Best Marathon: London Calling!

One of the best marathons in the world is the London Marathon. Find out about its origins and upcoming scheduled run.

Chris Brasher was the kind of man who didn’t look the part. His glasses were big and thick. His smile was crooked and slightly curled. And, his legs weren’t the kind that would ever be pictured on the cover of a box of Wheaties. Yet, none of these things stopped him from doing great things and creating one of the best marathons in the world.

It all started years after a stint as an under-rated runner and long career in journalism. Brasher had just come back from New York and running in the famed Boston Marathon when an idea hit him. He decided it would be great to bring the same type of marathon over to his home territory of London. So, with the help of an old running mate, Brasher brought to life the popular London Marathon. And in 1981, his dream came to life.

You may be wondering by now what makes the London Marathon so special. Well, it’s one of the best marathons in the world for three reasons: the trail, the runners and the money. Here’s a break down of each:


The London Marathon trail is a historic one that follows along the River Thames (south side and north side). It’s a trail that allows the runner to see a variety of landmarks such as the Tower of London, Clipper Ship and Cutty Sark. As a result, the runners in this marathon not only get to stimulate their bodies, but also their brains which serves for great memories and, at minimum, interesting bar room chatter.

The London marathon is a run that attracts a variety of people. Some folk are locals and other foreigners. However, they all get together for at least one common reason, which is to tackle the London Marathon. The fun part of it all is to see the different groups dressed in humorous customs in an effort to push their separate agendas or stand apart from other runners. It makes for a very festive day and also gives spectators (along with the media) something to catch on camera.

No, the type of money most people gather for in the London Marathon is not prize money. It’s actually in an effort to raise money for charity. Although the figures aren’t firm, it is estimated that, since its origin, the London Marathon has raised over 300 million for charity. It’s a number that keeps rising each year and the main reason for certain people to join in on the run. It also gives major athletes a chance to raise awareness about their specific cause and help out their fellow man.

So, are you ready to put on your Nike’ s yet? The next London Marathon is scheduled for April 26, 2009. If you go to the Website for the London Marathon at , you can get details right now. It’s not too late to sign up. Remember, it’ll be one of the best marathons you’ve ever run.


Bald and Blue!

At Zappos, every year, a select few brave souls shave the hair from their heads….and also there is a lot of blue paint and hair dye involved. It’s tradition.
Remember, when shaving heads in Nevada, apply sunscreen daily. You’ll thank me later.

BUYER'S DIARY #6 - Christin C. - L.A. Mart

DATES: June 9-10, 2008


BUYER: Christin C. – Assistant Buyer,
Private Label

Monday, June 9th

4am-Suffering from Jetlag, flew into LA from Taipei the night before; checking email
8am-Checking emails and catch up on some work
9am- took a shower and got ready for the show
10am- Got some breakfast at a Deli before meeting Kathryn C. at the hotel
11am- Met with Hazel Clothing and Jaloux
12pm- got some lunch at a Japanese restaurant inside the California Market
1pm- Met with Revolver Los Angeles
2pm- Met with Notice
3pm- Met with the Great Room
4pm- Met with Mary Brennan & Co.
5pm- Went back to the hotel to check emails and review the information from our appointments.
6pm- Went to Cabo Cantina for some Margaritas. It’s been a long day! Jet lag isn’t
helping either!
7pm- Drove to Hermosa Beach to meet with vendor.
8pm- Dad dinner at the Mediterraneo with vendor
11pm- Time for bed to start a new day!

Tuesday, June 10th

8am- Got up to get ready for the show.
10am- Met with Classy Brides.
11am- Met with VFish Designs.
12pm- Met with Theme.
1pm- Met with Charlotte Tarantola.
2pm- Met with Brigades and Hearts.
3pm- Finally had lunch at an Italian restaurant before heading to the airport. I was
4pm- Returned our rental car at Enterprise and at the Burbank airport trying to
catch an earlier flight home!
5pm- Plane departs from the Burbank Airport.
6pm- Arrives in Las Vegas! Glad to be home!


Ladies, the shoe baton has been passed, Christian Louboutin is officially the current shoe God usurping the long standing Mr. Manolo. As reported by the New York-based Luxury Institute, Louboutin shoes are the most sought-after shoe brand of 2008. This is not news to the true fashionista because she already knows, covets and collects them without any shame or remorse at the $800-plus sticker price. But to others who feel that a brand must advertise (which Christian does not), must be mentioned in hot shows or movies (think Sex And The City, where he was not mentioned) or be on every ‘It’ starlet (rare) to be a hit, this must come as a huge surprise. What is it that draws so many to this brand? Could it be the draw of the red sole, which is distinguishable from any other shoe whether a woman is striding down a city block, sitting in a restaurant with her legs crossed or getting in and out of her Maybach? Is it the exquisite craftsmanship, the sky high heels or the many varied styles that could make you spend every paycheck on a pair? I’m not sure what it is for other individuals, but for me, my pulse quickens the moment I see the sole. For many that is both the draw and the deterrent, because what happens once the sole is worn out? Well, if you are like I am, you find the cobbler who will replace the sole with a red one, of course.

Aimed Excercise: Don't Hit It Too Hard!

Concentrating on one area of the body is great for building taut thighs, six-pack abs and a rock-solid chest, but how do you know if you’re overdoing it?

Exercise gurus are always telling you to “feel the burn,” but that burning sensation can swiftly become chronic pain if you don’t exercise properly. Aimed exercise is supposed to target a specific muscle or group of muscles that has given you problems in the past, or that can help you excel at a sport you love. However, too much concentration is bad for the body.

After all, how much good will you be lying in a bed or lounging on the couch watching Judge Judy? Before you start an aimed exercise program for your legs, buttocks, abs, chest or any other part of your body, consider your starting threshold. How much pressure can you take before you crumple to the floor in pain? The exercise program you devise should never take you to that point, and you shouldn’t feel too stiff to move in the morning when you wake up.

A better idea is to start small, with aimed exercise that doesn’t tax you much at all. You’ll start to get a feel for how much you can handle, at which point you can gradually increase your reps or weight, depending on the exercise. For example, if 25-pound weights feel light as a feather when you’re doing shoulder presses, increase the weight to 35 pounds for two sessions, then go up to 40.

Also, aimed exercise is not meant to be used every single day. You shouldn’t be focusing entirely on your abs seven days a week, for example, because you’ll overdo it and neglect other important muscle groups. Instead, try spreading out your aimed exercise program five days a week, leaving one day for abs, one day for thighs, and so on.

Or, if you prefer, do aimed exercise on that one stubborn muscle group two days a week, then leave another three for cardio and more well-rounded exercise. The goal is to strengthen or tone a particular muscle group, while furthering your health and fitness in other areas as you progress.

If you adopt a healthy exercise routine that doesn’t leave you exhausted and in pain, you’ll be more likely to stick with the program for the rest of your life.

Fitness Options for Kids: Extreme Racing!

Who says a race is simply running from start to finish? Not this mom. I like to mix it up a bit. Sometimes I even turn it into an extreme sport for kids , increasing their physical benefit from the fun exercise. To do that, I simply add something extra to the race. Since kids are like animals, that is one of the themes I use often. I also have been known to throw in plenty of other fun things to make the race extreme.

Most kids seem to have a natural love for racing. The reason likely varies from kid to kid. For some it could be the thrill of the competition. Yet, to others, it may be the adrenaline rush or the force of the movement. When choosing extracurricular physical activities for my kids, racing is an activity that gets chosen often. It doesn’t have to be the same every time either. In fact, racing is very versatile, especially in what I call extreme racing for kids.

Let’s Get Hopping!

In this extreme race option, kids must hop just like a kangaroo all the way to the finish line. Kids caught not hopping are eliminated until the next round. The jumping motion helps to increase the heart rate and also exercises those limbs. So, get those kids hopping to the finish line.

Climb The Ladder

To have kids do this extreme race, I have them move their hands and feet up and down from start to finish, resembling climbing a ladder. This must be done quickly to cause a running motion. Kids like this one because it looks pretty silly.

Zig Zag Zip

In Zig Zag Zip, the kids will jump from side to side in a zig zag motion toward the finish line. This extreme race can get pretty fun. Sometimes the kids cross paths by accident. There is also a lot of laughter!

Just go!

This extreme race option allows the kids to each pick their own method of extreme racing. It’s interesting to see what the kids come up with. Sometimes they pick from things we’ve done before. Other times, they get very creative.

Best Hiking Trails: Diamond Head

Diamond Head State Monument is located on the island of Oahu in beautiful Hawaii. This is a must-do hike . It can be seen just about anywhere on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. (Unless you’re diving!)

When we arrived we were told by a person in a kiosk (there was no Visitor Center) to be back by 6 p.m. because the gate to the parking lot closes then and if we missed it, we’d be sleeping there. In fact, the gate didn’t close at exactly 6 p.m and, if we had wanted to spend more time, we could have found parking outside the gate.

The trail was well maintained and, for the most part, pretty easy. There were handrails all the way up the 1.4 mile round-trip hike. This was a short hike, but really nice. We encountered some lava we had to climb up, but I’d call this hike great for the whole family. Although easy, it’s a steep 760-foot crater, so I found wearing hiking boots to be a good idea. We also always carry binoculars and this was a great place to have them, along with the necessary sunscreen and a cap. There was no shade so having lots of water helped also.

Once we got to the top we had a gorgeous view. It felt as if we were on top of the world. It was one of the most impressive views I’ve ever seen. Along with the beautiful blue water, we saw hotels and a lighthouse.

We headed down at about 5 p.m. and it was still quite warm. Be forewarned: there was no water or bathrooms on the trail or at the top of Diamond Head.

We spent about two hours doing this hike. Even at that time of the day there were plenty of people. There weren’t enough for me to call the observation posts crowded, but close to it. If I were to go again, I’d go early in the morning when it wouldn’t be as crowded or hot.

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Best Vacation Spots for Skaters: Atlanta!

Learn about skateparks, shops and events in and around Atlanta, Georgia.

Skateboarding is spreading around the globe. However, some major cities are taking a little longer to catch up with this trend then others. Atlanta, Georgia is one major city that is starting to build a better repertoire of skateparks, skateboarding events and skateboard shops. If you are visiting this city and are a skateboarder, then you will be glad to learn that there are some great events to participate in, and some fun skateparks to visit in the surrounding communities.

Atlanta Area Skateparks

While there are several Atlanta city skateparks currently being developed, right now your best option for finding one is to search the surrounding communities. The first park that you can visit is the Front Side Skatepark. It is located at 850 Jamerson Road in Marietta, Georgia 30066. If you will be staying near Kennesaw, Georgia then you can stop by the NorthWest YMCA Skate Park, which can be found at 1700 Dennis Kemp Lane, Kennesaw, Georgia 30152.

Other parks that are located close to Atlanta, Georgia include Pinckneyville Park, 4758 South Old Peachtree Road, Norcross, Georgia; Progressive Skatepark, 1153 Marietta Highway, Canton, Georgia; Skatelife Skatepark, 114 Woodward Street, Rome, Georgia; SPOA Skatepark of Athens, 4440 Lexington Road, Athens, Georgia; the Infinity Skatepark, Rivers Road, NW., Buckhead, Georgia; and Waller Skatepark, 250 Oak Street, Roswell, Georgia.

Atlanta Skate Shops and Events

Atlanta is the home to several annual skateboarding events. One of the most popular is the Woodward Skatepark Contest Series. This contest runs in February and March, and skaters of all ages can win prizes and free skating rights for a full year. Other Atlanta skateboarding events include the SK8 or Die skateboarding art event in May and the Go Skateboarding Day in June.

While visiting the city and surrounding areas, don’t forget to get a little shopping in. In Atlanta you can by gear at Stratosphere Skateboards located at 1141 Euclid Avenue N.E. as well as at Ruin, located at 6125 Roswell Rd, N.E. If you will be near Athens then you can stop by the Feral Skate Shop on 190 Park Avenue. Marietta and Kennesaw are also two nearby towns that have a couple of skate shops.