I’m trying to start a campaign to encourage people to run competitively with a partner, of any ethnicity, creed, gender identity or color. I put a hashtag my coffee cup in the hope that it will prompt others to engage in conversation about the idea and spread it through Twitter. My public relations staff assures me it’s a can’t-miss idea that will take the nation by storm. What do you think?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 1, 2015 at 12:23

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Shanghaied Marathoners in Qatar

Back in January I told you about the Qatar Mega Marathon and its plan to break the world record for the largest marathon ever held. Even though the race was rescheduled to March 27 to enlist more runners, the effort fell woefully short. But the organizers clearly went above and beyond to hit the magic number of 50,000 runners.

ArabianBusiness.com reports:

Organisers of a marathon running event in Qatar reportedly bussed in migrant labourers to try to make up the numbers in a world record attempt.

According to media reports, Al Sadd Sports Club took the action as it tried to break the world record for numbers of participants in the event which was staged on Friday.

However, the attempt to beat the 50,000 record was called off after numbers fell short despite what witnesses described as a large number of entries, mostly of South Asian appearance, running without proper kit. Some were wearing jeans and flip-flops, reports said.

…One participant told Doha News that it was “one of the most disorganised and chaotic events I have ever had the displeasure of attending”.

Another was quoted as saying: “The worst part of all was that there was a large mass of labourers wearing jeans, flip-flops and no proper running equipment. Some labourers tried to leave but were turned back and were yelled at that they need to stay and cross the line.”

…The race failed in the end to beat the record, with only 33,000 registered runners, including the labourers. Some participants claimed the real figure was far lower.

Nicholas McGeehan, a researcher on the Gulf for Human Rights Watch, said Qatar’s Athletics Federation should investigate these “very serious allegations immediately”.

It makes some sense that forced marathon running could be ruled a human rights abuse, but it would make me feel weird about my chosen sport. “It’s actual torture, but I do it for fun!”

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - March 31, 2015 at 13:20

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Race Report: Running of the Elk Half-Marathon 2015

Gorgeous day, huge crowd, and my only regret was not knowing in advance my age group in the 5k would be so slow that I would have had a second place finish. I ran this race last year in about 2:15, so I was just looking for improvement. In training this year, the fastest I had managed was 2:20. I love any race that allows me to walk to the start/finish line from my house.

Mile 1 – 10:22

Mile 2 –  10:01

Mile 3 – 10:10

Mile 4 –  10:06

Not much scenery on this course, as the first half of the race is an out-and-back on the service road next to the freeway. I took it nice and easy, knowing I’d need a lot in the tank at the end.

Mile 5 – 10:07

Mile 6 – 10:09

Mile 7 – 10:08

Mile 8 – 9:52

Breezed through the middle miles, passing the remnants of the 2:15 pace group at about mile 6. We crossed the highway overpass at about the halfway point, but I spotted the 12-mile marker at the top of the hill and was already dreading having to climb the hill from the other side. We hit the trail portion of the race around mile 8.

Mile 9 – 9:40

Mile 10 – 9:57

Mile 11 – 10:10

Mile 12 – 10:31

It was nice and cool on the trail and that probably accounted for my improved splits. At mile 11, however, we went from paved path to gravel. My quads didn’t respond well, and then complained loudly as I went up that hill.

Mile 13 – 10:19

But all’s well that ends well. Though I felt pretty worn out, there was no death march at the finish. I regained much of my early pace and managed a bit of a kick at the end.

Finish – 2:12:15

171st of 391. 7th of 18 in the 55-59 age group.

I had all but given up half-marathons after last year’s race, but I feel like I can continue as long as I’m resolved to the fact that I’m only going to get slower, and not to get hung up on long-past PRs and milestones. It’s good just to be out there, and there really is a sense of accomplishment for covering the distance, no matter how fast or slow.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - March 30, 2015 at 10:27

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The Inventor of the Kidrunner Isn’t Rick Shaw

Introducing the KidRunner, which is a racing stroller that hooks on behind you, rather than you pushing it in front of you. Here’ s a YouTube video of Max King winning a 10k race while wearing it.

It certainly is an advancement in stroller technology, but I hate to call it new since the design has been around since at least the 1880s.

In fact, running and rickshaws are ubiquitous even today. We’ve got celebrities in rickshaws…

…rickshaw races (barefoot)…

…rickshaw races (wheelchair division)…

…costumed rickshaw races (runner)…

…and costumed rickshaw races (passenger)…

…even rickshaw races underwater.

I’ve got my money on this one.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - March 27, 2015 at 11:49

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Running Times quickly deleted the tweet, which linked to a 2009 article, and apologized.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - March 26, 2015 at 14:29

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Concealed Carrie

That’s the name of a company that designs women’s fashions allowing room for your firearms. Their latest product is an athletic shirt made from “a breathable poly-blend black material with a moisture wicking apple green color-block on the back providing extra visibility. A bonus pocket in the back provides extra storage for personal items. The shirt has hook and loop lined, ambidextrous concealed carry pockets that are positioned below the breast bone. The placement of the pockets allow for a free-range of movement while securely storing any personal defense product such as a firearm, Taser, pepper spray or other self-defense item. Sturdy YKK® zippers keep pockets secure and allow for quick and easy access when needed.”

Here’s a video demonstration.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - March 25, 2015 at 10:30

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Behind the Footlights

Not a bad idea.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - March 23, 2015 at 16:50

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