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FEATURED WORLDWIDE RUNNING NEWS
• HONG KONG / The first mountain marathon of Hong Kong
The "Raleigh International Mountain Marathon" 2004 organised by the Raleigh International Hong Kong will be held in the Hong Kong's countryside on March 6-7, 2004. It is one of the most popular and famous mountaineering events in Hong Kong. First mountain marathon to be held for the public, the "Raleigh International Mountain Marathon" is a 2-day and 1-night mountaineering competition with a course ranging from 25 to 65 kilometers depending on different categories. Participants, in teams of 2-4, are required to carry equipment, to decide their own route to reach checkpoints, and to camp in a specified campsite. The race is a test of mountaineering skills and is a vigorous challenge to endurance, persistence and self-confidence. Team spirits are also emphasized. This event serves to raise fund for Raleigh International Hong Kong to promote its overseas and local youth development projects. More details about the race at www.raleigh.org.hk/rimm2004.
• NORTH CAROLINA (USA) / Olympic running development center adds new coach
Zap Fitness, the non-profit Olympic distance running development center in Blowing Rock, has added two-time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Randy Ashley to its staff. Ashley will coach Zap's adult running clients. In addition, Ashley will be on staff during Zap's summer running camps, speak at the facility's distance running clinics, and will be giving presentations at road race and track events across the Southeast. Ashley has been a fixture in the Southern running community for more than two decades. Over the last ten years, Randy has worked with athletes from novice runners to the elite level in distances from the 800 meters to the marathon. "We are very excited to have Randy as a new member to our staff", Zap Fitness Foundation president Zika Palmer said. "Randy's boundless energy and his abundant knowledge of the sport will serve our adult coaching clients extremely well". For more information, go to their website at www.zapfitness.com.
• FRANCE / Three events on the mountains
On March 5, 6 and 7 the "Chamineige" event will take place again. "Chamineige" will propose three days of test and effort through the mountains of the Cantal. Participants will be grouped in teams of three. In April, the Great Raid of the Massif Central - the "TransMassif" - will be also organized. From April 10 to April 17, teams of four will compete in the northern Massif Central by foot, on mountain bike, canoe kayak and crossings of cords. Finally, the "Trans'Auvergne", will be organized from April 15 to April 17 with the "Challenge Puy de Dôme" held on April 17, 2004. More information about these events at www.land-n-raid.org.
• CYPRUS / Countdown for the Cyprus SpiderNet Pafos Marathon
Hundreds of excited runners will be lining up for the start of the "Cyprus SpiderNet Pafos Marathon" 2004. The event, which will be held on Sunday March 7, incorporates three different distances: the marathon, half marathon and the 10km road race. Preparations are coming to an end of what promises to be once again one of the greatest road races ever run in Cyprus. At the moment the number of runners taking part has swollen to 230. The race has already attracted runners from England, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Greece, Holland, France, Lebanon, Italy, Spain, Holland, United States and Sweden. The marathon course will start from Petra tou Romiou (birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty) and finish at the Pafos mediaeval fort square. 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 offer both Greek and Cypriot folk dance. Cyprus Airways (http://www.cyprusairways.com) is the official carrier offering special low discounted fares for all foreign participating runners. Registration can be made on-line at www.pafosmarathon.com.
• MAURITANIA / Two hundreds kilometers in the Sahara desert
The "Mauritanian Race 200" is a non-stop foot race of 200 kilometers at your own pace with control points at twenty kilometers intervals. The time limit for completion is 75 hours. The runners are provided with water at each control point, but are responsible for their own food, which the organization carries to the specified control points. The departure and arrival of the race are from the Ilij Oued, which is situated in the little village of Azougi, six kilometers from Atar. This part of the country boasts extremely varied scenery, a combination of rocky plateaus and deep ravines (dhars and guelbs), chains of little dunettes and stony patches (ergs and regs), palm groves, villages and encampments, life postings and blazed trials from ancient caravans. Why choose Mauritania? The Mauritanian desert is a true desert where "one can listen to the hours falling into eternity" and where one enters into this world as if into a sacred place. For those who cross this hostile environment, there is first of all the overpowering silence followed by profound meditation. And then there is also the quasi-unreal natural beauty of the desert, the feeling of total liberty and escape which comes from spending days and nights out of time, where man gives up on the neverending horizon before him and aims instead towards the sky.
• INDIA / More than 20,000 participants to the Mubai Marathon
On February 15th in India, the first "Standard Chartered Mubai International Marathon" fielded more than 20,000 athletes in the marathon, "7Km Dream Run" and related events. South African marathoner and 10,000m recordholder Hendrick Ramaala, as well as 1996 Olympic champion Josiah Thugwane were together until the latter dropped out at 31K. Then Ramaala, a two-time World's Best 10K titlist, continued on to a 2:15:47 victory, his first for the distance. Julius Sugut (Kenya) placed second in 2:16:36 and Lucian Hambo (Kenya) third in 2:16:50. "Marathon Wroclaw" titlist Wioletta Uryga topped the women's field in 2:47:53, with twice "Disney World Marathon" and subsequent "Cancun Marathon" winner Judit Nagy second in 2:49:50. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• TEXAS (USA) / De Reuck wins the Houston Half Marathon
2002 World Cross Country Championships long course bronze medalist Colleen De Reuck won the women's race Sunday January 18 at the 2004 "Houston Half Marathon" in Houston. De Reuck won the race in 1 hour, 10 minutes, 54 seconds over runner-up Sylvia Mosqueda, who finished in 1:11:31. Finishing first in the "Halliburton International Half Marathon" was Gilbert Koech, a Kenyan national training in Albuquerque. With a time of 1:03:08, Koech came in one second ahead of Dan Browne of Portland, who was the top U.S. male finisher and earned a $2000 bonus. "I definitely feel this is a great stepping stone to the U.S. Olympic Trials" said Browne. Margarita Tapia, 27, of Mexico City, set a personal and course record with a time of 2:28:36 in taking home the women's "Houston Marathon" title and qualifying for Mexico's Olympic team. Marek Jaroszewski, 28, of Poland took the men's marathon title in 2:18:51. A new record of 14,103 athletes registered for the day's three races. The event raised a record $600,000-plus for local charities. For more information and complete results, go to www.hphoustonmarathon.com. Source: www.splittimes.com
• SOUTH AFRICA / Hendrick Ramaala wins the Absa Series 3000m race
On February 6th in Secunda, an Absa Series men's 3000m was won by Hendrick Ramaala in 8:06.03, with Jac Steenekamp second in 8:06.51, Clyde Colenso third in 8:09.13 and David Mokwana fourth in 8:12.44. The women's equivalent was taken by René Kalmer in 9:33.59, with Poppy Mlambo second in 9:36.34, and Ivette van Blerk third in 9:41.64. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• SOFTWARE FOR TRACK AND FIELD COACHES
Over the last two decades, advancements in computer size and technology have helped a widening group of professionals do their jobs better in both the office and in the field. From medical operating rooms to space shuttles, computers have left the desktop and gotten hands-on with hand held computers known as PDAs, handhelds and Palms. And now track and field coaches can take advantage of technology to be better coaches, as well. This year, TrackBrain.com has released a series of software programs for the Palm operating system that aid the coach on the track and in the field. With titles like DecaScorer, Multi Runner Split Timer and T&F Converter, TrackBrain.com has empowered the track and field coach. "To be honest" says company founder and college coach Scott Simmons "I developed these programs because I wanted them for myself. I had problems and these programs were the solution". TrackBrain.com software titles operate on any handheld device that uses the Palm OS operating system such as the new Palm Zire, Palm Tungsten and Sony Clies.
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