Embrace Running 185: Looking Back at the Year

This week, we take a look back at 2015 and check in with the goals we set at the beginning of the year. We name some of our top races of the year including, most scenic, most unique and toughest.



Barkley Marathons

There’s finally a movie about the Barkley Marathons! Yes, you read that right. If you’ve heard of Barkley Marathons you’ve heard it’s not like any other race. It’s an ultra race of 100ish miles out in Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee. There is no race website or information on ultrasignup to read about the race or register for it. Just finding out the applicaton/registration process is a feat of its own. With a finisher rate of only about 1%, only 12 different people have finished the race since its debut. It definitely piques the interest of many runners, even those of you who never want to attempt it. So when a movie about the elusive and arguably the most difficult ultra came out it was something we had to see. The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young is a documentary about the 2012 edition of the race. We don’t want to give out too many details but this movie is totally worth it. It provides a glimpse as to what the race is like, including the eccentric race director Laz and even gives the origin of the name of the race. As eye opening and mind blowing as the movie is about the race, it affirmed our thoughts that we have absolutely no interest (nor are we anywhere near capable) of doing this race. Although we wouldn’t mind being at the famous yellow gate as participants come through and head out for more or bow as Taps is played. It’s a race like no other. Equal parts inspiring, entertaning and terrifying, the film does a really good job of capturing and conveying the race experience. If you are at all interested in Barkley Marathons, watch this movie. 
The dvd can be purchased online or you can buy or rent the digital version as well through various platforms (itunes, amazon, google play, vudu).

The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young


Embrace Running 184: Walnut Creek Half

This week, we give our race recap of the Walnut Creek half marathon. Gordy Ainsleigh may not be running Western States in 2016. Lance Armstrong runs a local trail race and wins. Nike Women’s SF race is no more. Get a finisher’s jacket if you run a Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in 2016. If you haven’t seen Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young, go watch it now. And as always, our weeks in training.






Wish List for Runners

Every year we compile a gift list for runners. This year we wanted to do something a little different and share some items on our running wish list that we know many of you will relate to. You might even have them on your own wish list.

1. Running related book
There are many running related books out there that would be enjoyed by runners, some of which we have talked about on the podcast in the past. But there is a particular book on our wish list. That book is Running Your First Ultra: Customizable Training Plans for Your First 50K to 100-mile Race by Krissy Moehl. We’ve taken a peek at the book and really like that aside from many tips for running ultras, it has customizable training plans for ultras (from 50k-100 mile distances). These training plans are difficult to come by. There are other books available with tips for running ultras but most don’t offer training plans. If you are wondering who Krissy Moehl is, she is an accomplished ultrarunner: in 2005, she became the youngest woman to complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, (Western States 100, Vermont 100, Wasatch 100, Leadville 100 in the same year) which included a gold medal at the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run. She set the women’s record for Hardrock in 2007. She’s won several ultramarathons, including UTMB (twice), Wasatch in 2004, and Ultra Trail Mount Fuji in 2013. 

2. Running related movie
Just like the last item on our wish list, we want to say that there are a lot of movies out there that would be a great gift for a runner, many of which we have talked about before (Spirit of the Marathon, Spirit of the Marathon II, Unbreakable: The Western States 100, McFarland, etc.) But the one on our wish list is The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young. It was just recently released on December 8, 2015. It is a documentary about the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee, a race with ~1% finisher rate-enough said. Watching this movie is the closest we will ever get to Barkley, and we’re okay with that.

3. Petite Running tights (that don’t cost an arm and a leg)
We know this one is very specific to us shorter girls (Elena), but now that winter is here it would be great to go out on a cold run in running tights that actually fit. It’s easy to find running capris to wear, since the length is more forgiving for them than running tights. Running tights/pants are not difficult to find in general but finding them in petite sizes is very difficult and if you do find them, they are quite expensive. Many running pants have zippers on the bottom of the legs which is great but doesn’t allow for easy alterations if you are short.

4. Annual park pass for trail runners
Most of the trails we access for trail running are part of a greater park system. Many of which has parking or day use fees. So an annual park pass is the next item on our wish list. The specific pass will vary depending on where you reside, but at least here in Northern California we have various park passes that can be purchased on an annual basis. This applies to state parks, county parks, parks within a particular region or even a national parks.

5. The Zero Runner
If we’re compiling a wish list we might was well include one really expensive item. The Zero Runner from Octane Fitness. The Zero Runner allows you to replicate your natural running motion without all the impact. There are two separate models to choose from the cheaper ZR7 model starts at $3299.


Embrace Running 183: Runner Wish List

This week, we talk about our running wish list. The Northface 50 race and Western States Lottery was this weekend. Running Times magazine will be no more. New Balance will be the new shoe and apparel sponsor for the New York City Marathon starting in 2017. And our weeks in training.

Big names at RnR San Antonio 
North Face 50 Results 
Running Times is No More 
Olympic Trials Qualifiers at CIM 
Galen Rupp Eyeing Marathon 
The Zero Runner