P. J. Christman
© 2015 42K(+) Press, Inc.
The marathon: a magic distance and event, one that requires ambition, planning, determination, courage, persistence, stamina, and endurance, all traits the Greek messenger Pheidippides was required to possess for his clarion journey.
For it was Pheidippides’s feat of running from Marathon to exhaustion and death in Athens, in order to announce nothing more than victory, that inspired the subsequent formal Olympic event. At the end of the 19th century, a modern-day race was designed to commemorate the approximate 25-mile distance he was thought to have run.
We can thank King Edward VII of England for the event’s current 26.2-mile or 42.195-kilometer Olympic distance. For when His Majesty gave permission for the start of the 1908 Olympic Marathon to be upon the East Lawn of Windsor Castle, the race to finish with one lap inside London’s White City Stadium, the Olympic marathon distance was increased from 24.85 miles to its present distance.
These popular contests on foot are thought to be among the planet’s more testing endeavors. For those of all abilities up to the challenge, it takes somewhere between two and six hours to complete. Many fail to finish. Others end up hitting “the Wall” where glycogen has run out and the muscles can no longer sustain pedestrian movement of even the most awkward or staggering nature.
Of course there are other, arguably more difficult challenges such as climbing Mount Everest, swimming the English Channel, hiking across the Sahara Desert, biking the Tour de France, or completing Ironman triathlons. These endeavors create their own cachet through difficult requirements involving the overcoming of great mental and physical barriers.
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Olympic Bronze Medalist and American Record Holder to Executive Produce First Ever Boston Marathon FilmJanuary 20, 2015
Los Angeles, CA — LA Roma Films, the Los Angeles and Rome based production company producing the feature length documentary film BOSTON, announced today that Olympic Bronze Medalist and American Record Holder Deena Kastor has joined the production as Executive Producer.
Directed by Jon Dunham, the award winning filmmaker of the critically acclaimed Spirit of the Marathon films, and produced by Academy Award nominee Megan Williams, BOSTON is the first feature film to be produced about the world’s oldest annually contested marathon.
“I am proud and exhilarated to join Jon and Megan in the production of BOSTON” said Kastor. “This movie is a great opportunity to showcase the historical significance of this race as well as the extraordinary impact it has on the lives of runners. I am motivated to bring the Boston Marathon to audiences in a way that inspires runners, creates runners, engages fans and makes all those involved in this race proud of what they’ve created.”
BOSTON will tell the rich story of the Boston Marathon from its beginning – directly inspired by the inaugural Modern Olympics’ advent of the marathon race – to the present day. The film will chronicle the growth, change, triumph and tragedy of the iconic race demonstrating how it has both reflected and catalyzed social change. Planned for release in 2016, the Boston Athletic Association granted LA Roma Films exclusive access to make the film.
“I am thrilled to be working with Deena on this historic film” said Dunham. “Our shared passion for the marathon, its history and positive effect on so many people’s lives makes this a wonderful collaboration.”
Dunham and Kastor previously worked together on Spirit of the Marathon (2008) the classic running film that has become a viewing ritual for runners around the globe in the days leading up to their next race.
Williams added, “Deena is a champion. She brings considerable talent and personal insight to BOSTON, this film about the most legendary road race in the world.”
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RAVEN is celebrating the 40-year mark of his streak run on December 31, 2014, right in the same place
he has been running for 40 years. Runners from all over are coming to join in this remarkable celebration to meet and run with RAVEN on the beach at 4pm at the 5th Street Lifeguard Station in South Beach, Miami, Florida.
Raven has the world’s record for running 8 miles every day for 40 years in hurricanes, storms, very high temperatures, and humidity! He is the only runner in the world who has run his entire streak on the sand and also in the same location. RAVEN is one of the only 8 runners in the world to have completed a 40-year streak run.
- Raven has logged over 117,000 miles on the sands of South Beach—enough to circle the earth nearly 5 times.
- More than 2200 runners ranging in age from 6 to 83, from more than 78 countries and at least 2 runners from every state in America, have completed at least one 8 mile run with Raven on South Beach.
HOW I STARTED INTO RUNNING
I started running as a kid mostly inspired by my dad, also named Bill Smith. Dad was, in many ways, an over-achiever. He ran the mile and the half mile for North Kansas City High School, usually both in the same meet, and he always had a lot to say about running and training. At the time I was less interested in running, but I idolized my dad so if he had a high opinion of running, I was going to run, too. In those days we kids rode a bike or walked almost everywhere, and I just ran there because it got the whole thing over with a lot quicker. Once every year I would run to my doctor’s office for my annual summer camp physical and always “fail” the pee test because of the run.
After college I took up running again in about 1972, but this time I liked it, and my dad was enthusiastic about it, too. I became a member of the Kansas City YMCA and ran on their indoor track every night. It was a wood-slat inclined and concave track elevated over the basketball court, 26 laps to the mile. I kept that up for several years until one day a friend told me about a 10K on the weekend. Dad and I went to the 10K (he had never run one either), and there was an old friend of dad’s named Jerry Morrison running it. I looked at Mr. Morrison and thought, “All I got to do is stay with this old guy?” The race started, and I stayed with Mr. Morrison for a couple of miles. Jerry Morrison, I found out later, was an age group world record holder in the marathon. At age 57 he ran something in the 2:40s! Wow! Wow again, too. Mr. Morrison ran a 35 that day and I think I did a 40, but I was hooked on the competition aspect of running!
For the next many years, I ran one to three times per day. There was always a noon run with fellow runners at work, and often also a morning run with them. Running in the 1980s with those guys at work was very formative and influencing for me. That was an extremely competitive group with one very good former college miler, another college half miler, and a part-time college coach. The small group of us would run one or two 10Ks every weekend, and it was what I call friendly-fierce. We all wanted to beat each other in the worst way, and it developed training technique and speed. The running boom back then was different than now. No one went to a race just to finish. Everyone went to a race to win in some manner: Win outright, win your (10 year) age division, be first female, or just to improve your PR. One of my goals was always to beat the first girl. Wish I could still do that.
MY FIRST MARATHON
In 1980 a guy from work trained and ran a marathon. I had never thought of doing that before. And, obviously, by that statement you know that I also didn’t know how really fast Jerry Morrison was either. But I thought if they can do that, then I can do that. In 1981 there was no Internet or any other kind of social media, so you had to wait for the January issues of Running Times and Runner’s World to come out to see a one-page printed marathon schedule in the back of the magazine. You kept your copy for 12 months just so you had a schedule of marathons. So, in that schedule I picked out Heart of America Marathon as my first marathon. My goal was to get in under three hours. Anyone who knows Heart of America is probably rolling in laughter right about now. It is a really tough course. I wore a Timex with a chrono in it, and I wrote my required splits upside down on my number so I could see them. At the half I realized that I was behind schedule so I “caved in” to accepting a slower time and not accomplishing my goal. I don’t really know what happened, but I just started feeling better and better after that, literally charged up Easley Hill, and ran a negative split to a 2:59:35 finish. I remember the front runners got stopped by a train for a while, and that 12-year-old Wesley Paul ran it. That was my first of many. Hooked again!
Continue reading » On My Way to 100 Marathons
ATLANTA, Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Atlanta Track Club and Mizuno announced an exclusive partnership today, uniting two prestigious Atlanta-based athletic brands guided by their mission to change lives through the power of running. Featuring a long-term commitment from both organizations, this partnership will help Atlanta Track Club grow the impact of its world-class running events, membership services, programs and products on the Metro Atlanta community.
The first fully-integrated sponsorship for Atlanta Track Club and a first-of-its-kind partnership for Mizuno inNorth America, this agreement will impact all facets of both organizations. Beginning January 1, 2015, Mizuno will be the Official Footwear and Apparel Partner of Atlanta Track Club, incorporating the brand in all of its running events, programs and merchandise.
Founded more than 100 years ago, Mizuno has been guided by the core philosophy of contributing to society through sports and grounded by the power of sports to transform individuals and shape communities through positive changes connected to health and physical activity. With this multi-year contract, Mizuno will showcase its commitment to running through this partnership with Atlanta Track Club and the city of Atlanta.
“Atlanta Track Club is a recognized brand not only in the Atlanta community but nationally with the rich history surrounding the AJC Peachtree Road Race,” commented Bob Puccini, President, Mizuno USA. “The alignment of our organization’s philosophy and purpose made this partnership a natural decision for Mizuno. We are excited for the opportunities that lie ahead and to be able to make a lasting impact in Atlanta with Atlanta Track Club.”
“As the Atlanta Track Club enters its next 50 years, it does so with the support of Mizuno, one of the world’s most respected running brands,” added Rich Kenah, Executive Director of Atlanta Track Club. “Mizuno will help our Club enhance every program and service that we currently offer to our members and participants and allow us to launch new initiatives designed to get more people moving.”
The more than 21,000 members of Atlanta Track Club and the more than 100,000 participants of Atlanta Track Club’s events and programs can look forward to many benefits from the Club’s partnership with Mizuno. Features of the partnership include Atlanta Track Club branded Mizuno apparel and footwear, the launch of new Atlanta Track Club events including a 2015 cross country meet for both high schoolers and open athletes, the addition of a youth track and field team, running shoe and apparel items included in Club training program benefits, and the availability of Atlanta Track Club branded apparel at specialty running and sporting goods stores throughout the Southeast region and online at atlantatrackclub.org. As part of the partnership, Mizuno will also become the exclusive footwear and apparel provider for Atlanta Track Club’s AJC Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10K.
About Atlanta Track Club
Atlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 21,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) – the largest 10K running event in the world and the Atlanta Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 5K (atlantahalfmarathon.org), Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.
About Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers in the world. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes golf, baseball, softball, running, track & field, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear throughout the Americas. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Norcross, Georgia.