Half Marathons, Hydration Stations, and Strava for Dogs

Half Marathons, Hydration Stations, and Strava for Dogs
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I spent much of last Sunday in Times Square, leading a group of 100 volunteers handing out water and Gatorade to the 27,000 runners in the NYC Half Marathon. We were stationed just beyond Mile 11, about ten blocks from Central Park – close to the finish, but – if you've run a half marathon, you know – still really really really really really really really really far from the end. I think I love volunteering at races almost as much as running them, and there is nothing quite like watching the triumph of human bodies working their way through an endurance event. All kinds of bodies – shapes, ages, speeds, emotions. Clayton Young, who'll represent the USA in Paris in a couple of months, managed to both fly by and turn and wave to everyone cheering his name. One young man stopped at the water table – not everyone stops, and there's a fine art to both passing a cup to a runner and, as a runner, to drinking liquid while moving – and a volunteer said, "um, Lil Nas X?" He grinned – and considering he'd apparently never run more than three miles before the race and was wearing these hugely heavy high-tops, we were impressed he was smiling and moving at all.

I have a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head about bodies and technology – about how we have increasingly cut ourself off from a civic commitment to world around us, from one another. Bowling Alone sort of stuff, I guess – or at least my volunteering (and my running without a watch) feel like a strange sort of act of resistance. I dunno... Admittedly, I'm a little too tired this week to string together any profound ideas. So let's just get on with the news...

Elsewhere in running news: from The Guardian: "Naps, tacos and 11 world records: how Camille Herron ran 560 miles in six days." Okay okay, he's not running, but Rusty Foster, author of the indispensable Today in Tabs, will be taking some time off from the tabs to hike the Appalachian Trail with his son ( there will, of course be a newsletter, Today on Trail).

In other sports news: Rose Eveleth offers an update on her latest podcast project on transgender athletes. She notes how hard it can be to tell a history when you try to trace a story to its primary sources and you simply cannot find the origin, the source. (I have been thinking a lot about this in light of last week's Udacity news. So much of "the digital" has already been scrubbed from the web. The Wired story where Sebastian Thrun claimed that his startup would be one of ten universities left in the world? It's gone. Many of the interviews he did where he said other ridiculous things about ed-tech – gone. What does this mean for those who will try to write future histories of ed-tech? Or, no doubt, of tech in general?) Erasure. I guess we're really into that, aren't we. Via CBS: "The largest school district in Manhattan voted Wednesday night in favor of a measure that could eventually ban transgender girls from participating in girls sports." Disgusting. And illegal. The Guardian continues its coverage of another terrible idea in sports, the "Enhanced Games": "Someone will die," it warns. Some mixed feelings about this one in The LA Times, for sure: "She’s 12. She runs an under-3-hour marathon. And she’s prepping for the 2028 Olympics."

Meanwhile, news from the business of sports and sports technology: "Stretching studios are popping up everywhere. Are they worth it?" asks CNN. Shrug emoji. Celebrity fitness tech: "Cristiano Ronaldo Launches Wellness App, Rivaling Chris Hemsworth’s Centr." Via Athletech News: "VR Fitness App Litesport Eyes Healthcare, AI Body-Tracking." VR and AI! We're all very busy performing our own fitness online, of course, but now we can add Fido FOMO to our tech anxieties with "Strava for Dogs."

"Do Your Research": "Short workouts can make you stronger, but longer workouts are better for building muscle, according to new research," Alex Hutchinson reports. Here's the headline to the press release from the American Heart Association: "8-hour time-restricted eating linked to a 91% higher risk of cardiovascular death." Lots of news organizations ran with it, despite this being an abstract from a conference paper, not a peer-reviewed academic journal. "The evidence is clear: A liquid-only diet before a colonoscopy is unnecessary," says STAT. (Debate ensues. What's the worst part of the prep for a colonoscopy? Is it the liquid only diet? Or is it the laxative?) "Is TikTok Hurting Your Running or Helping It?" asks Outside Magazine. Well, according to one study at least, "Fitness Wearables, AI Linked to Reduced Employee Wellness." Christine Yu on a new research about menopause and body composition. Via Women's Health: "Cycle syncing your workouts could be detrimental, experts say."

This one is making the rounds again. Thanks, I hate it.

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