Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com Your Online Source for Running Sun, 25 Sep 2016 14:49:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.2 Bekele Outruns Kipsang to Win Berlin Marathon in 2:03:03 http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/bekele-outruns-kipsang-win-berlin-marathon-20303_155973 Sun, 25 Sep 2016 14:17:06 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155973

Ethipoian Kenenisa Bekele (right) outran Kenyan Wilson Kipsang in the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 25, in one of the fastest times in history. Photo: PhotoRun.net

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele won a grueling battle with Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang en route to winning the BMW Berlin Marathon on

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Ethipoian Kenenisa Bekele (right) outran Kenyan Wilson Kipsang in the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 25, in one of the fastest times in history. Photo: PhotoRun.net

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele won a grueling battle with Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang en route to winning the BMW Berlin Marathon on Sunday in 2:03:03, the second fastest time in history on a record-eligible course.

Bekele took command of the race entering the final kilometer, surging away from former world-record holder Kipsang to take his first victory in Berlin, averaging 4:41.48 per mile and smashing Haile Gebrselassie’s Ethiopian record of 2:03:59 in the process. The world record of 2:02:57 was set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto a year ago in Berlin.

The women’s race saw Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede take victory in commanding fashion, running 2:20:45 to come home more than three minutes clear of compatriot Birhane Dibaba.

American Mike Wardian, who is on a quest to run all five Marathon Majors (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York) in 2016 faster than anyone in history, finished in 2:28:19 to stay on pace with only the Oct. 9 Chicago Marathon and Nov. 6 New York City Marathon remaining.

RELATED: Mike Wardian’s Crazy Globetrotting Adventure Continues

In mild, calm conditions in the German capital, the pace was blistering from the outset, with a group of eight going through halfway in 1:01:11. At the 30K mark, reached in 1:26:26, Kipsang was the one pushing things along at the front, joined by compatriot Alfers Lagat. However, Bekele always remained in touch, and despite dropping back on several occasions, he trailed Kipsang by just five seconds as they reached 35K, more than enough contact for a man with a track pedigree like Bekele, who still holds the world records in the 5,000m (12:37.35) and 10,000m (26:17.35).

Bekele slowly reeled in his target over the kilometres that followed, clocking off consistent splits and running alongside Kipsang at the 40K mark before making his decisive move. Bekele changed gears impressively with just over a kilometer to run, a move Kipsang  simply couldn’t match.

With nothing but the clock left to race, the 34-year-old Ethiopian powered up the home straight in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate, but fell just short in his bid to break Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57, set in Berlin in 2014.

“I wanted to run my personal best here,” Bekele said. “The time was fantastic but I was disappointed I missed the world record.”

Kipsang came home second in 2:03:13, and had every reason to beam with pride after taking 10 seconds off his personal best.

“It was a very nice race and my feeling was good,” he said. “I was hoping we could run a world record but to run a personal best is good. We ran a good race together. Even though [Bekele] just missed it, he will run it another day.”

Kebede, Dibaba and fellow Ethiopian Ruti Aga ran together through 15km in 49:40, but Kebede began to press on alone before halfway, which she reached in 1:09:27. From there, she extended her advantage all the way to the finish, coming up just 15 seconds shy of her personal best of 2:20:30.

With her third Berlin win after 2010 and 2012 Kebede joins Berlin’s record winners Uta Pippig (Germany) and Renata Kokowska (Poland). Birhane Dibaba (2:23:58) and Ruti Aga (2:24:41) made it an all Ethiopian podium in Berlin in ideal weather conditions.

41,283 runners from 122 countries entered the 43rd edition of the race, which is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

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Hoka One One Unveils a Kona-Themed Clayton Special Edition Shoe http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/hoka-one-one-unveils-kona-themed-special-edition-clayton_155964 Sat, 24 Sep 2016 00:22:04 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155964

Just in time for the Oct. 8 Hawaii Ironman World Championships, Hoka One One has unveiled a Hawaiian-themed edition of its award-winning

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Just in time for the Oct. 8 Hawaii Ironman World Championships, Hoka One One has unveiled a Hawaiian-themed edition of its award-winning Clayton training/racing shoe. It has a yellow, orange, gray and white color motif with a “lush island print reminiscent of the native plants along the Queen K Highway.”

The special-edition shoe carries a $150 price tag (same as the standard model) and is being sold at HokaOneOne.com and in Kona during race week. It has a 4mm heel-toe offset (24mm at the heel, 20mm at the forefoot) and weighs 7.3 oz. for men’s size 9.0 and 6.3 oz. for a women’s size 7.0.

This category-breaking long-distance trainer/racer is very wide and stable but also light, responsive and fast. This shoe’s two-part midsole features a slightly softer foam in the rear for impact protection at footstrike and a firmer, responsive foam material in the forefoot that results in more energy return than Hoka’s other shoes—as the foot rolls forward to the toe-off phase of a stride. The low foot placement and high medial sidewall help reduce overpronation late in a run without being disruptive like a traditional medial post. The ride feels remarkably firm, edgy and fast for a Hoka. Few shoes—and none with this much cushion—have combined all of those elements so well. Plus, the rockered design and its energetic foam material on the bottom of the outsole help smooth the heel-to-toe motion.

MORE: Shoe of the Week—Hoka One One Clayton

VIDEO: Hoka One One Clayton Launch Party

RELATED: Newton Unveils 2016 Special Editions for Kona and Chicago

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Coach Culpepper: Making Good Mid-Race Decisions http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/training/coach-culpepper-making-good-mid-race-decisions_155953 Fri, 23 Sep 2016 21:52:26 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155953

Photo: Ryan Bethke

Expert insights on how to reach your racing goals.

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Photo: Ryan Bethke

Have a plan (and a backup plan)

Making good mid-race decisions starts with first recognizing that running a successful race requires a race-day plan. Not only things like what to wear, weather considerations, transportation, parking, meal planning, etc., but also developing a race strategy to meet your specific objectives.  You’re unlikely to be successful without first knowing what your goal is and then developing a plan that will help you reach it. This applies to your pacing range, fueling and hydration, route considerations like hills that will affect your pacing/effort level, and weather elements that will play a role. It is also important to note that things may not go according to plan. That’s OK and should not be a surprise—the key is having one and being open to making alterations mid-race.

Small adjustments make a big difference

When racing, small adjustments are magnified and have a larger effect then in training. Missing a water station in a marathon, for instance, can result in major consequences later. Or adjusting your pacing by a mere 5 seconds per mile can translate to minutes saved later in a race. Recognize going into the event that your adjustments should be subtle, with a level of finesse. Almost without exception, a mid-race adjustment should not be more than a slight alteration to your original plan. Increasing or slowing your pace, latching onto a group that is near you, tucking in behind a fellow competitor or altering mechanics to help conquer a hill should all be modest. Mid-race is not the time to make an aggressive move, attack a hill or to convince yourself that you should bank time for later. When the circumstances demand that you make a decision, remind yourself to adjust with finesse and  to not waste precious energy and focus.

Trust your instincts—within reason

Most breakthrough performances are a result of an athlete trusting his or her instincts and allowing body and mind not to be limited by preplanning. Many of my best races—and those that propelled me to a new level—happened by trusting my instincts during the race itself. I can tell you, however, that in most instances this happens mid-race and beyond. Do not make the mistake of trusting your instincts too early in a race when your body and mind can trick you. I have heard too many times that a runner felt good the first few miles so they decided to just go for it and see what happened. This rarely works out. However, there can come a time mid-race when everything inside you is telling you to go and holding back would be a mistake. Or you know instinctually that falling off a pace group at a critical time in the race would lead to a total deterioration mentally and physically. The key is recognizing in that moment if your instincts are truthful even if not necessarily logical. Having a plan is imperative, understanding that adjustments must be subtle is critical but also listening to your instincts and trusting how you feel is essential. This is the art form of racing: Balancing the three aspects in just the right combination for that day and for those circumstances. It takes practice but when honed will lead to achieving greater results than you could have imagined.

Two-time U.S. Olympian Alan Culpepper won national titles from the 5K to the marathon. His first book, Run Like a Champion, is available at VeloPress.com.

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Q&A with Colorado’s Entrepre-Brewer Colin Anderson http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/interviews/qa-colorados-entrepre-brewer-colin-anderson_155947 Fri, 23 Sep 2016 21:42:05 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155947

Photo: Aric Van Halen

Colin Anderson opened the first beer and running retail operation in the U.S. called Shoes & Brews, with 20 beers on tap, including their

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Photo: Aric Van Halen

A former collegiate track runner, Colin Anderson fondly missed chillin’ with his teammates after a long weekend training run at Road 34—a bike shop in Fort Collins, Colo., that also served food and a wide range of craft beers. That gave the now 26-year-old the idea to open a running shop with a similar dual-purpose hang-out vibe. Although it took a few years, Shoes & Brews opened its doors in July 2014 in Longmont, Colo., as the first beer and running retail operation in the U.S. In addition to being a full-service running store, it has 20 beer taps serving up microbrews from some of Colorado’s top breweries and it also brews about 100 barrels of its own craft beers every year. 

VIDEO: A Running Store with 20 Beer Taps

How did you know this idea could work?

Cyclists and runners are similar in a lot of ways, and I wondered, “Why hasn’t someone tried this for a running store?” I think that being the first at anything is a big challenge because you don’t have an example to point to. I asked people what they thought or if they thought it was a crazy idea. Enough people thought it was a good idea that it was worth taking the leap.

What makes Shoes & Brews unique?

I think it’s difficult to hang out for long periods of time in a traditional running shop. When you can go to a place and hang out and do something aside from buy shoes, it really helps to foster that vibe and the community aspect of running, and I really think that’s what we’ve created. Some of the people who were originally with us at our weekly fun runs have been doing races together, some have become friends and some are dating. Most of them didn’t know each other until they met at Shoes & Brews.

What were your biggest concerns?

We were worried that we would deter high schoolers coming in and parents with young kids, but we definitely wanted to be able to service those segments of the running market with a good running store. In the end, it hasn’t been a concern and we never got a negative vibe from anyone, but I think it’s largely because we purposely separated the two sides of the business and tried as much as possible not to have a bar atmosphere.

Have there been any surprises?

I think the biggest surprise is how interested people have been to drink the beers we brew onsite. I thought it would be cool to brew our own beer—we brew just under 100 barrels of beer a year, which is a pretty small amount and makes us a nanobrewery—but I didn’t think it would be much of a revenue driver or have a lot of demand because there is so much great beer in Colorado.

What is your favorite beer?

My favorite beer that we brew is the Hef-Yeah! hefeweizen, but I also really like Pearman of the Gourd, a seasonal brew we make every fall with pumpkin and pear in the mash.

What’s your next running goal?

My 5K PR on the roads is about 14:55 and I would like to get that a little bit lower  before I get too old.

Any plans for expansion?

We have definitely looked into it and talked about it, but for now we’re really trying to do what we do as well as we possibly can.

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Transgender British Runner Admits to Attempted Murder of Athletic Official http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/british-trail-runner-admits-attempted-murder-uk-athletics-official_155892 Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:33:38 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155892

Lauren Jeska is a three-time English fell running champion and the 2012 British fell running champion. Photo: Facebook

A champion female British trail runner has pleaded guilty this week to the attempted murder of a UK Athletics official last spring at an

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Lauren Jeska is a three-time English fell running champion and the 2012 British fell running champion. Photo: Facebook

A champion female British trail runner has pleaded guilty this week to the attempted murder of a UK Athletics official last spring at an athletics stadium in Birmingham, England. She allegedly attacked the organization’s human resources director because it was about to be revealed that she had been born a man.

Stories about Lauren Jeska’s “savage” knife attack were released in court this week. According to a story in The Guardian, Jeska, 41, a three-time English fell-running champion and 2012 UK fell-running champion, admitted trying to kill Ralph Knibbs, the head of human resources and welfare at the sport’s British governing body as well as a former professional rugby player.

The attack took place after British Athletics officials in March threatened to strip her of her titles when it emerged she was born a man, The Daily Mail reported.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed Jeska was a ‘transgender athlete’ following her guilty plea to attempted murder.

According to West Midlands police, officers were called to the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, the headquarters of UK Athletics, just before 10:30 a.m. on March 22 after reports that a 51-year-old man had been stabbed in the head and neck, suffering “life-threatening injuries.”

She allegedly attacked him in the head and neck with two six-inch kitchen knives and had a third blade—a bread knife—stashed in her bag during the “premeditated” and “savage” attack, according to Birmingham Crown Court transcripts.

Appearing via videolink at Birmingham crown court on Sept. 23, Jeska also pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful and malicious wounding with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm on two other men.

Tim Begley and Kevin Taylor, who also work for UK Athletics, had stepped in to help Knibbs as he was attacked. Their injuries were described in court as “not of the most serious order.”

Jeska pleaded guilty to further charges of possession of knives in a public place—a 12cm kitchen knife and 13cm kitchen knife—but she denied possessing a bread knife which had been left in a bag before the attack.

Jeska was previously listed as a member of Todmorden Harriers on the West Yorkshire-based club’s website.

MORE: The Guardian

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Video: Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Course Preview http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/video/video-rock-n-roll-las-vegas-half-marathon-course-preview_155874 Fri, 23 Sep 2016 05:19:48 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155874

A look at the spectacle of the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon course run along the iconic Las Vegas Strip at night.

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We’ve said it before, but the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon is one of the greatest spectacles in American running and one that should be on every runner’s bucket list. It’s a nighttime race run on a fast, flat course that sends runners on a tour through new and old sections of downtown Las Vegas. This year’s race is set for night of Nov. 13, and if this video course tour doesn’t get you fired up to run it, we don’t know what will. Highlights this year will include a Snoop Dogg show before the start, a glance at the world-famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign, run-through wedding chapels, a glimpse at The Fremont Street Experience and, of course, the chance to run down the iconic Las Vegas Strip on one of the two nights during the entire year that it’s closed to vehicle traffic. Viva Las Vegas!

RELATED: Snoop Dogg Will Headline 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Races

RELATED: The 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Finisher Medal Spins and Glows

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Gear We Love: September 2016 http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/photos/gear-love-september-2016_155848 Fri, 23 Sep 2016 00:16:55 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155848

Convenient, portable and simple items for fall that our editors are raving about this month.

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Convenient, portable and simple items for fall that our editors are raving about this month:

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Olympic Medalist Rhian Wilkinson to Run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/olympic-medalist-rhian-wilkinson-to-run-rock-n-roll-montreal-marathon_155839 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 19:37:33 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155839

Photo: Alex Bennett

The Canadian soccer star recently signed up for the Rock 'n' Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon, and hopes to do well despite her last-minute

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Photo: Alex Bennett

Most Olympic medal winners who take part in the Rock ‘n’ Roll race series have earned their accolades by competing on the track or the roads, but on Sunday at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon, one participant earned hers on the turf— Rhian Wilkinson is a two-time Olympic bronze medalist in soccer, having represented Canada in 2012 and 2016.

The 34-year-old star on the pitch from Baie-D’Urfé, Canada (near Montreal) has enjoyed an enormously successful career as both a defender and a striker, and now she has decided to race the full 26.2 miles on Sunday for a variety of reasons.

“I got an email from the Canadian Olympic Committee that indicated they would help athletes who want to run the race,” Wilkinson recalls. “I had just given a speech about how it’s good to push your limits, and I decided right there that I needed to put into action what I had been saying all along.”

Wilkinson has only run one marathon previously and, other than her training for the Olympics, hasn’t allocated much time to prepare for the grueling 26.2-mile distance. “If I can do this, I will be unbelievably proud with myself. I know I’ve just signed up for the race when most people have been tapering for it, but I figured it was something worth trying.”

RELATED: Snoop Dogg Will Headline 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Races

Wilkinson says that she hopes her mental sharpness she’s honed on the soccer pitch throughout her career will aid her in the tough parts of Sunday’s race, and that her expectations in terms of finishing time are realistic.

“I have tremendous respect for those who have prepared for the marathon and so I don’t really plan to run a certain time,” she admits. “I just want to finish it. I’m not going to be wearing my iPod and I really look forward to experiencing the race without my headphones. I go to marathons and cheer. The crowd and the live music will be enough to push me.”

Montreal is near and dear to Wilkinson’s heart and she hopes to also channel some hometown good vibes along the way. “I love this place,” she says. “I think I’ll get energy from the fact that it’s home for me.”

Joining Wilkinson on Sunday will be 10 other Canadian Olympians, including Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (judo) and Antoine Bouchard (judo) both running the half marathon, and Caroline Ouellette (hockey) who will be running the 10K.

RELATED: Run the 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon on Oct. 8

Festivities in Montreal kick off on Friday with the opening of the health and fitness expo at Place Bonaventure and continue through to Sunday with a variety of races (1K, 5K, 10K, half and full marathon) that will route runners over breathtaking bridges, gorgeous parks, and quaint Parisian-looking neighborhoods.

In keeping with all Rock ‘n’ Roll races, entertainment will not be in short supply with 22 bands jamming along the scenic course, which winds through the best parts of the historic Canadian city, including the finish line where Our Lady Peace will serenade runners and spectators with their hit “Somewhere Out There.

“We are extremely pleased that the Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Marathon continues to bring together more Montrealers and visitors every year, providing this unique opportunity for amateurs, athletes and supporters to celebrate their shared passions and all that the city has to offer,” said Dimitrios (Jim) Beis, a member of Montreal’s Executive Committee responsible for sports and leisure.

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Anna Young’s Mid-Race Breast Milk Pumping Was Bold and Beautiful http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/anna-youngs-mid-race-breast-milk-pumping-was-bold-and-beautiful_155794 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 17:00:19 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155794

Photo: Courtesy of Anna Young's Facebook (See full post below)

The story of a mom stopping mid-race to pump breast milk has been going viral—we can't help but applaud this woman too.

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Photo: Courtesy of Anna Young's Facebook (See full post below)

Let’s face it: People love to judge other people, especially on the Internet. So when I heard about the photo of runner Anna Young pumping breast milk during the recent Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon in Utah going viral, I was ready to go to bat for her. I was fired up, immediately thinking, “Good for her!” and coming up with a list of bodily fluids people expel during races, in her defense: Snot rockets, check. Loogie-hocking, yup. Blood, via chafed nipples? Lots. I had a growing list of totally natural, mid-race bodily occurrences all lined up to defend the 27-year-old Utah runner’s personal choice to pump breast milk during a short walking break at mile 8 of the race. (And by the way, it was a race in which she in 1:44:36 and held a 7:58-minute pace, just five months postpartum.)

And even then, with my list of bodily fluids regularly expelling at races, did I think, “These things don’t even compare to pumping breast milk, as far as acceptability goes, because she’s a new mom.”

New moms face challenges unlike anyone else in a race…unlike anyone in life in general. It’s physically and emotionally taxing to be pregnant. It is a major, wild undertaking to have a baby (after having two, I am still floored at how the feat of childbirth happens every quarter of a second throughout the world). And caring for a newborn rocks both mom and dad in ways they never could have imagined, both good and bad.

And if you’re a runner—or athlete of any sort—before becoming pregnant, you’re just dying to feel a little bit like yourself after giving birth. You miss running, and your runner identity away from being a breast-feeding mom. The physical, emotional, mental power you get from running is something some new moms crave with all their being.

So the brave Ms. Anna Young had more than one-up on the snot rocket-blowing runner. And I was ready to go to battle in support of her.

But then I started poking around the web, and found that she had almost 10,000 likes on the photo of her pumping breast milk during the race on Sept. 10. She’s had a breast pump company publicly offer to send her free product. She’s had legions of folks supporting her, praising her, rallying behind her. Her story has been covered by CNN, the Today Show, even People magazine. The international press even picked up the story, with an Irish publication, the Irish Mirror, running a headline that read “’Inspirational’ half-marathon runner pumped breast milk for her five-month-old baby DURING the race.”

There may also be some naysayers. There always are.

But instead of a rant, what I really want to say is, “Wow” and, “Good job, society.” Seems we’ve come a long way since a photo of someone breastfeeding drew more sneers and criticism than praise and awareness. And moms, dads, grandparents, non-parents, make like Anna Young, and do what you gotta do to get through a race…to do what makes you happy, running or otherwise. You might be surprised that you get more “likes” than criticisms.

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The 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Finisher’s Medal Spins and Glows http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/video/check-2016-rock-n-roll-las-vegas-finishers-medal_155827 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 01:58:41 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155827

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But you'll be happy to take this medal home with you.

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The 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon, Marathon, 10K and 5K will be held on Nov. 12-13. Here’s a glimpse at what the one-of-a-kind race finisher’s medals will look like. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But you’ll be happy to take this one home with you. For more about the races, go to StripatNight.com

RELATED: Snoop Dogg Will Headline 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Races

VIDEO: Time-Lapse Video of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Finish Line

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Shoe of the Week: Altra Torin 2.5 http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/shoes-and-gear/shoe-week-altra-torin-2-5-2_155814 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 01:23:18 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155814

While there are plenty of neutral shoes that offer thick cushioning, only a few can come close to the supremely smooth, soft and resilient

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While there are plenty of neutral shoes that offer thick cushioning, only a few can come close to the supremely smooth, soft and resilient ride of the Torin 2.5. Although it has plenty of cushioning underfoot, it’s a well-balanced combination of lightweight impact dampening and energetic responsiveness that defines this shoe. On one hand, it’s all about pillowy comfort, but the high cushioning doesn’t entirely mute the foot-to-ground proprioceptive feel like it does in some maximalist models. The layer of A-bound foam acts like a spring board, helping a runner’s foot carry energy into the start of the next stride. The most unique factors of this shoe are the two traits all Altra shoes are built on—a wider, foot-shaped toe box and zero-drop (or level) platform from heel to toe.

The latest version of the Torin has a new engineered upper that both improves the fit of the shoe but also looks sharper and more colorful than previous editions. Not everyone appreciates (or can tolerate running long miles with) a zero-drop platform, but those who do swear by it. Our wear-testers thought this shoe was sublime for moderate to long runs, noting the step-in feel and the energetic midsole. All testers commented on the unique shape of the shoe (and a few balked at it for aesthetic reasons), but most didn’t realize this shoe had a zero-drop platform until they were told—and knowing that information didn’t change their positive opinions of it.

This is the shoe for you if … you’re looking for a neutral shoe that’s both supremely cushioned but also has some smooth-riding pep for faster types of runs and workouts.

RELATED: Fall 2016 Road Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Price: $125
Weights: 9.1 oz. (men’s), 7.5 oz. (women’s)
Heel-to-toe Offset: 0mm; 24mm (heel), 24mm (forefoot)
Info: AltraRunning.com

RELATED: Shoe of the Week—Hoka One One Clayton

 

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Wilson Kipsang Wants His Marathon World Record Back in Berlin http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/wilson-kipsang-wants-his-marathon-world-record-back_155786 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:58:18 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155786

Kipsang won the 2014 New York Marathon in a sprint finish. Photo: Photorun.net

The Kenyan will have his chance to reclaim the title on the lightning-fast Berlin Marathon course this Sunday.

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Kipsang won the 2014 New York Marathon in a sprint finish. Photo: Photorun.net

Just before leaving his native Kenya for the Sept. 25 Berlin Marathon, former marathon world-record holder Wilson Kipsang told the press that he’s ready to reclaim the record.

“My training has been good and I have finalized the hard training. I’m ready to face the other competitors and my focus will be to run my personal best and even break the world record,” Kipsang told Kenya’s Daily Nation Sport.

VIDEO: Wilson Kipsang Considers the Possibility of a Sub-2-Hour Marathon

Kipsang, 34, won the 2013 Berlin Marathon in 2:03:23, besting countryman Patrick Makau’s world record of 2:03:38, which was also set in Berlin. Next to claim the title was Denis Kimetto of Kenya who became the first man to run a sub-2:03 marathon with an eye popping 2:02:57. (That’s 4:41 mile pace, by the way.)

Kipsang, the Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon in 2012, has run under 2:05:00 six times, but amazingly, he does not even own the best PR in the Berlin field. Emmanuel Mutai (from, you guessed it, Kenya) clocked 2:03:13 when he took second behind Kimetto’s world-record run in Berlin in 2014.

Berlin has had a stranglehold on the men’s marathon world record for the past 13 years. It’s been lowered six times in Berlin—and nowhere else—since Paul Tergat ran a then-record 2:04:55 there in 2003. The women’s marathon world record was twice broken in Berlin (in 1999 and 2001).

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New Study Suggests Wearing a Fitness Tracker May Impede Weight Loss http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/new-study-suggests-wearing-fitness-tracker-may-impede-weight-loss_155780 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 23:00:15 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155780

Wearing a fitness tracker didn't help these study subjects lose weight—in fact, the opposite was true. Photo: Shutterstock.com

This two-year study showed less weight loss for subjects who wore trackers than those who did not use one.

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Wearing a fitness tracker didn't help these study subjects lose weight—in fact, the opposite was true. Photo: Shutterstock.com

Recently reported in the New York Times, a study published by the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) suggests that fitness tracker devices may impede weight loss goals. The study abstract includes the following finding:

“In this randomized trial that included 470 young adults, weight loss was significantly less (by 2.4 kg) in response to a behavioral intervention when a wearable device that monitored and provided feedback on physical activity was included within the intervention.”

Researchers expressed surprise at their findings, claiming they expected that the tracker devices would be an aid, not an impediment, to weight loss goals during the two-year study period.

One component of the surprising result could be related to a dynamic that some runners have encountered during training, particularly when following demanding workout schedules like marathon programs. The so-called “train gain” effect occurs when the strain of workouts leads to overeating, rewarding yourself with food or stress-induced changes to metabolism. It’s possible that the  subjects who wore the fitness trackers were more aware of the intensity of their efforts, and therefore more likely to eat too much.

RELATED: 6 Training Mistakes That Lead to Weight Gain

MORE: Innovative New Music and Wearable Tech Gear for Running

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BMW Designs New Running Shoes Using Car Technology http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/bmw-designs-new-running-shoe-using-car-technology_155775 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:52:41 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155775

BMW and Puma collaborated to create the first running shoe that receives its design inspiration from car technology.

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First it’s a condom company designing athletic apparel and now a car company is creating a new kind of running shoe. In collaboration with Puma, BMW’s Designworks created the Puma X-Cat DISC, the latest edition to Puma’s DISC footwear franchise. The shoe is inspired by a 2008 concept car called the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model, which is made of a fabric outer shell, consisting of a flexible material stretched over a movable substructure. The material of the shoe is made of the same flexible, ergonomic and lightweight fabric used on the GINA, paired with Puma’s DISC technology in which traditional laces are replaced by a rotating disc that pulls on an internal wire to close and open the shoe.

“The approach was to look at every aspect of making a shoe and try to reimagine it,” said senior vice president of BMW Group Design, Adrian van Hooydonk in a press release. “Freeing yourself of what is here now can be an enjoyable and rewarding exercise, typically it also speeds up change.”

The Puma BMW X-Cat DISC is now available for purchase at $135.

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Cancer Research Advocate Runs 200 Miles, Raises $1 Million for Research http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/cancer-advocate-runs-200-miles-raises-1-million-research_155757 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 18:32:13 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155757

Cancer advocate Eric Gelber covered 200 miles in NYC's Central Park.

Funds will support critical research for multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer.

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Cancer advocate Eric Gelber covered 200 miles in NYC's Central Park.

Ultra-marathoner and multiple myeloma advocate Eric Gelber recently made history by running a record 200 miles around New York City’s Central Park to raise awareness and research dollars for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) during Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Eric’s “Journey Towards a Cure” for this incurable blood cancer drew support from hundreds of donors, runners and advocates who flocked to Central Park and to the MMRF’s donation page to help him cross the finish line and exceed his fundraising goal, surpassing $1 million as the weekend came to a close.

Tribeca Studios was on-site to capture it all as part of a documentary dedicated to highlighting Eric and the MMRF’s innovative research efforts titled, “Just a Mile to Go.” The video above was created before Gelber’s run from Sept. 16 to 18 to help promote his fundraising goal.

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Amazing Hyperlapse Video of Running Through the Seasons http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/video/hyperlapse-video-running-seasons_155751 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:01:47 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155751

A Montana runner created this amazing hyperlapse video using GoPro cameras that flows through the seasons as he runs on the same bike path.

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Jeff Dougherty, a Montana runner who is known online as “The Hyper Runner,” has been experimenting with hyperlapse video shot with GoPro cameras on short runs. He recently edited together 98,366 images from 159 miles of running on the same bike path and sections of trails in and around Bozeman, Mont., to create this amazing hyperlapse flow video through the seasons backed by the instrumental “In a Dream” by Golden Youth as a soundtrack.

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Record-Breaking Insights: Karl Meltzer’s Record Run on the Appalachian Trail http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/record-breaking-insights-karl-meltzers-record-trek-appalachian-trail_155728 Tue, 20 Sep 2016 21:03:41 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155728

Karl Meltzer looks over a map during a break on his record-breaking trek on the Appalachian Trail. Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull

Just days after completing his record-breaking run on the Appalachian Trail, Karl Meltzer shares the ups and downs of his adventure.

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Karl Meltzer looks over a map during a break on his record-breaking trek on the Appalachian Trail. Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull

Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer is happy to discuss his just-completed record-breaking trek from Maine to Georgia on the Appalachian Trail, but today he’s also weighing another concern: Getting to lunch on time. A few days have passed since he completed the trek in a Fastest Known Time of 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes—thus breaking Scott Jurek’s record, set last year, by nearly 10 hours. For more details about his record, visit the Red Bull site dedicated to his record.

It’s not surprising that Meltzer is still famished. According to the website established by Red Bull, Meltzer’s biggest sponsor, he burned about 345,122 calories while taking 4,330,207 steps during his journey, at an average speed of 3.28 mph. Every thru-hiker who completes the relentlessly technical Appalachian Trail knows intimately what “hangry” feels like, and Meltzer is no different. Nonetheless, he chatted amiably about his journey with Competitor.com.

RELATED: Karl Meltzer Sets New Appalachian Trail Record

This was your third attempt at the Appalachian Trail speed record. What about this trail makes it so important to you?

I grew up in New Hampshire and spent time hiking and backpacking on New England trails, especially around New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch, in my youth. I knew that the AT (Appalachian Trail) is just really technical and hard, which really became my forte in trail running. I eventually moved out West and didn’t spend any time on the AT for about 20 years, but I had a lot of success with trail racing. [Editor’s note: Meltzer has won more 100-mile trail races than any other competitor.] In 2008, I went back East and made my first attempt at the record. I didn’t get it, but I definitely learned a lot. In 2014, I went at it again and did a lot more recon and research, but still wasn’t successful. Then, obviously, in 2016 I finally got the record.

Do you spend a lot of time on trails just for recreation, or are they really your racecourse?

Well, I’m definitely no road racer! I always stick to trails. I just like being out in the woods, and especially in the mountains. If I’m not competing, I’ll do other things outside. I moved to Utah in 1989 to be a ski bum—I’ve been skiing since I was three. I have to be a little careful though because I tend to go too fast and I don’t want to get hurt. I also play golf pretty much any chance I get. But running, and racing, on trails is the main thing.

What made a difference on this year’s speed attempt that resulted in success?

The crew is critical, of course. They have to be really dialed, but also really positive. My crew chief, Eric Belz, is one of my best friends. I also had my dad, and my wife came out a few times. I had help from David Horton, Scott Jurek [Editor’s note: Both are former AT record holders.] and Mike Mason. You also have to have good conditions—it can’t rain for a week straight in the first week like I had in 2008. The weather was very much in my favor this time. Not perfect, but really good. It rained like four times when I was on the trail. That’s pretty lucky. Those were the biggest things this year.

Did you encounter a lot of well-wishers?

We kept a low profile. There was definitely not a wrapped RV with my name on it in the parking lots. We also intentionally posted updates on the website a few days after the fact. I generally prefer to hike alone. I did 98 percent of this trail by myself. I knocked down all the spider webs by myself every morning, which is kind of a nightmare.

RELATED: Inside the ‘FKT’ Craze

How did you manage to stay physically intact?

I had to work through some issues with my legs. I started discussing the [lower leg] problems with Scott Jurek because he’s a physical therapist. I sort of knew what was going on but he helped figure it out. It was really just my tibialis anterior muscle was super tight, which was making my foot really tight, too You can usually just walk through something like that, which is what I did, but the crew also started getting after it with ice treatments, which helped. It eventually just got better, which is amazing.

Logistically, how does it work with finding your crew and receiving support?

It’s basically just road crossing to road crossing. We had a little bit of bad luck but overall it was great. It’s often 10 to 15 miles between crossings, so those are long stretches. I don’t like carrying a full pack so I just relied on my Speedgoat waist belt, carrying about 32 ounces of water at a time, or some energy drink. I like real food. I think I ate my last gel before New Hampshire—after that it was things I like to eat, just normal food. I would eat, like, a Danish. I loaded up a bag of Ribeye. But that works for me. Stomach issues aren’t really a big deal because there’s a lot more walking than running involved. It’s not like you’re having a hard time getting things down.

So, what was the daily routine?

My goal was to wake up every morning at 4:15, maybe 4:20, and get moving as quickly as possible. That would usually get me to the end of the day before it got dark. I really like to finish as many days as possible before dark. Mentally, it just feels good to finish before night—I certainly had to do it at times. But it’s a good feeling to finish at the end of the day and recover. [Editor’s note: Meltzer has reported that he often had a beer in the evenings.]

Did you pay much attention to the outside world—did you follow the Olympics or anything?

There was an Olympics? I’m joking. But, no, basically I didn’t pay any attention to anything else than getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible every day. No sightseeing, and not much talking with anyone outside of our team. I used my phone to track my progress and to reach my crew, but I didn’t respond to texts or e-mails. I guess I’ll have to start digging through that stuff now.

RELATED: Brooks Produces Scott Jurek Appalachian Trail Cascadia Shoe

How hard was it to keep going, and when did you know that the record was going to fall?

I knew I was going to give it everything I had in the final week, whether I was going to set the record or not. I planned on that from the very beginning, so I was ready for it. But, really, I thought I was going to get the record, especially in the last week. You just start doing the math in your head. I was thinking, at Davenport Gap there’s 240 miles to go and I’ll still have four days. I’m not going to all of a sudden start moving at 2.5 miles per hour when I’ve been doing better than 3. Then, at about 30 miles to go, Scott Jurek jumped back in with me. We just chatted about old times and time went by pretty quick until it was all done. I felt surprisingly good, really.

RELATED: Karl Meltzer Plays a Record 230 Holes of Golf in 12 Hours

What’s next for you?

Later this week, I’m going to support my wife at a trail race. I might consider a book project, but I don’t really know exactly what that would be yet. I’ll get back to my online coaching and spend some time in front of a computer with all those e-mails. Just get back to work for a while, enjoy being at home and see what happens.

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Out There: It’s Never The Right Time (So Sign Up for a Race Today!) http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/out-there/out-there-never-right-time_155711 Tue, 20 Sep 2016 18:16:59 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155711

Are you thinking about signing up for a race? Don't wait—do it today!

Susan Lacke makes the case for why we just need to stop making excuses and just sign up for that race we've been eyeing.

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Are you thinking about signing up for a race? Don't wait—do it today!

About two weeks before I was to run my very first half marathon, I signed up for my very first Ironman triathlon.

My longest run to date was 10 miles, I did not own a bike, and I had never done a triathlon of any length. I was also working full-time while in the midst of writing my doctoral dissertation, and had a cross-country move on the calendar.

In short, it was not the right time to sign up for any race, much less an Ironman. So why did I do it?

Because I’m an idiot.

What, you thought I was going to wax poetic about this? No, I was a dumbass afflicted with a bad case of “Do-It-All Syndrome.” How hard could it be, really?

(Spoiler alert: It was very hard.)

Training for a triathlon became all-consuming. Work demanded every last brain cell I had. So did school, the move, and the new boyfriend I had inconveniently fallen in love with at a local race.

But I did it. I don’t really know how, I just put my head down and did it all. As soon as I crossed the finish line of that Ironman, I swore I would not do another race until it was the right time.

I’ve been waiting for “the right time” since that day. I also keep signing up for all sorts of ridiculous races year after year. See? I told you I was an idiot.

Big goals usually come with a list of contingencies: I’ll do my first half marathon after I lose some weight; I’ll qualify for Boston once the kids are old enough for school; when things calm down at work, I’ll have time to train for that triathlon; I’ll sign up for an ultramarathon when I’m [insert age/weight/measure of sanity here].

It’s the smart thing to do, after all. People really want to set the stage for success by waiting for exactly the right time. We think and plan and ponder and dream. We do everything but actually doing it. Oh, but it will come! Just you wait.

Except there will always be work to do and tasks to complete. Inconvenient romances become inconvenient spouses, who yield even more inconvenient children clamoring for your attention. You could lose a hundred pounds, retire young, and have a whole crew of people insisting you chase after your dream right this second, and there could still be a reason why it’s bad timing. There’s always going to be something. Someone leaving, someone showing up, natural disasters, man-made disasters. IT Band syndrome. Tax forms. Vacations. Your mother-in-law. The Green Bay Packers. Death. Life. The list of right-time saboteurs never ends.

But when you just stop thinking for a damn second and just do, those big goals actually happen. You learn you don’t need to accomplish X before Y or create some ideal situation to make amazing things happen. Sometimes you just have to recognize the imperfect timing and go for it anyway. It’s amazing how quickly the contingencies of “someday” fall away when there’s an actual date circled on the calendar.

Quit your prattling about “somedays” and “if/whens” and just do it. Go now! Be an idiot! Face your fears, sign up for that race, and yell your big scary goal from the rooftops. Then put your head down and get to work.

It’s never going to be the right time.

So do it today.


About the author:

Susan Lacke does 5Ks, Ironman Triathlons and everything in between to justify her love for cupcakes (yes, she eats that many). She lives and trains in Salt Lake City, Utah with three animals: a labrador, a cattle dog, and a freakishly tall triathlete husband. Lacke 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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Second Week of 2017 Boston Marathon Registration is Now Open http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/2017-boston-marathon-registration-now-open_155693 Mon, 19 Sep 2016 21:04:14 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155693

Photo by Andrew McClanahan@PhotoRun

Registration will remain open until 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

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Photo by Andrew McClanahan@PhotoRun

Registration for the 2017 Boston Marathon (race day is April 17) is now open and will continue through Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. If you are hoping to make it into the venerable race, be aware that during this period, any eligible qualifier may submit an application for entry into next April’s race, but entries will NOT be granted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Rather, the fastest qualifiers in their gender and age group will be awarded acceptance before applicants with slower qualifying times. The gender and age-group fields will then be filled until the maximum number of race entries is reached.

Those accepted for entry will be notified via e-mail and their names will be posted to the “Entrants” page of the B.A.A. website. Entry will be based on the amount of remaining field size space and an applicant’s qualifying performance.

The first week of registration concluded at 10:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 17, during which time qualifiers who bettered their qualifying standard by 20 minutes, 10 minutes, and five minutes could submit online entries. Registration then re-opened on Monday, Sept. 19 at 10:00 a.m. ET for athletes who have met the Boston Marathon standards by any amount of time.

Due to field size limitations, not all qualifiers who submit an entry will necessarily be accepted. If more runners apply than can be accepted, then acceptance will be granted to the fastest qualifiers among the applicants.

“The B.A.A. will not predict or provide an anticipated date for when the race will reach its maximum field of qualified applicants, nor will the B.A.A. predict the ‘cut off’ time needed to gain an individual entry into the 2017 Boston Marathon,” according to a press release. “The total number of qualifiers and their qualifying times determine such ‘cut off’ times.”

Registration for individuals who wish to participate among the wheelchair division, visually impaired division, and mobility impaired program (including duo teams and hand-cycles) will open on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 at 10 a.m. ET. For athletes with disabilities, specific information on the registration timetable can be found at www.baa.org.

Updates will be provided on a consistent basis through the B.A.A.’s website, Facebook page and Twitter account.

RELATED: More on Boston Marathon Qualifying Times and Proceedures From the BAA

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Smyth, Stephen Win XTERRA Trail Half-Marathon National Championships http://running.competitor.com/2016/09/news/smyth-stephen-win-xterra-trail-half-marathon-national-championships_155688 Mon, 19 Sep 2016 19:40:44 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=155688

Photo: Courtesy of XTERRA.

XTERRA trail running titles mark Patrick Smyth’s third and Liz Stephen’s fourth victories

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Photo: Courtesy of XTERRA.

Patrick Smyth of Santa Fe, N.M., and Liz Stephen, from Park City, Utah, defended their Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship half-marathon titles on Sept. 18, racing under sunny skies at Utah’s Snowbasin Resort.

Smyth clocked in at 1:14:48 (5:42 pace), nearly five minutes ahead of runner-up Anthony Costales from Salt Lake City. The women’s race was also decided decisively: Stephen finished in 1:31:08, more than eight minutes ahead of Amber Schultz.

“Winning three is great. I think Max King has five so I’m chasing that legacy and have a couple more to go,” Smyth said. “I love it out here, and my legs were feeling pretty fresh this morning so I was able to get a good rhythm going on the climb and really fly on the downhills.”

Smyth established an early 15-second lead on Costales and Noah Hoffman, a 2014 U.S. Olympic Ski Team member. At the one-mile mark, the course steepened and he opened a more sizable gap.

“I like running alone, just me and my thoughts, no footsteps, nobody breathing hard behind me, that’s fine by me,” Smyth said. “It’s one of my favorite courses in the world. The three miles from the top of Sardine to the bottom…I love that stretch.”

Smyth will next compete at the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, where he has a goal of finishing in the top 10. He finished 8th at the Olympic Trials Marathon earlier this year in February.

For the women’s winner, getting back on the trails by foot was a bit of a shock to the system. “It’s different muscles; I’m going to be sore,” said Stephen, a two-time Olympic cross-country skier who returned from a three-week ski training camp in New Zealand on Thursday.

It’s the sixth time Stephen has run this course. “I always look forward to getting up to Sardine Peak. It’s so beautiful, and you can take a quick glance down and see how far away the lodge is,” she said. “I just think trail running is great because you’re not in the road with cars, and you get to see these beautiful places. It’s so pure.”

Stephen is chasing her third Winter Olympics (South Korea in 2018) with the goal of medaling in the 4 x 5K relay. “It’s where all my focus is right now,” she said.

In age-group action, the home-state Utah runners led the way with 10 champions.

Visit xterraplanet.com/trailrun for additional details and results.

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