Editor’s Choice: Running the 292-Mile Badwater Double

October 23, 2014
Cover18.6SMRunning the 292-Mile Badwater Double
Kenneth A. Posner
© 2014 42K(+) Press, Inc.

In 1977, Al Arnold became the first person to run the 146 miles from the Badwater Basin in Death Valley (which, at 282 feet below sea level, is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere) to the summit of Mount Whitney (which, at 14,505 feet, is the highest point in the continental USA). In 1989, Tom Crawford and Rich Benyo conceived the idea of doubling this feat and became the first people to complete the 292-mile round trip, which is referred to as a “double” (Benyo 1991). In 2001, Marshall Ulrich set a record for the double of 96:07 as part of his celebrated “quad” crossing (Ulrich 2004). I set out on July 1, 2014, with the goal of completing the double and—if all went perfectly according to plan—of improving on the record. If successful, I would contribute in a small way to the tradition that Tom, Rich, and Marshall established of seeking out extreme challenge in the beautiful but unforgiving environment of Death Valley and the High Sierra—and then raising the bar.

After the experience was over, my crew and I identified several lessons learned that we thought might aid other Badwater runners in such areas as planning, crew leadership, pacing, nutrition, and footgear. We offer these ideas with the goal of inspiring others to take on the Badwater course and to further improve the times for single, double, and other crossings. But first, here’s what happened.

Each issue, we select an “Editor’s Choice”—an entire article we share with you online. Click here to read the entire article…

On My Way to 100 Marathons

November 18, 2014

BillIn our November 2014 e-newsletter, e-XTRA, we included an excerpt of Bill Smith’s story in our “Subscriber of the Month” feature. Here is his entire story.

HOW I STARTED INTO RUNNING

I started running as a kid mostly inspired by my dad, also named Bill Smith. Dad was, in many ways, an over-achiever. He ran the mile and the half mile for North Kansas City High School, usually both in the same meet, and he always had a lot to say about running and training. At the time I was less interested in running, but I idolized my dad so if he had a high opinion of running, I was going to run, too. In those days we kids rode a bike or walked almost everywhere, and I just ran there because it got the whole thing over with a lot quicker. Once every year I would run to my doctor’s office for my annual summer camp physical and always “fail” the pee test because of the run.

After college I took up running again in about 1972, but this time I liked it, and my dad was enthusiastic about it, too. I became a member of the Kansas City YMCA and ran on their indoor track every night. It was a wood-slat inclined and concave track elevated over the basketball court, 26 laps to the mile. I kept that up for several years until one day a friend told me about a 10K on the weekend. Dad and I went to the 10K (he had never run one either), and there was an old friend of dad’s named Jerry Morrison running it. I looked at Mr. Morrison and thought, “All I got to do is stay with this old guy?” The race started, and I stayed with Mr. Morrison for a couple of miles. Jerry Morrison, I found out later, was an age group world record holder in the marathon. At age 57 he ran something in the 2:40s! Wow! Wow again, too. Mr. Morrison ran a 35 that day and I think I did a 40, but I was hooked on the competition aspect of running!

For the next many years, I ran one to three times per day. There was always a noon run with fellow runners at work, and often also a morning run with them. Running in the 1980s with those guys at work was very formative and influencing for me. That was an extremely competitive group with one very good former college miler, another college half miler, and a part-time college coach. The small group of us would run one or two 10Ks every weekend, and it was what I call friendly-fierce. We all wanted to beat each other in the worst way, and it developed training technique and speed. The running boom back then was different than now. No one went to a race just to finish. Everyone went to a race to win in some manner: Win outright, win your (10 year) age division, be first female, or just to improve your PR. One of my goals was always to beat the first girl. Wish I could still do that.

MY FIRST MARATHON

In 1980 a guy from work trained and ran a marathon. I had never thought of doing that before. And, obviously, by that statement you know that I also didn’t know how really fast Jerry Morrison was either. But I thought if they can do that, then I can do that. In 1981 there was no Internet or any other kind of social media, so you had to wait for the January issues of Running Times and Runner’s World to come out to see a one-page printed marathon schedule in the back of the magazine. You kept your copy for 12 months just so you had a schedule of marathons. So, in that schedule I picked out Heart of America Marathon as my first marathon. My goal was to get in under three hours. Anyone who knows Heart of America is probably rolling in laughter right about now. It is a really tough course. I wore a Timex with a chrono in it, and I wrote my required splits upside down on my number so I could see them. At the half I realized that I was behind schedule so I “caved in” to accepting a slower time and not accomplishing my goal. I don’t really know what happened, but I just started feeling better and better after that, literally charged up Easley Hill, and ran a negative split to a 2:59:35 finish. I remember the front runners got stopped by a train for a while, and that 12-year-old Wesley Paul ran it. That was my first of many. Hooked again!
Continue reading » On My Way to 100 Marathons

Mizuno Partners with Atlanta Track Club

November 13, 2014

ATLANTA, Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Atlanta Track Club and Mizuno announced an exclusive partnership today, uniting two prestigious Atlanta-based athletic brands guided by their mission to change lives through the power of running. Featuring a long-term commitment from both organizations, this partnership will help Atlanta Track Club grow the impact of its world-class running events, membership services, programs and products on the Metro Atlanta community.

The first fully-integrated sponsorship for Atlanta Track Club and a first-of-its-kind partnership for Mizuno inNorth America, this agreement will impact all facets of both organizations. Beginning January 1, 2015, Mizuno will be the Official Footwear and Apparel Partner of Atlanta Track Club, incorporating the brand in all of its running events, programs and merchandise.

Founded more than 100 years ago, Mizuno has been guided by the core philosophy of contributing to society through sports and grounded by the power of sports to transform individuals and shape communities through positive changes connected to health and physical activity. With this multi-year contract, Mizuno will showcase its commitment to running through this partnership with Atlanta Track Club and the city of Atlanta.

“Atlanta Track Club is a recognized brand not only in the Atlanta community but nationally with the rich history surrounding the AJC Peachtree Road Race,” commented Bob Puccini, President, Mizuno USA. “The alignment of our organization’s philosophy and purpose made this partnership a natural decision for Mizuno. We are excited for the opportunities that lie ahead and to be able to make a lasting impact in Atlanta with Atlanta Track Club.”

“As the Atlanta Track Club enters its next 50 years, it does so with the support of Mizuno, one of the world’s most respected running brands,” added Rich Kenah, Executive Director of Atlanta Track Club. “Mizuno will help our Club enhance every program and service that we currently offer to our members and participants and allow us to launch new initiatives designed to get more people moving.”

The more than 21,000 members of Atlanta Track Club and the more than 100,000 participants of Atlanta Track Club’s events and programs can look forward to many benefits from the Club’s partnership with Mizuno. Features of the partnership include Atlanta Track Club branded Mizuno apparel and footwear, the launch of new Atlanta Track Club events including a 2015 cross country meet for both high schoolers and open athletes, the addition of a youth track and field team, running shoe and apparel items included in Club training program benefits, and the availability of Atlanta Track Club branded apparel at specialty running and sporting goods stores throughout the Southeast region and online at atlantatrackclub.org. As part of the partnership, Mizuno will also become the exclusive footwear and apparel provider for Atlanta Track Club’s AJC Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10K.

About Atlanta Track Club

Atlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 21,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) – the largest 10K running event in the world and the Atlanta Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 5K (atlantahalfmarathon.org), Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.

About Mizuno USA

Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers in the world. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes golf, baseball, softball, running, track & field, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear throughout the Americas. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Norcross, Georgia.

Ryan Hall Teams Up With MetroPCS Dallas Marathon as Elite Ambassador

September 17, 2014

IMG2_RH_LRDALLAS (September 15, 2014) – Two-time U.S. Olympic marathoner and American half marathon record holder Ryan Hall has signed a multiyear partnership agreement with the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon to serve as an ambassador for Dallas’ oldest and largest marathon. In addition to participating in the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon and Behringer Relay weekend activities each December, Hall will appear in promotional campaigns for the event.

The 31-year-old Hall posted the best-ever American time in the marathon and has represented the U.S. in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games. Hall made his marathon debut at the 2007 London marathon, where he placed seventh at 2:08:24, now the American record for a debut marathon. He is married to Sara Hall, also a professional distance runner, and together they operate the nonprofit Hall Steps Foundation, which funds mentoring and running programs for at-risk youth.

“I’m excited to partner with Dallas Marathon race organizers to bring a new twist to the race-day experience this December,” said Hall. “I love the energy and excitement of a major city marathon and look forward to helping deliver a memorable experience to all runners and spectators participating in the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon.”

“Ryan Hall is one of the premier figures in American distance running,” said Patrick Byerly, president of the Dallas Marathon. “We’re excited to have such a notable runner on a national scale join us as an elite ambassador on race weekend, helping bring a memorable experience to each and every runner he interacts with.”

Runners wishing to participate in the 2014 MetroPCS Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon and Behringer Relay have through September 30 to register at current race prices of $120, $105 and $350, respectively. On October 1, fees for the marathon and half marathon will increase by $5, and Behringer Relay registration fees will increase $25 per team.

To learn more about the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon, visit dallasmarathon.com.

About the Dallas Marathon

The Dallas Marathon is a nonprofit organization with a focus on promoting health and physical fitness through running events and related activities. Dating back to 1971, the organization hosts year-round events culminating with Dallas’ largest and Texas’ oldest running marathon: the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon. Now in its 44th running, the marquee property attracts runners from across the globe and hundreds of thousands of spectators to Dallas’ largest single-day sporting event. The MetroPCS Dallas Marathon race course highlights iconic Dallas landmarks and is recognized as the official marathon of the city of Dallas. Since naming a primary beneficiary in 1997, the Dallas Marathon has donated more than $3.5 million to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. For more information, visit dallasmarathon.com.

Editor’s Choice: Look Back in Wonder

August 22, 2014
Cover18.5SMDeena and Meb in retrospect
Tito Morales
© 2014 42K(+) Press, Inc.

Can it really be 10 years since Deena Kastor’s and Meb Keflezighi’s historic runs at the 2004 Olympic Games?

Thank goodness for the miracle of YouTube and for the timelessness of its content.

Even a decade later, watching Deena enter the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens and witnessing her reaction when she comes to the realization that, yes, she has just earned the bronze medal in the women’s marathon continues to inspire. Her jubilation remains as spontaneous, her relief as raw, and her tears of triumph as heartwarming as they were that magical night in Greece.

“I started crying because there were so many people in those stands who had so much to do with me being there,” Deena says. “My family—I thought about all the amazing and constant support they’d given me since I was 11 years old . . . my ultimate life mentor, Coach Vigil . . . my husband, Andrew . . . my manager, Ray Flynn . . . everybody was there and they were all able to share in that moment.”

Each issue, we select an “Editor’s Choice”—an entire article we share with you online. Click here to read the entire article…

Clean Web Design