Tag Archives: Minneapolis-Saint Paul

Marathon Charts

1896 Olympic marathon

Image via Wikipedia

Are you tired of hearing about the marathon yet? Well after Twin Cities I am pretty much pain free by now!!! YAY!! Thanks for all the congratulations, comments, and insights about my race.  They are appreciated.  Below are a few charts I’ve pulled out from SportTracks.  They give a nice visual reference for the 26.2 mile journey called a marathon.  In case you missed the more detailed race reviews, look back at Grading the Race Plan and Race Review.

You can get a better glimpse of the images by clicking on them.

First up is the pace chart, you can clearly see the 4 walk breaks and I would say some early inaccuracies (pace dips at beginning).  There is no way I ever ran at 4 minute pace, even for a split second!

This next chart shows my pace per mile. For some reason SportTracks really thinks I ran a 6:40 mile, but I showed you yesterday that it was more like 7:27. I should also note that the miles it shows at the bottom (1.08, 2.11, etc) that is based on the splits I took after passing each mile marker.

This is the first time I’ve ever viewed this chart before.  It shows the pace per mile in comparison to the overall average pace.  My average pace was 7:51.

In the past the elevation chart has tended to be the most inaccurate part of the Garmin data.  You can look at the marathon’s official elevation chart here (PDF)

Is this too much data? I’m really intrigued by the discrepancies within the data.  I’ve never noticed it before. What do you think?

[tags] Twin Cities, Marathon, Twin Cities Marathon, Garmin, GPS[/tags]

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Spirit of the Marathon at Twin Cities Marathon

If you are traveling to the Twin Cities for this fall’s Twin Cities Marathon you must go see Spirit of the Marathon while you are here.

“But I’ve already seen it?” you say.  Did you see it at a 1950’s style movie theater?

I didn’t think so.  Spirit of the Marathon is being played at the Riverview Theater in South Minneapolis.

Riverview Theater

Riverview Theater

We saw the movie when it first came out this winter and I enjoyed it.  My wife liked it too, but not as much as me!

To refresh your memory a bit, here is an excerpt from the website about the movie

[A] first ever non-fiction feature film to capture the drama and essence of the famed 26.2 mile running event. Filmed on four continents, the production brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon luminaries. As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepares for and ultimately faces the challenge of the Chicago Marathon. More than a sports program, Spirit of the Marathon is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph; a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike.

Along with citizen athletes, the movie features Deanna Kastor and Daniel Njenga.

DVD Release

A DVD with the movie and other goodies will be available after October 7.  If you order now you can get an autographed copy of the DVD.  Visit the store to find out more information.  While there you can also purchase a variety of other paraphenila.

[tags] Spirit of the Marathon, Marathon, Twin Cities Marathon [/tags]

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Twin Cities Marathon Course Preview

The entire course in 2.62 minutes.

Here is how the producer described the video at YouTube:

Here is a preview of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon course. Music by Blue Man Group – Drumbone. (The last 10K or so of the vid, from the river crossover on – is better quality. Had to tape it in two sections as my vid cam battery hit the wall at around Mile 19!)

If the video didn’t make you a little dizzy and maybe a little sick, well I’m not sure what would! That is definitely a humerous look at the course.  At this point my training group has made sure that we have run pretty much the entire course.  I think the only part we haven’t run is the first mile to mile and a half leaving downtown Minneapolis.

At one point they even made us get off the trails and run on the roads so we could experience the hills that the road threw at us but the trails didn’t.  Today I feel confident that while it will be tough my training has prepared me to run a solid marathon – maybe not in 2.62 minutes, but definietly at my goal of 3:10.

[tags] Twin Cities Marathon, Marathon, Twin Cities[tags]

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Pike Island’s Trails

I would take a nice trail run any day over running the roads.  Trails are my friend as this picture so elegantly shows! It is a little hard for me to hit the trails very often since we only have 1 car and I prefer to run in the mornings.  However, Pike Island is easy to get to via public transportation and even via bike.

Part of Fort Snelling State Park, Pike Island sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers just south of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.  On Pike Island itself you have a variety of options for running. See the maps here.  The easiest is a 5k loop around the outer edge of the Island – but there are little cut through trails to make 1 and 2 mile loops.

It is pretty scenic as you run along the rivers.  I think every time I’ve run there I’ve seen some wild animals – deers, squirrels, rabbits, but no pine martens! The trail is very flat and actually pretty wide too.  It might narrow down in places but is wide enough to mostly run 3-4 wide throughout. The trail is a mix of soft surfaces but is pretty safe for the ankles and has no technical elements to it.

Another great thing about this run is that it can easily be extended.  Want to go really long? You can head north up to Minnehaha Falls and connect into a variety of trails from there, although this is a paved trail.  More of a mid-distance run, you can run around Picnic Island and Snelling Lake.  Part of this segment is on pavement, but most is still trails and Picnic Island has grass stretches. You can also connect with bridges (with pedestrian lanes) that cross either river and connect with trails on the other side.

I enjoy running at Pike Island and have used it in the past to recover and reconnect with my reasons for running.  The worst thing about running here is that it is so close the MSP Airport, with almost continual flights over-head.

Parking Note: You must pay to park if you enter through Fort Snelling State Park. It costs $5 to enter the park or a valid State Park Permit. Then follow the main road to the Visitor’s Center.  However, if you enter from Historic Fort Snelling on top of the bluff there is no charge for parking.  Park in the main lot and run towards the fort and then follow the trail down the hill to Pike Island.

There is also some interesting history associated with this area:

To the Dakota [Native American tribe], Pike Island in Fort Snelling State Park was and is a sacred place. It is where the waters of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet and the Dakota believe it is the very center of the earth and arguably the place where Minnesota began.  WCCO

During this time[Dakota War of 1862], more than 1600 Dakota women, children, and old men were held in an internment camp on Pike Island. Living conditions were poor, and disease struck the camp, killing more than three hundred. Wikipedia

Despite the mixed history I enjoy running here, what do you think?

[tags] Pike Island, Fort Snelling, Minneapolis, Running Routes  [/tags]

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The World Vision Experience

One of my best friends from high school has the amazing job of touring the country working for World Vision.  He started out traveling with musicians who promote World Vision during their concerts.  His role was to setup the table and help interested people sign up to be child sponsors (World Vision’s main form of assistance goes to support individual children, their families, and villages).  He now travels with the World Vision Experience.

The World Vision Experience is an interactive exhibit that combines stirring audio and captivating photography, transporting you into the heart of Africa.

You’ll see, hear, and experience stories of tragedy and triumph lived out by real children in AIDS-affected communities.

I’ve not been able to go experience – The Experience, simply because it hasn’t made it to a city near me yet.  But I have experienced AIDS-affected communities first-hand during my trip to South Africa.

It is not fun to meet children who have no parents. Or children who are dying because of the mistakes of their parents.

The Facts:

About 2.5 million CHILDREN worldwide are infected with HIV.  15 million children are missing one or both parent’s due to AIDS.  Everyday 6,000 children become orphans as a result of AIDS.  Those number sound huge and daunting.  And they kind of are.  But the good news is that World Vision (and other organizations) have been actively working in Africa and around the world to prevent further spreading of HIV/AIDS while at the same time offering compassion and hope to those who are currently affected by the deadly disease.  Remember the Caregiver Kits I talked about last week?  They are one form of World Vision’s work in this area.

You can help! A donation to World Vision on my behalf can assist their efforts in Africa and around the world to care for those who are suffering.  If you want to take a different step and not spend money you can contact your members of Congress using this easy form.

Finally, you can attend The World Vision Experience if it comes to a town near you.  The fall tour schedule is posted and they are criss-crossing the nation.  They will actually be in the Twin Cities at the end of October.

Here is a trailer about the experience:

Team World Vision

Team World Vision is a fund raising arm of the organization which uses ordinary people like me, to get ordinary people like you involved in ending poverty and injustice across the world. I have decided to commit the 26.2 miles of my first marathon to the memory of and in honor of the children I have met during my international travels. I can’t remember all of their names, but I have many pictures and stories.

On the right side of my blog there is a widget that will allow you to support me during this race or you can visit this secure page. I have set a goal of raising $2,000 which will help children have a chance at living to become adults across Africa.

[tags]  World Vision, Team World Vision, AIDS, World Vision Experience [/tags]

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