Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Looking for more savings?
Big Peach Running Company offers $5 off the half-marathon or $10 off the full-marathon registration fee through December 31st. Plus you’ll avoid the online fee added to your registration when you sign up at Active.com.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Still shopping for Christmas gifts? Me too. Instead of searching online for the perfect gift, visit your neighborhood running store. You’ll find staff that are passionate about running and can offer good advice on a variety of gift choices. Here in Decatur, we’ve got three terrific options for running gear – One Step at a Time, Fleet Feet and Big Peach Running Company.
I recently stopped by Big Peach Running to get a few recommendations. Here are a few suggestions that were offered:
- Amphipod Xinglet Pocket Reflective Gear – An improvement on the standard reflective vest, the Xinglet provides a better fit and stronger reflectivity. Plus, it features a zipper pocket for i.d., keys or money. My friend Kevin recently bought one and really likes it.
- Black Diamond Sprinter Head Lamp – Safety is always a great consideration for runners’ gifts. This head lamp features lights on both the back and front so cars can see runners in either direction.
- Saucony Epic Run Vest – For the most part, winters tend to be mild in Atlanta. This light-weight vest offers a comfortable alternative to a wind breaker. It also features reflective striping on the front to help keep runners visible to cars.
- Saucony DryLete Ponytail Skull Cap – For those of us with long hair, the ponytail cap is a great gift! It keeps your head warm without having to stuff your hair inside the cap or wear a ponytail at the nap of your neck.
Is your runner already well equipped with gear? Consider these options:
- Sports Massage - Pass on a little pampering to your runner with a gift certificate for a massage. It makes a great gift after a marathon or half-marathon race. Both Massage Envy and Natural Body have locations throughout Atlanta.
- Pedicure - Feet can take a beating from running. Hang nails, ingrown toe nails and black toe are just a few of the problems runners can develop. Stuff your runner’s stocking with a gift certificate to a local nail salon.
- Paid Entry for 2011 Race – Does your runner love to participate in big races? Pre-pay their fee for a running event. Registration is open for the Publix Georgia Marathon and Half-Marathon in March.
Happy holidays and happy running!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
To honor her friend and support her fight against the disease, Karen made a commitment to run and raise money for cancer research with Team in Training (TNT). Over the past year, Karen has achieved a lot. She’s run 3 half-marathons and her first marathon while raising more than $5,000 dollars. Karen documented her experiences at her blog The Purple Train.
Karen and I work together at UPS and I’ve admired her athletic accomplishments and devotion to her friend. We recently sat down together to talk about her journey over the past year.
How long have you been a runner?
I’ve always been involved in sports, particularly soccer, but didn’t start running until 5 years ago. My first race experience was the 10K Classic. However, I didn’t start becoming a serious runner until joining TNT. Growing up, my mom was a big marathon runner so it’s funny to think that I didn’t start running sooner.
What was your experience like with TNT? How did it help you prepare for your goals?
When I originally committed to running and raising money, I felt uncertain about my ability to actual complete a race. I’m not sure if would have been possible without the support and friendship from my teammates with TNT. The group atmosphere and bonds I developed with other runners striving toward a common cause was a huge motivator. The TNT program helps runners stay consistent and committed to training for races. I started with the program the week before Thanksgiving in 2009 and ran my first fundraising race at the ING Georgia Half-Marathon.
Why did you choose to start a blog to share your experience?
My friend Eve started a blog to chronicle her treatment. It turned out to be a meaningful way for her friends to stay connected to her experience without having to ask for an update each time we saw her. Her courage and openness inspired me to write my own blog.
You ran the Nike Women’s Marathon in October. What was your training like?
This was my first marathon and we started the training program in May. It was a hot summer in Atlanta and the heat was incredibly difficult to handle at times. Regardless of the weather, I stayed committed and my coach Ed Ferrell kept me motivated. Ed really helped me prepare physically and emotionally for running the marathon distance. Over time, it helped me develop confidence in my ability to persevere. Long runs took place on Saturdays and the TNT team typically started out around 8 a.m. Sunday was a cross-training or rest day. During the work week, I’d meet up with my training partner Carol around 6 p.m. for 4 to 6 mile runs at the Alpharetta Greenway. The TNT team also met on Wednesdays at the Suwanee Greenway for evening runs.
So, how was your first marathon?
It was an amazing experience. The Nike Women’s Marathon is a huge event for TNT and it was inspiring to see so many TNT runners in their purple apparel. The weather started out as chilly and overcast – which wasn’t bad. But when I reached the 13-mile mark, it started raining and the temperature dropped. Around the same time, a knee issue started triggering some pain. With the rain, chilly weather and knee pain, it turned out to be the toughest running experience that I had encountered. But I made it to the end and it became a valuable lesson on perseverance.
How is your friend Eve doing?
She’s continuing her battle with cancer and on her second round of chemotherapy, but she remains hopeful. Eve is one of the most positive and willful people I know, and the great thing about her is that she finds the light in every situation. She's had to endure incredibly difficult physical and emotional challenges in the past year, and I admire her so much for her courage.
What’s next for you?
Unfortunately, I learned that my knee pain was the result of torn cartilage. I’m having surgery in January and hope to return to the Nike Women’s Marathon in 2011.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Santa’s Safety Run 5K – December 5
Safety is key benefit with this race – proceeds support Inman Park Public Safety. With a great running neighborhood like Inman Park and a start time of 10:30 a.m., what’s not to like about this race? Strollers and dogs are welcome too! Early registration closed today, but you can still sign-up at Active.com or on race day at the event.
Jingle Jog 5K & Elf Run Tot Trot – December 11
The event’s web site promises a festive race – complete with jingle bells for runners’ shoes, food, holiday music and a Santa’s playground complete with pony rides. The Costco parking lot on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road serves as the start and finish line. It you plan to run, please bring a toy - the Salvation Army will be on hand to collect toy donations for its Christmas toy drive. The 5K starts at 8 a.m. and the tot trot kicks-off at 9 a.m.
Virginia-Highland Christmas 5K – December 18
While not the easiest neighborhood to park in, it sure is a great place to run. This annual event is limited to 1,000 runners and organizers expect it to fill-up early. The first 500 registrants get Santa Hats to wear during the race. Runners will line up near Fire Station #19 to start the race. Sign-up available at Phidippides or at Active.com.
ATC Resolution Run 5K & 10K – January 1
For those runners (me included) who indulge a bit too much during the holidays, this race promises to get you on the right track. Fortunately, the race start is at noon – allowing runners a little extra sleep on New Year’s Day. Keep in mind that the 5K and 10K races do not allow strollers – if you want to bring the family, consider the 1-mile fun run and the 50-meter tot trot.
This week’s route is from the Virginia-Highland Christmas 5K. Enjoy!
• West on Los Angeles, Pass Crestridge Drive
• Turn Left on Elkmont Drive
• Turn Right on Park Drive
• Turn Right on Orme Circle
• Turn Right on Elkmont (Orme Circle merges to Elkmont)
• Turn Left on Brookridge Drive
• Turn Left on Amsterdam Ave – Amsterdam merges into Courtenay
• Turn Right on San Antonio Ave
• Turn Left on Amsterdam Ave
• Turn Left on Kings Court
• Bear Right on San Antonio – follow to Courtenay Ave
• Turn Right on Courtenay Ave
• Turn Left on Greenland Ave – stay right on Greenland – merges to Hillpine
• Turn Right on Wayne Ave
• Turn Left on Courtenay Ave
• Turn Left on North Highland Ave and proceed 90 yards to North Morningside Dr
• Turn Left on North Morningside Drive
• Go 1/10th mile and turn Right into Morningside Presbyterian Church lot to the Finish Area
Sunday, November 14, 2010
So, what advice did the experts have to offer for staying healthy?
20 Minutes of Exercise 5 or More Days a Week
Studies on the link between exercise and illness found that those who exercised for 20 minutes 5 or more days a week experienced fewer sick days than people who exercised less often. While researchers aren’t certain how exactly exercise helps fend off the cold, they believe aerobic activity energizes immune cells to fight off infection.
Eight Is the Magic Number
What about sleep? Well, if you happen to get less than 7 hours of sleep a night you’re almost 3 times more likely to get sick compared to people who get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Don’t Let Stress Triggers Trip You Up
Not surprisingly, long durations of stress have an overall impact on our body’s ability to fight off infection. Essentially, stress wears the body down. As a working parent, it can be hard to avoid the daily challenges of life – but like a lot of runners, a good 4 to 5 miler helps keep me mentally balanced.
What About Food?
While the NPR story didn’t mention the role of food, the latest issue of Runner’s World offers tips on foods that power your immune system. Not surprisingly, chicken soup and citrus were on the list. Here are a few other foods that were praised for their benefits:
· Yogurt – probiotic lactobacillus which is found in yogurt seems to help reduce the severity of respiratory illness
· Slow-cooked beef stews – the iron from the meat is a great trigger for producing red blood cells
· Baked potatoes – white potatoes offer a good dose of vitamin C while sweet potatoes provide vitamin A – both of which boost your immune system
· Onions and garlic – both contain antimicrobial properties, which may help protect your body from illness
This week’s route is courtesy of the Undy 5000 5K. Over the weekend, runners hit the streets of Decatur -- some in their undies -- to build awareness for colon cancer as part of this nationwide racing event. Enjoy!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
My friend and colleague Kevin Coffey hit the ground to run the 10K race. Having never run a trail event, I wanted to learn more about Kevin’s experience and find out what it’s really like to run a race on a trail.
How long have you been running?
I started running a year ago. Running was something that I could easily fit into my schedule and it gave me the opportunity to explore my neighborhood.
Not only was this my first trail run, but it was also my first organized running event.
So, how was the trail?
It was definitely a challenge. The trail featured all the obstacles you could imagine – rocks, tree roots, stairs, streams, bushes and branches – with lots of elevation changes. For the most part, the trail was narrow and racers were forced to run single file. Some parts of the trail edged along the side of a very steep hill –one wrong step and you’d find yourself off the trail and sliding downhill.
While it took longer to run the race on a trail vs. a paved surface, the scenery was extraordinary. I liked the challenge that the trail presented. Overall, it was a great experience.
What shoes did you run in?
I wore trail shoes from La Sportiva. I liked the fact that the sole was durable while the upper part was mesh.
How many runners were on the trail with you?
There were probably around 200 runners for the 10K race. Most of the other races seemed to have 100 participants each.
It’s amazing to think that there were seven races taking place at this event. Was it well organized?
Definitely. There was a festival center with a runners recovery area, massages and live music. And for kids, there was a fun run that included costumed characters who ran the race along side the kids. The North Face also hosted a panel discussion with Dean Karnazes and other elite runners. They talked about tips and techniques for trail running.
What about the swag?
Each race featured different types of swag. Along with Kleen Kanteen water bottles, 10K runners received a branded bag and two technical shirts. There was on-site screen printing were runners could have a design for their specific race printed on their shirt.
So, is there another trail run in your future?
Yes – I’m already looking for more trail races.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monster Dash – October 16
Break out the Halloween costume early and head down to Grant Park for this family-friendly race. Costumes are encouraged and strollers are welcomed. The 5K race starts at 8:00 a.m. Got a little monster? Register them for the Little Goblin Run which starts at 8:50 a.m. Proceeds benefit the Grant Park Cooperative Preschool.
Gold Rush 5k – October 16
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Atlanta? Head to Dahlonega. The Gold Rush 5K starts and ends at North Georgia College & State University. Enjoy the scenic run through downtown Dahlonega. The race starts at 8:00 a.m.
Candler Park Fall Fest 5K – October 23
No need to wake-up early for this race – the start time is 11 a.m. (hallelujah!). Plus a great neighborhood course that’s close to Marta. After the run, stick around for festival food, beer, art and live music. Registration is available at Active.com.
The Morningside Mile – October 24
Are you fast? Strut your stuff and earn cash prizes. The showdown takes place at noon. Not only are the prizes good ($250 for the fastest male and female finishers), but so is the block party. Show your race number at the party and get a free Sweetwater beer or a yogurt. Doc Chey’s is a sponsor, so you can count on good food too.
Be The One Run – October 30
Planning to indulge in Halloween candy? Burn a few calories before your sugar-laden snacking begins at this Halloween-eve run. This is a new race event, with the first taking place in Atlanta at Atlantic Station. The race aims to encourage people to become part of the National Bone Marrow Donor program’s registry. Along with the 8:00 a.m. 5K run, there’s a tot trot at 9:15 a.m.
Run Like Hell 5K – October 30
What better way to celebrate Halloween than run a race through a cemetery? Atlanta’s famous Oakland Cemetery serves as the site for the race course. You’ll get to run past the final resting place of notable Atlantans, including Bobby Jones and Margaret Mitchell. Proceeds benefit the cemetery’s restoration.
UPDATE: Run Like Hell 5K reached it's maximum number of runners this week. Registration is closed. And yes, I'm bummed for procrastinating because I really wanted the T-shirt for this race!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Along with the blog, there’s a comprehensive list of road races in the Metro Atlanta area plus a selection of events around the South. If you like running with others, be sure to check out the list of local running groups. Regardless of where you live or work in Atlanta, you’re likely to find a group that’s near your location.
It’s great to see ATC grow its voice online. Atlanta has a big population of runners, many of whom will appreciate the insights that ATC has to offer.
Monday, September 6, 2010
In celebration of fall, here are five of my favorite neighborhood runs. You’ll find a map for the routes at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running. Enjoy!
Avondale Estates – 4 miles
· Start at the corner of N. Avondale Rd. and Claredon Ave., by the gazebo
· Turn left and head down Kensington Rd.
· Veer right onto Lakeshore Dr.
· Turn right on Ridgecrest Rd.
· At the end of Avondale Lake, turn right on Wilshire Dr.
· Cross Claredon Ave. and turn right on Sussex Rd.
· Turn left on Dartmouth Ave.
· Turn left on Fairfield Plaza
· Turn right on Essex Rd.
· Turn right at S. Avondale Rd.
· Turn right on Dartmouth Ave
· Turn left on Kingstone Rd.
· Turn right on Claredon Ave.
· Turn left on Wilshire Dr.
· Turn left on Berkley Rd.
· Turn left on Kengington Rd.
· End at start point
Virginia-Highland to Inman Park - 4 miles:
· Start at the corner of Virginia Ave and N. Highland Ave.
· Run down N. Highland Ave towards Ponce de Leon Ave.
· Cross Ponce and Freedom Parkway
· Turn left on Cleburn Ave.
· Turn left on Seminole Ave.
· Turn right on Sinclair Ave.
· Sinclair merges into Austin
· Turn left on Elizabeth Ave.
· Turn right on Euclid Ave.
· Turn left on Moreland Ave.
· Turn left on Mansfield Ave.
· Turn right on Seminole Ave.
· Turn right on Cleburn Ave.
· Turn right on N. Highland Ave End run at N. Highland and Virginia
Druid Hills – 5 Miles
· Start at the CVS location at 1554 N. Decatur Road
· Turn right on N. Decatur
· Turn right on Oakdale Road
· Oakdale becomes Emory Road and cross Oxford Road
· Follow Emory to Briarcliff Road
· Turn left on Briarcliff
· Turn left on Harvard Road
· Turn left on Springdale Road
· Cross N. Decatur and continue on Springdale
· Turn left on Ponce de Leon Avenue
· Turn left on Lullwater Road
· Turn right on N. Decatur and return to CVS
West Stride – 6 Miles
· 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
Decatur to Little Five Points – 8 Miles
· Start at the Fellini’s on Commerce and Sycamore Place
· Head towards Howard Street, turn right on Howard
· On Howard, pass Decatur H.S. and the East Lake Marta Station
· Turn right on Ridgewood (after crossing the train tracks)
· Turn left on McClendon Drive
· Turn right on Moreland Ave.
· Turn right on Ponce de Leon Ave.
· Follow Ponce into Decatur
· Run through Downtown Decatur
· Turn right on Commerce Ave.
· End at Fellini’s
Sunday, August 22, 2010
But what if you’re not a morning person? No worries … here are a few upcoming races to consider:
Alpharetta PAL 5K Challenge – August 26 at 7:00 p.m.
Sponsored by Jackson Healthcare, the event benefits the Alpharetta Police Athletic League. The race starts and finishes at Jackson Healthcare’s offices, located at 2655 Northwinds Parkway in Alpharetta, between Haynes Bridge and Kimball Bridge roads. No need to eat a quick dinner before the race … organizers will serve a pasta dinner to race participants. The cost is $25 and registration is available at Active.com.
Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk 5K – September 16 at 7:00 p.m.
The streets of downtown Atlanta belong to runners for this evening race. Starting under the Olympic Rings, the course travels through downtown and ends at Turner Field. You can sign up as part of your company’s team or as an individual runner. There’s also a food drive taking place with the event, so please consider contributing a few canned food items. Want to run? Register directly at the event site.
LexisNexis Windward Challenge 5K – September 29 at 6:30 p.m.
Work in Alpharetta? Instead of happy hour, consider hitting the streets for this Wednesday night race. Hosted by LexisNexis, the event starts at the company’s headquarters on Alderman Drive. Have a four-legged running partner? This is a dog-friendly event. Proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta. Registration available at Active.com.
8th Annual Autumn Breeze 5K – October 3 at 3:00 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park is nearly 2 hours from Atlanta, but the beautiful scenery may be worth the drive. The course runs along Tallulah Falls Lake and across the Tallulah River. Arrive early and enjoy the park’s breathtaking sites before the race. Visit Active.com to register.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Here’s what I discovered:
The Chocolate Race – August 28 & 29
Port Dalhousie in Canada plays host to this decedent event. Runners can choose from the 5K, 10K or 21K (half-marathon) race. Need a carb hit during the race? Sample the fudge along the race course. The picturesque route runs around the shore of Lake Ontario.
Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon – September 5
Need a break from Atlanta’s heat wave? Consider this race, located less than an hour from Portland. Part of the Wine Country Half Marathon series, the inaugural race promises lovely scenery and a cool climate. Runners can celebrate their accomplishments at the post-race Wine & Music Festival.
The Walt Disney Wine & Dine – October 2
This evening race ensures runners avoid Florida’s summer heat that lingers into October. The course travels through Disney’s famous theme parks and ends with an exclusive post-race party at the Epcot International Wine & Food Festival.
Roots ‘N Blues ‘N BBQ Half Marathon & 10K – October 2
Looking for something savory instead of sweet? This Columbia, Missouri event promises to serve up a tasty meal of BBQ at the post-race party. Along with good food, bands help cheer on runners along the event course.
Hershey Half Marathon – October 3
For those with a sweet tooth, this race may be nirvana. The aroma of chocolate will fill the air during this inaugural event. The route passes by factories for Hershey’s Chocolate and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Aid stations along the route include a chocolate station.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Last August, I wrote a blog post about precautions runners should take to avoid heat stroke. This potentially deadly condition occurs when a person’s cooling system no longer functions properly and can lead to brain and organ damage. With Atlanta settling into another month of 90+ degree temperatures, it seemed like a good idea to publish these tips again.
· Run during the coolest time of the day
· Drink water or a sports drink 2 hours before your run
· When it’s hot, take your run indoors and hit the treadmill
· Keep your route to a shorter distance than you run in cooler weather
· Slow down your pace
· Stop running if you feel uneasy or disoriented
· Cool down your body temperature by drinking water and pouring some over your head
· Take a cell phone to call for help if you feel sick
Friday, July 16, 2010
Q. Norman, when did you start training?
I began in January. Ellen recommended that I extend the amount of time I spent on my weekend runs. In March, I decided to take a different approach and signed up for Jeff Galloway’s program. Since it was my first marathon, the run-walk regime that Galloway teaches seemed like a good option for me.
Q. What did you learn from Jeff Galloway’s program?
Galloway believes that first-time marathoners use too much energy during the first half of the race. So, they end up struggling to complete those last miles of the event. By adding walk breaks throughout the run, it helps marathoners to better manage their overall pace and energy level.
Q. Why did you choose Grandma’s as your first marathon?
When my daughter and I decided to celebrate her graduation by running a marathon, we knew we needed to pick a race in a cooler climate. Grandma’s had a great reputation as a well-organized and friendly event. The race course runs along the shore of Lake Superior and the old scenic highway – it was really beautiful.
Q. The hot weather hit Atlanta in early May. How did you “beat the heat” during your training runs?
Unfortunately, I couldn’t escape it. I’m not a morning person – I’d get up around 6 or 7 a.m. to start my long runs. By mid-morning, the heat became unbearable and I was forced to cut short some of my planned runs. While I had hoped to complete a training run of 24 miles before the race, the longest run I was able to complete was 20 miles.
Q. How was the race? Did Grandma’s live up to your expectations?
The event was terrific. The folks in Duluth went all out to welcome runners. The community hosted a pasta dinner the night before the race. During the marathon, bands and spectators were lined up along the course to cheer on the runners. And at the finish line, there was a big party to celebrate the end of the race.
My goal was to complete the race in 5 hours. My daughter and I followed the Galloway program during the first half of the event. Around mile 14, we came across a 5-hour pace group and decided to join them. The pace leader did a great job keeping everyone together and encouraging the runners. And I met my goal with a finish time of 4 hours and 57 minutes.
Q. What was the hardest part of the race?
The last 6 miles -- I was mentally and physically exhausted. My daughter kept reminding me that I’d run dozens of 10K races, so I should think of the last 6 miles as just another 10K. If it wasn’t for Ellen’s encouragement, I don’t know if I could have made it.
Q. So, what did you learn from your first marathon experience?
A few things. I’ve gained a lot of respect for people who run this distance. Not only is it physically demanding, it also requires tremendous mental determination to complete the race.
I also came to appreciate the importance of training with other people. I did most of my long runs by myself. When Ellen and I did get a chance to train together, I realized how beneficial it was to have someone to talk with and help you maintain a pace.
Q. What is your favorite memory from the race?
The sense of accomplishment I felt. My daughter and I achieved this together and I will always cherish that memory.
Q. Will you run another marathon?
At this time, I have no plans to sign-up for another marathon. However, if my daughter has a say, then it’s possible there could be more marathons in my future.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
This year’s participants shared their experiences and PRs on Facebook and Twitter. Fortunately, the race did not see a repeat of the cheating claims that dominated discussions at last year’s event. While I didn’t join the 55,000 racers on Peachtree, I did run my own version of a 10K on Sunday morning. Looking for a good intown 10K route to run? Here are a few to consider:
· Decatur to Druid Hills
· Weststride and Westminister Neighborhoods
· Candler Park to Piedmont to Beltline
To find more options on running routes, check out WalkJogRun.net for dozens of intown courses.
Friday, June 18, 2010
I was curious to learn more about what’s involved. So, I spent some time chatting with my friend and colleague Phil Mittenzwei. Phil, along with Pat Kramb and Andra Ozolins, comprise the UPS Peachtree Road Race Committee.
Planning for the race kicks off in January where the committee talks through logistics. As part of UPS’s sponsorship, employees and family members are offered early registration for the race. Along with coordinating registration, the committee produces team T-shirts, organizes food, drinks and volunteers for the hospitality tent. One of the highlights is driving a UPS truck (known as a “package car” by UPSers) to Costco to pick-up hospitality supplies. The biggest task? That would be distributing team T-shirts to more than 1,000 employees. Phil orders extra shirts to sell at UPS as a United Way fundraiser.
This will be Phil’s 19th year running the Peachtree. It’s become an annual tradition that he enjoys celebrating with fellow Atlantans. Each year, Phil’s wife cheers from the same spot on 14th Street where he stops to give her a kiss.
While planning the UPS sponsorship and race team is a big undertaking, it’s an opportunity that Phil and the committee members eagerly anticipate each year. As a fellow UPSer, I say “Go Team!”
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Magnolia Run – June 12
In its 27th year, this race raises awareness and funds for the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia. Conveniently located at the Perimeter Mall, the race includes 4-mile and 1-mile fun run. Registration is available online at active.com or at Fleet Feet stores in Sandy Springs and Duluth.
Run4Dad 5K – June 19
During Father’s Day weekend why not run a race in honor of dads? This Sandy Springs event includes a 5K race and 1-mile walk. Proceeds benefit prostate cancer and local support groups of the Men’s Health & Wellness Center.
Beltline 5K – June 26
Help celebrate the opening of the Beltline trail in Southwest Atlanta. An added bonus – this is a free race. The run starts at Rose Circle Park and ends at Kipp Strive Academy. Registration is available at active.com.
Peachtree Road Race – July 4
Registration for the mother of all Atlanta races closed months ago. If you’re not running it, you can still join the celebration by cheering on the 55,000+ people racing. Hit Piedmont Park afterwards to party with the race participants.
AIDS Faith Walk + 5K Run – July 5
Didn’t register in time for the Peachtree? Here’s a local event in South Atlanta that aims to raise awareness, hope and funds for AIDS. Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church hosts the event. This is a race that’s sure to uplift your spirit. Register at the event site.
Clyde’s Run – July 17
People organize road races to support a variety of causes. Clyde’s Run honors the memory of Clyde Mays, who suffered from a rare genetic condition. The race takes place at Mountain Park, GA, located near Roswell. Proceeds benefit the Prader-Willi Syndrome Foundation. Registration information is available at the race site.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
But he returned the next day and two months later Jeff had started running 10-K races and was down 45 pounds. Jeff was hooked. He started running half-marathons as he pursued his goal to race the Marine Corps Marathon. By race day, Jeff had lost 130 pounds – within less than a year. He finished his first marathon in 3:42. A year later, he qualified for the Boston Marathon with a finish time of 3:10 at the California International Marathon.
While Jeff started running to improve his fitness, he became addicted to the feeling of freedom he experienced. Like Jeff, I run to stay fit but at times it’s the mental benefits that make running essential. Running helps me unwind from a stressful day. And morning runs provide both a physical and mental energy boost to start my day. To borrow from the well-know milk ad, running does the body (and the mind) good.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Spring and summer brings more exposure to the sun’s rays for runners. It’s easy for runners to forget the sunscreen when they head out the door. Yet unlike a lot of other cancers, skin cancer is highly preventable. Simple steps like sunscreen, hats, and avoiding long-term exposure to sun can make a big difference.
The 4th annual Save Our Skin 5K takes place at Perimeter Place in Dunwoody on Saturday, May 29th. One of the unique benefits to this race is the complimentary spot skin checks from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. In the past, doctors have found participants with melanoma and pre-cancerous cells.
You can register online or at several local running stores, including Big Peach Running, Fleet Feet, Phidippides and West Stride. The race course is available at the event site.
Stay safe and smart - protect your skin.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Last month, The North Face announced that it is extending its well-know Endurance Challenge to Atlanta. And I say it’s about time. Not only is Atlanta a city with lots of runners but it’s also in close proximity to a variety of trails. The metro area will play host to the Southeast Regional event on October 16 and 17. The competition will take place at F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, which is 20 miles east of Atlanta. Correction: the park is actually located 80 miles southwest of Atlanta.
The North Face Challenge offers competitions for every runner – from the grueling Gore-Tex 50-mile competition to a 5K race and Kid’s Run. The event site promises it will be the “toughest test of off-road endurance.” Registration is now available online and discounts are offered to couples and families. The field is limited to a small number of runners for each race. Regional winners for the Gore-Tex 50-mile race compete in the championship, which takes place in San Francisco. The top male and female finishers win $10,000 each.
If you’re a serious trail runner or just someone who aspires to race alongside mountain scenery, don’t let this event pass you by.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I was recently offered an opportunity to review a pair of insoles from Sorbothane. Here’s my disclaimer: I received one pair of insoles for free to review plus two pairs of sole cushions for dress shoes. I’m under no obligation to publish my review, and the opinions that I share are based on my experience. O.K -- so now for my review.
I received the insoles a few days after running the ING Georgia Half-Marathon. I ran the race with the standard insoles in my Adidas shoes. And I got a blister during the race. I tried out the Sorbothane SorboAir insoles and found them to be really comfortable. I felt an immediate difference in the feel of my shoes. The cushioning left my feet feeling more supported during my run. I’m someone who likes a lot of arch support in my running shoes, which is probably why I’m a big fan of insoles. I haven’t tested the cushions for dress shoes and I don’t plan to write about them since this blog is dedicated to running.
So what do others have to say? You can read more reviews at Zappos.com.
Wonder why manufacturers don't put better insoles in their running shoes? Here's what I learned when I explored this topic last year.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
And now, you can help. Support the girls as they celebrate their achievements by volunteering at the Spring GOTR 5K. Along with the good karma you’ll gain from your effort, you’ll also score an event T-shirt, coffee from Caribou plus breakfast courtesy of the Flying Biscuit. This year’s race host, West Stride, will also offer volunteers a 10% discount. So, what are you waiting for? Get out and volunteer!
Here are the details:
· Race starts at 8:00 a.m.
· Event location is West Stride at 3517 Northside Parkway in Atlanta (near OK Café)
· Contact Sara Butler at email@example.com to sign-up
This week’s route is the GOTR 5K race course from West Stride’s group page at MapMyRun. Enjoy!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Run for Success – April 3
The women’s engineering and technical sciences sorority, Alpha Omega Epsilon, is hosting this inaugural 5K at the Georgia Tech campus. The race benefits Dress for Success which helps low-income women dress professionally for job interviews. The race course starts and ends at the intersection of Atlantic and Ferst.
Run Before You Crawl – April 10
Running + Pub Crawl = Great Fun. Yes, the businesses of East Atlanta have created a truly unique event. The 5K race begins at 9:00 a.m. and the pub crawl starts at 10:30. As the event site states, why not replenish the calories you burned on the run with a beer (or more).
Sweetwater 420 Fest 5K – April 17
The annual Sweetwater 420 Festival delivers a weekend of music, good beer, and environmental activism. The race starts at a weekend-friendly time of 11:00 a.m. and the course travels through the Candler Park neighborhood. Proceeds benefit the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization.
Dow Live Earth Run for Water – April 18
Pemberton Place (next to the World of Coke) plays host to this global 6K event – road races, music and water education activities will take place in a 192 countries. Why a 6K? According to the event site, women and children in Africa walk on average 6 kilometers to access safe drinking water. The big draw to this event may be the post-race concert featuring Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas. A portion of the registration fees will support Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and Global Water Challenge.
Take Back the Night – April 24
This Decatur event raises funds for the Dekalb Rape Crisis Center. The 1-mile run starts at 5:00 p.m. and the 5K kicks-off at 5:30 p.m. The race takes place at Agnes Scott College (ASC) and the course runs through the neighborhoods of Oakhurst and East Lake before ending back at ASC. Sign-up online or at Big Peach Running Company.
The Green Dash: Atlanta’s Earth Day 5K – April 24
Head to Piedmont Park to join fellow Atlantans celebrating Earth Day. Runners can register at Phidippides’ Ansley Park store or online at Active.com. The race is limited to the first 1,000 runners. Proceeds benefit the Piedmont Park Conservancy.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Over 18,000 runners hit the streets of downtown Atlanta early this morning. This is my 3rd year running the ING Georgia and I’m glad to see continued improvements in how the event is managed. The corrals were well organized and we moved quickly to the starting line. The crowds of spectators seemed lighter than in previous years but they were a welcomed sight. My favorite was the choir of gospel singers in the Old 4th Ward. I sure could have used those ladies singing a few hallelujahs for me around the 11-mile mark. This year my training was pretty lackluster but I surprised myself my keeping a steady, strong pace. Though my legs were aching by the 11th mile, I had enough energy and willpower to pick-up my pace during the final stretches of the race. My finish time for the half-marathon was 2:04:05 – nearly the same as last year (when my training was much stronger).
Make no mistake, this is a big event to organize and it requires lots of volunteers, police officers, equipment and food. I’m grateful for all the folks who chose to give up their Sunday morning so I could run this race. Everyone was pleasant and did their best to be helpful. The course is fantastic, taking you on a tour of some of Atlanta’s most picturesque and historic neighborhoods.
March is a tricky time of year to host a race in Atlanta. Temperatures can be sunny and 70°F or snowy and 30°F. The ING Georgia organizers lucked out this year. Hopefully their good luck will continue.
Want to repeat the fun? Sign-up for the 2011 race opens Tuesday, March 23rd with a 50% discount on the entry fee for the first 200 registrants and a 40% discount for the next 200. Any one who registers by March 30 will automatically receive a 30% discount on the entry fee.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Molly Barker knows how to bring a room to tears. At Tuesday’s celebration, the founder of Girls on the Run (GOTR) mesmerized the audience with stories of personal struggles and inspiration. Like many of us, Molly felt awkward as a girl on the verge of becoming a teenager. That free spirit that young girls radiate gives way insecurity – or as Molly calls it, “the girl box” where girls focus on being who they think they should be rather than embracing who they really are.
Through its running programs, GOTR fosters self-confidence and a healthy lifestyle among girls aged 8 to 13. When she started GOTR in 1996, Molly had 3 goals:
1.) Help girls define their values
2.) Foster connectedness and help girls build positive relationships
3.) Encourage girls to become “change agents”
In 2000, GOTR came to Atlanta. Over the past 10 years, 6,000 metro-Atlanta girls have participated in GOTR programs. The girls “graduate” by participating in a 5K with their GOTR team mates and coaches. As a volunteer for GOTR’s Fall 5K, I got to see first hand the pure joy girls experienced completing the race. I’ve run a lot of races and none matched the excitement and fun these running girls brought to the event.
As a runner and a mom, I’m grateful for people like Molly Barker and the hundreds of volunteers who help girls escape the confines of “the girl box” and stay true to their real self.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
According to Runner’s World, nearly 20 runners were killed by drivers in the first 10 months of 2009. And the Department of Transportation states that 80% of all car accidents are caused by driver distraction.
Atlanta roads present their own risks. Along with our famously congested roadways, sidewalks can be scarce in some neighborhoods. It can be scary – which is why it’s important for runners to plan ahead.
Here are some tips to consider:
· Think About Your Route – Parks can offer safe pathways away from traffic. If that’s not an option, choose a course with sidewalks. Run against traffic to see cars and to react to drivers who may not see you.
· Be Visible – Wear apparel that makes you noticeable to others. Reflective vests and bright colors are helpful any time of day. If you’re running during dusk or dark, add a light to illuminate yourself.
· Stay Alert – Leave iPods and headphones at home. If you have to cross a busy street, do so at a stop sign or traffic light when cars are forced to stop. And be sure that drivers see you before you cross the road.
· Wear I.D. – If the worse happens, have identification with you. Road ID is a great choice – you can have your name, emergency contacts and insurance information engraved on a shoe pocket or wrist band.
Be sure to check out recommended safety gear from Runner’s World – lots of great ideas for apparel and reflective items.
Stay safe Atlanta!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Runners need a combination of protein and carbs within 30 minutes of a run to refuel and repair muscles. And chocolate milk offers the perfect balance of these nutrients. Liz Applegate, Ph.D., touts the importance of milk for runners in the January issue of Runner’s World. I’ve never been much of a milk drinker, but now I try to get a few servings every day to gain the benefits that this vitamin-packed elixir offers.
If you’re training for the ING Georgia Race (like me) or another long-distance event, it’s important to get nutrients that restore your muscles. And chocolate milk is an ideal way to help your body recover from a hard workout.
As mom always said, drink your milk – it’s good for you!
This week’s route is one of my favorite runs around Druid Hills. It’s a good training run for the ING Georgia Half-Marathon. You can find the route at Map My run under my group Atlanta Running.
Decatur to Druid Hills – 11 Mile Route
· Start at Fellini’s, located at the corner of Commerce and Sycamore Place
· Stay on Sycamore Place, running past Fellini’s
· Turn right on Howard Ave
· Stay on Howard and run past Decatur H.S. and East Lake Marta Station
· Turn right on Ridgecrest
· Turn left on McClendon Ave
· Stay on McClendon until you reach Little Five Points
· Turn right on Moreland Ave
· Stay on Moreland and cross Ponce de Leon Ave
· Moreland turns into Briarcliff· From Briarcliff, turn right on N. Decatur Rd
· Turn right on Springdale
· Stay on Springdale and cross Ponce de Leon
· Turn left on Ponce de Leon and take it back to Downtown Decatur
· Turn right on Church St
· Turn left on Sycamore St
· Turn right on Sycamore Place
· Turn left on Commerce
· At College, turn left and run back up Commerce to Fellini’s
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Chattahoochee Challenge 10K – February 6
Believe it or not, it’s not too soon to get a qualifying time for July’s Peachtree Road Race. The Chattahoochee Challenge boasts a flat, fast course along the river. Online registration is closed but you can still sign-up at Big Peach Running Co. locations.
Front Page News’ Madri Gras Half-Fast 5K – February 13
If ever there was a “fun run” this is it. Runners race through Atlanta’s lovely Candler Park neighborhood. The race ends a short distance from Front Page News where discounts and celebratory drinks are on hand. Register online at Active.com or at Phidippides’ Ansley Mall store.
KSU Owls Making Stride 5K – February 20
Kennesaw State plays host to this on-campus event. The race starts and ends near the school’s convocation center. Runners and volunteers receive 4 free tickets to the KSU women’s basketball game, which follows post-race festivities. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.
Run Thru the Forest 5K – February 27
In its 2nd year, this Smyrna race raises funds for the Georgia Transplant Foundation. The American Legion hosts a post-race breakfast for $6. Registration is available at Active.com or at Big Peach Running Co.
Red Devil Dash 5K – March 6
Help support high school sports. The race benefits the Phillip Hicks Memorial Scholarship Fund and the booster club for Druid Hills High’s soccer team. Register in advance at Active.com or on-site on the day of the race.
O’Highlands Jig & Jog 5K – March 13
Here’s a neighborhood event that welcomes everybody … runners, walkers, strollers, and dogs. In the holiday mood? Wear an Irish-themed costume for a chance to win $25. Stick around after the race for prize drawings. Sign-up at Phidippides or online at Active.com.
Tour DeCatur 5K – March 13
Celebrating its 8th year, Tour DeCatur is an annual fundraiser for the Decatur Education Foundation. Along with the 5K, there’s also a 1-mile run/walk and a tot trot. The race starts and ends at Decatur High School. Register online at the event site.
Shamrock ‘N Roll Road Race – March 14
Hit the streets of Atlantic Station with the Junior League of Atlanta. The 10K race is a qualifier for the Peachtree Road Race. Want to bring a friend? Dogs and strollers are welcomed. There’s no onsite registration so be sure to sign-up in advance. You can do so at Active.com.
ING Georgia Marathon & Half-Marathon – March 21
It’s the big race of the season. Thousands of runners will race through some of Atlanta’s best neighborhoods - Inman Park, Little Five Points, Decatur, Druid Hills and Virginia Highlands. Routes for both races are available at the event site. Registration is available at Active.com and at the race expo.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Last year, I trained for the half-marathon with Girls on the Run at West Stride. Owner Genie Beaver was a terrific host, offering free coffee and baked goods, route maps and prize drawings.
This year, West Stride and Phidippides have teamed up with Adidas to offer the Fit for ING Training Program. Each store alternates hosting group runs on Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. Along with routes that feature water stops, Olympian Todd Williams will be on hand to offer training tips. After each run, take advantage of the free coffee and food. You can find the schedule for group runs at both West Stride and Phidippides’s web sites. The next run takes place this Saturday at West Stride’s location.
This week’s route comes from West Stride’s group page at MapMyRun. You’ll find a lot of good long routes for half-marathon training.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Here are the codes:
· Marathon – 10SP20
· Half-Marathon – 10SP10
I’ll be posting more news about the ING Georgia race at the blog later this week. Until then, happy running.