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Team Leader
Amy Freeze
Amy began running at age 8 with her father, and ran cross country and track growing up in Indiana. This will be her 7th marathon. Her first was in the snow.

Follow her on Twitter @AmyFreeze7

Check out her FreezeFront blog!

Technical Coach
Jay Holder
Jay has been running since he realized he was the least-coordinated person on the planet and couldn't possibly play a sport that involved a stick or a ball. He has run 5 marathons with a PR of 2:40:28, finishing in the top 100 of the 2012 Boston Marathon. He is proudest of his 2012 NYC Half-Marathon PR of 1:11:19.

Follow him on Twitter @JayHolder8K

Check out his blog, TheJauntingJournalist

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« September 2012 | Main | November 2012 »

October 2012

Join #TeamABC7!


Teamabc7 Many members of the Eyewitness News Team have completed the NYC Marathon over the years - look for their stories and memorable accounts here on the blog. Meteorologist Amy Freeze and Eyewitness News Producer Jay Holder will lead our blog coverage, but we invite you to post comments, send in ideas and share your own marathon stories. Good luck in your 2012 ING NYC Marathon!  


Email, Facebook or Tweet us! Use #TEAMABC7


Achilles NYC Marathoners

Link to how to become a Guide or Join Achilles 




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Training Talk: Catching up with American Record-Holder Deena Kastor

DeenakastorBy Jay Holder

Deena Kastor's come back to racing didn't go exactly as she had hoped.  Sunday's Los Angeles Rock and Roll Half Marathon was her first race since a back injury forced her out of the Olympic Trials in January. She wanted to run 1:12.  But, after taking an early lead, she ended up finishing second in 1:14:51. Before the race, we had a chance to catch up with the American record holder in the marathon and the 2004 Olympic Bronze medalist and talk about her long, successful career and what lies ahead.


Continue reading "Training Talk: Catching up with American Record-Holder Deena Kastor" »


Training Talk: Catching up with Olympian Ryan Hall

Ryan HallBy Jay Holder

Ryan Hall ran the fastest marathon ever run by an American clocking in at 2:04:58 in the 2011 Boston Marathon.  He followed it up with a second place finish at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston this past January.  However, at the Olympics, Hall had to pull out of the race at mile 9 with an injury.  Injury is also causing him to miss the ING New York City Marathon on November 4th.  But Hall still plans to be in New York on marathon weekend.  Thanks to his sponsor, Asics, The Team 7 Blog caught up with him to chat about his recovery, his plans for the future, training and whether he has really read Moby Dick and The Odyssey.

I know you were feeling pretty beat up after the Olympics. How are you feeling now?

I am feeling really good.  When I had another injury come up in training for the ING NYC marathon it was obvious that my body needed a big break to recuperate and regenerate for the next 4 years of intense training and racing ahead.  I push myself really hard to train effectively for my marathons and sometimes in my enthusiasm to race marathons every spring and fall it can be tough to pass on an opportunity to race but my body obviously needed a big break.  So I just finished a nice month break and am now feeling healthy and as hungry as ever to get ready for a spring marathon.  

Continue reading "Training Talk: Catching up with Olympian Ryan Hall " »

Raised to Run: Bart Yasso

I love Bart Yasso.  He's a great human being.  I "met" him as a reader of Runners World.  I first saw him in person at a Running Expo in Philadelphia where he was so popular - you had to wait in line to say "Hi!"   Then I was lucky enough to interview him for TV segments. When I invited him to be on our MEDIA RELAY TEAM - he agreed, showed up, and was the life of the party.  If you don't know Bart, your running experience is not complete. Consider this your introduction.  Meet Bart Yasso...

"Running isn’t about how far you go but how far you’ve come"

“The reward is living the lifestyle and embracing the journey.  It’s not only about finishing, it’s about moving forward."

Tips from Bart Yasso on Race Preparations

  • Try to get to bed early Friday. If you’re unable to sleep well Saturday night, don’t worry about it. You might even be less groggy if you’ve been awake for hours before start of a marathon.
  •  Eat several smaller meals throughout the day on Saturday. Leave a banana or energy bar out the night before the race. If you do wake up at 3 a.m., take a bite and go back to sleep.
  • When you get to the starting line, take a minute to think how fortunate you are to be able to run a marathon, both physically and culturally.

BartYAssoAMY FREEZE:  Bart!  You are the undisputed King of Road Racing?  Everyone loves you and knows you on the racing circuit. How did u start running?

BART YASSO:  When I started running I started dreaming about what I wanted most out of life. I knew I wanted to travel around the world, experience exotic locations and different cultures. Did you run in High School? I didn’t run in high school. I played lots other sports in my younger years but I made a critical error and chose the path of alcohol and drugs. I was very lucky to gravitate towards in 1977 which could have saved my life.

AMY FREEZE:  You travel so muh and are always on the go! What are your current current running habits

BART YASSO:  I have running goals but none of them are related to racing. My goals are to motivate and engage people that never thought they would be a runner.

AMY FREEZE:  I'm convinced you have run every race on the planet... what's your most favorite of all your favorites?!?

BART YASSO: Comrades ultra marathon in South Africa. The oldest and largest ultra marathon in the world.

AMY FREEZE:  You'v faced your own adversity in life... how have the health challenges affected your training and running?  And what advice do you have for those who must overcome challenges?

BART YASSO: I contracted Lyme disease twice, in 1990 and again in 1997. Running never helped my Lyme disease. Living with chronic Lyme is very painful. Doctors compare the symptoms to rheumatoid arthritis. My legs swell I limp around the office most days. I am still trying to figure out how to be a runner dealing with Lyme disease.

AMY FREEZE:  It might seem like a silly question but when you meet non runners they might sk you 'Why do you run?'

BART YASSO:  I know I feel more like myself when I run, even if it’s only a few miles, or at least I feel like the self I like best.

BART's Website HERE






I'm happy to welcome a 19-time Marathoner and Co-workerJack Sheahan to the #TEAMABC7 Blog.  His running resume is impressive!  Enjoy his entry which includes some incredible tips! - Amy Freeze

My thoughts on the NYC Marathon, wow… I have a lot of them.  By Jack Sheahan

I’ve done 12 NYC Marathons, 19 Marathons total, since November 1998. And no doubt, magnitude-wise, there is the NYC Marathon, and then there are all the others (that I’ve done, at least). Chicago and London are big time too, Marine Corp. is great (and my Marathon PR 3:35:43 in 2000, got that Paul Ryan?) but NYC is just a massive, massive event. In the past, I have called it “an attack on every sense, visually, sonically, etc. It feels different than every other race, it sounds different, it even smells different.

Continue reading "TEAMABC7 Finishers: JACK SHEAHAN" »


Training Talk: 2011 Top American Molly Pritz

Photo Courtesy: Asics

By Jay Holder

In November of 2011, Molly Pritz ran her first marathon and it was a debut to remember.  Pritz crossed the line of the ING New York City Marathon in 2:31:52 and was the top American female finisher. A knee injury sidelined Pritz last winter, causing her to drop out of the Olympic Trials Marathon in January.  But, she came back strong.  Pritz set a huge PR at the San Francisco Half Marathon in July, winning the race in 1:10:45.  She followed that up with a second place finish at the U.S. 20K Championships in New Haven where she ran 1:07:21. Pritz lives and trains in Boulder, Colorado where she is sponsored by Asics. She is coached by Charlotte, North Carolina based distance coach Mark Hadley.  Together, they are preparing for this year’s ING New York City Marathon where Pritz hopes to capitalize on her fitness and experience.  She answered some questions for us as she starts her taper for the big race.

Continue reading "Training Talk: 2011 Top American Molly Pritz" »



Running By Myself, But Not Alone 

Tara on the Course

By Tara Zimmerman

The beauty of running is it can be a solo or community sport. You can get lost in your thoughts during a long run by yourself or enjoy the company and conversation that comes with running with others.

In high school I preferred cross country and track to soccer or softball. For me, it was the perfect way to still be part of a team but I was racing against myself and my own personal records. That hasn't changed today. Nothing clears my mind, helps me process the day's troubles and soothes my soul like a good run. Most often they're alone but I cherish those with friends. Both types of runs have their benefits.

I ran the ING New York City Marathon in 2009. I trained and ran it with my boyfriend at the time and I'm not sure I could have done it alone, especially those long runs! In fact, I have great respect for marathoners who do train by themselves. But come Marathon Day, what's spectacular in New York City is that you aren't alone: you have two million spectators cheering you on through the five boroughs.

Continue reading "TEAMABC7: TARA ZIMMERMAN" »


Training Talk: Mastering the Taper

I think tapering is the hardest part of marathon training. Hear me out. Consider that you have to choose the length of time you taper, the number of miles you reduce your volume by and the intensity in which you do those last few workouts. Every mile and every day makes a difference. Did you make the right choices? You'll find out around mile 20 of the most important race of your season or perhaps your life.

2012 Boston Marathon. The taper did not prepare me for the unseasonable heat.

You could say that about all facets of your program, but the taper is the one where I find myself doing the most second-guessing. That's because unlike a week that was too hard or too easy in the middle of the program, there is little or no time to fix a mistake made in the taper portion.

During my taper for the 2012 Boston Marathon, I took a new approach to the taper.  The 15 day period called for low volume and moderately high intensity. It took some methods from Pete Pfitzinger, some from the Hansons and some from my past mistakes, all of course with the input of my coach. Prior to the Boston and Richmond Marathons in 2010, I only backed off my average weekly mileage by 20% and did marathon pace runs of 10 miles nine days before the race. In Boston, I blew up in the final 10K of the race. In Richmond, despite running a 3 minute PR, I felt flat and tired from mile seven to the finish and my time was not indicative of what I was trained to run.

Pfitzinger preaches that the last day a runner can really gain fitness applicable to the marathon is 10 days before the race. He recommends a 2X2 mile workout at half-marathon to marathon pace while the Hansons call for a 5-10K effort at marginally slower than 10K race pace. For my final workout in early April, I did four miles at slightly slower than half marathon pace (5:35, 5:36, 5:38, 5:35) with a very easy warm up and cool down. From here on out it is all about rest and recovery.

The most important thing about tapering is adjusting your priorities. During the entire marathon cycle, getting in the miles and the workouts trumps almost everything. However, during the taper, running falls to a distant third on the list between sleep and food (although those items were always a very close second to running). In the taper phase, I have forced myself to sleep through runs just to get the required slumber.  I skipped one scheduled easy run for a massage. On another easy run, I stopped and walked home after I realized my run was getting a little longer than I intended.  And during a speed session, my coach pulled me out of an interval workout after two of the three prescribed intervals. I felt like I had more left in the tank, but he saw another interval jeopardizing this critical rest period.

Yes, tapering is frustrating on more than one level. It's not just because it's the farthest thing possible from an exact science, but it also contradicts every endurance runner's instincts. You spend months pushing your body to the brink of complete breakdown and then you spend a couple of weeks preventing yourself from even coming close to finishing a run where you are wheezing with your hands on your knees. You feel lazy, you feel sluggish and worst of all, you feel just as hungry (or hungrier!) as you did when you were at the peak of the cycle.

Of course, every runner is wired differently.  Only a runner can decide which taper method works best for them.  Like everything else related to marathon training, most runners don’t nail it on the first try.  It takes trial and error. It is the most individualized part of your training. If you are lucky enough to find one, stick with it. Many very smart, mature and dedicated runners are still looking after five, ten, even twenty marathons. I hope your taper leaves you feeling rejuvenated on race day. You’ll know somewhere in the Bronx.


Raised to Run: Des Davila

DESIREE DAVILA has had huge highs and certain lows in her running in the last two years... she got the fastest Boston time ever for an American woman and qualified for the Olympics but an injury forced her out of the race, a DNF in London.  One thing is clear, she's young and tough and has a great running career in front of her!  I hope we see her back at ING NYC Marathon in the future! Watching Des and hearing about her career is a huge motivation to take everything in stride.  One day you can be at your fastest PR, the next your dodging injuries... running is all about the journey.
I'm in the photo below on the far left, Des is just in front of me as we took a jog for this photo in Central Park to support the NYRR.  In 2011, Des finished in 2nd place at the Boston Marathon and set a 4 minute personal record. Her time of 2:22:38 is the fastest time ever run by an American woman in the Boston Marathon!

Continue reading "Raised to Run: Des Davila" »

TEAMABC7: David Novarro on the Race Course


On Your Mark,

Get Set, GO!" 

David Novarro
I'll get my shoes and see you at the start!

But...we think you should know even more... say, BLOCK by BLOCK!  What will you see on the course, where can your family cheer, and who lives in these neighborhoods anyway?!  To see what is waiting for you on the course marathon day, TEAMABC7 has you covered.

Our 7 Blocks series by David Novarro... he's still thinking about training for his first marathon.... runDAVIDrun... and these assignments seem to get him in the mood for marathoning!

  • 7 Blocks Stories about Neighborhoods on the Course Click HERE  David Novarro points out the most interesting spots along this section of the New York City Marathon course.
  • 7 Blocks: Fort Wadsworth Click HERE  David Novarro explores the Staten Island start of the NYC Marathon.


Marathon Course



By Amy Freeze