Warm Race; Secret Strategy

Running marathons, I never had a great day on a good course in good weather. Of my two fastest races, one was plagued by heat and the other by rain and a sloppy track. But certainly of these two races, Boston 1973 was my best marathon effort. In the late 1960s, I was in the […]

Six Years as “The Flying Parson”

Although I was more of a plugger and a plodder than a natural speedster, from an early age I always enjoyed long distance running. While in college during the mid 1960s, I ran cross country for North Carolina State University. However, my first experience running in, or even seeing, a marathon was a new event […]

1st, 2nd, and 358th place for the USA

First, a little background: My so-called road racing career began in fits and starts; but the initial date is easy to pin down: the day I read an article in the June 01, 1964, issue of Sports Illustrated about American expatriate Buddy Edelen. Unnoticed by most Americans, Edelen had run the first- and third-fastest marathons […]

Coping-mechanisms as we walked and cramped our way through the last few miles

As I slowly did my walk-run combo, with severe cramps in my calves and quads being so bad they would occasionally jolt me to an uncomfortable, albeit brief, stop altogether, I made my peace with my inevitably slow finish by soaking in my surroundings and talking with other runners clearly in the same boat. Throughout […]

Drawing Life-long Strength from Boston

As I recollect my memories of the Boston Marathon and how I came to run it, it is much like writing my own obituary, because it rises to the top, like the perfect foam on a Guinness beer. That is to say, with great joy, comfort and humor, this race helped shape the person I […]

Number Six of my Fifty State Marathons and my Proudest Accomplishment

The Boston Marathon represented the end of a two year pursuit for me. In 2000, I set a goal to qualify for Boston and reached that goal in the Twin Cities Marathon that same year (a personal record of 3:09:52). The qualifying time was good for two years. I was very busy with medical school, […]

Playful Prelude, Somber Postscript

Follow That Unicorn! (Eleven days before) When I first took up running a few years ago, qualifying for the storied Boston Marathon seemed about as realistic as making out with Mila Kunis. This seemed especially true after barely completing my first marathon in just under a grueling four hours. Well, maybe it’s time to give […]

A Tongue-in-Cheek Critique

My first Boston Marathon experience was a major letdown. A drag. An abysmal weekend. Never has a marathon been talked up as much as Boston has. Ever. I’ve been reading race reports and articles about Boston for years and it’s always “Boston is great. The food is awesome. The fans are wonderful. The atmosphere is […]

A Fast Marathon Needs More than Fitness

How do you run a fast marathon? It’s one of the most interesting questions I can think of as a runner, training geek, and coach. It’s also incredibly complex. With a race as long as the marathon, there are more opportunities for something to go wrong. Quite often, your finish time is more strongly influenced […]

“Against the Wind, we were runnin’ against the wind…”

“Against the wind/ We were runnin’ against the wind/ We were young and strong, we were runnin’/ Against the wind…” -Bob Seger My heart sank when I saw the weather forecast. It’s silly of course because the weather is something we cannot control (although the report did make me pack my warm Hoka hat, which […]