Archive | Guest Perspective

Blind Runner Cherishes NYC Marathon Finish

NYC Marathon Finish GroupCharles-Edouard Catherine lost his sight three years ago. But thanks to his persuasive wife, Achilles International and others, he is achieving his dreams.

By Henry Howard

For many first-time marathoners, the first glimpse of the finish line signals the end of an incredible journey.

Charles-Edouard Catherine never saw the finish line as he approached then crossed the timing mat at the end of 26.2 miles at the New York City Marathon.

Three years ago, Catherine lost his sight — and with it his self-esteem and motivation. Continue Reading →


The Birth of Altra Shoes

IMG_7027 (3)Champion runner Golden Harper uses his passion for helping injured runners, homemade ingenuity and thoughtful research to create a unique, beloved brand.

By Henry Howard

When you run before you can walk, you were born to be a runner.

When you win a world championship at age 8, your running future is bright.

When your parents own a running store where you start working at age 9, you learn quite a bit about sneakers, running form and injuries.

Put it all together, and you have Golden Harper, champion runner and founder of Altra Shoes. Continue Reading →


Inaugural Race a Labor of Love for First-Time Director

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.07.00 PMThe Laughlin/Bullhead Half Marathon and 5K offers participants the chance to run in two states and two time zones.

By Henry Howard

The clock is winding down to the inaugural Laughlin/Bullhead Half Marathon and 5K race, taking place in both Nevada (Laughlin) and Arizona (Bullhead) and in two different time zones.

This is also race director Mark Villalovos’ first time overseeing a race. It’s been quite the journey, as he says. I’ll step out of the way and let him talk about his journey, the race itself and more. Continue Reading →


Review: Tailwind as a Race-Day Fuel Source

IMG_2945The electrolyte mix will replace calories and energy without giving the endurance athlete the dreaded sugar crash or bonk.

By Henry Howard

Jennifer Vierling knows the challenges endurance athletes face: the need to replenish lost calories, energy and electrolytes with something that will sustain and hydrate them throughout the event.

Vierling became hooked on cycling when she rode 6 miles from the Charleston airport to the KOA campground to begin a weeklong cycling tour. She put in many miles including RAAM qualifiers and Paris-Brest-Paris, while also supporting her husband, Jeff, as he competed in long-distance cycling events.

They turned their love for endurance sports into a solution for athletes when they created and co-founded Tailwind Nutrition mix and launched their company in 2012. The company actually got started when Jeff ran into nutrition challenges while competing at the Leadville 100 mountain-biking event. Continue Reading →


I am a Marathoner

Never mind the critics that look down upon the masses who complete 26.2 miles nowadays, we should enjoy our achievements.

By Henry Howard

On Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, I achieved a bucket list goal, completing a 26.2-mile run in 4:07:55 at the Indianapolis Monumental.

Starting that day I could rightfully say, “I am a marathoner.”

I epitomized being a middle-of-the-packer, finishing 1,474th out of 2,911 finishers. Each of the other 2,910 finishers could also call themselves a marathoner, whether it was their first or 100th finish, or somewhere in between.

I worked hard for the distinction of calling myself a “marathoner.” I’ve seen estimates that say that only 1 percent of the U.S. population has completed a marathon. But, apparently, just completing a marathon isn’t good enough for some people. Continue Reading →


Review: North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon

RunBeautiful scenery, hilly trails and scrumptious aid station food await those willing to try a challenging course in race distances from 50 miles to 5K.

By Henry Howard

My 10th marathon was the most challenging, hardest and slowest that I have finished so far. It was also one of the most rewarding.

The North Face Endurance Challenge Series hosted an event Oct. 3-4 in Kettle Moraine State Park in Wisconsin. (Other sites included Utah, Washington, D.C., New York, Ontario and the series finale in the Golden Gate area of California in December.) Continue Reading →


Marathoner John Young is 4-foot-4 and Full of Heart

photo credit: John Young Twitter page

photo credit: John Young Twitter page

John Young — the first person with dwarfism to complete a half Ironman — doesn’t let his size keep him from his goals.

By Henry Howard

About nine years ago, John Young was not sleeping well so his wife encouraged him to undergo a sleep study. At the doctor’s office, he stepped on the scale and was shocked to see that he weighed 195 pounds.

That weight is incredibly unhealthy for someone who stands 4-foot-4-inches tall. Continue Reading →


Review: Erie Marathon at Presque Isle

Erie Marathon medalLooking for a BQ or PR? This flat and fast course will fit the bill, while the cost is affordable especially given the swag and post-race food.

By Henry Howard

The Erie Marathon routinely shows up on lists touting the “best Boston Qualifier races.” In fact, organizers use that as a draw for BQ hopefuls: the race is held each year on the last day for qualifying for the next Boston Marathon.

The course — which is accurately described as flat and fast — is two loops around Presque Isle State Park in northwestern Pennsylvania. For most of the course, one lane of traffic is blocked off and the other lane is for the runners. Continue Reading →


How to Prevent and Self-Treat Shin Splints

ShinSplints_ArrowsThe term shin splints, also known as an anterior compartment syndrome, refers to pain along the shinbone (tibia), the large bone in the front of your lower leg.

Shin splints can be excruciatingly painful to the point that you may struggle to walk or run. They are typically caused by inflammation in the anterior muscle of the lower leg known as the anterior tibialis muscle.

This is the primary muscle needed to lift your foot. Shin splints are often considered an over use injury and unfortunately, are relatively common in runners.

Discover the common causes for shin splints and implement these strategies to prevent and self-treat shin splints. Continue Reading →


From 385 Pounds to Endurance Athlete

Robert_first raceRobert Wadhams has shed weight, embraced fitness and found motivation along the way from a personal trainer, online community and beat-up ribbon.

By Henry Howard

Robert Wadhams was a big man living in a small box.

Figuratively, of course. Wadhams spent his time eating unhealthy food and playing video games. His weight had ballooned up to nearly 400 pounds. “Without realizing it, my life began to revolve around food,” he says, rattling off a what-not-to-eat list of pizza, fried foods and more that were his dietary staples. “That was pretty much my downfall.”

Wadhams, however, made major changes to improve his health, get into running and eventually finish half marathons, a marathon and a triathlon. His story continues today as he recovers from two surgeries and has his eyes set on even more daunting challenges. Continue Reading →


Review: Coolibar Clothing

coolibarBy Henry Howard

It’s no secret that the sun’s powerful rays are not only challenging to outdoor athletes during the summer but can also lead to skin cancer.

Outdoor athletes’ substantial exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation increases their risk of developing basal and squamous cell carcinoma, the two most common skin cancers, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Many marathoners also tend to have more small moles and large atypical moles, which are increased risk factors for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, the foundation reports.

The American Cancer Society estimates that many of the 2 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed annually could be eliminated by properly protecting one’s skin and avoiding indoor tanning. Continue Reading →


How to Self-Treat Runner’s Knee

Dr. Ben uses a lacrosse ball to work the tissue above the patella.

Dr. Ben uses a lacrosse ball to work the tissue above the patella.

Patellar Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), also known as runner’s knee, is a common running related issue. The sooner you can manage this condition, the easier it will be to recover and eliminate future problems.

As part of a quick and thorough method of treatment, first address the biomechanical causes for the pain. Then utilize the following strategies to quickly recover from the pain in order to keep training and running at a high level. Continue Reading →


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