Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Where do they all come from?

2005 Boston Marathon
Top 10 States Represented, # Runners Entered

Massachusetts 4,423
California 1,350
New York 1,132
Texas 801
Illinois 748
Pennsylvania 719
Ohio 627
Michigan 546
Florida 538
Virginia 504

And let’s not forget the few, the proud
runners from these states…

Mississippi 25
Alaska 22
South Dakota 18
Wyoming 14
North Dakota 12


Monday, February 27, 2006

A perfect landing in Boston

Now that the Winter Olympics are in the books we can start thinking about the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. We’re talking the good stuff –athletics (track & field), cycling, swimming, triathlon, and sure, even gymnastics. Those small, powerful athletes amaze me with their strength and agility.

Enter Kerri Strug. Remember her? She nailed that landing on one good leg in the '96 Olympics to win a team gold medal for the US . Next thing you know, she’s running in the Boston Marathon.

In 2004, Kerri Strug ran the Boston Marathon in 4:14:31. Last year she returned for her second attempt and nailed it in a solid 4:13:03.

Check out a Runner’s World interview with Kerry Strug here.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

How many "smoots" in the Boston Marathon?

As I ran over the Mass Ave. bridge today my thoughts turned to “smoots.”

Smoots? Yes, smoots.

A smoot is a unique unit of measurement invented in Boston. Here’s the story. Back in 1958, MIT undergrad Oliver R. Smoot was pledging Lambda Chi Alpha. His fraternity pledge master Tom O’ Connor wanted to know the length of the Mass Ave. bridge—in pledge lengths. He chose the shortest freshman pledge ( the 5 foot 7 inch Smoot) , and pledges marked the distance of the bridge by laying Smoot from one end to the other.

The length of the bridge was established as 364.4 smoots and one ear. Smoot markings can still be seen on the bridge today as new pledges repaint the markings every year.

So how many smoots in the Boston Marathon?

24,777 smoots.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Quote of the day

"I will never forget rounding the corner and turning onto Boylston Street for the final yards of the race. It's a striking sight. There are thousands of people there, spilling over onto the streets and sidewalks and up on the plaza near the finish line at the Prudential Center. It's all downhill, funneling toward the finish. It still ranks as one of the most thrilling moments of my life.

-Bill Rodgers

Friday, February 24, 2006

A few words from Boston Marathon wheelchair champion Ernst Van Dyk

If you thought the Patriots were the only dynasty in New England, think again. Ernst Van Dyk, the South African wheelchair racer, has conquered the Boston Marathon the last five years. He goes for a record no. 6 in '06.

Van Dyk is the only wheelchair racer in history to win Boston five times in a row and one of only 3 men who have 5 Boston victories (Franz Nietlispach 1995, 1997-2000; Jim Knaub 1982, 83, 91-93).

What’s his secret? I caught up with Ernst online to ask him about his preparation for Boston…

“I prepare for a season,” Van Dyk said. “Boston is a main priority so I will make sure to do the right stuff to arrive in peak condition in Boston. For me it has become an individual time trial so I train for this. Long, hard fast rides on my own to make sure I can sustain the pace needed to stay in front. I however expect that a couple of guys have raised the bar and this year they will give me a race rather than a chase.”

Van Dyk cites his first Boston win in 2001 as the sweetest in the streak.

“I was a nobody coming from nowhere. I ended up beating the best guys in the world at that stage by over 6 minutes.”

Learn more about Ernst at his website .

Thanks Ernst. Good luck in 2006.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Boston Marathon story from L Street Running Club President John "Mac" McDermott

My first Boston Marathon in 1978 I was running up Heartbreak Hill
hearing all the cheers and I'm waving because they're cheering for me. Naaaaaa, they're cheering for Johnny Kelly who, with the gracefulness of an elite runner that he is, goes by me like I'm standing still.

That's when I vowed that Johnny Kelly will never pass me again. I never did have that opportunity, but I wondered if I really would have passed a legend like Johnny Kelly.

Thanks Mac.

COMING TOMORROW: A few words from 5-time Boston Marathon Men’s Wheelchair champion Ernst Van Dyk

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Boston Marathon tips from L Street Running Club President John McDermott

He shares the same first and last name with the first winner of the Boston Marathon.

He’s the president, and heart and soul of the best running club in Boston, the L Street Running Club.

He’s completed 20 Boston Marathons and his PR from Hopkinton to Boston is 3:15.

To runners in the Boston area, John McDermott is simply known as “Mac.”
Mac has been president of the L Street Running Club for about 12 years. And just one example of his dedication to the club and its members is evident every Sunday before training runs when he sends off runners with some words of advice and perhaps a joke or two.

Mac knows Boston!

So check out his 3 tips for conquering the hills, the flats and all 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Copley Square...

1. Do your homework. Learn from your training runs.

2. Be ready mentally.

3. It's a tough Marathon, enjoy the ride. It's the Granddaddy of them all. MAINTAIN! MAINTAIN! MAINTAIN!

Thanks Mac.

Check back tomorrow for a great Boston Marathon story from Mac…


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Get your first look at official Boston Marathon apparel

2006 Boston Marathon gear is here. Well, it's actually here.

Image Impact is the official Boston Marathon merchandise licensee. So if you're looking for a new running jacket for spring, a cool lid, or a t-shirt that says to the world, "Yeah, I ran Boston!" this stuff is the real McCoy.

Image Impact is also located on the B.A.A. website with other merchandise licensees who offer everything from posters and pottery to photos, plaques and more.

Countdown to 2006 Boston Marathon

Monday, February 20, 2006

One step from the Oval Office

Today is Presidents’ Day. And I doubt there's many celebrations around the nation honoring the men who’ve held the highest office in the land. Probably just a lot of folks buying automobiles.

Since this is a Boston Marathon blog, I couldn’t help but think if any of our presidents ever ran the world’s oldest marathon.

At first thought I came up empty. But I did find one man (possibly two) who ran the Boston Marathon and came close to winning the presidency of the United States.

The first is Michael Dukakis. The Duke.

Where did it go wrong for the former Massachusetts governor on the 1988 campaign trail? It could have been when CNN’s Bernard Shaw asked him whether or not he would favor the death penalty for someone who raped and murdered his wife. Or maybe it was the picture of The Duke looking like Snoopy in a tank. Or maybe it was Willie Horton and the weekend furlough program. The road to the White House is a marathon. And I think The Duke hit the wall at mile 22.

But I digress. This is not a political blog. It’s a Boston Marathon blog. So back to The Duke and the Boston Marathon.

In 1951 Michael Dukakis, a senior at Brookline High, finished 57th (3:31) in the Boston Marathon. The Duke was holding a 6:50 pace until he experienced some cramps on the Newton Hills. However, Dukakis finished strong coming in 10 places ahead of marathon legend Clarence DeMar.

And the other presidential hopeful who ran Boston?

During the 2004 election, there was controversy over whether John Kerry ran the Boston Marathon back in the 70s. He said a few things in interviews which made it sound like he couldn't remember when he ran. I’ll let you make up your own mind on the subject.

Here’s a link showing a letter from the B.A.A on the subject...

We do know that Kerry’s daughter, Vanessa, crossed the finish line last year in an impressive and official 3:31:35 net!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

NEW book from Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray

Dave McGillivray was always the last pick for team sports. So instead of team sports, Dave dedicated himself to exceling at individual sports.

At age 17, he attempted to run in his first Boston Marathon without training for the event. He didn't cross the finish line that year, but that didn't defeat him. Instead he went on to complete 118 marathons and later become the Boston Marathon's race director.

The Last Pick is a "book about overcoming the odds through perseverance, discipline and an unrelenting desire to do things that perhaps very few have done before. It takes the reader on a journey through life’s obstacles, then leaves the reader with a new understanding of how to set and accomplish their goals while teaching that anything is possible."

The Last Pick is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com and will arrive in bookstores on April 3.

Dave will not personally make any money on this book. All proceeds of the book will be donated to a number of children’s charities, one of them being the Jimmy Fund/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute which he has been affiliated with for over 25 years. Another would be his own foundation, The DMSE Children’s Fitness Foundation, inspiring children’s fitness and fighting childhood obesity.

“Dave’s message is consistent with most of us who set lofty goals…to have the guts to make a commitment, to prepare like no other, to accept the consequences involved and to never rest on your laurels.”
Lance Armstrong
7-time Tour de France Champion

“I feel sorry for the bookstore owner trying to find the proper shelf for Dave’s book. Like Dave, this book seems to belong everywhere. It’s a management book, a self-help book, a sports book, a biography and even a history book. Most importantly, this book reveals stories that describe the making of a motivational and organizational mastermind. It will get you off the couch!”

Joan Samuelson
1984 Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist, 1979 and 1983 Boston Marathon Champion

“Dave has an uncanny ability to stretch human boundaries physically, psychologically and spiritually merely to enhance the motivation for others. His image and persona always inspired me and I know he has touched thousands of people who he has subliminally credited in The Last Pick.”
Dave Scott
6-time Winner Ironman Triathlon World Championship

“I know few people who have accomplished as much as Dave, and none who have done it with his grit, courage, humanity, and unyielding determination.”
Amby Burfoot

1968 Boston Marathon Champion Executive Editor, Runner's World Magazine

"Dave McGillivray has shown that he knows what it takes to motivate and inspire people to accomplish goals beyond their expectations. I am proud to say he has inspired the people of Boston and especially our children to reach farther and achieve more. With The Last Pick, Dave's wisdom will be available to everyone seeking guidance as they reach for the stars."
Thomas M. Menino
Mayor of Boston

“Dave McGillivray is the type of person that fits my definition of an off the field hero. He may not have been picked by others long ago to be on their team, but he'd be the first I'd pick to be on my team now.”
Alberto Salazar
Boston Marathon and NYC Marathon Champion

“Every amateur and professional athlete, every coach, fan, parent of a child in sports, referee, sports organizer, sports agent, team owner, announcer, sports bar proprietor, needs to read this book to understand why humans were given the ability to run, jump, throw, kick, tumble, catch, et al., in the first place. Answer: To advance the cause of humanity. This is what Dave is all about and everyone, all of life's competitors, needs to read about this one guy who lives that ideal.”
Dave Cowens
Boston Celtics All-Star, NBA Hall of Fame, NBA MVP, NBA Rookie of the Year

“McGillivray truly understands that success is about overcoming the obstacles that life brings whether they be physical, mental or emotional challenges and then using these experiences as motivation to prove the critics wrong.”
Doug Flutie
NFL Quarterback, 1984 Heisman Trophy Winner, Pro Bowl Selection

“Dave shows that through perseverance, self-confidence and a willingness to accept any sacrifices involved, that no road is too long and no challenge is too great.“
Dennis Eckersley
Hall of Fame Pitcher, Cy Young Award Winner, 6-time All-Star

“I've known Dave since his first run across the US and know well his story. Dave is well-respected in the running community in the USA and beyond. No one deserves that respect more.”
Bill Rodgers

4-time Boston and NYC Marathon Champion

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bob Hall

Did you know...

In 1975, the Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division when it recognized 23-year old Bob Hall, a native of Belmont, MA. BAA Race Director Will Clooney assured Hall a finishers' certificate if he could break the three hour mark over the Boston course. Hall rolled over the finish line--and into history-- with a time of 2:58.

Two years later Hall held off six other competitors in the wheelchair division to win in 2:40:18. Today, Bob is the Disability Coordinator for the BAA.

FYI -- Last year a total of 30 official wheelchair athletes (25 men and 5 women) crossed the finish line in Copley Square.

Friday, February 17, 2006

A few words with 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi

One runner to watch on Monday, April 17 is 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi.

2004 was quite a year for Meb. He brought home the silver medal from Athens and then just seventy days later he was runner-up at the ING New York City Marathon. Last year, Meb finished a strong 3rd in New York with a time of 2:09:56, after Paul Tergat (2:09:30) and Hendrick Ramaala (2:09:31) battled to the finish in Central Park.

Will Meb break the tape in Boston?

“I always ‘run to win,’” says Keflizighi. “It is the motto that I live by. This means as long as I try my best in the preparation and actual race, I am satisfied with my effort. Everyone starts and finishes at the same place. There are no substitutes, no timeouts. You get out of running what you put into it.”

Meb was at the Failense Sports Club in Cambridge on Jan. 27 to meet with fans who will be cheering him on when he runs his first Boston Marathon. I caught up with Meb online and asked him a few questions…

1. Did you run any of the Boston course when you were in town? What were your impressions?

I ran every single aspect of the marathon course. I ran the whole course in segments. I ran the course every day I was there expect Monday (1/23/06) because it was snowing. I ran indoors at Boston University that day. It’s a challenging course. It helps to be familiar with the course. I will know what is ahead in the course, so on race day there won't be any surprises for me.

2. Are you doing anything different in your training for Boston?

Yes. I’m trying to find similar terrain in San Diego to prepare me for Boston. That is what Coach Larsen and I did when training in Mammoth for Athens.

3. I know this is your first Boston Marathon, but what tips or advice would you give someone running Boston?

You earned the right to run in Boston, so enjoy the excitement of the event and the crowd.

4. How far will UCLA go in the NCAA college basketball tournament? (Meb earned his B.A. at UCLA)

I hope they go all the way. I will always be cheering for the Bruins to do something special. We need another Championship banner. Once a Bruin always a Bruin.

5. Do you like the Red Sox?

Yes, I like the Red Sox. I hope I can throw the first pitch at one of their home games one day.

Thanks Meb. And congratulations – Meb and his wife are expecting a baby in March.

Check out www.runmeb.com and learn more about Meb and his running career. And watch for Meb’s new MasterCard commercial.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Boston Marathon memory from '85 champion Lisa Rainsberger

Do you have a story or favorite moment/memory from running Boston?

Yes, I have many stories but perhaps the one memory that plays itself out most in my head is the stretch of racecourse through Wellesley College back in 1985. Back then the race course was not confined and so when I came running through Wellesley College the Women had formed a very narrow tunnel for me to run through and their cheers and screams were deafening. I ran with such emotion through Wellesley and I know that I wasted a lot of energy because I was riddled with goose bumps and I picked up my pace as a result of their cheering.

Thanks, Lisa.

Don't miss tomorrow's posting - a few words from 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Boston Marathon tips from Lisa Rainsberger

In 1985, a former three-sport All-American from the University of Michigan was the first woman to break the tape at the Boston Marathon. Her name was Lisa Larsen Weidenbach, now Lisa Larsen Rainsberger.

The 23-year old finished in 2:34:06, more than eight minutes ahead of Lynne Huntington. Lisa is the last American woman to win the Boston Marathon.

Below you’ll find Lisa’s tips on running Boston . Thank you Lisa. Tomorrow I’ll post one of her favorite Boston memories. So check back.

1. Make sure that you have designed your training to include hill work - up hill training and downhill training. Most people forget to train for the severe down hills at Boston so running hill intervals in training where you run up and down the hill hard can be helpful to you during the race.

2. Learn to run mid-day. Because the race starts so late in the day I suggest running a few of your long runs mid-day so that you can get a sense of what how your body will react to the late start. Knowing what to eat and when before a noon start is very important.

3. Test run your shoes…because of the downhill and uphill nature of the race course you will want to be sure that your shoes are right for the course. I can't tell you how many blisters are formed at Boston because people wear shoes that have never been worn in such conditions. Test your race shoes on a hilly long run before you wear them race day.

Lisa now offers coaching and personalized training in Colorado. Check out her website www.traininggoals.com. Go to the “Articles” section for a few more stories on the Boston Marathon.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

For better, for worse at the Boston Marathon

Looking for a romantic Boston Marathon story on Valentine’s Day?
Click here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Boston is his middle name

Did you know...

In 1993, Cosmas Ndeti won his first of three ('93, '94, '95) Boston Marathons.

Over the weekend of the '93 Marathon he also received news that his wife, Jane, gave birth to a boy. The couple named him Gideon Boston Ndeti.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Let it snow

Chances are that if you live in the Boston area and didn't get your long run in yesterday, you'll probably be heading to your local gym today or maybe to your basement to put some miles on the treadmill.

Winter is back in Boston. About 10-12 inches of snow fell on the Hub over the last 15 hours. (And it's still snowing and blowing as I type at 4:29 EST.) Before today's storm we've had a moderate winter with little snow in Boston. So as runners we've been lucky. But you knew Mother Nature would force us to adjust our training schedules at some point this season. But would she dare throw us a curveball, or should I say snowball at us on Marathon day? In the middle of April? Mother Nature has done it before...

1907 - Traces of Sleet
1908 - Snowflakes and drizzle
1925 -Cold wind and occasional flurries
1961 - Snow squalls, winds of 10-12 mph, temperature 39 degrees
1967 - Snow squalls for the first five miles of the marathon

source: BAA

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Competition for tortoise, hare

Boston City councilors are in talks to build a new Boston Marathon monument in Copley Square .

Currently, a tortoise and hare statue and a granite medallion engraved with a map of the marathon course rest in the area just steps from the finish line.

Do we need another monument?

I'd rather see a permanent indoor exhibit where tourists can learn more about event. There's a few pieces of memorabilia located at the New England Sports Museum inside the TD Banknorth Garden. But the marathon deserves more. Maybe an exhibit can be installed in the Hancock Building (one of the marathon sponsors), or maybe at the BAA offices on Trinity Place or at the Boston Public Library. I know real estate in the Back Bay isn't cheap. But a year-round indoor venue where people can experience marathon history, instead of just posing in front of a monument, would be a great tourist attraction and a mecca for runners from around the world.

To read the story about a proposed monument for the Boston Marathon, click here.

Friday, February 10, 2006


The sign reads "Welcome to Hopkinton. It all starts here." You'll see it on Marathon day on the Hopkinton green inviting runners to strike a pose in front of it, smile, and have a friend take a snapshot.

But the Boston Marathon didn't always start in Hopkinton. Instead, the town of Ashland was the first to hold the honor of sending off runners on their journey to Boston. The site of Metcalf's Mill in Ashland is where it really all started in 1897. Fifteen runners started from the mill and 10 brave souls finished the 24.5-mile (not 26.2) trek to Boston.

The mill burned down in the 1930s and nothing has been put up in its place. There's no sign or plaque to commemorate the place where a great tradition started over a century ago.

Since 1924, the Boston Marathon has started in Hopkinton.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Quote of the day

From 7-time Boston Marathon champion Clarence DeMar...

"I can truly say that, aside from the Olympic junkets, the game had been worth it. Some people are born writers, that is, they may be good or bad writers, but they were born with something that makes them want to write. Some people are born competitors and need the stimulus of athletic competition. These people may have started out as baseball players and in later years transferred their efforts to golf. I happened to stick with one sport. I still enjoy the long grind of the marathon."

DeMar won his 7th Boston Marathon a few days shy of his 42nd birthday.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Boston Marathon and Super Bowl

The Boston Marathon ranks behind only the Super Bowl in terms of on-site media coverage of a single day sporting event. More than 250 outlets and 1,100 media members from around the world descend on Boston every year to cover the marathon.

FYI - Former NFL running back Roger Craig, who was in a few Super Bowls with the 49ers, said this in a Runners World interview about hoping to run Boston one day:

I could probably get into Boston because of my celebrity and all that, but I don't want to do it that way. There's a big-time physician here at Stanford. He's telling me, "I can get you in." I said, "Look, doctor, I don't want to go in that way. I want to earn the right to go in." Because if I earn the right, it's going to be the biggest accomplishment ever for me, because Boston is definitely the Super Bowl of all marathons. So when I earn the right to be there, I'll be gratified. I'll be happy.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Young at Heart

Did you know...
In 1988, Johnny Kelley at age 80 completed the Boston Marathon in 4:26:36!

Johnny's love of life and Hall of Fame running career serve as an inspiration for many of us. And over the next few months I'll be sure to have a few more posts on Johnny Kelley. But next time you're out on the Boston Marathon course take a moment and check out the "Young at Heart" statue at the base of the third hill in Newton. The statue depicts a young Johnny Kelley at age 27 (who in 1935 won Boston in 2:32:07) and an older Johnny who at age 83 finished in 5:42:54.

If you feel like singing, here's some lyrics to Johnny's signature song...

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you're young at heart.
For it's hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you're young at heart.

You can go to extremes with impossible schemes.
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams.
And life gets more exciting with each passing day.
And love is either in your heart, or on it's way.

Don't you know that it's worth every treasure on earth
To be young at heart.
For as rich as you are, it's much better by far
To be young at heart.
And if you should survive to 105,
Look at all you'll derive out of being alive.
And here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart.

[Musical interlude]

And if you should survive to 105,
Look at all you'll derive out of being alive.
And here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Who is Jacqueline Gareau?

In 1980 Jacqueline Gareau ran the Boston course in 2:34:28 --a new women's record at the time -- beating Joan Benoit Samuelson's 2:35:15 from the previous year.

But there were no celebrations at the finish line for the Gareau. No laurel wreath. No winner's medal.

Instead the cheers and the accolades that day went to Rosie Ruiz.

Seven days passed before Gareau would be named women's champion and Ruiz found to be a fraud. Gareau would return to Boston and place 5th in '81, 2nd in '82, and 2nd in '83.

Ask a Boston sports fan, "Who's Rosie Ruiz?" and there's a very good chance they'll know her story. They'll say she jumped into the Boston Marathon with a mile to go, crowned the winner, and then later found to be a cheater. Doubtful they'll know who Jacqueline Gareau is. Tell them. She never got the real celebration she deserved on that Marathon day. And deserves to be a much bigger part of that marathon story.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Top Americans to run Boston Marathon

Will an American win the Boston Marathon in '06?
Here's two runners to keep an eye on...

Two-time U.S. Olympian Alan Culpepper and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi will run in the 110th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17, 2006.

This year's race marks the return to Boston for Culpepper who ran a 2:13:39 in '05 and finished as the top American and fourth overall.

"I had an incredible experience at last year's Boston Marathon, and I am excited to return in 2006," said Culpepper. "John Hancock, the event organizers, and the crowds provided the support and environment that inspired me to return for this year’s event. I learned a lot from my Boston debut and am looking forward to improve upon last year’s fourth place finish."

Keflezighi (Kef-lez-ghee), the runner-up at the 2004 ING NYC Marathon, will be running his first Boston.

"The Boston Marathon is internationally recognized and has a great tradition, and I know there will be high expectations for me," Meb Keflezighi said. "I always ‘run to win.’ It is the motto that I live by."

Learn more about Meb at runmeb.com.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Boston Marathon memories from Dave McGillivray

As a runner and race director, Dave McGillivray has more Boston Marathon stories than most of us.

I've had the privilege of hearing some of his stories at L Street Running Club meetings. And as great speakers do, he delivers stories from the heart, provides a great dose of motivation, and keeps you wanting to hear a little bit more.

Here's some of Dave's Boston Marathon memories from over the years...

*My first overall marathon and first Boston in 1972 as a 17-year-old -I dropped out in the Newton Hills. I learned my lesson and have now completed 117 straight marathons since, 33 at Boston.

* My first year as Technical Director in 1988 after the infamous "triprope" incident in 1987. That was the turning point in my professional career.

* Seeing Johnny Kelley in the lobby of the Copley Plaza Hotel one year after I had just completed my "night" run of the course and having Johnny say to me, "you are going to break my record, but I am sad I won't be here to see it."

* Having a rotund fan yelling at me in the lead vehicle one year saying,"Hey, you lazy bum, why don't you get out of that car and run like the rest of these skinny runners!" Little did he know I'd be back a few hours later doing just that.

* As Race Director, being mistakenly locked in a port-o-john at the starting line just minutes before the gun was to be fired, thinking 20,000 people must be looking for me right about now!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Boston Marathon tips from Race Director Dave McGillivray

This is the first in a series of posts featuring Boston Marathon tips and more from the experts.

I'll be asking folks who know the Boston Marathon like the back of their hand to provide 1) three tips for running the Boston Marathon and 2) a favorite Boston Marathon memory or moment.

I'd like to thank Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray for taking time out of his schedule to provide his insights.

Today, the tips. Tomorrow, the memories.


Boston Marathon Tips

* Know the course - above all, condition yourself for the omnipresent course elevation drops.

* Be patient - too many go out too fast, especially in Boston, and then pay for it on the back end. Some of the best times run at Boston have been by running negative splits.

* Don't overtrain -- I see more people going into the race "tired" than I do undertrained. Know when more is too much. You must go into the race totally rested and refreshed.

Thanks Dave. Check back tomorrow for Dave's favorite Boston Marathon moments.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006


The highest point on the Boston Marathon is at the top of legendary Heartbreak Hill, right? Wrong!

At 490 feet the highest point is actually at the start in Hopkinton. After a mile into the race, you'll find yourself cruising along at 360 feet---that's a drop of 130 feet, the steepest downhill on the course.

New Boston Marathon Book

The 1982 Boston Marathon had one of the closest finishes in the race's history--just 2 seconds separated the winner and runner-up. With nine miles to go, Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley battled from Newton to Boston, where finally on Boylston Street a sprint finish determined who would be champion. If you don't know who won, I won't spoil it for you; and if you do, this book still looks like a terrific read. Both Salazar and Beardsley's life are like marathons--filled with ups and downs, highs and lows. Author John Brant also writes for Runners World.

According to Amazon.com, the release date for Duel in the Sun is Feb 21, but you can pre-order now. If you purchase the book, come back and leave a comment.