Week in Running: June 14-21

June 23rd, 2014

Dipsea Runner Runs through Heart Attack.

USA’s oldest trail race and favorite Bay Area fixture, the Dipsea race, was held two weeks ago. The race was won by 56-year-old Diana Fitzpatrick, a feat made possible by the race’s unique handicap structure. Reported earlier this week, this storied race gained another remarkable chapter as 72-year-old Wolfgang Zech ran and finished the 7.5 mile race while enduring a heart attack. The Dipsea’s hardy terrain and flights of steps, totaling 672 stairs, is a challenge for any heart. Appropriately, the toughest section of the race is named “Cardiac Hill,” a name that has a whole other meaning to Zech Wolfgang. However, he plans to run next year and every year after as long as possible. Considering its beauty, it is hard to fault his enthusiasm and we applaud his commitment.

Dipsea Runner Battles More than Stairs (Image: Douglas Zimmerman)

Molly’s Run at the Mini is anything but Mini

On the opposite coast, 5,870 women took to the streets of New York City for The Oakley New York Mini 10k. The race, which started the year that Title IX became law, is fixture on the racing circuit for many of the best female runners in the world. In this year’s edition, Molly Huddle crossed the line first making her the first American Champion in 10 years. Huddle, the American record holder in the 5000m, added another American record to her resume by besting Mary Slaney’s women-only road 10k time of 31:38 by one second and beating a slew of great runners from around the world.

Electric Foam 5k’s Bubble is Popped

Electric Foam 5k as Advertised

Gone are the days when the only option for a local fun run or race meant lining up on a road with some friends and finish covered only in sweat.  Nowadays, there is something for all kinds of runners out there. If you are willing, you can cover yourself in color or mud, or you can take on obstacles or even zombies. The number of these runs has grown exponentially.

Electric Foam 5k in Reality (Images: Runner's World)

If foam is more your style, you may be disappointed that the Electric Foam 5k has gone out of business. The event, which marketed itself as the “Foamiest 5k on the planet,” did host a run in Madison that lead to headlines infused with wonderful puns like: More Bust than Bubble and More Duds than Suds as well as some calls to the better business bureau.

With any successful product, as obstacle racing certainly is, people line up to jump in with their own rendition.  The Electric Foam 5k was undoubtedly an ill-conceived attempt to join in the fun without putting in the work that it takes to put on a successful event. As someone with experience at countless events, both working and participating, the work involved to put on a good event is substantial. This serves as a good warning for organizers and participants alike: do your homework.

If you are inclined to run through some foam, the 5k Foam Fest appears to be the better answer.

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Introducing the New Garmin Forerunner 15

June 20th, 2014

Photo: Garmin

The Garmin Forerunner 15 takes a step forward in the Entry Level GPS watch department.  Utilizing the simplicity of the FR10 and the daily activity tracking features of the Garmin Vívofit, the Forerunner 15 is the perfect hybrid for the runner on a budget.

The Forerunner 15 receives a major upgrade in technology over its predecessor, the FR10, and is the perfect middle ground for someone who isn’t ready make the jump to the advanced FR220 model.  While the Forerunner 15 uses the same outer shell as the FR10 (both small and large options), the technology features are far greater.  One new improvement is the introduction heart rate monitor capability.  This addition allows you to further enhance your training experience by signaling when to push yourself a little harder and when to hold yourself back.  By applying heart rate features along with Virtual Pacer™, the user has all the necessary data to optimize performance.

Color options available from Garmin. Photo: Garmin

Read more…

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Team Garmin-Sharp takes New Balance to the Podium

June 18th, 2014

At the surface, New Balance seems an odd sponsor for a professional cycling team.  Perhaps, the Running Warehouse blog is an unusual place to find a blog about a professional cycling team. That said, we’ve got these shoes in our warehouse and we are pumped for this year’s Tour de France.

New Balance 890 Garmin Race Team Shoes

Sponsors Garmin and Sharp adorn the blue jerseys. Check out the socks!

With one of the younger stars of the peloton, Andrew Talansky, coming off of his win at Le Critérium du Dauphiné, the NB logo on the left breast of the team uniform is primed for some exposure in July’s Tour. The American’s rise to prominence is well timed for New Balance, a company that regularly boasts about the footwear that they create in American factories.

That said, sports sponsorship is a lot more than logo exposure. Ideal partnerships add value to the sports property beyond a check and the company gets to tell a story about how they help the team to glory beyond putting food on their table. So what is the story that New Balance is creating? New Balance makes shoes and apparel for several sports, but Cycling is not one of them and Team Garmin-Sharp already has an apparel sponsor in Castelli.

Officially, New Balance is the “exclusive off-bike footwear and athletic clothing supplier” to the team. They will provide shoes, like those above, as well as apparel for the team to wear when they aren’t tearing up the streets on their bikes on the pro tour. The argyle infused 890v4 has already graced podiums around the world and there is a good chance that the shoes will be leaving footprints on podiums in France. The team is certainly adorned in New Balance when they hit the gym or trails for cross-training. They did just that when some of the riders traveled to Boulder to run with New Balance’s Jenny Simpson, Emma Coburn and Anton Krupicka.

Read more…

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NCAA Track and Field Championships

June 17th, 2014

Who needs a Gatorade cooler when you have a steeple pit? (photo: Oregonian)

Another NCAA Championships is in the books and it turns out that the men of Oregon and the women of Texas A&M are really good at track and field. The collegiate championships, a favorite meet among American track fans, features many of the world’s future Olympic medalists. Despite the relatively young age of the competitors, it is one of the world’s most competitive meets every year. This year was no exception, with records falling across all distances.

Oregon won its first outdoor track and field title in 30 years in a dominant fashion and celebrated by throwing coach Robert Johnson into the steeplechase water pit (see image above). The always-dominant distance runners maintained tradition and thrilled the Eugene crowd by scoring in every event longer than 800m and winning the 1500m (Mac Fleet) and the 10,000m (Edward Cheserek). They secured the team title with help in other events, particularly a javelin title from Sam Crouser and a record setting high hurdle run by Devon Allen, a reinforcement from the Duck football team.

Laura Roesler is another Oregon legend with a promising Pro future. (Photo: Letsrun.com)

Meanwhile, the Texas A&M women won their fourth title in six years, bringing coach Pat Henry to a staggering 35 national track and field team titles. Where Oregon relied on its distance running men, A&M called on its swift moving sprinters and hurdlers to earn the bulk of its points on the women’s side. The Aggies won the 4X100m, finished second in the 4X400m, and took the podium in the 200m and 400m hurdles, along with many other strong finishes in events from the triple jump to the discus throw.

The individual event stories are certainly too numerous to recall here, but this blog would be remiss without mentioning the finales of a few of the greatest runners to ever grace the NCAA. Lawi Lelang of Arizona started his championships with his 8th national title, by handing 10k champ Cheserek his first loss at an NCAA championship, and backed that title up with a close second place in the 1500m. Laura Roesler closed out her University of Oregon career with a dominant victory in the 800m and points in the 4X400m, to bring her collection of All-American awards to 17.  Not all of the NCAA greats ended their careers in victory though, as Texas’s Marielle Hall and Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe upset Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino.

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Two Weeks in Running: June 1-13

June 13th, 2014

Running Warehouse may have skipped a week but the running world has certainly not slowed down with elite athletes taking to all corners of the globe.

Comrades Marathon

Zola Budd, Still Fast, Still Ruffling Feathers (Image: SA Times)

This blog begins about as far away from our San Luis Obispo office as possible with South Africa’s Comrades Marathon. The race, which links the 56 miles between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban is the oldest ultra marathon in the world. The course alternates directions each year and this years race was a “down run” meaning it finished in Durban, the lower altitude of the two cities resulting in a net downhill, but the competition was in no way down.

On the men’s side, South African Bongmusa Mthembu crossed the tape first in a time of 5:28:34 beating the defending “down” champion Ludwick Mamabolo by almost 5 minutes. The ladies’ competition was equally exciting with Brit Ellie Greenwood besting Russian twins Elena and Oleysa Nurglaieva, which is no small feet considering that the former of the twins is a defending 8 time champion. It was a slow year for the ladies as Ellie’s time of 6:18:15 was almost 24 minutes slower than Frith van der Merwe’s course record. I mention that mostly as an excuse to acknowledge the existence of someone named Frith van der Mewre.

Also competing was legend and barefoot-runner-before-it-was-cool Zola Budd (apparently the 56 miles is a bit long to go barefoot and she did cover her feet for this one). Of course, no Zola Budd race is complete without some controversy, and she was apparently stripped of her age group win for not wearing the right tags.

Galen Rupp Win and American Record at Pre Classic

Pre Classic

There was far too much track over the last two weeks to cover here, with major meets in the NetherlandsItaly, and Norway, and notable performances happening in countless smaller meets. Out of all the great meets, the one that garnered the most attention from Americans and from Running Warehouse was much closer to home in Eugene, Oregon.

The Prefontaine Classic featured mind-numbing races from 100m to 10,000m in this year’s rendition, undoubtedly living up to its reputation. Shannon Rowury and Galen Rupp set American records in the 2-mile (9:20.25) and in the 10,000m (26:44.36), respectively. To close out the meet, Ayanleh Souleiman ran the fastest mile ever run on American soil with his 3:47.32 to win the Bowerman, while former Buffaloes Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn continue to be fast with personal records in the 1500m and steeplechase, respectively.

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Runner vs. Nature: Mosquitoes Suck

June 11th, 2014

Don't Get Bit (image: Total Mosquito Control)

Vampire talk seems to have died down since the last of the Twilight films came out in 2012 but mosquitoes never got the memo that sucking blood isn’t cool anymore. With summer around the corner and pools of standing water growing more numerous and voluminous, the mosquitoes are coming. For those of us that appreciate the outdoors, these unwanted guests are most problematic.

Here’s the bad news: mosquitoes are attracted to movement, body heat, lactic acid and carbon dioxide. So unless you know how to run with out moving, sweating or breathing, mosquitoes will find you. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, which also happen to be the only bearable times to run between the months of June and September in much of the northern hemisphere. Some mosquitoes may be developing immunity to repellants and mosquitoes are more attracted to beer drinkers.

Worst of all they carry deadly diseases that ruin lives and slow economies around the world. Malaria alone infects north of 200 million people per year and the distance runner meccas Ethiopia and Kenya are some of the worst affected. Read more…

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Week in Running: News from May 24-31

May 30th, 2014

Week in Review: May 24-31

IAAF World Relays Debuts in the Bahamas

The story of the week undoubtedly came from the Bahamas where the IAAF World Relays were held for the first time and were hailed as a resounding success. The athletes apparently enjoyed the trip to the tropical island to run track in front of rabid fans. Yohan Blake was announced as the “Most Valuable Teammate” for anchoring Jamaica to 4 X 100 and 4 X 200 meter victories, but New Balance athlete Brenda Martinez deserves a hearty mention for her anchor legs on American Record 4 X 800 and 4 X 1500 meter teams that secured gold and silver medals, respectively. Overall, Team USA returned with medals in 8 out of 10 events (damn dropped batons).

Christian Taylor isn't just a Triple Jumper. (IAAF)

Oiselle Owner clashes with USATF

Oiselle stirred up some controversy by sharing a photo of the American Record 4 X 1500 ladies with the Nike Swoosh logos on the uniform replaced by the logos of their respective sponsors. While USATF often chooses to operate as though closing their own eyes makes them invisible to the world, protecting their biggest sponsor’s interests is not something they should be expected to take lightly. Nike funds the lion’s share of USATF’s operations (including athletes’ trips to the Bahamas for the World Relays) and the logo on the national team uniform is undoubtedly USATF’s most valuable asset to be sold. While Oiselle continues to make noise in the running industry by making great product, (certainly a favorite among women in the Running Warehouse hallways) and Sally Bergesen is by all accounts an admirable woman, they should know that intellectual property is not something to be trifled with.

Jon Sutherland Can't be Stopped! (Runner's World)

California Man Runs Every Day for a Really Long Time

Of course the rest of the World didn’t stop running while athletes competed in the Bahamas. In fact, for 45 years and 2 days (on Tuesday) nothing has stopped Jon Sutherland from his daily run as he now holds the record for most consecutive days run. Inspired by friend and former record holder Mark Covert, Sutherland has run at least one mile a day during a streak that started as a teenager. Through surgery and hurricanes he as averaged an incredible 11 miles per day logging over 190,000 miles total. Not all of those miles were at a leisure pace either; Sutherland boasts an impressive 28:51 10k personal record. Sutherland shows no signs of slowing down either, on Tuesday he ran twice, once for the local TV cameras and once for himself. (more from ESPN last year, here)

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Week in Review: May 17-23

May 23rd, 2014

Final Standings. Photo Credit: Emma Coburn

Emma Coburn wins Steeplechase at the Shanghai Diamond League meet

Many are calling the victory surprising and unexpected as an American has never won the steeplechase event at a Diamond League event. Running Warehouse is calling it electric! Emma Coburn showcased her talent on the world stage by posting a scorching 9:19.80 in the steeplechase at the Shanghai Diamond League meet this week. Her performance places her second in the all-time American record book, behind her training partner and fellow New Balance athlete Jenny Simpson (9:12.50). She finished nearly 6 seconds ahead of the second place finisher, Sofia Assefo of Ethiopia. How did she do it? She got off the line quick to avoid getting stuck in the pack and then focused on the coaching plan set to hit the 200 and 400 split times discussed in practice. What’s next for Coburn? Hear what she has to say about her future in this interview with LetsRun.com.

Read more…

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Meet the Nike Zoom Pegasus 31

May 23rd, 2014

There are few running shoe lines with the longevity and history close to that of the Nike Pegasus. The Pegasus has provided runners with reliable, high mileage cushioning for over three decades and if it’s slowing down, it’s sure not showing it.

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Runner vs. Nature: Dealing With Bears While Running

May 22nd, 2014

Image: MasteroFitness

Perhaps one of the more exciting forms of fauna a runner can come across while on the trails is the mighty bear. In our hometown of San Luis Obispo, California, we have our share of bear sightings, including one that recently terrorized the student population of our nearby university for several days. (Incidentally, this university happens to be close to one of the larger trail networks in SLO, so this is relevant).

Though a bear sighting is sure to startle many runners, we can take solace in knowing that most bears have little to no interest in attacking humans. Opting instead to feed off of berries or fish if you’re near a stream or find a quick snack in a nearby trash bin or automobile, most bears are simply looking for a bite to eat. That said, bears can be dangerous, and it’s important to exercise caution to make your bear encounter more bearable (sorry). Read more…

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