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Top Ten Stories of the Week

These are the top ten stories based on views over the last week. 

Index to Daily Posts


Marathon world record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, says he is relishing the prospect of facing Mo Farah again at london marathon

Kipchoge, who won his third London title in last year’s race, with Farah finishing third, then went on to set a stunning world record of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds at the Berlin Marathon in September – beating the previous best by over a minute.

Farah, meanwhile, went on to claim the Chicago Marathon in October in a European record time of 2hr 5min 11sec – and afterwards promised that he was “not afraid to keep turning up in the same field and testing Kipchoge”.

That wish has now been granted with the Kenyan, who was named the 2018 IAAF Athlete of the Year in December, having agreed to make his fourth appearance in London.

“I had a memorable 2018, winning the Virgin Money London Marathon and then setting a new world record at the Berlin marathon and I’m hoping that 2019 is just as good to me,”said Kipchoge.

“I am looking forward to racing Sir Mo Farah again. He is a great champion and proved in Chicago that he can win a major marathon so I relish the battle with him and also the many other great athletes that I’m sure will once again be on the start line in London.”

The top three from the 2018 podium will all be in London again this year with organisers confirming Ethiopia’s 22-year-old marathon star Shura Kitata, who was second to Kipchoge last year before finishing runner-up in the New York marathon in November, will race.

Hugh Brasher, event director of the race, said he was delighted to have set up a mouthwatering showdown between Kipchoge, who is unbeaten in London and also holds the course record of 2:03.05, and Britain’s greatest distance runner.

“There is no doubt that Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest marathon runner of all time,” he said “Since Sir Mo Farah won the Chicago Marathon in October, everyone has been talking about another head-to-head between Mo and Eliud and we are absolutely thrilled that this showdown will happen.

“We will see two absolute legends of distance running competing over 26.2 miles of roads in the greatest marathon in the world. I cannot wait until Sunday 28 April to see who comes out on top.”

(04/18/19) Views: 231

Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa took command of the women's Boston Marathon race by the 7 mile mark and built it to over two minutes by half way and held on to win as America's Jordan Hasay finished third

Worknesh Degefa, 29, built up a commanding lead and even through Kenya's Edna Kiplagat closed the gap in the last few miles Degefa went on the win clocking 2:23:31 at the 2019 Boston Marathon.  Edna Kiplegat of Kenya started to break away from the rest of the chase pack at about 30K, trying to run the Ethiopian leader down, but the gap was too wide. Edna Kiplagat finished 44 seconds back clocking 2:24:14.  Jordan Hasasy from the US finished third clocking 2:25:20.    

Going into the race Degefa was ready to run well.  This January in Dubai, Worknesh Degefa set an Ethiopian national marathon record with her 2:17:41 second place finish. With that result she became the fourth fastest women’s marathoner in history.

Historically a half marathon specialist, Degefa’s top ten half marathon times (2013-2016) were run with an average time of 67:30. Her personal best was recorded at the 2016 Prague Half Marathon where she finished second in 66:14. She earned the silver medal at the 2015 All African Games Half Marathon. Degefa made her debut in the marathon in 2017 with a win at the Dubai Marathon, which she says is her proudest accomplishment. 

Degefa trains in the Oromia region of Ethiopia in Arsi and Assela because of its altitude and good weather for training. Her coach is Gemedu Dedefo. Her favorite foods are rice and pasta and she enjoys traveling in Europe.

Jordan Hasay finished third again this year.  Choosing Boston to make her debut in 2017, Jordan Hasay ran 2:23:00 to finish third. She set an American women’s debut record by three minutes and recorded the fourth fastest time ever run in the race by an American woman behind Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Linden and Joan Benoit Samuelson.

After Boston, Hasay ran the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and once again finished third, but improved her time to 2:20:57, becoming the second fastest American woman marathoner of all time. Besides making the podium in both the Boston and Chicago Marathons, Hasay set a half marathon personal best time of 67:55 with her sixth-place finish at the 2017 Prague Half Marathon.

During the race she set a 15K personal best of 48:21 and a 20K personal best of 64:32. She also won the 2017 U.S. national titles in the 20K, 10 Mile and 15K. Hasay was injured during 2018, but after surgery on her foot has made a complete recovery.

Hasay has been running since she was 12 years old and grew up in Arroyo Grande, California. 

Last year's winner Desiree Linden finished fifth clocking 2:27:00.  The weather was not a factor this year unlike last year.  

(04/15/19) Views: 135

Boston Marathon Race Director David McGillivray runs the course again for the 47th time after having triple by-pass heart surgery six months ago

Every year for 46 years David McGillivray had run the Boston Marathon course.  Since he is the race Director most have been run after the race had finished.  Six months ago David had triple by-pass heart surgery but that was not going to stop his streak of 47. 

“I started at 4pm and finished last again at 9:45pm...but I’m good with that...I just wanted to finish this one more that ever didn’t matter the time.

“It definitely was my hardest one but perhaps my most meaningful one.  I’m glad I didn’t disappoint my heart surgeon after he said he would be disappointed if I couldn’t do this.  

“The weather was so unsettled – we had a little bit of everything.  Lesson learned, if we stay fit we can recover from surgery (triple bypass surgery for me 6 months ago) and get back out on the road...anything is possible.  

“I got a second chance.   I feel very good this morning, too.  Running with 15 friends (most ever) including my son, Luke and finishing my 47th Boston with little Jack Middlemiss, my heart warrior teammate made it all possible and very special.  

“Many thanks for all the kind words and well wishes.   It was a long day, especially with all the stress in the early morning with the thunderstorms and heavy rain but all ended up going well.  

“Congratulations to all the runners who competed and finished yesterday,” he said.  

(04/16/19) Views: 127

Because of wet and cool weather forecasted the Boston Marathon organizers are making some changes

The Boston Marathon are making changes to the scheduled start times for runners.

The Boston Athletic Association said it is planning for conditions similar to last year's race. StormTeam 5 meteorologists is forecasting rain and temperatures below 50 degrees at the starting line in Hopkinton.

Runners assigned to the fourth wave will start their race immediately after those in the third wave. Originally, a 25 minute gap was scheduled between those two waves.

Under the new plan, Wave 3 will start at 10:50 a.m. and Wave 4 will follow immediately afterward.

BAA organizers said the goal is to reduce the amount of time runners spend waiting in the Athletes' Village prior to starting the race.

Additionally, the BAA said it is adding additional medical aid capacity along the course, adding things like walls and heaters to tents and distributing ponchos to volunteers.

"Our race history has shown that the forecasted conditions will cause unique challenges for athletes whose participation requires specific equipment that limits contact with the ground.

“This includes participants in the wheelchair division, handcycle program, duo program, and runners competing with prosthesis. Eligible athletes who elect deferral will receive a complimentary entry into the 2020 Boston Marathon. For those athletes, qualifying standards will be waived if a deferment is selected," the BAA wrote in a statement.

(04/12/19) Views: 92

Joan Benoit Samuelson and Gene Dykes clocked outstanding times at this year's Boston Marathon

There were many outstanding performances at the 2019 Boston Marathon.  Two that really stand out are: Forty years after her first win at the Boston Marathon, Joan Benoit Samuelson scored a victory of a more personal nature during Monday’s 123rd edition of the race.

The Cape Elizabeth native and Freeport resident met her stated goal of finishing the 2019 race within 40 minutes of her winning time in 1979, completing the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to downtown Boston in an even 3 hours, 4 minutes while running much of the marathon with her daughter Abby (photo).

The effort not only enabled the 61-year-old Samuelson to place first in her age group (women 60-64) and 249th among all the women in the 30,000-runner field, but she also finished just 28 minutes and 45 seconds behind the 2:35:15 she ran to win Boston in her first-ever attempt at the distance as a college student four decades earlier.

“I did and I’m really happy about it,” Samuelson said during a postrace interview near the finish line with WBZ-TV.

“To have our daughter in this race with me meant a great deal to me. She’s as passionate about the sport as I am, and to be out there with everybody cheering us on and the weather backing off to maybe coming on a little too warm, I can’t complain,” she said.

On the men's side: 71-year-old Gene Dykes of Bala Cynwyd broke his own age-group record on Monday, posting the fastest course time for a 70-to-74-year-old at 2 hours, 58 minutes, 50 seconds.

Dykes set the previous course record for that age group in 2018 at age 70, posting a time of 3:16 in driving rain.

(04/15/19) Views: 91

Lawrence Cherono wins the 2019 Boston Marathon Elite Men's race by two seconds

It was a sprint to the finish at this year's Boston Marathon.  A three-person race down the stretch on Boylston Street turned into a two-man, all-out sprint and Cherone of Kenya emerged in front of Lelisa Desisa.  Cheroono's time was 2:07:57, best time since 2011, while Desisa clocked a 2:07:59.  Kenneth Kipkemoi faded in the final 300 yards and placed thired in 2:08:06. 

Scott Fauble, in seventh, and Jared Ward, in eighth, were the top American finishers, crossing in 2:09.10 and 2:09.25, respectively.

Going into Boston Lawrence was the winner of six marathons and was the fastest man in the 2019 Boston Marathon field, Cherono brought both speed and strength to his Boston debut. His personal best was earned with a course record win at the 2018 Amsterdam Marathon (2:04:06). He also won the 2017 Amsterdam Marathon, the 2016 and 2017 Honolulu Marathon, the 2016 Prague Marathon and the 2015 Zurich Marathon. In his first Abbott World Marathon Majors event, he finished seventh at the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2:09:25.

Cherono’s coach is 2007 Boston Marathon runner-up James Kwambai. He says winning the Amsterdam Marathon in a course record time has been a career highlight.

Last year Geoffrey Kirui was intent on defending his Boston crown, but after pulling away from the front pack and leading many of the closing miles, he was caught by Yuki Kawauchi and had to settle for second in 2018.

This year at 20 miles Geoffrey was leading clocking 1:38:37 but in the end he faded to fifth about a minute behind the winner.

(04/15/19) Views: 55

The weather is going to be so much better we hope than last year for the Boston Marathon unlike the previous forecast

While the weather will not be as dismal as what runners faced in 2018, unsettled conditions will still provide less-than-ideal conditions for the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday.

The dry weather that dominated the Boston area on Sunday is not expected to last into Patriots' Day.

The same storm unleashing a severe weather outbreak across the South will cause a band of rain and a thunderstorm to sweep through Boston just prior to the start of the race on Monday morning.

The rain can fall heavy at times, and there can be a period of stronger winds that may rip away any banners that are not fully secured. Runners and spectators setting up before the race may have to find shelter for a time if a thunderstorm accompanies the rain.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are set to cheer on the 30,000 runners of the 123rd Boston Marathon.

(04/14/19) Views: 51

Desiree Linden put forth a strong effort but failed to defend her 2018 Boston Marathon title, fading from second place to finish the 26.2-mile course in fifth place clocking 2:27:00

“It was an honor to be back and I knew today was going to be a big test to defend but I had a blast out there,” Linden told NBC Sports Network. “Right around 18 (miles), I thought, ‘I think I’m done. Hang up the shoes, retire.' The Boston crowds are so phenomenal, they just kind of helped me regroup.”

Despite Linden joining the lead pack from the start and leading at times, it quickly became the chase pack as 28-year-old Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa separated from the group early and built about a 90 second lead before the 10 mile mark. Degefa won the race with a time of 2:23:30.

With much better racing conditions this year, 35-year-old Linden easily beat her championship time of 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds from a year ago.

Linden, who lives in Washington, Mich., put on a surge to take the lead of the chase pack with just over 10 miles to go, but the pack trailed Degefa by over two and a half minutes at that point. Linden and fellow American Jordan Hassay even moved into second and third-place, respectively, before Linden fell back from the pack. Hassay, 27, finished as the top American in third place with a time of 2:25:20.

“I think Jordan’s come here and done really well,” Linden said. “She’s in that third spot consistently and she’s going to have a breakthrough on this course. She’s going to make a name for herself. She is the future -- well, she is right now -- of American distance running. The future is bright.”

Linden went through the halfway mark at 1:13:09. Linden’s time has met the American Olympic qualifying standard. After claiming a $150,000 prize for winning last year, Linden will take home a $15,000 prize for fifth place this year.

What is next for Linden?

“Lunch right now, for sure,” Linden said. “Then, regroup ... You finish fifth and you go, ‘maybe there’s a little bit more.’”

(04/15/19) Views: 45

Crutch Runner, Ipeleng Khunou returns to take another stab at the Two Oceans Marathon

Ipeleng Khunou was born with an illness that impacts his balance but this has not held the inspirational athlete back and he will continue to defy the odds when he participates in the annual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town on Saturday.

The 31-year-old from Rustenburg competed and finished the 21 km half-marathon on crutches last year and is returning this year to raise awareness about his condition‚ and to also raise funds for children struggling with disabilities.

Known as ‘The Crutch Runner’‚ Khunou was born with a rare brain illness called septo-optic dysplasia which causes loss of balance and also affects eyesight. But he has not allowed this to hold him back.

He said the most important part of making this happen is not only staying committed to his training but also working with organisations that are aligned with his goals.

“I believe in running for a purpose and I want to work with companies that don’t just believe in me as an individual but support athletes and people from all kinds of backgrounds and abilities.

‘‘That’s why I joined the Nedbank Running Club. It is more than just a club‚ athletes of all kinds are welcome and supported.” he said.

Nedbank Running Club national manager‚ Nick Bester said: ‘‘Our purpose as Nedbank Running Club is providing a platform for all people interested in road running to participate regardless of their skill level.

‘‘We encourage our members to participate in our various regular running activities across the country. Ours is to ensure that all runners are supported in their quest to run their best race.

“Ipeleng is one of the people whose values are a great match with ours as a club‚ he runs to give back to the community and we are proud to support an athlete like him.”

Since his first Om Die Dam race‚ Khunou has run the Soweto Marathon‚ Ocal Global Journey for Change‚ Kronberg Marathon and the Nelson Mandela Remembrance 10K race.

He plans to finish the Two Oceans race again this year in his Nedbank Green‚ all for his fund-raising efforts.

“My dream is for the sports world to include a crutch-running category‚” he said.

‘‘I want to be able to compete in as many races as possible‚ continue to raise awareness and running for a purpose.

‘‘At the moment‚ I’m working on running my best time at the Two Oceans Marathon.”

(04/16/19) Views: 39

Kylie Osborn is running the Brighton Marathon this weekend to raise money for a charity in memory of her daughter

Kylie Osborn is taking on the marathon on Sunday to raise money for Darcie’s Wish, a charity she set up to support bereaved parents after her own daughter died at 20 weeks.

“Darcie’s Wish was formed in 2014 when our daughter Darcie passed away from Edwards’ syndrome while I was pregnant,” explained Kylie.

“It is now a registered charity and has raised more than £25,000 to help support the maternity unit at Lister Hospital.”

Kylie will be running with five others, and each mile of Sunday’s marathon will be dedicated to a different angel baby – whose names will be on the back of each running top.

Mile 26 will be in memory of Darcie.

Edwards syndrome, is a chromosomal condition associated with abnormalities in many parts of the body. Babies have slow growth before birth and a low birth weight. Affected babies may have heart defects and abnormalities of other organs that develop before birth.

Due to the presence of several life-threatening medical problems, many babies die before birth or within their first month. Five to 10 percent of babies with this condition live past their first year.

(04/12/19) Views: 35

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