Marathon 4 and 5 in 50 of the #50in50: Seattle 11/25 and Memphis 12/1


Marathon 4: Seattle, WA 11/25

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Marathon 4 of the #50in50 was the Seattle Marathon. 

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I randomly saw my Instagram friend Warren (@kingpiggy), a fellow triathlete and runner from NYC, at the start line and ended up running the whole race with him. I knew he would be at the race, but I hadn’t asked him if he wanted to do the race together. Warren’s brother is Wayne Algenio, a YouTube personality.

Warren had just finished an Ironman 2 weeks earlier and was in Seattle for the Thanksgiving weekend, and he signed up for the marathon on a whim. 

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His PR was Philadelphia Marathon in 2016 4:09:30. So I suggested we run with the 4:10 pace group. He had never run with pace group, but he was open to doing it. It saved us a ton of effort.

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We finished together at 4:07 and he PRed.

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And while I was I Seattle, the weather was incredible and I also got to see my good friends and competitive eating duo Juan ‘More Bite’ Rodriguez and Sarah Reineke  

Marathon 5: Memphis, TN 12/1

Memphis is a nice town. The people are super friendly. 

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I arrived into town on Friday night and quickly ran over to the Expo to pick up my bib before they closed down. The race was the following day on Saturday.

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Because of rain in the forecast they pushed the start back by 1 hour.

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I was staying in a hotel right next to the starting line so it was very convenient.

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The weather was relatively hot for running and humid (65 degrees and 90%). I took it daily easy on the run.

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During the run I met a very interesting character named Vicki who loved the donuts a family along the route was giving out. Turns out Vicki is a recent widow as well and she’s running 30 marathons in 30 states and she had just run Seattle as I did. It was surreal to meet her of all people.

We ran about 14 miles together until the finish line. I’ll see her again at several other marathons next year.

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Great marathon, great cause and a really huge medal. 

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And I got to meet Elvis! I saw several Elvis impersonators in Las Vegas’s Rock n Roll marathon. 

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Another medal to add to the series!  

Next marathons on the schedule:

  • AL (Rocket City in Huntsville) 12/8

  • FL (Walt Disney in Orlando) 1/13

  • LA (Baton Rouge) 1/20

  • MS (Mississippi Blues in Jackson) 1/26

Join me on the #50in50 for the Gweneviere Mann Foundation, with many ways to get involved.

Please download Gweneviere’s song

She was excited about releasing an album that she had just finished, but she passed before she could realize that dream, so we just recently released a single "What I Can Be" off of her album for her so that we could fulfill that dream for her. Download it here

Together we will save lives through early detection programs for lung cancer and brain tumors.

I ❤️ you Gwen.

 

Marathon 3 in 50 of the #50in50

‪Marathon 3 in 50 (@aacr @philly_marathon) in my #50in50 for the Gweneviere Mann Foundation done! My buddy Ferdinand ran it with me. He ran NYC with me and will run a total of 12 of the 50 marathons. The next one Ferd will do with me is the Disney Marathon (Florida) in January.

This was the 2nd time that I’ve run this race. The first time was years ago and I didn’t remember the route. It’s a fairly even course, except for around mile 8-11 as the elevation map shows.

I saw the great Bill Rodgers and mayor of running Bart Yasso.

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 And Boston Marathon champion Des Linden.

And running legend Meb.

 I attended the Philadelphia Marathon press conference, saw Mitch Stoller of the American Association of Cancer Research speak and met him afterwards.

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I did several media interviews about the foundation and why I’m doing this project, including this wonderful one in Runner’s World: Why This Man Wants to Run 50 Marathons in 50 States in 50 Weeks

Ferdinand and I finished in about 4:17.

The Philadelphia medal incorporates a replica of the Liberty Bell that actually dings!

3 states down, 47 more to go. Seattle Marathon tomorrow!‬ ‪

Next marathons on the schedule:

  • WA (Seattle) 11/25

  • TN (Memphis) 12/1

  • AL (Huntsville) 12/8

Join me on the #50in50 for the Gweneviere Mann Foundation, with many ways to get involved.

PLEASE DOWNLOAD GWENEVIERE’S SONG

She was excited about releasing an album she had just finished, but she passed before she could realize that dream, so we just recently released a single "What I Can Be" off of her album for her so that we could fulfill that dream for her. Download it here

Together we will save lives through early detection programs for lung cancer and brain tumors.

I ❤️ you Gwen.

Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful for all of your friendship and love. This time last year, Gweneviere & I were at my friends Marina and Murat’s place (pic from then).

Today I’m back here, and with our cats Hunky and Miwee, thinking about the good times with Gweneviere. Today also marks 4 months since she passed. Tomorrow I fly out to Seattle to run the Seattle Marathon on 11/25, which also happens to be the 10th anniversary of Gweneviere’s craniotomy, or Craniversary as she called it, to remove a brain tumor. After that, she lived nearly 10 great years full of thriving, love and fulfillment and I’m lucky to have been her soulmate during that wonderful time in her life. She touched so many people, she lived so fully, and loved so deeply. I’m thankful for the life I had with her.

I ❤️ you so much Gweneviere

Next marathons on the schedule:

  • WA (Seattle) 11/25

  • TN (Memphis) 12/1

  • AL (Huntsville) 12/8

Join me on the #50in50 for the Gweneviere Mann Foundation, with many ways to get involved.

Download Gweneviere’s song

Gwen was excited about releasing an album she had just finished, but she passed before she could realize that dream, so we just recently released a single "What I Can Be" off of her album for her so that we could fulfill that dream for her. Download it here

Together we will save lives through early detection programs for lung cancer and brain tumors.

Marathon 2 in 50 of the #50in50

‪Marathon 2 in 50 (@runrocknroll Vegas) in my #50in50 for the Gweneviere Mann Foundation done! This was a great course that starts at 4:30pm on the Las Vegas Strip, and ends on the strip. It was a 26.2 mile dance party with live music, lasers, vegas lights and A LOT of cheering Elvis impersonators.

I ❤️ you Gwen. ‬ 48 more states to go. Philadelphia Marathon tomorrow!‬ ‪

Next marathons on the schedule:

  • PA (Philadelphia) 11/18

  • WA (Seattle) 11/25

  • TN (Memphis) 12/1

  • AL (Huntsville) 12/8

Join me on the #50in50 for the Gweneviere Mann Foundation, with many ways to get involved.

***Please download Gweneviere’s song***

She was excited about releasing an album she had just finished, but she passed before she could realize that dream, so we just recently released a single "What I Can Be" off of her album for her so that we could fulfill that dream for her. Download it here

Together we will save lives through early detection programs for lung cancer and brain tumors.


Marathon 1 of 50 in the #50in50

Marathon 1 of 50 complete: New York City!

We are now on the road to 50 marathons in 50 states in 1 year.

This race was all for my love Gweneviere and to honor her memory through the Gweneviere Mann Foundation (gwenmann.org).

This year's run was a deeply emotional and meaningful experience. If you don't know the story, back in 2008 Gweneviere survived a brain tumor/had a craniotomy. The procedure caused her to have anterograde amnesia, but she was a fighter and continued to thrive through her music, writing, and running. After her surgery, we set a goal to run the 2010 NYC Marathon, and had run it every year (except for 2012 when it was canceled; we ran Harrisburg that year instead). She went onto graduate with honors from New York University writing program, attended The Juilliard School, and was due to start her MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University this Fall. With every amazing accomplishment, Gweneviere inspired me to set new goals for myself whether it was serious (like learning how to swim so that I can complete 4 Ironmans) or not so serious (like winning championships in the Tour de Donut bicycle races).

I am humbled that the Gweneviere Mann Foundation received incredible press coverage on ESPN, CBS New York, ABC7NY, StoryCorps, Committed Podcast.

I met and was inspired by fellow NYC Marathon runners Nev Schulman, Tiki Barber, Teri Hatcher who were all running for great causes themselves.

Next marathons on the schedule:

  • NV (Las Vegas) 11/11

  • PA (Philadelphia) 11/18

  • WA (Seattle) 11/25

  • TN (Memphis) 12/1

  • AL (Huntsville) 12/8

Join me on the #50in50 for the Gweneviere Mann Foundation, with many ways to get involved: http://gwenmann.org/50in50

***Please download Gweneviere’s song***

She was excited about releasing an album she had just finished, but she passed before she could realize that dream, so we just recently released a single "What I Can Be" off of her album for her so that we could fulfill that dream for her. Download it here: https://www.gwenmann.org/music/

Together we will save lives through early detection programs for lung cancer and brain tumors.

Monthly marathon race report: Naked Prussian Marathon

I really love running small marathons where race directors maintain a personal touch on every aspect of their race. I enjoy gathering in a small circle of a few dozen runners before the start to listen to a race director go over the course. My March, 2018 marathon (30th overall) was one of those races - the Naked Prussian trail marathon in Leesport, PA. The race was on March 31st, barely getting it in before the month’s end!

I told myself I wasn’t going to do a trail marathon this year, but I had to skip the marathon I was planning to do on March 24th due to a small sprain. This trail marathon was my backup. 

The welcome party is a guy playing the accordion. How great is that?!

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The race took place on the Blue Marsh trail system. It’s really well-maintained. 

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The start/finish was right on the shore of the lake and next to the parking with plenty of parking. 

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There were 2 race lengths going on concurrently, a marathon and a 50 miler. Most of the course was covered trails, but occasionally went through open fields and along a couple of roads.

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The weather that couldn’t have been better and I just loved the view along the lake. 

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More trees. They’re everywhere! As I was running, I thought about an article I once read on Dr Jack Schultz, Professor at the University of Missouri, who said that’s plants are just ‘slow moving animals’ that see, hear, smell and respond. Fascinating. 

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I finished the race in the middle of the pack, which was ok by me since I was still a little sore from my injury a week earlier. 

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Award winners received these fun growlers. 

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They had a ton of warm, delicious savory food for finishers!

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I got this nice finisher’s mug 

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Overall I would recommend this race if you live in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey or even NYC and are looking for a trail marathon you can drive to and get back home the same day. It’s a beautiful time of the year to be out in that part of Pennsylvania. Check them out and sign up for next year’s race! 

Monthly marathon race report: Hyannis marathon 2018

In 2018, I'm continuing to run 1 marathon every month like I did in 2017. All except 2 of the marathons I'm running this year are completely new to me. The ones I'm repeating this year are Hyannis, which I ran last week, and NYC, which I've run since 2010. 

Many of the same things I reported on last year are the same: 

  • It is one of the most picturesque races I've ever done
  • The marathon course is 2 loops and passes by the beautiful beaches of Cape Cod
  • Hyannis is an awesome little race & town in the Cape Cod area
  • Very scenic, mostly flat course along the beach
  • You get a nice medal!
  • You can find chowder and cod everywhere 
  • Everyone we met in Cape Cod was nice 
  • Both the marathon and half marathon courses are USATF certified

Here's my video race report from the 2017 race:

One thing was a bit different from last year—it was very wet. It rained the entire race. It was also pretty cold, but I didn't mind that part as much because I've gotten used to cold runs living in NYC. I noticed the weather forecast for the race before we drove to Hyannis and I was hoping it would clear up before race day, so I didn't pack rain gear. 

The day of the race, it was clear that the rain was going to happen for sure so I got a big trash bag from the hotel staff, poked holes for my head and arms in it, and planned to run with the first few miles of the race. 

I arrived at the race an hour before the 10:00am start and stayed warm at Race Expo inside the Hyannis Resort & Conference Center, which was right next to the starting line. I met the great Bill Rodgers, while wearing my garbage bag, and he gave me some great advice: "keep it steady and stay warm". He seemed to get a kick out of the bag.

3 miles into the race, the rain and wind weren't letting up, so I kept the bag on. I also kept on some cheap cloth gloves I bought at the expo I counted at least 2 dozen others with bags on, so I felt a sense of camaraderie with them. 14 miles into the race it started raining a little harder and the wind was blowing much harder, so I decided at that point I wanted to wear the bag for the rest of the race just for the fun of wearing a bag for an entire marathon. I was also happy being dry and warm underneath it. I had to wring the water out the gloves at this point. 

Up until the 23 mile mark, I was having a decent run considering the conditions, but then I felt a throbbing pain in my right knee joint. It got to the point that I had to walk the last 2 miles. It has since cleared up and not lingered. I hope it was because of the cold and the rain, and not something more serious. Several years ago before I got into running, I tore my right ACL (and got a patella tendon repair) and I haven't had any trouble with it. I've been lucky.I also had to take the insert out of my right shoe because it kept bunching up and making walking uncomfortable.

I was happy to finish the race. It wasn't pretty, but it's finish nonetheless—with the bag still on on my shoe insert in hand.

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My wife picked me up after the race. It was still so windy, that our big golf umbrella broke into pieces when it caught the wind.

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I love the finisher medals they give at this race.

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Think about putting this race on your calendar for next year! http://hyannismarathon.com

Monthly marathon race report: Icebreaker International Marathon

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I ran my 1st monthly marathon of 2018 on January 28 - the Icebreaker International Marathon & Half Marathon in East Meadow, NY on Long Island. This was a new marathon for me. In fact, 9 of the 12 marathons I’m running this year are new to me. There are so many marathons every weekend (and some weekdays!) and they all offer a different experience. Notably, I don’t have any indoor or trail marathons on my list this year. I ran two of each of those last year. 

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This race was a short 40 min drive for me from Manhattan, and inside Eisenhower Park. There were about 100 runners, most of them were running the half, and about 40 us were running the full.

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The half was 4 loops of the park and the full was 8 loops. 

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One interesting tidbit about this race - it was selected by Marathon Adventures to be the North American venue for its “Triple 7 Quest,” involving seven marathons or 7 halfs on 7 continents in seven days. The course was well-marked, staffed with plenty of volunteers, and they and a lot of race food/drinks as well as a lot of post-race food.

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There was 1 race food/drink tent set up near the end of the loop. They had the usual Gatorade, water, and also Pepsi. They had bananas, pretzels, orange slices, and my favorite during this race-peanut butter and banana sandwiches cut into quarters.

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I ran a pretty good race. We got fairly lucky with the weather, which was hovering around 48 degrees with some light rain during the first hour. I spent all of January cross-training, lifting, and doing a lot of intervals. I think that helped me quite a bit on this race. I tried to take it easy because I had a 24 hour bike race (the Sebring 24 RAAM qualifier) in Florida 2 weeks after this race, where I did 410 miles, won my age group, and qualified for the 3,000 Race Across America bicycle race1

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Overall, I recommend this race if you live nearby in NYC or Long Island and really want to run a marathon in January. 

Oh and the finisher medal are really fun. Try this race out next year! 

My full 2018 schedule:

  • Jan 28 Icebreaker (NY)
  • Feb 25 Hyannis (MA)
  • Mar 24 Savin Rock (CT)
  • Apr 14 Garden Spot Village (PA)
  • May 6 Queens (NYC)
  • Jun 30 NE Series (NY)
  • Jul 8 Mad (VT)
  • Aug 5 Drake Well (PA)
  • Sept 29 Hamptons (NY)
  • Oct 20 Brooklyn
  • Nov 4 #TCSNYCMarathon
  • Dec 9 Roxbury (CT)

Check out these great stories from Culture Trip

I was recently honored to be featured in 2 stories by Michael LoRé of Culture Trip. 

The first story is about a profile piece and includes a fun video of our interview. 

 

And the other piece Competitive eating success stems from innovation, intelligence and technique is a chat about how competitive eating has evolved over the years and what the playing field is like these days.

Race report: Tour de Donut Austin 2017

A couple of weeks ago on Nov 12, 2017, for the 2nd year in a row I won the Tour de Donut of Austin bicycle race, a 24.8 mile ride w/3 donut stops where competitors eat donuts for time credits. 

In this race, each donut eaten gives you 3 minutes credit at the first stop, 6 min at the 2nd stop, and 7 min at the 3rd stop. I ate 37, for a 'donut adjusted time' of -1 hour and 45 minutes. Both new course records. 

Here's a video of the my race from last year.