8 Days.

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My last race of the year (and for a while) is only eight days away. The weather has been so-so of late. Cool (but not cold). Drizzly (but not rainy). This morning, I took a quick look at the forecast for next week.

Tuesday: 74. Wow, not bad!
Wednesday: 57 and sunny. A beautiful fall day!
Thursday: 56 and sunny. Perfect!
Friday: 57 with showers. Well, it could be worse.
Saturday (race day): 47 and… snow?! WTF?!

Now, I know what you folks from around the country are thinking. If it’s 47 degrees, it can’t snow.

Laughter.

First of all, it’s going to be 37 on Friday night, which is plenty cold enough for snow. But central/western New York is special. There are magical forces at work. It can snow at 30. It can snow at 35. It can snow at 40. It can snow at 45. And yes, I’m nearly certain it can snow at 47.

Am I concerned? Not really. This isn’t my first rodeo. Am I looking forward to it? Oh, hell no! After 74 degrees on Tuesday, 30s/40s/rain/snow will feel… brisk.

Stay tuned.

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Ultra Runner Podcast: Errol “The Rocket” Jones

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I’ve posted before that I’m a big fan of Talk Ultra. However, I’ve just been getting caught up on another great running podcast.

If you have an hour today, I encourage you to listen to the Ultra Runner Podcast featuring Errol Jones. “The Rocket” is hilarious and offers some great inspiration. Sure, it’s a couple of years old, but it is exellent entertainment!

The podast is available here.

What podcasts do you enjoy?

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Have a great *cough* race!

photo credit: Andy Wong

photo credit: Andy Wong

The Beijing Marathon was held on Sunday in less-than-ideal conditions. The Air Quality Index topped 400 (and was 344 at race time), well above the 300 level that is considered hazardous, and 14 times higher than the level considered safe by the WHO. In fact, race officials handed out over 100,000 sponges “to clean skin that has been exposed to smog.”

Men’s Results:

1. Girmay Birhanu Gebru, Ethiopia, 2:10:42
2. Abebe Negewo Degefa, Ethiopia, 2:10:54
3. Solomon Bushendich Naibei, Kenya, 2:11:07
4. Eliud Kiplagat Barngetuny, Kenya, 2:11:07
5. Debebe Tolossa Wolde, Ethiopia, 2:11:23
6. Han Chengcai, China, 2:18:21

Women’s Results

1. Fatuma Sado Dergo, Ethiopia, 2:30:03
2. Meseret Kitata Tolwak, Ethiopia, 2:31:08
3. Gong Lihua, China, 2:32:23
4. Zhang Yingying, China, 2:37:09
5. Yeshi Esayias Tesemma, Ethiopia, 2:38:36
6. Geng Shaoqing, China, 2:40:08

Would you have participated in the race?

Have you ever raced in smog? How was it?

Which international marathon is on your bucket list?

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Weekend Recap.

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Howdy! Here’s a quick recap of the weekend. It’s a little of this and a little of that…

Toronto Marathon

Eric Gillis took a shot at Jerome Drayton’s Canadian record (which has been around for 39 years), but he fell short by about a minute. Gillis ran 2:11:20, and the longstanding record is 2:10:09.

However, a world record was set in Toronto! Michal Kapral joggled the half marathon in 1:20:40. For more on joggling, be sure to check out Wild Juggling.

Full results of the Toronto Marathon are available here.

Empire State Marathon

The Empire State Marathon tested out a new course this year. It was a blustery day and the winning times were a little slower than past years. The men’s race was won in 2:42:34 and the women’s race was won in 3:13:27. I’m looking forward to hearing some feedback on the new course.

Full results of the Empire State Marathon are available here.

Warrior Dash World Championship

This race is a bit… different. A 5k on mountainous terrain with 12 obstacles… and $100,000 in prize money!

Ultra, road, track, Obstacle star Max King took the win, along with $30,000 in prize money. Kimber Mattox won the women’s race. Results, times and prize money for the Top 5 are available here.

Did you race this weekend?

Have any recent results caught your attention?

Are you looking forward to the NYC Marathon?

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T-Minus 15 Days.

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I’m 15 days out from my last race of the year. I’m into my taper, more or less, but still trying to maintain some decent speed. Yesterday was originally supposed to be an off day, but the weather was so nice that I couldn’t resist a little speed.

I didn’t do anything too fancy – 5 x 400m and 3 x 800m. Considering I haven’t done a lot of speedwork, I was very pleased to knock off the quarters in about 75 seconds and the halves in about 2:40.

I’m still trying to figure out my game plan for Mendon – it’s a deceptively tough course – +/- 5,000 feet of elevation over 50km.

In the meantime, I’ve slipped into second place in the USATF Niagra Ultra Series. While I was sitting on my couch last weekend, Michael Bray was running 50 miles around Canandaigua Lake. He finished 6th overall, which vaulted him into first place in the Ultra Series. I’m just four points behind. Mendon is the last race in the series. Fun times.

Have you done any good speed workouts lately?

Do you ever change your workout last minute because of the weather?

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Snakes (Not On A Plane).

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I saw this bad-boy on my run yesterday. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but he’s about 18 feet long, give or take a little bit. It was the fifth snake I’ve seen this year. This is interesting, because until 2014, I had never seen more than one snake in a year!

I’m not sure what is going on? Global warming? Attack of the snakes? Nah, the little guys (and gals) up here are mostly harmless – unlike the double rattlesnake bite that blogger and ultra-rockstar Jenn got in August – yikes!

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What is the scariest animal that you have come across on a run?

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Did you watch Anaconda in theaters too?

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Fall: Not a Bad Time to Go For a Run

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For you other Northeast folks, this post probably isn’t very exciting. Just what you need to see – more leaves!

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However, for my southern and mountain friends, here are a couple of shots to make you jealous. Sure, we have crappy winters that seem endless at times, but for the other 75% of the year, it’s pretty darn nice here.

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Not only that, fall is XC season (woo hoo) and marathon season! It seems like there are marathons everywhere you look! Of course, Chicago was this past weekend, but so was Steamtown. Wineglass wasn’t too long ago and the Empire State Marathon is next weekend. NYC is right around the corner, and so is Philadelphia. Marathons, marathons, marathons!

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What is your favorite season for running?

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Do you prefer marathons in Spring or Fall?

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Are you participating in a Halloween run? A Thanksgiving run?

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