Thursday, February 27, 2014

Boston Marathon Bags the Bags (and other items)

If you're planning to run the Boston Marathon this April, be prepared to donate some clothing at the start this year. A recent e-mail to runners highlighted their new bag/gear check policy which has definitely been adjusted for a post-bombing reality. New policies include the following:
  • No bags on the buses, start, or finish of the race. You can only bring what you wear and a small fanny pack of goodies, and all other clothing tossed at the start will be donated to charity. If you want to leave some clothes near the finish (a half mile away at the Boston Commons), a gear check using clear bags will be provided. 
  • No backpacks, handbags, suitcases, rolling bags, strollers, or personal hydration systems such as Camelpaks. A small fanny pack or fuel belt is allowed.
  • No vests with pockets, costumes that are bulky or cover the face, large props or flags, military or fire gear, or any item bigger than 5 inches x 15 inches x 5 inches. 
  • No glass containers, or any container that can hold more than one liter of liquid. I'm assuming small pressure cookers are also unadvised.
  • Also worth noting - you must pick up your own number this year, no friends or family. I also get the impression they will not be friendly to anyone hoping to bandit the course. 
But in exchange, all runners do get these handsome Heatsheet® Warmth Retention Capes at the finish, suitable for wearing around the house or on business casual days at work. Also, no mention of beer or cameras being banned, so my fundamental Boston experience should be intact.
I'm sure some sponsor will have some toss-able clothes to hand out at the Expo, but just in case you they don't (and you aren't one of the uber-elites on the private bus), be sure to bring some weather-appropriate stuff you won't miss. See you there!

- SD

Friday, February 21, 2014

Trailer for "Unbroken" - New Running Film Set for December, 2014

A new trailer has been release for "Unbroken", the amazing story of Louis Zamperini who made the 1936 Olympic team in the 5k as a teenage unknown, and later became a war hero after surviving 47 days at sea. This incredible story, captured in the 2010 book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by best-selling author Laura Hillenbrand (my review of the book and some CBS clips here), is now an Angelina Jolie-director and Coen Brother written epic that will certainly be incredible.

Check it out. Worth it just for the quote - "if you can take it, you can make it". Or maybe when the cops suggest a new vocation to his parents by saying "we've been chasing him around town for years...may we suggest running."

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The 2014 Race Season - Stoked for Team inov-8, Injinji, Vitargo, and ITR!

As each new season arises, I am stoked and humbled to represent the companies behind the products and events that help me find the finish line time and time again, and be a team member with some incredible fellow athletes. Together, we embrace the outdoor lifestyle, a commitment to our sport, and become Mother Nature's most active ambassadors. Fun!

For 2014, you can find me racing and evangelizing for the following:

Team inov-8

I return to Team inov-8 for 2014, joining an insane cross-discipline team from around the globe that masters sports from ultra running, to trail running, to CrossFit, to Yoga, and everything in between. I have been a huge fan of their minimalist shoes (particularly the X-Talon 212) for nearly a decade, and am not surprised to see their unique and innovative designs help spark revolutions in other fast-growing sports. Lots of great new products are set to be released in 2014, such as their award-winning Race Ultra Vest, jackets, and more - I am excited to see them add a splash of innovation to our market, and continue their phenomenal growth. 

(Running for Team inov-8, camera in hand, natch)
And the Team? Holy cow, what a team! Trail Marathon National Champion and Sky Running podium finisher Alex Nichols, Australian stars Brendan Davies and Shona Stephenson, 50-mile National Champion and Spartan Champion Cody Moat, 100-miler pros like Reece Amber-Young and Yassine Diboun, Joe Grant, David Roche, Amy Rusiecki, Jim Johnson, Peter Maksimow, Gary Gellin, and the list goes on. But it doesn't stop at trail running - CrossFit champions, former Olympians, and many other impressive athletes committed to fitness. Team inov-8 has really expanded beyond the world of trail running to find committed athletes around the globe. 

Team Injinji

The toe-socks that made me blister free for more than a decade now are still standard equipment for me, whether it's 100 miles or a local 10k. If you haven't tried these glove-fitting gems, it is worth the $8 to find out if they are right for you. Especially with new styles, new fabrics, and my new favorite compression socks, be sure to try them out! I am certainly not alone - Team Injinji includes athletes such as the unstoppable Dave Mackey, Western States champion Timothy Olson, sub-12 hour 100-miler Jon Olsen (still weird to say that), 100k champion Amy Sproston, Brandy Erholtz, and more.

Team Vitargo

New for 2014, I am joining up with Team Vitargo (also known as GENr8 Vitargo in the States). It was Dave Mackey who turned me on to this super starch formula a few years ago, and it is a game-changer. More energy, more calories per hour, and it passes through my stomach with ease in the heat, cold, or altitude (Sunny Blende did a great overview video of super starches last year if you want to learn more). I've tried them all, my friends, and nothing works like Vitargo. I am excited to be joining team members Michelle Barton, pro triathlete Kate Major, and other pros for 2014!

Team Inside Trail Racing

(Chilling after an ITR and lounge chair!)
There is good race directing and there is great race directing, and Inside Trail Racing is definitely one of the greats. Not only do they come up with fun new races in new exotic locales, but their volunteers and spirit for fun is unparalleled. If I've got a free Saturday, the first thing I do is check the ITR calendar, and cross my fingers that fellow teammates Victor Ballesteros, Brenda Blinn, Christine Chapon, Chris Eide, Catra Corbett, Gary Gellin, Jonathan Gunderson, Sarah Lavender Smith, Caren Spore, Chris Wehan, and the awesome ambassadors might be there too. If so, I can count on great fun, good pictures, and likely a second place finish at best. ;-) If you are a trail running veteran or a first-time runner, I assure you that ITR will provide a great way to explore the California trails. Just give me a holler if you need to pick one!

Team Vespa

I still think Vespa is one of the best kept secrets in endurance sports, even when superstars like Leadville winner Duncan McCallahan, Zach Gingerich, Caren Spore, and Jean Pommier have been touting it for years. I'm definitely a fan - one pouch every 2-3 hours can help keep your body burn fat for fuel and smooth out your energy levels. I even ran a sub-3 hour marathon at the SF Marathon last year and forgot to eat the whole race, much in thanks to Vespa.

I'm also a big fan of Succeed S!Caps, Karl King's magic formula for electrolyte pills that is literally the gold standard among endurance athletes. Each cap is 360mg of buffered electrolytes (think "one pill that is worth 2.5 Endurolytes"), mixed to the exact ratio as a saline bag, and it's like, $15 for 100 pills. It's the best deal in ultrarunning!

Many thanks to my sponsors, and the best of luck to my teammates this year. Let's get some races rollin'!

- SD