Tag Archive | "runner"

Robin Robbins with 2016 Boston Marathon Medal

Robin Robbins Rocks The Boston Marathon (Race Report)

Robin Robbins Finishing the Boston Marathon with Rose

Boston Marathon Race Report by Milan, Tennessee native Robin Robbins

Competing in the 2016 Boston Marathon is something I have been working towards for about 5 years.    After I ran my first marathon in 2012 and finished in 4 hours I really thought qualifying for Boston may be a possibility.  I needed to beat 3:55 and felt like I could do it with better training and preparation.  I was able to BQ in 2014 and 2015 in December each year only to get bumped out during September registration because of overcrowding and adjustment of qualifying times the BAA made.  The 2014 BQ wound up not good enough by 40 seconds (needed 3:53:58) and the 2015 BQ fell short by 1 second (needed 3:52:22)!  So I was resigned to waiting for another chance at qualifying in a few years when I will be approaching my 65th birthday.  Then I will get 15 more minutes and hopefully not lose much speed between now and then.  So much for the stats, how did I get to Boston this year?

Well go to late February 2016 to begin the rest of the story.  I responded to a request from RIF #1 Joshua Holmes wanting to know which Run It Fast members qualified for Boston but got bumped out because of the qualifying adjustment. About 2 weeks later Joshua contacted me about an opportunity to go to Boston and run the 2016 Boston Marathon as part of a team of 10 runners from across the country being sponsored by Hyland’s.  Hyland’s is the official leg cramp medicine sponsor for the race.

Hylands' Leg Cramps Find Your Finish

Hyland’s decided to let runners like me who had qualified, but then got turned down, use their sponsorship entry into the race.  It was like winning the lottery!  Needless to say I had to rearrange some things so I could travel that weekend and immediately step up my miles to be ready for it on short notice.  The race entry also had an obligation to engage in a social media campaign called Hyland’s Find Your Finish Line for 26 days leading up to the race.  It was intended to help get not only my thoughts on the race out on social media, but to get the Hyland’s name out there as well.  That “homework” plus stepped up training plus tremendous work stress made it a very challenging time leading up to the race.

Robin Robbins Boston Marathon 2016 Bib

Friday before the race my wife and I flew to Boston and got settled into our hotel for the days to come.   The hotel was conveniently located just a block from Copley Plaza and the nearby finish line.  We had several required events to attend and other optional events that the Hyland’s team had organized.  I had decided not to join the Saturday morning 4 mile shakeout run.  Although I did not run, we went over to a good vantage point on Boylston Street to watch the 5k race that morning.  It was windy and blustery and I was glad I was not running that morning!  As we were crossing the street about 10 minutes before the runners started coming towards us, Bill Rodgers came from out of nowhere in a hurry crossing in the other direction.  He was too quick for a conversation or hello, but it was neat to actually see him scurrying about as we were.

After watching what seemed like a 1000 runners go by, we crossed the street and headed back to the hotel for a meet and greet breakfast for our team.  There we met all the other runners (except one who was arriving Sunday) and most of the Hyland’s folks.  They gave us our goody bag which was a very nice backpack filled with Hyland products, pullover long sleeve warm up, visor, socks, sunglasses, sunscreen, and other items.

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At noon we were required to go to the expo and meet at the Hyland’s booth to meet and have pictures made with Dave McGillivray, the Boston Marathon Race Director.  McGillivray has run the Boston Marathon each year since 1973 and since 1988 at night when he completes his duties as race director.  Pretty amazing!  Go to www.dmsesports.com to learn more about this man.  Then I went to the packet pick-up area to get my bib and shirt.

After our time together at the expo we had free time which we used to walk around the Boylston and Newberry Street shops and finish line area until that afternoon when we were meeting up at Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox take on the Toronto Blue Jays.   The weather was great and we sat in the sunshine in the outfield bleachers among the “bleacher creatures”.  We had a great time there getting to see a homerun hit over the “Green Monster” wall in left field and joining in for the singing of “Sweet Caroline” which has become a tradition there since the early 2000’s.  After the game we met some longtime friends of ours for dinner in the Italian part of the market area and then back to the hotel.

Sunday began with a brunch for our group at the townhome of one of the Hyland’s Boston employees, Margot Moore, in the South End which was a short walk south of our hotel.  A great time visiting with the team was enjoyed by all.  The rest of the day was more free time, so my wife and I took a Duck Tour of Boston.   It was very interesting seeing so many historic places by land and by water.  I would recommend this to anyone going to visit Boston as a starting point of you exploration of this city.  Sunday night we joined Roy Tamez and others for an RIF pre-race dinner at the Anthem Kitchen and Bar in the Faneuil Hall area of the city.

Robin Robbins, Kendra Schoffstall, Kevin Gerteisen, Jen Metcalf at the Boston Marathon

Race day began early with a 5:00 am breakfast at our hotel and then a short walk over to our tour bus ride out to Hopkinton. We made it to the Athletes Village around 7:00 am and rested on the grassy area near our bus. While waiting around I saw some Indiana RIF representatives, Jen Metcalf, Kevin Gerteisen, Kendra Schoffstall, and Angie Pace.  Always fun to see other RIFers at the races.  We could tell that the heat would be a factor because it was very pleasant even that early in the morning.  The temperature rose steadily reaching the high 60’s before we started the race.  When it was finally time for my wave to head over to the start line, we left the Athletes Village (Hopkinton High School) and walked almost a mile down to town and the starting line.  A retired veteran sang a rousing rendition of the different armed forces fight songs and then the gun was fired and we were off to Boston!

The excitement and adrenaline was flowing and everyone roared out of the corral and down the road which was steadily falling, making it too easy to go too fast.  Cheering spectators lined both sides of the road here and all the way to Boston except for a few small spots in between towns.  I kept pulling back on my pace until I reached 4 miles and decided to use a quick porta potty break to help slow me down.  After that quick stop I was able to hold a steady pace through the towns of Ashland and Framingham until I reached Wellesley.

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It was here that I planned another slow down while passing the “scream tunnel” of college girls at Wellesley College.  Of course I had to take a short video and a few pictures there as well as giving a few kisses away during my short recovery slow down.  This was about the half marathon point in the race and I knew the town of Newton and the famous Newton Hills would be next.  I started seeing signs entering Newton at 16 miles.  Around mile 17 the Newton Fire station came into sight and the road veered to the right heading straight into the Newton Hills for the next 4 miles.  The final hill of course was Heartbreak Hill cresting at mile 21.  Boston College students were on both sides of the road there screaming and handing out red roses to the runners. I have to say that I know now why that last hill is called Heartbreak.  I was really chugging along slowly when I reached the top and hoping that I could maybe pick up the pace slightly and hold it there until the finish.  But that was not going to happen for me.  I did manage to pick it up slightly the next mile but then I steadily slowed with each mile going in to the finish.

Robin Robbins Digging Deep at the Boston Marathon (2016)

I fought off a cramp in my left calf using Hyland’s Leg Cramp tablets those last few miles.  Thankfully Fenway Park was in sight to my right and then the large Citgo sign signaling only 2 miles to go.  When I finally got to the last 2 turns I knew I could finish with the huge crowds cheering for me and all the other runners,  Right on Hereford and left on Boyston and then the finish line was in sight.  I finished the race in 4:12:11, not my best marathon, but considering I was undertrained, I feel like it was a respectable time and a good ending to a dream come true.

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Once across the finish line I received my finisher’s medal, a heat wrap, a bottle of water and then walked a block over to the University Club for our post race celebration.  After I got in there and sat down, I got extreme cramps in both calves and even my quads.  Immediately I was being treated with Hyland’s leg cramp lotion and tablets to help relieve the pain.  After about ten minutes I was able to stand and walk around enough to get a shower and come back to enjoy the party.  We all had plenty of food and beverages as we shared stories about our day and celebrated our accomplishment.

Robin Robbins with 2016 Boston Marathon Medal

I want say that if it had not been for being a part of Run It Fast this would not have been possible. I have to thank Joshua Holmes for making this opportunity available to me as a result of his deep connections to the running community.  Thanks to all who followed and supported me along the way and for enduring my 26 days of posts about this adventure.  I am pretty sure that there may be other opportunities for RIF members to be a part of something else special that Hyland’s may have coming in the future and I hope someone else from Run It Fast can be a part of it.

Robin Robbins (2016 Boston Marathon finisher)

Robin Robbins Hylands Find your Finish Biographical Page

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Shannon Miller 7 Bridges Marathon – Run It Fast

Shannon Miller’s Mile: Getting Off the Canvas

Shannon Miller 7 Bridges Marathon - Run It Fast

Running has changed my life. There’s no doubt about that. It continues to teach me, and I continue to learn and grow from it. Even still, everyone has moments of weakness; sometimes even months of weakness.

The first half of 2015 was not good for me. I struggled with some unfortunate “that’s life” issues that had me feeling unmotivated, and I often found myself seeking comfort in food. I spent more and more time on the couch watching sappy chick-flick movies with a box of cookies, and less time outside with my running shoes.

By March, my training was almost non-existent and I had gained back about 20 pounds of the weight I had previously lost. I did manage to run 2 marathons and 2 ultras during the spring and early summer but, as undertrained as I was, each one was nothing but a pathetic suffer-fest. During the Asphalt Jackal Marathon, in mid June, my eyes opened to what I had become and what I was doing to myself. I knew something had to change. I finished the race that day in dead last place. Without the major support of friends, throughout the race, I doubt I would have finished at all.

I have worked hard over the last few months to return to the runner that I was last year, and I’m making good progress. I’m averaging about 32 miles per week in training right now, and I have worked my long training runs back up to a half marathon. I’m signed up for the Chattanooga 7 Bridges Marathon in 6 weeks, and it feels good to know that I’ll be ready for it. I ran it last year and beat my previous best marathon time by 15 minutes. Maybe I can pull out another personal record this year.

Even though my “backslide” cost me several months of valuable training and improvement, I don’t really regret it. It taught me things about myself, and it made me stronger. It is empowering to know that after hitting such a low that I can rise above and continue to better myself despite life’s obstacles. Things happen that can affect us mentally and change the way we see the world. I can’t tell you that it won’t happen again, but if it does I’ll be ready.

– Shannon Miller (RIF #338)

More Miller’s Mile
Miller’s Mile: Beginning to Believe

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Harriett Thompson Oldest Runner to Run a Marathon – Run It Fast

Harriette Thompson Becomes Oldest Woman to Run a Marathon at 92

Harriett Thompson Oldest Runner to Run a Marathon - Run It Fast

Harriette Thompson is now the oldest woman to ever run at marathon after she completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon this morning at the age of 92-years old. She finished with a time of 7 hours 24 minutes.

Thompson has run the San Diego Marathon 16x and ran a 7:07 last year to set the record for 90 years and older. She started running marathons when she turned 76-years old.

According to ATHLinks Thompson ran a 44:26 5K two weeks prior. She ran a 6:27:03 at the 2009 San Diego Marathon

Congrats to Harriette in showing the world that anything is possible if we will just get out there and try it.

source/photo: Competitor

Posted in Marathon, RunningComments (0)

Mount Wilson Elevation Profile – Run It Fast

My Day Running Up and Down Mount Wilson

Mount Wilson Summit Run – Sierra Madre, California
January 30, 2014

The stresses of life and letdowns from others can often beat us up and tear us down in our day to day life.

On Thursday I needed an escape. I needed a mountain to pound  against and wrestle with until my body was beat down and my head was clear.

I’ve been trying to maximize and find all the beautiful, wonderful, and amazing places to train and run in and near Los Angeles over the past few months.

So a couple of nights ago I was searching maps and googling different searches and found Mount Wilson. Every review I read about it talked about how serious a ‘hike’ it was and one reviewer described the climb as ‘hell on earth.’ Well after reading that I found myself at the base of Mount Wilson less than 10 hours later. It was about a 40 minute drive from Hollywood.

I knew the climb up to the summit of Mt. Wilson was roughly a 4,500-5,000 foot gain over the course of give or take 7 miles.

By the time I parked it was already 2:15pm which didn’t leave too much daylight to run/hike up to the top and run back down. The day was already void of sun as it was extremely overcast, foggy, and full of dark clouds. I knew I’d have to Run It Fast® up and back down to beat the dark on what was an unfamiliar trail.

Running Up Mount Wilson

I started up the trail and immediately saw a guest book/log and wrote out ‘Joshua Ho…’ before the pen dried out. I had on a hydration vest with two bottles and hoped it wasn’t a prelude to my own hydration fate up on the mountain.

Half a mile into the trail, I saw the last human I’d see over the next 3+ hours. I’d love to tell you the views were beautiful the higher I climbed, but I couldn’t see anything after 1,000 feet of climb up the mountain (see below).

The climb up Wilson was no joke. I was able to run portions of it the first 3.5 miles and fast hike the other parts. After about 3.5 miles it became even more steep as the thick fog and dark clouds started to circle around me. I had my first thoughts of not being to get back down before it was dark and the rains set in.

The temperatures started to drop and the misty rain started to come down faster 4 miles in. I was running in a cut-off shirt and started to think that it might get too wet and cold before I reached the summit. As I mentioned earlier, no humans were anywhere to be found, especially this high up on the trail. I debated turning back as my hamstrings and back were starting to ache. However, I kept marching forward and feeling more and more liberated and free the higher I escaped into the clouds. I wasn’t done battling the mountain, and I’d regret not finishing if I turned back prematurely.

The 5th mile up the mountain had over 900 feet of gain and seemed to go on forever. I could never see too far ahead due to lack of visibility, but the trail before me, where I was watching every single step I planted, was beautiful and rich with character.

The next two miles averaged about 600 feet of climb per mile, but almost felt relatively flat after that 5th mile. About 6 miles up the trail I hit a rough jeep road that I made pretty good time on. The last 1.3ish miles to the summit were on this road.

The first half of the climb up Mt. Wilson was a serious climb, but most runners/hikers in decent shape can do it. The last half (after the first 3 miles) gets very krunk. It’s technical, very steep, and desolate in nature. I’m sure most days there is a bit more, or at least some, traffic on the trail higher up towards the observatory, but there was none when I went up it. I kept wondering what wildlife hid behind the next turn or behind the fog, but all I came across were a few squirrels and birds.

The Summit of Mount Wilson

It took me 2:03:11 to reach the top of Mount Wilson. The distance from where I started at my car to the top was clocked at 7.3 miles. The total climb per Strava was listed just a hair above 5,000 feet to a point of 5,665 of elevation.

The top, as I had read elsewhere, was in fact anti-climatic. It was a welcome sight as I knew that the climbing was over and that I’d be running a lot faster back down the mountain trail to civilization. However the summit of Mount Wilson, it’s just a bunch of roads at the top, along with the observatory which was rather small, and not a single example of life.

Running Down Mount Wilson

The trip back down the mountain was a lot faster than the way up and therefore not worthy as of many words. It was a fast down that was at times too fast. Some of the more technical parts leave 2-3 inches to plant your foot or down the mountain to your death you go. So it was important to pay attention to every step and slow down and walk through some very tight passes.

The steep run down was refreshing and fast! I started to feel it in my quads half way down as they were starting to grow sore. The miles back down the mountain clicked off so much faster than the ones up it.

The flight down had of course 5,000 feet of descent and took 1:20:30.

Mount Wilson Run Details

Total Mount Wilson 14.7 mile run had 5,088 feet of climb and 5,088 feet of descent and took 3:20:41.

Mt Wilson Mile By Mile Ascent/Descent, Pace
Mile 1: +729 -70, 14:53
Mile 2: +686 -49, 15:47
Mile 3: +513 -42, 15:05
Mile 4: +718 -42, 18:42
Mile 5: +995 – 41, 21:40
Mile 6: +687 0, 18:51
Mile 7: +546 0, 17:01
Mile 8: +53 -404, 13:11
Mile 9: 0 -533, 9:56
Mile 10: 0 -952, 12:33
Mile 11: 0 -801, 10:24
Mile 12: +97 -480, 10:25
Mile 13: 0 -655, 9:50
Mile 14: +88 -683, 10:11
Mile 14.7: 0, -392, 5:07

It was a great run. I’m glad I decided on a whim to go do it. I felt cleansed, alive, and detoxed after it was over. I couldn’t help but feel alive in the rain and Los Angeles rush hour traffic as I slowly drove back home in much the same fashion as I had made my way to the top of Mt. Wilson.

I’d recommend this trail to anyone. It takes a big effort to make it all of the way to the top and back, but it’s still worth the drive and time even if you just want to do a handful of miles instead of the whole enchilada.

joshua holmes (RIF #1)

PS: You can park in front of the small park on E Mira Monta Ave for free and walk up or start up Mount Wilson Trail Road right next to it.

Posted in Race Reports, RunningComments (0)

Hope Shull with Marj Mitchell Race for Hope

Lisa Gonzales is the 2013 Hope Award Winner

Last January, we presented Hope Shull with a membership to Run It Fast – The Club at the Race for Hope 5K in Henderson, Tennessee.

The 5K was held to honor Hope as she had terminal cancer with just a few weeks to live. She died shortly after the race was held.

Hope was a personal friend to myself and many other of the early members of Run It Fast. I ran several of my very first 5K races with Hope and her good friend Marj Mitchell in West Tennessee.

I wrote Hope a letter to be presented to her at the Race for Hope 5K last January that Marj read to her at the race.  The letter included a permanent membership to Run It Fast along with a few other words that included the creation of an award in her honor –  ‘The Hope Award.’

January 12, 2012

Hope,

I’m amiss that I can’t be at the race today.  I’m in Los Angeles, but you are on my mind as you often are.

I asked Marj if it would be ok ,and she thought it would be, so I want to proudly announce you as the newest member of Run It Fast – The Club.

You will always be RIF #225, a special number to me as 25 has always been one of my two most favorite numbers.  You will always be a part of the club no matter what transpires from this day forward between any of us.

I’ve always wanted you to be a part of the club because you embody EVERYTHING that Run It Fast was created to become. Run It Fast is a club full of members that have this deep down desire to overcome obstacles in life and limitations that most others let hold them back or down. Run It Fast members don’t let their situation or hardship in life dictate their life for them.

Instead they go out and conquer life by digging deep to train hard, run races, and forge friendships along the way that inspire others to do things that perhaps they didn’t think were possible either.

Also, I want to announce that starting this year, at the end of the year, the Run It Fast – Club will annually give one member the honor of being named the Hope Shull Inspirational Runner of the Year!

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the example you’ve set for me not only with running but with life.  I’ll never forget sharing the car ride back to the start of the Labor Day 5 Miler with you a couple of years ago. That was a beautiful day and a lot of fun.

With my utmost love, respect and admiration, 

Joshua Holmes

Run It Fast ® (RIF #1)

I’m proud and honored to announce that the ‘2013 Hope Shull Inspirational Runner Award’ goes to RIF #5 Lisa Gonzales from Alta Loma, California.

Lisa has inspired all of us with her bravery, courage, and tough inner fortitude in battling cancer over the last few months while never losing faith and being extremely positive and supportive of every member of Run It Fast, as she recovered from surgery and continues to go through chemotherapy.

Lisa insisted upon crewing me at the EC 100 just two weeks after her surgery. She has yet to deliver me a good cheeseburger during a 100 miler when crewing me, but she did a great job that day crewing me to a Top 5 finish.

She has been vital to the growth of Run It Fast over the last two years and has a true passion and desire for the club to become the best.

She is one of the toughest people I know. I draw inspiration from her, not only during my races, but in life in general. My worst days are nowhere near what she has gone through and survived in the past year.

Lisa gives ‘Hope’ to hundreds of runners in the running community across the globe every day!

I’m very proud of Lisa and honored that she is the 2013 recipient of ‘The Hope Shull Inspirational Runner Award.’

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Where RUN IT FAST Runners Are Running This Weekend (Oct 5-6, 2013)

Where RUN IT FAST Runners Are Running This Weekend (Oct 5-6, 2013)

 

Here is a look at where everyone is running this weekend. We had 19 responses this week. Good luck to everyone and Run It Fast!

To join Run It Fast – The Club then click HERE to read more details.

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Tom Cruise Running – Run It Fast

Tom Cruise’s Running Form Over the Years (Video)

Tom Cruise is known for a few things over the last thirty years in the public eye. Some of those things we can even openly discuss without getting sued by his legal team. One of those being the Larry Macon-like number of running scenes Cruise has had in his films.

The creator of the Tom Cruise running compilation above claims that Cruise has had a running scene in 75% of his films.

It shows all of Tom’s running from his movies over the course of his career up until 2011 (when the video was created).

Tom appears to be a hard-nosed sprinter with too much arm action and and a cocked back neck which could cause such too far back (like someone else I know during a marathon).

He runs almost as if he’s running from a bomb, crooked lawyers, or terrorists.

Best way to describe Cruise’s form: Usain Bolt in a 5’7″ white man’s body at 1/3rd the speed!

Cruise might have the most memorable brief case run that took place in The Firm.

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Instagram- The View Is Better When Running – Run It Fast

Instagram of the Day: The View Is Better When Running

Today’s featured #RunItFast Instagram of the day is from Roberta.

You can follow Roberta on Instagram @rsala85

Keep up the good work! #runitfast

More than 30,000 running photos have been tagged on Instagram with our hash #runitfast.

Follow Run It Fast on Instagram @runitfast and use the hashtag #runitfast for a potential feature on Instagram and here.

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Alex Barrientos Must Dash 5K

Run It Fast – The Club Profile – Alex Barrientos #258

This week’s Run It Fast Club Member profile is RIF #258 Alex Barrientos. Alex hasn’t been running very long but he’s a racing fiend. I follow him on Instagram and it seems like he’s doing a 5K every weekend. Or close to it. And we all know how much pain a 5K is! Check out Alex’s profile below to learn more about him:

INFO

Name: Alex Barrientos
RIF #: 258
Twitter: @alexb214
Instagram: alexb214

STATS

Years Running: 1 yr, 7 mos
Favorite Race Distance: Half marathon ( for now)
Favorite PR: Big D Half Marathon – 1:44:35
Favorite Race: Carrollton Trails 5k. It is a local race and real close to where I grew up. This summer my entire family ran the 5k. My daughter and I placed in the top 3 in AG.

Favorite Bling: Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon

Next Race: Dallas Cowboys 5k
What Makes You FEEL Fast?:Running downhill.

FUN RUNNING QUESTIONS

Why did you start running?
I first started running to lose weight, after losing 20 lbs I was addicted to running.

Who inspires your running and why?
Everyone on the RIF team, Instagram and Twitter friends. I am always inspired when I see someone post a new PR, new long distance achievement or a favorite running spot.

What’s the most beautiful place that you’ve run?
It would be running on the Oahu Island.

What is your favorite go-to pre-race meal?
Chicken pasta alfredo.

Why do you race?
I like the overall aspect of preparing for a, pushing your body to the limits on race day. I also like to collect race bibs.

What is the one piece of running gear you can’t leave the house without?
iPhone

What running moment are you most proud of?
It would have to be completing the Dallas Marathon relay last year with 4 friends. Last year I was training to run the marathon but got injured three months before race date. I had to cancel my plans on running the marathon.  I did convince four friends to do the marathon relay with me instead. Most of them were not runners but accepted the challenge. We trained hard and completed the marathon relay in 4:20.

***

I absolutely love the photos that Alex shared with us. The photo of him with his family is awesome! The family that runs together…obviously has fun together. :) The photo from the Dallas Marathon is another great example of how Alex is not only encouraging his family to run but his friends as well. And don’t you think the Must Dash photo is great? :) We think Alex is inspiring and a great addition to the Run It Fast Club. We can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the coming months!

Thank you for sharing with us Alex! Rock the Dallas Cowboys 5K and Run It Fast!

If you’d like to join Run It Fast – The Club or would like more information about it, please click this link:

Run It Fast – The Club (JOIN TODAY)

[All photos submitted by Alex Barrientos]

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Malcolm Gladwell Beating Dave Reid in Canada – Running 1500m Run It Fast

Malcolm Gladwell’s Unique Perspectives on Running

Author Malcolm Gladwell has written several best sellers including Blink, Outliers, and The Tipping Point. He was a good 1500m runner in middle/high school beating future Canadian Olympian Dave Reid three times (photo above/video below). He recently got serious about running again after several years of light running and pursuing other sports.

He recently sat down with Jerry Sticker of Runner’s World for a very interesting and detailed interview about his love affair with running.

Here are some excerpts from the interview with Malcolm:

How Other Countries Celebrate Running: There’s another interesting element that I’ve observed in Jamaica. (My mom is Jamaican, so we go there all the time.) I remember a couple of years ago going for a run on these little side roads and all these people shouting out to me, tons of them, just cheering me on, encouraging me. They have no idea who I am or what I’m doing there. The idea of someone out there running is so central right now in Jamaican culture that they’re like, “Good for you!” Cars would slow down and people would wave and honk their horns. And it’s not that I was the only person running, it’s just that running was something you celebrated. It was kind of fantastic, actually.

On the Flaws of Age-Class Racing: Age-class running, as you know, is completely unreliable. It’s based on this artificial thing, which is that people who are the same age have the same level of physical maturity. Which just isn’t true. And I always suspected, when I was an age-class runner, that I was just maturing faster than my peers. At 13 I would go to the line at a race and I would be the tallest guy in the race. Now, I’m not a tall person. I realized I was just maturing faster. And if you’re improving in those years, you’re improving your 1500 time by seven or eight seconds a year. If you have six months of maturity on someone, that’s four seconds! These races, these results, mean nothing at that age. All they tell you is that someone has a reasonable degree of promise. But I knew that I was just maturing faster than Dave Reid and that he would catch up with me and surpass me [laughs]. And that I should really quit while I was ahead.

Why Running is the Smart Choice as a Sport for Life: No, none of that is to say America can’t do a better job of finding running talent. It’s just a matter of the sport making a better competitive case for itself. Saying to kids who are doing something else that running is more rational. I mean, I’m biased, but I think of all the physical activities you can do as a kid. What you want to do is something that establishes a pattern of physical activity that is sustainable over a big chunk of your adult life. To me, that’s the main reason why you should do something. That’s why I think tennis is a really rational choice as a sport. Running is a rational choice. Football’s not. Totally irrational choice. Not a sustainable activity over the course of your life. It’s something that will actually get in the way of you being physically active later in life. In that sense I think we can do a better job in making the case for our sport at an earlier age.

Should PEDS and Drugs be Allowed: That’s the part of doping that I find the hardest to think through, injury recovery. When [retired NFL player] Ray Lewis comes back from torn triceps in six weeks—when for most people it’s a season-ending injury—there was a suspicion that he used some of this stuff. If you’re a professional athlete, I find it really hard to get mad at you if you use available medical technologies to recover quicker. I can understand, sure, it’s a bad thing if you’re competing and one person is taking a lot of drugs to perform better. But for injury recovery—that’s what drugs are for.

I remember when [New York Yankees pitcher] Andy Pettitte was injured, there was some allegation he was taking something during his period of recovery. How can you blame the guy? He’s a professional athlete. If I got carpal tunnel and couldn’t type, would I take a drug so I could get better sooner? Totally. My living is typing. If your living is throwing a baseball—that’s why this problem is so complicated. You can’t say that athletes can’t benefit from medical technology. But I also don’t like the idea that some guy’s winning the Olympics because he’s found a way to take a lot of EPO.

The entire interview is full of great statistical and social analysis of running. It’s a great read.

You can read the interview in it’s entirety HERE at Runner’s World.

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