Cat Bird Seat


By David Yon


As the summer track season ends, Marathon season begins cranking up. Berlin has a reputation of being very fast, and a 2:06:05 confirms that reputation is well earned. On Sunday September 20, Brazil’s Ronaldo da Costa ran the Berlin course in that time to break Belayneh Densimo’s 10 year old world marathon best by 45 seconds. You probably will recall that in April Tegla Loroupe ran a controversial 2:20:47 to break the women’s world best. (It was controversial because she was paced by male runners.) So the assault on the marathon records has begun and I would not be surprised to see the records drop like the 5K and 10K distances have now that the psychological barriers have tumbled.

One of the most fun races to watch this fall should be the Chicago Marathon on October 11, 1998. For the second year in a row New Balance has offered One Million Dollars to the American male or female who breaks the American Best for the marathon by the largest amount. For the men the best is 2:08:47 (run by Bob Kempanian at Boston in 1994, a nonloop course), while for the women it is 2:21:21 (run by Joan Samuelson at Chicago in 1985). The will be a strong contingent of men at Chicago who may be able to push at least one of themselves below the threshold.

Last month’s Newsletter contained a lot of good stories and information contributed by a variety of members. Rex tells me that is true of this month’s version as well. It is great to hear from members and be able to share their stories. The triathlon section has been a great new source for information. Ideas are only as good as the people willing to execute them. Kathy McDaris has made sure this idea became something more than just idle talk. Hopefully we will get to read about Deerpoint and Clairmont sometime soon.

Turkey Trot has grown steadily for the last several years and I think we have a chance to watch it move to yet another level this year. Moving the race to Thanksgiving Day was a little risky, but it seems to have been a good move and I think people look forward to having an event on Thanksgiving Day now. I think it has also helped give the race a little different character. It has a strong community flavor to it. We hope to build on that in a couple of ways this year. First, the race will hopefully, be awarding some scholarships through the Partners in Excellence Program to grade school classes that turn out the most participants and bring the most food. Second, we hope to have a major food drive this year. We will also continue to support The Shelter, Inc. I am really excited about some of these ideas and I believe they can help make this event even better. One of the goals is to see the race, especially the one mile, begin to draw kids the way Rose City does. Jim Story seems like the Pied Piper the way the kids turn out for the one mile in that event. If you have any thoughts on these items and want to help, let me know. It all fits in with the ideals behind Thanksgiving and hopefully gives us all an opportunity to help make our community a little bit better place.

Make plans for two upcoming social events. On November 15, we get to invade Ann Draper’s house for some off road running and off the wall fun. And hopefully, our year end social will be held on December 11, complete with a band and live dancing. More detail on that one to come. For Ann’s Event check out page 27. Also, check out the candidates for officers and directors listed elsewhere and feel free to vote the incumbent rascals out of office. The final deadline for submitting names is October 12, so you still have time if you want to add to the list before the ballots go out. Hopefully, you have seen somewhere by now that the Pine Run is October 11, instead of 17, as originally scheduled. Plans for the 1999 Tallahassee Marathon are coming along real well. It will be held on the 17th of January and will start downtown – so start planning now. Thanks to Bill McGuire for his extra effort in making sure a number of our courses, especially club races and Grand Prix events are accurate. It takes a lot of time if you do it right, which Bill always does.

It’s “a race a weekend” again, so hopefully I will see you at one. Till then stay healthy, while you keep your running paths well worn.