Archive for the ‘ Events ’ Category

Firecrack 4-miler

firecracker4

I’m so EXCITED! I officially signed up for my first race after my injury. It’s the Firecracker 4-miler in Cranford, NJ. Guaranteed to be, well, a blast! 🙂

The race boast tree lined streets and bike trails complete with water stations and a USATF certified course. The festivities don’t stop with the end of the race though. There’s an after party with refreshments, balloons, popcorn, music and face painting. A perfect gathering for the whole family! Best part? Entrants not only get a commemorative race t-shirt, but a Firecracker pint glass as well!  I can’t wait! 🙂

Happy running, my friends! 😀

Are You a Fan of Fad Runs?

Color_RunThere is a new breed of racing running rampant around the country. Tough Mudder, Spartan, Mud Run, Zombie Chases, Color Runs, and now Electric Runs (think neon lights and glow sticks). Bored with running a 5k? Not interested in a PR? Want to entice your non-running buddies into joining your uber-fun relay team? Don’t worry! There’s a whole slew of new, exciting races just for you! At least that’s what the organizers of these new races would like you to think and get you to sign up for these runs. More expensive than their same-distance counterparts, these new fun runs are filled with anything and everything that might keep your attention. And if your interested in obstacles and entertainment more than running, then you’ve come to the right place.

I’m personally not a fan of these new fad runs. I like to run in races. That’s it. Run. No bells and whistles, no undead hunting me down, no sprays of color exploding in my face. I’m glad that these runs get people out and active. What I don’t like is the danger element involved in the obstacle-centered ones like the mud runs and their counterparts. While the risk of injury is minimum, it’s still a definite factor. More and more reports are coming out of people being seriously hurt or killed during these runs. The most recent report was of a man who drowned in one of the obstacles at a Tough Mudder in West Virginia in April. It sounds like negligence on the part of both the race organizers and those they hired to man the stations, but here’s the article so you can judge for yourselves. On a more personal note, a friend of mine recently signed up for a run that was supposed to be just a fun run with some friends. She returned with her elbows and knees bruised and bloodied due to the army crawls under low hanging wires. Problem was the ground was littered with small stones that dug into her arms and legs as she maneuvered through the obstacles. She didn’t want to complete some obstacles but because of the mass of people pushing around and behind her felt forced to do so.

While I don’t think all these new fad runs are dangerous, I think that because of their popularity race officials should be more aware of the potential injuries or dangerous situations that might occur and prepare accordingly. And if you love these runs – great! It’s always fun to find new, exciting challenges that get you and your friends running.

Happy running! 🙂

Beer + Running

beerracesPeople everywhere are discovering the joys of running. And beer. With the number of running participants growing exponentially in the past few years, it’s easy to find a race to enter every weekend of the year. Creating new race themes also seems to be in vogue, so with craft beer on the rise around the country, pairing the two seems like the next logical step.

Some of my favorite races are the ones that incorporate beer into them. I’ve gotten pint glasses from a half marathon and a four-miler that I’ve run. I still feel a sense of pride every time I pull them out of the cabinet to use. Local pubs and bars often sponsor races and discounted pints after the race. And while I’m not a fan of running and drinking at the same time – I’d rather enjoy my frosty brew as a post-race reward – beer races are growing in popularity. There’s even a website devoted to beer races – willrunforbeer.com. Then there’s the Beer Mile where participants must follow strict rules regarding chugging beers in between running laps around a track.

Have fun finding your next beer race. Happy running and remember to drink responsibly! 😀

 

(Note: The illustration was created by artist John Hendrix for Peter Sagal’s article in the September 2012 issue of Runner’s World.)

Running a Half Marathon

halfmarathonMarc Parent, author of the Newbie Chronicles in the Runner’s World magazine, wrote an article for the February 2013 issue documenting his first half marathon running experience. For years Parent has been writing about his experiences in becoming a runner and growing to love it. I love his article as I could relate to many of his stories. When I first began running I never dreamed that I would run in any race let alone a half marathon. It wasn’t that I was unfit, but when it came to prolonged cardio activities I definitely had a lot of room for improvement. (I’ll post about my first running experience in a near future post.)

My first half marathon wasn’t anything like Parent’s experience. I ran in the Delaware Half Marathon, my first, in 2009. A combination of my naivety and the circumstances of the day made for a rough run. Since I was coming in from out of town, a friend who was running in the same race offered to pick up my race packet the day before and give it to me before the race. Except for some reason she took out the bib number and subsequently forgot it at her apartment. Which meant I had to run around the morning of to try and obtain a new number, something that baffled the race volunteers – guess that doesn’t happen very often. By the time I finally got a new bib number a light drizzle had begun to fall. No problem I thought. I’d run in the rain before and wasn’t worried about it affected my ability to run or finish the race.

By the time I lined up at the start, the rain had begun to come down with more intensity. At the official’s signal I took off – way too fast. I pounded out the first few miles, waving happily to my girlfriend who later said she couldn’t believe how quickly I ran past her at the three-mile mark. By that time it was pouring and I was soaked through and through. The course wasn’t particularly difficult, but I soon realized how ill-prepared I was for this half-marathon. Around mile 6 I got a cramp in my side so painful that I was forced to walk for the next half mile. Eventually I was able to run once more, but at a much slower pace. My intention had always been to just finish the race as it was my first half marathon, so I didn’t worry about my pace focusing instead on the finish line.

Around mile 11 I hit the dreaded wall. My legs were had tightened and I had hit the bottom of my reserves. I ran/walked the last couple of miles and managed to move past the pain to cross the finish line. I don’t even remember my time. I just remember the feeling of euphoria and relief at crossing through the finishing gate. Despite the less than stellar run, I felt like I could conquer the world. And I knew I wanted to run another half marathon, only next time I’d be more prepared. 🙂

(Note: I ran in the Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2011 and loved every minute of it. I had trained well and finished with a time of 2:06. My goal for the half marathon, yet to be determined, this year is to break 2 hours.)

Happy running!

 

Happy New Running Year!

Resolution Run 2013 logo

Happy New Year! It’s officially 2013 and no matter how you chose to ring in the new year, today is a great day to start building those good habits and positive changes that you hoped to establish when that final calendar page turned.

Today I’m starting my new year with a 5k Resolution Run. When you enter, you can write a short sentence of your resolution for 2013 and the race organizers print out all the resolutions for people to read. Some are inspiring, some funny, some serious, but all look forward to what could be a reality in the year to come. It’s one of my favorite races of the year not just because of the resolutions but because it’s so well organized, has a great running course through neighborhoods where sleepy families come out to their driveways to cheer the runners on, you receive a hooded sweatshirt instead of the traditional t-shirt, and it sets the tone for building those good new year’s habits.

Happy Running New Year! 😀

 

Running Toward the New Year

Male Runner in Snow   2013 is fast approaching and with it a fresh page on the calendar. While I’m a big proponent of making year-long resolutions as it easier for me to stick to goals if I make and follow through with them throughout the year, there is one special running goal I have for 2013. Run at least one race each month for the entire year.

I’ve thought about accomplishing this goal for a while, but haven’t been able to follow through due to various circumstances. 2013 is going to be the year.

Lately, my free time has been spent searching online for races in my area for each month of 2013. I’d like to run shorter races each month culminating in a half marathon or marathon next fall. Not only will the shorter races be fun, but they will help prepare me while I’m training for my longer race in the fall.

I’m sure I’ll set additional running goals, but this is my primary one. Do you have any running or fitness goals for the new year?

Happy running! 😀

KIdLit Cares

My director at work brought this initiative to my attention a couple days ago. Created to help those affected by the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, the goal of this program is to auction of things that writers and readers might be interested in with the proceeds going directly to the Red Cross disaster relief fund. I’ve perused the auction and it’s really amazing what people from all over have donated to help this cause. Anything from Skype visits to editorial critiques to autographed books to school visits. Agents, editors, authors and the like have banded together to give of their time and services in order to help those in need.

I checked out some of the auction items and was blown away both by the generosity of what was being auctioned off as well as how many people are bidding! It’s definitely worth checking out at Joanne Levy’s blog/website. As of today, there are 64 Auction items up for grabs. Stop by and see what cool stuff you can win while you help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.