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For someone who has done two marathons 24 hours apart, two weeks between Boston and Big Sur may seem like an eternity for Gene Dykes.
Unlike others that have challenged themselves by doing the two marathons in a short time span, it’s not the reason Dykes is running in Sunday’s 34th Big Sur International Marathon.
Instead, the Philadelphia resident is calling it unfinished business from his last trip out west to run the world-renowned course.
“They took my record away when I was 65,” Dykes said. “I owned the course record in my age class for about two months. Then it was discovered on paper that someone ran faster years earlier.”
Ray Piva set the record in the 65-69 age division in 1992 at 3 hours, 10 minutes. Dykes ran 3:26.44 in 2013.
Dykes, 71, can’t get that record back. But he’s looked at the record in the 70-older division — 3:46.36 by Heinrich Gutbier in 1997. His eyes are set on rewriting the mark, adding to his mantel of record-setting accomplishments of late.
“I shouldn’t have trouble beating that mark,” said Dykes, who broke the Boston Marathon record in his age group on April 15, clocking 2 hours, 58 minutes, 50 seconds. “It’s how fast do I want to go.”
What could derail Dykes from shattering the record is he will run the race with his daughter, who is roughly 30 minutes slower than him in a marathon.
“It will depend on how long we run together,” Dykes said. “I’m going to try and get her to run a little harder in the first half. Then I’ll do a negative split the last half of the race.”
While Dykes is six years older than during his last appearance on the Monterey Peninsula, he’s gotten faster covering marathons of all kinds. Most of his personal bests have come in the last year.
“I hired a coach a few years back,” Dykes said. “I just keep dropping time. It’s more of a retirement achievement.”
This will be Dykes’ third crack at Big Sur, but the first time he’s running it after tackling Boston in the same year.
“I guess I’ve always wanted to do Boston-Big Sur,” Dykes said. “Running marathons close together is nothing new to me. It seemed like a good time to do it. Two weeks is plenty of time to recover.”
Dykes’ accomplishments as an ultra distance runner have gained nationwide attention. Last year, the Wall Street Journal labeled him “Earth’s fastest 70-year-old distance runner.”
After setting the record at Boston, men’s winner Meb Keflezighi tweeted “Special shout out to 71-year-old Gene Dykes, who ran an outstanding 2:58.50.”
For someone who didn’t run his first road race until 12 years ago, Dykes has become one of the top ultramarathon runners in his age class in the world.
“I was a jogger my whole life,” Dykes said. “I wasn’t very good in track in high school or college. I was a mediocre runner at best. So I golfed and bowled a lot. I jogged for fun.”
That is until Dykes got in with what he now jokes as a bad crowd — a group of runners, who talked him into his first road race, a half marathon in 2006.
From that point, running became an addiction. Dykes ran well enough that his time allowed him to bypass the lottery for the New York Marathon.
“I could not pass that up,” Dykes said. “So I ran my first marathon. I ended up earning a qualifying time for Boston. So I had to do that.”
By his estimation, Dykes will do 10 to 20 road races a year ranging from 200 miles to the regular 26-mile, 385-yard marathon.
“I race longer and more frequent,” Dykes said. “I’ve done five 200 milers. It’s an endurance race. The clock is running. You run when you can and sleep when you have to. I’ve done them in four days.”
Six weeks before Boston, Dykes completed a 200-mile race, a 100-mile event and two 50-mile races in 2019.
“Every year I try and stretch the boundaries,” Dykes said. “I don’t know if I can do it. So there’s only one way to find out. The hardest part is finding time to sleep. Four hours over four days isn’t much.”
Dykes comes into each race with a plan. After completing his ultra road races — totaling 400 miles — he began preparing for Boston with the mindset of breaking the record in his age division.
“I told my coach you’ve got six weeks to get me under three hours at Boston,” Dykes said(04/27/2019) ⚡AMP
The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the way to the finish line. Named "Best Marathon in North America" by The Ultimate Guide...more...
The Israel National Trail (INT) is an approximately 1015km / 631mi hiking trail that crosses Israel from its southern to northern border, traversing a wide range of landscapes, a rich variety of flora and fauna, and a diversity of cultures.
The trail stretches from Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba to the Dan Kibbutz near the Lebanese border, and was named by National Geographic as one of the 20 best "epic hiking trails" in the world.
We believe the most likely Fastest Known Time on the INT to be set at 15 days in 2013 by Australian Richard Bowles.
On March 12th, 2019, Michael Wardian began his attempt to complete the trail in 10 days.
Wardian is a prodigious American marathoner and ultra-marathoner with a lengthy list of podium finishes at distances from half marathon to 100 miles, with world records such as the fastest time for 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days, and the fastest 50k on a treadmill, and who has completed many of the worlds most challenging races. In September 2018 Wardian ran the 184.5 mile C&O Canal Towpath in an FKT of 36h36m, beating Park Barner's 1976 time by just 12 minutes!
Michael is eight days in and has covered 776k with 241k to go according to the website Fastest Known Time which tracks these types of events. Photos by Ian Corless.
(Editors note: Michael is also part of the Run The World4 Challenge team and all his miles are being logged there. He is currently in first place with 504.48 miles logged since March 1. His team Elite Men is currently in second place with 2159 miles. Team Kenya is leading with 2304 miles. This event ends March 30. Five teams of 14 are logging in as many miles as possible within 30 days.)
Run The World Global Challenge is a world wide celebration of running. Participants run or walk and then log in those miles (k’s) on their My Best Runs Account. There have already been five different challenges. Three (RTW1, RTW2 and RTW3) were challenges where each team logged enough miles to circle the world which is 24,901 miles. The best time...more...
We are a few days away from the start of this epic 7 Marathons, 6 Countries, 7 Days cruise adventure called the Eastern Caribbean Challenge 2019. The group includes runners from around the world with exceptional running resumes. Nine of the 12 runners who have completed a marathon in 100+ countries will be part of this challenge. Combined, these runners have completed over 4,000 marathons in 180+ countries around the world.. 43 participants from 14 countries will touch down in Guadeloupe to start the challenge.
Here are three of the participants:
Dr. Brent Weigner (USA): Brent Weigner (second photo) is the king of Marathon Globetrotting. He holds multiple World Records in long-distance running. The 70-years old retired Geography teacher has run a marathon in 170 countries which is a World Record.
He also holds the World Record for completing a marathon on all 7 continents ten times. Moreover, Brent is the only runner in the world to have completed an ultramarathon at both North and South Pole. What makes his accomplishments even more amazing is due to the fact that he is a 3-times cancer survivor. Brent is also part of the Run The World 4 Challenge which started March 1 and will last 30 days.
Sidy Diallo (France): Sidy Diallo (third photo) is a 63-year-old French diplomat and barefoot runner, based in Paris. He was 55 when he ran his first marathon. To-date, he has completed 191 marathons in 73 countries, including 48 marathons in 2013. He is a seven continents marathon and ultramarathon finisher.
Sidy completed his first barefoot marathon on October 11, 2015, in Zagreb (Croatia), and has already run 42 barefoot marathons and one ultramarathon (90 km), in 21 countries. For more information, please visit his website: www.sidy42k.com.
Lichu Sloan (Taiwan): Lichu (first photo), at age 70, is the oldest female on the trip. She has completed 222 marathons in 81 countries across all 7 continents. She qualified for, and ran Boston Marathon, three times; ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 weeks; completed all World Marathon Majors and a marathon in each of 50 US States and D.C., two times. Lichu started marathon running at age 52.(03/06/2019) ⚡AMP
The Run The World Global Challenge (RTW) is a world-wide celebration of running. Lifetime runner, Runner's World magazine and My Best Runs founder, Bob Anderson (71) created the event to help further spread the word about the benefits of running. The first RTW Challenge started July 4.
On March 1 the RTW4 Challenge will start with some changes to make the event even more fun and challenging.
"Since I started running in 1962 I have been telling people about the sport I love," says Bob Anderson "I am proud to say I have reached a lot of people but the task is never done. Run The World is my current project and the feedback from around the world has been very positive."
Lize Dumon from South Africa posted this on the Run The World Feed January 5. "Possibly my last run for RTW3. Might do a small one to bring me close enough to 200 miles. Been a priviledge to be a part of all three Run The World Challenges. I have made loads of friends and learned a lot." Lize is putting together two South African 14 people teams for RTW4.
Already 260 Run The World runners have run and logged 85,876 miles (as of Feb 5, 2019) since July 4th in 56 different countries. In the little country of Palau alone, teams there have already run and logged 5,648 miles (photo 2 of some of the Palau RTW1 team headed up by Aaron Salvador). Aaron is putting together two teams of 14 for RTW4.
"Run The World Challenge is a great motivator," says Bob. "I was running 20 miles a week before Run The World. I now have been averaging 32 miles weekly and I am much better shape because of it. There are many such stories among the 260 runners who have already participated."
The first team that started July 4 finished in 36 days 23 hours and 13 minutes (the current world record). Two other teams starting August 29 and October 29 also completed the goal of circling the world.
How does it work? Participants run or walk and then log in those miles (k’s) on their free My Best Runs (MBR) account. The goal is for the team (now group of teams) to log enough miles (k's) to circle the world within 30 days.
The process of running/walking and then logging in miles (k's), making a comment (optional) and posting a photo (optional) is the basic program. A team member logs into their My Best Runs account to log in the miles they run or walk.
One major change is RTW4 will end 30 days after starting. "It is hoped one of our three groups of teams will reach our goal within this time frame but if not the group of teams that have logged the most miles win. All teams within the three groups will also be competing against each other," says Bob.
All runners will be part of a 14 person team. The teams have many interesting themes like: Team one will be for runners 70 plus. Team 9 is for those men and women who have or are in the Military. Team 10 and 11 are for Elite Runners. Team 21 is for India's citizens. Team 23 are for runners living in Canada. Team 34 are for those runners who have completed at least one 100 mile race. Team 37 are for runners who have lost 50 or more pounds and are currently running. Team 42 are for runners who have run at least 50 races in one year. (Click the link for the full list of the 42 team.)
Runers will pick the team of their choice as long as it is not full. There are 14 different teams (with a maximum of 14 runners per team) making up a group.
One unique aspect of RTW4 is that one person can be on one team, two or three teams. BUT the teams have to be in different groups.
When you run, let say five miles, these same miles only need to be entered once and they will be credited for all your teams.
Registration is now open. "It was hard to pick just one team per group," says Michael Anderson who has done all RTW Challenges. "I could have signed up for several different teams but I decided on Team 30 having fnished at least one Boston Marathon, Team 25 West USA because I live in Bend, Oregon and Team 4 age 40-49. Can't wait to do this again. It has really motivated me to run a lot more. Bring it on."(02/06/2019) ⚡AMP
Run The World Global Challenge is a world wide celebration of running. Participants run or walk and then log in those miles (k’s) on their My Best Runs Account. There have already been five different challenges. Three (RTW1, RTW2 and RTW3) were challenges where each team logged enough miles to circle the world which is 24,901 miles. The best time...more...
Work and life balance can be stressful, so much to do everyday and it seems like there is never enough time to get it all done. We are pulled in every direction and the feeling is one of being in a washing machine.
I can say I suffer with some form of mental despair, its hard for me to shut off my brain.
I feel therapy can be extremely important and its good to have someone to talk with. My advice is not one or the other (therapy or running) but some of both.
Running is a huge form of meditation and can be a perfect way to shut off the brain and focus solely on the task of one foot in front of the other.
Running can lead you to so much beauty especially when you get out on the trails and see true love. When you use running as a way to release stress and quiet the mind you really will see a difference.
Being a recovering alcoholic. running saved my life. Before I would escape with drinks but now I put in the miles and the results are endless life. I do have an addictive personality and I am for sure an running addict and proud of it.
Running is the cure for when you feel down on yourself. How can you not feel good after pounding out a mile run and giving back to yourself.
Running is the cure for when you have had a hard day at the office, you gotta release the clutter and reset and a good run gets that done.
Running is a cure for stresses at home, wife and baby (love them) but they can add stress too, running is giving back to you and solely to you.
Running is a cure for the bad habits, (drinking and smoking) running will drop the weight and is such a natural high, best high I have ever experienced.
Happy, sad, glad or mad, Running is great for all of these emotions:
Happy- damn it will feel great to open it up.
Sad- flush out the tears and shed them on the roads.
Glad- damn glad to be out here today.
Mad- put that negative energy into pounding the roads, hit the high moments and release.
ALL good and run on! Michael Anderson on Running
(Michael Anderson has been running all his life. He has run four marathons including Boston, Big Sur, San Francisco and Seattle and has sights on running his first ultra soon. He has participated in all three Run The World Global Challenges and plans to do Challenge 4 starting March 1.)(01/29/2019) ⚡AMP
The third Run The World Challenge sponsored by My Best Runs (MBR) has finished. The team of 105 active runners, who ran and logged miles in 23 different countries, finished last night (January 5) in 68 days 17 hours and 18 minutes.
The event created by MBR Founder Bob Anderson is all about running and then logging in those miles, posting photos and comments in our runner’s feed to help motivate the team and inspire others. The team has to run/walk and then log in 24,901 miles (40,074k) to complete the challenge.
“This is the distance around the world,” says 71-year-old Bob Anderson who himself ran and logged 297 miles.
“Our team from around the world and ranging in ages from six to 74 did an amazing job,” says Bob. The team logged an average of 362 miles per day and the team had to stay focused for over two months. “With our busy lives that is not easy,” says Lisa Wall a team member.
34-year-old Eliud Lokol Esinyen from Kenya and running most of his miles in Eldoret logged the most miles with 1,298.59. He averaged 18.9 miles daily, many days he worked out three times. Finishing in second was 27-year-old Boaz Kipyego also from Kenya. However he spent about five weeks in Minnesota USA running and racing. He ran and logged in 1,129.41 miles.
First American was 74-year-old Frank Bozanich from Reno Nevada. The previous five time national champion at 50 miles and 100k ran and logged in 1,036.19, good enough for third place. “This is his third time around the world with us,” says Bob. “Many people say that age is only a number and certainly age is not stopping Frank. He told me he is running a lot slower these days because he has put a lot of miles on his body, however. Well done Frank, on an age-graded basis this has to be the best performance,” says Bob.
There were five male runners 70 plus in the top 31 places. In fact 72-year-old Paul Shimon placed sixth overall running most of his 893.06 miles in Winfield Kansas. Like many of the team he had to deal with a lot of issues including the cold, snow and darkness.
Super star Michael Wardian (photo top left) placed 8th overall and ran some of the best times including clocking 2:34:54 at the New York City Marathon. He also ran a tough 50-miler in Israel. He posted 651 miles for his third trip around the world with us. In a few weeks he is going after his world record he set in 2017 at the World Marathon Challenge. That’s running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.
On the women side, ultra super star 48-year-old Gloria Nasr ran and logged 422.54 miles to place first female. Gloria lives in Paris, France. Some of her miles were also ran in Peru when she travelled there to run an Ultra (photo upper right). She has also run the six stage race through the desert of Morocco in the past.
In second place was Kenya’s Rosaline Nyawira who currently is living, training and racing in South Africa. She ran and logged 394.01 miles.
Third and first America woman was 71-year-old Karen Galati who logged in 223.88 miles. She ran most of her miles in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. As she wrote on her profile “Better late than never to this addicting sport.”
Miles run and logged in the top five countries were USA, Kenya, Palau, South Africa and India. The small country of Palau was in second place the first few weeks. The Run The World Challenge group there lead by Aaron Salvador have so much spirit. Most weekends they get together and run ten to fifteen miles. “You can always count on us to post photos and comments too,” says Aaron.
Our group from South Africa lead by Lize Dumon has just as much spirit. During the challenge Lize completed her first marathon and just got over 200 for the team. The Fourie family in South Africa has to get the top spirit award. The two kids (Michelle age 6 and Jonathan age 7), the mom (Erika) and grandma (Johanna) posted nearly every day and collectively logged in 455 miles. Even the dad joined in many days.
“This was not our best RTW performance but this one has to be our toughest with many challenges,” says Bob. “Many of our team had to deal with early cold and snow in the United States and Canada. Our runners in Palau had to deal with heavy rain and wind. In South Africa it was over 100 degrees many days. In California our runners had to deal with unhealthy air quality for two weeks because of the smoke from the wild fires. A majority of our team had to deal with shorter days and run in the dark. And on top of everything there were three major holidays during Challenge3.
”I am very proud of our whole team. It is hard to stay focused on something like this for over two months but we did it. We made it around the world. For many of us for the third time. There are so many more stories I want to share’” says Bob. “Well done team. Let’s do it again.”
Details for the next Run The World Challenge will be announced soon.(01/06/2019) ⚡AMP
If you want a useful guide for running in Central Park this isn’t that. There is plenty of concise information available online and all of it will do a far better job telling you exactly how to go for a run in New York City’s favorite 840 acre backyard.
If you want to know about beginning a long term relationship with New York City and running in Central Park, this is my story.
My first run in the park was on December 29, 1978. I was in college on the GI Bill and had taken my slightly unreliable but fun-to-drive MGB from Maine to Florida over Christmas break.
I didn’t want to think about the trip back north. Hitchhiking was still an option in those days if my car gave out but it surely was not what I wanted.
I was already a veteran of two marathons and was ramping up my mileage for the Boston Marathon the following April. I had a glorious couple of weeks of running in the technicolor light and warmth of south Florida and while there even managed to meet Frank Shorter.
I ran twice a day including a couple of two hour runs, went to empty beaches to bask in sunny 60 degree days while bundled up locals looked on, amused and mystified.
All in all it was a great time, went quickly and too soon I was starting the long drive back to Maine.
A couple of uneventful days on the road brought me back to the NJ turnpike two days before New Year Eve. In the fading light of a cold, clear winter afternoon I pulled into a service plaza for gas.
My plan was to continue driving on through the night for the last 500 plus miles vs. spending money I didn’t have for a roadside motel room. A “you are here” map in the foyer of the restroom surprised me with my close proximity to NYC.
The next thing I remember is rummaging through the stuff in my car for an address book with the phone number of a longtime summer friend from Maine who spent the balance of his life on upper west side of New York.
I searched between the seats for change to make a call on a pay phone and was fortunate that my friend even answered. He graciously said I could crash for the night.
I’d never even been into NYC proper and the prospects for the evening were exciting if not a little intimidating.
I finally made it safely down from the high bridge over the Hudson River into the city and found a place to park near Grant’s Tomb on Riverside Drive, a few blocks west of my friend’s apartment not far from Columbia University.
I made the wise choice to schlep all of my stuff to the apartment for fear that the patched convertible top and dodgy locks of my car wouldn’t deter anyone in 1970s NYC, from breaking in looking for anything of value.
I said a quick hello and thank you to my friend on arrival but needed a run before I could eat or do anything else. He understood and gave me directions to Central Park and showed me how to buzz myself back into his high rise building.
Running down Broadway entailed dodging and weaving along hopelessly crowded evening sidewalks, scents from all manner of ethnic food wafting as I made my way through the 20 red lights, one per block, for a mile.
Eventually a left turn, to the east for a few more blocks to enter the park around 100th St at Central Park West.
The park was dark and cold, full of energy but it oddly felt peaceful too. The air was filled with different smells; diesel bus fumes, horse manure, musty fallen leaves, street pretzels, roasted nuts and yes, adrenaline, some of it mine.
Traffic hadn’t been banned from the park drives in the evening yet so it was full of yellow cabs and giant 70s era sedans moving slowly in heavy evening traffic.
I looked around for a landmark, something to remember so I could find my way back out of the park onto the same street in hopes of finding my way back to my friend’s place through what felt like barely contained chaos on the city streets.
I took note of a broken, graffiti covered park bench in this far less than gentrified version of the city. It seemed memorable enough and I guess it was.
Inside the park there was a lane for running. Parallel were two traffic lanes around what I’d been told was a six mile loop circling the park just inside the perimeter.
In spite of the hummock and pot-hole filled streets, particularly in the nearly bankrupt version of the city at the time, I recall the park drives being remarkably smooth pavement.
I turned right, running downtown on the west side. The rolling hills also seemed more downhill than up too, something I confirmed in years and miles to come.
At first it was a gentle contained pace, working out the stiffness in my legs and back after a day long drive from North Carolina on a bad suspension and the hard seats in my car.
The grade of the rolling hills and gently winding turns in the park seemed worn-in to the landscape. It felt perfect for running, almost carved into the city like the equivalent of glacial wear but from the mass of some number of the eight million city residents using the park day after day.
Making my way down the west side for a mile offered peeks through the leafless trees and scenic overlooks of the lights and architecture of pre war apartment buildings forming what appeared to be a tall, impenetrable wall along the avenue fronting the park.
Periodically there were glimpses further downtown to the iconic skyscrapers in midtown. The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building most familiar amongst a forest of others that seemed just as big if not as well known.
I simply didn’t want to stop running, the pull was almost magnetic, my tempo gradually increasing around the next corner or over the next hill, all just to see what was ahead.
It was all a bit like a party that you didn’t want to leave for fear of missing something good that might happen.
Just before reaching a first opportunity to choose between veering left from the main park drive or continuing straight toward the high rises of midtown; I went by what, in a few years, would be renamed Strawberry Fields. It was in honor of John Lennon; murdered not far away at the entrance to his building, the Dakota, which overlooks the park here.
The park is a perfect rectangle, slightly off of an exact north to south axis extending from 110th St to 59th St., 2.5 miles on each side and slightly over .75 mile between 5th Avenue on the east side and Central Park West on the other.
Years later I learned that the cutoff (or shortcut) I had seen and gone by at 72nd St and another I hadn’t reached yet at 102nd St made for a seemingly endless variety of options for creating and running multiples of loops of 2, 4, 5 miles and of course the full 6 mile circuit.
The New York Road Runners used the counterclockwise 6+ miles of the full park four times plus the slightly less than two mile loop from the bottom of the park to 72nd St for the 26 miles 385 yards for the 55 finishers of first New York Marathon in 1970.
The marathon still uses the park, but only about half of it for part of the final three miles of the race.
I read somewhere that 20,000 people run in Central Park on an average day. There are days and seasons during the year when that number seems high but other days and times during the year when it is certainly low. I guess that’s what they mean by average.
There are over 30 races in Central Park every year. Most hosted by the New York Road Runners Club and a few by other organizations.
Nearly all have thousands of participants, racing distances ranging from a 1 mile kids race to a 60k ultra marathon. Some with top invited international and American stars, some simply very large competitive local races. Every one a variation in the options for running loops in the park.
I continued running through the park, next past a big open meadow on the left, learning later that it was the 15 acre Sheep’s Meadow.
It has been a historic spot for protests over the past 100 years, up to 30,000 sunbathers on a nice day and 150,000 for a Barbra Streisand concert in the 1960s and yes sheep, from the 1860s until the 1930s.
Adjacent to the finish line of the marathon at Tavern on the Green the meadow also was a post race staging area for a few years.
22 months after my first run in the park I was back here, finishing my first marathon in New York. My last run up the hill to that familiar finish line was 32 years later.
The buildings along the southern edge of the park loom up just a few hundred yards away from the marathon finish. Columbus Circle marks one of the four corners of the park here and is a block from where I lived for 10 years when I finally moved to the city.
Almost every day was a 15 minute walk home from work at MoMA for me, dogs out for a walk and then into the park for an evening run. Sometimes clockwise, up the westside, the opposite direction of my first run.
Often I ran the same counterclockwise direction I was running that night. Across the bottom of the park to the east side, the legendary Plaza Hotel, the Central Park Zoo and the Wollman Skating rink anchoring the corner on that side.
I saw the familiar sign for the Essex House hotel along the way on my first run in the park that night and invariably still take a glance up at it on every run 40 years later.
Turning back north on the east side of the park led me up a gentle hill through dramatic exposed rock outcroppings of Manhattan’s bedrock schist. Apparently something which allowed New York to more easily build foundations for it’s famous skyscrapers over the last century.
I ran past playgrounds, the 100 year old children’s carousel and about a mile beyond Columbus Circle, to the other end of the 72nd St cutoff.
In years ahead it became a familiar corner. Nearby is the start and finish for the New Years Eve 4 mile race in the park, starting at the stroke of midnight with fireworks.
The corner is also near the start of one of the bigger hills in the park, this one known among local runners as “cat hill”. Midway up the 1/4 mile climb is a sculpture of a life sized and menacing mountain lion, seemingly ready to pounce from a natural stone overhang directly over the runner’s lane.
It was too dark to see the cat that night but is familiar enough now. Cat hill is a popular place for training for some of the dozens of running clubs that meet up and use the park for weekly group training sessions.
A couple of minutes more led me past what I didn’t know at the time was the back of the massive Metropolitan Museum of Art. Around it and closer to 5th Avenue for another half mile brought me near a building I did recognize, Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark cylindrical Guggenheim Museum.
The nearby entrance to the park would become familiar later as the place where the marathon enters the park for the last 2.5 miles of the race headed back in the direction from which I’d just come.
The summer after my first NY marathon and having entering my 2nd, there was a fundraising appeal in my race confirmation. The NYRR was trying to raise money to purchase a six story Beaux Arts townhouse just opposite the Guggenheim for one million dollars.
They were successful and for 36 years it served as headquarters, clubhouse and place to pick up bibs for their many races. It was listed for sale this past year for 25 million dollars as they apparently need something fancier and/or bigger.
Nearby is a statue of the late, charismatic leader of the NYRR, Fred Lebow. His vision arguably responsible for the explosive growth of urban marathons around the world for decades. His likeness stands looking at a stopwatch, appearing to be silently calling out time splits to runners just inside the park.
The entrance of the 1.5 mile long reservoir running path is there too, named for Jacquelin Kennedy Onassis, a nearby resident for decades, she was known to jog on the scenic cinder path and reportedly was even seen wearing long white formal evening dress gloves on cool days.
At the reservoir it felt like I had run between 5-6 miles, I knew it was six around the park but then maybe 10 minutes more to and from my friends place.
I was moving along briskly, feeling good but thinking I should get back but had reached the point where it made more sense to continue on vs. turning back. Maybe three miles to go.
Just 1/4 mile past the flat straight section along the reservoir the drive started down a hill and turned toward the center of the park from the perimeter. I felt a change. There were fewer street lights, less traffic and not as many people around. It all seemed a bit more ominous.
A half mile further brought me to the 2nd cutoff between the east side and the west. This one at 102nd St. It was very dark, narrow and almost foreboding.
In 1989 this section of the park, down the hill from the reservoir to the 102nd St cutoff became notorious as the site of a series of “wilding” gang assaults on a number of runners and pedestrians over one hour on a frightening night that April. It culminated in the vicious assault and rape of the “Central Park jogger” on the cutoff road I was passing.
Even 11 years prior to that night it felt dangerous. Today most runners and running clubs practice a buddy system when running at night in the park as a result of what happened in 1989.
There is a prominent police presence in this area and thankfully crime in the city and the park has declined precipitously too.
In all of my thousands of miles in the park over the years, many at night, I’ve never personally experienced a threat or even witnessed one and I’m grateful for that.
The almost kaleidoscopic park quickly changes again at the far north end. The park drive quickly snakes through a steep S shaped descent with high bluffs overhead on one side and an open high view of Harlem on the other; the Meer waters and the Conservatory Gardens in the foreground.
The far north end of the park remains the most natural with unspoiled ravines, dramatic rock faces, waterfalls and streams all tucked away.
On runs here I’ve seen families of raccoons crossing the road at night and hawks swoop down for unsuspecting squirrels during the day but nothing of the sort on this particular night.
Midway down the hill brought me past a large skating rink outfitted for youth hockey. I learned later that it does double duty as a community pool in the summer.
Now at the north edge of the park I could see into Harlem. I made the turn, running to the west. Just outside the park were dilapidated tire changing shops, gas stations, boarded up windows, burned out cars and a trash can with a makeshift bonfire offering warmth to a few men huddled around.
Continuing on, anticipating a turn to the south to complete my circuit of the park it quickly became evident that I was going to climb a good hill.
Runners in NY refer to this climb with some dread as THE Harlem Hill, it climbs about 150 ft in half a mile and then just as quickly drops down again. I wasn’t far beyond where it leveled out again and suddenly on my right, there it was!
The familiar broken, graffiti covered bench that I’d decided to use as part of my trail of bread crumbs when I entered the park.
Not much had changed on the surface. Traffic had lessened somewhat as the evening rush was concluding. The smells were the same but had become permanently imprinted in my brain vs. something new to experience.
I slowed my pace for the few blocks back toward Broadway and a final right turn north for the last mile up toward Columbia.
After less than an hour on foot I felt like I understood New York to some extent....and I liked it. The prospects for the evening seemed exciting enough when I decided to spend the night but I had no idea.
Even before I finished the run one big thing had changed. I knew or at least hoped that I’d spend part of my life in the city.
My wife, step daughter and I have been fortunate to have lived the last 21 years of our life together in New York and adjacent to Central Park, 10 years on one corner of the park and the last 11 years a few blocks from the far opposite corner. In part, all due to one unforgettable run around Central Park on a cold December night 40 years ago tonight.(12/28/2018) ⚡AMP
We have been up here in Bend Oregon visiting my son and his family since Friday. My son Michael Anderson is our MBR results editor and post results as soon as they become available. Sometimes it is as soon as the first runners are crossing the finish line.
Michael (top photo) have carved out many running courses around his house. We have already run 22.2 miles since Friday and will at least get in six miles today.
Last Christmas Michael lived in Eugene and we ran the Pre Trail Christmas morning.
We have been running on Christmas Day forever. When Michael lived in the Bay Area I would run with my daughter Lisa and her family and then run with Michael in the afternoon.
Lisa (second photo) and family lives in San Jose, California. She is our social media and newsletter editor. We celebrated Xmas with them before heading up to Oregon.
Both of my kids have run marathons, my wife has run a half marathon and many other races but after operations on both feet can’t run now (Catherine works out at the gym these days) and all my four grandkids run even including my two year old, Bear. Owen age 12 have already run a 5:52 mile. My son-in-law Justin has run a 1:27 half marathon.
We are a running family and have been forever. There is no better day than Christmas Day to get outside and get in a few miles. (Updated: Mike and I got in 7.1 miles through two inches of snow today.)
Two other members of our full time crew are Jaime and Manuel. They work at our La Piedad office.
Our webmaster Waitman Gobble keeps us all working and always is coming up with new features.
Gary Allen (Marathon Man Gary Allen) and Larry Allen (Larry Allen on Running) have signed on to do regular writing for us sharing their many years of running wisdom and knowledge with us. I am sure they will be getting out and getting in a few miles today.
Willie Korir is located in Nairobi, Kenya and has been sharing insights into what makes many runners in Kenya superstars. He has also run and logged 2851 miles for our three Run The World Challenges since July 4.
Our third Run The World team is not too far off of running and logging enough miles to circle the planet for the third time. I am so proud of our team.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to everyone. Be sure to get out today and let’s all make 2019 a super year. I know this is our plan here at My Best Runs.(12/25/2018) ⚡AMP
I went out for a slow, difficult three mile run the evening prior to my pacemaker being implanted. My heart, although not functioning properly, was thankfully strong enough for that one last run without artificial help.
My friend, a nurse, probably saved my life by getting me into a walk-in clinic that next morning. Everything went fine and I am now running again but with a pacemaker (recent photo in NY Central Park).
Let me share some advice. There is a fine line between being tired or feeling weak from a hard workout or thinking maybe fatigue or weakness is “just” natural decline with age making things harder vs. something feeling “off” enough to seek help.
It’s a blurry line but I guess my best advice is to be keenly observant of your own physical traits and patterns and when anything falls outside of a normal range for you, again, see someone. I think it’s very important to understand that we aren’t “bullet proof” as runners.
I remember in the 70s Dr. George Sheehan wrote and in lectures said that we, as marathon runners, were essentially immune from having a heart attack. It wasn’t long after that Jim Fixx died of a sudden heart attack while running on an easy training run.
Almost every day when I run in Central Park in NYC I run right by the spot where Ryan Shey died suddenly of an undiagnosed cardiac condition early in the 2007 Olympic Trials Marathon, on a downhill section, it was a cool day and the pace early in the race was conservative (for him).
A friend, physician and Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon from Maine has a sad but growing list of lifelong runners from northern New England alone that have met similar fates without knowing they had a health issue.
We have to understand that even as very fit runners we are vulnerable, and that goes hand in hand with understanding the importance of listening to your body.We all have to be our own best advocate and our own best piece of medical monitoring equipment.
It’s easier with all of the new technologies however, as runners, we have intuitive ability that puts us in touch with our own bodies. We must listen carefully to all of it and also try to overcome another trait we have as runners, our stubbornness, which can certainly be our strength and our weakness at the same time.
Recovery has been tricky. After my pacemaker was functioning I was diagnosed with intermittent (paroxysmal) Afib which is treatable with medication. At first I didn’t quite understand that Afib progressively becomes more persistent or permanent and that treatment options become less effective or sometimes completely ineffective as it goes along.
I ran again for a bit over a year but my Afib was gradually getting worse and eventually the stronger medications needed weren’t easily tolerable. It got harder to run yet again. My remaining option was a cardiac ablation. After careful consideration I had it done early this past summer.
The good news is that my Afib has not reoccurred since. The bad news is that it’s a lengthy healing process. I am six months into it and have probably walked about 600 miles. I’ve gradually added short stints of jogging into my walks and only recently a few miles of continuous very slow running.
I’m told that it will take perhaps 3-5 months to fully heal and hopefully then I’ll be able to run more normally.
(Larry Allen on Running is a regular MBR feature sharing the wisdom of Larry Allen, a 50 year accomplished runner and artist. He is currently participating in the third Run The World Challenge.)(12/13/2018) ⚡AMP
Full circle. I am becoming Fred Dingley. He was my first cross country coach at Lee Academy way back in 1969.
One late summer day a couple of years ago I headed for my usual early evening run at a favorite trail in Connecticut.
A welcome hint of fall was in the air. Dry, refreshing Canadian high pressure, breezes and gentle fall-like light had crept in for the first time in months, replacing the laser-bright sun and stifling humidity of a hot summer.
The trail I often run extends along the Pequonnock River Valley and the beautiful weather had it abuzz with happy runners, cyclists and walkers, a full house in the parking lot.
At the top of the short hill leading from the lot to the trailhead; 15 young men from a local high-school cross country team gathered, bare-chested, stretching against a rail fence.
The 14 year-old newbie kids tried not to be conspicuous in their very presence but also were clearly checking out their bigger, stronger and more confident 17-18 year-teammates. The older ones innocently full of themselves, utterly oblivious to the younger kids.
They all started running just before I shuffled up onto the trail. Within the first half mile I could already see the smaller, slower runners beginning to fall off the pace.
I caught the first kid soon after. For a minute I was back in the early fall of 1969. My first coach, yes Fred Dingley, was the headmaster of the school.
In his 60s, he ran with the team some days. I was 14, 4’9” and weighed maybe 90lbs. I lacked fitness, confidence or any knowledge whatsoever.
Mr. Dingley caught me a few times in my first few runs that September and always had a word of encouragement as he passed.
He made me feel like if he could run 2-3 miles at his age I damn well could, even when I seriously doubted it two steps prior to him passing and three steps after he went by.
Fred Dingley's teams were a perennial power in Maine. State Champions my first 2 years. My next coach, Howie Richard, led a team to my third championship in 4 years. I was fortunate.
Early that first September I ran my first timed mile in 6:55. I proudly made my way to the top of the Junior Varsity by the end of the year and ran a 5:06 mile.
I won a race the next year and I will never forget being congratulated by the headmaster-coach in the school’s morning announcements.
Mr. Dingley retired a year later and I've always hoped he kept running for years after.
40 odd years later, I ran past the slower runners in the first couple of miles on the trail and made a point of doing what my coach had done; offering a quiet word of encouragement to each kid.
I wondered whether seeing a man in his 60s running by might do for one of them what it did for me years before.
Meanwhile, I also remembered how Howie Richard coached me as as a more accomplished runner 3 years later; he said when passing someone, pick up the pace, go by with certainty and show no sign of exertion, he explained, only slightly in jest, that "it demoralizes them a little and gives you an edge".
Maybe I should regret those ingrained competitive instincts but at more than 4 times the age of most I passed I think I should get a pass (no pun intended) for any insensitivity, real or imagined. I did try offer encouragement but that's a different thing, right? Can you intimidate someone (a little), feel better about your own remaining ability and give encouragement all at the same time? I hope so.
I have no idea whether the team I saw in Connecticut that pre-season evening ended up a top team that year. I was impressed that most of the older kids ran the same 8 miles I did.
Based on those I passed, I remember wondering whether I might still be able to make the JV team of a HS team. In reality the dead sprint at the beginning of a 3mi high-school cross country race would be a big problem.
If I had any hope I’d have to use experience and wisdom (if any) to try and overcome my physical ability with a late charge from behind at the end. The real problem; the youngest and slowest kids I saw were all going to get much faster and stronger in coming months. I would not.
At just past age 60 I was still holding up ok. I could still manage 5-12 miles almost daily. A few longer runs crept below 8 minutes per mile, I even managed a 6:25 mile at the end of one good run. It all took a sudden turn with an unexpected health problem a short time after this particular evening.
Having successfully dealt with my issues I’m again able to run or run/walk for shorter distances on the trail weekly, slower but just as happily. I still see competitive runners and teams, maybe the same ones; a few looking like collegiate runners home for a visit, some likely former undeveloped youngsters but not so much anymore and of course always a new crop of nervous 14 year old prospects.
As for me, maybe I should just be happy being Fred Dingley.
(Editor’s note: Larry Allen on Running is a regular MBR feature sharing the wisdom of Larry Allen, a 50 year accomplished runner and artist. He is currently participating in the third Run The World Challenge.)(11/25/2018) ⚡AMP
It’s really impossible to pick one race or run as best or most memorable in a 50 years of running. I guess if I had to pick one thing it would come from the occasionally feeling one gets in a run or race, when it’s suddenly well within your ability and training, just effortless and fast, finding yourself perfectly balanced and feeling like you are floating above the ground and periodically reaching down with one foot or the other and giving yourself a little push to maintain your momentum and with little or no limits to how long you could keep it up.
Pure magic and joy whether in a training run or race. At it’s best “that feeling” was somewhat elusive when even a very fit young runner and certainly more so as we age.
There is still a strong pull to get out every day to try and find a glimpse of it regardless of the likelihood that you won’t. I’ve always thought that B.F. Skinner’s psychological studies of the power of variable, unpredictable patterns of reinforcement to modify our behavior were likely at work and I’m good with that.
My running friends and peers of a certain age and vintage share a little joke about the rules of gravity of middle age (and beyond) being clearly quite different than anything Isaac Newton theorized.
(Editor’s note: Larry Allen is a 50 year runner and artist (self portrait). His wisdom and knowledge of our sport is impressive and this is why we asked him to regularly share his thoughts here - Larry Allen on Running. He is also participating for the third time in our Run The World Challenge.)(11/24/2018) ⚡AMP
Funny thing about running. A lot of it is solitary and we all thrive on being alone so its fine, at least part of the time. Meanwhile there isn’t much better than the camaraderie of a group or team run.
Conversations wax and wane and the personal bonds formed and memories made are often inseparable and indelible. The miles disappear, the pace quickens and the distance covered grows, it’s somehow invariably easier to be inspired to do more as part of a group.
It seems like we runners need a little of both; the quiet of running alone, lost in thought but with a good dose of runs on a team or with a friend or friends. Both have a place and are magical in their own special way.
Bob Anderson’s MyBestRuns hosts a periodic online event, repeated through the year, called Run the World Global Challenge and it fosters what we do alone and the joy in being connected while doing it.
Each event involves a hundred runners or so from all over the planet having signed up and committed to a cyber team effort to accumulate the running and walking mileage necessary to circumnavigate the 24,901 miles around the planet earth over a couple of months.
Participants post a daily (or in the case of some serious athletes, multiple times daily) run or walk, with a picture and little diary entry. I think most of the miles by all involved are solitary but all as part of the team effort to accomplish a goal bigger than any one of us.
It’s a unique, fascinating and inspirational use of social media. It has motivated me personally to do more, to be earnest in my efforts to rehabilitate my body following some personal health issues. There is a commitment, low key personal accountability, a real sense of achievement and camaraderie as words of encouragement and quiet competition creep in as we each do our part to collectively make it around the world.
The often lovely posts feature photographs of places run and selfies taken that somehow serve to enlighten and makes the world a smaller and more peaceful place, slightly reminiscent of the way world travel does.
I’m midway through my third trip around the world since July. I’ve contributed a total of about 500 miles, about the distance from my adopted home in New York City to my native eastern Maine.
This third team has already made it 8,850 miles in the first 25 days of running and walking (and posting). We’ve done enough to make it roughly from California to Europe and at our current average of about 350 miles per day we will have made it around again on about January 8th of the new year.
If so it will have taken us a total of 71 days, a good 9 days faster than Jules Verne imagined and fantasized about back in 1873. Go team!
(Editor’s note: Larry Allen is a 50 year runner and artist (self portrait) who currently is dealing with a health issue.
His wisdom and knowledge of our sport is impressive and this is why we asked him to regularly share his thoughts here - Larry Allen on Running. You can also follow Larry on our RTW Challenge feed.)(11/22/2018) ⚡AMP
I am Larry Allen. I am 64-year-old, a 50 year runner and doing the Run The World Challenge for the third time.
In 1965 I was living in Maine, Great Cranberry Island. A small, isolated, offshore island adjacent to a national park with only 80 residents. I started running there and achieved some success and in 2016 I was inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame.
Running is very important to me. Without intending to overstate it, running fits right in with eating, brushing my teeth and sleeping. Obsessed is another word although I think over the years the obsession has been moderated to a healthier place.
My mental health depends on it to an extent. My creativity, well being, problem solving, peacefulness and certainly my ability to stay centered and in balance with life itself have always been better when I’m running.
"He is a New York City artist, who retired as the director of publishing for the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, “painted” in many different styles and left a truly remarkable body of work," a friend wrote.
I keep busy as an artist and as a part-time manager of the business affairs of my still very active wife Kristen Blodgette. She’s a professional musician, Musical Director, Conductor and Musical Supervisor, principally having been associated with Andrew Lloyd Webber for his Broadway and worldwide productions for over 30 years.
We live in New York City and in Fairfield County Connecticut. "Larry has run some impressive times over a wide range: 440 (51.7), 4:34 mile, 15:58 5k, 33:26 10k and a 2:46:20 marathon. He has directed many races, coached and written a lot about the sport.
When Larry turned 60 he wanted to run one more marathon," wrote Bob Anderson. I had a good year, a steady 60 miles per week. I was going to run Philly in November but about three weeks prior I tore a calf muscle severely and that was that. When I started running again about six weeks later I felt a profound fatigue and weakness that I didn’t recognize.
I assumed it was age but it was unsettling and very difficult. An old running friend and ER nurse saw the significant dip in my ability on a social media running tracking app and called me. She essentially did triage over the phone from 500 miles away and asked (told) me to immediately go the nearest walk-in clinic and to tell them she had sent me. After an EKG the doctor came into the exam room and said 'I don’t want to alarm you but you are in complete heart block and and we’ve called an ambulance.' I didn’t quite understand what heart block was but learned later that it was electrical in nature and not blocked arteries.
After emergency surgery suddenly I had a pacemaker. My cardiologist is Dr Paul Thompson, who in addition of being an esteemed physician is also an accomplished runner (15th at the 1976 Boston Marathon).
Dr. Thompson isn’t sure whether my heart block was as a result of damage done by a lot running for many years or a genetic predisposition or both but ironically he feels the strength of my heart and general health of the rest of my entire cardiovascular system as a result of years of running probably allowed me to survive the condition.
My goal today is to find the right clothes for a cold windy day and to run four miles in the woods. My goal for this week is to do it again on Friday and hopefully Sunday too. In between my goal is to briskly walk five or six miles on rest days and at a tempo that lets me recover enough to run the next day.
My goal this winter is to stay off the treadmill as much as I can and to get outside six days per week, to cover about 30 miles weekly and to enjoy every single mile. My goal for next spring is to be running the majority if not all of my miles. My goal for next summer and fall is to have it all be easier than it was this year. My goal for the year after that is to do another lap....and the same for every year.
(Editor's note: Larry's wisdom and knowledge of running is impressive and we are happy to announce that Larry will be contributing to My Best Runs on a regular basis - Larry Allen on Running. He also posts most days in the RTW Feed about his road to recovery.)(11/19/2018) ⚡AMP
My Best Runs Exclusive Profile Part Two. Gene Dkyes is only the second man in history over the age of 70 to run a marathon under three hours. He has done it twice. He ran 2:58:28 at the Rotterdam Marathon and then he clocked 2:55:18 in Toronto Oct 21.
Only Ed Whitlock have run faster. Gene Dykes was born in 1948 in Canton, Ohio.
All of his PR's from 200 miles to 1500m (accept for the 5k) have been set in the last year. He has a B.A. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cornell University in 1978.
He has been married since 1982 and they both moved to Philadelphia from Ithaca, New York in 1993. After his Toronto Marathon we asked Gene about his race strategy.
"I’m a slave to my GPS watch while running a race," says Gene. "I nearly always run negative splits on any race shorter than a marathon, and I’m rarely more than a minute or two slower in the second half a marathon.
I consume far fewer calories before and during a race than most runners seem to." How about your weight? He thinks the "Two seconds per pound per mile is a rule that is awfully important. Keeping weight down for a major race is the hardest part of training.
It’s especially hard when I use the “See Food” diet. I’ll eat just about anything, especially when I see it."
In 2017 he was only one of 13 to complete the Triple Crown of 200's and he was the oldest finisher in each of them.
In August he ran the 206.5 mile Bigfoot 200, September was the 205.5 mile Tahoe 200 and October was the 238 mile Moab 240. In 2018 he won ten USATF National Championships from 1500m on the track to 100 mile on the trail. So what is ahead for Gene?
"Having turned 70 this year, I decided that I would spend the year chasing records and national championships and forego many of the big ultra races that I really love.
I still have one national age group record to topple which I expect to happen at the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November. Having come up just 34 seconds short of beating Ed Whitlock’s venerable M70 age group record in the marathon, you can be sure that I’m making plans on another attempt within a year.
I’m keeping those plans secret, though," Gene told My Best Runs. In the meantime Gene has signed on to the Run The World Challenge 3 team.
Gene is at the top of the 70 plus world and don't you get the feeling he is going to be setting a lot more records? (Photo taken at the USATF National Outdoor Championships in Spokane)(10/29/2018) ⚡AMP
Did you Know? Run The World Challenge 2 team members Becca Pizzi and Michael Wardian both ran the marathon (first woman and first man) that was run inside the Gillette Stadium in Boston September 29.
This 114 lap race was the first-ever marathon held entirely inside and on the field of an NFL football stadium.
Dave McGillivray (also a RTWC 2 team member) was the race director. "Dave's marathons are my absolute favorite and his DMSE support team is second to none," says Becca.
A ton of funds were raised for the New England Patriots Foundation helping the homeless...Both Becca and Michael have signed up for the RTW Challenge 3 team.
Run The World is an event created by lifetime runner 70-year-old Bob Anderson. He ran 260 miles for challenge 2 and even through he did not complete anything close to what Becca and Michael did, he still doubled his normal weekly mileage. Many team members were also motivated to run more hitting milestones of 50, 100, 200 or more miles before we finished.
"The finish line of the RTW Challenge is when our team have logged 24,901 miles," says Bob Anderson. It took 44 days 18 hours and 29 minutes to complete the task this time.
Runners age 11-74 ran miles in 24 different countries. In the little country of Palau 1,187 miles were logged. 74-year-old Frank Bozanich ran and logged 801 miles in the 44 days. There are so many amazing stories.
What has become really popular and a good motivator is the Run The World Feed. Many team members post notes and photos daily for other members to leave comments.
"I read every post and look at every photo and comment on each one," says Bob. "I started this with Challenge 1 and found this was a good motivator."
Lize Dumon in South Africa wrote, "The RTW community is very precious to me. It is like an extended running family, a safe place to share everything running."
RTW Challenge 3 starts October 29. The Challenge will help get you in better shape so you can reach your goals. This can be a tough time of the year to get out the door. We will help each other. Sign up today and join our team.(10/15/2018) ⚡AMP
"We have finished," says Lize Dumon (photo) a RTW Challenge 2 team member from South Africa, "Great achievement! But this morning, going out for my run just felt that little bit harder. I haven't realized how precious this RTW community has become to me. It is like an extended running family, a safe place to share everything running without rolling eyes and sighs from non-runners. It has become a place where I learn so much about running from reading everybody's posts and a place of immense encouragement! I don't want to leave this place... bring it on Challenge 3!"
Run The World Global Run Challenge is a global event celebrating running, motivating the team, inspiring others and completing the goal. The 131 member RTW Challenge 2 team ran and logged miles in 24 countries reaching a total of 24,901 miles in 44 days 18 hours 29 minutes.
"This event is a real motivator. Many of our members (including me) ran many more miles than usual," says Run The World Challenge Team Caption, Bob Anderson. 34-year-old team member Carmen Gair from South Africa posted, "Thank you...for this amazing challenge...thank you...for motivating me to run more than double my usual mileage in this amount of time."
She ran and logged 151 miles in 44 days. Team members added this challenge to their existing goals and used the Challenge to further motivate them.
"Here are the special awards for our RTW Challenge 2 team," says Bob Anderson who reached 260.66 miles himself.
For Outstanding achievement: Frank Bozanich age 74 logged 801 miles...
Most Inspiring: Lize Dumon set her goal to reach 200 miles and she did that. She also motivated other team members in South Africa that she recruited to reach their goal as well...
Most Motivating: Aaron L. Salvador from the little country of Palau logged 377.99 miles, recruited others and posted a note and photo everyday...For
Best Performance: Willie Korir (second photo) from Kenya logged the most miles (993.88) which is an average of 22.5 miles per day. This is being shared with Joel Maina Mwangi also from Kenya who not only logged in 610.44 miles but he raced four half marathons during the Challenge period clocking 1:02:52, 1:03:19, 1:02:50 and 1:02:54...
Five Most Inspiring stories: based on their story posted on My Best Runs: (this award goes to the five who received the most views on My Best Runs) Joyce Lee (1178 views), Michael Wardian (851 views), Gloria Nasr (616 views), Joel Maina Mqangi (492 views), Pete Magill (400 views)...
Best Youngest performance: Zander Brister age 11 logged 16.32 miles. He ran one mile in Hollister clocking 6:19 and he also averaged 7:42/mile pace at the Pacific Grove Double Road Race 15k...
Best Oldest performance: Frank Bozanich age 74 logged 801 miles. Shared with 71-year-old Paul Shimon who logged 655.37 miles...
Top Fifteen Spirit awards: (Based on posts on the RTW Feed) Aaron L Salvador, Michael Anderson, Brent Weigner, Danilo Purlia, Larry Allen, Asya Cabral, Lize Dumon, Roger Wright, Geoffrey Smith, Carmen Gair, Annie Conneau, Joseph Brazil, Vince Martignetti, Marnie Margolis, Willie Korir...
Best Single Run: Michael Wardian when he ran 184.5 miles in 36 hours 48 minutes 14 seconds on the C&O Canal Trail...
Notable Mentions: Boaz Kipyego logged 788.61 miles and came to the United States and placed fourth at the Twin City Marathon. Rosaline Nyawira was first female logging 454.37 miles. Brent Weigner (69) has been running races every weekend including running a marathon in another country Sri Lanka. He logged 258 miles. James Kalani has gotten back into running (this challenge motivating him) and has already run 4 miles at 5:33 pace. He logged 252 miles.
Ultra marathon star Gloria Nasr from France logged 237 miles. Rosaura Tennant ran both the Berlin and Chicago marathon during this Challenge. Becca Pizzi was first woman in the marathon run inside a NFL stadium in Boston...
"Everyone is a winner on our team," says Bob Anderson. "I can't wait to do this again." RTW Challenge 3 start Oct 29.(10/13/2018) ⚡AMP
The Run The World Global Run Challenge 1 presented by My Best Runs started July 4, 2018. The goal was to run and log 24,901 Miles in the shortest posible time. "The mission was to celebrate running, motivate our team, inspire others and complete the challenge," says team caption Bob Anderson.
The team of 175 active runners finished in 36 Days 23 Hours and 13 Minutes on Thursday night August 9th at 11:13pm (PDT). "It was an amazing event and I can not wait until the next one starting August 29," says Geoff Smith (team member and two time Boston Marathon winner).
"Everyone on our team was a winner and deserve an award," says Bob Anderson. "Here are our special awards just announced today. Congrats to these winners and our entire team."
Outstanding achievement - Frank Bozanich age 74 logged 475 miles.
Most Inspiring - Aaron L. Salvador from the little country of Palau logged 296.4 miles and posted a comment and photo everyday. Shared with Geoff Smith who also posted a comment and photo everyday logged 240.5 miles (which is almost double what he was doing prior to the Challenge)
Most Motivating - Grace Padilla (US) logged 327.11 miles posted a comment and creative photo everyday. Grace who is 47 placed 11th overall and was first female.
Best Performance - Willie Korir from Kenya not only did he log the most miles (797.37) he also ran one of his workouts at 4:37/mile pace for 9.13 miles.
Five Most Inspiring stories - based on their story posted on My Best Runs: (this award goes to the five who received the most views on My Best Runs) Michael Wardian (1,677 views), Benn Griffin (1,461 views), Swetha Amit (1,431 views), Roy Pirrung (1,241 views) and Kiranpal Singh Dhody (1,088 views)
Most Inspiring Photo - Grace Padilla´s July 5th photo training on the track in Mammoth Lakes, California (featured photo).
Best Youngest performance - Owen Wall age 11 who logged 34.2 miles including running 8.1 miles in one day at 9:59 pace during his longest ever run. Shared with Elliot Daniels age 14 who ran and logged 184.45 miles and ran 5:47/mile pace for six miles in the Wharf to Wharf race in Santa Cruz, California.
Best Oldest performance - Libby James age 82 who logged 81.81 miles (rounds up to 82). Shared with 74-year-old Frank Bozanich who ran and logged in 475 miles.
Top Fifteen Spirit awards (based on coment and photo posted regularly that appeared on the Run The World Feed): Aaron L Salvador, Grace Padilla, Shawn Whalen, Michael Anderson, Brent Weigner, Danilo Purlia, Larry Allen, Rosaura Tennant, Asya Cabral, Kati Toivanen, Lize Dumon, Roger Wright, Abbey Cannon, Geoffrey Smith, and Pulkit Singh.
Best Single Run - Michael Wardian when we ran 100.5 miles in 30 hours 23 minutes to place 11th on July 21 at Hardrock 100.
Notable Mentions - Dave Mcgillivray logged 164.52 miles (Boston Marathon Director), Becca Pizzi logged 226.17 miles (Holds the record for running seven Marathons. Seven days on seven Continents), Liz Dumon had never run 150 Miles in 30 days before this challenge, Boaz Kipqego from Kenya logged 588.52 miles and placed second, JR Mintz (age 52) logged the most miles by an American with 480.86 miles, Paul Shimon (age 71) logged 390.71 miles placed 6th overall and was third American, Harpal Singh Gill was first runner from India logging 331.66 miles placing 10th overall, Sam Tada was first runner from Japan logging 237.30 miles placing 29th overall. Malin Andersson co-owner of World´s Marathons logged in 77.67 miles and Will Adams who logged 51.58 miles mostly all plogging (picking up trash while running).
Our next Run The World Global Run Challenge starts August 29. There is a $25 entry fee to help cover expenses unless you can not afford it and then it will be waived.(08/16/2018) ⚡AMP
RUN THE WORLD: Benn Griffin parents were runners. "My parents went on running dates in the 80s," says Benn. "I guess that was the start of me. Growing up I ran on the weekends with my mom and dad, usually three miles, and I did a 5k or two," he says.
The movie Forrest Gump came out when he was in third or fourth grade. "Everyone called me Forrest because I could just run and run and run." Running defines him. He has run every day since December 28, 2012.
"I believe that running is a universal sport that crosses geographic, political, economic, spiritual, and physical boundaries. It unites us. Anyone can do it. For the most part I just like to run," says Benn.
He has run races as short as a mile and as long as 72 hours (188 miles). He has run 91 marathons and ultras. "In May I won the open division in a 12 hour ultra. It was my sixth time at that race, I'm a creature of habit."
He does not think there is a secret to success. "It's just relentless hard work, persistence, mixed with a little bit of stupidity," he says.
Benn started the ultrarunning community in the Berkshires and is a ultra race director. "Together with two friends we started with just three races, but then I added two more, so it's a five race summer series."
Benn is a cross country coach and a sixth grade geography teacher. A highlight of his coaching was watching his girls have two undefeated seasons in 2015 and 2017. He teaches at a low income charter school where 92% of the students are first generation college students.
"My sister and father are educators, as were my paternal grandparents and my aunt. So you could say, like running, it's in the blood." Running is something that grounds him and helps him self-medicate.
"My favorite quote of all time comes from a guy named Marc Davis: "All it takes is all you got." We already have everything we need to be successful. We just have to tap into it and unlock that potential," says Benn Griffin who has already logged in 309.65 miles for the Run The World Global Run Challenge that started July 4.(08/08/2018) ⚡AMP