Friday, November 2, 2012

Great 5K Deal

What's better than running the Seattle Marathon 5K with your friends?
Running the Seattle Marathon 5K FOR FREE with your friends!
It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Who is running with you on November 24? Recruit at least 4 friends, family members or frenemies (for a little healthy competition) to join you for the 2012 Seattle Marathon 5K and get your registration money back! 100%.
  1. Get 4 friends who are not already signed up as of Nov. 2, 2012 to register online for the 2012 Seattle Marathon 5K Race, presented by South Sound Running.
  2. Make sure they enter your email adress in the "referred by" box on their registration page
  3. Receive a rebate for the full amount of your registration fee after the event!

This offer is good until online registration closes on November 13, 2012 so turn your friends into 5K-ers today!

Refunds will be received after the events, between Dec 10 and Dec 15 2012.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Save Big!

With EXTENDED Regular Registration!

As a thank you to our loyal social media followers, you can SAVE BIG as we extend our regular registration prices just for you! Here is your second chance to register for the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon at just $80 for the half or $110 for the full marathon.

Register online using the special code: EXTENDED

Act Now! This second chance only lasts until 8am, Monday, October 22, 2012.


Get your very own Limited Edition Seattle Marathon Halloween Specialty Shirt.  

How to get one:

1.  Register for the Amica Insurance Seattle Half or Full Marathon online. Click Here
2.  On the first page of your registration, in the "Tell Us Why You are Running/Walking" box enter the codeword: HALLOWEEN and your shirt size.

3.  The first 50 people to register using the code word HALLOWEEN and their shirt size will receive this awesome seasonal Limited Edition SMA Shirt.

NOTE:  You must enter both the code word: HALLOWEEN and your shirt size in order to win.
WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED by email and will receive their shirts before Halloween.

We are making a very limited number of these specialty shirts, so expect them to go scary fast. 

**This special is only valid with online registration for the Amica Insurance Seattle Half or Full Marathon Thru Monday October 22, 2012. WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. Only the first 50 registrants to use the code will receive a shirt.  WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED.**

Monday, September 24, 2012

Marathon Medical Tips #2.3

Injury Prevention: 
Doug Ichikawa, D.P.M
Teaching Associate,  Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine 

"Don't eat and then go swimming."  "Wear a jacket and warm-up if it's cold outside."  "Stretch before you play."  We have all heard these and other common words of advice from parents, friends, and coaches on how to avoid injuries during athletics.  So what do you need to know before running a marathon that will keep you healthy, prevent injuries, and allow you to accomplish your goals?
This simplistic statement may summarize the best strategy: "Prevention is the best treatment."  While easier said then done, appropriate training and race-day planning are the keys to preventing injuries during a marathon.  Many runners decide to pursue a marathon but allow only a short timeline to prepare.  In fact, the vast majority of overuse running injuries are directly related to training errors, or running too much too soon.

Training for any athletic endeavor should be gradual.  Muscles, tendons, bones, and the cardiovascular system all need time to adapt to the stresses of conditioning.  Runners should begin by calculating their total weekly mileage.  Training often consists of lower mileage and speed runs during the week, and a single longer run on the weekend.  Runners should be careful not to increase their total weekly mileage by more than 10% per week.  If you are new to running, successful training for a marathon may take 6 to 12 months, or even longer.  Abrupt increases in running distance, intensity, or frequency may cause common overuse injuries such as shin pain, patellar tendonitis, iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, or even stress fractures.  Most of these injuries can be avoided by proper training and allowing the body to gradually adjust to the demands of higher levels of conditioning.

Stretching and a proper warm-up are also important.  Similar to a slow progression in running distance, the body needs adequate time to warm-up before heavy training or competition.  A light short distance jog and gentle stretching will assist the body and muscles to properly prepare for more intense exercise.  The exact warm-up routine will vary from person to person, but each runner should be comfortable with their routine - including stretching, warm-up, meals, shoes and clothing - prior to the marathon.

Unfortunately, not all injuries can be avoided.  From blisters to leg cramps, you must be prepared to modify your running if unforeseen problems arise.  Runners should not "push through" significantly painful symptoms.  If you develop unexpected limitations, slow your pace, walk, rest, or stretch before attempting to continue.  If you develop major symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness, or confusion, stop immediately and ask for help.

Remember, train appropriately, plan well, listen to your body, and, most of all, think safety first!

Marathon Medical Tips #2.2

 Runner's Knee
Mark Harrast, M.D.
Director, Sports and Spine Fellowship
Medical Director, Seattle Marathon
Clinical Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Erin Maslowski, M.D.
Sr. Fellow, Rehab Medicine 

Knee pain can strike any runner, from novice to seasoned veteran. One cause of knee pain is so common in running athletes, it has been called "Runner's Knee." The medical term for this problem is Patellofemoral Syndrome, so called since it is caused by abnormal forces between the patella (knee cap) and femur (thigh bone). Normally, the knee cap rests in a groove at the tip of the femur. Abnormal tracking of the knee cap in this groove causes soreness. Fortunately, this condition usually responds to appropriate treatments.

Runner's Knee commonly causes pain behind the knee cap. This is made worse with positions or activities that increase the pressure between the knee cap and the femur. Often, pain is worse with sitting for prolonged periods and climbing or descending stairs. Swelling may occur and the knee may feel unstable. Runners may notice pain during their run, a short while after running, or even the day after a workout.

The cause of Runner's Knee is not fully understood. Traditionally, weakness of the vastus medialis (the inner most quadriceps muscle) was thought to contribute to abnormal tracking of the knee cap and result in pain. More recently, weakness of the gluteus medius and other hip muscles has been recognized as a contributing factor. The hip muscles support the body and control the femur during running. When these muscles are weak, the thigh may drift inward and contribute to abnormal tracking of the knee cap. While runners are usually strong in their hip flexors due to their training, they are commonly weak in hip abductor (gluteus medius) strength. Whatever the cause, Runner's Knee is easily treated. Initially, one can ice the affected knee approximately 20 minutes, several times per day. Judicious use of over the counter medications such as acetaminophen or anti-inflammatories can be helpful. Often, rest from running will improve symptoms as well. If these first line approaches do not provide adequate relief, see your regular
doctor or sports medicine specialist for other treatment options. These might include a specialized brace or taping to stabilize and support the knee cap. Measures to optimize biomechanics can help provide lasting relief from Runner's Knee. These include use of orthotics, when appropriate, and a physical therapy program to strengthen those weak muscles that play a key role in supporting the knee.

Marathon Medical Tips #2.1

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Connie Davis, M.D.
Preofessor of Medicine
Director, Kidney Care Line
Co-Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant

It hurts now and boy it is going to hurt in another few hours! How about taking a few more ibuprofen, or better yet maybe my doctor will give me some more long acting anti-inflammatory medications to prevent my suffering after the big race.  Be careful what you ask for, it may cause more harm than good.

Non-steroidal medications (NSAI's - such as Advil/ibuprofen, Aleve/naproxen, Indocin/indomethicin) that are so effective in preventing inflammation, muscle and joint pain after extreme physical exertion also cause problems in kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract.  So before you reach for that medicine bottle, think about why you are taking them and what you need to do to reduce your risk.  The dangers of NSAI's are stomach bleeding, general increased bleeding and decreased kidney function. Kidney function is lower after a race in those who use NSAI compared to those who do not. Also of concern, especially for race day, is the association of NSAI's with low blood sodium (hyponatremia).  This side effect is pronounced if you drink too much water during the race and is seen in up to 13% of marathon runners. The older you are the higher the risk for all side effects. Smaller people also seem to be at increased risk for hyponatremia. Finally, although heart attacks have definitely been associated with the use of more selective NSAI's (such as celecoxib/Celebrex and rofecoxib/Vioxx) this risk may also occur with nonselective NSAI's such as diclofenac (Voltaren).  It is possible this is true for other non-selective NSAI's but to date has not been proven for ibuprofen and naproxen.

Kidney damage is caused by NSAI's.  First NSAI's may cause an allergic reaction in the kidney's filtering and/or processing unit.  Either of these events may cause permanent kidney failure.  The only treatment is to stop NSAI use.  The way you would know such a reaction had developed is through the onset of swelling in feet and ankles and/or blood and urine tests. Rarely you might develop a rash and fever. Second, NSAI's may cause kidney dysfunction by decreasing kidney blood flow.  This happens when people are dehydrated, during extreme exercise or have kidney, liver or heart problems.  One in five people taking several days of a NSAI will have a decrease in their kidney function. Third, people with high blood pressure who take NSAI's may have major problems with blood pressure control even if they are treated with blood pressure medications. And fourth, hyponatremia or low blood sodium is increased in runners using NSAI's.  It is particularly common if someone drinks too much water because NSAI's decrease your kidney's ability to get rid of excess water.  It does this by increasing the kidney's ability to reabsorb water. Low serum sodium levels may lead to headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, seizures, weakness, problems breathing and collapse.   With long-term use of NSAI's the risk of permanent kidney failure that requires hemodialysis treatment may be up to 0.8%.  This is over eight times the risk of the general population.

The best way to protect yourself is to not use NSAI but if pain is so severe then the best thing to do is take NSAI with food, a medicine that decreases stomach acid production (heart burn medication such as pantoprazole (Protonix) omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or misoprostol (Cytotec)), hydrate only as advised by the race hydration sheet and use for a limited time, up to two days. Repeated doses and prolonged use of NSAI should be avoided especially if using the long acting products.

Alternatively you may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) but no more than 4gm per day and preferably not every day and not in conjunction with alcohol for fear of liver injury.   If you have high blood pressure, take blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder, liver problems or kidney disease NSAI's should not be used. Concomitant use with diuretics (water pills) is not advised. Lastly, realize that if you develop a stress fracture or a complete break, healing may be delayed if you use NSAI.  Running through the pain with the aid of NSAI is something that you should discuss with your doctor as you may be hiding a significant injury.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tips for Running in the Summer Heat

Mark A. Harrast, MD
Medical Director of the Seattle Marathon Family of Events
UW Medicine - Sports Medicine

Protect your skin
Apply sunscreen liberally and often for skin protection, as solar radiation causes skin cancer.  Remember to apply it to any exposed skin – including your ears, scalp, and back of your neck.  Don’t forget to wear a hat, sunglasses, and a shirt. 

Stay hydrated
Running in the heat will increase sweating in order to dissipate heat and keep your core temperature from rising too quickly.  Increased sweating (without replacing fluid lost thru sweat) will decrease your blood volume, which in turn, will decrease blood and oxygen delivery to your working leg muscles, eventually slowing you down.  Drinking fluids to keep your blood volume up will offset this effect and enhance your performance.  But be careful – as drinking too much can create other issues, including GI distress/bloating and hyponatremia (low blood sodium). For most runners during a training run or race, drinking when you are thirsty (ad libidum) is reasonable and effective.  If your run route doesn't have ample water fountains, then consider carrying a water bottle on your long run days.  Finally, it’s as important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day when not running as it is during your runs.  Having a hydration plan throughout the day will help keep your total body water stores replenished and thus, similar to fueling a gas tank in a car, you’ll be starting your runs off with your blood volume “full” instead of closer to “empty.”   The current general recommendation is to drink ~9-13 cups of fluid per day (which is a bit more than the adage of eight 8-ounce glasses per day).  This recommendation should be increased in hotter climates and exercising individuals. 

Prepare for hot weather running
Are you accustomed to running in hot weather? Practice running in the heat in preparation for hot weather races.  It generally takes about two weeks to properly acclimatize to exercising in hot weather.  To begin acclimatizing, slow your pace (don’t do speed workouts or harder efforts) during that first week of warmer weather training, stay well-hydrated, and schedule adequate rest/recovery time. 

Prevent heat illness
Avoid running during the hottest part of the day.  Listen to your body and stop exercising, find a shaded, cool area, and rehydrate (+/- seek medical attention) if you experience lightheadedness, headaches, or you stop sweating.  Wear light colored clothing to reflect the sun’s rays.  Synthetic fabrics are better for exercising as they wick and dry easier, taking heat away from your body and helping you to stay cool.

Set appropriate expectations
Your body reacts differently on hot days. You won’t be able to perform as well in the heat as you could on a cooler day, so slow your pace during training runs and races on such hot days.



Mercer Ramp Closure

ATTENTION! Mercer St. Ramp Closure Race Weekend

Full closure of I-5 on-ramps and off-ramps planned for August 24-27, 2012
Ramp closure hours will be from Friday at 11:00 p.m. to Monday at 5:00 a.m. on race weekend, August 24-27. Detour routes shown will be signed on roadways and may be heavily used, particularly Denny Way both eastbound and westbound.

Please plan your route accordingly and allow additional time to arrive at the course.
During these closures, the I-5 on-ramp at University St. will be concurrently closed to provide more efficient traffic flow around the closed Mercer St. exit lane. Fairview Ave. N will also be closed between Mercer St. and Valley St., and Mercer St. will be closed to through traffic between Westlake Ave. N and Fairview Ave. N. All detour routes will be clearly marked.

Beginning Thursday, August 23, a single lane on Mercer St. will be closed between Boren Ave. N and the Mercer St. I-5 on-ramps to accommodate median work near Fairview Ave. N that will facilitate the transition to two-way traffic on Mercer St. The closure will be in effect beginning Thursday, August 23, at 7:00 p.m. through Friday, August 24, at 11:00 p.m., when the full weekend ramp closure will commence.
See the DOT-provided maps below to help you plan your route.
For more information, visit the Seattle DOT website, Mercer Corridor Project.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Get $10

Are you registered for the Seattle Marathon 10K: Presented by Seattle Center Next 50?

Recruit a friend to register the race and you will receive your choice of:

·         $10 off SMA merchandise, or
·         $10 off the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon/Half Marathon, or
·         $10 off the Seattle Marathon 5k Race: Presented by South Sound Running

Just have your friend put your email address in the “Recruited By” field on the 10k entry form online and we will email you instructions on how to redeem your coupon!  Please note: You must be a registered participant of the 2012 10K Race in order to receive a coupon. This is only available through online registration.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Enter with a Friend!

Limited Time Offer:

Come in to the Seattle Marathon office and register for the Seattle Marathon 10K Race, presented by Next 50 Seattle Center with a group of 2 or more to get $10 off each entry.

In Person ONLY
Wednesday, August 8

at the SMA office:
1530 Westlake Ave N Suite 700, Seattle

Monday, July 30, 2012

Seattle Marathon 10K Volunteer Now!

Be a part of a great running event! This year the Seattle Center will be celebrating its 50th anniversary as we put on our 2nd annual Seattle Marathon 10K Race, presented by Next 50 Seattle Center. Be a part of this celebratory event!

Are you unable to participate in our 10K this year? Or perhaps you have volunteered with us before and would like to do it again? We have numerous positions available and would love your help. You don't need any experience to sign up.  Just bring yourself and we will show you everything you need to know.

The 10K run/walk starts at 8:00am on Saturday, August 25th and is followed at 8:30am by a Kids Fun Run, presented by Super Jock N Jill.

This promises to be a great summer event for the whole family, so don't wait. Earn some community service hours, support your friends and family on the course, or just come to have a good time with other volunteers.

 Some of the positions we are looking for help with are:

  • Course Marshals
  • Water Stations
  • Registration / Bib & Chip Pick Up
  • T-Shirt & Goody Bag Handout
  • Finish Line Handouts
  • Set Up
  • and
  • Clean Up

For more details, contact as at
or visit our Volunteer Page.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

News From Our Sponsors

Saucony® Natural Series™ Redefines Natural Running 
 Saucony, Inc., unveiled the Saucony Natural Series™, a cutting-edge collection of lightweight performance running footwear inspired by the brand's award-winning Kinvara. The three-shoe Natural Series, available Spring 2013, introduces the revolutionary and much-anticipated Virrata, the lightest training shoe that Saucony has ever built, as well as the third and most advanced versions of the brand's Kinvara and Mirage. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Press Releases


Lydia Cheromei returns to what has proved a rewarding hunting ground as the Kenyan assumes the mantle of women’s favourite in a strong field for the Volkswagen Prague Marathon on Sunday (May 13). The men’s race looks wide open with Ethiopia’s Deressa Chimsa the fastest man on paper but expectations are high for marathon debutant Philemon Limo of Kenya.

When Lydia Cheromei arrives in Prague, she says it feels like a second home these days. As with any Kenyan on the road running circuit, she is much travelled but the pronouncement rings true: she broke the course record with an impressive 2:22:34  last year and set a personal best of 67:26 to finish runner-up in the half marathon here on March 31. Add the ingredient of a marathon personal best of 2:21:30 to finish sixth in Dubai at the end of January and she is quietly confident, which is ever the Kenyan style.

There is one more factor that soon emerges as the woman who won a world junior cross country title at the age of 13 in 1991 readily admits: one of Cheromei’s regular training partners in Kenya is the new national record holder, Mary Keitany, thanks to the latter’s 2:18:37 in winning in London three weeks ago.

“Training with Mary back home has been a big morale boost for me. I was very happy for her success and I’m going to try to follow in her footsteps, though I know that it’s not easy to run under 2:20, but I’ll do my best.”

If Lydia Cheromei does join the select group of 17 women who have cracked that time barrier, she will have done it on a scenic but far from easy course, complete with a few sections of cobblestones, although these do not seem to have prevented the elite fields producing impressive times in recent years.
Cheromei’s closest rival on paper is her fellow Kenyan Agnes Kiprop. Her best of 2:23:54 was set in finishing second in Frankfurt last October. A half marathon lifetime best of 67:22 as runner-up in Ostia at the end of February suggests she is rounding nicely into top form for the marathon. Lydia Cheromei acknowledges that she faces a genuine contest with the field including Filomena Chepchirchir (2:24:21) and the New York-based Ethiopian, Misiker Mekonnin (2:25:21). The favourite’s preparations have gone well, but for one factor which Cheromei, or anyone else, could not control.

“I’ve trained well in Kenya but it was raining during the last part of my training so the build-up was not 100% - but I am ready.”

Just how ready Philemon Limo is for his marathon debut will become apparent once the starting gun goes off at 9 am on Sunday in Prague’s Old Square. The course record is the property of Kenya’s Eliud Kiptanui with 2:05:39 in 2010.

Limo is another Kenyan who is a familiar face in the Czech capital: he was the first man to break the hour for the half marathon here, clocking a personal best of 59:30 for victory last year. Third place in the same event in 60:03 was an indication of solid preparation, but Limo, taking advice from Lydia Cheromei and his friend and rival Stephen Kibiwott (2:07:54), admits to first night trepidation: “Yes, I feel nervous. I know in the marathon you can expect anything to happen, especially the first one. My friends have been giving me advice, saying, it’s nothing like a 10km or half marathon.”

He emphasises that the questions to be answered on Sunday are about the technique of racing: “Don’t start too fast and you must have practised drinking on the run. If you have even a small problem in the marathon, it’s not easy to finish.”

An experienced marathoner and the fastest man in the field is the Ethiopian Deressa Chimsa, who brought his time down to 2:05:42 when finishing eighth in Dubai in January. As ever, the Kenyan entry is strong with Nicholas Chelimo (2:07:38) and Francis Bowen (2:08:01) posing threats alongside Stephen Kibiwott.

Lee Troop is unlikely to be running at their kind of tempo, but the 39-year-old has a tough target nonetheless: qualifying for his fourth Olympic marathon in the green and gold of Australia. He needs to run sub-2:12 to achieve this and his last marathon was a 2:15:45 in the Gold Coast marathon last July. Asked if his determination to qualify for a fourth Olympic Games is as strong as it was 12 years ago, the answer is unequivocal: “Yes.”

Andy Edwards

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Seattle Marathon Coordinator Opportunities

The Seattle Marathon Association is looking to fill a few Coordinator positions for our 2012 events.  We would like to find some dedicated volunteers to fill these important positions:

Water Station Coordinator for the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon November 25, 2012
Duties Include:

  • Oversee water station setup prior to Race Day.  Must be available for meetings in the months prior to the event.  Must be available on Water Station Packing Day 11/23/12 and on Race Day 11/25/12.
  • Must be available for two Water Station training meetings prior to Race Day.
  • Oversee all water stations, water station volunteers and water station trucks on Race day.  Must be prepared to move about the course to make sure water stations are fully and properly staffed.
  • At least 2 years of Water Station experience would be preferred.
  • For full details contact ATTN: Water Station Coordinator Position

Course Marshal Coordinator for the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon November 25, 2012
Duties Include:

  • Oversee Course Marshal setup prior to Race Day.  Must be available for meetings in the months prior to the event.  Must be available on Race Day 11/25/12.
  • Must be available for two Course Marshal training meetings prior to Race Day.
  • Oversee all Course Marshal Positions from Course Marshal Van, Course Marshal volunteers and Course Marshal trucks on Race day.  Must be prepared to move about the course to make sure Course Marshal are fully and properly staffed.  
  • Pick up standby course marshals and drop them off at required locations should the need arise during the race.
  • At least 2 years of Course Marshal Experience would be preferred.
  • For full details contact ATTN: Marathon Course Marshal Coordinator Position

Course Marshals Coordinator for the Seattle Marathon 10K Race August 25, 2012

  • Oversee Course Marshal setup prior to Race Day.  Must be available for meetings in the months prior to the event.  Must be available on Race Day 08/25/12.
  • Oversee all Course Marshal Positions from Course Marshal Van, Course Marshal volunteers and Course Marshal trucks on Race day.  Must be prepared to move about the course to make sure Course Marshal are fully and properly staffed.  
  • Pick up standby course marshals and drop them off at required locations should the need arise during the race.
  • At least 2 years of Course Marshal Experience would be preferred.
  • For full details contact ATTN: 10K Course Marshal Coordinator Position

As the title "Coordinator" implies, these positions are not for just any volunteer.  If you have previous experience in one of these locations and are ready and willing to take on the responsibilities of helping to make sure an entire network of stations runs smoothly on Race Day, we would love to hear from you. 

For more information on a coordinator position, send your contact information and a short list of your previous experience to ATTN: Coordinator Position.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No More Scratchy Velcro!

Starting with our 10K race on August 25, the Seattle Marathon Association will be using the ChronoTrack timing system for all of our timed Races.
This new system promises to be a great improvement! Here are just a few of the benefits.

  • Can attach to bib or shoe
  • No chaffing velcro straps
  • No fee for un-returned chips
  • Recyclable
  • Landfill safe
We are always striving to improve the race experience for our participants and are excited for this newest step.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Catch The Early Bird Rates 
Before They Fly Away!
Last chance for Early Bird Rates is May 31, 2012

Early Bird Rates will only last through May 31, 2012, after which registration prices will increase to regular fees for all events.  There will be no more deals on the Early Bird price after this date.

Seattle Center
- $35 will increase to $40 after May 31st 

Saturday, August 25, 2012
Seattle Center
 - $15 

Saturday, November 24, 2012
Seattle Center
 - $30 will increase to $35 after May 31st 

Saturday, November 24, 2012
Seattle Center
 - $20

Sunday, November 25, 2012
Seattle Center
 - $70 will increase to $80 after May 31st 

Sunday, November 25, 2012
Seattle Center
- $80 will increase to $110 after May 31st 

Get these savings while you can.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Uli Steidl Wins Masters Division at Boston Marathon

Uli Steidl, assistant cross country and track and field coach for Seattle University, won the Masters Divison at Monday's Boston Marathon with a time of 2:23.08. He placed 15th overall.
Steidl is a past, multi-time winner of the Seattle Marathon. We congratulate Uli on his recent success at Boston!

For more, see:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Registration Deals

Are you going to the Skagit Valley Tulip Run on Saturday, April 7 in Burlington?  Sign up for a Seattle Marathon event at the Northwest Runner's booth and get $10 off the registration fee.  This will apply to all of the Seattle Marathon race events except for the Kids Marathon.

Question of the Month

The Seattle Center will soon be celebrating it's 50th anniversary.  Their celebration will last for 6 months and is focusing on discussing topics that many believe can make our world a better place and improve our lives.

How has running helped to improve your life?
When and why did you start? 
And why do you continue?


Breathing on the Run
By the Focus-N-Fly Coaching Team

Today, we’ll return to one of the basic questions we get on a regular basis - how to breathe while running.

The faster we run, the faster we will reach a point when we will have to concentrate on our breathing in order to continue at that pace.  That is because the additional strain of the pace has caused our muscles to demand more oxygen on a quicker schedule.  All of a sudden, you need more air and breathing begins to require your attention.

Here are some simple tips to remember when the going gets tough:

Straighten up
When we are tired, our running posture can often fall apart - our shoulders hunch over or bunch up to our earlobes.  This level of tension is not desirable.  When you need to get more air, remind yourself to draw your shoulders away from your ears, but straighten up and stand tall.  This allows for your lungs to have the maximum room for air, and may help ease symptoms of a side stitch by stretching out the afflicted area.

Breathe deeply
When we tire, we tend to pant and take shallow breaths.  In that moment, panting seems like the quickest way to gather as much oxygen as possible.  In reality, it is much more efficient to take a slower, deeper breath.  Rather than taking a shallow breath, imagine you are filling your stomach/diaphragm first, from your bellybutton up to the tops of your lungs.  Panting is like splashing some water over the mouth of your water bottle.  Some of what you want gets in, but the effort yields much less than the desired result.  A deeper breath is like sticking your water bottle directly under the faucet stream.  Fill up those lungs so they can do what they do best - get air to your screaming muscles!

Begin a slow and rhythmic breathing pattern
When you are running or walking at relative ease, your breathing pattern may be 2-2 or 3-3, that is, it takes two footfalls (one landing of either foot) to inhale and two footfalls to exhale, etc.  However, when you are tired and air is at a premium, try to spend a bit more time on each inhale than you do on each exhale, for what might end up as a 3-2 rhythm or a 4-3 rhythm.  Take your time, try to relax yourself generally by the almost meditative counting of your breathing rhythm, and/or let a favorite song guide your brain through the pattern.  All of a sudden, you’ll be at the next mile marker or water station.

Everyone is a bit different, and all of us, from novice to experienced runners, need to practice techniques in low stress situations before taking them to the streets in the big race.   Listen to your breathing on easy runs to find out what your natural patterns are.  Try to maintain a tall posture and open your chest when the running is easy before forcing yourself to find that position when the running is tough.  Test out a 3-2 pattern or a 4-3 pattern on your next interval or tough workout and see what feels right. 

By practicing these techniques, we hope the finish line will find its way to your feet a little faster!

Seattle Marathon 10K Race

Members of the running community can join in the Seattle Center's 50th Anniversary Celebration by participating in the Seattle Marathon 10K Race on August 25, 2012.  This 6.2 mile run starts and ends at Seattle Center, near the famous International Fountain.  The course travels south, through downtown and back north along Aurora, with views of Lake Union, before returning to end back at Seattle Center.

Wheelchairs, strollers and dogs on leashes are all welcome on this course.

The 10K starts at 8am on Saturday, August 25 and is followed at 10am by a Kids Fun Run, presented by Super Jock N Jill.

This promises to be a great summer event for the whole family, so don't wait.

The Next 50: Seattle Center

The Next 50: 
Seattle Center's 50 Year Anniversary Celebration
A Six-Month Dialogue About Our Future
In 1962, Seattle established itself as a global focal point, hosting a world's fair driven by the space age - ultimately creating a physical legacy: Seattle Center. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the fair, there is cause for celebration and contemplation, as our region faces an entirely new set of opportunities. Today, the question is about the social and intellectual capital that feed our region's - and the world's - creative energy.

This six-month dialogue will be focusing on eight different areas that represent the Pacific Northwest's leadership and innovation over the past 50 years. There will be competitions, exhibits and opportunities for fun and learning at the Seattle Center grounds over the six months of celebration. Planning continues on activities associated with each of the key focus areas. Just a few of the scheduled events include: