Getty Images

Nike picks fitting anniversary weekend for sub-2-hour marathon attempt

1 Comment

Three men will set out to break the 2-hour marathon barrier on the first weekend in May, the 63-year anniversary of Roger Bannister becoming the first person to break 4 minutes in the mile.

Nike announced Tuesday the race window for its special sub-2 marathon attempt, which will take place at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, site of the Italian Grand Prix every September.

Nike chose to announce a target “race window” weekend rather than a specific date. The race is closed to the public but will be live streamed. Bannister broke the 4-minute-mile barrier on May 6, 1954.

Three men, including Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, will take 17 and a half trips around a 1.5-mile loop. The course will be ratified by the IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, but the attempt will not be for an officially sanctioned world record, according to the Guardian, citing a Nike spokesperson.

Nike said the asphalt surface near Milan has ideal temperature (54 degrees average), wind (2.6 miles per hour) and altitude (600 feet above sea level).

“Additionally, skies are typically overcast (minimizing heat load on the runners) and air currents don’t exhibit drastic directional shifts — thanks to the course being perfectly situated off shore and amid many trees,” Nike said in a press release.

The marathon world record is 2:02:57, set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto at the 2014 Berlin Marathon. It took 16 years for the record to descend from 2:06:05 to sub-2:03.

Last month, Nike unveiled a new shoe for the marathon attempt that it says makes runners four percent more efficient. The IAAF said it would discuss if the shoe was legal for official times, according to the Guardian.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Rio Olympic marathon winner fails drug test

Helen Maroulis to miss world championships, eyes still on defending Olympic title

Helen Maroulis
United World Wrestling
Leave a comment

Helen Maroulis, the lone U.S. female wrestler to win an Olympic title, sat out this past weekend’s world team trials, which means she will not compete at the world championships in September.

Maroulis is working her way back from blowing out her right shoulder in a first-round loss at worlds on Oct. 24, after she returned from a concussion. She underwent surgery in November and was cleared to return earlier this spring before tweaking the shoulder again.

Maroulis said Friday she was cleared again to compete at trials but chose rest, recovery and her long-term health given what happened in 2018.

“It’s not coming from a place of fear,” she said. “I’m just not ready yet.

“If trials were end of June, everything would be perfect. I’m still feeling good and confident for 2020.”

As Maroulis stressed at 2018 Worlds, she prioritizes health over wrestling.

“Not just for myself, but to set an example because I get a lot of messages from kids on Instagram — I have a concussion, or my teammate has a concussion.” Maroulis said in October. “There’s this wrestler mindset to just push through — you’re the toughest, find a way to win. But there’s just a lot more to it.”

Maroulis, 27, put together one of the most dominant stretches in sport from 2015-17, going 78-1 overall among three different weight classes and going unscored upon at two world championships.

In between, she beat Saori Yoshida in the Rio Olympic 53kg final, preventing the Japanese legend from a record fourth Olympic title.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Kyle Snyder refuses to dwell on those 68 seconds

Ex-partner of deceased figure skater John Coughlin says she was abused

Getty Images
Leave a comment

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One of the former skating partners of two-time U.S. pairs champion John Coughlin has accused him in a series of social media posts of sexually assaulting her over a 2-year period.

Bridget Namiotka said on Facebook that Coughlin, who died by suicide in January, hurt “at least 10 people including me.” She skated with Coughlin from 2004, when she was 14, through the 2007 season.

Namiotka’s attorney confirmed to The Associated Press that the comments were made by her.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport and U.S. Figure Skating had given Coughlin, who became a coach and TV commentator after his retirement, an interim suspension for unspecified conduct. He was barred from attending events and activities sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Coughlin was found dead Jan. 18 at his father’s home in Kansas City, Missouri.