Almost end of summer Garmin Forerunner 610 Giveaway!

Today’s the last day of August, which in my mind means it’s regrettably the end of summer. I know that technically summer doesn’t end until later in September – but since everyone considers September as ‘Fall’, that means that today is more or less the end of summer. The good news is that the fall running season will shortly be in full swing! Which means my running times will hopefully get faster without the heat!

In order help you usher in your cooler weather running mojo I’m going to give away a brand Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS-enabled touch screen watch.  It was either that or giving away a yard rake to clean up the leaves about to fall…and I’m pretty sure I know which one you’d prefer.

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And the best thing is you’ve got nothing more to do than leave a single comment below (multiple comments don’t count around these parts!).

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All you’ve gotta do is tell me your best summer training or racing memory. It can be anything from the awesome pizza at the finish line of a small-town race, to completing your first Ironman.

The entry period will run until Sunday September 4th, 2011 at 11:59PM Eastern Time, at which point I’ll close the entry period and randomly select a winner.  Like the all my giveaways there are no restrictions on where the goods go to – so no matter where in the world you are, I’ll send to you.  The winner will get a brand new Garmin Forerunner FR610 (with HR strap).

(Note: If you’re active duty military and deployed and are unable to complete the entry method above, simply shoot me an e-mail and I’ll get ya entered in.  For those curious on how the giveaways work, here’s the deets.  In short – I purchase and giveaway everything here, these are not sponsored by Garmin.  Through careful planning I picked up a handful of them when they first came available…just so I could give them away to you.  Thanks all!)

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1,320 Comments

  1. Best summer run would have to be doing a 5K race in 107 degree temps. I didn’t believe I could do it and while my time was slower, I had a great race and felt good the entire time.

  2. This summer has been a lot of fun training for my first sprint tri and my hubby convincing me to get a road bike. I’m loving the three sports instead of just running and I feel great getting back into shape after 2nd baby. I feel tough and ready for the Tri!!

  3. My first year of endurance cycling after years of illness. It was the 150 mile MS Fundraiser “Pedal to the Point.” I never did anything like this before.

    I heard cries of “Thank you! Thank you!” I looked to my left and saw a wheelchair-bound spectator, holding a thank you sign, cheering us on. I am sure I will become numb after a few of these, as we always do, but that brought tears to this tough-guys eyes. I will never forget it.

    Jim H

  4. Early morning runs through the sprinklers on path through my neighborhood.

  5. My first ‘Tour de Pie’ ride a couple of hours south of Sydney. First time I had encountered climbs more than a km in length and actually enjoyed them. The downhills and pie stops were pretty enjoyable too!!

    Since its the start of Spring down here training is just getting started in earnest.

  6. Running my ass off to achieve 2nd placing in a competitive charity run, despite the event being a no prize event.

  7. My great racing memory was a couple of cold Brewskies after the Newport Half Marathon. Never tasted so good!

  8. wilson11

    Improved my 5k race time way above my expectations!!!

  9. I came along your blog less than a month ago, and replaced an RS200 with a FR305: it made a world of difference in my workouts, training for the NYCM in November 6th – Can’t say thank you enough for the great work you do on your reviews/posting on your blog.
    PS: your FR610 would be a great match for the 305, the only Garmin device at home (by now).
    Cheers!

  10. Patty

    Running to Sea World from my house with the double jogger for a day of fun. Best part – my husband pushed the stroller.

  11. I finished my 1st marathon in over 15 years – BMII (Boston Marathon In Iraq) sponsored by the Boston Athletic Association. Finished in nearly 100 deg temp. Race broke down into two equal parts for me….. The first 23 and the second 3. 🙂

  12. I recently started training for my first ultra. This week started off with a 24 mile run through Yosemite National Park… absolutely incredible! It was the defining moment in a long time coming process that solidified my belief that long distance running is something I was built for. A tough but highly anticipated path lies ahead… I’m sure it will lead to stunning challenge and blissful rewards!
    -Bones

  13. Josh

    Saturday morning runs with my girls while my wife trains for a marathon.

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  15. Z

    Jumping in a swimming hole at the Great Fall Park in VA. We were in a middle of training for a June 50 K and after 3 hours of jumping up and down the trail the Potomac river seemed the most inviting place on Earth to cool out tired muscles off.

  16. Ha! Finishing an Ironman was great, but the best memory I have was finishing my first Tri (Donner Lake). As a swimmer and a brand new triathlete it was quite an experience. I was 4th out of the water, had about 150 people pass me on the bike (I passed no one) and then about another 100 people pass me on the run (I passed one guy who was walking). It didn’t help that the run was a bit more than 10k, but trust me I was excited when I crossed that finish line. 🙂

  17. I just started my running program back in the spring. For me, my best moment so far is passing the 10km mark on a run earlier this summer, when I thought my limit was 5km 🙂

    Gregory – @northernpenguin

  18. Waldo

    Actually, one of my most memorable summer training experiences happened just this morning. I’m Active Duty Air Force, currently on a 6 month deployment here in Bagram, Afghanistan. I was running the perimeter road (which is a sketchy proposition in itself at times) just before sunrise about 1/2 way into my 12 mile run. A couple of Vipers (F-16’s) screamed overhead on takeoff just as I was coming to that part of the road that crosses the extended runway centerline. No big deal, standard morning at BAF. The interesting part of the story is that about 10 min later the unmistakable reverberations of bombs going high ordnance on some very unlucky bad guys came echoing down the valley towards me. As a B-1 pilot myself, stuck on the ground in Afghanistan, that’s a sound that only means one thing: less bad guys shooting at our guys. So just as the sun began to burst its rays over the magnificent 26K+ ft. Hindu Kush mountains just a few miles to the north, it occurred to me that this was not my everyday training run back on the prairies of middle America. Welcome to training in Afghanistan.

  19. Best memory is by far the feeling of biting into a warm, fresh chocolate chip cookie after completing my first Ironman in CDA last year. I proceeded to eat 3 more but that first bite was the best cookie I’ve ever had.

  20. For some reason I always look back and smile anytime I think of any intense long run in a summer rain. I always end up pushing that much harder and just feels great.

  21. Finished my first marathon and half marathon this summer. Lucky with weather in both occasions, and willing to try again soon.

  22. Ever since I started training I cut out all junk/fast food and one of the things I missed most was fried chicken wings – the kind you get from cheap & dirty Chinese buffets.

    I knew there were multiple establishments in the town of my first race where I could find these chicken wings I have craved for so long. I ended up having a decent first race (hey, it was a PR right?) so the first thing I did (after having my post-race chocolate milk) was eat 15 of these chicken wings. In some way I was a winner that day.

    Steven

    P.S I’m a big fan of your blog!

  23. Hi, nothing special during my training over the summer, but I did do a mtb ride (just to escape from the heat in the town) couple weeks ago when I forgot to close my saddle bag. Nothing was lost even the phone which was in the net-side pocket the keys were left in the house door.
    P.S. I noticed what happend when I come beck home and I saw my keys in the door

  24. Getting my first Tri Bike and then getting lost on my first bike ride. At least it made for a good workout.

  25. Had a fantastic long run in the alps this summer – trail run with huge altitude changes. I was very proud to have made the full 14 miles!

  26. There isn’t any one memory that stands out. That said, there is a big box with a bunch of them and most of them involve a happy marriage between my craving for McDonald’s ‘cuisine’, long runs on weekends and an epiphany I had in Feb 2011. I was 90 kg (at 177 cm & 35 years) and a newly minted father of a boy who was then 3 months old. Would I be able to run and play and hike and swim cycle with my kid
    when he was 15 years old by which time I would be 50? Damned if I wasn’t able to! I laced up in Feb and a few hours ago completed my best ever half-marathon time
    of 1:45 (Singapore Army half marathon, still waiting for the official time). If I could run then I could bike and so I bought a used Orbea Ora last week and 2 weeks from now I am starting open water swimming lessons. Why? The Aviva 70.3 half-IronMan is in March 2012 and thats not a bad milestone to arrive at after an epiphany. Let’s see what this body is capable of, shall we?

  27. Might as well give it a go. Great site.

  28. a_circelli

    Hi Ray, Thanks for your review from italy!

  29. Acquathlon! very nice run-swim-run in cote d’azure.

  30. Doesn’t matter which training effort – as long as you have worked hard – then you can’t beat that well earned coffee and banana bread 🙂

  31. This summer was one of the best. I ran the Jerusalem marathon. Competed at the Zurich Ironman. Got the girl friend excited about road cycling. And began following your blog. All the best from Israel. Effi

  32. Achieving a PB of 1:48:12 this morning at the Singapore Army Half Marathon.

  33. Knocking nearly 5 minutes off my 10km time – woohoo!

  34. Acquathlon in cote d’azure. Veri nice

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  36. Running the fitometer parcours in the belgian Ardennes Bouillon(august 2010)

  37. After 25 years smoking, I am have already finished 3 half marathons, and going for the big one in October. Cheers

  38. Unfortunately I’ve been injured. But I’m enjoying time with my son 🙂

  39. T

    What better way to open a new training season than with a Rainmaker Giveaway!

  40. Two summers ago I completed my first metric century on a road bike, not meaning to! I found a beautiful, recently paved and almost empty road about 10 Kms from my home, around a loop I often did for training. This newly paved road beckoned, and I just started pedaling, not knowing where it ended. After what felt like a Cat 3 climb, the long descent ended in a gorgeous reservoir, where swimming is allowed. No one around, I went skinny dipping before returning home the same way I came. By the end of the run, the bike computer read 100 Kms, exactly. And I didn’t even notice (or care!).

    MuddyTrails

  41. Went hiking, started raining heavily. I took a wrong turn on the way down. Couldn’t find my way. Almost had a panic attack.

  42. Getting my new road bike (which is nearly 2 kg lighter than the older) and accelerate with it like hell. Feels so damn good every time:)

  43. WQLI

    Was finally able to build up to 5 miles of running barefoot!

  44. Achieved my PB for 21km!

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  46. My best running buddy was my black lab- Cinder. She was awesome. She has passed but is never forgotten. Anyway, she always ran with me, and I had always wanted to run a race with her, thinking it would be the coolest thing. Anyway, a co-worker of mine was a coordinator for a bunch of races in my city. Thanks to my co-worker and a six pack, we got okayed that Cinder could run with me in a low key race.

    It was a great race, up until this guy cuts in front of Cinder. In slow motion, I saw the paw knock the shoe off the guy and their legs tangle. Down the guy goes.

    Just about everything is going through my mind. It wasn’t really my dog’s fault but I knew it wouldn’t matter.

    I couldn’t believe it, the person that went down was my co-worker, Kevin. I could tell Kevin was ticked to say the least. I felt awful and so did my Cinder. Kevin’s knee was bleeding and was scrapped up a bit.

    Cinder must have known Kevin was ticked too, because she went over grabbed his shoe off the road and dropped in front of him. She then sat down hung her head, and raised a paw to him, to say sorry. Everyone around that saw it couldn’t believe it, but it made a bad event into a great event.

    Not a race goes by when someone cuts in front of me, that I don’t think of that day. It is sometimes amazing how really bad events turn out to be the best sometimes. So I have to say that was my best run.

  47. Being a beginner here: running around a nearby lake without stopping. And boy, was it hot that day.

  48. Best memory so far was finishing my first 5k race last year on Thanksgiving morning.

  49. Steve

    Finishing my first Olympic tri this summer in brutal heat. River temp was 82F and run temp was 92F and humid.

  50. Leaving the heat of Austin to ride Gran Fondo Axel Merckx. Great course. After this I decided to do Ironman Canada next year.

  51. I am new to running and currently training for my for my 1st half marathon and loving it!!!

  52. Thanks for your blogging on watches. It’s helping me make a choice of which watch to buy after years away from running and racing.

  53. My best race of the summer was running the 200 mile Hood to Coast relay race last weekend in Oregon with 11 other crazy runners on my team, and over 1000 teams total. Despite losing about 80 minutes due to various exchange point mishaps, we still came in 17th overall and managed to win the corporate division.

  54. With no biking, running, swimming background, doing my first triathlon – Escape from Alcatraz no less!

  55. My best racing memory was when I completed by first marathon back in 2007. I was nowhere near ready enough, my knee hurt so much that I was crying towards the end but I was able to find the will to finish it in 3h50. The feeling at the finish line was overwhelming.

    To date, it’s still by best time for a marathon although I will be working on that for 2012.

  56. Best or worst story? 😉
    After finishing 300km solo bike ride…having to wait for my mom to pick me up because my keys were not working to open my apartment door! Oh yeah…the complete pizza I ate after the ride was great!

  57. Last thing I need is another gadget, but this one looks way cool!

  58. Erik Bakker

    Though week, crashed in one of last road races of the year in Portland. Had many nices ones, but this last one resulted in 7 broken ribs, collarbone in 2 places, road rash and 4 days hospital.

    This new garmin will be nice medicin 😉

    Erik

  59. Best training was when I went with some friends to Vermont to do the 6 gap ride.

  60. My second run around the Dish Area, a short but oh so heavy training session with its hills(ever so changing elevation). At the upper area you were rewarded with the wildlife and a nice view of the surrounding area, especially in the sunset. Wish I could go back again 🙂

  61. my first 30m of continuous running – after loosing 100pounds and training for 8 weeks, it felt swwweeet!

  62. In the end of July, went with my school kids to Poland to see the death and concentration camps. On the second night I went running a light 8km run at Warsaw and it was beautiful running along the old city – the palaces, the remains of the old Polish and Jewish Ghettos, the moonlit river and just across places which were destroyed in the WWII you see the bars with happy people drinking and cheering us up during our run – unforgettable!

  63. In the end of July, went with my school kids to Poland to see the death and concentration camps. On the second night I went running a light 8km run at Warsaw and it was beautiful running along the old city – the palaces, the remains of the old Polish and Jewish Ghettos, the moonlit river and just across places which were destroyed in the WWII you see the bars with happy people drinking and cheering us up during our run – unforgettable!

  64. Morning swims at Eriksdalsbadet!

  65. We went on holiday to the northern most tip of the Drakensberg, South Africa. Decided to cycle up to a nearby radio mast, it ended up being only 10km in distance but with about 1600m elevation, taking all but 2 hours. The temp dropped from about 30degC to almost 5degC, was weird to blow “smoke” at 12pm, but nevertheless a great ride, beautiful vistas. Swore never again, but will probably do it again next year.

  66. Best memory has to be my first triathlon (july 2006.) Raced on 4 days training as a dare and barely beat a local 70yo stud! I was hooked right away!

  67. Morning swims at Eriksdalsbadet!

  68. Best memory? How ’bout recovering the ability to remember? I entered a race on the first warm day of spring, succumbed to a heat stroke, and came to in the white of a hospital emergency room, not knowing who, what, or where I was. Over the next couple hours everything gradually came back

  69. Hannes

    The best thing was racing my new TT after I lost my old bike last fall in a crash, from which I had to recover for half a year.

    Greeting from Austria!

  70. Taking a week off from my Central London job / training schedule to spend a few days running the trails along the jagged and rough coastline on the east coast of Ireland. Forgot all about timing or pace and got totally absorbed in the surroundings- accidentally setting myself a new 10k record. Bliss.

  71. Taking a week off from my Central London job / training schedule to spend a few days running the trails along the jagged and rough coastline on the east coast of Ireland. Forgot all about timing or pace and got totally absorbed in the surroundings- accidentally setting myself a new 10k record. Bliss.

  72. Best memory – going for an early morning bike ride one Saturday, and as we hit a freshly paved road in a semi-rural area, the sun came out. It was a glorious ride!

  73. Bill G.

    Best memory this summer was a 3rd place AG finish in a local duathlon.

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  75. The best workout this summer was definitely when I ran the half-marathon distance. I’ve recently started running and it has become a necessary part of my routine.

    Love having a healthy addiction!

  76. On June 5th I had the honor of crossing the See Jane Run Half Marathon finish line in Alameda, CA holding a dear friend’s hand. It was her first half and she was celebrating her weight loss of…..over 100 pounds! Toasting her accomplishments with friends and champagne at the finish was my favorite running memory of the summer.

  77. I haven’t had the opportunity to run much this summer but my favorite memory was running a race in August and having my two sons cheering me on the sidelines whenever I ran by.

    Thanks for the great blog.

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  79. Running near the penguins in Puerto Natales, Chile, in a 55F Summer 😉

  80. favorite is the first time I took GPS on a run, and could see the track when GPS was connected to PC. Total geek!

  81. Best race ever the Crispy Cream 5k, the winner is the one who runs the fastest time of course but also who eats the most donuts at the 2.5k marker. Yip that right, at the half way mark there are tables of donuts waiting for each runner to stop by and devour. This is always a great race, have fun on the holiday weekend and be safe all. Good luck.

  82. This is Hussein from Canada.

    I run barefoot and have signed up to do a marathon in the fall. In the summer, I increased my mileage to about 60 miles per week.

    One Saturday morning, I went out for a long run at 6 am and when I was done two and a half hours later, I felt awesome but thirsty!! So I just went to the store, grabbed a whole watermelon, went home and ate it all! Best way to hydrate I found!!! 🙂

    Thanks for the time to take to post, Ray.

    Hussein

  83. I think it lost my first attempt at replying, so sorry if this is duplicated. At the SF Giants race I high-fived a Brian Wilson (SF Giants) look-a-like. This dude was standing on his own at mile 5, looking like he was wearing pajamas and had a ridiculous fake beard giving high fives to the racers. So I high fived him and and congratulated him on an awesome beard. Anyway, when I got home and saw the official twitter stream, it turned out it was the real thing.

    Amazing dude, posed for pictures with the real fans who didn’t think he was fake and hung around with the runners. Top class act.

    (I wrote this better second time around)

  84. My 1st Oly distance race at Rev3 Quassy.

  85. Hello! My first half marathon was in August of 2010, the Chicago Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon. The heat could have been far worse but under clear skies and bright sun combined with my slow pace I finished with temps in the 80’s. Not bad, but soaked in sweat and feeling as if I was melting after the longest run I had ever taken to that point I have to say it was a summer memory I won’t forget even as my goals and achievements have grown since. Thanks! Dave

  86. My first marathon was the Disney 2009 in Orlando. Rain, wind, cold (Kansas in November) never stopped me from my training schedule. I even talked my ex wife into being my support system while doing my long runs (I don’t recommend this). The week before the big race, I get a call at 2:00 in the morning. My grandfather had heart failure and wasn’t going to make it through the night. I jumped a plane and went back to Kansas. By the grace of God, he was alive when we got there. I’m grateful to say, he had surgery and is still alive today. The doctors told me to go back home and run my race, there was nothing I could do there. My grandmother agreed that he would want me to run my race. I got off the plane in Tampa the night before the big race, drove to Orlando (with my ex wife. Again not recommended), got about 4 hours sleep and hit the road running. My grandfather was in my thoughts the entire race. He laid in a coma for over a week while he recovered. I battled dehydration from all the crying. I will say, runners are a great bunch of people. Numerous people would slow their pace to ask me if I was alright. I would tell them my brief story and ALL of them would give me support. Some a verbal, some a wave. One woman stopped, gave me a hug and then ran with me for around 6 miles. When I crossed the finish line, I broke down and cried. During that race, when I felt like quitting, I would here my grandfathers voice telling me not to quite. I have ran numerous triathlons, duathlons and running races since. And I have NEVER felt as emotional as I did that day.

  87. Having my dad watch me race at the Coast Guard 5k in Michigan. It’s nice to know that your father still supports you even when you are nearing your mid-thirties. I love him!

  88. Taking practice runs in 4 different countries this summer! very ray-like…

  89. Technically this would be for my husband who’s a runner (I don’t run, eep I know), so I don’t have these memories…but I can share about earlier this week when he came back from a nice run dripping so that I ask if there’d been a major storm. He replied no that it was just sweat. That was impressive (though the dew point was insane that day..)

  90. Staring the day running is the best, I am actually in Guatemala in a business trip, and I have the volcano as part of the landscape, amazing energy and feeling.

  91. Thanks for all of your work with these posts, Ray! Very helpful indeed!

  92. I had such an amazing time at the Charlottesville Sprint this year. Last time my dad was a spectator, this time he was racing with me! Go dad!

  93. Hearing the phrase “You are an Ironman” after finishing Ironman Lake Placid!

  94. Hitting a random biker bar at mile 80 of a 100 mile summer training ride and eating greasy burgers and knocking down the best cokes I’ve ever had

  95. Chuck_S

    5.25 miles mountain trails 4x/ week… would really enjoy a Garmin 610!

  96. Last summer I decided I was going to start being active again and took up running for the first time in 15 years. What a difference it has made in my life.

  97. well for 2 weeks I was without my roadbike because i crushed my front wheel pretty badly on a group training ride. During that two week period, I increased my running mileage to 11 miles per run for 5 days a week. I’ve discovered a new connection with running longer miles and looking forward to increasing my mileage!

  98. My first Sprint-distance Tri!

  99. Running the Portland to coast and seeing all of the word hood to coast teams.

  100. Anonymous

    I almost forgot to comment on here! Glad I caught your tweet last minute. Best summer memory was this morning when I FINALLY got to enjoy my long run in 80F nice and “cool” weather. Hopefully my new summer excitement will be waiting for this watch to get here! -Guillermo memito22581@yahoo.com

  101. Training for my first marathon proved to be a little bit of a failure with my longest training run at 10 miles the Wednesday prior to the race. My goal was to have a full 26.2 before my 30th birthday and it was going to be this or fail.

    My friend’s wife was going to fin me the last three miles and motivate me but when he did see me, I was sore, couldn’t hardly walk, and was dying in the heat. More or less, I gave it my last and with her beside me, I successfully finished under my goal of 5:30 with five minutes to spare. I will get under 4:00 and that’s my new goal for 35 years old! San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll 2013!

  102. Hey Ray. My best summer memory is the Warrior Dash that I did this year.

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  104. P

    Awesome! Love the blog and your attention to every relevant detail in your reviews – can’t decide between getting a 610 or a 310xt, winning a 610 would sure make the decision easier!

    I think I would also pair it with a Swinsense – loved your review of that device too!

    🙂

  105. Anthony D

    Running with regular Thursday night buddies in Toronto on July 21, 2011 despite health warnings. High 30s celcius and humid. Hot run but fun to do it!

  106. Found an email in my inbox telling me I had signed up for the Rock n Roll SD Half marathon. Turns out my hubby had signed me up without my knowing. Rather than throw away the $100 registration fee, I trained for it & ended up finishing my 1st half marathon within my goal of 2:30! Yay!

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  108. Finishing my first Ironman in Louisville in 2009.

  109. This summer my best memory has to be going from training in Japan at +30c all summer then coming home to Vancouver and running the Fort Langley historic half with put on by peninsula runners. It was a gorgeous course and with the lower temperature and humidity of Canada’s west coast was a joy to run.
    Got a PR too.
    Keith Brown
    @kisukun on twitter.

  110. Here in Texas summer races are hot, Hot, HOT so my favorite memory is of cold, delicious beer at the end of my last 5k race!

  111. P

    Whoops forgot to include my training memory! Have to say it has been besting my best PR on so many workouts it has been such a physical and mental growth summer – new PR for deadlift, new PR for snatch, new PR for timed 3mile run, and on and on!

    🙂

  112. Thanks for the giveaway and for the awesome reviews. Training for my first half in Nov.

    Jason L

  113. I just ran the Disneyland Half Marathon this morning!

  114. Running in the fog in San Francisco

  115. In one of my Sprint Distance triathlons, a 60 year old proceeded to make fun of me for not being able to keep up to him on the bike. I was able to pass him and hold my position well in front.
    When the run started, he ended up catching up to me in the 2nd km and still beating me by a few minutes. It goes to show that it doesn’t really matter how old you are in this sport.
    From that day forward my training has become much more intense as I never want that to happen again!

    It’s a good memory, because any time I am feeling sluggish, I remember the words he told me, “Man I’m almost old enough to be your grandpa, what are you doing falling behind, move those legs!”

  116. Definitely my first half iron race simulation 5 weeks ago! Augusta 70.3 is coming up!

  117. Dave

    My first race of 2013 will be;
    The Frozen Sasquatch 25/50 K in Kanawha State Forest West Virginia on Jan 5, 2013. Will be my first 25 K.

  118. Natraj Ponna

    Best Summer Running memory is – running the Chattaooche River Trail in Atlanta during summer of 2013 and shedding almost 15 pounds. I used to do slow running back in 2008. Coming to the US in 2012 I almost stopped working out and began to gain weight from 146 lb to almost 160 lb.
    For 6 days a week every evening I used to walk 3 miles to get to trail and then run 6 miles on the river trail and get back home and re-hydrate with couple of beers!

    A cool summer beer after the run was the best experience that I can never forget!