Archive for the ‘Marathon’Category

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 →

Race Report: Bermuda Triangle Challenge

Race Report: Bermuda Triangle Challenge

Argh! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Arrrgh! That was the word of the weekend when my husband, Phil, and I ran the Bermuda Triangle Challenge, as guests of Bermuda Marathon Weekend. Every January over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, the Bermuda Triangle Challenge dares runners to tackle three races in three days—the Front Street Mile on Friday night, the Bermuda 10K on Saturday, and the Bermuda Marathon or Bermuda Half Marathon run concurrently on Sunday.

At the 2015 races, we opted for the half challenge and had a blast in the process, dressed as pirates for the 10K and half-marathon. We even earned a spot on the race’s website and marketing materials for the feat.

Race Report: Bermuda Triangle Challenge

BermudaRaceWeekend.com

Bermuda Marathon Weekend quickly became one of my favorite running events ever, thanks to the gorgeous courses, robust spectator support, and island-wide friendliness that makes Canadians look surly by comparison. Seriously. And Phil is Canadian! We even started hatching a plan to retire in Bermuda.

I’ll post the usual race report for each event individually, but thought I’d kick things off with a video montage of the Bermuda Triangle Challenge. We even have a cameo by none other than Bart Yasso. Check it out!

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 →

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 →

TCS New York City Marathon By The Numbers

TCS New York City Marathon By The Numbers

Runners stream into Brooklyn in the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon. (Credit: Courtesy NYRR)

The TCS New York City Marathon is my favorite day of the year. I love it even more than I love my birthday. Amazingly, I get to spend the day cheering runners across the finish line as one of the race announcers. It’s truly an honor and a privilege.

Watching the 2006 race in Central Park is what inspired me to tackle it (and the marathon distance) for the first time. I’ve run, worked, or cheered at the race every year since then.

This year, I spent the last seven days emceeing at marathon events, and in the process learned a lot of trivia about the race. Did you know that 130 bands line the course, averaging 5 per mile? Here’s a look at the TCS New York City Marathon through all of its glorious stats.

TCS New York City Marathon By The Numbers

Finishers
55 finishers in 1970, the first New York City Marathon
50,530 finishers in 2014, the largest marathon in history
49,617 finishers in 2015
1,074,404 finishers to date, including 2015
Runners
58% men
42% women
139 countries represented
62% of runners come from the U.S., the most represented country
5% of runners hail from France, the most represented foreign country
4% of runners travel from Italy, the second most represented foreign country
3% of runners come from each the U.K and Germany, which round out the top five countries
50 states represented
32% of runners live in New York, the most represented state
7% of runners hail from New Jersey, the second most represented state
3% of runners travel from California, which comes in third among states
2% of runners come from each Florida and Connecticut, which round out the top five states
History
1970 year of the first New York City Marathon
1976 year of the first five-borough marathon
2000 year of the first official wheelchair division
Records
2:05:06 male runner course record (Geoffrey Mutai, 2011)
2:22:31 female runner course record (Margaret Okayo, 2003)
1:29:22 male wheelchair course record (Kurt Fearnley, 2006)
1:43:04 female wheelchair course record (Tatyana McFadden, 2015)
Human Power
665 million households worldwide the broadcast reaches
1 million+ estimated spectators along the course
10,000 event volunteers
175 NYRR staff working year-round on the TCS New York City Marathon and other programs
The Start
24,100 runners take the Staten Island Ferry to the start
915 buses transport runners to the start on Staten Island
43 UPS trucks transport participants’ bags from start to finish
8 UPS trucks transport participants’ donated clothing from the start to Goodwill
60,000 8-oz. bottles and 1,200 16.9-oz. bottles of Poland Spring 100% Natural Spring Water
40,800 PowerBars
16,000 servings of Gatorade Endurance Carb Energy Drink
1,800 gallons of Gatorade Endurance Formula
663 pounds of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (approximately 62,000 cups)
1,650 portable toilets
The Course
2,300,000 paper cups
1,500,000 participant photos captured by more than 150 official MarathonFoto photographers
62,370 gallons of Poland Spring Brand 100% Natural Spring Water
60,000 PowerGels at mile 18
32,040 gallons of Gatorade Endurance Formula
1,952 portable toilets at more than 35 locations, including every mile
106 official clocks
53 ChronoTrack timing systems
Entertainment
130+ bands and entertainment acts
5 average number of bands per mile (the most at any marathon)
10 number of hours of continuous music along the course
20 Official Partner and Charity Entertainment and Cheer Zones
35 years that the Bishop Loughlin High School band, “the original Marathon band,” has played
at the race. They will once again perform the Rocky theme (“Gonna Fly Now”) all day near the
Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Read the rest of this entry →

01

Nov 2015

How To Watch The TCS New York City Marathon 2015

How To Watch The TCS New York City Marathon 2015

The start of the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon. (Credit: PhotoRun/NYRR)

The TCS New York City Marathon 2015 is almost upon us. If you want to catch all the action from the world’s largest marathon, here’s how to tune-in on TV and online. If you’re looking for spectator tips, read this: Go Runners! A Spectator’s Marathon Guide.

TCS New York City Marathon 2015 Race Week

TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion
Yours truly is master of ceremonies for the week! Located near the finish line at 67th St. in Central Park next to Tavern on The Green, the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion has a full schedule of free entertainment for runners, their families and friends, including course strategy sessions, athlete & celeb appearances, book signings, film screenings, bands, group runs, and more. You can also buy official finisher merchandise, store your gear in an Airbnb locker while you run Central Park, or grab a bite and sip some wine at the cafe & bar.

TCS New York City Marathon Opening Ceremony Presented by United Airlines
Friday, October 30
5:30 p.m. live on ABC7 in New York

Countdown to the Starting Line
Saturday, October 31
7:30 p.m. on ABC7 in New York
Also streaming on WatchABC and ESPN3, accessible on WatchESPN platforms

Get pumped for race day with “Countdown to the Starting Line,” a preview the 45th TCS New York City Marathon. I (yes, me!) pop-by to give a rundown on the top runners to watch.

TCS New York City Marathon 2015 Race Day

NYC Metro Area

Watch on ABC7, Sunday, November 1

Pre-Race Features
7:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

Live Race Broadcast
9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Live streaming will also be available on ABC7NY.com and via the WatchABC app from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Nationally

Watch on ESPN2 and WatchESPN, Sunday, November 1

Live Race Broadcast
9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST.

Pre- and Post-Race Coverage
Watch ESPN3 from 7:00 to 9:00a.m. EST and 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. EST
Available on WatchESPN.com and WatchESPN app

Highlight Show
4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. on your local ABC affiliate

Online

Live Stream
7:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m on WatchABC in New York and WatchESPN nationwide
Download the app in the App Store or Google Play store Read the rest of this entry →

Marathon Training For Your Brain, Funny Bone + Body

Marathon Training For Your Brain, Funny Bone + More

(Joshua Sortino/Unsplash.com)

It’s October, which means one thing: Marathon season is officially here!

Many of us will slog long miles in marathon training this month. I’m prepping for the Honolulu Marathon in 10 weeks, and I know many runners targeting the New York City Marathon, Philadelphia Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and other races.

Others of us will toe the line at events this month, like the Wineglass Marathon, Chicago Marathon, and Marine Corps Marathon.

Others still are thinking about committing to 26.2 for the first time next year or a marathon training challenge like Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World Marathon in January.

Whatever your quest, I’m here to help with a round-up of my marathon articles at Shape.com!

17 Things You Should Know Before Running Your 1st Marathon

via GIPHY

This one was just plain fun to write. I don’t usually write “Listicles” but I couldn’t pass up sharing the wisdom I’ve culled from my seven marathons… in GIF form. I think #8 and #11 are my faves. Pretty sure they’ve happened to me during every single marathon.

What else would you add? Check out the list at Shape.com.

Marathon Training for Your Brain

You’ve put in the miles, training your body for the rigors of running 26.2. But is your mind ready too? Running a marathon is as much a mental battle as a physical one. Inevitable doubts and fears creep into many a marathoner’s mind. Train your brain while training your body with seven tips meant to help flex your mental muscle come race day.

Danielle at LiveRunGrow.com even shares her thoughts on “chunking.” Read it at Shape.com. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: New Balance Reach the Beach Relay

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Girls Run Beta! (Reach The Beach)

6,000 runners. 500 teams. 201 miles. 32 hours. 12 women. 2 vans. 1 state. Put New Balance Reach The Beach Relay in the bag! I ran as a guest of New Balance, who covered all my expenses and kitted me out in gear for the event as part of the “Girls Run Beta” media team. And it was amazing.

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Girls Run Beta! (Carrie Kabat)

The New Balance Reach The Beach Relay, in partnership with the Ragnar Relay Series, takes teams of 12 runners 201 miles across New Hampshire, from the White Mountains to Hampton Beach State Park on the Atlantic shore.

The scenery was lovely, my teammates fantastic, and the overall experience amazing. It’s no wonder I’ve only heard great things about this race.

The fun levels were off the charts. We giggled, we danced, we ate, then ate some more, we told ghost stories, high-fived, commiserated and cheered. While looking for Jess during a night run, I busted out an impromptu rendition of “There’s a Light (Over At The Frankenstein Place) from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Another team called “Snoop Joggy Jog” inspired some “Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay” at our side-of-the-road dance party. Carrie and Dani played DJ with boy bands greatest hits. And the gummy bears flowed like water.

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Van 1! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

We worked as a team. Carrie finished her legs with a cart-wheel (true story) and chauffeured us from spot to spot. Dani was co-pilot and speedy anchor leg. Rachel recruited her dad’s team to cheer us on, and taught us the art of the silent scream (pictured). Jess kept a log of our start and finish times, and shared her Aleve when an afternoon migraine threatened to derail my second run. Kylie gave me her seat in the van to lay down. When it was time to suit me up mid-run with reflective vest and lights, the entire team swarmed me as my pit crew.

I was water girl, filling up and passing out water bottles to the finishing runner or the runner on the road—in one case jogging along side Dani for a brief stint so she didn’t have to stop. I also shared my massage stick with the team and Carrie shared her foam roller, so we could all stay limber.

In other words, the race was truly a team effort. You can see for yourself in this video New Balance put together for us.

Read the rest of this entry →

Fall Running Schedule: 13.1, 26.2, and 200, Oh My!

Fall Running Schedule

Running is East Hampton, NY with Cinderella (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

This is it, folks. The moment I have have been waiting for: My fall running schedule 2015, aka the season when I finally run a sub-2 hour half marathon. There, I said it. I’m throwing down. I know, I know. I’ve said it so many times before. And so many times I have failed. But if at first you don’t succeed…

This is the one goal that has eluded me. My white whale. My holy grail. My impossible dream. A mere 30 seconds stand between my personal best and dream time. Those 30 seconds are coming off the clock.

It all starts August 31. Thanks to the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project, I’ve got a personalized (and complimentary) training plan to see me through.

But that’s not all. After that, I’ve got another goal I’m working toward: a winter 2016 marathon PR. I haven’t run a marathon since 2013. So the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project put together a seamless 24-week training plan for me that takes me all the way through four tune-up and two goal races in a running schedule that spans September to February.

Here’s the run down. And, of course, I’ll share more info about each race as it approaches!

Fall Running Schedule

Great Fjord Run (Photo: VisitNorway.com)

Great Fjord Run

Norway, September 5, 2016

What?! Norway? You bet! My husband, Phil, and I are headed on vacation to Sweden and Norway today. Naturally, I started poking around and found that the Great Fjord Run near Bergen just happens to be taking place while we’re there. So of course, we built our trip around it, as one of Norway’s premier running events with 6,000 participants from more than 30 countries. The event includes 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids races and a walk. We’ll be running the half-marathon!

VisitNorway.com helped me put together an itinerary that includes touring Oslo and hiking the Fjords in Flam and Bergen. I’ll be posting to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter throughout the trip if you want to follow along.

Easy Run: Since it’s the beginning of my running schedule and the end of vacation, this will be a fun run for us with no delusions of running fast. Plus, we’ll want to take in the scenery as we cross three bridges where the waters of three fjords meet. So my training plan has me running this one at an easy pace.

Fall Running Schedule: Halves & Relays & Marathons, Oh My!

(Photo: Reach The Beach Relay)

New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

New Hampshire, September 18-19, 2015

The New Balance Reach The Beach Relay has been on my bucket list for a while. When New Balance invited me to be their guest as part of a media team, I jumped at the chance. Reach The Beach takes teams of 12 runners 200 miles across New Hampshire, from the White Mountains to Hampton Beach State Park on the Atlantic shore. Each team member runs three legs of the relay, totaling about 16.6 miles over the the course of 24 hours. We start Friday afternoon and finish Saturday evening, running around the clock in shifts through 36 transition areas. This will be my first relay and my first race in New Hampshire. Mountain vistas, serene lakes, and a covered bridge or two are on the menu. I can’t wait!

Tune-Up: My Run S.M.A.R.T Project training plan has me using this as a tune-up at half-marathon race pace. So it will be my first chance to test my fitness once my running schedule starts. I doubt I’ll be running all 16.6. miles at half-marathon race pace, but hopefully I’ll do a leg or two at a fast clip. Read the rest of this entry →

Calling All Runners: The Marathon Wants You!

Please welcome Jason Saltmarsh of SaltmarshRunning.com, who is contributing to RunKarlaRun.com for the first time! I met Jason as a fellow member of Team GORE at the 2014 GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon & Half Marathon. His site is a great resource for training tips and running inspiration. Hope you enjoy his first post here.

Calling All Runners, The Marathon Wants You

Karla finishes her seventh marathon. (Photo: Marathon-Photos.com)

Calling All Runners…

By Jason Saltmarsh

Like mariners drawn to a rocky shoreline by the song of the sirens, runners can’t resist the epic lure of the marathon. This fall, hundreds of thousands of runners will line up across the country for a chance to experience the agony and ecstasy of running’s premiere event. The marathon isn’t just a road race, it’s a chance to discover what it means to be a hero.

Life is easy these days. We sit too much, we eat too much, and most of us have never been truly tested. As wonderful as this sounds, it leaves us with a hollow feeling. We long to be warriors. The marathon gives us that chance—the chance to define ourselves.

The marathon strips away pretenses and reveals truth. It’s merciless and unforgiving. But, if you have the willpower and strength make it to the end, the marathon will reward you with glory, pride, and satisfaction.

Inspiration For Beginning Runners, New York City Marathon

Karla finishes her first marathon. (Photo: brightroom)

You’ll never run another race as profound and meaningful as your first marathon. You’ll learn what it means to run with your heart, and experience the inescapable humility of endurance running. Expect tears, laughter, and the most perfect feeling of contentment and stillness you’ve ever known after crossing the finish line. Expect to be inordinately thankful for small gestures of comfort, the love of family, and the kindness of strangers.

Sure, once is enough for many runners. But the fulfillment of running a marathon is intoxicating. If you’re fit and able, it’s hard to say no. The marathon offers us a chance to be extraordinary in an otherwise ordinary life. Read the rest of this entry →

17

Aug 2015

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

I’m leaving on a jet plane for Cappadocia Turkey! Why, pray tell? I’m running the Runfire Cappadocia 20K, part of the the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon!

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, in conjunction with Argos in Cappadocia, has put together a media trip for this year’s race. They’d first invited me out to the inaugural event in 2012, but the race was taking place shortly before my wedding so it was a no-go. There was no race in 2014. But this year, I’ll be there and writing a story about the experience for Shape.com.

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

Runfire Cappadocia is a six-stage ultra marathon in Central Anatolia, taking runners from a rock formation known as “Three Graces” in Uchisar to the white salt of Lake Tuz across 160 miles through arid plains. Conical rock formations make stone “fairy chimneys” as they’ve come to be known, and caves form the basis for dwellings that date to the 4th century. Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To run among all of it? I can’t wait.

This year is the first time Runfire Cappadocia has offered six different categories of races.

There’s the RFC 20K I’ll be running, which comprises the first 20K of the ultra marathon; the RFC Ultra, which includes 260K over 6 stages in 6 days, all self-supported; the RFC Toughest Day, which is the longest stage of the Ultra at 104K; Discovery 6D, where runners cover 15-20K per day for 6 days while fully supported by race staff; Discovery 4K, where runners cover 15-20K per day for 4 days while fully supported by race staff; and corporate team races.

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

I’ll be touring Cappadocia for two days before the race begins, then running the 20k and bits of the ultra for three days to get a feel for the event and the terrain.

I wish I could commit to one of the longer categories, but my schedule and stress fracture recovery prevent it. I’ve been back to running for 12 weeks since my injury. I’ve successfully rebuilt my longest run from scratch, starting at 2 miles and building to 13 miles so far.

It’s tempting to say, Yeah, I can run 9-12 miles a day for 4 or 6 days in row! But I know I shouldn’t, especially when my weekly mileage has barely topped 20 miles so far. So it’s the 20K and bits of the other days for me.

Then I’ll spend two days in Istanbul to get a taste of one of Eurasia’s grandest cities.

I visited Turkey for all of one day as a 16-year-old on a high school trip to Italy and Greece. I was a Latin and Classics student, so we tromped around the Mediterranean touring ancient sites in Rome, Pompeii, Athens, and beyond. Our one-day stop in Ephesus, Turkey was a highlight. Once a great Greek, then Roman, city of antiquity, Ephesus housed one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Though that temple is long gone, other ruins remain, like the facade of the Library of Celsus.

But this time around, I’m excited to see a bit more of the country than one day allows—the ancient and the modern, the natural and the man-made. I’m not just going to see it. I’m going to run it. See you in Turkey!

Scenes from 2013 Runfire Cappadocia, Turkey

Read the rest of this entry →

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Minnie cheers runners at the Wat Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

Registration for the Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Weekend opens Tuesday, April 28 at 12 p.m. ET. Disney’s signature running event kicks off the new year from January 6-10 at Walt Disney World in Florida. The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna is the largest running festival 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.

Race Report: Walt Disney World Marathon 2016

Runners dash through Cinderella Castle. (Photo: Todd Anderson/runDisney)

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge dares runners to complete the half-marathon and marathon on back-to-back days in order to earn a Goofy designed medal. The Dopey Challenge asks runners to take on the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon on four consecutive days for a special Dopey-themed medal. The Castaway Cay Challenge is for runners who opt to add on a 4-night Bahamas cruise from January 11-15, run a 5K race or longer at the Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 weekend, and complete the Castaway Cay 5K on Disney Cruise Line’s private island.

The Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 weekend also includes the free runDisney 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.

Registration for the Runner’s World Challenge is already open and 50 percent full as of press time. Registration for all the other events will open Tuesday, April 28 at 12 p.m. ET.

New Balance Releases New Disney Shoes For Princess Half

The 2015 New Balance runDisney Retro Collection

The weekend is usually runners’ first chance to buy the newest edition of the coveted New Balance runDisney running shoes, as well. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 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.

For more information about the races, pricing, or to register for the Walt Disney World Marathon 2016, visit runDisney.com.

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Weekend Sell-Out Times?
Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

The Magic Kingdom archway (Photo: runDisney)

The 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend broke all of the event’s previous sell-out records. The Dopey Challenge, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World 5K all sold out within 24 hours. The Walt Disney World Marathon filled up in 21 days, shattering the nearly four months it took the 2014 race to sell out.

Only Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge and runDisney kids races had availabilities lingering longer. Read the rest of this entry →

Getting Over The Boston Marathon’s Heartbreak Hill

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Taking the Heartbreak Hill Half seriously. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

The 119th Boston Marathon gets underway Monday, April 20. The race is the stuff of legend and many a runner’s dream. I’m no exception, though I’m far from qualifying. So when I had the chance to run the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half in Boston and Newton, Massachusetts last year, I leapt. This would be my big chance to run those infamous Newton Hills including the monster of titular fame.

But while I envisioned showing Heartbreak Hill what’s what, the incline ended up getting the best of me. I wrote about it in my race report after the fact. But I knew there was something more to my epic breakdown that day, something I didn’t quite pinpoint in that post. After mulling it over, I was finally able to put it into words.

Shape.com published the resulting essay, and I thought the eve of the Boston Marathon was the perfect time to share it.

Running Through Heartbreak: How Running Healed Me

Just keep pushing, I muttered to myself as I shuffled toward the 12-mile marker of the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half in Newton, Massachusetts, named for the Boston Marathon’s most notorious climb. I’d reached the slope in the final stretch of the half-marathon conceived for one sole purpose: conquering Heartbreak Hill.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Happy to be finished! (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

It’s a moment many runners dream about—myself included. I’d envisioned confidently cresting the incline, my lungs bellowing in rhythm to my stride as I finally broke two hours. But what was supposed to be my fastest half-marathon quickly became my slowest. A cloudless, 80-degree day forced me to slacken my pace. And so I came face-to-face with the famed Heartbreak Hill, humbled and defeated.

As I approached the incline, heartbreak was all around me. A sign signaled its start: Heartbreak. A man in a gorilla suit wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the word: Heartbreak. Spectators shouted: “Heartbreak Hill up ahead!”

Suddenly, it wasn’t only a physical obstacle. Out of nowhere, the major heartaches of my own life washed over me. Exhausted, dehydrated, and staring down failure, I couldn’t shake the experiences I associate with that word…

Read the entire essay at SHAPE.com.

I learned a lot about myself that day, and it’s a moment I think about often while running. I hope that Heartbreak Hill and I will meet again someday. When we do, I’ll be ready.

Good luck to everyone running the Boston Marathon tomorrow! I’ll be watching on TV, tweeting along, and cheering you on from New York City. Go out and show Heartbreak Hill who’s boss! Read the rest of this entry →

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Apr 2015

How To Watch Boston Marathon 2015 On TV Or Web

How to Watch the Boston Marathon 2015 on TV or Web

2014 Boston Marathon Elite Women (Photo © Kinchan1/Flickr)

Defending champion Meb Keflezighi returns to the Boston Marathon 2015 in Hopkinton, Mass., on Monday, April 20. Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila Linden, Amy Hastings, Dathan Ritzenhein, Nick Arciniaga, and Jeffrey Eggleston will be running too. They’ll face off against a stacked international field that includes past champions Lelisa Desisa, Wesley Korir, Sharon Cherop and Caroline Kilel, and former world record holder Patrick Makau. And don’t forget the field of 30,000 marathoners.

If you want to catch the action from Boston here’s how to tune in.

Boston Marathon 2015 Preview Show

On Sunday, April 19 Universal Sports will air a live preview show from the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street at 4 p.m. ET.

Boston Marathon 2015 National Broadcast

Watch the 119th Boston Marathon live on Universal Sports from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET on Monday, April 20. The pre-race show begins at 8:30 a.m. ET and the post-race show kicks off at 12:30 p.m. ET.

If you miss the race, Universal Sports will air a 2014 Boston Marathon Wrap-Up Show live at 4 p.m ET, followed by encore presentations of the race at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.

If you don’t get Universal Sports, don’t worry. The channel will be available for free during April and the 2015 Boston Marathon on DIRECTV, DISH, Verizon FiOS, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks, Google Fiber, and other regional cable providers. You can find Universal Sports in your channel lineup at UniversalSports.com.

How to Watch the Boston Marathon 2015 on TV or Web

2014 Boston Marathon Elite Men (Photo © Kinchan1/Flickr)

Boston Marathon 2015 Local Broadcast

The Boston Marathon 2015 will broadcast live on CBS Boston’s WBZ-TV from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET. The race will be rerun on myTV38 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Monday, April 20.

Boston Marathon 2015 Online Coverage

The Boston Marathon will stream live online at watchlive.baa.org starting at 9:30 a.m. ET, and at CBSBoston.com.

UniversalSports.com will also stream the Boston Marathon live. Plus, their Finish Line Web Cam will show runners as they complete the 26.2-mile race on Boylston Street. The web cam goes live on UniversalSports.com at 10 a.m. ET on April 20. After April 20, runners will be able to search their finish time to find themselves crossing the line.

Read the rest of this entry →

17

Apr 2015

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Disney Race Weekends

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Offers Disney 'Marathon Weekends'

Runners at the Walt Disney World Marathon (Photo: runDisney)

During my latest visit to Walt Disney World for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I stayed at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek for two nights to get the scoop on their Marathon Weekends, offered during many runDisney races since 2011. Marathon Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and the adjacent Waldorf Astoria Orlando offer runners complimentary transportation to runDisney half-marathons and marathon, an included pre-race breakfast and send-off party, discounted rates that include late check-out, a runner’s concierge, and more.

Disney 'Marathon Weekends' at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Deluxe Double Queen guest room (Photo: Hilton)

My room was large, comfortable, and clean with a beautiful view of the pool and Walt Disney World beyond. And best of all, it was within the gates of Walt Disney World Resort—a 10-minute drive to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios—with free transportation to the parks. I thoroughly enjoyed the hotel and would stay there again in a heartbeat when visiting or running Walt Disney World. The value and bang-for-your-buck is exceptional.

As a mid-week guest I wasn’t able to experience the Marathon Weekends myself, but chatted with folks in the know, got a look at some of the runner amenities like the welcome bag, and took in much of what the resort had to offer. I ran the property, lounged poolside in a cabana, made use of guests’ 10% discount at the Waldorf Astoria spa, hit the lobby coffee shop—which has some amazing pastries, by the way—and more.

Here’s the low-down on Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Marathon Weekends, early bird Marathon Weekend rates for the 2015 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon, and runner-friendly amenities at the resort. Read the rest of this entry →

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