Editor’s Choice: The World’s Most Determined (and Dominant) Marathoner

February 25, 2015
Cover19.2SMChris Lotsbom
© 2015 42K(+) Press, Inc.

The most dominant force in marathoning right now isn’t a wiry Kenyan or Ethiopian. She hasn’t yet set a marathon world record, nor does she have a major shoe sponsor. As a matter of fact, her personal website lists two sponsors: Liberty Mutual Insurance and BP Oil. She not only specializes in the marathon but is also a world-class cross-country skier.

The most dominant force in the marathon is only 25 years old and hails from the town of Clarksville, Maryland (pop. 56,239), some 30 minutes west of Baltimore. She is younger than her American marathon counterparts, Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher, and has excelled in sprinting events like the 100 meters and 400 meters, too.

She spends her time at rehabilitation hospitals, is always smiling for selfies, and has met some of the biggest names in sports and pop culture. Glance at her Twitter account and you’ll see pictures with hurdler Lolo Jones, former football star and motivational speaker Eric LeGrand, and marathon world record holder Dennis Kimetto. On Instagram, she has selfies with Prince Harry, LeBron James, Michael Sam, and Richard Sherman. She has been nominated for an ESPY Award (Best Female Athlete With a Disability) and is a four-time Olympian.

Still trying to guess who this top marathon star is? Here are two more hints: she has won the World Marathon Majors grand slam for two straight years, and she goes by the nickname “Beast.”

The world’s best marathoner is Tatyana McFadden, the most consistent and successful push-rim wheelchair athlete in recent years.

Each issue, we select an “Editor’s Choice”—an entire article we share with you online. Click here to read the entire article…

Olympic Bronze Medalist and American Record Holder to Executive Produce First Ever Boston Marathon Film

January 20, 2015

BostonLos 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.”

For more information please contact: info@laromafilms.com

Editor’s Choice: Under Two Hours – and Beyond

January 5, 2015
Cover19.1SMIs the sub-2:00 marathon possible?
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.

Each issue, we select an “Editor’s Choice”—an entire article we share with you online. Click here to read the entire article…

RAVEN Streak Run Celebrates 40-year Mark

December 29, 2014

RAVEN 1RAVEN 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.

On My Way to 100 Marathons

November 18, 2014

BillIn our November 2014 e-newsletter, e-XTRA, we included an excerpt of Bill Smith’s story in our “Subscriber of the Month” feature. Here is his entire story.

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!
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