Editor’s Choice: A Letter to Race Volunteers

February 24, 2014
A Letter to Race Volunteers.
Rachel Toor
© 2014 42K(+) Press, Inc.

What possesses someone who does not race, who may not even run, to get up at silly hours of the morning to stand outside, in the dark, sometimes in extreme heat but more often in wicked cold, for hour after boring hour, and offer assistance to people who are so involved in what they’re doing that they may not even notice you, let alone offer thanks, is beyond the limits of my small imagination. But nevertheless, at each race I enter, there you are, handing out cups of water, offering up Oreos, encouraging and supporting and cheering. I worship you. I wish I could offer you my first-born child. Or maybe bake you cookies. But I have no children and I can’t bake.

The race director is responsible for explaining your duties, but race directing is about as easy as wrangling cockroaches. So I wanted to take some time first to thank you for your service and then to pass on some comments from runners about how you can be great race volunteers, have fun, and hope to help you understand that runners aren’t as obnoxious as they may seem when they’re out there on the course.

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

Jan/Feb Editor’s Choice: Ode to Joy

January 6, 2014
Cover18.1SMOde to Joy.
Rich Benyo
© 2014 42K(+) Press, Inc.

One day after finishing her 25th New York City Marathon, Joy Johnson, who had taken a fall during the marathon at 20 miles where she suffered a head injury but continued the race in spite of it, died while taking a nap in her Manhattan hotel room. She was 86 and the oldest finisher of the famed marathon. She was accompanied to the race by her younger sister, Faith [Anderson], 83, who was with her when she died.

“I want to keep running as long as I can and drop in my running shoes when the time comes,” she stated in a 2011 interview with USA Today.

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

Nov/Dec Editor’s Choice: My Good-bye Marathon

November 1, 2013
Cover 17.6 temp.inddMy Good-bye Marathon.
Tom Hart
© 2013 42K(+) Press, Inc.

The halfway point of any marathon is a good time to assess how things are going, though these on-the-fly assessments can be treacherously tricky. Boston marathoners in particular know the seductive surges of power they can feel cruising invincibly through midpoint Wellesley and how those same siren surges are sometimes regretted a few miles later, in the Newton hills. My self-check-in at the halfway point of my last (most recent and final) marathon told me I was doing reasonably well. Yes, I could feel the accumulating miles a bit, but I was comfortable, breathing easily, legs feeling OK. Better than OK, in fact—I was seated happily in a Lexington, Massachusetts, bistro with a delicious slice of pepperoni pizza in my stomach and the last remains of a cold pint of Sam Adams in front of me at the table. It was noon, and my 26.2-mile walk had begun a little before 7:00 that morning. I would be moving along again soon and probably would be done before 5:00, marathon accomplished.

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

Philadelphia Marathon Named Finalist in Aetna Voices of Health Campaign

September 4, 2013
Philly_MarathonPHILADELPHIA (September 4, 2013) – Today Philadelphia Marathon organizers announced that the race has been named as a finalist in the 2013 Aetna Voices of Health contest. The competition includes 33 organizations which support health and wellness initiatives across the United States.
The organization that receives the most online votes, from now through October 13, will be awarded $30,000 to further its mission. The group finishing second in online votes will receive $20,000. Philadelphia Marathon officials created a one-minute video detailing how winning the competition would allow race organizers to create a new online resource center, designed to promote healthy lifestyle choices among kids. A number of youths also will be awarded a free entry into the annual Kids Fun Run during Philadelphia Marathon Weekend.
“We are thrilled to be named a finalist in Aetna’s Voices of Health campaign,” said Desiree Peterkin-Bell, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Marathon. “The campaign provides a great opportunity to strengthen our engagement with the community while encouraging children to live healthy and active lives.”
To vote for the Philadelphia Marathon in Aetna’s Voices of Health campaign, visit: www.aetnavoicesofhealth.com/philadelphia-marathon.php now through October 13. Voting guidelines are as follows:

Vote Through Email

  • Users can cast a vote using their email address for a total of five votes at once.

Vote Through Social Media

  • Users can vote once per day from each social platform for a total of five votes per day (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Yahoo).

Aetna created the Voices of Health program in 2011 to honor organizations that share the mission of helping people live healthier lives. The Philadelphia Marathon currently supports a robust charity program with partners who implement a mix of local, national and international initiatives. Students Run Philly Style, an original Marathon charity partner, mentors Philadelphia’s youth by using running as a teaching vehicle for adolescents to develop positive and healthy lifestyles.

In 2012, nearly 300 youths aged six to 14 participated in the Kids Fun Run — a non-competitive event which introduces children to the benefits of an active lifestyle. Children ran either a half-mile or a mile along the iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway, following Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Marathon race officials’ lead to help families and children establish healthy lifestyle habits. Kids Fun Run participants received goodie bags with an assortment of jump ropes and athletic balls as an enjoyable reminder to continue staying active. Children also accepted oranges and bananas donated by Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market in an effort to instill healthy eating habits.

The Kids Fun Run isn’t the only way the Philadelphia Marathon already invests in encouraging children to lead healthy lives. Youths have the option to participate in dance fitness, yoga and an obstacle course at the Kids Fun Zone — a family-focused assortment of free interactive games, activities and musical entertainment. The Kids Fun Zone is part of the free Health & Fitness Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, this year during Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16.

As a finalist in the Aetna Voices of Health campaign, the Philadelphia Marathon continues its commitment to create not only an unforgettable athletic experience, but also a platform for children to live healthy and active lives.

Philadelphia Marathon Weekend attracts more than 30,000 runners, 60,000 spectators and 3,000 volunteers to Philadelphia to celebrate “20 Years, For the Love of Running.” Course events include the Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, November 17; the Rothman Institute 8K and Kids Fun Run on Saturday, November 16; and a free two-day Health & Fitness Expo Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16. Race participants pass many of Philadelphia’s famous attractions on the swift and scenic USATF-certified course, which is a Boston-qualifier. For the Best Time of Your Life, take the first step to experiencing 26.2 miles of fun, beauty, history and excitement by visiting www.philadelphiamarathon.com.

Sept/Oct Editor’s Choice: Thank You, Junebug

June 25, 2013
Cover17.5SMThank You, Junebug.
Meghan Hicks
© 2013 42K(+) Press, Inc.

[Author’s Note: Rich Benyo gives me free reign with this column, and I usually choose to mix things up, writing a bit about my own trail-running adventures as well as the goings-on of the trail and ultrarunning community. With this column, this one time, I’m writing about a significant event in my personal life, the recent death of my dog, Junebug.]

You must know I am looking for a dog like you. It’s a fall day in 2001 at a shelter in San Angelo, Texas. The other dogs are complete nutters—barking, leaping, running circles, cowering in the corner of their kennel—just as you would expect a dog to behave in this strange and unhealthy environment. But you sit quietly, your furry tail swishing back and forth across the dirty concrete floor and your eyes focused on me.

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

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