DECEMBER 2006 - VOL. 6, N. 12 (N. 65)
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FEATURED WORLDWIDE RUNNING NEWS
• SINGAPORE / Greatest Race on Earth athletes break all records in Singapore
On December 3, Amos Mutai and Salina Kosgei, both Kenyan, ran course record times of 2:15:01 and 2:31:55 respectively to win the men's and women's "Singapore Marathon". The Standard Chartered Greatest Race on Earth, with a total prize pool of $1.5 million U.S. dollars, is a team relay of four challenging marathons in Nairobi, Singapore, Mumbai and Hong Kong. The field of elite athletes and emerging talent sped away from the start line at 6 am along the Esplanade Drive, all taking on Singapore's heat and humidity. The 2006/07 Series sees participation from over 30 countries, the focus of which is the Nations Challenge. Zimbabwe's Oliver Kandiero shone in Singapore, as he stormed through the course to finish with a time of 2:21:23. This puts them in third place in the Nations Challenge, closing the gap to Kenya in second to just half a minute. Uganda remain first thanks to a strong run by Ugandan Joeseph Nsubuga with a time of 2:23:56, leading the chase for the coveted Greatest Race on Earth Gold Baton trophy at the halfway stage. The regional competitions within the Nations Challenge are poised for a highly competitive second half to the competition after the first two marathons. India still leads the South Asia region with national representative Ajeet Sing completing the course in 2:33:23. Close rivals Sri Lanka, only 1 minute and 13 seconds behind, are in second, with Pakistan in third spot. A tremendous marathon by Todd Ingraham in a time of 2:35:14 has taken Australia to lead position in the Oceania & Europe region. Previous leaders Ireland drops a place to second but are only 1 minute 20 seconds behind. Finland has moved up into third place. In the South East Asia region, Indonesia leads Thailand by a massive 15 minutes, with Vietnam in third place. In the North East Asia region, Taiwan maintains their lead over South Korea by a margin of 20 minutes, while the Hong Kong team are in third place, a further 28 minutes behind. In the Americas region, a truly brilliant race by Juan Escalante, who trains at altitude, finished for Mexico in a time 2:31:51, taking them above Argentina. The gap between the two is 34 minutes 10 seconds. In another increase on last year's turn-out, it was estimated that nearly 28,000 runners participated in the Singapore Marathon event.
• CHINA / Shanghai Half Marathon results
On November 26th, Olympic Marathon champion Mizuki Noguchi (Japan) continued her successful return to racing with a 69:03 course record at the "Shanghai International Half Marathon". After slipping and injuring herself while training in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Noguchi was unable to participate in the "Berlin Marathon". However a subsequent 10,000m race in Kobe, as well as a two-week training stint in Kunming, China, went well, and so the Japanese athlete entered the Shanghai event. "During the second half, the wind caused the pace to slow, but considering my current condition, the result was OK," Noguchi told Japan's Daily Yomiuri, according to Brendan Reilly. "Over the first half, I really enjoyed running through the city... It's not my best performance, but I feel I am in good condition right now. I am moving much better and this run has put me in good stead for full marathons." Noguchi says she will forgo the IAAF World Championships Marathon to concentrate on making the Japanese Olympic marathon team so that she can defend her title. Her coach, Nobuyuki Fujita, indicates Noguchi's next race will be the Miyazaki Women's Road Race (half marathon) on January 6th. Nagoya International Women's Marathon winner Harumi Hiroyama was second woman in 2:32:33 in the accompanying marathon. Hiroyama now rejoins Shiseido teammates in Kunming to prepare for the national women's ekiden championships to be held December 17th in Gifu. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• ANTARCTICA / Final preparations for Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k
Athletes are making final preparations for the southernmost marathon and ultramarathon events in the world. The Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k races will take place on December 12th and 15th, respectively, at 80 degrees South in the interior of the seventh continent. France 3 national television will be on location to film this year's event, which includes three French partcipants with designs on completing both the 26.2 mile marathon and the 100k (62.1 miles). Henri Alain d'Andria, Philippe Moreau and Herve Taquet all finished in the top seven in this year's North Pole Marathon and the experience should stand them in very good stead in Antarctica. Awaiting them in the frozen wasteland will be icy katabatic winds blowing from the South Pole - only several hundred miles away - and the prospect of difficult snow and ice conditions throughout the course. Joining them on the start line of the marathon will be Tim Harris (Great Britain) who will be completing his seventh marathon in seven weeks on seven continents. Harris is currently on course to enter Guinness World Records for achieving the fastest aggregate time to run a marathon on each continent. Similarily, Noelle Sheridan (Usa), the only female entrant, is set to pencil her name into Guinness World Records by completing marathons on all seven continents in seven months, which will be the shortest duration for a female to do so. Her compatriot, John Kraus, will also be using the Ice Marathon to achieve the distinction of running a marathon on all seven continents. Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the spectrum of marathon experience, Australia's Gavin Melgaard will be making his marathon debut in Antarctica. The three French participants have been preparing for the Antarctic races by running circuits in a giant freezer or on treadmills positioned in a freezer. Mike Pierce (Usa) has been preparing in a similar manner for the 100k race, where he will join race director Richard Donovan (Ireland) to complete the five-person race field. Pierce contested the inaugural Antarctic Ice Marathon in January while Donovan was the only participant to successfully attempt the 100k. Unlike the marathon, a cut-off time of 24 hours is in operation for the 100k event - which is the equivalent of almost 10% of the distance to the South Pole. With 24 hours of daylight at the race location at this time of year, however, darkness won't be an issue to the competitors.
• JAPAN / Awajishima Women's Ekiden results
On November 3, four kilometers into the first stage, Noriko Matsuoka of Suzuki took over the lead of the 16th edition of the "Awajishima Women's Ekiden" race in Awaji island. In the second stage, with the brilliant run by Miho Sugimori of Kyocera, the gap between Suzuki and Kyocera reduced to six seconds. But with Lucy Wangui's stage record run, Suzuki's lead over the second place was increased to more than a minute and a half. At the end Suzuki won by nearly a minute on the six-stage 42.195Km course. Source: www.arrs.net
• FRANCE / Registration open for the Triathlon Alpe d'Huez
Four triathlons in five days, for all ages and all distances in an exceptional environment. After the success of the 2006 edition of the "Triathlon Alpe d'Huez", race organizers have decided to create four unbelievable races in Oisans around Alpe d'Huez including the famous 21 turns and Vaujany. Four races in which participants will be able to give everything they can and to challenge the others in a beautiful setting seen by Cyrille Neveu himself. Source: www.transitiontimes.com
• PORTUGAL / Seixal's Amora International Cross Country results
On November 26th in Lisbon, Festus Langat (Kenya) and Leonor Carneiro both were victorious at "Seixal's Amora International Cross Country". Langat, third in the "Torres Vedras XC" in Spain, is familiar with the Portuguese course, having won in 2004 and having placed third in 2005. Langat followed Abel Cheruiyot (eventually seventh), Luis Feiteira and Paulo Gomes until during the last two of five laps he broke away. Langat won in 30:04, former 1500m runner Feiteira placed second in 30:07, Gomes third in 30:12, Licinio Pimentel fourth in 30:14 and Paulo Guerra fifth in 30:34. Carneiro took control halfway through the women's 5K to win in 16:50. Magdaline Chemjor (Kenya) crossed second in 17:12, Ana Dias third in 17:16, and Alina Ivanova (Russia) fourth in 17:35. According to a report by António Manuel Fernades for the IAAF, former world recordholder for the steeplechase, Cristina Cassandra, finished eleventh. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
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