Here is a great video that will get everyone inspired for this weekend's New York City Marathon.
I've only been up there to watch it. Maybe next year I'll try to enter. Enjoy!
.... and good luck to all the runners on Sunday!
In its simplist form, it's just four laps around a track. But mile road races are also springing up all across the country. Have you ever raced a mile? If not, maybe you can become part of the movement to bring it back!
Bring Back the Mile is a national movement organized to return the Mile to prominence on the American sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the distance. My friend Ryan Lamppa of Running USA is founder of the movement.
Go to this website to learn more about it, join the movement, sign a petition, look up past mile records, and watch the "I am the Mile" video. One day runners will hopefully be comparing their mile PRs as they do now with their marathon PRs!
By the way, I was honored to interview American miler Steve Scott as one of the 50 runners who provided his "best race" story for my recent eBook. No one in history has run more sub four-minute miles (137) than Steve!
WIth the days getting shorter, I am reminded how dangerous it is for runners to be out on the roads, especially at this time of year. And with Halloween just around the corner, I also worry about traffic accidents with children out Trick-or-Treating.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were a total of 4,432 pedestrian fatalities in 2011, the most recent year in which statisitics are available. A pedestrian, as defined in the report, is any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash.
While the statistics give no indication how many of those pedestrians were actually running or jogging, the message is clear: being safe when running on the roads is much more than just running in the direction against traffic, as we were always taught.
Here are some more sobering findings from the book called Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), by Tom Vanderbilt:
• Pedestrians think drivers can see them up to twice as far away as drivers
• Drivers often have no clue about how fast they are driving. In a study measuring the speed of drivers as they passed children waiting to cross a street, drivers thought they were going at least 12 mph slower than they actually were (i.e., they thought they were going 18-25 mph when they were actually doing 30-37 mph).
• During night driving, according to one expert, a driver would have to be going no more than 20 mph to ensure seeing every potential hazard in time to stop, including, say, a runner in reflective clothing.
In the Haiku tradition of Japanese poetry, a popular form consists of three lines and a total of 17 (5-7-5) syllables. Feel free to submit your own!
Where did summer go?
I just acclimated to
the heat. Now it’s cold!
Need to rake the leaves,
Or else go for my long run.
It's a no-brainer!
Fall means marathons.
Running twenty-six point two
will be life-changing
Falling Autumn leaves
are wet on my running trail.
That’s why it’s called “fall.”
A crisp fall morning,
And a run with an old friend.
Ain’t nothing better.
Year is going well.
I ran with no injuries.
Better knock on wood.
Running too much of a chore?
I know a good book!
Chris Russell of Run Run Live interviewed me about my new eBook and audio book on a recent podcast. (The actual interview begins at the 25:49 mark and ends at 51:20).
We discussed where the idea for the book came from, how I was able to get 50 runners (many of them household names in the running community) to agree to be interviewed, and the often surprising stories they told of what they consider the best race they ever ran.
For more Q&A about the whole interviewing and writing process, you can go to this previous post.
The following is a compilation of the questions (and my answers) that I have received since my new eBook MY BEST RACE was released last week. These are the most frequent questions I have been asked about the project, and they concern everything from the subjects I chose to the actual process of interviewing and writing. But if anyone has any other questions I didn't cover, please feel free to ask.
Where did you get the idea for a book about 50 runners and the best
race they ever ran?
It began during a chat with Olympic marathoner Brian Sell, who wrote the
foreword to my first book. I assumed his best race was the one that qualified him for the Beijing Olympics, but I was wrong. For him, it was a race years earlier as a member of his small-college cross-country team. He had a break-out performance and finished second, but the team’s final placing meant more to him than individual glory,
and he still considers it the best race he ever ran. When I picked the brains of other runners on that same topic, I began hearing many more not-what-you’d-expect kinds of
stories. They were inspiring, poignant, funny, and definitely worth writing about.
So, it was not always a race they won that they consider their best?
Right. A race can be the “best” for any number of reasons, and that’s the theme flowing throughout the book. Often the first words from some of the well-known runners were, “My best race is probably not the one you think…” For one person it was a race she never even finished, for another it was a race in which he ran 26.2 miles with a stranger who would eventually become his wife. Sure, about half of the stories involve races in which the runner did finish first, but there was always something else about the race – the challenges they overcame, who they shared the victory with, how it inspired them to future success − that resonates with them to this day.
How did you decide on whom to contact?
We (me, my agent, and Diversion Books) wanted a mix of runners of all abilities, and decided that 50 was a workable number. The plan was for half of the subjects to be well-known current and former runners − Olympians, World Champions, broadcasters, etc. Then I reached out to those who were perhaps not so famous but still had interesting life experiences and inspiring stories to tell. That list includes an elite runner who grew up on a Navajo reservation, several athletes who persevere with disabilities, an official pacer for the New York City Marathon, a winner on TV’s Apprentice:
Martha Stewart, and a former Wall Street investment banker known as The Central Park Jogger who was brutally attacked and left for dead during a late-night run in 1989.
How did you contact them? Did you know them personally?
Several I knew from having worked with them on my first book. Others came through leads given to me, or via contact through websites, Facebook, or Achilles International, an organization that encourages people with disabilities to participate in a running program.
How receptive were runners to the idea of talking about their best race?
About three-fourths of my inquiries elicited a response, and those who responded were all very positive to the idea of a book and about discussing their stories. Many even thanked me for giving them the opportunity to relive such a meaningful event in their lives and careers.
Did many have trouble coming up with only one “Best Race?”
Even if someone had several such races in their past, a quote I kept hearing
was, “One race keeps coming back to me because . . .” That was the race I wanted to discuss with them.
Tell me about the process of doing the interviews and writing the stories.
The publisher wanted at least 65,000 words (we ended up with 79,000), so I spent
about 45 minutes to an hour interviewing each of the fifty subjects. That was enough to elicit a good profile of the runner and a good narrative of their race, without getting bogged down in too many details. I’ve conducted hundreds of interviews in the past and was used to pulling out the “story” from reams of information, but the recollections of these runners were very clear and the key parts of their account were usually self-evident. You’ll see I’m not the “author,” but the book is “edited by” me. My job was basically to let them tell their story and guide the discussion with my questions, then take out the extraneous material, organize everything into an engaging narrative,
and add my own commentary where appropriate to move the story forward. I had to remember that I wasn’t writing a magazine-length article on each runner’s best race, but a shorter narrative that would be read along with forty-nine other narratives.
After hearing all 50 “best races,” do you have a favorite?
Yes, but first I should say that I felt honored and privileged to speak to every one of those runners, whether they were world-class athletes or not-so-famous recreational runners like most of us. It was especially a treat to witness the excitement, the laughter, and sometimes the tears they had in describing to me a very special time in their lives. As for my favorite, it’s the story in which one of the leading marathoners in the US sacrificed his chance to make the Olympic team by pacing his friend to the third and final qualifying spot at the Olympic Trials. By doing so he finished fourth, but to this day he still considers it the best race he ever ran.
This running shoe company got more bad publicity than good with their ad showing a dog who apparently fainted and died while runninig with its master.
Here's the artcle.
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And here are some nice words about my new book from the last American woman to win the Boston Marathon:
"I found the book fascinating and loved reading about the thoughts we all go
through before, during and after a race. This would be a great Holiday
gift, birthday gift or simply a good read for you to learn from the successes
and mistakes that every runner makes."
Lisa Rainsberger, 2-time winner of the Chicago
Marathon, and the last American woman to win the Boston Marathon
Kara Goucher ∙ Jeff Galloway ∙ Jenny Simpson ∙ Steve
Scott ∙ Zola Budd ∙ Ed Eyestone Amy
Hastings ∙ Bart Yasso ∙ Martha Runyan ∙ Dick Beardsley, and more
50 Runners describe the best race they ever ran. Read a preview of my new eBook and the first chapter here.
"What a fascinating concept! My Best Race is a very unique and inspiring
collection that gives great insight into the minds of runners."
Keith Brantly, member of
the 1996 Olympic Marathon team
Registration for the 2014 Boston Marathon (the 118th edition) opens on September 9th, and the field has been set at 36,000 participants.
The qualification window for the 2014 Boston Marathon began last year on September 22, 2012. Registration will begin at 10 a.m. ET, based on the procedure outlined below.
According to Boston Athletic Assn. Executive Director Tom Grilk, “The B.A.A. is aware of the significantly increased interest in registering for the 2014 Boston Marathon. We understand many marathoners and qualifiers want to run Boston in 2014, and we appreciate the support and patience that the running community has demonstrated because of the bombings that occurred this past Spring.”
As in recent years, registration will occur on a “rolling admission” schedule, according to the B.A.A., beginning with the fastest qualifiers. On Monday, September 9, eligible runners who have met the qualifying standard for their age and gender by 20 minutes or more may register. On Wednesday, September 11 at 10:00 a.m. ET, if space remains, registration will open for those who have met their qualifying standard by 10 minutes or more. If space remains, registration will open on Friday, September 13 at 10:00 a.m. ET for those who have met their qualifying standard by five minutes or more. Registration will close on Saturday, September 14 at 10:00 p.m. ET. (note: registration and qualifying times are on the BAA website.)
If space remains after the first week of registration (Monday, September 9 through Saturday, September 14), then registration will re-open for all qualifiers from Monday, September 16 at 10:00 a.m. ET through Friday, September 20 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
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Don't forget to check out MY BEST RACE, to be released Sept. 3.
"A fascinating and fresh look at competitive running. The book surprises and motivates with a lesson in every chapter. A brilliant idea for a book, that is well written and a compelling read from start to finish." (Jon Sinclair, former USA cross country and 10K champion, and RRCA Hall of Famer)