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FEATURED WORLDWIDE RUNNING NEWS
• VIRGINIA (USA) / In Memory of Fred Hardy
Legendary track & field coach and University of Richmond Hall of Fame member, Fred Hardy passed away on December 16, 2005. Hardy coached track & field and cross country for 35 years (1950-1985) at the University of Richmond and established an elite program that succeeded on the collegiate and international level. He was known by his student-athletes as a great teacher that elevated every athlete beyond their initial potential. During his years at Richmond, Hardy coached 45 All-Americans on the men's side and 20 All-Americans on the women's side. He also guided two Kenya Olympic team members (Edwin Koech-6th 1984 Olympic Games in the 800m for Kenya, Sos Bitok-6th in the 10,000m at the 1984 Olympic Games for Kenya) and three NCAA national champions and one AIAW Champion. Hardy guided Edwin Koech to the NCAA indoor 1,000-yard run and his two-mile relay team won the NCAA indoor event in 1983. He also guided a two-mile relay team to a world record (7:23.09) for an 11-lap track in the Milrose Games and Josephine White to the AIAW 1000m National Title (2:43.33). White went on to establish the women's NCAA Indoor Record in the Mile (4:31.12). Longtime friend and assistant coach Bill Jordan gave these remarks: "Coach Hardy gave his best for the University and his accomplishments as well as his efforts were outstanding. Coach was truly a remarkable man; he not only reached for, but indeed grasped the highest level of athletic achievement in track and field. There will never be another like him, and few indeed who can even remotely approach his accomplishments. He had walk-ons winning Conference Championships, walk-ons qualifying for the NCAA Championships, walk-ons making the US team and competing abroad. Others won National Championships and several competed in the Olympics. At the time of his retirement, the University of Richmond's Track and Field Records surpassed those of any other College or University in the state of Virginia. He was my mentor, confident and close friend for over fifty-five years. Needless to say, I will miss him". Hired during the summer of 1950, Hardy retired from the University of Richmond on August 20, 1985. Before coming to Richmond, Hardy coached at John Marshall High School, where he had set the Virginia State high school record in the mile (4:33.3) in 1936. Hardy received both his bachelor's degree and master's degree from the University of North Carolina. He was one of the Tar Heels' top distance runners and served as team captain during the 1940 season.
• JAPAN / Thys wins Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
Gert Thys of South Africa won the 55th annual "Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon" in 2:09:45. It was his second victory at the "Beppu-Oita Marathon", having previously won in Oita with the course record, 2:08:30, in 1996. The real racing started after 25Km when contenders were separated from the pretenders. Thys broke away soon after 30Km when he covered the 5Km segment between 30Km and 35Km in 15:07. Thys ran the rest of the race alone and won easily by more than two minutes. Finishing second two minutes and one second behind Thys, was Tomoyuki Sato of Asahi Kasei, while Benjamin Kipchumba of Kenya was third in 2:13:11. In the eighties and nineties Asahi Kasei was considered to be the marathon power house in Japan. Hiromi Taniguchi won the 1991 World Championships, while Koichi Morishita won a silver medal at the 1992 Olympics. Both ran for Asahi Kasei. Asahi Kasei sent two runners to the 2000 Olympics. However, since the turn of the century, the team has been struggling. Asahi Kasei failed to send a marathon runner to the last three global championships. Thus the second place finish by Tomoyuki Sato is a great news for the team. The lead group of fifteen runners (Benson Cherono, Teodoro Vega, Jason Mbote, Gert Thys, Mohamed Ouaadi, Ben Kipchumba, Tomoyuki Sato, Yohei Sato, Takayuki Nishida, Kodai Fukunaga, Kazuyuki Maeda, Toshiaki Tezuka, Takehisa Okino, Kiyotaka Shimamura and Ombeche Mokamba) including three pace makers (Cherono, Vega and Mbote) were formed by 5Km. The pack ran together passing the half marathon in 1:04:03. Fifteen runners stayed together until 23Km, when one of the pace setter, Vega dropped out from the race. Shimamura was the next casualty at 25Km. The lead pack took 3:13 for 1Km between 25Km and 26Km, but the next kilometer was covered in 3:03. Then Mbote, another pace maker dropped out at 27Km. One Km between 27Km to 28Km took 3:08 but then the pace was increased to 3:02 for the next kilometer. After 29Km, when Cherono increased the pace, Nishida, Fukunaga, Mokamba, Tezuka, Ouaadi, Yohei Sato and Okino lost contact with the leaders in succession. At 30Km when Cherono dropped out of the race, four runners were left in the lead group. Thys kept up the pace set by Cherono and he thus spread-eagled the lead pack. Thys led the race with Tomoyuki Sato in second followed by Kazuyuki Maeda and Ben Kipchumba. Thys covered 1Km between 32Km and 33Km in 2:59 and he was running alone. By 35Km Thys was more than a minute ahead of the second place. He was slowing down, for Thys took 3:13 for the 1Km segment between 35Km to 36Km and 5Km stretch between 35Km and 40Km in 15:43. However the pursuers were slowing down even more (Tomoyuki Sato, who was in second took 16:45 from 35Km to 40Km) and Thys won easily. After the race Thys said, "I am very happy with the win. I was trying to improve the course record I set 10 years ago, but unfortunately the wind was the problem, especially during the later stage of the race". Source: www.arrs.net
• SOUTH AFRICA / Hendrick Ramaala wins the Nedbank Series 20Km
On January 29th in Johannesburg, 2004 "ING New York City Marathon" champion Hendrick Ramaala won a Nedbank Series 20Km Road Race. Cuthbert Nyasango (Zimbabwe) and others left Ramaala seemingly struggling in the mid-sections of the hilly course. But according to an IAAF report by Mark Ouma, Ramaala came back on them in the final kilometer, then outsprinted Patrick Nthiwa (Kenya) for the 62:11 to 62:13 victory. Nyasango finished third in 62:32, Zolani Ntongana fourth in 62:44 and Pule Mofokeng fifth in 63:00. Lesothoan marathon champion Mamorallo Tjoka claimed the women's title in 75:17, with Samuekeliso Moyo (Zimbabwe) second in 76:37, Gloria Baeba third in 77:10, Tabitha Tsatsa (Zimbabwe) fourth in 77:57 and Louisa Leballo fifth in 78:41. An accompanying 10K had Johannes Kekana and Aaron Gabonewe finishing 1-2 in 30:42 and 31:03, with Ronel Thomas and Poppy Mlambo going 1-2 among women in 36:42 and 37:00. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• CHINA / Triathlon receives five more spots for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) announced that the IOC Executive Board has awarded five additional spots for the triathlon competition in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This brings the total number of athletes in the 2008 Olympic triathlon competition to 55 men and 55 women. The IOC Executive Board met in Italy prior to the opening of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games to review requests from a number of International Federations to increase their quotas for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Triathlon was one of only five sports to have its request for additional competitors approved. The other four sports were taekwondo, cycling, fencing and modern pentathlon. "I am delighted of the news", said ITU President Les McDonald upon hearing the announcement. "This is a great step in our goal to have more countries represented in the triathlon at the 2008 Olympic Games, and this decision directly supports our sport development programme and further acknowledges the value our sport has within the Olympic family". This is a positive step for the development of triathlon and the ITU's goal of increasing the number of flags at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports and continues to capture the attention and imagination of the international sport community. The ITU will modify the current Olympic Qualification Criteria document to factor in these additional spots. Source: www.transitiontimes.com
• KENYA / Hot and hilly Safaricom Baringo Half Marathon
On January 7th in Kabarnet, Mubarak Shami (Qatar) was able to win his second-straight hot and hilly "Safaricom Baringo Half Marathon". David Macharia reports for the IAAF that the former Richard Yatich beyond 15K began to break away, eventually winning the Paul Tergat-organized race in 66:55 to Kipyego Kirui's 67:16 and David Koech's 67:46. The women's race was captured by Caroline Kiptoo in 41:26 to Florence Chepkosgei's 41:47 and Viola Bor's 41:54. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• THE WHIDBEY ISLAND MARATHON
NAMES NATURE'S PATH FOODS AS TITLE SPONSOR
Usa/Washington - The Whidbey Island Marathon and Seattle based Pro-Motion Events, Inc. are pleased to announce the recent signing of Nature's Path Foods to a three year title sponsor role. In its fifth year of existence, the Whidbey Island, WA based full marathon and half marathon event will be called the Nature's Path Whidbey Island Marathon & Half Marathon. Traversing the longest island in the continental U.S. and incorporating a crossing of the scenic Deception Pass Bridge as well as views of snow capped mountains, rural farmland roads and miles of scenic Puget Sound coastline, the course routes for the April 2nd, 2006 event are definitely "paths through nature" and complimentary to the title sponsor's name. In addition to the event title sponsorship, Nature's Path Foods will also provide ample amounts of organic product for the on-course aid stations, for the Nature's Path Optimum™ Recovery Zone that will be located at the full marathon and half marathon finish line area and for the EnviroKidz™ fun run that will take place at the event expo to be held on Saturday, April 1st in Oak Harbor, WA. Nature's Path will also up the ante in terms of first place awards by placing the photos of both the 2006 male and female marathon winners on the back of one of their Optimum™ cereal boxes. Nature's Path is also supporting the event by inviting a number of other organic and sustainability focused companies to support the event. As presenting sponsor for the 2006 event, adidas Seattle will provide a well-rounded sponsor package that includes long sleeve adidas Climalite technical fabric shirts to all finishers of the full marathon. All half-marathon participants will receive short sleeve version. Additionally, they will provide shirts and hats for the event volunteers. About Nature's Path Foods Inc.: Nature's Path®, founded in 1985, is the largest organic cereal manufacturer in North America and makes products that include hot and cold breakfast cereal, snack and energy bars, toaster pastries, breads, pasta, baking mixes and frozen waffles. The company markets its products throughout Canada, the United States and 30 other countries around the world. With more than 250 employees and 400,000 square feet of manufacturing, distribution and head office space located in Richmond and Delta, British Columbia and Blaine, Washington, Nature's Path is strategically positioned to meet the growing organic needs of the marketplace. Nature's Path provides a market for organically grown ingredients by offering consumers great tasting, healthy products; meaning that every purchase of a Nature's Path product is a step towards sustainability and earth stewardship. About the Nature's Path Whidbey Island Marathon & Half Marathon: In its fifth year of existence, the Nature's Path Whidbey Island Marathon & Half Marathon continues to gain recognition as one of the most scenic destination marathon events in North America. Open to marathon runners and half marathon runners and walkers, the event continues to attract participants from across the United States and Canada as well as many other countries. Weekend events include a Health Expo with a free EnviroKidz™ fun run on Saturday and the full marathon run and half marathon run/walk on Sunday. On-course aid stations will include energy bars from Nature's Path, energy drink from Gatorade, energy gel packs from Honey Stinger and water from Talking Rain Beverage Company. Complete event details may be found at www.whidbeyislandmarathon.com.
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