Category Archives: Trail Running/Running

Boston Strong for the 2014 Boston Marathon

  For the competitive and non-competitive runner alike, the 2014 edition of the Boston Marathon will offer an experience unparalleled to any other marathon. For the past year, runners from around the world as well as most Americans have been reeling and reflecting on the terrorist attack that took so much from so many at the 2013 marathon. I, myself, decided to register for the 2014 event after qualifying at the Mississippi Blues marathon in January of 2013 because of that very terrorist act. Although I will not be racing this year, I have had time to reflect on the meaning of this year’s race that will be something all participants remember for the rest of their lives.chris winter running pic

   It’s hard for me to consider what this year’s race will mean without reflecting on my first meaningful and special Boston Marathon experience. In 2010, I stood at the start of the Boston Marathon, hoping to finish my first Boston Marathon without walking. While I had run my first two marathons in 2:38 each, I had never finished one without walking. It may seem like a small goal but that’s what I wanted-simply to run the entire race without walking. Training had gone well, I was motivated and excited, the weather was perfect, and I was even able to give Ryan Hall a high five while he was on his way to the starting line.

With my goal in mind and confidence in my training, I ran the first 13.1 miles on 2:33 pace. I couldn’t believe how easy it felt. Maybe it was the support of every community along the way, or maybe it was the screaming girls I ran by at Wellesley College. Maybe it was because I knew I was running in the wake and footsteps of some of the greatest runners of all time. Meanwhile, I was having the race of my life. I was in the top 100 and feeling strong.

Then… the hills came, grueling hill after grueling hill. Each hill seemed steeper and longer than the next. My legs ached and lungs burned. My teeth and gums even hurt. I was getting passed by a lot of people. I wanted to walk, rest, catch my breath and to give up on my goal.

That’s when it hit me. The very people I had been urged on by for the past 2 hours not only wanted me to finish, they needed me to finish, they needed me to achieve my goal, even if they didn’t know what it was.

marathon-2013-394So I pressed on, gradually picked up my pace, and refocused. With one mile to go, I knew I was going to do it. I was going to finish the race and achieve my goal. I had become a part of the history of the Boston Marathon, the greatest foot race in the world. While I finished in 2:39, a mere 2 minutes away from a personal record, I didn’t care. Something better had happened.

When some one runs the Boston Marathon, it is as if they become a part of the city itself. Perhaps, that’s why this year’s race is so special. I cannot say what this years race will mean for everyone, but I can, without hesitation, say that everyone who puts on a race bib and steps up to the line will feel and know what it’s like to be a Bostonian for the day.

Whether runners are from Kenya or Tennessee, China or France, each will leave the 2014 Boston Marathon with a piece the city forever engrained in their heart, and they will be stronger and better for it.

Coverage of the 2014 Boston Marathon will begin at 7 am on April 21st.

Article by: Chris Winter, Outdoors, Inc. 

Outdoors Inc Sponsoring the Winter Cross Country Race Series

Outdoors Inc is the presenting sponsor of the Memphis Runners Track Club’s Winter Cross Country Race Series for the 3rd year in a row.  This four race series takes runners around the Overton Park, Stanky Creek, and Shelby Farms trails.  The races vary in length, the first one being a 3k and the final race being a 10k.

This race series has been a staple in Memphis’ runners Winter regimen. If you are primarily a road runner, this race is a perfect way to ease into the Memphis trail running scene. If you are a strong competitor, this race offers lots of competition, as the turn out is always substantial.

Joe Royer, co-owner of Outdoors Inc, suggests “dress warm to train and light to race” for winter racing.  If you leave the house feeling comfortable in your clothes, you are probably overdressed.  Once you start your run, you will quickly feel your body temperature rise, therefore you will want to shed unnecessary layers.

All the proceeds from this race are given to the MRTC Running Scholarship Fund in Frank Horton’s name.

If you are gearing up for this wintery race series, we would love for you to come see us.  We have plenty of cool weather running gear and experts to guide you to your perfect run.

Good luck out there!

Fall/Winter Trail Runner’s Gear Guide (Staff Picks)

You can throw on road running shoes, some long pants, and a wicking shirt to go running, sure.  That doesn’t necessarily make for a great experience though.  The clothes and gear you wear for trail running should change with the seasons.  Here are a couple of things we have in the stores to make your trail running times enjoyable.

  1. A good watch with heart rate capabilities:  Did you know a watch could track your distance, heart rate, calories burned, speed and more?  Well, they can.  We have several different brands of Heart rate monitoring watches, but one that seems to be a stand out is the Suunto T4-D.  This watch can do it all.  For the specs of this watch you can go to their website.  If you have ever wondered mid-workout how hard your body is working, this is the watch for you.  The Suunto T4-D watch has a real-time Training Effect option where you can look at an accurate measure of your workout and adjust your pace as needed.  This can actually help you design a training regime to fit the results you seek.  Pretty cool, huh?
    Honorable Mention: Garmin Forerunner 301
  2. A good pair of tights:  We have an abundance of cool weather tights for running and cycling in our stores.  One stands out with a technology only scientists could invent.  The CW-X tights were developed with kinesiology, the study of human movement, in mind.  The scientists at Wacoal Human Science Research Center in Kyoto, Japan studied 35,000 people’s injuries that occurred from warm-up and cool-down periods of exercise.  The CW-X tights and shorts were created to mirror kineseo tape that you might see professional athletes sporting when they have injured muscles.  It offers support for your joints and muscles by creating an exoskeleton support system that improves bio-mechanics during motion.  If you are prone to running related injuries, these are the tights for you.
    Honorable Mention- Patagonia Cool Weather Tights
  3. A fine pair of stable shoes:  No, you cannot just use your road running shoes on the trails.  On a trail, your ankle is more susceptible to injury; therefore you need a shoe that performs differently.  Salomon makes a variety of great trail running shoes with extreme stability and comfort.  One stands out to our staff as a favorite: The SpeedCross 2.  It is an ultra-light, race-ready shoe with aggressive tread that works great year round.  One of the unique features of Salomon shoes is the uni-lacing system.  The laces are made of Kevlar (that’s right, just like bulletproof vests) and it is all one consecutive lace.  Because approximately 80% of people over-pronate when walking and running, this lacing system offers extra support on the inner section of your foot.  A lightweight, stable trail running shoe.  What more could you want?
    Honorable Mention- The North Face Ultra 104 (Gore-Tex Optional)
  4. A warm, lightweight jacket with wind protection:  When you are out in the elements running, the last thing you would want is a bulky fleece that lets wind pass right through.  Wind is a strong factor in how cold you get when out running.  What you really need is a thin, windproof jacket with a light lining.  The North Face Flight Apex Climate Jacket is the perfect combo.  This is a slim, windproof jacket that gives you all the wind protection you need and no extra bulk to get in your way.   When paired with the proper layering, this jacket is perfect for a cool day on the trails.
    Honorable Mention-Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover
  5. A water bottle that doesn’t get in the way:  For a long time, people were wearing Camelbacks on long trail runs.  There is nothing wrong with a Camelback, if you don’t mind the weight and warm material on your back.  Ultimate Direction offers a different way to carry your drink of choice.  The Fastdraw Xtreme fits perfectly in your hand and offers a zippered stash pocket for a key, money, or gel.  The only downside to this in opposition of a camelbak is that you cannot carry as much water with you.  The Fastdraw Xtreme is perfect for a short to medium distance run.
    Honorable Mention: Ultimate Direction Access Gel Waist Pack

Other Must Haves:
-Long sleeved wicking shirt
-Polarized Sunglasses
-A lightweight hat
-Energy gel or bars

Product pictured on Robin Kendall, Union Avenue Store Manager
Suunto T4-D
CW-X Stabilyx Tights
The North Face Impulse ¼ zip shirt
Patagonia R2 Vest
Oakley Endure
Water Bottle:
Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Xtreme
The North Face Vaporwick Endurance Cap
Black Jacket:
The North Face Flight Apex Climate Jacket
Blue Jacket:
The North Face Torpedo Jacket
Salomon Speedcross 2