Training For The North Face Endurance Challenge

Tackling The North Face Endurance Challenge

Runners at Bear Mountain (Photo: The North Face Endurance Challenge)

It’s official. After eight years and 90 races, I’m finally tackling my first trail race: The North Face Endurance Challenge New York at Bear Mountain!

I blame my husband, Phil. He was all, “Can we do a trail race? I really want to do a trail race this year.” And I was all, “Sure, just pick one.” And he was all, “How about The North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain on May 3?” And I was all, “Bear Mountain? But it’s so steep! Ahhhhhhhh! Sure, let’s do it.”

I love Bear Mountain and I love Harriman State Park that surrounds it. It’s a 90 minute drive north of New York City.

Tackling The North Face Endurance Challenge

Photo break in Harriman State Park (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

I love the views from the top of Bear Mountain, and I love taking Cinderella there for hikes.

Tackling The North Face Endurance Challenge

Cinderella hikes Bear Mountain (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Bear Mountain was where I trained to climb Mount Kilimanjaro back in 2008. Phil and I even did our engagement photo shoot in Harriman State Park.

Our engagement photo shoot in Harriman State Park (Photo: Lev Kuperman

Our engagement photo shoot in Harriman State Park (Photo: Lev Kuperman)

But running Bear Mountain? The thought has never occurred to me. It’s really, um, traily and technical.

Here’s the thing: I “hike like a fish,” as Phil likes to joke. He’s not being mean. He’s being completely accurate. I am, truly, a fish out of water. The second you take me off of a road, smooth grass, or groomed trail and onto a trail with any sort of technicality, I lose all sense of balance. I am the opposite of sure-footed. No, it doesn’t stop me from hiking and running in amazing places like Cinque Terre and Machu Picchu. Read the rest of this entry →

23

Mar 2015

Avengers Super Heroes Half Gets New 10K + Challenge

Avengers Super Heroes Half Gets 10K, New Challenge

The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon finish (Photo: Scott Brinegar/Disney)

The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend from November 13-15, 2015 at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA just got mightier. The runDisney race is adding a new Captain America 10K and Infinity Gauntlet Challenge, which includes running the 10K and half-marathon on back-to-back days.

Multi-day challenges have proven especially popular for runDisney, often selling out first among events. The new Infinity Gauntlet joins Dopey and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, Rebel Challenge at Stars Wars Half Marathon Weekend, Glass Slipper Challenge at Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, Pixie Dust Challenge at Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, and Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. The Infinity Gauntlet Challenge will include 19.3-miles of running.

Avengers Super Heroes Half Gets New 10K and Challenge

The half-marathon medal (Photo: Scott Brinegar/Disney)

Like the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, the Captain America 10K will run through through the Disneyland Resort and the streets of Anaheim. Runners who register for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge will earn a challenge medal in addition to bling for each race. You must register for the challenge—not register for each race individually–to qualify.

The second Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend will also include the Avengers Super Heroes 5K, runDisney Kids Races, Health & Fitness Expo, and a pre-race Pasta in the Park Party.

Registration opens April 7, 2015 at 12 p.m. Eastern. For more information visit runDisney.com.

Read the rest of this entry →

20

Mar 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 runner-friendly amenities at the resort. Read the rest of this entry →

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015 Charity Bibs

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Charity Bibs

Charity runner at Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon (Photo: runDisney)

The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015 Weekend of races sold out in an unprecedented 30 minutes when registration opened Tuesday, March 17, with both the half-marathon and Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K getting snapped up within a half hour. But you can still run the November 6-7 races at Walt Disney World by registering via the runDisney Charity Groups or Travel Providers Programs.

Registration is still available for the runDisney Kids’ Races and Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste. But don’t dawdle. The Kids Races were 90 percent full and Pre-Race Taste 85 percent full as of press time. Visit rundisney.com for more info or to register.

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015

Cheer! Runners get a complimentary drink at the finish. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com

No doubt the race weekend received a popularity boost as the only fall event at Walt Disney World in 2015. Previous years saw the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in October, another nighttime race that may have split the pool of interest among runDisney fans. But with no Tower of Terror in 2015 and Expedition Everest Challenge making its final bow in May 2015, Wine & Dine becomes the only nighttime race in runDisney’s repertoire and the only fall offering at Walt Disney World.

It doesn’t hurt that the race also has the best post-race festival known to runner kind, in the form of the Finish Line Party at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which keeps Epcot open until 4 a.m.

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015 Charity Groups Program

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

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Registration Opens

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Registration Opens

Runners at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

UPDATE 3/17/15
The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon and Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K sold out in 30 minutes! If you want to run, you can still register with a charity or tour provider: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015 Charity and Tour Bibs

Registration for the 2015 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World from November 6-7 opens Tuesday, March 17 at 12 p.m. EST. The race celebrates its sixth year.

How To Make Aladdin & Jasmine Running Costume

Bling! (Photo: Marathon Foto)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this might be my all-time favorite half-marathon. I ran Disney Wine and Dine in 2011 and 2013, as part of press trip courtesy of runDisney and New Balance, and loved every minute. I hope to keep running it for years to come. My husband proposed at the Finish Line Party after the race in 2011, so it’s our anniversary race of sorts.

But the proposal isn’t the only reason I love Disney Wine and Dine Half. The night-time race means dazzling Disney park lights and one killer after party that bumps all night long. This race is the best bang for your buck of all of runDisney’s half-marathons.

The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon starts at 10 p.m. outside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and traditionally takes runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, past Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and finally to the finish at Epcot. It’s a route runners won’t find at any other half-marathon. The Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Disney Princess Half Marathon share the same course. But Disney Wine and Dine is truly unique.

Plus, the race finishes with the best post-race party I’ve found—at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, which stays open until 4 a.m. just for runners. Admission to the Finish Line party is included in race registration, along with a $15 Disney gift card and a complimentary beer or wine at the finish. Read the rest of this entry →

16

Mar 2015

United Airlines NYC Half 2015 Running & Viewing Guide

United Airlines NYC Half 2015 Viewing & Running Guide

Runners take on Times Square (Photo: Courtesy of NYRR)

The United Airlines NYC Half 2015 is ready to take a bite out of the Big Apple on Sunday, March 15 with 20,000 runners and 2,200 volunteers. I’ll be at the start as one of the race announcers, ready to send you on your way to a 13.1-mile tour of New York City—from Central Park through Times Square and along the Hudson River to a fabulous finish in the Financial District on Wall Street.

Are you running? Watching? Cheering someone on? Here’s your guide to the course, how to watch the broadcast, and how to track runners at the city’s marquee half-marathon, which kicks of the NYRR 5 Borough Series.

Guide to the United Airlines NYC Half 2015

Course Map

The Course

The United Airlines NYC Half course is a tourist’s dream, showcasing a great diversity of the landscape that Manhattan offers. You’ll see Central Park, a peak at Harlem, Times Square, much of the West Side and Hudson River waterfront, Battery Park, and Financial District, including the historic South Street Seaport just steps away. You’ll take in tree-lined parkland, open skies over the river, skyscrapers, and glaring lights—a bit of it all.

Honestly, I love this course. Even as a New Yorker, I get chills running through Times Square. Do you know how rarely Times Square gets shut down? Just twice a year: for the ball drop on New Year’s Eve and for the United Airlines NYC Half. That’s it. It’s a big deal. Huge. As big as all those Jumbotrons you’ll see.

What can you expect along the way? A quiet 6-mile tour of Central Park and 110th street. Once you exit the park and start heading for Times Square, you’ll find 13 on-course entertainment zones, roughly every half mile, including seven bands and six DJ’s.

I’ve had a few runners ask me about the terrain. I’ve been a New Yorker for close to 15 years and have been running the city for 10 of them. I know every dip and turn along the way. I last ran this event in 2012 and have worked it as a broadcaster and announcer ever since.

The bad news: Central Park is no joke. Even the pros I’ve interviewed talk about how challenging the park’s rolling hills can be. Read the rest of this entry →

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon Training Begins

Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon Training Begins

Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon start (Photo: Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series)

After a fantastic winter of fun running and base-building at events like the Bermuda Triangle Challenge and Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I’m ready to start testing my speed once again. Half marathon training season officially started Sunday for my first goal race of the year: the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon on Sunday, May 31!

I’m really excited for this one. I’ve never run a Rock ‘n’ Roll event, and I’ll be attending the race as a guest of Competitor Group. For my first Rock ‘n’ Roll experience, I wanted to run one of their marquee events, and it doesn’t get bigger than Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2. The 2014 event had nearly 23,000 finishers between the marathon and half-marathon. Plus, I’ve only visited San Diego once, more than 10 years ago, so I’m definitely due for a return trip.

Half Marathon Training

Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series)

A tempo run PR in Central Park (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

My 12-week half marathon training program started Sunday!

I kicked it off with a stellar tempo run in Central Park—my fastest ever. I ran 4.35 miles in 39:03 at an 8:58 pace. Um, folks, that’s a 4-mile personal best for me! My current 4-mile PR is 36:00 at a 9-minute pace. Of course, I won’t count my Central Park tempo as an official PR since the course was not accurately measured, but just knowing that a late winter workout where I was working hard but not all out was in PR territory makes me deliriously happy. Read the rest of this entry →

10

Mar 2015

Run TCS New York City Marathon 2015 For Charity

Run the TCS New York City Marathon 2015 For Charity

Runners enter the Queensboro Bridge en route to Manhattan at the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon. (Credit: Courtesy NYRR)

Didn’t get into the TCS New York City Marathon 2015 through the random draw that took place Tuesday, March 3? You can still be among the 50,000 runners on November 1, 2015 at the world’s largest 26.2-mile race. NYRR—who I work for as a race announcer—has opened entries to their Charity Running Program for 2015. The race will celebrate its 45th running.

Of the 80,080 drawing applicants, 14,326 runners gained entry into the race. That’s a 56 percent increase over 2014. If you missed your chance, you can get a guaranteed entry through one of the 300 official charity partners this year. Some 8,500 runners raised a record $34.5 million for charities at the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon.

Actress Natalie Dormer of Game of ThronesHunger Games, and Tudors fame will be running the marathon as an NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador. As the race’s largest charity, the group raises money for NYRR’s free youth running programs serving 200,000 students locally and nationally who otherwise have little access to physical activity. Dormer last ran the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon in 3:50.57. Find out more about running with Dormer and Team For Kids at runwithtfk.org.

The 2014 TCS New York City Marathon was the largest marathon in history with 50,530 finishers from 130 countries running the Big Apple’s five boroughs. This year, nearly 130,000 runners will apply to run race through guaranteed and non-guaranteed entries, like the random draw, time qualifications, charity entries, and travel partners.

TCS New York City Marathon 2015 Charity Partners

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

Gold Charities

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

When Did You Start Calling Yourself A Runner?

When Did You Start Calling Yourself A Runner?

Running in New England on May 11, 2014. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

This year marks the 10th anniversary of my life as a runner—my runiversary, if you will. It was late 2004 and early 2005 when I first laced up an old pair of sneakers unearthed from the depths of my closet and went for a run. Then, for some inexplicable reason, I did it again, and again, and again until it became a habit.

But I certainly didn’t call myself “a runner.” That didn’t happen for a few more years. But looking back, I wish I had staked a claim to the word “runner” a lot earlier.

I wrote about it in an essay at SHAPE.

What Makes You A Runner?

More than 65 million Americans went for a run last year. More than 19 million ran a race. But many of those people are hesitant to call themselves “runners.” I would know—I used to be one of them…

Sound familiar? I hear “Oh, I’m not a real runner” constantly—at races, parties, in social media, and everywhere else I encounter people who regularly put one foot in front of the other.

So what exactly makes you a runner? The short answer is simple: If you run, you’re a runner.

But the long answer is much more complicated—and it has nothing to do with how fast you are… One three-hour marathoner I know who has qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon—a feat only 10 percent of marathoners achieve—says he still has a hard time calling himself a runner. It’s an epidemic that extends far and wide, from the fastest to the slowest among us. Why?

You can read the whole thing at SHAPE.com.

What About You?

I take a liberal view: if you run, you’re a runner. Plain and simple. But I’d love to hear your thoughts. When did you start calling yourself a runner? When do you think you should have? What, exactly, makes someone a runner? Read the rest of this entry →

Testing Nike LunarTempo Shoes at Mile High Run Club

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

The Nike LunarTempo Shoes (Photo: Nike)

I’m a runner who loves ultra lightweight running shoes and ultra soft cushioning. I want to feel like I’m running on clouds and I want my shoe to weigh something in the range of clouds. So I was excited to try the new Nike LunarTempo shoes at a media workout at Mile High Run Club, a treadmill studio in New York City. Nike has billed the Nike LunarTempo as a shoe with “ultralight cushioning for high-speed miles.” The workout at Mile High Run Club would put that tagline to the test.

Nike LunarTempo Shoes

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

Nike LunarTempo in action. (Photo: Nike)

When I arrived at Mile High Run Club, a locker with my name on it was waiting for me, filled with complimentary running gear, including the new Nike LunarTempo shoes.

How did they fare in one treadmill run? The neutral shoe is a bit like running on clouds.

Nike used their Lunarlon foam midsole, which is indeed one of the cushiest rides in town. I currently wear the Nike Flyknit Lunar2 with Lunarlon. That oh-so-soft landing under the heel is one of my favorite things about that shoe, and the Nike LunarTempo didn’t disappoint.

But this time around, Nike has re-engineered the Lunarlon foam to make it even lighter at 6.2 oz for a women’s size 8, more responsive and just as supportive. After a few short wears, I can confirm that this shoes feels fantastic underfoot if you love a soft ride like I do. Read the rest of this entry →

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Coming in 2016

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Comes in 2016

runDisney comes to Paris (Photo: Disney)

It’s official! The much-anticipated inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is coming to France from September 23-25, 2016. Disney announced the new race at the start of the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Walt Disney World in Florida on February 22, 2015.

No other information about the race has been released just yet. But you can register your interest at DisneylandParis.com to get more details about the event and registration when it’s released.

My husband has been trying to get me to Paris since we first met seven years ago. As a native Montrealer, he speaks French fluently, attended French school while living abroad as a child, lived and worked in Paris in college, and loves all things French. Methinks this will finally get us to book the trip. I’ve only been to Paris once about 15 years ago. So I’m definitely overdue. I think a runDisney race is the perfect excuse.

How about you? Aspirations to run the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon in 2016?

As a member of the media, I have attended runDisney events courtesy of Disney. But as always, all opinions are purely my own. I really do believe in being honest about my experiences. For more information read my Disclosure Policy.

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Disney Princess Half Marathon Running Costume Peek

The Disney Princess Half Marathon is finally here! Time for the running costume reveal!

Today, I ran the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K as Shredded and Torn Cinderella. It was a bit too cold for my costume as planned—barely 40 degrees!—so I added some arm sleeves.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Running Costume Peak

Torn Cinderella

And best moment of the day: my photo opp with Cinderella! We got a great before and after shot. Thanks Fairy Godmother! Cinderella looks much better after a little magic.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Running Costume Peak

Before and After

But what will I wear to the Disney Princess Half Marathon? On Friday, my sister and I ran as Disney’s most infamous sisters—Anastasia and Drizella. Read the rest of this entry →

Disney Princess Enchanted 10K Running Costume Peak

What to wear for the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K? You all know I’m obsessed with Cinderella. She’s my boo. I’ve run three runDisney races as Cinderella:

Disney's Princess Half Marathon, most fun race, running races, Cinderella running costume

At Disney’s Princess Half Marathon (Photo: brightroom)

Cinderella at the ball with Prince Charming

Walt Disney World Marathon, run Disney, Disney running, running costume, Cinderella

Cinderella in Rags and Jacque the Mouse. (Photo: Marathon Foto)

Cinderella in Rags with Jacques the mouse

Walt Disney World Marathon 2015

With Lady Daisy and Knight Donald at the 2014 Walt Disney World Half Marathon. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

And Cinderella in the pink dress the mice make for her.

Today, I ran the Disney Princess Frozen 5K as Drizella to my sister’s Anastasia, Cinderella’s curmudgeonly stepsisters. Read the rest of this entry →

20

Feb 2015

Disney Princess 5K Running Costume Sneak Peek

Disney Princess 5K Running Costume Sneak Peek

Drizella comes together (RunKarlaRun.com)

Sisters! It’s the theme of my Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Joining me for the 5K and half-marathon is none other than my own sister.

Disney Princess 5K Running Costume Sneak Peek

Carrie & Kelly of Sparkle Athletic were my inspiration. (Photo: Disney)

Cue up “Oh, Sing Sweet Nightingale.” It’s time for a little music lesson with Drizella and Anastasia Tremaine, Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters. And, oh, are they nasty. But what fun costumes!

Above is a little sneak peek at my Drizella running costume. We borrowed the idea wholesale from the ladies of Sparkle Athletic, who kindly geared us out for the occasion. If you’re ever looking for costume ideas, be sure to check out their running costume gallery!

If you see us at the race, please say hello! We might just stick out tongues out at you, but only because we’re “in character.”

After playing a bevy of beauties like Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, and Esmeralda at runDisney races, it will be fun to be bad!

As a member of the media, I’m attending the Disney Princess Half Marathon courtesy of runDisney. But as always, all opinions are purely my own. I really do believe in being honest about my experiences. For more information read my Disclosure Policy.

 

Disney Bound: Princess Half Marathon 2015 Weekend

Disney Bound: Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015

The Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge medal (Photo: runDisney)

The countdown is on! The Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals starts in just a few days! I’ll be running all the races—Disney Princess 5K, Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, and Disney Princess Half Marathon, earning my Glass Slipper Challenge medal in the process.

Disney Bound: Princess Half Marathon 2015 Weekend

Running with my Prince Charming at Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. (Photo: brightroom)

Although this weekend snuck up on me, I’m incredibly excited. It will be my seventh runDisney race, second time at Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, and the first doing the Glass Slipper Challenge. For a gal who named her dog Cinderella, this is pretty exciting stuff.

But even more important than earning a Cinderella-themed medal is the woman who will be by my side: my sister.

Back in 2012, my husband (then fiancé) and I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon as Cinderella and Prince Charming, where he paced me to a new personal best. I’d been training hard and was really excited for the race.

My sister and her kids came along for vacation too. My niece and nephew ran in the runDisney Kids Race, and Sis was out there early on half-marathon morning cheering me on along the course and at the finish.

She’s long been one of my best supporters, coming out to root for me at the Chicago Marathon, New York City Marathon, and other races, often with a home-made sign in hand. Read the rest of this entry →