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FEATURED WORLDWIDE RUNNING NEWS
• PENNSYLVANIA (USA) / Run for the Troops
In an effort to show our unified support for the sacrifices made by the nation's of the coalition's soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and coastguardsmen in the global war on terrorism, the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. is seeking men and women from all coalition nations to participate in the "24-hour Run for the Troops" on May 29 and 30. Runners can participate as members of a team or as individuals to challenge their own personal limits by running for a full 24-hour period on a track or predetermined course. Their effort will be symbolic of the hardships and sacrifices of troops combating terrorism throughout the world. Teams and individual participants will join each other in spirit across the world as they all start their 24-hour runs at the same time. The goals of this event are to demonstrate a global, unified front in support of our troops by simultaneously conducting events worldwide and to raise needed funds in support of the VVnW Military Support Package program. Teams and individual runners will raise funds by soliciting pledges through mile and/or hour sponsorship and general donations. Show your support, if you are a citizen and/or troop of a coalition nation join us in supporting our troops as they continue to protect the freedom of democracies across the world. As Maj. Marc Hoffmeister of the U.S. Army states, "this is an opportunity to show the world that troops of freedom are united in the effort to fight terrorism". Hoffmeister is part of a team running in Iraq. If you are interested in starting a team, running as an individual, or joining an established team near you, visit www.vvnw.org.
• TURKEY / Running in Istanbul
The "Kadir Has University Road Run" will be held on May 9 in Istanbul. According to information given by Fikret Ozsoy, the organization director, this 10 kilometers race will take place on the same course of 2003 in Istanbul. The event is open to everybody. Besides general classification there are also age groups. Source: www.maratonturk.com
• WISCONSIN (USA) / First ever Green Bay Duathlon
Lambeau Field will be the back drop for the first ever "Green Bay Duathlon". A duathlon is a running, biking, running event. As an added bonus, short distances will attract a large percentage of first-time athletes: 3.1 mile run, 15 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. Participants have an option of doing this event as a relay in which one person runs, hands off a wristband to the next team member who bikes, while the third team member completes the run. This two-event combination creates excitement for spectators, especially at the key sites, which are at the start of the event, the transition area, and the finish line. Trophies will be given to top overall winners, age group winners, and top relay winners. October 10, 2004 is the date and picked to not coincide with a Green Bay Packer game. The event will begin at 7:00 am. To register go to www.midwestsportsevents.com.
• MADAGASCAR / The Incredible Traverse of Madagascar
For those dreaming about the Indian Ocean and discovering Madagascar, between Saturday 22 May and Saturday 5 June 2004, "The Incredible Traverse of Madagascar" will enable you to discover the mysterious island through a course linking the East to the West coast (Tamatave to Morondava). The event, in teams of four, runs through one of the most astounding regions of the world. It is an original concept which combines discovery, human and sport adventure, getting an insight into the Malagasy realities. "The Incredible Traverse of Madagascar" is a multisport international competition (trekking, canoeing, mountain bike cycling, etc.) with a three-in-one format. An experienced medical team will assist you throughout your stay. An aircraft (a Maule plane) and satellite telephone communications (Iridium and Inmarsat) will help complement the security facilities in addition to the Gendarmerie and the Malagasy National Police. You can access the routes and the event information at www.itmada.com.
• TURKEY / Inaugural Tarsus half marathon
The inaugural edition of the "International Tarsus Half Marathon", held on April 11 in the 7000 years old city of Tarsus, was a very well organised international half marathon. World famous Berdan Textile Co. (located in Tarsus and has 1100 employees) was the organizer. Yavuz Sokün (47), General Manager of Berdan Textile Co., finished in a time of 2:23:59, while Hayri Ozsüt (42), Human Resources Manager of Berdan Textile Co., finished in a time of 1:49:21. The weather was very hot (25 °C) and humid. The field of participants, 351 runners, welcomed 29 foreign athletes from 13 countries (Turkey, Bulgaria, England, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Kenya, Moldava, Romania, South Africa, Russia, Ukraina and United States of America). The winners John Mutai Kipyator (Kenya) and Yelena Burykina (Russia) each won 3000 U.S. dollars. These are the results: (men) 1:06:57 John Mutai Kipyator, 1:07:12 Abdül Ceylan, 1:07:49 Selahattin Selcuk, 1:08:03 Miklos Artur Ianos, 1:08:13 Vlas Valeriu, 1:08:18 Muammer Altinok, 1:08:26 Simon Tonui, 1:08:27 Anatoli Zeruk, 1:08:28 Sentayehu Degefa Mamo, 1:08:49 Hamdullah Gül; (women) 1:15:18 Yelena Burykina, 1:16:02 Marienye Wangari, 1:16:28 Milka Mihailova, 1:18:00 Natalia Cerches, 1:18:35 Svetlana Shepeleva, 1:19:42 Damla Yenigelen, 1:20:30 Maria Magdalena Teodorascu, 1:20:56 Hasibe Onat, 1:21:40 Türkan Erismis, 1:22:12 Birgül Ozcan. Source: www.maratonturk.com
• CANADA / Yukon Arctic Ultra: what a race!
The second "Yukon Arctic Ultra" is over. It has been a great race. Like last year the Yukon has been a perfect host. Everybody involved in the race, guides, volunteers, organisational staff, sponsors and supporters have worked very hard to make the world's toughest human powered race a success. Not everything went the way it was supposed to, but the organizers have learned a lot. "Everyone who had the heart to go for this challenge is a hero in my eyes" said race director Robert Pollhammer. Complete details of this running adventure at www.arcticultra.de.
• POLAND / Twelve hours road race results
These are the results of the 12 hours road race held on April 25 in Ruda Slaska: (men) 1. Maciej Cieplak 144.0 km (national best), 2. Waldemar Pedzich km 140.7, 3. Artur Kawecki km 136.5; (women) 1. Barbara Szlachetka km 118.1 (national best). Source: www.arrs.net
• ENGLAND / AAA Road Relays Championships
On April 24th in Sutton Coldfield, the AAA Road Relays Champs (Men's 12 Stage) was won by Aldershot, Farnham & District in 4:10:15, with Belgrave second in 4:11:47, Salford third in 4:13:09, Bedford & County fourth in 4:18:44, and Cardiff fifth in 4:21:00. Fastest short legs were Chris Davies 13:23; 2° Nick McCormick 13:53; 3° Jermaine Mays 14:09; long legs were: Chris Thompson 25:27; 2° Keith Cullen 25:47; 3° Mark Miles 25:48. The Women's 6 Stage teams order was: 1° Coventry Godiva 1:42:46; 2° Tipton 1:43:13; 3° Shaftesbury 1:45:51; 4° Liverpool 1:46:25; 5° Chester-le-Street 1:46:59. Fastest legs were Helen Clitheroe 15:41; 2° Tina Brown 16:04; 3° Helen Lawrence 16:22; 4° Morag McDonnell 16:24; 5° Debbie Robinson 16:25. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• TEXAS (USA) / The Bev Kearney Story premiered April 18
Bev Kearney, who has coached the University of Texas women's track team to four national championships and survived serious spinal cord and back injuries from a car accident in December 2002, had her story shown on College Sports Television, as "The Road Back: The Bev Kearney Story", premiered on Sunday April 18. "The Road Back: The Bev Kearney Story" looks at Kearney's struggles growing up in a tough family situation and features interviews with Kearney, assistant coach Dana Boone, and members of the current Texas team, including Sanya Richards, Nicole Denby, Raasin McIntosh and Sharetta Jones. Kearney has won 12 conference coach of the year honors, was named 1999 NCAA Indoor Coach of the Year, and has coached the Longhorns to an unprecedented 10 consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Source: www.splittimes.com
• SPAIN / Kahugu wins the Madrid Marathon
On a hot (27 °C) April 25 in Spain, Joseph Kahugu (Kenya) finished ahead of 13,000 "Madrid Marathon" runners. Elijah Yator (Kenya) had taken the lead at 15K, but Kahugu, who has been living in Colombia, caught him at 35K. Kahugu got the win in 2:15:14, while Yator dropped out. My Tahar Echchadi (Morocco) finished second more than three minutes behind. With no competition, Florence Barsosio (Kenya) soloed to a 2:34:10 women's course record. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• IAAF DRASTICALLY SKEW THEIR ROAD RANKINGS
The IAAF have once again shown how little they understand road racing. Their road ranking system is based on times and they obviously have scoring tables that allow them to assign points to a runner based on their time. However, unlike distance running on tracks, distance performances on road courses can be wind-aided, downhill, or just plain short. When the IAAF chose to include times from a notably downhill and notoriously fast course such as Lisbon without any considerations of the course or conditions, they drastically skew their rankings, as shown in their latest road rankings press release:
"The winner of the marathon at last summer's IAAF World Championships in Paris, Jaouad Gharib of Morocco has taken over the top spot of the current Men's Road Running Event Rankings. At 31 years of age Gharib went under an hour for the first time in his life to complete the half marathon in Lisbon, where he finished fourth with 59 minutes 56 seconds (1278 points in Performance Score). With this new personal best the reigning world champion moved up 13 places to first in the Road Running Event Rankings, ahead a trio of Kenyans. Gharib also moved nearly 140 places to 57th in the Men's Overall Rankings".
With the IAAF willing to accept performances on downhill courses as valid, other runners who have run slower, non-aided times will be seriously disadvantaged. The IAAF's credibility in both road record keeping and now road rankings is in serious jeopardy.
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