In 2010, a French adventure racer named Nicolas Mermoud approached Karl Meltzer, the accomplished American ultrarunner, and asked him to try out a pair of running shoes he’d designed. They looked bizarre, like moon boots, and were wider, thicker, and softer than typical running shoes—two and a half times beefier and 30 percent cushier. Meltzer, who had been training with conventional running shoes, was skeptical, but he laced them up and cruised around his Sandy, Utah, neighborhood. He was shocked by how forgiving they were. Halfway through the run, he was sold.
The Badwater 135, often called the toughest race in the world, will have a new course for 2014 because of a temporary ban on sporting events in Death Valley National Park.
Earlier this month, the park announced on its website that it was placing a temporary moratorium on issuing permits for running, cycling and other events in the park, which is located in California and Nevada and includes the Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. The moratorium was necessary, the park said, while it conducts a safety review, which it expects to complete by the end of the summer.
When a year begins with the spectacular downfall of the most popular and powerful icon in sports, you know it’s going to be a doozy. Lance Armstrong self-destructed before our eyes in January. The lights went out at the Super Bowl in February. Louisville’s Kevin Ware suffered a gruesome broken leg on live television in March.
Then came April. We saw the ugly video of the Rutgers men’s basketball coach throwing balls at his players’ heads. Then, Tiger Woods got into the second of his four 2013 rules kerfuffles at the Masters. Three days later, two deadly bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Over the past decade, our sport has had much to celebrate and recognize thanks to the medal winning, record setting, high achieving U.S. athletes, and 2013 was another outstanding year of success and accomplishment for U.S. distance runners and the sport. The 9th version of 10 Best Moments for U.S. Distance Running, like past editions, has no shortage of moments to remember and rank. Some moments are mainly objective such as a record or a world championship medal, while others are more subjective and highlight an especially amazing or memorable performance.
Fitness fads come and go. And sometimes, they inexplicably come galloping back again (we’re talking to you, Prancercise). Some exercise trends could use a little nudge toward the door, though, like family members who stay too long after the holidays. Herewith, a handful of hot fitness fads that have overstayed their welcome for one reason or another. Maybe they’ve caused too many injuries. Maybe they’re just too silly to deal with anymore. Whatever the reason, we’d love to say goodbye to these wacky fitness fads in 2014.
I’m kicking off 2014 right, by running halfway across the city in the annual Black-Eyed Pea Run. It’s not the only New Year’s Day fitness event planned on the calendar that day. If a 13-miler sounds like too much, you can opt for a 5K run or a hike at a state park. This year will mark the 19th anniversary of what’s now known as the Black Eyed Pea Run, a 13-mile (ish) jaunt created by long-time runners Paul and Sheila Carrozza, Joe and Joyce Prusaitis, Gregg Evan and Paul Seals.