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New marathon line-up, staying fit during Coronavirus, and learning from aging marathoners.

Minute 1: New Fall Marathon Line-Up

Where there’s danger, there’s opportunity. Now that spring marathon dates have been torn off the calendar and re-slotted into September and October, some intriguing challenges have emerged. The fall race calendar reads like an endurance addict’s bucket list. Normally it takes a few years to complete all six of the Abbott World Major Marathons and collect the coveted Six Star Medal. (Only 6,401 runners have earned this swag. Check to see if any of your friends are on that prestigious list here.) This year, if you have enough frequent flyer miles and very springy legs, you could knock off five majors in just seven weeks. You’ll need to wait until next March to snag Tokyo. Here’s what the schedule would look like now that Boston and London have moved from spring to fall:

  • Boston - September 14

  • Berlin - September 27

  • London - October 4

  • Chicago - October 11 

  • New York - November 1

If that’s not enough mileage for you or if you’re looking to stay on one continent, Paris was postponed until October 18, Barcelona pushed back to October 25, and the Marine Corps Marathon will go off as originally scheduled on October 25. The Marine Corps lottery opens on March 18; Chicago still has charity spots; and New York has charity entries as well. #BackToBack

Minute 2: Surviving the Coronavirus with fitness levels intact

If you’re looking to survive the Corona crisis with your fitness and sanity intact, we don’t recommend following in the footsteps of quarantined Chinese runner Pan Shancu who logged 31 miles by doing laps in his living room in a 5-hour session last month. If you are stuck indoors for a long stretch and don’t have a treadmill or Peloton, you may want to check out the 5 Best Home Workout Apps from TechRadar. Self magazine offers a female perspective with their 26 Best Workout and Fitness Apps. FitBit’s app makes both lists, BTW. And to fuel your indoor activities, you may consider this US News piece that surveyed 6 respected nutritionists for advice on which foods to stockpile for a healthy diet under quarantine. The LA Times offers a “Coronavirus shopping list: Your essential quarantine items.” #PantryLines

Minute 3: We can learn a lot about aging from studying aging marathoners

At last fall’s Frankfurt Marathon, Tommy Hughes ran 2:27:52. His son, Eoin, crossed a few minutes later in 2:31:20. Together, they became the fastest known father-son duo in marathon history. Running a 2:27 marathon is an incredible accomplishment for any runner, but it’s kinda mind-blowing to think about a 59-year-old dad pulling that off. The stunning run by Tommy Hughes led scientists in France to look for “What We Can Learn from Studying Older Marathoners.” Tommy is a former Irish Olympian with a lifetime PR of 2:13:59. Testing showed that his VO2 max remained a staggering 65.4, compared to 30 for the average man his age. Hughes is definitely an outlier, and he trained incredibly hard before his record run, but the results dovetail nicely with another study out of Spain that found lifelong running can help stave off VO2 max decline, which correlates with a longer, healthier, more functional life. #LikeFatherLikeSon

Minute 4: Merrell launches a collaboration with Trail Sisters and short film for International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, Merrell is teaming up with Trail Sisters on a special release of its popular Antora and Banshee models. Trail Sisters is an online community for women who love trail running. The colorful new shoes were created by artist Sarah Uhl. Both shoes feature a mountain-inspired print that is sure to turn heads. Trail Sisters has made it their mission to bring more women into the sport of trail and mountain running through education, inspiration and empowerment. Gina Lucrezi founded the community and was once told that brands would not sink money into marketing and product design for women without more participation. So she launched a movement. If the collaboration with Merrell is any indication, Lucrezi has succeeded in making it easier for women to experience the joys of trail running. In addition to the shoes, Merrell and Trail Sisters also collaborated on a short film titled “Ripple Effect” that was shot in Colorado by women filmmakers. #MountainWomen

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • With almost universal race cancellations in the U.S., it now appears that the Los Angeles Marathon on March 8 may have been the last big marathon to take place until next fall. Despite the growing number of coronavirus cases, L.A. went ahead as scheduled, with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health advising runners to keep at least six feet between themselves and fellow runners. The folks at Popular Mechanics decided to crunch the numbers and see just how unlikely it is that every runner could stay six feet away from the competition at all times. To accommodate nearly 20,000 runners, the corrals would have to be almost 3.5 miles long. Each participant would essentially take up enough space to house close to 50 runners.  

  • At the back of the women’s Olympic Marathon Trials pack two weeks ago, Rachel Hyland and Lauren Philbrook drew massive cheers that rivaled those showered on the race leaders. Hyland and Philbrook were far off the pace required to contend for an Olympic spot, but that’s OK. Former teammates at Williams College, Hyland and Philbrook discovered they were both pregnant around the same time and decided to run the Trials anyway. With the blessing of their doctors, the moms-to-be kept a conversational pace at the back of the pack for as long as they could. Video of the baby bumps drawing wild cheers is here. We hope both women return in four years with kiddos cheering from the finish chute!

  • Hoka, known for revolutionary shoe designs, just came out with a shoe that Outside magazine called “Hoka’s Craziest Shoe Yet.” The shoe is designed for downhill running and features a heel so large that Hoka cautions against wearing them while driving. Check out a picture and the specs here. They can be yours for $250.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Killian Jornet, one of the world’s most accomplished mountain runners, feels badly for everyone across the globe whose outdoor life is constrained by Coronavirus. He has opened up part of his incredible film library for downloads for one week only at no charge. “The outdoors are now indoors. Although what I like the most is being outside, current circumstances will force many of us to spend more time at home,” Jornet says.


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