2003 Issues

    Vol. 7 #1 | Vol. 7 #2 | Vol. 7 #3 | Vol. 7 #4 | Vol. 7 #5 | Vol. 7 #6


    Volume 7 | Number 1 | January/February 2003


    Departments

    Editorial
    Comebacks
    Rich’s editorial looks at some marathoners who made amazing comebacks, including Joan Benoit,
    Dick Beardsley, and Khalid Khannouchi.

    On the Road with Ellen McCurtin
    Elemental Truths
    Our newest On the Road columnist, Ellen McCurtin, shares her experience of going against
    her better instincts and attempting at the last minute to run the 2002 Hartford Marathon
    in October.

    My Most Unforgettable Ultramarathon (And What I Learned From It)

    by John Foden

    John Foden’s most memorable ultramarathon was the 1994 Irish Peace Race, which ran from
    Northern Ireland to the Republic as a demonstration in support of the peace talks going on between the two governments.

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    Mardi Gras Marathon
    A Well-Organized Race in a Unique City.

    Letters
    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

    On the Mark
    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions. This month’s question:

    A QUESTION OF MILEAGE. High mileage obviously builds endurance for the marathon. But just how much mileage
    is too much mileage? When do you reach the point of diminishing returns?

    Our experts answer this question in our January/February 2003 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Richard Benyo, Annette Pierce, Carlo Capua,
    Nelsen Petersen, Edmund Burke, PhD, and Paul Reese.


    Features

    Carry a Cat by the Tail

    Lessons Learned the Hard Way Have a Way of Sticking in the Mind.
    by Paul Reese

    Accomplished writer and runner Paul Reese begins his article by telling us: “It was Mark
    Twain who told us that a man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way. Paraphrasing that, a
    runner who races learns lessons he can learn no other way. To quote Vernon Law, a former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher,
    ‘Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.’Over the past 39 years I’ve carried the
    cat by the tail and I’ve been taught by a hard teacher, and along the way I’ve learned a number of lessons from racing
    experiences.”
    Paul shares the many lessons he’s learned on the roads.

    Comeback
    Past 40, Reverted to Recreational Runner, Can I Make the Olympic Trials?
    by Annette Pierce

    After being a couch potato for the past seven years, former 2:45 marathoner Annette Pierce gets back
    into serious training, with an eye toward qualifying for the 2004 Olympic marathon trails.
    The first of an on-going series of articles in Annette’s comeback trail.

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    In Bunyan’s Backyard
    For Some Races, We Need to Apply a Higher Standard.
    by Nelsen Petersen

    An upclose look at the Walker North Country Marathon in Walker, Minnesota.

    Running in Moderation
    Running Into the New Year Is an Opportunity To Experience Excess.
    by Dean Ottati

    Thoughtful musings during a run up Mt. Diablo in California on New Year’s Day.

    The Ring Saga
    The Vienna City Marathon Suffers From an Excess of Riches.
    by Richard Benyo

    Read about a wonderful European marathon.

    Live High, Train Low
    The Science of Altitude Training Has Evolved to a Near-Perfect Science.
    by Edmund R. Burke, PhD

    Cutting-edge info on altitude training.

    Nice GaijinsM Finish Last
    Sometimes the Last May Indeed Be Last as This Gaijin (Foreigner) Learned.
    by Carlo Capua

    A last-minute decision to run the Niigata Marathon in Japan puts the author in a struggle
    with himself and the sweeper van.

    Twice the Fun
    When you double your racing distance, it isn’t all drugery; it can be double the
    enjoyment.

    by James Hoch

    Author James Hoch celebrates his 50th birthday with an ultra, the Rocky Mountain
    Double.

    Deerfoot, Howard, and Sohn, Unlimited
    An impressive new book details the lives of some of the world’s greatest
    runners.

    by Edwards S. Sears

    In Edward Sears’ Running Through the Ages, a 336-page 7 x 10
    book detailing running through the history of mankind, he presents biographies of some
    of thegreat runners of all time. We picked three of our favorite running legends to share with
    you.

    Adventures in the “Heart of Dixie”
    Alabama Boasts Two Marathons at Opposite Ends of the Spectrum.
    by Mark Lidman

    A quick peak at the Rocket City and Mercedes marathons.

    Road from Gold River to Tahsis
    An Awakening Journey Through Burning-Boot Country.
    by Janette Murray-Wakelin

    For the long-distance runner looking for an interesting, scenic, and social training run, the“Great Walk,” a
    63.5-kilometer course on a gravel logging road on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, is worth checkingout.
    The race bills itself as “North America’s toughest pledge walk.”

    Special Book Bonus

    Just Call Me Jock: Part 5
    by Jock Semple with John J. Kelley and Tom Murphy

    Jock tells his side of the 196 KV Switzer saga and wins the Johnny J. Kelley bidding war.

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    Volume 7 | Number 2 | March/April 2003


    Departments

    Editorial
    The War of the Words
    Rich’s editorial discusses the IAAF’s continued Neanderthl approach of denying the status of world
    records in the marathon.

    On the Road with Ellen McCurtin
    Our Quirks Make Us What We Are
    On the Road columnist Ellen McCurtin looks at the quiry side of runners, the personal
    idiosyncrasies that are occasionally puzzling and even funny, or both.

    My Most Unforgettable Marathon (And What I Learned From It)
    by Hal Higdon

    Hal Higdon takes us back to the 1981 World Masters Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand. We follow Hal through
    his incredible 18-month training leading up to the championships.

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    Idaho Great Potato Marathon
    Enjoy more than spuds when you small-time racing in Boise, Idaho.

    Letters
    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

    On the Mark

    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions. This month’s question:

    I’M PRETTY new to the sport of long-distance running. I’m currently training for my first marathon after doing dozens of 5K and
    10K races. Some of the “old-timers” I run into seem to spend a lot of time grumbling about the good old days. One of their most frequent
    laments is the loss of common courtesies among road racers. I very much appreciate the traditions of our sport—which is one reason
    I love M&B—and want to do the right thing. If you could pick the top three common road racing courtesies that I should practice,
    what would they be?

    Our experts answer this question in our March/April 2003 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Hal Higdon, David E. Martin, Jeff Horowitz, Tito Morales, and Chuck Savage.


    Features

    Johnny A. Kelley: Runner of the Century

    To Run Well for a Decade is an Accomplishment, but to Run Well Decade After Decade is Legendary.
    by David E. Martin, PhD and John F. Buoncristiani, PhD

    Scientists Martin and Buoncristiani examine Johnny A. “The Elder” Kelley’s amazing career at Boston. Includes memorable archival
    photos of Kelley.

    The Long Run Through the Land of the Vikings
    It’s a 55K Ultra That Features Just About Every Terrain But Easy?
    by Udo Hildenstab

    This Icelandic ultra is spectacularly difficult. Very cool photos included.

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    Coach
    Billy Squires Coached America’s Best Marathoners.
    by Paul Clerici

    An upclose look at one of American’s best marathon coaches, Billy Squires.

    An American in Paris–and Rome, and Berlin, and Dublin….
    A Guide to Racing in Europe.
    by Jeff Horowitz

    Everything you need to know to run and succeed in a marathon in Europe.

    Comeback

    Improvements in Training Spur Research Into Physiology.
    by Annette Pierce

    Part 2 of Annette Pierce’s Olympic Marathon Trails comeback.

    Intro Wroclaw
    A Marathon Experience in Poland Is a Window Into Eastern European History.
    by Chuck Savage

    Window into a unique European marathon.

    Of Mice and Runners
    The Marathon Can Be a Very Demanding Mistress.

    by Tito Morales

    Thoughtful musings on the challenge of amarathon.

    Seeing the Light
    The Lessons of Nature Are Often Dramatic and Powerful–and Sudden.
    by Kevin Beck

    Author Kevin Beck gets caught in a horrific storm while running in a gorge in southwest Virginia.

    More Brain, Less Pain
    Research the 100K Before Doing It to Avoid Surprises.
    by Sergey Grishin

    Good story for ultra runners.

    Running is a Team Sport
    And You Are the Coach.
    by Bill Sieck

    Appoach your long-distance training with the “team” approach.

    A Baker’s Dozen Things No Runner Should Do
    “Anti-advice” from a mentally challenged marathon fanatic.
    by Andy Mathews

    A humorous look at some of the snafus that runners should avoid.

    Deerfoot, Howard, and Sohn, Unlimited
    A comprehensive new book details the lives of some of the world’s greatest runners.
    by Edward S. Sears

    In Edward Sears’ Running Through the Ages, a 336-page 7 x 10 book detailing running through
    the history of mankind, he presents biographies of some of thegreat runners of all time. We picked three
    of our favorite running legends to share.

    Special Book Bonus

    Just Call Me Jock: Part 6
    by Jock Semple with John J. Kelley and Tom Murphy

    Young John J. Kelley tightropes between two coaches on his way to the Boston Marathon, and
    Jock trains a fighter.

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    Volume 7 | Number 3 | May/June 2003


    Departments

    Editorial
    SportsMed II
    Rich’s editorial previews the special Sports Medicine focus of this issue.

    On the Road with Barry Lewis
    Patience and Experience
    Our NEWEST On the Road columnist, Barry Lewis, lays the groundwork for his upcoming
    reign.

    My Most Unforgettable Ultramarathons (And What I Learned From them)
    by Frank Bozanich

    Frank Bozanich, one of the most successful and ferocious ultrarunners from the 1970s and
    1980s, shares a memorable 8-day stretch in the summer of 1980 when he ran, back to back, the
    Biel 100K in Switzerland and the Old Dominion 100-Mile Trail Run in Virginia.

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    Crater Lake Rim Runs and Marathon
    A high-altitude loop of the lake is both challenging and exhilarating.

    This gem of a marathon offers spectacular beauty but at a price.

    Letters
    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

    On the Mark
    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions. This month’s question:

    I am wondering what is the best way to run hill workouts. I am currently doing hill work once a week. My questions
    are: How do I determine the grade of a hill? Is it bad to run higher grades? If I have a five-mile hill workout, do I run up
    and down the same hill for 40 minutes, or can it be a “rolling hills” type of run? I live in Portland, Oregon, which has lots of
    hills, but I want to do them correctly. Thanks for your help.

    Our experts answer this question in our May/June 2003 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are David E. Martin, Ph.D; Mel Williams, Ph.D;
    Perry Julien, D.P.M.; Annette Pierce, Chuck Bryant, and Mike Lambert, Ph.D.


    Features

    The Science of Running

    An introduction to our special sports medicine section.
    by Richard Benyo

    Sports Science Research
    Can It Improve Your Marathon Time?
    by Mel Williams, Ph.D.

    This spectacular and thorough lead article to our sports medicine issue covers the
    latest on the science of running–training, biomechanics, and performance-enhancing
    substances (legal “drugs” and nutrients).

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    Practical Application of Heart Rate Monitoring for Training
    The Gadget Was a Landmark Invention, But Are There Limitations to Its Application?
    by David E. Martin, Ph.D.

    An excellent primer on heart rate and training and critical information on improved
    training through heart rate monitoring.

    Tips for Toes
    Proper Care and Treatment of the Forefoot Gives a Runner a Foot Up on Longevity.
    by Perry Julien, D.P.M.

    Essential information on forefoot injuries.

    Training Habits of Two Oceans Runners

    What Can We Learn About Ultra Training From People Who Have Raced Ultras for Years?
    by Michael Lambert, Ph.D.

    The results of Lambert’s comprehensive survey of Two Oceans ultrarunners could
    improve your own ultrarunning.

    Who Runs Even Marathon Splits?
    The Ideal Pacing Strategy Has Always Been to Run Even Splits, But Does Anyone Really
    Do It?

    by William J. Pierce, Ph.D. & Donald E. Pierce, M.A.

    The first of three articles by the Brothers Pierce.

    Do Marathoners in Pacing Groups Achieve Target Times?

    For All the Logic Behind Marathon Pacing Groups, the Success Rate Is a Surprisingly
    Mixed Bag.

    by William J. Pierce, Ph.D. & Donald E. Pierce, M.A.

    The Pierce Brothers tackle the following questions in their article: how successful
    in meeting goal times are mathoners who join pacing groups? Is the method of selecting the marathoner’s
    target finishing time related to the likelihood of achieving the goal finishing time? Do marathoners who join pacing groups
    intend to run the entire distance with the pacer? Are marathon pacing group participants who plan to run the entire distance
    with the pacer more likely to achieve their goal finishing time than those who plan to run with the pacer for only a portion of
    the race?

    The Effects of Aging on Marathon Performance
    Some Decline with Age Is Inevitable, But Just How Much Can We Expect?
    by William J. Pierce, Ph.D. & Donald E. Pierce, M.A.

    In the last of their three articles, Bill and Don Pierce tell us what we can expect
    as we age as runners.

    Comeback

    Discipline and Increasingly Long Runs Conspire to Make Me Think I’m a Real
    Runner.

    by Annette Pierce

    Part 3 of Annette Pierce’s Olympic Marathon Trails comeback.

    When Yonkers Was a Place Like Brigadoon
    A Tough But Scenic Course I Could, for a Time, Call My Own.
    by Johnny J. “The Younger” Kelley

    The sixth piece in an exclusive series of marathon memoirs by Johnny J. Kelley
    of Mystic, Connecticut. Past memoirs appeared in issues dating back to 1997.

    Adventures in Paradise
    In Exotic Maui, Drawing Out One’s Finish is a Mixed Blessing.

    by Chuck Bryant

    Join Chuck Bryant at the 2002 Maui Marathon. Includes a 2-page sidebar by M&B publisher
    Jan Seeley and her husband, Joe, on their trip with the 2002 Maui Marathon
    Sweepstakes winner.

    Special Book Bonus

    Just Call Me Jock: Final Installment
    by Jock Semple with John J. Kelley and Tom Murphy

    Patience Brings a Dream to Fruition in 1957, and the Bosto Marathon Rises a Notch.

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    Volume 7 | Number 4 | July/August 2003


    Departments

    Editorial

    Reading & Running

    Reading can often be as much of an active pursuit as running.

    On the Road with Barry Lewis
    On the Run

    First things first. I know it’ll be midsummer when this issue reaches your mailbox. The dog days will be here, and in the East, at least, people will be starting to feel the effects of too many hot, humid days. If you’re like me, you’ll be training your way through it all, but you’ll be counting off the days until the cooling winds and falling leaves signal the beginning of fall.

    Continued…

    My Most Unforgettable Marathon (And What I Learned From It)
    by Max Jones

    MAX JONES is a 75-year-old Englishman whose running career has spanned 60 years. In his early days, when “long distance” meant a race farther than one mile but not more than 10 miles, coaching of such runners as we understand it today was unheard of. Retiring from running at age 25, Max returned for the 1981 London Marathon, the first of 87 marathons all told, 23 in the United States, and then, as one does, drifting into ultras. After several DNFs, he realized that Something Different Had To Be Done. His story is of his search for answers to fundamental questions of training, racing, recovery, and aging.

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    Nike ACG Boulder Backroads Marathon
    A relatively new winner of a race in a relatively old hotbed of running.

    Letters
    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

    On the Mark
    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions. This month’s question:

    EVERYONE HAS a little trouble getting out for the first run after a marathon. Some people refer to this as
    “postmarathon blues.” In my case it happens the minute the marathon ends. The sadness that comes over me is
    consuming. I have to move away from the finish line as fast as possible because I know the tears are coming and
    there is nothing I can do to stop them. What’s up with that? Have you ever heard of this before? A little background:
    47-year-old male, have run 12 or so marathons, times from 3:36 to 4:15. This has happened the last seven or
    eight marathons. I just want to know if anyone else has mentioned this to you folks..

    Our experts answer this question in our July/August 2003 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Linda Brewer, Andy Velazco, Cathy Tibbetts,
    Joe LeMay, Steve Krebs, and Annette Pierce.


    Features

    Pam Reed’s Excellent Death Valley Adventure

    In the Frying Pan Desert, Sometimes a Peak Experience Appears From Nowhere.
    by Linda Brewer

    The old song about “that lonesome valley” could have been written about the Badwater Death Valley race. Nobody else can cover those 135 scorching miles for you. You have to walk—or run—them by yourself. But that doesn’t mean a friend can’t ride beside you on a bicycle entertaining you with a story about a Mexican witch doctor. Or that another friend can’t give you the reeking shirt off her back.

    At 5:30 a.m. at Lone Pine, nearing the end of the 2002 Sun Precautions Badwater Ultramarathon, Pam Reed needed a shirt. She had run through the desert night in a Jog Bra and shorts. Now at higher altitude, her sunburned skin needed a protective layer. Chuck Giles, captain of her support crew, couldn’t find a shirt in the van, so he ordered crew member Susy Bacal to take off her own shirt and give it to Pam. Susy did so reluctantly. She had worn the shirt for umpteen hours at that point and knew it smelled.

    Continued…

    The Glamorous Life of an Athletic Supporter
    When You Volunteer in Crew in Death Valley, You Check Your Sanity at the Park Boundary.
    by Andy Velazco

    Travel with a crew at the 2002 Sun Precautions Badwater Ultramarathon

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    David Ogden’s Run to Freedom

    The DNA of the Natural-Born Runner Runs Deep in the Blood of Generations to Come.
    by Cathy Tibbetts

    Editor’s note: This article includes excerpts from A True Narrative of the Capture of David Ogden,
    Among the Indians, in the Time of the Revolution. And of the slavery and sufferings he endured, with an account
    of his almost miraculous escape after several years’ bondage. By Josiah Priest. Printed in 1840
    and reprinted in 1882 by Elmer E. Davis, Lisle, Broom County, N.Y.

    Hurry Up!
    The Story of the Appalachian Trail Speed Records.
    by Joe LeMay

    Lots of people hike the 2,160-mile-long Appalachian Trail (hereafter referred to as “AT” or “the AT” or “the Trail”).
    In fact, according to the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC), in 2001 some 2,375 people—or thru-hikers, as they’re
    called—stepped off Springer Mountain in Georgia, the southern start of the AT, with the intention of hiking the Trail in
    one continuous journey.

    Only 368 of those thru-hikers reported making it to Mount Katahdin in Maine, the northern finish of the AT. Three in 20 are the odds the ATC uses to describe the average thru-hiker’s chances of making the entire trip, but it is quick to point out that “careful planning can make your hike a successful one.”

    Continued…

    A Story of Love–And Medals

    A Life Build on Running Is Enhanced When the One You Love Sharies It.
    by Rodolfo Lucena

    The sun shone bright and strong. She looked behind her and saw no one chasing her. Sweat poured down her face and stung her eyes, her legs were concrete heavy, her face was a mask of pain, but she pushed ahead. One more, two more steps on the hot, soft sand of the beach. More than 31 miles had gone by. The record for the 50K lay a short distance away. She could see the finish line.

    And then she saw no more. She collapsed flat onto the beach, dizzy, exhausted, her glycogen gas tank dry.

    He couldn’t believe his eyes. He ran toward her, picked her up in his arms, tried to get her to come around. Soon the couple was surrounded by aides and competition officials who tried to get her medical assistance. He held tightly to her, would not let her go. Kicking back to right himself, he struggled to get her to stand up.

    No way. This time the three-time Brazilian Olympic marathoner, Diamantino and his young lady Marizete, ended up with empty pockets. No victory prize. No record bonus. They would leave Cassino Beach, the longest strip of thin white sand in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, with even bigger debts than they had when they arrived.

    Continued…

    Comeback
    Discipline and Increasingly Long Runs Conspire to Make Me Think I’m a Real
    Runner.

    by Annette Pierce

    Part 4 of Annette Pierce’s Olympic Marathon Trails comeback.

    The Joys of the Colorado Relay
    The Ultimate in Teamwork Among Runners Comes With the Daylong Long-Distance Relays.
    by Steve Krebs

    I have often lamented that one of the things that is lost in the wake of becoming an adult is the concept of team and teamwork. I look back at high school and college cross-country as some of the most enjoyable interludes in my life, not just because I love to run but also because I made lifelong friends. Since I got married and had kids, my team basketball has dropped to almost nothing and other team sports became nonexistent other than the rare game of ultimate Frisbee.

    I had read about ultramarathon relay races, and when one of my partners returned from the Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon with very favorable views, I decided it was time to revive the team concept and field a group of like-minded runners for a round-the-clock adventure.

    Continued…

    Easing the Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner
    Out There Under the Night Sky of Western States, Very Special Bonds Are Forged..
    by Rachel Toor

    Running is a narcissistic sport. It’s all about me, me, me: my times, my races, my injuries. For most of us, the real competition is not even other runners, but ourselves. This is why it can be taxing for friends and loved ones to endure the conversations of runners. It’s a solipsistic world.
    I’ve heard that people sometimes, when finishing a hard race like a marathon, will burst into tears. I’ve never experienced that rush of emotion after a race. Sure, I can be tired, disappointed, or even elated (though rarely) with my times. But it’s still just about me, me, me. I did choke up with emotion though, recently, after a race. But it was a race I hadn’t entered—and hadn’t even run.

    Ralph was running the Western States 100-Mile Trail Race. The race—indeed the whole sport of ultramarathon trail running—was started three decades ago by a bearded lumberjack of a man, Gordy Ainsleigh. When his horse came up lame while training for the 100-mile Tevis Cup Western States Endurance Ride, he decided that he would run the whole thing. He did, and finished, like the top horses, in less than 24 hours. The next year he ran the last 38 miles with Ken “Cowman” Shirk, the second person to finish the horse race on foot. Gordy, at age 55, was planning to run again this year.

    Continued…

    Chasing the High
    Getting high today means so much more than it once did.
    by Mark Matthews

    There is a strange and sick phenomenon in the world of heroin addiction in which late-stage addicts, upon hearing of a fellow heroin user’s overdosing and dying on a specific dealer’s supply, will often flock to that dealer’s neighborhood in hopes of scoring some from the same batch.

    Similar thoughts went through my own head upon hearing that one of the 25 toughest marathons in North America was located on a neighborhood mountain-biking trail. The Running Fit Trail Marathon—emphatically stating “no wimps” on its marketing material—had been given the seal of approval by Marathon & Beyond.

    As a recovering alcoholic and addict, I am an expert at beating myself up: looking for pain to see whether I’m still real. Today, however, is much different from 10 years ago. Today the pain is life affirming rather than a way of wallowing in despair. A chance to do a trail marathon would be an excellent opportunity to feel completely alive while stone-cold sober.

    Continued…

    Special Book Bonus

    The Long Run Solution: First Installment
    by Joe Henderson

    Here is Rich Benyo’s introduction to our new Book Bonus:

    Pioneers in various fields often miss the sweet smell of success that they well deserve because their timing is just a bit off or they are at the wrong place at the right time. They are just a mite ahead of their time and thereby miss the fame and fortune bestowed upon those blessed with good timing and sterling placement.

    The two major North American gold rushes are cases in point:

    James Marshall, who discovered gold in the mill race at Coloma, California, in 1848, as well as the owner of the property on which it was discovered, Johann Sutter, never profited from “their” gold, and in fact they died destitute.

    Two polar opposites, tall, lean, and hawkish Robert Henderson and laid-back well-rounded George Washington Carmack, in a ballet bordering on Greek tragedy, discovered gold in the Klondike in 1896, but neither would reap the huge rewards their discovery precipitated.
    It’s similar, in some ways, when contemplating the bestseller book gold rush at the start of the running revolution in the mid-1970s.

    Several of the pioneers had long been standing knee deep in the frigid waters panning for gold in the stream of long-distance running. Hal Higdon, who did not toil exclusively in running but who worked several streams (auto racing, true crime), wrote a landmark book in 1971 (Henry Regnery Company, Chicago) titled On the Run From Dogs and People. It is still in print today and deserves to stay in print forever, but it is revered by only a few.

    Joe Henderson, who became the editor of Runner’s World in 1970 after a stint at Track & Field News and who lured Dr. George Sheehan into the pages of Runner’s World after their meeting on the 1972 Olympic Games tour, had written numerous running books: Long Slow Distance—The Humane Way to Train (1969), Road Racers and Their Training (1970), Thoughts on the Run (1970), Run Gently, Run Long (1974), First Steps to Fitness (1974), Running with Style (1975), Step Up to Racing (1975), and The Long Run Solution (1976). As an editor, he had shepherded a mass of George Sheehan’s RW columns into Dr. Sheehan on Running (1975). That’s a lot of placer mining without hitting the mother lode.

    But the whole landscape was to change, and all within the space of a year.

    Bantam Books bought Dr. Sheehan on Running and in 1976 published it as a mass-market paperback—and it took off. In 1977, reformed fatty smoker Jim Fixx, who had been saved by running and who had spent a year mining the ore pockets of long-distance running including weeks upon weeks at the Runner’s World offices, published The Complete Book of Running, which immediately shot to the top of the bestseller lists and stayed there for nearly a year.
    George Sheehan would follow up with Running & Being, which became a bestseller and a classic, but in all the excitement, The Long Run Solution, one of the best running books of its generation, was overshadowed, overwhelmed, and overlooked.

    A handful of rickety-in-the-joints codgers at once lament the book’s having been overshadowed by brighter lights while jealously hoarding the memories of the book’s flashes of gold and maybe even verging on wanting it to keep its place as “our” favorite book of the running revolution.

    Joe Henderson’s The Long Run Solution was published in trade paperback for $3.95 by World Publications, the
    book arm of Runner’s World. It is not a complicated book and it has no long James Joyce-like run-on sentences, even
    though it is about running on . . . and on and on. Joe Henderson doesn’t write complicated sentences.
    He writes spare, insightful sentences, and he strings them together like a stonemason working with emeralds and
    rubies and sapphires to build not a massive edifice but a wall over which he entices us to jump in an effort to get to the other side, where he has been running and playing and extending the joys of childhood well into middle age—and beyond.

    Goals are ends. Destinations. Stopping places. Two things happen with them: either you reach them,
    or you don’t. And either way you stop, from satisfaction or from frustration.” Pretty simple and pretty profound at the same time.

    Joe’s little book wasn’t filled with training advice. It didn’t meet the no-pain-no-gain philosophies. It quoted practical scientists looking at running rather than philosophers who weren’t really talking about running when they uttered their profundities.

    Joe’s book was the simple manifesto of citizen long-distance running at that very critical time. It said, simply, that even if you have graduated from college you can still run—and you don’t have to run hard in organized competition until you puke. You can enrich your life (both physically and psychologically) by running gently for an hour a day, occasionally testing yourself against yourself by racing, but hey, if you don’t feel like it, that’s OK too. Just run for an hour to fulfill your design as a human being, where your largest bones and muscles are in your legs, and for good reason.

    Lower your pulse rate. Knock your cholesterol down a few notches. Keep your weight down. Feel better. Get addicted to euphoria that is self-generated by becoming the joyful animal you can be.

    Joe’s message was simple: just do it. His approach was simple: simple sentences, simple running habits.

    Certainly, some of the book’s references are getting a bit long in the tooth after nearly three decades. And a few references (like Tom Bassler’s claim that if you run a marathon you are automatically vaccinated against heart disease; consider Jim Fixx) have proven to be less than scientifically sound.

    But the book’s strengths are its incredible readability and its stone-wall solid approach to making running a part of your life.

    There isn’t a five-year period in which I don’t pick up The Long Run Solution and read it again, both to bring back the energizing effect of validating long-distance running as an adult pursuit and as an antidote to a too-pressured, too-stressed life.

    Over the years I’ve done what little I could to persuade some publisher somewhere to commission Joe to do an updated edition of Long Run Solution. But then I come to my senses and relent. Would I want someone to paint tattoos and nose rings on American Gothic? Or perhaps more appropriate, would I want to see all the characters in a Norman Rockwell painting exhibiting shaved heads?

    As with many timeless treasures, The Long Run Solution has the power to circle around
    through decades of time to take another pass over the stadium, and in many ways the time is
    right yet again. Today’s long-distance runner enjoying this simple little sport and
    lifestyle can learn much from this simple little book. Enjoy your running. Allow it to
    simplify your life while highlighting it with a golden hue.—Rich Benyo

    I think I’ll give M&B a try. How can I
    Subscribe?



    Volume 7 | Number 5 | Septemer/October 2003


    Departments

    Editorial

    Too Much, Too Soon

    The modern America of plenty has a distinct shortage of patience.

    Wars are supposed to be successfully resolved by the end of the week. E-mails are supposed to leave instantly and are supposed to be answered the instant they are received.

    Meals are supposed to be prepared and served instantly. Answers are supposed to be instantly forthcoming. Fortunes are supposed to be made instantly. Obesity is supposed to be banished instantly by the swipe of a surgeon’s scalpel.

    All of what used to be life’s normal ongoing problems are supposed to be solved instantly by taking a pill. Rambunctious little boys are supposed to become self-controlled little girls instantly by taking a pill. Major world problems are supposed to have resolutions by the 11 o’clock news.

    It’s no wonder Americans are medicated to the gills. Instead of thinking through and patiently solving problems, we want an instant fix, a pharmacological solution.

    Continued in our Sept/Oct issue…

    On the Road with Barry Lewis
    The Virginia Happy Trails Running Club

    While solitary running offers an often-needed opportunity to zone and escape, one of the real joys of training with others or
    competing in events is the shared experience. This communal feeling can be related to conditions (talk about shoe-sucking
    mud!), weather (geez, that was a helluva storm!), or the size of a particularly torturous hill (that had to be the mother of all
    climbs!), but it’s the camaraderie that makes the biggest impression on me. It boils down to the people you meet.

    I’ve had the pleasure of training, pacing, or racing with hundreds of amazing folks over the years, and when I say that, I’m counting only those I’ve gotten to know. The cast of characters expands exponentially when I add those I’ve met briefly, seen numerous times, or am familiar with only by reputation or name.

    As I started thinking about how best to encapsulate this “people power” part of the running experience, my mind reeled with all kinds of surprising stories, oddball anecdotes, and amusing vignettes, but when it came time to write, I had a hard time linking the material together in a way that made any sense. Like the pasta puttanesca I’m so fond of (which, when translated into a form acceptable for print, means something like “pasta made by a lady of the street”), the end result seemed like a hastily tossed-together mass of available ingredients, sans kitchen sink.

    Then it struck me. What better way to talk about the wonderful individuals who connect to a life through running than by looking at a microcosm as a representation of the much bigger whole? And what better crowd of characters than the Happy Trails gang?

    Continued in our Sept/Oct issue…

    My Most Unforgettable Ultramarathon (And What I Learned From It)
    by Roy Pirrung

    Editor’s Note: Generally, our “Most Unforgettable” features highlight one specific race event that stands out
    above all others in the author’s memory. For this installment of the feature, Roy Pirrung asked for and received a
    dispensation from the standard approach. He wanted to relate a variety of experiences at one race—the Spartathlon
    in Greece—that he ran over a period of years. Toward that end, he weaved years together to give an overall
    impression of a unique race.

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    Letters
    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

    On the Mark
    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions. This month’s question:

    BLOOD DRIVE. WHAT IS the rule of thumb regarding donating blood before a marathon? My training partner and I
    donated a unit on November 25 for a local Elks Lodge blood drive, and we are running a marathon on December 8. This
    will be my first marathon. Did we screw up? All of our long runs are completed and we are ready to go.

    Our experts answer this question in our September/October 2003 issue.

    About the Authors

    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Annette Pierce, Michael Schreiber,
    Dan Horvath, Gerard Pearlberg, Sara Latta, Gail Kislevitz, and Rich Limacher.


    Features

    A Classic First Marathon Training Program
    By Carefully Combining Basic Ingredients, the Build-Up to the Race Can be Seamless.

    by Michael Schreiber

    I’ve always felt I was born out of time—not centuries, but millennia. Often, when I am running trails, my mind slips, and I envision or feel another me running naked and barefoot along the Olduvai Gorge or through the damp grasses of an African savanna in pursuit of speeding gazelle.

    On other occasions, a winged god of Olympus swoops down to carry me effortlessly across the Plains of Marathon. Clearly then, this will not be an article on how to train for a marathon by next Thursday!

    I believe that preparing for and running a first marathon is a near-holy undertaking, one that requires not so much training as commitment and a fundamental change in lifestyle. You should learn to live, think, and dream like a marathoner, for a marathon is run more with the mind than with the body.

    Continued…

    Comeback
    A Few Bumps in the Road Help Put Resilience in
    Perspective.

    by Annette Pierce

    Part 5 of Annette Pierce’s Olympic Marathon Trails comeback.

    Editor’s note: A decade ago, Annette Pierce ran sub-2:50 marathons. Then she took time off to start a family. At age 41,
    she has decided to make a comeback: first a sub-3:00-hour marathon, later a qualification race for the 2004 U.S. Women’s Olympic
    Marathon Trials. Annette will be sharing her comeback story with M&B readers. Parts 1 through 4 have appeared in our last four
    issues.

    How could I have forgotten how fickle the running gods are and how many times they have broken my heart? Just as I smugly proclaimed my dominance over a prudent and moderate buildup, thinking I had it all figured out, the marathon gods gathered round me and blew a big fat raspberry.

    Simple as it sounds, a long, slow buildup turns out to be a tricky endeavor. In February, after seven months of dull, uncomplicated, mostly uninterrupted base-building, I completed a 62-mile week, my goal weekly mileage. Hooray! Then I immediately fell apart. I caught a horrific cold and lost my voice and nine days of training over the next two weeks. To add insult to injury, my favorite shoes were discontinued, and my expensive and unsatisfactory search left me with tendinitis in my right knee. I was devastated and convinced that I would lose every bit of hard-won fitness.

    Continued in our September/October 2003 issue…

    The Total Tantalizing Truth about Tapering

    When It Comes to a Long Marathon or Ultra Training Program, If You Taper Wrong, You Lose.

    by Dan Horvath

    With my latest marathon fast approaching, it was time to start planning my taper. OK, it was past time to start such planning, but better late than never. My usual method is to look through my training log to determine what kind of tapering I had done in the past. If I’m really ambitious, I’ll compare different tapering techniques, along with the associated race results to try to figure out what had seemed to work.

    This time would be different. Yes, I would still look back in my old logs, but I also decided to do some actual research to see what the experts say. In addition, I was curious about what I could find out about tapering for ultras. I’ve looked these sorts of things up before, but it’s been quite a while, and there is some new material out there nowadays.

    It turned out that a lot of new material and studies are out there. Several studies yielded extremely useful and interesting information. In addition, I was able to refer to several recent running-related books to glean even more information. It appears that even an old dog like me can still learn a few tricks. If you’re creating your training plan for your next marathon or ultra, or just thinking about your next big one, read on.

    Continued in our September/October 2003 issue…

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    The Biomechanics of Running
    Attention to Push Off and Arm Drive While “Running Tall” Can Make You a Better, Faster Runner.
    by Gerard Pearlberg

    The word “running” is as applicable to a jogger at a health club as to a sprinter in an Olympic final. Certainly, there are technical differences between an ultramarathoner and a sprinter in terms of their respective cardiovascular requirements. But an essential common denominator is the role of correct biomechanics in improving overall efficiency, economy, strength, and speed for all types of runners.

    With very few exceptions over the past 25 years, this area has been sadly neglected when it comes to developing young talent in the United States, especially in high school and college track programs.

    During the running boom of the late 1970s, the old school of thinking at the elite level was concentrated mostly on high mileage, that is, the “more is better” approach. And indeed, during the Bill Rodgers/Dick Beardsley/Alberto Salazar era, this approach was successful for the special athletes who could handle the volume of miles.

    Unfortunately, not enough capable coaches were available during that rapid growth in the sport, and the part-time coaches who stepped in to fill the vacuum quickly adopted the training tactics of the elite runners. “If it works for Billy, then it must be correct, right?”

    Well, for a few perfectly constructed runners, maybe. But for the vast majority, this was certainly not the ideal scenario. The more popular that long-distance running became, the more books were written on the subject to cash in on the sport’s popularity.

    Continued in our September/October 2003 issue…

    Hitting the Wall
    If You Understand the Scientific Reasons Behind
    “The Wall,” You Should Be Able to Avoid It.

    by Sara Latta

    “It felt like an elephant had jumped out of a tree onto my
    shoulders and was making me carry it the rest of the way in.”
    —Dick Beardsley, speaking of hitting The Wall at the second marathon of his career, the 1977 City of Lakes Marathon.

    “I wasn’t wanting to talk much. And when I’m not talking, you know
    I’m hurting.”—Don Frichtl, a runner who encountered The Wall somewhere after mile 21 of the 2002 Chicago Marathon.

    “At around mile 23, I was beginning to feel like the anchor was out.”
    —George Ringler, speaking of his 1991 Lake County Marathon.

    “The Wall.” It evades easy definition, but to borrow from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous definition of obscenity, you know it when you see it—or rather, hit it. It usually happens around mile 20, give or take a couple of miles. Your pace slows, sometimes considerably. Some runners say that it feels as though their legs had been filled with lead quail shot, like the stomach of Mark Twain’s unfortunate jumping frog of Calaveras County. Others can’t feel their feet at all. Thought processes become a little fuzzy. (“Mile 22, again? I thought I just passed mile 22!”) Muscle coordination goes out the window, and self-doubt casts a deep shadow over the soul.

    The bad news is that more than half of all nonelite marathon runners report having hit The Wall at least once. The good news is that more than 40 percent of all nonelite marathon runners have never hit The Wall. In other words, while it certainly doesn’t hurt to be prepared for the possibility of hitting The Wall, doing so is far from inevitable.

    Continued in our September/October 2003 issue…

    There Are No Atheists at Mile 25
    The Farther Into the Marathon You Get, the More Help You Need.
    by William Simpson

    Pain and desperation will take the mind where minds don’t usually go. In the final few miles of a marathon, my mind often wanders into mysterious territory. Most of the time I think of food and whirlpools, but during the final miles of my last marathon, my mind took a spiritual journey.

    For reasons that I can’t explain, an old military axiom popped into my brain. That’s especially strange since I was never a military person. Perhaps I thought of the military because I ran many miles with two members of the U.S. Coast Guard. I don’t know the exact reason why I had military thoughts, but the saying that came into my mind around mile 23 was: “There are no atheists in foxholes.” The simple meaning of that saying is that the horrors of war make everyone turn to God for help.

    Continued in our September/October 2003 issue…

    Never Too Late to Excel
    In Spite of a Late Start in Running, World Records Were Not Out of Toshiko D’Elia’s Reach.

    by Gail Kislevitz

    It’s a brilliant spring-almost-summer June morning. The sun is starting its rise, and the cloudless sapphire sky makes me feel lightheaded with appreciation for this moment. It’s a top-10 day, and the only place to be is outside soaking up every second of it. The one thing that could make this day better is running with Toshi. Best friend, running mentor, running partner, world record holder, first woman over 50 to break three hours in a marathon, road trip buddy, and overall fun person, 73-year-old Toshiko “Toshi” D’Elia is my heart and soul’s inspiration. If they were runners, the Righteous Brothers would have written a song about her.

    Every run with Toshi is a gift wrapped with words of encouragement, new training tips, or marvelous stories from her illustrious career, which started when she took her first run at 42 years old. During 2000 and 2001, world-class runner Toshiko D’Elia set 11 records in her age division, including four world records. She knows more about running, training, and digging deep than anyone else I know.

    Continued in our September/October 2003 issue…

    A Midwest Yankee in King Kaiser’s Court
    The Black Forest Takes on a Whole New Meaning for the Directionally Challenged.
    by Rich Limacher

    LANDWEHRHAGEN-KASSEL, GERMANY, May 4-5, 2002—And lo, before the great tournament (German 100-Mile Trail Run), an edict (e-mail) from the Kaiser (Hans-Dieter Weisshaar) went forth across the land (and ocean) to summon knights in their shining armor-plated flying machines to his vaunted Teutonic portico on a fine spring morning, thus to begin their quest or they wholly fail.

    Yeah, well, let me talk to you about this myth.

    First of all, springtime in Germany is sort of like wintertime in Chicago; so no matter what the Web site of Marathon Club Kassel (www.MarathonClubKassel.de) might boast otherwise (“Expect perfect running weather.”), don’t you believe it. I’m telling you that huge and fabled “black forest” was under water. No, sleet!

    Second, I don’t care how Americans might rank the difficulty of ultramarathons on this side of the pond; on that side the one and only 100-miler known to Europeans (we think) is the toughest such race they have! (Most “hundreds” over there are in kilometers, not miles.) “Der erste und der einzige 100-Meilen Geländelauf in Europa,” as it was called, means “the first and only 100-mile trail race in Europe.” And the first time it was offered, it became my privilege to be there—and finish!

    Continued in our September/October 2003 issue…

    October Odyssey
    The Siren Song of Autumn Lures the Marathoner to the Roads.
    by Rich Benyo

    Follow Rich on his fall 2003 marathon travels across the U.S.

    Hanging With a Legend
    The Black Forest Takes on a Whole New Meaning for the Directionally Challenged.
    by Nobby Hashizume

    When I came back to Japan in 1985 after my one-year stay in New Zealand with Arthur Lydiard, the father of modern distance running, I had a handwritten translation of the Lydiard training method, titled simply “Athletic Training.” I asked a friend to make copies of the handwritten document, and then I
    sent copies out to about a dozen people I thought would benefit from its contents: everyone from local high school and college coaches to professional coaches.

    I received responses from only two people, but one of them was Japan’s Kiyoshi Nakamura, the famous, almost cultlike figure at the center of his country’s marathon movement. Nakamura had coached marathon champions, most notably Toshihiko Seko, who had won twice at Boston (1981 and 1987) and several times at Fukuoka, then the unofficial world marathon championships.

    Kiyoshi Nakamura was very familiar with Arthur Lydiard’s work. In 1960 at the Rome Olympics, Lydiard’s New Zealand runners won two gold medals and a bronze in middle-distance and distance events. Japan, which would host the next Olympics in Tokyo in 1964, sent a delegation of runners and coaches to New Zealand in 1963 to learn Lydiard’s ways. The team leader was Kiyoshi Nakamura. He would later be the prime mover behind Japan’s reemergence as a distance-running power.

    Continued in our September/October 2003 issue…

    Three Times One Equals More Than Three
    Three Marathons in Three Days. Where Do I Sign Up?
    by Jorge Garcia

    Saturday morning: The world—composed entirely of tall conifers, granite walls, and asphalt—flows silently past me. The warmth of the sun is finally starting to work its way into my bones. The air still smells of mountain darkness. The sky, wounded with deep orange gashes, quietly travels from gray to blue across pink. Miles below my feet, across a steep slope of pointy greenness, the bluest of blue waters still sleeps, dreaming of glaciers, wolves, and salmon.

    The usual woodsy sounds permeate my consciousness here and there. But the primary noise, booming inside my head, is that of my own breathing. And behind that is the eternal sound of feet, hitting the pavement from the beginning of time, running.

    In my right (or sometimes my left) hand, I am carrying a water bottle with a strap that fits around the back of my palm. Stashed in my pockets are two PowerGels, a Zone bar, five aspirins, and some toilet paper. There’s another full bottle of water securely strapped above my butt.

    Continued in our September/October 2003 issue…

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    Special Book Bonus

    The Long Run Solution: Second Installment
    by Joe Henderson

    Here is Rich Benyo’s introduction to our new Book Bonus:

    Pioneers in various fields often miss the sweet smell of success that they well deserve because their timing is just a bit off or they are at the wrong place at the right time. They are just a mite ahead of their time and thereby miss the fame and fortune bestowed upon those blessed with good timing and sterling placement.

    The two major North American gold rushes are cases in point:

    James Marshall, who discovered gold in the mill race at Coloma, California, in 1848, as well as the owner of the property on which it was discovered, Johann Sutter, never profited from “their” gold, and in fact they died destitute.

    Two polar opposites, tall, lean, and hawkish Robert Henderson and laid-back well-rounded George Washington Carmack, in a ballet bordering on Greek tragedy, discovered gold in the Klondike in 1896, but neither would reap the huge rewards their discovery precipitated.
    It’s similar, in some ways, when contemplating the bestseller book gold rush at the start of the running revolution in the mid-1970s.

    Several of the pioneers had long been standing knee deep in the frigid waters panning for gold in the stream of long-distance running. Hal Higdon, who did not toil exclusively in running but who worked several streams (auto racing, true crime), wrote a landmark book in 1971 (Henry Regnery Company, Chicago) titled On the Run From Dogs and People. It is still in print today and deserves to stay in print forever, but it is revered by only a few.

    Joe Henderson, who became the editor of Runner’s World in 1970 after a stint at Track & Field News and who lured Dr. George Sheehan into the pages of Runner’s World after their meeting on the 1972 Olympic Games tour, had written numerous running books: Long Slow Distance—The Humane Way to Train (1969), Road Racers and Their Training (1970), Thoughts on the Run (1970), Run Gently, Run Long (1974), First Steps to Fitness (1974), Running with Style (1975), Step Up to Racing (1975), and The Long Run Solution (1976). As an editor, he had shepherded a mass of George Sheehan’s RW columns into Dr. Sheehan on Running (1975). That’s a lot of placer mining without hitting the mother lode.

    But the whole landscape was to change, and all within the space of a year.

    Bantam Books bought Dr. Sheehan on Running and in 1976 published it as a mass-market paperback—and it took off. In 1977, reformed fatty smoker Jim Fixx, who had been saved by running and who had spent a year mining the ore pockets of long-distance running including weeks upon weeks at the Runner’s World offices, published The Complete Book of Running, which immediately shot to the top of the bestseller lists and stayed there for nearly a year.
    George Sheehan would follow up with Running & Being, which became a bestseller and a classic, but in all the excitement, The Long Run Solution, one of the best running books of its generation, was overshadowed, overwhelmed, and overlooked.

    A handful of rickety-in-the-joints codgers at once lament the book’s having been overshadowed by brighter lights while jealously hoarding the memories of the book’s flashes of gold and maybe even verging on wanting it to keep its place as “our” favorite book of the running revolution.

    Joe Henderson’s The Long Run Solution was published in trade paperback for $3.95 by World Publications, the
    book arm of Runner’s World. It is not a complicated book and it has no long James Joyce-like run-on sentences, even
    though it is about running on . . . and on and on. Joe Henderson doesn’t write complicated sentences.
    He writes spare, insightful sentences, and he strings them together like a stonemason working with emeralds and
    rubies and sapphires to build not a massive edifice but a wall over which he entices us to jump in an effort to get to the other side, where he has been running and playing and extending the joys of childhood well into middle age—and beyond.

    Goals are ends. Destinations. Stopping places. Two things happen with them: either you reach them,
    or you don’t. And either way you stop, from satisfaction or from frustration.” Pretty simple and pretty profound at the same time.

    Joe’s little book wasn’t filled with training advice. It didn’t meet the no-pain-no-gain philosophies. It quoted practical scientists looking at running rather than philosophers who weren’t really talking about running when they uttered their profundities.

    Joe’s book was the simple manifesto of citizen long-distance running at that very critical time. It said, simply, that even if you have graduated from college you can still run—and you don’t have to run hard in organized competition until you puke. You can enrich your life (both physically and psychologically) by running gently for an hour a day, occasionally testing yourself against yourself by racing, but hey, if you don’t feel like it, that’s OK too. Just run for an hour to fulfill your design as a human being, where your largest bones and muscles are in your legs, and for good reason.

    Lower your pulse rate. Knock your cholesterol down a few notches. Keep your weight down. Feel better. Get addicted to euphoria that is self-generated by becoming the joyful animal you can be.

    Joe’s message was simple: just do it. His approach was simple: simple sentences, simple running habits.

    Certainly, some of the book’s references are getting a bit long in the tooth after nearly three decades. And a few references (like Tom Bassler’s claim that if you run a marathon you are automatically vaccinated against heart disease; consider Jim Fixx) have proven to be less than scientifically sound.

    But the book’s strengths are its incredible readability and its stone-wall solid approach to making running a part of your life.

    There isn’t a five-year period in which I don’t pick up The Long Run Solution and read it again, both to bring back the energizing effect of validating long-distance running as an adult pursuit and as an antidote to a too-pressured, too-stressed life.

    Over the years I’ve done what little I could to persuade some publisher somewhere to commission Joe to do an updated edition of Long Run Solution. But then I come to my senses and relent. Would I want someone to paint tattoos and nose rings on American Gothic? Or perhaps more appropriate, would I want to see all the characters in a Norman Rockwell painting exhibiting shaved heads?

    As with many timeless treasures, The Long Run Solution has the power to circle around
    through decades of time to take another pass over the stadium, and in many ways the time
    is right yet again. Today’s long-distance runner enjoying this simple little sport and
    lifestyle can learn much from this simple little book. Enjoy your running. Allow it to
    simplify your life while highlighting it with a golden hue.—Rich Benyo

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    Volume 7 | Number 6 | November/December 2003


    Departments

    Editorial
    Bigger–And Better?

    It comes as no surprise that after a decline in marathon participation in the wake of September 11, 2001, the sport has rebounded
    to its pre–9-11 growth rate of 5 to 10 percent per year. The decline in numbers in the usually vigorous fall marathon season in
    2001 reflected a drop of some 56,500 participants who felt unsafe in running the roads after the terrorist attacks on New York
    City and Washington, D.C., and who therefore opted out of their fall races. The total number of marathon participants in the
    United States in 2000 (based on a survey of 181 marathons by the USATF) was 451,000. For 2001 it dropped to 424,500; for
    2002 it was back up to 450,000.

    Actually, the numbers are likely higher than that since most estimates of the number of marathons held each year in the United
    States are in the neighborhood of 350; certainly, some of those additional marathons are relatively small, but they are augmented by
    a rash of new marathons with more than 1,000 finishers, such as Lakeshore in Chicago and Des Moines. The number of marathon
    participants is, obviously, staggering, especially in a country where most of the media attention these days is on the epidemic of
    obesity and its attendant diseases: high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and orthopedic problems from trying to support
    obscene amounts of additional body weight, and so forth.

    Continued in our Nov/Dec 2003 issue…

    On the Road with Barry Lewis
    Racing, Running or Just Out to Enjoy a Day in the Woods

    It’s been a strange year so far, no doubt about that, and as I hunt and peck on the keyboard to get this issue’s column into the laptop, I realize that it’s only halfway through. The mid-Atlantic winter was severe enough to shoot the training schedule completely to hell. Spring was cold, gray, and damp in Philadelphia, making Seattle’s weather seem dry. I read the other day that New York City had the wettest May in more than 100 years. Summer? While the calendar says it arrived three days ago, the first real indication that it was going to come at all occurred yesterday, when the temperature jumped from the mid-60s to 90 degrees. It’s supposed to stay that way for the rest of the week.

    As far as running is concerned, I’ve gone from dreading my first competition of the year to having some fairly decent, and very surprising, results. Until two weeks ago, that is, at the Laurel Highlands 70 Mile, when things fell apart at the seams.

    One definition of “crash,” according to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, is “to break or go to pieces with or as if with violence and noise.” No question about it, I’ve been there, done that. Call it what you like—bonk, crash, entering the galaxy of terror—the way it happens is generally the same: almost in the blink of an eye you deteriorate from a state of relative comfort to feeling like absolute crap. At Laurel this past June 14, this wasn’t the case. I pretty much felt lousy from the get-go, and as time went on, I slowly went from feeling bad to feeling weak and useless and worse.

    Continued in our Nov/Dec issue…

    My Most Unforgettable Marathon (And What I Learned From It)

    by Joshua Seidman

    BOSTON, April 15, 2002—As an indecisive weather system played havoc with the science formerly known as meteorology, I waited well behind the start line on Route 135 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, with 16,000-plus of my closest friends for the start of the 106th Boston Marathon.

    At least the skies remained overcast, but standing there in just my Brookline High School Alum singlet and racing shorts, I felt a little too comfortable, an ominous sign for a poor warm-weather runner like me. I adjusted my pacing strategy, realizing that a PR (2:56:50) was probably unattainable today, hoping to run 6:50 pace for as long as possible to try to break three hours for the third time.

    Continued…

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    Letters

    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

    On the Mark
    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions. This month’s question:

    LACK OF STAMINA

    I AM a 39-year-old runner who is fairly new to the sport, running for four years. I never ran in the past, and in my second
    year I was fortunate enough to qualify for Boston so I feel that this may be my sport. I have run 10 marathons over this
    time period and had been a pretty consistent 3:13 runner. Starting this summer I began to train to break three hours and
    incorporated speed, hills, tempo, and long runs. I trained hard and met the training objectives (pace, distance, and so forth),
    but it never became easier as training went on. I ran the Marine Corps Marathon this past year in an attempt to achieve
    my goal and knew I was toast by mile eight, while running the pace I needed to hit the mark. Since then my running has
    been lackluster (inconsistent and lacking in quality). I just ran a local marathon and struggled in at 3:23. In my previous
    marathons, I tended to go out a little fast and then start struggling in mile 18. Going forward, I have acknowledged that
    I may not be a 3:00 marathoner, but I love marathons and want to keep on trying to PR. What would you suggest, and
    how can I get more stamina into the last eight miles to where it is not such a drain on my previous 18?
    Our experts answer this question in our November/December 2003 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Roger Robinson, Annette Pierce, Gail
    Kislevitz, Jeff Horowitz, Tim Martin, Scott Douglas, and Deke Houlgate.


    Features

    Halls of Fame
    A Guided Tour of the New National Track and Field Hall of Fame in New York City and Other
    Halls of Fame, Archives, Libraries, and Museums for the Sport of Running.


    by Roger Robinson

    A new tourist attraction in New York City; a focus for America’s stellar tradition in track and field; a state-of-the-art, intensively used indoor track facility; a high-tech educational center; and an economic and social boost for an inner-city area—all under one high roof. New York City likes to get value, and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame at the 168th Street Armory Track Center is a five-for-one special in the city’s true spirit.

    The former USA Track & Field (USATF) Hall of Fame collection used to languish almost unnoticed at the offices of USATF in Indianapolis. Its transfer to the much higher-profile facility in New York, scheduled for official opening on January 24, 2004, is the culminating point of two decades of creative work across the nation in establishing repositories for the history, science, and culture of the sport.

    Track and field, with its essence in youthful mobility, and long-distance running, with its mass energy and far horizons, do not readily lend themselves to being collected, curated, and displayed in a single static indoor institution. It’s like caging a cheetah. Yet it urgently needs to be done, and in ways that match the sports’ own dynamism. Modern running is now more than 100 years old, and its history is fading like an old photograph. Already the early years can be glimpsed only through fragmentary evidence in frail old newspapers, programs, and posters. Memorabilia survive randomly and elusively. Sports history is a mere fledgling as a scholarly discipline. (Edward S. Sears’s Running Through the Ages, 2001, selections from which recently appeared in Marathon & Beyond, is, incredibly, the only book in English for more than 100 years to attempt a full universal history of running.)

    If we are to understand our origins, we need archives for the researchers; if we want our traditions to be valued, we need exhibits for the public; and if we want to develop our sport through coming generations, we must create educational centers for the young. All this takes a lot of work and unbounded commitment, but it has begun.

    Continued…

    A Week of Living Dumbly
    What’s It’s Like to Run the C&O Canal Towpath in a Week.
    by Scott Douglas

    I hadn’t expected to get dumb. Sore, gimpy, cranky, exhausted, sure, those all made sense. But dumb from running?

    I’m lying on a bed in the finest—OK, the only advertised—bed-and-breakfast in Paw Paw, West Virginia. Following lunch and a bath, I’ve plopped on my back and am looking forward to the Saturday New York Times puzzle. Usually, it’s a pleasant half-hour challenge, sort of the mental equivalent of a hard but invigorating five-miler. Now, however, I stare in incomprehension as if it’s a Dead Sea Scroll: “Early statistical software.” “Balbo of the Black Shirt Militia.” “Katzenjammer cry.” “Star in Scorpius.” How am I supposed to know this stuff? I can’t even figure out the seven-letter answer for “scrawny.”

    Earlier that day, I had run from one end of the C&O Canal towpath, in Cumberland, Maryland, to the parking lot for the Paw Paw Tunnel, 28 miles downstream. Over the next six days, my goal is to run the rest of the towpath, finishing in Georgetown, in Washington, D.C., for a one-week total of roughly 186 miles. (The towpath is officially 184.5 miles long; the extra distance will come on the fourth day from a necessary detour onto roads around a washed-out section.) And I mean run: one standard I’ve set is that all forward progress from Cumberland east will come with at least one foot off the ground. Another goal is less tangible, but more important: while running from 22 to 32 miles a day and netting a weekly mileage PR by 61 miles, more than anything else, I want to enjoy myself.

    So the crossword conundrum has me a little worried. Granted, I quickly scribble down “freshly” as the seven-letter solution for “anew,” and the answer is the surprising description for how I finished the day’s run despite wanting to throw up since waking. But it doesn’t seem a good omen that one of the few other answers that comes to me, for the clue “least bright,” is “densest.” Psychological uneasiness is said to predict imminent overtraining; could mental fatigue foreshadow physical decrepitude? If so, it could be a long week and more of a grind than the lark in the park I desire.

    As with flicking my tongue against a canker sore, I keep trying to work on the puzzle to confirm that, yup, I’m still dumb. Finally, I drop it, scour through my bag for other reading material, find only Shakespeare’s Richard II, convince myself I don’t need to try to crack that code, and start thinking about dinner. There, that’s about the right speed.

    Scott’s memorable odyssey continues in our November/December issue.

    Jess
    A Legend in Her Own Right.
    by Gail Kislevitz

    The was a petite, refined, music major of Portuguese stock from the whaling town of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

    He was a short, reedy runner from New London, Connecticut, of Irish stock, jocular, cocky, and on his way to becoming America’s greatest marathoner.

    They met while students at Boston University, her Charles Gate East dormitory a mere 300 yards away from his Miles Standish Hall. A mutual friend arranged their first date, and they married in their junior year. The 50-year marriage of Jacintha and John “The Younger” Kelley ended with Jess’s death on June 6, 2003. There is much to be learned from Jess, the woman behind the legend. She and John raised three daughters and eight grandchildren and reveled in their long marriage. What was their secret to sustaining a long and happy marriage while all around them other marriages in the running community were falling apart? According to John, “In the long history of our marriage, whatever we did together worked out; Jess made sure of that. Jess was the real thing, true blue.”

    I met John and Jess in spring 1997 when I went to their house in Mystic, Connecticut, to interview John. I knocked on the door with trepidation, somewhat intimidated by John’s legendary career. The door was already open (it’s always open), and Jess was standing in their tiny, cluttered living room, a wisp of a woman with a welcoming smile. John had forgotten all about the interview and was working on his weekly running column for the regional newspaper, The Day.

    “Johnny, come out here and meet this nice young woman who wants to talk with you,” said Jess. It wasn’t the first time that Jess had had to keep John on schedule. Already it was becoming clear that she was the organizer and taskmaster.

    After hours of John’s mesmerizing tales of the Boston Marathon, I got up to take my leave. Jess insisted I join them for dinner, and we went to their favorite place where everyone knew their name. I felt like I was in a Cheers skit. Hours later as I took my leave, with John and Jess covering me in hugs and extorting from me promises to come back soon, I realized that I had just been adopted into the Kelley clan, a close-knit group of runners, nonrunners, friends, and family who are fortunate to bask in the glow of Jess and John’s affection.

    Continued…

    Better Now Than Never

    We All Make Mistakes, but the Rest of Our Life Is Often Shaped by What We Do to Atone.
    by David E. Cramer

    The events of 9-11 still resonate with each of us in our own way. We remember the day and we experience rage, sadness, disbelief, and horror, as well as the dismantling of illusions about our place in the world.

    In a thousand ways since then, the impact of that day has touched us. As I think back to that autumn, my memories are divided between the events of 9-11 and running the Marine Corps Marathon in the shadow of the wounded Pentagon building.

    The Marine Corps Marathon turned into a sort of atonement for earlier indiscretions in my life and a tribute to the culture of the marines.

    To place it in perspective, I need to backtrack to the summer of 1975 when I was 25 years old and wanted to be a marine. In fact, I had signed up, had gone through basic training, and had made it to Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Quantico, Virginia. I faced 12 weeks of training at OCS, after which I would be commissioned a second lieutenant and shipped off for an additional 26 weeks to study what I had selected as my specialty: tanks.

    All of that changed, however, in the ninth week of OCS. I was doing well, ranked fifth in my platoon. But my personality was
    on a collision course with a captain’s whose name I don’t even recall. One evening after chow, my platoon had a meeting with a
    marine captain. He was bald, overweight, and eager to advise all of us where to drink and socialize when off duty in San Diego
    and Okinawa. He was filled to the brim with advice. “You’d better be married by the time you’re a captain,” he intoned. But it
    wasn’t just what he was feeding us; it was the way he did it. The burly captain’s life philosophies had no sooner left his lips
    than I reacted inside. Nobody tells me what to do in my personal life, and for God’s sake, I’m not going to kiss anyone’s
    backside to get ahead!

    David’s story concludes in our Nov/Dec issue.

    Potty World
    The History of the Port-A-Squat Parallels Marathoning’s Boom.

    by Jeff Horowitz

    It seemed like a reasonable thing to do at the time.

    It was a clear, beautiful summer morning in downtown Boston, and I was in the early stages of an easy eight-mile run on the bike path along the Charles River. It was July 5, and evidence of the previous evening’s Independence Day celebration was everywhere. Overstuffed trash cans and party refuse were scattered about, and cleanup crews were already hard at work gathering garbage, oblivious to the runners and cyclists who were flying past them.

    Along the bicycle trail sat row upon row of portable toilets, put in place over the previous several days and intended to handle the crush of revelers who come to hear the Boston Pops and see the fireworks. Now, like cannons left on a battlefield, they sat silent but apparently still serviceable. Like many of you, I usually have access to such conveniently placed bathrooms only when I’m running a race; my training runs are marked by moments of brilliant improvisation in dealing with bathroom issues. Suddenly faced with such plentiful luxury, I decided to use one. I swung open the door on the nearest port-a-john, which happened to be the first one in its row. It was a fateful choice. Just as I was getting comfortable, I heard the sound of a truck nearby. Very nearby, actually. Suddenly I felt the toilet stall move. I jumped to my feet and grabbed at the door, but it was pinned shut by the long metal arms of the truck’s hydraulic lift. I was trapped!

    Aware of both the hilarity and horror of the situation, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or scream. I opted for screaming, and yelled to the driver at the top of my lungs, much like the wee little people in Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who: “We are here! We are here!”

    After several tense moments of yelling and peering out of the mesh screen at the top of the stall, I saw that I had finally caught the driver’s attention. He motioned to me to stay put—Where would I possibly go?—and he moved the truck so that I could free myself from my little prison. As I resumed my run under the bemused gaze of the driver, I wondered whether anyone would believe what had just happened to me. I suppressed a shudder as I also considered what the grave consequences could have been had I failed to get the driver’s attention. Is there a secret port-a-john burial ground? Would it be more than a day’s run from where I was staying in Boston?

    Don’t miss how this story ends…only in our Nov/Dec issue.

    Five Surefire Ways to Move Up in Your Trail Races
    The Space Between the Lead Pack and Midpack Is Often a Matter of Slightly Different Training.
    by Gary Dudney

    Let’s imagine the scene at the end of your trail race. You hear a halfhearted whoop as you turn down the last bend in the trail and come in sight of the finish banner. A small knot of people (the race director and friends) give you a Spartan round of applause. Someone jots down your time on your finish tag, which is stuck at the end of a long messy line of tags on the finish board. Runners are standing around the snack table laughing and swapping stories. No one bothers to look your way. Your elation at finishing fades quickly. You look around for the winner. But the winner has long since showered and is now standing around in jeans and a sweatshirt and is none too obvious. Let’s face it. Your finish is not front-page news.

    Or, imagine this: You run a 50K with about 50 other runners. As the race unfolds, you find volunteers at the aid stations telling you your place. “You’re ninth!” they say. “Doin’ good! Still top 10!”

    Maybe near the end you catch a couple of people or maybe you drop a few places. But you cross the finish line to a bit of commotion. The cheers are more expansive. People you don’t know are clapping and smiling. Your name gets passed around. The handful of runners at the snack table are looking your way, waiting for you to join them. And lo and behold, the guy sitting at the picnic table having a hot dog is actually the winner! He’s still wearing running clothes. His legs are still caked with dirt. Your girlfriend jumps into your arms. “Wow, honey! You really did great!” Big kiss.

    OK, if you’re like me, your experiences are more like the first scene than the second. You run hard but not too hard. Mostly you enjoy yourself. And you usually finish in the middle of the pack. Nothing wrong with that. Why go through the pain and agony of training harder just to finish higher in the standings? But what if moving up from that midpack position to the top 10 or 20 percent of finishers was not that hard? In fact, what if you could make just a few adjustments to your daily workouts and get much better results?

    I run trail races and ultras around Northern California and always considered the competition formidable. But when I added some quality training techniques to my usual routine, I suddenly went from always finishing halfway down the field to cracking the top 10 or 20 percent of runners every race!

    Here are five things I did to sharpen my running. Don’t get me wrong; they didn’t amount to much more effort than I was already putting into my running. Try incorporating two or three of them into your weekly routine. After six or eight weeks, you might be surprised how much better you do in your next race.

    Read about these five things in our Nov/Dec issue.

    Comeback
    In Which We Create a “Bloody Kansas” Run As Our Final Attempt to Goose Our Training
    Before Grandma’s.

    by Annette Pierce

    Part 6 of Annette Pierce’s Olympic Marathon Trails comeback.

    Editor’s note: A decade ago, Annette Pierce ran sub-2:50 marathons. Then she took time off to start a family. At age 41,
    she has decided to make a comeback: first a sub-3:00-hour marathon, later a qualification race for the 2004 U.S. Women’s Olympic
    Marathon Trials. Annette will be sharing her comeback story with M&B readers. Parts 1 through 5 have
    appeared in our last five
    issues.

    I feel like I’m in a time warp. As the training phase before Grandma’s Marathon was winding down, I threw in a couple of tuneup races. While I was pleasantly surprised and comforted by how little the training and racing experience has changed despite my age and lack of fitness, it’s kind of freaky.

    When I was in a quandary about racing shoes—racing flats or lightweight trainers—I headed to Garry Gribble’s RunningSports in Kansas City where I used to buy shoes and was amazed that Garry remembered I wear an 11AA despite the fact that I had not stepped foot in his store in 10 years. The other weird thing is that I’m racing mostly the same women I ran with 15 years ago. Occasionally a whippersnapper will sneak into one of the top spots, but for the most part, the same women who were tearing up the roads 10 to 15 years ago are still at it. We’re a little slower, a lot gray-er, and more wrinkled, but we’re still taking home the trophies.

    Of course, there are differences. What happened to the running shorts? They are huge! They’re long and flappy. When did that happen? I remember struggling to find something that would cover my bum. Now it takes real effort to find shorts that won’t set sail in a stiff breeze.

    But the biggest and most profound difference is Frank’s absence. Frank Murphy and I have run together for 20 years. We started training together after I graduated from college and moved to Kansas City. He had been a half-miler at Tulane University and was starting to run again after a 10-year break. He was much faster but didn’t mind me tagging along on his easy days, probably because I listened to his endless stories about obscure characters from the history of track and field, speculation about which world-class runners would be fun to train with or would be a complete pain, and the opening stanza of poems he would never write.

    His ability to blather on for hours and turn anything into a story was useful the Sunday we accidentally ran 30 miles (a road we expected to cut through didn’t). And it was Frank who dreamed up the 3-, 2-, 1-mile workout on the track—the day we met Michele, my compatriot in this masters marathon adventure. Even after we explained the workout, she foolishly agreed to run with us, forging a long and enduring friendship.

    Later, when Michele decided she wanted company during the 1990 Heart of America Marathon—an ungodly hot run in Columbia, Missouri, in August—Steve, Frank, and I toed the line at 6:00 a.m. and dragged ourselves over the outrageously hilly course while averting our eyes as Michele stopped along the way to kiss numerous old boyfriends.

    Frank and I hooked up and ran Buddy Week, 105 miles of workouts from Buddy Edelen’s training logs, while Frank was writing A Cold Clear Day: The Athletic Biography of Buddy Edelen.

    Continued in our November/December 2003 issue…

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    In the Footsteps of My Father
    When You Can Run Only One Marathon, You Make It Your Best.

    by Tim Martin

    A journey. In 1493, on its return trip to Europe from the New World, a ship floundered in the heavy seas of a North Atlantic tempest. The exhausted crew, imprisoned in the storm for days, prayed for heavenly intervention. On the dawn of February 15, a seaman spied a dark peak above the raging waters. The captain stated firmly that the island was one of the Azores, and he was correct. It was Santa Maria. The ship was the Nina, and its captain was Christopher Columbus. After setting anchor, Columbus and his crew made their way to a small church in the town of Anjos (pronounced Joice) and offered a prayer of thanks.

    Another journey, more than five centuries later. Dave Figueiredo kneels beside the ruins of the church where Columbus and his men prayed and offers a prayer of his own. Not for safe passage across the ocean but for a successful marathon across the island of Santa Maria.

    Continued in our November/December 2003 issue…

    Never Too Old
    Getting a Late Start in Running Hasn’t Kept Ray Piva From Setting Records.
    by Ed Mayhew

    At age 54, Ray Piva had settled comfortably into his routine. He had been working in the same sausage factory all his adult life and still hung out with his childhood buddies in his hometown of San Francisco. All he thought about was going to work during the day and going home at night to Eva, his beloved wife of 30 years. His life had turned into a real-life version of Bill Murray’s movie Groundhog Day, where the same day keeps repeating itself. In his wildest dreams, he could not have imagined the dramatic change that was about to occur.

    Fast forward to July 20, 2002, as Ray—now 76—toes the starting line at the Jim Skophammer Bay Area Ultrarunners 12-Hour Track Run at San Mateo College in San Mateo, California. On this record-smashing day, Ray would run from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Despite battling head winds strong enough to blow his ice chest off the table where it was sitting, Ray completed 66.53 miles. He did it not with a combination of running alternating with walking respites as some ultrarunners do, but with a full day of running. In the process, Ray set four age-group 75-79 records:

    • 50K in 5:22:48 for an American record

    • 50M in 8:53:55 for an American record

    • 100K in 10:59:52 for an American record

    • 66.53 miles in 12 hours for an American and world record

    San Mateo race director Dave Combs says, “Ray was running the same pace at the end of the day that he was displaying at the beginning of the race.” Ray agreed that as his record-setting day came to an end, he was still “moving right along.”

    This day of setting records, however, was no longer a new experience for Ray. Since he started running at age 54, he had already set 11 American and four world age-group records in ultrarunning.

    To place these records in perspective, we must realize that Ray didn’t begin running ultras until he was 64, and he came to the sport with no previous organized athletic competition in any sport. He never played sports in high school or college because he worked to help his family. His sports background consisted of just some sandlot pickup games with his buddies while he was growing up.

    Using the San Mateo 12-Hour race as a warm-up, Ray took a run at the 24-hour age-group record of 103 miles at the Olander Park 24-Hour in September 2002. [See postscript.]

    Continued in our November/December 2003 issue…

    On the Road From Sport to Reality
    The Team jelled on the Run From Baker to Vegas but Was Later Forced to Come Together
    for a Tragedy.

    by Deke Houlgate

    Tony Zeppetella waited for Corporal Matt Christensen to come out of the lightening sky of an early dawn with the baton. This was Tony’s first time on the Oceanside Police Department’s relay team in the largest sporting event in the world exclusively for peace officers, the 19th annual Baker-to-Vegas run.

    It was also the last time that Tony would run with his teammates. On June 13, two months after the relay, a suspected gang member gunned him down in cold blood during a routine traffic stop. His death on duty was the first in 87 years for the police department in the coastal city that borders Camp Pendleton in Southern California.

    Fellow police officers took the death of this particular rookie cop somberly. He wasn’t well known, but those who knew him liked and admired him. Barely out of the police academy, he had been patrolling on his own, without a supervisor to watch his every move, for only a couple of months.

    Tony had answered the call to join the running team when Corporal Ruben Sandoval, the team captain, sent out a memo asking for volunteers. Most of the relay runners were veterans of the hilly Baker-to-Vegas run along several narrow country highways over the Spring Mountain foothills on the edge of Death Valley. The Oceanside Police Department (OPD) has raced all but once in these 19 years.

    Continued in our November/December 2003 issue…

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    Special Book Bonus

    The Long Run Solution: Third Installment
    by Joe Henderson

    Here is Rich Benyo’s introduction to our new Book Bonus:

    Pioneers in various fields often miss the sweet smell of success that they well deserve because their timing is just a bit off or they are at the wrong place at the right time. They are just a mite ahead of their time and thereby miss the fame and fortune bestowed upon those blessed with good timing and sterling placement.

    The two major North American gold rushes are cases in point:

    James Marshall, who discovered gold in the mill race at Coloma, California, in 1848, as well as the owner of the property on which it was discovered, Johann Sutter, never profited from “their” gold, and in fact they died destitute.

    Two polar opposites, tall, lean, and hawkish Robert Henderson and laid-back well-rounded George Washington Carmack, in a ballet bordering on Greek tragedy, discovered gold in the Klondike in 1896, but neither would reap the huge rewards their discovery precipitated.
    It’s similar, in some ways, when contemplating the bestseller book gold rush at the start of the running revolution in the mid-1970s.

    Several of the pioneers had long been standing knee deep in the frigid waters panning for gold in the stream of long-distance running. Hal Higdon, who did not toil exclusively in running but who worked several streams (auto racing, true crime), wrote a landmark book in 1971 (Henry Regnery Company, Chicago) titled On the Run From Dogs and People. It is still in print today and deserves to stay in print forever, but it is revered by only a few.

    Joe Henderson, who became the editor of Runner’s World in 1970 after a stint at Track & Field News and who lured Dr. George Sheehan into the pages of Runner’s World after their meeting on the 1972 Olympic Games tour, had written numerous running books: Long Slow Distance—The Humane Way to Train (1969), Road Racers and Their Training (1970), Thoughts on the Run (1970), Run Gently, Run Long (1974), First Steps to Fitness (1974), Running with Style (1975), Step Up to Racing (1975), and The Long Run Solution (1976). As an editor, he had shepherded a mass of George Sheehan’s RW columns into Dr. Sheehan on Running (1975). That’s a lot of placer mining without hitting the mother lode.

    But the whole landscape was to change, and all within the space of a year.

    Bantam Books bought Dr. Sheehan on Running and in 1976 published it as a mass-market paperback—and it took off. In 1977, reformed fatty smoker Jim Fixx, who had been saved by running and who had spent a year mining the ore pockets of long-distance running including weeks upon weeks at the Runner’s World offices, published The Complete Book of Running, which immediately shot to the top of the bestseller lists and stayed there for nearly a year.
    George Sheehan would follow up with Running & Being, which became a bestseller and a classic, but in all the excitement, The Long Run Solution, one of the best running books of its generation, was overshadowed, overwhelmed, and overlooked.

    A handful of rickety-in-the-joints codgers at once lament the book’s having been overshadowed by brighter lights while jealously hoarding the memories of the book’s flashes of gold and maybe even verging on wanting it to keep its place as “our” favorite book of the running revolution.

    Joe Henderson’s The Long Run Solution was published in trade paperback for $3.95 by World Publications, the
    book arm of Runner’s World. It is not a complicated book and it has no long James Joyce-like run-on sentences, even
    though it is about running on . . . and on and on. Joe Henderson doesn’t write complicated sentences.
    He writes spare, insightful sentences, and he strings them together like a stonemason working with emeralds and
    rubies and sapphires to build not a massive edifice but a wall over which he entices us to jump in an effort to get to the other side, where he has been running and playing and extending the joys of childhood well into middle age—and beyond.

    Goals are ends. Destinations. Stopping places. Two things happen with them: either you reach them,
    or you don’t. And either way you stop, from satisfaction or from frustration.” Pretty simple and pretty profound at the same time.

    Joe’s little book wasn’t filled with training advice. It didn’t meet the no-pain-no-gain philosophies. It quoted practical scientists looking at running rather than philosophers who weren’t really talking about running when they uttered their profundities.

    Joe’s book was the simple manifesto of citizen long-distance running at that very critical time. It said, simply, that even if you have graduated from college you can still run—and you don’t have to run hard in organized competition until you puke. You can enrich your life (both physically and psychologically) by running gently for an hour a day, occasionally testing yourself against yourself by racing, but hey, if you don’t feel like it, that’s OK too. Just run for an hour to fulfill your design as a human being, where your largest bones and muscles are in your legs, and for good reason.

    Lower your pulse rate. Knock your cholesterol down a few notches. Keep your weight down. Feel better. Get addicted to euphoria that is self-generated by becoming the joyful animal you can be.

    Joe’s message was simple: just do it. His approach was simple: simple sentences, simple running habits.

    Certainly, some of the book’s references are getting a bit long in the tooth after nearly three decades. And a few references (like Tom Bassler’s claim that if you run a marathon you are automatically vaccinated against heart disease; consider Jim Fixx) have proven to be less than scientifically sound.

    But the book’s strengths are its incredible readability and its stone-wall solid approach to making running a part of your life.

    There isn’t a five-year period in which I don’t pick up The Long Run Solution and read it again, both to bring back the energizing effect of validating long-distance running as an adult pursuit and as an antidote to a too-pressured, too-stressed life.

    Over the years I’ve done what little I could to persuade some publisher somewhere to commission Joe to do an updated edition of Long Run Solution. But then I come to my senses and relent. Would I want someone to paint tattoos and nose rings on American Gothic? Or perhaps more appropriate, would I want to see all the characters in a Norman Rockwell painting exhibiting shaved heads?

    As with many timeless treasures, The Long Run Solution has the power to circle around through decades of time to take another pass over the stadium, and in many ways the time is right yet again. Today’s long-distance runner enjoying this simple little sport and lifestyle can learn much from this simple little book. Enjoy your running. Allow it to simplify your life while highlighting it with a golden hue.—Rich Benyo

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