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Running In Costumes At Fun Runs And Marathons

Costumes have been a part of the Fairbanks Midnight Sun Run for a long time now.

This year, in the starting line, there was Smokey the Bear, Paul Bunyan, some pirates and running bananas. There were also superheroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and so on. As this is also election year, campaign slogans from Donald Trump were made as pun. A group wore blue, red and white clothing with aprons and cheese graters. Their sign read as “Make America Grate Again”.

One of the intricate costumes was the Nightmare Before Christmas sisters. One was dressed as Jack Skellington with a plaster skull mask, and the other sister was dressed as Sally. They spent weeks creating their costumes. It was also their costumes which were popular among others with the onlookers.

Costumes have been part of other sporting events too but the most common are in running events. These are not only in marathons but also in fun runs where people run either individually or in groups. They all dress up in costumes to win some prizes. For some, it is for them to showcase their own uniquely designed costumes.

Even in the Guinness Book of World Records, there are certain records related to running in costumes. The most common are superheroes from TV Store Online Costumes as inspiration. There is a world record for the fastest marathon dressed as a superhero for females and males. The fastest female time is 2hr 48m 51s by Camille Herron of the US in 2012 when she was dressed as Spiderman. The fastest male time is 2hr 27m 43s by Matt Gunby of the UK last April 2016 when he was dressed as Wonder Woman. Another record is the fastest marathon in a 3 person costume. The record time is 4h 56m 24s, and it was achieved by Heather Smith, Laura Jones and Andy Church (all from UK) in 2015. They were dressed as Woody, Buzz and Jessie from Toy Story.

These are just some examples of the many creative ways costumes are incorporated into sports. With Halloween and New Year’s just around the corner, there are likely more races with costumed runners during this period.

Shadrack Declared As Champion Of Lobatse Mountain Bike Challenge

In the recently concluded 60 kilometer Lobatse mountain bike challenge, Shadrack Motswiri took home the championship. He was able to come out victorious amidst a sea of renowned cyclists as challengers such as Graham Broomhead. Shadrack was able to finish the challenge within 2 minutes and 48 seconds.

It was quite a tight race for the contenders and the 30 year old champion coming from Gaborone Garage. He admitted the hard work he needed to accomplish in order to finish the mountainous terrains and come out on top of Broomhead and Michael Knott who placed second and third in the competition. While Broomhead was able to do it within 3 minutes and 13 seconds, Knott came very close at 3 minutes and 19 seconds.

The 60 kilometer challenge was not an easy one for many of the strong contenders were not able to finish the race due to various circumstances including mechanical failures and over fatigue. The Lobatse mountain bike challenge has other categories such as the 40 kilometer race. For this category, Molokwane Rankgwathi was first to finish while Mokgwe Lebonetse and Mogomotsi Setlhare came as second and third respectively.

There was also a 20 kilometer category for the men which Joshua Bezuidenhout took home the victory along with the second and third placers, Cecil Botha and Barwise Theo. The junior female category, on the other hand, was won by Janine Dutoil while her rivals Mpho Molokwane, second place, and Alta Malherbe, third place, followed suit.

For the women’s open category in the 20 kilometer challenge, the first prize was snatched by Zaheera Essof, second place by Mmabaledi Mosweu and third place by Cariana Herbst. The last category in the mountain bike challenge was the 5 kilometer which includes both junior boys and girls. Lily Malherbe, an 11-year-old, came out to be the best cyclist among her peers in the category.

Among the prizes took home by Shadrack is a new cycling jacket, trophy, medal, certificate and a cash prize. The event was sponsored by Lobatse Town Council as well as Spin city and many other sponsors.

Indian Athletes And 2016 Rio Olympics

There is good news for Indian athletes who will be participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics.  The ministry has decided to double the daily allowance of the national campers so that they can buy good quality dietary supplements. The ministry has also decided to increase the daily allowances of junior athletes to 75% of the amount that will be provided to senior athletes.

According to the ministry order, athletes that will be competing in power games under Category A that includes boxing, taekwondo, weight lifting and throw events will receive Rs700 per day as compared to the previous Rs320 allowance. Athletes under Category B that include sprinters and team events will get Rs400 daily while those qualifying under Category C that includes golf, shooting and archery will be entitled to Rs300 per day.

The ministry has also released a revised list of 14 branded and generic food supplements that will be procured by the Sport Authority of India (SAI). Athletes who prefer branded food supplements that are not available with SAI will have to approach the national federation to make them available. On the other hand, it is the job of SAI to procure the supplements from companies that have been empowered by the government and if they allow the federations to directly purchase food supplements, the ministry runs the risks of increased dope-related issues in the future.

Independent procurement of food supplements for athletes from different companies can be a rather tricky matter. Even if the ministry has made it mandatory that procurement of food supplements should only be made after getting a certificate for safety and WADA compliance, there is no 100% guarantee that supplements are banned substances. The federation might err on this subject because WADA will never accept a plea for a banned substance once it is found in testing. For the record, WADA has conducted random tests in 45 countries to ascertain the quality of food supplements.

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Barcelona Feeling the Effects of Not Having Messi

According to German football legend Lothar Matthaus only Barcelona star Lionel Messi has the realistic claim to win the Ballon d’Or this year. Matthaus who won the honor himself when he was the captain of West Germany’s team to the World Cup in 1990 suggested that no other player besides Messi should be in the running after he has spearheaded Barcelona to four major honors.

Matthaus believes that only one player merits the Ballon d’Or and that is Lionel Messi because he has returned to play at an excellent level for FC Barcelona. Messi has not only won the Champions League but the double in Spain although the titles in Argentina continue to resist him.

Messi’s goals speak for him, for the sheer brilliance of his play and the triumphs he has celebrated with Barcelona. He has extraordinary class and consistently shows the uniqueness of his games. According to Matthaus, he would be surprised if Messi does not win the trophy.

Messi is currently sidelined after an injury. His absence in the games has clearly affected Barcelona because it lost two of the last three La Liga games. It is testament to the greatness of Messi when world-class players like Neymar and Luis Suarez are struggling to combat the opponent.

Enrique is a big favorite as Coach of the Year but the challenge he faces for the remainder of the year is to get Barcelona going again. At the moment, their team is feeling the effects on not having Messi. The team is struggling with form and fitness and they are turning in sloppy showings that are well short of the level they scaled on their way to the treble glory in his debut term.

Various coaches have been unable to get the best from Messi but through Enrique’s management, Messi was able to guide Barcelona to a trio of honors at the end of 2014-2015. It will be a treat to see Messi return to show his remarkable prominence.

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Importance of Tracking the Well-Being and Performance of Athletes

Sports teams pay serious money to their players and they need to have a better system that can look after the player’s well-being and performance levels. Couches do not have much information about their players to work with but with the development of the Viper System, coaches can be provided with all the information about their athlete’s performance.

STATSports’ Viper Pod is a small GPS unit that will be worn by athletes when they are on training and during matches so that data about all aspects of their performance can be collected. Whatever data is collected will be translated into valuable information that is easy for the coaches to understand and act upon. Leading teams immediately saw the value they can gain from the Viper System.

According to Alan Clarke the founder and CEO of company STATSports, tracking the well-being and performance of rugby players during the World Cup is critical because there is little room for error to be successful. Alan has delivered major financial deals and contracts with some of the leading names in sports from Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona and Juventus.

The technology of Viper System is being used by a number of rugby teams who are competing in this year’s Rugby World Cup during training and matches. The technology is also being used by local sports organizations including Ulster Rugby and Irish FA.

According to Alan, working with IRFU during their victorious 2009 Six Nations Campaign, was probably the greatest game changer for the company. Ireland won their first Grand Slam since 1948 and the Triple Crown. This successful partnership with IRFU led to English RFU signing up with STATSports so that they can take full advantage of Alan’s technology at Manchester United.

Working with world class sports organizations means the STATSports must not leave open any potential gaps for competitors to enter the market. Alan knew his company has created a product that other teams cannot ignore like NBA, NFL and MLS teams.

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Should Neymar feel the Pressure to replace Messi?

According to former Lyon star Juninho, Neymar must not put too much pressure on himself to replace the injured Messi for Barcelona. Messi will be missed for two months due to the knee injury during the September 26 victory over Las Palmas. Messi is not expected to return to the games until mid-November even if he has avoided surgery and is progressing pretty well.

Luis Enrique’s side has struggled so far in Messi’s absence and they have narrowly overcome Bayer Leverkusen in the Champion’s League that was held Tuesday before they were beaten 2 – 1 by Sevilla in La Liga during the weekend. However, according to Juninho, Neymar should not bear the responsibility of replacing Messi’s impact at the Catalan club.

Neymar should get the ball, score all the goals and make everything happen and his thoughts should not be about replacing Messi but on winning the games. According to Juninho, Neymar has to take the initiative considering that Messi is not on the field. He has to take the lead so that he can win the games while Messi is recuperating from his injury.

Responsibility is something that Neymar is used to after spending several years as the talisman for his old club Santos as well as Brazil’s football team. However, Juninho thinks that it might be harder for Neymar to repeat the same feats with Barcelona.

At Santos, Neymar was always the center of attention and so with the Brazilian national team. Neymar is used to increased pressure but he has to lead the five-time world champions. Barcelona will be more difficult but Neymar knows that he should be the leader of the team by what he does on the pitch. Nothing will be easy for Neymar because losing their best player is a big challenge. Neymar is supremely gifted but the fact is no one can adequately replace Lionel Messi who hopes that his team can stay in contention until his return to the field.

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