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SAUCONY GUIDE 13 REVIEW

SAUCONY GUIDE 13 – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | OCTOBER 2019

The Saucony Guide is one of the brand's key styles for pronators in need of some light support. Guest reviewer Brian Metzler puts the shoe through its paces and gives his take on the new Saucony Guide 13. 

THE BUZZ

The evolution of the Saucony Guide 13, one of Saucony’s best-selling light stability shoes, continues with a lighter, more dynamic midsole construction, a new stability
mechanism and a more accommodating fit for a wider range of foot shapes.

Fans of previous editions of the Guide will appreciate this version for the reliable cushioning and the nimble but secure feeling it serves up
in every stride.

WHAT'S NEW: SAUCONY GUIDE 13

The Saucony Guide 13 is about a half ounce lighter than the previous edition, and it’s noticeable.

Much of the weight savings comes from the new midsole compound called PWRRUN, a lightweight and energetic blend of EVA and
TPU foams. Another key new feature is the FormFit upper that sync the foot to the chassis without inhibiting the natural movements of the foot.

Saucony scrapped the Everun midsole foam that had graced the Guide ISO
2, but that’s OK. As good as the Everun material was, the PWRUN is even better. Not only is it lighter, but it’s also noticeably more energetic, which also contributes to a more nimble feeling on the run

But the biggest
change is the use of an L-shaped TPU cradle to provide structure and support instead of a traditional firm medial post. 

Saucony Guide 13 - Run on

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Saucony Guide 13 is one of those shoes in which the fit, feel and ride all improved after getting completely overhauled. The new, soft and flexible upper integrates well with the plush interior and contoured footbed to provide
a really secure and comfortable fit.

The Guide has a soft, step-in feel, creating a sensation that initially feels closer to a cushy neutral shoe than a moderate stability shoe. On the run, the Guide 13 serves up mild
to moderate stability in every stride by way of the L-shaped TPU stability bracket that eliminates the ability for the foot to roll severely inward upon impact. It’s durable, heavy-duty shoe for runners who need support but still
want to run fast.

Overall, the updated Saucony Guide serves up reliable guidance and a good amount of energetic pop without an overwhelmingly structured feeling.

Saucony also did away with its ISO-Fit upper
system in favor of a soft and pliable engineered Jacquard mesh upper that adapts to a wide range of foot shapes and creates a semi-custom fit and feel.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

The Saucony Guide 13 will suit runners with a moderate overpronating gait will appreciate this shoe as an reliable workhorse, no matter if you’re logging high-mileage weeks or just running casually a few days a week.

The
enhanced agility of the edition makes it versatile enough for longer intervals, tempo runs and progression runs.

The Saucony Guide 13 would be a good shoe for a neutral-oriented runner to consider wearing for a half
marathon or marathon. In the latter miles of those races, a runner who needs a twinge of stability will appreciate the light support from this shoe and the snappy, energetic vibe.

PROS AND CONS: SAUCONY GUIDE 13

Saucony Guide 13 - Pros

Pros: Saucony Guide 13

Runners with a moderate overpronating gait will appreciate this shoe as an reliable workhorse.

The new medial TPU guidance frame quickly and quietly supports the foot through
the mid-stance phase of a stride. Unlike the rigid feeling typical of a firm medial post, the guidance frame serves up more subtle support with a smoother feeling from heel to toe.

The interior of the Guide 13 is moderately
cushioned with good but not overwhelming padding in the tongue and ankle collar. It’s definitely comfortable, just not overly plush compared to some of its contemporaries.

The thin Tri-Flex Crystal Rubber outsole is
extremely flexible, but it is also very grippy and durable too. Those qualities combine to promote a secure, agile ride in both wet and dry conditions.

Saucony Guide 13 - Cons

Cons: Saucony Guide 13

There aren’t any glaring drawbacks in this shoe, except that it’s a bit middle-of-the-road in most details.

Not necessarily a minus but our wear-testers were split on this
shoe’s stability. Most thought it was subtly present but invisible, while a few thought it was noticeable in every stride. 

SAUCONY GUIDE 13 SPECS

Asics GEL Kayano 26 - Specs

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the
co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”

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SAUCONY TRIUMPH 17 REVIEW

 

SAUCONY TRIUMPH 17 – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | OCTOBER 2019

The Saucony Triumph 17 is as comfy as a bedroom slipper but as performance-oriented as any running shoe you’ve ever worn.

Read on to learn what our shoe guru Brian Metzler has to say about the revamped Triumph from Saucony.

THE BUZZ

Saucony’s completely overhauled this top-tier neutral cushioned training shoe for its 17th edition Triumph and we love the results.

The new edition features a new midsole foam and a more accommodating upper that help make this version of the Triumph lighter, softer and more flexible. All this adds together for a better overall running experience.

As much as we loved previous editions of the Triumph — and we really did — this one is light years ahead when it comes to comfort, fit and ride.

 

WHAT'S NEW: SAUCONY TRIUMPH 17

The biggest highlight of this shoe is the new PWRRUN+ midsole foam, which is 28 percent lighter and notably more springy and responsive than the Everun cushioning foam of several recent editions. Saucony said also good-bye to its ISO Fit lacing closure system in favor of a more traditional gusseted tongue that does a better job of syncing with the upper and adapting to all foot shapes.

Of note is the Saucony Triumph 17 is the first shoe in the Saucony line to featurePWRRUN+ midsole foam. It’s a foam compound that Saucony worked on for more than five years and tested it extensively with more than 20,000 wear-test miles from hundreds of runners.

Although it looks a little bit like the previous Everun foam of previous editions, PWRRUN+ is lighter, more responsive and a better cushioning agent. 

Saucony Triumph 17 - Run on

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Saucony Triumph 17 serves up a snug, accommodating fit for a wide variety of foot shapes. The new premium jacquard mesh upper plays a big part of that. It is comfortable and accommodating, but it also offers a bit of cradling structure from the lightweight TPU overlays and the “bucket seat” created by the FormFit system in the rearfoot.

The Saucony Triumph has always given off a soft and luxurious vibe, but this edition takes the cake. The ride serves up the ultimate mix of springiness and softness that feels energetic for the duration of long runs as well as shorter recovery runs. This new edition of the Saucony Triumph feels soft and springy when your foot hits the ground, then rolls smoothly through the midfoot and then serves up an energetic boost when your foot lifts of the ground.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

The Saucony Triumph 17 is a great running shoe for runners who log mid- to high-mileage weeks in training will love this shoe for its comfort, smooth ride and energy return. It’s versatile enough to be used as an everyday trainer and some faster tempo runs and progression runs.

PROS AND CONS: SAUCONY TRIUMPH 17

Saucony Triumph 17 - Pros

Pros: Saucony Triumph 17

The Tri-Flex Crystal Rubber outsole is extremely flexible, but it is also very grippy and durable too. Those qualities combine to promote a secure, agile ride in both wet and dry conditions.

The Triumph 17 has a plush interior, a wide, soft, gusseted tongue and a thickly padded heel collar. It’s also available in both normal and wide widths for every size.

Our wear-testers described the Saucony Triumph 17 as having “cushy comfort” and a “pillowy sensation” on the run. The moment you step into the shoe and lace it up, it feels like it becomes part of your foot. 

Asics GEL Kayano 26 - Cons

Cons: Saucony Triumph 17

The only slight drawback to the Triumph is that it’s not quite as light as other shoes. But the energetic sensation from the PWRRUN+ makes up for some of the additional ounces.

It’s not a heavy shoe by any means, but it’s just not nimble enough for fast workouts.

 

SAUCONY TRIUMPH 17 SPECS

Saucony Triumph 17 - Specs

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”

 

 
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ASICS GT 2000 8 REVIEW

 

ASICS GT 2000 8 – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | OCTOBER 2019

THE BUZZ

One of ASICS’ legacy shoes, the GT 2000 is a comfortably appointed stability shoe that offers an ideal blend of cushioning and support. It’s always been known as a very reliable and durable shoe for high-mileage training and this version is all of that and more!

 

WHAT'S NEW: ASICS GT 2000 8

The new and improved GT 2000 8 has undergone a complete redesign. It maintains a lot of what loyal customers have loved about this shoe, plus it’s noticeably softer and lighter.

The GT 2000 8 also features a new engineered, two-layer mesh upper that’s more pliable and more breathable than the previous edition. 

Asics GT 2000 8 - Bounce power

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The new GT 2000 fits like previous editions, with a reliable snug feel in the heel and the midfoot and ample room in the forefoot for toes to wiggle and splay. It also has the classic step-in feel of premium ASICS shoes — soft, well-cushioned and comfortable.

When it comes to fit the ASICS GT 2000 8 has a nicely padded heel collar and thick, wide, cushy tongue that combine to wrap and cradle the foot once its laced up. The ride is consistently smooth, moderately soft and very stable, both on long slow runs and shorter, slightly faster runs. While the GT 2000 has never been known for an energetic, go-fast demeanor, it is a bit more peppy than previous editions, thanks to the softer, springier Flytefoam and updated rearfoot and forefoot silicone-based GEL cushioning pads. 

The two layers of the engineered mesh upper in the GT 2000 are designed to tighten and loosen as the foot flexes and move, allowing it instantaneously maximize breathability, elasticity and support based on the specific shape and movement patterns of a runner’s foot.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

Runners who like a go-to shoe for day-after-day training will appreciate the comfort and reliability of the ASICS GT 2000 8.

This classic show could be a good choice for the majority of a race training plan, with the notion that it wouldn’t be ideal for up-tempo workouts or as race-day shoe.

PROS AND CONS: ASICS GT 2000 8

Asics GT 2000 8 - Pros

Pros: Asics GT 2000 8

The GT-2000 8 is more than a half an ounce lighter than the previous edition. That’s a significant reduction and, almost always, lighter is definitely better when it comes to running shoes.

As with many ASICS shoes the GT 2000 8 features a cushy, moisture-wicking sockliner made with an anti-bacterial material to reduce odor, boost the level of cushioning and increase durability.

Exceptional stability and support are made possible by a dynamic three-layer midsole construction that slows pronation and guides the foot forward. It includes a soft springy layer of foam just below the foot, a squishy wedge of GEL on the later side and a dual-density bottom layer of foam that is firmer on the medial side and softer in the heel and lateral side.

Runners who have narrow heels will appreciate how the heel counter rearfoot design combine to really clutch the foot and hold it securely to the footbed, no matter what its size, shape or volume.

Asics GT 2000 8 - Cons

Cons: Asics GT 2000 8

The GT 2000 8 is a luxury sedan of running shoes, not a sports car. It looks good, it feels good and it performs pretty well, but it’s never going to be an all-out speed merchant.

ASICS GT 2000 8 SPECS

Asics GT 2000 8 - Specs

SHOP ASICS GT 2000 8

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”

 

 
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BROOKS ADRENALINE GTS 20 REVIEW

 

BROOKS ADRENALINE GTS 20 – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | OCTOBER 2019

After 20 years of running forward, the legendary Brooks Adrenaline GTS shows no signs of slowing down. The Adrenaline is the shoe that defined stability and the twentieth edition has a new look and some big upgrades. 

THE BUZZ

Annually one of the top-selling stability shoes on the market, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS has gone through some big changes with its last two editions.

The biggest shift last year was the switch from a traditional medial post to the innovative GuideRails® support-enhancing mechanism in the Adrenaline GTS. This year, Brooks has improved upon that system in the bestselling Adrenaline GTS 20 while also taking the fit, feel and ride to new levels, making it an ideal shoe for overpronators.

 

WHAT'S NEW: BROOKS ADRENALINE GTS 20

This year’s Adrenaline GTS 20 has received a pretty good makeover with a new engineered mesh upper and a revised GuideRails® system.

Those changes helped make this version slightly lighter, more stable, more breathable and better-fitting than last year’s version. It looks and feels a lot like it’s neutral cousin in the Brooks line—the Ghost 12—but with considerable inherent stability.

The Adrenaline GTS 20 is about a half ounce lighter than last year’s edition, and that’s a significant difference. The weight reduction was made possible from the new 3D Fit Print engineered mesh upper that offers an accommodating fit and structure without any thermoplastic rearfoot overlays or unnecessary decorative elements that were on previous editions. 

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 - Run on

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

What runners have always loved most about the Adrenaline GTS is its accommodating fit, soft interior and stable ride. This year’s version of the style retains that blend, with slight enhancements to each element. The Adrenaline GTS 20 has the same comfortable, all-encompassing fit as many Brooks shoes, thanks to a thick tongue, moderately padded heel collar, a premium sockliner and a slightly wider toe box.

When you step into the shoe, it feels as soft and light and luscious as Brooks’ Ghost, Glycerin and Launch neutral shoes. But what differentiates the Adrenaline GTS is its subtly stable ride created by the updated GuideRails® Holistic Support System, which is intended to reduce excess pronation in a runner’s ankles and the corresponding movements in a runner’s lower legs and knees.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

Runners who seek a meticulous blend of support, cushion and flexibility will appreciate the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20. The modernized, streamlined design will please runners who crave a low-profile look, while the soft, flexible but still stable ride is the special sauce that makes this such a reliable shoe for overpronators.

Our wear-testers liked this as an everyday training shoe, one that was versatile for slow to moderate long runs, recovery runs and moderate tempo runs. This could be a good choice for a half-marathon or a marathon shoe for a committed mid-pack runner, but it’s not ideal for running shorter and faster workouts and races.

PROS AND CONS: BROOKS ADRENALINE GTS 20

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 - Pros

Pros: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

The new GuideRails® Holistic Support System is more integrated with the foam midsole chassis, allowing it to offer better stability while also having a fast, flexible and energetic demeanor of the best modern stability shoes. The original GuideRails® on the Adrenaline GTS 19 was a good start, but the revisions have made the updated version.

The Adrenaline GTS is both soft and energetic. It has a midsole comprised of bothBioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning to provide a just-right softness underfoot without losing its energetic feel or durability.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 - Cons

Cons: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

While this shoe is lighter and more flexible than previous editions, the Adrenaline GTS doesn’t have the zippiness to handle faster track and fartlek workouts as well as some performance-oriented stability models. 

BROOKS ADRENALINE GTS 20 SPECS

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20- Tech Specs

SHOP BROOKS ADRENALINE GTS 20

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”

 

 
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BROOKS LEVITATE 3 REVIEW

 

BROOKS LEVITATE 3 – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | OCTOBER 2019

The Brooks Levitate is a fine shoe in the 'energize' running category. The DNA AMP midsole technology Brooks launched in the Levitate aims to give the runner a power boost to each stride in a fun and lively shoe for runners looking to set their first big goals. 

THE BUZZ

The third reiteration of the Brooks Levitate is an energetic shoe with a sock-like fit. It has a bouncy feel and a modern look.  The Brooks Levitate was originally launched three years ago as a shoe aimed at younger runners with crossover lifestyle appeal.

Brooks has continued to refine the Levitate as an everyday running shoe and a model great for everyday wear. If you’re a new runner, occasional runner or athleisure-minded consumer, this is the shoe for you!

 

WHAT'S NEW: BROOKS LEVITATE 3

While midsole/outsole chassis in the Brooks Levitate remains unchanged—and that’s a good thing!  

The new edition features a redesigned knit upper, a heel collar with better cushioning and a partially integrated tongue for a more secure, sock-like fit that moves dynamically with a runner’s foot.

The bottom line is that the changes have helped the Levitate 3 fit better, feel better and run better than its previous incarnations.

Brooks Levitate 3 - Bounce power

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The improved cushiness to the interior of the Brooks Levitate 3 have rounded out the fit and feel of the Levitate, creating a comfortable, snug, wrap-around sensation you’d expect from a premium shoe. It has a luscious step-in feel and an easy-flexing demeanor the moment you start running.

Although there is a bit of softness in every footstep, the ride is really more about a lively, springy sensation that gives back a palpable amount of energy return in every stride. Once you harness that rhythm, the Levitate continues to give back for the duration of a run and through the life of the shoe. (Unlike most foam midsoles, the DNA AMP cushioning material doesn’t seem to break down after hundreds of miles.)

The new Brooks Levitate 3 also features a forward-focus arrow pattern of flex grooves on the outsole helps you move from heel to toe quickly without losing energy. The grooves facilitate and easy-flexing demeanor and works in conjunction with the energy boost provided from the midsole to provide a smooth but electrifying jolt in every footstep.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

The Brooks Levitate 3 is spot on for runners who seek a shoe with maximal energy return and a bouncy feeling in every stride will love this shoe. It excels as a moderate mileage shoe that feels good for a variety of activities.

The Brooks Levitate 3 style could be a race-day model for a new runner trying a 5K or 10K for the first time, but it’s not light enough for speed workouts or for long-distance racing.

PROS AND CONS: BROOKS LEVITATE 3

Brooks Levitate 3 - Pros

Pros: Brooks Levitate 3

The Levitate 3 features Brooks’ innovative DNA AMP cushioning system, which is comprised of a softer foam encased in a stringent skin that prohibits horizontal expansion. Because the softer foam cannot expand horizontally, it reacts with a vertical expansion that products a springy sensation in every step. In other words, the energy captured from the force of each footstep is directed back up as a way to promote forward propulsion.

You probably don’t feel comfortable wearing all of your running shoes with casual clothes, but with this one you can. Our wear-testers loved the look of this shoe as much as we loved the performance. The new smooth knit upper has crossover lifestyle appeal in each of the three colorways for men and three for women.

Brooks Levitate 3 - Cons

Cons: Brooks Levitate 3

The Brooks Levitate is a bit heavier than some everyday training models on the market. The energetic midsole helps minimize the weight and keep it from feeling bulky, but it’s doesn’t feel like a lightweight cruiser, either.

BROOKS LEVITATE 3 SPECS

Brooks Levitate 3 - Specs

SHOP BROOKS LEVITATE 3

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”

 

 
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THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON COURSE

 

BIG APPLE ON YOUR BUCKET LIST

by BRIAN METZLER |

 

 

RUNNING THE NEW YORK MARATHON COURSE

If you’ve ever run a marathon or aspired to run one, then the Big Apple should definitely be on your bucket list. Although it’s understandably hard to get into, the New York City Marathon is something every runner should experience once in their lifetime.

The classic point-to-point, 26.2-mile race serves as a street-level tour of the Big Apple’s five boroughs, providing up amazing views, an up-close interaction the biggest cheering section in the world, a glimpse at history and one of the best finish lines in all of running.

The New York City Marathon is a hard course as far as marathons go—more difficult than its Marathon Majors siblings in Chicago, Boston, Berlin, London and Tokyo—but if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

Over the Bridge
After spending an hour or more huddled up in the runner’s village at Fort Wadworth on the northern edge of Staten Island, you’ll assemble in your starting wave along what normally is heavily trafficked Interstate 278. Once the starting gun for your wave sounds, you’ll begin one of the most glorious hill climbs in any running race, a 1.25-mile ascent up the south side of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge over the inlet to New York Harbor.

As you crest the high point of the bridge deck, if you glance to your left and look north, you’ll be treated to a spectacular view of the Lower Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” you’ll remember her famous plaque proclaiming as you cruise down the back side of the bridge and find yourself back on terra firma in Brooklyn with only about 24 miles to go.

Running with The Huddled Masses
The moment you get into Brooklyn, you’ll understand a slightly different meaning of “huddled masses,” as you’ll soon be consumed by with crowds of people running with along you and also cheering from the sidewalks. The first three waves of runners don’t actually come together on the same section of road until the 8-mile mark at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. That’s when things get really crazy. Don’t fret! You only need to concern yourself with running your race.

Soak in the positive energy of the crowds that seem to get thicker and more vociferous the deeper you get into Brooklyn. Keep the urge to surge contained and stay focused on your pace and the need to continually rehydrate. And by all means, be careful to avoid runners ahead of you who come to a dead stop for the sake of taking selfies.

Time to Get Serious
You’ll reach the halfway point of the race in the hipster Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, just before you cross over the Pulaski Bridge and head into Queens. Nothing against Queens, but this is where you have to become a lunch bucket laborer and grind out a few hard miles on what is a relatively boring part of the course. There are fewer fans cheering in the Long Island City section of the course, so it’s a good time to check your pace, focus on refueling and begin to dig deep mentally to prepare yourself for the second half of the race.

You’ve clicked off more than 13 miles in what feels like the blink of an eye, but you still have the hard miles ahead of you. This is where you should trust your training, keep a consistent rhythm and put a smile on your face as you approach the challenge that lies ahead. 

The Calm Before the Storm
As the course turns east along Queens Boulevard and heads toward the Hudson River, everything quiets down considerably. Soon you enter the lower level of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge and experience the oddest thing of the New York City Marathon: eerie silence. With the ambient noise of the city almost non-existent as you cross the 0.75-mile bridge, the only thing you’ll hear is the rhythmic pitter-patter of runners’ feet hitting the ground and, maybe, one of those awkward loud-breathers right next to you. Soak in the silence and use it as a moment to reflect on all of the miles and months of training you put in to get there.

As you begin the downward slope into Manhattan, a grumbling commotion begins to grow into a dull but palpable roar. By the time you start running down the spiral ramp back to ground level, you’re met with the thunderous sound of thousands of screaming spectators that crescendos into a deafening roar as you turn and run north on First Avenue.

Welcome to Manhattan.

 

First Avenue Frenzy
Running northward on the straight-as-an-arrow, 3.5-mile section along First Avenue is one of the loudest and most energizing parts of the course, but it’s also one of the most difficult too. At first, the waves of cheering fans are inspiring and uplifting, but after a few miles it can be a bit overwhelming, too. Avoid the natural reaction to speed up on the slightly downhill section and know that you still have 8-10 miles to reach the finish line.

At about the 18-mile mark, you’ll be passing through East Harlem, otherwise known as the Spanish Harlem neighborhood—where you’re bound to hear a strong Latino vibe from the cheering fans, upbeat music and festive atmosphere. Take that ambiance to heart and stay in a rhythm as you approach the Willis Avenue Bridge, cross the Harlem River and enter into the Bronx.

Briefly in The Bronx
The marathon course is only in the Bronx for about a mile and a half and, honestly, it’s the loneliest segment of the course. That’s not a slight on the Bronx, which has witnessed a huge revival in the past decade. It’s more that the course doesn’t include the northernmost borough’s best elements, such as Van Cortland Park, Yankee Stadium or the city’s botanical gardens or zoo. However, it does pass through the Mott Haven Historical District, that includes the late-19th century St. Jerome Roman Catholic Church, a lot of refurbished office buildings and apartments, a mini mart and not much more. Blink and you’ll miss it, as soon you’ll be crossing the Madison Avenue Bridge over the Harlem River and running back into Manhattan, where you’ll pass Mile 21 and realize you have 5 miles to reach the finish line.

Heading to the Park 
As you pass through a portion of Harlem and on your way to northeast corner of Central Park, you’ll start to see some really funny spectator signs that should inspire you to keep your engines running as you start to realize that 5 miles is still a long way to go.

Soak in a few of the silly signs because they’ll make you laugh, which will help take the intensity down a notch so you can shed any lingering negativity and keep running with fluid form. For example, “Chuck Norris Never Ran a Marathon” and “It’s Seemed Like a Good Idea 4 Months Ago” and “My Mascara Runs Faster Than You Do” and “Hurry Up! There’s free beer and sex at the finish line!” OK, so none are bust-a-gut funny, but they’ll definitely tickle your funny bone in the moment when you need it the most.

On to The Finish
Once you get into Central Park, you’ll remember why you signed up for this race in the first place and realize that no city supports its marathon the way New York does. This is where the thickest concentration of spectators are gathered, and the energy will be off the charts because you’ll feel like they’re all there for you.

As fatigued as your mind and body is, your spirit will be revitalized over the final 3 miles as you absorb their encouragement and start to sense the finish line. You’re bound to pick up the pace a bit, but don’t go too fast because you don’t want to empty your tanks just yet. By the time you reach the south end of park, and head out onto 59th Street — aka, Central Park South — you’ll have less than a mile to go and be ready for this parade to be over. After one last (and seemingly endless and slightly uphill) straightaway to Columbus Circle, you’re turn back into the park where you’ll finally be able to head to the promised land.

As you run the final 400 meters along the international flag-lined finish line promenade, take a moment to reflect on the journey you’re about to complete—not only the 26.2-mile voyage from Staten Island to the finish, but also the four months and thousands of miles you spent specifically training for the race.

Whether you spring, jog or waddle to the finish line, do it with your head held high and a smile on your face. No matter how long it took you to get there, you got there! Even if you never run another marathon again, you’ll always have your New York City Marathon experience as a memory that will last a lifetime. 

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He has run the New York City Marathon three times with lackluster results. But he considers each experience among his most memorable running experiences.

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ELIUD KIPCHOGE: THE INEOS 1:59 CHALLENGE

ELIUD KIPCHOGE: THE INEOS 1:59 CHALLENGE

BREAKING THE TWO HOUR MARATHON

10.12.19

In 2017 marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge came close to breaking the two hour 26.2 time barrier at the Nike Breaking2 Project. He came in with an oh-so-close 2:00:25. 

One year later Kipchoge broke the marathon world record
in Berlin with a time of 2:01:39 and also won London with his second fastest time ever. 

The weekend of October 12th 2019, Kipchoge is prepped both physically and mentally for his second attempt on a controlled course,
to break the 2 hour marathon barrier in what has been named the INEOS 1:59 Challenge

ELIUD KIPCHOGE
NOTHING IS MORE POWERFUL THAN A PEACEFUL MIND

The Kenyan athlete is known for his mental game as much as his physical talent.  Any human being can go beyond his limits and many have watched his mental attitude to training and racing.  He lives a simple life training
in his native country and brings to the course the belief in his training, his teammates and in himself.

In the first sub-2 hour attempt, the cameras often caught him smiling during what was possibly one of the most significant
moments of his athletic career.  Speaking afterwards Kipchoge commented in his soft spoken manner of the power to break your own limits is your self-belief.  He may have come short by 25 seconds that day, but he genuinely believes
the barrier can be broken, and it can be broken by him.

‘It's like the first man to go to the moon: I will be the first man to run under two hours, this is crucial. This is about history, it's about leaving a
legacy. 

Breaking the two-hour barrier is crucial for me. I want to show the world that when you trust in something and have faith in what you are doing, you will achieve it, whether you're a runner, a teacher or
a lawyer.’

WHY & HOW TO FOLLOW THE INEOS 1:59 CHALLENGE

To understand the enormity of the challenge and how Kipchoge and his team are defining this moment in sports history, some stats to whet the appetite:

– 41 pacers will support Kipchoge, running between 1-10k intervals
– The pacers performance will be fueled by carbohydrate and caffeine
– Average speed: 21.1 kph
– Average pace: 2.50.5 per km
– Goal Split 5k: 14.14
– Goal Split 10K: 28.26
– Goal Split half marathon:
59.59
– Goal Split marathon: 59.59

You can tune in to watch the event live on YouTube. The date has been confirmed and set for October 12th but the exact shoes-on-the-road time will be decided closer to the day. 

WHERE: Vienna, Austria
WHEN: INEOS announced on October 9th that the date has been set for October 12th 2019.  The start time will be sometime between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. European Time. (11 p.m. – 3 a.m. ET).
HOW TO WATCH: INEOS
will broadcast a live stream on YouTube of the event you can bookmark here.

For more information, Runner’s World have a great round up of the details of the day.

MAURTEN: NUTRITION OF THE INEOS 1:59 CHALLENGE

For the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, Kipchoge and his team of runners will be using the revolutionary hydrogel sports fuel from Maurten.

Maurten sports fuel is easier to tolerate for athletes. They found a way to encapsulate high concentrations of carbohydrates in hydrogels.  Anyone who has experienced ‘gastric distress’ due to excess sugar in an endurance event will know nutrition is key
to how a race will unfold.  Incidentally, the winners of the last twenty major marathons have all grabbed a Maurten bottle at on-course drinks stations.  

For the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, the base fuel strategy for the athletes
will be as follows:

– Pre Load Drink Mix 320
– Every 5km: Combination of water, Drink Mix 160, Gel 100, Gel 100 Caff

Maurten stands out in sport nutrition because it went back to basics, then forward in technology.
 Firstly, they remove all unnecessary ingredients, like color preservatives and artificial flavors. Then the magic happens. When mixed, Maurten is a liquid sports drink that converts to a gel in the acidity of the stomach encapsulating
the carbs and allowing for smooth passage through the digestive system.

MAURTEN HYDROGEL AT JACKRABBIT

Available at JackRabbit, the Mauten hydrogel products come in three formats: 

Maurten Drink Mix 160: This mix contains 40g of Carbohydrates when
mixed in 500 ml of water. 

Maurten Drink Mix 320: This contains 80g of carbohydrates when mixed in 500 ml of water. This is about twice as
much carbs as was thought possible for the body to tolerate. 

Maurten GEL 100: The gel version of the drink mix for an easy to carry fueling option

Maurten GEL 100 Caff: All you need in the Maurten GEL plus added caffeine to get you there.
SHOP MAURTEN

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BALEGA GRIT AND GRACE RUNNING SOCKS

 

BALEGA SOCKS: GRIT & GRACE COLLECTION

 

 

BALEGA RUNNING SOCKS

GRIT & GRACE COLLECTION

We are excited to launch the Grit & Grace running sock collection for 2019 from Balega.

Balega is a running socks company who proudly lives by their mission to give back and honor that we all have a shared humanity. Every year they design a limited-edition collection called Grit & Grace that goes to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month with monetary donations to support those who are on the front line making change.

Each of the running socks styles in the Balega Grit & Grace Collection features inspirational messages so you too can run knowing your miles are truly supporting others. 

Read on to learn about those who inspire Balega's collection and the recipient of their funds, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners.

 

BALEGA: WE FINISH TOGETHER

In life, light reflects light, and so do a few extraordinary people.” – Balega 

Every year Balega dedicates a special edition of the Grit & Grace collection to an outstanding person.  The individual they select is someone who is symbol of the word UBUNTO – to share love and goodwill – the guiding mission of Balega as well as someone who has shown true grit and grace in a way to inspire others.

2019 Balega was humbled by Kim Stemple who launched the organization “We Finish Together“.  Kim was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease when she was training for the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon. But she still received a finisher's medal that year and it hung from her IV pole.  It was sent by one of her friends who finished the race and it boosted her spirits during treatments.  Seeing the impact and positivity the medal brought to her and other patients, she wanted to do more. 

With her organization 'We Finish Together', marathon runners, swimmers, triathletes and even spelling bee winners across the nation have donated their medals alongside a handwritten message to those who are in need of support. 

Kim's relentless efforts to make the world a better place resonates with Balega and 2019's limited editions Balega Grit & Grace socks are dedicated to her and her mission. 

BALEGA: BREAST CANCER PREVENTION PARTNERS

In addition to supporting those who are giving back and true to their word, Balega lends their support in many ways. Every October the Grit & Grace collection launches with $1 from the sale of every pair of the limited-edition socks benefits Breast Cancer Prevention Partners

For twenty-five years this organization has published work and led the charge to expose and eliminate environmental causes of breast cancer by limiting exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation. 

 

SHOP BALEGA RUNNING SOCKS

 

FOLLOW JACKRABBIT AND OUR RUNNING CREW

Follow JackRabbit and our running lives on Facebook where we share training tips, interviews and gear guides for every runner's lifestyle.  
Comment below how many pairs of running shoes you have in your collection?  There is no shaming here at JackRabbit!