Irina Mashkantceva wins the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. (Philadelphia Marathon)
It’s official. I’m running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014 on Sunday, November 23! I’d been debating which marathon, if any, to run this fall and I’ve finally committed to running Philly as a guest of sponsor GORE-TEX.
While I considered—and was invited to—a few other marathons in the U.S. and Canada, I decided on Philly for a few reasons.
Pausing for a photo just before a PR finish at the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. (RunKarlaRun.com)
2) Redemption: I feel like I have unfinished business in Philadelphia. Back in 2012, I’d been zipping along on target for a 4:14 finish when a quad cramp struck after the 20-mile mark and decided to linger. I lost 14 minutes in the last 10K, as I stopped to stretch the cramp a few times, jogging slowly in between. While I was ecstatic about my finish time, a new personal best, I knew I had even more in me. I want to return to Philly and run the time I should have two years ago: 4:15. Read the rest of this entry →
What the what? Competitor Group announced Tuesday that the headliner for the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon on November 16 is none other than Snoop Dogg.
The iconic rap superstar will play the pre-race concert at 3:00 p.m. just before the start of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (yes, that’s the entire name) at 4:30 p.m.
Is there any chance Jason Derulo will pop in for a cameo and performance of “Wiggle”? I have no idea, but that would be amazing. I’m not going to lie: I kind of love that song. Put it in the “Baby Got Back” and “Thong Song” category. What can I say? I like rap and R&B songs about derrieres.
Meb Keflezighi runs the 2014 Boston Marathon to victory. (Gr5/Wikimedia via CC-BY-SA-3.0)
I told you about chances to run with Meb Keflezighi in both New York and San Diego earlier this year. Here’s another.
Meb Keflezighi will be back in New York on November 2, 2014. The 2009 New York City Marathon champion and 2014 Boston Marathon champion is running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon as a Team for Kids Ambassador. (I’ll be covering the race once again as host of NYRR On The Run.)
You may not be able to run with him, but you can join Team for Kids, along with pro tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, the 2014 Istanbul Cup winner who ranked first worldwide in 2010 and 2011.
“Meb will highlight a world-class field of athletes competing for the marathon title, while Caroline will join thousands of runners raising critical funds for worthy charities,” said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners, in a press release. “They’ll serve as inspirations to the 50,000 runners and millions of fans lining the streets of the city’s five boroughs and watching the race broadcast around the world.”
As Team for Kids Ambassadors, Keflezighi and Wozniacki will take part in Team for Kids activities during race week and help raise money for New York Road Runners’ youth running programs. Money raised by Team for Kids participants goes toward free and low-cost health and fitness programs for kids who would otherwise have limited access to regular exercise. NYRR’s programs reach more than 200,000 children each year in more than 800 schools and community centers in New York City, the U.S., and the world. More than 1,700 Team for Kids runners will raise an estimated $4.5 million this year. Keflezighi will also be raising money for his own The MEB Foundation, which promotes youth health, education and fitness. Read the rest of this entry →
Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start of the ING New York City marathon. (Photo: Fergal Carr, via Creative Commons)
It’s no secret that the TCS New York City Marathon is one of my absolute favorite races. It was my first marathon in 2007. I’ve run it three times total and now cover the race with New York Road Runner’s On The Run web and TV show. I’ll be at the TCS New York City Marathon 2014 race with “On The Run” on November 2.
But if you want to join in the action in the Big Apple, you can win one of two official entries into the TCS New York City Marathon 2014 race courtesy of ASICS. Each winner will also receive an ASICS gift pack valued at $500. During “On The Run’s” race week coverage, I’m often decked out from head to toe in ASICS New York City Marathon gear. I love it so much that I continue to wear it year round, like at the Trot Off Your Turkey 5K. Read the rest of this entry →
A few folks who regularly watch “Giuliana & Bill” on E! recently told me that I was on the show! What?!
Back in November, half of the show’s dynamic duo ran the 2013 New York City Marathon for Timex. Bill Rancic started the race in dead last. For every runner he passed, Timex donated $1 to Giuliana Rancic’s charity for breast and ovarian cancer patients, Fab U Wish. I host New York Road Runners’ show, “On The Run,” and interviewed Bill twice before the race. He was incredibly nice and fun to chat with.
The E! camera crew was there filming us, filming Bill. Meta. I completely forgot that they asked us all to sign waivers so that they could use the footage on “Giuliana & Bill.” Apparently, the episode aired on May 20, 2014. Our little show about running was on E!
The segment they used is all of 20 seconds long. Here it is:
They dubbed my voice over my co-host Carrie Tollefson, when I say, “She’s a runner as well,” about Giuliana. They edited the footage to make it look like Carrie says it. Pretty funny. Even funnier is that the portion of the interview they used didn’t make our final cut.
Here’s our finished “On The Run” segment with Bill Rancic.
It’s interesting to see what one group of producers thinks is of interest to their audience, versus what another group of producers thinks is of interest to theirs. Two takes on one interview for two different audiences.
Harriette Thompson after breaking the world record. (Photo: Courtesy of the Competitor Group, Inc.)
If you need some inspiration this week, here it is: 91-year-old cancer survivor Harriette Thompson ran a new age-group world record marathon in 7:07:42 at the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon To Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on June 1. She became the second oldest woman in U.S. history to finish a 26.2-mile race.
Thompson, who hails from North Carolina, didn’t just break the previous world record marathon of 9 hours, 53 minutes. She shattered it by almost three hours. Plus, she accomplished the feat just four weeks after undergoing radiation treatment for skin cancer.
Thompson at the start of the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. (Photo: Courtesy of Wireimage/Jerod Harris)
The race was Thompson’s 15th marathon, all run in San Diego. She ran her first 26.2-mile race at the age of 76.
“It’s never too late,” Thomspon said about starting a running and walking routine.
But more than simply running, Thompson has been a member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training since her first marathon, raising more than $90,000 for the charity over the course of her 15 marathons. Altogether, she’s logged 393 miles at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.
The classically trained pianist, who performed at Carnegie Hall, said she planned to celebrate with a long bath, a good night sleep and a big breakfast on Monday morning. “I don’t deserve all this attention,” Thompson said. “But it’s fun being famous for a day!”
It hard not to be moved by a runner like Thompson, who shows that there is no such thing as “too late” or “too old” when it comes to running. My first marathon, the New York City Marathon in 2007, was filled with many memorable moments. But one of them was this: somewhere near the Pulaski Bridge, which takes runners from Brooklyn to Queens halfway through the race, a woman with a great shock of white hair cruised past me. I have no idea how old she actually was, but my guess was late 70s. I was 29-years-old and here was a woman more than double my age running rings around me. I instantly thought: that’s going to be me someday. Read the rest of this entry →
The New York Harrier men (inlcuding my fist-pumping husband) are ready to cheer on the Harrier women at the 2011 NYRR Team Championships. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
I stared down the track in front of me. I’d already run a 1600, two 800s and four 400s at an all-out pace. Now just one more 800 stood between me and the end of the workout. I didn’t know how to run faster. But that was the task before me.
“Group 4, you’re up!” my coach yelled.
“Why do we have to run another 800?” someone moaned.
“Because it mentally prepares you to run hard, even when you’re tired,” he said. “All right, this is all-out. This should hurt. Group 4, go!”
I had a cramp in my left foot, a stitch in my right side, and I still hadn’t caught my breath from the last interval. Everything in me wanted to quit.
But I took one look at the rest of the runners in my group, and I thought, “I can do this.”
Over the years, team speed workouts have become my favorite part of half-marathon and marathon training. There are so many reasons to train with a friend or a team. Camaraderie, accountability and encouragement are some of them. But my favorite reason to show up to team speed workouts is that I like to run with the fast crowd. It’s inspirational, motivational and encourages me to push myself harder than I ever would on my own. Read the rest of this entry →
The Tunnel of Trees at the Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon. (Photo: Phil Hospod)
Looking for destination races? Check out my three latest stories at Shape.com. I picked 10 women’s races, 10 wine races and 10 beach races worth booking a ticket for. Many of them aren’t even single race weekends, but running series with multiple events all over the U.S. and around the world. In all, these 30 running events have 60 race weekends among them, and even more distances to choose from. Let the day dreaming begin!
Runners toast their efforts at the Wine Country Half Marathon Series (Photo: TJ Nelson/Destination Races)
The 30-year-old Marathon du Medoc in France may be the grandfather of wine races, with tasting stations along the course and wine-fueled parties all weekend long. But you don’t have to travel to France to guzzle grape at destination races that stomp through vineyards on the way to wine-fueled feasts. Events all over North America, from 5Ks to marathons, cater to wine lovers who like to run hard and drink harder.
I picked 10 wine running series with 20 races in 10 U.S. states and Canadian provinces for runners who like to cool down with vino. See them all at Shape.com.
The Southernmost Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K in Key West. (Photo: Marrero/Doll Photography)
Run and sun under a palm tree at these courses for sand and shore lovers. From Jamaica and the Bahamas to the South Pacific and coast of Australia, these dream-worthy destinations have races to match. Want to surf in California? Party during Carnival in France? Hula in Hawaii? Get lost in the Bermuda triangle? You can, and run too. Read the rest of this entry →
It was a record sell-out for the runDisney event. The Dopey Challenge, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K and Disney Family Fun Run 5K all sold out within 24 hours. The Walt Disney World Marathon filled up in 21 days, shattering the nearly 4 months it took the 2014 race to sell out.
Mickey Mouse & Snow White at the Kids Races. (Photo: runDisney)
Entries remain available for the runDisney Kids Races and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where runners complete both the half marathon and marathon on back-to-back days. For the 10th running of the event, runners will earn a special anniversary Goofy-themed medal. As of press time, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge is 62 percent full and the runDisney Kids Races are 50 percent sold.
But if you really want to run any of the other events at the Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 Weekend from January 7-11 in Florida, you still can if you register through a charity or tour group.
Contact the following organizations directly to find out how to register for the races through them. Charities will ask runners to raise a certain amount of money for participating in the race, and tour providers may require purchase of a travel package. Read the rest of this entry →
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Photo: Kent Phillips/Disney)
I’ve gotten this question a lot and in many varieties: What Disney hotels are best for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend?
There is no “best” hotel for any runDisney race. The best hotel for you for any race depends on many factors: what you want to do while you’re at Walt Disney World, who is in your party, and what your price point is, among other things.
I’ve stayed at eight different Disney hotels (four of which Disney comped for me during runDisney events) and two off property hotels while visiting Walt Disney World. But my hotel recommendations for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend are based on two main factors: Whether or not you have spectators in your group and what you want to do while you’re not running.
If Your Group Includes Runners Only
Walt Disney World Half Marathon finishers. (Photo: runDisney)
If everyone traveling with you is running a race, all the Disney hotels are great.
All the Walt Disney World Resorts are official “host” hotels for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and offer event buses to shuttle runners to and from the start and finish of each race. The buses are comfortable and efficient, both before and after the race.
Having stayed at Disney hotels on the Monorail loop, on the BoardWalk and elsewhere on property for runDisney events, there’s not much of a difference from a runner’s perspective. The event buses got me where I needed to go and back every time from all those different areas.
A Dopey Challenge runner races around the BoardWalk. (Photo: runDisney)
So if all the people in your group are runners, I would pick the hotel that makes your days easiest and meets your price point.
Are you looking for a great pool to rest your legs each day while doing Dopey Challenge? Is there one park in particular where you want to spend most of your time? Do you want to be close to the Expo to stalk runDisney New Balance shoes? Different hotels are better suited for each of those scenarios.
The Wishes Nightime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom. (Photo: Disney)
If it’s Magic Kingdom you’re after, any resort on the Monorail loop is fantastic: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort, soon to become Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort as it undergoes major renovation.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground also have water taxis to the park.
The perks of each? The Contemporary Resort has my favorite quick-service restaurant, Contempo Cafe, and Magic Kingdom fireworks viewing from the hotel. Plus, it’s the next stop after Magic Kingdom on the Monorail. So at the end of a long day in the park, you’re home in a jiffy. Read the rest of this entry →
And get this: he’s leading the 1:30 half-marathon pace team. If you’ve always dreamed of going sub-90 in a half-marathon, why not do it with Meb?
The event in Keflezighi’s hometown will be his first race appearance since winning Boston on April 21. Meb graduated from San Diego High School before winning four NCAA championships at UCLA and 22 U.S. national championships. With a 2004 Olympic silver medal, 2009 New York City Marathon crown and 2014 Boston Marathon laurels, he’s a hometown hero in San Diego.
“To return to the streets of San Diego for the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon after winning the Boston Marathon will be something special for me and my fellow runners,” said Keflezighi. “This year I look forward to sharing my experience and knowledge to help more athletes achieve their goal in the city where I grew up. To have that opportunity amongst so many friends and family is something I’m really looking forward to.” Read the rest of this entry →
Seven years ago to the day, I toed the line in my very first race. My raceiversary reminds me how far I’ve come: from a totally clueless newbie in cotton socks to an intermediate runner with seven marathons under my race belt. Running beginners, take heart.
On April 29, 2007, I remember being incredibly nervous as I readied for my first race ever, with 5,720 other runners lining up in New York City’s Central Park. I’d being running casually for two years already, so I’d run those hills countless times. But I still didn’t know what to expect from a “race.” It was New York Road Runners’ Run as One TGL Classic. I pushed myself as hard as I could and finished the 4-miler in 46:19 at an 11:34 pace.
Seven years later, I’m amazed by how far I’ve come. My 4-mile personal best is 34:38 at an 8:40 pace. I clawed my way from the back of the pack to the middle to the front of the middle. My half-marathon personal best is 19:18 faster than the national median time of 2:19:48 for women.
And I’m still getting faster.
I hear from running beginners a lot. Having started running from scratch after battling a bone tumor in my leg for a decade, I know what it’s like to hit the pavement and be instantly out of breath. But I also know that by sticking with it, I just kept getting better and running just kept getting easier.
So I thought I’d share some cold, hard stats about just how far I’ve come as a runner. Here’s a comparison between my race times from 2007 and now. The moral of the story: If I can do it, anyone can.
My first 1 miler at the Norway Run. (Photo: brightroom)
Inspiration For Running Beginners
My first race, April 29, 2007
4 miles then: 46:19 at 11:34 pace
4 miles now: 34:38 at 8:40 pace
At a 2013 track workout
My first 3-miler/5K, May 22, 2007
3 miles then: 32:17 at 10:45 pace
3 miles now: 23:22 at 7:47 pace
At the 2013 Wild Dog Triathlon
My first 10K, June 9, 2007
6.2 miles then: 1:11:20 at 11:30 pace
6.2 miles now: 54:09 at 8:44 pace
At a 2013 track workout
My first 1-miler, October 6, 2007
1.7 miles then: 16:14 at 9:32 pace
1 mile now: 6:46 at 6:46 pace
At the 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile (I haven’t raced a mile since then!)
Crossing the finish line of my first marathon. (Photo: brightroom)
My first marathon, November 4, 2007
26.2 miles then: 5:54:25 at 13:31 pace
26.2 miles now: 4:28:06 at 10:14 pace
The Honolulu Marathon finishes in Waikiki. (Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson)
For the last few months, I’ve been posting when lotteries and registrations open for many popular races, including How To Register For America’s 15 Biggest Marathons. Lotteries for the three largest 26.2-milers—New York City, Chicago and Marine Corp—have come and gone. Registration opened Tuesday for the fifth largest, Walt Disney World Marathon, and three days later just 30 percent of the bibs remain unsold.
Time to round out the Top 5 with the fourth largest marathon in the U.S: Honolulu. Registration in now open for the 42nd Honolulu Marathon and Race Day Walk on Sunday, December 14, 2014 in the capital of Hawai’i.
Runners round Diamond Head twice at the Honolulu Marathon. (Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) Ron Garnett)
Not only is the Honolulu Marathon the fourth largest 26.2-mile race in the U.S., according to Running USA’s 2014 Marathon Report, it’s also the ninth largest in the world with 22,064 finishers in 2013.
But it’s also got the most finishers over the 6-hour mark of any U.S. marathon at 10,032 runners or 45 percent of the field. The Honolulu Marathon also has the second slowest marathon median finish time at 6:07:32. Only the Baatan Memorial Death March in New Mexico beats it at 8:13:54, according to Running USA.
What makes Honolulu’s finish times slower than the Walt Disney World Marathon, where runners stop for photos with Disney characters? No cut-off time. That’s right. Unlike Disney, the Honolulu course stays open until the last entrant crosses the finish. So it’s especially popular with first-time marathoners and walkers who might get caught by sweep buses in other races. The race also has the largest number of finishers in the 60 and older age group with 3,261 runners in 2013.
Honolulu Marathon course map
But the course is no cake-walk. Largely flat with two 100 ft. climbs, the Honolulu Marathon can also be windy and hot with temperatures in the mid-60s at the start, climbing into the 80s by 10 a.m.
Runners who brave the 5 a.m. start, however, are in for a scenic course along the coast that also goes through downtown Honolulu and past some of the city’s most famous spots like Waikiki Beach, Iolani Palace and Diamond Head. Read the rest of this entry →
On April 21, he did it again by becoming the first American Boston Marathon winner in 30 years. Even more amazing? He won at the age of 38 and in personal record time of 2:08:37.
Keflezighi is without question the U.S.’s best distance runner on the roads today. With an Olympic marathon silver medal and New York City and Boston Marathon titles to his name, he enters an elite group of American runners known as “the greatest.” Even Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic marathon gold medalist and 1976 Olympic marathon silver medalist, said it during the Boston Marathon wrap-up show on Universal Sports: “If there is a club, welcome to it!”
But we mere mortals can learn a thing or two from Marathon Meb. Here’s what comes to mind.
Meb Keflezighi at the 2013 New York City Marathon. (Photo: ccho/Flickr)
1) The big 30 isn’t old. Neither, it seems, is 40.
So many people think the end is nigh once your age no longer begins with a “2.” I’m as guilty as the next runner, wringing my hands at what feels like the inevitable decline now that my age starts with a “3.”
So it’s refreshing and inspiring to see a runner like Meb, just two weeks from his 39th birthday, becoming the Boston Marathon winner, running not just the best time of his life, but the best time in a field of younger guys.
Lesson? You’re only as old as you think you are. Being young at heart pays and, yes, 40 is the new 30.
2) Being the fastest runner doesn’t always matter. But being the smartest does.
Meb Keflezighi is rarely the fastest man in the field. In the 2014 Boston Marathon, no fewer than 14 men had personal best times speedier than Meb, some fully 5 minutes quicker. Read the rest of this entry →
The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon start. (Photo: Preston Mack/Disney)
It’s no secret that the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is one of my favorite race weeks of the year alongside the TCS New York City Marathon. And registration for the 2015 race opens Tuesday, April 22 at 12 p.m. EST.
Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 Weekend
The Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 Weekend will run from January 7-11 at, you guessed it, Walt Disney World in Florida. The weekend is the largest running festival in the U.S. with 60,000 finishers in five races and two race challenges: Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K, Disney Family Fun Run 5K, runDisney Kids’ Races, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge and Dopey Challenge. Plus, the 2015 races and challenges will all have new medals.
The medal haul from the Dopey Challenge. (Photo: runDisney)
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge dares runners to complete the half-marathon and marathon on back-to-back days, and will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2015 with a special 10th anniversary Goofy medal. The Dopey Challenge, in its second year in 2015, asks runners to take on the 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon on four consecutive days for a special Dopey-themed medal.
The Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 weekend also includes the free Disney Health & Fitness Expo, free Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney, ticketed Pasta in the Park Party, ticketed breakfasts after the 5K and 10K, ticketed Race Retreat before the half and full marathons, and Runner’s World Challenge race packages.
Dopey Challenge runners come into the finish at Epcot. (Photo: Preston Mack/Disney)
If you want to run with Runners World, get in there now. Registration for the Runner’s World Challenge is already open and 99 percent full, as of press time. Registration for all the other events will open Tuesday, April 22 at 12 p.m. ET.
The weekend is usually runners’ first chance to buy the newest edition of the coveted New Balance runDisney running shoes, as well. In both 2013 and 2014, new styles of the shoes went on sale for the first time at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. The shoes aren’t available online and can only be purchased at runDisney race expos.
The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon sold out in August in just under four months, with most of the other races filling more quickly. The Dopey Challenge? Yep, it sold out faster than you can name all seven dwarfs. Expect the 10th anniversary edition of Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge to reach capacity quickly this year too, even though it was the last to fill in 2014. You may have a bit more time to contemplate the 5K, 10K and half-marathon, but not much. Most runDisney races are selling out faster and faster year over year, and I’m sure the Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 will be similar. 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!