Saturday, January 31, 2009

Train for ING Georgia at West Stride

While I don’t normally like to venture far from my neighborhood to run, I woke up early this morning to check out the 8 a.m. group runs at West Stride. The drive across Atlanta was worth it. Over 40 runners showed up for training runs for the ING Georgia Marathon and Half-Marathon. Genie Beaver, owner of West Stride, really knows how to pamper runners. Prior to hitting the road, Genie offered free energy supplements to sample, including Jelly Belly Sports Beans, Hammer and Gu. Post run, we were treated to hot coffee, fruit salad and breakfast breads. Runners were also offered a chance to chat with the Adidas rep and try out the Supernova Glide.

Next week, West Stride will host group runs for 8-mile and 16-mile routes. Both the Mizuno ING Pace Team and the Chattahoochee Road Runners will be on hand. Post run, orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine expert Dr. Thomas Myers will offer advice on running injury prevention and treatment.

If you plan to run the ING Georgia, consider joining Team Tiara. It’s a fundraising effort that supports Girls on the Run (GOTR), which fosters self-confidence and a healthy lifestyle for girls through its running programs. Team Tiara hosts its next group training run at West Stride on February 21st.

This week’s route is the 6.4-mile run from West Stride. You can find the route at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

· Start from West Stride and run south (toward I-75) on Northside Pkwy.
· Turn right on West Paces Ferry and cross the street at the crosswalk
· Turn left on Nancy Creek Rd.
· Head straight on Nancy Creek and cross W. Wesley Rd.
· Turn left on Ridgewood Rd.
· Turn left on Ridgewood Terr.
· Turn left on Moores Mill
· Turn left on Peachtree Battle
· Turn right on Margaret Mitchell Dr.
· Turn left on Ridge Valley Rd.
· Turn right on Wesley Pkwy.
· Turn left on Margaret Mitchell Dr.
· Turn left on W. Wesley Rd.
· Turn right into Westminster complex
· Turn right at first road (no street name) and follow through complex
· Turn right on W. Paces Ferry
· Turn left on Northside Pkwy.
· End at West Stride

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Plan Your Next Vacation Around Running

The cold weather has settled into Atlanta and it’s got me thinking about warmer climates. Growing up in Florida, I’m not well-suited for temperatures dipping below 60 degrees.

At November’s ZOOMA Atlanta race, I visited a booth for Running Away which is a travel company that offers running-themed vacations. Each travel package includes hotel accommodations, meals and a running expert who leads the runs. Running Away offers three types of trips:

1) Active Running Vacations – these trips combine daily runs with sight seeing in popular locations, such as New York City, Florida and California’s Wine Country.

2) Training Trips – if you’re preparing for a marathon or half-marathon, this can be an ideal travel package. Trips are available for New York City, The Berkshires and Colorado.

3) Voluntourism – if you’re looking for a real adventure, this is a trip to consider. Travel to Gambia in West Africa and spend part of your stay in a local village working on community projects.

Running Away also offers custom-designed trips for groups. A team of travel and running experts will help you choose your destination, accommodations, running routes and food.

This week’s route comes from Adam at, which is one of my favorite sources for local running routes. It’s a 10-mile run through Decatur, Emory and Virginia-Highland.

· Start at the East Lake Marta Station, on the corner of E. Lake Rd. and W. College Ave.
· Head east on W. College (turn left)
· Turn left on N. McDonough St.
· Cross Trinity and run through the Square to get to Clairmont Ave.
· Run down Clairmont and cross Commerce and Scott Blvd.
· Turn left on N. Decatur Rd.
· From N. Decatur, veer right on Haywood Dr.
· Run past Druid Hills High School and the Children’s Hospital
· Turn on right on Clifton Rd.
· Run past the CDC
· Turn left on Briarcliff Rd and veer right on Johnson Rd.
· Stay on Johnson Rd. as it turns into N. Highland Rd.
· Stay on N. Highland Rd.
· Turn left on Ponce de Leon Ave.
· Stay on Ponce de Leon
· Veer right onto E. Lake Rd.
· End at the East Lake Marta Station

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Legacy of Fred Lebow Celebrated at Local Film Festival

Among the movies featured at this year’s Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is Run for Your Life. It’s the story of Fred Lebow, the legendary founder of the New York City Marathon. The film is a celebration of running and a man who made a lasting impact on the sport.

You can see the film next Sunday, January 18 at the Lefont Theater in Sandy Springs. It starts at 11:50 a.m. Atlanta’s own legendary runner Jeff Galloway will introduce the film. You can purchase tickets and view a trailer for the movie at the film festival’s site.

This week’s route is a 3.5 mile run through Druid Hills and Fernbank. You can find the route at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

· Start at the parking lot of the Fernbank Museum
· Turn right on Clifton Rd
· Turn right on E. Clifton Rd
· Turn right on Conventry Rd
· Turn right on Heaton Park Dr
· Turn left on Atwood Rd
· Turn right on Ponce de Leon Ave
· Turn right on N. Ponce de Leon Ave
· Turn right and cross Ponce de Leon Ave
· Veer right onto S. Ponce de Leon Ave
· Cross Ponce de Leon
· Turn left on Lullwater Estate
· Follow Lullwater back to Ponce de Leon
· Turn left on Ponce de Leon
· Turn left on Clifton Rd
· End at the Fernbank parking lot

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Warm Up During Winter with Atlanta Road Races

Winter in Atlanta is typically a pleasant time of year to run. It’s also a great time to support local causes through road races. At, there were nearly 20 races listed in the Atlanta area. Here are a few that support local charities:

Around Peachtree Battle 5K – January 10
Proceeds go to the Atlanta Union Mission’s women and children’s shelter.

CDLS 5K – February 7
Event benefits the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation and research facilities.

Merrick’s Walk & 5K Fun Run – February 22
The event is in memory of Galloway School Alum Merrick Ryan, who died of complications from anorexia. Proceeds benefit EDIN.

Druid Hills Fun Run 5K/1K Fundraisers – February 22
Event benefits the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer survivorship.

Jeanne’s Memorial Run – February 28
Proceeds support Noah's Ark Animal Rehabilitation and Child Care Homes.

Hunger Run 2009 – March 1
Event benefits the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Shamrock N’ Roll 5K/10K Road Race – March 15
Hosted by the Junior League of Atlanta, the event supports the community partners of this women’s organization.

Rhodes Race 5/10K – March 21
This inaugural race benefits the Georgia Trust for Historical Preservation.

I found another interesting route this week at It’s a 4.5-mile run through Buckhead.

· Start at the corner of Pharr Rd. and N. Fulton Dr.
· Turn right on Peachtree Rd.
· Turn left on W. Paces Ferry Rd.
· Turn right on Habersham Rd.
· Turn right on Roswell Rd.
· Turn left on Buckhead Ave.
· Turn right on Maple Dr.
· Turn right on Pharr
· End at starting point