Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lincoln Marathon

Registration opens next week for the Lincoln Marathon.  Don't miss out!!

#25--Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Indianapolis, IN
November 6, 2010

With the Huskers getting ready to travel to Indianapolis to compete for the Big 10 Championship, this is a good time to post on my Indiana marathon, the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.

This was supposed to be another family trip marathon, but my son came down with an ear infection right before the trip, so my wife stayed home with him.  I traveled to Indianapolis alone.  It's not easy to get there.  This is one of the reasons why so few Husker fans seem to be traveling for the game this weekend.  It's a little too far to drive, but without any direct flights you spend almost as much time in flight.

I liked everything about this race.  Packet pick up was a breeze.  There was an excellent pre-race pasta dinner.  Race day was cool, calm, and clear.  Indy is famous for it's architecture and monuments (hence the name, Monumental Marathon), and the course highlights many of these.  My favorite thing about the race was the Hoosier trivia along the course, with small hand written signs sharing Indiana history and facts.  This was a very nice touch.

I ran a steady race, finishing in a familiar time of ~4 hrs and 40 minutes.  Afterwards, I met my sister and brother in law for a steak at St. Elmo's, truly one of the great independent steak houses in the country.  I don't get to see them enough and we had a very nice visit.

The city of Indianapolis reminded me of a mini-Chicago.  I felt the same thing about the marathon.  The Chicago Marathon is the undisputed king of midwest marathons, but I think with a few more years, Indianapolis has the potential to be one of the best marathons in the midwest.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Season Fun Runs

The Holiday Season is upon us.  So then, is the season of burgeoning waist lines.  One way to minimize the impact of the holiday season on your BMI is to stay active.  The YMCA Turkey Trot last week was a great way to kick off an active, holiday season.

There are a few more races coming up to help you celebrate the season, while staying fit and active.

The Lincoln Track Club annual Holiday run is coming up this weekend and the second annual Country Club Neighborhood Association Holiday Fun Run 5K is later in the month.

Monday, November 26, 2012

#24--New Hampshire Marathon

Bristol, NH
October 2, 2010

This race was run on my 6 year wedding anniversary.  My wife is gracious and understanding enough to accept that trips where I spend 5 hours running are a great way to celebrate our anniversary!

I had never been to New England during the fall, so this did seem like it would be a fun trip.  It certainly was.  We stayed in Bristol, which is a small town 100 miles or so from Manchester.  We found a Bed and Breakfast place that didn't mind us bringing our 9 month old son.  Of course, they stuck us in the coach house out back!

The race was run around Newfound Lake in Bristol.  It is small race with only a few hundred competitors.  It was cool and overcast with intermittent showers.  The course was a beautiful tree lined journey with endless rolling hills.  I was having some foot problems (self diagnosed as 2nd MTP synovitis--a very common foot ailment) that slowed me down, but the race overall was very enjoyable.  

My time was nothing special, but the trip certainly was.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This Performance Enhancing Drug is Legal and Good for You

Lance Armstrong was just the latest in a long line of elite athletes embroiled in controversy over performance enhancing drugs.

This article takes a look at the effects of a safe, cheap, and legal performance enhancing drug.  The drug, of course, is caffeine.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Scenes from an Ultramarathon

Great story this morning about two brothers, one who is an ultra-marathoner, and one who struggles to understand why?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

#23-Famous Idaho Potato Marathon

Boise, ID
May 15, 2010

This was the first marathon trip that the whole family went on.  It would also be the first of many marathons to follow with very little sleep the night before.  Our son was not exactly what you call a good sleeper.

I had always wanted to visit Boise and this seemed like a good time.  A friend from residency was practicing in Boise and he and his family put us up for the weekend.  With all the screaming from Linus, the flight to Boise and the car trip to my friend's house was frankly harder on everybody than the marathon would be.  Once we got settled in it was a very nice and relaxing weekend.

The marathon was a point-to-point route mostly following the Boise River Greenbelt, with the start outside of the city limits and then running into town.  The course was scenic, but I was a little disappointed that the course didn't include more of the city.  Although this was not a trail marathon, per se, it was almost as secluded as one.  Aid stations and support were adequate.  It was very warm by the finish, but most of the course was run in the shade.

I ran a very easy pace and came in under 4 1/2 hours.  There were therapists at the finish that helped runners stretch out.  This helped a lot.  The thing that helped the most, probably, was seeing this face at the finish line.

Monday, November 12, 2012

World Record Set

I am very good luck to have at your race.  I have been on the course for at least 3 world records.  I was at the 1997 Chicago Marathon and the 2008 Berlin Marathon when overall world records were set.  On Sunday in West Virginia I was again part of history.

90 year old Mike Fremont of Cincinnati, Ohio set an age group record, clocking a 6:35:47 in the Marshall Marathon.  Way to go, Mike!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

#38--Marshall Marathon

Huntington, West Virginia
November 11, 2012

I signed up for this marathon late to serve as a substitute for the NYC Marathon.  For a 50 Stater, this was a great race and I would recommend it the West Virginia race for any 50 Stater.

Huntington was surprisingly easy to get to, with a flight into Huntington connecting from Charlotte, NC.  I rented a car (no accident this time) and drove to the packet pick up.  It was small and crowded, but went pretty smoothly.  There was a pre-race pasta dinner on site included in the registration fee.  For those who signed up early, they received a Brooks running jacket in addition to the race t-shirt.  For the $55 entry fee, this was the best value I have ever seen.  Most pasta dinners are $10 at a minimum.

The race started promptly at 7AM in front of the football stadium.  It was calm and cool, with temperatures in the 50s most of the race.  It was generally flat and consisted of two loops in and around town.  The highlights were the portions along the Ohio River and those through the city parks and university.  I was battling a GI bug and spent an inordinate amount of time in the porta-potties along the race.  Note to director--there could have been more!  Aid stations were plentiful, but never had any Gels or Gu's or anything.  Thanks to the kid at mile 21 handing out oreo's.  Almost right on cue, John Denver's tribute to West Virginia, "Country Roads" came on my iPod at mile 24 and took me home.  The finish was on the goal line inside the stadium.  You could carry a football the last 100 yards.  I didn't have enough left to do a dance in the end-zone, but I did spike the ball!  The University closed the rec center and allowed runners to use the shower facilities, which was a huge bonus for those of us checked out of hotels and looking to get out of town.

I was very pleased with the Marshall Marathon.  It is a great value, small regional marathon that should appeal to any 50 Stater.

#38 in the books

I traveled to Huntington, West Virginia this weekend and ran the 9th Annual Marshall Marathon.  This was a very nice, regional marathon in a small, university community.  I'll have more on the race as my time becomes official (~4:41 or so).

This town and university are probably best known for the tragic plane crash in 1970 that killed all 75 people aboard, including virtually the entire Marshall University football team, coaches, staff, boosters, and plane crew.

There are several moving memorials to the tragedy, including the fountain in front of the student union. Each year at the time and date of the crash, the fountain is turned off and mourners take a moment of silence to remember the victims.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Eight is Enough

With the cancellation of the NYC Marathon, I found myself in need of another fall marathon, on short notice, to round out the year.

I was lucky to find a marathon in Huntington, West Virginia with openings next weekend.  This will be my eighth and final marathon of the year.

Turkey Trot

My favorite race of the year, the YMCA Turkey Trot, is coming up soon.

Register here:

NYC Marathon

Despite the cancellation of the New York City Marathon, thousands of runners descended upon Central Park Sunday morning and ran 26.2 miles anyway.  Most of the runners had raised money for charity, and felt like they could not let those down who donated to their cause.

The marathon course currently starts in Staten Island and winds through all five burroughs.  With the city still recovering from Sandy, this was simply not possible or advisable.  The original NYC Marathon consisted of 4 laps around Central Park.  A group quickly formed on Facebook and organized a small, self sufficient, NYC Marathon in Central Park and ran the old course.  "Organizers" made sure that this would in no way interfere with recovery efforts or require assistance from the city.  Still more runners found their way to Staten Island and assited in the recovery efforts there, running from house to house.

I took this picture in Central Park, during the official, unofficial 2012 NYC Marathon.

To donate or volunteer, visit

Saturday, November 3, 2012

NYC Marathon Fallout

Runners react to the last minute decision to cancel the race, and the director of the NYC Marathon faces criticism.

NYC Marathon Cancelled

As my wife and I were sitting at the Knicks game last night, her phone went wild with text messages and facebook posts asking about the cancellation of the New York City Marathon.  This was the first we had heard of it and were obviously surprised.  As it turns out, it is the only decision that could have been made.  For runners and their families, however, many of whom traveled thousands of miles to get here and spent thousands more dollars to do so, the decision from the NYC mayor's office came a little too late.

Traveling to NYC was really a breeze yesterday.  On time flights and a normal cab ride to mid town.  From the areas I've seen, there is little to remind of the death and destruction that occurred a few short days ago.  The tone at the packet pick up was very odd.  Thousands of runners and volunteers not quite sure what to do and not quite sure that they should be here in the first place.

As we talked to people from the city and surrounding areas, it became clear that although many areas seem to have recovered well, there are still many suffering.  Among those hardest hit are residents of Staten Island, where the race was slated to start.  The mayor promised early in the week that the race would go on and that recovery efforts would not be affected.  As the week progressed, it became obvious that the pace of recovery efforts was slower than expected, and that police, sanitation workers, first responders, etc. would, in fact, have more to do than they could possibly handle.  One gets the sense, too, that the millions of fans who line the streets and cheer for the marathon runners might resent and protest the event instead.  With mounting political pressure and the revelation that the race, instead of uniting and healing the city, had instead divided the city, the mayor's office abruptly cancelled the race.