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Extra, Extra, Run All About It! The Week in Running 10/25 - 10/31

Extra Extra

By Peter Washkowitz

Dear readers, Let's take a look back at the week in running.

As reported in the Tampa Tribune on October 27th, if nothing else, at least Jesuit High School cross country runner, Shayan Falasiri, got an opportunity to break-in his pair of jeans this past summer when he visited his parents in their home country of Iran. Despite the desert heart temperatures which often exceed 100 degrees, because Iran strictly adhere to the teachings of Islam, those wanting to go for a run outdoors must do so in long-sleeve tshirts and pants since, according to Iranian edicts, men and women are not supposed to show their skin while out in public. On top of this, because Iran imposes severe restrictions on how much visitors are allowed to bring into the country, the only pair of pants that Falasiri brought with him and was thus forced to wear while running outdoors were his jeans. While Falasiri did not question the idiocy of having to run in jeans as the desert sun beat down on him, there was no question in his mind he would return to wearing shorts when he got back to America, "I never really got used to running in jeans, not like I thought I would after all that time last summer...They're not only hot, they're heavy and they restrict your movement. When I put on a pair of shorts again - oh, my gosh - I couldn't believe how comfortable it was to run."

As profiled in the New York Times on October 27th, Wesley Paul and Howie Breinan both agreed that when they ran the New York City Marathon in 1977 and 1979 respectively, they both felt some sense of child-like glee. But then again, that's probably because they both were children back then! While the first NYC Marathon was run in 1970, it wasn't until 1981 that marathon organizers set the minimum age of runners at 16-years old (in 1988, it was raised to 18-years old). Exhilarated by the cheers of the crowd, Paul finished the 1977 marathon in 3:00:31 (2 hours and 41 minutes faster than Mario Lopez) when he was the ripe old age of 8-years old while Breinan finished the 1979 marathon inn 3:26:34 (2 hours and 15 minutes faster than Mario Lopez) when he was but 9-years old. While both (now) men still run today, their last marathons were back in the 1980s after suffering various knee and leg injuries over the long course of their careers. While Paul and Breinan should serve as an inspiration to today's youths about what they can do if they put their minds to it, they also provide me with evidence as to why marathon organizers should set lower minimum age standards for entrants into the NYC Marathon. Hopefully, come next year's marathon, both myself and Baby Petes will be lining up at the start line in Staten Island!

As reported on WebMD on October 27th, it seems I may have been somewhat wrong in the assumption that chewing Nicorette does not negatively impact a runner's performance in any material way. While one can hardly argue with the myriad evidence concluding that cigarettes are harmful not only to one's health but to one's ability to run, I had been under the impression that chewing Nicorette, which not the most attractive habit, was akin to chewing bubble gum and, as per a past post, occasionally chew Nicorette whilst running. However, new research by Stella Daskalopoulou, MD, of the McGill University Health Centre, has shown that, while not on the same level as smoking (increasing arterial stiffness by an astounding 24.5% after running on a treadmill), chewing nicotine gum can cause arterial stiffness to increase by 12.6% after being put through a treadmill exercise test. Daskalopoulou noted that this finding is important because, as "arteries stiffen...the heart must work harder, increasing the risk for heart disease or stroke". With all the technology available today, why someone can't produce some nicotine product that is completely harmless, is beyond me. But for now, unfortunately, I may have to rethink chewing Nicotine next time I head out for a run.

Celebrities Running The New York Marathon

As reported on RadarOnline.com on October 23rd, let's just hope former ER star Anthony Edwards need not make a re-appearance at the ER after running in tomorrow' New York City Marathon. The former Thursday night doctor will be running the marathon in the hopes of raising enough money for shoe4africa whose goal is to raise enough money to build the first public children's hospital in Kenya.

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Next Weekend's Marathons

Saturday, November 7th
St. Francis Hospital And Health Centers Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (Indianapolis, IN)
Midsouth Marathon (Wynne, AR)
Stinson Beach Marathon (Stinson Beach, CA)

Sunday, November 8th
Vertical Runner Bobcat Trail Marathon (Glouster, OH)
Oroweat Fort Worth Marathon (Fort Worth, TX)
Select Medical Corporation Harrisburg Marathon (Harrisburg, PA)
OBX Marathon (Outer Banks, NC)
Santa Clara Marathon (Santa Clara, CA)
Eye-Q Two Cities Marathon (Fresno, CA)

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