2008 Best of the Outdoors : Running

first_img BEST RUNNING CLUBAtlanta Track ClubThe Atlanta Track Club guides dozens of smaller running clubs and is responsible for the largest road race in the country, the Peachtree Road Race 10K.“The enjoyment of a healthy lifestyle through running drives all that we do. Our signature event is the Peachtree Road Race, with a capped field of 55,000. The running community in Atlanta is very strong and continuing to expand. Our climate makes it easier for the casual and seasoned runner to train year round, especially through the winter months.”—Tracey Russell, executive director of the Atlanta Track Club NEXT BEST2. D.C. Road Runners3. West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners4. Hash House Harriers5. Richmond Road Runners6. Star City Striders7. Mangum Track Club8. Charlottesville Track Club9. Trail Heads – Chapel Hill10. Asheville Track ClubGREENEST RACENew River 50KFries, Va.The inaugural New River 50K, running the length of the New River State Park in Virginia, is one of the first running events to actively curb their waste and resource impact.“We are striving to have 75% of the products, food, and awards, to come from within 100 miles of the race, or to come from companies with demonstrated records of “kind earth” practices. All registration is online to minimize paper use.  We are encouraging the use of personal water bottles; disposable products will be used only when necessary; and everything possible will be recycled. Runners are encouraged to bring their own bowls and silverware to use at post race lunch. All proceeds will go to The National Committee for the New River, and we’re collecting Clif Bar and Balance Bar wrappers for the Terracycle Initiative. Being “green” is a flexible term, yet it almost always involves using the resources of the local community.”—Annette Bednosky, race director for the New River 50KBEST RUNNING TRAILArt Loeb TrailThe Art Loeb Trail is a 30-mile footpath traversing Pisgah National Forest from the Davidson River to the high elevations of Shining Rock Wilderness.“Art Loeb has over 9,000 feet in climbing in just under 30 miles. The panoramic vistas at 6,000 feet as the trail approaches the Shining Rock Wilderness are some of the best views in all of the Appalachians. There are plenty of great photo ops while running over Black Balsam and Tennant Mountains. What makes the Art Loeb so special is the wonderland of ancient granite plutons, high-altitude forests and expansive southern balds it traverses. Hardly any adventurer could turn down the lure of a singletrack trail destined for these unforgettable places.”—Matt Kirk, ultrarunnerNEXT BEST2. Three Ridges/The Priest, Lynchburg, Va.3. Moses Cone Trails, Blowing Rock, N.C.4. DuPont State Forest Trails, Brevard, N.C.5. Mountains to Sea Trail, N.C.6. Davidson River Trail, N.C.7. Massanutten Mountain Trail, Va.8. Kennesaw Mountain Trails, Ga.9. Foothills Trail, S.C.10. North Fork Mountain Trail, W.Va.BEST ROAD RACECrazy 8s 8KKingsport, Tenn.One of the fastest and exciting races in the region, Crazy 8s attracts the best professional runners from around the world. It’s a late-night summer race with candle-lit streets and a thrilling stadium finish. NEXT BEST2. Cooper River Bridge 10K, Charleston, S.C.3. Peachtree Road Race 10K, Atlanta, Ga.4. Ukrops Monument Avenue 10K, Richmond, Va.4. Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, Washington, D.C.5. Charlottsville 10-Miler, Charlottesville, Va.6. Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot 8K, Charlotte, N.C.7. Ogden Newspapers Classic 20K, Wheeling, W.Va.8. Shamrock Sports Fest 8K, Virginia Beach, Va.9. Army 10-Miler, Washington, D.C.10. Tennessee Expo 10K, Knoxville, Tenn.BEST RAIL-TRAILSC&O TowpathWashington, D.C.The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath follows the Potomac River for 185 miles from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Md.“On the C&O I can run to places I’ve read about in history books. When I want company, I run the Georgetown to Great Falls section (miles 0 to 15). For a bit of isolation, the section from Great Falls to Whites Ferry (mile 35) is great. The surface of the towpath is mostly clay and crushed stone—great for a nice 185 mile run.”—James Moore, 64-year old ultrarunner NEXT BEST2. Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon, Va.3. Greenbrier River Trail, W.Va.4. Silver Comet Trail, Marietta, Ga.5. W&OD Trail, Arlington, Va.6. New River Trail, Galax, Va.7. New River Gorge National Trail, Fayetteville, W.Va.8. Caperton/Mon River/Deckers Creek Trail, Morgantown, W.Va.9. Huckleberry Trail, Blacksburg, Va.10. Allegheny Highlands Trail, Elkins, W.Va.BEST TRAIL RACEShut-In Ridge Trail RunThe classic Southeastern trail run, Shut-In features 17.8 miles of technical singletrack that climbs 3,000 feet on its way to Mount Pisgah.“Shut-In is one of the toughest trail races in the Southeast. People love it because it’s a test of endurance, agility, and strength. Just completing the Shut-In course is an accomplishment in itself. The race takes place just after the peak of the fall season and offers runners a technically challenging course, while providing great views of fall foliage in the Western North Carolina Mountains.”—Jane Roane, distance running diva and Shut-In Ridge training coachNEXT BEST 2. Springmaid Splash 10K, Spruce Pine, N.C.3. Rock 2 Rock 10K Trail Run, Black Mountain, N.C.4. James River Scramble 10K, Richmond, Va.5. Big South Fork 17-Miler, Oneida, Tenn.6. New River Gorge-ous Trail Run, Minden, W.Va.7. Salem Lakes Trail Race, Greensboro, N.C.8. Mountain Top Half Marathon, Copper Hill, Tenn.9. Dirty Dog 15K, Charleston, W.Va.10. Blue Ridge Burn 10K, Charlottesville, Va.BEST ULTRABarkley Marathon100 miles, 100,000 feet of elevation gain and loss in Frozen Head State Park, Tenn., and only seven finishers since its inception in 1986. Ultra runners love the Barkley because it’s almost impossible to complete.“I have been running for 32 years (including over 230 marathons and ultramarathons), and the Barkley was easily the most rewarding running experience of all. It has everything that I love in a challenge: roller coaster trails, obstacles to jump over or crawl through, big rocks and high walls to jump off, lots of slick and deep mud, flesh-tearing briers, insanely steep climbs where one cries for mommy, and insanely steep descents where idiots risk breaking their fool necks. Runners spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to find all 11 books hidden along the trail.  Delivering the pages back to the race director at the end of each 20-mile loop is worth any discomfort we might suffer out there.”—Byron Backer, ultrarunner and 60-mile fun run finisherNEXT BEST2. Mountain Masochist 50-Miler, Va.3. Mount Mitchell 40-Mile Challenge, Black Mtn., N.C.4. Stump Jump 50K, Chattanooga, Tenn.5. Highlands Sky 40-Miler, Canaan Valley, W.Va.6. Iron Mountain 50-Miler, Damascus, Va.7. Massanutten Mountain 100-Miler, Massanutten, Va.8. Bull Run Run 50-Miler, Manassas, Va.9. Grindstone 100-Miler, Swoope, Va.10. Uwharrie 40-Mile Trail Run, Troy, N.C.BEST MARATHONRichmond MarathonScenic course, friendly volunteers, a downhill finish, and junk-food rest stops.“The course is challenging but fair, and let’s face it, how often do you get to race downhill to the finish line? The race is big enough so you won’t run alone, but small enough that you’re not slowed down by masses of runners. In times of increased entry fees, Richmond offers great value for your money, a quality t-shirt, and one of the best medals you’re likely to receive. And the fantastic crowd support and enthusiastic volunteers keep me motivated throughout the course.”—Steve Speirs, veteran marathoner NEXT BEST2. Baltimore Marathon, Md.3. DuPont Forest Trail Marathon, Brevard, N.C.4. Twisted Ankle Trail Marathon, Summerville, Ga.5. Rocket City Marathon, Huntsville, Ala.6. Hatfield McCoy Marathon, Goody, Ky.7. Outer Banks Marathon, N.C.8. Georgia Marathon, Atlanta, Ga.9. Knoxville Marathon, Tenn.10. Black Mountain Trail Marathon, N.C.BEST URBAN RUNNING TRAILKennesaw Mountain National Battlefield ParkJust north of Atlanta, Kennesaw Mountain boasts over 18 miles of trails that traverse the surprisingly steep grades of the mountain and its surrounding hills.“The park offers an oasis of green in the city. It has rolling hills with a mix of pine-hardwood forest and the grassy expanses of the battlefields. Other than around the park headquarters or the major historic sites, there is never a feeling of heavy use, and on weekdays you can run for miles without seeing anyone else. For those looking for some technical trail the section from Burnt Hickory Road to the top of Kennesaw Mountain meets this need.”—Richard Schick, ultrarunner, Marietta, Ga. NEXT BEST2. Rock Creek Park, D.C.3. Bull Run/Occoquan Trail, Manassas, Va.4. Crowders Mountain, Charlotte, N.C.5. Chattahoochee River NRA, Atlanta, Ga.6. Buttermilk Trail, Richmond, Va.7. Carvins Cove, Roanoke, Va.8. North Ridge Trail, Knoxville, Tenn.9. McAfee Knob/A.T., Roanoke, Va.10. Mullens Cove Trail, Chattanooga, Tenn.last_img read more

Armed Civilians: The Maduro Militia

first_imgBy Ricardo Guanipa D’erizans / Diálogo January 16, 2020 In late 2019, Nicolás Maduro swore in thousands of civilians as new members of the so-called National Bolivarian Militia. Dressed in beige uniforms, men and women joined the special corps that complements the National Bolivarian Armed Force (FANB, in Spanish.)“We have reached 3.3 million organized militia members who are trained, armed, and ready to defend Venezuela’s union,” Maduro said during a ceremony held on December 8.One month earlier, Maduro had ordered the delivery of more than 330,000 rifles to “our militia members” to facilitate troop deployment and to support a peacekeeping security plan during the year-end holiday season. Some rifles were also sent to militia members in Guayana state, an area rich in gold and diamonds, to defend basic industries.The weapons delivery alarmed the National Assembly, which, during a session in late November, considered the measure as being “illegal.” In April 2017, Maduro had promised to give “a rifle to each militia member.”Nicmer Evans, a Venezuelan political analyst and leader of the Democracy and Inclusion movement, rejects Maduro’s figures. However, he acknowledges that the militia phenomenon has expanded throughout Venezuelan territory.“It’s very difficult to know how many there are,” Evans told Diálogo. “Based on my calculations, there are 300 to 350 paramilitary organizations at the national level; each of which can bring together dozens of militia members. But the regime exaggerates by saying it has 3 million armed militia members.”The origins of the militiaVenezuelan Navy Vice Admiral Mario Iván Carratú Molina, chief of the Military House under the government of former President Carlos Andrés Pérez, said that the history of paramilitary groups in Venezuela starts with the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200, a leftist organization created by Hugo Chávez in the 1980s. The group attempted two failed coups against Pérez in 1992, before Chávez took office after winning the elections in December 1998.“From the Fort Tiuna military installation […] they began to distribute weapons to civilians in some of Caracas’ housing developments to be able to confront a social reaction from changes in the judicial and political system that the dictatorship has been making since 1999,” Vice Adm. Carratú told Diálogo.According to the 2016 report of Venezuelan nongovernmental organization (NGO) Citizen Control, the National Bolivarian Militia, an unconstitutional armed group, the Chávez government emphasized people’s participation in national defense from the beginning, and the National Bolivarian Militia was officially created in 2008, after a reform in FANB’s organic law.The incorporation of the Bolivarian Militia as a FANB component is not found in the constitution, since Venezuelans rejected the proposal in a 2007 referendum. In April 2019, Maduro said he wanted to give constitutional status to the Bolivarian Militia in 2020.Armed groupsThe weapons provided to militia members, according to several Venezuelan media reports, come from FANB’s surplus. In 2010, Chávez announced that he would provide the Bolivarian Militia with RPG-7 rocket launchers and AK-103 Kalashnikov assault rifles, however, the NGO said this did not happen and that militia members use the Army’s FN FAL rifle as their personal weapon, in addition to the Russian-made Mosin-Nagant rifle (the NGO specifies that FANB did not have the Mosin-Nagant in its inventory).Training exercises, says Citizen Control, are mainly conducted at Fort Tiuna, where militia members spend a couple of days learning to use their weapons and rehearsing some attack maneuvers. Militia members also take part in training exercises, such as Operation Sovereignty and Peace (Operación Soberanía y Paz) 2019, which consisted of border protection.In the 2010s, authorities created courses for militia members in many of the country’s schools for security forces. During this time, militia members began to control security at public facilities throughout the country, such as hospitals and schools. Today, they are involved in the food distribution program known as CLAP.“For the government, the enemies are the Venezuelan people themselves within Venezuela,” said Vice Adm. Carratú. “Faced with the humanitarian crisis caused by the government, it seeks to buy loyalties. In addition to being given weapons to defend the government, they [militia members] have been assigned wages, turning them into mercenaries.”last_img read more

3 keys to rethinking member service

first_imgTimes are changing quickly when it comes to member services. It’s no secret that mobile has changed everything… Mobile has forced a rewriting of the rules. Credit union members today have become more empowered than ever to get what they want when they want it, and waiting is a thing of the past. We live in an age of personalization. According to Accenture, 11% of retail banking customers and 18% of millennial banking customers have completely switched banks in the past year. Mobile has enabled your members to immediately turn to a device to know, go, do and buy. This includes quickly finding new banking options. But mobile is just the beginning. Is your credit union preparing for the next revolution?Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home are examples of what credit unions should be preparing for in the next wave of member service technologies. Not because these technologies will change member behavior, rather members will become increasingly comfortable with allowing technology to assist in the management of their lives, including banking with your credit union.Alexa, the voice of Echo, was developed by Amazon’s Machine Learning Team as the beginning of their goal to make voice interfaces ubiquitous. This shouldn’t be unfamiliar to credit unions. After all, credit unions were among the leaders in interactive voice response (IVR) adoption in the 1980’s. IVR systems were once viewed in the realm of technology marvels. Ironically, member account management using an IVR today feels outdated. Understand, I’m not making a case to bring back or invest in new IVR software and hardware, rather drawing the connection between mobile and machine learning that will become critical to member service moving forward.The difference today with voice interfaces is their ability to answer questions and remember patterns. Machine Learning as a term sounds intimidating, however, think of it as data mining because that is exactly what it is. If you’re like most people, Apple’s Siri is a quick way to gather information, answer questions and get directions. As members begin to adopt new smart devices and embrace more natural ways to interact with them (like voice commands), their desire for instant information will only multiply. How can we as an industry possibly scale member experiences across all devices and ensure those messages are personalized?Here are three things to focus on as the technology revolution continues:Raise the bar on mobile. Credit unions need to deliver fast, relevant, meaningful member experiences. It’s important to lay the groundwork with mobile experiences that meet expectations. There are a lot of mobile app providers in the credit union space that sell on price and not necessarily technology. First, ensure meaningful, then consider cost. A poorly executed mobile solution might as well be a non-solution, forcing members to look elsewhere.Be smart with data. A better understanding of your members, coupled with automation, will enable personalization. Many technology providers will enter your credit union hoping to sell you solutions but remember their systems generally don’t contain the most important input to the member equation – data. Your credit union core software system is becoming increasingly important. It’s no longer just a transactional system, it is now a data warehouse. The ability to connect to this data and return relevant results will be foundational to your credit union’s success.Embrace the omnichannel. The leading credit unions will be those that can bridge the online and offline. A seamless experience across the member journey will be critical in building member loyalty and trust. Think about your favorite brands and how you interact with them; position your credit union to connect with your members on their terms.Technology, if implemented and positioned correctly, can help credit unions deliver the most useful member services. And as technology trends and member behavior change, be prepared to pivot to meet those needs. In most cases, your ability to incorporate new technologies will depend greatly on your technology partners. Choose wisely. Technology is changing the way we approach life and I like it. I believe the future is going to be very exciting, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this industry with all of you. 45SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Preston Packer Preston Packer is the Director of Sales & Marketing for FLEX. Preston has been with FLEX since 2000 and has worked in various sales management roles over that time. Preston’… Web: www.flexcutech.com Detailslast_img read more

Why Nigeria couldn’t excel at Women’s World Cup – Uchendu

first_img “Football is all about understanding and team cohesion,” Uchendu told Kick442. “I think if the Super Falcons should play more Grade A friendly games with tough teams (countries) before major competitions like the World Cup, it will help the players have more understanding of each other and it will bring cohesion in the team. “Most importantly, the team will get better exposed to playing tough teams almost what they should expect in these major competitions.” Nigeria are without a substantive coach and yet to regroup since crashing for the third time in a row from the 2020 African Olympic qualifiers in October last year. Read Also:Super Falcons striker signs for Minsk They will face Togo or Niger in the second round of the African Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers in June as they aim to claim the continental crown for the fourth time in a row later this year. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Chinaza Uchendu believes Nigeria’s below-par performance at the 2019 Women’s World Cup is due to a lack of team cohesion. Promoted Content13 kids at weddings who just don’t give a hootWorld’s Most Delicious Foods7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Some Impressive And Almost Shocking Robots That ExistA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This DayTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too Much7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do10 Absurd Ideas That Made Their Inventors Millions In the build-up to the showpiece event last year, Nigeria played 14 warm-up games between January to June, including the Chinese Invitational, Cyprus Women’s Cup, Wafu Women’s Cup and Canada. After claiming a ninth African title in 2018, the Super Falcons progressed to the knockout stage for the second time in history on their eighth appearance at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. Despite reaching the Round of 16 last year, the West African giants bowed out of the competition after a 3-0 thrashing against Germany. And the Sporting Braga midfielder feels the team’s inability to impress could also be hugely blamed on the lack of regular grade-A warm-up games before major tournaments.Advertisement Loading… last_img read more

Four Medals for BiH on the Balkan Table Tennis Championship!

first_imgSenior table tennis representation of BiH (U-21)  completed the performance on the Balkan Championship in Niksic by winning four medals!After the female representation of BiH won silver medal and male representation won bronze medal, BiH won two more medals in the doubles competition.The best BH table tennis player Emina Hadziahmetovic won the gold medal in pair with Serbian Izabela Lupulesku and the title of Balkan Champion. They were better in finals than Truzinski and Maksuti pair from Serbia with the score 3:2 in sets.BH representative Sinisa Marcetic won bronze medal in pair with Hristijan Jovanovski from Macedonia.For male national team of BiH performed Edin Gutic, Kenan Zahirovic and Sinisa Marcetic with selector Vladimir Ivanek.Female national team of BiH included: Emina Hadziahmetovic, Elda Sehic and Snezana Markovic along with selector Amela Hadziahmetovic – Mujezinovic.(Source: Radiosarajevo.ba)last_img