The Sunday Read: Marathon restrictions and misplaced trails

Should there be an age restriction on marathons? At least one Canadian race believes so, changing its rules this week to prevent young runners from participating in fulls. A reader on the CBC News website wondered that if it’s all about safety, perhaps a top age restriction should be enforced as well. Any thoughts on this?

Without a doubt, the week’s most controversial story proved to be the Prince Edward Island Marathon’s imposition of an age restriction after a nine-year-old ran the full marathon there last year. Debate over the move raged across social media following news of the restriction. Tyler Heggie ran the race in about four-and-a-half hours last year, but this year marathon organizers amended the rules so anyone under the age of 16 cannot run the full. The organizers told CBC news that they need to ensure the safety of participants and that the change brought their rules in line with other larger marathons such as Boston. Heggie’s father expressed disappointment in the change, while the younger Heggie ran two weeks ago in the Saint John Marathon by the Sea. Read the story here: http://bit.ly/Qh9Ogg

Metro reporter Jessica Napier recently turned 27 and decided she’d celebrate with a 15 km race. Her piece reflects her inner thoughts kilometre by kilometre as she runs the distance and vaguely resembles one of Sub-three’s true-to-life training journals. Most hilariously of all, however, was the fact that in its tweet promoting the piece, Metro talked about Napier running a 15-kilometre marathon. Oops. The article is here: http://bit.ly/NdVXNJ

Online, Runner’s World offers up an article on their trails of the month, adding: “Each month we highlight a trail from around the United States.” One of those U.S. trails? Kootenay National Park, Banff, Alberta. Apparently, the War of 1812 didn’t count for much, after all. Furthermore, as any Western Canadian knows, Kootenay National Park is in British Columbia, while Banff is in…well, Alberta. The park does border on Banff National Park. The actual write-up appears to be correct at least. In the meantime, we’re looking forward to hearing about other highlighted trails from around the U.S. in such locations as…uh, the Italian Alps. The selection of trails may be seen here: http://bit.ly/NmZFia

Over at Outside Online, the editors question whether the marathon boom is coming to an end, citing statistics from Running USA which showed the number of finishers didn’t increase as dramatically from 2010 t0 2011 compared to previous years. But don’t worry, says the magazine. The culprit is caps on marathons choking the sport’s record growth. Outside speculates that, in fact, the distance’s popularity could easily last another four or five years. The piece is here: http://bit.ly/NCJrDi

Runner’s Feed urges you to put aside your yogaphobia, get outside your comfort zone and mix it up with a “room of people who can put their leg behind their head.” Alice Toyonaga, a yoga teacher and runner, offers great advice on how to find a yoga class and what to expect the first time you walk in the door. For runners seeking out strength, flexibility and core, yoga is a terrific alternative, but it can be intimidating if you’ve never attended a class. Writes Toyonaga: “Be present, have fun and make it your own experience.” The link is here: http://bit.ly/PlwZaQ

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About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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