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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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