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Extra, Extra - Run All About It!

Sunday news logo By Peter Washkowitz

Dear readers, let's take a look back at the week in running:

* As reported in the Business Standard on April 5th, Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Vijay Goel, running for the New Delhi seat in India's government has taken an exercise-friendly approach to his campaign. Rather than hold a typical rally or give a usual speech full of trite and hackneyed language, Goel has been spreading his message whilst running with his constituents in the morning. Goel has intelligently taken advantage of the fact that "Everyone is in a better temper in the morning, amidst trees and grass, and while working up a healthy heart rate" and has been able to describe the platform he is running (no pun intended) on to all those people in India who, like in New York, crave an excellent morning workout. In any typical political election, a candidate is usually viewed as guilty until proven innocent. He/She must win you over and must detail why they deserve your vote. In my view, however, Goel's approach makes him innocent unless proven guilty and, were I living in India today, I would most definitely vote for him (unless he is faster than me!). I wonder whether, in India, there are ballot boxes lining the streets which would thereby enable a runner to vote without having to stop!

* An article published on Tallahassee.com on April 5th recounted the interesting conversation of two high school track coaches who were debating what the most difficult type of training session might be. The first coach argued that the '6x1 mile' run on a track at quicker than 5K race pace with one-lap job recoveries received his vote. His rationale was that the combination of running at a very brisk pace with little recovery time and the tedium of running for a total of 29 laps on the track made for a very onerous workout. The second coach countered that a 'dozen steep hill sprints on 300 meters' with short jogging recovery inflicted more mental and physical hardship. While their argument was never settled, the first coach went on to recall witnessing a former teammate who had engaged in a crazy workout which, on its face, doesn't seem too challenging, he would never subject his students to. While the workout called for 4 repeats of 400 meters (400 meters = 1 mile) with 10 minutes of recovery between each mile, the workout becomes extreme with the added requirement that each lap must be done in under 50 seconds (thereby running a sub four minute mile). The first coach recounted how the teammate "launched into each quarter like a man fleeing demons, hit the finish line utterly spent, and spent the next 10 minutes on his knees, awash in pain. I timed him in 49.3 on the last 400. An hour later at the dining hall, he was still so fatigued that his sentences slurred". While all these workouts seem fun and effective in increasing one's endurance, I'll stick with my usual 4 milers on the treadmill!!

* As reported in the Chicago Tribune on April 7th, after finishing a 4-mile run last week, 61-year old Chicago resident, Kim Halladay, reached a milestone he had set his sights on 25 years ago: he has run at least 100 miles every month for those 25 years. While, over the (running) course of the 34,020 miles he has run, he has seen his pace slow from 7 minute/mile speeds down to 8.5 minute/miles, Halladay remains one of running's biggest fans, "...much of the reward comes from hanging in there on a windy, snowy day. At the end of the week you can look back and feel good about taking care of yourself..." While he doesn't have any future goals in mind, Halladay does not plan to stop his weekly running routines and continues to run as much as he can. Way to go, Kim!!

* As reported in the Salt Lake Tribune on April 10th, Devine Sports, the owner of April 18th's Salt Lake City Marathon and a handful of others across the country, is behind on its payments owed to The Murray Police Department and the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office for their services along the route of this year's Salt Lake City Marathon. While in previous years, the police departments worked the marathon route for free, they have begun asking for payments due to a state imposed fee for special events. The $15,000 that was due last Monday was not the first late payment in Divine Sports' history as they were late in paying the Nevada Highway Patrol $9,678.39 during the 2007 Las Vegas Marathon. While Devine Sports has assured the police departments that the payments are on their way, the South Salt Lake Police Department chief warned runners in his city that they would have to fend for themselves on the streets if the money did not arrive. I'll be the first to admit that Devine Sports has a responsibility both to the police departments it owes money to and to the marathoners themselves, but I feel the chief's comments are a little unwarranted and frankly, inappropriate!

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Next Weekend's Marathons

Saturday, April 18th
Bicentennial Exchange Club Andrew Jackson Marathon (Jackson, TN)
Charlottesville Running Company Charlottesville Marathon (Charlottesville, VA)
Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners Frisco Marathon (Willard, MO)
Ocean City, MD Marathon (Ocean City, MD)
Salt Lake City Marathon (Salt Lake City, UT)
Wenatchee Marathon (Wenatchee, WA)

Sunday, April 19th
Diablo Marathon (Clayton, CA)
Earth Day Challenge Marathon (Gambier, OH)
Go! St. Louis Marathon (St. Louis, MO)
River City Marathon (Sacramento, CA)

Monday, April 20th
Boston Marathon (Boston, MA)

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