Friday reads: Foot form, nipple chafing and why miles?

This week’s roundup of stories and articles from the around the web is a bit of a grab bag, but that’s just sometimes what you get with my eclectic reading tastes.

Especially interesting to me this week was a story on foot form and whether it can cause running injuries in the New York Times, plus some invaluable tips for men to prevent the issue we always face with any run that’s longer than four or five miles. You know what I’m talking about.

Here’s this week’s must-reads:

  • Does Foot Form Explain Running Injuries?: From the NYTimes, another look at heel-striking, which causes so many injuries among runners.
  • How to Prevent Nipple Chafing: From Runner’s World’s Ask Jenny column, 8 tips on how to prevent looking like you “got shot” at the end of a race or long run.
  • Secrets of the Treadmill: Though the weather’s been unseasonably warm across the south, much of the country is still seeing plenty of winter weather, making the “dreaded” treadmill a necessity for now. Here’s tips on how to improve your workout on it, from Running Times.
  • Race Day Secrets from a Pro: From, a video interview with Runner’s World expert Jen Van Allen on how to stay hydrated and properly fueled on your half marathon race day.
  • Why Are Courses Marked in Miles?: Answer to a great question, considering so many popular race distances are measured in kilometers.
  • Grey’s Anatomy Stars Run Half Marathon for Charity: Yes, I know. Forgive me for linking to Star Magazine. But this is still a pretty cool one, right? Kim Raver, Chandra Wilson and Justin Chambers laced up for last weekend’s Rock & Roll Pasadena Half Marathon. Did any of you guys spot them at the race?

Runner’s World gets in the game

In yet another sign of how popular the half marathon race distance has become, Runner’s World magazine announced plans for its very own race this October, the all-new Runner’s World Half Marathon and Running Festival, set for October 19 – 21 in its own hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The race will feature a 10K, 5K and a run for kids on Saturday, followed by the centerpiece of the running festival, the half marathon, on Sunday morning at 8:30 AM. Though details for the race are still being worked out, the course for the 13.1-mile race is set to take runners from the “beautifully refurbished steel mills of Bethlehem Steel through the historic neighborhoods of this Pennsylvania city,” according to the news release.

Get the full story and sign up for the race here, or follow the race on Twitter.

Read more about the race in this story from the Lehigh Valley Morning Call newspaper.

Boston Marathon to get its own beer?

You read that right — the Boston Beer Company, the maker of Samuel Adams beer, is teaming up with the Boston Marathon to introduce a special commemorative craft beer just for the running of this year’s race, scheduled for Monday, April 16.

The beer company and the 116-year-old race actually have something of a history. Jim Koch, the founder and CEO of Boston Beer Company first began selling the brew that would later become known simply as “Sam Adams” back in 1985 on Patriot’s Day, the state holiday in Massachusetts that also happens to be the day the Boston Marathon is run each year.

Read the full story on the new Boston Marathon beer at CNBC’s website.

Quote for the Day

“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.”

Those are words from Priscilla Welch, the winner of the 1987 New York City Marathon and 6th-place finisher in the 1984 women’s Olympic marathon in Los Angeles, who didn’t take up running competitively until she was in her mid thirties.

Not only that: Before she meet her husband at age 35, Welch had been a pack-a-day smoker and “self-proclaimed partier” who took up running as a way to pass the time when she and her husband were stationed in Norway for the British military in the early 1980s.

Read more about Priscilla Welch — also known sometimes to her fellow competitors as “Cilla the Killa” — in this Running Times profile from 2008.

(Hat tip: 13.1 Marathon Series for the inspiration.)

Want to run a Wine Country Half Marathon?

The past few years have seen the rise of the destination race in a big way, whether it’s to places like Hawaii for the Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon or to South Africa for the Big Five Marathon & Half Marathon, which takes runners through the wilds of the African savannah.

Closer to home, one of the most popular racing trends has been the many marathon and half marathon races that run through the California and Oregon wine country. Many of these sell out quickly each year, which is no surprise of course given the scenery you get to run through mile after mile.

Here’s a list of the wine country races scheduled for 2012:

Race to Robie Creek Registration Opens Today

If you’re interested in running the April 2012 Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon — which organizers bill as “the toughest half marathon in the Northwest” — you’ll need to make sure you try to get into the race today. This race famously sells out in minutes each year, so check out the event website and for more info on signing up.

Registration for the race opens at 12:00 PM Mountain Time (that’s 2:00 PM Eastern Time) — don’t be late!

Race to Robie Creek official website:

Plus more race info on the main site: Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon

Update: Registration for the race has now filled up, but the organizers are opening up a “second chance” registration tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM Mountain Time. From the race website:
Continue reading

New Half Marathon (& Discount) for Wausau, WI

The Rapid Running series of marathon, half marathon and cycling events arrives for the first time in 2012 in Wausau, Wisconsin, with an all-new race set for the end of summer here in this central Wisconsin city on the banks of Lake Wausau and the Wisconsin River.

Set for a late August run as school is getting back into session, the Rapid Running Wausau Half Marathon is the sixth of seven planned events in the Rapid Running series for 2012, which starts with the half marathon at the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania in May and concludes with a new half marathon in Sheboygan, Wis., in October.

For today only, runners who register for the Wausau Half Marathon (or any of the other marathon and half marathon races in the series) can save 44% off the registration fee when you use this promo code: AMERICA44.

Find out more about the race at the Rapid Running Wausau Half Marathon on the main site.

Friday Roundup: Great Reads on Running, Health & More

I couldn’t let another week pass without providing a link to what must be one of the absolute toughest races there is, the Empire State Building Run-Up, which took place last week. Yes, you heard that right — runners, walkers, firefighters and endurance athletes of all kinds attempt the grueling climb up 86 flights of stairs all the way to the observation deck at the top of the Empire State Building in New York.

A good friend of mine ran it — and finished it! — but needless to say, I don’t think I’ll be joining her next year. Here’s a recap of that race, plus some other great reads I’ve found around the Web this week.

  • Once Again, First to the 86th Floor: A profile of Thomas Dold, the 27-year-old winner (again) of this year’s Empire State Building Run-Up, who is on his way to becoming for this race what Takeru Kobayashi once was to the 4th of July hot dog eating contest at Coney Island.
  • Slideshow of the Empire State Building Run-Up: The race in pictures, captured by New York Times photographers.
  • Getting Out of a Rut: Running Times magazine takes a look at the perennial bane of nearly every runner, how to rise above it when you plateau during training.
  • Hidden Arsenic Source in Brown Rice Syrup?: In a web follow-up to their story this week on World News Tonight, ABC News takes a look at what could be inside the energy shots and gels many of us consume during training and races.
  • 3 Foods for a Healthy Heart: If I bring you down with the link above, I wanna lift you back up again with this one. Because running is all about cardio health, and you gotta have heart, right?

What have you been reading lately?