Runners face 'hazardous' conditions in Beijing

October, 20, 2014
Oct 20
Beijing MarathonThe Yomiuri Shimbun/AP ImagesSome of the estimated 30,000 participants at the Beijing International Marathon weekend donned masks during the race.

Runners competed in this past weekend's Beijing Marathon despite "hazardous" conditions, according to multiple reports.

Runner's World reported that an estimated 30,000 people were expected to participate in Sunday's half marathon and marathon events, but some of the runners dropped out early or wore masks during the race.

One of those runners who dropped out mid-race was Chas Pope. He posted before and after pictures of his mask vis Twitter:

For more details around the Beijing race conditions, check out

Beijing International MarathonReutersThe United States embassy in Beijing described the city conditions on its website as "hazardous."

Apolo Ohno completes his Ironman journey

October, 14, 2014
Oct 14
Apolo OhnoAP Photo/Larry RosaApolo Ohno rejoiced as he finished his first full Ironman at the world championships in Hawaii.
As Apolo Ohno neared the finish line of the Ironman World Championship at Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Saturday, the music was loud and so was the public address announcer.

“Let’s welcome No. 144 to the finish line,” he said. “From Utah, Apolo Anton Ohno. You … are an Ironman!”

Ohno clenched his fists, pumped his arms and looked to the sky as he crossed the line before walking to the end of the finishers’ chute. There, a blanket was draped across his shoulders and a lei put around his neck.

The heat, locale and 140.6-mile race distance were a long way from the Winter Olympics, where Ohno made his name by winning eight medals -- including two golds -- in short-track speedskating.

It was yet another accomplishment for Ohno, who has also run the New York City Marathon, won “Dancing With the Stars,” hosted a TV game show and become a successful businessman.

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Carfrae, Kienle stage big Kona comebacks

October, 13, 2014
Oct 13
Mirinda Carfrae, Sebastian KienleAP PhotosMirinda Carfrae and Sebastian Kienle overcame historic deficits to win the Ironman world titles.
Recently crowned Ironman 70.3 world champion Daniela Ryf (SUI) made Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) question her ability to win another Ironman World Championship over the weekend.

The Kona rookie stomped the bike course and started the marathon 14 minutes, 30 seconds of defending champion Carfrae. Even for the run course record holder, it seemed like an insurmountable deficit. It wasn't, though.

Carfrae caught and passed Ryf to earn her third Ironman world title, putting together the fastest run in the race’s history at 2:50:26. Just how improbable was Carfrae’s comeback? Since Dave Scott brought the race into the modern era in 1986 by breaking 8 hours, 30 minute, only two other women have overcome deficits of more than 10 minutes on the run, and Carfrae has now done it twice.

Here are the top five deficits overcome since then:

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Korir busy, Kiplagat ready in Chicago

October, 11, 2014
Oct 11
KorirAP Photo/Stew MilneWesley Korir has had success plenty of other places besides the streets of Boston.
CHICAGO -- Former Boston Marathon champion (2012) Wesley Korir may have more commitments than any other elite athlete in Chicago. In addition to meeting with the media to discuss his race plans, Korir is the subject of the new running documentary “Transcend.”

“A movie star? It’s just who I am. I’m a guy that always wants to push myself to the highest limit possible,” Korir said. “Seeing how this has all come together has made me so happy.”

Director Michael Del Monte recently announced the start of the Transcend Running Academy as his next big project with runners.

“We’re excited about the film not being the end of the conversation, but the start of something,” Del Monte said. “It’s the start of getting more Kenyans to where Wesley got and giving them more opportunities.

"You have more than 50 percent of marathon champions come from a population of more than five million people. Why have we not gone there and use their running to elevate them in other areas of life."

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Bekele humble, Kipchoge wows in Chicago

October, 10, 2014
Oct 10
Kenenisa Bekele, Mo FarahIan MacNicol/AFP/Getty ImagesKenenisa Bekele and Mo Farah have had different results early in their marathon careers.
CHICAGO -- Like many first timers, Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele believes he over-trained for his marathon debut earlier this year in Paris, where he set a new course record of 2:05:04. Coach Renato Canova already believes Bekele is the “ideal marathoner” and could challenge the world record in his third shot at the distance. Bekele is a little more reserved.

“To put me on top is not the time now,” said Bekele, speaking at a press conference ahead of this weekend's Bank of America Chicago Marathon. “I need to run faster times.”

Bekele’s transition from the track to the marathon has been a success. Meanwhile, double Olympic and World Champion Mo Farah struggled in his first shot at the distance.

“It could be our different body types. Farah started achieving good results at the age of 27 or 28. If you come to me, I started achieving when I was 19 or 18,” Bekele said. “He’s only run one race, so we can’t judge him

Bekele holds a 13-4 record over Farah in head-to-head match-ups. When asked if he would want to race Farah over the marathon distance, he replied with certainty.

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