Catching up with the best reads in athletics (Christel Saneh) © Copyright

Weekend reads: the best athletics stories from the past seven days

Start your weekend here, with a round-up of some of the best athletics, running and fitness-related stories from the past seven days.

Athletes are able to show the world who they are with appearance, and the results can be empowering

By Dina Asher-Smith

One of the many things I love about track and field is its powerful history of self-expression, through the aesthetic. In our sport, athletes have long played with their appearance, be that the one-legged leotards of the 1980s, Gail Devers and her nails in the Nineties, Cathy Freeman’s iconic speed suit of Sydney 2000 or the hair and make-up styles that we have seen of late, whether that has been in national colours, or cute little flags painted on athlete’s faces.

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From shattered skull to shattering expectations

Megan Cunningham

Megan Cunningham was dozing off in the back seat of a truck driven by her mother, Denise, en route to a family camping trip in Wyoming in July 2015 when she heard her father suddenly shout “Slow down!” and saw their new camper swing, horrifyingly, around the side of the truck.

And then everything went black.

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How fast can a human run?

Two legs are good. Four legs might be better.

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For women, cross country remains stuck in the mud

In muddy heartlands across England, a battle is raging. It will intensify this weekend at Parliament Hill in north London, where thousands of runners will gather for the Southern Cross Country Main Championships. Men will footslog 15 kilometres of the course and women, eight. It is an indignant example of how cross country - a winter sport which dates back in this country to 1876 - is still stuck in the dark ages when it comes to levelling the playing field for women.

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Running and male suicide: ‘Running almost pushed me over the edge’

When Mark, 26, found out his friend had taken his own life, he turned to running as a coping mechanism.

But it took over - and Mark says he’d “be out running before I even realised I was doing it”.

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The runner’s guide to parenting

Like all parenting – whether it’s about restrictions on TV or eating broccoli – it’s easy to have pre-conceived ideas about what makes a good parent. Then you have your own children and find out it’s not so easy in practice.

It’s no different in sport – especially when your children get involved in the sport that you love.

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Why you shouldn’t worry about whether your glutes are firing

There’s a lot of very convincing-sounding propaganda on the Internet about the importance of having strong glutes, exercises for improving your glute strength, and making sure your glutes are “firing.” But some of this advice, it turns out, is overblown.

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How to turn pro in track & field

Sponsorship contracts are one of the most secretive things in the sport of track & field. Basic details such as their value and length, widely available in major professional sports such as football or basketball, are hidden behind the walls of nondisclosure agreements.

Track & field doesn’t have a draft, and there are no age limits: athletes are free to sign a contract whenever they please. So how does a sponsorhip deal come about? decided to investigate.

Part I: finding an agent
Part II: signing the shoe contract
Part III: case studies of Grant Fisher and Morgan McDonald


Inside Hitomi Niiya's national record with pacer Tsuyoshi Ugachi

"It was important that she have the moment to shine all to herself"

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