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Archive for December, 2009

Blue Ridge Marathon

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

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The National College Blue Ridge Marathon On The Parkway is on April 24th, 2010 this year.  It is a special year for this beautiful spring marathon, it is the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Building this highway was an amazing feat when the project began in 1935.  During the Great Depression the Blue Ridge Parkway was built in to provide jobs for trained but unemployed engineers, architects, and landscape architects on the verge of poverty.  The parkway provided an opening to the Great Smokey Mountain and Shenandoah National Parks making the Blue Ridge Parkway a beautiful monument of American hard work and history.

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Bring your hard training work and take a part in history this year at the Blue Ridge Marathon On The Parkway.  Even though a Michigan congressman said just before building the massive Blue Ridge Parkway that it was, “…the most ridiculous undertaking that has ever been presented to Congress of the United States.”  He was right, it was a huge undertaking, but the end result is a parkway connecting the United States with the precious Appalachian mountain communities.  Building the Blue Ridge Parkway was an undertaking worth the results, like training for and completing this challenging marathon.

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Take on the challenge to run the marathon that has been deemed the most difficult and the most beautiful marathon on the East Coast!  The marathon course takes you 3,076 feet of total elevation with 6,140 feet of elevation change throughout the course.  If the marathon is too much of a challenge, consider running the half marathon or as a part of a 5 person relay team at the Blue Ridge Marathon On The Parkway event.  For the more serious runners, the top male and top female finishers will receive a $5,000 Tag Heuer watch in this thousand person event.  Bring the whole family and register your children for the YMCA kids marathon!

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Ever wish while you were in the middle of the most difficult part of your marathon journey that you could stop and show your running supporters exactly how you are feeling?  Well, now is your chance with the National College Blue Ridge Marathon’s  StarCam!  On race day before runners approach the StarCam, they will be able to one of the races cell phones to call family and friends!  Now your your race supports don’t have to wake up at 5 am with you to support you!

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Take on this challenge in the new year and experience the beauty that the Roanoke Region in Virginia has to offer.  Stay the weekend and experience the outdoors.  Try trail running on the Appalachian trail, the longest foot path in the United States, over 140 miles long or mountain bike on many of the other great trails in the area.  This is a destination marathon you don’t want to miss.

Running Goals for the Year of the Run

Monday, December 28th, 2009

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2010 is the Year of the Run, which of course gets us at SeriousRunning.com very excited.  Excited like the start line of the marathon you’ve been training 5 months for kind of excited.  We are excited for another year of running, another year of experiencing new runs and attaining new goals.  What are your running goals for 2010?  We would like to hear your story and share it in our blog.  Please send a message to info@seriousrunning.com.  We asked our Facebook fans this morning what their running goals were for 2010.  Craig Ashley said, “Hopefully, I will complete my first ultra-marathon in 2010.”  Heather Utrata said, “2:55 marathon.”  Caren Rubinson Lipkin and Chris Dean McIntyre both spoke of attaining goals despite knee injuries and improving their health.  All great, differing goals!  Check out Run DMZ for some good tips for determining your running goals for 2010.  Whatever your Running Goal is, we are here to help you become a serious runner in the 2010 the Year of the Run!

One great way to start the New Year is by doing it old school; that is, celebrating New Years Day by meeting the New Year’s sun coming up over the horizon like our ancestors did before clocks were invented.  Be there when the New Year really starts.  The Wall Street Journal agrees and wrote, “ The Case Against the New Year,” shouldn’t be celebrated at the strike of midnight in the midst of the New Year’s celebration madness, but rather at sunrise.  We at SeriousRunning.com agree, it should be a day of reflection and planning.  New Year’s celebrations don’t have to be a celebration of debauchery and excess, but can be a celebration of the excitement of the upcoming year’s goals and experiences!

SeriousRunning.com suggests waking up to the calm 2010 New Year’s Day morning, lacing up your running shoes, putting on your winter running gear, and welcoming the New Year as the sun shines over the horizon.  The rise of the sun brings with it the excitement of the unknown of the New Year.  A new chance to accomplish and achieve more as a person and as a runner.  Be the runner you want to be in 2010.

If you must celebrate the New Year with debauchery and excess, then punish yourself by an early morning run on New Year’s Day.  And definitely tell us about the goal you made for 2010 on that run too at info@seriousrunning.com.  Happy New Years Serious Runners!

AudioFuel MP3s – Music Based Running

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

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Music has always been a part of sports, from the National Anthem at sporting events to the stereos blaring “Eye of the TIger” at the end of your local 5K.  Runners use music to increase speed, stamina, and ignore fatigue and pain.  Small portable music devices that can store thousands of MP3s have made running with music even more popular.  Runners now have been refining their running music tastes, finding songs that match their pace and running style.

When choosing running music, runners want to pick songs that have the correct beats per minute (BPM) for their running pace.  Most music’s beat is too slow to run to or have lyrics that make runners loose concentration, that is why AudioFuel was developed.  I tried AudioFuel and really could feel the increase in motivation and consistent pace.  AudioFuel is music custom composed for running to the beat.  There are three different speeds to choose from, blue for 125-145 BPM walking/jogging pace, green songs at 150-160 BPM for a medium pace and long runs, and red for a quicker pace of 165-190 BPM.  These songs really get your heart moving and motivate you to run!  You can download a free sample and check them out for yourself.  The songs are in regular MP3 format compatible with any computer.  All the songs are written by composer Howie Saunders who has composed #1 hit movie soundtracks for movies like Charlie’s Angels, Spiderman, the Matrix and Buff the Vampire Slayer.

In addition to the songs differing in BPM, they also offer compilations with or without coaching and sell single tracks for individual consumption.  I liked the Coaching Compilations tracks.  The coach has a soothing voice which gives the perfect amount of instruction without being overbearing.  The Coaching Compilation counts you onto the beat and tells you the pace you should running, the length of the track, and tips on running style.  It also warms you up and cools you down with slower BPM tracks at the beginning and end of the compilation.  As a more serious runner, you may prefer the pure compilations which delivers the steady running pace with no coaching, just pure music.  You can also purchase individual tracks in both styles.  These tracks will definitley improve your work outs!

You can purchase these products at AudioFuel.com for about $7.00-$12.00 USD.  The single tracks sell for about $1.00 USD.  See what other comments people have about their AudioFuel experience.  SeriousRunning.com would like to thank AudioFuel for allowing us to sample their product.

2010 is the Year of the Run

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

2010 is the Year of the Run and we at SeriousRunning.com are seriously excited.  2010 is going to see a massive increase in new runners across all types of running:  Trail running, Urban Running, Road Races, any running; they are all  going to gain popularity in 2010.  In 2009 we saw an increase in marathon participants and Trail Running races.  We at SeriousRunning.com don’t normally quote ourselves, but when you’re right…

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I came across an article in the Mansfield News Journal the other day talking about the second running boom spreading across America.  The first boom came in 1972 when Frank Shorter won the Olympic Marathon.  About the same time period as the Frisbee boom and the not-showering boom.  I’m glad that the running boom has been the only boom to stick around.  So why would there be another boom if Americans’ interest in running hasn’t changed?  The economy.  As people begin to lose their wealth they have begun to get back to the basics and appreciate the simpler things in life again, like running.  I’m actually going to take it one step further and say the next real boom is going to be trail running.  You heard it here first.  It’s going to be like the running boom of the 70s but now because our society has more of an emphasis on nature, the environment, and getting away from concrete jungles, trail running is going to be the spark of the next running boom.  Trail Running is the heat, but is also a cool way to escape the heat of global warming.  Help start the fire and participate in National Trail Running Day!  The heat is…on.
At any rate, whether it is trail running or road running, Americans are finding their love for running again.  Finally people are doing something with their Saturday mornings other than playing endless bocce ball tournaments.  So lame.  So why does a bad economy make for a good running economy?  Because running is cheap.  The biggest cost is running shoes and even those you can get really cheap on SeriousRunning.com.  The only other cost is race entries but you don’t have to participate in races to make running your hobby.  Running is universal, anyone can do it, even two year olds can do it!
Although the economy is the biggest factor to this new running boom, I think our realization that obesity is becoming a large problem, even in our children, has made running more popular as well.  People are realizing that even though any size is beautiful, not every size is healthy.  Our society is deeply rooted in eating unhealthy.  It tastes good and is easy to do.  Even the Girl Scouts peddle delicious cookies ever year.  What are we suppose to do?  Not eat them?  Of course not.  The solution; go running and exercise while continuing to enjoy delicious these treats.

So jump on the bandwagon and go running!  Wait, how can you run while on a bandwagon?

Atlanta Santa Speedo Run

Monday, December 14th, 2009

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The Santa Speedo Run is not exactly serious running, but it was a seriously fun event!  The 1st Annual Atlanta Santa Speedo Run was held this past weekend in the Atlanta neighborhood of Virginia Highland.  The Santa Speedo Run is a one mile run where participants are asked to wear a speedo plus some sort of holiday flair.  Thankfully, runners are also asked to not wear thongs.  The Santa Speedo Run began in Boston in 2000 and has been run for the past 10 years raising money for different charities in the Boston area.  The Santa Speedo Run expanded to Atlanta for the first time this year.  Over the years in Boston, the Santa Speedo Run has attracted thousands to run for charity…in speedos!

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The Santa Speedo Run started on December 16th, 2000, when 5 intrepid men ran down the streets of Boston in nothing but speedos and grey Santa beards.  They  ran down Newbury Street passing holiday shoppers who applauded as these five men passed by blaring a boom box with Muppet Christmas Carols.  The event has grown from 5 men to about 500 men and women runners!

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This year was the first event held outside of Boston.  The Atlanta Santa Speedo Run started at Darkhorse Tavern in the Virginia Highland neighborhood.  Runners and spectators started arriving around 12:45 to have a couple of “gain confidence” drinks before the race.  The tavern was lively with runners preparing to run in the 30 degree, drizzling weather and spectators excited to see the costumes.  By 1:30 pm the Darkhorse Tavern was packed to capacity and filled with excitement.

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The runners lined up on the sidewalk before the start of the “race.”  Spectators could see all of the different costumes as runners started one by one turning the corner.  From here they ran a one-mile, down and back course; giving spectators opportunities to watch the runners pass by multiple times.

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Over $40,000 dollars was raised at the Atlanta event which benefited the CHRIS Kids Inc. charity whose mission is to heal children, strengthen families, and build a community through their core values of Creativity, Honor, Respect, Integrity, and Safety.  The Santa Speedo Run Boston has raised over $420,000 dollars for various charities.

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The Santa Speedo Run was an exciting event for both runners and spectators alike.  You don’t always have to be serious about your running, but you should be serious about something.

Check out more photos on our Facebook page!

XTERRA Trail Running World Championship at Ka’a'awa, Oahu-Hawaii

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

This past weekend the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship was held at Kualoa Ranch in Ka’a'awa, Oahu-Hawaii.  The Trail Running World Championship was a culmination of the XTERRA Trail Run Series which had over 50 races ranging in distances ranging from 5K to 42K in both International and National locations over this past year.  XTERRA Trail Running races were held in Brazil, New Zealand, Italy, France, Austria, Japan, and 15 US States to truly earn the moniker “World Championship.”

The XTERRA Trail Running World Championship contained a 5K, 10K, and 12 mile run for over 1,000 runners.  Max King, 29, of Bend, Oregon won the 12 mile run for the men in a time of 1:14:26, 3 minutes ahead of the second place finisher, Gray.  King won over Joe Gray who is the reigning USA Track and Field Mountain Runner (there is a difference between mountain running and trail running) of the year.  It was the second straight year for King winning the XTERRA Trail Run World Championships.  King also won the USA Track and Field National Trail Marathon a month prior.  Three men started off the race strong together, but by the halfway point it was only a two man race, then a one man race for the last couple of miles.

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Fiona Docherty, 34, of New Zealand, who lives in Boulder, Colorado, won the women’s race with a finish of 1:30:05, 2 minutes ahead of last year’s winner, Cindy Anderson.  This was Cindy’s first XTERRA Trail Run race but she has always loved Trail Running.  What a great performance right out of the gate!  The two winners won a $2,000 airfare from Hawaiian airlines among other prizes.

The race route had 3,000 feet of elevation gain.  The weather was great Hawaiian weather with a soft morning breeze coming off of the ocean.  The trail was a mix of both single and double track.  Check out a video of the race and the course.  This year run your local XTERRA Trail Run Races and qualify for next year’s XTERRA Trail Running World Championships!