10 Popular Fall Races

 

source: bratislava.com

                      source: bratislava.com

Fall, like Spring, to my way of thinking has some of the best running events for the adventurous runner. If you’re anything like me and you’re on the lookout for fun runs with a slight twist of purpose and brimming with pretty, then this is the season for it. From 5ks to marathons, and even ultras, there’s a race for everyone –  from the newbie to the well-seasoned marathoner. Grab a pair of running shoes, pack an overnight bag and be ready to hit the road for some of these races, which are to run for.

  • Oct 8-9: Blue Mountain Beach 1/2 Marathon, 10K//30A, 5k and 10 Mile Weekend; Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
  • 9, 2016: The Bank Of America Chicago Marathon
  • Oct 9, 2016: Portland Marathon; Portland, Ohio
  • Oct 30, 2016: NYCRUNS Haunted Island 10k and 5k; Roosevelt Island, NY
  • Oct 30, 2016: Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon; Boalsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Nov 6, 2016: The TCS NYC Marathon
  • Nov 5, 2016: The Presidential 5k and 10k; Washington, DC
  • Nov 12, 2016: Down2Earth 5-10k Cross Country; Dania Beach, Florida
  • Nov 10-13, 2016: Super Heroes Half-Marathon Weekend; Anaheim, California
  • Nov 13, 2016: Mermaid Run, San Francisco (Sirena 10 mile, 10k, 5k)

It’s hard to believe that we’re already knee-deep in the Fall season already. I’m almost afraid to say it but before long we’ll be bidding it adieu and moving on to much tougher weather. That being said, we really just have a couple more months at most or a few weeks at best to take advantage and get out there. Run, volunteer, walk, go on an adventure, discover something; whether it’s a trail, a new course, a PR or even if it’s just a fun run or a new runner friend. The time is now. The season is Fall.

Advertisements

In Running, Age is Just a Number

Sir Randulph Fiennes - Marathon des Sables 2015

Sir Randulph Fiennes – Marathon des Sables 2015

They say, “It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years.” I think they’re right. When I look back on my years of running, while I’m no dinosaur it’s been more than twenty-five years, I can honestly say that I have never felt better, run faster, been stronger or as confident as I am today. I’ll say credit that to maturity, training and practice, but what I believe more than anything is that experience is the greatest teacher. Each race I run, I’m always looking for a better time, I constantly push myself..my boundaries, I’m always eagerly looking at new and or different methods, exploring new technologies, meeting and talking with runners. The idea here is one of openness and willingness to learn, to grow, to achieve my highest human potential.

I think about the elders in the field, I mean we’re talking those in their 70’s and 80’s, there is no game plan they’ll tell you, just passion and life and all the challenges that come with it. Recalling my first competitive 10k takes some doing but this 75 year-old Trinidadian native I will always remember: Granny Luces, as she is endearing known locally, was then a regular at the races. The race didn’t start nor end without Granny and you felt it an honor to run with her, so legendary was her passion and dedication to the sport. Today, she’s 85 and still running I’m told. Back then I use to think I wanted to be like her and I still do. I want to be 80, even 90 and still running. I recently read an article on the 71 year-old Brit who finished The Marathon De Sables 2015, a 6-day ultramarathon, raising approximately £1 million for charity. Sir Ranulph Fiennes, though he is a veteran explorer having crossed Antarctica and hiked Mount Everest, described the hair-raising experience as hell on earth. But he did it..over 150 miles..you have to give kudos to the essence of a person who at that age with his health issues would not only attempt but achieve something so monumental. Mind you, the oldest competitor in the 30-year history of the Marathon des Sables race is an 83-year-old Frenchman, so 71 might seem ok in comparison. The point is that 71, 83, 40, 23…age is just a number. How you feel mentally and physically will determine a lot more than how old you are.

Sure, I get that frailty is more than likely by the ripe old age of 80, that my bones will atrophy with time and this will surely slow down my game but I’m thinking to see this through, to take it as far as it’ll let me while doing the best I can. I think at the end of the day it’s all we can ask. I should add that longevity runs in my family, I have a grandmother who’s 102; her twin sister, my great-aunt, died last year at 101, my dad’s 93 and my mom’s 84. God bless them and me I pray. I intend to be around and running for a long time with His blessing.

Redefining Running (Part 2)

ultra_marathon_tatry_5_by_gupol-d73yise
In the first part of this topic we discussed the evolution of running and I highlighted some of newer aspects of our sport, which takes us beyond the typical run-for-health-or-exercise reasons to that of fun and competition. We explored this in the context of ultra running events for those of us who wanted to expand our horizons and push our limits; no longer accepting of the status quo or what it means to be the average runner.

I find this new push for endurance racing or running quite interesting, first because it indicates the presence of a relentless and demanding drive in our personalities that mirrors that of the competitive athlete: supremely confident and highly driven to achieve one’s personal best, and second, because now I’m curious about the extent of our drive for self-actualization in running: what does this mean for the future of running and how far can our desire for more take us?

While those questions are sure to set us a’wondering, it behooves us to consider how far we’ve progressed since the days of Pheidippides (our marathon namesake) and to see the evolution of running as the natural progression of a sport of passion, which brings us to my first point: the personality of the runner who determines that a marathon is no longer enough. I can safely say I identify since I know what it is to achieve your first marathon – the anticlimax of a build up of complex emotions: demanding physical and mental preparedness coupled with extreme psychological and physical adjustments. The finish line is now associated with time, medal and the next event. Crazy right. I recall completing my first marathon, was it only last year – deep in the bellies of pain – and there I was thinking of the next one, which was to be less than two months away, and the next, a month later. Now I’m at crossroads, considering my first ultra event next year. Sure I have set other goals along the way, like completing the World Marathon Majors and running some of the most amazing and toughest courses, however, now I have a new goal: completing a triathlon next year while vaguely in the distance I can detect the shaping up of an iron man. I have demanded of my mind to stop there though I suspect there are a lot more ideas buzzing around. In this instance, I find the challenge to be one of keeping focus on one goal at a time and not splitting oneself into various parts attempting to achieve different things. But it’s always right there on the periphery of my mind; what’s next, where to run, how can I get faster, be stronger, do better next time? For there is never a doubt that there will be a next time only a matter of when.

Many runners share this crazy passion, always on the look out for the next big race or event. Whether it’s cross-country, over trails and mountains, across ice, over rocks, through streams and in valleys, over five hours or a couple of days, I will go so far as to say we thrive on it; our aphrodisiac if you will – what stimulates and motivates us to being better people and better athletes. If you’ve ever faced the question of – why do you do it – then you know deep down that it’s as simple as, why not. The training, sacrifice, dedication, and various daily deprivations, that’s the hard part. Then again, it comes with the guarantee of an utter sense of fulfillment upon completion of each big one. So indeed, why not.

Redefining Running (Part 1)

Trail-Running

       “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” -T.S. Eliot

As early as I could walk, I ran; bet that’s most of our stories, that running came as natural as breathing. I often wonder though, when I hear claims today of -running’s not for me- or -we just can’t-  it’s too difficult, too tiring, too time-consuming, too hazardous, so-not-my-thing, the list goes on… as our excuses melt into, well.. excuses. What happened? Where did our natural ability to give flight to our worries, cares, fancies and even dreams go? When did we become such a sedentary-type people with lips that move more than we do? I’d wager that the advance in information technology (IT) gave birth to not just knowledge and information, but with its advance came the decline of human autonomy and our desire to engage ourselves and our senses in the act of living.

Yet, this is not all our story. There are many of us who have moved past the seduction and post-coital stages of the IT era to embrace its ability to enhance our lives and bring fulfillment to our running experiences. In fact, running is now enjoyed by more people the world over than ever before in history. The 1970’s saw the explosion of running across the United States with thousands of road races and marathons being run each year. Running now enjoys the prominent place of being the sixth most popular form of exercise according to Dr. Richard Well, CDE of Medicine Net.com. We owe our thanks largely to Pheidippides (490 BC), an ancient “day-runner,” who put running on the map. He is supposed to have run 149 miles to carry the news of the Persian landing at Marathon to Sparta to enlist help for the battle. Some believe the story of Pheidippides to be a myth, whether myth or legend, it is the genesis of the modern marathon. It was the first running of the marathon (26 miles, 385 yard) in the modern Olympic Games of 1896 in Athens that commemorated Pheidippides’ historic run.

Today running has taken on more depth and definition. While many of us run for health reasons and see it mainly as a form of exercise, there are those who have taken it to the next level of fun and competition. Another, slightly newer though fast developing  area of running is the extreme sporting aspect of ultra running events for the ultra-competitive and thrill seekers. Here we move from marathons, track, road races and various fun runs to ultra-marathons, trail running, decathlons, triathlons and Iron-man triathlons.

  • Considered any race over 26.2 miles, Ultra-marathons generally come in two forms: those that cover a specified distance, and events that take place during a specified time (with the winner covering the most distance in that time). The most common distances are 50 kilometres, 100 kilometres, 50 miles, and 100 miles, although many races have other distances.
  • Trail Running can include endurance and cross-country running and hiking over trails and is typical to most ultra-marathon events.
  • Decathlons are composed of ten track and field events run over a two-day period.
  • Triathlons are multiple-stage competitions that include three successive sporting events of varying distances. The most common form is swimming, biking and running.
  • An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile run, raced in that order and without a break.

With all this new additions to the sport of running, it is no wonder that many of us are no longer satisfied with a fun run or just running for exercise. There is an innate drive and desire in us for more; it creates a discontent with the status quo and allows us to push beyond boundaries and exceed limitations in our pursuance of that sense of overwhelming fulfillment that can only come from the ultimate challenge. In the words of Michael Finkel, 100-mile Western States Endurance Run Ultra-marathoner,

“I was suffused with this warm sense of overwhelming fulfillment. In one day, I’d totally rejiggered how I calculated my abilities and weaknesses. I was deeply happy.”

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 522 other followers

%d bloggers like this: