Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com Your Online Source for Running Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:47:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 RunSafer: When an Attacker Knocks You to the Ground http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/video/runsafer-attacker-knocks-ground_116440 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/video/runsafer-attacker-knocks-ground_116440#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:21:24 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116440

Learn how to minimize injury and be in a position to defend yourself if an attacker knocks you down.

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Learn how to minimize injury and be in a position to defend yourself if an attacker knocks you down.

In this RunSafer video, two-time Olympian and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Todd Williams gives tips on the safest way to fall to the ground if knocked down by an attacker, which will help avoid an injury to the head or elbows and allow you the best chance to fight back.

RELATED: Defending Yourself While on the Ground

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Danica Newon: My Favorite Run http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/saucony-26-strong/danica-newon-favorite-run_116434 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/saucony-26-strong/danica-newon-favorite-run_116434#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:33:48 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116434

Danica Newon's favorite runs are the ones that hardly feel like an effort.

Danica Newon's favorite runs are the ones in which she feels relaxed and strong.

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Danica Newon's favorite runs are the ones that hardly feel like an effort.

My Favorite type of workout would have to be a run that reminds me how special running is.

Because I don’t do many specific workouts with goals in mind, like being faster or getting in a special type of run, the running I do is pretty much only based on mileage. So a favorite workout would be one that I feel awesome on and really relax and just let myself run.

I start my run by mapping it out and see how I’m feeling once I head out. If I start out feeling good, I’ll play a game with myself to see if I can run negative splits each mile. Or I’ll do a 2-mile warm-up, some faster miles and then a 2-mile cool-down. But I never intentionally start out a run with a workout in mind, and it took me a while to get to a point to accept that mindset.

One thing I’ve learned that I need to remind myself of is the fact that I run for fun. I ran competitively in high school and when I first started running again after high school, I was struggling with motivation because I wasn’t as fast as I used to be. I was frustrated because it wasn’t fun and I couldn’t hit times like I used too. I beat myself up over it and didn’t enjoy running.

Once I realized I didn’t need to compare myself to others, to worry about time or pace, it became fun for me. When I started to run and look around at my surroundings instead of my watch, I enjoyed it and found a new type of running; running for myself. I still needed to run, it was just about going out and enjoying it, it wasn’t work like how it was in high school. I focused on the fact that I COULD run, instead of the fact that I wasn’t running what I thought was fast. When I came to terms with the fact that running could be fun, my outlook changed and my running changed for the better. I didn’t have to revolve my life around workouts like I did in high school, I wasn’t letting anyone down, and I could run the miles I wanted to, when I wanted to. It gave me more freedom and allowed me to enjoy running in a new noncompetitive way.

Over the past 15 years that I’ve been running, I’ve truly had every different kind of run. Ones where you get sick, ones that are horrible and you end up walking home with your head down and ones that are simply magical that seem to reinvigorate every aspect of your life. Though they seem to be somewhat elusive, when they happen it can motivate you for weeks or even months. There is something that changes on those runs that reminds you why you run and keeps you coming back for more. It’s the run when you turn for the path home and just smile, wondering if you should keep going or end on the perfect note. You want to pump your arms as you reach your front door, like Rocky as he runs up the steps and at that precise moment nothing will get you down.

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

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I’m a Competitor: Sommelier Bobby Stuckey http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/inside-the-magazine/im-a-competitor-sommelier-bobby-stuckey_116428 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/inside-the-magazine/im-a-competitor-sommelier-bobby-stuckey_116428#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:13:44 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116428

Bobby Stuckey fits running into his busy life as a sommelier and restauranteur. Photo: Scott Draper

This former professional cyclist-turned-sommelier is not your everyday runner.

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Bobby Stuckey fits running into his busy life as a sommelier and restauranteur. Photo: Scott Draper

This former professional cyclist-turned-sommelier is not your everyday runner.

As a master sommelier and co-owner of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colo., Bobby Stuckey is used to long nights. But that doesn’t mean he sleeps late.

The 45-year old meets a group for a tempo 10-miler at the Boulder Reservoir one morning a week, logs a long Sunday run and joins his business partner for a weekly ride. (Stuckey is a former pro cyclist.) With a 2:47:24 marathon PR from the 2009 New York City Marathon, Stuckey says his running is changing. It’s no longer just about fast times—it’s also about becoming a better runner.

When did you start running?
My first 10K was in 1976. I was 7 years old and it was the Big Sisters Share a Little Love Run in Phoenix. The race T-shirt was so big on me that it looked like a dress. But I loved it and wore it every day because no other kid had done a 10K. My PE teacher at the Hopi Elementary School made us run a mile three times a week. I was lucky to have cardio development at an early age.

How did your athleticism develop?
I ran cross country through high school. I was never the most talented, but I was always willing to do the work. I got into triathlon in the 1980s and eventually focused on cycling. I even went pro—I was a domestique—but just briefly. I quit racing bikes in the ’90s. The restaurant business is tough and I realized back in the 1990s how important it was to balance my work and endurance sports. The great thing about running is that you can just walk out and do it.

RELATED: I’m a Competitor: Drummer John Wicks

Why is racing important to you?
Having a goal makes my whole year, so I do at least one major race annually. I’m like a diesel engine—it takes me a while to get in shape, which is why marathon training works for me. For a marathon, I look at the schedule to see when I can make one work, and then my wife looks at the options. Even though I’m running a race, it’s a vacation. She gets to choose the destination.

A quiver of running shoes and a quiver of wine—do you see a correlation?
That’s easy, I’m a strong believer in both. Every run and every night is different. I equate racing flats to a world-class bottle of Burgundy or Barolo. Champagne makes me think of a regular run, but one where I suddenly manage a huge breakthrough. Five go-to wines is a good amount—a sparkling, two whites and two reds.

More About Bobby

Go-To Gear
I travel a lot. My Garmin watch keeps me honest about distance when I run unfamiliar routes.

Favorite Run
When I worked at the Little Nell in Aspen, Colo., I would go on the trail up to Warren Lakes with my Siberian husky.

Post-Race Splurge
Wherever we are, we celebrate with a great dinner and a great bottle of wine.

Time Management
Everyone has their Jenga of interests and time they need to figure out. Running is about consistency—you just have to set that schedule.

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Ultra Race Of Champions Moves To Auburn, Calif. http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/ultra-race-champions-moves-auburn_116326 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/ultra-race-champions-moves-auburn_116326#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:45:25 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116326

Stephanie Howe placed second in the 2013 Ultra Race of Champions in Colorado. Photo: Competitor

The fifth annual race will have a $21,500 prize purse.

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Stephanie Howe placed second in the 2013 Ultra Race of Champions in Colorado. Photo: Competitor

Stephanie Howe placed third in the 2013 Ultra Race of Champions in Colorado. Photo: Brian Metzler

Stephanie Howe placed third in the 2013 Ultra Race of Champions in Colorado. Photo: Brian Metzler

The fifth annual UROC race moves to its third venue for 2015.

After two years in Virginia and two more in Colorado, the Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) will be held in Auburn, Calif., in 2015. The 100K UROC event will be Sept. 26, 2015, along with the Über Rock 50K and Cruxy Half Marathon.

The 100K will include a $21,500 prize purse, including $5,000 prizes for the winners. Registration opens on Oct. 25 at UROC.com.

Race organizers selected the new host location because of Auburn’s long history with endurance races—most notably the Western States 100—and the wide range of accessible trails along the American River and on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

“Auburn is well-equipped and well versed for endurance races, already hosting several long-distance running and biking events,” says event organizer Russell Gill. “The area is extremely beautiful and easily accessible from San Francisco, Sacramento and Reno and has all the qualities and amenities we looked for when searching for a new host location of this championship event.”

Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports, the Virginia company behind the Ultra Race of Champions, will partner with NorCalUltras to put on the races.

“Having UROC in my backyard is very exciting” says Julie Fingar, CEO of NorCalUltras and a veteran ultrarunner. “I personally know and train on the trails where the race will be run and can attest to their beauty.  Participants will love the course and I cannot wait to showcase it during the race.  I really look forward to working with Gill and Francesca to put on a world-class event.”

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The Everyman: 7 Things To Look For at Your Turkey Trot http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/staff-blog/everyman-7-things-look-turkey-trot_116419 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/staff-blog/everyman-7-things-look-turkey-trot_116419#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:36:26 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116419

Turkey Trots are a fixture in many cities and towns on and around Thanksgiving. Photo: Kimble Photography

From dodging dogs and strollers to receiving a Thanksgiving pie, Turkey Trots have a lot to offer.

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Turkey Trots are a fixture in many cities and towns on and around Thanksgiving. Photo: Kimble Photography

From dodging dogs and strollers to receiving a Thanksgiving pie, Turkey Trots have a lot to offer.

We’re about to turn back the clocks, which means two things: start getting up earlier and run during the early-morning sunrise, or invest in a headlamp and some reflective gear so you can safely run in the dark after work.

The first option sounds a lot more appealing.

Going back in time by one hour also means we’re in the season of Turkey Trots. Here are a few things to look for in these annual races:

Dogs And Strollers

Turkey Trots are filled with people who race once a year, which isn’t a bad thing. But often they will run with their dogs or with their children in strollers. They should line up in the back of the field, but if you find yourself trying to pass one on a narrow, crowded street, be careful. A dog can easily get startled with so many people around and cause a collision.

Crowded Aid Stations

With more runners comes more people who need to drink or grab a quick gel, so aid stations will be crowded. If you need a drink, watch out for other runners cutting in trying to grab some water. If you’re not thirsty and don’t need anything, stay in the middle of the road to avoid the crowds around the tables.

RELATED: 5K Training Tips For Running Rookies

Disorder At The Start

Do yourself a favor and line up in a faster pace group at the start. With so many people in the race either not being familiar with how to line up properly or simply not being realistic about their pace, many of the runners line up too close to the front. If you’re caught behind them, passing them all after the first quarter mile can be tricky and will disrupt your rhythm.

RELATED: Ask Mario: How Do I Deal With Crowded Race Starts?

Funny Footwear

Two years ago at my hometown Turkey Trot, I saw a middle-aged gentleman take off from the start wearing dress shoes. I and everyone else was alerted to his presence by the “Thwack! Thwack!” sound every time his feet hit the ground. I still don’t know if he finished the race. Or if his beat-up feet have recovered.

Extra Layers

Thanksgiving day can be 70 degrees in some parts of the northern half of the country, or it can be in the 20s. If the latter is true (or even if it’s in the 40s), be sure to bundle up. Your body isn’t yet used to the cold winter weather that arrives this time of year. If you have someone with you to cheer you on, have them hold some extra clothes for you. Or stash them in your car. Many Turkey Trots are too small to have a bag check.

RELATED: Runner’s Thanksgiving Survival Guide

Turkeys

Running in costume is a popular thing to do for races around the holidays. So if you see a human-sized turkey darting and weaving through the crowd of runners, don’t worry. Yours is waiting in the oven at home.

Pies

Finally, there might be a tasty treat waiting for you at the finish line: a pie to take home to your family for Thanksgiving dinner. Or, if you bonked during the race, it can serve as fuel for your body during the drive home.

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Competitor on Demand: Grapevines http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/video/competitor-demand-grapevines_116407 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/video/competitor-demand-grapevines_116407#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:51:21 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116407

Build lateral leg strength with this well-known agility drill.

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Build lateral leg strength with this well-known agility drill.

Your foot speed, coordination and lateral leg strength can get a boost by doing grapevines, also known as carioca. Though it might take a few tries to get used to it, once the pattern is down, you can get results from incorporating this in your warmup.

Go for about 20 seconds, and do the drill 2-4 times.

RELATED: The Diagonal Walking Lunge

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Sneak Peek: Special-Issue NYC Marathon Shoes http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/special-issue-new-york-city-marathon-shoes_116368 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/special-issue-new-york-city-marathon-shoes_116368#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:38:14 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116368

Check out the new shoes launching just in time for the New York City Marathon.

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Check out the new shoes launching just in time for the New York City Marathon.

Every fall, shoe brands unveil new models in time for the New York City Marathon race expo. Here are a few special-edition kicks with NYC-inspired graphics that will debut in the Big Apple on Oct. 31 or Nov. 1 and will be in stores in the New York City area on a limited basis. The regular version of these shoes will be available at running stores and online between this fall and mid-winter.

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How Steve Jones Ran His Way to Legendary Status http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/steve-jones-ran-way-legendary-status_116322 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/steve-jones-ran-way-legendary-status_116322#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:26:43 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116322

Long after his retirement as a runner, Steve Jones remains an integral part of the Boulder, Colo., running community. Photo: Brian Metzler

30 years ago today, Steve Jones took the marathon by storm.

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Long after his retirement as a runner, Steve Jones remains an integral part of the Boulder, Colo., running community. Photo: Brian Metzler

30 years ago today, Steve Jones took the marathon by storm.

Steve Jones was never a runner to chase times. His only goal as a runner was to race, to outrun the runners around him. “And not just beat them, but annihilate them,” he said recently. And often during his storied carrier, that’s exactly what he did.

While reflecting on his world-record run 30 years ago at the 1984 Chicago Marathon on Monday night in Boulder, Colo., Jones said his only goal in the race that cool, rainy morning was outlasting the talent-rich field that included recently minted Olympic champion Carlos Lopes of Portugal, Olympic silver medalist John Treacy of Ireland and world record-holder and 1983 world champion Rob de Castella of Australia. That he ran a new world record of 2:08:05 was only the result of his competitive efforts.

In fact, when the lead pack passed through the 10-mile mark in about 48 minutes flat, Jones turned to de Castella and asked, “Is that clock right?”

“Deke shot back, ‘Why? Is it too slow? You can speed up if you’d like,’” Jones recalled after a group run from Fleet Feet Sports Boulder honoring the 30th anniversary of his record run. “I knew 48 minutes was quick, but the point is I didn’t pay attention to the time. I didn’t know how fast we went through the half. I was just watching the guys around me. It was all about racing those guys, beating those guys.”

Long before elite-level races were set up to be time trials with pacemakers, marathons were won by hard training, tactical mid-race surges and pure guts. And perhaps no one of that era exemplified that better than Jones. With a blue-collar work ethic and a tough-as-nails demeanor, Jones had been a very good runner in cross country and the 10,000-meter run on the track. But it was the marathon where his grind-it-out-tenacity allowed him to win races through attrition.

When it came to the marathon, Jones was as good as they get—a pure bad-ass willing to push himself to the brink of extinction in that painful realm that creeps up to all of us after the the 20-mile mark.

He returned to Chicago in 1985 and won again, missing the world record Carlos Lopes had set in the spring by a mere second. He also won the London Marathon and New York City Marathon in his career and placed second in Boston too.

But it was the 1984 Chicago Marathon that sent Jones on the path to becoming a legend. He had earned a bronze medal in the 1983 World Cross Country Championships and placed eighth in the 10,000 meters on the track in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. But because many of the top runners in the Chicago field had run the marathon in those Olympics—including de Castella, Lopes and Treacy—Jones knew he might have a leg up on the competition if he could stay with the leaders through 20 miles.

When Kenyan Gabriel Kamu recovered from slipping on the wet pavement and threw in a surge near the 18-mile mark, Jones was ready.

“I thought, ‘it’s time to go’ and I went with him because I didn’t want to miss it,” Jones said. “I chased him down and we ran together for a little while and then he dropped off and I was alone at 20 miles. From there, I didn’t think anyone would catch me. You’re running scared the last 6 miles, but I never turned around. I didn’t look behind me. I just focused. My legs started to get a little sore at 22 or 23 miles, and I thought, ‘OK, this is what it feels like’ and I kept running hard.

“I was listening to the helicopter above and the police sirens ahead of us and people shouting. I was totally aware of where I was. It’s not like I was in a zone or something like that. I knew I was running hard, but it was probably one of my more relaxing runs, honestly.”

RELATED: 6 Ways To Simply Your Running With Steve Jones

Jones moved to Boulder in the late 1980s to train with some of the world’s best runners and made it his permanent home in 1990. After retiring in the early 1990s, he and his family blended into the Boulder community. But he has never lost his connection to the running world and has been coaching elite and sub-elite runners for the past 10 years or so while balancing his work as a house painter.

Jones has remained as understated as he was as a competitor. Although self-assured and full of dry humor, he was—and still is—nothing if not earnest and hard-working. (When he had to drop out of the 1983 Chicago Marathon because of an injury, he offered to return his per diem athlete fees to the race director because he didn’t feel as if he’d earned it.)

In 1985, when he successfully defended his Chicago Marathon title, he went the halfway mark in 1:01:42 at a time when the world record for the half marathon was 1:01:14 and remained on sub-2:04 pace at the 20-mile mark. (That’s faster than the half-marathon split Kenyan Dennis Kimetto posted en route to shattering the world record in the marathon with a 2:02:57 on Sept. 28 in Berlin.) Although he wound up missing Lopes world record by a second in 1985, his time of 2:07:13 that day still stands as the British record.

Even when Jones crossed the finish line in Chicago in 1984, he had no idea he had broken de Castella’s 1981 world record of 2:08:18 by 13 seconds.

“Someone stuck a mic in my face and said, ‘Steve, do you realize you set the world record in only your second marathon?’ And off the top of my head, I said, ‘well, it’s only the first one I’ve finished,’” Jones said with a laugh. “It all changed from there.”

But what didn’t change was Jones’ simple approach to running. He never wore a watch and was never afraid to run hard, either in a race or in training. Fellow Boulder resident Mark Plaatjes, the 1993 world champion in the marathon, said of all the world-class runners who trained in Boulder in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Jonesy was the most unwavering.

“We’d start a long Sunday run with a group and he’d go out at 5:20 mile pace,” Plaatjes said recently. “There was no easy day with Jonesy.”

Although he was one of the best marathoners of any era and well-respected at the time, his no-frills attitude, self-effacing humor and workmanlike demeanor have transcended time. While other runners have faded into the annals of history, Jones has remained a popular figure in the running world—he still attends several marathon race expos every year on behalf of his longtime sponsor Reebok—and his gritty racing persona has gained traction among newer, younger runners—likely from watching grainy old YouTube videos of the final miles of his Chicago win in 1984, his bold solo effort in Chicago in 1985 and the final two laps of a European 10,000-meter race from the early 1980s—the latter of which has been viewed more than 5.1 million times.

He’s still hailed as a hero in his native Wales, where more than 100 runners honored him with a run on Saturday in the city of Tredegar.

Jones continues to pass his relentlessness along to the runners he trains. Some runners have had success under Jones, others have buckled under his subtle but very intense ways.

“It’s about beating the competition. That was my goal, racing the guys out there. And if you beat them or race well, then you’re going to run fast. You can’t race the clock. You have to race other runners” he said. “My best marathons were very competitive times and I always got the best out of myself. But I always had a racing plan of ‘I’m going to go now.’ And when I went, it ‘was win or bust.’”

Although Jones has said a few times that he’d like to go back and run the Chicago Marathon again—and he said it again Monday night that he plans to run it in 2015—it wouldn’t be to recapture any lost glory. He’s content with with his life as a painter and part-time coach.

“I’m in a good place right now, coaching and working. If that’s all I did for the rest of my life, I’d be happy,” Jones said. “I’m not living vicariously through them. I’ve done my running. There’s nothing I haven’t done. I just want to hep them get to where they want to go.”

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Amanda Brooks: A Love Letter to Long Runs http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/saucony-26-strong/amanda-brooks-love-letter-long-runs_116381 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/saucony-26-strong/amanda-brooks-love-letter-long-runs_116381#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:46:44 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116381

Amanda Brooks loves to pass the time on a long run.

Amanda Brooks makes her case for why the long run is her favorite workout.

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Amanda Brooks loves to pass the time on a long run.

While I understand the benefit of speed work and know that a 5K could really improve my marathon time, I can’t get past my pure love of longer runs.

My definition of long has changed dramatically over the years as I’ve grown into my running legs. Twelve years ago, three miles felt unbearably long, Then eight, 13, then one day 18 miles started to feel oddly normal.

Since transplanting to Florida where summer is the year-round experience, 18 can be a bit daunting, but 10 miles never gets old. I’d run it every day if time and body permitted.

On these runs you don’t quite cross into the mental stamina required of a peak marathon training long run of 16-20 miles, and you don’t need to push the speed like a shorter 6-mile tempo workout.

Instead, you can allow your body to settle into a comfortable pace and simply enjoy being able to run.

It sounds cliché, and maybe even a little absurd to “enjoy being able to run.” But any runner who has ever been injured will tell you that PRs become far less important when you’ve had time to realize how much simply being able to run improves your life.

And for that reason, today I give you my love letter to long runs …

Dear long run,
I love you for keeping my thighs strong and lean.
I love you for not caring about what I wear or how bad my hair looks.
I love you for making my size 11 feet feel like an advantage (keeps me from falling over).
I love you for giving me the confidence to do other scary things in life.
I love you for making it acceptable to be a sweaty mess.
I love you for asking me to push beyond my perceived boundaries.
I love you for making me slightly uncomfortable.
I love you for giving me time to myself to think or not, either is acceptable.
I love you for giving me an excuse to soak in the tub.
I love you for making me feel like I could outrun a purse thief (though maybe that speed work would be a good idea).
I love you for proving that runner’s high is a real thing and fully legal.
I love you for kick starting my creative process every day. If I could just remember all the ideas …
I love you for making it possible to eat a little more chocolate than I should.
It’s true we’ve had our bad days where I’ve cursed you or cried or thrown my hands up in exasperation. But really, even those runs have become part of what makes our bond so strong, they each remind me to cherish the good runs.
Each day I get to run is a blessing because it reminds me how far I’ve come, how far I have to go and that I can get there one step at a time.

Gotta run,

Amanda

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Should the Half Marathon Have a New Name? http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/half-marathon-new-name_116374 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/half-marathon-new-name_116374#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:28:34 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116374

The Half marathon has been America's fastest rising race distance in terms of popularity since 2003. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

There are lots of ideas, but nothing has taken hold.

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The Half marathon has been America's fastest rising race distance in terms of popularity since 2003. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

There are lots of ideas, but nothing has taken hold.

A race of 13.1 miles is generally called a half marathon—but should it be termed something else?

A Wall Street Journal report that delves into the history of the half marathon raises this topic.

The 13.1-mile race has been the fastest growing race distance since 2003, according to Running USA. So why not change it to something that has a better ring?

“Branding 101: I don’t think naming anything half of anything else is a great way to optimize its ultimate value,” two-time U.S. 5,000-meter champion Lauren Fleshman told the Journal.

The Journal story mentions a comment that popped up on an Internet message board four years ago regarding the half marathon. The commenter’s idea for the new 13.1-mile name was Pikermi, a town in Greece that lies roughly halfway between Marathon and Athens.

The basis behind the idea makes sense, but the name never took hold.

RELATED: 13.1 Tips For Running Your Best Half Marathon

A Philadelphia Inquirer article earlier this year made the case for a name change as well, while several blog posts pitch ideas for the Internet masses to read.

None of the pleas, however, have amounted to anything more than discussion.

So for now, the half marathon is still the half marathon.

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Runners Get Lost, Dodge Cars at Bangalore Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/runners-get-lost-dodge-cars-bangalore-marathon_116360 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/runners-get-lost-dodge-cars-bangalore-marathon_116360#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:44:53 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116360

Three runners at the front of the half marathon ran 4 kilometers off course after following a race vehicle that missed a turn.

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Three runners at the front of the half marathon ran 4 kilometers off course after following a race vehicle that missed a turn.

If Sunday’s air pollution-plagued Beijing Marathon wasn’t bad enough, another footrace that same day saw runners dodging cars and getting lost on the course.

According to the Wall Street Journal, three of the leading runners in the half marathon event at India’s Bangalore Marathon went the wrong way after following a race vehicle that missed a turn.

The trio ran 4 kilometers in the wrong direction and eventually had to ask strangers for money so they could hitch a ride to the finish line.

“We borrowed 30 rupees from a few morning joggers to take a metro train to reach the station closest to the finishing line,” Soji Mathew said.

Inderjit Patel, who was also in the threesome, told the Times of India they were running at a good clip before being told they missed a turn.

“There were no officials on the road where we supposed to take a U-turn (at 16km),” Patel said. “We were following the pilot vehicle and we had covered around 20 kilometers in one hour as we were going at a pace of 2 minutes, 59 seconds per kilometer. We were hoping to finish soon when the officials asked us to turn back. At that point there was no point in continuing the race and we decided to stop.”

During the marathon, a female runner also missed a turn and traveled 5 kilometers off course. Luckily, race organizers found her and guided her back to the proper route.

The Journal reports that other runners complained of a lack of race marshals to keep them on course.

Both races were plagued by drivers who bypassed security barriers and drove on the course with runners all around them. Witnesses claimed some of the drivers were heckling runners, according to the Journal.

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Ed Ettinghausen’s Unfathomable 100-Mile Running Quest http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/ready-ed-ettinghausens-100-mile-quest_116266 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/ready-ed-ettinghausens-100-mile-quest_116266#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:39:12 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116266

Ed Ettinghausen ran the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in mid-July during a streak of 13 consecutive weeks of running races of 100 miles or longer. Photo: Allison Pattillo

Ed Ettinghausen is hoping to complete 40 100-mile runs by the end of 2014.

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Ed Ettinghausen ran the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in mid-July during a streak of 13 consecutive weeks of running races of 100 miles or longer. Photo: Allison Pattillo

Ed Ettinghausen ran the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in mid-July during a streak of 13 consecutive weeks of running races of 100 miles or longer. Photo: Allison Pattillo

Ed Ettinghausen ran the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in mid-July during a streak of 13 consecutive weeks of running races of 100 miles or longer. Photo: Allison Pattillo

Ed Ettinghausen completed his 29th and 30th 100-mile run of the year on Oct. 17-19.

Running 135 marathons in a year was enough to get Ed Ettinghausen, 52, a CPR instructor from Wildomar, Calif., in the Guinness Book of World Records. But records are made to be broken and Ed’s was. Ettinghausen, known as “The Jester” due to his colorful racing kit, is now in the midst of a new quest—to set the record for running the most 100-mile races in a year.

This past Sunday, at an hour when many were stretching out after a long run or sitting down to a relaxed brunch, The Jester was finishing his second 100-mile race of the weekend—as in completing twice the number of 100-mile races most would consider doing in a lifetime in one weekend. He was fourth to cross the line in 21:45:57 at the Pony Express Trail 100 in Utah during the wee hours of Saturday morning, and celebrated by rushing to the airport so he could make it to Norco, Calif. and run the 100 Mile Club Endurance Challenge that began later that same morning. The official start time was 7 a.m., but Ettinghausen was allowed to begin about an hour late due to his travel schedule. He finished in 29:09 and was the second-to-last person to make the 30-hour cutoff. His logistical and endurance success put him at a total of 30 hundreds for the year—Liz Bauer set the current world record of 36 hundreds in a year in 2012. (He’s already surpassed the men’s world record of 27 100-milers set by Scott Brockmeier, who ran 27 alongside Bauer in 2012.) Ettinghausen’s goal is is to complete 40 100-plus mile events by the end of the year.

Why 100 miles?

Marathons are great events, and I love them. But 100 miles is more of a challenge for me. There aren’t many people who go for that kind of distance. I’m a social runner and appreciate the strong community and good friendships in our small running world. Everyone running it understands the struggle. A 100-mile race is a competition, but we are also struggling together and working together. It’s also a totally different beast because there is so much that can happen over the course of 100 miles.

What was your first 100-mile race?

It was the Nanny Goat 24, a 24-hour race held on a one-mile dirt loop at a horse ranch in Riverside, Calif. I completed 102 laps and finished in third place. I enjoyed the challenge, but it scared me enough that it took me another year to run a 100. I remember when I first heard about the Badwater 135—my thought was, “someone who does that must be crazy.” (Ettinghausen has since run Badwater four times.)

How do you train for so many long races?

My training is the race itself. I might go out once or twice a week to do a 10- or 15-mile run, but it’s also nice to take a break during the week so I can go into a race well-rested. I think that’s why I’m excited every time I get to the starting line. I love every run I do–at least I do once I get started! Races are the best, that’s where I have a really great time.

How is your body holding up to the stress of your goal, and how do you recover?

A lot of it is pure luck and good genes. I recover fast and can run 100 miles one weekend and be ready to go the next. I live a healthy lifestyle and get plenty of sleep, have a positive mental attitude, eat clean and don’t drink. My wife is a massage therapist, and it helps that she can do deep tissue work on tight spots before they become a problem. I’m more nervous about twisting an ankle while crossing the street than I am about getting injured during a 100.

Physical preparedness is one thing, how to you get ready mentally?

Attitude makes all the difference. Physically, there isn’t much you can do when things start to go awry in a race. But mentally you can. You can control your thoughts and how you handle challenges. I always have a plan A. If that doesn’t work, I resort to plans B, C, D or E so I can adjust and adapt to whatever comes my way. Any time you get too confident, the ultra Gods will give you a DNF (Did Not Finish). As humbling as a DNF is, it reveals your weakest spots and where you need to improve. If you haven’t DNF’d, I don’t think you’ve pushed yourself hard enough or done a hard enough race.

What’s up with the jester costume?

It’s something that evolved. I’m a founder of the Riverside Road Runners Marathon Training Club in Riverside, Calif. We trained as a club to run the Surf City Marathon and I ran it in a surfer dude outfit I wore during a club skit, and had fun. Then I started running in different hats. When I put on a jester hat, it really seemed to suit my personality. I eventually added the skirt, white tights, gaiters and gloves. And my trusty cowbell, I always run with that.

How do others outside the ultra community react to your goal?

I don’t really talk about running 100-mile races in public because people think you’re nuts. My family has seen me evolve into an ultrarunner and they are good with it. They understand that running is a big part of my life. My wife is always my crew chief. She knows me inside and out and can always tell how I’m really doing in a race.

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Running Apparel: How to Care for It and When to Ditch It http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/running-apparel-101-care-ditch_116012 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/running-apparel-101-care-ditch_116012#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:44:59 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116012

It's good to know when to say goodbye to your favorite gear.

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It’s good to know when to say goodbye to your favorite gear.

No matter how much you love your latest running bra/shirt/shorts/socks/shoes, the reality is they won’t last forever.

Smart care helps apparel last longer, but even if you take good care of your gear, the time will come when you’ll begin to wonder—usually when you come across formless tights missing the waist cord or mismatched and threadbare socks—hmm, is it time to ditch this? If you are asking the question, the answer is probably “yes!”

Keep reading for tips about getting the most out of your gear and when to visit your favorite running store for new stuff.

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Photos: 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/photos-nike-womens-half-marathon-san-francisco_116299 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/photos-nike-womens-half-marathon-san-francisco_116299#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:39:45 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116299

2014 Nike Women's Half Marathon San Francisco

On Sunday, 25,000 women, as well as a few good men, ran in the 11th annual Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco to benefit the

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2014 Nike Women's Half Marathon San Francisco

On Sunday, 25,000 women, as well as a few good men, ran in the 11th annual Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) mission to find cures for blood cancers and ensure access to treatment. Since its inception in 2004, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon Series has helped raise more than $152 million for LLS. It’s also considered the largest women’s race in the world to date, with a total of 245,000 female race participants representing 54 countries and all 50 U.S. states from when it first started.

Extra hype surrounded the race this year due to the brand new course in which runners began at the heart of the city in Union Square, making their way through the hilly terrain of Golden Gate Park, and coasting downhill through the Presidio where they hit the last mile and a half on a fast straight away along the Marina. Check out these photos from race day to experience the women inspiring event. #WeRunSF (Photos courtesy of Nike):

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Competitor on Demand: IT Band Rolling http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/video/competitor-demand-band-rolling_116315 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/video/competitor-demand-band-rolling_116315#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:13:27 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116315

Loosen up your IT Band so it doesn't bother you when you're running.

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Loosen up your IT Band so it doesn’t bother you when you’re running.

This may be the best way to use your foam roller. Though it can hurt the first couple of times you do it, using the foam roller to specifically target and loosen the IT Band will do wonders toward preventing the pain that an aggravated IT Band can cause.

Roll for one minute per leg.

RELATED: The One-Legged Quad Stretch

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Monday Motivation: H.S. Runner Piggybacks Injured Opponent Across Finish Line http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/video/monday-motivation-h-s-runner-piggybacks-injured-opponent-across-finish-line_116289 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/video/monday-motivation-h-s-runner-piggybacks-injured-opponent-across-finish-line_116289#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:13:41 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116289

High school runner Melanie Bailey may not have won her race, but she certainly reminded everyone what it means to be a good sport.

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High school cross-country runner Melanie Bailey may not have won her race, but she certainly reminded everyone what it means to be a good sport.

Last Saturday at the Eastern Dakota Conference Championships, Melanie Bailey, a senior at Devils Lake High School in North Dakota, noticed Fargo South runner Danielle Lenoue limping and sobbing as she attempted to continue the race with what she later learned was a torn patella tendon and meniscus. According to the Devils Lake Journal, the runners were just past the 2-mile mark of the 2.4-mile course when Bailey offered to assist her opponent.

“I felt so bad for her, I had to do something,” Bailey told the Journal.

RELATED: High School Runner Helps Competitor Finish Race

At first, Bailey attempted to have Lenoue lean on her for support, but that didn’t seem to work. Then she told Lenoue to hop onto her back and the two crossed the finish line almost eight and a half minutes after the first-place runner.

“Honestly, I loved the way I ended it,” Bailey told ABC affiliate WDAY-TV in Fargo. “It was a great way to end my cross-country season.”

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Runners Brave ‘Hazardous’ Smog During Beijing Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/runners-brave-hazardous-smog-beijing-marathon_116290 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/runners-brave-hazardous-smog-beijing-marathon_116290#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:12:16 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116290

Many runners wore breathing masks at the Beijing Marathon to filter out air pollution.

The amount of pollutants in the air was more than 16 times the recommended limit.

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Many runners wore breathing masks at the Beijing Marathon to filter out air pollution.

The amount of pollutants in the air was more than 16 times the recommended limit.

Mask-wearing runners braved smog so thick during Sunday’s Beijing Marathon that the U.S. Embassy in the Chinese city called the conditions “hazardous.”

Ethiopians Girmay Birhanu Gebru (2:10:42) and Fatuma Sado Dergo (2:30:03) were the men’s and women’s champions, but their victories were overshadowed by the poor air quality that plagued the race and forced many runners to don breathing masks and/or drop out.

Briton Chas Pope, 39, withdrew from the race after 10K despite wearing a mask that filtered out much of the pollution.

“When I looked at the state of the mask after 10 km I decided enough was enough,” he Tweeted, according to a CNN report. “It felt pretty ridiculous given we’re meant to be running for health and fitness.”

China is infamous for its air pollution, which is caused by a combination of coal plants and car exhaust. The pollution led to marathon great Haile Gebrselassie’s withdrawal from the Beijing Olympics marathon in 2008. He suffered from asthma and was worried about what the poor air would do to his lungs.

The smog contains particles called PM2.5, short for particulate matter that is less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. Its small size means it can become embedded into the lungs. The World Health Organization says a PM2.5 level of 25 micrograms per cubic meter should be the highest amount humans should be exposed to in a 24-hour period. The levels during the Beijing Marathon were more than 405 micrograms per cubic meter, according to Beijing Air. That’s more than 16 times the recommended limit.

State Air, part of the U.S. Department of State, says a PM2.5 level of between 301-500 is considered “hazardous,” and that “everyone should avoid all outdoor exertion.”

As for the race, Ethiopian Abebe Negewo Degefa (2:10:54) was the second men’s finisher and Kenyan Solomon Bushendich Naibei (2:11:07) was third. Ethiopian Meseret Kitata Tolwak (2:31:08) was the women’s runner-up and China’s Gong Lihua (2:32:23) placed third.

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Petersen, Folts Win Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/petersen-folts-win-rock-n-roll-denver-marathon_116277 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/petersen-folts-win-rock-n-roll-denver-marathon_116277#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 21:52:20 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116277

As far as he knew, 26-year-old Andy Wacker was fully prepared for this morning’s Janus Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon & ½

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As far as he knew, 26-year-old Andy Wacker was fully prepared for this morning’s Janus Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon & ½ Marathon. He was sure the race started at 8 a.m. and arrived an hour early to stretch. But as he made his way to the start line, he noticed other runners rushing by in a big hurry. Very quickly, panic set in. He wasn’t an hour early. He was seriously late, arriving with just a minute to spare before the gun went off.

“I didn’t get to warm up quite like I wanted to and I definitely sprinted from my car and luckily got to the start line just in time. Don’t ever make that mistake!” he said, laughing. “It was way too close.”

In the end, his mix-up didn’t cost him anything except a little extra energy. Wacker would go on to win the half marathon in 1:05:42. He ran alongside fellow Boulder resident Brent Vaughn for the first few miles, before making his move and maintaining his lead from mile 5 to the finish. Vaughn would finish in third place in 1:08:17, behind Benjamin Zywicki in second at 1:07:54.

In the women’s race, Kristen Arendt, 25, of Niwot, won her very first half marathon. A graduate of Adams State College where she ran track, Arendt’s first venture into longer distances was a learning experience.

“I went out too fast. I had to remind myself I wasn’t running a 10K,” she said. “Then I just got into a rhythm and kept reminding myself I had a long way to go. I loved the crowd though. The energy here is so different than any race I’ve ever run so even though it felt long and mentally tiring, at least there’s someone there the whole way cheering you on.”

Also at stake was the USATF Colorado Half Marathon Championships, which was moved to the Janus Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver event after the recent cancellation of the Boulder Marathon. The Championships offered additional prize purse bonuses and added recognition for several top finishers, including Wacker and Arendt. Local runners were also competing for a Colorado-resident prize purse.

In the marathon, Paul Petersen of Fort Collins won handily, more than 15 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor in 2:26:43. An experienced marathoner with dozens of 26.2 mile races under his belt, Petersen said winning this race was special.

“This is one of the biggest races in the state, so it’s an honor,” he said. “It’s pretty hilly so it’s a very honest course but I felt great. It’s all about going out and competing against the best people you can. Winning this race is a big deal to me.”

In the women’s marathon, Lakewood’s Monica Folts, 28, finished first in 2:58:29, ahead of Kerry Nekuda (3:06:00) and Annie Poland of Denver (3:08:15).

More than 15,000 runners participate in the 5th annual Janus Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon & ½ Marathon, which debuted a new course and 10K on a perfect fall day.

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Ben Bruce Wins Fourth RNR Marathon Of The Year In St. Louis http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/ben-bruce-wins-fourth-rnr-marathon-year-st-louis_116272 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/ben-bruce-wins-fourth-rnr-marathon-year-st-louis_116272#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:56:08 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116272 Ben Bruce won his fourth Rock 'n' Roll Marathon of the year.

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More than 12,000 runners ran in the Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis Marathon races on Oct. 19. Photo: Rod Mar

More than 12,000 runners ran in the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Marathon races on Oct. 19. Photo: Rod Mar

Ben Bruce won his fourth Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon of the year.

As sunrise broke over the iconic Gateway Arch on Sunday morning, 12,000 runners readied themselves for a chilly morning journey through the streets of St. Louis. The Rungevity Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Marathon & ½ Marathon presented by The Quinn Family Foundation returned for a fourth year.

Des Soto resident Charles Beiseman, 33, toed the start line trying to defend his two-year marathon champion title, but the new 2014 marathon course proved to be his downfall. He ran strong with Ben Bruce of Flagstaff, Ariz. until mile 15, but after the hill on the backside of the course, Beiseman’s cadence slowed. Bruce took the lead and ran a few solid 5:25 minute mile splits, and then maintained that tempo all the way to the finish for the win in 2:27:32. Beiseman placed second in 2:38:06, followed by third place finisher Michael Horn in 2:38:22.

“It was a perfect morning for marathon running—cold at the start, not much wind with blue skies. The course was hilly with fairly gentle ups and downs, but I got into a good rhythm,” said Bruce. “My coach with Northern Arizona Elite is from St. Louis, and a lot of people from here follow our group. It was nice to have people are out there who know your name.”

Bruce is coming off of three other Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon wins this year including his debut marathon in February at the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans race (2:21:56), the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon on June 1 (2:23:50) and Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon on Sept. 28 (2:22:38).

“Up next, I want to race at Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas in November to hopefully accomplish winning five Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon races this year. I’ll take a chance at rolling the dice and see where I land among the finishers,” adds Bruce.

New St. Louis resident, Andrea Karl, 22, won the women’s marathon in 3:01:47. Her initial goal was to finish under 3:20 and was not expecting to win overall, particularly since this was her first marathon.

“I only came out to qualify for Boston, and I am extremely in awe of my win today,” said Andrea Karl, who is originally from Columbus, Ohio but moved to St. Louis in July. “It was a challenging race, especially the second half of the course. The minute I decided to go to Washington University, I knew I had to sign up for this Rock ‘n’ Roll race. I wanted my first marathon to be in my new home. I really loved running through the arena district by Cardinals Stadium.”

Lisa Cary, 30, from Eureka, Mo., finished second in the women’s marathon in 3:08:41, followed by third place winner Amy Natalini, 32, from Belleville, Ill. in 3:09:57.

The men’s half marathon saw Scott Wietecha, 33, of Hendersonville, Tenn., victorious in 1:05:51. Wietecha is the reigning marathon champion in Nashville at the St. Jude Country Music Marathon, which is also run by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. Zachary Meineke ran close to Weitecha for the duration of the race, but ultimately placed second in 1:06:09. Larry Huffman rounded out the top three men’s half marathon finishers in 1:14:27.

“I enjoy the Rock ‘n’ Roll races and was looking for a fall run. Coming here was a cool chance to see the city and have a 24-hour vacation,” said Wietecha, who won the Country Music Marathon the last two years and recently started an elementary school cross country team in Nashville, made up of about 47 third and fourth grade students. “The course was tough, lots of ups and downs, but luckily that’s how Nashville is. I was looking over my shoulder for the second place runner and he kept pushing me to go faster. I was trying to run 67 minutes, but he pushed me to finish in under 66 minutes.”

Lindsey Scherf, 28, from Chapel Hill, NC, landed first place in 1:17:30. Amanda Albrecht, 24, from Fetus, MO, was not far behind, placing second in 1:22:59. Last year Albrecht placed third in 1:25:38. This year’s third place finisher was Liz Speicher from Edwardsville, IL, 24, who crossed the finish line in 1:23:14.

“I’ve run a couple of the Rock ‘n’ Roll races and I’m competing in the event’s Grand Prix Series,” said Lindsey Scherf, who will be competing in next weekend’s inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Vancouver Half Marathon. “It was a beautiful tour of St. Louis’ tree-lined streets and the breathtaking Arch in the background, along with tons of cheering spectators. I was looking to come out for the win today, so that felt good.”

Through the race’s partnership with Rungevity and The Quinn Family Foundation, more than half-a-million dollars was raised this year for two St. Louis charities, the Ranken Jordan Pediatric Hospital and Team Activities for Special Kids (TASK). One hundred percent of what was raised goes directly to the official Rungevity charities, and includes the opportunity for a match donation from The Quinn Family Foundation. The Quinn Family Foundation’s mission is to provide funding for organizations that serve children with special needs and organizations through its new endurance fundraising program, Rungevity. Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital is the first pediatric bridge that helps kids and families transition from acute hospital care to home. Team Activities for Special Kids, a nonprofit, year-round instructional sports program for kids with special needs, has utilized the event’s charity racing program for the past three years, raising more than $2.5 million toward their $4.5 million capital campaign.

More than 12,000 runners participated over race weekend, which included a new Rock ‘n’ Roll 5k on Saturday and a marathon, half marathon, relay and another 5k on Sunday. All finishers earned a medal at each race, however runners who participated in both Saturday and Sunday’s events earned a special Remix Challenge medal to commemorate their accomplishment.  The event is famous for lining the race route with live, local bands and enthusiastic cheerleaders.

The 5th annual race will return to St. Louis on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015.

2014 Rungevity Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Marathon & ½ Marathon

Men’s Marathon

1. Ben Bruce, 32, Flagstaff, AZ, 2:27:32, $500 2. Charles Beiseman, 33, De Soto, MO, 2:38:06 3. Michael Horn, 24, St. Louis, MO, 2:38:22

Women’s Marathon

1. Andrea Karl, 22, St. Louis, MO, 3:01:47, $500 2. Lisa Cary, 30, Eureka, MO, 3:08:41 3. Amy Natalini, 32, Belleville, IL, 3:09:57

Men’s Half Marathon

1. Scott Wietecha, 33, Hendersonville, TN, 1:05:51, $250 + $350 time bonus* 2. Zachary Meineke, 26, Wauwatosa, WI, 1:06:09, $200 time bonus* 3. Larry Huffman, 31, Waterloo, IL, 1:14:27

Women’s Half Marathon

1. Lindsey Scherf, 28, Chapel Hill, NC, 1:17:30, $250 2. Amanda Albrecht, 24, Festus, MO, 1:22:59 3. Liz Speicher, 24, Edwardsville, IL, 1:23:14

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Ask Mario: How Do I Deal With Crowded Race Starts? http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/training/ask-mario-deal-crowded-race-starts_116032 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/training/ask-mario-deal-crowded-race-starts_116032#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:24:54 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116032

A crowded start can throw you off your game. Photo: jan kranendonk / Shutterstock.com

Weaving through other runners to hit your goal split will almost always come back to bite you.

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A crowded start can throw you off your game. Photo: jan kranendonk / Shutterstock.com

Q.

Mario, 

In bigger races I always find myself bobbing and weaving through other runners in the first mile and lose a lot of time. What can I do to combat this?

Thanks!

Lydia S. 

A.

Lydia,

Trying to find your rhythm in the early miles of a crowded race can not only be frustrating—but the constant starting, stopping and surging to find running room during the first mile or so can cost you valuable seconds or minutes by the time you reach the finish line. Aside from seeding yourself in the proper starting corral, the best thing you can do once you’re out on the course is exercise patience and find as straight a line as possible to run until the crowds start to thin out a mile or two into the race. Yes, this will likely mean that you’re a few seconds per mile slower than your goal pace to start, but in a longer race such as a half or full marathon you’ll be able to conserve energy until some running room opens up and you can find your stride. When you’re out on the course, plan ahead for high-traffic areas such as turns and water stops to avoid (or at least minimize) some of the inevitable congestion that takes place in those areas. Aggressively weaving through other runners to hit your goal split, especially early on in the race, will almost always come back to bite you in the final few miles when you’re trying to finish strong, but having a plan and conserving some energy early on will allow you to ratchet down the pace in pursuit of a new PR.

Go get it!

Mario

Ask Mario appears monthly in Competitor magazine and weekly on Competitor.com. Have a question for Mario? Submit it here.

 

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