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Month: April 2017

April 13, 2017

The silly story of the first ever Boston Marathon, as told by the journalists who watched it

We read through an 1897 newspaper article about the first ever Boston Marathon (and added our own thoughts to it) so you don’t have to.

April 12, 2017

Wake up to the fastest Boston Marathon ever

The 2011 Boston Marathon was the fastest race that has ever graced the streets of Boston. Check out the race video to witness it all go down.

April 12, 2017

Reader submission: I ran a beer half marathon in 1:43. Here’s how it went

13 miles & 13 beers. On a whim, a reader decided to test out his running and drinking capability by completing a beer half marathon in one hour, 43 minutes.

April 12, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field (Part III)

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits. Part three of our new weekly series.

April 12, 2017

The Hot Boston: A look at some of the hottest Boston Marathons

There have been 11 instances in the history of the Boston Marathon where race day temps registered over 80 degrees. We examine those hot ones.

April 11, 2017

Wake up to Joan Benoit Samuelson setting the world record at the 1983 Boston Marathon

The day after losing her world record, Joan Benoit took it back by winning the 1983 Boston Marathon in 2:22:43. Hear her recount her Boston Marathon win.

April 11, 2017

Brave, stupid or both? Running in a costume begs a few questions

Stephen Kersh examines the thought process and feelings that come with running a race while wearing a costume. Is it stupid? Is it brave?

April 11, 2017

Right on what and left on huh? – The meaning of Hereford and Boylston

The final directions at the Boston Marathon are make a right on Hereford and a left on Boylston. Where do the names for those streets come from?

April 10, 2017

Q&A with Desi Linden on 2017 Boston Marathon, winning, nerves, booty shorts and more

Nicole Bush chats at length with two-time Olympian Desi Linden on her plan to become the first American woman to win Boston since 1985.

April 10, 2017

Wake up to the 1982 Boston Marathon: The Duel in the sun

The 1982 Boston Marathon will always be one of the most thrilling races of all time. A world record with a neck-and-neck battle to the line.

April 10, 2017

Welcome to Boston Marathon Week!

This week on the site, we’ll be dedicating our coverage to providing a look at the history, figures and iconic races from 121 years of the Boston Marathon.

April 9, 2017

Unfiltered thoughts: Consider the Running Skirt

I have been intrigued and enchanted by running skirts since my sophomore year running cross and track in college. I specifically remember stumbling across a neon lime green and white patterned skirt with a bright aqua blue waistband and the same blue spandex shorts underneath during the summer beforehand and snatching that ensemble up like it was going out of style (when in reality it was never in style to being with). I returned to school that year excited about my purchase and eager to wear it out and about along the banks of the Charles River, only to realize that I was alone on the island of running skirt enthusiasm. Teammates wrinkled their noses and squinched their eyebrows together. What is that? they asked, as if I’d shown up to practice with dog poop smeared across my legs. I don’t blame them for this reaction. They’d been programmed by society to look down their nose at running skirts, we’re all a product of the world around us. And I could and possibly should have stood tall and proud with my thighs be-skirted, but instead I eventually pushed that skirt to the bottom of my running drawer until I lost track of it, or gave it away. I no longer have it.

So when Nicole Bush and I planned to call each other one day while we were both running, I knew exactly what I wanted to chat with her about.

We decided to record the phone call for posterity, and so that we could later bring snippets of it to you, if it turned out that we were able to be the least bit coherent while running. She explained to me a technique she used in order to talk into the mic on her headphones while running, which basically consisted of holding the headphone wire between her teeth, and we were off. What follows is a shortened transcript of our conversation, in which we consider: is the running skirt dumb?

Jeanne: Hey Nicole we’re recording now.

Nicole: Is it a second call that comes in?

J: Yeah I had to merge them. I also really hope it works because I tried Google voice and that was great but then I couldn’t get the call out of google voice, like to download the recording or whatever.

N: Gotcha.

J: Ok I’m getting my shoes on. I’m also in a room with a parrot right now. Because I’m pet setting for a professor. The parrot’s name is Arnie.

N: That’s awesome. Much better than pet sitting a dog or a cat.

J: Yeah and there’s a tortoise too. Named Windsor. Hey Arnie, will you talk? I’ve learned that it’s really hard to get parrots to listen to you or do what you want. Alright, I’m ready to head out for a run. How far are you going today do you think?

N: Mmm. Undecided. I’ll see how I feel.

J: Yeah, same. Bye, Paul, wanna say hi to Nicole? She can hear you but you can’t hear her.

Paul: Hi Nicole. Just tell her I say hi.

N: Helloooo.

J: She says hello. And now I’m leaving.

N: Cool. Me too. I have my key on my little ratchety headband that I put on my wrist and tuck under my watch when I go running.

J: Nice. You don’t ever want to just leave it somewhere in the yard? Under a rock or something?

N: No I’ve been doing this for too long. Plus I live in an apartment, so it’d be like public space too which would be weird. I’m outside now and it’s actually a really nice day in Michigan.

J: Ok me too. Wooo! What’s the weather?

N: It’s about 40 but the sun is out which it doesn’t like to do a lot in the Winter. But also a couple of weeks ago it was 60. Are you running yet?

J: Well shoot Nicole, the wire in my mouth thing really backfired and I’m pretty sure it ended the call!

N: Did you hang up on me with your mouth?

J: Yep. Exactly. Hit some weird button or something.

N: Do you have the regular iPhone headphones.

J: Yeah the ones with the volume adjuster thing on one side.

N: Yeah, so I have the mouthpiece on the right side. Then I put the end of the wire past my lips and just kind of hold it there.

J: How do you talk while you do that? I have no idea how someone could do both!? You don’t need to open your mouth? You can talk with your mouth holding a wire?

N: No wait now. I don’t know. This doesn’t seem like it. I don’t know how I did this. Maybe I just got my friends to talk most of the time.

J: Yeah that’s the thing about calling people when you run, you need to find someone who can talk pretty much uninterrupted so you can just say like, “mm, mhm” and grunt and stuff. But anyway. Guess what I’m wearing right now Nicole.

N: Are you wearing shorts?

J: I’m not. Good guess. But I’m wearing a running skirt.

N: I didn’t see that coming.

J: I know! But you should’ve. Because I asked you pretty cryptically a few days ago, what do you think about running skirts?

N: It would’ve been great if I had been like, me too!!

J: Hah. Do you own any running skirts?

N: I got one for free once. I never wore it. I think it was like a size too big.

J: Yeah. It’s hard to roll the top.

N: I was just gonna say–I probably wouldn’t have been able to roll it. I have a shirt that looks–well, cause I have like no torso–so because of that I have a shirt that looks kind of like a tunic/skirt thing when I wear it. It was when I was at Furman and Jeff See was like you are probably the only person of your caliber who is running in a running skirt. And I was like I’m just kidding, it’s a tank top.

J: So basically it was a running dress. You started the running dress trend?

N: Yeah it went below my shorts. I could’ve belted that shit.

J: Ok. Well. Two things. I just found like the bottom half of a dollar bill on the road. Which is so weird, it was torn in half so now I have from George Washington’s chin down in my left hand.

N: Oh! Like the long way?

J: Yeah isn’t that so surprising? I’ve never seen it torn this way.

N: I’ve seen em, but they’re always like the short way.

J: I don’t know if this will even work. I’ve heard that you need like ⅔ of a dollar in order for it to count as anything.

N: No no no no. You rip it and then you just have two.

J: Ok. Well anyway. The second thing I was gonna say is that, we need to talk about this. What you just were saying about how Jeff said running skirts don’t go hand in hand with high caliber athletes.

N: Yeah! So I was thinking about it a little bit. And yeah, I understand that running skirts serve a purpose. But for me, I’m like, they’re dumb. I think they’re dumb.

J: Well wait. What is the purpose? I’m intrigued about whether there’s a purpose that’s not obviously apparent. Like I gotta tell you. I feel bouncy and buoyant. And maybe that doesn’t have anything to do with the skirt. But there’s some air getting in under the skirt part and it feels nice.

N: If it was like buns under the skirt, I wonder. I might like that but maybe not with the shorts.

J: I wonder if they make them like that. To be clear, this is probably just a tennis skirt. But Ok. Here’s the thing. Here’s the argument for running skirts. Why they’re not dumb:

I think it reminds me of what I would imagine the draw is for wearing kind of long shorts if you’re a guy. Like even if you’re still good, wearing longer shorts means: ok. I’m taking a step back and going to fully embody a runner dad and just really relax, maybe go 8:30ish pace. And that’s what it feels like, wearing a running skirt to me. Subversive.

N: Ok, so short shorts are for like, when you’re gonna go fast or hard you’re gonna fully step into the role. And then the longer inseam… is when you’re more relaxed…okay…

J: Yeah I think so, right?

N: I guess my big thing is maybe I think they’re stupid because I think it’s too feminine so it’s for like wimps who want to look nice. And that’s totally unfair. Like, I’m a feminist, why am I thinking that!

J: Oh no! Shit!

N: I know! I’m not perfect.

J: So I used to work for a company that would send me to the Disney half and 10k in Orlando, Florida. And I’d be at the expo and race registration and oh my god. There. That was the running skirt mecca. If you didn’t have a running skirt on, get the fuck out.

N: Like all ages?

J: Yeah I think so! Most of the women were a little older. But yeah you’re right, I didn’t see many girls. Or like women in their 20s wearing running skirts. But also tutus. Tons of tutus there, not just running skirts. And that’s kind of where I draw the line. I’m pro running skirt, but I don’t know about a tutu.

N: Ok. Now I’m rethinking this. I have run in a tutu.

J: Wow! For what?

N: It was for Halloween. I decided to be a ballerina. So I made one and then ran through the woods with my friends.

J: Were you the only one wearing a tutu?

N: Oh definitely, yes. Just me.

J: And maybe that’s some of the allure of the running skirt, too. Sure anyone can wear shorts, men, women, boys, girls. But it takes a certain kind of person to wear a running skirt.

N: What kind of person is that? I think there’s a demographic of people who want to be a little more covered up. And not be just in like straight up spandex short shorts.

J: True.

N: But then beyond that. Beyond that- what is the appeal? I guess you could feel really feminine while you’re running in a skirt. And I’m like no – I don’t want to.

J: Yeah that’s true. I think that’s part of it. I feel like yeah, running usually involves hocking loogies or maybe pooping in the woods. and I guess it can be hard to equate that with femininity. But it can be! And maybe that’s part of why people like them, to put together two parts of themselves that are usually seen as separate. Feminine and athletic.

N: Yeah I think for a while when my friends would put makeup on to race, I’d be like, what are you doing. I disapprove. But not that much. And now I think, you know what, people can do that and that’s cool. It’s like you get to step into a race persona.

J: Yeah! That’s the thing. It’s like the running skirt is a persona! Regardless of whether it’s for the purpose of a race–and granted I don’t see a lot of people doing that. But for an easy day, maybe it’s like–I want to be able to get into a different persona? Or embrace a different part of my persona that’s already there. I don’t know.

N: It isn’t necessarily just racing, like work out day, too. And also going out in public afterward, and you’re all gross and you can’t change, could be nice to cover up with a running skirt.

J: Yeah. I wonder if anyone has ever raced a pretty fast time in a running skirt. Definitely something I should research.

N: Except for the fact that there’s no “ran 2:50 in a running skirt” asterisk in race results.

J: True. You’re right, there’s no way we’d ever know. We’d have to get on some of that Derek Murphy internet detective shit, where he cross references pictures from the race and stuff.

N: I guess you could find finish line footage from Chicago or Boston and watch until you saw someone cross in a running skirt and see what their time was.

J: I could. Maybe I will. Would you ever consider racing in running skirt, personally?

N: I think I would consider it. I don’t know if I would actually do it. I’d have to be like either really killing it at running for a while, or just be like: uhh, this is basically my last race ever. It’s interesting though, I just keep coming back to thinking, being in a running skirt just doesn’t feel like or seem like you’re tough. And that’s so stupid.

J: Yeah. That is stupid! I don’t think it should be that way. That’s why, part of me thinks I really want to race in a running skirt. But I also wonder if it’s just that the only reason I want to race in a running skirt is to be able to say: I raced in a running skirt. Which seems backwards.

N: Yeah. Maybe if it was a running skirt that you really liked and you would wear it anyway, like if it was a cool material. And you liked that look and you would wear it running or not running. That might be the answer.

J: Yeah I’ll have to think about it.

N: What color is your running skirt?

J: It’s navy blue! and I was also just checking around for a pocket to put this half of a dollar bill in and unfortunately, I don’t think this skirt has a pocket. Which really makes me think it’s not a running skirt at all and instead is probably for tennis.
When we hung up a while later because my phone’s deformed battery was on the verge of dying, whether or not my skirt was intended for running or for tennis, I was happy to be wearing it. I’ll be the first to admit that I at times have enjoyed doing something different just for the sake of being different. But, with running skirts, it’s about bucking the trend in a larger way. It’s about defying expectations of what it means to wear a running skirt, and doing my best to free this pigeon-holed item of clothing from the category of only being meant for not quite super competitive or maybe not even serious runners. Free the Running Skirt.

April 6, 2017

The Origin Story of Gail Devers’ Nails

She was not born by natural means, rather she emerged from the brackish waters of the Puget Sound in 1966. This is the story of Gail Devers’ nails.

April 6, 2017

♫ Release your inhibitions, run with jeans on your skin ♫

Take a walk in my shoes.

My shoes are beat-to-shit HOKA Clifton 2s, and they are taking you down the steps of the Nostrand Avenue stop for the A and C trains in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. In my shoes you walk hurriedly, finding a spot to stand and wait, slightly concealed behind a supportive beam. My shoes are standing in a puddle of what might be piss, but you don’t care. They don’t care. It’s better than being seen.

Because atop my shoes, and around your legs, is a pair of slim-fitting, reasonably fashionable (in almost any other scenario) black jeans. What covers your torso is irrelevant. Because as you board the crowded train toward the Hoyt-Schermerhorn stop, earbuds blaring something you’re not even paying attention to, your eyes are glued down at what’s going on at the confluence of foot and leg.

Deep down, you know you’re just being practical. That you’re even being considerate by not bringing a bulky backpack with a change of running clothes on the subway. But you also know that nobody else knows this, and since you are in my shoes, you live life in a state of perpetual self-consciousness. The fact that when you get to your buddy’s place in Greenpoint, you’ll shake off your jeans to reveal a modestly-cut pair of running shorts, then head out the door for a perfectly reasonable jog, means nothing to you right now.

You survive the five or so minutes (you got lucky and at least caught the express train) until you transfer over to the G. Then you have a another 20 minute ride in a car full of teens who might—but almost definitely won’t—make fun of my shoes (which you’re wearing, remember), and by extension, you.

Are you a bit of a narcissist in assuming that your not-that-weird-especially-in-this-city look is worthy of being mocked by the cruel masses? Absolutely. But your feelings are no less valid for your character flaw. And need I remind you, you are wearing extremely tattered and filthy, jogging shoes, ample in cushioning, along with the jeans you wore to work (at that point still paired with Vans or something cooler)?

You get off at the Manhattan Avenue stop having avoided any run-ins with hecklers, and walk up the steps to street level. My shoes feel good on your feet as you walk in them, so good in fact, that they hasten their pace. You’re jogging now. You don’t have far to go to your pal’s apartment. So you pick it up even more, in full flight in your be-jeaned splendor. And you cease to care.

Maybe the precious minutes saved by social-commute-jogging will enable you and your buddy to catch the last bit of happy hour or secure a half-priced burrito after your run. Or maybe it’s less tangible than that. Maybe for a moment you are free. Just a grown ass man running in jeans in a neighborhood where presentation matters. That’s liberating.

And while my shoes know (and probably hope) that you won’t be wearing them every time you leave the house. They’re ready to be taken for a spin when you’re ready to lean into your inner-schlub and favor function over form for a change.

April 6, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field (Part II)

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits.

April 5, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits.

April 4, 2017

The Rupp Mask: a look at running’s doofiest accessory and what it signifies

The Rupp Mask: something to mock, or a source of doubt, causing us all to call into question just how committed we are to the sport we supposedly love?

April 4, 2017

We’re celebrating Running Fashion Week

Fashion and style aren’t normally associated with running or track and field, but we’re here to finally tackle these intersections for running fashion week.

April 3, 2017

Debajo Dos: The wheels are falling off for Paul

This was a rough week of training for our own Paul Snyder, who continues his quest to break the 800 meter world record in his Debajo Dos attempt.

April 3, 2017

The epic, sad conclusion to the 2017 Barkley Marathons

Inside the epic and sad conclusion to the 2017 Barkley Marathons. John Kelly becomes the 15th finisher. Gary Robbins misses the cut-off by six seconds.

April 3, 2017

How to process Allie Ostrander’s steeplechase debut

Should we get excited over Allie Ostrander’s steeplechase debut or can she already be labeled the next Emma Coburn?

April 3, 2017

Record-setting and stunning performances in Prague, Austin, Kingston, Stanford and more

All the action from a record-setting weekend at the Prague Half and Texas Relays, Fast times and personal bests at Champs, Florida Relays & Stanford Invite.

April 3, 2017

What are the takeaways from today’s doping news? Citius Mag unpacks it for you.

The latest doping news out of Germany alleges the IOC and WADA were complicit in ignoring potential PED use by Jamaica’s male sprinters in Beijing.

April 2, 2017

PHOTOS: Stanford Invitational 2017 by Justin Britton

70 degrees, sunshine and fast times, the 2017 outdoor season is getting into full swing and yet again the Stanford Invite did not disappoint.

There were some upsets, some World Championship qualifying marks and a piñata full of PR’s that lots of people were able to take advantage of.

To be frank, I didn’t stay for the entire meet, but I was there during prime time photography hour at sunset and here’s a collection of images that I captured during my time at the meet. Look for more galleries to come this outdoor season from out photo crew!

April 1, 2017

Field events: we did not forget about them, and three in particular will be very good this year

If you enjoy humans hefting spheres, vaulting over bars, and leaping over similar bars, then boy do we have some good news for you!

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