Vol. 5 No.4 April, 2000




Who says running on TV can't hold the average American's

interest? Dan Pierce, a friend of mine, went to a local sports

bar to watch the Boston Marathon on TV. Like many other runners,

he didn't want to miss one of the few opportunities we have to

see top level running on TV, but he doesn't subscribe to cable

TV. Due to the time of day there weren't many people there. The

staff was more than happy to tune the marathon in for him, and

Dan had the big screen basically to himself. As the race

progressed and people began to come in for lunch, there was a

growing interest in the coverage.

This year's Boston, as you know if you watched, featured an

extremely exciting, close finish in both the men's and women's

races. Dan watched both the race and the restaurant employees

with interest as the waitresses stopped what they were doing and

stared at the TV. A lady who came in to pick up a take-out order

watched, entranced, as the men sprinted to the finish, then

stayed through the finish of the women's race, while her food got

cold in the paper bag. Patrons of the restaurant got quiet and

watched intently. These were people who would normally gather to

watch football, baseball, hockey and similar team sports, yet

they were incredibly interested in this foot race. This, despite

the fact that there were no Americans involved as front runners.

Maybe this shows that running does interest the average sports

fan. Maybe we should give the average American a little more

credit than to assume that they will only be interested in seeing

American athletes triumph. Perhaps the dominance of Kenyan,

Moroccan and Ethiopian athletes in running has now become so well

known hat even the most casual observer of sports understands and

appreciates these fine athletes. While most Americans don't know

how to pronounce that front running Kenyan's name, they are

beginning to understand that he is to running what Ken Griffey

Jr. is to baseball, and maybe that understanding is enough to

attract one's interest and appreciation. I hope TV executives are

thinking the same thoughts.


Last month in the article about the Women's Olympic Trials there

were a couple of typos. Kristy Johnston's name was misspelled,

and Christine Clark was once errantly renamed Christine Cook.

Additionally information about our trivia contest sponsors

Marathon & Beyond was somehow left out. My apologies to all.

- WG

--- --- --- --- --- --- ---

MARATHON & BEYOND MAGAZINE - Marathon & Beyond, the only magazine

that focuses on the specific needs of marathoners and

ultrarunners. M&B offers in-depth articles on training, race

strategies, injuries, nutrition, race profiles, running history,

and more. Visit their web site at:


--- --- --- --- --- --- ---




Congratulations to last month's trivia winner, Monte Rose. Monte

receives a free issue of Marathon & Beyond Magazine and FAME!

Trivia contest entrants are limited to one prize per calendar


When answering, email your answers with the subject "trivia

contest" and answer the questions in the order they appear below.

Mail to: woodyg3@netone.com. The FIRST person to answer all ten

questions correctly wins. If nobody answers all ten correctly, we

will award the prize to the person who answers the most questions

correctly. Good Luck!

This Month's Questions:

Listed below are Gold Medalists from various past Olympic Games;

please indicate what country they represented and which event

they won their gold medal in.

1. Amos Biwott

2. Christoph Hohne

3. Mamo Wolde

4. Madeline Manning

5. Yelena Romanova

6. Valentina Yegorova

7. Ludmilla Bragina

8. Pekka Vasaal

9. Dave Wottle

10. Spiridon Louis

Last Month's Answers:

1. For which Olympic Marathon team did Benji Durden qualify?


2. What is the running related nickname of Eugene, Oregon?

Track Town, USA

3. Who was Seb Coe's coach?

His Father, Peter Coe

4. Who was Jim Ryun's coach?

Bob Timmons

5. What does "fartlek" mean, and what language is the word from?

Swedish for "Speed Play."

6. In what track and field event did Emil Zatopek's wife compete?


7. Who was the first woman to break 2:50 in the marathon?

There is a bit of a controversy here, it was either Australian

Adrienne Beames or American Cheryl Bridges.

8. Everyone knows that Abebe Bikila won the 1960 Olympic

Marathon, but who was second in that race?

Rhadi Ben Abdesselem

9. What corporation currently sponsors the Chicago Marathon?

LaSalle Banks

10. Hicham El Guerrouj was the first man to break 3:44 in the

mile. Who was the second?

Noah Ngeny, who did it in the same race with El Guerrouj

--- --- --- --- --- --- ---

MARATHON & BEYOND MAGAZINE - Marathon & Beyond, the only magazine

that focuses on the specific needs of marathoners and

ultrarunners. M&B offers in-depth articles on training, race

strategies, injuries, nutrition, race profiles, running history,

and more. Visit their web site at:


--- --- --- --- --- --- ---

--- --- --- --- ---

RUNNING DELIGHTS - all occasion and holiday greeting cards,

novelty gifts, t-shirts, bracelets and many others items.


Our entire catalog is now online with secure ordering.

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By Woody Green

Pasadena, California resident Nolan Shaheed traveled all the way

across the country to compete in the National Indoor Masters

Track and Field Championships in Boston on the last weekend in

March. The trip proved to be worthwhile. Shaheed set 50-54 year-

old world indoor records in the Mile and 800, with an American

best in the 3000. In doing so he won the 800 by a full nine

seconds, the Mile by eleven seconds, and the 3000 by almost 20

seconds. Needless to say, his performances attracted much


When friend Walt Butler encouraged him to begin running 20 years

ago, he attained a good level of success in the sub-masters level

at 800 meters and the mile. He couldn't wait to turn 40, though,

and take on the masters crowd. Once at that level, he managed

American records for the outdoor 800 and indoor 800 and one mile.

Nolan was baffled, however, at not being able to get invitations

to compete in the larger invitational track meets despite being

willing to pay his own way.

"I got frustrated and concentrated on the roads, setting an

American record in the mens 45-49 age 5K," Shaheed related. His

friends convinced him to return to the track, and the Boston

event turned into his personal record breaking showcase.

"The 3000 was first," he explained. "I ran the first mile in

4:40, which was about 7 seconds too fast, and blew my chance for

a world record. I backed off the pace in the second half and

saved it for the next day." Even with the tactical error he ran

8:03.82 and destroyed his competition.

Next came the one mile. "I was confident in the mile since the

world record was 4:37 and I was 3 seconds off of that half way

trough my race the day before," he said. "The wonderful

announcer really got the crowd going, which made me feel great.

I've never had my name mentioned during a race before and it

made me feel like a young man again." He ran like a young man,

too, breaking the old world best by a full second and a half.

"The 800 was the next day," he said, "and again the announcer

was getting the crowd into it and the crowd helped me to another

world record."

What does this fifty year-old star of the track have planned for

the outdoor track season? "I plan on setting an American or

world record outdoors in every event from the 800 up, and so far

my training is on schedule."

Just what kind of training leads to this kind of success?

Shaheed tells it this way; "I start the season with a good base.

I start with 4 miles a day 6 days a week and increase by 1/4

mile a week until I get to about 7 miles. Then I increase by

1/2 mile a week until I get to about 12 miles a day. Then I

start some racing, which takes care of speed work, and cut my

daily mileage to about 8, which is where I was at Boston. Now, I

don't race as much but do speed work once or twice a week, which

will be maybe 15x400 meters at 65, or 15x200 meters at 28, and

my daily mileage is 4 or 6. I'll start racing next month."

Nolan does take breaks in his training, and he has some

interesting ideas on nutrition. " I always take one day off a

week and one month off a year," he said. "During that month I

eat every other day -- about three meals a week -- and have

nothing but water in between. When I'm training, I eat one

meal a day -- right after my work out -- and have nothing but

water in between. I'm 5'9" and weigh 126 pounds -- the same as

high school. I eat a balanced meal with lots of fruits, veggies

and fish. Most nutritionists say this is impossible, but I

challenge anyone to prove I'm wrong."

Whether the nutritionists believe in his diet or not, one thing

is clear. Nolan Shaheed is certainly doing something right to be

able to produce the kind of times he has.






If anyone doubts how tough or committed top American distance

runners are, consider Deena Drossin. At the World Cross Country

Championships a bee flew into her mouth and stung her throat at

the start of the race. Despite feeling swelling in her throat and

having some difficulty breathing, she continued on. On the third

lap of the four lap course, she blacked out momentarily, took a

nasty fall, but then got back up to finish twelfth overall. She

did not place as well as she had hoped, but it was impressive

under the circumstances, to say the least.

The next week at Carlsbad, California she got some redemption

when she set a new American road best for 5 K with a time of

15:08. Sammy Kipketer of Kenya set a new world road best in the

same race with a time of 13:00. Drossin picked up a $5,000 bonus

for her American best, while 19 year-old Kipketer got $10,000.


Interested in traveling to China for a race? A full race travel

package for the Beijing International Marathon on October 7-10 is

available from Elite Travel Adventures.


Elizabeth Shepherd CTC

Shepherd & Weatherhead

Elite Travel Adventures






One reader makes an objection to the editor's comments last month

on occasionally running without a watch:

Dear Runner's Niche,

You might get a lot of feed back on your watch story. Although

you are right and I am sure it was great. But it is not. Watches

are great, because without A WATCH YOU CANNOT HAVE A LOG AND THUS

you do not have a goal. I do not run for distance, but for time.

I like to run 60 minutes a day. Sometimes I only run 20. Without

a watch I would not have a true monitor and thus would have no

goal, and eventually would stop because I would keep lowering my

limits. Only my point of view. Keep on Running.



Another reader checks in with concern to the Women's Olympic

marathon trials:


I just received the first news letter from you. I enjoyed your

comments, I however feel the US selection process should not have

been changed just to coddle some of the sponsors. In my heart I

believe that Kristy Johnston and other proven athletes should

have been chosen. I am in awe that Dr. Clark did so well in this

one race. But ... I am sure it is obvious to you the results that

the last Cinderella we had produced...





* Marathon Guide is a new web site with calendars and links to

many marathon web sites. News, features and essays about the

26.21 mile event are also featured.


*Valuable foot care information can be found at:


* EndurePlus.com - Sports nutrition, training, health and daily

news information for the endurance athlete. Updated daily,

completely free, it is where endurance athletes go to get faster.


* A new energy replacement gel you might want to look into:


* A new product has been introduced by Fitsense called e-GO. The

e-GO provides runners and walkers with instant feedback

on speed, pace, distance and calorie burn on a wristwatch.






"Runner's Niche" is free, but its contents are copyrighted.

Nobody may use the content without permission of the author and

"Runner's Niche."

SUBSCRIPTION IS FREE. Just write via e-mail to:


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Article Submissions are always welcome. Unfortunately, there can

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It is normally best to send a query letter to the editor before

sending finished articles.



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Vol. 2 No. 4 April, 1997




Spring has sprung! The weather is getting nicer, the sun stays out

longer. There are more and more races to get ready for and it is a great

time to up your training and lose some of those extra pounds from a

winter's hibernation. There is a key phrase to keep in mind this time of

year, however. "Patience is a virtue."

A recent hamsting injury reminded me about patience. I felt a sharp pain

in the belly of the muscle during an interval workout on a hilly loop. I

love interval sessions, and it took all the self discipline I had to cut

the workout short and walk to my car.

I felt like a little boy playing with my ball when a big bully came and

took it away. This wasn't fair! I was having so much fun and now my day

was ruined. Boo hoo!

I took the advice I have dispensed so often, however - ice and rest. I

did no running until the hamstring felt normal again. When I started

running, I was able to go back to my regular training and I had lost

little if any fitness. My Spring was saved.

I caution our readers to keep patience in mind this Spring. Don't let

the great weather and invitation of numerous races lull you into

overtraining. Increase your training and racing load gradually so that

the "big bully" doesn't come and take your ball away through the whole

year! Be patient. You will get in better shape, you will lose those

extra pounds, your blood pressure will come down, but not in a day or a

week. Remember: patience is a virtue!





Leonard "Buddy" Edelen died recently at the age of 59 from cancer.

Edelen was one of the top marathon runners in the world in the early to

mid 60's. An American who lived and worked in England, he set the world

record for the marathon in 1963 (2:14:28).





Most people remember the 1936 Olympics in Berlin for the show that U.S.

sprinter and long jumper Jesse Owens put on. The men's 1500 is very

worthy of track fan's remembrance as well. It was an epic battle with

some of the legends of track history being involved. The race resulted

in a new world record, and trivia buffs will certainly want to memorize

the top five finishers and their times.

The top five:

1. Jack Lovelock (NZ) 3:47.8 (New World Record)

2. Glenn Cunningham (USA) 3:48.4

3. Luigi Beccali (ITA) 3:49.2

4. Archie San Romani (USA) 3:50.0

5. Philip Edwards (CAN) 3:50.4





By Woody Green

In the last two months we have examined the difference between the

aerobic and anaerobic energy systems in the human body. We know aerobic

to be the pay as we go approach, using oxygen to return energy, and

anaerobic to be the credit card system where we go into debt with our

body to produce a lot of energy in a short time.

There can be no doubt that you could run a fairly good marathon and

never do a lick of anaerobic training. By doing long, aerobic training a

runner's body to evolves into a better aerobic animal. The muscles

change physically and chemically to produce more energy aerobically.

More tiny blood vessels are produced to get the oxygen and nutrients to

the working muscle cells. The body learns to make better use of fat as a

fuel, which helps to keep you from "hitting the wall" in the last few

miles. Your VO2 Max, or the amount of oxygen your body can take in

through the lungs, increases from aerobic training as well.

In a marathon, almost all of the needed energy is produced through the

aerobic energy pathways. Why would there be any need to do anaerobic

training to run a marathon? Why suffer through those hard interval


Marathon training is like baking a cake. The cake itself is made with

the aerobic runs. This is the very core of what you need to do a

marathon - good old, grind it out, keep going for three plus hours and

make it to the finish line carrot cake. The cake tastes pretty good by

itself, but something is missing. You really want that frosting!

In this case, the frosting is what you get from anaerobic training. Even

though you don't use the anaerobic energy system much in a marathon, you

really want it when you need it.

Frank Shorter is certain that the reason he won the 1972 Olympic

marathon was his dedication to interval training. When he made his break

at about 8 miles, he surged hard and moved away. This is where he used

he used his anaerobic training. Frank ran under 4:40 for the ninth mile,

and nobody could stay with him. He feels that nobody in the race could

handle the faster pace because they didn't do the kind of interval

training he did. Once he got his lead, he backed off the pace and

probably made little use of anaerobic energy for the remainder of the

race. His anaerobic training likely netted him the Olympic gold.

Using the credit card analogy, you could say that most of the

marathoners in the '72 Olympics had a low credit limit Visa, while Frank

had the Gold card! (Sorry, bad pun...)

Okay, if you want to win a marathon, it makes sense to do some anaerobic

training, to get the frosting on your cake. But, why bother if you are a

"common" runner just trying to finish the doggone thing? There are many


First, something you should understand about anaerobic training is that

by its very nature it is strength training. Most people think of lifting

weights when we talk about strength training. When lifting, we give the

muscle a heavy load and ask it to work hard for a short period of time.

The same thing happens when we do interval training. We are running fast

over a relatively short period of time, and we are asking the muscles to

generate much greater force than when we take an easy distance run.

Strong leg muscles will help to protect a runner from injuries. It helps

running efficiency and form, as well. Strength alone would be a good

reason to do a few intervals in preparation for your next marathon.

There is more good news, though. Intervals help teach your body to take

in more oxygen, that is to raise your VO2 Max. Long runs do this, too,

but interval training can help raise the VO2 max even higher when used

in conjunction with long distance training. This is another reason the

frosting on our training cake tastes so good.

Anaerobic training will also help you to overcome some stumbling blocks

along the way. Did you get to the first mile marker and discover you

went out to fast? You will want to ease back to the correct pace right

away, of course, but at least your interval training will provide some

damage control. What about heartbreak hill? A stronger runner who can

produce anaerobic energy efficiently can handle hills better than those

who have done no interval training.

All of this is not to say that a marathon runner needs to do a great

deal of hard anaerobic training. The basis of all marathon training has

to be long runs. You can't have a cake with just frosting!

Next month we'll take a look at what anaerobic training offers the five

to ten kilometer runner.





By Mick Aguilera

Fitting oneself in the correct running shoe can be simple, as long as

you have a salesperson who is patient and has the proper knowledge of

the biomechanics of running, and has a good selection of running shoe

brands. Most customers I work with will try on at least 5 different

pairs of shoes before they decide on the right one. And the runners I

work with know they have come to the right place when I ask them to take

off both shoes so I can immediately look at their arches.

I call it the ABC's of shoe selection: ARCHES, looking at the condition

of yours, BIOMECHANICS, explaining how your feet need the right shoes,

CORRECT FIT, explaining the importance of "thumbs width between the tip

of the big toe and the end of the shoe", fitting the larger foot first,

and considering sock selection when looking at the fit. Proper shoe

fitting is no easy task, but by following the basics, it can be made fun

and rewarding.


Destiny Earned


By Woody Green

Uta Pippig has a contagious condition. Her genuine, gleaming white smile

spreads to everyone around her. I witnessed this recently as she and her

coach and companion Dieter Hogen addressed a group of runners in


She has certainly made a place for herself in marathon history. A best

of 2:21:45 makes her the third fastest marathoner of all time. She won

the Boston and Berlin marathons three times, and also managed a win at

New York. As impressive as this list of accomplishments may be, many

remember her best for the way she wins.

Uta normally blows kisses to the crowd as she approaches the finish. She

celebrates her victory without the common self-centered approach of so

many athletes. Instead, she makes the crowd a part of the experience,

she shares it with them and people love her as a result.

This evening in Boulder, the crowd clings to each word with the

attention normally reserved for royalty.

As dramatic as her come from behind win was at Boston last year, the

first question put to Uta was about her disappointing show at the

Atlanta Olympic Games. Much had been made of the hardship she went

through in Boston, and the media was certain she would never recover in

time to run well at Atlanta. In fact, she did not run well, eventually

dropping out of the race with a noticeable limp. Uta put the record

straight, however. She said her training had been going very well, she

was quite fit, and there were no left over problems from Boston.

"I hope you have a tissue," she told the crowd as she began her story of

the Atlanta Olympics.

In great shape and ready to go for the gold medal, Uta decided early in

the race to make a move. She pulled ahead to a 30 second lead by the 5

kilometer mark.

"I didn't go out too fast, only 17:00 at five kilometers. That is slow,"

she claimed.

Uta recalled talking to Joan Benoit a few months before the race. Joan

made a very similar move early in the 1984 Los Angeles games and won

that race. None the less, she warned Uta not to go out too fast in

Atlanta. Uta laughed at the comment. "But Joanie," she said," what did

you do at LA?"

Uta is no stranger to bold moves. She and Dieter left East Germany after

the fall of the wall, but she was technically a deserter since she was

still officially a part of the old East German army. She and Dieter were

on their own.

On her own at the front of the Olympic marathon, she clearly had no

fear. The early move was not a desperate act as some in the media

thought. It was a calculated approach to the race by a very confident,

fit runner. In fact, 17:00 for five kilometers is about 2:23 marathon

pace. This was a pace she felt confident she could maintain.

Uta's undoing was not a mistake in pace or pre-race training. It

involved her racing flats. These were the same shoes she wore to victory

in Boston, and they had been occasionally used in training.

Unfortunately, these comfortable shoes had a worn outsole that made them

a little slick on the rain wetted pavement at Atlanta. In addition,

there was a little too much room in the shoes. Perhaps they had

stretched with use. In any event, the slipping both on the pavement and

inside the shoe cost her dearly. She got a severe pain in her midfoot

first, her shin later. Sciatica shot up her leg. She continued until it

was apparent there was no reason to go on. When she left the race she

had slipped all the way to eighth place.

Uta handled the disappointment better than her parents, who couldn't

stop crying when she visited them after the race. She told them this

wasn't so bad.

"I can run, at least," she told them. "There are people out there who

would like to run and can't." Such is Uta's outlook.

Dieter handled the disappointment in his usual, scientific, manner. He

had to dissect the problem. He made use of ultra high speed cameras to

photograph Uta's foot inside the racing flats. He discovered a serious

twisting of the metatarsals as a result of the slipping motion, which

caused a stress fracture in her foot and in her tibia.

After twenty marathons, Uta said, "it was a stupid mistake. I should

have known better." Neither she or Dieter blamed bad luck.

Did luck have a part in her come from behind win at Boston last April?

At Boston Uta was behind race leader Tegla Loroupe almost the entire

race. She had bad cramps from both intestinal problems and menstruation.

She had visible diarrhea and bleeding associated with these problems,

and yet she didn't stop. Behind by over 100 yards with a mile to go, she

pressed on. Then Loroupe was hit hard by leg cramps. She was reduced to

a shuffle which permitted the diligent Pippig to take the lead and win

in dramatic fashion. It hardly seemed like luck at the time, it appeared

to be destiny.

It has been said that people often create their destiny, and perhaps the

extreme training Uta puts in had a lot to do with her ability to

persevere. At times she puts in as many as 180 miles in a week. She

lifts weights, does specialized resistance exercises and follows a

strict diet. In the past Uta indicates she has been so involved in

training that she doesn't even go shopping for months at a time. All of

this is carefully prescribed by Dieter.

Hogen was a coach in the old East German sports system. If this brings

to mind the injection of various banned substances, put your mind at

ease. Dieter was a rebel in the East German system. He felt trapped by

the political system. Before the fall of the wall, East German officials

would not let Uta and Dieter leave the country. "They were afraid if we

left the country, we wouldn't come back," Hogen relates. "They were


The very calculated, scientific approach of the East German sport system

fit Dieter well, however, and he takes a highly cerebral approach to

Uta's training as a result. Training paces are still calculated in the

old East German method of meters per second, for example.

As precise as the training approach is, Uta let us in on a secret. Each

day she takes note of how she feels and adjusts the training plan

accordingly. Plans may even change mid-workout if need be. Uta and

Dieter feel strongly that an athlete must learn to read their body.

Uta's diet includes plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Vitamin and

mineral supplements are employed, as well as sports drinks before,

during and after workouts.

"Dieter is the cook," Uta says. He figures the number of calories that

Uta burns each day and cooks just the right amount of food to replace

those calories. There is no deficit and no overage. "Except on ice cream

days," Uta laughs. "Dieter hates ice cream days."

It sounds as if no nutritional stone had been left unturned, yet Uta had

been making a nutritional mistake that contributed to the colon problems

that were so evident in the Boston race. She wasn't hydrating enough. It

wasn't that she wasn't drinking water. She was making a real effort to

drink water daily. It just wasn't enough.

The stress of training and the dry air in Boulder had taken its toll.

Uta now drinks at least a gallon of water a day. This is in addition to

sports drinks and other fluids she might consume.

Twenty marathons and still learning. Such is the life of a world class


As the enchanted group that had listened to Uta filed out of the church

meeting room, I wondered about the future.

After she ran 2:21:45 at Boston in 1994, many wondered if Uta would be

the first woman to break the 2:20 barrier. If she does, it is likely

that sports statisticians will remember her primarily for that

accomplishment. Most of us, though, will remember the kisses she blew to

her fans, her dramatic 1996 Boston finish, and that infectious smile.





The IAAF World Cross Country championships were held in Turin, Italy on

March 23rd. In the team scoring battle, Kenya won all but the womens

senior race, which was taken by the Ethiopians.

The womens senior race was a tight battle, with Derartu Tulu, Paula

Radcliffe and Getencsh Wami locked in a sprint to the finish. Radcliffe

had the lead with 300 meters to go, but Tulu sprinted from behind to


The mens senior race was close, as well. After a blistering pace was set

by Kenyan Thomas Nyariki for the first nine kilometers, Paul Tergat and

Salah Hissou took over. With two kilometers to go, Hissou attacked and

got a small lead, but in the end Tergat overcame Hissou's lead and

managed a two second victory.

Womens Senior Race:

6 kilometers

1. Derartu Tulu - ETH 20:53

2. Paula Radcliffe - GBR 20:55

3. Getencsh Wami - ETH 21:00

4. Julia Vaquero - ESP 21:01

5. Sally Barsosio - KEN 21:05

US finishers: 26. Amy Rudolph 22:00, 29. Deena Drossin 22:02, 35. Elva

Dryer 22:09, 44. Kristen Beaney 22:12, 51. Nnenna Lynch 22:19

Womens Senior Team Results:

1. Ethiopia 24

2. Kenya 34

3. Ireland 64

6. USA 128

Womens Junior Race:

4+ kilometers

1. Rose Koskei - KEN 14:58


1. Kenya 13

2. Ethiopia 31

12. USA 287

Mens Senior Race:

12+ Kilometers

1. Paul Tergat - KEN 35:11

2. Salah Hissou - MOR 35:13

3. Thomas Nyariki - KEN 35:20

4. Paul Koech - KEN 35:23

5. Mohamad Mourhit - BEL 35:35

14. John Brown - GBR 36:08

US finishers: 51. Scott Larson 37:15, 57. Mark Coogan 37:19, 85. Joe

Lemay 37:42, 86. Peter Julian 37:42, 98. Brian Baker 37:50, 110. Tim

Hacker 38:00, 140. Shawn Found 38:31, 158. Robert Cook 38:54, 173. Keith

Dowling 39:16.

Mens Senior Team Results:

1. Kenya 51

2. Morocco 70

3. Ethiopia 125

11. USA 487

Mens Junior Race:

8+ kilometers

1. Elijah Korir - KEN 24:21


1. Kenya 13

2. Ethiopia 31

12. USA 287





The IAAF, which is the worldwide track and field federation, has a web

site with championship results, track news and more. Go to:


*Lake Tahoe Marathon Info*

To get the low down on the Lake Tahoe Marathon, scheduled for October

12th, go to:








I would like to thank you for writing such inspiring editorials.

A few months ago my daughter told me that she was subscribing to a

running newsletter that was good and that I should do the same.

I am certainly glad that I did.

Each of the editorials has hit home with me in some way that related to

my own running (many moons ago), my own coaching experiences (lots of

moons also) and/or my daughters' running experiences (both of whom are

distance runners).

As I approach 50, I've never written a letter to the editor, called into

a radio talk show or appeared on TV for or against anything. And I will

never be able to write that previous sentence again.

I am person with a pretty simple life with few passions. Running is one

and thank you for expressing in words what I have felt at times during

running, coaching or watching my kids run.

- Tom Crapisi



I want to thank you for your article on the mile relay. I'm a junior in

high school and have run that event in every meet for the four years

that I've been running varsity. Your article was so descriptive that it

made me feel as though I was funning right along beside you. Thank you

for giving others just a small taste of what is like to run the 1600m

relay. I've run other races, from a 5K to the 100m, but none of them

come close to matching the

power of the mile relay. Thanks again!

- Karen LeMar




I need your help.

On June 21, 1997, I will be running in the Anchorage Marathon - 26.2

miles in Anchorage, Alaska, to benefit the Leukemia Society of America.

I'm doing this as a member of the Leukemia Society's "Team In Training".

I will be running in honor of Travis Lewis. Travis is 7 years old, and

is running a much tougher race - the race for his life against Leukemia.

I am asking you to sponsor me in this marathon. My goal is to raise

$3,500 to benefit Austin/San Antonio area Leukemia patients and their

families. With a pledge of $1.00, $2.00, $5.00 or more per mile or

whatever sum you would like to donate, you will help Travis and I reach

our goal. Maybe one day, he will be the one running a marathon!

If you are interested in making a donation, please return the pledge

form below. Also, please e-mail and let me know you've donated, I sure

appreciated it!

Thank you in advance for your support.


Mike Clark <mclark@austx.tandem.com>


Return Pledge Card to:

Leukemia Society of America


815-A Brazos

Suite 226, Austin, Texas 78071


YES! I will help conquer leukemia in recognition of the efforts of:

Mike Clark - Team in Training, Austin, Tx. Runner

I will be a SPONSOR at the following level:

__ $1 per mile = $26 __ $ 5 per mile = $130

__ $2 per mile = $52 __ $10 per mile = $260

__ Other Amount = $__________


__ My check is enclosed.

__ Charge my donation to my credit card:

( ) Mastercard ( ) Visa ( ) Amex

Cardholder Name:______________________________


Exp. Date:____________________________________




Phone________________________ Date____________


*Make checks payable to the LEUKEMIA SOCIETY

**Contributions are 100% tax deductible, you will receive confirmation

from the Leukemia Society for tax purposes.



I am interested in promoting running in Malaysia and have looked at many

advertisements where runners are able to help contribute to patients of

leukemia, cancer, etc. Is there anyone out there who can give me a brief

outline on how we can contribute to this

cause; how to organize such an event?


Daniel Siew <sch@shoppe.com.my>






Just announced is the Oigawa Marathon Course in Shizuoka Prefecture,

Japan. Live pictures will be shown on


of the opening ceremony and run on May 10, 9:00am JST (0:00 GMT).

Viewers can donate $30 to plant a tree along this course. The tree will

have a plaque with their name on it.

What is so special about this new course? The entire course is a

rubberized urethane surface. It will be the only dedicated marathon

course in Japan. The route is 21.0975 km long allowing a full marathon

run by going out and back. The mileage on this 2 meter wide synthetic

surface course will be marked by signs. The course runs along the

Oigawa river in the heart of Shizuoka Prefecture (halfway between Tokyo

and Osaka), Japan. Runners can run solo along the natural river habitat

undisturbed by car traffic.

If you have questions please contact Michael Stevens at:



The Pittsburgh Marathon, which is the selection race for the mens

marathon in this summer's World Track and Field Championships, will

offer a $25,000 bonus to any US male who runs faster than 2:12:57. That

mark is the current US citizen record for Pittsburgh.

In the windy city, there is a bigger incentive. This time the cash will

not be limited to Americans. Any runner who can break the current world

record for the mens or womens marathon at Chicago will get an extra

$100,000 to take home.


One fact has been missing from all the reports about Morroco's Hicham El

Guerrouj's new indoor world record in the mile. His time of 3:48.45

broke Eamonn Couglan's 14 year old record on the boards, but it broke

another record that had never fallen in the history of track and field.

The record mile race was held in Ghent, Belgium. This marks the first

time ever that the men's indoor world mile record has been set off of

American soil!





RUNNER'S NICHE has a web page! We have some cool links, and past issues

can be downloaded there. Also, we have a Macintosh training log program

for free download. Features are continuously being added. If you'd like

to visit, the URL is:

http://home.netone.com/~woodyg3/runiche.html .

Pass the address on to your friends!




"Runner's Niche" is free, but it's contents are copyrighted. Nobody may

use the content without permission of the author and "Runner's Niche."

SUBSCRIPTION IS FREE. Just write via e-mail to:


Include your e-mail address. We'll send you an issue via e-mail every

month or so.

If you don't want to continue receiving "Runner's Niche", simply mail

with your e-mail address and ask that your subscription be stopped.

-----------------------------237913336313577 Content-Disposition: form-data; name="userfile"; filename="April98.html" Content-Type: text/html --------------




Vol. 3 No. 4 April, 1998




For weeks I trained, dreamed, visualized. I purchased some new racing

flats, our friend reserved a condominium for a group of us and we

bought airline tickets. I've read about this race for years and heard

people talk about it. I wanted to be a part of it. I also wanted a wicked

fast time.

My training and preparation before a big race are fairly intense, so I

was careful to get good food and plenty of sleep. I worried about every

little ache and pain, and feared that every little sniffle could be the

onset of that killer cold. I gulped some extra vitamin C, some echinacea

and a few extra glasses of water each day.

As my wife, several of my friends and I prepared for the Carlsbad 5000,

we all went through some anxiety. This race was our goal for many

weeks. It was the shining beacon at the end of the dark tunnel of cold

and snowy winter. Carlsbad -- the super-fast dream race. Everyone

knows it's the place to get a fast 5 K time!

Then we flew to California, raced, and it was over. Don't get me wrong, it

was fun, but all the training and planning is like the yearly preparation

for Christmas. When Christmas day finally comes it seems gone before

we realized we were there. Then there is the let down.

I returned to my job and the daily routine, only now that goal that I've

been looking forward to was behind. Reality smacked me in the face and

suddenly there was no Carlsbad race day to fantasize about. Still a little

sore from the race day effort, my running motivation could take a big

hit, if I let it.

After a big event, it is important to plan for your next peak experience.

Otherwise, training can be hard to psych-up for, and you can start to get

the blues. Before I run "the big one" I know it's good to at least have an

idea what's next on the horizon. Sometimes this will mean a new race

goal. Other times it might be building mileage, running some exciting

trail runs, cross-training or even taking a little break from running.

I always remind myself that the big race, as important as it was to me,

shouldn't be such a big goal that I forget all the fun, hard work and

planning that came before. There are many rewards from those "miles

of toil" that simply can't be had any other way. In a way, the race is just

the excuse I use for putting in all that training!

So now I'm thinking about summer, and my build-up program for a few

key races. I'll let my body rest a little, then start jacking up the mileage

and return to the track. I find myself thinking more about my training

plans than which races I'll enter.

- WG




Last month we featured an interview with top runner and army

lieutenant Dan Browne. We thought you might want to know how he's

been doing. Dan placed 13th in the World Military Cross-Country

Championships short course in Curragh, Ireland on March 12. He ran the

4.5 kilometer course in 14:13. The US team was forth overall. (Results of

this meet featured in this issue.)

Dan's coach, Rich Castro, warns that Dan's army teammate, Jason

Stewart, should be taken seriously, as well. Jason beat Dan at the World

Military meet, placing ninth with a time of 14:02. Later, he placed 10th

in the prestigious Carlsbad 5000 with a time of 13:54.

A week after the Military Championships, Dan managed 21st in the

IAAF World Cross-Country short course race (4 K) with a time of 11:22,

just 40 seconds behind winner John Kimbowen of Kenya.

Browne and Stewart are both young, and it seems certain that their best

efforts are yet to come. It's going to be fun watching these guys develop!

Note: For full results of the World Cross-Country races, check the IAAF

web site at:






On Thursday, March 12, Curragh, Ireland was the site of this year's

Cross-Country championships for military runners from around the

world. As with the IAAF World Championships, the men run two

distances -- in this case 4.5 kilometers and 11.5 kilometers. Unlike the

IAAF meet, the mens long race is on the same day as the short race, and

the women compete at only one distance -- 5.5 kilometers.



1. Hicham Cal Bouaquich (Morocco) - 13:52

2. Joao Junqueiera (Portugal) - 13:53

3. Antonio Maravilha (Portugal) - 13:54

4. Simone Zanon (Italy) - 13:56

5. Gunther Weidlinger (Austria) - 13:57

6. Miroslav Vanko (Slovakia) - 13:58

7. Michael Buchleitner (Austria) 13:59

8. Jose Ramos (Portugal) - 14:01

9. Jason Stewart (USA) - 14:02

10. Luciano Di Pardo (Italy) - 14:04

13. Dan Browne (USA) - 14:13

22. Nicholas MacFalls (USA) - 14:33

41. Mike Bernstein (USA) - 15:06

TEAMS (Top 3 score)

1. Portugal 13

2. Italy 26

3. Austria 41

4. USA 44

5. Morocco 45

6. Algeria 57

7. France 59

8. Quatar 62

9. Germany 89

10. Tunisia 99

11. Belgium 108

12. Spain 134

13. Romania 147

14. Canada 165

15. Sweden 169


1. Kamch El (Morocco) - 18:24

2. Anja Smolders (Belguim) - 18:36

3. Lucilla Andreucci (Italy) - 18:56

4. Helene Willix (Sweden) 18:59

5. Kris DaFonseca-Wollheim (Germany) - 19:04

6. Elisa Rea (Italy) - 19:10

7. Orietta Mancia (Italy) - 19:12

8. Inga Iuodeskiene (Lithuania) - 19:15

9. Nives Curti (Italy) - 19:22

10. Christine Udovich (USA) 19:25

19. Kim Markland (USA) - 20:25

28. Roxanne Bernstein (USA) - 21:34

33. Dolly Stacey (USA) - 22:02

TEAMS (Top 3 Score)

1. Italy 16

2. Morocco 26

3. Belguim 31

4. USA 57

5. Germany 63

6. France 66

7. Ireland 91

8. Canada 99

9. Spain 118


1. Robert Stefko (Slovakia) - 33:20

2. Jan Pesava (Czech Republic) 33:25

3. Olain Al-Quhtani (Saudi Arabia) 33:35

4. Mania El Abdelilah (Morocco) 33:38

5. Saidou Kamel (Morocco) - 33:44

6. Francesco Carab Bennici (Italy) 33:49

7. Bamoh Mustapha (Morocco) - 33:57

8. Meskaqui Brahim (Morocco) - 34:03

9. Gabriele DeNaro (Italy) - 34:07

10. Berrached Mohamed (Morocco) - 34:11

71. Tony Every (USA) - 36:56

72. Sam Bobbitt (USA) - 36:56

83. Peter Prichett (USA) - 37:15

98. Mark Cuccuzzeka (USA) - 37:48

129. Gary Brimmer (USA) - 40:38

131. Jay Woodard (USA) - 41:31

TEAMS (6 Score)

1. Morocco 46

2. Italy 105

3. Algeria 123

4. Burundi 132

5. France 220

6. Portugal 266

7. Tunisa 290

8. Spain 393

9. Belguim 421

10. South Africa 427

11. Germany 553

12. USA 558

13. Netherlands 561

14. Denmark 572

15. Turkey 589

16. Ireland 616

17. Canada 708






By Michael Selman


Winter finds it around every corner. If your eyes are open to what is

happening around you, it will be apparent to you too. Winter running is

running to be cherished. The colder the better. After all, isn't running all

about overcoming the elements? What better elements to overcome

than temps in the teens and a howling wind in your face?

The first signs of winter start going up right after Thanksgiving. They

illuminate the houses which they adorn, adding color and brightness to

the neighborhoods. They capture the creativity of their owners.

Subdivisions which were quiet and dull, are suddenly bright and alive

with the Christmas spirit, and it is wonderful to see as you quietly judge

them for originality on your run.


Christmas slowly gives way to New Years, and the sights definitely start

changing. The decorations come down, and now the streets, parks, and

trails are suddenly full of people of all shapes and sizes. New Years

always brings about resolutions, and a most common vow for non-

recreational people is to whip themselves into shape. The question

remains, will these resolutions become commitments as time goes on. It

is sad to see the numbers dwindle by the end of March, but they

invariably do. This year, make a resolution for yourself. Smile when you

see them, and offer encouragement, and friendship. If they continue,

keep on smiling and encouraging. If they disappear, get in touch with

them and encourage them to get back into it. It is the least you can do.


And the feelings of a winter's run. There is nothing that can compare. It

starts before you even walk out the door. The feel of the tights hugging

your skin, the wool hat pulled over your head and the gloves to keep

you hands warm are all reminders that you are dealing with more than

just a run. You are dealing with, and responding to nature. And the

response is amazing. Within a mile, you feel that special tingling that

only takes place during a winter's run. A feeling that is emitted through

every pore of your body, telling you that your machine is warming up,

and the needle is moving away from the C, and working it's way

towards the H.


As you continue your run, you start to sweat a little more, and try to

remember why you even needed your hat and gloves to begin with.

They soon come off, and you tuck them in the pocket of your jacket,

which, at this point, is also extra weight. This is no longer a winter's run.

It is a special run, and you are so glad you are doing it. As you breathe

the cool winter's air, in the background, you smell the aroma of

fireplaces, and are pleased that you chose the mode you did for warmth

this morning.


Now, you are looking around, absorbing everything. The predawn sky is

ablaze with constellations that grace the winter skies. The familiar row

of stars that marks Orion's belt buckle are there for company. Of all the

designs in the sky, this is the one you can actually make sense of. But, as

the night stars give way to the star of the day, the show is just starting.

The wispy- tailed cirrus clouds start to appear from the night sky. First,

they are a dreary gray, but, as the sun peaks over the horizon, they

slowly paint the heavens with hues of pink and orange before finally

settling in as the white color we have grown accustomed to. This is

unique to the winter sky.


And as you look around, you are so warm and toasty that it takes you

by surprise that the fields you run by are still covered with a thick

layer of frost. As you are freely sweating, you can't understand why the

pond you just ran by is still topped with a thick layer of ice. When the

penned dogs are barking at you when you pass, the smoke coming out of

their mouth so thick, you can hardly see them behind it. Why doesn't

nature know what you know?


Finally, the run is over. The day has dawned brightly. You deeply inhale

the clean winter air, and know that you have done well this morning.

You go back in the house, wondering how anyone can have a negative

thing to say about winter running. While you were out there, you

created your own climate, and it was very warm and comfortable. As

you walk into the kitchen, you take a peak at the thermometer sitting

outside the window. It is sitting on 28 degrees, and again, you are taken

by surprise. You know something the icy pond, the frosty grass and the

barking dog didn't have a clue of. . The heart of a runner is warmer than

that. Much warmer.


And now, alas, it is time to let go of old man winter. Many people will be

happy to have it out of the way. After all, spring offers it's own unique

brand of changes. Georgia's springs are especially spectacular. But that is

another essay. For now, it is with a touch of sadness that you release

winter from your clutches, but with open arms, that you greet a new


You sit back, and reflect on old man winter, and know that life is good.





Coach Bobby McGee, who works with top South African runners such as

Colleen DeReuck, recently passed some advice along to a group of

runners at a clinic in Boulder. One of the items he addressed was

tapering before a big race. He advises lowering the volume of training,

of course. This translates to shorter runs and less weekly mileage. This

helps freshen up the legs for the race. He also advises, however, that

runners not cut back on the intensity of their runs.

McGee indicates that running short bursts a little faster than race pace

in the week leading up to a race is vital, so as to keep the legs ready for

race effort. Even the day before a race, a couple of short, hard surges are

a good idea. Then, on race day, the legs feel great when running at race

pace, because they are used to running even faster. He likened this to a

javelin thrower who uses a weighted ball, heavier than the javelin, in

warm-ups. This makes the javelin feel lighter and actually permits the

arm to throw with more force.

Naturally, it is important to keep intense training sessions quite short in

the week before the race. This keeps from deadening the legs instead of

invigorating them!





Book review By Woody Green

CHASING THE BEAR is Jeffrey Recker's first novel. While it is a story

about running, it also deals with internal conflict, self-doubt,

obsessiveness and both healthy and unhealthy relationships.

The primary character is Jennifer Ledge, a competitive runner just out

of college. She has big career plans in public relations, but she also finds

herself running well and wanting to maximize her competitive potential.

Much of the story is written from the first-person perspective of her

romantic interest, Paul Jeffries, who is a serious recreational runner.

Other main characters include a coach with a questionable agenda,

several serious elite and almost elite female runners, and Jennifer's

unkind boss.

This book grabbed my attention, at times it made my heart race, and

once or twice I got a lump in my throat. I also found myself scratching

my head at times. Many of the first person accounts by the Jeffries

character seemed too self-absorbed and were occasionally rambling. It

was difficult to empathize with this character. There were also some

problems with grammar and missed typographical errors.

On the other hand, the the development of the other characters was

wonderful. The plot is stimulating and the last few chapters simply

must be read non-stop. The ending, while mildly surprising, fits

perfectly. In the end, this is a very satisfying and entertaining read!

RUNNER'S NICHE BOOK RATING: 4 out of a possible 5 winged feet.

Note: Chasing the Bear is printed by Saguaro Publishing and is available

from one of our subscribers - Running Delights at:








Europe - Spain - Catalunya

Atletisme Catala



FOOLS (For Once in Our Lives Society) by a Chicago Tribune columnist

who just turned forty and is training for the Chicago Marathon:



This letter came from areader, and is worth printing in its full form as a

web sites feature:


I have a news item that may be of interest to you. It's regional (St.

Louis, MO) so it may not be of general interest, but all the same you are

welcome to take a look.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade Run of St. Louis is a huge event -- the

largest run in the city of St. Louis, I'm told. This year they had

something like 6000 runners, 1200 of which were in the competitive


We've just launched what may be the best run-results reporting

mechanism on the Internet. It's the best I've seen, anyway.

We have a searchable database of all the run results. This allows any

runner (or anyone at all) to produce custom listings by name, age,

gender, or any combination. Each runner's overall ranking, ranking

within gender group, and ranking within the given list are all shown.

Take a look:


This is part of the whole Parade website -- you can find the results

search form by following the link on the front page, or from the link on

the Run page. It makes more sense viewed in the context of the framed

website, so I'm not sending the direct URL to the results search form.

If you think this mechanism is newsworthy, we would certainly

appreciate a mention in your e-magazine. We're a low-budget, not-for-

profit, charitable organization so we try to take advantage of these press

opportunities when we can.

Thank you for your time!

-- Matt.

Matthew McGlynn St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee






After reading last month's editor's notes, which contained a reference to

"Tiger Cortez" running shoes from the 70's:


I thought the Cortez was a Nike shoe-white (leather?) with a red

swoosh, white-ish herringbone-treaded sole, weighed close to a ton, give

or take a couple ounces?

- Randy Liljenberg

ED: You are right. The Tiger shoe, which was almost identical, was, we

think, actually called the "Corsair." Of course, next month a reader will

likely inform us that the "Corsair" was made by adidas...





RUNNER'S NICHE has a web page! We have some cool links, and past

issues can be downloaded There. Also, we have a Macintosh training log

program for free download. Features are continuously being added. If

you'd like to visit, The URL is:


Pass The address on to your friends!

Also visit The COLORADO RUNNER'S NICHE site at:


This publication is a print version of The electronic RUNNER'S NICHE,

with an emphasis on Colorado running.




"Runner's Niche" is free, but it's contents are copyrighted. Nobody may

use The content without permission of The author and "Runner's Niche."

SUBSCRIPTION IS FREE. Just write via e-mail to:


Include your e-mail address. We'll send you an issue via e-mail every

month or so.

If you don't want to continue receiving "Runner's Niche", simply mail

with your e-mail address and ask that your subscription be stopped.

-----------------------------237913336313577 Content-Disposition: form-data; name="userfile"; filename="April99.html" Content-Type: text/html --------------




Vol. 4 No.4 April, 1999




I greatly appreciate the work of race directors. Their jobs are

stressful, thankless and time consuming. Without their hard work, we

wouldn't be able to enjoy multiple running events every weekend through

out the running world. Most runners agree that the most important thing

any race director can do to assure a runner's gratitude is an

accurately measured course and good timing system. Beyond that, though,

there is something race directors might want to consider as another

important factor in the enjoyment of the post-race festivities.

Awards ceremonies after most road races are certain to be too long,

agonizingly dull and incredibly frustrating for people who want to use

the rest of the day for other activities. The announcers at these

events are just trying to do their jobs, but it is amazing how long-

winded they can become. After a race people are tired. They may be cold

in foul weather, or roasting on a hot day. Many are ready to get

something more substantial to eat than the usual post-race snacks, and

hungry folks tend to be grumpy, too. A talkative announcer who works

his or her way slowly through set of each age-group awards can be

enough to make a tired runner's blood boil.

It doesn't have to be this way. The best awards distribution system I

have seen was at the Arturo Barrios Race in Chula Vista, California. At

this race the results were posted a few minutes after the race, and

runners who placed in the top three in their age category simply walked

up to an awards table, showed their race number as proof of who they

were, and picked up their prize. Okay, so there is no thunderous

applause and glamour with this system, but people don't have to wait

around all day, either. I wonder how many races are using this system?

For the race organizer, there is a great side benefit to this. Runners

are free to look around the race expo, and are not tied to sitting in

front of an awards podium. Race sponsors are happy when runners are

looking at their displays. Runners are happy when they don't feel like

their precious week end free time is being taken from them. Everyone is

happier. It's an idea that I hope catches on.





--- --- --- --- --- --- ---


Point your browser to: http://home.netone.com/~woodyg3/bookstore.html



--- --- --- --- --- --- ---



Visit their web site at: http://www.marathonandbeyond.com

--- --- --- --- --- --- ---





Congratulations to last month's trivia winner, Arthur Thiry, Gothenburg

Sweden. Arthur receives a free issue of Marathon & Beyond Magazine and


This month's winner will also get a free issue of the running

periodical that goes the extra mile - Marathon & Beyond Magazine.

Trivia contest entrants are limited to one prize per calendar year.

When answering, email your answers with the subject "trivia contest"

and answer the questions in the order they appear below. Mail to:

woodyg3@netone.com. The FIRST person to answer all ten questions

correctly wins. If nobody answers all ten correctly, we will award the

prize to the person who answers the most questions correctly. Good


This month's Questions:

1. The New York City Marathon had the most running participants of any

marathon in the United States last year. What marathon had the second

highest number of runners?

2. What U.S. road race had the most participants last year? (Hint: It

was not a marathon.)

3. The Flying Pig Marathon will be held on May 9 in what U.S. city?

4. Where is the annual Prefontaine Classic track meet held?

5. What city is host of the Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon?

6 - 10 Who were the authors of the following running books?

6. "Once a Runner"

7. "Best Efforts"

8. "Better Runs"

9. "Slaying the Dragon"

10. "The Complete Book of Running"


Last Month's Answers:

1. Who has the record for the fastest one mile time ever by a high

school athlete in the United States?

Answer: Jim Ryun

2. Who won the gold medal for the men's 1500 meters at the Mexico City

Olympics in 1968?

Answer: Kip Keino


3. What top U.S. runner fell in the preliminary round of the 1500

meters in the 1972 Olympics and thus failed to make the finals?

Answer: Jim Ryun

4. Top British middle distance runner Seb Coe was coached by...

Answer: Peter Coe

5. Former one mile world record holder Filbert Bayi was from...

Answer: Tanzania

6. John Walker, also a former one mile world record holder was from...

Answer: New Zealand

7. Former indoor world record holder for the mile Eamon Coglan is


Answer: Ireland

8. Eamon Coglan was coached by...

Answer: Jumbo Elliot

9. Mary Slaney is currently married to Richard Slaney, but had a

previous marriage with marathon runner...

Answer: Ron Tabb

10. Mary Slaney, then Mary Decker, set a world record in 1982 at an

all-comers meet in Eugene, Oregon for what distance?

Answer: 10,000 meters




By Darius Baer

My wife, Joanne and I flew to Aruba in early March for a vacation. I

had read on the Internet that there would be a half-marathon. However,

I was unable to contact anyone about it. So, since we got to Aruba at

midnight on March 12, I began investigating the race particulars the

next morning. By that afternoon, I was registered at the local

recreation center in Oranjestad for the race, which was to begin the

next morning at 6:30 a.m. local time (which was 3:30 a.m. Colorado


Aruba is a very small tropical island 15 miles north of Venezuela. Only

90,000 people live there year round. Because Aruba was a former

territory of the Netherlands, there is a strong Dutch presence there

and some of the racers were of Dutch descent. Aruba is 19 miles long

and 6 miles wide. So, the half-marathon took us 2/3 the length of the

island. Because the race organizers liked me or because I told them

that I would run the race in 1 hour and 25 minutes, they agreed to pick

me up at my hotel at 5:30 a.m. and drive me to the race start at the

end of the island in San Nicholas. When we got to the start, there

were no bathroom facilities. We were told to use what we could find.

I was totally discombobulated, and because my body still felt that it

was the middle of the night, was unable to do anything but wander

around wondering what I was doing.

Just as the dawn's early light appeared, it was 6:30 a.m. on March 14th

and the race started. There were about 75 participants, almost all of

them from Aruba and its two neighboring islands of Bonaire and Curacao.

I was among only 5 Americans, 3 men and 2 women. We started out by

running a half mile to the shore highway that would be the course for

the rest of the race. As normally happens in the U.S., the younger

runners started out faster and I found myself in 14th place running

along side a Dutch fellow. Within a couple of miles, I left him behind

and had moved into the top ten and was gaining. Although the sun had

come up, it was obscured by a nice cloud cover. Temperatures were in

the upper 60's with a pleasant tail wind. By 6 miles, I was running

about 6:15 pace per mile although all measurements were in Kilometers.

I pulled even with the second place runner while the front runner was

way out of sight. He was a 19 year old whose family was continually

cheering him on by pulling to the side of the road every mile or so. I

ate my Mini Power Bar and fell back from him. Shortly after the 11

kilometer water stop, I caught him and passed him. Not knowing at that

time that the front runner was so far ahead, I had visions of winning

the race.

However, that was not to be. When we passed through Oranjestad at 18

kilometers, I began tiring and the Dutch fellow I left at 3 miles

passed me and eventually became the second place finisher. I held on

for 3rd place in the exact time that I had predicted for the race

director: 1:25:00. I guess I know my capabilities. The male winner's

time was 1:12 and the first women was 1:35. Second place was 1:23:53

and there were 10 men under 1:30.

After everyone had finished, they had an awards ceremony which was

spoken in Papiamento, the local language. They took their time because

in Aruba you don't hurry. I was given a big plastic trophy which I had

to carry home. what was more enjoyable was that they made a big deal

about me because I finished 3rd in the race. I had my picture in the

local paper and the activities director at the hotel had a special

ceremony the following Wednesday to announce the women's winner,

another American, and me. All and all, a fun time which I would

certainly repeat.





By Woody Green

For some odd reason, runners are quite interested in what percentage of

their body weight is fat. I saw many folks lined up in front of a booth

at the Las Vegas Marathon expo, all interested in a new little device

used to measure body composition. The little instrument looked like a

bathroom scale and after stepping on it with bare feet you got a

readout of percentage of body fat. Some of the Las Vegas crowd walked

away from the test scratching their heads. Others were laughing, still

others crying.

Measuring the percentage of your body that is made up of fat on the

basis of "bio impedance" is a new and controversial method. More

standard methods include skin fold measurement with calipers and

underwater weighing. But, why all the fuss about body fat?

For one thing, it has become a sort of physiological triumph for

runners to measure their body fat percentage and discover that they

rank with the elite runners in this category. If you can't run as fast

as they can, at least you can try to be as skinny!

Women have a physiological need for more body fat compared to men, and

even women who are elite marathon runners need a greater percentage of

body fat than men do. The average man has between 15-18% body fat,

while the average woman has 22-25%. Runners can be a good deal lower

than this, and it is not unusual for a male runner to have below 10%

body fat, or a woman to be below 18%. Some are much lower.

You might think that lower is better, but at a certain point, this is

not true. Your body needs fat for normal body functions, to pad vital

organs, and to provide for energy needs. When the body doesn't have

enough fat stored up, it can actually start to use muscle as an energy

source. Certain chemical needs in your body can fail to be met, as

well. That isn't a good scenario!

Of course, we know it is very bad for our health to carry too much fat

on our bodies, as well. Greatly increased health risks are associated

with body fat over 25% for males and 32% for females.

Naturally, losing unneeded fat will reduce overall weight and so the

energy cost of running. That means that lowering body fat to a certain

level will increase performance. There is no evidence that decreasing

body fat below about 8% for men or 14% for women will improve

performance, though. Certainly there are many good athletes with lower

percentages of body fat, but there also many athletes who are starving

themselves and actually decreasing their performance potential and

possibly doing harm to their health. While you think about this, have a

bagel, for crying out loud!

There is really little reason for someone exercising regularly to worry

much about the exact value of their body fat percentage. If you just

have to know what your body composition is, though, the best way to get

an accurate measurement is to go to a human performance lab or health

club with the proper equipment and be weighed underwater. A fairly

accurate assessment can be made with skin fold calipers, too, although

this test begins to lose accuracy at the lower end of the scale. The

jury is still out on some of the other, newer methods such as

electrical impedance.

But, let's back up the alfalfa sprout and Romaine lettuce truck a

minute, here. If you know you need to lose weight, you're on the right

track already by running. There's no real need to have exact figures on

your body composition. And, if you are already skinny, just be happy,

for heaven's sakes!








*Cross-Country Fun*

On Sept. 25, 1999 you might want to travel to the Greensboro Cross-

Country invitational. Divisions are available for high schools,

universities, middle schools, open, and masters with 14 great races on

100% grass/trails. Distances vary from 4,000 meters to 8,000 meters.

2,000 athletes are expected.

Contact: Charlie Brown, Greensboro Pacesetters Track Club

2304 Gracewood Dr., Greensboro, NC 27408-2509 ph. 336-282-8052

*Ramble On*

The 16th running of the James Joyce Ramble will get under way April 25,

1999 at 11 a.m. in the historic town of Dedham, a suburb of Boston,

Massachusetts. For entry information, call 781-461-1365 or visit the

Ramble's website at:






*Active USA*

Find events in many sports including running, cycling and triathlon

across the U.S. at:


*All-Time Track and Field Performances List*

Listings of the best performances in all track distances at:


*Waddle On Over*

John Bingham, writer of the Penguin Chronicles, and a new book, "The

Courage to Start: A Guide to Running for Your Life" has a site at:






Dear Runner's Niche,

I feel a little guilty and as time passes and I read the odd running

mag it gets worse. I ran the last Seattle marathon that was set on a

brand new, very challenging course. Last year's Seattle was not very

well organized and things weren't too well received in several running

publications- a number of people complained. This year's race was

awesome. The course was super, the support lavish and enthusiastic.

Great fuel stations, fabulous finish line reception, great music in the

toasty warm field house where we were fed like Olympians. I feel

remiss in not having written about this earlier. Thanks and congrats

to the Seattle crew.

- Daryl Anderson, Abbotsford, BC, Canada





"Runner's Niche" is free, but its contents are copyrighted. Nobody may

use the content without permission of the author and "Runner's Niche."

SUBSCRIPTION IS FREE. Just write via e-mail to:


Include your e-mail address. We'll send you an issue via e-mail every

month or so.

If you don't want to continue receiving "Runner's Niche", simply mail

with your e-mail address and ask that your subscription be stopped.

Article Submissions are always welcome. Unfortunately, there can be no

monetary reimbursement for material used in Runner's Niche. It is

normally best to send a query letter to the editor before sending

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Vol. 6 No.5 August/September 2001




Which is more important in a race, place or time? It is true

that to many people in a large road race, time is the measuring

stick they use to gauge how well they ran. Only a few people

have the chance to place amongst the leaders, so the main goal

of a large number of runners is to try to hit a target time. Few

among us, though, would care what our time was if we were able

to run fast enough to win a race, or at least place in the top

three in our age group. Most of us know other runners that are

near our ability level who we like to compete against.

Regardless of what our watch says at the end of a race, if we

are able to place in front of someone who usually beats us, we

are happy with the result. Courses vary in difficulty and

weather has a big affect on our times, but the one constant is

head to head competition. The runner that sees someone in front

of them in a race and doesn't have the desire to catch and pass

them is a rare runner, indeed.

Nowhere does place mater more than time than in a cross country

race. Team competition in college and high school races is

dependent on the place of each of the top 5 team members.

(Smaller high school competitions may score the top 3 or 4

runners instead, but the idea is the same.) Thus, a first place

finish scores one point, second place two and so on. The places

are added up and team finish is based on the lowest total

scores. This means each athlete will fight to place ahead of as

many runners as possible, particularly members of other teams

who might be close in the team competition. It may seem at first

that only the top five runners on a squad would make a

difference in the team score, but sixth and seventh runners can

also affect team scores by placing ahead of scoring runners from

other teams, thus adding points to their total. This makes sense

in a team competition; each and every member of the team can

have an important affect on the outcome of the competition.

The one exception that I know of to this point scoring system is

USATF masters cross country competitions. The rules of USATF

masters athletics call for team placement to be determined by

adding the times of the top runners for each team. At first

glance, this may not seem to make much difference, and it may

seem that the best team would likely come out on top with this

system. After all, isn't time a fair measure of competitive

effort? In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.

A recent cross country meet that my wife, a friend and I

attended serves to provide some great examples of how the place

point system is far superior to adding up total times. After

running in the open division of the Colorado State University

Invitational cross country race in Fort Collins, we stuck around

to watch the college races. Team pride runs deep in college

cross country, and the battle between Western State and CSU

promised to be a fight to the death. CSU wanted to win in front

of their friends and family at their home invitational, while

Western State wanted nothing more than to upset the larger

school at their own meet and gain more respect for their solid


The women's race was first, and as runners approached the finish

line it was clear that this was going to be a close one. Seven

of the top eight runners were from either CSU or Western State,

and each lady was going all out to the finish. Western State

looked solid, but then a group of CSU women, all working hard

together, came in and their sixth runner was able to edge out

Western State's fifth runner. The ability of those runners to

work together to finish in front of their opponent's fifth

runner made the difference, and CSU won by 2 points. Add up the

times of each team's top five runners and Western State was

ahead by 15 seconds, but team effort, especially by that sixth

runner for CSU, won out. Nobody watching this race could have

argued that the outcome should have been different, especially

as we watched one runner after another collapse at the finish

line after giving every ounce of energy in their body to place

as high as they could for their team.

Perhaps the best example of the importance of place over time

came in the men's race. This was another close one, and while

Western State won out in the team battle, it was not due to any

lack of effort by the CSU squad. We watched as two runners

fought for ninth place. Side by side a Western State athlete

sprinted against a CSU athlete. They both knew how important

their place could be to the final team standings, and how

important this competition was to their teammates. Neither

athlete was about to give in to the other. As they approached

the finish, arms and legs flying around in desperate, lactic

acid saturated effort, there was not a millimeter separating

these two. The CSU runner dove in one last all out effort and

managed to beat the leaning Western State athlete by an inch.

His dive left him sliding on the wet grass in front of the other

runner, who had to jump to avoid landing on him. His spiked shoe

missed the CSU athlete's face by about six inches. Both runners

wound up face down on the grass, their chests heaving and body's

crying for oxygen. When they mangaed to get to their feet, they

gave each other a hug, showing the mutual respect each had for

the other's effort.

If team scores were based on total time, the difference between

these two athletes would have been no more than one one-

hundredth of a second. There would have been very little drama

and concern over which runner inched ahead of the other. They

would have effectively canceled each other out. But because we

were watching a battle for points, a battle contested on the

premise that the only thing that matters is which runner

finished ahead of the other, two runners truly pushed themselves

to their absolute limit and gave everything they had for their

team. It may sound corny, but I find this kind of competition

glorious and noble. I find adding up times to be boring and


Since the ancient Olympic Games, far before the invention of

stop watches or electronic timing, foot races have been about

one thing: who can make it to the finish line first. Children

racing each other on the playground understand this basic rule

of competition. It is the reason we contest races.

It is important to note that I'm not saying the only thing that

matters is winning. After a race, the thing that stays with us,

regardless of the actual place or time we get in a race, is the

achievement we feel after giving an all out effort. Our

competitors are, in fact, our partners. Without them, we could

never achieve our best.


- WG

--- --- --- --- --- --- ---

MARATHON & BEYOND MAGAZINE - Marathon & Beyond, the only magazine

that focuses on the specific needs of marathoners and

ultrarunners. M&B offers in-depth articles on training, race

strategies, injuries, nutrition, race profiles, running history,

and more. Visit their web site at:


--- --- --- --- --- --- ---





Dan M. Kahan of New Haven, Connecticut was our winner last month.

He will get a free issue of Marathon & Beyond and fame! Trivia

contest entrants are limited to one prize per calendar year.

When answering, email your answers with the subject "trivia

contest" and answer the questions in the order they appear below.

Mail to: woodyg3@netone.com. The FIRST person to answer all of

the questions correctly wins. If nobody answers each question

correctly, we will award the prize to the person who answers the

most questions accurately. Good Luck!

This month's questions:

Match the track athlete, past or present, with their national


1. Seb Coe

2. Pascal Dobert

3. Joyce Smith

4. Lidia Simon

5. Gabriela Szabo

6. Jill Gaitenby

7. Svetlana Zakharova

8. Jose Rios

9. Charles Kamathi

10. Billy Mills



Last Month's Answers (US Athlete Biographical Info theme):

1. What college did marathon runner Rod DeHaven attend? - South

Dakota State.

2. What national title did Jason Pyrah win in 2000? - Indoor 1


3. Which American woman placed 10th in the 1996 Olympic marathon?

- Anne Marie Lauck

4. What current, male US distance ace won the NCAA cross country

title as a freshman in 1988? - Bob Kennedy

5. Which US woman won both the world cross country title and a

bronze medal in the Olympic 10,000 in 1992? - Lynn Jennings

6. Which American distance star attended American College High

School in Cairo, Egypt? - Libbie Hickman

7. Arkansas grad Deena Drossin placed 12th in the World Cross

Country Championships in 2000 despite what misfortune during the

race? - Swallowing a bee at the start, then nearly passing out

and falling later in the race.

8. A member of the 2001 World Championships team at 10,000

meters, this athlete became an American citizen on January 28,

2000. Who is he? - Abdi Abdirahman

9. Who won the TAC womens outdoor 1500 title in 1988? - Vicki


10. Who won the same title in 1989? - Regina Jacobs

11. Who won the mens outdoor USATF title for 10,000 meters in

1998? - Dan Browne

12. National titles in the mens steeple chase from 1981 to 1987

all went to the same man, who was he? - Henry Marsh




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novelty gifts, t-shirts, bracelets and many others items.


Our entire catalog is now online with secure ordering.

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In the last issue of Runner's Niche we announced a contest to

predict the winner of the Womens World Championships Marathon.

Several entries were received, but nobody correctly identified

the winner, Lidia Simon of Romania. The tie-breaker in this

instance was who could come closest to predicting the winning

time, and Larry Semark or Albuquerque, New Mexico, won out. He

predicted a winning time of 2:25:00, only 1:01 away from Simon's

winning time of 2:26:01 in Edmonton. Larry was sent a free copy

of the new book "On the Edge" by Kirk Johnson. This interesting

examination of the Badwater Ultra race across Death Valley was

also sent to three other randomly picked contest entrants. The

lucky winners were Andy Edmondson of Boulder, Colorado; Kelly

Dever of Albany, Oregon; and Karen Shepherd of Los Angeles,

California. Congratulations to our winners!

This book is certainly worth the read. To learn more about it,

point your web browser to:





By Woody Green

Like so many things involving the jargon of a sport, the term

"tempo run" may mean different things to different people. When

I was in college, one of our coaches used the term to define

repeat runs of about 600 meters which we did at a modertae

effort, concentrating on running with an even, smooth rhythm and

working on relaxed running form. Most distance runners, though,

have a different definition of the word.

Most people referring to a tempo run are speaking of a workout

meant to help a runner more efficiently produce energy

aerobically. This will help you to run at a faster pace without

accumulating lactic acid and the associated "oxygen debt." The

effect is especially important to marathon runners, but will aid

runners of any distance event.

Tempo runs should typically be done at a pace that is close to

your current ten mile or half marathon race pace. The effort

should be hard, but somewhat comfortable. The duration of a

tempo run will vary according to fitness level and ability, but

a general rule might be 20 to 30 minutes.

These workouts will cause chemical changes in you body including

an increase in myoglobin, which carries oxygen in your muscles.

It will also increase the size and number of the muscles'

"energy centers" called mitochondria.

It has been my experience that many runners go a little too hard

on their tempo runs, making the workout more of a race effort

than a workout. Watch out not to get carried away if you choose

to use tempo runs as a part workout scheme. Remember, also, to

get the most of these runs, do them on a day when you are

rested. Remember, also, to let your body recover for a day or

two after this type of hard workout.





1. Ever wonder why your name is misspelled or missing from race

results? You figure the race crew screwed up? Maybe, but usually

it's because you hurriedly wrote your name in an illegible scrawl

on the entry form and a busy race official had to make a wild

guess at what your name might be.

2. Why are race officials so doggoned insistent that you wear

your race number so that it is clearly visible on the front of

your body? At the finish line officials need to be able to see

that you are actually a registered entrant. Runners who cross the

finish line and are not actually entered in the race can make a

mess of race results. Additionally, one of the ways that results

and times are cross-checked is by recording competitor's numbers

as they finish. This data helps results crews to sort out any

discrepancies or missing times from final race results.

3. Why won't race officials let me stand right next to the finish

line to watch the runners come across the line? Timers need to

clearly see runners as they approach the finish line, especially

so that they can record bib numbers as was explained in mystery


4. Why do the people at the finish line become grumpy when I step

over the flagged line surrounding the finish crew area and ask if

they can tell me what my time and place was? Race crews are doing

a thousand things at once in order to produce the results runners

crave after the event. Things are hectic and take the complete

attention of those involved. All the results will be out much

quicker if everyone stays back and lets them do their job


5. What's wrong with taking an extra five or six water bottles

from the post-race refreshment area so that I can drink them

later? Think of your fellow runner! Take only what you will drink

or eat, and leave the rest for other runners. Remember those who

finish the race after you will want to rehydrate and have a bit

to eat, too.

6. Why didn't they print enough t-shirts for me to get one when I

signed up on race day? Any time you sign up the day of the race

you are taking a chance. Race organizers hesitate to print too

many extra t-shirts because of the cost involved. If you want to

guarantee yourself a shirt, sign up early.

7. How come some runners get mad when I line up right on the

starting line, then elbow me as they zoom past after the start?

It's important for your safety and that of all runners to line up

according to your ability at the starting line. Faster runners

should be up front, with other runners lining up amongst those

who will run at about the same pace. This is the best way for

everyone to start with the least inhibition to forward progress.

Moms and Dads, please advise your children of this so they don't

get stampeded at the starting line! Besides being a safety issue,

it is also a matter of courtesy.

8. Why aren't there more races offered in my hometown? Putting on

even a small road race is a huge undertaking. Logistics, working

with sponsors, designing and measuring a course, clearing

everything with local authorities, and printing those all-

important t-shirts takes a ton of time.





*2000 Olympian Deena Drossin set a new U.S. women-only record of

1:10:08 o in winning the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in

Virginia Beach, Virginia. The previous U.S. best of 1:11:34 was

set along a point-to-point course by Gordon Bloch at the 1992

IAAF World-Half Marathon Championships.


*American Rich Hanna stunned the ultrarunning world on August 6

by winning the silver medal at the 100 Kilometer World

Championships in Cleder, France.

Hanna ran the challenging course in 6 hours, 43 minutes, 9

seconds, finishing second behind Japan's Yasufumi Mikami, who

completed the circuit in 6:33:28.


*A new ARCO Olympic Training Center (OTC) and a new program

called Running USA will aid distance athletes in the United

States at making a run at respectability. The OTC rests on a 150-

acre complex in San Diego County where an estimated 4,000

athletes train each year. The center includes a dining hall that

serves up to 1,000 meals a day and the athletes stay in one of 34

two-bedroom suites equipped with balconies, telephones, and cable








*Cold Run

The first running race ever held on the North Pole will be held

on Saturday April24, 2002. More info: http://www.north-pole-

expeditions.com or Toll free phone: 1-800-770-5961.

*Harvest Run

The first annual Harvest Stompede 10K will be September 29 on the

Leelanau Peninsula (just north of Traverse City, Michigan). This

run will follow the wine trail through the vineyards of a

beautiful peninsula. Details: http://www.lpwines.com






*World Championships Results

Last month's results from the IAAF World Championships in

Edmondton, Canada, can be found at:


*Lake Tahoe Marathon

http:// www.laketahoemarathon.com

*Web Radio

Tune in today and every Thursday at 3:00 PM Pacific Time (23:00

to 00:00 UTC - Zulu time) for The Running Show.

To listen go to http://www.wsRadio.ws





Dear Runner's Niche,

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the past article

"Training More And Getting Away With It" by Woody Green (June

1996). It has some great advice or reminders for cross-country

runners. We often forget how important it is to stretch, and do

other things to help our bodies to recover.


Jessica Powers

Ed: Thanks, Jessica! Readers can always find back issues of

Runner's Niche at the Niche web page:



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catalog. Creative Sports Jewelry, 6525 Gunpark Dr. #150-422,

Boulder, CO 80301. 303/527-1130 or 800/606-8887. E-mail

SprtJewlry@aol.com Website: www.ontherun.com/sportsjewelry

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"Runner's Niche" is free, but its contents are copyrighted.

Nobody may use the content without permission of the author and

"Runner's Niche."

SUBSCRIPTION IS FREE. Just write via e-mail to:


Include your e-mail address. We'll send you an issue via e-mail

every month or so.

If you don't want to continue receiving "Runner's Niche", simply

mail with your e-mail address and ask that your subscription be


Article Submissions are always welcome. Unfortunately, there can

be no monetary reimbursement for material used in Runner's Niche.

It is normally best to send a query letter to the editor before

sending finished articles.



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Vol. 1 No. 5 August, 1996




Yes, this issue is a bit late coming out. I wanted to wait

until the Olympics were over before letting this issue loose.

I hope to have Oly results e-mailed out in the next couple of


There are many things we will likely carry with us from these

games. There are several positives I hope we can all

remember. (Despite the whining American press and electronic


I hope the world remembers a very talented, brave young

American sprinter by the name of Tim Harden. He was the

rookie on the 4 x 100 US mens relay team who was suddenly put

on the spot. When attempts were made to put Carl Lewis on the

relay team to give him a shot at his tenth gold medal, Tim

could have been the odd man out. Harden ran, and ran well,

despite what had to be enormous pressure.

I'm hoping Erv Hunt will be remembered as the coach who stuck

with his principles, and refused to put someone on the relay

team who had not earned the right.

Maybe Americans can remember this as the Olympics when a new,

strong batch of Canadian sprinters took the spotlight by

winning the 400 meter relay. Perhaps Donovan Bailey can

receive the respect he deserves after winning the gold and

setting the world record in the 100 meters.

I'd love to see more attention given to the strong US

distance efforts. Sure, we all recognize that work needs to

be done to improve development of US distance running talent,

but let's help to do that by holding up examples of our

strong US talent. Look at Bob Kennedy, who nearly pulled of a

medal in the 5000 and who was courageous enough to take the

lead with two laps to go in the race. How about veteran Mark

Croghan in the steeplechase. He ran a great tactical race and

finished a strong fifth. Then there was the gutsy performance

of Anne Marie Lauck, who literally collapsed at the finish

line after giving it all she had in the marathon. By

promoting these individuals, maybe it would be possible to

stir up more interest in the sport.

Similarly, I hope everyone remembers how well American Lance

Deal did in the hammer throw, taking the silver. Let's forget

grumbling about how American John Godina "only" got a silver

in the shot, and failed to make it to the finals of the

discus. He's only 22 years old and the man already owns a

silver medal!

Then there is the the courage of injured athletes like Jackie

Joyner-Kersee, Mike Powell and Chris Huffins who put it on

the line despite great pain. One got a medal and two did not,

yet they all left the field knowing they gave everything they


Most importantly, when the history books are written, I hope

the courage, determination and strength of the people of

Atlanta and the Olympic movement are noted. A cowardly,

moronic, evil, sub-human little puke who planted a pipe bomb

in Centennial Park thought he could bring the games to a

stop. The games did stop, there was a moment of silence at

each venue to remember those who had died and those who were

injured. Then the games proceeded full steam ahead.

- Woody Green




- Michael Johnson: "I never dreamed I would run a 19.32."

- Johnson's coach, Clyde Hart: "Personally, I would have

thought that if he had run 19.32, his heart would have


- Michael Johnson: "The 19.32 wasn't a perfect race, I

stumbled out of the blocks. I think 19.2 is possible."

- More on Johnson: There was a lot of talk by sports

journalists that if you divide Johnson's 19.32 in two, you

would get 9.68 for each 100 meters - faster than Donovan

Bailey's new 100 meter record of 9.84. Thus, they reasoned,

Johnson must be the "real" fastest man in history. This logic

fails to recognize that Johnson's second 100 meters was run

with the aid of a full running start. In reality, Johnson was

timed in 10.12 for the first 100 meters of his historic race.

From there, he closed with 9.2 for the last 100 meters, which

, of course, was with a running start.

- Getting to the start: Boulder resident Rich Castro,

personal coach of Ecuador's Martha Tenorio, said the bus

driver who took them from the Olympic village to the start of

the marathon didn't really know where to go. First he took

athletes to the practice track instead of the stadium. Once

he got redirected to the main stadium, he went through the

wrong security line, taking much longer than need be. Finally

he got them to the stadium, but insisted they get off at the

entrance for athletes not competing. Marathoners then had to

walk to the other side of the stadium to get to the competing

athletes entrance.

- Accommodations: Castro also reported that while larger

countries were housed in huge dormitories, smaller countries

were given a sorority or fraternity building. The

Ecuadorians, staying in a frat house, must have learned of

the reputation for wild parties in American frats. They

partied wildly and late into the night after Jefferson Perez

won the 20 K racewalk for Ecuador.

- Security: To get into the athlete's village, athletes and

coaches had to go through three separate security gates.

- More security: No cars were permitted in any area of the

athlete's village. Buses were used to transport athletes

around the village at all times.

- Can you stomach this? One coach waiting in line at one of

the McDonalds in the Olympic village watched as the athlete

ahead of him in line, a Russian weightlifter, took all eight

double cheeseburgers off the serving table. The woman behind

the counter was undaunted, saying, "more double cheeseburgers

up in a moment." Apparently this was not the first Olympian

appetite she had seen!

- Medal detector needed: Carl Lewis temporarily lost his long

jump gold medal when the medal and Carl's pager wound up in

TV anchorman Tom Brocaw's car after an interview.

- Looking forward to 2000: Richard Palfreyman, an Olympic

official for the upcoming 2000 games in Sydney said: "I'm not

sure we can improve on the friendliness and energy of the

Atlanta people. But we certainly believe we can make our

Olympics special for everyone."

- Relay splits: Gail Devers defeated Gwen Torrence in the

Open 100 meter race. Gwen turned the tables a bit, at least

for trivia buffs, in the 4 x 100 relay. She had a slightly

faster relay leg, running 9.97 to 10.03 for Devers.

- More relay splits: The US womens 4 x 400 relay team ran

well enough to get the gold medal. The fastest individual

relay leg of all the athletes in the field, however, came

from Germany's anchor runner Grit Breuer, who clocked 48.63.

As fast as this was, Marie-Jose Perec's winning time in the

open 400 was faster - 48.25 out of the blocks.

- Drugs: Marina Trandenkova, 5th in the womens 100, tested

positive for bromanton, a stimulant and masking agent. The

Russian sprinter was not the only athlete to test positive

for this drug. Two Russian swimmers and one wrestler tested

positive for bromanton as well.

- How fast is fast? Decathlete Dan O'Brien ran 4:45.89 for

1500 meters, the final event of the decathlon. This might

have looked slow on TV, but that translates to 5:06.76 for a

mile. Not exactly pedestrian.

- How slow is slow? The final finisher in the mens marathon

was A Baser Wasiqi of Afghanistan with a time of 4:24:17.

This is a record for the slowest time ever recorded in the


- Slow but not that slow: The last finisher of the womens

marathon fared much better. Marie Benito of Guam ran

3:27:28, good for 65th.

- DNFs: While the weather was not super hot for either

marathon, it was still warm and very humid. That took its

toll as 20 out of 85 women who started failed to finish. The

men fared a bit better, with 13 out of 124 dropping out.

- The bright side: Americans may not have taken any medals in

the marathon, but all 5 who finished were in the top half of

the field.

- More on the bright side: Bob Kennedy, American record

holder in the 5,000 meters, ran a superb race and even took

the lead of the Olympic 5,000 with two laps to go. He

finished 6th with a time of 13:12. (The race was won by 1500

meter specialist Niyongabo of

Burundi in 13:07.96.) Watch out for Kennedy in the next few

years. He has no "Kenyaphobia" at all.





Mexico City: October 20, 1968

The Mexico City Olympics are now remembered primarily for the

world record blitz in the sprint and jump events. This was

the Olympics where Bob Beamon long jumped 29' 2 1/2", almost

2 feet longer than the world record at the time. Wynomia Tyus

ran 11.0, Jim Hines 9.9, Tommy Smith 19.8, Lee Evans 43.8.

All in all 15 World Track and Field Records were set. The

thin air of Mexico City contributed greatly to most of these

marks, since the thin air offers less resistance and allows

greater speed in sprints.

In 1968 the women had no race longer than 800 meters. The

Olympics were still under the charge of cavemen who felt

women were too delicate to run "longer" distances. The men

competed in all the traditional distance events,however, and

these were certainly NOT aided by the 7400 foot altitude. In

fact, there were numerous problems for athletes who did not

live and train at high altitude. In the end, 10 of the 15

distance event medals went to athletes who came from high

altitude. Most of these were Kenyans.

An excellent example of the altitude problem for sea level

trained athletes was legendary Australian distance ace Ron

Clarke, who was the favorite in the 10,000 meters. In the

thin air of Mexico City, however, he faded to 6th place and

collapsed at the finish. It took 10 minutes to revive him and

he was taken to the hospital immediately. Some feared he

would die. He recovered completely (and competed in the 5000

meters a few days later), but he was only one of several

athletes who were overcome by the effects of altitude.

The mens 1500 meter event was to be a showdown between the

world record holder, Kansas college student Jim Ryun, and the

blazing fast Kenyan, Kip Keino. West German Bodo Tummler was

another force to be reckoned with, having run the fastest

mile and 1500 of the year leading up to Mexico City. His

times were 3:53.8 and 3:36.5. Keino had been red hot, too,

having run 3:55.5 in the mile in late August. Nineteen year-

old Marty Liquori, who had followed Ryun's footsteps as a

high school running phenomenon, was also in the finals.

Ryun had a problematic year leading up to the Olympics. He

had several injuries, and had to overcome Mononucleosis which

was diagnosed in May. This detracted greatly from his summer

training. In the Olympic trials, held in Lake Tahoe, he

failed to qualify in the 800 meters, but managed to win the

1500. Still, he did not feel good in the race, and was very

unsure of himself. He was certainly not the Jim Ryun of 1967,

when he had set the world record in both the mile and 1500

(3:51.1 and 3:33.1, respectively.)

Jim knew what he was up against with the high altitude

factor. He had trained with Jack Daniels in Alamosa, Colorado

during the Summer of '67. To support himself while he trained

in Colorado, he worked as a grocery sacker. There were no big

shoe company contracts to support track athletes in the back


Jack Daniels, a very well known and respected exercise

physiologist and coach, warned Ryun that at the altitude of

Mexico City, going out too hard at the start would certainly

spell disaster for sea level trained athletes. Ryun would

need to run a smart race since Keino would likely go out hard

to try to deplete the other athletes of oxygen.

In the finals, Keino did just that. He had some help, as Ben

Jipcho, a young, upcoming Kenyan, led the race out to aid his

countryman. Jipcho hit 400 in 56.0, with Keino at 56.6. Ryun

was at the back of the pack in 58.5, heeding Daniels advice

to be cautious.

Jipcho and Keino did not let off the accelerator on the

second lap, with Keino in the lead at 800 in 1:55.3. Bodo

Tummler was holding on for dear life, 4 meters back. Ryun was

a good 30 meters or more behind Keino at this point. Those

who did not understand the effects of altitude were not too

worried about Ryun being that far back. He had a fearsome

kick and had outsprinted the world's best from behind more

than once in his young career.

Keino's third circuit of the track was unrelenting, as he

passed 1200 in 2:53.4. Ryun, however, was making up ground

slowly, hitting 2:56. Tummler was still the closest pursuer

to Keino at this point, and Ryun was not yet in medal


Before the race, Ryun figured a 3:39 could win, and he had

planned his strategy accordingly. He was on pace to run under

3:39, but with 300 meters left Keino was well ahead and

looking strong. Tummler was fading, and Ryun passed him and

went into second place on the final curve. His last 400

meters would be 54, and he made up ground on the Kenyan, but

nobody had any real chance to beat Keino on this day.

Keino charged home to win by a large margin. Some people felt

Keino had an unfair advantage running at altitude since he

lived in the highlands of Kenya. This hardly seems credible

given his final time of 3:34.9. Not only did this net him the

gold medal, it was the fastest time of the year and an

Olympic record. Keino had come within 2 seconds of Ryun's

world record. This could only be described as remarkable for

a race held 7400 feet above sea level! On top of all this,

Keino ran the race with a painful kidney stone. His doctors

did not even want him to get out of bed, let alone run the


Ryun sprinted to the finish, looking over his shoulder three

times in the final 100 meters. He had to be content with the

silver. His time of 3:37.9 should fairly rank as one of the

best marks in Olympic history, but it is often overlooked as

a result of Keino's masterful win.

Tummler salvaged the bronze with a 3:39.0. The early

pacesetter, Jipcho, slid back to 10th in 3:51.2. His mission

was to help secure the gold medal for Kenya, not individual

glory. The young American, Liquori, hobbled by a bad arch,

was last in 4:18.2.

Ryun would never run as fast in the 1500 or mile as he had in

1967. Some would say that the 1968 Olympics broke him, others

say that his coach, Bob Timmons, simply worked him too hard

at too young an age. Regardless, he will be remembered as one

of the very best athletes to ever grace the track.

Keino, interestingly, never surpassed his 1968 Olympic time

of 3:34.9 in the 1500 meters. To have a career best set at

the altitude of Mexico City is certainly unique, and it only

adds to the magnificence of his golden Olympic effort. While

Keino was not a terribly consistent runner, he continued to

be a strong force in track and field through the 1972 season.




This month we introduce a new monthly feature. Each month we

will have a list, not unlike Letterman's top ten list, on a

running related issue. Thanks to Diana Shannon for this

months list.


1. A marathon is an accomplishment you are proud to tell your

mother about.

2. Marathons last longer.

3. Marathons don't get jealous if you run other marathons.

4. A marathon won't whine if you quit it.

5. A marathon won't dump you for some cute, young runner.




By Woody Green

There is a sort of mystique that surrounds sites like the

high plains of Kenya or the mountains of Colorado. These

locations, along with many others roughly a mile or more

above sea level, are thought to be very special places to

train. The very thin air that leaves runners gasping at

higher altitudes is thought to have magical qualities for the

runner wishing to get maximal gains from their training.

There are, however, plenty of people who feel there is no

real benefit in training at altitude, unless you are planning

on racing there. In fact, some feel that training at altitude

can actually slow a runner down.

So, who's right? All the studies on training at altitude

agree on one basic fact. When training at altitude, your

blood becomes "thicker." That is, you have a higher

concentration of red blood cells and hemoglobin. This seems

to be a way of adapting to the lower levels of oxygen

available to the lungs in the less dense air. Common belief

is that this could result in greater than "normal" endurance

when runners go to race at sea level.

This concept may sound familiar to people who have never

heard of the benefits of altitude training, but have heard of

the benefits of a friendly physician. The procedure known as

"blood doping" or "blood packing" is an attempt to accomplish

the same thing. In this procedure, an athlete will have a

unit of blood extracted and preserved. Later, when the

athlete's blood has naturally increased back to its normal

level, the old blood is reinjected into the athlete. This

provides extra red blood cells and hemoglobin for oxygen

transport. It should be noted that this method is illegal

according to the governing bodies of athletics. It should

also be pointed out that it is dangerous. Many athletes have

wound up ill as a result of this technique. Rumors are that

some have even died.

Another medical attempt to increase the oxygen capacity of

the blood is a drug called EPO which similarly increases the

blood "thickness." Again, this method is both illegal and


It is very well accepted in the arena of world class running

that "blood doping" and EPO work very well to increase an

athlete's endurance. Some Olympic medalists have been accused

of using this method to improve their performance.

If altitude training results in the same thing: "thicker"

blood, then shouldn't it increase performance, too? Many

runners and coaches believe it does. Certainly the

performances of athletes from areas such as Kenya, Ethiopia

and Mexico who live and train at altitude would lead many to

suspect that altitude training is a definite advantage. And,

it is not illegal, immoral or life threatening!

Common belief, though, has yet to be solidly backed by

scientific evidence. The scientific community has conducted a

good number of studies on training a high altitude.

Surprisingly, there are very few that support the notion that

altitude trained athletes will have an advantage when racing

at at sea level. Many studies have shown that athletes who

are taken to high altitude to train, then back to sea level

to race, show no improvement over their pre-altitude training


Additionally, there are problems associated with running at

altitude. Since it is impossible to run as fast at altitude

as a similar distance at sea level, some coaches fear that

altitude training will actually slow their athletes down.

Some feel that interval training may be negatively impacted

by altitude, as well, making anaerobic training less


When an athlete trains at altitude, then goes to sea level,

the body begins changing. The increased levels of hemoglobin

and red blood cell density return to "normal" after several

days. Thus, any benefits in blood composition are probably

short lived.

Another problem is not so much the altitude itself, but the

climate that accompanies most high altitude locations. They

tend to be dry and relatively cool. This makes it hard for an

athlete to adapt to the heat and humidity more commonly found

when they race at sea level.

Still, advocates of altitude training provide arguments in

favor of running in "rare air."

Frank Shorter was once quoted as saying that one of the

benefits of altitude training was that it is simply not

possible to run as many miles as at sea level. This, he felt,

kept some runners from running too many miles and beating up

their legs.

Many feel there is a sort of psychological advantage as well.

Training feels harder at altitude, which can lead to a sense

of confidence and mental toughness. Mental attitude is

extremely important in any athletic endeavor. Anything that

leads to increased confidence must certainly be considered a


Additionally, those who point only to scientific evidence

should be reminded that there were initially numerous

scientific studies which indicated that steroid use had no

effect on muscle strength or recovery from workouts. Studies

or not, unscrupulous athletes continued to use the drugs,

knowing full well that the benefits were very real. They did

not wait for science to prove what they already knew. Despite

scientific findings, perhaps the athletes training at

altitude know something the exercise physiologists have yet

to prove. And, there's nothing unscrupulous about training on

a beautiful mountain trail at 5000 feet!




There is a new DOS-based program called RunLog in a calendar

format. It keeps track of all your distances, times, paces,

totals, etc. and graphs them, too. There is a web page for

it with a demo at:


You PC users might want to check it out!


The North Carolina Roadrunners Club (about 700+ members) has

a web page with upcoming races and results for middle/eastern

NC. It is:


Take a visit to this nice site!


The Hood to Coast Relay has its own web site. Included are

race details, weather conditions, course changes, training

tips, maps and more. Sponsored by Nationwide Insurance, visit

this site at:







*Olympic Trials Editorial*

These readers share their feelings about last month's

editorial on the Olympic trials:



Glad you had such a wonderful time in our city at the trials-

-didn't realize you were such an expert in stadium design and

urban culture and decoration-Please cancel my subscription.

-No Name Given



Re: your Olympic Trials experience. I totally agree.

- Jim O'Brien


*Blast From the Past Correction*

Benji Durden writes to correct an error in the Blast from the

Past column last month that stated that Steve Jones' 2:07:13

was the fastest ever on a loop course:



The Rotterdam course is a loop course as well (where Carlos

Lopes set the WR at 2:07:12) so Jonesey's 2:07:13 was the 2nd

fastest for a loop, not the fastest. The start and finish

were just a few feet apart.

It is true that Lopes had some good rabbits though. I was one

through 10K (29:58 I think it was) and 2 guys actually hung

onto 3 min K's 'till around 25K before they crashed and Lopes

was on his own. He slowed to a K over 3 minutes finally

around 39-40K (after having steak for breakfast that

morning). I was stunned with how fast he ran.

Jonesy was stunning with how crazy he ran and survived.

Another time.


- Benji Durden, Boulder




My name is Amanda Parish and I love to run. I've been running

for 3 months now and I run 3-4 miles every night (excluding

Sunday.) I've noticed that since I've been running my

appetite has increased. And, I can't seem to get enough to

eat. I was wondering if there was something I could do to get

my appetite to decrease? I would also love to join your E-

magazine. I downloaded a couple of your back issues, and they

were fantastic!



Ed: A greater appetite is perfectly normal when you increase

your activity level. Not only does your body need more food

to provide energy, you require more vitamins, trace elements

and water.

Be happy that you can eat more and worry less about it . You

are burning 3-400 calories a day by running 3-4 miles a day.

Many runners say the only reason they run more is so they can

eat more!




RUNNER'S NICHE needs more writers! If you would like to write

an article about any aspect of running, please submit it via

e-mail to us. Since this is a free publication, we don't pay

our writers. Still, your article will be read by a great

variety of folks, including subscribers in 5 different

continents. Besides, what can be more fun to write about than

the best sport of all: running?




- Blast From the Past looks at the 1979 NCAA Nationals

- Notes from our European editor on the problems with British

track and field.

- Fartlek training.

- Other fun stuff!




RUNNER'S NICHE has a web page! We have some cool links, and

past issues can be downloaded there. Also, we have a

Macintosh training log program for free download. Features

are continuously being added. If you'd like to visit, the URL

is: http://members.aol.com/woodyg3/web/runiche.html . Pass

the address on to your friends!


"Runner's Niche" is free, but it's contents are copyrighted.

Nobody may use the content without permission of the author

and "Runner's Niche."

SUBSCRIPTION IS FREE. Just write via e-mail to:

woodyg3@aol.com. Include your e-mail address. We'll send you

an issue via e-mail every month or so.

If you don't want to continue receiving "Runner's Niche",

simply mail with your e-mail address and ask that your

subscription be stopped.

-----------------------------237913336313577 Content-Disposition: form-data; name="userfile"; filename="August97.html" Content-Type: text/html --------------




Vol. 2 No. 8 August, 1997




The World Championships of Track and Field begin on Saturday,

August 2 in Athens. This should be a runner's celebration. We

get to see the world's best going after a medal that

indicates he or she is the best on the entire planet. I urge

you to watch this event with the enthusiasm of a child. Try

to ignore the American media that whines when US athletes

"fail" to win a medal. Please try to put all the politics out

of your mind. Think about the athletes who are attending the

championships, and don't worry that some top athletes will

not attend. Enjoy this gathering of fantastic athletic talent

and let it inspire you.

- WG




Amy Wroe Bechtel, a marathon runner, is lost and was last

seen in Wyoming on a training run. Amy was last seen

Thursday, July 24, in the Wind River Mountains, on the Loop

Road, between Lander, Wyoming and South Pass where she was

training for a marathon! She was wearing a yellow tank top,

black shorts or leggings and Adidas Trail Response running

shoes, a Timex Iron Man Triathlon watch and a small double

wedding band!

Amy is 24 years old, 5'6", 110 lbs., and has blonde shoulder

length hair and blue eyes.

A picture and the previous information can be found at the

following web address:




Please take a moment to look at Amy's picture at one of these


Anyone who has seen Amy or has any information, call the

Fremont County

Sheriff's office at (307) 332-5611 or your local law

inforcement agency.

You can also send email to <sbechtel@wyoming.com>





Interview By Woody Green

Dave Elger has accomplished a great deal since he began

running competitively in the late 60's while in high school.

He has run 26 marathons and has a PR of 2:25 from the first

Chicago Marathon, then called the Mayor Daley Marathon. He

managed a 2:34 at the 1994 Boston Marathon at age 40, and

most recently he won the masters division in the Disney

Marathon in January.

He has a professional interest in running as well, having

studied with Dr Dave Costill at the Ball State Human

Performance lab from 1977 - 79.

A Florida resident until recently, he has moved to Okinawa to

do work for the Department of Defense at Kadena Air Base.

RUNNER'S NICHE: You have been running strong for quite a

number of years. At age 43 how have you managed to stay


DAVE ELGER: Good question. My last 2 years of college, and

first year following were crazy. I really did some

unbelievable training striving for that next level and ended

up with a chronic case of plantar fascitis. After battling

with it for nearly 2 years, I had surgery in 1979 and haven't

had a problem with it since, although I do wear orthotics for

training. That injury was due to just plain stupidity-

massive doses of high quality miles all on roads with poor

shoes, then continuing to train using tape, injections, etc.

once I was injured.

The other major problem I have had since the late 70s is a

chronic tight muscle in my hamstring that affects my

biomechanics when fatigued. I never have been able to figure

this one out, but over the years I have learned to deal with

it. 5 Ks are okay but 10 Ks are uncomfortable for me. I

estimate my marathons are 3 to 5 minutes slower than what I

could run if healthy.

RN: How has your training changed as you have aged?

DE: In my early 20s, the core of my training was one and a

half hour runs, which I did probably four times per week. I

ran them as I felt. Some days very, very hard, and other days

easy if I was not recovered. I had no structured hard, easy

program and other than in cross country, seldom, if ever did

any formal interval training.

As a master I have had great success by finding a consistent

groove encompassing speed workouts, long runs, and fast paced

45 to 60 minute runs. A key difference now is that I usually

know ahead of time when I am going to be ready to run hard.

RN: What do you think is the key to training for the marathon

as a master?

DE: There are three keys to my success as a master in the


First, following a good base of 4 to 6 weeks of 2 x 17 mile

runs per week, usually 48-72 hrs apart. I believe and

research supports, that recovery is too long for any distance

20 miles and beyond, and that should be saved for race day


I find that I can recover quickly from 17 miles run at 6:45

to 7:00 pace, and two per week gives me the endurance to

finish the last 6 miles very strong. My last several

marathons I have maintained 6 minute pace the last 6 miles.

Second, I do one run a week at race pace - for me 6 minutes

per mile - or faster for 7 to 10 miles. This run is nearly

all out.

And third, two weeks prior to race day I make a point to

start throwing in several shorter 5 to 6 mile runs at race

pace or slightly faster. My last 17 miler is two weeks

before the marathon.

I Also include things in my training that are not as crucial.

For instance, in training for Disney my long run was 80-85

percent on trails and grass. I think this speeds recovery.

I do one interval session a week - usually 4-6 x 800 meters

in 2:30 or a little under done on a straight road.

Also a 5 k race on the weekend or a short, hard substitute.

Using a program like this I have run the following:

Disney '94 2:38

Boston '94 2:34

Disney '95 2:38

Fox Cities '96 2:37

Disney '97 2:39

At Disney in '97 (Ed: In which he won the masters division.)

I was 1:19:30 at the half, so ran the most even paced

marathon I have ever done. I was in the top 30 and moved up

to finish 7th overall.

RN: What's your next marathon?

DE: I think my serious marathon days are about over. Right

now I am still adjusting to hills in Okinawa, and the age

factor is slowing me down. This is the first year that I have

not been able to break 16:00 for a 5 K. I think I am losing

flexibility in my hips, which is affecting stride length, so

I am trying to work on that, although not as consistently as

I should be.

RN: What kind of racing opportunities are there in your new

home of Okinawa?

DE: There are two marathons here. One is in December, I may

be in the states for that one, and one in February. Once it

cools off a bit I'll see how I feel. I may just train to

break 3 hours. Long runs are tough right now with this heat.

It's a similar climate to Florida where I lived the last 10


RN: Of all the races you have run, which one is your


DE: I've run easily over 500 races, and my favorite is

probably the 7 mile Bridge Run in Marathon, Florida. I enjoy

the Florida Keys and I have always run well there.

RN: What are your all time best performances?

DE: I competed for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

from 1971 to 76, and was NAIA marathon champ in 1976 with a

time of 2:28 in the hills and heat of Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

I ran a 9:25 indoor 2 mile with little or no speed work and

30:13 for 6 miles.




By Chris Amaker

I chose to attend Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota as

my first marathon with the Leukemia Society Team in Training.

I was already moderately fit but in no condition to run 26.2

miles. The Team in Training folks gave me a choice of

marathons. I could have chosen the Mayor's Midnight marathon

in Anchorage, Alaska too. However, all the stories about

running trails and the hills scared me away from that

marathon. No, I thought it best to go with the paved roads

for my first marathon. After all, moving this 6' 1", 240

pound, ex-football player body that distance was bound to be


My wife and I decided to stay at the Black Bear Casino/Hotel.

It was about fifteen minutes south of Duluth and the finish

line. Besides, all the hotel rooms in Duluth were booked

solid during the marathon days, imagine that!

Many of my pre-marathon dreams consisted of me completing the

run and coming back to the Casino and winning big on the

Blackjack table. That was until I reached mile 20 during the

run. But wait, I am getting ahead of myself. Let me take you

back a little bit.

The morning of the marathon we had an uncle drive us to the

start. The traffic was not too bad and we managed to get

there with thirty minutes to spare before the race began. The

pre-race jitters sent a sudden urgency to my belly. I had to

use the bathroom really bad. The day before we had taken the

tour of the route and noticed about 50-100 "Port-A-Potty"

bathrooms set up for the marathon about 300 feet from the

start line. As I snaked my way through the crowd over to the

Port-a potty I noticed that of the 7500 runners that day,

6000 had the same idea. The lines were long and they weren't

moving. I thought back to my group leader with the Team in

Training crew. She told us, "Head to the tree line." I had

said to myself using the tree line was barbaric and I could

exhibit enough control to avoid such disgrace. But, on your

training runs you have the bathroom at a supermarket or donut

shop on the route to let you avoid certain doom. I was stuck

now and had to answer the call of nature so, I headed for the

tree line. As I approached I noticed several "squatters,"

male and female all using nature's bathroom. I found a spot

and joined in, a little embarrassed but definitely

enlightened. I now knew what "head to the trees" meant. The

wisdom of my group leader surprised me and I was grateful I


I managed to make it back to the start line with plenty of

minutes to spare. I did notice back where we were standing

how talkative all the runners were. Near the front people

were quieter.I attribute this to the back of the pack being

those runners with

"penguinness" qualities. Whereas, the front of the pack, the

elite runners, were concentrating on hearing the starter's

pistol and getting off to a good start. The slow runners,

like me, were in it for the T-shirt or just to finish. We did

not need to hear the starter's pistol. We would start when

the crowd moved ahead. That is how it started for me. Three

and one-half minutes

after the pistol I came rumbling across the start line.

I was off and feeling great. I had trained the last 5 months

and was ready to prove to the world I could run a marathon.

The spectators and volunteers that lined the race were great.

Each had a special thing to offer us. Many had radios or

"boom boxes" blaring as we came running by. The spectators

really enjoyed us as much as we did them. After all, if it

weren't for us slower runners the spectator's participation

would be about 10 seconds. Those elite runners come whipping

by and don't even have time to listen to the music. I, on the

other hand, had plenty of time. I soaked in each person and

the scenery (Lake Superior). Where else but a marathon can

you get a, "Achy Breaky Heart" with Billy Ray Cirrus, "Push

It" with Salt 'n' Pepper and dance the "Macarena" better than

any democrat at a convention. My first 20 miles were filled

with joyous people and activities to divert my attention.

They were shouting, "Go Chris, You look great!"

Sewing my name on the front of my shirt made that possible.

My group leader struck again. She was really wise about this

marathon stuff. The course was described as flat with a few

"rolling hills." This description was probably done by one of

those elite runners. To regular runners like me they were not

rolling they were just "HILLS!" There was always an incline

except for the last 6 miles.

Miles 20 - 26 were hell for me. I could barely hear the

crowds. Not because they were thinning but because my ears

decided to shut down to conserve energy for my legs. The

cheers from the crowd had turned into muffled noises to me. I

could read the lips when I looked up from the road.

"Yeah, Chris only a little further!" They were clueless. A

little further seemed like 100 miles and I was not moving

that fast. Yet, I kept plugging along somehow. I could not

make it to the mile markers fast enough. The toughest part of

the run for me was at mile 24. There was an overly zealous

group of guys sitting in lawn chairs drinking beer. They were

watching the runners come by and cheering them on. They

decided to offer me a beer. They reassured me that I had it

made, why not stop for a beer? They had no idea how much I

gave up to run this marathon. My beer intake had dramatically

decreased during my training period because it could have

possibly affected my run the next day. I thanked them all and

told them that I would return but for now I had to struggle

on to the finish. I never made it back to them.

My wife finished thirty minutes ahead of me. She came back

about 400 meters from the finish line to look for me. I

noticed her mouth moving and from what I could lip read she

was saying, "Yeah, Chris I am so proud of you!" I normally

listen to her, (except during Pro Basketball games) but this

time I could not hear a word she was saying. I told her I

would meet her at the end.

At mile 26 I could see the finish line. I had a mere 200

meters left, so I stopped, raised my hands to the crowd, high

fived someone and looked around to cherish the moment. I

crossed the finish line and announced to the world, "I did

it!!" The marathon took me awhile (5 hours, 39 minutes) but I

did it.

Not everyone can say that. It was the most physically

demanding thing I had ever done. I got my medal and T-shirt

for completing the marathon. My wife and I hugged at the end

and began to plan our next run. We are going to run in the

Honolulu, Hawaii marathon in December.

The Leukemia Society Team in Training program trained me to

reach this goal. My group leader said I could do it and she

made sure to train me to achieve the goal.

I did go back to the casino. I lost 20 dollars in the slot

machines and called it quits, so much for the dream. The Hot

tub in the hotel was calling my name like the spectators,

"Chris, Chris, the water is good." This time I heard the


Once in the hot tub I was the one to shout, "Yeah, Chris you

did it! You really did it!"





By Woody Green

Most of the time we think of interval workouts as being

pretty tough. We go out and do several tough repetitions with

a short jog in between for recovery. At the end we are bent

over gasping for breath. For an anaerobic workout to be

worthwhile, you might think you really have to hammer and

leave yourself dead.

There is no doubt that this type of workout needs to be a

part of your normal, pre-race workout scheme. But, it isn't a

bad idea to add some easy, quick anaerobic workouts to your

training plan, as well.

Easy interval training? Sure. To help your nervous system get

used to running fast, to help with running form, to make you

more comfortable running at a quick tempo and to strengthen

your legs, think about adding some strides to your weekly


Strides are short runs of about 100 meters or so done at an

accelerated pace. Many of you probably do three or four

strides before a race as part of your warm-up. When you run a

short distance at a pace much faster than your race pace, you

make more complete use of all your leg muscles and you use

them at a greater intensity.

The best way to begin doing strides is to add them to the end

of a run. This way you are good and warmed-up, and you should

be able to run fast without fear of "pulling something."

Find a football field, a flat section of a park, or the

straightaway on a track and try doing four to six strides. Do

the first ones relatively easy and build the speed with each

repetition. This isn't meant to be an all-out sprint, but

rather a controlled, quick tempo run.

Think about running with good form, not letting yourself get

tight in the arms or shoulders. Flow with the effort and

don't try to fight your way through it. Take plenty of rest

between strides. You can jog or walk in between, just don't

sit or stand in one place since the blood will pool in your

legs and make it hard to get going again.

By doing just a few strides each week you can often see a

dramatic improvement in your running. Much like a car that is

driven at the same speed in traffic all the time, you can

benefit by "blowing the carbon out" and revving up the RPMs a






Reader Matt Rhoads got the following information on "Hashing"

in a flyer attached to his windshield after a race. He

thought we might find it interesting.


The usual description of a Hash club is: "A drinking club

with a running problem." Originally started in 1938 Kuala

Lumpur, Malaysia, Hashing is a sport loosely molded after the

old English schoolboy game "Hares and Hounds." Back in 1938

Kuala Lumpur, the "Hash House" was the mildly derogative

nickname given to the Selangor Club by the British Civil

Servants who lived, dined, and ran there. They named their

running club after it. After World War II hashing spread to

the rest of the world. There are now more than 1500 clubs in

over 135 countries."

Here's the explanation of "Hashing" as found on the flyer:

One or more hares set up a trail, marked with flour. The

hounds then follow the trail. Trail markings consist of the


1.A trail mark indicating you are on the right trail (usually

a dot or splotch of flour.)

2.A "check" (usually an X) indicating that the trail now

branches in any number of directions.

3.A false (marked with an F) indicating that you've just

followed a false trail, and should go back to the previous


Hounds follow the trail because:

1.There might be beer along the way.

2.They don't know any better.

3.There might be beer at the end.

4.It might go interesting places (see items 1 and 3).

Some hash clubs exclusively use "live" hares, meaning that

the hares start marking the trail and fifteen minutes later

the pack takes off after them. There's a kind of honor

associated with catching the hares (usually the hare loses

his/her pants). However, most hashes have elaborate trails

set up hours in advance.

The running is cooperative, with the pack working together to

find the trail. Physical fitness varies greatly; some people

run ultra-marathons, and the only exercise others get is the

slow jog between checks. The length and difficulty of the

trail varies ranging from a half mile to fifteen miles (with

full sag wagons). Usually you can count on the run to be four

to six miles.

The course itself may traverse any or all of the following:

City Streets

Dense Briar Patches





College Dormitories


Urban Shopping Malls

Building Tops



Storm Drains

There is usually a beer check somewhere during the run. Some

hashes just have a cooler of beer and soda at the end of the

trail, with a six-pack or two along the way, while others

have multiple kegs at the end. After the run there is food,

ceremony, beer drinking, singing, rejoicing and merry making.

And OF COURSE the usual pissing and moaning of runners after

a run. Sometimes there is a party at a bar or restaurant,

with everyone kicking in a few bucks.





*The First Air Force Marathon*

Get info on the U.S. Air Force Marathon this October 20 at

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.


*On On!*

Hash House Harriers Web Links and Info:






*Laughing and Grateful*


Just a note from a subscriber thanking you for your unique

combination of useful, amusing and just plain good "stuff"

related to running. I find myself both laughing and grateful

for the runner I am all over again when your newsletter

arrives. Thanks.

- Trish Gaffney

*Elites Aloof?*

Ed: In response to a letter from <Jgracetri@aol.com> last

month stating that running is alive and well in Pensacola,

Florida and that elite runners are too aloof, one reader


...I think that it easy to tag our athletes with this quality

of being aloof, but really when is the last time that you got

all excited for the USTAF championship. How many times have

you flipped on the tube to watch 12 AMERICANS battling it out

in a mile race on AMERICAN soil. Our runners have to spend

time in Europe in order to stay off the roads. Road racing IS

the only other option. It is sad to say that our athletes are

forced to travel away from their families and we call them


It is simply not enough to have all of these road races. We

have solved the smallest problem, inclusion. The biggest

problem is high quality competition. We need races that will

fine tune our elite athletes.

Who knows, one day we may have the Golden Three (Grand Prix

track meets) here in the states -- Oregon, Maine,



Jeremy Huffman




By Thomas David Kehoe

We need personal ads in the back of running magazines.

Dating hasn't gone well for me since I started running 3

years ago. If a woman has more than 17% body fat, or wears

shoes she can't walk in, or wants to spend a perfectly good

Saturday afternoon sitting around at a concert or something,

I lose interest. One woman, when I said that I was going

running at 8am Sunday morning, asked if I'd lost a bet!

Only an obsessive runner would date us. I tried dating an

obsessive skier, and then an obsessive rock climber, and then

an obsessive triathlete, but these didn't work out. The

triathlete looked promising, until I took her for an easy run

with my club, and she couldn't keep up with the 70 year-olds.

She never went out on another date with me.

I've set up a running personal ads page on my website. It's

free and easy to use, allowing you to directly e-mail any ad.

Even if you're not "available," leave us an amusing story

about running and dating. The URL is



There's a further problem: runners' personal ads, if written

honestly, wouldn't be interesting. After listing your PR's,

you'd have to list your hobbies and interests, i.e., your

Life Outside Running (LOR). Most of us don't have one! If I

wrote an honest personal ad, it would look like this:

SWM, Boulder, Colorado, 35, 6'0", 145 lbs, VO2-max 71, 17:17

5K, 36:39 10K, likes ultradistance trail runs. LOR (life

outside running): uh, let's see, I eat a lot of

carbohydrates, is that a hobby? :-) I have a job, I

volunteer organizing running club events, oh, that's not

outside running?...my dad calls me every weekend, but mostly

he asks how my running is going, I have friends, but I guess

they're all runners, wait, I've thought of something, I've

taken a couple rock climbing classes, of course I ran 10

miles to the classes, but I had fun climbing.




There is a new sister publication to RUNNER'S NICHE called

COLORADO RUNNER'S NICHE. Unlike this cyberspace magazine, the

COLORADO NICHE is a regular print publication. If you live on

the front range, look for it at Runner's Roost in Ft. Collins

and Boulder, the Boulder Running Company, Mongoose Runner's

Den (Westminster) or Runner's Choice (Boulder). We hope to

expand or circulation in the future.






RUNNER'S NICHE has a web page! We have some cool links, and

past issues can be downloaded there. Also, we have a

Macintosh training log program for free download. Features

are continuously being added. If you'd like to visit, the URL



Pass the address on to your friends!




"Runner's Niche" is free, but it's contents are copyrighted.

Nobody may use the content without permission of the author

and "Runner's Niche."

SUBSCRIPTION IS FREE. Just write via e-mail to:


Include your e-mail address. We'll send you an issue via e-

mail every month or so.

If you don't want to continue receiving "Runner's Niche",

simply mail with your e-mail address and ask that your

subscription be stopped.

-----------------------------237913336313577 Content-Disposition: form-data; name="userfile"; filename="August98.html" Content-Type: text/html --------------




Vol. 3 No. 7 August, 1998




We pause for a brief word from our sponsors...

One of the nice things about Runner's Niche is that it is

free. I enjoy putting this little e-magazine out each

month, even though I make nary a thin dime from the thing.

I'd like to continue, but I'd like to see if I can at least

cover my costs.

It is with this in mind that I announce our new web site:

the RUNNER'S NICHE BOOKSTORE. This site features several

great running titles, and new ones will be continually

added. Information is provided about each book, and you

have the opportunity to purchase them at discounts of up to

40 percent off the suggested retail prices.

In addition to the books featured on this site, you can

search for most any book in print, get information on it,

and purchase it if you like. This is possible because of

our affiliation with Amazon.com, an on-line bookstore many

of you may already be familiar with.

If you are thinking of buying a book on-line, I'd certainly

appreciate the business. The web address is:


Now, back to regular programming...

- WG




:-/ Early reports indicate that two top U.S. track

athletes, shot putter Randy Barnes, and sprinter Dennis

Mitchell allegedly failed a recent drug test and face

possible competition bans. Barnes, who tested positive in

1991, could face a lifetime exclusion since this would be

his second offence.

<#1> In much better news, the United States mens 4 x 400

relay team set a new world record at the Goodwill games,

clocking 2:54.20. An anchor leg of 43.1 by Michael Johnson

was preceded by Jerome Young's lead-off leg of 44.4,

followed by Antonio Pettigrew in 43.2, and Tyree Washington

in 43.5. The old record was 2:54.29 from 1992.

:-) "Endurance", a new film about the life of Haile

Gebrselassie, is expected to be released this fall. The 83-

minute film features Haile and his family playing

themselves, with a nephew playing the part of a younger


:-( Three-time world record holder in the steeplechase,

Moses Kiptanui, ruptured his Achilles tendon while

competing in the steeplechase at the Goodwill Games. To add

insult to injury, he was very nauseated by the pain pills

he was given following the injury.

:-P In an advertising world filled with outrageous claims

and insane slogans this is hard to believe, but Reebok is

reportedly under investigation by the Federal Trade

Commission for their DMX 10 shoe advertisments. It seems

that the motto "the best running shoe in the world" is the

cause for all the fuss!






Be the first to answer all ten Runner's Niche Trivia

Contest questions correctly and win a "Jog-A-Log" computer

program for your Windows 95 PC. Jog-A-Log describes their

product this way: "This program was recently rated by Ziff

Davis (publishers of PC Magazine) with Five Stars (highest

rating) and reviewed as possibly being the best running log

program available."

Okay, here's the deal. Answer these ten questions below by

e-mailing them to: woodyg3@netone.com with the subject

"Trivia Contest." Make sure to include your name, and

answer the questions in the order they appear here. If you

are the first to answer all ten correctly, you will receive

a free copy of the Jog-A-Log program, plus your name will

be featured in the next issue of Runner's Niche! Wow, you

can win stuff AND become famous! Remember, only the FIRST

set of ten correct answers received by Runner's Niche will

win the first place prize.

(By the way, if you own a Mac or don't use Windows 95 on

your PC, we'll dig up a different, but still great, prize

for you.)

The questions:

1-6: What college or university did the following elite

athletes attend?

1. Arturo Barrios

2. Mary Decker (Slaney)

3. Alan Culpepper

4. Suzy Hamilton

5. Frank Shorter

6. Bill McChesney

7. What city is the Grandma's Marathon held in?

8. What time of day does the Boston Marathon start?

9. Who won the AIAW (Association of Intercollegiate

Athletics for Women) National Cross-Country Championships

in 1978?

10. What well-known runner was sixth in that same AIAW

championship race?


--- For more information on the Jog-A-Log program see their

web page at:






Book Reviews by Woody Green

Two very different books on running training have appeared

on the market, and each has its own appeal.

"Running Dialog" is written by David Holt, an English 31-

minute 10 K runner and registered Nurse. The 282-page book

is sub-titled "A Humorous Look at How to Train... From the

5 K to the Marathon, Beginner to Expert."

Holt avoids the common text book format used so frequently

in training advice books. While he provides a fair amount

of scientific explanation about the physiology of running,

it is done in a light, humorous manner. An outer-space

alien with training tips and several cartoons all add to

the comical presentation.

The book begins with an explanation of how to form a sound

training foundation, with an emphasis on how beginners

should start off. From there he adds training components

such as long runs, speedwork, tempo runs and intervals. He

also explains the possible benefits of strength work,

resistance training and cross-training. Finally he sums up

the strictly running portion of the book with racing

preparation and strategy.

The book continues with advice on diet, injury prevention,

special considerations for marathon runners and several

extra topics. Finally there are a few fun to read essays at

the end of the book.

A nice feature is the side bar pieces sprinkled throughout

the book from coaches, runners and writers such as Roy

Benson, John Babington, Scott Douglas, and many others.

Hult has certainly done a good job of presenting a large

amount of training guidance in a relatively compact

package. As with any training advice book, Hult has certain

training recommendations that are somewhat uniquely his.

The main concepts and ideas, however, are strictly

scientific in origin and any runner will benefit from

reading this work.

If there is a weakness, I believe that it can become a bit

difficult to follow each training scheme as it is presented

in a narrative format. Hult seldom presents training

information in table or outline form, and the detailed text

explanations can be hard to plow through. Of course, this

may be an attribute for certain people who prefer a less

academic feel to their reading.

Hult deserves credit for trying something new, and this

book is a good addition to the library of either an

experienced veteran or a new, first time runner.

RUNNER'S NICHE BOOK RATING: 4 out of a possible 5 winged



"Daniels' Running Formula" (Human Kinetics Publishing)

Jack Daniels has long been recognized as a leader in the

areas of physiological research and coaching. His teams at

State University of New York at Cortland have won 7 NCAA

Division III titles, and he has advised top runners such as

Penny Werthner, Jim Ryun, Alberto Salazar, Joan Samuelson,

Doug Padilla and Ken Martin.

His new book outlines what he believes to be the four basic

foundations of a strong training program. He lays out a

general plan that will bring the runner into the best

possible race condition when he or she wishes to peak for a

special race. He advises that the "training season" be

broken into four periods, ideally of six weeks each, but

variable according to the runners needs and yearly schedule

of competition.

If this all sounds somewhat geared to a scholastic runner

preparing for the league championships or an elite runner

training to peak at the national meet, you would be right.

Daniels works with elite runners on the college, national

and international level, and that bias is definitely

evident in his book. While not a book for the beginning

runner, the advice is sound and could help the average

runner to plan a workout program that will truly maximize

their racing potential.

Throughout the book it is emphasized that each runner is an

individual, and each must have a separate, unique training

plan. I found this a fresh break from training books that

simply lay out a one-size-fits-all program for every

runner. Advice is given at the end of the book for

specialized training according to a runner's preferred

racing distance, which should be helpful in individualizing

a runner's program and taking advantage of specific


Particular strong points of this work are the detailed

scientific explanation of running physiology and the theory

behind specific training schemes and workout types.

Extensive tables and graphs present this information in a

clear manner that does not require a particularly

scientific mind to understand. The writing is generally

plain English and easy to digest. Only very occasionally

did I find the book to become bogged down in scientific


Some people may find Daniels to be a bit of an elitist. He

refers to an entire classification of runners as those who

are less talented and who will always be frustrated by

their inability to achieve at the level they desire to.

Some may find his tone a bit opinionated, as well. I found

this to be a mild annoyance, but the information in the 286

pages of this book is valuable to any and all serious

runners, especially those looking to be as competitive as


RUNNER'S NICHE BOOK RATING: 4 1/2 out of a possible 5

winged feet.





By Woody Green

Listed below are some questions on the physiology of

running. Test your knowledge by trying to answer the

questions, then look up the answers, which are placed later

in this issue.

1. True or False. When preparing for a marathon, two one-

hour runs produce the same training result as one two-hour


2. True or False. Distance runners can improve their sprint

speed by running sprints, which will increase the number of

"fast twitch" muscle fibers in their legs.

3. The quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh is

actually a group of muscles. How many muscles make up this


4. Many runners have relatively weak quadriceps muscles.

Which of the following exercises would be good for a runner

to use to increase quadriceps strength?

a. Leg curls on a weight machine.

b. Cycling.

c. Very long, slow runs.

5. What joint does a strong quadriceps muscle help to


Answers follow "WEB SITES OF INTEREST."





To run the Boston Marathon, you have to qualify. Here are

the standards you must meet for the 1999 race. These marks

must have come in a race between 10/1/97 and 3/1/99. Next

year's classic race is on April 19th. What are you doing

sitting there reading? Go get in a long run!


Under age 35 Males: 3:10 / Females : 3:40

Age 35-39 3:15 / 3:45

Age 40-44 2:20 / 3:50

Age 45-49 3:25 / 3:55

Age 50-54 3:30 / 4:00

Age 55-59 3:35 / 4:05

Age 60-64 3:40 / 4:10

Age 65-69 3:45 / 4:15

Age 70 + 3:50 / 4:20

To get more information and entry forms send a large self-

addressed, stamped envelope to:

B.A.A. Boston Marathon

P.O. Box 1998

Hopkinton, MA 01748





+ Alvin Chriss died in New York's Beth Israel Hospital on

Friday, July 17th. He was 68. Criss was instrumental in the

struggle to professionalize road running. He was also an

aid to former USA Track and Filed Chief Ollan Cassell.

+ Well known Vail, Colorado mountain runner Lyndon Ellefson

died while overseas for the second annual World Skyrunning

Championships held at the foot of the Matterhorn in Breuil-

Cervinia, Italy. Ellefson died two days before the

scheduled race when hiking with friends. He slipped into a

hidden crevasse and fell about 100 feet to his death,

apparently hitting his head, then drowning in the icy cold

water at the bottom of the crevasse.





--Roberto Buonasorte's Running Site--

Italian runner with information to share:


--Going the Distance--

Info on a new inspirational marathon audio tape at:










1. FALSE. The results of training are specific to the

stress you place on the body. A two-hour run will do more

to increase the endurance factor needed for marathon

running than two separate one-hour runs. For example,

scientific evidence shows that runs of about 90 minutes or

longer are especially effective in increasing

vascularization in the leg muscles, that is to say more

tiny blood vessels that will increase oxygen delivery to

the muscles.

2. FALSE. While running sprints will increase leg strength

and running efficiency, which will make a runner faster,

there is no way known by science to increase the number of

"fast twitch" muscle fibers that an individual has. This is

why, to a great extent, sprinters are born with the ability

to run fast over short distances. They have a large

percentage of fast twitch fibers in their legs. These

fibers contract very strongly, but can maintain their

output for only relatively short periods of time.

Slow twitch fibers, on the other hand, cannot contract as

strongly, but they have the ability to continue firing for

a very long period of time. Good marathon runners, as you

might expect, have a good deal more slow twitch fibers than

a sprinter.

Interestingly, fast twitch fibers can be changed with

training to become "intermediate twitch" fibers. These are

fast twitch fibers that "learn" to contract repeatedly over

a long time, similar to slow twitch fibers. Slow twitch

fibers, however, can never be "taught" to be more like fast

twitch fibers.

3. As you may have guessed, four, thus QUAD-riceps.

4. Cycling makes extensive use of the quadriceps, and thus

is a very good exercise to strengthen them.

(Leg curls work the muscles on the back of the thigh, the

hamstrings. Try the leg extension or leg press machine in

your weight room to work the quadriceps. Long runs do more

to strengthen the hamstrings than the quadriceps.)

5. The quadriceps muscles help to hold the knee in proper

alignment. This is why rigorous quadriceps exercise is such

a big part of physical therapy following knee surgery. It

is also a good reason to strengthen the quadriceps as a

means of preventing knee problems!





For any readers interested in a Midnight Run, Thomas

Tapken, General Manager of the Amari Watergate Hotel,

Bangkok, is organizing Bangkok's first such event on 10

October 1998. There will be a 10k and a 19k run through

the city, starting at the hotel. All proceeds will go to

charity. Special accommodation rates will be available at

the Amari Watergate, and interested persons can contact

Thomas Tapken or Ms Srirat Pool-Eiam, Clark Hatch Fitness

Centre Manager at the hotel's email address:






--Marathon Motivation--

Dear Runner's Niche,

Regarding the article on marathon training goals in your

July issue. How about running a marathon in honor of

someone else?

I have run five marathons with the Leukemia Society's Team

in Training program, and while I have personal goals for

each of the marathons, it is the fact that I am running in

honor of my friend Harry (leukemia patient) and to raise

money to find a cure that keeps me going.

Andrew Keyt

Mentor - Chicago chapter

Team in Training

e-mail: akeyt@wpo.it.luc.edu





"Runner's Niche" is free, but its contents are copyrighted.

Nobody may use the content without permission of the author

and "Runner's Niche."

SUBSCRIPTION IS FREE. Just write via e-mail to:


Include your e-mail address. We'll send you an issue via e-

mail every month or so.

If you don't want to continue receiving "Runner's Niche",

simply mail with your e-mail address and ask that your

subscription be stopped.


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Vol. 4 No.8 August, 1999




As the O.J. Simpson trial reminded us endlessly, each of us

has a unique DNA structure. This is really no more than a

very scientific explanation for why each of us is

different. No two human beings have the same genetic make

up, and therefore we all look, act, and are built

differently. Science further explains this in terms of our

athletic abilities. For example some of us have a very high

percentage of "fast twitch" muscle fibers. These people can

run very fast over a short period of time. Those with a

very high percentage of "slow twitch" fibers cannot run as

fast, but they can keep going for a long time. Gold medal

winners in endurance sports have a very good ability to

take oxygen into their blood stream at a high rate, while

power lifters have the ability to contract their muscles

explosively in a fraction of a second, generating a

tremendous amount of force. 99 percent of the human

population simply is not born with the genetic

characteristics that would make them a gold medal candidate

in any individual sport, though.

It is this very fact that discourages some people from

running in races, running with a group, or even running at

all. That is a shame, since running is so rewarding and so

easy to adapt to any person's schedule, needs and

ambitions. There is no reason to be intimidated by runners

who are faster, just inspired.

The readership of Runner's Niche includes everyone from

gold medalists in past Olympics to beginning runners and

walkers. This issue is dedicated to the later, and much

larger group. I hope it will provide a little bit of

motivation to those who are new to running, to those who

have run for years but have never been particularly speedy,

and even to the fastest of you out there. By reading about

other people's perspectives on running, maybe we can all

find some new reasons to keep trotting out the door for our

daily run.



--- --- --- --- --- --- ---



Visit their web site at: http://www.marathonandbeyond.com

--- --- --- --- --- --- ---




Congratulations to last month's trivia winner, George Zack

of Erie, Colorado (just east of Boulder). George receives a

free issue of Marathon & Beyond Magazine and FAME!

This month's winner will also get a free issue of the

running periodical that goes the extra mile - Marathon &

Beyond Magazine. Trivia contest entrants are limited to one

prize per calendar year.

When answering, email your answers with the subject "trivia

contest" and answer the questions in the order they appear

below. Mail to: woodyg3@netone.com. The FIRST person to

answer all ten questions correctly wins. If nobody answers

all ten correctly, we will award the prize to the person

who answers the most questions correctly. Good Luck!

This Month's Questions:

1. What is the length of the relay exchange zone (not

including the acceleration zone used by sprint relays) on a

standard metric track?

2. What is the height in inches of the barriers in the

men's 400 intermediate hurdles?

3. What is the height in inches of the barrier in the men's


4. What is the standard distance for the men's


5. What are the distances run by each runner in the

distance medley relay?

6. What is the common name given to the final runner on a

relay team?

7. What does the term "kick" mean in running lingo?

8. What does it mean if a track runner says, "the bear

jumped on my back" in a race?

9. Which race is longer, 400 meters or 440 yards?

10. The international governing body of track and field is

the IAAF. What does IAAF stand for?



Last Month's Answers:

1. At this year's Stanford invitational track meet, Bob

Kennedy and Alan Culpepper ran the second and third fastest

10,000-meter times for an American in the 1990's. What

American ran the fastest 10,000 in the 90's? Answer: Todd


2. Which American male holds the 10,000-meter American

record? Answer: Mark Nenow

3. Who is the fastest non-African male of all time in the

10,000? Answer: Arturo Barrios (before he became an

American citizen.)

4. Who is the fastest German male 10,000 runner of all

time? Answer: Dieter Baumann

5. Who holds the controversial women's 10,000-meter world

record? Answer: Wang Junxia of China

6. What woman is the fastest non-Chinese 10,000-meter

runner of all time? Answer: Ingrid Kristianson of Norway

7. Who is the fastest South African woman of all time in

the 10,000? Answer: Elana Meyer

8. The fastest British woman ever in the 10,000? Answer:

Paula Radcliff

9. How many laps on the track equal 10,000 meters? Answer:

25 on a standard 400 meter track.

10. Which race is longer, 6 miles or 10,000 meters? Answer:

10,000 meters (6.21 miles)

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The Pre Movie "WITHOUT LIMITS" will soon be available on

VHS video cassette. "Pre"-order your copy now at:





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Jewelry for Athletes!

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By Michael Selman

I was up and out for my run ridiculously early this

morning. I rose from bed before 3, and was out the door

well before 4. Why? Because I wanted to run, and I need to

be at work by 6 today.

As I closed the door behind me, and started my first loop

around the neighborhood, I never questioned my sanity. I

did, however, ponder the thought that only an elite runner

would be motivated enough to be pounding the pavement this

early in the AM. Why would someone like me, who plods along

at a training pace approaching 10 minutes a mile, be doing

it at ungodly hours? It is because I am a part of the new

elite, which I will now define.

The new elite does not live to run. We run to live. The new

elite is more concerned that running adds life to their

years, if not years to their lives.

And the new elite competes, and competes fiercely. If we

see someone just ahead of us at the end of a race, we pick

up the pace and make every effort to pass them. If we can

run the 5K in under 20 minutes.....or 30 minutes....or 40

minutes and set a new PR in the process, all the better,

because we are the new elite.

The new elite does not sleep late, and then take leisurely

saunas and massages after each run. We get up early, and

after we run, we quickly shower, and use

"The Stick" to get the knots out. Then we start our day.

The new elite rarely pre-registers for a race, because

there might be an opportunity to spend that time with a

grandchild instead. Or because, as nice as perennials look,

we may want to add a few annuals for added color. Or

because we like the taste of homemade cookies better than

the ones that come in a box, and it all takes time.

The new elite not only finishes the marathon, but also

raises thousands of dollars for a worthy cause in the

process. If the finish line has been taken down before the

new elite gets there, it is unfortunate and sad. But there

is no denying that you are still the new elite.

The new elite is not self-absorbed, self-centered, or

selfish. The new elite is self-reliant, and self-aware. I

just wanted to take a few minutes before I started my day

to let you know another reason why you run. It is because

you are a part of the new elite.

Isn't life grand?

Reprinted from the July issue of THOUGHTS OF A ROAD SCHOLAR

by permission of the author. You can contact Michael at:





By Tracey Nickerson

I couldn't get up off the floor after playing with my two-

month-old baby. I was stiff and tired. It was time to do


I painfully recall my first physical encounter with my

body. I went for my first walk on a sunny, cold, snowy

January morning. I returned red faced, tired and breathing

heavy after walking a quarter of a mile. I felt different

on this first day in 1998.

When I stepped out of the shower, I took a long look at

myself. I turned to one side. Turned to the other. Faced

forward. I was naked and I just stared. My face was still

red. I felt down and disappointed. All I could see was a

mirror full of stretch marks on my belly. Scars from 3

children. Three battles waged with my body, at separate

times, in different ways.

I walked every day for the next two months. I had, from the

start, desired to run, to be a runner. Why? I'm not even

sure to this day. It was nothing glamorous. Even when I was

a kid, I would watch runners in my suburban neighborhood. I

would stare after them, wondering how in the world could

they keep moving and enjoy it. It was alluring, mysterious.

As the tallest girl in my class, "Too Tall Tracey", was a

common label in middle school and high school.

I was 6'3" by the end of my senior year. I thought I could

shock the general population into thinking that I didn't

like sports. It was assumed that I was a "jock",

"athletic", schooled in the wide world of sports, simply

because I was tall. Nope. Many a time a coach would ask,

"Do you play basketball?" "NO, NO, NO!" I'd proclaim. I

wasn't any good and I knew it. I was uncoordinated and

bitter. Years later, my weight fluctuated, but I was sixty

pounds overweight, exhausted, defeated.

I wanted to be an athlete at 28. It would take some work.

It would take some time. Was I ready? I had decided that

getting into shape was more than a selfish endeavor. It was

for my children, my husband, and my family. It was for my

future, they're future, our future.

It was six in the morning on a deserted road when I ran my

first mile. There was no court, no baskets, and no crowds

cheering me on. No bleachers to seat friends and family.

Yet, my heart was full and the birds and the squirrels

witnessed my accomplishment, my miracle. These creatures

were my family. I stood motionless, crying. Sweat, was

falling in unison, along side my tears.

Ironic, how the wet streams coming from my face originated

from the same place my heart.

With each day, I discover that I am not here on this

planet, alone with my weight and height. I am here to bless

the lives of others. I can make a difference with my

presence, with my positive attitude and especially with my

unique stature. These long legs, with running shoes on my

feet, will carry me on to further explore the mystical

abyss of roads and trails. This anti-basketball player,

once, anti-athlete, has found her niche.

I am an athlete. I can't play basketball for beans, but I

can run. I can run at my own pace, at my own speed and even

up a couple of hills. I can sweat. I can breathe heavy. I

can cheer for me. I am my own blessing. I am a gift to

myself: stretch marks and all.

I ran my first mile and world, watch out. I'm going to run

a race someday.

And I did.

(Tracey completed her first marathon: The Mayors Midnight

Sun Marathon June 19, 1999. Next goal: Marathon number two:

Portland, Maine in October).

Tracey Nickerson can be contacted at:


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P.O. Box 94

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Wheat Ridge, CO 80034

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If you have a number and are running in the New York City

Marathon, join the Marathon Strides Against MS Team!

Increase Your: Fun Impact, Support Confidence.

Join Captain Zoe Koplowitz, the inspirational "last place"

finisher in the last 11 NYC Marathons, and her fabulous

teammates for a complimentary Pasta Kick-Off Party! Bus

trip to the Start Line! Tent Gala for families and friends

at Mile 18! Post-Marathon Celebration and Dinner! Post-

Marathon Shower and Massage! Team T-shirt displaying Team

Name and Logo!

Please call Amy Reardon at 212-463-7787 or e-mail


for details!!





*WWI Memorial Race*

The "In Flanders Fields Marathon" in Belgium, is on the

battlefields of the First World War. This marathon will be

a tribute to all who lost their lives in that war.


(It's all in Flemish, but most of the links are in English)

*Computerized Training*

A new type of computer controlled exercise machines has

started appearing in health clubs. These machines set

resistance and prescribe individual workouts for people,

regardless of their fitness level. They store data for

individuals, and provide incentive by tracking progress.

For more info go to:








Dear Runner's Niche,

Just thought I'd let you know that since I've been running

my Blood Pressure has dropped from 200/140 to a nice


It's been about 12 years since I had the high BP (Yes, I

was put in the hospital).... I did not begin running

immediately afterward; I've only run for the past 2 years.

I got tired of the 5 different medications and always being

tired. My kids got started on the x-country team at

school, so I decided to try a little walk/run stuff...

Well, it's working. I kept track of the BP and graphed the

results; my doctor was amazed.

Now I'm on 1 medication (soon to drop that too), but will

drop it after the doctor says OK.

All this just because of the running!

I feel good.

Jeff Bodnar

Delran, NJ




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and "Runner's Niche."

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By Michael Selman

Some things in life are truly paradoxical. For example, why in nature, would

the hardest part of the human body be in direct contact with the softest part

of the human body, fully capable of doing severe damage? Anyone who has ever

bitten their tongue knows exactly what I'm talking about.

Most of the runners that I know represent a similar oxymoron. (No, an oxymoron

is not a dumb person with zits.) To casual observers, we are a picture of

good health and good living. We run, therefore we probably eat fresh fruits

and vegetables all day long, drink nothing but sparkling water, and wouldn't

go near red meat with a ten foot pole. I don't know about you, but rabbit

food just doesn't cut it for me.

It is true that we do share some common health beliefs. Rarely do I see a

runner smoking before a race, but it's not unheard of. One of the nicest

things about post race parties is that they are smoke free, a fact appreciated

by all. But to see what food disappears first at those post race gatherings is

the window to the soul of the runner.

I was at a race recently where post race refreshments included pizza, sub

sandwiches, assorted cookies, and bananas. I saw people walk off with three

pieces of pizza, and then return for more when their stash was gone. I saw

people hoarding down handfuls of cookies without caloric guilt or remorse.

People were crowded around the sub table to the point where you couldn't nudge

through to see what was left. Thanks to the sponsors who provided the feast.

There was plenty of everything for everyone.

One table was practically ignored. The bananas. I didn't see anyone look

both ways and then grab a bunch of bananas when nobody was looking. There was

no need for a sign that said "Please limit yourself to one banana only." Most

people were limiting themselves to no bananas. Curious, I thought that these

health conscious people would bypass the obvious choice in favor of fat and

empty calories.

As I thought about this, I realized that the five pieces of pizza I had just

eaten had made me extremely thirsty. Boy, I could go for a beer right now.

Beer. The one universal drink of the runner. Is there a runner alive who is

not also a beer lover? Just give me my Samuel Adams after a training run and

it truly doesn't get any better than this.

I am an analytical thinker and try to make sense out of everything. So, of

course, I started wondering why good running seemed to go hand in hand with

bad eating and beer drinking. Well, I think I have figured out the answer in

a way that at least I can understand. It's really quite simple if you do the

math. Let's start with the facts.

3500 calories will always equal one pound. This is a simple mathematical


Each mile you run burns approximately 100 calories. Each beer you drink adds

about 150 calories.

Personally, I maintain a weight of about 150 pounds, which remains steady from

year to year. I average about 120 miles of running per month. At 100 calories

per mile, that means that each month, I burn about 12,000 calories running.

120 miles X 100 calories = 12,000.

12,000 calories = 3.42 pounds. That's how much weight I lose each month by


In order to stay even, I need to intake an equivalent number of calories from


12,000 divided by 150 (calories per beer) = 80 beers per month, or 2.66 beers

per day.

I willingly do this to maintain the balance of nature. The first 2 beers are

easy, but the last .66 is a bit harder. I haven't yet figured out how to keep

the carbonation going from one day to the next once the bottle is opened.

Simple math again tells me that I cannot stop drinking beer even if I wanted

to (which, thank goodness, I don't.) Here's why.

Suppose I stopped drinking beer today and changed nothing else about my

lifestyle. I'd still run my 120 miles a month, and I'd lose 3.42 pounds in

the process. In only one year, I would lose 41.1 pounds. My weight would

drop to under 110 pounds and I'd have to listen for high wind advisories

before going outside. In only three short years, I will have lost 123.3

pounds, bringing my weight down to 26.7 pounds. I could get a job as a wind

sock at the airport. In less than four years, I wouldn't even be here any

more. I would be totally gone.

Quit drinking beer? How can I? I am forced to drink in self defense. I take

comfort in the fact that health experts now say that a beer a day may be

better for you than total abstinence. So I figure you can never get too much

of a good thing. I'm probably guaranteed good health through the year 2510 by

now. Besides, we all have to do our part to contribute to the balance of nature (and the

bathroom scale. ) So bring on the pizza, sub sandwiches, cookies, and, most

importantly, keep drinking beer.

And save the bananas for the monkeys.

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Interview By Woody Green

NOTE: This interview (now slightly edited) was done for and first

published on the Runner's World Daily web site. It is used here with

permission. Make it a habit to check the Runner's World Daily site at:



Dan Browne, a 22 year old graduate of West Point Academy, currently

looks to be one of the most promising young distance runners in the

country. He made two big splashes on the national running scene

recently with a victory at the 4,000 meter World Cross Country Trials in

Orlando on February 1, and a second place finish in the Millrose Games

3,000 meters on February 14th. His 7:51.52 at Millrose rose some

eyebrows, but close observers of track and field will remember his

fantastic double at the World University Games last summer where he

took third in the 5,000 and second in the 10,000. His current army

assignment is to live and train with two other army runners in Boulder

under the supervision of coach Rich Castro.

Runner's World Daily: 1997 was a great year for you. What was your

personal highlight?

Dan Browne: Competitively it was the World University Games, of

course. Another was running my first sub-four-minute mile at the

Army-Navy meet. Then, I participated in a month long study on high

altitude training at Park City, Utah. I made twenty-five new friends


RWD: How did you feel about your run at Millrose?

DB: That’s the biggest indoor meet I’ve ever done. It’s the first time I’ve

run indoors this year, and it really brought back the excitement of

running indoors. I ran 7:51, which is a PR for me.

RWD: What about your win at the 4,000 meter World Cross Country

Trials in Orlando?

DB: I went in not knowing how I would do, but at the half way point I

had the lead and I knew I had some great runners like Marc Davis

behind me, so I decided to make a move and make them catch me. It

just went really well from there.

RWD: What do you think about adding the 4,000 meter race to the

World Cross Country Championships this year?

DB: I think it’s great, of course. It draws a lot of new runners to the cross

country scene, it brings the milers in. For most of us the trials race was

the first time we’ve run that short of a cross country race since high

school. It’s exciting.

RWD: Before you travel to the IAAF World Cross Country meet (March

21 and 22) you will be going to the World Military Cross Country

Championships in Ireland on March 8. What can you tell us about that


DB: It is a 5 K and I’ll be running with Eric Mack, who is an Air Force

Academy graduate, and my two Army teammates Mike Bernstein and

Jason Stewart.

There will be military teams from all over the world. I’m really hoping

the Kenyans will be there. The more exposure I have to them, the better

I’ll be able run against them later. I’ll use this meet to get ready for


RWD: The army has assigned you to Boulder to train, what are your

other responsibilities?

DB: Other than running my job is basically to do PR for the army. I’m

also attached to an ROTC unit at the University of Colorado.

In order to stay in the training program we have to hit bench marks and

show potential for making the 2000 Olympic team. We can be cut at any

time if we don’t make the bench marks. Right now I’m doing well.

Hopefully I can make the army really proud of me. I really mean that,

I’m not just saying it because I’m supposed to.

RWD: What are you looking for in the future?

DB: My long term goal is to run in the Sydney Olympics in 2000. I don’t

know what distance yet, either the 5,000 or 10,000.

My short term goal is to keep making as many international teams as I

can. I hope to make the Goodwill Games team and travel to Europe this

summer. If I make several teams and get used to it, then making the

Olympic team in 2000 won’t seem like such a big deal that it’s


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