Thursday, December 9, 2010


I remember Chris Bain when he showed up with Chuck Moeser at races and ran shirtless. I met Shannon through some strange contact and introduced her to the RunCo and look what has transpired.

Please note the article below. I ran(literally) into Jim Hage last night on a cold night run. Jim, like Darrel General, is an icon of Washington Running. He was the most dominant force in the area for approximatley 20 years.

What Makes Jim Run?
From The Washington Post Weekend section - September 6, 1996Front Page: What Makes Jim Run? Marine Corps Marathon winner Jim Hage says anyone can put one foot in front of the other -- even you.(Jim Hage runs near the Lincoln Memorial, Photos by Robert A. Reeder, The Washington Post)IN THE RUNNING by Jim Hage [1976]In this age of high-tech exercise, when it seems you really aren't working out unless you're sweating over an LED, running is hardly trendy. But for health-minded Luddites seeking to develop cardiovascular strength, tone up or just control their weight, running remains the most efficient choice of exercise.Aspiring runners conjure myriad excuses why they can't incorporate exercise into their busy lifestyles -- even when physical activity is precisely what their doctor ordered. But if the President of the United States can make time to run regularly, why can't you?It's not rocket science, putting one foot in front of the other.

Everyone has run at some point, and -- anomalies aside -- most have lived to enjoy its rewards.While for many, committing the months it takes to properly train for a marathon may be overly ambitious in this age of instant gratification, anyone, with reasonable preparation, can run, walk, and/or crawl through a short road race. Fall's cooler temperatures and busy race calendar offer the perfect opportunity to commit yourself to joining thousands of other runners on the road to good health and fitness.But let's start at the beginning. A modest running program of 30 minutes just three or four days a week -- say, the time it takes to watch a few "Seinfeld" re-runs -- will burn fat, fight heart disease and general lethargy, and stand one in good stead at the starting line later this fall. The motivation and excitement of preparing for a race just may spark a healthy and regular exercise program.And maybe you'll learn something about yourself along the way.

ONE RUNNER'S REASONS-Because I've twice won the Marine Corps Marathon, some consider me a competitive and compulsive running overachiever. Still, runners of all stripes -- including those who struggle through a five-hour marathon -- share the common thread of motivation and dedication inherent in contemplating and then achieving a goal.My own long running romance, now in its third decade, began before high school. Like all youthful infatuations, mine was nurtured by modest success, and tempered by peaks and valleys.Just three months after setting my high school two-mile record in the Maryland state meet, I was cut from the University of Maryland's cross- country squad. One year later, out of shape, I claimed the last spot on the next season's weak cross-country squad. Camaraderie, travel and gradual improvement sustained my interest in inter-collegiate track.I won't say I chose to attend graduate school in Boston solely because or that city's famed marathon, but it was a factor. Once there, and perhaps of the academic drudgery, I ran as often and trained as diligently as I had in college. I found myself enjoying and training more and more.

Throughout my first harsh New England winter, I ran on. Not with Forrest Gump mindlessness, nor with the high-mindedness of au courant running philosophers such as "Running and Being" author George Sheehan. Instead, I trained with what I considered a meaningful goal: competing in the Boston Marathon.On Patriot's Day 1981, I ran from Hopkinton to Boston along the world's most historic marathon course, and in the wake of some of the world's best marathoners. Not that I was among them, by any means, but that mattered little to me or the thousands of screaming spectators.Cheered as a conquering hero, I understood how Pheidippides must have felt, albeit briefly, in 490 B.C. when he ran from Marathon, Greece, to Athens to proclaim victory over the Persians before keeling over dead. I shared Pheidippides' exaltation -- claiming a Top 100 finisher's medal -- and lived to race another day.ME AND CAL RIPKENAt age 23 my running had acquired a renewed vitality, and I trained, often twice a day, to improve my performances in road races at all distances. Finally concluding that consistency was key to success, I decided in the summer of 1982 not to skip a single day in preparation for that fall's New York City Marathon.

Thus my personal streak of running at least two miles a day began, roughly contemporaneous with Cal Ripken's consecutive game streak. And, like Cal's, my streak continues to this day (although the Iron Man takes his winters off).I've run through 100-degree heat waves and sub-zero blizzards. To keep the streak alive, I've run on ships at sea, in foreign countries at midnight, at high altitude in the Rocky Mountains and in the depths of the Grand Canyon. I ran with my wedding party on the morning I was married, and alone on the afternoon of my divorce.Some days it made no sense to run, due to illness, minor injuries, fatigue, and even real-world constraints, but I can't say that I regret a single run. Many times, it was the best thing I did all day.I improved, to the extent that for more than a year, I earned enough prize money to manage a reasonable living at my avocation. Racing has taken me around the world and privy to cultural differences beyond the confines of guidebooks. In Taipei, I politely declined a pre-race glass of snake's blood.

At a race in Milan, half-delirious and desperate for sustenance, I literally and figuratively sucked lemons. I celebrated a better race with the Basques in Spain sharing tapas and drinking wine squirted from animal skins.THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIPI'm just one of 20 million Americans who run regularly for 20 million different reasons. The mystery is why the rest of the country doesn't exercise. Do we really need more evidence that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? Or that overweight and out-of-shape Americans are most susceptible to coronary stress and chronic fatigue?Physical health is the obvious benefit of a regular running program. Unwanted pounds melt away with regular workouts, at the rate of roughly 100 calories per mile. Do the math: 20 miles per week equals approximately one pound of calories burned every two weeks.

Does President Clinton eat fast food because he likes it or because he can?The less obvious but often more significant benefit of exercise is enhanced mental health. Besides providing a ready outlet for stress, running helps establish personal control over physical well-being, so that runners develop healthy body image and self-esteem.Those who run already know the simple and irreducible pleasure of loping along a quiet path on a fall morning. They know the release of a hard run at twilight after a hellish day. Runners understand the honest effort required to tromp through new-fallen snow, and the withering effects of a stifling summer run in the city. Runners also realize that it's not never raining as hard as it looks in a car's headlights (almost never). They take exception to the button-downed meteorologist attempting to dictate what they do based simply on the weather.A friend of mine describes his running as "sucking the marrow" from the day.

I don't know much about Zen, endorphins or out-of-body experiences, but running allows me to momentarily step off the carousel and into a more dispassionate realm of existence. It is a time for contemplation, free-association and escape, crystallized by physical demand.Jim Hage, who writes about running for The Post, finished eighth in the 1992 Olympic marathon trials and 37th in 1996. His best marathon time is 2:15:52. In real life he's a legal editor at the Bureau of National Affairs.


party store said...

I’ve reading with full of interest. He’s certainly raised my awareness.

Anonymous said...

Running is addicting. If I don't do it, I won't feel right