Race Results Weekly’s News Roundup

Paula Radcliffe is running the Vienna Half in April.

(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Here is the latest running event news which has come to our attention at Race Results Weekly:

The IAAF reported today that Samsung had exercised a trigger in their sponsorship contract of the Diamond League, and would sponsor the series again for 2012.  This will be the third year that the South Korean electronics company will sponsor the global series of track meets which culminate in a two-part final in September. “This is excellent news for the IAAF, the Diamond League meets and of course Samsung,” said IAAF President Lamine Diack through a statement.  The 14-meet series opens on 11 May in Doha.

The USA indoor season has added another elite-level meeting on Saturday, Feb. 11, which will be part of USATF’s Visa Series. The USA Track & Field Classic will be held in conjunction with the Tyson Invitational, a well-established university meeting in Fayetteville, Ark., which has had professional athletes compete previously. This will expand the Visa Series to four meetings: U.S. Open (New York City, Jan. 28), New Balance Indoor Grand Prix (Boston, Feb. 4), USA Track & Field Classic (Feb. 11, Fayetteville, Ark.), and the USA Indoor Championships (Albuquerque, Feb. 25-26). The Fayetteville meeting, which will be televised on a tape-delay basis the following day, takes place on the same day as the Millrose Games in New York City, which is not part of the Visa series.  USATF said that top athletes like Galen Rupp, Kirani James, Silas Kiplagat, and Leo Manzano will take part, and that full event and athlete lists would be announced later.

Saturday’s U.S. Open at Madison Square Garden in New York City has finalized their fields, including events for high school athletes. Top athletes competing include Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Dawn Harper, Bernard Lagat, David Oliver, Lolo Jones, Kellie Wells, and Jesse Williams. The leading entrants in the high school miles are Zavon Watkins (Liverpool HS/Liverpool, NY) and Brianna Nerud (North Shore HS/Glen Head, NY). Organizers reported that tickets are still available at http://www.thegarden.com/usopen starting at $15.

The New York Road Runners announced today that the 35th edition of the Empire State Building Run-Up would be run at night and that a “time trial” format would be used for the first time. The event, in which athletes must climb 1576 steps to the 86th floor observatory of New York City’s tallest building, is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 8, and is held in cooperation with the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). The race will begin at 8:00 p.m. (instead of it’s traditional mid-morning time), and athletes will be sent from the building’s gleaming marble lobby in ten-second intervals instead of a mass start. This time trial format will increase safety, as athletes will no longer jostle for position to get through the narrow stairway entry door in the lobby and then will be better-spaced in the stairwell as they climb. Six-time men’s winner Thomas Dold of Germany and three-time women’s winner Suzy Walsham of Australia will compete, race director Mary Wittenberg said.

Mizuki Noguchi, the 2004 Olympic Marathon champion, will not start Sunday’s Osaka Women’s Marathon, organizers and Noguchi’s Sysmex team reported to the Japanese media today. According to an English language translation made available by the Japan Running News blog, Noguchi has an inflammation on the back of her left thigh. Sunday’s marathon is one of three qualifying races for Japanese women wishing to run the London Olympic Marathon.

Marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe will participate in the OMV Half Marathon in Vienna on April 15, race director Wolfgant Konrad reported today. The race will be held in conjunction with the 29th Vienna City Marathon. Radcliffe said through a statement that she was inspired to run this event by Haile Gebrselassie, who ran in Vienna last year. Under last year’s format, Gebrselassie “chased” the lead men in the marathon who started two minutes earlier and ran on a parallel course (Gebrselassie faced no competition in the half-marathon and won by 13 minutes).  Organizers did not reveal the format for Radcliffe’s participation this year.

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