A few weeks ago, I announced that I’m running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco on October 19 as part of a Nike media group. I was waiting for Nike to release the course map before I decide if the race will be the scene of my sub-2 hour half marathon attempt.
Well, the course map is finally here! For the 11th edition of the race, Nike has drawn a completely new route through San Francisco.
Like years of yore, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon starts in San Francisco’s Union Square.
But instead of heading north to the Marina and Presidio, the first three miles take runners through the city streets, including the iconic Alamo Square neighborhood with its rows of Victorian houses.
San Francisco’s Alamo Square neighborhood. (Nike)
Miles 4 through 8 tour the bucolic 1,017-acre Golden Gate Park before another mile through the often-foggy Richmond District. Read the rest of this entry →
Irina Mashkantceva wins the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. (Philadelphia Marathon)
It’s official. I’m running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014 on Sunday, November 23! I’d been debating which marathon, if any, to run this fall and I’ve finally committed to running Philly as a guest of sponsor GORE-TEX.
While I considered—and was invited to—a few other marathons in the U.S. and Canada, I decided on Philly for a few reasons.
Pausing for a photo just before a PR finish at the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. (RunKarlaRun.com)
2) Redemption: I feel like I have unfinished business in Philadelphia. Back in 2012, I’d been zipping along on target for a 4:14 finish when a quad cramp struck after the 20-mile mark and decided to linger. I lost 14 minutes in the last 10K, as I stopped to stretch the cramp a few times, jogging slowly in between. While I was ecstatic about my finish time, a new personal best, I knew I had even more in me. I want to return to Philly and run the time I should have two years ago: 4:15. Read the rest of this entry →
What the what? Competitor Group announced Tuesday that the headliner for the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon on November 16 is none other than Snoop Dogg.
The iconic rap superstar will play the pre-race concert at 3:00 p.m. just before the start of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (yes, that’s the entire name) at 4:30 p.m.
Is there any chance Jason Derulo will pop in for a cameo and performance of “Wiggle”? I have no idea, but that would be amazing. I’m not going to lie: I kind of love that song. Put it in the “Baby Got Back” and “Thong Song” category. What can I say? I like rap and R&B songs about derrieres.
Meb Keflezighi runs the 2014 Boston Marathon to victory. (Gr5/Wikimedia via CC-BY-SA-3.0)
I told you about chances to run with Meb Keflezighi in both New York and San Diego earlier this year. Here’s another.
Meb Keflezighi will be back in New York on November 2, 2014. The 2009 New York City Marathon champion and 2014 Boston Marathon champion is running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon as a Team for Kids Ambassador. (I’ll be covering the race once again as host of NYRR On The Run.)
You may not be able to run with him, but you can join Team for Kids, along with pro tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, the 2014 Istanbul Cup winner who ranked first worldwide in 2010 and 2011.
“Meb will highlight a world-class field of athletes competing for the marathon title, while Caroline will join thousands of runners raising critical funds for worthy charities,” said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners, in a press release. “They’ll serve as inspirations to the 50,000 runners and millions of fans lining the streets of the city’s five boroughs and watching the race broadcast around the world.”
As Team for Kids Ambassadors, Keflezighi and Wozniacki will take part in Team for Kids activities during race week and help raise money for New York Road Runners’ youth running programs. Money raised by Team for Kids participants goes toward free and low-cost health and fitness programs for kids who would otherwise have limited access to regular exercise. NYRR’s programs reach more than 200,000 children each year in more than 800 schools and community centers in New York City, the U.S., and the world. More than 1,700 Team for Kids runners will raise an estimated $4.5 million this year. Keflezighi will also be raising money for his own The MEB Foundation, which promotes youth health, education and fitness. Read the rest of this entry →
Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start of the ING New York City marathon. (Photo: Fergal Carr, via Creative Commons)
It’s no secret that the TCS New York City Marathon is one of my absolute favorite races. It was my first marathon in 2007. I’ve run it three times total and now cover the race with New York Road Runner’s On The Run web and TV show. I’ll be at the TCS New York City Marathon 2014 race with “On The Run” on November 2.
But if you want to join in the action in the Big Apple, you can win one of two official entries into the TCS New York City Marathon 2014 race courtesy of ASICS. Each winner will also receive an ASICS gift pack valued at $500. During “On The Run’s” race week coverage, I’m often decked out from head to toe in ASICS New York City Marathon gear. I love it so much that I continue to wear it year round, like at the Trot Off Your Turkey 5K. Read the rest of this entry →
Registration for the 2014 Nike Women Half Marathon San Francisco random draw opened Wednesday, June 4 at 11 a.m. PDT. Runners have until 11 a.m. on June 19 PDT to register for a chance at being one of the 25,000 runners expected on October 19.
The half marathon is the focus at the 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco. (Photo: Nike)
For the 11th year of the world’s largest women-focused race, Nike has decided to forgo the marathon distance and concentrate on the half.
“Due to runners’ feedback over the past few years, we have decided to only offer a half marathon,” reads numerous responses to runner inquires on the race’s Facebook page. “But we are dedicated to bring you one of the best Nike Women’s Half Marathons yet!”
The Nike Women’s Marathon and Half Marathon San Francisco debuted in 2004 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first Olympic women’s marathon in 1984, won by American Joan Benoit Samuelson. The Nike Women’s Marathon and Half Marathon went on to become the largest women’s running event in the world. More than 30,000 runners finished races at the event in 2013. More than 26,000 of them ran the half marathon. Read the rest of this entry →
Harriette Thompson after breaking the world record. (Photo: Courtesy of the Competitor Group, Inc.)
If you need some inspiration this week, here it is: 91-year-old cancer survivor Harriette Thompson ran a new age-group world record marathon in 7:07:42 at the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon To Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on June 1. She became the second oldest woman in U.S. history to finish a 26.2-mile race.
Thompson, who hails from North Carolina, didn’t just break the previous world record marathon of 9 hours, 53 minutes. She shattered it by almost three hours. Plus, she accomplished the feat just four weeks after undergoing radiation treatment for skin cancer.
Thompson at the start of the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. (Photo: Courtesy of Wireimage/Jerod Harris)
The race was Thompson’s 15th marathon, all run in San Diego. She ran her first 26.2-mile race at the age of 76.
“It’s never too late,” Thomspon said about starting a running and walking routine.
But more than simply running, Thompson has been a member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training since her first marathon, raising more than $90,000 for the charity over the course of her 15 marathons. Altogether, she’s logged 393 miles at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.
The classically trained pianist, who performed at Carnegie Hall, said she planned to celebrate with a long bath, a good night sleep and a big breakfast on Monday morning. “I don’t deserve all this attention,” Thompson said. “But it’s fun being famous for a day!”
It hard not to be moved by a runner like Thompson, who shows that there is no such thing as “too late” or “too old” when it comes to running. My first marathon, the New York City Marathon in 2007, was filled with many memorable moments. But one of them was this: somewhere near the Pulaski Bridge, which takes runners from Brooklyn to Queens halfway through the race, a woman with a great shock of white hair cruised past me. I have no idea how old she actually was, but my guess was late 70s. I was 29-years-old and here was a woman more than double my age running rings around me. I instantly thought: that’s going to be me someday. Read the rest of this entry →
In two weeks from today I’ll be at the start of the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half in Newton, Mass. The race will be my third half marathon in 2014, but my first attempt at a sub 2 hour half marathon this year. My current half marathon personal best stands at 2:00:30 from the 2012 Staten Island Half. Breaking “2” is the one running goal that has eluded me time and time again. It has become my Everest.
On Saturday, I finished my last long run before the big race. I ran 12.15 miles total, with 10 of them in Central Park’s rolling hills at a 9:40 pace overall. My goal half marathon pace is 9:00, which would bring me in at 1:58. A sub 2 hour half marathon pace is 9:10. I’m absolutely within striking distance.
I don’t like that I had two 10:13 miles as I climbed one of Central Park’s steepest hills twice during miles one and five. But I like that I was at least consistent over said hill. And I love that my last mile was my fastest.
My goals for the race are:
A) Run a sub 2 hour half marathon
B) Run a personal record, which means besting 2:00:30
C) Run as hard as I can, whatever time that means
My “A” goal is a sub 2 hour finish! (Photo: morgueFile)
I know I have the speed in me to finally break 2 hours. I’m much faster than when I set my current half-marathon PR. My long runs have been consistently 30 to 40 seconds faster per mile than they were in fall 2012. And I’ve since lowered my 5K and 10 PRs by two minutes and three minutes, respectively.
But I’m just not sure I have the endurance I’d like to have at this point in the season. Going into the Staten Island Half, my longest run was a 16-miler since I was in the middle of marathon training. Going into this race, my longest run was yesterday’s 12.15-miler, with just 10 of them at speed. The other 2.15 miles were an easy warm-up and cool down. Do I have 13.1 fast miles in me? That remains to be seen. Read the rest of this entry →
The Tunnel of Trees at the Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon. (Photo: Phil Hospod)
Looking for destination races? Check out my three latest stories at Shape.com. I picked 10 women’s races, 10 wine races and 10 beach races worth booking a ticket for. Many of them aren’t even single race weekends, but running series with multiple events all over the U.S. and around the world. In all, these 30 running events have 60 race weekends among them, and even more distances to choose from. Let the day dreaming begin!
Runners toast their efforts at the Wine Country Half Marathon Series (Photo: TJ Nelson/Destination Races)
The 30-year-old Marathon du Medoc in France may be the grandfather of wine races, with tasting stations along the course and wine-fueled parties all weekend long. But you don’t have to travel to France to guzzle grape at destination races that stomp through vineyards on the way to wine-fueled feasts. Events all over North America, from 5Ks to marathons, cater to wine lovers who like to run hard and drink harder.
I picked 10 wine running series with 20 races in 10 U.S. states and Canadian provinces for runners who like to cool down with vino. See them all at Shape.com.
The Southernmost Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K in Key West. (Photo: Marrero/Doll Photography)
Run and sun under a palm tree at these courses for sand and shore lovers. From Jamaica and the Bahamas to the South Pacific and coast of Australia, these dream-worthy destinations have races to match. Want to surf in California? Party during Carnival in France? Hula in Hawaii? Get lost in the Bermuda triangle? You can, and run too. Read the rest of this entry →
The Brooklyn Half Finish (Photo: nyrr_ontherun/Instagram)
With 25,587 finishers, the NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon 2014 on Saturday, May 17 surpassed the OneAmerica 500 Festival in Indiana with its 25,521 to become the largest half-marathon in the U.S.
The Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco on October 19, 2014 is likely the only half-marathon with the potential to unseat it.
In 2013, the top five largest half-marathons in the U.S., according to Running USA, were:
1) OneAmerica 500 Festival, Indiana: 30,059 finishers
2) Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco, California: 26,406 finishers
3) Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Florida: 23,148 finishers
4) Disney Princess Half Marathon, Florida: 22,739 finishers
5) NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon, New York: 21,427 finishers
Rounding out the top 10 in 2013 were five Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series races with 18,000-21,000 finishers: Las Vegas, USA (Washington, D.C.), Philadelphia, San Diego and Nashville.
For 2014, here are the standings. Of the previous top five, only the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco has yet to be run:
1) NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon, New York: 25,587 finishers
2) OneAmerica 500 Festival, Indiana: 25,521 finishers
3) Disney Princess Half Marathon, Florida: 20,777 finishers
4) Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Florida: 20,284 finishers
5) St. Jude Country Music Half Marathon, Tennessee: 19,149 finishers
Goofin’ at the start. (Photo: nyrr_ontherun/Instagram)
Brooklyn Half On TV
Befitting such a big race, I spent Brooklyn Half race day at the start outside the Brooklyn Museum and the finish on the Coney Island Boardwalk with “NYRR On the Run” filming a TV episode for ABC in New York. All week long, we ran around Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party presented by New Balance catching all the action from race week.
Until then, here are some photos from my week. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Brooklyn Half is one of my absolute favorite races of the year. I love the pre-party, the course and the vibe. The race was my first half-marathon back in 2010, and I cheered on friends in 2011 and 2012. Now I’ve reported from the Brooklyn Half two years running with “NYRR On The Run” and it’s always a highlight of my year. Read the rest of this entry →
It was a record sell-out for the runDisney event. The Dopey Challenge, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K and Disney Family Fun Run 5K all sold out within 24 hours. The Walt Disney World Marathon filled up in 21 days, shattering the nearly 4 months it took the 2014 race to sell out.
Mickey Mouse & Snow White at the Kids Races. (Photo: runDisney)
Entries remain available for the runDisney Kids Races and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where runners complete both the half marathon and marathon on back-to-back days. For the 10th running of the event, runners will earn a special anniversary Goofy-themed medal. As of press time, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge is 62 percent full and the runDisney Kids Races are 50 percent sold.
But if you really want to run any of the other events at the Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 Weekend from January 7-11 in Florida, you still can if you register through a charity or tour group.
Contact the following organizations directly to find out how to register for the races through them. Charities will ask runners to raise a certain amount of money for participating in the race, and tour providers may require purchase of a travel package. Read the rest of this entry →
And get this: he’s leading the 1:30 half-marathon pace team. If you’ve always dreamed of going sub-90 in a half-marathon, why not do it with Meb?
The event in Keflezighi’s hometown will be his first race appearance since winning Boston on April 21. Meb graduated from San Diego High School before winning four NCAA championships at UCLA and 22 U.S. national championships. With a 2004 Olympic silver medal, 2009 New York City Marathon crown and 2014 Boston Marathon laurels, he’s a hometown hero in San Diego.
“To return to the streets of San Diego for the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon after winning the Boston Marathon will be something special for me and my fellow runners,” said Keflezighi. “This year I look forward to sharing my experience and knowledge to help more athletes achieve their goal in the city where I grew up. To have that opportunity amongst so many friends and family is something I’m really looking forward to.” Read the rest of this entry →
Seven years ago to the day, I toed the line in my very first race. My raceiversary reminds me how far I’ve come: from a totally clueless newbie in cotton socks to an intermediate runner with seven marathons under my race belt. Running beginners, take heart.
On April 29, 2007, I remember being incredibly nervous as I readied for my first race ever, with 5,720 other runners lining up in New York City’s Central Park. I’d being running casually for two years already, so I’d run those hills countless times. But I still didn’t know what to expect from a “race.” It was New York Road Runners’ Run as One TGL Classic. I pushed myself as hard as I could and finished the 4-miler in 46:19 at an 11:34 pace.
Seven years later, I’m amazed by how far I’ve come. My 4-mile personal best is 34:38 at an 8:40 pace. I clawed my way from the back of the pack to the middle to the front of the middle. My half-marathon personal best is 19:18 faster than the national median time of 2:19:48 for women.
And I’m still getting faster.
I hear from running beginners a lot. Having started running from scratch after battling a bone tumor in my leg for a decade, I know what it’s like to hit the pavement and be instantly out of breath. But I also know that by sticking with it, I just kept getting better and running just kept getting easier.
So I thought I’d share some cold, hard stats about just how far I’ve come as a runner. Here’s a comparison between my race times from 2007 and now. The moral of the story: If I can do it, anyone can.
My first 1 miler at the Norway Run. (Photo: brightroom)
Inspiration For Running Beginners
My first race, April 29, 2007
4 miles then: 46:19 at 11:34 pace
4 miles now: 34:38 at 8:40 pace
At a 2013 track workout
My first 3-miler/5K, May 22, 2007
3 miles then: 32:17 at 10:45 pace
3 miles now: 23:22 at 7:47 pace
At the 2013 Wild Dog Triathlon
My first 10K, June 9, 2007
6.2 miles then: 1:11:20 at 11:30 pace
6.2 miles now: 54:09 at 8:44 pace
At a 2013 track workout
My first 1-miler, October 6, 2007
1.7 miles then: 16:14 at 9:32 pace
1 mile now: 6:46 at 6:46 pace
At the 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile (I haven’t raced a mile since then!)
Crossing the finish line of my first marathon. (Photo: brightroom)
My first marathon, November 4, 2007
26.2 miles then: 5:54:25 at 13:31 pace
26.2 miles now: 4:28:06 at 10:14 pace
Thanks to Danielle at Live, Run, Grow for including me in her Liebster Award group of blogs!
In grade school, I absolutely hated chain letters. But I actually enjoy reading Liebster Award posts, even if they are the blog equivalent of chain letters. They’re a fun way to learn something new about other bloggers and spread some blogger love.
Here are the rules:
You must link back to the person who nominated you
You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you
You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award
You must create 10 questions for your nominees
You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees
I’m not a fan of “musts.” Play along if you like, and if not, no worries!
Danielle’s Liebster Award Questions
1. If you could run any race in the world what would it be?
This is tough. I’m torn between a fast, iconic race in a fun city, like the Berlin Marathon or a destination race in a locale I’ve always dreamed of visiting, like the Marathon International de Moorea in French Polynesia. When I dream, I dream big!
That could be me in Moorea! (Photo: Te Moorea Club)
I’m not the fastest runner and I’m not the slowest, but I am a running nerd. A journalist by trade, I love to research, read, learn and cogitate. So stick with me. Like all good nerds, I’ll do the homework and share it. But the running is up to you!