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JUNE 2016

Tasty, healthy, EASY! DIY fueling snacks Page 22

Why Running Groups Are the Latest Rage

CLICK HERE to read everything new runners need to know CLICK HERE to watch a video about a trail running adventure in Cuba CLICK HERE to read about how to cure the 5 most common running injuries

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7 things to know about GPS watches Page 26

NYC's First Lady of Running

Yes, You Are a Runner!

(Even if you don't know it yet)

12 WAYS TO GET FIT THIS SUMMER #Tips from Tweets


9 great trail running shoes


Hit the trails, roads and track to be a better runner

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The revolutionary next generation Nike Free technology incorporates an entirely new outsole geometry that lets the shoe not only flex, but expand and contract with your foot during every step. It literally adds a new dimension of flexibility, allowing your foot to both extend and expand so it moves more naturally and more dynamically, with all the strength, flexibility and balance you can bring to it.

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Marissa B.

GNC Associate, CertiямБed Holistic Nutritionist

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At GNC stores across the country, you’ll meet associates like Marissa who combine real-life solutions with expert knowledge. Whatever your goal is, they make it simple.

Q: What should you take with you while on trail runs?

Q: Is there a need to fuel differently for trail running?

A: A trail run demands more

A: The uneven terrain of trail running is a thrill that calls for tons of strength and stamina.

from your body than an equidistant road run. Water won’t cut it.

For hydration, you need to replenish your energy efficiently. GQ-6™ FLOOID™ delivers with electrolytes and the right kind of energy-yielding carbs. The result? Quickerthan-water hydration

Getting enough quality protein within 30-minutes of your workout is crucial to building that strength and stamina. An advanced protein supplement like GNC Pro Performance® AMP Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60™ helps with the muscle recovery and can improve strength by 30%*— letting you dig deeper.

Q: Trail running is strenuous. Can you take anything to help prevent injury?

Q: With this need for targeted training nutrition, how do you get what you need?

A: Rest days are necessary,

A: : Doing all the research takes time—time your busy training schedule doesn’t leave room for.

but nutrition takes prevention even further.

Consider this: our joints wear faster than any other part of our body, and your knees carry you up and down mountains almost daily. That’s a lot. Targeted nutrition like New Triflex Joint, Bone and Muscle protects joints and the muscles and bones that support them. It keeps you moving.

That’s why VitaPak programs are great for runners. GNC Mega Men Sport and GNC Women’s Active Vitapak® Programs fit all the nutrients you need for your goals into one expertly curated and convenient program.

DISCLAIMER: *An 8-week study of athletes performing an intense resistance exercise training regimen demonstrated that those using this proprietary module of whey protein and leucine had greater increases in muscle strength and size than those on a placebo.


Check out GNC FAQs for answers about:

Visit the GNC Learning Center to explore:

Fitness • Diet • General Health Supplements • Specific Concerns

GNC Health Search • Recipes Product Finders • Social Community



Have Questions? Get Social!

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READY. SET. ROCK. M A R AT H O N | 1/2 M A R AT H O N | R E L AY | 10 K | 5 K | 1 M I L E

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OCT 30


JUN 3-5


NOV 5-6


JUN 18


NOV 10-13


JUL 16-17


DEC 3-4






SEP 3-4


JAN 14-15


SEP 17-18




SEP 25


MAR 11


OCT 1-2





MAR 19




MAR 26




APR 1-2


OCT 15-16




OCT 15-16


APR 29


OCT 22-23


APR 30


OCT 30


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Captured 6

Click here to see photos from Disney’s Tinkerbell Half Marathon.

The Twilight’s Last GLeaming The Red Hook Criterium in New York City is a one-of-a-kind race with a vibe all its own. It started as an unsanctioned, underground, fixed-gear criterium bike race in 2007 for elite cyclists, bike messengers and other urban athletes, and it was an immediate success. A few years later, race organizers started a 5K running race that developed a similar charm and electric atmosphere. The twilight race, held on April 30 in the postindustrial Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, is a smallish race serving as the undercard to the evening bike races, with runners doing an eight-turn “crit-style” 1K loop five times. The race attracts local elite runners, some of New York’s top running clubs and several neighborhood run crews. This year’s winners were Sihine Mekuria Abebe in the men’s race (14:45) and Hasso Hayato Zeineba in the women’s race (17:37).

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Photos: Zach Hetrick

Click here to read about running and weight loss.

Click here to read about 7 habits of highly effective runners.

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j un e 2 0 1 6



30 Come Run With Us!

15 Starting Lines

Part of an industry trend taking a novel approach to bringing new runners into the sport, Nike+ Run Clubs are making running beginner-friendly. By Jonathan Beverly

36 NYC’s First Lady of Running Jessica Zapotechne, an art therapist by day, has been at the epicenter of New York City’s flourishing run-crew scene for more than a decade. By Adam Elder

42 They Own the District Washington, D.C.’s District Running Collective started an urban movement to promote culture, community and diversity through healthy living. By Brian Metzler

Tracktown movie, take a look

48 Summer 2016 Trail Shoe Review Hit the trails this summer—here’s the inside dirt on nine new trail shoes. By Adam W. Chase and Brian Metzler


52 First Lap

59 Run It

at the latest running books,

Avoid these 4

Our picks for a variety of

catch up with an inspiring


upcoming races

marathon runner living with


Back Page

Parkinson’s disease, explain why you shouldn’t buy cheap shoes

53 Coach Culpepper

64 Last Lap

online, share some healthy,

Add variety to your

Knox Robinson, Nike+ Run

tasty, DIY snack recipes and


Club Coach and captain of

show you how to find the best trails where you live or travel.


44 12 Tips for a Fitter and Faster Summer We searched our Twitter feed and found plenty of motivating and inspiring hashtags on how to become a better runner before Labor Day. By Lizzie Smickford


We report about the upcoming

26 Wearable Tech

Black Roses NYC, explains

54 Workout of the

so popular, the best parts

Ian Torrence’s uphill

of being a coach and the

and downhill Elden

future of running.


7 things to know about the latest GPS watches

28 Collective Trail running accessories for summer

why run crews are getting


54 Elite Insights

ON THE COV E R: Nike+ Run Club, Los Angeles. Photo: John Jefferson

Sarah Crouch on


being patient with

Jessica Zapotechne with her Girls Run NYC collective in New York City. Photo: Sue Kwon


photo: sue kwon

Click here to watch a 100-year-old runner set a world record.

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Westin offers localized running maps, so you can take your run outside. It’s just another way we help you stay fit when you’re on the road. Learn more at

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© 2016 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Westin and its logo are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates. 


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Click here to watch a video about pack burro racing in Colorado.


WRITERS, DESIGNERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS JO NAT H A N BEVE RLY Jonathan Beverly is a freelance writer, photographer and contributing editor to Runner’s World. The former editor in chief of Running Times and shoe editor for Runner’s World and Running Times has run 26 marathons and innumerable road and trail races worldwide. He wrote this month’s cover story “Come Run


With Us!” on page 30. Beverly ran four work-

Running-related tech is developing at a rapid pace. See what’s new at

Boston, and had a memorable 6-mile loop

outs with Nike+ Run Clubs in Portland and of the Willamette River waterfront with Nike+ Run Club head coach Chris Bennett.


MAT T KA DEY Matt Kadey is a registered dietitian, nutrition writer and recipe developer based


Join the conversation

in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He is also the author of three cookbooks, including Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports

Summer is heating up—are you ready to run through it?

+ Adventure (VeloPress, 2016). He won a

Check out tips at

James Beard Award for food journalism in 2013. Kadey has cycled and feasted his way through several countries such as Cuba, Myanmar, Chile, Sri Lanka and Thailand. His DIY recipes from Rocket Fuel are on page 22. competitor.running

SUE KWO N Sue Kwon loves capturing the vitality and kindness of NYC; many of which images were featured in her first monograph “Street

THE PERFECT RACE Ultrarunner Cameron Rentch fell into a dark depression

Follow us

Level NY Photographs 1987–2007” published in 2009.  After spending time with and photographing Jessica Zapotechne, subject of

and ran his way out. Read his remarkable story at

the feature story about the emerging culture of run crews on page 36, she has learned that “running” is not just about running. It is


also about a welcoming community of generosity and support while refueling oneself and others, both mentally and physically.  

We take a closer look


at some of the new

Get expert advice on the

running shoes in stores

strength work that best

through these quick

benefits runners at strengthtraining


videos at

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See what we share

SH AWN O ’ KEEFE Shawn O’Keefe is a graphic artist, illustrator and painter who spends as much time as possible in the wilderness of Vancouver Island—after all, he calls, Victoria, British Columbia home. He illustrates by day and paints by night, and sometimes sleeps a little


in between. He illustrated the feature story “12 Tips for a Fitter and Faster Summer,” starting on page 44.

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

©2016 Solgar, Inc.

More active. 185 times better bioavailability. Faster absorbed.


That’s the difference with 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. ◊

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Compared to native curcumin extract.

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Matt Fitzgerald

Editorial C o n tr i b u t i n g E d i t o r s

Brian Metzler senior editor Mario Fraioli managing editor Adam Elder web editor Ryan Wood associate editor Emily Polachek editor-in-chief

Alan Culpepper, Meb Keflezighi, Jason Devaney, Allison Pattillo C o n tr i b u t i n g w r i ter s

Jeff Banowetz, Jonathan Beverly, Erin Beresini, Adam W. Chase, Jay Dicharry, Jason Fitzgerald, Meghan M. Hicks, Lisa Jhung, Max King, Duncan Larkin, Kelly O’Mara, Bryon Powell, Roy M. Wallack, Sam Winebaum


Elite Endurance Coach & Sports Nutritionist

senior graphic designer

Valerie Brugos contributing photography

Oliver Baker, Mark Doolittle, Zach Hetrick, Sue Kwon, Shawn O’Keefe, Michelle Schrantz

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

Try taking a “shot”

production manager Meghan McElravy

(about 2 tablespoons) before your workout. It’s packed with about 100 Montmorency tart cherries to help aid recovery after intense exercise. You can also mix the juice concentrate with water or combine with frozen tart cherries in a blender for a smoothie.

Kristy Buescher

Gia Hawkins director, pr Dan Cruz

of tart cherry

juice concentrate

audience development manager

advertising production manager

manager, media marketing

Nicole Christenson

d i g i ta l s er v i ce s web developers Joseph Hernandez, Miguel A. Estrada, Rachel Blades web director James A. Longhini associate creative director Thomas Phan junior web designers Sean Marshall, Eddie Villanueva senior video producer Steve Godwin

director, digital media & strategy

Aaron Hersh director, web development

Scott Kirkowski Johnny Yeip

director, seo/analytics

director, creative services

Matthew McAlexander Bruno Breve

system administrator

A d v ert i s i n g

Doug Kaplan 312-441-1551, vp media sales Jason Johnson 858-768-6824, vp, media sales Ian Sinclair 860-673-6830, director, agency development Brenda Seidner Reilly 646-745-7689, senior director, media sales Justin Sands 858-768-6747, vp, media sales Gordon Selkirk 858-768-6767, director, media sales Andria Norris 858-500-7704, manager, media sales Jeff McDowell 858-768-6794, manager, media sales Jenn Schuette 858-228-3761, manager, media sales Kelly Trimble 858-768-6749, manager, media sales Rich Hurd 512-364-1703, svp, sales

A cc o u n t s er v i ce s director Erin Ream

Liz Centeno-Vera, Renee Kerouac, Kat Keivens


digital ad operations

Carson McGrath

F i n a n ce vice presient, finance

TarT Cherry Power ShoT

Fran Malagisi

Senior Vice President, Media John Bradley a publication of

Josh Furlow Keith S. Kendrick senior vice president, events Tracy Sundlun senior vice president John Smith senior vice president Molly Quinn president

Find this and other TarT ChErry recipes at

chief marketing officer

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

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RUN ON RED Fuel your muscle recovery with the power of TART CHERRIES. Studies have shown that Montmorency tart cherry juice may help reduce strength loss and aid recovery after extensive exercise. So join other athletes and make tart cherries a part of your training regimen so you can get more out of your workout tomorrow.

Look for tart cherry juice and dried tart cherry products at your local grocery store. LEARN MORE AT CHOOSECHERRIES.COM

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


Click here to read about the best running movies ever made.

Plumb Marigold (aka, Alexi Pappas) is chasing her Olympic dreams on the track at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., in a scene from the new “Tracktown” movie.

Olympic Dreams Unfold on and off the Silver Screen By Bria n Metz ler

Photo: Courtesy of TrackTown Movie

Alexi Pappas is either crazy ambitious or a visionary. Or maybe both. For the past two years, the 26-year-old professional distance runner from Eugene, Ore., has been working on a feature-length film about a young woman much like herself who is trying to qualify for the Olympics. All the while, she had been training like a fiend and trying to improve her own running with hopes of punching her ticket to Rio de Janeiro this summer. Now it’s all coming to fruition in splendid fashion. Editing of the movie, called “Tracktown,” wrapped up in May and will

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debut on June 4 at the L.A. Film Festival. In the meantime, Pappas found an opportunity to represent Greece in this summer’s Olympics—she has U.S./Greece dual citizenship—but she had to first achieve the Olympic qualifying standard in the 10,000-meter run. She did that on May 1 at the Payton Jordan Invitational, running to a new personal best of 31:46.85 for the 25-lap race on the track, earning her the chance to compete in the Rio Olympics in August. “I’m so excited to have this amazing opportunity to run in the Olympics for Greece,” she said after earning the qualifying standard. “It’s a dream come true.” Pappas co-wrote and co-directed the movie with her partner, Jeremy Teicher, who has earned acclaim for two previous indepedent films. Pappas also plays the lead role of a fictional 21-year-old track star named Plumb Marigold, who is training at Hayward Field in Eugene in her quest to make the Olympics. Andy Buckley (The Office, Jurassic World) and

Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live) play supporting roles, while several top-tier American runners (including Nick Symmonds and Matthew Centrowitz) make key cameos. Pappas, who trains with the Nike-backed Oregon Track Club Elite program in Eugene, started her college career at Dartmouth College, but then transferred to Oregon in 2012. She will become the first woman ever to represent Greece in the 10,000-meter run in the Olympics. (The event only became available to women in 1992.) “On a personal note, it really makes my Greek family very proud. My grandma—my YiaYia—has been really sick lately and this has totally uplifted her,” she says. “She would have been proud of me no matter what, but this is truly special and has meant a lot to her and my family.”

For more about “TrackTown” and additional viewing dates, visit

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Click here to read about the best running books ever written.

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

Hot Reads 5 new books about running we highly recommend

Runners of North America: A definitive guide to the species By Mark Remy

($19, Rodale Books)

For the past couple decades, Mark Remy has fashioned himself as a runner anthropologist of sorts. He’s become known for his satirical look at running with an uncanny ability to point out the silliness amid the seriousness of running. In his new book, Remy has crafted the sport’s first true work of humor, a 148-page hardcover pageturner chock full of dry wit and ridiculousness about running, runners and the silly habits we all engage in on a regular basis. His tongue-in-cheek descriptions of 23 types of runners are downright hilarious—and mostly true! (For example: “Barefoot Runners may have tough feet, but their feelings are surprisingly tender” and “The Mom Runner may call you ‘girlfriend,’ even if you are not, in fact, their girlfriend.”) This is probably the best gift book for runners ever written.

Run with Power: The Complete Guide to Power Meters for Running By Jim Vance

($19, VeloPress)

Power meters for runners—and the corresponding training protocols based on power output—have only become available recently, so the art and science of using power for run training are still very much in their infancy. But running and triathlon coach Jim Vance spells it all out in the first detailed book on the subject, explaining why power could be the ultimate training and racing metric for runners. Vance shows how power monitoring can allow a runner to precisely manage training or racing intensity as it relates to physiological markers like lactate threshold. He also outlines how a runner can monitor efficiency and optimize pacing and performance by using real-time power monitoring. This 352-page book can give insights to unlocking performance breakthroughs for technically inclined runners of any ability level.

Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running By Meghan M. Hicks and Bryon Powell

($22, Human Kinetics)

As the editors and operators of, Meghan Hicks and Bryon Powell travel the globe to report on all aspects of long-distance trail running. They also log thousands of miles of their own while training for races, competing in and exploring trail systems in their own backyard of Moab, Utah, and dozens of other amazing places. They live and breathe trail running. Their new, 226-page book shares that passion and hundreds of insights in inspiring and engaging ways, and includes amazing color photos. They cover everything from the very basic subjects to the very niche topics in vast detail. Sections on trail running techniques, how to cover certain types of terrain, weather and conditions, hydration and fueling and trail safety and stewardship make this book a must-read for any beginner, intermediate or expert trail runner.

Training Essentials for Ultrarunning: How to Train Smarter, Race Faster and Maximize Your Ultramarathon Performance By Jason Koop with Jim Rutberg

($22, VeloPress)

Ultrarunning—the crazy kind of running that goes beyond a marathon—has evolved in the past decade as it’s gained a new wave of participation. One of the fastest-growing segments in running since 2000, the niche derivative has attracted marathoners, Ironman triathletes, long-distance hikers and outdoor adventurers. But until recently, the common method of training for ultra-distance races was to simply run longer. In his groundbreaking 340-page book, Jason Koop, the director of coaching for Carmichael Training Systems, brings a scientific and performance-oriented approach to ultra training and racing. His short- and long-range planning, detailed workouts and coaching guide to 10 of North America’s best ultra races are priceless, while his ADAPT decision-making system based on five simple steps—Accept, Diagnose, Analyze, Plan, Take Action—is invaluable for any level of runner. (See our exclusive excerpt on page 52.)

Coach Hudson’s Little Black Book—Redux

By Brad Hudson with Alex Wolf-Root and Addie Bracy

($50, Horsecow Publishing)

If you’ve ever wondered how elite runners train to run so fast—and wanted to train the same way—this book is for you. The first edition of Brad Hudson’s Little Black Book sold out in weeks and instantly became a cult classic. The revised and updated 164-page second edition is even better, spelling out more than 200 workouts Hudson has developed, curated and utilized in his 20 years of training elite and age-group runners. Written for runners competing from the 1,500 meters to the marathon, it’s ideal for high school and collegiate runners, aspiring elites, dedicated age-group runners and all levels of coaches.

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With spacious cargo capacity* and standard All-Wheel Drive with intelligence (AWD-i). Prototype shown with options. Production model may vary. *Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution. Š2015 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

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E V E R Y DAY R U N N E R 18


MARATHON HERO Parkinson’s disease hasn’t stopped Rhonda Foulds from running marathons—including the 2016 Boston Marathon.

This year was Foulds’ third running of the Boston Marathon, but frst time running in the mobility and impaired catgory.

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Rhonda Foulds is not your average person living with Parkinson’s disease. In the past six months alone, the 52-year-old from Justin, Texas, completed her 10th marathon at Boston in April this year—and, amazingly, has finished three more marathons since then. Her goal for 2016 is to complete seven more, for a total of 20. What has empowered Foulds to keep running marathon after marathon, despite Parkinson’s—a progressive disorder of the nervous system that deteriorates physical movement—are the deep stimulators implanted in her brain in 2004. When she was diagnosed in 1999 at the age of 35, the doctor had told her she’d only have another 20 years to live, and her symptoms of uncontrollable tremors and stiff movements quickly progressed to an inability to walk. “After the diagnosis, I sort of just sat around and didn’t do much of anything,” Foulds recalls. But the moment the brain stimulators were turned on a month after her surgery, Foulds rose from her wheelchair and walked out of the doctor’s office for the first time since her diagnosis. “I was the youngest person they had ever done the surgery on,” says Foulds, who was taking 32 medications at the time. “It was a miracle.” Since then her tremors have completely disappeared as well (except for when

the stimulators are turned off for checkups). In 2011, Foulds completed her first marathon—the White Rock Marathon in Dallas—a race she had originally started training for three months prior to learning about her Parkinson’s diagnosis, but wasn’t physically able to run. Since then she’s tallied up an impressive 40 marathons to date, including three Boston Marathons, in which she has been raising money and awareness for nonprofits like the National Parkinson’s Foundation. For the 2016 Boston Marathon, she ran in the mobility and impaired category as one of the Global Heroes, a team of 25 runners with implanted medical devices sponsored by the Medtronic Foundation—the same medical device company that made the rechargeable battery implanted into Foulds’ chest in August of 2014 to eliminate having surgery every year to replace it. “I met some unbelievable athletes who have overcome great odds to run Boston,” says Foulds of her third and possibly final Boston experience. Foulds’ next challenge is to run a marathon in every state and join the 50 States Marathon Club— she’s ran in 10 states so far. When she reflects on the past couple decades, she is amazed by how far she’s come. “Every marathon that I do is a big deal for me,” she says. “The fact that I’m out there still doing it, still running.”



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Š 2016 Brooks Sports, Inc.

Brooks DNA cushioning dynamically reacts to your specific weight, pace, gait and running surface to give you a customized ride and super-soft landing. So put your feet into the Glycerin 14 and get some serious cushiness.

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

Click here to watch a video about a running stores that serves beer!

Beware the Internet Barga i ns A brief treatise on why you shouldn’t buy cheap running shoes online.

Would you buy a pint of chocolate mint ice cream online? Would you buy new tires for your car from a mobile app? There are a lot of great things you can and should buy on the interwebs. But your next pair of running shoes isn’t one of them. The best way to buy your next pair of running shoes is to walk into your local running specialty shop and spend a half hour trying on shoes with a knowledgeable shoe fitter. It doesn’t matter if you’re a young, speedy runner, a back-of-the-packer, someone who’s been jogging for fitness forever or a complete newbie to the sport. There are about 1,000 small, independent running shops in the U.S. and they’ve long been the heart and soul of running. Yes, they sell new running shoes and clothes, but they’re all about community—your community. They support your local runners, as well as your local schools, races and training programs. And they can offer a wealth of knowledge about the sport and answer just about any running-related question that pops into your head. Not only can they properly fit you to a pair of shoes that matches your foot shape and

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running gait, they can also answer questions about why you might have a achy Achilles or sore hip flexor. Plus, your local running store is the best and most welcoming place to learn about training for your first 5K or tackling your first marathon. By supporting your local running store, you’re supporting your local economy. If you spend $100 at a locally owned business, on average, $68 stays in the local economy. Spend the same $100 at a national chain and only $43 stays local. Spend $100 on the internet and who knows where it goes. But like just about everything else in this world, the internet has significantly changed how running shoes are sold. Not only is almost every running brand selling directly from its own site, but dozens of shops that never before sold running shoes—most notably Amazon and Zappos—are also now slinging the latest and greatest high-mileage trainers, sleek racers and trail runners online. Out there online, you’ll find tons of last season’s shoes at discounted prices. In fact, there is an entire cottage industry for selling outdated models, not unlike the sale table that some running stores offer.

Buying any old shoes online just because it’s offered at a cheap price with free shipping isn’t the best way to finding your next pair of shoes—in fact, it might be the most direct way to increase the risk of overuse injuries if it’s not a shoe that’s fit, build and purpose is meant for you. Finding a specific pair that works for your foot size and shape, your running gait style and the type of running you do is extremely important. And it’s essential to go through a thorough and educated try-on process, which can only be done at a runningspecialty store with qualified shoe-fitters. Remember, you can buy bread, milk, vegetables and ground beef at places like Walmart and Target, but you’re probably better off going to a bakery, a butcher shop or at least a reputable grocery store. If you’re looking for quality and service, you get what you pay for. If you buy that pint of ice cream online, be prepared to deal with the mess that follows.

Henry Guzman is the co-owner of Flatirons Running Company/New Balance Run Hub in Boulder, Colo.

illustration: Michelle Schrantz

B y H en ry G u zm a n

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. Y D REA . T E S . X I REM WELCOME TO THE NEW US. We know you only get what you put in. That’s why

remixed our recipes and created all-new products that provide the perfect


boost, so you can power on and enjoy the ride.






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M IX IT UP! Tasty DIY variations on trail mix BY EMILY P OLACHEK

Trailblazers have long relied on trail mix for its simple yet energy-dense qualities. The following gussied-up versions from Canadian dietitian Matthew Kadey’s latest recipe book, “Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Foods for Sports + Adventure,” prove that trail mix doesn’t have to be restricted to just peanuts and raisins. “Items like trail mix are cherished by the outdoor crowd, so my goal was to give it some new spins,” says Kadey, whose book provides more than 80 simple and quick homemade fuel recipes for the everyday athlete.

DAIRY-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN Servings: 8 Active time: 10 min.

Bulk bins are a great place to locate items such as dried fruit and nuts in just the right portions you need for making trail mix. (1) CHERRY HAZE

2 cups brown rice crisps or puffs ½ cup halved hazelnuts ½ cup pecans ½ cup dried cherries ½ cup dried blueberries ½ cup dark chocolate chips 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut ¼ cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) (2) TROPICAL TWISTER


4 cups plain popcorn ½ cup chopped dried mango ½ cup chopped dried pineapple ½ cup unsalted shelled pistachios ½ cup roughly chopped unsalted dry-roasted cashews 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut ¼ cup wasabi peas 2 nori sheets, torn into small pieces


2 ounces sweet potato chips, roughly broken apart (about 1 cup) 1½–2 ounces plain or cinnamon apple chips, roughly broken (about ¾ cup) 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts ¾ cup dried cranberries 1/3 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) ¼ cup cacao nibs (4) GOURMET PIZZA 2–3 ounces herb crackers, broken into ½-inch pieces* 2–3 ounces pepperoni or other cured meat such as jerky, chopped 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup) ½ cup unsalted roasted almonds ½ cup sliced dried figs ½ cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed) ¼ cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) * Add crackers no more than 2 days before serving to keep them crisp.

DO IT YOURSELF! Place all of the ingredients for each trail mix combination in a large bowl and toss to combine. Divide mixture among zip-top bags for transport. Mixes can be made up to three days in advance and kept in the refrigerator for longer-lasting freshness.

(2) Republished with permission from “Rocket Fuel” by Matt Kadey, RD. Learn more at



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Click here to read about all-natural snacks for long-distance runners.

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

Click here to see photos from ASICS’ Vine body Sole retreat in Napa’s wine country.

How to find a good running trail By L isa Jhung

1. Keep your eyes peeled

3. Join a group run

5. Search online

This approach can find numerous trails—some long, some short, some that lead to greater networks that go on for miles—while just out running roads and exploring. True, there’s the chance that small ribbon of dirt might end 50 feet later, but it might just wind through a neighborhood and pop out next to a babbling creek. And there’s something very rewarding about simply discovering a trail by exploring.

Trail running clubs, and even road running clubs, usually have weekly group runs on trails. Most are friendly, casual, and made for all speeds and levels of runners, where no one will be left behind or lost. (Some clubs have speed-oriented runs, in which case the group run will be labeled as such.) Running specialty stores also host runs, often on trails, and many areas have trail running “meet-ups.” Search online for “group trail run” and the name of the town or region and you should find some options.

It may be obvious to do a web search for nearby trail runs. But consider also searching for hiking and mountain biking trails in the area. Sometimes there’s more information on hiking and mountain biking trails than for trail running, and those trails may very well be prime for running.

2. Team up Local trail runners obviously know the trails in the area. They’ll know the steep ones, the flat ones, the rocky and the rutted, as well as what trails are ideal in different weather and different times of year. To find local trail runners, ask around. You might be surprised to find your neighbor, your son’s teacher or your friend’s friend is a trail runner.

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4. Ask Around Aside from specialty running stores, outdoor stores that carry hiking, camping and general outdoor equipment are not only great places to shop, but the salespeople are generally helpful and knowledgeable. (There’s a reason people work at outdoor stores; it’s because they love doing sports outdoors.)

Be sure to consider what types of trails you’re looking for—from smooth and flat to steep and gnarly—when asking around or searching online. Being specific will help you find the perfect off-road route for whatever your mood or experience level.


If you love trail running and are traveling or just moved to a new place—or you just want to try it for the first time—how do you know where to go? Here are a few tips:

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Click here to see a video about the new Garmin Forerunner 735XT

A guide to finding the right high-tech watch for you BY S A M WINEBAUM

Much has changed in the GPS running watch world in the past couple years. Run-focused watches have dramatically upped their game, largely driven by the appearance of the Apple Watch, a non-GPS watch requiring an iPhone for GPS. Although your older watch can still track the basics of GPS distance and pace just fine, here is what you can expect from an upgrade.




No one really likes those chest straps,

GPS watches are essentially a collection of sen-

Many watches can optionally display phone app

despite the valuable guidance they

sors. It starts with a GPS sensor, which, when

notifications, texts and incoming phone call num-

provide training and racing. Many GPS

connected to the app, updates the location of

bers. Some even let you answer the phone to an

watches now offer wrist-based heart rate

satellites for faster acquisition and greater accu-


monitoring through optical light sensors

racy at workout go time. Higher-end multisport

on the back of the watch. Increasingly,

watches can include altimeter, barometer, com-


they also provide 24/7 heart rate moni-

pass and even a thermometer. For mountain


toring, a key to determining your overall

runners, data such as percent grade, vertical

The apps and websites receiving all your data

status and stress. They rapidly approach,

speed, altitude and ascent decent can be

continue to improve in functionality and reliabil-

and in some conditions surpass, chest

displayed live. The same accelerometers that

ity. No longer is it necessary to “plug” the watch

straps in run reliability and accuracy. But

capture activity and sleep also capture cadence.

into a computer to upload workout data. It now

they have yet to provide all the data of

Many watches can also read, display and store

streams via Bluetooth to the watch’s phone app

the chest approach such as heart rate

data from external sensors such as heart rate

and website, where you can review your workouts


chest straps and wrist bands, bike sensors and

in far greater detail than just overall time, pace and

even run power sensors. Be aware that external

distance. Then, if you choose, your data can flow


sensors can operate on one or both of two

automatically to third-party training and social sites.

Many modern GPS watches track not only

frequencies, ANT+ and Bluetooth, and that your

your workout, but through accelerome-

watch must be able to hear the frequency of the


ters can also track your sleep quality. And

sensor used. Garmin only hears ANT+ sensors.

Don’t like the serious gray look all the time? GPS watches now come in different colors, shapes, inter-

those “steps and stairs.” When used with


changeable bands and fashionable bezels. Screens

heart rate monitoring, many can analyze

Some of us train with music but would prefer to

are crisper with overall size, thickness and weight

the intensity of your workout and advise

leave the phone behind. There are GPS watches

shrinking. As all those sensors get smaller and

on recovery time until the next hard effort.

available with 500-song music players and use

more efficient, and as communications protocols

Although none we know of so far takes

Bluetooth wireless earpieces. Most new watches

and software continue to be tuned, battery life,

the entirety of a day’s heart and activity

also allow basic control of music playing on a

even with wrist heart rate, will likely be better than

data to fine-tune recovery time.

nearby phone.

your old clunker.

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they can track your total daily activity—

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MArathon years Running

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Collective 28


Trail-Tested Essen tials By Allis on Pat t illo

Mild temperatures, warm sunshine and dry trails make summer prime time to run your favorite off-road routes. Before letting wanderlust be your guide, be sure to update your kit with some of these trail essentials. [1] Patagonia Duckbill Trucker Hat, $35 Trucker hats with performance characteristics are the latest must-have accessory. This one has a wicking headband and mesh back to dump heat, plus a dark underbill to reduce glare. It can even fold to fit into your pocket without losing its shape.

[2] Julbo Zephyr, $130 If you were to to make a list of features you want in running sunnies, these would check all the boxes. With photochromic lenses, full coverage, adjustable temples that stay in place without giving you a headache, ventilation and an adjustable nosepiece, you’ll forget you’re wearing them!

[3] UV Buff National Park NP Rocky Mountain, $25 A trail running staple, the latest UV Buffs celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service with designs representing six of the most iconic parks. In addition to blocking 95 percent of UV rays and controlling odor, 3 percent of every purchase is donated to the American Hiking Society.

[4] Stance Fleshman OTC Socks, $36 Road and track speedster, author, and co-founder of Picky Bars Lauren Fleshman collaborated with Stance to adorn socks with her own inspired designs. The art on this overthe-calf style is an ode to the trails in her hometown of Bend, Ore. (Available July 1)

[5] Montane VIA Armguard, $25 Make temperature adjustments on the fly with lightweight sleeves. Breathable and fast drying, the fabric (made from recycled coffee grounds) also offers UPF 50+ and odor control, and feels cool to the touch.

[6] Outdoor Research Sensor Dry Pocket Armband, $45 For those who run without a pack, finding a safe way to carry your phone can be a struggle. Consider the problem solved with a waterproof armband that fits comfortably and securely, leaving your hands free for scrambling. It also works with headphones.

Keep rocks, mud, snow, sand and any other unwanted trail debris outside your shoes with these handy gaiters for happy feet. They go on over shoes and wrap around your ankles.

[8] Altra StashJack, $130 Functional and unique, this wind- and water-resistant jacket stores in a waist pack and is easy to put on as you go. Here’s the crazy part: It has an open back to fit over your pack, meaning no stopping and futzing with gear when bad weather rolls in. It even has a hood.

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photo: mark doolittle

[7] Salomon Trail Gaiters High, $42

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crowd sourcing

Click here to see a video about ‘When Running Was for Weirdos’

A Scene from a typical Nike+ Run Club event in New York City.

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Come Run With Us!

Part of a larger industry trend that takes a novel approach to bringing new runners into the sport and taking novice runners to the next level, Nike+ Run Clubs are making running fun, welcoming and appealing. By Jonathan Beverly

Click here to see a video about wearable tech gear at the CES Show in Las Vegas.

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n a Tuesday night in April, 60 or so runners gather around a coach on the edge of a track in Portland, Ore., sweaty and spent, basking in the endorphin rush after a hard workout. They’ve just completed 18 repeats of 200 meters at their mile race pace, interspersed with four 400meter loops at 10K pace. The coach, Chris Bennett, is waxing eloquent. “That was a legit workout, and you owned it!” Bennett says. “You showed up. You stepped up to the line each time. That’s what we celebrate! You don’t get many chances in a day to be a badass. You were badasses tonight!” He sounds like a high school coach motivating his young, fast athletes. But the group here at the Nike+ Run Club (NRC) Portland Speed Run are not all young, or even fast. Some zipped off the 200s in close to 30 seconds; others took 50 or more seconds. A few are ropy-muscled masters runners in racing singlets and shorts, but the majority are 20- or 30-somethings, entirely new to running, and in cotton T-shirts, basketball shorts, stocking caps or yoga-style apparel. “I can’t even remember the last time I ran on a track,” says Starbuck Ballner, 29, a Coast Guard corpsman stationed nearby who has been running by himself on rural roads. “I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was able to stick with the fastest group.” Ballner, like many others, is buzzing from the experience. “The community of runners cheering each other on, giving out high-fives, pushing their times lower by a second or two— and cracking jokes the whole time—was even

better than I had hoped for,” he says. “It was only a Tuesday night speed workout, but I felt like it was the Olympic Trials.” The Nike+ Run Club concept is one of the largest manifestations of a huge trend currently sweeping the running industry. Shoe and apparel companies are seeking to appeal to new runners at the grassroots’ level—and especially non-runners—with a novel idea: making serious running fun. This approach is precisely what Bennett, the club’s Global Head Coach, set out to create with the Nike+ Run Clubs. After being a standout runner in high school and college, Bennett spent four years as an elite miler with the Nike Farm Team in Palo Alto, Calif., and seven years coaching high school track and cross-country at his alma mater, national-champion powerhouse Christian Brothers Academy of New Jersey. But he began to notice that while passion is strong in the high school ranks and with the elites, something seemed to be missing from the experience of the other 99 percent. Even if they run, they don’t seem to love it. His conclusion was that most have never been presented with the sport, only with an activity. So when Pat Jeffers, Nike Running brand manager in New York, approached Bennett in June of 2014 with the idea of reinventing the running group based out of the Niketown store, Bennett was ready. He wanted to be sure, however, that Nike would buy into his coaching philosophy, the same philosophy he used when faced with a fresh new class of high school runners. He wanted to get people

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to fall in love with running—and actually enjoy doing it—and he knew the way to do that was by helping people get better at it. Bennett jotted down a list of nonnegotiable principles, the first of which was, “We are all meant to be runners,” followed by, “All runners need to be athletes.” Nike was on board, and this list became NRC’s founding truths. “What has always been missing is, people who’ve just started running usually don’t get treated like real runners,” Bennett says. “We’re going to challenge everybody the same way—it doesn’t matter.” Bennett admits that new runners can be scared that they might get in over their heads, and much of the club’s structure is geared to overcoming that trepidation. But he believes people are even more worried that they’ll be dismissed and ignored. “I think the real concern,” he says, “The one that hurts, is: ‘They’re not going to challenge me because they think I can’t handle it. They’ll challenge everyone else, then they’ll see me, and they’re not going to challenge me.’” How does NRC negotiate these competing concerns and present a different experience than a typical running club workout? To start, you sign up for each session independently: There is no commitment to join the club or to enroll for a 10-week session. It doesn’t cost anything. “The first goal is to get you to run,” Bennett says. “If you show up and do the whole thing, it’s a training program. If you

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show up because you only run three days a week, that’s your training program. If you just want to do the speed run simply as a fun thing, that’s fine.” When you show up, you are greeted and welcomed by the staff, which consists of one or two coaches and about a dozen pacers— all wearing fluorescent yellow Nike shirts. Bennett is the global coach, and shares his philosophy and vision at coaching summits

“You don’t get many chances in a day to be a badass. you were badasses tonight!” and through frequent communication, yet the coaches in the now 43 clubs around the world (including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York City and Washington, D.C., in the U.S.) bring their own passion and style to each city. “It’s the same workout,” says Blue Benadum, coach of the Los Angeles Nike+ Run Club. “But all the coaches see it differently. And we’re encouraged to do that, to bring yourself into it.” Yet all agree that it is the pacers, most of whom are employees at a Niketown store, who are the core of the program. Far more

than just clicking off x-minute miles, the pacers set the tone, talk to individual runners about their goals, fears and pains, and encourage them or rein them in during the workouts. They are the enthusiastic glue that shapes the clubs and holds them together. After you sign in for a workout, one of the pacers will talk with you about your running experience and speed. Soon you are fitted with a colored wristband that identifies you with a group. Who you are that day is self-reported, and your self-assessment is accepted. “It’s based on trust,” Bennett says. “If you tell me you suck, I have no other recourse than to believe you. OK, you suck. I want you to suck less. If you come up and tell me you’re awesome, that’s fine. I just want you to be more awesome by the end of the workout. Get a little bit better today, and I want you to get better tomorrow.” Regardless of your group, everyone does the same workout. “It adds to the camaraderie,” Benadum says. “It’s this community you get—it doesn’t matter how fast you are—for all of us it’s the same workout. We don’t scale back the workouts, we scale the pace.” In fact, the workout is the same in every city around the world. As runners assemble, the head coach welcomes everyone and explains the workout’s details, purpose, and how to get the most out of it. A coach-led dynamic stretching session is followed by some agility drills, with instruction on the importance of being an athlete and not

photo: nike

Nike+ Run Club in Portland got to run on the 2016 IAAF World indoor Championships track.

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photos: jonathan beverly

just a runner in order to avoid injury. And then you’re sent off with your group. You don’t need to know what a 200-meter repeat is, or what “rest interval” means. You simply fall in with others of similar ability and follow your pacer. Grouping people by pace does more than make the workout manageable and appropriate. “When people are around people of comparable abilities, they become way more confident, way more relaxed,” Bennett says. Newcomer Ballner felt the power of the pace group. “No one took it too seriously,” he says. “But you could tell everyone was feeding off the pack’s energy and had come to improve.” Throughout the grind of the workout, pacers build this energy and camaraderies with high-fives, jokes and encouragement. After half of the workout is completed, anyone who wants to move up is graduated to a faster group—sometimes the pacer tells them they can and should. “That’s a great moment,” Bennett says, “setting people up for that feeling that ‘I ended better, I’m stronger.’” Toward the end of the workout, the fun ratchets up. Endorphins are flowing, people are gaining confidence and losing inhibition. They start high-fiving each other and cheering for other groups. Bennett starts dancing during the rest intervals to classic rock and hip-hop blaring from trackside speakers. After the last group finishes through a tunnel of high-fives from the other groups, Bennett gives his pep speech. “They want to hear something powerful,”

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Click here to read about a Nike+ Run Club session with Kevin Hart.

coach chris bennett (above) leads A track workout in portland, while an NRC pacer (below) leads a “home run” along portland’s waterfront.

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Click here to see photos from inside Nike’s worldwide headquarters.

You are an athlete!

Bennett says, about this time after a workout. “You don’t get challenged very often, you don’t get real compliments very often. It’s a nice thing to be able to give, as a coach. None of them have to be there. It’s cool sending them off into the world after a speed workout: A better group of people.” While the rah-rah format may not appeal to all, it is clear the Nike+ Run Clubs are reaching a group that traditional clubs have not. “We can’t hold onto people who are at the back half of the pack,” says Richard Lovett, head coach of the Team Red Lizard, a 250-strong running club that has operated in Portland for 19 years. “If [Nike is] giving people who race at 8-minute-plus miles a place to do speed workouts, they are the only game in town,” he says. “They are the only ones to get a critical mass to do that.” On different nights, the clubs hold “Home Runs” from the Nike stores, some easy recovery runs of 3 to 7 miles, some long runs. They also hold a beginner’s night and a fitness/strength training night. Bennett and the other coaches also try to connect runners with the sport. Over the past year each location has held special workouts tied to local professional events: Mile time-trials around the Milrose Games in New York; Heartbreak Hill workouts in Boston; a run that ended at the finish line to watch the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles. Participants also get to meet and interact with Nike’s elite runners like Shalane

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Flanagan, Dathan Ritzenhein and Shannon Rowbury. Faced with all of this organization and infrastructure, the obvious question is, “What’s in it for Nike?” You can certainly pick out a few direct connections to the bottom line. For one, the runs provide a chance for people to try Nike’s shoes at each session. And the sign-up process for sessions and the Nike+ app also allow for data gathering and targeted marketing. Do participants feel exploited? “Not once have I felt that,” says Dan Salzer, a conservation scientist with the Nature Conservancy who has been coming to the Portland sessions for two years and keeps three email accounts to manage privacy. “I don’t feel pressure at all, or expectation to wear Nike.” That said, he has switched to Nikes out of gratitude for the program, which has helped him develop as a masters competitor. “I felt that they earned that,” he says. No matter how cynical you are, it’s easy to believe Bennett is sincere when he says that Nike is doing this simply because it is in the company’s DNA. “That’s how it started, that’s just what we do,” he says. Yes, Nike can use NRC for marketing and PR, but to Bennett, that’s not the core of what the clubs are about. “The nice thing is that doesn’t affect the way we have to run the session,” he says. “Because at the heart of it, it’s just getting people to fall in love with the sport. You fall in love with running, that’s good for the sport, that’s good for Nike.”

However, the lively atmosphere, music, built-in camaraderie and positive vibe that the NRC coach and pacers provide help ease the stress of going to the track for a traditional interval workout session or a solo session where a more serious tone can be detrimental to one’s attitude and success. “I believe everybody is meant to run, but I think this is really about introducing people to the sport of running instead of to the activity of running, and to me— and I think to most people—the sport is way more exciting,” Nike+ Run Club head coach Chris Bennett says. “If you take part in a sport, you’re an athlete. But if you take part in an activity, you’re just a participant—and there’s an end-time to that. But if you have a body, you are an athlete, and introducing people to the sport of running opens up a whole new world. The goal is very simple: Just be a better version of yourself.”

For more about running clubs with a modern vibe, visit

photo: jonathan beverly

One of NRC’s Portland track workouts

Nike+ Run Club isn’t the only outfit doing these kinds of modern group workouts. There are many programs and groups across the U.S. providing some level of fun and support amid hard training, and you can also simulate that kind of atmosphere with your own training group.

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invites you to join us at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Halloween Half Marathon on October 30, 2016

Earn Some Swag


©2016 ASPCA . All Rights Reserved.

• Receive an official Team ASPCA race day shirt to show off your pride while you walk or run your way to the finish! • Attend an in-person information meeting and receive a complimentary Fundraiser Starter Pack with wristbands, stickers and more! • Complete your registration on the spot and take home a free Team ASPCA Training Starter Bag with reflective running band, sport towel and more! • All participants who complete this half marathon with Team ASPCA will receive a limited edition ASPCA 150 race medal to commemorate the ASPCA’s 150th anniversary!

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Jessie Zapo Leads girls run nyc across the Williamsburg bridge.

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Click here to read about how to run the NYC Marathon while drinking 5 beers.

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Click here to read about 36 celebrities who run.

NYC’s First Lady of Running

Jessica Zapotechne, an art therapist by day, has been at the epicenter of New York City’s flourishing run-crew scene for more than a decade. Her latest project, Girls Run NYC, brings community building to a whole new level. By Adam Elder - photos by sue kwon

very Wednesday at McCarren Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., a couple dozen women gather at 6:30 p.m. sharp for their weekly track workout, although few of them have ever run competitive track in their life. Many have been to a Girls Run NYC track session before, but first-timers need only check the group’s Instagram feed for its artfully styled weekly flyers disclosing the practice’s time and place, adorned with a certain type of female icon. One week it’s Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon; other weeks it’ll feature Frida Kahlo, Joan Jett or Beyoncé. Trackside, the tall lady with short blond hair and a big smile at the center of it all (including the Instagram account) calmly calls for a bit of stretching to start things off. One of the group’s longtime members who dutifully acts as her megaphone then echoes her, shouting, “OK, time for dynamic stretching!” Girls Run NYC’s leader may speak softly but she carries a big reputation: Her given name is Jessica Zapotechne, except nobody ever seems to call her that. Ask nearly any regular group-run participant in New York City about “Jessie Zapo,” however, and they’ll all know her. There’s even a good

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chance that she introduced them to one of the many proliferating running groups known as run crews that are popping up in nearly every neighborhood in the Big Apple. For others, this 37-year-old art therapist who’s sometimes nicknamed “the First Lady” might have been the reason they came out in the first place. Group running is having a moment right now, especially among recreational runners with little experience. Sure, run clubs and track clubs have always been around forever. In the past 10 years, though, an egalitarian vibe has swept through running as people in cities around the world discover the sport or find their way back into it, and go on to establish running groups, known popularly as run crews. They tend to explore urban areas on the run at night, and largely shun the staid, stratified trappings of traditional running-club culture. Instead they are full of runners of all speeds and abilities with less aspiration to podium or relentlessly shave seconds off their PR, but a strong desire to all go out for, say, ramen and beers afterward. In fact, social media has spawned social exercising for all sports and types of workouts, and numerous studies by the American Journal of Sports Medicine and elsewhere attest to group exercise’s many

benefits. In running’s case, it’s shattering the old stereotypes of the loneliness of the long-distance runner. “For me, [group running] fulfills a basic need to be a part of the community,” Zapo explains. “Even though New York City has lots of people, it can actually be difficult to feel like you’re part of something. And also, there’s collective energy that’s shared when you run with other people. There’s an actual transfer of energy that happens when you run in a group. When someone is leading your pace group they’re expending a lot of energy that they’re sharing, and that you’re feeding off of. When you’re being pushed or pulled by other people, it can take you to new places and break personal barriers.” Think back to the first time you got into running. If it happened at any point beyond the fearlessness of adolescence, you were probably scared. It’s easy to forget, but most new runners are. The desire is there, but running with others who are stronger, faster? The possibility of getting dropped— of literally being left for dead—is real, and intimidating. Zapo is in a sense New York City’s ambassador of running. She has been the founder or leader of several run crews in the past decade that have achieved a measure of

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girls run nyc is an extraordinarily close community, even by the tight-knit standards of new york’s run club scene. renown on social media among runners, and attracted the attention of Nike and other brands in the process. “Jessie is an amazing person to introduce people to what we do as a running community in New York City,” says Joe DiNoto, a friend and founder of Orchard Street Runners, a run crew in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. “She’s great at bringing people in and making them feel like this isn’t gonna be the most painful experience of their life.” Zapo is a tireless organizer, but she also has a personality that’s magnetic in the sense that she makes people comfortable—after all, she often works with at-risk youth in her day job. It’s a quiet, humble kind of charisma, you might say, free of bombast or a cult of personality, as many who open gyms or push fitness programs often focus on. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t worshipped. “She is my Dalai Lama,” says Rasheda Herndon, who has followed Zapo through everything, she claims. “She is extremely mellow. She’s very quiet. But she gives off this heavenly energy. I don’t

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even know how to really explain it, but she’s always there for you.” There is also an authenticity to Zapo, everyone says, that comes from the credibility of being one of the first—and, for a

while, only—females on the scene starting in the mid 2000s. She grew up in Ohio with five younger brothers, and so holding her own among guys came naturally, but carries huge

Click here to read about 45 reasons we love the New York City Marathon.

respect among women. Zapo, who ran track in high school and picked it up again later in her twenties, found running the same way that many people do: As an honest, all-encompassing discipline that serves as a way out from a previously destructive— or at least unsatisfying—lifestyle. “I was bartending, and really into nightlife,” Zapo says. “I love parties and being social, but I was developing some unhealthy habits. I got into running because one of my nightlife friends started BridgeRunners—he would always talk about this running group.” Zapo says her running was mostly on her own and had never even considered herself a runner. But in 2005, when her friend invited her to a track workout in Chinatown, the group ran over the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn, then back over the Brooklyn Bridge back into Manhattan. That experience had a powerful impact on her. “It’s beautiful and it’s also hard, and I was just hooked,” Zapo says. “I was coming back every week. I was drawn to the consistency: It was always there, it didn’t matter what else was going on. I loved that, especially when everything else was so crazy.

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I also realized that you can’t go out to happy hour after work and then go run.” For Zapo, BridgeRunners, and group running, presented her the possibility of a whole new lifestyle. And a new her. “It just sparked something for me, which was realizing that you can still be an athlete as an adult even if you didn’t go down that road,” she says. “And from running that one time a week I started running more times on my own, and then learning about these other running groups then learning about races, it opened up this whole other world that I was not even aware of.” Zapo took to running so intensely that soon she became one of the leaders of BridgeRunners. In 2012, she and another BridgeRunner named Knox Robinson, a former collegiate distance runner, trained a group of new female runners for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco amid BridgeRunners’ intentionally unstructured, sometimes confounding weekly runs. Nike was impressed, and the whole experience gave Zapo and Robinson an idea to start their own crew. So in early 2013 they invited 25 BridgeRunners to join Black Roses NYC, a Nike-supported private membership collective that applied an elite-style training regimen to recreational runners throughout a season, building toward a goal race.

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The split with BridgeRunners was less than amicable, though, and no one involved goes into much detail. Black Roses was an unqualified success, and continues to be. But in early 2015, Zapo stepped away from Black Roses to start something she long considered vital: a women’s run crew. The

“jessie is my Dalai lama. She is extremely mellow. She’s very quiet. But she gives off this heavenly energy.” group-running scene in New York City, like elsewhere, can be very fluid, with many runners participating in different crew runs throughout the week. Many of Girls Run NYC’s participants run in other groups, and with other crews around the city—but this one is just for them.


It’s the kind of place where, out of a few dozen women, some of them can run 6:30 miles for a marathon; others have never done a track workout in their lives. Girls Run NYC’s most interesting and crucial attribute, though, has nothing to do with running, strictly speaking. The group uses the WhatsApp phone app to communicate information about training, weekly runs and races, but it’s taken on a life and purpose of its own. What has developed is a tightly knit community bound by running. “It’s cool because we start to talk about stuff like work, and people are talking about relationships, their children, or deaths they’ve experienced,” Zapo says. “Everything kind of comes out in there, and it’s been really powerful as a safe place for women to speak about what’s going on. And when we get together to train, everyone’s kind of connected to each other on this emotional and physical level.” “We’re able to call on each other at anytime for any reason, and you know that somebody is gonna be there,” says Ameerah Omar, a former collegiate heptathlete and a regular at Girls Run NYC. “Jessie’s created a community where there is a system of trust and accountability, and even though we’re all independent and live our own lives, we know that we have each other within

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Click here to read about the importance of doing dynamic drills.

Zapo leads her group in pre-run dynamic drills in brooklyn’s McCarren Park. running and outside of it.” Girls Run NYC is free, and free of sponsorships, and Zapo intends to keep it that way for now. There’s no rah-rahing, no matching T-shirts or initiation rituals, and no pressure to increase membership that stretches beyond the typical satisfying pleasures of altruism, and the contagiousness and zeal of gospel-sharing that self-improvement often inspires. Growth is achieved either through word-of-mouth, social media or people simply walking up during practice and asking about it. It’s low-key in one sense—big shoe companies are taking an increasing interest in the run-crew phenomenon, which, on the whole, is becoming more of a branded experience—but it’s not even as low-key as some of Zapo’s other projects. In 2013 she started Bkfast Club, a weekly, early-morning easy run through Brooklyn. She started it as a way to get coffee with her friend, Ariel Roman. But soon others caught wind of it, or passers-by would ask to join the group, and now it’s a mini running hub full of artists, musicians, freelancers and other creative types whose schedules

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allow for morning runs followed by coffee that, again, has turned a lot of non-runners into runners. Then there’s a monthly run and deejay night one Friday a month called Out to Cruise. Zapo was also recently tapped by Samsung to start a run club out of Samsung 837, the brand’s new experiential digital playground located in the Meatpacking District. With such a hectic schedule, Zapo says she usually runs five days a week, but keeps her mileage around 30 to 40 per week. She also recently became a USATF Level 1 coach, which adds some expertise and authority to her many groups as she assumes more of a coaching role in them. And her influence extends way beyond New York City. In 2011, when she was still a BridgeRunner, Zapo helped start Bridge the Gap with Great Britain’s largest run crew, London’s Run Dem Crew. It’s a movement that’s part outreach and part goodwill, in which crews from all over agree to meet at races across the globe and share local advice, routes to run or even a sofa to sleep on.

What started with crews in New York City and London quickly found fellow members in Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen, and then all over, including the Balkans, the Arab world and throughout Asia. Nowadays, Bridge the Gap meetups occur every month somewhere, usually centered around a marathon or half marathon. Nearly everyone who knows her and knows the New York running scene agrees that Zapo’s Girls Run NYC is vital for the community, and essential for the growth and health of the sport. “Jessie doesn’t do fluffy, and she doesn’t do pink,” says Charlie Dark, founder of Run Dem Crew and a longtime friend of Zapo. “I think that’s really important, because the industry at the moment, the way it talks to women, it’s either in a hypersexualized sort of way or it’s in a kind of ‘You’re not as hardcore as the boys, so here’s your little 5K with some pompoms’—or it’s the other extreme where in order to keep up with the men you must be bigger and stronger. “Jessie’s finding a nice, comfortable middle ground that creates some real spaces to how women run.”

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Click here to read about why we should thank Millennials for changing running.

They Own the District

Washington D.C.’s District Running Collective started an urban movement to promote culture, community and diversity through running and healthy living. By Brian Metzler

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hree years ago this spring, Matt Green just wanted to do something different for his birthday. After graduating from college a few years back, he and some of his buddies fell into a typical routine of working, trying to get some kind of exercise in and then ultimately hanging out at bars. Although none were committed runners, they volunteered at the Nike Women’s Half Marathon—passing out water to runners in the finisher area—and were moved by the positive energy and sense of accomplishment the runners gave off. At the same time, they’d seen the spark of excitement around

photo: district running collective

drc co-founder matt green (in red) with his group on a wednesday night run

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some newly formed running “crews” in New York City and London. So Green decided that, instead of just going out to a bar and having a bunch of drinks with friends, he’d turn his birthday celebration into a 5K group run at midnight. It would still be set at a bar along H Street and there would be food and libations afterward, but the point was to do something fun—and unique—with running. “We didn’t know how many people would show up, but it got big in a hurry,” Green, now 30, recalls. “We had 125 people out at midnight on H Street, not to go to the bars, but to go on a group run! All we really did was post it on social and people started sharing it, and it just spread. That’s how we found out social media marketing can work and start to build something.” And that’s how the District Running Collective was born. Green and his pals put on more themed events—including another Midnight on Mars later that summer. However, their informal Wednesday night fun runs based out of The Coupe restaurant also started to gain a following. What began as a small group of 10 to 15 runners meeting at a neighborhood restaurant quickly grew to 40 or 50 runners. The low-key, anyone-can-join culture had no barriers to entry. It didn’t matter if you were already training with a group or if you’d never run before at all. All you had to do was show up and run 3 miles or so before having some 50-cent hot wings, kale salad and a cold beer while mingling with a diverse group of people. The group only has a few rules and guidelines, and most are tied to having fun, being safe and making conversation: Headphones aren’t allowed, and you need to leave your ego behind. “It became a thing, and people that we’d run by on the streets wanted to know what we were doing,” Green says. “We’d shout out, ‘We’re District Running Collective! Come run with us on Wednesdays!’ And then the next week, you’d see some of those people running. The cool thing is that it was

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Click here to read about how to cure IT band syndrome.

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attracting a lot of people who would have never considered running before.” The group continued to grow into 2014, but Green says the retention rate fluctuated. Instead of making it just a basic Wednesday night run, he really wanted to develop a sense of community, where people could start training for races together and develop friendships outside of the group. (They avoided running around Washington D.C.’s celebrated monument parks, if only because they wanted to keep the runs within local neighborhoods.) In addition to organizing long runs on the weekends and trips to races in New York

“The cool thing is that it was attracting a lot of people who would have never considered running before.” City, Miami and Chicago, the DRC also organized a Christmas party. “We rented a bar and everyone came out all dressed up,” Green recalls. “Normally we’d just see each other in running gear after a run. At the Christmas party, everybody looked completely different in nice clothes. That’s when you could really start to see people were interested in being part of a community.” The Wednesday night runs continued to grow, so they found a bigger meeting point at the Colony Club restaurant and bar. Before long, many of the people who showed up but never considered themselves runners were training for their first half marathons with support from the group and loads of inspiration via Instagram posts.


“I was a very casual runner before I moved to D.C.,” says Ashlee Lawson, a 32-year-old marketing director who started running with DRC in 2014. “I heard about it and decided to go for a run because I was looking for something to do when the weather got better that spring. My first run sucked because it was cold and raining and I hadn’t run much in eight months. But it’s one of those things where you’ve gotta stick with it, and DRC gave me a reason to stick with it.” Lawson encouraged four other friends to come out for the weekly runs and by that fall they ran their first half marathon together in Philadelphia. That kind of encouraging vibe has continued to spread: DRC has more than 5,200 followers on Instagram and 1,100 people on its email list. Since 2015, the DRC has regularly attracted more than 100 runners for its Wednesday night runs, which is why Green smartly appointed captains to help keep things manageable and let runners selfselect which group they want to run with—the front-of-the-pack Flyers, the moderately paced Movers or the easy-jogging Cruisers—based on their own speed and experience level. “For me, running is almost secondary to the community,” says Lawson, who became a DRC captain in 2015. “Running is sort of the common thread that holds us all together. It’s the reason we’re able to be this community and be social and become friends and have these relationships that hold each other accountable.” This year the DRC has worked with D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser in her initiative to help the city’s citizens become more fit and lead healthier lifestyles. They also developed a grassroots partnership with Baltimorebased Under Armour. Ultimately, Green says, DRC exists where fitness, fun and community collide. “I didn’t think anything would materialize as big as it has,” Green says. “To see people come out who would never think about running just a few months later sign up for a race, train for a race and finish a race is really cool.”

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For a Fitter & Faster Summer

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io at tr us i ll

Click here to read about to to solve a sore achilles problem.











Need a boost getting fit this summer? We searched our Twitter feed and found plenty of motivating and inspiring hashtags on how to become a #fitter—not to mention #faster— runner before Labor Day. By L i zzi e S mi c k f o r d

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2. #LaceEmUp

#ImARunner Don’t give in to that ridiculous phrase that all new runners seem to parrot: “I run, but I’m not a runner.” If you run, then YES, you are a runner! No matter how often or how far you run, own it, live it, be it! If you own running shoes, you’re a runner! As soon as you admit it, you’ll be able to fully embrace the running lifestyle and all that comes with it.

You don’t need to be training for a half marathon or a marathon, but running at least four times per week for at least 30 minutes per session is the easiest way to become more aerobically fit. Don’t fall into the trap of running once a week and then complaining that you hate running. The only way to get out of that rut—and start to improve your fitness—is to run more often. Consistency is key, but it’s also good to mix up the type of running you do. Jogging at the same pace every day will quickly lead to a fitness plateau.


#HaveFun Exercising every day and running several times a week is a great recipe for getting fit, preparing for a race or losing weight, but don’t freak out about it on a daily basis. Don’t worry about how fast (or slow) you can run relative to your friends or running partners. Don’t jump on the scale and weigh yourself. Don’t fuss about how your clothes fit. Instead, just commit to living a healthy life on a daily basis by exercising and eating right and the results will quickly follow.

Click here to read about 3 exercises every runner should do.

4. #RunWithAGroup

Running alone can be great, but running with others—a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker or some kind of group—can be even better and super motivating. Join a once-a-week fun run from a running store or a cool, underground urban run crew or a trail running meet-up. While finding people who will run the same pace and distance is important, stepping outside of your comfort zone by running longer or going on a trail run will add excitement and variation to your routine.

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5. #CrossTrain Click here to read about cross-training workouts for runners.

While consistent running is one of the simplest paths to running, it’s wise to mix things up and do other activities to build strength. It’s not only a good way to avoid injuries, but it’s also a great way to keep yourself fresh mentally. Go to the gym. Hop on a bike. Go hiking. Swim some laps. Do yoga. Dive into branded workouts like CrossFit, Orange Theory or TRX if that’s what you like. Or simply commit to doing 100 pushups and 100 sit-ups every morning when you wake up.

6. #TrainWisely

If you’re going to spend the money to sign up for a race, it makes sense to follow a plan and commit to training for it. You wouldn’t bake a cake without a recipe or tackle a new sport like surfing, golf or CrossFit without some kind of guidance, would you? Get a friend, neighbor or co-worker to take the challenge with you and then you can train together, both on the easy recovery run days and the harder workout days. Following a training plan will give you the best chance at success. (There are plenty of free training plans available, including at

8. #GoForIt 7.

#ChooseTheSalad We all love French fries, midday snacks and iced coffee drinks, but we can also be smarter about how we consume. We’re not talking about going on a diet. Diets are short-sighted and don’t last, so don’t go there. Don’t obsess about counting calories either. Just focus on making healthy choices at every meal. For example, ordering a side salad instead of fries, drinking water instead of a sugary soda, and skipping desert entirely. You’ll give yourself a leg up on getting fit.

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Need motivation to run all summer? Sign up for a late summer or early fall race. It doesn’t need to be epic or something you’ve never done before—although it could be! Start with a 5K or 10K—or even a half marathon if you’re ambitious—and give yourself enough time to train for it (at least six to eight weeks) so you’ll have a positive experience. Whether you take the path of “just finishing” a race or commit to a bigger challenge of a time-based goal is up to you. Wear a pink tutu and jog with friends, or wear a race kit and turn yourself inside out in your efforts to reach the finish line as fast as possible. Sign up for a race and go for it!

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9. #DoSomethingEveryday 10. #KeepItSimple Whether you follow pro sports, watch the Olympics on TV every four years or know someone who is a good athlete, it’s easy to assume that’s not you, that somehow those people are outliers. Sure, those physical specimens might have considerable talent and fitness, but they’ve also honed it by living like an athlete. Whether it’s a star basketball player or an Olympic swimmer or your neighbor who runs the Boston Marathon every year, they’ve all put significant effort into what they’ve become. If you truly want to become more fit—for any goal or any reason—start living like an athlete by making your daily workouts, meals, recovery and attitude part of your daily consciousness.


Running—and getting fit—is really a simple process. All you need are a halfway decent pair of running shoes and the will to do it. You need to commit a little bit of time and effort every day. You don’t need to record your stats with modern wearable tech devices or run with music, although those things can offer some assistance. Some days it’s best to make it as simple as possible so you can lose yourself in the euphoria and mind-clearing magic of running.

#InvestInYourself Happiness is a new pair of shoes—especially when it comes to running shoes! Few things can be more motivating than buying a new pair of kicks with the idea that you’re investing in your health. Consider how far $125 can take you when you buy a new pair of shoes. Go to your local running store, have a fit expert find a good pair for your specific needs, and start summer on the right foot. By the time summer ends, you’ll look at that beat-up pair of sneakers and be stoked with where they took you!

Click here to learn about running with mindfulness.

Bonus Tip!


#ShareIt In this modern age of social media obsessiveness and narcissism, things only seem to count if you share them on social media outlets. OK, that’s not really true, but there is great value in sharing your fitness endeavors. It shows the world you’re committed to a healthy lifestyle. It might motivate your followers to do more of the same, and you might connect with more training partners too. (But, please, avoid look-at-me selfies if at all possible!)

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#BeMindful You are the way you are because of what you do on a daily basis. Running can be a pathway to healthy change and consistency, but only as long as you let it become part of you. Don’t concern yourself with what others think of you, how you run or what “type” of runner you are. Instead, take a moment to conscientiously embrace the freedom of movement, the wind in your face and the simple joy of self-powered exercise and a daily affirmation of your place in this world.

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Summer 2016



Summertime means it’s time to venture offroad and explore the great outdoors, no matter if that’s at a local trail near your neighborhood or an epic route inside a national park. Running on trails offers a bit of serenity you’re not likely to find within an urban or suburban environment. But while you’re winding through forests and taking in the views, you’ll want to make sure you’re properly shod. In this review, we highlight nine of the best trail running shoes available at running stores this spring and summer in three categories: agile cruisers, mid-range hybrids and mountain marauders.

Click here to read about running the Grand Canyon.

MORE SHOES! Look for more trail running shoe reviews, articles and trail maps at trailrunning.


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Weights listed per shoe are for men’s size 9.0 and women’s size 7.0


SCARPA ATOM $119 This is a shoe built for runners who run like mountain goats. You know, the ones who bound up the rockiest trails with ease and hardly seem winded. Scarpa called on its heritage of rock climbing shoes to develop this lightweight, agile specimen. It’s lightly cushioned—most of our testers agreed that it was “just enough”—and offers great proprioceptive feel for the trail. It doesn’t offer much protection in the upper, but the Vibram outsole (and its widely spaced array of lugs) is just thick enough to keeps sharp rocks at bay while also offering great traction.

Click here to read about new road running shoes.

PLUS: Our wear-testers loved the snug fit and secure lacing system of this shoe. MINUS: The pinky toes are left a bit in harm’s way without any material to protect against abrasion. WEIGHTS: 8.8 oz. (men’s), 7.5 oz. (women’s) HEEL-TO-TOE OFFSET: 4mm; 14.5mm (heel), 10.5mm (forefoot)

BROOKS PURE GRIT 5 $120 The Pure Grit is a low-to-the-ground speedster built for dashing over mild and moderately technical terrain. Brooks has updated this lightweight, moderately cushioned cruiser with a new upper that helps keep dust and debris out, does a better job protecting against abrasions and offers a more locked-down fit. It also has a sturdier heel and a slightly wider footprint, which adds some stability. Our wear-testers appreciated the upgrades made to this shoe without losing its best features—most notably that it’s still easy-flexing and very smooth. Although it’s built for a range of natural trail surfaces, it can also cover miles on roads or bike paths en route to a trailhead. PLUS: The array of small, hexagonally shaped outsole lugs grips rocky surfaces and provides great traction in loose dirt and gravel. MINUS: It’s a narrow-fitting shoe, and a few of our wear-testers said they would have appreciated more wiggle room in the midfoot and toe box. WEIGHTS: 9.9 oz. (men’s), 8.3 oz. (women’s) HEEL-TO-TOE OFFSET: 4mm; 19mm (heel), 15mm (forefoot)

INOV-8 X-CLAW 275 $120 As its name implies, this shoe has outsole lugs like talons that grip and grab every type of trail surface. The X-Claw is actually an update of the X-talon 212, an amazingly grippy shoe that was a mainstay on the competitive short-distance mountain running circuits in the U.S. and Europe. The new version has a bit more cushioning and protection without losing its turn-on-a-dime agility and supreme flexibility. Our wear-testers thought this shoe had the best traction of the bunch we tested this spring and loved how it performed on loose gravel, dry rock, sloppy mud and wet grass. PLUS: The upper is smartly reinforced to offer protection without inhibiting flexibility. MINUS: The luggy nature of the outsole made it less suitable for running on hard-packed dirt trails and dirt roads. WEIGHTS: 9.7 oz. (men’s), 8.3 oz. (women’s) HEEL-TO-TOE OFFSET: 8mm; 26.5mm (heel), 18.5mm (forefoot)


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Weights listed per shoe are for men’s size 9.0 and women’s size 7.0

MID-RANGE HYBRIDS NEW BALANCE VAZEE SUMMIT $100 With the Vazee Summit, New Balance has developed a speedoriented trail running shoe that will allow runners to zip over the trails with few inhibitions. It has just enough lightweight cushioning and purposeful protection to be a versatile shoe for most types of conditions and most types of runners. The three key features of the Vazee Summit are: the breathable mesh upper that’s reinforced by a durable film overlay, a flexible rock plate that runs from the tip of the toes to under the arch, and an outsole rubber and medium-sized lugs that are equally tacky on both wet and dry surfaces. Our testers raved about this shoe for its do-everything capability. PLUS: Although amply cushioned, this shoe has a snappy, responsive feeling to it. MINUS: A few testers had some issues with the neoprene-like tongue bunching up and getting caught on socks while putting on this shoe. WEIGHTS: 9.3 oz. (men’s), 7.5 oz. (women’s) HEEL-TO-TOE OFFSET: 10mm; 27mm (heel), 17mm (forefoot)

SALOMON SENSE PRO 2 $130 Light, fast and versatile, the updated Sense Pro is a jack of all trails. While it’s amply cushioned in the heel, it serves up a low-to-the-ground, agile feel in the forefoot. That combination allows it to be comfortable running slow or fast over short or long distances. The low-profile sticky rubber outsole lugs provide great adhesion on rocks and wet surfaces, but they’re smooth and subtle enough to stay out of the way while running on hardpacked dirt roads. A slightly bolstered toe cap and a slice of protective film underfoot offer just enough protection without inhibiting the flex and nimble feeling of this shoe. PLUS: The one-pull lacing system snugs the shoe down with equal pressure from all points, creating a reliably secure fit. MINUS: A few testers thought this shoe had too cavernous of a toe box. WEIGHTS: 9.2 oz. (men’s), 8.5 oz. (women’s) HEEL-TO-TOE OFFSET: 6mm; 23mm (heel), 17mm (forefoot)

TOPO HYDROVENTURE $130 Click here to read 6 tips for completing an ultra marathon.

This relatively new brand continues to offer innovative and unique running shoes built off of modern minimalist design constructs like a low-to-the-ground feel and a roomy toe box. The Hydroventure is a softly cushioned trail runner that offers protection from both rocky terrain and wet conditions. It has a single-layer eVent laminate upper, making it the lightest fully waterproof trail runner on the market. It also has a flexible rock plate, a reinforced toe bumper and thin but durable overlays along the sidewalls for optimal trail protection. Our wear-testers liked this shoe for trail running and for light hiking. PLUS: Unlike most waterproof trail running shoes that have stiff uppers, this one is extremely supple and flexible. MINUS: As with any waterproof shoe, this one gets warm (and leads to sweaty feet) in hot weather. WEIGHTS: 9.7 oz. (men’s), 8.0 oz. (women’s) HEEL-TO-TOE OFFSET: 3mm; 23mm (heel), 20mm (forefoot)


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Weights listed per shoe are for men’s size 9.0 and women’s size 7.0


SAUCONY XODUS ISO $130 Saucony has overhauled its most rugged trail runner, and our testers loved nearly everything about it. This shoe is considerably lighter and more agile than the Xodus 6.0 that came out last year. It also serves up an enhanced fit, feel and ride. Part of the reason for that is the additional soft and responsive layer of foam called EverRun, which Saucony rolled out in its road shoes earlier this year. It’s also due to a new outsole lug system with a directional wave pattern that offers amazing stability and traction on rocks and steep terrain. Although this shoe is best for rugged trails, the improvements have made it great for mellow terrain too. PLUS: The ISO-Fit system (which is on many of Saucony’s road shoes) effectively wraps the top of the foot like fingers of a glove. MINUS: Proprioceptive feel for the trail is a bit muted in this shoe because of the thick cushioning and outsole lugs. WEIGHTS: 10.3 oz. (men’s), 9.2 oz. (women’s) HEEL-TO-TOE OFFSET: 4mm; 25mm (heel), 21mm (forefoot)

ASICS GEL FUJIENDURANCE $180 This is a big-mountain workhorse with the vibe of a more agile hybrid. The FujiEndurance is by far the most rugged trail shoe ASICS has ever made but it still retains the fit and feel of a road running shoe. The unique, water-resistant upper keeps moisture at bay without reducing breathability too much, but it’s the fulllength rock plate and durable and slightly wider outsole with directional lugs that make this shoe viable for running mountains. Our testers appreciated the stable and sturdy undercarriage of this shoe for rugged terrain, but liked that it offered a flexible and nimble midsole and outsole suitable for milder terrain too. PLUS: The “lace garage” on top of the tongue helps keep laces from flopping around or getting caught on trail debris. MINUS: This shoe is a tad heavier and slightly less flexible. WEIGHTS: 11.7 oz. (men’s), 9.6 oz. (women’s) HEEL-TO-TOE OFFSET: 8mm; 25mm (heel), 17mm (forefoot)

LA SPORTIVA AKASHA $140 With the Akasha, La Sportiva stepped away from its shortdistance racing roots to develop its first long-haul shoe suitable for ultra-distance running. It has a copious amount of soft cushioning in the heel that is enhanced by the slight rocker shape of the underside of the shoe. It has a fairly agile and smooth demeanor like a road running shoe, but it also has the smart mountain protection—a rock plate and reinforced upper and toe bumper—featured in the rest of La Sportiva’s trail line. Our wear-testers loved this shoe for long runs on semi-technical routes to very rocky trails in the mountains.

Click here to read about even more trail running shoes.

PLUS: The outsole is made from a sticky rubber compound and has directional lugs for superior acceleration and braking. MINUS: Each of our wear-testers felt this shoe fits snug for its size and opted for a half-size larger. WEIGHTS: 11.3 oz. (men’s), 9.8 oz. (women’s) HEEL-TO-TOE OFFSET: 6mm; 26mm (heel), 20mm (forefoot)


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Click here for a free half marathon training plan!


The world of ultrarunning is growing fast and it’s also changing. As more runners get into the notion of running beyond the marathon, more are also starting to pay far more attention to their training and realizing that if they do the right things leading up to the event, they will give themselves the best chance at success. Still, there are many misconceptions and errors in current training methodologies for ultrarunners. Time and time again I see ultrarunners, from beginners to seasoned pros, making the same mistakes. They unnecessarily prioritize mileage over focused training. They train too slow. They do not train for the specific demands of a particular event. Correct training methodology not only fixes these problems, but will also prepare the athlete for success.



I use very little of my personal experience when coaching an athlete. In research papers, the number of subjects in an experiment is referred to as the N, and the best studies benefit from a large N. I acutely realize that I am my own N of 1, or a sample of one. If I ever use an “I” statement in my coaching, I consider it a flaw. A coach should certainly take his or her own experience into account, but relying on the N of 1 experience is the ultimate coaching flaw. I have seen dozens of athletes fail to improve because they are relying on an N of 1 to guide them. Ultrarunning coaches routinely regurgitate their personal training for their athletes. And runners who coach themselves tend to insert too much of their own bias into the process. Others ask their peers what they have done, relying on small likelihood that the N of 1 will also work for them.

Ultrarunners often think, “I’ll be running slowly during my race, so I don’t need to run fast during training.” This thinking is not entirely flawed. You don’t need to run spectacularly fast but you do need to focus on a range of intensities. Developing specific parts of your physiology through focused intensity during different parts of the year produces a more fit and ready athlete, regardless of your background and goals. However, even when ultrarunners incorporate intensity, I have often found it to be sporadic and unsystematic. They do different intensities during the week (e.g. a speed session on Tuesday and a tempo run on Thursday) or not enough of the same intensity all at once. The takeaway here is that some intensity is better than none, but focused and concentrated intensity applied systematically over a period of weeks is the best way to become a better ultrarunner.

Ultra races are long, sometimes lasting a day or even two. Beginning ultrarunners can look at the prospect of running for hours on end and feel overwhelmed, thinking, “If I’m going to be out there forever, I better run and hike in training as much as possible.” They make the classic sacrifice of substituting more volume in place of intensity. While this type of training does produce limited benefits for the ultrarunner, it also carries significant risk, and the point of diminishing returns is reached quickly. Quite simply, you run more miles but don’t get enough out of them.

It’s easy to generalize that all ultra races are long and done at a low intensity. Although this is often the case, you can train and prepare for specific elements within individual races. How steep are the climbs? How hot is the race? How far apart are the aid stations? What is the terrain like? These are elements of specificity you can train for. Athletes understand that if the goal event is on trail, they need to train predominantly on trail. Yet many ultrarunners, even the best, make the mistake of changing their terrain specificity in the weeks leading up to a critical race. The concept of specificity extends beyond the surface under your feet. You can, and should, extend that concept to every aspect of the race. The degree to which you can apply specificity to training makes you better prepared for all the elements on race day, including the intensity, duration, environmental conditions, and whatever other troubles and tribulations you might encounter.

Jason Koop is the Director of Coaching for CTS, coach to elite ultrarunners and an elite ultramarathoner. This passage was excerpted with permission from his new book “Training Essentials for Ultrarunning” (2016, VeloPress).

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Click here to read about training with a power meter.



For some athletes, it can be alluring to run the same three routes day after day—perhaps with some variation for the weekend long run. Training over different types of terrain, however, can spur physical gains and provide mental relief. Consider the following as you train for your next event.

Click here to read more of Coach Culpper’s training insights.




A lot of runners who primarily race on the roads have

Conversely, many trail racers fear stepping

Adding track workouts into your routine is another way

an aversion to trails. And with good reason: They can

on pavement of any kind since they never

to include variety in your training program. Any runner,

be intimidating! As a competitive athlete, I did not

intend to race on the roads and/or fear get-

regardless of what type of event they’re training for, can

like the idea of running slower but having an elevated

ting injured. While that is a valid concern,

benefit from running some speed workouts on the track.

heart rate on what was supposed to be a recovery run.

it’s important to remember that you can

The key is dialing in the right effort level. The biggest mis-

There was also the fear of twisting an ankle or looking

only run so fast on uneven or undulating

take most athletes make is running too fast for intervals

down at my watch in shock of how slow I was actu-

terrain. By strategically including some

that are too short, which often leads to injury. Ease into

ally running. Eventually, though, I learned that trail

road running in your training routine, trail

the track workouts with controlled longer intervals over

running benefited my road racing, largely due to the

racers can become more efficient at quicker

800 meters, or even a tempo run. The controlled nature

added leg strength and aerobic gains from training on

paces, hit targeted pace or distance goals

of the track leads to more productive workouts. Keeping

hilly terrain. Trails, in essence, force you to use more

and develop better running mechanics—all

a close eye on pacing also teaches you how to gauge your

muscles—even though you’re running slower. You

of which will benefit their off-road racing.

effort levels based on how you feel.

will also develop lower-leg strength from running on uneven footing as your feet, ankles, Achilles tendon and calves all adapt to new stimuli. When incorporated into a comprehensive training program, all of these factors benefit road racing.

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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

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Click here to read about new running nutritional products.

I a n To r r e n c e ’ s E l d e n Wo r ko u t By Ma rio Fra iol i

Sarah Crouch on being patient with injuries “Most of the time when something flares up with me, it lasts


downhill running that was inspired by a 5.5-mile dirt road climb on Mount Elden, near Flagstaff, Ariz.

should do this workout early in a training cycle to lay a foundation of strength for tougher workouts down the road. Warm up with 15–20 minutes of easy jogging. Run 2 miles uphill at marathon race effort, then immediately turn around and run down the same 2-mile hill at halfmarathon pace. Cool down with 15–20 minutes of easy jogging. More advanced runners can extend the distance of the uphill and downhill running portions to 6 miles in the latter stages of their training schedule.

WH Y: “Uphill running is one of the best all-around

workouts,” says Ian Torrence, ultra coach for McMillan Running. “The heart and lungs are challenged, leg muscles are strengthened, turnover is improved, and, depending on the length of the hill, the ability to tolerate lactic acid accumulation and stamina is developed. Downhill running, on the other hand, strengthens leg muscles and offers the opportunity to work on form and leg turnover, and improve neuromuscular coordination. Psychologically, there’s a huge confidence-building benefit from collecting these tough, well-earned uphill miles and then producing—with much less effort—the faster subsequent downhill pace.”

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for two days and it’s gone. But I’m starting to realize that I’m not 18 anymore and things now last for a couple weeks rather than a couple days. I have this habit of treating my body like it’s invincible and I know it’s not, but being forced to take some time off due to injury taught me to be patient in my training and helped me truly appreciate how much of a gift it is to run pain-free.” —Sarah Crouch, 11th place and second American finisher at 2016 Boston Marathon (2:37:36)


WH AT: A hill workout involving equal parts uphill and

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AACR RUNNERS FOR RESEARCH 35,000 + YOU When you join the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Runners for Research team, you join the elite company of 35,000 scientific members of the AACR whose goal is to prevent, treat, and cure cancer. Join us September 17-18, 2016 in the city of Brotherly Love for a 5K run on Saturday and the AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon on Sunday as we raise funds for lifesaving cancer research! Why just run for fun when you can run to save lives? Join one of our many races around the country! Sign up at

Lauren M. Santarone (right), AACR Senior Meetings Manager, and her sister Kristin (left) at the starting line for AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon, held October 31, 2015. AACR staff volunteered at and participated in the race, which raised $135,000 to support vital AACR initiatives.

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RUN IT community


Where and When to Race Take advantage of warmer weather with a growing number of 5K, half marathon, marathon and trail races that will challenge your overall fitness and have you sweating. Just remember to hydrate! B y J eff B a n ow etz

For a complete race calendar, go to

M a r at h o n s / H a l f M a r at h o n s Saratoga Springs Half Marathon July 10; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Rock ’n’ Roll Chicago July 17; Chicago

The San Francisco Marathon July 31; San Francisco

Known for its horse racing, Saratoga Springs is a scenic small town nestled in the Adirondack region of upstate New York. This half marathon course is relatively flat and fast, mostly in Saratoga Spa State Park. A relay and 5K run is also available, and overall and age-group winners receive a pint glass.

The Rock ’n’ Roll tour makes a stop in Chicago with a half marathon that offers an impressive tour of downtown and the Lakefront. The race starts and ends in Grant Park, with live music along the route to keep you going. Then enjoy a post-race concert from the headlining band Echosmith.

Experience one of America’s most beautiful cities with this course that takes you along the scenic San Francisco waterfront and over the Golden Gate Bridge. You can choose from the full marathon, a half (the first or second half of the race), 5K or even a 52.4-mile double marathon.

The San Francisco Marathon

Photo: courtesy of the San Francisco Marathon

Click here to read about North America’s hardest running races.

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Click here to read about how to cure plantar fasciitis.

5K TO 15K FINISH AT THE 50 July 3; Foxborough, Mass.

SURF CITY RUN 5K July 4; Huntington Beach, Calif.

TOO HOT TO HANDLE 15K AND 5K July 10; Dallas

You don’t have to be a New England Patriots fan to enjoy this 5K and 10K run that finishes at the 50-yard line of Gillette Stadium—but it certainly helps. The day is filled with Patriot exhibits and family activities, followed by the races in the evening and fireworks after dark.

Celebrate Independence Day with this 5K run held before the town’s parade. The course is run on Main Street and the Pacific Coast Highway, starting and finishing at Huntington Beach High School. The event also features a popular kids race (with medals) for youngsters 6 to 12.

Are you ready for July running in Texas? This race in Norbuck Park embraces the heat, and runners can choose from a flat and fast 15K or 5K. Cool off with a beer at the post-race party, which also includes food and live music. Along with a finisher’s medal, race swag includes a T-shirt and hat.




This seventh annual 4-mile trail run takes place at the Sawnee Mountain Preserve, north of Atlanta. The course is primarily single- and double-track trail with a little bit of everything, including rolling hills, steep climbs, technical rocky sections, and one water station at the 1.5-mile marker.

Grab the baton for this unique trail marathon relay, in which five members of a team each run 5.25 miles to complete the marathon. The challenging course is on mostly packed dirt trails and fire roads, with the start/finish at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park. This year also features an individual 8K event.

You better be prepared for this challenging race at Beaver Creek Resort, which features more than 2,400 feet of climbing at altitude. But you can’t beat the gorgeous views of the Rockies. Choose from a 20K, 10K or 5K course, and enjoy a post-race party at Beaver Creek Village.


Finish at the 50

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With the Chicago skyline as its backdrop, this iconic, flat and fast course is rooted in history. Athletes depart from Jackson Park, run past the Museum of Science & Industry and onto the expansive Lake Shore Drive before earning a finisher medal worthy of Chicago’s big shoulders. Don’t miss this tradition.



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The E xplorer Knox Robinson, 41, Beacon, N.Y. Few runners seem to explore what running looks and feels like the way Knox Robinson does. The former college runner at Wake Forest spent his twenties as editor-in-chief of a music magazine, then came back to running in adulthood in a big way. He’s now a coach of Nike+ Run Club in New York City, captain and co-founder of Black Roses NYC run crew and a top 100 finisher in the New York City Marathon. Away from the Big Apple he runs trails in Appalachia, curates exploratory runs in Mexico and can be found “wherever running is weird and interesting,” he says.

How has this second running boom changed the sport? Until recently, I think it was easy to take a selfie and say ‘I just ran a marathon’ and people would think you must be fast, or you must be amazing. Yeah that’s incredible, but there’s a sustainable and soulful approach that we can investigate and explore, and that’s really the beginning of understanding the gifts of running. It’s not just about ‘I got this finishers medal, I ran this marathon,’ it’s all about running as an inner exploration, and the engineering of the self. What’s the most satisfying thing about coaching runners? Last weekend, Black Roses NYC had a dude qualify for Boston, a woman qualify for Boston, and another

woman break 4 hours for the first time. That was really satisfying as a coach. But it was also really satisfying that the entire group rallied around those people and cheered them on their journey. It’s really, really edifying as a coach to create a space for someone to explore their own dream of running. But if other people jump in and lift them up, that’s when you don’t really need acknowledgement as a coach. Looking at running as a kind of community building, and healing the human heart and addressing our public health concerns, that’s really what gets me up and going. What directions will running head in the future? I think people are gonna want to get weirder. The pattern I’m seeing is, you get into running, you get super passionate, the craziest goal you can think of is running a marathon, you throw yourself at it, you get hurt, you come back, run your marathon and afterward you’re like OK, so what? That’s when it gets interesting, and I think that’s why people are getting into trail running, or unsanctioned races, or weird races. In our culture we want to have goals and achievements and rewards, but running transcends and supersedes all of that. Because it’s ancestral, it’s part of our DNA, it’s part of our makeup. So once you really get into running, you’re constantly thinking, what’s next? That’s the promise and the torture of it.

For the complete interview, go to

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What attracted you to the run crew scene in New York City? There was a little shift in New York that happened. A lot of guys in my peer group who were into partying, drugs, alcohol and tattoos kind of swapped one addiction for another and got into running. I was already running, and it was cool just to hang around folks who were super passionate about it. You didn’t have to talk about all that tedious and incidental stuff that surrounded running culture in the ’90s. It was awesome to see people just throw themselves at it, freeing themselves from all those previous trappings and just going at it for the feeling of it all.

Click here to read an interview with marathon legend Steve Jones

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Profile for Pocket Outdoor Media

Competitor June 2016  

Run Together! Why Running Groups Are the Latest Rage. 12 Ways to Get Fit this Summer. Trail Shoe Review.

Competitor June 2016  

Run Together! Why Running Groups Are the Latest Rage. 12 Ways to Get Fit this Summer. Trail Shoe Review.