7th Circle of Hill

Here’s the course elevation profile for my 5-mile race on Sunday, along with a name for each of the worst hills.

I last ran this race in 2007, and completed it in 40:46.

With luck, I might break an hour this time.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 1, 2015 at 11:50

Categories: Junk Miles   Tags:

Exactly Matched by the Evil Butler

I keep an eye on celebrities who run marathons, particularly if they’re pretty good at them, but I was especially intrigued by the effort of actor Rob James-Collier, who plays Thomas Barrow on PBS’ Downton Abbey.

He ran to raise money for the Chilterns MS Centre, a multiple sclerosis charity. What caught my eye was his finishing time – 3:43:34 – which is not only impressive, but matches to the second my own marathon PR.

Congratulations, Rob! Here at Running Is Funny we raise a snifter of brandy in your honor.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 30, 2015 at 12:10

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Mona Lisa Smile

Gemma Kirkham easily wins the prize for best costume worn during the London Marathon.

Here’s her finish line photo for better context.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 29, 2015 at 10:20

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Food Kudos

PB&J5KI think we’re all aware of the time and expense that go into organizing a race, and certainly no one is clamoring for registration fees to increase further, but the old half-banana, quarter-bagel post-race spread isn’t cutting it for me anymore. That’s why I want to take the time to applaud a couple of small 5Ks that know why we’re out there pounding the pavement: the food!

This Sunday, Viera, Florida, hosts the Eat My Crust 5K. The race is sponsored by Viera Pizza.”Running and pizza go hand-in-hand,” owner Mike Acosta said. “You should reward yourself. Running is hard work. Training is hard work. If you’re going to a good 5K, it better have pizza at the end.”

There’s a man who understands! But perhaps pizza is too much for most races. How about something inexpensive and simple? In Hendersonville, North Carolina, they put on the PB&J 5K. That’s right. After the race, it’s peanut butter jelly time! 

A little imagination is all that’s called for. The runners will greatly appreciate it.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 28, 2015 at 09:32

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Race Report: Capital City Classic 12K

Ah, so many headlines to give this race:

A Bridge Too Far

The Hills Have Sighs

The Long Goodbye

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

Long Distance Runaround

Overdone at the Overpass

Ignorance Is a Bitch

and finally

Yes, We Have No Bananas

The Capital City Classic boasted a 5K and 10-miler, but I chose the 12K because I had never run one before (instant PR!) and it continued my string of step-down racing (half-marathon 4 weeks ago, 10-miler two weeks ago, 5-miler next week).

On my way to the starting line, an old gentleman greeted me on the street with “Good morning, young man,” which is either a testament to relativity or an indicator of what happens to your eyesight as you age.

You would think after close to 100 races that I would spend a little more time examining the course – particularly the elevation changes. This map should give you some sense of the mess.


You can also see the two bridges, which meant steep inclines and drops, but those don’t compare to the overpasses, underpasses and trail portions, including one hill with about a 40-degree slope. I, of course, had trained for none of this. I ran the first 7.5 miles of my 10-mile race in 1:10:55, so my only goal was to beat that.

Mile 1 – 9:19

Mile 2 – 9:15

Mile 3 – 9:07

Mile 4 – 9:17

Mile 5 – 9:02

As I approached the 5 mile marker I was feeling confident that I could hold a 9-minute pace, and then I saw that damn bridge and the looooong climb to the crest of it. I was deflated but determined not to walk. Not that it mattered much. My running pace was barely a crawl and I was pretty winded by the time I got to the down slope.

Mile 6 – 9:42

Mile 7 – 9:35

I was disappointed that I had to use my remaining energy to trudge up hills rather than increase speed.

Mile 7.44 – 4:56 (9:18 pace)

Finish – 1:10:09

My Garmin showed 7.53 miles and it wouldn’t surprise me if the course wasn’t accurately measured, despite the fact that it was the Pacific Association of USA Track and Field 12K Championship. That meant a lot of fast dudes in the field.

I finished 152nd of 339 and 8th of 12 in the 55-59 age group. Here’s a weird circumstance for such a short race: I finished a full 16 minutes behind the #7 guy, but a full 12 minutes ahead of the #9 guy. I guess my pace is unique.

I got a bottle of water at the finish but there was literally a 100-meter line to get a banana. Ridiculous. As I was leaving the park, a woman walking her dog was coming toward me. The dog suddenly slowed, wobbled a little, and flopped over to take a rest. I told her, “I know exactly how he feels.”

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 27, 2015 at 09:28

Categories: Race Reports   Tags:

Toeing the Line in Heels

There’s nothing new about running a race in high heels. These are almost always short sprints so that the charitable causes involved aren’t marred by the sight of hordes of injured runners. But one woman is going one tottering step beyond.

Natalie Eckert, pictured here in her racing gear, will be running the London Marathon in pink high heels. She plans not only to complete the race, but beat the world record, which is apparently seven hours. Natalie is shooting for a sub-5.

You might think this would be an extraordinary achievement for any woman, but for Natalie the marathon is a step-down race. In February she ran 51.4 miles in just over 19 hours in heels. On a treadmill.

“My feet were bleeding and blistered after 2 hours where I had wrapped my feet incorrectly but I pushed through,” she said.

I will not be publishing photos of the post-race pedicure.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 24, 2015 at 09:33

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Stockholm Syndrome

Organizers of the Stockholm Marathon were forced to back away from their plan to offer cash prizes only to Nordic runners who finished in the top six. Non-Nordics would receive nothing. Additionally, they announced they would not actively invite African runners to compete. Africans have won the race 13 years in a row.

“Maybe we were naive. The Utrecht marathon did something similar and got a lot of negative reactions,” said race spokesman Lorenzo Nesi. “I told the organisers this could happen, but we thought we were doing something for Nordic running. We just didn’t think about it.”

Nesi added that the Stockholm event’s senior managers were “hiding” today, and he was “the fan being hit by the shit.”

This photo might leave a clue as to why the Swedes are not competitive in the marathon.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 23, 2015 at 11:05

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