It’s only November, but more than 1,300 people are already signed up for the Tar Heel 10 Miler presented by CEP scheduled for April 26, 2014. As always, those who register early get a discount, so don’t forget to sign up by Dec. 1 and use discount code KICKOFF to get $10 off your registration fee. Local textile artist and fellow runner Elaine O’Neil made an awesome course-map quilt for us, which we feature as this month’s center spread. The quilt features the best of the Tar Heel 10 Miler, including landmarks such as the Old Well, Morehead Planetarium and, of course, Laurel Hill.

Our inspirational story this month also features Laurel Hill and the “wings” one runner grew to conquer it. Searching for a Tar Heel 10 Miler PR, Laura King Edwards had to dig deep on the hill and found inspiration in her little sister, Taylor, who is living with Batten disease. Be sure to check out her moving account in her story, “I Grew Wings on Laurel Hill.”

November is also National Running Safety Month, and locally owned stores in North Carolina are making sure that a little darkness doesn’t slow you down. For most of us, going for a run after dark or before the sun comes up is sometimes the only way to squeeze in a few miles. In this issue of Endurance Magazine, we offer some tips to be the safest runner you can be when running in the dark, as well as some great gear – like New Balance’s glow-in-the-dark shoes and jacket – to help light your way.

The eighth annual Magnificent Mile Race this past September lit up the day with a festive atmosphere and exhilarating racing and celebrating. Nearly 1,100 people participated and close to $45,000 was raised for motor neuron disease, with donations continuing to pour in. This year’s Men’s Competitive Mile was an absolute thriller. Three N.C. State grads took it to the tape … literally! Read our update to find out who were the big winners at this year’s race.

Whether you run the mile, 5k’s or marathons, you probably have a PR in mind at some point. Improving form and running mechanics is an essential part of accomplishing that goal. The first step involves identifying mobility and strength imbalances with a comprehensive assessment from a qualified trainer or physical therapist. Once any physical barriers or limitations have been addressed, you can focus on honing running form. Brian Schiff offers some great tips in his article, “Improve Speed with Better Running Mechanics.”

November offers up a lot of great road races, including, of course, some festive and competitive Turkey Trots! Before you head to the start line, be sure to read Vickie Leff’s article, “Ready, Set, Race!” for some great tips on what to do in the weeks before your race, not to mention the night before and day of it.

It is also that time of year when sweet potatoes are sold more frequently at the markets, especially in our state. North Carolina happens to be the leading producer of sweet potatoes in the United States, which is good news for us, because they are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Brandon McDearis offers a great fall recipe this month with his maple-glazed sweet potatoes. We also explain the difference between sweet potatoes and yams, because the two are not the same!

Our issue would not be complete without the input of all of our columnists, including Inside-Out Sports Cid Cardoso’s monthly gear review. This month Cid takes a look at a product that inspires one of those initial “What the %#@&?” reactions. If you’re in the market for a new bike rack that can easily be moved from car to car, you do not want to miss this month’s review.