Monthly marathon race report: Chasing the Unicorn marathon

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On September 10th, I ran the Chasing the Unicorn marathon in Washington Crossing, PA.

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I just the day before, I ran the Charles River marathon in Boston, MA. I wasn't planning to do 2 marathons in September (or 1 weekend!), but my October plans were up in the air, so I had to fit in another one in September just in case, to make sure I fulfill my goal of running 12 marathons this year.

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Chasing the Unicorn is a fast course. The race takes place in Washington Crossing Historic Park, and consists of two loops of a path along the Delaware River.

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There were about 150 or so runners.

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It was a nice day, mostly clear with some clouds, and about 65 degrees.

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There were a good amount of aid stations with sports drinks and water.

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On one side of the path there was the Delaware River.

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On the other side, there was typically either farm fields or quiet neighborhoods.

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The path conditions were perfect, I like running on firm dirt paths.

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I liked these walking/bike path bridges that crossed the river.

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Although I was taking it easy since I ran a marathon just the day before, my time was actually faster for the second marathon of the weekend. The finisher medals are bold, colorful and heavy.

Overall, I loved this course and I recommend it if you are in the Northeast and looking for a fast, scenic September race. See http://www.runbucks.com/runbucks-races for more information on the race. 

Monthly marathon race report: Charles River marathon

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On Saturday, September 9, I ran the inaugural Charles River marathon in Boston, MA. What a great race with a partnership between RACE Cancer Foundation and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The race started at 7:00am and there were around 300 runners. 

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The marathon course is a flat 2.62 mile loop on park paths around Boston's scenic Charles River, starting and finishing at the Herter Park in Boston, MA. 

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The course was mostly on walking trails along the Charles river. 

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Occasionally, there were portions of the course on bike paths. There weren’t a lot of bikes out, probably because it was pretty early.

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There were plenty of volunteers manning the 2 aid stations on the course. One aid station was near the start/finish with had water, sport drink, and a variety of food (pretzels, swedish fish, bananas). The other aid station was around the 1.5 mile mark and had water and sport drink. 

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The weather was great, just cool enough. I ran my second fastest marathon ever that day - until I ran my October marathon (Rockaway Marathon in NYC). 

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The finisher medals were really nice. Overall, I enjoyed this run. I recommend it for next year if you’re in the Northeast and are looking for a September marathon that’s super flat, scenic in a great city. Check out the race site for more info:  https://racecancer.org/runfest

 

Race report: 2017 Tour de Donut Ohio

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On September 16, 2017, I won Tour de Donut - Ohio bike race championship for the 4th year in a row, defending my title and smashing my own record for the race with 44 doughnuts eaten, resulting in a record 'donut adjusted time' of -79 minutes. The best time ever for the race.

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The race this year was moved from Arcanum, Ohio to Troy, Ohio to accomodate the number of riders. The race has grown from about 600 riders from 4 years ago to nearly 3,000 riders this year. What I really love about the Tour de Donut races is that all of them have a charity component. The races are fun with a purpose, and I love to be a part of that as they continue to do grow and do more good. Troy is a great little town with a nice city center.

As in past years, there were 3 race lengths: the mini (16 miles), the full Tour de Donut (32 miles), and the Double Tour de Donut (64 miles). The course was well-marked, and there were tons of volunteers all along the course and at the doughnut stops. At the stops, there were plenty of refreshments in addition to all the doughnuts. The weather this year was nice/mild, the road conditions were very good, and the locals came out to see the race along the course. 

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Congrats to Kyle Hanner for winning the Mini-length Championship.

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And great to see some new faces, like Derek Jacobs who placed 3rd, and put up some good numbers.

I’m excited that the race has a new home and I can’t wait to be back next year. Next year’s race will be in late August, 2018. Join Tour de Donut Ohio’s Facebook page to get the latest updates. 

 

Race report: Donut Derby 2017

On Sept 4, 2017, I won the Donut Derby in Trexlertown, PA bicycle race for the 3rd year in a row.

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The Doubt Derby is a 36 mile bicycle ride with 2 donut stops where competitors eat donuts for time credits. In this race, each donut eaten gives you 3 min credit.

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I ate 61 doughnuts, for a 'doughnut adjust time' of -28 minutes. I broke my own record from 2016 (55 doughnuts; 'doughnuts adjusted time' of -10 minutes).

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I teamed up again this year with my friend Thaddeus Kromelis.

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Coming in 2nd place was my friend Dave Goldstein with 40 doughnuts. Dave is a great eater and is also set to do his first Ironman is about a month!

Here's some media coverage from this year's event:

Morning Call Newspaper Article and Photos

Also, Runner's World September, 2017 issue (currently on newsstands) has a full page featuring an interview I did with them chatting about these bicycle/doughnut races that I compete in. 

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Tomorrow I'll be defending my Tour de Donut-Ohio title in Troy, OH which I've won for the past 3 years! 

  • Learn more about the Donut Derby here: http://www.lehighwheelmen.org/index.php/13-events/13-donut-derby-2017
  • Learn more about the Tour de Donut of Ohio here: https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/TROY/TourDeDonut
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Photo credit: Thaddeus Kromelis

Monthly marathon race report: Sweltering Summer Marathon

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I ran my fastest marathon this year recently in August - the Sweltering Summer Marathon in Pittsfield, MA - and came in 7th in the men's division.

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It was also my 2nd fastest marathon ever. Still trying to crack the 4hr mark this year (4:04 is my PR at the Harrisburg marathon a couple of years ago, which is really fast course). The race organizers ran a great race. This race was 74 laps on a dirt path and each runner had a small area on a table by the path to place their food and drinks.

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They also had a common table that they had all sorts of food and drinks for all runners. They had this electrolyte drink called 'Go Juice' that I had never heard off. It seemed to work. It had no sugary flavor. I liked it! I ate only bananas, oranges, watermelon, and almonds. I love the medals we got, they were made out of wood. How cool is that! This is my 3rd wooden medal, the other one was at last month's Lost Turkey Trail Marathon, and the other as at a 50K ultra I did a couple of years ago in Brooklyn. Fun bit: I recognized 2 people in the race that I had seen at other NE marathons I'd run this year. Overall this was a great race if you are cool with running laps. It's a very flat course and easy on the joints. The race organizers are really nice and the medal is unique. Try it out next year!

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Monthly marathon race report: Lost Turkey Trail Marathon

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Lost Turkey Trail Marathon done! Marathon #7 this year, #21 overall, and my 2nd trail marathon (1st one was last month). What a beast! It lived up to reputation of being "PA's toughest trail marathon" and I enjoyed the challenge.

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There was rain, mud, river crossings, snakes, all sorts of bugs, stinging nettles, no cell service, and huge climbs. My feet took a good beating.

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The race staff and volunteers were wonderful and had a variety of food at 5 stations throughout the course. 

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They worked really hard and hosted a great race. I recommend this race is you are looking for a serious challenge (or you are a masochist), have a high tolerance for critters, and are a good climber. Make sure you bring a camelbak (required), wear calf sleeves (for stinging nettles), and wear good trail shoes, waterproof socks (I didn't and I'm paying for it), and a good sense of adventure. 

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Donut Day 2017: Watch me eat 39 donuts & win a bike race

On July 9, 2016, I won the Tour de Donut of Staunton bicycle race for the 2nd time, a 34 mile ride with 2 donut stops where competitors eat donuts for time credits. 

In this race, each donut eaten gives you 3 min credit. I ate 39. I hold the race record with 50 donuts (2015) with a finish time of -1hr36min

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Donut Day 2017: See my world record at Tour de Donut Austin

On Nov 13, 2016, I won and set a new world record at 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 3min credit at the first stop, 4 min at the 2nd stop, and 7 min at the 3rd stop. I ate 31, for a 'donut adjusted time' of -1 hour and 19  minutes. Both new course records. 

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Race report: NYRR 2017 Airbnb Brooklyn half marathon

I recently ran NYRR's Airbnb Brooklyn half marathon. This is the second time I've run it — the other time was a couple of years ago. I'm a big fan of this run and kudos to New York Road Runners for making this race even bigger and better than before. Around 27,000 people ran this year's race, making it the biggest half marathon in the U.S.!

Before the race I did a fun interview with NY1 about my participation in the race. 

Bib pick up was at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 2. There was also a fun pre-party, with music and other entertainment. NYRR put al ot of work into it. It was my first time out to that area of the park and I want to go back to explore the bike path a bit more. 

On race day, I took the subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn. The start was organized, stress-free, and easy to navigate. I settled into my corral with plenty of time to spare.

The first 7 miles of the race were in and around Prospect Park. There were a lot of people out early cheering and encouraging the runners.

In terms of elevation, there were 2 hills during the first 5 miles. The 2nd one was a bit longer than the first. Mile 6.5 onward is downhill, and from mile 7 to the finish was a straight shot down Ocean Parkway. The course had plenty of water/sports drink and even an energy gel station. There were patches of people here and there cheering along the way.

What's really great about this run is that the finish line is always on the boardwalk! You get to finish right on the Coney Island boardwalk with a big crowd of people. It's a real treat to end the race on the beach. When I got to the finish line, NYRR's Peter Ciaccia and I had a Nathan's hot dog. Ok I had two! I love this gif NYRR made!

Competitive eater @yasir_salem getting a post race snack from @peter_ciaccia! 🌭😂#AirbnbBKHalf

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All runners got a nice finisher's medal. All of NYRR's half marathons have a distinct look.

Nice @nyrr Brooklyn Half Marathon medal! @airbnb

A post shared by Yasir Salem (@yasir_salem) on

Overall, I recommend this race as your first half marathon experience. It doesn't get much better than this. It's also a great early season long run to fit into a marathon training schedule. I'm running the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, VT on May 28th and this race fit perfectly into my training. 

If you want to read a little more about the race, check out NYRR's site: http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2017/airbnb-brooklyn-half

Monthly marathon race report: Hyannis marathon

In 2017, I'm running 1 marathon each month. 

My February marathon this year 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 
  • Keltic Kitchen has amazing french toast (I'm not even a huge french toast fan) 
  • Everyone we met in Cape Cod was nice 
  • Both the marathon and half marathon courses are USATF certified
  • Find about them and put this race on your calendar for next year: http://hyannismarathon.com/

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