Page 1


Race-day gear upgrades Page 28

How to recover after your marathon Page 49


. 45 reasons the race is awesome . a borough-by-borough guide . all the race week events . how to get in next year . and more!

Click here to read about 13 Memorable Moments from the NYC Marathon.

PLUS TRAIL TESTED Fall Trail Shoe Review FAST, CUSHY, LIGHT 2 of the best new road racing shoes

CM1015_cover.indd 1

9/15/15 3:58 PM

SpreadBleed.indd 1

9/10/15 3:11 PM

SpreadBleed.indd 2

9/10/15 3:11 PM


SpreadBleed.indd 1

9/10/15 3:16 PM


R L e K w

Official Vehicle of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® Options shown. ©2015 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

SpreadBleed.indd 2

9/10/15 3:16 PM



When muscle cramps hit Dr. Rod MacKinnon while kayaking in rough waters off of Cape Cod, two things smacked him like a raging rapid: fear and insight. The fear of being stuck in deep, shark filled waters triggered a moment of realization for the Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist. He wasn’t going to go out like that. Winners don’t lose to fear—they pioneer and persevere.

He set course to invent the most effective way to prevent and treat muscle cramps. Along with fellow kayaker and Harvard Medical School professor, Dr. Bruce Bean, Rod used his expertise in neuroscience to get to the heart, or more precisely—the nerve, of muscle cramps. Treating the nerve instead of the muscle was the game changing revelation that led to an incredible discovery.

LEAVE MUSCLE CRAMPS IN THE PAST It’s easy. You want to maximize your athletic performance and we are coming out with a new beverage that will help you do just that. We will help you reach your potential, and not in an inspirational poster kind of way. What we’re making is nothing short of game changing. You’ll take it before any athletic endeavor to help neuromuscular performance and prevent cramps or treat muscle cramps when they strike. You will use it to transform yourself into an unstoppable force. Can you imagine a drink that will do all of this? We did. Then we made it. Soon, it will be ready. Are you?


Rod and Bruce went full-on “mad scientist”—researching, exploring, testing, and electrifying—until finally, they came up with a genius solution that will change athletic performance as we know it. Get ready for a blast of science. Ion channels in the mouth and stomach, when activated by certain natural ingredients, tell the motoneurons to stay calm. If those nerves

SpreadBleed.indd 1

get hyperactive, they trigger muscle cramps. We can all agree that’s a bad thing. But, thanks to Rod and Bruce’s breakthrough discovery, we now know how to effectively treat cramps by controlling the nerves. That’s a good thing! Soon, you’ll be able to drink a small shot – a proprietary formulation of natural ingredients - that will prevent and treat muscle cramps like never before.

THANKS, GROUNDBREAKING NEUROSCIENCE. Beverage is currently being prepared for public release in 2016

Get the story at © 2015 Flex Pharma, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

9/11/15 9:16 AM

Get the story at

COMING 2016 Š 2015 Flex Pharma, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SpreadBleed.indd 2

9/11/15 9:16 AM

Less Searching, More Running. Our free e-newsletter, The Run Down, delivers the latest on everything running straight to your inbox!


Sign up at

Competitor_Newsletter-Ad.indd 43

9/15/14 11:11 AM

Competitor_Newsletter-Ad.indd 44

9/15/14 11:11 AM

Captured 8

A Glor i ou s Gr in d Running in the Alps serves up both breathtaking scenery and dastardly steep trails, a two-part allure that draws hardy runners to Chamonix, France, every August for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) festival of races. This year more than 7,200 courageous souls from more than 87 countries competed in one of the five rugged trail races that range from 50K to 300K. The marquee event, the 104-mile UTMB race, sends runners on a through-the-night voyage around the Mont Blanc massif, the largest mountain range in Western Europe. Runners start in Chamonix and venture through parts of France, Italy and Switzerland before returning to Chamonix to complete their journey, covering 10 mountains and 60,000 feet of vertical gain and descent along the way. “Everything is bigger here—the mountains, the terrain, the steepness of the trails,” says Martin Schneekloth, an ultrarunner from Huntsville, Ala., who finished the UTMB race in 39 hours, 14 minutes to come in in 608th place out of 1,632 finishers. “Normally they say that about America, but when it comes to ultrarunning I think it’s true here in the Alps.” David Laney was the top American finisher in the UTMB in third place (21:59), about 50 minutes behind winner Xavier Thevenard (France) and less than three minutes behind runner-up Luis Alberto Hernando (Spain). Meanwhile, American Zach Miller won the 101K (63-mile) CCC race from Courmayeur, Italy, to Chamonix in just under 12 hours ahead of U.S. compatriots Tim Tollefson (second overall, 12:06) and Magdalena Boulet (17th overall, second woman, 14:02). “There is little, if anything, that compares with this,” says Miller, pictured here leaping over the finish line as “Conquest of Paradise” blasted from speakers throughout the village. “The crowd of people cheering and the music playing as I ran the final blocks to the finish was absolutely amazing.”—Brian Metzler

CM1015_F_CAPTURED.indd 8

Click here for more amazing images from this year’s UTMB race.

9/14/15 5:55 PM

PhotoS: Conscious Minds Productions, Pascal Tournaire/Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc

Click here for photos and stories about international running destinations.

CM1015_F_CAPTURED.indd 9

9/14/15 5:56 PM


o cto be r 2 0 1 5





31 Trail Shoe Review: Rough Riders

17 Starting Lines

48 Coach Culpepper

Run It

This season’s trail shoes can keep you running in the rain, snow and sleet. Find the pair that’s right for you in this fall/winter roundup.

36 Marathon Special: 45 Reasons Why We ♥ New York What makes the New York City Marathon so great? Let us count the ways—45 of them, on the race’s 45th anniversary. Plus: Our borough-by-borough course guide, can’t-miss events on race week, the latest limited-edition NYC shoes, tips on how to get in next year and much more.

The nomadic RV life of Olympic Trials marathoner Stephan Shay Plus: The most buzzed-about fall running shoes

Gear 22 Toe to Toe Two fast, cushioned, lightweight shoes for training and racing 10K to the marathon

24 Pro Kit The gear of elite trail runner Max King

26 Wearable Tech We review the adidas micoach smart run watch

28 Collective Slick new gear upgrades for your next race

How to evaluate your race

49 Training Plan 6-week post-marathon recovery plan

50 Form Drill Straight-leg runs

52 Strength Pistol squats

54 Prehab Learn the lunge matrix

56 Workout of the Month The hows and whys of the shakeout run Click here to read about how to treat the 5 most common running injuries.

Our picks for a variety of upcoming races

Back Page Last Lap Steve Jones talks about the integrity of racing a marathon.

ON THE COV E R: Runners dash across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge during the first mile of the 2014 New York City Marathon. Photo: Benjamin Norman B E LOW: Runners pass under the Queensboro Bridge on First Avenue near mile 16 in the New York City Marathon. Photo: New York Road Runners

Click here to read about 15 bucket-list marathons in the U.S.

CM1015_F_TOC.indd 4

9/14/15 2:11 PM

photo by @bubritt85

thank you running The moment when you slip on that first race medal is hard to beat. And with Glycerin 13’s Super DNA midsole, you’ll get perfect, dynamic cushioning that instantly adapts to your every step. That’s a wonderful thing, because now that you’ve achieved this milestone you’ll want to get right out and start training for that next big race. Learn more at

13 rin ce Gly

©2015 Brooks Sports, Inc.

Untitled-1 1

9/10/15 3:17 PM


Writers, Designers & Photographers M a ry P i lo n

Editorial editor-in-chief Brian Metzler

Mario Fraioli managing editor Adam Elder web editor Ryan Wood associate editor Emily Polachek senior editor

Mary Pilon is an award-winning journalist who’s been a staff reporter at The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Her book, The Monopolists (Bloomsbury 2015), was a New York Times bestseller.  Her work has been featured in the Best

ART graphic designer

Valerie Brugos

contributing design / photography

Scott Draper, Justin Lucero, Tyler Roemer, Pascal Tournaire

American Sports Writing, and appears in The New Yorker, Vice, Fortune, Grantland, Gawker, USA Today and Fast Company. A native of Eugene, Ore., and a

senior contributing editors

Alan Culpepper, Meb Keflezighi, Jason Devaney, Allison Pattillo contributing writers

Erin Beresini, Adam Chase, Jay Dicharry, Dan England, Matt Hart, Meghan Hicks, Lisa Jhung, Max King, Greg McMillan, Kelly O’Mara, Mary Pilon, Bryon Powell, Sam Winebaum editorial intern Olivia Litsey

C i rc u l at i o n , m ar k et i n g & P r o d u ct i o n production manager

fledgling marathoner, she currently lives in Brooklyn.

Meghan McElravy

She shared 45 reasons why the New York City

advertising production manager

Marathon is so special, plus the can’t-miss events

Gia Hawkins

director, digital media & strategy

Aaron Hersh audience development manager

Kristy Buescher manager, media marketing

on race week, starting on page 36.

Nicole Christenson d i g i ta l s er v i ce s

J u st i n Lu ce ro

director, web development

Scott Kirkowski

Justin Lucero is a lead designer at Nemo, an action-oriented design agency in Portland, Ore. Nemo lives by the power of the collective and uses

director, seo/analytics

Johnny Yeip director, creative services

web developers

Joseph Hernandez, Miguel A. Estrada web director James Longhini associate creative director

its unique Corizontal strategy to make award-win-

Matthew McAlexander

Thomas Phan

ning work for clients including Nike, Converse and

system administrator

video producer

Hot Wheels. Though he once considered running a

Bruno Breve

Steve Godwin

form of punishment doled out by his baseball coach, Lucero now runs daily and is training for his first half marathon. He designed our borough-by-borough guide to the New York City marathon on page 43.

A d v ert i s i n g

Jason Johnson 858-768-6824, vp, media sales Ian Sinclair 860-673-6830, vp, media sales Gordon Selkirk 858-768-6767, vp, media sales Todd Wienke 414-517-7457, manager, media sales Jeff McDowell 858-768-6794, manager, media sales Jenn Schuette 858-228-3761, vp, media sales

J o h n Dav id Be ck e r

John David Becker is the photo editor of Triathlete magazine, Competitor’s sibling publication. He lived and worked his entire life in two of the biggest mar-

part n er s h i p d e v e lo p m e n t a n d

at Time Inc. John traded it all in for San Diego’s end-

director Erin Ream Liz Centeno-Vera, Renee Kerouac

less summer, where his dogs can run free and he

digital ad operations

can sail year round. In this issue he photographed


Gretchen Alt

Carson McGrath

this year’s limited-edition New York City Marathon shoes, on page 41.

finance director

Acc o u n t m a n a g e m e n t

athon cities in the world: Boston, and New York City—where he was formerly a staff photographer

F i n a n ce

a publication of

Paul F. Walsh president Josh Furlow

executive chairman

chief administrative officer and chief financial officer

We need your input!

Survey at and

What do you like most about

entering for your chance to win a $400

Competitor magazine? What kind

American Express gift card or one

of running do you do? We’d like to

of five entries to any Rock ’n’ Roll

hear from you so we can continue

Marathon Series event. We’ll use

to deliver the kind of stories, photos

your input to help shape our content

and videos you like most. Please

in 2016 and beyond. We appreciate

help us out by taking our 2015 Reader

your input!

CM1015_F_CONTRIB/MAST.indd 6

Wendy Godoy chief marketing officer

Keith S. Kendrick senior vice president, events

Tracy Sundlun Molly Quinn senior vice president John Smith

senior vice president

9477 Waples Street, Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92121 • 858-450-6510 For distribution inquiries: 858-768-6493 Digital Issue support: Distribution management: TGS Media Inc. •, 877-847-4621 No part of this issue may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. Competitor is a registered trademark of Competitor Group Inc.

official magazine

9/11/15 12:45 PM

Our 700mL bottle fits everywhere—cup holders, treadmills, your lifestyle.

Untitled-1 1

Š 2015 FIJI Water Company LLC. All Rights Reserved. FIJI, FIT, the Trade Dress and accompanying logos are trademarks of FIJI Water Company LLC or its affiliates. FW13425

Introducing our sleek new size.

9/10/15 3:18 PM 14

N e w Yo r k City Ma r at h on Your one-stop shop for New York City Marathon coverage—from previews to the podium, at

Connect With Us Join the conversation

nycmarathon competitor. running

Follow us

Race-Day Tips It’s a big month for racing. Make sure


See what we share

your race day goes smoothly with our tips at Competitor. com/raceday

5 Places to Run …


Traveling soon? We’ve

Is There an Ideal Running Form?

compiled the top running

We go in-depth with a multimedia project

routes in cities all across the

about proper running form at Competitor.



Photo Galleries Browse our photo galleries from some of the most famous races in the world at

CM1015_F_DOTCOM.indd 14

9/11/15 10:14 AM


Countdown to a

GREAT RACE! While most people are still sleeping, a whole community of runners, volunteers, and race staff are getting ready to Rock ‘n’ Roll…Marathon, that is! Everyone at a Rock ‘n’ Roll race has their own A.M. routine to make sure race day goes smoothly. Though no two wake-up calls are the same, one thing is for sure: Dunkin’ Donuts coffee gets you running in the morning and keeps you running all day!

K AT E BR IER Rock ‘n’ Roll Race Crew

“Every race is a little different, but one thing is always the same: coffee.” 3:15 a.m. Rise and shine! 3:43 a.m. Roll through Dunkin’ Donuts for a Pumpkin Black on the way to the race site. 3:58 a.m. Arrive at race site and take a deep breath. This is the calm before the storm! 4:02 a.m. Confirm course signage is up and pointing runners in the correct direction. 4:27 a.m. Oversee setup of finish line celebration venue. 4:36 a.m. Additional race crew arrives with a Box O’Joe® from Dunkin’ (yesssss!).


Rock ‘n’ Roll Medal Runners

5:21 a.m. Ensure all the roads are closed and the race can start on time.

“We are lifelong fans and consumers of Dunkin’ coffee. The caffeine is a welcome wake-up on race morning!”

5:04 a.m. Carl showers while Ilona makes a pre-race breakfast in the hotel room. 5:16 a.m. Grab race gear (including Carl’s lucky silver dollar!) and leave the hotel. Make a quick stop at Dunkin’ for “the usual” – two large coffees with Splenda and non-fat milk. Make plans to return post-race for a delicious frozen caramel Coolatta®.

5:30 a.m. Meet friends next to corral #1 for a quick pre-race selfie and good-luck hugs. 5:42 a.m. Get in line to take care of – ahem – business.

6:28 a.m. Head up to the announcer’s platform just in time for the countdown to the race start – it’s the best part of the morning!

6:08 a.m. Do a quick shakeout jog and stretch before heading into starting corral. 6:29 a.m. Ilona gives Carl quick good luck kiss before the starting gun goes off. Pre-race jitters? What pre-race jitters? 6:30 a.m. It’s GO time!

Untitled-1 1

6:25 a.m. Send lead vehicles onto race course to alert the on-course entertainment the runners are on their way.

© 2015 DD IP Holder LLC

5:00 a.m. Up and at ‘em!

5:45 a.m. Cue announcers and music to pump up the crowd.

RUNNERS RUN ON DUNKIN’. Dunkin’ gets you running in the morning and keeps you running all day!

9/10/15 3:18 PM

You read our magazine Now it's your turn to be the open book. Take our reader survey at

(in less time than it takes to eat your breakfast)

WHY TAKE THE SURVEY? Because you’re passionate about running and want to help us improve Competitor to better meet your needs... oh, and you have a chance to win a $400 American Express gift card or one of five entries to any Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series event, that's why.

Untitled-1 1

9/10/15 3:19 PM

news s ta r t i n g l i n e s


R o a d W a rr i o r U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier Stephan Shay has been living and training out of his renovated mobile home. B y B r i a n M etzl er

Click here for more photos of Stephan Shay’s home on wheels.

When he was a kid, Shay always thought he’d be living out West waking up with a view of a beach.

Sleeping next to a Southern California beach almost every night and having plenty of freedom to roam, Stephan Shay is living the dream. All year, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier has been living in a vintage 1960s motor home he calls Lolita, balancing work, training and his desire to be a bit more footloose and fancy-free than most elite runners allow themselves. “When I was a kid, I always kind of thought I’d be out West somewhere and that I’d sleep on the beach if I had to,” says Shay, a

29-year-old runner who grew up in Michigan and earned a marketing degree from Brigham Young University in Utah. “It’s a lot of fun and there’s a certain romance to it with all the freedom it can bring, but it’s not something everybody is cut out for.” After ending a long-term relationship last winter and then living for a stint with his brother, Nathan, in Huntington Beach, Calif., Shay started looking for used RVs and found a 1966 Clark Cortez for $5,200 with all of the original appliances, cabinetry and seating. It

needed some rehabbing, but he taught himself how to do exterior body work and then had it repainted in a vintage Volkswagen green. He also installed new wood flooring and upgraded the stereo. So far, he’s put $10,000 into his 18.5-foot home on wheels, but he figures that offsets the rent he hasn’t had to pay. It’s attracted lots of attention as he’s hung out in varous beach towns near Los Angeles. “People have told me, ‘that’s a rad looking toaster,’ and I think it does kind of look like an old-school toaster a bit,” Shay says.

news 18

“It’s not like I’m an attention whore for it, but I like when people ask questions about it. From there, we’ll start talking about other things like surfing, even though I don’t surf. It’s a cool way to strike up conversations.” Shay, the younger brother of Ryan Shay, who died due to a heart condition during the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in

s ta r t i n g l i n e s

fast elite runners living there. (Lolita gets about 16 mpg on the highway.) Shay admits he’s not quite back to the fitness that earned him his PRs of 2:16:48 for the marathon and 1:02:26 for the half marathon, but he’s eager to ramp up his training this fall for the Feb. 13 Olympic Trials Marathon on the streets of Los Angeles. In the meantime, he’s embraced the spar-

Shay says living in an RV is a spartan yet relaxing lifestyle.

“I got bit by the bug and I realized how much fun it is and how much freedom it gives you.” New York City, turned in two of his best marathon results in the past year, placing 16th in last year’s New York City Marathon (2:19:47) and 10th in this spring’s Los Angeles Marathon (2:18:08). As for training, he’s been doing his best to mix 85- to 90-mile weeks with two part-time marketing jobs: one for a lithium ion battery manufacturer, the other for Santa Ana College. (He also has a small sponsorship deal with Skechers.) He’s taken his rig on a weekend trip to Santa Barbara and twice made the seven-hour drive to Flagstaff, Ariz., to get in some high-altitude training with some of the many

CM1015_F_SL.indd 18

tan lifestyle RV living demands, especially because he knows he’s producing less trash, using less water and reducing his carbon footprint. He knows life will continue to evolve, but he suspects he’ll always own an RV of some sort. “I got bit by the bug and I realized how much fun it is and how much freedom it gives you,” he says. “I don’t have anything against people who want a big house. But at 29, I’m pretty happy that all my stuff fits in an 18-and-a-half-foot bus. For me, life is about trying to find that balance between paying the bills and having that life you want to live. This was the perfect balance for me.”

Shay placed 10th in the 2015 LA Marathon.

Chillin’ with his brother’s dog, Marz.

Lolita is squeaky clean and ready to hit the road.

9/11/15 10:41 AM






T H I S I S A N I N V I T A T I O N . YO U R



Untitled-1 1

9/10/15 3:20 PM

m a r k e t w atc h 20

s ta r t i n g l i n e s

Which new shoe releases are you most excited About? Click here for the latest road running shoe reviews.

Monte Keleher, Owner

Christian Fyfe, Manager

Brent Bowers, Manager

Jason Smith, Manager

A Runner’s Mind San Francisco “We are always excited when an already good shoe gets a great update. The Mizuno Inspire 12 has a bit more underfoot, but still retains that snappy responsive Mizuno feel—getting more runners into them, and keeping their current wearers coming back.”

Palmetto Running Company Hilton Head Island, S.C. “Our store is most excited about the New Balance Vazee Pace. It’s lightweight but springy, and the accommodating toe box should make it a great option for both training and racing this fall marathon season.”

Red Rock Running Company Las Vegas “We’re looking forward to the Brooks Ghost 8. It’s a smooth ride for the heel or forefoot striker and a responsive shoe with just the right amount of cushioning.”

Georgetown Running Company Washington, D.C. “The Nike Air Zoom Odyssey is the shoe that can do it all! High cushion, high stability with Air Zoom in the forefoot and heel. Also the Flymesh upper feels like a sock while still providing great support and a locked-down feel with Dynamic Flywire.”

Lori McConnell, Owner

Jeff Metzdorff, Owner Mill City Running Minneapolis “A staff favorite, Saucony now adds their proprietary Everun cushioning to their new Kinvara 7. This has the possibility to take the shoe to the next level or alienate longtime fans. Either way, I’m excited to test them out.”

Andrea Lehmkuhler, Manager

Mack Exilus, Co-Manager

West Seattle Runner Seattle “We’re really excited to get the Hoka Bondi in wide widths. We get regular referrals from podiatrists for the Hoka to help forefoot pathologies, including bunions and neuromas. The problem is that these customers often need a wide toe box and now Hoka is answering both problems.”

CM1015_F_SL.indd 20

Point 2 Running Company Newport News, Va. “I’m looking forward to the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12. With the addition of U4icX, a midsole component, runners can experience a softer touch down while still enjoying the Mizuno fit. Pair this with the Rider 19 and you have two shoes that will fit and feel great to many runners.”

New York Running Company New York City “I’m excited for the Saucony Kinvara 6. The Kinvara was one of my first training shoes. It’s fast and light, but still perfect for long runs. I trained for Philly in 2013 in them and they were great for the track and the long run.”

9/14/15 2:15 PM

Now, Solgar unlocks the power of curcumin like never before.

©2015 Solgar, Inc.

More active. 185 times better bioavailability. Faster absorbed.


That’s the difference with New Solgar ® Full Spectrum Curcumin. For the first time, Solgar transforms poorly absorbed curcumin from a fat-soluble to a water-soluble phytonutrient… making it immediately body-ready, faster absorbed, more active, and more bioavailable than ever before. ◊ Solgar ® Full Spectrum Curcumin is so advanced, just 40 mg of curcumin in one softgel delivers the equivalency of nearly 75 (100 mg) capsules of standardized curcumin extract. Even more, in a recent clinical study, Solgar ® Full Spectrum Curcumin was shown to be longer lasting so it stays in your system for a full 24 hours. ◊* Now, for brain, joint, and immune health – Solgar changes what you believed was possible from curcumin… forever. Solgar ® Full Spectrum Curcumin… one softgel, once a day–185X better. ◊* The complete line of Solgar nutritional supplements is available at fine health food retailers worldwide. For store locations and additional information, visit or call 1.800.645.2246 *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. ◊

Untitled-1 1

Compared to native curcumin extract.

9/10/15 3:21 PM



Click here to read our Shoe of the Week blog.

FA S T, C U S H I O N E D , L I G H T W E I G H T 1 0 K T O M A R AT H O N R A C E R S Mi zu n o

Adida s

Wave Sayonara 3

Boston Boost

When the Wave Sayonara replaced the popular Wave Precision a couple of years ago, it gained rave reviews as a next-generation neutral lightweight performance trainer and long-distance racer. Mizuno further improved this third edition—it’s lighter and more lively—as a shoe for 10K to marathon racing. The biggest change is the cushioning in the midsole chassis that Mizuno calls its u4ic-X (pronounced “Euphoric-x”) unit. Combined with Mizuno’s unique plastic Wave insert from the heel to the arch, the new midsole is softer, more responsive and serves up a smoother ride than previous editions. Our wear-testers raved about the secure and plush fit, the softer, two-piece airy mesh upper (strap-free in the forefoot) and the consistent heel-toe transition of this shoe.


$120 Weights: 8.8 oz. (men’s 9); 7.1 oz. (women’s 7) Heel-Toe Offset: 10mm; 26mm (heel), 16mm (forefoot) Made from fused thermoplastic polyurethane pellets, adidas’ Boost midsole material has shown in independent lab tests to be considerably more absorbent and resilient than other types of foam. The new Boston lightweight trainer/racer—which has Boost foam for the first time—is the consummate 10K to marathon racing shoe. It’s lightweight, flexible and fairly low to the ground, which all allow for a natural, uninhibited stride. A new airy upper locks down the foot while providing greater breathability, although its narrow, low-volume fit makes it better for racing and fast training than for longer training runs. The Boost foam has enough structure and resiliency that both neutral runners and moderate overpronators will benefit from it.


$110 Weights: 9.2 oz. (men’s 9); 7.3 oz. (women’s 7) Heel-Toe Offset: 10mm; 28mm (heel), 18mm (forefoot)

For more shoe reviews, go to

CM0915_G_TOE2TOE.indd 22

9/14/15 2:17 PM


Š 2015 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Westin and its logo are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates.


Untitled-1 1

From pre-race meals, to post-race ice bags and VIP area access, the Westin VIP Marathon Package helps you get to the start line stress free. We also offer late check-out so you can relax after your big day. Book a VIP Marathon Package at

9/10/15 3:21 PM



MAX KING This versatile, 35-year-old athlete from Bend, Ore., has won numerous U.S. trail running titles, plus the Xterra Trail Run World Championships five times, the 2014 Warrior Dash World Championship, the 2014 IAU 100K World Championship and the 2011 World Mountain Running Championship. He’s also a 2:14 marathoner, competitive cross country runner and a national-class steeplechase runner.

[2] GU ROCTANE ENERGY GEL, $60 (box of 24) “I eat these during training runs over an hour and in every race. They have a good mix of carbs—the fructose and glucose polymers—as well as amino acids to maintain mental acuity longer. And the caffeine helps on longer runs.” [3] SUUNTO AMBIT3 PEAK (HR), $550 “I wear this heart rate monitor because it’s useful in training, and I just like all the data. I’m an engineer, so I can’t help it. The Ambit3 Peak tracks all my metrics, has a customizable interface and is easy, intuitive and super rugged.” 

[4] SALOMON S-LAB SENSE SHORTS, $150 “Nice, short shorts with smart pockets that carry essential gear on trail runs, but they’re also minimal enough for shorter races and training.” [5] COWBOY HAT Price varies “Great sun protection but also well-ventilated and cool.” [6] SWIFTWICK ASPIRE ONE SOCKS, $14 “These socks are snug and thin so I have a good interface between my feet and my shoes. And the 1-inch length is not too high, but high enough to protect my feet from my shoes.” [7] SALOMON S-LAB SENSE 4 ULTRA, $170 “I use this shoe for everything from half marathons to 100 miles. It has a minimalist design and a 4mm drop, with just enough cushioning underfoot to be comfortable.”

FLORA 7 SOURCES OIL $35 (17 ounces) “This is an essential part of my diet because it helps me with overall health and allows me to burn fat more efficiently on my longer runs. It’s important to have a good source of healthy fat in your diet and for me, that’s where that comes from.”

Click here to read about pro trail runner Magdalena Boulet.

CM0915_G_PROKIT.indd 24

REALLY, REALLY DARK BEER Price varies “As long as my fork will stand up in it, then it’s good enough for me. Guinness is one of my favorites. I have one a week, maybe twice a week. It’s kind of a reward at the end of a day. Plus, it’s high in iron and antioxidants.”


[1] SALOMON S-LAB SENSE ULTRA SET, $130 “From 13-mile training runs to a 50-mile race where I reload at aid stations, I can carry nutrition, a phone and other essential stuff in front pockets for any kind of mountain adventure.”

9/14/15 2:18 PM

Saving People Money Since 1936 ... that’s before the modern treadmill. GEICO has been serving up great car insurance and fantastic customer service for more than 75 years. Get a quote and see how much you could save today. | 1-800-947-AUTO | local office

Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2015 GEICO

Untitled-1 1

9/10/15 3:21 PM




Adidas’ latest smartwatch packs a lot into its burly body: GPS, heart rate, 4GB Bluetooth music player and a running/strength/flexibility coaching system. We took advantage of the many color-coded heart-rate or pace-zone

run workouts and plans included, and also easily built our own. The assessment to set zones can be finicky in getting a fix on both pace and heart rate zones in a single workout—but is easy to adjust. The only caveat:


Power can bleed fairly quick. A one-hour interval workout with heart rate, music, audio cues and GPS uses 30 percent battery; marathon mode without any audio extends battery life.


I’m looking for…


Sony SmartWatch 3 ($250)


iSmoothrun app ($6)

Epson Runsense SF-810 ($350)

CM1015_G_Tech.indd 26

PHONE-FREE MUSIC Load your own—or, as we did, rock the included MixRadio, which matches pace to adidas mixes.

STRENGTH & FLEXIBILITY WORKOUTS micoach can guide you through run and other sport-specific routines (with or without gym equipment) using on-watch demo animations, timers and heart rate.

COLOR AND SOUND Color-coding of zones, values and screen layouts, along with audio and vibration cues, were clear and concise during interval workouts, keeping us aware and on track.


Click here to read about the Garmin Vivoactive.


9/14/15 2:22 PM


All running is fun, but trail running is bliss. Off-road running can bust you out of a running rut, invigorate your passion for going long, and make you a stronger all-around runner. Get a head start with Trailhead, a fun, illustrated guide that dishes the dirt on all things trail running. From choosing the right gear to handling wildlife and weather, Trailhead will bring you up to speed for jaunts off the beaten path to full-on miles in the mountains. See a preview at


Untitled-1 1

in bookstores, running shops, and online.

9/10/15 3:22 PM

Collective 28


R a c e - D ay Upgr a d e s Celebrate the hard miles logged while training for a goal race and spiff up your race-day look with some fresh accessories that will also combat cold weather, glaring sun, chafing or lost safety pins. On your mark, get set, go! B y A l l i son Patti l lo

Click here to see 8 new running jackets.

Upgrade those basic black or white gloves with some stylish polka dots and stripes. [2] Janji Kenya “High-Low” Singlet, $34

This mesh singlet with a subtle drop-tail hem delivers comfort and coverage. And with every purchase, a person in Kenya gets one year of clean water.

CM1015_G_COLLECTIVE.indd 28

[3] Oakley PRIZM Road Flak 2.0 XL sunglasses, $170

Large, high-definition lenses give enhanced protection while making subtle surface changes more visible. [4] SPIbelt Performance Belt, $26

This slim belt has four gel loops plus a weather- and sweat-resistant pocket that can hold an iPhone, car keys, salt tablets and beer ticket.

[5] RaceDots 4-Pack, $20

RaceDots use powerful magnets for a secure hold on your race number without the pinholes. [6] Body Glide original Anti-Chafing Balm, $10

Don’t let chafing or blisters get in the way of a PB. Apply this wherever running “rubs you the wrong way.”

[7] Nathan IceSpeed Insulated Handheld, $45

This insulated 18-oz. bottle and an anti-freeze bite valve prevent your hands and your hydration from turning to ice on cold days. [8] Soleus GPS Fly, $99

This affordable GPS watch provides distance, pace, splits and an 8-hour battery.

photo: scott draper

[1] Saucony Swift Glove, $24

9/14/15 2:23 PM


Forerunner 225 with wrist-based heart rate. Hate wrestling with a heart rate strap on the run? We get it — so we got rid of it. We even refined how this watch gauges your effort, so you don’t have to decide if 176 beats per minute means you’re cookin’ or almost cooked. Create customized workouts or download free training plans at Garmin Connect, send to your watch and get coach-like guidance.

Forerunner 225 ®

See it at ©2015 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries

Untitled-1 1 24978 Forerunner 225 Ad_M-Competitor.indd 1

9/10/15 3:22 PM 7/6/15 2:24 PM

Untitled-1 1

9/10/15 3:22 PM




This season’s best New Off-Road Kicks




Some of these trail shoes aim to keep you running despite rain, snow, sleet and other fall and winter hazards; others can become your yearround chargers. Our roundup of off-road shoes runs the gamut from low-to-the-ground, minimal-feeling models that fit like socks with teeth underfoot to beefier versions that absorb impact and protect from roots, rocks and other obstacles. Read on to find the right pair for you.

CM1015_TRAILSHOES.indd 31


Click here for tips on how to select the right trail shoe.

9/14/15 2:25 PM

Click here to see a video of the steepest trail in America.


Inov-8 TerraClaw 250, $130

Brooks Adrenaline ASR 12 GTX, $150

Weights: 8.8 oz. (men’s); 7.2 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm; 24mm (heel), 16mm (forefoot)

Weights: 11.8 oz. (men’s); 9.9 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 12mm; 32mm (heel), 20mm (forefoot)

The shoe is for you if … you like a flexible and minimal shoe with traction underfoot. Fit-feel-ride: The lightweight upper of this shoe offers a snug and secure fit around even the narrowest feet, wrapping highto low-arched runners in comfortable support. While this shoe was built for higher-mileage running more than other Inov-8 Terraclaw shoes—with extra protection and more cushioning—make no mistake: the 250 still feels minimalistic on foot. It’s a firm ride in comparison to other shoes in this roundup, providing major ground feel and connection to the trail for agile, nimble running. Most testers wished this shoe had more lateral stability, as many found that their feet slipped side-to-side on off-camber trails and scrambles. Plus: It feels both lightweight and race-ready, with a touch of cushion and protection. Minus: The minimalism means there’s not a lot of structure keeping feet in place in the upper.

CM1015_TRAILSHOES.indd 32

This shoe is for you if … you need stability in a versatile shoe that’s treated for winter weather. Fit-feel-ride: This foul-weather-ready shoe has a road-shoe feel. Its mid-foot stability, ample cushioning and smooth ride make it a pleasure to run in on smooth dirt and less-than-technical terrain. Updated from the previous version of this popular shoe is a segmented crash pad (all that toothy rubber near the back of the shoe), which allows a more fluid ride than in past iterations of the Adrenaline ASR. The outsole has also been updated to better handle sloppy trails. Testers didn’t find it the most dynamic or agile shoe on technical trails, likely due to its road-shoe profile and plentiful cushioning. The Gore-Tex weather-proofing adds to the versatility of this winter shoe—wear it on sloppy road runs as well as off-road. Plus: This shoe is cut low around the ankle collar, which means zero irritation. Minus: The stability for pronators will be overkill for some (but a plus to those who need it).

BEST CUSHIONING New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro, $115

Weights: 11.4 oz. (men’s); 8.7 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm; 21.5mm (heel), 17.5mm (forefoot) This shoe is for you if … you need a versatile shoe for mild to moderately rugged terrain that’s still fairly smooth on road. Fit-feel-ride: Chalk it up to the Fresh Foam midsole (constructed out of a single piece of foam), the Ortholite insert (more cush) and the Ortholite insole (even more cush): For a trail running shoe, the Hierro serves up a superbly posh ride. It’s not plush in a maximally cushioned sort of way; the Hierro doesn’t ride like a fat ski or 29er bike. It’s more like a pleasant spring in your step on the paved sections leading to the trail, and on hard dirt, and gravelly paths. Once on gnarlier terrain, the multidirectional lugs on the outsole kick in to grab the ground and keep you surefooted. It’s a comfortable shoe, with soft materials on the upper and nice padding around the heel and tongue— one you could wear all day. However, although the fit is a bit snug in the heel and slightly wider in the forefoot, some felt was too snug all over for running on technical trails. (Our wear-testers who were able to run in the Hierro a half size larger than their normal size reported an improved experience.) Plus: Thanks to the cushioning and flexibility, this is a smooth-running shoe. Minus: Due to the softness of the mesh on the upper, some testers noted their feet felt “exposed” to lateral jabs from roots and rocks.

9/14/15 2:35 PM

Click here to find epic running trails with the Trail Run Project.


BEST WEATHER PROTECTION Altra Lone Peak NeoShell, $150

Weights: 11.9 oz. (men’s); 10.4 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 0mm; 25mm (heel), 25mm (forefoot) The shoe is for you if … you’re an Altra and/or zero-drop devotee, and want to stay on the trails in winter weather. Fit-feel-ride: This shoe is built off Altra’s popular Lone Peak 2.5, a cushy shoe with a zero-drop profile that seems to put a little extra energy in your gait. The Neoshell version has the same roomy toe box fit of the regular 2.5, allowing toes to splay naturally, especially on long descents. The Neoshell adds an innovative durable, waterproof exterior that kept testers’ feet dry even when dunking in a shallow creek. It differs from other weather-protecting shoes in this roundup by putting the waterproofing in the exterior of the shoe, eschewing a heavy, wet upper and abating an overly hot foot. The bottom line is that this shoe will keep you charging trails in snow and cold without having your feet become overly sweaty. Plus: Our wear-testers reported that the underfoot traction grips a range of surfaces with aplomb. Minus: If the fit isn’t perfect (they run a tad large), there can be some awkward buckling at the toe crease.

Montrail Bajada II Outdry, $135

Hoka One One Stinson 3 ATR, $160

Weights: 13.1 oz. (men’s); 10.9 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 10mm; 20mm (heel), 10mm (forefoot)

Weights: 12.0 oz. (men’s); 10.2 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 6mm; 36mm (heel), 30mm (forefoot)

This shoe is for you if … you tackle gnarly trails in inclement weather and demand maximum protection Fit-feel-ride: This shoe is a burly workhorse that manages to run lighter than it weighs. Its Gryptonite rubber outsole grabs the trail, wet or dry, but it’s the upper that made us feel like we could charge anything. The screened rubber overlays kept rocks and roots from poking through the sides of the shoes; we felt like our feet were enclosed in a guarded little case. The waterproof Outdry treatment on the upper only ups the protection; this shoe blocks rain, snow and trail slop. Bottom line: It’s a rugged, durable shoe that still flexes and doesn’t weigh you down. The Bajada II Outdry isn’t as nimble- or agile-feeling as some others in this review, and it runs a little stiff, but for technical trails (especially in foul weather), it’s a big hit. Pros: Outdry waterproofing does the job and still breathes well. Minus: Feels a little clunky on smooth, non-technical trails.

This shoe is for you if … you crave monster cushioning and you have a high arch. Fit-feel-ride: The Stinson 3 ATR has a crazy amount of cushioning underfoot, creating quite a bit of distance between you and the trail. That can be a plus if you’re looking for a floating, impact-absorbing ride on smoother trails or mildly technical routes. If you’re looking for a nimble shoe that connects you to the trail, the Stinson 3 ATR isn’t for you. The traction proved suitable on a range of surfaces, but our wear-testers agreed that this shoe can feel cumbersome on extremely rocky terrain. However, it excelled on mild terrain and runs equally as smooth on roads. Our more flat-footed testers reported the high arch felt intrusive (even rubbing), while others didn’t notice it at all. This shoe is a bit of an outlier and was polarizing among our testers. Some absolutely loved it, some said it was too high off the ground. Plus: Like other Hokas, this shoe seems to alleviate aches and pain for chronically injured runners. Minus: The toe box runs pretty narrow.

Click here to read about what to do when you see a snake on a trail.


Salomon Speedcross Pro, $150

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 3, $125

Weights: 11.5 oz. (men’s); 9.7 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 10mm; 20mm (heel), 10mm (forefoot) This shoe is for you if … you have a narrow foot and seek an agile mountain climber. Fit-feel-ride: This toothy trail shoe (with its 6mm, hard-rubber lugs made from Salomon’s revamped Contragrip outsole rubber materials) was built to grab mud, wet surfaces and other muck found on fall trails. We found the traction did the job, and liked the secure, snug wrapping of the upper—no doubt aided by Salomon’s one-pull Quicklaces and slightly stretchy fabric on the upper. Lateral stability comes from TPU-welded overlays, allowing this shoe to feel stable and secure on rocky, technical trails. Testers craved a touch more room in the toe box on long runs, but noted the snug fit helped this shoe feel agile. The cushioning rides a bit hard, and feels almost orthotic-like (firm, secure and corrective) around the arch. Plus: The durable upper is water-resistant, and the mesh across the tongue helps keep out debris. Minus: Felt excessive—and a little too stiff— on flat, smooth terrain.

Weights: 8.9 oz. (men’s); 7.2 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm; 24mm (heel), 20mm (forefoot) This shoe is for you if … you want a fast-feeling, low-profile shoe for mild terrain. Fit-feel-ride: This low-to-the-ground shoe with a pliable upper feels like a racing flat, but has the cushioning to make it comfortable on smooth terrain (even roads) and the traction to feel surefooted on mildly technical terrain. On more rocky, rooty, steep trails, some of our testers longed for more protection overall and better grip underfoot. But this is a light, fast-feeling shoe, and for that we’re grateful. The pliable, breathable mesh upper wraps nicely around the foot via Nike’s Flywire for a sock-like fit. And the midsole’s Zoom Air cushioning units give this shoe some bounce without adding a thick disconnect from the trail. Plus: The molded sockliner and all-over feel of this shoe mean all-day comfort whether running or not. Minus: It’s a bit too close to the ground (and not protective enough) for some testers. (The Wildhorse 3 is a more cushioned and protective version of this shoe.)

BEST TRACTION Saucony xodus 6.0, $140 Weights: 11.4 oz. (men’s); 9.9 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm; 23.5mm (heel), 19.5mm (forefoot) This shoe is for you if … you crave a burly yet agile shoe to charge rough, technical terrain. Fit-feel-ride: This is a confidence-inspiring shoe for running on rugged terrain. The Vibram outsole is about as aggressive as anything out there, grabbing hold of loose dirt and wet rocks, both uphill and down. The reinforced upper protects the tops and sides of feet from the “stingers” and abraisions caused by rocks and roots without sacrificing flexibility. Despite the reassuring protection and amazing grip of the Xodus, it still runs fairly light and allows notable agility. We didn’t love this shoe on moderate, non-technical terrain. Its major toothiness felt like overkill, and may contribute to it not feeling smooth-riding. But since this shoe is built to charge on rugged terrain, we think it does its intended job extremely well. Plus: There’s a Gore-Tex version of the Xodus 6.0 if you seek a full-on winter charger for running in snow. Minus: If you run part mellow trail, and even part road, you’ll likely find it overkill.

Click here to check out the new trail running book: “Trailhead: The Dirt on All Things Trail Running”


BEST NEW MODEL The North Face Ultra MT, $130 Weights: 9.7 oz. (men’s); 8.2 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm; 23mm (heel), 15mm (forefoot) This shoe is for you if … you don’t want to hold back on mountain runs. Fit-feel-ride: With its Vibram “Megagrip” outsole, its durable ripstop mesh upper that wraps around the midsole and the semi-firm ride of the cushioning, The North Face Ultra MT is a hard-charging mountain shoe. It actually feels strong and solid on the foot, and holds up to sharp, rocky terrain. The traction of this shoe is what stands out the most. It gripped everything from slick to dry rock, soggy ground, dusty trails and more. Some testers craved more cushioning around the heel collar near the tongue, and others noted how the narrow fit of these won’t work for everyone. The thin yet nicely padded tongue lays comfortably on the foot, and the “FlashDry” lining wicks sweat and moisture in a jiff. This shoe also comes in a Gore-Tex version. Plus: For how durable and burly this shoe is, it’s still fairly lightweight. Minus: The non-stretchy laces (which need double knotting) could be felt by some across the top of the foot.

CM1015_TRAILSHOES.indd 35

Mizuno Wave Hayate 2, $110

Vasque Pendulum II, $120

Weights: 8.7 oz. (men’s); 7.2 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 9mm; 22mm (heel), 13mm (forefoot) This shoe is for you if … you want road-shoe flexibility with trail chops. Fit-feel-ride: The Hayate 2 is among the most flexible trail shoes we’ve tested, making it feel fast and natural on flat and hilly terrain alike. It’s also one of the lightest in this roundup (along with the Inov-8 Terraclaw 250), adding to its racy feel. We like how, despite the shoe’s lithe demeanor, the sole is grippy and feels protective. The soft and very pliable upper material pulls nice and snug around the foot, but left us feeling a tad exposed on rocky trails and jagged terrain. It serves up good feel for the trail and certainly inspires fast running on milder terrain. The hard plastic wave sandwiched within the midsole, along with a wide platform under the forefoot, makes this shoe feel stable. One tester noted that she was able to up her mileage without injury in the Hayate 2 more so than when training in other shoes. Plus: This is a very breathable shoe—a plus, unless it’s cold and wet. Minus: The snug fit, especially in the heel and Achilles, might be too snug for some.

Weights: 10.2 oz. (men’s); 8.9 oz. (women’s) Heel-Toe Offset: 6mm; 19mm (heel), 13mm (forefoot) This shoe is for you if … you appreciate ground contact and like picking your way through obstacles. Fit-feel-ride: Stepping into this shoe feels like slipping on a super light, very agile and firm light hiker—it feels very protective underfoot thanks to a segmented TPU rock plate that stops rocks and roots from irritating soles. The surprise is that the Pendulum shoe runs smoothly. It’s flexible in the right places, and just cushy enough to cruise smooth trails comfortably. A few noted how this shoe inspired them to rock-hop and “dance,” albeit precisely, up and down rocky, technical trails. The ground contact allowed by quasi-minimal (but lively) cushioning created great feel for the terrain. The seamless upper proved instantly comfortable, too, and very breathable. It’s versatile shoe that can handle most types of terrain pretty well. Plus: The aggressive, multi-directional tread feels surefooted on all sorts of trails. Minus: The seamless upper doesn’t offer a ton of protection—the sidewalls in particular feel a bit exposed on gnarly terrain.

9/14/15 2:37 PM


(And you should too!)



With more than 50,000 competitors annually, the New York City Marathon is the largest in the world. Last year, the average finish time was 4:34:45. All told, more than 1.3 million miles will be run across the five boroughs on marathon morning.


Before founder Fred Lebow died of cancer in 1994, he ran 69 marathons in 30 countries, including an emotional finish in this race in 1992 after he was diagnosed with cancer. He also organized the Empire State Building Run Up and is immortalized in a statue in Central Park near the marathon’s finish line.




NY_Reasons.indd 36



9/14/15 2:46 PM


Even when the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy derailed the race in 2012, thousands showed up at Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn and decided to run 26.2 miles anyway. Other runners donated time, effort and goods to hurricane relief.


The race inspires a humorous flurry of cheaters. More than 30 years after Rosie Ruiz famously fused running with subway riding in Boston, an investigation by The New York Times found that in a single year, several dozen runners still circumvented marathon rules and skipped parts of the course, either by sneaking into Central Park or handing off their electronic tracking sensors to faster runners.


Since it started in 2000, born out of a lawsuit from disabled athletes, the wheelchair competition at the marathon has grown to become one of the best in the world. “You race New York and they don’t see us as any different,” says Tatyana McFadden, a serial winner of the wheelchair race.


The marathon has been progressive in its treatment of women. The race is one of only a handful of events that has long offered equal prize money for male and female winners. The longtime chief executive officer of New York Road Runners, Mary Wittenberg, was the first female director of an international major marathon and one of the few female executives in sports. (Wittenberg is now the global chief executive of Richard Branson’s Virgin Sports.)


The New York City Marathon also inspires some of the greatest signage in sports. Runners are treated to an array of puns (“May the course be with you”), crass gags (“If a marathon was easy, it would be called your mother”) and a stream of Ryan Gosling faces.


The millionth finisher, Katherine Slingluff, crossed the line last year and didn’t realize at the time she was the lucky competitor. Unintentionally inspirational, the Brooklyn resident completed the race as a 40-year-old mother of two.


Photos courtesy nyrr; Brian metzler


Running lore has it that the first-ever finisher of the race in 1970, Gary Muhrcke, received a recycled bowling trophy for his efforts. His time was 2:31:38.

NY_Reasons.indd 37

9/11/15 1:53 PM


The World’s Largest Marathon

Last year’s New York City Marathon hosted an event-record 50,530 finishers from 130 countries, including the one millionth finisher in the marathon’s 45-year history. No other marathon in the world has reached that magnitude, making it one of the most popular running events in the U.S. “The TCS New York City Marathon is New York City’s biggest block party,” says race director Peter Ciacca. “The race began in 1970 with just 127 entrants running four laps around Central Park, and expanded citywide in 1976. Today, the race brings together the global running community. It’s the experience of a lifetime.” This year the Big Apple should expect another 50,000-plus participants—far more than the 127-runner field of the inaugural edition. —Emily Polachek

The New York City Marathon is one of the few moments that track and field geeks dominate airwaves outside of the Olympics. Watching the elites pour into the finish line goes well with ... sleeping in and eating a decadent brunch.



Running the Numbers NYC

official clocks throughout the course

portable toilets at the race start



course record set by Geoffrey Mutai in 2011





e fi


hin g


es inc

Power Gels at mile 18

the race’s coldest temperature, set in 1995

NY_Reasons.indd 38


After losing both of his legs to a mortar mine, Bob Wieland competed the New York City Marathon in 1987. Walking on his hands, completing the course took Wieland just under 100 hours, according to Newsday.



paper cups

The course is the ultimate humblebrag, incorporating all five boroughs since 1976. (The original course was entirely staged inside Central Park.) Some New Yorkers live in the city for years and don’t even make it to neighborhoods that marathoners conquer in a single morning. Finishing the race at least once will solidify a high five at any New York City bar for years to come.


gallons of Gatorade Endurance formula on the course

total participants since its inaugural race in 1970 through 2014

A few daring runners try to complete the NYC Marathon in “5 Boroughs, 5 Beers” fashion by drinking at least one beer in each of the boroughs. The record, according to legend, is held by Jesse Williams, who ran 3:26 in 2007. (For a related story, go to Competitor. com/5boroughs5beers)




gallons of Poland Spring Brand Natural Spring Water on the course

9/11/15 1:56 PM


David Babcock, a professor at the University of Central Missouri, currently holds the Guinness World Record for longest scarf knitted while running a marathon. Last year, while jogging and creating a scarf, Babcock beat his personal record by almost a minute and raised money for Alzheimer’s research.



There is also a case to be made for the New York City Marathon being one of the loudest. The entire course is lined with musicians—full bands, deejays, steel drummers, violinists— official and unofficial. Many racers who bring earbuds never end up putting them on.



Americans can still win it. In 2009, Meb Keflezighi became the first American in 27 years to win the race since Alberto Salazar in 1982. However, no American woman has won the race since Miki Gorman’s second-consecutive win in 1977.



Diddy ran it. In 2003, rapper/businessman Sean “P. Diddy” Combs completed the race with a time of 4:14:54 and said he raised $2 million for charity along the way. (For a list of celebrities who have run the NYC Marathon, see the sidebar to the right.)



Celebrities on the Run

Famous faces and notable names that have run the New York City Marathon through the years: Jonny Lee Miller, actor, 3:19:26, 2013 Apolo Ohno, former Olympic speedskater, 3:25:12, 2011 Billy Baldwin, actor, 3;24:29, 1992 Natalie Morales, “Today” show anchor, 3:31:02, 2006 Joe Bastianich, restaurateur, 3:47:03, 2011 Kim Alexis, model/actress, 3:51:00, 1992 Edward Norton, actor, 3:48:01, 2009 Johnny Marr, guitarist of The Smiths 3:54:18, 2010 Kerri Strug, former Olympic gymnast, 3:56:06, 2008

It’s a great closet cleaner. Tradition has it that runners wear their old sweatshirts at the start of a race, then shed their gear into donation bins as they heat up along the course. Another trend, particularly among the recently single, is to wear an ex’s clothing, then discard it. Annually, more than 200,000 pounds of clothing is collected and donated to Goodwill.



Jennie Finch, former Olympic softball player, 4:05:26, 2011 Anthony Edwards, actor, 4:08:20, 2008 Brandi Chastain, former soccer player, 4:11:07, 2008 Mark Messier, former hockey player, 4:14:21, 2011 Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, rapper, 4:14:52, 2003 Christy Turlington Burns, model, author, 4:20:47, 2011 Alanis Morisette, singer, 4:28:45, 2009 Thad Beaty, guitarist of Sugarland, 4:33:21, 2013 John Anderson, ESPN anchor, 4:44:52, 2010

photos courtesy nyrr

Will Ferrell, actor, 5:01:26, 2001

There are nail-biting finishes. In 1983, Geoff Smith held the lead through the second half of the race, but Rod Dixon caught up with him around the 26-mile mark and ultimately defeated him in one of the greatest marathon finishes ever.



Teri Hatcher, actress, 5:06:42, 2014 Tiki Barber, former football player, 5:14:37, 2014 Pamela Anderson, actress, 5:41:03, 2013 David Lee Roth, musician, 6:04:43, 1987

Click here to read about celebrities who run.


The volunteers are comically kind, rebutting the stereotype that New Yorkers are cold, brash and rude. Whether it’s the physicians in the medical tents, the dispensers of Gatorade or those on the cleanup crew, thousands of locals and visitors donate an incredible amount of time to make the race logistics happen.



A runner can go the wrong way on the course and still win. In 1994, German Silva and Benjamin Paredes were about even until Silva followed a police vehicle off the course with only a half-mile left. Silva realized his folly and was able to catch up with Paredes and defeat him. The nickname Wrong Way Silva, however, stuck.



Free pinball! Sunshine Laundry, a Greenpoint favorite on Manhattan Avenue, offers free usage of its pinball machines for the duration of the marathon. Sunshine’s impressive collection includes AC/DC, Monster Bash, and Twilight Zone machines, among others. (Socks can be cleaned, as well.)

The 2006 race included both Lance Armstrong finishing in 2:59:28 (before his fall from grace) and Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee reaching the finish line in 5:33.


There is no place to carbo load like New York City. Whether it’s a slice of pizza, a plate of pasta, burger, a hot dog or a barbecue binge, New York City offers a wide array of options to those seeking to effectively cancel out the calories burned during race day.


NY_Reasons.indd 40




Marriage proposals are inevitable. There have been several throughout the years, covered by local media and not. (The response rate has been overwhelmingly positive.)


It’s the United Nations of sporting events, with 40 percent of the runners hailing from abroad, from Albania to Zimbabwe.



Photo: andrew white



9/11/15 1:59 PM


The World Marathon Majors add to the drama of New York’s finish. The series, which started in 2006, aims to take six annual marathons (Tokyo, Boston, London, Chicago, Berlin and New York) and reward elites who receive the most points overall for competing in the series over a two-year period. The winning man and woman each get $500,000.



These Shoes are Longing to Stray!

NYCM Special-Edition Models Although ASICS is the official footwear sponsor of the New York City Marathon, every year many brands (including ASICS, of course) create special-edition shoes to commemorate the race. Here are five models celebrating this year’s race that will be available in late October at select New York City area retailers, the New York City Marathon race expo and at each brand’s online store. — Brian Metzler




Last year, 255 finishers were over 70 years old, including one finisher who represented the 90 to 99 age bracket.



Vaz e

e Pac

e NY C, $




m tu



$ C, NY

uan L-Q






The race can be a total tearjerker. Thanks in part to the boom in charity running, there’s no shortage of runners either raising money for noble organizations or running in spite of their own medical ailments, personal struggles or in memory of loved ones.

Sau co






2 NY C, $


s er


Nyrr, john david becker


It’s one of the largest mobilizations of portable toilets in the world. Roughly 1,800 will be mobilized at the start of the race, along with a few hundred along the course.







, Bi

















— n4

C, 6 NY



For more New York City Marathon special edition shoes, go to NYCShoes2015


Local runners still soar in the race. One in five finishers are New Yorkers. Buzunesh Deba, an Ethiopian based in the Bronx, consistently lands in the front of the pack, having participated three times and landing in the top 10 each time. She placed ninth last year with a time of 2:31:40.



New York is a fashion mecca and has a strong tradition of runners in tutus, animal costumes, and just about any costume imaginable. This year’s race will take place the morning after a Saturday Halloween, making the likelihood of wacky wear (and chafing) even greater.




The Achilles International guide running team helps start off the race. The group, recognizable for their bright yellow running gear, has consistently led blind runners and their guides to exhilarating finishes. The New York groups regularly train in Central Park, including their excellent Saturday morning workouts.


NY_Reasons.indd 42


The doctors who work in the medical tents hail from some of the best hospitals in the world. Whether one needs a Band-Aid or ice for a broken limb, the medical care at the marathon consistently ranks among the best in sports medicine.





There are plenty of great places to watch runners go by. While the finish line in Central Park is where much of the panache is, Mayor de Blasio has said the 4th Avenue portion of the course near his old home in Park Slope, Brooklyn, is his favorite viewing spot. The stretch along the Upper East Side is bedecked with bars and restaurants offering specials for runners and those who cheer. In the more residential parts of the Bronx and Queens, the course has a tendency to turn into a large-scale block party.

photos courtesy nyrr

The marathon is the only official race that encompasses all five of New York’s boroughs. For most visiting runners (and even some locals), it’s likely the only time they’ll ever set foot in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan in a single day—or even maybe in their lifetime.


9/11/15 2:05 PM


On Nov. 1, 50,000 runners from around the globe will participate in the world’s largest moving block party—the New York City Marathon. Here’s how the course unfolds through the city’s five boroughs on the way to the famous finish line in Central Park. —Mario Fraioli






Staten Island

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge







The longest suspension bridge in the United States at 4,260 feet, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge has served as the start line for the New York City Marathon since the race adopted its five-borough format in 1976. As the race begins, runners eagerly charge up to the apex of the bridge and are rewarded with breathtaking views of the New York Harbor and the city’s famous skyline in the distance.

Brooklyn Academy of Music

After exiting the bridge just before Mile 2, runners descend upon energetic Brooklyn, where they’ll run along loudly cheering crowds for the next 12 miles. At Mile 8, runners pass the historic Brooklyn Academy of Music—one of the most popular spots for spectators, where things are guaranteed to get a little loud! Creative signs, local bands and costumed spectators combine for a festive buzz all along the course.

Queens & Manhattan

Queensboro Bridge onto First Avenue

At the halfway mark, runners enter Queens—one of the course’s quieter stretches. The silence reaches a diminuendo just past the 15-mile mark as runners cross the Queensboro Bridge to a melody of rhythmic breathing and the sounds of each other’s footsteps. But that silence dissipates at the end of the bridge when runners curl down the ramp and enter Manhattan for the first time. Suddenly, runners are engulfed with high-decibel cheering from throngs of rowdy fans lining First Avenue, providing a much-needed jolt for the next 4 miles on the way to the Bronx.

The Bronx



Willis Avenue Bridge

Click here

Following their first taste of Manhattan, runners cross the Willis Avenue Bridge just before the 20-mile mark and take a short tour of the Bronx, the unofficial home of the mythical marathon “wall” that everyone hopes to avoid. It’s sparsely populated with fans, so it’s the place where runners really need to dig deep. A little more than a mile later, they reenter Manhattan via the Madison Avenue Bridge and head for Central Park.

enes to view sc from the NYC urse. Marathon co

Manhattan Columbus Circle

The final 5K of the race relentlessly undulates and weaves through the east side of Central Park amid a sea of fans. For a short stretch between miles 25 and 26, runners exit the south end of the park onto 59th Street before reentering at Columbus Circle, one of the most densely packed parts of the course. From there, it’s just over a quarter mile to the finish line!


NYC_Marathon_RouteMap_Final.indd NY_Reasons.indd 43 22



9/11/15 2:56 9/14/15 1:47 PM


Train, Cheer, Party Like the Running Gangs of New York

Among New York City’s fertile selection of track clubs, running clubs and run crews, the marathon is one of the biggest days of the year. We learned what they do leading up to it, and on the big day. —Adam Elder

“We’ve always done a run upstate in New Paltz in August called the ‘Death Run,’ named because our coach was into the Grateful Dead. It’s a 22-mile run that kicks off our training in earnest.” —Tony Ruiz, coach, Central Park Track Club

“We have a policy in Black Roses NYC that you’re not allowed to mention the marathon until Sept. 1, because in New York, it’s such a hyped-up environment that people start training for the marathon in the beginning of June! And the summer is just too hot and humid, there’s just too many great parties, and there’s too much to do here in the summertime to lock down and really dedicate yourself to proper marathon training.” —Knox Robinson, co-founder, Black Roses NYC run crew

Step two: Go over final strategy, host shakeout runs “We have a pre-marathon get-together about 10 days before. I generally will discuss strategy and approach—I have a 10-10-10 series on running

NY_Reasons.indd 44

the marathon: 10 miles, 10 miles, 10K, as opposed to, say, two half marathons. —Tony Ruiz

“We’ve got a big circle of friends in a number of different running groups we’ve been connected to from London, Paris, Amsterdam and Copenhagen—people who will be with us all week. Shakeout runs and things that groups normally hold have lots of people from out of town. The community aspect of races is a fun opportunity to not only support our runners but also to see runners that we see only once in awhile, or on the Internet.” —Jessica Zapotechne, founder, Girls Run NYC run crew; co-founder, Black Roses NYC

“They say the day after the marathon in New York is New Year’s Day for a runner, and so the whole buildup to the New York City Marathon is indeed our holiday season. So we generally have a shakeout run together the Saturday before the marathon downtown. That’s when you’re gonna have Black Roses NYC come together with Bridge Runners and Resident Runners; it might be hosted by Orchard Street Runners. It’s a chance for everyone to put aside all

their particular training practices and their crew culture and kind of come together and celebrate everybody who’s near the end of their marathon journey.” —Knox Robinson

Step three: Support your club or crew “The expectation is that if you’re not racing, you’re gonna cheer.” —Jessica Zapotechne “We have two spots where we see our runners. The first is the 8-mile mark in front of BAM— Brooklyn Academy of Music. Then we all get on the train and we race over to 24 miles, just over the entrance on east 90th Street and 5th Avenue, and we have what we call ‘the wall of orange,’ because our colors are orange and blue. It’s a nice spot because you’re running on fumes and emotion, so it’s a nice little lift for them, plus you’ve got that big hill that you’re climbing on 5th Avenue as you enter the park. They always look forward to seeing us there.” —Tony Ruiz “We have a cheer section, confetti canon and noisemaking at mile 10 in Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg—in convenient and not-entirely-arbitrary

proximity to a coffee shop.” —Knox Robinson

“We join forces for the cheer squad with Black Roses. We get there super early and hold down a spot. We have music and everyone there is dancing. Part of our crew will leave and go to a second spot at mile 21. Unless people are running for a time, people will stop and get lots of hugs and cheers from everyone.” —Eric Blevens, co-founder, Resident Runners run crew

“We set up a table and cheering station at 114th St on 1st Ave. Members bring oranges, bananas, pretzels, Gatorade, and other snacks that we offer to anyone who runs by the table! We can also be found with posters and cowbells cheering everyone on.” —Jess Spar, The Reservoir Dogs running club

Step four: Throw an after-party “We host it at West NYC (our home base on Thursday night runs), on 72nd street, close to the finish. Next door there’s a spot called Communal. Everybody comes by, you pay $25 and get all-you-can-drink beer and pizza slices. We turned it into a long-running

after-party that usually goes till 9 or 10 o’clock. We also have a masseuse come by for free 10-minute massages. All the crews come by and we party it up. It’s one of those high-energy days where it’s cool to have everybody in the same room.” —Eric Blevens “After the race we meet up usually at a bar. After it’s all done they really get their drinks on! That party can go on till the next day. They’re definitely in celebratory mode after the races. It’s very emotional, all that hard work, it’s like the final expression of a long training cycle, so I come ready for a lot of emotional stuff like tears, and emotional parents that come to support them. It’s one I look forward to every year.” —Tony Ruiz

Step five: Stay out all night “After the party, there tends to be people who will go out clubbing all night long. That’s something unique to this scene—they like to train hard, and they like to party. So they go to the after-party, eat, shower, do whatever they need to do, come back out and go out in the Little Italy/Chinatown area.” —Jessica Zapotechne

photo: eric blevens

Step one: Have a unique pre-race ritual

9/11/15 2:07 PM


How to Get in Next Year

In addition to the thousands of police, fire and emergency personnel who work on marathon day, there’s a solid contingent of local cops, fire experts and EMTs who run the race as well.



The race inspires some of the best playlists ever. Andrew W.K.’s “I Love New York City,” Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” and the Ramones’ “Rockaway Beach” are just a handful of the obvious jams for training or running the course.



You can be a full-time lawyer and still run with the elites. Last year, Annie Bersagel, a 31-year-old American who worked full-time as a lawyer in Norway, competed among the elite women in the race. In addition to being a graduate of Stanford Law School and a Fulbright scholar, she finished in 10th place with a time of 2:33:02.



It’s a great way to find a love connection. Craigslist Missed Connections brims the day after the marathon with postings from spectators, runners and volunteers who crossed paths but neglected to get each others’ numbers.

photos courtesy nyrr



Heavy drinking is encouraged. More than 62,000 gallons of water, 32,000 gallons of Gatorade and 2 million paper cups will be utilized on race day.


NY_Reasons.indd 45


There are two methods of securing your entry in the 2016 New York City Marathon: either via guaranteed or non-guaranteed spots. Non-guaranteed entries make up the bulk of the field in which prospective marathoners submit an application during the open registration period (usually between mid-January to mid-February) and are randomly selected out of three drawing pools—NYC metro area applicants, U.S. residents outside of the NYC-metro area and international applicants. Guaranteed spots are awarded for finishing 15 NYC Marathons, meeting the time qualification standards listed on the marathon’s website or joining one of the marathon’s partnered charities. Athletes with disabilities are also guaranteed entry, and apply via a different method. —Emily Polachek

Can’t get in?

The New York City Marathon is one of six races in the World Marathon Majors series. If New York doesn’t appeal to you, check out these five other big-city, one-of-a-kind races: Chicago Marathon Oct. 11, 2015 This year’s sold-out race will do away with elite pace-setters to create a greater level of competition and focus on the race rather than time alone. It joins both the Boston and New York City marathons in becoming a rabbit-free race. Registration for the 2016 race will open in April.

Tokyo Marathon Feb. 28, 2016 The youngest race out of the bunch, the 2016 running will mark the marathon’s 10th anniversary. To celebrate the milestone, the Tokyo Marathon will expand its race cap by 1,000 runners.

Boston Marathon April 18, 2016 The world’s oldest and most talked-about annual marathon marks the height of the spring racing season. Much of the point-to-point course from Hopkinton to Boylston Street has remained the same since 1897.

London Marathon April 24, 2016 This flat and fast race has a reputation for producing world records. Paula Radcliffe set a world record of 2:17:42 for a women’s only marathon in London in 2005. (The race has a separate starting flight for its elite women’s division.)

Berlin Marathon September 2016 Registration for the 2016 race will open on Oct. 19 through Nov. 1. New this year, groups of three people can register together and will be drawn together out of the 30,000 lottery entries.

9/11/15 2:07 PM


Marathon Weekend Events

When people think of the New York City Marathon, they think of tens of thousands of runners racing through the streets on Sunday morning, spectators with signs in hand cheering them on, and the bliss of a well-deserved, post-race Sunday brunch. But as attendance in the world’s biggest race has ballooned, so too has the schedule of events surrounding it. By Mary Pilon

Here’s a look at some key events on the race week calendar. The marathon expo is located on the far

The Marathon Eve Dinner is open to

west side of Manhattan at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and is where runners can pick up their bib number, take a prerace selfie, and load up on free samples of granola bars, shakes and other goodies. If you forgot to pack that extra layer of running goop, plenty of options will be for sale here, as well as all sorts of demonstrations and promotions from running-focused companies big and small. Volunteers and race experts are on hand to answer any questions about logistics, other races throughout the year or updates on weather or operations on race day. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton have been known to make cameos on the expo grounds as well. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Note that on Thursday and Friday, bib number pickup closes an hour prior.

spectators and runners at the large tent near the finish line from 3:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., early enough to accommodate a solid night’s sleep and digestion time. Tickets cost $35 per person and are for sale on, but limited in quantity. The food is buffet style and the spread usually involves an array of pre-race carbs and proteins.

ners or spectators. Buses depart at a variety of times from Thursday through Saturday, each tour lasting approximately four hours and winding from the Verrazano Bridge to the finish line in Central Park. Pre-order tickets for $45 and reserve times at

The Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff is a low-key, 5-mile race on Sunday, Oct. 25, that—like the marathon in its early days— stays within the borders of Central Park. It’s a great race for locals or marathoners looking to shake off nerves the week before the main event. It won’t fill up as quickly as the marathon, but early registration on Nyrr. org is advised.

NY_Reasons.indd 46


affair at The Plaza Hotel (tickets start at $350 per person, a portion of which is tax deductible) that brings together runners to celebrate on Sunday evening. A silent auction also takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and for $1,000 per person you can upgrade to joining a VIP cocktail hour and private patron reception to mingle with the elite runners.

Grandstand seating along the east side of the finish line is limited, but available for $75 a person. The view offers a glimpse of the last 200 meters of the race, usually where the most tears and high fives take place, and within earshot of the iconic Fred Lebow statue. Security near the finish line is extremely tight, so allow for extra time to get to your seats. One’s chances of slipping into the bleachers without a ticket in hand are about as likely as clocking a time faster than Meb Keflezighi.

The Blue Line Lounge is a heated option for spectators on Marathon Sunday that includes a gourmet brunch buffet, beer, cocktails and close access to the finish line in Central Park. Tickets are $500 each, with a portion tax deductible as a donation to New York Road Runners youth and community programs.

The Dash to the Finish Line 5K on the day before the marathon is a great way for friends and family not running Sunday to still feel active and part of marathon weekend events. The race starts near the United Nations in East Midtown and, like the marathon, ends in Central Park. Registration for the race is procrastinator-friendly and available on until 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30.


The New York Road Runners 60K is the ultra way of saying the New York City Marathon is peanuts. The 37.2-mile course is an arguably far more tedious nine laps in Central Park and takes place two weeks after the Marathon packs up. The event is draped in far less glitz, but will similarly elicit free beers and high fives for participants.

The marathon has become far greener, with the bulk of runners relying on 725 buses and four ferries to get to the starting line, and 19,300 pounds of food from the finish line donated to City Harvest. Portable toilets utilize recycled rainwater before and after their usage on race day.



New York boasts a plethora of spa and massage options for Monday morning. Book early to beat the rush.





It simply couldn’t happen anywhere else.

Click here to read about Meb Keflezighi running the 2015 NYC Marathon.

photo Jake Naughton

Motorcoach tours of the marathon course are a great option for first-time run-

The Night of Champions is a high-end

Americans still dominate the victory tally with 28 total wins between the men’s and women’s open and wheelchair divisions. Kenya is second with 20 wins, followed by Norway, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

9/14/15 3:04 PM

Untitled-1 1

9/10/15 3:23 PM




Every race is a little different. Sometimes it goes the way we hoped and planned, and other times we’re left feeling less than thrilled with the outcome. Regardless of whether you set a personal best or finish feeling disappointed and frustrated, it’s important to evaluate the performance as a whole. There are always race takeaways that you can learn from and apply moving forward. The key is developing an evaluation template that allows you to review the entire experience from start to finish—not just the race itself, but the entire day and the days leading up to it.




I’ve noticed when a per-

When a race doesn’t go so well, it can

The goal is always to learn from your experience.

formance goes well, we

be difficult to find any positive aspects.

When you take the time to properly evaluate

often limit our review to

We get so focused on the clock, hitting

your event you can see how your performance

simply what our watch

a qualifying time or measuring our-

exposes or confirms your preparation. A race

reads and fail to look

selves against the competition that we

is not just about the pre-race routine, how you

at all the other positive

can lose sight of the positive aspects of

slept the night before, the morning meal or

aspects that went into

a poor performance. Take a step back,

the race day hydration plan. Ultimately, all the

having a good day. Think

let the initial disappointment fade and

training leading up to it is the biggest factor in

about the entire experi-

then evaluate your performance with

determining your performance. By taking the

ence and find patterns

an open mind. This exercise may help

time to evaluate your race, you will be able to

or methods that will

expose what went wrong. Although

reflect back on your training preparation and

help you duplicate those

they’re disappointing, we learn the

determine what went right, what went wrong

good days in the future:

most from poor performances and

and what adjustments you need to make for

What you ate, how you

find a greater opportunity for growth.

your next attempt.

slept, your pre-race routine, your hydration and how you managed the weather are all important considerations.

Two-time U.S. Olympian Alan Culpepper won national titles from the 5K to the marathon. His first book, “Run Like a Champion,” is available at


Click here for more more Coach Culpepper training insights.

Click here to buy Alan Culpepper’s book, “Run Like a Champion”

CM1015_T_CULPEPPER.indd 48

9/14/15 4:37 PM

Training Plan Training


6 - W e e k P o s t- M a r at h o n Recovery Plan Training for a marathon is the easy part—recovering from it is where things get tricky. Use this 6-week schedule to ensure that you properly recover from your 26.2-mile race and safely ease your way back into training. B y M a r i o Fr a i ol i


Mo n day


20–30 minutes of walking or easy crosstraining such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine






CM1015_T_PLAN.indd 49


T ues day

We d nesday


Fri day


30 minutes of easy crosstraining such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine


30–45 minutes of easy crosstraining such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine

30–45 minutes of easy crosstraining such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine

Easy Run: 3 miles

Easy Run: 3–4 miles

Click here for a FREE half marathon training plan.

Sat urday

Su nday


45–60 minutes of easy crosstraining such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine

REST or 45 minutes of easy crosstraining such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine

Easy Run: 4–6 miles

60 minutes of easy crosstraining such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine

Easy Run: 4–6 miles

45–60 minutes of easy crosstraining such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine

Easy Run: 4–6 miles + 4–6 x 20-second strides

REST or 30–60 minutes of easy crosstraining such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine

Easy Run: 6–8 miles

Easy Run: 5–7 miles + 6 x 20-second strides

REST or 45–60 minutes of easy cross-training such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine

Tempo Run: 7 miles w/ middle 3 @ halfmarathon to marathon pace

Easy Run: 8–10 miles

Steady State: 7–8 miles w/ middle 4 @ marathon pace + 10–15 seconds/ mile

Easy Run: 10–12 miles

Hill Repeats: 7–8 miles w/10 x 45-second hill repeats mid-run

Easy Run: 12–14 miles


Easy Run: 3–5 miles + 4–6 x 20-second strides


Fartlek: 5–7 miles w/8–10 x 60 seconds hard/60 seconds easy mid-run

Easy Run: 5–7 miles


Easy Run: 4–6 miles + 6 x 20-second strides

Hill Repeats: 7–8 miles w/10 x 30-second hill repeats

Easy Run: 5–7 miles

REST or 45–60 minutes of easy cross-training such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine


Fartlek: 6–8 miles w/8–10 x 90 seconds hard/90 seconds easy mid-run

Easy Run: 5–7 miles

Easy Run: 6–8 miles + 6 x 20-second strides

REST or 45–60 minutes of easy cross-training such as swimming, spinning, water running or elliptical machine

9/14/15 4:39 PM

form drill 50


S t r a i g ht- l e g R u n s Use this drill to improve coordination and turnover. B y M a r i o Fr a i ol i

It might be one of the silliest looking drills you’ll ever see, but the straight-leg run is an effective way to promote a mid-foot strike while encouraging quick turnover and improving coordination.

CM0915_T_FORM.indd 50

H O W TO DO I T:Â St ep 1: Find a flat stretch of road, trail or grass with trustworthy footing.

St ep 2: Keeping your legs straight and your ankles dorsiflexed

(toes pointing upward), run forward for 50 to 75 meters, landing on your mid-foot while not allowing your feet to come too high off the ground. Keep your torso straight, swing your arms to build speed and momentum, and focus on running with a quick turnover.

Ste p 3: Following your first repetition, recover for 30 seconds before heading back in the opposite direction. Perform two 50-meter reps, progressing to four as you build coordination.

Do this drill twice a week after easy runs and as part of a comprehensive warm-up routine before workouts and races.

Photo: Scott draper

Click here to see 9 essential running drills.

9/14/15 4:40 PM




Untitled-1 1 M37292_1597_Nike_AirZoom_Green_9.10.15.indd 1

9/11/15 9:03 AM 9/10/15 4:13 PM

ST R E N GT H 52


P I S T O L S Q U AT S This isolated leg exercise can help build strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. B Y D U N CA N L A R K I N

“Pistol squats help a runner identify leg imbalances and work on improving these imbalances by training the legs separately,” says Siobhan Kilgallen, director of Athletic Reconditioning at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. “This exercise is also beneficial for runners who train on uneven surfaces.” Pistol squats also develop flexibility, endurance, balance, coordination and strength by targeting the quads, hamstrings, calves, buttocks, core and hip muscles.

CM1015_T_STRENGTH.indd 52

HE R E ’ S HO W TO D O I T: (Note: Beginners should place a chair, bench or box behind them for support and guidance.) From a standing position, extend your arms outward so they’re parallel to the ground. Extend one leg out in front of you. Don’t allow the toes of the standing leg to turn outward or inward. Slowly squat down on your standing leg while keeping your other leg extended in front of you. “Don’t allow your heel to come off the ground,” Kilgallen warns. “If this continues to happen, place an object under your heel to provide a ramp.” Squat as low as you can (beginners should try to touch their butt on a chair) and press into the standing foot before returning to the starting position. Resist the urge to bounce as you go back to the first position.

Kilgallen recommends doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions of this exercise on each leg. Try to squat lower and lower while maintaining a stable stance. Eventually try not to use anything supporting you from behind. Keep the shin of the standing leg as close to vertical as possible, and also try to keep your back flat.


Click here to see the 4 best strength exercises for runners.

9/14/15 4:42 PM

Untitled-2 1

9/11/15 9:37 AM



L U N G E M AT R I X W A R M - U P Get ready to run with this tried-and-true exercise. B Y JA SON D EVA N EY

Click here for more stories about injury prevention for runners.

CM1015_T_PREHAB.indd 54

H O W TO D O I T: F O R WA R D LUN G E : Stand tall with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart. Take a big step forward with one leg and bend the back leg until it barely touches the ground. Return to a standing position before stepping with the opposite leg you started on.

B ACKWA RD LUN G E : From a standing position, step backward with your left leg and let that knee tap the ground “all while keeping the front knee over the ankle,” O’Reilly advises.

SIDE LUN G E : Starting with a tall posture and feet shoulder-width apart, step wide to one side and “sit into that leg,” O’Reilly says, while keeping the other leg straight. Return to the start position by pushing off with the lunging leg.

Do 5-10 reps of these lunge drills—with each leg—as part of a dynamic warmup session before a run or workout.


“A lunge warm-up is always a good idea prior to any exercise, especially running,” says USA Triathlon Level I coach Tiffany O’Reilly. “It warms up the neural pathways about to be used.”

9/14/15 4:44 PM

Any shoe.

One sock.

The best socks you will ever wear. Guaranteed. MANAGED COMPRESSION





Find a store near you:

ad pages new.indd 73

9/10/15 3:25 PM

Workout of the month 56


The Shakeout Run Supplement your speed workouts with an easy jog. B y M a r i o Fr a i ol i

minute run done on the same day as your speed workouts. If you typically do your speed work in the afternoon or evening, you’ll do your shakeout run in the morning shortly after you wake up; if you usually do your fast running first thing in the morning, save your shakeout run for the late afternoon or early evening before dinner.

W hy: A morning shakeout run will

get your blood flowing for the day ahead and help you feel less sluggish for your evening speed workout. If you do your shakeout run in the evening after a morning speed workout, it can help flush waste products from your muscles and allow you to unwind from a long day. Shakeout runs are also a safe, effective way to sneak in some extra miles for the week.

H o w: Put your shoes on and

get moving—slowly! A shakeout run isn’t meant to be long or fast—it’s a 10- to 30-minute jog (slower than even your typical training pace) meant to supplement your main workout for the day. Distance-wise, it should be in the range of 1–4 miles for most runners.

Click here to read about how to do a split long run workout.

CM1015_T_WOTM.indd 56


Wh at: A very easy 10- to 30-

9/14/15 4:46 PM





“Whether you are a newbie ultramarathoner or a seasoned veteran, Hal’s down-to-earth advice will give you the confidence to get to the finish line or set a personal best.” —Scott Jurek, professional ultrarunner


“Hal’s Field Guide is a comprehensive guide to all things ultra.” —UltraRunning magazine


“Ultra-distance champion Hal Koerner serves up amazing insights for training, gear, fueling and trail techniques in this comprehensive book.” —Competitor magazine

A single-volume source…

“A single-volume source for info on training and gear.” —Canadian Running


“A how-to manual chock full of valuable information for newbie and veteran ultramarathoners alike.” —


“Koerner’s book is the first ultrarunning nuts-and-bolts offering, and might just as well have been titled ‘Everything you always wanted to know about how to run 100 miles but were afraid to ask.’” —

The trail is calling! Hal Koerner’s book can get you to the finish of your first—or your fastest—ultramarathon. Find the book in bookstores, running shops, or online. Read a chapter at


9/14/15 5:19 PM





SpreadBleed.indd 1

9/10/15 3:17 PM

SpreadBleed.indd 2

9/10/15 3:17 PM





With Run Like a Champion, you can adopt the Olympic approach of America’s most versatile runner, Alan Culpepper. During his career, Culpepper lined up against the world’s best runners at two Olympic Games and won national titles from 5K to marathon. Now he shares the best practices of the best runners, revealing a big-picture approach that you can use to improve your running.

Run Like a Champion will enhance everything about

your running and make your goals not just possible but probable.

AVAILABLE in bookstores, running shops, and online.

S E E A P R E V I E W AT V E L O P R E S S . C O M / C H A M P I O N .

Untitled-1 1

9/10/15 10:54 AM

RUN IT community


Where and When to Race Marathon season is in full swing, with plenty of races to test your summer training. Even if you’re not running 26.2 miles, you’ll find lots of races in this month’s race guide to enjoy in cooler fall temperatures. Depending on where you live, it might be your last chance to shine before winter no matter the mileage. Pick an event and go get your race on! B y J eff B a n ow etz

For a complete race calendar, go to

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and 1/2

Photo: Courtesy of Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series

Click here for more photos from the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon.

CM1015_BOB_RUNIT.indd 61

9/14/15 5:12 PM



M a r at h o n s / H a l f M a r at h o n s

Santa Clarita Marathon Nov. 8; Santa Clarita, Calif.

Outer Banks Marathon Nov. 8; Nags Head, N.C.

Richmond Marathon Nov. 14; Richmond, Va.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Santa Clarita Marathon, which also features a half marathon, marathon relay and 5K. The Southern California race is a Boston qualifier, and this year it will feature a very flat course on the newly opened trails along the San Francisquito Creek. If you’re looking for a BQ for 2017, this is a good one.

This 10th annual event is held on the narrow islands off the coast of North Carolina, perhaps best known as the home of the Wright brothers’ first flight. Runners can now appreciate the wind at their backs in this point-to-point course that generally draws rave reviews. Choose from the full or the Southern Fried Half Marathon—and save room for some postrace North Carolina barbecue.

This race describes itself as “America’s Friendliest Marathon,” and it’s tough to find runners who disagree with the assessment, particularly with the race’s junk food and wet-washcloth aid stations. The marathon (plus a half and an 8K) features a scenic course through historic Richmond neighborhoods and includes a great post-race party with hot pizza and cold beer.

Photo: Courtesy of Richmond Marathon

Richmond Marathon

ma.indd 62

9/11/15 1:20 PM

RUN IT community


M a r at h o n s / H a l f M a r at h o n s

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon Nov. 15; Las Vegas

Seattle Marathon and Half Nov. 29; Seattle

Honolulu Marathon Dec. 13; Honolulu, Hawaii

Join one of running’s biggest parties of the year as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series takes its annual trip down the Vegas strip at night. The weekend features a three-day health and fitness expo, a 5K, marathon and half marathon. You can even elope Vegas-style at the “run-thru wedding.” After the race, enjoy a concert from headliner Kid Rock.

In 1970, the Seattle Marathon began with 38 entrants. There’s a bit more competition this year, as the annual event now draws 15,000 runners to the marathon and half marathon. The race features a scenic course with rolling hills that provide views of downtown Seattle and Lake Washington.

As if you needed an excuse to visit Hawaii, the Honolulu Marathon has grown into one of the world’s biggest and most-respected races. More than 30,000 runners will toe the start line at 5 a.m. Arrive early for the Friday luau, which puts most carbo-load parties to shame.

Photo: Honolulu Marathon Association

Honolulu Marathon

ma.indd 63

9/11/15 1:20 PM



5K to 15K

Surfing Madonna 5K/10K Oct. 24; Encinitas, Calif.

Halloween Hustle 5K Oct. 24; Palatine, Ill.

Atlanta 10 Miler and 5K Oct. 25; Atlanta

This 5K, 10K and 10-mile race is the largest beach run in the country, attracting thousands of runners to take advantage of low tide at Moonlight Beach. Costumes are encouraged (but not required) at this race that emphasizes having fun while raising money for local ocean conservation and humanitarian projects.

Although not quite as popular as turkey trots, Halloween-themed races are becoming a staple on the running calendar. The 10th annual Halloween Hustle in the northwest suburbs of Chicago is a good example of why these races are growing, with a fast course for serious runners, plus a great costume contest for those looking to have fun.

This scenic urban event organized by the Atlanta Track Club features a course that starts and finishes inside Atlantic Station. The third annual race is the second event in the Triple Peach Race Series, which culminates with the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon on Nov. 26. Racers will receive a longsleeve Mizuno T-shirt and finisher’s medal.

Photo: Courtesy of Surfing Madonna BEachRun

Surfing Madonna 5K/10K

ma.indd 64

9/11/15 1:20 PM



5K to 15K

New York City 10K Oct. 25; New York City

Not all New York City races take place in Central Park. Take advantage of this 10K with a unique urban course—twice around Roosevelt Island. You’ll have to take either the F train or the Roosevelt Island Tram to the race, but you’ll be rewarded with a memorable New York City race experience. All runners receive a technical T-shirt and finisher medal.

National Race to End Women’s Cancer Nov. 8; Washington, D.C.

This sixth annual event in downtown Washington, D.C., features a scenic urban course that starts and finishes at Freedom Plaza. A fundraiser for the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, the race features a 5K or a 1-mile run/walk, and brings more than 2,500 runners together to raise nearly a half-million dollars for the cause.

Boston River Run 5K Nov. 8; Boston

This event is organized by the family and friends of Marine Corporal Andrew Graham Narcus, who was killed in a vehicular homicide during his travel home for the holidays in 2002. The event raises funds to create a scholarship in his honor at Bunker Hill Community College. The course features a loop mostly along the Charles River.

New York City 10K

Photo: Courtesy of New york City 10K

Photo: Courtesy of Surfing Madonna BEachRun


ma.indd 65

9/11/15 1:20 PM




Beware the Bear Trail Races Oct. 24; Lakewood, Colo.

Thriller 5K Trail Run Oct. 31; Shorewood, Ill.

Xterra Wildhorse Trail Run Nov. 1; Sydney, Fla.

You don’t have to be Goldilocks to find a race that’s just right at this end-of-season trail run in Colorado. Choose from the Baby Bear 5K or Momma/Papa Bear 15K. Or do them both. The all-dirt course in Bear Creek Lake Park will be a challenge with lots of climbing, but worth the sights on your run.

This race in Chicago’s southwest suburbs combines the best of trail running with Halloween flair. The fun 5K course in Hammel Woods Forest Preserve includes some creek crossings with several big climbs and descents—especially by Chicago-area standards. Runners receive a technical T-shirt and pint glass, which they can fill with local craft beer after the race.

Just outside of Tampa, Fla., this trail run starts and finishes in Keith Waller Park. Most of the race takes advantage of the adjacent Sydney Dover Park trails. Choose from the 4-mile, 10K, 10-mile or half marathon routes, which are primarily smoothpacked doubletrack with some singletrack to keep it interesting. Stick around for the pancake breakfast post-run.

Photo: courtesy oF Muddy Monk Trail Racing

Thriller 5K Trail Run

ma.indd 66

9/11/15 1:20 PM

RUN IT community



Roaring Falls Trail Race Nov. 7; Moultonborough, N.H.

Mt. Tam Trail Run Nov. 14; Stinson Beach, Calif.

Dirt Trails and Pony Tails Nov. 21; Austin, Texas

The Castle in the Clouds mansion, a 1914 mountaintop home known as the Lucknow Estate, has become a New Hampshire icon that sits on 5,200 acres of beautiful terrain with spectacular mountain vistas. This race has been granted access to more than 28 miles of trail on the property and within the Ossipee Mountain Range, offering two course options of about 11 miles and 4 miles.

As race organizers say, any trail runner who sees Mount Tamalpais “wants to run up it.” Here’s your chance to take on the Marin County landmark with this 10K, half marathon, 30K or 50K run. Start at Stinson Beach and climb all the way to the top of Mt. Tam before descending back to the beach and an impressive post-race buffet.

This small, women’s-only trail run features a 5K and 8K route at Austin Ridge, with a spectator-friendly course that lets loved ones view the race at multiple points. The course, most of which is on a rugged disc golf course, is a mix of dirt, mulch and rock on rolling terrain, with one big climb at “Holy Hill,” (as in “holy cow, that’s a big hill”).

Photo: Myles Smythe

Photo: courtesy oF Muddy Monk Trail Racing

Mt. Tam Trail Run

ma.indd 67

9/11/15 1:20 PM



I n t e r n at i o n a l

Istanbul Marathon Nov. 15; Istanbul, Turkey

FIrenze Marathon Nov. 29; Florence, Italy

Reggae Marathon Dec. 5; Negril, Jamaica

Here’s your chance to run in two continents in one race. The Istanbul Marathon starts in Asia and finishes in Europe, and offers an incredible tour of this historic city. The race traditionally draws a strong field of elite athletes to a course that includes a memorable run over the Bosphorus Bridge.

While not as well known in the U.S. as the Rome and Venice marathons, the 32nd annual Firenze (Florence) Marathon offers plenty of Italian charm in one of the country’s most beautiful cities. The course features all of Florence’s landmarks that fill postcards, including Cathedral Square, Piazza della Signoria and the Ponte Vecchio, plus stunning views of the countryside.

This is another island marathon that’s become a favorite destination for U.S. runners looking to combine a race with a vacation. The marathon, half marathon and 10K starts on the famed 7-mile white sand beach at Long Bay Beach Park in Negril, and features a mostly flat route to the town of Green Island and back. You’ll get plenty of reggae music along the route, as the name indicates.

Photo: Courtesy of ASICS Firenze Marathon

Firenze Marathon

ma.indd 68

9/11/15 1:21 PM

RUN IT community


I n t e r n at i o n a l

Cancun Marathon Dec. 5; Cancun, Mexico

Run Barbados Marathon Dec. 6: Bridgetown, Barbados

Marathon Bahamas Jan. 17; Nassau, Bahamas

Cancun may be known more for its beaches and parties than its athletic events, but the Cancun Marathon will be run for the 31st time this year. It features a scenic race course along the Bay of Cancun, with plenty of ocean views. The 4 p.m. start time means a slightly cooler run, and makes for an excellent post-race party, complete with mariachi bands.

Barbados is making a push to put its marathon back on the map. While the running series is in its 33rd year, the marathon was dropped the past few years. That’s changed this year, with a new race director and initiative to grow the race. Runners can still choose to do the half marathon or 10K over the weekend, and can look forward to an entirely new course.

What better excuse to keep up the miles through the end of the year than a trip to the Bahamas? The Marathon Bahamas, a Boston qualifier, features a flat and fast oceanfront course that was designed to showcase the focal points of the island. You’ll go through historic downtown Nassau as well as the glitzy Paradise Island, and get a race full of ocean views.

Photo: Courtesy of Marathon Bahamas

Photo: Courtesy of ASICS Firenze Marathon

Marathon Bahamas

ma.indd 69

9/11/15 1:21 PM



N o v e lt y R u n s

World’s Largest Corn Maze Run Oct. 18; Spring Grove, Ill.

Dallas Fort Worth Mud Run Oct. 24; Lancaster, Texas

Denver Gorilla Run Nov. 14; Denver

This 5K race near the Wisconsin border takes runners through the world’s largest corn maze on a course that features 250 turns. Don’t worry, the course is marked with police tape to keep you from getting lost, and a staggered start—one runner every few seconds—allows for plenty of room in the tight maze.

One of the first mud races (organizers call it the Original Mud Run), this event will certainly deliver on the mud. You will not avoid it while covering more than 20 obstacles throughout the 5K course. You can take the race seriously with competition categories, or do it untimed for fun.

The race provides a full gorilla costume—yours to keep—for all runners at this 5K fun run. It’s all to raise money for the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund, which has been working to save the endangered species and keep alive the work of Dian Fossey for more than 30 years.

Photo: Courtesy of All Community Events

World’s Largest Corn Maze Run

ma.indd 70

9/11/15 1:21 PM

BUILD A BETTER BODY You can build a better runner’s body in under an hour a week. The smart, fast-paced strength training program in Quick Strength for Runners will help you strengthen your core and key running muscles for faster running and fewer injuries—without setting foot in a gym.

Build a better body with Quick Strength for Runners.

Available in bookstores, running shops, and online. Preview the book at

QSR_HH_Competitor_M.indd 1



12/12/13 11:40 AM


Get your FREE digital subscription r pe t i t or.c om /di gi t a l

marketplace.indd 79

To advertise in Marketplace, contact

Jeff McDowell 858-768-6794

9/11/15 12:54 PM



Steve Jones, 60, Boulder, Colo. BY BR IAN ME TZLE R

What motivated you? My first coach told me I have an insatiable appetite for hard work. It always stuck with me. I gave it everything I could every single day. How big of a problem are performance-enhancing drugs in running? It’s a problem, but I think it can be eliminated to a certain extent. We’re not tough enough on the people who get caught. There is no deterrent. The sport should have lifetime bans.

What bothers you about running today? The industry is huge—it’s running the sport now, not the sport running the industry. There are absurd headlines, and I have to say you are just as guilty, publishing articles like ‘5 Weeks to a Faster 5K’ or ‘10 Weeks to a Marathon PR.’ It’s bullshit. It’s just selling magazines—or it caters to people who are running 4 hours for a marathon or 25 minutes for a 5K. And that’s not running, in my mind.

How has running changed? Mass participation has hurt the sport and racing, in my mind. I don’t believe starting and finishing a marathon makes you a marathoner. But I’m a purist at heart. If you’re racing it to go as fast as you can, that’s completely different than being part of an event and just wanting to get from point A to point B. I have tremendous admiration for people who do that because I know what they’re going through and I get emotional watching them finish.

You’re not a proponent of wearable tech or modern sports nutrition. Why? There is no easy way. And the gadgets all try to show you some kind of easier way of training. I ran without heart rate monitors, massage therapists or sports drinks. I broke a world record on Mars bars and Diet Coke, so I’m a good argument against all of the other stuff. To me, it’s about having your running shoes on your front doorstep and putting them on and going out and running hard.

Click here to learn how Steve Jones can help simplify your training.

Click here to read more about the legendary marathon career of Steve Jones.


Long before elite-level races became time trials with pacemakers, marathons were won by hard training, tactical surges, pure guts and attrition. Perhaps no one exemplified that better than Welshman Steve Jones, a Royal Air Force aircraft technician known for his blue-collar work ethic and tenacious running style. Jones took the world by storm when he ran away from a deep field at the 1984 Chicago Marathon to set a new world record of 2:08:05. He returned to Chicago the next year and, after an unthinkable halfway split of 1:01:42, won in 2:07:13. He also won the 1985 London Marathon, 1988 New York City Marathon and 1992 Toronto Marathon. “Jonesy” is now a coach and house painter in his adopted home of Boulder.

For the complete interview, go to

CM1015_B_LAST.indd 72

9/14/15 5:08 PM

Untitled-1 1

9/10/15 3:24 PM

Untitled-1 1

9/10/15 3:24 PM

Competitor October 2015  

Why we love the NYC Marathon. Fall Trail Shoe Review. Marathon Recovery.

Competitor October 2015  

Why we love the NYC Marathon. Fall Trail Shoe Review. Marathon Recovery.