Thursday, November 5, 2015

2015-16 ASICS Ambassador - But Really For A Decade Now

ASICS is a way of life for me, ever since I traded a box of KOOLS for a box of ASICS and became a Central Park runner on Dec. 1, 2006. Now that I am about to start a year-long celebration leading up to my 10th runnerversary (!!!), I am PSYCHED to announce that my friends at ASICS have chosen me as one of 16 #TeamASICS Ambassadors for 2015-16.

What it will mean for you and friends who follow me here and @Marathoner on Twitter is the opportunity for more extremely cool #ASICS merchandise giveaways, and I will have more details on that later. I cut back on marathoning in 2015 to focus on finishing some personal projects, ranging from college to a hopeful bestseller to a blanket chest restoration. Now it is time to build back into marathon and ultramarathon shape in 2016 as I have Rome (April) and New York City (November) marathons on the calendar so far.

In the meantime, I just really want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to ASICS for this past decade of running. To say that I am an "Ambassador" for this brand is like saying I am a red wine ambassador or a proponent of oxygen for all humans. ASICS is just what I do, as authentic as you can get. I have mixed in an occasional other brand here and there to test, as I think everyone does. But I just rely on ASICS because it means running. And I think to celebrate this occasion, I am going to show it to you, with help from King Bingley, our lovable English Bulldog who wants me to walk him right now.


Those are my current ASICS shoes after having donated double-digit pairs to Soles4Souls in 2011. Top row, left to right: My first-ever pair of ASICS GT-2110s bought at Times Square Foot Locker on Dec. 1, 2006, from a retail person who had no clue what they were for; worn in 2007-08, now mudders around the house; Kayanos worn in 2014 ASICS LA Marathon. Middle row, left to right: 2014 ASICS LA Marathon special-edition lightweights ; GEL-Cumulus 16 give to me for my 100th race, the 2014 Brooklyn Half; and GEL-Electros sent for review (I wear them to knock around all the time). Bottom row, left to right: GEL-Cumulus 17; Gel-Kayano 21; and GEL-Nimbus 17. What happened to QUANTUM-MAN, you ask? I gave the GEL-Quantum 360s to my son Josh.


Here is a video tour of most of my most meaningful ASICS tops. I would like to challenge other #TeamASICS members to post a Video Tour of Meaning clip that takes us through your running world through the importance of individual tops you have worn. I have tried to take great care of all my running gear in the past decade, and I will say that quality ASICS gear lasts forever. Watch:


This is just part of the collection of shorts, tights and running pants that I have gathered. I don't know about you, but I have to load a huge clear bin twice a year with cold or warm running gear, and then I put the bin in our basement that season. I just brought up the tights and other cold weather gear.

Here is a closer look at the bottoms:


So King Bingley was especially curious about this stuff. It's again just a sampling of the wide variety of ASICS items that are compiled in nearly a decade of marathoning. So much to love.

Here is a tour of the accessories:

Please be sure to follow me on @Marathoner on Twitter, and just change the "o" to a zero and follow @Marath0ner on Instagram -- at least until I can figure out how to get that IG account. Also check out my Tumblr at -- and all of my stories on

Monday, October 19, 2015

"You Better Run" to the Runners World Half Marathon

That's me in the Pat Benatar concert shirt with runner friends Larisa, Karla and Kristin, and crossing the finish line. Below, that's my #FlatBenatar from midnight the night before. Here is what happened at the legendary 2015 Runners World Half Marathon & Festival..

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

One Year With No Diet Sodas

By Mark | One year ago today I stopped drinking diet sodas for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Extreme Heat or Extreme Cold?

By Mark | After doing this @Marathoner stuff for nearly a decade, I decided to list as many pros as I could for running in the most extreme heat and the most extreme cold.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Did you think you could stop the future? Meet QUANTUM-MAN!

"This is your become the hero."

"The suit has power."

"Did you think you could stop the future?"

"I need you to be...the QUANTUM-MAN!"

By Mark
| Thanks to ASICS for sending me a pair of the brand-new GEL-Quantum 360 running shoes to review. At first, I had to "marvel" at their appearance. They are part of an action-hero costume, with thick individual gel "teeth" that offer spring for bouncing up to the top of our New York City buildings, and a secret power that shall be revealed below.

Monday, July 20, 2015

NYC Marathon Long Training Runs

My 2014 #LongTrainingRun #1 used bib
Update: I ran 15 miles in 3:05:37 on 7/25/15.

By Mark 
@marathoner | I have been a member of New York Road Runners since December 2006, and one of my go-to events on their calendar is a race that is not technically scored. It is the New York City Marathon #LongTrainingRun #1 coming this Saturday at Central Park, followed a month later by New York City Marathon Long Training Run #2. Even in years when I have not run the NYCM, I have entered one or both of these events because they are such awesome preparation for any races on your schedule. Such is the case this time, as I am entered in the NYCM but will not be able to run due to work obligations. We are starting the World Series later than usual this year, so Game 4 is Marathon Eve and I'll be immersed in the national pastime.

My 2012 #LongTrainingRun #1 bib.
I thought other runners might appreciate seeing with graphics how the LTRs are conducted, and you can see why these always sell out. Below are four versions of the Central Park map. The park's running path is 6 miles around. As you can see on the NYRR event page, LTR1 is listed as "6 to 20 miles." It is entirely up to the individual runner, based on his or her training progress. Pace teams are provided from 7 minutes to 11 minutes. I have no expectations for this one, since I am in reboot mode following All-Star work and a personal life project in recent months.

There is no timing tag, although there will be clocks on the course, pace groups, volunteers and fluid stations, plus gels. Here's how it works:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Meet my new friend.

Thanks to my brother-in-law Joe for hooking me up with one of his trusty rides, a Schwinn Circuit. It has everything I need and I just need to do a tape job on the handlebars. The benefit for me is going to be big, a way not only to cross-train heading toward upcoming marathons, but also just to keep it fresh as I zoom toward my 10th runnerversary in 2016. You gotta mix things up.

Sweet ride, nice to meet you. It's been a long time since I actually rode a bike, believe it or not. Here we go! Follow me @Marathoner on Twitter and @Marath0ner on Instagram.