What Will It Take to Run a 2-Hour Marathon? (Warning: data viz, annoying design)
Becoming the All-Terrain Human: [New York Times]
"Kilian Jornet Burgada is the most dominating endurance athlete of his generation. In just eight years, Jornet has won more than 80 races, claimed some 16 titles and set at least a dozen speed records, many of them in distances that would require the rest of us to purchase an airplane ticket. He has run across entire landmasses (Corsica) and mountain ranges (the Pyrenees), nearly without pause. He regularly runs all day eating only wild berries and drinking only from streams."
"Like a lot of things in Alaska, the annual Mount Marathon Race in Seward is famously brutal, even dangerous. Which is precisely why Michael LeMaitre ran it--the last day he was seen alive."
An hour after winning a state track championship in the 1600-meter open, Ohio high school runner Meghan Vogel tried for a second title in the 3200-meter. She came in last. [more inside]
The Boston Marathon has made it harder to qualify, by lowering times by 5:00 minutes across the board, and also by eliminating the 59 second grace period. [more inside]
Greatest calls in sports is a selection of 32 great calls in broadcast sports, chosen by Joe Posnanski, obviously US-centric but featuring some good choices. Want some elation this Friday? [more inside]
Canicross is a dog sport that isn't well known in the states, but is gaining popularity in the UK and Europe. It's a little like running with your dog but a bit more technical, a little faster and way more fun.
Legendary running coach Arthur Lydiard died this weekend at age 87. Q and A with Lydiard here. Obit via Boomberg here. NYTimes obit here. Lydiard had been travelling through the US on a final lecture tour. Among distance runners Lydiard is a hero. Two of his athletes won gold medals for New Zealand at the 1960 Olympics, and Peter Snell went on to dominate the middle distance running at the 1964 Games, taking home two gold medals, the only man since 1920 to win both the 800m and the 1500m. Lydiard coached Mexican, Japanese and Finnish runners to Gold medal performances, and his philosophy of training has influenced countless other runners. Finland thought that he was important enough to the success of their runner's to award him the White Cross (eq. of a knighthood), making him the only non-Finn to be given the award. Lydiard's approach was high-mileage, aerobic conditioning. Even his middle distance runners trained 100 miles/week. He felt that too many athletes were training for speed first and endurance second. One of his lectures, explaining some of the science behind his theories, is here.
the mile of the century Fifty years ago today, Roger Bannister, the first man to break the 4-minute mile, and John Landy, who beat his record a month-and-a-half later, squared off in Vancouver BC to determine who was the fastest runner in the history of the world, in what is arguably the most dramatic sporting event of the 20th Century. The record for the mile has gone down astonishingly through the years, but are there limits on how low it can go? (View video of the historic Bannister vs. Landy matchup here.
I've run a marathon and it was hard. Then I learned about ultra marathoners doing 50 and 100 mile runs in one day. Then there are the marathons and ultra marathons in rough places, like Death Valley. Then there's the grand daddy of difficulty: The Marathon Des Sables. It's 6 days and 6 marathons long, run in a desert with temps topping 110F, you have to carry your week's gear and food, and you are limited to 9 liters of water a day. Here are some photos and blogger Ben Hammersley's current results are here. The event finishes tomorrow. [via jay allen]
Today is the 105th running of the Boston Marathon. Growing up in Natick, Massachusetts, which is the ten-mile point of the route, the Marathon was always a huge deal. I remember watching every year as the wheelchair racers would zoom by to the roar of the crowd. We'd then wait a few minutes until the State Police motorcycles and the press trucks marked the lead runners. Before long the street was nothing but a solid wall of runners in all shapes, sizes and colors. A favorite thing to do would be to cheer someone on based on the t-shirt they were wearing. One year I saw a man wearing a t-shirt with a picture of the Mandlebrot Set. I yelled "Go fractal man!" He looked at me and smiled, and I knew I gave him a little bit of a boost that day. The race is certainly a yearly tradition around these parts. Does the rest of the world care? Is this big news elsewhere or just a small blurb on Page E-6?
It's a bird, it's a plane....no, it's SPEEDO-MAN Almost an urban myth, SpeedoMan jogs the early morning streets of Annapolis, MD wearing nothing but...you guessed it...a Speedo. Is he CIA, is he FBI? Is he just some weirdo guy?
The New York City Marathon is this Sunday. Last year I ran the distance in this race, organized by the New York Road Runner's Club. The Association of International Marathons and Road Races' website has plenty of information about marathons around the world. Maybe you can find one in your neck of the woods.