IronBrandon reader/listener Chris ran the Walt Disney World Marathon on January 10, 2011. He sent over this email and the awesome pictures below it. (I’m SUPER jealous of his medal/Newton pics!)
Just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know, after hearing about Newtons on your show, I purchased my first pair at the MCM expo in Oct ‘10. I ran the Disney marathon in my Newtons over the weekend and it felt great. I’ve had issues in the past with losing toe-nails and other knee pains – but not this time. I had a number of runners ask me how I liked my Newton’s and I gave them my experience and reasons for switching. I also had a TSA agent come up to me and ask me “what are those??” when I put them in the tray to go through x-ray. He said he was a boater and they looked like great deck shoes! And on the way to the airport, we stopped at a convenience store. These two teenagers came up to me and said “hey man, cool kicks”. That is something I don’t often hear.
I have included a few images from Sunday’s run.
Yesterday you (WTC) announced the “Ironman Access” program. By now, a mere 24 hours later, you may be having second thoughts about this (almost) universally condemned revenue tactic. I have not seen one comment, tweet or blog post that is supportive of this new program though I say “(almost) universally condemned” because I’m sure there is some M-dot sycophant out there who’s already bought in.
Ironman started and thrived as a sport of endurance and pushing oneself to strive for something great. The fraternity of Ironmen and Ironwomen is one that most people will never have any concept of, yet year after year, thousands of people around the world sign up to push themselves to the limits of human endurance. That was before.
Over the past couple of years, Ironman (WTC) has become nothing more than a money hungry leviathan that is rapidly shedding it’s mystique as something great to strive for and picking up the mantle of something to save your pennies for. The $550+ entry fee is already an amazingly high price for any event. Now, as someone who has competed in Ironman events, I am aware that they are generally quite well run and well supported. However, the people that staff these events are, by and large, volunteers, and thus unpaid. I just don’t understand the numbers so maybe you guys could break that down for everyone. (Send links to me at email@example.com)
Now for Ironman Access. For the price of a mere $1000 dollars, here’s what we get:
This program is a joke and mark my word, you will lose athletes because of it. It seems that separating the proverbial wheat from the chaff is all you guys are focused on these days. Starting with the professional 8% rule (way to go back on that one) and now this.
I have one M-dot on my calendar next year, and after that, I think I’ll be taking my desire, will and drive to race elsewhere. You guys may be the biggest and oldest game in town, but you are not the best by FAR. It’s sad to see such a venerable institution slide down a money lined slope toward mediocrity. Enjoy the ride.
s/headed-to-the-big-apple/” target=”_blank”>Newton Running Clinic on The Running Front
Hitting “The W
all”(Hat tip: Laminator)
=”http://www.ironmancenter.com/results/” target=”_blank”>Ironman Wisconsin Results
Forgot to put this on the show, but a HUGE shout out to Kate and all the luck and ass kicking in the world this weekend in the America’s Finest City Half-Marathon this weekend in San Diego!!
This year’s New York City Half-Marathon takes place on August 16th, 2009. As of now it is far too late to enter simply by registering and paying your fee. that said, it is NOT too late to run this year! You can still be entered into the NYC Half by joining a charity team and raising money for a cause.
One such cause is the Fresh Air Fund. A bit about the Fresh Air Fund from their site:
Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences in the country to more than 1.7 million New York City children from disadvantaged communities. Each year, thousands of children visit volunteer host families in 13 states and Canada through the Friendly Town Program or attend one of five Fresh Air Fund camps.
Today, the Fresh Air Fund contacted me and asked me if I would give them a shout on my site and on Brandon’s Marathon Podcast. I am more than happy to lend a hand, and I think that if you have the time and want to help NYC kids, while staying healthy, the Fresh Air Fund is a wonderful way to do it! From the FAF:
The Fresh Air Fund is looking for runners and sponsors to join our Fresh Air Fund-Racers team for the NYC Half-Marathon on August 16th… Last summer’s NYC Half-Marathon was a huge success and the Fresh Air Fund-Racers raised more than $125,000. We are also still in need of Friendly Town hosts for next month. Host families open their hearts and home to a NYC child who would not otherwise have the opportunity to escape the hot, crowded city streets.
So, if this is something you’d be at all interested in, as a sponsor or runner or Friendly Town host, please follow this link:
After a stop at a port-a-potty, I headed inside the host hotel to find Dailyrunner who picked up my bib and chip the day before. I dropped off my bag and headed outside to the start area. An announcement was made that there was going to be a 15 minute delay in the start of the race. I took the time to seek out Julie, author of the blog Raceslikeagirl, who was running the half marathon. We chatted for a bit and then I went back to find the 3:50 pacer.
The race finally started a little bit before 8:00. The NJ Marathon is a double loop course with the start and finish on the promenade adjacent to the beach. The loop is mainly through neighboring residential areas. The beginning miles went by pretty quickly. I had no problem hanging with the 3:50 pacer and, at the time, thought I’d be able to finish the race with him. I stuck to my plan, hydrating starting at mile 4 and taking a gel every 6 miles. My wife and daughter didn’t make the trip down with me so it was nice seeing EN, a friend from Nike Speed, just before the half. Hearing his words of encouragement pumped me up. We finished the first half in 1:54:17, right on pace according the my pacer. Soon after we started the second loop, which by the way did not play any Jedi mind tricks with me, the rain started to pick up. For a while it was still refreshing but around mile 20 it started to get heavier and really started to bug me. Soon after that I run through a few puddles and my shoes started to feel like a ton of bricks At mile 21, my left knee started to hurt. I think it had something to do with the uneven road surfaces and twisting in ways the human body is not meant to twist in order to avoid puddles. At first it was bearable but at mile mile 23 I had to take a 2 minute walk break. I hated taking a walk break with only 5k to go but I was really hurting. The walk break did the trick, I got a second wind when we made the final turn towards the finish. EN was there with less than a mile to give me one final push finish. I finished strong and crossed the line in 3:52:54 (8:54 pace). Unfortunately, I did not run a negative split. My second half split was 1:58:37. Considering the problems I was having with my knee and shoes, I’ll take it. I got my finishers hat, medal, and refreshments and made a beeline for the bag check where a dry and warm set of clothes awaited.
3:52:54 is a PR for me besting my 3:55:08 I set at the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2008. Every race has it’s own challenges and surprises. With the NJ Marathon it was the weather. Setting a PR in less than perfect conditions is definitely cause for celebration.
Lastly, congrats to Dailyrunner on achieving a BQ after almost 5 years of trying. Check out his race report on his blog (linked above).
Getting ready for the race was difficult for me, since I had a rehearsal until 10:00p in San Diego the night before my race. That meant that I didn’t leave San Diego until 10:30 and had to drive to my hotel in Costa Mesa (only 90 miles). So I checked in at midnight and was laying out my stuff (shoes, Wrightsocks… great investment by the way, Nike running shorts and sports bra)for the race and getting settled until like 12:20a. Luckily I had all my Hammergels and stuff packed in my belt before I went to work on Saturday. I got up 5:00 and was in the hotel lobby at 5:30a for the shuttle to the start. I was a little anxious that morning, and really tired as it was my first day off in 2 weeks, but I good and alert which is what I hoped was going to help keep me going.
Sunday morning was a little grey and overcast and in the mid 50s which was nice. I wish it would have stayed that way, but alas it warmed to the mid 60s and sunny by the end of the race which was a little warmer than I would have liked, but it’s southern California what can you do?
The race was scheduled to start at 6:30a and we officially started it almost 6:40a, I think. Those 10 minutes between when we were supposed to start and the gun were the most anxiety filled of my life! I was all ready to go and then standing and waiting in a pack of thousands of people nerves started to get to me. But after the national anthem and 2 passes of a helicopter to take pictures we were off. The full and half marathoners all started together which meant that the energy was great because there were just SO MANY people.
I placed myself right at the back of the first corral, since I thought I would be finishing in the front half of the 4th hour and when we got going excitement took over and I was going like a bat out of hell. First mistake. The first 5 felt great. It was mostly downhill (sweet) and I was booking it and feeling really solid. I ended up without even pushing just ahead of the 3:40 pace group. Then my shins decided to give me trouble. I have been working on a raked stage for the last weeks and I have shin splints so I knew that I was probably going to have trouble with them, but I was sort of hoping that it would hold off and bug me later. That was the first time I dropped my pace, but I kept going. Stopping wasn’t an option. It was keep running or keep running. As I kept running I managed to get myself through the pain and started feeling good again.
There was a large chunk of this race that was on bike trails through a nature reserve, which was beautiful, but man was it lonely. I much preferred being out on the road where there is someone at least every little bit screaming and clapping for you to keep going. These trails, which were paved (mostly, I’ll get to that) weren’t really even and were solid rolling hills. I trained in southern California and south eastern Virginia… I’m not good with hills. Right around mile 9 (I think… I was solidly in a haze by that point) there was a hill, and not a small one and I actually said out loud “You have got to be kidding me.” It was short, but steep enough for my legs to say screw you.
At mile 12 the half marathon course broke off and we marathoners were left on our own for the remainder of the race. I started feeling solid again at that point. I had dropped my pace but knew that if I didn’t then I wouldn’t cross the finish line. We ran through South Coast Plaza, yes they really took us through a mall parking lot, and it crowded with people screaming and cheering which was exactly what I needed. We then went through another set of bike trails, my least favorite of which was UNPAVED and UPHILL. I wanted to cry. This was at mile 22 ish, maybe 23. I hadn’t run on sand or dirt EVER… I mean EVER. I wasn’t prepared at all for that and my body was not a fan. By that point I think I was running almost all on heart anyway, so a shock like that was killer. But I just kept going.
As I closed in on the finish line I knew I had to just keep going but thankfully the crowds picked up again and the street was pretty well lined in people. The finish line was in the Orange County Fairgrounds so we were winding through the parking lot to scream and cheers. That was when I found what little I had left and ran with everything I had for the last straight to the finish line.
Then I teared up. I had done it. In 7 months of training I had gone from not running at all to running a marathon. A MARATHON. It still amazes me that I did it. I had never been happier or prouder of myself. My friend Christine was waiting at the finish line cheering and laughing. I think knowing she was there was what gave me the last push to get to the end.
My official time was 4:16:23. I was 484th overall 151 in women and 13th in my age group. I’m thrilled. I now have a PR for my next marathon.
Unfortunately I still don’t have a running picture where I don’t look pained, but I’ll send one anyway. Maybe the official pictures will be better
I would have never thought that I could do this. But here I am, a marathoner and hunting for my next race. Brandon you pushed me to do this when I doubted myself. Thanks man!
Hey there everybody!
So, I feel that it is incumbent upon me to throw in a couple of caveats to BMP: Episode 35.
1. I do apologize for wasting time being angry with Tom.
2. I used Tom’s name over and over so much because I wanted to be sure that it was very clear that any and all ranting was directed at an individual, rather than my audience at-large.
3. When I said “I love Newtons. If you don’t, screw you!” I was not saying that to everyone, nor did I mean it with the vitriol with which it came out. I meant it to convey the message of, “Hey, I love Newtons. If you don’t like them, or have never tried them, or will never try them, that’s fine. Do what you like.”. I may not have been too clear on this point and I apologize for that.
I am sure that I will come up with one or two more things to add to this list, so please check back for updates! I treasure you all and thank you for your continued support and encouragement!
I am going to try to sit down and take stock of everything, pre-race on Saturday night. However, knowing that life works the way that it does, I’m not sure if I’ll have the time. So, this could be my last post before the Shamrock on Sunday.
That said, I am so excited and thankful for every person who has ever laid eyes or ears on Brandon’s Marathon. You are all my inspiration and offer so much support and encouragement, and for that I thank you. You will all be in my mind from start to finish and please know that every step I take brings me closer to my first marathon and I couldn’t have taken step one without the support of perfect strangers.
Please take a minute to leave Brandon and Danielle some words of encouragement as they are running the Shamrock Marathon on Sunday. As Steve Runner says “run strong!” but most importantly, HAVE FUN!
Enjoy the Yuengling at the end! I’m looking forward to the race report.
You Bars! (use discount code: Bmarathon)