Posts Tagged ‘half-marathon’

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Medals Revealed

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Medals Revealed

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon medals (Disney)

In nine weeks, runners will storm Disneyland Paris in Val d’Europe, France for the first time: the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon takes off on Sunday, September 25, 2016. I’ll be among them as a media guest of runDisney. Now, we’ve got a glimpse of the medals we’ll earn.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Medal

For the main 13.1-mile event, Mickey Mouse is, of course, the main man. He runs around Sleeping Beauty Castle, the iconic heart of Disneyland Paris, just like runners will. Flourished with the French fleur-de-lis, the gold medal hangs from a blue lanyard. It’s the official color of Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Medals Revealed

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon medal (Disney)

Disneyland Paris 5K & runDisney Kids Races Medallions

The runDisney Kids Races medallion also features Mickey Mouse in living color, while the Disneyland Paris 5K medallion stars another rodent—Remy of Ratatouille fame. Both hang from blue and gold ribbons. Read the rest of this entry →

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2017 Registration

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2017 Registration

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2017 Registration opens July 12. (Walt Disney World)

Registration for the 2017 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals opens Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 12 p.m. ET. The women-focused race weekend will take place at Walt Disney World in Florida from February 23-26, 2017. The race is the second largest women’s running event in the U.S. with 20,138 finishers in 2016.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Registration Opens

(runDisney)

The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend includes the titular Disney Princess Half Marathon, Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, Disney Princess 5K, runDisney Kids Races, and Disney Glass Slipper Challenge.

The Challenge asks runners to complete both the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday for a total of 19.3 miles. They’ll earn three medals total: one for each race and one for the Challenge. To qualify, runners must register for the Challenge, not each race individually.

The free runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex also takes place from Thursday through Saturday. The Expo is the only place runners can find shoes in the New Balance runDisney Collection.

During race registration, runners can also purchase the VIP Race Retreat Package with access to a suite of pre- and post-race amenities.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon takes runners from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and back, including a run through Cinderella Castle. The 10K and 5K courses traditionally run through Epcot and the Disney BoardWalk area. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Star Wars Half Marathon—The Dark Side

Race Report: Star Wars Half Marathon 'Dark Side'

The Star Wars Half Marathon ‘Dark Side’ Finish. (runDisney)

The inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon—The Dark Side at Walt Disney World in Florida had 18,182 finishers on April 17, 2016. I was among them as a media guest of runDisney, with my husband, Phil, running by my side. Another 12,172 runners finished the Star Wars 10K the day before.

I had one goal for the race: run a PR. I wrote about the attempt for Shape.com: Should You Ever Give Up On A Fitness Goal?

“Do. Or do not,” Yoda famously says in Star Wars:The Empire Strikes Back. “There is no try.”

Yoda obviously wasn’t a runner.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I first tried to break two hours in a half-marathon. It was 2010 in Montreal, Canada, and I failed. Six years later, I’m still trying. I’ve run more than 25 half-marathons, gutting out 2:00:30 at my fastest. (What Makes You a Runner?)

At this year’s Star Wars Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in Florida, I channeled the Force for yet another attempt. Dressed as Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with my husband as Chewbacca by my side, I set out on a 13.1-mile—or, you know, 6.83 parsec—quest.

In running and in life, goals and dreams keep pushing us forward. What keeps us chasing them? In a word: Hope. It’s true in Star Wars, running, and in life. But when is it time to say enough is enough? Should we ever let hope fade into resignation?

You can read the entire essay, full of Star Wars wisdom, at Shape.com.

Race Report: Star Wars Half Marathon 'Dark Side'

We did it! (Disney PhotoPass)

I’ll admit: I’m not the world’s biggest Star Wars nerd. Yes, I’ve seen all the movies and enjoy them. I even had an Ewok stuffed animal as a kid in the ’80s and wanted Princess Leia buns in my hair. But I’m not as into it as I am Disney animated films. After all, my dog is named Cinderella, not Princess Leia.

Why? Leia seemed to be the only female in a galaxy entirely populated by men, much like the Smurfs. Weird. As a little girl, it just didn’t speak to me. I didn’t see myself anywhere on screen, except in Leia.

Enter Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I loved it, largely and not-so-subconsciously because women were everywhere. You have your latent Jedi in Rey, your military leader in Leia, your villain in Captain Phasma, your female fighter pilots. Even Rey’s “Yoda”—Maz Kanata—is female. The movie brought me a new love and appreciation for the Star Wars franchise.

So I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this race and totally geeked out over all the Star Wars characters. Any time one of them—like Stormtroopers or Captain Phasma—talked to me though a thoroughly convincing voice modulator, I felt giddy as a kid completely transported to another world. Both Phil and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Here’s the scoop, including running in costume, the course, where I stayed, and the race itself. Read the rest of this entry →

Star Wars Half Marathon 2017 Disneyland Registration

Star Wars Half Marathon 2017 Disneyland Registration Opens

Star Wars Half Marathon 2017 registrations opens June 14. (runDisney)

Registration for the Star Wars Half Marathon 2017 “The Light Side” Weekend at Disneyland opens at 12 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. The Disney half marathon race weekend themed to “The Light Side” will take place January 12-15, 2017 in a galaxy far, far away. OK, it’s really in Anaheim, Calif.

More than 20,600 runners finished the Star Wars Half Marathon “The Light Side” and Star Wars 10K in 2016, with another 6,250 runners registered for the non-timed Star Wars 5K and runDisney Kids Races. Among them all, 4,550 runners completed the Star Wars Rebel Challenge by finishing the 10K and half-marathon on consecutive days. All those races will be back for 2017, along with the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo—the only place where you can buy shoes in the coveted New Balance runDisney Collection.

Star Wars Half Marathon 2017 Disneyland Registration Opens

The Kessel Run Challenge Medal (runDisney)

Disney has yet to release the 2017 course maps, but last year’s races ran through Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney and the streets of Anaheim, Calif., with Star Wars characters and cos-players along the route.

The Disneyland race weekend also has a companion event at Walt Disney World. The Star Wars Half Marathon 2017 “The Dark Side” Weekend will take place April 20-23, 2017 at Walt Disney World in Florida. Runners who complete both Star Wars Half Marathons receive an extra medal for completing the Kessel Run Challenge in this special edition of the Coast to Coast Race Challenge. Registration for the Star Wars Half Marathon “The Dark Side” opens August 9, 2016.

I’ve never run the Star Wars Half Marathon “The Light Side” at Disneyland. But I ran the Star Wars Half Marathon “The Dark Side” at Walt Disney World in 2016 as a media guest of runDisney, and had a blast. You read about my experience here:

Race Report: Star Wars Half Marathon—The Dark Side

Race Report: Star Wars Half Marathon 'Dark Side'

Escape time! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Read the rest of this entry →

10

Jun 2016

Walt Disney World Marathon 2017 Registration Opens

Walt Disney World Marathon 2017 Registration

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

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

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

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

Walt Disney World Marathon Registration Opens

Runners in Magic Kingdom (runDisney)

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

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

Star Wars Half —The Dark Side By The Numbers

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

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

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

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

Star Wars Half —The Dark Side By The Numbers

Rey and Chewie! (RunKarlaRun.com)

If you see us out there, say hello!

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

Star Wars Half The Dark Side By The Numbers

Star Wars Half runDisney Kids Races (RunKarlaRun.com)

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

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

Star Wars Half —The Dark Side By The Numbers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winter & Spring Training Through Injury

Winter & Spring Training Through Injury

Running the C&O Canal in Washington, D.C. (Cindy Gordon)

And so it begins: another spring training cycle. I officially started a new 12-week training schedule for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend on May 8, 2016 (which I’m running as a media guest of runDisney). I’ll be doing the Pixie Dust Challenge, running both the 10K and half-marathon.

I have one goal for this spring training season: make it to the starting line healthy and injury free. Period. End of subject. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. If you hear me talk about PRs, lash me with a virtual wet noodle. Especially considering I’m currently recovering from another injury, two torn and herniated discs in my spine. What!?

Winter & Spring Training Through Injury

Running the East River in Manhattan (RunKarlaRun.com)

Injury History

I survived 10 full years as an injury free runner, the unicorn of the running world. But my body seems to be having a breakdown. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s training habits, maybe it’s old traumatic injuries, maybe it’s nutrition, maybe it’s all of it combined. Whatever it is, I now have my third injury in one year.

Winter & Spring Training Through Injury

Running in Quebec (RunKarlaRun.com)

During 2015 spring training, I failed to make it to the starting line of my goal races healthy and injury-free. I had to skip my spring half-marathon, the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon, thanks to a stress fracture in my foot. I discovered I am grossly Vitamin D deficient and have been on an aggressive course of supplements since. I finally got back to running in June.

In the fall, I made it to the start of the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon, but only after missing a chunk of training due to plantar fasciitis. I toed the line with a taped foot, far from the shape I wanted to be in.

Then, last week, I was diagnosed with two herniated discs in my spine. It’s not a running injury, but has been an ongoing problem.

My Plantar Fasciitis Cure

After feeling the returning niggle of plantar fasciitis in January at the NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K, I decided to nip it in the bud once and for all. I’d tried various remedies throughout the fall to no avail, including time off from running, a night splint, massage, and KT tape. They’d each helped in the short-term, but my PF would come right back.

Winter & Spring Training Through Injury

Running in Quebec (RunKarlaRun.com)

So I decided to take drastic measures before spring training had sprung.

I took 17 days off from all exercise. No running, no elliptical, no spinning, no swimming, no yoga, no lifting, nothing. They all use calf and foot muscles, the ground zero of plantar fasciitis. I  walked. That’s it.

I also wore over-the-counter orthotics—Walkfit Platinum Orthotics. My mom struggled with plantar fasciitis for a long time and those were the orthotics that finally worked for her, even better than the custom pair her doctor had made. Since I got her feet in the DNA pool, right down to the same high arch, I guessed they might work for me too.

Plus, I rolled my foot with a golf ball—a cute Hawaii golf ball I bought on my recent trip—and stretched my calves copiously.

Wouldn’t you know it? That finally did the trick. I’m happy to report I’ve been back to running for four weeks and am, knock on wood, plantar fasciitis free. Read the rest of this entry →

02

Mar 2016

Disneyland Paris Half Bib-Only Registration Opens

Disneyland Paris Half Bib Only Registration Opens

Meet Mickey at the finish (runDisney)

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

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

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

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

How To Register

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry →

How To Run America’s 25 Biggest Half Marathons

How To Run America's 25 Biggest Half Marathons

Runners on the Coney Island Boardwalk. (Courtesy NYRR)

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

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

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

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

25 Biggest Half Marathons in the U.S.

1. Airbnb Brooklyn Half

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

2. Nike Women’s Half Marathon

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

3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

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

4. OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

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

5. Walt Disney World Half Marathon

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

How To Run America’s 20 Biggest Marathons in 2016

How To Run America's 20 Biggest Marathons in 2016

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

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

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

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

20 Biggest Marathons in the U.S.

1. TCS New York City Marathon

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

2. Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

3. Boston Marathon

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

4. Marine Corps Marathon

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

5. Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon

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

Race Report: Gore-Tex Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

They colored my green shirt purple for this green screen pic! (Island Photos)

I ran the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015 with race sponsor GORE-TEX, returning to the City of Brotherly Love for the third time as a runner. I’d scored a personal best at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012, ran my third fastest 13.1-miler at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2014, and I was back to give the half-marathon another go on Sunday, November 22.

Nearly 22,000 runners finished races at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, with 10,899 finishers in the half-marathon, another 9,159 in the marathon, and 1,910 in the 8K. And approximately 60,000 spectators lined the course to cheer us on. My husband, Phil, joined me, along with a bunch of our running teammates.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

We are the champions! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The event is a big city race with a small town feel. Unlike more crowded marathons in New York and Chicago, runners wander into corrals just 15 minutes or so before the race’s 7 a.m. start. The vibe is relaxed and unhurried. It feels like the city simply wants you to relax and have a good time. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is at the start and the finish passing out high-fives to runners, setting the tone for a friendly race experience.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Expo fun! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Expo

The Comcast Health & Fitness Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center has a great selection of vendors. Last year, I bought some last minute race items. This year, I picked up some Clif Shots and a Christmas present for Phil. Plus, it’s fun to try some GORE-TEX shoes and splash around in the water pools at the GORE-TEX booth.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Comcast Health & Fitness Expo (RunKarlaRun.com)

Seriously you guys, if you run in the rain or snow, you need a pair of these shoes. They’ve been a game-changer for me. New Balance, Brooks, Asics, Saucony, The North Face, Salomon, and La Sportiva all make running shoes with GORE-TEX lining. Just look for models with GTX in the name.

How does it work? The GORE-TEX lining has more than 9 billion pores per square inch. Each pore is 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water. That means rain, puddle water, snow, and the like can’t get into your shoes (unless they spill over the top). At the same time, those pores are 700 times larger than a water vapor molecule, so sweat can get out.

Your feet stay dry, your shoes stay breathable. It’s a win-win. If you’re among the 75% of runners who head outdoors in cold and wet weather, have ever run in soggy shoes and waited days for them them to dry out, check out some GORE-TEX kicks. I’ve genuinely become an evangelist for this brand. I love it.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

We’re ready to run! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Start

Phil and I left our hotel—1.5 miles to the start—at 5:45 a.m. and found a cab within 5 minutes. We were on site by 6 a.m. How’s that for no muss, no fuss? That’s what I mean about Philly being a low-key race. You could never do that in New York. Don’t get me wrong: the New York City Marathon is my favorite race ever, but it’s refreshing to run a big-city race where getting to the start isn’t an ordeal.

Despite heightened security at all of the start area entry points, we waited less than 5 minutes to get into the staging ground.

We found a bank of port-a-potties close to the entrance that no one seemed to be using. So we didn’t have to wait in line at all. Love that! The bathrooms near the corrals closer to the start time are much more crowded.

Baggage was easy to find, and by the time we’d used the bathroom and dropped off our bag, we still had 35 minutes to kill before the start. Read the rest of this entry →

27

Nov 2015

Race Report: Runner’s World Half & Festival

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

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

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

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

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

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

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Post-race band! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Runner’s World Half Marathon

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

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Along the course (RunKarlaRun.com)

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

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

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

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

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

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Cheering with Larisa (RunKarlaRun.com)

Runner’s World Festival

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

Deena Kastor

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

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Deena Kastor! (RunKarlaRun.com)

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

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

Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Runners at the Disneyland Half Marathon (Photo: runDisney)

The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna in Anaheim, California celebrated its 10th anniversary over Labor Day Weekend with more than 29,000 runners.

The celebration kicked off with a special Disneyland Half Marathon 10th Anniversary Party with Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration “Paint the Night” Parade. The weekend culminated on Sunday with the main event itself—13.1 flat miles through Disney California Adventure theme park, Disneyland theme park, the streets of Anaheim, and Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels, with a finish at Disneyland Hotel.

Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2015 medals (Photo: runDisney)

Half marathon finishers took home a 10th anniversary medal, shaped like a diamond for Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration. Among them were 436 potential “legacy” runners who’ve participated in all 10 Disneyland Half Marathons since 2006.

New Balance also released a new pair of Donald Duck runDisney shoes for the occasion.

Here’s a look at the Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 by the numbers.

Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

29,500—total race registrations for the 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, including runners participating in multiple events

18,000—runners in the Disneyland Half Marathon

10,000—participants in the Disneyland 10K

6,000—entrants in the Disneyland 5K

6,000—challengers in the Dumbo Double Dare who run the 10K on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday

1,500—children in the runDisney Kids Races

1:05:29—Disneyland Half Marathon course record, set in 2012 by Jimmy Grabow

436—number of “legacy” runners who will have competed in all 10 Disneyland Half Marathons

83—age of the oldest Disneyland Half Marathon runner
Read the rest of this entry →

06

Sep 2015

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 →

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

My sis high-fives Mickey at the finish. (Photo: MarathonFoto)

How much fun did my sister and I have at the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon? Her Mickey Mouse high-five at the finish line pretty much says it all.

When my sister decided to run her first half-marathon, there was no doubt which race it would be. She’d run her first 5K with me at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in 2012. As a family, we did everything there was to do at the time: Pasta in the Park Party, Kids Races, 5K, and my husband and I ran the Half Marathon.

So naturally, we decided to return for my sister’s 13.1 debut in 2015. I attended the race as a media guest of runDisney to write a story for Shape.com about our experience. You can read it here: Why I’d Rather Run With Women.

First, we tackled the Disney Princess Frozen 5K dressed as Disney’s most infamous sisters, Cinderella’s stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine. We had too much fun, despite wearing tank tops in a 33-degree race.

Race Report: Frozen Disney Princess 5K

Anastasia and Drizella (Photo: runDisney)

Then, I ran the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K on my own, dressed as Cinderella in tatters, just so I could earn that beautiful Glass Slipper Challenge medal.

Finally, for the half-marathon, our choice was obvious. My sister and I are totally Elsa and Anna. Right down to our birth order, hair, coloring, and temperaments, she’s definitely an Elsa and I’m completely an Anna. We’re a match made in runDisney heaven.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Elsa & Anna! (Photo: MarathonFoto)

Yup, we learned to love team costumes from an early age.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Twinsies! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Disney Princess Half Marathon: The Course

The Disney Princess Half Marathon takes runners from just outside Epcot to the Magic Kingdom and back.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

The Course

The first five miles are a long, and sometimes lonely, stretch of road on the way to Magic Kingdom. Disney lines this section of the course with bands, DJs, and character stops, but at other parts you’ll simply hear the sound of 20,000 pairs of feet pattering away.

Highlights of the first five miles include the car entrance to the Magic Kingdom near Mile 3, which makes for a great photo opp.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Friends Tara and Lesa are runDisney photo superstars! (Photo: runDisney)

Throngs of spectators and Taiko drummers at the Ticket & Transportation Center near Mile 4 always give me a boost.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Drummers! (Photo: runDisney)

And a dancing DJ pumping tunes at the overpass leading to the Contemporary Resort near Mile 5 is also a fave of mine.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Dancing DJ at the overpass (Photo: runDisney)

Mile 5 to 6 is by far the most exciting of the course: the run through Magic Kingdom. No matter how many times I do it, it never gets old.

From the Mile 5 marker, the course is lined with Disney cast members and spectators cheering you on. You’ll hear them before you see them—the roar of the crowds waiting on Main Street USA as you run toward Cinderella Castle. I get so pumped every time.

But before the castle, you’ll turn into Tomorrowland, run through the back of Fantasyland, then through Cinderella Castle from the carousel side and out the front. There are tons of characters, photo opps, and course photographers along the way in Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, before the castle, through the castle, and in front of the castle.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

We nailed our Cinderella Castle shot! (Photo: MarathonFoto)

Then you’ll turn into Liberty Square before exiting the park through Frontierland. You’ll find a few more characters awaiting you in this section as you pass the Mile 6 marker and again once you exit the park. Read the rest of this entry →

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