Monday, July 27, 2015

RACE INFLATION

No matter what our age or status in life may be, we are all impacted by the economic law of supply and demand.

Its simple. When there is an abundance of a good, product, or service, the price of the item drops. When there's a scarcity, prices rise. If there's turmoil in the Middle East, or an offshore oil rig is crippled by a storm, gasoline prices will rise. In the late '90s, when personal computers became the rage, scarcity of the product saw us paying $1000 or more for the bulky hulks. Today, with the abundance of computers out there, a sleek laptop or tablet can be purchased for around $200.

When I began my road racing career, over 39 years ago, we sometimes needed to travel two hours or more in order to enter a race. Today, there are more races than ever. On any given weekend I can find a dozen or more races within an hour of my home.

And marathons?

Marathons and half marathons abound. From September to the Christmas season, marathons are everywhere.

And...they're more expensive than ever!!!

No law of supply and demand here.

I will not disparage any particular marathon. And, let me add, I fully realize the amount of time, labor, city services, and liability incurred when a town or city decides to host a marathon, Finally, I also understand that a loaf of bread doesn't cost a nickel any more, so my age doesn't cloud my judgement.

A couple of weeks ago, I was prepared to sign up for one of my favorite marathons, held in November. When I visited the website, I was astounded to find out that the entry fee stood at $150!

Ok, that's $150 for the entry fee. In most cities, hotels are more than happy to gouge runners, so I'm looking at a minimum of $200 a night to stay in the city. Throw in parking costs and meals, and you're looking at a weekend that will set you back nearly $1000.

It has become outrageous.

I refuse to do it anymore.

Let me add that, in addition to your overpriced entry fee, major races charge anywhere from $500 to $1500 for each of those booths you pass at the race expo. And don't forget corporate sponsorship. Somebody is making a lot of money off the backs (and the legs) of runners.

I AM going to single out two marathons that, in my experience, are high-quality events, remain very runner-friendly, and charge fair entry fees to their participants.

After my big-city race sticker shock, I turned to the site of my very first marathon, which will celebrate its 43rd running this November, the Harrisburg Marathon. A flat, fast race, which runs through Pennsylvania's capital city, along the Susquehanna River, this race attracts about 1500 runners, and is superbly managed. You can stay at local hotels and motels for a fraction of the cost of big-city lodging, and, if you register before August 31, you'll pay only $70 for your entry fee.

The date of the 43rd annual Harrisburg Marathon is Sunday, November 8. for more information, go to: http://ymcarun.com/

On Saturday, March 5, 2016, the 19th annual Myrtle Beach Marathon will be held.

I have several biases when it come to this race.

First, I love the Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand region. Next, the course is flat, fast, and the race is extremely well-organized. There are great ocean views, excellent crowd support, and a terrific post-race party.

Finally, you owe it to yourself to go to the Grand Strand Running Club's booth at the expo/packet pick up. You will meet friendly, supportive fellow runners. They even provide a clothing drop for all runners along the course.

The entry fee is a modest $85, if you register soon, and, unlike many other places, area hotels are very happy to host runners, at ridiculously low rates, even for oceanfront.

The race website is:http://mbmarathon.com

Do your homework. Stop paying ridiculous entry fees for hyped-up, big-city races. Seek out established, smaller, more local events, and you can beat race inflation.

Feel free to share your stories of great, economical races, as well as rip-off races, and I'll include your accounts in a future blog.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

TRAIN FOR FREE

We may be approaching the "Dog days of summer," but fall racing season is rapidly approaching.

Are you still wondering why you can't break that seemingly impossible barrier?

Can't go under 25 minutes for the 5K?

That 3:30 marathon time slips from your grasp each time you attempt to break it.

"What am I doing wrong?" you ask.

Not everyone can afford a personal coach...or can they?

Visit my website: www.muldowneyrunning.com, and I'll personally coach you...FOR FREE!

Ok, what's the catch? There's always a catch.

The catch is that you purchase some great summer reading material, in the form of one of my books: Running Shorts, or Personal Best. Both offer a great deal of running advice in their own right, but when you purchase a book, which I'll personally sign for you, I'll design a six-week personalized training program, just for you.

Here's how it works.

Buy one of my books, at: www.muldowneyrunning.com, then scroll down to the 'Contact' form.

Tell me your racing or training goal. Give me a short description, including your age, approximate weight and fitness level, and we can get started. Then I'll create a six-week training plan just for you.

It doesn't matter if you want to train to lose weight, to return to running, to run your first 5K, half marathon, marathon, or anything in between. I'll write a program that will get you there.

Believe me, I've been there. I've been at this for 39 years. I've run a 2:22:54 marathon, and I've gone back to square one after tearing my hamstring in 2013.

So, don't wait. This promotion will only last for a month. In August I'll be devoting my coaching time to my cross country runners at Penn State Schuylkill campus.

Now you can run YOUR personal best...for free.




Friday, July 24, 2015

$750 or $250 JUST TO FINISH?

We all know there are many, many races out there, but there's one classic race that offers uniquely crafted, hand-made pottery awards, cash prizes to top finishers, dri-fit T-shirts, plenty of good food and cold beverages, AND...the opportunity to walk home with a check for $750 or $250, just for finishing the race!!!
If you live near Chambersburg, a small town in the beautiful region of south-central Pennsyvania, near historic Gettysburg, you owe it to yourself to run the 28th Annual Tom Ausherman Memorial 5-Mile race.
The course is flat, fast, and USATF certified. The race is superbly organized by John Ausherman, a veteran runner, and former 2:24 marathoner. People of the town are friendly, the post-race party is awesome, and the unique awards are plentiful.

Two weeks from tomorrow, Saturday, August 8, at 8:30 a.m., the 28th Annual Tom Ausherman Memorial 5-Mile run will be held. At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, a random prize of $750 and $250 will be awarded to two lucky race finishers. Hope to see you at this great race. For more details, go to their website: http://www.ausherman5miles.com/


Thursday, July 23, 2015

DON'T BE AFRAID OF A VACATION

Summer is a great time of year, and we're right in the middle of it.

Temperatures have been high, and the humidity has been drenching. Great beach weather, but not so great for running.

Perhaps you're getting out there for your daily run and you are frustrated. Your scheduled 10-mile training run has been reduced to a 7-miler.

On your routine daily workout, you glance at your sweat-soaked watch in frustration and you can't believe how slow you've become.

Not to worry.

It's time for a vacation.

Here's the deal.

You're not going to run your best races in sweltering summer heat, so chill out and scale back your training.

Recognize, that for a few weeks in the summer, your distances may decrease and your times may be slower.

On days when the conditions are 90 by 90, relax with easy miles.

Then, when Mother Nature offers you a break, seize the opportunity.

For example.

On Monday, conditions were brutal. The temperature hit 90 and the dew point was in the 70s. I struggled through a 5-miler. Pools of sweat formed at my sides when I finished.

Yesterday, after a cold front passed through, the temperature dropped to 80 degrees, with a crisp humidity of only 35%. I ran the same course 2 and 1/2 minutes faster than I did on Monday and I felt great.

So the word for summer running is: Maintain!

Try not to lose your fitness level. Do not be afraid to give yourself a short running vacation. Your body will appreciate the rest, and some of those nicks might be given an opportunity to heal.

Soon, ideal fall conditions will begin and you will be able to return to intense training, refreshed from your summer vacation.

And, speaking of that training, check out my website: www.muldowneyrunning.com for a great training offer.






Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A FIT BODY AND 'SOUL'

Folks everywhere have made a commitment to fitness.

Recently, at a local restaurant, I watched, as a waitress, on a particularly slow business evening, briskly walked laps around the establishment in order to meet her step quota for her Fitbit.

Now there's a new fitness challenge platform that works with health and fitness trackers by creating custom fitness challenges, in virtually any athletic activity.

Visit the site: https://www.soulathlete.com/, where you can link, train, and win.

Soul Athlete creates the custom challenges for you.

On the Soul Athlete leader board you can participate in one-on-one challenges, as well as custom team competitions.

Challenge friends, co-workers, and other runners now!

 Make every 24 hours count.

Get moving and start a fitness tracker challenge today. 

There are over 90 custom challenge options available.

















Thursday, July 16, 2015

FREE TRAINING PROGRAM

The Fourth of July has come and gone, and right about now most runners are looking toward the fall racing season.

Not everyone can afford a personal coach...or can they?

Visit my website: www.muldowneyrunning.com, and I'll personally coach you...FOR FREE!

Ok, you ask. What's the catch. There's always a catch.

The catch is that you purchase some great summer reading material, in the form of one of my books: Running Shorts, or Personal Best. Both offer a great deal of running advice in their own right, but when you purchase a book, which I'll personally sign for you, I'll design a six-week personalized training program, just for you.

Here's how it works.

Buy one of my books, at: www.muldowneyrunning.com, then scroll down to the 'Contact' form.

Tell me your racing or training goal. Give me a short description, including your age, approximate weight and fitness level, and we can get started. Then I'll create a six-week training plan just for you.

It doesn't matter if you want to train to lose weight, to return to running, to run your first 5K, half marathon, marathon, or anything in between. I'll write a program that will get you there.

Believe me, I've been there. I've been at this for 39 years. I've run a 2:22:54 marathon, and I've gone back to square one after tearing my hamstring in 2013.

So, don't wait. This promotion will only last for a month. In August I'll be devoting my coaching time to my cross country runners at Penn State Schuylkill campus.

Run YOUR personal best...for free.




Wednesday, July 8, 2015

VIRTUAL FLEXIBILITY

Runners are afforded more options than ever these days.

Adverse weather conditions can be averted by logging miles on the treadmill.

On any given weekend, runners have the ability to attend a race somewhere close to home.

Now, your options have increased, thanks to a virtual race series, conducted at: http://www.beactivevirtualrunning.com/

Following is description of the event.

Welcome to the Summer 5k, 10k, Half Marathon Virtual Run. This race can be completed anywhere in the USA, International participants are also welcome. The charities supported by this race are the Arthritis Foundation, Feeding America San Diego and Hope for Haiti. Donations are not required but they are encouraged! All registered runners will receive a medal, emailed bib and goodie bag, shipping charges are included in your registration.Time submissions are not required to receive medals, bibs, and goodie bags.

Where: Everywhere. Your own course, you choose, any city, worldwide.

When: July 1st- 20th 2015. Sign-ups are allowed until July 20th 11pm est. Times must be submitted by July 25th 11pm est Who: All ages, competitive runners and walkers are welcome. All registered athletes will recieve a medal, emailed bib and goodie bag. Top race finishers will be awarded (3 deep) ***Times must be submitted for finisher award. Submit your time on our webpage. Race results will be emailed after competition. Tag your photos on our Instagram @beactive_events 
Event details and schedule.

You can sign up at:  http://www.active.com/san-diego-ca/running/distance-running-virtual-events/summer-5k-10k-half-marathon-virtual-run-2015

You can choose your distance, AND you can choose where and when you want to run. Finally, you can do it all for a good cause.

Sounds like a great running deal to me.