Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com Your Online Source for Running Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:54:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Dorothy Beal: Everyone Has a Favorite, Right? http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/saucony-26-strong/dorothy-beal-everyone-favorite-right_116568 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/saucony-26-strong/dorothy-beal-everyone-favorite-right_116568#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:54:46 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116568

Views like this is one reason why every run is Dorothy Beal's favorite. Photo: Dorothy Beal

Dorothy Beal writes about her favorite runs—all of them.

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Views like this is one reason why every run is Dorothy Beal's favorite. Photo: Dorothy Beal

A favorite color. A favorite place. A favorite season.

A favorite food. A favorite movie. A favorite book.

Once I became a parent, I realized favorites as a singular were becoming a thing of my past. I have three children—I love them all equally yet differently. They each have something extra special about them that makes me love them in a unique way, but ask me what child out of the three is my favorite and I can’t answer. I love them all—they are all my favorites.

I feel this way about running. There are years in my life when I may like a particular workout more, or a certain race better, but really when it comes down to it—I love them all.

I love long runs and short runs, slow runs and fast runs, good runs and bad runs—they are all runs—and each and every one of them cumulatively have molded me as a person and as a runner.

Currently (and by currently I mean this month) I really am enjoying the mid-range double digit mid-week run. I like going throughout my day knowing that I have conquered a solo double digit run. The run gives me the perfect amount of energy while also giving me the perfect amount of exhaustion. I feel accomplished and strong, yet tired and worn out—a wining combination in my eyes. The crisp fall weather and the beautiful sights on my runs have been making me enjoy these runs even more than in past years.

This weekend, I will be running my “favorite marathon,” but really it just holds a very special place in my heart, a place in my heart that also holds amazing memories of other marathons as well. While I may say when pressed the Marine Corps Marathon is my favorite, really I have loved all of the 27 marathons I have run, just in different ways. It’s hard to nail down a favorite anymore.

I challenge you to stop picking favorites when it comes to workouts and races, and find the good or great in all of them! When you do this, the workouts that you may like a little less than others become more bearable because you aren’t focusing on how much you dislike them and how much you enjoy others.

I whisper into my children’s ears daily—YOU are my favorite. I’m not lying or sugar coating it—they are all my favorite—just like my runs.

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

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Nike CEO Mark Parker on Women’s Apparel, Wearables and More http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/nike-ceo-mark-parker-on-womens-apparel-wearables-and-more_116563 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/nike-ceo-mark-parker-on-womens-apparel-wearables-and-more_116563#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:21:24 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116563

Nike CEO Mark Parker is "bullish" on the company's relationship with Apple.

Mark Parker discussed a variety of subjects during a recent interview with Bloomberg.

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Nike CEO Mark Parker is "bullish" on the company's relationship with Apple.

At the Nike Women’s Summit in New York City this week, Nike CEO Mark Parker sat down with Bloomberg for a wide-ranging interview that touched on a number of subjects.

Parker talked about the brand’s apparel for women, which is a large part of the business. Nike, Parker said, has been working with female athletes for more than four decades.

“And it happens to be one of the most vibrant and fast-growing parts of our business,” Parker said. “So we’re incredibly excited about where we are, and more importantly where it’s going.”

Parker also said Nike will join forces with Apple for wearables, which he says will be “a big part of the future.”

“I think the form it takes is what’s critical,” he said. “I think what you’ll see in the future are things that are more stealth, more integrated, more stylish and more functional.”

Parker also talked about Nike’s focus on sponsoring mostly athletes vs. events.

Watch the complete interview:

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With Olympics in Mind, Canada’s Natasha Wodak to Race RnR Vancouver http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/natasha-wodak-returns-racing-rnr-vancouver_116554 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/natasha-wodak-returns-racing-rnr-vancouver_116554#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:22:30 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116554

Natasha Wodak won the Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon last year. Photo: www.photorun.net

The 32-year-old has dealt with plantar fasciitis this year and is still on the mend

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Natasha Wodak won the Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon last year. Photo: www.photorun.net

Anyone who runs knows this sport isn’t for the weak of heart. Perseverance in all things is paramount. For the past seven months, Natasha Wodak—the Canadian-record holder in the 8K—has been living this lesson on a daily basis.

Last year, the 32-year-old Vancouver resident had been making waves in the Canadian running scene. At the Harrier’s Pioneer 8K in January 2013, Wodak clocked 25:28, which was good for a new Canadian record. She also happened to run faster than five of the 346 male runners in the race.

That same year, she won the Canadian Cross Country title in the 7K and set a new British Columbia women’s record for her inaugural marathon in Toronto (2:35:16).

This past June, Wodak was diagnosed with an injury runners especially dread: plantar fasciitis. She had been struggling with heel pain before that and says she thinks she may have pushed herself too hard in the late part of 2013 when she was achieving her impressive breakthroughs. In August and September, at the advice of her sports doctor, Wodak tried prolotherapy, a medical procedure that involves injecting a solution into the body in order to strengthen weakened connective tissue.

“That seems to have helped a bit,” she says of the procedure. Wodak has since returned to training in the past six weeks but things have not been ideal. “I’m still feeling pain in my heel. So we are taking things very slowly and cautiously.”

RELATED: New Techniques For Treating Plantar Fasciitis

But injuries and setbacks aside, Wodak is making a comeback at Sunday’s inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Vancouver Half Marathon. She says it will be a great opportunity for her to race. Because of all the time she missed training, however, she has realistic expectations—especially since she will run against some formidable opponents like Dayna Pidhoresky, a 1:11 half marathoner and also a Vancouver resident, and American Lindsey Scherf, who won this year’s edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Half Marathon.

“I’m not in ideal shape for this,” Wodak admits. “But since this is a Rock ‘n’ Roll race in Vancouver, I really want to do it. Whether or not I can be competitive is a different story. I just want to have fun.”

Wodak has maintained a positive attitude throughout this ordeal, but admits her heel injury has frustrated her.

“It’s so temperamental,” she says. “Some days, my heel will just say ‘I don’t like you, I’m going to flare up today,’ while on other days it leaves me alone; it’s weird. But I know it’s not just me that has been injured. Every elite runner I know has had to deal with something and comes back stronger from it.”

In order to stay grounded throughout this ordeal, Wodak, a self-described cat lover, has been dedicating time she would normally spend running volunteering at a local cat shelter in Vancouver. “I’m loving it. I do love cats, but I’m not a crazy cat lady,” she says with a chuckle.

Wodak remains optimistic that she’ll overcome the injury challenges and looks forward to the 2016 Olympic cycle, when she hopes to compete in the marathon—an event she feels especially drawn to because she enjoys training for it.

RELATED: Beto Duran: Sports Reporter, Rock ‘n’ Roll Runner

“I’m focusing on the bigger picture,” she says. “I want to concentrate on making the [Olympic] marathon standard and running in Rio. I’d like to get under 2:30 and think I can run that fast in the next few years.”

If she makes the 2016 Canadian Olympic team, Wodak says she wants to compete in Rio against two of her running heroes: Americans Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher.

This weekend, Wodak will be one of thousands taking to the streets of scenic Vancouver in both the half marathon as well as the 10K. Festivities kicked off on Friday with the Health and Fitness Expo. On Sunday afternoon, headliner Allen Stone and the Bad Rabbits band will get the post-race party started at the Finish Line Festival.

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13 Celebrities Running the 2014 NYC Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/celebrities-running-nyc-marathon_116534 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/celebrities-running-nyc-marathon_116534#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:55:44 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116534

These famous faces will be among the thousands taking to the streets of New York.

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Much like the city itself, the New York City Marathon plays host to a societal microcosm, albeit a ridiculously fit one, of runners from near and far, professional and age group athletes, charity runners, actors, politicians and famous faces from every walk of life. We’ve gathered a list of some of the notable names donning a number for charity to run through the five boroughs on November 2:

 

 

 

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Beto Duran: Sports Reporter, Rock ‘n’ Roll Runner http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/beto-duran-sports-reporter-rock-n-roll-runner_116528 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/beto-duran-sports-reporter-rock-n-roll-runner_116528#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:30:52 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116528

Sports radio personality Beto Duran will run his fifth Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon this weekend.

The ESPN Radio reporter spends his days running down stories and going for training runs.

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Sports radio personality Beto Duran will run his fifth Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon this weekend.

The ESPN Radio reporter spends his days running down stories and going for training runs.

One day Beto Duran will be lugging his tape recorder into Staples Center, cozying up to Kobe Bryant, scraping the inside dirt on the Lakers.

A day later, Duran might be pointing his car toward Chavez Ravine, fighting the media horde after Clayton Kershaw tosses another gem. Day 3 could mean heading to Westwood, working on a piece about UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley.

Adjusting the words slightly on an old saying: it’s a tough job being a Los Angeles sports reporter for ESPN-Radio’s 710, but somebody’s gotta do it.

“I really am living the dream,” says Duran, 36, born, raised and still living in Carson. “I always say, ‘Don’t wake me up.’ I’m afraid somebody’s going to tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘You’ve pulled this off long enough. Get back to reality.’”

Duran not only can run down stories, he can run, period. Duran has lined up for every Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon and will be there for the Oct. 26 fifth edition.

As runners go, Duran is hardly the uber serious type, keeping a log on every workout, counting fat gram intake, breaking down quarter-mile splits. He doesn’t even know his Rock ‘n’ Roll PR.

“One fifty and change?” he says, his voice trailing off to indicate the uncertainty.

This much he does know about the clock.

“As long as I beat two hours,” he adds, “I don’t care.”

RELATED: 49ers Legend Roger Craig Still On The Run

The fifth of seven children born to Mexican immigrants, Duran delivered the Daily Breeze newspaper as a kid. But before securing rubber bands around the paper, Duran would devour the sports section.

While he was an excellent student at Carson High, Duran had no idea what he wanted to do for a career.

“A doctor? A lawyer? I had no clue,” he admits.

He was working as sports editor of the school newspaper when the teacher said he had a knack for writing and might consider it as a profession.

“I didn’t know you could make a career out of this,” he says. “I guess all those years of being a paperboy I was learning something.”

Baseball was his preferred sport at Carson High, lining up in the outfield, erasing would-be base hits. He ran cross country in the fall to stay fit.

By his early 30s, the 6-foot-1 reporter weighed 210 pounds. Wanting to shed some weight, he committed to the first Rock ‘n’ Roll L.A. Half Marathon and hasn’t missed once since. He now weighs 200 pounds.

As you would expect from a man who’s paid to string together words, Duran’s eloquent in describing what moves him to run.

“Running’s the only workout you can’t cheat,” he says. “If you’re lifting weights, you don’t have to do all three sets. But once you start running, you’ve gotta turn around and come back.

“If you have a cramp, if you hurt, you can’t listen to your body and stop. You have to keep plugging away. And I know this sounds esoteric, but it helps you in your professional and personal life. You have to keep plugging away.”

RELATED: The Police Officer Who Keeps Running

Like any reporter who deals with athletes on a daily basis, Duran has his favorites. Count Kobe at the top of his list.

“Kobe is at his locker after every single game, win or lose,” he says. “And he speaks his mind. You may not want to hear it, but he speaks his mind.”

He admires Bryant’s work ethic too.

“I’m not saying it’s every game, but there are games Kobe shows up at 4 for a 7:30 tipoff,” recalls Duran. “The only people there are the guys working on the lights, Kobe and a coach. He might work on one drill, over and over. Then, come game time, he’ll execute the move. There’s a method to his madness.”

And some athletes rub him the wrong way.

“The superstars are usually the nicest,” he says. “The ones who think they’re superstars but aren’t, they’re the worst.”

Duran has run one marathon. His time: 5:01:00. “It rained like a monsoon,” he says.

He underwent knee surgery last February and has restricted his training to trails and soft track surfaces. To cross-train, he has added cycling with plans to race a triathlon.

The father of a 9-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, Duran typically gets in his runs after dropping off the kids at school.

“It clears your head,” he says.

Showing his professional versatility, he contributes to Time Warner Cable’s Lakers coverage, in Spanish and English, plus announces boxing.

He pays life lessons forward, often dropping in on high school journalism classes and sharing his tale.

Says Duran, “I tell them, ‘If I can do it, anybody can do it. Dream big, work hard, stay quiet and it can happen.’”

*****

About The Author:
Don Norcross is a San Diego-based sports writer, follow him on Twitter @Don_Norcross.

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Pilk’s Points: 5 Reasons Running is So Cool http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/staff-blog/pilks-points/pilks-points-cool-kids_116507 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/staff-blog/pilks-points/pilks-points-cool-kids_116507#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:48:45 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116507

Why exactly are runners so awesome? Photo: Shutterstock.com

We all know running is awesome, but why is that the case?

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Why exactly are runners so awesome? Photo: Shutterstock.com

I’m pretty sure Echosmith’s “Cool Kids” is directed toward us runners. As my friend said to me the other day, “Running is so cool.”

I nodded in agreement, naturally, but the next morning on my run, I started mulling over the reasons why this simple statement was actually totally true. Sure, it’s cool if you’re a runner and you’re obsessed with running and can’t talk or think about anything else (ahem), but what are the elements of our sport that truly make it totally rad?

  1. There are no rules. One would argue that there are “guidelines,” “suggestions” and/or “proper etiquette” when it comes to the various parts of running. But really—running is totally a rebel’s sport. I’m currently reading “Unbroken,” which chronicles the life of the late Louis Zamperini and his journey to the Olympics than through World War II (great book!), and “Louie” literally got into running because nothing else worked to calm down his wild side. Running dares you to try it without self-discipline—it’s the only thing that keeps you going. No referee will manifest in front of you during a hard 15-miler to tell you to slow down or drink more fluids. You’re on your own and make the rules as you go. Disclaimer: Yes, there are rules when it comes to the big-time events, but running—just running—is not defined by sidelines, fouls, offsides, holding or anything else that makes or breaks your other favorite sports.
  2. Our favorite athletes are available for comment. Isn’t it cool how accessible so many of our favorite elite athletes are via social media? I remember the first time I got a Tweet from an elite athlete. It was more a reaction of “Wow, this is cool” than “OMFG SHE ACTUALLY NOTICED ME.” It is cool—running continues to be a wide-reaching sport across the world, but it’s still niche enough that even elites at the top of the sport are talking to us age-groupers.
  3. People want to hang out with us. I sat in a meeting recently with a couple of dudes trying to bring a brand-new product to market for runners. Banter went back and forth about what works, what doesn’t, what’s aesthetically pleasing, does it make sense, who would buy it, does it work, etc. etc. What amazed me more than the actual product was the fact that these two people, runners themselves, wanted to hang out with more runners. On the Women’s Running side, more and more sport, lifestyle, yoga and anything else casual brands want to hang out in our magazine. Some the biggest names in the world—Nike, for example—bring in $5 billion annually for their women’s apparel. Lifestyle and running are intertwining—being a runner is becoming, literally, a lifestyle choice, and it’s cool to look like one too.
  4. Everyone gets a prize! One can argue that this is why I got into running—my parents told me, ever since I was a young thing, I’ve always competed for the trophy. Now, with so many debates surrounding social lessons and fairness with young children and trophies and participation medals, isn’t it nice to run off (no pun intended), enter a race, and get a medal just for crossing the finish line in 300th place? There’s no debate—participation in running is totally commendable. (Disclaimer: I started running for the carbs, not for the swag.)
  5. You really can run anywhere. Trail, road, beach, mountains, inside, dirt, boardwalk, treadmills, from those pesky TPS reports—you name it, we will run it, run it.

***

What’s cool about your run? Tweet @caitpilk and brag about it!

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ShoeTalk: Salomon Fellcross 3 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/video/shoetalk-salomon-fellcross-3_116508 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/video/shoetalk-salomon-fellcross-3_116508#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:19:08 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116508

Find out why this shoe is ideal for tackling rugged, sloppy trails.

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Find out why this shoe is ideal for tackling rugged, sloppy trails.

This week’s episode of Shoe Talk takes a closer look at the Salomon Fellcross 3, a shoe perfect for trail running on rugged terrain in sloppy conditions.

RELATED: Fall 2014 Trail Running Shoe Guide

 

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6 Creative Race Medals You Can Use Every Day http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/6-creative-race-medals-can-use-every-day_116483 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/6-creative-race-medals-can-use-every-day_116483#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:25:40 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116483

These medals do a little more than show off your accomplishment.

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These medals do a little more than show off your accomplishment.

As organizer of a “by runners, for runners” half marathon in Philadelphia, Carl Ewald and his team put together the ODDysey Half Marathon not even sure they wanted to pass out race medals.

“We weren’t going to give out medals at our race because we wanted to give out something more practical,” he says. “We wanted it to be something you could actually use instead of something that goes in a drawer.”

The race medal, though, is entrenched in the runner experience, and Ewald and his team quickly realized that many runners like them and want them. So the strategy shifted from “something more practical” to “a practical race medal.”

For the first few years of the event, ODDysey incorporated a bottle opener into their medal, and it was well-received. But races all over the country were doing it, too. So Ewald’s team took it a step further.

The result is impressive—their 2014 race featured a race medal with two holes in it that allows it to be screwed into the wall to serve as both a plaque and a mounted bottle opener.

Odyssey Medal

“We thought we’d take it to the next level,” Ewald said.

What he may not have expected is that it would take his race to the next level. The medal went viral online and people from all over were asking about obtaining one. The ODDysey team decided to set up an online remote race program for people to run 13.1 miles on their own to receive an ODDysey medal and T-shirt.

The ODDysey team is on to something—race medals aren’t going anywhere as a popular race-day perk, but they’re not for everyone. So why not make them practical to broaden the appeal?

We combed the country in search of the best multi-purpose race medals out there—medals that celebrate the hard work that went into completing a race, but with a clever-enough design to be a little more than sentimental.

Here’s what we found:

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Ask Mario: Do I Need Trail Shoes? http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/trail-running/ask-mario-need-trail-shoes_116482 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/trail-running/ask-mario-need-trail-shoes_116482#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:54:42 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116482

Your footwear needs often depends on the terrain you're running on. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

Your footwear needs often depends on the terrain you're running on.

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Your footwear needs often depends on the terrain you're running on. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

Q.

Mario,

I’m training for the Bandit 50K in Simi next year and pretty new to trail running. Do I really need shoes with rock plates?

Thanks,

Sam M.

A.

Sam,

Your question is not an uncommon one amongst newbie (and even some veteran) trail runners. The short answer is: it depends on the terrain.

While I’m not familiar with the Bandit 50K course, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into ahead of time so you can make the right decisions regarding your choice of footwear (as well as apparel, nutrition, etc., but those are topics we’ll save for another day). Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of excellent options available to you.

If the course is relatively tame with smooth, packed dirt that resembles a road, most traditional road shoes—perhaps even a racing flat depending on your experience using them—will work just fine. On such a course, having a rock plate in your shoe isn’t necessary and won’t provide any additional benefits.

Say the layout of the course isn’t so consistent, however, and features a blend of smooth singletrack and some rocky, root-strewn stretches of trail. In this case, a traditional road shoe might be OK, but a hybrid model with a slightly sturdier outsole and a little more cushion offers you more versatility and may be a better choice for tackling an off-road 50K. Many popular shoe brands such as ASICS, Nike, New Balance and Brooks make off-road versions of some of their popular road models, a few of which may feature a rock plate, and provide better protection over varying terrain.

Lastly, if the course is super technical with a ton of rocky terrain, steep climbs and out-of-control downhills, it’s important to protect your feet and minimize risk of injury. In these scenarios, a beefed-up trail shoe with aggressive outsole lugs, a reinforced toe box, extra cushion and rock plate will provide you a ton of protection over the long haul.

Happy trails!

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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International Trail Racing Insights from Rory Bosio http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/trail-running/international-trail-racing-insights-from-rory-bosio_116469 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/trail-running/international-trail-racing-insights-from-rory-bosio_116469#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:02:51 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116469

Rory Bosio is a two-time winner of the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc. Photo: Allison Pattillo

The ultra trail running champion has some things to keep in mind when it comes to racing internationally.

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Rory Bosio is a two-time winner of the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc. Photo: Allison Pattillo

The ultra trail running champion has some things to keep in mind when it comes to racing internationally.

As a two-time winner of the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc and a winner or contender at dozens of trail races across the U.S. and beyond, Truckee, Calif. resident Rory Bosio, 30, has collected some keen takeaways about the international racing scene.

On a personal level, Bosio sees running and racing abroad as a great way to travel and experience different cultures. And as a professional runner, she enjoys immersing herself in the local running scene at international races, practicing her foreign language skills and having fun doing what she loves. In addition to taking a cue from Bosio’s positive outlook, keep her insights in mind when you decide to toe the line in a distant land.

— The international public is much more aware and appreciative of trail and ultra racing, and races have much more hype and many more spectators. [Editor’s note: The beginning of the UTMB in Chamonix, an ultra trail race with 2,300 participants, had music, speeches, excitement, cheering fans, barricaded streets and thousands of spectators, enough to rival a major marathon in the U.S.]

— For the most part, trail and ultra races in Europe have more participants than races in the states, which means you are never really out in the middle of nowhere alone.

RELATED: Bosio Repeats As UTMB Champion

— European races, as well as some races in South America, don’t allow pacers. There is more of a sense of self-reliance to the experience. I enjoy having pacers, but it’s nice to mix things up too. I like the sense of a personal journey that comes with covering the course on my own.

— Fewer women race internationally and spectators are very excited and enthusiastic to see female race participants. As a female, it gives events a fun and cool energy.

— International racers are not as reliant on gels and fuels during races. They eat more real food, which I find is easier to eat during a race anyway. The aid stations usually have a yummy smorgasbord with dried meats, cheeses, bread, sandwiches, soup, cookies and chocolate. At an aid station about 20 hours in to the UTMB this year, I was handed a homemade pastry that had custard and blueberries on it. I had that and a cup of coffee for a great, normal—except for the fact that I was in the middle of a race—mid-morning snack. It was so good! I could have just sat down and continued eating. I also ate some sort of cured venison sausage—it was awesome! I wanted to go back and put some in my pack!

— The overall ability of European runners to be good at running technical descents—how fast they go and what they go over—is eye opening. We just don’t have as many trails that are that technical in the U.S. I’m definitely working on my skills because you can’t relax on the downhills. They are a place to make up a lot of time.

RELATED: Bosio’s Favorite Things

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Ultrarunners Chase Down Shoplifter in the Woods http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/ultrarunners-chase-shoplifter-woods_116477 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/news/ultrarunners-chase-shoplifter-woods_116477#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:48:22 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116477 Employees at an outdoor retailer in Tennessee nabbed a shoplifting suspect after a chase.

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Employees at an outdoor retailer in Tennessee nabbed a shoplifting suspect after a chase.

Note to shoplifters: Don’t try to outrun an ultrarunner.

This seems to be the takeaway from a story out of Chattanooga, Tenn., where a would-be thief saw his getaway end early after being chased down by several ultrarunners working at outdoor retailer Rock/Creek.

According to Trail Runner Magazine, 40-year-old Eric Loffland, the store’s Assistant Manager, immediately started running after the alleged shoplifter. Other employees joined him.

The pursuit went down a street and through some parking lots before entering the woods.

“Being a trail runner, it wasn’t hard to follow someone through the woods,” Loffland said in Trail Runner. Loffland, according to the story, has run several 50K and 100-mile races.

RELATED: Woman Runs Down Bike Thief In Seattle

Loffland said the suspect started slowing down once he hit the woods. Less than a mile later, Loffland and his co-workers caught up to him and waited for police to arrive and arrest the man.

Despite Loffland’s efforts, however, police—and some employers—typically frown upon citizens and shop owners chasing down shoplifters because of safety and legal reasons.

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Shoe Of The Week: Hoka One One Mafate Speed http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/shoes-and-gear/shoe-of-the-week-hoka-one-one-mafate-speed_116457 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/shoes-and-gear/shoe-of-the-week-hoka-one-one-mafate-speed_116457#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:32:04 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116457

The Mafate Speed is maximally cushioned and is best for more rugged terrain, but it is versatile enough to get by on less challenging routes too.

The Hoka Mafate Speed maximally cushioned trail shoe for technical trails. Fit-Feel-Ride: This Mafate Speed is true maximalism at its

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The Mafate Speed is maximally cushioned and is best for more rugged terrain, but it is versatile enough to get by on less challenging routes too.

The Hoka Mafate Speed maximally cushioned trail shoe for technical trails.

Fit-Feel-Ride: This Mafate Speed is true maximalism at its best. Yes, it has a ginormous midsole, putting your foot more than 30mm off the ground. But after a run or two getting used to it, it doesn’t feel overly large or clunky. The tradeoff for all of that cushioning is that there is less proprioceptive “feel” for the ground, so it depends what you really want from a shoe.

The Mafate Speed has a very soft ride, plus it flexes, twists and stretches to meet the features on the surface of the trail. It definitely runs better on mildly technical to very technical terrain, but it’s not too shabby on featureless, rolling dirt paths and gravel roads either.

Our wear-test team considered it an expert-level shoe, meaning if you’ve never worn Hokas before or run on technical terrain, you’ll need a period of adaptation in less maximally cushioned shoes and on milder terrain. But if you’ve worn Hokas previously on trails, you’ll totally get what the Mafate Speed is all about.

Like all Hoka shoes, the Mafate Speed includes a slightly rockered profile, a convex underfoot design that smoothly carries momentum through the gait cycle no matter your footstrike pattern. Runners beware, though: this is a lot of shoe. Compared to other trail shoes (and compared to other Hoka models), the Mafate Speed isn’t light, but our wear-testers said it’s less of an issue on rocky terrain. Also, the samples we received were about a half size too large compared to our wear-testers’ typical sizes. Be sure to try on both your typical size and a size a half size smaller to ensure you’re getting an optimal-fitting shoe.

This shoe is for you if … you want a maximally cushioned shoe capable of tackling mild to very technical terrain.

Price: $170
Weight: 12.0 oz. (men’s), 10.3 oz. (women’s)
Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm; 35mm (heel), 31mm (forefoot)
Info: hokaoneone.com

RELATED: Shoe Of The Week—New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Trail

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The Best Way To Warm Up http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/training/best-way-warm_116403 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/training/best-way-warm_116403#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:38:04 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=116403

Images produced with permission from Tom Michaud's Injury-Free Running.

Dynamic warm-up drills may be the single best way to prevent injuries and improve performance.

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Images produced with permission from Tom Michaud's Injury-Free Running.

Dynamic warm-up drills may be the single best way to prevent injuries and improve performance. 

As a rule, runners tend to be well-informed when it comes to understanding the best ways to stay healthy and avoid injury. Most runners pay close attention to their diet, monitor their weekly mileage, and replace their running shoes at regular intervals. Yet, when a group of nearly 100 experienced recreational runners were recently asked to name the most common cause for running-related injuries, the overwhelming majority of them cited “failure to stretch regularly” as the most common cause of running injuries. The authors of this study were concerned because the runners seemed to be unaware of the overwhelming body of research showing that stretching does not alter injury rates. To make matters worse, the belief that stretching protects you from injury is becoming even more prevalent.

So, with dozens of studies proving that stretching is a waste of time, why do so many experienced runners continue to stretch? To begin with, they may be right. While researchers are quick to point out that conventional static stretching is useless, Daniel Pereles and colleagues recently proved that runners intuitively know whether or not they should stretch. These authors randomly assigned 2,729 recreational runners to either a stretching or a non-stretching pre-run routine. Not surprisingly, there was no significant difference in injury rates between the runners who stretched versus the runners who didn’t stretch (which is typical of all studies on stretching). However, if a runner who routinely stretched was assigned to the non-stretch protocol, he/she was nearly twice as likely to sustain a running injury. Because of the number of participants, this single study proves that if you feel that stretching reduces your risk of injury, you should continue to stretch in spite of what experts tell you.

The somewhat surprising outcome associated with Daniel Pereles’s stretching study may have something to do with an inherent flaw in the way studies evaluating stretching and injury prevention are designed. Because of time constraints and compliance issues, almost every study on stretching has evaluated outcomes over a short period of time (usually less than 12 weeks). While research has shown that flexible people are less prone to exercise-induced muscle damage, other studies suggest that stretching for less than 3 months does not convert a stiff muscle into a flexible muscle. In fact, some great research proves that when stretched for just a few weeks, muscles respond by temporarily lengthening with no change in the muscles architecture.

RELATED: The Best Way to Treat Hamstring Injuries

In order to physically lengthen muscles, some experts suggest it is necessary to stretch for 4-6 months. In theory, when a muscle is repeatedly stretched for several months, cellular changes take place within the muscle allowing for a permanent increase in flexibility. Animal studies have shown that the increased flexibility associated with repeat stretching results from a lengthening of the connective tissue envelope surrounding the muscle fibers (the perimysium) and/or an increased number of sarcomeres being added to the ends of the muscle fibers (See Fig. 1 above). Apparently, converting a stiff muscle to a loose muscle is a long-term commitment.

Rather than spending months attempting to convert your stiff muscles into flexible muscles (with no guarantee that this will actually change your potential for being injured), the easiest way to avoid injury is to increase your body temperature prior to running. One of the few sports to take advantage of this research is professional football. Look at the sidelines of any NFL game and you’ll see players riding stationary bicycles prior to going out on the field. Because most runners do not have access to a stationary bike before they begin their routine run, the simplest way to increase your body temperature is to initially run with a slow jog. Slow running with a high cadence and a short stride length significantly decreases impact forces while your muscles gradually warm up. Since older runners tend to be stiffer, the length of time you spend warming up is age-dependent: 30- to 40-year-old runners should consider warming up for 5-10 minutes, while the 50 and older group should run slowly for up to 15 minutes.

Another way to increase your body temperature is with active dynamic running drills (See Fig. 2 above). Popular with elite and sub-elite runners, these drills allow you to slowly warm up your muscles and can even improve performance. A recent study found that compared to a control group, runners who performed 14 repetitions of each of the exercises listed in figure 2 had a 6 percent improvement in running endurance and a 3 percent increase in 3K race performance. This research suggests that regardless of whether or not you incorporate static stretching, dynamic warm-up drills may be the single best way to prevent injuries and improve performance.

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About The Author:

Dr. Thomas C. Michaud has been treating elite and recreational runners in the Boston area for more than 30 years. He has written several technical textbooks on clinical biomechanics, and has recently authored the book “Injury-Free Running: How to Build Strength, Improve Form, and Treat/Prevent Injuries,” available on Amazon.

References:

1. Saragiotto B , Yamato TP, Lopes AD. What do recreational runners think about risk factors for running injuries? A descriptive study of their beliefs and opinions. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2014;10:733-738.

2. Saragiotto BT, Yamato TP, Hespanhol Junior LC, Rainbow MJ, Davis IS, Lopes AD. What are the main risk factors for running-related injuries? Sports Med. 2014;44:1153-1163.

3. van Gent RN, Siem D, van Middelkoop M, van Os AG, Bierma-Zeinstra SM, Koes BW. Incidence and determinants of lower extremity running injuries in long distance runners: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med. 2007;41:469-480.

4. Herbert RD, de Noronha M. Stretching to pre¬vent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007: CD004577. http: //dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004577. pub2.

5. Pereles D, Roth A, Thompson D. A large, randomized, prospective study of the impact of a pre-run stretch on the risk of in¬jury on teenage and older runners. USATF Press Release 2012.

6. Malachy P, McHugh M, Connolly D, et al. The role of passive muscle stiffness in symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage. Am J Sports Med. 1999;27:594.

7. La Roche D, Connolly D. Effects of stretching on passive muscle tension and response to eccentric exercise. Am J Sports Med. 2006;34:1000-1007.

8. Kubo K, Kanehisa H, Kawakami Y, Fukunaga T. Influence of static stretching on viscoelas¬tic properties of human tendon structures in vivo. J Appl Physiol. 2001;90:520-527.

9. Fradkin AJ, Gabbe BJ, Cameron PA. Does warming up prevent injury in sport? The evidence from randomised controlled trials? J Sci Med Sport. 2006;9:214-220.

10. Turki O, Chaouachi D, Behm D et al. The effect of warm-ups incorporating different volumes of dynamic stretching on 10-and 20-M sprint performance in highly trained male athletes. J Strength Cond. 2012;26: 63-71.

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Workout Of The Week: The Halftime Fartlek http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/training/workout-of-the-week-the-halftime-fartlek_30049 http://running.competitor.com/2014/10/training/workout-of-the-week-the-halftime-fartlek_30049#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:00:07 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=30049

Fartlek workouts should be done away from the track. Photo: Mario Fraioli

Don't go faster than you should just because you're feeling good!

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Fartlek workouts should be done away from the track. Photo: Mario Fraioli

Don’t go faster than you should just because you’re feeling good!

I love fartlek workouts. You can do them almost anywhere, make them as hard as you want to and even change them on the fly if necessary.

The Halftime Fartlek is a session I like to use with athletes I coach who are returning to serious training after some time off, others who are peaking for a key race and some who might just be burned out from doing too much track work. The basic framework of the workout is the same in each case, but the duration of the intervals and the accompanying effort level can be adjusted to suit your needs.

So how does it work? In its most basic form, the halftime fartlek is a set of descending intervals of a pre-determined length at a given effort level. The recovery between intervals is half the time of the last one you completed, hence the name of the workout. For this workout you’ll need a basic watch, but a fancy GPS or heart-rate monitor is hardly necessary.

Scenario 1:

Say you’re just getting back into serious training after a few weeks of well-deserved downtime following a big race. You can set up the halftime fartlek as such:

— 10-15:00 warmup, then run 5-4-3-2-1 minutes at 10K effort, followed by a 10-15:00 cooldown. For recovery, take 2:30 of easy jogging after the 5:00 interval, 2:00 after the 4:00 interval, and so forth.

Or, you could shorten the length of the intervals and perform multiple sets, such as:

*10-15:00 warmup, 3-5 x [2:00-1:00-30 sec @ 5K effort], 10-15:00 cooldown. Again, recovery is half the duration of the preceding interval. Take 2-3 minutes in between sets.

Scenario 2:

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re approaching a big race and want to keep your legs moving in the final days leading up to it, perform the halftime fartlek 2-3 days beforehand. Adjust the length of the interval and effort level based on the distance you’ll be racing.

For example, heading into a shorter race such as 5K, I’d suggest the following variation of the halftime fartlek:

— 15:00 warmup, 4-3-2-1 minute pickups at 5K race effort. Recovery is—you guessed it—half the duration of the interval you just completed. Take 2-3 minutes between sets. Finish with a 15:00 cooldown.

That’s 10 minutes worth of broken-up running at race pace a couple days out from your big race. It’s enough to keep your neuromuscular system firing without wiping you out before the starter’s gun goes off. Of course, it’s up to you to keep yourself under control during the workout and not go faster than you should just because you’re feeling good.

For a 10K, simply bump up the duration of the intervals and back off the intensity a little bit. Two to three days before your 10K race, try the following workout:

— 15:00 warmup, 4-3-2-1 minutes @ 10K race effort, then 3-2-1 minutes slightly faster than race effort, all with halftime recovery. Take a 3-minute jog recovery between sets and finish with a 15:00 cooldown.

If approaching longer distances such as the half marathon or marathon, try the following version of the halftime fartlek four days before your race:

* 10:00 warmup, 8:00-6:00-4:00-2:00 all at goal race pace with halftime recovery between intervals, 10:00 cooldown.

Scenario 3:

Lastly, when in the middle of a training block, use the halftime fartlek to replace a descending ladder workout on the track. Instead of running around in circles to do an interval set of 1,600m, 1,200m, 800m, 400m, 200m at a few seconds per mile faster than your 5K race pace, head off the track and do the following (n.b. base the duration of the intervals on roughly the amount of time you’d anticipate taking to cover the equivalent distance on the track):

* 15:00 warmup, 7:00-5:00-3:00-1:00-30 seconds, starting at 5K effort and getting faster with each rep, 15:00 cooldown

Don’t worry about covering a set distance in a certain amount of time. When the watch says to stop, you stop. Pressure’s off. That’s the beauty of the halftime fartlek.

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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.

The post The Everyman: 7 Things To Look For at Your Turkey Trot appeared first on Competitor.com.

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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.

The post Competitor on Demand: Grapevines appeared first on Competitor.com.

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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

The post Competitor on Demand: Grapevines appeared first on Competitor.com.

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