Going the Distance
-Continued from page 27
By Sandra Cook
unning a marathon – it’s one of those iconic fitness endeavors that changes lives and astounds not only the runners who attempt these feats, but also their families, friends and coworkers. Ask any Houstonian if they themselves or someone they know has run or is running in the Chevron Houston Marathon and the answer is almost always yes. A marathon runner embodies the word endurance. To these determined heroes among us, finishing a marathon means an average of 41,000 repetitions of “taking it one step at a time” to complete the 26.2 miles.
victor sailor , photorun
Played by two or four players with racquets and a small, hollow rubber ball in a four-wall, indoor court, the object is to score 11 points. Points are awarded based on who’s serving the ball, and where the ball lands within the court. In order to score a point, a player must either have – or gain – the serve. A match usually consists of five games. Whoever takes the best of the five is the winner. The game is known for its fast pace. “A half hour playing squash can burn around 500 calories,” says Sadiq. Squash is played all over the world, and it’s always been played in the U.S., although it has a stereotype of being played mostly by prep school kids and yuppie businessmen. But Sadiq says those stereotypes aren’t right, and that the game has really taken off in popularity over the last five or six years, being played by everyone from businessmen to curious kids to women looking for a more challenging workout. “It has completely taken off,” he says, offering up as evidence the increased enrollments in his classes. There are five international singles courts at the Downtown Club, and one of them, the glass-walled show court, is called “the flagship squash facility in Houston” by Squash Magazine. Sadiq coaches and teaches here, and he directs an annual squash tournament, which attracts top Professional Squash Association talent. From his sixth-floor perch overlooking Allen Center, Sadiq works with squash students of all ages, helping them understand not only the basic concepts of the game, but helping to instill in them why squash can be an essential part of a healthy fitness routine. “Everyone benefits from playing squash,” says Sadiq. “In addition to being this intense cardio workout, you have to work on hand-eye coordination and aim. It’s a complete physical and mental workout. And because it’s an individual game, you can stay with it your whole life.”
Bodies in Motion
ur city’s nationally ranked marathon logged more than 30,000 participants in its four running events in 2010 – the Chevron Houston Marathon, the Aramco Half Marathon, El Paso Corporation 5K and Texas Children’s Hospital Kids’ Fun Run – with even more expected to turn out for the 38th annual edition on Jan. 30, 2011. A maximum of 22,000 determined athletes will attempt the 26.2-mile course, which traverses Houston’s central core, starting and finishing downtown. The wellrespected race draws elite runners from all 50 states and at least 20 countries. The city’s largest single-day sporting event is widely DOWNTOWN FITNESS CLUBS recognized for its excellence in coordination and execution. Each marathon day features a massive, mobile symphony of runners, The Houston Club Curves 811 Rusk 1001 McKinney (McKinney Tunnel) security personnel and medical and support staff, made possible 713.225.1661 713.655.7770 houstonclub.org curvesdowntownhouston.com by dedicated committee members and some 7,500 volunteers. And every bit of that effort is made possible through financial support and Houstonian Lite The Downtown Club at the Met Pennzoil Place, 711 Louisiana, One Allen Center cooperation from the local community. Ste. 200 713.652.0700 713.224.5990 thedowntownclubhouston.com This level of commitment not only has helped the Chevron houstonianlite.com Houston Marathon become the nation’s premier winter marathon, The Downtown Club at Houston Houstonian Lite Center but also put it in the running for U.S. Olympic Trials. This past March, Wells Fargo Plaza, 1000 Louisiana, 1100 Caroline 14th Floor 713.654'0877 your local marathon was selected as the site for both the men’s 713.654.2100 thedowntownclubhouston.com and women’s 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, to be held here houstonianlite.com The Downtown Fitness Center Jan. 14, 2012, one day prior to the 40th anniversary run of the Larry North Fitness 806 Main, Suite 701 1200 McKinney, Ste. 380, 713.223.3800 Houston Marathon. The Shops at Houston Center thedowntownfitnesscenter.com These special half-marathon races will determine the runners 713.650.1001 Downtown YMCA 808 Pease 713.758.9233 ymcahouston.org