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…)
Al Roker ran a half marathon in Chicago
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…)
Add Al Roker to the list of celebrities who want to cross “running a marathon” off their bucket list. Earlier this week, the Today show weatherman told People magazine that he is training for the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 7, 2010.
Although Roker’s wife and avid runner Deborah Roberts says he’s nervous for the big 26.2 miles, he’s been committed to training and just finished a 20-mile run. He probably won’t win the event, as People reports that Roker just broke the 13-minute mile barrier, but kudos to him for going after such a big fitness goal! (Last year Mebrahtom Keflezighi won the event in a staggering time of 02:09:15.)
Running newbies take heart: Roker admits that he doesn’t even like running. According to the article, he believes that running is 20 percent physical and 80 percent mental. Talk about a mental workout! (more…)
I ask you this: if chain restaurants are concerned about anything other than their bottom line, why would they avoid posting their nutritional information?
But, that’s what’s happening in New York City, as chain restaurants are fighting the mandatory nutritional posting ruling put forth by city officials.
They make highfalutin claims for their objections. For instance, The New York Restaurant Association says that the regulation violates their First Amendment rights. I’m no constitutional lawyer, but that seems like a load of bunk to me. You and I know that the only real reason they object is that, God forbid, the populace might think twice before ordering that 500-calorie, heart-stopping burger.
People will most likely continue frequenting their establishments. But at least they can make the most informed decision possible. If people demand the right to know what is being sold to them, is that so intrusive? At least some of us believe it’s not just for the common good, but for the common sense. Even when we feel like occasionally taking an off-day from healthy eating, and indulge, at least we know what we’re getting into.
The delay has only been requested for three days, so it’s not indefinite by any means. At that point, the courts will sort out the arguments.
The moral of the story is, the only thing large restaurant chains care about from a consumer perspective is that you, well, consume. I know, it’s a bit of a generalization, and not all corporate movers and shakers are evil-doers. But if they wanted consumers to make knowledgeable decisions, and stood behind their products as safe for human consumption, there should be no resistance.
A reader writes…
I am 300 pounds and I am a paraplegic. I have use of my upper body only. What can I do to lose my weight? I already have changed the way I eat.
To answer such a sensitive question, I asked my friend and former colleague at eDiets.com, Susan Burke March, a certified nutritionist, to share her advice.
When you can’t walk, it surely makes weight loss more challenging. If you’re not expending calories in activity, it makes what you eat much more important. Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen–if you take the challenge to burn calories, even if you can’t walk. You say you have upper-body abilities, so you’re halfway there! I can envisage the New York City Marathon, where I volunteered for a number of years. The wheelchair athletes were truly inspiring–their upper-body strength was phenomenal, and they competed with as much enthusiasm and joy as the runners. I think you need a physical therapist to help you by showing you how to burn calories, even if you can’t walk. There are lots of ways to do it…there are many pieces of equipment you can purchase, and there are wheel-chair exercises for you to do–daily–to burn calories.
So, that’s your mission–to seek out and find the resources that will teach you to incorporate upper-body exercise into your daily routine–and that means daily. Burning calories daily, using upper-body movement will improve your circulation, strengthen your muscles, including your heart muscle, will improve your mood and sleep, and will allow you to move that scale and balance your life. I Googled “exercise equipment for paraplegics” and found this link: http://www.blvd.com/Exercise_Equipment/Accessories/.
If you’ve changed your diet–I applaud you…that is a great first step. Take this second step, and stay on the path toward improved health. Good Luck!
-Susan Burke March M.S., R.D., L.D., CDE
Author of the upcoming book, Naturally Thin — How a Dietitian Went From Overweight to in Control