Canadian Running



Kipchoge is back to form

The world’s fastest marathoner scored a dominant victory in his first marathon of 2021, the NN Running Mission Marathon in Enschede, Netherland­s, on April 18. Eliud Kipchoge broke the tape in 2:04:30, with his countryman Jonathan Korir keeping pace until the 30k mark, when Kipchoge broke away. Goitom Kif le of Eritrea rounded out the podium. The win was a much-needed confidence booster for Kipchoge, whose performanc­e at the 2020 London Marathon was hampered by a blocked ear and he finished a disappoint­ing eighth, in 2:06:49. (That race was won by Shura Kitata of Ethiopia in 2:05:41.) All eyes will be on Kipchoge as he aims to defend his Olympic title in Sapporo on the final day of competitio­n, Aug. 7.

Boston Marathon announces 7:47 cutoff for 2021

On May 4, the Boston Athletic Associatio­n announced that runners hoping to compete in the 2021 race scheduled for Oct. 11 must have run seven minutes, 47 seconds faster than their official age-group qualifying times. In the almost complete absence of qualifying marathons in 2020, organizers decided to honour qualificat­ions for the cancelled 2020 race, and the decision to reduce the field from 30,000 to 20,000 runners meant more than 9,000 qualified runners with qualifying times could not successful­ly register. For 2021, 14,609 runners were registered by qualifying time, with the additional few thousand spots to be filled by elites and invited athletes as part of the Boston Marathon’s Official Charity Program and John Hancock’s Non-Profit Program.

Qualifying times have been tightened by five minutes across the board twice in recent years (2013 and again in 2019) to accommodat­e as many qualifiers as possible and to keep the qualifying cutoffs as low as possible, but it looks like we can probably expect further changes to qualifying times in 2022.

Seccafien breaks Canadian 10,000m record

On May 14, Andrea Seccafien took a full 28 seconds off Natasha Wodak’s Canadian record in the 10,000m, winning the event at the Sound Running meet in Irvine, California while also achieving Olympic standard with her 31:13.94 result. (Olympic standard is 31:25.00; the previous record was 31:41.59.) Seccafien’s previous personal best was 31:45, which she ran in January 2020. Seccafien, who lives and trains in Australia, also holds the Canadian record in the half-marathon at 1:09:38.

21 ultrarunne­rs die at 100K race in China

Tragedy unfolded on May 23 at the Huanghe Shilin Mountain Marathon, a 100k race in northweste­rn China, where extreme weather claimed the lives of 21 ultrarunne­rs. The sudden storm brought plummeting temperatur­es, heavy wind, freezing rain and hail. The race was halted, and search crews were able to save 151 runners, eight of whom required treatment in hospital; many were clad only in warm-weather gear. Observers criticized organizers for poor emergency planning and for not requiring runners to carry cold-weather gear.

One of those who died on the course was the well-known Chinese ultrarunne­r, Liang Jing, who raced utmb on two occasions, and who finished second at the Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji in Japan in 2019.

 ??  ?? LEFT Des Linden during her 50K record-setting run with Charlie Lawrence
LEFT Des Linden during her 50K record-setting run with Charlie Lawrence

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