Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How Do Elites Train

Article from Running Times online

A Typical Training Week for Coach Jay Johnson's Elites

11 sessions per week, ancillary exercises right after workouts

By Jay Johnson

As featured in the Web Only issue of Running Times Magazine

Below is how Jay Johnson describes a typical week for the athletes he coaches. Johnson’s most notable runners are Brent Vaughn (13:18 5,000m/1:02:04 half marathon), Renee Metivier Baillie (15:15 5,000m) and Sara Vaughn (2:03 800m/4:11 1500m).

Sunday: With the long runs we do, Sunday’s a hard day. [On a 20-miler, Johnson’s runners start very easy, are moving well by 8 or 9 miles, then run from 14 to 19 at about marathon race pace effort, and use the last mile as a cool-down.] We don’t double on Sunday, but Brent goes to the pool after and gets a massage, so if he shows up at 8 a.m., he’s not done until 1 p.m. He’s not running that whole time but he is focused on getting better for five hours.

Read on here.

Marathoning Is Heart-Safe

Article from Med Page Today online

ESC: Long-Distance Running Appears Safe for the Heart

By Ed Susman, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today

Published: August 30, 2010

Reviewed by Dori F. Zaleznik, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston and

Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner

STOCKHOLM -- Men and women who participate in endurance competitive marathon events appear to develop some transient heart changes, but overall these activities do not seem to have long-term harm for the vast majority of individuals.

In a series of reports presented at the European Society of Cardiology meeting, doctors found:

·       Older runners -- those over age 50 -- developed some cardiac changes following running in Berlin marathons, but the changes in diastolic and right heart function did not exceed normal ranges.

·       There are ethnic and sexual differences in changes in heart muscle that should be recognized before athletes with enlarged hearts are disqualified from competition.

·       No significant cardiac changes occurred among participants who were engaged in a week-long overland and water endurance exercise program.

·       On the other hand, ultra-endurance running -- races of 50 to 100 miles -- resulted in elevation of troponin-1 which could be related to heart muscle damage; many of these runners also developed electrocardiographic changes.

On the whole, "It is wonderful to see that older adults can participate in these endurance events without experiencing long-term heart damage," said Ileana L. Pina, MD, professor of medicine, epidemiology, and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland.


Read on here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dirty Races

Article from USAToday.com
Runners get down and dirty for a thrill in extreme races
By Mary Brophy Marcus, USA TODAY

By Jack Gruber, USA TODAY
Cary Petrovich, 39, of Lorton, Va., hits the mud and low crawl section in the Run Amuck event on Aug. 14. He finished in 42:29.

No leisurely Saturday morning jog down tree-lined neighborhood streets for Joe Pennella. His idea of a satisfying morning run includes slogging through a mud pit, leaping over bales of hay and getting barked at by a U.S. Marine.
A couple of weeks ago, Pennella ran Run Amuck at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia — a 31/2-mile running race nothing like your neighborhood 5K fundraiser, he says.
"The race was ridiculously fun," he says.
"First, they hit you with a ladder hose from a Quantico Fire Department truck. Then on the first hill, a Marine makes you stop and do 10 jumping jacks and he makes you count — he had a bullhorn. Then you had to jump over bales of hay and run through a mud pit. And that's all in the first mile," says Pennella, 40, of his fourth mud run in the past three years.
Pennella is among a growing number of runners craving runs more offbeat or extreme than the typical weekend footrace, says Runner's World running expert and writer Bart Yasso, a longtime distance runner who spends almost every weekend at a race. He spent the weekend of Aug. 21 in Colorado.
"People are looking for the next challenge," he says. "I just saw Pike's Peak. They do a half-marathon distance ascent Saturday — 2,000 people run to the top of the mountain — and on Sunday the marathon is run, up and down."

Read on here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Craft beer shop headed for Decatur

From the ajc.com

Craft beer shop headed for Decatur

By Kristi E. Swartz

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Craft-beer marketer Ale Yeah! is setting up shop in Decatur, according to the store’s Facebook page.

The owners have signed a lease to move into a space alongside a strip of businesses at 906 W. College Avenue, east of Wahoo Decatur Grill.

According to the company’s website, Ale Yeah! Craft Beer Market will sell beer from microbreweries in the United States and other countries.

The owners had its eye on a spot in East Atlanta Village but ran into a “zoning snag” according to a Facebook post.

Read here.

Team Road Relays

Article from runningtimes.com
Why Team Road Relays are Flourishing
Hood to Coast started a growing trend in this genre of races
By Marc Chalufour
As featured in the September 2010 issue of Running Times Magazine
Bob Foote didn't invent the road relay, just like Bill Bowerman didn't invent the running shoe. They simply took old ideas, improved them, and watched the results spread.
Foote, a competitive runner and product of the first running boom, tired of the loneliness of the long-distance runner. There must be something else out there, something to spice things up, he thought. Then he found the Roseburg to Coos Bay Relay, a five-man, 60-some-mile race. He and his friends, invigorated from the experience, began talking about improving on that formula as they drove home. More runners, more miles -- that's what appealed to them.

Two years later, Foote looked around at the 79 other runners on the beach at Seaside, Ore. They'd just finished the first Hood to Coast Relay. "If this is ever even 25 teams, it will be a success," he thought. Five years later, 500 teams competed. Today, 1,000. Foote and his daughter, Felicia Hubber, who now directs the event, say they've never even marketed the race. For 12 consecutive years the field has filled in 24 hours, with hundreds of teams being turned away. Apparently Bob Foote wasn't the only runner yearning for a break from the routine.
By the late 1980s, Foote was fielding a handful of calls a year from enthralled Hood to Coast finishers, eager to establish their own relays back home. These weren't seasoned race directors looking to profit, but runners inspired by their relay experiences. An entirely organic movement was building as -- ever so slowly at first -- road relays began to spread from one coast to the other.
Read more here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

South DeKalb Striders 5K for Hope Road Race

Our friends from South DeKalb Striders will be hosting the 5K For Hope Road Race benefiting Our House.  Read on
South DeKalb Striders 5K for Hope Road Race - August 28th, 2010
5K for Hope Road Race is sponsored by the South DeKalb Striders Running Club" and is probably the "Best" course for you to achieve your personal best. This is a flat course (see course description) that's run on the Georgia Perimeter College, Decatur campus the 4th Saturday in August.. This charitable event raises funds to donate to "Our House", which is "A Child Care and Support Center for Homeless Families". You can go to active.com to register for the race online, or please contact Deanine Halliman(678)464-6950, or Sadie Bispham(404)-315-9668 or (404)-966-7638 for more information.

8th Annual Adams Realtors 5K


8:00 a.m. August 28, 2010 at Grant Park
Limited to 1,000 entries
The 8th Annual Adams Realtors RUN FOR THE PARK, sponsored by Adams Realtors. The run is part of the weekend long Grant Park Summer Shade Festival. All proceeds benefit the Grant Park Conservancy and its efforts to restore Atlanta's oldest park.
Interesting Note: Bill Adams of Adams Realty is a Decatur resident, local runner, and all around good guy of the neighborhood.

Grant Park Conservancy Summer Shade Fest

GPC Summer Shade Festival
Saturday and Sunday, August 28th and 29th
Kicking off the Festival Saturday morning (8:00 a.m.) is the Adams Realtors 5K RUN for the PARK (walkers are welcome). The Festival Artist Market opens at 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Live Entertainment revs up at 10:00 a.m. till 11:00 p.m. and a Childrens' Fun Center opens at 11:00 noon. Also, back by popular demand — Corks & Forks — A Fine Food and Wine Event is open both Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Click here for all the details. 

How running the marathon affects the body

From boston.com, here is an interactive article on how running a marathon affects the body (feet, heart, lungs, etc.).  click the link and check out the article.

Peach State Running/Eating

Article from Runners World online
Eat This Now: Peaches
In season June through September.
By Yishane Lee

Image by Joe McKendry

From the September 2010 issue of Runner's World
One medium peach contains just 60 calories and two grams of fiber, plus vitamin C and beta-carotene, a heart-protective antioxidant. This juicy, water rich fruit also contains potassium, a mineral critical for regulating fluid and electrolyte levels, making peaches a tasty choice for rehydrating after a warm run.
When buying peaches, choose those that feel firm and don't have bruises. The base color will differ according to variety, but it should be yellow-white, yellow, orange, or red. Green indicates it was picked early and won't ripen properly. Let very firm fruit ripen at room temperature for a few days. They're ready to eat when they smell sweet and give slightly when touched.
Peach Melba is a classic summer dessert pairing poached peaches, vanilla ice cream, and raspberry sauce. Anderson also likes this no-cook recipe for white wine-marinated peaches: Peel, pit, and slice six fresh peaches. Mix with 11/2 cups fruity white wine, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Let mixture stand at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate for up to two hours).
Read on here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Food Rave

From the AJC online

Rave to mix food, fun, charity

By Tracy Brown

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When Tony Rouse was coming up with an idea for a local food rave, he had three things in mind: a foodie event like the one in the movie “Hitch,” an affordable, fun evening that would appeal to a wide age group, and charity.

 “I thought, why not do something for someone else while we’re having a good time,” Rouse said.

On Friday evening, five Atlanta chefs will bring their culinary talents to the Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery for the first Atlanta Food Rave. The event will feature chefs at different food stations preparing samples from a menu that won’t be revealed until the night of the event. Rouse has added an interactive component that allows guests to vote for their favorite dish. There will also be music and free signature cocktails.

Featured chefs include Alex Friedman of P’Cheen International Bistro & Pub; Delroy Bowen, executive chef at the Georgia International Convention Center; Keira Moritz of Pacci Ristorante; Lance Gummere of the Shed at Glenwood; and LaToya Starks, a personal chef.

Tickets are $55 per person, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Atlanta Community Food Bank. For more details or to buy tickets, go to www.atlantafoodrave.com or call 404-856-0157. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Event preview

Atlanta Food Rave

7-11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27. $55, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Atlanta Community Food Bank.No tickets will be sold at the door. Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery, 199 Armour Drive, Atlanta. 404-856-0157, www.atlantafoodrave.com.

Read here.

Does Music Make You Exercise Harder?

Article from the NY Times.

August 25, 2010, 12:01 am

Phys Ed: Does Music Make You Exercise Harder?


For a study published last year, British researchers asked 12 healthy male college students to ride stationary bicycles while listening to music that, as the researchers primly wrote, “reflected current popular taste among the undergraduate population.” Each of the six songs chosen differed somewhat in tempo from the others.

The volunteers were told to ride the bicycles at a pace that they comfortably could maintain for 30 minutes. Then each rode in three separate trials, wearing headphones tuned to their preferred volume. Each had his heart rate, power output, pedal cadence, enjoyment of the music and feelings of how hard the riding felt were monitored throughout each session. During one of the rides, the six songs ran at their normal tempos. During the other rides, the tempo of the tracks was slowed by 10 percent or increased by 10 percent. The riders were not informed about the tempo manipulations.

Read on here.

Atlanta Ice Cream Festival

Atlanta Ice Cream Festival

Yay for ice cream Saturday at Piedmont Park for the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival. From 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., vendors like Westside Creamery, Soul Vegetarian, Bruster’s, Rita’s Frozen Italian Ice and Will-YUMS, and others. There will also be food vendors, health and fitness activities, music and other entertainment.

Midtown Restaurant Week Sept. 4-12

Midtown Restaurant Week

With 27 restaurants to choose from, there’s sure to be some place you’ll want to visit during Midtown Restaurant Week, Sept. 4-12. There will be three-course $25 dinners and several places will also have $15 lunches. For the full list of restaurants, including popular spots like Ocenaire Seafood Room, Murphy’s, One Midtown Kitchen, Ecco, Dogwood and many more, click here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2010 Pikes Peak Ascent

Way back when I really wanted to run this, its also an article about making running harder.  The article is from runningtimes.com.
2010 Pikes Peak Ascent
Sub-2:10s, wrong turns and outfit flubs
By Justin Mock
As featured in the Web Only issue of Running Times Magazine
In the early 1900s, it was the mineral water that brought people together in Manitou Springs at the foot of Pikes Peak. For the last 55 years, it’s been the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon that have drawn runners to Manitou each August. Roadies vs. trail runners, marathoners vs. ultramarathoners, flatlanders vs. altitude junkies, rookies vs. veterans and, especially this year, Colorado vs. the world—the Pikes Peak Ascent on Saturday, August 21, was all of those and more. The epic 13.3-mile race gains 7,815 feet to finish on the 14,050 feet. While the race is consistently one of the most competitive trail races in the country, the 2010 race was named the World Mountain Running Association’s Long Distance Challenge and featured the deepest field in the race’s storied history. 
Starting in front of town hall in Manitou at an elevation of 6,300 feet and looking ahead at the mountain that inspired the song “America the Beautiful” in 1893, breathing is already constrained with 18 percent less oxygen than at sea level. The opening miles pass by the Cog Railway Depot and while the railway may be the easy way up, passing by it is anything but as runners are forced to tackle some of the steepest grades early on. Given the regard that most hold for the challenge ahead, it was more than surprising to see someone that few had picked to win, someone that had never set foot on the mountain before, and someone that no one recognized gap the entire field even before reaching the Cog. It was Glenn Randall, a Colorado native, recent Dartmouth grad and Olympic hopeful cross country skier, that bolted to the lead. "I have 30-minute 10K speed and thought I'd get ahead of everyone on the flatter sections," Randall said. Still, the chase pack included some of the world's best mountain runners.

Photos are from the article.
Read on here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Training While Pregnant

This is what elites do, article from the NY Times.
August 19, 2010, 11:08 am
Two Running Stars Train While Pregnant
Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

Paula Radcliffe, left, and Kara Goucher at the 2008 New York City Marathon; both women are now pregnant and training together.
Runners Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher are famous for standout performances in the marathon and other events. Now both women, pregnant and due on the same day in September, are also training together during pregnancy.
The summer issue of New York Runner, the magazine of the New York Road Runners club, offers a lengthy question and answer session with both running stars, who offer insights into their own training programs while pregnant and tips on staying fit during pregnancy.
Ms. Goucher, 32, whose 2:25:53 at the 2008 New York City Marathon remains the fastest-ever debut for an American, says she has been surprised at the effect pregnancy has had on her training.
Read on here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Creative Loafing Highland Ave. Beer Fest

This Saturday in the Highlands

When: Sat., Aug. 21, 12-6 p.m.
Price: $35 in advance, $40 at the door
Over 100 craft beers!
Live performances by Mermaids, Grinder Nova, The Perimeters, DejaBlue Grass Band, and 10 Degrees Off.
Food available for purchase from Pure Taqueria, Hobnob, Savi Urban Market and many more!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Making Marathons Even Tougher

Its already tough, an article from the WSJ.
Making Marathons Even Tougher


Competitors in the 2008 Pikes Peak Ascent half-marathon encountered extreme conditions.
Registration for this weekend's Pikes Peak Marathon filled up in five hours.
"It's become a stampede," says Ron Ilgen, race director for the marathon up and down Pikes Peak on Aug. 22 and the half-marathon up the mountain the day before. Combined, the races admit 2,600 runners.
From five-kilometer to 100-kilometer races, runners in growing numbers are veering off concrete onto dirt, grass, rock and gravel. Nationwide, the number of trail races has nearly doubled since 2004 to 220, up from only eight in 1997, the 14-year-old American Trail Running Association says.
A typical crossover is William Hinz, a 63-year-old lawyer in Orange County, Calif. A veteran of seven urban marathons, he recently discovered trail running and finds he likes the different challenges it presents. Take his eyes off the trail and he might stumble. Fail to look up, however, and he might go the wrong way at a fork in the path. During one recent race, "there was a plank you had to take across a stream," says Mr. Hinz, who is running the Pikes Peak Ascent half-marathon on Saturday. "I just hope to finish," he says.
Read on here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ron Clark Academy Parents 5K Run for Education

Sunday, August 22, 2010 @ 7:00 AM local time

Grant Park
840 Cherokee Ave. SE

EVENT OVERVIEW Ron Clark Academy Parents (RCAP) is excited to present the Inaugural 5K Run/Walk to benefit Ron Clark Academy Scholarship Fund, Agape Christian Academy and RCAP Teacher Conference Awards. The mission of the event is to promote education, health, community partnership and to motivate youth to get out and run! Time: 6:00-7:00am - T-shirt/Bag pick up 7:00am – Opening Ceremony 7:30am – Run | 7:45am – Walk 10:00am - Closing @ Pavilion #1

Kudzu Clipper 5K

Saturday, August 21, 2010 @ 8:00 AM local time

Midtown Athletic Club
135 Interstate North Pkwy
Hosted by Camp Kudzu and Midtown Athletic Club, the Kudzu Clipper will raise funds to send children with diabetes to summer camp. Camp Kudzu has week-long overnight camps for children with diabetes. They learn to manage their disease and meet other kids just like them. After the race, stick around to take advantage of MAC’s world-class facilities! We invite the Atlanta community to join us as we fight to improve the health and well-being of our youth!

Free to Breathe Lung Cancer 5K

Saturday, August 21, 2010 @ 7:00 AM local time


This is the Inaugural Free to Breathe® Lung Cancer 5K run/walk in Atlanta. It is a great opportunity for lung cancer advocates, survivors and the community to come together to raise awareness and support to fight this disease.

10th Annual Decatur Barbeque Blues & Bluegrass Festival Aug 21st

When: Saturday, August 21 - 4pm-10pm

Location: Harmony Park in Oakhurst, south of downtown Decatur [map]

Scrumptious Food: This year we'll be serving up three great choices! Five Star Barbecue and Black Tie BBQ will be back for the second year in a row, and local BBQ provider Community Q will be joining in to serve up ribs, pulled pork and much much more!

Cold Beer: Fat Tire Amber Ale, Mothership Organic Wit, Ranger IPA, Skinny Dip Summer Seasonal
Entry Fee:
21 and Older - $10
10 to 20 - $5
Children under 10 admitted FREE!
No Coolers Allowed!

Taste of the Town Aug. 19th

Burn More Fat

An article from USA Today online

Skip breakfast before exercise to burn more fat, studies say

By Maria Cheng, The Associated Press

LONDON — Running on empty may not be such a bad idea after all. Though many athletes eat before training, some scientists say that if you really want to get rid of more fat, you should skip the pre-workout snack.

Several studies suggest exercising while your body is low on food may be a good way to trim excess fat. In a recent paper, European researchers found that cyclists who trained without eating burned significantly more fat than their counterparts who ate.

Read on here.

Take Your Time

Article from the USA Today online edition

Runners, take your time: Marathon training can lead to injury

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Attempting a marathon is a challenge that can bring a great feeling of accomplishment but runners need to be careful to avoid training injuries and other health problems, experts advise.

Common types of injuries in marathon runners include shin splints, muscle strains, stress fractures, patellofemoral pain syndrome (pain in and around the knee) and iliotibial band syndrome (pain on the outside of the knee and hip).

"These injuries often result from overtraining or increasing mileage too quickly. That is why it is important to build up mileage slowly and take rest days," Dr. Haemi Choi, a sports medicine specialist at Loyola University Health System, said in a university news release.

Read on here.

Olympic Medalist as a Finish Line Greeter

How about it when the person who congratulates you at the finishing line is an Olympic medalist

Keflezighi provides smiles

Sidelined by injury, he still had good time

By John Powers

Globe Staff / August 16, 2010

FALMOUTH — Meb Keflezighi didn’t run yesterday but he served enthusiastically as the Falmouth Road Race’s unofficial chief greeter at the finish line, with hearty felicitations for all.

 “Falmouth has been there in good times and bad times for me,’’ said the Olympic marathon medalist, who finished second twice here during the last three years but was a precautionary scratch this time after getting a leg tweak during a training run. Stepping in to represent the family was brother and righthand man Merhawi.

Read the article here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Living Walls In Atlanta

From Eyedrum Galleries and NPR

"Living Walls" Street Art Exhibit



ATLANTA, GA (WABE) - For the next six weeks, Eyedrum is going to be home to an avant-garde collection of various forms of street art. This exhibition marks the culmination of a week-long event in which artists have come from all around the U.S., South America, and Europe to participate. An artist who wouldn't give his name, but rather his monkier, Doodles, has come to Atlanta several times in the past to work on various pieces around town.

"Everyone's just been super friendly. Unlike going to a place like New York where it's very competitive and chaotic, Atlanta is a little more laid back, and a little more optimistic, and hopeful."

Other examples can be found in legally approved places, mostly along Dekalb Ave.

For WABE news, I'm Aleck Ragsdale WABE

You can listen more here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dirty Atlanta Air

From NPR and WABE Atlanta.

Air Quality on Track to be Dirtier Than Last Year

Michelle Wirth (2010-08-12)

Listen Here.


ATLANTA, GA (WABE) - If smog predictions for today hold true, Atlanta's air will officially be dirtier than during the same time in 2009. By this time last year, there were 14 days that violated federal clean air standards. Clean Air Campaign Executive Director Kevin Green says, if smog forecasts made for today come true, it would be the 15th day this year the air does not meet those standards.

"When you combine all the sources of pollution with hot, balmy weather, you're more likely to get air quality challenges, and that's what we're seeing this year."
Green also says today marks the fifth straight day of smog alerts which is the longest stretch of unhealthy air warnings since 2008. And he expects the muggy days to continue.

"We've got a lot time left in this smog season. It's not over until September 30th. We've got a lot of clock to run."

Green says we won't know how bad today's air is until tomorrow.

Read and listen to the article here.

Running With Your Dog

For all runners who run with their dogs, heres an article for you from the NY Times.

August 12, 2010, 1:07 pm

Running With Your Dog


Runner’s World magazine this month has a great special section on running with your dog. In addition to lots of great photos, it’s filled with useful information. Among the stories:

Five Reasons to Run With Your Dog: Number one: a wagging tails reminds us that “running should be joyful.”

The Best Breeds for Runners: A great chart that breaks down, among other things, the best breeds for long, slow runs (standard poodles and dalmatians), running on trails (border collies) and most obedient running companions (Labradors and golden retrievers, of course).

Running Accessories for Dogs: Where to find the best power bones, poop bags and travel bowls.

Training Your Dog for Endurance: You wouldn’t run long distances without training, and neither should your dog.

People Who Run With Dogs: The post includes a fun video showing a photo shoot and interviews of people who run with dogs, including one great story of a dog in Alaska who saved its owners from a mother bear with cubs.

To see all the articles on offer, go to the magazine’s Running With Dogs link.

Read on here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Slower Is Faster?

Interesting, from Running Times online

Magill on Masters: Slower is Faster

Slower gets us there faster

By Pete Magill

As featured in the Web Only issue of Running Times Magazine

We masters runners don’t ask for much.

All we want is the ability to train hard, race fast, dodge injury, behave like a bunch of college kids competing for conference championships and simultaneously juggle the responsibilities of career, family, social obligations and community service.

Oh, and we’d like it all now. Right now.

Ninety percent of masters runners who contract me about coaching do so within weeks of their next important race. They’re nervous. They’re out of shape. And they really want to run fast. When I explain that it takes months to build race-fitness, they invariably say, “Yeah, I understand that, but how fast can I get in two weeks?”

Read on here.

Marathon Boom

Article about the marathon boom from the Houston Chronicle

Running notebook: Participation, interest keep growing


Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle

Aug. 11, 2010, 6:52PM


If the start of your last 5K seemed more crowded than usual, that might be because it really was. More people than ever are joining the pack of those whose idea of a good time is running in a race. That's the news in the third and final installment of the 2010 State of the Sport report, prepared by Running USA.

The nonprofit group offers this snapshot of road-running trends:

— The number of running events in the U.S. exceeded 17,000 in 2009, the most ever.

— Those 17,000 events had more than 10 million finishers, also an all-time high and a 37 percent increase since 2000.

— 5.4 million of those finishers were women, who now make up 53 percent of race fields, compared to 23 percent in 1989.

The number of half-marathon finishers jumped 24 percent from the previous year, to 1.1 million. But the marathon, road running's marquee event, also grew in popularity. The 10 percent increase in marathon finishers is the largest in the past 25 years.

The 5K and 10K, the top two most popular distances, are also growing.

The average age of finishers — 35.3 years - is slightly younger. The organization suggests that trend will continue as baby boomers' children enter the sport as young adults in the coming years.

Read on here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

New traffic signals make it safer for pedestrians

I hope that the ones mentioned to be installed in Georgia are located in Decatur.  Read more of the USA Today online article here.

New traffic signals make it safer for pedestrians

By Mike Chalmers, USA TODAY

As a freshman at the University of Delaware, Caitlin Gormley had to dash across a busy two-lane road to reach her Introduction to Animal Science lab on a research farm south of campus.

"I tried once on my bike, but I felt uncomfortable so I stopped after that," said Gormley, 20, now a junior pre-veterinary medicine major who drives to the farm. "It was pretty scary."

A new kind of traffic signal in Delaware, the High-intensity Activated Cross Walk, or HAWK, became active Friday and will make crossing Delaware 72 safer for students beginning this semester, state transportation officials say.

Delaware joins a growing number of states and cities around the country, including Georgia, Minnesota, Virginia and Arizona, with HAWK signals that allow people to cross a busy road, either at an intersection without a standard traffic signal or in the middle of a long stretch of road.

Several are scheduled to be installed in Georgia, in and around Atlanta, this month. Tempe, Ariz., added them in February.

Read on here.


There is a BeerFest this Saturday in Sandy Springs.  Heres an AJC online article.  And the info

Heritage Sandy Springs, a non-profit that funds and operates a four-acre park in the city, will host its BeerFest this Saturday.

The event features more than 70 beers, food and live entertainment. It runs from 4 to 8 p.m. at Heritage Green park, 6110 Bluestone Road. Heritage members get a sneak peak at the party from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets are $25 and benefit Heritage’s efforts to maintain the park, the site of events and concerts year-round.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.hssbeerfest.com.

When I read the title, it reminded me of the movie BeerFest, a comedy by the Broken Lizard comedy troupe.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Half The Distance, Twice The Fun

An article from running times online

A World Full of Half Marathons

A look at the rising popularity of half marathons

By Jim Gerweck

As featured in the JulyAugust 2010 issue of Running Times Magazine

Consider the following sequence of events: On March 21, the New York City Half Marathon drew more than 11,000 runners to follow a field of elites, led early on by Haile Gebrselassie and Deena Kastor through the streets of Manhattan. The following Saturday, 8,500 braved the cobblestones of Prague to race 21.1K through the Czech Republic's capital. And the next day, the biggest field of the three, 21,000-plus, assembled in Berlin for a fast half over that city's pancake-flat course. While Berlin was celebrating its 30th anniversary, the other two are relatively new events--New York is only in its fifth year, Prague its 12th. And while Berlin race director Mark Milde, who also heads up the city's world-record marathon in the fall, says, "The half marathon will never have the mystique and draw the media attention that the marathon does," he and his fellow organizers realize the half may be where the biggest future potential lies.

"We think the half can be as big, or bigger, than the ING New York City Marathon," says Mary Wittenberg, director of both Big Apple events and president of the New York Road Runners. The numbers would seem to bear her out; 21,000 applied for this year's race, making it almost as popular as the five-borough run on a per capita basis. And Prague saw a 35 percent increase in its numbers for 2010. "Tell me what other industry had that kind of growth this year," says Carlo Capalbo, the irrepressible Italian director of that race.

Read on here.

Flip-Flops, Flip-Flops

Story from NPR

Wearing Flip-Flops? Watch Your Step

by NPR Staff

August 4, 2010

Listen to the Story

All Things Considered

They're everywhere when the weather turns warm, but a podiatrist warns flip-flops carry more risks than blisters and stubbed toes.

Dr. Rock Positano, the director of the Non-surgical Foot and Ankle Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, says the risk is not that people wear flip-flops — it's how they wear them.

"I have no objection when patients say, '... What is the best way to wear these type of shoes?' I always say, 'Look, use your head — if you're hanging out by the swimming pool or hanging out on the beach, they really cause no damage or no problem,'" Positano tells NPR's Michele Norris. "When people develop problems is when they wear them in an usual situation — such as 5-mile hikes or standing on their feet for 5 to 10 hours on a trip."

Positano says that's when he sees tendinitis, heel problems, Achilles tendon issues, ankle injuries — as well as injuries in other parts of the body.

"Unfortunately, these shoes have no significant orthopedic support for the foot and the ankle. And of course, as Leonardo da Vinci taught us, the foot and ankle is the most important part of the body cause it makes contact with the body first. If the shock is not absorbed appropriately from the ground — it gets transmitted to other parts of the body. So what'll happen — it'll start as a foot issue, and then it will go to the lower leg, the hip, the knee, the back," he says.

Positano also says beware of wearing flip-flops in areas where there might be a higher concentration of pathogens or bacteria.

"We see that particularly in Central Park," he says. "I had a patient a few years ago that developed one of the nastiest, nastiest skin infections I've ever seen — required the person to be on antibiotics for almost two months. And the reason being was that this was a person that was wearing an exposed shoe."

If you're going to wear flip-flips, Positano advises wearing flip-flops with thicker soles.

"I prefer a thicker one, because it's more rigid. And of course the rigidity gives the person a little bit more support, which means they have better capability for shock absorbing. And people also ask this question: 'The cave man used to walk [on] bare feet.' I say, 'Yeah, but the problem is the cave man only lived to 20 years old.' I mean, people are living a lot longer lives these days and you need to be able to protect your feet from an earlier onset. Because clearly the problems you have now are only going to get worse as a person ages."

Icebreaker Indoor Marathon

An indoor marathon that is certified as a Boston qualifier and ran on a 443-meter track, article from the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

Icebreaker Indoor Marathon adds a 5K and a Boston certification

By Tom Held of the Journal Sentinel

July 30, 2010

Gearing up for its third year, the InStep Icebreaker Indoor Marathon has added features appealing to both the entry-level and elite-level runners.

First, the three-day running event set for Jan. 21, 22 and 23 in the Pettit National Ice Center will include a 5K run on Friday night, expanding the offerings from the half-marathons on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday.

Even more important, the indoor marathon on the 443-meter track has received the Boston Marathon stamp of approval as a qualifying event for that Holy Grail of running.

 "Receiving qualifying status for Boston will not help us attract more runners because we will fill all of our available slots," said Chris Ponteri, the Icebreaker founder and director. "However, it will help us attract some faster runners and more importantly it gives us additional credibility.

 "It's one more reason why we are the premier indoor marathon in the country."

Registration for the InStep events opens on Sunday at 8 a.m., via Acitve.com.

The 5K field limit will be 100. Each of the half-marathons will be capped at 125, the marathon relay will max out at 100 teams and the marathon itself will have a limit of 130.

The Gold Medal Challenge, the half-marathon and full marathon combination, will be limited to 40.

Fees remain the same as in 2010 - $60 bucks for the half-marathon and $90 for the full marathon, and that includes the Active.com registration charges. The new 5K will cost $30.