Saturday, January 28, 2012

Two tidbits of running history

Early this year, I had two encounters with running history that I quite enjoyed. First was Marathon Talk Episode 103 which was an entire episode interview with a man named Bruce Tulloh, a runner whose history was unknown to me at the time. The conversation was fascinating, and even Martin, as he was doing the interview, marvelled at the level of detail that Mr. Tulloh could remember about races that he ran 50 years ago, the pacing, the strategy, the feeling and so on. They talked about running "state of the art" back then and noted about how old becomes new again (barefoot running) and how in his heyday, it was the Scandinavians not Kenyans who ran with such excellence and consistency that some thought they must have some special genetic makeup allowing them to dominate the sport (sound familiar?).

The other brush with running history came from an editorial in the Nov/Dec issue of Marathon and Beyond. Rich Benyo writes about a recent experience with a child of a friend who did not understand why people used to have to make special arrangements to watch their favorite TV shows (he asked why they did not just DVR them). Mr Benyo goes on in his editorial to remind us how, in the not too distant past, race directors somehow managed to accurately time and rank order finishers without the modern convenience of ChampionChip timers. Gatorade tastes excellent now, but he reminisced that it once tasted like the sweat it was meant to replace. (I must admit, I have no love for the new G series and would be happy with regular old lemon-lime.) He did express appreciation for some other modern conveniences, like the technical shirts and shorts, so that he no longer has to expect chafing as a daily inconvenience.

These two pieces reminded me to appreciate my trinkets and toys, but also reminded me that I could still be an excellent runner and enjoy the sport plenty without them.

On a side note, reading about someone's opinion of the early form of Gatorade, reminded me of this video.

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