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FEATURED WORLDWIDE RUNNING NEWS
• QATAR / Kwalia free to become Qatari citizen
The IAAF has approved Kenya's James Kwalia's transfer of allegiance to Qatar with effect from October 28, 2004. The clearance was reached during the ongoing International Association of Athletic Federations Council meeting, in Helsinki, Finland. Kwalia was one of the two Kenyans, who had earlier wanted to defect to Bahrain but changed minds at the last minute, opting for Qatar. However, the other Kenyan Nicholas Kemboi later cancelled the defection plans all together. Kwalia applied for change of citizenship to Qatar in February this year after being offered better terms by Qatar. According to the International Association of Athletics Federations rules, a runner is supposed not to have competed for his former country for three years to be allowed to run for his new country. Kwalia last competed for Kenya in 2001 during the second IAAF World Youth Championships in Debrecen, where he finished third in the 3,000m in a time of 7:57.71. He has a personal best of 3:38.67 in 1,500m set in Abuja, 3:50.39 in One Mile set in Hengelo and 12:54.58 in the 5,000m in Oslo. Other personal bests include 4:59.11 (2,000m) and 7:28.28 (3,000m). Kwalia's clearance comes in time for next year's World Cross Country Championships in France. He will team up with former Kenyans including Saif Saeed Shaheen, formerly Stephen Cherono and Abdulla Ahmed Hassan, formerly Albert Chepkurui to strengthen the Qatari team. The case of Leonard Mucheru and Abel Cheruiyot, who had sought clearance to run for Bahrain is still pending. Cheruiyot last represented the country in the World Cross Country Championships in 2002 while Mucheru represented Kenya in the World Indoor Championships last year. Source: www.arrs.net
• BARBADOS / Ronald Mogaka wins Run Barbados
On December 4th in the Caribbean, the "Run Barbados 10K" featured Ronald Mogaka (Kenya) first in 30:16, Joseph Kamau (Kenya) second in 30:29, David Njuguna (Kenya) third in 31:36, Abraham Kosgei (Kenya) fourth in 32:02 and Zephenus Joseph (Saint Lucia) fifth in 32:29. Teresa Wanjiku (Kenya) dominated the women's in 38:05. In the next day's half marathon Kamau topped the men's field in 68:16, Mogoka finished second in 69:17, Sean Wade (New Zealand) third in 70:22, and Joseph fourth in 72:46. Wanjiku won the women's by almost three minutes with a 84:56. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• CROATIA / Terra Incognita race
"Terra Incognita" is one of the toughest competition in the world. It relies heavily on teamwork, endurance and navigation as well as individual skills. Mixed gender teams of four race together for 400 kilometers through a series of checkpoints to get to the finish line as quick as they can. To assist them they have mountain bikes, ropes, kayaks and personal equipment. This event is designed to push the envelope of human endurance. Teams race 24 hours a day for five days - the clock never stops. The rules are quite simple: the team must get from the start to the finish with no outside help. The pressure of racing must be dispersed through a solid team structure. If a person drops the entire team must halt. When an individual reaches total exhaustion resulting in complete body shutdown the entire team is condemned to the same fate. They must carry with them what they need to survive. During the race they receive no hot food or morale support, they must provide this themselves. If they dare they can sleep. Extreme situations cause emotions to develop in very quick sequences and even after five days of racing, success and failure almost touch. This year's race takes place in North Adriatic region called Kvarner with the turquoise sea, rugged mountains of Gorski Kotar region and stunning Mediterranean islands as a backdrop. Leaving the tourist port of Opatija, teams catch their last glimpse of modern civilisation as the fiery sun creeps into the cool sea. What lies ahead of them is five days of unknown challenges as they swim between rugged islands, kayak for hours through the tens of islands and ascend thousands of metres through the land that time forgot. "Terra Incognita" became a member of Adventure Racing World Series and a World Championship 2006 Qualifying Race (www.arworldseries.com). The first two ranked teams will get the oportunity to participate at World Championship race in 2006. The AR World Series unite elite adventure races from around the world to create an international circuit of premier adventure events. Eight countries are represented in the series (Brasil, Canada, Croatia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweeden, United Kingdom, United States of America) which is official qualifying body for the World Championship Adventure Race. The aim is to bring a new level of professionalism to the sport of adventure racing.
• OREGON (USA) / Roe elected to second term as UsaTF President
Bill Roe has been elected to a second term as Usa Track & Field's president, leading a Board of Directors for the next four years whose composition was finalized in elections on December 3, 2004. Roe, who ran unopposed, was re-elected by acclamation at UsaTF's 2004 Annual Meeting in Portland. Roe is the first UsaTF president to be elected to two four-year terms. Also re-elected by acclamation as an officer was Treasurer Ed Koch. Winning contested elections were Lynn Cannon who was elected secretary, and incumbent vice president Dee Jensen. The founder in 1972 of Seattle's Club Northwest and in 1973 of the Pacific Northwest Association of UsaTF, Roe's resume includes work in nearly all capacities of the sport: as a coach, meet director, clinician, official, administrator, and executive. The Bellingham (Washington) resident was a member of the founding UsaTF Board of Directors in 1979 and became one of three vice presidents in 1988, re-elected in 1990 to a second two-year term. In 1992 and 1994, he won the job of secretary, and in 1996 was re-elected to the position of vice president for a four-year term. He has served on the organization's Board of Directors since 1986. Roe's election as president makes him the only person in UsaTF history to be elected to 20 years as an officer. The founder and past editor of "Northwest Runner" magazine, Roe has been a member of countless committees and task forces on the local, regional, and national level. Among his goals for his tenure as President are to reach out to coaches, build membership, establish a common rule book for officials, improve fundraising, re-establish a post-collegiate club system, and emphasize communications with and between UsaTF members and the track and field community at large. Source: www.splittimes.com
• FRANCE / Halina Karnatsevich easily wins in La Rochelle
On November 28th in France, the "La Rochelle Marathon" had Kiprotich Yator (Kenya) together with Duncan Kibet (Kenya), Stephen Rerimoi (Kenya), and Mikola Roudik (Ukraine) through the half (66:27) and on to 30K (1:35:39). But in the next 5K Rerimoi, who this past April won (2:11:31) the "Lisbon Marathon", put 24 seconds on Kibet and more on the other two. Rerimoi went on to a 2:16:08 win, with Roudik second in 2:18:49, Yator third in 2:18:50, Aliaksei Haurychenko fourth in 2:19:01 and Kibet fifth in 2:19:52. John Ngeny (Kenya), having recorded a 2:15:07 (fifth) at this year's "Mt. Michel Marathon", placed seventh in 2:23:03. The women's race had "Quad City Marathon" winner Halina Karnatsevich (Belarus) easily winning after having had company through a slow half (80:02). Karnatsevich reverse split to a 2:39:24, with Tatiana Mironova (Russia) second in 2:43:02, Yulia Vinokourova third in 2:44:25 and Volha Yudziankova (Belarus) fourth in 2:44:58. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• TRAVEL AND TRAIN FOR YOUR NEXT MARATHON
Breakaway Performance is a new company that offers a different type of active vacation: destination marathon training and coaching. The concept is unique: participants learn to properly train for a marathon while relaxing at and exploring a luxury destination. Breakaway's programming is top-notch and will address all aspects of marathon training. The program strikes a balance between group experiences and one-on-one, highly individualized sessions. It covers everything from proper running form and pacing to stretching and strength training while field specialists will introduce runners to the basics of sports nutrition and injury prevention. But it is a vacation, too. Participants have ample time to choose how to take advantage of their destination see the sights, enjoy a spa treatment, hike through the countryside, relax by the pool, or golf at a top-rated course. Each Breakaway training vacation package includes luxury accommodations at a world-class resort, daily access to the spa facility and fitness classes, delicious regional cuisine, and an adventure specific to the particular destination. Detailed information about the Breakaway training vacations, as well as upcoming trip dates, can be found on the website at www.breakawaytraining.com.
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