June 28th, 2020
"Mechanical Doping" Investigation Closed
A probe into the use of hidden motors at top level cycling races, conducted by the French police, dropped for lack of evidence.
The investigation, initiated by the French Financial Prosecutor's Office following the detection of an electrical motor in a race bike nearly four years ago, has closed as there were no cases ever since. According to L'Equipe, the prestigious French daily newspaper devoted to sports, the investigators did not question the top management of the International Cycling Union (UCI) but took the statement of Hungarian Istvan Varjas, the self-professed inventor of the tiny hidden motors. However, it is public that all the bicycles that UCI had been scanning against technological frauds by tablets and thermal cameras since 2010 turned out to be “clean” except the single case in 2016.
The allegations about the mechanical doping were first raised in 2010 when the Swiss star Fabian Cancellara was accused of using a motor to win the Paris-Roubaix that year. UCI shortly began pre-race and post-race controls at the global championships, and a spare bike of Belgium's U23 rider Femke Van den Driessche was found to have a motor at the Cyclo-Cross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder in 2016. Although denying any knowledge of the assist motor and a friend of her testified that the bike belonged to him, Van den Driessche was banned from competitions for six years by the UCI.
June 19th, 2020
National Running Calendar Update
Turkish road race organisers are working on determining the dates of their races in autumn. Some events won't be held this year.
The coronavirus outbreak that hit the events all around the world in spring is still an obstacle to announce a final calendar for the fall season. Out of the 168 races that were granted Road Race Labels by the World Athletics, 38 events were postponed, with another 35 cancelled for the year. Not all the organisers who publicised new dates can confirm whether they will eventually be able to hold their races even though they continue with the preparations. The post-pandemic calendar is also drafted in Turkey.
The Mersin Marathon, previously postponed to 25 October, is now cancelled by the Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, the organiser of the event, due to the ongoing health concerns in its first edition with a World Athletics Silver Label. The event will be held in March in 2021 with the Silver Label preserved.
Another spring race, Diyarbakır Sur Half Marathon had been rescheduled to 11 October, however, it is recently moved back to 27th of September in order to serve as the trials for the World Half Marathon Championships to be held on 17 October. The public race planned for the day will be reconsidered depending on the developments on the pandemic.
Also keeping an eye on how the coronavirus progresses, İstanbul Half Marathon, one of the two World Athletics Gold Label Races in Turkey, is getting prepared for its new date 20 September while the second “Gold” event, the İstanbul Marathon is likely to cancel the public run from the programme on 8 November.
May 29th, 2020
Major Decisions On the Line For the Majors
Boston Marathon, one of the “Marathon Majors”, is cancelled, while four others are closely watching the progress of coronavirus.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors, consisting of six of the largest marathons in the world, are having a hard year due to the pandemic affecting the whole world. Tokyo Marathon, the first event of the series in 2020, was held on 1 March, but limited to elite athletes only. Another spring event, the Boston Marathon was postponed from 20 April to 14 September, but it is announced on 28 May that the Boston Mayor cancelled the race as it is not yet “feasible to have a mass participation road running event”. The Boston Athletic Association has announced that the 124th edition of the Boston Marathon will be held as a virtual event.
The London Marathon, moved to 4 October from its traditional date, that is the last Sunday of April, is still in uncertainty. The Race Director issued a statement on 20 May mentioning that it is “not certain if the event can go ahead or, if it can, in what form it can take place”. The next update on the London Marathon is due to 21 June.
It was announced in early May that the Berlin Marathon could not take place on 27 September as planned, with no new date determined. According to what was posted on the event website on 27 May, the fate of this year’s race is still unknown. The Chicago Marathon, scheduled to 11 October, and the New York Marathon to be held on 1 November are continuing their preparations, however, both events advise the registrants to follow the updates as they get closer to the race.
May 18th, 2020
Treadmill Records On Target
With no racing opportunities during the time of coronavirus, ultra-runners keep challenging the treadmill world records at home.
As the races around the globe are cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, some ultra distance runners chose to push their limits on the treadmills at their homes. A few of the “treadmill world records”, which are not ratified by any sports governing body but only included in the Guinness Book of Records, are improved significantly in the period.
Zach Bitter, an ultramarathon runner from the USA, broke the 100-mile (161km) treadmill world record in 12:09:15 on 16 May. The 34-year old cut more than 23 minutes off the previous record of 12:32:26 held by Canadian Dave Proctor. Proctor’s 24-hour treadmill record of 260.4km was also broken by Vito Intini of Italy, who ran 265.2km.
The 50km world record, one of the most contested runs on the treadmill, has been broken twice in the last three months. Germany’s Florian Neuschwander finished in 2:57:25 at the end of February to beat the US runner Mario Mendoza’s world record of 2:59:03. On the 16th of April, Swiss orienteering European and world champion Matthias Kyburz ran a new record time of 2:56:35 while in quarantine. Kyburz averaged 3:30 per kilometre for the full distance, passing the 20km in 1:10:48 and the marathon in 2:29:10.
Another treadmill record in the Guinness Book of Records, the 50-mile (80.4km) set in 4:57:25 by Canadian Jacob Puzey in 2016, remains unbroken to date.
May 16th, 2020
Entries Open For Oceanman
Registration for the Oceanman Open Water Swimming Race in Alanya is in progress. The event was rescheduled to 7-8 November.
Initially planned to be organised in 18 cities in different countries this year, the Turkey stage of the Oceanman championships could not be held on the original dates of 9-10 May due to the coronavirus outbreak while four of the races around the world were cancelled. The races in Alanya on 7-8 November will gather swimmers of all ages. On Saturday, November the 7th, participants of 7 to 14 years of age will be the first group to jump into the water for the Oceankids race over a distance of 500m. Oceankids will be followed by the Oceanteam, a challenge for teams of three members, each to swim 750m. The closing race of the day is the 2km Oceanman Sprint. On Sunday morning, Keykubat and Cleopatra beaches will host the 5km and 10km races in which there will be master classifications up to over 60 years.
The online entry form for the Oceanman Turkey can be accessed at https://trchallenges.com.