Danny Dreyer is Giving a FREE Talk in Long Beach – Open to the Public – Thursday, Feb. 7

Here are all the details. WE are putting together a cool goodie bag. We will have special pricing (lowest of the year) on the Sole Runners Spring/Summer Full and Half Marathon Training Session in Long Beach. Pre-season starts Saturday, April 20 at 7:00 at Marina Vista Park. And local Sponsors, Runner’s High Running Stores, Phiten, C20 Coconut Water, Dr Michael Day – Day Wellness, Lisa Fillis ND – Restoration Health, Dr. Allen Arnette – Living Naturally

We have limited seating. Please let us know your name and any of your guests names. Please RSVP to:


See you there!

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Senior ChiRunning® Instructor

Xterra Boney Mt. Half Marathon – Race Review – by Coach Steve Mackel

I'll let the video do the talking but I love this race. In fact, I think it may be the premier trail half marathon in Southern California. Located in Newbury Park, these trails offer challenging climbs, steep decents and beautiful views. It has some technical parts but most of the trail is straight forward.

It starts out in the base of the parking lots with bathrooms. Once you get running you go about a 1/2 mile until you hit “Concrete Hill” which is straight down for 3/4 of a mile. From there it is a single track until mile 5. At the water station you open up onto a fire road down to the ranch. It flattens out here. There are porta-potties and an aid station.

After taking gel head up toward Boney Mt. The next 4 miles are straight up at a gain of about 500 feet per mile. At mile 10 you reach the top and you hit a fast down hill section. At mile 11.5 there is one more real hill with an aid station at the top. Then it's back home.

The trails are on National Park Service land and the race is managed by Generic Events. This race, as with most the Xterra races brings out strong runners and people who love the trails. This was my second year running this race, plus I did the preview training run two-weeks before. I can't recommend this race enough but be warned, It Is Tough.

Put this race on your schedule for 2014. Below are my Garmin stats. When reviewing my stats, please remember I ran the New Year's Night Half Marathon the night before so I kinda fell apart around mile 9.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Founder MarathonTraining.TV

The New Year’s Race Los Angeles Half Marathon at Night – Race Reveiw

The New Year’s Race Los Angeles Half Marathon at Night was a very novel idea. The promoters did and excellent job getting the word out for this first time event.

It took me a while to register. As much as I wanted to pull the trigger on this event I was thinking about the possibility of rain and cold the first Saturday night in January. The money I could have saved by registering early might go up in smoke since I had little desire to run on a cold rainy night. I was also already registered for the Xterra Boney Mt Trail Half Marathon the next morning and that is a must do race,

Well we lucked out since it didn’t rain, even though rain was in the forecast and it rained hours later. But, it was cold. Cold is good running weather but I still sweat and getting into warm, dry clothes immediately after the race was important to me.

Here’s where the New Year’s Race Los Angeles nailed it. They had a great gear bag check-in system and moved our gear right outside the finish line secure area. The after party with food trucks, Sierra Nevada beer tent and music was great, but it was cold at midnight when I was in thee eating and sipping a cold frosty.

The Course: When you live in LA and have run all the downtown LA races possible, what was going to make this race different from all the rest? Running inside Dodger Stadium. I think running on the warning track and just outside the base-path was the coolest part of the race. The course felt like the LA Marathon in reverse, running the downtown streets, past City Hall, Olvera Street, Chinatown then up to Dodger Stadium, the only real difference being, in the dark. The streets were safe and I din’t hit a pothole. The only downside was the maze of running in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. More about that later.

Another win was running at 9 PM. It was dark, instead of the many unusual costume and yes there were some, was the way people lighted themselves up.

Potential Improvements: The race started late. Not the biggest deal for a first time race. It was a inaugural event and traffic downtown, with a Clippers game in progress and streets closed for the race, made driving those one way streets difficult and time consuming. I found less traffic coming in from below. I came in off the 10, even though I live in Pasadena I parked south of the Staples Center. We also ran too much in Dodger Stadium parking lot. I think we made up about 3 miles inside the gates. it got to be a little boring.

IMHO The Real Fix: This is an awesome idea, a night race in LA but let’s do it in summer, when it is warmer. It was late for some but the runners I knew wanted to party. I think the local businesses would also benefit.

I will be back. I like the night race thing. I think I’ll run it purely for fun next year. I have some fun ideas but I’ll share those later. Pretty good job for a first time event.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Head Coach Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Programs