The 2007 Marine Corps Marathon (Photo: U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Monica McCoy)
If you want to run the 2014 Marine Corps marathon in Arlington, Va., and Washington, D.C., on October 26, now’s your chance throw your running shoe in the ring. Registration for the Marine Corps Marathon lottery opened Sunday, February 23 at 12 p.m. EST. The lottery will be open through Saturday, March 15 at noon EDT.
Runners ages 14 and older can register to enter the random draw any time in that 21-day period. Unlike years past, it is not first come, first served. Registrants will be notified via e-mail of the lottery’s results on March 19.
Registration is $110. There is no fee to enter the lottery. Runners will only be charged if they get a spot in the race. Read the rest of this entry →
I thought this would be the perfect time to share an essay I wrote back in August 2007 called “I’ve Got Peace Like a River.” I was one month into training for my first marathon—the New York City Marathon—and at the end of a religion reporting fellowship. I’d spent the previous eight months immersing myself in the world of belief, traveling to India and across the U.S. to uncover stories of faith.
Near the end of the fellowship, my colleagues and I went on retreat at an Anglican monastery that observes complete silence for 12 hours every day, from 8:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. It was a unique experience to play Scrabble in silence and eat breakfast at communal tables in quietude.
But it gave me a chance for reflection; I think that was the point. In the stillness, I found that running, rowing, and swimming—the exercise of my life—have been the conduits of my own spirituality.
I’ve Got Peace Like a River
A tree on the Hudson River. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
Floating. The sun stares down, turning the inside of my eyelids red. The water feels warm, but a cold current tickles my fingers, rolling over them in tiny waves. My arms above my head, my toes pointed, I stretch as long as I can, tensing all my muscles, then relaxing. Little splashes of water wash over my face as the wake of a boat crosses the river toward me.
I float downstream. I am all alone. Just me and my river.
The Hudson runs past my home in Manhattan. But here, at the Holy Cross Monastery in upstate New York, it’s a retreat. A retreat from my work-a-day world into the inner sanctum of my own being. Read the rest of this entry →
The Seven Mile Bridge Run near Marathon, Florida crosses the longest bridge span in the Florida Keys. (Photo: Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)
Registration for the 7 Mile Bridge Run in the Florida Keys opens Tuesday, February 11 at 6 a.m. EST. The race, in the appropriately named town of Marathon, Fla., will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014. The 6.8-mile race is capped at 1,500 runners. Registration will be open until Thursday, February 13 at 9 a.m. EST or until the race sells out. And guess what? It sells out every year.
Runners cross the Seven Mile Bridge’s highest point at 65-feet. (Photo: Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)
If you happen to be lucky enough to be a Florida Keys resident, registration for a limited number of entries opens Thursday, February 6 at 6:00 a.m. EST.
Talk about a scenic run. The 7 Mile Bridge Run covers the entire span of the Seven Mile Bridge, the eighth longest bridge in the U.S. It’s part of the 113-mile Overseas Highway that connects the Florida Keys to the mainland. Read the rest of this entry →
Runners pass the Tower of David at Jerusalem Marathon (Photo: Kobi Gideon/Flash90-IsrealTourism/Flickr)
In its fourth year, the Jerusalem Marathon has grown to become a large international event. In 2013, 20,000 runners from 54 countries competed at the Jerusalem Marathon weekend; 1,730 of them came from abroad. This year, I’ll be one of them.
I’m going to the Jerusalem Marathon on March 21 as part of a press trip sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in cooperation with El Al Airlines. The event includes marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 800-meter races. I’ll be running the half-marathon.
The 2012 Jerusalem Marathon (Photo: Uri Lenz/FLASH90 – IsraelTourism/Flickr)
The courses were designed, the race website says, to trace Jerusalem’s history, taking runners through the Old City and past the Tower of David to more modern locales like the Knesset and Hebrew University.
We’re nearly a week into 2014 and my first three races of the year—the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon—are already upon us.
I guess it’s finally time to write down my running goals for 2014.
When I look at them, one thing comes to mind: I’m a Maverick. I want to go faster. In 2013, I made the realization I’m a Speed Demon, not an Endurance Monster. I love speed workouts. I hate long runs. I run a 6:46 mile, but have struggled to break 2 hours in the half-marathon. Speed, not distance, has been good to me. So I’m giving into that for 2014.
But let’s see how I did on my 2013 goals, first.
Running Goals For 2013
1. Get even faster
SUCCESS! I make this goal every year because it works for me. Last year I wrote: “In 2013, I’m going to try to knock out a 5K and 10K PR.” Done and done. I knocked out the following personal records in 2013: Read the rest of this entry →
Goofy high-fives finishers at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)
No Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up
I’m attending the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend as press courtesy of runDisney, and I just got word from the folks there that there will be no Meet-Up for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend this year. With four races over the course of four days for the first time in the history of the event, it’s understandable. I’ve interviewed a number of folks on the runDisney team about the logistics of putting on these events. It’s mind-boggling. Don’t believe me? Read the article I wrote about it, Planning Disney Races Takes More Than Magic. But runDisney says they will be doing plenty of Meet-Ups later in the year. So stay tuned for those.
I know that will disappoint many runners who were hoping to get in on a possible Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up this year. But there are plenty of other events to keep you busy while you’re not running.
There was the high of running in Hawai’i and the low of getting sick for my fall marathon. And there was the redemption of a 5K PR after marathon season was over.
If 2013 taught me anything, it’s that you can’t win them all. But you can still have fun trying.
This photo of me with my finisher’s medal at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is proof of that. I was sick, failed to run a marathon personal best like I wanted, but still managed to enjoy the race. My smile says it all.
And you know what? When you give a goal your best and fail, it makes the successes even sweeter. I ran 6 of the 13 races either as fun runs or training runs and I ran 7 of the 13 races as races, pushing with everything I had. I managed to PR at three of them, and scored a few PRs in workouts without even trying, too. I’ll save those for my Goals of 2014 post.
As tempting as it would be to tackle the marathon or, even more, the Dopey Challenge, I’m “just” going to run every other race that weekend instead. That’s right, I’ll be tackling the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon on three consecutive days. Read the rest of this entry →
It was snowing just yesterday, my Christmas tree is lighting up my living room and Christmas is just two weeks away. Wondering what to get for the runner on your list? These are just a few of my favorite things: the best gifts for runners this year.
I get lots of samples from sports companies and buy plenty of gear myself. The products on this list represent my favorite clothes, gadgets and gear currently available from a range of brands. In clothing, I’ve tried the women’s versions, but many come in men’s options too. I’ve indicated which items are available for men or in unisex sizing—a full 30 of them are. And I’ve included the list prices, though you’ll find many items for less than that.
Also, if it’s been in a past gift guide of mine, I didn’t include it here. But many of the products I highlighted in the days of yore are still available. So here are my guides from 2012, 2011, and 2009.
Without further ado, it’s time to get shopping and wish-listing. Here are my favorite running jackets, layers, tights, shorts, tanks, socks, sleeves, sports bras, gadgets, books and more this year. There are nearly 50 items in all.
Kids and kids at heart at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. (Photo: runDisney)
112 years ago today, a man was born who would have a profound influence on my own life, my family, and millions of other people worldwide. On December 5, 1901 Walt Disney was born in a small house on the northwest side of Chicago. I grew up not too far from there, 30 minutes due west of the city and Walt’s first home.
Walt and Mickey watch over Magic Kingdom in the “Partners” statue. (Photo: Gene Duncan/Walt Disney World News)
So today, Walt’s Birthday, feels like the right time to reflect on why I run Disney.
Why I Run Disney
When I was about 8-years-old—just 30 minutes and 85 years from where the man behind the mouse was born—I promised myself I’d never forget what it felt like to be a kid. I was surrounded by grown-ups who had clearly forgotten.
I don’t remember the inciting incident, but I remember the day clearly.
I was sitting on the grass by the pond next to my house picking dandelions. A grown-up I didn’t know well yelled at me, essentially, for having fun—the kind of fun a kid has on warm spring days, doing cartwheels, singing, playing and like. Maybe I accidentally cartwheeled into her, or maybe I was giggling too loudly. Whatever I’d done, I thought it was innocent child’s play. The grown-up did not.
Her grumpy admonition stung. As I sat sulking, staring at the grass stains on my pants, I promised myself I would never, ever forget how it feels to be a kid.
Runners at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon got their choice of a men’s or women’s cut shirt. (Photo: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon)
Many of you read my post decrying “unisex” race shirts in favor of women’s running shirts that I wrote back in September. After reading reports that the organizers of the Omaha Marathon gave men tech shirts and women cotton shirts with their race registration, I decided to write another op-ed about women’s cut race shirts on my column at The Washington Times Communities.
I honestly couldn’t believe it. Not when other races, like the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and the Baltimore Marathon, give runners gender-specific technical shirts. It was just one of many complaints runners had about the Omaha Marathon weekend of races, but it came shortly after I wrote a diatribe about “unisex” shirts here on my blog.
A few people voiced their disagreement to my position. Most of them were women who prefer men’s cut shirts because of fit issues and some were men who found it “silly.”
But the vast majority of readers—and I mean vast—have agreed with me. Fewer than 5 percent of the feedback I received—via comments, e-mails, tweets, direct messages and the like—were critical of my stance. A full 95 percent of readers—including a few race directors—wholeheartedly agreed.
If you’re not sick of me harping on this topic and you feel as strongly about it as I do, please consider sharing that column as well. The wider we spread the message, the better chance it has of actually being heard. Read the rest of this entry →
Minnie jumps for joy at the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Finish. (Photo: runDisney)
The fourth annual Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon on November 9, 2013 at Walt Disney World in Florida was a record-breaking run. I attended the race on a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the entire race day experience including:
Running in Costume
The On-Course Entertainment
The Finish Line Experience
The Finish Line Party
My own race experience
And a slideshow of photos from the event
Men’s winner Justin Scheid. (Photo: runDisney)
Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon
Justin Scheid, 27, of Sparta, N.J. was the top man, breaking the course record by more than 90 seconds in 1:11:47. He won the race easily, breaking away from the lead pack near the halfway mark and running solo to the finish.
Kristen Tenaglia, 29, of Seminole, Fla. obliterated the women’s course record by nearly 3 minutes, finishing in 1:23:37. Appropriately, she’s a tech rep for New Balance, runDisney’s official shoe partner.
Women winner Kristen Tenaglia. (Photo: runDisney)
We mere mortals also helped break a record at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon too: 12,134 runners finished the race, the most in the event’s four-year history.
The race weekend also included the Health and Fitness Expo, Disney Jingle Jungle 5K and Kids’ Races, all at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
It’s no secret that Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon is a favorite among the 60 races I’ve run. My husband proposed at the Finish Line Party in 2011, and it was my first runDisney race. The Finish Line Party also happens to be the best post-race party, bar none, of any race I’ve done.
So when New Balance and runDisney invited me to be their guest for the race,I returned in 2013 with high expectations, but also trepidation. Would it be as much fun as I remembered? Could 2013 possibly live up to the magic that was 2011? Could I really run a half marathon in harem pants? Yes, yes and yes.
Running as Aladdin and Jasmine (Photo: Marathon Foto)
Running in Costume
It helped that my husband, Phil, and I dressed as Aladdin and Jasmine. As I learned a few Disney races ago, running in costume is always more fun.
We got cheers the entire race from other runners, Disney employees in the parks, volunteers at fluid stations, spectators along the course, you name it. Barely a minute passed without us hearing shouts like:
“Look! It’s Aladdin and Jasmine!”
“Go Aladdin and Jasmine!”
“Why don’t you just take your magic carpet? That would be a lot faster!”
“You’re in a whole new world now!”
It motivated me to keep going and made the whole experience more fun. As usual, a post on how I put those costumes together is yet to come. Read the rest of this entry →
Chef Mickey and Minnie greeted runners at the finish of Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon on Nov. 9, 2013. (Photo: runDisney)
The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on November 9, 2013 may be over, but if you like a good wine run, there’s always next year. Many races around the U.S. cater to grape guzzling runners.
In my column at The Washington Times Communities, I looked at races—from 5ks to marathons—in 11 states and one Canadian province aimed to please the wine connoisseur inside you. Many of them sell-out early, so put them on your calendar for next year.
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
November 2014 in Florida
This nighttime half marathon with a 10 p.m. start runs through Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom theme parks before finishing at Epcot, but the real draw is the Finish Line Party at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Epcot stays open to 4 a.m. for runners, with music, Disney characters, and, of course, food and wine. Friends and family can buy tickets to the party too.
Race swag includes a technical shirt, $10 Disney gift card, a glass of beer, wine or soda, one of runDisney’s iconic finisher medals, and entrance to the Finish Line Party. The weekend also includes a 5K fun run and kids races. www.runDisney.com
The Harvest Stompede takes runners through vineyards in Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. (Photo: lpwines.com)
September 2014 in Michigan
Perhaps the most creatively named, this weekend of races includes a 7-mile run, 5K run and 5K walk through the vineyard rows of Michigan’s Leelanau peninsula.
Following whichever wine run you choose, runners can opt into the Harvest Stompede Wine Tour, a self-guided outing among the 23 Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association member wineries, pairing local foods with their wines. Tastes range from bratwurst and sauerkraut paired with Riesling to strawberry shortcake paired with Pinot Noir.
What an amazing day to be in New York City. The 2013 ING New York City Marathon came back with the biggest field of runners in the history of the sport. At the 43rd running of the race 50,304 finishers made it the world’s largest marathon ever.
Bryan Steinhauer ran the ING New York City Marathon after recovering from a life-threatening attack and coma. (Photo: On The Run/NYRR)
In this episode of “On The Run” Tim Hutchings, Carrie Tollefson and I look at the highlights from the race, talk to some runners including pros and charity runners, and follow-up with a few of the athletes we profiled in previous episodes including Bryan Steinhauer, Team One Spirit, Bill Rancic and more. We also take a look back at the excitement of race week.
But I’d also like to share my thoughts about the marathon and what it means to me.
It was an honor to be a part of race week and the marathon, and to be in the middle of all the action. I’ve run the ING New York City Marathon three times and watched as a spectator even more. Each time, New York didn’t disappoint. It was my first marathon and it still stands as my favorite. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m not the fastest runner and I’m not the slowest, but I am a running nerd. A journalist by trade, I love to research, read, learn and cogitate. So stick with me. Like all good nerds, I’ll do the homework and share it. But the running is up to you!