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Puma Street Meet Contest Winners
by: LetsRun.com
April 24, 2009

The Puma LetsRun.com Boston Street Meet Contest has a winner, Kara Haas of Chelmsford, Mass. LetsRun.com viewers were asked "What Does Fast Mean To You?" We narrowed the contest to the final entries and then opened it up to voting. Kara and Dan White of LeClaire, Iowa were neck-and-neck in the voting but Kara just came out on top.

Kara is a fitting winner to our contest because she is pretty hard core about running. When LetsRun.com co-founder Wejo was posting on the message boards about his navicular stress fracture, Kara was writing him back, as she too has had the same injury. More importantly, however, is that Kara's is a really good runner. First of all, take a look at her PRs:

mile: 4:41
2 mile: 10:39
5K: 16:32
8k: 27:14
10K: 35:07
1/2 marathon: 1:19:41
marathon: 2:54:17

Street Meet Preview

Pretty damn impressive. Kara was attempting to make the Olympic Marathon Trials and came up just short and is giving the 2012 Trials a shot. More important in our book is her dedication to the sport. Here's what she wrote us: "I run for 'Fernado Braz,' who really is the greatest female marathon coach in the U.S.  I write for 'New England Runner' - which is the greatest publication in the Northeast ... I coach at the Bartlett School in Lowell, MA (which is the projects, 90% + free lunch) and I teach there, and I run 100 mile weeks in search of the so-far elusive 2012 Women's marathon qualifying time. I love my life, and I love to run, above all. I hope you will be there this weekend, as I would love to talk to you, and your website is just an inspiration to all. Thank you again so much!!"

Here is Kara's winning entry which won her the Grand Prize weekend with Usain Bolt in Boston this Sunday:

    Fast is akin to shopping in a store with no price tags - if you have to ask, then you don't know fast. If you have to quantify it, then you don't know fast. If you have to talk about it, then you don't know fast. If you need an explanation, then you don't know fast. When you show it with the lean at the finish line, the last fiber of your very being stretched beyond human limits for all the world to see, mind and body devoid of any sensation save pain, then you know fast.

Runner-Up Dan White

Our runner-up Dan White is addicted to the sport as well. He's been involved with running for 15 years and his claim to fame is a Drake Relays medal. Now a physical therapist, and sub-3 hour marathoner, he's passionate about running and, fortunately for us, LetsRun.com. As he wrote, "My wife would love to tell you how much time I've 'wasted' on it since I found it in my sophomore dorm room back in 2000 (?).  I appreciate all you, Robert, and Matt Taylor have done for the sport and how easy you've made it for me to continue to be a fan of track and field."

We urge everyone who gets complaints from the misses to point out that LetsRun.com is keeping them at home, and the time is far from "wasted" as Dan's wonderful wife knows.

Here is Dan's Entry:

    Fast is the difference. The difference between the pace at my desk and the pace on the trail. The difference between crossing a finish line and breaking the tape. The difference between local and international. The difference between existing and living. Fast is the difference between sanity and insanity.

Dan Gets a Puma Prize Pack valued at $300, as do the next 2 runner-ups, Charlie Duong and Elias Asch. A little more on Elias below.

3rd Place
Charlie Duong Westbrook, ME

4th Place
Elias Asch, 23

Elias, originally from Portland, Maine, is now getting his MBA at the San Diego State University Sports Business Program. Elias is also passionate about running and has been running since the second grade. And for those of you who say LetsRun.com is full of male chauvinists, take a look at how Elias got started in the sport: "My interest in the sport started in second grade when, for Show & Tell, a girl in my class brought in a silver medal from our town's recreation department's youth cross country program  and I thought, 'Pffft, I can beat her.'" Elias isn't sure he actually beat her, but that was the start of his running career, which took him to the DIII ranks and Whitman College.

Elias' entry:

Fast. You've either got it or you don't. Fast is last off the line but first to the tape. Fast is settling into the blocks and waiting ... waiting ... "runners set ... bang!" It's knowing you've won before the race is even run. Sometimes fast is fueled by chicken nuggets.

Fast is the too-cool smile I give you as we're warming up. Fast is at the club 'til 5 then on the track by 8. Fast is straight ballin'. Fast is crossing the line with your arms thrown wide, inviting a whole island nation to an all-night dance hall party.


Ira Thomson Bellingham, Washington



The Puma Boston Street Meet is this Sunday. More info here.

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