The Strava Back-Half Challenge offers free New Balance shoes to anyone who negative splits a fall marathon

A negative split is achieved in any race when the time for the 2nd half of the race is faster than the time for the 1st half of the race. Most of the talk about negative splits is related to marathons, where the feat is very difficult for runners both with and without experience. Marathons are hard – there’s no way around it – whether someone’s just trying to finish or they’re pushing every step for an age group place, PR, or even the title.

To give runners a little more incentive, Strava and their friends at New Balance are offering free shoes to anyone who negative splits a USATF-certified marathon in the U.S. between October 9 and December 4, 2016, and the run is recorded on Strava. They’re calling it their “Back-Half Challenge,” and they are doing it to encourage runners to learn more about smart race strategies which will, ultimately, learn to more enjoyable races. You can record it using the free Strava app or with a Garmin, and then upload the run to the Strava website (again, it’s a free account). You’ll also need to upload the official race results, so it can’t be a Fat Ass or other un-timed run.

If you conquer this challenge, you’ll have to upload the data to Strava by December 12 along with your info (there’s a form on this page to do so). Then, you’ll get an email from the Strava team by December 15 with a code for you to get your shoes from ANY pair of New Balance; because Strava and New Balance know that just because something’s on sale doesn’t mean it’s the best pair for you.

I know, the Portland Marathon is this Saturday, but if you’ve put in the training, here are a few more marathons in the Pacific Northwest in that time window that you could shoot for (you’ll need to verify if they are USATF-certified):

NOTE: To find links to all of these events, please visit the Pacific NW Running Calendar here.

Dog Lake Marathon – Saturday, October 15 in Dog Lake, Wash.

For Steilacoom Trail Runs – Sunday, October 16 in Lakewood, Wash.

Columbia Gorge Marathon – Sunday, October 23 in Hood River

Tri-Cities Marathon – Sunday, October 30 in Richland, Wash.

Silver Falls Trail Marathon – Saturday, November 5 in Silver Falls

In Unity We Run Marathon – Saturday, November 5 in Kent, Wash.

Bellingham Trail Marathon – Saturday, November 5 in Kent, Wash.

Klickitat Trail Marathon – Saturday, November 5 in Klickitat, Wash.

Lithia Loop Trail Marathon – Saturday, November 5 in Ashland

Grand Ridge Trail Runs – Saturday, November 19 in Issaquah, Wash.

The Wattle Waddle – Thursday, November 24 in Seattle, Wash.

The Seattle Ghost Marathon – Saturday, November 26 in Seattle, Wash.

The Seattle Marathon – Sunday, November 27 in Seattle, Wash.

The Birch Bay Ghost Marathon – Saturday, December 3 in Birch Bay, Wash.



About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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