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• SPAIN / Gran Fondo Internacional de Siete Aguas
On August 23 in Siete Aguas, the Valencian community witnessed a challenging hilly 15.1 kilometers road race, the "Gran Fondo Internacional de Siete Aguas". Although the course record is 44:46 by Samuel Otieno from ten years ago, this year James Moiben (Kenya) won in 47:31, with Benjamin Rotich (Kenya) second in 47:46, Paulo Gomes (Portugal) third in 48:03, Spanish half marathon titlist Ramiro Morán fourth in 49:10 and Hicham Chatt (Morocco) fifth in 49:13. Madrid Marathon champion Ruth Kutol (Kenya) captured the ladies race in 54:36, and she was followed by Portuguese national 10,000 meters champion Helena Sampaio in 55:05, Elisabette Lopes (Portugal) in 55:40, Spanish half marathon recordholder Rocío Ríos in 56:04 and national half marathon titlist Tina Maria Ramos in 57:20. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• MALTA / Speed development congress
Speed is at the basis of every athletic discipline be it track or field, sprints or long distances. And Speed Development will be the subject of a forthcoming European Athletic Coaches Association Congress. Held in Malta between the 7th and 9th of November, it will be bringing together a panel of experts in the area with the aim of discussing this subject. Among those who have already confirmed their presence is Ekkart Arbeit who will be examining the conversion of power to speed in throws, Jacques Piacenta who will explain the specifics of preparing elite female endurance sprinters and Mike McFarlane who will discuss male:female training variations. Also, European Athletic Coaches Association President Frank Dick will talk of the series of interdependent initiatives set up by the IAAF to establish professional and academic creditability for athletic coaches. Further details can be obtained by contacting Ms Valerie Farrugia, the congress manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
• CANADA / Streaming Finish Cam
Marathon Video announced its recent participation in the construction of a "Streaming Finish Cam" for the "10k Runto" race, which took place July 27 in Toronto. The "Finish Cam", which can be viewed online at the Runto.ca website, allows participants, after typing in their gun time, to watch twenty seconds of video showing their finish in the 10k event! Viewers of the streaming file need only have a personal computer and a Windows Media Nine Player. Working together with Toronto based Ninedots, one of Canada's leading interactive agencies and builders of the race's website, Marathon Video filmed and edited the entire 95 minute "Streaming Finish Cam" currently available on the site.
• VIRGINIA (USA) / The first off-road half Iron triathlon in America
Odyssey at oarevents.com is offering a new option for athletes who might not be ready for the full-blown "Off-Road Iron Triathlon". The "Odyssey Off-Road Half Iron" will take place on the same course as the full triathlon on September 21 at Douthat State Park in the Allegheny Mountains of western Virginia. It will be the first Off-Road Half Iron triathlon in the country! The course for both events is spectacular: the lake swim will consist of one flat-water 1.2-mile swim lap for the half, and two laps for the full event. The bike is almost entirely on gravel fireroads, with approximately 2-miles per lap of single/double track. Each lap is on rolling hills through densely wooded forests. Athletes in the half Iron will bike on a 56-mile figure 8 course. The full Iron athletes will complete this course twice, for a total of 112 miles on the bike. The majority of the trail run is on non-technical single-track with stunning vistas and beautiful waterfalls and creeks. The half run is 13.1 miles while the full Iron is a marathon race. The "Odyssey Off-Road Iron Triathlon" is also open to teams of two or three competitors.
• CROATIA / On the most beautiful terrains on European Continent
"Terra Incognita" is an adventure race that involves four-member teams that race non-stop for the five days and nights over 400 kilometers through some of the most beautiful terrains on European Continent. The appointment is in Croatia between September 16 and 21. Navigating over entire course the teams must overcome demanding challenges of hiking, mountain biking, sea kayaking, and fixed ropes climbing. In order to succeed they need to rely on their teammates, their survival skills, and their mental and physical preparedness. Strategy of movement, resting, sleeping and planning of food supplies and proper equipment is crucial. If only one member drops out, the entire team is disqualified. It takes a lot of courage to start the race and only the most relentless will finish. Finishing this race is an extraordinary achievement. More information at http://raidsnature.com/raidwo/terraincognita.
• GERMANY / Paul Tergat to run the Anniversary Marathon in Berlin
The "Berlin Marathon" succeeds in committing the second fastest marathon runner of all times. The Kenyan Paul Tergat is without a doubt one of the greatest runners of all times. His accumulation of successes could hardly be more impressive: he was the five-time cross country world champion in series from 1995-1999; he has an accumulation of track bests and successes spanning an incredible spectrum from 7:28.70 for the 3000m, to 12:49.87 for the 5000m and the then-world record of 26:27.85 for the 10000m; in four international championships (1996 and 2000 Olympics and two world championship finals) he only had to admit defeat to Haile Gebrselassie; he also has demonstrated his strength on the streets as he was two-time world champion in the half marathon and holds the world record for this discipline in 59:17. In 2001 he switched completely to road races, and for the first time included the marathon. Paul Tergat did not take the marathon world by storm, but carefully and slowly tested it out. After two 2:08 races in London and Chicago, the breakthrough was accomplished in London in 2002. In an extraordinary race, he was able to beat his long time adversary Haile Gebrselassie on his marathon debut, but had to defer to the current marathon world record holder, Khalid Khannouchi. His time of 2:05:48 remains the second fastest time ever recorded. Paul Tergat has still not been able to win any of the five marathons he has run. He hopes to make it up in Berlin, and maybe he will also succeed in bringing the marathon race to a new dimension on the course famous for its fast pace. Race Director Horst Milde is thrilled "to be able to see one of the greatest runners of all time in Berlin. Following Ronaldo da Costa, Tegla Loroupe and Naoko Takahashi, he also could be capable of writing running history in Berlin". The "Berlin Marathon" is among the largest marathon races in the world and has already reached the capacity with 35,000 participants. The director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle, together with the mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit will give the starting signal on September 28, 2003.
• ARGENTINA / National Half Marathon Championships
On August 10 the Argentine National Half Marathon Championships in Magdalena had Oscar Cortinez win in 65:28, with Gustavo Comba second in 65:51, Oscar Amaya third in 66:08 and Miguel Bárzola fourth in 66:14. Verónica Páez got the female national title in 77:55. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• CALIFORNIA (USA) / Woman beats man by twentyfive minutes
Seventythree runners from twelve countries and twentythree American states ran 135 miles non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney on July 22-24 in the "Badwater Ultramarathon". Pam Reed repeated her 2002 overall victory by once again beating all her female and male competitors, winning the race outright with a time of 28:26:52. Reed beat her nearest competitor, a man, by twentyfive minutes, in one of the race's closest ever finishes. This second finisher, and men's division champion, Dean Karnazes completed the distance in 28:51:26. The second female and third overall finisher was Canadian Monica Scholz with a time 33:41:29. Rounding out the top five were Christopher Bergland in fourth with a time of 33:58:37 and Tracy Bahr, the third female and fifth overall with a time of 35:16:17. Women placed first, third, and fifth overall in the final standings of this extreme running event. The international field of athletes, sixteen women and 57 men ranging from 31 to 70 in age, represented Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Tahiti, Luxembourg, Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, Monaco, and the United Kingdom. A total of 46 of the 73 runners completed the distance within the 60 hour overall cutoff, a 63% finishing rate. The conditions in the 2003 race were particularly challenging, even for this event and its hostile Death Valley venue. Past races have featured a very dry and generally windless 125-128 maximum temperature, but this year the thermometer rose to 130 degrees with 15% humidity and a strong wind in the afternoon of the first day. These and other factors led to the higher than usual drop-out rate. Badwater in the Death Valley marks the lowest elevation in the United States at 282 feet below sea level. The race finishes at the Mt. Whitney Portals at nearly 8300 feet. The Portals are the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States. The race course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000 feet of vertical ascent and 4700 feet of descent. A live webcast of the race, including dozens of stories, over one thousand images, videoclips, complete race results and more, was featured at badwaterultra.com and remains archived for further viewing.
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