and this is what I saw...


Hello World!

And this is what I saw. It has been raining and/or cloudy in Alexandria for three days or more. An eternity! But I thought, let's do something fun. It was only a easy pace 10 miler so I headed out in the mist with my camera gripped in my palm. Down Walnut Street, through Old Town, under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and onto the George Washington Path to Mile Post 6. Hello Dorothy B! I hope you read this :)

This is what is so great about running. You are out of the door and seeing things when otherwise it would have been a boring day wasted inside. With the mist all over me and the camera, I stopped periodically to take these shots. It was great capturing all of these images, images that I see all of the time, because one, I'm able to share them with you, loyal reader :), and two, the images, when they are framed by the camera lens, become somehow, better...

Training report:

I'm keeping it all together but have been struggling a little this week with some uncooperative legs (hamstring tightness) and a cold. I'm feeling a lot better now though, finally! More energy in the legs and less cold symptoms... 76 miles this week and tapering down to 50 next...

JFK50: 21 days and counting...

Cheers and it was a beautiful day for a run!


First Press Release!

Hello World!

The following is from the Alexandria Times and is my first press release!

Cheers and it is a beautiful day for a run!


Marathon Mom

By Austin Danforth

When Brooke Curran picked up running at age 30 it was just a healthy hobby. After her first marathon, the 2002 Marine Corps Marathon, it became her passion. Now, it’s a mission to benefit Alexandria.

Since May, the mother of three has focused her energy on training and fundraising for RunningBrooke, her charitable campaign to marathon on all seven continents, in all 50 states and — as of this month — compete in one of the grueling 26.2-mile races every month.

Beyond the personal satisfaction she gets from running, though, Curran is marathoning to raise money for Alexandria’s social support programs in partnership with the Alexandria Community Trust.

“We’re such a city ... we have some residents that are very well off and we have some who aren’t very well off at all,” she said. “That’s where I thought I could make a difference, to help those who aren’t as fortunate as I am and a lot of my friends are.”

So far, Curran, 41, has raised more than $17,000 and is closing in on her goal of $20,000 for charity by December.

“We’re the ones who write the checks, but the money is hers to designate,” said ACT Executive Director John Porter. “We don’t have another fund similar to the one Brooke is doing with a similar type of bent.

“There’s quite a dedication to do what she’s doing.”

“I’m paying my own way for everything,” Curran said. “Everything I collect gets donated toward the city.”

These days, Curran runs about 75 to 80 miles each week to stay in form, in addition to the frequent flier mileage she’s logged already traveling to race in places as remote as Easter Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Those miles are sure to increase as she is already planning trips to London in April, Australia in July and Antarctica in March 2011.

“I’m 41 and I’ve never felt better,” she said last Monday.

And it all started as an attempt to gain some alone time.

“I just had to get out of the house,” said Curran, who never considered herself a serious runner. “I had to do something for me, something for myself. So, running became my thing.”

When a friend of a friend dropped out of the 2002 Marine Corps Marathon, Curran jumped at the chance to take the spot.

“Running a marathon was on my life list of things to do,” she said. Nearly a dozen marathons later, it’s a way of life that the whole family is able to support.

“I think, perhaps, they think I’m a little bit crazy,” Curran said of her three girls, ages 16, 15 and 11. “Sometimes I’m sure they wish I were around to feed them breakfast … or perhaps that I was around more on the weekends when I do my long runs, but generally they think it’s pretty neat,” she said in the middle of her rounds for the soccer carpool — and with no cries of disagreement from her children in the car.

The transition from running every day for exercise to training for marathons came pretty naturally, too.

“I’m the type of personality that if I want to do it, I want to do it large,” Curran said. “I want to challenge myself and a marathon seemed to be a challenging goal.”

After resolving to run a marathon on every continent and in every state, she began to think that was too easy.

To that, she added the additional goal of running all five major world marathons — Boston, New York, Chicago, London and Berlin. With only London remaining, she ratcheted up the difficulty yet again with holding herself to a marathon a month until she’s done.

Despite the daunting and draining running schedule, Curran doesn’t seem to dwell on the toll it takes or how long it takes to recover.

“I expect tired muscles” running a marathon every month, she said. “I’m pretty good after about four days — I’ll take about four days off, do some yoga, some cycling and some swimming.”

Next year, once she’s run circles around Big Ben in London, Ayers Rock in the Australian Outback and countless trails in between, she will set her sights about as far south as you can go.

If plans hold up and weather permits, in March 2011 Curran will be taking an ice-breaker from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, across the Drake Passage to Antarctica for one of the world’s most extreme marathons, if not the most remote.

“I think it will be rocks, mud, snow, ice … a little bit of everything,” Curran speculated. “For sure, it’s not going to be a fast one.

“I can’t believe I’m going to go to Antarctica, I really can’t,” she said. “I’m a little scared about going across the Drake Passage, but other people have done it before me so I guess I’ll survive.”

And run. A marathon. In Antarctica. For Alexandria.

Sunrise over Alexandria

Hello World!

I often see things early in the morning, things so beautiful that I think, a ha!, this is it, today's blog inspiration. Often, the day gets away from me and I think ok, tomorrow, and then I forget. But not today. This picture isn't what I saw this morning -- I took it months ago -- but the lighting is similar, dark foreground with the sunrise in back.

This morning was my running day 'off' so I took my Vikram yoga class at Down Dog in Georgetown and sweated way more than I thought was ever possible but loved every moment of it. A new high, or low depending on your perspective, with sweat actually making it inside my nose as I was in the Down Dog position. Anyway, this yoga brings me back to center and focuses my attention inward, at the moment, the right now, when I'm usually all over the place thinking three steps ahead.

As I was driving back over the Key Bridge about 7:45 this morning with the light still behind the monuments, the crew boats were leaving their tracks in the water. 110 South, Boundry Channel Drive towards 395 South ... that is when I saw the helicopter hovering just feet off the ground. Just there, hovering, beside the Pentagon. The helicopter black, in silhouette, with the sun rising in the background. Chills.

Okay, so to change the subject here. I made print! The Alexandria Times published an article about me and the RunningBrooke Fund. Two page feature, yea!

Good luck to all runners at the Marine Corps Marathon this Sunday! You all trained hard and you are ready. Get prepared to achieve great things. Cheers and it is a beautiful day for a run!


why doesn't this sweat smell?


Hello World!

How can it be that you're in a crowded, 95 degree+ room and it doesn't smell? That is what I've been thinking about today. I've sweated a lot over the years and I know the funk and how bad it can be. But this isn't, really. I mean, we sweat until it runs into your ears and drips off the end of your nose. The towel and everything on your body is like it just came out of the washer. And it is awesome!

Is this the same idea as the white clay walled sauna of the Korean place in Annandale? My hairdresser was telling me about it just the other day as I was getting my natural blond put back in... Same thing, sweat all around and no smell...

Everyone look for me in the sport section of Wednesday's Alexandria Times -- I think that it is this Wednesday, anyway. RunningBrooke is being featured. And get this! I signed up for a Twitter account today and someone had already taken RunningBrooke as a user name!! I had to become RunnerBrooke. So bogus. Maybe when I figure out how to use it, I'll find out that RunningBrooke is me and I just don't remember signing up. It is possible, really...
Cheers and it was a great day for a run!
RunningBrooke (the real one)

Bonus Points to anyone who can figure out why the StellaDot photos keep showing up on my latest posts.

I was next to the Baked Goods


Hello World-

We're now on our 5th day of rain... It's now confirmed that I would need a lot more caffeine if I lived in the Pacific North West! Already love my Starbucks and understand how they got their start there...

I didn't want to post a picture involving rain so I dug up these photos from the Masters Track Tournament last March. I ran two events, the 3000 -- that is the action photo -- and the mile. This was my first indoor track event -- lots of fun and an honor to run the mile with Alissa Harvey! She only lapped me once...

Yesterday, I went to the neighborhood fall festival to promote and talk about RunningBrooke. I went out with my RunningBrooke banner and world map marking my upcoming races and a bowl of candy to entice people to my table. I got the kids with some free candy who then brought their parents over. My biggest fans were the teenage boys who thought what I was doing as 'totally sick!'

Some people didn't care. Some people would read my sign, get a glazed look, and go towards the cupcakes. But most people thought it was unbelievable and amazing. I talked until hoarse. I showed travel pictures. I pointed to places on the map. Most asked 'how many have you done so far?' and stated 'I didn't know there was a marathon in Antarctica!'

I may have gotten a sponsor and I definitely got some good advice.

Cheers and it is a beautiful day for a run!


Steamtown PR and Stella Dot Report with the JFK 50 on my mind...


Hello World!

Look how crazy happy we look after 26.2 miles :) Sharon and I both had great runs with a 4 min. PR for me (3:09:12) and a 3:05 for Sharon. I know that she'll be, once again, breaking that 3 hour barrier. I'm so proud... We had that giddy elation for the rest of the day and talked, non-stop, on that 4 and 1/2 hour trip home eating Subway sandwiches and Peppermint Patties. We had lots of stares as we fell out the car gas up and lunch up. You could see them wonder who were these people with the funny walk! It is strange but once again, I couldn't sleep the night after a marathon and she said the same thing happens to her...

I had my first run today, an easy 6 miler. I took Monday off, did Hot Yoga Tuesday and swam yesterday... Feeling good!

Backtracking a bit, as far as the exercise induced asthma, it effected me some about mile 18 where I had a few, very rough miles and I had to use my rescue inhaler. It took me sometime to realize that I was losing that much speed -- I had a little mind mush by that time --but finally, I realized what was going on, took the inhaler and got it back together to finish strongly!

The Stella Dot party was a huge success with $1000- raised. Thanks to Karen W. -- the fabulous Stella Dot Rep. -- and thanks friends far and near for supporting me and the women and children of Alexandria!

More to come later on things other than my numbers :) ...

The rest of the photos are -- from top to bottom --the Radisson Hotel in Scranton, converted from the old train station, me, George B. 'the coach' and Sharon, George C. and his wife Zieta at our pre-race, carbo-loading dinner, and the one that makes me smile the most, me and Sharon. We have many more to run together, my friend :)

Cheers and it was a beautiful day for a run!


Stella Dot and RunningBrooke

A friend of mine who just completed her first triathalon -- go Karen! -- approached me with a great idea. She brings her Stella and Dot jewelry collection -- as seen in People, In Style, Oprah, Lucky, Rachel Ray Every Day, and worn on Paris Hilton and others celebrities -- over to my house for an in-home trunk show, with ALL of the proceeds going to the RunningBrooke Fund! So generous!

So here is the scoop: Tuesday, 10/13 9:30-11:30 at my house, 2413 King Street, Alexandria
  • It's easy to get holiday gifts for family, friends or maybe yourself
  • You may order online
  • Great price points!
Cheers and it is a beautiful day for a run...

Montreal: Eat, walk, sleep, repeat...

Hello World!

Chris and I were in Montreal last week for a little R&R -- okay, I was the only one who got that -- but, we had a great time while together. Today's title pretty much sums up what we did, minus the running on the treadmill, which is forgettable.

Anyway, this photograph is taken from the hilltop of their main park overlooking the city. You can see the St. Lawrence River snaking in the background. This park was designed by the same landscape designer as New York's Central Park, Somebody Olmstead. The park was good but not as impressive nor as beautiful as Central Park. Sorry if I've just offended someone!

The following are some thoughts in no particular order or of particular importance, just things I noticed:

  1. Everyone smokes!
  2. The French/French Decedents know how to eat. We ate and we ate well... Corse after corse, followed by not just a dessert but a PRE dessert. Who ever heard about that? I had no problem eating my way through it all, however.
  3. HUGE underground shopping center. So many city blocks that I couldn't count on the map. I stepped inside for about five minutes and then I was out of there! Crystal City here we come.
  4. Interesting zoning laws with strip clubs and 'movie' houses in nice shopping and business districts.
  5. Celine Dion (sp) was married there in their Notre Dame Church/Cathedral. That building was quite impressive with its ornate architecture and Gothic decoration.
  6. Has a China Town like every other city.
  7. They are still gardening with what we would consider summer plants even with near-freezing --felt like it, anyway -- temperatures. We would have pulled everything up and out and only had the mum and pansy thing instead.
Okay, so that is it. Onto the most important thing, the RUNNING UPDATE!

  1. Feeling great on the countdown to Steamtown. Six days and counting... The track numbers have been pretty good and the tempo run on the hotel (Montreal) treadmill was not too painful.
  2. Rest and eat. Rest and eat. It sounds easy but it isn't. Going from 75 miles a week, in peak training, down to around 40 -- or less, maybe a lot less if coach tells me so -- this week makes me feel fat and lazy. Maybe I'll rearrange the kitchen cabinets and put finally put shelf liners in. See what less running does? Shelf liners, really?!
  3. Did I mention that I signed up for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon on December 5th?
  4. Big hug to Sharon who gave me HOMEMADE chocolate chip cookies with dark chocolate and all. Great way to start the day...
  5. Still working on February and March marathons... January is the Goofy Challenge and April is the London Marathon.
  6. Congratulations to my friends who are back from the Twin Cities Marathon with times from way under 3 hours to just over 3. I hope Sharon and I have the same success :)
  7. Jewelry show benefitting RunningBrooke at my house on October 13th, 9:30-11:30. Seriously cute things. Check it out:
That is it for now. Cheers and it is a beautiful day for a run!