Just seven tiny years ago, I couldn’t have told you how far the 26.2 mile beast was. I didn’t even know what 5K meant. Now, the race of epic proportions is just part of my daily life and vernacular. I used to think this made me unique, different from the crowd. I didn’t just run, I was a marathoner. In the seven years that I’ve called myself a runner, the world of running has changed pretty dramatically. I may not be as set-apart as I thought.
The registration numbers are growing tremendously as the marathon seems to be a “must-do” item on so many people’s “bucket lists.” I like the idea of more runners, but I’m not so sure the quantity increase is bringing more quality to the sport. Don’t hear me wrong, there’s room for many speeds in running, but is there room for people who don’t train properly? Is the marathon really a place for someone who doesn’t respect the distance? Bottom line: what’s happening with the marathon? What’s it becoming? And what are the side effects of all of these people taking on the once exclusive 26.2 mile race?
Research published in 2012 and reported by StrideNation.com stated that marathoners used to be one in a thousand. Now, for every 607 Americans, one of them finished a U.S. marathon in 2011. The annual report from Running USA also stated that since 2000 there has been a 47 percent increase in in the number of marathon finishers nationwide. These increases are being seen outside the charts and surveys. In 2011, the New York City Marathon had more than 47,000 finishers. This made for the largest race ever held.
Other large scale signs are being seen in what happens when marathoners attempt to sign up for the major races. In 2010, those attempting to register for the 2011 Boston Marathon crashed the race’s website and the event filled within hours. This race requires qualifying times, so not just any runner could sign up, but the number of eligible filled the slots quickly, something that rarely ever happened in recent past. This forced Boston to change their qualifying times and registration process. (more…)
November is another banner month for marathons in the U.S. With crisp temps and the changing of the season, many phenomenal race times are turned in during the month of November. Here are just a few of the excellent marathons taking place in November 2011.
1. ING New York City Marathon, November 6, 2011
Another member of the World Marathon Majors, New York’s marathon is an elite experience. Drawing in over 100,000 applicants each year, this historic race is huge and exciting. Elite and amateurs alike share the streets as the 26.2 miles course traverses the five boroughs that make up New York. Over 2 million fans line the course while over 315 million watch the world-wide televised event. It goes without saying that NYC is a must-run for any marathoner, however, the race fills up months in advance. Be on the look out as the lottery opens each winter for the following year.
2. Williams Route 66 Marathon, Tulsa, OK. November 20, 2011
The Route 66 Marathon is a great race ran on many portions of the original Route 66 highway. The race offers a distance for every type, even a great kid’s marathon event. While the course is in Oklahoma, a place not known for hills, there are some decent hills in this course. The event also hosts a classic car show at the finish line along with a great after party complete with a concert. The Route 66 Marathon may have the best finishers medals in the sport. Every year they seem to top the design from the previous year.
If you tuned into the Today show on Friday, October 29th you likely saw host Meredith Vieira dressed up as Lady Gaga for the annual Today Show Halloween special. She looked fantastic, and at first I honestly had to take a double take as to whether it really was Lady Gaga or not. In an interview with Ladies’ Home Journal magazine, Veira speaks about her career (she just renewed her contract with the Today Show through 2011) and also her decision to get real with her diet when she encountered sleepless nights and low energy days.
To address her concerns, Vieira decided to meet with a nutritionist and revamp her diet and exercise regimen. The nutritionist put her on a 28-day detox diet, banning some of the worst offenders to our bodies – sugar, gluten-containing foods, alcohol and caffeine. Meredith also changed her fitness routine, which when your day begins at 2:30am can certainly pose its challenges. Not only did she increase the number of workouts, she also began utilizing weights to build muscle for a faster fat burn. Viera can now attest to having more energy to keep her going through late nights preparing for the next day’s show, as well as her extremely early and rigorous morning schedule. (more…)
The ING New York City Marathon is this Sunday, and runners across the city are gearing-up for the 26.2 mile run. This year there were 125,000 applicants to the race, which is offering a prize of $600,000. There are expected to be about two million spectators and a massive amount of media coverage.
Many celebrities are seizing upon the event to promote healthy lifestyles and other worth-while causes. There are over 190 charities involved in ING’s New York City Marathon charity program, “A Million Dollars a Mile,” which aims to earn (you guessed it) $26.2 million.
Today Show star Al Rocker is one of the notable participants, and will be running his first full-marathon. “Almost everybody’s bucket list includes running the ING New York City Marathon,” said Roker. “Just the thought of being able to start this race gives me goose bumps. As does the fear that the weather might turn ugly. On the other hand, if it does that might help improve my time as I try to outrun an angry mob of soggy and cold runners!”
The ING New York City Marathon Health And Fitness Expo is coming to town November 4th through 6th. The famous NYC Marathon is on Nov. 7th and every participant is required to pick up his or her registration materials at the expo. The marathon is scheduled to start at 8:30 A.M. for the wheelchair division and other start times are every thirty minutes after that due to the large number of runners– over 45,000. (more…)