December 23, 2013 |
Still don't have a holiday gift for the runner on your list? Never fear. I'm here to help. Here are my 12 Gifts of Run-mas. (And no, none of these were provided to me for free. I based these recommendations on my experience using them.) Forgive me for not keeping with the meter of the original song. I was not the best student in poetry class. 12 sweat-wicking socks. No cotton allowed. Cotton, to runners, is the devil, especially on feet - the harbinger of blisters and pain. I prefer thinner sweat wicking socks, which makes the Nike Training Studio No-Show perfect.
December 9, 2013 |
Last weekend, I ran the Haddon Township Turkey Trot 5K. The race drew 660 runners this year and raised money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. It's a fun, community event with a course that goes through Haddon Township and Haddonfield. The race T-shirt always features a hand-drawn turkey. We start at a fire station and end at a bar. Some people run with their dogs. The organizers also hold a 1K for children and those who want to walk. After I crossed the finish line, I waited for my mother to finish (and set a new 5K PR)
November 25, 2013 |
I saw a lot of interesting costumes while watching the Philadelphia Marathon last Sunday: Santa Claus with real beard and jingle bells, Barney Rubble, Forrest Gump, and a lot of tutus (on men and women). Then a woman dressed as Captain America ran by, smiling, holding a small shield in her hand. When a man dressed as Captain America ran by soon after, I thought it was a coincidence, especially given that the Captain America sequel is coming out in April. I was wrong. Karl Leitz and Aya Takeichi-Leitz are a married couple from Jersey City.
November 25, 2013 |
I rediscovered a very old - and wonderful - sensation at the Philadelphia half marathon last weekend. I'm still over the moon about it. I am 56. I ran track and cross-country in high school. I was only a little better than ordinary, breaking a 4:40 mile once or twice, but loved it. Loved everything about it - the friendships, the fitness, the feeling of success after a good race. I graduated high school in 1975 and still keep up with several of the old teammates. I ran lots of miles on bad shoes back in those days.
November 4, 2013 |
Chris Cooper wasn't even done with Long May You Run , a compilation of running essays he edited, when he got the idea for another running-related project. "It began during a chat with Olympic marathoner Brian Sell, who wrote the forward of my first book," said Cooper, a sub-three-hour marathoner from West Chester who also writes the blog "Writing on the Run. " "I assumed his best race was the one that qualified him for the Beijing Olympics, but I was wrong," Cooper said. "For him, it was a race years earlier as a member of his small college cross-country team.
October 21, 2013 |
Similar to sports such as track and field and wrestling, cross-country features both individual efforts and team competition. Every runner is on his own on those journeys through the woods, up the hills, along each step of the 3.1-mile course. Nobody throws a block or sets a screen. Nobody draws defenders and dishes a perfect pass. Nobody sacrifices a runner to second or joins in a gang tackle. But there is team scoring in cross-country. And there is a camaraderie forged through the shared sacrifice of those punishing runs in training sessions - stride after stride, mile after mile, in the early-morning heat of the summer and the gathering after-school shadows of the fall.
October 18, 2013 |
Kyle Kirk had enough of the pool over the summer. Kirk, a cross-country runner at Camden Catholic, finished sixth in the Meet of Champions last season with the best time in South Jersey, but he suffered shin splints at the end of the year that kept him from training until August. The shin splints limited him to swimming and lifeguarding through the summer while he kept tabs on his teammates and competition training and improving. His finish at last year's Meet of Champions raised his expectations for his senior year, but the injury and the weight of those goals have added a lot of pressure and nerves this season.
October 2, 2013 |
THROUGH SUNSHINE, rain, cold, blizzard - whatever the weather might throw at him - Jerry Nolan walked five blocks to church every day to attend Mass. "We had to dig him out of a snow drift once," said his niece Carolyn McDonald. Jerry was a man secure not only in his faith, but in his footwork. He was a marathon runner into his 70s, and ran shorter races until he was almost 80, stopped only when he was hit by a car and broke a leg. But whether he was running or not, Jerry was a presence at nearly every race of any consequence in the Philadelphia-South Jersey area as a volunteer, helping out wherever he could, and as the unofficial photographer with his handy Instamatic.
September 23, 2013 |
Let's be honest: if you run long enough, you have about a 100 percent chance of getting hurt, whether it's losing a toenail or feeling a stinging pain somewhere in your lower extremities. When it comes to running injuries, Hallie Labrador, sports medicine physician at the Rothman Institute, knows the pain firsthand. She has completed six marathons, two half iron mans, and countless triathlons since she started running in 1999. Her injuries? Some of the most common she sees in her patients: IT band syndrome, runner's knee, and hip pain.
August 26, 2013 |
"I was an overweight, smoking couch potato. " This is how Stephan Weiss described himself before he started running at the age of 37. When he decided to do something about his weight, he started by running one mile in Northeast Philadelphia's Pennypack Park. That was six years ago. Today, Weiss runs himself and Uber Endurance, which puts on events in and around Philadelphia, most of them trail runs in that park where it all began for him. Many of the events have a German theme - like the Oktober Lauffest 13.1; Mount Cuckoo 15/30K; Dirty German 25K/50K/50miler; and the Half Sour Half Kraut, which is a half-marathon and full marathon on the same day and course, and their most popular race.