Indoors or Outdoors? Runners don’t have to choose

With the temperatures outside taking a dip (and holiday decorations popping up), most Marylanders are realizing that fall is winding down and old man winter will soon be knocking on our doors.  Some local athletes are taking advantage of what little good weather we have left, while some have begun to migrate their activities indoors.  This weekend marks the inaugural Annapolis Half Marathon, taking place in Maryland’s historic capital city.  The Annapolis racers will be braving whatever Mother Nature throws their way while some running enthusiasts in Howard County have moved their event indoors.

The IRON FITNESS 140.6 minute Indoor Triathlon is inspired by the 140.6 miles of an ultra-distance triathlon.  The challenge consists of a 20 minute swim, an 80 minute bike, and 40.6 minute run.  This unique event will take place at the Supreme Sports Club in Columbia on Sunday.

The event wasn’t designed as a competition, but as a fun challenge.  Competitors will compete in waves, beginning with the swim. After the swim, participants move onto the biking portion which takes place on stationary spin bikes.  During the 80 minute biking segment, bikers can follow a predesigned course on the bike or create their own.  After the bike is finished, competitors move onto the final part, the 40.6 minute run at the indoor track.  Participants can either run or walk, whichever they prefer.

This event is a great alternative for runners who want to remain active during the cold weather months, but don’t want to train in the elements.  Some runners don’t mind the elements and colder weather, like the ones competing in Saturday’s inaugural TCS Annapolis Half Marathon.

The half marathon was started as a fundraising technique for local charities and organizations that had received reduced funding this past year.  Around 4,000 runners are registered, which is a great number for a first year event.  The course starts at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium and winds its way into downtown Annapolis, finishing back up at the stadium.

All participants get a performance running jacket (one can only guess it’s to help battle the chilly temperatures), and all finishers get a medal at the finish line.  Prizes will be awarded to the top three overall and first masters finishers.  Once the race is done, racers will be treated to a Finish Line Party featuring local band, The Rovers.

Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, hot or cold, one thing is definitely for sure: nothing will stop Maryland running enthusiasts!

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