Year in Review -Biggest Running News from 2016

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In this special end-of-the-year podcast episode we thought we’d round up the biggest marathon related headlines from 2016 and give you a simple snapshot. Here’s what we found.

Top Running Stories

New Records

Ghirmay Ghebreslassie broke away from all other runners to become the youngest ever winner and first Eritrean winner of the New York City Marathon, breaking the tape in 2:07:51.

A record 51,388 finishers crossed the iconic TCS New York City Marathon finish line on Sunday, November 6th. This race seems to get bigger every year!

The Virginia Beach Surf-n-Santa 5 Miler broke the Guinness World Record for largest Santa Run with 5,025 runners dressed up as Santa.

photo credit: Surf-n-Santa 5k

Doyle Carpenter of Tennessee -age 77, won the Endless Mile Ultra in Alabaster, Alabama, by running 149 miles in 48 hours.

Ed Whitlock set a new world record of 3:56:32 for fastest marathon for an 85 year old at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Hear our interview with Ed here.

Lionel Sanders age 28 of Ontario, Canada set a new World Ironman record with a fast marathon split of 2:42:31 (his complete time was 7:44:29) at Ironman Arizona in November.

Michael Wardian set a World Marathon Majors record for accumulative fastest times in one calendar year. He also set the record for fastest marathon in a costume running the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon dressed as Elvis.

Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer set a new Appalachian Trail record (beating Scott Jurek’s previous record) covering 2,190 miles over 14 states in 45 days, 22 hours and 38 minutes.

Pete Kostelnick age 29, broke the record for a trans-continential run (3,067 miles) across the US with a time of 42 days, 6 hours and 30 minutes.

Chaz Davis made his marathon debut at the California International Marathon with a time of 2:31:48. The amazing thing is that he’s been blind since he was a freshman in high school due to a hereditary condition. He competed in Rio at the Para Olympics in the 1500 meters and 5000 meters. His recent marathon time set a new American record for the visually impaired category and would have won gold in Rio had he been competing in the marathon. Read more.

Some Bad News

Several women runners were attacked this year. Three runners named Ally Brueger, Vanessa Marcotte and Karina Vetrano were killed this year after being abducted while out on a run. Another woman, Sherri Papini, was abducted but escaped. Learn more about these tragic stories here. In response there have been several new safety apps and technology developed such as: Wear Safe, bSafe, and Lifeline Response.

An IED exploded at a Marine Charity 5k race in New Jersey on September 17th. The device was hidden inside a garbage can. Thankfully, no one was injured because of a delay in the race start.

IOC Doping Sanctions banning Russian athletes from competing internationally (set in Nov 2015) stayed in place during the Rio Olympics meaning that they could not compete. In a report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) there was evidence of more than 1,000 athletes implicated in an “institutional conspiracy.”

Marathon Majors

The Boston Marathon celebrated 50 years of women running this year. Bobbi Gibb was the unofficial women’s winner in 1966 (women weren’t officially welcomed until 1972). 2016 was also the 120th anniversary of the Boston Marathon.

photo credit: Elise Amendola/AP

Edna Kiplagat has been awarded the Abbott World Marathon Majors title following the decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold the IAAF appeal and therefore confirm that Rita Jeptoo (Kenya) is banned from competition for four years from Oct. 30, 2014, and all her results from April 17, 2014 are annulled. According to the Abbott WMM code of conduct, Jeptoo will receive a lifetime ban from its six Abbott WMM marathons.

Kenenisa Bekele ran 2:03:03 to post the second fastest marathon finish of all time and second fastest at the Berlin Marathon, narrowly missing the world and course record of 2:02:57 run by Dennis Kimetto in 2014. Read our reap of the Berlin Marathon.

The Movie Patriot’s Day based on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings recently premiered. It follows a police officer played by Mark Wahlberg during the events of that tragic day.

Olympic Marathon in Rio

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, won the Gold medal in 2:08:44. Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia won the Silver medal in 2:09:54. Galen Rupp of Team USA won bronze in a personal best time of 2:10:55. Jared Ward (USA) finished sixth.

photo credit: AP Photo/Luca Bruno

Jemima Sumgong became the first Kenyan woman to win the Olympic Marathon (in 2:24:04). Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain took silver (2:24:13) and Mare Dibaba took bronze (2:24:30). All three American women finished in the top 10 in the marathon. Listen to our 2016 interview with Shalane Flanagan.

Other News

Bart Yasso announced that he will retire from Runners World at the end of 2017 after a 30 year career.

Nike Distance Project launched their attempt to break the 2:00 marathon. Read the Runner’s World story here.

Did we miss anything? Tell us about it in the comment section.

Also Mentioned in This Episode . . .

Coach Lynn Grieger just joined the coaching team here at MTA! You will hear her in the quick tip segment of this episode. Coach Lynn is a RRCA Certified Running Coach as well as a Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach. She’s an accomplished runner who has completed a marathon in all 50 States (plus DC!). Learn about MTA Coaching Services here.

Huawei Fit -The first fitness tracker for EVERY BODY. Its sleek and stylish design pairs well with every outfit, so no matter what your workout looks like, the Huawei Fit was made for you.

The Compete Training Journal by professional runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas (published by Velopress). Racing is when you find out what works for you and what holds you back, when you find out how you stack up-and where you want to go next. The Compete Training Journal is a workbook and a workout log for performance runners that will guide experienced competitors like you to deepen all aspects of your mental game for even better performances. First-time customers at can take $10 off using coupon MTA.

Compete Training Journal

2 Responses to Year in Review -Biggest Running News from 2016

  1. Alex Bridgeforth December 29, 2016 at 2:23 am #

    Loved the podcast. One of the other barriers that I thought about while listening to the Quick tip is money. I think doing a half marathon a weekend all year long is pretty feasible physically, its really just being able to afford all the races. I mean there are runners out there that have don 50 marathons in 1 year, but the hard part is the travel and money.

    • Angie Spencer December 29, 2016 at 7:54 am #

      Hi Alex,
      You’re definitely correct that running multiple races can get expensive fast due to travel and accommodations. I’ve heard of some Marathon Maniacs who get very creative to keep costs down by doing things like car pooling, staying with friends or even sleeping in their vehicle. Personally, I like combining a race with a vacation or trip that we were going to take anyway. This requires family cooperation but can be a lot of fun.
      Happy running and racing in 2017! Angie

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