2013 Issues

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    Volume 17 | Number 6 | Nov/Dec 2013



    Rich Benyo


    The alien summer is retreating quietly, an otherworldly burglar skulking off into the still-early night. The tips of the ancient maple tree in the backyard, the one with the swing on it, the one infected with mistletoe, has wisps of red and orange creeping into its outermost edges. The wine grapes are being harvested in early August, an anomaly; they’re several weeks early and it makes little sense when you consider the weather has averaged 7 degrees below normal all summer long; it’s usually hot weather that causes them to be premature. But the report is that the harvest is a good one, better quality and more volume than if it had been hot. The figs don’t understand it, either; they hang there, waiting for a couple of days of heat to push them the final step into purple and edible.

    On the Road with Kathrine Switzer

    Three Years: Unimagined History

    Stir very briskly world records with banned athletes, mix social progress with reactionary setbacks, and then gently fold legendary lives with untimely deaths. Wrap this in earthquake, tsunami, extreme heat, flood, and bombings, and spice it with brilliance, hope, progress, positive change, and utter fancy and you have the recipe that shaped running over the last three years and reshaped it for all time.

    Never in my 54 years of running have I seen as much drama in the sport as I have seen crammed in these 36 months; I have seen things I could never have predicted. It has been my good luck to be assigned to write this column during this time. It is an amazing thing to be eyewitness to history; it is a wondrous privilege to write and to comment on it. I am grateful to editor Rich Benyo and publisher Jan Seeley for the opportunity. This is my last “On the Road” column. I will introduce your new columnist—Christopher Lotsbom—shortly, but first let’s take a look back over just 18 issues.

    My Most Unforgettable Marathon

    Cynci Calvin

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, April 21, 1997 — Of course, the 2013 Boston Marathon was unforgettable: sadly, tragically memorable. It was also inspiringly memorable due to the subsequent outpouring of solidarity for our sport. But I cannot call it my most unforgettable marathon nor even the most memorable Boston of the 15 I have run. Some people are surprised when I say this.

    Could my most unforgettable be the 100th Boston in 1996? How can that one be topped? First there was all the fanfare leading up to it. Then there was the event itself on a beautiful sun-filled day sandwiched between two days of nasty cold and rain. An astounding 40,000 runners were handled with precision and care. It was the ultimate celebration for all of us fortunate enough to have achieved an entry, but my most unforgettable marathon? Not quite.

    First Light Marathon

    A small city setting with all the fabled Southern charm.

    Imagine a low-key yet vibrant marathon held in a lovely Southern city in early January. Picture yourself and your family at a conveniently located hotel surrounded by a variety of museums, shops, and restaurants and a host of other attractions. Add to this setting all the welcoming people who live in the city plus the friendly race participants and the knowledge that your very reasonable registration fee supports a worthwhile charity. Fortunately, such a race does indeed exist; First Light Marathon in Mobile, Alabama, fulfills all these conditions and more.

    Biofile: Timothy Cherigat

    “Scoop” Malinowski

    Date of Birth: December 29, 1976, in Chepkorio, Kenya

    First Running Memory: “I can remember a little bit when I was a kid. I used to like running. So I did not train much. Like we’re used to training now. Especially when I was in elementary school and you could start training like only two weeks before a competition. Oh, let’s train. And we’d go running. I used to like running right from my childhood.”

    Running Inspirations: “I used to not have heroes or inspirations so much when I was little, but when I grew up and I knew a little bit about running, I used to like the likes of Daniel Komen. I used to like him so much when he was running. I also thought that maybe one time I’d also like to run like him.”

    On the Trail with Meghan Hicks

    Memories From the Summer of 2013

    I can hardly handle the fact that, by the time you read this, those of you at moderate Northern Hemisphere latitudes will be wearing gloves and tights for your morning runs, that many of you will have already seen your first snowfall, and that another summer will be over and done.

    I can also hardly handle the fact that I will have turned 35. Thirty-five? I realize that this statement will make many of you laugh and call me a “young pup.” But to me, to someone who is living at this moment in time, 35 seems to be equal parts young and old.
    While I can still run as fast as I did 10 years ago, I do wish I still had the skin of the 25-year-old me. I wouldn’t trade the wisdom I’ve earned by fumbling, bumbling through life since I was 21, but sometimes I wish I could feel that sense of freedom from responsibility that the progression of life bestows upon all of us. Finally, though I know they mean it out of 100 percent respect, if people never, ever, ever again call me “ma’am,” I would be a happy woman.

    So let’s get on with life and this issue’s “On the Trail” chatter, shall we? You wear your running tights, and I’ll grumble about being half young, half old.

    On the Mark

    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions.

    This month’s question: I’m loving the world of ultrarunning and am building toward doing 100-milers. Unfortunately, I am kind of obsessed with doing 100s in the western half of the country, and the ones I want to do most (Western States, Leadville, Wasatch) are all at altitude and I live in New Jersey. Short of moving to Colorado or California, is there any proven way I could improve my performance at altitude while still living in the Garden State? Apologies in advance for asking a question that maybe doesn’t even have an answer. – Irene Greene, via e-mail



    Training for 
the Long Haul

    Richard A. Lovett

    How to avoid disappointment and burnout.

    Runners know that no important goal comes without hard work. We like hard work—thrive on it, in fact. But we can also be amazingly shortsighted. Somehow, we think that if we work really, really hard we can have everything we dream of, immediately.

    Sure, most of us know that for a beginner, “Ten weeks from couch potato to 10K” might be a prescription for disaster. But we’re not beginners. And that can make it even easier to be seduced into thinking solely in terms of instant-gratification goals. “Americans have difficulty thinking in the long term,” says Bob Williams, assistant coach at Concordia University (Portland). “We’re all short-term thinkers.”

    Bernard Gomersall 
Remembers the ’60s

    Roger Robinson

    Comrades and London-Brighton winner is moving to America.

    Bernard Gomersall, in his day the world’s best ultrarunner, four times winner of the London-to-Brighton (1963-66), record breaker in the 1965 Comrades Marathon, is moving to America. I caught up with the ultra legend, with his daughter, Berni, and her husband, Kevin, when they were guests of the Utica Boilermaker National Distance Running Hall of Fame weekend, July 2012. Gomersall is now a friendly, forceful, fit-looking 80-year-old (as of August 2012). His pithy Yorkshire stories and vigorously rounded north-of-England vowels took me back to the year I once spent in his home town of Leeds. We used to meet at cross-country and road races in that bitter northern winter—and winter that year hung on cold and windy till mid-June, as I recall. Up there, it’s Wuthering Heights country, all furze and whinstone, windswept hilltops, brick factory chimneys, and row houses lined up below the crags that lead to bleak moors. They breed them tough up there, like Bernard Gomersall, or the Leeds Rugby League team he supported for 30 years.

    Life (and 22 Marathons) After Death

    Traci Phillips

    It may be the ultimate “comeback.”

    We have all heard of near-death experiences—individuals who report personal encounters associated with impending death and the feelings associated with this phenomenon.

    Sarasota native Greg Goebel, however, has a much more riveting story than a near-death experience. He actually died while running a marathon. The interesting thing is that he has run 22 marathons following his death in January 2011. How is this, you may ask?

    Start, Turn, Finish

    Dallas Crow

    26.2 miles, 600 turns.

    The scene in the predawn dark before the Zoom! Yah! Yah! Marathon is simultaneously perfectly normal and completely surreal. It’s 6:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of the new year in Northfield, Minnesota, a picturesque college town of 20,000 surrounded by rolling farmland roughly 45 minutes outside the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The current temperature is 13 degrees and the wind chill is 4 degrees above zero. The mercury hasn’t risen above freezing here since December 16. I’m wearing five layers on my torso, one of which is a down jacket.

    Runners chat, stretch, jog; take slugs of coffee, water, and sports drinks; apply Body Glide and Vaseline; and make last-minute pit stops. But there are no porta-potties or lines, and people are for the most part wearing shorts and singlets. The 42 athletes present are preparing for the eighth annual running of what is billed as “The World’s Most Prestigious Indoor Marathon,” 150 laps around the three-lane 282-meter balcony track in St. Olaf College’s Tostrud Field House.

    Trial by Fire

    Gary Dudney

    One hundred miles at Rio Del Lago.

    Could it be any hotter?” I asked myself, sitting at the Friday afternoon race orientation for the 2011 edition of the Rio Del Lago 100 Mile Endurance Run. I had dressed for the weather in a light T-shirt and baggy shorts. I had also found the shadiest spot on the patio of the community building at Beal’s Point on the shore of Folsom Lake near Sacramento, California. But I was still sweating like a pig.

    The race director, Molly Sheridan of Desert Sky Adventures, meanwhile was all joy and light talking about the next day: “Awesome aid stations . . . hoping for a record number of finishers . . . great weather . . . fantastic course.” I looked down past an expanse of green grass at the lakeshore where a swim team was doing laps around a set of orange buoys and mothers were watching their kids splash in the water. A ferocious, glaring sun sizzled above in the sky. So tomorrow I was going to run 100 miles. Just crossing the parking lot to get to the orientation had seemed like an endurance event to me.For this reason, we did two studies related to race diet at two different ultramarathons.

    My Good-bye Marathon

    Tom Hart

    A man must find his occasions in himself, 
it is true.—Thoreau, Walden, chapter 4

    The halfway point of any marathon is a good time to assess how things are going, though these on-the-fly assessments can be treacherously tricky. Boston marathoners in particular know the seductive surges of power they can feel cruising invincibly through midpoint Wellesley and how those same siren surges are sometimes regretted a few miles later, in the Newton hills. My self-check-in at the halfway point of my last (most recent and final) marathon told me I was doing reasonably well. Yes, I could feel the accumulating miles a bit, but I was comfortable, breathing easily, legs feeling OK. Better than OK, in fact—I was seated happily in a Lexington, Massachusetts, bistro with a delicious slice of pepperoni pizza in my stomach and the last remains of a cold pint of Sam Adams in front of me at the table. It was noon, and my 26.2-mile walk had begun a little before 7:00 that morning. I would be moving along again soon and probably would be done before 5:00, marathon accomplished.

    OK, OK, people—bear with me here, please—yes, I am talking about walking a marathon, walking the marathon distance, that is, 26.2 miles. It’s silly, I know, hours and hours. Don’t worry; it won’t take that long for you to read about it.

    My Journey to Badwater

    Kenneth A. Posner

    What we don’t do for our kids.

    My journey to the 2012 Badwater 135 ultramarathon started innocently enough.

    “Dad, why don’t you run Badwater, so I can be on your crew?” My daughter, Emeline, had just turned 16.

    From what corner of the adolescent mind had this idea emerged? I had no clue. But I liked it. I thought the experience might help her appreciate some important values, like purpose, strategy, and discipline. She might learn that you can accomplish a really tough task when you set your mind to it. Maybe the experience would give her the confidence to dream up big goals for herself.

    Not to say the idea was without risk. National Geographic calls the Badwater 135 the “world’s toughest race” for some good reasons, including the daunting length (135 miles) and the mountain passes. But more than anything else, the race is known for the brutal desert heat, which can reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Whenever I think about the race, I picture 19th-century pioneers crossing the Nevada mountains, their covered wagons creaking slowly across the high desert plateau. Descending through a narrow pass, they discover a basin sunk below sea level, a natural convection oven, where the hot air has no escape. Drinking what little water they can find, they sicken from toxic levels of sulfur and borax. Under the blazing sun, they watch friends and family die. They name the basin “Badwater.” They name the valley “Death Valley.”

    I sent in the application and waited to hear whether it would be accepted.

    The Death of Jim Fixx

    Hal Higdon

    He launched the running boom, but . . .

    During the summer of 1984, while lunching in New York with Hal Bowser, a former Science Digest editor, Jim Fixx mentioned that he wanted to obtain a telescope to use during his coming vacation. One of Bowser’s hobbies is optics. Bowser mentioned a friend who owned a Celestron, a very expensive telescope that was for sale.

    Fixx purchased the telescope, then midway through July called Bowser from Cape Cod. “I’m here looking out over Waquoit Bay,” Fixx began. “The images I get don’t seem very bright. It could be haze, but maybe the telescope needs adjustment. I thought I would call you and ask, what am I doing wrong?”

    Describing the incident later, Bowser thought that typical of his friend. Despite paying a lot of money for a device that should have functioned perfectly, he did not blame the device. Fixx worried that he was to blame.

    Two days after the call, Jim Fixx drove to northern Vermont to spend the last month of the summer at Caspian Lake. He would relax, work on his latest book, watch the Olympics on TV, and take some 10-milers in the woods. It was Friday, July 20. Arriving late afternoon, Fixx decided to go for a run. At 5:30 p.m., a passing motorcyclist discovered a man lying beside the road clad only in shorts and running shoes. State police arrived quickly, but the man was dead of a heart attack.

    The man was Jim Fixx. In his last few seconds of his life, did Fixx ask himself: “What am I doing wrong?” Had he misapplied everything he had taught so many others? Fixx had not invented running but had become one of the activity’s main proponents. He had helped launch the running boom, and the boom launched him to a level of celebrity so great that American Express featured him in a TV commercial. In The Complete Book of Running, his million-copy bestseller, Fixx had hinted that running would make us look better, feel better, live longer. “Running is more likely to increase than decrease longevity,” wrote Fixx, yet here he was, dead of a heart attack at age 52. This should not be. What happened to Jim Fixx?


    Jim Weddell

    How I made it through the Jemez Trail Run 

    It was at mile 35 of the 50-mile Jemez Mountains Trail Run in northern New Mexico, as I headed down what looked like a vertical drop but was actually a diamond-level ski run, when I figured out how to stop the pain in my two big toes as I ran.

    I had already fallen early on rocks and later stubbed my toes hard on other rocks as I came down from 10,200-foot Cerro Grande. Other toes had blistered, but my left big toe was the worst, throbbing, throbbing, throbbing with each step. And the more I thought about it, the more it hurt.

    So I stopped thinking about it.

    Know the Pain

    Jeff Horowitz

    A guide to calculating your marathon recovery time.

    It’s a question that comes up again and again among a certain kind of runner: how soon after finishing a marathon can I run another one?

    For most runners, finishing a single marathon is the main aim of the race season, whether the goal is simply to finish, to qualify for the Boston Marathon, or to set a PR. Indeed, many coaches say that a runner should aim to race a marathon only once or twice a year and no more than once each in the fall and spring seasons.

    This is good general advice, but like all generalities, the reality differs from runner to runner based on experience, physiology, and ambition. Some runners, like marathon champions Charlie Engle and Michael Wardian, find it possible to run high-quality marathons—with a finishing time under 2:30—on consecutive weekends, week after week, month after month. On occasion, these runners even race on consecutive days, as Wardian did when he raced in both the US Olympic Trials and the open category at the Houston Marathon in 2012.

    Book Bonus: Going Far

    Joe Henderson

    An opportunity to meet the most famous track “nobody.” Part 8.

    31. The “nobody.”
    Munich, West Germany. September, 1972. Some of us are old enough and long enough connected to the sport to have memories reaching back to the mid-20th century. I’m happy to make that claim.

    The first foreign name to pierce my consciousness in family talk about track was Emil Zatopek from Czechoslovakia. He won the 10,000 at the first post-World War II Olympics, London 1948, then broke records repeatedly the next few years. He peaked at the 1952 Games when he won the 5,000, 10,000 and marathon—a triple never accomplished before and not since. (Lasse Viren would come closest by placing 1-1-5 in those events at Montreal.)

    To me, Zatopek is the finest runner of my lifetime. I remember him that way for how he once raced but more so for how he continued to live and give. I never expected to meet the great man from a then-remote land. But by chance we came together briefly while waiting to leave Munich the day after the troubled 1972 Olympics ended. The troubles were following us out of town. All flights were delayed as security officials took quite seriously the threats to plant bombs on outgoing planes in retaliation for the killing of fellow Arab terrorists on September 5. We had to stay with our bags and have our dirty laundry pawed through repeatedly, thereby delaying our rush to leave Munich behind.

    Volume 17 | Number 5 | Sept/Oct 2013



    Rich Benyo

    A Time of Changes

    In my misspent high school days in the early 1960s, as a science-fiction and fantasy nut, I was used to tearing through six or seven books a week, occasionally consumed behind the biology textbook in Prof. Meyer’s class. Half the money I earned pumping gas and patching bald-eagle tires at the Mayor Brothers Atlantic-Richfield station on River Street (all of 50 cents an hour) went for 35-cent Ace science-fiction double novels. One of the more prolific science-fiction novelists at the time was Robert Silverberg. He was used to turning out what were referred to as space operas: tales of titanic battles in deep space complete with faster-than-light spaceships, phaser guns, and casts of millions, some of whom were evil aliens.

    On the Road with Kathrine Switzer

    Spirit of the Marathon: Behind the Camera

    “…with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    Yes, it’s the last line of the Declaration of Independence, one of the greatest sentences of total dedication and risk ever written. But it could have been penned by Jon Dunham, during his creation of the films Spirit of the Marathon and Spirit of the Marathon II.

    The signers of that declaration in 1776 put it all on the line for a dream to create the United States of America. Most of them paid a very heavy price for their idealism, and we thank them heartily today.

    Dunham put it all on the line to create a great film about the marathon, an event that changed his life. Like the marathon itself, he began filming not knowing how diabolical the distance to the finish line can be. Once committed, he was in too deep, he refused to quit, and he paid—and is still paying—plenty of prices for his idealism. The world of running thanks him heartily.

    Then he did it again, crazy man!

    My Most Unforgettable Year of Marathon Running

    Doug Kurtis

    HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE, 1989 — Few runners can run one mile under 5:20, let alone string together 26 of them. This is what it takes to run a sub-2:20 marathon. In 1989, Americans ran 83 sub-2:20 marathons. Twelve of those were mine, setting a world record for most sub-2:20s in one year.

    There was no plan set out to accomplish this goal. Until halfway through the year, I didn’t know that the record even existed. I can thank my friend and competitor Kjell-Erik Stahl from Sweden for creating it and setting me on a path that early in my running career I would have never imagined.

    In 1980 I ran my first sub-2:20, qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials. Up to that point I had run almost a dozen marathons, mostly in the 2:22 to 2:23 range. A friend and coworker at Ford Motor Company persuaded me to start training seriously to break 2:20. At the time I thought I was training seriously.

    Tallahassee Marathon

    A slice of Florida unique unto itself.

    Tallahassee will probably surprise you; it’s not the typical Florida city that most people expect. There are pretty homes and great restaurants but no dramatic beaches and expensive resorts. Come to enjoy some great Florida museums, eat great food, and run a low-key, flat and fast (yes, really) marathon that has all the basics.

    Biofile: Molly Pritz

    “Scoop” Malinowski

    Date of Birth: April 7, 1988, in Rochester Hills, Michigan

    First Running Memory: “The first time I ever ran a mile, in high school. And it was horrible. I think I ran like a 7:34. And it was just the most painful experience ever. I decided I want to get in shape after that, to run a better mile.”

    Running Inspirations: “Definitely Paula Radcliffe and Magdalena Lewy-Boulet. They’re strong women, they’re intelligent. They’re class acts, on the road and off the road.”

    On the Trail with Meghan Hicks

    Thank You, Junebug

    [Author’s Note: Rich Benyo gives me free reign with this column, and I usually choose to mix things up, writing a bit about my own trail-running adventures as well as the goings-on of the trail and ultrarunning community. With this column, this one time, I’m writing about a significant event in my personal life, the recent death of my dog, Junebug.]

    On the Mark

    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions.

    This month’s question: Shoes and Socks: At what distance in an ultra would it be optimum for changing shoes and socks? I plan on doing a 40-miler, which consists of five eight-mile loops. I realize that terrain, weather, and other factors are involved, but in general for us back-of-the-pack, slow-but-always-finish runners, what might work best? – Bob Sommerville, Westminster, Maryland



    Western States 100 Research: The Science Behind Ultrarunning

    We Are Running Experiments!

    Tim Twietmeyer

    With the running of this year’s event, the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run completed its 40th year as the premier 100-mile race in the sport. From the humble beginnings of one runner participating in a 100-mile horse race to this year’s lottery of more than 2,000 hopeful entrants, the race has been a constant presence in developing the sport of ultrarunning. From training to aid-station standards and medical care, the race has been instrumental in shaping how 100- mile races are managed—there are now more than 100 of them.

    Research at the Western States Endurance Run

    Martin D. Hoffman, MD, FACSM, FAWM

    A historical perspective.

    The status of 100-mile running races in 1974 was quite different from now. I am aware that there was a 100-mile running competition in the Chicago area that took place in 1909 and some 100-mile races in the Sacramento area in the early 1970s, but none of these was run on trails through the mountains. To our knowledge, only one person ran 100 miles in North America in 1974, and that was on the Western States Trail. This was the beginning of the Western States Endurance Run (WSER), the first mountain-trail 100-mile run in the world.

    Who Are These Crazy People Running 100 Miles?

    Martin D. Hoffman, MD, FACSM, FAWM

    An analysis.

    For many not associated with the world of endurance sports, the inclusion of the adjective “crazy” in the title of this article makes perfect sense. But for us, high levels of regular aerobic exercise have become the norm, and it may seem odd to think of this behavior as being anything but normal, or at least what should be normal. Unfortunately, most of our society is sedentary. Indeed, many people often look at anyone who exercises beyond even the minimum amount suggested for maintaining health as being crazy. So since we are frequently subject to being referred to as crazy, I include that descriptor in the title with the clarification that even though I may be biased, I don’t think we’re necessarily crazy just because of our exercise behavior!

    The Heart of an Ultrarunner

    Keith P. George, PhD, AND Rob E.Shave, PhD

    It’s all about getting the heart to adapt.

    The sport of ultramarathon running has grown considerably in recent years (Hoffman and Wegelin 2009). With this growth has come increased interest in a number of scientific aspects of the sport, including optimal physiological preparation, nutritional support, and the general health of the athlete. Cutting across all of these topics is an interest in how the heart copes with ultramarathon activity and, as a muscle itself, how the heart adapts to training and competition. We know that the heart is impressively adaptable when placed under stress. Simply running to catch the bus is dependent on a very rapid acceleration in heart rate and cardiac output that delivers oxygen to the working muscles to sustain activity. Likewise, we know that the heart is vulnerable to disuse and disease to the extent that in the westernized world, cardiovascular disease is still the biggest killer of men and women.

    The Importance of Race Diet During a 100-Mile Ultramarathon

    Kristin J. Stuemple, PhD

    An analysis of the science.

    “Eat like a horse, drink like a fish.” This was the title of an article in UltraRunning in August 2009 (Dudney 2009). What an ultrarunner eats and drinks during a race clearly is very important, yet little field research has systematically evaluated the race diets of ultrarunners. As a result, ultrarunners often rely on advice from food and drink manufacturers, other ultrarunners, and their own trial and error to determine what to eat and drink during an ultramarathon. For this reason, we did two studies related to race diet at two different ultramarathons.

    Hyponatremia, Rhabdomyolysis, and Renal Failure

    Tamara Hew-Butler, DPM, PhD

    Is there a link?

    Both hyponatremia (blood-sodium concentration of less than 135 mEq/L) and rhabdomyolysis are becoming increasingly common in athletes competing in and finishing ultradistance footraces. The percentage of runners who finish ultramarathon races and meet the biochemical criteria for hyponatremia currently ranges between zero and 53 percent, with most of these diagnoses confirmed in postrace screenings of race finishers who neither need nor seek medical care. Similarly, almost every runner finishing an ultramarathon will meet the biochemical criteria for rhabdomyolysis at postrace screenings and will not require medical attention. Although hyponatremia is a potentially deadly medical condition and rhabdomyolysis can lead to acute renal failure/kidney injury (ARF/AKI), less than 1 percent of all ultramarathon runners will require urgent medical treatment or hospitalization for either of these medical complications of endurance exercise (Hoffman and Stuempfle et al. 2013; Hoffman and Ingwerson et al. 2012).

    The Day Run

    Andy Milroy

    From sun to sun, it’s a unique challenge.

    “How far can a human run in the cycle of the sun?” was the slogan of one notable 24-hour event in the 1980s, which neatly encapsulated the essence of the event. The 24-hour race has a natural quality to it that is missing from any other ultra event. The race limits are not delineated by some artificial construct of the human mind, like hours or kilometers or miles. The day has been an integral part of the cycle of life for eons, affecting the existence of all living creatures and plants.

    Tales from the Rogue Valley Runners

    Holly Hight

    In the pit of night, a revelation.

    The stories I hear range from treks on the Camino de Santiago, a centuries-old pilgrimage route through Europe, to adventures on the Pacific Crest Trail extending from Mexico to Canada. Some are anticipating their first 5K while others are training for Badwater, a 135-mile ultramarathon from Death Valley to Mount Whitney, California.

    No one knows quite like a runner what it’s like to get out there on the road, track, or trail as a habit of thought and as a lifestyle. It’s an evolution, after all, one I see daily in the store where I work as I perform gait analyses and fit customers for shoes. I work at Rogue Valley Runners, a running

    Twenty-Six Point Two

    Doug Jordan

    The gun goes off, and so do you.
    The air is filled with cheers!
    Now begins adventure true,
    A memory for years.
    The first few miles you feel so grand –
    Did I go out too fast?
    More likely it’s the training planned,
    The payoff come at last.

    How Soon Can I Race Again?

    Jeff Horowitz

    A guide to calculating your marathon recovery time.

    It’s a question that comes up again and again among a certain kind of runner: how soon after finishing a marathon can I run another one?

    For most runners, finishing a single marathon is the main aim of the race season, whether the goal is simply to finish, to qualify for the Boston Marathon, or to set a PR. Indeed, many coaches say that a runner should aim to race a marathon only once or twice a year and no more than once each in the fall and spring seasons.

    This is good general advice, but like all generalities, the reality differs from runner to runner based on experience, physiology, and ambition. Some runners, like marathon champions Charlie Engle and Michael Wardian, find it possible to run high-quality marathons—with a finishing time under 2:30—on consecutive weekends, week after week, month after month. On occasion, these runners even race on consecutive days, as Wardian did when he raced in both the US Olympic Trials and the open category at the Houston Marathon in 2012.

    Ten Areas That Make or Break a Race

    Theresa Daus-Weber

    It isn’t rocket science, but they are essential.

    For 2013, Running USA lists 37,215 races—mostly road races and primarily 5K through marathon distances. Combine this number of races with the 285 ultraraces that ultramarathonrunning.com lists for 2013, and runners have nearly 37,500 race choices in a single year. That’s a lot of races and likely doesn’t include all of the approximately 90 100-mile races ranging from the new small-field White Mountain 100 in remote Alaska to the very challenging 18-year-old Barkley 100 in Tennessee that has yet to produce a women’s champion. Can anything so abundant provide high quality, too? Does the increased mass of race choices dilute the quality of racing events? Have longtime basic standards of race production been lost in the swarm of race options? This article identifies the 10 areas that make or break a race and that race organizations can use as a checklist to ensure that the essential elements of the race are adequately addressed. Runners can use these same 10 areas to evaluate a race when deciding whether they want to pay an entry fee.

    Book Bonus: Going Far

    Joe Henderson

    An opportunity for the perfect marathon. Part 7.

    26. The Avenue
    Weott, California, May 1972. Runners chase the perfect marathon while suspecting that like perfect love or perfect happiness, they’re unlikely ever to capture it. Maybe it’s this search for elusive perfection that drives us on.

    I ran my most perfect marathon yet at Avenue of the Giants, and it left me with decidedly mixed feelings: glad I did it but wondering what’s left now. This race offered both more and less than we had come to expect from marathons. Entrants here numbered in the dozens, not the hundreds or thousands. No bands played, no crowds lined the course, no media coverage appeared outside its immediate area and the publication that employed me. But this race gave more to look at than any other course I had seen. Runners who claimed that scenery didn’t matter, that they were too busy to notice, hadn’t seen the Avenue.

    Volume 17 | Number 4 | July/Aug 2013



    Rich Benyo


    Americans, or at least a fair portion of them, are a wanderlusted bunch, almost proving that the tendency to wander is sprinkled into the DNA. Among every tribe of people, from the First Nations folks who crossed into the Americas over the land bridge known as Beringia to the Vikings invading Greenland (back when it was still green) to the Pilgrims making landfall in the Northeast to my own paternal grandparents, both in their teens, leaving their families in Czechoslovakia in the early years of the 20th century, never to return to their native land, never again to see any of their family who had stayed behind, there are those willing to change locale, no matter the cost. Those who stayed behind—and that was most of them—were obviously born minus the wanderlust gene.

    Guest Editorial

    Beth Ann Blackwood

    The 12th Man Triumphs at the Boston Marathon Bombing

    I was smiling when the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon.

    I had flown in from Texas less prepared than I should have been for a 26.2-mile race, figuring that I would spend the last 10 miles in total agony. If it had been any other marathon, I would have stayed home, but this is Boston. It’s like being the lunchroom nerd who finally gets asked to sit at the cool kids’ table. I would crawl to the end if I had to.

    I’m not a fast marathoner. I’m speedy enough to qualify for Boston, but that’s only through the grace of the age-adjusted qualifying times. The elite runners have already had their victory ceremony, held a press conference, soaked in an ice bath, and phoned all their relatives back home by the time I cross the finish line. But you would never know it by the spectators at the Boston Marathon.

    On the Road with Kathrine Switzer

    Awakenings and Resolutions

    “No, it wasn’t a surprise to me. At all.”

    That was what I answered to the first question almost all the journalists asked in the immediate aftermath of the bombings that took place near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15. In fact, I wanted to add that this monster has been lurking in my mind for years, and now that it is out at last, we can talk about it.

    Mentioning it publicly before could have put the thought in some psychotic’s head. We’ve been awakened. Now perhaps we can find resolution.

    My Most Unforgettable Marathon

    Tanna Frederick

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, March 21, 2010 — OK, so we have all run a lot of marathons, or by a lot, I mean that I’ve run three and know many people who have run a lot more. But this story is not about running a specific number but about running one particular marathon that has created a special place in my memory. This story is about what makes us become a better runner, what makes us strive to excel, what drives us to wake at 5:00 a.m. to run three hours straight. This story is about Shia LaBeouf, the “Transformer Man.”

    The pronunciation of his name is something I don’t get right very often, as many people don’t get mine. Nonetheless, he inadvertently was a stalwart training companion for my training buddy, Ron Vignone, and me for eight months solid, without even knowing us or having ever met us. For those who steer clear of Hollywood, Shia played Louis Stevens in the Disney Channel’s Even Stevens, for which he won a Daytime Emmy. He also played Indiana Jones’s greaser son, Mutt Williams, in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). But he’s probably most famous for playing Sam Witwicky in the Transformer movies—you know, where cars turn into giant, scary metal monsters, some of them good and some of them not.

    Omaha Marathon

    A little something for everybody in Nebraska’s biggest city.

    The Omaha Marathon in Nebraska: are you running it in 2013? Are you thinking, Oh, Nebraska, isn’t that just cornfields, flat land, and farmers? Well, yes, Nebraska does have hardworking farmers, it has beautiful cornfields that grow green and tall in the summer and rustle in the fall winds as they dry in the sunshine, and it is flat in some areas. But Omaha has much more than that to offer the visitors to this vibrant city with a population of about 430,000.

    Omaha puts on an exciting marathon that runs through downtown and surrounding neighborhood streets. The Omaha Marathon website says there are many reasons to run a marathon. “When someone commits to such an event, there is a point where curiosity is converted to a conscious decision and a spark from the brain is carried down to the heart and maybe also to the pit of the stomach.

    Biofile: Hendrick Ramaala

    “Scoop” Malinowski

    Date of Birth: February 2, 1972, in GaMalepo, Pietersburg, South Africa

    First Running Memory: “Not a good memory. I remember being beaten by a senior lady at a race at home. Not a good thing but it happened. She was very old, actually, veteran, over 40. But it was my first three months of running, when I was 21. I jumped into a race and I got beat by, you call it a masters lady. I couldn’t take it [smiles].”

    Running Inspirations: “All the good champions of yesteryear. I’ve always admired the marathon runners. I started my running years at track, then cross-country, but I always knew it was going to end up in the marathon. I read about all the past greats, about everybody and their special qualities. I love all the people.”

    On the Trail with Meghan Hicks

    Our Sport’s People

    This life business, it’s just a big experiment, isn’t it? Beginning a new day is like examining a petri dish to see the new things growing out of what yesterday was. Add change to the very nature of that dish and its constituents happens so fast that keeping up with it all is perhaps life’s greatest challenge. If you don’t learn, adapt, and expand, you’ll be quickly left behind.

    I just completed my now near-annual pilgrimage to Morocco. This year I spent 3 1/2 weeks there, enjoying the company of friends, visiting a few new places, and running the 2013 Marathon des Sables, a seven-day, 150-mile stage race in the Sahara Desert. Each year I go to Morocco, I come home so changed. It’s as if the petri-dish evolution occurs at light speed while I’m there.

    On the Mark

    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions.

    This month’s question: The terrorist bombing at this year’s Boston Marathon is still vividly on the minds of all marathoners. Can each of you comment on what long-term effect you feel this atrocity will have on the sport and lifestyle of marathon-running?



    10 X 10 = 100

    Special Section Introduction

    This issue marks the 100th issue of Marathon & Beyond. Begun in 1997, the magazine is the evolution of a short-lived quarterly periodical from 1978-79 called The Marathoner, published by Runner’s World to take on the massive increases in material being generated on marathoning and ultrarunning during the first running boom that was inundating the monthly magazine and making its annual marathon special issue unwieldy.

    The Marathoner lasted a mere five issues before being killed off because it was linked on its profit/loss statement to a fortnightly tabloid called On the Run that hemorrhaged money at Runner’s World. Marathon & Beyond has, in a sense, run parallel to the second running boom, the one we are still in.

    We considered doing all sorts of special sections to celebrate 100 issues, most of it involving the history and evolution of the magazine. We considered picking one representative article from each of the magazine’s years of publication. But for readers who have been with us since the magazine’s early years, that would have been rather tedious because they have already read those articles. And besides, picking one article to represent an entire year was awfully restrictive.

    We also considered rating the top 100 in some category of marathoning or ultrarunning, but that sort of a listing quickly becomes . . . unwieldy. And it leaves a lot of space for arguments: how come such-and-such was ranked 67th when it obviously should have been 69th?
    So we decided to break the 100 down into 10 Top 10 lists and turned to a team of writers who we felt were experts in the respective areas. Our only instructions were to keep the pieces at roughly 2,000 words, since we wanted to leave some space for features that we usually carry in our July/August issue. Since the magazine’s first year, that issue has been dedicated to “summer reading” and “adventure running.”

    The 10 Most Important Marathons in History

    Hal Higdon

    Humans have been running, if not racing, long distances probably since before the beginning of recorded time. But more often this was for survival rather than for fun. “Pedestrianism” (walking rather than running) began to become popular midway through the 19th century. And at the end of that century, the name “marathon” became attached to races run over distances of about 25 miles, such as at the first Olympic Games in 1896. What are the 10 most important marathons in history? Consider the following list.

    The 10 Most Important Ultraraces in History

    Theresa Daus-Weber

    From the first record of an ultradistance run in 490 BC, when Pheidippides raced 250 kilometers (155 miles) to Sparta in two days to request Spartan aid against Persian invaders at Marathon, through today’s explosion of ultraraces, there are numerous contenders for the 10 most important ultraraces in history. Whether the list includes races where an individual such as Pheidippides set a mark in human performance or the ultrarace itself moved human performance forward, these are historically important events. Here are descriptions of important ultraraces that have expanded our understanding of human performance at ultradistances and have made a mark in history. These ultras are presented alphabetically by race title.

    The 10 Most Important Male Marathoners in History

    Roger Robinson

    Criteria: I chose not the fastest or the most famous but 10 who are “important” because they were transformative, creating positive change in the global marathon. That meant I had to omit my idol, Emil Zatopek, who brought his unique zest to the marathon but won only once. Haile Gebrselassie was another hard one, but historically, he was a very great time-trial marathoner. Unforgettable runners, both—but they did not transform the marathon into the race it is. The dates given with each runner refer to the years when each ran “historic” races.

    The 10 Most Important Female Marathoners in History

    Kathrine Switzer

    Editor’s note: Unlike our assignments to the other authors in this section, M&B
    gave author Kathrine Switzer the assignment to profile nine of the most important
    women marathoners. We wrote the 10th—naming Kathrine one of the 10.

    I focused on the word “important” in making this historically chronological list,
    because in the relatively new history of the women’s marathon, every woman
    here is a pioneer in opening the sport physically, culturally, socially, racially,
    nationally, and even politically. We are very much a work in progress. Other
    names deserve inclusion in a longer list; my difficult task was to choose nine.

    The 10 “Easiest” Marathons in North America

    Paula and Steve Boone

    Over the last 25 years, my husband, Steve, and I have run hundreds of marathons in all 50 states several times. The marathons have been in mountains, on flat courses, and in every possible weather condition. It may not make sense to folks who have never run a marathon to tell them that there are easy marathons. The nonrunners are probably more perceptive than those of us who do many marathons every year. A marathon is still 26.2 miles, and running that distance in and of itself is a difficult task.

    Running many marathons doesn’t make the task easier; it just makes us more prepared to run in any condition. Our ideas of easy marathons have also changed through the years. We both ran our PR (personal record) marathons in mountains. Our list does not include the huge marathons with tens of thousands of marathoners. Large marathons provide their own challenges because of the logistics to care for so many runners. We have found small marathons to be more personable and relaxing. The races we have chosen as “easy” are races that had the following criteria: easier to travel to, fairly easy courses, and friendly running conditions.

    My 10 Most Difficult Marathons

    Lois Berkowitz

    Choosing my 10 most difficult marathons required some heavy reflection. I first had to decide what makes a marathon hard. When it is scheduled may make it hard (time of year), weather can make it nasty, and of course the elevation can make it hard. A marathon run in your first running years may seem difficult, but in the light of 10 or more years, it seems like a walk in the park! Your attitude of the moment will make one marathon more difficult than others. How you feel that day, how you rested the night before, what your training was like, how you ate, your age, your experience, and your companions—all of these things may tip the balance to the winner, the most difficult race you’ve done.

    First, I went over my list of marathons, and without analyzing why, I chose races that I remembered as particularly hard and that stood out in my mind. The list wasn’t as long as I thought it might be. Second, I remembered what I could of the courses. When the list was over 10, I started to make comparisons. Would I do any of them again? Sure, why not? I made it once, didn’t I? Elevation didn’t seem to be a factor; road races didn’t usually make the list. Rocks, tree limbs, sinkholes, and other common trail elements often did. Here are the results.

    The 10 Most Important Ultrarunners in History

    John Medinger

    Any top 10 list is potentially controversial, which of course is part of the fun. This assignment was to come up with the 10 most important ultrarunners, not just the 10 with the fastest times or deepest resumes. So, in addition to performance excellence, we’ve added a difficult-to-define factor that measures their influence—the degree to which they have helped shape the sport of ultrarunning and the culture around it. I’m not even going to attempt to list them in order of importance—they are listed in more-or-less chronological order. Let the arguments begin!

    The 10 Most Important People in Marathon History

    Toni Reavis

    This list of the 10 most important people in marathon history is highly subjective, and there has been no attempt to rank them in the order of their importance in marathon history. Instead, I have aligned them in chronological order.

    The 10 Most Important Innovations in Marathon History

    Allan Steinfeld

    The marathon is now 26 miles, 385 yards, or 42.195 kilometers, but that was not always the case. At the first modern Olympics in 1896, it was 40 kilometers, or 24.85 miles. In 1908, it is rumored that the Prince of Wales wanted his children to watch the start of the marathon, so the starting point was moved to his castle and the now-standard distance was established.

    I’ve always wondered how they measured the course. Perhaps they used standard surveying equipment, which is not practical for the many marathons now run around the world.

    More than 40 years ago, Alan Jones made one of the most important innovations in marathon history. He created the Jones Counter, which measures accurately the length of a marathon course. The counter attaches to the front wheel of a bicycle and typically indicates 20 counts per revolution of the wheel. The bicycle is then “calibrated” against a known calibration course that has been measured using a steel tape. A marathon course can now be measured using simple mathematical ratios.

    The 10 Best Ultras for First-Timers

    Meghan Hicks

    So you want to run an ultramarathon, do you?

    You want to run 26.2 miles and then keep going? You want to taste blood, salt, vomit, or whatever else goes in or out of your mouth over the course of many hours of running? You want to blister your feet so that some toes might not be recognizable? You want to mutilate your quadriceps muscles to the point that you can’t travel up or down a set of stairs for days?
    Let me begin again.

    You wish to gallivant through gorgeous natural settings? You want to spend a day (and maybe a night and another day again) with like-minded and oft-quirky people? You want the experience of pushing your body beyond a previously set limit and discovering a new version of you?
    If so, you are not alone. Running an ultramarathon—defined as any run or race in excess of a marathon’s distance—is becoming a wickedly popular pastime. UltraRunning magazine, the long-standing print purveyor of race reports, schedules, and news from this niche sport, reports that 2008 saw 30,789 ultramarathon race finishes. And just four years later, in 2012, the magazine estimated that 60,000 ultra finishes happened. This massive increase in ultramarathoning popularity is evidence that the sport is growing rapidly, even as you read this. What I mean to say is that, if you would like to do something as loony as this kind of racing, you will have frequent company.

    And I also mean to say that this article is here to guide you through the muddy waters of the marathoning-to-ultramarathoning transition. In this article, I’ve enlisted the help of longtime ultrarunners, the sport’s elite, a couple of my ultrarunning friends, and my own experience to create a list of 10 fantastic, first-timer, ultradistance races from around the United States and Canada. In addition to naming names, we’ll tell you why we think each race is a good fit for an ultra-noob. You’ll find that, while most of these races are shorter ultras, there is a wide range of terrain type—from road ultras to races held on fairly techy terrain—to satisfy lots of different kinds of runners.

    Without further ado and in no order of preference, here we go!

    The Founding Father of Ultrarunning

    Rob Hadgraft

    How Arthur Newton became an accidental legend.

    Arthur Newton was a modest man, a quintessential Englishman born while Victoria was still on the throne. Diffident and self-effacing, he would never have contemplated that long after his death in 1959 he would be widely regarded as the founding father of modern ultrarunning.

    Newton took up the sport relatively late in life—he was almost 40 years old—and didn’t do so for competitive or leisure reasons but as a carefully planned publicity stunt. Having emigrated to South Africa in 1902, he became embroiled in a bitter dispute over land with the Union government and was desperate to draw public attention to his cause. Noticing that the new Comrades Marathon had gained wide coverage in the press—and had made a hero of a fellow farmer called Bill Rowan—Newton decided he would take part himself. It was the only way he could think of to get his name known!

    The Quiet Explosion in 24-Hour Running

    Dan Horvath

    When the term “one day” takes on an entirely different meaning.

    For most races, the goal is to determine who can run the fastest. This goes for all distances, including marathons and ultramarathons. For those of us in the middle of the pack, it may be more a question of How fast can I run? rather than Can I run faster than everyone else? Regardless of your prospects, the elementary nature of the event is still a race to see how fast everyone can get to the finish. In 24-hour and other fixed-time runs, the question changes entirely. The query becomes How far can I run?
    Happily, running events of nearly all distances are experiencing a great deal of growth in both the number of events and the number of participants. That growth applies to ultramarathons as well. UltraRunning Magazine reports that the number of runners who finished ultramarathon races increased to 52,000 in 2011. This represents an increase of 12 percent more than 2010 and triple the number of finishers of 2001. There are, unfortunately, no known statistics regarding the number of these finishers that participated in a fixed-time ultramarathon.

    The 2010 Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon

    Heather Howells

    250 kilometers of desert adventure.

    Multiday journey-type ultramarathons have always fascinated me. We’ve all heard of the Marathon des Sables through the Sahara Desert. I picked a different part of Africa for my first experience with multiday racing. My adventure began on the 12th of October 2010 with an extreme travelthon from Hawaii to South Africa, eventually arriving in Johannesburg 36 hours later, followed by a 10-hour bus ride to Augrabies through a thirsty-looking landscape. All in all, a 46-hour journey just to get to the start of my 250K ultra, and the games hadn’t even begun!

    How could a woman who didn’t start running until she was 40 end up here? It started, as these things do, with one fateful step: I wanted to get fit, and I started running short distances because I could easily squeeze them in between my hectic duties as a registered nurse and my responsibilities at home. It was that progressive thing: I thought four miles was a long way to run but was persuaded to run an eight-mile race, and that led inexorably to a half-marathon and then a marathon roughly a year after I started running. I next set my sights on the Comrades Marathon because I had grown up in South Africa, Comrades was an institution of sorts, and my father had run it three times.

    Book Bonus: Going Far

    Joe Henderson

    “. . . A few older women out for a lark.”—Dr. Nell Jackson. Part 6.

    16. The women.
    San Francisco, California, December 1970. Who lines up on which side of an argument can be confusing. I saw this at the National AAU convention when the debaters seemed to have joined the wrong teams. The men’s long-distance running committee, chaired by Browning Ross, was nearly unanimous in its praise and support of the women joining men in road races. The women’s track and field committee, headed by Nell Jackson, was nearly as unanimous in its opposition to “integrated” racing and to females running marathons.

    Give Dr. Jackson credit. At this convention she appeared before the long-distance committeemen to field often-hostile questions and charges on this subject. In essence, she said: I’ll have none of it. And she had the power to keep the women from having full access to long races. “We’ve approved 10 miles,” she said, “but we’ve never been submitted [requests for] anything longer. I wouldn’t give permission to run a marathon. It’s not in the best interest of the national program. I’m very concerned about the effects of these long distances on females.”

    Volume 17 | Number 3 | May/June 2013



    Rich Benyo


    Demographically, the long-distance runner is well educated, well read, motivated, healthy, wealthy, and wise.
    • Some of them still attach the instruction half of the D-chip to their shoe before a marathon while throwing away the business half of said chip.
    • Having heard of the dangers of hyponatremia, many of them slog through the prerace expo carrying a gallon jug of water and want more at the start of the race and guarantee that they will have even more by running with a CamelBak strapped to their back in spite of having aid stations every two miles.
    • Some of them make their airline and hotel reservations before signing up for a race and are seemingly genuinely surprised when the race sells out and there are no spots left for them, and so forth.

    On the Road with Kathrine Switzer

    Running Making the World

    Millions of people sat riveted in front of their television screens on February 26 for one of the most important documentaries of our time, a history of the women’s movement called Makers: Women Who Make America.* Amazingly enough, it was also an event that takes running to an even larger stage.

    For three prime-time, uninterrupted hours on PBS, the history and impact of the women’s movement was traced through archival news footage and interviews with dozens of famous and not-so-famous women, including Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Oprah Winfrey, and Barbara Burns (a pioneer woman coal miner). Interestingly, the show did not open on protest marches for equal pay or women’s right to choose . . . it opened on running.

    My Most Unforgettable Marathons

    Lois Berkowitz

    RIVERVIEW, MICHIGAN, January 2, 2013 — When do you have a learning experience? I have been running for 34 years; regarding running, I have been learning for 34 years. Twenty-two of those 34 years have been marathoning years. Each time I go through the process of choosing, signing up, traveling, running, and crossing the finish line, I find out something about myself that I didn’t know before. When people find out you run marathons, the favorite question you get is: “So which is your favorite?” Although I admit to mentioning my two home races, the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon and the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon, the years keep adding to my favorites. The scenery and challenges are new each race. I have been through all 50 states, all Canadian provinces and territories, and a couple of foreign countries. Choosing a favorite is probably similar to choosing your favorite child. So this article is a compendium of “most unforgettables” and covers a few major learning experiences from them.

    Top of Utah Marathon

    A fast and beautiful run through the mountains of Utah.

    For the past 14 years, the NordicTrack Top of Utah Marathon (TOU) in Logan, Utah, has been a popular destination for thousands of runners looking for a fast, scenic, and well-run marathon in which to set a PR, qualify for Boston, or finish for the first time. The near-flawless execution of this event together with the stunning beauty of Utah continues to draw increasing numbers of marathoners year after year.

    Biofile: Alessandra Aguilar

    “Scoop” Malinowski

    Date of Birth: July 1, 1978, in Lugo, Spain.

    First Running Memory: “I was very little, and I run behind my father. I was 3 years old and very little. I was running in my town in Spain in Lugo, and it was a race for very little children, and I know that my father run with me, and I was running behind him.”

    Running Inspirations: “Enjoying running. My athlete who inspires me—Chema Martinez. That is a partner of mine. He’s a European medalist. And I think he trained very hard, he takes care of things for me, he’s a simple person to follow. He’s a person who knows how to take care of yourself, to rest, to be strict and disciplined—and you can achieve things.”

    On the Trail with Meghan Hicks

    The Wins and Losses 
of Trail Running

    Here it is, spring again. Again! Already?
    Does anyone else besides me become unnerved by the earth’s annual too-swift revolution around the sun? Does anyone else believe that, despite laws of physics arguing otherwise, this revolution must speed up with each lap? And does anyone else feel like running around the neighborhood and stuffing the leaf buds and tulip shoots back in their respective holes to slow the passage of time and season?

    On the Mark

    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions.

    This month’s question: Hydration? On a recent bus ride to the start of a marathon, I was somewhat appalled by the amount of food a fair number of the runners were eating within an hour of the race start. It included everything from PBJ sandwiches to bagel and cream cheese, from beef jerky to two huge jelly-filled doughnuts. Wouldn’t eating that kind of crap that soon before a race divert much-needed oxygen-carrying blood from the working muscles to the gut to help process it? I would also worry about throwing up within the first mile or two. What’s your take on this? – Virginia Styles, via e-mail



    Returning to the 

    Paul Gentry

    A revival of made-in-America marathon finisher medals.

    For the past many years, most of the medals awarded to marathon finishers have been manufactured overseas, usually in China. Recently, there has been a trend to bring some of the manufacturing back to the United States. In this article, we look at some U.S.-made medals, some of which made it into this year’s top 25. –Editor

    It wasn’t a typical October day for Chris Nicholas in Portland, Maine, as he prepared for his morning run. His goal was to finish in Portland, but not on the East Coast; instead, he wanted to finish in Portland, Oregon—three time zones away! Surely his thoughts must have been, What was I thinking? Once is crazy enough, but twice! Five months later, his trip ended in Balmorhea, Texas, due to a knee injury during his attempt to reach the Pacific Ocean two times in one year. He exceeded the East-to-West-Coast driving distance by 1,000 miles. Not even Forrest Gump could have achieved that! No act of God (Hurricane Sandy hitting New York City just as he arrived) nor human frailty (his left knee at the 1,000-mile mark) would stop “never-say-die Nicholas,” who simply jumped on a bicycle to continue his journey another 3,000 miles.

    Something Old, Something New

    Cara McLaurin Esau

    The top 25 marathon finisher medals of 2012.

    The best marathon medals of 2012 not only spanned the continent but also spanned the history of North American marathoning. One of the oldest marathons in the country, the Atlantic City Marathon, proved to be a winner, tying with Tacoma City and Wisconsin for 25th place among favorite medals. The third-oldest continuing marathon in the United States, Atlantic City just completed its 54th consecutive year. Atlantic City is known for its changes of scenery: city, small towns, boardwalk, and beach. The course begins on Atlantic City’s historic boardwalk and offers runners a complete tour of Absecon Island (Atlantic City, Ventnor City, Margate, and Longport). Each town on the island has its own personality and unique features. Margate and Longport are sleepy beach communities, and runners pass quaint restaurants and shops as they race along the bay.

    Fastest Marathons

    Peter Harvey

    Based on a six-year average using winning times.

    Every year, big-city marathons such as New York, Boston, London, and Berlin are won in fast times. For example, four men’s world records have been set in Berlin in the last 10 years. However, that marathon has not always attracted the very top runners; the male winner clocked 2:47:08 in 1975. The winning times from year to year can be used to determine which marathons are consistently won in the fastest times. This study will do just that and go further to reveal how fast or slow the major marathons of the world have been won in throughout the last three decades. The women’s version of this study will be featured in a later edition of M&B.

    Applying Mental Preparation to the Marathon

    David R. Asp, EDD

    Performance beyond the physical.

    Being an endurance athlete and psychologist with a specialization in sports performance, I read with interest Nathan Ritz’s article “The Effects of Mental Preparation for Distance Runners (Marathon & Beyond, March/April 2012). As Ritz pointed out, too often, the mental aspects of sports performance are overlooked by athletes and coaches, and yet their role in event preparation and performance is paramount. I commend Mr. Ritz for a well-written and research-based article.

    Running a Marathon in the Black Forest

    James L. Doti

    A unique experience.

    A visit to the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, was high on my bucket list. Since I would be in Europe to officiate at a Chapman University MBA graduation ceremony at our Prague campus, I figured it would be only a short trip from Prague to Stuttgart to finally get to see the new museum complex that all my Porsche buddies have been raving about.
    Looking at a map to confirm Stuttgart’s location, I noticed the town of Baden-Baden in close proximity. Bingo! Another bucket-list entry. A number of years ago, a friend told me that Baden-Baden is one of the prettiest places in the world. He waxed eloquent as he described running along a footpath bordered by a gurgling stream on one side and a dazzling display of towering trees and wildflowers on the other. His description evoked images of the Garden of Eden.

    Reading Interests

    Marty Williams

    How popular are the words we use frequently?

    No doubt you’ve noticed that many destination running events these days (such as your-favorite-city Marathon) offer several races of different distances. For instance, the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in Champaign-Urbana offers not only a marathon but also a marathon relay, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, and a youth run. By offering several race distances at such an event, the appeal is broadened and more folks run.
    In recent years I’ve noticed a couple of interesting observations about these destination-running events. One is that peculiar question I’m asked about an upcoming marathon: “So are you running the full or the half?” Excuse me? Did I not say I was running the marathon? To avoid confusion when talking to nonrunners, I sometimes find myself taking a proactive stance and say I’m running the full marathon. Don’t get me wrong, I like the half-marathon distance—a lot. But if people say they’re running a marathon, how can there be any confusion that they are running a half-marathon?

    Echoes at Sunrise

    Malcolm D. Gibson

    How a midnight marathon cast my father in a new light.

    I didn’t cry when my father died. He was a kind man but a mean drunk, and I judged him only by his limitations—that is, until my limitations as a distance runner cast him in a new light.
    It happened at 5:00 a.m. on a two-lane blacktop during the Texas Independence Relay: eight runners, 200 miles, 33 hours straight, retracing the 1836 route of the Mexican army between victory at the Alamo and defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto. From Gonzales, population 350, to Houston, population 3.5 million, the race is a running tour of rural Texas, through farming towns like those where my dad grew up.
    After three daylight 10Ks with no sleep, I navigated my fourth rotation by the light of a headlamp. Farmhouses with sleeping families floated by like ghosts in the predawn chill. As boundaries of time and space merged in the darkness, I felt closer to my father’s world than ever before. I imagined him as a boy on one of those farms, before life took its toll.

    Bumps on the Road to Kona

    Cathy Tibbetts

    The best-laid plans sometimes unravel.

    It’s race week at the 2012 Hawaii Ironman World Championships, where 1,900 Greek statues have sprung to life. The triathlon world’s best of the best are in Kailua Kona, on the Big Island, Hawaii, for the annual 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run. About 110,000 athletes participated in the 2012 qualifying series, and these are the ones who made the cut.
    Fit and tanned, they’re performing their last-minute bike checks on the Queen K Highway, running by Ali’i Drive coffee shops, and swimming with the tropical fish in crystal-blue water in Kailua Bay.
    They have put in weekly averages of seven miles of swimming, 48 miles of running, and 225 miles of biking. They have peaked and tapered. They represent all 50 states and 64 countries and range from 19 to 82 years of age. They have gear that mere mortals can’t buy until 2013 and know how to execute flawless races—or so it appears.

    Running with Partners

    Steve and Meg Paske

    Sometimes you need to slow down to run better.

    Perhaps you have been there. You know, you met a girl, find out she is a runner, and so the two of you line up a running date. At first glance, it seems like such a logical and safe second- or third-date activity. But then the day comes. You arrive at the preordained park, and as you pull into the lot you can’t help but notice that she is engaged in a stretch that looks as ridiculous as anything you have ever seen—until you start running, that is.
    That is when you discover that this so-called runner, the woman who professed her undying love for the sport, has not laced up a pair of shoes in weeks. Then to add insult to injury, as you plod along at 14-minute miles, she admits that she actually is just a beginner. You have been churning out sub-seven-minute miles with regularity. Based on this girl’s physique and banter, you figured she would be up for the challenge. And so by the end of the date you are so irritated that your workout got messed up that you vow never to speak to the woman again.

    Book Bonus: Going Far

    Joe Henderson

    It all goes back to a certain Kiwi coach named Arthur. Part 5.

    16. The salesman.
    Sunnyvale, California, June 1970. You might never have had an in-person coach, but you aren’t self-coached. You’re the product of all instruction and inspiration received, regardless of how remote the source.
    I’ve never been without a coach. From my start, coaches had come from afar to instruct and inspire me with their own writings and from reports about them. In order of arrival in my Iowa mailboxes, the coaching lineup was: Franz Stampfl from Austria and England, Fred Wilt from Indiana, Percy Cerutty from Australia, Arthur Newton from South Africa and England, Arthur Lydiard from New Zealand, Ernst van Aaken from Germany, Mihaly Igloi from Hungary and California, and Bill Bowerman from Oregon.
    They all traveled great distances to help me and had no idea at the time who I was or how much they had helped. Only later did I get to tell most of them how far their influence had spread. My first meeting with any of these coaches came 10 years after his words had first reached me and a hemisphere away from where he had written them.
    Arthur Lydiard was no taller than I, so we could look each other straight in the eyes. But his persona was so outsized that he would always remain bigger than life to me. Lydiard had revolutionized running training, knew it, and didn’t hesitate to take credit.

    Volume 17 | Number 2 | March/April 2013



    Rich Benyo


    Because magazines like this have long “lead times,” I’m writing this editorial for the March/April issue four days before the world comes to an end, at least according to the folks who gave us Y2K and other such travesties of the predictive arts. (Obviously, “arts” is more appropriate than “sciences.”) I want to get this into the M&B archives so it’s there for whatever subsequent species comes along to take our place out of the ruins of a world many think we’ve disappointed, or, for the more radical, raped. I hope that it will provide a little insight into the Year in Marathoning 2012, which was a more-interesting-than-usual year from several perspectives, perhaps because it will be the last year we get to do this.

    On the Road with Kathrine Switzer

    New York, New York: The Perfect Storm

    Friday, November 2, 2012: 6:00 p.m.
    “It truly felt like a punch in the guts,” said Hamish French, owner of the Shoe Clinic chain of running stores in New Zealand. “I was checking into my hotel when I heard that the New York City Marathon had just been canceled. I’d spent several thousand dollars on the trip from New Zealand, raised $14,532 for charity, and sacrificed hours from work and family to train. I knew I was going to run well, and now I was not going to run at all. I sympathize with the storm victims, but you wonder why they waited to tell us. Maybe I’m a tad bitter, but perhaps they wanted to make sure that the city wouldn’t miss out on the revenue. I felt devastated, and I feel I owe my sponsors a marathon.”

    “As soon as I arrived in town, two days ago, I knew this marathon should not take place, and I had decided not to run in solidarity for the storm victims. I am so glad it was canceled,” said Gabby Foyle from England. “I think all the entry fees should be given to assist storm victims, and I’m heading out to Staten Island to help out.”

    My Most Unforgettable Not-Quite Marathon

    Mark Kristula

    2012 American River 50 Miler

    Sacramento, California, April 7, 2012-I can’t say that I fell naturally into trail running, though I’ve certainly fallen a lot—an awful lot, to be honest. If anything, I got dragged onto the trails by my friends in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park, and I’ve been tumbling along ever since.
    Indeed, after six years of scaling the park’s mountainside trails, I have mastered the art of crashing to the ground fully outstretched like Superman, only to spring back to my feet and keep running, my palms scraped raw to the bone, blood slowly oozing down both knees toward my dirt-encrusted, never-going-to-be-white-again socks.
    Still, in terms of racing, with 19 marathons, innumerable halfs, and a plethora of shorter distance races, I was most assuredly a road baby—always was, always would be. Oh, there was no denying the benefits of hill training for marathons. It definitely helped me qualify for my first Boston in 10 years. But racing on trail—let alone completing a 50-miler—was always simply beyond my self-imposed limited abilities. Or so I used to think.

    Hatfield-McCoy Marathon

    No feudin’, just runnin’.

    Looking to be treated like family? Are you a history buff? Like marathons with no time limits? Want the flexibility to count the marathon for either West Virginia or Kentucky for your 50-state quest? Lookin’ for a little fun and feudin’? Then the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon is the perfect marathon for you!
    The race begins in Goody, Kentucky, on the parking lot of Food City Food Stores. It is a scenic course that runs on roads that follow creeks and rivers. The finish line for the half-marathon ends in historic Matewan, West Virginia, and the marathon ends in Williamson, West Virginia. Runners from all across the United States and the world participate in this fast-growing marathon, which is rapidly getting a reputation as one of the most hospitable marathons.

    Biofile: Alberto Salazar

    “Scoop” Malinowski

    Date of Birth: August 7, 1958, in Cuba.

    First Running Memory: “I would say winning junior high school field day 600 meters. First big race I ever won [smiles].”

    Running Inspirations: “One was Steve Prefontaine . . . Dave Bedford from England . . . and Ron Clarke from Australia.”

    On the Trail with Meghan Hicks

    Predator, Prey, and Everything in Between

    Snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, and downhill skiing, you play the sports of winter. You say to your adventure companions after a rollicking lap on the groomed Nordic track, “Yes, this is the perfect day!” Spin class, Pilates, and intervals on the elliptical trainer, in and on them you think, Cross training makes me feel great. You have embraced winter, welcomed the off-season.
    Kind of. You still sneak onto the snowshoe trails for an outing in trail-running shoes and Kahtoola MICROspikes, and you think, Pretty much like trail running, right? Feeling a little nostalgic as you ride the chairlift, you say to your buddies, “That trail we loved last August? I think it’s right down there, under the snow!” You get home from Nordic skiing, and you slap on the shoes for a cool-down run around the neighborhood, even though you’re already cooled down and there’s death ice on the sidewalks.

    On the Mark

    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions.

    This month’s question: Hydration? I read Tim Noakes’s Waterlogged, and he makes an excellent case against overhydration among marathoners. Yet at marathon expos, I still see runners walking around with water jugs large enough to support a walk across the Sahara during the middle of summer. How can marathon race directors save runners from themselves when it comes to overdrinking? Would it be wise to cut down on the number of water/aid stations along a marathon course? Would it help for race directors to send out communications to their entrants to discourage overhydration? Is there a solution other than sending them each a copy of Noakes’s book, which they probably wouldn’t read anyway? – Sam Hefferling, via e-mail



    A Farewell to Guy Morse

    The man who played a huge role in saving the Boston Marathon moves on.

    Guy Morse spent 28 years—beginning in December 1984—with the B.A.A. and left the organization at the end of 2012, leaving it much better off than when he started. His accomplishments are many and have been documented such that a generation from now the organization and the city of Boston will look upon the growth under his tenure and will be able to put the era in perspective.
    Though the B.A.A. marked its 125th anniversary in 2012, Morse started as its first employee when the club recognized the need to move the marathon to a professionally run organization. The marathon was growing and change was imminent; otherwise the event would be left behind, surpassed by progressive and more appealing approaches.

    Boston Femme

    Paul Clerici

    The women who broke the Boston barrier.

    “Marathons may be conducted with the approval of the National Chairman.”
    With that single line on page 80 of the 1971-1972 Addendum to the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Handbook under Track and Field Rule Changes—Women, the crack began to open slightly. After years of knocking on the governing body’s door, the National AAU Women’s Track and Field Committee finally adopted this language, which allowed women to officially compete in road distances longer than 10K and 10 miles. Soon that door would no longer be on its hinges.
    The initial “approval” did come with some caveats, however, as women were instructed by the committee chairwoman, Patricia “Pat” Rico, to start 10 minutes before the men and not on the same start line. But when 240 men lined up for the 1971 New York City Marathon and for the first time were joined by official female entrants, they found five women who had waited those 10 minutes in order to start in one unifying race. Seven months later at the 1972 Boston, a larger mix of veterans and rookies toed the line in Patricia Barrett, Sara Mae Berman, Ginny Collins, Nina Kuscsik, Frances Morrison, Elaine Pedersen (Koverman), Valerie Rogosheske, and Kathrine Switzer (sometimes reported as Kathy Miller, as she was then married to Tom Miller).

    Monumental Boston

    Paul Clerici

    The monuments to Boston are scattered far and wide.

    The Boston Marathon has earned its majestic stature since its birth in 1897. In recognition of its historic impact on the sport of running, its participants, and the many lives it has touched, the race has been honored with numerous monuments and memorials.
    Dave McGillivray recognizes the importance of such honors not only as the race director of Boston but also as an athlete who has run it since 1973.
    “This race is so much about the history and tradition . . . and you begin to marvel at the fact that you are running on the same hallowed ground as all these iconic runners once did,” McGillivray said. “Nothing else like it in the world.”

    In Defense of Low Mileage

    Kirk Flatow

    Boston on less than 40 miles per week.

    I was within days of lining up for the start of the Rock ’n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, and the latest issue of Marathon & Beyond arrived. Hidden in the back of the magazine was a column that would ignite panic. A runner’s query about how to improve his marathon time elicited a unanimous response from a professional forum: more volume! “Increase your mileage,” “the number of miles you run each week is the most important part of your training,” “your first step is to add more volume,” and my favorite piece of advice:
    “You can’t expect to approach your marathon 
potential on 50 miles per week!”
    I had an uncanny sense of my sixth-grade teacher, Miss Rumple (that really was her name), looking down on me, shaking her head, and lecturing me on my untapped potential while I mumbled something about how it was not my fault.
    My 43 miles per week, the highest volume I had ever averaged for a marathon, seemed meager. More than that, I was committing the ultimate sin of not pursuing my potential. That’s un-American. What was wrong with me? I had 10 days until I toed the line in Arizona. Could I fit in a couple of 20-milers, maybe log 70 miles this week?

    Beating the Heat in Boston

    James L. Doti

    Sometimes it’s best to throw in the towel.

    Weather reports weren’t looking good. Forecasts called for the temperature to hit almost 90 degrees in Boston on Patriots’ Day 2012, just in time for the 116th running of the Boston Marathon. This was not a welcome forecast for the nearly 27,000 runners expected to race. It was particularly bad news for me. To say the least, I don’t run well when it’s hot.
    In the 2005 Boston Marathon, when temperatures hit only 66 degrees, I struggled mightily. My slow time of 4:48 at that race put me in danger of missing my afternoon flight. As a result, I ran through the finish line eating no food and drinking no water so I could get to my hotel ASAP to pick up my luggage, catch a cab, and make my flight. When I arrived at the security line at Logan Airport, I suddenly felt faint. Next thing I knew, I was in a wheelchair, and a stranger was holding a Gatorade bottle to my lips. It was all somewhat disconcerting, especially since I’d never fainted before. On the positive side, I was whisked through the security line and caught my scheduled flight.

    Jay Aldous, Ultrarunner

    Michael Lebowitz

    In his own words.

    Jay Aldous, 51, is that remarkable athlete who is much more successful at 50 than he was at 20. He first ran Western States as an 18-year-old, and three years later he ran the Wasatch Front 100 in 32:09. Twenty-six years later, as a 48-year-old, he ran Wasatch Front in 22:03:40. There are very few athletes—Meghan Arbogast comes to mind—whose performances are remarkably better 25 years after they began, who have two careers, if you will, the second installment of which far exceeds the first.
    I met Jay Aldous at the start of the Salt Flats 100-Mile Endurance Run 2012. That is to say that I had heard about him during the days leading up to the race, that I had read that he had set several sparkling 50-plus age-group ultradistance records the previous fall (Javelina Jundred in 15:20:56 and Desert Solstice in 13:52:29, a world’s-best performance), and that he intended to run this course in under 15 hours. From the start, he took the lead. At 10 miles, there was no one in sight behind him. And so it was for the entire race. He finished in 15:04:45, due primarily to the Bonneville Speedway’s flat 3.5-mile dead-straight finish into a gusting head wind of up to 30 mph. His first words were, “Damn, 15:04, the wind, I guess.” This struck me as the essence of an elite long-distance runner: focus, strength of purpose, and an acknowledgement of both victory and future effort in one sentence. He packed up and headed home.

    The Good Book

    Tim Chamberlain

    And the scribe who wrote it.

    In 1962, a sports book with the simple title Run to the Top began to appear in the window displays of New Zealand bookstores. Its publication immediately generated excitement in local athletics circles, and its influence soon began to spread worldwide like concentric ripples from a pebble tossed into a pond. It also helped unleash a revolution in fitness training for everyone from the jogger to the elite athlete.
    As the 50-year anniversary of the book’s first publication passed by unnoticed in New Zealand, it is opportune now to examine the impact and legacy of a book whose surviving coauthor reports as having sold more than a million copies globally. If that is correct—and there is a reason why sales figures are only approximate—it would place Run to the Top on the top shelf of New Zealand’s best-selling nonfiction titles. The book helped launch not only countless athletics careers but a stack of other running books, including probably the best known, the American James F. Fixx’s The Complete Book of Running.

    Ironman by Way of Lottery

    Cathy Tibbetts

    Sometimes the most interesting stories come from those who get in by chance.

    Every October the world’s top triathletes gather on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to determine who is the fastest when it comes to swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles. By the time they line up at the Kailua pier for the mass swim start, they have averaged 18 to 30 hours of training each week: seven miles of swimming, 225 miles of biking, and 48 miles of running.
    Held in the small town of Kailua-Kona on the big island of Hawaii, the Hawaii Ironman World Championships is the most-storied race in the triathlon world. If the distance weren’t challenging enough, race-day conditions typically include temperatures in the 90s, high humidity, and 60 mph crosswind gusts on the bike course.
    There is no shortage of competitors wanting in. Those winning a coveted slot represent the most talented 1 to 2 percent of triathletes, who have to be top finishers in their age divisions at another qualifying Ironman event. The 1,800 starters are the best of the approximately 110,000 competitors taking part in qualifying races around the world—except for a lucky few who are drawn in the annual Ironman lottery.

    Renaissance Running

    Jeff Knapp

    When Florence calls, runners answer.

    When you make up your destination marathon bucket list, Florence should be right near the top.
    Set in the heart of Italy’s Tuscany region, the flat and fast Florence (Firenze) Marathon is set against a backdrop of art, history, and beauty that few other courses can match.

    Book Bonus: Going Far

    Joe Henderson

    A little booklet on long, slow distance set off a debate. Part 4.

    12. The book.
    Los Altos Hills, California, August 1969. Journalists stay out of the stories, but authors are their story. Until this summer I’d been a reporter, largely invisible in the stories and with no obvious opinions. Suddenly, I became a promoter of my ways and views of running. I became a player in the stories, not just a byline at the top. I became an author.
    An article on Bob Deines for Track & Field News spawned another for Distance Running News, titled “The Humane Way to Train” (a typo made it “Human”). It traced the roots and rationale of long, slow distance. LSD, a term I used for the first time there, wasn’t my coinage. Browning Ross introduced me to it in his magazine, Long Distance Log. The practice of long, slow distance wasn’t my invention either. I borrowed and blended ideas that Arthur Newton, Arthur Lydiard, Ernst van Aaken, and Bill Bowerman had already promoted.
    These two articles drew a few letters, asking to hear more. They caught the eye of T&FN publisher Bert Nelson. He called me into his office and asked, “Could you flesh out your ideas enough to fill a book?” I would, and could, and did.
    I wrote at home, nights and weekends—quickly, banging out the manuscript (on a small portable typewriter that danced across the kitchen counter as I composed) in less than a month. T&FN’s books back then were typically short, few of them reaching 100 pages. Mine was pegged at 64. To fill that modest quota, book editor Ed Fox needed to use large type, many photos, and much white space.
    I couldn’t really call this a book. LSD: The Humane Way to Train was a booklet, even a pamphlet, in size. But it would lay a foundation for much of what, and how, I’d write for a long time to come. I also would need to defend what I’d written about LSD—often to people who had never read the original.
    (That book is now available for e-readers through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.)

    Volume 17 | Number 1 | January/February 2013



    Rich Benyo


    No, this has nothing to do with the housing market. It has to do with something that will float your boat and qualify in the “much more strange” category. It involves the first-ever “underwater marathon,” and we’re not talking submarine races of our teen years.

    On September 9 of last year in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the First-Ever HydroWorx Underwater Marathon was held.

    Guest Editorial

    Jeff Knapp

    Up and Down and Up at the NYC Marathon

    For the first time in its 43-year history, the New York City Marathon was canceled.

    Each year the marathon is the biggest thing to hit the city. This year something much, much bigger hit—Hurricane Sandy. A storm as big as the state of Texas mauled the greater metro area like never before. It caused devastation so great that it was too much to comprehend at first.

    In the United States, Sandy affected at least 24 states from Florida to Maine. It was felt as far west as Michigan and Wisconsin. Its storm surge hit New York City on October 29, flooding streets, tunnels, and subways. Downed power lines caused a six-alarm fire that scorched through Breezy Point in Queens. Because of the flooding, the NYC Fire Department couldn’t reach the remote area. The result was a loss of 111 homes, with 20 more damaged.

    On the Road with Kathrine Switzer

    A Tale of Two Cities and Two Lovers

    It was overheard in the pubs, the coffeehouses, the crowded tube, the jammed stadium, and most of all in the streets, where we were crushed body to body, six deep against the barriers to cheer on all the athletes, not just our athletes: “Gee, if we total strangers can be so friendly now, why can’t the world do it all the time?” It wasn’t a naïve or rhetorical question; people in London for the Olympic Games were in genuine wonder of the universal happiness.

    It does make you pause and think: for 1,000 years, the Greeks suspended war during the Olympics. So if you can suspend war for the Olympics, why can’t you suspend war all the time? As if to emphasize this tragically obvious point, one of the finest moments of the closing ceremonies of the Games was a full-screen film clip of John Lennon singing “Imagine.” I’m not the only one who absorbed the message more than ever.

    My Most Unforgettable Not-Quite Marathon

    Matt Judge

    2008 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

    My journey back to the starting line of road racing began with a different sport, atop an icy summit. It was me and the guys, February 2007. The howling wind bit into our skin, and as the sun moved lower on the horizon, conditions were treacherous.

    But those of us who love extreme winter sports shrug off cold and danger.
    This particular X-sport is similar to luge but more dangerous. Athletes go headfirst on an uneven surface, complete with obstacles and unpredictable degrees of drop. There are no helmets, no brakes, almost no steering. It’s raw human effort versus the deadly elements of nature.

    It’s called sledding.

    Tacoma City Marathon

    A northwest touch of class.

    For those of you who have flown to Seattle, did you happen to notice that you landed at Sea-Tac airport? Yes, the Tac part of Sea-Tac is Tacoma, the smaller half of the Seattle metropolitan area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Tacoma is classified as part of the greater Seattle area. Tacoma residents might balk at that designation, holding on to a rich tradition of blue-collar labor and a decidedly urban flavor.

    It is this determination to keep its own identity that has led to the revitalization of Tacoma’s downtown area into a thriving business and classy arts district. In this historic and eye-catching district, the Tacoma City Marathon (TCM) stages its finish line.

    This year will mark the seventh running of this picturesque marathon. Washington is generally considered a running state. Case in point: nearly one-sixth of the Marathon Maniacs running club lives within driving distance of Tacoma. Who wouldn’t want to run along the Puget Sound waterfront, amid the history and beauty of Point Defiance Park or the energy of the downtown district? And let’s not forget the spectacular half-mile jaunt across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

    Biofile: Kim Smith

    “Scoop” Malinowski

    Date of Birth: November 19, 1981, in Papakura, New Zealand.

    First Running Memory: “Just running at school, cross-country races. I won.”

    Running Inspirations: “New Zealand has a pretty good history of distance runners in the past, women like Lorraine Moller. She won a bronze medal at the Olympics. And Allison Roe won the New York Marathon one year. I guess they would be inspirations. When you see a woman like Deena Kastor get a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics, she would be someone I look up to.”

    On the Trail with Meghan Hicks

    Musings for a Winter Season

    It is winter. Our running routes are icy and snowpacked. We don multiple layers and stocking caps. We have again become the queens and kings of reflective piping and blinky lights on dark-thirty runs. In the deep
    cold, our long-standing niggles niggle more than usual.
    If you live somewhere where winter doesn’t produce climactic extremes, the season still happens in some form or fashion. You wear Capri-length tights instead of shorts or a long-sleeve shirt instead of no shirt. Short days still yield dark runs.

    On the Mark

    Experts answer readers’ training and competition questions.

    This month’s question: No Such Thing as a Silly Question. I get some pretty weird questions about my running. Can you survey your experts to have them tell us the silliest questions about running they have ever fielded? – Sean Ridge, via e-mail



    The Rise of AIMS

    Richard Benyo

    Running visionaries attempted to herd the cats.

    Most forms of sport are contested in a tightly controlled field of play: soccer, football, tennis, wrestling, track and field, basketball. Baseball is a hybrid: a strict 90 feet between the bases within the diamond but an arbitrary distance to the outfield fences. Then there is the other extreme: road and trail running, from cross-country through the marathon and out beyond to the ultra, over hill and dale, down country or city streets, off into the country’s tallest peaks and its deepest valleys.

    Although the marathon in 2010 celebrated its 2,500th anniversary, and although cross-country and ultrarunning (on roads, trails, and closed courses) have been around for well over a century, big-time road racing is relatively new. Yes, there have for well over a century been road races, but they have primarily been smaller club-type races. Even the esteemed Boston Marathon fielded fewer than 1,000 runners until the late 1960s.

    Circular Path of a Lifelong Runner

    Bob Schwartz

    Why it can be a good thing to arrive at the same place you began.

    “Say it ain’t so, Vinnie! Say it ain’t so!”

    That was my immediate reaction after hearing the resonating words of retired NBA great Vinnie Johnson, my favorite hometown Detroit Piston (nicknamed “Microwave” because he was instant heat coming in the game). In an interview about a year after his pro career ended, Vinnie stated that he didn’t play ball at all anymore. As passionate runners know, everything is ultimately filtered through our running-related lens, and my initial reaction was “Sacrilege, Microwave!” Instant heat had taken a permanent seat.

    Scholarly Strategy

    Jim Irish

    Running allows Clemson engineering student to maintain focus.

    Clemson University student Matt Sheen has made a significant discovery: running creates a cocoon of tranquility in the midst of his crowded schedule.

    Sheen, a senior with a 4.0 GPA in mechanical engineering, squeezes in an average of 25 miles a week around the hilly campus in Clemson, South Carolina. During training for the November 2011 Rock ’n’ Roll Savannah Marathon, he peaked at 50 miles.

    Sheen, 22, is anything but one dimensional. He plays second-chair violin in the Clemson University Symphony Orchestra, plays mandolin and fiddle at contra- and English country dances, tutors engineering students three evenings a week, and prepares his meals in Holmes Hall, his campus dorm. As if that regimen isn’t taxing enough, he spent a couple of hours a week his junior year fulfilling his duties as the elected student president of the 78-member symphony orchestra. Juggling so many activities requires concentration, and Sheen admitted that he loses his focus at times. Running lubricates the machinery in his brain.

    Forever French

    Pat Butcher

    The Destiny of Ali Mimoun, a book in two parts. Mimoun meets the Czech his lifelong rival and friend. Part 2 of 2.

    A dozen years after the war, following his Olympic exploits, Mimoun was awarded France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur. During that decade after the end of hostilities, Alain (as he was now known) Mimoun represented France internationally 84 times. He won 32 national championship titles and set 20 national records. In addition to European, African, and other championship honors, he won one Olympic gold and three Olympic silver medals. Those three silvers might well have been, indeed almost certainly would have been, gold but for one man, a man whom Mimoun describes with pride and tears as “more a brother than a rival. There was something of the saint about him.” That man was Emil Zátopek.

    When the Phoenix Arises

    Paul Clerici

    Denise Robson was battered down, but giving in was not an option.

    Six months after she won the Boston Marathon masters title and had her name literally etched in stone in its Centennial Monument alongside the likes of Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson, and Johnny Miles, Denise Robson could barely summon enough energy to move out of her bed in the intensive-care unit.

    Robson, a Canadian single mother of three, lost two days of her life while being treated for severe blood clots and a collapsed lung.

    The frightening trip from running a 6:13-mile pace at the 2010 Boston to spending several weeks in the hospital that same year was as surreal as it was unpredictable. At age 41, she was in the best shape of her late-blooming athletic career. But while training to defend her Boston masters title, she experienced some difficulty at the 2010 Canadian National 10K Championships in Toronto, where she was expected to defend her national masters title.

    “But as soon as I started—I’m talking 400 to 800 meters in—I was breathing way too rapidly and couldn’t suck it in to take any deep breaths. My first mile, I was out of breath!”

    Confessions of an Adult-Onset Streaker

    Bill Suedmeyer

    My goal in life? to run tomorrow.

    OK. I admit it: I am a streaker. In fact, I am an adult-onset streaker. To be honest, I have been making this confession to my friends and a fair number of strangers for a while now. The responses that I initially get are pretty much the same. “Huh? You are doing what?” This is followed by a general look of disgust. Why this response? Most people who hear “streaker” picture a nude person running around creating a certain amount of chaos and confusion. Of course, that is not what I am talking about when I say that I’m streaking (I live in an area that gets snow in the winter, for gosh sakes). After a certain amount of confusion, I clarify my statement by telling them that I am a running streaker and that I have been running, with clothes on, a minimum of one mile every day since December 16, 2011. As you will see later in this confession, that isn’t much of a streak for a serious streaker, but for me it is monumental. It is not long after the initial shock that the questions fly at me. What do you mean by “streaker”? Why are you doing it? How are you doing it?

    Here are my answers.

    The Last Run

    David M. Simpson

    Even when that day comes, we must move forward.

    Thirty days, 30 runs, and then the last run. The last run should look something like this: stepping into the predawn night still alive with the sound of crickets under a sky patterned with stars and a sliver of moon, the air September cool with the promise of fall and a black ribbon of road beckoning, the body moves into a gentle warm-up jog. The pace quickens, the suburban neighborhood is quickly left behind, and the road now descends through a canopy of maple and oak accompanied by the skittering sound of a raccoon seeking cover and, farther on, a crash in the underbrush signals a startled deer.

    The first and steepest hill, three-quarters of a mile up the local Boy Scout camp, brings the smell of smoke as someone’s camping breakfast begins. Cresting the hill, night pales to gray, the stars fade, and a gentle glow on the eastern horizon reveals rolling meadows and distant forests.

    The Pilgrimage

    Gerard Martinez

    A vision of the father on the path of faith.

    When Jarom Thurston looked up, he saw someone ahead of him on the trail: a tall, thin, white man whose bald head glistened in the afternoon sun. The man was running, fading into the distance with every passing second. Immediately, Jarom thought of his father. For just a moment, Jarom couldn’t be sure that it really wasn’t his father. He had the same assertive stride, a burst of energy that came from a deep well of resolve. A strong and indefatigable family man, athlete, and pharmacist from Payson, Utah, Gary Thurston had always been a hero to his son.

    Jarom closed his eyes. He was in the family living room, just a child playing with his toys on the carpet floor. His dad was sitting on the couch, slipping on his running shoes. The beat-up pair of old Nike flats was treated almost reverentially. Jarom watched with fascination as his dad tied the laces. Can I come with you? he wanted to ask. What adventures did Gary Thurston have when he went out the front door? Sometimes Jarom would scramble to the window to catch a glimpse of his dad rounding the corner of the street and out of sight, his legs pumping rhythmically like poetry.

    One Step Beyond

    Ray Charbonneau

    A sure-fire technique where “going long” takes on new meaning.

    We’re all sick of articles that purport to provide “10 Easy Steps to Run Your Fastest Marathon.” Training for a marathon takes thousands of steps, and many of them aren’t easy at all. But what if you could become a better marathon runner by changing just one run a month? Does that sound too easy to be true?

    It’s a simple idea. If you want to become a better marathoner, every month take one of your long runs and make it longer. Extend that run until it’s well over marathon distance, 30 miles or more. You don’t have to do it fast. Run comfortably; take walking breaks if you want. Stop at a store to get more sports drink or on a bridge to admire the view. Don’t worry about time; just extend that one long run.

    A while back, I had an exchange on Facebook with Hal Higdon (which I’m sure he has totally forgotten). Hal has helped thousands of runners train for marathons using plans that top out with 20-mile long runs. When I recommended longer runs in the comments, he replied to ask why
    I wanted runners to suffer more while they’re training.

    I had no idea that we were running marathons in order to avoid suffering! The idea isn’t to suffer less, it’s to manage your training to maximize the benefit of all your hard work. That way, your suffering doesn’t go to waste on race day.

    Going the Distance

    Martha Helak

    A journey to create an athlete.

    Right from the start, I knew it would be a challenge. I knew it might hurt. I knew it meant sacrificing sleeping in on weekends and missing precious time with my family. What I didn’t know was that completing a marathon would be one of the best things I have ever done.
    A sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits finally caught up with me in my mid-20s. The day I decided to lose the 45 pounds I had gained, I simultaneously quit smoking and adopted jogging to curb my nicotine and food cravings. It took nine long months to shake off the excess weight.

    Over the next decade, I ran several times a week to keep the weight off, although I never considered myself an athlete. Running was just something I did, like brushing my teeth. Somewhere along the way, I grew to love the way running made me feel about myself; I was physically stronger, less stressed, and more energetic.

    Run to Write

    Clint Cherepa

    Thirteen lessons learned from running.

    Every run has a beginning, middle, and end. The same can be said about stories, essays, articles, and poems. The similarities between running and writing do not end there.
    Many writers run miles to come up with ideas, clear the mind, break the desktop monotony, and burn calories. Famous writing runners include Joyce Carol Oates, Haruki Murakami, and Benjamin Cheever.

    How can the fundamentals of running make you a better writer?

    VO2Max Is Not Sexy

    Kirk Flatow

    Oh, so sad, but oh, so true.

    There was a series of Nike baseball commercials in the late 1990s all about how “chicks dig the long ball.” Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, two great pitchers for the Atlanta Braves, are fed up with the girls worshipping Mark McGwire (this was before steroids, and McGwire was setting the single-season home run record). “Hey, girls, Cy Young winners over here!” yells Maddux, in frustration. The two pitchers decide, why fight it? They’ll become home run hitters. I remember a montage of Maddux and Glavine lifting weights, running stadium steps, flailing at balls in the batting cage, and comparing their biceps in the steam room. Greg and Tom think they have it all figured out . . . but at the end of the commercial, Heather Locklear walks by and asks, “Hey, have you guys seen Mark?” (You can find the commercial on YouTube; the commercial is priceless, even if you are not a baseball nut.)

    In another Nike commercial, some hot European model in lingerie summarized the problem for the pitchers: “A low ERA just isn’t sexy.”

    To the Next Acorn

    Emilie Manhart

    A journey to a larger meaning.

    When I crossed the finish line of the Vermont City Marathon, I mustered a very brief whoop of victory, and exactly one second later, I was leaning up against a fence, sobbing. My body ached, my legs wobbled, and my black visor had turned almost white with salty sweat. But what left me so weepy wasn’t physical pain but mental exhaustion. I had allowed those 26.2 miles to get the best of me; I had let the distance overwhelm me right out of the starting gate, allowed my mind to undermine what my body was trained for and capable of doing. I had no injury, illness, or heat wave to blame for such a challenging race. Despite all of the ways I trained myself to avoid them, I succumbed to my mental demons.

    Between the “Crazy People”

    Kayla Supkoff

    A bit of insanity goes a long way.

    My dad ran his first marathon when I was 3 years old. Thirteen years later, I ran my first half. I should have known, growing up, that this would happen if that picture of him and me at the Daddy and Me Run was any indication. Perhaps if I had looked longer at the little girl in the pink leggings and the long pigtails sporting a much-too-long T-shirt and the man in the “real” running clothes wearing that pompously proud expression every father has, I would have been able to predict my own running future.

    Iowa, Oh, Iowa!

    Ted Gamble

    Every derned hot, semihorizontal mile of you.

    We are the Idiots Out Wandering Around (I.O.W.A., get it?). There are eight of us. Our names are Simon, Hank, Eric, Ted (me), Rob, Paul, Jordan, and Nick. Between us, we have run several races of various lengths, from ultramarathons to 5Ks and everything in between. A few of us have done some overnight relays, but the 337-mile Iowa Relay is a first for all of us.

    Book Bonus: Going Far

    Joe Henderson

    The first trip outside the United States was more than memorable. Part 3.

    8. The Olympics.
    Mexico City, Mexico, October 1968. Olympians earn their way to the Games. Journalists and tourists pay their way, or find someone to pay it for them. I joined the latter group in traveling to the Mexico Olympics. My first impressions of my first trip outside the United States and to my first Olympic Games went into my diary that first night. Among the first words were, “The weeks to come may be a fiesta or a fiasco. Whatever happens, this will be an adventure I won’t forget.”

    I chose the words with more care than usual. Usually I wrote quickly and sloppily, knowing that no one else would ever read these lines. Now I was on assignment to write a “Mexican Diary” for Track & Field News. This writing, plus coverage of a few events, was part of my double duty here—and the lesser part.

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