To Race Directors: For inclusion in this section, please send your articles to email@example.com.
Dear runners, dear race organisers, dear sponsors and dear friends of AIMS,
Because of the coronavirus pandemic many AIMS events have been – and will yet be – either cancelled or postponed from their previously planned dates. With ever-growing feelings of sadness and responsibility we are having to face up to increasing levels of alarm arising from different sources but which all impact upon us.
The coronavirus started in Asia then moved to Europe and quickly involved the whole world with a battle that we never imagined could affect us so deeply – and the depths of the crisis have yet to be discovered.
That said, on behalf of our Association allow me to offer some ideas from the running community towards what I believe could infuse a positive approach for organisers, sponsors, and runners in order to strengthen our physical and mental focus. This is not just to help ourselves but to raise the motivation of our teams and our family to face up to this daunting challenge.
Firstly, as in any competition, we must fully accept and comply with the rules: in this case those issued by the responsible authorities. This is a collective struggle requiring collective answers; our sporting community must be exemplary.
Then we must work to promote, within our community, the sporting values of responsibility and solidarity in order to support those who cannot, under the present demanding conditions, fulfil their basic activities.
Finally: we must keep training to maintain ourselves in the best possible condition. By doing so we help not only ourselves but all the people who surround us. Believe me: they will be grateful.
We can do it for a very basic reason: we belong to the RUNNING community.
President of AIMS
The Wizz Air Skopje Marathon (MKD) will take place on Sun 4 October 2020, not Sun 10 May 2020 as previously published.
The Peru Runners – Lima Half Marathon & 10k (PER) will take place on Sun 30 August 2020, not Sun 23 August 2020 as previously published.
The Santiago Marathon (CHI) will take place on Sun 6 September 2020, not Sun 17 May 2020 as previously published.
The Kazan Marathon (RUS) will take place on Sun 16 August 2020, not Sun 3 May 2020 as previously published.
The Kaunas Marathon (LTU) will take place on Sun 7 June 2020, not Sun 26 April 2020 as previously published.
The Maraton Cartago (CRC) will take place on Sun 31 May 2020, not Sun 5 April 2020 as previously published.
The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon (GBR) will take place on Sun 20 September 2020, not Sun 3 May 2020 as previously published.
The International Marathon Alexander the Great (GRE) will be Sat 6 June 2020—Sun 7 June 2020, not Sun 12 April 2020—Sun 12 April 2020 as previously published.
The Cracovia Marathon (POL) will take place on Sun 8 November 2020, not Sun 26 April 2020 as previously published.
The Kigali International Peace Marathon (RWA) will take place on Sun 21 June 2020, not Sun 17 May 2020 as previously published.
The Cork City Marathon (IRL) will take place on Sun 6 September 2020, not Sun 31 May 2020 as previously published.
The Du Motion-Runners’ Days Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik Half Marathon) (CRO) will be Sat 26 September 2020—Sun 27 September 2020, not Sat 25 April 2020—Sun 26 April 2020 as previously published.
The Vodafone İstanbul Half Marathon (TUR) will take place on Sun 20 September 2020, not Sun 5 April 2020 as previously published.
The The Canberra Times Marathon Festival (AUS) will take place on Sun 23 August 2020, not Sat 4 April 2020 as previously published.
Dana Zátopková, gold medal winner in the javelin at the 1952 Olympics and former world record holder, died on 13 March aged 97.
She survived her husband, multiple gold medallist and word record holder in the 5000m and 10000m and Olympic Marathon champion in 1952 Emil Zátopek, by almost 20 years. Both were born on the same day – 19 September 1922 – and arguably also reached the height of their athletic achievement on the same day, 24 July 1952.
Zátopek had become Olympic 10,000m champion four days earlier and was contesting the 5000m as Zátopková was preparing for the Javelin final in which two Soviet throwers were heavily favoured. She heard the roar of the crowd acclaiming her husband’s victory as they passed each other on the infield and Zátopková took his medal in her bag “for good luck”. Luck or not Zátopková recorded an Olympic record 50.47m with her first throw, a distance no one else could match, and became the first Czech woman to win Olympic gold in any athletic event.
She went on to place 4th in the 1956 Olympics, set a world record of 55.73m in 1958 and to win a silver medal in the 1960 Olympics before retiring in 1962. Both Zátopeks suffered censure and separation after the “Prague Spring” of 1968. Although the Velvet Revolution of 1989 restored them to the national pantheon Dana spent the next 10 years caring for her husband whose health was failing. She continued to coach Javelin and followed the sport closely and also set up a half marathon event in her husband’s memory.
The Novi Sad Half Marathon (SRB) will be Sat 30 May 2020—Sun 31 May 2020, not Sun 22 March 2020—Sun 22 March 2020 as previously published.
The Belgrade Marathon (SRB) will take place on Sun 18 October 2020, not Sun 26 April 2020 as previously published.
The Maratonina Città di Udine (ITA) will take place on Sun 27 September 2020, not Sun 4 October 2020 as previously published.
The B.A.A. Boston Marathon (USA) will take place on Mon 14 September 2020, not Mon 20 April 2020 as previously published.
Today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), presented Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) with the AIMS Inspirational Woman Award.
Meseret is an athlete who has won gold in the 5,000m events at both the 2004 (Athens) and 2012 (London) Olympics. She also won the 5,000m events at the World Championships in 2007 (Osaka) and 2013 (Moscow). She has held the world record in the 5,000m, setting the record of 14:24.53 in New York City in 2006 then setting a new record of 14:16.63 in Oslo in 2007.
Meseret was presented her award, a laurel wreath from the home of the marathon; Athens, Greece by H.E Semegne Wube Haile, State Minister for Women, Children and Youth of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in advance of the women’s race in Ethiopia called ‘Women First 5k’, a race that Meseret supports as Ambassador.
The giving of a laurel wreath trophy is highly symbolic and dates back to the ancient Olympic Games and before, to the quadrennial Pythian Games where laurel wreaths were given to victors. Legend has it that the Pythian Games were held in honour of the Greek God Apollo who had slain a great serpent Python.
The AIMS Inspirational Woman Award is presented by the AIMS Women’s Commission, a world women’s running movement aiming to improve the participation of women in distance running throughout the world while empowering women through the sport of running.
The first recipient of the AIMS Inspirational Woman Award was Namibia’s Commonwealth Games Marathon gold medallist Helalia Johannes who received the award after winning the 2019 Nagoya Women’s Marathon, the world’s largest women’s marathon: (20,000 women: recognised by Guinness World Records).
Meseret Defar comments: “I am honoured to be presented with the AIMS Inspirational Woman Award. I would like to thank AIMS, their members and the AIMS Women’s Commission for recognising me with this award. It is especially appropriate to receive this award at the’ Women First 5k’ here in Ethiopia, which is this year celebrating its 17th year. Of course, it is good to win races and break records but if my profile in running helps in any way to inspire other women to succeed in whatever area of life and to improve their health and wellbeing through the wonderful sport of running, then that would mean the world to me.”
The Leader of the AIMS Women’s Commission and AIMS Vice President, Martha Morales, comments: “Meseret has been a symbol of success as a woman in athletics for many years. She is a role model not just for women in Africa, but around the world. She is a deserving recipient of the AIMS Inspirational Woman Award.”
AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “On behalf of AIMS Members and sponsors around the world I would like to congratulate Meseret on becoming the second recipient of the AIMS Inspirational Woman Award. We hope this award, and the work of the AIMS Women’s Commission can inspire women around the world to participate in running, the world’s original and most affordable sport.”
The EDP Rock ’n’ Roll Madrid Maratón & 1/2 (ESP) will take place on Sun 15 November 2020, not Sun 26 April 2020 as previously published.
The Jerusalem Marathon, Half & 10k (ISR) will take place on Fri 6 November 2020, not Fri 20 March 2020 as previously published.
The United Airlines Guam Marathon (GUM) will take place on Sun 13 September 2020, not Sun 5 April 2020 as previously published.
The Movistar Medio Maratón de Madrid (ESP), originally planned for Sun 29 March 2020 but postponed due to coronavirus, has been rescheduled and will now take place on Sun 4 October 2020.
The OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO (CYP) has been postponed and will be held on Sat 21 November 2020—Sun 22 November 2020, not Sun 22 March 2020 as previously published.
The ČSOB Bratislava Marathon (SVK), initially due to take place on Sun April but cancelled due to the spread of coronavirus, has been rescheduled for Sun 6 September 2020.
The EDP Lisbon Half Marathon (POR) will be held on Sat 5 September 2020—Sun 6 September 2020, not Sun 22 March 2020 as previously published.
The postponement of the races was determined by a case of force majeure (the risk of spread of COVID-19) and results from a decision of the official health authorities.
With marathons being cancelled all over the world and Japan being one of the countries hardest hit during the build-up to the Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2020, the organisers took some innovative measures to cope with the situation.
As with the Tokyo Marathon held a week earlier Nagoya had to downsize to a race with only 114 elite athletes. Race director Tetsuya Okamura said “It was a very small race compared to other years, but I consider us lucky and blessed just to be able to hold a race under the current circumstances.”
“The winner of this year was Mao Ichiyama – we had not seen a Japanese winner in the last seven years and it was a national record in the single gender women’s marathon. Despite the rain and cold temperatures, Ichiyama made a spectacular record and secured the last spot in the women’s marathon team for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
For general participants who missed out on the event, an online marathon is being offered as a replacement since the afternoon of race day. We are offering several apps and options for runners, including Joyrun, who was a speaker at the AIMS Symposium last year. We formed a partnership with them as our official online race app. It started with interesting fates; one of them was that three members of Joyrun team were registered to our marathon this year.
“Even at this moment, all around the world, women runners are setting their goals and running toward them. We will, send our finisher T-shirt and the Tiffany pendant to all finishers. Considering the varying environments around the world because of the virus, we set the event period to last until 31 May. We will mail the finisher items to our runners from June.
“So our 2020 race is still continuing. We see many runners getting connected online and running in the city. Many women runners encourage each other and run at their locations across the country. I hear that in China participants who were registered for the Nagoya Marathon are doing the same. I feel the circle of women’s running is spreading around the world.
“We are planning on allowing all women runners in the world to take part in this movement and run starting from the end of this month. I would like runners and women to feel strong through sports, especially now in this time of crisis.”
The 2021 International Marathon Alexander the Great (GRE) will be held from Sat 17 April 2021—Sun 18 April 2021, not Sun 11 April 2021 as previously published.
In the light of several race cancellations across the world due to the spread of coronavirus, other race organisers have reassured runners that they will go ahead with their events if at all possible.
RunCzech, organisers of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon due to take place on 3 May, said: “As of 5 March 2020 RunCzech is preparing the upcoming events as planned without any significant restrictions, since we have not received any signals to the contrary from the local authorities. The Czech Government’s current advice is that mass events should still go ahead. We are working hard to prepare a safe event involved while we keep monitoring the situation closely. The safety and health of participants, volunteers and the public are important for us. We are ready to act on any future advice by the Government of the Czech Republic, World Health Organization (WHO) and other public bodies.”
RunCzech has decided to implement additional preventive actions aiming to minimize possible risks for the participants, even though WHO stated that the overall risk is currently low.
Other races have also announced their intent to go ahead unless the situation changes dramatically.
The Almaty Marathon (KAZ) due to be held on April 19, announced its own intentions. “Currently, we do not plan to cancel the event. We continue to prepare for the competition. Approximately 95% of our participants are citizens of Kazakhstan, including foreign professionals working in our country,” said race director Saltanat Kazybayeva.
In Austria, organisers of the Vienna City Marathon, also scheduled for 19 April, raised the slogan “We want to run” and stated categorically “The Vienna City Marathon will certainly take place unless the relevant authorities decide otherwise.”
“We are responsibly following the recommendations of the Austrian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization on the holding of major events,” said Wolfgang Konrad, race director of the VCM. There are currently no official measures in Austria to restrict events, the race said.
UPDATE: Since the first publication of this article the Almaty and Vienna marathons have been obliged to cancel their events.
The Zurich Marató de Barcelona (ESP) will take place on Sun 25 October 2020, not Sun 15 March 2020 as previously published.
The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) is delighted to mark the first anniversary of the ‘AIMS Women’s Commission’ on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2020 by announcing Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) as the recipient of the AIMS Inspirational Woman Award for 2020.
Meserat is a two-time Olympic gold medallist in the 5,000m (2004 & 2012) as well as being a two-time World Champion (2007 & 2013). Meseret will receive her award at the pre-race press conference on Friday 13 March, in advance of a race that is proud to have Meseret as Ambassador, the ‘Women First’ 5km, a race in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).
The first recipient of the AIMS Inspirational Woman Award was Namibia’s Commonwealth Games Marathon gold medallist Helalia Johannes who received the award after winning the 2019 Nagoya Women’s Marathon, the world’s largest women’s marathon: (20,000 women: recognised by Guinness World Records).
The Commission was launched in 2019 by AIMS Vice President Martha Morales (photo) and President Paco Borao (photo) and aims to develop the participation of women in distance running throughout the world, while empowering women through the sport of running.
To mark the first anniversary, the AIMS Women’s Commission is delighted to announce a special new section of the AIMS website dedicated to the AIMS Women’s Commission under the slogan ‘All Women Can Run’ which will host all the latest developments and announcements from the AIMS Women’s Commission. This new section of the AIMS website will launch on International Women’s Day (8 March 2020) and can be found at allwomencanrun.org .
AIMS Vice President Martha Morales comments: “It has been a very exciting first year of the AIMS Women’s Commission. We are very pleased to mark International Women’s Day by announcing our new website and most importantly, the deserving recipient of the AIMS Inspirational Woman Award for 2020. The inspirational double gold medal winning Meseret Defar who is a great symbol of the success of women in athletics. A role model, not just for women in Africa, but around the world.”
AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “AIMS is proud to have founded this movement which, under the direction of Martha Morales has brought together a very impressive group of leaders of women in sport. This commission is working to ensure the share of voice for women in sport is growing larger and will echo around the world, encouraging all women to run, developing their health and well-being.”
The AIMS Women’s Commission has been created in support of goal 5 in the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”
The AIMS Women’s Commission has launched a new website www.allwomencanrun.org .
The purpose of the new site is to promote running among women and encourage them to participate in distance running events.
The Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris (FRA) will take place on Sun 18 October 2020, not Sun 5 April 2020 as previously published.
The 17a Treviso Marathon (ITA) will take place on Sun 20 September 2020, not Sun 29 March 2020 as previously published.
The Wizz Air Kyiv City Marathon (UKR) will take place on Sun 1 November 2020, not Sat 24 October 2020 as previously published.
The Nafplio Marathon (GRE) will take place on Sun 17 May 2020, not Sun 8 March 2020 as previously published.
Dear AIMS members, colleagues and friends of Running,
The 23rd World Congress of AIMS, due to be hosted by the Great Batumi Night Race in Georgia from 23–26 April 2020, has been cancelled.
On 4 March a letter was sent to all members, speakers and partners of AIMS informing them of the cancellation of the Congress due to the spread of the “COVID-19 – coronavirus” epidemic and the increasing uncertainty over how circumstances will change in the coming weeks. The letter can be read in full here.
The Semi Marathon International de la Ville de Sfax (TUN) will take place on Sun 25 October 2020, not Sun 5 April 2020 as previously published.
The Hengshui Lake International Marathon (CHN) will take place on Sun 20 September 2020, not Tue 22 September 2020 as previously published.
The Pyongyang Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon, which was scheduled for April, has been cancelled by organisers due to the threat of the coronavirus, Reuters reports.
The Banja Luka Half Marathon (BIH) will take place on Sun 11 October 2020, not Sun 17 May 2020 as previously published.
In a surprise result Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh Birhane set a new women’s world record of 1:04:31 at the Ras al Khaimah Half Marathon (UAE) on 21 February. She finished 100m ahead of Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei (1:04:49) who was also inside the old record.
The previous record of 1:04:51 was set by Joyciline Jepkosgei in Valencia in October 2017. Last September Kosgei recorded 1:04:28 in the Great North Run in Great Britain but the course did not conform to world record criteria (descent of > 1m/km, straight-line separation of start & finish >50% of race distance).
Pre-race favourite Kosgei was set a pace of 3:03/km (projecting a finish time of 1:04:21) by compatriot Geoffrey Pyego. She kept close to the schedule, passing 5km in 15:07, 10km in 30:18 and 15km in 45:41. Coming from just behind her Yeshaneh forged her lead by covering 15–20km 18 seconds faster than Kosgei (15:31 to 15:49). Both ran the last 1097.5m in the same time.
Yeshaneh said “I did not imagine this result, improving my best by more than a minute.”
The mass participation race at the Tokyo marathon, which was due to have 38,000 people taking part, has become the latest sporting casualty of the coronavirus, the British national newspaper The Guardian reported on 17 February.
Organisers confirmed that the event on 1 March will now be limited to the elite field of 176 athletes and 30 wheelchair athletes.
“We have been preparing for the Tokyo marathon 2020 while implementing preventive safety measures, however, now that a case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has been confirmed within Tokyo, we cannot continue to launch the event within the scale we originally anticipated,” they added.
Organisers said that all registered runners would be allowed to defer their entry until next year but would would have to pay again and would not get their money back from this year’s race. One British couple who had entered the race told the Guardian that “We understand the decision but from a personal and financial perspective it is hard to take just 13 days before the race. We don’t know whether the GBP 3000 (USD 4000) we have paid for flights and hotels will be refunded if we decide to run the race next year.”
Last week organisers had announced plans to distribute surgical masks to runners and volunteers as preventive safety measures. They also told the 1800 runners registered from China that they could defer their entry until 2021 without any penalty. However, the continuing spread of the virus meant they had little choice but to take the drastic step of limiting the race to just over 200 elite participants.
Defending champions Tadu Abate and Dibabe Kuma will return to the Haspa Marathon Hamburg, race organisers have announced.
Fellow Ethiopians Ayele Abshero, who was runner-up last year, and Meseret Belete will be among their rivals on 19 April.
“It is always a good sign when athletes like to come back to challenge and to possibly produce thrilling races once again. We are proud that both winners from 2019 will return,” said chief organiser Frank Thaleiser. With regard to the entry figures he said: “Compared to the same time last year we have 400 more entries for the marathon, which shows the trust the runners have in our event.”
At the age of 22 Tadu Abate is still a youngster in marathon running. After his biggest career victory in Hamburg a year ago, when he clocked 2:08:25 in wet and cold conditions, the Ethiopian improved his personal best to 2:06:13 last autumn in Amsterdam. On 19 April he will renew his rivalry with Ayele Abshero. The two Ethiopians produced a thrilling finish last year, when Abate was just one second ahead of Abshero. Back in 2018 Abate had left his experienced rival behind him as well, when the pair finished second and third in Hamburg behind fellow-Ethiopian Solomon Deksisa. 29 year-old Abshero, who features a world-class personal best of 2:04:23, will be eager to be quicker than his younger rival this time.
The women’s field will be headed by defending champion Dibabe Kuma. The 23 year-old Ethiopian caused a surprise last year, when she produced a great solo run in the poor conditions, winning in 2:24:42. “This is a very good course,” said Kuma afterwards, indicating that in more suitable weather she could have improved her personal best of 2:23:34. Fellow Ethiopian Meseret Belete will be one of her main challengers on 19 April. Just 20 years old, Belete was sixth in the World Half Marathon Championships in 2018 and holds a marathon PB of 2:24:54.
Breaking the Olympic qualifying times on Hamburg’s fast course will be the major goal for the German elite runners. Philipp Pflieger, who has a personal record of 2:12:50, intends to go for the 2:11:30 Olympic standard. He showed fine form just two days ago when he improved his PB in the half marathon to 62:50 in Barcelona.
Two other Germans who recorded personal bests in the Spanish half marathon two days ago also have Olympic ambitions: Twin sisters Deborah and Rabea Schöneborn will run a marathon together for the first time. While Deborah won the Cologne Marathon last autumn – though without proper competition – in 2:31:18 in her debut, Rabea will run her debut in Hamburg. Preparing for the marathon it looks that the 25-year-old twins are currently at the same level. Deborah clocked a PB of 71:37 in Barcelona on Sunday while Rabea crossed the line immediately behind her in ninth place with 71:40, a PB as well. It seems that both can achieve the Olympic qualifying time of 2:29:30 in Hamburg.
The Great Wall Marathon, due to be held on 16 May, has been cancelled for 2020 due to the coronavirus.
Organisers have made an early decision to cancel for the safety of runners, spectators and staff, and to limit the inconvenience to runners who travel from all corners of the world to this event.
The next Great Wall Marathon will be held on 15 May 2021.
The Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP has sold all 30,000 race bibs for the next edition of the race, which will be held on the 6th of December 2020.
Thus the ceiling on runner numbers has been reached 10 months before the event and within just three months of opening entries for the race.
Like last year, the organisers will open a waiting list in a few days time so that those without entries can take up places, if and when these become available as entered runners drop out for whatever reason.
To mark its 40th anniversary, the Valencia Marathon raised the number of bibs available to 30,000 (5,000 more than in 2019), split into three equal tranches priced at EUR 60, EUR 80, and EUR 100 respectively. The first tranche of 10,000 bibs was put on sale on the day following the previous race. The bibs ran out in under 48 hours. The second tranche ran out just nine days later.
Last year, race bibs ran out almost six months before the race date. This is why the organisers – SD Correcaminos running club and Valencia City Council – decided to ditch the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso so that they could offer more places for the Marathon. For the third year on the trot, race bibs have run out for the race which the Spanish athletics federation RFEA ranks as Spain’s best marathon by far. The race is also the first one to obtain World Athletics’ Platinum Label.
Those who have missed out on a race bib so far have one last chance to take part in this special, 40th anniversary of the Valencia Marathon. This chance takes the form of the hundred Platinum Bibs put on sale to celebrate the award of the World Athletics Platinum Label. This is a new way of taking part in the trial and includes a special charity quota for Save The Children — the Official Charity for 2020 — and many extras such as access to the VIP area, a post-race thermal poncho, participation in the Breakfast Run and so on.
The 20,000 bibs for the Valencia Half Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP (which will be held on the 25th of October 2020) are selling like hot cakes. The first tranche of 10,000 was sold out in December. Right now, there are still some 1,500 bibs available before we hang up the ‘sold out’ sign.
The Valencia Half Marathon is now part of the new SuperHalfs circuit, which brings together the best international trials over this distance. The launch of the SuperHalfs this year coincides with Valencia Ciudad del Running’s holding of the 30th edition on the 25th of October 2020.
The Taichung International Marathon (TPE) will take place on Sun 1 November 2020, not Sun 23 February 2020 as previously published.
Organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend announced today they will be significantly increasing the overall prize purse for Canadian athletes in the Ottawa 10K event to CAD 35,000 (EUR 24,000) – the largest prize for any of Canada’s championship events this year.
As it has done since 2016, the 2020 Ottawa 10k will again host the Canadian 10K Championships with CAD 6,000 going to the top male and female Canadians in the 10K.
The Ottawa 10K will also maintain its unique gender challenge whereby the women are given a head start, and whoever crosses the finish line first (man or woman) wins an extra CAD 2,000.
The event will also host the Canuck 10K Team Competition, where a Canadian elite runner will have the chance to pick 3 compatriots to form a co-ed team of four. The fastest team wins CAD 6,000 to be split evenly amongst the team, as well as an additional CAD 1,000 that will go towards the Scotiabank Charity Challenge participating charity of their choice.
Organizers also announced today they have elected not to renew their World Athletics (formerly IAAF) gold certification for the Ottawa 10K event, choosing to focus their resources on participant experience, the Canadian 10K Championships and the development of Canadian athletes. The organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend have, however, renewed the gold certification for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.
Dylan Wykes, who won the men’s 10K in 29:56 last year, joins the organising team as its new Elite Athlete Coordinator, replacing Manny Rodrigues, who had been in this volunteer role for the past 20 years. Wykes said: “The road racing scene in Canada is on fire right now with records being set in all distances. I’m honoured and excited by the opportunity to work with Ian and the entire Run Ottawa team as the Elite Athlete Coordinator. I know I have big shoes to fill, as Manny has done an incredible job over the past 20 years building the elite athlete program. I’m looking forward to contributing to the Ottawa running community in a new way that doesn’t involve making my own two feet move fast”.
Organisers of the Logicom Cyprus Marathon have warned runners not to miss out on registering for this year’s race.
Registrations for the 5km Fun Run – the race with the biggest capacity – are almost sold-out. The 5km Fun Run is the biggest sports event in Pafos and will host teams from Pafos-based companies, hotels and gyms, among others.
Additionally, the places for the Marathon, Half-Marathon and the 10km Road Race are likely to run out very soon.
The 22nd edition will take place on Sunday, 15th March 2020 in Pafos, with the event’s central location being the historical Pafos Medieval Castle square. More than 4,000 runners from some 65 countries will come together to celebrate this human challenge.
The first round of registrations for the 22nd expired on 31st January 2020. However, a limited number of places are still available and guaranteed registrations have been extended until the 16th February 2020.
The Al Mouj Muscat Marathon (OMA) will be Fri 21 February 2020—Sat 22 February 2020, not Fri 17 January 2020—Sat 18 January 2020 as previously published.
SAPPORO (JPN): The annual Hokkaido Marathon in Sapporo will not take place in 2020 due to a clash with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
A statement on the race website said: “The Hokkaido Marathon usually takes place on the last Sunday of August. This year, however, the Committee has decided to cancel the event for the following two reasons: 1) a shortage of staff members to organise the marathon because it coincides with the Tokyo Paralympic Games and 2) inability to restore Odori Park (a venue for the Hokkaido Marathon) to its original state in time after it is used to host facilities for the Tokyo Olympic marathon and race walk events, scheduled in Sapporo from August 6 to 9.”
The Airtel Hyderabad Marathon (IND) will take place on Sun 2 August 2020, not Sun 30 August 2020 as previously published.
The Maratonina Città di Udine (ITA) will take place on Sun 4 October 2020, not Sun 27 September 2020 as previously published.
In the first month of 2020 Ethiopian runners have recorded 80% of men’s sub-2:10 times and 73% of women’s sub-2:28 times.
If Ethiopian-born runners now accredited to represent Bahrain are included, then these figures rise to 84% and 76% respectively. (see tables below).
Such a dominant start to the year is unlikely to be sustained for several reasons but perhaps the most significant (and obvious) of these is the location of the races.
Dubai was the scene of 16 of the men’s and five of the women’s performances and is a traditional Ethiopian home-from-home (a four-hour flight away). Ethiopians also had strong representation in Mumbai and the women’s race in Osaka – which hosted 11 of the women’s performances listed and accounts for the Japanese women ranking above the Kenyans. Ethiopian women also captured the top eight places in Xiamen and three of the top four in Houston.
(37 × sub-2:10)
(33 × sub-2:28)
NOTE: * All Bahrain runners were Ethiopian-born
The Asian Athletics Association (AAA) had called off the 9th Asian Indoor Athletics Championships scheduled from Feb 12–13 at Hanzhou, China due to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak.
AAA Council Member, Karim Ibrahim said the Asian athletics governing body made the decision through an emergency telephone conference on Sunday evening following the global outbreak of the virus which originated from Wuhan in the Chinese mainland.
World Athletics is monitoring the situation in regard to World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China. The National Stadium in Beijing is among several public buildings to have been closed by Chinese authorities.
Several road races in China are cancelled (Hong-Kong Feb 9, Wuxi marathon March 22).
The Tashkent International Half Marathon (UZB) will take place on Sun 22 March 2020, not Fri 22 May 2020 as previously published.
The Kigali International Peace Marathon (RWA) will take place on Sun 17 May 2020, not Sun 24 May 2020 as previously published.
The Santiago Marathon (CHI) will take place on Sun 17 May 2020, not Sun 19 April 2020 as previously published.
The Marine Corps Marathon recently concluded an investigation indicating that a 55-year-old female participant at both the Marine Corps 17.75km and the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) had cheated over several years by not running the entire course and then claiming the rewards of a finisher.
The investigation was launched when the runner applied for membership of the MCM Runners Club – a group who have officially completed five MCMs. This runner has now been permanently banned from participating in any event organised by MCM.
“Marines pride themselves on their Corps Values of honor, courage and commitment. The Marine Corps Marathon Organization shares these values,” said race director Rick Nealis, “and holds our participants to those same standards.”
This case was a repeated pattern of cheating over four years. In one incident the runner only crossed the start and finish timing mats and posted no on-course data but claimed an age category win during the 2018 17.75km race. During the 44th MCM, the runner only crossed the finish line mat and photographic evidence was not consistent with a runner who completed the marathon.
“Cheaters have no place in our sport,” said Nealis. “Integrity and personal accomplishment will be rewarded even if it takes us years to bestow the award to the true winner.”
An estimated 200,000 spectators greeted runners from all 50 US states and 57 countries with cheers and Texas hospitality.
The Chevron Houston Marathon welcomed defending champion Biruktayit Degefa (ETH) back to the start to vie for her fourth victory (a historic feat in Houston’s race history), but it was clear from the start that compatriot Askale Merachi (ETH) had other ideas.
Merachi separated from the lead pack before 10K, and she maintained course record pace until the later stages of the race. In spite of running unchallenged to the finish line, she held on to crush her personal best and run the fourth fastest time in Chevron Houston Marathon history, 2:23:29. History eluded Degefa as she finished second in 2:24:57, and Canadian Malindi Elmore, who recently came out of retirement from professional running, finished third in a Canadian national record, 2:24:50.
The men’s race started on pace to break the course record, but slowed over the final four miles. By mile 15, the pack shrank to just five runners, and by mile 17, it turned into a duel between Kelkile Gezahegn (ETH) and Bonsa Dida (ETH). Kelkile and Bonsa slowed dramatically between miles 22 and 24, and then Kelkile hit the gas pedal, leaving Bonsa behind, racing to the finish to win in 2:08:36. Bonsa finished second in 2:10:37, and Amanuel Mesel (ERI) finished third in 2:11:04.
One of the most exciting finishes of the day belonged to Michael Roeger (AUS). Roeger, a T46 Paralympian, obliterated his own world record (2:22:51) to, as he said in the pre-race press conference, “put his competitors on notice” heading into the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Roeger finished 26th overall in 2:19:33.
Americans Adriana Nelson and Craig Hunt led a deep field of U.S. athletes as they both collected eighth place finishes. Nelson clocked 2:33:18, and Hunt ran 2:17:18. Twelve American men and 18 American women met the qualifying standard to compete in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta next month.
In the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, Hitomi Niiya (JPN) entertained fans with a solo performance to the finish. She took command of the race immediately, and, running alongside pacer, Tsuyoshi Ugachi (JPN), she smashed both her personal best and the Japanese national record to win in the third fastest time in Aramco Houston Half Marathon history, 1:06:38. Brillian Kipkoech (KEN) finished a distant second in 1:08:08, and Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui (KEN) rounded out the top three in 1:08:13.
While the women’s race lacked drama, the men’s race more than made up for it. A pack of 14 men rolled through the first 5K on pace to break the course record (59:22), and the pack remained strong at five over the final mile of the race. Last year’s runner-up, Jemal Yimer (ETH), dug the deepest to win in 59:25, producing the second fastest time ever run in Houston and North America. Bernard Ngeno (KEN) was a step behind in 59:26, and Shardrack Korir (KEN) set a personal best to finish third in 59:27.
Matt and Andrew Leach of Great Britain broke the Guinness world record for the fastest father-son duo in the half marathon. Collectively, they ran 2:14:05. The previous record stood at 2:20:33. Matt ran 1:02:55, and Andrew ran 1:11:10.
Canadian Callum Neff competed as the Last Runner Starting to raise funds for the Houston Marathon Foundation. He started behind the entire half marathon and marathon open field, and somehow managed to finish with a net time of 1:09:59. Neff holds the Guinness record for the fastest marathon run while pushing a jogging stroller, 2:31:21.
Steve Schmidt (USA) and Antonio Arreola (USA) joined an exclusive club to become the first two runners to run a sub-three hour marathon for the sixth decade. Schmidt finished in 2:58:07 and Arreola finished a few strides behind in 2:58:18. Schmidt ran his first sub-three hour marathon in 1979, and Arreola ran his first in 1976. Arreola holds the record for the longest time span between his first sub-three hour marathon and his last.
Seven out of ten of the most popular marathons across Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxemburg are AIMS members.
That’s the result of a poll carried out by running website marathon4you.de, in which 14,000 runners voted.
In order of ranking, the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon, BMW Berlin-Marathon, Jungfrau-Marathon, HAJ Hannover Marathon, Haspa Marathon Hamburg, SwissCityMarathon – Lucerne and Volksbank-Münster-Marathon took seven of the top ten places.
The overall winner was the Rennsteiglauf in Thuringia, Germany, which makes a point of feeding its runners goulash and potato dumplings instead of the more common pasta party. The Luxemburg Night Marathon and the Allgäu Panorama Marathon achieved eighth and tenth place respectively.
The Volksbank-Münster-Marathon (pictured) was voted sixth best race in Germany and top in its region North Rhine Westphalia, beating the Generali Cologne Marathon into second place in the region.
The Sea of Galilee Tiberias Marathon (ISR) will take place on Fri 1 January 2021, not Fri 8 January 2021 as previously published.
The Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) has announced the elite field for the forty-eighth running of the Chevron Houston Marathon and the eighteenth Aramco Houston Half Marathon events taking place on January 19.
The Chevron Houston Marathon welcomes back defending 2019 women’s champion Biruktayit Degefa, where she will try to become the only woman to break the tape in Houston four times. The Aramco Houston Half Marathon returns three former champions; 2018 female champion Ruti Aga, and past male winners; Shura Kitata (defending 2019 champion) and Jake Robertson (2018).
Biruktayit Degefa has an opportunity to make history in her seventh consecutive appearance – if she wins, she will be the first athlete in Houston Marathon history, male or female, to win the race four times. In 2019, she became just the third woman in race history to win three times. Degefa started running marathons at age 19, and she is one of the most prolific elite runners competing today. Over the last decade, she has run an incredible 31 marathons (she ran six alone in 2014), landing on the podium 20 times and winning eight times. She returns this year as a favorite for the title, especially on the heels of her PR in Toronto, 2:22:40, to close out 2019.
The outlier story of the 2019 Chevron Houston Marathon, Thomas Rivers Puzey returns to Houston with unfinished business. After pacing through the 30K of 2019’s race on track to run 2:14, the wheels came off for Puzey. He managed to stumble across the finish line with an official finish time of 2:20:19 and a trip to the medic. He will undoubtably again push himself to his limits.
Alexi Pappas, a 2016 Olympian for Greece in the 10,000m, arrives in Houston with a 2:43:38 marathon personal best, but possesses the talent to completely obliterate that time and run closer to the 2:29:30 Olympic standard that she needs to make it to Tokyo for another Olympic appearance. Pappas experienced an extraordinary Olympic debut performance in Rio. She set the Greek national 10,000m record and a new PR to finish 17th in 31:36.16.
In the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, Shura Kitata will look to defend his 2019 title on the heels of his fifth-place finish at the New York City Marathon just a few short months ago. He will be facing several of the same challengers from the 2019 Aramco Houston Half Marathon, so if past precedent remains the same, we are sure to see a fast and competitive race from the gun.
Jake Robertson, 2018 Aramco Houston Half Marathon Champion, returns to Houston after a troubled 2019 fighting injury and rebuilding. After winning in Houston, he went on to win a competitive Beach to Beacon 10K and finished out the year with a fifth-place finish at the Toronto Marathon in 2018 but hasn’t toed the start line in over a year. All eyes will be watching to see his return to the racing scene.
Ruti Aga returns to familiar territory in Houston as the 2018 Women’s Champion of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. Her finishing time of 1:06:39 from the race remains her personal best. Aga is certain to be in the lead pack vying for the win once again.
The American record holder in the women’s half marathon, Molly Huddle returns to Houston and the course she set the current standard of 1:07:25 on to test her fitness going into the 2020 Olympic Trials in February.
From its beginning, the Logicom Cyprus Marathon has always attracted many runners from abroad, who constantly choose to travel to Cyprus in March in order to compete in the beautiful coastal city of Pafos.
It is the most historical marathon in Cyprus and has been held every year since 1999.
Each year the attendance of overseas runners has grown. Some five years ago only around 700 athletes competed. In 2020 over 4,000 competitors will participate in the four races.
Especially, British runners favour the mild spring Cyprus climate, both for their training programmes and to kickstart their race season. The marathon attracts more runners from Britain than from any other country – both as individuals and as groups from their running clubs.
This year more than 1000 British runners are expected to line up at the start of the races on Sunday 15th March.
The other countries with high attendances are Israel, Russia, Hungary, Poland and Germany.
Notably, in recent years, overseas runners have dominated the longer distance races. Last year 42-year-old British runner Adam Holland won the marathon for the second consecutive year in a time of 2:35:03 and British woman Abi Gooch won top spot on the podium in the 2019 women’s marathon race in a time of 3:23:06.
The Logicom Cyprus Marathon is complemented by a half marathon, a 10km road race, a 5km family fun run and a ‘wine run’ which gives the opportunity to all kinds of runners and sports enthusiasts to run their favourite distance. Online registrations for the 22nd Logicom Cyprus Marathon will remain open till 31st January 2020.
Melbourne Marathon’s first race director and former Vice-President of AIMS Ted Paulin has passed away, aged 81.
The following edited tribute is taken from
Despite not officially being named race director for the first six years of his 16-year stint in the role Paulin carried the weight of the race on his shoulders. A succession of technical directors were responsible for course logistics but Paulin was the face of the event, looking after sponsors, elite runners, prizes and the media in his role as sponsorship, publicity and promotion director.
Paulin had played football in his early twenties before taking up running at age 26. He won a series of distance races, including the Victorian Professional Marathon title seven times. He eventually became president of the Victorian Cross Country League where he met Brian Dixon and that association led to him being contacted by Dixon in 1978 when the Melbourne Marathon idea was founded.
“At the time I worked for The [Melbourne] Age in advertising. I was called in by the Minister (Brian Dixon),” Paulin said when interviewed in 2012. “We set up an office at Olympic Park. The first year was chaotic. There was no signage except for the race banner and barely enough toilets and the train service was more than half an hour late. We got better. You had to. You always had complaints. You try and explain that if 6000 people want to urinate at the same time, then you are going to have a problem.’’
Paulin was 40 in 1978, but still a handy runner. He even made it to start line and ended up finishing eighth in 2:33.37. His passion for the race, which included a leading role in bringing out Bill Rodgers in 1982 and Juma Ikangaa in 1983, was eventually rewarded by Dixon in 1984 when he was given the title of executive director.
While Paulin fought many battles over the years, one of his biggest was trying to get the committee to increase the entry fee, which was $5 for the first three years and still just $17 in 1987. “The entry fee wasn’t enough and I couldn’t talk the committee around to raise it,’’ he said. “For example, I saw the (timing) chips in Berlin way back when they came out but we couldn’t afford them. We used hand-written cards for timing in those days. It was very old-fashioned stuff.’’
Paulin tried numerous things to stimulate the race after the initial boom. He expanded the events under the race umbrella to include a women’s 10km fun run and a half-marathon series and, once age limits were imposed, encouraged a shorter Marafun race for children. He came up with the idea of rewarding 10-year runners with membership to their own elite “Spartans” club which enjoyed great success with more than 1000 members.
He was responsible for Melbourne Marathon joining AIMS in the early years and was elected to the Board of Directors at the 3rd World Congress in 1985 and as Vice-President at the 7th World Congress in 1991. He made regular trips to overseas marathons and meetings which helped him with ideas and kept him in the loop with international athletes.
Dixon was voted out as race chairman just before the 1993 race and Paulin was ousted early in 1994. “He (Dixon) still believes that I’d knifed him, but I hadn’t,’’ Paulin said. “The two key figures were Derek Clayton and (finance director) Doug Bourne. I was at the 1996 AIMS Congress in Barcelona and when I came back I was put out on the spot by Clayton and Bourne. They just came to my office in Olympic Park and wanted me to go straight away because they thought I’d take everything with me. I never had a contract. It was always word of mouth with me. I think there was jealousy about my involvement with AIMS. As soon as I was gone, they pulled out of it.’’
Paulin kept running well into his seventies and ran a gardening business from his home called Tidy Ted’s.