Your Online Source for Running Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:37:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 32 32 How to Combine an Ultramarathon with a RV Trip in the National Parks Thu, 12 Oct 2017 18:24:05 +0000 One ultrarunner shares tips on how to plan an RV trip around an ultramarathon after doing a 100-miler near the Everglades in Florida.

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While planning a trip to Biscayne and Everglades National Parks in Florida, I peeked on in search of an ultramarathon in the area around the time my husband and I planned to visit the parks. And voila! There was indeed an ultramarathon, albeit far from these national parks, in Pensacola, Fla. I registered for the 2017 Wildcat 100 ultramarathon, my 21st ultra. The deciding factor was the availability of RV hook-ups at the race site. Plus, I had been training and had completed a 24-hour ultra in May. Combining an annual summer vacation in America’s national parks, with an ultramarathon, seven states away from home was a go.

Combining visits to a national park with a 100-mile ultra event in an RV makes for a fun trip. There’s no getting in and out of a car and into and out of a hotel/motel. The RV is your home on wheels with bed(s), a bathroom/shower, and a kitchen. It’s easy to hook up and unhook to water, electric, and sewer at the RV parks and campgrounds. We stayed in two different RV parks: Miami Everglades Resort and KOA Sugarloaf Key.

Based on our experience, follow these tips on what to pack, how to pack, and how to grocery shop for life in the RV and preparing for a 100-mile race.

Hiking/Running Clothes and Gear

1. A hundred miles is a lot of miles. Generally, the time limit is 30 to 32 hours. The Wildcat 100 time limit is 40 hours. Pack several sets of running clothes: shorts, skorts, sport bras, and singlets/tanks. The weather can change. Pack a rain jacket, light jacket, long sleeve shirt, running tights, caps, bandanas, cooling towels, underwear, compression wear, socks, and sport sunglasses.

2. Pack neatly. Pin each set of shorts/skort/running tights, singlet, sports bra, and underwear together with a safety pin. Gentlemen, adjust accordingly. Next, roll each pinned set of clothes into a compact bundle. I packed six sets of running clothes and used three sets.

3. Your toes and feet will demand shoe changes. Pack several pairs of running shoes. I packed my Asics trail shoes, Asics Nimbus Gel shoes, Vibrams, and Birkenstocks in separate plastic bags. The weather can change and your shoes will get wet.

4. Pack your first aid essentials. In a clear Ziploc bag pack Band Aids, Neosporin, Desitin, Vaseline, bug spray, After Bite, athletic tape, pain reliever, Tiger Balm, duct tape, tweezers, small scissors, toe nail clippers, bandage wraps, gauze pads, KT tape, sunscreen, and medication you may require.

5. Pack hiking clothes, swimwear, and water shoes. Depending on the trail terrain in the national park, pack hiking boots. Carry the first aid Ziploc bag in your backpack.

RELATED: 7 Essential Pieces Of Gear For Traveling Runners

How to Pack It All

packing running gear

Renting RV kitchen/cooking supplies, and towels, pillows, and sheets is expensive. The first roll of toilet paper is free. So be creative.

1. Fill a pillowcase(s) with your neatly rolled running/hiking/swim clothes. First, line up the rolled clothes to fit in a clear white trash bag. Insert the filled bag in a pillowcase to form a pillow. Pack the clothes-filled pillow in your suitcase.

2. Pack towels/bed sheets. Roll each bath and beach towel. Roll the bed sheets. Pack them in a separate white trash bag. We packed two bath towels, two hand towels, a towel for use during the ultra event, a kitchen towel, and four bed sheets.

Cooking Essentials and Stocking the RV Refrigerator

 For cooking, we packed these items.

  1. A camp cooking pot
  2. A skillet with a folding handle
  3. A pocket knife
  4. Condiments
  5. An apron


Healthy dishes

Before heading to the RV campground, go grocery shopping. In Florida, we shopped at Publix supermarket. Make a shopping list. Buy only what you need and what will fit in the compact RV refrigerator/freezer. Plan meals ahead of time. Our shopping list consisted of the following:

  1. Protein: chicken, pork, bacon, and eggs.
  2. Vegetables: asparagus, mushrooms, onions, spinach, cauliflower, and malanga (similar to taro root).
  3. Fruit: watermelon, bananas, peaches, mangoes, avocados, and tomatoes.
  4. Liquids: water and seltzer, dark chocolate almond milk, canned coconut milk, and Pepsi.
  5. Condiments: garlic butter and olive oil.
  6. Paper goods: a roll of paper towels (also used as napkins), paper plates and plastic ware for two people, a small bottle of dish soap, a sponge, and cleaning wipes to last the duration of the racecation without being wasteful.
  7. A Styrofoam cooler and ice.
  8. Special treats: Puerto Rican bread and shortbread cookies, and brownies from the bakery (we eat Paleo, but we’re technically on a vacation).
  9. Reuse grocery bags to collect trash. Reuse the white trash bags for dirty laundry.


RELATED: Why You Should Plan a ‘Runcation’ (And Travel Tips for Runners)

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10 Awesome Car Decals for Runners Thu, 12 Oct 2017 17:00:57 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=18454 These decals express exactly how it feels to be a runner.

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Life Is Better Car Decal, $5" src="" />

We’ve all seen (and maybe even own) the common car decals proudly displaying race distance accomplishments—5K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2, etc.

If you’re a little bored with those, change it up with these great decals for runners!

car decals Custom Distance Car Magnet, $5 Runner's High Car Magnet, $5 Eat Sleep Run Repeat Car Magnet, $3 27.5 (I Got Lost) Car Magnet, $5 Toe Nails Are For Sissies Car Magnet, $4 Rather Be Running Car Magnet, $4 0.0 Car Magnet, $5

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Hash Hound Harriers: A Tradition That Cures Hangovers? Thu, 12 Oct 2017 17:00:36 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=8309 The group bills themselves as a drinking club with a running problem.

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Photo: Flickr

I live in Fort Collins, Colo., where beer is a hobby that is often combined with sports. However I was surprised to learn that beer-focused running dated back to World War II.

The run: The Hash Hound Harriers. The year: 1938. A handful of British colonial officers in Malaysia banded together on a Monday evening (good for them) to run away their weekend hangovers. They named themselves the “Hash House Harriers” after a house most of them lived in.

During the war, the group was not as active, but started again in 1946. The clubs recorded their objectives in 1950. The goals were to remain fit, feel younger, get rid of hangovers and get thirsty enough to drink beer.

From there, Hashing chapters started forming all over the world. Today there are over 2,000 groups in existence.

What are compelling reasons to join? Well, there is beer. And…no, that’s all you need to know. There is beer.

What sets hashing apart?

Hare and Hounds style. The group has a designated “hare” who leads the chase. The hare takes a head start to make a trail. Then, the group of “hounds” sets off to chase them. If the hare is “caught,” that person becomes the new hare.

Trail Markings and Callings. Trails are typically marked with chalk, sawdust or flour. Newer variations in snow use colored water splashes. Fake trail detours allow stragglers to catch up. Shrieks from horns, whistles or shouts of “On-On” are heard from front runners when the correct trail is found. Trails can vary between out and backs, loops, and destination runs. No matter where you end up, drinking is involved.

Nicknames. Group members rarely go by their real name. Instead, everyone is given a “hash name” based on something epic, embarrassing or an attribute of their appearance. If a member complains about their names or attempts to name themselves, they are intentionally given simple and boring names such as “glasses.”

Tradition: Keeping up with old traditions is one of the many things that makes hashing so awesome. Some of these traditions include:

  • Group Shirts. Easily identified by the outline of a human footprint, it might also be accompanied by their phrase “on-on.”
  • Socks. Knee high socks to protect from any elements, such as water, mud, thorns, etc.
  • Themed Runs. Themed races are held annually to raise money for local charities. The most common is the Red Dress Run. In 1987, group member had a high school friend come for a visit. She came straight off of the plane to meet him, and without changing, she ran with them in her red dress and heels. The tradition stuck.

Next time your run feels monotonous and lonely, look up the nearest hashing event in your area or any socially based run. If you’re a beer enthusiast with a running problem, definitely add a hash event to your bucket list.

RELATED: Serving Up Running Shoes and Fresh Microbrews

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4 Pilates Moves For Runners That You Can Do Anywhere Wed, 11 Oct 2017 23:04:17 +0000 You don’t have to be an exercise-class nut to reap the benefits of this practice—and these modified pilates moves are perfect for

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Part stretch, part strength, with a focus on alignment, Pilates is a great workout. But Jae Gruenke, founder of The Balanced Runner, explains that with a few tweaks, you can tailor the for-everybody exercise into something that benefits runners specifically.

Do the following four moves—with Gruenke’s tweaks—prior to a run, and they can help you unkink yourself from the position your desk chair or laptop put you in all day (flexed hips, hunched shoulders). Alternatively, save them for after a run (or a long day at work) and let them help imprint what good movement patterns feel like in your body even when you’re tired.

RELATED: Cross-Training Classes That Are Great For Runners

Shoulder Bridge with Single-Leg Extension Single-Leg Stretch Swimming Standing Single-Leg Balance

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NYRR Announces Elite Field For USATF 5K Championships Wed, 11 Oct 2017 22:50:59 +0000 Matt Centrowitz and Des Linden headline the men's and women's races.

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Photo: NYRR

New York Road Runners have released the elite field for the 2017 Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USA Track & Field (USATF) 5K Championships, taking place on Nov. 4. It includes ten Olympians and six runners who were part of Team USA at this year’s IAAF World Championships.

Headlining the men’s race are Matt Centrowitz, Ben True and Paul Chelimo. Centrowitz is a two-time Olympian who won the gold medal in the 1500 meters at the 2016 Rio Games. True set the current 5K American record of 13:20 at the B.A.A 5K this past April. Chelimo has been a force in the 5000 on the track, capturing the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, as well as the bronze medal at the 2017 IAAF World Championships. Joining them are Olympians Leonard Korir and Hassan Mead.

The women’s race is also a showcase of Olympians as well. Known primarily for the marathon, including a 5th place finish at the NYC Marathon in 2014, Desiree Linden will instead opt for the much shorter 5K distance this year. Also entered are Brenda Martinez and Abbey D’Agostino. The Dash to the Finish marks D’Agostino’s return to competition after tearing her ACL & meniscus during the 5000 meters at the Rio Olympics.

The Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K kicks off the NYC Marathon weekend. The race begins near the United Nations before crossing the city on 42nd Street. Runners then head up 6th Avenue to Central Park, where they complete the race at the marathon finish line. It will be broadcast live on To see the rest of the elite athlete start list or to register for the event, go to

RELATED: The Top Americans Running This Year’s NYC Marathon

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5 Spots To Check Out Along The Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn 5-Mile Course Wed, 11 Oct 2017 20:56:57 +0000 Get some sightseeing done while racing the Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn 5-Mile race this weekend.

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Grand Army Plaza, Photo: Courtesy of Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series

Need something to focus on while you’re running this weekend’s Synchrony Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn 5-Mile race—in addition to the bands and your fellow competitors? There’s something along the course to feed your interest, no matter what it is. Get the intel on five spots—plus some talking points (or thinking points, if you’re at your threshold) to make the miles fly even faster.

FOR THE ART LOVER: The Brooklyn Museum

NYC’s third largest museum isn’t the only place to be at the start of the race, it’s the place to be on the first Saturday evening of the month, when admission and entertainment is free. Each month has a different roster, but there’s entertainment all night long. October’s lineup even featured a salsa party with lessons.

Ask your friends if they saw: Last year’s exhibit on The Rise of Sneaker Culture, which featured about 150 pairs of sneaks—including the iconic Nike waffle trainers, whose soles were prototyped on Bill Bowerman’s wife’s waffle iron. If not, tell them they can still hit the museum now and see animal mummies, plus a large global collection that spans works from Ancient Egypt to of-the-moment artists.

FOR THE GARDENER: Brooklyn Botanic Garden

To think of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden as home of the annual cherry blossom festival is to cheat the rest of its impressive 52 acres—and the other 51 weeks of the year—worth the attention. There’s always something amazing in the conservatories of all types, including a Japanese garden, rose garden, Shakespeare garden, and even a rock garden—plus a visitor center with a 10,000-square-foot green roof (yes, with plants growing on it).

Impress your friends: Casually mention that the Brooklyn Botanic Garden happens to have a great Grammatophyllum speciosum specimen—that’s thought to be the largest orchid species in the world.


Not just any carousel, this fanciful ride was carved in 1932 largely by Charles Carmel, who loved outfitting the horses in the Coney Island style…and if you know Coney Island, you know that means quirky. The horses are flamboyant, decked out in fish scale armor and even imperfect teeth, and they’re on board with two dragon chariots, a deer, a giraffe, and a lion (all carved, of course). The carousel—once in disrepair—now runs at more than 100 years old…and so should you!

Discuss: The training plan that will let you and your friends claim your trophies at age 100.

FOR THE FOODIE: Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket

Across the parkway, between miles three and four, Brooklynites are busy buying just-picked fruits and vegetables, pickles, baked goods and, on Oct. 14, grains. On that day, The Greenmarket Regional Grain stand will be featuring regionally grown whole-grains and flours. And there will be hops: local craft beer producers who will also sell their goods at this event. (Find out more here:

Decide: Whether today’s all about pilsner or stout.


As you make the final left-hand turn of the course, off to the right is Lookout Hill, the site of a Revolutionary War battle—it’s where the “Maryland 400” stood to hold the hill while Washington’s army, along with Washington himself, fled across the East River. Along with a monument to the Maryland 400, you might see goats (you’re not hallucinating). While the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens uses more traditional pruning methods, the park employed four goats in the Lookout Hill area this year to clear up invasive species so native ones can be planted in their place.

Consider: What the park was like in 1776. Historians say it was forest, field, and swampland. It was officially opened as a park in 1867—and was designed for Olmsted, Vaux & Company. Yes, the same people who designed Central Park nearly 10 years earlier.

RELATED: A Runner’s Guide To Exploring Brooklyn On Race Weekend

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10 Pieces Of Running Gear That Give Back To Charity Wed, 11 Oct 2017 17:12:28 +0000 We have rounded up the top pieces of gear that give back to charity—all while giving runners the best performance possible.

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New Balance Vazee Pace v2 Pink Ribbon, $109" src="" />

We have rounded up the top gear that gives back all while giving you the best performance possible. Want to take it further? Make daily runs count, too!

The app Charity Miles allows you to select from more than 30 specified organizations to donate to, and it uses your phone’s GPS (if outside) or your accelerometer (if inside) to log physical activity (running, walking, biking, shoveling snow). To date, the app has earned more than $2.5 million for the National Parks Foundation, Ironman Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, (Red) and more.

RELATED: 5 Products Made With Eco-Friendly Runners In Mind

GracedByGrit Chelsea Legging, $118 MPG Eden 2.0 Run Tee, $44 Handful Y Back Bra, $54 Marc Pro Plus, $950 charity running gear Cotopaxi Veloz Hydration Pack 3L, $119 Janji Landon 2-in-1 Shorts, $52 Columbia OutDry Eco Jacket, $199 Givida Give Hat, $30 Pro Compression Blue Vertex Calf Sleeve, $45

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Keflezighi and Flanagan Make Final Preparations For NYC Marathon Tue, 10 Oct 2017 23:58:08 +0000 Meb Keflezighi and Shalane Flanagan discuss their build-up to this year's NYC Marathon and feeling strong in the final weeks of training.

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Shalane Flanagan and Meb Keflezighi at the pre-race press conference in Los Angeles for the 2016 USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon last February. Photo: Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly

The darlings of American marathon running are heading back to New York, hoping to write momentous chapters in their already impressive biographies. For Meb Keflezighi, the New York City Marathon will be the final professional race of his storied career, while Shalane Flanagan, who debuted in the Big Apple in 2010, makes her much-anticipated return to the 26.2-mile distance on Nov. 5, after an injury sidelined her earlier this year.

“It’s very emotional coming back,” said the 42-year-old Keflezighi on a conference call, who will be contesting the five-borough race for the 11th time. “After I did my first New York City Marathon in 2002 I said I never wanted to do another one again.”  But following that challenging debut, he rebounded to author one of the greatest resumes in the sport: collecting silver in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and winning both New York (in 2009) and Boston (in 2014, setting a career best 2:08:37). “I’m so excited, but at the same time it’s bittersweet, obviously.”

RELATED: Meb Reflects On His Legacy and Approaching Retirement

Flanagan, 36, was due to run in Boston earlier this year, but a back injury (a fracture in her iliac crest) forced her to scratch that plan. She recovered in time for an abbreviated, but productive, track season last summer, including a 14:58.99 5000m, and heads into New York feeling refreshed.

“My back is 100 percent,” said Flanagan, a four-time Olympian whose 2008 bronze medal in the 10,000 meters was recently upgraded to silver following a competitor’s retroactive drug bust. “I actually think the injury this past winter was a giant blessing for me. I’ve had uninterrupted training throughout my career, and that was my first major injury. While at the time it was really heartbreaking to have to miss the Boston Marathon this spring, I believe my body really needed that rest. I think there was a point of overtraining over the last few years and not really identifying it.”

Both athletes used Mammoth Lakes, Calif., as their key training base during their build-up to the iconic race, taking advantage of the town’s 7,000-foot altitude. Flanagan returned home to Portland, Ore., only last Saturday, while Keflezighi is still in Mammoth where he used to live (he now lives in San Diego).

“I’m healthy, which is a big battle,” said Keflezighi, whose most recent marathon was a 2:17:00 effort for 13th place in Boston last April. “I hope to be very competitive. I’m here up in Mammoth Lakes, away from my wife and kids for five weeks. I want my last one to be a good one. Many people think it’s going to just be a show, but I would regret if I didn’t give it everything I had. I usually would be fearless going out there competing against the best of the best. We all know that the mind and the body need to be on the same page.”

RELATED: What Meb Learned From Time Spent Running With His Family

Flanagan, whose injury had put her schedule out of synch with her Nike Bowerman Track Club teammates, had to log the majority of her training solo, even staying one week at a remote cabin with no internet or cell service. But she was able to feed off Mammoth’s thriving running community.

“Just knowing other athletes around are training hard really has a huge impact on me,” she said of her five-week stint. “I like to know that if I’m suffering other people are suffering, too.”

Flanagan said she maxed out at about 130 miles per week while training in Mammoth, something she said was critical for her to be competing in the marathon’s final stages.

“I’ve learned over the last few years that at the end of the marathon what’s not failing me is my cardiovascular system, it’s definitely my legs,” said Flanagan, who ran her career best of 2:21:14 in Berlin in 2014. “I’m hoping that those really big miles I’ve put in will pay off for me on Nov. 5.”

On the heels of last Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, both Keflezighi and Flanagan said they are at least a little uneasy about the results posted by Galen Rupp, who won the men’s race, and Jordan Hasay, who moved past Flanagan into second on the U.S. all-time list with a 2:20:57 clocking in third place on the women’s side. Both athletes run for the Nike Oregon Project which, according to leaked documents, is still under investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for potential rules violations. No wrongdoing has been proven, however, and the program’s coach, Alberto Salazar, has steadfastly stated that no prohibited substances or methods have been used.

“The NOP has been under investigation for the last two years, so as a fan of my own sport it’s hard to have full excitement and faith when you don’t know all the facts yet,” remarked Flanagan. “There’s still an investigation going on, so it’s hard to truly and genuinely get excited about the performances that I’m watching.”

Keflezighi was also concerned. “Obviously I’m happy for Galen and Alberto, but there are things that are still going on,” said Keflezighi. “There’s a lot of speculation, and I would love to know what’s going on and how far it’s gotten.”

(c) 2017 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

RELATED: The Top Americans Running This Year’s NYC Marathon

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This Video Will Make You Want To Watch The NYC Marathon Tue, 10 Oct 2017 19:34:39 +0000 You'll be inspired to watch the 2017 NYC Marathon after viewing this video that taps into the emotions people feel during the race.

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Image: NYRR

Anyone who has ever run or watched the New York City Marathon can vouch for how emotional the race can be. New York Road Runners is tapping into those feelings with their new ‘It Will Move You’ campaign. A series of print, digital and television advertisements captures the physical and emotional feelings around the entire NYC Marathon experience.

At the center of the campaign is a 30-second video inviting people to tune into the race. The spot intersperses scenes from the marathon with declarations about the race, such as ‘It will inspire you,’ and ‘It will push you.” So far the commercial has been shared widely on social media.

“Our new ‘It Will Move You’ campaign brings to life the transformative power of running, and the incredible impact of the TCS New York City Marathon,” said Ronnie Tucker, senior vice president of marketing at New York Road Runners. “The campaign captures the vast range of emotions that marathoners, spectators, volunteers, and even viewers at home feel as part of this awe-inspiring event.”

The campaign will also feature what NYRR calls “digital cheer cards.” Friends and family will be able to make digital versions of race signs on the TCS New York City Marathon Mobile App starting in late October. On race day, those cards will be displayed on a screen at 90th Street and Fifth Avenue as runners pass by.

The New York City Marathon takes place on Sunday, Nov. 5. It will be broadcast live on WABC-TV in the New York area from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST. Outside of the New York area, it will be shown live on ESPN2 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST.

RELATED: The Top Americans Running This Year’s NYC Marathon

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Overcoming the Obstacle of Injury And How To Stay Sane During Recovery Tue, 10 Oct 2017 18:19:05 +0000 Professional runner Neely Spence Gracey shares how to stay sane during a tough injury and tips for easing back into training.

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I’ve been trying to think of how to spin the process of overcoming injury in a positive way. Yay for late nights, no early morning sessions in the dark, extra round of drinks on Friday night; but the façade only carries me so far. Injuries suck. I don’t want to tell you otherwise, but I do want to show you how injuries can be a part of success. It doesn’t mean it’s easy or fun, but here are some tips on how to stay mentally strong throughout your healing time based off of my personal experience. And lastly, I share the difficult, yet so important, necessity of slow progression back to training. Since we can’t get running, let’s get reading.

Part of Success

While it is hard to believe, injuries are part of the pathway to success. Each injury provides an opportunity for growth as a person and athlete. An injury means I pushed the body too hard, the miles were too long, the life stress was too much, or there was too little rest. Often it’s a combination of multiple factors that have created this perfect storm. What it comes down to is that I pushed my body to the point where it wasn’t able to keep up with recovery to match the training load.

The way we all get better in many aspects of life is by pushing the limits to see what we are truly capable of. Even though injuries suck, it shows that we are working hard towards a goal, and that with smarter training, and recognizing which factors we need to be more cautious with in the future, we can heal and get back to training with an even better plan towards success.

RELATED: 5 Things The Most Successful Runners Do Every Day

Mental Aspect

Being committed to a goal means that you don’t just sort of do something, you do it with mind, soul, and body fully invested. I’ve had my fair share of great performances, devastating injuries, solid training blocks, season ending illnesses, and incredible moments of seeing commitment and perseverance through it all pay off two fold.

The emotional and psychological part of being a runner with an injury is that running isn’t just something that’s done occasionally. Runners are a community and running is a lifestyle. We prioritize our training, we structure life around getting in our miles, we absorb what we do and it becomes part of who we are. Injuries derail us from running, and then we feel lost, out of sorts, and on the brink of an identity crisis. Who am I if I’m not a runner?  Everyone handles their time away from the sport differently. A few key things that help me while I’m injured:

 1. Stay busy. Use the time you would otherwise be running to catch up with friends, deep clean, travel, focus on your other hobbies, and emphasize resetting the body while keeping life moving forward. Often with injuries, it’s just a waiting game. Time has to pass for you to heal. And time flies when you’re busy!


 2. Stay Sane. Sometimes I just need to sweat. Of course your options are varied based on the nature and location of your injury, but I utilize the pool, elliptical/elliptiGO, spin bike, hiking, lifting, core workouts, rock climbing, TRX, HIIT classes, bar classes, pilates, and yoga. When I had knee surgery, I even used the rower and arm bike. If I can get 30-60 minutes of exercise in the morning, I feel so much more positive for the rest of my day.

3. Stay Supported. The most crucial part of dealing with an injury is understanding what is wrong so you know how to heal it. Get the answers, then get a plan. I work closely with my support system of trusted physical therapists, chiropractors, doctors, coaches and mentors to develop a progression back to chasing my goals. Having those who you can lean on helps us not feel so alone in the process of recovery.

RELATED: The Mental Side of Recovery

The Slow Come Back

We take all this time off, and all we think about is running again. But when we finally get the go-ahead, it is essential to not rush fitness. I usually take a week to run lightly every other day. Only 20-30 minutes at a time. Coming back after surgery in 2014, my first run in 4 months was 2x5min jog with 5min walk in between. It was the best/worst run of my life. I was so elated to finally run again. And I was so devastated that it was so short. It made me feel like my goals were impossible. How could I ever run PRs and train 100 miles per week when I could only run 5 minutes at a time? (Just so you know, I was fine. Within the next year I ran a PR in every distance and qualified for the Olympic Trials.)

Taking your time, easing back to training, and listening to the body is how you will have a steady progression back to fitness. If you rush it, you risk having to start the healing process all over again. I hate this part, but having my husband being firm about my low mileage is something I so appreciate (even though we fight about it). I need him there to not let my crazies get me overzealous. Find someone who can help keep you accountable too!

I have good days during injury where I am positive and motivated. I do everything I am supposed to and I’m upbeat about getting through and coming out better on the other side. And then I have bad days where I am depressed about not running and unmotivated to cross train. I give up on my body because I don’t think it’s healing quick enough, and I’m not a fun person to be around. I’ve learned this is normal. But striving for more good days than bad is essential. Remember, you’re not alone, because within this awesome community of runners, mostly all of us can relate to being derailed at some point with injury. It is part of the process as we strive for success.

Until next time, stay mentally strong, ease back to training slowly, and I will see you out on the trails and roads again soon. Let’s get (back to) running!

RELATED: Here’s Exactly How To Crush Your Next Half Marathon


About the Author

Neely lives in Boulder, Colo., with her husband Dillon and their Vizsla, Strider. She enjoys the daily grind of training and competing as one of America’s top female distance runners. She has personal best times of 15:25 for 5K, 32:16 for 10K, 1:09 for the half marathon, and 2:34 for the marathon. In her free time, she enjoys helping others pursue their goals through her Get Running coaching business. Follow her on instagram or twitter @neelysgracey and learn more about Neely on her website

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NYRR Announces A Big Change For The 2018 NYC Half Marathon Tue, 10 Oct 2017 16:36:55 +0000 Big changes are coming to one of the biggest and most popular half marathons.

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Photo: NYRR

Big changes are coming to the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon. The race, organized by New York Road Runners, is unveiling a brand new course for the 2018 race on March 18.

Since the event began it 2006, it has always run from Central Park to Lower Manhattan, with a few small changes taking place. However, the 2018 course offers a drastic new change. The race will start in Grand Army Plaza, right outside of Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Runners will then head down Flatbush Avenue and over the Manhattan Bridge. Once in Manhattan, the course cuts through the Lower East Side to the FDR Drive.

The rest of the race is somewhat familiar. It is part of the old course—but this year, runners will complete it in reverse. Following the FDR Drive portion, participants will run down 42nd Street, through Times Square and into Central Park. After nearly completing a loop of the park, the race finishes near West 75th Street.

The new course allows for more entrants as well. Over 22,500 runners are expected to take part in the 2018 race, up from almost 20,000 finishers last year. The NYC Half is consistently one of the most popular half marathons in the United States. It was the fifth biggest half marathon in 2016.

RELATED: The Top Americans Running This Year’s NYC Marathon

“This world-class race has become a bucket-list event for runners from the five boroughs, across the country, and around the world since its inception in 2006,” said Jim Heim, NYRR’s senior vice president, event development and production and technical director of the TCS New York City Marathon in a statement. “The new course offers an exciting challenge for runners with new stretches that have never before been part of a New York Road Runners event.”

If you want to run the 2018 NYC Half, application for guaranteed and non-guaranteed entry opens at 12:00 p.m. EST on Oct. 16, 2017, and will close at 11:59 p.m. EST on Nov. 30, 2017. Guaranteed entrants are those who have run four out of six qualifying races, are participating through a charity program or have run a time qualifier. All other entrants will be entered into a lottery. The drawing will take place on Dec. 6, 2017. Runners can sign up at

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The Love Letter Every Runner Wants To Receive Tue, 10 Oct 2017 16:00:42 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=3871 How many of these statement would you like to see in a love note?

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Photo: Shutterstock

Runners are not a typical breed. So you wouldn’t expect their love letters to be a typical outpouring of affection either. For runners, it is crucial to have a partner who understands and supports their goals.

This love letter was written to professional runner Neely Spence Gracey by her loving husband, Dillon. In it, he offers great suggestions for not only Gracey, but for all runners. Who else would swoon at the suggestion to get lots of sleep other than a long distance runner.

“I received a note today with 10 reminders from my husband,” said Gracey. “Do your love letters look like this? As a running nerd, my heart melts.”

  1. Get lots of sleep.
  2. Eat well after hard workouts and long runs.
  3. Work into your runs.
  4. Stay on pace.
  5. Listen to your body (a day off is better than a season off).
  6. Swim, bike, Elliptigo is great cross training when fatigued.
  7. Get a massage.
  8. Be selfish and make sure getting your needs met is priority.
  9. Take a nap if you are tired.
  10. Don’t stop loving me.


RELATED: 7 Ways To Support A Significant Other Who Runs

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Inside The Shockingly Competitive World Of Joggling Mon, 09 Oct 2017 22:54:14 +0000 Susan Lacke looks at what it takes to be successful at the cutthroat sport of joggling, or jogging and running simultaneously.

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Illustration: Matt Collins

It’s a typical scene on the outdoor track at Coe College in Des Moines, Iowa: eight lanes, each occupied by a racer ready to go. An official aims a starting pistol in the air. The runners take their marks, get set and … juggle?

This is the 100-meter dash at the 70th Annual International Jugglers’ Association track meet. This particular race, which took place at 11 a.m., is not the same 100-meter dash that happened two hours earlier. That was the three-ball division. This is the seven-ball division. The big leagues. The grand enchilada of joggling.

For those unfamiliar with joggling, it’s a competitive sport that requires athletes to simultaneously juggle and jog. It sounds like a circus event, but it’s not all Cracker Jacks and candied cotton. Joggling is a real thing—and it’s cutthroat.

RELATED: Runner Suits Up And Sets A New Guinness World Record

“Joggling is shockingly competitive,” says Michal Kapral, a joggler who holds several world records. “There are probably only about 1,000 or so people in the world who joggle, but competition for the world records is fierce.”

Case in point: In 2005, Kapral set a world record in marathon joggling with three balls—his time was 3:07:41. Only a few months later, Zach Warren of West Virginia broke his record by just 39 seconds. The gauntlet was thrown down, and they’ve since spent several years trading the record back and forth several times and squaring off at a couple of epic marathon joggling duels at the Boston and Salt Lake City marathons.

Yes, you read that correctly: “epic marathon joggling duels.” So epic, their rivalry was featured in a 2011 documentary “Breaking and Entering.” Kapral holds the current three-object record of 2:50:12.

There are joggling competitions for just about every running event: track sprints, hurdles, road races, ultrarunning—there’s even a joggling beer mile, casually referred to in joggling circles as “choggling.”

Kapral assures me joggling is much simpler than it looks: “The three-ball juggling pattern syncs up perfectly with the arm swing of running. It’s just one ball toss every time you swing your arm forward.”

I gave it a try. On the first attempt, I missed my catch. The second time, I took a beanbag to the face. It was awkward and clumsy—and Kapral does this for 26.2 miles? I couldn’t even make it one step.

RELATED: Weirdest Guinness World Record 100m Races

“The really tough part is joggling near the end of a marathon. When your body starts to shut down and your brain turns to mush, you still have to find a way to keep tossing and catching those beanbags. It’s absolute agony, which is kind of funny because spectators are smiling and laughing at the sight of a guy juggling as he runs, while I’m suffering like no tomorrow.”

And yet, Kapral loves the suffering. This month, he’ll go for a new Guinness World Record: joggling with fi ve balls at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

“It’s going to be a doozy!” Kapral says with a laugh. “There is no current record, because no one has been stupid enough to try and set it.”

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Cancer Patient Runs Ultras To Raise Funds For Cancer Research Mon, 09 Oct 2017 22:47:01 +0000 Mark Thornberry, 57, was diagnosed with liver cancer. Now he's running ultras to help raise funds for cancer research at his hospital.

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It was May when Mark Thornberry got the news: primary liver cancer. In June, the other shoe dropped. The cancer had spread into his vascular system and was circulating throughout his body. His prognosis morphed from potentially treatable to terminal. As the 57-year-old runner absorbed the news, he made a decision: “I could sit around and moan about it, or I could do something positive,” he says.

He chose the latter.

Thornberry, from Surrey, England, has always been a runner, something he originally began as an adjunct to rugby. As often happens with running, Thornberry found himself swept along with the sport and about five years ago, he started venturing into ultras. He has since covered many 50Ks, 50-milers and even a few 100-milers.

One bucket list item for Thornberry was the Grand Union Canal Race, Britain’s oldest ultra. Stretching from Birmingham to London along the canal, the race totals 145 miles. Competitors have 45 hours to complete the distance and organizers grant entry to only 100 competitors each year.

Thornberry was among the lucky few to snag a spot in the 2017 event on May 27, but the timing of his diagnosis meant he had to pull out. “I was going through treatment, and three days before the race, I knew I couldn’t complete it,” he says. “It’s such an iconic event and I was amazed to get a slot, so this was incredibly disappointing for me.”

The inability to complete the race wore on Thornberry and eventually, he thought of a way to use his frustration for the greater good—and run the race course anyway.

Thornberry’s plan: To raise funds via his canal run for liver cancer research at King’s College Hospital, where he receives treatment. “Liver cancer is underfunded when you compare it to some other cancers, like breast and lung,” he explains. “I decided that with whatever time I have left, I could do something positive.”

In early September, feeling good enough to take on the 145 miles along the canal, Thornberry set out with the goal of running the course over three days. “Coming off lowered fitness and radiation treatments, I wasn’t sure how it would go,” he says. “But I wanted to try.”

Thornberry sought out the blessing of his physicians, who told him to go for it, provided he was careful and stayed on top of his hydration. He went into the adventure with an open mind, knowing he might have to bail if he felt too bad at some point.

RELATED: Doctors Said I’d Never Run Again But I Proved Them Wrong

Using social media, Thornberry spread the word about his fundraising plans and asked other runners to join him along the Grand Canal route. He never imagined it would grow into the event that it did.

“Every day, I had different people running with me,” he says. “I had four friends who stuck with me for all three days, and 60 others who jumped in at one point or another.”

Thornberry says that he felt surprisingly good throughout the entire 145 miles. “I wasn’t sure I could do it, but when you get so many people joining your efforts, it goes a long way,” he says. “I had nurses checking in on me at different points, and everyone was on top of my needs.”

Whether it was joining him for several miles or providing food and hydration, Thornberry was overwhelmed by the support. “I felt love and concern from so many—the ultra community wasn’t going to let me go it alone,” he says. “I was terribly humbled.”

By the end of the three days, Thornberry had raised £52,000 (roughly $68,000). “All I want to do is pay it forward,” he says. “I want others to know that a diagnosis like this doesn’t have to be all dark.”

A month and a half later, Thornberry is feeling fairly good as the targeted radiation he receives seems to be keeping his tumor site and surrounding blood vessel spread in check. He’s pleased with the amount of running he can manage at the moment as well. “I’m not too far off running as I normally would do,” he says. “I am currently on day 21 of a run streak, running between five and eight miles every day.”

Running, in fact, has helped Thornberry stay as healthy as he has throughout this journey.

“The fact that I’m in good shape helps me tolerate these intensive treatments,” he says. “The medics are happy for me to keep doing long mileage as long as it presents no physical discomfort. They admit I am a somewhat left-field patient as a 57-year-old who runs 100-milers for fun.”

Indeed, Thornberry is feeling so good that he has registered for the Javelina Jundred 100-mile race in Arizona at the end of this month. “This is to keep the momentum going on my fundraising efforts,” he says. “Plus, it’s a Western States qualifier—with a 30-hour time limit, finishing in 29:59 would be just fine.”

Thornberry has found that his greater purpose has done wonders for his attitude and ability to stay positive in the midst of an otherwise grim situation. “Having running goals and tying them to my fundraising has helped me keep away from those dark places,” he says.

To date, Thornberry has raised over £70,000 (about $92,000) for the research hospital, a sum sure to have a lasting impact.

“I’m hoping the reason people have donated is that they have some sort of positive connection with me and what I am trying to do,” he says. “The sum raised is a physical manifestation of that. This experience has served as a reaffirmation to me that there are some great people out there.”

RELATED: Running Community Rallies To Support Gabe Grunewald’s Cancer Treatment

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2018 Chicago Marathon Application Period Opens In October Mon, 09 Oct 2017 21:46:42 +0000 Runners, mark your calendars! Runners applying for guaranteed entry into the 2018 Chicago Marathon can begin the process on October 24.

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Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Marathon

On the heels of this years’ Chicago Marathon comes the announcement that the application process for the 2018 edition is just around the corner. Beginning Oct. 24, runners can begin submitting applications for the 41st edition of the race.

RELATED: Rupp and Dibaba Dominate At 2017 Chicago Marathon

What Type Of Applicant Are You?

There are both guaranteed and non-guaranteed application processes; with qualifications as follows (as outlined by race officials in a release):

Guaranteed entry opportunities:

  • Time qualifiers who have met the event’s age graded qualifying standards or qualify for the event’s American Development Program.
  • Legacy finishers who have completed the Chicago Marathon five or more times within the last 10 years.
  • Runners who cancelled their 2017 entry through the event deferment opportunity.
  • Charity runners who are fundraising for an official charity as part of the Chicago Marathon Charity Program.
  • International runners (non-U.S.) participating in the official International Tour Group Program.
  • Runners who have completed the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K four or more times since 2008 and have signed up for the 2018 Shamrock Shuffle.


Non-guaranteed entry:

Runners who do not qualify for a guaranteed entry can apply for the non-guaranteed entry drawing. The event will select names from the full pool of non-guaranteed entry applicants and notify runners of their selection status on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017.

“The Bank of America Chicago Marathon continues to be one of most prestigious marathons in the world. We are proud of our history as a race that welcomes runners—from the debut runner to the charity runner to the world class elite—to our beautiful city,” said Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski in a release. “After celebrating 40 years with more than 43,000 runners crossing the finish line in Grant Park, we are excited to ring in 41 years in 2018.”

RELATED: 5 Pieces of Special Edition Chicago Marathon Gear

Important Dates To Remember

If you meet the qualifications for guaranteed entry, you can apply between Oct. 24 and Nov. 30. All runners who are seeking non-guaranteed entry can begin the application process on Tuesday, Oct. 31 and also have through Nov. 30 to submit an application. The cost of an entry is $195 for United States residents and $220 for those residing outside of the United States.

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5 Healthy Ways Runners Can Indulge Sugar Cravings Mon, 09 Oct 2017 18:15:56 +0000 There are right and wrong ways to tackle your sugar cravings. A registered dietitian shares the best five snacks you can choose.

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Photo: Oliver Baker

In recent years, sugar has become somewhat of a nutritional bogeyman. That’s because high intakes of sugar, or more accurately sugars added to foods, have been linked to a laundry list of ailments ranging from heart disease to diabetes to cancer—not to mention expanding waistlines. All of which may have you believing that there is no safe way to tame a sweet tooth. The good news is that you don’t need to take sugary foods off of your kitchen playlist. The key is being choosy about where you get your fix. We rounded up five sweet treats that runners can feel good about.


Turns out the parched grapes can help you raise your speed. Researchers in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that raisins were just as effective as more expensive carbohydrate-based sport chews at keeping runners’ endurance levels up during an 80-minute run followed by a 5K time trial. Raisins contain a cocktail of fast-working sugars that supply a useful energy source for muscles in motion.

Action Plan: During long workouts, try eating ¼–¹⁄³ cup raisins, along with water, for every hour of exercise.
Best Buy: Made in Nature Organic Raisins, $5 for 9 ounces

RELATED: Does Sugar Deserve Such A Bad Reputation?


It’s a good idea to embrace your inner Wonka. British scientists discovered that athletes who snacked on 40 grams of dark chocolate daily experienced a decrease in the oxygen cost of exercise and increase in endurance capacity compared to when they nibbled on white chocolate. Other research suggests the dark delight can lessen exercise-induced muscle stress. These benefits likely stem from lofty amounts of flavanol antioxidants.

Action Plan: For a greater dose of antioxidants, look for at least 70 percent cocoa and snack on 1 ounce daily.
Best Buy: Alter Eco Dark Blackout, $4

Pomegranate Juice

Forget soda or OJ. Modern research suggests that pomegranate juice can lessen signs of muscle damage associated with vigorous exercise—an important perk considering it can quicken recovery time. The polyphenol-rich juice appears to increase the antioxidant defense system in the body. More good news: It’s also a source of the electrolyte potassium to aid with proper muscle functioning.

Action Plan: Look for bottles not cut with filler juices like apple or pear. Drink 1–2 cups a day during heavy training.
Best Buy: Pom Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, $4 for 16 ounces


Cyclists with a banana sticking out of their jersey pockets are on to something. A study in the journal Plos One reported that during a 75K bike ride, bananas —when consumed with water—were just as effective as a sports drink at bolstering endurance. The monkey food contains a winning mix of carbs and electrolytes, like potassium, that can benefit runners as well.

Action Plan: Add ripe bananas (black spots on the skin mean more easy-to-digest sugars) to smoothies and oatmeal. For run convenience, bring a stash of baked banana chips.
Best Buy: Bare Cinnamon Banana Chips, $4 for a 2.7-ounce bag

RELATED: The Straight Dope On Sugar In Sports Drinks


If you like sweetened dairy, consider kefir. This cultured, yogurt-like product is home to a sizable population of friendly critters known as probiotics, which may help lessen post-exercise inflammation as well as fortify your immune system, so you’re less likely to come down with the sniffles. Fruit-flavored kefir supplies a duo of sugars (both natural and added) with protein that can kick-start muscle recovery much like chocolate milk would.

Action Plan: After a sweat session, gulp 1 cup. Also use in smoothies, granola and pancake batter.
Best Buy: Lifeway Strawberry Low Fat Kefir, $6 for 32 ounces

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Rupp and Dibaba Dominate At 2017 Chicago Marathon Mon, 09 Oct 2017 17:39:45 +0000 An exciting race unfolded at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday with Americans Galen Rupp taking first and Jordan Hasay running a course record.

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rupp chicago
Galen Rupp finishes first in 2:09:20. Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Marathon

With powerful second half performances, Galen Rupp and Tirunesh Dibaba won the Chicago Marathon, overwhelming strong fields on a warm and sunny day that saw some of the world’s best runners drop out. They recorded times of 2:09:20 and 2:18:31, respectively, in what was the 40th edition of America’s second-largest marathon. Also, Rupp became the first American man to win Chicago since Khalid Khannouchi in 2002.

Close behind Dibaba in third place, American Jordan Hasay ran a sensational 2:20:57 in just her second marathon, making her the second-fastest American woman of all time behind only Deena Kastor. She topped Joan Samuelson’s American course record of 2:21:21 set back in 1985.

Men’s Race Recap

In the third consecutive edition of this race with no pacemakers, none of the top men were keen to push the pace in the early kilometers. American Aaron Braun, who wanted to run in the 2:11 to 2:12 range, led a 27-man lead pack through 5K in a tepid 15:43, a 2:12:37 pace. That pack stayed largely intact through halfway and things barely picked up with a half-marathon split of 1:05:49. That was fine with Rupp.

“Coming in, taking to my coaches, my plan was to be invisible for the first 20, 22 miles,” Rupp told reporters after the race. “Here I think it was really important for me to sit back, relax and conserve energy.”

Although the temperature was a comfortable 60 degrees at the start, the sun was out and Chicago’s open course offered very little shade. The top athletes started to glisten with sweat, and some of the top names in the field were having trouble keeping up and had to drop out. Stanley Biwott, the 2015 New York City Marathon champion, stuck with the leaders at 25K, but couldn’t make it to the 30K checkpoint. World record holder Dennis Kimetto was leading at halfway, but was soon seen by race spotters limping on the side of the course and never made it to 25K.

Rupp, however, was feeling comfortable and was content to wait.

“You know, I hadn’t really planned out when I was going to go,” he said in his post-race television interview. “I definitely wanted to wait, at least 20 miles, 22 miles. The longer the better. I’ve made the mistake in the past of going too hard, too soon; you’ve still got a long way to go, several miles. So, I really wanted to wait.”

At the 30K checkpoint, 10 men were still in contention: Rupp, defending champion Abel Kirui, Bernard Kipyego, half-marathon world record holder Zersenay Tadese, Ezekiel Chebii, Chris Derrick, Olympic silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa, Sisay Lemma, Sam Chelanga and Stephen Sambu. Rupp decided to wait for the 35th kilometer before upping the tempo, and the race got serious in a hurry. By 35K checkpoint only Rupp, Kirui, Lemma, Kipyego and Sambu were left. Rupp decided it was time to go for the kill.

“At that point, you have to be all in,” Rupp explained. “You can’t think you’re going to go and back off. You have to drive all the way to the finish line.”

Rupp ran the 5K through 40K in 14:25, easily the fastest 5K segment of the race, putting the race out of reach. For good measure, he ran the 41st kilometer in 2:38, the fastest kilometer of the race. He then ran his second half in 1:03:30.

“It’s just incredible,” Rupp said about breaking the finish line tape in the city where his father grew up. “You know, you train so hard year-in and year-out, day-in and day out. To have a race like this where it all comes together and be able to win in a city which is such a special place for me given that my dad grew up here. Words can’t describe the feeling of crossing the line, seeing my family, my coach.”

Kirui was a clear second in 2:09:48, and Kipyego passed Lemma to take third, 2:10:23 to 2:11:01. Sambu, who made his debut here last year, finished fifth in 2:11:07. Back in ninth place, American Chris Derrick made a successful marathon debut in 2:12:50, and Lilesa finished 14th in 2:14:49.

Women’s Race Recap

dibaba chicago
Tirunesh Dibaba won the women’s race in 2:18:31. Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Marathon

Dibaba, who ran a personal best at the London Marathon last April in 2:17:56—the fifth-fastest performance of all time—was the leader of the women’s race from the gun. She was intent on running fast first, then would worry about sorting out the top places later.

“I actually wasn’t running against anyone, but was just running to improve my personal best,” Dibaba told reporters later with the help of an interpreter.

Dibaba ran the first four 5K segments in 16:08, 16:20, 16:34, and 16:33, and hit halfway in 1:08:48. Four other women managed to hold that pace: defending champion Florence Kiplagat, Brigid Kosgei, Valentine Kipketer, and Jordan Hasay.  The group was running at a 2:18:22 pace, and Hasay decided that she should try to hang on, despite running well under American record pace.

“One of the reasons I went with the lead pack today is that I wanted to be up there,” Hasay explained. “I could have run my own pace today, (but) I think it’s important to show we can compete with them. Obviously, it can be really intimidating.”

Dibaba’s next three 5K segments just couldn’t be matched by her competitors: 16:24, 16:29, and 16:22. Kiplagat never made it to 30K and dropped out. Kosgei managed to stay close through 30K, but then had to let go and would finish second in a personal best of 2:20:22. Kipketer struggled, slowed badly, and ended up fifth in 2:28:05.

hasay chicago
American Jordan Hasay came in third and ran an American course record of 2:20:57. Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Marathon

Hasay, in perhaps her most determined effort of her career, hung on and talked her way through the final kilometers. She said she thought of her late mother and the hard workouts she had done under coach Alberto Salazar. Positive self-talk was the key, she said.

“The whole last part was really tough,” Hasay admitted. She continued: “I just tried to go mile by mile.”

Hasay’s 2:20:57 was extraordinary. She had only run her marathon debut this past April in Boston in an impressive 2:23:00, and to drop that time by over two minutes was surprising, especially for the 26-year-old athlete originally from Arroyo Grande, Calif.

“I’m really grateful,” Hasay said. “I always hoped I’d be great at the marathon.” She continued: “For this to go so well, this is in some ways a relief.”

(c) 2017 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

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Photos: Highlights From The 2017 Chicago Marathon Expo Sun, 08 Oct 2017 12:00:26 +0000 The Chicago Marathon race weekend kicked off with the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo on Friday. After runners pick up their race bib,

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The Chicago Marathon race weekend kicked off with the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo on Friday. After runners pick up their race bib, they can have their pick of Windy City themed apparel, shoes and gifts to commemorate their 26.2 around Chicago. Here are some photos from the expo of Chicago gear. And don’t forget to watch the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 8th. Not sure how to tune in? We have all the details here.

IMG_1516 Photos: Highlights From The 2017 Chicago Marathon Expo IMG_1518 IMG_1520 IMG_1522 IMG_1523 IMG_1526 IMG_1530 IMG_1531 IMG_1532 IMG_1533 IMG_1556 IMG_1563 IMG_1537 IMG_1539 IMG_1545 IMG_1546 IMG_1547 IMG_1548 IMG_1549 IMG_1550 IMG_1551 IMG_1555 IMG_1557 IMG_1558 IMG_1559 IMG_1561 IMG_1563 IMG_1564 IMG_1565

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Follow These Three Steps To Perfect Your Running Form Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:54:46 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=6052 Stay injury free and get faster by focusing on your form.

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Photo: Shutterstock

The great thing about running is that just about anyone can do it. No special equipment or specialized training is needed. You just go out your front door and run. While there aren’t any special pieces of equipment or previous training you’ll need, there are a few things you can do to build your proper foundation. Once you perfect your form, runs are much more enjoyable, efficient and goal-oriented.


Proper running posture does not come naturally to many people. It is something you may have to focus on in the beginning. My running coach has pounded into my head, “Hips forward, shoulders back. Arms are loose, now run relaxed.” These tips allow for proper breathing, the most efficient use of your muscles, and the reduction of possible pain and injury.


Pick up your feet when you run. This skill is uncomfortable at first. But if you build the muscles required to do this, it will help you on longer runs when you start to get tired. If you drag your feet, you will slow down. This increases the chance of injury.  Take a break by slowing down or walking, but then make a mental note to work on lifting those legs!


How do you know if you’re running too fast? Check your breathing! You should be able to speak in short sentences when running at the proper pace. Yes, in speed training this doesn’t exactly apply. But when on your long distance runs, focus on breathing calmly, deeply and slowly.

If you can focus on these three things when you start running, they will eventually become second nature. This skill will supply a great foundation as a strong and efficient runner. And the best part is proper form, combined with smart training, will eventually make you faster.

Related: Here’s Exactly How To Crush Your Next Half Marathon

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Why Runners Should Get A Flu Shot Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:49:47 +0000 This simple shot can keep you running all winter and those around you from getting sick.

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While the start of October ushers in crisp weather and fall marathons, it is also marks the beginning of another time: flu season. In the United States, flu outbreaks typically begin at the beginning of October and can occur as late as May. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 ranged from 140,000 to 710,000, while flu-related deaths are estimated to have ranged from 12,000 to 56,000.

Most runners think of themselves as healthy individuals who are not prone to sickness. But even the healthiest endurance athletes can catch Influenza A. For active runners, the flu can be very unpleasant. But for others around us, catching it could be a life or death experience.

RELATED: Should You Train When You’re Sick?

Getting a seasonal flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from getting Influenza A. However many runners bristle at the thought of the vaccine. Here is why it is beneficial for healthy, active people.

Why You Should Get A Flu Shot

Flu season falls within both the fall and spring marathon training cycles. Coming down with the illness could seriously impact your race preparation and recovery.

“Influenza A can knock even a healthy person on their back for five days so if you get this illness, you’re potentially missing up to a week or more of training,” says Dr. David Schechter, MD, a family and sports medicine physician based in Culver City California and author of the book Think Away Your Pain.

After a successful race, runners are at a greater risk for catching an illness. Immune systems can be impaired for a week or more after competiton.

“There have been many studies that have shown an increased risk of colds during that week,” says Dr.Schechter. “Therefore it’s logical to assume that if you’re exposed to someone with the flu, then you’ll have a higher incidence of getting the flu the week after a marathon.”

Getting vaccinated is also not just about individual health. If more people get a flu shot, it is less likely that Influenza A will spread through a community, becoming an epidemic. This is especially important for runners who are around children, elderly or any other population where catching a flu could be life threatening. Plus the last thing you want to do is spread an illness around to everyone in your running group.

Of course there are people who simply cannot get the flu shot. Those who have had an allergic reaction to a past flu shot or have an egg allergy are typically advised not to get one. Consult a doctor if you have any worries.

Flu Shot Myths

Besides a fear of shots or needles, some runners worry that the vaccine itself could cause the flu. This is a mistaken notion though. Runners do not need to reduce their training as a result of getting the shot. It does not cause any illness and won’t impact any athletic pursuits.

Side effects can include soreness at the point of injection and fatigue that lasts for 12 hours. However many people don’t feel any different. While it won’t affect training, it still probably is a good idea to get the flu shot at least a week before or right after a goal race.

A common misleading claim is that flu shots don’t work. People will state that they got sick the year they received a flu shot, but remained healthy when they did not.

“What I’ll say to them is you may have gotten sick 2 years ago but did you really have Influenza A or did you have another kind of illness,” said Dr. Schechter.

RELATED: Sick? Go Run With A Sports Drink.

Influenza A comes on suddenly, with fever, aches, chills, fatigue headache and cough. In severe cases, vomiting and diarrhea can occur. These symptoms are much more pronounced than with a seasonal cold. It’s true that a flu shot won’t protect against a cold. But Influenza A is much worse and takes longer to recover from.

“If you’re talking about younger athletic people, they’re not going to die from the flu,” said Dr. Schechter. “But you’ll be pretty miserable for a week.”

The Bottom Line

Getting the shot won’t cause runners to miss any valuable marathon training days. On the contrary, it can keep athletes healthier so they won’t have a disruption in training due to a serious illness.

The CDC recommends flu shots for everyone six months and older. While Dr. Schechter does not force every patient to receive it, he strongly encourages everyone it.

“I definitely advise it. I think it’s good for athletes. It’s good for active people.”

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