Monday, July 27, 2009

New Half-Marathon Series in Atlanta

If you ran the ING Georgia Marathon/Half-Marathon, you probably received an e-mail promoting a new road race coming to Atlanta. The 13.1 Marathon hits Atlanta on October 4. It promises to be lively, with southern rock bands along the race course. If you’ve never run a half-marathon, you may want to check out this event. It’s geared towards novice runners and walkers. The course is a bit odd – running from Oglethorpe University to Perimeter Mall and back, with a good portion of the route along Ashford-Dunwoody Road. It’s not as picturesque as the ING Georgia course, but it’s convenient if you live in Buckhead or Brookhaven. The cost is $55 if you register by August 20. Afterwards, the cost goes up to $70.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Runners: Take Care of Your Feet!

When runners talk about injuries, it’s typically issues with knees or hamstrings. But feet can be especially vulnerable to problems if you don’t take care of them. While I’ve been able to run with knee issues, a foot or toe problem leaves me on the sidelines.

Who Knew Flip Flops Could Be Bad?
Believe it or not, wearing flip flops for long periods of time can affect the health of your feet. Why? According to a story in the New York Times, people alter their way of walking which can lead to pain in the feet, hips and lower back. Flip flops don’t provide arch support, heel cushioning or shock absorption and the shoes leave toes vulnerable.

Walking barefoot is also not a good option. Aside from leaving your feet exposed to sharp objects (like broken glass and pebbles), it can contribute to collapsed arches and flat feet.

This doesn’t mean that you need to stop wearing your favorite pair of flip flops. Just limit use to short periods of time. The Foot Solutions Atlanta blog offers helpful tips for foot care and injury prevention.

Pamper Your Feet with Professional Pedicures
I love this piece of advice I found at It’s important to keep toe nails short and properly trimmed. Pedicures also take care of calluses and moisturize feet and toes. While it may be tempting to save a few bucks by doing a pedicure at home, most people don’t do a good job of cutting toe nails properly. My own attempts to trim toe nails have occasionally led to hang nails –- very uncomfortable.

Give Your Running Shoes Time to Dry
Our feet sweat during runs, which can lead to moisture building up in your shoes. Do you run two or more days in a row? If so, consider purchasing an extra pair of shoes to alternate shoes between runs. This lets your shoes have an extra day to dry out.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Claims of Cheating at the Peachtree Road Race

The AJC published two separate stories this week concerning allocations of cheating at this year’s Peachtree Road Race. In Mark Bradley’s column, he complained about seeing 2 women with high seed numbers who passed the 2-mile mark before the elite runners – a clear sign they started the race past the official starting line. Bradley’s point – why participate if you’re not going to run fairly. The column attracted nearly 200 comments on; an indication that Bradley hit on a sore point with a lot of runners. Some of the comments expressed amazement at the number of “runners” they saw waiting at the side of the road to jump onto the course.

Yesterday’s front page featured a story about the disqualification of elite runner Tadese Tola over claims he deliberately elbowed another runner to finish fourth in the race. While I haven’t seen the video of his alleged misconduct, the photo in the AJC does show him tangled with runner Boaz Chebolywo near the finish line.

With 55,000 runners, it’s not surprising to me that issues of unsportsmanlike conduct would occur. However, I agree with Bradley and the comments at his column – why run a race if you don’t run the entire race? In the end, you’re just cheating yourself from achieving a true sense of accomplishment.

This week’s route is the course from the Peachtree Road Race. Click here for map.

· Start at the intersection of Peachtree and Lenox
· Follow Peachtree for approximately 5 ½ miles
· Turn left on 10th Street
· Finish at Piedmont Park

Friday, July 3, 2009

Peachtree Road Race: 55,000 Runners hit the Streets of Buckhead & Midtown

That grand old southern event, the Peachtree Road Race, celebrates 40 years of great running. For many local runners, it’s a traditional start to 4th of July festivities. The race starts at Atlanta’s most popular shopping district – at the corner of Lenox and Peachtree Roads.

Elite runners start at 7:30 a.m. while the last group of runners hit the road just before 9:00 a.m. Given our recent burst of summer humidity, it’s gonna feel hot out that at the starting line. But no need to worry since there will be plenty of water stations and bands along the route to keep runners moving.

Not into running the race? Join the thousands of spectators along the course to cheer on the runners. The Atlanta Track Club’s race site lists locations for viewing the event.

Thanks to the end of our multi-year drought, the finish line is back at Piedmont Park. Local runners that I’ve talked to are thrilled to return to the race’s long-established route.

Good luck runners!