.

This 90-minute modern pentathlon will have an elimination system designed to reduce the overall length of the competition and create a more dynamic approach to the sport.

All five disciplines will take place in 90 minutes within a compact field of play.

Equestrian would feature first for 20 minutes, before a 15-minute fencing event, ten minutes of swimming and 15 minutes of the laser run. 

Breaks are accounted for in between events too.

This new format also intends to be more broadcast-friendly, making it easier for viewers and spectators to understand the event in one sitting.

There is also a focus on making the Games more sustainable and efficient in future, making it compatible with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Olympic Agenda 2020.

Modern pentathlon was first introduced into the Olympic Games in 1912 in Stockholm by the co-founder of the IOC, Pierre de Coubertin.

Now, the IOC Executive Board will decide on December 7 whether to approve this new format proposed by the UIPM, as well as a proposal to add the mixed relay as an event for Paris 2024 too.

"We stand once again on the brink of a momentous landmark in the long history of our beloved core Olympic sport," said UIPM President Klaus Schormann.

"The modern pentathlon was originally a five-day competition at the Olympic Games. 

"In Atlanta 1996 it was condensed into one day, and in London 2012 we combined laser shooting with running to produce a more exciting climax. 

"At Tokyo 2020 we will have all five disciplines within one pentathlon stadium.

"Now, after two years of detailed exploration and discussion between all parts of our community, the IOC and Paris 2024 and Olympic Broadcast Services, we are ready to present something very special: a modern pentathlon lasting 90 minutes.

"We have presented our global community with a summary of the exciting new Modern Pentathlon format, which we hope will have a transformative effect on the profile and popularity of our Olympic sport.

"As UIPM President I am grateful to all parts of our global community for buying into this vision. 

"The UIPM Executive Board has again demonstrated its commitment to innovation and we greatly look forward to presenting the IOC with our application for a new modern pentathlon competition format and an additional mixed relay category for the Paris 2024 Olympics."

The UIPM Executive Board made this decision following a vote in January in support of the format.

In September 2020, test events took place in Budapest in Hungary and Cairo in Egypt and received positive feedback.

(11/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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Ethiopia's Hailu Zewdu and Diana Chemtai lead their respective fields for the Istanbul Marathon as the World Athletics Gold Label road race series resumes in Turkey's largest city on Sunday

Zewdu made his marathon debut at the Dubai Marathon in January, clocking 2:06:31 to finish 10th. He'll be joined by compatriot Tsegaye Getachew, the next fastest in the field with a 2:06:50 career best, set at the Valencia Marathon last year where he finished eighth. Earlier in the year Getachew won the Dalian Marathon in 2:11:25, his first and to date only international victory over the distance.

Felix Kimutai, with 2:09:23 credentials, leads the Kenyan contingent. The 31-year-old won here in 2018 and finished third one year ago.

Cosmas Birech, who clocked 2:08:03 to win the Rome Marathon in 2018, is also in the field, along with Edwin Soi, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist over 5000m, who'll be making his marathon debut.

Local hopes will rest with Yavuz Agrali, who set his 2:10:41 lifetime best in Seville in February.

Chemtai, who made her marathon debut last year, leads the women's field. The 26-year-old Kenyan clocked 2:22:07 at last year's Ljubljana Marathon, finishing third. She has a 1:07:07 half marathon best from 2018.

She'll face a pair of formidable Ethiopians, Hiwot Gebrekidan and Yeshi Kalayu Chekole. Gebrekidan has a 2:23:50 career best set in Guangzhou last year while Chekole, 23, has a 2:24:28 best set in Abu Dhabi, also one year ago.

Strict safety measures in place

Organisers have put several measures in place to ensure the safety of all runners, beginning with a cap of 3000 participants.

The start and finish area was moved to a massive open space to ensure a safe distance between the runners both before and after the race. The area will be secured, barring entry to anyone without a clearance code provided by Turkey's Ministry of Health. A negative test for Covid-19 was required to enter the race.

All participants, including the elite athletes, will be required to wear face masks at the start, and will be able to dispose of them in designated boxes at 20 metres, 200 metres and one kilometres from the start.

The gun will sound the start of the elite race at 9am. The mass race will follow with groups of four runners starting every five seconds.

The change in course means that this year, instead of starting on the Asian side of the city and finishing on the European side, runners will first cross from Europe to Asia and then back again. With the change to a much more difficult course, organisers don't expect the race records - Daniel Kipkore Kibet's 2:09:44 set in 2019 and Ruth Chepngetich's 2:18:35 from 2018 - to be under threat.

The accompanying shorter races that regularly attract up to 70,000 participants were cancelled this year.

(11/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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N Kolay Istanbul Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Marathon

At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon. In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the...

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Publix Atlanta Marathon Weekend Moves to Atlanta Motor Speedway

 Runners who participate in next year's Publix Atlanta Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K won't have to climb any of Atlanta's famous and relentless hills in 2021. This year's temporary course will be pancake flat. With the uncertain future of events in Atlanta due to COVID-19, Publix Atlanta Marathon Weekend will move to Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2021 and be held as a series of by-appointment races to allow for safe social distancing.

Traditionally held at Centennial Olympic Park, the weekend will remain on its scheduled date of February 27-28. The 5K will be held under the lights of the Atlanta Motor Speedway's NASCAR oval on Saturday night. The half marathon and marathon will be held the next day utilizing the 1.5-mile track, its infield, concourse, miles of service roads and large parking lots. The Publix Atlanta Kids Marathon will be held across both days allowing parents to schedule their children's races in conjunction with their own.

"We know runners and walkers are making their winter and spring plans now," said Rich Kenah, Executive Director of Atlanta Track Club. "By making this decision and announcement now, we are able to provide some certainty in this uncertain time. We are building out a unique, safe experience that is not dependent on public permits."

Atlanta Track Club has consulted with infectious disease experts and followed guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control to implement safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at its events in 2020. The 2021 Publix Atlanta Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K will be a contactless experience. All participants, spectators, staff and volunteers will be required to undergo a health screening prior to entering Atlanta Motor Speedway. Masks must be worn by all except during the race itself. Participants will start in waves of up to 50 people with up to five minutes between each wave. The marathon and half marathon will be capped at 5,000 combined participants and the 5K will be capped at 3,000 participants.

All participants will be required to carry their own hydration and fuel with touchless refill stations available on the course. Post-race snacks, refreshments and medals will be prepacked and available to all finishers before exiting the race area.

Registration fees are currently $100, $80 and $20 for the marathon, half-marathon and 5K respectively. The Publix Atlanta Kids Marathon has a dash option for $10 and a mile for $15. Registration includes a participant shirt and finisher's medal. Participants can sign up and choose their time slot at atlantatrackclub.org. Previously registered participants were offered the option to move to the new location or a full refund. If the event is canceled due to COVID-19, refunds will be offered.

Due to the uncertainty of COVID impacts on indoor gatherings, the Publix Atlanta Marathon will not offer an expo in 2021. Race number pickup will happen on site at Atlanta Motor Speedway on your respective race days. There will also be opportunities for participants to purchase official race merchandise and safely interact and engage with race partners including Publix and Mizuno. The expo had been scheduled at the Georgia Aquarium for the first time. Those aquarium plans will be pushed back to 2022.

Located just 25 miles south of Atlanta in Hampton, Georgia, Atlanta Motor Speedway encompasses 840 acres of private property. It holds two premier NASCAR events each year, one of which will be just three weeks after the Publix Atlanta Marathon Weekend.

Atlanta Track Club has successfully held five in-person events following the race-by-appointment format since July including the three-race Publix Summer Series which was held at private venues throughout the summer and the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler & 5K at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on November 1.

(11/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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How the latest lockdown affects UK athletics

Track and field training this month will be challenging during English lockdown, whereas restrictions on what is allowed are varied and ever-changing across the UK

Athletics club activity has gone into limbo in England as the month-long lockdown begins. Group sessions and all competitions have been suspended but athletes are still able to train with one other person or enjoy one-to-one coaching in an outdoor public space if they maintain social distancing.

Sports minister Oliver Dowden has urged people to try to stay as fit and healthy as possible during a lockdown that is set to last until at least December 2, but what exactly can athletes and coaches do?

England Athletics say the following is allowed:

» Training with your household or one other person in a public outdoor space.

» One-to-one coaching in a public outdoor space following social distancing, although the governing body is still looking for clarity regarding under-18s and para-athletes.

» Virtual training sessions delivered by qualified coaches and virtual competition.

What is not allowed:

» Indoor and outdoor club group coaching activity.

» Indoor or outdoor competitions.

» Face-to-face coach and officials’ education.

Attempts by England Athletics together with British Cycling and British Triathlon to lobby the Government for exceptions to the lockdown rules failed this week. Many have argued that sport and fitness is vital for physical and mental wellbeing but the Government has refused to buckle and Dowden says: “As soon as we’re in a position to start lifting restrictions, grassroots sport will be one of the first to return.”

In Scotland the situation is complicated by a five-tiered system of coronavirus restrictions. Outdoor competitions, for example, are still permitted in levels 0-3 but not in level 4. Indoor competition, meanwhile, is allowed in levels 0-2 for all age groups and in level 3 for under-17s, but not level 4.

Training group sizes in Scotland are also limited with under-11s allowed a maximum number of 30 athletes, for example, in areas that are levels 0-3 whereas athletes over 12 can train in groups of up to 15 with a varying coach-athlete ratio numbers depending on the age of the athletes. In level 4 areas, under-11s can only train in groups of eight and over 12s in a maximum group size of eight.

In Northern Ireland the maximum group size for both training and competition is 15 with that number including coaches and volunteers.

Wales has been in a 17-day ‘firebreak lockdown’ since October 23 with no athletics clubs or groups allowed to meet together to train and no face to face coaching permitted outside of your own household.

However Welsh Athletics encourages people to keep active. In Wales you can leave your house as often as you like to do exercise and an update is expected from Welsh Athletics after November 9.

Linked to the restrictions, many athletics tracks will now become inaccessible if they are part of leisure centre complexes or run by local councils. Plans by parkrun to return in the UK have also been put on hold, while the Great Run Local events have been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus.

Elite athletes will be frustrated by international travel problems, but their training should otherwise not be affected too much because they are exempt from restrictions. The British Indoor Championships is also set to go ahead in the new year, in addition to the British Olympic marathon trials in March.

Those two events at least appear relatively corona-proof although elsewhere the athletics calendar has been decimated with the small number of grassroots meetings that had hoped to happen in England this month being called off.

You can read more about athletics guidelines in England here, Scotland here, Wales here and Northern Ireland here.

(11/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Do poles make ultra trail running more difficult?

Using poles can increase cardiovascular output

Many trail users have seen fellow exercisers running, walking and hiking with poles. Beyond recreational use, these poles can be seen at major ultra-endurance events like UTMB or the Hardrock 100. Poles are much lighter and more affordable than they used to be, and they’re becoming more prevalent in the trail and hiking communities. While pole usage is truly up to the runner, there’s some research that suggests they could make you work harder – which is fine during training, but not ideal on race day.

Note: some races don’t allow poles, so double check before making them part of your race plan.

Who should use poles?

A 2020 literature review found that hikers who used poles had an increase in cardiovascular output, but a lower rate of perceived exertion. A runner’s rate of perceived exertion is basically a subjective indicator of how hard they feel they’re working at any given time. This makes sense, as the poles incorporate a person’s upper body more than their natural arm carriage would. If you’re looking for a better whole-body workout, poles seem to be an asset. However, if you’re looking to use as little energy as possible, the poles could be making you work harder to travel the same distance.

Even better news for those looking for a good overall workout (as opposed to a race victory) is that using poles made the subject’s effort feel easier. In a 60-minute uphill trek, pole users saw a significant decrease in their RPE, however, in the downhill trail they saw no difference. So for runners looking to work harder while feeling like their exercise is easier (which is basically everyone’s dream), poles are a great idea. However, if the goal of the day is to win a race, leave the poles at home.

Other considerations

While the research suggests that using poles is more taxing on your cardiovascular system, trail racers should consider the balance assistance that poles can provide. In a study looking at pole usage and balance, it was found that poles improved runners’ stability. While more research needs to be done on long-term pole usage, occasional use seems to help performance.

If you’re considering a particularly gnarly trail race, poles might be to your advantage. For example, in the Hardrock 100, most runners uses poles throughout the race. However, if your race has mostly fairly predictable footing, you can probably go without.

(11/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Meet the runner who set the Guinness World Record for distance run while juggling

Five hours, 21 minutes, and 23 seconds. 117 laps around a track. Zero balls dropped.

David Rush is no stranger to Guinness World Records. He’s been going after them for years as a way to boost his efforts promoting STEM education in schools—he thought kids would be inspired if they saw a world-record holder.

Rush, a longtime juggler, holds records in things like fruit sliced in the air by juggled knives and the most Oreo cookies stacked in 30 seconds. However, joggling—running while juggling—was always at the forefront of his mind after going to school with longtime joggling record-holder Zach Warren.

'The main purpose of these records is to show kids that if you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything,' Rush told Runner’s World. 'Even though some records still stand, you shouldn’t give up if you miss it. You can become anything you want.'

He started running around 2005, when he got competitive with his brother, who was doing a Thanksgiving half marathon that year. Since 2014 though, he really picked up his running efforts, especially when he started to get into joggling more.

Knowing he didn’t necessarily have the speed to capture various speed records, he decided to focus on the joggling distance record—which meant he had to run 15.5 miles while juggling without dropping a single ball.

Most joggling records—which are generally the fastest time covering a certain distance—are fairly lenient when it comes to drops. As long as a joggler returns to spot of a drop before continuing, the record is valid. But the distance record is different. If there’s a drop, the attempt is over, whether that’s one mile in or 20 miles in.

Another tricky element of this attempt is that a runner cannot accept outside assistance, including being given food or drink, during the attempt. And when your hands are occupied with juggling, nutrition becomes tricky.

'I figured I could go 20 miles without food or water,' Rush said. 'My goal, though, was a marathon if I could do it, so I had to think of a way to get something without breaking the rules.'

With this in mind, Rush opted to wear a Camelbak for the duration of the run, and he tied the tube to his face so he could drink the mix of Gatorade G2 and water he had without using his hands. That meant the straw was in his mouth for the entire run.

Rush’s record attempt, on October 10, went off smoothly. With a camera filming the action and two friends watching as witnesses, he made his way around and around the Centennial High School track in Boise, Idaho.

The juggling didn’t slow down Rush; instead, the bouncing of the Camelbak forced him to shorten his stride and average a 11:19 mile. Still, he cruised through the distance record in 2 hours and 32 minutes, and he just kept going from there.

After over five hours and more than 100 laps, Rush started to wear down. He passed the marathon distance, but a few miles later, a ball finally hit the track, ending his attempt.

Not only did Rush complete his first ultramarathon, but he also crushed the world record by running 29 miles in 5 hours, 21 minutes, and 23 seconds.

'This is one I would consider doing again,' Rush said. 'I was thrilled with 29 miles, but now I’m wondering, How much farther could I go?'

Rush ended up with only one wound from the race. As he ran, the Camelback straw repeatedly bumped into his mouth, causing a blister to form in his mouth that bled a bit during his run.

Despite the usual soreness from running such a distance followed, Rush has since attempted two more world records—the number of times spitting a ping pong ball at a wall and catching it in his mouth, and fastest blindfolded juggling. He also has plans for more joggling attempts, potentially before the end of the year.

(11/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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9 ways to run safely in the dark

How to ensure you stay safe while out running after dark.

Although wintertime, or evening running has its perks including sparkly lights and invigorating temperatures, with the fading light comes a new set of concerns for runners. As dusk arrives at 4pm it effectively halves our key running times, leaving many regular routes in total darkness. So how can we ensure our runs remain safe without impacting on our fitness routine during the second coronavirus lockdown?

1. Light up

The first rule of safe winter running is high-visibility reflective gear. Being seen after dark is imperative not only so that other runners and pedestrians can spot you dashing past, but also vital for oncoming traffic. From remote country roads to busy city intersections, in the absence of reflective kit, runners are effectively invisible to other road users and just like cyclists you need to be seen to be safe. High-vis clothing will also deter potential predators.

Most running brands release kit during the winter months featuring reflective touches to aid your night runs. But if you're reluctant to invest in a whole new outfit, there are a few simple tricks you can do to light up your evening runs. From LED lights to attach to your clothing, to the Zephyr Fire 100 Hand Torch which comes with a handy strap and a built-in personal alarm, plenty of running brands have come up with a few clever ways to light up the night. Alternatively most running shops stock reflective jackets and bibs to wear over your normal running gear.

2. Run in familiar areas

It may sound obvious, but when you’re out running it’s all too easy to get lost in your thoughts and veer from your usual path. As tempting as it may be to track a new route, if you’re running solo after dark, stick to main roads and well-lit areas.

Having said that, if you run several times a week, it is also easy to slip into a routine and this comes with its own set of dangers. If you run exactly the same route every day, an individual who might be seeking a victim will quickly be able to deduce when and where you’re going to be alone. Stick to routes you know, but mix them up to avoid repetition.

For personal safety, if you're alone it’s also best to steer clear of parks. ‘Think about changing your route during the dark months so you don't leave yourself at risk running through quiet or dark places,’ says ex professional British Boxer and Sporting Performance Coach Cathy Brown. ‘Predators are cowards and hide in dark places.’

3. Stay alert

If you are alone, resist the urge to run with headphones, as it's vital that you remain alert at all times after dark. When your vision is impaired, you need your ears all the more. If you're on a busy street or a cycle path, if you can’t hear cyclists or other runners coming up behind you the results could be disastrous.

'Don't listen to music,' says Cathy. 'I know it keeps you motivated and in stride but you can't hear anyone who may be behind you, so it takes away one of your primary alert senses.'

If you rely heavily on music to keep you motivated, consider hitting the treadmill where you can pump up the volume and run to your hearts content without fear.

4. Run with friends

Despite lockdown, you can still run with one other person at a safe social distance outside (or run at lunchtime to avoid going out alone). Not only is it much safer to run in numbers, but you’ll find your run all the more enjoyable if you have someone to share it with. Running clubs are also a great motivation to push yourself further and improve your fitness, and arranging to meet friends works as a great incentive to get out the door on dark winter nights.

5. Tell a friend

It's frustrating that in this day and age it's still risky to be out after dark alone, but it's always best to err on the side of caution. If you really must run alone, tell someone where you’re going, what route you're taking and the approximate time it will take you. 'If you live alone, choose someone to call when you get back from your run and tell them to expect your call,' says Cathy. 'It's better to be over cautious and safe than sorry.'

6. Get the app

For solo runners, there are lots of great apps available to keep you safe on your runs. Kitestring checks up on you after a period of time, and if you don’t respond, sends a customised emergency message to your pre-selected contacts. Triggered by your inactivity, this can make a huge difference in the case of a serious emergency that prevents you from pulling out your phone. Getbsafe.com includes a panic alarm, shares your location with your friends and family and you can even run with a friend virtually to make sure you get home safe.

7. Make some noise

If you do come across someone that makes you feel uncomfortable, make lots of noise. ‘Scream loud and shout with confidence,’ says Cathy Brown. ‘Predators don't want to attack anyone who is going to bring attention and cause them problems, as they don't want to get caught; remember they are cowards.’

8. Call the police

If you spot anything suspicious or someone makes you feel uncomfortable, call your local police station as soon as possible and warn other runners in the area. Even if you're not in imminent danger, your actions could save someone else from potential harm.

9. Worse case scenario

Although we don't condone violence, if in the worst-case scenario you are attacked during your run, use force where necessary; ‘If you are in the unfortunate circumstance of being attacked, grab their head and push your thumbs into their eye sockets hard; they will definitely loosen their grip.’ Says Cathy. ‘It may seem a bit harsh but if you’re under attack, anything goes.’

(11/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Here's why you feel faster when running in the dark

Sadly you’ve not turned into Mo Farah – it’s about spatial awareness say scientists.

If you’re looking for a tiny silver lining about the winter months closing in, it’s that when you go running in the dark you can feel as though you’re running faster even though you’re not making any extra effort. (The downside is that you’re actually not going quicker but let’s not focus on that.)

When we run at night our perception of pace changes because some of our spatial cues are taken away and our impression of where we are in space in comparison to our surroundings changes. Scientists call it ‘optic flow influence’.

A study in the Journal Of Sport And Exercise Psychology conducted trials with subjects on a stationary bike, and discovered that when the riders’ surroundings went past them quicker they felt like they were both working hard and going faster. The reverse was true too: when the passing scenery in the test was slowed down, the test subjects felt they were working less hard.

A similar thing happens at night because, unless you’re a bat or a superhero, you can only see objects when they’re closer to you. This makes it feel as though the landscape is passing by quicker, making you think you’re running faster. Getting home and feverishly checking your training stats can therefore be a slightly underwhelming experience but you can’t win ‘em all.

Another study published in the Medicine & Science In Sport And Exercise journal outlined a different test where runners completed three 5K time trials using different ‘optic flow rates’. The results were interesting, showing that the runners’ ability to judge distance was impaired. When things came at them quickly - as it does at night - they stopped running short of 5K (on average 400m short) thinking they’d already completed the distance. And when the passing scenery slowed down they overran by an average of a whole kilometre thinking that’s when the 5K was up.

What’s the lesson from all of this? Firstly: if you need to run at a specific pace during your night-time training, take a GPS watch with you. Secondly: darkness is not a performance aid.

(11/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Joshua Cheptegei and Karsten Warholm headline nominees for Male World Athlete of the Year

World Athletics released its list of 10 nominees for Male World Athlete of the Year on Monday, and six of the finalists are runners. The list consists of 10 incredible athletes, each of whom have had amazing 2020 seasons despite having limited opportunities to compete, and it includes the likes of Joshua Cheptegei and Karsten Warholm.

Here are the six runners who have been nominated, along with their accomplishments in 2020 and why they deserve to win Male World Athlete of the Year. 

Noah Lyles only raced a handful of times this year, all in July and August, but he finished his season undefeated. He had one second-place finish in a 100m race in Florida, but that was in a preliminary heat. Later that day, he ran 9.93 seconds in the finals to take the win. He also has the world-leading 200m time of 19.76, which he ran at the Monaco Diamond League. 

Donavan Brazier, Like Lyles, Brazier went undefeated this year. He kicked the season off by setting an American 800m indoor record with a 1:44.22, and he also ran the outdoor 800m world-leading time in Monaco, where he won the race in 1:43.15. Racing in 600m, 800m and 1,500m events throughout the season, Brazier showed off his speed and endurance, often cruising to wins. On top of all that, after his final race of the year, news came out that he had been dealing with plantar fasciitis during these races, although he certainly didn’t let it slow him down too much.

Karsten Warholm, Once again, we have an undefeated athlete nominated. Warholm not only won all six of his 400mH races this year, but he also ran the six fastest times in the event in 2020. He’s the only athlete who ran sub-48 seconds this year (a feat which he accomplished five times), and he also ran the second-fastest 400mH time in history with a 46.87 in Stockholm in August. This was just 0.09 seconds off the world record of 46.78, which has stood since 1992. Finally, he also set the 300mH world record at a meet in Oslo, where he ran 33.78 seconds.

Timothy Cheruiyot, didn’t have an undefeated season, but he did remain perfect in his preferred event of 1,500m. He won each of his three 1,500m races in 2020, and he also set the world-leading time of 3:28.45, which he ran in Monaco. He also stepped out of his comfort zone with a 5,000m run in March. He recorded a time of 13:47.2, and while this result doesn’t even put him in the top 700 all-time among Kenyan runners, it’s still cool to see him broadening his horizons. We don’t expect to see him making the jump to longer races anytime soon, but if a 5,000m every now and then helps him with his endurance for the 1,500m, then all power to him. 

Joshua Cheptegei, has had the year of his life. He raced four times in 2020 and broke three world records. He opened the year with a 5K road world record in Monaco, where he ran 12:51, but before he could continue his season, COVID-19 hit and put everything on hold. His time away from racing didn’t seem to faze him, though, because in his return to competition, he set the 5,000m world record (once again in Monaco) with a time of 12:35.36. Two months later, he followed that up with a 10,000m record of 26:11.00. He ran his season finale at the World Half-Marathon Championships in Poland, and while he didn’t win (he finished in fourth in 59:21), it was his debut at the distance, and he still has plenty of time to chase that world record in the coming years. 

Jacob Kiplimo, only raced three times in 2020, but he won each event, and he showed impressive range as he performed well across three different distances. He opened his season with a 5,000m, which he ran in 12:48.63 (the second-fastest time in Ugandan history, behind only Cheptegei). A little over a week later, he ran a 3,000m in 7:26.64 to set the Ugandan national record and world-leading time in the event. Finally, he won his first world title when he ran to victory in 58:49 at the World Half-Marathon Championships, setting another Ugandan record along the way. 

(11/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Japanese races start to edge back towards normality

While distance running in Europe struggles through a second lockdown (but with elite sport continuing) Japanese races had already, with a few exceptions, been cleared from the winter season right through to April.

However, the popular Ekiden university and corporate team relay events, reaching a climax in the National Championships on New Year’s day, have marked out a path back towards greater normality.

Regional qualifying for the January 1, New Year Ekiden corporate men’s national championships got started on the November 3, holiday with the Kyushu Corporate Men’s Ekiden in Kitakyushu and the East Japan Corporate Men’s Ekiden in Kumagaya.

Starting from last year Kyushu had already switched to a loop course and, as a measure against the coronavirus crisis, East Japan was also held on a loop course in a park instead of its usual road course.

Regional qualifying for the New Year Ekiden continues on November 15, in the Chubu, Kansai, Chugoku and Hokuriku regions.

(11/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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A group of Canadian sport specialists are developing a tool to predict risk and prevent RED-S and overtraining

In 2014, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) first introduced the term Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S), which refers to low energy availability resulting from a mismatch between energy intake (i.e. fuel in the form of food) and energy expenditure from training.

While the term is now widely recognized by the endurance sport community, there remains a gap in its assessment and treatment. A group of Canadian researchers is trying to close this gap by developing a diagnostic tool for athletes. 

Rachel Hannah is on the development team, alongside Austen Forbes and Alex Coates who both have a background in elite triathlon. As a marathoner and registered dietitian, who has had personal experience with RED-S, Hannah says she is excited about the project. “RED-S is a condition that can prevent athletes from competing due to its negative health and performance issues, even forcing some into early retirement,” she says.

“There is currently no solution to the problem, because it is a relatively new area of study that reveals the difficulty in capturing all of the components that go into an athlete’s health and performance. We are collaborating with AI Endurance, which was founded by Markus Rummel in 2020, to create a diagnostic tool.”

In order to develop this tool, Hannah is asking runners to help. “This software would provide a predictive and diagnostic tool that could enable an athlete to understand their risk levels for developing RED-S or overtraining.

We are currently looking for athletes to fill out a diagnostic questionnaire in order for us to collect data. We are particularly looking for athletes who are currently diagnosed with RED-S or overtraining or have experienced RED-S or overtraining in the past.”

To take the survey, or for more information go to oneathlete.ca.

(11/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Researchers at the University of Calgary found that running can boost mental acuity

You’ve always known running is physically good for you, but a recent study out of the University of Calgary found that it has cognitive benefits, too. The study was published by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), and it showed that running and performing other aerobic exercises on a regular basis for just six months can boost brain function by 5.7 per cent.

The study suggests that new runners of all ages should experience at least some improvements after adding consistent exercise to their weekly schedules. 

Marc Poulin, one of the authors on the study, said in an AAN press release that “even if you start an exercise program later in life, the benefit to your brain may be immense.” Poulin works at the Cumming School of Medicine at U of C. “Sure, aerobic exercise gets blood moving through your body,” he said. “As our study found, it may also get blood moving to your brain, particularly in areas responsible for verbal fluency and executive functions.” Poulin said these findings could help in future research regarding Alzheimer’s and dementia.  

The study looked at 206 adults over a six-month period in which they exercised at least four days a week. At the start of the six months, the subjects — who had an average age of 66 — underwent thinking and memory tests, and they also had ultrasounds to monitor the blood flow to their brains. Physical tests administered again after three months and then six months, when the subjects were also given thinking tests. 

The study participants worked out in a supervised group setting three days a week throughout those six months, and they were asked to exercise at least once more on their own each week. Their aerobic exercise program started at 20 minutes per day and was eventually bumped up to 40 minutes. After the six months, subjects showed a 5.7 per cent improvement on tests of executive function, as well as a boost of 2.4 per cent when it came to verbal fluency, which pertains to the ability to retrieve information. 

Blood flow to the brain also improved after the half-year of training, jumping from 51.3 centimeters per second at the start of the trial to 52.7 at the end for an increase of 2.8 per cent. “Our study showed that six months’ worth of vigorous exercise may pump blood to regions of the brain that specifically improve your verbal skills as well as memory and mental sharpness,” Poulin said.

What does this mean for runners? Well, if you exercise regularly already, you’re doing yourself a favor, even if you didn’t realize it before. If you’re new to running, though, the study shows that you can still boost your mental acuity if you stick with the sport and work out consistently. 

(11/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Work your core like champion Mo Farah

As every runner knows, core strengthening is an important aspect of your training schedule, but many of us are guilty of skipping core workouts on a regular basis. You know who doesn’t skip core sessions? Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah.

Yes, we know core hurts and it’s not nearly as fun as getting out on the roads, trails or track, but it will help you improve as a runner and all-around athlete. So drop what you’re doing, get on the floor and try Farah’s quick and easy core routine, which he says has helped him achieve his goals in the sport.

Russian twist — 20 reps

Start off with a classic — the Russian twist. Farah uses a medicine ball for this exercise, but you can use a dumbbell or anything else you have at your disposal. If you find it too difficult to perform this exercise with a ball or weight, you can also do it without holding anything. Start by sitting on the floor, lifting your feet off the ground and crossing your legs. Making sure to keep your legs as still as possible, twist from side to side, moving the medicine ball to either hip. Farah notes that it’s important to “lean in and squeeze your core” while performing this move, and it’s also key not to rush it (even though you might want to just get it over with).

Oblique crunches — 20 reps

Next up is oblique crunches, which will have you lying on your back. With one leg bent and your foot resting on the floor, bring your other leg up and rest it against your opposite knee. Then, with your hands behind your head, twist and lift upward toward the knee of your elevated leg, making sure that your shoulder blade comes off the floor and your elbow touches your knee. Once complete, repeat 20 reps on the opposite side. 

Bent-leg crunches — 10 reps

On your back once again, bend both legs and lift them so they’re at a 90-degree angle. Keep your legs open and about hip-length apart, then perform a crunch, again making sure to get your shoulder blades off the ground. 

Hand to foot stability pass — 10 reps

You’ll need a Swiss ball for this workout. Start flat on your back with the ball in your hands, then simultaneously lift your arms and legs and let them meet in the middle, above your torso. When they meet, place the ball between your feet and lower your limbs back to the floor before repeating the motion and trading the ball once again. Farah says to exhale as you crunch and inhale as you extend, also adding that you should focus on keeping your lower back flat to the floor. 

Lower-abs pulse — 10 reps

This exercise also requires a Swiss ball, but if you don’t have one, you can place your legs on a chair. With one leg outstretched straight beneath you and resting on the ball, extend the other into the air above you. From there, lift your pelvis off the floor, pulsing up and dropping down repeatedly for 10 reps on each side. 

Swiss ball opposite-arm and leg-lift — 5 reps

Resting your torso on the Swiss ball, place your feet and arms on the floor. Extend one arm out while also lifting the opposite leg, then repeat with the other pair. Be sure to keep your head in line with the rest of your body and also remember to engage your glutes when lifting your legs. 

Lower-back extension — 5 reps

In the same position on the Swiss ball as the previous exercise, lift your upper body up, extending straight up, then to either side. Take care to do this slowly, otherwise you’ll gain too much momentum and lose control of the motion. 

(11/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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The Oldest Continuous Road Race In The World, YMCA Buffalo Turkey Trot 8-K, Will Be Held For A Record 125th Straight Year This Year

Each year on Thanksgiving Day more Americans participate in running races than on any other day.  According to the running industry trade group Running USA, about 1.2 million Americans ran in a “turkey trot” in 2018, up 71% from 2011 when the organization first began tracking participation.  It’s the perfect activity before families sit down to their Thanksgiving feasts and hours of watching football.

“As the popularity of turkey trots grows, we increasingly see them as healthy activities for the whole family on one of the biggest holidays of the year,” observed outgoing Running USA CEO Rich Harshbarger through a statement in 2019.  “The vast majority of participants are running with partners, children, other family members, friends, and even multi-generational branches of their family tree.”

But the pandemic will put a huge dent in race participation on Thanksgiving this year which falls on Thursday, November 26.  Out of a representative sample of 39 well-established turkey trots tracked by Race Results Weekly, only six plan to stage in-person races this year.  The rest will be held virtually, or have simply been cancelled.

Among those six, are two of the nation’s oldest road races, the YMCA Turkey Trot 8-K in Buffalo, N.Y., founded in 1896, and the Run for the Diamonds (9 miler) in Berwick, Pa., founded in 1908.  Remarkably, the Buffalo race has been held for 124 consecutive years without being cancelled, making it the longest running public road race in the world.  It was actually founded one year before the Boston Marathon.

So when the pandemic struck last March, race director Rick Streeter quickly began thinking about how to put on the 125th edition as a safe, in-person race.  Streeter, a vice-president at Leone Timing, the event management and timing company which oversees the operation of the race, felt strongly that the streak should continue.  He and Leone Timing’s president Pat Leone started to look for a way forward.

“We knew that we needed to do something live,” Streeter told Race Results Weekly in a telephone interview earlier this week.  “Obviously, with some of our success with virtual racing in the spring, we were going to have that component, regardless.  But to preserve the record, the streak, we needed to do something live.”

Working with leaders at the YMCA Buffalo Niagara Association, the not-for-profit organization which owns the event, Streeter and Leone proposed a hybrid race with most athletes running virtually, but 125 –one for each year of the race‘s tenure– could run in-person.  YMCA officials, with support from Erie County and the City of Buffalo, liked the idea but how would the 125 be selected?  The race is extremely popular, and had almost 12,000 finishers last year.  After a lot of discussion, they decided to select the runners randomly out of the pool of virtual entrants.

The traditional point-to-point course allowed the event to accommodate a large group of runners, but it also meant that runners had to be transported to the start.  Streeter wanted to eliminate that requirement.

“We had to create a new course because we didn’t want it to be point-to-point,” Streeter explained.  “We wanted to eliminate the transportation factor, so everybody is in charge of their own transportation.  It’s not a common start/finish (line), but the start and finish are very close.”

Of course, many runners may show up on the traditional course to do their virtual races on Thanksgiving, something that Streeter and Leone have anticipated.  They made sure that the special 2020 course isn’t in the same location as the traditional course.

“I think the idea is getting the in-person race onto a different course and getting them out of the way of what may happen unofficially on the regular course,” said Leone.

“Actually, it was the one thing we talked about right from March when everything locked down,” Leone said.  “I said, if I’ve got to gather five or ten people we’ve got to have the 125th… if we have to run them one at a time down the sidewalk into downtown to the convention center.”  He continued: “We felt like we are stewards of it, something that survived world wars, all the world wars, and whatever else.”

Leone and Streeter noted that the race came close to cancellation a few times, including in both 2000 and 2014 when early snowstorms hit the city hard just before Thanksgiving.  The city, and race officials and volunteers, were up to the challenge.  In 2000 the race recorded 3452 finishers, and in 2000 there were 12,280.

(11/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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YMCA Buffalo Niagara Turkey Trot 8K

YMCA Buffalo Niagara Turkey Trot 8K

The enthusiasm, energy and incredible holiday spirit that radiated down Delaware Avenue tells us that our local Thanksgiving Day run is so much more than just an 8k road race. It is an incredible tribute to all that makes Western New York great – Family, Friendship, and Benevolence. Together with the Y, you are helping to connect those less fortunate...

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Eliud Kipchoge's 2021 Ambitions, Undecided About London Return

Olympic champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge says his main focus for 2021 will be defending his Tokyo Olympic title, but is uncertain whether he will try and reclaim his London Marathon title.

If all goes well, Kipchoge will look to retain his Olympic title in Tokyo in August while the London Marathon is scheduled for just over two months later, on October 3.

With the short turnaround between the two events, Kipchoge is uncertain whether he will go for the two, but is already assured that he will be at the start in Tokyo.

"I will be chasing the Olympic gold in 2021. I am praying that this pandemic will go away and we resume life as normal. I want to try and grab a marathon to test myself before then and see where my body is. As for London, I don't know yet but time will tell," Kipchoge told Capital Sport.

The world record holder suffered rare defeat at this year's London Marathon, finishing sixth for only his second loss over the distance in 14 races.

The cold weather coupled with a problem on one of his ears that troubled his equilibrium saw him suffer the shock loss that left everyone dumbfounded.

People should know that I am a human being just like them and anything can happen in a marathon. I don't want them to be disappointed but rather take positives and get inspired. They should take positive vibes of all the beautiful victories over the last seven years and not complain," Kipchoge noted.

The Marathon king says he has already moved on from the London loss and is plotting on his next assault; the Olympic crown.

"The words injury you can get is an injury to your mind. If the mind gets a puncture, you are done. The mind plays a big role in understanding what sport is. The defeat is now behind my back and I have learned lessons from it. Now the only thing is to look ahead," stated Kipchoge.

While he continues to focus on his next stream of athletics success, Kipchoge is busy rolling the wheels of his foundation as he looks to not only inspire the world with marathon running, but charitable works as well.

My heart felt gratitude and appreciation to those who have given my foundation a helping hand. Together we were able to feed vulnerable athletes and the wider community during these difficult times.

(11/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Timothy Olobulu
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