Editor’s Choice: Under Two Hours – and Beyond

January 5, 2015
Cover19.1SMIs the sub-2:00 marathon possible?
P. J. Christman
© 2015 42K(+) Press, Inc.

The marathon: a magic distance and event, one that requires ambition, planning, determination, courage, persistence, stamina, and endurance, all traits the Greek messenger Pheidippides was required to possess for his clarion journey.

For it was Pheidippides’s feat of running from Marathon to exhaustion and death in Athens, in order to announce nothing more than victory, that inspired the subsequent formal Olympic event. At the end of the 19th century, a modern-day race was designed to commemorate the approximate 25-mile distance he was thought to have run.

We can thank King Edward VII of England for the event’s current 26.2-mile or 42.195-kilometer Olympic distance. For when His Majesty gave permission for the start of the 1908 Olympic Marathon to be upon the East Lawn of Windsor Castle, the race to finish with one lap inside London’s White City Stadium, the Olympic marathon distance was increased from 24.85 miles to its present distance.

These popular contests on foot are thought to be among the planet’s more testing endeavors. For those of all abilities up to the challenge, it takes somewhere between two and six hours to complete. Many fail to finish. Others end up hitting “the Wall” where glycogen has run out and the muscles can no longer sustain pedestrian movement of even the most awkward or staggering nature.

Of course there are other, arguably more difficult challenges such as climbing Mount Everest, swimming the English Channel, hiking across the Sahara Desert, biking the Tour de France, or completing Ironman triathlons. These endeavors create their own cachet through difficult requirements involving the overcoming of great mental and physical barriers.

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

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: Stepping It Up

May 1, 2014
Cover 18.3 temp.inddStepping It Up.
Cara McLaurin Esau
© 2014 42K(+) Press, Inc.

Back in my day, we had to walk to and from school, uphill both directions, in 15 feet of snow. Even worse, we had to do any necessary research at the library using actual books. And it was painstaking. If we needed to seek opinions from others, we had to conduct surveys in person or on the phone. Now such labor is no longer necessary—not even among the race directors of popular marathons when they are brainstorming their latest medal designs. Some wise race directors do the same as young whippersnappers do these days: they turn to social media outlets for help. Social media is proving to be a boon for race directors (RDs) who want to improve their medal design to win the hearts and loyalties of their runners.

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

Arlene Pieper – 1st Lady Marathoner

November 26, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARunning history often notes Roberta Gibb and Kathrine Switzer as among the first American women to run a marathon. However, seven years before Gibb hid in the bushes and snuck into the Boston Marathon in 1966 and eight years before Switzer ran Boston as K.V. Switzer in 1967, Arlene Pieper had finished the Pikes Peak Marathon in 1959. Pieper not only completed one of America’s most challenging marathons, but also became the first official female finisher of a marathon in the United States. Equally impressive was Arlene’s daughter, Kathy, who ran with her mom that day. Kathy reached the summit in a time of 5:44:52, becoming the youngest competitor at that point to finish the race to the summit.

We first met Arlene and Kathy in 2010 at the Pikes Peak Marathon, and we have enjoyed reuniting with them each year since. Every year, both Arlene and Kathy meet new runners at the Pikes Peak expo, and Arlene signs countless photos of her on the summit of Pikes Peak in 1959. Read more about Arlene and/or order a personalized, autographed photo by visiting her website at Arlene Pieper.

What’s your PW – Personal Worst?

September 18, 2013

JoeHendersonIn our September/October Special Book Bonus, Going Far by Joe Henderson, Joe tells us about his “most perfect marathon” and his “personal worst” – 25 years apart but in the same marathon, Avenue of the Giants.

As runners, we all know that the marathon day will come when things don’t go as planned. Joe writes: “If you want to know the runner you really are, not the one you once were or imagine yourself becoming, enter a marathon. Any marathon will do, and this one happened to be the Avenue. Running among the ancient redwoods always cuts you down to size, but never more than when I returned to this marathon for the first time in 20 years.”

In 1992, Joe had what he names his “PW” at this marathon, but as he says in his book, “…these were ‘worsts’ only by the clock. Marathoners can say of finishes what pilots say of their flights: any you can walk away from is a good one, no matter how rough the journey.”

On our Facebook page, we asked our “friends” about their PW’s. Here are their responses.

John Russell: Running a marathon in June with a fever and dry cough. Even stuffed full of meds, I ran out of energy at mile 12 and had to walk most of the last 14 miles in the blazing sun. Cuz I was stupid and stubborn and refused to DNF.

David Corfman: I’m was a 2:58 marathoner at the time, but completed the Pike’s Peak Marathon in 8:45, having contacted acute mountain sickness at elevation.

Shelton Clark: Yeah, I guess DNF (which I did at the Marine Corps Marathon last year) is worse than my PW finishing time (7:25 at the Loonies Midnight Marathon this past July), because finishing at a slowest-ever time, while mostly abject misery, was way better than taking another DNF.

Meredyth Fasulo: My PW was at the WDW Princess Half Marathon this year. I usually run about a 2-hour half. This year the Princess was warm and so humid you could see fog all day. I decided to take more walk breaks and get character pictures. I came in at 2:16. However, it was great because at the finish I got to help 2 strangers cross the line. One thanked me after finishing saying I helped her reach a PR by my words of encouragement.

Bill Khan: 4:42 Boston Marathon in the heat in 2012. Qualified in 3:18. My worst marathon outside of my two Bostons is 3:26. My PR before then was 3:11. Yeah, it pretty much sucked. I passed out and wound up in the med tent afterward. First-half split was 1:58. Second-half split was 2:44. Everyone suffered that day; I suffered worse than most.

Tonya Coe Stephenson: 3rd half marathon in four weeks. It was 37F and raining. Not misting, raining. By mile 4, I was over it. Just over it. Oh, and it was a LOOP. I went right by my car at mile 6.5. But I trudged on. Worst time ever. The race was on streets that weren’t closed, so we also had to deal with traffic. Bad enough the feet were wet, but the last 100 yards or so were in a field, so the feet got muddy, too. I persevered. Finished 5th from last in a blazing time of 2:51:57. For a half-marathon. Just call me Speedy.

Donald Rioux: By ‘DNF’ing a bucket list race because I didn’t train as well as I should’ve. Went down with cramps and had to wait for the sweep vehicle to carry me to the end.

Thanks to our FB friends for their honest responses. If you’d like to read more of Going Far by Joe Henderson, click here to subscribe.

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