Archive for the ‘Ask The Running Nerd’Category

TCS New York City Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

TCS New York City Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

TCS New York City Marathon 2016 race day (Courtesy NYRR)

The TCS New York City Marathon 2016 was the largest 26.2-miler in history with 51,388 runners crossing the finish line on Sunday, November 6. The final finisher count won’t be ready until a full review of all the results, but it will likely top 2014’s final number of 50,530. And it takes a village to put on an event of that magnitude.

I spent nine days emceeing marathon events (I’m a race announcer for New York Road Runners, the organization that puts on the marathon), and in the process learned a lot of trivia about the race. Here’s a look at the TCS New York City Marathon 2016 through some of its glorious stats.

TCS New York City Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

35,000 Marathon ponchos were on hand at the finish. (Courtesy NYRR)

TCS New York City Marathon 2016 By The Numbers


55 finishers in 1970, the first New York City Marathon
51,388 finishers (initial count) in 2016, the largest marathon in history
50,530 finishers in 2014, previously the largest marathon in history
51,995 starters in 2016
1,107,717 starters from 1970 through 2016
1,125,770 finishers from 1970 through 2016 (initial count)
4:38:27 average finish time in 2015


76% runners tackling the New York City Marathon for the first time
58% men
42% women
1,108 runners who completed more than 15 New York City Marathons leading into race day
256 runners celebrating their birthday on marathon day
88 oldest runner
40.6 average age
18 youngest runner
34 miles the average TCS New York City Marathoner runs per week in training Read the rest of this entry →


Nov 2016

Disney Wine and Dine Half 2016 By The Numbers

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

Jason Simpson set a race record at the 2016 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. (runDisney)

The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2016 presented by MISFIT from November 3 to 6 at Walt Disney World in Florida hosted 31,000 runners tackling food-themed races.

The three-day extravaganza featured the new Disney Wine & Dine 10K along with the inaugural Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge, which had runners feasting on the 10K and half-marathon on back-to-back days. The weekend also included Mickey’s Holiday 5K, runDisney Kids Races, the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo, and the weekend’s signature post-race party where Epcot and the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival stayed open into the wee hours for runners and ticket-holders.

Take a look at the numbers behind Disney’s tastiest race weekend.

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

For the first time, the half marathon took place in the morning. (runDisney)

225 million—dishes will served during the 62-day 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

266,000—cups of water given to runners during race weekend

250,000—runners who take part in runDisney events each year

31,000—registered runners for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2016 Weekend 

14,000—runners registered for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

12,651—finishers at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

10,000—runners registered for the Disney Wine & Dine 10K 

9,260—finishers at the Disney Wine & Dine 10K

6,000—runners registered for the Disney Wine & Dine 5K Read the rest of this entry →

17 Ways To Prevent Knee & Running Injuries

17 Ways To Prevent Knee, Foot & Running Injuries

Prevent running injuries with these 17 tips. (

Running injuries are public enemy no. 1. Unfortunately, they happen to most of us. After 10 years as a mythical injury-free runner, I spent a chunk of 2015 sidelined by two different running injuries in the same foot—a stress fracture (that was later downgraded to a bone bruise) and persistent plantar fasciitis.

Now that I’m back on the road and running well—I ran a 10-mile PR in April and my second fastest half-marathon in May—I’m more motivated than ever to keep running injuries away. How? Strength training is key, along with tools like ye olde foam roller, KT Tape, and stretching. I got specific advice from top experts about the most common running injuries and the sneaky ways we injure our knees for

17 Ways To Prevent Knee, Foot & Running Injuries

Running Central Park in NYC (

5 Beginner Running Injuries & How to Dodge ‘Em

From plantar fasciitis to runner’s knee and iliotibial band syndrome to tendonitis, don’t let these common discomforts sideline you.

The five running injuries included here are among the most common that physical therapists see. And no, they’re not just for beginners. I got one after 10 years of running.

Here’s how to avoid and relieve them once they strike. Read the entire story at

17 Ways To Prevent Knee, Foot & Running Injuries

Running Rhode Island (

7 Things You Don’t Realize Are Killing Your Knees

Guess what? Running doesn’t ruin knees! Numerous studies and top docs agree.

What will do your knees in? Injuries from running hills, yoga, boot camp style classes, and even simple lunges—lunges!—where you might get sloppy with your form. Proper technique is key, and so is—you guessed it—strength training.

Avoid these seven common training pitfalls with doctor-approved tips on how to avoid injury for each. Check out more at

Read the rest of this entry →

Ampla Fly Carbon Fiber Running Shoes Review

Ampla Fly Running Shoe Review

The Ampla Fly carbon fiber running shoe. (AMPLA)

AMPLA compensated me for the time it took me to test their product, write about it, and share it on this blog. Compensation I receive from any company is not compensation for my good opinion. I only share products I think readers might find interesting.

Ampla Fly, the first shoes from nascent running company AMPLA, are so far outside the proverbial (shoe)box that I had to try them for myself. I put them to the test on the road and the treadmill.

When I first heard of the new Ampla Fly carbon fiber soled shoes, I assumed they were cycling shoes. Carbon fiber soles are de rigueur in the cycling and triathlon world. Simply, the stiffness of the soles helps transfer more force from your legs to your pedals than a softer material that loses energy when it flexes. The result? You pedal farther and faster with the same amount of effort.

But au contraire mon frère. The Ampla Fly are not cycling shoes. They’re running shoes. Yes, you read that right: carbon fiber running shoes. Predicated on the idea that “Force is your friend,” Ampla Fly aims to use force to train you to become a more efficient runner. They sell for $120 in men’s and women’s sizing and in two colors, red and black. If you want to try a pair, use code RunKarlaRun for 10 percent off at

Ampla Fly Running Shoe Review

The Ampla Fly running shoe collection (AMPLA)

Ampla Fly Design

Why carbon fiber? “When a runner lands on the ground the force can equal upwards of 8x their body weight; we needed a material that could handle that weight, absorb that force and return the energy. Carbon fiber was our only choice.”

Folks not familiar with carbon fiber cycling shoes might worry that a “plate” in the midsole might make them heavy. Worry not. Carbon is both stiff and lightweight. Weighing in at 10.1 oz. in the men’s shoe and 9.8 oz. in the women’s shoe, the Ampla Fly are comparable to the Asics Gel-Nimbus or Brooks Glycerin weight wise.

This isn’t a minimalist shoe; it isn’t a maximalist shoe, but something wholly different. The 4 mm drop might lend itself more toward the minimalist end of the spectrum. But when you consider that drop comes from a 20 mm heel to a 16 mm forefoot, you realize this is an elevated shoe.

The seamless mesh and micro-suede upper are pretty standard. The Ortholite sockliner, EVA sub-sockliner, and EVA Lite top midsole provide a nice, but not overly soft, amount of cushioning.

Ampla Fly Running Shoe Review

Ampla Fly’s design (AMPLA)

The Amply Fly midsole, however, is what makes this shoe unique. The carbon fiber plate stretches the full length of the shoe, sandwiched between the single piece top midsole and EVA foam bottom midsole. But it’s not just a uniform piece. The plate includes a tab or tongue that moves with each footfall—effectively, a spring.

The EVA foam bottom midsole is then split into two pieces to cover the plate. The foam heel is fixed in place to cover the rear of the plate. The foam forefoot covers the toe off and tab of the plate.

What does it all add up to? The design promotes a midfoot strike, gathering the force of your step, and then channeling the energy into your forefoot at push off, AMPLA says.

No, heel striking itself isn’t bad. But studies show that overstriding—often a result of heel striking—might lead to more injuries. That midfoot strike encourages runners to shorten their strides and land with their feet beneath, not way in front of, their bodies.

Does the Ampla Fly work? I slipped them on to find out.

Ampla Fly Running Shoes Review

Karla tries Ampla Fly (

Ampla Fly Performance

Wearing the women’s size 9, I took the Amply Fly on the road and treadmill.

Fit & Feel

First, the toe box is on the snug side. This is a common complaint of mine about many of the running shoes I try, and the Ampla Fly is no exception. Overall, I’d call this a close-to-the-foot fit. The heel is locked in place and ball hugged, even if the toes are a bit squished. Sizing is comparable to Nike or ASICS. Read the rest of this entry →

Happy Global Running Day 2016!

Happy Global Running Day!

Happy Global Running Day!

Happy Global Running Day! Are you one of the more than 2,445,300 (and counting) people in 171 countries who have pledged to run on June 1? Me too!

If you haven’t, get on it! Take the pledge at and find an event near you.

Global Running Day started in 2009 as National Running Day in the U.S. For the first time, it’s expanding into an official world-wide celebration. This year will debut the first Million Kid Run, with the goal of getting kids in on the fun on Global Running Day.

Best of all, there are group runs, activities, and running-industry sales taking place all over the globe from New York to New Zealand, Texas to Turkey.

Here are just a few way to celebrate:

* Find an event near you at the Global Running Day Facebook Group.

* Run with Brooks Running, Fleet Feet Sports and other stores at 180 locations nationwide.

* Join the Strava Global Running Day Challenge by running at least 1 kilometer on June 1.

* Twitter chat with @runnersworld, @BartYasso, @NYRR, and @RunningDay at 2 p.m. EDT. Read the rest of this entry →


Jun 2016

Summer Running Tips, Tricks, And Mantras

Running in Rhode Island (

Summer running  is here! (

Memorial Day Weekend is here, which means the unofficial start of summer running. As the mercury climbs, runs can become challenging and even demoralizing. I have a mantra for the occasion: “Hot summer runs lead to cool fall PR’s.” Mid-run it might sound more like, “Hot! Runs! Cool! PRs!” But you get the idea.

What’s the best temperature for a run? I did the investigating for, along with digging up seven expert-approved tips for throwing down even when the mercury climbs. And if you do happen to get demoralized out there, I’m re-sharing a few oldies but goldies that will help you push through the toughest summer running.

Summer Running Tips, Tricks, & Mantras

Hot dog! (

7 Running Tricks to Help You Speed Up in Hot Weather

The dog days of summer can be a tough time for running. The hotter it is, the harder it becomes to push yourself. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your sweat sesh if you do it right. Heck, you can even use this time to build your speed for the months ahead.

Cooling techniques like pre-chilling your body can actually help you run harder and keep you cool longer during a sweltering workout, according to a study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. But that’s not the only way to beat the heat and build running speed this season. From workout tweaks to form drills and on-the-run chill-out methods, here are seven science-tested and expert-approved ways to cool down and speed up. Yes, you’re going to need a few more ice trays. And maybe a Snoopy Sno Cone Machine. Who said summer running can’t be fun? → Read all 7 tips at

Summer Running Tips, Tricks, & Mantras

“Just keep pushing…” (

Running Mantras For Racing And Training

I didn’t always have a running mantra. In fact, it took me years to hone in on a few that really work for me. When I’m struggling and need to dig deep, I turn to two phrases that somehow spur me on. One is just perfect for summer running.

85 degrees and humid? “Hot summer runs lead to cool fall PRs.”

Mile 6 of an 8-mile tempo workout in the sun? “Hot. (inhale) Summer. (breath) Runs. (gasp) Cool. (wheeze) Fall. (gasp) PRs.” It’s my go-to summer training mantra. → Read more at

Summer Running Tips, Tricks, & Mantras

Spring and fall brings the best temps of all (

What’s the Best Temperature for a Run?

When researchers from the University of Tulsa examined the 25 fastest performances at different distances, along with the temperature that day, they discovered that perfect running temps hovered between 73.4 and 49.4 degrees depending on the distance.

Basically, the farther or longer you run, the cooler you want it to be. “When it’s warmer, your body’s ability to dissipate heat can be compromised,” says Angela Hillman, Ph.D, an exercise physiologist. “The cooler the temperature, within reason, the more heat your body can give off to keep you from overheating.” Read the rest of this entry →


May 2016

5 Tools That Helped Heal My Plantar Fasciitis

5 Tools That Helped Heal My Plantar Fasciitis

Running plantar fasciitis free in Central Park (

Oh, plantar fasciitis. It’s real pain the foot. Many runners will deal with it at some point in their careers. In fact, it’s so pernicious that 1 million people seek treatment for plantar fasciitis every year. Plantar fasciitis accounts for nearly 8 percent of all running injuries, making it the third most common running injury behind patellofemoral pain syndrome, aka “Runner’s Knee,” and iliotibial band friction syndrome, aka “IT Band Syndrome,” according to a study from the University of British Columbia.

I struggled with plantar fasciitis for four months—October through January—missing training, missing races, running through it, and then missing training some more. I’ve now been well-heeled (get it?) for 3.5 months, ran a 10-mile personal best at the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run in April, and ran my second fastest half-marathon ever (and an age-group personal best!) at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in May. These are the tools that helped me get back into fighting shape by giving plantar fasciitis the boot.

Of course, I’m not a doctor, and you should always consult with yours, preferably as soon as possible. I saw a podiatrist to diagnose and treat my plantar fasciitis right away.

5 Plantar Fasciitis Fighters


5 Tools That Helped Heal My Plantar Fasciitis

WalkFit Platinum Inserts (

WalkFit Platinum Inserts, $20

I truly believe wearing orthotics is what helped me turn the corner. After months of trying (at various points) rest, massage, stretching, taping, and a night boot, I still couldn’t shake plantar fasciitis. It would get better, then return same as before.

I finally bought these over-the-counter shoe inserts while taking 17 days off from running. Why did it take me so long to try an orthotic? My doctor told me try all the other things first. I finally bought the inserts that worked for my mother when she had PF. I figured we have the same feet, so why not?

I wore them whenever humanly possible. I work from home, barefoot. No more, I wore shoes with the inserts all day long. Bye-bye plantar fasciitis. It only took a few weeks. Wish I had tried them from Day One. I still wear them much of the time when I’m out and about, except when I’m running, to keep the old PF away. I’ve never been so thrilled with an “As Seen On TV” product.

5 Tools That Helped Heal My Plantar Fasciitis

KT Tape (

KT Tape, $13-$25

KT Tape, how do I love thee? There is no way I would have made it through those four months, including the Honolulu Marathon in December and GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon in November, without KT Tape on my foot. It’s pretty simple: Without KT Tape, my PF hurt—a lot. With KT Tape, it either didn’t hurt at all or hurt much less.

Will KT Tape cure your PF? No, but it’s a great tool to give you extra support when you need it. I’ll continue taping my foot for long runs. Seriously, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this stuff is like voodoo.

They even have a bunch of new products I learned about and sampled at a press event in March. KT Tape Pro Extreme is for wet, humid, or ultra hot conditions. You can even swim in it. Hello triathlon! KT Flex has targeted support specifically for knees, and is also water resistant. KT Recovery+ is a drug-free patch to reduce swelling and inflammation. The new KT Recovery+ Ice/Heat Compression Therapy System includes a microwaveable heat pack, freezable gel pack, and adjustable wrap for use throughout your body. And if you want to get in the Olympic spirit, Pro USA KT Tape in red, blue, or black screams “USA.”

5 Tools That Helped Heal My Plantar Fasciitis

Zensah PF Compression Sleeve

Zensah PF Compression Sleeve, $25

Zensah’s PF Compression Sleeve is the newest tool in my plantar fasciitis kit. I received it two months ago at a Zensah media event and I’ve been absolutely blown away. I wear it Every. Single. Day. I’m wearing it right now as I type. The second I feel any arch ache, I pop the sleeve on for instant relief.

Much like KT Tape, it gives your foot that extra bit of support. The sleeve uses compression to stabilize the fascia. And the squeeze? Oh so good! It’s way more comfortable than my night boot, which I never wear any more because it didn’t really seem to do anything for me. (And notice: the boot is not on this list.)

Plus, the sleeve is much more packable when you travel. I carried my darn boot for nearly three weeks around Hawai’i. Wish I’d had this sleeve instead! I brought it with me to Florida in April and California in May. So convenient, easy, and comfy. I also love that it really, truly stays stink-free thanks to silver ions woven into the fabric. Read the rest of this entry →

Walt Disney World Marathon 2017 Registration Opens

Walt Disney World Marathon 2017 Registration

Walt Disney World Marathon 2017 takes place in January. (Preston Mack/runDisney)

Registration for the Walt Disney World Marathon 2017 Weekend opens Tuesday, April 26 at 12 p.m. ET at Disney’s original running event kicks off the new year from January 4-8 at Walt Disney World in Florida.

The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna is one of the largest running festivals in the U.S. with more than 65,000 finishers in five races and three race challenges: Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K, Walt Disney World 5K, runDisney Kids Races, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, Dopey Challenge, and Disney Castaway Cay Challenge.

The Walt Disney World Marathon 2017 weekend also includes the free runDisney Health & Fitness Expo, ticketed Race Retreat for pre- and post-race pampering, and Runner’s World VIP race package, which includes race entry, coaching, welcome party, Race Retreat, and other perks.

Walt Disney World Marathon Registration Opens

Runners in Magic Kingdom (runDisney)

The Walt Disney World Marathon takes runners through all four theme parks and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Walt Disney World Half Marathon, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017, tours Magic Kingdom and Epcot. And the 10K and 5K run around Epcot and environs. Read the rest of this entry →

‘Star Wars Half —The Dark Side’ By The Numbers

Star Wars Half —The Dark Side By The Numbers

Star Wars Half—The Dark Side runs at WDW (runDisney)

The inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon—The Dark Side takes runners to a galaxy far, far away. OK, it’s actually at Walt Disney World in Florida, where the Dark Side of the Force is strong on April 17, 2016. All together 43,000 runners will awaken The Force, with many registered for multiple events.

The Star Wars “Dark Side” themed race weekend includes the Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K, runDisney Kids Races and the two-day Dark Side Challenge, where runners complete the 10K and half-marathon on consecutive days. Many runners will also be completing the inaugural Kessel Run Challenge, by running both the Star Wars Half Marathon—The Light Side at Disneyland and the Star Wars Half Marathon—The Dark Side at Walt Disney World.

I will be among them, courtesy of runDisney, with my husband by my side. Our costumes? Chewbacca and Rey.

Star Wars Half —The Dark Side By The Numbers

Rey and Chewie! (

If you see us out there, say hello!

My niece and nephew ran the the runDisney Kids Races. Each asked me to run with them. How could I say no? We had a blast.

Star Wars Half The Dark Side By The Numbers

Star Wars Half runDisney Kids Races (

Now it’s time to blast off for 13.1 miles of fun through the Star Wars Galaxy.

Here’s a look at runDisney’s galactic race weekend by the numbers.

Star Wars Half —The Dark Side By The Numbers

The course is strong with The Dark Side. (runDisney)

Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon—The Dark Side By The Numbers

$2.053 billion—worldwide box office receipts for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to date

260,900—combined miles adult runners will tackle at the Star Wars Half Weekend. That’s 1.36125299e-8 parsecs or like circling the world the 9.5 times.

250,000—runners who participate in runDisney events each year

43,000—registrations for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend—The Dark Side. It’s runDisney’s largest half-marathon.

36,000—cones used throughout the half-marathon course

23,000—gallons of water at aid stations, enough to fill a swimming pool 6-feet deep Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run (MarathonFoto)

This post is brought you by the letters P and R. That’s right! I had a fantastic race at the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run despite some wonky weather that brought 50 mph winds and a sub-freezing windchill.

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Success! (MarathonFoto)

More than 16,000 runners finished the race around Washington, D.C. on Sunday, April 3. I headed to D.C. with my husband and a dozen friends who decided to make a weekend of it.

This was my second time running the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. In 2012, I found the course far too crowded and no cherry blossoms on the trees. The second time around, there were still no cherry blossoms—what had been left from peak season blew off the trees the night before in 50 mph winds. There was not a one to be found.

But I headed to Washington, D.C. earlier in the week and had the chance to see them during a gorgeous run around the National Mall, before they all blew away. Phew!

Where I Stayed

I’ve come to love visiting Washington, D.C. It’s a truly fantastic running town.

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Running the National Mall in 2015! (

This is my third trip to the city in the last year, and my husband Phil’s umpteenth. I’ve stayed at three different hotels in that time; Phil has stayed at a dozen different properties in the city. Our go-to hotel has become The Carlyle Dupont Circle, a Kimpton Hotel. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Run Sold-Out Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

How To Run Sold-Out Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon (runDisney)

Didn’t get into any of the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend races? You can still run by registering with a runDisney Charity Group or Travel Provider. Bibs for the half-marathon, Disney Wine & Dine 10K, Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge, and Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K from November 3 to 6, 2016 are available.

The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon is typically runDisney’s fastest selling race weekend. The 2016 races sold out in under 3 hours when registration opened Tuesday, March 29. The 10K and half-marathon filled within 30 minutes. The 5K and challenge weren’t far behind. Registration is still available for the runDisney Kids’ Races as of post time. Visit for more info or to register.

The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon welcomes in 2016 a new Ratatouille-themed 10K and two-day race challenge, along with a new half-marathon route and start time for the main event. The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon is moving from Saturday night to Sunday morning due to ongoing construction and new hours at the theme parks. The race’s signature Post Race Party at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will still take place under the stars from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday night, when Epcot stays open late solely for runners and party ticket holders.

If you want to be among them, register to run with a charity or travel agent.

How To Run Sold-Out Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

The 2015 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Medal (runDisney)

2016 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Charity Groups Program

runDisney Charity Groups offer guaranteed entries, discounted Walt Disney World Resort hotel rates, specially-priced Walt Disney World theme park tickets, and discounts on other race amenities. Check with each group individually for their requirements and benefits. To register, contact each group below. Read the rest of this entry →

Do You Break These Running Rules of the Road?

Do You Break These Running Rules of the Road?

The running rules of the road apply to us all. (

People are quirky. And runners are no exception. Turns out we have a slew of habits that drive each other to madness and toward the finish line.

I explored some of them in two stories at “The Do’s and Don’ts of Courteous Runners” and “Pre-Race Rituals That Runners Swear By.” For both, I crowd-sourced responses from my social media friends to find out what makes us collectively tick and ticked-off.

I’ve definitely broken some of the running rules of the road. Chances are you have too. Eeks! Some are venial sins and some fall into the category of don’t ever do it. Like ever. Never.

And when it comes to race-day rituals, I’ve definitely been known to obsess over outfits, laying it all out perfectly the night before. I once even had a “lucky” pair of capris. We’re all creatures of habit! Enjoy!

Do You Break Any Of These Running Rules?

We broke Rule #4 and snapped a runfie! (

15 Rude Habits to Break and Running Rules to Follow

“It’s a crowded course out there. Follow these rules of the road to keep the peace while pounding the pavement.”

Ah, the etiquette police. We’ve all wanted to “citizen’s arrest” some runners out there and we’ve all broken the running rules, too. I asked my 30,000 collective social media followers via Facebook and Twitter for their biggest running pet peeves. The response was overwhelming. I narrowed it down to the 15 biggest blunders that drive runners to madness, from corral jumping to snapping runfies and mid-race phone convos.

What’s your biggest pet peeve? Which of the rules do you break?

Find our if your most hated peccadillo made the list at

Do You Break Any Of These Running Rules?

My Honolulu Marathon #FlatRunner (

Do Pre-Race Rituals Actually Work?

“Experts discover whether there’s any truth to these quirky running superstitions, from wearing a lucky charm to obsessing over sleep.”

I asked readers for their pre-race rituals. Then I asked experts to weigh-in on the most common five to find out whether they help or hurt on race day: Laying out your clothes in all those #flatrunner pics, wearing a lucky fill-in-the-blank, obsessing over sleep, and a few more. The verdict? Some are super healthy. Some—not so much.

Do you have a pre-race ritual or must-wear item?

Find out what the experts think at


Mar 2016

TCS New York City Marathon 2016 Charity Bibs Available

Run 2016 TCS New York City Marathon Via Charity

The TCS New York City Marathon (Courtesy of NYRR)

Didn’t get into the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon through the random draw? You can still be a part of it on Sunday, November 6 by registering with one of the 340 official charity partners. I’ll be there as one of NYRR’s race announcers.

The TCS New York City Marathon is the largest 26.2-miler in the world, averaging 50,000 runners in the last three years. In 2016, 19,083 of those runners were accepted through the random draw, 23 percent of the pool and an increase of 9,913 (108%) over the past two years. A total of 82,172 runners applied to the draw.

Another 43,000 people will have guaranteed entry, for a total of 125,000 applications from runners in over 125 countries. Runners can earn guaranteed entry through a number of methods, like NYRR’s 9+1 program, time qualifications, completing 15 New York City marathons, international travel partners, and official charity partners.

The New York City Marathon’s charity program has raised nearly $200 million for hundreds of causes since it began a decade ago. The program’s first year was 2006. I ran the 2007 New York City Marathon—my first marathon—through a charity, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience. In 2015, 8,700 charity runners raised $33.9 million for a variety of not-for-profit organizations, bringing the 10-year total to $198.9 million.

You can be one of them in 2016.

2016 TCS New York City Marathon Charity Partners

Runners will be asked to raised a set amount of money in exchange for guaranteed entry into the race. Contact each group individually for more information or to register with them. Find more info about the race’s charity program at

Gold Charities

Gold level charities provide runners with race day perks and a VIP experience.

Silver Charities

Silver level charities provide runners with race day perks, including race day transportation and a tented start area. Read the rest of this entry →

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Running Shoes Review

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit

Updated 3/10/16

The Nike LunarEpic Flyknit will certainly turn heads. With its high-top bootie design, the running world hasn’t seen anything like these neutral, cushioned running shoes.

The newest entry to Nike’s “Run Easy” category, the LunarEpic Flyknit shoes are meant for going long, running easy, or kicking it up with a progression run. In other words, this is a cushioned trainer designed with comfort in mind. The men’s size 10 weighs 8.3 oz and the women’s size 8 weighs 6.55 oz. Both have an 8.5 mm drop from heel to toe, with a retail price of $175.

I first tried the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit shoes, courtesy of Nike, during an interval workout with Nike trainers. I’ve since taken them on the road and trail. Here are my initial thoughts.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions

Testing the shoes, far left (Nike)

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Design

If the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit embodies one buzzword, it’s “sensation.” Inspired by Nike soccer boots that earned great feedback from players, Nike Running’s design team set out to create a shoe the evoked a similar sensation. Namely, a sense of seamlessness from toe to ankle. Where does your body end and your shoe begin? The Nike LunarEpic Flyknit wants to erase that transition. Nike calls it a “virtually vanishing fit.” Is it? Yes and no.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions

Shoe or bootie?


The shoe’s upper is a single-piece of Nike Flyknit, featuring the material’s signature support, with a closer fit at the forefoot, arch, and heel, plus FlyWire cables to cinch the fit midfoot. The ankle collar, sewn more elastic than the boot, exists to anchor the shoe to your leg. The cuff might also eliminate some pressure points around the heel.

The laces? They may seem redundant, but actually help to perfect the fit, a Nike designer said at the shoe’s New York City launch I attended.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions

Rear view


This is a glue-free shoe. Instead, Nike used heat to fuse the Lunarlon foam to the platform, thereby eliminating some weight and hardness. The platform itself is contoured, not flat, with laser-cut grooves on the side for flexibility. They collapse when you land, cushioning each foot strike.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions



The Lunarlon foam outsole is completely rubber-free, with laser-cut pads placed at high-pressure points. Each pad moves independently, depending on how your foot falls. How precisely? You can actually feather the grooves with your fingertips. Combined with the foam of the midsole, the outsole pads help make the ride smooth and soft.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit First Impressions

Liking them so far (Nike)

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Feel

I’ll start with this. I’m a huge fan of Nike Flyknit. I wore my Nike Flyknit Lunar 2 shoes ragged and Nike Free 4.0 are one of my go-to pairs.

At first look, these might be my favorite Nike shoes I’ve tried in the last two years, and I’ve worn the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32, Nike LunarTempo, Nike Flyknit Lunar 2, and two iterations each of Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit and Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit.

Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Review

Post-workout debrief (Nike)


This is a shoe you really need to try for yourself, simply because it is so different from anything you’ve put on your feet before. Certainly, some runners will hate the high ankle collar. Like the first iteration of the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit, some folks will find it too tight or too constricting. Thankfully, offers a 30-day trial period, during which you can return worn shoes, “dirt and all.”

I actually like the fit and the feel and the ankle bootie. If you surf or do triathlons, the ankle collar is more comfortable than the ankle strap of surf board leash, a triathlon timing chip band, or even a wetsuit cuff. When you first slip the shoes on your feet, the collar feels a little strange. But it’s incredibly stretchy and elastic. Once I got moving, I didn’t notice it all. I was too focused on the workout. Read the rest of this entry →

Movie Runs, Newbie Races & All-You-Can-Run Events

Movie Runs, Newbie Races & All-You-Can-Run Challenges

Red Carpet Run in California (Racewire)

Oscar night is almost here! Inspired by the silver screen? Take on one of the many themed movie runs around the U.S., from California to Kansas and beyond.

Want to run your first 10K, half-marathon or more? I rounded up the best races for beginners, from coast to coast.

If you’re a seasoned road warrior at the other end of the spectrum—looking for a bigger challenge—I found 25 all-you-can run festivals where two, three, four and more races in a row are on the menu.

Check out my roundups at!

Movie Runs, Newbie Races & All-You-Can-Run Challenges

Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz (Olathe Chamber of Commerce)

10 Movie Runs For Fun

I picked 10 movie runs around the U.S. that pay homage to Hollywood, including events inspired by Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Shawshank Redemption, A Christmas Story, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Forrest Gump, and more.

Is your favorite film among them? Find out at

Movie Runs, Newbie Races & All-You-Can-Run Challenges

BolderBoulder 10K (BolderBoulder)

The Best 10 Races for Newbie Runners

Looking to tackle your first 5K, half-marathon, or even 26.2? Check out the best courses in America for first-timers. I picked them—including races in California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Read the rest of this entry →

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