Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com Your Online Source for Running Sat, 22 Apr 2017 01:27:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 American Elites Ready For London Marathon Debuts http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/news/american-elites-ready-london-marathon-debuts-sunday_164032 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:03:50 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164032 Only two women, Kellyn Taylor and Laura Thweatt, will be representing the U.S. in the elite field at this Sunday's race.

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Kellyn Taylor (left) and Laura Thweatt pose in front of The Thames three days before the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon. Photo: Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly

(c) 2017 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Sunday’s 37th Virgin Money London Marathon has a power-packed elite field of 35 men and 30 women, but only two are from the United States: Kellyn Taylor, 30, of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Laura Thweatt, 28, of Superior, Colo. Both women will be running their first marathons outside of the U.S., and after spending more than a week in Britain to adjust to the time zone and climate, they said yesterday that they are excited and ready to run.

“My build-up was good,” said Taylor, who has a personal best of 2:28:40 and runs for the Hoka One One Northern Arizona Elite squad coached by Ben Rosario. “I feel prepared.”

Thweatt, who made a successful marathon debut at the 2015 New York Marathon with a time of 2:28:23 and is coached by three-time Australian Olympian Lee Troop, agreed.

“It was both Lee and my decision (to run London),” said the Saucony-sponsored athlete. He asked me what the next marathon I wanted to do in the spring coming off of the Olympic year. I had never been to London.”

Both women have had long breaks since their last marathons. For Taylor, London will be her first 42K race since she finished sixth at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angles in February of 2016.  In that hot and sunny race, Taylor pressed the pace early and was still in contention for the podium past the halfway point (she was only one second behind eventual second place finisher Des Linden at 25K). But she faded in the second half, wilting in the heat.

“With an Olympic year there are so many ups and downs,” said Taylor, who would later finish fourth at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 10,000m, missing a team spot by just one place. “You have a lot of emotion coming off of that.”

Taylor had planned to run last November’s TCS New York City Marathon, but was forced to scratch in September after not hitting her workouts and feeling persistently fatigued. Looking back, she now sees that as a blessing, allowing her to completely rest and regroup and be ready to run in the spring.

“Unfortunately, New York didn’t happen, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise,” said Taylor, who grew up in Wisconsin. “I got do so some other things that I enjoyed… to be excited about this year.”

RELATED: Women’s World Record Could Be Broken At This Year’s London Marathon

After her successful debut in New York, Thweatt struggled to find her best form in 2016, hampered by a painful injury called osteitis pubis, an inflammation of the pubic symphysis and surrounding muscle insertions. It’s a condition which will only fully resolves with total rest, but Thweatt and her therapists have been trying to manage it so she can keep training.

“She’s been battling with osteitis pubis,” explained Troop, who has run the London Marathon three times. “She was struggling to get the injury under control and take the next step. She’s 95 percent healthy.”

Unlike Taylor, Thweatt chose to pass on the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon so she could focus on the track. She chose to double at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 5000m and 10,000m, but was knocked out of the shorter race when she only finished eighth in her heat, and finished one place behind Taylor (5th) in the longer race. She took a long break after that and only ran one road race in the fall.

“It just sort of got worse,” said Troop of Thweatt’s condition last summer. “It’s the Olympic Trials so you keep pushing it. She’d be trying to do workouts and would be in pain and crying.”

Neither woman would share their specific race plans for Sunday, but both said they were looking forward to having good races and saw personal best times as a good possibility on London’s mostly flat course. In addition, both women have the full support of their families attending the race. Taylor’s parents, Tom and Katie Johnson, are here along with her husband, Kyle, and 6-year-old daughter Kylyn.

Thweatt’s parents, Steve and Jean, are also in London, and her fiancé, Matt Hensley, arrives today. Even Thweatt’s 85-year-old grandmother, Eunice, has come to London from Eugene, Ore., a trip which Thweatt said required five flight segments. “She’s resting now,” said Thweatt at a dinner last night near her hotel.

Only one American woman, Deena Kastor, has won the Virgin Money London Marathon. In 2006, she ran the absolute American record of 2:19:36 and remains the only American woman to break 2:20.

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Is Running Good For The Planet? Many Events Are Going Green http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/races/running-planet-going-green_164017 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:24:23 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164017 Many running events can produce waste and leave a pretty big footprint. Now races are taking efforts to go green and help the planet.

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With all the sweat and fresh air, running certainly feels like a healthy activity. Good for you? Of course. Good for the planet? Well, that depends. Especially when you consider the environmental impact of races with thousands upon thousands of people adding litter and traffic to city streets or wild trails. From paper registration forms and single use cups, to leftover food and the impact of people traveling to events, races can be significant environmental stressors. The good news: there is room for improvement, with many major events already making significant changes.

Going Cupless

Reducing trash through recycling and reusing items is a visible area for improvement at events. Race course aid stations littered ankle deep in cups, as volunteers manically attempt to keep up with the ever-growing pile of refuse, is an all too common race day sight. In 2013, the Chuckanut 50K was one of the first races in the U.S. to go cupless.

“As trail runners, we are completely sustainable running through the mountains, so my thought was ‘why do we need cups at an event?’” says Krissy Moehl, Chuckanut 50K race director. “I already had people bringing bowls for post-race soup, so it made sense. The first year I provided cups for people to buy, after that they got the idea.”

The cup Moehl offered for sale was the original reusable C2 cup from UltrAspire, created out of conversations from an athlete summit the brand hosted. Moehl now works with Ultimate Direction, but was an UltrAspire athlete at the time.

“The idea for the cup came from Roch Horton, long time ultra running legend. He volunteers at aid stations in many prominent races and sometimes the aid stations are in remote places,” says UltrAspire owner Bryce Thatcher.“I knew something needed to be done to help with this. Interestingly enough, this is the same reason we developed the first gel bottle, to keep gel wrappers off the trail.”

RELATED: 5 Ways To Be A More Sustainable Runner

Now Moehl partners with Sustainable Connections of Bellingham, Wash., for the Chuckanut 50K to ensure the race is as environmentally friendly as possible. From a race shirt you get only if you specifically order it, to food trucks serving food in compostable dishes and sustainable awards, Moehl is setting a blazing example. Corralling the trash was a recent hurdle.

“Last year our garbage bin was completely full because bags coming back from aid stations weren’t sorted. Doing it after the fact wasn’t fun,” Moehl says. “We now provide separate bags for recycling, compostables and trash. We also implemented a ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ of trash who help with the sorting process. This is something we definitely learned the hard way!”

HydraPak also has a reusable cup, something they created for similar reasons to UltrAspire.

“We designed the Speed Cup when we saw how much waste was being generated at aid stations during races,” says Morgan Makowski from HydraPak. “There are always garbage bins full of paper cups and for larger road races, the pavement is littered with cups.”

Runners are required to carry reusable cups or refillable containers at all the races of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc as well. Savvy UTMB aid station volunteers also use the cut off bottom of empty soda bottles as reusable cups for runners who are too tired to find theirs.

Certified Races

Navigating the process can mean an extra long to-do list for race directors. But now there are certification organizations, like the Council for Responsible Sport and Athletes For a Fit Planet, to help.

The Council for Responsible Sport was launched in 2007 to “support, certify and celebrate responsibly produced sports events.” Their certification process is rigorous, making it all the more impactful when events are recognized. The end goal is to increase an event’s “social benefits while reducing its environmental impact.” The Chicago, Los Angeles, Marine Corps, Austin, Flying Pig, Eugene and Hartford Marathons, Vancouver Half Marathon, Beach to Beacon 10K and U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials are just some of the events that have recently received ReSport Certification. Chicago is the largest marathon to be certified.

Several Ragnar races have also received ReSport Certification. Now the Ragnar Trail Series is partnering with Klean Kanteen to reduce environmental impact and waste at events and educate runners about reusables. Ragnar Trail Races are already cupless events, meaning no disposable cups are offered in the race venue. Education and awareness are the next step.

“Single use waste is prevalent in the world of human powered races. There is a lot of potential for improvement around how races handle on-course water stations and the disposable cup waste they produce,” says Melissa McClary of Klean Kanteen. “It is our end goal to help shift the paradigm around what racers expect from the events they participate in terms sustainability measures.”

Reusing Race Swag

Clothes are also an issue. From race shirts, that may or may not be worn again, to the endless mountains of clothes dropped at the start line and along the course, races are finding viable solutions. Many races, like the Chuckanut 50K and Bolder Boulder 10K, give runners the choice to opt out of a shirt or donate it to a good cause. Other events offer organic cotton shirts or shirts made completely of recycled polyester. Some races have found charitable solutions for clothes left along the race course. Ten tons of clothing was collected from the start line of the 2016 Chicago Marathon and donated to the Pacific Garden Mission and Illinois Amvets. While the New York City Marathon has donated 166,050 pounds of discarded clothing to Goodwill in 2016.

RELATED: Adidas Makes Running Shoes From Recycled Ocean Plastic

When feeding runners, the last thing races want to do is to run out of food, meaning there will be leftovers. Much of that used to end up in landfills. The Chicago Marathon donated 17 tons of food and water to the Greater Chicago Food Depository after the 2016 event. The 2016 New York City Marathon donated 19,000 pounds of unused food to area homeless shelters, a positive trend being implemented at other races. Much like the discarded clothing, tons of waste is kept from landfills, and is used to help those in need. These actions build the social benefits and reach of running events.

As for racer goody bags, often plastic bags filled with a stack of paper inserts, those are getting better too. Many now distribute reusable bags. Other races have switched to virtual goody bags, meaning all special offers can be found online. Instead of a medal, the Bolder Boulder 10K gives every finisher a reusable lunch bag.

Other social impacts include creative initiatives such as required volunteering. The Western States Endurance Run requires eight volunteer hours of trail work or at a running event for each runner. Both the Chicago and Hartford Marathons plant trees to offset their environmental impact. Whether you agree with the concept or not, the Chicago Marathon also purchased Green E-Climate certified offsets to help with the impact of the Marathon’s carbon footprint.

There is still a long way to go. But these are encouraging signs. Both road and trail races are making environmentally friendly changes. Companies and brands are working together for smart solutions. Even participants are taking responsibility for their race day decisions—carpooling and using public transportation for the win. The future of racing is looking green indeed.

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Olympic Gold Medalist Brianna Rollins Suspended For Missed Drug Test http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/news/brianna-rollins-suspended_164020 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:51:07 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164020 Brianna Rollins, gold medalist in the 100 meters in Rio 2016, has been suspended for a year from competition after missing three drug tests.

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Brianna Rollins won gold in the 100 meters at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Photo: Photorun.net

Brianna Rollins, gold medalist in the 100 meters in Rio 2016, has been banned from track and field for one year due to three missed drug tests. Her 12-month suspension began on Dec, 18, 2016 and will run until Dec. 17, 2017. She will miss the entire 2017 outdoor season.

Rollins never tried to evade testing. When athletes are out of competition, they have to use a computer program to register their whereabouts at all times. Confusion with the computer program caused her to inadvertently list her whereabouts incorrectly.

In a statement, Rollins accepted the suspension. “I accept full responsibility for the mistakes that have led to my suspension, and am disappointed that I will have to miss this coming outdoor season, as a result of my confusion over how the whereabouts program worked. I have always been and continue to be a supporter of USADA and their fight to keep our sport clean, and I will continue to do my part to prove that success can be achieved without taking any shortcuts.”

Rollins had been tested 16 times in 2016 and has never failed a test or had a suspicious result. However under the World Anti-Doping Agency code, three failures results in a violation.

RELATED: Turkish Runners Banned For Doping

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How Runners Can Combat Spring Allergies http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/health/combat-spring-allergies_163994 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 22:28:12 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163994 If high pollen counts and spring allergies are making your runs miserable, we have a solution. Try these steps to combat allergens.

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It’s that time of year. The pollen from the trees in front of my house is so thick it leaves layers on top of cars. My eyes start to water. I’m sneezing constantly, and running sounds miserable. Yes, it’s allergy season.

“[Allergies] can cause impairment equal to two cocktails or taking a sedative,” says Dr. Leo Galland, co-author of The Allergy Solution. While the effects of allergies on athletic performance have not been extensively studied, allergies have been shown to impact breathing ability, and decrease mental function and focus.

“The number one symptom is fatigue,” says Denise Wood, owner of Advanced Allergy Solutions, a holistic allergy clinic that provides unique anti-allergy treatments. Allergy sufferers are typically physically and emotionally irritated too. “It’s kind of like being sick, but it’s all the time.”

You wouldn’t necessarily run if you were sick, so is it safe to run if you have bad allergies? And even if it is safe, how can you make running through the symptoms more pleasant? Try these tips to keep moving even as the pollen falls.

Is it safe?

Allergies can increase the risk of exercise-induced asthma, even if you generally don’t have breathing issues when the air is fine. An asthma attack can be dangerous. “It wouldn’t be safe if it’s inducing asthma,” Wood advises.

With that exception, you can also use the same general rules as deciding to exercise while sick: Don’t do it if you have a fever or bad symptoms below the neck.

Allergies can also affect your sleep. If tired, decide whether running or rest would be best for you. But if it’s just sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose, then there is no a reason not to run—except for the discomfort.

RELATED: Should You Run When You’re Sick?

Tips for dealing with allergies

Allergy meds: Prescription inhalers, antihistamines and decongestants can obviously help. It is ideal to take those meds an hour or two before running. Many allergy medications can also cause fatigue, so doctors typically recommend a non-drowsy version if you intend to perform physical activity.

Over-the-counter nasal sprays, like Flonase, and eye drops can help relieve symptoms. Many are more effective before you experience symptoms rather than after.

However, if you’re planning to compete, a number of common drugs, like Sudafed, include the banned substance pseudoephedrine. Check the ingredients on your medications and the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned drug list.

Natural remedies: Wood recommends natural anti-histamines available at health food stores, like Vitamin A, quercetin, and even nettles.

Dr. Galland suggests that taking 600 to 900mg of N-acetylcysteine, two to four times daily, can help prevent allergy symptoms. Lactobacillus probiotics can also improve your immune system function and lessen the symptoms of nasal allergies. He also notes that fish oils have a preventative effect against asthma. However none of these are going to relieve acute symptoms.

“Those aren’t quick fixes,” says Dr. Galland, but rather supplements that need to be taken regularly for their preventative effects.

You can also try wearing a handkerchief or mask over your face. Though it can be uncomfortable when running, it does help. Wood also advises that a nap may also stop the allergy response. Others find relief from acupuncture.

RELATED: 6 Ways Acupuncture Can Help Runners

Pick your exercise times: If you know what you’re allergic to, you can plan workouts to avoid any time of day when pollen counts are high. “But most people don’t know what they’re allergic to,” Wood says. They simply know what time of year they generally have problems. You can get an allergy skin test to find out which allergens affect you.

Online pollen trackers, like the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology’s or airnow.gov, can be useful for establishing patterns—though Wood cautions many online pollen trackers rarely give live data.

Pollen counts do tend to be highest from 8 a.m. to noon, peaking around 10 a.m., according to Dr. Galland. Allergens can also be worse when windy. Rain tends to tamp down some of the irritants, but mold can be highly problematic after rainstorms.

Shower and clean: Because it sticks to your clothes and skin, “you carry pollen in with you,” Dr. Galland says. It can be helpful to keep a clean house and launder clothes to avoid sitting in allergens. Flushing out your nasal cavities can also get rid of the irritants.

Even if you exercise indoors to avoid outdoor allergens, you may need to shower first, wash your hair, and change clothes to remove the pollen or spores brought in.

Other issues to consider

“I found running actually relieved the symptoms of hay fever,” Dr. Galland says. Ideally, he would take a cold shower, then go for a run, sometimes even late at night, to decrease allergic reactions and hormone response in the body.

Dr. Galland also notes that there is evidence that certain foods can cross-react with certain allergies. Raw apples, nuts, carrots, celery, and large-pit fruits can affect birch pollen allergies. Ragweed or grass allergies can react to melons, bananas, and citrus fruits. Try different foods to figure out if your allergies are exacerbated by a certain diet.

Sugar, including in alcohol, generally has an inflammatory effect and should be avoided a well.

Some studies have also found that air quality and auto emission pollution can make allergies worse. If that’s an issue, then Vitamin C can have a detoxifying effect and broccoli sprouts can help block the effects of auto exhaust. Plus, when deciding where to run, “choose a beach over a highway (if possible in your area),” Galland adds.

Wood also advises to avoid stress. Of course this is easier said than done, but stress, a lack of sleep, and overall poor health can make allergies worse. Extremely upsetting events can also trigger allergies that you might not have had before. “Then they tend to just get worse and worse,” says Wood, unless measures are taken.

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Women’s World Record Could Be Broken At This Year’s London Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/news/womens-world-record-broken-london-marathon_164010 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 21:59:26 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164010 Paula Radcliffe's women's world record in the marathon of 2:15:25 could fall at Sunday's 37th Virgin Money London Marathon.

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Three of the top Kenyan women running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon (left to right): Vivian Cheruiyot, Florence Kiplagat, and Mary Keitany. Photo: Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly

(c) 2017 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

With four athletes boasting sub-2:20 personal bests, and another four who have broken 2:22, Paula Radcliffe’s women’s world record in the marathon of 2:15:25 could fall at Sunday’s 37th Virgin Money London Marathon. Radcliffe set the world record at this same race in 2003.

“I think what I can say if the weather will be fine for us, also all of us cooperate, we can run the best time,” said three-time New York City Marathon champion Mary Keitany of Kenya, the fastest woman in the field with a 2:18:37 personal best. “I don’t know about the world record, but we will run the best time.”

Keitany, 35, who won the London Marathon in 2011 and 2012, and finished second in 2015, is in top form, according to her long-time manager, Gianni Demadonna, who spoke to Race Results Weekly last Saturday in Boston. She is very motivated to race on Sunday after finishing ninth at last year’s race, done-in by both a bad pre-race meal and a hard fall with about eight kilometers remaining in the race. After that performance, Kenyan selectors left her off the Rio Olympic team.

“Really, I was disappointed for not going to Rio,” Keitany told reporters at a press conference, wringing her hands and looking agitated. “I was left home. I was really discouraged.”

Using that snub to motivate her, Keitany whipped herself into top shape last summer to prepare for her New York title defense. She won the Mattoni Olomouc Half-Marathon last June in the Czech Republic on a very hot day in 1:08:53, before flying to the U.S. for a pair of races in late July and early August. At the Quad-City Times Bix 7 Mile in Davenport, Iowa, she broke Susan Chepkemei’s 12-year-old course record, then smashed the TD Beach to Beacon 10K course record in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, running away from the field in a personal best of 30:45. Those performances set her up for three and one-half minute victory in New York on a chilly and windy day.

“Really what I want to do is run really fast in London,” Keitany said.

Organizers said today that the women’s pacemakers are targeting a 69-minute first half. That should allow Keitany and Kenyan compatriots Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44 PB) and Helah Kiprop (2:21:27) to run with Ethiopians Aselefech Mergia (2:19:31), Mare Dibaba (2:19:52), Aberu Kebede (2:20:30), and Tigist Tufa (2:21:52) for a fast time. Of course, they have to cooperate in the early stages of the race to help each other maintain such a torrid pace.

“I mean, with the pacemakers, with all of us, we assist ourselves,” Keitany said.  “Not one person to go alone.”

Also hoping to be in the mix for a fast time is five-time world champion, Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya, who is making her marathon debut. The 33-year-old will have a difficult decision to make regarding the pace:  Should she go with the leaders at world-record pace, or hang back and run her own race?

“I cannot say the marathon is difficult because I haven’t done the marathon,” she quipped.

No matter what the outcome, the women’s race will have a new champion. Last year’s winner, Jemima Sumgong of Kenya underwent an out-of-competition doping control in Kenya on Feb. 28, and her “A” sample came back positive for the blood booster EPO. She will not be running the race this year.

“For me it really embarrasses the sport,” said Florence Kiplagat about Sumgong’s provisional positive, which has yet to be confirmed by a test of her “B” sample. Kiplagat added, “If the truth will be like that, I’m really ashamed. I’m ashamed because we are losing top athletes like that.”

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Gear Highlights From the 2017 Boston Marathon Expo http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/photos/running-gear-highlights-from-the-2017-boston-marathon-expo_163984 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 21:11:37 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163984 We checked out the newest running shoes, tech and accessories on showcase at the 2017 Boston Marathon Expo, and here's what stood out.

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The lead up to the Boston Marathon is always a long weekend of events, shopping, dining and sightseeing. The bib pick-up and Expo is a crowded high-energy bazar of running novelties and necessities from special edition T-shirts and shoes to companies introducing new tech. Here are some gear highlights from the 2017 Boston Marathon Expo.

RELATED: 17 Shirts To Express Your Boston Marathon Spirit

Humon Hex, $295 (Available September 2017) Newton Distance 6, $155 Polar M430, $229 (Available May 2017) Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, $150 (Available June 8) Vi by LifeBeam, $249 Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 2, $110 (Available May 15)

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The New Rules Of Carbs For Runners http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/nutrition/new-rules-carbs-runners_163962 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 17:59:29 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163962 Don’t let all-or-nothing beliefs about carbohydrates hold you back. Here are the 'new rules' you can use to fuel your body.

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Our community is polarized. On one side are the pro-carb runners, who believe that carbs are rocket fuel for training and racing, and should be a centerpiece of the diet at all times. On the other side are the anti-carb runners, who believe that a low-carb diet is the key to cutting body fat and building endurance. The two sides bicker constantly on social media.

There is one group of runners, however, that has found a middle road between these extremes—a carbohydrate compromise, if you will, that points the way forward for all runners. I’m talking about the professionals.

Recently, I spent 18 months studying the diets of elite endurance athletes around the world for my new book, The Endurance Diet: Discover the World’s Greatest Athletes’ 5 Core Diet Habits to Look, Feel, and Perform Better. Perhaps the most interesting finding to come out of my research was that world-class racers everywhere from the United States to Japan have adopted a nuanced approach to carbohydrates that makes clear distinctions between carbs to eat and carbs to avoid as well as times to go heavy on carbs and times to go light.

These “new rules” of carbohydrate for runners are supported by the latest science and are proven to work better for all runners than do the all-or-nothing approaches that so many recreational runners take.

Carbs Can Make You Perform Better

Unlike fat and protein, carbohydrate is, for the most part, not used structurally in the body. Instead, it serves almost exclusively to supply cells with the energy they need to carry out important functions such as muscle work. Fat and protein can supply energy as well, but carbohydrate does so far more rapidly, making it the body’s go-to fuel for intense activity.

It’s no wonder, then, that piles of scientific research have shown runners and other endurance athletes perform better when their carbohydrate intake is higher. A few years ago, for example, researchers at Liverpool John Moores University tracked the diets of 257 runners during the final five weeks before the London Marathon. Those runners who ate the most carbs during this period completed the marathon on average 13.4 percent faster than the rest, irrespective of gender, age, body weight, training volume and marathon experience.

How much carbohydrate is needed to maximize endurance fitness? There’s no science-based formula that runners can use to determine their individual needs. All we know for sure is that the more you train, the more carbs you need. But counting carbs isn’t really necessary. In my research, I encountered very few elite athletes who tracked their carb intake. Instead, they just made a habit of including carb-rich foods in all of their meals and in most snacks. By doing the same, and by adjusting your overall food intake based on your activity level, you will be sure to get the right amount of carbohydrate for you.

RELATED: Are Carbohydrates Really Needed During Exercise?

Despite all of the research showing the benefits of a high carb intake on endurance performance, many runners today are being persuaded to switch to low-carb diets on the belief that reducing carb intake increases the muscles’ fat burning capacity and endurance. But studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the boost in fat-burning capacity resulting from a low-carb diet, particularly from a high-fat low-carb diet, actually impairs endurance performance. A 2014 study by Polish researchers found that four weeks on a high-fat low-carb diet reduced time-trial power by an average of 12 watts in a group of competitive mountain bikers.

Do results such as these mean that runners should eat lots of carbs all the time? No. New research has shown that endurance athletes can benefit from doing select workouts in a carbohydrate-deprived state. Most recently, French researchers observed that time-trial performance improved in cyclists who maintained a high-carb base diet but completed three morning rides per week, each preceded by a 12-hour carbohydrate fast and a carb-depleting interval workout. Interestingly, this benefit had nothing to do with fat burning. Rather, doing occasional carb-fasted workouts in the context of a high-carb diet appears to boost endurance performance by increasing aerobic capacity, which is the opposite of what a low-carb diet does.

Carb-fasted workouts are new enough that the most effective way of practicing them is not yet known. I believe that one to two of these sessions per week is a good starting point. The most convenient way to do them is first thing in the morning either before breakfast or after a no-carb breakfast. Carb-fasted workouts may take the form of high-intensity intervals or long, slow endurance runs.

RELATED: Manipulating Carbohydrate Availability To Improve Running Performance

Carbs Can Make You Leaner

For every runner who misguidedly adopts a low-carb diet in search of improved performance, there are many more who cut carbs with the goal of getting leaner and healthier. The idea that carbohydrates cause weight gain and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes has been promoted by popular diets such as the Atkins Diet and the Paleo Diet that have been developed outside the mainstream of nutrition science. The truth is that carbohydrate per se does not cause weight gain or increase the risk of type 2 diabetes—only low-quality carbohydrates do.

The distinction between high-quality and low-quality carbohydrate food sources is crucial. High-quality, carb-rich foods such as fruit, starchy vegetables, whole grains and dairy are proven to promote a lean body composition and good health. Low-quality, carb-rich foods—such as refined grains (white bread, white rice, regular pasta) and sweets (candy, soda)—do the opposite.

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n 2015, researchers at the University of South Carolina reported that volunteers placed on a vegan diet for six months lost an average of 7.5 percent of their initial body weight without making any attempt to eat less. Carbohydrate intake actually increased on this diet. But, more importantly, diet quality increased alongside carb intake as the subjects replaced foods like pepperoni and ice cream with foods like brown rice and apples. The lesson of this study is not that a vegan diet is best for weight management but that the amount of carbohydrate in the diet is irrelevant to weight management. What matters is the quality of the food sources of carbohydrates and of the diet as a whole.

A carefully planned low-carb diet can induce weight loss and support good health, but it’s not the best approach for runners because it throws out the baby (high-quality carbs) with the bathwater (low-quality carbs).

RELATED: How Runners Can Overcome ‘Carbophobia’

Go Beyond All-Or-Nothing

It’s time for the running community to come together. We must bridge the contentious carbohydrate divide that currently hinders our progress by following the new rules that the pros now exploit to maximize the positives of carbs and minimize the negatives.

But if you can’t persuade your running buddies to overcome their own all-or-nothing thinking about carbs, don’t fight them. Just outrun them.

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The New Rules

No matter what your current position on carbs is, give these rules a try and see if they don’t do for you what they already do for the best runners in the world.

  • Maintain a carbohydrate-centered diet (i.e., include carb-rich foods in most meals and snacks)
  • Do carb-fasted workouts once or twice a week
  • Choose high-quality food sources of carbohydrate (fruit, starchy vegetables, whole grains, and dairy)
  • Minimize consumption of low-quality carb sources (refined grains and sweets)

 

 

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How Two Joffrey Ballet Dancers Add Running To Their Routines http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/news/two-joffrey-ballet-dancers-running-routine_163959 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:59:02 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163959 Dancers by day and runners by night? Two members of Chicago's renowned dance company share what running looks like for a dancer.

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Photo: Todd Rosenberg Photography

Ballet-based barre classes have become a popular way for people to break up the monotony of run training or supply a new fitness challenge. But for Joanna Wozniak and Matthew Adamczyk, running is their way to break up dance training: Both are professional dancers at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, and they say running improves their day job.

Wozniak started dancing at age 7 and joined the Joffrey in 2001. She says she started with 5K events that raised money for charities—the same thing that led Adamczyk into running. He has danced since age 10 and joined the Joffrey in 2003. Both started running regularly about eight years ago.

“I also got into running partly because of our physical therapists,” Wozniak says. “A lot of them are runners, and you hear conversations about it while they’re working on you.”

For Adamczyk, dancing and running complement each other.

“Running adds strength, agility and power,” he says. “Ballet helps me with running control, breathing and posture.”

RELATED: Strength Train Like a Dancer—The Barre Circuit Workout

The two worlds overlap in other ways.

“Preparing for a performance can be the same thing as preparing for a long run or a marathon,” Wozniak says. “You have that adrenaline. You have a little bit of fear.” Unlike many other runners, though, professional dancers must account for their financial well-being any time they lace up their running shoes.

“Our body is our instrument for our job,” Adamczyk says. “The dance always comes first.” Dancers pursue their own forms of alternative exercise, often low-impact options such as ellipticals and swimming. With inherent dangers like car collisions, wrenched ankles or fractured wrists, running can be seen as a risk in the dance world.

“I definitely have heard some people say, ‘Oh, dancers aren’t supposed to run. It’s not good for their bodies,’” Wozniak says.

The more frequent but less dramatic detriment: Running tightens muscles in ways that decrease the flexibility that is crucial for dancers. Adamczyk and Wozniak ensure they maintain optimal form with rigorous pre-run and post-run regimens.

“I go for a lengthy walk before I try to run,” Adamczyk says. “It’s not like I open my door and I’m off running.”

Adamczyk says he figured out that he needed a more minimalist shoe because he’s accustomed to spending his days barefoot or in dance shoes with little support. Yet he says that the impact injuries some dancers worry about are exactly the reason he incorporates running into his life.

The repetition of his legs landing on hard surfaces mimics some of the forceful movements in jump-heavy dance programs. Plus, runs deliver longer cardio sessions.

“With ballet, it’s like doing sprints,” he says. “Yes, we dance with great intensity, but it’s never for very long. A minute and a half max.”

Wozniak says the balance is simply a priority list. “If I know that I am going to be dancing a lot, going to be doing a lot of tough exercise at work, I slow down on the running.”

In the past few years, Adamczyk and Wozniak have pushed their mileage enough to compete in local half marathons. Wozniak clocked a 2:04:49 at the 2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon, but she missed her goal of a sub-2 time.

The longer distances aid her dancing even though she runs just 2 or 3 miles a couple times a week during the dance season.

“Mentally, I think when you’re like, I’ve got 12 more miles to go, learning to have that strength in your mind to get your body through that is great.”

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Galen Rupp’s Post-Race Thoughts On His First Boston Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/video/galen-rupps-post-race-thoughts-first-boston-marathon_163969 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:28:33 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163969 Rupp shares his thoughts on a second-place finish, where he had the toughest time on the course, and what he'll be up to next.

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Although Galen Rupp finished second at the 2017 Boston Marathon, behind Kenyan Geoffrey Kirui, his performance continues to show great promise in the marathon distance. This was his debut Boston and third marathon race overall. In this post-race interview, Rupp shares his thoughts on a second-place finish, where he had the toughest time on the course, how Boston met his expectations, and what he’ll be up to next.

RELATED: The 2017 Boston Marathon Men’s Race Recap

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2017 Boston Marathon Post-Race Interview With Meb Keflezighi http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/video/2017-boston-marathon-post-race-interview-meb-keflezighi_163956 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:00:28 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163956 The 2014 Boston Marathon champion says goodbye and thank you to Boston as a competitive runner after his final race on the course.

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The 121st Boston Marathon also happened to be Meb Keflezighi’s last Boston Marathon as a competitive runner. The 2014 Boston champion finished 13th in 2:17:00 on Monday, and had positive remarks about his last Boston race. His parting words to the media after crossing the finish line, “Thank you everybody for all that you do for the sport, for covering my story. It’s been an amazing journey, and I hope to see you in New York. I always say run to win, but that doesn’t always mean first place…as long as we give the best that we can as a positive contributor to society, that’s a win.”

PHOTOS: 2017 Boston Marathon Men’s Race

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8 Favorite Pieces Of Merino Wool Gear For Runners http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/photos/favorite-pieces-merino-wool-gear-runners_163957 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 21:32:17 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163957 Wool is making a comeback as a trendy technical fabric and with good reason. Here are our top picks for must-wear wool gear.

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Even though wool is decidedly old school, it’s once again the hottest “new” technical fabric. OK, hot is the wrong word—because wool keeps your core temperature more stable than other fabrics, whether it’s warm or cold outside. Wool is also amazingly breathable, and fights smell and bacteria better than “technical” fabrics tend to. It’s broadened its reach from winter to year-round wear and, when blended with other materials, is no longer the same scratchy fabric found in fisherman sweaters and peacoats of yesteryear. Here’s some of our favorite merino gear for this time of year.

RELATED: 7 Pieces Of New Gear Perfect For Chasing New Goals

Adidas Prime Knit Wool Hooded Tee, $110 Merino Wool BUFF Lime Dye, $32 Stance Natural Crew, $20 Smartwool PhD Pattern Short, $60 Ibex Pulse Runner Shorts, $85 Pettet Endurance Project The Bristow, $69 Tracksmith Harrier Tee, $70 Farm to Feet Raleigh Low Cut, $18

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These Photos Capture What It Feels Like To Finish Boston http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/boston-marathon/photos-finish-boston-marathon_163919 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:46:24 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163919 Right on Hereford, left on Boylston. Those famous last directions bring smiles to Boston Marathon finishers.

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Right on Hereford, left on Boylston. Those are the famous final turns at the end of the Boston Marathon course. With that last left, runners catch a glimpse of the finish line, and the magnitude of what they are about to accomplish sets in. Here are a few photos that capture the elation and celebration of Boylston Street.

RELATED: The Best Spectator Signs From The Boston Marathon

Photos: Steve Godwin

Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views These Photos Capture What It Feels Like To Finish Boston Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views Boylston Street Views

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The Best Races To Qualify For The 2018 Boston Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/boston-marathon/qualify-boston-races-2017_163870 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:31:42 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163870 Registration for the 2018 Boston Marathon opens in mid-September. If you want to qualify, try running one of these 15 races in 2017.

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Want to Run the Boston Marathon? You can still qualify for the 2018 race—but you’d better hurry.

The 122nd running of the race takes place on April 16 next year. Runners need to run a qualifying time by mid-September at the latest for a shot at toeing the start line. The demand for the approximately 30,000 spots is so high that organizers have taken to a rolling entry schedule that rewards athletes with the fastest qualifying times.

While registration information for 2018 hasn’t been officially announced, if it follows the same procedures from this year, runners who qualify by more than 20 minutes will be given the first shot at registering. Depending on the demand, though, even people who meet qualification standards could be closed out—so it pays to run as fast as you can!

Although we’re already a quarter of the year in with fewer marathons on the calendar, you can still find quite a few that offer a good shot of hitting that time. Here are 15 upcoming races where you can aim to get that BQ.

RELATED: Why The Boston Marathon Is So Special

Wisconsin Marathon Flying Pig Marathon Pacific Northwest Marathon Capital City Marathon Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon Buffalo Marathon Vermont City Marathon And Relay Synchrony Financial Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon Lake Placid Marathon San Francisco Marathon Santa Rosa Marathon Air Force Marathon Fox Valley Marathon Half Moon Bay International Marathon The Best Races To Qualify For The 2018 Boston Marathon

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Photos From The 2017 Boston Marathon Men’s Race http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/photos/photos-from-the-2017-boston-marathon-mens-race_163887 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 18:14:10 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163887 Images taken throughout the men's race at the 2017 Boston Marathon captures the excitement of the lead pack.

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This year’s Boston Marathon saw a strong men’s field competing for the top three podium finishes. Ultimately, in the final miles Kenyan Geoffrey Kirui surged ahead to take first, with American Galen Rupp close behind for second and finally Japan’s Suguru Osako rounding out third. For all three, this was their debut Boston Marathon. Check out these images taken throughout the men’s race from the front of the pack, and read the full men’s race recap here.

Photos: Bob Betancourt

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How to Recover From The Boston Marathon in 3 Easy Steps http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/boston-marathon/recover-boston-3-steps_163656 Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:23:41 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163656 Running a marathon is challenging. Figuring out how to recover post-race doesn't have to be, especially if you follow this guide.

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Photo: PhotoRun.net

There’s no doubt that running a marathon is challenging. It’s so difficult that even the post-race recovery is complex!

Marathon recovery is substantial for several reasons. After a marathon:

  • Inflammation and cell damage are common and persist for up to two weeks.
  • The immune system is suppressed, making it far easier to get sick.
  • Even the heart can be slightly damaged (it’s a muscle, after all).
  • Muscle memory is compromised, making fast running difficult and riskier for overuse injuries like IT Band Syndrome.

No matter what marathon you run, there’s significant trauma and muscular damage to recover from after the race.

But the Boston Marathon is a unique event that makes recovery more difficult. The very nature of the course itself requires a more structured approach.

It’s hillier, meaning you’re going to spend more time running downhill. The course itself is also a net downhill course, finishing at a lower elevation than it started.

All that downhill running requires a lot of eccentric muscle contractions where your muscles are both under load and lengthening at the same time.

The result? Muscular micro-trauma, soreness and a really hard time putting on your pants the day after Marathon Monday.

To help you get those pants on, here are some of the most effective ways to recover from the Boston Marathon.

Strategy #1: Re-Fuel ASAP

The body is in a carb-depleted state at the end of 26.2 miles, no matter how well you fueled during the race with gels, blocks, or powders.

The first goal is to replenish your carbohydrate and fluid stores. Don’t worry about over-eating—now is not the time for that!). Eat the bagel, banana, or energy bar that’s available at the finish line and cherish that sports drink.

After that post-race snack, aim to eat a big meal within 1 to 2 hours, if your stomach can handle it. While a healthy meal is ideal, you can take some liberties with your diet. If not after a marathon, then when?

Finally, continue to eat well and drink a lot of fluids for the rest of the day. Your urine should be pale yellow or clear and you shouldn’t let yourself get hungry.

RELATED: Eat And Drink Away Sore Muscles

Strategy #2: Manage the Damage

There’s no avoiding the muscle damage that a hilly marathon like Boston inflicts on your legs, so it’s best to do everything possible to recover quickly.

And while some soreness is encouraged during training, a stricter recovery protocol after a marathon is a smart idea. Here are a few steps to take:

  • Don’t sit or lay down after the race; keep walking for at least 10-15 minutes.
  • If possible, take an ice bath for 10-15 minutes before your shower.
  • Wear graduated compression sleeves to promote extra blood flow for the rest of the day.
  • Avoid getting a massage or stretching during the 24-36 hours after Boston. Muscles are not “tight”—they’re damaged.
  • Take a 90-minute nap if possible.
  • If you’re really sore, consider ibuprofen.

This simple checklist ensures you’re promoting healing blood flow, not exacerbating any additional damage and putting yourself in the best possible position to recover as quickly as possible.

RELATED: The 10 Commandments Of Injury Prevention

Strategy #3: Sleep Hard

You trained hard. You raced hard. Now it’s time to sleep hard.

There’s no doubt that sleep is the top recovery tool at your disposal. This is when your body does its most restorative work, not only to your muscles, but also your endocrine (hormonal) and nervous systems.

The body recovers most during the delta wave and REM sleep cycles. This is why I recommend a 90-minute nap, which allows for a full sleep cycle.

For a few nights after the Boston Marathon, try to get an extra 30-60 minutes of sleep every night. This extra time will help the body rebuild and recover from the difficulties of racing 26.2 miles.

It’s also worth noting that alcohol inhibits restful sleep. If you’re going to celebrate with a few adult beverages—no judgment here!—it’s best to choose a rich beer or glass of red wine because of their nutrient content.

And of course, limit yourself to 1-2 drinks if possible. With more alcohol, you risk further dehydrating yourself and preventing your body from entering the most restorative phases of sleep.

Racing a marathon is hard. There’s no reason to make it more difficult by hampering recovery by under-fueling, not sleeping enough or making the trauma of 26.2 miles worse.

Take recovery seriously and your post-marathon running will thank you. You might also be back at Boston next year, ready to duel with the Newton Hills once more.

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The Best Spectator Signs From The Boston Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/boston-marathon/best-signs-boston-marathon_163825 Tue, 18 Apr 2017 21:25:20 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163825 Boston spectators are known for their enthusiasm. So it is no surprise that they also come up with the most creative signs.

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Boston Marathon spectators are known for their enthusiasm and support. So of course it is no surprise that they come up with the most creative signs. Here are a few we spotted along the course of the 2017 race that made us smile.

Photos: Steve Godwin

The Best Signs From The Boston Marathon Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs sign 16 sign 17 sign 18 sign 19 Best Boston Marathon Signs sign 21 sign 22 sign 22 sign 23 Best Boston Marathon Signs Best Boston Marathon Signs

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Veteran With Prosthetic Leg Carries Guide Across Boston Marathon Finish Line http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/boston-marathon/veteran-amputee-carries-guide-boston_163812 Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:00:27 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163812 After running 26.2 miles on his prosthetic leg, veteran Earl Granville carried his guide across the Boston Marathon finish line.

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WCVB—the ABC affiliate in Boston—captured a truly inspiring sight at the end of the 2017 Boston Marathon yesterday. Earl Granville, a combat Wounded Leg Amputee and an Adaptive Athlete, carried his guide, Andi Marie, and his American flag across the finish line.

Granville is a veteran of the Pennsylvania National Guard. On this third deployment to Afghanistan in 2008, he lost his left leg after a roadside bomb hit his vehicle.

This was his first time running a marathon. Granville had previously competed Boston on hand cycle as an adaptive athlete for Operation Enduring Warrior. After watching friends, who are also amputees, cross the finish line last year, he knew he could take on the challenge too. When not running, Granville is a mental health advocate, helping other veterans speak out and find treatment for PTSD.

In an interview with Spartan Races, Granville said about 10 miles before he started cramping. “The options were to quit or walk and I wasn’t quitting,” he said of his race.

After turning onto Boylston, he asked Andi, a fellow Spartan athlete who guided him the entire way, if he could carry her across the finish line.

Watch the amazing video below.

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8 Run-centric Ways To Blow Your Tax Refund http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/shoes-and-gear/blow-tax-refund_163774 Tue, 18 Apr 2017 17:40:25 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163774 After you put some of that tax return into your savings account, use the rest on one of these awesome rewards that will help your running.

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Ah, the welcome surprise of a tax refund—it’s the savings account you didn’t know you had! Sure, you can save it (which is probably a good idea). But you can also save some of it and use the rest to make an investment in your running. Check out this list of run-friendly splurges. We included options to work with a refund check of every size.

RELATED: These Are The Best Watches For Every Runner’s Budget

Rock 'n' Roll Tour Pass, $219 for a three pack, $499 for a global pass Attend a Running Camp, Prices Vary Altra Torin IQ Shoes, $220 Garmin vívosmart 3, $140 Oakley Radar EV Pitch PRIZM Road, $190 Decibullz Custom-Fit Bluetooth Wireless Earphones, $120 Marc Pro Plus Device, $950 tax refund

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Kirui Shines In His Boston Marathon Debut, Third Marathon Ever http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/news/kirui-wins-boston-marathon_163798 Mon, 17 Apr 2017 20:42:53 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163798 In his debut, Kenya's Geoffrey Kirui pulled away at Heartbreak Hill to win the Boston Marathon, his third marathon ever.

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kirui close upPhoto: Bob Betancourt

For years, the traditional wisdom has held that running the marathon, especially successfully at the highest levels, requires several attempts at the distance and a long background in distance running. But in recent years, speedy neophytes have begun turning that dictum on its head, recording near-record times in their first or second run over 26.2 miles.

That trend continued today at the 121st running of the Boston Marathon. Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui, running his first Boston Marathon, displayed the patience and savvy of a seasoned veteran, pulling away from American Galen Rupp, who was running his third marathon and first Boston, to record a 2:09:37 victory. It was the first Kenyan men’s win since 2012.

PHOTOS: The 2017 Boston Marathon Men’s Race

Kirui broke open the race after cresting Heartbreak Hill with a pack of six, then running a scorching 14:34 for the downhill 5K on Beacon Street to drop everyone but Rupp, who was finally out of reach for first by a 4:27 split at mile 24.

“I can’t say enough about the race Geoffrey ran today,” said Rupp. “He put in several surges I was able to cover, but at the end he was just too strong. This is a very challenging course and I was really hurting the last three miles, but I tried to stay relaxed and drive to the finish, dig deep.”

kirui leading ruppPhoto: Bob Betancourt

As the Rio Olympic marathon bronze medalist, Rupp had to be considered one of the pre-race favorites in a field that wasn’t extraordinarily deep by some Boston standards. Yet the big question leading up to the race was his health, as a flareup of plantar fasciitis hampered his buildup to Marathon Monday.

“I got a cortisone shot a few weeks ago and that knocked out all the pain,” he said. “There’s always a shred of doubt, but after the first few miles I knew it was going to be OK.”

VIDEO: Galen Rupp’s Post-Race Thoughts On His First Boston Marathon

Still, Rupp had no answer for Boston Marathon rookie Kirui over the final stretch of the course. “I was feeling good, my training was good, but I knew I would be facing my colleagues who had run many times at Boston,” said Kirui. “I felt I could challenge for the victory—we train at altitude, on hilly courses, so I felt I could run well here.”

Rupp’s runner-up 2:09:58 finish led an American resurgence at Boston. Five other countrymen cracked the top 10, including Shadrack Biwott (4th), Abdi Abdirahman (6th), Augustus Maiyo (7th), Luke Puskedra (9th) and Jared Ward (10th), the most in the prize money era which began in 1986. Perhaps most surprising of them was newly-minted masters runner Abdi Abdirahman, who was in the lead pack coming up the hills before he tangled feet with Rupp and stepped awkwardly, causing his quads to begin cramping.

“I figured I’d try to make it to 40K and then drop out, but once I got there I said, there’s only 2K more so I might as well finish,” which he did in sixth in 2:12:45, good for third American. “This is an exciting time for U.S. distance running,” said Abdirahman. “The future looks great with guys like Galen.”

rupp kirui
Photo: Bob Betancourt

“I think the sport has changed,” Rupp said about his thoughts on distance running today. “The top marathoners all have tremendous track pedigrees. You need that speed to be able to run 2:05-2:06 pace and stay relaxed. You might not run a lot of 5 and 10Ks on the track but you’ve got to have the ability to do it.”

Third-place finisher Suguru Osako also supports this trend of track runners taking over the marathon distance. The 25-year-old 10,000m runner from Japan not only ran his first Boston, but his first marathon ever in 2:10:28, just 30 seconds behind Rupp.

Certainly, on a relatively warm April day, when temperatures hovered in the low to mid-70s, it was the guys with track backgrounds and not a lot of miles and marathons in their legs who showed the way in Boston.

RELATED: Debut Marathoners Prevail In Women’s Race At 2017 Boston Marathon

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Debut Marathoners Prevail In Women’s Race At 2017 Boston Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2017/04/news/debut-marathoners-prevail-womens-race-boston-marathon_163766 Mon, 17 Apr 2017 19:26:59 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=163766 The top three podium finishers for the women's race all have one thing in common: this was their Boston Marathon debut race.

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Kiplagat 3Photo: Steve Godwin

The top three podium finishers for the women’s race all have one thing in common: this was their Boston Marathon debut race. 

In the final miles of the race, it was clear that Kenyan Edna Kiplagat would take the title of 2017 Boston Marathon champion for the women’s elite field. Crossing the finish line at Boylston Street in 2:21:52, this is the 38-year-old’s debut Boston, but third Abbott World Marathon Major title.

It was a slow start for the women’s elite race (starting mile splits: 5:55, 5:36 and 5:38) with temperatures already reaching 70 degrees. Within the first couple miles, though, American Desiree Linden made a move to the front of the pack, running comfortably in the lead for most of the first half of the marathon.

“I wanted to be patient in the first 10K or so,” said Linden about her strategy during the first half of the race. “I just feel like if it was a respectable pace, I was just gonna tuck in, but so many fast half (marathon) runners in there, I can’t let it be too slow. After the 10K mark I knew I had to put my foot down on the gas just a little bit.”

Desi 1Photo: Steve Godwin

By mile 18, though, Linden fell far behind while Kiplagat, Rose Chelimo of Bahrain, Kenyan Gladys Cherono and American Jordan Hasay surged ahead to form the top four, approaching what most consider the most difficult section of the course, Heartbreak Hill.

PHOTOS: The 2017 Boston Marathon Women’s Race

As temperatures climbed into the high 70s and the women’s top four started the ascent up Heartbreak Hill, Kiplagat surged ahead with a fast mile split of 5:02 at mile 20—leaving Hasay and Chelimo chasing her dust.

By mile 21, Kiplagat had secured a 28-second lead, maintaining a strong pace and form in the final miles, alone on the road with no other challengers in sight.

“I was feeling good, my body reacted really well,” Kiplagat said in the post-race press conference.

Chelimo followed Kiplagat, placing second in 2:22:51. This was also her debut Boston Marathon following her eighth-place finish at the Rio Olympic Games.

Jordan 1Photo: Steve Godwin

Jordan Hasay held her own throughout the race, placing third in 2:23:00, the fastest American debut time on the course and fourth fastest American women’s marathon time ever. Although it was her marathon debut, Hasay’s determination to stick with the lead pack showed in the last 5 miles as she surged ahead of fellow American Linden for third.

“I think that the marathon is a very emotional event and I try to stay as relaxed and calm as possible,” said Hasay about her mental state during the race. “The crowds toward the end were chanting ‘USA, USA,’ so I tried to feed off that energy.”

Hasay also unexpectedly lost her mother last November, and explains how that was also a motivating factor in her race today.

“She knew I’d be debuting in Boston, and so I was just thinking about everyone out there that has lost loved ones as well, and that really lifted me up and empowered me through it,” Hasay added.

Unable to keep up with Hasay’s pace, Linden finished fourth in 2:25:06. An experienced Boston marathoner, the two-time Olympian has placed second, ninth and fourth in 2011, 2014 and 2015 respectively at Boston. In 2011, Linden narrowly missed the victory by 2 seconds and has ever since been chasing a Boston victory.

RELATED: Kirui Shines In His Boston Marathon Debut, Third Marathon Ever

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