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Extra, Extra, Run All About It

Extra Extra By  Peter Washkowitz

As profiled in the Wall Street Journal on June 23rd, when he's not ensuring the safety and security of all New York City residents, police commissioner Ray Kelly is protecting his body...from becoming out of shape. On average, the head of the NYC police works out four times a week for a least a an hour. A knee operation three years ago made Kelly switch from running outdoors to using a treadmill while he jogs on for 30 minutes unless his knee is bothering him wherein he will walk on a treadmill at a speed of 4.4mph. When he's not running, Kelly weightlifts. When asked what his workout weakness is, Kelly responded that he doesn't, "stretch enough...I know I should do it more, and I'd like to do yoga, but I just don't have time". Whether it's running down a suspect or running for fitness, it's nice to see that the top NYC brass shares a similar view of fitness and exercise as I. I'll keep that in mind should I have find myself having problems with the law!

As profiled on Examiner.com on June 25th, maybe the 'Bridge To Nowhere' is actually the 3-mile route Alaska Governor Sarah Palin runs every other day. While she isn't the smartest runner int he corral, Palin is an avid runner and admits that she, "usually write[s] my best speeches
and letters [in my head] while out running". I cannot believe I am writing this, but I have to agree with the governor in that I usually have some of my best thoughts while I am running and can certainly understand what she means. Besides that, however, I tend to disagree with everything else she says.

As reported on CBSNews.com on June 25th, according to Ian Shrier MD, PhD, a specialist in sports medicine and Associate Professor at McGill University, stretching before working out, contrary to popular opinion, "...does not improve performance. It makes you run slower, jump not as high, and makes you weaker...stretching definitely can hurt people if you overstretch; people do it all the time if they force the stretch". While Shrier is not a big fan of pre-workout stretching, he does believe that warming up is crucial, "If you start running at full speed without warming up, your body will produce lactic acid. Lactic acid can impair muscle function for awhile, preventing you from sprinting efficiently at the end of the race". I rarely, if ever, have stretched before runs and have always wondered why so many people do so. From the way people contort their bodies before races, I was always amazed that more people did not injure themselves before the race had even begun. Thanks Dr. Shrier for proving my intuition correct!

As reported on BBCNews.com on June 26th, a pair of Scottish club athletes (one man, one woman) were banned from running in the Edinburgh Marathon for life after they were caught swapping entry numbers. The man, running with the woman's bib number, finished in a time which put the woman in the top 10 female runners. After a member of the pair's running club saw the finishing times, he altered the club and noted that the woman's finishing time was far too fast for her. Noting how disastrous it could have been had the man needed medical attention while wearing the woman's bib, the Scottish Athletics association released a statement noting, "the use of borrowed competitor numbers not only undermines the integrity of results, prizes and rankings issued by the sport but potentially has serious implications in the case of medical treatment to an athlete and alerting next of kin". Aside from being banned for life, I'm sure the man got punished in a second way as well: he has been the butt of many jokes from his friends for his lady-like finishing time!

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Next Weekend's Marathons

Saturday, July 4th
Foot Traffic Flat Marathon (Portland, OR)

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