2005 Issues

    Vol. 9 #1 | Vol. 9 #2 | Vol. 9 #3 | Vol. 9 #4 | Vol. 9 #5 | Vol. 9 #6


    Volume 9 | Number 1 | January/February 2005

    Departments

    Editorial
    Walk Before You Run

    At one time in the prehistory of today’s running, which translates to the 1980s or thereabouts, it was thought of as a mark of shame for a runner to walk during a race. A runner walked only when injured or when suffering from the grim effects of going out too fast and then looking for a place to drop out. This philosophy applied to every distance from the mile to the marathon.

    The only acceptable exception to the no-walking rule was that especially klutzy hand-eye-coordination-challenged marathoners were allowed to walk through aid stations to allow them to get more water or Gatorade in them than on them.

    As always when discussing running, one group stood as an automatic exception to all rules. Ultrarunners were allowed to cover their ultradistance in any way they could manage—as long as it was on their feet. After all, while marathoners had Pheidippides as their patron saint, ultrarunners followed in the footsteps of the 19th-century “pedestrians” such as Edward Payson Weston and Captain Barclay, who covered enormous distances in a “go as you please” fashion, which incorporated a hearty helping of walking.

    The fact that Pheidippides had actually run from the Plains of Marathon to Sparta and back, a distance of nearly 300 miles, and had not died on the steps of Athens after a mere 25-mile jog, was of little import to the legend that marathoners cherished. The same can be applied to the fact that it took being hit by a taxicab to slow Weston in his advanced age after he had continued to compete into his 70s. Legends die hard.

    Continued in our Jan/Feb issue. Can walkers co-exist with runners in marathons?

    On the Road with Joe Henderson
    Happier New Year

    A year is ending, and none too soon for this one. The next has to go better for me than the last did.

    Publication lead times dictate that I write now from late summer, not midwinter. This is fitting for several reasons, the first a throwback to school days when the running year began with cross-country in September.

    A year can start just as well at Labor Day as the week after Christmas. Vacation season ends with the arrival of September, offices return to full staff, classrooms fill again. We’re back to business.

    My latest year truly ran from September to August. The last “new year” was less than a week old when the contract for my next book came through.

    Writing any book is an endurance test, and this one would be my biggest solo effort. From planning through publication, it would take a full year.

    I thought this work would be the hardest part of that year. Instead it became a welcome everyday escape from the much tougher realities of living.

    A week before Christmas, a new editor at my old magazine, a man I had never met and never before talked to by phone, called to say that my job of 33 years was ending. “Your column has run its course,” he said. (Happily, the bosses at Marathon & Beyond didn’t agree.)

    I thought this forced retirement was the worst news that could come all year. It would be a footnote to the events coming soon afterward.

    Continued in our Jan/Feb issue…

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

    NEW YORK, NY, November 5, 2001. One of the questions I most dread: what is your favorite (most influential, most unforgettable) book? First my mind goes absolutely, blindingly, white-page blank. Then it spins, whirs, twirls—you can smell the burn. Where to begin? At the beginning? With Green Eggs and Ham? Or Where the Wild Things Are? Do you skip the first loves and move right along to the substantial, long-term relationships, the ones that continue to change—deepen and thicken—over time?

    Each year I re-read James Joyce’s short story “The Dead.” Each year I get something new and different from it. I don’t travel far from my dog-eared copy of Milton’s Paradise Lost, and I need a rubber band to hold together The Palm at the End of the Mind, my favorite collection of Wallace Stevens’s poems. Since Stevens’s lines run through my mind the way other people are tortured by teenage pop music or annoying commercial jingles, since I can’t get them out of my brain, pieces of poetry popping up unbidden at unexpected places and times, does that make this my most unforgettable book? Perhaps. But then I think of another Wallace—Stegner—and the way some of the ideas in his beautiful Angle of Repose return to haunt me.

    Rachel’s riveting tale of running the 2001 New York City Marathon is not to be missed
    in our Jan/Feb issue…

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    Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon San Diego
    Scenery and Entertainment Make for a Winning Combination.

    This marathon ranks among the top marathons we’ve ever profiled.

    Letters
    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

    On the Mark

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

    A FRIEND with whom I train on weekends has done more than a dozen
    marathons. I have done none yet, but I hope to someday—once I build a
    better base. I consider my friend a tech junkie. Every running gadget
    that comes along, he has got to have it—and use it. Just what of a tech
    nature does a runner actually need? I swear that one of the reasons
    my friend doesn’t run faster than he does is that he spends so much time
    and energy consulting his “stuff.”

    Our experts answer this question in our January/February 2005 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Sara Latta, Paul Reese, Julia Emmons, Rachel
    Toor, Gary Dudney, and Tim Martin.


    Features

    Did Not Finish
    It Is Painful to Drop Out of a Race, But More Painful to Watch a Friend Fall Short
    of His Goal.

    by Gary Dudney

    Like most runners, I’ve always thought of a DNF as something awful, something to be avoided at all cost. It’s hard to be philosophical about a DNF. We enter a race to finish, not to give in to some human weakness. To add insult to injury, have a look at most race results. The runners who DNF are typically not listed, as though they were never there.

    But looking back over my log of race results from the past 20 years, I noticed an odd thing. Two types of races stood out. One type was the “firsts”—my first 10K, first marathon, first ultramarathon, first 100-miler. The other races that seemed fresh in my mind—even after years had gone by—were the DNFs. Why had they made such an impression on me?

    One reason, I believe, is that every DNF delivers in an unmistakable way a valuable lesson. During this race, I learned that it does not pay to run with a bad cold. At that race, I found out what happens when the temperature soars and I don’t drink enough water. This timeout taught me that running three races in three weekends could uncover some nasty weaknesses in my knees and ankles. Another reason that each DNF is so memorable is that when it comes to drama, when it comes to digging down deep, when it comes to having that quintessential running experience—catching a glimpse of your soul—nothing is quite like a hard-fought DNF.

    Continued in our January/February issue…

    Anatomy of a DNF
    Dropping Out Hurts on Many Levels, But the Alternative Can Hurt Worse and Longer.

    by Matias Saari

    DNF.

    Those three letters of apparent ignominy have happened to Bill Rodgers, Amby Burfoot, both Johnny Kelleys, and untold thousands of unknowns.

    In the 107th Boston Marathon, the dreaded Did Not Finish happened to me.

    A DNF doesn’t just happen, however, nor is it deserving of disgrace or shame. There are myriad reasons why a runner drops out of a marathon, and I had plenty of company at Boston in 2003. Of the 20,223 entrants, 537 runners started the race in Hopkinton but did not cross the finish line on Boylston Street, and 2,656 were no-shows. And of the surprisingly high 97 percent who persevered, many surely contemplated an earlier cessation to their suffering. For a runner in distress, a DNF can be a difficult yet prudent decision. It also makes a more compelling story than “I ran Boston and everything went just great.”

    My troubles began three weeks before the race, when the first evidence of shin splints manifested itself following an (in retrospect) ill-advised 19-mile tempo run on pavement. I had nearly completed the most strenuous training program of my young running career—with mileage peaking at 78 miles one week—and was forced to back off more than intended during my taper. But the shin splints intensified. In the two weeks leading up to Boston, I ran all of 14 miles, including a painful and discouraging three-mile jaunt 72 hours before the race that left me seriously doubting my ability to go the distance on race day. I spent much of the final fortnight resting, applying ice and heat, popping ibuprofen, and praying my right shin would heal.

    Continued in our January/February issue.

    The Infection Connection
    Running Can Boost or Dampen Your Immune System.
    by Sara Latta

    Most runners I know have a better-than-average understanding of the human musculoskeletal system, tossing terms such as IT band syndrome, piriformus syndrome, and iliopsoas tendinitis into casual conversation with other runners as though they were confetti at a New Year’s Eve party. Knowledge of the immune system—especially as it relates to exercise—tends to be less encyclopedic, for the layperson at any rate. NK cells, macrophages, salivary IgA . . . ho-hum, when’s your next race?

    That is a shame, considering the importance of the immune system. Most of us take for granted that the immune system protects us from disease-causing organisms, but as runners we tend to sit up and take notice only when a whopper cold settles into our heads the day before a marathon or we find ourselves plagued by recurrent sinus infections following races. Running can boost the immune system—but too much can also dampen it.

    The immune system’s first lines of defense against invading organisms are barriers: physical barriers, such as the skin and mucous membranes, and chemical barriers, including stomach acids and proteins in tears, saliva, and skin oils. If some intrepid organism manages to penetrate these barriers, specialized cells called phagocytes (including macrophages) engulf, kill, and chew up foreign invaders as well as cancer cells. The aptly named natural killer (NK) cells also destroy infected and cancerous cells. This first line of defense is called the innate immune system.

    Read all of The Infection Connection

    Fun and Folly in the Yukon
    Jack London’s Stories of Survival in the Far North Should Have Served as a Caution.

    by Colin Searle

    We have seen bear tracks on the trail, but if you do come across one, make some noise and take some pictures.” Nervous laughter spreads across the prerace audience.

    following midday I stand on the start line. I have come to Whitehorse, nestled on the banks of the Yukon River near where the White Horse Rapids were during the days of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1896, the same year the modern Olympics were first held. The river was called the White Horse because the fierce rapids looked like the flowing mane of a galloping horse. The city of Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon Territories in northwest Canada and is surrounded by true wilderness.

    m here to enter this toughest of races, the Yukon Arctic Ultra, 100-plus miles of self-sufficiency in Arctic conditions. The race finishes at Braeburn, a stop-off point on the famous Yukon Quest dog-sled trail race, which course we will be following.

    Don’t miss this gripping story of survival in our January/February issue.

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    They Practice on Mountains
    An Olympic Marathon Coach’s View of the 2004 Olympics.
    by Julia Emmons

    September 18, 2004, Mammoth Lakes, California–It is 10:30 a.m. on a sunny, windy day. The whole town of Mammoth Lakes has turned out to honor its hometown heroes: Meb Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s marathon in Athens, and Deena Kastor, the 2004 bronze medalist in the women’s marathon. Meb’s is the first U.S. men’s medal in the marathon since 1976, and Deena’s the first since Joan Benoit’s gold in 1984.

    Nestled in high mountains, the charming town is best known as a top 10 ski resort. Not today. Red, white, and blue banners hang from every light post: “Congratulations Meb and Deena from Mammoth Lakes Residents.” Shop windows are pasted with pictures of the medalists; small children wave American flags. The cheering crowd is 10 deep in the open-air shopping plaza as Deena and Meb drive through on decorated golf carts, waving, laughing, wearing their medals over their snug sudden-winter jackets.

    The mayor makes a speech: he declares that from now on in Mammoth Lakes, August 22 will be Deena Kastor day and August 29, Meb Keflezighi day. What indeed could be more fitting?

    Deena’s and Meb’s journeys to the victory celebration in Mammoth Lakes began long ago; both were blessed with immense natural talent, strong family, wise coaching, sound character, and determined focus. This is not that tale. Both have recently been profiled in these pages, and the full-scale cinematic version awaits the Disney bio-pic. (A slimmed-down Kirsten Dunst playing Deena, a slimmed-down Will Smith as Meb?) Rather, it’s a personal view of the Olympic summer of 2004, when Deena on August 22, then Meb a week later, surprised the world, if not their coaches or themselves.

    You’ll love this behind-the-scenes look at Deena and Meb’s historic runs…only
    in our January/February 2005 issue

    Even a Midpacker Can Take On the Extreme
    When Contemplating the Leap to Ultras, Don’t Let Fear Undermine Your Plans.
    by Gil Jordan

    When runners talk about serious hills, there can always be debate. One-hundred-mile runs at Hardrock, Leadville, Wasatch Front, and Western States can all lay claims for the toughest hills in ultrarunning. When you look at the raw numbers, however, one humble 50K in Southern California has them all beat by a mile—or three—in distance, or by many feet per mile in steepness. That is the Baldy Peaks 50K.

    Baldy Peaks requires 10,775 feet of climb and an equal amount of descent in 32.14 miles. That includes twice summiting 10,064-foot Mount Baldy by different routes, the first time climbing 5,864 feet in six miles, then a second ascent of 3,864 feet in four miles. In terms of steepness, those two climbs rise 977 and 966 feet per mile, respectively. By comparison, Hardrock’s Grant Swamp Pass and Leadville’s Hope Pass (inbound) rise 1,077 and 1,046 feet per mile, respectively, but both are only 2.6 miles long. The notorious Devil’s Thumb at Western States is nearly identical in steepness (978 feet per mile) to the two climbs at Baldy Peaks but is a mere 1.6 miles long. Granted, you have to cover 100 miles and more hills in those other ultras; but for sheer long, steep, back-to-back hill climbs, it can be argued that Baldy Peaks is second to none.

    Continued in our January/February issue…

    Coping With the Inevitable
    Aging and Diminished Physical Capacity Are Part of Life. We Need to Work
    Around Them.

    by Paul Reese

    Ralph Paffenbarger Jr., now 81, a world-renowned epidemiologist, began his running career in 1967 at age 45 on a not altogether spectacular note by finishing the Boston Marathon in 5:05.

    By age 49, he lowered his marathon time to 2:44:39 and ran 50 miles in

    6:13:08. At 50, he ran 100 miles on a flat course in 16:42:58. Good as those times were, his times in races that required stamina and endurance were even more sensational.

    Turned loose on a mountain race, this genteel gentleman attacked with the ferocity of a lion in pursuit of a gazelle. He finished his sixth Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run in

    22:03:58, a 60-plus record at the time. One of his most phenomenal performances was running the Double Dipsea in 1:54:51 at age 49. Paff’s astounding time here can be understood and appreciated only by someone who has run the Dipsea. Many world-class runners would fail trying to better that time.

    Until age 68, Paff savored the running life, racing two or three times monthly at places as far away as South Africa (Comrades Marathon, Two Oceans Marathon) and London (London Marathon, London-to-Brighton ultra). Then, in 1990, he met his running Waterloo in the form of a heart attack; this was silent (nonsymptomatic) in nature and discovered only by a routine physical exam. The result of this was that after three years of struggling with the condition, he was fitted with both a pacemaker and a defibrillator. His racing, even his running, came to an abrupt end, and his walking is limited.

    In his final article for M&B, Paul Reese tackles aging as a runner head on.
    Sadly, Paul passed away November 6. Rich Benyo dedicates part of his editorial in our
    March/April 2005 issue to Paul.

    From Cows to Cow Pies
    Drive/Camp/Hike/Marathon Provides a Close-Up Perspective and Should Become an Olympic
    Event.

    by Steven Wearne

    Safari Club International provided the incentive for a western adventure. My wife, Deb, applied for a grant of tuition to attend a week at its Wilderness Training Camp near Granite Peak in Wyoming, home of the setting for some of the scenes in A River Runs Through It. When her application was accepted and the date was set, I did the usual: I searched databases for a marathon in the area.

    The plan was for Deb to fly out to Jackson Hole for the beginning of her class on Tuesday. I would drive out and pick her up at the end of class on the following Tuesday. I had to look up the location, but as luck would have it, there was a marathon in Ashton, Idaho. Ashton was just the other side of the hill from Granite Peak. Great price, too: $25. I persuaded Deb to run the half-marathon and sent in two entry blanks. Can you believe a marathon for $25?

    Deb and I travel by campgrounds. We travel a lot and seldom stay at motels. So Deb flew into Jackson on Tuesday, and on Thursday I headed west, the Mazda Navajo packed with camping gear. I had to do a few things for work before leaving, but they went quickly when I started to think of going to the Rockies.

    My first night was at Wyalusing State Park, on the banks of the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers. A camp here would provide a couple of hours less to drive the next day and a couple of long walks to keep active.

    My mom’s place was the first goal. She is in Yankton, South Dakota. Mom had a deck project that needed my help, and staying in Yankton would break up another long drive. An evening of excitement with Mom’s friends, playing cards, was followed by a 5K in the morning. This was my speed training for the week—Yankton’s Riverboat Days celebration.

    Continued in our January/February issue.

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    A Boom of Her Own
    Boonsom Hartman Got into Running and Then Ran a Little More and More Until the
    Country Was Hers.

    by Rich Limacher

    The Star, Sunday, December 28, 2003—It was arguably the biggest newspaper story ever to hit the far south suburbs. Right there, that day: a big spread covering two full pages of newsprint without one single ad on either page. Gigantic! This thing was huge! So, what was it, you ask? Here’s the headline: “Marathon runner earns glory from coast to coast.” Oh my God, it’s Boonsom!

    So this was the write-up our Chicago suburban Star newspaper gave my pal Boonsom Hartman upon completion of her dozen-year quest to finish a marathon in all 50 states of the good ole USA—and the District of Columbia for good measure. Fifty-one marathons in all, and there, entirely covering two interior newspaper pages and attempting to show proof of every race, were 50 published black-and-white photographs. (Apparently no pic was available from the Charleston, West Virginia, marathon.)

    Oh my glory, she did it!

    In all the years that I’ve lived here—out here in the far-out, far-flung corncrib ’burbs, out where the temporary end of urbanity meets with long-established furrows of farmland and both fight for whatever’s left of the prairie—I had never seen two full Star pages devoted entirely to any one subject at all! (And I used to work for The Star, so I ought to know.)

    Nope! There wasn’t that much local coverage when successive mayors of our neighboring towns all went to jail or when the shopping mall where they made The Blues Brothers movie was finally boarded up or even when “Walkin’ Dan Walker” walked right through our village and onward to become governor of Illinois—and after that went to prison. Nosiree, Bob! The south ’burbs of Chi-Town have never witnessed such hoopla as when my running “buddy” Boonsom finally completed a marathon in every single state of the Union. Oh, and in the Union’s capital, too.

    Lordy, what a story! But truth is, there wasn’t much of a story printed on those two newspaper pages. There wasn’t room. Too many pictures!

    Which, of course, is precisely where I fit in. I get to tell you the story.

    The rest of Boonsom’s amazing story is in our January/February 2005 issue…

    Redemption
    After Last Year’s DNF, a Return to God’s Country Has Uplifting Results.
    by Sil Simpson

    The author returns to the God’s Country Marathon in PA and earns redemption.

    When Running Becomes Healing

    Sometimes a Little Run Becomes an Everest Conquered.
    by Tim Martin

    She is an average runner, a middle-of-the-pack jogger with modest goals. She is also a businesswoman, a mother of two, and a good friend to all who know her. But more than anything, she is an inspiration to all those who have ever pushed beyond their limits and broken through barriers they once thought insurmountable.

    Her name is Linda. She is 46 and has spent the last 15 months of her life battling a rare form of cancer called primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma. Linda has undergone countless sessions of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. She has endured a bone-marrow biopsy and the insertion of a portacath in her chest and an Ommaya reservoir in her head. She has been given Methotrexate, Neurontin, MS Contin, and dozens of other drugs and medications. Doctors have done everything but douse her with holy water from Lourdes.

    During her stay in the oncology ward at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Linda suffered hair loss, weight gain (from steroids), and a nightmare roller-coaster ride of stomach-churning emotions.

    “Did you mention the eyelashes?” she asked.

    “No,” I replied. “That’s not important.”

    “It is to a woman,” she said.

    Continued in our Jan/Feb issue.

    Special Book Bonus

    Thirty Phone Booths to Boston: Part 3
    by Don Kardong

    Here is Joe Henderson’s introduction to our new Book Bonus:

    We can’t see a golden age while it is happening. We can’t spot the greatness of an era until we’ve seen how far it stands above the years that followed.

    Given a generation’s perspective, we now see the 1970s as the golden age of U.S. men’s marathoning. We can say the same for U.S. writing about running, and in two cases the names of runner and writer overlap.

    Look at all the ’70s yielded: In Olympic running, Frank Shorter’s gold and silver medals at Munich and Montreal, plus the fourth places of Kenny Moore and Don Kardong. In bestselling writing, for all topics, the running books of Jim Fixx, George Sheehan, and the Bob Glover–Jack Shepherd team.

    These authors earned their success. They wrote well and delivered the right message at the right time as running and running bookselling boomed together.

    But I would argue that Fixx, Sheehan, and Glover–Shepherd weren’t the best writers the ’70s spawned. For quality and durability of their work, I would go with Moore and Kardong. They have more in common than their near misses at the Olympics. Moore and then Kardong a few years later were Pacific Northwest–born, ran for Pac-8 (now Pac-10) colleges, were world class in track before turning to the marathon, and peaked in the 2:11s.

    And both broke into writing about running in a magazine that I edited at the time. Moore first appeared there in 1970 and Kardong five years later.

    Kenny would say now that he didn’t “write” for Runner’s World then. The magazine reprinted a piece of his from the University of Oregon alumni publication.

    Don wrote an original article for RW. How it came about is a funny story in itself, one best left for him to tell. How he tells stories distinguishes him from his fellow fourth placer. One isn’t better than the other; they’re just different.

    When I first talked to Kenny Moore about rerunning his article, he was studying for a graduate degree in creative writing. He was in training for the career to come.

    When I asked Don Kardong to write his first article, about his 1975 trip across the newly opened borders of China, he was working as an elementary school teacher. A career as a writer? You can’t be serious.

    His apparent lack of seriousness, or at least his inability to take himself and the sport too seriously, would distinguish his writing and endear him to readers. With Moore, you expected to be impressed by his thoughts and observations. With Kardong, you expected to be amused by his experiences and misadventures.

    This isn’t to say that Don writes the way a slapstick comic performs. He’s no buffoon. His relaxed style features a gentle jibe here (often aimed at himself) and a clever turn of phrase there. The writing appears to entertain Don as much as it does his readers. It seems to be his break from the serious contributions he makes to the sport and to his community.

    He helped professionalize running as a cofounder of the Association of Road Racing Athletes. He served as long-distance chairman of USA Track & Field and as president of the Road Runners Club of America.

    At home in Spokane, Washington, he launched and still works on the Bloomsday 12K race, of which he is now executive director.

    His writing pace has slowed of late, and not just because of competing obligations. Curiously, Runner’s World hasn’t assigned an article to this longtime favorite of its readers for more than two years. (A brief column of his does appear once a month on the RW Web site.)

    Don will write feature articles again, somewhere, sometime. Meanwhile you don’t have to wait to read him again. Over the next several issues, Marathon & Beyond will serialize his first book, originally published in 1985 by Macmillan.

    Thirty Phone Booths to Boston takes its title from an offbeat article by the same name. He covered the 1981 Boston Marathon by calling pay phones along the course and asking whomever picked up to tell him how the race was going.

    This and 22 other pieces of vintage Kardong make up the book subtitled Tales of a Wayward Runner. Smile and laugh along with the author, remembering that this runner–writer from the golden age runs and writes onward a generation later.

    Don’s entire book will be printed (in serial format) in M&B over the next several issues.

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    Volume 9 | Number 2 | March/April 2005



    Departments


    Features



    Volume 9 | Number 3 | May/June 2005


    Departments

    Editorial
    One for All, and All for One

    Long-distance running continues to operate as a phenomenon outside the mainstream. In spite of the fact that it involves the longest-running sport and lifestyle in the history of the human race and draws to it individuals demographically prone to be . . . well . . . individuals, it exhibits a cohesion not only rare in other sports, but rare in human nature.

    In spite of its inherently competitive nature, the sport’s practitioners and businesses are surprisingly cooperative.

    Naturally, there are exceptions, but the exceptions are so rare as to be . . . well . . . exceptional.

    There is among race directors, running-related businesses, running media, and road racing marketers generally a lack of what is known in the regular world as the scarcity mentality.

    Continued in our May/June issue. Rich’s post-Running USA Conference ruminations.

    On the Road with Joe Henderson
    Coach Roe to Coach Joe

    If not for Dean Roe, I wouldn’t be here now. I wouldn’t have done any of the running that led to all of the writing.

    Coach Roe started it all. Or rather, he kept it from stopping after a stumbling start.

    He coached all the sports at my small-town Iowa school. By 1958, a football team of his had won a state title and a basketball team had reached the state tournament.

    Dean Roe knew how to develop winners. I wanted to be one but was too timid to win in football and too short for basketball.

    Track was my last chance, and the best one was in the longest race we could run then—the mile. Body size didn’t matter here, only heart size. I could win by wanting it more than anyone else.

    My first official day as a runner was almost my last. I tried too hard and beat no one but myself. I started at a dead sprint, which couldn’t last much more than one lap, and didn’t.

    The pack spit me out the back and off the track, where I sat feeling sorry for myself after failing at another sport. I had lasted less than two minutes as a distance runner.

    Coach Roe wasn’t a running expert, but he was an authority on the delicate psyches of adolescents. He knew when to kick a butt and when to pat a back.

    Continued in our May/June issue…

    My Most Unforgettable Marathon (And What I Learned From It: 1999 Chicago Marathon
    by Riva Graeme

    CHICAGO, October 24, 1999—The marathon holding the most exciting memories for me was Chicago in 1999.

    To put the year in perspective, I had just finished medical school in San Francisco in May, run a PR at the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon San Diego less than 48 hours after my medical school graduation, and then run the Anchorage Marathon as my last hurrah, hours before I drove across the country to Dallas for my residency in internal medicine. I had trained for and run several marathons during medical school as a stress reliever and hoped to be able to continue to run during residency.

    However, I knew that having “matched” at probably the most demanding internal medicine program in the country, I would be lucky only to have time to run easily a few days of the week.

    After I arrived at the end of June and received my schedule for the next 52 weeks, I quickly glanced at my days off—my reprieve. I had a few scattered days off over the first few months, but my first true weekend off—the “golden weekend”—was scheduled for the same October weekend as the Chicago Marathon. Previous talks of reuniting with Angela, my marathon buddy—she did San Diego, Anchorage, and others with me!—at a marathon that year became reality as luck afforded me the opportunity to combine my weekend off with the Chicago Marathon. After the insufficient four weeks between the San Diego and Anchorage marathons, the four months until Chicago seemed like an eternity.

    See if Riva can juggle marathoning and an intense medical residency in our May/June issue…

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    Lakefront Marathon
    A Long History and Attention to Runners’ Needs Pay Off.

    Check out this great Midwest marathon in our May/June issue.

    Letters
    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

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

    Logical Steps. I’M NEW to long-distance running. I’m 28 and have
    been running for 18 months. I’ve done a handful of 5K and 10K races and
    would someday like to run a marathon or two—or more. I would like to
    work shorter races into my overall marathon training plan as speed
    workouts to complement my one track workout on Thursdays. If I do
    really long runs every other weekend, would it work to do 10K races
    on the alternating weekends if I run two miles before the 10K and five
    or six additional miles after the 10K in order to lengthen the shorter
    races into a longer workout, thereby killing two birds with one stone,
    that is, distance and speed? Does this make sense?

    Our experts answer this question in our May/June 2005 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Nancy Griffith, Kevin Polin, Marion Raycheba,
    Coach GP, Marc Witkes, and Paul Clerici.


    Features

    You Want to Put on a Marathon–Where?
    Defying the Taliban, One Step at a Time.
    by Ivan Hurlburt

    I wasn’t sure how to write this. I am by no means a writer. My creative skills have been limited to pretending that I am a carpenter some months and a paint-by-numbers artist in others. I don’t consider myself a writer, let alone a marathon race director. I am a captain in the United States Army serving with the 25th Infantry Division based in Hawaii. I consider myself an average person who happened to be in extraordinary circumstances and at the right place at the right time.

    The place was called Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan. It’s a typical Afghan village in a province called Uruzgan, which is famous for its geographical ties to the Taliban. Many of its more famous Taliban leaders were born just north of the city of Tarin Kowt. Tarin Kowt is at an elevation of about 5,000 feet in a valley surrounded by mountains that are at the tail end of the Hindu Kush mountain range. The summers are hot and dusty and the winters are cold and unforgiving. It’s an area of strategic commercial and military importance that has seen numerous invasions that have more or less been repelled by its determined people, harsh weather, and rough terrain. From Alexander the Great to the Soviet Union, many nations have attempted to tame and conquer the people of Afghanistan, but they have universally failed.

    Read all of You Want to Put on a Marathon–Where?

    Duel at Deadwood
    It Began As a Way to Honor Billy Mills but Soon Turned Into a Unique Experience.

    by Nancy Griffith

    My interest in this race began with Billy Mills. Born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Mills was orphaned at age 12 and went on to overcome incredible adversity in his life. At the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, he became the only American ever to win an Olympic gold medal in the 10,000 meters. When my husband (Tom Burr) and I heard that Billy Mills planned to be at the 2004 Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon (DMTM), we knew we had to run (www.deadwoodmickelsontrailmarathon.com).

    For a number of reasons, the DMTM provides the perfect destination marathon. There are numerous places to visit, including Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake and Harney Peak, Needles Scenic Highway, and Spearfish Canyon, to name a few. Don’t miss the Prairie Edge Gallery on Main Street and Sixth in downtown Rapid City. The appeal of this race is the ever-changing, spectacular scenery along the race course. Other than a very short distance at the beginning and the end, the entire race course is on the Mickelson Trail, a gravel-packed railroad bed.

    Continued in our May/June issue.

    Lessons From a 100-Mile Virgin
    Plan Everything and Expect Anything. Then Go with the Flow.
    by Kevin Polin

    I am probably like most people who wind up running a 100-miler: the thought of doing the distance had been eating at me for some time. It was as if there was always some unfinished business waiting for me. After I ran the Umstead 50 and JFK 50 in 1999, the next logical step was the 100. Well, pneumonia that I caught during an Alaskan mountaineering jaunt soon after the two 50s and then our first child in 2000 and second in 2003 put the big distance on hold. Three and a half years went by after the JFK 50 until just the right set of circumstances came together that enabled me to attempt what I now thought of as a fabled 100. In other words, I decided to get off my fat ass and do something about my goal.

    After the two 50s, I ran 12 marathons in 2000 (incidentally, one per month in different states) and then immediately became completely uninterested in running. I didn’t run again for more than two and a half years until the summer of 2003 when I decided enough was enough and that the extra 30 pounds of fat layering my body was covering up the chiseled athlete waiting to jump out. I started running (well, jogging really) and even changed my diet. I would be missed at the local Taco Bell.

    Starting from scratch was challenging. I felt like a rookie once more as I plodded along. Running in the humid South after work each day was a chore rather than the pleasure it once had been. Running as a chore was new; I still had memories of many great runs—not just marathons or ultras but also solo training runs. It was mostly the feeling I remembered of covering long distances over hills, through valleys, and over trails among the animals and not even being that tired when finished—in fact, of finding myself more energized after a quick eight-miler through the woods. But now it was a struggle to do just short distances as the feeling of being more and more tired each day continued. I realized that running without being in good shape was not a good thing and that I needed a goal to motivate me. A 100-miler on the schedule for the coming spring seemed the logical choice to start getting back in shape and to knock off a major goal.

    Continued in our May/June issue.

    The History of the Marathon in Canada
    Brilliant Past, Uncertain Future, Canadians Have a Vaunted History.

    by Marion E. Raycheba

    You could call them also-rans. They were ordinary men—laborers, stonecutters, farmers, printers, shoemakers, and carpenters. They worked hard to earn a living. But they also ran wherever and whenever they could. They ran without modern fripperies, like water stations, wicking fabrics, heart rate monitors, or even decent running shoes. They ran for the love of it, and then, thanks to the 1896 rebirth of the Olympic Games, they ran for glory on an international stage. A remarkable number found fame, although none found fortune in the conventional sense.

    William Sherring, a 29-year-old railway brakeman who had won many races at Ontario country fairs, was the first to make it to the Olympics. He had already outrun the competition by twice winning Hamilton’s Around the Bay, and he had placed second in Boston in 1900, but it was much more difficult to outrun the need for money.

    According to Sherring family lore, the city of Hamilton grudgingly agreed to pay his way to the 1906 Intercalated (intermediate, subsequently unofficial) Olympics on one condition: Sherring had to be accompanied by the city’s trainer. Sherring refused, because it would mean ditching Butch Collyer, his coach of many years. No one is quite sure what happened next, but according to one version told by his daughter, Helen Callender, Sherring turned to his friends. They chipped in what they could, and he bet the lot on a horse named Cicely. Amazingly, Cicely won, and Sherring set off for Greece without knowing how he would pay his way home; he had won enough to cover his fare one way only.

    Another version, told by Jim Sherring, a nephew, is that his famous uncle, who would gamble on anything that moved, may well have bet his friends’ money on a horse, but there’s no way it would have won; Sherring was a notoriously poor gambler. He got himself to Greece by signing on a steamship as boiler-room crew to pay his passage across the Atlantic. When not shoveling coal, he trained by running around the deck.

    Regardless of how he managed it, on arrival, Sherring found work on the Greek railway, most likely as a porter. It was enough to pay for room and board. He spent every spare minute during the next month training and acclimatizing. The evening before the marathon, he visited the American contingent and shook hands all around, telling everyone that he thought they would like to meet tomorrow’s winner. Whether it was well-founded self-confidence or simply in-your-face bravado, the next day, May 1, 1906, he did it. The Italian favorite, Dorando Pietri, stricken by stomach trouble, left the field at the 24-kilometer (15-mile) mark. Sherring took the lead and finished in 2:51:23.6, a full seven minutes faster than the Swedish silver winner and nine minutes faster than the American bronze winner. (The race distance, incidentally, was 41.88 kilometers. It was 1924 before 42.195 kilometers became the standard, official Olympic marathon distance.)

    When Sherring entered the stadium, 14 pounds lighter than the 98 pounds he weighed when he started, Prince George of Greece hurried from his viewing stand and accompanied Sherring across the finish line. He was presented with the gold medal and statuettes of Minerva and Hermes. They are still in the family’s possession today.

    No one is sure how Sherring managed to get himself back to Canada. Helen Callender thinks his friends passed around a hat. Jim Sherring thinks the city of Hamilton decided, now that it had a winner on its hands, to cough up. Regardless, he was given a hero’s welcome, some cash, and other honors.

    In the meantime, Sherring’s contemporaries—James Duffy, James J. (Jack) Caffery, Edouard Fabre, George Goulding, Dave Komonen, Tom “Wildfire” Longboat, R. J. MacDonald, Alf Shrubb, and Walter Young—also gave their all at Boston (only Shrubb failed to win there and he came in second) and pursued the Olympic dream. A remarkable number made it. Fabre competed at the 1906 Olympics, Goulding in 1908 and 1912, and Caffery and Longboat in 1908. Only Goulding ascended the winners’ podium, and then it was gold for 10,000 meters rather than the marathon. Still, they proved they could match and beat the best in the world.

    These early distance runners paved the way for the next generation—the likes of Johnny Miles. Born in Halifax, England, he immigrated to Canada where he found work as the manager of a manufacturing company and fame as an extraordinary runner. He won Boston in 1926 and 1929, edging out Clarence DeMar, captured bronze in the 1930 British Empire (now Commonwealth) Games, and competed in the 1928 and 1932 Olympic Games.

    One of the most colorful was Gérard Côté. An advertising salesman who enjoyed a cold beer and a lively press conference almost as much as winning, he triumphed at Boston an astonishing four times and earned the U.S. Amateur Athletic Union marathon title three times. World War II prevented him from competing at the Olympics during his peak years, and when his chance finally came in 1948, leg cramps pushed him to a heartbreaking 17th-place finish.

    Continued in our May/June issue. Don’t miss the rest of this one-of-a-kind article.

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    Don’t Exercise–Train!
    Improvement and Injury Prevention Require Slow, Steady Increases in Training.
    by Gerard Pearlberg

    In chapter 16 of my book Run Tall, Run Easy, the Ultimate Guide to Better Running Mechanics, I discuss the concept of sequential, progressive development of the runner through systematic training, as opposed to rudderless exercise that all too often produces frustration and underachievement.

    As a professional coach interviewing new athletes, I have a key objective of determining the content of their running programs. I find with few exceptions that the structure of the programs is dangerously close to overtraining from too-high mileage and/or intensity and density (recovery setup) or undertraining resulting in little training effect (training effect meaning optimal stress followed by optimal recovery, which equals optimal performance).

    While the abilities of individual athletes vary greatly, increased fitness, speed, or combinations thereof are at the heart of most runners’ motivations. Whatever the motivation, whether the runner be a professional or an amateur, competitive or recreational, a common objective remains present at all time—the desire to avoid injury.

    Injury is to runners what kryptonite is to Superman—the archenemy! It is the biggest hindrance to development for the fitness enthusiast or aspiring Olympian alike.

    Each day, week, and month have only a certain number of training sessions that can be completed. During the course of a 31-day month, a runner who runs four times per week has 19 to 20 opportunities to create change and establish progress in fitness. If two of these runs are for 30 minutes and the other two are 40 minutes and 60 minutes, respectively, total goal running time for that week is two hours and 40 minutes. Add to this two resistance strength-training sessions of 60 minutes each plus one alternative strength session such as Pilates or yoga in addition to a 60-minute cross-training session, and we have almost six hours of training that needs to be managed each week.

    Continued. You’ll appreciate the insights of one the country’s best coaches in this article in
    our May/June issue.

    Give It That Good Old College Try
    People Run Marathons for All Sorts of Reason, but for College Credit?
    by David R. Jennys

    Part 1 of 2

    It was Thursday afternoon, much like many other Thursday afternoons over the past few months. I had been meeting with a group of students at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Tuesdays and Thursdays to do training runs after our class for the last three and a half months. This Thursday, however, was different. The class did not meet today; in fact the class was now over, memorialized in part by our run together.

    The run was different also because it was shorter than usual and run at a distinctly slower pace then we had run in the past. The loop we ran around the neighborhood near campus was a recovery run after the race we had run the previous Saturday. The run was a memorial to what we had accomplished together; it also was a farewell. Our run was the celebration of our participation in the Sports Physiology and Marathon Training class and our participation—our graduation, of sorts—in the 2004 Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon.

    As we ran and told our war stories, I found myself reflecting on the events of the past week and, indeed, of the last several months. Though our recovery run was short, it was long enough for me to replay in my mind many of the events I had experienced during the spring and previous winter. How had I, a 43-year-old United Methodist pastor, gotten involved with a group of college-age students half my age in a sports physiology class? The answer to that question was in some ways the description of an adventure for me.

    Continued in our May/June issue…

    When You Can’t Run
    Need a Break from Running? There are Plenty of Reasonable Options.
    by Joe Oakes

    It happens. Most of the time it happens because you have been assailed by an injury, maybe serious and lasting, or maybe just one that needs a few weeks to heal. Or maybe you just can’t run anymore, can’t find motivation. It could be that you are stale or bored. And there is nothing wrong with thinking about the grass on the other side of the fence, as in, “Maybe there is a world beyond running.” No maybe about it: there are other worlds out there, lots of them, and you ought to take a peek over the fence.

    Running is addictive. Putting one foot in front of the other 10,000 times a day—that’s about what it takes to run 3,000 miles a year—can’t be anything but addictive. I know; I’ve been running since 1948, some years putting in well over 3,000 miles. If there were a 12-step program for runners, I would be at the meeting ’fessin’ up, “My name is Joe and I’m a run-aholic,” to a supportive chorus of fellow addicts. “Hi, Joe.” In that crowd, I could be confident that they had walked in my Nikes, they understood my problem. But I’m not really sure that I would want the full cure. Maybe I could just settle for a little variety, some strange stuff, or maybe some time off from my obsession.

    At the awards ceremony of the Western States 100-Mile Trail Run in 1979, among the limpers, crawlers, snoozers, and moaners, one large, hairy man made an announcement that got my attention. Understand that our brand new T-shirts told us that we had just completed The Ultimate Running Challenge. After ultimate, what the hell else can there be? But Cowman C. Cowman removed his left foot from his right knee (he had been fussing with a huge blister that he had worn since before Michigan Bluff) and repeated, “Yeah, that’s what I said. There are things harder than running 100 miles. Over in Hawaii, there is this event that they call the Ironman. If you can finish that, maybe you really are tough.”

    Joe’s article continues in our May/June issue.

    On the Hardrock Board
    Maybe It’s Not as Hard as Running the Race, but Sometimes It Comes Close.
    by Marc Witkes

    I first attempted the Hardrock 100-Mile Endurance Run in 1998. I was miserably underprepared, naive, and weak. I dropped out, embarrassed, with my tail between my legs, at the 30-mile mark. I came back two years later to complete the race in 45 hours. I may never start or finish another Hardrock (HR), but now I’ve got more interesting Hardrock things to do.

    Last summer, race director Dale Garland asked whether I would serve on the HR board of directors. Having lived in Durango 50 miles from the race start for 13 years and served as president of Durango Motorless Transit Running Club for four years, I suppose that Garland figured I was qualified and sensible enough to help out with policy decisions, planning, race application selection, and other administrative duties.

    “We meet three or four times a year,” Garland said. “We also discuss a lot of things through e-mail, and you’ll learn the finer points of the race.”

    What the heck, I figured. Garland announced at the HR race in 2003 that I was the newest board member. He gave me a colorful deluxe travel bag with the HR logo and “Race Committee” emblazoned on the side. I felt really good toting around my race supplies and travel wear in the beautiful black, red, and gray bag.

    Planning for HR starts even before the current year’s run has finished in July. We need to announce a race date for the following year and start putting together an application that will be ready for publication in December. On that application is a strict qualifying standard.

    HR is 100 miles of mountains, river crossings, and substandard footing. We need to be careful in how we select applicants.

    Marc’s behind-the-scenes look at the Hardrock 100 continues in our May/June issue.

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    Benefits of Marathoning
    Preliminary Results Are Available.

    by Dr. Bea Carson

    Preliminary research is complete and the results are in—completing a marathon is great for you in many ways. The physical benefits of training for and completing a marathon are obvious. This research studied the psychological benefits. The results show the benefits beyond the physical are enormous. A more detailed study is in progress and the results will appear in a later issue of M&B.

    Books such as John “the Penguin” Bingham’s The Courage to Start, Gail Kislevitz’s First Marathons: Personal Encounters With the 26.2 Mile Monster, Irene Reti’s Women Runners: Stories of Transformation, and Oprah’s Make the Connection all indicate that intense change takes place in individuals who complete a first marathon. This has become such an important interest of mine that I have focused my doctoral work around this phenomenon.

    Recently, I did a preliminary study to try to understand what this change is. Everyone is quite comfortable with the fact that by doing a marathon, participants feel much more empowered after it. This study sought to understand the source of that newfound empowerment. As part of that research, I reflected on my own experience and talked to several individuals who had recently completed their first marathon.

    The stories all had several common themes. Yes, everyone felt empowered, more able to take on the challenges that came their way. However, some significantly deeper revelations surfaced. The three most prevalent findings were

    • an appreciation for pacing, as well as an ability to apply it to all aspects of life;

    • the sense of empowerment; and

    • the sense that the change was not related to finishing the race so much as to training for it. In fact, they all felt an initial sense of emptiness when they first stepped across the finish line.

    Dr. Carson talks more about her research in her article in our May/June issue.

    It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worse of Times
    Charles Dickens Was on to Something When He Penned Those Words. Did He Have an Insider’s Take on the Vicissitudes That Are Inherent to
    the Marathon?.

    by Paul Clerici

    The author interviews 11 elite runners–past and current stars like Kathrine Switzer,
    John J. Kelley and Elana Meyer about their best and worst marathon experiences…only in our
    May/June issue.

    Special Book Bonus

    Thirty Phone Booths to Boston: Part 4

    by Don Kardong

    Here is Joe Henderson’s introduction to our new Book Bonus:

    We can’t see a golden age while it is happening. We can’t spot the greatness of an era until we’ve seen how far it stands above the years that followed.

    Given a generation’s perspective, we now see the 1970s as the golden age of U.S. men’s marathoning. We can say the same for U.S. writing about running, and in two cases the names of runner and writer overlap.

    Look at all the ’70s yielded: In Olympic running, Frank Shorter’s gold and silver medals at Munich and Montreal, plus the fourth places of Kenny Moore and Don Kardong. In bestselling writing, for all topics, the running books of Jim Fixx, George Sheehan, and the Bob Glover–Jack Shepherd team.

    These authors earned their success. They wrote well and delivered the right message at the right time as running and running bookselling boomed together.

    But I would argue that Fixx, Sheehan, and Glover–Shepherd weren’t the best writers the ’70s spawned. For quality and durability of their work, I would go with Moore and Kardong. They have more in common than their near misses at the Olympics. Moore and then Kardong a few years later were Pacific Northwest–born, ran for Pac-8 (now Pac-10) colleges, were world class in track before turning to the marathon, and peaked in the 2:11s.

    And both broke into writing about running in a magazine that I edited at the time. Moore first appeared there in 1970 and Kardong five years later.

    Kenny would say now that he didn’t “write” for Runner’s World then. The magazine reprinted a piece of his from the University of Oregon alumni publication.

    Don wrote an original article for RW. How it came about is a funny story in itself, one best left for him to tell. How he tells stories distinguishes him from his fellow fourth placer. One isn’t better than the other; they’re just different.

    When I first talked to Kenny Moore about rerunning his article, he was studying for a graduate degree in creative writing. He was in training for the career to come.

    When I asked Don Kardong to write his first article, about his 1975 trip across the newly opened borders of China, he was working as an elementary school teacher. A career as a writer? You can’t be serious.

    His apparent lack of seriousness, or at least his inability to take himself and the sport too seriously, would distinguish his writing and endear him to readers. With Moore, you expected to be impressed by his thoughts and observations. With Kardong, you expected to be amused by his experiences and misadventures.

    This isn’t to say that Don writes the way a slapstick comic performs. He’s no buffoon. His relaxed style features a gentle jibe here (often aimed at himself) and a clever turn of phrase there. The writing appears to entertain Don as much as it does his readers. It seems to be his break from the serious contributions he makes to the sport and to his community.

    He helped professionalize running as a cofounder of the Association of Road Racing Athletes. He served as long-distance chairman of USA Track & Field and as president of the Road Runners Club of America.

    At home in Spokane, Washington, he launched and still works on the Bloomsday 12K race, of which he is now executive director.

    His writing pace has slowed of late, and not just because of competing obligations. Curiously, Runner’s World hasn’t assigned an article to this longtime favorite of its readers for more than two years. (A brief column of his does appear once a month on the RW Web site.)

    Don will write feature articles again, somewhere, sometime. Meanwhile you don’t have to wait to read him again. Over the next several issues, Marathon & Beyond will serialize his first book, originally published in 1985 by Macmillan.

    Thirty Phone Booths to Boston takes its title from an offbeat article by the same name. He covered the 1981 Boston Marathon by calling pay phones along the course and asking whomever picked up to tell him how the race was going.

    This and 22 other pieces of vintage Kardong make up the book subtitled Tales of a Wayward Runner. Smile and laugh along with the author, remembering that this runner–writer from the golden age runs and writes onward a generation later.

    Don’s entire book will be printed (in serial format) in M&B over the next several issues.

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



    Volume 9 | Number 4 | July/August 2005


    Departments

    Editorial
    & Well Beyond

    America is a big and varied country—even without including Alaska and Hawaii, two states that poke their way into diversity well beyond the diversity of the lower 48.

    I make that statement having just returned from my annual Boston Marathon road trip, a 7,003-mile journey that took me from near the Pacific in Northern California to nearly into the Atlantic. Along the way, I passed through Sacramento (capital of California), Carson City (capital of Nevada), Delta (Utah), Green River (Utah), Vail, Denver (capital of Colorado), Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis (capital of Indiana), Columbus (capital of Ohio), Wheeling, Harrisburg (capital of Pennsylvania), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Hartford (capital of Connecticut), Boston (capital of Massachusetts), New York (not the capital of New York State, although it thinks it is), Peoria, Des Moines (capital of Iowa), Omaha, Lincoln (capital of Nebraska), Cheyenne (capital of Wyoming), Green River (Wyoming), Salt Lake City (capital of Utah), and Reno.

    Most of the travel was on the interstate highway system, originally pushed (purportedly as a military solution to interstate travel) by Dwight Eisenhower, who as a miliary volunteer in 1919 suffered an interminable trip across the back roads of America from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco.

    The best rest areas on this route were in Iowa and Nebraska. The worst, when they were available, were just about everywhere else. Way too many of them were closed to a coffee-sucking road warrior with a full bladder.

    Except where the interstate highway is being repaired, routes such as I-70, I-81, I-84, and especially I-80 are efficient, ground-eating ways to see the USA—in this case, in my Chevrolet. West of Chicago, much of the system offers a 75-mile-per-hour speed limit. Even at 75, the farmlands and the sandstone canyons and the hazy, distant mountains seem to go on forever.

    Continued in our July/August issue. Learn more about a planned relay race from San Diego
    to Boston planned for 2006.

    On the Road with Joe Henderson
    Shouting Softly

    Bert Nelson, one of the great writers on this sport and my first boss, once penned a memorable line about racewalking. The Track & Field News cofounder compared the competitive walks to “seeing who can whisper the loudest.”

    Fast walkers fight the natural urge to break into a run. Why else would that sport need judges? Why else would walkers break into a run once their race ends?

    Slow running is equally odd for the opposite reason. It seems to go against the whole purpose of running, which is to move swiftly.

    The natural urge when slowing a run is to fall into a walk. Reversing the Nelson line, running slowly is like seeing who can shout the softest.

    While acknowledging this quirk, I’ve long championed slow running. It was the subject of my first booklet, which Bert Nelson’s company published in 1969 under the title Long Slow Distance: The Humane Way to Train.

    In this case, “LSD” stood for long, slow distance, a catchy but ultimately misleading term. It seemed to urge running the
    most possible miles at the slowest possible pace. This can be as damaging as all fast, all the time.

    Continued in our July/August issue…

    My Most Unforgettable Ultramarathon (And What I Learned From It): 2004 Western States
    100

    by Olga Varlamova

    AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, June 26-27, 2004—My first encounter with the famous Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run (WS100) was in December 2002, when I joined the Van Cortlandt Track Club and heard from one member that he had been accepted into this run by lottery. I looked at the Web site, and my dream was born.

    At this point, I had just completed my first marathon, and despite not having any idea what it is like to endure a distance longer than 26.2 miles, this trail run drew my undivided attention. I didn’t know when it would be possible, if possible at all, but I wanted to do it.

    My family has always wanted to live in California, and that added to my enthusiasm. I slowly progressed with running longer and with gaining knowledge of trail running, and I loved it.

    In September 2003, I made an attempt at running the Canandaigua 50-mile run for a single reason: to qualify for Western
    States. My application went off, and before I had any time to comprehend the idea, the lottery results arrived and I was in!

    See if Olga completes this Granddaddy of Ultras.

    I want this issue delivered right to my house.

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    SunTrust Richmond Marathon
    "Friendlies Marathon" is an Operating Philosophy, Not Just a Flippant Motto.

    Check out this great marathon in Virginia in our July/August issue.

    Letters
    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

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

    How Do You Count It?
    IN TRYING to stick to an M&B guide for running a 3:30 marathon, I recently
    went for a 20-mile hilly run in New Hampshire, as per the guide. (Twenty
    miles was called for; it did not specify hilly.) By mile 16, I was spent and
    briskly walked the rest of the way home. Should I count that as a 16 or a 20?
    Our experts answer this question in our July/August 2005 issue.

    About the Authors

    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Tito Morales, Pam Brewer, Brent Weigner,
    Blaise Aguirre, and Art Webb.


    Features

    Running on Mars: Outer Space or Space Out?
    Sometimes the War of the Worlds Begins and Ends on a Lonely Trail
    on Earth.

    by Brent Weigner

    Mars Rover One, come in, this is Mission Control. We have a problem, over.”

    “Mission Control, this is First Officer Weendog. What can we do for you, over?”

    “Our sensors indicate you are not alone out there. Can you confirm the number of extremophiles running around your present location in the Atacama Desert, over?”

    “Control, I don’t think we can call these life forms ‘extremophiles,’ over.”

    “Rover One, you are breaking up. Please repeat your last transmission, over.”

    “Control, these organisms are not extremophiles. They are more specialized than extremophiles. We know microorganisms called extremophiles have unique biology that allows them to live in deep-sea volcanic thermal vents, nuclear waste, rocks, ice, and even boiling geothermal geysers. They survive on radiation, chemicals, and conditions that would kill most organisms. However, these runner life forms are surviving in a part of the Atacama Desert that is so hostile to life that even extremophiles would die. The acidic and barren soil here is totally devoid of all life. There are no microbes, bacteria, spores—nothing—over.”

    “Rover One, how is this possible, over?”

    “Control, it appears they must be getting help from an unknown source. We will calibrate our instruments to measure all known variables. The geography of this rocky desert plateau of Chile bordering South America’s Andes Mountains is quite similar to places on Mars and very difficult to explore. We are doing our best. I’m sure NASA will be quite interested in testing exploration strategies for Mars in this remote area. Our research confirms the Atacama is 15 million years old and 50 times more arid than California’s Death Valley. [Memo to Captain Benyo: Is Badwater really that bad? I read your book.] There are places here where rain has never been recorded, because the area lies in a double rain shadow, blocked from moisture on both sides by the coastal mountains and the Andes Mountains. The area is virtually sterile, without a trace of life except for the occasional runner seen in the distance. It is possible our researchers will be able to refine their techniques to detect extraterrestrial life. New ways to detect the chemical signatures of life are becoming more sophisticated, over.”

    “Rover One, we don’t have time for a biology and geography lesson here. What is going on with this extreme-runner activity that has interrupted our Mars simulation and rover testing, over?”

    “Control, we will investigate the situation fully and have a complete report for you on our return to base. Over and out.”

    NASA

    According to NASA, if the Viking probe had landed in the Atacama Desert, it would have concluded that earth was a dead planet. Quoting from the official handbook of the Atacama Crossing, “In 2003, a team of researchers published a report in Science Magazine titled ‘Mars-like Soils in the Atacama Desert, Chile, and the Dry Limit of Microbial Life’ in which they duplicated the tests used by the Viking 1 and Viking 2 Mars landers to detect life and were unable to detect any signs in the Atacama soil.”

    Catch the rest of Brent’s amazing adventure in this 6-day stage race in
    a Chilean desert in our July/August issue.

    What the Bleep Has Gotten into Tim Bomba?!

    Can an Off-the-Wall Movie Change a Guy’s Life? Only if He Sincerely Wants It To.
    by Tito Morales

    Tim Bomba sits across from me at an outdoor table at one of LA’s gazillion coffee shops. The patio is overflowing with latte and espresso drinkers who juggle Palm Pilots, cell phones, and laptops while picking at oversized muffins and pastries.

    Trim, tan, and relaxed, the 52-year-old Bomba exudes the inner confidence common to those who use physical fitness as one of the pillars of their lives.

    Though it’s just past 9:00 in the morning, Bomba, a successful motion-picture music supervisor, has already had a busy day. As has been his practice for much of the past several months, the marathoner-turned-triathlete has already knocked off a mile or so swim in the Pacific Ocean and followed that up with a training run along the beach.

    It’s the first part—the dip in the ocean—that has me studying Bomba as astutely as if he were a Venice boardwalk charlatan who has promised to transform a pair of in-line skates into a seagull.

    The truth, Bomba tells me, is that until he became involved in a film project called What the Bleep Do We Know!? he was deathly afraid of the water. Not just ocean water, mind you, but all water.

    “I could not get into a 3-foot swimming pool without an intense fear of drowning,” Bomba explains.

    Now, some five to six times a week, Bomba calmly wades into the vast Pacific and begins his day with a lengthy ocean swim.

    Continued in our July/August issue.

    Mission Impossible
    England’s Bob Graham Round Played Its Siren Song, and I Answered It Eagerly.
    by Blaise Aguirre

    At the outset, let me say that I did not complete the round—the Bob Graham Round, that is. The Bob Graham Round (BGR) is a monster that does not easily yield to a successful completion, but the story of this little-known mountain run in England fascinated me then and fascinates me still.

    When I first heard about the round, I googled the “Bob Graham Round” and found that it has an official Web site: www.bobgrahamround.co.uk.

    The site describes the round thus: “The Bob Graham round of 42 Lake District fells traversed within 24 hours is probably the most demanding test of physical fitness available to British Athletes or mountaineers. The rules for the Bob Graham 24-hour club state that the round can be attempted either clockwise or anticlockwise, provided that the start and finish is at Moot Hall, Keswick. It has an ascent of approximately 28,500 feet and an approximate distance of 74 miles.”

    Various other Web sites have the total ascent between 28,000 and 30,000 feet and the distance between 70 and 74 miles. A quick mental calculation of 72 miles in 24 hours meant a 20-minute-per-mile pace. Surely that was doable, even with a lot of walking.

    Let me go back to a time before the idea of googling the Bob Graham occurred. The story starts in early May, 2003, and involves the great Khalid Khannouchi. Khalid, like many other sports greats, is inspirational. I know this because I had the unimaginable fortune of sitting at his table during the pasta dinner the night before the Runner’s World half-marathon. How I got to sit at his table is another story, but that evening, I asked whether he had one secret tip that would improve my half-marathon. I told him that I had run a disastrous 4:11 Boston Marathon just a few weeks earlier. He looked at me with an impish smile, said, “Eat a great dessert the night before,” and with that, he headed off to the buffet table and helped himself to a generous slice of cheesecake. Who was I to question such advice, and with that I too polished off a hefty portion. After that, he told me the story of his move to America and his relentless pursuit of speed. The next day I ran the half-marathon in 1:37.

    Continued in our July/August issue.

    In Over My Head
    In Which the Author Gets Her Butt Kicked and Her World Expanded.
    by A n n a D e B a t t i s t e

    Daniel DesRosiers stood on a picnic table, surrounded by 55 runners, outside The Lodge in Jay, Vermont. Something about that French-Canadian accent seemed to strike everyone funny as he gave the prerace briefing. Or maybe it wasn’t the accent—maybe it was some of the course details he was delivering.

    “You probably want to leave a full change of clothes at aid station six,” he shouted, “as well as a change of shoes and socks. Between stations five and six, you will be in the river, out of the river, in the river, across the river. . . . You will be very wet!”

    More giggles from the crowd. A runner from Boston with whom I had been chatting leaned over and whispered to me: “Was it like this last year?”

    I shook my head. Last year’s Jay Mountain Marathon had been a difficult trail run with lots of mud and a grueling climb up Jay Peak, but it sounded as if this year’s course would make it look tame. A number of runners, intimidated by the course descriptions on the Web site over the past two months, had asked for and been granted a 6:00 a.m. start, two hours before the rest of us.

    Dan continued: “Many of you have probably done an adventure run before. But for those of you who haven’t, believe me, you are in for an adventure!”

    More laughter from the crowd. I reflected that some were probably laughing at the mock seriousness of Daniel’s tone, but others were laughing out of nervousness. Or perhaps out of sheer confusion. Was he kidding or not? There appeared to be a fair number of road marathoners in the crowd, several of them working on their 50 states list. They probably had no idea what they were in for.

    Continued in our July/August issue. Adventure marathoners shouldn’t miss this race.

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    Sleepless in Tucson
    Or the Multitasking of the Very Long-Distance Runner.
    by Linda Brewer

    At 6:00 a.m. on March 25, a few miles north of Tucson, Arizona, the full moon slipped behind Picacho Peak. At the same time, the sun shimmered up over the Santa Catalina Mountains. Doves and quail rustled in the chaparral. Mexican poppies, fairy dusters, and desert marigolds began to open for the day. Pam Reed stood at a line drawn on the frontage road that parallels Interstate 10 and waited for the countdown to “Go.”

    Her task, like the desert road, lay long and straight before her. She aimed to run a 25-mile loop course 12 times without stopping to sleep. If all the world’s a stage, this was to be a 300-mile, one-woman show under the sun, moon, and stars. Her parents, Roy and Karen Saari; event organizer, Chuck Giles; and training partner, Susy Bacal, were all on hand for the start.

    “When I waited to start that first day, it felt like I had this huge thing ahead of me. I couldn’t think about it all at once. But I didn’t have any thought that I wouldn’t be able to make it,” Reed says. “I just knew I had to be patient.”

    Reed and Chuck Giles picked Easter weekend because it was likely to be the last weekend of moderate temperatures in southern Arizona—the heat sets in in April and stays until October in the Sonora Desert. It was also a weekend in which the full moon would provide illumination. And it didn’t conflict with other springtime events Reed would be running, including the London Marathon and the Boston Marathon back-to-back.

    Reed took her iPod to keep loneliness and boredom at bay. Headphone music has worked for her in a hundred other long runs, from Western States to the Badwater Ultramarathon. Her 16-year-old son Andrew had loaded the iPod with a variety of his favorite tunes to keep his mother moving. “I know U2 was on there, but I couldn’t really identify the other music,” Reed says. “But it was good, whatever it was.”

    Read all of Sleepless in Tucson

    See You on the Mountaintop

    An Annual Trip From the Lowest Point to the Highest Has Become a Spiritual Journey.
    by Arthur Webb

    Except for the glimmer of a thousand stars and the faint glow from a few porch lights, the desert outside my room where I am pacing back and forth is almost pitch black. It is two o’clock in the morning. A handful of ravens flit and scratch on the ground near the parked cars. There is noise off in the distance from some animal life digging through the trash cans, and the air conditioners drone and hum away in an attempt to keep the hot desert air from the rooms at Stovepipe Wells Hotel. Otherwise it is quiet.

    As I concentrate on the enormous challenge ahead, my mind and nerves ramp up as adrenaline, excitement, and anticipation slowly start to drip into the system. My body finally realizes that in just a few hours it will be running the 135-mile race that begins at Badwater, California, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, snakes through Death Valley, and passes over two mountain ranges before finishing at Whitney Portals, halfway up Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48 states. This footrace is considered the toughest in the world. There will be no more sleep tonight and probably none for the next few days.

    Although I have been here many times, this year is more special than others. At the prerace meeting yesterday and at his eulogy in January, I honored my fallen friend, Jason Hunter, before his family, his friends, and many great athletes. I dedicated this race, as well as the traditional 11-mile climb to the top of Mount Whitney that follows the official race, in Jason’s name. I am sure that he will be out here, at least in spirit, offering guidance and inspiration to help me fulfill this rather tall order. I have but one goal now, and that is to finish. There are no other options.

    Read more about this Badwater vet’s annual Death Valley pilgrimage in our
    July/August issue…

    Show Me the Bagels
    Glycogen As a Metabolic Fuel for Runners.
    by Jason Karp

    The many proponents of diets like Atkins and South Beach would have the public believe that carbohydrate is some kind of poison. Don’t listen to them. Carbohydrate is a marathoner’s best friend.

    Carbohydrate is stored in our skeletal muscles and liver as glycogen and is also found as sugar (glucose) in the blood. When we run, our bodies use a combination of blood glucose and glycogen as fuel to regenerate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) through a process called glycolysis. (This would be a good time to break open your high school biology book.) ATP is a molecule that, when broken down, liberates energy that is used for muscle contraction and other cellular functions. It is well known that endurance performance is influenced by the amount of stored glycogen in skeletal muscles and that intense endurance exercise decreases glycogen stores (Ahlborg et al. 1967; Costill 1991; Costill and Hargreaves 1992; Evans and Hughes 1985; Green et al. 1995; Hermansen et al. 1967; Ivy 1991).

    What the low-carb diets seem to ignore is that running (and all exercise) is largely a carbohydrate activity. The intensity of exercise is the main determinant of which fuels are used, with the reliance on carbohydrate increasing with increasing intensity. When you run at a pace slower than the lactate threshold—the fastest speed that can be maintained almost solely by aerobic metabolism and above which acidosis results in muscles and blood—energy is derived from a combination of fat and carbohydrate. At a pace faster than lactate threshold pace, your muscles use only carbohydrate as a fuel.

    The goal of endurance training is to push the lactate threshold to a faster pace so that you’re running faster before carbohydrates become the only fuel source.

    Elite or highly trained marathoners run a marathon at slightly below their lactate threshold pace, which means that carbohydrate is the main fuel used during a marathon. In an ultramarathon, however, there is a greater reliance on fat as a fuel because the intensity is much lower. Biochemically, carbohydrate still must be available for fat to be used effectively as a fuel, since the final product of glycolysis is used in combination with the final product of fat oxidation to produce ATP. Physiologists and biochemists refer to this concept as how “fat burns in the flame of carbohydrate.”

    Get the rest of the scoop on glycogen as metabolic fuel in our July/August issue…

    Give It That Good Old College Try
    A College Course in Marathon Training Provides Personal Insight.

    by David R. Jennys

    Part 2 of 2

    The conclusion of David Jenny’s return to the classroom appears in our July/August issue…

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    Special Book Bonus

    Thirty Phone Booths to Boston: Part 5
    by Don Kardong

    Here is Joe Henderson’s introduction to our new Book Bonus:

    We can’t see a golden age while it is happening. We can’t spot the greatness of an era until we’ve seen how far it stands above the years that followed.

    Given a generation’s perspective, we now see the 1970s as the golden age of U.S. men’s marathoning. We can say the same for U.S. writing about running, and in two cases the names of runner and writer overlap.

    Look at all the ’70s yielded: In Olympic running, Frank Shorter’s gold and silver medals at Munich and Montreal, plus the fourth places of Kenny Moore and Don Kardong. In bestselling writing, for all topics, the running books of Jim Fixx, George Sheehan, and the Bob Glover–Jack Shepherd team.

    These authors earned their success. They wrote well and delivered the right message at the right time as running and running bookselling boomed together.

    But I would argue that Fixx, Sheehan, and Glover–Shepherd weren’t the best writers the ’70s spawned. For quality and durability of their work, I would go with Moore and Kardong. They have more in common than their near misses at the Olympics. Moore and then Kardong a few years later were Pacific Northwest–born, ran for Pac-8 (now Pac-10) colleges, were world class in track before turning to the marathon, and peaked in the 2:11s.

    And both broke into writing about running in a magazine that I edited at the time. Moore first appeared there in 1970 and Kardong five years later.

    Kenny would say now that he didn’t “write” for Runner’s World then. The magazine reprinted a piece of his from the University of Oregon alumni publication.

    Don wrote an original article for RW. How it came about is a funny story in itself, one best left for him to tell. How he tells stories distinguishes him from his fellow fourth placer. One isn’t better than the other; they’re just different.

    When I first talked to Kenny Moore about rerunning his article, he was studying for a graduate degree in creative writing. He was in training for the career to come.

    When I asked Don Kardong to write his first article, about his 1975 trip across the newly opened borders of China, he was working as an elementary school teacher. A career as a writer? You can’t be serious.

    His apparent lack of seriousness, or at least his inability to take himself and the sport too seriously, would distinguish his writing and endear him to readers. With Moore, you expected to be impressed by his thoughts and observations. With Kardong, you expected to be amused by his experiences and misadventures.

    This isn’t to say that Don writes the way a slapstick comic performs. He’s no buffoon. His relaxed style features a gentle jibe here (often aimed at himself) and a clever turn of phrase there. The writing appears to entertain Don as much as it does his readers. It seems to be his break from the serious contributions he makes to the sport and to his community.

    He helped professionalize running as a cofounder of the Association of Road Racing Athletes. He served as long-distance chairman of USA Track & Field and as president of the Road Runners Club of America.

    At home in Spokane, Washington, he launched and still works on the Bloomsday 12K race, of which he is now executive director.

    His writing pace has slowed of late, and not just because of competing obligations. Curiously, Runner’s World hasn’t assigned an article to this longtime favorite of its readers for more than two years. (A brief column of his does appear once a month on the RW Web site.)

    Don will write feature articles again, somewhere, sometime. Meanwhile you don’t have to wait to read him again. Over the next several issues, Marathon & Beyond will serialize his first book, originally published in 1985 by Macmillan.

    Thirty Phone Booths to Boston takes its title from an offbeat article by the same name. He covered the 1981 Boston Marathon by calling pay phones along the course and asking whomever picked up to tell him how the race was going.

    This and 22 other pieces of vintage Kardong make up the book subtitled Tales of a Wayward Runner. Smile and laugh along with the author, remembering that this runner–writer from the golden age runs and writes onward a generation later.

    Don’s entire book will be printed (in serial format) in M&B over the next several issues.

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



    Volume 9 | Number 5 | September/October 2005


    Departments

    Editorial
    Real, Imagined… or Vitalized?

    The dream paid a visit again last night. It’s the second time in the past month.

    Why it’s suddenly recurring on a regular basis, I don’t know.

    There were years where it stayed away, safely salted in the repository of lost dreams, unrealized daydreams, and banished nightmares.

    It’s a dream of a real occurrence. But the occurrence is pushing 25 years of age.

    I could pinpoint the exact date by hauling out my journals and doing a manual search of my 3-by-5 diary cards. But the exact date isn’t what’s important. It’s what the dream involves that’s significant.

    What it involves is a Saturday morning 18-mile run along a course strewn with rubble from an overnight storm. From above, it would look like one of those aerial views a governor gets in the wake of a hurricane or tornado in hopes of FEMA moving in to grant low-interest loans to the victims.

    Continued in our September/October issue.

    On the Road with Joe Henderson
    Golden Agers

    John Steinbeck was the first novelist I ever read without a school assignment hanging over me. He remains my favorite.

    Great novelists speak truths to the reader through their fiction. In Sweet Thursday, Steinbeck’s little-known sequel to Cannery Row, he writes, “Looking back, you can usually find the moment of the birth of a new era, whereas when it happened it was one day hooked on the tail of another.”

    There were signs then of times changing, he says. “But you never notice such things until later.”

    My introduction to Steinbeck came in spring 1963. I could tell you exactly when and where this reading came, but I won’t.

    Instead I’ll tell what happened soon afterward. That same summer I traveled from Iowa to California, to the land that Steinbeck had once walked.

    My purpose wasn’t to follow his paths but to polish my track-racing skills. Northern California was one of the few places you could do that in summertime, the off-season back then.

    Continued in our September/October issue…

    My Most Unforgettable Ultramarathon (And What I Learned From It): 2001 Leadville
    Trail 100

    by Byron Melendy

    LEADVILLE, COLORADO, August 18-19, 2001—As they say, the third time is the charm. On my third start at the Leadville Trail 100, I was hoping for my first finish, which would give me an even 10 finishes at the 100-mile distance.

    After coming close to finishing in 1999 and with nine finishes on other courses, I needed to find the missing piece to this puzzle. As with any race, I had to train my body adequately and perhaps wish for some dry weather. But I wanted to do more than just finish under 30 hours. I wanted to finish well under 30 hours so that when I crossed under that finish line banner, I could say to myself, Now, what was so hard about that?

    Since there are intermediate cutoff times all along the course, I wanted to be in a position that I wouldn’t have to deal with that concern.

    The cutoff time for 50 miles is 14 hours, but after studying performances for the last two years, I discovered that virtually no one could finish this race without getting to 50 miles under 13:30, and even then it takes an extraordinary effort. I needed to run a good time for the first 50 miles and then hang on for the second half. The only way I could gain the confidence to accomplish that would be to pile on more miles in the six weeks leading up to the race and to find a way to acclimatize to the 9,200 to 12,600 feet of elevation on the Leadville course. The best method of altitude training is to sleep at altitude and train at a lower elevation, but that is seldom practical. The practical solution was to go to the Leadville area and live and train for at least 14 days. Longer periods are of more benefit, but 14 days seem to be the minimum for good effect.

    See if Bryon finally reaches his goal of completing Leadville in our September/October
    issue.

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    Space Coast Marathon
    The Shortest Course Between Two Points is a Straight Line.

    Check out this great marathon in Florida in our September/October issue.

    Letters

    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

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

    Overdoing It?

    I’M PRETTY sure I overtrained and am now paying the price for it. After running Western States 100 last June, I followed it up with a 50-miler in November, a 50K in January, a marathon in February, and a 40-miler a week after the marathon. Now my pace is severely degraded. I’m a 3:30 marathoner and can’t even run an 8:00 mile now. I’ve also run every other day on the treadmill or road. I run back-to-back (Saturday/Sunday) long runs every other weekend (very slowly) and seem to be OK as long as it’s on trails. I’ve signed up for the Vermont 100 in July and have to get ready for it. How do I rest my body and still get to Vermont in shape? After Vermont, I’m going to take six weeks off to reset my system but I need to be able to make it till then. Any ideas? I realized part of the problem is overtight calf muscles, and I plan on getting some massages. Is that going to help, and how often should I get them?

    Our experts answer this question in our September/October 2005 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Jane Byng, Hal Higdon, Barry Lewis,
    Rachel Toor, Darris Blackford, Guy Avery and Jim Bates.


    Features

    Triple Threat
    Helen Klein’s Tahoe Triple Marathon Sets a New Standard For Mature Athletes.
    by Jane Byng

    On October 7, 8, and 9, 2004, Helen Klein completed the Tahoe Triple Marathon. She ran a marathon a day to complete the 78-mile loop that circumnavigates the lake. I crewed for her during this event. She completed this challenging high-altitude, three-day event 50 days before her 82nd birthday, and she did it, as usual, with style and courage. She continues to prove that the mind is stronger than the body and that it is never too late to start an athletic career.

    To run the Triple Marathon, you need to bring your own crew for at least the first two days, as runners are completely unaided and on their own. The course has some markings and monitoring, but you need your own handlers because support is minimal. The third day is run with the official Lake Tahoe Marathon, however, with shuttle buses, mile markings, aid stations, and some traffic control.

    The idea of running around a spectacularly beautiful alpine lake (6,200 feet at lakeside and reaching a height of 7,044 feet at Spooner Summit) is not new to ultrarunners. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the race around Lake Tahoe was called the Pepsi 72. It was run as a one-day, 72-mile ultrarace. Rae Clark set the course record in 1982 at 9:06:14.

    Four years ago, Lake Tahoe Marathon race director Les Wright revived the tradition of a round-the-lake race but instituted several major changes. By adding an extra six miles, the run around the lake could now be done as three full marathons in three successive days. The extra distance was added by running through Inspiration Point twice and ending on day three at Pope Beach. Race registration was held the afternoon before the event at the Horizon Casino Resort with good food and inspirational speakers. An international field of runners attended, with runners coming from many states and as far away as Canada and Sweden.

    Read all of Triple Threat

    The Injuries of August
    As Miles Pile Up, So Does the Chance of Injury.
    by Hal Higdon

    Many of the runners who utilize the bulletin board I manage online under the identity InterActiveTraining have as their goal the Chicago Marathon, a race held the second week in October. This is because the Chicago Marathon sponsors the board as a service to entrants in its race, even though runners training for other marathons and shorter races also use it.

    It is in August (eight to 10 weeks before Chicago), when a significant number of runners begin to suffer injuries, minor and major. August, not too coincidentally, is also when runners using my novice program increase their long run to 15 miles, their weekly mileage to 30. By the end of the month, they will be running 18 and 36, respectively. This elevated mileage causes a certain number to get hurt, not too surprisingly, since surveys suggest that when you push your training mileage beyond 30 miles weekly, you do increase your risk of injury.

    My bulletin board has half a dozen different forums so that questions can be separated by subject. One of the forums is titled “Body Shop” and is dedicated to questions about health and nutrition but also about injuries. Traffic remains relatively light to Body Shop for much of the year, but August brings with it an explosion of calls for help.

    I sometimes refer to the injuries runners suffer two months out from the marathon as “August injuries.”

    Here is a compilation of August injuries, with questions asked by runners about their ailments during that dangerous month of the year. I include the date the question was asked plus responses by me and other knowledgeable forum viewers, many of whom suffered from the same injuries and who have thus learned from the experience.

    Read more about the Injuries of Auguest in our September/October issue.

    In Good Hands
    Running in the Palm of the Gods.
    by Barry Lewis

    Every story we tell must have a point, a writer friend once told me. It must offer something revelatory, provide the audience with more than a mere recital of facts. Another friend, an ultrarunner, says that every time he runs a long race, he finishes a little richer than when he began. Travel, according to a third, will humble anyone who is willing to step outside of the realm of tourism, become immersed in another culture, and attempt to understand a completely different perspective on life.

    I tend to agree with all three, and therein lies my dilemma. In attempting to relate the experience of participating in India’s Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race—an amazingly difficult race in an unheralded part of a fascinating country—how do you sift through the facts, present observations, and offer up impressions in a way that makes any real sense? How to convey the tough effort—so incredibly tough—that faced runners the moment the race started and continued until the very last day? The cold, the shivering cold, the teeth-rattling cold that forced strong, durable athletes into huddles around a tiny hearth and into sleeping bags as soon as meal time was done? The effects of altitude, the difficulty flatlanders had finding air at 12,000 feet, the sucking-through-a-straw sensation that kept many from getting more than a snippet of sleep? The track that straddled India and Nepal and looked up at four of the world’s highest five peaks? The towering majesty of sacred Kanchenjunga; the thrill of Everest, Makalu, and Lhotse as they peeked through the clouds? The ab-crushing laughter, the daily routine? Will anyone care?

    Strangely, these are the thoughts that float in and out of my mind as I grind my way uphill on the fourth and second-last day of the race. I’m out of sorts this morning, a little nauseated from the bus ride to the start and somewhat concerned about a tweak in my knee. I’m alone with my thoughts on a tarmac road that gently climbs through a cover of tropical trees.

    I seem to have lost all sense of distance and time, but I know that I passed Daniel before crossing the river; now, looking over the edge of the road, I see the silver thread of water disappearing into the distance far, far below. The one-time 800-meter national champion from Germany had started the day at a breakneck pace, leading the rest of the strong European contingent, but the other three had taken command when the route reached the end of the six-mile descent. It is seven uphill miles to the finish, and while I know there is little chance I will catch the others, I know I can hold off Daniel if I don’t falter on this last part of the climb.

    Read all about Barry’s amazing Himalayan adventure in our September/October issue.

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    On the Road with Barry Lewis
    A Former M&B Columnist Shines in Adapting to Wherever He Is.
    by Rachel Toor

    You could do worse than to be on the road with Barry Lewis. A lot worse. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a better, easier traveling companion.

    Readers of Marathon & Beyond know Lewis to be a smart, reflective, and wise writer, not to mention just plain good at his craft. Racers of ultramarathons know that he’s fast—fast and tough as all get-out.

    But if you really want to get to know a person, want to understand him and see how he thinks, what he cares about, who he is, try spending a week together, running what is perhaps the world’s most grueling race.

    I first met Lewis in the Delhi airport. Along with a handful of other journalists, we had been brought to India to cover the Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race. There were four of us American writers, a South African, a Brit, and an Austrian. We four Americans had all, unwittingly, been on the same flight from JKF to Delhi.

    I saw the other two first and figured that they were probably there for the race. I saw a tall, fit man with a yellow Lance Armstrong “Livestrong” bracelet, reckoned that he, too, was to be part of my posse.

    Our first encounter took me aback.

    Dave was working for The Washington Post, Steve for The Washington Times. Good, fine. Then I heard the tall fit guy say that he was here for Marathon & Beyond.

    Excuse me? I was here to write for Marathon & Beyond.

    My primary assignment was from Running Times, but I had talked to Marathon & Beyond’s editor, Rich Benyo, who explained that if Barry Lewis—who had spent the last year writing the “On the Road” column—didn’t go, which, he later said, looked like it was the case, I could write the story.

    Oh. So I had finally met Barry Lewis.

    We recognized each other’s bylines.

    And then we shared a laugh about how our beloved mutual editor signs off on his e-mails to those of us who send him lots of words. It was to be the first of many bouts of laughter.

    You’ve enjoyed Rachel’s articles in past issues of M&B. This is another great one.
    Continued in our September/October issue.

    The Marathon That Tried to Kill Me
    Everyone Should Run the New York City Marathon at Least Once.
    by Darris Blackford

    November 7, 2004. It is just before noon, I am running on First Avenue, approaching the 18-mile marker of the ING New York City Marathon, and I am in trouble. My legs are heavy, I can’t seem to cool off despite pouring cup after cup of water over my head, and I feel sick to my stomach.

    Looking to my left, I make eye contact with the runner next to me. “I feel terrible,” he says. “I think I’m going to stop.” I nod, understanding his distress. However, while he can simply pull up, stop, and let his body take the rest it seeks, I don’t have that option. I’m a pace-team leader.

    What have I gotten myself into? I am struggling to make it another mile, and I still have eight of them to go. And not just do them, but do them on pace to finish in 3:15, all while being a nurturing guide and helpful coach along the way in order to get my charges to the finish line.

    I made it, even though I was fully expecting that the next time I would see my wife and friends was gazing upon them at my own funeral. I really mean it. I thought this one, marathon number 70, was going to cost me my life. But to understand how I got into such dire straits when it is my role to help others, not to be hanging on for dear life, requires taking a number of steps backward.

    Read all of Darris’s article in our September/October issue.

    A Change of Heart
    Sometimes Our Own Self-Absorption Cuts Us Off From What’s Truly Important.
    by Michelle Hersh

    I have often wondered how other couples handle their relationship when both of them run and one is more talented and accomplished than the other. Does it depend on temperament established as a child, or does the natural competition involved in running bring out the worst between two runners?

    This question was never a problem in my 23-year relationship with my husband until five years ago when I found that a simple change in shoes had ended my 20-year running drought. I was sure my IT band would never allow me to run again. Then one day, I was told there was a running star who worked at our local running shop who might be able to help.

    That same day I went to see John, bought some new shoes, almost broke some speed limits going home, and that night ran five miles on a treadmill that, until that day, I had never set foot upon. What a joy that was! I was off—into the gym, on the trails, meeting new running buddies, feeling fantastic. Until the decision to try a marathon, that is. And that is where this story truly begins.

    Like many new runners, I considered myself to be pretty good, and I had the demeanor and attitude of a religious convert. I ran as often as I could, frequently pushing myself as hard as I could for days at a time. I got to be what I considered fast, especially when I didn’t measure myself against the truly talented people at my club.

    So, after six months of constant training, I got ready to enter my first race—a half-marathon. Yes, that’s right: not a 5K or a 10K but a half.

    Keep in mind that I really did think I was invincible. Truth be told, the race was much more difficult than I had thought it would be, and without the support of another runner to encourage me in the final miles, I am pretty sure I would have walked. But I finished in 1:50, and one of the really fast guys at my club who was there said: “Hey, that’s a pretty good time for your first half. What’s next?”

    Continued in our September/October issue.

    Season Half-Marathon Training That Will Improve Your Marathon Performance
    Sometimes the Best Way to Run Long Better Is to Improve Your Short Game.
    by Guy Avery

    This article is the first part of a three-part series on using half-marathon training and racing to improve your longer-distance racing.

    Serious marathoners, on the whole, by their nature and as a result of the training required for long-distance racing, can be very susceptible to monotony. Nevertheless, very few marathoners plan periods of intentional change and variety into their training and racing. Unfortunately, this lack of variety in training can lead to injuries, a loss of mental and physical zest, and short- and long-term performance plateaus.

    Most world-class 5,000-meter runners know the importance of racing distances shorter than their primary event (such as the 1,500- and 3,000-meter events), and world-class 10,000-meter runners understand the importance of shorter events (such as the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs). Racing distances that are about one-fourth to one-half of their ideal racing distance, the world’s best marathoners also recognize the value of racing 10,000-meters and the half-marathon—not only to break up the monotony of their training, but also to race faster in the short term and to improve in the long term.

    Whether world class or not, most intelligent marathoners will admit that tremendous benefits can be gained from even a seasonal shift in their usually single-minded focus on marathons and ultramarathons by training for and racing one-fourth to one-half of their normal racing distance.

    In fact, few things can be more revitalizing for marathoners than a significant, albeit short-term, shift in their training program. For those who aim to race their best at an annual 50-miler, the half-marathon represents about one-fourth of their most coveted racing distance. For those who target marathons, a half-marathon race obviously represents the opportunity to focus their efforts on exactly half of their normal racing distance.

    I’ve observed that this sharper training and racing focus will not only renew your enthusiasm for longer-distance racing, but it will also protect you from injury, neutralize any deteriorating effects of repetitive-motion syndrome (so notorious with marathoners), as well as pay huge dividends in both your short- and long-term marathon performances.

    If all these benefits have piqued your interest, then please read on, as I will further outline the practical merits and benefits, the components of the training, and the requirements of this optimal half-marathon training and racing approach.

    The Lifetime Running Profile
    You Can Track Progress and Adjust Future Workouts by Going Statistical.
    by James Bates

    How many miles did you run last year? How many days did you miss? How many long runs did you tack on over the course of the year? If you’re not quite sure, you should definitely read on. As most sports enthusiasts will tell you, keeping track of the related statistics is an integral part of the game. The wonder of professional baseball is that the batting averages, home runs, and RBIs of today’s players can be compared with the Triple Crown feats of yesteryear. Basketball pundits like to record “triple-double” performances of players who obtain 10 or more rebounds, points, and assists in a single game. And when it comes to football, computing a quarterback’s passing rating is a pure statistical delight. The tracking of such averages, numbers, and ratings adds flavor, nuance, and depth to sports, which provides an entirely different dimension and perspective. In a similar vein, there is plenty of pertinent statistical data to enliven the experience of runners as well. Indeed, some runners keep such careful track of their daily runs that their statistical compilations are more impressive than their race results.

    Recording daily runs and charting weekly and yearly progress are not only worthwhile activities but also fun. More important, doing so can reduce and even prevent injuries. Take a look at the Lifetime Running Profile (see figure 1 on page 126) of a fellow runner we’ll call John Doe. As you can see, John has been diligently tracking his daily runs since 1985. His profile, a single page in length, speaks volumes. Doe has run 42 marathons, the first in 1979. His best marathons were in 1995, when he ran for over two hours on 72 occasions, and in 1997, when he ran for at least 10 minutes every day of the year, averaging 10 miles per day. Doe’s profile also shows that, except for 1989, he has surpassed 40 miles per week every year for the last 19 years.

    Continued in our September/October issue.

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    Running for a Higher Purpose
    The New York City Marathon Provides a Perfect Venue for Good Works.
    by Father James J Maher, C.M.

    The mile was 24, the wind was slight and at my back, and tears streamed down my face. For all intents and purposes, I knew this to be my last New York City Marathon, at least for the foreseeable future. For the last 10 years, a small group of courageous and determined runners has banded together to run the New York City Marathon to assist the poor and hungry of New York City. As I write this piece, I await surgery on my right foot, which will force me to do something I have not done for the last 10 summers and fall: not train for the New York City Marathon.

    As I was approaching the last two miles, I felt overcome with a wave of nostalgia. Perhaps my tears were tears of joy; no longer would I be compelled to wake up at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday and run 18 to 20 miles. No longer would I feel the need to run six to nine miles after a demanding day with students in order to meet my weekly training mileage. It would no longer be necessary to ice my aching knees and to hope that the acupuncturist and massage therapist would get my body ready for another grueling week of training.

    This could very well have been the case; however, I think there is much more that gave birth to those tears. As I finished the marathon, my recollections of 10 consecutive (11 total) New York City Marathons were vivid. I remembered the huddled masses gathered at the army fort on Staten Island, awaiting the start of the marathon. I conjured up wonderful memories of average New Yorkers who took to the streets to give needed energy and support to runners. The day of the New York City Marathon is a day in which class and ethnicity blend into vivid images of heartfelt generosity.

    Inspirational stuff…in our September/October issue.

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    Special Book Bonus

    Thirty Phone Booths to Boston: Part 6
    by Don Kardong

    Here is Joe Henderson’s introduction to our new Book Bonus:

    We can’t see a golden age while it is happening. We can’t spot the greatness of an era until we’ve seen how far it stands above the years that followed.

    Given a generation’s perspective, we now see the 1970s as the golden age of U.S. men’s marathoning. We can say the same for U.S. writing about running, and in two cases the names of runner and writer overlap.

    Look at all the ’70s yielded: In Olympic running, Frank Shorter’s gold and silver medals at Munich and Montreal, plus the fourth places of Kenny Moore and Don Kardong. In bestselling writing, for all topics, the running books of Jim Fixx, George Sheehan, and the Bob Glover–Jack Shepherd team.

    These authors earned their success. They wrote well and delivered the right message at the right time as running and running bookselling boomed together.

    But I would argue that Fixx, Sheehan, and Glover–Shepherd weren’t the best writers the ’70s spawned. For quality and durability of their work, I would go with Moore and Kardong. They have more in common than their near misses at the Olympics. Moore and then Kardong a few years later were Pacific Northwest–born, ran for Pac-8 (now Pac-10) colleges, were world class in track before turning to the marathon, and peaked in the 2:11s.

    And both broke into writing about running in a magazine that I edited at the time. Moore first appeared there in 1970 and Kardong five years later.

    Kenny would say now that he didn’t “write” for Runner’s World then. The magazine reprinted a piece of his from the University of Oregon alumni publication.

    Don wrote an original article for RW. How it came about is a funny story in itself, one best left for him to tell. How he tells stories distinguishes him from his fellow fourth placer. One isn’t better than the other; they’re just different.

    When I first talked to Kenny Moore about rerunning his article, he was studying for a graduate degree in creative writing. He was in training for the career to come.

    When I asked Don Kardong to write his first article, about his 1975 trip across the newly opened borders of China, he was working as an elementary school teacher. A career as a writer? You can’t be serious.

    His apparent lack of seriousness, or at least his inability to take himself and the sport too seriously, would distinguish his writing and endear him to readers. With Moore, you expected to be impressed by his thoughts and observations. With Kardong, you expected to be amused by his experiences and misadventures.

    This isn’t to say that Don writes the way a slapstick comic performs. He’s no buffoon. His relaxed style features a gentle jibe here (often aimed at himself) and a clever turn of phrase there. The writing appears to entertain Don as much as it does his readers. It seems to be his break from the serious contributions he makes to the sport and to his community.

    He helped professionalize running as a cofounder of the Association of Road Racing Athletes. He served as long-distance chairman of USA Track & Field and as president of the Road Runners Club of America.

    At home in Spokane, Washington, he launched and still works on the Bloomsday 12K race, of which he is now executive director.

    His writing pace has slowed of late, and not just because of competing obligations. Curiously, Runner’s World hasn’t assigned an article to this longtime favorite of its readers for more than two years. (A brief column of his does appear once a month on the RW Web site.)

    Don will write feature articles again, somewhere, sometime. Meanwhile you don’t have to wait to read him again. Over the next several issues, Marathon & Beyond will serialize his first book, originally published in 1985 by Macmillan.

    Thirty Phone Booths to Boston takes its title from an offbeat article by the same name. He covered the 1981 Boston Marathon by calling pay phones along the course and asking whomever picked up to tell him how the race was going.

    This and 22 other pieces of vintage Kardong make up the book subtitled Tales of a Wayward Runner. Smile and laugh along with the author, remembering that this runner–writer from the golden age runs and writes onward a generation later.

    Don’s entire book will be printed (in serial format) between Isue 86 and 96 of M&B.

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

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    Volume 9 | Number 6 | November/December 2005



    Departments

    Editorial

    Alone

    The loneliness of the long-distance runner.

    For a generation of runners, the title of Alan Sillitoe’s novel of juvenile rebellion described and defined the person, usually male, who ran long distances over hill and dale or along lonely roads at any time of the day and sometimes at night.

    It was a solitary figure, a loner, a sort of malcontent, running to his own beat.

    This was repeated as though it were undisputed fact: that long-distance runners were introverts, antisocial, prone to long periods of silence. And that all of them came from the same mold.

    Of course it wasn’t true. Except in those cases when it was, when a long-distance runner was actually introverted, antisocial, and prone to long periods of keeping his mouth shut.

    Most of the long-distance runners of the 1970s and ’80s were sociable enough. Some 80,000 of them used to get together one day a year to run the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco. And marathons grew large enough to boast tens of thousands of participants. And running clubs cropped up in every big city and many small towns.

    Runners were sociable; they went to great pains to seek out other runners. And once women became involved in larger numbers, running became more sociable still.

    Continued in our November/December issue.

    On the Road with Joe Henderson

    Making the First Team

    It’s instructive what you can hear while running when you aren’t too busy talking and don’t have recorded music or news talk plugged into your ears. Here’s what I heard one morning last winter:

    Two runners came up from behind. One did most of the talking, his volume growing as the gap between us shrank.

    The first words I caught were “. . . new marathon training program.” Then “. . . only run long every other week.” And louder, “They only go over 20 miles once, peaking at 21.”

    They passed me with a small wave from one and a nod from the other. They didn’t know me or that I had overheard them.

    The gap between us grew again. The last words I heard were, “. . . not enough training.”

    Says who? Themselves, from their marathon experiences? Another writer whose schedules they’ve read?

    They weren’t reading my writing. And their experience doesn’t match mine.

    They were talking down a program being adopted for the first time locally. That was my schedule, written for the Marathon Team that I was coaching.

    The runners whose critique I heard were right in their description of the training. But they were wrong, I have to think, in their conclusion.

    Continued in our November/December issue…

    My Most Unforgettable Marathon (And What I Learned From It): 1978 Planet Earth 50-Miler

    by Rich Benyo

    UKIAH, CALIFORNIA, October 7, 1978—It occurred to me on B Hill (“B” for “Bastard”) that maybe I was overdoing it a bit this year. As Phil “Bagpipes” Lenahan and I pulled ourselves up the crumbling sides of the dirt slope, grabbing exposed roots and dragging our tired asses up toward the ridgeline of Cow Mountain, I thought seriously about turning back in order to bring 1978 to a merciful end. A bit prematurely, yes. But prematurely according to whose schedule? Just how long could you keep it up, anyway? But there was the darned lure of the Studrunner Award.

    Sixteen months ago, I had weighed 207 pounds and had been woefully out of shape. I had run cross-country in college but had then taken a newspaper job where we were salaried and therefore able to work 70- to 80-hour weeks. After four and one-half years, I had moved on to the editorship of Stock Car Racing magazine, where for four and one-half more years I had worked 70- to 80-hour weeks.

    But I had determined about then to mend my ways.

    You’ll enjoy the rest of Rich’s wacky tale in our November/December issue.

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    Chevron Houston Marathon
    Bayou City’s Texas-sized Experience.

    Check out this great marathon in Texas in our November/December issue.

    Letters
    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

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

    Hilly Matters
    I’ve run three marathons with a charit group, but now I’d like to improve my times. My
    PR is 5:14. I’ve been reading about the importance of using hills in your training in order
    to become stronger. When in the training cycle should you throw in hills? And how big a
    hill are we talking about?

    Our experts answer this question in our November/December 2005 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Judith Henderson, Mary Trotto, Guy Avery,
    Bill Latter, Zoie Clift, and Bob Seidenstein.


    Features

    A Blue-Sky Trophy
    We All Need a Hero We Can Emulate. Mine Was There My Whole Life.
    by Judith Henderson

    It has been just a few days since my last marathon—a great day at the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pennsylvania—but I’m itching to find another race to run in the next two or three weeks, preferably a 50K. You see, I’ve done the ultimate in craziness—decided to run a 50-miler in November—and I need the boost of confidence that another race will give me. And I want to know what it feels like to go past 26.2 miles and figure that an ultra (50K is roughly 31 miles) is the best way to find out. Is there any chance that this will work?

    To my surprise and delight, I find just the right race: the Blue Springs 50K Solo Trail Run, in Blue Springs, Missouri. Blue Springs, which I had not heard of before seeing this listing on marathonguide.com, is described as 17 miles east of Kansas City. Hmm. This is promising. I grew up in western Iowa, not all that far from the Missouri River, and Kansas City is not that far from my childhood home, where Mom still lives.

    I clear the race with my coach. I tell him that I will run it as strictly a training run, and he concurs. “A fully supported training run—that could be good.” The next critical thing is to check with Mom. I realize it’s late notice, but it would be just too cool if Mom could come to the race. Over the years, she has been my biggest fan and supporter in marathoning, even though she thinks I’m a bit of an alien. Mom’s birthday is October 27; the race is October 24. Selfishly, I think of this as a birthday gift to her—that I would be in the Midwest that close to her birthday. I send off an e-mail and get an immediate reply: she’ll be there. So I’m in! I register for the race and make my travel arrangements, and suddenly there is another race to prepare for.

    Continued in our November/December issue.

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    Don’t Forget the Specificity
    When You Train to Run a Marathon, Marathon-Specific Training Is of the Essence.
    by Mary Trotto, EdD

    Often, runners who train to run the marathon, whether their first or one of many, will do meticulous planning. Marathon runners check their calendars and make sure they have ample time from the start of their training regimen to the event itself to allow for the proper running progression to achieve their goals. They will count backward from the marathon date, allowing a week before the event to taper, and backward through a progression of weeks until they have reached a satisfactory starting date for their program. Runners will want to have achieved a few near-marathon distance runs at least a few weeks before the marathon so that they feel confident they can negotiate the distance.

    The careful marathoner considers the clothes to be worn on the day of the race and also does research into typical temperatures at the start and finish of the race in past years. The marathoner will also be concerned about what foods, especially carbohydrates, will be consumed during the days leading up to the race. And on and on and on . . .

    The runner does not want to leave too much to chance. The marathon, after all, is a true athletic challenge, a potential triumph of the physical and the mental in a world gone sedentary. Success in marathoning is usually reserved for those who have planned well.

    Continued in our November/December issue.

    The Berlin Marathon
    From a Simple Cross-Country Run to an International Front-Runner, Berlin boasts a Crazy
    History.

    by Udo Hildenstab

    On October 13, 1974, when race organizer Horst Milde rounded up a little over 250 runners on an undulating course through the woods of West Berlin, he had no idea that he was about to fire the starting pistol on a success story that would go down in the sporting history books. Likewise, the 244 runners who passed over the finishing line that day hadn’t the foggiest idea that they would spearhead a movement that would grow to tens of thousands triumphantly powering their way through a completely altered city—and that in the near future, the walled city would rank alongside the established international marathon cities to become the fastest 26.2-mile street race in the world.

    Berlin holds claim to hosting the first woman to run under 2:20 as well as the men’s world record set by Kenyan Paul Tergat.

    It was toward the end of the 1970s that Horst Milde and his organizers toyed with the idea of bringing the race out of the woods and onto the streets modeled on marathon cities such as New York, Boston, and London. However, taking into account that West Berlin was the most militarized frontier town between the East and the West powers, it was a proposal that led the police chief of West Berlin to remark, “Milde is that madman who wants to run through my city.” The release of his quote to the press prompted the French military hierarchy to remind the local officials that, together with the British and Americans, they had controlled the three main sectors of West Berlin since the end of the Second World War. To organize a run through the streets of West Berlin, no matter how crazy the local authorities thought it may be, came down to who had the final say; the military won hands down.

    Read this detailed history of the Berlin Marathon in our November/December issue.

    Season Half-Marathon Training That Will Improve Your Marathon Performance
    Part 2: Sometimes the Best Way to Run Long Better Is to Improve Your Short Game.
    by Guy Avery

    In part 1 of this three-part half-marathon series, we reviewed (1) the numerous benefits of training for and racing a half-marathon, (2) how to set a realistic goal for your targeted half-marathon race, (3) how to select an appropriate training level based on your training history and current commitment level, and (4) how to understand all aspects of our comprehensive list of the various types of training that may be employed depending on your goal and training level.

    In part 2 of this series, we will outline the five different general half-marathon training programs (or schedules). While these
    schedules are all 13 weeks in length, they can be lengthened by repeating any combination of weeks 7 and 8 as needed—or by
    using our three-week extension schedule, which will be outlined in part 3 of the series.

    Get all the specifics of Avery’s training program in our November/December issue.

    A Letter From the Middle of the Pack
    The Key to the Door Behind Which Dwells the Inner Self Is a Dose of Physicality.
    by William Latter

    Dear Todd, here’s the promised account of my New York City Marathon adventure. I think you will see why running has taken on a profoundly new meaning for me.

    Friday. Arrive New York City in a.m. by train from Princeton. We are staying with friends in New Jersey to save a few bucks. Diane and I took two days driving from Toronto. It was a good way to rest before the big run. Will sleep in NYC Saturday night. My brother Rob and his friend Sherry flew in from LA yesterday. When marathon registration starts, I wait in line with the international runners. Get inside and am given the official international breakfast run number, pin, and United Nations pin.

    Get marathon number, T-shirt, and hat.

    In the afternoon, Diane is feeling tired. She stays in Rob’s hotel room while he, Sherry, and I go sightseeing. We go up the Empire State Building and see just how far we are going to run. We all agree it is much too far and that we’re nuts. I can’t decide if we’re nuts because we are going to run the marathon or because we looked over the distance.

    Friday eve. Diane is sick. Stomach flu from earlier in the week is gone but now has a bad cold. She can’t eat. Can’t drink. Weatherman is predicting record heat for race day.

    Diane is becoming afraid she can’t run. When two marathoners speed by her on the street, she breaks into tears. Diane has worked extraordinarily hard for this race. I don’t know what to tell her. Now, Rob is starting to have stomach problems, too. Not a good night.

    Continued in our November/December issue.

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    Big Day in Little Rock
    Although Still in Its Infancy, the Little Rock Marathon Has Developed a Personality of Its Own.

    by Zoie Clift

    Running is the most healthful and efficient way to get a fix on a new city, to unravel its navigational mysteries, to make it yours.” From “On the Road,” by Doug Rennie in Runner’s World magazine.

    Although only three years old, the Little Rock Marathon seems to be quickly finding its footing in the racing community. Over its short life, the event has received kudos for its organization and hospitality. With only a few runnings, it has not only validated the sport for local runners but has also brought the community closer together. Since the marathon’s creation, the daily paper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has upped its coverage of running events, and for this year’s marathon, readers were greeted with pages devoted to training guidelines, race stories, course maps, and even a special two-page pullout section. In short, this race has become a beloved event for Arkansans to share with the running community. Here is a quick look at this small marathon as well as a recap of this year’s race.

    Continued in our November/December issue.

    From Mothballs to Marathon

    A Tale of Resurrection: From Inspiration to Aspiration to Perspiration.
    by Bob Seidenstein

    Rational people make major commitments only after long and serious consideration. But since rationality has never been my strong suit, my decision to run a marathon was prompted by sheer impulse.

    Not that I hadn’t ever run a marathon. I had—two of them, in fact. But I had trained hard for them, putting in two months of 65-mile weeks for each. But that was 30 years and 30 pounds ago, when I was at the top of my running game.

    Now, even though I still run, sort of, when it comes to marathons, I am clearly overweight, undertrained, and way over the hill.

    But marathons weren’t the least bit on my mind when I was in Fort Myers, Florida, back in mid-May. Instead, I was visiting my family, catching the rays, and chilling—if that’s possible in 90-degree weather.

    Anyway, I was in one of those super bookstores, the ones with the built-in chichi coffee shops, when I happened to spot an odd little magazine called Marathon & Beyond.

    Huh? What’s this? I wondered as I skimmed it. It was a running magazine, certainly, but unlike any I had ever seen. It wasn’t slick or chock-full of advertisements, nor did it feature some new diet guaranteed to take hours off my half-marathon times, vitamins that would add years to my life, and the rest of the mumbo jumbo.

    Also, the articles were long, in depth, sometimes even controversial. It seemed the magazine actually wanted to appeal to people who had some substance and who really liked to read.

    Arthur Speaks to Me—Again

    I bought a copy, took it to my table, and leafed through it while swilling my coffee. Suddenly, my heart skipped a beat when I ran across an interview with Arthur Lydiard. Arthur Lydiard had been one of my first inspirations to run a marathon way back when, in running’s Dark Ages (if not its Stone Age). His book Running to the Top had been like a bible to me.

    And now here he was, all these years later, still as feisty, outspoken, opinionated, and knowledgeable as ever. And he was still something else, too: just as inspiring as ever. After I read his interview, it hit me: I was going to come out of retirement and run a marathon!

    The next day I hied down to Mike Pemberton’s shop, Fast Feet, a running store run by a runner, catering exclusively to runners. And while my description is overdone, his shop is not. It’s small but with an excellent array of gear, and with none of the schlock. So if you live in Fort Myers or are ever there, stop in and give him your business. When it comes to running stores, he’s a one-man army fighting the multinationals.

    After buying a pair of running shoes, I indulged myself and bought a pair of real running shorts. My last running shorts were Frank Shorter sportswear that finally fell to shreds sometime in the late ’80s, after at least 10 years of daily wear. After I gave them an honorable burial, I ran in whatever shorts I found lying on the bedroom or bathroom floor, among them soccer shorts, gym shorts, Bermuda shorts, and boxer shorts.

    But now that I was going to run a marathon—no matter how slowly, shakily, or sloppily—I was going to run it in genuine marathoner’s shorts. And once that was settled, I considered things of less importance, namely, which marathon from the plethora of marathons available these days, and what training schedule I would follow.

    Actually, only one marathon came to mind: the Raquette River Marathon in Potsdam, New York, which would be run on September 5. It would be ideal for me, since it’s about 60 miles away, is run on back roads, and has no entrance requirements other than coughing up some filthy lucre. And most important, the organizers keep it open until the last person struggles in. As I said, it was my kind of marathon.

    As for training? As I saw it, no matter what kind of training I did, it would be marginal at best. In my current condition, in 3 1/2 months, I would never amass enough mileage for any kind of serious running. Instead, the best I could hope for was to finish in six hours or so.

    Does Bob complete his marathon? Find out in our November/December issue.

    Running the Pony Express Trail
    An Opportunity to Mix Western History with Ultrarunning Was Not to Be Missed.
    Part 1 of an Occasional Series.

    by Davy Crockett

    Read all of Running the Pony Express Trail

    America’s Fastest Marathoners

    When Waltrip and Petty Line Up, They Can Brag That They’ve Gone 500 Miles in a Day.
    by J.J. O’Malley

    When Michael Waltrip and Kyle Petty go out for their long Sunday runs, they’re usually out for three to four hours, often covering 400 to 500 miles.

    During the week, they concentrate on speed work, visiting tracks across the country, running laps at speeds of 200 miles per hour—driving stock cars in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.

    However, when Waltrip and Petty are not racing stock cars, they’re out hitting the pavement, running and training for marathons.

    Waltrip completed his fourth career marathon in January, recording a career-best 3:56 in the Las Vegas Marathon. Joining him in the field was Petty, who ran 4:13 in his first attempt at the 26.2-mile distance.

    Conditions for the marathon were less than ideal, including a stiff head wind in the latter half of the race. But both drivers were able to hang in and achieve their goals—they have plenty of experience maintaining a high level of concentration for four to five hours of intense competition.

    At first glance, marathon running seems to have little in common with stock-car racing. Some runners might even wonder whether auto racing is a sport.

    For the runner, it’s basically a matter of completing the distance. Equipment failure—a blown running shoe—rarely enters the equation.

    For the driver, obviously, success depends on the car. The engine—or any one of dozens of mechanical components—must function to complete the distance. Tire wear, brakes, and fuel mileage are among the many other variables.

    Yet the driver also plays a key role. He must be able to keep his cool in cockpit temperatures of about 140 degrees. Concentration is vital. One slip, one distraction at any point, can result in a multicar pileup.

    Read more about Michael Waltrip and Kyle Petty in our November/December issue.

    I Need to Lose 14 Pounds to Run a Three-Hour Marathon
    The New York City Marathon Provides a Perfect Venue for Good Works.
    by Kevin Strehlo

    I hate to reduce an issue as complex as marathon performance to how much I weigh, especially since rampant eating disorders have made the desire to be skinny politically incorrect, but the facts are clear. I’m being held back in marathon performance by an accumulation of approximately 49,000 calories of unneeded sustenance. I chalk it up to the 23.5 pints of fat-laden Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream that I failed to resist during my current marathon-training regimen. I choose not to blame the 817 complex-carbohydrate-laced rice cakes I consumed to replenish my glycogen stores.

    Bear with me. I know it’s not that simple. I will get to the other factors holding back my marathon performance. But before I go through all that only to realize that my potential ties back largely to a question of will, let me run through five weighty facts.

    First, the rule of thumb about weight and marathon performance is that you slow down approximately two seconds per mile for each pound you are over your ideal weight. Most pundits—including Max Jones of the Valley Striders in Yorkshire, England, whose full-blown formula for predicting marathon performance is relatively well known—round off the impact to an even minute per pound for the entire marathon. Thus I’ve concluded that I need to lose 14 pounds, which will get me to six pounds lighter and thus six minutes faster than I was when I ran 3:06.

    Continued in our November/December issue.

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    Special Book Bonus

    Thirty Phone Booths to Boston: The Conclusion
    by Don Kardong

    Here is Joe Henderson’s introduction to our new Book Bonus:

    We can’t see a golden age while it is happening. We can’t spot the greatness of an era until we’ve seen how far it stands above the years that followed.

    Given a generation’s perspective, we now see the 1970s as the golden age of U.S. men’s marathoning. We can say the same for U.S. writing about running, and in two cases the names of runner and writer overlap.

    Look at all the ’70s yielded: In Olympic running, Frank Shorter’s gold and silver medals at Munich and Montreal, plus the fourth places of Kenny Moore and Don Kardong. In bestselling writing, for all topics, the running books of Jim Fixx, George Sheehan, and the Bob Glover–Jack Shepherd team.

    These authors earned their success. They wrote well and delivered the right message at the right time as running and running bookselling boomed together.

    But I would argue that Fixx, Sheehan, and Glover–Shepherd weren’t the best writers the ’70s spawned. For quality and durability of their work, I would go with Moore and Kardong. They have more in common than their near misses at the Olympics. Moore and then Kardong a few years later were Pacific Northwest–born, ran for Pac-8 (now Pac-10) colleges, were world class in track before turning to the marathon, and peaked in the 2:11s.

    And both broke into writing about running in a magazine that I edited at the time. Moore first appeared there in 1970 and Kardong five years later.

    Kenny would say now that he didn’t “write” for Runner’s World then. The magazine reprinted a piece of his from the University of Oregon alumni publication.

    Don wrote an original article for RW. How it came about is a funny story in itself, one best left for him to tell. How he tells stories distinguishes him from his fellow fourth placer. One isn’t better than the other; they’re just different.

    When I first talked to Kenny Moore about rerunning his article, he was studying for a graduate degree in creative writing. He was in training for the career to come.

    When I asked Don Kardong to write his first article, about his 1975 trip across the newly opened borders of China, he was working as an elementary school teacher. A career as a writer? You can’t be serious.

    His apparent lack of seriousness, or at least his inability to take himself and the sport too seriously, would distinguish his writing and endear him to readers. With Moore, you expected to be impressed by his thoughts and observations. With Kardong, you expected to be amused by his experiences and misadventures.

    This isn’t to say that Don writes the way a slapstick comic performs. He’s no buffoon. His relaxed style features a gentle jibe here (often aimed at himself) and a clever turn of phrase there. The writing appears to entertain Don as much as it does his readers. It seems to be his break from the serious contributions he makes to the sport and to his community.

    He helped professionalize running as a cofounder of the Association of Road Racing Athletes. He served as long-distance chairman of USA Track & Field and as president of the Road Runners Club of America.

    At home in Spokane, Washington, he launched and still works on the Bloomsday 12K race, of which he is now executive director.

    His writing pace has slowed of late, and not just because of competing obligations. Curiously, Runner’s World hasn’t assigned an article to this longtime favorite of its readers for more than two years. (A brief column of his does appear once a month on the RW Web site.)

    Don will write feature articles again, somewhere, sometime. Meanwhile you don’t have to wait to read him again. Over the next several issues, Marathon & Beyond will serialize his first book, originally published in 1985 by Macmillan.

    Thirty Phone Booths to Boston takes its title from an offbeat article by the same name. He covered the 1981 Boston Marathon by calling pay phones along the course and asking whomever picked up to tell him how the race was going.

    This and 22 other pieces of vintage Kardong make up the book subtitled Tales of a Wayward Runner. Smile and laugh along with the author, remembering that this runner–writer from the golden age runs and writes onward a generation later.

    Don’s entire book will be printed (in serial format) between Isue 86 and 96 of M&B.

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