Top Running Stories of 2011

In 2011, we lost some great runners and we became aware of new ones. We saw many changes to the sport of running, both in IAFF rulings and major marathon qualifying times. However, many of the decisions reached in 2011 will start taking place in 2012, so even though the year is over, its impact hasn’t begun to be felt.

Run Rabbit Run

The IAAF decided that women who run with male pacers have an unfair advantage. Therefore, they are banning male pacers. In fact, they tried to strip Paula Radcliffe of her world record but everyone complained and they decided to start the new rule in 2012.

Where Do All the Logos Go?

The U.S.A. Track & Field (USATF) has finally let runners have a better chance of competing with other sports to earn money. Runners may now put more sponsors on themselves, although where they are going to put them is anybody’s guess. Skimpy shorts and sports bras don’t leave much room.

Good-bye Greta

One of the World’s Greatest Runners dies of cancer. In 1978, Norwegian Grete Waitz entered her first New York City Marathon—as a pacemaker. She wasn’t even planning to finish. Not only did she finish, she won, and set a new world record. She won nine NYC Marathon titles, still the most in race history. In 2005, Grete was diagnosed with cancer. She died April 9, 2011 in Oslo, Norway. The running community will greatly miss her.

Boston Marathon Raises Standards or Excludes More People?

The Boston Marathon has become too popular. The good news is that more people are running marathons, the bad news is that finish times are going downhill. Boston has changed their registration process to favor faster runners. Starting in 2012 runners will be accepted by how much they beat their qualifying time, for example, registration will open first for people who beat their time by 20 minutes or more; two days later, ten minutes or more, and so on. If there is any space left after the first week then the rest of the qualifiers get a chance to register. In 2013 every one will have to run five minutes and fifty-nine seconds to qualify.

American Woman on Top

American Jenny Simpson won the gold in the 1500 meters at the World Championships. This is the first time an American woman has won gold in any major global championship since 1984. And in the men’s 1500 an American, Matthew Centrowitz, won the bronze. Suddenly, U.S. runners are in the right place for the London Olympics.
Can a Double Amputee Really Have an Unfair Advantage?
Oscar Pistorius: A double amputee ran the 400 meters in 45.07 seconds. He runs on carbon-fiber prostheses. His time qualified him for the Daegu world championships. People seem divided, do his prostheses give him an unfair advantage? Or is this just a super inspiring story? He reached the individual 400 meter semifinals but the IAAF decided that he could only run the first leg on South Africa’s 4-by-400 meter relay. However, Pistorius is a slow starter and had to sit this one out.

World Record Breaker Dead at 24

This may be the year’s saddest story, Sammy Wanjiru died at age 24. In 2007, Wanjiru set a world half marathon record and won Olympic gold in 2008, where he crushed the Olympic record by running a 2 hours 6 minutes 32 seconds marathon. He fell from a first-story balcony at his house in Nyahururu, Kenya. The exact circumstances of his death remain unknown

2011 Running Shoes Trivia

What type of running shoes did Steve Jobs wear?
The New Balance 992.

Winter Marathons

 

 

 

 

No, you won’t be trudging through snow or running in a winter coat. Here are some of the top 2011-2012 Winter Marathons.

December

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon
December 4, 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada
What makes this marathon special: This is a nighttime marathon. You get to run down the Vegas strip under all the neon lights.

Honolulu Marathon
December 11, 2001
Honolulu, Hawaii
What makes this marathon special: It’s in Hawaii (that, right there, should be enough). You run along the coastline and around the base of a volcano (okay, it’s extinct, but still, it’s a freaking volcano), you finish at Waikiki, a popular Hawaiian surf spot.

January

Walt Disney World Marathon
January 8, 2012
Orlando, Florida
What makes this marathon special: You get to run through all four Disney parks: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and then back to Epcot. It’s a flat course and you get a Mickey Mouse medal.

P.F. Chang’s Phoenix Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
January 15, 2012
Phoenix, Arizona
What makes this marathon special: Live bands along the course

ING Miami Marathon
January 29, 2012
Miami, Florida
What makes this marathon special: There are 15 entertainment stations along your run. It’s a relatively flat course that takes you downtown, along the Biscayne Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

February

Austin Marathon
February 19, 2012
Austin, Texas
What makes this marathon special: Austin is known for being the “coolest” city in Texas. You get to run through Austin and hear 40 Austin bands while you run.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon
February 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana
What makes this marathon special: Perfect running weather, rock and roll bands, and post-race concert. Oh, and it’s in New Orleans, one of the best cities in this country.

March

Georgia Marathon
March 18, 2012
Atlanta, Georgia
What makes this marathon special: This marathon is basically a tour of historic Atlanta: Decateur, the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., Little Five Points, four college campuses, Piedmont Park, Centennial Olympic Plaza and more.