Category Archives: Guest Blogger

How to Avoid Pre-Race Blunders (from Runner’s World)

….Thanks to guest blogger Sherri B. for sending our way.

Entire article can be found in the October 2010 issue of Runner’s World

This month, thousands of runners will toe the line with mixed emotions. Some will be looking down at a brand-new pair of running shoes because they forgot to pack their tried-and-true trainers. Others will be kicking themselves for running too hard during their taper, or for hanging out too long at the expo—in flip-flops. The good news: If you follow our expert advice on how to avoid common prerace blunders, you won’t sabotage all your hard work come race day.

AVOID IT: Make a detailed packing list and a race-weekend schedule.

AVOID IT: Taper smart: Reduce mileage by 60 percent during race week

AVOID IT: Remind your legs they’re speedy with strides while tapering

AVOID IT: Watch an in-room movie if you’ve traveled to a new city for the race

AVOID IT: Channel your inner Yoda; practice deep breathing techniques

Trail runs for the ‘adventurous’

…from Sherri B.

Expand your trail runs and join the hares and hounds on their next hash. WHAT?? (Warning – not for the faint of heart or liver…21 and over only.)

If you’ve never participated in a hash (trail run) let me introduce you. Hash runs originated in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur by a group of British officers. Over the last several decades Hash Houses have formed all around the world for ‘drinkers with a running problem.’

Our local Hash House chapter is based out of Raleigh and has several hundred members. As a member you’ll receive an evite to participate in the weekly hash (trail run). The hares (2 runners) lay the trail
(typically with flour or chalk) which is followed by the pack or hounds (remaining runners). The trails typically include false trails, short cuts and dead ends. These features are designed to keep the group
together regardless of fitness level. Trails vary from 3 – 8 miles and evites denote if strollers and dogs can join in. Expect to get wet and muddy!

At the end of each run, hares and hounds enjoy a nice cool beverage (that would be beer) and chat about the run. Learning the lingo, choosing a catchy ‘hash name’ (real names are not used) and learning to run as a pack makes this an adventurous trail run! Log onto to learn more about Sir Walter’s Hash House Harriers.

Coming back from an Injury

The day after the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Marathon I fell and broke 2 bones in my left foot. It’s been a very slow and frustrating 4 months of rehab and after last night’s run with the Club, I discovered I’m still not ready to be on the road. Thanks to Adriana for sticking with me last night!

A few tips for a healthy recovery:

  1. Follow your doctor’s orders and don’t attempt to run until you are medically released but in the mean time….
  2. Keep your core strong during rehab! I’ve started kettlebell training and it’s a great core builder. Also try….
  3. Deep Water or Aqua Running! Wear a water belt and jump in the deep end of the pool and RUN!! This is a great way to continue to use your running muscles without adding pressure to your injury. There are a lot of aqua running routines online for the perfect rehab!
  4. Use the treadmill or elliptical to maintain your aerobic capacity – this is crucial because I am starting all over aerobically (wheeze, wheeze, puff, puff)
  5. Listen to your body and your health care provider – take rehab at your pace!

From guest blogger and MRC member – Sherri B.

Reviews of Spring and Summer 2010 Races

Thanks to Courtney B. and Jim M. for providing some quick-hit reviews of spring races. We hope this helps MRC members decide which races they want to do next year! Want to add your thoughts? Send us an email to or post your comments below.

From Jim M.

Four on the Fourth / Carrboro / July 4th

  • Shady and relatively flat course around the neighborhoods in Carrboro
  • Really nice weather mid 60s at the start (incredible for July)
  • Very organized race staff
  • Large but very manageable race crowd (a little less then 700 racers)
  • Seamless last minute registration (except that they ran out of this year’s socks so I had to settle for last year’s Gobble and Gorge 8K)
  • The only negative was the lack of crowd support.

This is a great, well-organized mid-summer race.  It has a great local feel with many runners from the area, and everyone I spoke with had a great time.  Bottom line? It’s a great way to start your 4th of July holiday!

From Courtney

Dogwood 5K / Mebane / April 24 (I ran this race non-competitively, so my thoughts might be swayed by that!)

  • Fairly difficult course with several hills (including a finish on a long, slow incline!)
  • Warm but not unbearable (upper 60s to low 70s).
  • Super friendly volunteers with lots of encouragement along the course and at the finish line.
  • Great water station run by Omega Sports of Burlington.
  • Huge Mebane Running Club turnout (tons of cheering and support!)
  • Slight problem with traffic direction towards the back of the crowd (some folks were directed to the sidewalk and had to beware of traffic).

Young Life 5K / Burlington / May 8

  • Very difficult course (hilly, “halfway point” was a bit early in the race—so sad!, very little shade).
  • Hot temperatures (upper 70s or low 80s).
  • Great prizes: nice water bottles for second place winners, bookbags with goodies for first place winners.
  • A special shout-out to the Mebane Running Club over the PA system, plus a discounted registration rate ($5/off).
  • Organizers ran out of water and popsicles towards the end of the event.

Run for the Haw 5K / Graham / May 29

  • Flat, fast course, but with quite a few turns (however, this year was marked very well with signage at the school to make sure people didn’t miss the turn!)
  • Hot temperatures (upper 70s or low 80s).
  • Good prizes: nice socks for first place winners, extra random giveaways for non-winners.
  • Huge Mebane Running Club turnout – we represented about 1/3 of all participants!
  • The last 1/4 mile finish was on the track and was a bit difficult because it was very muddy from rain the previous few nights.

Running of the Bulls 8k / Durham / June 5

  • Very hilly course that crossed back over itself several times, making some folks feel a little dizzy/confused about where they were.
  • Absolutely zero shaded areas and the temperature was almost unbearable (upper 80s to low 90s)
  • Well attended race with several elite USATF certified runners and over 600 racers. It was neat to be a part of such a big crowd.
  • Super cool views of Durham during the race. You pass through a section of one of Durham’s prettiest neighborhoods—Trinity Park, through downtown, by the new ballpark and the American Tobacco area, and finish in the old ballpark.
  • Awesome Nike Dri-fit wicking shirts with great a cool race logo included in the cost. (Shirts that ACTUALLY fit and that you will ACTUALLY wear again!)
  • Wished the water station had been situated much closer to the finish, and that there were more of them. You had to stand in line to get water, and after such a difficult/hot race that was a bit tough!

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k / Raleigh / June 12 (I ran this race non-competitively, so my thoughts might be swayed by that!)

  • Fairly hilly course that is very well marked.
  • Extremely hot temperatures (low 80s to upper 80s).
  • Huge crowd of racers with TONS of supporters along the course. If you’ve never experienced this race before, you must do it! The same people set up stations year after year with sprinklers, music and kids with water guns.
  • Course starts on the Meredith campus and winds through beautiful, old, established neighborhoods with gorgeous houses.
  • 75% of your fundraising (should you choose to do so) go to an excellent cause.
  • Although it is very well organized, they often run out of various sizes of shirts. Also, with this many people at an event, you can never be there too early!