The 4th of the 7 races in the XII Abbott World Marathon Majors series and a win for Ruti Aga took her from 5th to 1st in the series, with 41 points. With Boston, London and Berlin still to go in the series though it’s all still pretty open and multiple series winner Mary Keitany still has to be favourite, with Kosgei and Cherono who hold joint second with her all running London as well. You can find out more about how it all works here https://www.worldmarathonmajors.com/about/overview/
1.Ruti Aga ETH 41 points
2.Brigid Kosgei KEN 25 points ( running London)
3.Gladys Cherono KEN 25 points (running London)
4.Mary Keitany KEN 25 points (running London)
5.Shure Demise ETH 18 points
Within the race itself, Tokyo marathon claim that it was the coldest race on record with rain from the beginning, temperatures of around 5℃ and wind in the latter half meaning that times were not as fast as might have been hoped. The organisers were bigging up a 2:17 pace but Aga’s finishing time of 2:20:40 still secured her a step up from last year’s runner up position and held off compatriots Helen Tola and Shure Demise. For the local runners, Mao Ichiyama was running her debut marathon and I would have though that she could be quite happy with her result of 7th in 2:24:33, but fair play to her , she wants more : "I'm disappointed. The international athletes are really powerful. This is the true nature of a marathon", she commented, shrugging her shoulders in disappointment”. Honami Maeda, who was fastest going into the race and came second in the Osaka Women’s Marathon in 2018 came 12th.
Top GB athlete was Katherine Owens, coming 61st in 2:55:34
Ruti Aga, ETH, 2:20:40
Helen Tola, ETH, 2:21:01
Sure Demise, ETH, 2:21:05
Florence Kiplagat, KEN, 2:21:50
Bedatu Hirpa, KEN, 2:23:43
Full results here https://www.marathon.tokyo/en/media/press-release/
On February 29, 2020 Atlanta will hold the Olympic Trials marathon race. Athletes have to get an A or B qualifying time to make this race (A gets you extra financial support)
The top three finishers on race day in February get to go to the Olympics and share in $270,00 of prize money (incidentally that’s equal to the men’d prize pool and has been since 2008) Simple huh? Way less confusing that the UK system, makes for a brilliant race to watch and for good or bad it’s certainly all or nothing. You either have it on the day, or you don’t.
Anyway, the Atlanta Track Club held a test event last weekend where runners of any standard could come and try 8miles of the course. Long story short - it’s hilly and it’s not an easy course. Runners world reports here.
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First time in Atlanta, and couldn’t ask for a better experience! Thank you @atlantatrackclub for such a great event! Got to break the tape for the open women’s race, Road to Gold was amazing!! Hills, hills, hills! One year to turn dreams into reality! #trialsofmiles #runningcityUSA #roadtogold #dwrunning #runhappy
Jamie Hershfang (I @Jamiehershfang / @dwrunning1/) got to break the tape in the women’s open race, though the official Instagram account of the organisers seems to have mis-attributed the win to someone else and the results section is empty so I can’t tell you her time. Oh dear.
In the ‘Olympic hopefuls’ section of the race, Amy Cragg won by a minute. Amy was racing Tokyo Marathon this time last year and came third then, but this seems like the best we’ve got to go off for her form since then. So, on this race alone it makes an argument for a repeat of her Olympic Trials win in 2016.
Carrie Dimoff who came 14th in the New York Marathon last year was 2nd with Brittany Charboneau who place 17th in NY and 6th in LA last year coming 3rd. Full results here https://dynamix-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/atlantatrackcluborg/atlantatrackcluborg_624919499.pdf
AMY CRAGG Concord, MA 0:43:23 (hastyhastings)
CARRIE DIMOFF Portland, OR 0:44:24 (fastcarrie)
BRITTANY CHARBONEAU Golden, CO 0:44:32 (funnyrunner26.2)
KATY JERMANN Burnsville, MN 0:44:58
BRIDGET LYONS Fairburn, GA 0:44:59
Sadly Allie Kieffer has been having injury problems recently and while I’m not sure exactly what it is (it sounds like she’s not sure either) running is proving painful rather than enjoyable and she had to drop out of this race part way through. Hopefully she’ll get some answers soon and be ok for the start line of London Marathon in April.
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My body is still in conflict with my heart💔. . . Unfortunately I didn’t make it through all of today’s race before pain in my back and hamstring forced me to limp. It’s been a rough few weeks, so it wasn’t a surprise, just a disappointment. . . I considered not coming at all and continuing to hide from the the fact that I’m in pain instead of joy when I run. But instead of being so self-centered, I came to thank the people that came out for me (special shout out to my dad). Thanks to everyone that cheered for me, stopped to say hi, and @atlantatrackclub for creating an event so we could run the Olympic Trials course! . . #onwardandupward #headupwingsout #thankyou #daddysgirl
IN OTHER NEWS
Another athlete finding it tough at the moment is Boston start Sarah Sellers who talk about having had a rought one in her long run last weekend. Hang on in there Sarah!
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17 miles into this morning's fast pace long run and I was feeling pretty destroyed. Usually fast pace long runs are one of my favorite marathon workouts. When they go well, it seems like I'm building physical and mental endurance each mile. When they go poorly, they're just brutal. It's a fight to not throw in the towel every quarter mile. At mile 15 I considered asking to use a stranger's phone to call my coach and see if I should continue the workout. 17 miles into the workout, Karen Mitchell rode up alongside me on her bike and introduced herself as the photographer who has taken photos of several races I've been in. I immediately recognized her name and remembered her incredible photos. Ironically, Karen has seen my pain face in a number of races and now saw the same face today. I wanted to tell her that I do in fact smile when running sometimes but I didn't have the oxygen to spare saying anything other than "thanks...*gasp* photos... amazing..." So thank you Karen for your remarkable photos and for reminding me of the reason it's worth gritting it out on days like today. I still suffered the last few miles today, but after running into Karen I suffered with purpose. Every marathon has rough patches - you're off pace, or it feels harder than expected, or you're fighting the voice that says your goal is slipping away. Unintentionally, the purpose of today's workout became practicing the rough patches of the marathon. It was a struggle. I had to make unplanned stops. My desire to quit increased exponentially. But I toughed it out and, if nothing else, I hope I'll be more mentally prepared for Boston in 6 weeks than I was.
Oh, and for what it’s worth, I’ve had a stomach bug this week (hence this being late) and I’m starting down the barrel of my hardest long run pre-Limassol Marathon in 2 weeks time. Hmm. This could be nasty.
This weekend on the 10th March there are a good few tasty races:
Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon (IAAF Gold)
Huawei RomaOstia Half Marathon (IAAF Gold)
Nagoya Women’s Marathon (IAAF Gold) - historically faster than Tokyo for Japanese women
Zurich Marató Barcelona (IAAF Bronze)