Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Grown-up Runner's Christmas List

What follows is a recently revised version of an article I did in 2011---
Christmas is a special time of year for many reasons and gift giving and receiving, as well as getting together with friends and family have alot to do with why it is so special.
For me, every Christmas brings back memories from years ago when it was a simpler, less complicated time.
What follows is my Christmas wish list, emphasis here is on wish.

 1.How 'bout an English language version of Yiannis Kouros' book he wrote years ago that chronicles his remarkable 6 Day Race in New York City. Against all odds and at one point in the race,horrible weather,Yiannis set a record for that distance. Are there still some hardcore runners out there who don't know he is? He is in my opinion one of the greatest runners who has ever lived. He owns every point to point ultra record as well as every one from 24 hours to 6 days. Consider 303km for 24 hours for starters. Break it down and see how many miles that is in a day. Go to Wikipedia and take a moment to read over the records he has set and the prestigious Ultra races he has won. Google Yiannis and read some of the accounts of his races. Yet this man can't get his book published? They've published Dean K's books, why not Yiannis'?  As an aside, if you have not seen the documentary on Yiannis entitled, 'Forever Running', you really need to buy it, today! This man is one of a kind, unlike any runner you have ever read about or seen. Last time I looked the site Zombierunner was selling the DVD.
2.I'm showing my age here but how about more marathons with fewer entrants, say in the 200 or 300 range? I'm tired of the congestion and confusion that comes with the thousands+ marathons.Making your way through a sea of people every which way you turn and go, waiting in lines for most everything and running for several minutes before you pass the starting line gets old quick.You younger runners may have never experienced the calm and lack of confusion that accompanies the smaller marathons.Now I know for race directors small entrance marathons are probably not financially feasible but I did say this is a 'wish' list.
3.I'd like cheaper running shoes. I think I may finally be a believer in the recommendation that you need a new pair every four or five months, but come on,100 plus dollars for new ones? Despite marketing research to the contrary, I still don't believe the majority of runners can easily afford the cost of  changing out shoes every 4 months or so.
4.I want a running magazine that is like the way Runner's World and Running Times were in the 70's.They were performance oriented, maximum performance oriented magazines. They had quality interviews with great runners,people like Lydiard,Clayton and Sheehan were doing monthly columns.Yeah,I understand that magazines have to reach the biggest audience to survive, but again, this is a wish list isn't it?
5.I want a charismatic American runner like Steve Prefontaine to arrive on the scene,someone to get this country interested in distance running again,especially the young kids. As Dick Kendall of Buffalo once told me,if the sport doesn't involve hiting,catching,dribbling or throwing a ball, the people aren't going to be much interested in it.
5a. I want 'Big Time' distance running to become drug free. Probably every world distance record has been tainted by drug use. Think about that for a moment. The records are all fraudulent, what a tragedy!
6.An injury free year. What athlete doesn't want that?
7. I want more athletes like Herb Elliott, John Landy, Jim Ryun, Ron Clarke, etc. Men who are not only great athletically, but men who possess intelligence,sportsmanship, integrity and dignity.Who hasn't read enough of the boorish,self-centered athletes from different sports that seem to predominate the athletic world these days?

So there you have it, my Christmas list,what's yours look like?

1 comment:

  1. Add this to the list - A 72 degree day, cool breeze blowing, dry conditions at Virgil State forest. And an ice chest full of cool beers for after the run.