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RRW: Track Doubleheader in New York This Weekend



There will be a rare elite-level track doubleheader in New York City this weekend.  On Friday and Saturday, the Dr. Sander Invitational-Columbia Challenge will take place at The Armory in Upper Manhattan.  There will be invitational miles for men and women, an elite 3000m which will include Newbury Park High School athletes Lex Young and Aaron Sahlman, and an invitational women's 800m with Sadi Henderson and Sage Hurta.  On Sunday at Ocean Breeze in Staten Island, the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix will be held, part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour.  Elinor Purrier and Gabriela Debues-Stafford will go head-to-head in the women's 3000m, and Josette Norris is sure to be right on their heels. Bryce Hoppel will face Kyle Langford in the men's 800m, and Millrose Games 3000m winner Geordie Beamish will step down to the mile and face Colby Alexander, Sam Prakel and Johnny Gregorek. U.S. Olympians Cory McGee and Heather MacLean will run the women's mile.

Both meets will have live broadcasts.  The Dr. Sander meet will be carried on-line via usatf.tv (see website for schedule/subscription required).  The New Balance Indoor Grand Prix will be broadcast on NBC (free-to-air) at noon Eastern Time and the broadcast will last two hours.


TOKYO MARATHON TO GO FORWARD - FOR NOW

The Tokyo Marathon, part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, is still scheduled to go forward on Sunday, March 6, potentially bucking a race cancellation trend which has swept through Japanese road running.  Organizers, who said today that the final go/no-go decision was pushed back to February 18, have implemented a "PCR testing for all" scheme to allow the race to go forward in the face of the Omicron wave.  Previously, the race had a "vaccine or test" mandate; now everyone must be tested.  PCR tests are much more sensitive that rapid antigen tests reflecting the heightened concern about rising cases.

Japan's 14-day average of COVID cases is 66 per 100,000 citizens according to data compiled by the New York Times.  That's a lot lower than the United States (108 per 100,000) or Spain (164) where events are proceeding with limited precautions.

The elite field will be limited to Japanese athletes, as Japan's borders remain closed.  The top men are Kengo Suzuki (2:04:56 PB), Hidekazu Hujikata (2:06:26), Kyohei Hosoya (2:06:35), Ryu Takaku (2:06:45), Hiroto Inoue (2:06:47), Yasuke Ogura (2:06:51), Daisuke Uekado (2:06:54), Toshiki Sadakata (2:07:05), and Yuya Yoshida (2:07:05).  The top women are Mao Ichiyama (2:20:29), Hitomi Niiya (debut/1:06:38 half-marathon), Natsuki Omori (2:28:38), Shiho Kaneshige (2:28:51) and Miharu Shimokodo (2:27:54).  Most of Japan's best women will run the Nagoya Women's Marathon on March 13.


PUMA BECOMES AMERICAN TRACK LEAGUE TITLE SPONSOR

The fledgling American Track League, founded by agent Paul Doyle, got a huge boost yesterday when it was announced that Puma had purchased the title sponsorship to the league for three years. Terms were not disclosed.

"This partnership has been years in the making and gives vindication to what we have believed all along, that track and field is a viable sports property that should be able to establish and sustain a massive fan following," Doyle said through a media release.  "When a premium brand such as PUMA aligns themselves with our events, it brings instant credibility and I suspect more brands will follow suit.  Track & field is one of the most beautiful sports. At its core, it is the epitome of performance. The athletes involved are truly the most exceptional athletes in the World. Our job as the premier league in America is to display these athletes in the most entertaining format possible."

The top events of the series will be broadcast via ESPN.  The first event takes place in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, February 12, at 10:00 a.m. (indoors)  More information is available at the American Track League website: https://www.americantrackleague.com/


PENN RELAYS SIGNS ON AS FOOTWEAR AND APPAREL SPONSOR

In a surprising development, On has signed on for a multi-year deal with the Penn Relays as the event's exclusive footwear and apparel sponsor.  The event will take place at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on April 28 - 30.

"When the opportunity to partner with the Penn Relays became a possibility, we were ecstatic," said On's sports marketing manager Steve DeKoker through a media statement.  "So many On employees participated in and even won events at the Penn Relays during their competitive careers in the sport.  To partner with Penn and inspire future generations of runners is an opportunity we couldn't pass up.  We are equally excited to watch our professional athletes compete with the world’s best athletes at historic Franklin Field and stand on the coveted podium."

Relays attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the On brand firsthand at a large pop-up shop in Carnival Village. On will have all the latest apparel and footwear on display for athletes and fans alike to experience the brand's approach to the sport. On's presence, both in Penn Park for athletes and Carnival Village for fans, will be built around celebrating all competitors and creating spaces for teams to be together.


AGENTS OFFERED ROOMS FOR WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Registered athlete representatives looking for accommodations for the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore., can secure a room at the La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Eugene (which is actually located in neighboring Springfield).  According to Google Maps, the hotel is 36-minute walk from Hayward Field using the local network of foot and bicycle paths, and would probably take just 10 minutes via bicycle.  The cost of the rooms is USD 199/night for single occupancy and USD 249 for double occupancy, including breakfast.  A local 12% rooming tax will also be charged.  Only one booking per agency is allowed and there is an 11-night minimum.

Airport shuttle service will be provided, and there will also be shuttle service to the stadium.

Registered representatives can contact Nicola Boyle at CSE at nicola@cseplc.com to book a room or get more information.


RUNSIGNUP RELEASES RUNNING INDUSTRY TRENDS REPORT

RunSignup has released their annual running industry trends report.  The 100-page document is crammed with data gleaned from RunSignup's massive race registration platform which boasts an inventory of nearly 60,000 events.  Some interesting takeaways:

. RunSignup processed 6.4 million event registrations in 2021, up 36% from 2020, but down 13% from 2019 (pre-pandemic)

. 5-K (or shorter) registrations represented the largest share of overall registrations, nearly 60%

. Fall, 2021, registrations were artificially high due to event postponements, with a record 15.3% of events taking place in October alone

. There was significant "event death:" 18% of events from the second half of 2019 did not occur in 2021

A full copy of the report can be found here: https://bit.ly/34wHiLm