Gold Rush Marathons

Four cities born out of the gold rush of the nineteenth century. Today in each of these, one can run a marathon. Two centuries ago, prospectors went there in search of a different gold.

On 24th January 1848, James Marshall found a few tiny gold nuggets on the banks of the American River at Coloma near Sacramento. Thus began one of the largest human migrations in history as half a million people from around the world descended upon California in search of instant wealth. Dubbed the “Forty-niners” (they set sail in 1849), the gold hopefuls from the Americas, Europe, Australia and China, panned every inch of the streams and riverbeds in California. Gold worth billions of today’s dollars was recovered, which led to great wealth for a few. However, the majority returned home with little more than they had started with. Many more, didn’t.

On 19 October, 1872, the Holtermann’s nugget was found in Australia. It is the largest specimen of gold ever found, measuring 150 x 66 cm, weighing 286 kg and with an estimated gold content of 5000 ounces (57 kg). Entire shiploads of prospectors bound for California took a U-turn to rush down under. The resultant infrastructure and population boom shaped Victoria and especially Melbourne city. Bernhardt Otto Holtermann invested his wealth wisely, building a magnificent mansion in Sydney, complete with a stained glass window depicting himself and the nugget.

On a Sunday in March 1886, George Harrison stumbled upon a rocky outcrop in South Africa. He had indeed hit a reef of gold. But Harrison was a lot less lucky than Holtermann. Out of force or foolishness, he sold his claim for 10 Pounds, and was probably killed on his way back home. Undeterred, fortune-seekers from all over the world flocked to the area, and soon the dusty mining village of Ferreira’s Camp bloomed into modern Johannesburg. The “Golden Arc” stretching from Johannesburg to Welkom was once a massive inland lake, whose alluvial silt had formed massive gold deposits. Till date, it is the largest discovery of the yellow metal, ever.

In 1896, discovery of gold along the banks of Klondike river led to a major gold rush to Alaska. Miners of all shapes and sizes, called “stampeders”, were on their way to the gold fields, some of them not even knowing where they are going. Within six months, around 100,000 gold-seekers set off for the Yukon. Only 30,000 completed the trip. They were men from all walks of life from as far away as New York, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Not just paupers or wild prospectors, but even teachers, doctors and a mayor or two who ditched their jobs to hitch on to the bandwagon. One such stampeder was William Howard Taft, who went on to become the27th President and later the 10th Chief Justice of the United States, the only person to have served in both offices.

Weighing over 300 pounds (140 kg) on average, Taft was physically the heaviest American president ever elected. Amply mustachioed, he was the last president sporting facial hair. As Governor-General of the Philippines, Taft once wired Washington, D.C:

“Went on a horse ride today; feeling good.”

Concerned, Secretary of War Elihu Root enquired: “How’s the horse?”

Out of the Alaskan gold rush was born Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska.

Fortune and tragedy are the two facets of gold rush. Wealth was bestowed upon a few. Death on many – by rowdy violence, scarlet fever, lung disease, mine collapse. Their shadows still roam those places, for spirits never die. The eerie, paint-worn, crumbling edifices of Bodie near Nevada desert host the hissing gold rush ghosts making nocturnal visits, the creepy silence broken only by their rustling white robes. Come morning, the sun peeps to scurry a hasty look at the dusty tables, flaccid armchairs and dangling portraits.

In the Fallon Hotel in Columbia, lights turn on and off in Room Nine.

In the Coloma graveyard that ‘lady in burgundy’ still beckons visitors.

Check into Windsor Hotel in Melbourne, only to spend a spooky night with banshee guests.

Dare not carry a loaded wallet anywhere near the robber’s grave outside Johannesburg.

For, as folk lyricist Robert Service said, “There are strange things done in the midnight sun: By the men who <i>moil<i> for gold.”

Running With Allergies

The pollen in the air is something that will make your runs not so enjoyable. So, run when the pollen counts are low. There are websites that can check that will tell you when the pollen is at the worst in your area. But, usually pollen counts are the highest in the morning between 6 and 10. So, try to not run during that time.

If you enjoy morning running – as I know I do – but, you suffer from allergies, you can always run with a bandana or some sort of mask to cover your nose and mouth. This will keep you from inhaling as much of the pollen.

Make sure that you are consistent with taking your allergy medications. Taking them regularly will definitely help. If you just take them when you think you are going to need them – take your medication a couple of hours before you have your run planned.

Windy days can really bother you will you have allergies. The wind makes the pollen go everywhere. On those really windy days, you will probably want to move your run indoors to the treadmill.

Running after a rain is a great way to run more comfortably outdoors for allergy sufferers. Pollen counts are lower after a rain and you should be able to run without any problems.

Make sure that you are showering right after your run. For many runners with allergies, you may not show any symptoms for a while after you were in a pollinated area. So, if you shower immediately after your run, you may be able to avoid your allergies symptoms.

Many allergy sufferers have itchy and watery eyes. If this is you, make sure that you are wearing sunglasses when you run. Any will help, but if you can find wrap around ones, it will protect your eyes even more. Also, try to find sunglasses with different lenses so that you can put in clear ones if you run in the evenings or for those days when it’s not sunny.

Running can cause discomfort for allergy sufferers. However, the above tips should help you to be able to get out there and enjoy your runs again!

Choose Right Running Shoe


Running shoes that are under the stability category are designed to control your feet from turning outwards when you run, balances your heel, and supports the arcs of your feet. These types of running footwear provide extra cushioning and excellent stability for your feet when you run. These shoes are for runners who lands on the outside of their heels and slightly turns their foot inward (pronates) when running. The arc of these shoes are not as rigid and may have varying degrees of support.


The shoes under the neutral category are usually designed with a flexible forefoot and soft but firm mid-sole. These are the best types of shoes when you tend to land on the outside of your foot. You can determine where your foot lands by checking the soles of your old shoes – if the outside of the sole is worn out, then you tend to land more on the outside of your feet. This may also be the best pair for people with a high foot arc. Check if the arc of the shoes you’re planning to buy has enough support or rigid especially if you have a high foot arc. These kinds of shoes support the arc of your foot more than your ankle or your knees. You can observe that this type of running footwear often has a curved sole.


The soles of running shoes under the motion control category are usually straight or flat. Some designs have slightly curved soles but the main goal of these running footwear is to keep the heel secure and minimize the rate of pronation when you run. These shoes usually have a wider landing base for your heels, and a strong, rigid heel counter. These are good for runners who have flat feet or low arches. Runners who tend pronate their feet and have unstable knees when running can benefit more from these types of running shoes. Check the soles of your old pair – if they are worn out on the mid-sole, then this category is for you.

Here are some tips when buying your running shoes:

  • Walk and Run in the store. Spend time with your chosen pair before buying it. I know lots of people who buys specific kind of shoes just because they discovered that some great runner used it to finish first place in a race. You have different needs and what works for others may not work well with you. Test out the running shoes in the store. Don’t be afraid to take a few steps on them and even run a couple of meters if possible. Some good running stores even have treadmills for you to run on!
  • Don’t throw your old pair – yet. Bring your old pair of running shoes to the store where you’re going to buy your new shoes. If the place where you are shopping for a new running shoes is specifically a running shoe store, they may have staff who knows about shoes and can analyze the wear pattern of your old shoes. Because you will want to try on walking and running on your new shoes, bring your socks with you and any orthotics if you have one. If the running store have equipment for foot analysis, do not hesitate to have your gait analyzed even if you already know your foot arc or foot type. Let the staff know your running history, goals, injuries and what type of training you usually do.
  • Know your soft spots. One of the main reasons why we need to wear shoes is comfort. Your feet should be comfortable enough while you walk or run in your new running shoes. Pressure spots or loose fitting shoes often leads to blisters.
  • Perfect Fit for your Feet. If your running shoes are too loose and your feet slides inside your shoes, you will lose energy on every push off that your feet makes when you run. It is okay to adjust and re-adjust the laces of the running shoes while inside a store. Tie your laces so that you have a feeling of security without discomfort.
  • Running shoes are special. They are designed specifically for forward motion (i.e., running forward), heel cushioning and arc support. If you have time to observe the soles of different types of shoes, you can see that they have horizontal line patterns on their sole. If you plan on using running shoes for other sports or physical activity, you will wear them out faster and you may even risk yourself injury. Cross-training shoes are designed for more lateral support (moving sideways, etc.) and toe flexibility. Buying a different pair like a cross-trainer for other activities is a good investment because your running shoes will last longer and you will reduce risk of injury.

Running With Flat Feet

Luckily, anyone with flat feet can live a normal and happy life. For the jogger, it is essential to take extra care while jogging. There are stretches and exercises that can reduce the suffering caused by having flat feet. These exercises certainly help and can be a part of a long term solution. Some people even find yoga helpful to strengthen their foot muscles and tendons.

Exercises can only go so far; people who run on a weekly basis, need to do more to avoid injury. Many joggers have turned to jogging barefoot, or wearing minimalist shoes such as Vibram Five’s. Many people do not like running without shoes as they offer protection from the elements and hazards. This makes running difficult for anyone who overprontates to run comfortably. Luckily, there is a way to run without pain without sacrificing pain. All of the leading shoe manufacturers make running shoes designed specifically for flat footed runners.

Stability shoes offer ample mid-sole cushioning, while still offering support and durability. The most popular stability shoe is the Nike Zoom Structure Triax + 15. The Asics Gel 2170 is also a reasonably priced shoe perfect for people with low arches.

Motion Control shoes offer more support than stability shoes and are excellent for heavier joggers and walkers. Some motion control shoes are too thick and heavy, but luckily there are a couple of great motion control shoes.. The New Balance 1226 is supportive while still offering flexibility, the design of the Asics Evolution 6 is perfect for anyone looking for superior motion control while not sacrificing comfort.

Anyone who has flat feet needs to take action to prevent injuries in the future. With ill fitting footwear, the jogger is vulnerable to injuries to the whole body, from the feet all the way to the neck. Anyone who stretches their feet properly, and who wears the correct shoes will alleviate most, if not all, of the symptoms and pains associated with having flat feet.

Tree Climbing Harnesses

Tree climbing harnesses are extremely important. In fact, they’re as important as your climbing rope. If either fails, you could be in serious trouble. Your TCH (Tree Climbing Harnesses) will support your body while climbing-both your upper and lower body.

Knowing how important TCH are, you should take great care when purchasing one. Here are a few pointers to help you make an adequate selection:

  • Make sure it fits-Sometimes people get so hung up on the safety aspect of a harness that they fail to check for comfort. The safest TCH in the world do you little good if you can’t stand to wear them. If a harness doesn’t fit you right, return it and get one that does.
  • Look for a quality brand-Brand names are important when it comes to tree climbing gear such as harnesses. Why? Because when you see a quality brand name you know you can rely on the product. Sure you may have to pay a bit more for a good brand name, but isn’t it worth it when the product keeps you safe?
  • Certified equipment-All tree climbing harnesses, as well as any other tree gear you purchase, should be ANSI and OSHA certified. Why should you care? Well these organizations symbolize safe arborist practices and products they certify meet all their stringent safety standards.

Remember, check for quality. If you have to pay a little more to make sure you get high quality equipment, so be it. Safety should always come first.

In today’s technological age you can practically do all your shopping without ever leaving your home. Such is the case with TCH and other tree gear. By going to Google or a similar search engine, you can type in the necessary keywords and find a plethora of suppliers with ease. The difficult part is deciding who to purchase from. Use a systematic approach and you’ll come across the right supplier.

First of all, look for a site that is easy to navigate. Online shopping is supposed to make your life easier-not induce stress. If the site is difficult to order from, move on to the next.

As stated above, you always want certified equipment. Pick a supplier that advertises their equipment certification. This should be noted by a badge on their homepage. This is the mark of a company that truly puts safety first.

Also, do business with a company that takes your private information seriously. That means they have a plainly stated privacy policy on their site, as well as a badge that indicates a secure, authentic site for purchasing purposes.

Finally, make sure they list a customer service phone number for you to get a hold of an actual person. Even though you’re ordering online, there are times when it will be necessary to speak to a live representative. It’s important that this option be available.

Maximalist Running Shoes

The maximalist running shoe is an idea developed by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, both are experienced mountain runners from France and former employees of the Salomon footwear company. They started Hoka One One running shoe for years ago and based its design on the oversize concept used in powder skis and full suspension mountain bikes. The design is all about having a bigger sweet spot which can aid performance. In addition, the high cushion concept is also about dynamic midsole foams and modern shapes.

It is a fact that maximalist shoes have been more commonly seen during ultrarunning events than any other type of races. Between 40 and 60 percent of runners are wearing Hokas during ultrarunning races. Why? Because that high cushion can withstand long hours of pounding during the race. This capability makes maximalist running shoes become more prevalent in half marathons and marathons as well.

As of now, there has been no independent study at all on the maximalist running shoes. The only studies available so far are conducted by manufacturers and not surprisingly, their results will only support their marketing pitches.

This is entirely depend on what you define as maximalism. Just like minimalism, the definition can be blurred between person to person. Generally speaking, these companies – Hoka One One, Brooks, Pearl Izume, Vasque, Puma, New Balance, Altra, Skechers – have at least one maximalist model. Adidas Boost foam can also be regarded by some runners as a maximalist model. You could also argue Nike’s Lunar Eclipse 4 as a maximalist type of running shoe due to its thick midsole.

Answering this question is difficult. Our advice to you is that maximalist running shoes cannot suit everyone. Just like other running shoes, you need to find one that suits and fits your foot and is suitable for the kinds of runs you regularly exercise. Maximalism, for us, is just another option. It will fit some runners and will not do the same to others.

Running With Spouse

First of all, if you run at different paces, it may be a good idea to only stay together at the beginning of a workout together or the end. If one of you is a faster runner, you may get irritated having to run at a slower pace. And, actually, it can be harmful to you. So, plan to just run the first mile (it will be the warm up for the faster runner) or the last mile together.

Another variation of this is if one of you runs farther than the other. You can run as far as one of you wants – and then the other can continue on their longer run. This can be done by doing a loop around your neighborhood and then dropping one of you back at the house. If you go somewhere to run – while one is running farther – the other can make a water run.

Don’t try to be your spouse’s coach during your runs. Barking orders at them can only cause them to roll their eyes at you and be silent the whole run. If they ask for your opinion – that’s one thing. But, if you are constantly trying to get them to run faster, breathe differently, etc; – you will end up running by yourself very soon. A better way is to wait until after your workout and then casually say, “it may help you if… “

If you run a road race together, you don’t want to compete with each other. Instead, you want to encourage each other and cheer each other on to their best race possible. Racing against each other will only cause resentfulness later on. Just be each other’s best cheerleader.

Women’s Climbing Shoes

Comfort and Confidence

Women’s climbing shoes can provide great comfort and confidence when climbing. Regular use makes different change in the structure of shoes. One such change is increase in with which puts you at a risky and even dangerous situation while climbing.

Participating in adventure sports always has its share of difficulties. Climbing footwear plays important role. Every one is expected to have shoes which will be useful at all kinds of surfaces. A shoe designed for climbing will provide permanent benefit, comfort and strength.

Be Careful

No victory in any game is possible without willpower. You should have physical as well as mental ability. You may end up losing the battle if you play without the right tools and outfit for the game. Therefore you should be very careful when investing in equipments for sports.

Going up high mountains with strong flow of air is not an easy task. It needs lot of physical strength with great willpower. If you are supported by proper and comfortable accessories like shoes, the task will become easier. Women’s climbing shoes are this accessory. Having a desire to play adventurous sport does not make you expert in that field. This article directs you towards the various steps for purchasing ideal rock climbing shoes.

New Season? New Shoes

Purchasing climbing shoes is a very big problem. Every new season will lead to a new variety of the shoes in the market. New shoes contain many additional and advantageous features in it. Purchasing completely new featured shoes for climbing is risky. Purchasing new shoes of old model saves money as well as lowers risk

Saving money at the cost of your life is not a wide move. Being starter in the adventurous sport does not mean you can compromise with quality of shoes for money. Purchasing a pair of shoes from reputed brand will be the right way to proceed.

Invest Your Money Right!

For purchase of equipments in adventure sport, mountain gear shops are very useful and it is advisable to use such shops for buying stuff. These shops provide expert advice as well. And you can test the shoes before buying, so you should invest your money for shopping in such shop for comfortable and supportive shoes without any hesitation.

Nowadays, the web has become one of the best medium for shopping. If you are clear about the shoe you want, you can take help of internet to buy the women’s climbing shoes you need.

Running on Supplements


When I was in high school and college, creatine had just started becoming immensely popular, especially among weightlifters and football players.

Creatine is something that occurs naturally in the body that helps supply energy to the cells in the body, with a focus on muscle tissue. Numerous studies have been done on creatine, and while originally thought to have negative side effects, more recent studies are showing that creatine taken in the right doses could actually be fairly safe. (Talk to a doctor before running out to the store and buying some!)

The theory behind creatine supplements is that they will help boost your energy and recovery so you can push yourself past your natural limits. Creatine has a short burst effect in the body, which makes it better suited for the weightlifting or sprinting crowd rather than the endurance runner.

Creatine comes in many different forms, but if taken in a pill form before an endurance event it can be devastating. The gastrointestinal side effects creatine pills can have will leave you wishing you’d have just stuck with a bagel and banana. If you’re an endurance runner, creatine is best left alone.


Oddly enough, this one had never occurred to me as something that athletes would use as a supplement for training. I learned about ibuprofen the hard way having taken it for a headache before going for a run. Like creatine, ibuprofen can have some horrendous gastrointestinal side effects, including destroying your stomach lining.

Ibuprofen has been extremely common for endurance athletes to use prior to running. Runners believe that taking it before running helps mask any pain they might feel while running and let them go longer and/or faster.
Here’s the problem – medicines like ibuprofen and other NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug – which covers pretty much every over the counter medicine except Tylenol) can cause major problems for you, especially if you end up dehydrated. We’re talking kidney failure, heart problems, and even death.

Earlier this year, a healthy 23 year old died during a marathon due to a hemorrhage in his GI tract that was attributed to taking ibuprofen during the race. Is that kind of risk really worth shaving a couple minutes off your time?

Whey Protein

I am a huge fan of whey protein. After I finish a run, I find it’s the perfect snack when mixed with a smoothie. Whey protein is considered to be a safer supplement, easy to digest, and helpful in aiding muscle repair.

Whey protein is the byproduct that’s left after cow’s milk is converted to cheese and is rich in amino acids that work with your muscles.

The thing is though, it’s better taken after a run rather than before. Taking it after makes it easier for your body to digest and will allow it to work with building your muscles after they’ve been worked. Before a run, it may just sit heavily in your stomach and not really prove beneficial.

Like with any other product, you should always do some research before using whey protein, but I do find Designer Whey to be one of the best whey protein products out there. It’s designed to dissolve quickly in liquid, which means your body will have an easier time absorbing it. And it tastes delicious!

Improve Your Running

At the very beginning, this was a tough question for me to answer. I had tried to get into running on several occasions previously. What I found was that I lost my motivation to get out there after a few runs or a week. So the best advice I can give you on this question is to start smaller and build up. Set a schedule that you know you can meet. If that means getting out 3 times a week then go for it, if you have the time and can plan more all the better. You will find that if you have a plan ahead of time and meet that plan, you will build confidence and will be more likely to keep at it.

For me, I found that the minimum I could do and still see the small gains I was hoping for was to run 3 times a week. Less than that and I was not consistently seeing improvements. Not seeing any improvement led to disappointment, and ultimately giving up on the process. Each time I finished a planned workout no matter how far or how slow, it built my confidence and helped me to get out the door on my next run.

If you are just beginning this question is natural. However I would recommend that for the first few weeks, at least, you change the question around. Rather than worrying about how far you should run, focus instead on how long you should run. For me, I was able to build confidence knowing that getting out there for 20 minutes was something I could do 3 times a week. In my previous attempts, I would say I am going to run 3 miles, and I would struggle to get the mileage. Or the goal would end up taking far longer than I had planned. In both cases, the result is you will not feel as though you are improving your running, just the opposite I was developing a negative thought.

Start with a plan that has you focused on a time frame rather than a specific distance. With each run you will acclimate your body to the demands of running. As your body starts to adapt to the demands you place on it, you will see improvements. Maybe your first day out you can cover 1.25 miles in 20 minutes. If you stick to your plan, you will start to see gains and maybe after a week, you can cover 1.35 miles in the same time frame. Regardless of how big or how little the improvement is… CELEBRATE it. That is a success and you worked hard to earn that success.

The biggest recommendation I can give as newbie runner is to finish the workouts you start. If you find that the duration you have set for yourself is too much, shorten the workout rather than continually stopping early. It is a small change, but you will find that you build more confidence in meeting a goal or plan, than stopping short or making it up as you go.

I will be very honest with you while I learned the answer to this question for myself early on; it took me nearly 2 months to fully embrace.

It doesn’t matter!

Almost every run will seem like hard run to a newbie.

Most of us will not be able to run very far without huffing and puffing or feeling their legs ache. This is completely natural and expected. Your body is simply not accustomed to the motions and demands of running. This may occur after ¼ of a mile or after 10 steps. Just remind yourself, that this is only a starting point.

In my first week, I focused on jogging short distances (60 seconds) at as slow a pace as I could without actually walking. Then I walked for 120 seconds, and then I repeated the process. The actual times you choose will depend largely on how fit or conditioned you are when you begin your own journey. I know runners who started at as low as 15 strides of running and then walking. They key is to keep moving and make sure the walking portions are being done at a fairly brisk pace.

Here’s a secret… your heart doesn’t know if your running or walking. When you work harder than normal it is going to beat faster and pump more blood through your system and thereby improve your endurance. You just need to be active. All the while it is becoming more efficient and better at its job and therefore, you can ask more and more from it.

A good rule of thumb to improve your running is to use the 80/20 rule. 80% of your running should be at LOW intensity. Only 20% of all your running in a week should be at a moderate or high intensity. Don’t believe me, check out some of the elite runners schedules. They follow the 80/20 rule.