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Lucky Number Three With Chris McDonald

Posted by on Thursday, September 12, 2013 @ 9:51 am | Leave a reply

NAME: Chris McDonald

AGE: 35

HOMETOWN:  Austin, Texas

NEWTON SHOE YOU WEAR WHEN RACING: MV3 or Olympic racer

RACE: Ironman Louisville, Louisville, KY; August 25, 2013

Chris IM Lou

DOES THIS RACE HOLD ANY SIGNIFICANCE TO YOU? The race means a lot to me, as it was where I won my first IM.

HOW DID YOU FEEL GOING INTO THE RACE? I felt calm and content going into the race, which is always a good sign for me. After having problems that were out of my control in my last two Ironman races, I was just hoping for a smooth day.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE COURSE? The course in Louisville is very challenging! It is a warm non-wetsuit swim with a bike course that has relentless rolling hills, and a run that is in the wide-open streets with temps in the 90s. I am a believer that it is very much a strong man’s course.

Chris IM Lou 3

CAN YOU GIVE US SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE RACE? It’s funny that when a race goes well, there is often not much to talk about. The swim went great for me and I was able to get some good feet and stay pretty close to the front. I think I was about 30 seconds down exiting the transition, but was able to take the lead by mile one of the bike.

Then it was out onto the bike and the only thing to report was I lost my spare tire at about mile 4—the rest of the ride was very uneventful! I felt good and was having fun. Out onto the run, I really had no idea of my lead until the turn around at roughly mile 7. So I did run the first half marathon pretty strong. Once I saw I had a solid lead and Pat (2nd place guy) was giving me the “It’s your day wave,” I tried to dial it back a little and save something for the upcoming races.

WHAT DO YOU THINK WAS THE KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS? Consistency! If you can’t get up and train day after day, I think you have over done the day before.

ARE YOU DOING ANYTHING DIFFERENT IN 2013 VERSUS 2012 OR 2011? Nope, just consistent training and always looking to improve, even on my strengths.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPORTS NUTRITION TIPS YOU COULD SHARE? Keep it simple!!! You are putting your body under an amazing amount of duress during an Ironman and the last thing you want to do is upset your stomach or eat something that takes a lot of digestion.

HOW DO YOU MANAGE FAMILY AND TRAINING? I put family first! If they are happy I am happy and training is easy. I like to swim early so I can be home for breakfast and I like to start my last training session before school ends. I also try to include them, nothing better than some company while you are out running long.

DO YOU EVER TAKE DOWN TIME? IF SO, WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? I do take down time! I like to pretty much take December off. At the start of January I hate myself, but by mid March I am very happy I did it. It always leaves me motivated and pumped up for the year ahead.

WHAT’S NEXT? IM Tahoe [Lake Tahoe, CA; September 22, 2013].

DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF INSPIRATION FOR FELLOW RACERS? “If you do push your limits, you set your limits.” And keep it fun! We like to do things that are fun.

Chris IM Lou1

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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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Social Media Round-Up: 4.26.13

Posted by on Friday, April 26, 2013 @ 3:38 pm | Leave a reply

In this week’s social media round-up, we’re going to make sure you guys know how to find Newton Running on the interwebs so we can see all the great pictures, posts, pins, tweets and videos you guys are creating!

First up is the Newton Running Facebook page! If you’re not already a “fan” of Newton Running then you should be. Our page is a place where Newton Runners share their stories, whether they’re stories of their daily run mileage, a weekend race or a story of running completely changing their lives. We’re not just watching you guys talk on Facebook, we’re part of the conversation and love to hear what you guys say and see how we can help! Click the Facebook button below to visit our page and become part of the conversation!

Newton Running on Facebook

Next up is Twitter. Just like Facebook, we want to be a part of the conversation and talk to you guys! If you have a question, ask it! If you have a picture, share it! If you have something not so nice to say, feel free (though we reserve the right to have our feeling hurt). Click the Twitter button below to follow us.

Newton Running on Twitter

Pinterest is amazing. We haven’t been on Pinterest that long but with it’s image and information driven platform it fits right in with our colorful shoes and our perhaps even more colorful audience! Whether it’s a cool article or picture about running form or if it’s a re-pin of something that one of you have posted, we aim to make our Pinterest page a thing of beauty! Click below to follow us!

And now for the awesome Instagram. We first arrived on Instagram in mid-2011. We’d post a picture here and there but not too much. Earlier this year (2013) we started doing a little digging and realized that, thanks to our fans, we were ALL OVER i Instagram! Seriously, just search the tag: #newtonrunning and you’ll come across thousands of pictures of you guys, out there on the roads and trails, racking up the miles in Newton Running shoes. Check out our feed below and get involved!



 

That’s all we’re going to list for now but trust us, we’re out there on more social media platforms (Google+, Foursquare, Tumblr) and bringing the Newton love to and from all of you. If you can find us, follow us. if you think we need to be somewhere that we’re not, let us know and we’ll get on it!

For now, let us know your social media URL’s in the comments and we’ll give you a follow!

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Day one of the 2013 Boston Marathon!

Posted by on Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 9:08 pm | Leave a reply

The entire Newton Running crew had a very busy day for the opening of the 2013 Boston Marathon expo today! While the expo crew was inside the Hynes center getting shoes on feet, Brandon and the Ginger Runner were out on the street getting soaked and meeting people. Here’s a brief recap of a day that was soaking but didn’t really dampen our spirits.

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Newton heads to Belize with One World Running (Part 2)

Posted by on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 @ 7:58 am | Leave a reply

Last week we showed you the first two of Anne’s postcards from her service trip with One World Running (OWR) to Belize. Anne included some truly inspiring photos as well as a brief video that showed the absolute joy that OWR brings to these children.

In Part 2 of Anne’s postcards we get to see some footage from the finish of the 5K that is one of the highlights of the week’s events. We’re also taken to where the children live and it’s stark contrast to most of our lives. After you’ve read Anne’s entries, please read on to find out how you can help contribute to One World Running.

One World Running Postcard #3

The Race!

Today was the race! Adults, Kids and Special Olympics waves all gathered in the main square for a 5k & 3k for kids. Attached is a video of the top three girls- note the shoes! And photo of the podium finishers!

 

One World Running Postcard #4

Last postcard from the One World Running service trip. We had been in the jungle in the Maya Mountains in the Cayo region at a farm with no electricity for three days, hence the radio silence.

The schools were in a town called Succotz and the experience was very similar to the schools in Corozol: profound poverty that takes your breath away. To reach the first school you crossed a rickety plank and cable footbridge twenty feet over a river (pic attached). Last week a five year old girl fell through the planks into the river. She could not swim and went under but luckily her father was with her and jumped in to retrieve her.

The kids we fitted for shoes were so poor and many had no shoes. Their gratitude for something as simple as shoes was deeply humbling and yet another reminder that we are so blessed with abundance in our lives in the US.

Many thanks to Newton Running for helping to change the lives of many kids from this trip!

Anne

One World Running is ALWAYS accepting donations of shoes as well as financial contributions. Newton Running is proud to support this amazing organization and the work they do around the world. Please consider joining us in bringing the simple gift of shoes, something many of us take for granted, to those in need.

To find a drop off location, please visit: http://oneworldrunning.com/drop-off-locations/

To visit the One World Running Website to see how else you can contribute, please visit: http://oneworldrunning.com

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Newton heads to Belize with One World Running

Posted by on Thursday, April 4, 2013 @ 7:53 am | 1 Reply

Newton Running VP of Administration & Sustainability Anne Klein recently had the chance to travel with One World Running (OWR) on a service trip to Belize. One World Running is an international organization that promotes an awareness of health, fitness and nutrition by providing running shoes to those in need around the world. Anne took her goddaughter Laura on the trip to participate in giving shoes to impoverished children.

Below are the first two of Anne’s OWR Postcards sent while in Belize:

One World Running Postcard #1

Today was such an amazing day with One World Running that I wanted share some pictures with Newton. We gave away hundreds of shoes today to kids from 13 local schools and their families. Kids arrived with paperwork from their school to help organize the shoe distribution – without this the entire town would show up and it would be very chaotic (they know from experience!).

Kids stand in line and then enter the school room and sit on chairs lined up just like our expos. The OWR volunteer who is working with the child guestimates the shoe size and tells their partner volunteer what size to get, The volunteer partner grabs a couple options from the makeshift storage area we created in the back of the school, behind the OWR banners. Many kids come in barefoot and the fitting can take several rounds. Once a fit is made and the kiddos have their shoes they exit the classroom, pick up a t-shirt (Mike Sandrock gathers leftover tech tops from all the local races) and their race number (donated by the Bolder Boulder) for the  5k race which will take place on Wednesday morning.

It is a lot like our expo work!

So may smiles and beautiful faces. It is an amazing experience!

One World Running Postcard #2

Some favorite images from today’s work with two different schools. The video illustrates how meaningful something that we take for granted — shoes — can be to the kids we’re helping. Also attached two photos of proud recipients of Newtons!

 

One World Running Making an Impact in Belize from Newton Running on Vimeo.

 

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I am Newton: Tor Swenson

Posted by on Monday, March 11, 2013 @ 12:39 pm | Leave a reply

Little TorOriginally born in New Jersey my family and I moved around often when I was younger. See, my mom was a true flower child and my dad was as free and easy as the Colorado winds… OK we were hippies and dad played drums in a band. Yep that’s me in the sweet pants around Christmas.

We settled down in Raleigh, NC and that’s where I spent most of my youth.  I grew up playing soccer, surfing and swimming. Soccer was my favorite and I ultimately went to college to play. After college, a season ski bumming in Killington and then some more college; I followed my Dad’s footsteps and went into the restaurant/bar industry.  Eventually my wife and I became owners in the industry for over eight years. We had a blast and it was a huge success, but horrible on the midline!

Five years into the biz…. I saw a picture of myself (that I will not share). With the thoughts ofTor Broder-resized-600 having children it was time to make a change. Our ultimate goal was to lead by example and show our kids a healthy way to live. A little time and several pounds later…. It worked! That’s my son Broder and I training for his first 5K.

During that time I had been fulfilling a love for competition with triathlon. This is where  the running comes in… soccer players only run when told. Swimming came naturally, cycling is awesome but running? Ugh. But even not being a runner by trade, it wasn’t long before I developed a passion for the trails and longing to tick off the miles. Running became my favorite discipline.

On a visit to a local triathlon shop I happened to try on a pair of Newtons. They felt amazing  and despite receiving discounted shoes from another brand, I purchased a pair. Not only did they feel great but that end of the season IT band ache disappeared. Needless to say it’s the only shoe I have worn since!

In July 2011 I was able to marry my lifestyle passion with an opportunity at Newton Running.  As Regional Sales Manager of the Mid-Atlantic I’m able to surround myself with incredibly passionate people and continue to feed that competitive drive.

Many thanks to my wife Carolyn, Lilla and Broder

Tor Swenson

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