Women's Running Roundup 3/12/18 - Valencia Marathon (Steph Twell) and California International Marathon

Women's Running Roundup 3/12/18 - Valencia Marathon (Steph Twell) and California International Marathon

Amidst sad news of Callum Hawkins pulling out of Fukuoka Marathon and Robbie Britton doing well in Spain, this week it was all about dominant marathon debuts for two young ladies…

Women's Running Roundup 19/11/18

ROAD RUNNING 

KOBE MARATHON IAAF Bronze Label

Full results here

Screenshot 2018-11-18 at 21.38.31.png

After New York’s Maegan Krifkin win in 2:33:14 last year, this year it was the turn of 31 y/o Susan Jerotich in 2:31:38 which is a HUGE 6 min PB for her. Perhaps she was so speedy because she was being chased right to the end by Mongolia’s Munkhzaya Bayartsogt (25) who finished just 10seconds after her! 3rd place went to Nina SAvina (25) of Belarus in 2:33:36 which was the second PB this year for Nina after she ran 2:33:50 in Berlin in August at the Euro champs.

Screenshot 2018-11-18 at 21.17.57.png


SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL MARATHON
IAAF Gold Label

Results not yet published here


SEMI MARATHON DE BOULOGNE BILLANCOURT CHRISTIAN GRANGIE
IAAF Bronze Label  

Full results here

Parendis Lepakana obviousley enjoyed setting her PB here last year so was back to race again and move up one place to take the win in 2018, albeit in a slightly slower time. 2:30 marathoner and compatriot Susan JEPTOO pootled home just behind her while Frenchwoman lady Karine Pasquier was also a few mins off a PB but it’s nice to have a local win.

  1. Parendis LEKAPANA, KEN 1:10:48

  2. Susan JEPTOO, KEN 1:11:28

  3. Karine PASQUIER 1:15:23


 

ROAD PREVIEW

25th Nov

ASICS FIRENZE MARATHON IAAF Bronze Label Road
Marathon du Gabon Olam IAAF Bronze Label
CLOWNE HALF MARATHON

2nd Dec
VALENCIA MARATHON
The 72nd Fukuoka International Open Marathon ChampionshipsIAAF Gold Label Road


Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 16.48.24.png

TRAIL RUNNING

Cajsa brings you all the news from the trails: 


TRAIL PREVIEW
 

 

 


Women's Running Roundup 12/11/18

ROAD RUNNING 

ATHENS AUTHENTIC MARATHON
Full results
here

Record numbers of runners took part in this weekenfd’s Athens Authentic Marathon with organisers reporting 55,000 runners from 106 countries across all the races (5k, 10k, children and special requirements races) and 18,750 for the marathon.

Shelmith Nyawira of Kenya, who finished the Commonwealth games marathon in 2:47:53 earlier this year, bettered that time on an arguably more challenging course winning in 2:36:46. The IAAF only has her personal best at 2:38:18 set in Nairobi back in her home country in 2016 but I suspect that this isn’t correct as it doesn’t have the Athens Marathon logged yet and sometimes the kenyan names have multiple entries with slightly different middle names or name orders. Happily for the race organisers, the home country’s Eleftheria Petroulaki built on her win earlier this year when she finished first in 1:20:01 in the Athens International half marathon by placing third in 2:46:09 and 30th overall. She’s also previously won the 5k version of the race too so maybe she’s going all Pokemon on it and catching them all one by one.

Athens_marathon-945x591-900x563.jpg


1. Muruiki Shelmith Nyawira, KEN, 2:36:46
2. Koech Rebby Cherono, KEN, 2:38:54
3. Petroulaki Eleftheria, GRC, 2:46:09

MARATONA DI RAVENNA
Full results
here

After the biblical storms and river-running of last week’s Venice marathon, those racing in Italy fared rather better weather-wise this week as the Ravenna marathon took place. It was another race reporting record attendance and record times. Ethopia’s Aberu Ayana Mulisa finished in 2:36: 32 which, as my google translate so beautifully puts it, ‘pulverised’ the previous record of 2:39:19 set by Catherine Bertone in 2015. Second place went to Croatian Nikolina Stepan in 2:48:07 and thirs to Ruta Simkunaite of Lithuania in 2:58:38. The rest of the top 15 was taken by Italian athletes, with only one Polish runner getting a look-in. I’ve failed miserably to find anything about Aberu Ayana Mulisa - she only seems to feature in news about this race. Anyone know anything? Perhaps a marathon debut? I’ve cheers on Stepan when she ran the World Championship race in London last year…. coming 3rd from last in 2:59:43. This was rather more successful for her!

BLOM BANK BEIRUT MARATHON IAAF Silver Label
Full results
here

Won last year by Eunice Chumba of Bahrain i 2:28:38 of Bahrain, this race has Paula Radcliffe as it’s headline ambassador and has 10000USD at stake for the winner
1. Medine Deme Armino, ETH, 2:29:30
2. Nazret Gebrehiwet, ERI, 2:29:48
3. Selamawit Tsegaw, ETH, 2:31:40

MARATON INTERNACIONAL MEGACABLE GUADALAJARA IAAF Bronze Label

Full results here but not published yet

HEFEI INTERNATIONAL MARATHON IAAF Bronze Label
IAAF roundup
here

Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich stormed to a Turkish all-comers record at the 40th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon on Sunday (11), clocking 2:18:35 at this IAAF Gold Label Road Race. With a 2:22 pace initially in mind to try breaking the 2:22:36 race record she set in her debut last year, Chepngetich surprised organisers at Saturday’s technical meeting when the defending champion asked that intermediate times be calculated for a sub-2:19 run. Having noted those, the 24-year-old went in pursuit of exactly what she targeted.

VODAFONE ISTANBUL MARATHON IAAF Gold Label
1. RUTH CHEPNGETICH, KEN,2:18:34
2. MARGARET AGAI, KEN, 2:25:03
3. FATUMA SADO, ETH, 2:31:04


 

ROAD PREVIEW

18th Nov
Kobe MarathonIAAF Bronze Label
Shanghai International MarathonIAAF Gold Label
Semi-Marathon de Boulogne Billancourt Christian GrangerIAAF Bronze Label  

 

 


Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 16.48.24.png

TRAIL RUNNING

Cajsa brings you all the news from the trails: 

It's been busy days in Santa's Vector Grotto and silent nights on the trail circuit so Bland's little helper felt like a week off pounding the keyboard was in order! This week however there are both noteworthy previews and past performances that deserves a write up so back to the grind I go!

OTT ULTRA 30 miles / (886 m<)

See that beak up there in the altitude gain bracket, it is there as I could not find any exact elevation stats for this inaugural Welsh ultra but since I know that the route lead runners up and down the 886 meter peak of Pen y Fan I am guesstimating an elevation gain that at the very minimum matches that number!

Screenshot 2018-11-16 at 17.19.10.png

In true Cymru-cumulus tradition the clouds were hanging low over the grounds of Cyfarthfa Castle as thirty something weatherproof trailheads lined up to climb South Wales highest peak this past weekend. Amongst them Team GB's Holly Rush who proved that she's recovered well enough from her ordeal on the trails of Mont Blanc to not only take the trophy as first lady but also chick a big chunk of men by running herself to a third on the Overall podium! Holly covered the 30 muddy miles in a gun time of 04:35:10 (only 4 minutes behind 2nd fastest man) that was fast enough to keep her on a safe distance from the battle for second and third which was unravelling behind her.

Kelly Felstead eventually managed to pull away from Katharine Collins and came back to Cyfartha (which btw loosely translates to Place of Barking …) as second fastest queen in 05:59:09. She finished with four minutes to spare down to Collins in third.

1. Holly Rush 04:35:10 (3rd OA)

2. Kelly Felstead 05:59:09

3. Katharine Collins 06:03:56

PEN LLYN ULTRA 35.5 miles / 1370 m

OTT was not the only long distance race taking place in the realms of the red dragon this past weekend.

Up in the Lllyn Pennisula runners were treated to a scenic 30-something mile course and just as down south the Top Girl ran herself to a place on the OA podium. Lizzie Richardson stormed along the Welsh coast path and finished first lady in this undulating race in 6:14:26, just 14 minutes away from an all out victory and a mere four minutes behind the second fastest man. Thirty minutes behind Richardson was Lowri Williams who only just managed to take second place in the ladies race by crossing the finish line TWENTY SECONDS ahead of Merilin Sikk in third. Seems like the Welsh autumn trails makes quiet the playground for late season badassery!

1. Lizzie Richardson 06:14:26

2. Lowri Williams 06:40:29 (5th OA)

3. Merilin Sikk 06:40:49 (6th OA)


TRAIL PREVIEW
 

 The time has come for the Centurions to throw in the sweaty 2018 towel as this weekend sees their last race of the year and as per tradition they are wrapping things up with a loop!

WENDOVER WOODS 50 miles / 3050 m

The runners looking to finish their Centurion Grand Slam 50 series in Wendower this weekend will be faced by a course consisting of five laps of a 10 mile loop on forest trails. It's not the toughest of routes on paper but it does have some punchy hills and ascending them on repeat can be a bit of a mental mine field, add to that multiple sightings of Gruffalos and cover it all in an increasing layer of mud and all of a sudden you have a recipe for what will probably not result in a 50 mile PB!

With these conditions in mind my pre-race favourite has to be this years 3rd lady at Lakeland 50; Amy Sarkies. She will have to battle off the multiple centurion champion Jess Gray in order to win though and that is not an easy feat. Other possible podium contenders are Kit-Yi Greene who finished 3rd at TP100 this year and the current 50 mile slam leader Maria Russell. I'm also keeping a fore seeing eye on Melanie McKay who should have the quads to churn up the mud for a place in the top 3!

THE NORTH FACE 50

On less local trails it is time for the always competitive 50 mile North Face Endurance Challenge in California. It is not certain wether this race actually will take place though as at the moment of writing the Bay Area is still being tormented by devastating wildfires but if the race directors decides to give it a go ahead there will be some serious podium contenders on the start line.

Two time TNF champion Ida Nilsson has been out in the US for a couple of weeks to prepare and she should be hungry for revenge after a less successful Golden Trail Race finale at the Otter Trail last month.

Also seeking a last minute improvement of her 2018 season resume is Clare Gallagher. She will be joined and chased by her fellow Colorado-ite and running buddy Abby Levene who if she has a good day could be a challenger for the podium. Yet another gal with hunger for late season redemption is Yiou Wang who injured herself early the summer and had to DNS most of her races following that. Camille Herron's name could also be added to the list of runners who did not get the 2018 they hoped for but I am hoping that the reason why she did not start New York Marathon a couple of weeks ago was that she wanted to put all her focus on TNF 50 to finish her year with a win.

Brittany Peterson has had an amazing season on the Skyrunning series and unless she has over raced it on the european summer trails i am feeling confident that she will land at least on the top 5! Anna Mae Flynn is another contender for the high rankings, as is Keely Henninger. It feels a bit weird to wish for this race to get underway with everything going on but heres to hoping for the devastation of the fires to come to an end, for a competitive race to unfold and for it to inspire us (and that climate change denying air head in the white house) to look after our wild land whilst we still have some left.

IN OTHER NEWS

Someone who has been inspired to do something in order to turn things for the better is the Team GB ultra runner Dan Lawson. Together with his wife Charlotte he has started a Community Interest Company aiming to prolong the life cycle of running clothes and equipment. After finding out how much of the UK's textile that end up as landfill and being educated on the carbon footprint of clothes consumption the couple started ReRun as a way both to educate others and to try to reduce the waste we all as runners contribute to.

On their site they sell Pre-Loved clothing and Equipment as well as upcycled goods and all profits once the costs of running the shop are taken out goes back into the running community. You can shop or donate and also learn all about the numbers of our unsustainable consuming patterns over at;

https://rerunclothing.org/

Womens round up favourite Sophie Grant wrote a brilliant piece for RUN247 on the subject of low female participation in long distance trail races. You can read it by clicking the link below:

https://run247.com/running-features/opinion/where-are-all-the-women-at

It was published just a couple of days before Lavaredo Ultra Trail released some sad pie charts stating that a mere 12 % of the runners registered to run the race in 2019 were female.

With that in mind; it is time to stop procrastinating, call your girlfriend and schedule a long run for next weekend! Remember that nothing is too steep, too far or too muddy as long as we keep on inspiring and supporting each other we will get there! And opt out of that race shirt and medal next time you sign up for a race, there's no better race bling than the glimmering of sweat on your nose!

UPDATE

TNF announced this morning that due to the continued and forecasted unhealthy air quality levels they've decided to cancel all their events for this weekend. They also stated that they will be donating the entire event prize to Camp Fire Evacuation Relief Fund to support the relief efforts. All food and snacks from the event will be donated to Sierra Nevada Brewing company who are currently providing meals for the first responders and fire victims.

 


Women's Running Roundup 5/11/18

ROAD RUNNING 

TCS NEW YORK MARATHON (IAAF GOLD)

See the separate roundup here

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 18.04.03.png

NICE - CANNES MARATHON (IAAF BRONZE)
Full results here
1. Nurit SHIMELS, ETH 2:31:54
2. Doris CHANGEYWO, KEN 2:38:17
3. Edinah KIMAIYO, KEN 2:41:55

PORTO MARATHON (IAAF BRONZE)
Full results here
1. Abeba-Tekulu Gebremeskel, ETH 02:30:13 
2. Meskerem Abera Hunde, ETH 02:33:50 
3. Elvanie Nimbona, BURUNDI 02:44:24


INDIANAPOLIS MONUMENTAL MARATHON

Full results here
1. Laurie KNOWLES, USA 2:37:50
2. Hiruni WIJAYARATNE USA, 2:38:34
3. Sallie POST, USA 2:41:58

HANGZHOU MARATHON (IAAF SILVER) 

Can’t fathom the site enough to get the results but ‘my best runs’ reports the following..

Running under cloudy and cool conditions, the first seven finishers in the women’s race broke the course record of 2:31:21 set by Anne Cheptanui Bererwe of Kenya last year. Muluhabt Tsega enjoyed a comfortable solo lead in the final five kilometres and improved the record by more than three minutes to win with a personal best of 2:28:08.

It is the fourth race of the year for the 28-year-old Tsega. She clocked 2:30:38 to finish eighth in Osaka in January and finished fourth at the Warsaw Marathon in April with a 2:30:16 clocking. Last month she competed in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon but had to withdraw after 20 kilometres due to a stomach problem.

It is also the second marathon title for Tsega. She took the victory at 2014 Beirut Marathon in her marathon debut and set her previous PB of 2:29:12, which has since stood as the course record.


 

ROAD PREVIEW

11th Nov

Athens Authentic Marathon
Maratona Di Ravenna
BLOM BANK Beirut Marathon IAAF Silver Label - Won last year by Eunice Chumba of Bahrain i 2:28:38 of Bahrain, this race has Paula Radcliffe as it’s headline ambassador and has 10000USD at stake for the winner

Maratón Internacional Megacable GuadalajaraIAAF Bronze Label
Hefei International MarathonIAAF Bronze Label
Vodafone Istanbul MarathonIAAF Gold Label

18th Nov
Kobe MarathonIAAF Bronze Label
Shanghai International MarathonIAAF Gold Label
Semi-Marathon de Boulogne Billancourt Christian GrangerIAAF Bronze Label  

 

 


TRAIL RUNNING

Cajsa brings you all the news from the trails: 

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 16.48.24.png

TRAIL PREVIEW
 

 

 


TCS New York Marathon - Women's Running Roundup special

After all my hype about Mary Keitany being the fastest, but a bit of a gung-ho-hero and therefore not a predictable runner to back, of course she only went and ran a carefully measured race. Well, I suppose after a 2nd and NY last year and a bit of a blow-up at London she decided it was time to play it safe and bag a win and not only that but a 4th win at NY and a win in the second fastest time for that course.

After a steady early effort which took Keitany, Cheruiyot, Flanagan, Huddle, Tusa, Linden, Weightman & Daska all through half way within 1:15:49-53 Mary Keitany wound up the pace at 20-25k with her 17-19th miles all run at under 5'00/mile and the second half in 1:06:58 which is 27s faster than Molly Huddle's american record for the half marathon. Only Rahma Tusa really worked hard to stay with Keitany, but trying to do so led to a late fade that both Cheruiyot and Flanagan picked up on one after the other to finish in 2:26:02 and 2:26:22 respectively. A crazy-mad 8:52 negative split from shows just how much within herself Keitany must have been in those early stages. @jgault13 made an interesting point on twitter about the speed of her 10k from 25-35k of the race compared to Linden, Huddle and Flanagan.




Whilst I'm a bit sad that Flanagan couldn't retain the title it's worth noting that her 3rd place was 30s faster than her winning time last year and on balance I think a race is more interesting than a time trial (albeit that the women's race wasn't quite such and exciting finish as the men's).

Anyway - enough about the obvious stuff - you can read all about that everywhere else (RunnersWorld/ LetsRun / Fast Running). Let's work through the fun stuff lower down the list with help from my geeky spreadsheet of joy. The podium followed the pre-race ranking order but Molly Huddle had a stormer of a race, being the only one in the top 5 to run a PB and finish 4th (ranked 8th going in).

So, three Americans finished in the top six of the Women’s division for the first time since 1978: 3rd Shalane Flanagan (2:26:22) 4th Molly Huddle (2:26:44) 6th. Des Linden (2:27:51). But Des, Oh Des, I wanted you to win so bad. I'll be interested to see what she has to say about the race in the next week or so. That end-of-race speed training she's been working at paid off to some extent with her running a 3:51 negative split but not enough to chase down Tusa. So who else managed to get a PB? Well, 8 of the top 25 did do with the biggest ones being for Belaynesh Fikadu, ETH (8:14) Eva aka Caroline Almkvist SWE (8:01 PB) and Sarah Sellers, USA (7:27 PB and, hurrah!, just inside the 'A' standard qualifying time for the Olympic Trials in 2020 with 2:36:37). Sarah Sellers has already been through the 'whoooooooo?!' phase after her breakout 2nd place in Boston but it's 23 year old Almkvist who's the surprise unknown in the NYC results. She came 3rd in the Stockholm marathon earlier this year and like Sarah is not a professional runner and did not have an elite start.

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 17.43.30.png


Allie Kiefer was another one to live up to her pre-race hype with a solid 7th place and a PB to boot. I particularly love that she says 'in hindsight I could have run smarter... my goal was to reach the podium...', firstly because she's just like the rest of us who always think we could have run better after the race and are filled with what-if's(just ask my coach!) and secondly because she doesn't skate over her pre-race goal of a podium place - she acknowledges that is didn't happen.

Lisa Weightman is pretty happy with an 8th place for Australia, commenting that while training she was also working 4 days a week, looking after the family and building a house. And for the Ultra-lovers out there it's exciting to see that Gerda Steyn of Two Oceans & Comrades fame is easily able to play with the big Girls in the 26.2 as well, finishing in 13th with a 6min PB.

Rank by PRRank in NYNew York 2018NameAgeCountryMarathon PRPlus or Minus PB1st half2nd halfPositive / negative split
112:22:48Mary Keitany36KEN2:17:010:05:271:15:501:06:58-0:08:52
222:26:02Vivian Cheruiyot35KEN2:18:310:07:311:15:501:10:12-0:05:38
332:26:22Shalane Flanagan37USA2:21:140:05:081:15:491:10:33-0:05:16
842:26:44Molly Huddle34USA2:28:13-0:01:291:15:501:10:54-0:04:56
652:27:13Rahma Tusa25ETH2:23:460:03:271:15:491:11:24-0:04:25
562:27:51Des Linden35USA2:22:380:05:131:15:511:12:00-0:03:51
1372:28:12Allie Kieffer31USA2:29:39-0:01:271:16:341:11:38-0:04:56
782:29:11Lisa Weightman39AUS2:25:150:03:561:15:531:13:18-0:02:35
492:30:31Mamitu Daska35ETH2:21:590:08:321:15:511:14:40-0:01:11
25102:30:47Belaynesh Fikadu30ETH2:39:01-0:08:141:16:351:14:12-0:02:23

I could go on forever poring over these stats and the happy or gritted-teeth insta posts from the after-event runners but it's time to wind this up and put away the Marathon Majors until 2019

The result leaves the leaderboard for the Abbot World Marathon Majors Series XII after Berlin '18, Chicago '18 and New York '18 as follows:

1. Brigid Kosgei KEN 25

2. Gladys Cherono KEN 25

3. Mary Keitany KEN 25

4. Rolza Dereje ETH 16

5. Ruti Aga ETH 16

6. Vivian Cheruiyot KEN 16

7. Shalane Flanagan USA 9

8. Shure Demise ETH 9

9. Tirunesh Dibaba ETH 9

Tokyo, Boston, London and Berlin 2019 are still to come.

Also of interest is the fact that by running under 2:23, Keitany was awarded $45,000 on top of her $100,000 for first place.



-- FOOTNOTE : WORLD MARATHON MAJOR RULES--

TIE BREAKERS

If there’s a tie at the end of a Series, the winner is determined using the following rules (addressed in descending order):

The athlete with the best head­-to-head record in Qualifying Races during the Series will be declared the winner. Only the fact that one athlete finished ahead of the other will be taken into account and not by how many places nor whether those athletes scored points in that head-to-head contest.

The athlete who has won the most Qualifying Races during the period.

The athlete who the majority of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors Race Directors determines to be the champion. The Race Directors may decide to award the title jointly.

TCS New York Marathon Preview

Righto, it’s the TCS York City Marathon 2018 right around the corner which means it’s time for me to have a mooch around the internet, read and listen to other people’s roundups and come up with my own little bundle of wonderings on the subject of the Womens’ Elite Field.

Firstly, here’s the offical bits and bobs:

you can find the full ‘spreadsheet of joy’ here which has all the PBs and lots of social media handles as provided by the NRR. full media guide here and info on celebrity runners here

The race starts at 9.20ET which is 13.20GMT and there’s a list of how to watch in your location HERE

 

But who am I backing? Have a read of this lot..

Mary Keitany, KEN (36)

Instagram.com/MaryKeitany

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 20.37.57.png

Much is said about how New York Marathon is not about who is fastest on paper. It's a much more tactical course. That could feel like it takes away from Shalane's win last year over Mary Keitany who is considerably faster than her, but I would say that kind of win is a tougher job to do. You can't just dial it in and trust the training when a race is tactical - you're racing with your mind as much as your legs. That said, Keitany is hardly one to play it safe and run an even pace, as we saw in London earlier this year when she went out at a blistering pace despite the warm conditions. She committed early on to chasing Paula Radcliffe's mixed-field world record (she already bagged the women-only one in 2017) and it backfired but I love her gutsy style. She seems to be a go-hard-or-go-home athlete. Sometimes that blows up in your face but on the occasions the it does, well, you bag a world record. Mary has previously won NY in 2016 as well as coming 2nd in 2014 and 2017, is married to runner Charles Koech and has two kids aged 10 and 5.

Vivian Cheruiyot, KEN (35)

instagram.com/vivian.cheruiyot

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 20.38.45.png

Cheruiyot was the tortoise that caught the hare this year at London Marathon, where she bided her time and took advantage of Keitany's gutsy but foolhardy pace in the early stages to come away with the win in a PB of 2:18:31. That has to put her in contention for the most logical winner - she has recent for AND a solid history of racing as well. It'd be tough to call anyone over her in a more straight forward race or if there weren't a world record holding crazy lady in the field..

Mamitu Daska, ETH (35)

Two time silver medalist at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and winner of the Dubai and Houston Marathon I suspect she'll be looking to nudge closer to the 2:20 mark and shave a good two minutes off her PB. So far this year she's only officially race a 10k and 12k race and not to a PB either so I don't think she'll trouble things much. Perhaps a tactical or windy race could play to her favour?

Rahma Tusa, ETH

Tusa set her PB of 2:23:46 in Rome earlier this year, winning there for the third year in a row. At 25 she's one of the youngsters of the elite field and has shaved several minutes off her time every year for the last 4 years, so you can expect her to be looking for a 2:20 mark as well.

Lisa Wightman, AUS (39)

https://www.instagram.com/lisaweightman/

Weightman has represented her country 3 times at the olympics and will be looking to head to Tokyo in 2020. She set her PB last year at London marathon and ran in the commonwealth games on the gold coast earlier this year where she came second.

The Americans : Shalane (37), Des (35), Molly (34), Steph, Allie (31) to name just a few

For those of us who love the sport, the fact that the top five women can be identified just by their first names shows just how strong the US marathoning is at the moment.

So, Shalane: yes her fastest marathon was back in 2014 and she's only run *that* Boston this year in 2:46:31 (though at least she made it to the end) but she showed last year that age gives you a mental strength that can help as much as the training sometimes. With the launch of her latest cookbook earlier this year (it's very good - Run fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow) there's a chance that life and other distractions could knock that rock solid mind-set but it seems like she thrives of this kind of stuff. Argh, I dunno - with nothing to go on really I feel like I wouldn't 100% back her to win but then perhaps that's an advantage as the other runners won't know where she's at?

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 20.41.23.png

Talking of rock-sold mental games, there's Des Linden. Like Shalane she’s got her side hustle too, co-owning Linden + True coffee.  It feels a little, ungenerous I guess, that all of the previews I've seen have pretty much written Des off a podium spot for this race in a shrug of 'well she won Boston because she's a grinder and she was able to grind out a win in those horrible conditions'. Yes, her motto of 'keep showing pup' points us to that kind of comment and yes the conditions played to her strengths but that ignores her galling 2" second place finish previously and they fact that she's gutsy enough to (amicably) leave her previous coaching setup straight after finally winning a World Major. In recent interviews she has talked about her new coach (Walt Drench who coached her for three years at Arizona State) is making some changes. She admitted that whilst she may be an excellent human metronome, able to churn out enviably equal splits, that won't help her when those with a different racing style make surges towards the end or just generally play with the pace. So, Linden has been hitting the track and running reps as short at 300s to get that turnover going and to find the speed to respond. And she sounds supremely confident in every interview I've heard her in. I can't wait to see what metronome + speed equals in Linden-land.

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 20.39.30.png

And so we move onto Molly, poor molly who was a bit of a sorry mess at the end of Boston. At 34 she's a little younger than Flanagan and has a strong history in shorter distances as she is the American record-holder in the half-marathon, 5K and 10,000m, made both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. I know she's been bigged up as untapped potential for the marathon but my less logical head thinks that Allie Kieffer could finish ahead of her just from the fact that she'll be flying high from last year's break out 5th place performance and, after a stress fracture at the start of the year,  a really solid buildup this autumn including winning the Toronto Waterfront Half marathon as part of a workout. I'll be honest, Steph Bruce (another one in the food and drink game - co-owning Picky Bars) is the one of the top 5 Americans that I know least about. With a PB of 2:29:35 set back in 2011 I wasn't expect to think much about her but in August Flo track reported  that Steph was having her best year ever as she won the Peach Tree 10k, gaining her first national title so maybe she's the one whose shorter-race speed will convert into a gutsy performance, albeit not likely to be podium/ top American. Apologies that I don't have time to cover the rest of the American field, though of course it's worth mentioning Sarah Sellers (27) aka 'the one who no on knew who she was' at Boston this year where she came second without even realising! Sarah is looking to get an Olympic Trials ‘A’ qualifying time of 2:37:00.

instagram.com/ShalangeFlanagan

instagram.com/des_linden

instagram.com/mollyhuddle

instagram.com/kiefferallie/

instagram.com/stephrothstein

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 20.40.35.png

I thought Camille Herron of ultra running fame was due to run as well but she appears to have dropped off the start list. However, I'll give a quick nod to Two Oceans champion and 2nd place Comrades finisher Gerda Steyn. Given that comrades is a road ultra it's the closest thing to a marathon in that over-distance world and Gerda is having one heck of a year!

https://www.instagram.com/gerdarun




And there we have it. It’s clear who I’m backing to win, isn’t it? No? Oh ok then. Well, my head say Keitany - she’s just so flipping fast that if everything goes ok no one can catch her but my heart…. oh my heart wants it to be Des. I know she always says she’s the under dog and we brits love an underdog but I just think that if this speed work she’s be adding in since Boston has paid off then maybe that PLUS her dogged-stickability… just maybe? GO DES!!! (Actually it’s probably going to be steady-eddy Cheruiyot who will just do her thing and get it done and fast… yeah I’m totally hedging my bets.

See you on the other side!









Women's Running Roundup 29/10/18

Women's Running Roundup 29/10/18

The women’s running roundup is here again

Road: Deluges failed to put off another busy weekend of marathoning. A course record in Frankfurt and Ljublhana a first International podium for Lizzie Lee in Dublin and a water logged results system in Venice…

Trail: Courtney runs for 67 hrs and 279 miles and then eats all the sweets, the Javelina Jundred serves up a feast and Cajsa brings you some tasty Trail links