Runner's Web Digest - May 3, 2002
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New This Week:
We have no personal posting(s) this week. Personal Postings (when
available) are located after the Upcoming Section towards the bottom of
This week's poll is: "What duathlon format would you prefer?
The previous poll was: "How low do you think the women's world marathon
best time will go in your lifetime?"
Results at publication time were:
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checking the results of previous polls.
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May 6, 1954 - The First Sub 4 Minute Mile:
Here's how Roger Bannister himself described one of the greatest moments in
"There was complete silence on the ground ... a false start ... I felt angry
that precious moments during the lull in the wind might be slipping by. The
gun fired a second time ... Brasher went into the lead and I slipped in
effortlessly behind him, feeling tremendously full of running. My legs
seemed to meet no resistance at all, as if propelled by some unknown force.
More...from The Four Minute Mile! at:
Endurance Sports Newsletter - E-Feature Showcase:
Bay to Breakers: Is the Party Over?
On a chilly morning more than a decade ago, I stood across the street
from the Pacific Ocean waiting to witness my first Bay to Breakers
finish. Despite a thick fog and a bone-chilling breeze that not even my
scalding-hot coffee could neutralize, the front-runners proved
In fact, it was worth the 100-mile, early morning drive just to see
Olympic marathon champion Joan Benoit Samuelson cross the finish line
wearing oversized lobster-shaped gloves.
However, it wasn't until the costumed multitudes began to arrive - a
scenario I since have witnessed several times - that the true stories of
the running event billed as the world's largest footrace began to
Inhibition gave way to creativity as the masses paraded through the
finish area. Shouting a variety of personal approvals, waves of
celebrating runners continued to arrive - many in strange attire, some
even sans clothes.
Despite the mass enthusiasm, which will again unfold May 19 at the
event's 89th edition, I watched numerous runners cross the line with
bloodied limbs and faces. There were runners with frightened expressions
struggling through the final strides. Others hobbled across the massive
finish-line scaffolding suffering, their bodies mush after undertaking
the 7.5-mile journey inappropriately trained.
Unfortunately, despite my advocacy as a veteran long-distance runner and
running journalist, it is the aforementioned images and other
circumstances that have fostered my mixed feelings about Bay to
On the positive side, when the estimated 50,000 runners make their way
through the city's streets, the excitement will likely provide incentive
for many first-timers to remain active in the sport.
For me, that's important. Watching someone get motivated about running
and monitoring their improvement (just as friends did for me when I
began to run in 1983), bolsters camaraderie and a friendly competitive
spirit within the running community.
Additionally, as the world's largest footrace, Bay to Breakers generates
enormous local and national media attention. This is certainly good for
the sport since most running events are buried on the back pages of
newspaper sports sections or not mentioned at all.
Bay to Breakers, in fact, may get more coverage than it deserves. But if
running is benefiting and it draws some attention away from the behemoth
prima donnas of many mainstream sports - if only momentarily - then I'm
Nevertheless, Bay to Breakers and the runners who participate in the
event are often far from wonderful.
Unfortunately, the race has developed bad habits over the years. And as
a consequence, I know most of my running friends and acquaintances don't
ever consider Bay to Breakers as an important part of their running
One strictly personal frustration is motivated by false ego. I can't
remember how many times I've heard various versions of the following
conversation in coffee shops, on airplanes or at the grocery store.
First person: ''I got my run in this morning, and I feel great. You
ought to get into running."
Second person: ''I'm into running; I run Bay to Breakers every year.
Another example of the same conversation usually begins:
First person: ''I like to run in the morning before going to work."
Second person: ''Oh, you're a runner. Then you must have run Bay to
Running in the Bay to Breakers is fine. But it doesn't count to run one
event each year, do little or no training between appearances at the
race, and call yourself a runner.
Considering the size and lack of experience of the masses, injuries are
not uncommon during Bay to Breakers.
Hundreds of scrapes, bruises and cuts are reported each year. And each
year, as a matter of mathematical probability, there are always a few
Even deaths occur, as in the case of my friend's father, Kenny King,
Sr., who died at age 77 while participating in the 1988 race.
Collect 50,000 or more runners or gather 50,000 or more people doing
anything and it's likely they'll be problems.
And with this in mind, perhaps Bay to Breakers organizers should
consider limiting the field. The race goes to great lengths to provide
adequate medical precautions. But if a runner needs medical attention,
why risk not being able to help someone, simply because they couldn't be
attended to quickly enough?
Unfortunately, the runners don't help themselves, either. They line up
at inappropriate positions at the starting line, usually too close to
the front of the pack. This prompts confusion when faster runners
attempt to pass slower participants.
The result is that runners can literally get trampled. Further, when the
same ignorant runners compete at other events, they bring their bad Bay
to Breakers habits with them.
Worse, I've heard tales of unsuspecting runners crashing into parking
meters or swarms of runners running over the tops of parked cars,
particularly near the start when the crowds are the thickest. This
hardly puts the sport's best foot forward.
Many middle-of-the-pack runners, keen to the predicament, often jump
into the event, unofficially, from alleys during the first mile. Of
course, this practice is unfair to the runners who have waited patiently
at the designated start.
Perhaps my opinion is a minority voice, but as a one-person protest, I
won't be running Bay to Breakers.
However, I am not completely calloused.
Best of luck to all entrants. Be kind and courteous to your fellow
runner. May you finish strong and unscathed, and may you be motivated to
run more than once a year.
Reprinted with Permission of James Raia
Web site: http://www.byjamesraia.com
Irreverent, pertinent, timely, free. The Endurance Sports Newsletter.
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Add Miles to Your Gallop:
(HealthScoutNews) -- Like tuning up your car to increase its gas mileage,
eating more magnesium-rich foods improves your body's conversion of food to
According to studies by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (news - web
sites), women age 55 to 70 were able to ride an exercise bike for equal
lengths of time regardless of whether they were getting enough magnesium.
But they burned 15 percent more oxygen while on a magnesium-poor diet, and
their heart rates averaged nine beats a minute faster.
In other words, they got fewer miles to the metabolic gallon.
To get more magnesium, eat more greens (especially spinach, Swiss chard,
kale and lettuce) and grains (especially brans). You can also take a mineral
supplement that includes magnesium -- but don't take more than 350
milligrams a day. An oversupply of magnesium will cause neurological
problems and can also be dangerous to people who have reduced kidney
TIMEX Introduces the Revolutionary Speed and Distance System Sportwatch:
By Staff for Ironmanlive.com on Fri, Apr 26th 2002 (12:49 PM).
The new system, utilizing GPS technology and satellites with atomic clocks,
makes it possible for runners, skiers, kayakers, mountain bikers - anybody
covering distance in the great outdoors - to accurately answer the
all-important questions: how far and how fast? All with pinpoint accuracy.
America's premier watchmaker has announced a major breakthrough in wrist
instruments for athletes of all kinds with its Ironman Speed & Distance
System. Working with global positioning system (GPS) industry leader Garmin®
International, the new system makes it possible for runners, skiers,
kayakers, mountain bikers - anybody covering distance in the great outdoors
- to accurately answer the all-important questions: how far and how fast?
More...from IronmanLive at:
South Pole Marathon:
The inaugural race was a subzero struggle that ended in bitter arguments,
threatened lawsuits and even a complaint to the FBI.
Somehow they finished this frozen ordeal, this 26.2-mile slog across the
icy, wind-raked bottom of the world. More amazing is the fact that Richard
Donovan and Dean Karnazes got along for the three weeks leading up to the
inaugural South Pole Marathon. You should see them now, with their claws
out, swiping at one another like contestants in a small-town beauty pageant.
Karnazes has informed Donovan (whom he calls "a creep") that he has reported
him to the FBI and the State Department. Donovan speaks of his intention to
sue Karnazes (who he says is "unhinged") and Adventure Network International
(ANI), the outfit that put on the event and, Donovan insists, still owes him
$22,000 for winning it.
More...from CNNSI at:
Kids saying 'No' to helmets:
Studies have shown that many car accidents happen close to home.
The same may or may not hold true for scooter, bicycle and skateboard
mishaps but kids are using the excuse -- that they're riding close to home
-- for not wearing a helmet.
A new survey by the National Safe Kids Campaign shows kids don't wear
helmets for a number of reasons. CNN Medical Correspondent Rea Blakey has
CNN Newspass Video at:
Tips for Triathlete's On the Go Lifestyle
Life in the 21st century is busy. Americans are typically eating out and on
the go more often. With less time spent on meal preparation snacks can make
up approximately one quarter of daily energy and nutrient intake. It is
therefore extremely important for athletes that their snacks are varied,
nutritionally dense and taste good!
If you have greater energy needs, long spaces between meals, or often eat
"on the go," then snacks can play an important role in helping you meet your
daily nutrient and energy needs. If there will be more than four hours
between your meals, a snack will boost metabolism and prevent blood sugar
and energy levels from falling too low.
More...from InsideTri at:
Do We Need All That Water?
Eight-glasses-a-day rule may go overboard.
No matter where you look these days, it seems someone is drinking water. We
carry bottles of water to the gym, to the mall and on airplanes. At work, we
make multiple trips to the water cooler, and for more than just gossip.
Everyone from nutritionists to diet gurus claims that drinking lots and lots
of water can help you lose weight, make your skin rosy and supple and flush
toxins from your system. It's especially important, they say, because we
supposedly suffer consistently from low-grade dehydration.
But is all this chug-a-lugging doing us any good?
Not really, say other health and medical experts.
More...from HealthScout at:
Building a healthy respect for exercise:
Margaret Brady and her co-workers at Morrissey & Co. practically have to
chase after their boss when they join him for walks along Boston's Charles
The two- to three-mile jaunts are CEO Peter Morrissey's version of an
employee wellness program for his 11-worker public relations firm.
"The 45 minutes to the hour that I'm out, I just feel that . . . the cobwebs
that you get after the coffee buzz wears off are gone," Brady said.
As health care costs increase, a rising number of companies are using
workplace wellness programs to improve employees' health and reduce medical
claims. These programs generally provide health information, and many also
offer free or low-cost services such as medical checkups and weight
management and smoking cessation classes. Some include fitness centers or
subsidized memberships to local gyms.
More...from Cleveland.com at:
Blake's Pray Is Running From Her Pain, Past:
TAMPA - After a single meeting, Ashley Pray leaves her new friend with a
warm embrace. It's her way of holding on after so many losses.
Pray is a runner, but it's not so much the finish line she's running toward
as the memories of four painful years she seems to be running from.
Yet, the aches she has felt lately have less to do with family tragedies,
and more to do with her recent diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
``I never knew what was causing the pain,'' said Pray, 17. ``I had hot and
cold flashes and my joints would stiffen up. At night I couldn't move. I
would lie real still in bed and hope it would go away.''
Her discomfort is obvious as she takes warm-up laps, running stiffly around
the track. She stays on the grass skirting the asphalt because shin splints
are causing additional pain.
Sometimes, she said, her back, hips, arms and legs feel like cement.
More...from Tampa Bay Online at:
The Runner and the Path:
An Athlete's Quest for Meaning in Postmodern Corporate America.
By Dean Ottati
This is a book that can change your life.
"Ottati takes us on the Runner's Path, which is familiar to all runners
everywhere, because it is the path to meaning. There are many books on the
mechanics. This one is of the mind, and finding our way. Congratulations,
and many thanks, to Dean Ottati for his inspiring and gripping journey into
the runner's heart."
-Bernd Heinrich, author of
Racing the Antelope
An excerpt from The Runner and the Path:
Chapter 1 - Running With Marc
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only
the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to
teach, and not, when I come to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not
wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to
live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and
Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath
and shave close, to drive life into a corner and reduce it to its lowest
terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine
meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were
sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it
in my next excursion." ---Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Buy the book at Amazon.com at:
Why weight/strength training and what are the benefits ?
The benefits of weight training, in correct dosages, are enormous. Every
athlete makes the mistake of not putting back into their body what running
takes out. An automobile needs services to maintain it in working order.
However, an athlete does not maintain their body in the same way.
Why ? When the plain truths are there to be seen by everyone. Strength
training adds to avoiding injuries as well as a proven factor in improving
performance. What more could one want, in your pursuit of an injury free
running life with personal bests included ?
The fears of the negative effects, due to weight training
As mentioned if you apply weight training correctly their should only be the
positive effects. Runners need strength from their muscles, not bulk. You do
not see a 'bulky' world class marathoner.
More...from Time-to-Run at:
Researchers find creatine supplements may aid older men, but they stop short
of recommending it:
Creatine may not be just for young athletes. Older men who took the
supplement increased strength in just a week, a study found. Athletes use
creatine to get stronger for competition. But this study indicates the
supplement may help older men in such ordinary things as getting out of a
"There was added value for many of the typical activities of daily life,"
said researcher William Kraemer of the University of Connecticut. "We were
surprised it carried over into daily life activities."
Creatine helps recharge the energy used in short-burst activities such as
sprints or weight lifting. The amino acid is made naturally in the liver and
kidneys, and is stored in the muscles. But the body's creatine stores are
limited, and it can use quickly what it has stored.
More...from Canada.com at:
USA Triathlon Demographics:
All 2001 USA Triathlon membership figures reported within this document
reflect the totals of people who joined or renewed their membership with USA
Triathlon after Jan. 1, 2001 through Dec. 31, 2001 (having an expiration
date greater than Jan. 1, 2002). Individuals who expired within 2001 and did
not opt to renew their membership are not included. Peak membership in 2001
is not reflected.
Please be aware that these numbers show a variance due to one or more of the
following factors: 1) inability to access exact data due to the rolling
membership of USA Triathlon 2) information not provided by participants/
members 3) multi-year memberships.
Membership Activity (full-year licenses)
More...from USA Triathlon at:
Ergo Tackles `Numb-Butt' Issues as Consumers Demand a Comfortable Bicycle
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 29, 2002--Consumer demand for comfort was
one of the hottest topics at a national bicycle industry conference in San
Antonio, Texas this spring.
That's good news for Tom White, an award-winning inventor and president of
Ergo, LLC, manufacturer of an innovative, ergonomic bicycle seat called "The
SEAT" which is designed to alleviate the pain and numbness caused by
conventional "saddle-style" seats.
"Dealers at the conference validated our findings that there is strong
consumer demand by bicycle riders for comfort," White said. "In addition,
our informal surveys show that many dealers sell about three seats for every
bike they sell as riders search for the ultimate comfortable seat." The
conference was a joint event sponsored by the National Bicycle Dealers
Association and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association. Both
organizations believe comfort is a big opportunity in the industry and they
will likely add "comfort" as a category to their market research on trends
More...from Business Wire at:
Writer finds her roots on the marathon course:
A new serial novel ``Hachigatsu no Hate'' (Beyond August) by
second-generation ethnic Korean writer Yu Miri started running last week in
the evening edition of the vernacular Asahi Shimbun. The protagonist of the
novel, which is set in colonized Korea and postwar Japan, is modeled after
Yu's maternal grandfather, who was a marathon runner when Korea was under
The prominent writer's first attempt at delving into her roots is a
fictional look at exchanges between the people of Japan and Korea during and
after Japan's colonization of its neighboring country.
Yu's grandfather was born in Miryang in the present-day Republic of Korea
(South Korea) in 1912. During World War II, he was a top runner who kept
winning marathon races in his native land. Had it not been for the war, he
probably would have made it to the Olympics. However, when the war ended, he
gave up running, left his family and smuggled himself into Japan. Why? What
drove him to such drastic behavior, changing his fate and that of his
family? His life has been shrouded in mystery ever since.
More...from Asahi.com at:
From Runner's World:
Rebuild your achy post-run joints
If your joints ache after running, they may be wearing away from age-related
degeneration. Two joint nutrients called chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine
may alleviate joint pain caused by wear and tear. Studies show that taking
about 1500 milligrams daily of each of these supplements helps to lessen
pain and improve joint function. Since chondroitin and glucosamine work by
actually building new cartilage, pain relief using these supplements takes
time. Expect to wait as long as 2 months before your feel a difference.
"Wear racing shoes for 5-Ks and 10-Ks, then switch to trainers for
longer races. The theory here is that you can't do much damage in
shorter races. So, if you like having a pair of racing shoes in your
closet, fine. Take them out for the short races. Leave them behind when
you race a half-marathon or marathon." - RW Magazine
"Seeing yourself improve is the first step toward actually getting
faster or running longer. Once a week, visualize a tougher
workout---those extra 2 miles on your long run, faster splits during
speedwork, more climbs up that steep hill---as you progress toward your
anticipated goal, whether it's a 20-mile run or a faster 5-K." - Jeff
Run for your life:
Marathon doc says exercise is mainstay of healthy aging.
Sporting red sneakers and Bermuda shorts, Dr. Walter M. Bortz ran his first
Boston Marathon at age 41. By the time he crossed the finish line, all the
bleachers had been taken down.
Come Monday, the 72-year-old Bortz will run the 26.2-mile race -- again.
With him at the starting line will be his wife, Ruth Anne, who is 71.
It's more than just a race for the Portola Valley geriatrician. For Bortz, a
nationally recognized expert and author on aging, it's a chance to show that
exercise is the key to healthy aging.
More...from the SacBee at:
At Nike, Function Over Fashion:
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- John Hoke has been known to carry a sketchbook while
jogging, and for good reason. As the new footwear design director at Nike
Inc., he is responsible for developing the company's next entries in a
highly competitive industry, one that Nike dominates - though not easily.
Athletic shoes - or "working sculptures," as Mr. Hoke likes to call them -
must satisfy not only the sports professionals who are crucial to the Nike
brand but also everyday athletes looking for the latest edge.
Mr. Hoke, 37, an architect who has been a Nike marketer and designer for 10
years, brings unusual credentials to the job, which Nike created this month
to revitalize shoe designs that critics said were growing tired and too
dependent on looks. He once worked for Michael Graves, the architect from
Princeton University who designs consumer products for the Target
More...from the NY Times at:
[Free Registration Required]
New Triathlon Australia Website to be launched soon!
Watch this space... the brand new TA website is set to be launched on Monday
the 6th May 2002.
The new site, built by Accenture, is one of the first to be constructed
entirely in a Microsoft .NET environment and features extensive use of
Microsoft Passport technology for added user security. It is a
database-driven site and will have several new features, including online
race entry, online shopping and the ability to support a new national TA
membership database/renewal system.
Running: Keeping your body fueled the right way:
What to eat, when to eat, why to eat: Simplifying the science of nutrition
and how it pertains to runners.
For the past two months, this column has featured tips on injury prevention,
running shoes, training plans and racing tactics. This installment offers
nutrition advice for before, during or after a difficult or important
workout or race.
Mary Coordt, a top area marathoner and nutritionist, said she sees five
common nutrition mistakes by runners:
* Not eating before a run or race.
* Eating too close to a run or race.
* Not drinking enough during long runs.
* Not eating after long or intense workouts.
* Eating something new before a big race.
"If you can, you should fuel up before you run," Coordt said. "Not only do
your muscle cells need the source of energy, but your brain needs glucose to
function and feel alert."
More...from the SacBee at:
The truth behind cool-downs:
Every workout is important, but perhaps none is more important than your
next one, because stringing workouts together--one after another after
another--is the key to a successful training programme. And how do you put
together this string?
If you follow these six guidelines after every training session, you'll find
yourself running better on subsequent days. The consistency and quality of
your training will improve, and you'll run faster in upcoming races.
By making sure you finish off today's workout with a complete cool-down
routine. It's the best way to recover while you prepare yourself, body and
mind, for your next run. Here are six ways to guarantee you get a complete
More...from the World of Endurance at:
Learn how to pace your race;
[From Runner's World South Africa]
Knowing how fast to run at the start, in the mid-section and end of a race
can mean the difference between personal best or personal meltdown.
Familiarise yourself with the feeling of different paces. Head for the
track: When doing 400m repeats always start the first one slightly slower.
Use the feel of the first repeat to get closer to your target time. Always
approach the target time from the slow side. End your session with a few
200m repeats at your target race pace to get the feel.
Dispelling the Fictions That Can Keep Women Weak:
In an 1879 textbook, an American gynecologist advised that girls "spend the
year before and two years after puberty at rest." Each menstrual period, he
added, should be endured in "the recumbent position" until the girls'
systems could adjust to "the new order of life."
Another medical specialist wrote that excessive exercise by women would have
a negative effect on "the genital organs, for they tend to decay."
For centuries, the author of this provocative and inspirational book reminds
us, such ideas kept women "shackled to a perception of themselves as weak
and ineffectual." It is hardly surprising, she writes, "that girls retreated
to the drawing room, preferring to train themselves in needlework and other
feminine arts rather than lend themselves to the possibility of genital
More...from the NY Times at:
[Free Registration Required]
Running efficiency or economic running. It sounds important, but what
exactly does it mean? Is it finding a pair of high-tech running shoes for
R200 at a shoe sale? No. Running economy refers to how much oxygen you use
when you run.
When you improve your economy, you can run at a smaller percentage of max
VO2 (your maximum rate of oxygen utilization), so runs feel easier therefore
you become more efficient.
What's more, improving running efficiency by even 1 percent can shave at
least 10 seconds from your 5K time. Here are five proven ways to become more
More...from World of Endurance at:
Peppermint Peps Up Running Performance:
In the category of "believe it or not," researchers linked improved
performance of physical activities to the odor of peppermint. Forty athletes
performed a series of physical tasks under two conditions-without smelling
peppermint odor and while smelling peppermint. The peppermint condition
resulted in increases in running speed, handgrip strength, and number of
push-ups, as compared to the odorless condition, but had no effect on
performance of skill-based tasks such as basketball free throws. The
performance effect may be linked to the psychological lift the smell of
peppermint may provide. Perhaps the invigorating smell lowers ratings of
It may take some creativity to figure out how to capitalize on the ergogenic
effect of peppermint odor. Wear a potpourri around your neck? Pocket a
bottle of peppermint oil and uncap and sniff when your energy is flagging.
The results of the study may be significant enough to make it worth a try.
Certainly this is one ergogenic aid in which there is no possibility of ill
effects or doping scandal. It should pass the test of even the most
(Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2001, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 156)
Races Coming Up:
May 4, 2002:
Indianapolis Life 500 Festival Mini-Marathon - IN
Gatineau Park Duathlon & Relay - PQ
May 5, 2002:
Vancouver International Marathon - BC
Bloomsday Run - Spokane, WA
World Half-Marathon Championships - Brussels, Belgium
Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon - OH
St. Croix Triathlon - US Virgin Islands
Powerman Tennessee - College Grove, TN
Pittsburgh Marathon - PA
Broad Street Run - Philadelphia, PA
Sporting Life 10K - Toronto, ON
A Look Ahead:
May 11-12, 2002:
National Capital Race Weekend - Ottawa, ON
For more upcoming races check out the Runner's Web Races,
Marathons and Calendars pages at:
or look at the "Coming Up"
section on our FrontPage.
Also check out the following site:
This Week's Hot Links from Track and Field News at:
This Weeks Personal Postings/Releases:
Television and Online Coverage:
[Check local listings as event times are subject to change]
USA Track and Field 2002 Elite U.S. TV Schedule
OLN Triathlon Broadcast Schedule:
[2 Line URL]
CBC Sports Schedule
Sundays @ 1P.M. EDT
Track & Field: The Running Zone
Runner's World VCR Alerts
USATF summer track broadcasting listing
"A Woman's View of the World"
Bikes on TV.com
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Have a good week of training and/or racing.