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Top Ten Stories of the Week

These are the top ten stories based on views over the last week. 

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Dawna Holowell started running four years ago to help get over a break-up and now she can’t imagine life without running

Dawna Holowell can’t imagine her life without running after starting four years ago to get over a break-up.  

The 44-year-old Pennsylvania native became heavily involved with Gulf Coast Runners in Flordia, becoming the organization’s volunteer coordinator – making sure each of GCR’s 24 races are well-stocked with road marshals, water distributors, signholders, registration helpers and many other race necessities.

Dawna ran her first-ever marathon in October at the Chicago Marathon –a pretty impressive accomplishment for someone who just ran her first 5K in February 2015.

“I have a friend down here that I’ve known since first grade in Pennsylvania who ran in high school,” Holowell said about Becca Gatian, the person who introduced her to Gulf Coast Runners. “She signed me up for a 5K and I kind of looked at her and laughed. I used to always make fun of her for running so much. I couldn’t even run a mile.”

Soon, Holowell’s competitive spirit took over and she fell in love with running. An insurance underwriter for Brown and Brown Insurance, Holowell says even her co-workers joke about her passion for running.

“I work from home when I’m not traveling for my job and if I’m having a rough day or not finding a solution to a problem, they’ll ask me if I’ve gone for my run yet,” Holowell said. “It definitely helps you clear your mind where you can think out issues and come to that solution.”

Holowell’s organizational skills and problem-solving ability are a big help in her job as volunteer coordinator, which makes life a little easier for race director Jake Hester.

“I always know the volunteers are going to have the information that they need, that they’re going to be where they’re supposed to be and know what they’re supposed to do,” Hester said. “It really puts my mind at ease when it comes to volunteers. I don’t have to worry one bit about that part of the race.”

Holowell always finds time to run amidst her busy schedule, competing at a half-marathon in Jacksonville, Florida two months after the Chicago Marathon.

A novice runner less than four years ago, she’s still amazed at how far she’s come so far.  

“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d run a marathon. It was such an amazing experience,” she says.  

Holowell said she picked the Chicago Marathon because as a college student in Indiana, she made the trip to Chicago once a month, which gave her familiarity to her surroundings. But nothing could quite prepare her for the feelings she had at the starting line.

“It’s overwhelming. I’ve never been around anything like that,” she said. “There’s something like 45,000 runners at the starting line and then you’ve got tons of spectators along the route. But the vibes you get from those spectators really keep you going. You’ve got little kids cheering you on, people giving you food. When you’re feeling like you can’t make it, you’ve got people there to lift you up. I had friends at the race and there was no way I wasn’t finishing it.”

As she approached the end of the race, Holowell saw that many of the runners began walking. She was having none of that, though.

“We got to Michigan Avenue, toward the end of the race and there’s a marker that said 800 meters,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘That’s two laps around the track, I’ve got this’. At the end of the race, there’s a bit of an incline, but I knew I had to finish strong. As soon as I saw the finish line, I cried. It’s just this amazing, emotional feeling. I had pushed my body to its limit but I made it.”

Holowell said it took her body about a week to recover from the race, noting that just going up steps had to be done at a slow rate. But she was back in action a week later, going for a recovery run and beginning preparation for that half-marathon in Jacksonville.

Holowell says she’s about to begin training for her next marathon, although she’s not yet sure where that one will be.

(06/16/19) Views: 77

A bear jumped out between runners, during Leadville trail marathon

Runners who were taking part in the Leadville Trail Marathon in Colorado on Saturday have shared their shock, after a black bear jumped out between runners and ran across the trial.

Giving runners extra motivation to pick up the pace, or stop and get their camera phones out, the bear ran out from the woods, across the trail busy with runners, and back into the woods on the other side.

Black bears are one of the fastest species of bears, and can easily outrun a human when sprinting. In fact, the evidence shows that bears can run at speeds of 35 miles per hour quite comfortably when they want to.

Runner Stephen Peterson wrote on Facebook, “When you run Leadville, you just might run into a bear! My good friend Quentin Genke and I were a couple of hours into our race when this huge black bear made his appearance right in front of us, imagine our shock!”

(06/18/19) Views: 65

Catra was addicted to drugs and now she is addicted to running

At age 27 Catra was arrested and spent the night in a prison cell. That was the worst experience of my life and scared me into getting clean.

“I fell into a bad crowd in high school and started partying hard. I soon got into a relationship with a guy who was doing methamphetamine and I got addicted pretty quickly. Eventually, we got arrested. I was put on a six-month rehab programme where I had to go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting every day. After six months, I was clean,” says Catra.  

“Now I’ve been clean for 25 years. I started running because I was searching for something to take the place of drugs. I ran a 10k on a whim after seeing a flyer for it and, three months later, I ran my first marathon. Ultras followed soon after.

“I’ve run 100, 200 and 300-mile races. When you finally stop running after that long, it feels great. You’ve accomplished something huge and it’s like, 'Wow!' I definitely get a kind of high. I’m one of about only a dozen people in the world who has run 100 miles (161km) more than 100 times. You could definitely say that I’m addicted to running,” she says with a smile on her face.  

(06/17/19) Views: 45

Kenyan Caroline Rotich is hoping to do something only one other female runner has done, win both the Boston Marathon and the BAA 10K this Sunday

Kenyan Caroline Rotich will try to accomplish something only one other female runner has done: win both the Boston Marathon and the Boston Athletic Association 10K.

Rotich, who won the Marathon in 2015, came close to the tandem victory last year but finished second in the 10K.

She will have another chance as she joins a multitude of runners on the 6.2-mile course through the Back Bay. The race will start and end on Charles Street, and runners will see Boylston, Arlington, and Babcock streets as well as Commonwealth Avenue along the way.

A total of $48,500 will be handed out in prize money, with $10,000 going to the first-place finishers.

Competing against Rotich will be fellow Kenyan Fancy Chemutai, whose personal-best 10K time of 30:06 stands at the top of the women’s elite field. Other noteworthy runners in this group include 2016 Olympian Betsy Saina, reigning BAA 5K champion Monicah Ngige, and Sharon Lokedi, the 2018 NCAA 10,000 meters champion. Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia, who has twice won the BAA 10K, also will compete.

On the men’s side, two two-time champions of the BAA 10K will compete in Stephen Sambu (2013, 2014) and Daniel Chebii (2016, 2017). Neither has the best personal time in the field, however. That belongs to Geoffrey Koech, whose 27:18 tops the 21-person elite group.

Also running will be Abdi Abdirahman, a four-time US Olympian who finished first in the 40-44 age group at this year’s Boston Marathon.

(06/19/19) Views: 41
Nick Kelly

Windy conditions slowed the field at the Courts of Freedom marathon

In windy conditions, no record fell on Sunday in Caen during the Courts of Freedom. Ethiopian Yetsedaw Belie won the marathon, as in 2018. On the half marathon Kenyan Paul Koech and  Loïc Letellier reached the podium like last year.  

The wind slowed the pace and the course record was not obtained but that did not stop the winner of last year, Yetsedaw Belie winning again clocking 2:23:22. In 2018, Belie clocked 2:18:32. In second Kenya’s Richard Beth clocked 2:24:06.  

(06/16/19) Views: 40

South Africa’s Caster Semenya has switched from the 3000m to 800m event at the Prefontaine Classic

“Caster’s representation requested that she be moved from the 3,000 metres (where she was originally entered) to the 800 metres, and we are happy to comply,” Prefontaine Classic meet director Tom Jordan said in a statement.

The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland last week rejected the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) bid to impose the female eligibility regulations immediately on Semenya.

The ruling meant Semenya was allowed to compete without taking any testosterone-lowering medication. The 28-year-old, however, was still not allowed to race in the women’s 800m event in Rabat on June 16 initially.

The double Olympic 800m champion was given permission to run the 800m too late for her to adequately prepare and make travel arrangements - meaning she could not take up the invite to compete.

(06/19/19) Views: 40

Tampa woman runs Gasparilla Half Marathon after suffering stroke

When Lauren Barnathan was 30-years-old she suffered a stroke. "The whole time I was in complete denial," Lauren says. "As we were lying down in bed, I went to go turn over or I guess I was trying to turn over. But at the time, unbeknownst to me, the left side of my body was completely unable to be used."

Lauren's husband Adam recalls her moving in a strange way.

"I turned over to check on her and immediately, my eyes focused on her symptoms," he said. "She had a facial droop, she had no use of the left side of her body and she had slurred speech. I knew immediately it was a stroke."

Adam, who was engaged to Lauren at the time, is actually a resident physician in emergency medicine. He called 911.

"It is terrifying to me, what could have happened if I had gone to sleep or if she had gone to sleep because we see it all the time in the hospital," Adam said.

Lauren spent five days recovering in the hospital.

"The doctors were asking me to move my left arm," recalled Lauren. "And I just remember staring at it and I just was thinking, ‘If I can get my elbow up, the rest of my arm will follow.' That did not happen. I just stared at it."

They celebrated their love with a wedding in June. Then, one year after her stroke, Lauren and Adam ran the Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon together."It was a goal that I set for myself," said Lauren. "I walked past the Tampa Convention Center on the Riverwalk while I was recovering from my stroke, saw people signing up the year before, and said, ‘I am going to do that next year.' And we went and ran it. Adam ran it with me. He was slightly faster than I was but I still finished."

"I would like it on the record that I finished first only so I could see her cross the finish line," said Adam with a laugh. "Not because I was cocompetitive in any way. When she crossed the finish line, I may have cried a little bit. It was really incredible."

The race marked the first time either of them ad run a half marathon and the couple is thankful Luren has made a full phusical recovery and are more focused on running since that race.

(06/18/19) Views: 30
Gabrielle Shirley

Keith Roberts, who has run a marathon in every state, last month he was stalked by a bear

Just six miles north of Harrisburg in Raleigh, When 42-year-old Keith  Roberts isn’t spending time with his wife and kids, he’s running marathons or working as a manager in fiber optic installation at Clearwave Communications.

As many have too, Roberts has completes a marathon in all 50 states.

“I have a long-term vision for my health,” said Roberts. “Since I started running all of my back pain has gone away. Physically, I was heading towards a path of diabetes and really poor health, but the diet of running has corrected that.”

Roberts has 56 career marathons under his belt since running his first in 2016 at the Shiprock Marathon in New Mexico. On March 17, Roberts ran in his 50th state when he completed the Big Island International Marathon (Hilo Marathon) in Hawaii.

What comes next after you’ve run around the entire United States map?

“My goal for next year is to run in four 100-milers,” said Roberts. “I definitely see myself running or staying active for the rest of my life, that’s one part of it. The other part is sort of our human nature. I’ve come this far, how far can I go?”

Perhaps Roberts' encounter with a black bear in the mountains of Virginia in a 100K race is the reason he’d like to stay in shape.

“Last month I was stalked by a bear,” said Roberts. "Getting stalked by animals because they’re curious happens all the time to runners, but all I had was a trekking pole in one hand and a water bottle in the other when I looked over my shoulder and saw a little black bear 30 feet behind me.”

“When I started running I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile,” said Roberts. “I worked up a little bit, ran a 5K or two, and decided that I wanted to try running further.”

Roberts has since gone on to run nearly 1500 miles in his marathons alone. That doesn’t include his half marathons, ultramarathons, or any of the miles he has poured into his training.  He once ran eight marathons on eight consecutive days.

Roberts' body has held up for the most part outside of some shin splints, but he says recovery is different than most people would think.

“The recovery is more mental than it is physical,” said Roberts. “After a while your body learns to deal with the aches and the pains, and you can run a marathon on Saturday, a marathon on Sunday, be a little sore when you’re back at work on Monday, and by Tuesday you don’t feel it.”

Roberts' love of running has motivated both of his sons to run cross-country.

“I’m definitely not as disciplined as great runners are,” said Roberts. “As things go I generally finish in the back half of the race. I run a marathon in about 4 hours and 45 minutes, which is probably a good average.

“I will tell you from personal experience that there’s about 15 percent of people who care about speed and everybody else just cares about getting it done.”

The majority of people will never run a marathon, but in three years Roberts has done just that in every single state and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

(06/14/19) Views: 29

Here is what you have to do to be part of the Olympics Torch Relay for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Recruitment of torch relay runners for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics opened on Monday for people of all genders and nationalities.

The recruitments will be conducted by four sponsor companies and all the 47 prefectures in Japan. Applicants can apply to all sponsor companies and one of the prefectures, but can only run once in the relay, Xinhua news agency reported.

Those who wish to be torchbearers in the relay, which will travel around Japan for 121 days, can first submit their application through the smartphone app of Coca-Cola (Japan) Co, one of the torch relay sponsors of Tokyo Games.

The application period will end on August 31 and the final results are expected around the middle of December.

The three other torch relay sponsors, Toyota Motor, Nippon Life Insurance and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, will begin accepting applications on June 24, while special entities led by local governments in each prefecture will start doing so on July 1.

About 10,000 torchbearers will run roughly 200m each in the Japan leg of the relay, which will pass through all 47 prefectures of the country and feature major landmarks, including world heritage sites and areas devastated by recent natural disasters such as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

To run in the relay, people must have been born before April 1, 2008, and have a connection with the prefecture in which they wish to run, the organisers said.

The third photo is the Olympic flame at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

(06/18/19) Views: 29

Drinking fluids during endurance events it’s important to keep savvy about our fluid intake

Here are some important answers to the questions of how much to drink, when to drink and what to drink so you can end up at the finish line in the best shape possible.

How much to drink A good guide is to drink according to thirst, making sure that every time you reach an aid station you drink water if you are thirsty and you do not allow your thirst to build for a long time.

As a general guide, adults should aim for 500ml to 1 litre per hour of running when running longer than an hour. If you’re running for less than an hour  then you most likely will not need to drink fluid along the way, but still use thirst as your guide.

If you are keen to accurately predict how much to drink throughout your race, weigh yourself before and after a training run of a similar distance. Every kilo lost in body weight is equivalent to one litre of fluid loss.

When to drink Aim to keep hydrated before your run to avoid a last-minute effort to gulp a large amount of fluid, and top up your fluids up during your run at aid stations as you fee thirsty.

What to drink There is evidence to suggest rehydration formulas might be a better choice than water during longer runs or in high humidity because they contain carbohydrates and electrolytes which may improve performance and absorption.

Practising your hydration strategy in training and heeding the signs your body is giving you, you will give yourself the best chances for success.

(06/14/19) Views: 28

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