Marathon

Marathon 10 in 50 of the #50in50: Arizona (Mesa-Arizona Marathon)

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10 of 50 states in the #50in50 done:

  • NEW YORK 11/4/18: @nycmarathon
  • NEVADA 11/11/18: @runrocknroll Vegas
  • PENNSYLVANIA 11/18/18: @Philly_Marathon
  • WASHINGTON 11/25/18: @seattlemarathon
  • TENNESSEE 12/1/18: @stjude Memphis
  • ALABAMA 12/8/18: @irunrocketcity
  • FLORIDA 1/13/19: @rundisney #wdwmarathon
  • LOUISIANA 1/20/19: @thelamarathon
  • MISSISSIPPI 1/26/19: Mississippi blues Marathon
  • ARIZONA 2/9/19: Mesa-Phoenix Marathon @phxmarathon

I did some media the day before the marathon at Fox 10 in Phoenix. It was a wonderful opportunity to talk about Gweneviere and the foundation. 

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I woke up on race day at my Phoenix hotel really early at 4am.

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When I got out to the where runners were staged to jump onto buses to head to the start line, I waited in line for one for about 15 minutes. We then drove out for about 40 minutes up mountain.

When we got to the start line it was at a much higher elevation, cold and still dark outside. I was struck by the size of the cacti! They were also everywhere, just like in cartoons.

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The area was super quiet, too. The race had set up heating lamps and fire pits, and they also had a lot of Porto Potties. I was going to meet up with one of the local donors to run with me at a 4:00hr pace, but ge texted me to tell me that his car wouldn’t start so he wasn’t going to make it.

About a week before the race I had started to mentally get ready to break 4:00hr for the first time. I was excited about this race because it has a 1000 ft net elevation drop over the course. It’s incredibly fast with 26.8% of the field BQing.

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I decided to run with my Nike Vaporflys (instead of my Zoomflys). I also decide to run with only my Apple Watch (with cellular signal) and not my phone. I usually run with a small waist pack with my ID, insurance card, a credit card, a $20 bill, nutrition, and sometimes my phone. I actually forgot my waist pack, but it turned out to be a good thing. A couple marathons ago I realized that I preferred tucking my nutrition under my ball cap because when my hands get really cold I’m not able to open my waist pack zipper to get to them. One time a year ago at the 2018 Hyannis Marathon, I had to ask a volunteer to help me open my waist pack.

It was going to be a cold morning (34°F). I decided to wear my short sleeve #50in50 shirt, arm warmers and #50in50 cap.

I looked for the 4:00 hr pace group and found only 4:05 and 3:55. The race had decided cut 5 minutes off each pace group due to new BQ times. I went with 3:55 because of the characteristics of this really fast course. My PR before Mesa-Phoenix was 4:04 (NYC 2018). I had never, up until that point, run with a sub 4 pace group. The race started promptly at 6:30am with fireworks.

This was one of the rare races that I had run alone. I was a little emotional, because I knew I was going to run a sub 4 for the first time. I thought about Gweneviere and talked to her for a little bit. I wanted her to know at that moment that I was going to go to run that race for her.

It was a super fast start. Most people seeded themselves properly so there wasn’t a lot of dodging around slower runners. The start us a big descent. The view of the city below was pretty amazing. We were surrounded by desert mountains and big cacti. The start is pretty remote, with no spectators for the first couple of miles, so it was very quiet and peaceful. All I could hear were the pitter patters of thousands of feet. The first few miles flew by quickly. Our pacer, Farrah of East Valley Runners, kept us on track. Her pacing was perfect. My heart rate stayed in a range I was comfortable with, occasionally slightly higher on small inclines. The race had GU at miles 7, 13 and 19, so I brought a couple along with me under my cap.

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I have been taking nutrition every 4 miles, but I’m going to take more now. I feel like I need them every 4 miles until mile 20 (caffeine free), then at mile 21 and 23 (with or without caffeine depending on how I feel). I felt comfortable with that amount during the race. I don’t like taking caffeine generally because it sends my heart rate up higher than I like it during a race.

At the halfway point, Farrah handed pacing off to Gene, another member of East Valley Runners. Gene and I talked a bit about nutrition and Instant Pot recipes. I told her about how I make 2 gallons of almond yogurt in the Instant Pot with a recipe I developed after months of experimenting. She shared some of her recipes. At about the 17 mile mark, my watch started to give me a low battery (10%) warning. I was surprised, because I had kept my watch off until 5am (1.5hours before the start). For the next race, I will turn it on 10 minutes or so before the start. If it fails again, I will have to get it replaced because it’s only 4 months old and shouldn’t crash that early into a race. I told Gene about Gweneviere and why I’m running 50 marathons in 50 states in 1 year. She also shared some stories about friends and family.

About the 21 mile mark, I decided to take a 1 minute walking break. I needed it. I felt mostly ok, but my heart rate needed to come down. I took some nutrition and drank some extra fluids.

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I started up again and had to feel out my pace because I was flying blind without my watch. A couple of times (mile 23 and 24) I asked volunteers what the time was so that I could gauge my pace to see if I would make it under 4 hours, and it seemed like I was. I kept a steady pace and followed a few people that seemed to be at a 9min/mile pace. I ended up crossing the finish in 3:57:06, a new PR.

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After the race I thanked Farrah and Gene and visited their running group’s tent. Gene gave me a big hug.

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I said thank you to one of the sponsors of the race, Offerpad, and to Wendy Jacobson, Director of Operations for the marathon.

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The finish festival was amazing. Sprouts, the title sponsor, brought tons and tons of food. There was French Toast, fruit, chips, Creamies and more. They really took care of the runners. In terms of food, this finisher festival rivals the Louisiana Marathon festival in Baton Rouge. I was really thankful for all the delicious treats at the end of both of races.

I highly recommend the Mesa-Phoenix if you are looking for a super fast downhill course in the West, early in the year. You will likely PR and have a great time. They also have a nice finisher medal. Check them out for next year. 

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Next marathons on the schedule:

  • TX (Austin) 2/17
  • MA (Hyannis) 2/24
  • SC (Myrtle Beach) 3/2
  • AR (Little Rock) 3/3
  • NC (Wilmington) 3/9

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.

-Yasir

 

 

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.

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.


Monthly marathon race report: Rockaway Marathon

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October's run was the Rockaway Marathon in Far Rockaway, NYC on October 7.

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I ran my 2nd fastest ever. The run was on the boardwalk. The course was 4 loops of 6.55 miles.

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There was also a half marathon race (2 loops). There were about 50 runners total.

It took me about 1.5 hours to take the subway from lower Manhattan to the start (at the end of the A line).

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Each loop began on the boardwalk at 102nd street, headed toward 57th street (where there was a water station, the other water station was at 102nd st), then down to 30th street, where we turns around and headed back up to 102nd street.

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Overall the course was very fast and the course was easy to follow.

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On my last loop, the water stations ran out of water, so I drank out the water fountains.

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The beach scenery was really great. I sometimes forget how NYC has some amazing beaches out there.

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There were also lots of surfers out.

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I took the new super fast NYC ferry back to Manhattan (only 1 hr!) and and was back home in time for a big lunch.

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Consider this marathon if you live close to NYC and you're looking for an easy, scenic beach marathon in October.

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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

 

I finished the Hyannis Marathon

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Monthly Marathon for February done! Initial thoughts:

  • Awesome little race & town (Hyannis/Cape Cod)
  • Very scenic course along the beach
  • Mostly flat
  • Nice medal
  • Ate yummy chowder every day (you can find chowder and cod everywhere)
  • Keltic Kitchen has amazing french toast (I'm not even a huge french toast fan) 
  • People are really nice 

Full race report to come. 

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I'm running a marathon every month in 2017

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One of my goals this year is finish a marathon every month so that I can have big races to work towards on a regular basis (in addition to Tour de Donuts and triathlons). I'm focusing mostly on smaller races in the Northeast (I live in NYC). I'll post race reports as soon as I finish each race. Here's my marathon schedule:

  • 1/29 Arena Attack indoor marathon, MA
  • 2/26 Hyannis marathon, MA
  • 3/26 NYCRUNS Queens marathon, NYC
  • 4/15 Newport marathon
  • 5/13 Mother’s Day marathon, NYC
  • 6/11 Walkway marathon, NY
  • 7/30 Lost Turkey trail marathon, PA
  • 8/24 Sri Chinmoy marathon, NY
  • 9/24 Southampton marathon, NY
  • 10/7 Rockaway marathon, NYC
  • 11/5 NYC marathon
  • 12/3 Rehoboth marathon, DE

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Just released: my 2016 competition calendar!

I'm really excited to start the 2016 season! I've posted confirmed competition dates to my calendar, and will be adding more as I book them.

This year includes lots of Tour de Donuts in the US where I'll be defending my titles, ultra-distance bicycle races, marathons, eating contests, and an Ironman.

My big goal this year is to qualify for 3200 mile Race Across America (RAAM) bicycle race in 2017 as a solo rider. I'll do that by completing the 400 mile RAAM Texas Challenge in March and the 860 mile Race Across the West (RAW) in June.

I hope to see you out there on the courses this season!

Here are my next five events

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