2012 Great Lengths Race–New Years Day

When:  January 1, 2012 (New Years Day) at 1:00 p.m

Where: Greenbelt Youth Center (99 Centerway, Greenbelt, MD, 301-397-2200). The Youth Center is easily accessible from Greenbelt Road and Southway (Southway becomes Centerway).

When: The Youth Center will open at 12 noon on New Years Day. Restrooms will be available. Race registration begins at 12:15 p.m. Race day registration only. All participants will be required to sign a waiver. The two races begin at 1 p.m. and the course loops around Buddy Attick Park. There will be one water stop at the bridge and a marshal there as well to make sure the shorter distance runners turn off to the left at the right time.

  • Two distances to choose from: 2012 ells (1.91  miles) or 2012 rods (6.28 miles)
  • Awards: First three finishers in each category, for each race. Categories are: Ages 49 and under, Ages 50 and over (Male and Female).
  • This is the first PGRC race of the year.The race is FREE for everyone!
  • After the race, refreshments will be available
  • Headphones are prohibited.
  • No racing in the case of lightning or thunder.

Runner RSVPs appreciated (but not required). Email vicepres@pgrc.org

2012 running goals

What are your goals for 2012?  Put ’em in writing, and you’ll have a club full of runners encouraging you to succeed.  Here are a few categories of goals to consider. 

Achievement — PRs (personal records), finish a marathon, etc.

Training — Sign up for a training program, add speed work or hills to your training, keep a running log, healthy eating goals, etc.

Participation— Regularly attend one or more of the PGRC weekly workouts (such as the National Harbor morning runs or the Saturday morning Greenbelt Park runs).  Participate in a race series (e.g., MDRRCA, Buddy Attick fun runs, or Women’s Distance Festival). 

Giving back to the sport/club— Volunteer for races or as a pace coach in a training program, do trail maintenance, learn race timing or race management, etc.   And if you get injured and can’t accomplish your training or achievement goals (as happened with me this year), you can still accomplish your volunteer goals 🙂

We hope you will share your personal goals, and then work to achieve them!

And don’t forget to share your 2011 accomplishments.


Winter Running, Naturally

Winter can be quite the challenge to a runner’s motivation.  Chilly wind and icy precipitation are enough to sap the mojo of even the most dedicated runners.  The idea of winter racing brings on nightmares wherein your limbs feel leaden and on race day you awake to find that in a Kafkaesque turn of events you’re actually a turtle, sluggishly working up a seemingly endless hill:

No? Just me?*

Normal eagles have two wings. If you see any like this, there is a problem.

While a runny nose, frozen fingers, and the logistical and aesthetic challenges of tights may not be the most inspiring reasons to run in the winter, it happens to be a great time for spotting certain kinds of wildlife.  The absence of leaves from many trees provides an excellent opportunity to spot local birds.  In fact, now is a great time to see bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in and around Prince George’s County.  I have seen eagles at Lake Artemesia and in the Oxon Hill/National Harbor area, though they are also viewable in many areas near water throughout the county. In addition, winter is a great time to see the smaller songbirds that can be harder to spot with foliage on the trees.  Over the winter I will discuss several natural aspects of a runner’s winter wonderland.

Today, inspired by their recent return to my feeder, I want to talk about the dark-eyed junco!  Often referred to as juncos around the nature center, the Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) is only found in our part of Maryland during the winter.  The junco spends its summer breeding season in Canada and then heads south for the winter.  Juncos can be found in most parts of the continental United States at this time of year and are excellent early-winter bird feeder finds.  Though their call may be difficult to distinguish from other birds mid-run, if you have a moment to pause they may be easy to see anywhere that there are woods nearby.  For more information on the dark-eyed junco and their call, visit the Cornell Lab bird information pages here.  Next time you’re out for a run this winter, looking and listening for these as well as other birds may help you forget that you can’t feel your fingers!

*No turtles were harmed for the purposes of this post.  The turtles pictured above are captive animals and unable to be released.  The turtles are housed at Clearwater Nature Center in Clinton, MD with permission, and paperwork, from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  Pictured is an enrichment exercise that happened to coincide with the running of the Boston Marathon in 2011, so they were outfitted appropriately.  Please do not recreate this at home.  Please do not remove any turtles from their natural habitats, as it can be damaging to their ability to function in the wild.  Then they can end up stuck at a nature center where people make them wear race bibs.  No one wants that.

2011 Year in Review

How was your 2011 running year? Did you accomplish the goals you set out for yourself in January?  In case you forgot, some of you shared yours here  2011 goals

Share your 2011 running best (and worst) moments here.

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