It’s 0.0 miles of fun at Philly Instant Gratification Run

zeropointzero500And now, ladies and gentlemen, the race you’ve all been waiting for: The Philadelphia 0.0 Instant Gratification Run.

The 14th fattest city in the United States has unveiled a new race that involves merely stepping from the start line over the finish line.

Yep, one step and you’re done, ready to move on to the main event, the post-race par-tay, complete with adult refreshments and live music.

Really.

Organizers say they started the race as “a way to bring runners and non-runners alike together in the middle of winter to enjoy the best part of any running event – the post-race festivities.”

Like other running events, you pick up your race bib (your ticket into the party) and event T-shirt at packet pickup before race day. Race winners will be selected by random drawing.

Entry fee is $35. (Actually, I’d like this idea even more if proceeds benefited a non-profit organization.)

Getting off your butt to actually trek down to the race location requires too much exertion? Don’t worry. You can still run it virtually – for $28.

It’s on for Feb. 6. If you’re headed to Philly, register here.

Win a free Streaming Colors Fitness Journal right here!

The Streaming Colors  Fitness Journal lets you log your workouts in color.
The Streaming Colors Fitness Journal lets you log your workouts in color.
Here's a page from Pam LeBlanc's October 2014 calendar.
Here’s a page from Pam LeBlanc’s October 2014 calendar.

It might look ordinary, but I’m pretty sure this calendar is magic.

I’ve been using the Streaming Colors Fitness Journal since 2004, and I blog about it almost every year because I love it so much. (I swear I’m not on their payroll, although I’ve been such a loyal customer they sent me three spare calendars this week to give away … more on that later.)

The concept is simple. A calendar with big open white squares divided into neat sections. A pack of fluorescent markers. You set up a code – blue for swimming, pink for running, orange for bicycling, for example – and color in sections based on the activities you do that day.

For me (and yes, I’m kind of compulsive), it works. I love to see those blank white squares get filled in with color. I love it so much that it inspires me to ride my bike to work, hit swim practice and go for runs.

You can code it however you want – designating colors for doing things you want to incorporate into your lifestyle. I’ve logged everything from my teeth flossing habits to water consumption and vitamins.

It gives me a sense of accomplishment. And it’s fun to go back and look at past years. I can tell you that I swam 2 miles and biked 15 on Sept. 26, 2006, or that I biked 100 miles on July 15 and again on July 16, 2006. (And that I didn’t do anything taxing the next day.)

The point is, it works for me.

Low tech. Simple.

Effective.

So … the kind folks at Streaming Colors sent me three extra calendars to give away to readers. (If you want to order one on your own, go here.)

Who wants one? Post here, telling me why you deserve it. Best answers win.

Austin B-cycle celebrates a year with 99-cent day passes this Sunday

Pam LeBlanc takes a B-cycle for a spin. RESHMA KIRPILANI/American-Statesman
Pam LeBlanc takes a B-cycle for a spin. RESHMA KIRPILANI/American-Statesman

A year into Austin’s grand bike share experiment, organizers say the system’s been a rousing success.

Austin B-cycle celebrates its one-year anniversary with $1 day passes this Sunday. RESHMA KIRPILANI/American-Statesman Staff
Austin B-cycle celebrates its one-year anniversary with $1 day passes this Sunday. RESHMA KIRPILANI/American-Statesman Staff

To celebrate, Austin B-cycle will offer 24-hour access passes for $1 this Sunday. (A day pass normally costs $8.) The pass buys you unlimited trips of up to 30 minutes for a day; usage fees for trips longer than 30 minutes still apply. The $1 passes can be purchased at any of the system’s 45 stations.

The organization is also unveiling a new monthly membership for $10.99 a month plus a one-time $15 enrollment fee. They’re available here.

Austin B-cycle launched last December with 11 stations in downtown Austin. It expanded to 40 stations in March 2014 and now operates 45 stations. As of this week, more than 154,000 trips had been logged.

A $1.5-million federal transportation grant matched by $500,000 in private donations funded the initial equipment. Today the City of Austin owns the system and the local non-profit Bike Share of Austin manages it.

Inaugural South Padre Island Marathon set for Nov. 14, 2015

The inaugural South Padre Island Marathon and Half Marathon is scheduled for Nov. 14, 2015.
The inaugural South Padre Island Marathon and Half Marathon is scheduled for Nov. 14, 2015.

I love the idea of working a running race into a trip.

I’ve done races in the Big Bend of Texas, South Haven, Michigan, and Big Sky, Montana. It gives you a new perspective on wherever you’re visiting, and keeps you active while you’re traveling.

Now I’ve got another in my sights – the South Padre Island Marathon and Half Marathon.

The race, scheduled for Nov. 14, is new in 2015. Both the full and the half routes start in Port Isabel, cross over Laguna Madre and finish at Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill, touted by race organizers as the largest beach bar in America. Expect a flat course (well, except for that one big hill on the Causeway), with glimpses of the ocean and bay.

Registration is open here. Entry is $65 for the half and $90 for full marathon until Dec. 31, when prices increase by $10 (and continue to increase periodically leading up to the event.)

Participation is capped at 2,500 for the full marathon and 6,500 for the half. If you register by Friday, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a two-night stay at Schlitterbahn during marathon weekend.