Cool – no, cold – runnings

4 01 2008

The next time you need inspiration to stare down the elements, check this story from¬†today’s Globe.

Yellowknife’s average January temperature hovers between lows around -30 C and highs around -20. Hypothermia can set in instantly. Exposed skin can freeze in a matter of minutes. And yet Yellowknife has become a city of runners

Through a combination of sheer resolve and specialized attire such as wind briefs and shoes studded like snow tires, joggers in the capital city have formed what must be one of the world’s hardiest running communities.


Wind briefs are a topic for discussion another day.


To drivers: You’re welcome

24 12 2007

Seen in the news last week:

Marathon runners sometimes suffer fatal heart attacks, but the increasingly popular foot races actually save lives by preventing motor vehicle crashes, a new study says.


They randomly selected 26 established marathons involving more than three million participants. Each 42.2-kilometre race had at least 1,000 runners.


What the researchers found was that the races resulted in 26 sudden cardiac deaths, but because of road closures in the vicinity of the races, 46 motor vehicle fatalities were prevented.

 > Full story

I don’t quite understand the science, but an interesting — if morbid — way to look at marathons.

Another interesting tidbit: Almost half of the heart attacks suffered occurred in the race’s last mile.

How Edward McClelland ruined my breakfast

4 11 2007

This yarn from Salon called “How Oprah ruined the marathon“, written by one Edward McClelland, presents a good/bad news proposition.

The bad: Reading this tripe has soured my appetite and got me as steaming hot at the Sunday morning oatmeal.

The argument is frankly stale and boring — recreational runners like Oprah or the Penguin who just want to finish, who just relish in the challenge of 26.2, have turned the marathon from “a competition” to “a self-improvement exercise”.

Blah, blah, blah, you sour old fart.

Some quips and quotes:

It makes me ask: Has this country’s marathoning spirit been trampled by hordes of joggers whose only goal is to stagger across the finish line?


If Frank Shorter inspired the first running boom, Oprah inspired the second, by running the Marine Corps Marathon. And it was a much bigger boom. This was not a spindly 24-year-old Yalie gliding through Old World Munich. This was a middle-aged woman hauling her flab around the District of Columbia. If Oprah could run a marathon, shame on anyone who couldn’t.

When Oprah expanded the sport, she also lowered the bar for excellence. For the previous generation of marathoners, the goal had been qualifying for Boston. Now, it was beating Oprah. Her time of four hours and 29 minutes — the Oprah Line — became the new benchmark for a respectable race. (That was P. Diddy’s goal when he ran New York.)

And so on. I don’t have the stomach to go back to it again for more, but you get the drift.

If you want to read a better dissection of this bitter b.s., go to Kenny’s blog or here, here or here.

But let me just thank McClelland for giving everyone who’s trying to get fitter or faster a good excuse to get back on the couch this Sunday morning. Jerk.

Hope that cotton T rubs you the wrong way — big time.

Getting out there for the challenge is worth it, whether you’re a three- or six-hour marathoner.

ps: The good news … This morning’s long run is going to be a fast one. I’m all worked up now.

Nike+ challenges

3 11 2007

One last RR note. I’m signing up for the RR Nike+ challenge, of course on the side of my local store (High Park). Will keep you posted on how it goes.

Here’s the link if you want to see what the fuss is about.

Save at the Running Room

3 11 2007

Like you need another Running Room coupon, but just in case:

At, there’s a coupon for 20% off RR merch if you use a Visa card. I did just this today for a new pair of shoes.

Guess which kind? (Same as I always buy.)

Main image for GEL-1120™

Let the eagle snore

1 11 2007

Just testing an embed of a YouTube clip. But if you ever needed motivation for running, this might be it.

Former U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft singing his patriotic ditty,”Let the Eagle Soar”. Yes, he wrote it. No, it’s not a joke.

For more political entertainment and rappin’ Karl Rove, check out Musical leaders: Should politics and singing ever mix? A little shameless CBC work plug for ya.

Races done, races to come

25 10 2007

Belated shout out to Lisa for tearing it up in the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon in San Fran last weekend. Maybe if we’re really nice to her, she’ll give us some insights about her Tiffany necklace and such.

And best o’ luck to Kenny, who tackles the Marine Corps this weekend. Dare ya to talk back to one of those U.S. Marines handing out the cups at the water stands. Having them bark “push it!” instills a Pavlovian reaction to just … do … it.

And to Marc, who’s thinking about a marathon next October, I say go for it, man! You’ll never look back. Trust me.