Archive for the ‘Places’ Category

New Orleans 2009

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Mardi Gras Marathon weekend at the end of January 2009 gave me an opportunity to visit New Orleans. It was my second time in the city, and first extended visit. In 1859, Mark Twain wrote, “It has been said that a Scotchman has not seen the world until he has seen Edinburgh; and I think that I may say that an American has not seen the United States until he as seen Mardi-Gras in New Orleans.” After more than a century, Twain’s observation still resonates…

*** Click here to view photos from New Orleans 2009 ***

The Saint Louis Cathedral was established in 1720, and overlooks Jackson Square and the French Quarter.

Saint Louis Cathedral

2009 Ragnar Relay Los Angeles

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The inaugural Ragnar Relay Los Angeles had its share of first year growing pains. On the day before the start, participants were informed that Leg 4 was canceled due to safety concerns, and Legs 13-18 were canceled due to permitting issues with the City of Malibu. Once the race got underway, I felt that course markings were confusing or ambiguous in some areas. The post-race setup felt rather low-key compared to the Ragnar Relay Del Sol in Arizona… no live band, and a minimal beer garden. The overall experience felt more chaotic than other road relays I’ve done.

On the other hand, it’s hard to beat running on the strand through Venice Beach at midnight. Moreover, the primary reason for running a road relay is to bond with one’s teammates. In those respects, I believe most participants had an amazing experience!

*** Click here to view photos from the 2009 Ragnar Relay Los Angeles ***

Runners in the Ragnar Relay LA have many opportunities to enjoy the beach

Boston – Salem – Lexington & Concord

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

A recent visit to Boston gave me an opportunity to experience emerging fall colors and nearby historical and literary landmarks. I was pleasantly surprised that so many places of interest and great photo opportunities could be found in a relatively compact geographical area.

Salem, Massachusetts

Minute Man National Historical Park, Concord

Walden Pond

*** Click here to view photos from Boston / Salem / Lexington and Concord ***

View of fall colors from the Old North Bridge

Spokane, Washington and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Although I was in Spokane, Washington to compete in the 2008 USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships, my racing and travel schedule had enough down time for a little sightseeing. It was my first time to the area. Before this trip, I didn’t realize that Coeur d’Alene, Idaho was so close. Both cities provided many wonderful photo opportunities…

*** Click here to view photos from Spokane, Washington ***

*** Click here to view photos from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho ***

Sunset over Arbor Crest Wine Cellars

Downtown Coeur d'Alene

Florence, Oregon

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Heceta Head Lightstation near Florence, Oregon is a popular destination for tourists and photographers. During my time in Eugene, a day trip to Florence on the first rest day of the Olympic Trials gave me an opportunity to capture a few colorful images away from Hayward Field…

*** Click here to view photos from Florence, Oregon and Heceta Head Lightstation ***

Heceta Head Lightstation

Oklahoma City 2008

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is the second largest city in the continental U.S. based on geographical size, and hosts the annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in late April.

Oklahoma City has much to offer beyond the Memorial. I just like the way the light illuminates the entryway in the shot below…

Click here to view photos from Oklahoma City 2008

Oklahoma City Memorial

Chicago 2007

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Although the weather for the 2007 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon was disappointing, the views throughout the city that weekend were not. For more, please visit my Chicago 2007 Photo Gallery.

Chicago Reflections

Albuquerque, NM

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Albuquerque, New Mexico is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It’s a charming Southwestern city that combines its unique history with an interesting blend of cultures…

Click here to view photos from Albuquerque 2007

New Mexico Symbols

San Diego 2007

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Every summer, heat-weary Arizonans flock to San Diego to relax near the coast. On a sunny Friday afternoon, the sail boats were out in force, including the majestic Californian, a replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence, that patrolled the coast of California enforcing federal law during the gold rush.

Click here to view photos from San Diego 2007

The Californian sailing San Diego Harbor

Saranac Lake, NY

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, Saranac Lake, New York provided a cool escape from the Arizona heat. The area is rich with history from the pre-Revolutionary war era, to the present, and offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as hiking and canoeing.

Click here to view photos from Lake George, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid

Ampersand Bay provides access to Saranac Lake

Madison, Wisconsin 2007

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

The 2007 Madison Marathon brought me to the Wisconsin state capital on Memorial Day weekend… Coincidentally, the World’s Largest Brat Festival was taking place on the same weekend. With its lakes and compact, walkable downtown, Madison was a fun place to visit…

Click here to view photos from Madison, Wisconsin 2007

Wisconsin State Capitol building

Boston and Cape Cod, 2007

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Few cities are as photogenic as Boston, Massachusetts on a sunny spring day. During a Sunday afternoon walk along the Charles River, the reflection of historical buildings from the John Hancock Tower immediately caught my eye…

Click here to view photos from Boston and Cape Cod, 2007

John Hancock Tower Boston by I.M. Pei

Santa Fe, NM

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Santa Fe is the only city in the U.S. to receive designation as a UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific Cultural Organization) Creative City. It’s a city of artists and healers, outstanding restaurants, and great photo opportunities…

Click here for Santa Fe Photo Gallery

San Miguel Mission

Austin, Texas revisited

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

A work-related conference prompted a recent visit to Austin, Texas. I had previously visited the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” in 2002 for what was then called the Motorola Austin Marathon (now known as the AT&T Austin Marathon). In 2002, I was still using 35 mm film; this time, I had an inexpensive point-and-shoot compact digital. It was interesting to compare the photographic results 4 ½ years apart…

Austin 2006 Photo Gallery

Austin 2002 Photo Gallery

Texas State Capitol, 2006

Texas State Capitol 2006

Texas State Capitol, 2002

Texas State Capitol 2002

Top of Utah Marathon

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

As a desert dweller, I rarely have an opportunity to see snow. So, one could imagine my surprise when I looked out the hotel window in Logan, Utah, and saw snow flurries on the first day of Autumn 2006.

Fortunately, the storm cleared out overnight, and the 8th Annual NordicTrack Top of Utah Marathon took place under cool and sunny conditions. Utah became state # 15 on my 50 state marathon tour… State # 16 will have to wait until next year; my plans for the rest of 2006 primarily focus on cross country and shorter road races…

Logan, Utah Photo Gallery

Main Street welcomes the Top of Utah Marathon:

Downtown Logan, Utah

San Diego Road Trip

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

Year after year, hundreds of Arizona runners make the trek to San Diego for the America’s Finest City Half Marathon. As training through the summer in the Valley becomes longer and hotter, spending a weekend near the beach in late August seems like a perfect end-of-summer ritual.

The gallery includes images from Sea World, the U.S.S. Midway, and the Arizona desert at dusk, outside of Gila Bend.

San Diego 2006 Photo Gallery

Penguins!

Sea World penguins

Outside of Gila Bend, AZ:

Outside Gila Bend, AZ

Fargo Marathon

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

When I mentioned to friends, especially to those who grew up in or around North Dakota, that I was traveling to Fargo to run a marathon, the overwhelming response was “why?” Those who hadn’t been to Fargo before would invariably mention a line or two from the Coen Brothers’ movie. Despite the snickers, the Scheel’s Fargo Marathon has already gathered a great deal of positive word-of-mouth, in only its second year of existence.

Approximately 6,000 cheerful entrants in 4 events (marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, and 5K) eagerly anticipated the start in front of the Fargo Dome on Saturday morning, May 20. Skies were overcast, and we were doused by a brief shower, about 10 minutes before the 8:00 AM starting time. I was more concerned about the wind, which blew from north to south at 20-25 mph. We would have the wind at our backs for the first 10 miles, but we would be running into it coming back, if it persisted through the morning.

Sure enough, the wind kept blowing throughout what was otherwise a great day for a marathon. It seemed like entire neighborhoods turned out to volunteer or cheer on competitors. This year’s course, which meandered on bike paths along the Red River, and through charming commercial and tree-lined residential areas of Fargo and Moorehead, is generally flat and capable of producing fast times. My unscientific post-race poll seemed to indicate that quite a few participants achieved Boston qualifying times.

Fargo, ND Gallery

Downtown Fargo

Tybee Island / Savannah, Georgia

Friday, February 10th, 2006

Authors, movie directors, and photographers have all been inspired by Savannah, Georgia. The novel and movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a recent example. The opening scene from Forrest Gump, where the feather floats down from the church steeple, is another. The prospect of seeing the area is what motivated me to run the Memorial Health Tybee Marathon. Georgia became the 13th state in which I’ve completed a marathon. Quite appropriately, Georgia was the 13th and final of the American colonies.

Photo Gallery: Images of Tybee Island and Savannah, GA

Savannah

The race itself was pretty well-done. A local mentioned that the island is 3 miles long. If that is accurate, one can imagine that squeezing a 26.2 mile race into an area that size would require some repetition. Indeed the marathon course is shaped like an elongated figure eight, repeated twice. Runners more or less go around and through neighborhoods, and up and down the one major street on the island. I didn’t find it as mentally difficult as some commenters on Marathonguide.com. Compared to racing a 10,000 on the track, it isn’t bad.

Crowd support was enthusiastic. The compact design of the course was definitely good for spectators.

I started the marathon on legs still feeling tired from the P.F. Chang’s RNRAZ Half and Runner’s Den 10K. In retrospect, it wasn’t a good idea to squeeze the two hard races in right before Tybee. The steady wind during the marathon was bad enough. Fighting the wind with dead legs doomed me to one of my slower final 10K’s in a marathon. After 20 marathons, I’m still learning…

Tybee Island’s primary landmark is the lighthouse, located on the north side of the island.

Tybee Island Lighthouse

Chicago Photo Gallery

Monday, October 31st, 2005

This gallery has been up for a couple weeks… Most of the photos of the Chicago skyline are from the Architectural Boat Tour, which I went on the day after the marathon. Although I apparently ran past many of the city’s landmarks during the race, most didn’t register at the time. I was pretty focused on maintaining the pace and staying clear of trouble. So it was quite a thrill to go on the tour and soak in the surroundings. Chicago is a really photogenic city. We had a marvelous day for the tour — not too cold, and just enough blue skies for nice photos.

Click here to view the Chicago Photo Gallery

Sears Tower

Chicago Marathon

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

Before the day was over, the folks at the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon sent me the following e-mail… I was impressed that they turned results around so quickly for such a large race…

Dear David Daer,

Congratulations on finishing The 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon! You achieved your goal and crossed the Finish Line. We hope you will take the memories of your LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon experience with you forever.

This year’s Marathon was a great success with clear skies and temperatures in the 50s. 33,012 runners finished this year’s marathon, and you were one of them! Your chip time was 3:10:34 and you placed 1396 out of 33,012 finishers. Here are this year’s top finishers:

Top 3 Male Finishers:
1. Felix Limo, 2:07:02
2. Benjamin Maiyo, 2:07:09
3. Daniel Njenga, 2:07:14

Top 3 Female Finishers:
1. Deena Kastor, 2:21:25
2. Constantina Tomescu-Dita, 2:21:30
3. Masako Chiba, 2:26:00

Top Male Masters:
1. Luca Foglia, 2:31:23

Top Female Masters:
1. Colleen De Reuck, 2:28:40

Top Male Wheelchair Finisher:
1. Krige Schabort, 1:29:40

Top Female Wheelchair Finisher:
1. Miriam Ladner, 2:05:27

For searchable Race results, news and photos, visit our Web site at http://www.chicagomarathon.com.

Thank you again for being a part of The 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. We hope you will join us again on October 22, 2006.

Sincerely,
The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Staff
http ://www.chicagomarathon.com