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The EDP Lisbon Half Marathon (POR) will take place on Sun 12 March 2023, not Sun 19 March 2023 as previously published.
Copenhagen Marathon saw both race records being smashed by East African runners on Sunday.
In the men’s race, Berhane Tsegay of Eritrea crossed the finish line in 2:08:23, cutting one and a half minutes off the previous record from 2019, while Helah Jelegat Kiprop of Kenya took an even larger slice – 5:19 minutes, to be exact – off the women’s record, winning in 2:24:10. Both times are also new Danish All-Comers record.
Sunny conditions with 15 degrees in the Danish capital proved to be the perfect frame for a fast race. A leading group of ten men, with Ethiopian pacemaker Muluneh Bekele in front, passed the half marathon mark in promising 63:26 minutes. At 30 km, that group had diminished to six runners, before two Kenyans, Samuel Kiplimo and Daniel Kipchuma, accompanied by the two Eritrean athletes, Berhane Tsegay and Henok Tesfaye, broke free of the rest. With two kilometers to go, Tsegay showed strength easing to the finish line with his compatriot Tesfaye 16 seconds behind.
Despite improving his personal best by four minutes, Tsegay didn’t seem surprised by his victory.
“I knew I was in a good shape, so I am not surprised. It was a fine race and a good course,” he said.
Daniel Kipchumba came in third in his marathon debut. With a time of 2:08,55 he as well was below the race record.
The silver medalist from the World Championships in Beijing 2015, Helah Jelegat Kiprop, showed that she is back in business after giving birth to a son two years ago.
“I am very happy to win the race and, of course, to set a new race record. It is good to be back after the birth and then the pandemic. But right now, I don’t know what my next goal will be,” the 37-year-old Kenyan said.
During the whole race, Muluhabt Tsega (ETH) looked like a strong contender to the victory but eventually had to settle with the second place, lowering her personal best from 2018 with more than a minute.
More than 11,000 runners took part in the 43rd edition of the race.
“After we were forced to cancel the race in 2020 and 2021, Copenhagen Marathon today returned stronger than ever. We had a marvelous race day with thousands of spectators along the course, and it was all crowned by lightning-fast race records for both men and women. There should be no doubt that Copenhagen is the city for those who want a running experience beyond the usual,” race director Dorte Vibjerg puts it.
After a three-year break, the Salzburg Marathon is returning. The “Running Festival in Mozart’s Hometown” takes place in the spirit of togetherness and peace this Sunday, 15 May.
Runners from 60 nations join the wide range of running events over the weekend. Austrian national marathon championships are the main sporting focus.
Known as a worldwide centre for classical music, the running event takes place under the name of “Running Festival of Mozart’s City”. A diverse and colourful programme with ten different competitions and the motivating atmosphere of peaceful togetherness inspire several thousand participants.
From a sporting point of view, the Austrian National Marathon Championships take centre stage. National record holder Eva Wutti hopes to qualify for the European Championships in Munich. She needs to beat the time of 2:32:00 hours. In the men’s race, Mario Bauernfeind, Isaac Kosgei and Georg Schrank are among the contenders for victory and the championship title. While the elite field consists of Austrian runners, the event as a whole is a huge international get-together.
The attractive marathon and the tourist appeal of Salzburg bring runners from 60 countries to the start.
The comeback of the Salzburg Marathon for its 19th edition has special significance for race director Johannes Langer: “Running brings people together. Finally we can garnish the desire to run with the special experience factor again – and all this at an atmospheric, international running event.”
Salzburg Marathon course records stand at 2:14:16, set by Eliud Kiplagat in 2013, and 2:35:05 by Risper Kimayo in 2011. While the men’s record looks safe this year, the women’s record could come under threat, as Austrian favourite Eva Wutti has a personal best of 2:30:43 from 2020.
The Marathon starts on Sunday, 15 May, 9.00 am. Last minute entry will be available on site.
The route leads through Salzburg‘s historic old town, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for 25 years, and touches the green surroundings outside of town. It is a flat and AIMS certified course that is officially recognized as a qualification event for international championships. Austrian Athletics Federation holds the national marathon championships there for the seventh time since 2007. Finish area is located in front of the world-famous Grosses Festspielhaus (Large Festival Hall) with a breathtaking view of Fortress Hohensalzburg.
Shorter distances at the Salzburg Marathon weekend motivate many people to participate and lead an active lifestyle. On Sunday, in addition to the marathon, the Sparkasse Half Marathon, the Hervis-10K Salzburg CityRun and the Hyundai Relay Marathon will take place. Among the participants in the relay is Olympic athlete Peter Herzog. The Austrian marathon record holder (2:10:06) is preparing for a start at the 10,000 m European Cup at the end of May.
The Salzburg Women‘s Run (5.5 km) on Friday as well as the CUP&CINO breakfast run, children‘s runs and the Inclusion Run on Saturday are also part of the running festival.
Public transport to the race and back home is available free of charge to all participants within the city of Salzburg on their day of running. Salzburg Marathon is certified as an ecologically sustainable event by Austrian control authorities. Runners enjoy high quality organic food made of local products at the marathon village. The use of renewable materials and an integrated programme for the reduction of transport and natural resources is in force.
The 42nd Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso is the stage that the NN Running Team athlete Letesenbet Gidey has chosen to debut at the distance of 42,195 metres.
Valencia has become the Ethiopian runner’s favourite city as she has achieved two of her four world records in the city of running. In fact, in both her two performances in Valencia she has come away with a world record.
On 4 December, the athlete will return to the streets of Valencia to take part in the Valencia Marathon with the aim of continuing to make athletics history. This will come just a few months after another great event, the World Athletics Championships in Oregon (USA), where she will probably compete in the 10,000m race.
“I am happy to share that I will make my marathon debut in Valencia on 4th of December. I have a special relation with Valencia. In 2020 I broke the World Record in 5.000m. In 2021 I broke the World Record in Half Marathon. Now in 2022, I hope to run a great first marathon”, said Gidey.
For the race’s international elite coach Marc Roig, Gidey’s participation confirms “Valencia’s position as a world running venue, as well as its long-term link with one of the best athletes, if not the best, in the world”. “Knowing that many marathons wanted her to debut in their cities, we are proud that Letesenbet Gidey has chosen Valencia. It demonstrates that we offer what athletes want”, he explained.
Gidey began her love affair with Valencia in 2020 during the NN Valencia WR Day, when she set a world record in the 5000m with 14:06.62. In October 2021, she took part in the Valencia Half Marathon Trinidad Alfonso Zurich, where she achieved her second world record in what was her debut over the distance with a stratospheric 1:02:52. Her other two WRs came in the Netherlands, in 2019 in Nijmegen in the 15K road race, which she completed in 44:20, and last year in Hengelo in the 10,000m with a time of 29:01.03.
Letesenbet Gidey is the first of the big names that the Valencia Marathon Organising Committee has confirmed among the elite athletes who will participate in the 42nd edition of the race, which wants to continue fighting to climb positions in the world marathon ranking.
40 years ago the organisers of 28 different races from around the world formally banded together to found AIMS.
On 7 May 1982, at the Park Lane Hotel in London, members of the new Association adopted articles of association, paid membership dues and elected a Board of Directors.
Of those founders of the Association of International Marathons (until 1987 membership was restricted to Marathons only) more than half remain members today and hundreds more have joined.
At this landmark anniversary AIMS would like to acknowledge and thank all those race organisations which have, at one time or another, come under the AIMS umbrella and contributed to the great enterprise noted in the articles of association to “exchange information, knowledge and expertise” among the members of the Association.
Thanks and congratulations are also due to the various sponsors who have contributed through AIMS towards the objectives of improving race organisation and the experience offered to race participants.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) World 10K Bengaluru 2022 race promoters Procam International announced the full elite field for World Athletics Elite Label Race on Monday.
The 14th edition of one of the world’s top road races over this distance will be held this coming Sunday 15 May.
Prestigious additions to those already named – Muktar Edris, Kibiwott Kandie and Tadese Worku in the men’s race; Hellen Obiri, Irene Cheptai and Joyce Tele in the women’s race – include Kenya’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games 10,000m silver medallist Paul Tanui and his compatriot Nicolas Kipkorir Kimeli, who was fourth in the 5000m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last summer.
Tanui’s road racing record is rather modest, his personal best of 28:39 was when he finished sixth in the 2019 TCSW10K, but on the track the Japan-based runner has an outstanding record and has a best of 26:49.41. In addition to his Rio silver medal, Tanui has three World Athletics Championships 10,000m bronze medals to his name as well as a World Cross Country Championships silver medal.
His younger compatriot Kipkorir Kimeli was the 2017 African U20 10,000m champion on the track and will arrive in Bengaluru in very good shape after running 12:55 for 5km on the road last month.
Fellow Kenyan Bravin Kipkogei succeeded Kipkorir Kimeli as the African U20 10,000m champion in 2019 and made a big impression when he finished sixth in the famous 2020 Valencia Half Marathon, in which Kandie set a world record of 57:32, despite having been originally employed as a pacemaker.
Kipkogei has raced sparingly in 2021 and 2022 but has the pedigree to make an impact in Bengaluru.
A third notable Kenyan addition to the men’s field is Matthew Kimeli, who ran 58:43 for the half marathon last year and has already had three outings over that distance in 2022, culminating in a win in Herzogenaurach, Germany in 59:30 just nine days ago
Another man in great shape at the moment is the 2015 world U20 cross country champion Yasin Haji, from Ethiopia who has twice run 27:00 for 10km in recent weeks, firstly in the French city of Lille in March and then in Herzogenaurach.
In total eight men in this year’s TCSW10K have run faster – either on the track or the roads – than Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor course record of 27:44 that dates from in 2014
In the women’s race, a number of young and very talented road runners from Kenya and Ethiopia have been added to the elite field to challenge the three well-known names that have already been announced.
Faith Cherono, from Kenya is just 19 and had a sensational international debut less than two months ago when she stunned onlookers with a superb win over 10km in Lille in 31:06. She followed that up by improving to 30:50 in Herzogenaurach.
Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Nigsti is only two seconds slower than Cherono over 10km and has been in good form in half marathons recently, clocking a personal best of 1:06:17 in Valencia last October and going close to that mark twice in March, her only two races in 2022 before the TCSW10K.
Seven women in this year’s TCSW10K have personal bests quicker than the course record of 31:19 set by Kenya’s Agnes Tirop in 2018.
The TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2022 has a total prize fund of US$210,000, with the men’s and women’s winners taking home US$26,000 and course record bonuses of an additional US$8,000 on offer.
“The world has had to wait three years because of the pandemic since the last TCS World 10K. This is the 14th edition of this fantastic race, and I am feeling very honoured because many of the world’s best distance runners have committed to coming back to India to make this one of
the best events in the world over this distance,” commented Vivek Singh, joint managing director of race promoters Procam International.
There is just one week left for aspirant Comrades athletes to get their entry in for this year’s Comrades Marathon before the entry process closes on Monday, 16 May 2022.
With 15,226 entries received so far, the Comrades Marathon Association has issued the entry breakdown as follows:
South African Entrants: 13813
International Entrants: 1413
CMA Race Director Rowyn James said, “We urge runners who have not yet entered to get their entry in during the next week. We are planning a fantastic day of road running on Sunday, 28 August for all Comrades runners be they South African or International. We have the lion’s share of international entries coming from the United Kingdom, India and Zimbabwe.”
The 95th Comrades Marathon will be the 47th Down Run on Sunday, 28 August 2022, starting at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 05h30 and ending 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, covering a 90.2km distance.
The English edition of a biography by Andreas Maier, writer, athletics journalist and press officer of the Vienna City Marathon, is published as an e-book on Friday, 6 May to coincide with the 68th anniversary of Roger Bannister becoming the first athlete to run under four minutes for a mile at Iffley Road track in Oxford.
This biography gives a much more rounded picture of Stampfl as athletics visionary and reaches far beyond what remains a landmark in sporting history. It is the story of a gifted, uncompromising individual, born in Vienna in 1913 in the last days of the Austro-Hungarian empire, who overcame much of what the twentieth century flung in his path. He left his native Vienna before the Nazis came to power, he was interned as an enemy alien in Britain and then in 1940 apparently survived a submarine attack in the north Atlantic by clinging to a spar, Deported to Australia he was again interned, but went on to build a new life as a professional athletics coach there before deciding to return to the UK after World War Two.
Given the totemic aspect of Roger Bannister, ably supported by Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway, in achieving athletics history on that spring day in Oxford, Franz Stampfl’s role was sometimes questioned in the then cultural climate of the amateur. The author Andreas Maier explores how this renowned trio’s relationship with the Austrian differed between each of the three Britons. Throughout the biography Maier illustrates the social context of Franz Stampfl’s path, whether it be the Lyons Tea Room on the King’s Road, Chelsea where he held court to Bannister, Brasher and Chataway in the early 1950s or Jimmy Watson’s Wine Bar beside the track where he coached at the University of Melbourne some years later. He was an innovator who guided Chris Brasher to a surprise Olympic victory in the steeplechase in Melbourne in 1956, sending him tape recordings of training advice.
More than one athlete is quoted in this biography as saying words to the effect that you never discussed anything with Franz, you were only given the chance to agree with him. At the same time, many people, Roger Bannister and the 1968 Olympic 800m champion Ralph Doubell of Australia included, agreed that Stampfl had the ability to “get inside your head”, to inspire and make you believe you could do just about anything. Once Stampfl and his Australian wife Patricia had settled in his new homeland, he continued to coach, his ability to inspire undimmed but also the knack of making enemies equally sharp.
Stampfl brought the keen gaze of the Vienna art school student to his coaching, painting throughout his life to the accompaniment of Bach Cantatas and compositions by Vivaldi. “Running is an art, and every runner must be thought of as an artist,” is one of his sayings. The book is a reminder that he not only coached the elite to great heights, he was among the first to encourage the running or jogging movement by starting organised morning sessions in a Melbourne Park.
Stampfl’s life changed irrevocably one Friday evening in 1981 when a fellow driver hit the back of his sports car, parked at a traffic light. The 68-year-old was rendered tetraplegic, unable to move but could still speak. He lived another 14 years, even returning to his coaching duties beside the track after much torment, commenting: “I thought that as long as I could speak, I could still coach.”
Anton Stampfl, Franz’s son, made a crucial contribution to the biography with documents and personal recollections. Franz Stampfl was a force of nature in everything he did. As a coach he was an innovator whose greatest gift was to impart visionary goals to others. His indomitable drive to persevere in desperate situations was a key factor of this ability.
The translation of the English edition is by Andy Edwards, journalist and broadcaster.
The e-book is available on Amazon with Kindle Unlimited or for the price of GBP 8.02 | USD 9.99 | EUR 9.52
Vibian Chepkirui defended her title and smashed the course record at the Vienna City Marathon. The Kenyan won with 2:20:59 after a close battle with fellow-Kenyan Ruth Chebitok who finished second in 2:21:03. Sheila Jerotich made it an all-Kenyan podium, taking third place in 2:23:01.
Cosmas Muteti won the men’s race with 2:06:53, which is the second fastest time in the history of the Vienna City Marathon. Fellow-Kenyan Leonard Langat was second in 2:06:59 and Eritrea’s Oqbe Kibrom followed in third with 2:07:25. Although there was no course record in the men’s race the wider top results were the best ever in the history of the event. There have never been two results below 2:07 before in Vienna. And seven times sub 2:10 is also a record for Austria’s prime road race.
A total of 32,000 runners from about 100 nations had registered for the 39th edition of the Vienna City Marathon, including events at shorter distances. Around 8,000 of them competed in the marathon. The Vienna City Marathon is Austria’s biggest sporting event and a World Athletics Label Road Race.
There was good pacemaking with an even pace in the men’s race for a long time although the 2:05:41 course record was never really threatened. A group of 17 runners including the three pacers passed half way in 63:21 and then went on to a 30k split time of 1:30:12. However when the pacers all dropped out at the same time right after the 30k point the race for victory was on immediately. It was Oqbe Kibrom who surged ahead instantly. The fastest runner on the start list (PB: 2:05:53) seemed on course for a first Eritrean victory in the history of the race. However with kilometer splits of 2:54 and 2:51 for the 31st and 32k Oqbe Kibrom misjudged his potential and the picture changed.
“I knew he was strong. But I decided not go with him at 30k and run my own pace instead. I hoped to close the gap slowly,“ explained Cosmas Muteti, who soon realised that he did gain ground on the leader. With around five kilometres to go the Kenyan, who is partly coached by former world marathon record holder Patrick Makau and was fifth in Berlin last September, caught Oqbe Kibrom and then moved away from him.
In the final stages fellow-Kenyan Leonard Langat took second place and made up some ground to the leader. “I knew that he was coming nearer, but I was sure to win as I would have been able to put in a sprint if needed,” said Cosmas Muteti, who made history by becoming the 50th runner of the Vienna City Marathon to achieve a sub 2:10 finish. “This is my biggest victory. I hope to be able to defend my title here next year and then maybe break the course record,” said Cosmas Muteti, who improved his former PB of 2:08:45 by almost two minutes.
Austrian’s Lemawork Ketema was the best European runner in Vienna with a 2:15:42 finishing time in 13th place. However he missed the qualifying standard for the European Championships.
In relatively good weather conditions but some wind the women’s race developed differently. Defending champion Vibian Chepkirui, who ran only her second marathon after her Vienna debut triumph in 2021, broke away after eight kilometres. At the 10k mark she had a split time of 33:11 which pointed to a 2:20 finishing time. She was six seconds ahead of fellow-Kenyans Ruth Chebitok and Viola Yator. For an unexpected reason the 27 year-old was then not able to maintain this pace. “My husband and pacemaker Wesley Kongogo had a problem with his shoes and got a blister, so he slowed a bit,” explained Vibian Chepkirui. While she had a lead of nine seconds at half way, which she passed in 70:38, she was unable to significantly increase it. In contrast Ruth Chebitok, who had left behind Viola Yator after the half way mark, made up the deficit and was running right behind the defending champion at 35k.
Vibian Chepkirui stayed ahead by a step in the final section and it was with around one kilometer to go at Vienna’s Opera House when she increased the pace again and secured her second Vienna marathon victory. “I am of course very happy to have won again in Vienna. I want to come back next year and then my goal will be to improve to 2:18,” said Vibian Chepkirui, who ran 2:24:29 in her debut last September in warm conditions.
Slovenia’s Neja Krsinar was the fastest European runner in Vienna. She finished eighth in 2:35:30.
The Port of Antwerp Night Marathon (BEL) will take place on Sun 11 September 2022, not Sat 17 September 2022 as previously published.
Yalemzerf Yehualaw won the Haspa Marathon Hamburg in 2:17:23. It was the fastest debut ever, surpassing Paula Radcliffe’s time of 2:18:56 from London in 2002.
Yehualaw became the sixth fastest woman ever and broke the course record with a German all-comers’ record. Fikrte Wereta took second, almost nine minutes behind.
In the men’s race Eliud Kipchoge’s 2:05:30 course record from 2013 was broken by fellow-Kenyan Cybrian Kotut. He clocked 2:04:47, just edging Uganda’s debutant Stephen Kissa who crossed the line one second behind the winner. Ethiopia’s Workineh Tadesse followed in third place with 2:05:07.
A total of 20,000 entries from 68 nations were registered by organisers for the 36th edition of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg, including shorter running events on Sunday. Around 10,500 of them competed in the marathon. Additionally 9000 children participated in a 4.2 k run on Saturday.
Yehualaw dominated the women’s race from the beginning and constantly increased her lead. She passed halfway in 68:30, already over two and a half minutes ahead. “The race went well for me considering this was my first marathon" she said. "The spectators helped me a lot.” Her time was four and a half minutes faster than the previous course record set by Meselech Melkamu of Ethiopia (2:21:54 in 2016). She also broke the German all-comers’ record of Kenya’s Gladys Cherono who ran 2:18:11 in Berlin in 2018.
In the men’s race things looked a lot closer from the beginning. 17 men passed 10km in 29:29. A major surge came late in the race with only 4km to go. Cybrian Kotut and Stephen Kissa, a debutant from Uganda, broke away from the leading group which included six runners at that point. Both delivered a stunning showdown right to the finish line. In the final sprint Cybrian Kotut pushed himself to a close victory in 2:04:47, a second ahead of Stephen Kissa (2:04:48). Ethiopia’s Workineh Tadesse took third spot in 2:05:07. All three runners were within the former course record of Eliud Kipchoge which stood at 2:05:30. The Kenyan superstar set this record back in 2013 running his marathon debut in Hamburg. ’’I am very happy that I broke the course record. The pacemakers covered me well from the wind. It was not easy with the wind, but overall the conditions were very good,“ said Cybrian Kotut.
Enschede Marathon has every reason to celebrate on 24 April. It will be 75 years since the first edition took place, making the event the oldest marathon in the Netherlands and in Western Europe.
Not only that, but participants can also enjoy a ‘real’ running race once again after two years of virtual events. “Runners are really looking forward to that, and so are we as an organisation,” says Sandra Melief, director of Enschede Marathon. “In addition, we have an absolute top field at the start this year.”
Since the very first edition on Saturday 12 July 1947, Enschede Marathon has developed into a multi-day recreational sports event. In the inaugural race there were 51 starters (33 of whom made it to the finish). Next Sunday more than 12,000 runners from home and abroad are expected to participate in distances from 5km to 42.195km. Among the 33 different nationalities, almost 1400 participants come from Germany. On Sunday the Humankind Kidsruns will take place in 10 different locations in the city for children from 3–12 years at distances of 1–4 km.
Enschede Marathon has not only developed enormously in terms of the size but also in the quality of the field with 40 top athletes contracted this year.
Next Sunday’s two biggest contenders, Fentahun Hunegnaw and Tadu Abate from Ethiopia, finished in the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon in 2:06:04 and 2:06:13 respectively. Their compatriot Abe Gashahun, who managed 59:46 in the Copenhagen Half Marathon last September could surprise. The chances of a new course record (bettering 2:07:20, dating from 2011) are good.
The same applies to the women’s course record, which was set at 2:27:00 in 2019. The top favourite, Maurine Chepkemoi from Kenya, ran 2:20:18 in the Amsterdam Marathon last year.
There is a bonus of 10,000 euros for the man and woman who run under the race record that was set on the multi-lap course during the NN Mission Marathon at Twente Air Base last year. For the men that is 2:04:30 from Eliud Kipchoge and for the women 2:25:59 from Katharina Steinruck. This should certainly be feasible for the women.
In the evening of Friday 22 April the second edition of ‘Get Ready’ will take place: an accessible lecture that the Enschede Marathon organises together with the University of Twente on the latest insights into running sport.
Although the Enschede Marathon is a top sporting event, the organization also wants to involve social runners the Menzis Twee van Enschede on Saturday evening, 23 April is a cheerful exercise event that everyone can participate in at their own pace (there is no timekeeping).” The 3.2km route leads right through Enschede city centre, starting and finishing at the atmospheric Oude Markt.
More than 1600 marathoners have now registered for the longest distance, double the number of previous years. Everyone seems to be happy that after two years there is finally a ‘real’ marathon again, but according to Melief there is more to it. “As an Enschede Marathon, we have been very visible over the past two years, while nothing was actually possible and nothing was allowed. In April last year we organized the NN Mission Marathon at Twente Airport with only 10 days of preparation. The absolute world’s best stood at the start with the aim of securing a starting ticket for the Olympic marathon in Tokyo. A month later, we organized the ‘Ready for Takeoff’ test event, with 5km and 10km races. Both times we proved the resilience and flexibility of our organization, and that is appreciated.” This resilience also applies to the sponsors, says Melief: “although we had to skip two editions, our sponsors remained loyal to us and we were even able to welcome new sponsors. That ensures continuity in the organisation and you radiate that to the participants.”
Since 2019 the start and finish have been located at the H.J. van Heekplein in the city centre. “Two years ago we noticed that there is so much more contact between runners, sponsors and the public. There is also plenty of entertainment along the route on Sunday, so that it will be an extra festive edition for everyone, runners, volunteers and spectators.”
The fastest half marathon in the world is back. For 2022, in the 31th edition, scheduled for May 8th, the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon will be, once again, aiming for new records.
And, just like last November, there will be a bonus prize of EUR 50,000 (USD 54,000) up for grabs in case of new records.
To achieve this it will count on some of the best athletes in the world, especially in the women’s field, including the Kenyan Brigid Kosgei, the fastest female marathoner ever (2:14:04) and the eighth fastest in the half ever (1:04.49).
Tsehay Gemechu, the winner of last year’s race and the current course record holder (1:06:06) will also be present, with her fellow Ethiopians Gotytom Gebreselassie (1:05:36) and Bosena Mulatie (1:05:43). The Israeli Lonah Salpeter, the third fastest European woman ever (1:06:09), will also be present.
The time to beat for a new world record (in a women-only race) is 1:05:16, set by Peres Jepchirchir in Gdynia, at the 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships.
In the men’s race, with Kiplimo’s record in sights (57:31), the field has 11 runners with personal bests below the hour mark, four of them under 59 minutes: Kenneth Kiprop Renju (58:35), Abraham Cheroben (58:40), Kevin Kiptum (58:42) and Jorum Okombo (58:48).
Besides the international field, the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon will also have the best runners from Portugal, including Hermano Ferreira, Luís Saraiva, Rui Teixeira and Nuno Costa in the men’s field and Rafaela Almeida, Sara Moreira and Solange Jesus in the women’s field.
In this year’s race – the half marathon is already sold out – there will be almost 10,000 runners from nearly 96 different nationalities. There are a few last minute bibs available for the Vodafone 10k.
“Right after the men’s world record, last year, I started preparing in my head for the process of trying for the female record too,” admits Carlos Moia, race director.
The Maratón del Atlántico (HON) will take place on Sun 4 December 2022, not Sat 5 February 2022 as previously published.
Gelete Burka is smiling warmly as she moves about her house in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital city. She’s looking into her mobile phone during a WhatsApp video call in which she confirmed her return to the newly renamed Tartan Ottawa International Marathon, Sunday, May 29th.
The World Athletic Gold-label event will be held in person again after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
On her previous visit in 2018, Gelete – Ethiopians prefer to use their first names – broke the Canadian All Comers’ record (the fastest time recorded on Canadian soil) with a stunning 2 hours 22 minutes 17 seconds despite conditions that weren’t exactly agreeable.
“Of course that time everything was hard,” she remembers still smiling. “The weather! I had been training here in Ethiopia and it was so very hot and also the (strong) wind and I also had stomach cramps. Anyway, God is good and, for me that day, helped me for that victory. I was so very happy.”
The margin of victory despite stomach cramps, the wind and the cooler temperatures (it was a cool 13 degrees Celsius at 7am that day) was roughly four minutes such was the effort she expended.
“Ottawa is a good memory for me,” she continues. “When I was training I had a bit of a leg problem with an injury to my calf and I came to Ottawa with that injury. It was not easy. That was why I smiled when I came to the finish.”
Although she rarely leaves the hotel at a marathon – preferring to totally focus on the race at hand – after her Ottawa victory she attended an Ethiopian church with Ottawa friends to give thanks.
In Addis she is both an usher and a member of the forty-member choir at The Glorious Life Church. With two Sunday services, plus another on Tuesday nights, her devotion to the church is exemplary. No wonder she has little time, outside of training and travelling, for herself. When she does have free time she might have tea or coffee with friends.
As she speaks, Gelete shifts position for better light and the contents of her cabinet come into focus.
There is her 1500m gold medal from the 2008 World Indoor Championships, the 2006 World Cross Country gold and the 10,000m silver medal she earned at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. Without a second thought she suddenly beckons two children to join her in the picture. They are her young niece and nephew, Deborah and Muse, and she asks them to say hello into her phone.
Family is ever so important. These are her youngest sister’s kids. The financial rewards of being a world class runner – she took CAD 30,000 (USD 24,120) prize money from Ottawa for instance – over two decades has allowed her to take care of both immediate family who live with her, while also contributing to the welfare of children in her home village of Kofele in south central Ethiopia.
Gelete has represented Ethiopia in six successive world outdoor championships and three Olympics. In Rio six years ago, she finished 5th in the 10,000m earning her personal best of 30:26.66. Had it not been for a slight on the part of the Ethiopian federation a year later, she might never have turned to the marathon.
“In 2017 I was in Hengelo (Netherlands) at the Ethiopian trials for the world championships. I won the Ethiopian 10,000m trials (30:40.87), but they never took me to the world championships in London,” she explains, her smile having vanished now.
“After that I stopped track and that is the point when I went to the marathon. So, I trained for the Dubai Marathon where I ran 2:20:45.”
A year later she won the 2019 Paris Marathon in 2:22:47, then finished 3rd in Chicago, one of the ‘World Majors,’ in 2:20:55. The latter result illustrates the importance of pacemakers to marathoners.
“In Paris we had a very nice pacer and also in Chicago, you remember the world record was broken,” she remembers. “The pacemakers went with the Kenyan lady (Brigid Kosgei set the world record of 2:14:04) and after 2km I was all by myself for 40km. Maybe when someone is pushing me I will run under 2:19. I need a good pacemaker. Yes I hope it is arranged (in Ottawa). I want to go under 1:10 the first half.”
Gelete is coached by Getamesay Molla and belongs to a group of strong Ethiopian runners who train together on the dusty roads of Sendafa, Sululta and Entoto outside Addis. Traffic inside the capital makes training there near impossible. Preparations, she says, are going well for Ottawa.
“My training now is very nice,” she allows. “I am happy with my training and I have another two months to get in good shape.”
Racing regularly again following the coronavirus pandemic is a welcome relief for her. Now that she is 36 years old, an age that used to indicate the twilight years of an athletics career, she doesn’t know how much longer she will continue training and racing. The Paris Olympics are two years hence.
“I don’t know about that (Paris) I don’t have an idea about this,” she says carefully.
“Even if I run a good time it is not easy with my federation (to win selection). You saw like Kenenisa (Bekele who was controversially left off the Ethiopian Olympic team) last time in Tokyo. I will see what my time is. Sometimes you have the time, but I don’t know why they do this.”
Politics notwithstanding Gelete has several more world-class performances in those legs. Reducing her personal best and getting under the 2 hours 20 minutes barrier remains a target. She would like for that to happen on the streets of Ottawa.
Swissalpine, the classic Alpine ultramarathon has run out of time in which to secure route permits for all the race formats and has had to cancel the Prologue, scheduled for 20 August 2022.
The organisers are confident that they can complete the approval process by summer 2022 for the race to be held in 2023.
The Swiss Irontrail in Savognin will be held on 6 August 2022.
Anticipation is high for the launch of the innovative new series “SuperHalfs”, which has brought five of the world’s most beautiful races under the same banner with the aim of promoting running, tourism and environmental sustainability in each of the member cities.
The SuperHalfs series includes races in Prague, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Cardiff and Valencia. The Series had been preparing to launch in the Spring of 2020 but had to be frozen while neither large events nor international travel were possible during the pandemic and it was not possible to guarantee the safety of participants and to ensure the great experience runners were expecting.
While restrictions on international travel remain in some places, the situations in the five countries of the SuperHalfs series has improved dramatically in recent months, meaning it is at last possible for the series to get underway.
Following such a difficult period, the series will offer committed runners and experience seekers a new opportunity to get out and travel once again, doing what they love.
They will be able to map out their own running adventure whilst being rewarded for their efforts with exclusive benefits – working to earn a SuperMedal by completing the five-race series and earning stamps in a digital SuperPassport when they complete each race.
Runners will have 36 months to complete the series, starting from the date of the first 2022 race completed and can now create and download their own digital SuperPassport.
SuperHalfs Managing Director, Sašo Belovski commented: “We understand that the delay to the beginning of the series, as we waited for the situation in all five of our host cities to improve, has been frustrating to many. We now look forward together to a bright future and many happy kilometres running together.”
SuperHalfs Calendar 2022
Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon – 2 April 2022
EDP Lisbon Half Marathon – 8 May 2022
Copenhagen Half Marathon – 18 September 2022
Cardiff Half Marathon – 2 October 2022
Valencia Half Marathon Trinidad Alfonso Zurich – 23 October 2022
The two defending champions will both be returning to the Vienna City Marathon on 24th April: Kenyans Leonard Langat and Vibian Chepkirui.
While some elite women’s contenders were released earlier, organisers now confirmed a number of male competitors.
There will be unprecedented depth in Vienna’s men’s elite field with five athletes featuring personal bests of sub 2:06. This group is led by Ethiopia’s Mekuant Ayenew who has a PB of 2:04:46. Additionally the Vienna City Marathon will feature a rematch between Derara Hurisa of Ethiopia, who had crossed the line first last year but was then disqualified for inadvertently wearing an illegal racing shoe, and Leonard Langat.
Well over 27,000 runners have so far registered for Austria’s leading road race, including entries for shorter running events. Online entry for the 39th Vienna City Marathon, which is a World Athletics Marathon Label Road Race, is still possible at: www.vienna-marathon.com
“Elite racing forms a thrilling part of our event. These runners bring high quality performances and often emotional stories to our race,” said Race Director Wolfgang Konrad. “We are very happy to welcome back both winners from last year to Vienna. And we keep our fingers crossed for Derara Hurisa, who will also return.”
In unusually warm conditions Derara Hurisa became the first athlete being disqualified for wearing an illegal shoe in a major city marathon last September in Vienna. The Ethiopian, who has a personal best of 2:08:09, crossed the line first in 2:09:22. However it appeared the he wore shoes that have a sole thickness of five centimeters while a maximum of four is allowed. Derara Hurisa had chosen the shoes for the race because he used them in training and thought they were within the rules. The athlete looked upset and distraught when he learnt about the disqualification and will be eager to take his second chance when he returns to Vienna. Though he was happy to become the winner it was not the ideal scenario for Leonard Langat as well. “Of course I would have preferred to have broken the tape,” said the Kenyan, who improved his PB to 2:09:25 in Vienna last year.
Such is the strength of the elite field this time that both runners might have to improve their personal bests quite significantly if they want to be in contention for victory on 24th April. With a personal record of 2:04:46 Mekuant Ayenew is the second fastest runner ever entered into a Vienna City Marathon behind former world record holder Dennis Kimetto (2:02:57). The Kenyan did not finish the 2018 race. Mekuant Ayenew, who won the Sevilla Marathon 2020 when he clocked his PB, heads the start list.
The other four athletes with personal bests of sub 2:06 are Goitom Kifle of Eritrea (2:05:28), Bahrain’s Marius Kimutai (2:05:47), Oqbe Kibrom from Eritrea (2:05:53) and Ethiopian Abdi Fufa (2:05:57). While Kimutai was the winner of the Rotterdam Marathon in 2017 Kifle achieved a notable 14th place in the Olympic marathon in Sapporo last summer.
The group of leading runners look to be in a perfect position to target the course record of the Vienna City Marathon. Ethiopia’s Getu Feleke established this mark when he won the race with 2:05:41 back in 2014.
Hellen Obiri clocked the tenth fastest time ever with 1:04:48 to win the 17th N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon while Rodgers Kwemoi ran a course record of 59:15 to make it a Kenyan double.
Strong winds during the second half of the race prevented even faster times on a sunny day at the Bosphorus.
Dominating the race 24 year-old Rodgers Kwemoi improved the course record by 20 seconds. Daniel Mateiko was second in 60:05 while fellow-Kenyan Emmanuel Bor, who had started the race as a pacemaker, finished third with 60:20. Romania’s Nicolae Soare was the fastest European runner in 12th position with 63:33 and Ramazan Özdemir followed in 14th with 64:02 as the fastest athlete from Turkey.
Hellen Obiri ran another impressive race. When the 32 year-old World Cross Country and 5,000 m World Champion broke the tape in 64:48 she was more than a minute ahead. Ethiopians Tsehay Gemechu and Bekelech Gudeta took second and third with 65:52 and 66:35. While Kenya’s Vicoty Chepngeno finished fourth in 66:58 Yasemin Can of Turkey was fifth with 67:57.
Hellen Obiri is back in Istanbul where strong elite fields were assembled for the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon on Sunday.
Both course records could be threatened at the Bosporus. Six women are on the start list with personal bests of sub 67:00 and Kenya’s reigning World Cross Country Champion and 5,000 m World Champion is the fastest of them: Hellen Obiri has improved to 64:22 earlier this year. Fellow-Kenyans Daniel Mateiko and Rodgers Kwemoi head the men’s start list with personal bests of 58:26 and 58:30 respectively. The N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon produced a world record a year ago when Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich won the race in 64:02.
A year ago the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon was one of very few international races that went ahead during the pandemic. 4,000 runners participated under strict hygiene regulations. Now the organizers of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon are proud to announce that the race bounced back: Including races at shorter distances a record number of over 10,000 runners were registered for the 17th edition. Around 8,000 of them will run the half marathon. Turkey’s biggest spring road race is a World Athletics Elite Label Road Race.
There will be a livestream on Sunday, which can be accessed at: https://www.istanbulyarimaratonu.com/en/
“We have worked for a long time to improve our 16 year-old course and to make it one of the most historic and enjoyable courses in the world, as well as one of the fastest. We succeeded in developing the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon further and even had a world record here a year ago,” said Renay Onur, the Race Director of the event which is staged by Spor Istanbul. With regard to Sunday’s race he said: “Our elite field is of high quality. With two men having recently achieved sub-59 times, we have a chance that our course record will fall. On the women’s side, I am happy that Hellen Obiri is back. I believe she can go even faster since weather conditions seem to be fine on Sunday. We invite all sport lovers to enjoy this race.”
Hellen Obiri is ready for another very fast race. “If weather conditions and pacemaking are good then I will try to break my personal best. Whenever I come to such a race it is my goal to run well and improve my time,” said the 32 year-old who improved to 64:22 when she was second in the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon in the United Arab Emirates in February. Since then she has been training in the Ngong hills near Nairobi. “I am in much better form now than I was before Ras Al Khaimah,” said Hellen Obiri. Asked about the course record, which is also the Kenyan record, she answered: “The course record will be a tough challenge. But we have a very strong field, so we will definitely give it a try.”
Hellen Obiri will indeed face very strong competition in Istanbul. Fellow-Kenyan Vicoty Chepngeno has an outstanding half marathon record. She ran 14 half marathons since 2018 and won eleven of them. The 28 year-old is undefeated in her past six races at the distance and improved to a world-class time of 65:03 when she took the Houston half marathon in January.
Ethiopian trio Tsehay Gemechu (PB: 65:08), Nigsti Haftu (66:17), Bekelech Gudeta (66:54) and Turkey’s multiple European long distance champion Yasemin Can (66:20) are the other women who have already run below 67:00. Tsehay Gemechu has a very strong half marathon record as well. She has won four of her five races and is the reigning champion of the Copenhagen half marathon where she clocked her PB last year.
In the men’s race there will be an attack on the course record, which was established last year by Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie with 59:35. “We will both be going for the course record and a personal best,“ said Daniel Mateiko and Rodgers Kwemoi, who are training partners and belong to the group of Eliud Kipchoge based at Kaptagat. Mateiko improved by almost a full minute to 58:26 when he was third in Valencia in 2021 while Kwemoi was runner-up in Ras Al Khaimah in February with a strong PB of 58:30. “I am now in better form than I was in Ras Al Khaimah,” said Rodgers Kwemoi.
Two other runners in the field have already broken the one hour barrier: Kenyans Josphat Tanui and Edmond Kipngetich have personal bests of 59:22 and 59:41 respectively.
The Bangsaen42 Chonburi Marathon (THA) will take place on Sun 30 October 2022, not Sun 6 November 2022 as previously published.
The organizing team of the Club Tartu Maraton has decided that in this season the participation in the Klassik series is free for Ukrainians.
According to Indrek Kelk, the chief organizer of the Club Tartu Maraton events, the organizing team wants to help people who are suffering from the ongoing war. “We believe that a healthy, active lifestyle and exercising in the fresh air is one of the key things you can do for your physical and mental health. It is known that in difficult times you have to return to the basics, and that is enough sleep, food and regular exercise. We feel that we want to help and the thing we can do is allow Ukrainians to participate in our events for free,” explains Kelk.
The Klassic series includes 5 events during the year. The 48th Tartu Maraton was held on 20th of February. The next in the series are: 40. Tartu Forest Marathon (May 8th), Tartu Rattaralli (May 29th), Tartu MTB Marathon (September 18th) and Tartu City Marathon (October 1st). There will also be children’s races the day before the main events.
Adults and children from Ukraine can take part in all of the above-mentioned events free of charge. To do this, you must indicate Ukraine as the country of registration and show an identity document when taking out the start materials.
All sports fans who want to help the Ukrainians can take part in the charity event Ukraine Charity Loppet, organized by Worldloppet (of which the Tartu Maraton is also a member). People from all over the world can take part, choosing the sport and distance that suits them. The virtual Loppet started on March 10th and 340 people participated in the first week and collected a total of almost 9000 euros. The money will be donated 100% to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
Entries for the 95th Comrades Marathon to be held in August will open next Wednesday, 23 March 2022.
This will be the first entry window period and runs until 31 March 2022. During this window period, only those entrants who had successfully entered the 2020 Comrades Marathon will be able to enter, be they South Africa, Rest of Africa or International.
The entry fee for South African athletes will be discounted from R1200 to R1000 in the first entry window period, as per the CMA’s commitment when the 2020 race was cancelled. Rest of Africa and International entrants in the 2020 Comrades Marathon had their entries deferred to either the 2022 or 2023 race; and will therefore not pay an entry fee.
During the second entry window period, from 20 April to 16 May 2022, all other athletes will be allowed to enter. Entry is free to all runners who have completed the Comrades Marathon 25 times or more.
This second entry window period will not apply should the entry cap of 15,000 entries have been reached during the first entry window period.
CMA Race Director, Rowyn James says, “We have exciting plans in place for this year’s Down Run which will finish at the internationally acclaimed Moses Mabhida Stadium for the second time. Qualifying for the 2022 Comrades Marathon is applicable as of 1 September 2021 till 12 July 2022. The qualifying criteria for this year’s Comrades Marathon remains unchanged requiring completion of a standard 42.2km marathon in under 4 hours and 50 minutes, or a 56km ultra-marathon in under 6 hours and 45 minutes.”
The 95th Comrades Marathon will be the 47th Down Run on Sunday, 28 August 2022, starting at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 05h30 and ending 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, covering a 90.2km distance.
Former Hamburg winner Tsegaye Mekonnen and reigning Berlin Marathon champion Guye Adola are among the top runners for the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on 24th April.
The two Ethiopians feature personal bests of sub 2:05 as do three other runners on the start list. Guye Adola heads this list with a time of 2:03:46. Organisers announced athletes of the men’s elite field today. The women’s race will feature the debut marathon of Ethiopia’s 10k world record holder Yalemzerf Yehualaw, which was announced a fortnight ago.
Organisers of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg expect a total of 20,000 runners including races at shorter distances on 24th April. Online entry is still possible at: www.haspa-marathon-hamburg.de
It was back in 2017 when Guye Adola ran a sensational marathon debut in Berlin. Clocking an unofficial world debut record of 2:03:46 which remains his PB he came surprisingly close to beating Kenya’s superstar Eliud Kipchoge. Adola was even leading the Olympic Champion until around 40 k before Kipchoge finally managed to overhaul him and win by just 14 seconds.
Injuries, health problems and Covid 19 restrictions stopped him from competing a couple of times in the past few years. However Guye Adola then came back to Berlin to beat Ethiopia’s superstar and pre-race favourite Kenenisa Bekele comfortably in September last year. In very warm conditions the 31 year-old clocked 2:05:45.
Having coped so well against the fastest marathon runners on the planet Guye Adola could be in a position to take away the course record from Eliud Kipchoge. The Kenyan won his debut race at the distance in Hamburg in 2013 and set the current mark of 2:05:30.
While Guye Adola has never raced in Hamburg Tsegaye Mekonnen is a former winner of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg. The 26 year-old clocked 2:07:26 in 2017 when he took the race, denying the 2012 Olympic Champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda by just five seconds. Tsegaye Mekonnen had made headlines before when he triumphed at the Dubai Marathon in 2014. As an 18 year-old he achieved a time of 2:04:32 which still stands as the unofficial world junior record today (World Athletics does not recognize junior records in the marathon).
There are four other runners on the start list of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg who have run faster than Kipchoge’s course record. Kinde Atanaw ran 2:03:51 when he took the Valencia Marathon in 2019 while fellow-Ethiopian Abebe Degefa was fourth in that race with 2:04:51. Barselius Kipyego of Kenya showed fine form last autumn when he ran 2:04:48 for fourth place in Paris. Eritrea’s Afewerki Berhane, who has a personal best of 2:05:22, is also going for Germany’s biggest spring marathon.
Among a number of debutants Stephen Kissa might be capable of a surprise. The Ugandan ran a very fast half marathon time of 58:56 in New Delhi in 2020.
Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya won the Nagoya Women’s Marathon on Sunday, March 13 with the second-fastest time ever in the women-only marathon, two hours 17 minutes and 18 seconds.
The early arrival of spring warmth brought temperatures up to 21 degrees Celsius without any wind and turned the city of Nagoya into a grand stage for a world’s top-speed women’s competition.
World Marathon Champion (2019) and Chicago Marathon Champion (2021) Chepngetich, who said she preferred heat to cold at the pre-race press conference, sprung out of the first pack after 5 km and extended her lead to a solo run. However, Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter accelerated and narrowed the gap at a surprisingly high speed, which enabled her to catch up to a head-to-head after 30 km. At an uphill near 34 km, Ruth spurted and left Lonah behind all the way to the finish line in a new event record and the sixth fastest time in the world. Second place went to Salpeter (2:18:45), followed by Yuka Ando of Japan (2:22:22) in third place.
The Nagoya Women’s Marathon is the only all-women road race with a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label and became this year the largest first-prize paying marathon in the world. Chepngetich, who broke the race record by 2 minutes 11 seconds and received USD 250,000 said at the post-race interview, “I can say the race was good. I wanted to run a new course record and ran comfortably.” Looking back to the 34km, which came to be her winning point, she added, “When Lonah arrived, I decided to push myself because I prepared myself to win at this race.”
Alongside the elite competition, many local runners joined the race, making the total number of participants 8,698. The 2022 race was another edition held under the Covid-19 pandemic after 2020 and 2021, but the sight of the women runners filling the wide city streets impressed both local and global audiences with a comeback of one of the largest women’s sports festivals. The runners’ strength, perseverance, smiles, and even tears were so emotional and inspirational that they reminded us once again of the power of sports and the hope they provide.
The Race Organizer comments: “Despite the unseasonably warm weather, we are relieved and happy that we were able to safely hold the race again this year without any major accidents. We are sincerely grateful for all the runners for their participation and the volunteers and all the others involved for their support, especially when the pandemic is not yet fully contained.”
The Swissalpine (SUI) will take place on Sat 20 August 2022, not Sat 6 August 2022 as previously published.
The race is moving from Davos to Chur.
The Swiss Irontrail, which has the same organisers, will take place on 6 August in Savognin.
Defending champion Vibian Chepkirui will return to the Vienna City Marathon on 24th April.
The Kenyan surprised last year in the Austrian capital when she won her debut at the classic distance. Organisers announced some top contenders of the women’s elite field today and there are currently six athletes on the start list who feature personal bests of sub 2:25:00.
Including shorter distances, around 25,000 runners have so far registered for Austria’s biggest one day sporting event. Online entry for the Vienna City Marathon, which is a World Athletics Marathon Label Road Race, is still possible at: www.vienna-marathon.com
The Vienna City Marathon is among the major spring road races coming back to their original event date. While the race had to be cancelled at short notice in 2020 due to the Corona pandemic it was moved to the autumn season last year and took place in September. The Vienna City Marathon then became the first major marathon worldwide with a strong international elite field and a mass race since the start of the Corona pandemic.
“We are happy that we are now able to return to our traditional spring date. The Vienna City Marathon is a huge motivator for sports and activity in Austria and we recognize great anticipation to our race among the runners,” said Race Director Wolfgang Konrad. With regard to the women’s elite runners he said: “The quality of the women’s elite field looks very promising and the course record may well be challenged by a group of runners.“
It will be little over seven months ago when Vibian Chepkirui returns to the race where she achieved her biggest career victory so far. Last September she came to Vienna as an underdog and had to cope with travel problems: Flying to Austria via Doha with a group of fellow-Kenyan runners they missed their connecting flight and had to sleep on the floor at Doha airport. In very warm weather conditions Vibian Chepkirui then was the only woman to run under 2:25. The Kenyan took the race with 2:24:29. “Without the heat I would have run at least two minutes faster,” she said.
In more favourable conditions Vibian Chepkirui might be able to make a significant improvement in her second marathon and could attack the Vienna course record of 2:22:12. One of the challengers of the 27 year-old is Sheila Jerotich. She also took a major international marathon in the 2021 autumn season. The Kenyan won the Istanbul Marathon, coming from behind and producing a stunning finish in 2:24:15. However there are three runners who have faster personal bests than Chepkirui and Jerotich: Juliet Chekwel of Uganda and Ethiopia’s Bontu Bekele took first and second in the Sevilla Marathon in 2020 with 2:23:13 and 2:23:39 respectively. Kenya’s Ruth Chebitok has a personal best of 2:23:29 from Toronto 2018.
Jessica Augusto is the leading European runner on the current start list. The Portuguese, who was sixth in the London Olympic marathon in 2012, features a personal best of 2:24:25 from 2014. Jessica Augusto then took the Hamburg Marathon in 2017 but could not match her best performances recently.
The Phnom Penh International Half Marathon (CAM) will take place on Sat 18 June 2022, not Sun 12 June 2022 as previously published.
South Africa’s Stephen Mokoko – with a marathon best of 2:07:40 – has been running marathons for more than a decade but he made history in his very first 50km race, the Nedbank #Runified 50km in Gqeberha (RSA) on 6 March.
He followed the pacemaker through halfway in 1:21:02 and then broke away after 30km. Running alone, he maintained his pace on the 10km loop course by almost four minutes to win in 2:40:13. The inaugural world 50km record of 2:42:07 had been set by Ethiopia’s Ketema Negasa at the same event last year.
The women’s mark of 3:04:24, set by Irvette Van Zyl also in the same race last year, remained unbeaten with Ethiopia’s Amelework Fikadu taking victory in 3:04:58.
World record-holders Eliud Kipchoge (2:02:40) and Brigid Kosgei (2:16:02) ran two of the fastest marathons of all time in Tokyo on 6 March.
Both won by large margins and showed complete control in their races. Kipchoge’s performance was the fourth-fastest ever (with three of these marks being his own) and Kosgei’s was third fastest behind her world record of 2:14:04 from Chicago in 2019 and Paula Radcliffe’s 2:15:25 from London in 2003.
The men’s race was fast from the start as they passed 5km in 14:17. By 10km (28:37) it was already down to a lead group of five but they stuck together through halfway (1:01:03).
Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew (personal best of 2:02:57 from 2019) dropped back at 23km and dropped out soon after. When pacemaking finished at 27km the race was down to three. Tamirat Tola slipped back and Kipchoge then had only Amos Kipruto for company as they went through 35km in 1:41:30 (2:02:38 pace).
Kipchoge began to move away in the 37th kilometre. The final section was into a headwind but Kipchoge maintained his pace for an emphatic victory.
The women’s race also started fast, with the first 5km downhill, passing through 10km in 32:14 (2:16 pace). The course record was set last year by Lornah Salpeter with 2:17:45. Kosgei was in a group with Ethiopians Gotytom Gebreslase, Ashete Bekere and Hiwot Gebrekidan plus Kenya’s Angela Tanui. A chase group included Japan’s Hitomi Niiya, who had won the first Tokyo Marathon back in 2007.
The same leaders reached halfway in 1:08:06 (2:16:12) with Kosgei tracked by Gebreslase. By 35km the two had eventually broken away, and Kosgei moved into the lead at 37km, pushing on for an unchallenged win. Five runners ran times under 2:20.
There are moments in life where the word neutral loses its meaning. This is what is currently happening in Ukraine. It is impossible to remain neutral as by doing so we would contribute to accepting what is being done there.
The facts are simple: a powerful country invades one of its neighbors, destroying everything around whether material or human, and shows the worst face of human nature that we all thought belonged to the past. There is no way to witness this and remain neutral.
This is why our Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) joins the unanimous movement condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At the same time we acknowledge and admire the efforts of many Russian citizens who put their own lives in danger when trying to protest at the disastrous actions taken by their government.
The Kigali International Peace Marathon (RWA) will take place on Sun 29 May 2022, not Sun 22 May 2022 as previously published.
Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who smashed the world 10km road race record a few days ago, now sets her sights on her marathon debut. The 22 year-old Ethiopian has chosen the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on 24 April for her first race at the classic distance.
Germany’s biggest spring marathon returns to its traditional date for the first time since 2019 and looks likely to come back with a bang. Yehualaw clearly has the potential to run a very good first marathon. Organisers of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg expect a total of 20,000 runners including the races at shorter distances. Online entry is still possible.
Yalemzerf Yehualaw improved the world 10km record by 24 seconds to 29:14 on 27 February in Castellón, Spain. She is also the world’s second fastest half marathon runner. She clocked 1:03:51 in Valencia last October. Additionally at the World Half Marathon Championships in 2020 she won the bronze medal. Her half marathon PB suggests that she has the potential to run spectacular marathon times.
“I am really happy to be able to run my marathon debut in Hamburg,” said Yehualaw after she had viewed the course. “I am looking forward to this race and want to break the course record.” Fellow Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu holds the current Hamburg course best with a time of 2:21:54 from 2016.
The fastest woman runner on Hamburg’s start list is Priscah Jeptoo. The Olympic silver medallist from London 2012 has a PB of 2:20:14. While this personal record is 10 years old more recently she ran 2:24:16 in Valencia in 2019.
The Moonlight Half Marathon (ITA) will take place on Sat 11 June 2022, not Sat 21 May 2022 as previously published.
John Landy, the second man in history to break four minutes for the mile, died on 24 February at the age of 91.
Six weeks after Roger Bannister had run 3:59.4, to become the first man to run the mile in under four minutes, John Landy improved Bannister’s world record to 3:58.0. For the previous two years both men had been concentrating on running a sub-four-minute mile after disappointing performances at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.
Landy leapt ahead to lead the chase, improving his personal best by a full eight seconds to 4:02.1. In Helsinki he had been influenced by the example of Emil Zatopek who had won all the long-distance events in with an impressively hard training regime. Landy’s breakthrough brought the prospect of a sub-four-minute mile centre stage, with Bannister and the American runner Wes Santee his main rivals.
While Landy and Santee concentrated single-mindedly on upping their training Bannister sought help from renowned coach Franz Stampfl and from his training partners Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher as pacemakers. An illegally-paced effort in 1953 yielded a time of 4:02.0 but by the start of the 1954 season, as Landy looked for races to sharpen his form, Bannister was ready to launch his effort. The pacing was crucial to Bannister’s successful attempt – and this time within the rules.
With Landy slicing 1.4 seconds from Bannister’s barrier-breaking record the clash between the pair at the 1954 Empire Games in Vancouver was highly anticipated. Bannister had the fearsome finish and Landy was a committed front-runner. True to form, Landy’s relentless effort opened up a gap by halfway but Bannister closed down on him before outsprinting him in the home straight to record his fastest-ever time of 3:58.8.
Landy was less than a second behind and ran under four minutes for the second time. He had sustained a foot wound from broken glass but insisted it did not affect his performance.
After a break from running in 1955 Landy returned early in 1956 to record two more sub-four-minute miles as well as set national records in the 880 yards and three miles.
In May Landy was approached by the Government of Victoria to make a US tour in order to counter negative impressions of the Melbourne Olympics. Landy’s schedule was punishing yet he twice ran sub-four-minute miles at a time when only five men had beaten the mark. But he also sustained a tendon injury which limited his training on return to Australia
He was the face of the 1956 Games in Melbourne but was struggling to regain fitness and confidence. After lagging behind the leaders in the final of the 1500m he came alive on the last lap but ran out of ground, finishing with the bronze medal.
In later life Landy’s sense of civic duty led him into becoming Governor of Victoria from 2001–2006. In the Queen’s Baton Relay at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games he received the baton on the final stage and delivered it to Queen Elizabeth II.
“He maintained his huge enthusiasm for athletics right to the end and was one of its great ambassadors,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “Our sport owes him a huge debt.”
Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw set a new world record for 10km on the road (in a mixed race) with a time of 29:14 in the Castellon 10km on 27 February.
She broke the previous record, held by Joyciline Jepkosgei, by 29 seconds.
The Taipei Freeway Marathon (TPE) will take place on Sun 15 May 2022, not Sun 13 March 2022 as previously published.
On 17 February prime minister Fumio Kishida publicly confirmed that Japan will begin relaxing its rigid border restrictions as of 1 March.
As a result Tokyo Marathon Foundation, after a meeting of the Board of Directors, followed up its earlier announcement of the domestic elite field for this year’s twice-rescheduled race with the full list of international athletes due to compete.
Women’s and men’s world record holders Brigid Kosgei and Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya are set to return to Japan after winning the Olympic marathon silver and gold medals in Sapporo last summer. They are backed up by small but high-quality international fields along with the Japanese women-only and men’s marathon NR holders and half marathon NR holders, and more.
Kosgei will face a solid list of proven winners, including last year’s Amsterdam winner Angela Tanui (Kenya), 2019 Berlin winner Ashete Bekere (Ethiopia), 2021 Milan winner Hiwot Gebrekidan (Ethiopia), 2021 Berlin winner Gotytom Gebreslase (Ethiopia), 2020 Marathon Project winner Sara Hall (U.S.A.) fresh off a new NR at January’s Houston Half Marathon, and 2019 Tokyo Marathon runner-up Helen Bekele (Ethiopia), winner of the Olympic-qualifying microrace held in Belp, Switzerland last year. Japan’s women-only NR holder Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal), 1st in Osaka last year and 1st in Nagoya the year before, is also in the mix between Gotytom and Hall by best time. 2020 winner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter is chasing bigger bucks in Nagoya the weekend after Tokyo, but her 2:17:45 CR won’t go easily.
Kipchoge’s main competition comes from 2019 and 2020 Tokyo winner Birhanu Legese (Ethiopia) and 2019 Doha World Championships silver medalist Mosinet Geremew (Ethiopia). Kipchoge’s best time in a legitimate race since setting the 2:01:39 world record in 2018 was his 2:02:37 win in London 2019, and both Birhanu and Mosinet have run within 18 seconds of that. Mosinet and Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia) both beat Kipchoge in London 2020, and with Tola’s 2:03:39 win in Amsterdam last fall almost a minute faster than Kipchoge’s best time of 2020 and 2021 he’s on the list of people who could take away a Tokyo win too. Likewise for Doha bronze medalist Amos Kipruto (Kenya). Jonathan Korir (Kenya) and Japanese NR holder Kengo Suzuki (Fujitsu) round out the list of current sub-2:05 runners, with Shura Kitata (Ethiopia) just outside. Given the number of people who’ve run faster than Wilson Kipsang’s 2:03:58 CR, the chances are higher that we’ll see it go than the women’s.
As of right now it looks like Tokyo will be trying to go ahead with a full mass-participation field of 25,000, even as the 20,000-runner Osaka Marathon the weekend before Tokyo announced this week that it was cutting back to an elite-only race as COVID numbers stay high and other races cancel outright.
The Gulf Bank 642 Marathon (KUW) will take place on Sat 26 November 2022, not Sat 19 November 2022 as previously published.
After nearly two years of adhering to South Africa’s “National State of Disaster”, the subsequent suspension of sporting events and the cancellation of both the 2020 and 2021 Centenary Comrades Marathons, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) is thrilled to launch its #Comrades2022 campaign and announce its plans for this year’s race.
CMA Chairperson, Mqondisi Ngcobo unveiled the very appropriate campaign slogan, “The Return – Sishay’ Ibuya”, signaling the long-awaited return to road-running and a celebration of the comeback of The Ultimate Human Race.
The launch, hosted in Johannesburg on Thursday, 17 February, was attended by the nation’s top media, road-running dignitaries, CMA sponsors, stakeholders, former winners, elite athletes and sporting personalities.
Ngcobo has cautioned however that, “Runners will still need to exercise a degree of care and attentiveness when out running – be it exercising, training, spectating or participating in events. However, amid all the precautions and safety measures, we are just extremely pleased to be able to host the 2022 Comrades Marathon in August and invite the nation and the world to celebrate this milestone with us.”
He added, “The slogan is such a natural fit for this year’s upcoming event. The return of the Comrades Marathon, let alone all other road-running events, is something that runners have been eagerly awaiting. It is therefore with a great sense of pride and pleasure that we unveil this campaign, issue details around our upcoming 95th Comrades Marathon and create the conditions for our athletes to run the race that they love so much.”
The 95th Comrades Marathon will be a Down Run on Sunday, 28 August 2022. The race starts at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 05h30 and ends 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, covering a 90.2km distance. This will be the 47th Down Run in Comrades history.
Considering the current national legislation limitation on mass participation events, the entry limit has been capped at 15,000 entries. Due to Coronavirus and other health and safety implications, all entrants will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and produce their vaccine certificate to complete their entry status by 12 July.
The opening date for entries is Wednesday, 23 March 2022, when the first entry window period commences and runs for 1 week until 31 March 2022. During this window period, only those entrants who had successfully entered the 2020 Comrades Marathon will be able to enter, be they South Africa, Rest of Africa or International.
The entry fee for South African athletes will be discounted from ZAR 1200 (EUR 71) to ZAR 1000 in the first entry window period, as per the CMA commitment when the 2020 race was cancelled. Rest of Africa and International entrants in the 2020 Comrades Marathon had their entries deferred to either the 2022 or 2023 race; and will therefore not pay an entry fee.
During the second entry window period, from 20 April to 16 May 2022, all other athletes will be allowed to enter. Entry is free to runners who have completed the Comrades Marathon 25 times or more. This second entry window period will not apply should the entry cap have been reached during the first entry window period.
A special larger than normal commemorative medal denoting the 95th edition of the Comrades Marathon will be struck for this year’s race. A new trophy will also be introduced to the 20–39 years Women’s 2nd place team prize.
CMA Race Director, Rowyn James says, “We have exciting plans in place for this year’s Down Run which will finish at Durban’s acclaimed Moses Mabhida Stadium for the second time. Qualifying for the 2022 Comrades Marathon is applicable as of 1 September 2021 till 12 July 2022. The qualifying criteria for this year’s Comrades Marathon remains unchanged requiring completion of a standard 42.2km marathon in under 4 hours and 50 minutes, or a 56km ultra-marathon in under 6 hours and 45 minutes.”
Since inception, the Comrades Amabeadibeadi charity drive has raised more than R60-million for the CMA’s six official charities. The benefitting charities for 2022 are Childhood Cancer Foundation SA (CHOC), Community Chests of Pietermaritzburg & Durban, Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, Hospice KZN, Rise Against Hunger and Wildlands Conservation Trust.
Ngcobo has called on all runners to support the charitable fundraising initiatives of the CMA, saying, “We urge all Comrades entrants to select the Official Charity closest to their heart and commit to running for a cause greater than themselves. As the CMA, we have placed great focus on benefitting the communities in which we operate and continuously adding value to the sport of athletics.”
The CMA also launched its new book and board game at the event, namely the Comrades Monopoly which is a world-first for any road-running race. The Comrades Monopoly is a Special Limited Centenary Edition with custom board, properties, money and cards.
For properties, all the Comrades Marathon route landmarks have been used. For the most expensive properties, the Down Run Course Records were used, as well as the fastest times by foreign runners and the record of 9 wins. Additionally, Comrades House and the Comrades Marathon Wall of Honour are used for the Traditional Utility properties while Chance and Community Chest cards feature as Down Run and Up Run.
Also commemorating the centenary of the world’s biggest, oldest and most famous ultramarathon is the recently published Comrades coffee table book, In Your Stride.
Runners are excited to be back for the 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, which had the fastest women’s podium ever in 2020 with an average top-three time of 64:58.
On Sunday at 07.00 (local time) the men’s and women’s races will start together.
The showman is Jacob Kiplimo, world half marathon record holder, world half marathon champion and Olympic bronze medallist in 10,000m in Tokyo, who will try to improve his world record (57:31) set in Lisbon last year where he ran most of the race alone.
From Kenya, Abel Kipchumba the winner of the 2021 Valencia Half Marathon and Alexander Mutiso, second place in 2020 here at the RAK Half Marathon, will be the toughest opponents.
From Europe the German national Amanal Petros (60:09 PB and NR) is chasing for Julien Wanders’ European record of 59:13.
The women’s race will feature three stars of track & field and road running. Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh is a former world half marathon record holder with 64:31 (which is the RAK course record from 2020). Hellen Obiri, with a track background, started her new road running career with a personal best of 64:51. Then Genzebe Dibaba, 1500m world record holder, has run the best half marathon debut of all-time with 65:18. So it will be an epic battle between these legends of track & field. From UK we will see Eilish McColgan (67:48) who is not so far behind Paula Radcliffe’s national record of 66:47.
The Maraton Internacional de Juarez (MEX) will take place on Sun 23 October 2022, not Sun 16 October 2022 as previously published.
The Nagoya Women’s Marathon announced today that it will host a number of the world’s best women runners at its 11th edition race scheduled for Sunday, March 13, 2022.
The race will be the first time in history that the sport of world marathon running will offer its highest first prize for women rather than men.
The field includes top runners such as World Marathon Champion (2019) and Chicago Marathon Champion (2021), Olympian Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya. She will compete with fellow Olympian and winner of the Tokyo Marathon (2020) Lonah Chemtai Salpeter of Israel.
The entry of foreign-based athletes into Japan is currently under final adjustment.
The race will also feature strong domestic athletes in the entries including Yuka Ando, the Japanese representative for the women’s 10,000m in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the women’s marathon in the 2017 World Athletics Championships London and the two-time second-place finisher of the Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2020 and 2017, and Mirai Waku, the Japanese representative for the 2016 World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff.
The 2022 entrants will be competing for the largest first prize in the world for marathon running: 250,000 USD. This will be a historic year not only for the women’s marathon but also for the marathon sport as a whole, by way of presenting the highest prize to a female athlete. It shows how far the sport has progressed since the 1960s when women were banned from taking part in many marathons around the world and the year 1984 when the women’s marathon finally became an Olympic sport in the Summer Games in Los Angeles.
The Race Organiser comments: “We are delighted to welcome such outstanding women athletes in this year’s race. While it will be exciting to see how the competition unfolds, we are committed to supporting all women runners and their challenges. Japan has been hit by the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, but our first priority is always the safety and security of our runners, volunteers, and everyone concerned in the event. Taking advantage of the experience of having safely staged in-person races under the pandemic in the past two years, we are preparing to hold this year’s race by closely working with the local authorities and medical experts and taking all possible measures against infection.”
After two years, it is possible to register for some of the most popular races globally and the biggest in the Czech Republic.
RunCzech is opening registrations for Prague Half Marathon, Volkswagen Prague Marathon with dm Family Run, Prague Relay and Birell Grand Prix. The first sporting event will be held on 2nd April, followed by the famous marathon on 8th May, relay racing on 22nd – 23rd June and the exciting night race on 10km and 5km on 3rd September. It is possible to register from Monday 14th February. “After two years postponing, we are expecting a high volume of interest. Around 40 thousand runners will attend all four races,” says Carlo Capalbo, the president of the organizing committee of RunCzech.
Iconic shots of thousands of runners on Charles Bridge to the sound of the Vltava symphonic poem will reach the masses worldwide again. After all, moments from the Volkswagen Prague Marathon are usually broadcasted in 131 countries with a certified reach of over 700 million viewers. Thanks to these events, Prague will once again receive its deserved recognition. “We are sensing the massive demand for healthy activities and traveling. That is something we all need. Organising the marathon in Prague can be perceived as the symbolic start of the return to normal,” said Prague mayor Zdeněk Hřib. “Of course we will be acting hand in hand with updated government regulations. All information will be regularly updated on our website,” added Carlo Capalbo from RunCzech.
Runners registered in 2020 had an opportunity to re-confirm for this year’s races prior to new applicants. Organizers contacted every runner. However, there is still a chance to obtain a registration. “Prague races were basically sold out from the previous years, but new runners have still the opportunity to register and enjoy the race. New runners will have to be really fast. The capacity for these well-known races has always been limited, and we cannot increase it,” highlighted Mr. Capalbo. “According to signals from social media, we will be welcoming runners from, all of Europe, the USA, and around the world,” he adds.
Registrations for long-awaited Prague races open from Monday 14th February. The Prague Half Marathon will take place in April, together with team race, Medical run, and Rescue and Safety Forces category, all happening over the course of the weekend. In May, the Volkswagen Marathon Weekend awaits running enthusiasts together with the dm Family Run.This will also include the Czech National Championship in Marathon and the Junior Marathon Championship final. Prague Relay is taking place in June on the premises of the Czech Exhibition Hall. In September, the program will include the popular Birell Grand Prix, i.e. the Birell 10km race and the adidas Women’s race on 5km.
This year’s season will also include Mattoni regional races in Karlovy Vary, České Budějovice, Olomouc, Ústí nad Labem andLiberec. “The interest is massive. We have already sold over fifty per cent of the total capacity,” noted Carlo Capalbo.
The Two Oceans Marathon (TOM) has signed leading sports apparel giant Totalsports as its new title sponsor.
Following two years of cancellations due to the COVID pandemic, the world’s most beautiful marathon – which will now be known as the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon – will once again be run over the Easter Weekend. The 2022 running of the Ultra Marathon will be its 51st since inception, marking the start of the second fifty years of existence for this jewel event on the Western Cape’s calendar of highlights.
“We fully appreciate the heritage of the Two Oceans Marathon and we are honoured to be the title sponsor,” says TFG CEO Anthony Thunström.
“Totalsports is a firm believer in the unifying power of running and our investment is a celebration of the enduring spirit of runners everywhere, in overcoming the challenges of the past two years. It’s great to finally see our running community excited about taking part in landmark events like Two Oceans again.”
TOM NPC Chairperson William Swartbooi says: “In building this organisation we trust those who add value, and value those whom we trust. We are confident that this partnership represents a value-add on several fronts but most importantly for our key constituents, our runners”.
President of Athletics South Africa, James Moloi commented: "We welcome on board the new partners of the Two Oceans Marathon, Totalsports. This sponsorship will continue the tradition of offering career development for athletes, coaches and teams,” he says.
The Two Oceans Marathon contributes up to R672 million to the local provincial economy annually, making it Africa’s biggest running event when measured by this metric. For the first time in its history, the race will be run over two days. While the Half Marathon takes place on 16 April 2022, the Ultra Marathon will be run on 17 April 2022.
“We are excited to be staging our world-class, globally iconic event in partnership with Totalsports. The commitment to enhancing the runner experience underpins much of who we are as an organisation, and when it comes to doing more for the runner, we could not have asked for a better alignment than with a brand that is as runner-centric as we are,” says Race Director Debra Barnes.
Daniel Mateiko heads the start list for the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon which will take place on 27th March.
With an outstanding personal best of 58:26 the Kenyan is among the ten fastest half marathon runners of all times. As well as its sister event, the N Kolay Istanbul Marathon which takes place in November, the Turkish half marathon went ahead in 2020 and 2021 despite the Corona pandemic. Organisers from Spor Istanbul are now ready to stage another high-quality race under strict hygiene restrictions and expect a field of around 8,000 half marathon runners. Online entry for the race and the 10k staged parallel is still possible.
Four runners on the start list feature personal bests which are faster than the current course record of 59:35, established by Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie last spring. Since three of them have achieved their personal bests last year they are in a promising position for more success when they will come to Istanbul.
24 year-old Daniel Mateiko achieved a major breakthrough in 2021. First he broke the one hour barrier in Copenhagen with 59:25, then he improved by almost a full minute to 58:26 when he was third in Valencia. Fellow-Kenyan Rodgers Kwemoi is the second fastest athlete at the moment with a personal best of 59:16. He ran this time in his debut half marathon in Valencia last autumn.
Ethiopians Solomon Berihu and Huseyidin Esa will travel to Istanbul with personal records of 59:17 and 59:32 respectively. While Berihu clocked his PB when he was runner-up in New Delhi in 2019 Esa only emerged on the international road running circuit in autumn last year. The 21 year-old made an instant impact with a second place in Lisbon in 59:39 and then improved four weeks later at his second international race, winning in Poznan (Poland) with his current PB.
Turkey’s Aras Kaya will hope to do better than recently at the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon. The former Kenyan was 12th in Istanbul with 63:36 last spring, the same position he had taken two years earlier in this race. In between Aras Kaya clocked his PB of 60:51 when he finished 24th in the World Championships in Gdynia, Poland. Competing for Turkey since 2016 Kaya won two European Cross Country titles and finished runner-up in these continental championships just two months ago.
Two Oceans Marathon (TOM) is pleased to announce that entries for the 51st edition of our iconic race will opened at noon on 11 February 2022 .
HOW TO ENTER
Go to our homepage at www.twooceansmarathon.org.za when entries open for your category or event draw and click ‘enter here’. Create a profile if you do not yet have one on the system and follow the prompts.
All South African runners for the Ultra need to be licenced and belong to a running club.
Due to the expected demand the ballot system will be used for both the Ultra and Half Marathon, in line with international best practice. Runners may only enter one event.
International and African runners do not enter via the ballot system, and can pay for and secure their entries straight away.
At different stages of the ballots, the draw will be weighted in favour of various categories of runners including Blue Number Club members, Yellow Numbers (those doing their 10th, 20th, etc) and club runners.
Runners entering via the ballot only pay once their name has been successfully drawn in the ballot.
BALLOT OPENING DATESUltra and Half Marathon ballot applications: 11 February 2022 to 20 February 2022, 5pm Charity entries: 22 February 2022, 10am. Fees will be uploaded once final charity partners have been confirmed.
BALLOT DRAW DATES
All draws take place 21 February 2022, at the following times:Ultra Marathon Draw 1: 10am Ultra Marathon Draw 2: 2pm Half Marathon Draw 1: 10am Half Marathon Draw 2: 2pm
INTERNATIONAL AND AFRICAN ENTRIESInternational entries: 11 February 2022. Entries close when capacity is reached. African entries: 11 February 2022. Entries close when capacity is reached.
ULTRA MARATHON QUALIFIERS
For health reasons, particularly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, qualifying for the TOM Ultra is mandatory.
TOM strongly encourages runners to complete a physical road race as their qualifier. However, any officially timed and measured marathon or longer distance, whether in the form of an officially organised virtual or physical race, run after 1 July 2021 can be used as your qualifier. Unfortunately, you cannot run on your own and time yourself. Race Office will be conducting spot checks to verify qualifier information submitted.
An official time would be as generated by a smartwatch, a timing app on a smartphone or a timing platform.
For the Ultra Marathon the qualifying time for a standard marathon distance is 5 hours. For qualifying times for distances greater than a standard marathon, please go here: www.twooceansmarathon.org.za/event_route_info/seeding
HALF MARATHON SEEDING
In the Half Marathon, qualifying times are used to seed you so that faster runners are at the front; slower runners further back. We strongly advise you to provide a seeding time. If not, you will unfortunately start at the back. Seeding is based on a previous 10km, 15km or 21.1km run after 𝟏 𝐉𝐔𝐋𝐘 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏: www.twooceansmarathon.org.za/event_race_day/seeding-2/
TOM strongly encourages runners to complete a physical road race as their qualifier. However, any officially timed and measured marathon or longer distance, whether in the form of an officially organised virtual or physical race, run after 1 July 2021 can be used as your qualifier. Unfortunately, you cannot run on your own and time yourself. Race Office will be conducting spot checks to verify qualifier information submitted.
An official time would be as generated by a smartwatch, a timing app on a smartphone or a timing platform.
Due to Covid-19 regulations, we are likely to be using multiple batches of limited size, and it is not possible to give exact seeding tables. Your seeding time will be used to place you in a batch appropriate to your speed. You will be advised of your batch closer to race day.
COVID-19 PROTOCOLS RELEVANT TO ENTERING
On the advice of the TOM medical team, the below COVID-19 protocols will be observed. Kindly note that these may change as the COVID-19 pandemic and the medical science related to it, as well as Disaster Management Act regulations, change:You will have to upload proof of vaccination. If you are not vaccinated, you must present proof of a negative PCR/antigen test within 48 hours prior to attending any physical event, including Expo and your actual Race, at your own cost. Please log in to your profile not more than 48 hours prior to any physical event including Expo/Race Pack Collection, to complete your COVID-19 pre-screening online. We will send you reminders.
Should you answer ‘yes’ to any COVID-19 risk factor during pre-screening, or fail the temperature check at Expo and Race Pack Collection, you will need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test, at your own cost, taken not more than 48 hours prior to the physical event in question. Failure to do so will, unfortunately, result in you forfeiting your entry.
Please remember to keep updating your profile and contact information.
IN THE EVENT OF RACE CANCELLATION
In the event of the TOM 2022 being cancelled due to COVID-19 or anything beyond the organisers’ control, all runners who have paid will have their entries deferred to TOM 2023.
SEEDING AND BATCH STARTS
Runners will start in batches of 500, two minutes apart, and will be seeded accordingly.
For more information on entering or other race information, please read our FAQs:
https://www.twooceansmarathon.org.za/event-info/faqs/ or contact us at 021 2000 459 (general queries) or 087 133 2285 (race-related queries) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
After a disappointing cancellation of the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon in 2020 and 2021, the 2022 edition of Australia’s favourite marathon is looking to welcome back international runners in July this year.
The event Chief Executive Officer Mr Cameron Hart said that with the minimal COVID-19 restrictions in Queensland, and the federal government announcing relaxation of our international borders to welcome vaccinated travellers from key international markets, the Gold Coast Marathon organisers are looking forward to welcoming international runners and their families from overseas to this year’s event.
“Prior to COVID-19, the annual Gold Coast Marathon had been experiencing exponential growth in participation from international runners as the reputation of this world class event grew throughout the global running community. Now with the worst of COVID-19 behind us we are developing plans to once again provide a world class running experience in a world class holiday destination here on Queensland’s Gold Coast in July this year,” Mr Hart said.
Over the last two years the event organisers have taken the time to review the event operations and have developed a fresh two-day programme that starts at 6:00am for the half marathon race on Saturday the 2nd of July, and a 6:00am start for the full marathon on Sunday the 3rd of July.
“The benefits of the earlier starts will see runners starting off just before sunrise each day and experiencing the cooler temperatures of early mornings, which should see fast times and lots of personal best results,” said Mr Hart.
International runners who have been to the Gold Coast to run the event in previous years are very keen to return as the Gold Coast also provides some of the world’s best tourism and recreational opportunities for international visitors to enjoy before and after their running events.
Entries for the 2022 Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon open on the 15th of February. With an anticipated high demand, runners are encouraged to enter early to secure their spot on the start line.
At the recent Board of Directors Meeting of the Tokyo Marathon Foundation, the (postponed) Tokyo Marathon 2021 was discussed with regard to the current situation surrounding COVID-19 and it was decided to continue the planning of the event.
In order to continue monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19, and the quasi-emergency measures set forth by the government, the go/no-go decision shall be extended to February 18. As a further precaution it was decided to initiate PCR testing for all participating runners.
I needed to have 16 chemo and 32 radiation sessions after my breast cancer surgery in order to get my life back on track.
As a coach and long distance runner there was no way I could remove exercise from my life, even after being hospitalized. Most people advised me not to tire myself out, and to lie in bed until my next chemotherapy session, but I wouldn’t listen. My body needed exercise.
Just a day after my first chemo session I put on my trainers and went out for a run. I was curious to see how my performance would have been affected; would I feel exhausted and depleted afterwards?
After a 10km run I felt no exhaustion; on the contrary, I felt much relief. The pain and the discomfort I felt in my body had been alleviated. Even the nausea was almost completely gone. The headache and haziness I felt had almost disappeared too. My mood and psychology were at a high. I felt amazing!
That was how I handled this long period of chemotherapy. I have to say that the more active I was the less medication I needed to combat the pain and discomfort in the days following those chemo sessions. There were times when I even went for a short run just before treatments.
I believe that exercise complements the therapy we get at the hospital. It is no surprise that in the USA exercise is prescribed for women who suffer from cancer.
What will a woman gain from exercise when she is undergoing chemotherapy?
The benefits are many:
How much should I exercise?
Every woman should first consult her doctor and then contact a personal trainer who will help her find the ideal type of exercise. Every woman is a unique case and she alone knows her physical endurance.
We should never feel overexerted after a workout, but rejuvenated.
A workout could be a 30-40 minute run/walk or just a dynamic walk, cycling or a swim. Everything benefits us as long as the body is in motion.
I would recommend you exercise close to nature. There are many benefits..
I personally didn’t mind driving a few kilometres so that I could go for a run or a walk by the sea, on a mountain or in a lush green forest.
You will feel the benefits double! The fresh air and oxygen we get does us good and rejuvenates us.
Exercise helps to clear the familiar haziness that our brain suffers due to all the medication.
After any workout, a good session of stretching for the whole body is ideal.
It is of the utmost importance not to neglect to do strengthening exercises; your body needs them.
Women who have undergone lymphatic cleansing, like I have (I had 27 removed), should take extra caution; we need to be patient and persistent. Exercises should be mild. Our aim is to regain the ability to stretch out our arms. We should stretch our muscles without hurting ourselves or causing any pain. This is to be repeated persistently until it is accomplished. We do not want to feel pain in this area. What we need to feel is a slight pull which soothes us.
The rehabilitation of the muscles in the armpit may take a while but rest assured they will heal.
These exercises deal with the improvement of the complete movement of the shoulder, elbow, arms and wrist.
A rubber ball, which is squeezed and released repeatedly, is used to exercise the muscles in the hands and fingers.
How many times should I exercise in a week?
This depends on each woman. Personally, I exercised every single day because it did me good. I would suggest 3–4 times a week. On the days when you don’t work out you could do any other mild activity in the house, the garden or even dance.
One thing is certain though… You don’t give up.
This article was revised after first publication.
On 21 January, 65 runners from the US, UAE, Belarus and Russia took part in the “Pole of Cold Marathon” in Oymyakon, Yakutia (Eastern Siberia).
The temperature plunged to –53ºC. (–63ºF) to make it the world’s coldest-ever marathon.
Russian Vasily Lukin took his second straight men’s victory in a time of 3:22, and Marina Sedalischeva won the women’s race in 4:09, reports the Road Race Management Newsletter.
The Movistar Medio Maratón de Madrid (ESP) will take place on Sun 3 April 2022, not Fri 1 April 2022 as previously published.
While other races have started cancelling as Japan’s COVID-19 numbers climb again, the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon is set to return this year on 6 February, announcing its elite field on 14 January.
The front end is heavily dominated by runners who were part of the Miracle at Lake Biwa last year, Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) and Tsubasa Ichiyama (Komori Corp.) leading the way at 2:07:12 and 2:07:41 from that race. Four others on the list have run 2:08 recently,
The wait for the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon is nearly over, with just less than a month to go. Over the weekend of 11-12 February 2022, the runners will take their place on the starting line at Al Mouj Muscat and test their endurance.
Sabco Sports have teamed up with UFC Gym Oman to offer free public training sessions every Friday morning in the build up to the race and runners of all ages have taken this opportunity to learn from professionals and improve their fitness. Taking place from 8am—9am at ABQ Seeb International School, coaches have given hundreds of runners help with training, nutrition and diet, and tips on how to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
“Excitement is building for the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon 2022 and we are delighted with the number of people across the world that have taken up the challenge to compete this year. The entire weekend will be a fun-filled festival of running which brings together communities from across the country, local schools and colleges, businesses and teams to support each other from start to finish,” says Nic Cartwright, Managing Director of Sabco Sports, organizers of the event.
The forthcoming event at Al Mouj Muscat features five different race distances to cater to a variety of fitness levels and experience and each category has received a very good turnout in terms of registrations. The 42km marathon and 21.2km half-marathon and 10km runs are certiﬁed by world-running organisation AIMS, aligning the event with World Athletics standards and adding to competitive runners’ rankings. Participants in all races will receive a commemorative t-shirt and a finisher’s medal to mark their achievement.
Registration is still open and places available in all races.
The city of Marugame in Kagawa has announced that February’s Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon has been postponed for one year.
Mayor Kyoji Matsunaga explained the decision, saying, “Due to the rapid rise in coronavirus infections since the beginning of the year, we made the decision to postpone the race a year.”
The Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon had been scheduled for 6 February. Every year it has welcomed 10,000 runners from over 20 countries, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the 2021 was postponed a year to 2022. Around 8000 people from across the country had entered the 2022 race, but in light of the explosion in new coronavirus cases they now find themselves in the situation of having the race postponed another year. The 2023 edition is scheduled for 5 February.
The Dead Sea Ultra Marathon (JOR) will take place on Fri 25 March 2022, not Fri 1 April 2022 as previously published.
The La Ruta de las Iglesias (ECU) will take place on Sat 2 July 2022, not Sat 27 August 2022 as previously published.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in spectacular and historic fashion, the Chevron Houston Marathon saw Keira D’Amato set an American record for the distance when she broke the tape in 2:19:12.
Not to be outdone, the Aramco Houston Half Marathon made some history of its own, with women’s winner Vicoty Chepngeno winning in a course-record time of 1:05:03 – the fastest women’s half marathon ever run on U.S. soil – and Sara Hall setting an American record of 1:07:15. Hall’s record came 15 years after her husband, Ryan, set his still-standing American record (59:43) at this same race.
Another national record was set when Alberto Gonzalez Mindez of Guatemala finished 11th in 1:01:18.
Ethiopia’s Askale Merachi returned to defend her title and countrywoman Biruktayit Degefa toed the line in search of a record fourth victory here, but all eyes were on Keira D’Amato as she set out on a pace to break Deena Kastor’s American record of 2:19:36. Merachi fell back early, while Degefa hung on a bit longer, but from just before halfway it was all D’Amato, a 37-year-old real estate agent and mother of two. D’Amato went through the half in 1:09:40 on her way to slicing 24 seconds off the mark set by Kastor in 2006.
“I just can’t believe this,” said D’Amato, after being greeted at the finish line by her son Tommy, 7, and daughter Quinn, 5. “I’m really tired, but I’m really, really happy. Dreams come true, you know?” D’Amato also became the first U.S woman to win here since 2005.
Finishing second and third – and given the same time of 2:29:08 – were Alice Wright of Great Britain and Maggie Montoya of the U.S. Both were making their debuts at the distance.
On the men’s side, 31-year-old James Ngandu of Kenya outsprinted Abdi Abdo of Bahrain for victory in his first-ever marathon, in 2:11:03.
“Oh yes, I’m surprised,” said Ngandu of winning his debut. “The support I had from the fans was overwhelming.”
Abdo finished in 2:11:11, with Kenya’s Elisha Barno third in 2:11:16. The top American was Frank Lara, sixth in 2:11:32. Raised in Houston, Lara returned home to make his marathon debut.
“It was awesome,” said the 26-year-old Lara. “Running the course was so special today.”
Leading all the way in the half marathon, 28-year-old Vicoty Chepngeno of Kenya never let up, breaking the tape in 1:05:03 to smash the previous course record (Brigid Kosgei, 2019) by 47 seconds. It is also the fastest time ever run on U.S. soil, and makes her the 11th-fastest woman in history.
“I wanted to run my best time,” she said of her strategy to take the race out from the start. However, she added, she was surprised to run so much faster than 1:07:22, her previous best mark.
Meanwhile, runner-up Sara Hall broke away from the chase pack after 15K in pursuit of Molly Huddle’s American record of 1:07:25, set in this race in 2018.
“It’s incredible,” she said of not only breaking the record by 10 seconds but doing so on the same course where her husband set the mark early in his career. “It’s something I’ve dreamed of doing. Our lives were never the same after that day, so it’s always a special memory here in Houston.”
Chepngeno and Hall weren’t the only two women who ran fast: six of the eight fastest times in the history of the race were run today.
For the men, 21-year-old Milkesa Mengesha, who finished 10th for Ethiopia at 5000 meters in the Tokyo Olympics, won the half marathon in 1:00:24, outsprinting John Korir of Kenya (1:00:27). Third was Wilfred Kimitei of Kenya (1:00:42), with Kirubel Erassa fourth as the top American given the same time in his debut.
The Photak Marathon (THA) will take place on Sun 25 December 2022, not Sun 4 December 2022 as previously published.
The Zurich Marató de Barcelona (ESP) will take place on Sun 8 May 2022, not Sun 3 April 2022 as previously published.
The eDreams Mitja Marató de Barcelona (ESP) will take place on Sun 3 April 2022, not Sun 6 March 2022 as previously published.
As it closed 2021 so it opened 2022; on 9 January the ‘Ciudad del Running’ played host to some fast times, although no world records were challenged.
With some bravado front-running Daniel Ebenyo slipped under 27 minutes without the services of pacemakers, while Norah Jeruto had no one but (male) pacemakers for company as she dropped the rest of the field just after halfway. She strode away to a 30:35 win, although Karoline Grovdal was closing her down quickly in the final stages.
It was Jeruto’s fourth attempt to win this race after podium finishes in her previous efforts. She started as favourite and was paced through the first half in a steady 15:18. A headwind then hit but Jeruto took it as a cue to make her break and left other contenders strung out behind her. Karoline Grovdal, chasing Paula Radcliffe’s European record of 30:21, steadied herself before upping her effort in the final stages to finish three seconds behind Jeruto.
Without a designated pacemaker it was Ethiopia’s Chimdessa Gudeta who led his competitors through the early stages and reached 5km with only Ebenyo alongside him. From then on Ebenyo took over, opening up a gap which he gradually increased all the way to the finish to record a resounding new personal best of 26:58, and seventh place on the all-time list.
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Following a two-year break because of the Corona Pandemic organisers of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon are confident that their race will return on 30th October.
First held in the spring of 1981 with over 3,000 participants the event is Germany’s oldest city marathon. Over 14,000 marathon runners competed in 2019 when the race was last held. The former Gold Label Road Race, which is now an Elite Label Road Race of World Athletics, will have a new sports sponsor this year: Hoka One One.
Hoka One One, a division of Deckers Brands, has been named as an official sportswear partner of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon for five years. Commencing in 2022, Hoka’s official partner status aims to enhance participants’ experience and help to further broaden interest in the event, engaging with its strong following in the running community.
The imposing Frankfurt skyline sets the stage for Frankfurt’s largest street festival with many bands and stages, presenters, and music groups entertaining the runners along the route. As they approach the finish line, participants run the red carpet into the historic Frankfurt Festhalle – a spectacular indoor finish.
The Mainova Frankfurt Marathon has been recognised as a Gold Label Road Race by World Athletics and is also one of the most environmentally friendly marathons worldwide, winning the AIMS Green Marathon Award in 2014 in recognition of this.
“In Hoka, we have found a strong partner for the further development of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon. As experts in innovation and quality in the field of running, we are very much looking forward to working together over the coming years. We are particularly impressed that Hoka are dedicated to strongly supporting our efforts in environmental initiatives for a sustainable marathon. We are therefore very much looking forward to the partnership, from which our participants will certainly benefit. After two tough years in which the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon unfortunately could not take place due to the Corona Pandemic, we are now looking forward with confidence. The partnership with Hoka will give us new momentum for the coming years,“ said Race Director Jo Schindler.
Mike McManus, Director of Global Sports Marketing, added: “As the longest established race in Germany, Hoka is thrilled to be announcing our support of the historic Mainova Frankfurt Marathon. We are committed to bringing an outstanding running experience to the participants, and to enhancing this already world-class event with our commitment to bold innovation and our love of the sport.”
The ‘Association of International Marathons’ was officially founded at a meeting held in London on 6–7 May 1982 but the idea of such an association had been gathering momentum for some time.
Mass participation marathons run on the streets of the World’s major capitals were a recent innovation. They had previously been confined to laps of public parks or quiet country back-roads which could easily accommodate the modest fields of 100–200 committed enthusiasts. Only Boston, the grandfather of Marathons, had exceeded 1000 runners before the New York Marathon was run through the city’s five boroughs for the American Bicentennial in 1976.
This was what broke the mould. In a startling transformation space was made available for thousands of runners to flood the city centre on Marathon day, bringing a celebratory atmosphere with them. As New York’s numbers grew rapidly in the next few years other races sprang up explicitly modelled on the example that had been set. By 1980 there was a growing band of organisers widely scattered throughout the world.
The Honolulu Marathon had been started as a small event in 1973 with 150 runners but it was so successful that by 1976 there were 1400 finishers – close behind New York. Many organisers were already travelling to observe and learn from each other’s events. At a meeting in Honolulu in December 1980 a group calling itself the ‘International Marathon Race Directors’ (IMRD) was established which met again at the New York Marathon in October 1981.
The subject of discussion at the time centred around a ‘World Circuit’ of races advocated by Serge Arsenault of the Montreal Marathon incorporating an individual marathon championship for elite runners. The arrangements discussed had close similarities with what was eventually adopted by the ‘World Marathon Majors’ 25 years later. At a second meeting in Honolulu on 11 December 1981 the IMRD additionally laid plans to formally constitute the group as the Association of International Marathons which is what was done at the meeting in London.
There were 29 founding members who were paid up at the meeting and 19 of them are still members today – although in some cases they have radically transformed (for example, the two elite races in Tokyo, Tokyo Women’s Marathon and Tokyo Men’s Marathon have since been in effect absorbed by the Tokyo Marathon).
Those present approved a constitution and elected Will Cloney of the BAA Boston Marathon as the first AIMS President. Members attending this ‘Establishing Congress’ also laid down a succinct list of three main objectives: (i) to foster and promote running throughout the world; (ii) to work with IAAF (now World Athletics) on all matters relating to international Marathons; and (iii) to exchange information, knowledge and expertise among members of the Association.
Immediately after enacting the business essential to setting up the Association there followed a technical discussion on the organisation and measurement of international marathons. This emphasised the central importance of ensuring that Marathons were the correct distance. At the time there was already a reliable and affordable method of measurement being used but under objectives (i) and (iii) it became AIMS’ primary mission to spread the word so that the ‘calibrated bicycle’ method of measurement eventually became universally accepted and applied.
This was just as well, as the world governing body responsible for enforcement of rules, the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF, later to become World Athletics) was slow in seeing the potential of big-city mass-participation races. Their purpose was geared towards the elite competitive end of the sport and the new races were often seen as potentially damaging to traditional championship races.
The arbitrary but ‘magical’ distance of the Marathon had been formalised as 42195m as far back as 1924. In championship races position counted for more than time in and there had never been a concerted effort to ensure courses were accurate enough to bear comparison between different locations. The ‘calibrated bicycle’ method of measurement was enshrined in the IAAF rule book in the 1980s but it was not until 1995, at a meeting with IAAF instigated by AIMS, that an administrative system was set up by which measurements could be policed. Since that time AIMS has maintained its measurement mission in co-operation with IAAF.
IAAF resisted the recognition of world records at the marathon distance on the grounds that courses were not comparable. AIMS proposed a maximum allowable overall ’drop’ of the course and straight-line separation of start and finish so that possible assistance afforded by gravity or a potential tailwind was limited. From 2003 this became the basis on which what had been called ‘World Bests’ have since then been credited as World Records.
AIMS’ original membership remained stable, with only slight growth in the early years, but with the publication of the first AIMS yearbook in 1985 the dynamic had begun to change. The yearbook featured a race calendar. This in itself was a recognition that AIMS’ reach had to extend beyond its member race organisations to connect with the runners themselves. To this end the A5-format booklet also carried advertisements for member races and a total of 200,000 copies were circulated by member events to their runners.
Mass participation marathons were already becoming a significant market within the sports tourism sector. In 1986 AIMS membership, now approaching 50 races, was extended to include races over distances other than the marathon. The New York City Marathon in particular was attracting over 10,000 foreign runners each year – often accompanied by supporters and staying a for a full week. With runners bringing so much money in it was no wonder that more and more cities became interested in setting up races, often promoting them through their national or regional tourist offices.
More recently races like French Riviera Nice-Cannes, Athens and Valencia all experienced very strong growth spurts when they tapped into the running travel market. In many places, before the travel restrictions brought about through the covid-19 pandemic damped it down, it was the main driver of growth in the running market as runners were in continuous pursuit of new challenges in more distant and exotic locations.
The AIMS Yearbook kept track with this trend, as membership neared 100 races, by increasing frequency of publication to two editions a year in 1992. It was then re-launched as Distance Running and progressed through three editions to become (by 2003) a quarterly magazine of 84 pages in A4 format and full colour. Each edition showcased a selection of the (by then) 170 AIMS member races. No other publication could offer such a wide range of races with such a vast geographical spread. It proved an effective platform from which member races could promote themselves – and increasingly so as AIMS membership grew steadily to reach a pre-Covid peak of 470 in 2019.
The steady progress in membership numbers, in technological application and in economic impact has wrought dramatic changes to what was, within living memory, a sport for a small minority of eccentrics. But some of the greatest moments in the last 40 years since AIMS was founded were when in the words of Chris Brasher, one of the founding fathers of AIMS, the marathon could “show to mankind that, on occasions, they can be united”.
These moments may have been in celebration – after the fall of the Berlin Wall, of the Boston Marathon centenary race or the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon. More tellingly perhaps it was when such solidarity lent morale and support to the victims of tragedy. After the atrocities perpetrated in New York and Washington in 2001, in Madrid in 2004 and in Mumbai in 2008 the Marathons which followed in those cities proved cathartic and helped people to find their voice again. When the Boston Marathon itself became a target for bombing in 2013 the race proved an effective means of rallying the entire city to become “Boston Strong”.
With 194,039 finishers having run 5,083,822 miles since the first Chevron Houston Marathon, the race will mark its 50th anniversary on January 16.
“When 113 runners lined up in 1972 to run loops in Memorial Park, no one would have predicted the marathon would have a Golden Anniversary at all, much less with a field of 28,000 celebrating on the streets of Houston,” said Houston Marathon Committee Executive Director Wade Morehead. “Led by some of the top marathoners and half marathoners in the world, we’re looking forward to a great day in the history of the race and the city.”
Returning to defend their Chevron Houston Marathon titles from 2020 – only a virtual race was held last year because of Covid – are Askale Merachi and Kelkile Gezahegn, both of Ethiopia. Making her seventh-consecutive appearance will be three-time champion Biruktayit Eshetu Degefa, who will renew her quest to become the race’s first four-time winner after finishing as runner-up to Merachi last year.
Among the Americans worth watching are Keira D’Amato and Frank Lara. D’Amato comes to Houston with a personal best of 2:22:56 and could challenge the 10-year-old course record of 2:23:14, while Lara – the 2014 Gatorade Boys’ High School Cross Country Runner of the Year out of Strake Jesuit College Prep – returns home to Houston to make his marathon debut.
Dan Green, the first winner in 1972, will serve as honorary starter, along with other members of the race’s Hall of Fame. In addition to marking its 50th anniversary, the race will serve as the first qualifier for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon, with its newly-toughened standards of 2:18 for men and 2:37 for women.
The Aramco Houston Half Marathon, run concurrently with the marathon, will be headlined by Kenya’s Vicoty Chepngeno and American Sara Hall. Chepngeno set her personal best of 1:07:22 in winning the Philadelphia Half Marathon last November, while Hall is the sixth-fastest woman in U.S. history at the half marathon and second-fastest in the marathon. On the men’s side, the fastest time in the field belongs to Shadrack Kimining Korir, who returns to Houston after finishing third here in 2020 in a personal best of 59:27.
This year, the elite fields for the two races will feature athletes representing 17 countries: the U.S., Kenya, Ethiopia, Mexico, Great Britain, Japan, Bulgaria, Guatemala, Peru, Eritrea, South Africa, Morocco, New Zealand, Canada, Israel and Australia.
The Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon will be broadcast on ABC-13 from 7 a.m.-10 a.m., with a race day recap at 10:35 p.m. Joining ABC-13’s Greg Bailey and Gina Gaston as expert commentator will be Des Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon winner and 50K world-record holder. Linden made the first of her two U.S. Olympic Marathon teams in Houston in 2012.
The AU Bank Jaipur Marathon (IND) will take place on Sun 13 March 2022, not Sun 6 February 2022 as previously published.