Tag Archive | "el Camino"

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Casablanca Marathon: A Journal

El Camino stretches west of Rabé

The four-lane stretches northward toward Hassan II Mosque. I glance at the white surf crashing on the black rocks of the road’s curving flank. At that moment electricity flashes through my legs and they turn to spastic stone. As I pitch forward Albino grabs me in a bear hug. He stands like a gate post holding me upright. The length of a marathon is 42K; we are at 31K…

Wednesday, October 17, Rabé de las Calzadas

Again, I find myself running on el Camino de Santiago, running through Rabé de las Calzadas and onto the chalky dirt single-track that starts at the edge of town, at the little church with the walled cemetery with stone crosses, climbs two miles up a beautifully severe valley of steep cropland and sheep pasture, grand vistas marred by not a single man-made structure – no fences! – finally to an abrupt crest offering an expansive view north where a tiny town sits in all that vastness like a stamp on a giant post card.
I stand looking, thinking no one is around. Then, turning, I see a woman sitting at a pile of rocks on the bank above me. Our eyes meet. I spread my arms over the scene before us, and say,
“Hermosa, hermosa.”
“What?”
Oh. English.
“Beautiful,” I say.
“Yes, it is.”

Read the full story by Dallas Smith by clicking HERE

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Going Down Slow – Dallas Smith (Running Book)

‘Going Down Slow’ Released for Sale

Cover Image of Going Down Slow


The long-awaited book, Going Down Slow – The Times of an Old Man Who Runs, has been released for sale by Amazon. As of this writing, the book’s image and the Editorial Reviews are not yet included on the Amazon web site. In the meantime I am posting those here for readers who would like to browse the book a bit before ordering.

ORDER Going Down Slow HERE

Synopsis: Going Down Slow

The word “runs” appears in the subtitle of this memoir, and the act of running spans the breadth of it. So it is perhaps fair if some call this a running book. Running, however, is not the main topic. Adventure is. Author Dallas Smith is drawn to the adventure his hobby brings. Running is indeed a constant presence in the stories, but mostly as a current that sweeps him along, the reason he encounters the places he describes, the people he meets, and the adventure he finds. Running connects him to everything and everyone.

Events and episodes vary widely, as do the locales where they play out, stretching from the urbane glamour of Stockholm, Sweden to Spain’s El Camino de Santiago to the tussocks of the Arctic tundra to a flood-scoured gorge in Tennessee—and places in between. A run through Central Park suddenly shifts and takes the reader on a fishing trip where three adolescent boys of a distant time and place pulled sagging carp out of a muddy swamp and lugged their haul home. Smith finds adventures and brings them home.

This sprawling story delights and surprises readers. Smith brings observation, insight, and wit. His narrative flows like the smooth stride of a fast runner and makes the reader feel as if he, too, were there experiencing the color and danger of these episodic adventures.

Editorial Reviews

“A legendary runner and master storyteller has triumphed again…But the real victory belongs to the person who reads Going Down Slow…by Dallas Smith, one of the most remarkable athletes on the planet…Whether you’re an accomplished distance runner, [or] an around-the-block jogger…you won’t be able to put this book down. It’s that good…Much of his writing is pure poetry…” Corky Simpson, Green Valley News, AZ

“If Hemingway had been a runner his name would have been Dallas Smith. In his second book, Dallas shows that he is not a runner pretending to write but rather a gangsta of prose wrapping words smoothly around sweaty sneakers and singlets that make you feel as if you were there with him on his running escapades and tales of human compassion.” Joshua Holmes, CEO of Phoenix Publishing, founder of RunItFast.com

“His M.O. combines the relentlessness of a Terminator with the gregariousness of a yearling Labrador retriever. The people he meets confess, vent, advocate, and otherwise reveal their most cherished convictions and thereby obtain a voice to the world…what Smith learns and imparts to the reader is often surprising.” Stan Lawrence, songwriter, mandolin and vocals, Music City Flyboys

“Competitive running probably satisfies many goals for Dallas Smith, but chief among them must be the opportunity to observe humanity in all of its colors and then tell stories about what he saw. It’s the small observations amid lofty thoughts that reveal the soul of this author. Beset with physical and emotional misery after a disappointing marathon in Stockholm, he finds the smile of a stranger brings joy and tenderness to the moment, an experience he links seamlessly to the writing of Saint-Exupery.” Michael Redding, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, Tennessee Tech University

“Dallas Smith uses his keen observation ability and his endurance running skill to tell wonderful stories…” Diana Bibeau, president of Nashville Striders

“Pour yourself a big glass of wine, throw a few logs on the fireplace, and snuggle up in a comfortable chair. You are about to be entertained by the tales of a master storyteller… This latest compilation…is honest, poignant, and heartwrenching…” Amy Dodson, ultrarunner, two-time ITU World Paratriathlon Champion

“Dallas Smith is a masterful writer and storyteller, illuminating that whole range of passion that now thrills and now torments the human heart…” Charles Denning, former executive editor of Herald-Citizen, TN

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Albinos Party

Ultrarunner Albino Jimenez Continues Across Spain

Spanish ultrarunner Albino Jimenez continues his run across Spain on el Camino de Santiago, the Trail of Saint James. His route started at his home in Burgos, Spain and goes west. He has some 329 miles total to run to reach Santiago de Compostela, the location of the tomb of Saint James, 54 more miles if he continues on to Fisterra, the actual end of land. His daily stages range from 30 to 40 miles, and it should take him around 10 days to complete the run.

As of this writing, he has completed three stages, distances of 44, 38 and 33 miles, and is currently spending the night at Leon. Heat seems to be the main challenge. He reports highs ranging in the upper eighties, 88 on the 3rd stage.

As his run unfolds, I’ll tweet his progress from my twitter account at @smithbend, and post his progress on my Facebook page. Albino is posting his progress on his Facebook page as well.

To read the full story click HERE

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