2002 Issues

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

    Volume 6 | Number 1 | January/February 2002


    Art Versus Science

    Anyone who has bought a pair of tube socks knows that one size does not fit all, no matter what the package claims.
    Similarly, no one marathon-training program works equally well for every runner who uses it. Little tucks and wrinkles
    often need to be adjusted to suit the individual. Difference exist because although every human machine comes from the
    same blueprint, no two human beings are identical-not even twins. That fact is complicated by a multitude of differences
    generated by gender, age, athletic experience, dedication, enthusiasm, focus, motivation, diet, constraints of professional and
    personal life, and whether runners train alone or with others.

    In an ideal world, each of us would have a personal coach who could customize and modify a program based on our
    reaction to a daily training regimen. But it’s impractical for most people to have a personal marathon coach. One reason is
    that there just aren’t enough good coaches to go around. Another reason is that not everyone who takes up the marathon is
    serious enough about it that they need someone who’s dedicated to getting the best out of them. Then there’s also the
    ndependent streak of longer-distance runners. They often tend to prefer to go their own way and not follow the advice of

    For some world-class marathoners over the years, they’ve done just fine without coaching. Others have improved
    dramatically once they found a coach who understood them. Some improved the most with just the least bit of coaching input
    (think Bill Squires and Bill Rodgers).

    Much of the potential improvement at marathoning comes from factors within rather than technique from without. Ask any
    coach. It’s almost impossible to instill motivation and drive if it isn’t there to begin with. What comes to my mind when I think of
    motivation is the image of Emil Zatopek on guard duty as a Czech soldier jogging in place or back and forth along a stretch of
    border fence while wearing his combat boots in snow up to his mid-shins. If anything, outside forces in Zatopek’s life attempted
    to demotivate him, the feeling being that his training was so overboard it was outré-and a detriment to success. You don’t see
    too many distance runners these days doing 60 400-meter repeats in one session. Yet for Zatopek, it worked.

    In fact, you don’t see too many American distance runners doing anything to excess these days. But it’s not necessarily
    their fault. Exercise physiologists have brought “science” to bear to tell them not to do too much, that the previous generation of
    marathoners overdid it, that you don’t need to run 100+ miles per week in order to be competitive.

    You can find the rest of Rich’s editorial in our January/February issue.

    On the Road with Joe LeMay
    Tuttle Is Back

    Lately, one name we’ve been hearing about on the roads again is John Tuttle, a man I met long after his running career
    was supposedly over. It was January 1999, and the Naples Half-Marathon was the place to be for serious distance runners
    living in the United States.

    The race is run the last Sunday in January, which usually lands it right on Super Bowl Sunday, which is fine by me. Over
    the years, I’ve only watched the Super Bowl when someone has invited me to a party, where I’m pretty much stuck watching
    it, or because I want to see the commercials. Usually I’m doing something else, and the game is playing in the background.

    That I spend little time watching professional sports on TV is something I don’t generally share with strangers or
    co-workers (when I finally get some co-workers, that is-aside from writing this column, I’m jobless right now) lest they think
    me some sort of un-American weirdo.

    So, as I was saying, The Naples Half-Marathon is run on Super Bowl Sunday, and if you’re down there in Florida at that
    time of year, I recommend it.

    John Tuttle and I stayed at the same guy’s house, where the race organizers put us in. “There’s one other guy coming in-
    a John Tuttle,” the race director told me.

    Who? I thought. Is this the John Tuttle? The same John Tuttle who took third place in the 1984 Olympic Marathon
    Trials race back when men were men?

    Continued in our January/February issue

    My Most Unforgettable Marathon (And What I Learned From It): 1981 Grandma’s Marathon

    by Dick Beardsley

    DULUTH, MINNESOTA, June 20, 1981-Many people think my most unforgettable marathon was the
    “Duel in the Sun” with Alberto Salazar at the April 1982 Boston Marathon. That race is right up there, but there was
    something extra special for me about the 1981 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota.

    Race director Scott Keenan had invited me to run Grandma’s the previous November, and I gladly accepted. I had heard
    nothing but great things about the race and my boss, Garry Bjorklund, for whom I had worked at one of his running stores
    in the Twin Cities, had won the race in 1980 with a 2:10:20-setting a course record with one of the fastest times of the year
    by an American.

    I was being coached at the time by Bill Squires of Boston, one of the best long-distance coaches this country has ever had.
    He and I really clicked, even though he did most if not all of his coaching over the phone.

    It was less than two weeks before the big race, and I had my last long run coming up the next day. Long runs via Coach
    Squires’ advice were awesome! They weren’t just going out and putting the time and miles in; you were always doing
    something during the run. I had set the course up to be rolling hills most of the way, with a few flat areas. Coach wanted me to
    warm up two miles easy and then start my “21-miler.” The plan was to run the first 5 at 5:00 pace, then back off for the next 5,
    then another fast 5, and then back off for 5, and do my last mile fast but in control.

    I was ready to go!
    The first 5 miles went by in just under 5:00 per mile, and I felt great! I backed off the next five miles but still was averaging
    about 5:20 pace, and I felt as if I were out for an easy run. The next 5 were again at around 5:00 per mile, then I backed off
    to 5:20 again for the final 5. At mile 20 I took off and ran my last mile in 4:35! I was pumped!

    If I’d continued 4 more miles at a 5:20 pace, I would have run a 2:14-2:15 marathon in practice. Needless to say, I was

    That night I called Coach Squires to let him know how the workout had gone. He went crazy over the phone. If he could
    have reached through the telephone and wrung my neck he would have. He obviously felt I’d blown my upcoming marathon by
    burning my workout. Then out of the blue he became real calm and said not to get excited. “Dickie, it’s okay; don’t get
    excited,” he said. To myself, I’m thinking, “Coach, you’re the one that’s overexcited.”

    As I’d learn after the race, he was indeed concerned that I’d left my race out on the training run.

    You can read the rest of Dick’s exciting, record-setting run at the 1981 Grandma’s Marathon
    only in our January/February 2002 issue.

    I want this issue delivered right to my house.

    Glass City Marathon
    Toledo’s Running Community Hosts an Intimate, Long-Running Event.

    When you think of Toledo, Ohio, the term “running hotspot” probably does not leap to mind. You would not name this
    city of 300,000 as having one of the oldest marathons in the country. And their marathon generates a little less excitement then
    the New York City, Los Angeles, or Marine Corps race.

    But as you run the Toledo course, the terms “comfortable,” “easy-access,” and “runner-friendly” do come to mind. And,
    most often, so does the phrase “nice day.” If you want an enjoyable, extremely well-managed event, if you want a fair chance
    at a Boston qualifying time on a USATF-certified course, and if you want easy access to several free or low-cost art and
    music events, try the Glass City. For convenience, a small airport is located about 30 minutes from the race start/finish on
    Route 2 (Airport Highway); the next-closest airport is Detroit Metro, about one hour from downtown Toledo.

    Continued in our January/February 2002 issue.

    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

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

    SALTY DOG. I have noticed an excessive salt taste in my sweat. As I wipe my face during some longer runs, I am
    expelling a lot of salt. Is this an indication that I’m taking in too much salt (sodium) in my diet? Or is this normal for the
    time of year (August) and just part of being a long-distance runner?
    Our experts answer this question in our January/February issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Gail Kislevitz, Roger Robinson, Rich Benyo,
    JoAnn Dahlkoetter, PhD, and Tim Martin.


    Show Me the Money
    The History of Prize Money in Road Racing.

    by Gail Kislevitz

    The history of prize money in road racing is a complex tale filled with tragedy, politics, threats, money, sex, quid pro
    quos, the OOC, and much more. Sounds like a plot from a John Grisham novel-or a recent past-president’s two terms
    in the White House. But it isn’t fiction. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    Tales from the road racing circuit pre-legitimate prize money are rampant, especially in the 1970s and 1980s when
    elite runners were getting tired of being treated as little more than indentured slaves of the almighty AAU, the Amateur
    Athletic Union.

    When Grete Waitz came to New York in 1978 to run her very first marathon (and along the way set a world record), she
    walked away satisfied but without a cent in prize money. In fact, she had to borrow twenty bucks for cab fare to the airport.
    “I was just happy they covered my travel expenses,” she said.

    Bill Rodgers has a similar tale: “I had just won the 1975 Boston Marathon, setting a course and American record. Fame
    finally came my way, but I was still broke. The next year I was invited to run the first out-of-park New York City Marathon
    in 1976 and drove my beat-up wreck of a car down from Boston, taking the back roads because I couldn’t afford the tolls
    on the turnpike. After winning the race, I went back to my car, and it had been towed. My running buddies had to take up a
    collection so I could get it out of the pound and drive home.”

    In contrast to their “no-frills but provide the thrills” running back then, today’s winners of the New York City Marathon
    can expect to take home up to $300,000 in prize money and time bonuses as well a car.
    You won’t want to miss this in-depth expose on prize money in road racing.

    Running in Literature
    Running Weaves Its Way Through the Literature of the Ages, Suspending Time and Distance. Part 1 of 5.
    by Roger Robinson

    I’ve hard that Eskimos have more than a hundred words for snow. Running should have a thousand words for feeling tired.

    Runners know tiredness in all its many shades and effects, and we carry among life’s significant memories those races
    when tiredness was our stepping-stone to high achievement, or the dead weight that sank us; when it crept into our legs
    like a wasting disease, or suddenly leapt upon us like a cougar from a rock; when we grappled with it, and overcame or
    were overcome.

    Yet when we seek to describe tiredness or fatigue, few words or books or stories are available to help us understand
    how it truly feels to be “really wearied,” as Stevenson’s David Balfour puts it, to relive the experience, express it, or connect
    our perceptions with other peoples’.

    In the course of a career as a scholar, writer, and professor of literature, and as a spare-time runner, I have kept one
    truant reader’s eye open for a literature of running. I look not so much for historical accounts as for words that express,
    evoke, re-imagine, narrate, celebrate, or make memorable or vivid some aspect of the experience of running.

    Sometimes I find them in unexpected places.

    When Stevenson describes “The Flight in the Heather” of Alan Breck Stewart and David Balfour (Kidnapped, chapters 20-22), he conjures better than anywhere else I know the numb, stumbling, shuffling, stupid weariness that every marathon or ultra runner has lived through. The friends run and walk and crawl for days and nights through the rocks and moors of the Scottish Highlands to elude the English redcoats-“Sometimes we walked, sometimes ran; and as it drew on to morning, walked ever the less and ran the more”-and prose like that catches their anxiety and haste. It evokes heat and thirst and the immense but brief relief that runners also know when we reach water or shade: “I kept stumbling as I ran, I had a stitch that came near to overmaster me; and when at last Alan paused under a great rock . . . it was none too soon for David Balfour.”

    One More Mile

    As they keep pressing on, the writing becomes as leaden and heavy as their movement, embodying that depleted state
    when each step is gained only by a separate act of will and the mind knows nothing but a bleary focus on that task: “Toiling
    and resting and toiling again, we wore away the morning . . . stumbling like babes, and as white as dead folk. Never a word
    passed between us; each set his mouth and kept his eyes in front of him, and lifted up his foot and set it down again.”

    Stevenson understands those almost primeval emotions of despair and resentment that overtake us: “I did not think of
    myself, but just of each fresh step which I was sure would be my last, with despair-and of Alan, who was the cause of it,
    with hatred.”

    The Scottish Highlands in 1751 may be a long way from Heartbreak Hill, but reading that passage took me right back to
    the last (and slowest) time I ran Boston. Stumbling, white as a corpse, full of despair. Yes, Stevenson got my number.

    At such moments, two strands of my life come together, and Dr. Jekyll, the benign literature professor, merges with Mr.
    Hyde, the competitive runner. What follows below, and in four future installments, is a selection of such moments of recognition,
    discoveries of good writing where running becomes, if only briefly, the subject of literature. The selections are drawn from
    my own reading over many years, but not from planned research. I have followed some leads from books on running or
    anthologies of sports writing, and those acknowledgments are made in the text or at the end. What I offer is not a guide to
    the best modern running books, however, which was provided by Scott Hubbard’s excellent “25 Books Every Marathoner
    Should Own” (Marathon & Beyond, Vol. 5, No. 1, January/February 2001).

    This is Roger’s introduction to his five-part article.

    I like this magazine! How can I

    Basic Training for the Marathon
    The Challenge of Running a First Marathon Is to Safely Cover the Distance. Part 1 of 3.
    by Richard Benyo

    Island Fun
    In Midwinter in the Northeast, the Palms of Bermuda Call.
    by Jeffrey Horowitz

    As the jet descended toward the runway, it wasn’t difficult for me to remember why I had decided to come to Bermuda.
    Palm trees. Here it was, the middle of January, and through my window I was seeing palm trees. Back home in Washington,
    DC, another two months would pass before the season offered up even a hint of green.

    Inside the skin of the airliner, the temperature was controlled. Outside, just as the Department of Tourism brochures had
    promised, temps were in the mid 60s. The day was partly overcast and a little on the warm side for someone who’d come
    from damp, frigid DC, but for me, it would be a perfect setting for a race vacation. “Just hydrate and have a fun run,” I told
    myself, my eyes still on the palm trees.

    I had come to Bermuda to enjoy the warmth and run a marathon for fun. Every January, the Bermuda Track and Field
    Association, in conjunction with the Department of Tourism and a private marathon tour company, sponsors an International
    Race Weekend, which includes an invitational mile, a 10K, a half-marathon, and a full marathon.

    After safely getting through another fall marathon season, running the Bermuda Marathon seemed a good way to take
    advantage of the big conditioning base I’d built over the past six months, and to reward myself for completing the season
    without injury.

    Bermuda is a commonly misunderstood place. Often associated, albeit distantly, with the Caribbean islands,
    Bermuda actually lies far north of the Caribbean, about 570 miles east of the North Carolina coast. And although Bermuda is
    commonly considered a single island, it is really a collection of some 150 separate islands, many of them no more than a speck
    of rock peeking above the bright blue waters.

    Continued in our January/February 2002 issue.

    Running as a Metaphor for Life
    Running, Especially Long Distances, Is the Path to Wholeness, Vitality, Awareness, & Life Itself.
    by JoAnn Dahlkoetter

    Here are the opening paragraphs of JoAnn’s article:

    Involvement with running and racing at any level can be viewed as a personal journey, a lifetime of discovery and learning.
    Training is far more than just physical activity or competition. It offers the opportunity to look deep inside and uncover
    weaknesses and strengths. The lessons appear on many different levels-mental, physical, and even spiritual-as you allow
    yourself to open up to them.

    Whether you’re running competitively or for health and fitness, you can encounter the full range of knowledge and
    experience required for success in life. The sports setting is like a miniature rehearsal for life’s trials, with all the pleasures
    and hardships, successes and setbacks, victories and shortcomings that you face in day-to-day living. Participation in
    sports-in our case, running-can provide a path to personal discovery and development. Running is a perfect metaphor
    for understanding how to live your life to the fullest.

    YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)
    The Quest to Determine the Most Relevant Training Elements Begins with the Examination of One Runner’s Data.
    by Dan Horvath

    The Toughest Race
    We Often Brag About the Races We’ve Survived and the Medals We’ve Won, But Sometimes the Really Tough
    Ones Aren’t Run At All.

    by Michael Wille

    It was a sunny Friday afternoon, and the smell of spring was seething in the air. Every time the door swung open, the
    sunlight cut through the bar like a knife and illuminated the accumulated dust on the liquor bottles.

    I was bidding a good friend adieu, as I was soon to be off to Ourzarzarte for the 16th annual Marathon des Sables.
    The 150-mile, seven-day stage race would take me through the beautiful rugged desert of Morocco, and most contenders
    would be flying to the site via Casablanca, but I had arranged alternate travel plans in order to spend time in Spain and France
    as well. I was treating myself to a race well run, with some holiday time thrown in.

    I’ve worked under Phil as his assistant chef in the past, and we’ve maintained a wonderful friendship throughout the years.
    He’s only a bit older than I am, but our lives have grown in very different directions. I’ve been running around the world,
    adventuring in East Africa as a remote catering chef, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and taking time off to cook on small sailing
    vessels crossing the Pacific. Meanwhile, he has been establishing a very respectable executive chef position in San Francisco
    and taking care of his wonderful family.

    Every couple of months we have the opportunity to get together and share bits and pieces of each other’s lives, each of us
    enjoying many aspects of our own lives and envying the pieces that we are missing from one another’s. This particular midday
    session happened to be one of those times.

    “So you’re going to Morocco for a month, but how many days will you be racing?” Phil asked, taking a pull on his beer.

    “It’s a seven-day stage race, so the miles are broken down per day,” I explained. “Days one and two are 15- to 20-mile
    days. Day three is the dreaded Dune Day, where you run 12 miles across completely unmarked dunes, navigating with your
    compass. Then that’s followed by the 50-miler, which is lumped into two days. You’re given 40 hours to complete this. The
    first-place guy last year, Lahcen Ahansal, a local, of course, did the 50-miler in seven hours and 30 minutes. The temperatures
    were reported to be 120 degrees.”

    I took a sip of my beer and gave Phil a moment to digest the ridiculous information as his eyes bulged. “That is then
    followed up by a standard marathon of 26.2 miles. So if you are one of the superheroes who completes the 50 in under eight
    hours, you have a remaining day-and-a-half to hang out in camp and recuperate for your marathon. The final stage is the sprint,
    which is a mere 12-mile race into town.”

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

    3 X Tim
    One of Our Favorite Writers Gets Back to Us With Gimbled Reports From the Roads.
    by Tim Martin

    An introduction to Tim’s article by M&B editor Rich Benyo:

    When we started Marathon & Beyond
    five years ago, we didn’t want it to be all heavyweight training and
    racing information. So we turned to one of our favorite running humorists, Tim Martin, who, like a fabled spirit,
    hangs out in the vast redwood forests of far-northern California. We like to think of him as a cross between a
    character from The Hobbit and a hardy old-fashioned journalist going off to report on what’s happening that’s
    slightly skewed. “Man bites dog? Yessiree, chief! I’ll get on it right away.”

    Tim was in the midst of being named the Road Runners Club of America’s “club writer of the year.” He was also
    in the process of compiling a stack of his short humorous pieces toward his first book, published a couple of years ago
    by Marathon Publishing under the apt title of There’s Nothing Funny About Running. Right.

    No slouch to his avocation, Tim has run more than 50 marathons, and is a winner of the Russian River Marathon.
    He’s been working on a new batch of pieces while also churning out scripts for his agent in Tinseltown. When he was
    out on a long run, we sneaked into his remote woodland cabin and were appalled to find that he writes on
    a-horrors!-computer. (We’d been expecting quills and a bottle of organic ink and hemp writing paper.)
    We printed off the following three examples of Tim’s humorous running writing (say that five times fast) and
    spirited them away so you could enjoy the workings of a finely twisted mind at work.

    Tim’s three stories are titled


  • Application for Admission to the Boston Marathon,
  • The Woodstock Marathon, and
  • Carboloading At Pierre’s

    Special Book Bonus

    The Art of the Ultramarathoner
    Tom Osler

    Runners Have Been Doing Ultras for Centuries and the Basics Never Change. A Classic Revived.
    Part 4 of 5

    Editor’s Note-In 1979 a unique book was published by World Publications, the book division of Runner’s
    World. Titled Ultra-Marathoning: The Next Challenge, the book came in two parts. The first half, written by
    Ed Dodd, was titled “The Great Six Day Races” and covered the 19th century fascination for “pedestrians”
    and their heated six-day-long walking and later “go as you please” races. M&B serialized the book in its first
    10 issues. The second half of the book was written by Tom Osler, one of America’s premier ultrarunners, and
    was a practical guidebook to training for and racing ultras. Beginning in this issue, we serialize Tom’s
    groundbreaking ultra training manual. Certainly, some of the references are dated, and the fact that they are
    dated gives the careful reader an insider’s perspective of how things have-and have not-changed over the
    years in ultrarunning. We must keep in mind, for instance, that when Pheidippides made his historic run 2500
    years ago, it was not a death-capped marathon from Marathon to Athens; that was a fable constructed hundreds
    of years later. He actually ran from Marathon to Sparta carrying a message asking for Spartan help against the
    Persians; he ran 150 miles one way, received his answer, then turned around and ran back 150 miles, where he
    didn’t die, but instead delivered his message as a good all-day runner was paid to do. Tom Osler’s well-reasoned,
    simply-presented insights and advice are as pertinent today as they would have been in 450 B.C. and as
    they were in 1979-perhaps moreso because of their commonsense style. The more things change, the
    more they remain the same.-Rich Benyo

    I just got to have this magazine. How can I

    Volume 6 | Number 2 | March/April 2002


    The Lure of the Little

    Throughout the past decade, the growth of marathon participation has stayed consistently between five and ten percent per year. The number of people who run marathons in the United States is approaching a half-million, which is some five times the number who ran marathons in the First Running Revolution (1976-84).

    New marathons are cropping up like mushrooms on a damp night, and many of them are doing exceptionally well at attracting participants. The success of both the Rock ’n’ Roll and the Country Music marathons as well as smaller new events such as the Oklahoma City Memorial and the Yakima River Canyon indicate that the growth of marathoning continues.

    Yet there is a downside to all this excitement about getting thousands of people attired in only their underwear to run, walk, stumble 26.2 miles.

    Many a smaller marathon is suffering, while its numbers either remain stagnant or actually decrease.

    One of the most beautiful-and laid back-marathons in the world is the Avenue of the Giants, held in early May in the northern extreme of California, run among the towering redwoods. Because the race is run among the redwoods, on roads that can at best be described as one -and- one-half cars wide, there is an upper limit of 2,000 entrants. Back in the late 1970s, more than 3,000 runners vied for those 2,000 spots. In order to fairly accommodate the demand, the Six Rivers’ Running Club held a lottery to pick the 2,000 lucky souls; the club accommodated further runners who wanted to race among the redwoods by founding a companion fall race, the Humboldt Redwoods Marathon, to handle the overflow.

    You can read the rest of Rich’s probing editorial in our March/April 2002 issue

    On the Road with Joe LeMay

    It’s tough to sit down and write this, my last column for Marathon & Beyond, since it is my last source of income that I can count on. When I’m done with this column, it will be gone.

    Yes, money is tight these days, and I can be quite whiney about it, just as I can be with a lot of things. People don’t like to talk about money, especially athletes. I don’t want to know how much So and So is getting because it will make me all jealous and whatnot, and I’ll wonder if it’s really true. It might bruise my already-shaky self-esteem.

    After all, the only way to really find out what someone makes is to have access to their tax returns. Did you know that in Finland, tax returns are a matter of public record? Yes. I read it in the Wall Street Journal, so it must be true. It’s so the police know how much to fine you if you get a speeding ticket. They pull you over, punch up on their little Nokia gadgets how much you made last year, and write a ticket accordingly. One wealthy speeder paid a $10,000 ticket a couple years back.

    Anyway, I’m writing about this now because my endorsement contract with Adidas is up, and, as of December 31, 2001, I’m in it just for the love of the game.

    You can read the rest of Joe’s last column in our March/April 2002 issue.

    My Most Unforgettable Marathon (And What I Learned From It): 1999 Prague Marathon

  • by Kevin Polin

    PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC, May 23, 1999-“Kevin, I can’t believe you’re now planning on doing one of these marathons in the middle of our vacation!” my wife Dawn had said on hearing my “suggestion” that I run the Prague Marathon during our extensive 1999 European trip.

    “But, honey, it’s a complete coincidence; the way our plans stand now we’ll actually be in Prague two days after the marathon. I’m just suggesting we travel straight from Finland to Prague and then on to Hungary, instead of doing Finland, Hungary, Prague.” The logic seemed impeccable. At least to me.

    “But I know you. You’ll be tired after the race and won’t want to do anything, and you’ll probably not be much fun beforehand, either, since you’ll be preparing for it.”

    “Look. I promise the vacation will be exactly as we planned. I’m not going to do anything different. We’ll still check out the local bars and sightsee as we planned, then I’ll take a nice easy ‘jog’ during the marathon and have a good time afterwards. I promise.”

    “Well, I can’t believe you’re doing this. When will it all stop? You’ve already done six long races in the last year, including that 50-miler, and all those triathlons and the mountaineering trips. When will it all end?”

    I didn’t reply. I figured it best to let things calm down before I mentioned the subject again. But Dawn was right. I had done many events in the last couple of years, and I had dragged her to several. What made it worse was the fact that I travel for a living (software consulting) and so I am rarely at home as it is. The extra weekends away at the race events had started to put stress on us. This European trip was to be for “Us,” our last big excursion before trying to start a family. And here I was now planning on running a marathon in the middle of it. I did feel guilty.

    The evening went downhill after that discussion.

    I dropped the subject and decided to stick to my word and make sure we had a good time during the whole trip. I needed to train-train hard so that I could run the marathon, stay in shape during the week of no training before it, and keep up with our very aggressive schedule (9 cities in 15 days!) during the whole holiday.

    You can read the rest of Kevin’s European adventure in our March/April issue.

    I want this issue delivered right to my house.

    God’s Country Marathon
    A Doe, a Deer, a 26-Miler.

    The Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike runs from the Plymouth Meeting Mall
    just north of Philadelphia to Clarks Summit, in the very heart of the Pocono Mountains. Traveling north
    on any given weekend in early December, you can keep a running tally of Christmas trees versus deer strapped
    to the roofs of southbound SUVs. Average score is trees 37, deceased deer 2.

    Travel two hours west and one hour north to north-central Pennsylvania, specifically Tioga and Potter Counties,
    and the count is exactly the opposity. Christmas trees are literally in the backyard for the cutting, and deer are
    frequently hiding behind the trees, likely dreading big-game season. In Potter County, the homes,
    where you can find them, are situated on anything from quarter-acre lots up to 20,000 acres if you’re fortunate
    enough to have your property line butt up against state game lands or state forests. The entire
    county is only 1,081 square miles, more than a third of which is owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    What does all this have to do with marathoning? The God’s Country Marathon takes place here,
    a place that is a welcome step back in time. Continued in our March/April 2002 issue.

    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

    On the Mark

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

    THE SPEED OF LONG RUNS. When I’m training for a marathon, at what speed should I do my
    long runs? I’ve heard I should do them 60 to 90 seconds per mile slower than my proposed
    marathon race time. Is that correct?
    Our experts answer this question in our March/April 2002 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Dr. David Martin, Mary Nicole Nazzaro,
    Dave Kromer, Roger Robinson, Rich Benyo, Fred Ebrahimi, and Kenneth Williams.


    The Pheidippides Legend: The Patron Saint of Marathoning

    The world’s first marathoner, Pheidippides, ran his race 2,500 years ago, and then
    dropped dead. Or did he? The “experts” rake through history.

    Introduction to our Pheidippes Special Section by Richard Benyo

    The legend is simple enough. The stalwart Greek soldiers of the city-state of Athens met the much-larger army of Persians on the Plain of Marathon. Through good strategy and pluck, the Greeks emerged victorious. To allay the fears of the residents of Athens, the Greeks sent a foot messenger, Pheidippides, to Athens to announce the victory. The 25-mile trek was arduous, but Pheidippides persevered and came, sweaty and exhausted, to the gates of the city where he announced, “We are victorious!” But the effort to reach Athens had been too much, and after uttering those joyous words, Pheidippides fell dead.

    That’s the legend. As with most legends, the story of the glorious-and fatal-run of Pheidippides has its charms. It provides an heroic past to our present-especially when we’re in the midst of a marathon that isn’t going particularly well. We can either call upon Pheidippides to come to our aid, or we can curse him for originating this exquisite torture. Our favorite story based on the latter is attributed to Frank Shorter, who, in the wake of one particularly tough marathon, was heard to say, “I wish Pheidippides had died at 20 miles.” Hey, we hear ya, Frank.

    The legend of Pheidippides makes him the founder of marathoning and the sport’s patron saint-and its first martyr.

    And, of course, the legend is all bunk.

    But it sure is fun, huh?

    Pheidippides, a career foot messenger (or hemerodromos; translated: “all-day runner”), has been spinning in his grave for some 2,000 years, as it was some 500 years after the Battle of Marathon that his death at the gates of Athens was created-by a Roman, no less. Pheidippides and his fellow hemerodromoi would have been mortified to die in the process of delivering a message. Let’s face it: it smacked of professional suicide. Who’d want to employ an all-day runner who couldn’t run all day?

    In actuality, Pheidippides wasn’t a marathoner; he was an ultrarunner. Before the Battle of Marathon he was sent to Sparta, some 150 miles away, to ask for help against the Persians. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. . . .

    We admit to a weakness for legends-especially heroic legends. So we love the Pheidippides stories-all of them. Which is why we’ve brought together this special section:

  • Kenneth W. Williams, with help from Greek Major General Dimitris Gedeon, weaves the Pheidippides legend into a stirring short story.
  • Scientists Dave Martin and Roger W. H. Gynn debunk the legend in an excerpt from their massive book The Olympic Marathon.
  • Persian expatriate Fred Ebrahimi, working on the theory that the winners get to write the history, presents the Battle of Marathon from the losers’ side.
  • And Roger Robinson, masters marathoning legend and college English professor, presents the second installment of his Running in Literature series, this one containing literary references to Pheidippides, which explain in detail the evolution of the legend. [Note: Robinson’s chronology of the Pheidippides legend runs from page 88 to 96.]

  • And, most obvious to the reader already, our favorite running artist,
    Andy Yelenak, aimed his considerable skills at re-creating the famed run by Pheidippides to Athens for this issue’s cover. Whether it happened or didn’t, it sure looks legendary-and heroic.

    Thank you, Saint Pheidippides, for getting us safely through one more marathon.

    An Honor to Bear
    A short story, based on history and legend: The soldier/runner had one last task
    to perform before he could rest.

    by Kenneth Williams

    Pheidippides forced himself to stir. Just to move took a supreme effort. He was amazed at the force of the arrow that had struck him and knocked him to the dust. It seemed the arrow had done little more than graze his arm, but the force of the missile’s descent had spun him and thrown him to the ground. He remembered thinking about the force of the arrow while he was trying to regain his footing and resume his charge toward the Persians. It was such a foolish thing to be thinking about while Persian arrows flew all round him, but one’s mind can do such strange things in battle.

    The little olive tree under which he now rested offered precious little shade from the relentless sun. He tried to find a position to allow his weary body to gain a moment’s rest. His weariness was bone-deep, accumulated over too many miles in too few days. He glanced at his hands and saw that they were still stained with blood from the recent carnage. He fought the incursion of the numbness to all of this that tried to take over his brain. This was the first time he had been off his feet in hours.

    It was hot-far hotter than it should be in the middle of September. His armor-helmet, shield, breastplate, and greaves-seemed to attract the rays of the fierce sun. September was always a hot month in Greece, but this year it was even hotter than usual. The gentle breeze from the nearby Aegean didn’t help.

    The question he’d been asking himself for the past several days zipped through his mind like the arrow that had wounded him: Why in the world did I offer myself as a runner? Was it because General Miltiades had impressed me with his talk of bravery and valor? What was I thinking, to be a soldier and a runner simultaneously? The work was tough, grueling, exhausting, dangerous-but exhilarating.

    Pheidippides had decided last spring that he would leave the army when his current commitment was over. He had given Athens 11 years of his life. He was now 33 years old and wanted to be able to spend some time with his wife and son, who were safely stashed away with her grandparents in Corinth. For a moment, as he pushed himself to an elbow against the crushing weight of his armor, he wondered if he was going to live long enough to see his family again. He smiled grimly. He’d survived the last few days and was still alive after being grazed by a Persian arrow. Perhaps the gods smiled upon his hard work on behalf of Athens.

    You can read the rest of Ken’s short story in our March/April 2002 issue.

    The Marathon
    Its Origin and Some Observations.
    by David E. Martin and Roger W.H. Gynn

    You’ll enjoy this historical look back at the origin of the marathon and the
    role that Pheidippides played.

    The “Real” First Marathon
    The winners get to write the history books, but they’re very often wrong.
    by Fred Ebrahimi

    One of the least-debated historical subjects is the origin of the marathon. But Herodotus, the Father of History, was Greek and told a very one-sided story. You’ve surely heard the saying that “the winners write the history books.” It’s unfortunate that over all these years, the Greek version has been made readily available, while the “real” story has been, shall we say, underlooked.

    You’d think considering the relevance of the subject, especially in this day and age when everyone and his Aunt Bertha are running marathons, there would be deeper study of the world’s first marathon run. Even the very completely complete The Olympic Marathon by David Martin and Roger Gynn, published in 2000, gets it all wrong.

    Noting the vacuum in reliable scholars on this subject, I felt sucked into the debate and appointed myself a committee of one to research the first marathon.

    My Own First Marathon

    When I ran my first marathon in 1987, I looked into the origin of this most grueling of sports. I felt that by learning of its origins, I could better understand its strange attraction to people in literally every backwater in the world. First, I checked my handydandy encyclopedia-always a good starting point. After reading a brief description and the one-sided historical “facts,” tears welled in my eyes, and the page began to blur. As a former American president often said, “Here we go again.” This was yet another put-down of Iranians (then known as Persians), this time by Herodotus, a guy you’d think would know better. But I guess everybody throughout history had a political agenda they were pushing.

    Being of pure Persian ancestry, I felt compelled to run a marathon the hard way and not be overshadowed by the performance of the alleged first marathoner, that Greek guy Pheidippides. I refused to stop for water or rest during my training in the blistering Oklahoma summer of 1987, not even on my 20+ milers. I feared that if I took water or rested, I would tarnish the sanctity of my endeavor and not measure up to the Greek’s standards. I was afraid the race officials would disqualify me and pull me from the race if I was spotted taking a drink or a walk break. Not until I crossed the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and spied all the crumpled paper cups strewn all over the Brooklyn pavement was I convinced that it was okay to drink and walk during the course of the race. It was then I began to question the authenticity of the Origin of the First Marathon, as Herodotus has led us to believe it.

    Don’t miss Fred’s farcical Persian Rebuttal in our March/April 2002 issue.

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


    Running with the Dragons
    An American marathoner runs in China and finds it’s different–but the same.
    by Mary Nicole Nazzaro

    It’s a Sunday morning in Beijing, and the 2000 Chicago Marathon is 10 weeks away. I’m two hours and 29 minutes into a two-hour and 30-minute training run. I’m guessing that at my pedestrian speed it’s been 16 miles, but since you don’t get mile markers in China, I just check in with my gut and keep going. I glance at my running watch with satisfaction: 2:29:30. Thirty seconds from now, I can go get a cold bottle of water and hail a taxi back to my dorm room at Beijing Normal University, where I’m enrolled in a Mandarin language course sponsored by Princeton University’s Chinese department.

    Suddenly my toe hits a section of concrete jutting up from the pavement. I trip, my Walkman goes flying, and in a second and a half I’m sprawled on the dirty concrete with a gashed-up knee. What feels like 10,000 Chinese eyes are suddenly pointing my way, and everything around me gets very quiet. The locals look at me as though I’m an interplanetary visitor who’s just crash-landed in their town.

    And in some way, maybe I am. Here I am, an Italian-American female runner in Beijing, dressed in Western-style running shorts, a Jogbra, fancy running shoes, and sporting a fresh new bloody knee in one of the city’s biggest parks.

    Leave it to me to figure out the best way to get noticed halfway around the world.

    Where It All Started

    This story is about running in a new place. It’s also about rediscovering old places when you bring running to new places. Like the dirt track that you find behind a run-down building on a Beijing University campus. All of a sudden you’re 13 years old again, running the very first mile of your life on a gravel track behind the local junior high school. You remember how awkward you were and how you joined the track team because it was the Thing To Do when you were in the 8th grade. Then the teacher put you in the mile race because, well, that’s what they did with the slow kids.

    Yes, I confess. I was a Slow Kid. I’m still a Slow Kid, age notwithstanding, but I’m also a Kid Who Just Loves to Run. My five marathon finishes attest to that. But it’s not just the finisher’s medals hanging in my bedroom that prove my love for the sport. It’s the fact that, wherever I go in the world, I’ve just gotta take my running shoes. China was no exception. Especially when I had a marathon coming up.

    You’ll love the rest of Nicole’s gripping story about running in China.

    Running in Literature
    From the creation of worlds to the twists in legends, running runs through the written world.
    Part 2 of 5.

    by Roger Robinson

    Marriage on the Run
    If opposites attract, what do two of a kind do?
    by Denise Dillon

    Like most couples filled with unabashed love, before we got married we promised each other the world. Five years later, through our commitment to running and each other, we’re making our way toward fulfilling that promise.

    Our marriage started out on the run . . . literally. We got married April 15, 1996. To most people that’s Tax Day. To most runners, that was the 100th Boston Marathon.

    It all started one year earlier. We were running in Indianapolis in the world’s largest half-marathon. The race takes runners from downtown Indy to the Brickyard, home of the Indianapolis 500. Runners do a loop around the track, and then they head back to downtown. The halfway point of the race is the line of bricks inlaid in the race track, which is the start/finish line of the Indy 500. The bricks are remnants of the original “Brickyard” racetrack.

    It was at that point, on the yard of bricks, that my boyfriend Ed stopped, stooped down to one knee, pulled a ring out of the little pocket in his running shorts, and popped the question. After checking my split time, I stopped my watch, looked into his eyes, and answered, “Yes!”

    We were no longer going to be just running partners but lifelong partners. As runners, it was easy for us to see the parallels between a marriage and a marathon. When you think about it, they’re alike in many ways. They both take strength, time, and commitment. They are both filled with peaks and valleys, struggles and joy.

    With the 100th Boston coming up, we knew it would be something very special and memorable, and we wanted to be part of it as we celebrated the beginning of our new life together.

    Boston, Massachusetts, 1996

    Planning this marathon/marriage wasn’t easy. We knew we wanted the ceremony to take place on the course somewhere near the middle of the marathon. We drove the route and at the 14.6-mile mark stood a lovely, old brownstone building, Wellesley Hills Congregational Church. Then came the tricky part: convincing the minister that we weren’t crazy or making a mockery of marriage but that we were committed to going down that long road together.

    With understanding and a hint of amusement, Reverend Craig Davis agreed to perform the ceremony. We gathered in Hopkinton with the other runners, all excited about the big race. Obviously, we were excited, too, but for us, this race took on so much more meaning.

    We were both remarkably calm on the run toward Wellesley. I was dressed in a white tennis skirt and white top, Ed in black shorts and a white top. About a half mile before the church, we ducked into a flower shop, where members of our wedding party awaited us. We quickly changed clothes. I put on the top half of a wedding dress that my mom made for me to go with my white tennis skirt. Ed put on the top half of a tuxedo to go with his black shorts. I combed my hair and put on a touch of makeup (Yes, I know. I was running . . . but hey, these were wedding pictures we would have forever!), and we were off. Together Ed and I, our bridesmaids and groomsmen, and my father all ran down Washington Street to the church, where our guests were waiting.

    In the rest of Denise’s article, you’ll read about which marathons she and Ed took in for anniversary
    2 though 5. It’s a fun piece.

    I want this issue delivered right to my house.


    Basic Training for a 3:30 Marathon
    The secret to running a 3:30 marathon is becoming a well-rounded runner.
    Part 2 of 3

    by Richard Benyo

    Once a runner has completed a first marathon safely, thoughts turn to running another marathon with a time goal. There are many articles on training for a sub-4:00 marathon; in fact, Dave Kuehls has written an entire book on the subject, 4 Months to a 4 Hour Marathon.

    A more ambitious goal is to run 26.2 miles at a perfect eight-minute-per-mile pace, which effectively sneaks under the formidable 3:30 barrier. (In marathon jargon, to “run a 3:30” means to run a sub-3:30, just as a “four-minute mile” means to run a mile in under four minutes.)

    For a runner to confidently break 3:30, especially a runner who has come to the sport later in life, it takes a combination of strength, endurance, speed, upper-body strength, rest, and focus. It also takes a dedication to mixing and matching workouts to maximize the divergent specificities of training.

    The program that follows will be more successful if the runner comes to it with at least three years of endurance running on the joints, ligaments, and muscles; an ability to comfortably maintain a base of 30 miles per week; and a regular involvement in racing at shorter distances.

    This training schedule assumes the runner’s years of experience at shorter distances will allow for greater volume and intensity of work, especially with track workouts, hill workouts, and long runs.

    Because most amateur long-distance runners work full-time jobs and have a life outside running, the program does not require more than 55 miles per week of training at its maximum; the program stresses quality over quantity but assumes the runner has been consistently involved in a quantity of miles per week on an ongoing basis.

    The training schedule is launched with a base week that is repeated four weeks in a row. If the four weeks of base week training is too strenuous, the runner should scale back expectations and not embark on the 3:30 program until able to comfortably handle the base week load.

    It should be noted that this program is not based on WHR (working heart rate), as the “first marathon” program we published in our previous issue was. Since there is a distinct time goal involved in this program, certain performance levels must be met in the key workouts if all is to come together on race day.

    When this program was originally put together a dozen years ago, it recommended that the runner stop racing. It assumed that the runner came to the program with a strong racing background and that the key/difficult workouts would serve to replace racing during the 16 weeks of training. In the dozen years since then, after discussing the program with hundreds of runners, it has been decided that the ability to continue racing throughout the program, even with less intensity, would benefit the runner by maintaining an “edge.” Hence, in this updated program, racing is allowed-in fact, encouraged-as part of the Saturday long run but at a less-than-maximum effort. (See “S-Mixed-LR” discussion following.)

    Although it was possible to switch Saturday long runs with Sunday rest days in the “first marathon” program, switching is not encouraged in this program because a day of rest is needed on Sunday in order to be prepared for the ambitious fartlek or hills program on Monday. If it is impossible to run the long workout on Saturday and it must be done on Sunday, slide the entire week following back by a day-that is, a rest day on Monday, the fartlek/hill workout on Tuesday, a gentle run on Wednesday, the track workout on Thursday, and so on. The two rest days integrated within the week are essential to proper recovery so that the runner goes into the next hard workout properly rested.

    You will note that the 16-week training program for a 3:30 that follows has a 17th week, this being the week following the marathon itself, during which the fit endurance-trained body is brought down gently toward recovery.

    Rich’s article includes a day-by-day, 16-week training program.

    Special Book Bonus

    The Art of the Ultramarathoner
    Tom Osler

    Runners Have Been Doing Ultras for Centuries and the Basics Never Change. A Classic Revived.
    Part 5 of 5

    Editor’s Note-In 1979 a unique book was published by World Publications, the book division of Runner’s
    World. Titled Ultra-Marathoning: The Next Challenge, the book came in two parts. The first half, written by
    Ed Dodd, was titled “The Great Six Day Races” and covered the 19th century fascination for “pedestrians”
    and their heated six-day-long walking and later “go as you please” races. M&B serialized the book in its first
    10 issues. The second half of the book was written by Tom Osler, one of America’s premier ultrarunners, and
    was a practical guidebook to training for and racing ultras. Beginning in this issue, we serialize Tom’s
    groundbreaking ultra training manual. Certainly, some of the references are dated, and the fact that they are
    dated gives the careful reader an insider’s perspective of how things have-and have not-changed over the
    years in ultrarunning. We must keep in mind, for instance, that when Pheidippides made his historic run 2500
    years ago, it was not a death-capped marathon from Marathon to Athens; that was a fable constructed hundreds
    of years later. He actually ran from Marathon to Sparta carrying a message asking for Spartan help against the
    Persians; he ran 150 miles one way, received his answer, then turned around and ran back 150 miles, where he
    didn’t die, but instead delivered his message as a good all-day runner was paid to do. Tom Osler’s well-reasoned,
    simply-presented insights and advice are as pertinent today as they would have been in 450 B.C. and as
    they were in 1979-perhaps moreso because of their commonsense style. The more things change, the
    more they remain the same.-Rich Benyo

    I just got to have this magazine. How can I

    Volume 6 | Number 3 | May/June 2002

    Way Down Under

    Rich’s editorial kicks off our coverage of the first-ever South Pole Marathon, the
    subject of our cover stories.

    Well, there goes the neighborhood.

    For decades we’ve rhapsodized about how running is the most elemental but varied of all sports. On the basic level, it is basically putting one foot in front of the other, a mode of transportation, pursuit, escape, accomplishment, and amusement that goes back to the origin of bipedal locomotion. Yet it is wonderfully varied: from 50-yard sprints to six-day races and beyond to transcontinental adventures.

    It can be done virtually anywhere at any time. We arrive in a new city and the first thing we do is change into our running clothes and cruise the neighborhood at eight minutes
    per mile to scope out the local action, to pinpoint where we’ll go to dinner later, to unearth little parks and unpopulated trails we can later run, and so on.

    There has even been running on the moon, where astronauts-buoyed by the one-sixth gravity-attempted to run but looked as though they were skipping across the dusty surface of our nearest celestial neighbor, cavorting in a pleasure as basic as breathing.

    But in the back of some of our minds, we were not especially disappointed that there were still a few spots on earth that had not yet been desecrated by the ubiquitous waffle sole.

    One of those places was the South Pole.

    You can find the rest of Rich’s editorial in our May/June issue.

    On the Road with Ellen McCurtin
    See Julia Run

    Our new On the Road columnist Ellen McCurtin dedicates her first column to
    profile American marathoner Julia Kirtland.

    My Most Unforgettable Ultramarathon (And What I Learned From It): 2002 South Pole

    by Brent Weigner

    After an opening section on the history of long-distance runnning in Antarctica, Brent moves on to the current project:
    organizing a first-ever marathon on the continent proper. Here is part of the article:

    Research and Homework a Must

    Who could help me organize an ultra to the South Pole? When I returned from Antarctica in late February 1999, I contacted Anne Kershaw, who was at that time the owner and manager of Adventure Network International (ANI was sold to Grand Expeditions of Boca Raton, Florida, in the summer of 2001). Instead of telling me I was crazy, Anne liked the idea. Instantly, I knew she was a risk-taker and the kind of person who could get the job done. I also knew that ANI was the most experienced private company operating in the interior of Antarctica; it has supported virtually every private expedition to the continent. All other operations are controlled by government agencies through the various scientific research stations located on the continent.

    My initial plan was to charter an ANI aircraft, sign up my running buddies and anybody else who was interested, and go run an ultra on the ice. As I soon discovered, doing anything in Antarctica is not quite that simple. The cost to charter a C-130 Hercules to fly us to Patriot Hills base camp near the Ellsworth Mountains was $250,000-one way. It became instantly clear that my running buddies and I wouldn’t be doing that because of the cost. The next option would be to tag along with some other expedition so that the cost wouldn’t be prohibitive.

    Anne Kershaw was supportive and very interested in the project. With her vision and leadership, ANI has made possible a number of firsts on the continent, and I sensed that she wanted to put the “First Marathon to the South Pole” feather in her cap. Initially I was very encouraged as we corresponded via e-mail for the next year. In late 2000 it became obvious that there would be no marathon in the 2000-2001 season (November-February).

    Because of the complexity of holding an ultra in such extremes, logistics takes an inordinate amount of time to organize. Just before Christmas 2000, Anne called and said she would like me to do some test runs in the interior of Antarctica and write a proposal. I left Cheyenne, Wyoming, on December 28 and arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile, the next day. Unfortunately, I had to wait in Punta Arenas for five days until the weather was suitable for the C-130 Hercules to fly to Patriot Hills. As I have since learned (the hard way), antarctic weather more often than not interferes with human plans.

    There is much more to this historic article, which you can read in our May/June issue.

    I want this issue delivered right to my house.


    Greater Hartford Marathon
    A Mostly-Flat Fast Course Through Lovely Fall Foliage Is Just the Beginning of a New England Tradition.

    “I might be prejudiced.

    But it’s true, I love New England best.”

    So go the words of a song entitled “New England” by Jonathan Richman.

    And when it comes to the Aetna Greater Hartford Marathon, Jonathan Richman is right on! Amidst a backdrop of
    oranges, reds, and a lingering smattering of green, how can you not love New England in the fall-and this marathon in
    particular? Held the second Saturday of October, Hartford encapsulates New England in all her glory. Amidst the high-profile
    big-city huge-numbers marathons of the fall (New York, Chicago, Marine Corps), Hartford offers a delightful alternative in
    the medium-range category.

    The Hartford Marathon scored among the top races we’ve profiled in M&B. Don’t miss it.

    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

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

    HOW MUCH speed is too much? Is it detrimental to run at least one speed workout at the track per week all year long?
    Does it open one to a lot more injuries? Does it undermine peaking for an important race at a specific time of the year simply
    because you’re doing speed all year long?
    Our experts answer this question in our May/June 2002 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Roger Robinson, Hal Higdon,
    Don Kern, Brent Weigner, Barry Lewis, and Rich Benyo.


    To the Pole: Antarctica Marathon Journal

    When you plan to run at the bottom of the world, patience is of the essence.

    by Don Kern

    Snow two miles deep. Wind chill around 50 below zero. Sleeping in tents at the South Pole. Sounds like a good time to me.

    About a year ago, I got word that Brent Weigner (that’s pronounced “weener,” as in “hot dog”) was trying to put together a marathon on the interior of the Antarctic continent. I called Brent at that time just to meet him on the phone and through e-mails, and in the time since we have become good friends. It wouldn’t be until January 2, 2002, at the airport in Punta Arenas, Chile, that we would meet in person for the first time. The adventure we were about to share would be more than we bargained for.

    31 December 2001. Months of continuous preparation and it’s finally time to depart. What a journey to get to this point. Acquiring the necessary gear for this trip has taken me the last six months, searching the Internet, watching sales, finding just the right combination of equipment to keep me safe and warm in the most inhospitable environment on earth. I picked up my last pieces of gear yesterday. I thought I had the perfect duffel bag-one of those huge army duffels. I spent most of the weekend organizing gear, and after repacking a couple of times, I finally got it all in. Whew! The only problem was, it weighed nearly 60 pounds. As I wrestled my load onto the scale, the nice lady looked up at me and said, “I think that’s oversized.” She took out her tape measure, and sure enough. Only $80 extra to ship it to Miami.

    In Florida I spent my last night in the United States with my mom and dad. I took a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up another piece of luggage and was repacking as we rang in the New Year.

    1 January 2002. I could now handle all my bags at once as I checked in for the overnight flight to Santiago, then on to Punta Arenas.

    2 January 2002. We were met at the airport by one of our guides, Bean Bowers. Seven “clients,” plus Bean, the driver, and everybody’s gear but Brent’s, piled into a little van and headed into town. Brent’s luggage took a later flight.
    Our trip was to take us to Patriot Hills on 4 January, where we would spend two nights, fly south to 26.2 miles from the South Pole, spend two more nights, run a marathon on 8 January, and then work our way back to Punta Arenas on 11 January.
    Bean’s briefing in the van told us otherwise. “There’s a group that’s been waiting for a weather window since the 21st of December and they’re due to fly south on the next flight.” We would be the second flight. That’s right, they’re 12 days behind. It’s all part of the adventure, I guess.
    Brent and I are roommates staying at the Calafate, a little hostel. We went out this afternoon for some cerveza (that’s beer) and lunch, and while at the cafe met Klaus, a climber from Germany who was to be on the 21 December flight. He was extremely unhappy with Adventure Network International (ANI), the tour operator that does all of the tourism to the interior of Antarctica and is the organizer of our trip.

    Don’s article offers a day-by-day journal account of this historic South
    Pole Marathon. A Must-Read.

    Basic Training for a 3:00 Marathon
    Below seven-minute miles lurk the jewel-encrusted treasures in the sport’s holy grail.
    Part 3 of 5.

    by Richard Benyo

    This is the third of Rich’s marathon training programs–his first two articles covered
    running your first marathon and breaking 3:30 for the marathon. Includes a 20 week program.
    Here is the start of the article:

    More than a decade ago, I had the occasion to attend a party thrown by a West Coast doctor who was celebrating with his running friends the milestone he had reached earlier in the day: his 100th marathon.

    The congratulations came hot and heavy, and the good doctor basked in
    the glory. He was the first person in the county in which he lived to notch 100 marathons.

    But as the celebration moved into the darkness and the insects orbited the Tiki lamps he had lit around his deck, our host seemed to withdraw. He became nearly morose.

    “What’s the problem?” I asked as he stood in the shadows near the edge of the deck. He waved his hand dismissively, as though it were nothing. I was about to turn away, to leave him to his self-imposed quarantine, when he began muttering to himself. I stepped closer, in an attempt to understand what he was saying. He was muttering the names of a half dozen of his running friends who were enjoying the balmy evening on his deck.

    “What about them?” I asked.

    “They’ve done it,” he said. “So have you.”

    I was puzzled. “Done what?” I asked.

    He sipped the foam off the beer he had just popped. A frown crossed his forehead, making him look even farther withdrawn into shadow. “Broken

    “Broken three-?” I asked. The instant it was out of my mouth, I realized to what he was referring. They had broken three hours in the marathon.

    I shrugged. “Yeah-?” I said, still not getting it.

    He raised an eyebrow. “I’ve broken 3:30, but I’ve never come close to 3:00.”

    “Mmmmm,” I replied.

    He looked at me as seriously as a surgeon about to tell a patient that he was unable to get all the cancer. “I’d gladly trade all 100 of my marathons for one sub-3:00,” he said.

    I could see he meant it. I patted him on the back in the rather awkward manner that passes for physical closeness in some guys. I knew from past experience he didn’t like to have guys touch him beyond the obligatory handshake.

    “Put your mind to it,” I said lamely. “You can still do it.”

    He never did put his mind to it and he never did it. Eventually he stopped running marathons altogether, his 100 marathons apparently a reminder of all he hadn’t done-like breaking 3:00.

    I like this magazine! How can I

    Running with Mary Ellen

    When the final miles approach, a little help goes a long way.
    by Jamie Polley

    This wonderful little essay by Jamie Polley is short enough that we’ll include
    the entire article here. Enjoy.

    I am 46 years old, married with two kids, two dogs, two cars, and one mortgage; and I run marathons. I am not the fanatical type, in that I run, on average, one marathon a year. I completed my first in 1990, and I am training for my 10th right now. I am often asked why I run marathons.

    Initially it was to see whether I could do it. Then it was to see whether I could do it faster, followed by thoughts of qualifying for Boston. I came close, Seattle in 1992, Vancouver and Calgary in 1994, Kelowna in 1995, but was unable to get under the 3:20 standard necessary for my age group at the time. It seems that the human body (or at least this human body) is designed to run no more than 21 or 22 miles.

    Things changed in 1996.

    My sister Mary Ellen, or Maresie as we called her, had been diagnosed with cancer in September 1994 and died May 13, 1996. We were the second and third children in a family of seven and had enjoyed a close relationship all our lives. Her illness and death were difficult for all of us.

    Shortly after her death, I decided to again try to qualify for Boston and picked Victoria, British Columbia, in October as the target race.

    I usually run alone, and as the training runs lengthened I found the time and solitude presented the opportunity to reflect on and reminisce about Maresie.

    As the runs got into the third hour and beyond, the reflection became conversational and the time and miles melted away. I started to look forward to “the long run” and particularly to the last hour when our chats usually occurred. Eventually, I made a deal with her. I wanted to qualify for Boston and I undertook to get us to mile 20 on pace to break 3:20. Her job was to get us through those always difficult last six miles.

    Victoria is a lovely city and the marathon is one of the good ones. The course is scenic and the organization is superb. The run started in the usual way: after the first 2 or 3 miles I settled into that cruise control, comfort zone that I knew would last for the next 15 miles or so. I enjoyed the scenery, chatted from time to time with fellow runners, and talked with my sister. By mile 18 I was feeling the effects and starting to struggle. I reminded Mary Ellen that I might be looking for some help and set mile 20 as my goal.

    The Wall was looming large as I approached. It was becoming difficult to maintain the pace, but I had the marker in sight and pushed for it. Once I got there, I remember thinking, “OK, your turn,” and almost at that precise moment I caught my second wind. The hurt eased, and I found my rhythm. I finished in a time of 3:18. Did I receive a little push from above? I don’t know. The mental aspect of long-distance running is critical and the knowledge that my sister was somehow with me was important. All I know is that I was about to hit The Wall and instead ran right through it.

    On To Boston

    I accomplished my goal the following spring and completed the Boston Marathon. Long training runs always turned into discussions, and I made a similar deal with Maresie. Mile 20 is mine, and then it’s all yours. I was doing all right until the series of hills near Newton but was about to crash and burn. As I approached the last hill I turned it over, and although it hurt some, we persevered, didn’t stop, and made it home.

    I kept running marathons and next did Tucson in December 1998.

    I find that I discover something new about running and myself in each marathon that I do. In Tucson I learned that it is not always hot in Arizona. I’m from Calgary, Alberta, and am used to running in cold weather, but I almost froze waiting to start. But once I warmed up, the run went fine. My finishing time was no longer all that important, and I kept telling Mary Ellen that I was feeling pretty good, so I’d take it one more mile before I put her in control. As it turned out, I never did get to The Wall and didn’t have her take over. Or maybe she decided to run the whole thing herself and just didn’t tell me. Either way, we had a nice visit.

    I haven’t done a marathon since Tucson, courtesy of a disc/sciatic nerve problem. That seems to be under control, and San Diego is next, with New York, Grandma’s, and Big Sur being on the hit list after that.

    My family is close, and while Mary Ellen is often remembered when we get together, it is not the same connection I seem to develop while running. I’ve missed my time with Maresie, but the training runs are getting longer and plans have to be made and deals have to be cut. I’m looking forward to it.

    If you go to San Diego or to one of my other intended marathons, you may come across a runner in the last five or six miles who is on the downside of 45. The hair he has left is mostly gray. He may be talking to himself and his eyes might be a little misty, but he is looking smooth. Say “Hi” and slide in beside me. I’ll introduce you to my sister.

    Why do I run marathons? I get to run with Mary Ellen.

    One from the Heart
    Thomas Wolfe claimed you can’t go home again. He didn’t mean to Columbia, Missouri.

    by Hal Higdon

    After winning this marathon in 1968, Hal returns at age 70 in his 7-7-70 quest.
    Classic Higdon. Here are the opening paragraphs of Hal’s story:

    The lobby of the Campus Inn in Columbia, Missouri, was jammed to capacity on Sunday of the Labor Day weekend when Steve Kearney and I arrived. Maybe a dozen runners stood around chatting while picking up packets for Monday’s Heart of America Marathon. Race director Joe Duncan suggested that with 175 preregistered, there might be a record entry. Duncan wouldn’t know for sure until the gun sounded at 6:00 a.m. the next day. Walk up at that time with $20 and you still could start.

    A runner appeared wearing a propeller cap and a smiley-face racing uniform. He had run the Tupelo (Mississippi) Marathon earlier that day and then had driven to Columbia. His plan, he informed us, was to run 100 marathons in his first two years of running. I told Steve: “This is definitely the Far Side of marathon running.”

    Earlier in the weekend, I had visited Virginia Beach, Virginia, for the Rock ’n’Roll Half-Marathon, which attracted 15,000 runners in its first year. In October I would run the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, with more than 30,000 expected. Many in both races had prepared using my Virtual Training, which offers online schedules.

    I have a happy relationship with people who train using my program, my “V-Team.” Yet few V-Teamers had made it to Columbia, despite its status as America’s fourth-oldest marathon. Only Boston, Yonkers (New York), and Western Hemisphere (Culver City, California) have been around longer. Heart of America attracts only a handful of crazies-including me. I wasn’t wearing a propeller, but I was running seven marathons in seven months to celebrate my 70th birthday and to help raise $700,000 for seven separate charities. That definitely positioned me on the Far Side too.

    Assisting me in this third of my 7-7-70 marathons was Steve Kearney, a coach and teacher from Chesterton High School in Indiana. Steve and I once ran the length of Indiana: 350 miles in 10 days, a stunt memorialized in the book And Then the Vulture Eats You (edited by John Parker). Steve agreed to pace me at Heart of America, partly out of a sense of tradition and partly out of curiosity about whether the Columbia race was as tough as I had boasted all these years since I first ran it more than three decades ago.

    Passion and Pain
    At the 100K del Passatore (once again), seeking that zen-like state of grace.

    by Barry Lewis

    Barry’s story takes you to Renaissance Italy for one of the more difficult 100K races.

    Luscignano in Lunigiana, Italy, May 2001-It’s odd, but every time someone asks how I did in a race, I conjure up some variation of the same standard reply: “I finished,” I usually say, “and it was a great day in the woods, amazingly fun.”

    Few can relate to this kind of talk, of course. They really want to know how I stacked up against the competition and what kind of hardware I brought home. I am constantly trying to convince people that results and standings are all but meaningless in ultramarathons and that even at the uppermost echelons of the sport, prize money rarely exists.

    The appeal, I tell them, is the Zen-like state that comes from running for hours at a time. It’s about the inner journey. Experiencing the moment. Communing with the fellow athletes you meet. It’s about taking part in the physical and emotional roller-coaster ride you almost always encounter during a long race, I say, the lifetime of experiences that occur over the course of one single day. It’s all this and that certain je ne sais quoi that can’t ever be fully explained. Times, T-shirts, and belt buckles are nothing when compared with the bountiful intrinsic rewards.

    Acquaintances who know I run very long distances in my leisure time see me as an ascetic, a man who surely must forego the pleasures of rich food, good drink, and late nights in favor of a boring and all-too-disciplined life. Most of my friends think I suffer greatly every time I compete, and they cannot comprehend why I enter these ultradistance races time and again.

    The few who are truly interested have heard the specifics behind some of the more disastrous outcomes and are convinced I’m a masochist to revisit the sites of such torturous affairs. The consensus is that I’m quite far off center and more than a little obsessed.

    It is less than 24 hours since I completed my most recent bout of self-flagellation, and I chuckle at the random flow of these off-the-mark thoughts. I’m reclining in an oversized Jacuzzi tub, sipping my second glass of Chianti, and savoring the cool breeze from the mountains I see rising above the fertile valley below. The distant peaks appear snow covered, but I know this is an illusion: the constant quarrying at the site where Michelangelo’s magnificent David began his existence as formless marble makes the mountains above Carrara look white.

    I close my eyes and try to imagine the Renaissance sculptor at work. The exercise soon makes me hungry, so instead I attempt to visualize the chef at the local pizzeria we have heard so much about. I can almost taste the fresh pesto sauce that will adorn the penne I will order tonight. Yessiree, I chuckle as the sound of my favorite aria finds its way through the bubbles and into my ears. I am once again suffering terribly. Ultrarunning is absolute hell.

    You can read the rest of Barry’s article in our May/June issue.

    Running in Literature
    The theme of running in literature picks up steam as it sprints into the 19th century.
    Part 3 of 5

    by Roger Robinson

    Special Book Bonus

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

    Our May/June 2002 issue kicks off our new Book Bonus. Boston fans especially will
    enjoy this colorful book by and about the unforgettable Jock Semple. Here is M&B editor
    Rich Benyo’s introduction to the book:

    Editor’s note: In ages past, giants walked the earth-and often strode out, racing the sun, howling at the moon, propagating the legends of long-distance runners that emanated from nearly every culture on Earth, from the Hawaiians to the American Indians, from the Tibetan monks to the Greek soldiers. Run. Run like the wind and deliver your message to the anxious throng. Outrun the stag and the horse and the wolf; leave them panting on the side of the road, spent and exhausted, overheated and near death. Run far, run hard-because you can and because you feel you must.

    As the 19th century expired and the 20th erupted, the “marathon” was born and reached puberty as an extravagance of sociological extremes: college bluebloods and blue-collar laborers. The marathon had never been a sport of the elites. In Greece the hemorodromi were day laborers: working from sunrise to sunset over the hard ground delivering messages. The elite were the sprinters. The long distances always lured the eccentrics, the misfits, the aerobic astronauts. The sprints were run on nerves, the distances on pacing and patience and often patriotism. (Boston is run, after all, on Patriots’ Day.)

    The marathon in America, its colors held aloft most conspicuously by the Boston Athletic Association and its annual Boston Marathon, drew men both colorful and unforgettable: the straight-laced Clarence DeMar, the uninhibited “Tarzan” Brown, the cigar-smoking and champagne-swilling Canadian Gerard Cote, the bohemian Frank Zuna.

    And perhaps Boston’s most cantankerous, colorful, and cussed character of all, John “Jock” Semple, the Scottish immigrant who likely managed to save the Boston Marathon and the BAA itself from oblivion.

    At one point in its existence, the once-fabled BAA was reduced to the contents of several cardboard boxes stacked in the corner of Jock Semple’s “Salon de Rubdown” in the Boston Gardens, where Jock massaged everyone, from tired marathoners and sore Boston Celtics to famed boxer Jack Dempsey.

    Jock was a decent marathoner himself but more a promoter of the sport-an acidic, ascetic, avenging archangel who brooked no bending of the rules, no tattering of the image, no besmirching of the true faith of long-distance running in general and the Boston Marathon in particular.

    He became most famous for jumping off the press bus during the 1967 Boston Marathon to attempt to tear the number (#261) off of Kathrine Switzer, a member of the Syracuse track team, who had signed up for the marathon as “K. Switzer” at a time when women were not yet welcome in the famed race. Kathrine’s boyfriend body-blocked Jock, and the delighted press on the bus Jock had just exited had a field day recording the confrontation. In one instant, Jock had bounced the women’s running movement a thousand strides forward. In typical Jock fashion, he and Kathrine later became close friends; to Jock, what he had attempted to do to Kathrine was only his duty, and he always took that more seriously than social convention or convenience.

    One of the highest points in Jock’s career came in 1957 when his protege, John J. Kelley, became the first member of the BAA to win the club’s own event.

    John J. Kelley and his friend Tom Murphy teamed up in 1982 to work with Jock to write an autobiography/biography of the fiery Scot. This is that book, brought to you in serialized form, in the hopes of reacquainting those who knew Jock with one of running’s giants and to introduce those who have never heard of him to one of the sport’s most colorful characters.

    Jock died March 8, 1988. He was 84.

    But then, giants and legends don’t really die, do they? They merely move their address to a higher plane and look down with scorn or amusement at us mere mortals. Considering the current burgeoning status of the sport and lifestyle of marathoning, there’s little doubt that Jock gazes down with a mixture of alarm and amusement.

    Volume 6 | Number 4 | July/August 2002


    The Good Word

    Rich’s editorial, which briefly surveys the running literature landscape,
    kicks off our classic Summer Reading Gold Mine issue. Here are the opening paragraphs…

    In an era when more and more people get their information from the electronic media, marathoners and ultrarunners are among the few people left who read for pleasure and for information. And they do it well; just check their demographics. Sure, marathoners and ultrarunners surf the Web for race information; but long before most people were comfortable with using the Web to do business, our readers were registering for races and buying books from Amazon.com over the Internet.

    We bump into a lot of runners/readers at marathon expos, where besides signing up new subscribers to this magazine we also sell a selection of books of interest to marathoners and ultrarunners.

    The running-book market goes through ups and downs like any other market.

    Back in the 1970s, Runner’s World published loads of running books. In fact, it was just about the only game in town. It published books by Joe Henderson, Tom Osler, George Sheehan, and Joan Ullyot; books on foot care; and training books by Ernst van Aaken, Arthur Lydiard, and others.

    Then, in 1977 Random House published Jim Fixx’s The Complete Book of Running, which streaked to the top of the nonfiction bestseller list. To counter that, Simon & Schuster published George Sheehan’s Running & Being; the running-book battle was on.

    Suddenly the floodgates were open. Every publisher in the country brought out running books and the market quickly became saturated. Just as suddenly, running books were being returned to the publishers by bookstores that could no longer sell them.

    Gradually, a vacuum was created that running books had at one point filled. Jeff Galloway stepped into that vacuum with his Galloway’s Book of Running, which was first self-published in 1983 and later picked up by Shelter Publications, a division of Random House.

    We’ve gone through various waves and troughs as far as running books go since then.

    We’re currently riding another wave, and this time through, the selection of books is more varied and interesting than ever.
    You Can read the rest of Rich’s editorial in our July/August issue.

    On the Road with Ellen McCurtin
    A Runner’s Worst Friend

    Our newest On the Road columnist, Ellen McCurtin, examines the senseless dog-mauling death of
    Diane Whipple and then explores the relationship between dogs and runners. Ellen’s entire
    article is our current Editor’s Choice on our Homepage.

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

    by Sal Citarella

    Sal Citarella’s most memorable marathon took place in 1990 at the Old Colony Correctional Center,
    a prison in Braintree, MA, where the Chain Gang Runner’s Club resides. Here’s the opening

    BRIDGEWATER, MASSACHUSETTS, November 17, 1990–Bridgewater, Massachusetts, is in a region of small towns south of Boston and west of Plymouth, home of The Rock. Old Colony Correctional Center is located in Bridgewater and is home to the Chain Gang Runner’s Club.

    For me and a few others, on a day in November 1990, it was the location of a truly unforgettable marathon experience.

    The credo of the Chain Gang Runner’s Club is this: “The Chain Gang Runner’s Club was founded and continues to be a program coordinated by inmates of the Old Colony Correctional Center at Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The purpose of the organization is to promote and enhance the sport of competitive running from within the prison. In addition it is our hope to interest folks from the running community to come in and join us for our monthly events as well as our charity runs conducted for the benefit of nonprofit children’s organizations. In the spirit of running we hope to turn what could be a negative experience into a positive one.”

    This statement of purpose is noble and true. However, it didn’t alter the fact that I was in prison, if only for the day.

    I had moved to the Boston area in 1989. Having previously run the famous spring marathon in our national bicentennial year of 1976, and disliking crowds, I was intrigued by the opportunity to experience something new. It sounded unique: a marathon run inside the prison walls, which would count as a Boston qualifier-for those who meet the Boston standards and are not still incarcerated when Patriots’ Day rolls around, that is.

    Naturally, the most unforgettable aspect of marathon day was the setting. I actually ran well, but as you shall see, the race itself was easy to sum up.

    The rest of Sal’s memorable run is printed in our July/August 2002 issue.

    I want this issue delivered right to my house.


    Lake Tahoe Marathon
    Scenic Beauty–Especially in the Marathon Course–Comes at a Price.

    The article begins this way…and is concluded in the July/August issue.

    The only marathoners who are likely to get a PR (personal record) at the Lake Tahoe Marathon are first-timers. It is, however, an excellent course for notching a personal worst because of two factors: altitude and mountains.

    On the upside–but everything in Tahoe is “up” in terms of altitude, so let’s call it the “positive side.” On the positive side, if you are wearing a bandanna and regularly wiping the sweat out of your eyes, you’re liable to think you died and went to scenic heaven. The Lake Tahoe Marathon is, hands down and thumbs up, one of the most beautiful courses in California. And that distinction comes in a state that boasts the Big Sur, Napa Valley, and Avenue of the Giants/Humboldt Redwoods marathons, all of which were among Runner’s World’s top 20 marathons in the United States for 2002.

    To run the Lake Tahoe Marathon is to run for inspiration and for bragging rights. “I survived one of the toughest, most beautiful races in the world.” And race director Les Wright, who never seems content with the basic beauty of his race, annually adds interesting twists and innovations

    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

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

    PROPER TAPERING. I’ve been getting some conflicting advice on tapering properly for a marathon. Some people
    are telling me that I should just gradually cut back my running activity over the final two weeks leading into my marathon
    until I’m doing almost nothing the final several days. Other people say I should cut back on volume but should keep up the
    quality of the workouts, especially speed workouts, so that my legs will remember how to run fast on race day. I’m 39,
    have been running for 6 years, marathons for the past 3 years, usually doing one spring and one fall marathon. My PR is
    Our experts answer this question in our July/August 2002 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Paul Reese, Roger Robinson, Karen Mitchell
    and Clay Shaw, Charlie Kastner, and Joe Prusaitis.


    A Transcom Primer

    More than you need to know to cross America on foot.
    by Paul Reese

    Paul Reese, who has written three books about his running road-trip adventures, reviews
    books about transcontinental runs, investigates what may have been a bogus transcon walk/run, and
    then details the slowest-ever transcon “run.” Here is the opening of Paul’s excellent 20-page

    In all fairness, I begin this article with a caution: reading about someone who runs across the United States can become addictive.

    I know whereof I speak. Back in 1972, as I read Don Shepherd’s book My Run Across the United States, I kept asking myself, “I wonder if I could do that? Could I run all the way across the country?” That question haunted me for 18 years and I finally answered it in 1990 by running across the United States. So consider yourself warned as you read about transcontinental (“transcon” in the parlance) runs.

    Right from the start, let’s lay some ground rules-running/walking solo across America is defined as follows:

    A. Running from coast to coast, Pacific to Atlantic or Atlantic to Pacific. Even though a north/south run from Canada to Mexico or a south/north run from Mexico to Canada would be across the country, such a run would not be within our ground rules mainly because it would be about 1,500 miles short of a coast-to-coast run. Come to think of it, I don’t know of even one such run.

    B. Adhering to a point-to-point route that is uninterrupted from start to finish. For example, if there are two towns on the route that are 30 miles apart, the runner must cover all of those specific 30 miles. It is not running across America to run only 15 of those miles, ride into town, and then run 15 miles in town or around a track as some runners, especially those running for causes, have done.

    Keeping these criteria in mind, you can’t always tell a book by its cover. A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins doesn’t make the cut because Jenkins’s walk took him only from Albany, New York, to New Orleans. Curiously, this book alone sold more than the total of all the other books mentioned in this article. In fairness to Jenkins, by making a second walk (New Orleans to Florence, Oregon), he did make it all the way across the country. His second walk resulted in A Walk West (Ballantine Books, 1981, 431 pages). Similar to A Walk Across America in its title is Charles E. Lummis’s A Tramp Across the Continent (University of Nebraska Press, 1982, 270 pages), which is misleading in that Lummis walked only from Ohio to California-but that was quite a walk, in that it was made in 1884.

    C. “Solo” defines itself and is used as a criterion to distinguish between books featured here and books about transcontinental races.

    As for the races, they fall into two categories.

    1. The C.C. Pyle Bunion Races of 1928 and 1929. Two books were written on these races, From L.A. to New York, From New York to L.A. by Harry Berry (undated, 181 pages, published by H. Berry) and The Bunion Derby by James H. Thomas (Southwestern Heritage Books, 1980, 133 pages). The subject of transcon races should not be left without mentioning Flanagan’s Run (William Morrow & Co., 1982, 444 pages) by Tom McNab, an American living in Britain; it is an excellent novel revolving around a 3,000-mile footrace based loosely on the Pyle races.

    2. The Trans-America races of 1992 and 1994. Barry Lewis wrote a book on the 1992 race called Running the TransAmerica Footrace (Stackpole Books, 1994, 155 pages), which was presented in this magazine last year in a digested version

    There is much, much more to Paul’s article in our July/August issue.

    The Sahara Marathon
    In a displaced nation of refugees, marathoners from around the world celebrate freedom
    and unity.

    by Karen Mitchell and Clay Shaw

    This globe-trotting pair of marathoners/photographers meet their match when they travel
    to Algeria for the first-ever Sahara Marathon. Here’s the opening of Clay and Karen’s

    This is a true story about running a marathon in a refugee camp in a third-world country, a place where time and schedules and cell phones and the Internet don’t much matter. Quite an unusual and tough marathon, as you will see, but hosted by some wonderful people-the Sahrawis (also spelled Saharawis)-who made our four-day stay in the desert an unforgettable experience.

    The story began when Karen was photographing the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the expo, she picked up a few applications for exotic-sounding marathons and brought them home to Clay. She only casually noticed the brochure about a marathon in Africa. Sometime later, Clay announced he would like to run a marathon in the Sahara Desert in Algeria. Karen, although usually adventurous, didn’t like the sound of this. When we checked the U.S. State Department Web site, we found that Algeria was considered one of the top-five most dangerous countries in the world and Americans shouldn’t travel there. (Although based in Algeria, on the trip we would be with Sahrawis, who are not Algerian but rather refugees from a land formerly known as Spanish Sahara, a region now claimed by Morocco.)

    Over the next few months, Clay talked numerous times with the race chairman, Jeb Carney. Although it seemed the marathon would be at least reasonably well organized, there were lingering questions about security.

    Because of our status as race photographers, we are acquainted with many Moroccan runners. We spoke with them whenever we bumped into them at races, and they, more than anyone else, convinced us that we would be safe. They assured us that the area in which the marathon would be run was far from the areas of conflict. More importantly, they told us that because this was an international sporting event, it would be considered special and important, and there would be no conflicts while we were there.

    We decided to go. We would stay in tents with Sahrawi host families at refugee camps before and after the marathon, and we would participate in the 25th anniversary of the declaration of the Sahrawi Republic. We didn’t have much information about accommodations, food, or the customs of the people, but we were promised the people would be gracious and pleased with our being there.


    I like this magazine! How can I

    Running in Literature
    Coming into the modern age, the literature sprints ahead. Part 4 of 5.
    by Roger Robinson

    18. The Unforgiving Minute: Into the Modern Age

    Running is about intense and committed effort. Running is also about free and joyful movement. The first surely is best expressed in Kipling’s unforgettable lines in “If”:

    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds worth of distance run . . .

    Kipling’s poem as a whole is about growing up and learning the responsibilities of life. But those lines say something special about running. I saw the poem recently on the back of a door in Arthur Lydiard’s home near Auckland, New Zealand. No one I have ever met fills every minute with more distance than the great coach, even at age 84, and seeing the words there reminded me how well Kipling in two short lines has captured the special intensity and purpose of competitive running.

    For running free, the best short expression I know came in an unexpected place, Saul Bellow’s novel Henderson the Rain King (1959). A rich and complex story about Africa, and power, and the yearning for self-knowledge, it ends with a magical image of running as an expression of freedom and life. The last scene is of a refueling airplane on a snowy field in Newfoundland and of the narrator running:

    Laps and laps I galloped around the shining and riveted body of the plane, behind the fuel trucks. Dark faces were looking from within . . . I guess I felt it was my turn now to move, and so went running-leaping, leaping, pounding, and tingling over the pure white lining of the gray Arctic silence.

    Running is like music, capable of infinite varieties of mood. We can run in zestful joy or in somber melancholy (as many of us ran on September 11, 2001). We can run intent and purposeful or leap along in tingling freedom. Kipling and Bellow show something of that range of possibilities.

    Courage and Endurance
    John Salo and Peter Gavuzzi’s epic duel across 1929 America.
    by Charles Kastner

    Charlie Kastner brings us back in time to the drama-filled 1929 Bunion Derby. Here are
    the opening sections:

    On October 4, 1931, officer John Salo of the Passaic, New Jersey, police department was killed in the line of duty, leaving a widow, two children, and a town in mourning. Just two years before, he had returned as the town’s hero after winning a 3,600-mile footrace from New York to Los Angeles, the second transcontinental “Bunion Derby” in history.

    He had battled Peter Gavuzzi of England across the muddy and dusty roads of 1929 America to win the race by 2 minutes, 47 seconds, in what one reporter called “the most exciting finish in the history of foot racing.” In later years, with Salo long dead, Gavuzzi claimed that he intentionally “kept things close” to ensure an exciting finish and forever hung a cloud over this historic race.


    Peter Gavuzzi was born in Liverpool, England, in 1906 to a French mother and an Italian father. This unique pedigree produced an exceptional man-one who “spoke with a Liverpool accent, moved with Italian gestures, and lived with French passions.” In his early years he worked as a steward on passenger ships before he entered the first transcontinental Bunion Derby from Los Angeles to New York in 1928, the reverse direction of the 1929 course.

    Before the derby he was an unknown entity but quickly showed himself to have a “fearless appetite for competition.” After more than 2,600 miles of racing over the most difficult terrain imaginable, he led the eventual derby winner, Andy Payne of Oklahoma, by six hours before an infected tooth forced him to withdraw from the race.


    His rival, John Salo, was born in Finland in 1893 and immigrated to America when he was 15 years old.

    In 1917 he married another Finn, Amalia Huovila, before serving on American merchant ships during the First World War. He made 10 perilous Atlantic crossings through submarine-infested waters and rose to the rank of ensign by war’s end. He eventually settled in Passaic, New Jersey, where he captained riverboats on the Hudson River.

    Salo began his running career late in life, at age 32, and practiced by running around the decks of his boats. In the 1928 derby he was another unheralded entry, who hit his stride in the last third of the race, winning 14 of the last 27 daily stage races. On May 25, 1928, Salo led the Derby into his hometown on his birthday, where he was greeted as a returning hero and appointed to the Passaic city police department. The newly christened “flying cop from Passaic” went on to finish the race in second place and earned $10,000 for his efforts.

    The Team That Sticks Together…
    At the Hong Kong Trailwaker 100K, the meaning of teamwork is profound.
    by Ian Torrence

    Team Montrail/PROTrek battles their way through the unforgettable Trailwalker
    100K along the MacLehose Trail across a peninsula in the New Territories of China. Here’s
    the start of the article:

    The scene was full of confusion and chaos. It seemed as if everything was quickly unraveling. We entered the checkpoint together, but then, like a July 4 rocket, we each split away to erupt with our own issues. We would need to pull ourselves together soon to be effective. It would be as difficult as reassembling an exploded rocket.

    Dave trudged into the checkpoint last and went straight for the first-aid table in a desperate search for some sort of electrolyte replacement drink or supplement. “Do you have any salt, electrolytes-anything? I’m pretty depleted here.” Only blank stares. It appeared that the language barrier would prove more difficult than expected at the height of this crisis.

    Safely away from the checkpoint commotion, Scott quietly sat down on a stone wall, an act he rarely performs in the heat of competition. His words expressed his condition. “My lower back is killing me and I’ve never seen so many concrete stairs in my life.”

    Nate, keeping his thoughts to himself, slowly went about filling his water bottles. Up to this point he had kept the group rolling, passing in and out of the checkpoints in a timely manner, but now he was content to quietly pull up a piece of stone wall next to Scott.

    Dave, after an incredible and hysterical display of nonverbal arm waving and funny gestures, found his much-needed salt tablets and began to munch on a digestive biscuit. This wonderful piece of shortbread, along with the salt tablets, seemed to help ease his queasiness. Scott and Nate sat and stared blankly down the trail along which we had to continue.

    The fact that no one was in a hurry to continue was fine with me because I was attempting to overcome my own obstacles. I kneeled in the dirt in front of one of the checkpoint tables and dumped the contents of my fanny pack onto the ground. My electrolyte baggie had split open and sticky orange goop had oozed all over my supplies.

    I was upset and my mind-set was rapidly degrading. While I shook out the goo from my pack, my thoughts focused on how far we still had to run. The thrill of the race, the object of our mission, and the beauty of the countryside were very quickly escaping me. I no longer wanted this to be a race but just a sightseeing tour, a simple fun run with friends. The pressure to perform was taking its toll on our four-man team.

    Here was an instance where we were all feeling stressed and our negative thoughts were getting the best of us. We needed to stay focused. We had traveled many miles, had trained very hard, and had invested a lot of time and effort into this venture. The four of us were here not only as a team but also as friends.

    The four of us had many years of experience with this kind of running and these sorts of apparently dire circumstances. We each knew that these negative feelings were only temporary and that we had set ourselves goals that needed to be fulfilled-not only for ourselves as individuals but also for the other team members, our crew, and our sponsors. We gathered ourselves up, rallied together, and-as a team-checked out of the Beacon Hill checkpoint. Quickly back on the trail, we were back into a familiar groove, one by one clicking off the remaining 24 miles to the finish.

    Continued in the July/August issue.

    Marathons Across America
    When you’ve run one marathon in each state, you get to know America.

    by Tony Gialanella

    Tony takes us through his six-year quest to run a marathon in every state plus D.C.
    Includes a brief blurb about each of the 50 races he ran.

    Thanksgiving weekend 1995. I had just turned 40 years old. Not a real big deal for me. I had been running marathons for a little over two years and had completed 13. Most of them had been in the Midwest, but I had also run in Boston and Miami. During the summer of 1995 I had decided to run a marathon every month. That plan soon grew into something even more ambitious.

    It’s fairly easy to find marathons in the Midwest during the spring and fall, but come winter it becomes a chore. The marathon I had chosen for December 1995 was in Memphis, Tennessee. As I worked on my schedule for 1996 I had to plan for some traveling. In addition to the local marathons, I also ran Disney, Boston, and San Francisco. Somewhere along those travels I heard of some folks who had run a marathon in each of the 50 states (and Washington, D.C.), and before I knew it I was working on accomplishing the same thing.

    Six years later I had done it. I finished with the Wichita Marathon on October 21, 2001. That completed my tour of all 50 states. I could have completed the circuit earlier but it really wasn’t my primary goal. I just enjoyed running marathons. I ran Trailbreaker, Lake Geneva, Sugar River Trail, and Chicago every year because I liked them. I could have knocked off a few more states if I had skipped those local favorites, but I was in no hurry.

    I even skipped one entire year. Toward the end of 1996 I started having trouble with my right leg, butt, and lower back. I had run at least one marathon for 16 consecutive months and finished most of them in 3:15 or better. After finishing the 1996 White Rock Marathon in Dallas, I took some time off and saw a chiropractor. I started my marathon schedule again in April 1997 but didn’t run any “new” states for the entire year. I finished 1997 by breaking the 3:00 mark for the first time in the Chicago Marathon and then ran the New York City Marathon with my girlfriend (and now wife), Robin Schroeder.

    The rest of Tony’s article is in our July/August issue.

    Round and Round at Rocky Raccoon
    Every once in a while an ultra event raises itself to a poetic experience.
    by Joe Prusaitis

    One of our favorite writer-ultrarunners takes us on his 100-mile Rocky Raccoon

    Special Book Bonus

    Just Call Me Jock

    by Jock Semple with John J. Kelley and Tom Murphy

    In the fiery blazes of “Dixon Blazes,” a kid grew up and saved his
    pennies. Part 2. Boston fans especially will enjoy this colorful book by and about the
    unforgettable Jock Semple.

    Volume 6 | Number 5 | Septemer/October 2002


    Afraid to Commit?

    Rich’s editorial challenges runners training for a marathon to do it “right.”

    On the Road with Ellen McCurtin
    Endurance Shopping
    Our newest On the Road columnist, Ellen McCurtin, shares her experience of spending a
    $500 gift certificate at Niketown in New York City. A relucatant shopper by nature, Ellen
    survives the day and comes away with some new running attire.

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

    by Dave Schoenblum

    Dave Schoenblum’s most memorable marathon took place in 2000 at the inaugural
    Hops Marathon by Tampa Bay.

    I want this issue delivered right to my house.


    Kiawah Island Marathon
    Scenic, remote, the island paradise nearly has it all.

    Lively responses to our most recent issues.

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

    WHAT’S THE MAX? What is the maximum number of hard marathons a runner can safely complete in a one-year
    Our experts answer this question in our September/October 2002 issue.

    About the Authors
    Among this issue’s stellar cast of authors are Hal Higdon, Theresa Daus-Weber, Richard
    Benyo, Deborah Shulman, PhD, Roy Robinson, and Senator Roy Herron.


    Chicago Turns 25

    The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon went from riches to rags to riches.
    by Hal Higdon

    Runner’s World senior writer Hal Higdon gives us the complete history of the race,
    which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in October 2002.

    A Record Blown Away in the Windy City
    Half as fast as the winners, I’m better than I thought.
    by Chuck Bryant

    Since losing his lower right leg, Chuck Bryant has racewalk/jogged 34 marathons in
    28 states. In this piece, we travel with him in his 2001 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon race.

    I like this magazine! How can I

    To the Peak
    The history of the Peak Busters is a unique chapter in women’s running.
    by Theresa Daus-Weber

    For 25 years a dedicated group of women have been meeting at the Pikes Peak Marathon
    each August to take on the challenge of running the Ascent and Marathon. Their story comes from
    unlikely origins.

    Walt Stack
    One of running’s most colorful characters made the sport an all-inclusive celebration of

    by Richard Benyo

    You’ll love Rich’s in-depth, 19-page expose on the man who was synonymous with the
    Bay Area running scene.

    Brain Drain
    For the long-distance athlete, not all fatigue is muscular.
    by Matt Fitzgerald

    Read about a relatively unknown condition called “central fatigue.”

    Preordained Peak Performance
    Genetics and the barrier to athletics.
    by Jon Entine

    Jon Entine is author of the book,

    Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and
    Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It. His article is based on the findings presented
    in his book

    New York 2001
    The horror of September 11 still reverberated, but the NYC Marathon would serve as
    a big stride toward recovering.

    by Roy Herron

    You’ll relive the 2001 NYC Marathon through the eyes–and legs–of Roy Herron. Moving

    Running in Literature
    When running literature goes long in the novel, the competition really heats up.
    Part 5 of 5.

    by Roger Robinson

    Roger Robinson narrows the field of 26 original novel finalists, and then reviews
    the 14 winners.

    Fuel on Fat for the Long Run
    It is more efficient to tap into your unlimited fat supply.
    by Deborah Shulman, PhD

    Roger Robinson narrows the field of 26 original novel finalists, and then reviews
    the 14 winners.

    Special Book Bonus

    Just Call Me Jock: Part 3
    by Jock Semple with John J. Kelley and Tom Murphy

    Experimental shoes and frustrated Olympic hopes. Boston fans especially will
    enjoy this colorful book by and about the unforgettable Jock Semple.

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

    Volume 6 | Number 6 | November/December 2002

    I just got to have this magazine. How can I

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