Saturday, January 9, 2010

A very cool vacation idea: RunBoston

For many people, going on vacation is about relaxing on a beach and doing very little. Not for runners. A runner's vacation is about exploring new places on foot, and that is why Jared Perrine and Abby Greshik have hit a home run with RunBoston, a tour guide company that shows runners around Boston through individualized running tours.

Abby and Jared came up with the idea during a 7-mile run in Cambridge this past fall when Abby mentioned how she enjoys running through new cities, but fears getting lost without someone to guide her. A year earlier she had given her cousin a 9-mile tour of Boston, and the more she thought about it, the more perfect the idea seemed. "Boston is the perfect city for running tours," said Abby. "It’s a big city, but packed into a small geographic area. Runners can see a huge number of historic sites and neighborhoods within a handful of miles.”

After checking to see if anyone else was already offering running tours of Boston (note: there are running tours in other cities around the world, but this is the first to be offered in Boston), Jared quickly developed a Web site and purchased the domain name. However, the goal isn’t to become a massive running tour company. “Our focus is putting together (a tour of) all of the best and most historic places in Boston and to let our love of the area diffuse into our customers," says Jared.

One perk for tour participants is that every tour is individually customized, from the speed to the sights. Depending on the pace that customers want to run, they will be paired with a specific tour guide that can run with them and converse in order to provide them with information about the area they are running through. Customers can also decide how many miles they want to run and what they want to see, ranging from Bunker Hill, the Back Bay, Harvard Square, or even the last 8-9 miles of the Boston Marathon. “We aren't afraid of detours,” says Abby. “If runners spot something they'd like to see up closer, we'll shamble down an alley, or careen up a hill. We want runners to see what they want to see in Boston.”

RunBoston isn’t just for tourists either. “Whether you are local, visiting for business, or visiting for pleasure, sometimes you just don't want to run alone,” says Jared. “RunBoston offers a smiling face, a chatty mouth, and another pair of shoes hitting the pavement with you.”

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What are runners searching for?

Ever wonder what runners are searching for on Google? The search engine has released the top searches related to "marathons" and "running" for 2009. My article shows which races are items are top of mind:

Top 10 searches related to marathons:

1. Half marathon
2. Boston Marathon
3. Marathon record
4. World record marathon
5. Derby Marathon
6. Olympic Marathon
7. Marathon winner
8. Marathon training
9. Chicago Marathon
10. New York Marathon

Top 10 searches related to running:

1. Running shoes
2. Running back
3. Running lyrics
4. Nike running
5. Nike
6. Free running
7. Trail running
8. Running world
9. Asics running
10. Asics

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Running can help your immune system

The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article today about the hidden benefits of exercise, addressing the common thought that running can be bad for your health. The article reports that physical activity such as running can actually boost your immune system and protect against chronic diseases:
A growing body of research is showing that regular exercise—as simple as a brisk 30- to 45-minute walk five times a week—can boost the body's immune system, increasing the circulation of natural killer cells that fight off viruses and bacteria. And exercise has been shown to improve the body's response to the influenza vaccine, making it more effective at keeping the virus at bay.

Regular exercise has been shown to combat the ongoing damage done to cells, tissues and organs that underlies many chronic conditions. Indeed, studies have found that exercise can lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, and cut the incidence of Type 2 diabetes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A runner's guide to Twitter

There is so much running news - ranging from new races and registration to training tips and advice - that it can be difficult to keep tabs of everything. Once great resource for runners is Twitter, which can act as a RSS feeder for all of your running news and information.

In order to get started, below are some great people and companies/organizations that are worth following for any interested runner:

Publications & Websites
Runners World: @runnersworld
Running Times: @runningtimes @activenetwork
Cool Running: @Cool_Running

Races & Organizations
Boston Marathon (WBZ): @bostonmarathon
New York Road Runners: @nyrr_daily
ING Runner's Nation: @INGRunnerNation
Rock 'n' Roll Marathons: @RunRocknRoll
Cape 13 Relay: @13relay
RaceMenu: @racemenu
USA Track & Field: @USATrack_Field
Half Marathons: @halfmarathons

Bart Yasso: @BartYasso
Meb Keflezighi: @runmeb
Ryan Hall: @ryanhall3
Paula Radcliffe: @paularadcliffe
Bernard Lagat: @Lagat1500
Shannon Rowbury: @ShannonRowbury
Ray Zahab: @RayZahab
Dathan Ritzenhein: @djritzenhein
Galen Rupp: @G_Rupp

Boston-Area Companies
Marathon Sports: @Marathon_Sports
Greater Boston Running Company: @GreatrBstnRunCo

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The truth: I didn't run during vacation

I just got from an awesome vacation in Peru and have to come clean about something: I didn't run. At all.

I was planning on running. I brought my shoes, running clothes and everything. However, when we reached our first stop (Cusco), I was unable to adjust to the elevation quick enough (over 12,000 feet) to go for a run. Next we went to Macchu Picchu (about 8,000 - 9,000 feet) and it was a little high, but there was only one road in the town - and it did not go very far.

Then I got sick - to the point where I was unable to run. I could hardly walk at times, it was bad. I dealt with stomach pains through the rest of the vacation, meaning that I would be unable to run in Lima (100 feet) once we arrived there at the end.

Unfortunately I have missed out on my opportunity to run in Peru, and must now face the snow in Boston.

It's time to get ready for the Boston Marathon!