Category Archives: Uncategorized

Masters of Mileage

Posted by on Monday, September 16, 2013 @ 9:18 am | Leave a reply

We love sharing stories that illustrate how deeply “we live this stuff”.  Hopefully you caught Kara Henry and Stephen Gartside’s pre-Leadville 100 interview. Their results and post-race comments are a source of Newton pride.

Pre-race Dinner The Night Before Leadville

Pre-race Dinner The Night Before Leadville

Newton: Describe your experience at the Leadville 100?

Kara Henry: Looking back, I’ll tell you I had a blast the whole day…but during the race it was a different story.

I definitely had a few moments of ‘WHAT AM I DOING??’ but luckily those were few and far between. I had an awesome crew who bullied me out of every aid station and never let me sit down. It’s because of that alone that I ran an hour faster than my goal.

kara

Stephen Gartside: For me, the Leadville 100 has been a new challenge after years of road marathons. You can’t beat the big open country that makes up the 100-mile route. It gives you some road and plenty of trail, with all kinds of elevation. I find that quite the challenge.

The day unfolded with 50 miles of pretty easy running, then the 50-mile trip home with pacers, which goes all night. It’s kind of like a party with everyone out there running, pacing and volunteering.  My kind of party and it takes more mentally than just about anything else you can cram into a day.

gartside

What was your highest high?

KH: Absolutely hammering the last mile when I realized I could get under 24 hours. Actually, the reason I started pushing was because I saw what I thought was another female racer in front of me…I even made my pacers be super quiet so I could sneak up on ‘her’. When we got close I realized it was a dude with long blonde dreadlocks. I was bummed but at least it got me moving.

Kara nearing the top of Hope Pass

Kara nearing the top of Hope Pass

SG: The highest high is when you know you are done with Hope Pass. Or, anytime a good song hits the iPod as you down some fresh caffeine. Of course, seeing that finish line is pretty sweet.

Stephen running down Hope Pass

Stephen running down Hope Pass

What was your lowest low?

KH: I hate climbing Hope Pass at mile 55 more than anything ever. HATE IT. I told my pacer to stop talking and ‘get me off this f**#$ing mountain.’ (Sorry Thom)

SG: The lowest low for me in 2013 was losing everything in my stomach at mile 63.  Thank goodness I bounced back pretty fast, which is what you learn running ultras. You can come back from a low point!

What would you tell someone who is thinking of running an ultra?

KH: Don’t. Just kidding…I would tell them to find a training partner. I had so much fun training for Leadville this year because I had a great group to run with. Last year I trained on my own and too many hours on the trails alone is NOT good for your social skills.

karafinishline

SG: If you are starting out with ultras my advice is slow down and you will be amazed at how far you can travel.  Find friends that share your interests and thus the journey. The Leadville 100 for me each year is more like a 6-month journey of getting ready, leading up to the actual race day.

gartside finish3

If we asked you the day after the race, would you have said you would run it again?

KH: Yep! Because I’m a dummy and apparently a masochist.

SG: After 3 straight years at the Leadville 100, I may need a few years off which means probably returning as a volunteer or pacer for at least 2014-15.

post race

What about now, two weeks later?

KH: Now I’m thinking that I definitely won’t run it next year, but I’ll definitely do it again. I’d like to try a 100 closer to sea level.

Kara Henry with her pacing team

Kara Henry with her pacing team

Editor’s Note: If Kara has lead you to believe that her recovery is all about pizza and beer, she has you fooled. Kara is currently running from hut to hut in the Alps in preparation for the U.S. 100 Mile Champs this winter. Shhh…don’t tell her that we told you!

 

 

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Giving Back To Kids In Kauai

Posted by on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 @ 1:27 pm | Leave a reply

In the last two years of visiting the island of Kauai and winning the Kauai Marathon I felt a connection to the island.  In 2011, I stayed in a family’s guest bedroom and felt like I was a member of the family. I could not afford to stay in a hotel so this was the most affordable place I could find off of AirBnB.com. This ended up being a “blessing in disguise” because I was able live like a local for a week.  Sadly, I noticed the poverty was prevalent across the island.  As a runner, I became immediately aware of the lack of proper shoes.  I learned that there was not a running specialty store on the island and many are therefore only able buy their shoes at K-Mart, Walmart, or Costco.  This year I wanted to make a positive difference to the island and I thought it would be very beneficial to get the kids on the island in Newton shoes.  If you’ve ever browsed the Newton Running Website, you’d find a global responsibility page that highlights a lot of the great work being done across the world through Newton Running. When I proposed the idea to Newton, they liked the idea to donate shoes to the Kauai youths and I went to work with the Kauai Marathon to organize it.  The Kauai Marathon loved the plan and a few months later we had nearly 100 pairs of sizes for elementary and high school students shipped to Kauai.

Tyler 1

This year was the first year the Kauai Marathon added Keiki (kid’s) races.  The toddler trot was for kids up for 4 years old (100m dash), the 4-7 age group will race 1/4 mile and the 8-12 age group will race the 1/2 mile.  The course was planned on a beautiful section of grass next to the Grand Hyatt. We also did a ‘fun run’ on a dirt cane road near the Grand Hyatt.  In addition, Bart Yasso (CRO at Runner’s World), Dean Karnazes (ultramarathon man), Michael Wardian, and myself would be at the expo for presentations and Q&A.  Since the high school runners rarely have the opportunity to learn about running, this was a great opportunity to get the high school kids excited for cross country season. The big goal of the two weeks: get kids inspired to run and live a healthy lifestyle while providing shoes to the kids that need them.

Tyler 2

The Kauai Marathon decided to make a $500 donation to the school that brought in the most participants to the Keiki races.  This was publicized and the marathon public relations director Robin Jumper went to work on organizing the elementary schools for me to give a presentation.  I gave presentation to full school assemblies at four elementary schools and ran with three high school cross country teams. The goal was to get the kids excited to run the Keiki races, inform them what running is all about, and to share my experiences traveling across the US and the world. I learned that kids are very brave and love to ask questions.  Some of the questions I received were…

“What the longest you’ve ever run?”

“How many medals do you have?”

“How many race have you won?”

“Have you ever raced Usain Bolt?”

When asked if I have ever raced Usain Bolt, my response was “No, but I guarantee that if he shows up on Sunday I can beat him in the marathon!!”

On Wednesday I had a meeting with the mayor where he was shocked at the generosity.  He said that I was his “braddah” and I was blessed for helping with the kids. He explained how the island is building bike and walking paths to give kids and parents the opportunity to walk or bike to school/work.  He was hopeful that the Kauai Marathon youth program and Newton Running would inspire more kids to lead a healthy lifestyle.  This meeting with the mayor lead to a newspaper article (“Students Score Newtons”) in the Garden Isle that spread the word about the Kauai Marathon Youth Program and Newton shoes donation.

Tyler 3

On Saturday morning, the course that race director Bob Craver and I designed, was fortunate to have an impressive 171 kids running around it with their parents and spectators cheering them on! To put that number into perspective, I talked to all schools within a half hour drive and that was about 750 kids less than 13 years old. Some of the kids came from the mainland, but that’s still over 10% of the keiki’s came from local elementary schools! I spent the morning cheering on the kids and taking pictures with them and their parents. It was a fantastic morning and a very successful event. I took so many pictures with families where I had spoke to the kids at the schools. My favorite was the registration form that came back saying they signed up because the daughter heard me speak in school. A picture says a 1,000 words so here are a few gems mostly from Jo Evans of Dakine Images of the event…

All Keiki races were led by a giant rooster. Yes, he is undefeated (121-0 in fact) in his career leading keiki races.

Tyler 4

Photo posted by Brennecke’s BeachFront Restaurant after the Keiki Races! http://www.brenneckes.com/

Tyler 5

JT Service (http://www.soulfocussports.com/), Dean Karnazes and I getting the kids warmed up. JT did a wonderful job getting the kids moving, warmed-up, and excited for the races!

Tyler 7

One of the proudest moments of my life was reading this…inspiring kids to run and lead a healthy lifestyle is so important.

When I walked back to my room and laid down after the event, all I could think about was how incredible this event was.  This was by far the most rewarding experience in my life.  Immediately I started thinking… “How can I get more kids to participate?  How do I help more kids have proper footwear?  How do I inspire more kids to run and lead a healthy lifestyle?  How in the world do I properly thank the Kauai Marathon and Newton Running for allowing me to be a part of this incredible experience?  How do I spread the word to other runners about what an amazing family event the Kauai Marathon weekend is? How do we get more high school kids in Kauai to do cross country and participate in the events?

The next morning was the Kauai Marathon and my turn to run.

The next morning was the Kauai Marathon and my turn to run.  I woke up at 2:45AM, had breakfast, and was browsing the newspaper to kill time.  I found a ‘letter to the editor’ from one of the high school coaches who applauded me for being a role model for young kids. At that point I knew that I couldn’t lose the race.  After speaking to the kids about setting goals, working hard towards your goal, and then the joy of sharing your success with others, I knew I had to be a living example for them. Two hours, twenty-one minutes, thirty-three seconds, and 26.2 miles later I achieved my goal of winning the race and setting a new course record.  I was motivated by the dozens of handmade signs on the course that said “Go Tyler” and the number of volunteers that cheered me on by name.

Pomaika’i is the hawaiian word for good fortune/good luck.  When I was doing my last long run on the island before the race a white owl flew in front of me for nearly a mile.  The owl is a symbol of pomaika’i and the white owl is the rarest of all.  Without the fear of sounding cheesy, Newton Running is going to experience a lot of pomaika’i for the generosity this year.  Thank you all for letting me be a part of it!

Enjoy the photos below…

Tyler 9

With the Island School XC Team

Tyler 10

On my way to a new course record at the 2013 Kauai Marathon!

 

 

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Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset

Posted by on Friday, September 6, 2013 @ 8:19 am | Leave a reply

My Newtons and I Run Mongolia — Continent #5

Winter Mongolia 2

 

Getting There

In August, I spent a week in a Ger—the Mongolian term for a Russian yurt—in remote northern Mongolia. Morning views were of the sunrise over Lake Hovsgol, the “Mother Lake”.  Reflections of the distant mountains were painted across the still water. The mornings were so quiet, that if one looked hard enough, they might envision Chinggis Khaan and his men roaming the countryside on horseback. His legend lives across Mongolia. I knew the journey would be long, but the rewards of visiting a country with so much history would be worth the challenging travel.

The journey to Mongolia took two days. I left Portland, Oregon and made a quick stop in Seattle, before the long flight across the Pacific Ocean. Spending several hours on a layover in Seoul, Korea was a very surreal moment for me. At just 14 years old, I live away from home and my family. My days are spent training at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, with aspirations of making the 2018 Winter Olympics in aerial skiing. It just so happens, that those Olympics will be held in South Korea. I walked through the airport that day knowing that I will hopefully return here in 2018, with my skis in tote, chasing my Olympic dream. Many people don’t realize, the many purposes my running serves. Running is great cross training for so many sports, especially skiing. I believe my cross training as a triathlete and runner give me an added advantage as a skier.

A three-hour trip from Seoul put us in the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. I would later learn to call it UB, as it is known amongst the locals. We spent one evening in UB, where I witnessed how underdeveloped the area was. Many of the main roads were dirt with patches of broken up concrete.  A layer of dust rose above the city and mixed with the pollution from the four coal power plants used to power the city. The total population of Mongolia is 2.8 million with more than 1 million alone living in UB. Childhood obesity is as much an epidemic here as it is in the U.S. The major contributing factor is felt to be the lack of vegetables and outdoor activities, which is compounded by the extreme cold temperatures.

Yet another early morning flight, one-hour north, put us close to the border of Russia. Russian minivans took us on a three-hour drive to Camp Toilogt. For the past 15 years, this camp, mostly visited by fishermen and avid horseback riders, has had about 70 runners converge on it from around the world to run the annual Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 42 km and 100 km trail run in Hovsgol National Park.

I have been to remote areas in Kenya and Peru, but wasn’t quite prepared for what I would face in Mongolia. Most of us faced nutritional challenges the week leading into the race. We did not anticipate such a lack of fruit, vegetables, and the protein rich food that most athletes live on the days leading up to races. Refrigeration was limited, the dairy products were unpasteurized and rice was the main staple. The main water filter for the camp had broken so keeping up with fresh water meant boiling the water. Many of us tried to keep up on hydration by drinking the warm water or trying to cool it in our water bottles, which we submerged in the lake. Camp was at 5,000 feet, so runners needed to pay close attention to staying hydrated. I normally try to pack dried fruit, oatmeal, and bars, but was limited due to weight restrictions from the airlines. I definitely fell way short on my stash of pre-race food for this event. Luckily my stomach tolerated the change of nutrition fairly well, but others were less fortunate.

Winter Mongolia

Despite not having ideal conditions leading up to race day, everyone’s spirits remained high. Fourteen of the 70 race entrants were runners from all over the world who I had previously met at my second marathon in Kenya, the Amazing Maasai. We developed friendships and a running bond. We had decided to all meet up again in Mongolia, almost a year after the marathon in Kenya. We were also reunited with the Canadian filming crew, Boundless. They had filmed a segment with us in Kenya as part of their first season debut. Intrigued with my story in Kenya, the filming crew was kind enough to put together a great video about Team Winter. Having them join us in Mongolia and include us in their second season of filming was so much fun. The filming crew added a dynamic to camp and even caught my first “Hash Run” on film. (Hash Runs have now been modified so that non-drinkers and young people like me can participate as well.)

RACE DAY

Race morning was a 2 am wake up call. My mom had the usual morning fire already going. She would have a pot of hot water on the tiny stove that warmed our four-man Ger. The hot water would be used to make my pre-race oatmeal, which I had rationed specifically for race morning. Generators were used only two hours each evening to recharge phones and computers, but an exception was made race morning to provide early morning light. The weather was a runner’s dream, low 50s no wind and slightly overcast. The clouds would chase us up the mountain passes all morning, but never catch us.  About 70 runners, 33 for the 42 km and 35 for the 100 km lined up for the 4 am start. I was running the marathon, or 42 km.

By the pace of the first 100 yards of the race, you would think we were competing in an 800-meter sprint. The first 2.5 km’s of the course was very technical singletrack through the woods. The roots, low hanging trees, and stones made the trail—lit only be our headlamps—difficult for us to navigate in the darkness. Most of the top runners knew it would be difficult to pass during this section so there was definitely a race for positioning at the beginning. To my amazement, as I navigated the darkness with the lead pack, I would catch glimpses of the camera crew running the woods parallel to us trying to capture vital footage. The next 12 km were still in the dark along a rocky road next to Lake Hovsgol. The clouds hid the morning sunrise as we began our first ascent.

After a rewarding first climb we were greeted with a steep rocky descent with much loose stone, making for a difficult downhill run that didn’t allow for much recovery. There had already been many early morning falls by most of the runners, but luckily no serious injuries. By mostly pure luck, I managed to stay on my feet for the entire 26.2 miles.

The second climb humbled many of us, including myself. It was a steep climb through a mossy, dense forest that never seemed to end. I would occasionally find myself glancing around hoping to catch a glimpse of an area that might be the location of Chinggis Khaans’ burial site. To this day, no one has been able to identify the exact location of his tomb. At the summit of this second climb, stood an Ovoo, a spiritual triangle of stones and flags that are found throughout the land and especially at the highest points of elevation. These are sacred areas thought to house the spirit of the dead. It is good luck to circle them clock-wise either once or three times and place offerings. Of course, I made my offering and circled three times before continuing on in the race.

Winter Mongolia 4

Three aid stations filled with water, potatoes, tomatoes, and homemade donuts would be the only source of spectators on the course. An occasional sighting of the filming crew in the most obscure, remote locations would be the only other sign of life. There wasn’t a single time during the race that one couldn’t think about their foot placement due to the rocky nature of the course. The course proved a challenge to many runners. One person got lost for several hours and many of the 100 km runners quickly realized at the 42 km mark that the course would be too much to continue on. In the end, only about half of the 100 km runners that set out that morning actually complete the entire course. Many realized the 18-hour cut-off would be difficult to achieve and were happy to settle with 42 km. The last 42 km runner crossed the finish line in about 10 hours.

The course lived up to its name, “The Most Beautiful 100k” and definitely can be considered one of the more challenging races. I was pleased with my 5:55 finish and taking second place overall female. I have fallen in love with the challenges that trail running offers. I continue to learn much about running and most importantly about myself. Through my running, I’m not only able to raise awareness for prostate cancer, but to show that age and gender are not barriers! I am now just two continents away from setting a world record for the, “Youngest person to run a marathon on all seven continents”.  I will be headed to New Zealand in October followed by the completion of my World Marathon Tour in Athens, Greece in November.

As with every race, I learned afterwards of the unsung heroes that had run amongst us. Running in the Mongolian Sunrise to Sunset, were some of the 1 in 6 men I run for.  After the race, they came to me and shared their stories of family members affected by the disease or their own personal story of battling prostate cancer. I learned that prostate cancer survivors had been out there running the 42 km and 100 km in silence, a silence broken only by the presence of a 14 year-old girl out there running with them and for them. May they “Never Give In!”

Winter Mongolia 3

*** Although one in six men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, awareness and screenings remain extremely low. Help me to bring attention to this disease that affects almost every family worldwide during September—Prostate Awareness Month—by joining Teamwinter S1X, a month-long charity “run raiser” to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer and research by converting daily running or walking miles into dollars. Like run/walkathons, S1X participants invite friends, family, and colleagues to pledge dollars (or cents) per mile they log running or walking throughout the month of September. Activities are tracked on www.athlete.com/s1x and all proceeds benefit prostate cancer research and awareness.

As a bonus, S1X participants receive a “S1X Pack—with over $200 in swag,” and Athlete.com is awarding the top six men and women with the most money raised, most miles run, and first to six hundred with awesome prizes. There will also be great random raffle drawings—and participants can increase the odds by getting an extra raffle ticket for every $10 they raise. It isn’t too late to still register! Register here.

Never Give In!

Sig

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Losing Weight to Triathlon: Fleet Feet Spokane’s Wade Pannell

Posted by on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 @ 2:14 pm | Leave a reply

FleetFeetWadeSix years ago, the owner of Fleet Feet Spokane, Wade Pannell, was living in Bozeman, Montana. The former competitive cyclist — in both road cycling and mountain biking — was working in resort real estate development and wining and dining more than he was working out. “I was sixty pounds heavier and needed to get fit,” says Pannell. “I would say I was big boned. It was a good excuse. But when I lost the weight, I realized I really wasn’t.” Finally, a friend with whom he grew up suggested he was out of shape and Pannell says, “I took it to heart.”

He began to run. “I couldn’t run a quarter mile without stopping and walking.” Yet, for Pannell, running took the least amount of time and was the easiest to do on the road when he was traveling for work. He also found the running community much more accepting than the cycling community, whose participants he says can be more competitive and critical. “In running you’re always in a pack and it’s much more community based.” He found the community he needed at Fleet Feet Bozeman. The store offered a plethora of programs to help people like Pannell get started. Pannell found this invaluable. And, he says, “Once I ran my first 5K, the old competitive juices were back.”

Back in shape, and 60 pounds lighter, Pannell began to enjoy riding again. From there, he set his sights on triathlon. “I ran the Boston Marathon in 2010, and in 2011, I completed my first Ironman Coeur D’Alene.”

While his training was picking up speed, Pannell’s work moved him to Spokane, Washington. Before leaving Bozeman, Pannell had been dabbling with the idea of opening a Fleet Feet or changing his line of work to training and helping people get fit. Once in Spokane, he and his wife decided that the city presented the perfect opportunity to open a Fleet Feet. They opened Fleet Feet Spokane last summer, in August 2012.

Spokane County has a population of roughly 450,000 people, and it only had one real specialty running store, explains Pannell.  “It was an underserved market and historically a very running focused community. We send about two or three high schools to national high school championships each year. Yet there was only one main specialty store.”

With an inventory focused on triathlon more than the average Fleet Feet, Pannell reached out to Newton Running in April, 2013. Ever since, Newton has been the store’s number 2 vendor with the Gravity leading the way, then the Isaacs and Pannell expects the Energy to do well, too. “I’ve been running in Newton for the last five years. Newton is not one of those brands most Fleet Feet’s open with. But we are very tri oriented. A few employees and myself coach a tri group and we were in a tri club with about 250 people. So for our audience it makes sense to find some brands with more of a tri focus.”

Newton’s message also aligned with that of Fleet Feet Spokane. “As we worked with training people and talking about minimalism and everything people need to do to become better runners, Newton’s education and biomechanical feedback was a nice segue for what we were doing and what we were about,” Pannell explains. “Not only has Newton given us fantastic support with their tech rep and corporate backup, but we’ve probably held five run clinics. Each time we get 20-30 people. I love the drills that Danny gives. And they brought in Chris Legh during Ironman Coeur d’Alene.”

Pannell says more than 50% of people who come in to his store probably should be introduced to Newton. “It’s the person who wants to run better, more naturally and improve their form, and who likes a lighter shoe or is a triathlete. All of those categories add up to a large portion of our customer base, so it’s a natural fit to bring out a Newton.”

And it’s not just triathletes and serious runners who like the shoes. Who is his unexpected customer? “We have the unexpected walkers who love Newtons. We fit a fair amount of people who are baby boomers who just want to be in comfortable footwear. I’m surprised at how many choose Newtons. The Energy will be great for that group.”

Personally, Pannell runs in the Distance. “If you want a shoe to be a stronger, better runner, I can’t think of a better shoe to give you that feedback than the Distance.” And for people who are worried about the transition and strengthening process that accompanies running in Newtons, he says, “You’ve lifted weights before right? Did it hurt? Well, if you’re going to increase your strength in your legs, you should have some muscular discomfort. It’s nothing to be scared of, just manage it properly.” He adds, “Once people commit, they get it. Even those who were skeptical about Newton are now very excited about running in them.”

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Aha!

Posted by on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 @ 8:49 am | Leave a reply

FB_Freak FB_BLEND2 FB_Clash

For Newtonites, there’s a uniquely memorable moment when the unmistakable pop that characterizes the Newton ride first energized our stride. Nearly a decade ago, before terms like “minimalist” and “natural” invaded running vocabulary, Newton founders Danny Abshire and Jerry Lee spent years perfecting that feel. Danny and Jerry knew “it” when they felt “it”, launching the Newton brand and an ever-evolving product line that has always stayed true to that trademark experience.

The Newton ride is different. It transcends shoe technology and running form to simply make every run better. So that “aha” moment reappears every time you lace up your Newtons. In celebration of all that differentiates us, from our characteristic colors to our protruding lugs, we launch our new Newton brand campaign.

Hello better!

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Never Give In: Running the Inca Trail Marathon

Posted by on Monday, July 29, 2013 @ 9:16 am | Leave a reply

Never Give In: Running the Inca Trail Marathon

How tough could running the Inca Trail be? Getting to the Inca Trail was much easier than Antarctica. No boats, no hurricane, just a 5-mile hike into the start line the day before the marathon. We arrived on a Saturday, a few days before the race, in a cute, little, town called Cusco, Peru. Here, we would spend several days acclimating to 12,000 feet and drinking lots of coca tea. The locals consider coca tea leaves to be the miracle plant for acclimatizing. Everywhere you go in Cusco, there are coca tea leaves, which you either chew or use to make tea.

Peru Marathon

I didn’t experience any significant issues going from 7,000 feet to 12,000 feet. Some people get nauseated, headaches, decreased appetite and even fatigue. We did several 4-5 mile downhill runs over the next couple days to get used to running in the altitude. Tuesday we hiked into our race camp near the start of the Inca Trail. We slept in tents and prepared for a 4 a.m. race start time. The park entrance into Machu Picchu closes at 3:30 p.m. every day. An early morning race start would give us 11.5 hours to reach this gate, which lies 2 miles from the actual finish line inside Machu Picchu. Those runners who don’t make the cutoff either camp out for the night on the Inca Trail at make shift camps set up by the race organizers, Andes Adventures, or take a path down to a different finish line below Machu Picchu.

Race night was short and not the most ideal preparation for a long running day. A 2 a.m. breakfast cooked by the Peruvian porters consisting of porridge, pancakes and bananas was definitely a good start though! There would be over 30 porters that would assist us on race day. They would carry our 22kg ration of gear we used for camping and assist us along the race course with water stops as well as encouragement and any other issues that might arise.

In the 18-year history of this race, only once had it rained!  We can now make that twice! Within the first hundred yards of starting the marathon, raindrops began to fall, turning the trail into a rocky, muddy mess. The biggest obstacle to navigate in the first couple hours of darkness was the huge “cow pies” on the trail left by the farm animals that inhabited and roamed the first mountain pass. What a slippery mess they were! Once again it was the Newton trainers that served me well. I chose a lighter trainer shoe on the trails over the Newton trail shoe, but that is just my preference.

Peru Marathon 3

The toughest challenge may not have been the climate or the elevation. We would climb about 10,400 feet and descend 11,000 feet over the course of the day. I experienced some swelling in my fingers that was very noticeable as I reached Dead Woman’s Pass at 13,799 feet. After the race, I realized I wasn’t the only one experiencing this. It is common at these elevations to experience swelling in your extremities. My fingers looked like little sausages, but quickly went away after I descended to lower altitudes. The high altitude affected my normal race appetite also. I found myself not drinking and taking in the energy gels as planned.

Each of these marathons has been a great learning experience. I have become much better at listening to my body and adapting to the different challenges I face during these runs. Instead of only consuming my normal nutrition that had served me well in training runs, I had to switch it up and grab a cup of chicken broth. That seemed to work very well for me. My body was probably craving a little more sodium than usual. Despite my lack of thirst, I knew I was behind in my water intake and had to keep up on my hydration. My hydration pack made that much easier, since there was little effort needed to just take sips frequently along the way. Your hydration pack is crucial in these races. I had mine under my running jacket during the race so I didn’t have to remove my hydration pack each time I needed to put my jacket on or off. A hydration pack should just feel like a part of your body. The last thing you need to worry about is something bouncing on your back or chaffing you.

So what was the toughest challenge? The rocks and stone steps that lined the 26.2 miles of the Inca Trail were probably the biggest challenge of the day. Climbing the two-foot steps, which never seemed to end, provided a huge challenge to the hamstrings. I can’t even tell you how many false summits there are on that course. You think you are at the top and you get there and realize, “You’re not!” After all the long climbs, there would then be a long rocky descent, which entailed never-ending pounding to your feet on uneven stones. The descents were a true test of how well you had trained your quads. This was the first marathon that I wore my 110% Play Harder Compression Soxs during the race and not just for recovery after. I think it made a huge difference in how fresh my legs felt at the end of this grueling 9-hour run. You can bet you will see me running the longer distances in them in the future as well.

I never set out to win the Inca Trail Marathon. I just wanted to have the best possible race for me that day. The number “3” has been following me for a while, 3rd place overall female in Kenya and Antarctica Marathon! I am always thinking to myself, “Is today going to be the perfect race?” We must admit, we all dream of that perfect race or perfect competition. My training is always purposeful; I fuel my body nutritionally and prepare mentally for success as an athlete, especially as an endurance runner. The Inca Trail Marathon wasn’t the perfect race for me, but I was the best female runner given the circumstances on that course, on that given day. That race proved age is not a barrier and certainly, as the 4th place finisher overall that day, gender is not a barrier.

Peru Marathon 2

What do I remember most about that day? It probably isn’t standing on the finish line with my first overall female marathon win. It is the memories of me trying to race the porters on the descents and still not being able to keep up with them as they descended the stone paths with a 100-pound pack on their back. It was the reality that all the hikers I would pass on the Inca Trail that day would take 4-5 days to complete the Inca Trail, something I would complete in just 9 hours and 18 minutes. It was sharing my iphone the night before the race with two young Peruvian girls so they could play games and escape their isolated reality for a while. It was donating my clothing, as well as my brothers’ clothing, to the nearly 40 porters that would assist us on race day so that their families would have clothing. Or maybe it was waiting at the finish to not only see my mom run an 11 hour 20 minute marathon, but also to be on the podium with me as the 3rd place overall female.

The victory on the Inca Trail was not only a personal victory, but more importantly, a victory for prostate cancer awareness! Next stop is the Sunrise to Sunset Marathon in remote Mongolia at the end of this month. Following Mongolia is New Zealand and Athens, Greece later this year. In the end, I hope that I inspire others and teach the world to Never Give In. Never Give In despite the odds, despite your circumstances, despite your age, despite your gender, despite what others might say.

NEVER GIVE IN!

Sig

 

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Meet The Dogs Of Newton – Week 10 Shela

Posted by on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 @ 12:20 pm | Leave a reply

ShelaLikes – Shela spends most of her days in the Newton Running Lab. She likes to run with customers to help them with their Natural  Running Form in the Lab. She will always let you know when you need to lift your knees a little more by barking at you. Shela likes to herd everybody and everything- even motorcycles. Ouch!

Dislikes – Shela is more of a professional runner and doesn’t enjoy being cooped up in the car. She is known to jump out of the car window when at red lights. She is timid of the family of raccoon’s who reside in the window well at home. It’s a problem!

Favorite places: Shela is a very intelligent dog. She loves spending time helping customers and  assisting Danny, the CTO, in research and design in the Newton Running Lab. When she is not there, Shela spends her free time helping her brothers built roll cages for very fast cars.

Summary: Shela is awesome. She is a little Australian Cattle herding dog (thus the name Shela). She is a rescue dog made in the shade from Gallup, New Mexico. She is probably about 7 months old and loves spending time with her new family and co-workers. Her breed is known to be a long distance runners so she fits right in with the Newton running clan. Soon she will be able to join the team and go on long trail runs in the mountains of Boulder, CO.

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Runners Find their “Sweet Spot’ With the EnergyNR from Newton Running

Posted by on Monday, July 22, 2013 @ 11:20 am | Leave a reply

 

Here at Newton, we’ve always taken pride in designing shoes that help runners find a more natural running posture and discover what it feels like to run more efficiently. The new EnergyNR, which we released last week, does just that. New design features allow you to step right into the shoe and effortlessly familiarize yourself with the benefits of Newton Running.

“Our goal is always to look for ways to expand the Newton experience to a broader group of runners, and the EnergyNR offers similar functionality and ride to all of our products, but in a more conventional design package,” says Newton Running co-founder Danny Abshire. “Runners who are new to the brand and loyal Newtonites alike will truly enjoy the lightweight and responsive ride that the EnergyNR offers.”

Whereas most running shoe brands place their cushioning technology in the heel of the shoe, our trademark impact-reducing lugs are located under the forefoot, which we believe to be the ideal first point of contact with the ground during the run gait cycle.

So what makes the EnergyNR so different from other Newton Running shoes?

To start, it features second-generation Action/ReactionTM technology in the forefoot. Originally offered only in our racing shoes, the more streamlined design employs five low-profile forefoot lugs that provide superior impact-zone cushioning and a smooth, stable ride.

Similarly, the lightweight EnergyNR (weighing just 9 ounces for men and 7 ounces for women) has a heel-to-toe drop of 6 mm, which we found to be the ideal angle for supporting a balanced posture, affording the shoe both the accessibility of a traditional running shoe and the unique functionality of the Newton line.

Designed to enhance the running experience for runners of all types, the lightweight, breathable mesh upper of the EnergyNR has a spacious toebox that provides ample room for toes to splay, while midfoot overlays provide a secure fit.

Don’t take it from us though! The best way to experience the benefits of the newest addition to the Newton family is to step into a pair today and take a test drive in the brand new EnergyNR shoes from Newton Running!

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Meet The Dogs Of Newton – Week 8 Lucy

Posted by on Monday, July 8, 2013 @ 2:05 pm | Leave a reply

LucyLikes: I LOVE running around in the backyard, chewing on all of the grass, sticks, leaves and flowers that I can find.  My favorite game is fetch with my dad, and I trick him by coming back with my toy or ball, then run away and hide in places where only I can fit because I’m so small.  I also like playing in my pool, especially when the sun is out, and it cools me off.  Since I can’t swim, mom and dad bought me a kiddie pool for the backyard so I can enjoy the water without needing a life jacket.   (But I wish I could go to the lake with the big dogs).  I also enjoy a long nap on the couch at any time, especially on Sundays with my dad after his really long run.

Dislikes:  Cats.  I don’t understand them—they hide, they hiss, and they don’t like to play fetch.  I also don’t like the yellow monster which hides in the closet and comes out to clean the floors.  It’s so noisy, and it is so funny looking!  There is squirrel that comes by while I’m in the backyard, and he just stares at me.  I’m not so sure about him yet.

Favorite places:  Newton, the backyard, doggie day camp and any place where there are people and dogs.

Summary:  I am a 9-month old Frenchie, and I am the runt of the litter, so I’m much smaller than most Frenchies.  I love to be outside walking, running and sitting outside in the sun.  I love to make new friends with people and dogs, and I will always try several attempts to be your friend—just ask Stella.  She didn’t like me at first, but I know she’ll warm-up to me.  I like to be around everyone and watch what’s going on.  Mom calls me the ‘supervisor’ because I’m so curious as to what everyone does.  I really want to become a faster runner and be able to go a little farther than a mile so I can go for a bit with my mom and dad.  My current mile PR is 10:10 with a potty stop.  I’m starting to do more sprints in the yard to help make me faster, which are fun, but they wear me out!

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Meet The Dogs Of Newton – Week 6 Saddie

Posted by on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 @ 7:15 am | Leave a reply

saddieLikes: ice, pumpkin, peanut butter, squirrels, digging holes, chewing through the wires to the sprinkler system

Dislikes: soda cans, exercise balls, getting my nails trimmed, thunder, snakes

Favorite Hangouts: the couch, anywhere in the sun

Plays With: soccer ball, frisbee, sprinklers

Summary: I’m a one year old German Shepherd mix and I love people! My owners adopted me from the local humane society and I couldn’t have been more excited. My favorite thing to do is pretend I have an itch right at the very moment my owners tell me to do something I don’t feel like doing. They have recently caught onto my trick, so now I sometimes pretend I don’t hear them until they offer peanut butter. I’ll do anything for peanut butter!

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