Archive for the ‘Ask The Running Nerd’Category

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?

Upper

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

Midsole

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

Outsole

Outsole

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)

Fit

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, Nike.com 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 Shape.com!

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 Shape.com.

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 →

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

Lauren Passell wins the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon (runDisney)

The Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Weekend kicked off February 18 and runs, literally, through the title event on February 21 at Walt Disney World in Florida.

The three-day extravaganza is the largest women’s running festival in the U.S. with 37,000 runners across multiple events: Disney Princess Half Marathon, Disney Glass Slipper Challenge, Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, Disney Princess 5K and runDisney Kids Races.

Take a look at the numbers behind the princesses.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

Runners at Princess Half (runDisney)

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

285,900—combined miles adult runners will complete over the course of Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

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

99,178—number of Cinderella’s Glass Slippers, lined up heel to toe, it takes to cover the 13.1 miles of the Disney Princess Half Marathon

37,000—registered runners for the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Weekend Read the rest of this entry →

Disneyland Paris Half Bib-Only Registration Opens

Disneyland Paris Half Bib Only Registration Opens

Meet Mickey at the finish (runDisney)

Bib-only registration for the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon opens Tuesday, February 16 at 5 p.m. Paris time, or 11 a.m. Eastern. The race weekend runs from September 22-25, 2016 at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée, France.

Registration through Disney travel partners opened in October. If you’re interested in a travel package that includes hotel, race bibs, and more, Magical Racecations in the U.S. still has availability for all of the weekend’s running events, as of press time.

Charity partners will also have bibs available at some point in the future.

I’ll be headed to the race to write about the event courtesy of runDisney. Excited? As Mickey Mouse would say, “Oh, boy! Oh, boy!”

How To Register

1) Register for a bib only, without a travel package, online.

2) Call the Disneyland Paris Reservation Center. The U.S. phone is 011 33 160 30 20 30. Phone numbers are also available for other countries in the link. Runners can buy running packages any time.

3) Book a package through one of the travel agency partners. Magical Racecations and GET Travel Sports are the U.S. agencies, but seven other agencies in the U.K. and other countries have packages for runners as well. You can book through any of them. Magical Racecations does have packages available as of press time. Packages include at least three nights hotel, one three-day park ticket, and a half-marathon or 5K registration, with other additional options.

4) Register to run with a charity. Limited charity entries will be released soon.

Read the rest of this entry →

Running Tights & Capris For The Long Run

Running in Hawaii

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (RunKarlaRun.com)

Keeps your legs rockin’ in style with these 10 running tights, capris, and warm-ups from seven different brands. They range from $20 to $120, so there’s something for every price point.

If it’s on this list, I officially own it and love it. Companies send loads of samples my way, many unsolicited. I try them all so you don’t have to. And I only keep, wear, and post about the ones I love. For each pair of running tights you see here, there’s another pair (or two) that didn’t make the cut.

Many of the products I highlighted in the days of yore are still available and among my go-to faves. (Gore Running Wear Mythos 2.0 Windstopper Soft Shell Tights, I’m talking to you.) So here are my gift guides from 2014 and 2013, which also have some of my perennial favorite running tights and capris. You’ll find affiliate links in this post to help keep RunKarlaRun.com running.

Happy Shopping!

Running Tights & Capris

Nike Epic Lux Tights, $79-$120

Epic and lux is right. I’ve long been a Nike running tights evangelist and these are the best of the best. Yes, you’ll pay a pretty penny, but the quality is top of the line. Silky, second skin fabric, a wide flattering waistband, mesh panels behind your knees, these are the tights I wear again and again and again. Plus, I get compliments every time I wear them. Solid or print, you can find them in both in a range of colors and prints. I can’t say enough good things about these tights—and most Nike tights in general.

Running Tights & Capris For The Long Run

Nike Epic Lux Tight

Running Tights & Capris For The Long Run

In action in Oslo

2XU Elite MCS Compression Tights, $120

If you want to werk it, these compression tights are uh-may-zing! I wear them on long runs and tough workouts all the time to help reduce soreness the next day. Targeted compression reduces muscle vibration where you most need it. The waistband is a touch tight, but oh so worth it! These are the next level of compression from the 2XU Women’s Compression Tights I wrote about last year. You can’t go wrong with either pair. I wear both of them just about every single week. Plus, they come in tall sizes too. Cue angels singing. Read the rest of this entry →

Running Jackets & Vests To Go The Distance

Running Jackets & Vests To Go The Distance

Running with Rella in Canada (RunKarlaRun.com)

Running through winter? Here are my favorite running jackets and vests I’ve tried in the last year.

Companies send me loads of samples. So I didn’t buy most of what you see here. But I also don’t keep most of what I receive. For each item here, I’ve sampled another one that didn’t make the cut.

So if it’s on this list, I officially own it and love it.

Many of the products I highlighted in the days of yore are still available and I still love them. (Nike Aeroloft 800 Running Vest, I’m talking to you.) So here are my gift guides from 2014 and 2013, which also have some of my perennial favorite running jackets and vests. And some of these have affiliate links to help keep RunKarlaRun.com running.

Happy Shopping!

Running Jackets & Vests

New Balance Beacon Vest, $108-$126

Get your glow on. Glow in the dark, reflective, wind, and water resistant. I basically lived in this during the New Balance Reach The Beach Relay, and it was comfortable mile after mile.

Running Jackets & Vests To Go The Distance

New Balance Beacon Vest

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Finished! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Champion Marathon Printed Packable Jacket, $22-$58

So light, so cool, hooded, packable, with thumbhole sleeves and a long hemline. This wind breaker traveled to Sweden and Norway with me and carried its (light) weight. Love it. Just wish the packable inner pocket had a carry strap. Read the rest of this entry →

Disneyland Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Disneyland Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

More than 15,000 runners finished the 2015 race. (Disney Sports)

Registration for the 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna opens Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 12 p.m. Eastern. Last year, 15,225 runners finished the Disneyland Half Marathon, making it the 10th largest half-marathon in the U.S.

The race weekend from September 1-4, 2016 in Anaheim, California includes the Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K, Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland 5K, and runDisney Kids Races. At the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo, runners can pick up a pair of the coveted New Balance runDisney sneakers modeled after Dumbo, Ariel, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse.

The Disneyland Half Marathon tours runners from Disney California Adventure Park to Disneyland Park, along the streets of Anaheim and through Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels. The flat, single loop course has a reputation for fast times, that is, if you don’t stop to take photos with the Disney characters, marching bands, and other entertainers lining the way.

Disneyland Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

The 2015 race sold out in hours. (Disney Sports)

Disneyland Half Marathon Sell Out Times

If you want to run at the 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, be prepared to register right away. All of the 29,500 bibs at the 2015 event sold out well within 24 hours.

The Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland 10K, runDisney Kids Races, and Disneyland 5K all broke their sell-out records. The Dumbo Double Dare and Disneyland 10K closed in approximately 30 minutes in 2015. The runDisney Kids races filled up in about 90 minutes and the 5K followed in roughly 3 hours and 15 minutes. The Disneyland Half Marathon sold-out the next day.

Will 2016 be as fast? This event has soared in popularity each year, selling out faster and faster. But runDisney has raised prices for all of the weekend’s runs except the runDisney Kids Races, putting the half-marathon entry fee over $200 for the first time. The 2016 entry fee is $205, up from $199 in 2015.

Disneyland Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Runners in Disneyland (Disney Sports)

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Travel Providers

Want to skip the registration madness? Enter the 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon races through a runDisney Travel Provider. They offer special packages for runners, including discounted Disneyland hotel and theme park tickets.

Contact each tour company individually to register. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Run America’s 25 Biggest Half Marathons

How To Run America's 25 Biggest Half Marathons

Runners on the Coney Island Boardwalk. (Courtesy NYRR)

Want to run one of the biggest half marathons in the U.S.? You’ve got to know when to sign-up.

Registration for the 2016 Airbnb Brooklyn Half opens Thursday, January 28 at noon ET. (I’m one of its race announcers.) It’s the largest half marathon in the U.S., and sells out quickly.

The Brooklyn Half is also one of the best deals out there: $65 for New York Road Runners members and $85 for non-members. For that you get a start at the Brooklyn Museum, the course through bucolic Prospect Park, and a finish on the iconic Coney Island Boardwalk, plus the incomparable Airbnb Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Presented by New Balance, which has re-imagined the race expo into something bigger and better—a party with munchies, music, and more. It is, without contest, the best race “expo” I’ve ever seen. And I don’t make that claim lightly. Then there’s the Airbnb Brooklyn Half After-Party in a baseball stadium. That’s some serious bang-for-your-buck.

Like the Airbnb Brooklyn Half, many of America’s biggest half marathons sell out before race day. So here’s how and when to register for the 25 biggest 13.1-milers in the U.S.

25 Biggest Half Marathons in the U.S.

1. Airbnb Brooklyn Half

New York
26,440 finishers in 2015
25,645 finishers in 2014
#5 among half marathons in the world in 2014
Next race: May 21, 2016
Registration: Opens January 28, 2016 at 12 p.m. ET. Typically sells out in a few hours. Entry via NYRR’s charity Team For Kids is available now.
Why Run? Brooklyn at its best, with a waterfront pre-party, stadium post-party, and course that highlights some of Brooklyn’s iconic landmarks with a finish on the Coney Island Boardwalk.

2. Nike Women’s Half Marathon

California
23,362 finishers in 2015
24,448 finishers in 2014
#8 among half marathons in the world in 2014
Next Race: The race is moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2016. Stay tuned for dates and more info.
Registration: Typically via lottery. More info coming on January 29, 2016.
Why Run? The world’s largest women-focused race has traditionally offered a Tiffany & Co. necklace in place of a finisher medal, plus stellar on-course support.

3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

Nevada
23,100 finishers in 2015
25,227 finishers in 2014
#7 among half marathons in the world in 2014
Next Race: November 13, 2016
Registration: Not yet open. Get a reminder e-mail.
Why Run? Finish along the lit up Las Vegas Strip at night, with music every mile and a major headliner—think Kid Rock or Macklemore & Ryan Lewis—for your pre-race entertainment.

4. OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

Indiana
22,466 finishers in 2015
25,524 finishers in 2014
#6 among half marathons in the world in 2014
Next Race: May 7, 2016
Registration: Open now
Why Run? Run a full lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway—2.5 miles of track—home of the Indianapolis 500, with 100 entertainment acts to keep you pumped all 13.1 miles.

5. Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Florida
21,495 finishers in 2015
20,243 finishers in 2014
#12 among half marathons in the world in 2014
Next Race: January 7, 2017
Registration: Opens April 26, 2016 at noon ET. Not a lottery, but the half marathon and all other weekend events sell out within a few weeks to a few months. Charity and tour provider entries will also be available.
Why Run? Part of the country’s largest running festival, you’ll journey from Epcot through Magic Kingdom and back as you rub elbows with Disney characters and runners dressed as them. Finish the half-marathon and marathon on back-to-back days and you’ll earn a special Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge medal. Run all four of the weekend’s adult races for the Dopey Challenge. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Run America’s 20 Biggest Marathons in 2016

How To Run America's 20 Biggest Marathons in 2016

The TCS New York City Marathon finish line (Courtesy of NYRR)

Want to run one of the biggest marathons in the U.S.? You’ve got to know when to register.

Registration for the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon lottery opened on Thursday, January 21 at noon ET. (I’m one of its race announcers.) It’s the largest marathon in the world, and one of the toughest to get into.

Like the TCS New York City Marathon, America’s biggest marathons are in demand as some of the largest in the world. And most of them sell out before race day. So here’s how and when to register for the 20 biggest 26.2-milers in the U.S. Many of these races offer half-marathon, 10K, 5K, or other races distances, too.

20 Biggest Marathons in the U.S.

1. TCS New York City Marathon

New York
49,365 finishers in 2015
50,386 finishers in 2014
#1 in the world in 2014
Next race: November 6, 2016
Registration: Lottery open now until February 21, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Drawing is March 8, 2016. If you’re lucky enough to have a guaranteed entry, you must claim it during this one-month window. Entry via NYRR’s charity Team For Kids is available now. Other charity entries will become available in after the drawing in Spring. Entry via International Travel Partners is also available.
Half Marathon? No, but a 5-miler and 5K take place in the week before the race. Registration will open later in the year.

2. Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Illinois
37,395 finishers in 2015
40,595 finishers in 2014
#2 in the world in 2014
Next Race: October 9, 2016
Registration: Lottery opens March 15-April 12. Runners with guaranteed entry, such as legacy finishers, time qualifiers, charity runners, and international tour group runners, can apply between March 8-April 12. Charity entries will be available.
Half Marathon? No

3. Boston Marathon

Massachusetts
26,612 finishers in 2015
31,932 finishers in 2014
#6 in the world in 2014
Next Race: April 18, 2016
Registration: Closed. Next registration window for 2017 qualifiers will open September 2016. Charity entries are available.
Half Marathon? No, but registration for the 5K opens Wednesday, January 27, 2016.

4. Marine Corps Marathon

Washington, D.C.
23,184 finishers in 2015
19,689 finishers in 2014
#12 in the world in 2014
Next Race: October 30, 2016
Registration: Lottery will open March 24-30, 2016. Selected runners will be notified on March 31. Charity entries will be available. Travel agency entries are available. Bib transfers will also be allowed.
Half Marathon? No, but there’s a 10K and Kids Run.

5. Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon

California
21,940 finishers in 2015
21,508 finishers in 2014
#10 in the world in 2014
Next race: February 14, 2016
Registration: Open now. Not a lottery, but usually sells out before race day.
Half Marathon? No, but there’s a 5K. Read the rest of this entry →

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

Mickey Mouse and friends (runDisney)

The Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Weekend presented by Cigna kicked off January 6 and runs, literally, through the title event on January 10 at Walt Disney World in Florida.

The four-day extravaganza is one of the two largest running festivals in the U.S. with five main events: Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K, Walt Disney World 5K and runDisney Kids Races. That includes runners doubling, tripling, or quadrupling their fun with the Dopey Challenge, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, Castaway Cay Challenge, and Runner’s World Challenge.

How To Buy New Balance runDisney Shoes in 2016

New Balance Ariel shoes (New Balance)

New Balance debuted their 2016 Limited Edition runDisney Collection of shoes at the Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Weekend, with designs that pay homage to The Little Mermaid Ariel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Minnie Mouse, and, of course, Mickey Mouse.

Plus, runDisney brought together 100 race directors, media execs, and former Olympians for the first State of the Sport forum at the new runDisney Race Director Series on January 7, held at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Highlighting the event was a panel discussion with race directors from all of the World Marathon Majors, including Peter Ciaccia (TCS New York City Marathon), Tom Grilk (B.A.A. Boston Marathon), Tad Hayano (Tokyo Marathon), Hugh Brasher (Virgin Money London Marathon), Carey Pinkowski (Bank of America Chicago Marathon) and Juergen Lock (BMW Berlin Marathon), and moderated by Runner’s World editor-in-chief David Willey.

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

Walt Disney World Marathon medals (runDisney)

The State of the Sport forum kicked off runDisney’s new Race Director Series, which brings race directors from around the U.S. to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend for special access and insight into the operations of the four-day event. And it wouldn’t be runDisney without a challenge thrown in—the Race Director Challenge, a friendly competition during the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

Next year, Walt Disney World Resort will host the 2017 Running USA Industry Conference during the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, hosting sessions on best practices, panel discussions, industry awards, and more.

That’s not all. Special guest Paula Radcliffe, women’s marathon world record-holder and four-time Olympian, is running the 5K, 10K and half marathon at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend this year.

It all adds up to one big event. So take a look at Mickey Mouse’s favorite race weekend by the numbers.

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

Walt Disney World Marathon (runDisney)

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 By The Numbers

1,100,000—combined miles adults will run at Walt Disney World Marathon races this weekend (like running around the Earth 46 times)

209,000—runners who take part in runDisney events each year

100,000—medals that will be distributed throughout the weekend including race and challenge medals

100,000—runners (many tackling multiple events) and spectators expected at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

82,000—registrations for the Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Weekend Read the rest of this entry →

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Ariel Vazee Pace (RunKarlaRun.com)

“Up where they walk, up where they run…” at runDisney, of course! The Little Mermaid’s Ariel is now part of the New Balance runDisney world as the star of the latest shoes in the 2016 Limited Edition New Balance runDisney Collection.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Ariel! (RunKarlaRun.com)

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of New Balance shoes. “Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete? Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl…the girl who has everything?”

Well, now I do! New Balance generously sent me a pair of the Ariel Vazee Pace runDisney shoes to preview!

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

My precious (RunKarlaRun.com)

Look at that stuff! Isn’t it neat?

I love this limited edition New Balance packaging for the runDisney shoes and the goodies inside.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

New box (RunKarlaRun.com)

This isn’t any ordinary shoe box. The shoes rest within a Snow White-style sleeping case.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Unboxing (RunKarlaRun.com)

After unboxing the kicks, I find an Alice in Wonderland-style “Open Me.”

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Open Me (RunKarlaRun.com)

What does it reveal? More goodies! Read the rest of this entry →

How To Buy New Balance Disney Running Shoes in 2016

How To Buy New Balance runDisney Shoes in 2016

2016 New Balance runDisney Collection (New Balance)

Looking for the 2017 New Balance runDisney Collection? Look here: How To Buy 2017 New Balance Disney Running Shoes

* * *

2016 New Balance Disney Running Shoes Revealed

They’re finally here! New Balance announced the 2016 line of New Balance Disney running shoes, which will debut at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna from January 6-10, 2016.

After releasing a single teaser photo of a feather, a yellow bow, and seashell necklace via Twitter and Instagram, New Balance has revealed the 2016 Limited Edition New Balance runDisney Collection feature Dumbo, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and The Little Mermaid’s Ariel.

The Dumbo and Ariel Vazee Pace are $124.95, while the Red Carpet Minnie and Mickey 860v6s are $139.95. And they didn’t forget the kids. Dumbo and Ariel 860v6 shoes are $79.95.

Read on to find out how, when, and where to buy them, along with pics of each shoe.

Ariel Vazee Pace, $124.95

How To Buy New Balance runDisney Shoes in 2016

Ariel Vazee Pace (New Balance)

The New Balance Vazee Pace shoes are a lightweight neutral trainer, available in women’s sizes 5 to 12.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Ariel in person (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Ariel-inspired kicks are shades of sea foam green with purple and red accents. The Ariel shoes come with purple shell clip-ons and a picture of Ariel on the heel.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Ariel (RunKarlaRun.com)

Check out New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look for a close-up view of the Ariel Vazee Pace.

Dumbo Vazee Pace, $124.95

How To Buy New Balance Disney Running Shoes in 2016

Dumbo Vazee Pace (New Balance)

The Dumbo shoes are also the neutral, lightweight New Balance Vazee Pace available in men’s sizes 7 to 14.

New Balance Ariel runDisney Shoes First Look

Dumbo (RunKarlaRun.com)

The homage to Dumbo are gray with yellow and peach accents, with a picture of Dumbo himself on the heel. They also come with Timothy Q. Mouse clip-ons.

How To Buy New Balance Disney Running Shoes in 2016

Dumbo Vazee Pace (New Balance)

Red Carpet Minnie 860v6, $139.95

How To Buy New Balance Disney Running Shoes in 2016

Red Carpet Minnie (New Balance)

Each year New Balance releases a pair of shoes styled after a different Mickey and Minnie persona. In 2103, we saw classic Minnie in her red dress. 2014 brought us Pink Polka Dot Minnie, and 2015 was Retro Minnie, harkening back to her black-and-white years. For 2016, we have Red Carpet Minnie Mouse in her yellow evening gown.

How To Buy New Balance runDisney Shoes in 2016

Minnie front and back (New Balance)

The Red Carpet Minnie shoes are 860v6s, a New Balance stability shoe in women’s sizes 5 to 12. They also come with clip-on bows.

Read the rest of this entry →

12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

Giveaway time!

Why celebrate Christmas on one day when you can celebrate for 12 whole days? It’s time for my 12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway! Sure the 12 Days of Christmas traditionally start on December 25 and conclude on January 5, otherwise known as Twelfth Night, but let’s get the party started early.

For the next 12 days, I’m giving away an array of running goodies that could fill Santa’s sleigh. I’ll feature one prize per day in social media. Enter via the widget below or on Instagram. Enter as many times as you like on as many days as you like; all entries are eligible for any prize. I’ll choose all 12 winners randomly at the end of the 12 days, which conclude Tuesday, January 5 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Check out these awesome prizes—some culled from my own personal cache and others generously gifted from the companies below. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway

1) On the first day of Christmas my run bud gave to me…

12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway

Boston Marathoner Map by JHill Design

12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway

NYC Marathoner Map by JHill Design

An 8 x 10 Marathoner Map by JHill Design.

These gorgeous maps have had me drooling all over their Instagram feed: @jhilldesign. One lucky winner will choose from 25 marathon and 13 half-marathon maps. Customize it with your name, time, bib and race date. Want to snag one yourself? Use code KARLARUN for 15% off jhilldesign.com through January 16, 2016.

2) On the second day of Christmas my run bud gave to me…

12 Days of Christmas Running Giveaway

Spartan Race

A Spartan Race entry.

Pick a race. Any race. This entry is good for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the continental U.S. That’s worth up to and upwards of $150. Tackle a Sprint (3+ miles, 20+ obstacles), Super (8+ miles, 24+ obstacles), or Beast (12+ miles, 30+ obstacles). With 40 races on the current schedule in the continental U.S., it’s up to you! Read the rest of this entry →

Running In Hawai’i From Kona To Kaua’i

Running in Hawai'i From Kona To Kaua'i

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Honolulu Marathon is Sunday! I’ve been having an incredible—and I mean incredible—time running in Hawai’i. Over the last eight days I’ve run, hiked, SUPed, sailed, swum, summited, star-gazed, and so much more on Hawai’i, the Big Island, and on Maui.

The Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau at GoHawaii.com sponsored and helped me plan the trip so I can experience active Hawai’i at its best. Now I’m on O’ahu for the big race and headed to Kaua’i after that.

But this isn’t my first rodeo in Hawai’i. In 2013, I ran the Kaua’i Half Marathon and published a few stories at Shape.com, in Women’s Running magazine, and Canadian Running magazine about the race, Kaua’i, Hawai’i Island, and points beyond. Thought I’d share them here. Aloha!

Running in Hawai'i From Kona To Kaua'i

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Phil Hospod)

Healthy Travel Guide: Kona, Hawai’i at Shape.com

Sure, Hawai’i invokes dreams of lazy days on sandy beaches sipping umbrella drinks. But every year, more than 2,300 triathletes trek to Kona on Hawai’i Island to make it big—Big Island big—at the Ironman World Championship.

But you don’t have to be an Ironman to swim, bike, run, or get your sweat on in Kailua-Kona, the triathlon mecca of the world. Hawai’i’s residents are the second most prolific runners in the U.S., with only Massachusetts logging more miles per capita on RunKeeper. The state also has the second lowest obesity levels in the U.S., behind only Colorado, according to Retale.

It’s no wonder. Running is Hawai’i is a dream come true. Just north of Kona, the rugged black lava fields give way to sunny, white sand beaches on the Kohala Coast, where water sports abound. The area came in seventh on our list of the healthiest beach towns in America, while the Kona District ranked 19th. (Find them all in The 35 Best Beaches in America For Fitness Lovers). Inland, Waimea is home to Hawai’i’s tallest mountain, the snowcapped Mauna Kea, which rises 13,796 feet and has hiking and horseback trails galore. And we can’t forget Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, with 150 miles of hiking trails around one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Yep, we said volcanoes.

Inspired to get your Ironman on? Hawai’i Island makes healthy travel easy with year round warm weather, world class sporting events, mountains and more. Say Aloha to Kona!

Find out where to sleep, stay in shape, fuel your trip, splurge, and play in Kona at Shape.com.

Running in Hawai'i From Kona To Kaua'i

Rainbow run in Kaua’i (Phil Hospod)

Kauai Is The Ultimate Vacation For Runners in Women’s Running

The least-visited of Hawaii’s major islands, Kauai is the Aloha State’s best-kept secret. Only 1.1 million of Hawaii’s 8.2 million visitors annually venture to Kauai. But runners in the know head to the Garden Isle for technical mountain trails between lushly green volcanic peaks, flat recreation paths with ocean views and one of America’s most scenic—and challenging—marathons. The island is best explored on foot (in fact, 90 percent of Kauai is inaccessible by vehicle!), so lace up your shoes and get ready to sweat. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Runner’s World Half & Festival

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Larisa & Karla cheer, Mark & Kristin run (RunKarlaRun.com)

When Runner’s World puts on an event in their hometown, they do it right.  Runner’s World Half & Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is basically fantasy camp for runners. All participants—not just bloggers—at the weekend’s events had the opportunity to meet Deena Kastor, Bart Yasso, and the entire Runner’s World team. Seminars, running clinics, kids races, a dog run, pasta party, and other events filled our days and nights with all things running.

Runner’s World brought me out to the race as their guest, along with a cadre of other bloggers. My quest? Run four races in three days for a total of 26.2 miles.

I was only half successful, thanks to plantar fasciitis. Despite that, I had a ton of fun.

I’ve already recapped the Altra Trail 3.8-mile Trail Race and Runner’s World 5K & 10K. Now on the menu is the Runner’s World Half & Festival!

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Post-race band! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Runner’s World Half Marathon

Thanks to shooting pain in my heel—which turned out to be plantar fasciitis and the beginning of a heel spur—I opted not to run the Runner’s World Half Marathon. Instead, I headed out to cheer near Mile 11 of the course with two other injured bloggers—my roomie for the weekend, Jess at RacePaceJess.com (who’d sprained her ankle at the Altra Trail Run), and Larisa at LarisaDixon.com, who’d hurt her calf and pulled out of the race.

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Along the course (RunKarlaRun.com)

We had a blast. We clapped, we yelled, we cheered, we laughed, and had a great time. We spotted most of the other bloggers Runner’s World had brought out for the event.

Then Jess hobbled back to the hotel on her swollen ankle, and Larisa and I walked to the finish so we could cheer in Kristin at BamaGirlRuns.com, who was walking the whole race after recovering from a broken ankle.

Working as a race announcer, I love to cheer runners on. But I’m usually at the start or finish (or both) of a race or running myself. I’m rarely on the sidelines along the course.

So I surprised by how many runners thanked us for cheering as they went by, or gave us a thumbs up, or nod, or smile, or came in for a high five, something other form of acknowledgement.

It’s funny. Because I’m the kind of runner who will often nod or smile or fist pump or some such as a way of thanking spectators as I go by. So I don’t know why I was so surprised when other runners thanked me! I guess it was just fun to be on the other side of the fence. Loved paying it forward!

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Cheering with Larisa (RunKarlaRun.com)

Runner’s World Festival

The days leading up to the half-marathon constituted the “festival,” which was jam-packed with activities. Here are my highlights from the weekend:

Deena Kastor

What would Deena do? It’s become my new running mantra after hearing Deena Kastor speak at the Runner’s World Half & Festival.

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Deena Kastor! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Deena shared lunch with the bloggers and gave an open seminar at the expo. At each, she shared some of the ways she uses positive thinking to pull through in races. Running is as much a mental sport as a physical one. I believe it and research bears it out. (I wrote about it for Shape.com) And the best runners use every (legal) trick in the books—physical and mental—to be tough on race day.

What stuck with me? Before a race Deena said she thinks of three reasons why she will succeed and commits them to memory. When she needs to did deep or is struggling in an event, she recalls those things to keep her going. I love that. Going to try it myself this weekend at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon. And in a moment of doubt, I’ll ask myself: What would Deena do? Read the rest of this entry →