Wednesday, September 30, 2009

JackRabbit Q&A on Oct. 1

A quick promotional pitch from JackRabbit, if you happen to be in the neighborhood ...

JackRabbit is hosting a marathon Q&A night in each of our three stores at 7:00pm on Thursday October 1st to help everyone who is running a marathon this fall.

Whether you're wondering about how to time your taper, or about race day nutrition, or what to do about a nagging little injury, we'll be able to answer all your questions. Each store will feature a panel of three marathon experts:

A Doctor or Physical Therapist

A Running / Marathon Coach

A Sports Nutritionist

Each will give a 10-minute talk, and then they'll stay as long as needed to make sure all of the questions from the audience are answered.

Everyone attending the marathon Q&A night will also get 15% off everything in the store, so you can make sure you have everything you need for the final few weeks of training and for race day. IN ADDITION, if you bring a friend to the event, you'll each get an ADDITIONAL $5 off any purchase over $100.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Newport Half

Ahh, some feedback and a race to keep an eye on in 2010:

"I'm a big fan of the blog and would like to give a thumbs up to a race you never mentioned, the Newport Half Marathon in Jersey City. I ran it this weekend and despite the rain and some equipment issues I had a great time. The views were great, the course was flat and it was fun to run a race with less than 2000 people! Even though the race was in New Jersey it was super convenient (and easier to get to than the Bronx) and the registration was a five minute walk from the PATH, which links to the F train at 14th street. There was a more and better post-race food than any NYRR race I've ever been in.

Anyway, I hope you give the race some notice next year, I think anyone who runs it will be presently surprised."

From my end, duly noted (the fact that the post-race food kicked a** makes this a formal apology).

I added the Newport Half to a race calendar back in August, but to be fair, you'd have to have pulled out the magnifying glass to find it. We/I tend to forget that there are some great (flat) races right across the rivers in Jersey City and beyond, so worth pursuing.

Random Thoughts on a Monday Evening

I started typing the subject line ... and realized I've done this before. Some quick hits/thoughts before I get sucked into the work week:

-- Some guy on Craigslist is offering $500 for a marathon bib (note this is illegal and will get you banned from future races). I'm interested in discovering how he manages to avoid the NYRR sting operation, since you know they troll the site as well.

-- I'm looking, but not seeing yet, the results from the Brooklyn Triple Crown. I think it's a great concept, and am sorry Brooklyn Running didn't do more to promote it. Some decent local sponsorship, and better marketing - I think it's got a shot to thrive. Chalk it up for a goal for 2010.

-- I ran in Central Park earlier today, and got sucked into the same trap that happens most of the times I run a full loop. I see a runner, I want to pass him/her. Then I start picking up the pace, and all of a sudden I'm running tempo pace for what's supposed to be an easy 6 mile run. (This doesn't happen in Prospect Park, or actually, many of my other solo runs. I'm suspecting this has to do with the fact that my ratio of Central Park runs/races is a lot higher.). Open to any thoughts on how to avoid this, beyond better self-discipline.

-- Following up on some earlier speculation: I'm told that no, you can't get two qualifying races by registering both the short (1.7 miles) and the long( 13.1 miles) at the Norwegian Festival in Central Park this weekend. (Kudos to anyone who pulls it off and gets credit). I bet you get two cracks at the smoked salmon for the bagels, however.

-- My first blog entry on this blog was two years ago tomorrow. Since then, when I'm actively posting, the blog is getting more than 100 page views a day, and I'm now up to 10 followers. (Which is both awesome, and a little creepy).

For a variety of reasons, I don't do a lot of promotion or outreach, pushing this to other Brooklyn sites or setting up a Twitter account (the latter because I think I'd annoy myself.) But I wanted to thank you all for your comments and feedback over the past 24 months, because it shows your dedication.

Stuff like this, which was sent to the e-mail account, makes my day.

"I just wanted to send you a quick email to let you know that your blog is awesome. I came across it a while ago and I check it repeatedly, pretty much because I'm a running nerd myself and I also live in brooklyn."

That's who I'm trying to help. And if one of the things I pontificate about takes off a few seconds from your 10K pace, then I've done my job.

So, please forgive my foibles and occasional lack of timely response (for example, if "Heroes" wasn't entering its death spiral - it already jumped the shark, now it's being eaten, I wouldn't be posting tonight). And good luck to all of you as we enter Year 3.

MS 136 Benefits From Hall Foundation

I need something to wash the sarcasm away. Happily, there's also this post on the NYC Marathon Web site, talking about the foundation that Ryan and Sara Hall have set up to promote running and help people live better.

"The Hall Steps Foundation, a charitable initiative that will fund programs to create a better life for youth living in poverty in the United States and abroad."

The Halls are one of the pre-eminent running couples in the U.S., both in accomplishment (cheer for Ryan at this year's NYC Marathon) and deeds.

One of the five schools that will receive funds from this is "M.S. 136 in Brooklyn, a school that hosts a run-a-thon every year as a fund-raiser."

Pretty awesome, I must say.

Virtual Marathon? Pay for Q-Race

So ... MapMyFitness and NYRR are promoting "virtual" races, including the first annual virtual marathon (where you can run as few as three miles) and get one of the 9 racing credits you need for next year, as part of New York Marathon Week.

For $25, you can run a virtual marathon or a 5 mile race and receive a) a qualifying credit to the 2010 NYC Marathon (part of your nine races) and b) if you're among the first 1,000 entrants, you get guaranteed entry into the NYC Half Marathon next year (you still have to pay the entry fees, however).

From the Web site:

"Start, run, and finish your race anywhere you want! A Virtual Race gives you opportunity to join in the excitement of the ING NYC Marathon week activities in your own backyard. Map out a personal race course, run it within the designated dates, upload your results, and then compare how you did against all other competitors -- virtual and live!"

So basically: You can shell out money, run 3 miles with folk (read the rules) and get credit for a race. You also have a chance to win a 6-month weekend subscription to the New York Times. (Life is hard - you don't get the full week -- ohh, wait, it's free online).

BTW, if you run just three miles, check this out: "Runners must complete a minimum of three (3) miles or up to a maximum of a complete marathon (26.2 miles). Any distance shorter than the 26.2 miles will be mathematically extrapolated to the marathon distance, regardless of the actual distance run. "




(Words escape me (which is probably a good thing)).

I've got a better idea. I'm not going to hit the 9 qualifiers this year, so I'm happy to sell my qualifying credits for $20 a pop. First come, first serve ***

My favorite part: You don't even get at T-shirt. However, you can pay $20 for a medal, or a T-shirt. $35 for both.

Obviously, this isn't for me. And I'm missing the point. So please, I'm looking for anyone who is doing this to explain why they are shelling out the money to do this. Extra points if you pay for the T-shirt.

*** Please note, as of now, NYRR does not allow for transfer for qualifying credits, so this is obviously illegal and won't help you get into the NYC Marathon in 2010. So you won't get the marathon credit. You can still send me the $20 though :-).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend Race Results

Beautiful Saturday, rainy Sunday - suspect some of the results reflect that. Congrats to everyone who participated this weekend in the local races.

Some links:

From NYRR: For the Fifth Avenue Mile: Professional results, and then the rest of us. If you see David Peters, originally from the UK, but listed as a Brooklyn resident - don't challenge him to a race. He scorched a 4:14.

Also, on Sunday, the 18 mile tune up, run by many for purely the reason that it's an 18 mile training run -- with support (check out my post from yesterday for a run for a similar distance, though you don't have people at tables giving you water and Gatorade.) For the 3,500-plus of you who made it out there, good luck on your fall marathon.

Nothing yet from Music that Heals 5K in Prospect Park today, but here's the link for the main site. Also, not yet seeing a link for Tunnels to Towers.

Ban Bikes on the Brooklyn Bridge?

It's not going to happen anytime soon, but this op-ed in today's New York Times raises some interesting ideas about the ongoing battle between pedestrians and cyclists, and suggests that a protected bike lane be added during the forthcoming road rehabilitation.

As much as I love running over the bridge, it's also - run at your own risk - during the summer months and peak tourist weekends. And especially when it gets crowded and I am running, I spend an inordinate amount of time with my neck getting an extra workout as I look behind me to avoid getting crunched.

I'm not a regular cyclist, but I'd be willing to posit that the Manhattan Bridge bike lane is a much more preferable route of getting into the city (or back into Brooklyn.

Thoughts from those who bike? run? or both? over the bridge?

Upcoming Races

Upcoming Races

Oct. 3: Grete’s Gallop Half Marathon/1.7 Miles, Central Park

Oct. 3: Miles for Midwives 5K, Prospect Park

Oct. 4: Liz Padilla 5K, Prospect Park

Oct. 4: Fred Lebow 5K, Van Cortlandt Park

Oct. 11: Harry Murphy 5K, Van Cortlandt Park

Oct. 11: Staten Island Half Marathon, Staten Island

Oct. 11: Restoration Plaza 10K, Bed-Stuy

Oct. 11: Get to the Point 5K, Greenpoint

Oct. 17: Scout Trail 5K, Staten Island

Oct. 18: Kurt Steiner 5K, Van Cortlandt Park

Oct. 18: Race Against Violence, John Paul Jones Park

Oct. 24: Nike Human Race, Prospect Park

Oct. 25: Poland Springs Marathon Kickoff (5M), Central Park

Some in November:

Nov. 1: New York City Marathon

Nov. 8: Fugettaboutit 5K, Prospect Park

Nov. 15: NYRR X/C Championships, Central Park

Nov. 25: PPTC Turkey Trot, Prospect Park

Other Links:

New Jersey Races

Connecticut Races

Long Island Races

U.S. Marathons

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Double Bridge Run, With a Battery Loop Twist

First off, I'd like to point out that I ran *most* of the route today (my colleague did so, and then planned to tack on a loop of the park to give him 21 miles). But this a pretty decent 17.5 mile run. Some decent bridge climbs (to mimic what you'll see in New York), and some long traffic-free stretches.

For description sake, I'll start at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, though you can start pretty much anywhere you want, and make your way over to the Brooklyn Bridge. From there, head over to the West Side Highway, and then hug the water as you loop around Battery Park, from there, head north-ish up to the Williamsburg Bridge, and over. Plenty of options there - we chose to go back into Brooklyn Heights, hugging the water and running along Kent and Flatbush, into DUMBO (its arts festival weekend, so lots of fun there) and along the Promenade. That's where I stopped (at about 15 miles - we did a rather comical double loop at the Liberty entrance looking for the bathroom, which I didn't include).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fifth Avenue Mile Saturday

Speaking for myself -- I have to confess, it's tough to get excited when New York City is host to dignitaries and celebrities *constantly*. A U.N. meeting? Happens all the time. Obama swinging by? He loves this city and state. And a celebrity viewing? Heck, Gossip Girl, Law & Order and other TV shows/movies (hello Brad Pitt and George Clooney) love the Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO area. (A local terrorist? OK, that's enough to give pause, especially as the subways were filled with gun-toting security forces throughout the week).

But that belittles the fact that I/we care about certain folk. And in the running community: Bernard Lagat fits the bill. He's running the Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday, as is Shannon Rowbury. Others scheduled to run? How about sub-13 minute 5K stud Matt Tegenkamp? (And possible you.) Me? I've got a two-hour milage-grubbing slog (err ... uh, great opportunity) ahead of me tomorrow as I desperately try to get in shape for a fall marathon (holy cr*p, New York is in five weeks, Philadelphia in 8, and if you're running an October 26.2-miler - you better be ready now).

Still, if you happen to be downtown near Fifth Avenue in the AM - by all means, it's worth sticking your head into the crowds and watching some of the best milers in the world running. (Or maybe, if you've already signed up, get your family and friends out there.) Best of luck to everyone who's running.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tunnel to Towers Run/Walk Sunday

For those of you looking for a somewhat unique race, check out the Tunnel to Towers Run this Sunday. It's a bit pricey at this point ($50 after today), but the race, about 5K, heads through the Battery Tunnel into Manhattan. From the Web site:

"Stephen Siller,
beloved husband and father of five, was a firefighter from Squad 1, Park Slope Brooklyn. On 9/11, he was off-duty, and on his way to golf with his 3 older brothers.

When Stephen heard on his scanner that the World Trade Center had been hit, he turned his vehicle around and headed towards the site. When his truck was prohibited from entering the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, typically of him, he raced on foot towards the site with his gear strapped to his back.

He was last seen alive on West and Liberty Streets where he, more than likely, went looking for his Squad, all of whom perished. The Tunnel to Towers Run retraces Stephen's footsteps on that fateful day.

In running along his path, we honor the memory of all the Firefighters, Police, and EMS workers who performed their duty that day. In running this race, we are reclaiming still another part of the city for all our heroes and for all of those who died on 9/11."

Start time is 9:30 a.m. in Red Hook. More than 20,000 are expected, according to this press release.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yonkers, Queens Results

Those craving a longer run over the weekend also had their chance, with both the Queens Half and the Yonkers Half and Yonkers Marathon.

At Queens, Kirt Joseph was top Brooklyn male in Queens, with a 1:15:26. Stacey Barron ran a 1:27:34 to finish fourth overall among women and first in her age group. Here's a report from the race itself.

In Yonkers, Brooklyn's Orest Babyak finished second overall with a 2:36.

PO Hoban 5 Mile Results

Here are the results for the PO Hoban 5 Mile race, held in Bay Ridge over the weekend with 612 finishers. Arsenio Ortiz finished first overall for the men, with a 28:36, while Christine Pagano was top female. No winners declared yet for the Brooklyn Triple Crown - a series of three local races, of which this was the third.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Brooklyn Team Wins Reach the Beach Women's Division

Lots of race action this weekend. Going to break these up into separate posts to give everyone their due, and, since I'm doing this while watching "Heroes" and the football game, it will allow me to get some posts done in a somewhat timely fashion.

First up: No Sleep Till Brooklyn (quick, name that artist), an 11-member women's team captained by Corre Kombol, won the women's open division at the 207-mile Reach the Beach relay in New Hampshire over the weekend. The team, down a member after a late injury, averaged 7:42 a mile for the distance, finishing in 26:38:57.

Congrats all!

Some of the team offers their thoughts on blogs, here and here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Marathon News

* The historical Yonkers Marathon is this weekend

* Philadelphia Marathon on Nov. 22 is sold out for 2009

* New Jersey Marathon early fee deadline is Oct. 1 (still plenty of spots at this point, but you only have to pay $80 - very cheap for a marathon these days)

* Registration is available for 2010 Boston Marathon (if you've run a qualifying marathon, and are thinking about doing it, worth getting it in by the end of the year).

Speed Workout, Blog Style

Bleah, lot of stuff going on, not as much time to keep up to date on the blog (and if it comes down to a choice between running and *writing* about running, needless to say I'm out the door).

I'm out of town this weekend, so let me offer up some quick thoughts about some immediate future events (a 3x200 if you will).

-- A couple of area bloggers, including One Runners World and Hills Are My Friends (they'd better be your friends in New Hampshire), as well as a number of Brooklyn/NYC teams are running the Reach the Beach Relay this weekend. 207 miles, from Cannon Mountain to the New Hampshire coast, with 6-12 runners splitting the 36 legs (most do 12 runners, with 3 legs a piece).

-- The Brooklyn Triple Crown will be settled this weekend, with the PO Chris Hoban Memorial 5-Mile Run along the Shore Road Promenade (nice and flat). A great opportunity for some PRs if the cooler temperatures hold.

-- The Queens Half (the only one of the five borough halfs I've never run) is on Sept. 20 as well. The transportation is almost as complicated as getting to the NYC Marathon start - unless you have a car, that is. Also note, you'll be using a D-Tag, rather than a chip, so if you're unfamiliar with it, there's instructions on the NYRR Web site.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fall is Here, What Are You Running?

OK, fall has officially arrived.

Well, no, there are still a couple of weeks until the autumn equinox. But it’s Labor Day, and summer has ended. And, gratifyingly enough – the temperature was a super 59 degrees as I moseyed out for a 10-mile run this AM.

It’s also time for those procrastinators, who are stalling as to what kind of races and training to do this fall. If you’re thinking about a marathon, and you don’t have a decent base and have put in some quality training – think about next year. If you’ve got that base, Philadelphia is a mere 11 weeks away, and there are some races in December and January (check out the calendar here from the folk at Marathon Guide.)

So, here’s the first of many lists this week that will spell out some options for races/training etc. Want to focus on Brooklyn? There’s easily a half dozen quality races – and I’m pretty sure I’ll find more. Cross-country? A local calendar is forthcoming, though in the interim, check out this. (This is a cached version, I'm having a problem linking to Chuck's X/C calendar).

If you’re thinking about running New York next year, make sure you’re prepped to do so *now* rather than getting inspired by the race on Nov. 1. It’s easy enough to do: Be a NYRR member, run 9 qualifying races by December *and* volunteer at 1 (during the 2008 qualifying cycle, this could be done through January). And it's still possible, even if you have run *none* so far

Some caveats:

** The Sept. 12 4 mile race is almost sold out, so register quickly. And, while the NYRR Marathon on Nov. 1 is a qualifier, it is sold out (unless you want to pony up some money for the various charity slots that are kicking around). None of the NYRR-run X/C races are qualifying races.

** While you can’t wear the same number at the Grete’s Gallop and the Norway Run, there doesn’t seem to be anything stopping you for signing up and paying for both races, if you really need to be getting those qualifiers (if anyone tried that last year and was stopped, please let me know). It’s not a loophole I particularly want to ask anyone at NYRR about, in case it exists and they stop it.

Remaining NYRR qualifying races:

Sept. 12: Fitness Mind, Body, Spirit Games (4M), Central Park

Sept. 20: Queens Half Marathon, Queens

Sept. 26: Fifth Avenue Mile, Manhattan

Sept. 27: ING New York Marathon Tuneup (18M), Central Park

Oct. 3: Grete’s Gallop Half/Norway Run (1.7M), Central Park

Oct. 11: Staten Island Half, Staten Island

Oct. 25: Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff (5M), Central Park

Nov. 1: NYC Marathon

Nov. 22: Race to Deliver (4M), Central Park

Dec. 6: Joe Kleinerman 10K, Central Park

Dec. 12: NYRR Holiday 5K, Prospect Park

Dec. 19: Ted Corbitt 15K, Central Park

Cash for Clunkers: Turn in Your Old Shoes

Super Runners Shop, which has a location in Brooklyn at 123 Court Street (the former New Balance store), has a promotion this Wednesday (one day only) whereby you recycle your old running shoes and receive $25 off a new pair of shoes.

Details of this are scarce - a store clerk I asked said the promotion was being run at all of the New York City stores, though I can't find any mention of it on their Web site (the Grand Central location is promoting a similar deal.) So, what I don't know, if there's any restriction - any type of shoe you must get, or can't get.

Also not clear: If you turn in four pairs of shoes, do you get four $25 off certificates? Still, it's a pretty good deal, especially if you spent part of Labor Day laboring in the house (and having to get rid of stuff) and a great way to avoid cluttering up the landfill.

The store is open until 7 p.m.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Results From Governors Island 5K

are here. William Hansler, 34, of Brooklyn, captured 3rd place overall in the 5K race with a 16:33 - and was the top "First Responder" (First responder is an active or retired Fire Fighter, Law Enforcement Officer, EMT or Paramedic).

The race attracted more than 600 finishers. After visiting the island for the first time yesterday, I've got to say: This would be a perfect spot to have a NYC championship 5K race. Put a race cap on the field, or set up separate events for specific categories (M/W Open, M/W Masters). Obviously, the logistics of getting everyone out to the island would have to be addressed ... but it's such a short hop from Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Odds and Ends

Some random stuff, as I shake off the summer cobwebs and get back into serious X/C training (and maybe even a marathon this fall, depending on the state of my right leg.)

-- The Prospect Park Track Club starts up its next 10-week speed training series on Tuesday, Sept. 15, run by Tony Watson. Cost is $50 for PPTC members, or $100 for non-PPTC members (if you're thinking about doing it, might want to join the club for the $25 annual fee.)

-- 56 days until the New York Marathon, and the Web site has been updated with all sorts of goodies. A lot more will be seen on this blog in the coming weeks about the race, with hints and tips and stuff.

-- Registration for the Boston Marathon, the holy grail, begins on Sept. 9. I'll admit I'm biased, because it's on my life list of things to qualify for and complete, but as I meet runners from all *pun* walks of life -- qualifying for Boston is almost always a goal, especially as we age.

-- If you didn't see earlier, the New York Times offers its spin on the barefoot running/wearing shoes debate in a recent article. A nicely written piece, I thought, with fair balance. Did the Nike shoe revolution ultimately hurt running? Keep in mind, almost all of you reading this blog likely still need the traditional shoes and their support. For those of you able to break away, I applaud you.

-- Need some long-run ideas? I realize I've spent pretty much no time setting up the organization of this blog, but here's a link to some long routes if you need.

Race on Governors Island 9/6

OK, this is completely late notice, and for that I apologize. I was bemoaning earlier today about the lack of any weekend races in the immediate area. I was also on Governors Island (not running, but enjoying a beautiful late summer afternoon and recovering from a 2-hour run earlier in the day).

Sometimes, coincidences collide. Check out the 5K race tomorrow on ... Governors Island. It's a 5K race that takes into account the 2.2 mile loop. Very flat, and could be some nice times. The World Trade Center Run to Remember is "a celebration of the lives of those lost on September 11, 2001."

Race day ferry information is here. Worth checking out if you're able.

For those of you who are wanting to check out Governors Island anyway, a free ferry is available from Brooklyn on weekends (I should warn you, the first ones, around 11 a.m., are packed, so get there a little early.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Henry Isola X/C Results Posted

here. Edward Owens, 16, from Brooklyn, captured second-place overall on the four-mile course, with a 22:07.