Imagine if these Strava partner challenges were real?
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College football isn’t its usual spectacle this year, and it maybe it shouldn’t be held at all, but it goes on. So does as much of its tradition as possible, including rivalry games. Some have great names: The Holy War (BYU vs Utah), The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (Florida vs Georgia), The Backyard Brawl (Pittsburgh vs West Virginia), Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate (Georgia vs Georgia Tech), Bedlam (Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State), and my personal favorite, The Soul Bowl (Alcorn State vs Jackson State). Some have underwhelming names; The Battle of I-75 sounds more like a terrible commute than intense athletic competition. I’m here to fix that.
On Wednesday, November 4, the Bowling Green – Toledo rivalry will be renewed with its 85th football game. To celebrate this I will run from Doyt Perry Stadium, the home of the BG Falcons, to the Glass Bowl, the home of the UT Rockets. The course is 26.2 miles and the run will be known as The Marathon Of Hate.
If you’re a runner you won’t ask why I’m running 26.2 miles. You know there isn’t any particularly good reason other than that I want to. But why am I so invested in this rivalry? Now that’s a much better question.
First of all, BG versus Toledo is one of the best college sports rivalries in America, and possibly the best among the so-called “mid-major” universities. Ken Rappoport and Barry Wilner’s Football Feuds: The Greatest College Football Rivalries lists it as the #25 college football rivalry. Amazingly enough, the 84 games played over 100 years have resulted in 40 wins for BG, 40 for Toledo, and 4 ties. Last year the Falcons were 27-point underdogs but somehow broke a 9-year losing streak and pulled off the win.
More importantly, I competed for Bowling Green in six dual meets against Toledo, three in cross country and three in outdoor track. While my efforts never impacted the final score, we never lost in any of those six meets.
I now live and work in near the University of Toledo, which is also where I grew up. My parents and eldest brother are UT graduates, while I and my other brother earned our degrees at BGSU. I am the PA announcer for all home track and cross country meets at both universities. In short, the rivalry has always been a big part of my personal and professional life.
It used to be. More on that later. These days it’s simmered down quite a bit. Part of that is because it’s overshadowed by the more intense Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, which is somewhat evenly split in northwest Ohio.
Another reason it’s not so antagonistic any more is because of the post-WWII expansion of the educated middle class, where many workplaces are composed almost entirely of college graduates. For example, I’m a high school teacher and obviously all of our teaching and administrative staff have degrees, and most of us earned them at either Bowling Green or Toledo. That’s the norm in this area for the kind of mid-level professionals that G5 universities churn out by the thousand: teachers, nurses, office drones, and the like. So while you can have fun with the rivalry, you still have to remain civil.
So why call it “hate”? It’s partly meant in jest, but a better explanation comes from Bill Simmons. Eleven years ago, when he was a blogger for ESPN, he coined the term sports hate. He used it to describe individuals rather than teams, but the idea translates perfectly to college rivalries.
If you’re not familiar with the term, “sports hate” is an underrated part of fandom. Everyone has guys they don’t like, and more importantly, guys they enjoy not liking. The reasons are unique to us. There doesn’t have to be anything rational about it. Sports hate can be triggered by one incident, one slight, one game gone wrong, anything.
If you read my basketball book, you might remember me making roughly 500 jokes about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He was my least favorite athlete of all time. I loved rooting against him. Everything he did bothered me: every expression, his goggles, the way officials constantly bailed him out, even the monotony of his skyhook — and his Lakers uniform made me sports-hate him even more. When he announced his battle with leukemia this week, you know what happened? I felt terrible for him and hoped he would recover soon. I may have disliked him as a player, but still, my life as a sports fan was always more interesting with Kareem in it. Again, there’s a difference between real hate and sports hate.
Everyone involved knows there’s no real hate in this rivalry, but we all also know winning it can make or break a whole season. Paraphrasing Simmons, our lives as sports fans are more interesting with our rivals as a thorn in our sides.
This is a bigger football rivalry than you realize. BG won the 1959 college division national championship, led by Bernie Casey, future NFL All-Pro and star of such films as Brian’s Song and I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. From 1968 to 1970 Toledo won 35 consecutive games, led by quarterback Chuck Ealey, a future CFL championship MVP. Coaches who have been involved include Bo Schembechler, Urban Meyer, both Jim and John Harbaugh, and Nick Saban.
There is so much more to this rivalry than football. The first athletic clash between the two universities was in a basketball game on January 27, 1915. The teams have virtually always gone head-to-head in every varsity sport offered by both universities. The last before both campuses shut down in March was a women’s swimming & diving dual on February 8.
Still, football and men’s basketball get the lion’s share of attention. In 1924 Bowling Green officials accused Toledo of having a ringer on their football squad in captain Gilbert Stick since he also played for a local semi-pro team, but conference rules (the long-defunct Northwest Ohio Intercollegiate Athletic Association) did not bar such arrangements and the protest was overruled. In 1934 an on-field brawl after Toledo’s 63-0 drubbing led the two universities to sever athletic ties for fourteen years.
The rivalry returned in 1948, first on the basketball court. A traveling trophy, rare in basketball, was introduced: a peace pipe. Representatives from the two universities ceremonially smoked it at halftime. On the football field the peace didn’t last; the 1951 game was marred by dirty play and concluded with a seven-minute melee including both squads and about a hundred fans, and Toledo coach Don Greenwood resigned the following day.
Records seem to be hazy on exactly when, but the peace pipe was stolen from Toledo athletic offices sometime in the 1970s (of course a pipe went missing in the 70s). In 1980 a miniature replica was placed atop a traveling trophy for the football rivalry, which was retired in 2011 as part of the NCAA’s move away from inappropriate Native American symbols.
And that leads us to the current Battle of I-75 trophy, a bland and boring knicknack sponsored by a local Kia dealership. Yuck. No, it needs to be known as the MARATHON OF HATE!
26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers, from one stadium to the other. Starting in Bowling Green it parallels I-75 and traverses flat farmland, a reconstructed War of 1812 fort, the Maumee River, and suburban and urban landscapes before arriving at the University of Toledo. An interactive map is available here.
There will be more about this event in coming weeks, including a podcast or two. Stayed tuned, true believers!
Johnny Gregorek’s blue jeans mile has the potential to mix things up, provide a great spectating experience and raise money for a good cause.
Johnny Gregorek will attempt to break Dillon Maggard’s 4:11.80 world record for the blue jeans mile on May 30.
Amid the advancement of jeans technology, CITIUS MAG has set new rules on cotton and denim percentage for blue jeans mile competition.
The unofficial betting guide to the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.
With this pounding, authoritative soundtrack, we now have enough Lizzo music to fill out a full training cycle.
Ryan Sterner has decided to run a marathon. Paul Snyder has decided to join him in this journey. Let’s dive into their training.
It was brought to our attention that a woman has been running around the world drawing male genitalia with her GPS recordings of her runs. We shared some of her best work on our Instagram page and because of everyone’s reactions in the comments section, we reached out for more information on this legend. After a quick trip into the DMs, we got in touch with Dick_Run_Claire – a self described “Beer enthusiast w/ a dick running prob”. Please enjoy this short Q&A with the viral star.
First off, why?
Claire: Well… why not. It makes people laugh, which I love. Everyone needs a little levity in their day. Before I started posting my runs to the ‘gram, I would just send them to friends.
How did this idea come about?
So, it actually started out as an accident. I was visiting my brother in Kansas City – the Missouri side to be specific – and we’re originally from New Jersey so I got lost while out on a run. When I got back and saw the GPS tracker route, I thought it was so funny. After that, I don’t know, I guess I have the mentality of a middle school kid, because I love looking for dickrun routes.
How much preparation goes into your dick routes? Do you know all of them by heart?
I’ve become quite skilled in spotting a dick on a map – it’s a very unique skill. I travel throughout the U.S. (for work and for fun) and anytimethat I’m in a new city, I really make it a point to get out for a dickrun. I love running in a new place anyway, a run is the best way to get to know a city… and to be able draw a giant dick across a town… it’s just icing on the cake.
I don’t know all of my dickruns by heart – especially the more detailed ones, like the ones with hands especially – but definitely once I have run the route once, I can repeat it pretty easily. The first time doing a dickrun route is tough because you are basically looking at your phone the whole time, making sure you turn at the right streets. The worst is when I get caught up in a run, miss a turn, and ruin the drawing. Then I have to go back and do it again later.
Sometimes I look at a map and it just feels like someone on the “town planning committee” had some kind of Freudian issue because they definitely intentionally made a dick out of the roads. A disturbing amount of the time they’re near schools. Someone should really look into that, honestly.
But sometimes it just takes patience, a keen eye and a little creativity to find the road dick in a town.
Is it hard?
Sometimes 😉 I mean, I’ve tackled all kinds of dickruns…. short and mostly down, long with lots of ascent, sometimes it’s mostly about the balls. It really depends.
What’s the longest run/drawing that you’ve put together?
I think my longest dickrun was in Vermont. I was there with family/friends for a ski weekend and I was also training for a marathon so I needed some decent mileage. That one was 14 miles. And it was actually drawn really well, almost 3D like.
My favorite ones aren’t always the longest though (pun intended). I actually love the ones that have some kind of unique detail – like one I did that had super detailed crinkly balls.
What do your friends and family think of this?
Everyone except my dad thinks I’m hilarious. I even told him that the internet basically voted and they think I’m funny, but he thinks his vote counts more. I try to get everyone I know to go on dickruns with me, but oddly enough only a handful take me up on it.
In the movie Superbad, Jonah Hill’s character says: “”When I was a little kid, I kinda had this problem, and it’s not even that big of a deal. Something like 8% of kids do it, but whatever. It’s–for some reason, I would just kinda sit around all day…and draw pictures of….”” Do you think you fall into that 8%?
When I was a kid, no. But now that I’m an adult with a job, responsibilities and limited free time, I manage to spend an inordinate amount of my day scrolling around google maps drawing road dicks. I have so many I’ve mapped out but not yet gotten to run.
Do you have an ultimate dick run in mind? One route/location that you could retire on?
Well Bangkok would be a cool location for a dickrun just because there’s so much you can do with that. Anywhere with a good name to make some dick puns is a good location. I’m a sucker for dad jokes. But right now, I’m just trying to dickrun all 50 U.S. states.
The coolest thing though would be to organize an official dickrun 5k race. I feel like people could really get creative and into that. Plus coming up with a race medal would be so fun.
I tweeted ‘If this gets 2,000 RTs I’ll write a post entitled “The 10 Alice In Chains Tracks Every High School Harrier NEEDS On Their Pre-Meet Playlist’ and it didn’t hit but I wrote it anyway.
We at CITIUS have written an exclusive excerpt from The Sisyphean Climb, a much-anticipated follow-up to Again to Carthage.
As he crosses the finish line, he does the classic hand clap and fist pump. That’s a great celebration because it shows that you’re happy. Sometimes people finish the race and don’t feel happy. Maybe they didn’t run well and they don’t do the hand clap. The hand clap is nice because it shows that Eliud is impressed with his performance – as he should be.
This song makes every sports moment better pic.twitter.com/PeialX6IAU
— CITIUS MAG (@CitiusMag) September 16, 2018
The return of our hit series. We round up the best cross country headshots and portraits and roast them just a little.
What happens when you cite someone in an article about CITIUS MAG following you on Instagram? Dakota Jones found out.
An interned decided that Eric Senseman was worth following on Instagram and it led to a crazy chain of events for one of our favorite ultrarunners.
Sitting down and watching Cars 3 while nursing an Achilles injury might be worse than the actual injury. Here’s a cautionary tale.
Inspired by Gwen Jorgensen’s customized pair of Nike Vaporfly 4% spikes, one Citwit decided to get creative with his own pair of spikes.
Ryan Sterner was faced with a bet that he couldn’t break 60 seconds for 400 meters with little to no training. The inside story of how he did it.
Today has been full of mistakes. My first day on a press trip, and I’ve completely, totally, utterly dropped the ball.
I’m currently on-assignment covering the Western States Endurance Run. I cannot emphasize enough the poor job I’ve done.
Today was a day where the elite athletes were all meandering around the Village at Squaw Valley – totally accessible to media, and I failed to gather one goddamn interview. It would have been great to have sat down for a few minutes with Courtney Dauwalter (complete badass, overall winner of the 2017 Moab 240-MILER-WTF[!]), or Jim Walmsley (0-2 at Western States, but we all want him to finish this year). But I didn’t. I failed to gather one soundbite, one photo.
Instead, I went for a run along the Truckee River. It was beautiful, but I should have been contacting athletes for interviews.
Then, I ate a robust bowl of oatmeal on the back porch of the cabin I was staying at. The cabin is about a mile from the Village at Squaw Valley. I should have been heading over to the Village to find the athletes I had contacted a few hours earlier.
After my oatmeal, I sat around the cabin. Did some small talk. Nothing productive. It was during this time of nothingness where my appetite began to build. I should have sucked it up and gone to the Village to find some athletes, but, as I’m sure you can now tell, I didn’t. I drove 15 miles to Tahoe City (past Squaw Valley) to find a salad and an iced coffee. Cognitive dissonance. It’s beautiful.
Once 2:00 PM rolled around, I now thought it was the right time to go find some athletes. The sun was in full force, and obviously these athletes would be walking around the ski area, soaking up the sun the day before they race 100 miles through the California mountains and canyons.
I didn’t find a single athlete. I did find a delicious chocolate chip cookie, though.
Truth be told, my day wasn’t a total failure. I tagged along with my girlfriend to the Salomon crew house so she could see Lucy Bartholomew before she raced. While they went over her race plan, I waited in the den and watched as a French man and a Swedish man worked in tandem to prepare for tomorrow’s race.
The Swede, Johan Steene, will be lining up at 5:00 AM tomorrow morning to take on the burden of Western States. Hearing him talk about eating baby food at mile 65 was the closest thing I came to any sort of professional journalism today. As it turns out, nutrition – second only to having legs – is the most important part of completing Western States.
“I bought these today,” Johan said about the baby food. “It seems like it will be good.”
Apparently Johan hadn’t ever experimented with the baby food before planning to use it during one of the premier ultramarathons in the world. Seems fairly non-traditional for a Swede to do something without proper calculations, but Johan, my new favorite runner, seemed sure of himself.
And so, that’s all I have to report from the day before Western States: as long as you’re confident, you should be fine.
The story behind French Bread Friday is not exactly what you thought it would be. Nicole Bush and Shelby Houlihan got to the bottom of it.
Eugene, Oregon. Better known to some of you nerds as TRACKTOWN USA. Home to Hayward Field. Birthplace of Nike. Where Steve Prefontaine won a couple of races and where we first met Galen Rupp’s insane face mask. Yes, TRACKTOWN USA has a rich history and after this weekend you can add another little notch to its already impressive timeline:
May 2018 – a few idiot bloggers sneezed around the city streets for two whole days in an attempt to bring sub-par content to
the masses you people.
That’s right nerds, Scott Olberding, Stephen Kersh, and I will be in TRACKTOWN USA for the 2018 edition of The Pre Classic. Based on our preliminary editorial calls, here is a small list of things you can expect from us: memes; motion-sickness-inducing live video updates; probably some charts; you bet your ass a blog or two; a lot of shouting; some behind the scenes footage of ATHLETES, and our ongoing attempts to answer the age old question of “professional athletes, are they really just like us?” The answer is of course not, they’re better and also far more bizarre than any of us could even conceive.
Anyway, in order to round this blog out to a serviceable word count, here are some thoughts ahead of this weekend from the blog boys and chief blog boy Chris Chavez.
“Much like Steve Prefontaine is considered the most influential and inspiring runner of his era, I believe that Ryan, Scott and Stephen are the most influential writers in the track and field blogosphere at the moment.”
“One of the funniest things I’ve ever heard happened when I was on a bus en route to Eugene. I was traveling to Eugene from Portland for a college cross country meet. Our coach wasn’t really speaking and didn’t seem too happy, so the women’s coach leaned over and asked him if anything was bothering him.
‘Of course something is bothering me, I’m heading to fucking Eugene.’
And, so, as I write these words while waiting for my flight to Eugene, I cannot help but feel the exact same way. It’s a curious place. But not curious in the fun, interesting way. More curious in the what-the-fuck-happens-here-when-the-students-leave kind of way. I would answer mostly skullduggery and general malfeasance.
This all being said, I am excited to attend Pre Classic with my fellow Blog Boys. They’re nice to me and we always have a fun time together. As far as entries go, they’re all good. This is a Diamond League meet. Do you know what a diamond is? It’s precious. It’s a precious fucking stone. These are all precious entries and the races will be great.
This all being said, I hate Eugene.”
“I’m looking forward to the closing ceremony where we get to fire a every article with a byline including ‘Historic Hayward Field’ into space. This is the last Pre Classic at that stadium before it gets its big remodel.
Also, the entries. They are all certifiably nice. Personally, I hope we get a new coronation of new US Spring Gods in Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman. How fun are those guys?
I’m also looking forward to jogging with the hung-over fans on Pre’s Trail at approximately 9:30am on Saturday. Speaking of which, I will be very much looking forward to trying to coerce Stephen to walk to the Wild Duck at 9 p.m. on Friday night.”
“Stephen and Scott have only terrible things to say about Eugene.
The first and last time I was in Eugene was for the 2012 Olympic Trials. I was 22. Most of my downtime was spent sleeping on a slowly deflating air mattress in the corner of someone’s living room. I ate pop tarts and coffee for lunch. I drank my dinner. Despite all of this, I had a great time.
I am 28 now. If I tried to live like that again, I’d walk away from Eugene with a herniated disc while feeling nothing but ill will for the place.
This weekend, however, I plan on maintaining a high fiber diet and sleeping on a real mattress, which I hope to settle in to no later than 9 pm every night. I also plan on talking exclusively about the pollen count.
What about the races? Sure, I bet they’ll be great.”
Watch CITIUS MAG’s first-ever mini-documentary on Zach Prescott, the Boston University runner who ran a 4:43.2 mile while juggling three balls.
7:00 AM – Ah! At last! Sunday. Our day of truest worship. The day that, many moons ago, our great leader decreed: “Ye shall run Long once a week and ye shall wait until the finalest day to do doth deed. Also, if ye run Long whilst enrolled in Academia, ye shall be hungest over.”
While my body is slowly waking up, my spirit lags behind. My corporeal existence craves its most basic needs: banana, peanut butter, coffee, and toilet.
7:30 AM – The service has officially begun! The foam roller has been placed on my molding yoga mat and I begin my elaborate, practiced routine of pretending to roll out calves, quads, and back.
I mainly just look at my phone.
7:45 AM – I grab my holy Maurten water bottle and a host of essential energy bars for the post-Church of the Sunday Long Run protein window before heading to my car to pick up fellow worshippers.
We listen to Chance the Rapper’s ‘Blessings’ for our short drive to the trailhead. We are – indeed – staying ready for our blessing.
7:56 AM – I begin to sync my Garmin, readying it for the hill and dale that lie ahead.
8:01 AM – THIS GOD DAMN THING WON’T SYNC
8:04 AM – Myself and six other disciples of the Church of the Sunday Long Run take our first steps towards salvation.
8:10 AM – Seeds of initial mistrust have been sewn in the group as Lucas has told us he plans on running 70 minutes.
70 minutes is no long run.
8:17 AM – Lucas’ fall from grace has been all but forgotten as Skylar begins to break the covenant with a sub 7-minute mile far too early in the service.
I cannot help but believe I am surrounded by wolves in sheep’s clothing.
8:25 AM – Sweet respite as we pause to toilet ourselves.
8:35 AM – It is usually around this part of the service where I unleash a demonic oath to never attend another gathering while denouncing this religion in whole. But, for whatever reason, today I was struck by epiphany.
“My friends. What if we honored Sunday as a day of rest?”
“But Sundays are not for rest.”
“But they could be.”
“No. No they could not be. Our great leader decreed it so.”
“What if he was wrong?”
I fear I have paved my path to martyrdom.
8:37 AM – My epiphany fails to create any sort of constructive discourse amongst my fellow disciples, instead they try their best to drop me from the group by increasing the pace.
I take each blow with grace, not speaking but answering with a surge of energy. I refuse for my heresy to die an easy death.
8:39 AM – Lucas turns and leaves the group.
There is no question in my mind our leader will smite the very earth he runs back to his car. We will never see Lucas again.
8:45 AM – I find Lucas’ decision to not run a true long run today, on our day of worship, particularly troubling. Not only for himself and his soul, but for myself and my epiphany.
Lucas’ actions, albeit vile, might give credence to my thoughts of conducting our weekly service on, for example, Saturday.
9:15 AM – After spending the last 30 minutes in deep thought, invoking our deepest beliefs, I speak:
“Next Saturday, I will be conducting my worship at the Church of the Saturday Long Run. You are all welcome to join, as is anyone from any other creed. I will be reaching out to our friends at the Church of the Saturday is an Off Day, at the Church of Friday is Speed Day, and, of course, our fellow believers at the Church of the Vaporfly 4%.”
“You can’t do that. That is illegal.”
“There is no way that is illegal.”
“I promise you I will call the police on you.”
Skylar is an idiot.
9:45 AM – I have decided to abscond the Church of the Sunday Long Run with a great hope to form the Church of the Long Run. A place where all distances can be run on all days without judgement, nor malice. We will not tack our existence to one day in the week, rather will find peace in our body of work throughout the week.
I deeply hope Lucas is alive. Lucas clearly understands. Lucas will be my first disciple.
Noticed a trend over the weekend while listening to “Burning Down the House” by the Talking Heads that all three of these things could be interchangeable.
My friend is trying some new Biohacking treatment where he ices his testicles in order to be a better runner. The reviews for the product are strange.
CITIUS MAG fan Ian Anderson tweeted and emailed us about a Boston University’s Zach Prescott running a 4:43 mile while juggling three objects
I did some research on how to identify a cult in the U.S. and I think by becoming a Strava member, I’m part of a fitness cult now.
This is not your typical recap of the Boston Marathon. Rather this is a collection of thoughts and reactions, as summarized by GIFs.
We take a look at all of the special edition shoes released by New Balance, Saucony, Altra, Brooks, Adidas and more for the 2018 Boston Marathon.
Our first beer review of Boston Marathon weekend goes to Start Line Brewing. Watch as Citius Mag founder Chris Chavez drinks his first beer.
the 2018 Boston Marathon will be showing some love to an oft-forgotten, nary celebrated sub-section of runners: the age grouper. Through funding from adidas and The Woolmark Company, the top-20 in 13 age group categories will be earning long-sleeve Merino wool shirts.
“Bad Boys For Life: The Story of Alberto And Diddy.” The film will follow Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and his effort to run the 2003 ING New York City Marathon.
People treat their respective water bottles to varying degrees of care and compassion to downright abuse. We break it down.
Because Berlinger is halting production of urine bottles for anti-doping tests, we’ve decided to come up with suggestions on things to replace them.
Examining objectively good track and field events, as well as their accompanying TV show counterparts like The Wire and Arrested Development.
I’m a huge idiot. I’ve never ran a marathon. I’ve never used a GU. I don’t even know what they are. So I reached out to some ‘experts’ about energy gels.
It’s international women’s day, so it’s time to recognize the hurdles overcome, and celebrate the women that are continuing to blaze a path forward.
“Icarus,” the 2018 Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary Feature, has been stripped of its award and been issued a four-year ban.