Koss Fit Series featuring Olympic Swimmer Dara Torres
Like many runners, I love listening to music when I workout. While I don’t always run with music—leaving them at home for races, track workouts, and busy roads—I’d say I run with them most of the time. I do the bulk of my running in parks, car-free rec paths, and the treadmill.
But I’ve blown through many different earbuds for running—earbuds that don’t fit or constantly pop out, earbuds with clips that hurt or tug on my ears, earbuds that soak up my sweat and stop working, getting crackly or cutting in and out. I’ve never fallen in love with a pair of earbuds for running or included them in my annual gear roundup—until now.
Enter Koss FitClips and FitBuds, headphones made for women, by women in five fun colors and two styles. I stumbled upon the Koss Fit Series at a press event for a different product. But after trying each of the FitClips and FitBuds, it was love.
The FitBuds are just six millimeters in diameter, 33 percent smaller than most Koss earbuds. With three included ear cushion sizes, Koss’s earbuds for running fit my ears perfectly and stay put during sweaty runs.
Plus, they’re comfortable. I barely notice they’re there, even the clips around my ears. The key? A soft and very flexible clip that hugs in the right places and doesn’t squeeze where it shouldn’t. And they’re super light too with a sweat resistant coating.
Once I got the Koss FitClips and FitBuds, I handed my old black and red headphones to my husband with a, “Here. You can have these.” FitClips are it for me now!
Giveaway: Koss FitBuds and FitClips Earbuds For Running
I’m excited to give away two sets of Koss earbuds for running, courtesy of Koss. Two winners will each get both the Koss FitClips and Koss FitBuds, which each retail for $29.99.
The giveaway is open now until 9 a.m. Eastern on Friday, February 6. Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below! Enter via the options you want and skip the ones you don’t. You get one entry for each. Read the rest of this entry →
Runners, get ready! Registration for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half 2015 opens Wednesday, January 21 at 12 p.m. EST. Race day is Saturday, May 16 at 7 a.m. In 2014, this race sold out inside of 48 hours. So if you want in, make sure to register sooner than later.
The Brooklyn Half Finish (Photo: nyrr_ontherun/Instagram)
The Brooklyn Half is one of my favorite races of the year. The last two years I hosted a special episode of NYRR’s “On The Run” on ABC in New York, and I’ve run the half-marathon in years prior. (I now freelance for NYRR as a race announcer.)
The Brooklyn Half is now the largest 13.1-mile race in the U.S. with 25,642 finishers in 2014, and NYRR is promising an even bigger crowd for 2015.
Part of NYRR’s Five Borough Series, the race starts outside the Brooklyn Museum and takes runners through Grand Army Plaza and Prospect Park to finish on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Read the rest of this entry →
50,266 finishers in 2013
#1 in the U.S. and #1 in the world Next race: November 1, 2015 Registration: Lottery open now until February 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Drawing is March 3, 2015. Charity entries will become available in March through most groups. Entry via Team For Kids available now. Entry via International Travel Partners will also be available. Half Marathon? No
23,380 finishers in 2013
#3 in the U.S. and #8 in the world Next Race: October 25, 2015 Registration: Lottery opens March 13-22, 2015. Selected runners will be notified on March 25. Charity entries will available. Bib transfers will also be available. Half Marathon? No
22,064 finishers in 2013
#4 in the U.S. and #9 in the world Next Race: December 13, 2015 Registration: Open now for Hawaii residents. Opens January 19 for U.S. and Canadian residents. Not a lottery and no field cap, so it doesn’t sell out. Half Marathon? No
20,734 finishers in 2013
#5 in the U.S. and #10 in the world Next Race: January 10, 2016 Registration: Opens April 28, 2015. Not a lottery, but the 2014 race sold out in August in just under four months. Half Marathon? Yes. Registration opens at the same time as the marathon. Run both and get a special medal for completing Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. Read the rest of this entry →
The new Star Wars-themed race weekend includes the title Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K, runDisney Kids Races and the two-day Star Wars Rebel Challenge, where runners complete the 10K and half-marathon on back-to-back days. All told 23,000 runners are scheduled to take part in the races, with many of them registered for multiple events.
Runners earn finisher medals themed to the franchise, with characters from the movies appearing along the course.
Here’s a look at runDisney’s newest race weekend by the numbers.
Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend By The Numbers
209,000—runners who take part in runDisney events each year
28,950—registrations for the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend
Angela Brito of Ecuador is the first female at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon. (Preston Mack/Disney, photographer)
The Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 Weekend presented by Cigna from January 7-11 at Walt Disney World in Florida wraps up Sunday with the title event, a 26.2-mile tour of Mickey Mouse’s realm.
The medal haul from the Dopey Challenge. (Photo: runDisney)
The four-day extravaganza is the largest running festival in the U.S. with 84,150 registrations and an estimated 65,000 finishers in the weekend’s five events: Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K, Walt Disney World 5K and runDisney Kids Races.
Here’s a look at Mickey Mouse’s favorite race by the numbers.
Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 By The Numbers
209,000—runners who take part in runDisney events each year
84,150—registrations for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
Do you want adventure in the great wide somewhere? Do you want it more than you can tell? You might be a Belle!
One year ago today, I put together this Belle running costume for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. Over the last two years, I’ve run every race at that event—the marathon in 2013 and the 5K, 10K and half-marathon in 2014—and in costume too.
I wore Belle’s blue “provincial” dress at the inaugural Walt Disney World 10K. Apart from Aladdin‘s Jasmine, this might be the most basic of all the costumes I’ve made. It also might be the most sewing I’ve ever done. That said, it was all hand-stitched in one evening and I have zero sewing skills. I mean, I never even took home economic. If I can do it, anyone can.
But I also chose this costume because it’s really easy to run in. If you have brown or auburn hair like me, no wig is necessary. In this look, Belle’s hair is pulled back, which I prefer when I run. And if you forgo a basket and book, this costume doesn’t need any props. It was made for running.
How To Make A “Beauty & The Beast” Blue Belle Running Costume
Gather all the pieces for the costume. The sewing tools I used were:
After the Walt Disney World 10K (Photo: MarathonFoto.com)
1. Needle and thread
2. Safety pins
The costume items I used are:
1. Sparkle skirt
2. Blue shorts
3. Old pillowcase for apron
4. Ribbon for apron
5. Sparkle fabric for shirt
6. Old T-shirt for blouse
7. Sparkle Sleeves (It was SO hot and humid on race day, I ended up not wearing them)
We’re now one week into 2015, which means I should set some running New Year’s resolutions!
I wrote 10 Running Goals You Should Make for 2015 for SHAPE.com, a collection of resolutions that will make you a healthier and happier runner. Some of them I’m already good at doing, like “Work Hard, Play Hard“—pairing hard-lined PR goals with ones that are more fun, like taking a runcation. Others, I need to work on, like “Prioritize Injury Prevention“—I could certainly be better about dynamic warm-ups, strength training, rolling, and other preventative measures.
So here’s a look at how I did with my personal goals in 2014 and how I’m going to tweak them for 2015. As always, I want to build on my successes and learn from my failures.
New Year’s Resolutions For 2014 Analyzed and Tweaked For 2015
Chasing Cinderella (Phil Hospod)
1) 2014: Get even faster
I make this goal every year. I finished my very first race, a 4-miler, at an 11:34 pace. Now, almost eight years later, I run a 5K at a 7:59 pace. I’ve gotten much faster over the years. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that.
How’d I do in 2014? So-so at this one. I nabbed three PRs: 8K/5-mile road, 10K road, and ITU Sprint Distance Triathlon.
Why do I say that’s so-so? I still have 8K and 10K track times that are faster. The IAAF and USATF log track and road records separately, so I do too. That said, track records tend to be faster than road ones. The track is a nice flat, predictable surface. The road is not. My 8K PR was set on a hot, muggy day whereas the track PR was on a nice, cool fall day. So I’ll take it. Same with my 10K PR. I set it during the same fall track workout as my 8K, whereas my new road PR was the first half of the hilly Staten Island Half Marathon. So, all in all, I’m happy with both of those.
As for my triathlon PR, I was deliriously happy with that. It was the second time I’ve raced an ITU Sprint Distance course and I walloped my swim, bike, and run times. OK, so maybe I did get faster in 2014.
2015: Run tempos
This year, rather than focusing on PRs, I’m going to focus on faster overall paces in targeted workouts. I’m excellent at the easy run, and those will remain just that—easy. But what I’m not great at are tempo runs. I don’t do them, and it reflects in my racing. So for 2015 my “Get even faster” will be dedicated to hitting those tempo paces, which will hopefully pay off on race day. Read the rest of this entry →
The 2015 Retro Mickey and Minnie shoes (runDisney)
UPDATE 1/14/15: Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend
Runners can sign up at nbvirtualqueue.com using their bib numbers starting at 6 a.m. Thursday, January 15 for an early chance to buy the shoes at the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo. Everyone else (and runners too) can sign up at 6 a.m. on Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17. The queue is first come, first served. Scroll down for more info on buying the New Balance Disney running shoes.
2015 Disney Running Shoes Unveiled
The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna from January 7-11 is just around the corner, which means the arrival of the 2015 New Balance Disney running shoes!
2015 Retro Minnie Shoes (runDisney)
New Balance announced they’re releasing a new limited edition runDisney shoe for 2015: Retro Mickey and Retro Minnie 990v3 inspired by Steamboat Willie, the black and white film that introduced the iconic mice to the world in 1928. The new pairs of kicks (above) debut at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo starting January 7.
The black and white shoes in men’s sizes ranging from 7 to 15, and grey and white in women’s sizes ranging from 5.5 to 12, have musical notes on the front sole, images of Mickey and Minnie, character signatures and Mickey heads on the liners. They will sell for $185. Check out a 360 degree view of the shoes and scroll to find out how to buy them.
The 2014 shoes
2014 Disney Running Shoes Return
Didn’t get your hands on any of the 2014 shoes? Not to worry! New Balance is bringing them back to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna in Florida and Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation from January 15-18 at Disneyland in California. That includes the stability 860v4 Sorcerer Mickey & Pink Minnie Disney running shoes and the neutral 890v4 Goofy & Cinderella Disney running shoes.
How To Buy New Balance Disney Running Shoes in 2015
Want to snap up a pair of the 2014 or 2015 Disney running shoes? They’re only available at runDisney race expos throughout the year. Your first chance is coming up soon at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
The only way to get a spot to buy the shoes is through NBvirtualqueue.com. At Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, two of the four expo sales days are reserved exclusively for runners, with the general public able to make an appointment to buy shoes during the other two days. Read the rest of this entry →
Running in some of my favorite gear of the year. (Phil Hospod)
Christmas is right around the corner and New Year’s isn’t far behind. Putting together a wish list for your running resolutions? Still need a gift? Here is my favorite running gear of 2014.
The products on this list are the best clothes, gadgets and running gear that I’ve tried this year. There are more than 50 items from more than 25 brands. For every item here, I’ve sampled another two or three things that didn’t make the cut, including products in every category. Companies send me loads of samples, many unsolicited, and I often receive products in swag bags at races and events. So I didn’t buy anything you see here. I also don’t keep most of what I receive.
But if it’s on this list, I officially own it and love it—I don’t list anything I haven’t used myself. In clothing, I’ve tried the women’s versions, but many come in men’s options too. And I’ve included the list prices, though you’ll find many items for less than that.
Also, if it’s been in a past gift or gear guide of mine, I didn’t include it here. But many of the products I highlighted in the days of yore are still available. So here are my gift guides from 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2009.
Bia is a new two-piece device consisting of an ultra-light, slim wrist piece paired with a GPS “Go Stick” that clips onto your top, waist-band, visor or anywhere else you want to wear it. The Go Stick is the brains of the operation with an SOS safety alert, fast-connecting GPS, automatic uploads to your training log, and multi-sport functionality.
Run, swim, bike or do all three in one workout. And with live tracking, your friends and family can follow you on race-day or when you’re along in a remote area. I tested it while I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, and it worked wonderfully. Best of all, Bia comes in six fun colors. I have it in purple. Stay tuned for my full review.
Are you looking for a small, simple, and streamlined GPS watch? Look no further than Timex Run x20. In three bright colors plus basic black, this watch is the antidote to the big, bulky, expensive GPS watch with features you never use.
Instead, you get the features you really need: reliable GPS workout timing with speed, pace, and distance; run/walk timer; interval timer; stopwatch; automated pace alerts; night-light; alarm; and water resistance up to 50 meters. The interface and menus are supremely easy to use. Plus, it’s really easy on the eyes.
The Nike+ Fuelband SE is the first fitness tracker that I’ve tried, so I have no basis for comparison. That said, I love it (and I’ve tried a few other watches and gadgets this year that I can’t say the same about).
I work from home, so I don’t take nearly as many steps in my daily “commute” as most folks. In other words, if I’m not running, I barely move from my desk chair. Wearing the Nike+ Fuelband has shown me just how little activity I really have in a day unless I make a conscious effort to get up and move more. Thankfully, the Fuelband reminds me when to move, tracking my steps, Fuelband “points,” calories, and more. It’s motivated me to make my days more active outside of my workouts. That’s a win!
Headphones made for women, by women in five fun colors and two styles—clips or buds. With three different ear cushion sizes to choose from, Koss FitClips fit my ears perfectly and stay put during sweaty runs. The FitBuds do too. Plus, they’re comfortable. I barely notice they’re there, even the around-the-ear clips. And they’re super light too. Once I got these, I handed my old black and red headphones to my husband with a, “Here. You can have these.” FitClips are it for me now! Read the rest of this entry →
Winter is here and it can be hard to stay motivated on cold, snowy, dark-too-early days. But in the last few years, I’ve found that winter is one of my favorite times to train. Where I used to hibernate over the holidays, I’ve grown to love winter runs. Marrying a Canadian will do that to you. Don’t get me wrong: there are few things I hate more than running in 38-degree rain. But I find the mix of cold, brisk outdoors runs and focused treadmill work on a dark evening more invigorating than the summertime equivalent of sweltering, humid outdoor runs or treadmill workouts when it’s bright and sunny, but too hot outside.
So here are a few of my latest stories at SHAPE.com meant to pump you up for winter running, with lots of running tips from experts in the know.
Rocking my run streak in New York City’s Central Park. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
Don’t let frigid temps stop you from getting the most out of a workout! From warm-up exercises to running essentials and how to adjust your stride, follow these 10 running tips to make the most out of your winter run.
Holiday running streaks are popular. I know, I’ve done two myself, logging 46 days in a row at the longest. But running every day certainly isn’t for everyone. Experts explain how to make this winter motivation strategy a healthy—not harmful—habit with key running tips.
I ran a 4-minute negative split at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon to run my fastest 13.1 in more than two years. And I did it after writing this article. These running tips from expert coaches were in my head the entire race. In other words, they really work. I even got a new mantra from it: Last Mile, Fastest Mile. Training your body to start slow will help you finish faster (and happier!) at your next race.
Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot (Photo courtesy of Dallas YMCA)
Ah, Thanksgiving and food. They go together like mashed potatoes and gravy. Thankfully, running and Thanksgiving also go hand-in-Turkey-feathered-hand. Why not earn your dinner at a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot? I ran a PR at a Turkey Trot last year and won an amazing box of cat goodies…even though I don’t own a cat. Hey, always happy to win anything at all.
Or better yet, eat and run at the same time at one of North America’s craziest food-themed races. What’s in it for you? Chocolate martinis, lemonade and beer, and homemade Twinkies, just to name a few things. I picked the cream of the crop for SHAPE.com.
A pair of turkeys at the Buffalo YMCA Turkey Trot (Photo courtesy of Buffalo-Niagara YMCA)
Did you know there are 1,300 Thanksgiving-themed races in the U.S.? It’s the busiest running day of the year thanks to an abundance of Turkey Trots from coast to coast. I picked 10 of the oldest, biggest, and best to add to your bucket list. One of them is older than the Boston Marathon. Two of them give out whole pies at the finish. Yum!
The NYC Pizza Run (Photo courtesy of NYC Pizza Run)
Interested in more than pie and turkey? These races put food front and center, including bacon, chocolate, corn dogs, cupcakes, doughnuts, pizza and more. Yes, you read that right: bacon. You’re welcome.
A Whole New World of running costumes! (Photo: Marathon Foto)
In honor of the 2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, I thought I’d share how I put together an Aladdin and Jasmine running costume for my husband and me. We dressed as the duo at the 2013 race, and had a blast in the process.
Aladdin and Jasmine were definitely the easiest of the running costumes I’ve put together:
Runners, your last chances to buy the 2014 Disney New Balance shoes are here: Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World in Florida from November 7-8, and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland in California from November 14-15.
The procedure for buying the Disney New Balance shoes will be the same for each race. Registered runners have the chance to get an appointment at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo on Friday of each race weekend. The general public can march straight to the expo on Saturday. Runners can also go to the expo on Saturday.
How To Buy Disney New Balance Shoes At Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
Registered runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, November 7 to get an early bird appointment to try on and buy Disney New Balance shoes.
2014 Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Mouse Shoe
You can reserve one style and size through the virtual queue, and pick up to five more pairs at your appointment.
Spectators and other shoppers can buy the Disney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.
After you sign-up, you’ll get a text or e-mail confirming your group letter and a time to return to the expo. Then you’ll get a second notification when it’s time to high-tail it to the expo for your appointment. Head to the New Balance tent to check in near the West Entrance to the Jostens Center. They’ve got a queue that tells you when it’s your turn. Read the rest of this entry →
Looking to change-up your racing calendar? Check out three of my recent stories at SHAPE.com. I picked 10 mile runs, 10 costume races and 10 night runs around the U.S. Many of them aren’t even single race weekends, but running series with multiple events all over the country and the world. So forget long runs, basic black tanks, and early morning alarms. Switch it up with a mile dash, costumed caper or run that finishes after twilight.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon (Courtesy of Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series
Who hates early race morning alarms? I do! So make like Darth Vader and give yourself to the dark side at these runs that go bump in the night. From Disney to the desert, Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Energizer Night Run to Electric Run, glow powder to illuminations, these races—from 5K to 75K, trail and road events, fun runs and more—will keep you up at night. And yes, Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon is on the list—one of my all-time favorite races!
The Chiditarod in Chicago (Photo: Kirstie Shanley)
I loves me a running costume. So I picked 10 top costume races—some of them are multi-race series around the year and the country—where runners get their get-up on. From dashing Disney characters, galloping gorillas and sprinting Santas to centipedes, shopping carts, and barely there underwear, I want to run every single one of these. So many costume ideas… Read the rest of this entry →
I’m not the fastest runner and I’m not the slowest, but I am a running nerd. A journalist by trade, I love to research, read, learn and cogitate. So stick with me. Like all good nerds, I’ll do the homework and share it. But the running is up to you!