Sunday, May 29, 2022

Early bird entries open for Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2020

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Image Credit: Charles Whitton Photography

The organisers of Shrewsbury Half Marathon have confirmed that the 2020 event will take place on Sunday 11th October and early bird entries are now open.

Following the success of the 2019 event – which had moved from its June date to October- the UKA accredited Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2020 promises to deliver another first-class race experience with incredible runner and community support.

Powered by UKRunChat, Shrewsbury Half Marathon starts and finishes at Shropshire County Showground, home to a fully equipped race village. The route then takes runners through Shrewsbury town centre and out into the beautiful Shropshire countryside before returning to the Showground to be cheered over the finish line.

The course incorporates some Shropshire hills and features scenery and support are second-to-none, making the race a firm favourite among local club runners as well as athletes travelling from further afield.

The 2020 event will welcome an increased number of local and national charity partners, giving runners plenty of opportunity to run for charity and make a difference to others.

The day will also be an important meet-up for leading online running community Run Mummy Run, with members from all over the UK expected to get together and run.

The atmosphere at the 2019 event was fantastic, with superb support from all the volunteers, marshals, pacers, medical crew, sponsors, spectators and local residents who lined the route to cheer on the runners. Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive, with many runners complementing the efficient organisation, friendly atmosphere, wonderful support, stunning views, impressive medal and environmentally-friendly goody bag and carton of water.

Participants at Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2020 can once more look forward to a professional and friendly race, with a team of SRG pacers to help them hit their targets and more big-name sponsors which will be announced soon. The race represents excellent value for money, with a bespoke medal, technical race souvenir t-shirt, free pre and post-race massage, free photos, as well as a carton of water and race treats at the finish all included in the entry fee.

There will also be a shopping village, easy parking on site, and prizes for the top three male and female and age category winners.

The winners of On Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2019 were Tom Roberts with a time of 01:09:54 and Jackie Skinner with a time of 01:21:27.

Organisers Joe Williams and Rebecca Richardson commented, “We are delighted to confirm that Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2020 will take place on Sunday 11th October. Our new autumn date proved extremely popular and we celebrated a brilliant day for everyone at the 2019 event. The support and camaraderie were amazing with everyone out in force to cheer on the runners, a friendly atmosphere, many PBs, and all round celebrations of the day’s achievements. We can’t wait to put on another incredible day and look forward to welcoming runners of all levels to the 2020 event. Early bird entries are available until midnight on 31st December, offering the lowest price for runners to secure their place for Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2020.”

Shrewsbury Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 11th October 2020. A total of 3,000 places are available. Early bird entry is open and costs £27 (affiliated) / £29 (unaffiliated).

Go to www.shrewsburyhalf.com to register and for further event details. You can also like the Facebook page, and follow @Shrewsburyhalf on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest news at #ShrewsburyHalf #UKRunChat.

Introducing the Zwift Academy run team for 2022

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Zwift, the online global fitness platform, has announced the six members of the Zwift Academy Run Team 2022. Over 12,000 people signed up for Zwift Academy Run. All those that completed the program’s 8 structured workouts and 2 progress runs, graduated with a chance to make the final team selection process. The final six members are runners from a variety of different backgrounds, each with an interesting story to tell.

Hailing from across the globe, the Zwift Academy Run Team for 2022 is:

Kristin Mclane, USA
Kristin runs a computer software company. She is a former professional road cyclist, has run a number of half marathons but this will be Kristin’s first marathon. She is hoping for a time of 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Maria Kerres, Germany
Maria is qualifying to become a tax officer. This is her first marathon and she is hoping to run under 2 hours 35 minutes.

Stacy Frogley, Australia
Stacy is a history teacher in Australia. She hopes to beat her current best marathon time while also qualifying for the Boston marathon.

Kevin Lohner, USA
Kevin lives in California and works with rockets. His goal for ZA is to run his fastest possible race and to learn from the coaches and team to keep improving for many years to come.

Andrew Humphries, UK
Andrew is a lawyer, he ran through school but stopped due to a couple niggling injuries, returned to running after meeting his wife. Starting with Parkruns, Andrew has run a few marathons with a current PB of 2.41, he is hoping to run sub 2.30 in Berlin.

Sunny Lee Yu Kein, Malaysia
Sunny works in a logistics business, finding running at 39 but has since become an integral part of his life. His goal for ZA is to qualify for Boston and run a sub-3 hour marathon.

Athletes will receive coaching and mentorship throughout the year in the build-up towards the Berlin Marathon from both Terrence Mahon and Jen Rhines. adidas is supplying all athletes with top of the line training apparel and run footwear. Woodway will be providing treadmills and Garmin will provide GPS smartwatches, heart rate monitors and cadence sensors. Goodr will provide sunglasses. Maurten will provide products based on their hydrogel technology.

Follow along the Zwift Academy Run team’s journey as they balance everyday life while trying to train to be their best for the Berlin Marathon. The team will meet for the first time in July at team camp in California. There is a wide range of goals set by each team member, with some trying to run under 2 hours 30 minutes while others are looking to break 4 hours with their first marathon.

Ellen van Dijk convincingly beats the UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot

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Ellen van Dijk has beaten the UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot, covering the distance of 49.254 kilometres on the track at the Tissot Velodrome in Grenchen (Switzerland).

This exceptional performance by the 2021 time trial UCI World Champion sees the Dutch rider from the UCI Women’s WorldTeam Trek – Segafredo better the record of 48.405 km established by Great Britain’s Joscelin Lowden on the same Tissot Velodrome on 30 September 2021.

After her achievement, Ellen van Dijk said: “When I started I saw the black line and I saw that for 190 something laps I think. At the beginning… I did exactly what we wanted to do. If I did great I wanted to accelerate in the second part but instead of that I slowed down a little bit.

“At 45 minutes I thought ‘OK I need to accelerate’. I thought I was accelerating but I think I was only slowing down. That meant that this was it for today and I am very happy that I broke the record.”

Replay of Ellen van Dijk’s UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot

Women’s UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot:

23.05.2022: Ellen van Dijk (NED), Tissot Velodrome, Grenchen (SUI), 49.254 km
30.09.2021: Joscelin Lowden (GBR), Tissot Velodrome, Grenchen (SUI), 48.405km
13.09.2018: Vittoria Bussi (ITA), Velodromo Bicentenario, Aguascalientes (MEX), 48.007km
27.02.2016: Evelyn Stevens (USA), Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center Velodrome (USA), 47.980km
22.01.2016: Bridie O’Donnell (AUS), Adelaide’s Super-Drome (AUS), 46.882km
12.09.2015: Molly Shaffer Van Houweling (USA), Velodromo Bicentenario, Aguascalientes (MEX), 46.273km

The men’s UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot is held by Belgian Victor Campenaerts, who covered 55.089 km at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes (Mexico) on 16 April 2019.

ASICS athletes celebrate success across the weekend

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ASICS is celebrating the staggering results of the 34th edition of the ASICS Austrian Women’s Run®. ASICS elite athletes from around the world dominated this year’s podium and top 8. Vicoty Chepngeno (Kenya) took home the title in the 5k race in a winning time of 15:02, while last year’s winner Gladys Chepkurui (Kenya) placed second, 15:05, followed by Miriam Chebet at 15:26.

The podium was followed by Katharina Steinruck (Germany) who achieved a new PB, 15:30. A Vienna local, Julia Mayer (Austria), placed 5th at 15:54.

For most athletes, the footwear of choice was the newly released METASPEED™ + series, an evolution of the METASPEED™ shoes introduced in 2021, or a METASPEED™ + prototype.

18,000 women took to the start line in Vienna, under the motto We Run to Move, including Linda van Aken, Vice President of Running & SportStyle at ASICS Europe. Describing her experience she said: “It’s inspiring to see so many women come together and experience the positive impact of movement. The atmosphere along the race route was incredibly uplifting and motivating. At ASICS, we feel humbled and proud to support Europe’s biggest women’s only run. I want to thank the organizers and all the participating women for creating this unique event.”

Eilish McColgan also set a European and British 10km record time of 30:19 at the Great Manchester Run on Sunday, wearing the ASICS METASPEED™ SKY+.

World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships 2023 scheduled in Hamburg

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The World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships will take place in Hamburg from 13 to 16 July 2023. World Triathlon, the German Triathlon Union (DTU) and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg have agreed on this timeframe just over a year before the World Championships.

The Sprint & Relay Championships is a multiple-event programme to be staged in Hamburg. The event includes the World Triathlon Championship Series for the elite athletes, as well as the Junior World Championships, Age-Group Sprint World Championships and the Mixed Relay World Championships for Elites, Junior/U23 and Age-Group categories.

The 2023 Sprint & Relay Championships is expected to attract an estimated 4,000 competitors from all around the world, support teams, officials, family and friends from all over the world. The first edition of this event will take place next June in Montreal (Canada).

Sports Senator Andy Grote said: “The Active City is Germany’s triathlon arena! With the first triathlon in the centre of a major German city, Hamburg thrilled the sports world in 2002 and set standards. Today, Hamburg is a flagship in the international triathlon world with the “World’s Biggest Tri” and has been a continuous venue of the World Series for many years. Next year we will step it up one more time and bring the Triathlon World Championships to the Hanseatic City again after 2007. We are very much looking forward to welcoming the best athletes from all over the world in July 2023 in front of a spectacular city centre backdrop for the big showdown.”

“We are absolutely delighted to return to Hamburg for the 2023 Sprint & Relay Championships,” said Marisol Casado, World Triathlon President and IOC Member. “The Mixed Relay is an event that is and will be linked forever with the city, having hosted our World Championships for so many years. It is also an iconic destination for age-groupers from all over the world. So it made all sense to group them all together in one of our most special events: the Sprint & Relay Championships. We are ready to provide the fans with even more opportunities to enjoy triathlon at its best in Hamburg. The spectators really love it, the venue in the heart of the city is outstanding and the athletes enjoy it so much. We cannot wait to see some more iconic sprint finishes, dives and of course the Hamburg style beer showers.”

DTU President, Martin Engelhardt, said: ““It is great that together with our partners World Triathlon and the City of Hamburg we were able to set a date for next year’s season highlight at an early stage. This gives everyone involved the necessary planning security to host an iconic triathlon event in the Active City Hamburg in 2023. I am already looking forward to experiencing a very special atmosphere, which is unique worldwide thanks to the many thousands of spectators along the courses. The world’s best elite athletes, as well as age group athletes from all over the world, will turn Hamburg into the triathlon Mecca and ensure rousing competitions that will be remembered by all.”

At the 2023 World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships, medals will be awarded in a total of nine competitions. In addition to the elite individual and mixed relay races, junior and age group athletes will also compete for World Championship medals in individual and relay races.

While the junior and age group athletes will compete in the individual sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run), the elite will use the new eliminator format: here, athletes have to qualify for the final over the super sprint distance (300m swim, 7km bike, 1.5km run) via semi-finals or repechages.

To host the World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships, DTU will closely cooperate with IRONMAN Germany.

SCOTT Sports launches SCOTT Travel

Photo credit: Gaudenz Danuser

With the launch of SCOTT Travel, SCOTT combines exclusive sports trips with real brand experiences to provide a unique offering to the brand’s fans and followers.

With the new travel platform, SCOTT now offers its fans and followers the opportunity to book unique and unforgettable experiences in exclusive destinations. The platform and its experiences are open to cyclists, and in the future will also have offerings for winter sports enthusiasts and trail runners. SCOTT Travel was created in collaboration with Globetrotter Travel Service AG and associated tour operators as well as SCOTT test centres and long-term partners of the brand.

“With SCOTT Travel, we connect our consumers with the brand, and create opportunities to experience things which our fans only know from storytelling projects such as Chasing Trail, Trail E-Xplorer, The Escape or Freedom To Explore,” says Reto Aeschbacher, CMO of SCOTT.

“Outdoor activities, travelling and exclusive experiences are high up on our clienteles’ agenda, and we see this in both our summer and winter sports. Brand Experience has always been an important pillar of our marketing strategy. SCOTT Travel offers amazing opportunities here to increase the connection and engagement with our brand but also with regards to our broader product range, for both new and existing fans.”

These experiences will be offered in exclusive destinations: Cape Verde, Dolomites, Portugal, Engadin, Aosta – a small selection of the existing SCOTT Travel destinations that reads like a bucket list for cyclists.

It’s all about the good times – SCOTT Travel will offer unique experiences, in exclusive destinations.

Whether on guided MTB tours chasing the famous trails of the legendary Cape Epic in South Africa, shuttled trips in the Italian Aosta Valley around Mont Blanc or individual Bike & Surf Camps in the North of Portugal, the range of SCOTT Travel experiences on offer is as diverse as it is exotic. However, one thing always remains: “It’s about offering the local touch of the destinations and enjoying great times alongside like-minded people. With this new platform, we will certainly create exclusive brand experiences – this is today more important than ever,” Aeschbacher explains.

All trips have been put together in collaboration with ambassadors or locally based SCOTT experts to offer first-class experiences in the best cycling spots in the world. One of the most notable supporters, bike legend Thomas Frischknecht, the Team Manager of Olympic Champion Nino Schurter’s SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing Team, will give mountain bikers an insight into the Engadin’s hidden trails in one of Switzerland’s most stunning regions during a three-day trip in early September.
Visit SCOTT Travel

Three different categories can be chosen under the SCOTT Travel offer: Trail, Explore and Performance. In each of the three categories, road cyclists, mountain bikers or gravel enthusiasts can book a variety of packages, both in European and exotic destinations. Each package includes the possibility to test or rent SCOTT bikes and equipment.

SCOTT Travel currently works with 12 travel partners: “In the near future, we want to expand the SCOTT Travel offer, both in terms of destinations and disciplines”, Aeschbacher adds. “For decades, many destinations and test centres around the world have been working with SCOTT – this is an excellent network to further expand what we will be able to offer.”

www.scott-sports.com

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, officially starts the Hackney Half 2022

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This weekend saw Hackney Moves, the UK’s largest Outdoor Fitness Festival, return to Hackney Marshes with over 50,000 festival-goers across the weekend. The two-day celebration of movement and creative culture included an epic line-up of free entertainment, sports & fitness activities as well as a guest appearance from Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who officially started the Hackney Half marathon 2022.

In his welcome speech, Sadiq Khan said, “This is officially the hippest, coolest Half Marathon in the world. Thank you all for raising tens of thousands of pounds for some really worthy charities.”

The Mayor of London was joined by Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, who added, “So happy to see people back running, supporting and representing on the streets of Hackney at the Hackney Half marathon.”

At 9am on Sunday, runners including London run clubs such as Run Dem Crew hit the buzzing 13.1 mile route down Mare Street through a carnival of sound, past the iconic Town Hall, along Broadway Market, through arty Hackney Wick and over the finish line on Hackney Marshes.

The 2022 Hackney Half Marathon was won by Sam Bramwell (male winner) and Rebecca Bunting (female winner) with times of 01:09:17 and 01:19:13 respectively.

Male Winner Sam said of his time: “That was probably the best experience of my life. The support, cheering, drumming and music was unbelievable. My first Hackney Half, I didn’t know it was going to be that good! I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.”

Female Hackney Half Marathon 2022 winner, Rebecca added, “Amazing race. So nice to come back to Hackney! I did the inaugural race eight years ago and I’ve always wanted to come back. Such a great event!”

James Robinson, MD LimeLight Sports Club, said, “We’ve watched over 50,000 people return to the marshes this year, and what a spectacle it’s been. Hackney Moves is a cultural celebration of sporting achievements no matter how big or small, from grassroots level up we’re proud to embrace this diverse group of fitness fans and can’t wait to see what 2023 holds.”

Tickets for Hackney Moves 2023 are now on sale here.

2023 UCI Cycling World Championships: Fort William to host mountain bike downhill competitions

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The organisers of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships have revealed that the event’s mountain bike downhill competitions will take place at Nevis Range in Fort William.

The iconic venue is the eighth location to be announced as a host of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland from 3 to 13 August 2023. It is the third venue announced outside Glasgow, after Dumfries & Galloway for the para-cycling road competitions and Stirling for the road time trials.

Located in the Scottish Highlands, Fort William has a long history of welcoming elite competition, having hosted the 2007 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships as well as rounds of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup annually since 2002. Today’s announcement was made during the fifth round of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup taking place in Fort William.

Additional venues and locations for the different UCI World Championships included in the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will be confirmed in the coming weeks and months.

Six world leads plus five British wins as Müller Birmingham Diamond League sets tone for summer

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BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 21: Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain competes in the Women's 800m during Muller Birmingham Diamond League, part of the 2022 Diamond League series at Alexander Stadium on May 21, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond - British Athletics/British Athletics via Getty Images )

British athletes shone at their home Müller Birmingham Diamond League as Laura Muir, Dina Asher-Smith, Matt Hudson-Smith, Keely Hodgkinson and the women’s 4x100m relay took victory while there were also six world leads set at an impressively renovated Alexander Stadium.

Olympic silver medallist Hodgkinson (GBR), in her first race back from injury picked up in March, was an extremely comfortable winner of the women’s 800m to cap a fine British day after Muir (GBR), returning after her own setback, did the same in the women’s 1500m to kick start a quintet of wins.

Asher-Smith (GBR) held strong in the women’s 100m – and was impressive as the British women set a world lead in the 4x100m relay – and Birmingham’s own Hudson-Smith (GBR) also immoveable in the men’s 400m. Malaika Mihambo (GER), Dawit Seyaum (ETH), Hansle Parchment (JAM), Sandi Morris (USA) and Kristjan Ceh (SLO) were equally impressive as they set world leads at the second Diamond League of 2022, the latter also smashing a national, Diamond League and meeting record.

Mihambo jumped 7.09m in the women’s long jump, Seyaum surged clear to clock 14:47.55 in the women’s 5000m, Ceh threw 71.27m in the men’s discus while Parchment was supremely impressive in the 110m hurdles with victory in 13.09.

Canada had a quartet of winners thanks to Marco Arop in the men’s 800m, Aaron Brown in the men’s 100m, Django Lovett in the men’s high jump and the men’s 4x100m relay while World Championship hosts the USA had a hat-trick thanks to Dalilah Muhammad in the women’s 400m hurdles, Valarie Allman in the women’s discus and Morris’ 4.73m world lead in the women’s pole vault.

Paralympic champions Thomas Young, Sophie Hahn and Hannah Cockroft (all GBR) all also enjoyed wins on their own track in Birmingham, which in just over two months will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Ceh was arguably the performer of the day in the men’s discus as he toppled a multitude of records with a third-round best of 71.27m. He went within a centimetre of the previous world lead with a 69.10 second up before that huge 71.27m which also set a Slovenian record, a Diamond League record and a meeting record.

The 23-year-old would win the three-way battle in the sixth round as well after a throw of 65.28m. Andrius Gudzius (LTU) battled to keep with Ceh and was second with a best of 66.40m while Olympic champion Daniel Stahl (SWE) was third with 65.97m.

Ceh said: “That was totally unexpected – to get a world lead, national record, meeting record and Diamond League record is amazing. In the warm-up I wasn’t in great shape, I missed all my throws and they all went to the left but once the competition started it all came together.

“This is my first goal of the season – to get a PB so now I need to raise the bar of my goals. I have a few more competitions, all the Diamond League events plus some in Slovenia throughout the season but the World Championships are my focus.”

Mihambo and Seyaum’s world leads came very closely together with the Olympic, world and European champion from Germany growing nicely through the rounds of the women’s long jump to finish top after five rounds and the sixth-round final three.

Mihambo responded to Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk’s (UKR) second round 6.66m to jump 6.78m in the third and a winning – and world lead – 7.09m in the fourth. Mihambo, Bekh-Romanchuk and Lorraine Ugen (GBR) were the final three and the German won with a 7.06m.

World heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR) also took part in the women’s long jump, finishing with a best of 6.41m, while Mihambo said: “It was really good. It was my season opener so I didn’t have too much expectation. I was really, really happy with it.

“I’m feeling really happy because it seems like we’re on the right way. I have had some struggles with my approach for the last two years so it’s nice to be back now and I feel at least as good as 2019 when I dominated. I think it’s a really good start and I’m really looking forward to the next competition.”

Olympic champion Parchment admitted to expecting a Games atmosphere in Birmingham in the pre-event press conference and he would have relished his victory in the men’s 110m hurdles as he was near faultless to win in 13.09.

That bettered the world lead by 0.01 while compatriot Omar McLeod (JAM) would rue an unfortunate mistake halfway through and settled for second in 13.17. Former world indoor champion Andrew Pozzi (GBR) was fifth.

Parchment said: “As Olympic champion I do not feel any pressure. I just tried to execute my own race but also to feel less tense and help others to relax. I am pleased with a world lead but it is very early in the season so you can’t read too much into at the moment.

“It was a great turnout here, more than I expected, and there will be even more here at the Commonwealth Games with perhaps more Jamaicans making some noise and bringing their own vibes.”

Seyaum showed her class in the women’s 5000m as Ethiopia claimed an impressive one-two-three. She enjoyed a fine indoor season and was back setting a world lead – and a meeting record – in Birmingham, pulling clear in the final stages to win in 14:47.55.

Conditions were arguably suited for the longer distance events, and such was Seyaum’s run she was almost 90 seconds ahead of Hawi Feysa (ETH) in second in 14:48.94 while Fantu Worku (ETH) was third in 14:49.64. Jessica Judd (GBR) the recent British 10,000m champion ran an excellent personal best of 14:57.19 for sixth.

Morris really shone in the women’s pole vault, bettering her own world lead set nine days ago in Puerto Rico. An all-new challenge at the Alexander Stadium with the pole vault runway and bed moved, Morris hit her stride to finish at 4.73m, one centimetre better than on May 12.

Her card wasn’t clean but consistency was key as she jumped 4.73m at the third attempt before trying at 4.81m. Katerina Stefanidi (GRE) was joint second with Tina Sutej (SLO) at 4.65m while Sophie Cook (GBR) set a personal best of 4.45m for fourth. Olympic bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw (GBR) unfortunately failed to record a height.

Muir kicked started the five British victories in the women’s 1500m in a style that she is so famous for – much to the delight of home crowd. She hit the front after the pacemaker dropped out but was kept honest with Jessica Hull (AUS) lingering on her shoulder.

As the pair entered the final 150m it was still all to play for as Hull continued to stalk, but she couldn’t keep up with the Olympic silver medallist’s kick and grit as Muir powered down a noisy home straight to win in 4:02.81.

It is Muir’s first race of the summer as she recovers from a back injury and she said: “To come here and win in my first race of the season I am really, really happy. The win was more important than the time in my first race especially as it was quite windy out there.

“It was solid and running from the front too. There were no natural front runners in the race so I thought I needed to be prepared to take it out. I am looking forward to getting my first sub 4 [minute run] this year.”

Asher-Smith would follow in Muir’s footsteps in a highly competitive and equally as close women’s 100m. The world and European champion, in her season opener over 100m, underlined her class as she beat a fast-finishing Shericka Jackson (JAM) to win in 11.11.

Very much aware it was her season opener, Asher-Smith, who placed third in the 200m at the Doha Diamond League, was pleased with her performance in a race that saw compatriot Daryll Neita (GBR) finish third in 11.14. Gabrielle Thomas (USA), who chose to run the women’s 100m B race and won, was fifth.

“It was good. It is my first 100m this season, we’re easing our way into it,” said Asher-Smith, who combined with Beth Dobbin, Imani-Lara Lansiquot and Neita to impressively clock a world lead of 42.29 in the women’s 4x100m relay, the last leg runner leaving plenty to come for the summer.

“It was a very strong field. I could have done a few things differently if I am being picky. I am happy with that time, happy with win in this temperature and this kind of field. It was such a strong field and we are going to have a strong field next week [at the next Diamond League in USA].

“But being British, I wanted to come here, come to Birmingham to this beautiful new stadium, and put on a show. When the other girls are three of four races down you hope your opener is sharp enough to beat everybody and it just was, so all good.”

On a great afternoon for British athletes as the label was ripped off the Alexander Stadium for its biggest event since renovation, Hudson-Smith won the men’s 400m a matter of minutes after Asher-Smith’s own victory.

A Birmingham boy, Hudson-Smith ran an incredibly strong race and didn’t let his own nearest competitor – Bryce Deadmon (USA) – catch him on the home straight. Hudson-Smith pushed through to the line very well to post 45.32 for the win.

Deadmon’s teammate Kahmari Montgomery (USA) was only 0.01 behind for third in 45.52 and Hudson-Smith, who’s fellow Brit Joe Brier (GBR) won the men’s 400m B race, said: “It is everything for me this year. It is my home town, my club, a new stadium and a home Games so I really want it to be my year. Everything is coming together so I am really happy.

“I just wanted the win and then I’ll concentrate on the times. No-one remembers times at champs but you know the winners. I always thought I could come back but it is great to actually prove it.”

Hodgkinson spoke before the race about wanting to lead from the front in the women’s 800m and she did just that. Natoya Goule (JAM) valiantly tried to keep with her but it was also going to be Hodgkinson’s race as she won effortlessly in 1:58.63, her first outing since withdrawing from the World Indoor Championships with a quad injury.

Goule would finish third with Renelle Lamote (FRA) second in 1:59.53 and Hodgkinson, roared home by the Birmingham crowd and with a British winner of the women’s 800m B race in Isabelle Boffey, said: “It felt good out there today, I felt strong and I really enjoyed it. I was pleased with the time for my outdoor opener.

“I could see Goule out the corner of my eye getting close to me on the final straight but I felt in control and was able to wind it up a bit right to the end. The atmosphere was very special with so much support for the British athletes out there.”

Canada also enjoyed multiple wins in Birmingham as Arop (CAN) was too good for the field in the men’s 800m. Arop built a healthy lead going into the home straight to clock 1:45.41 for victory, which immediately followed Brown’s (CAN) in the men’s 100m.

Robert Benjamin (FRA) won a close battle for second place in the men’s 800m in 1:46.22 with Bryce Hoppel (USA) 0.11 behind in third and Jake Wightman (GBR) the best home athlete in fourth a further 0.06 away. Hoppel and Wightman both setting season’s bests like Arop. Ben Pattison (GBR) was a dominant winner of an all-British men’s 800m B race in 1:49.21.

Lovett made it three for Canada as he toppled Olympic champion Gianmarco Tamberi (ITA) in the men’s high jump. Tamberi had fun with the early rounds as he jumped in basketball shorts – a sport he has an outspoken love for – but Lovett got the better of him when it came down to business.

Fellow Olympic finalist Lovett was clean through 2.22m and took two attempts to Tamberi’s one at 2.25m. However when the bar was pushed to 2.28m – a season’s best height for both – Lovett cleared first time while Tamberi missed out. The next height – 2.31m, two centimetres short of the 2022 world lead – would prove just too much.

Canada’s day would end with victory in a men’s 4x100m relay and Arop said: “I did exactly what I planned, I was in race mode and am very happy with the way the race went. I knew coming into the race it wouldn’t be easy.

“We are all fresh at this time of the year, so I tried to stay out of trouble. I did a hard training session the day before the race so wasn´t sure how the body would respond but it turned out pretty well and I am excited going forward.”

Abel Kipsang (KEN) demonstrated why he’s the world’s most in-form athlete in the men’s 1500m as he won a competitive race in Birmingham. Kipsang was leading for much of the final lap, challenging his rivals to overtake him, but none could with his winning time 3:35.15.

Mohamed Katir (ESP) would win a scrap for second in 3:35.62 while Oliver Hoare (AUS) was third in 3:35.76, Michal Rozmys (POL) fourth a tenth behind before Olympic bronze medallist Josh Kerr (GBR) in fifth.

The first Diamond League event on the track was the women’s 400m hurdles and Muhammad (USA) would win in 54.54. Muhammad wasn’t best pleased with the race – which saw Viktoriya Tkachuk (UKR) place second in 55.25, Anna Ryzhykova (UKR) third in 55.37 and Lina Nielsen (GBR) the best Brit in fourth.

In the first of the Diamond League events to finish, Allman (USA) and Sandra Perkovic (CRO) and shared in an element of success in the women’s discus. Allman threw the furthest over the five rounds with a best of 67.85m to take eight Diamond League points.

As Allman, Perkovic and Laulauga Tausaga (USA) entered the sixth round as the top three in that order, the Croatian would throw a season’s best 67.26m to win that particular contest. Allman managed 65.23m while Tausaga fouled.

In the men’s 100m there were two false starts before Brown (CAN), who had earlier raced in the men’s 100m B race without winning, led from gun to tape to reverse his fortunes at the Alexander Stadium.

It was Jeremiah Azu (GBR) who won the men’s 100m B race in 10.19 – shouting ‘don’t blink Azu is coming’ into the camera – with Brown second in 10.23. However, the Canadian would knock 0.10 off in the final.

One of the favourites Trayvon Bromell (USA) was the first to false start before the same fate fell on Zharnel Hughes (GBR). The third start went off clean and Brown, the best out of the blocks, would not be reeled in.

He took victory in 10.13 with Yohan Blake (JAM) second in 10.18 and Brown’s compatriot Jerome Blake (CAN) third while Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (GBR) was the best of the home sprinters, placing fifth in 10.31.

Paralympic champions Young, Hahn and Cockroft (all GBR) gave the home crowd plenty to cheer as the schedule ramped up in Birmingham, all winning competitive races at the Alexander Stadium.

With more Paralympic events at the entire Commonwealth Games later this summer, there was plenty of drama on show as Young and Zac Shaw (GBR) went head-to-head in the men’s ambulant 100m, the race almost too close to call on the line.

Both clocked the same time of 10.95 but Young would take the win. He said: “I knew Zac was going to be there chasing me. He’s a great athlete and a great person and I love racing against him.

“Of course, winning is always nice but I’m just really happy to come here to this brand-new fantastic stadium get the win. It’s amazing to have para athletics at the Diamond League so a huge thank you to the organisers and British Athletics.”

Like Thomas, Cockroft underlined the importance of not just the inclusion of Paralympic events at the Müller Birmingham Diamond League but the mixed nature of the races after she won the women’s 400m wheelchair race.

Cockroft clocked 57.45 to win ahead of Mel Woods (GBR) and she said: “I actually felt quite nervous which is odd as I race with these girls every weekend but there was such a big crowd.

“I am so grateful for everyone for coming. After the silence of Tokyo it is so good to see and hear the crowd and they are very loud here. It is very important for me to race with different categories to challenge me and keep me focussed.”

Like Thomas, fellow Paralympic champion Hahn took time off her season’s best as she won the women’s 100m ambulant race in 12.81. Olivia Breen and Sophie Kamlish (both GBR) placed second and third.

The mixed F55/57 seated shot was the first event to official open the biggest major event at the Alexander Stadium since it’s impressive renovation for the Commonwealth Games – and Adam Donnachie (GBR) earned his place in history by winning with a best effort of 7.85m.

The men’s 800m wheelchair race was also a competitive one as Nathan Maguire beat Danny Sidbury (both GBR) by 0.22. Both spent the early spring racing in the UAE and Maguire would cross the line first in 1:48.32.

It was a special day for Robbie Grabarz (GBR) as he received his Olympic high jump silver medal from London 2012 and Zoey Clark (GBR) acknowledged the presentation as helping her on her way to victory in the women’s 400m.

Clark dominated an all-British final, finishing in a season’s best 51.88, 0.69 ahead of Ama Pipi (GBR), and the Scottish sprinter said: “The track felt nice but my goodness to have a crowd again felt wonderful. The atmosphere was unreal. To have Robbie get his medal just before gave me such a boost so I felt great as I started.

“I have not had the best preparation this week, so I just wanted to execute the race well which I think I did. I am going to have a couple of weeks off to recover now then get back to solid training and hope to sneak in a couple of 100 and 200m races in to work on my speed.”

William Battershill (GBR) was also a winner in Birmingham, taking the men’s 3000m steeplechase in a season’s best 8:36.56 while Daniel Jarvis (GBR) also deserves a note for his personal best of 8:37.58 in second.

Top road runners set to make their trail debut in Mozart 100

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Over 2,000 runners from 60 nations are set to race at the 10th edition of Mozart 100 by UTMB® next month. Amongst them will be elite road runner Karl Aumayr who won the national Marathon Championship in 2015 with a personal best of 2:23 hours. Karl Aumayr will be looking to challenge the ultra trail elite in the pinnacle event ‘mozart 100’ which is 105 km, +/- 5,000 meters in altitude.

Aumayr said: “I only started trail running last year, and that’s when I came to realise that trail running is not just a sport, it’s a passion. It is an attitude that one has. It is the commitment to nature and the connection with one’s environment. With every step you take, you are a part of the world – and it is this passion and this realization that you share with everyone else at the start. Without competition, without envy. This is an enormously valuable feeling, especially in this day and age, and one that you can count yourself lucky to have.”

Four professional Ethiopian road runners will be tying up their trail shoes for the first time in the Mozart Marathon. The two male athletes Melaku Mosisa Baysa and Mezgebu Alemu both have half marathon bests of 1:04 hours. In the women’s field, Addisalem Sleshi Alemu who has a half marathon best of 1:19 hours will also be making her trail debut and will race amongst her country fellow Nehil Gezahagn Chali.

Also set to join the Mozart 100 start line in a month will be German ultrarunner Florian Neuschwander. Whilst Neuschwander is no stranger to the trails, this will be the first time he is racing Mozart 100. Apart from several victories in ultra-trails, Florian Neuschwander is also the current world record holder over 100 km on the treadmill in 6:26:42 hours.

Professional German triathlete, Fabian Rahn will also celebrate his trail debut in Salzburg. With podiums finishers at IRONMAN UK (3rd in 2018) and IRONMAN Wales (3rd in 2019), and a personal best of 8:20 hours he is highly motivated: “Last year I decided to hang up my triathlon career. I am now 36, so in the best endurance age, and still have some plans in the trail area.”

Athletes have a choice of 9 different races to choose from, including a 9km team trail run, through to the pinnacle event of Mozart 100 by UTMB® – ‘Mozart 100’, which is 105km, +/- 5,000 meters in altitude. Whichever distance they choose, participants will be taken on an extraordinary journey along beautiful mountain backdrops and through the breath-taking and fragile landscape of the Salzburger Land.

Whilst over half of participants of this year’s edition are from Austria and Germany (53%), this year also marks the highest number of international athletes flying into Salzburg from the likes of the UK (8%), Poland, Czech Republic and France to take part in the event. 75% of the participants are men, 25% women, with the youngest participant aged 16, and the oldest one 75.

“It’s great to see how popular trail running has become in recent years, and exciting that we now also have professional road runners and triathletes making the transition into trail. We are so proud to be able to welcome more than 2,000 participants from more than 60 nations, which is not only the largest field of starters to date, but also the biggest international athlete field we have ever had,” says Claudia Kolussi, Director Athlete Services, Mozart 100 by UTMB®.

“What’s really unique about this race, is that you can fly straight into the city, and be on the trails an hour later. The beautiful landscape of the Salzburger Land rounds up a perfect blend of culture, art, history, and nature, and we can’t wait to present all of it to our trail running community.”

The diverse trails of the Mozart 100 by UTMB® combine steep climbs and downhill passages and lead the runners through the Salzburger Land both on forest roads and on paved ground. Highlights for the participants are the impressive views of the picturesque Fuschlsee and Wolfgangsee from the mountains Gitzenberg, Zwölferhorn, Schafberg and Nochstein, and the finish line on Kapitelplatz in Salzburg’s old town.

Mozart 100 by UTMB® is part of the UTMB® World Series, which brings together the best races in exceptional locations while surrounding itself by unspoiled nature. A total of 25 events in 16 countries across Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas have been confirmed for the 2022 UTMB World Series®.

This year’s Mozart 100 by UTMB® offers exclusive access to the UTMB® World Series Finals 2023, which will take place in the 20km, 50km and 100km categories of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc in Chamonix, France. All finishers of the UTMB® World Series events receive Running Stones with the amount depending on distance and altitude. One running stone equals one entry in the lottery for the UTMB® World Series Finals.

The trails of Mozart 100 by UTMB® lead the participants through the diversity and beauty of the Salzburger Land and guarantee a unique and unforgettable trail running experience. With nine different competitions, Mozart 100 by UTMB® offers the right distance for every level of experience.

Mozart 100: 105km, +/- 5,000 meters in altitude – the pinnacle event of Mozart 100 by UTMB® and with over 800 registered runners, the competition with the highest number of participants. Mozart 100 starts in the heart of Salzburg’s old town on Kapitelplatz at the foot of Hohensalzburg Fortress. The profiled route leads the participants via Hinterwinkel to the Zwölferhorn, at 1,500m the highest elevation of the competition. The magnificent all-round view of Lake Wolfgang and the Salzburger Land rewards the effort of the ascent. Via St. Gilgen and along the shore of Lake Wolfgang, the runners can expect the second big climb up the Schafberg to the Schafbergalm after about 55km, before heading back towards Fuschl and along the north shore of Lake Fuschl. After 95km it’s time to mobilize your reserves again, because the second last climb up to the Nockstein up to 1,000m follows. Once at the top, the fantastic view of the city of Salzburg will hopefully give the runners a last boost of motivation to tackle the final 10km over the Kapuzinerberg back to the old town of Salzburg with lots of energy, where they will be rewarded with an unforgettable finish and their hard-earned medal. The fastest men complete the course in around 10.5 hours, the fastest woman finished after 13:19.21 hours in last year’s edition. A cut-off time of 22 hours is the maximum time available for all participants to complete the 105km.

Mozart Ultra: 75 km, +/- 4,000 meters in altitude – the second ultra-distance for experienced trail runners and ultra-novices. The mozart Ultra starts in the center of the village Fuschl am See and leads the runners along the same trails as for mozart 100. The fastest men need 8.5 hours, the fastest women 9.5 hours to complete the course.

Mozart Marathon: 41km, + 1,800m/ -1,900m – after mozart 100, the mozart Marathon is the competition with the second highest number of participants of around 400 runners. The start is in St. Gilgen, right on the banks of the beautiful Wolfgangsee, and takes runners to the old town of Salzburg on the same trails as mozart 100 and mozart Ultra. The perfect introduction to the world of trail running for experienced road runners. Despite the many meters of altitude, the fastest men reach the finish line in about 3.5 hours, the fastest women in about 4.5 hours.

Mozart Light: 31km, + 1,100m/ -1,300m, starting in Fuschl am See – mozart Half Marathon: 21km, + 750m/ -1,000m, starting in Koppl – mozart City Trail: 9km, +/- 300m, starting in the old town of Salzburg, give all runners have the opportunity to get a first impression of the challenges of trail running.

Team competitions: For all fans of team competitions or for all those who would like to get a taste of the world of trail running, there is also the opportunity to complete the two ultra-distances mozart 100 and mozart Ultra in teams and to share the adventure with friends and colleagues. There is also a team ranking on the mozart City Trail, in which teams of three participants complete the 9 km and the total time of the three team members is added up.

All competitions have one thing in common: a personal adventure awaits through the breath-taking and diverse landscape of the Salzburg region, where you can test your personal limits, leave your comfort zone, and surpass yourself.

“We are overwhelmed to be able to welcome ten times as many participants to our tenth anniversary this year as we did when we held the event for the first time in 2012. In addition, being part of the UTMB® World Series along with some of the most prestigious races in the world makes 2022 a special year for mozart 100 by UTMB®,” says Josef Mayerhofer, Race Director, mozart 100 by UTMB®.

“At this point, a special thanks also goes to the city of Salzburg and the region of Salzburger Land and our partners, without whose support none of this would have been possible. We are doing everything we can to be able to offer an unforgettable event on June 18 and are more than excited to see what the next ten years will bring.”

Registration for the tenth anniversary of the Mozart 100 by UTMB® on June 18, 2022, is still open until June 12 12:00am.

For more information, visit www.mozart100.com

2023 date announced for IRONMAN African Championship

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The IRONMAN African Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 Nelson Mandela Bay are both confirmed to take place on Sunday, March 5, 2023, allowing athletes to make the most of the South African event calendar. The swim course and transition area are also confirmed to be moved back to the original area, Hobie Beach.

“We are excited to announce the changes to the 2023 IRONMAN African Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 Nelson Mandela Bay. The race date is slightly earlier than normal, but we feel this is a more suitable date as it will provide athletes with the best race experience. We’re also really pleased to confirm that the swim and transition area will move back to where it all first began for IRONMAN South Africa, in Hobie Beach. Having the swim and transition area in Hobie Beach is better for our spectators as they get to line up on the iconic Pier again, thus bringing back that electric atmosphere at the swim start and course throughout the day.” says Keith Bowler, Regional Managing Director of IRONMAN South Africa.

Since 2021, the IRONMAN African Championship has started and transitioned from Kings Beach, with the finish line remaining at Hobie Beach.

Paul Wolff, Director of Operations for IRONMAN South Africa, explains the reason for the change in venue: “The shift was originally done in order to create more space and expand the number of athletes racing both the IRONMAN African Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 Nelson Mandela Bay. Kings Beach was also the swim course and transition area for the 2018 ISUZU IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship which was a great success. However, after hearing feedback from our athletes, the move back to Hobie Beach will provide the familiar close proximity to transition and the finish line, as well as great spectator spots along the course.”

The 2022 ISUZU IRONMAN African Championship saw athletes from 44 different countries from around the world taking part in the race, cementing the city as an iconic ‘bucket list’ triathlon destination. With over 1, 000 athletes visiting Nelson Mandela Bay for the 2022 edition of the IRONMAN African Championship, local tourism saw an increase including many hotels, bed and breakfast and other establishments having full rooms. The fantastic new Boardwalk Mall made a great addition to the event in 2022 with the first phase being completed in time for the April race. Athletes were able to enjoy the new Mall creating a great buzz around the venue.

2022 saw local Nelson Mandela Bay favourite, Kyle Buckingham taking home the crown in the men’s race and German favourite, Daniela Bleymehl in the women’s race.

General entries to the 2023 IRONMAN African Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 Nelson Mandela Bay will open on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at 11h00 (SAST). After the recent success of the 2022 events, entries are expected to sell fast.

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