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Marathons

Of Marathons & Madness – In Memory of Boston

Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 | 4 comments

Of Marathons & Madness – In Memory of Boston

I didn’t run it. I wasn’t there. For once, I was actually home. But as a 13-time marathoner, a TV crew member and most importantly, as an American, this one hurts. I had a dear friend and co-worker working on the race TV crew in Boston yesterday and two friends running the race; thankfully, all are fine. I have followed the two runners with awe on Facebook for the past few months as they trained. As a 5-hour-ish marathoner myself, Boston is out of my league, but I’m truly inspired by those for whom it’s not. Trust me, it’s one thing to run a marathon. It’s entirely another to run one in 3 1/2 hours.

The Boston Marathon is the only race in the US that still has a qualifying time. Unless you’re running for charity, at least one qualifying race is required. This is a marquee race for serious runners. It’s the kind of race people aspire to all their lives and many spend years trying to qualify. You don’t just wake up one day and decide to run the Boston Marathon. The finish line was crowded with families proudly waiting to watch someone they love achieve a milestone. My heart breaks for those who lost loved ones yesterday, those who were injured and those who were unable to fulfill the dream of crossing that finish line due to this senseless act.

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France for the Fearless: Chamonix & the Mont Blanc Marathon

Posted by on Jun 29, 2011 | 2 comments

France for the Fearless: Chamonix & the Mont Blanc Marathon

It is 7am and I have awoken in an Alpine wonderland. Arriving in Chamonix late the night before, I checked into the Chalet Vert et Blanc in the dark, not knowing what dawn had in store outside my window. I sensed it would be exceptional but I hardly expected this.

I am, quite literally, staring at a glacier. Glacier des Bossons, to be exact. I expand my gaze and realize I am surrounded by 360° chin-dropping views of the Alps. Their jagged, snow-covered peaks rising like marbled glass in the distance. I have flown over the Alps many times but never seen them up close. I wonder now what took me so long.

Best known as an Alpine ski mecca and the host to the world’s first Winter Olympic Games in 1924, the resort town of Chamonix transforms into an extreme sports playground in the summer. From hiking famed Mont Blanc to canyoning, mountain biking and paragliding, it’s more a place for the fearless than the feeble. Mountaineer Mark Twight once called it “the death-sport capital of the world.”

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Eat, Pray, RUN: A Marathon Diary

Posted by on Dec 22, 2010 | 2 comments

Eat, Pray, RUN: A Marathon Diary

Since attempting my first marathon back in 2003, I’ve longed to try to put the unique experience into words. So, after finishing my 10th marathon in Honolulu last weekend, I decided the time had finally come to take a stab at it. 

First, the memorable road to 10:

2003 – Honolulu Marathon (first)

2004 – Toronto Marathon (worst weather – 40’s, rain, gusting wind)

2005 – Calgary Marathon (best weather & best time 4:28)

2006 – Rio de Janeiro Marathon (fewest runners – 200 – but most beautiful course)

2006 – Honolulu Marathon

2007Marrakech Marathon (3 words:  carbon monoxide fumes…ugh!!)

2008 – Honolulu Marathon (rained for a week pre-race, finish line reminiscent of the Everglades)

2009 – Honolulu Marathon

2010Mayor’s Marathon Anchorage, Alaska (moose on the course at Mile 22!!)

2010 – Honolulu Marathon

As you can see from the list, the Honolulu Marathon is my all-time favorite and the only one I’ve attempted more than once.

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Wild Alaska: Land of Moose, the Mayor’s Marathon and the Midnight Sun

Posted by on Jun 29, 2010 | 1 comment

Wild Alaska: Land of Moose, the Mayor’s Marathon and the Midnight Sun

I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. How is it possible I’ve spent the past 10 years travelling the world and completely ignored this little gem in my own back yard? Yes, Alaska took me by surprise…though I’m not sure why. I have friends who’ve been, my parents have been – all came home raving about the beauty of our 49th state. Yet it wasn’t on my short list.

But six weeks ago when in search of a summer marathon to run, the Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage caught my interest. A reasonable flight (to me), a new destination and – most importantly – an escape from the oppressive summer heat of Atlanta. I was sold. So I booked my flight and started training – yes, a little late!

A few weeks later, I landed in Anchorage with only 2 full days to explore before the race. I’d done no research and had no idea how much I could squeeze in to only 48 hours but I was determined to make the most of my time. The first thing I noticed on the night I arrived was the endless daylight. Though the sun does eventually set, a sort of permanent dusk settles in around 10pm and persists through sunrise the next morning around 4am. If you want to sleep, heavy curtains in your hotel room is a must.

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Morocco – The Marrakech Marathon

Posted by on Jan 27, 2008 | 0 comments

Morocco – The Marrakech Marathon

Traveling from the Bahamas to Marrakech, Morocco required stops in both Newark and Paris on Continental and then a change of airports in Paris to transfer to an Air France flight to Morocco. All in all, roughly 24 hours of travel time.

I was, however, looking forward to trying out Continental’s Business First service “across the pond” to see how it compares with Delta’s Business Elite. I had heard great things about Continental’s international service and I had high expectations since this one flight (and one Northwest flight from Tokyo to Honolulu) had cost me an extra 60,000 miles on this ticket – the difference between a business class and a first class around the world award. Turns out, Continental and Northwest consider their international Business First cabins as first class (not business) when it comes to award travel – so, of course, I was dying to see why.

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