“I always loved running… it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”
There’s no better way to start a fitness program than signing up for a 5k. It’s an unwritten contract with the healthy you who lurks beneath the surface. You can walk. You can run. You can walk and run. There’s no right way to do a 5k—it’s what makes sense for you. Whether you walk to earn funds or awareness for a non-profit or sign up for a marathon that pushes your limits, these events inspire a healthier you.
You can find events sponsored by a cause you already support or search for one you’d like to learn more about, like the Susan G. Komen for the Cure or Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training (TNT). Although my 5k experience is limited, both 5k events I walked left me feeling accomplished and motivated. In an effort to reignite my fitness plans, I’m registering for the Purple Stride Manhattan, taking place May 22, 2011. My goal is to run this one.
As I work towards this May event, I’ll be reading all of the great Facebook and Twitter posts about upcoming walks, fitness, motivation, goals, and success stories. I’ve already found great information and tools there. After perusing the awesome Twitterverse, and getting a little help from my friends, here are a few upcoming walks you may want to check out, whether you do it this year or train for next year.
Celebrating its 40th Anniversary: Portland Marathon 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Downtown Portland, Oregon
Runner Sarah Bowen Shea shares her Portland Marathon experience.
I ran the Portland Marathon in 2010. I’ve lived here 11 years and run numerous (now 7) marathons, yet it was first time I’d done the Portland Marathon.
The race is renowned for being incredibly well organized and very well supported. Both true. They introduced a new corral system in 2010 that worked very effectively, ensuring runners would not have to dodge walkers–and that walkers wouldn’t have to be jockeyed by runners. While Portland doesn’t have the crowd support of, say, NYC or Chicago, I felt the spectators were very enthusiastic (especially given it RAINED the entire time–only 3rd time in 39 year history of race that ANY rain has fallen during it) and fairly well spaced out along the route. The volunteers were incredibly helpful and energetic, and the water stations worked like clockwork.
The course has its scenic sections, and a few drab spots. The city has an industrial edge to parts of the Willamette River and the course spends a fair bit of time in this industrial district. But it also crosses a lovely bridge (designed by same man as Golden Gate Bridge) and then hugs a bluff for several miles.
The finish line area is top rate–a smorgasbord of healthy, enticing options and LOADS of eager, helpful volunteers. Each finisher gets a rose (Portland is the Rose City) and a sapling. It’s very memorable and charming.
Sarah is the co-author of Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity, dubbed “a bible for active parents” by the New York Times. She is also a contributing editor for Runner’s World and Shape magazines. On Twitter you’ll find Sarah @SBSontheRun and on Facebook at: Run Like a Mother: The Book.
June 4 – 5, 2011
New York City, NY
My family and I participated in the AFSP Central Florida Out of the Darkness 5k in 2008 and held every February. It’s a very upbeat, inspirational event. The Overnight is the signature “big sister” event. Although I personally have not participated, I’ve interviewed others who have, and it’s always the same story: a life changing event worth every mile, all 18. Registration is now open for the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk in New York City on June 4th through 5th. The 18-mile, sunset to sunrise, walk raises funds to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a national organization that funds suicide prevention research, education, and advocacy initiatives as well as programs to support people personally affected by suicide and mental disorders. More than 2,000 people are expected to participate. To register, donate or learn more about The Overnight please visit www.TheOvernight.org or call 888-The-Overnight.
NYC Half 2011
March 20, 2011
New York City, NY
Runner Tina Shoulders shares her excitement about the upcoming NYC Half.
I started running about spring of last year after run/walking for about 6 months and lost more than 50 pounds in the process. I started to fall in love with running and decided I would make it my superpower. I decided to run for a cause, so in November I signed up for the NYC half Marathon with Team In Training to raise money for blood cancers, one of which my father is in remission from lymphoma. I could have chosen a marathon but decided to go with a half because it is still a challenge, and I am a born and raised ,diehard New Yorker—I want my first marathon to be NYC. I am half way there, doing the NYC half Marathon on March 20.
I am chronicling the journey and more at www.beautifulathlete.com. Make sure to check out the Heart & Soul Magazine post on Tina’s transformation. You can also find Tina on Twitter @laidbackchick.
The San Francisco Marathon
July 31, 2011
San Francisco, California
Facebook and Twitter
Runner Luis Bueno shares an excerpt from his upcoming (Happy Feet) guest blog post, revealing his passion for running and The San Francisco Marathon.
Perhaps it’s the difficulties the San Francisco Marathon presents that seize my attention. Marathons are difficult enough. Getting to mile 20 is a challenge but the last 6.2 miles is mentally exhausting. The San Francisco Marathon sees those challenges and raises them quite a bit higher.
San Francisco is, of course, notorious for its hills. The mere mention of the city to runners can cause grimaces and shivers. Imagine, then, having to ponder such monstrous challenges that a marathon presents and having to play them out on a never-ending hill. The course is obviously not all uphill, but a sizeable portion is. It’s a steady wave of hills. However, there are also some amazing and unique sights – starting on The Embarcadero and running past Fisherman’s Wharf; smelling the freshly baked sourdough bread past the Boudin bread factory around Mile 2 instantly made my mouth water; houses overlooking the sea on the Presidio; an oasis of flowers that is the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park; trudging around AT&T Park at Mile 25 and of course running across the grandiose and historic Golden Gate Bridge.
The hills are the fun part of the race. Hills add spice to any run, and running up and over a hill can cause you to throw your arms up in celebration. Take that challenge and multiply it by 26.2. and you get the San Francisco Marathon.
You can follow Luis on Twitter at @runnerluis and be sure to check out his blog at muddyrunner.blogspot.com
If you have a favorite walk or run that you would like to promote and tell our readers about, please feel free to post and include links. We’d love to hear all about it.
(Jesse Owens quote courtesy of Quote Garden.)
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