Tag Archives: Steve Jones

Reuben Kipyego and Ruth Chepngetich target Chicago Marathon crowns

Kenya’s Reuben Kipyego and Ruth Chepngetich head the fields for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday (10), with Sara Hall and Galen Rupp leading US hopes at the World Athletics Elite Platinum Label road race.

After action in Berlin and London in recent weeks, Chicago is the next race in a busy period of major marathons and the Boston event follows just one day later. The weather in Chicago looks set to be warm, with temperatures of around 21°C expected for the start of the elite races at 7:30am local time.

The last edition of the Chicago Marathon in 2019 saw a world record fall as Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei clocked 2:14:04 to take 81 seconds from Paula Radcliffe’s 2003 mark. This time her compatriots Chepngetich, who won the 2019 world title, and Vivian Kiplagat are among the athletes in the spotlight.

Chepngetich sits fourth on the women’s marathon all-time list thanks to the 2:17:08 PB she set when winning in Dubai in 2019 and she ran a world half marathon record in Istanbul in April with 1:04:02. The 27-year-old was unable to finish the Olympic marathon in Tokyo but is looking forward to her US debut race in Chicago.

“I have never raced in the States and making my debut in such a great race like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is more than a dream to me,” she said. “I will give all myself trying to run as fast as possible.”

Hall will be among those looking to challenge her. The US athlete beat Chepngetich at last year’s London Marathon, as the pair finished second and third respectively behind Kosgei, and Hall went on to run a PB of 2:20:32 in Arizona a couple of months later. Now she has her eye on Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36 US record, should the conditions allow.

“When I thought about where I wanted to chase the American record, I thought it would be more exciting to do it at home, in the US, and Chicago is such an epic race,” she said.

The other sub-2:25 women in the field are Kiplagat, the USA’s Keira D’Amato and Ethiopia’s Meseret Belete. Kiplagat, who ran her marathon PB of 2:21:11 in 2019, clocked 2:39:18 in Eldoret in June but showed her current form with a personal best performance in the half marathon of 1:06:07 in Copenhagen last month. Like Hall, D’Amato also ran a PB in Arizona in December, clocking 2:22:56, while 22-year-old Belete – who was sixth at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships and ran a world U20 best of 1:07:51 later that year – has a marathon PB of 2:24:54 set when finishing fourth in Houston last year.

Among those joining them on the start line will be the USA’s Emma Bates, Diane Nukuri and Lindsay Flanagan.

Kipyego ready to turn up the heat

Kipyego ready to turn up the heat With his PB of 2:03:55 set at the Milan Marathon in May, Kipyego goes into the Chicago race as the second fastest man in 2021. The 25-year-old made his marathon debut in Buenos Aires in 2019, clocking 2:05:18, and later that year he improved to 2:04:40 to win in Abu Dhabi, despite having started the race as a pacemaker. He also seems unfazed by the warmer than expected temperatures, simply replying: ‘No problem’ at the pre-race press conference when asked about the weather.

Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura, meanwhile, explained how he is not as comfortable in the heat but he will go into the race looking to build on the 2:04:29 PB he set when finishing fourth in that same Milan Marathon in May. He also has experience of the Chicago event, having finished sixth in 2019 in 2:08:35.

Rupp leads US hopes as the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist returns to action after his eighth place in the Tokyo Olympic marathon nine weeks ago and third-place finish in the Great North Run half marathon in 1:01:52 last month. Eighth fastest among the entries, his PB of 2:06:07 was set in Prague in 2018 but he will be looking to regain the crown he claimed in 2017.

Kenya’s Dickson Chumba is also a former Chicago winner, having triumphed in 2015, and he set his PB of 2:04:32 in the same city the year before that. The fourth sub-2:05 runner in the field is Kengo Suzuki, who broke the Japanese record with his 2:04:56 to win the Lake Biwa Marathon in February.

Kenya’s Eric Kiptanui is also one to watch. Having helped to pace world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge in the past, the 58:42 half marathon runner made his own marathon debut last year and improved to 2:05:47 to win in Siena in April. “I was so happy to run 2:06 for my first marathon,” he told NN Running Team. “What it proved to me was, yes, I was in good shape but that I had the mentality to perform over the marathon distance.” Looking ahead to Chicago, he added: “I aim to run 2:03/2:04 but my first priority is to win the race.”

Ethiopia’s Chalu Deso and Shifera Tamru have respective bests of 2:04:53 and 2:05:18, while Ian Butler, who is coached by former world record-holder Steve Jones and balances his running with his job as a teacher, is the second-fastest US runner in the field with a PB of 2:09:45 set in Arizona last year.

Kenenisa Bekele targets the World record at Berlin-Marathon

World record holder in both the 5000m and 10000m, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia will be targeting to lower the marathon world record at the 48th edition of the BMW Berlin-Marathon that will be held on 26th September in Berlin, Germany.

Bekele will target to lower his time as he clearly demonstrated it when he took the top honors at the 2019 Berlin marathon when he crossed the line with the second fastest time of 2:01.41.

This is underlined not only by his victories at the Berlin-Marathon in 2016 and 2019, but also by his captivating performances at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in the capital city on the Spree River. At the races in the Olympic Stadium, Bekele won World Championship gold in the 10,000 m for the fourth time in a row and took the World Championship title in the 5,000 m a week later.

“I will come back with good energy and motivation to Berlin-Marathon. The last race in Berlin motivated me a lot, so I hope I will fulfil my plan this year.” So, in many ways, the Berlin-Marathon 2021 will be an event with historic sporting significance,” Bekele said.

The 39-year-old will try to match or lower the time of his only rival the greatest athlete of all time Eliud Kipchoge, who ran 2:01.39 in 2018 and ranks above him in the world all-time list. Bekele knows all too well what it is like to miss the world record by a narrow margin.

In 2016, he won in 2:03.03 which was just six seconds outside the then world record. There are also historical precedents for such narrow misses in marathon history: in 1985 the Welshman Steve Jones ran within one second of the world record in Chicago.

The 2019 podium clean swept by Ethiopians as Birhanu Legese, crossed the line in second in 2:02.48 to become the third fastest marathoner in history. Third place went to Sisay Lemma, running a personal best of 2:03.36.

Mo Farah to battle Galen Rupp at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that four-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time world champion and five-time European champion Mo Farah will join the 2018 Chicago Marathon elite competition.

In 2012, Farah became the first British athlete in history to win an Olympic gold at the 10,000m, and he is just the second athlete in history to pull off back-to-back gold medals in both the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

The Chicago Marathon marks Farah’s third go at the distance and his first 42K on U.S. soil. He joins defending champion and former training partner, Galen Rupp, at the front of this year’s elite pack. Farah and Rupp made history together at the 2012 London Olympics, finishing with the gold and silver in the 10,000m.

“Mo and Galen are two of the greatest distance runners of all time,” said Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Carey Pinkowski. “They come to Chicago following in the footsteps of incredible runners like Khalid Khannouchi, Sammy Wanjiru, Moses Tanui, Paul Tergat, Steve Jones and more.

These two runners have competed at the highest level of competition and I’m confident they will come prepared for what’s shaping up to be an epic showdown.”

Farah made his marathon debut in 2014 in London, clocking 2:08: 21 to finish eighth. He refocused his energy on the track and the 2016 Rio Olympics before tackling the distance again this spring. He finished third in London with a new personal best and a national record, 2:06:21. Farah dazzled fans at the 2016 Rio Olympics when he experienced a dramatic fall, tumbling hard to the track, in the 10,000m.

Instead of panicking, he found his feet, rejoined the pack and ran away from the rest of the field to win gold. In addition to his Olympic and world titles, he has landed on the top of the podium 20 times in the Diamond League track competitions.

Farah holds national track records in the 1500m, 3000m, two-mile, 5000m and 10,000m, and British road records in the 5K, 10K, 20K, half marathon and marathon. In 2017, Farah was named BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2018 will re-introduce pacers ” “rabbits” ” into the elite competition after breaking from the tradition for the past few years.

“The championship style of racing that spectators enjoy will continue as the race enters its final miles,” Pinkowski said. “The epic 2010 duel between the late Wanjiru and Tsegaye Kebede – arguably one of the greatest finishes in marathon history – underscores the importance of the tactics that still exist and flourish in paced races.”

Pinkowski and event organizers decided to transition back to pacers to leverage the speed of the course, to work towards setting up ideal conditions for the top tier elite athletes confirmed so far, and to respond to feedback received from runners.

“We listened to the athletes and they want to come to Chicago because of our tradition of fast times and our legacy as a world record course,” continued Pinkowski. “If athletes want to run in races without pacers, there are several opportunities for them to do so.”

runnersweb.com

Mo Farah can become greatest ever marathon runner, says coach Gary Lough

Mo Farah has the potential to become one of the world’s finest marathon runners and compete for medals against the mighty Eliud Kipchoge within the next two years, his coach has said.

Gary Lough, who started working with Farah after the he had retired from the track last year, believes that the Briton can reach a “similar level” to Kipchoge, the man who many believe to be the greatest marathon runner of all time.

Farah displayed his credentials over the longer distance with an impressive performance in Sunday’s London Marathon, when he finished third in the scorching London heat and smashed Steve Jones’s 33-year-old British record.

Under the guidance of Lough, who coached his wife Paula Radcliffe to the marathon world record in 2003, Farah will gear his efforts towards success at next year’s world championships in Doha before a likely attempt at the marathon title at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The current Olympic champion is the peerless Kipchoge, who this weekend won the London Marathon for the third time.

“Eliud is the best marathon runner ever,” Lough said. “I think Mo can get to a similar level and I think if you put him into a championship environment, like next year in Doha or certainly 2020 in Tokyo, I definitely think Mo Farah should be someone who people have got major concerns about.”

Farah is more suited to running in a championship as the absence of pacemakers generally creates a slower, more tactical race. Farah’s excellent track career, in which he won 10 world and Olympic titles, was largely a result of his tactical awareness and ability to manage races, rather than raw speed.

The 35-year-old’s performance this weekend was a demonstration of how much he has invested in the marathon since his retirement from the track last year.

Mo Farah now targets World Championships

Sir Mo Farah has his sights set on World Championships glory next year following his third-placed finish at the London Marathon.

Farah not only beat Steve Jones’ 33-year-old British record with a time of two hours six minutes and 21 seconds, he also proved to himself that he can mix it with the best.

The 35-year-old multiple Olympic and world track medallist may have finished two minutes behind Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, who made it a hat-trick of wins following his successes in 2015 and 2016, and runner-up Tola Shura Kitata of Ethiopia.

But with the likes of Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele and last year’s winner Daniel Wanjiru of Kenya trailing behind, Farah now knows that with a bit of fine-tuning – not least when it comes to collecting his drinks bottles – he has a real shot at success in Doha 2019.

“As you saw it’s all about learning, I did have a few problems getting a drink,” he said with a smile.

“But it took me so many years on the track, you don’t just do it overnight. Over time I hope to get it right so my aim is to continue.

“If I can run 2:06 at the World Championships, they don’t go that quick there. So my aim is maybe in the autumn to try and run another marathon and then see what happens in the summer of 2019.

“My aim is to keep learning, keep bringing my time down and mixing with these guys.

“Forget the time, look who I finished behind. And then there’s Kenenisa, Daniel… you wouldn’t have put me in the top three.”

Welshman Jones may have lost his record, set in Chicago in 1985, but Paula Radliffe’s 15-year world mark in the women’s marathon remains intact.

Last year’s winner Mary Keitany and runner-up Tirunesh Dibaba clearly had Radcliffe’s record on their minds but the sweltering conditions proved too much and allowed 34-year-old Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot to claim victory.

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s David Weir won the men’s wheelchair race for an unprecedented eighth time.

source: standard.co.uk

Mo Farah tainted by Alberto Salazar link, says British marathon record holder

The British marathon record holder Steve Jones fears Mo Farah will always be tainted by his association with Alberto Salazar – and says he wishes he had left his former coach years ago.

Jones fully expects Farah to shatter his 33-year-old UK record of 2:07.13 during the London Marathon on Sunday and even thinks his fellow Briton could challenge for the world record one day. But he does not understand why Farah decided to stay loyal to Salazar’s Nike Oregon Project training group until 2017, two years after they started to be investigated by the US Anti-Doping Agency – an investigation that continues.

“Personally, I would have distanced myself,” Jones said. “I said that three years ago when this whole thing blew up about Salazar. The people at Portland thought I was telling Mo to quit Salazar and get away as far as possible. I was just saying distance yourself until it either all falls back into place or the stories became true.”

Jones, who is now a distance coach in Colorado, said he was well aware of Salazar’s reputation for pushing himself to the limits since he began racing him during the 80s. “We have had some times together and I know his abilities,” he said.

“I know he is a little crazy. In marathon we are all nuts and raisins. It is what level you are. Alberto always takes things to the nth degree. I think that is what he has done with his coaching and his training.”

Jones said Salazar’s well-publicised health problems – his heart stopped for 14 minutes in 2007 – may have been a consequence of driving himself too hard. “That is what happens when you overdo things. I mean this is a little unfair to be talking about all this when we’re talking about Mo. I’m not trying to say this is the avenue Mo is taking, or anything, but there is a little taint there. It is guilt by association, I suppose, which is very unfair.”

Farah, who has always strenuously denied breaking any rules, is now coached by Gary Lough since quitting the track last year. Salazar has also consistently denied any wrongdoing after the BBC and ProPublica alleged he had broken anti-doping rules in 2015.

The 62-year-old Jones is delighted his marathon record is finally being challenged and is confident he will be bidding it a fond goodbye on Sunday. “I never thought the record would last so long. It is surprising. Although when I did it I kind of blew up in the last five or six miles so it could have been a little quicker had I not been so aggressive early on.

“When I look at my 2:07 I’m really looking at 2:05 but it’s good to see it being challenged now. I should just wave the white flag now and hand it over. I was confident in 2014 it would go, although when Mo went from talking about winning the race to breaking my record it made me think he wasn’t quite so confident. This time it’s a foregone conclusion – even a bad run this time should break the British record.”

The forecast of 23C for Sunday is likely to scupper the plans of the Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and the Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele to challenge Dennis Kimetto’s world marathon record of 2:02:57 set in 2014.

Kipchoge ran 2:00:25 in Monza last May, but it did not count as a new best under IAAF rules because he was helped by a phalanx of pacemakers who subbed in and out of the race. However he believes he is capable of taking on Kimetto’s time at some point. “Personally I know that one day I will break a world record,” he said. “It might be too hot on Sunday but everyone is running in the same weather. I promise we will see a beautiful race.”

Kipchoge’s coach, Patrick Sang, said his man was in very similar shape to his epic run in Monza when he came so close to being the first man to run under two hours – albeit with extra help. “But the heat, of course, will have an effect,” Sang said. “To what degree, I don’t know, but it will have an impact.”

When asked whether there was still a hope of a world record on Sunday, Sang nodded before replying: “If the temperature comes down a little bit there is a big chance.”

Unfortunately for Kipchoge and Bekele the increasingly certain weather forecasts suggest that chance is dwindling by the hour.
source: theguardian.com

Wanjiru to defend London Marathon against Bekele, Kipchoge and Farah

Daniel Wanjiru will face a daunting task when he defends his London Marathon title against three of the greatest distance runners of their generation on Sunday 22 April.

Wanjiru was a surprise winner of the 2017 men’s race when he held off the challenge of Ethiopian track legend Kenenisa Bekele to clinch his first Abbott World Marathon Majors victory and succeed Olympic gold medallist Eliud Kipchoge as London Marathon champion.

At just 24, Wanjiru had only three marathons behind him and just one victory – although that was a spectacular triumph, coming at the Amsterdam Marathon in October 2016 when he took almost three minutes from his personal best to beat a field of far more experienced runners.

In London, he proved that performance was no fluke when he made a break just before the 21-mile mark and battled hard over the final five miles to beat the fast-finishing Bekele who had fallen behind after suffering with blisters caused by ill-fitting shoes. “I am the happiest man in the world,” said the Kenyan afterwards.

Both Bekele and Kipchoge, the second and third fastest men in history over 26.2 miles, will be back on the London start line in 2018 alongside Britain’s multiple world and Olympic track champion, Mo Farah, who became the second fastest British marathon runner on his debut four years ago and defeated Wanjiru in the Vitality Big Half in London last month.

Bekele and Kipchoge will start as the two fastest in the field, heading a line-up that contains four who have run the distance under 2 hours 4 minutes and eight who have finished quicker than 2:06. Among them are five World Marathon Majors winners and two former world champions.

Kipchoge returns to London looking to make it a hat-trick of wins in the British capital after skipping last year’s race for a stab at breaking the two-hour barrier. The Kenyan superstar triumphed in 2015 and was an agonising eight seconds away from the current world record of 2:02:57 when he won again a year later.

“The Virgin Money London Marathon is a race that holds very special memories for me,” said the 33-year-old who became the fastest marathon runner in history when he clocked 2:00:25 in an unratified race in Monza, Italy, last May.

“I won it in 2015 and 2016 and both are days I will never forget. I came close to breaking the world record in 2016 and it is natural for anyone in that situation to think what might have been. But that race gave me the confidence to go on and win the Olympic title in Rio and run so well throughout 2017.”

Kipchoge was again close to the world record in Berlin last September when he finished in 2:03:32, just 35 seconds off the mark set by his countryman Dennis Kimetto in 2014.

“I feel like I’m in good form,” said Kipchoge. “Berlin was difficult because the weather was not good but my time showed I was in the right shape. I know I have the world record in me so we will have to wait and see what happens.”

With his best of 2:03:03, Bekele is the second quickest man in history and the fastest in the London field. After finishing third on his London debut in 2015, the 35-year-old placed second last year when he came agonisingly close to catching Wanjiru in the closing stages.

He is joined by compatriot Guye Adola who ran the fastest debut in history when runner-up behind Kipchoge in Berlin last September. Having led the race until the final few miles, the 27-year-old became the seventh quickest marathoner of all time when he crossed the line in 2:03:46, just 14 seconds after the winner.

The Kenyan challenge is boosted by Stanley Biwott, a former New York Marathon champion who was runner-up behind Kipchoge in London two years ago, and the experienced Abel Kirui, a two-time world champion who won the Chicago Marathon in 2016 and was second there last October.

Also in the field is Bedan Karoki who clinched third on his debut last year and ran the fourth fastest half marathon in history in the United Arab Emirates this February.

Former world and New York champion, Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, is one of three talented Eritreans in the line-up, while Farah heads a select British cast that includes Rio Olympian Tsegai Tewelde and the fast-improving Jonny Mellor.

While that pair will train their sights on selection for the European Championships, Farah is focused on a bigger prize – breaking Steve Jones’ long-held British record of 2:07:13 and perhaps cracking the European record of 2:05:48, a time that could well put him on the London Marathon podium.

Source: virginmoneylondonmarathon.com