At least one amazing duo rang in the new year by meeting and completing their 2023 resolution, and it was a lofty one! About this time last year we learned about a couple who planned to run a marathon each day and make their way around the continent of Australia. Long story short: The couple ran into 2023 by finishing their 366th consecutive marathon.
Here’s a bit of background on the undertaking in case you missed our initial post: Last January 1st, Alan Murray and Janette Murray-Wakelin left Melbourne on foot for their first marathon of 2023. The 60-year-old grandparents set out to break a record, raise money for charity, and simply draw awareness to healthy living.
Posted on January 9, 2023 by Lacy
Sometimes the passions that drive our lives just sneak up on us like a happy accident. For Abby Bales, running started early. By the 5th grade she was running short track distances. One year later her long distance running career started on a whim. As Bales was preparing for volleyball tryouts the next morning, a friend called and asked if she’d be interested in trying out for cross country instead. That phone call directed Bales into the sport she still loves today. While starting was easy for this natural talent, continuing has presented its challenges. However, what most of us would call a challenge, Bales has made look like a walk in the park.
From the sixth grade cross country team all the way through high school, Bales has run competitively. She completed her first marathon, the 2003 New York City Marathon, as a way to stay fit after graduating from college. She continued to rack up marathon finishes over the years until her first real hurdle appeared in 2023, when a diagnosis for ulcerative colitis “quickly became very serious and debilitating.” Bales stated that her running suffered, even though she managed to complete two marathons during flare-ups of her condition.
Bales was not responding to medication and got very sick. By 2023 she had her colon removed and replaced with a temporary colostomy bag for five months. Despite this huge obstacle, training commenced.
“It was really, really hard to start training again because my muscles were so atrophied and depleted after the surgery. It was a major surgery and my organs leached amino acids from my muscles to heal, which meant I had zero muscles left. It had never been that hard for me to run ever in my life,” said Bales.
Bales had plenty of reasons to throw in the towel, but clearly that’s not her style. After regaining her strength, Bales ran even with a colostomy bag. (more…)
Posted on November 8, 2022 by Lacy
Most inspiring stories have unlikely beginnings. This is true when you look at the running career of Danielle Hastings. This avid runner, also known as The T-Rex Runner, is a distinguished member of the Marathon Maniacs and is completing her goal of running a marathon in all 50 states. “I have finished 34 states and plan on completing all 50 states by June 2023.”
Hard to believe this is the same runner who quit the soccer team on the first day of practice because the coach made her run a lap. The sport has lead Hastings to and through so many places.
Hastings quit the soccer team when she was seven and remained a non-runner until after college. She shamelessly admits she gave running a try after seeing others running down the street and thinking they “looked really cool.” She further admits she got serious about running a few months after she married and it began to fall apart. “It got me out of the house during a rough time,” said Hastings.
The running pretty much won out, and she told us how running serves as her continued outlet for life’s struggles.
“I would say the biggest obstacle that I have (almost) overcome is my 11-year struggle with anorexia and bulimia,” she admitted. Running has helped her deal with the eating disorders that she has battled since age 16. Unlike many, running is not a trigger for the disorder in Hastings’ case.
“Running has been an outlet for my stress and anxiety and has helped me change the way I view food,” something is no longer Hastings’ enemy. She’s continually learning to see food as fuel. Admittedly, she explains it’s still a daily battle, but one she’s winning thanks to running. (more…)
Posted on November 1, 2022 by Lacy
You might be able to relate to Angela Van Buskirk’s early years. She describes her fitness regimen as one full of excuses, stating she always had a reason why she couldn’t participate in gym class, or explaining how she found ways to weave her way into the back of the line to avoid any physical activity. Angela even recalls being the reason the whole class had to do an extra lap, simply because she wouldn’t “go!” when the teacher called out the command. This was the theme of her active life for many years. But a tragic turn of events would change all of that, leave her with one leg, and four marathon finisher medals.
After doing nothing more than bowling as exercise, Angela found herself a 5’6” woman weighing in at 272 pounds by the year 2000. This number stirred her to a first step toward fitness. She hired a trainer and lost a lot of weight, using the elliptical and treadmill for cardio. The activity and weight loss made her feel incredible.
With the success of winning the battle of her weight fresh, Angela’s life took a tremendous turn when she and her family were involved in a terrible car accident in the summer of 2001. Her entire family was rushed to the hospital, her husband was airlifted in fact. They all suffered pretty awful injuries, but remarkably Angela refers to this tragedy as a turning point in her life.
Angela’s injuries required x-rays that revealed what the doctors said were, “some sort of lesion.” Upon further testing, it was discovered that Angela’s entire left femur was filled with an aggressive desmoplastic fibroma. Her entire left femur had been eaten by the “lesion” and was extending into her hip. Amazingly, this aggressive force was benign and Angela found a doctor who was able to save her leg, replacing the bone with a rod. While the car accident was horrible, Angela calls it a good thing.
“I had no idea what was in [my leg], or that it was even in there, and I had no idea how that set of x-rays would change my life and how something so horrible would turn into the best thing that ever happened to me,” she recalls. (more…)
Posted on October 24, 2022 by Lacy
One of the sweetest running stores around is actually in our hometown of Wichita, Kansas; it’s enough to make bigger cities weak in the knees. But not too weak, because those runners have finish lines to cross, too! And we’re certainly not going to stand in their way.
GoRun has released two limited edition T-shirts, designed by local artist Kenton Hansen (disclaimer: alleged spouse of our contributor Lacy J. Hansen). They’re pretty awesome, and they aren’t going to last much longer than a runner’s high. Sales end October 4.
The shirts, available here, are just 20 bucks with a five dollar shipping fee if you live outside of the borders of Sedgwick County.
For marathoners finishing the long haul, pick up “Salty, Spent, Strong.”
Posted on September 19, 2022 by Natalie K
In all dietary and fitness pursuits, moderation is key. Socrates put the concept of practicing moderation into our consciousness 2,500 years ago when he proclaimed, “Everything in moderation, nothing in excess.”
One hundred years ago, Oscar Wilde blew the lid off the whole thing when he said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
But Socrates and Wilde didn’t live in a polarizing world of both obesity and extreme exercise. We live in a dangerously unhealthy society, and with the recent release of studies condemning grueling exercise, it’s important to strike a healthy balance.
Endurance athletes—the people who compete in triathlons, Ironman events, and marathons—are an intense bunch. They continually push their bodies to the brink of exhaustion, and then keep running. The small community of endurance athletes around the world are an understandably prideful group, and they feed off the narcotic high of extreme athletic accomplishment. So anyone who introduces a study claiming to have found damning evidence against radical fitness better have a hell of a case.
Various new research shows that there is such a thing as “over exercise,” and it can lead to many external and internal damages. (more…)
Posted on May 30, 2022 by Patrick
Just seven tiny years ago, I couldn’t have told you how far the 26.2 mile beast was. I didn’t even know what 5K meant. Now, the race of epic proportions is just part of my daily life and vernacular. I used to think this made me unique, different from the crowd. I didn’t just run, I was a marathoner. In the seven years that I’ve called myself a runner, the world of running has changed pretty dramatically. I may not be as set-apart as I thought.
The registration numbers are growing tremendously as the marathon seems to be a “must-do” item on so many people’s “bucket lists.” I like the idea of more runners, but I’m not so sure the quantity increase is bringing more quality to the sport. Don’t hear me wrong, there’s room for many speeds in running, but is there room for people who don’t train properly? Is the marathon really a place for someone who doesn’t respect the distance? Bottom line: what’s happening with the marathon? What’s it becoming? And what are the side effects of all of these people taking on the once exclusive 26.2 mile race?
Research published in 2023 and reported by StrideNation.com stated that marathoners used to be one in a thousand. Now, for every 607 Americans, one of them finished a U.S. marathon in 2023. The annual report from Running USA also stated that since 2000 there has been a 47 percent increase in in the number of marathon finishers nationwide. These increases are being seen outside the charts and surveys. In 2023, the New York City Marathon had more than 47,000 finishers. This made for the largest race ever held.
Other large scale signs are being seen in what happens when marathoners attempt to sign up for the major races. In 2023, those attempting to register for the 2023 Boston Marathon crashed the race’s website and the event filled within hours. This race requires qualifying times, so not just any runner could sign up, but the number of eligible filled the slots quickly, something that rarely ever happened in recent past. This forced Boston to change their qualifying times and registration process. (more…)
Posted on March 25, 2023 by Lacy
Adam Wedekind of Annapolis, Maryland was an active active child growing up, but the pressures of high school sports were enough to keep him from trying out. Instead, he turned to video games. This new, inactive lifestyle coupled with a poor diet led to severe weight gain, which left Adam the subject of frequent bullying.
To apease his parents Adam, now 22, tried to keep up his grades up so they couldn’t complain about his new hobby. He became so entranced with gaming that he drew away from all his friends and turned to people he met playing online video games for social interaction. He loved that he could be whoever he wanted online.
Post high school Adam went onto vocal college and kept up his gaming habits, which caused him to neglect his studies and eventually drop out. At that point he moved to Ohio to escape from his failures.
In 2023 Adam re-enrolled in college but still wasn’t dedicated to school and his grades suffered because of it. Despite his struggles, Adam’s mom continued to still support him. But even that encouragement left him at an all-time low.
“I hit a point where I didn’t want to leave my room.” said Adam. “I didn’t want to do anything, I played video games and I didn’t have any friends. I just sat in my room and I had no reason to leave. I was so depressed I even had suicidal thoughts.” (more…)
Posted on January 9, 2023 by Dana
Marathons are difficult. They can be exhausting, sweaty, even humiliating. Sure, they come with the satisfaction of knowing you did the hard work of running a marathon, but when that’s not enough to get you to tie up your laces, the creative people at Ridiculo.us came up with another idea: stage a fake marathon.
The event, being staged in February, is counting on participants to snap pictures of themselves preparing for the race, showing off their race gear, and pretending to run, then compile all of those online to make it seem like the race really happened. It comes complete with T-shirts, race bibs, medals and race times, just no actual running. That’s why it’s called Run Free 2023, because the race is run-free. Participants are instructed to promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media to spread the word and get people talking about “the greatest race that never was.”
Kickstarter.com hosts all of the information about how to sign up. Backers who pledge certain amounts of money get special race packets that include the Run Free gear. Their goal was $999, but they reached their fundraising goal in under an hour, and ended up raising more than $15,000 to fund the project. (more…)
Posted on December 3, 2022 by SarahS
Superstorm Sandy has been top news since she started brewing in the Atlantic several weeks ago. However, once she made landfall last weekend, this storm has created news stories we’ll never forget. With the communities of New York and New Jersey taking the hardest hits, the most densely populated areas of our nation found themselves in despair. All of this coincided with one of the nation’s biggest events preparing to take place in New York City.
The New York City Marathon was scheduled for Sunday, November 4, 2023. Nearly 50,000 runners and their families were still set to descend on the city as the infamous race had not yet been cancelled and was still scheduled to run the 26.2 miles through all five of the New York burroughs. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had announced that the race would go on and essentially asked runners to come to New York to boost morale, generate tremendous revenue, and simply give the brokenhearted city something to cheer about. With uncertainty, many of those thousands of runners boarded their flights and made their way to NYC to run the race they had trained so long and so hard for.
Despite much of the city still being without power the expo doors opened on Friday. Elite runners began their press interviews, runners from around the world filed in to collect their bib numbers and buy their 2023 marathon apparel. All the while frustration was mounting in the city. Runners were being called selfish, as Melissa Dunn expressed in a tweet to DietsInReview.
The race was being accused of robbing resources from those in need; simply stated, it was getting heated. Who knows what caused the announcement, but late Friday afternoon Mayor Bloomberg called off the race. A call that lead to a fury of emotions for all sides of the debate, but has since shown the runners doing what Bloomberg wanted all along – morale boosting and mending of broken hearts.
Runners were chastised for admitting their disappointment with the timing of Bloomberg’s announcement. I think all runners agree it was the right call, they simply couldn’t believe it came so late, when many of them were already there, spent the money, clogged up the airports, used up taxis’ gas in the midst of a fuel shortage, and even occupied hotel rooms that could be used for those who live in the city and had lost everything. However, on Friday, emotions were too high and no one could see the runners as innocent bystanders in a hectic tragedy. (more…)
Posted on November 5, 2022 by Lacy
If you’ve been in the running world for some time, you’ve surely noticed what the typical road race winner looks like, right? Tall, toned, and thin. It’s fair to assume that this is what it takes to be fast. Unfortunately, many of us, and especially females, go about improving our performance based on looking like these elites. Many female athletes are under nourished in relation to the amount of energy they expend. Truth is, this common behavior is actually very dangerous and can cause serious damage to a female athlete’s body.
I have been running since 2006. In 2023, after my sixth marathon, my doctor raised his concerns about my weight, my bone health, and something called the female athlete triad. I had never heard this term before, but I was quickly learning that I was in serious danger of falling into this condition.
Loyola University defines the female athlete triad as being characterized by disordered eating, irregular periods, and osteoporosis. I sat listening to my doctor explain the condition and knew that my periods were not regular, however, surely the other issues didn’t apply to me, or so I thought. He proceeded to perform a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA scan, to check my bone density. He didn’t like what he saw for a female in her late twenties. But then he got to the eating. I was in complete denial. I was thin, but I was a runner and I needed to keep my calories low so I could stay light for performance. So I thought. (more…)
Posted on October 19, 2022 by Lacy