Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com Your Online Source for Running Sat, 22 Nov 2014 23:37:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Max King Wins 100K World Championships, Leads U.S. To Team Title http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/max-king-wins-100k-world-championships_118547 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/max-king-wins-100k-world-championships_118547#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 22:29:38 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118547

Max King won the IAU 100K World Championships on Nov. 21 in Doha, Qatar. It's the second world championship title of King's career. Photo: iRunFar.com

American runner Max King adds another world championship title to his racing résumé.

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Max King won the IAU 100K World Championships on Nov. 21 in Doha, Qatar. It's the second world championship title of King's career. Photo: iRunFar.com

Max King won the IAU 100K World Championships on Nov. 21 in Doha, Qatar. It's the second world championship title of King's career.

Max King won the IAU 100K World Championships on Nov. 21 in Doha, Qatar. It’s the second world championship title of King’s career.

American runner Max King adds another world championship title to his racing résumé.

Max King has been one of America’s best and most versatile distance runners for the past several years and he proved it again on Friday night in Doha, Qatar. The 34-year-old runner from Bend, Ore., won the IAAF-sanctioned IAU 100K World Championships, running the 20-lap, 62.1-mile course in 6 hours, 27 minutes, 43 seconds. King averaged 6:14 mile pace and broke Tom Johnson’s 19-year-old 100K U.S. record of 6:30:11. His efforts, along with those of Zach Bitter (6th, 6:48:53) and Zach Miller (9th, 6:51:30), gave the U.S. the team 100K world championship. Michael Wardian (28th, 7:19:00) and Nicholas Accardo (31st, 7:27:41) also ran well for the U.S. men’s team.

Ellie Greenwood, a Scottish-born UK runner who lives in Canada, won her second 100K IAU world title in 7:30:48. The top American women were Meghan Canfield Arbogast (8th, 7:52:12), Pam Reed (10th, 7:59:11) and Amy Sposton (19th, 8:14:02). The UK women won the team world championship, followed by runner-up Japan and the U.S. in third (after original third-place team Russia was DQ’ed).

The win was the second IAAF-sanctioned world title of King’s career, following his victory at the 2011 World Mountain Running Championships. In addition to those exploits, King has been a standout runner in events ranging from the 3,000-meter steeplechase on the track (he was sixth in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials), the marathon (he ran a PR 2:14:36 while placing 19th in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials) and ultra-distance races up to 100 miles (he placed fourth at this year’s Western States 100 in 15:44:45). He’s also won numerous U.S. national titles on the trail from 13.1 miles to 50 miles, as well as three XTERRA Trail Run World Championships. We caught up with King, who is sponsored by Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, Swiftwick, Gu Energy Labs and Flora Health, to get his insights about the race.

What was the course like?

It was a 6 p.m. race start to cut down on heat. It was really quite a nice temperature out for the race. A little warm, but perfect for me. The course was a contrived 5K loop consisting of a couple of out-an-backs. The surface was brutal, transitions from pavers to asphalt to tile made it a very hard race, literally.

How did the race play out? When did you make your break to the finish? When did you know the win was secure and when did you realize you were on American record pace?   

We had a great group running together through almost 50K. I surged, not really meaning to, at that point and got a little gap on the group that was already beginning to break apart. There was one Russian out front that I began to reel in over the next two laps then took the lead with about seven laps (35K) to go. From there, I was just running scared trying to put time on the chasers and keep a consistent pace. It wasn’t until about three laps to go (about 15K left) that I really thought I had a shot at the record as long as I maintained a reasonable pace.

How did you feel at various points in the race? Did you feel great the whole way? Or did you have rough patches? 

I felt really good through about 50k. At about that point, the hard surface started to get to me and my quads were starting to scream. I just hoped they didn’t get any worse and shut me down. Luckily they held up, but everything got worse with each lap after that. I was hurting pretty bad with about five laps (25K) to go and was just trying to hold it together. I started to count down the laps with about eight to go and couldn’t wait to be done. My energy levels were great though and very steady, so no low patches there, just a general ache in the legs.

What was it like racing in Doha? Was there good fan support or any fan support?

The facilities at the Aspire complex are so modern and the nicest sports facility I’ve ever seen, so really it could have been like running anywhere. It was very devoid of the local culture. I was surprised to see that we had more local support than I would have expected. There were quite a few people out watching and cheering.

How does this victory rank among your career highlights? Where does it rank with your WMRC title?

I would say this is one of the top victories I’ve accomplished. The hurt and how deep I had to dig for this makes it pretty special. The fact that seven or eight guys went under 7 hours attests to the high level of competition as well—something that there hasn’t been at many of the past 100K championships. I’d say it’s right on par with that World Mountain Running Championship title (in 2011). It’s a true IAAF World Championship and those always hold a special place in the sporting arena.

 

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Siri Lindley: The Hardest Race of my Career http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/saucony-26-strong/siri-lindley-hardest-race-career_118529 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/saucony-26-strong/siri-lindley-hardest-race-career_118529#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:42:07 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118529

Siri Lindley dealt with intense heat and a lot of hills during a race by changing her cadence and drinking electrolytes. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Siri Lindley writes about a triathlon she did that featured punishing hills and hot, humid temperatures.

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Siri Lindley dealt with intense heat and a lot of hills during a race by changing her cadence and drinking electrolytes. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

The hardest race I ever did was the Cornerbrook, Newfoundland World Cup triathlon.

It was a very hilly bike ride, followed by a very hilly run. The conditions were extremely HOT and humid, and the course was very, very tough.

I made sure to hydrate well before and during the race. Instead of just having water, which I normally did, I had a mix of electrolyte and water. During the bike portion of the race, I made sure to take a big swig of this every 10 minutes or so.

Once I got to the run, the heat was really intense. I got off the bike and exaggerated my cadence to start feeling good as quickly as possible. On the uphills, I found that smaller steps and a quicker cadence was much more efficient and effective, as it lowered my heart rate and I got to the tops of the hills quicker and with less effort.

On the downhills, I just thought about “letting go,” letting it flow and not putting on the brakes. With my focus on form and technique and taking in electrolytes along the way, it ended up being one of my best races ever.

For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.

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Video: Ultramarathon Winner Dons a Straightjacket http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/video/video-ultramarathon-winner-dons-a-straightjacket_118522 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/video/video-ultramarathon-winner-dons-a-straightjacket_118522#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:49:11 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118522

The Asylum Ultramarathon was held on a 4.5-mile trail loop and continued until there was one runner left.

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The Asylum Ultramarathon was held on a 4.5-mile trail loop and continued until there was one runner left.

Does running long distances make people crazy? The winner of one ultramarathon must don a straightjacket upon finishing the race.

Called the Asylum Ultramarathon, the first edition of the race was held on a 4.5-mile trail loop in Ridgeland, S.C. last month. Its knockout format meant that runners would go until they couldn’t run anymore, at which point they would drop out. The last runner remaining would be declared the winner.

Each runner had one hour to complete each lap.

Thirty-five runners started the race at 8 a.m., and the first one dropped out after just one lap. By the fifth lap, the field was whittled down to 30.

As the day wore on, more and more runners dropped out. Day then turned to night and night turned into the next day. Watch the race highlights above to see who won—and see how many laps he completed.

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Study: Running Keeps You Healthier, Longer http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/study-running-keeps-you-healthier-longer_118512 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/study-running-keeps-you-healthier-longer_118512#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:40:18 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118512

Older runners who walk and run regularly maintain their fitness and health longer, according to a study. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Seniors who run regularly are able to maintain their "fuel economy," according to the study.

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Older runners who walk and run regularly maintain their fitness and health longer, according to a study. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Seniors who run regularly are able to maintain their “fuel economy,” according to the study.

A new study has concluded that running, to no one’s surprise, is beneficial and helps people stay healthier.

The joint effort between the University of Colorado Boulder and Humboldt State University found that senior citizens who run several times a week stayed healthier and younger, according to the findings.

The study focused on 30 healthy seniors with an average age of 69. Researchers had them walk on a treadmill at three speeds—1.6 mph, 2.8 mph and 3.9 mph—and measured the amount of oxygen they consumed and the carbon dioxide they produced. They combined this study with data gathered as part of Humboldt State professor Justus Ortega’s dissertation on the energy expended by younger and older sedentary adults during similar walking treadmill tests, for comparison’s sake.

The results showed that seniors used the same amount of energy walking as typical 20-somethings and sedentary adults, which essentially means that older runners keep their “fuel economy,” according to the study.

“It’s been known for a long time that as people age their maximum aerobic capacity, or ‘horsepower,’ declines, and that is true for runners as well,” said Ortega. “What’s new here is we found that old runners maintain their fuel economy.”

RELATED: For Best Results, Train Your Age

“It was surprising to find that older adults who regularly run for exercise are better walkers than older adults who regularly walk for exercise,” added Owen Beck. “The take-home message of the study is that consistently running for exercise seems to slow down the aging process and allows older individuals to move more easily, improving their independence and quality of life,” he said.

In another recent study, researchers found that people who started running later in life ran faster as they aged. The study’s results cited several examples, which included Olympic-level runners all the way down to age-groupers.

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Runners Tackle Multiple Races Across Two States In One Weekend http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/runners-tackle-multiple-races-across-two-states-one-weekend_118502 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/runners-tackle-multiple-races-across-two-states-one-weekend_118502#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:19:09 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118502

All the traveling and racing left little time to properly fuel.

The options were aplenty between Las Vegas and Southern California—and several runners took advantage. In 2013, nearly 80 ambitious

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All the traveling and racing left little time to properly fuel.

The options were aplenty between Las Vegas and Southern California—and several runners took advantage.

In 2013, nearly 80 ambitious traveling runners took advantage of the #SA2LV challenge, running the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio marathon or half on the morning of Nov. 17, 2013, hopping on a plane and racing again at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas marathon or half that evening. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series birthed the challenge when the Texas event moved from December to November last year—creating both a running and logistical endurance challenge, with most runners grabbing one of only two flights to Sin City after running in San Antonio.

Last weekend, the antes were upped: Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas fell on the same day (Nov. 16) as the much-anticipated inaugural Avengers Half Marathon at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Brian Kelley, along with more than 20 others from the 2013 crew, doubled their fun with the #Disney2LV task. (There was a slew of other Strip at Night runners spotted along the course donning Disney attire that same night.)

“Most of us all did SA2LV last year and wanted to keep in touch,” says Kelley, who communicates with most of the group through a private Facebook group. “We sort of fuel each other’s ‘crazy’ to take on multiple-race challenges. It’s almost as if the logistics are the challenge—we’ve got the running part taken care of and the friends to do it with.”

According to Kelley, the intricacies of this year’s city hopping were much simpler than last year’s jump between time zones. “With a 5:30 a.m. start time in Anaheim, it gave most of the runners enough time between the two races,” he explains. “If you were able to finish the morning race in under 3 hours, it gave you 8 hours until Vegas started at 4:30 p.m.”

Kelley, also known as The Pavement Runner, explains that selecting the right airport, based on geography and flight schedules, is key to making the in-between-cities transition as smooth as possible. “Some are busier and larger than others, and it might be in your best interest to fly out of a smaller airport.”

The Revel Canyon City Marathon and Half also took place in Los Angeles last Saturday morning. Combined with the added “remix” events in Las Vegas this year—a 5K on Saturday night and 10K on Sunday night one hour prior to the half marathon—this allowed for the extended contest of running three or more races in the same weekend. (If the order of events is swirling around in your head, it goes: Revel Canyon City on Saturday morning, SLS Las Vegas 5K on Saturday night, Avengers on Sunday morning, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half of the Half 10K and the grand finale Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & ½ Marathon Sunday evening.) A handful of around 10 runners elected to pile on added races, including Wes Storey, another #SA2LV veteran.

“Our friend jokingly mentioned that there was a marathon in north LA on Saturday morning, so we could fit that in as well,” says Storey, who ran four of the five races with fiance Martin Esqueda. “I immediately started looking at flights, and discovered we could do all four events. When she realized I was serious about running all four races, the term #WorstFriendsEver was coined and became a joke in the group.”

Storey and Esqueda completed at total of 55.5 miles over the weekend, culminating in a finish-line proposal following the Vegas half marathon. “As soon as we crossed the finish line, I dropped to one knee, which was quite difficult after 55 miles,” explains Storey, who credits his future husband’s coaching with his ability to complete even just a 5K. “Martin was immediately embarrassed and tried to pull me up, thinking this was a joke. We were in Vegas after all!”

RELATED: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas

Both runners admit that fueling and sleep were scarce throughout the weekend—one unexpected blooper they were not prepared for. In between races and boarding times, both athletes chowed on whatever was available, from bagels, to fruit, to soft pretzels. Storey says they carbo-loaded prior to Revel Canyon, but it was difficult to find time to eat after that. Their second unexpected obstacle was kicking off their crazy weekend with a full marathon.

“I completely underestimated the impact of running the Revel Canyon City Marathon Saturday morning. It was a 5,134-foot elevation decrease, with most of that occurring in the first 13.1 miles,” explains Storey.  “My legs were pretty much shot after that race, which is not good when you have three more races to run that same weekend.”

The soon-to-be-newlyweds mimicked Kelley’s approach to juggling multiple destinations in two days, using LAX, Ontario International and John Wayne airports between Southern California and Sin City.

Of course, there were some smaller logistical issues that popped up, too.

“I had some additional stress related to not being able to get a cab to the start line,” said Andrea Barber, an actress who did Avengers and RnR Las Vegas on Sunday. “I ended up running from my hotel to the start, about 3.5 miles. Not exactly the ‘warm-up’ I was planning.”

Kelley says that the group, which includes several other bloggers, will most likely make Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas weekend an annual multiple-race tradition.

“[Las Vegas] is set up in a way that makes it ideal for racing twice in one day,” he explains. “It starts late and is (in the Pacific time zone), which makes it perfect for morning races in the Midwest or East Coast and even easier for West Coast races since Vegas is a short flight.”

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Shoe Talk: The North Face Ultra Kilowatt http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/video/shoe-talk-north-face-ultra-kilowatt_118497 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/video/shoe-talk-north-face-ultra-kilowatt_118497#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 06:44:39 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118497

This shoe combines light weight and heavy protection.

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This episode of Shoe of the Week takes a look at The North Face’s Ultra Kilowatt trainer, which combines light-weight performance with maximum protection.

Learn more about what makes this shoe a little different from the rest.

RELATED: New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Trail

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Ask Mario: How Much Time Should I Take Off After A Marathon? http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/training/ask-mario-much-time-take-marathon_118478 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/training/ask-mario-much-time-take-marathon_118478#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:40:01 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118478

Runners should give their body the proper amount of rest after running a marathon. Photo: www.photorun.net

It's important to give your body the rest it needs after a race, writes Mario Fraioli.

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Runners should give their body the proper amount of rest after running a marathon. Photo: www.photorun.net

Q.

Mario, 

I am running Cal International in a couple weeks and am hoping for a PR. What’s an appropriate amount of time to take off after the race? And how soon after the race can I start training again?

Thanks!

Katherine H.

A.

Katherine,

This is a great question, and it lends to a greater discussion surrounding the importance of building pre-planned recovery blocks into your yearly training plan.

While racing a hard marathon will definitely necessitate a recovery period of relaxed training in the days and weeks that follow, the long training cycle that culminates in that race also requires a dedicated recovery period before you begin training in earnest again for another key race. The timing of Cal International sets you up nicely for an end-of-the-year break and puts you in a position to really start building momentum in the early stages of 2015.

Following a hard marathon that comes at the end of a long, demanding training cycle, I suggest a 2-4 week recovery block that I like to refer to as “detraining.” The goal is to put your relationship with your training schedule on hold and allow yourself to get a little out of shape. Sounds counterproductive to achieving your future racing goals, right? I promise you it’s not. Look no further than the recovery practices employed by some of the best long-distance runners in the world.

RELATED: 15 Expert Race-Week Tips

Alberto Salazar, coach of top runners such as Olympic medalists Mo Farah and Galen Rupp, has his athletes take two dedicated recovery periods per year, usually following an intense five-month cycle of training and racing. Each recovery period begins with two weeks of no running whatsoever followed by two weeks of unfocused easy running before the resumption of a structured training schedule. It’s also not uncommon for many top Kenyans to take a complete month off from running following a key race before they start training for the next big race on their calendar. Arturo Barrios, the great Mexican runner and the first person to run under one hour for the half marathon, was known for taking a complete break from training every October, according to Michael Sandrock’s book, Running With The Legends. “If you train 365 days every year, and you don’t take a break, you might do it for two or three years, but then it’s going to get to you,” he’s quoted as saying.

So how should you structure your recovery block following a key race? The answer is going to vary depending on the athlete and the length of the specific buildup before the key event.

As a general rule, I have my athletes take 1 week completely off from running for every uninterrupted 12-week block of training they completed before their key race. That’s right, no running. Zero. Does this mean a license to sit on the couch and watch TV all day? Well, you can, but I wouldn’t make a habit of it, especially if you plan on returning to training in a few weeks. Rather, think of your time off from running after a race as an “active” recovery period. While the occasional complete day off from any form of exercise is good for you every once in a while, I encourage my athletes to aim for at least 30 minutes of non-running activity to keep body and mind engaged while they’re not following a strict training schedule. Recreational cycling and swimming are great choices, but even just walking, hiking, playing with your dog, surfing, skiing, or doing some other form of exercise you didn’t have time for while you were training for your race will do nicely. The key to active recovery is both mental and physical: mental in that it’s free from the stress of training and doesn’t feel like an “obligatory” workout; physical in that active recovery is low-impact activity, but enough that you break a light sweat and feel physically stimulated.

RELATED: 12 Marathon Training Tips For Time-Crunched Runners

Follow your time off from running with 1-2 weeks of casual, every-other-day easy runs (30-60 minutes) before reintroducing long runs and focused workouts into your weekly routine. For example, if you trained for 12 straight weeks leading up to your last marathon, you would take the next seven days off from running before lacing your shoes back up again every other day for 2 weeks of easy running.

The reasons for taking a planned break from training after a key race are as much mental as they are physical. Training is certainly a fun and exciting process, but it’s also hard work, and its cumulative effects are a grind on your mind as well as your body. Aside from letting your body repair itself from weeks and months of hard training, a planned break also gives your mind a rest from the obligatory feeling of needing to get up every morning to put in purposeful, stressful workouts. Use this planned recovery period of time off and unfocused running to rejuvenate your body and renew your enthusiasm to start chasing your next big racing goal!

Mario

A version of this article appeared in The Official Rock ‘n’ Roll Guide To Marathon & Half -Marathon Training. Ask Mario appears monthly in Competitor magazine and weekly on Competitor.com. Have a question for Mario? Submit it here.

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Decorated Mountain Runner Kilian Jornet Signs With Strava http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/decorated-mountain-runner-kilian-jornet-signs-strava_118481 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/decorated-mountain-runner-kilian-jornet-signs-strava_118481#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:24:43 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118481

Kilian Jornet on his way to winning the Rut 50K in Montana this season. Photo: Joel Wolpert

The Spaniard won nine races in 2014 and placed second in another one.

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Kilian Jornet on his way to winning the Rut 50K in Montana this season. Photo: Joel Wolpert

The Spaniard won nine races in 2014 and placed second in another one.

After a season in which he won nine races and finished second in another, ultra-distance mountain runner Kilian Jornet has signed a deal to become a Strava Pro.

The 27-year-old Spaniard broke the course record at Colorado’s Hardrock 100 in July, stopping the clock in 22 hours, 41 minutes, 33 seconds. The grueling course features 33,992 feet of elevation gain and 33,992 feet of elevation loss for a combined elevation change of 67,984 feet.

Jornet, a seven-time Skyrunner World Mountain Running Series champion, also won Zegama-Aizkorri (Spain, 42K), Marathon du Mont Blanc (France), Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland, 31K), Trofeo Kima (Italy, 52K), the Skyrunning World Championship and the vertical kilometer world championship (France, 42K), the Dolomites Skyrace (Italy, 22K), Giir di Mont (Italy, 32K) and the Rut 50K (Montana) this season. He took second in Spain’s Transvulcania (73.3K) in May.

Jornet, who is also sponsored by Suunto and Salomon, joins a growing list of professional athletes using Strava to track and share data about their training and racing.

Strava members can follow Jornet and keep pace with his training and racing schedule.

“Strava is a really great tool as it allows me to share my adventures with a community of athletes and to see and do some nice loops and trails in the regions I visit,” Jornet said in a press release. “The connection between Suunto’s Movescount and Strava makes it easy to share the trails I’m running and see the training that everybody is doing.”

Jornet is also an accomplished ski mountaineer, having won a combined five gold medals in the sport between the world and European championships.

“I just like to be in the mountains,” Jornet told Competitor before his Hardrock 100 victory. “I love to feel the freedom and to feel the wilderness of the mountains.”

PHOTOS: The Rut 50K Trail Race

The 5-foot-7, 125-pound Jornet was raised in a mountain hut in the Pyrenees and now sports a reported VO2 max of 85 ml/kg/min, which is very high.

“Kilian is an amazing athlete, no doubt about it,” Russell Gill, race director for the Ultra Race of Champions 100K trail running race in Colorado, told Competitor earlier this year. “I think Kilian’s impact is two-fold: He’s certainly a tremendous athlete, truly a unique talent. And secondly, the big change that he’s brought about is moving the sport forward with the support and exposure he’s getting.”

Jornet was the subject of a recent Outside Magazine profile in which he talked about going for FKTs—fastest known times—on mountain climbs across the globe. His next challenge is to run up Mount Everest and set a new FKT in the spring.

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Video: How To Hug A Runner http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/video/video-hug-runner_118471 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/video/video-hug-runner_118471#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:07:26 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118471

Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day takes place annually on Nov. 20. Have you hugged your runner today?

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G.O. H.A.R.D., or Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day, takes place annually on Nov. 20. It is a day when runners of all sizes, shapes, colors, speeds and abilities come together to “share the sweat” in a show of appreciation. Watch this informative (and funny) video from Olympian Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano of Run The Edge for tips on how to properly execute a hug in any situation. (If you like that video, check out this G.O. H.A.R.D. video with Kara Goucher.)

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Clif Bar Unveils Organic Energy Food http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/nutrition/clif-bar-unveils-organic-energy-food_118467 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/nutrition/clif-bar-unveils-organic-energy-food_118467#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:31:17 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118467

Launching in February is Clif Bar’s newest product, Organic Energy Food in resealable pouches.

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Launching in February is Clif Bar’s newest product, Organic Energy Food in resealable pouches.

Competitor Group staffers got the unique opportunity to have a first look at (and taste of) Clif Bar’s newest product: Organic Energy Food. The USDA-certified organic food, available in four flavors in resealable pouches, will be available at specialty retailers nationwide in February 2015.

The products are made with real-food ingredients, such as sweet potato, banana and beets, and are available in two fruit (Banana Mango with Coconut, and Banana Beet with Ginger) and two savory (Pizza Margherita and Sweet Potato with Sea Salt) flavors.

The two sweet flavors ($2.29 per 90-gram pouch) are smoothie-inspired and are designed for shorter activities—one hour or more. They contain 22-24 grams of carbs per serving of multiple transportable carbohydrates, and they’re similar to three Clif Shot Bloks or a gel. The idea was that they can be added to your menu if you’re looking for a new taste or texture (the Banana Mango with Coconut flavor, for example, has some shredded coconut). The texture is less viscous than gels, as it has a higher water content—it’s about three times the volume of a gel with the same number of calories. We liked both flavors, and especially enjoyed the different texture from the coconut.

The two savory flavors ($2.99 for 120-gram pouch) are inspired by ultrarunners, who suffer from palate fatigue deep into a race. The sweet potato flavor was inspired by a common ultrarun aid station staple—white potatoes rolled in salt. The pizza flavor comes from long-course athletes who crave those savory flavors toward the end of a race. Of the two, we actually liked the pizza flavor better—the flavor profile comes from ingredients such as quinoa, yeast flakes, tomatoes and carrots. The savory flavors are designed for longer activities (two-plus hours) because they have higher protein (for satiation) and fat (for changing up the blood flow for digestion and easing GI distress) content. They also are higher in sodium (550-600 milligrams), the equivalent of 2-3 sodium capsules.

We could see both of these flavors being great during workouts or long-course races, when you’re craving something a little more real-tasting and can’t choke down one more gel.

The packaging is one area the Clif team would like to change—as of right now, it’s the same as baby food packaging (but the content is nutritionally very different from baby food!). They would like to reduce the size of the screw top and make it more ergonomic for carrying during a run.

Keep an eye out for this exciting new product from Clif, coming in February 2015.

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Out There: Turkey Trots, the Perfect Family Distraction http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/out-there/turkey-trots-perfect-family-distraction_118450 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/out-there/turkey-trots-perfect-family-distraction_118450#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:16:00 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118450

What's so hard about running a Turkey Trot? Illustration: Matt Collins

Susan Lacke offers some tips for "runners" who sign up for a Turkey Trot at the last minute.

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What's so hard about running a Turkey Trot? Illustration: Matt Collins

Susan Lacke offers some tips for “runners” who sign up for a Turkey Trot at the last minute.

Thanksgiving is the best. Obviously, gluttony factors greatly into this greatness, but that isn’t the only thing. Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family—more importantly, it’s a time for alcohol with friends and family. How else are we supposed to tolerate each other for a four-day weekend?

When alcohol comes into play, people start to get a little braggy. “It can’t be that hard!” my kinfolks drunkenly claim about my running and triathlon racing. “I bet I could do one tomorrow!”

Luckily, Thanksgiving weekend provides ample opportunity for such a wager. As the biggest running holiday of the year, races are everywhere on Thanksgiving morning. You can’t throw a Jell-O mold without hitting a Turkey Trot. Every year, the order of events is the same. If you’re coming to my house this year, be thankful for what to expect:

Succumb To Peer Pressure

A Turkey Trot tomorrow, you say? How hard could it be? After all, you once ran a six-minute mile in high school.

Drink A Beer To Toast Your New Athletic Endeavor

Heck, drink four! Instagram a picture of your empties: #carboloading.

Set A Reasonable Goal

Remind your family of your six-minute mile in high school. Based on that, you expect to finish your 5K in 18 minutes. Say 19, just in case it takes you a while to get into “the zone.”

RELATED: The Runner’s Thanksgiving Survival Guide

Don Your Stretchy Pants On Race Morning

They’re not just for dinner anymore.

Do A Quad Stretch As Your Warm-Up

It’s cool. You see it on the cover of running magazines all the time.

Be Confident

It can compensate for any lack of training. That invincible feeling you have in the first 100 meters? Go with that.

Close Gaps

You will not be passed by a 12-year-old. Do you hear me? You will not.

Check In

Between gasps, ask a fellow runner how far you’ve run. Keep a straight face when she tells you there’s still two and a half miles to go.

Save Face

Slow down to point dramatically at your timepiece—”Can you believe this?!?”—until you catch your breath. Or “tie your shoe.” Or “stretch” a “cramping muscle.” Ignore the 12-year-old laughing at you as she blazes by.

Hydrate!

Never slow down at an aid station. Between heaving breaths, gulp down two cups of Gatorade, and throw a third over your head like a champ. A sticky, lime-scented champ.

RELATED: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Turkey Trots

Stay Strong

Resist the urge to die, duck out to the car and/or murder the person who suckered you into racing. Didn’t she know you were under the influence when you agreed to this?

Hang On To Delusions Of Grandeur

You will totally run the third mile in six minutes. Totally. The “second wind” is real, and it is coming.

Sprint Like Hell

OK, so you walked the third mile. But when you see the finish line, you better haul it. Make sure to gloat when you pass people in the finishing chute. Perhaps perform a crotch-chop for emphasis of your bad-ass-ery.

Eat

Running burns, like, a thousand calories a minute. You pretty much have free license to eat anything you want, up to and including an entire pie. In fact, for the next six weeks, you should remind people between bites of Christmas cookies: “I just ran a race. Yup, gotta fuel my raging metabolism.”

Buy New Stretchy Pants.

Your old ones don’t fit anymore, and you need a new pair for your next race anyway. It’s your New Year’s Resolution. You’re totally going to run six-minute miles at that half marathon.

****

About The Author:

Susan Lacke does 5Ks, Ironman triathlons, and everything in between to justify her love for cupcakes (yes, she eats that many). In addition to writing for Competitor, she is a featured contributor to Triathlete and Women’s Running magazines. Susan lives and trains in Phoenix, Arizona with four animals: A labrador, a cattle dog, a pinscher and a freakishly tall triathlete named Neil. She claims to be of sound mind, though this has yet to be substantiated by a medical expert. Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLacke

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Teen Runs Half Marathon Wearing Crocs, Finishes 10th http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/teen-runs-half-marathon-wearing-crocs-finishes-10th_118454 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/teen-runs-half-marathon-wearing-crocs-finishes-10th_118454#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:48:36 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118454

Crocs are an odd footwear choice for a race, but not for one New Zealand teenager. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

The 17-year-old finishes in 1:23:03 wearing the rubber clogs.

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Crocs are an odd footwear choice for a race, but not for one New Zealand teenager. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

The 17-year-old finishes in 1:23:03 wearing the rubber clogs.

A New Zealand teenager lost his running shoes before a recent half marathon, so he opted for a slightly different style of footwear for the race: Crocs.

Turns out it was a good move, as 17-year-old Callum Robertson-Barnes finished the Kerikeri Half Marathon in 1 hour, 23 minutes, 3 seconds to place 10th in a field of more than 1,200 runners, reports The New Zealand Herald.

Robertson-Barnes told the paper he couldn’t find his actual running shoes the night before the race and thinks he left them on a school bus during a recent field trip. That was three weeks before the race, and he admits he did not put in a lot of training for the 13.1-miler.

“I did a few smaller runs, and two longer distance runs, but that was a while ago,” he said.

The decision to run in a pair of Crocs Classics, which are essentially rubber clogs with some holes in them and a strap that keeps the heel in place, wasn’t hard because he had worn them during a hike this year.

RELATED: Fall Trail Running Shoe Guide

Robertson-Barnes even wore socks to prevent blisters. The socks did their job, but he still got a blister on one foot. He blamed it on the timing device, which would normally loop through shoelaces. Without laces on his choice of footwear, the high schooler stuffed the device into his sock.

Still, Robertson-Barnes—who stays fit through cross-training, mountain biking, surfing and hiking—lowered his time from last year’s race by 30 minutes. He said he would consider wearing Crocs for another race.

“Definitely, just watch out for the transponder, and wear some socks,” he said.

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Workout of the Week: The Short Circuit http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/training/workout-week-short-circuit_118428 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/training/workout-week-short-circuit_118428#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 22:26:15 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118428

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Want to work on your weaknesses this off-season? This session rolls speed, stamina and strength all into one workout!

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Photo: Shutterstock.com

Want to work on your weaknesses this off-season? This session rolls speed, stamina and strength all into one workout!

For many runners, the winter off-season is a great time of year to take a step back from serious, structured training for a couple months in order to recharge and work on your weaknesses.

And in order to make improvements over the off-season, we know it’s important to work on the elements of stamina, speed and strength, but where the issue often arises for many age-group runners is in finding the time to appropriately address all three of these things over course of a given week of training.

One of my favorite solutions to this problem is a little doozy of a workout I call the Short Circuit. During a time of year when race-specific workouts are de-emphasized in favor of rebuilding your aerobic base for the competitive season ahead, performing this circuit-style workout 1-2 times a week ensures that you’re not neglecting the speed and strength components of a well-rounded off-season training program. And on top of all that, it’s a lot of fun!

This workout requires a small amount of logistical work, so before you get started you’ll need to scope out a nearby track facility (indoor or outdoor) or a quiet stretch of road or trail in close proximity to field or open area (in order to perform some of the ancillary exercises involved). For those of you tied to your treadmill this winter, an indoor setup will work for this workout too. Lastly, you’ll also need a basic watch (or your smartphone or tablet) that has a chronograph or timer setting on it.

One set of the Short Circuit workout leaves you with 8 minutes of quality running and 3 to 4 minutes of total body strength work. I suggest starting with one set and gradually building up to two over the course of 2-4 weeks. Do this workout 1-2 times a week over the course of your 6-8 week off-season period, giving yourself 2-3 days between sessions. You’ll head into the spring racing season stronger and faster than ever before!

Here’s how to do it:

Warmup

Jog for 10-15 minutes and follow with 1-2 sets of form drills and 4-6 x 20-second strides at 5K effort.

The Workout

— Begin with 10 standard pushups and immediately follow with a 30-second sprint at 90 percent of max effort. Note: Focus on maintaining good form during both of these exercises.
— Jog slowly back to where you did the pushups and then assume a front plank position for 30 seconds.
— Follow front plank with with 1 minute of slow, easy jogging, then immediately transition into 1 minute of running at 5K race effort.
— Jog slowly back to where you did the plank and then perform 10 reverse dips on a chair or bench.
— Immediately follow the reverse dips with a 30-second sprint at 90 percent of max effort. Note: Your arms will be tired, but use them!
— Jog slowly back to where you did the reverse dips and then assume a plank position on the right side for 30 seconds. Repeat exercise for 30 seconds on the left side.
— Take 45 seconds standing recovery, then run for 5 minutes (2:30 out, 2:30 back) at 10K to half-marathon race effort.
— Take 1 minute standing/walking recovery after your 5-minute running effort.
Perform as many burpees as possible in 30 seconds.
— Take 1 minute standing/walking recovery after the burpees and finish with 1 minute of fast, but relaxed running at 5K race pace. If you want to simulate kicking at the end of a race, try sprinting the final 15 to 20 seconds.

Wiped? You should be!

Cooldown

Jog for 10-15 minutes followed by 10 minutes of static stretching exercises.

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Yoga for Runners: The Crescent Lunge http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/video/yoga-runners-crescent-lunge_118437 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/video/yoga-runners-crescent-lunge_118437#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:32:59 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118437

Most yoga poses that work to strengthen and loosen your hips will be beneficial to runners and the demand they put on that area.

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Most yoga poses that work to strengthen and loosen your hips will be beneficial to runners and the demand they put on that area.

This pose, shown here in its most basic form, is a great way to keep your hips loose and stretched out. Do each leg 2-3 times for 30-60 seconds each.

RELATED: Yoga for Runners: The Bridge Pose

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Angela Bekkala: The Toughest Race I’ve Ever Run http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/saucony-26-strong/angela-bekkala-toughest-race-ive-ever-run_118431 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/saucony-26-strong/angela-bekkala-toughest-race-ive-ever-run_118431#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:55:05 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118431

Angela Bekkala ran her first marathon in pouring rain last year. Photo: Angela Bekkala

Angela Bekkala writes about her first marathon, in which she dealt with stomach issues in rainy, miserable weather

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Angela Bekkala ran her first marathon in pouring rain last year. Photo: Angela Bekkala

The hardest race I’ve ever done was ironically my first and (so far) only marathon.

It was May 2013. The entire 16 weeks of training were almost perfect. I was feeling strong, hitting my paces for every workout and just enjoying running despite horrible winter/spring weather.

The Vermont City Marathon is in Burlington, Vt.—about four hours from where I live in New Hampshire. As we were driving there the day before the race, rain was coming down in buckets and it was even snowing at one point. Perfect Memorial Day weekend weather, right? Thankfully the snow stopped, but it continued to rain heavily throughout the night and on race day. In addition to the weather, I was also dealing with a sick toddler. One of the perks of being a mother runner.

I barely slept the night before the race. I talked myself out of having an “A goal” race. I just wanted to have a good run.

The rain was coming down so hard that waiting for the race to start was miserable. I was completely soaked. When it was finally time to start, I jumped into a coral not even paying attention of what the pace was. I just wanted to run to get warmer!

The first 14 miles were uneventful. I was running slower than usual but feeling comfortable. The rain was still constant. I still had on my throwaway shirt just because I could not warm up.

Things started to slide soon after climbing a mega hill at mile 15. My stomach began to do flip-flops. I felt nauseous. I made the first of three emergency pit stops off into the woods. I momentarily felt better until it hit me again a few minutes later. With all the stopping and going (literally and physically), my legs were not happy. I started to get severe cramps in my calves, quads and hamstrings—the kind that seize the muscle up into one big knot and throw your gait off. Stretching didn’t help so I resorted to running as much as I could before another cramp would come up.

The last nine miles of the race were a blur. I was in a really bad place. I was thinking of ways to get out of the race. I didn’t even care if I finished. I just wanted to be done. I kept repeating to myself “One and done!” When I saw mile marker 25, I willed myself to run as much as I could, even if it was a shuffle. I could hear the crowds and even begin to see more people. I was going to finish what I started!

As I entered into Waterfront Park, the crowd support lifted me up enough to keep moving through the muddy grass as I crossed the finish line. As a volunteer placed the finisher’s medal around my neck, he said “Congratulations! You ARE a marathoner!” That’s all it took to open the floodgates of tears.

After the race, I was exhausted, angry and disappointed. I had high expectations for myself and I didn’t meet any of them. I couldn’t see past the horrible experience and just be happy that I finished a marathon. After licking my wounds for a couple of days (and finally getting out of Burlington—it’s a long story. Read it HERE), http://www.happyfitmama.com/what-a-weekend/ I realized I was in no way “One and done.” I know I can do better than that. I know I can finish with a smile on my face. I want that more than anything.

For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Series Announces 2015 Additions, Changes http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/rock-n-roll-series-announces-2015-additions-changes_118422 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/rock-n-roll-series-announces-2015-additions-changes_118422#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:38:20 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118422

Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn will be expanded from a 10K to a half marathon in 2015. Photo: www.photorun.net

Two new races and an interactive tool for runners are new for 2015.

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Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn will be expanded from a 10K to a half marathon in 2015. Photo: www.photorun.net

Two new races and an interactive tool for runners are new for 2015.

The 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll series schedule includes new races in New York and Mexico, along with a new tool for runners to keep pace with their season plans.

Half marathons in Mexico City (March 15) and Brooklyn (October) were added to the schedule, while #MyRnRTour was launched. The latter is an interactive race-calendar planning tool that helps runners manage their 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll race schedule.

#MyRnRTour launches on Nov. 20 and it will offer savings on 2015 race entry fees for 24 hours after it is made available.

“Runners are passionate about their sport and we are thrilled to offer not only savings for runners, but a new tool that will help them schedule upcoming races,” said Keith Kendrick, Chief Marketing Officer of Competitor Group. “This is a great time for new runners to commit to a race, as we offer a variety of distances and events, and for experienced athletes to plan their 2015 schedule.”

The race in Mexico City will be the first Rock ‘n’ Roll event held in the United States’ southern neighbor. Overall, 23 destinations in North America are on the season schedule, along with four stops in Europe—Madrid, Spain; Liverpool, England; Dublin, Ireland; and Lisbon, Portugal.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn actually began in 2011 as a 10K in Central Park. After a one-year hiatus, the race will return and expand to 13.1 miles next year. More than 20,000 runners are expected. The exact date and the course will be announced in the coming weeks.

“We are working with the City of New York to bring a Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon to Brooklyn in October of 2015,” said Josh Furlow, Executive Vice-President of Global Events for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. “Brooklyn has a tremendous running community and has become a popular destination for travelers from around the world. We look forward to providing an unmatched running experience to athletes of all abilities with our first half-marathon in New York City.”

For more information and to sign up for a race, visit runrocknroll.competitor.com.

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The Everyman: Winter Arrives Early http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/staff-blog/everyman-winter-arrives-early_118413 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/staff-blog/everyman-winter-arrives-early_118413#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:12:04 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118413

Don't let snow and cold temperatures keep you off your feet this winter. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Cold weather and snow shouldn't keep you from running this winter.

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Don't let snow and cold temperatures keep you off your feet this winter. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Cold weather and snow shouldn’t keep you from running this winter.

We just went from comfortable fall temps straight to winter in much of the United States. One day it was shorts-t-shirt-and-arm-warmer weather, and the next it was running-tights-multiple-layers-on-top-hat-and-gloves weather.

The ground is already frozen here in the mid-Atlantic region and the crunching sound it makes when you walk over it sounds like crusty snow. And speaking of the white stuff, parts of New York are getting five feet of it.

For those of us who don’t live in climates that are warm all year, running outside doesn’t have to be put on hold when the mercury drops and the land turns white. Here are a few keys to running in the winter.

Dress Up

And I’m not talking about wearing your best suit. It’s obvious, but running in cold weather means you need to dress warmly. But not too warmly, because depending on how far you’re going, your body will heat up. If you start to sweat and that gets trapped between your skin and your clothes, you’ll start to get real cold, real fast. Your best move is to wear layers so that you can peel them off as necessary.

Watch Your Footing

With cold weather comes ice, and with ice comes slips and falls that can lead to broken bones. Do yourself a favor and don’t fall, OK? Always keep your eyes on what’s in front of you and know what’s around you, in case you need to take quick evasive action to avoid another runner, cyclist or even a car. Wear shoes with good traction, like a decent pair of trail shoes that have some extra grip on the bottom and along the edges of the sole. If you’re running on snow or a lot of ice, buy a pair of running-specific cramp-ons—or make your own.

RELATED: Top Tips For Safe Winter Running

Take It Easy

Unless you’re training for a big race in the early part of next year, you don’t have to go out and run 15 miles at race pace. Slow it down a bit and take in the scenery. Run with a buddy and talk about what you want for the holidays. Running slower will also give you more time to avoid an icy patch at the last second.

Strength Train

Winter is a perfect time to run less and lift more. Head to the gym a few times a week and do some strength work to shore up your joints and build some muscle for the upcoming season. A stronger runner is a better runner. Try this simple strength circuit.

Relax

Winter is also about giving your runner’s body some time to rest and heal if you had a long season. So run a bit less, work on your strength in the gym and then relax at home. Even the most serious runners need a break once in a while.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Turkey Trots http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/5-things-didnt-know-turkey-trots_117897 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/5-things-didnt-know-turkey-trots_117897#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 06:55:26 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=117897

A runner in full costume at the Oceanside (Calif.) Turkey Trot. Photo: Ryan Wood

The Thanksgiving Day tradition is as popular as ever.

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A runner in full costume at the Oceanside (Calif.) Turkey Trot. Photo: Ryan Wood

The Thanksgiving Day tradition is as popular as ever.

The idea is over 100 years old and it’s not going away anytime soon. A big feast awaits most on Thanksgiving, so why not run a race that morning to offset the incoming calories later on in the day?

Turkey trots are one of running’s most charming traditions, with races all over the United States slated for Thanksgiving morning and others taking place the weekend before the holiday. Most of the races are 5Ks or 10Ks, though some dare to go even longer (foreseeing larger appetites, perhaps).

RELATED: 7 Things to Look For at Your Turkey Trot

If the turkey trot scene is new to you, here are a few odds and ends from the 2014 Thanksgiving race calendar that may be of interest.

1. It’s been a tradition since the 1800s.

YMCA Turkey Trot race officials recently announced that their 8K in Buffalo, New York is sold out. Around 14,000 runners are expected.

Why the success? Tradition, for starters. The YMCA Turkey Trot is one of the longest-running races in the United States. This year’s edition is the 119th race. Since the first race in 1895, it has taken place every year—even in 2000 when a blizzard covered Buffalo the night before the race. Mayor Anthony Masiello ordered the streets be cleared so the race could go on.

Other YMCAs have similar successful races. The Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot started in 1968 and now has more than 25,000 participants each year.

2. Running and football go together.

Running has made its mark as a Thanksgiving Day tradition, but one sport still rules the roost: Football.

Once again, the NFL will have three games on Thanksgiving Day, including the traditional home games for the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions. But there are a few Turkey Trots that incorporate football, as well.

The New York Jets are joining NYCRuns to put on the NY Jets Turkey Trot on Nov. 23, the weekend before Thanksgiving. The 5K takes place at the Jets’ training facility in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Also, the Music City Thanksgiving Day 8/4 Miler in Nashville, Tenn., will run around the perimeter of LP Field, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.

3. You might spot a celebrity.

The Boise Turkey Day 5K in Idaho will have a bit of a celebrity flavor to it—American track star Nick Symmonds tweeted recently that he’s all signed up to run it.

From the fitness icons category, the Dana Point Turkey Trot in Dana Point, Calif., will have Tae Bo creator Billy Blanks as its official fitness expert. He will lead a warmup before the 5K and 10K runs begin Thanksgiving morning. Blanks recently opened a studio in Dana Point just down the road from the race start.

4. A beachside Thanksgiving is possible.

Most of the country envisions chilly mornings, perhaps even freezing cold mornings, to run Turkey Trots. Ice storms and snowstorms have been known to hamper many Thanksgiving Day races.

But even the United States’ most mild climates love their Thanksgiving Day runs. Southern California has several Turkey Trots, most notably the Dana Point Turkey Trot and the Oceanside Turkey Trot, both of which run steps away from the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Temperatures often allow for short sleeves.

Hawaii has turkey trots on all their main islands— the Honolulu Marathon Clinic Turkey Trot on Oahu, the Wayne “Big Dog” Joseph Thanksgiving Day 5K on the Big Island, and an 8.6-mile and 16-mile turkey trot on Maui, among others.

5. Turkey Trots can be lucrative.

It’s not all recreational, though—several Turkey Trots have plenty of prize money up for grabs.

Among others, the Manchester Road Race in Connecticut has nearly $50,000 in prize money, including a $4,000 prize for the top male and female. The Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in San Jose, Calif., has $15,000 in prize money up for grabs, plus potentially another $10,000 if a U.S. record is set.

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American Stars To Race In Costa Rica On Sunday http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/american-stars-race-costa-rica-sunday_118385 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/news/american-stars-race-costa-rica-sunday_118385#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 00:28:32 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118385

Left to right: Ryan Hall, Sara Hall, Abdi Abdirahman and Matt Llano are set to compete in Costa Rica this Sunday. Photos: PhotoRun.net

Ryan and Sara Hall, Abdi Abdirahman and Matt Llano headline the second running of the Gatorade San José Half Marathon.

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Left to right: Ryan Hall, Sara Hall, Abdi Abdirahman and Matt Llano are set to compete in Costa Rica this Sunday. Photos: PhotoRun.net

Ryan and Sara Hall, Abdi Abdirahman and Matt Llano headline the second running of the Gatorade San José Half Marathon. 

A few fast American road racers will flock to San Jose, Costa Rica on Sunday for the second running of the Gatorade San José Half Marathon, which finishes at Paseo Colon in heart of San José.

Defending champion Ryan Hall, the American record holder in the half marathon who ran 64:09 to win last year’s race, will return to defend his title. Joining him in Costa Rica for the first time since their honeymoon in 2005 will be his wife Sara, who is coming off a great year on the roads that saw her finish fourth at last weekend’s .US 12K road racing championships.

“This year’s field is built for speed, record performances and to increase public attendance for the event,” said Gatorade San Jose Half Marathon race director Mario Reyes. “We have big expectations with this group of men and women who have experience how to race and win.”

Alongside the Halls will be four-time U.S. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman and 61-minute half marathoner Matt Llano of Flagstaff, Ariz., who ran 1:01:47 to finish fifth at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships in January. Not competing in this year’s race will be last year’s second-place finisher, Costa Rican Olympian Cesar Lizano, who will be racing the Cal International Marathon in Sacramento on Dec. 7.

“I’m very excited to run in Costa Rica,” Abdirahman said in a press release. “I’m looking forward to seeing where I stand now against some good friends and great runners of the U.S. and Costa Rica.”

Now in its second year, the sold-out race—which will be broadcast locally on live TV—will feature 2,000 total runners, split evenly amongst the half marathon and 10K distances.

“We are very happy and excited to come to Costa Rica again and race,” Hall said. “There’s is a growing community of athletes and we want to share with them.”

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Shoe Of The Week: Puma Nightcat Powered Mobium Ride http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/shoes-and-gear/shoe-week-puma-nightcat-powered-mobium-ride_118373 http://running.competitor.com/2014/11/shoes-and-gear/shoe-week-puma-nightcat-powered-mobium-ride_118373#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:15:35 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=118373

The LEDs of the Puma Nightcat Powered Mobium Ride shoes emit a bright blue light that can be seen from several blocks away.

This everyday trainer has plenty of cushioning and a shining beacon of light.

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The LEDs of the Puma Nightcat Powered Mobium Ride shoes emit a bright blue light that can be seen from several blocks away.

This everyday trainer has plenty of cushioning and a shining beacon of light.

Because of the end of daylight saving time, running in the fall and winter often means running in the dark. And while there are plenty of great aftermarket accessories that can light you up, there aren’t many shoes that keep a runner as visible as this one. It’s the latest of Puma’s Mobium line of well-cushioned and very responsive training shoes, only this one has large reflective graphics all over the upper and a blue LED light affixed to the top of the tongue. What?! Yes, a 1-inch square light box offers up brilliant blue light (flashing or constant) that can be seen from several blocks away.

The shoe has loads of cushioning, and like its Modium predecessors, sports a unique undercarriage that dynamically flexes and morphs to match a foot’s natural movement pattern. Plus, a criss-crossed elastic band built into the outsole helps to enhance forward propulsion by storing and releasing energy as the shoe impacts the ground, flexes and then unleashes during the toe-off phase. Also like other Modium models, this version has an athletic fit with a snug fit from heel to toe (and just little extra room in the toebox) and minimal arch support. The ride borders the line between being semi-firm and semi-soft but one that is soft enough to run slowly over moderately long distances and responsive enough to run faster workouts.

Price: $130
Weights: 9.4 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 8.0 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
Offset: 8mm
Info: puma.com

Related: Shoe Of The Week—Newton Kismet

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