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• BRAZIL / Supermaratona Cidade do Rio Grande
The featured race of February in Brazil was the "Supermaratona Cidade de Rio Grande", the only 50 km race in Brazil. Other peculiarities, that attract runners from all over the country, are that this race is held in a historic city and the last 5 miles are done on the Casino beach, the longest beach of the world with the extension of 224 kilometers. Among the men, Claudir Rodrigues (2:50.38) won for the second consecutive year. In the female race, Maria Salete (3:30.50) got her third strait title of this race. Source: www.copacabanarunners.net
• CYPRUS / Countdown for the SpiderNet Pafos Marathon
The "SpiderNet Pafos Marathon" will be run in Pafos on Sunday 2nd March 2003. This year event incorporates three different distances the marathon, half marathon and the 10 km road race. Preparations are coming to an end of what promises to be one of the greatest road races ever run in Cyprus. At the moment the number of runners taking part has swollen to 250. The new marathon course will start from Petra tou Romiou (birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty) and finish at the Pafos Mediaeval Fort square. There is also a half marathon and 10 km road race starting and finishing nearby the Pafos fishing harbour. A number of interesting functions have been prepared for the runners such as the Live Pasta Party on Saturday evening prior to the run at the Basilica Complex Holiday Resort. On race day the entertainment activity programme will include the Pafos Municipality Band who will perform a full musical programme and a dancing group who will perform both Greek/Cypriot folk dance and invite participants and spectators to join in. On Tuesday 4th March the "Carlsberg Tsada Village Run" will be held. Attractions will include children's fun run, wine tasting and folklore dancing performed by the children of the village school. All finishers of the Tsada Village Run will receive a bottle of local wine. Each participant will be given a quality, commemorative T-shirt and an engraved medal. Marathon event finishers will be given a commemorative certificate. Awards will be given to the first three runners in each of the 48 age group categories.
• KYRGYZSTAN / Hiking in Kyrgyzstan
One of the CIS republics that got its independence in 1991 is situated just in the heart of the Central Asia. The Great Silk Road lies through its territory. The republic borders with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China: 94% of the country is mountains. The landscape of Kyrgyzstan is full of diversity starting with deserts, alpine meadows, mountain ranges covered with forests up to snow-white tops. Many of the highest peaks are situated on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, the most famous among them, with the altitude more than 7000 meters, are: Lenin Peak (7134m) - Pamir mountain system; Khan-Tengry Peak (7010m), Pobeda Peak (7439m) - Tien-Shan mountain system. There are many peaks with the altitude of more than 4000 meters, where none of the mountaineers have ever been. In high mountain valleys covered with myriad alpine meadows you can see the flocks of sheep, the hordes of horses, camels and yaks, take a visit to native Kyrgyz nomads living in very close unity with nature in their national dwelling - yurt, and experience traditional Kyrgyz hospitality. The company "Edelweiss" has great experience in tourism. The stuff of the company has worked in the sphere of tourism and extreme tourism for more than 10-15 years. "Edelweiss" Travel Company offers the following kinds of tourism: traveling along the Great Silk Road, trekking, mountaineering, expeditions, heli-skiing and ski tours, horse tours, educational and scientific trips, excursions. The company carries out all formalities and provides the following services: accommodation, transport, and food, travel equipment and radio communication for extreme programs, guides, interpreters, consultations, maps and so on. To the international airport of Bishkek city you can fly from Europe by several airlines: British Airways from London, Turkish Airways from Istanbul, Chinese Airways from Urumqi and Aeroflot from Moscow. Besides you can use Kyrgyz national airlines Aba-Joldoru flying to Hannover, Deli, Karachi, Moscow and Tashkent. To the international airport of Alma-Aty you can fly by the: Turkish Airlines, British Air; KLM; Lufthansa. More details at www.edelweiss.elcat.kg.
• CZECH REPUBLIC / 48 hours indoor race
The Ceská Asociace Ultramaratoncu announces the 8th edition of the "Bvv Spring Brno 48 hour indoor" race. The appointment is for March 21, 2003 at 10 am in the Brno Exhibition Centre. This ultramarathon saw last year 34 participants, and this year is open to a maximum of 50 runners. There is also a 12 hours 2-man relay (March 22, from 8 am to 8 pm). The course is a nearly circular loop with smooth (but not slippery!) concrete surface, exactly 250 meters long. Turn of direction every 4 hours. ChampionChip, lap time each loop, running results 5 minutes after each hour. The entry fee is 150 Euro and includes accomodation, optimal conditions (stable temperature, no wind, snow, rain), table, chair, sleeping mattress adjacent to the course, T-shirt, and outstanding care (full supplied aid station, massages, medical) to set up new world, national, age, and personal indoor records. More details at www.ultramarathon.czechian.net.
• KENYA / Nairobi Provincial Cross Country Champs
On February 15th at the "Nairobi Provincial Cross Country Champs", the senior women's 8k was taken by Leah Malot in 25.45, with Jane Omoro second in 25.46, Emily Samoei third in 26.04, Beatrice Omwansa fourth in 26.33 and Hellen Kimaiyo fifth in 26.56. Daniel Keter dominated the men's 12k in 33.11, with Simon Mutai second in 34.13, 2001 "Chicago Marathon" titlist Ben Kimondiu third in 34.18, Sam Malakwen fourth in 34.19 and Samwel Kimaiyo fifth in 34.26. Lord Torome, Abraham Tando and John Thuo finished first, second and third in the men's 4k; their times 10.49, 10.52 and 10.59. Sally Lagat, Mary Keitany and Beth Muthoni took the top three women's equivalent places in 13.10, 13.15 and 13.44. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
AMERICAN RUNNER LOSES OUT AS THE RULES ARE BENT TO BENEFIT JAPANESE RUNNER
American ultrarunner, Ann Trason, lost out on the world 100km road "best" as recognized by the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) as that organization recently decided to discard its established guidelines and recognise a Japanese mark instead. Trason's mark was set in international competition and fullfilled all the previously accepted criteria for a world road record. She was tested for drugs and her mark was set on a loop course that had no separation between the start and finish. The course on which she set the mark was measured by an IAAF Grade A measurer who was present and able to validate the course that day. Heretofore, marks made on courses whose start and finish lie more than 30% of the race distance apart have not been considered eligible for records. Now the IAAF has thrown out this scientifically-determined criterion at the insistence of the Japanese President of AIMS (Association of International Marathons). The Japanese 100km mark was set by Tomoe Abe on a course with at least a 40% separation between start and finish. There is considerable evidence that this mark was wind-aided since more than 70 km of the race was run with a tail-wind. It should be noted that the criteria used by the IAAF in recognising the Japanese performance are in direct conflict with those in the Ultra Marathon Race Handbook, the Ultrarunning rule book that the IAAF itself recommends in its own Distance Running Manual. Ann Trason's mark meets all the criteria listed in the Handbook. It is highly likely that this decision will be to the financial deteriment of Ann Trason, in terms of all-expenses paid invitations to races, endorsements, and similar benefits. Road-record expert Ken Young warned recently that "placing technical decisions of this nature in the hands of IAAF politicians can only be detrimental to the sport of road-racing". Holding a world road record confers status and can bring financial advantage; losing that status and financial advantage through the whim of official bureaucracy can only lead to controversy and litigation.
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