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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


Leonard Korir becomes first American man to win the Falmouth Road Race since 1988

History was made this morning when Leonard Korir became the first American since 1988 to win the men’s division of the Falmouth Road Race. It was an exciting end to the 47th annual race that saw plenty of fog and muggy temperatures.

Four-time winner Stephen Sambu came in second and Edward Cheserek placed third.

In previous races at the event, Korir finished second in 2016 and 2017 and third last year and 2015.

Leonard Korir pulled ahead of four-time champion Stephen Sambu with less than two miles to go.

Korir, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, finished second behind Sambu, of Kenya, in 2017. This year, Korir dominated the end of race and completed the 7-mile course in 32 minutes, 11 seconds.

Sambu finished second in 32:29, while Kenya's Edward Cheserek, a former 17-time NCAA champion with Oregon, was third in 32:30.

In the women’s elite division, Sharon Lokedi, a recent Kansas graduate from Kenya, crossed the finish line first and America’s Sarah Hall came in second.  Sharon, the 2018 NCAA champion at 10,000 meters clocked 36:29, holding off American Sarah Hall (36:34). Kenya's Margaret Wangari, the 2012 Falmouth champion, was third (36:43).

(08/18/19) Views: 136

Scottish film director Kevin Macdonald is going to be making a documentary on Eliud Kipchoge's plans to break the two-hour barrier for 26.2 miles

Eliud Kipchoge is the marathon world record holder with a time of 2:01:39. In October in Vienna he will be attempting to run the first sub two hour time for 26.2 miles.  It won’t count as a world record, however since it is being run as a time trial but still the feat would be off the charts.  

Kevin Macdonald is expected to land in Kenya soon. While in the country, he will be taken around by filmmakers associated with Ginger Ink, who is known for producing some of Kenya's award-winning movies like 'Supa Modo' and 'Nairobi Half Life'. The two movies by Ginger Ink have been submitted for the Oscars.

The Eliud Kipchoge documentary, which will be shot in Iten, is funded by Britain’s billionaire  Jim Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe founded chemicals group INEOS and is estimated by London-based Sunday Times Rich List to be worth 21 billion pounds (25.5 billion US).

Ratcliffe was born in Failsworth, Lancashire. He studied chemical engineering and got his first job at oil company Esso.

He started making his fortune by mortgaging his house in 1992 to finance a buyout of a BP chemicals business and formed INEOS in 1998.

Today his fortune is valued at 21 billion pounds, and in May 2018, he was named the richest person in the UK.

Macdonald is known for shooting captivating documentaries. He worked with the film production team Altitude, who created a 2018 documentary based on Whitney Houston's life and death.

This was the first Whitney Houston documentary to be officially authorised by the estate and includes never-before-seen footage of Houston, exclusive demo recordings, rare performances and interviews with luminaries like Clive Davis.

He said, "The story that is never told about Whitney is just how brilliant she was as an artiste. By many measures, she had the greatest voice of the last 50 years. She changed the way pop music was sung, bringing it back full circle to its blues and gospel roots."

He plans on doing an equally exciting documentary on Eluid Kipchoge.  

(08/20/19) Views: 123

60 years ago, Arlene Pieper Stine was the first woman to run to the top of Pikes Peak and first US woman to finish a marathon

In white shorts, sleeveless blouse and dime-store tennis shoes, Arlene Pieper Stine, 29, stood on the start line of the 1959 Pikes Peak Marathon looking more like Marilyn Monroe than a mountaineer.

But Pieper Stine, then a Colorado Springs health club owner, not only finished the 26-mile race, with its grueling 8,000 feet of vertical gain to the 14,115 summit, she became the first woman to complete a sanctioned marathon in the United States.

Eight years later, Kathrine Switzer would be the first woman to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon in a dramatic act of gender defiance.

This weekend, 60 years after Arlene Pieper Stine conquered Pikes Peak in 9 hours and 16 minutes, hundreds of women will line up at the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathonstart, following her path on one of the country’s toughest and highest altitude race courses.

In 2009, after a long search, a Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon historian trackeddown Pieper Stine, who had long ago moved away and was living near Fresno, California. 

She had no idea of her place in running history. 

“I still remember it like it was yesterday,” she said in a 2014 interview. “You can be a wonderful wife and mother, but doing the race showed me that if there’s something you really want to do, you should go for it.”

A black-and-white photo of that race start shows Pieper Stine along with her 9-year-old daughter, Kathy, and her husband, who ran with her to offer moral support.

Pieper Stine said she got the idea to do the race as a way to promote Arlene’s Health Studio. The Pikes Peak Marathon never prohibited women from participating.

“In those days, we had no aid stations like there are now, and my running shoes were actually just those sneakers you get from the five and dime,” she said. “And about a week after the race, all 10 of my toenails fell off!”

Pieper Stine, now 89, sometimes returns to Manitou Springs to mark the official start of the race. “What a thrill to look out and see all these people getting ready to run.”

She was inducted into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 and has became a cult figure in the local racing community, inspiring a group of women runners to dress as Pieper Stine did in 1959 in the inaugural “She Moves Mountains” run up the peak last weekend, race organizer Alicia Pino said.

(08/23/19) Views: 105
Jill Rothenberg

Answering the internet’s most asked running questions

Why do runners wear arm sleeves?

Runners wear arm sleeves because they’re cold. Arm sleeves are their choice layer for one of two reasons: they’re racing and need to wear their competition kit (so they can’t wear a long sleeve shirt) or they’re anticipating getting warm and wanting to take off a layer during their run. Arm sleeves are the easiest layer to drop as someone gets warm throughout a long run or workout.

And then there’s Mo Farah, who basically wears them all the time, but you can do that when you’re that good.

Why do runners wear compression socks?

The socks (and other compression gear) are marketed as helping to increase blood flow to muscles, in turn improving recovery and performance. Some runners swear by compression gear, other runners opt out.

Why do runners look old?

This is a funny one. Running keeps many people fit and healthy, but our best guess as to why runners “look old” is time spent in the sun. If you’re a runner, chances are you’re outside a fair bit, so remember that running hats are great and so is sunscreen. Use this Google search as a cautionary tale.

Why do runners drink pickle juice?

Pickle juice was once very popular as a hydration product. Salt is a key ingredient in a runner’s diet, especially through the summer months when sweating is at a high. Putting pickle juice in your water bottle has been said to keep cramping and dehydration at bay.

Why do runners wear high socks?

Some runners think it looks cool, and for others they’re worn for more practical reasons like warmth and compression. Please see answer number two for further clarification.

Why do runners have heart attacks?

This is a much more serious question and one many people, runners or not, have asked. The New York Times ran a piece in January on the topic. They said, “Marathon running can increase your risk of cardiac arrest in the short term, but it also lowers the overall likelihood that you will experience cardiac arrest or other heart problems, according to science, statistics and sports cardiologists.”

Why do runners wear gloves?

The same reason everyone else wears gloves–to keep their hands warm.

Why do runners wear short shorts?

Read: split shorts.

Clothing can inhibit range of motion and become distracting, so the less of it you wear, the less likely it is to get in your way. Also, runners like to show off the legs they’ve worked so hard for.

Why do runners carb load?

Carbohydrates provide the quickest and most accessible form of fuel for your body, so before a big workout or race, you’ll often hear runners talk about carb-loading. Runners will eat higher than normal amounts of carbs to ensure that they’re properly nourished for their race, especially in a marathon scenario.

Why do runners lose toenails?

Great question. Losing toenails is usually a product of a shoe not fitting properly. If you find yourself consistently ending a season with toe issues, getting fitted for a shoe could be a good idea.

(08/18/19) Views: 104

Gwen Jorgensen has set her sights on winning the gold medal in the marathon at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Gwen Jorgensen knows how to attack a challenge.

The 33-year-old Waukesha native has set her sights on winning the gold medal in the marathon at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She wanted a new goal after winning the triathlon at the 2016 Rio Games.

No American woman has claimed Olympic gold in the marathon since Joan Benoit Samuelson in 1984. Jorgensen is trying to do it two years after giving birth to her son and while dealing with a recent injury setback.

"It’s been  an uphill battle, I’d say," Jorgensen said. "But one that I like. One of the reasons I switched sports, I wanted that challenge. I wanted something that keeps me motivated."

She had been bothered by pain in her right foot, especially after finishing 11th in the 2018 Chicago Marathon. Jorgensen was diagnosed with Haglund’s deformity.

"It's basically a bone overgrowth in the heel," she said. "And then every time you take a step, the Achilles and the bursas and everything rub against the bone overgrowth. And it causes pain. It causes damages to those things."

Just putting on socks was excruciating. Jorgensen did everything to avoid surgery, including platelet-rich-plasma therapy, cortisone shots and changing her running form. But she finally went under the knife in May.

“For me that pain is gone, which is so good," Jorgensen said.

It's been a slow and steady comeback since then.

"I’ve been able to run a little bit now," Jorgensen said. "I would love to increase a ton but I’ve put a lot of time and energy into getting healthy and that’s my main goal right now."

She has gotten up to running 40 minutes every other day. 

“That probably sounds like a lot for a lot of people," Jorgensen said. "But I’m used to an hour-and-a-half in the morning and an hour at night."

(08/19/19) Views: 72
Ben Steele

Augustine Choge, Victor Chumo and Bernard Lagat have been selected to pace for Eliud Kipchoge in his mission to run the first sub two hour marathon

Three seasoned road runners, Augustine Choge, Victor Chumo from Kenya and double world champion Bernard Lagat of the United States have been selected to pace for Eliud Kipchoge in his mission to run the marathon in less than two hours in Vienna in October.

Choge and Chumo are part of the team training with Kipchoge in Kenya for the race, which is set for October 12-20 window in Vienna, Austria. A specific date will be made known days to the race after the accurate weather forecast has been confirmed.

Kipchoge says to break the two-hour mark in marathon is about setting history and challenging his body to the limit.

"It's like stepping on the moon, going up the tallest mountain and even going to the middle of the ocean," Kipchoge said on Saturday.

Whereas the focus will be on the Olympic and London Marathon champion to improve on his last mark of two hours and 25 seconds, the three pace setters will carry the burden to lead the Berlin champion through his steps and see to it that he delivers the results for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

In Monza, Italy in 2017, Lagat was one of the pace setters together with Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa and Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese, both of whom fell by the wayside, leaving the Olympic champion to run over half of the race alone.

But now the organizers have announced the trio together with Norway's Henrik, Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen plus Australian pair Jack Rayner and Brett Robinson.

Further pacemakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

(08/17/19) Views: 72

A look back to the Kosice Peace Marathon 30 years ago

In 1989 the Košice Peace Marathon was held just a few weeks before the ‘Velvet Revolution’, which brought radical changes in what was then Czechoslovak society.

The race also had a radical change of its own. After 63 years the course was changed from simply going out-back to the turnaround point at Seňa to a loop almost entirely within the city. This, later modified and improved several times, remains the basis of the present course.

The 1989 event was only the ninth edition to incorporate a women’s race and the winner this time was home-grown Alena Peterková in a new course record of 2:31:28 – nearly nine minutes ahead of her North Korean competition. Her record lasted 20 years. Peterková later placed fourth at Boston in a personal best of 2:25:16.

Another home grown runner, Karel David, won the men’s race. In an even-paced run he beat his Soviet competition by 13 seconds. It was the 12th Czechoslovak victory in the men’s race, achieved by nine different runners.

At the time David ranked among the best marathoners in Europe. He started the Olympic Marathons in Seoul and Barcelona and won marathons in Vienna, Bonn and Palermo. In 1991 in Tokyo he ran a personal best of 2:11:12.

970 men and 31 women crossed the finish line that year which was again located at Lokomotive Stadium.

(08/20/19) Views: 67

Despite Injury, Ben Flanagan is set to return to the Falmouth Road Race

History was made in Falmouth when Flanagan ran a nearly perfect strategic race and shocked the field to capture the Falmouth Road Race. Unfortunately there will be no repeat of that smile crossing the finish line in the Falmouth Heights. The affable University of Michigan grad, who is now running professionally for Team Reebok, will not get the chance to defend his title.

A stress injury to Flanagan’s leg has knocked him to the sideline for this year’s race. He recently was informed by his medical team that he would be unable to run for six weeks. After that will come rehabilitation, which potentially could knock out most, if not all, of the remaining competitive racing for him this year.

“It’s an unfortunate thing. I was really looking forward to coming back and racing Falmouth again,” he said. “I’m excited to still be able to be here and be involved, but it would have been nice to be on the line again.”

The best-case scenario is that Flanagan could be back racing by late in the fall. That would be all of the major events for 2019, but he is setting his sights squarely on 2020.

As the 2018 Falmouth champ works his way back toward being healthy and fast, his aim is to peak in time for the 2020 Canadian Olympic trials. If he qualifies for a spot in the Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo, that would be at the top of his priority list for next year.

“That would just be amazing. That’s a thing I’ve wanted to be a part of since I was nine years old, since I first started doing sports,” he said. “It’s been such a long journey... it’s really just so special. It would be a dream come true.”

As for this year, Flanagan will be involved in the presentation of Road Race weekend. He spoke to a group of youngsters on behalf of the FRR yesterday,, August 15, then today Friday, August 16, Flanagan is set to speak at the annual press conference in the morning before handing out bibs and numbers at the Road Race Expo later in the day. Tomorrow On Saturday he will be part of the Champions meet-and-greet at the Expo and also plans to be at the Mile Races at Falmouth High School later in the day. He will attend the Road Race on Sunday, but was unsure of where he’d be.

Flanagan said he was excited to help in any capacity. He has become very fond of Falmouth, and not just because his win helped launch his professional career.

He also met his girlfriend here. Because he hails from the University of Michigan, Flanagan stayed with the Ghelfi family last year. Hannah Ghelfi is a rising senior at the U of M, where she is one of the top golfers for the Wolverines. With their school in common, the pair hit it off and began to see one another during the fall semester. Ben graduated in December and moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, to train professionally. He was in Falmouth around Christmastime, and said that he plans on being in Falmouth, or at Michigan, whenever he can.

“It’s just funny that Hannah and I spent a number of years together at Michigan and never met until the race,” he said.

He said that he has become more and more familiar with the town through his visits, and has come to really enjoy being on Cape Cod. With his prime racing years still ahead of him, there’s every reason to believe that Flanagan and Falmouth could go together hand-in-hand. It’s a budding relationship that got off to a fantastic start. The future looks bright.

(08/16/19) Views: 65
Rich Maclone

Ingebrigtsen brothers Jakob, Filip and Henrik hope to help Eliud Kipchoge break two hours for the marathon in Vienna in October

Ingebrigtsen brothers confirmed as INEOS 1:59 Challenge pacemakers.

Famous running brothers Jakob, Filip and Henrik Ingebrigtsen have been confirmed as part of the pacemaking team for Eliud Kipchoge’s INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna this October.

In a recent interview, world marathon record-holder Kipchoge described breaking the two-hour barrier for the 26.2-mile event as “like the first man to go to the moon” and so far eight athletes have been announced as being part of the ‘pacemaking family’ which will hope to help the Kenyan to achieve it.

Last year, aged just 17, Jakob won both 1500m and 5000m titles at the European Championships and this autumn the Norwegian – who will then be 19 – will be the youngest of Kipchoge’s pacemakers, 25 years younger than USA’s Bernard Lagat who at 44 years old will be the oldest.

“To be a teenager and to be part of this project is really amazing,” said Jakob. “As a family we are used to running together and to be able to run together, alongside other great athletes to help Eliud Kipchoge try to break two hours will be something very special.”

Filip added: “Kipchoge was so close last time he tried at Breaking2 and he has improved since then.

“If he is in the sort of form he was in when he broke the world record in Berlin last year – and with three hares flying in from Norway to help – I expect there to be a record.”

Joining the ‘three hares’ will be Lagat, Kenyans Augustine Choge and Victor Chumo and Australians Jack Rayner and Brett Robinson.

Further pacemakers are set to be announced in the coming weeks.

(08/16/19) Views: 64

Three stone pillars were placed Monday to memorialize Victims of Boston Marathon Bombing

Three stone pillars were placed Monday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, marking the final step in a $2 million effort to memorialize the bombing that killed three people.

The understated monument of granite and bronze, which took four years to plan and develop, was supposed to be ready last year for the fifth anniversary of the April 15, 2013, attack, but underwent significant redesigns and other delays.

"We hope that this will help demarcate the sacredness of this spot and give people the opportunity to slow down when they're here," said Bolivian-born sculptor Pablo Eduardo as he put finishing touches on the monuments Monday.

Nichola Forrester, a Milton, Massachusetts, resident who completed the 2013 race long before the bombs detonated, was among those pausing to reflect on their lunch break.

"I said a prayer for them," she said after asking a bystander to take a photo of her beside one of the pillars. "I'm pretty sure these three victims had cheered for me when I was going through the finish line, so the least I could do was come out and show my support."

Patricia Campbell, the mother of bombing victim Krystle Campbell, said she was grateful her daughter hasn't been forgotten.

"I hope that this memorial will be a reminder to anyone out there who feels upset about their life and that they will stop and think".

The memorial — two distinct pieces separated by about a city block — marks the spots where two pressure cooker bombs detonated near the finish line, killing the three victims and wounding more than 260 others. The two pieces each feature granite pillars ringed by towering bronze and glass spires meant to bathe the sites in warm white light.

Cherry trees to bloom each April have also been planted at the sites, and two modest bronze bricks have been set in the sidewalk to honor the police officers killed in the bombing's aftermath, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Officer Sean Collier and Boston police Officer Dennis Simmonds.

The stone pillars, which range in height from about 3 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 meters), were gathered from places around Boston significant to the bombing victims.

One representing 8-year-old Boston resident Martin Richard was taken from Franklin Park in his family's Dorchester neighborhood. Another that is fused to it honors 23-year-old Boston University graduate student Lingzi Lu and was donated by her school.

Around the base of the two pillars is an inscription etched in bronze: "Let us climb, now, the road to hope."

And the third pillar for Campbell, a 29-year-old Medford, Massachusetts native, comes from Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor, where she'd worked. Its inscription reads: "All we have lost is brightly lost."

(08/21/19) Views: 61

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