Archive for the ‘Travel’Category

Three Disney Parks, Three Disney Races In 2016

3 Disney Parks, 3 Disney Races

Three Disney castles (Photo: Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris

Three Disney theme parks world-wide offer Disney races—Walt Disney World in Florida, Disneyland in California, and Disneyland Paris in France. I’m going to run a half-marathon, or more, at each of them in 2016 (partially as a media guest of runDisney).

I’m a lifelong Disney fan. My dog’s name is Cinderella, after all. And I’ve been a runDisney fan since I tackled the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon for the first time in 2011.

But I’ve only been to Disneyland once and I’ve never been to Disneyland Paris. So I’m incredibly excited to hit all three parks in one year to get the full back-to-back-to-back runDisney experience.

3 Disney Parks, 3 Disney Races

Minnie & Mickey at the Inaugural Disneyland Half Marathon (runDisney)

Which Disney Races To Run?

I really toyed with how I wanted to approach this adventure, and how to choose which three Disney races I’d run.

Did I want to run the three “title” races at each park—Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Disneyland Half Marathon, and Disneyland Paris Half Marathon? That would take me through all three castles and give me the “big picture” experience. I considered it as the most obvious way to experience each theme park as a runner. Read the rest of this entry →

25

02 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 →

15

02 2016

Race Report: Bermuda Triangle Challenge

Race Report: Bermuda Triangle Challenge

Argh! (RunKarlaRun.com)

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

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

Race Report: Bermuda Triangle Challenge

BermudaRaceWeekend.com

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

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

Read the rest of this entry →

13

01 2016

Running In Hawai’i From Kona To Kaua’i

Running in Hawai'i From Kona To Kaua'i

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Honolulu Marathon is Sunday! I’ve been having an incredible—and I mean incredible—time running in Hawai’i. Over the last eight days I’ve run, hiked, SUPed, sailed, swum, summited, star-gazed, and so much more on Hawai’i, the Big Island, and on Maui.

The Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau at GoHawaii.com sponsored and helped me plan the trip so I can experience active Hawai’i at its best. Now I’m on O’ahu for the big race and headed to Kaua’i after that.

But this isn’t my first rodeo in Hawai’i. In 2013, I ran the Kaua’i Half Marathon and published a few stories at Shape.com, in Women’s Running magazine, and Canadian Running magazine about the race, Kaua’i, Hawai’i Island, and points beyond. Thought I’d share them here. Aloha!

Running in Hawai'i From Kona To Kaua'i

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Phil Hospod)

Healthy Travel Guide: Kona, Hawai’i at Shape.com

Sure, Hawai’i invokes dreams of lazy days on sandy beaches sipping umbrella drinks. But every year, more than 2,300 triathletes trek to Kona on Hawai’i Island to make it big—Big Island big—at the Ironman World Championship.

But you don’t have to be an Ironman to swim, bike, run, or get your sweat on in Kailua-Kona, the triathlon mecca of the world. Hawai’i’s residents are the second most prolific runners in the U.S., with only Massachusetts logging more miles per capita on RunKeeper. The state also has the second lowest obesity levels in the U.S., behind only Colorado, according to Retale.

It’s no wonder. Running is Hawai’i is a dream come true. Just north of Kona, the rugged black lava fields give way to sunny, white sand beaches on the Kohala Coast, where water sports abound. The area came in seventh on our list of the healthiest beach towns in America, while the Kona District ranked 19th. (Find them all in The 35 Best Beaches in America For Fitness Lovers). Inland, Waimea is home to Hawai’i’s tallest mountain, the snowcapped Mauna Kea, which rises 13,796 feet and has hiking and horseback trails galore. And we can’t forget Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, with 150 miles of hiking trails around one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Yep, we said volcanoes.

Inspired to get your Ironman on? Hawai’i Island makes healthy travel easy with year round warm weather, world class sporting events, mountains and more. Say Aloha to Kona!

Find out where to sleep, stay in shape, fuel your trip, splurge, and play in Kona at Shape.com.

Running in Hawai'i From Kona To Kaua'i

Rainbow run in Kaua’i (Phil Hospod)

Kauai Is The Ultimate Vacation For Runners in Women’s Running

The least-visited of Hawaii’s major islands, Kauai is the Aloha State’s best-kept secret. Only 1.1 million of Hawaii’s 8.2 million visitors annually venture to Kauai. But runners in the know head to the Garden Isle for technical mountain trails between lushly green volcanic peaks, flat recreation paths with ocean views and one of America’s most scenic—and challenging—marathons. The island is best explored on foot (in fact, 90 percent of Kauai is inaccessible by vehicle!), so lace up your shoes and get ready to sweat. Read the rest of this entry →

Honolulu Marathon, Ready Or Not, Here I Come

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

The Honolulu Marathon (Photo: Honolulu Marathon Association)

Ready or not, Hawai’i here I come!

It’s almost time for the fifth race on my fall running schedule: the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday, December 13.

The Honolulu Marathon has been on my bucket list since I realized that marathons would be a permanent fixture in my life. I’m mildly obsessed with Hawai’i (just ask my husband). I’d been a few times as a child, when I had two cousins living in the islands.

I’ve been to Honolulu just once, more than 20 years ago. It’s high time I returned, and what better reason than a race?

Ready Or Not For Honolulu Marathon

(Photo: Honolulu Marathon Association)

After all, the Kaua’i Marathon & Half Marathon, which I tackled in 2013, is one of my all time favorite races.

And Hawai’i is one of my all time favorite places—and I’ve been to 35 countries on 6 continents.

Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon

After the Kaua’i Half Marathon. (Photo: Sport Photo)

So I’m heading out to the Aloha state early for a 16-night mega tour of Hawai’i Island, Maui, O’ahu, and Kaua’i. The Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau at GoHawaii.com helped me plan the trip so I can experience active Hawai’i at its best.

On the itinerary? Swimming, SUPing, surfing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and, of course, running.

Ready Or Not For Honolulu Marathon

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Phil Hospod)

You can follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I’ll be posting photos and updates as long as cell service co-operates.

How excited am I for this trip? I bought a potted hibiscus and have managed to keep it alive for 25 weeks! That’s no small feat in New York City.

Ready Or Not For Honolulu Marathon

My hibiscus (RunKarlaRun.com)

Honolulu Marathon Training

But, Karla, you’re thinking. You haven’t been training for a marathon. Yes, you would be right. No, I have not.

I had every intention of doing all the proper marathon prep. I started the season right, kicking things off with the Fjord Norway Half Marathon near Bergen, Norway. Then I ramped it up with the New Balance Reach The Beach Relay.

But shortly after that my training was derailed by a flu, then nagging plantar fasciitis that struck in October. Read the rest of this entry →

04

12 2015

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

11 2015

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Is Open

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Opens

(Photo: runDisney)

Looking for a bib only for Disneyland Paris Half Marathon? Here’s the info: Disneyland Paris Half Bib-Only Registration Opens

* * *

Registration for the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon from September 22-25, 2016 is open for runners who want to book a tour package through a Disney travel partner. Limited bib-only race registrations will open February 16, 2016 for individuals who want to register without a travel package. Runners will also be able to register via charity partners.

Runners can book directly by phone through the Disneyland Paris Reservation Center. The U.S. phone is 011 33 160 30 20 30. Packages include at least three nights hotel, one three-day park ticket, and a half-marathon or 5K registration.

Guests can also work with travel agency partners. Magical Racecations and GET Travel Sports are two U.S. agencies. Packages may include race registration, hotel, park tickets, breakfast, park transportation, and other options. Seven other agencies in the U.K. and other countries have packages for runners as well.

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be headed to the race to write about the event! (runDisney is covering some, but not all, of my expenses.)

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Race Information

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Info is Here

(Photo: Disney)

The Disneyland Paris races tour runners through two Disney Parks. The Disneyland 5K on Saturday, September 24 takes runners down Main Street, U.S.A., past Sleeping Beauty Castle, through Hollywood Boulevard, and around the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

The Disneyland Paris Half Marathon on Sunday, September 25 will lead runners down Hollywood Boulevard and past the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Walt Disney Studios Park. At Disneyland Park, the course goes through Main Street, U.S.A., past Sleeping Beauty Castle, and through the villages that surround the Disney Parks before circling back to Disney Village on the way to the finish line. And like all runDisney races, runners will find Disney characters and entertainment all along the way.

The runDisney Kids Races on Saturday, September 24 offer 100m, 200m, 400m, 1K, and 2K courses (instead of 800m and 1 mile in the U.S.).

Runners can also buy tickets to a Pasta in the Park Party at Walt Disney Studios Park and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Disney Village in the evenings before the race.

In true runDisney fashion, the race will be part of the new Castle to Chateau Race Challenge. Runners who complete the half marathon at Disneyland Paris and a half-marathon at either Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in the same calendar year will earn a special medal for the occasion, much like the Coast to Coast Race Challenge. Read the rest of this entry →

13

10 2015

Cave of Wonders: Touring Cappadocia Turkey

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Cappadocia at night (RunKarlaRun.com)

When adventure calls, I answer. In July, I journeyed to the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon and 20K as a guest of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, in conjunction with Argos in Cappadocia. My story for Shape.com focused on the race: What It Took to Conquer (Part of) the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon in Turkey.

What does it take to run 160 miles through the scorching Turkish desert? Experience, sure. A death wish? Maybe. As a road runner, I’m no stranger to long routes, but I knew signing up for the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon would be a mythic and mettle-testing adventure, even for a multi-marathoner like me.

I signed up for the RFC 20K—my first trail race ever—along with two more days of running. But I quickly learned that nearly 13 miles through Cappadocia would be the most difficult—and beautiful—miles I’ve ever encountered. Of the 100 races and countless runs I’ve logged on six continents, none has been as hot, hilly, humbling, and exhilarating as Runfire Cappadocia. How tough is this race? The winning time at any given road half-marathon is between 1 hour and 1 hour, 20 minutes. The winning time at the RFC 20K was 2 hours, 43 minutes. That winner was the only person to finish under 3 hours.

In addition to the race, I toured the sites of Cappadocia. Breathtaking. Stunning. Unique. Pick the adjective. Throw around some superlatives. Cappadocia deserves it.

Cave Dwelling & Hot Air Balooning in Cappadocia Turkey

Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia. (RunKarlaRun.com)

After 16 hours of travel from New York City on the delightfully luxurious Turkish Airlines (think foot rests and menus even in economy class), I made it to Argos in Cappadocia hotel in the village of Uchisar, my home for the next few days.

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Argos in Cappadocia (RunKarlaRun.com)

Like many of the region’s buildings, Argos is a collection of hollows hewn from hoodoos. Once a monastery housing an extensive wine cellar and 3-mile tunnel cutting through the base of the rock, the hotel now features manses with street front facades, cave interiors, and a farm-to-table restaurant.

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Argos’s terraces (RunKarlaRun.com)

A sunrise hot air balloon ride with Royal Balloon served as my introduction to the region in central Anatolia, Turkey’s heartland.

Cave of Wonders: Touring Cappadocia Turkey

Sunrise over Cappadocia (RunKarlaRun.com)

While soaring over rock formations known as “fairy chimneys,” it was easy to appreciate the grandeur of the terrain I was about to run. Read the rest of this entry →

08

10 2015

Race Report: New Balance Reach the Beach Relay

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Girls Run Beta! (Reach The Beach)

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

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Girls Run Beta! (Carrie Kabat)

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

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

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

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Van 1! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry →

Tips & Tricks To #RunForFun

Tips & Tricks To #RunForFun

Make your next run fun! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Want to put more fun in your run? I do! Check out Shape and Fitness Magazines30 Day #RunForFun Challenge, designed to get you moving each day and having fun.

Fitness reached out to me—along with 29 other runners—for a fave run-for-fun tip. I promise you’ll find a few new-to-you ideas that will refresh your next outing. I certainly did, like…

Day 9: Play ‘I Spy’
Day 11: Pick A Feel-Good Scent
Day 16: Let your S.O. or BFF make your playlist
Day 22: Wear a Sign
Day 23: Collect Coins

I’ve never done any of those! Some of the other tips are oldies but goldies that I keep in my arsenal, and seeing them again is a great reminder. 

My tip is Day 12 of the challenge. If you’ve ever read my blog before, you can probably guess it pretty easily. Did you guess right?

30-Day Running Challenge: 30 Ways to #RunForFun

But in addition to my tip in the 30-Day #RunForFun Challenge, here are five other tricks I use to keep me fleet of feet and young at heart.

RunKarlaRun’s #RunForFun Tricks

Tips & Tricks To #RunForRun

We can make believe… (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Play Mind Games:
Who says pretend is just for kids? You’re a great white shark chasing seals. You’re running to the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. Watch out, a velociraptor is chasing you! Ahhh! My favorite? I’m a lion hunting gazelles. I don’t sprint, I stalk. And I pick off runners in front of me slowly. One. By. One. Playing pretend while I run keeps me entertained for miles and miles.


Put Your Music On Shuffle:
When you have no idea what song might come next, every few minutes bring a pleasant surprise. I’ll put my entire MP3 player—all 700 songs—on shuffle to keep my music unpredictable. Sure, I have to skip a song here and there, but shuffle is one of my favorite ways to keep my run fresh.

Forgotten jams often inspire a fist pump. “I Got A Man” by Positive K anyone? Or “Wonder Woman” aka the ’70s TV show theme song? Or “Come Out and Play” by The Offspring? And sometimes I discover unexpected songs that are great for running like “Trying My Best To Love You” by Jenny Lewis. Would have never put that one on a running mix, but it really peps me when it pops up. I get lost in the lyrics and dig deep for those few minutes. Read the rest of this entry →

12

09 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 →

28

08 2015

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

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

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

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

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

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

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

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scenes from 2013 Runfire Cappadocia, Turkey

Read the rest of this entry →

23

07 2015

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend Info Is Here

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Information

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris (Photo: Disney)

UPDATE 2/16/16: Bib-only registration is now open for Disneyland Paris Half Marathon. Information is available here:
Disneyland Paris Half Bib-Only Registration Opens
UPDATE 10/13/15: Registration is now open for the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon. Pricing, schedule, and more information is available here:
Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Is Open

* * *

Finalement! More information about the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend has finally arrived. Disney’s first race weekend outside the U.S. will take place September 22-25, 2016, kicking off with a three-day runDisney Health & Fitness Expo starting Thursday, September 22 at Disneyland Paris Disney Events Arena.

The Disneyland Paris 5K and runDisney Kids Races will run Saturday, September 24, followed by the main event, the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon on Sunday, September 25. Runners can also buy tickets to a Pasta in the Park Party at Walt Disney Studios Park and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Disney Village in the evenings before the race.

“We could not be more excited about the upcoming runDisney event,’’ said Tom Wolber, President of Euro Disney S.A.S. in a press release. “It will make Disneyland Paris the world’s third Disney destination to host this successful sporting series that offers a whole new running experience for the young and young-at-heart.’’

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Info is Here

Mickey Mouse and friends escort runDisney finishers across the line. (Photo: runDisney)

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend Registration

Registration through runDisney Travel Providers is slated to open October 13, 2015. The list of tour companies offering travel packages for the weekend has not been released yet.

Runners can also register to run for charity starting October 13, 2015. The list of participating charities will be released on that date.

For individuals who want to register without a travel package or charity partner, limited race registrations will open February 16, 2016.

Pricing for all of the weekend’s events has not been announced yet.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Race Information

The Disneyland Paris races tour runners through two Disney Parks. Read the rest of this entry →

25

06 2015

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

San Diego! (Photo: Starwood Hotels & Resorts)

Greetings, from sunny San Diego! I have escaped New York City for Westin Wellness Escapes, a new series of health and fitness retreats hosted at Westin Hotels & Resorts nationwide and led by experts in running, yoga, nutrition, meditation and more. I’m in Southern California, courtesy of Westin, to check out their very first workout weekend: Women’s Strength Nation LIVE with trainer Holly Perkins.

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Women’s Strength Nation (Photo: Women’s Strength Network)

This is just the first in what Westin plans to be a national, and even global series. Next up on the calendar is a Triathlon Recovery Retreat with runWESTIN concierge Chris Heuisler from May 16-17 at The Westin Jekyll Island in Georgia following the Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl Triathlon.

But first up, it’s off to The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, where Westin Move Well advocate Holly Perkins will lead us through a two-day itinerary aimed at honing physical and personal strength.

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Gaslamp District (Photo: Starwood Hotels & Resorts)

This getaway could not have come at a better time for me. I made strength training one of my New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve only been so-so about upping my time getting strong, as I mentioned in my last two training posts: Half Marathon Training Weeks 1 + 2 and Half Marathon Training Weeks 3 + 4. Read the rest of this entry →

11

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

18

03 2015

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