serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Archive for October, 2009

2010 XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series “Battle At Big Creek”

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009


Get ready for the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series Battle At Big Creek on November 8th at the Big Creek Trails in Roswell, GA.  You can check out more information about the Big Creek trails in our trail runs database.  They are pretty fun trails not too far from downtown Atlanta.  Everyone in the Atlanta area should check them out sometime.  What a better time to check them out than during a fun trail race?!  This trail race is a great single and double track off-road running experience.  The race will start on the Greenway Concrete Trail for spacing but will soon lead into the woods.  The terrain is made up of a little bit of everything, rolling hills, climbs, roots, and rocks along with some technical sections.


There is a 4.5 and a 9 mile option for this race.  The course is made up of a 4.5 mile loop, the 9 mile race runs the loop twice.  Check-in is from 7-8 with a race start time of 8:30 am sharp.  Medals and awards will be handed out to the top 3 overall male and female runners.  Medals will be awarded to the top 3 finishers in each age category.

Hurry and sign up, this race is limited to 350 people.  Last I heard, they only had about 70 spots left!  Like all of Dirty Spokes Productions XTERRA Trail Run Races, you’ll get a sweet Dri-fit T-shirts with your race entry.  However, race day registrations are not guaranteed a shirt.  Click here to register now!  These is a great trail run, in an easy to get to location, put on by a great trail race company director.  Be there!

How to Find the Perfect Running Shoes

Monday, October 26th, 2009


I was emailed this picture of what looks to be a Bigfoot sighting.  It contained a link to this new advertisement for New Balance running shoes which I thought it was kind of funny.  The point New Balance is making is that you shouldn’t have to think about your feet while running.  The decision for the type of running shoes you prefer should be easy; however, we all know picking the perfect running shoes can be a daunting task sometimes.  The best way to find the perfect running shoes is to go to a running specialty store and try on as many pairs of shoes you can.  Even if you are loyal to one particular brand of running shoes, go and try out some other pairs.  There could be some better shoes out there that you didn’t even know about.  Most specialty running shoe stores will allow you to test run in the shoes and then give you advice on what type of running shoes seem to fit your running style.  You may know what feels good while running, but you don’t have eyes in the back of your head so having an expert examine you as you run is well worth it.  By utilizing this technique along with their experience, they are able to “hone” in on the perfect running shoe for you.  Kind of like a personal shopper!

If you live in the Atlanta area, a great running shoe store that will help you hone in on the perfect running shoe is Phidippides.  Most of the employees have been working there for over 10 years and it is owned by the World renowned running expert, Jeff Galloway.  Also Big Peach Running Company in Atlanta lets you take your shoes for a test run.

Dave Taylor Attempting World Record on Treadmill

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009


Dave Taylor, 57, is currently attempting to break the world record of 811 km run on a treadmill set by Brendan Brustad this past April.  Dave is running to raise money for the Gone But Not Forgotten fund that supports police officers that have been injuryed or killed in the line of duty.  Dave has already raised $27,000!  Dave has suffered blisters and a swollen ankle thus far but it hasn’t stopped him yet.  He estimates he will reach his goal at 6 pm this Saturday.  So how does he do it?  Probably a lot of mental toughness.  It also helps that he is able to take up to half an hour breaks to use the restroom and possibly get a little bit of sleep.  This is probably all that Dave needs though, he’s an ultra runner who knows how to deal with the pain.  We wish Dave all the best in reaching his goal.  You think you can run farther than Dave on a treadmill?  Well here are a couple of rules you need to keep in mind when you make your attempt:

1.  You can chose whatever speed or mode you would like as long it is not a downhill mode.

2.  You can not lean on the machine’s handlebars.

3.  The belt must be strictly stopped before you leave the treadmill.  You have to run every rotation that you are counting.

4.  The venue must be open to the general public so they can see you being a lab rat.

Now all you need is a treadmill.  Here are some great deals on some fantastic treadmills.

Congratulations to Kristin Bourdon Running Everyday for a Year!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009


Recently we wrote about Kristin Bourdon who challenged herself to run everyday for a full year!  We initially spoke with her on day 270 of her goal.  She told us about how she would be grumpy and irritable if she didn’t run and knew that she needed to make it a priority in her everyday life.  So instead of trying to fit running in, she made it a priority.  The question became not if, but when, she was going to fit her run in.  Well, apparently what she did worked!  Two days ago Kristin finished running for 365 consecutive days!  You can read more about her story in our initial interviews:  article one and article two.  Congratulations Kristin!  We’re so proud of you accomplishing your goal and inspiring all of us to run!


If you have an inspirational story you would like to share with us, please feel free to contact us at  We’d love to share your story to inspire other runners to keep pushing to reach their goals too!

3 Runners Die in Detriot Free Press/Flagstar Marathon

Monday, October 19th, 2009


Studies have shown that 1 out of 55,000 to 88,000 marathon finishers die during or after the race.  Unfortunately, this occurred to three different individuals competing in the half marathon race of the Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon this weekend.  Temperatures were not out of the ordinary that day, floating around the 30s, and doctors do not know the exact causes for the deaths of these three men.   Each of these three runners pasted away of apparent cardiac arrest; but all of the runners were people whom one would not think would have an issue with the strenuous conditions runners put on their body running long distances.  One was a 26 year old that was active and enjoyed playing soccer who collapsed and died shortly after crossing the finish line.  Daniel Langdon, 36, and Rick Brown, 65, both collapsed between mile 11 and 12 of the half marathon race.  Our hearts go out to the family and friends of these individuals.

As runners we need to remember that we are not as invincible as we would like to think.  Running is a gift that we should not take lightly.  Please keep these three people in your heart and minds on your next long run.

For more information visit the Atlanta Journal Constitution news story.

Cabbagetown Romp and Stomp 5K

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009


The Chomp and Stomp is Atlanta’s best Festival kicked off by one of Atlanta’s best 5Ks, the Cabbagetown Romp and Stomp on November 7th!  This is the 4th year of the 5K with growth and improvements each year.  I’ve run this year’s new race course and it proves to be just as exciting and fast as past years.  The race is run over a flat course great for attaining your new PR!  The race route winds through the beautiful historic neighborhood of Cabbagetown near downtown Atlanta which is great if you are out for a short, enjoyable, scenic 5K run.  In addition to running this great race route, race participants will receive and awesome long sleeved T-shirt AND free chili at the Chomp and Stomp Chili and bluegrass festival!  What else would you want after racing for 3.1 miles than free chili?!  Maybe plenty of porta-johns.  Don’t worry, they’ll have them too.

You can conveniently register on or save a couple of bucks by registering at one of the four convenient Big Peach Running Company locations in Kennesaw, Atlanta, Marietta, or Decatur and receive your race number for $25!  There will be race day registration for $30 but don’t wait until race day to register for this race which caps at 1000 runners.  You can avoid the race morning rush too by picking up your number and T-shirt Thursday and Friday, November 5th and 6th from 6-8 pm inside Milltown Tavern.  Stick around and have a pre-race beer.  It’s good for carbo-loading.

Awards will be given to the overall men’s and women’s first place and top 3 in each age group.  There will also be an award for 1st place male and female for the walking and stroller divisions.  Awards include gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses as well as hand-crafted Cabbagetown Artwork.  Now you won’t have to live in Cabbagetown to enjoy the beauty of the town!

Come run this fun 5K with me in Cabbagetown near downtown Atlanta, Georgia and stick around for the chili and bluegrass festival.  It’s sure to be a great time!

Race Against Domestic Violence 5K

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009


If you are going to be running, why not run for a cause?  If you live in the Atlanta area there is a great opportunity to help a great cause in the Race Against Domestic Violence 5K Run / Walk.  The race is to benefit NOA (No One Alone) which provides safe shelter and support services for victims of domestic violence.  The race is on Saturday, November 7th at  9 am.  Registration starts at 8 am.  The race course is located on beautiful Cottrell Ranch in Dahlonega, Georgia.

This is one of the most scenic courses in Georgia.  The challenging 5K course winds through the Cottrell Cattle Rance at the height of North Georgia Autumn season which is one of the state’s great natural treasures.  A sight everyone should come enjoy.  On the run you’ll view wildlife, creeks, and beautiful Fall colors on a quiet paved path winding through the ranch.  What a great way to spend a Saturday morning!


Of course there will be prizes awarded to the top male and female runners in each age category.  Age categories beginning at 10 and under and go to 80 and over in 5 year age groups.  Hurry and register because all participants who register before October 24th will receive a T-shirt.  There will be a limited number of T-shirts available for those who register after October 24th.  Registration costs $20 before October 24th and $25 on the day of the event.  Are you a struggling student?  Good for you, keep studying and run this race for only $15!

Running for a great cause in scienic North Georgia; running doesn’t get much better than that!

Is Pain Relief Medicine Good for Runners?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009


A couple of years ago a study was conducted at the Western States endurance run by David Neiman.  He set out to determine the influence of Ibuprofen in 29 ultramarathon participants.  In this study, Neiman had anticipated that the rigorous distance and altitude would surely affect the runners immune systems.  But how exactly?  Would they be able to perform better by feeling less pain while racing?

Neiman found that the runners who took the pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicine were supplying their own physiological stress by taking these tablets.  The athletes who took the Ibuprofen actually displayed significantly more inflammation and other markers of high immune system responses during and after the race!  Consuming pain reliever during the race actually gave them more pain!  In addition, the pain relievers didn’t seem to add any benefits for reducing pain.  Nieman placed researchers at water stops during the race who found that there was no difference in pain for those who took painkillers from those who did not.

So why do so many runners take pain relievers?  Most point to pain prevention.  No runner wants to feel pain?  This has lead to a widespread use of pain relievers with very little understanding of the consequences.  First, if you are taking pain relievers while working out, you are masking the pains that are occurring which can lead to more serious injuries.  Runners typically get injuries from long-term, overuse of the body, which they are able to continue to do while taking pain relievers.  Pain is a signal to your body to slow down, take it easy, and rest.  Runners who take pain relievers regularly are more susceptible to overuse injuries.

Physically, pain relievers can mitigate the bodies process of building strong tissue and bones.  The stresses of exercise activate a particular molecular pathway that increases collagen, and leads eventually, to creating denser bones and stronger tissue.  If you are taking Ibuprofen before your work-outs then you lessen this response and do not let your body build this important tissue needed to lessen the pain of future intense runs.

So when is safe to take pain relievers as a runner?  If you have pain from an acute injury it is fine to take medicine to relieve it, but you should not be taking pain relievers before every work out or race.  It should be taken to relieve small pain symptoms, not as a precautionary measure.

What Kind of Runner are You?

Monday, October 5th, 2009


Calling all Serious Runners!  That’s you.  We want to know what motivates you to run?  What is your favorite race distance?  How often do you run?  We would like to invited you to participate in Running USA’s 2009 National Runner Survey, a comprehensive survey to assess the demographics, lifestyle, attitudes, habits, and product preferences of the running population nationwide.  Running USA is a non-profit organization for the running industry.  Their mission is to advance the growth and success of the running industry in America.  I’ve used Running USA’s statistics and resources numerous times to learn more about what runners want and where the running industry is moving.  Running USA provides this great service for free so please help them gather the data.  Runners helping runners, it’s a beautiful thing.  Who knows?  You’re answers could change the face of the running industry for years to come!

The National Runner Survey is easy and avaiable online.  All responses are completely anonymous and confidential, so there is no reason to fudge your PRs!  Finally.  Help out your fellow runners and take this survey.  Thank you, and tell’em sent ya. ; )

RICE for running

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Alright Stop, collaborate and listen, RICE is back with a brand new addition.  (Please read out loud so you can “listen” like the lyrics suggest)  That’s right, RICE is back.  Not in the eating, carbo-loading, easy to cook way that you enjoy so much, but for treating injuries and pain.  Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.  RICE is a great way to ease your pain without having to visit a doctor.  PhDs are for suckers.


Rest:  Don’t run while it still hurts.  Let the injury heal itself without you pounding more pressure on it.  I know, not running is difficult, but rest is important.  Relax and take a chill pill.  Like ice for instance…

Ice:  You want to place ice directly on the injury.  Do not exceed 15 minutes at a time.  You can repeat as desired every hour.  Wrap ice in cold paper towels, put ice in sandwich bags, or duct tape frozen pea bags to your body.  You can figure out what works best for you.  I recommend finding an ice cold mountain stream to lay in like this guy after the XTERRA Bull Mountain Trail Run.


Compression:  You can alter compression with ice.  It is done to lower the blood irrigation in the area.  Try wrapping a bandage around the injury at your desired compression level.  Or buy a compression sleeve and look like A.I.  I wear a compression sleeve around my left bicep just because it looks cool.


Elevation:  Elevating reduces blood pressure in the injured area.  And it completes the name RICE instead of RIC.  Makes the term a little more consumable.

Along with these methods take anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the pain.  If the pain persists see and doctor and find out what’s really wrong with you.  They have fancy machines that can help sometimes.