These are the top ten stories based on views over the last week.
A recent study of more than 1,000 people who exercise regularly found that just 14.3 per cent of treadmill owners are “extremely motivated” to train, but there’s more to this number than what’s shown on the surface.
The study looked at gym-goers and at-home exercisers, and it turns out that, while rates of enjoyment on the treadmill are relatively low compared to other machines, this seemingly low rate of motivation is actually the highest. We’ve outlined some of the more pertinent (when it comes to runners, at least) findings below.
Highest rates of motivation
Fourteen per cent might not seem like a lot, but 39.3 per cent of treadmill owners said they are “very motivated” to train. Another 39.3 per cent said they’re “somewhat motivated,” and just 7.1 per cent responded with “not at all or slightly motivated.” Other than owners of stationary bikes and ellipticals (who are grouped together), the 14.3 per cent of treadmill owners responded with the second-highest rates of extreme motivation. Overall, 53.6 per cent of treadmill owners are extremely or very motivated to train, which gives the machine the highest rate of motivation when compared to other machines or gear. The lowest on the list were owners of free weights and yoga mats.
One explanation for these higher rates of motivation could be due to the price of treadmills. As listed in the study, the average treadmill goes for $525, which is almost $300 more than the next most-expensive item (ellipticals and stationary bikes). After making such a big purchase, treadmill owners might feel obligated to use their expensive machines, which creates a sort of motivation to train. Conversely, yoga mats and free weights are much less expensive, and so owners of these items may not feel as pressured to use them.
Lowest rates of enjoyment
The treadmill’s rate of motivation might be much higher than other machines, but when it comes to actual enjoyment in training, it comes in second-last, just ahead of the elliptical and stationary bikes. Just 40.1 per cent of treadmill runners said they enjoyed their runs. Cyclists took the top spot in this category, with 52.6 per cent responding positively to this exercise.
If you like the treadmill, that’s awesome, and it’s a great way to get your run training in (especially during colder months). But if you’re not a fan of the treadmill, that doesn’t mean you won’t be motivated to use it.
This study shows that, even if you don’t take much enjoyment out of the training, you’ll likely still run on the treadmill anyway. Nobody said being a runner was easy, and forcing yourself to use the treadmill is a perfect example of why this is a tough sport.(10/17/20) Views: 88
Kenyan runner who won London Marathon in 2017 is punished for biological passport violation
Daniel Wanjiru joins the list of high-profile Kenyan runners who have received an anti-doping ban recently.
The 28-year-old, who won the London Marathon three years ago, has been given a four-year ban due to biological passport irregularities – a ban which has been backdated to the day of his original suspension on December 9 last year.
This means he will be banned until December 2023, while his results since March 9 last year, which include 11th place in the 2019 London Marathon, have also been disqualified.
The 27-year-old, who beat Kenenisa Bekele to the 2017 London Marathon title, has a marathon PB of 2:05:21, set when winning the Amsterdam Marathon in 2016.
On his biological passport irregularities, a panel said: “That anomaly is far beyond any physiological possible adjustment and by itself carries a very high risk of thrombotic complications, coronary thrombosis and sudden death.”
You can read the full details of the case via the Athletics Integrity Unit here.
“I feel I am already seen as a sinner of doping, but I am not,” Wanjiru said when he heard of his provisional suspension. “I am innocent.”
Other top Kenyan runners currently serving bans include marathoners Jemima Sumgong and Wilson Kipsang plus miler Asbel Kiprop.(10/17/20) Views: 81
For the first time in the 28-year history of this event, a Ugandan athlete stood proud atop the podium, but it wasn’t the one most expected. In the men’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on Saturday (17), it was Jacob Kiplimo and not Joshua Cheptegei who reigned supreme, the 19-year-old coming of age with his first global title at senior level.
With a devastating surge over the last of the four laps, no one could live with Kiplimo and he hit the line a delighted champion in a championship record of 58:49, with Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie second in 58:54 and Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn third in 59:08.
Next in was Cheptegei, who had lost contact with the leaders with a little less than five kilometres to run, the king of the track demoted to fourth place on the roads but rewarded with a swift time of 59:21 on his debut at the distance.
“I couldn’t give more than that,” said Cheptegei, who set a world 10,000m record in Valencia just 10 days ago. “I have been training more for 5000m and 10,000m so I was not well prepared for it, but I’m very happy – running a sub-60 is really special for me. My body was really going very well but I discovered I still had some fatigue in the legs.”
In a race of outstanding quality, the first 10 runners broke 60 minutes, the first time that ever happened at the event and just the second time it has ever happened. This, despite a relatively pedestrian start that saw the leading contenders cruise through the opening lap waiting for one another to make a decisive move.
No Ugandan had ever won an individual medal in 23 previous editions of the event – their one team medal a men’s bronze in 2004 – but the nation has been a rising force in distance running these past few years so today’s result came as no surprise. Kiplimo, after all, had clocked a world-leading 7:26.64 for 3000m in Rome last month and 12:48.63 for 5000m so his credentials were unquestioned, and he had followed Cheptegei home at last year’s World Cross Country Championships.
His only half marathon before today was the 1:01:53 he ran in Kampala last year but from the outset today, he looked most at home at the distance.
In contrast to the women’s race, the men’s race set off at a conservative tempo, the leading contenders happy to coast through the opening 5km in 14:20 as Switzerland’s Julien Wanders towed them along out front.
A leading pack of 23 went through 10km in 28:23, and the gears slowly began to shift in the third lap, with Kandie and Ethiopia’s Guye Adola applying some pressure. Kandie stepped the pace up even more as he clicked through 15km in 42:17 and clocked the first sub-14-minute 5km split of the race with 13:54.
It whittled the leading pack to 11 with a lap to go, with Cheptegei passing the bell a few seconds behind Kandie in eighth place. Kandie was soon joined by Kiplimo as they ran uphill and as he saw the gaps open behind to Cheptegei, Kiplimo kept the pressure on, building a 15-metre lead over his teammate.
Kandie, too, began to fall off pace behind the smooth-striding Kiplimo, but with less than 3km to run he clawed his way back to Kiplimo’s shoulder. The pace now was red-hot, Kiplimo surging to 20km in 55:55, a 13:37 5km split giving him a four-second lead over Kandie as he ran downhill towards the coast for the final time.
Kandie refused to lie down, chasing Kiplimo for all he was worth as they neared the finish in a bid to keep the men’s crown in Kenya for the fourth successive championships, following Geoffrey Kamworor’s three straight wins between 2014 and 2018. But he simply couldn’t close down the advantage and he had to make do with silver.
“I feel great, it was my first time at the World Half Marathon Championships and I won!” said Kiplimo. “It is hard to explain, because I am full of emotion. Unbelievable. The weather was really good, as were the conditions and course. I'm so grateful for everyone who has supported me.”
Kandie led Kenya to gold in the team event, with Leonard Barsoton’s 59:34 and Benard Kimeli’s 59:42 giving them a cumulative time of 2:58:10. Ethiopia took team silver with 2:58:25, and Uganda bronze with 2:58:39. All three teams finished inside the previous championship record.(10/17/20) Views: 78
For the first time in the history of the championships, the women’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 will have two current world record-holders for the distance as Peres Jepchirchir and Ababel Yeshaneh line up against one another on Saturday (17).
From 2013 onwards there have been separate world records in women’s roads events — one for women-only races, and one for mixed races. And this year both half marathon records have been broken with Ethiopia’s Yeshaneh clocking 1:04:31 at the Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon in February and Kenya’s Jepchirchir running 1:05:34 in a women-only race at the Prague 21.1K in September.
Jepchirchir’s performance is the more recent of the two, so there is little doubt over the 27-year-old’s form heading into Gdynia. She is also a past winner of the title, having won gold in Cardiff in 2016, and she went on to set a short-lived world record of 1:05:06 in Ras Al Khaimah in 2017.
She gave birth to daughter Natalia at the end of 2017 and so missed most of 2018, but she returned to form last year with victories at the Lisbon Half Marathon (1:06:54) and Saitama Marathon (2:23:50).
Yeshaneh, however, is a formidable opponent and she’ll be lifted by the memories of their one previous clash, at the 2016 Delhi Half Marathon, where she finished three places and 36 seconds ahead of Jepchirchir.
Yeshaneh finished ninth in the 10,000m at the 2013 World Championships and 14th in the 5000m at the 2016 Olympic Games before devoting most of her time to road running. She has finished in the top two in 10 of her past 12 half marathons and has impressed over the full marathon distance, placing second in Chicago last year in a PB of 2:20:51.
Her final outing before heading to Poland was Ethiopia’s 15km trial race, in which she finished fourth. Knowing that she only needed to finish in the top six, though, she could well have been doing just enough to secure her spot on the team, wanting to stay fresh for Gdynia.
Saturday’s race isn’t just about the two world record-holders, though. Netsanet Kebede Gudeta and Joyciline Jepkosgei, the gold and silver medallists from 2018 – and, incidentally, the previous world record-holders of the two women’s half marathon marks—will also line up in Gdynia.
Gudeta won in Valencia two years ago in a women-only world record of 1:06:11, comfortably beating pre-race favourite Jepkosgei, who in 2017 had set two outright world records for the distance.
Since then, however, both women have had mixed fortunes. Gudeta hasn’t won a half marathon since 2018, but she equalled the Ethiopian record of 1:05:45 in 2019. She also failed to finish the 10,000m at the World Championships in Doha, but Saturday’s race could be an opportunity for redemption for the 29-year-old.
And while Jepkosgei — the fastest woman in history over 5km, 10km, 15km and 20km—hasn’t quite yet returned to her record-breaking form from 2017, the 26-year-old Kenyan impressed at last year’s New York City Marathon to win on her debut at the distance in 2:22:38, just a few seconds shy of the long-standing course record. Jepchirchir and Jepkosgei are joined on the Kenyan team by Rosemary Wanjiru, Dorcas Kimeli and Brillian Kipkoech.
(10/16/20) Views: 68
Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir will enjoy only a week’s rest after Saturday’s record-breaking victory in the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland.
Because she has the Valencia Marathon on December 6 in her cross-hairs.
"My season is not yet complete. I still have Valencia Marathon in December so I’ll prepare for that. I think this win gave me a lot. I'd like to run 2:17 or 2:18 for the marathon,” she said after winning yesterday’s World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in a world record time of one hour, five minutes and 16 seconds.
"This pandemic was difficult and it affected a lot of people. I used this time to train, I didn’t stop my training because I was trying to reach my shape.
"I am so happy with this. It’s a gift to all the Kenyans, to my family. I am going to rest now for one week to recover then I’ll continue training for Valencia," she told World Athletics.
Jepchirchir’s world records and the meteoric rise of Kibiwott Kandie have been the talk on the road racing circuit in this coronavirus-ravaged season.
On Saturday, Jepchirchir recaptured the crown she won last in 2016 in Cardiff.
It was a cat-and-mouse game in the last two kilometres between Jepchirchir, Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Melat Kejeta from Germany before the Kenyan out-sprinted them to triumph.
The 27-year-old Kenyan, who failed to defend her title in 2018 after taking a maternity break, improved her own women’s only half marathon world record by 18 seconds.
Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei finished sixth in 1:05:58 while compatriots Brillian Jepkorir (1:06:56), Rosemary Wanjiru (1:07:10) and Dorcas Kimeli (1:07:55) came in ninth, 10th and 11th. That saw Kenya finish second in the team event followed by Germany.
“My goal was to win but it’s unbelievable since I didn’t expect that I would beat the world record. It was a little bit windy, but the course was good for me," said Jepchirchir.
Kandie might have lost the battle to Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo, but his second place finish on his debut for Kenya could as well as signalled his entry to the elite club.
“It’s not that I lost my power in the last kilometres, but it’s my calculations that went wrong,” Kandie reflected.
“It was a good race and I enjoyed the course. It was my first time at the World Half Marathon Championships and I won!” said Kiplimo.
“It is hard to explain, because I am full of emotion.”(10/19/20) Views: 66
Jordan Crookes, of Mitcham, smashed his fundraising challenge for Cerebral Palsy Sport at the beginning of October.
After being born prematurely, Jordan faced a series of challenges due to his left side being much weaker than his right.
He was unable to crawl, his walking was delayed and he had issues with his speech and eyesight.
Growing up, Jordan was subject to bullying whilst dealing with "the pressure of daily school life". He left mainstream school to attend a site more catered to his academic needs.
Speaking about his condition, Jordan said: "Day to day tasks that many take for granted are a daily struggle for me. For example, locking a door with a key and tying shoelaces with a weak left hand is just a nightmare.
"My escape from daily life and pressures was to play football, football was my world. But once starting work, I was unable to continue with my love of football due to shift patterns.
“Running became my new love, it was able to fit around my work schedule and is now my escape from all the challenges that I face hour after hour. Running gave me a new focus in life."
Putting his new skills to the test, Jordan decided to sign up for a 10k run event.
"To run alongside hundreds of people and be treated as an equal, to have the same end goal as everyone to just cross the finish line is an amazing feeling," Jordan said.
Jordan's first 10k gave him the "bug" to run more and participate in further events, which overtime helped him prepare to run several half marathons.
And after signing up to volunteer at London Marathon 2019, Jordan decided to challenge himself further.
He said: "Last year at the marathon, I greeted people representing Children with Cancer UK.
"It was an amazing and emotional experience to see people so determined and focused. This gave me a new goal, to train, run and finish the London Marathon 2020."
Jordan completed his mission on October 4, and ran a total of 26.2 miles, finishing his goal at Morden Hall Park.(10/20/20) Views: 63
Training and development are built around peaking at the end of a four-year cycle, so when the 2020 Tokyo Games were pushed back to 2021 there was much anguish.
For Laura Muir, a genuine medal prospect, it was a case of years of planning and preparation being tossed out the window.
Muir, a trained vet, had put the rest of her life on the backburner as she chased the Olympic dream.
“It was hard because I had set everything on hold really to focus on Olympics this year,” she explained. “My whole life was revolving around that goal, to be honest. I had no other plans.
“When that went there was that sinking feeling of ‘Oh, what now?’
“Then we had the Europeans still on just for a while and then they were cancelled, not even postponed. It was gutting because the Olympics only come around once every four years and it was something I was really looking to perform well at.
“At the same time, around March time, I could see the way Covid-19 was developing around the world and I wasn’t going to be surprised by a postponement.
“I’m just glad it wasn’t cancelled but was put back to next year. Hopefully, it can go ahead in 2021 as is now planned.”
Despite the disruption, Muir still managed to produce some outstanding performances in the truncated athletics season.
She delivered three sub-four minute runs over 1500 metres, including the world lead time of 3min 57:40sec which secured victory in a top-class field in Berlin last month. That race was her fifth win in a row. In the midst of it, she also set a new British 1000m record.
But Muir didn’t have it all her own way. A few days after Berlin, Jemma Reekie beat her in the 800m at the Diamond League meeting in Rome.
With Tokyo looming, Muir is uncertain about her winter programme and will take time to work out a plan with long-serving mentor Andy Young, who was named Performance Coach of the Year at the Scottish Athletics awards and also has Reekie in his stable.
“Putting any plans in place for the winter or the months ahead is so difficult right now,” said Muir.
“I’ve resumed training and hope to get in a strong block now. Whether that is here, or abroad, I don’t know – when and where are a bit up in the air in terms of a foreign camp. We will have to see how things go.
(10/16/20) Views: 61
Grandma’s Marathon – Duluth, Inc. today is announcing a multi-year agreement to make ASICS the official running shoe sponsor of Grandma’s Marathon. The 45th annual race weekend will take place next summer, scheduled for June 17-19, 2021.
As a presenting sponsor for the next three years, ASICS Corporation will have a prominent presence at all marathon weekend activities including the Health and Fitness Expo, William A. Irvin 5k, Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and Grandma’s Marathon.
The partnership will provide participants with access to custom training plans in the ASICS Runkeeper® app, ASICS-sponsored celebration opportunities, and other benefits through the OneASICS™ loyalty program.
Grandma’s Marathon is also renewing its partnership with Race Roster to continue as the official registration company of all the organization’s events – Grandma’s Marathon, Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, William A. Irvin 5K, St. Fennessy 4K, Fitger’s 5K, Part Point 5-Miler, Minnesota Mile, and North End Nightmare 5K.
Race Roster is a subsidiary of ASICS Corporation and has been the registration platform of Grandma’s Marathon since 2017.
Shane Bauer, Grandma’s Marathon Executive Director: “ASICS is the ideal sponsor for Grandma’s Marathon events. They have a long history of uniquely meeting the needs of runners, race directors, and the running community by offering world-class race management, premium brand sponsorship, and marketing. This partnership brings the best of our worlds together while also enhancing our race day experience for participants. We look forward to working with them to support our running community.”
Alex Vander Hoeven, Race Roster & Runkeeper CEO: “We are thrilled to team up with Grandma’s Marathon and help participants train for this historical event. People often download the Runkeeper app to help them achieve their running goals. Our training plans are tailored to individual fitness levels and specific goals, so runners feel more confident and better prepared come race day. Race Roster has long supported this event from the race registration side. We are excited to make ASICS a part of that to take that partnership one step further.”
Grandma’s Marathon and ASICS officially launched their new partnership when registration for the 45th annual event opened on October 1, 2020.(10/16/20) Views: 60
Registration begins for next years Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, with runners from across the UAE and further afield invited to secure a spot at next year’s event, which is scheduled to take place on Friday (Feb.19, 2021) on Al Marjan Island.
The 2021 World Athletics Gold Label race will be the landmark 15th edition of the event, which has proved to be a huge success down the years as both professional and amateur athletes gather in Ras Al Khaimah to compete.
Preparations for the event are now underway, with stringent safety measures to be implemented across the board in order to safeguard participants, volunteers, guests and residents, aligned with global best practice and national federal directives.
The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2021 is Bureau Veritas certified as a SafeGuard Assurance Programme, a four-step methodology designed to verify, certify and promote the hygiene and cleanliness standards of customer-facing businesses, ensuring all health, safety and hygiene procedures are effectively implemented.
The 2020 event, which took place earlier this year, attracted over 5,200 entries and saw Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh break the world record by 20 seconds in the elite female race as she recorded a time of 64:31.
Those runners wishing to compete at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2021 are advised to secure a place as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment, with registrations now open via the below link: https://www.therakhalfmarathon.com/registration/
New for next year’s event is the introduction of a Platinum Package, which is priced AED 550 and provides participants with an Elite Race Experience.
With only 100 slots available, Platinum Package runners will begin the race in a special area of the course and start ahead of other competitors, ensuring the best possible race conditions.
Aside from the Platinum Package, the earliest starting slot is Wave 1 at 7.30am, with the latest Wave 7 at 9am. Starting grids, consisting of no more than 400 athletes per Wave, will be marked for social distancing, with 15-minute intervals between each Wave beginning the race. Apart from the Platinum Package, which will stay open until capacity is reached (max. 100), each respective Wave will only go on sale once the previous one has sold out.
Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority shared, “Aligned with the strong upturn in the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality performance, we are delighted to announce that the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will be returning to the Emirate on the Feb.19, 2021. We look forward to hosting the stellar line-up of elite athletes, as well as local families and enthusiasts to join in what is sure to be a memorable event.”
CEO of RCS Sports and Events Enrico Fili’ said, “Once again, we are proud to support Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority in delivering the 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Al Marjan Island. We witnessed fantastic results in the 2020 race, with Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia smashing the women’s World Record by 20 seconds. This result has recently been ratified by World Athletics and we look forward to having another unforgettable elite line-up in 2021 that will ensure the event remains the fastest half marathon in the world.”(10/19/20) Views: 60
Athlete Refugee Team member Otmane Nait-Hammou is making a habit of rubbing elbows with some of the world's finest runners at World Championships.
In Doha last year, he lined up next to reigning world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto in the opening round of the 3000m steeplechase. On the Gdynia start line, he stood should-to-shoulder with Joshua Cheptegei, the world record holder in the 5000 and 10,000m.
"If it's destiny or luck I don't know,” he says, laughing when reminded of the company he’s managed to keep at the start lines of his last two World Championship appearances. "It's an honour for me and I feel really proud.”
He’s also taking great pride in what he managed to achieve in Gdynia representing the Athlete Refugee Team.
On Saturday, Nait-Hammou wasn’t the same athlete he was a year ago in the Qatari capital. There, starry-eyed and overwhelmed, he tumbled to the track on the first lap of his race and was the last to finish, more than 70 seconds after Kipruto. In Gdynia, he finished 67th in the field of 122, clocking 1:03:28 in his competitive debut over the distance, beating some of the world’s finest half-marathoners in the process.
The difference? Taking to the line as a fledgling professional athlete, both in practicality and in attitude.
An opportunity to train like a professional
Nait-Hammou began running in his native Morocco in 2012, a passion he continued to feed even when life threw challenges in his path. He went to France in 2015 to pursue his studies, but, unable to return to Morocco, he made the difficult decision to apply for asylum. That road took him to Sweden in 2016 where he watched, on a television in a refugee centre, a team of refugee athletes competing at the Rio Olympics.
Those moving images fuelled his imagination and his motivation. Three years later he himself would compete twice on the international stage, first at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, then again in Doha, modest outings that nonetheless helped him step up to the next level.
“A lot of things changed over the past year,” Nait-Hammou says. “I have a lot of solidarity and support that has changed my life." That includes sponsorship arrangements with On, his apparel sponsor, with the energy gel Maurten, from his French club ES Sartrouville and ongoing development support from World Athletics and Olympic Solidarity.
Together, he says, "these things have given me more confidence and motivation and excitement to train very hard, to push very hard in training. It's a huge difference from when you come to participate and when you come to perform.”
His increasingly professional arrangement allowed him to attend a training camp for the first time, a month-long stint at altitude in Font-Remeu, France, in July and August where he logged 150 to 160 kilometres per week for four straight weeks. It was a type of training he’d never attempted before. “The first week was tough. I was really tired. But then the second week was better, and the third even better.”
It also brought results. On 29 August, he improved his steeplechase best to 8:51.07 at a French regional meeting in Decines Charpieu, his first race in seven months. Two weeks later he finished seventh at the French championships. In between he won a regional 10km in 30:50.
All that set him up well for Gdynia.
“I felt confident at the start line, because I had the opportunity to train and prepare like a professional. That made a big change in my life and my approach. I can see in training that I am getting better. I'm not the same person I was in Doha.”
“I never ran under 30 minutes. Never. I'm still in shock. I still haven't realised what I’ve done. I broke my 10k PB inside a half marathon. In my first half marathon. And in a world championship. It's crazy.”
"I'm starting to think about doing some really strong training this winter for a good marathon early next year," he says, and then focus on the steeplechase during the track season. "I want to go to the marathon for a new adventure. I am excited and motivated for that.
“I'm not thinking the same after Gdynia,” he continues. “I hope I gave the inspiration to other refugees to do better than me in the next World Championships.
“I didn’t come this time to participate. I came to perform. We get the support from World Athletics, from my sponsors, to come to the World Championships, so I wanted to show that we can perform like other athletes. That refugees can be like normal people.
"I beat some Swedish athletes, I beat some Spanish runners. I beat some of the best athletes from other countries, who are all very good athletes. I feel really proud of that and that I was able to represent 69 million people from around the world, to show that we can do it.”(10/20/20) Views: 60