Archive | Guest Perspective

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 →


What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Running

photo-1431578500526-4d9613015464Pat Flynn does it. Barack Obama has a tumblr page dedicated to it and Oprah has even been known to dabble.

They know the secret to running a successful business and it’s not just dominant thought, connections and amazing sales copy.

You can mastermind all you like and have the best social media presence in the world, but if you want to stay on top of your A game, you need to look after number one.

Running, whether it’s for just 15 minutes a day or endurance training for a marathon, will give you more benefits than you think. Continue Reading →


Jordan McDougal’s Tips on Nutrition, Training

Jordan McDougal grew up in the Adirondack Mountains region of New York state. Before he was 10 years old, McDougal was running track and cross-country. He advanced to running on a scholarship at Liberty University. He has now advanced to ultra marathons, Spartan events and mountain racing.

“Growing up in the Adirondacks I played just about any sport available, and skied and raced snowshoes in the winter, which was really my introduction to mountain racing I guess,” he says.

McDougal, who is North Face sponsored athlete, has won several of the North Face Endurance Challenge events including one earlier this year in Washington, D.C. McDougal finished the 50-mile event in 6:44:55, beating the runner-up by nearly 45 minutes. Continue Reading →


Gunhild Swanson’s amazing finish at Western States

Sun Mountain 50 miler 5-16-15 3The 70-year-old woman’s record almost never came to be. Here’s how she beat the odds to get into the 100-mile race and then overcame a serious error to complete her historic run.

By Henry Howard

Gunhild Swanson’s dramatic finish at this year’s 100-mile Western States Endurance Run almost never happened.

The jubilation that erupted in the final stretch of the race — as Swanson closed in on the finish line, then crossed it 6 seconds before the 30-hour cutoff —almost never happened.

But the 70-year-old Swanson did cross the Western States finish in time, becoming the oldest woman to ever do so. Her remarkable run set off a boisterous celebration at the finish line and a video that went viral. Continue Reading →


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