December 18, 2014
A bonus #tbt today, in honor of the 51st anniversary of the race that’s coming up this Sunday:
Jeff Galloway won the first marathon he entered, in 1963 at age 18, even though he was “woefully unprepared“:
This race was actually the first Atlanta Marathon (race historians don’t count the informal race held in March 1963 with four finishers).
Jeff’s fame today is in large part due to his successful run-walk-run program, which has helped millions of people learn to enjoy distance running. But Jeff was also an excellent competitor. Among his many accomplishments, Jeff has a 2:16 marathon PR and he ran the 10K for the US in the 1972 Olympics.
December 18, 2014
In 1917, when Glenn Cunningham was eight, his legs were very badly burned in an explosion. He lost all the flesh on his knees and shins, the toes on his left foot, and his transverse arch was practically destroyed. When the doctors recommended amputating Glenn’s legs, he was so upset that his parents would not allow it. The doctors predicted he might never walk normally again.
In the 1930’s, Glenn Cunningham set world records in the 800 meters and the mile and was a two-time US Olympian.
December 11, 2014
The virtual book tour for Idle Feet Do the Devil’s Work continues with two stops at Embrace Running, on their blog and their podcast (a little after the 26 minute mark).
Holiday tip: A paper copy of Idle Feet fits easily under anyone’s tree, or you could pre-load the ebook version onto that Kindle or iPad you’re giving them.
December 11, 2014
Adolph Gruber was a 12-time Austrian marathon champion and three-time Olympian (1952, ’56. ’60) with a 2:23:30 PR. Running was not a big money sport in those days, so after he retired from serious racing in 1965 Gruber went to work as a tobacconist. After failing at that because he could not hide his dislike of tobacco smoking from his customers, Gruber became a physical trainer.
Gruber started out as a cyclist, but he switched to running due to a serious arm injury sustained on the Russian Front in World War II. Between that and his marathons, he was clearly somewhat of an expert on unnecessary pain, thinking it highly overrated.
In 1964, Adolph wrote this for the Long Distance Log:
December 4, 2014
Click image to enlarge
In 1970, Eugene Roberts became the first person to complete the Boston Marathon in a wheelchair as an unofficial, but recognized, entrant. Bob Hall was the first wheelchair racer to get an official finisher’s certificate, in 1975.
Two years later, multiple racers met in Hopkinton to race as a separate division for the first time, and to compete for the National Wheelchair Championship. Also that year, Sharon Rahn became the first woman wheelchair racer to enter, and finish, the race.
November 27, 2014
Amby and his wife, Cristina Negron, at the 2013 race
Congratulations to Amby Burfoot, who is running the 4.748-mile Manchester (CT) Road Race for the 52nd consecutive year today. Last year, Amby broke the record set by the late Dr. Charlie Robbins, who ran for 50 straight years between 1952 and 2001.
The first year Amby ran, in 1963, he finished 14th (first high school runner) in 25:59 . The race report , published in the Feb. 1964 Long Distance Log, only included the top 10:
Amby won the race nine times between 1968 and 1977. He didn’t start consciously working on the streak until years later, when it became a matter of proving to himself that he would keep going back even when he wasn’t going to win.
Dennis McCormack is hitting his 50th straight Manchester this year, so Amby may have his work cut out for him if he wants to keep the record for long. Here’s hoping he succeeds.
Boston Marathon winners Geoff Smith (left, 1984-85) and Amby Burfoot (right, 1968) earlier in 2014 (between them, some unknown slow guy)