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Showing posts from June, 2012

The Popularity of Mud Running

I don't really have much to say here, except that as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I wrote an article for Newcity about the growing popularity of mud runs and how the "running" part of these things is downplayed, which means that they manage to pull in a lot of people who would otherwise never have considered running in a "normal" race.

It's actually a pretty great thing for the running community because I would assume that at least SOME of those people who think they dislike running end up getting into it after doing one of these obstacle course runs... what do you think? Sound plausible?

Also, in a totally unrelated closing note, did you see this article? Seriously Men's Health? Exercising is directly correlated with making more money? As much as I want this to be true, I'm going to need to see some data on this. Just saying "Researchers asked thousands of Americans about their exercise habits as well as their weekly incomes." does not gi…

A Weekend of Running and Volunteering

Saturday morning I woke up at 6:30 and headed to Montrose Harbor for the Proud to Run 10K. Sunday I woke up at 4:30 and headed to Grant Park to volunteer for the Chicago Women's Half Marathon (which Brynn ran). So the weekend was pretty dominated by running and not so much by sleeping (that's for next weekend when I actually have no races scheduled for once!).

This was the first year I've done Proud to Run, even though the race has been around forever (31 years) and I had a great time. It's a relatively small run (about 750 in the 10K) and has a real feeling of community. My full review is up at Newcity.
I felt really good the whole race (despite only getting around 3 hours of sleep). I finished with a 47:15 and would have liked to hang out for a while at the post-race party but I was tired and just kept running to the Wilson red line stop to head home.

Then Sunday morning I woke up at 4:30 to volunteer for the Chicago Women's Half. I was going to catch a cab ther…

Running in the Evening - Torchlight Run

Last night's inaugural Torchlight 5K was my first "official" evening run. Luckily, Maggie's write-up from last week's Jim Gibbons 5K had gotten me thinking about what/when to eat to get ready for an evening run like this so I ate a Clif bar around 4 o'clock in anticipation of being hungry and needing fuel before the race.

As I was leaving my apartment building I randomly ran into a girl who was also heading to this race and was about to get picked up by a friend who was also running, so I ended up catching a ride there with them. This was helpful in that I didn't have to run to the starting line as I had planned, but it also meant I had to ride around as we tried to find parking - not having a car I'm unaccustomed to this annoying challenge. But after passing the course, we found parking relatively easily at Adams and Wabash and then ran the mile to the starting line (fun fact - my apartment is only 1.7 miles from the starting line, so the driving o…

Warrior Dash or It's Not Always About Speed

My parents were in town this weekend from Texas. We rented an I-GO (actually, even better than that, I won the WEGO 10 monthly competition for 10 free hours with an I-GO, which was very sweet) and drove out to Channahon, Illinois for the Warrior Dash. This was my first "mud run" and I was pretty excited about it, because I've been creating an image of the mud run in my mind as a pseudo-hardcore fun run. I would say that I still feel that after running it, but I think now I see it as intentionally not hardcore. They're asking people to have fun, not to kill themselves.

My full review is up at Newcity - I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I expected, but most of that was just based on seeing it in a different way. This isn't really a run for runners. It's a run that tricks non-runners into thinking running is fun. More on that later (like several weeks from now later, not like later in this blog post).

Anyway, I ran with Brynn, and we made sure to take our req…

Run Home Chicago

So, after the punishing (at least to Chicagoans) heat from Saturday's half marathon, I did the only logical thing on Sunday morning: I woke up at 6:45 and took a cab to Soldier Field so I could do day-of registration for the Run Home Chicago 10K. Brynn was definitely not feeling that idea so she went back to sleep.

I'd been getting interested in this race since it was an inaugural run that had been garnering a lot of attention leading up to the event. After registering (and running into Kate from Fit-Ink) I was pretty impressed to see Andrea Metcalf as the announcer and a big selection of presenters supporting the race (but it is a race to end homelessness so I can see why they were there.
Secretary of State Jesse White was there, with the Jesse White Tumblers - Kate said he was  participating in part of it (first as part of the base of a human pyramid that the tumblers jumped over and then he did a head-stand and split his legs and they jumped over him again). At the time …

Chicago 13.1 (half) Marathon

Saturday morning, Brynn and I woke up at 4:30 to get ready for the Chicago 13.1 Marathon half marathon. (sidenote: as I mentioned in my Newcity review that "13.1 Marathon" title is a clever bit of misdirection - obviously you could argue that it's just the title of the race series, but to me it seems to give the impression that this is a "marathon" rather than an event that includes a half marathon and a 5K.)

We got to Millennium Park around 5:20 and got in line with the rest of the runners heading south. It was a lengthy line, stretching down Michigan for a while, but volunteers were loading us on buses pretty quickly and we were heading south by 5:40.

Once we got to the South Shore Cultural Center we headed over to the VIP area and checked in. What was especially sweet about this VIP tent was that it was located right at the finish line, which made it super easy to get to after finishing and gave us a direct view of the finish line.
We went and met up wi…

Eat and Run Experience - Running "Celebrities" are the Best

Brynn and I went to the "Eat & Run Experience" at Fleet Feet last night and it turned out to be an even better event than we expected. First of all, there were wayyyyy more people taking part in the running part than we expected - more than a hundred (maybe 150). We got taken out to the Benjamin Franklin statue in Lincoln Park to get ready for the run and Scott Jurek and Chris McDougall joined everyone around 6:30. 
There was a moment of silence for Caballo Blanco and then we just started running. Scott and Chris (who was running barefoot) were just running in the pack along with everyone else. We ran next to Chris for a while and listened to him talk to people and basically just have a good time. When we turned around at Fullerton, Scott was waiting on the side of the trail giving everyone high-fives. It was just a really awesome run and a great experience. One thing: it was listed as a 4-mile run but ended up being just short of 2.5 (but who's counting right? Defi…

Running for the Zoo (on my 6th anniversary)

This morning my wife and I woke up around 6:20, and not just to get the most hours out of our 6th anniversary. We were celebrating by running the United Run for the Zoo together. She's been pretty busy with school over the last several months so this is the first run she's been able to do with me, which was pretty exciting.

We took a bus to the starting line and walked around the zoo for a little while - we had plenty of spare time since packet pickup was so well-organized. We were going to walk over and see the polar bear (I pretty much always say hi to the polar bear, the sun bear and the lions when I run through the zoo in the morning), but instead we just said hi to this big pacing cat. He really seemed like he wanted to take part in the run:
...or maybe he was just weirded out by how many people were walking around so early in the morning. 
After getting our bibs and race shirts (which are pretty impressive, by the way) we checked a bag and then headed over to the start…