Vol. 6 No.4 June/July 2001

Special Notice: HEY! Don't miss out on our special "To the Edge"

contest this month! And, as always, check out the Marathon &

Beyond Trivia contest!




July is an important time to many high school runners. It's time

to prepare for the upcoming cross country season. While there

will always be a few who simply show up for cross country

practice in the fall without having run a step all summer, the

wise high school runner has been preparing by putting in the

miles all summer.

Many high school runners want to know how many miles they should

run each week, or over the course of the summer, to get in top

shape. Others want very specific workout schemes, and wonder

about lifting weights or cross training by swimming, riding a

bike or playing games like soccer, softball or baseball.

There is no exact plan that works for everyone, but there are

some important guidelines. In the many years I coached high

school cross country, I always felt the most important things in

off season training were:

1. Consistency.

2. Staying injury free.

3. Building endurance.

4. Keeping it fun.

To be really effective, training needs to be done on a regular

basis. For runners who are very serious and who have been in the

sport for a couple of years or more, this might mean running

almost every day. To a new runner just getting started, that

might mean 3-4 times a week to start. The distance you run will

be dependent on how long you have been running and what kind of

shape you are in. The key is to increase the distances you run

gradually. Vary the distance you run each day, as well.

In order to keep from getting injured, the key is to increase

both distance and intensity gradually. You should only have a

couple of hard runs each week, don't go out and race every day.

Many of your off season runs should be very easy jogs.

The most common injury to high school runners is shin splints.

This is pain in the muscle that borders the shin bone. It can

vary from mildly irritating to downright debilitating. To avoid

shin splits and most other injury make sure you are running in

shoes with proper fit that are designed specifically for

running. Don't go cheap here. Running is a pretty inexpensive

sport overall, but good running shoes are worth a few extra

dollars. Also, don't do all of your running on concrete of

streets. Get on dirt roads, trails and grass. This better

prepares you for cross country style running, and it provides a

softer surface, which saves your legs from some of the jarring

associated with running.

The summer is a good time to take a break from racing and hard

interval workouts. This is a good time to build strength and an

endurance base to make you really ready for the faster workouts

and races during the competitive season ahead. For experienced

runners that will mean longer runs and gradually building up

weekly mileage. New runners will need to work on getting into

shape. A totally inexperienced runner might find it difficult to

run a mile without stopping. That's okay. Start by running mixed

with walking if you are brand new to the sport. Gradually

decrease the amount you walk, and before long you will find

yourself running non-stop over longer and longer distances.

Finally, it is important to have fun in the off season. If you

enjoy doing other sports, go ahead and do them. Soccer, swimming

and cycling are all endurance sports that will give you some

benefit as a runner. Just remember not to abandon running

completely if you are serious about having a good cross country

season. Weight training is fine, as well. In fact, by building

your strength through weights, you may reduce the chances of

injury and make yourself a more efficient runner.

If you have a burning desire to race in the summer, it's fine to

jump into a race or two. Just don't overdo it. Remember, the

races that really count are the ones you will be running for

your team in the fall.

One of the best ways to keep up the enthusiasm while also having

fun with your running is to workout with your teammates. Perhaps

your coach has arranged regular workouts in the summer. If so,

don't miss them. The things that most older runners most fondly

remember about their high school cross country days are the

friendships and the feeling of team unity.

Good luck to all of you lucky enough to be preparing for a cross

country season with your team. Listen to your coach and be the

best team member you can. If you work as hard as you can for

your team, you will ultimately become the best runner you can,

as well. I hope some of you will e-mail me and let me know how

your season goes.

- WG

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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:


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Heather Buten of Hopewell, New Jersey was our winner last month.

She 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 (US Athlete Biographical Info theme):

1. What college did marathon runner Rod DeHaven attend?

2. What national title did Jason Pyrah win in 2000?

3. Which American woman placed 10th in the 1996 Olympic marathon?

4. What current, male US distance ace won the NCAA cross country

title as a freshman in 1988?

5. Which US woman won both the world cross country title and a

bronze medal in the Olympic 10,000 in 1992?

6. Which American distance star attended American College High

School in Cairo, Egypt?

7. Arkansas grad Deena Drossin placed 12th in the World Cross

Country Championships in 2000 despite what misfortune during the


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?

9. Who won the TAC womens outdoor 1500 title in 1988?

10. Who won the same title in 1989?

11. Who won the mens outdoor USATF title for 10,000 meters in


12. National titles in the mens steeple chase from 1981 to 1987

all went to the same man, who was he?


Last Month's Answers:

What nation did each of the following athletes compete for in

past Olympic Games?

1. Johnny Hayes - USA

2. Kenny Moore - USA

3. Gaston Roelants - Belgium

4. Paola Cacchi - Italy

5. Seb Coe - Great Britain

6. John Walker - New Zealand

7. Lorraine Moller - New Zealand

8. Khalid Skah - Morocco

9. Richard Chelimo - Kenya

10. Nixon Kiprotich - Kenya

11. Fermin Cacho - Spain

12. Hassiba Boulmerka - Algeria

13. Elana Meyer - South Africa

14. Derartu Tulu - Ethiopia

15. Lidia Simon - Romania

16. Sonia O'Sullivan - Ireland

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RUNNING DELIGHTS - all occasion and holiday greeting cards,

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Runner's Niche just received a few copies of a new book by Kirk

Johnson. The title is "To the Edge: A Man, Death Valley, And the

Mystery of Endurance." You have a chance to win a free copy!

Email with your prediction as to the winner and her time in the

womens World Championship Marathon to be held on August 12. The

winner will be the person who correctly identifies the winner and

comes closest to predicting her time. (Should no one correctly

predict the winner of the race, the book will go to the person

who comes closest to predicting the winning time.)

Not sure you can prognosticate the race that well? Not to worry,

we will randomly pick three additional names from all the contest

entries, and those individuals will also win a book.

To learn more about this book, point your web browser to:


To whet your appetite, here are the liner notes from "To the



When his much admired older brother, a gifted athlete, committed

suicide, New York Times reporter Kirk Johnson started running.

Running to escape, running to feel closer to his lost sibling,

running to comprehend his brother's perplexing surrender.

Then he heard about Badwater. An unusually severe sporting event,

the Badwater Ultramarathon starts in the middle of summer at

temperatures of 120 degrees or more and climbs through the even

hotter, unforgiving wastes of Death Valley. Besides potentially

lethal heat, runners must contend with scorpions and coyotes, 40

mph headwinds, and lightning storms. They hallucinate fantastic

visions, develop countless blisters, and face such dangerous

dehydration that crew members must accompany them to keep them

from stumbling into unconsciousness.

Although Johnson had never attempted even a half-marathon, he

signed on for the challenge of running the equivalent of five

consecutive marathons in a sandswept inferno. To help him,

Johnson enlisted his sister, as well as his only surviving

brother, from whom he'd drifted apart over the years. His fellow

competitors were virtual running machines-dreamers, fanatics, and

searchers, all united in the realization that the Badwater run

is, fundamentally, a journey inward.

On a mid-July day, after a freak rainstorm that delayed the race

but did little to alleviate the heat, Kirk stood at the Badwater

starting line, waiting with nerve-fraying apprehension. This is

an account of what happened...

A story of adventure and family, of loss and triumph, TO THE EDGE

is an enlightening, haunting memoir of one man's quest to

understand what makes us survive and, ultimately, what it means

to be alive.

All rights reserved. Posted with permission of







By: Cpl. Chad Swaim

OKINAWA, Japan — A group of adults running through the streets

and woods of Okinawa, blowing whistles and shouting "on-on" and

"true trail" may seem strange to some people, but for the

Okinawa Hash House Harriers, it’s just another run.

The harriers are a group comprised of American service members,

civilians and Okinawans who come together to socialize and run,

or as they call it "un." The group is divided into two sections,

the hares and the hounds. The hares are the first to leave the

starting point. They mark the trail for the hounds to follow

using chalk, flour and paper signs. The markings, however, do

not always lead the hounds in the right direction.

"The hares take off 15 minutes ahead of the pack and leave marks

through fields or wherever they decide to take the run," said

Neil MacNevin, local hasher. "We get to follow those marks, and

sometimes we run through the city or go through mountains and

rivers, whatever the terrain has to offer."

During the summer, the group tends to stick to the city streets,

beaches and everything in between around Okinawa, but the

winters are a little different.

"Usually in the winter we go into what we call the ‘shiggy,’

which is the jungle, because the snakes hibernate during the

winter," MacNevin said.

At the end of the run all of the hashers gather in a circle for

a ceremony they call the "down-downs." Here they socialize,

welcome new hashers and bid farewell to departing members.

After a new hasher participates in his or her sixth run, the

down-down is also where the member gets a hash nickname from the

senior hash members, according to MacNevin.

While hashing is a casual, fun-filled activity, it also has some

history behind it and is not limited to Okinawa. A new hash

group cannot start without being sponsored by an established

hash, which is called the group’s mother

"We’re one small group of a world of hashers," MacNevin said.

"The main hash is out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That’s where it

was started, and one of its offspring was Taipei, and from there

this hash was created, so we’re a third generation hash."

The group runs all over Okinawa and the surrounding islands,

exposing its members to various Okinawa culture. While scouting

a new area for a hash in the mountains around Nago City in

April, the hares uncovered six untouched Japanese bunkers,

according to Randy Robinson, local hasher.

The harriers usually hold seven runs per month, which sets it

apart from other hash groups. "The Okinawa hash is one of the

most active hashes in the world," MacNevin said. "We run every

Saturday and every other Thursday.





*Webb Honored by USOC*

High school middle distance sensation Alan Webb was named the

United States Olympic Committee's Athlete of the Month for June.

Webb earned the distinction after becoming the fastest U.S. prep

miler in history with his time of 3:53.43 on May 27 at the

Prefontaine Classic in Eugene.

*Jackson Does it Again!*

For the fourth time this season, Elizabeth Jackson set a new

American record in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase. In

finishing third (9 minutes, 43.36 seconds) July 9 at the Nikaia

meet in Nice, France, Jackson demolished her previous AR of

9:48.72 set on July 1 in winning the Norwich Union Challenge in

Glasgow, Scotland.

Bak Justyna of Poland won the race in Nice in a new world record

time of 9:25.31.

*Womens Marathon Team Set*

Olympic Trials champion Christine Clark leads the five-person

team that will compete for Team USA in the women's marathon at

the World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Edmonton,


Named to Team USA are Clark, Christine Clifton, Jill Gaitenby,

Jennifer Tonkin and Kim Pawelek. The women's marathon race closes

the Championships on August 12.

* USATF Web Site Doing Well*

Bucking a nationwide trend of decreased traffic to sports-related

Web sites, USATF's Web site, www.usatf.org, is showing huge

increases in traffic. The number of daily unique visitors to

www.usatf.org has more than quadrupled since the beginning of






*Halloween Race in Denver, Colorado*

The Scream Scram 5K Run/Walk, and 100 meter Spooky Sneak for

children will be on October 26, 2001 at 6 p.m. The race will be

in Washington park, and fees will be $22 for Adults ($27 on race

day), and $13 for children age 18 and under and

seniors age 60 and older ($18 on race day).


More Info:

Dana Lauren Cantarano

Scream Advertising & PR

1424 Larimer Square Suite 201

Denver, CO 80203

Phone: 303-893-8608

Fax: 303-893-8607

Email: dana@screamagency.com

Web Site: www.screamagency.com






*Information on VitaShots and their Liposome nutraceutical

products is available at






Dear Runner's Niche,

Have any readers of Runner's Niche experienced what might be

called a 'stadium effect'? By this I refer to an apparent

advantages gained by competing at a particular stadium. It is

often said that Bislet Stadium in Oslo has this effect. The

effect may result from size, shape, compactness, atmosphere etc.

I'd be interested in knowing.

- John Bale (email: eda38@educ.keele.ac.uk)


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