Running is Not a Sport

At the GoGo Running All-Area High School Banquet, Dr. Wm. Richard Kremer spoke. We thought it was so powerful that it deserved a blog post. We want everyone to get a chance to read it. This is one in a series of seven. Be ready to be inspired by his words:

I stand before you tonight feeling a great sense of privilege and some small envy. I feel privileged to address a collection of young runners, many of you at the very beginning of your running careers. I feel a twinge of envy because I can never stand again where you stand, with healthy joints, trim bodies, and the possibility of improving your time every day, able to embrace the challenge of getting a little faster and stronger with each passing week. I once stood where you stand and know from the vantage point of hindsight what a privileged position you enjoy. I can never stand in your place again;
however, from the vantage point of a long running pilgrimage I can share with you briefly seven truths that I’ve gleaned under the heading, “Running Is . . .”

First, you need to know, Running is not a sport; Running is a Lifestyle. Running encompasses every aspect of your being — what you eat, what you drink, how much you sleep, how you arrange your life, how you spend your time. Running is a lifestyle that demands you embrace a disciplined approach to everything you do, because everything you do affects your effectiveness as a runner. Everything you do shows up with some immediacy on the track or during a road race – -and no other sport is quite like running in this regard.

Running is a lifestyle that ceaselessly tests your commitment, your discipline, and ultimately your character. Many years ago a famous running shoe company had an advertisement in a track magazine that showed a runner snugly ensconced in his bed on a dark morning. His 5:15 am alarm was flashing. But he could tell from the frost on his windows that the weather outside was frigid. His running clothes and new running shoes were on a stand a few feet away from him, and the caption read, “Our track shoes can’t help you take the hardest step.”

It’s that hardest step, that step out of the warmth of that bed and into those shoes and out of those warm doors into the frigid darkness that tests how committed you are to what you do. The fact you met the challenge yesterday or the day before that, does not determine how you will meet the challenge today. Yet it is rising to the call of such challenges that make running a measure of the whole of your being, a lifestyle that daily fathoms your character. I say again, Running is not a sport, it is a lifestyle.

If you enjoyed this insight into running, there are six more to come. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments too.

Running is…


Dr. Wm. Richard Kremer, is currently the pastor of Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome. Dr. Kremer has spent most of a lifetime involved in track and field as a participant and coach. He would characterize himself presently as a “very slow recreational runner.”

Dr. Kremer was the indoor 440 champion of the state of Alabama in 1973 and was part of the Jefferson Davis High (Montgomery, Ala.) team that finished that year undefeated. He received a full track scholarship to the University of Georgia, where he competed in a variety of cross country and track events.

He placed fourth in the SEC Championships of 1974 and 1975 in the 600 yard dash, setting a school record of 1:11.5 that stood for many years. A summa cum laude graduate, Dr. Kremer was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship.

Upon graduation with a double major in English and History, Dr. Kremer attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he earned a Master’s of Divinity and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. While in Louisville, Dr. Kremer ran for the Mason Dixon Athletic Club, continuing to win local and regional events while working on his Master’s. While running for the Mason Dixon AC, Dr. Kremer was part of a formidable distance medley relay team that included British Olympian Nick Rose.

Finding the Right Running Shoe: Part II

running shoesBy: Josh Carson
Regional Educator, Newton Running Southeast Territory

One of the most important aspects of running is proper footwear. In our last post we discussed pronation and now we’re on to what shoes are right for you.

Types of Running Shoes

Now that you have an understanding of pronation and foot types, the next step would be finding the right shoe for you. As mentioned earlier, there are many different types of shoes. Although many of them offer similar features, each brand has their own special ingredient. We will now explore the different types of shoes that will help you understand which model is best for your foot type.

Neutral (Cushion) Running Shoes
The cushion shoe would be the running shoe designed for an individual with a neutral foot type. There are many different brands, but all have the same concept. A neutral shoe primarily consists of some type of foam in the midsole to help absorb shock, and then encapsulates an extra ingredient depending on the manufacturer such as Air (Nike), Gel (ASICS), Wave Plate (Mizuno), etc. to deliver the protection and cushioning support needed for the runner.

This demonstrates the importance of trying different options to determine which model shoe appropriately meets your needs. An example of a neutral cushion shoe, the Nike Air Pegasus.

Stability Running Shoes
A stability shoe would be designed for the individual whose foot over-pronates or rolls inward to a degree that causes the foot to become unstable. A stability shoe will still offer the benefits of a cushion shoe, but provides the extra support for the individual whose foot rolls inward.

The major difference with a stability shoe is that the medial side of the shoe offers a medial posting, or a certain degree of harder foam material. The medial posting is designed to slow down the foot’s tendency to roll to an unstable position and provide the runner with an extra amount of support. The Asics 2170 represents an example of a stability shoe.

Natural Running Shoes
This type of shoe is becoming more popular and many brands are starting to design their own “natural running shoe.” The idea behind these shoes is simple—a shoe designed to allow us to run natural or the way in which our bodies were meant to run.

There are many different brands, but one of the leading manufacturers in this category would be Newton Running. Newton running shoes are designed to mimic your body’s natural biomechanics, while still providing you with the cushioning and protection of a shoe. The big difference with Newton compared to a traditional shoe is that it is built on a more level platform and allows you to strike more mid-foot. It also features a firm mid-foot/fore-foot as opposed to most shoes that use soft, cushy foam.

By providing a firmer mid-foot/fore-foot, our bodies can now sense the ground and improve the proprioception needed for efficient running.  Most traditional running shoes are designed on a ramp angle, meaning the heel height is higher than the forefoot height creating a slope. This type of shoe alters the way in which individuals are naturally supposed to run. When wearing a level platform shoe, such as a Newton it allows you to absorb shock and return energy more efficiently. The Newton Distance represents a natural running shoe.
Ultimately, the individual should be the one to make the final decision in finding the right shoe. However, doing the research and discovering your foot type/pronation is vital to ensure you are in the correct footwear. There are many different options available and the technology behind each brand is unique in its own way. Before you head out for you next run, be sure to use this advice and get fitted for the right running shoe.

For more information, check out your local running retailer.


Josh Carson is the Technical Sales Representative for Newton Running in the Southeast territory. Newton Running is the leader in natural running shoes today, and is one of the largest growing shoe companies in this category. Josh travels throughout the Southeast promoting and educating individuals on the benefits of Newton Running and the technology behind them. For more information on Newton Running, check out the website at www.newtonrunning.com.

Josh ran as a collegiate distance runner at Shorter University. Josh hold PR’s of 32:30 for 10k and 15:37 for 5k.  He debuted in the 1/2 Marathon in 2011 running 1:12:30 and getting second in the Publix 1/2 Marathon.

Finding the Right Running Shoe: Part 1 Pronation

By: Josh Carson
Regional Educator, Newton Running Southeast Territory

One of the most important aspects of running is proper footwear. There are many different brands and types of running shoes. Each one is dependent upon each runner. With that being said, where do you start? I have been running now for over 10 years. My love and passion for the sport has now led to a career in the industry as a technical rep with Newton Running. One of the first traits that I learned early on is that everyone’s foot is different and that the best shoe is the one that fits your foot the best. When it comes to running shoes, the first thing to understand would be your foots biomechanics or the way in which your foot acts and responds. Before looking for a shoe, I believe it is very important to understand this natural tendency.

Understanding Pronation
Pronation is a popular term that you may have heard with a sports doctor, podiatrist, or even your local running store. The term pronation refers to our body’s natural ability to absorb shock and helps to reduce the impact of our body weight when running or walking. It is something that we all do and is an essential component to running.

When trying to find the right running shoe, it is necessary to know what kind of pronation and foot characteristics you have. Foot characteristics could be an indicator of your pronation tendency, but is not the deciding factor. There are basically 3 different types of pronation:

Neutral Pronation
Neutral indicates an individual whose foot pronates to the correct degree and does not roll excessively inward or outward. This individual would wear a neutral cushion shoe because their foot is strong enough to withstand the amount of shock while running.

Over-Pronator
These guys consist of about 80% of all active runners. This refers to an individual whose foot rolls inward too much and places additional stress on the lower body including the foot, knee and even hips. An individual with this type of foot strike would need a stability shoe to correct the effects of their natural stride, and provide them with more support.

Under-Pronator or Supinator
This is a very small percentage of runners, and refers to the individuals whose foot does not pronate enough and rolls outward. Without proper footwear, this could cause numerous issues to the lateral side of the runner. It is very important for this type of runner to stay in a neutral cushion shoe. If a supinator were to run in a stability shoe, this would only force the foot outward even more placing additional stress to the runner.

Many times you will read that someone with a very flat foot would be a heavy over-pronator and need a high stability shoe. And, an individual with a high arch would need a neutral cushion shoe. These statements are not always true as you have now come to learn. The most accurate way to determine your pronation and foot type is to be evaluated at a specialty running store or by your local podiatrist.

Now what? Stay tuned for the next post and Josh will explain the next step to finding the right shoe for you.

Any questions? Let us know in the comments.


Josh Carson is the Technical Sales Representative for Newton Running in the Southeast territory. Newton Running is the leader in natural running shoes today, and is one of the largest growing shoe companies in this category. Josh travels throughout the Southeast promoting and educating individuals on the benefits of Newton Running and the technology behind them. For more information on Newton Running, check out the website at www.newtonrunning.com.

Josh ran as a collegiate distance runner at Shorter University. Josh hold PR’s of 32:30 for 10k and 15:37 for 5k.  He debuted in the 1/2 Marathon in 2011 running 1:12:30 and getting second in the Publix 1/2 Marathon.

GoGo Running Sponsors Area Middle School Cross Country Meet

Download Complete Results

Eight local middle schools convened for the annual Area Middle School Cross Country Championship on Thursday, October 13. All 208 finishers completed the season with championship efforts in the two mile race. The girls and boys races were hosted by Berry Middle School on the Clara Bowl course.

Model Middle School won the girls race with a low score of 28 points. Jacqueline Vincente led the Model girls’ team in an upset win over Kirsten Holmes of Coosa Middle School. Jacqueline and Kirsten ran 13:14 and 13:35 respectively to finish first and second place.

Darlington Middle school won the boys race with a score of 46 to the second place team score of 72 by Pepperell Middle School. Darlington was led by Jared Deaton holding off an inspired performance by Zach Williams of Pepperell. Jared and Zach finished with times of 11:40 and 12:14.

In the girls race Jacqueline’s individual winning performance was followed up by an impressive team for Model. The first five runners on each team are scored based on finish place with the lowest team score winning. Model’s scoring five included Alex Quarles in third place, Kennedy Boswell in sixth, Brooke Hinkley eighth, Peyton Brooke ninth and Makayla Keasler tenth.  Berry Middle and Unity Christian Middle were permitted to combine teams due to low numbers of participants. The Berry /Unity combination resulted in a second place team finish in the girls’ race with 54 points. Mattie Rountree from Berry led the way with a fourth place finish in 13:44. Other Berry scoring runners included Gracie Frederick in ninth place, Ramsey Cook twelfth and Addie Grace Trejo fifteenth. Sarah Glick represented Unity in the second place team effort with a 14:53 fourteenth place finish. Darlington finished third as a team in the girls race led by the fifth place individual finish of Mamie Johnson in 13:48.

The first seven individual finishers were named All Area including Jacqueline Vincente of Model in first place, Kirsten Holmes of Coosa in second, Alex Quarles of Model in third, Mattie Rountree of Berry in fourth, Mamie Johnson of Darlington in fifth, Kennedy Boswell of Model in sixth and Sara Beth Payne of Armuchee. Sara Beth was the first finisher for Armuchee Middle School in a time of 14:04. Other girls’ teams included Coosa Middle School in fifth place with 150, Pepperell Middle School in sixth with 176, and St Mary’s Middle School in eighth with 263. Grace Hufford led Pepperell with a time of 15:11 finishing sixteenth individually. Alani Moo Young led the way for St Mary’s with a 16:38 in thirty-sixth place overall.

The boys winning team score for Darlington included Jared Deaton in first, Clayton Bennett in third, Clayburn Milford in sixth, Blake Lowenberg in twelfth and Jamie Beck in twenty-fourth. Darlington managed a 22 point advantage over Pepperell in the championship race although Pepperell had finished before Darlington in all but one previous race this season. Pepperell’s scoring runners included Zach Williams in second place, Brian Vincent in fifth, Ivan Sandoval in thirteenth, Parker Covington in seventeenth, and Alex Santillon in thirty-fifth. The team race for second, third, fourth and fifth was even closer with only eighteen points separating four schools. Berry/Unity finished third with 80 points, Coosa fourth with 84 and Model fifth with 90. Armuchee finished sixth with 210 and St Mary’s seventh with 313.

The top seven All Area boys’ finishers were Jared Deaton of Darlington, Zach Williams of Pepperell, Clayton Bennett of Darlington, Brandon Ray of Coosa, Brian Vincent of Pepperell, Clayburn Milford of Darlington and Elijah Glick of Unity Christian. While the two top teams had five of the seven All Area individuals. Coosa’s Brandon Ray finished with a time of 12:23 and Elijah Glick represented Unity with a time of 12:47. Berry was led by John Berry Bowling’s ninth place finish time of 12:54. Model was led by Trey Leonards’ 13:05 tenth place finish. Jared Shelton finished eighteenth in a time of 13:24 leading Armuchee and Mutsa Myamurnga finished twenty-sixth in a time of 13:50 to lead St Mary’s.

Complete results for guys, girls and overall team scores.


GoGo Running was pleased to be able to help provide the awards for this race by sponsoring the event. The top three teams in each race received trophies and the top twenty individuals received medals. The top seven All Area finishers in each race also received a t-shirt.

The GoGo Running efforts to promote the sport in the Rome Area will continue with the recent announcement of a Cross Country banquet to recognize the Rome News Tribune All Area High School runners. All the middle school runners and coaches are invited to attend the banquet. More information is available at http://gogorunning.com/events/event/all-area-cross-country-high-school-banquet/

Why Just Running Isn’t Enough : The Importance of Core Strength Part II

Why do You Need Core Strength for Running?
The human body is gifted with the ability to adapt to physical training, and it can make fairly large-scale adaptations in a short period of time to the stresses of training placed upon it.  However, there is a problem with the body if these stresses are added too quickly or carelessly.

In training there is a puzzling phenomenon that occurs in which physiological fitness precedes structural readiness.  In running, this means that the body’s engine (heart, lungs, etc) is ready to go fast before the frame (body) can usually handle it.  This is witnessed by the numerous injuries each year in which an athlete is building their training and feels good one day so pushes a little harder than they should and suddenly has a nagging structural injury.

This is sometimes followed by a trip to a physical therapist who diagnoses the problem and usually gives some exercises to help strengthen the core where a deficiency has been detected.

Core-strength is needed in training because it can help break this cycle and doing this type of training (core-strength) along with the normal running can serve as preventative training or “pre-hab” if you will.  You still may get injured but this will greatly decrease those chances.

The strengthening of the core muscles or stabilizers will also greatly aid an athlete in developing better running posture, increasing muscle power and also increasing flexibility, all of which lead to running faster.

Ignoring core-strength in a training program may work in the short-term but is a recipe for long-term disaster and some may even call it irresponsible.

At the 2006 USATF Distance Podium Summit in Las Vegas, Terrence Mahon (Mammoth Lake Track Club) had this to say about core-strength. “I believe that a lack of core-strength and flexibility can create long term motor skills problems as the body continually adapts to find the path of least resistance and turns away from proper running mechanics.”  Mahon’s point being that over-looking this over time will cause the body to adapt in a negative fashion that will most likely lead to injury.

How to Incorporate Core Training?
The underlying fear of most coaches or athletes when looking at how to improve core strength is “how do I do it?”  This is much simpler than it can first appear.  At our program and with the post-collegiate athletes I work with, we include core strengthening as part of our warm-up and cool-down. The warm-up portion is at most a five-minute period of exercises called the Lunge Matrix and a series of dynamic leg movements calls Mytrle Wall Drills.  A cool down could typically include a few different routines comprised of exercises geared at hitting the muscles within the core.

Circuit training at times in the season will also fall into this category.  Some other great exercises that are great for hitting the “core” muscles are push-ups, body planks and army crawls.  Ten to fifteen minutes of core-strengthening work each day is enough for most runners to see large improvements over time.  And again, this increased core-strength will lend itself to increased running economy and muscle power which will lead to faster times.

A great resource that is very helpful for these kinds of routines is the video library.  These videos will provide footage from great coaches and athletes that will give you a large array of video routines that are great for increasing core strength, flexibility, racing and training abilities.


By Guest Author John Peter

John Peter is a Level 2 USATF Certified Coach in Sprints and Hurdles. He is in his 8th year coaching High School Cross Country and Track and Field in Northern Minnesota.  In this role he has helped guide 15 athletes to the state meet where 8 have earned all-state honors.  He competed in college for Minnesota State University-Moorhead.  He has also coached post-collegiate athletes to sub-2:30 performances in the marathon.  In his free time he likes to hang out with his wife and kids and he also likes to ride his bike.

Why Just Running Isn’t Enough : The Importance of Core Strength Part I

Core strength is something typically overlooked in many running programs today.  There seem to be two camps siding against the inclusion of core strength in training.

The first are mileage purists who believe the best, and at times, the only way to improve, as a runner is to run.  The second camp is more typical saying they only posses a limited amount of time for training and believe, “I’m going to use the small time I have to run as much as I can because I can get the most out of my training that way; I don’t want to waste my time doing exercises.”  Part of this opinion may be from ignorance because the trend seems to be that if you ask most athletes, coaches or trainers “what is core-strength” and “why do you need it”, many of them would have trouble deciphering exactly how to answer either question.

However, this is a subject that needs to be understood, as there are great implications in training and competition that stem from core-strength.  These implications can lead to large scale improvements.

What is Core Strength?
To answer this, we must first understand what is the definition of the “core.”  The core can be roughly defined as an area of the body that extends from the knees upwards to the bottom of the rib cage.  For many people this is news as the core is typically thought of as only the abdominal muscles or the “abs.”  When you look at this much larger area, we see that a very large amount of the muscles needed for running are included in this knee to rib cage section.  Many of these muscles are known as stabilizer muscles.

Core strength can then be defined as strength that helps in the stabilization of the body.  When thinking about what the back, abs, and hip girdle of the body do, they are the key stabilizers in any activity that involves upright movement.

How do you incorporate core training into your running program? Tomorrow’s article will tell you how.


By Guest Author John Peter

John Peter is a Level 2 USATF Certified Coach in Sprints and Hurdles. He is in his 8th year coaching High School Cross Country and Track and Field in Northern Minnesota.  In this role he has helped guide 15 athletes to the state meet where 8 have earned all-state honors.  He competed in college for Minnesota State University-Moorhead.  He has also coached post-collegiate athletes to sub-2:30 performances in the marathon.  In his free time he likes to hang out with his wife and kids and he also likes to ride his bike.

Is Meb Really Going to Run in Skechers?

Getty Images

My first thought when I heard that 2004 Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist and 2009 New York City Marathon champion was going to be running in Skechers was- This is a joke.

Is Meb going to run the New York Marathon in shape ups. Has anyone seen or tried on shape ups. I have and I cannot imagine running in them very long, let alone running a marathon and trying to win.  Many people are calling Meb a sellout for running in Skechers and essentially getting paid really well for running for an inferior shoe company.  He might be the smartest man in the room.

There is a very good chance he won’t have to run in an inferior shoe. Skechers is notorious for copying other shoe designs and marketing them really well under their name. Look at the current models of the Run III(Nike) or the Surge(Reebok) and you will see remarkably similar features. Also, Skechers has been sued by Asics twice for trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution and false advertising. Even the infamous shape up is copy of another design.
Meb may be representing Skechers but training and racing in another shoe companies design after all. But, the gear will probably not be as cool.

What are your thoughts?

Man vs. Beast

By Powell Fulton
August 12, 2011

What to do if I encounter a dog on a run?

All of us have friends who have not used the best common sense in some situations. One time I was going camping with a group of friends when some stray dogs showed up. My friend thought the dogs looked friendly and went over to pet them. I guess the foaming of the mouth and constant growling were not enough to prevent him from approaching the dogs. By some miracle, the dogs did nothing. They probably thought he was as crazy as they were. The same guy did fall in a river  later that night.

Fast forward ten years and I am running a relay race in North Georgia. A dog ran up to me and bit my foot. Even crazier is that his owners stood 10 yards away and did nothing. I was so surprised that I just kept running. It was my first experience with a dog and since there was no damage I just kept going. This led me to think; what do I do if I run in to a dog again while I am running?

Tip #1
In a loud and confident voice yell at the dog to go home and point at the dog. If this does not work, tell the dog you are going to tell on him for being a meany. Seriously though, dogs are generally more afraid of you than you are of them.

Tip #2
Don’t panic. Dogs are just as scared of you as you are of them…hopefully.

Tip #3
Carry mace. While extremely mean, this will probably solve your dog problem immediately. Unless you miss…

Tip #4
Stop and walk past it, slow down. A dog will only attack if it senses fear.

Tip #5
Go another route. Remember my common sense story. If you do not know another route, you can carry some dog treats. Remember to bring enough for your trip home.

Tip #6
If it is a recurring problem and the dog has no collar you may want to call animal control or you can run somewhere else.

Tip #7
Try tip #1 again.  It really does work most of the time.
Dogs and other animals can be a nuisance when we are running. Remember, more than anything else, it is important to be safe and let people know where you are in case anything does happen while you are out.  Anyone else have a crazy dog story?