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Boston and Chicago Marathon champ Lawrence Cherono boosts children’s home in Eldoret, where he donated foodstuff to more than 50 children to help them cope with the coronavirus

Lawrence Cherono has confessed that it’s a tough affair training alone. Because training with team-mates gives him the extra push.

Cherono has been training at his home area in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, but misses the allure of Kaptagat in Elgeyo Marakwet County, where he is used to criss-crossing forest paths with teammates.

Cherono agrees with world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge that Kaptagat “is the best place to sharpen one’s career.”

He was speaking on Saturday after visiting Neema Children’s Home in Eldoret where he donated foodstuff to more than 50 children to help them cope with the coronavirus.

“I have been training alone for the last two months just to keep fit after Boston Marathon organisers cancelled the (April) race,” he said.

“I was in good shape and my target was to defend my title,” said Cherono, who is also the Chicago Marathon champion.

He also said that his preparations had started way back in December and he was optimistic that he would bag victory something he has now shifted to the next season.

“A whole season has gone to waste due to the coronavirus which caught everybody unaware with races cancelled across the globe. Athletes depend on competition and we are all at home praying that the virus may be contained,” he said.

Cherono is known for his strong finishing kick, which earned him that famous wins in Boston and Chicago. He terms it as “running smart.”

“When you get into competition, every athlete is good and you have to do good calculations in order to emerge a winner. I always run smart and it has indeed worked for me in Boston and Chicago Marathons.”

He will be starting his build-up training next month as he looks forward to defend his title in the rearranged Boston Marathon in September after winning last year's race in two hours, seven minutes and 57 seconds, two seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa. 

With the Olympics Games shifting to next year, Cherono was disappointed but says he is still focused.

“We just have to wait because life is more important,” said Cherono.

Cherono was named as one of the athletes who will represent Kenya teaming up with Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and World Championships marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto.

(05/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich

Eilish McColgan aims to become the first Scottish track and field athlete to compete at four Olympics

The 29-year-old middle-distance runner will make her third appearance in the 5,000m at next summer's rearranged Tokyo Games.

And she will then switch focus to the marathon as she bids to make Paris 2024.

"It's a scary prospect but it's always been something I've wanted to do," said McColgan of the step up to marathon.

"I probably would have gone to it a little bit sooner had the Olympics not been delayed. For the following Olympic Games I'd hope to challenge for a spot on the marathon team."

McColgan competed in the steeplechase at London 2012, then reached the 5,000m final in Rio four years later.

A European silver medalist over the latter distance, she broke her mother Liz's 10-mile Scottish record to retain her title at the Great South Run in October last year.

And she could look to use the marathon at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as a stepping stone for Paris two years later.

"After doing the Great South Run I've got comfortable over the 10-mile distance and it's given me confidence to look forward to my first half marathon," she added.

(05/20/2020) ⚡AMP
Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

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


South African Olympic champion Caster Semenya is focused on the 200m no matter the result of her appeal

South African Olympic champion Caster Semenya has locked her focus into the 200m, no matter the result of her appeal to overturn last year's Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic rocked the sporting globe, Semenya was in a court battle to get the CAS decision that allowed athletics governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), to prescribe hormone-suppressing drugs for any woman with disorder of sex development (DSD) competing in 400m to 1 500m events.

Her last throw of the dice was the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, who had yet to reach a verdict by the time of the global sporting shutdown. In the meantime, Semenya, who outright refused to take the drugs, went to work on the 200m sprint distance.

"That’s decided; we’ll stick to 200m no matter what," Semenya told Athletics South Africa (ASA).

"We don’t care about any other decision-making. We will do what we can control now, which is the 200m. That’s the race we’re going to focus on the entire season and we do not care about any other stuff. Two hundred it is."

Before the lockdown, Semenya ran impressive 200m times at the Gauteng North Championships in March, recording 23.80 and a personal best 23.49 in her first few outings. However, she still had considerable work to reach the qualifying time of 22.80 for next year’s Tokyo Games.

It’s an unprecedented feat. The closest anyone’s ever been successful at short and middle distance events was Cuban Alberto Juantorena, who won an historic 400m and 800m double at the Montreal Games in 1976. Semenya has a mountain to climb just to make it to her third Games.

Semenya said, though, that she harbored love for the 200m race from her younger days before she developed into one of the best 800m runners of all time and a two-time Olympic 800m gold medalist.

"I’m that athlete who does not worry about times; I take it as it comes. We ran 23.80 and then 23.49 and in the nationals we were hoping to go a little bit down," she said.

"I’ve always said that I’m a power athlete; I can do anything from 100m to a marathon. I have power and speed, which has helped me run a better 800m. From a young age I did the 200m and it has always been easy to do sprints - I was born with sprints.

"It’s crazy but I’m enjoying it. I wish I ran 200m from age 12. I don’t know where I could have been now."

(05/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sibusiso Mjikeliso

Former world race walk champ Yang Jiayu readies herself for Tokyo Olympics debut

Former world race walk champion Yang Jiayu has adjusted her training schedule due to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games and is readying herself for an Olympic debut.

Yang, 2017 world champion in the 20km race walk, was preparing to make her first Olympic appearance this year in Tokyo but the 24-year-old's plan was scrapped as the Tokyo Games were pushed back for one year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"I trained very well during the winter camp and I had a good plan. I was to compete in the national trial and get the qualification before I go to the long-awaited Olympics," Yang told the

"But the Olympics were pushed back. I was at such a loss because I didn't know what my next goal was," she said.

The national athletics team then arranged academic classes for them and provided the athletes psychological counseling to ease the negative effects brought on by the postponement of the Games.

"I am now well adjusted. If I think from another perspective, we have one more year to prepare for the competition. Now I am in a new training cycle," Yang said.

Yang failed to defend her title in 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships after she was disqualified in the final kilometer for fouls.

(05/19/2020) ⚡AMP
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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


Three-time World Half Marathon Championships title holder Geoffrey Kamworor vows to come back stronger

Three-time World Half Marathon Championships title holder Geoffrey Kamworor is optimistic he will come back stronger when competition resumes after the coronavirus hibernation.

Speaking during the third National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) online forum titled “The Home Athlete Nutrition Plan,” Kamworor said he has been training alone at home hoping for a better season.

Kamworor was to defend his World Half Marathon Championships title in March in Gdynia, Poland, before the race was postponed to October 17.

“I have been training alone at home after I bought a treadmill to help me in training. I thought the government might not allow anybody outside his house and I had to plan well,” said Kamworor who has been nicknamed “man of all surfaces” for his prowess on the road, in cross-country running and on the track.

Kamworor, who is also the world half marathon record holder, has been training with world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County.

He said before the Poland race was cancelled, he was in top form and was optimistic that the 21-kilometer title would remain in Kenya for the fourth time.

(05/19/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich

Toronto marathon champion Benson Kipruto targets medal at rescheduled Boston marathon

Former Toronto marathon champion Benson Kipruto has returned to training as he tries to regain fitness and compete in Boston after the race was rescheduled to September.

Kipruto, the tenth finisher in last year's Boston marathon, believes with better weather, he can improve on his time and position on return to the United States.

Organizers of the Boston marathon have rescheduled the event to Sept 14 from April 20 due to COVID-19.

"Boston was to offer me a chance to springboard my career. But the good thing is it will be returning in September, and I want to utilize the chance to stage a better show, run a fast time and prove my critics wrong," Kipruto said on Monday from Eldoret.

The 28-year-old had lost interest in training when COVID-19 wrecked the sports calendar, but he has returned to training now that World Athletics (WA) has confirmed the return of track and field competition in the Diamond League.

"Today, I train once a day, to keep fit. But I had done a lot in preparing for the Boston marathon and it will not be hard to pick up the pace and work around the clock to attain the optimum fitness to challenge for the medal," said Kipruto.

This year, Kipruto competed at the International Guadalajara Half marathon race in Mexico in February winning in a time of 62 minutes 13 seconds.

"It is important to be careful not to incur any new injuries, even now that we have cut down the training sessions," he added.

In Boston, Kipruto will come up against champion Lawrence Cherono, silver medalist Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, Yuki Kawauchi of Japan and 2017 World Athletics Championships gold medalist Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya.

Throw in former Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, New York marathon silver medalist Albert Korir, Ethiopian Dejene Debela, runner-up to Cherono by one second in Chicago Marathon, Kenneth Kipkemoi, Philemon Rono and Felix Kandie, it is sure to be a hard fought contest.

(05/19/2020) ⚡AMP
Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...


2020 Dublin Marathon has been officially cancelled due to the covid-19

The 2020 KBC Dublin Marathon has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The race was due to be held on Sunday, 25 October.

Organisers have said all entries for the marathon and the race series will be valid for the 2021 races. For those who do not wish to avail of this, a full refund option is available.

In a statement, race director Jim Aughney said: "We know this is extremely disappointing for all runners, especially those who secured marathon entries.

"We made the difficult decision in the best interest of the health and wellbeing of all those involved in making our events such a success from runners, supporters, volunteers, sponsors, to suppliers. We explored many alternatives for running the events safely but ultimately none were viable."

While elite athletes and regular participants were guaranteed places in the race, organisers switched to a lottery system this year to deal with demand issues. 

Details regarding the potential reallocation of lottery places as a result of refunds will be made in early 2021.

As a result of the cancellation, Athletics Ireland has confirmed that the National Marathon Championship, scheduled within the event, has been cancelled.

(05/19/2020) ⚡AMP
KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....


Runners and walkers from 94 nations registered to take part in the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR4, eclipses 20,000 Participants

The global community of walkers and runners came together for the fourth straight weekend setting a new benchmark high with over 20,000 people registered spanning from 94 nations and 47 states stepping up to the virtual start line for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR4, the fourth edition in the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running™ (VR™) Series. Rock ‘n’ Roll VR4 gave participants the opportunity to challenge themselves with two different race distances that included 12K and 5K options.

In addition, the Remix Challenge was offered for those who took on both distances, with finishers earning access to three medals through the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Finisher Bundles. Participants were able to compete anywhere, indoors or outdoors, as long as the distance of their choosing was completed in one session between Friday, May 15 at 2 p.m. ET and event close Sunday, May 17 at 7:59 p.m.

Participants in Rock ‘n’ Roll VR4 came from around the world and ranged in age from 19 to 82. The United States led the way with over 10,000 walkers and runners followed by the United Kingdom (over 850), Canada (over 800), Mexico (just under 500) and Spain (over 300). Other nations represented included Germany, Puerto Rico, Gibraltar, Hungary, Moldova, Switzerland, Greece and El Salvador, among others. Of the 47 U.S. states represented, the greatest number came from California, followed by Texas, Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Nations joining a Rock 'n' Roll VR event for the first time were the Bahamas, Tanzania, Antarctica, Cuba, the United States Virgin Islands and Mauritius, among others.

To date, over 34,000 people from across the globe have joined the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running Club platform, giving them access to the series of weekly races, challenges, and rewards. Over 8,500 participants took on a Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club™ Challenge leading up to Rock ‘n’ Roll VR4. Several separate running and workout-based challenges were offered with the opportunity for special prizes such as a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hydration Backpack, a Rock ‘n’ Roll by Brooks Running Company Tie Dye Tank + Chaser 5-inch Shorts, and a Rock ‘n’ Roll Tie Dye Trio bundle. The challenges included the United Airlines Challenge 2: Monumental Miles, Tutorial Challenge 2: The Trial Runs, and Community Challenge 4: Fartleks Make Me Laugh.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® is the world’s largest running series taking part in over 30 destination events around the world every year. Established in 1998, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series simple idea of making running fun has transformed both the U.S. and global running landscape by infusing the course with live bands, cheer teams and entertaining water stations, creating a block-party atmosphere for participants and spectators alike. Focused on running, music and community, race weekend kicks off with a free Health & Fitness Expo showcasing the latest in running gear, sports apparel, health and nutritional information and much more.

Events culminate with an entertaining finish-line festival featuring some of the biggest names in music, with past performances including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, O.A.R. Aloe Blacc, Pitbull, Flo Rida, The Band Perry, Fitz and the Tantrums, the Goo Goo Dolls and Bret Michaels. 

(05/19/2020) ⚡AMP


Affidea Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon returns to Ireland’s capital city. Dublin is a vibrant city filled with friendly people, culture and nightlife. Whether you’re looking for competition, party atmosphere or a family-friendly experience, Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon delivers. ...


Applications are open for the World Athletics $500,000 grant in athlete relief

Only the most successful elite athletes in track and field make a healthy living through prize money and sponsorships, so World Athletics (WA) and the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) have teamed up to start a fund for athletes who are struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WA has opened applications for their Athlete Welfare Fund, which will provide a total of $500,000 to runners who are struggling financially due to the suspended racing season.

The application is open to any track and field athlete who has achieved Olympic standard in their event. These runners are eligible to receive up to $4,000 towards living expenses.

“The IAF has allocated a substantial sum to the fund, and we hope to raise more through private donations from friends of our sport, but it has become apparent that the resources must be focused on athletes who are likely to be competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year and are now struggling to pay for basic necessities due to loss of income during the pandemic,’’ Sebastian Coe, WA President, said.

“We know this is a stressful situation for many athletes and we are trying to provide meaningful assistance to as many as possible as quickly as possible so they can continue to train for the competition season we have now scheduled for August to October, and for next year’s Olympics.’’

Several Canadian athletes who achieved Olympic standard in 2019 (even if they haven’t officially qualified for the Games) will be able to apply.

So far, the only Canadians nominated for Team Canada are Evan Dunfee, Dayna Pidhoresky and Trevor Hofbauer.

(05/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly

Atlanta Track Club will attempt to cover 100,000 new miles on Global Running Day by Running & Walking in a New Way

Atlanta Track Club will attempt to cover 100,000 new miles on Global Running Day by calling on Running City USA to experience running and walking in a way they never have before.

The Club unveiled a series of running and walking challenges to commemorate the day. The five Global Running Day ATL challenges include:

Longest. Run. Ever. – Commit to a new personal best distance by going farther than ever before whether that be one mile or 60 miles.

Explore – In your neighborhood or five counties away, explore a new, first-time route Longer than 10K – Global Running Day falls on June 3. So, head out for a 6.3 mile run or walk and set your 6.3 mile personal best!

Consecutive Quarters – Set a time limit and see how many times you can run a quarter mile in that time with equal rest. For example, if you choose 90 seconds, you have to run a quarter mile in 90 seconds with 90 seconds rest until you run one slower than 90 seconds.

A Mile an Hour – One mile per hour is a pretty slow speed. Running one mile every hour is a different ballgame. Can you do it 24 times starting with the midnight hour and ending at 11 p.m.?

Runners and walkers can commit to the challenges by signing up now and then completing them on Global Running Day which is celebrated around the world on Wednesday, June 3. Learn more here.

Once completed, runners and walkers will enter their total mileage online. You can watch the overall total grow throughout the day. Participants are encouraged to share their photos and stories on social media using #GlobalRunningDayATL.

“With no in-person races since March 1st, we know the Running City USA Community is looking for opportunities to compete against themselves and the clock,” said Rich Kenah, Atlanta Track Club’s Executive Director. “These challenges are a great way to add excitement to your running and walking routine or to find new ways to enjoy the sport.”

Atlanta Track Club will document the entire day on Instagram Live, checking in with participants in every challenge, offering words of encouragement and giving away prizes.

(05/18/2020) ⚡AMP
Global Running Day

Global Running Day

What is Global Running Day? Global Running Day is a worldwide celebration of running that encourages everyone to get moving. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how far you go—what’s important is that you take part, and how you do it is up to you. Run a lap around your block, take your dog for a long walk,...


Organizers of the annual Marathon du Médoc have announced that the 36th edition of the race, due to be held in September, will be postponed to 2021

The organizers of the famous wine run, which takes in the vineyards of the Médoc in Bordeaux as part of a 26.2 mile circuit, said the decision to postpone was the “most important decision” taken since the event’s creation.

The marathon, which was due to be held on 12 September this year, will now take place on 11 September 2021.

In a statement, those responsible for the event said the decision had been made after consulting with local authorities, the medical community, association members, volunteers, and representatives from Médoc wineries.

They said that the “unanimous” decision was to postpone the event given the necessary physical distancing that would need to take place, in addition to general uncertainty regarding the progression of the pandemic.

The 2021 event will still have the same cinema theme as was planned for this year.

The statement continued: “[The decision] was taken with sadness and sorrow among the entire team of volunteers, but it is also the most reasonable for the health of all.

“We wanted to announce this postponement as soon as possible so that everyone can make his arrangements, we will come back to you in the coming weeks to inform you of the terms of this postponement.”

Those who paid to enter this year’s event will be given free access to one of three future marathons.

Created in 1985, the Marathon du Médoc charts a scenic route through the region’s vineyards, beginning and ending in Pauillac. There are live orchestras stationed around the course, while runners are able to partake in 23 wine tasting stops, as well as an oyster tasting at the 38th kilometre and steak at the 39th kilometer point.

(05/18/2020) ⚡AMP
Marathon du Medoc

Marathon du Medoc

The Marathon du Médoc is a French marathon race, created in 1985, held every year in September through the vineyards of the Médoc in the Gironde. It is considered "the longest Marathon in the world". The Marathon du Médoc attracts more than 3,300 foreigners, representing more than 50 nations, as well as many spectators. The marathon is organised by a...


Flying Pig Marathon Events Moved to October 9-11 amid COVID-19 crisis

On Friday, March 13, organizers of the Flying Pig Marathon moved the date of the 2020 race weekend from May 1-3 to October 9-11 amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Flying Pig Marathon, named the #1 Marathon in America earlier this year, is known for its extraordinary participant experience and worked to maintain this during the pandemic. Options were offered to participants: Run a Spring Virtual Race, postpone to the October date or contribute race registration fees to the Flying Pig Charities.

By May 30, more than 5,500 will have completed their spring virtual race. Registration for the fall Flying Pig races opens on May 11 and nearly 17,000 are signed up for the October race weekend.

To mark what would have been Flying Pig Marathon week, organizers launched a social media and media outreach campaign starting on April 24 running through May 3.

To commemorate those who participated in the spring virtual Flying Pig races, Iris Simpson Bush and the Flying Pig mascot (both of whom greet every finisher at the Swine Line of the Marathon) offered personalized videos with a virtual high five for $22 with all proceeds benefitting UC Health COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund and the Over-the-Rhine (OTR) Chamber Small Business Fund. A donation of $1,000 was made on behalf of the Flying Pig Marathon to these funds.

“The Flying Pig Marathon has an economic impact of more than $14 million each year with direct financial support to our hospitality and retail community,” said Iris Simpson Bush, President & CEO of Pig Works, the parent organization of the Flying Pig Marathon. “We are happy to support our local medical professionals as well as the small businesses in OTR during this time of need.”

Thousands of runners and walkers hit the pavement in their communities to run their virtual event. Organizers of the Flying Pig Marathon asked the community to create flying pig inspired sidewalk chalk designs to entertain and delight those participants. Creations were shared on Facebook and the most creative won prizes from sponsors.

The organizers of the Flying Pig Marathon conduct a media tour each year before race weekend and this year was no different. Iris Simpson Bush, President & CEO of Pig Works, provided media interviews over the week and was on site at the traditional Finish Swine area on May 3 where all four TV stations were live. The media relations activity from March 15 through May 4 resulted in 154 TV stories and an earned media value of $1.1 million dollars with more than 18 million media impressions.

(05/18/2020) ⚡AMP
Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

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


American ultra runner Zach Bitter breaks 100-mile treadmill world record clockin 12:09:15

American ultra runner Zach Bitter spent all day Saturday on the treadmill, starting at 6:30 a.m. PST and running until just after 6:30 p.m.

He ran for 100 miles (160.9K) and set the new treadmill world record for the distance with a time of 12:09:15. He bettered Canadian Dave Proctor‘s previous record (set at last year’s Calgary Marathon expo) of 12:32:26 by over 20 minutes. Bitter averaged an incredible 4:32 per kilometer over 12 hours and 100 miles of running.

Bitter’s average pace of 4:32 per kilometer would have given him a 3:11 marathon, which is a good time on its own, but he ran almost four marathons in a row on Saturday. The run was streamed live on YouTube, and different ultra runners and endurance athletes Zoomed in to chat as Bitter chipped away at his 100-mile trek.

Some of those big names included 2019 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc winner Courtney Dauwalter, Aravaipa Running’s Jamil Coury, Quarantine Backyard Ultra champion Mike Wardian and Proctor himself, who knows exactly what it takes to break the 100-mile treadmill record.

Bitter is already the world record-holder in the 100-mile run, which he set last August at an indoor track in Wisconsin in a time of 11:19:13. He is also the owner of the 100-mile trail record from the 2018 Tunnel Hill trail race in Illinois, where he ran 12:08:36.

Now, he has  officially added the treadmill record to his resume. With these three records to his name, it’s fair to say that Bitter is in the conversation for greatest 100-mile runner of all time, if not the outright winner of that title.

Bitter has been running ultra marathons for a decade now, and he’s got plenty of big race wins and results to his name.

He was 11th at the 2018 Western States 100, he took 32nd place at the 2016 Comrades Marathon and sixth at the International Association of Ultra runners 100K world championships in 2014. In 2019, he won three races, including the San Diego 100-miler in California.

(05/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath

What is going to happen to road racing as we know it? Bob Anderson thoughts on the situation. Could it be the end of big races?

The COVID-19 virus is deadly.  Already (as of May 17) at least 317,000 people worldwide have died from the virus.  This number is still growing by thousands each day.  By the end of this week most likely over 100,000 people in the US will have died from the Coronvirus (COVID-19).

Some people think this number has been inflated.  Others think it is low.  It is hard to really know the true facts.  In any case thousands of people have died from this new virus.  That's a fact.  

Some still feel this virus is no worse than the common flu.  Many of these ill informed people might be some of the ones who are continuing to spread the Cornavirus.  Many of these people don't wear face masks while in public nor practice social distancing.  These types of people could easily be those that end up infecting others.  And kill racing too.  More on this later.  

Doctors are saying this virus is much more contagious than the common flu and the death rate particularly for people aged 60 plus is high.  Much higher than the common flu.

This information is talked about daily in the news and there is no need to further exam that here.  The focus here is road racing and what impact this crisis is going to have on the sport.  

The My Best Runs (MBR) website only features and follow the best, most interesting and unique races in the world.  The site is currently following 837 races from all over the world.  

One thing the website does is list the leaderboard results from the races featured. The top four men and women and then age-group winners in ten year age-groups starting at age 40 are posted.  Stats are complied and compared among the races.  Nearly 90,000 unique people visited the site in February to look for races, follow races or read Running News Daily.  The traffic had doubled in a year.  That's over one million annually.  The growth of the site illustrates how road racing around the world was growing.  

Everything was set for a banner year.  The Boston Marathon had lined up another amazing field for their annual races that has been held every year since 1896 on Patriots Day.  The London marathon had confirmed that the world's top two marathoners would battle it out on the streets of London.  Maybe the first sub two hour marathon in a real race was going to happen? However both races were postponed and they hope to have races this fall.  Some feel that is not going to happen. 

It was in early February when people began talking about the Cornavirus.  A virus started in China.  But mostly people did not seem overly concerned. 

The month before (January 26) the Ujena Fit Club (UFC) Training Camp in Thika Kenya was opened.  The camp was not totally finished but the core group of runners had been selected, a time trial was staged and a traditional goat feed blessed the opening. A couple hundred people showed up for the affair.

A third floor of the club would be added in the following months to house guests interested in training with elite Kenyan runners.  The official grand opening was set for the end of May with a Double Road Race 15k race planned the same weekend.  Sponsored were being lined up for a world record attempt.    

The top runner in the club and part owner is Joel Maina Mwangi.  For the last couple of years prior he would travel to Italy in the spring and bring back enough prize money to take care of him and his family for the rest of the year.  

2020 was going to be his best year yet.  Joel was in top form being trained at his UFC Training Camp by coach Dennis.  His teammates pushed Joel in three-a-day workouts to higher limits.  

Joel left for Italy in early February right after the UFC Training Camp US partners Bob and Catherine Anderson had left after attending the opening.

Joel's first race was in Verona, Italy Feb 16.  He won that race and clocked 1:00:40 for the half marathon, a personal best.  His plan was to race each weekend after that and then run the Rome Half Marathon set for March 8.  This point to point course is fast.  Galen Rupp had won there a couple of years back breaking an hour in the process.  Joel's plan was to win, break an hour for the first time and bring home the big prize purse.

This didn't happen as Italy started closing down their country to battle COVID-19.  It was going out of control.  Joel luckily left Italy March 7th for his home in Thika, Kenya while he could still travel. But not with the over $20k(US) he was planning on bringing back home with him.

The world was shutting down.  Whole countries were locking down.  The last race featured by MBR to take place was the LA Marathon March 8 along with several others held that same weekend.  There has not been a significant race held any place in the world since March 8.  California ordered everyone to Shelter in Place starting March 17.  Other states and countries followed.  

Every race scheduled for April or May and featured on the MBR website were either canceled or postponed.  Most races also in June and July have been canceled or postponed as well.  The Tokyo Olympics were postponed for a year.  The Berlin marathon in September was canceled (but they are trying to workout a new date), Western States 100, the Camrades Marathon, the Dipsea, and so many other well established races were cancelled.   

Pippa Stevens a CNBC writer posted, "As running has grown in popularity, local clubs have popped up around the country, and there are now roughly 35,000 races each year in the U.S. alone, data from industry trade group Running USA shows.

"More than 44 million people in the U.S. identify as a runner, and 17.6 million people crossed the finish line in U.S. races in 2019.

"With all races cancelled for the time being, billions of dollars are at stake. The biggest marathons – from Boston to Chicago to London to Tokyo – inject hundreds of millions of dollars into local economies. The most recent analysis of the TCS New York City Marathon, for example, found that the race’s economic impact topped $400 million."

A lot is at stake.  But race directors need to know that even if cities allow them to hold their races, not everyone will automatically be there on the starting line.  

Dan Anderson wrote, "I am having a major motivational problem with my running!  For the first time in my running career (almost 55 years) I have no races to train for.  I really miss them.  But I will not run in a race until a vaccine is available.  Being 68 years old with several preexisting risk factors it is too dangerous!  Hopefully within a year a vaccine will be available.  Until then I will push myself to get out and run."

Racing is addictive and so many people around the world love it. Once things are figured out and it is safe again many will be there on the starting line.                                                                                       

Sam Tada who lives in Japan wrote, "Racing helped me so many times in my life and I miss it.  

"Racing gives us opportunity of challenge, growth, and communication.  It makes us happy and healthy mentally and physically.  I love racing and miss it. 

"We are facing difficult time right now but once this health concern is gone I think we will be able to enjoy racing more since we understand how racing is important for us.   

"I am looking forward to racing again and I am trying to do my best effort to stop the spread of this virus."

There are a lot of things that will need to be addressed.  Here are some ideas I have.  Maybe at least for awhile or forever all runners will need to show up wearing a Face Mask.

Then they walk into a screening booth and have their temperature checked.  If they pass, they walk into another booth were they are sprayed with a solution (totally safe) that would kill any viruses they may have on their clothing, shoes or body.  At this point they are still wearing their face mask.  And they continue to wear their face mask until about a quarter mile out or until there is spacing between them and others.  Once they finish they put back on their Face Mask until they are back in their car.

Of course everyone would have to sign a Waiver saying that if they contract COVID-19 at the race and if they die later their family could not sue the race or city.  No idea how porta potties, water stops or handing out medals at the end could work out other than eliminating them. 

I see two problems with these ideas. Remember those people that are already not following the rules?  Do you think they would show up at a race wearing a Face Mask?  And we also know that signing a waiver does not restrict a family from sueing everyone if a member of their family dies from COVID-19 which they determined they got at a race.  Even before this crisis a husband ran a half marathon in San Francisco and died at the finish line.  He had signed a waiver but his wife sued everyone and won lots of money.  The race Director got out of the business (sadly) yet he did nothing wrong from the inside information I know.  

There is not a clear answer about the future of road racing.  No matter how careful race directors, cities and charities (because they are big losers too)  work together it would only take a few jerks to ruin it all.

So what race is going to be the first one back?  Any day now the Old Dominion 100 Miler set for June 8th will be making a decision.  They posted on their website, "The Old Dominion Run is still working all options in an attempt to have the run this year.

"We are working with numerous authorities in our area to assist in providing a good and safe race day experience for everyone involved. The governor of Virginia has gone to phase one in our area and our authorities are reviewing our plan vs the restrictions. 

"Currently, part of our proposal has had to include a limit on our field to 50% for any hopes for us to proceed. We currently have 55 entrants and will not immediately be taking more from the wait list.

"Responses from the authorities will be a major part of our decision on 17 May. If the race proceeds, entries will not be more than 55. The waitlist will remain active," posted by Ray, Wynne and Race Management.

On June 20th the Shelter Island 10k (first photo) is scheduled to take place in Shelter Island New York.  It is a big race and there are always fast winning times.  We have contacted the race director and have not gotten a comment from them.  There is no mention on their website about COVID-19.  We are assuming they are trying to make it happen but what is their plan?  

A couple of other races in late June are also trying to figure something out.  Like the Halifax Marathon (second photo) has not torn in the towel just yet but are closely monitoring the situation as noted on their website.  

Another one of the 837 races being followed by MBR wrote, "Our race was cancelled for this year, fingered crossed we will be back in 2021, april 17th.

"Our race of 2500 might look a bit different in 2021, 10 wave starts of 250 each? Each 10, 15 to 20 minutes apart? Lots of questions like what will aid stations look like and function? Maybe results may go to chip times, or no awards at all? Things will be different.

"The big question now is how we will all deal with the city, county and state mandates and permits. In the past, permits were a pretty easy process, no mass gatherings limitations.

"Locally I believe we will have some small events, mostly if not all on our trail system which limits events to 200 participants. A couple are still moving forward with fall dates, hopefully they will happen. Currently we have a limit for runs set by our city, set at 250 runners with wave starts, with really no other details. In the past road events have had much bigger fields. Going forward if the social distancing stays part of the rules it will be very hard to stage a very large running event.

"Events may look like some ultrarunning events, with very little or no finish line parties, just finish, quick drink and maybe food and head home.

"Runners and organizations will adapt to the rules and events will happen," wrote Brian at Race to Robie Creek.

Hopefully the game changer is going to be that a vaccine is created and COVID-19 is wiped off the face of the earth.  Just as long as everyone gets vaccinated and don't continue to think that COVID-19 is no worse than the common flu. This could solve most everything as long as cities who issue permits think it is enough.  

It sure would be nice to get back to things as they were.  Or at least close to it.  But many of us will continue to wash our hands more often, wear a face masks at times and not go out if they are not feeling well.  Road racing is just too important to so many people. 

(05/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
Old Dominion 100 Mile

Old Dominion 100 Mile

The Old Dominion 100 Mile Endurance Run is more than just a race. It is more than just four marathons run back to back. It is more than an event in the yearly schedule. It is the Old Dominion. What does that mean? The Old Dominion stands for tradition - the tradition of each individual against a difficult course, hot...


It is not going to be easy to make next year Tokyo Olympics a safe global Gathering

The head of the World Health Organization said Saturday it will not be easy to make next year’s Tokyo Olympics a safe global gathering after the pandemic.

Speaking at a joint news conference with the IOC, the WHO’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for “national unity and global solidarity” to fight the coronavirus outbreak ahead of the Olympics. The Games, postponed this year, should bring athletes from more than 200 countries to Japan.

The Summer Games opening ceremony is now due on July 23, 2021, after the International Olympic Committee and organizers in Japan used WHO advice in March before agreeing a one-year delay.

“We hope Tokyo will be a place where humanity will gather with triumph against COVID,” Tedros said at WHO headquarters.

“It is in our hands, but it is not easy. If we do our best, especially with national unity and global solidarity, I think it’s possible,” he said.

Around 11,000 athletes from more than 200 teams are due to compete at the Tokyo Olympics. Most would be joined by team officials staying in an athletes village complex of 5,600 apartments at Tokyo Bay.

Health experts, including in Japan, have questioned how the 33-sport Olympics can be run before an effective global vaccine program is in place.

“Nobody can at this moment in time really give you a reliable answer on how the world will look like in July 2021,” IOC President Thomas Bach acknowledged.

“It is too early to start speculation on different scenarios and what it may need at the time to guarantee this safe environment for all participants.”

Tedros and Bach signed a renewed working agreement between the two organizations, which aims to help promote sport to governments as part of an active and healthy lifestyle.

“The Olympics or athletics or football is not just for the athletes only,” Tedros said. “It has to be a culture for everybody and it has to be everybody’s responsibility.”

(05/17/2020) ⚡AMP
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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


After the Ahmaud Arbery's killing, some African Americans are reconsidering fitness routines

"I'm changing my patterns because I can't change the color of my skin," the founder of a running group said.

Every time Edward Walton laces up his running shoes, no matter where he is, there is a calculus he takes into consideration: What time of the day is it? What neighborhood will I run in? What am I wearing?

And when he's outdoors, he says, it adds up again: Am I running too fast? Does it look like I'm fleeing from someone?

"It's the math," Walton, 51, a cybersecurity architect and consultant in metro Atlanta, said, "of running while black."

The killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who his family says was out for a jog when he was chased and fatally shot by two white men in late February, has renewed a national conversation about racial profiling and when black Americans, in particular, are accused of criminal behavior in the midst of routine, everyday activities, such as mowing a lawn or waiting inside a Starbucks.

Arbery, 25, has been described by his family and friends as an athlete who regularly ran in his south Georgia community in Glynn County, and had plans to go back to technical school and become an electrician. While the father and son involved in his killing were arrested last week on murder and aggravated assault charges in the wake of leaked cellphone video appearing to show the confrontation, the incident has rattled people like Walton, who say the killing is an extreme occurrence of what runners like himself have long, quietly known.

"When I'm running, people give me two looks," Walton said. "Why is this black guy running? What is he running from? What did he do?"

The suspects in Arbery's killing, Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, told police they were making a citizen's arrest and believed the youth had burglarized a nearby home that was under construction. Attorneys for Arbery's family maintain there is no evidence showing he was engaged in criminal activity on that day, other than possible trespassing on the unoccupied property. The attorneys for the McMichaels have suggested there's more evidence yet to be made public that tells a different narrative.

"This is not some sort of hate crime fueled by racism," Gregory McMichael's attorney, Franklin Hogue, told reporters Friday. "It is and remains the case, however, that a young African American male has lost his life to violence."

As the circumstances surrounding Arbery's killing play out in the criminal justice system, black runners who spoke with NBC News said the case serves as a reminder that their lives could also be in jeopardy if they're out at the wrong place and the wrong time.

Seven years ago, Walton co-founded a group in Atlanta called Black Men Run, which he says has grown to 55 chapters in 35 states, as well as internationally in London and Paris.

It was conceived as a way for black men, facing their own health disparities and challenges, to unite in fellowship and help one another become accountable for their physical well-being. That has become especially important now, Walton added, with the disproportionate effect that the coronavirus outbreak has had on black Americans.

But incidents like Arbery's killing have also shifted the group's focus to becoming more activist-driven. Last week, members participated in a 2.23-mile jog in Arbery's honor, marking the day of his death, as part of a social media campaign. A rally is planned Saturday in the coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia, where Arbery was from.

Tobias A. Jackson-Campbell, a realtor from Atlanta who has run in four marathons, said he's begun changing where he runs to avoid isolated places in the city, such as the undeveloped sections of the multiuse trail known as the Atlanta Beltline.

Jackson-Campbell said he's been followed by police during his runs and questioned about what he's doing in a particular neighborhood.

"For me, as a black man running, it's sometimes like driving while black," he said.

Arbery's killing, he said, only reinforced that "if it could happen to him, it could definitely happen to me."

Kristea Cancel, a runner from North Carolina, said she recently tracked her 13-year-old son's run using an app because she was uncomfortable not knowing where he was. The next day, she went running with him.

She recalled how a few years ago while running in Tennessee, someone in a white pickup truck threw their drink in her face and screamed at her on a busy street in broad daylight. Nothing had been out of the ordinary until that moment, she said — it had been a routine run.

"When will it be OK to just be shopping, running, in the park and not be feared or criminalized by people who can't just let us be human beings, enjoying life as they are entitled to do?" Cancel asked. "No mother should be worried a run or walk may end their son's life."

When Walton hears of how friends and others have changed how they exercise outdoors as a precautionary measure, he says he completely understands.

"I'm changing my patterns," he said, "because I can't change the color of my skin."

(05/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by NBC News

How Pandemic-Related Stress May Be Impacting Your Runs

Two months ago, Leigh Power was in the midst of training for her next race, the Vancouver Half Marathon on May 3. Just a few weeks later, her plans were thwarted when race organizers canceled the event—the weekend’s festivities also featured marathon and 8K races—due to the coronavirus pandemic. Around the same time, Power, 38, was furloughed from her job in the events industry, and suddenly, her daily routines were thrown to the wayside.

Without a race on the horizon, she re-evaluated her goals. Of course, competition was a major motivator, but her main intention for staying active is overall health. While Vancouver is under stay-home orders, she re-tooled her maintenance plan, focusing on virtual fitness classes and solo runs, but soon found the miles didn’t come as easily as they used to. “There’s good days and there’s bad days,” she says. “It does feel harder, a lot of the runs feel more challenging. It’s an overall sense of fatigue. I wonder why it feels so hard and why it hurts so much and why it doesn’t feel as good as I think it should.”

As cities around the world are continuing lockdowns and social distancing, solitary running has become an escape from the monotony of life under quarantine. Despite the cancelation or postponement of races, many of us are embracing the extra time ordinarily spent commuting or socializing to run and get creative with workouts, no doubt contributing to positive mental wellbeing during a fraught time. Still, the added stressors brought on by the pandemic—concern for the health of ourselves and loved ones, social isolation, economic instability, lack of childcare—may impede physical performance and contribute to a sense of lethargy during runs.

Mental fatigue, or exhaustion caused by a brain on overdrive, can have negative effects on our physical performance, research shows. A 2014 study found that prolonged mental stress increased the amount of perceived energy it took to work out, fatigue, and soreness for up to four days. Meaning: Not only will your run feel harder, but you’ll also feel slightly more taxed than usual afterward, too.

Another study, also from 2014, showed that runners who were mentally exhausted ran slower than if they were not. In a review of scientific research, the authors concluded that stress can have a negative effect on physical activity performance. The main consequence of mental stress on performance is the amount of perceived effort needed to complete the task, studies show.

During this current health crisis, our brains are experiencing both short-term and long-term stressors, says Bart Roelands, Ph.D., a sports science professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel who’s studied mental fatigue and exercise. The transition to a virtual lifestyle means near-constant exposure to screens and fewer breaks in the monotony—like a quick walk to grab coffee—which contributes to mental fatigue on a short-term, everyday basis. The loss of a loved one, a job, and increased social isolation adds to long-term stress. Taken together, the mental load can affect our motivation and endurance, making our runs feel harder.

“Just being locked up on its own is enough of a trigger to feel bad,” Roelands says. “At the same time, if you lose your job or … [are] not being able to visit your father who’s in a nursing home, that contributes to how you feel mentally and that is going to diminish your drive and motivation to exercise. If you have enough motivation left, you’re still going to go for that run, but it makes sense that it’s going to feel harder.”

(05/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

Are You Getting Enough of the Right Kind of Sleep?

To run faster, sleep slower. A growing body of research suggests runners who want to get fast need more slow-wave sleep—the deepest, most restorative stage of slumber. Slow-wave sleep (SWS) is increasingly prized for its ability to help athletes recover from heavy training and hard racing. In fact, many experts say restorative, high-quality SWS is as important to your training as proper nutrition or hydration.

Why is slow-wave sleep important for athletes?

SWS is named for the slow brain waves it creates on electroencephalogram (EEG) tests in sleep labs, which are a sign that the brain has shifted into a repair/prepare mode. During this stage of sleep, memories are consolidated, learning is enhanced, and the brain is cleansed of toxins that may contribute to degenerative brain disease. Also called deep sleep or stage N3 sleep, SWS helps you recover from one day’s workout and prepare for the next.

Research now shows that even modest deficits in SWS are linked to declines in athletic performance. That’s likely because reductions in SWS are linked to lower levels of human growth hormone (HGH), a compound that affects the body’s ability to repair muscle mass, bones and tendons, says hormone therapy specialist Carissa Alinat, PhD, APRN, founder and CEO of

Without enough SWS, the body can’t repair the damage sustained during training and competition, says Alinat. Research on marathon runners shows that the body experiences higher proportions of SWS during post-race sleep, a finding that supports the role of SWS in recovery after metabolic stress.

The body “rebounds” from occasional sleepless nights by increasing SWS for a night or two. This helps explain why you may feel fine and be able to perform well on just a few hours of sleep. But this recovery effect is short lived: As few as 4 or 5 nights of restricted slumber (sleep that’s reduced by around four hours a night) can suppress the amount and intensity of SWS, according to some research.

How much slow-wave sleep are you getting—and how much do you need?

Normal, healthy adults spend around 20 percent of their snoozing hours in slow-wave sleep. That’s a little more than 90 minutes if you get a nightly eight hours. But deep sleep needs vary by age and activity level; endurance athletes and younger adults may need more.

Age and hormones can impact slow-wave sleep, says Alinat. “Around midlife, as women approach menopause and men approach andropause, we see lower levels of slow-wave sleep.” According to some studies, we lose half of slow-wave sleep after age 50 and secrete less human growth hormone as a result. Research links declining HGH secretion to age-related losses in strength and muscle mass, suggesting that decreased athletic performance and the dreaded “last PR” may be rooted in slow-wave sleep.

It’s difficult to set a baseline for how much deep sleep you need, because it can vary day to day, says certified sleep health educator Martin Reed, M.Ed., founder of Insomnia Coach. Tracking sleep stages is complex and imprecise outside of a sleep lab, so the best way to ensure you get enough SWS is to make sure you clock higher quality sleep: Time spent in deep sleep is a better predictor of athletic performance than overall sleep time, according to a 2016 study of NCAA athletes. And it can protect mood, health, and athletic performance, even when we can’t sleep as much as we’d like, says Reed.

Digital sleep trackers can help you gauge SWS—though not in the way you might think. Wearables and under-the-mattress trackers can’t measure sleep stages accurately, says sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D., author of The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype. But they can illuminate patterns: Variations in the amount of deep sleep—say, suddenly logging just 30 minutes of it when you usually get 60—or shifts in when deep sleep occurs (like at the beginning of the night versus the end of it) that last longer than a few days may suggest that long-term sleep deprivation or another issue, like increased stress, a new medication, or too much caffeine, is affecting your SWS.

Ultimately, stressing about sleep is counterproductive—the more you worry about it, the fewer zzz’s you’re likely to get. Instead, put your focus on these slow-wave sleep-boosting habits.

(05/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

2020 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships have been Cancelled

On Friday the USATF and the Greensboro Local Organizing Committee jointly announced the cancellation of the 2020 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships due to COVID-19 concerns.

The 2020 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships were scheduled to be held July 9-12, 2020 at North Carolina A&T State University’s Ike Belk Track at BB&T Stadium. USATF is committed to working with the Greensboro LOC on hosting future championships.

Hill Carrow, Chairman of the Greensboro Local Organizing Committee, said, “As one can imagine, we are extremely disappointed that the USATF Masters Championships had to be cancelled, but in the end this was the right decision. Greensboro will now look forward to hosting the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in a future year.”

Jerry Bookin-Weiner, Interim Chair of the USATF Masters Track & Field Committee said, “On behalf of the USATF Masters Committee and our Greensboro Host Organization, we want to emphasize that our number one priority is the health and well-being of all participants in our USATF Masters Outdoor Championships.

With that objective in mind, and given the great uncertainty and concern surrounding the current worldwide coronavirus pandemic, we jointly determined that it is in the best interests of everyone involved to cancel the Outdoor Championships this year.” 

(05/16/2020) ⚡AMP

How My Run Streak Helps Me Stay Sober-Mo Karnage uses her daily run as a positive outlet for her emotions.

WWhen she started college, Virginian Mo Karnage partied way too hard, as an escape from stress and anxiety. But her sophomore year, she found herself debating a question with friends: Did drinking heavily prevent people from being their best selves? Karnage realized that by spending her free time drinking, she had far less time to devote to causes she cared about, like animal activism.

It marked a turning point. She decided to get sober. But when the Habitat for Humanity construction supervisor found herself dealing with stress from her relationship, finances, and parenting 14 years into her sobriety, it triggered her need for self-medication. This time, to handle stress, the now-34-year-old reached for her running shoes—something she hadn’t done since her high school cross-country days. “I wanted to work on myself, and do something positive,” she says.

Karnage’s streak started last Memorial Day weekend. Some days she runs at lunch in her construction boots and jeans around Richmond, near the day’s build site. Others, she does laps in her backyard.

“Running helps with my sobriety because it gives me a positive outlet for my emotions,” she says. “I go into some runs wanting to be wasted and be self-destructive, but it doesn’t take long before I outrun those feelings.” Other times, it helps her process them. Logging miles loosens her anxiety, so she’s able to reflect on the emotions she’d been trying to drown. “The physical challenge [of running] helps to dislodge what I’d been holding back, like replaying situations in my head and wishing I had done better, or working on my self-esteem so I can approach the world from a better place,” she says.

(05/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

Running on empty: Coronavirus has changed the course for races big and small

The coronavirus pandemic has crippled the sports landscape. Leagues from the NBA all the way down to Little League Baseball have paused or canceled seasons.

In response to various stay-at-home orders that vary from state to state, people have been encouraged to exercise -- safely and while socially distancing. To run, walk and bike. Maybe, now with the idea, to one day compete in a 5K or a 10K race, maybe even a marathon.

When life resumes, whenever that is, those opportunities will be different and, in the case of some road races, not even there.

The racing organizations, big and small, that stage those events are having to grapple with postponements and cancellations to a point where they may not be able to ever come back at full strength.

Many of the world's largest marathons have already been impacted by the pandemic -- the Boston Marathon was postponed until September, the London Marathon until October and the Berlin Marathon, which had been scheduled for Oct. 24, has already been canceled.

Events that lead to mass gatherings, such as sports and concerts, are expected to be among the last to return even as the U.S. and the world look to reopen various businesses.

In the world of running, it is the smaller races -- from 5Ks and 10Ks to half marathons and marathons, many operated by local event organizers -- that are under financial stress.

In 2019, Running USA, an industry trade group, tracked more than 21,000 road races, which collected roughly $267 million in fees from more than 17.6 million registered runners.

Christine Bowen, vice president of programming partnerships and operations at Running USA, told that new estimates as of mid-March showed roughly 7,500 road races have been canceled so far into 2020, and thousands have been canceled since. That's more than 1.2 million participants who are left in limbo, she said -- and with more cancellations likely to come. In addition, race registrations nationwide are showing a 95 percent decline.

There's also the loss of raising money for charity, Bowen noted. Roughly 79 percent of road races are associated with at least one charity partner.

Fewer people signing up for races is one thing. The industry is also dealing with runners who are asking for their money back. While the average cost to enter a race is $70 to $79 per entry, many smaller events don't offer refunds, as those registration revenues are spent in advance for race security, staff, shirts, bibs, medals, water, snacks and other logistics -- sunk costs even if the races are not held.

"At the moment, I am not looking to register for any further road races as we have no idea what will happen," Samantha Music, a tax assistant who lives in Connecticut, said. "It is rather discouraging to continue to train even though the races are not happening."

Music had signed up to run seven races so far this year, with collective registration costs of more than $1,200. So far, six of the seven have been officially canceled, and a majority of the races, she said, are non-refundable.

However, two of the races did offer deferment for a non-complimentary guaranteed race entry for 2021 or a full refund and no-entry option for 2021. This means, if the race is lottery-based, she would need to reapply sometime next year.

"I am absolutely feeling stressed, as well as depressed about all the cancellations and losing money on the races that are being deferred to next year," Music said. "I understand that the race organizers have to pay for everything they ordered, but it doesn't suck any less to have to pay for a race again."

"I am absolutely feeling stressed, as well as depressed about all the cancelations and losing money on the races that are being deferred to next year."

Samanta Music, runner from Connecticut

The tune is a little different for Matt Becker, who is an applied mathematician at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland. Becker, who is new to the road race scene, and his wife had signed up for six races between the two of them so far in 2020. Five of them have been canceled or postponed, and of those five, four offered deferred payments for next year, or whenever the rescheduled race will take place.

"I think, on the whole, the race organizers are doing their best to accommodate difficult circumstances," Becker said. "Once it is safe to do so, I don't think I'll have any different approach to signing up for races in the future."

As part of its guidance to race directors, Running USA issued this statement:

"Negative comments about refunds, chargebacks and greed are swirling. The running industry especially is not a faceless group. ... it may be helpful to share with participants that many expenses are incurred months ahead of the event and the option of refunds really is not straightforward or always possible. Remind runners of your commitment to the community."

But will there be races for the community in the future?

Bowen said that though the average running organization employs eight full-time employees, there are contractors working with event management companies who also rely on the events as their main source of income.

According to the Endurance Sports Coalition, hundreds of thousands jobs are in jeopardy in that space. The coalition is made up of more than 475 endurance sports groups seeking relief from congress. The endurance sports industry -- which also includes events such as Tough Mudder and Ironman triathlons -- is a $3 billion industry that provides more than 500,000 jobs.

The coalition includes bigger races, like the Boston Marathon and Rock 'n' Roll marathon series, that will always have people clamoring to run them. It's the medium to smaller-sized races, and the companies that put them on, that are facing the direst of straits.

J.T. Service is the co-founder and CEO of Soul Focus Sports, an event management company in the San Francisco Bay Area that helps to put on a handful of road races.

Run Local Bay Area is a client of Soul Focus Sports, which puts on races including the San Jose Shamrock Run, the Silicon Valley Half Marathon and the Across the Bay 12K. The Silicon Valley Half Marathon -- which did not occur as planned on April 5 -- would have usually attracted between 3,000 and 5,000 runners.

"I almost want people to kind of think about us as local businesses," J.T. Service said. "There's this huge push of support your local business or support your corner pizza shop where you normally would get pizza. I think there needs to be this element of seeing the race, your local fundraising charity event, as that local business that needs just as much support now -- maybe more now than ever -- for the long term good of the community, so they can come back and open their doors and open their starting lines to runners when this thing is cleared up."

Through June, six races have been canceled under the Soul Focus Sports umbrella in the Bay Area. Service said they have lost "a few hundred thousand [dollars] in revenue" and that affects roughly a dozen event staffers.

To make up for lost races, runners have been encouraged to participate in virtual runs instead -- a way to both encourage running and return some value.

For many of these virtual events, runners can run the scheduled "race" distance when they want, where they want -- from a local trail to a treadmill -- and can then log their time results on the event's website to compare against others, and have their medals, race shirts and other "swag" shipped to them.

In addition to its Walt Disney World Marathon and other events, runDisney has been holding virtual races for five years. The Rock 'n' Roll marathon series and IRONMAN triathlon series -- both part of the Wanda Sports Group -- have begun offering competitive virtual events, and other race directors have taken creative approaches to keep runners active.

The Hartford Marathon Foundation, which organizes more than 30 annual races throughout New England, launched the "WeRunCT" virtual challenge to encourage people to collectively run the equivalent of every square mile of Connecticut (5,018 miles). Within three weeks, more than 1,250 participants ran the state of Connecticut 14 times over -- covering the square mileage of all of New England, approximately 71,500 miles.

"We understand how important it is for us to provide our running community with encouragement to keep active and maintain a healthy outlet to help manage stress during this unprecedented time," HMF CEO Beth Shluger said in a statement. "While we can't hold events and gather together, we're committed to providing ways for people to experience some of the enjoyment of racing through virtual events and challenges."

Bowen said there is a glass-half-full approach.

"I think that mental health area is really going to look more at [running]," she said. "I wouldn't be surprised if you start seeing companies sort of corporate wellness programs to say to their employees, 'Maybe sign up for a virtual race in the office because we're all working from home right now.' That's something to keep people engaged."

Virtual races can be positive, she said: "Right now, I will stay for sure, it's given companies an opportunity to be very creative in how they work with their runners and their sponsors."

Those virtual events could continue to be a source of revenue for race directors, and alternative social distancing options for runners. And Service, from Soul Focus Sports, sees another silver lining: Many people are taking up running while seeking exercise during the pandemic, and all those outside running every day could fall in love with the sport -- and could stick around for a while, too.

"So I see an opportunity for this industry, and that's from local specialty shoe shops to races -- but we have to be almost leaders, to the point of saying: Running is going to help bring this country back," Service said. "Why wouldn't be this our fuel or a thing that brings people back together?

"They're resilient people."

(05/16/2020) ⚡AMP

Side stitches are hard to diagnose and study, but runners have found ways to relieve and prevent them.

Side stitches have also been hard to study because of their transient nature and lack of definition. What exactly constitutes ETAP? Some people get the pain in their side. Some get it more toward the middle of the abdomen. Some are high in the abs; some are low. Many people also confuse side stitches and cramps, though those two things are very different.

The lack of research has led to wild speculation. But many of those theories, largely based on anecdotal evidence, are now being disproven.

For years, it was theorized that side-stitch pain was related to stress of the diaphragm muscles. But studies have found that ETAP occurs even in activities with low respiratory demands on the diaphragm and having a side stitch doesn’t result in limited lung capacity. Other theories suggested that side stitches were connected to gastrointestinal distress or to stress on the ligaments around the stomach and liver. The current operating theory, though, is that these stitches are caused by irritation of the parietal peritoneum.

“We have not proved what causes stitches but I am 99 percent confident that it is the parietal peritoneum,” Morton contends.

Think of the parietal peritoneum as a membrane corset that wraps around the center of your body and abdomen, says Gregg. As you fatigue and your body breaks down, your core muscles fatigue and your back muscles over-engage. The muscles in the back directly press on nerves that are felt in your abdomen and side (and sometimes even in your shoulder tip). The result is that irritating pain in your side.

What is also becoming more clear is that the side stitch does not necessarily discriminate based on ability—elite runners just might be more equipped at dealing with the pain and be more thorough about eliminating potential risk factors. Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor even reported struggling with a side stitch during the 2104 Rock n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon— a race in which she shattered the Masters half-marathon world record. About 2–5 percent of the athletes who come into Gregg’s office are there because of side-stitch pain, and most of those seeking help are elite runners.

But the fact that Deena Kastor might be getting the same pain you get doesn’t do much good when you’re crippled in the middle of a race, especially since there’s no known immediate solution.

“There does not seem to be any consistent method for relieving them other than to stop exercise,” says Morton.

Trial and Error Treatments

Gregg works on trouble-shooting with athletes to figure out what helps them with the pain or why they might be predisposed to it. “It can take a little trial and error,” he says.

Eating and drinking large amounts within the two hours before running has been correlated with some side-stitch pain, so Gregg always starts by advising athletes to eat a little further out from their workout. And, if athletes have reactions to specific foods, then that’s also something to rule out.

Practicing deep breathing exercises, slowing down your breathing or adopting a deep and rhythmic breathing pattern has been found to sometimes help relieve side stitches. Some find relief by switching which foot they land on when they exhale, or alternating sides with an asymmetrical breathing pattern—e.g. 3 steps in/2 steps out. While side stitches are no longer believed to be originating in the diaphragm, these things can still help relieve the stress on the muscles across your back and abs.

Once a side stitch strikes, many runners also subscribe to the method of grabbing their side where it hurts. This has shown some success, partially because it works in a similar way to a core stabilizer or belt, and holds the muscles in place. Stretching the affected side or bending forward can also help relieve the muscles in the back that are pushing on the nerve that’s causing the pain.

These are all classic treatments that Gregg often recommends an athlete try, but when it comes to proof in the form of quantifiable results from research, he admits, “I have no idea if it actually helps.”

If the theory of parietal peritoneum irritation is accurate, then the best thing to prevent side stitches is to strengthen your core muscles so they don’t break down as you fatigue, or to focus on activating and engaging those core muscles when running. Gregg will sometimes suggests an athlete take an anti-inflammatory in advance to help relieve potential nerve irritation.

As a last resort, you could just wait a few years. Side stitches have been found to be very common among teens, but far less common as you age—theoretically because the surface area of the peritoneum is proportionally larger in teenagers. See, getting older does have its perks.

(05/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Podium Runner

A message from the New York Road Runners Club about the MYC Marathon

For over 60 years, New York Road Runners has worked to help and inspire millions of people of all ages and abilities through our globally recognized events and programs. The health and safety of everyone we engage with has always been our top priority. Now, as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic with New York as the epicenter, our concern for the welfare of New Yorkers and the running community has been heightened even further and is impacting every decision we make moving forward.

Throughout these first few months of the coronavirus crisis in New York, we have followed state-mandated stay-at-home guidelines for staff while maintaining close contact with government officials and public health experts regarding the status of our in-person events and programs. Since March 15, a total of 20 NYRR races have been canceled. As we look ahead to the 18 races remaining on our 2020 schedule, we will follow the guidance from our government partners regarding the safe resumption of NYRR’s in-person race schedule.

At this time, the 2020 TCS New York City Marathon—the 50th running of the race—is proceeding as planned. The NYRR team is exploring alternatives, modifications, and new approaches, all of which would need to follow government guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our runners for our in-person events and programs to return. We will continue to provide updates in as timely a manner as possible.

We understand that some runners currently registered for the TCS New York City Marathon on November 1 might be feeling anxious about participating at this time. For those who would like to reconsider their entry, please review our cancellation policy and if you wish to cancel please do so on your race registration profile page. Runners who received their entry through an official charity partner or an international tour operator will need to contact their organization directly regarding their cancellation options. We hope this gives runners some sense of control during this unsettling period.

We appreciate how difficult it is for runners to plan your participation given all the uncertainty and thank you for your support and patience.

(05/15/2020) ⚡AMP
TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

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


2020 Illinois Marathon Race Weekend has been cancelled due to COVID-19

The 2020 Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon Race Weekend has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

Officials initially postponed the race on March 12 with plans to reschedule it during the second half of the year.

However, Illinois Marathon officials have chosen to cancel this year's event altogether.

Those who have registered for the 2020 race are advised to watch for an email, which will inform them of their options.

(05/15/2020) ⚡AMP
Illinois Marathon Race Weekend

Illinois Marathon Race Weekend

The Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon offers a beautiful, scenic tour of the University of Illinois campus, revitalized downtown streets, tree-lined residential neighborhoods, and an awesome paved park trail. Thousands of friendly, fun fans and volunteers from Champaign-Urbana line the course, exuding Midwest hospitality. You'll find first-class race shirts, medals, food, and fanfare. Enjoy a spectacular finish at the 50-yard-line of...


The 2020 Dublin Marathon is expected to be cancelled

The Board of Directors met last night to discuss the future of the race which was scheduled for Sunday, October 25. It would have been the 41st running of the event which has been sold out for months.

A decision on the future of the event could not be delayed any longer as the merchandise for this year's race needs to be ordered in the next couple of weeks.

But given the current rules on social distancing which are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future, running an event which is likely to have over 20,000 participants and a quarter of a million spectators, is not practical.

Medical experts have suggested that the risk of participants in a marathon passing on the virus to fellow runners during the race itself is very low. However, it would still be regarded as unsafe due to the congregation of the runners at the start at the start of the race.

The last big city marathon to take place prior to the worldwide Covid 19 shutdown as the Tokyo marathon in which only the elite runners were allowed participate.

All the other major spring marathons such as Boston and London were postponed until the autumn.

Major question marks remain over whether they will now go ahead as the Berlin marathon which was due to take place in September has already been cancelled. The dublin Marathon, which was the brainchild of Louis Hogan - then a radio producer with RTE - and the late Noel Carroll was first held in 1980 on the October Bank Holiday Monday.

After an initial surge in interest the event almost folded during the 1990s when participation levels dropped to below 3,000.

However, under the leadership of current race director Jim Aughney the event was revived and now attracts over 20,000 entries annually.


(05/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sean McGoldrick
KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....


Professional athletes who are experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic now able to register for support from welfare fund

Professional athletes who are experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic will be able to register for a one-off welfare grant from today until May 31.

Two weeks ago World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) announced that a US$ 500,000 welfare fund had been created to support professional athletes who have lost a substantial part of their income due to the suspension of international competition this year.

A working group was formed to oversee the distribution of the funds and it has now finalised the eligibility criteria and application process.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, who chairs the working group, said it had been a challenging and complicated task to define the eligibility criteria to ensure that grants from the fund were delivered to the athletes most in need.

“The IAF has allocated a substantial sum to the fund, and we hope to raise more through private donations from friends of our sport, but it has become apparent that the resources must be focused on athletes who are likely to be competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year and are now struggling to pay for basic necessities due to loss of income during the pandemic,’’ Coe said.

“We know this is a stressful situation for many athletes and we are trying to provide meaningful assistance to as many as possible as quickly as possible so they can continue to train for the competition season we have now scheduled for August to October, and for next year’s Olympics.’’

World 1500m record-holder and Olympic champion Hicham El Guerrouj, who initiated this project and sits on the working group, said the loss of competition had had a huge impact on professional athletes because many relied on prize money to support themselves and their families.

The Fund will support athletes who have met the Tokyo Olympic Games entry standard and will provide welfare grants to be used to cover basic living expenses. The level of grant will be dependent on the number of approved applications and up to a maximum of US$4000. It is anticipated that the grants will be distributed directly to athletes from June.

Only athletes who have been impacted financially to the extent that they are unable to maintain their basic standard of living should apply. All applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

Must be qualified (by meeting the entry standard) for selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Must have never had an anti-doping rule violation

Must be able to demonstrate a justifiable welfare need through significant loss of income in 2020 compared to 2019.

To help ensure the fund goes to those most in need, please note the following athletes will not be eligible to apply:

Those ranked in the Top 6 in their event in the World Athletics World Rankings

Those who have finished in the Top 6 positions of any Gold Label Road Race in 2019

Those who have earned more than USD 6,000 in prize money from the Diamond League in 2019

(05/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

After announcing the event would be postponed last month, organizers have now cancelled the Comrades Marathon altogether

Last month, Comrades Marathon race organizers announced that the event would be postponed, although no new dates were ever set. This morning, the Comrades Marathon Association and Athletics South Africa officially cancelled the event, once again extending the list of COVID-19 race casualties.

The 2020 event would have been the 95th running of the ultramarathon, but that milestone will have to wait until at least 2021.

The Comrades Marathon route switches direction every year, but it’s always run between the two same cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban. There are “up” years (Durban to Pietermaritzburg), which are 87K with about 2,000 metres of elevation gain, and “down” years (Pietermaritzburg to Durban), which are 90K. This year would have been a down year, but runners will have to wait to make the trek until next June.

Comrades is the biggest race in South Africa, and in 2020 they had a cap of 27,500 racers. The race is a big source of pride for South Africans, and it’s been won by South African runners on many occasions, including the last eight-straight years.

This year’s race would have been the 95th running of the Comrades Marathon, but 2021 will actually be the 100th anniversary of the event (it wasn’t run for five years during World War II). It’s a shame that the event had to be cancelled this year, but it will make next year’s run more meaningful with the race celebrating 100 years of existence and its 95th running.

The race was first run in 1921 by Vic Clapham, who fought in World War I. Upon returning home to South Africa, he ran between Pietermaritzburg and Durban as a tribute for his fellow soldiers (or comrades) who didn’t make it home, officially starting the Comrades Marathon.

(05/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon

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


GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon has been cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Cathy Noel said her children asked if they are finally getting turkey dinner for Thanksgiving this year. They will be.

Noel is the general manager and race director of the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, which announced Wednesday that the 41st running scheduled for Oct. 11 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event has been a Thanksgiving long-weekend tradition in the city for four decades. An economic impact study last year by Destination Greater Victoria estimated the race accounts for $12 million of economic activity in the region annually. More than $2 million has been raised over the past 16 years by the marathon’s charity component.

More than 8,000 participants took part in the 40th anniversary race last year. About 1,100 people had registered so far this year. They can transfer their registration fee to the 2021 or 2022 races or have the option of a refund with the donation of part of their refund to one of the marathon’s charities.

“We were building off the success of the 40th anniversary race and were well ahead of pace in February to exceed last year’s registrations before talk of the pandemic became a factor,” said Noel.

Several name marathons scheduled for earlier in the year, including Boston and London, have postponed to fall dates. The Chicago Marathon, held on the same day in October each year as the Victoria race, and New York City Marathon scheduled for Nov. 1 have not yet cancelled or postponed. But last week’s B.C. government announcement that the ban on gatherings of more than 50 people would not be lifted until a vaccine is developed or herd immunity attained sealed the fate of Victoria’s marathon.

“Every city, province or country is in a bubble of its own with different regulations. We have to follow our provincial regulations,” said Noel, who has managed the Victoria marathon for 19 years.

Jonathan Foweraker, president of the Victoria Marathon Society, concurred.

“We are deeply disappointed to have to cancel the event, especially after a very successful 40th race last year, but we need to respect the order from the provincial health officer,” he said.

“We are sensitive to the impact this will have on our valued sponsors, community partners, vendors and volunteers as well as our incredible participants, who had the 2020 event as their race goal. This will also have an unprecedented impact on our charitable partners, who crossed the $2 million threshold last year.”

Noel said that cancelling five months out allowed the Victoria marathon event to make some key savings.

“We were able to defer our shirt order to next year. That made the decision easier,” she said.

Noel touched on the democratic nature of road races and said the cancellation stings as much on a human as business level.

(05/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Cleve Dheensaw
Royal Victoria Marathon

Royal Victoria Marathon

We are one of Canada's premier running event, offering athletes an unmatchable running experience on the pristine West Coast. Our world-class, record-breaking course is designed by runners, for runners. As the only Certified Boston Qualifier on Vancouver Island, come join us to compete, to conquer and to move from warm-up to reward. ...


Over 4,000 runners in Göteborgsvarvet Virtual Race 21K

This weekend, 15-17 May, you can join a virtual version of one of the largest running events in the world - and support the sport! Make a difference when it matters and support the future of running.

Göteborgsvarvet Virtual Race 21k is also a seeding race before the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon 2021. There will be a livestream from the race on Saturday May 16th with one of Sweden´s best runners at the Swedish media channel, it starts at 12.45 pm CET. The solo runner is Suldan Hassan from a local athletics club in Gothenburg, and he will run after the race leader car, the 100% electric Polestar 2.

All runners in the race is contributing to the local athletics with their start.

The registration to the Göteborgsvarvet Virtual Race 21k is open until May 17th, and already have 4200 runners from 21 different countries registered to the race.

Main partners to the virtual race are the electric performance brand Polestar, and Garmin, the race is organized in collaboration with the athlete’s app Strava and one of the world’s largest races Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon.

The 41st annual Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon takes place on 22 May 2021. (The 2020 years race has been cancelled due to the corona virus). The great half marathon in Gothenburg, Sweden was first held in 1980 and approximately 80,000 runners are usually participating in one of the races during race week of the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon.

Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon is organised by Gothenburg Athletic Association in favor of the athletics clubs in the region and is certified according to the ISO 20121 standards for sustainable events. 

(05/14/2020) ⚡AMP
Gothenburg Half Marathon

Gothenburg Half Marathon

Run through the heart of one of Scandinavia's most beautiful cities. The course will be lined with over 200,000 enthusiastic and sports interested spectators. Gothenburgs central location in Scandinavia makes it easy to reach by plane, boat, train or car. Göteborgsvarvet is an annual half marathon running competition in Gothenburg, Sweden. It is the largest annual running competition in Sweden,...


Quarantine Backyard virtual ultramarathon that captured the attention of runners around the world is coming back in July for Round Two

The Quarantine Backyard Ultra was quite possibly the biggest race of 2020 so far, not only garnering attention from runners, but breaking into mainstream media coverage with stories in the New York Times, Washington Post and Sports Illustrated, among many other publications.

The race directing team, Gather Virtual, has announced that the race is making a return on July 11, and they hope to make it even better than before. Just like the first time around, the race is free to enter, and it will follow the same last-runner-standing format, which inspired the event’s new tagline: “All will DNF but one.”

The format for the Quarantine Backyard Ultra is simple. The first bell will ring at 7 a.m. MDT on July 11, starting the first lap of many. Runners have an hour to complete each lap, which will be 6.706K.

As was the case in the first event, which was held in April, runners will have the choice to run either inside on their treadmill or outside near their homes. Some runners competing in the April race couldn’t run outside due to coronavirus restrictions in their countries but also didn’t have treadmills, so they ran around inside their homes to complete each lap. It doesn’t matter where athletes run, as long as they cover 6.706K before each hour is up.

All competitors have to video in on Zoom, and this way, once they finish each lap, they can prove they ran the right distance by showing their treadmill or GPS data to the camera. Once an athlete finishes a lap, he or she can rest, eat, or do whatever they like for the remainder of the hour. They just have to make sure to be ready to run when the bell goes at the top of the next hour. The last runner standing is the winner.

Mike Wardian of the U.S. won the first Quarantine Backyard Ultra in a 63-hour-long battle with Czech runner Radek Brunner. Wardian ran 422K to take the win over Brunner, who missed the start of the 63rd lap and was therefore disqualified.

Round two “A second race wasn’t initially in the cards,” says Stephanie Gillis-Paulgaard, one of the members of the Gather Virtual team who helped create and run the Quarantine Backyard Ultra. “Then people started reaching out and lots of people were asking if we’d do it again. They were even asking during the race.”

When they saw that more and more summer races were getting cancelled due to COVID-19, Gillis-Paulgaard says they decided to have another run at the Quarantine Backyard Ultra.

“In a very short time-frame of two weeks, we threw that first race together and kind of crossed our fingers and hoped for the best,” Gillis-Paulgaard says. “We just thought it would be fun and unique.”

Despite the limited time to plan for the first race, they still managed to attract over 2,400 participants from more than 50 countries. Now, they have two months to promote and prepare for the event, and after all the good press the first race received, the Quarantine Backyard Ultra is a name that many people across the world know.

Registration for Part Two of the biggest running sensation of 2020 opens today, and runners can sign up for free here until July 10, 24 hours before the first bell.

(05/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath

Rhonex Kipruto’s world records over 5km (13:18) and 10km (26:24), have been ratified

Kipruto’s world record marks came when winning at the 10k Valencia Ibercaja on 12 January. The world 10,000m bronze medalist from Kenya dominated the race, passing through 3km in 7:59 before dropping the last of his challengers.

Rhonex Kipruto reached the half-way point in 13:18, four seconds inside the ratified world record of 13:22 set by Kenya’s Robert Keter in Lille on 9 November 2019. Despite running on his own for the second half, Kipruto increased his pace and covered the final five kilometers in 13:06.

His winning mark of 26:24 took 14 seconds off the previous world 10km record of 26:38 set by Joshua Cheptegei in the same Spanish city on 1 December 2019.

“I’m over the moon,” said Kipruto, who is coached by Colm O’Connell. “When I clocked 26:46 in Prague in 2018, I set myself the target of breaking the world 10km record and today my dream came true.”

In Monaco on 16 February 2020, one month after Kipruto’s run in Valencia, Cheptegei clocked 12:51 over 5km, a mark that is pending ratification.

(05/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
10k Valencia Ibercaja

10k Valencia Ibercaja

Around the corner we have one more edition of the 10K Valencia Ibercaja, organized one more year by the C. 10K VALENCIA Athletics premiering the running season in Valencia. It is a massive urban race with more than 3,000 registered annually of 10 kilometers, where the maximum duration of the test will be 1 hour 40 minutes (100 minutes). The...


2020 Mountain Running Championship in Golden BC Canada have been canceled

The 2020 NACAC Mountain Running Championship in Golden, BC, Canada has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Limits on the number of participants in events to no more than 50 imposed by the British Columbia government means the host Golden Ultra will have to be cancelled.

The 17th annual North American, Central American & Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championships was to be held in conjunction with the Golden Ultra in Kicking Horse Resort in Golden, British Columbia, Canada on Friday, September 18, 2020. The uphill course was 10.3 kilometers with a total of 1205 meters of ascent and 135 meters of descent.

Meghan Roche (second photo) at the 2017 NACAC Mountain Running Championships in Golden, Canada.

This race would also have served as the 2020 Canadian Mountain Running Championships and their selection race for the 2020 World Mountain Running Championships.

Team leaders from the participating NACAC countries (U.S., Canada, Mexico and El Salvador) deemed it impractical to find a new host race and date by which a safe championship could be held in 2020.

The participating countries are planning to organize a 2021 NACAC Mountain Running Championship to be held in Canada with the host event and date TBD. Selection criteria for the 2021 U.S. team will be announced later in 2020.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP

Two elite athletes Mary Cain and Nick Willis sign with Tracksmith as full-time employees

Tracksmith, the independent running apparel brand out of Boston, announced its newest pair of partner athletes: Mary Cain and Nick Willis. This is not a traditional partnership, though, as Cain and Willis will both be working as full-time employees for the company in addition to running for the brand.

The duo will represent Tracksmith as they both work toward the Tokyo Olympic Games, which are set for July 2021, and they will do it as amateurs, a term that Tracksmith is looking to reclaim for everyone who loves to run.

In a post entitled “For the love” on the Tracksmith website announcing the brand’s newest partnership, founder and CEO Matt Taylor talks about the word “amateur,” which comes from Latin roots meaning “to love” and “I love.”

Taylor says “amateur” only recently became a term for non-professionals (around the 19th century or so), and now the team at Tracksmith wants to take the term back to its roots and refer to anyone who loves to run as “amateurs.”

In sports, athlete sponsorships are always dictated by results, and the better an athlete performs, the stronger their brand partnerships become. On the other hand, if their results start to decline, it’s not uncommon to see these relationships deteriorate and disappear.

This won’t be the case for Cain and Willis, because, working as Tracksmith employees and representing the brand as amateurs, they will have “the freedom to participate in the sport with no expectations or pressures outside of the ones they place on themselves.”

Cain made international headlines in November when she told the New York Times about the abuse she sustained while running with the Nike Oregon Project (NOP) under now-banned coach Alberto Salazar. Cain won gold in the 3,000m at the the world junior championships in 2014 before leaving the NOP a year later. In 2020, she returned to racing for the first time since 2016, and she is now working toward making her first U.S. Olympic team.

Cain’s official role at Tracksmith is New York community manager, and she will help grow the company’s “on-the-ground and virtual efforts in one of the most vibrant running scenes in the world.”

Willis, who’s 37 years old, tweeted he was leaving Adidas on Sunday, and there was some speculation that he might be retiring. Today, he tweeted again, saying, “I’m not retiring; I’m turning amateur.” Willis is a two-time Olympic medallist for New Zealand, having won silver in the 1,500m in Beijing in 2008 and bronze in the same event eight years later in Rio.

Willis is quoted on the Tracksmith site, saying, “It may sound counterintuitive, but I always discovered that my running career thrived the most when I embraced more. My best years, my fastest times, all emerged from times in my life when my running came, well, second.”

He’ll be looking to qualify for his fourth Olympics in 2021 while working as the athlete experience manager at Tracksmith, building programs to “inspire, motivate and deepen our community’s connection to the sport.”

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath

Berlin Marathon´s organizers have said they need more time to examine their options as discussions continue on whether the race will take place in 2020

SCC Events had previously announced that the World Marathon Major would not take place on its original September 27 date, leading to many publications reporting the race as cancelled.

This was due to restrictions put in place by the local Government, which placed a ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people until October 24.

A decision is still to be made by SCC Events on this year's race, however, with further information to be released by the end of June at the latest.

Many major marathons around the world have faced a similar fate with the races in Boston and London, which are also part of the World Marathon Majors, postponed to September and October respectively. 

"Due to the size of the event and the large number of people involved, we need a little more time to examine different options for this implementation of the further procedure," SCC said.

"In addition, at the moment we cannot work on the upcoming tasks in full team strength; like many others, the SCC Events team is currently on short-time work.

"Nevertheless, as usual, we put all the available energy into this process and will contact you by the end of June at the latest with details on the further procedure relating to the BMW Berlin Marathon. 

"If we have new information beforehand, we will of course let you know immediately."

In Germany, there are more than 172,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide, resulting in the deaths of more than 7,600 people.

The 2018 edition of the race saw Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge smash the men's marathon world record in a time of 2 hours 1min 39sec.

This was nearly bettered by Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele last year, who was two seconds short on his way to victory.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

The story of the BERLIN-MARATHON is a story of the development of road running. When the first BERLIN-MARATHON was started on 13th October 1974 on a minor road next to the stadium of the organisers‘ club SC Charlottenburg Berlin 286 athletes had entered. The first winners were runners from Berlin: Günter Hallas (2:44:53), who still runs the BERLIN-MARATHON today, and...


Sebastian Coe says that children will need more access to sport in post-pandemic world

Children will need more access to sport in the post-pandemic world and there is a pressing need to press authorities to stop school sports “withering on the vine”, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said on Friday.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the sporting calendar across all disciplines and levels from school to professional.

Coe told Reuters he was planning to launch a campaign to protect the long-term future of athletics when the global lockdowns and cancellations end.

“I want our sport to be a campaigning sport and if we are not about young people and access to the sport we might as well pack up and go home,” the 63-year-old said.

“I am not going to be shy or pussy foot around this any longer. This has to be addressed and this has to be the long-term thinking when we come out of this.”

A healthier population would be better placed to weather future storms like the coronavirus outbreak, Coe added.

“We have got to hit this hard now. We have get into education departments and we can’t let politicians talk a good game about this and not deliver,” Coe said.

“The very fact that any child in the UK is 50% less likely to be active between the age of eight and nine, and 12 and 13, is wrong. It just cannot be right. Whichever way you view that, that has to be wrong,” he added.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP

George Gibbs has pledged to run 3km every day for two weeks, the equivalent of a marathon, to raise money for ChildLine Foundation

He is eight-year-old George Gibbs who started fundraising when he was just four, taking part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.

The Linslade Lower pupil who lives in Rosebery Avenue with his motoring journalist dad Nick, PR planning executive mum Frances and little sister Addie, three, has already reached his £500 target and is now thinking of doubling it.

George and Frances set off every morning at 9am, running along the canal between the Globe bridge and Tesco bridge.

And the Year 3 schoolboy has only one complaint about his pace-setting partner: “Sometimes Mum can’t keep up with me. Otherwise she’s fine.”

Dad Nick said: “They run at roughly the same pace . . . I like to think I’m a little faster.”

He added: “George was keen to do something to help a charity during lockdown.

“We looked at various worthwhile causes and he decided on ChildLine.

“Calls have increased by 300 per cent and are from vulnerable youngsters who have no-one else to turn to.

“He wanted to help children who were not safe at home and suffering because of the current situation.”

George says he enjoys running because it makes him stronger, but this particular exercise is purely for fundraising purposes.

He normally does the 2km Junior Parkrun every Sunday held at Parson’s Close Recreation Ground.

His sporting hero isn’t the magnificent Sir Mo, but racing driver Lewis Hamilton.

And all his plans for the future involve the motoring world.

He confesses: “I want to be a car designer or a racing driver or own a car company.”

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bev Creagh

Dublin Marathon organizers are to meet this week to decide if this year's race can go ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic

A board meeting with the organizers will take place on Thursday to decide if the race can safely proceed.

"There is a board meeting, of the marathon organizers, on Thursday of this week," race director Jim Aughney told the The Irish Times.

"We will be considering all aspects of the matter, whether we feel it's still safe to proceed, or whether we might defer that decision for another short while.

"But either way we will be making some statement on the matter by the end of next week."

The Dublin Marathon is currently scheduled for October 25.

It is the fourth largest marathon in Europe and will see 25,000 people pound the pavements of the city.

The ban on mass gatherings of over 5,000 people is set to expire in September.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alex Dunne
KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....


Swedish Athletics Association now tightens rules for Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes

As concerns increase over rising violations of anti-doping regulations, Kenyan athletes will now face more intense scrutiny before competing in Sweden.

This is after the Swedish Athletics Association on Monday said they are sharpening rules for athletes who train in countries where out-of-competition tests are not quite advanced, with Kenya and Ethiopia classified in this category.

According to EME News, an independent track and field information agency, quoting Swedish public broadcaster SVT, Swedish Athletics Association secretary general Stefan Olsson has expressed concerns over the capacity of anti-doping testing in Kenya and Ethiopia.

“There is no prohibition on going there, but if they do, we should really have knowledge of where the athletes are, how long they should be there, with what training group, coach and manager they train with,” Olsson said.

“It may be that we contact Swedish anti-doping so that they can add extra resources before, during and after these trips,” he added.

Kenyans and Ethiopians have always featured prominently in athletics competitions in Sweden, both in road racing and in track and field.

Athletes from Kenya have been regular winners at the annual BAHAUS-galan Diamond League meeting in Stockholm whose new 2020 date was on Tuesday set for August 23 after changes in the global track and field calendar by World Athletics.

At last year’s meeting, Rhonex Kipruto and Timothy Cheruiyot triumphed in the 10,000 and 1,500 meters races, respectively, with Agnes Jebet Tirop winning the 5,000 meters in a race that also featured eight Kenyans, including two-time world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri.

Ethiopian and Kenyan athletes have won 13 titles out of the 20 on offer in the men’s and women’s divisions of the annual Stockholm marathon.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Elias Makori

Nike will be donating 30,000 pairs of shoes to frontline workers fighting Covid-19

Nike is donating 30,000 pairs of shoes — specifically designed for healthcare workers — to health systems and hospitals in cities across the United States.

The Air Zoom Pulse, which was released in November 2019, is the company's "first shoe designed for the healthcare athlete, an everyday hero," Nike said in its announcement on Monday.

The company went to OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon, to study those in the profession. They took into account the challenges of those on the job — including long hours on their feet and liquid spills — and the comfort needed for long shifts.

Nike (NKE) partnered with Good360, a non-profit specializing in efficient distribution of product donations, to help deliver the shoes to workers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and New York City, and within the Veterans Health Administration, according to Nike.

The company said health care workers in New York City and Los Angeles will also receive about 95,000 pairs of soccer socks offering mild compression.

"The effort is led by messages of gratitude to healthcare professionals," Nike said in its release. "From one athlete to another, Nike athletes recognize the physical and mental resilience of healthcare athletes."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted his appreciation for the sportswear company.

"Thank you so much for supporting our front line health care heroes," he wrote on Monday.

Hospitals across Europe — including Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris and Belgium — will receive an additional 2,500 pairs, Nike said.

More than 3.5 million cases of the novel coronavirus, including at least 251,000 deaths, have been recorded worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Nike's donation comes as healthcare workers continue to help battle the coronavirus pandemic, often putting themselves at risk. Many are helping patients without adequate supplies and equipment.

Nike said some of its teams came together to help create and donate full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to help protect healthcare workers.

To date, Nike and the Nike Foundation have committed more than $25 million to Covid-19 relief efforts, according to the company.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Lauren M. Johnson

Scottish runners now are allowed to run more than once a day

Scottish runners hoping for some relief from the restrictions of lockdown – formally extended a further three weeks last Thursday (7 May) – got some unexpected good news at the weekend. 

While First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was at pains to emphasise last night (Sunday, 10 May) that ‘Stay at Home’ remains unequivocally the Scottish government’s message to citizens – despite a shift in that of the UK government to ‘Stay Alert’ – one small but significant change has been made to the restrictions we’ve all had to live with for the last 49 days. 

From Monday, Scots will be allowed to run – or take any exercise outside – more than once a day.

In line with previous regulations, that exercise should still be taken close to home; group exercise or training, with people not from one’s own household, remains forbidden, and parks are still to be used only for exercise. 

With the UK and Scottish governments increasingly taking different views on how best to manage and combat Coronavirus, it’s no surprise the situation for runners in England is different: the much anticipated gradual easing of restrictions on outdoor activity outlined in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own Sunday night address only apply there. 

From Wednesday, runners south of the border will be able to take unlimited exercise, and have been very explicitly granted permission to drive to do so. English parks can also be used once again for leisure, sport or sunbathing, but either alone or with members of one’s own household. 

Social distancing regulations – keeping 2m away from those not in one’s own household – still applies to all runners across the UK. 

There was no word from either the Scottish or UK government on when any sort of public gatherings – like training sessions, group runs or races – might again be permitted. 

But with Boris Johnson speaking about some hospitality and ‘other public places’ opening in July at the earliest, and providing several stringent conditions are met, life returning to normal for runners seems unlikely soon.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP

Third Rock n Roll Virtual Series Race worldwide has registered over 15,000 participants from 87 nations

The global community of walkers and runners came together for the third straight weekend with over 15,000 people from 87 nations and all 50 states stepping up to the virtual start line for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3, the third edition in the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running™ (VR™) Series. Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3 gave participants the opportunity to challenge themselves with two different race distances that included 8K and 15K options.

In addition, the first ever virtual Remix Challenge was offered giving participants who took on both distances a chance to earn access to three medals through the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Finisher Bundles. Participants were able to compete anywhere, indoors or outdoors, as long as the distance of their choosing was completed in one session between Friday, May 8 at 2 p.m. ET and event close Sunday, May 10 at 7:59 p.m. ET.

Participants in Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3 came from around the world and ranged in age from 18 to 82. The United States led the way with over 9,000 walkers and runners followed by Canada (over 700), the United Kingdom (over 650), Mexico (over 350) and Spain (over 200). Other nations represented included Australia, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Japan, and Malaysia, among others.

Of the 50 U.S. states represented, the greatest number came from California, followed by Texas, Florida, Virginia and Washington. Nations joining a Rock 'n' Roll VR event for the first time were, Barbados, Cameroon, India, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay, among others.

Over 8,000 participants took on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club™ Challenges leading up to Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3. Participants embarked on several separate running and workout challenges with the opportunity for rewards in the comfort of their own community. The challenges included the SiS Challenge 1: Tempo Run, a 55 Minute Tempo Workout; Community Challenge 3: Aleks' "Don't Miss the Beep" Challenge, a 50 Minute Interval Run in one session; and Brooks Challenge 2: #FindSomeRunHappy II: 60 minutes of running over 2 sessions with some ideas on how to #RunHappy. Special prizes such as a pair of Rock ‘n’ Roll Launch 7 by Brooks Running Company sneakers, a $100 gift card to Science in Sport, and a Rock ‘n’ Roll Tie Dye Trio bundle were all awarded out. In total, over 30,000 runners and walkers from across the globe have joined the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running Club platform to date, giving them access to a series of weekly races, challenges, and rewards.

This week, Rock ‘n’ Roll VR4 will offer two distances for the global community, including an 5K and 12K. Racing begins on Friday, May 15 at 2 p.m. ET and concludes on Sunday, May 17 at 7:59 p.m. ET. The virtual Remix Challenge returns for a second straight week for participants who want to take on both of this weekend’s race distances of a 5K and 12K can earn access to three medals. In addition, participants who complete each of the Remix Challenges for races RnRVR3 through RnRVR6, will have the opportunity to purchase a special RnRVR6 finisher bundle that not only includes the Remix Challenge medal, but also a celebratory ENCORE medal to commemorate their success.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
Philadelphia Marathon and Half

Philadelphia Marathon and Half

Have the time of your life in 2022 completing 13.11 miles! Runners will start along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the cultural Museum District and wind through Philadelphia’s most scenic and historic neighborhoods. From the history-steeped streets of Old City, through one of the liveliest stretches of Center City, across the Schuylkill River...


London Marathon Counts on Eliud Kipchoge

Where will the next marathon world record be set? This autumn, the London Marathon is aiming for the duel between top stars Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele. Kipchoges unofficial world record of less than two hours should not be in danger. However, the Berlin Marathon, notorious for world records, cannot take place as planned.

The Corona crisis has also had far-reaching consequences for the marathon scene. The London Marathon, for example, had to be postponed from 26 April until 4 October.

However, it is still unclear whether the event will also be open to amateur runners or if only professionals like world record holder Eliud Kipchoge are allowed to compete. According to "Athletics International", the organizers have asked all athletes originally invited for April to come back for the fall date. This includes the Kenyan Kipchoge.

He holds the official marathon world record of 2:01:39 hours (Berlin Marathon 2018) as well as the unofficial world record of 1:59:40 hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna 2019 under laboratory conditions with constantly changing pacemakers and drinks and food available at all times.

Kenenisa Bekele, who missed the official world record at the 2019 Berlin Marathon by only two seconds, is also expected to compete in London. A direct duel between the two top runners could come to happen in October. For Bekele, an improvement of the official world record could be possible. 

"With good weather conditions and if we both worked together on the pace, a time in the range of the world record might have been possible", Athletics International quotes hin speaking about the cancelled event in April.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Martin Jahns
TCS London Marathon

TCS London Marathon

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


On May 14, British Columbia will reopen provicional parks

British Columbia has announced that phase two of the province’s four phase return will begin mid-May, and will include the reopening of provincial parks for day use (on May 14), along with small social gatherings.

This is very good news for runners as they’ll be able to access their favourite trails and maybe even recruit a training partner or two.

B.C.’s parks and trails have been closed since late March. According to the provincial government, B.C. residents could almost double the number of social contacts they have currently and still maintain flat transmission rates. Phase two also includes the ability to visit healthcare professionals like physiotherapists, chiropractors and counsellors.

Gatherings of over 50 people remain banned for the foreseeable future, which includes professional sports and concerts.

While the province remains a long way from a complete return to normalcy, these developments are encouraging news. The province’s runners will be able to achieve a level of relative normal, just in time for the nice weather.

So on May 14, gather one or two running buddies and hit your local trails for your first group run of the spring.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly

Kenya´s Vincent Kipchumba can´t wait to run against world’s best in London

The postponement of the London Marathon from April to October due to the coronavirus pandemic hit Vincent Kipchumba hard.

Kipchumba, who is the reigning Amsterdam Marathon champion, was delighted to have been included in the elite men’s list and had been following a program that he hoped would give him a chance to challenge for glory in Europe’s capital center.

“It was also going to give me a chance to make some money. When I heard it was postponed I felt traumatised," said Kipchumba.

“At least the race was postponed to October but we are still not sure if the virus will have been contained by then. It’s my prayer that things get back to normal because athletics is my career, and to many others out there.”

Kipchumba, had been training in Kapsabet, Nandi County under the watchful eye of his coach Claudio Berardelli. He said that even though the London race had been pushed back by six months it will not diminish his desire to make his debut in a Majors race.

“When I was informed that I will be competing in London Marathon, I was happy because this was a dream come true for me. I have been eyeing a place in one of the biggest marathons in the world,” said Kipchumba.

He also said that he will be privileged to compete with some of the best athletes in the world over the distance.

“Competing with the world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Berlin Marathon champion Kenenisa Bekele is something I even didn’t think will be possible but here we are waiting for the big day,” said Kipchumba.

However, just like many other elite athletes, the coronavirus has played havoc with his schedule.

He was due to participate in the Roma Ostia Half Marathon, as part of his build up for London, but the race was cancelled.

(05/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
TCS London Marathon

TCS London Marathon

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


Kenyan runners call for Athletics Kenya to provide services to help athletes

Last week, two Kenyan distance runners were suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit for anti-doping violations. This added to the already long list of Kenyan athletes to receive anti-doping sanctions in 2020, which includes 2017 London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru and former marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang.

According to a Daily Nation report, these latest suspensions have prompted athletes to call for Athletics Kenya to start a support program with counselling for athletes dealing with depression, whether it was caused by doping bans, loss of fame or other life stressors.

Asbel Kiprop is an Olympic and world champion in the 1,500m, and in 2019, he was banned from competition for four years following a failed test in 2017. Kiprop has been adamant that he is innocent, and in the fallout from his doping scandal, his life took a downward spiral.

“I became an alcoholic, my wife left and friends deserted me,” he said. “I never planned to end my athletics career this way.” Kiprop, who tested positive for EPO, said he plans on returning to professional racing after serving his ban.

Jemima Sumgong, another Kenyan marathoner who was banned for doping, described a similar fall from grace after also testing positive for EPO.

“It was tough for me when I was suspended,” she said. “There was no one to turn to.”

Sumgong, who won gold in the Rio Olympic marathon, said she was close to falling into a depression of her own following her doping scandal.

Speaking from experience, she said Athletics Kenya needs to provide counselling for athletes who are going through tough times, whether due to doping bans or for other reasons.

“There are athletes who might end up being banned for committing errors unknowingly and it can affect them mentally,” she said. “Athletics Kenya needs to come up with a counselling department because these people are also human despite having done something wrong.”

Wilfred Bungei is another Kenyan athlete who has dealt with depression, although not because of a doping scandal. In 2008, Bungei won Olympic gold in the 800m, and soon after retiring from professional racing in 2010, he became an alcoholic.

“There is a lot of loneliness up there when [athletes] are winning and success has come to their lives,” Bungei told the Daily Nation. “They are, therefore, easily lured into alcoholism, promiscuity and other destructive lifestyles just to hide from the real monster that brought them down.”

Bungei emphasized the importance of athlete support, and he agreed with Sumgong, stating that Athletics Kenya has a duty to look after its athletes. Athletics Kenya has yet to comment on the possibility of starting a support or counselling program.

(05/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath

Billy White, 10, wasn’t going to let being stuck indoors stop him from running a marathon

10-year-old Billie White runs a marathon in his house! Here he shares his story with that’s life!

Watching the news after brekkie, I was amazed. A man quarantined in a hotel had run a 42km marathon - smashing out thousands of laps of his tiny room!

I could do that! I thought, hopping up. I had nothing better to do!

In grade 5, I hadn’t been to school for a couple of weeks because of the coronavirus.

After running through the playroom and the kitchen, I looped the dining room table, then sprinted to the front door. <Tap!>

Once, I’d hit it, it was time for another lap. ‘What are you doing?’ my parents, Sarah and Simon asked.  ‘A marathon!’ I puffed.

Later on, when Mum took me, my sister, Keira, 12, and brother, Toby, seven, for a walk around the lake near our house, I zoomed past the slowpokes seven times!

‘You’ve got to keep your energy up, Billy!’ Mum said back home, making me stop to eat a banana, a boiled egg, or slurp down some energy drink.

By 30km, I was pretty tired.  I just want an ice cream, I thought. But I was determined.

Then, at 9pm, after running for 13 hours, and clocking up 58,000 steps, I did the final lap around our block as Mum and Dad cheered me on in the dark.

‘42!’ I yelled proudly, collapsing on the grass.

Now, I’m hoping my epic achievement will go viral - the good way!

(05/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Beth Young

Finland, the Czech Republic and Norway are all preparing for track meets in June

After weeks and weeks of race cancellations, there’s finally some good news coming from the world of track and field: meets are set to be held in Norway, the Czech Republic and Finland in June.

Each of the meets will have limited events and restrictions on the number of people present, but professional track and field will officially be back all the same. They aren’t the Diamond League or Olympic competitions you’d expected to watch this summer, but they’ll be something to watch, and hopefully a sign of more events to come.

Norway’s the Impossible Games will be held in Oslo on June 11, the same date that was set for the 2020 Oslo Diamond League. There will be a small programme of events, including a world record attempt in the 300m hurdles by Norway’s Karsten Warholm, the two-time defending world champion in the 400mH.

The Impossible Games will also feature 100m, 200m, 600m and 3,000m races, as well as some field events. No spectators will be in the stadium for the event, but it will be broadcast live on television.

World Athletics reported on a Czech government announcement that says as of May 25, public gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted. Thanks to these looser restrictions, the Czech Athletics Federation has plans to start a six-event series, with the first meet set for June 1.

The meet schedule and competition lineup has yet to be finalized, but confirmed events include women’s javelin, men’s shot put and men’s 300m. The dates of the series’ following five events haven’t been announced, but organizers say they will include a different lineup of competitions than the first.

Maximusport, a Finnish sports website, reported that track and field events will make a return on June 7 in Lahti, Finland. In order to follow government guidelines for COVID-19, only 50 people will be allowed on the field or track at one time and the number of athletes for each event will be limited.

Although runners will have no choice but to get close with their competitors on the track, field athletes will be asked to keep a safe distance between themselves at all times. Few events have been confirmed for the first competition, but 200m hurdles and 3,000m races will reportedly be part of the programme.

Norway, the Czech Republic and Finland have all seen steady drops in coronavirus numbers over the last month, and they have reported fewer than 300 COVID-19-related deaths each.

(05/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath

The Riga Marathon could be a virtual run for 2020

The Riga Marathon, has appealed to runners to take part in a virtual race on the date of its postponed event.

“Just like you, we are very eager to celebrate running and keep the spirit of marathon alive, even it is not possible together in person,” said the organisers.

Runners are invited to go for a family run on May 16, or to run their chosen distance of marathon, half marathon or anything else on May 17.

Depending on the restrictions set in the country, the participants will run, adapting to the new reality, or virtually if Covid-19 restrictions remain in place, the organizers of the event indicate.

"It is not possible to predict the development of the pandemic and the restrictions that will be in place in the autumn, however, we have decided to run this year on October 10-11," comments Aigars Nords, the director of the Riga Marathon.

"If the restrictions are completely lifted, the Riga Marathon will take place with a scope appropriate to an anniversary edition. If the restrictions remain in force, we will adapt by introducing creative innovations that will allow the anniversary marathon to run smoothly, following the instructions of epidemiologists.

For the first time in the history of the event, the marathon could also take place virtually, offering participants the opportunity to run the distance individually, recording the distance and time in a specially created application," he points out.

The Riga Marathon has been held annually since 1991.

(05/10/2020) ⚡AMP
Lattelecom Riga Marathon

Lattelecom Riga Marathon

If you have never been to Riga then, running a marathon or half-marathon could be a good reason to visit one of the most beautiful cities on the Baltic Sea coast. Marathon running has a long history in Riga City and after 27 years it has grown to welcome 33,000 runners from 70 countries offering five race courses and...


Training tips for staying home

Before you begin an at-home fitness regime, Pamela Geisel, MS, CSCS, exercise physiologist & manager of performance services at Hospital for Special Surgery (a partner of New York Road Runners), has some advice to help you assess the best kind of workout for yourself.

“We tend to gravitate to things we like and are good at,” Geisel says, “but now is an excellent time to focus on where our weaknesses may be.”

If you lack flexibility, for instance, now is a good time to work stretching into your routine. If you have always wanted to do a full push-up, focus on strength. Geisel also recommends a five-minute warm-up and cool-down added to each workout.

“If you are someone who has been working out three or four days [a week], now is not the time to start working out six or seven days a week,” says Geisel. She follows the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines, which recommend 2–3 days a week of strength, balance, and flexibility training, in addition to 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise weekly.

Look for workouts like yoga or dance that combine these aspects into a single class. For runners Geisel also recommends a workout that involves all three planes of motion: front to back, side to side, and rotational.

While many of us are searching for ways to stay fit keep in mind that changes to routines and daily lives can add stress and anxiety, as can changes in mood and sleep patterns, all of which are heightened now during the pandemic.

“A healthy diet, proper nutrition, and a good night’s sleep go a long way in keeping us healthy!” says Geisel. She recommends that runners set an alarm, limit exposure to blue light (from computers and other screens) before bed, and make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep.

We all want a return to our previous routine, but now might be the time to step back and reassess your training. If you adapt a new routine, ease into it, following best practices, good form, and taking days off to recover.

Find those exercises you enjoy – and most importantly, have fun.

(05/10/2020) ⚡AMP

Thousands of runners pay tribute to Ahmaud Arbery

Runners around the world run to honor Arbery, who was shot dead in February and would have turned 26 on Friday

Thousands of people around the world are jogging to celebrate the birthday of man they never knew – Ahmaud Arbery. It is part of a global campaign to pay homage to 25-year-old Arbery, nicknamed Maud, who was shot and killed by two white men while out jogging in Georgia. Ahmaud was born on 8 May 1994 and would have turned 26 on Friday.

The idea for a global run in Arbery’s name came from his high school football coach, Jason Vaughn, who last saw Arbery when they crossed paths on a run. Arbery loved running. Now, the hashtag #IRunWithMaud has travelled the world, with runners from London to New York completing the 2.23-mile trip – a tribute to the date of his death, which occurred on 23 February. The hashtag now has more than 60,000 posts on Instagram.

The worldwide run follows news this morning that Arbery’s killers will face murder charges over the attack. Gregory and Travis McMichael told officers they thought Arbery resembled a suspect in a series of nearby break-ins. The pair were charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Police were aware of the crime for more than two months but did not charge the McMichaels until after the shooting gained widespread attention. When video footage of Arbery’s killing circulated online, celebrities such as LeBron James and Naomi Campbell called for justice, as well as politicians Kamala Harris and Joe Biden.

“Exercising while black should not be a death sentence,” said Harris in a tweet on Tuesday.

(05/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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