Tuesday, July 29, 2008

all Lydiard, all the time

MDRA's own Nobby Hashizume was recently interviewed by Flotrack regarding the life & legacy of Arthur Lydiard. Check that stuff out.

clear the air

Attention Duluth & all points South; the southern two thirds of MN are under an air quality alert for the remainder of the week. That means we should be exercising indoors or not at all.

If you're anything like me, you aren't going to heed that warning. I'm still planning on running over lunch - though I'll likely go 5 miles instead of my usual 8.

Anyhoo, be careful out there. Hydrate well & all that jazz.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I love this guy. Breaux Greer is an American Olympian in the Javelin. He's also funny. Like, way funnier than any other pro athlete.

Time magazine recently did a feature on 100 Athletes to Watch in the upcoming Olympics (Breaux is #75). He rules due to his totally nonchalant attitude when it comes to competing.

He says of his javelin career, "Dude, I throw a stick. Come on. I get paid a pretty good salary to throw a stick." I love it. No ego. None of that "I'm the best" crap you hear from a lot of pro athletes. Incidentally, he is the best. He holds the American record for 'throwing a stick'.

His 'just have fun with it' stance on competition reminds me of another Olympic athlete - skier Bode Miller. Bode didn't ski to win, he skied to have fun. He even authored a book titled Go Fast, Be Good, Have Fun.

A lot of people take exception to his style. He's been chastised by the media on more than one occasion. Before the 2006 winter Olympics he was interviewed by Newsweek. In that interview he explained what he thought the ideal games would be. Two and a half years later, I still remember it verbatim.

"For me the ideal Olympics would be to go in with all that pressure, all that attention and have performances that are literally tear-jerking, that make people put their heads down because they’re embarrassed at how emotional they’re getting, that make people want to try sports, talk to their kids, call their f---ing ex-wives—and come away with no medals. I think that would be epic. That would be the perfect thing."

Hell. Yeah. I was interviewed by Midwest Events magazine last month, and I wish I could have said something that poignant.

When the Olympics start next week, I won't be paying attention to the TV networks gold medal count ticker. I'll be watching the faces of the athletes when they cross the finish line. There's nothing I love more than that "Holy crap, I just raced in the Olympics" look of shock.

Here's footage of the 2004 women's marathon in Athens. Skip ahead to 8:40 to see what a third place finish looks like.

In tears.

Friday, July 25, 2008

walk the dog

So I was out running on Minnehaha Parkway last night. Somewhere around 12th Avenue I saw one of those things that makes you question the survival of humanity.

I approached a couple walking their Jack Russel terrier & pulling a toddler in a little red wagon. They were giving the toddler play-by-play, "Look at the pretty bird. See him? Pretty bird!" in one of those octave-too-high voices reserved for little ones.

As I ran by the wagon, the toddler barked at me... because it wasn't a toddler but a dog! They were walking one dog and towing the other. And they were telling the pug what it was missing out on. Wrap your head around that one!

The pug didn't appear to be injured. It jumped up when I ran by. I give the couple kudos for walking the Jack Russel. But seriously, if the dog needs to ride in a wagon just leave it home.

There aren't many things more off-putting than expecting to see a cute baby & instead being barked at by a stocky, bug-eyed furball. It wasn't quite Rosemary's Baby disturbing, but it was definitely close.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stiletto run. Seriously.

Ad Rants is reporting on this interesting event. It's a promotion for Glamour magazine where hundreds of women in Moscow race 75 meters in stiletto heels for a big fat cash prize.

There's a big photo set of the event on Flickr. Warning: Images may be extremely awesome.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

oh boy

Just when you think doping investigations can't get any weirder, this happens.

Marion Jones is asking President Bush to commute her 6 month prison sentence. The article makes it sound like convicted felons ask for presidential pardons all the time.

The good folks at USATF aren't going to stand for this, so they've drafted a letter to the president asking him not to commute Jones' sentence. They also offer a condensed version of the letter on their website which you can copy & customize before sending it off to the White House.

Since there are presidential politics involved, I'm sure this will be a hot button issue. I am merely the messenger. Do as you like with this information.

Friday, July 18, 2008

meet the newest MDRA member

The MDRA family just got a little bigger and a hell of a lot cuter.
Meet Cole.

Cole is the latest addition to the family of MDRA President, Kevin & his wife Alicia.

With a couple of marathoners for parents, it's a safe bet Cole will be a fan of pureed pasta, long slow distance crawls, and sippy cups full of Gatorade. Will his first word be "ma-ma", "da-da", or "tempo run"? Only time will tell.

and the free schwag keeps a coming

The MDRA is really an advocacy group for runners. But lately we're a bastion of free stuff. Resplendent with schwag a plenty for the running masses. This is one of many reasons why we totally rule. Tell your friends to join MDRA. They may one day win something awesome, and they'll owe you a solid for turning them on to our goodness.

On to the freebies. The Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago needs TCM participants for a study. You do a few online surveys before & after the marathon, the you're entered in a drawing for cool stuff.

Here's the skinny from George Wu, PhD.
Letter to Participants

The University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business is conducting a study on the relationship between marathon performance and satisfaction and we would like to invite you to participate. We are seeking individuals who plan to run in the 2008 Twin Cities Marathon.

The study involves completing 3 online surveys, one taking place roughly 2 months prior to the marathon and the final taking place after the marathon. Each survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and will include a variety of questions pertaining to the marathon, your training, and your general running experience. Participants will be entered into a lottery offering prizes including an iPod Nano, Garmin Forerunner GPS watch, and various running jackets. The study has been approved by the University of Chicago's Institutional Review Board (IRB).

More information about the study (including a full listing of prizes), contact information, and an online registration form can be found here:


We also hope that this research will be of interest to you, and we would be delighted to provide you with the results of our research when the study is complete.

We look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks for your time!


George Wu, PhD
Professor of Managerial and Organizational Behavior
University of Chicago
Graduate School of Business

Thursday, July 17, 2008

a mile & a shot at Grandma's Half Marathon.

Dig this:

Minnesota Mile St. Paul Set for July 22

2009 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Entries to 250 Finishers

( Duluth , Minn. ) Some of the world’s fastest athletes will showcase their speed July 22 in St. Paul . They will be among hundreds of runners competing in the 2nd annual Minnesota Mile St. Paul, a Grandma’s Marathon race held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

The event has four separate running divisions (see division schedules below) with the elite athletes competing in the feature race ― Grandma’s Minnesota Mile. A $5,700 prize purse is being offered to the top finishers with the male and female champions each receiving $1,250.

Among the top male runners registered is Kenya ’s David Tuwei, runner-up in last month’s Grandma’s Marathon . Matt Downin of Minneapolis and Ethiopia ’s Abiyot Abebe are others who are expected to contend for the men’s title.

Katie McGregor, who finished second in the inaugural Minnesota Mile St. Paul in 2007, is among the top females, as is Caroline Rotich of Kenya . Rotich placed second in the 2008 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

This race is the first of two events which comprise the Grandma’s Minnesota Mile series. The second event, Grandma’s Minnesota Mile Duluth, will be run in downtown Duluth on Sunday, September 7.

One special feature of the event is the distribution of 250 guaranteed entries to next June’s Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. Names of the finishers from all four divisions will be collected and 250 runners will be randomly selected to receive the half-marathon entries. The same opportunity will be offered during the September Grandma’s Minnesota Mile Duluth.

Grandma’s Minnesota Mile St. Paul is presented by Verizon Wireless and Advantage Emblem. For more information, visit www.TSLevents.com or www.GrandmasMarathon.com or call (218) 727-0947.

Grandma’s Minnesota Mile St. Paul

Tuesday, July 22

Minnesota State Fairgrounds

6:30 p.m. Kids Mile For children ages 8 to 14

6:50 p.m. All-City Mile For Recreational Runners with the following projected finishing times:
Men - 5:46 or longer; Women - 6:46 or longer

7:30 p.m. St. Paul Mile For Semi-Elite Runners with the following projected finishing times:
Men - between 4:41 and 5:45; Women - between 5:41 and 6:45

7:50 p.m. Grandma’s Minnesota Mile For Elite Runners with the following projected finishing times:
Men - 4:40 or faster; Women - 5:40 or faster

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MDRA 15K & MHI 5K coming up

Now that July is half over, it's time to start thinking about August events. The MDRA 15K & Minneapolis Heart Institute 5K are happening August 10th.

The 15K is the state championship race for open & masters, and it's part of the USATF team circuit series. Register before August 4th to get a discount.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

we have a winner

Last night at the MDRA meeting we voted for our favorite Grandma's haiku. It was a close contest, but the winner by a margin of two votes was Diane Odeen from River Falls, WI. Here's her winning entry:

Firebreathing art
Lakeshore roads to city streets
Strawberries and ice.

Well done, Diane. Your hat is in the mail.

We (the MDRA board) decided on a different contest for the Twin Cities Marathon. We'll be giving away a hat or something to the best race recap in limerick format. It should be hilarious. Limericks always have the potential to get a little blue.

If any of you runners out there know a speed walker, give them a heads up. Mr. T is gunning for them.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

run naked

Behold! Nude Recreation Week is upon us.

Follow that link to learn about all sorts of nude activities. I checked the list of 20 things NOT to do during nude recreation week. Running was not among them.

So, those few, brave, nekkid runners out there are free to frolic - though we suggest staying away from popular areas. And well lit areas. And areas where cops hang out. In fact, just stay the heck away from everyone if you want to run around nude. No one wants to see that stuff.

However, if people tell you that you look just like Anne Hathaway (or if you are Anne Hathaway), I invite you to run nude around my back yard. I really won't mind at all.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

attention local fast people...

The TC 10 Mile is looking for you. New this year, local elites may be eligible for a guaranteed and comped entry to the Medtronic TC 10! That's right speed demons, free entry to the lottery-drawn TC 10. Here's what to do if you're interested:

1. Go to http://www.mtcmarathon.org/TenMile/RaceInfo.cfm to see the time standards to be considered a local elite. Consideration is given to those who are close to the standards and age is also taken into consideration. Sadly, special consideration is not given to 29 year old middle-of-the-pack bloggers.

2. After reviewing the standards, contact michael_nawrocki@yahoo.com for consideration.

3. Do this BEFORE signing up for the general lottery process (which starts Monday, July 7th). If you are eligible for a comp entry, you should NOT enter the lottery process.

There you have it. Remember, consideration is given for equivalent times. So if you've never run a 10 miler, but you've run a fast 10K, you could still get in as a local elite. Good luck, fast Minnesotans.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Des Moines Marathon needs pacers

The IMT Des Moines Marathon has put out a request for marathon pacers for the 2008 event. This year's races (half marathon & marathon) will be held October 19.

More info on pace team leaders can be found here.