ClubRunning WE RUN THE NATION!
The Evolution of a Trail Runner Robust Funding Can Cultivate Elite Performance RRCA National Award Winners BRIAN McNIECE of Narragansett, RI wins the 2013 RRCA National Ultra Championship.
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One of the most unexpected running performances in 2012 featured Meb’s victory and new PR at the Houston Trials on January 15, 2012, and his fourth place and fastest American finish at the London Games on August 12, 2012. Meb is an elite runner who always races best under the most difficult conditions. Coached for 18 years by Bob Larson, he finds strength in his ongoing relationships.
Engineered to promote a midfoot strike.
Meb forged a new partnership with the Skechers Performance Division as he was training for the 2011 New York City Marathon. He worked with the footwear company’s design team on the development of Skechers GOrun and leveraged his experience to fine tune the design of Skechers GOrun 2. When I interviewed Meb in November 2011, he told me that after using Skechers GOrun he no longer had to wear orthotic inserts in his shoes — something that amazed him. Skechers asked Meb to answer a few of our training questions below. Check out what he has to say and make sure you follow the Skechers Performance Division’s advice and give Skechers GOrun 2 a try at your local running store to see how they work for you! Find a dealer near you at: SkechersPerformance.com or roadrunnersports.com.
Traction control. Responsive feedback.
Meb earned a silver medal at the 2004 Athens games and won the 2009 New York City Marathon. We caught up with him in early February, while he was training for the 2013 Boston Marathon.
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Q: Meb, you’re a top world-class marathoner, but while the vast majority of the runners in most marathons take their running seriously, they’re not serious competitors for the podium or anywhere near it. How should they train?
Minimal heel lift keeps the foot in a nearly neutral position.
MEB: The first thing I’d say would be, “What race are you getting ready for?” That’s what you should train for. That’s the reason for every workout. Now, if you’re running a halfmarathon in a couple of weeks, as part of your preparation for a full marathon, say, two months from now, then your training for the half is part of your
marathon training. Use it (the half) to experiment: for example going out at a hard pace and seeing how long you can keep it up. Or see if you can run exactly even splits for the half, or even go for negative splits. Learn what you can or can’t do. The point is that every workout should have a purpose, even if it’s just to recover from a hard workout the day before. Make a plan for each workout and each race. Then execute your plan. Q: Any other advice?
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MEB: Find somebody you can train with on a regular basis – it can be an individual or a group. Having a training partner or partners makes it easier to get out the door on those days when you’d really rather not. And one more thing about the marathon. In the first half of the race, it’s better to be too slow than too fast. That’s a luxury I don’t have; I have to stay with the leaders to have a chance to win the race. But you can – and should – run your own race. The race you’ve planned.
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ClubRunning Fall 2013
WE RUN THE NATION!
Executive Director’s Letter RRCA Members Share RRCA Web Poll Convention Wrap-Up
10 Health & Safety Spotlight Runners and Their Injuries Are Different
11 RRCA Member Spotlight The Evolution of a Trail Runner How I Set My Marathon PR Membership Has Its Privileges Any Age Is a Good Age to Run
Elite Athlete Development: More Robust Funding Can Cultivate Performance by David Hunter 17 Awards Spotlight National Awards Hall of Fame Inductees
Fall Shoe Review
27 Championship Spotlight RRCA 10-Mile National Championship RRCA National Ultra Championship RRCA 10K National Championshp RunPro Camp Highlights
30 RRCA Training Tips Mental Tips & Strategies for Training
CO NTENTS RRCA.org
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Executive Director’s Note
ome great things are happening on the RRCA governance front. As a national association organized as a nonprofit, good governance and oversight by the board of directors have been an essential aspect of the RRCA’s success over the last 10 years. During this year’s convention, and in compliance with our bylaws, we held our annual election for the board of directors. We welcome our newest board member, Jean Arthur, who will serve as an at-large director. Jean is the immediate past president of the MontJean Knaack gomery County Road Runners Club, having served as president of that club from 2003–06. In addition, we welcome the following reelected board members: Kelly Richards (at-large director), Bailey Penzotti (Western Region director), and Lena Hollmann (Southern Region director). These individuals serve on the board along with David Cotter (president), Mitch Garner (vice president), Dan Edwards (treasurer), Mark Grandonico (Eastern Region director), and Beth Onines (Central Region director). The RRCA board meets in person no less than three times per year and stays in regular contact via email and via committee and task force conference calls. In May 2013 the Strategic Plan Review Task Force concluded their work of reviewing and updating the RRCA’s 10Year Strategic Plan, which was first adopted in 2009. The updated RRCA strategic plan can be found on our website, along with the 2012 RRCA Annual Report, in our governance section at www.rrca.org/about/governance/ The organization uses this document as an important guide in our decision-making process. As part of our commitment to sound governance, we are proud to announce that the RRCA has earned the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance National Charity Seal as an accredited charity. The RRCA is a Guidestar Exchange Gold Seal holder, as well. You can learn more about these recognitions at www.rrca.org/about/support/ As you work with charity fundraising partners, we encourage you to verify the charities you raise funds for through either of these two charity watchdog groups.
On the Cover: BRIAN MCNIECE of Narragansett, RI wins the 2013 RRCA National Ultra Championship. See story on page 28. Kevin Morris
ClubRunning is a complimentary publication made possible by our advertisers and created through a partnership between the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) and Running Network LLC. You’re a member of your local running club and your local running club is, in turn, a member of the RRCA.
ClubRunning ClubRunning is produced by Shooting Star Media, Inc. for publisher Running Network LLC, P.O. Box 801, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538. All ad materials and insertion orders should be sent to Running Network LLC at the email address in the sidebar (right). Shooting Star Media, Inc. and Running Network LLC assume no liability for matter printed. Publisher assumes no responsibility or liability for content of paid advertising and reserves the right to reject paid advertising. Publisher expects that all claims by advertisers can be substantiated and that all guarantees will be honored. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Publisher. Copyright © 2013 by Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission of the Publisher. We recommend, as with all fitness and health issues, you consult with your physician before instituting any changes in your fitness program.
ClubRunning Fall 2013 www.ClubRunning.net ROAD RUNNERS CLUB OF AMERICA (RRCA) Executive Director Jean Knaack RRCA President David Cotter SHOOTING STAR MEDIA, INC. Group & Coordinating Editor Christine Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org Designer Alex Larsen Photographers Victor Sailer www.PhotoRun.net Deja Photography MarathonFoto Randy Accetta Jean Knaack Dr. David Martin Blaine Moore Kevin Morris Bruce Morrison George Rehmet Carl Sniffen Proofreader Red Ink Editorial Services, Madison, WI Pre-Press/Printer W. D. Hoard & Sons Co., Fort Atkinson, WI RUNNING NETWORK LLC Advertising Larry Eder President phone: 920.563.5551 x112; fax: 920.563.7298 email@example.com Advertising Production Manager Alex Larsen Counsel Philip J. Bradbury Melli Law, S.C. Madison, WI www.rrca.org www.runningnetwork.com www.shootingstarmediainc.com Member of
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Welcome to the IAAF News Page! Exclusively for the Running Network LLC
RRCA Members Share
RRCA.org Website Poll Do you carry water when you run?
Total Votes: 782
Always. 23% (177) Sometimes. 19% (151) Only if I’m out for 60 minutes or more. 27% (214) Never. 28% (218) I don’t have to because of water fountains on my route. 3% (22)
We invite our readers to participate in the RRCA website polls at www.RRCA.org
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Speakers Meb, Nez, ‘Iron Heart’ Spark RRCA National Convention-Goers By Ron Macksoud, RRCA State Rep
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surviving a horrific, near-fatal car accident and spending months in intensive care. “Crossing that finish line was like being reborn,” said Boyle. For a list of those honored at the RRCA National Running Awards Banquet, please see the Program Spotlight section of this issue. Next year’s 56th RRCA National Convention will be held in Spokane, WA, May 1–4 and is being held in conjunction with the Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K. George Rehmet
Hundreds of running leaders gathered in Albuquerque for the 55th Annual RRCA Convention held in May 2013 and hosted by the Albuquerque Road Runners. The location was a scenic and culture-rich setting, with education sessions that included Engaging the Running Community to Insure Integrity in Local Running Events, Creating an Effective Communication Plan for Your Club and Events, and Refueling with Chocolate Milk, and more. In addition, we were fortunate to have several inspiring speakers share their experiences. “When you wear a USA jersey, it’s not just about you,” said Meb Keflezighi, 2004 Olympic Marathon Silver medalist, the Saturday luncheon speaker, who was also there to pick up his 2012 Road Runner of the Year award for his outstanding performance in the 2012 Olympic Marathon with a 4th-place finish, along with his win at the 2012 Olympic Trials–Marathon. Ninety-two-year-old Chester Nez, the last surviving original Navajo code talker from World War II, provided moments of inspiration for convention attendees. Nez and 28 other Navajo Marines developed a code from their native language to aid the U.S. war effort against Japan. Ironman and marathon competitor Brian “Iron Heart” Boyle was the Saturday evening keynote speaker. Boyle is no ordinary competitor. He began to compete only three years after barely
Congratulations to the San Antonio Road Runners for winning the 2013 National Shirt Contest sponsored by Sports Science.
55th RRCA Convention Wrap-Up Photos Courtesy of the Albuquerque Road Runners
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Health & Safety Spotlight
Runners and Their Injuries Are Different By Bruce R. Wilk, P.T., O.C.S. As runners, we know weâ€™re different from nonrunners. We have different lifestyles, different eating habits, different schedules. Our injuries are different, too. But one injury that I often see in my clinic in both runners and nonrunners is plantar fasciitis. It occurs if you overstretch the strong ligament that forms the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis can manifest as severe pain in the foot and heel. And although it affects both runners
pain on his heel when he first stood in the morning. On the other hand, Joeâ€™s whole body was generally stiff and achy when he first stood in the morning. With Greg, I pinpointed a specific stiffness and weakness associated with his injury. But Joe has generalized stiffness and weakness. Joe was pleasant in therapy. He was happy to be there and greeted and socialized with the office staff and the other patients.
dictated a different treatment plan, individualized to each situation. At the end of the courses of treatment, after their problems were resolved, Joe was sad to leave us, but assured us heâ€™ll come back when he needs to. Greg told us he felt better, was glad to have been treated by us, but hopes heâ€™ll never be back. While plantar fasciitis can sideline both the runner and nonrunner alike, a proper understanding of
Plantar fasciitis occurs if you overstretch the strong ligament that forms the arch of the foot. It can manifest as severe pain in the foot and heel. and nonrunners, the injury, rehab process, and even the patients themselves are very different! To illustrate, let me discuss two typical patients. Joeâ€™s been a patient of mine on and off for many years. He works as a post office letter carrier and spends a lot of time on his feet. Joe used to be active when he was younger, but now a busy work schedule and rich family life have taken priority. Over the years, Joe has put on some extra weight. He knows he should exercise, and he does from time to time, but heâ€™s not consistent. Recently he came to me with plantar fasciitis. He showed me his old, worn-out postal-regulated shoes and explained that heâ€™s having crippling pain in his foot, making it impossible for him to bear his full weight on that foot without pain. Greg was a new patient who also came in with plantar fasciitis. Greg had never been to physical therapy and rarely visited doctorsâ€™ offices, but this time he was desperate. Greg was an active, top-notch runner, and he worked in marine conservation, spending a lot of his time barefoot on a boat. Greg recently bought a pair of unsupportive â€œbarefoot technologyâ€? shoes and suddenly developed crippling foot pain. Now heâ€™s totally unable to run in any shoe and unable to walk barefoot during work. Both Joe and Greg have severe plantar fasciitis. However, their injuries are as different as they are! Even getting out of bed is different for them. Greg noticed specific, sharp
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Greg was smug. He didnâ€™t particularly care for therapy, but was compliant. As part of Gregâ€™s first session, we taught him PRICE (protection, recovery, ice, compression, elevation) and taped his foot in a position of comfort. To protect his foot, we told him to avoid going barefoot and to wear proper running shoes. Over several weeks, we progressed him through a rehabilitation program leading to training in supportive running shoes and walking barefootâ€”without pain. As part of Joeâ€™s first session, we focused on managing the inflamed tissues in his foot. To protect his foot, we instructed and fitted him for a cane and prescribed light duty at work. Long term, we fitted him for custom orthotics to make up for the lack of support in his postal shoes and rehabilitated him back to full work duty. Joe and Greg illustrate two patients with different onsets to their symptoms, but leading to the same diagnosis. The less active individual, Joe, noticed a gradual worsening of his pain due to the chronic weight on his feet in less-than-supportive shoes. Greg, on the other hand, was an active runner and noticed his symptoms were quickly exacerbated after trying out the new barefoot technology shoes. Joeâ€™s symptoms were severe enough that he had to be placed on light duty and a cane in order to allow his symptoms to abate, while Gregâ€™s symptoms responded to changing his shoes. Both patients initially had severe pain, but their mechanism of onset
the mechanism of an individualâ€™s injury and a clear progression for rehab (pain management, biomechanical considerations, and a progression for return to functional activities) are necessary to guide each back to his or her healthy state.
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RRCA Member Spotlight
The Evolution of a Trail Runner; or, How I Learned to Get Out and Reconnect By Carl Sniffen focused on things like how far, how high, how fast, how extreme. I was learning, and more important, I was evolving. There’s an adage that describes my evolution: Take time to stop and smell the roses. While trail running, I began to take the time to appreciate and value all that was happening around me on the trails. I was awakening to many features of nature that I had previously taken for granted. I realized that I was a small part of a much larger natural world, not something separate and distinct from it. My trail runs are now opportunities to encounter wildlife, wildflowers, and trees of every type and description. Changing light and shadows throughout a day or a season reveal a rich palette of color and bring a sense of inspiration and amazement. I often pause to listen to the wind, the streams, the birds, and so many other sounds along the trail and to feel the sunlight on my skin. I gaze at the majesty of a clear blue sky over snow-capped peaks, and
I’m exhilarated and terrified all at once by the power of a sudden mountain storm. Trail running is about using all your senses, being alert and in awe all at the same time. It’s about valuing and respecting a sense of place. As I run along the trail, I’m aware that the mountains, rocks, trees, and lichens have existed for thousands of years, and that they will continue long after I’m gone. I’m learning that the trail, the areas through which it passes, and all that I encounter along the way are special and worthy of respect and preservation. In many ways, my trail running experiences have resurrected a child-like sense of awe and amazement at the world around me, not only on the trails. It has heightened my awareness that I’m a part of a much larger natural world, and that it’s important to make decisions that don’t adversely impact on the Earth. In a world focused on comfort and convenience, those choices aren’t easy. Over the last several years, my work for
It started harmlessly enough: high school cross country races in a nearby park or golf course. Years later, easy runs on rarely used park trails became an occasional part of the running routine. At some point, a friend suggested that we gather a group of folks and run mountain trails in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, and elsewhere, taking 4–5 days of each year to get a real trail experience. It was always exciting, from the planning, which began months ahead of the journey, to the running, climbing, stumbling, falling, huffing, and puffing. The experience was so wonderful and powerful, it was only a matter of time before I began bringing high school athletes and other friends and family to Colorado and other mountain trail locations to share the experience. Early on, much of the experience
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RRCA Member Spotlight The Evolution of a Trail Runner Continued from page 11
How I Set My Marathon PR By Dane Rauschenberg
Shadowcliff Lodge has enabled me to spend months at a time just outside Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. I’m able to run almost daily on trails. Every day is different. Every day, I learn more and rediscover how little I know. What a joy that is! Even better, I get to share these experiences with others, helping to overcome the Nature Deficit Disorder that permeates so much of today’s society and to build deeper connections with people and places. Everyone should experience trail running. You’ll find it a deeply enriching and rewarding experience. It will positively affect how you look at yourself and the world around you. Fortunately, there are many trail running camps around the country where you can ease yourself into the adventure that is trail running and develop your own sense of awe, amazement, and inspiration. We offer such a camp at Shadowcliff Lodge each summer, and there are many others for you to choose from. Look for a camp that is appropriate for your abilities, enables you to get out and explore, answers your questions about the history of the place where you run, and teaches you about the local flora and fauna. And when you get out on the trails, take a camera (I often take two) and take your time. What do you see? What do you feel? What are you learning? A caution: Always let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return. Better yet, take a friend and share the experience. See you on the trails.
Carl Sniffen is a past RRCA president and board member. He chairs the RRCA Roads Scholar Program. He founded the highly successful RRCA Coaching Certification Program, is a USATFcertified coach, and serves on the USATF Ethics Committee. In his professional life, Sniffen is the executive director of Shadowcliff Lodge in Grand Lake, CO. He can be reached at carl@shadow cliff.org
In my 93rd lifetime marathon, the Kentucky Derby Marathon in April 2009, I was all set to pace the 3:10 group to a glorious finish. Just two weeks earlier, I had brought in a group of soon-to-be-ecstatic runners to a 3:09:51 at the inaugural Illinois Marathon. I had never missed my mark as a pacer; I was the surest bet in the world to help males between the ages of 18–34 achieve the coveted Boston qualifying time. As a sub-3 marathoner, 3:10 was not a walk in the park, but 42 of my previous 92 marathons have been under that time. However, when abnormally hot conditions melted away every one of my pacees and eventually broke me down as well, I stumbled across the line in 3:24:51, my 77th slowest marathon ever. I killed a consecutive streak of Boston qualifying times at 23. I failed to pace a group to the correct time for the first time ever, and I almost ended up getting my first intravenous fluid injection. That is, indeed, about as close to failure as you can get without someone carving your name into a stone that rests over your head. But after the cramps subsided, a moist and delicious blue cheese hamburger was in my stomach, and a rehashing of the day’s events with fellow runners had concluded, I knew that the end of this failure was another great lesson. Streaks do not last forever, no one is invincible, and, fair or not, we are not defined by our success but by what we do after we take that steeltoed kick to the groin. Three weeks later, after three more consecutive marathons, I set the fastest marathon time of my first 100 at the Ogden Marathon. After three previous attempts to break through into the 2:4xs had ended in consecutive 2:51 finish times 14, I had finally done it. With a few miles left and time in the bag, I slowed down to assure I would get the time I needed and not cramp in the final 5K and ran a 2:49:36. Would the will to have pushed myself been as strong without the colossal failure in Kentucky? Actually, that’s hard to tell. But what matters is that within hours of finishing so abysmally, I set my sights on Ogden as my only real attempt before breaking into the 2:40s later in that year. Other pacing and racing obligations would keep me from attempting another 2:4x marathon, so Ogden had to be the time and place. I have few sweeter personal memories in marathoning than I do at mile 24 of Ogden, knowing full well that I was going into the 2:40s. I sincerely doubt that it would have been as sweet
if it had come easier. Running down the street, knowing that only an errant person backing their car out onto the closed-to-traffic street and into me would stop me from attaining my longsought goal. I teared up in a marathon for the first time in a very long time. I thought of my grandmother. I thought of my parents, who have never once questioned me when I tell them of my plans. I thought of all the friends who had supported me, regardless of how impossible those plans seemed. And I thought of those who told me what I tried was never going to be accomplished. You see, I am not one of those people who gets too motivated by those who say I cannot do something. Others need that drive. They need a person in their face, mocking their dreams to fire them up. I am fortunate enough to have that drive come from inside. Those who wish to put down what I want to do have little effect on me. In fact, I routinely forget about them until after I have actually done what I wasn’t deemed worthy enough to do. Of course, there is a little part of me that wants to give them a call and say, “Oh, yeah? Well, kiss my ass,” but I refrain, mostly because I am already planning what I want to do next and all my energy is focused there. My successes and failures spur me on—not those who lob quit grenades from the comfort of their couches. I embraced the failures I had gone through, going all the way back to my first marathon. I understood that not every day is going to be “my day.” In fact, chances are that about 99% of days are not going to be my day. But only with the right frame of mind will I be able to make that surge and charge ahead when the stars align and a goal is there for the taking. Only then will I put a saddle on the back of Failure, a bit in its mouth, and ride it to success. From the book 138,336 Feet to Pure Bliss: What I Learned About Life, Women (and Running) in My 1st 100 Marathons Dane Rauschenberg is an extreme athlete who successively ran a certified marathon every weekend in 2006 as part of a fundraising effort that benefited the Mobile, AL chapter of L’Arche Internationale. Dane raised over $44,000 for L’Arche Mobile, all while working in a patent licensing firm in the greater Washington, DC area. Since that time, Dane has quickly become a sought-after motivational speaker, not only for marathons and races of all distances, but also for schools, universities, corporations, and businesses nationwide looking for someone to create a spark! Member Spotlight continues on page 16
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Show Me the Money
More Robust Funding Can Cultivate Performance By Dave Hunter Consider the following: Last year, the USA Olympic Team captured 29 track & field medals at the London Olympics. Recent statistics show that American men and women are increasingly turning to running, and often to racing, in a renewed effort to elevate fitness and life quality. And the running sports of cross country and track & field—to the surprise of many—boast the most U.S. high school participants of any sport. Not since the heady boom days of the ’70s has the sport of running witnessed such elite success while, at the same time, eliciting such broadbased participation. So the fortunes of running in America are all good, right? Well, not exactly. For distance running in America, a thorny challenge remains: the further enhancement of the country’s framework for elite athlete development. Few would dispute the notion that the proper development
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of long-distance runners requires, among other things, a process of maturation that recognizes that most elite athletes reach their performance peak in their later 20s or even early to mid-30s. Remember that Carlos Lopes won the 1984 Olympic marathon at age 37, only to establish a new marathon world record the following year— at age 38. In our country, we have a solid, albeit unspectacular, framework for broad-based participation offered primarily by structured high school and college athletic programs. But once a budding distance runner’s interest is piqued, talent is revealed, and potential is cultivated in our scholastically based sports system, the athlete graduates and the American “framework” for development comes to an abrupt end. Departure from college often leaves the promising distance runner, perhaps at age 22 and short of reaching full athletic potential, to go it alone—normally
unaided by the type of cultural support available to other countries’ distance-running hopefuls. In the first installment of this series, we reviewed the halting and often messy process by which the sport staggered away from the Athenian ideal of pure amateurism and navigated through a shadowy period of covert performance payments to athletes—“shamateurism”—to the egalitarian and transparent environment of open racing which prevails today. Without question, open racing has been an important and terrific step forward for running. But this advancement has not completely addressed the issue of elite athlete development. While compensated racing has created sustainable opportunities for select athletes, those opportunities are narrow indeed. The prevailing environment works well for the young athletes who have displayed truly ex-
Bronze medalist and American record holder Deena Kastor and her husband, Andrew, offers a high-altitude site alternative in Mammoth Lakes, CA, which promotes “athletic and academic achievement, professional athleticism and lifelong health and fitness through high altitude running.” Athletic shoe companies have helped to create and fund postcollegiate distance running programs. Reebok-sponsored ZAP Fitness financially supports “8–10 post collegiate distance runners.” The Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, headquartered in Rochester Hills, MI, publishes suggested performance standards for applicants. Hansons actually owns several residences for use by its athletes as it seeks to create a lifestyle for its participants “most accurately described as being like college only we don’t have classes and homework.” The most successful of these running incubators has been Nike’s Oregon Project. Project director Alberto Salazar guides the fortunes of about a dozen national and world-class athletes, including Olympic medalists Mo Farah and Galen Rupp, who work under a sophisticated program that includes low-gravity treadmills and air-thinning technology. One of the more ambitious initiatives is RunPro, a professional distance running resource center. Founded by Team USA Minnesota, RunPro is “specifically designed for athletes who are interested in pursuing a professional running career” and currently is funded by the Road Runners Club of America. Among other expected assistances, RunPro offers a widely acclaimed camp—a type of “retreat” for runners—that provides participants not only the opportunity to work out with other aspiring elite runners, but also the chance to attend several forums where insights into areas such as the professional experience, agent representation, professional marketing, anti-doping compliance, and shoe contracts can be gained. “We are excited to host the RunPro Camp in a continuing effort to attract and keep talented distance runners in our sport,” says Jean Knaack, RRCA executive director. “We think we’ve selected a great group of rising stars who will have an opportunity to receive a comprehensive overview of what is involved in becoming a professional runner.” As supportive of postcollegiate distance runners as these helpful, noble programs are, they are simply not getting the job done as they should. The reason is that they are, for the most part, woefully underfunded. These programs and others like them can truly be the answer. They could bridge the current postcollegiate training and support gap, but not until a way is found to provide them with the type of enhanced funding, which is presently unavailable. So what is the source of funding for these types of ambitious programs? And how will this funding come about? It will require thoughtful insight of a new generation of leaders who envision opportunities that would both lift up all facets of American running and boost those visionary supporters at the same time—the prover-
bial win-win situation. That new vision would likely require enhanced corporate support from running-oriented companies that recognize that even greater U.S. performance at the highest level of the sport increases the sport’s popularity—and bolsters these companies’ bottom lines. The vision should also include expanded media coverage, especially television, which finally understands that more extensive and sophisticated coverage of this ancient sport would appeal to the already-established participant base, increase its own ratings—and help these companies’ bottom lines. And the vision should contemplate more aggressive funding by governing bodies that recognize that the continued existence of track & field and other forms of running is critically dependent on a properly funded, ever-present, and multifaceted program of elite athlete development to create a continuous pipeline of world-class talent to sustain the sport. It’s not like we don’t know what needs to be done. We do. What we don’t currently know is how to pay for it. So now it’s up to those who love the sport, those in positions of influence, and those who want to see track & field and other forms of running reclaim their once-held stature as a dynamic and exciting display of athleticism in its purest form to figure that out. Next time in the third and final part of this series, we examine how selected athletes “give back” to the sport, and we forecast how America might develop elite distance in the years ahead. Dave Hunter, who ran his marathon PR of 2:31:40 back in the Paleozoic era, is a journalist who writes frequently about running and track & field. He can be reached at email@example.com Photorun.net
ceptional talent, runners like Galen Rupp, Allyson Felix, and —coming soon!—Mary Cain. But there are a vast number of athletes who have exhibited distinct promise, albeit not exemplary performance, who get left behind in such a system. A good example of a promising talent who easily could have been overlooked or lost in the imperfect environment of open racing would be 800 meter specialist Erik Sowinski. A solid 1:54 runner in high school, Sowinski displayed encouraging progression at the University of Iowa under Joey Woody’s tutelage and, as a senior, captured the runner-up position in the 2012 NCAA final with a PR of 1:45.90. Out of college and amazingly not quite stellar enough to secure the economic stability of a shoe contract, Sowinski soldiered on, maintaining focused training while working 30 hours a week in a family-owned shoe store in Iowa City. Less dogged athletes, driven out by discouragement, economic necessity, or both, would have walked away from the sport. Even after the young Iowa star set the American record in the indoor 600 last winter and followed it up by capturing the USATF indoor 800 title, his plight remained unchanged. It wasn’t until the 2013 outdoor season was well underway—nearly a year after his college graduation—that Sowinski was able to secure a Nike contract that will provide him with the type of foundational support that should allow this obvious talent to bring undistracted focus to even further development of his considerable middle-distance skills. There are many Erik Sowinskis out there, although we’ll never know how many have already fallen through the cracks. It’s hard enough to claw one’s way to the pinnacle of this sport where an athlete’s tenure of superlative performance is fleeting, and the margin for error is infinitesimal. But to do so without a viable cultural support system is approaching the nearly impossible. If the objective is to create an environment that would allow, indeed encourage, promising athletes to develop to their maximum potential, then we must create a different sports culture that will ensure that those with the requisite athletic talent and unshakable mindset required to excel in running are not resigned to endure an impoverished existence in pursuit of their goal. The good news is that there are a number of emerging initiatives making noble headway in providing much-needed support to distance runners who demonstrate elite potential. A handful of exclusive running clubs, each sporting small tribes of talented, promising distance runners, can be found scattered across the country. Team USA Minnesota, founded in 2001, provides “up to 15” selected athletes with coaching, monthly stipends, training facilities, assistance in finding part-time employment with flexible work schedules, and medical assistance, all in accordance with its mission statement of “improving American distance running.” The Mammoth Track Club, reinvigorated under new leadership provided by Olympic marathon
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RRCA Member Spotlight
Membership Has Its Privileges By Bryan Graydon I recently returned from the 55th Annual RRCA National Convention in Albuquerque, and I could not be more proud to be the president of my local running club (more on that later). Four days spent with others who share the same passion for something you love so much can really get you excited about how far you can take your own organization. To give you a brief background of my time with my local running club, the Lakeland [FL] Runners Club: I started out as a member just to get to know other runners in my community. Once I got to know some folks, I was asked to volunteer at our summer race series as the 1-mile split timer. I did that for a couple of years and enjoyed being a part of the events in a way other than just running in them. One day in late 2008, I got a phone call from a friend on the club’s board of directors who told me he had nominated me to serve on the board for 2009. I had wanted to get more involved with club activities, so I was okay with
the idea. A few weeks later as I was driving to my first board meeting, that same friend called and said, “By the way, I’m going to nominate you for club president tonight.” What? That night, at my first meeting, I was voted in as club vice president. I spent that year learning everything I could about how the club worked and also started my own race to learn all I could about putting on quality races and events. In 2010, I became club president and still am today. Now, back to why I am so proud to be president of the Lakeland Runners Club. At the RRCA convention, I had the honor and the privilege of being awarded the Outstanding Club President of the Year. As I said in my acceptance speech, a leader is only as successful as those following him or her. I tell you all of that, to tell you this: My running club is GREAT! Lakeland is not big, but our club boasts over 400 members. We have a kids’ running program that averages around 50 kid runners
every week. This year, we awarded four $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors who participated in cross country or track & field. We have successful and mutually beneficial ties with local businesses that allow our club to operate with financial security and offer many membership perks. We annually contribute race earnings to our local YMCA and art museum. We put on nine top-notch races every the year. Club members give of their time to teach and promote running at area elementary schools. And all of this on a volunteer basis by a bunch of people who just like to run. As a member of your local running club, you probably have similar tales about the good done by your club for your local community. The RRCA would love to hear about it. Bryan Grayden is an RRCA certified coach. A version of this article ran in the June 2013 issue of Running Journal, a Running Network publication.
Alabama Legends Prove Any Age Is a Good Age to Run By Brooke Nicholls Nelson I have been a runner for a long time. Recently, my 84-year-old mother asked, “When are you supposed to stop running?” My first thought was to respond tersely, “When they pry my ASICS Kayanos off my cold, dead body.” But instead, I sweetly asked, “Whatever do you mean?” Mom replied, “Isn’t there an age where you just don’t run anymore?” I am not a package of cheese with a useby expiration date, but her query did get me thinking about running through the ages. So I called up one of my running heroes, Wilburn Smallwood, who will be 90 in November, and one of the local running phenoms, 10-year-old Jake Moore who, according to recent Woodstock 5K race directors, holds the distinction of being the youngest person to complete the 3.1mile course, doing so in 34:37 at the age of 4. Both athletes currently hold Alabama state records, and both are active in the local running community. I wanted to get Smallwood and Moore’s takes on running, particularly how they train, their favorite distance races to run, what’s on their race calendar, and what advice they have for fellow runners. Smallwood was born in Tuscaloosa County in 1923 and moved to Gadsden, then Anniston after serving in the Army during WWII. The fact that Smallwood is even here today, much less that he can run, is pretty remarkable. He was shot twice at one time, one bullet hitting his arm and the other hitting a
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grenade on his belt causing it to detonate, destroying his belt and gun, and injuring him enough to be sent home. Moore, a rising 5th grader at White Plains Elementary School, has lived his whole life in the Anniston area and started his running career at the YMCA Healthy Kid’s Fun Run in Golden Springs when he was 2. He ran his first 5K the following year at the Lion’s Club Run for Sight with a blazing time of 35:56. Unlike Moore, Smallwood was a latecomer to the sport. “I began running in 1984,” he said. “I was 62 years old.” After the running boom of the 1970s, wherever Smallwood and his wife traveled they’d see people jogging up and down the streets. He thought the sport would be something good to do, especially after he retired from the Depot at Bynum. “I got where I could run pretty fast,” said
Smallwood, a quiet, humble man. “Then I joined Anniston Runners Club and I don’t miss too many local races.” He’s never done a marathon, he said, but notes that he has run enough miles to go back and forth across the U.S., coast to coast. Even though Smallwood is nursing a slight hip pain, he says he feels fortunate to be able to run and compete. He attributes his longevity to his good health, which he attributes to running. When asked what he thought about Smallwood who is a local running legend at age 89, Moore said with a mischievous grin, “I hope I can live that long.” Smallwood laughed at Moore’s response and replied, “I hope he can, and that he doesn’t get hurt.” This article first appeared in the Anniston Star on July 14, 2013. Reprinted with permission.
Smallwood and Moore took some time to answer a few questions, and in so doing, confirmed what I have long believed: No matter how old or how young you are, it’s always a good time to start running. What’s your training plan? S: I walk or run three times a week. M: I run outside when I play. I let my dog out, race him and I beat him. What is your best advice to other runners? S: Your motivation has got to be the competition with yourself, to beat what you did before. M: Don’t take off full-speed when you start. Pace yourself, and when you see the finish line, then take off.
When’s your next event? Do you have a goal? S: The Woodstock 5K. Want to beat my last time from the Lion’s Club race in June. [If Smallwood is successful, he will break his own 5K state record.] M: The Woodstock 5K. I want to break 23:58, but that’s hard. And I hope I win Kidstock. [Moore is running the 5K and the Kidstock 1-mile fun run.]
RRCA Awards Spotlight
National Award Winners By George Rehmet and Mitchell Garner
Browning Ross Spirit of the RRCA Award—LEN GOLDMAN
The Browning Ross Spirit of the RRCA Award was created to honor the memory of the RRCA’s founding member Browning Ross, who died unexpectedly in April 1998. The award honors an unsung hero who champions the RRCA tirelessly and enthusiastically, but prefers to stay in the background just as Browning did, letting others bask in the spotlight. This award recognizes volunteer service over a period of many years to the running community. A native of Oakland, CA, Goldman has made numerous contributions to the running community in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was instrumental in setting up Students Run Oakland, which has become a successful program in getting inner city youth to train and run in a marathon, with the purpose of teaching them to set and achieve goals. This program is being replicated around the country. Moreover, Goldman has helped his and other running clubs by providing support to them, whether it be lending equipment or providing advice. He is a strong RRCA supporter who embodies the spirit of Browning Ross. Goldman has attended the RRCA convention for 10 years. Working with several other local running clubs, Tom Fleming (l) and Allan Steinfeld receive their Hall of Fame Awards.
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he was an essential component of the 2009 RRCA national convention in San Francisco. First, he was instrumental in helping San Francisco secure the opportunity to act as convention host city. Through his efforts, considerable time, and own expense, Goldman obtained a variety of sponsors to help fund the convention. Moreover, he was instrumental in negotiating with the host hotel to provide an excellent room rate. As a result, the San Francisco RRCA convention has been viewed as the standard for other conventions to meet. During his tenure as president of the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders, Goldman made sure that the RRCA was mentioned in all of his club’s communications. Under his leadership, club membership and club races’ participation increased. In 2006, Goldman received the award for the RRCA Outstanding Club President of the Year. Goldman is also an RRCA certified coach and uses his coaching skills to inspire younger runners to achieve their goals. “I have known Len [Goldman] since I first became an RRCA state representative in 1999,” noted RRCA state rep and 2009 RRCA national convention director George Rehmet. “Len was very helpful to me when I first started and has been supportive of me throughout my tenure. Len is someone who acknowledges others rather than himself. I find him a humble person, and his reward is for him to see others achieve their goals in running.”
1975 Boston Marathon, when he finished in 3rd place, another of his six Boston Marathon top-10 finishes. Fleming raced a strong 5th place at the 1976 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. He finished 4th at Fukuoka, Japan in 1977, which was then the unofficial world marathon championship. Flemming’s marathon victories include the 1978 Cleveland Marathon, the 1978 Toronto Marathon, the 1981 Los Angeles Marathon, and three Jersey Shore Marathons. He broke 2:20 in the marathon 27 times. At one point, he held American records at 15 miles, 20 miles, 25K, 30K, and 50K distance events. Fleming didn’t start competitive running until track season of his junior year in high school, but still ran a 4:21 mile and 9:22 twomile as a high school runner. While at William Paterson State College, he won four straight New Jersey Athletic Conference cross country titles and was a multiple-time NCAA All-American. Fleming has been inducted into the Distance Running Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame at William Paterson State College. For 12 years he was meet director for the famous Sunset Classic 5-Mile Road Race in his hometown of Bloomfield, NJ. This race raises money for special-needs children in the Bloomfield school system. He founded the Running Room and currently teaches and coaches at Montclair Kimberley Academy. He resides in Bloomfield.
RRCA Distance Running Hall of Fame Inductees, Class of 2012 TOM FLEMING Fleming won the 1973 and 1975 New York City Marathon when it was a hilly, loop course in Central Park. He finished in 2nd place at the Boston Marathon in both 1973 and 1974, each time less than a minute behind the winner. His personal best marathon of 2:12:05 was set at the George Rehmet
In 1971, the RRCA developed the RRCA National Running Awards to acknowledge the service and dedication of outstanding volunteers to the running community. Each year club and event leaders around the U.S. are encouraged to nominate exceptional individuals for an RRCA National Running Award. The following outstanding contributors to our sport were recognized at the RRCA National Running Awards ceremony held in Albuquerque in May.
ALLAN STEINFELD Allan Steinfeld earned a Master’s degree in electrical engineering and radio astronomy from Cornell University in 1971, following a Bachelor’s degree from City College of New York in 1969. Steinfeld has had a long and decorated career in running. He won the New York Road Runners Club Eight-Mile Handicap Race in 1966 and completed his first and only marathon, the 1979 Honolulu Marathon, in 3:27.43. Steinfeld established himself as one of the nation’s leading authorities on the technical aspects of road racing. He developed methods that have become standard for marathons and races of various distances. He became the technical director of the New York City Marathon in 1981, and served as the chief referee of the men’s and women’s marathons at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Steinfeld has been the technical advisor for the network television broadcasts of several Olympic Games, and consults for television broadcasts of the NYC Marathon and other NYRRC races. He was the meet director for the New York Games from 1989–95, the Goodwill Games in 1998, and the 2002 Indoor National USATF Championships. He took over as the race director of the New York City Marathon in 1994 and directed the
RRCA Awards Spotlight race for 10 years. He was the race director of the 5th Avenue Mile, which featured the world’s top milers. He was race director of the New York Mini Marathon, the original and most prestigious 10K race for women. Steinfeld is past chair of USATF’s Road Race Technical Committee and currently serves on the Men’s Long Distance Running Committee. He has also served as vice president of the Association of International Marathons (AIM) and president of Running USA.
Courtesy of Bryan Graydon
Courtesy of David Martin
DR. DAVID MARTIN Dr. David E. Martin is a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), as well as a contributing member of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians (ATFS), the International Marathon Medical Directors Association (IMMDA), the Association of International Marathons (AIMS), and the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH). This multidisciplinary approach to the study of top-level marathon performance—from scientific as well as historical viewpoints—gives him a unique perspective. In 1978, Martin was selected by the U.S. Olympic Academy to be one of three representatives to the International Olympic Academy. Even prior to that, he had begun to compile a database of toplevel men’s and women’s performances. His work has continued, and the list now tops 44,000 performances. His database provides an unparalleled resource for his research on the use of mathematical modeling techniques to assess performance trends in distance running. Martin is coauthor of The Marathon Footrace (1979, with Roger Gynn), Training Distance Runners (1991, with Peter Coe), and Better Training for Distance Runners (1997, with Peter Coe). Since 1979, he has served prominently as chair of committees within the USATF, applying his sport science and coaching skills to the guidance of many of America’s top distance runners. Since 1989, he has been marathon statistician for the ATFS, taking over the role pioneered by Roger Gynn. Martin lives in Decatur, GA.
His leadership created and expanded the scholarship, volunteer recognition (the Frequent Miler), and kids’ running programs. Graydon also directs six of the club’s nine races, maintains the club website, sends regular email communications, and keeps members updated through the club’s Facebook group. A running junkie, Graydon’s commitment to the LRC and the running community is beyond compare. Not only is he at every club activity, he regularly “hangs out” at other local races. The entire club and the community appreciate his hard work and dedication.
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Outstanding Club President of the Year BRYAN GRAYDON Lakeland Runners Club – Lakeland, FL
During Graydon’s three years as president of the Lakeland Runners Club (LRC), the club has grown and flourished in every way. Membership, race participation, sponsorships, local business involvement, financial earnings, and charitable giving within the community all reached record highs in 2012.
Kuck and Crosby at the Bolder Boulder.
Challenged Athlete of the Year KERRY KUCK Rocky Mountain Road Runners—Denver
Kuck is a member of the Rocky Mountain Road Runners (RMRR) in Denver, and runs in RMRR races as well as many community races. He’s always an uplifting presence and is well known in the Denver running community. Kuck runs daily with his guide dog, Crosby. Despite going blind from Type 1 diabetes, he says that the diabetes is harder to run with than the blindness, because he must monitor his food intake when he runs long. Kerry runs with either a sighted guide using a tether system or with Crosby. Debra Cunningham, who nominated Kuck, first met him about four years ago at an RMRR event. He wanted to run in the club races with his guide dog. Kerry likes the club’s race handicap system by which slower runners start first and faster runners start later. Under this format, he’s won ribbons in individual events. He’s currently in 15th place in the RMRR Trophy Series. Kuck ran the 2012 Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon with help from his racing partner, David Hagburg, an Iraq war veteran. More Award Winners on page 20.
RRCA Awards Spotlight Additional Award Winners OUTSTANDING STATE REPRESENTATIVE Don Nelson
RRCA ROAD RACE OF THE YEAR Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon
Florida-South State Rep
Rich Benyo and David Hill, Race Directors, Napa, CA
OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR Kevin Lee
EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM AWARDS Outstanding Club Newsletter – The Long Run
Dolphin South End, San Francisco, CA
Lori Hawkins, Editor Pikes Peak Road Runners, Colorado Springs, CO
OUTSTANDING YOUTH PROGRAM DIRECTORS Angelo and Sherry Celesia Tidewater Striders, Norfolk, VA
ROAD RUNNERS OF THE YEAR Meb Keflezighi, Open Male Shalane Flanagan, Open Female Ross Bolding, Male Master Christine Kennedy, Female Master OUTSTANDING BEGINNING RUNNING PROGRAM River City Runners and Walkers Beginners’ Clinic Directed by Melissa Wigal River City Runners and Walkers Club, Parkersburg, WV
E-Newsletter – Second Wind Erin Wilding-Martin, Editor Second Wind Running Club, Champaign, IL
Club Writer of the Year Micah Ward Pikes Peak Road Runners, Colorado Springs, CO
Outstanding Website Dashing Whippets www.dashingwhippets.org Learn more about the RRCA National Running Award categories, and nominate a deserving individual for a 2013 RRCA National Running Award by visiting www.rrca.org/services/national-running-awards/
The RRCA thanks the following individuals for serving on the various award selection panels. Each selection panel includes RRCA members from around the country. Thank you to: Mitch Garner, Amby Burfoot, Bill Rodgers, Don Carding, Doug Kurtis, Frank Shorter, Jacqueline Hansen, Joan Samuelson, Joe Henderson, Ken Young, Lisa Rainsberger, Steve Spence, Bee McLeod, Gary Corbitt, Brent Ayer, Kelly Richards, Mark Grandonico, Mark Miller, Beth Onines, Larry Eder, Dan Edwards, John Farrow, George Rehmet, Bailey Penzotti, Tom Downing, Lena Hollmann, Blaine Moore, Simone Adair, Dan Kesterson, Kathryn Gleghorn, Sue Brown-Nickerson, Mark Ward, Chris Burch, Goody Tyler, Tim Short, and Chuck Shneekloth.
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At the recent Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, I came face to face with how much our world of running has changed. The show is a celebration of year-round outdoor activities, from adventure to trail, from camping to environmental concerns, to running. You’ll see investment bankers walking the show on the hunt for the next “cool” thing, and then there are the aging hippies who helm their own small running apparel brands. Cregg Weinmann, your footwear guru, and I spent a day checking out footwear and apparel brands. We visited a Brooks launch party for the Transcend, a new concept shoe coming in Spring 2014, and an ASICS media event where I was reminded of the intense competition in running footwear. Right behind the ASICS booth was the Saucony booth, where the Saucony lightweight running products continue to astound. In front of ASICS was the Brooks traveling trade show that takes a humorous look at advertising and communications and displays its fine performance running gear. I also enjoyed spending time with Jim Van Dine, president of HOKA ONE ONE, a young shoe company gaining cache in the ultra running community and among age 40+ runners who find that these shoes are helping them return to running. The Running Network team puts this review together twice a year to provide a synopsis of the best you’ll find on the retail shoe walls. Give it a read and then you’ll be ready to visit your favorite local running specialty store to select the running shoes that will serve you best.
Larry Eder President, Running Network LLC
BEST SHOE MOTION STABILIZING
Nike LunarGlide+ 5
Mizuno Wave Sayonara
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 15
BEST NEW SHOE
adidas adiStar Boost
Saucony Cortana 3
American Track & Field www.american-trackandfield.com Athletes Only www.atf-athlete.com Athletics (Canada) www.athleticsontario.ca Austin Fit www.austinfitmagazine.com California Track & Running News www.caltrack.com Club Running www.rrca.org/publications/club-running Coaching Athletics Quarterly www.coachingathleticsq.com Colorado Runner www.coloradorunnermag.com Get Active! www.healthclubs.com Greater Long Island Running Club’s Footnotes www.glirc.org Latinos Corriendo www.latinoscorriendo.com Marathon Guide www.marathonguide.com Michigan Runner www.michiganrunner.net Missouri Runner & Triathlete www.morunandtri.com Running Journal & Racing South www.running.net RunMinnesota www.runmdra.org RUNOHIO www.runohio.com Track & Field News www.trackandfieldnews.com USATF’s Fast Forward www.usatf.org USATF–New England’s Exchange Zone www.usatfne.org The Winged Foot www.nyac.org The Winged M www.themac.com Youth Runner www.youthrunner.com
Reviewer: Cregg Weinmann Project Coordinator/Editor: Christine Johnson Designer: Kristen Cerer Proofreader: Marg Sumner, Red Ink Editorial Services Shoe Photography: Daniel Saldaña, Cregg Weinmann Advertising Sales: Running Network LLC, Larry Eder, President, 608.239.3785, firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher: Larry Eder, 608.239.3785 Website: www.runningnetwork.com For a Media Kit, please visit our website. This 2013 Fall Shoe Review is produced independently by Running Network LLC for its partner publications. All shoes reviewed were tested by experienced, competitive runners who were matched to the biomechanical purpose of each shoe model. Copyright © 2013 by Running Network LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of Running Network LLC. Running Network LLC and its partner publications suggest that, as with all fitness activities, you meet with a healthcare professional before beginning or changing your fitness regimen.
BEST NEW SHOE FALL 2013
The adiStar Boost is the first of adidas’ mainline shoes to benefit from the introduction of its new Boost midsole material, in a hybridized way: The key components in the adiStar line—the familiar adiPrene foam and ForMotion cassette—are used but are augmented with a full-length layer of Boost foam. If you tried the Spring ’13 version of the Energy Boost, you’ll find this ride is firmer due, in part, to the EVA framework surrounding the Boost foam underfoot and the ForMotion cassette on the lateral heel. The upper is a stretchy, closed mesh with a gusseted tongue, and an evenly textured interior wicks moisture where it comes in contact with the foot. No-sew overlays lend support along the eyestay, the logo stripes shore up the saddle, and the heel and toe have a brawnier thermoplastic for support and protection. The outersole is somewhat skeletal: The minimal rubber improves flexibility, reduces weight, and with careful positioning of the rubber, doesn’t sacrifice durability. The conforming fit, resilient ride, and imaginative blend of technologies earned the adiStar Boost our award for Best New Shoe. “The foam was amazing—like springs on my feet. Great cushioning. Felt stable and balanced, and the fit with its stretchy upper never gave me a second thought about the shoes, except how great they felt!” New • Sizes: Men 6.5–15; Women 7–11 • Weight: Men 12.6 oz. (size 11); Women 10.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to moderate overpronation
Always a solid performer, Round 6 leaves the best attributes untouched, while tweaking the details that add up to a successful product. The upper is closed mesh with no-sew overlays over the toes and toe cap. Gauzy mesh backs the saddle, which extends back into a thermoplastic heel counter. The tongue is a smooth, gusseted design, with fabric extending completely around the arch and back to where it meets the heel, beneath the ankle. The ankle collar features GeoFit memory foam and textured, moisture-wicking polyester. The midsole is the familiar adiPrene+ with a ForMotion cassette to smooth the gait and a supportive ProModerator+ to add stability to the medial side. The outersole is the familiar Continental® rubber (dependable traction and effective durability). In sum, the Supernova Sequence 6 is stable and well cushioned with a great fit. It remains a proven performer. ”Fit well. Good comfort on long runs. Cushioned as well as stable.” Updates the Supernova Sequence 5 • Sizes: Men 6.5–15,16,17,18,19,20; Women 5–14 • Weight: Men 12.6 oz. (size 11); Women 10.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation
The 870 makes another major jump in weight reduction and improved running efficiency. The design and technology of the aesthetics and materials have been improved. The upper features traditional overlays in the eyestay, heel, and toe, giving the shoe structure. The rest of the overlays are welded, no-sew laminates that effectively secure the foot over the midsole. The interior is smooth, reducing friction enough to make sockless wear an option. The foam is RevLite, here a lighter, more resilient polymer than before, and the ride is a nice balance of cushion and responsiveness. The new medial second density in the sidewall adds stability, without intruding on the foot or overly limiting flexibility. Grooves along the sidewall allow the foot to respond naturally, but have enough structure to keep things lined up. Overall, the changes are a welcome improvement on an already well-executed model. ”The shoe hugs my foot gently, and when I run, it feels like I can fly. The cushioning has impressed me, and they are very stable.” Updates the 870 v2 • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (D,2E widths); Women 5–12 (B,D widths) • Weight: Men 10.4 oz. (size 11); Women 8.7 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation
The fourth shoe introduced by On, the Cloudrunner is designed to manage the hardest wear yet. Equipped with the Cloudtec lugs that On is known for, the Cloudrunner has the same setup in the forefoot as the other models have, but in the rearfoot it sports beefier lugs, both in the sidewalls as well as the bottom loops of the medial lugs. The result is that overpronation has much less effect on the Cloudrunner’s ride than it does on the standard lug setup in its other models. That momentary resistance to the pronating forces doesn’t prevent pronation from happening, but it maintains the integrity of the shoe—not to mention its cool feel—for more miles without breaking down. The upper is closed mesh with a sueded lining through the arch and quality ankle collar foam adds comfort. Traditional sueded overlays support the foot. The result is a high-mileage trainer that can manage significant forces, whether from weight, hypermobile feet, or a combination of the two. ”The feel is stable and firm. The fit was good, but not really noticeable. Good to run in.” New • Sizes: Men 8–12,13,14; Women 6–10 • Weight: Men 13.5 oz. (size 11); Women 10.7 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation
This flagship Lunar shoe works very well for neutral runners, but it also features one of the least intrusive and most effective stabilizing technologies on the market. Two changes have increased comfort. First, the Flywire strands are arranged and managed more effectively: At the top and bottom lace loops they’re loose to snug better; the middle strands are stitched to the Ghilley loops and move in concert with the eyestay and the foot, so it’s more secure. Second, the tongue is gusseted and the interior is smooth polyester fabric, reducing friction and also wicking moisture. The twopart midsole and minimal rubber outersole remain as before, as they were well dialed in. (Remember that “highly effective stabilizing technology”? Yeah, this is it.) The combination of improved fit, effective stability, and comfortable ride earned the LunarGlide+ 5 our award for Best Shoe in the Motion Stabilizing category. ”Snug and comfortable fit. I have worn all of the Lunar Glide shoes, and this one is stable and cushioned, like they should be. If I could only have one pair of running shoes, this would be it.” Updates the LunarGlide+ 4 • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 10.6 oz. (size 11); Women 8.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: mediumto high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation
BEST SHOE MOTION STABILIZING FALL 2013
Reebok One marks Reebok’s overdue return to performance running. The Reebok One Cushion debuts the series, along with a sibling called the Reebok One Guide. Both shoes have motion-stabilizing properties, with the Cushion leaning toward the light stability end of the spectrum. The principle behind this shoe is managing the foot’s motion during the gait, here by geometry and varying the foam density in three regions of the midsole. The ride is cushy, but the shoe is also responsive, perhaps in part because of the varying densities of the midsole. The outersole is heavily segmented with both longitudinal flex grooves and the expected horizontal variety. The motion permitted by these releases allows the foot to find the best path from heelstrike to toe-off. The upper is nearly seamless, and the interior caters to comfort as well as any shoe we tested in this review. The ankle collar is particularly plush, but the weight is not impacted by the extra foam, so feel a little pampered without paying for it in weight. Be assured that the team at Reebok can produce more where these came from. ”Plush and smooth feeling on the fit. Weirdly flexible and stable at the same time. A really good Reebok running shoe. Who knew?” New • Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–11,12 • Weight: Men 10.6 oz. (size 11); Women 8.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation
The Flow III Trainer bears little resemblance to its namesake, but it’s now better equipped to fulfill its destiny as a snappy Performance training shoe. The upper is a two-layer open mesh that breathes well. It has minimal structure (just a heel counter and toe cap with a hint of support in the saddle), but it secures the foot well and keeps everything lined up over the midsole. The midsole’s responsive foam is low profile—an 8-millimeter drop from heel to toe, with only 16 millimeters under the heel—but with the efficiency of the geometry, there’s noticeable cushioning under the foot. The outersole has carbon rubber over only two thirds of the surface at the heel and under the forefoot, but it provides both good traction and durability. The bottom line? The Flow III Trainer is a shoe that whippets can wear every day, and the rest of us should have in the arsenal for speedier runs or races and just to mix up the training schedule. “The fit was snug, but not really like a racer—which these did a good job for, on occasion. Their low profile and flexibility made them fun to put on because they ‘run’ very well. They even handled some longer runs, but I mostly saved them for fast stuff.” Updates the Flow II Fulcrum • Sizes: Men 6.5–15; Women 7–11 • Weight: Men 9.6 oz. (size 11); Women 7.8 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, perforated EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: mediumto high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics, for fasterpaced runs
BEST SHOE PERFORMANCE FALL 2013
With the new Wave Sayonara, Mizuno ushers in some new key design Performance shoe features. The midsole uses a newly developed foam called U4ic (say euphoric), that’s similar to its AP+ foam, but with improved resilience and durability. The geometry lowers the foot for better biomechanical efficiency, and the ride is better cushioned than one usually expects from such a light training shoe. The upper has stitching only where the upper joins together at the side of the saddle by the instep and on the medial logo stripe. The rest of the upper is supported by fused overlays over closed mesh. The shoe is flexible, moving well with the foot. The smooth interior breathes well, making this a comfortable shoe. The outersole features X-10 carbon rubber in the heel, blown rubber on the lateral forefoot, and polyester-backed TPU on the medial forefoot, which provide good traction and durability. The ride, fit, and performance of the Wave Sayonara earned our Best Shoe award for the Performance category. “Fit great, comfortable, and the cushioning is much better than expected. They are fast, but tough enough for long runs. Light enough to even race in. I didn’t expect them to be so versatile.” New • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 6–11 • Weight: Men 9.7 oz. (size 11); Women 7.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation
The new 500 S takes the Faas 500 concept and adds some stabilizing features, offering something for most runners. The upper is closed mesh supported by welded synthetic overlays and a heel counter supported by TPU struts. The primary difference between the 500 and the 500 S is this structure in the rearfoot, which actually makes this shoe more versatile than its sibling. The midsole geometry is low profile, with the heel beveled laterally to smooth the touchdown. The medial sidewall is raised slightly for better support. The 4-millimeter drop encourages a smoother transition because the foot contacts the ground at a flatter angle. The outersole is minimal: Much of the sole is toughened EVA with rubber only in the high-wear areas of the heel and forefoot. Runners looking for a shoe for faster runs should consider the 500 S. “Fit nice and snug, but not too tight. The feel is light and smooth, and they are really more stable and durable than they seem. I ran mid-distance runs and speedwork in them and was happy with the result.” New • Sizes: Men 7–14; Women 5.5–12 • Weight: Men 9.6 oz. (size 11); Women 7.7 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics, to mild overpronation, for faster-paced runs
Project EMotion re-vamps the Pearl Izumi line, stripping down the technology to simple, quality foam and geometry to maximize performance. The Road N1 is the first of these to hit the market. The upper is a minimal, closed mesh with welded overlays in the saddle and sueded overlays from the top of the eyestay to the back of the heel. Roomy, stretch mesh comforms to the foot, gently holding it over the midsole. The interior is smooth and the ankle collar foam is adequate for holding the foot without squeezing it. Ditto for the tongue. The midsole is molded EVA with tapered geometry. A lengthened toe-spring means the shoe contacts the ground quietly, without slapping, and it feels a little smoother. The outersole is confined to the lateral heel and medial forefoot, connected by a ribbonlike channel of rubber that follows the foot path from heel to toe. The complete do-over of the Pearl Izumi line has earned an enthusiastic thumbs-up from testers. “Perfect fit, plenty of room, and almost stretchy in the forefoot, but snug in the heel. The shaping of the midsole had a unique feel to it, making the shoe pretty fast, but it had plenty of cushion to it as well. I think they may be on to something.” New • Sizes: Men 8–12,13,14; Women 6–10 • Weight: Men 9.0 oz. (size 11); Women 7.4 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation
Saucony’s premium performance shoe adds two key, brand-wide technologies, as well as the usual tweaks and additions. The upper features Flexfilm no-sew overlays for the first time and a silky smooth interior with Hydramax polyester in the rearfoot to wick moisture. Both provide a flexible, comfortable fit. The heel and toe feature Saucony’s Support Frame, TPU supports that flex with the foot and provide shaping to each region for a better fit. The midsole continues with Power Grid and SRC foams that offer great cushioning, and combine with the 4mm geometry for gait efficiency and comfortable, everyday running. The outersole has carbon rubber in the heel and medial midfoot, with injected blown rubber in the forefoot for good full-length durability, traction, and forefoot cushioning. The combination of upgraded plush technologies, versatile design, and a balanced performance ride earned the Cortana 3 our award for Best Renovation.
Scott USA broadens its line with a common design theme and a unique midsole foam. The midsole is the unexpectedly light yet durable Aero Foam, first used in Scott’s Race Rocker, and now in all of its triathlon, trail, and training shoes. The ride is resilient and responsive. Sidewall drainage ports at heel and toe make it well suited to triathlon conditions. The closed mesh upper features traditional synthetic overlays at heel, toe, and eyestay, and is reinforced with welded supports for a lightweight framework. Sublimated graphics complete the visual punch, while a smooth interior and thin tongue complete the technical side. The outersole is zoned: A ribbon of carbon rubber follows the pathway of the foot during the gait, fabric-backed TPU in the lateral forefoot and arch, and a thin TPU sheet supports the slight rocker shape of the sole. This is a light, well-cushioned shoe for faster running and moderate training runs or long races.
“The low drop took some getting used to, but I liked it. It had good cushioning and responsive feel, and felt very stable. They became my favorites, because of the quality and design.” Updates the Cortana 2 • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 10.7 oz. (size 11); Women 8.4 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium- to higharched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation
BEST RENOVATION FALL 2013
The popular Kinvara reaches its fourth version without any appearance of slowing down. The upper is a gauzy, two-layer mesh supported with a framework of Flexfilm overlays, now more efficiently arranged to open up the forefoot. There’s not much structure laterally, but the heel keeps the shoe from losing shape or support from back to front. The gusseted tongue is attached to the lining of the shoe, giving the interior a smooth feel and rendering socks optional. The midsole has been upgraded from ProGrid to PowerGrid foam with its resilient ride—the staple of the high-end Cortana—which is a definite step up in performance. The outersole is still fewer than two dozen points of rubber on the lateral heel and under the metatarsals. It’s just enough for traction and durability, but keeps it near racing shoe weight. The result is much as originally advertised: low profile, lean, and fast—definitely suited to faster-paced running.
“A snug-feeling shoe with a squishy ride. After a little getting used to, I like the way the sole is designed to rock the foot forward after striking the ground. Light, yet durable enough for even the weekly long run, and a great tempo run shoe.” New • Sizes: Men 7–13; Women 5–11 • Weight: Men 9.4 oz. (size 11); Women 7.7 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation
“These shoes look cool, and I admit it: Looks count with me. [But] the performance is what this lightweight shoe is about. I’ve tried the earlier Kinvaras and found them firm, but perfect for faster running. This time they seem to have a little more rebound ... I like the looks and performance.” Updates the Kinvara 3 • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 8.3 oz. (size 11); Women 7.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation
The Cumulus often benefits from advances to the Nimbus, even while often being overshadowed by its plusher sibling. Round 15 fine tunes many of those advanced upgrades, improving its performance. The upper features a two-layer stretch mesh, secured by traditional overlays in the toe, heel, eyestay, and logo stripes. Added no-sew supports alongside the synthetic overlays maintain flexibility and reduce potential irritation. The midsole continues with the Solyte layer on the bottom with a cap of SpEVA for a lighter, slightly softer feel near the foot. The flex grooves are deeper throughout, giving the shoe a more flexible and responsive feel. Reshaped lugs accommodate the changes to the flex grooves. The Guidance Line now runs completely from heel to toe, releasing unnecessary lateral stiffness. The Trusstic support is divided into two pieces to allow better flexion for the foot during the gait cycle. These subtle changes make for an appreciably better shoe in Round 15. “They snug up nicely around the midfoot while still allowing for a bit of wiggle room in the toe area. The support and cushion are really good. My feet didn’t really get tired of wearing them. Good, solid, all-around shoes.” Updates the Gel-Cumulus 14 • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–13 • Weight: Men 11.9 oz. (size 11); Women 10.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation
ASICS’ neutral showpiece takes a dramatic leap with two new advancements. FluidFit improves the fit of the upper by integrating all of the components in an adaptable system of support. The stretch mesh and welded supports along the lateral side of the saddle and into the separated eyelets allow the foot to move more freely, yet securely over the midsole. The medial side features a large bunion window, welded supports to secure the instep, and a wide overlay to shore up the midfoot. FluidRide is a tuned combination of Solyte and SpEVA foam layers that sandwich the Gel cushioning elements, and address the midsole geometry and its effect on the shoe’s ride. The plush midsole is flexible, and the components provide a more responsive ride than expected. The combination of fit, ride, and deluxe feel earned the Gel-Nimbus 15 our award for Best Neutral Shoe. “Like stepping into a little bed for my foot—almost perfect. Cushioning was just right: protective but not mushy.” Updates the Gel-Nimbus 14 • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–13 • Weight: Men 12.6 oz. (size 11); Women 10.4 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation
BEST SHOE NEUTRAL FALL 2013
The Ghost has been redesigned to reflect current market demands. The upper is a similar open mesh, with a combination of synthetic overlays with fused layers where the upper meets the midsole, nicely addressing what can be an irritation trouble spot. The barely there saddle provides some support but relies on the laces to secure the foot, and the heel counter keeps the rearfoot aligned. The smooth interior features new moisture-wicking linings that comfortably wrap the foot. The perforated foam tongue prevents the laces from squeezing the foot too much. The midsole gets the work done with BioMogo and DNA, but the meat-and-potatoes here is its geometry, where the lateral sidewall has been re-sculpted to allow better foot flexion and the stability has been increased by lowering the midfoot area to make full ground contact. This also eliminates the need for a shank support. Another improvement is the longitudinal groove, now called the Omega Groove, which allows better mobility for the foot to supinate before toe-off. Several midfoot lugs maximize traction and round out a successful update. “A really good shoe. I hadn’t tried Brooks before. Fit me well, seemed to cradle my heel. Just right on the cushion. Feels good when I run.” Updates the Ghost 5 • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (B,D,2E widths); Women 5–12,13 (2A,B,D widths) • Weight: Men 12.1 oz. (size 11); Women 9.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation
Version 11 pushes the envelope a bit without compromising its plush cushioning and dependable performance. The upper features new 3D Fit Print, a technique that prints the supporting materials directly onto soft, flexible synthetic suede. Reduced seaming adds comfort. The moisture-wicking linings are even smoother and the gusseted tongue adequately shrouds the foot. The midsole has been lowered in the midfoot to make full ground contact, increasing stability and allowing the elimination of the DRB Accel TPU support in the shank. The flexibility of the midsole and outersole is enhanced by the Omni Groove, a figure 8–shaped series of grooves. A Y-shaped strip of rubber connects the forefoot and rearfoot lugs, while the remaining keyhole-shaped lugs flex with the vertical siping in the sidewalls. The sum is a plushly cushioned shoe with dependable performance.
The New Balance performance running products continue to evolve, adding technologies and advancements. The 880 v3 has gotten a total transformation. The upper is a breathable mono-mesh with welded, no-sew film overlays from the toe through the saddle, providing a smooth and supportive upper. Traditional overlays at the heel and toe secure the foot over the midsole. The ride has a more resilient feel than the v2 provided, thanks to completely redesigned geometry and two foam layers that complement the dampening capabilities of each. The open design of the outersole gives excellent forefoot flexibility, and the rearfoot is stabilized by the T-beam shank support. The segmented heel and crashpad setup allow lateral release and a good level of cushioning on impact. The improvements in the shoe’s geometry have greatly enhanced its performance, which will be good news to fans of the New Balance fit.
“It was a very dependable shoe for pounding out the miles over a variety of surfaces and terrains. It also has been a good and supportive shoe for my recovery runs. I’ve liked the Glycerin, but the weight seems really noticeable now. Comfort-wise it’s great, very plush, but it isn’t very versatile.” Updates the Glycerin 10 • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (B,D,2E widths); Women 5–12,13 • Weight: Men 13.5 oz. (size 11); Women 10.2 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation
Wave Enigma marks its most dramatic update yet with a new upper, midsole, and waveplate. The midsole features Mizuno’s new foam formulation U4ic (say euphoric), in place of the older AP+ foam. Though they are chemical siblings, U4ic weighs less and boasts both better durability and a more elastic, responsive ride. The revamped parallel waveplate flexes better while contributing to the snappy ride, thanks to cut-out separations in the plate’s forefoot. The upper is a closed mesh with an almost quilted quality to the stretch mesh in the forefoot and ankle collar. A stiffer mini-mesh adds structure to the rearfoot and combines with traditional overlays in the midfoot to lock down the foot onto the midsole. The tongue is a stretchy, open mesh, and the lining is a smooth polyester that wicks moisture well. The variety of little improvements in feel, responsiveness, and performance makes this a successful upgrade. “Good room up front, well designed. Rolls through the stride and cushions nicely. It is better than the last pair, and I really liked it.” Updates Wave Enigma 2 • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 6–11 • Weight: Men 12.7 oz. (size 11); Women 10.5 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation
Round 30 introduces some new tech features in the upper and minor tweaks to Round 29’s excellent midsole design. The nice-fitting upper uses a similar engineered mesh, but the midfoot is now supported by a thin saddle of no-sew overlays and small, cut-out panels covered with a mini-mesh. Along with the plush interior, these are marks of a quality running shoe. The midsole is the same Cushlon foam, decoupled to allow the foot freedom to flex in multiple directions. A longitudinal flex groove runs down the center of the sole, with lateral flex grooves under the entire forefoot and a cleft in the heel for the crashpad. The outersole features modified waffles, and the lateral side features the same tiny fins from last season that flex and grip more effectively than slab rubber, while still offering good durability. This cushy shoe has good grip, fits well, and feels great. “I liked the color scheme—bright! Nike seemed to be going for some attention. The shoes were very airy and cool, like last year. The ride is so consistent, sometimes I forget I have them on. I think they kept the best from the old shoe and improved the fit over the instep/arch.” Updates the Pegasus+ 29 • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 10.6 oz. (size 11); Women 8.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation
“Fit really well. I like the smooth interior. They feel pretty light but with plenty of cushion. To be honest, I didn’t like the color of the shoe (lime green), but I have gotten compliments—and not just about the color.” Updates the 880 v2 • Sizes: Men 6.5–15,16,17,18,19,20; Women 5–14 • Weight: Men 11.7 oz. (size 11); Women 9.8 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics
RRCA Champs Spotlight
Presidio 10 RRCA 10-Mile National Championship By George Rehmet Running shoes? Check. Bib fastened? Check. Gorgeous weather? Check. Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay in view? Most definitely! Breakfast, entertainment, Bloody Marys, and beer waiting at the finish line? Yup. The Presidio 10 is one those races that defines San Francisco as a top running city. The race takes place in the Presidio, which used to be a military base but has been converted to a national park. Unlike last year’s chilly fog, the weather was perfect and the views were clear and gorgeous for the nearly 1,000 runners. In light of the Boston Marathon bombings a week earlier, many runners sported that marathon’s clothing. To further show support for Boston, the race organizers asked one of the Presidio 10 founders to explain the meaning of the National Anthem and to lead the participants in singing it. Then it was time to start the race. The first few miles are hilly and zigzag past the his-
toric military buildings. Then, at mile 4, the race plunges downhill to the Golden Gate Bridge. The next four miles are running both sides of the bridge, with views of Alcatraz and the Bay on the east and on the return, the Pacific Ocean to the west. Once off the bridge, the runners descend the hill to Fort Point, a seacoast fortification from the Civil War. The last mile or so is flat, tracking along the bay and back to the finish line. Once there, runners were treated to a pancake breakfast, celebratory drinks, and live music—with spectacular scenery all around. Leon Medina repeated his win again this year as RRCA National 10-Mile Male Champion in 58:44. Taking 3rd overall and having run Boston six days before, Scott Dunlap was the RRCA National 10-Mile Masters Champion in 1:00:34. Another local, Michael Ward, was the RRCA National 10-Mile Grandmasters Champion. From Littleton, CO, Devin Croft was the RRCA National 10-Mile Senior Grandmasters Champion.
For the women, Michelle Meyer captured her second RRCA National Champion title, becoming the RRCA National 10-Mile Female Champion in 1:03:41. Meyer was also the RRCA National Marathon Champion at the 2013 Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon. Taking 3rd overall, Australian native and Burlingame, CA resident Verity Breen was the RRCA National 10-Mile Female Masters Champion in 1:04:32. Suzette Smith of Alameda, CA was the RRCA National 10-Mile Grandmasters Champion. Terry McKinney of nearby Mill Valley was the RRCA National 10-Mile Senior Grandmasters Champion. Many thanks to the race organizers, The Guardsmen. Since 1947 The Guardsmen has been helping at-risk youth with the resources they need to thrive. Each year the organization sends 2,500 youth to outdoor education programs and provides scholarship support to more than 250 students at Bay Area private schools.
National Marathon Champion Michelle Meyer (right) won her second RRCA national title of 2013 at the Presidio 10. Leon Medina (left) repeated as the RRCA National 10-Mile Champion.
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RRCA Champs Spotlight
7th Annual Great Cranberry Island 50K RRCA Ultra National Championship
By George Rehmet with contributions from Blaine Moore
RRCA state rep George Rehmet presents the RRCA National Ultra Champion award to Brian McNiece. Billed by Runner’s World as the “Greatest Race Ever,” the Great Cranberry Island 50K was retired after this year’s race by the race directors who wanted the race to end on top and not fade away. The race saw a record number of entrants—192—from 30 states and seven countries who came to an island of 200 summer residents (and 36 year-round residents). The race takes places on a two-mile stretch of road that runners must complete nearly eight times. But what attracts the runners is the welcoming atmosphere of the community, the notoriously famous lobster bake in
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the evening, and those personal touches. And those who camped out the night before were treated to a buffet breakfast. American flags waved along the route, as well as international and state flags of the participants, and on telephone poles were posted the names of entrants and inspirational quotes to encourage the runners to complete the course. To allow runners enough time to reach the island by ferry, the race started at 11:30 a.m. Temperatures started in the 70s, eventually rising to the low 80s. The race crowned 41year-old Brian McNiece of Narragansett, RI as the RRCA National Ultra Champion with his finish time of 3:31:43. During the race, 2ndplace runner Jason Bui and last year’s winner David Holder kept speeding up on McNiece, but were unable to close the gap. On the women’s side, Lindsay Willard of Somerville, MA was crowned as the RRCA National Champion Female Open winner, turning in a strong performance of 3:40:36, 3rd overall. She held off Angie Zinkus of Eads, TN and Leah Thorvilson of Little Rock, AR, who took 5th and 6th overall, respectively.
In the masters race, only 15 minutes before the start, race director Gary Allen decided to run. The 56-year-old came in 8th overall with a time of 3:58:30. At times, he would be dancing to celebrate the pinnacle of his race. On the women’s side, 50-year-old Sheila Jacks of Bedford, NH held off Sophia Shi of Fremont, CA, 4:31:29 to 4:33:35. In the Grandmasters division, Dave Nevitt of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia won with a time of 4:16:35, while Caolan MacMahon of Boulder, CO won her division with a time of 5:04:44. In the Senior Grandmaster Division, Mark Dangerfield of Mesa, AZ took the title with a time of 4:20:48, while Roxana Lewis of Gardena, CA won her title in a time of 6:52:27. Representing the RRCA national office, RRCA Coastal California state representative George Rehmet and RRCA Maine state representative Blaine Moore were on hand to present the winners with their RRCA awards (provided by Ashworth Awards) along with gifts from national sponsors Sports Authority and Coolmax® Socks.
RRCA Champs Spotlight
28th Annual Run for the Zoo RRCA 10K National Championship By Jean Knaack The RRCA National 10K Championship, hosted by the 28th Annual Run for the Zoo 10K in Albuquerque, had a stacked field of RRCA convention attendees, resulting in some great competition for local runners and out-oftown guests. 2012 RRCA Roads Scholar Scott Bauhs attended the convention as this year’s program spokesperson. During the race, he emerged as the clear leader, holding off fellow RRCA convention-goer Jordan Desilets, who finished with a time of 32:31. Bauhs finished with the winning time of 31:43. Christine Kennedy won the 2013 RRCA 10K Female Masters Championship title. She was in town to receive her award as the RRCA’s Female Masters Runner of the Year – 2012. RRCA’s Central Region director to the
board Beth Onines went home with the 2013 title of RRCA 10K Senior Grandmaster Female Champion with her finish of 55:08. Several RRCA convention attendees went home with age-group awards. The conditions on race day for the soldout event were favorable for runners—cool temperatures in the morning and a slightly overcast sky. However, many runners commented on the rapid rise in temperature as the morning progressed. Many runners from lower elevations also noted that the high Albuquerque altitude impacted their performance. The race was put on by the New Mexico BioPark Society and boasted 12,000 combined participants in the 5K, 10K, and 1-mile Run/Walk. Participants received free admittance to the zoo following the event.
2013 RRCA National 10K Champions Open Male Scott Bauhs San Diego, CA (age 22, 31:43) Open Female Mardrea Hyman Albuquerque, NM (age 40, 38:28) Male Master Eugene Hogue Farmington, NM (age 49, 36:09) Female Master Christine Kennedy Los Gatos, CA (age 57, 41:15) Male Grandmaster William West Albuquerque, NM (age 57, 39:00) Female Grandmaster Nancy Marquette Lake Zurich, IL (age 56, 1:17:52) Male Senior Grandmaster Devin Croft Littleton, CO (age 60, 41:32) Female Senior Grandmaster Beth Onines Lake Zurich, IL (age 60, 55:08)
RunPro Camp Highlights By Jean Knaack Fourteen up-and-coming distance runners who recently graduated from universities across the country were selected to attend the second RunPro Camp hosted by the RRCA in Arlington, VA on July 18–21. The RunPro Camp, held for the first time in 2011 in Minneapolis, is designed specifically for athletes interested in pursuing a professional running career. Selection was by application, with most athletes being NCAA qualifiers and competing in distances ranging from 800 to 10,000 meters as well as in cross country. An excellent line-up of RunPro Camp speakers outlined the importance of the information being shared with the athletes. The interactive camp provided a forum for runners to meet coaches and athletes from professional training centers around the U.S., learn about sponsorship requirements, determine what type of representation would be best, find out about USATF resources and long distance running initiatives, plus complying with anti-doping regulations, working with the media and seeking financial and health support. The camp kicked off with a welcome dinner featuring 2008 Olympian Amy Begley (10,000m), who spoke about lessons learned as a professional runner and the Olympic experience. Roads Scholar grant recipients Scott Bauhs and Jon Grey joined her. USATF and the USATF Foundation sponsored the dinner. Scott Simmons from the U.S.A. Distance Project opened the camp’s education program by giving an overview of professional distance
running. After more than 20 years, Simmons retired from collegiate coaching in 2012 to pursue full-time his work with the American Distance Project. His collegiate tenure saw successes at the NAIA and NCAA levels, as well as on the national and international stages. Simmons holds a Master’s degree in Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy, has twice been selected as a Team USA national team leader, and is a noted lecturer and coauthor of Take the Lead: A Revolutionary Approach to Coaching Cross Country (2006, with Will Freeman). Athlete representatives from both Team USA Minnesota and Zap Fitness discussed their experiences in joining a distance training center and highlighted how the RRCA’s Roads Scholar grant played an important role in their ability to stay in the sport. USADA Olympic education manager Jennifer Dodd covered drug testing, awareness, and compliance. Luke Watson, who recently completed his Ph.D. in Accounting, gave an informative talk about tax issues related to running as a profession versus running as a hobby and how those distinctions apply to young elite runners. Watson retired in 2012 from a successful running career that saw him compete in a variety of distances from the mile to the marathon, highlighted by appearances in three U.S. Olympic Trials. The athletes attending the RunPro Camp had finished their collegiate careers
as of June 2013 and show good potential for moving up to the next level. The RRCA provided travel and lodging grants so they could attend the camp free of charge. We look forward to watching and encouraging their careers in the coming years.
2013 RunPro Camp Attendees: Lara Crofford, Shippensburg University; Eric Finan, University of Cincinnati; Kristen Findley, Vanderbilt University; Michael Heller, Kent State University; Lauren Kleppin, Western State University of Colorado; Meghan Nelson, Iowa State University; Jonathan Peterson, University of California Davis; Gabriel Proctor, Western Colorado State University; Cydney Ross, Duke University; Ben Sathre, University of St. Thomas; Danielle Stack, Iowa State University; Gina Valgoi, Loyola University; Cate Westenhover, Baylor University; Amanda Winslow, Florida State University.
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RRCA Training Tips
Mental Tips and Strategies for Training By Randy Accetta, RRCA Director of Coaching Education and Arizona State Rep
Run Negative Splits. Whether on a daily training jog, on a fast effort session, or in a race, a negative split will make you smile. A negative split is achieved by running the second half of a workout or race faster than the first half (even splits is running the same time for both halves of the workout or race, while positive splits means running the second half slower than the first). Although running negative splits is more a training trick than a mental trick, negative split workouts are the best motivational training tool for three reasons. (1) By running your fastest at the end of a workout, you end on a positive note, which keeps you excited and ready to do another workout next week. (2) By teaching your body to run fastest at the end of the effort, you teach yourself to succeed at the end of a race. (3) By running fast at the end of the workout, you are not failing. Practicing to run faster at the end of your session is the key to success, whether on a normal daily training run, an interval workout, a tempo run, or a race. Avoid Negativity and Complaining. Think positive thoughts, and stay away from the negativity of others. Don’t dwell on your failures, don’t dwell on the negative circumstances of a given day, and don’t hang out with complainers. Success in our sport is hard enough without having to deal with all the baggage that comes with complaining and negativity. Run with Friends. Having a group to train with keeps you honest. There’s nothing like knowing a friend is waiting for you on a street corner to get you out the door at six in the morning. Join the club’s running groups, or start your own. (Even a four-legged, tail-waving running buddy will motivate you to get out the door, though dogs are better than cats for training.) Vary Your Routes. Many of us get stuck on the same ol’ boring routes. I half-jokingly say that I got out of shape when I moved to the center of Tucson: How many times can I run through the University of Arizona before wanting to curl up in a ball and sleep? Take the time to drive to a local trail. Get off the treadmill and run outside. Run from a friend’s house. Do anything to vary the scenery. Vary the Terrain. If you run on streets all the
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time, head out on the trails sometimes. There’s something raw and elemental about running amid nature. Plus, trail running is a great way to sightsee. Learn to Love Adversity. A woman in my Portland class last year reminded us to thank the hills in our life: They provide a challenge and add variety. Bad weather or tough courses can be fun. The more you see something difficult as a challenge to overcome rather than an impediment, the more you will succeed in your training journey. Cross Train. Although some folks (umm, like me) live by the adage Runners Run, adding activities to a training regimen keeps injuries at bay. Include activities like rowing, cycling, swimming, running in the pool, or using indoor fitness machines such as the stairmaster, the x-c skiing machine, or the elliptical trainer. Running-specific cross training not only keeps you fresh, but helps you improve your cardiovascular system and train running-related muscles without the stresses of running. Write Down Your Goals. Putting your ambitions on paper is a great way to keep you on task. Once you make a commitment to yourself, you’re more likely to get out the door for the training session. Tell People. Public declarations are difficult to ignore, so tell your friends, coworkers, and loved ones what you intend to accomplish. They can help you stay energetic, even when you don’t feel like training. Of course, the blogosphere has expanded this concept. Participants in our coaching courses report that keeping a public blog helps force them off the couch and out the door. Keep a Training Log. In the midst of a busy life, it’s easy to lose track of what we’ve done for training, so consider keeping a training log. Whether kept online or on old-fashioned paper, empty entries in a log are no fun to look at. Remember, you don’t need to do this online: A simple daily calendar is a great place to keep track of your workouts, including where you ran and how far, the people you ran with, and what you thought or talked about during your run. Periodize Your Emotional Preparation. In the RRCA coaching course, we advocate a periodized training cycle in which the athlete moves along, building blocks of training leading to a major effort. Just as we build a program for our physical performance, we need
to do something similar with our mind. Here’s a quick, four-phase plan for periodizing your mental attitude. 1. Base Training: As you begin a base phase of conversation-pace running and easy workouts, focus on understanding the longterm goal, adjusting daily efforts to the rigors of low-level but consistent stress. Learn your patterns of self-doubt and build your will. Learn to manage daily discomfort for the sake of commitment to a long-term goal and to manage the rigors of training with rest-of-life responsibilities and joys. 2. Competition Phase: As you undertake harder workouts and begin a racing phase, adjust your mindset. Become competitive not only with the clock and other runners, but with yourself. This phase is a great place to practice pushing limits. Consequently, you must learn to manage the anxiety that comes from racing, deal with pressure, and learn from your mistakes and the inevitable failures to achieve short-term goals. 3. Peak Performance: This is an application phase, where you apply the prior lessons of regulating anxiety and failure. Peak performance requires managing expectations and overcoming self-doubt to push past former limits. 4. Recovery: Many athletes forget to focus on the recovery phase, but it’s important to reflect on the past training and competition cycle, to consider such topics as what emotions came to the fore during the previous cycle, what gaps occurred in the training, and what habits you need to modify. Finally, it’s important to remember that the recovery period is meant to be a relaxed, enjoyable time away from the stresses of goal setting.
Courtesy of Randy Accetta
In running, as in the rest of life, you need to regularly put yourself in a position to succeed. The following strategies can help you position yourself for enjoyable training and peak performance.
RRCA’s director of coaching education Randy Accetta along with his wife, Tia, at the USOC’s National Coaching Conference held in June.
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