Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Running Safety

Sometimes running is not the fun sport it is intended to be. Tragically, here in Orlando, earlier this month a young woman was murdered while jogging. She was running alone on a normally busy trail in the early evening hours. It was daylight, but the afternoon had been stormy with heavy rain, thunder and lightning. This factor may have kept some runners from going out on the trail. There have been several incidents along this trail, but none with such tragic results. Our own Shirley, is familiar with this trail and will not use it.

While human nature tells us, "it won't happen to me", it can. It doesn't have to be along a desolate trail and you don't have to be a woman. I have a friend who while running in the Boston area, was attacked by a man carrying a knife in Harvard Square.

Prior to and since this murder, I am surprised by the number of women who run alone in the late evening and night time. Most are wearing an i-pod (which is another topic for discussion). I tell friends and the runners I coach, Do Not Run Alone!

I believe this topic must be discussed to make more runners aware of the dangers. If you have a story you would like to share, please do so. Be Safe!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New Training Session

After a brief absence, I have returned to blogging. My computer quit shortly after my last posting and then my brain quit. I bought a new computer, but I wasn't able to generate any new stories. They would come and go, but never end up on the blog. So here I am!

On Saturday, June 7th, I begin another session as a "Group Leader" for the MarathonFest training program here in Orlando. The program is administered by the Track Shack Foundation. This will be my sixth session of helping to train and motivate runners to new goals and achievements. It is a lot of fun and very rewarding. I get more pleasure out of seeing a runner finish their first marathon than I do finishing mine. So many times I have heard a runner say, "I can't do that." My response is simple, "Yes you can."

I have chosen to run the Mohawk-Hudson Marathon in Albany, New York, on October 12th. It is a small race with a capacity of 700 runners. Most 5K's here in Orlando surpass that number twice or three times. I am looking forward to the marathon which is run almost entirely on a paved bike trail. The first 3 miles is in the City of Schenectady, then onto the trails along the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. There is another point where you exit the trails, but in total 18 miles are run on the trails. October can be a beautiful time of the year in that area of New York. The fall foliage hopefully will be in full color as we run the course.

Our own Shirley has run this race several years ago and was struck by the beauty of the fall foliage. I will take a hint from her and be sure to carry a camera with me. The race is a Boston qualifier, maybe not this year for me. It is described as a downhill course with a net elevation drop of 370 feet. I will tie this event into a visit with family in the Syracuse, NY area. I am looking forward to October.

In 5 weeks, I will be headed to New York to run the Utica "Boilermaker" 15K. I did a post on this race back in May. The "Boilermaker" is sponsored by the Matt's Brewing Company of Utica. The company, originally Utica Club and founded in the late 1860's suffered a devastating fire two weeks ago. One of the original buildings, used for canning and bottling was destroyed. The finish of the race and the post race party, with all the free beer you want, is at the brewery. The last I heard is that the fire will not have an affect on the festivities.

Now all I have to do is get my photos ready to add to my blog and I'm back in business.