Newton Run Recap: The Shoes, The Run, The Fun



Last night’s Newton Sponsored Run was amazing–am I right? About 40 runners took the sunny streets in flashy Newton running shoes, renewed by the warmer weather. Once we hit the West Side Highway, the wind started to cool us off and provided a great training tool as we kept pace for our recovery run.

The highlight of the night, of course, was getting to try some new kicks for free! Comments on the run included how stylish and bright the shoes were, how different they felt and the bouncy, cushioned effect the midsole had.

“Everyone that tried them last night loved the shoes and was happy about the comfort they provided,” says Newton Tech Rep Tori Simons about getting runners’ reactions.

Before the run, Tori schooled us on what makes a Newton shoe different from other running shoes. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Newton recognizes and boasts about the unusual feeling of the shoes, and it’s like no other.

“Newton running shoes have extra cushion in all the right places to help you run more comfortably,” Tori says.

The most noticeable difference is the midfoot area, where lugs and extra cushioning are present. Most of us might be used to a heel-heavy cushioned shoe, or even a more minimal shoe, so let’s review some of the innovative qualities of the various styles we wore last night:

  • Midsole cushion absorbs impact and adds responsiveness
  • POP sensation is from a dynamic movement system
  • Midfoot lugs engage to activate a trampoline membrane for energy return
  • You get enhanced ground feel, efficiency, comfort!
  • New broader P.O.P 1 platform accommodates natural foot function
  • An extended medial bridge supports without over-correcting for flatter arches and overpronation

“The event last night was great! We love doing a Paragon sponsored run for the public,” says Tori. “It’s great that the staff runs as well and has the opportunity to experience the shoes.”

We definitely are thankful for the opportunity to experience new and different running products. It helps expand our knowledge to share with our run club, helping us all become better runners!

Thank you all for joining us at Paragon last night and for coming out for some St. Patty’s Day celebrations post-run. See you next time!

-Your Paragon Pacers



NYC Half Marathon: Before the Race with Paragon Runners

Let’s say HI to Jose Velez and Nirvana Macdonald, NYC Half Marathoners and Paragon Runners. Jose started running as part of a bigger goal to change his life, while Nirvana has 8 years of running under her belt and brought her knowledge to Paragon Sports as a Running Specialist in November. Both have a passion for running, and both you’ll find at our Tuesday night runs with huge smiles as they run.

Meet Jose Velez

Jose Velez Running

“In 2010, I decided to change my life,” he says.

As part of his plan for better overall well-being, Jose made fitness fun with obstacle course challenges, mud runs, powerlifting and running. The NYRR 4-Mile Run As One was his first race, and first time running 4 miles. Since then, he’s run half marathons, 10k’s, 5k’s and his first 26.2 miles for the Chicago Marathon 2014. Basically, he’s a running rockstar.

“Running gives me balance,” he says. It pushes him in ways lifting weights can’t. Exposing himself to the heat, cold, wind and rain is something he can’t recreate in the gym.

Running gives him balance mentally, as well. By tuning into his breathing and foot cadence, he blocks out the NYC noise and finds relaxation.

Jose began running with Paragon Run Club during his Chicago Marathon training in March 2014, and hasn’t stopped since.

“The variety of the workouts coupled with the knowledge from the pacers has been an integral part of my training program,” he says, and don’t forget to mention the fun, supportive group of runners at the workouts too. That means you, Paragoners!

His NYC Half training has included Tuesday night runs, of course, and runs through Central Park and the Bronx, where the hills are beast and you have to be even more beast to climb them.

“I’ve put in the miles with an emphasis on working with negative splits,” he says.

Getting progressively faster on a run helps him manage hilly terrain like Central Park, which is where a good portion of the NYC Half takes place. It will also help him speed up on the back end of the race, where the course flattens out.

Most excited to run through Times Square, Jose can already imagine the adrenaline rush of running through the crowds cheering on the racers.

“I’ll definitely soak in all the energy and use that to my advantage,” he says.

Sunday’s race is just another stepping stone to his bigger goal of running the NYC Marathon later this year. Help him hit his 2:15-2:30 goal by getting out and cheering him on at the NYC Half this weekend!

Meet Nirvana Macdonald


Nirvana has ran many races, and this isn’t her first NYC Half Marathon, so we asked her a few questions about the upcoming race.

Q: What do you want runners to know about this race?

A: The NYC Half Marathon is an amazing race. I did it last year for the first time and was taken aback at how many people come out to cheer. You almost feel like a rock star!

Q: Tell us some insider information for this race course.

A: The course is a little hilly in Central Park, but once you’re out it’s pretty flat. Watch out for the West Side wind. The best part is running through Times Square and finishing up downtown.

Having the Freedom Towers to look down on as you cross the finish line–the rush and pure runner’s high is amazing.

Q: What’s your mindset going into this race?

A: I’m always nervous before a race, and I think that is pretty normal. The fear in me brings out my strength on the course.

Q: Do you have a goal time?

A: I’m hoping for 1:50, but I haven’t been as consistent with my training this winter, so this is going to be a “take what the clock says and improve on that” type of race.

At the end of the day, for me, really, it’s all about the run and running my city.

Q: Tell us more about your training.

A: I usually do three runs during the week, either speed or hills, with a long run on the Sundays. I incorporate spinning, swimming, weight lifting and hot yoga into my training. A balance of cross training truly helps with my overall well-being and helps with my running.

Q: Do you have race-day must-haves?

A: My 2XU Thermal compression tights, UA Compression Cold Gear mock, Garmin Forerunner 620 and SmartWool socks, Mizuno Inspire sneakers. All of these are products work best for me, and I love them!

Q: How did you start running?

A: I started running 8 years ago and only wanted to do a 5k. Here I am with several 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, triathlons and duathlons under my belt. It all starts.

Q: What’s your part at Paragon Sports?

A: I started in November 2014 as a Running Specialist, thanks to my friend Vivian for her recommendation. I started participating in Tuesday night runs and have found a new home among some great people who share the same passion for running as I do.


Think You’re Ready for the Ice?

New York City usually gets plowed quickly after a snowfall, thanks to the hard-working crews sent out prior, during and after. But they can’t plow everything and can’t always keep up with the snowfall. Though “Blizzard” Juno was a dud, we still have weeks of winter left, and more opportunities for ice and snow. Check out our recommendations for running in these tough conditions. Let us know your favorite winter gear in the comments!coldweatherrunning_blogpost_covershot

Yaktrax Pro: When your shoe grip just doesn’t cut it, the Yaktrax Pro is perfect to slide over your running shoes for a snowy run in the park. A removable performance strap makes it customizable in fit and the spike-less design is easy to throw in your bag.

Petzl Tikkina 2 Headlamp: Light up your run! It gets darker earlier in the chilly months. Throw ice in the mix, and you have a recipe for a fall. This extra wide, lightweight headlamp is easy to wear while still providing a 30 meter range of light.

Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Mini Running Sock: Born in the Rockies, this sock will be your best friend both on the running path and off. Merino wool is a special fiber that maintains temperature while allowing moisture to escape. Synthetic fibers wick sweat but, once wet, doesn’t keep you warm.

Marmot Neck Gaitor: I don’t know about you, but my chin turns to a popsicle on cold nights. Neck gaitors or tubes help keep your neck and chin warm when you need it. This Marmot version is a cozy micro fleece if you’re looking for the warmest option.

Nathan Sports SpeedShift Running Glove: If you forgot your headlamp, this glove has high visibility features like reflectivity and LED lights (yes, lights on your gloves) for up to 1300 feet of visibility. Watch out NYC drivers, this runner is serious and safe!

Nike Cold-Weather Running Knit Hat: We couldn’t wrap up without mentioning to protect your noggin. A reflective, light, sweat-wicking version like this is a great option that’s easily stowable in your pocket if it gets too warm on a run.

Stay safe and see you all next Tuesday at 6:30 for our Paragon Sports Run Club!



This gallery contains 2 photos.

Just the other day, I met up with our Running Specialist, Pacer, Long Distance Runner and Mother, Vivian Escobar, to get some insights and advice on distance running and to hear how she is preparing for her upcoming race, The MORE Fitness Women’s … Continue reading

Weekend Marathon Training Run


Dear Paragoners,


“To those of you that are not aware this course is essentially through my neighborhood, these Brooklyn/Queens miles are my bread and butter for training routes no matter what time of year, distance I’m racing etc. If you have any questions about regarding local details, food, restrooms, water, transit along the course let me know. I look forward to guiding/pacing you.”

Back to our email —

How goes it?! Anyone excited for the weekend … long run .. 5th Avenue Mile … you know, the good stuff!! Let me tell you, operating on very little sleep is NOT really that fun … just a heads up for the future parents of America.

Anyway, down to business.  This weekend we are going to be rocking an 18-ish mile course that will pretty strictly stick to the NYC Marathon course.  There will be traffic lights and such to deal with, but I think getting the lay of the land is far more important.  For those that use your smart phones and MapMyRun you should be able to load the course onto your phone morning of … regardless we will be chalking the course throughout, I’ll be bringing some turn sheets, but there aren’t too many turns to deal with. We’ll be going over the Pulaski & 59th Street bridges and up 1st Ave, down 5th Ave and working most of the marathon finish.

PLEASE come prepared with water, nutrition, and a few bucks if you need to stop at a bodega for a refill as there will be limited options amidst the middle miles of this run.

We’re meeting at Starbucks off of West Broadway downtown, right by the Chambers Street 1/2/3 station.


  • 9:45+ Pace Runners will be meeting at 7am & on the run by NO LATER THAN 7:15.
  • Faster than 9:45 Pace Runners will be meeting at 7:30am & on the run NO LATER THAN 7:45

Alrighty then, that is pretty much all the news fit to print.

~ josh []


  • 7:00 am -> 9:45+ Paces
  • 7:30 am -> 9:45 & Faster Paces

Meeting Place:

  • Starbucks @ West Broadway & Reade [just off the 1/2/3 Chambers Street stop]

Course & Distance: 18+ miles … HERE is the map.

Saturday Long Runs – 10/13/2012


Greetings Gang,

I’m gonna make this short and sweet this week for the long run.  We’re doing 18-miles from Prospect Park out onto the Coney Island boardwalk (for hot dogs and fries obviously) then back to the Park for chocolate milk!!! BRILLIANT!!!


Enjoy the rest of your week!!  RSVP and let’s have some fun!

~ josh

Time: 7:00 am for 10:30+ pace runners


7:20 am for 9:00-10:15 pace

7:40 am for 9:00 pace & faster

Meeting Place: Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Course & Distance:  18ish-miles (MAP)