4/30/09

What would you do for a poster?

"Running gives me confidence." STEVE PREFONTAINE

So...the gods are calling and Mr. Ryan Hall is still loved my Pean.

During the Boston Marathon expo, Ryan Hall was signing autographs at the Asic station. There I met another runner and we swapped taking pictures for each other. But most importantly, I got his signature on a poster with two other pictures. ( Which he signed his name along with the bible note of John 10:10)

Anyways, what I didn't tell you was that I got another poster for Pean. Pean LOVES Ryan Hall...yes, if it was up to her, she would marry him in a heart beat...where the person in front of me asked for two signed posters, so I got Pean a signed poster because well, she loves him so much! And when he asked me who to sign it for, well, I just said Peanut...

Ryan Hall looked at me funny and I had to explain the whole ordeal that she loved him, more than she loves me! Which is probably true on all levels.

Anyways, so she came over to retrieve some items last night, with the poster and well...I think she truly enjoyed that factor...

On the other note, day number 3 for Jury Duty...what will happen today...

All I know is that I will be lucky to get some lunch before the actual court cases begins....I truly doubt it, due to the fact of going from job meeting straight to Jury Duty...


Ok, so I leave Jury Duty early today because we were dismissed early. I walk close to this guy and I hear him say, "F-U asshole"

in which I reply to him, saying: "are you talking to me?"

I ask him again because there was no reply to the guy and I ask him, "are you talking to me?"

He turns my way and says to me in a very attitudish way, "No! I'm talking on the phone here!"

I was like in my head, "ok ass, how was I suppose to know that you were talking on your phone, REALLY AN EAR PIECE! which you really are talking to the air and all around you..."

Gosh the decency of some people, he made it seem like it was my fault and he was the one at fault for talking in mid sentence to everyone around me? What the F...and then when we parted ways...get this...

He stated directing towards me, "not all things are about you...you know!"

I was like...yeah sure asshole...whatever dude, you are the ass at fault here. I wanted to punch him right then and there, although from my teachings in LAW now, I will be at fault for assault and acting consciously about the intent of punching the guy...

Uh! too much learned during Jury Duty...yup! I'm intrigued!

4/29/09

Screamin Kids!

"Running should be a lifelong activity. Approach it patiently and intelligently, and it will reward you for a long, long time." MICHAEL SARGENT

So lunch hour this week for the next 4 weeks due to Jury Duty are down in Chinatown. Which is great because I can spend time outside and enjoy the nice weather. After spending time last night with GW, we tried to finish up the marathon training schedule for the Flyers. This needs to be in production real soon because of printing and design uses...

But, back to lunch hour before my jury duty. You can hear all these young screaming kids around as they sprint up and down as they are in a relay team...many slippages on the turf, screaming their heads off as they cheer on their colored teams...

BLUE vs WHITE... Boys vs boys and gals vs gals...

Boy, do I remember those days where you had summer camp or gym and just competing... running... sprinting...

On the other note, my co worker and I were discussing other job opportunities if we were to switch jobs...hypothetically speaking...he showed me his dog clinic which he leaves his dog at... WOW! Dog walker...wow...even better, dog runner...and look at that pay! What a turnaround...hmm...maybe I should reconsider this option?

Ok...on to jury duty...what cases will we get today?

4/28/09

Marathon Training Program

"Play not only keeps us young but also maintains our perspective about the relative seriousness of things. Running is play, for even if we try hard to do well at it, it is a relief from everyday cares." JIM FIXX

Ok, upon return from this weekend, GW and I parted our ways on Sunday after a long hard weekend together in Annapolis, MD.

So, today after the first case that was presented to us in jury duty...it was an interesting experience and I think many of the jurors were a little too anxious because we were over speculating everything...although, it's a 4 week duty, which you are in a room for 3 hours with 23 other people...you practically have to get to know these people and treat them like they are your co-workers...which isn't so bad in a whole lot of cases because I like to meet new people anyways...PP told me that one of her friends experiences (I think it was MK's experiences) that her juror's went out for beers and hang out and eat dinner together...which is a pertty cool experience. Anyways, I looked at the jury pool in my section and there is a pertty cool outlook of people who were selected...so no harm no foul...

So we got out later than expected and I made my way up to GW's place to endure a long night of making our marathon training program the best we can make...while also incorporating the NYRR race schedule as well.. It was nice of GW to cook dinner of pasta as we worked to get everything done and established.

As I got out of his place at 10pm, we were half way done at least...almost complete, but very productive! Running? Nope not tonight, the fast boys kicked my butt last night...

4/27/09

Quick Crew...

"Keep varying the program. Your body will tell you what to do." JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON

Ok, so back to running after a tired weekend in Annapolis, MD. We (GW and I and other people from the class) ran on Saturday after the class and around the Navy Yards...anyways, the long ride home from MD was somewhat exhausting, but really I needed a run.

So there were many major players that showed up. The usual: DL and CD...and another speedster the Lam. Surprised to see the Lam due to the fact that I knew he was doing the NJ half marathon and him just doing a 3:02 in Boston.

Anyways, large crew that showed up, as we started our regular adventure. We headed out to the West Side...and DL and I sprinted across ahead of the group...so we got a head start on the piers...CD and The Lam caught up afterwards as we basically left them to catch up...we leave no weakness to the faster runners as we know that we are quite capable of catching up...are we? No I think we are just really mean!

Anyways, we were really steamrolling the course and pace as DL mainly lead the way, and we occasionally tool lead here and there...we were a fast pack group and we trained together which felt really good to run with all of the fast consistant guys.

I ended up splitting in the end, due to the other guys following DL as he road the West side Highway back and as I did my usual piers...after that though I was exhausted, but felt as though I needed to keep pace.

Very exhausting, very nice pace...wheew! What a workout!

4/23/09

Posted: North County News - My story...

"When you run, you log on to yourself. You flip through the pages of your being." KEVIN NELSON, The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration

Somers native runs (and runs) for a cure
Brian Hsia, a Somers High School graduate, has been raising money for Alzheimer’s disease research by running marathons.
By Art Cusano

Most people go through life never running one marathon, but Brian Hsia has run 14 in less than three years.

The Somers native, who was a sprinter at Somers High School, completed the Boston Marathon on Monday, finishing the race in three hours and 12 minutes.

“I’m a little sore,” Hsia said the day after the race.While Hsia, an architect with Gruzen-Samton who now lives in the Manhattan, enjoys running, it isn’t the only reason he’s been punishing his body.

Hsia recently lost his grandfather, who had been caring for his wife, Hsia’s grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Boston was the fourth marathon he has run for the Alzheimer’s Association, and plans to run again for the charity in New York later this year.“It gets you through the tougher miles,” Hsia said.

Hsia said he and his teammates raised $1 million for the association, a huge success in this economic downturn.

“It’s just amazing to have that effect in such a strenuous economic year,” Hsia said.Hsia said the loss of his grandfather and the slow deterioration of his grandmother are driving him to push himself harder than ever.

“The death of my grandfather came as a shock to my family, and we were all so worried about the health of my grandmother,” Hsia said. “During the funeral, my grandmother had no reference or clue whose funeral she was attending. This disease is a horrible disease which I never want anyone else’s family to endure.”

While most runners stick to no more than two marathons a year, Hsia said he doesn’t believe in taking too much time off between races because it’s harder to get back into shape. His goal is to eventually run marathons in all 50 states, and already has 12 under his belt.

He’s run several different marathons, but his toughest challenge was the 2007 Chicago Marathon.

The veteran runner was among the thousands on hand when the temperature skyrocketed to over 90 degrees, causing race officials to call off the race before most participants crossed the finish line. He recalls seeing a bank clock reading 91 degrees around mile 20 and not believing his eyes.

“I said to myself, man they must have that really wrong,” Hsia said. “I didn’t believe it. I saw a guy on the floor shaking and holding his leg; it looked like a warzone.”Luckily, Hsia crossed the finish line before the race was called.

Hsia is also involved with the Alzheimer’s Association New York chapter’s Junior Committee, a group of under-40 individuals who raise money and volunteer for the association. In May, Hsia will run in the New Jersey Marathon and in October he will serve as a co-captain of the very first Alzheimer’s charity team in the New York Marathon after trying to get approved by the marathon for several years.

Anyone interested in running on Hsia’s team. You can also follow his running exploits on his blog http:www.crazyarchiasian.blogspot.com.

4/20/09

Boston Marathon - Race Day - Part I

"Running is ultimately a personal experience. It is a revival of the spirit, a private oasis for the thirsty mind. Yet, its healing power only increases in the presence of others. Run together and the oasis grows cooler and more satisfying." AMBY BURFOOT

So race day has finally arrived, where this year really has not effected me much until last night where TJL was talking about her 5K race that she did this morning. All those twists and turns she had while naming all of her different streets and just getting very confuzed and anxious, but made me realize that race day was near. I couldn't believe it, but I was up here for a reason!

So wake up call was a 4:30am and yes, it's somewhat brutal, but really who sleeps well the night before a marathon. I woke up at around 1am, just so charged up and amped, but forced myself back to sleep.
I woke up, changed into my race day clothes which were all piled up and layed out for me: singlet, shorts, pants, t-shirt, jacket, socks, etc. All prepared. I left my SC's place at 5am and walked to the finishline to the Westin Hotel.

There along the way, I saw the TNT coach go by like he always does, which he does the reversale route and then back again during the race...he's an ultra runner though. Finally make it to Boyleston street and take a picture of the finish line as the sun pears out from the sky. It's going to be a great day!
As I head to the banquet hall, same as last year, only KC from California was there from the team. Then slowly as time went by, people started to show up...as we ate breakfast there. Lots of joking aroung, nerves were recoiled and everyone was very happy to see each other make it this far.

When it was time, we got onto the charter bus and VD sat next to me. Ok, usually that time is reserved for me to take a nap to Hopkington, although we talked for the entire way...so long for that nap!
This year, it seemed that we were in Hopkinton for such a short time. KC and I explored a little as I joked by putting an Adidas four leaf clover on my forehead...but all four leaves didn't show, so I scratched the temperary tattoo off...wheew! That would have been bad....I landed a spot on the bathroom line after touring around and finding fellow flyer, TB...

The portopotty lines were absolutely HORRIBLE! My gosh! It was absolutely horrendeous, where...I had to wait about 45 minutes to finally get there. By the time I was getting out of the portopotty line, I needed to book it to where my clothes was and change into my shoes...I was being rushed and I hate being rushed before races...anyways, JK was a good sport as he waited for me as he was antsy to get to the starting line. We quickly got all of our bags into the buses and started our ways down to the line, although taking some stops along the way. One I had forgotten to put vasiline on my nipples, so there was no bloody nipples that needs to be had that day. It was nice to have people on the side with some items that were needed for runners such as water and gatorade. Two, we stopped again at the portopotties as we had 10 minutes before the start of the marathon...we got through...barely making it to our seeded corral, but we were ready...

3-2-1....

BANG! The start was off and the start of the race was on. Just like last year, people were everywhere, flying through and going out quickly. We made it certain that we went out at a decent pace. We joked around, just chatted it up a little to get things loose as we were going out ok.

I took pictures here and there and we checked out times as we passed mile markers...
1, 2, 3. 4....This was going really well...

As we passed though many towns, we slapped kids hands and just had a great time. I didn't want runners in back of me to get annoyed, although I was having a great time. People were screaming both of our names as they would say, Go Brian Go Jason! After a while, I asked JK was it getting annoying? I also joked saying: dude? Are we married?

Haha! Anyways, along the way as well I go up to JK and ask him...dude, this is like a guy's wedding day...it's our day...seriously, I guess this is what a gal feels like on her special day, although we run marathons to run...all the time, all the training, and all the hype has come down to one specific day...

Marathon fear now gone for Goucher
Tue Apr 21, 2009 By Dave Ungrady / Universal Sports

Kara Goucher no longer fears the marathon.

After finishing third at her debut in the event in New York City last fall, Goucher said she felt as if she had died. Talking by phone early Monday evening minutes after the awards ceremony for the Boston Marathon ended, she relished how well she felt physically and mentally after a third place finish in the race.

“I wasn’t scared of the distance this time around,” she said. “Today I had a lot more left in me and finished the race feeling strong. I’ve been on my feet all day. I’m fine right now. In New York I was just surviving.”

In Boston, Goucher was thriving. She explained her effort as 20 miles of relaxed running and six miles of running hard.

“I felt great,” she said. “I knew I was going to finish strongly. The pain did not set in until I finished and my heart was totally broken. I just didn’t have it at the end.”

She felt so good that after the race that she told her coach, Alberto Salazar, that she wants to run the London Marathon on Sunday.

“She’s walking around comfortably while I watch a lot of people walking slowly down stairs and walking sideways,” Salazar said by phone from Boston. “She says she’s not tired at all. But she can’t do that.”

What she can do is reflect fondly on a strong effort despite giving up the lead in the last mile.

Goucher admitted the slow pace at the beginning was a surprise. “I was shocked at the slow start but after three miles I wasn’t going to look at the clock anymore,” she said. “I didn’t care about the time.”

She also wasn’t concerned when winner Salina Kosgie of Kenya and second place finisher Dire Tune of Ethiopia, the defending champion, started to pull away from Goucher with less than a mile to go. Tucked in tightly behind the two leaders, the American Goucher then realized the fight to the finish had begun, and she soon ripped the gloves off her hands and tossed them to the ground.

“They surged, but I kept thinking that I have something left and I’m gonna let them go,” she said. “It almost broke my will. But then I threw off the gloves and I told myself I’m in this still. In practice when I go to a sprint, I lose my gloves because it’s the last layer that’s holding me back. It’s go time. It’s a signal that I have to start using my arms.”

Salazar, who won the Boston Marathon in 1981, feels inexperience prevented her from winning Monday.

“Kara realizes that she made a tactical mistake and wasn’t supposed to lead any earlier than a mile to go,” he said. “We felt she could out kick anybody if she played her cards right. It boiled down to 10K racing. When a 10K runner takes a lead from the beginning on the track, 95 percent of the time they don’t win. And the wind started to pick up and she started to do all the work. If she had waited and made it into an 800-meter race like the other girls did, she would have finished better. It’s a matter of gaining experience with every race.”

A slow fade at the finish did not damper Goucher’s spirit. “I learned that I’m suited for the marathon,” she said. “I felt really comfortable. New York and Boston have been the thrill of my life. This is what I want to be doing.”

It may be a while before she runs another marathon. Goucher, 30, and her husband Adam, also an elite runner, would like to start a family. She may not compete again at the distance until the fall of 2010.

“I would say it’s 99.9999 percent sure she won’t run a marathon in the fall,” Goucher’s agent Peter Stubbs said. “We need a day or two to talk about it.”

4/19/09

Last NYC marathoner finishes...

"Spend at least some of your training time, and other parts of your day, concentrating on what you are doing in training and visualizing your success." GRETE WAITZ

Last NYC Marathoner finishes in 28 hrs, 45 minutes

Monday, November 02, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) It took Zoe Koplowitz 28 hours and 45 minutes to finish this year's New York City Marathon.

The 61-year-old Koplowitz had her trademark purple crutches wrapped around each forearm as she crossed the finish line in Manhattan's Central Park at 11:15 a.m. Monday. Three supporters accompanied her.

The motivational speaker lives with diabetes and multiple sclerosis and has finished 21 New York City Marathons.

Ruth Brenner, president of the city's chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, presented Koplowitz with the medal given to all athletes who cross the marathon's finish line.

Ethiopian runner Derartu Tulu won the women's marathon title Sunday in two hours, 28 minutes and 52 seconds.

4/17/09

Volunteerism

"It is the illusion that we can go no faster that holds us back." KENNY MOORE

There is something special about the aura of Boston during this time of year, when all of the "qualified" runners meet all in one spot, one area and endure a big race...although the days leading up to this is some what interesting as well, as all marathoners know, there is an expo, there are official shirts, merchandise and give-a-ways! (I mean that's all a marathon runner really loves is the give anyways!)

So, I arrived in Boston by $1 bus fare from NYC early this morning at 8am...which means that I had gotten 4 hours of sleep, due to the fact of simply getting my items in order for this marathon and what to bring...this is what is always challenging about "away" marathons is brining all of you necessary items along with you and thinking you may need something and bringing it just in case...yes, all runners think alike and we would rather not forget a racing shirt and bring that...and not bring an extra t-shirt or whatever...(You get my point! We bring a whole lot of crap, even though we don't need it)

So I met up with JK (yes, it has been a while since I have seen JK) and she allowed me to leave my bag at her hotel room and then went out a little while to catch up. We went along the side of the Charles, as last year we had ran together, like we had always done early in the morning...these are the people I love hearing about are the successes that running has changed their life completely...well, she's all about running now and it's great! And a little addictive!
But anyways, went to get my assignment and they gave me a LIFER shirt, which I was going to buy anyways, so now I can buy another shirt! Sweet!

Anyways, the Adidas merchandise was the OFFICIAL running gear of the Boston Marathon. Anyways, it was nice just talking to the runners from very experienced (whom have ran this rave at least 10 times) to beginners who's first time in Boston and people have to get the gear for their first Boston experience!

After putting the clothes and walking to get people this and that, it was kind of exhausting to say the least and wearing black shoes instead of sneakers did not help either…but my feet were killing me afterwards. I saw the line of the first day (which was literally snaking through the whole entire expo…ok, not really, but seriously people were waiting probably about 30 minutes to purchase their items) and I was not going to go through that tomorrow morning when I was going to unite with my teammates to go to the expo. So, I got my bib number, I also purchased my items: Hat, Polo shirt…anything else now? Pass on the track jacket, save some money.
Ok…so afterwards, I tried on a pair of Adidas shoes and by this point, the expo was definitely closing, so we (three other Asian volunteers, whom I became friends with during the 5 hours working) were still there and followed me out. We were to go get our free volunteer jackets, although when we walked back, the door was locked! OK…go back to security and try to find someone to open the door or give us our jackets. We asked a person, they said no go…and we had to come back the next day…it was no problem to me, although one of the guys there had his bag in there with his house keys in it! Oh man! Ok ok…I had to translate and give a step by step instance to these security guards, since the Asian boys were going straight to the point and had no clue that these guards were not getting it…

Anyways, long story straight…after 30-45 minutes of whoopla, we got into the room…although no jacket until someone showed up later on and gave us our jackets!

Awesome! BRIGHT YELLOW ADIDAS JACKETS! You can see me a mile away with this jacket! Hey…it’s FREE!

Stressin’

“I have made a commitment to myself to become the best female distance runner in the world and the next American woman to win a major marathon in the United States.” - Kara Goucher before the Boston Marathon

Antsy? Yes, I had packed up half way already for my trip to Boston for the marathon and the fact is, I don’t have a clue on what the weather will be like. All along the weather is forecasted as 50 degrees and partly cloudy, even worse is that there is a chance of rain on Marathon Monday, which forces me to bring some winter accessories. Extra gear for just in case reasons, although I don’t think I would need it. For me, once I wear shorts, it’s pretty much from now until September that I will be wearing shorts…so that’s a rule of thumb.

AS for the antsyness, I had been good about not running, even skipped out on the Monday night group due to the slight “injury” that I have had. I had thought that that this was from a sore calf in the front, but then figured it was near the knee and sharp pains configuring from that. Yesterday, as I awaited for the subway during a job meeting, I needed to find this problem. I needed to locate this situation as fast a possible. Things are not getting any better, well it was a little and I needed to find a resolution with my healing powers.
I couldn’t take it anymore and if I was to run in the marathon on Monday, I needed to test out my legs and see if I could run on the injury. So I geared up and tried it out…only to find some disappointment at first…I ran down towards 14th street only to find that I had to stop by the park and stretch. Not good. Then I left the park and still had a slight case of it as I ran up towards Park Ave…ok, getting better. We wanted to see how far up I could make it towards Grand Central. So not forcing anything, I started running and it loosened up. I ran some more, ok, this is feeling much better, let’s run across towards times square. I did…ok, let’s run up to the park. I did…at one of the lights, I finally figured it out.

The muscles in my ass! I rubbed them a little on the street, at first it tingled…and then I finally found out that this was the source of where my injury has come from…WHAT? Are you kidding me? I began again and ran up to Central Park, remaining calm about my notions, I did not do a loop like I usually would do. I simply went at an even pace up towards 72nd street and did some side to side swips…it really felt so much better, but after all I wasn’t going for such a longer distance. I see IC on the way around and stop for a little while to chat with her. She is unsure about doing Boston due to her busy work schedule and not so much training, although she is an ultra marathoner and I believe she can do it for fun at least. As I round the circle, I see IC again, this time I stop and run the other way with her. She’s going home on the upper west side and I needed to test out my legs and “injury”…So the rolling hills would be good. Then we finally catch up as we chat it up all the way up to around 86th street.

I turn around and head back home, still weary about my leg and see what tomorrow brings. I still have to get my things printed and silk screened to my singlet…which I spend more time than most due to the fact that I am a perfectionist and once I get a thing in my head (and think it’s a good idea, but when I am half way through with it and find that it really is not, I still need to complete it, just to say that it is done)

So, to my donators for the Alzheimer’s Disease, this is what the Memory Mile list comes down to:

(the bright idea was to have a different color for the vowels of each person’s name if you have not found out yet and about mile 10, I decided it wasn’t such a hot idea and more tedious than anything else) I ended up doing a little more silk screening and ironing…so bedtime…was at 2am…and have to get up at 6am for an 8am bus to Boston…gosh I hope I have everything I need!

Oh yeah…total miles last night…10 miles…OPPS! We are ready for Boston!

LRC John Hancock Financial Boston Marathon Men's Preview / Race Analysis / Predictions
By: LetsRun.comApril 16, 2009

The 113th Boston Marathon is only a few days away. Compared to most of the recent editions of the Boston Marathon, the 2009 Men's race has more excitement, more talent, more buildup and more legitimate storylines than any of them ... by a long shot. But we'll talk more about that later.

Since there are three Cheruiyots in the race and a whole bunch of Ethiopians you might not know too much about, we'll start our preview with the bios of the "major players" in the 113th running of the world's most legendary and famous marathon. The odds listed below come from Paddy Power.

The Kenyans

Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, 30, 6-4 odds

Robert Kipkoech "The Champ" Cheruiyot is the clear race favorite in Boston. He has won Boston 4 times (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008), including the past 3 years. He (and this will be a theme of his bio) is a winner on all fronts. He has also won the Chicago and Milan marathons, and 10 times has run 60:50 or better in the half marathon (with 9 of those top 3 finishes, 2 wins). Cheruiyot is suited for winning marathons.

Last year, he won Boston by taking off and running solo for much of the race. In the 2006 Chicago Marathon, Cheruiyot won a very close race with Daniel Njenga, famously slipping on the finishing mat, falling very hard and suffering a brain contusion. In 2007, a year after setting the course record in his 2nd Boston win (2:07:14), Cheruiyot won Boston in a Nor'easter, saying: "When the lion is chasing the antelope, he doesn't look back. He has to eat, so when I run, I don't stare at my time." During that race he was still suffering from headaches after his Chicago fall. Basically, Cheruiyot has proven he can win (especially the Boston marathon) in any conditions, running in a pack or breaking from the pack, running fast or slow.

Aside from his running accomplishments, Cheruiyot's life story is one of the most amazing you will ever find. A former smoker, orphan, 30 cents a day worker - Cheruiyot rose from nothing: no food, no clothes, no family, no job, no hope, to being one of the greatest marathoning champions of the modern era. This article here will basically give you all you need to know about the World Marathon Majors Champion. Rojo was so inspired by that article that he wrote his own praising Cheruiyot.

Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, 20, no odds? Not sure if he pulled out, but he definitely deserves odds better than 25-1.

The other Robert K. Cheruiyot (RKC II) has not had the career of RKC #1, but he certainly has had a good start. Only 20 years old, RKC II has 2 performances that we can find. A stellar debut marathon in Frankfurt last October, which he won in 2:07:15, and a 59:36 20km this March. He's got the name of a winner and has to be considered a real wild card given his limited background and young age.

Evans Cheruiyot, 26, 5-2 odds

This guy is scary. From his 59:05 half marathon in Udine in 2007 to his 2008 2:06:25 win of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, Evans looks to be in his prime and capable of winning races, not just running fast. Evans has only broken 2:10 twice in his career, but has run under 60:00 a staggering 5 times in the half marathon. His latest half was a 1:01:07 (early March in Ostia), ho hum for the 13.1 specialist. Continuing with some staggering stats, E. Cheruiyot's 10th best half marathon performance in his career is a 61:39 run in Eldoret, Kenya at altitude, and in each of those top 10 performances he has finished in the top 3. Look for him to make a strong run at the top 3 come Patriot's Day.

Daniel Rono, 30, 14-1 odds
Rono had a stellar 2008. Second in Rotterdam in a PR 2:06:58 (13th best of 2008), then 3rd in the NYC Marathon 2:11. Both of his 2008 marathon performances were significant steps up from his marks prior to 2008, when he ran a lot of 2:09-2:12s in smaller venues. He usually finishes on the podium but looks to be outclassed in this race. Look for him to finish between 3rd and 5th.

Benjamin Maiyo, 30, 14-1 odds
Ben Maiyo has been around for a long time. He has two runner-up finishes in major marathons, 2nd in Chicago in 2005 (2:07:09, his PR) and in Boston in 2006 (2:08:21). Maiyo displayed good track speed early on in his career, 10 times running under 13:10 for 5000m on the track and boasting a 27:07 track 10,000m PR. But

Maiyo hasn't run well in a race in a long time. 2007 saw Maiyo take a big step back as he faced tough conditions in Boston and Chicago, only managing 2:16s in each race. In 2008 Maiyo raced smaller marathons, running 2:10 and 2:09 in Rotterdam and Frankfurt. Ben Maiyo, you may remember, was one of the Chasing Kimbia athletes, and one of their videos, "At Home With Ben Maiyo" can be seen here. We can't see him making waves in Boston this year, though he may hang around in the lead pack for a while.

Stephen "Baba" Kiogora, 34
Another former Chasing Kimbia athlete (read an interview with him here), "Baba" is a solid marathoner. He actually set his marathon PR last year in Frankfurt (2:08:24) and the best performance of his career came in New York when he was 2nd in 2006 (2:10:06). He was also 3rd in Boston in 2007 (in terrible weather) with a 2:14:47. We think Baba will have to PR to be in the top 3 or 4, which is unlikely on Boston's course. He has no race results yet this year and has a 61:09 half marathon best.

The Ethiopians

Deriba Merga, 26, 9-1 odds
Merga is definitely a player for a podium finish in Boston. 27:02 for 10,000m, 41:29 World Record 15km (en route at the RAK half marathon), 4th in the Beijing Olympic Marathon after pushing the pace midway, 4th in Udine WC Half Marathon, 59:15 half marathon PR ... need we go on? Merga, a true "racer," "front-runner," "baller" type (just read this article), puts it on the line on race day and often blows up in the final kilometers. But as he gets older he's hoping to "curb his enthusiasm" and get a race win. Of course, getting older and wiser hasn't stopped the indefatigable Merga from already racing (and winning) this year the Houston Marathon (2:07:52) and the aforementioned RAK Half Marathon, where he led the field on a suicidal pace through about 17km before staggering home in 59:18. Interstingly, in 2008, Ryan Hall defeated Merga in London by 21 seconds, but Merga came back to get him in the Olympic Games.

Merga in our minds is without a doubt one of the top 10 marathoners in the world. We are worried he's overraced but just found a preview where David Monti writes his coach, "Haji Adillo, who also coaches defending Boston women's champion Dire Tune, thinks he has Merga's training properly calibrated so that his athlete will be fresh enough to win at Boston."

Gashaw Asfaw, 30, 20-1 odds
7th in the Beijing Olympic Marathon, Asfaw is far from a household name in marathoning. However, he has run 11 times under 2:11 and as fast as 2:08:03 in his Paris Marathon win in 2006. This year he was 4th in Dubai in 2:10:59 in January.

Gudisa Shentema, 28, 25-1 odds
Ethiopian Gudisa Shentema has one of the top marathon PRs in the field, his 2:07:34 coming in 2008 in Paris (he finished 6th). He has been marathoning since 2003 and seems to get a little better each year. 2:27, 2:15, 2:09, then 2:10 for 2nd in Berlin in 2006 and 2:07 in 2008.

Abebe Dinkesa, 25 (apparently he has withdrawn), 25-1 odds
Ethiopian Abebe Dinkesa is a threat, though this will be his debut marathon. A quick look at his PRs will really open your eyes. Dinkesa has run 12:55 for 5k, 7:32 for 3000m and 26:30 for 10,000m back in 2005, making him the 5th-fastest 10,000m runner of all-time (behind Bekele, Geb, Tergat and Nicholas Kemboi (who, interestingly, now runs for Qatar and, well, hasn't done anything)). In the half marathon, Dinkesa is pretty good, 60:03 for 7th in Rotterdam in 2008. We'll see what he can do. It's hard to believe Dinkesa has done all of these accomplishments and is only 25. This year Dinkesa won the Edinburgh XC race in January but was only 19th in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the World's Best 10k in March.

Solomon Mola, 22, big odds
Mola is a young runner. In 2008 he debuted in 2:17 for the marathon. So why is he a Boston elite entrant? Because his next two marathons were 2:11 and 2:08. His 2:08 put him in the top 50 in the world for 2008 and also got him the win in Seoul. We won't be surprised to see Mola in the lead pack for a good portion of the race.

The Americans

Ryan Hall, 26, 7-2 odds
Ryan Hall is running his first major marathon on US soil with the purpose of competing for the win and bringing more domestic enthusiasm to American marathoning. So far, he (and Boston) have succeeded in bringing tons of attention to Boston and American marathoning, as he was featured on the front of USA Today and on page 1 of the sports section Thursday.

Hall is certainly one of the best non-African marathoners in the world. He is undoubtedly behind 2-time ING NYC Marathon Champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil, but other than that he may be the best from Asia, Europe, the Americas, Australia and most likely Antarctica. The attention is warranted. His 5th-place 2:06:15 in London 2008 and 59:43 American record half marathon in Houston stand as the undeniable highlights in his young marathoning career. Boston will be a chance to stamp his authority on the seventh continent, Africa.

Much has been said and written about Hall coming to Boston to run for the win. Is is possible? Most definitely. Amazingly, Hall has the best PR in the field, and he also has seemingly been finding the magic in his training which by apparently by Hall's and his coach's accounts has been better than ever. "He's the strongest he's ever been," said his coach Terrence Mahon to USA Today.

That may all be true, but winning Boston will be a very, very difficult task. He will have to do what many good marathoners have not been able to do: defeat Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot in Boston. He'll have to beat Ethiopians Deriba Merga (we think he's better than Hall when he's fresh, which is hardly ever), possibly 26:30 10k man Abebe Dinkesa, and 2:07 guy Gudisa Shentema. Add to that Chicago Marathon champion Evans Cheruiyot, the other Robert K. Cheruiyot, whose 1st marathon was a 2:07:15, and a host of other experienced Kenyan marathoners, and you get the picture - it's going to be really, really tough to win.

But we think Hall has at least a decent chance to rise to the challenge (the betting people have him the third favorite at 7-2). With the exception of the Olympic Games in 2008, Hall has come through when the light is shining brightly on him. In Houston, after interrupted travel to the race, he ran an absolute monster of a solo to become the first American under 60:00. At the Olympic Trials, Hall was so far above the rest of the field, everyone knew they were witnessing a rare, rare American talent (Bob Larsen said it best when he said, "He's our Kenyan." In London he ran with the big boys - Lel, Wanjiru and Goumri - taking the lead at times and asking the rabbits for more pace. If he's truly at another level from when he ran London, then he very well might be wearing a laurel wreath on Monday.

Brian Sell, 30
Despite our bias towards Americans, it must be said that Sell's PRs of 2:10:47 for the marathon and 62:36 for the half marathon (set this year in Houston) just don't stack up really well this year. On paper, he's way overmatched. Of course, the same could have been said at last year's US 2008 Olympic Trials but Sell ended up on the team when people like Olympic medallist Meb Keflezighi and American record holder Khalid Khannouchi didn't.

A top 10 showing isn't out of the question, as a lot of Africans tend to go for broke and Sell is very good at running his own race and picking up the pieces. In 2006, Sell was 4th in this race - almost a full 4 minutes behind RKC "The Champ" (2:07:14 to 2:10:55). Four minutes behind the winner this year likely won't get fourth as there was no depth in the race that year as Ben Maiyo was second and he'll have a hard time being top 6 this year.

We hope to see Sell get his PR under 2:10. If the 22nd-place finisher in Beijing does that, he almost certainly will be in the top 10.

So How Does Boston Compare To London?
Unlike the women's race, the Boston field compares okay with London. Superficially, one can make them sound very similar. London has 10 men under 2:08 entered in the field and 2 American Olympians in Dathan Ritzenhein and Meb K. Boston has 8 sub-2:08 guys and two American Olympians in Ryan Hall and Brian Sell.
Both races have some big names. Boston has 3 of the bigger names in the marathon world in Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, a rising star in Deriba Merga, and the 2nd best non-African marathoner in the world, Ryan Hall (and clearly the top American), plus a Chicago champ. London has big names in Martin Lel, Olympic champ Sammy Wanjiru, Goumri, Zersenay Tadese, and Hendrick Ramaala.

In reality, the London field is better. London's big names are bigger names and up front the talent is superior. Major marathons aren't won by 2:08 guys anymore. 2:04, 2:05 and 2:06 guys win, heck even a 2:03 guy. London has 3 sub-2:06s to Boston's 0, and 7 sub-2:07s to Boston's 4.

But we are very excited about Boston as we are every year, as there are no rabbits and it's broadcast live at a decent hour. And Ryan Hall (and Kara Goucher) are running. It's clearly the more exciting of the two majors this spring from an American fan's perspective. And since we've spent the better part of a decade denigrating Boston to the chagrin of all of our New England friends, we decided to create the following chart for all the homers that insist Boston is the greatest race on the earth. We urge you to print it out and use in case

Ryan Hall wins Boston.
LRC's Men's Marathon Analysis: How Does Boston Compare To London?
Category Boston London Advantage
Big Names Up Front Hall, Cheruiyot, Merga Lel, Wanjiru, Goumri, Tadese London
Americans Entered Hall, Sell Ritz, Meb Boston (Hall mania wins out)
Interesting Course Lots of hills Pretty flat Boston
Is It A Real Race? No rabbits Rabbited affair Boston
History World's most historically important A world major but not Boston Boston
# Of Guys Sub-2:08 8 10 London

Is Hall Currently The 2nd-Best Non-African Marathoner In The World?

We think he is. He's the best American talent despite losing to Ritz in Beijing and not having an Olympic medal like Meb. We think he's better than Viktor Röthlin of Switzerland, Jon Brown of Great Britain (twice 4th in the Olympic marathon) and Stefano Baldini of Italy (Athens Olympic Marathon champion) if you lined them all up for a marathon in 2009.

He is still behind 2-time NYC Champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil. But we don't see any Asians, Australians, Canadians, South or Central Americans beating Hall, though we may be wrong. And the Europeans listed above are the only three who have proven themselves possibly capable of low-2:06s in a fast race or capable of winning slower races.

Betting Tips: Go With Cheruiyot #1 And Merga
You can check out the latest Boston Marathon betting odds here at PaddyPower. We think 2 guys have odds worth taking a shot at: Cheruiyot #1 and Merga. You can get 3-2 (+150) odds on Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, which are odds we would take. We'll stay away from Evans Cheruiyot's odds (5-2), as well as Hall's (7-2), and skip to Merga's odds at 9-1. These seem like way better odds to bet than Hall's, considering Merga has been at least equal, if not better than, Hall over their careers.

Comparing Hall and Merga of late: Merga went through 15k in 41:29 in his RAK Half Marathon this year (just your mundane IAAF-ratified WORLD RECORD) while Hall ran 43:26 at the Gasparilla 15k. Hall beat Merga narrowly (21 second gap) in London (in by far the best performance of Hall's career) while Merga was very game in Beijing, powering ahead of Wanjiru at times before crashing and burning to 4th. Hall was never in it FTW and finished 10th. Merga at 9-1 is a good, solid bet, especially if he keeps himself from hammering off the front too early.

Conditions In Boston
Right now wunderground.com says Boston, MA will have light winds and temperatures in the low 40s when the race kicks off under partly cloudy skies.

So Will There Be A Course Record In Boston?
Based on the anticipated weather conditions, the field, the hype and the performances from around the world this year (Rotterdam, Paris and RAK Half), we think the course record will be going down (you know Hall, Cheruiyots I, II and III and Merga are thinking: "If Duncan Kibet and James Kwambai can run 2:04:27 - albeit with a stockade of pacemakers, a pancake-flat course, guys handing them water bottles off of motorcycles and screaming at them the whole race and perfect weather - we can certainly run 2:06 at Boston, right?). The current course record, 2:07:14, was set in 2006 by Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot in the 2nd of his now four Boston titles. In fact, we'll go so far as to predict that 4 men may break the record if the light winds are blowing from behind and the pace is no faster than 62-high at the halfway point. If the pace is like 63:45 at the half in good conditions, that record is going down, and likely way down.

But the beauty of Boston is it's a race that isn't about time and there are no rabbits. We used to love watching it as it was the only race where you saw an American up front for more than a mile as often times the leaders practically jog at the start. Even if it's a sprint at the start, with Hall in the field this year, we're pretty confident an American will be up front for a long while. But a real slow start will hurt our course record prediction.

Will The Presence Of Boston Billy Jinx Or Propel Rob Cheruiyot?
Much has been made of 4-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rodgers running Boston again this year. The 61-year-old former American record holder has not competed at Boston since 1999, and has not finished since 1996. But this winter/spring he has been able to train up to 70 miles per week, complete the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in 72 minutes, and run 23 miles of the Boston course.

So we got to thinking, how does 4-time champ Bill Rodgers compare to 4-time champ Robert Cheruiyot #1? Well, what we found was pretty eerie. Rodgers won in 1975, then again in '78, '79 and '80. His 1975 performance was an American and course record 2:09:55. So he won, didn't win for 2 years, and then won three years in a row. Sound familiar?

Well, it should, because that's exactly what RKC #1 has done. He won in 2003, missed 2 years, then has won in 2006, '07 and '08, setting the course record of 2:07:14 in 2006. How magical that Bill Rodgers is coming back to run Boston as Cheruiyot goes for win #5 against probably the strongest field he has had to face yet!
You are probably asking yourself how Rodgers' winning times stack up against Cheruiyot's. RKC's MUST be better (way better), right? Well, not so fast. Boston Billy's 4 winning times average out to 2:10:26, while Cheruiyot's average out to 2:09:51! That's just over 1 second per mile difference. 30 years apart (continents apart) and barely 30 seconds apart. Granted, Cheruiyot's best (2:07:14) smashes Bill's best (2:09:27), and Cheruiyot's 2:14 is an aberration because it was run in terrible conditions in 2007, but we've admitted we had an American bias, right?

After Crunching The Numbers, Why Don't Whites Believe They Can Win?
A topic of discussion around LRC's central offices this morning was about how people (well, at least people we know, including ourselves) limit themselves. With the emergence of Kenyans and Ethiopians on the running scene, it's very easy to see the dropoff in American and European performances in distance running. Africans win the distance races. They run fast. They break the world records and run amazing times. They DOMINATE. But look at Cheruiyot. Is he THAT much better than little old Bill Rodgers? Yeah, he's better, but if we take Rodgers and make him born in 1978, he's almost as good as Cheruiyot if you go by the numbers.

We think, and this is one of the main reasons we do this site in the first place, that more people need to unfetter themselves from limits, need to dream big! Take away some of the science and history and expectation and just try to run like the best runners in the world. It's certainly easier to grow up Ethiopian and see your countrymen beating everyone in the world and thinking: "I can do that," than it is to be American and have very few real winners and champions to look up to. We think that's one reason Ryan Hall does what he does, because he just runs with such unbridled joy and doesn't worry too much about what his limits are (this is the same Ryan Hall who could not, for the life of him, break 4:00 for the mile while at Stanford; who would have predicted his marathon and half marathon success?).

This year could be a great year to make a new hero and inspire Americans to new heights (or old heights, like the heights Rodgers reached in the '70s). While Boston Billy hopefully will complete Boston again, hopefully an hour ahead of him will be Ryan Hall putting the finishing touches on an amazing (even if he doesn't win) Boston Marathon performance that millions will be able to see. Even if he doesn't end up beating Cheruiyot, we're pretty confident Hall will make a race of it, and just that should be enough to show American athletes that they too can run with the best in the world at the ultimate distance.

So Who Is Going To Win?
Unlike 3 of RKC's previous wins, it's not going to be clear until the final miles who the winner is. It's going to be at least a pack of 4: Evans Cheruiyot, Ryan Hall, Deriba Merga and "The Champ" RKC #1 (he should get a cool nickname for always winning these marathons). If anyone (likely Merga or RKC #1) makes a break before 15 miles, it's going to get covered because the other guys are too good to let someone run away. But other than that, it's too hard to tell. If it comes down to those 4 in the final 8km, who would you go with? We'd say 50% of the time, "The Champ" is taking that race down. Then the other 3 can get equal odds, 16.7% chances for each of them.

We'll go with this:
1. Cheruiyot "The Champ" 2:06:40 CR, PR, 5th Boston Title

2. Hall 2:07:10

3. Merga 2:07:25

4. Evans Cheruiyot 2:08:01

4/16/09

STRETCH!!!

"I give my staff my running schedule six months in advance. God help them if they put something on top of it." Former Arkansas Governor MIKE HUCKABEE

Since I am not running, I am stretching out my body as much and as many times as possible.

When given the opportunity at any time, waiting for the subway, doing work at my desk, in the morning, evening, sleep...

Ok, you get the point...it's one of the only times now that I am really nervous about this run now...and usually this never happens this early!

What happened today and the reactions of going to work with a mohawk? Well...the office did not react that badly...boss, partners, co-workers...

The best/worst comment was asking if I was recruited to a Boy band...or if I had gone through a mid life crisis...but that went better than expected. I'm a human billboard for the Boston Marathon as everyone in my office knows that I run marathons...and now they all know that I am a little crazy! Well that was a given right?

Packing the rest of my stuff tonight as well as getting all of my gear and labels together. Though this time it is tough not knowing the exact weather: Rain, Sun, Hot? Cold?

Got to imprint my name onto my singlet, also the list of recognitions from those who have donated and some special recognitions as well...

I have just been embodied by all of this Alzheimer's, that it seems like everything just works...and I'm just getting really excited about everything from the Boston race to the NYC marathon.

4 days till Boston...
Tomorrow I leave for Boston at 8 am...

4/15/09

Inspiration…

"Running is the space in my day when I feel the most beautiful - when I don't feel judged by others. And that's what I want for all little girls." MOLLY BARKER, Founder of Girls on the Run International

Well, I got dug up from the deep end as I was brought back into the Junior Committee since we have gotten word that the Alzheimer’s Association is AN OFFICIAL CHARITY PROGRAM! This is really kick ass as we have tried for 3 years to be an official charity and well, it’s who you know that really makes the difference.

We still are trying to iron out the facts and figures, although I am pretty psyched for the accomplishments that many of the prime members MK and JL did for the Junior Committee in securing this program for us.

As for meeting up, MK and JL met up with me to go over a few items with CS. We tried to work from our end and see what needed to be done and what figures we can figure out before presenting our case to the Board.

Time is pretty limited due to the fact that training begins in June for the very beginners and it really looks like we will be having many first timers out there. This is a plus and minus:
Plus – the emotion, admiration, joy and inspiration a first timer brings to the training program is unmatchable. You see the pure joys and struggles, but perseverance in many ways. As I have always said, you always remember your first marathon. A marathon is not for everyone, although trying it takes strength and perseverance. The bug either bites you or does not…but in all, it’s a great way to see what you are made of…you reach your very lows and your very high’s…

The negative – watching over these first timer’s and allowing them to first enjoy the experience. The most important aspect for first timers is to enjoy running, enjoy the people and commitment. We (the coaches) must be aware of the beginner’s body and really mold the training program to being a bit personable. As experienced runners know (or rather marathoners) each person’s body is built differently and the training program is molded for a standard person (taking the average of the person) We need to be very descriptive and develop a very personable dialogue with each individual on the team. Though, then again, I am a do as I say, and not as I do, type of person…so hopefully people will listen and learn from what I do say…

But this is exciting. MK decided to write in a blog as she gears up mile…after mile. It’s very inspirational…let’s just see how long she does this for. Check it out: www.racingtoremember.wordpress.com

As for gearing up, I am mostly resting up my legs for the bostonmarathon coming in 5 days…2 more days till I actually go up to Boston. Still trying to pack up my items and get things prepared. It’s rather hard due to the fact of all these weather reports and every person you talk to has a different scenario…it’s Boston weather…very unpredictable!

Anyways, today after work I went down to the fabric market stores. I had to buy iron on lettering for the front of my jersey so people would cheer me on during the race. It’s inspiring at the very end and helps you refocus or a very uplifting experience. It was getting annoying at the beginning of the NYC marathon, when you hear you name being shouted every ½ a mile!

Although I was able to cut my own hair tonight…can we say MoHawk?

4/14/09

To the newest Flyer: Ping!

"Running has given me an opportunity to reach out and be a benefit to a fellow human being." MARK GOLDSTEIN on the Komen Race for the Cure, a 5K that raises breast cancer awareness
ok...so I wake up this morning to find an e-mail...while driving to a meeting. I find this very funny and have to share this to the blogging world...well to my own personal best of all times...

To PING...you are very funny...

To catch up on this story, read this first...

Little back up story:

Last thursday duff, dlam and ST & I was running together on the group run, fast paced and we were talking about how americans wanted asians to change their names so it would be easier for them to pronounce.

Now, at the end of my run, I called duff an honorary asian due to the fact that he was running with three asians from our team...

This is what he sends me today...

So B,
I've been thinking a lot about what my new Asian name will be, and I'm thinking of going with "Ping". It's a short name, like my Anglo-Saxonname of "P", and it also starts with the letter "P" (or in SesameStreet lingo, it's a P-word). Given that, it should be fairly easy toremember.
Furthermore, this name has a nice ring to it, and should be easy for myyoung nieces and nephews to pronounce (as well as for my Flyer friendsafter a night of heavy alcoholic consumption).


Lastly, I was thinking that if the Flyers Open Men's team were ever to beat the Central Park Track Club Men's team in the NYC Marathon, the park would be filled with the sounds of "Pings" at that moment when allthe Central Park guys would drop their finisher's medals in shock on the pavement.

I'll keep you posted as I finalize my decision.
Ping Duff


Ahh....again when I read it, I still crack up!

4/13/09

A left leg anyone?

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." CHINESE PROVERB

Anyone have a left leg I can borrow?
Ok, so yes, this is my sorry butt complaining and yes, you can say I told you so. Why? I have been in that 2009 miles challenge and this is where it gets me….injured. Yes, I said it.

I took it easy today and opted not to run the Monday group run with the boys. This would have been my last run before Boston…well this run and a Wednesday or Thursday run, but I am opting to not even run anything until the race. Which is chancy, but we’ll see.

It’s very weird and I know where this injury came from. My forefoot of my right foot had been hurting due to what I think was a bone bruise from my foot pod or pedometer. I still have yet to find out if I have a stress fracture from this incident and still psychologically cover this injury up by saying that it’s a bone bruise.
But ironically this has gone away. Now I am guessing this left leg injury was caused by compensation of a different gait and stride, where all of a sudden BAM! Injury.
I felt this in the past few days, but really didn’t think anything of it until now, where steps and pinches start to begin at the beginning of the day. I know where the pain is and I came up with a theory of where the injury resides. Let’s just hope this thing goes away as my time is running out…

What do we have left? 6 days till Boston Marathon? Hmm…plenty of time.
No running till race day, very unusual for me…but we just want to make it to the race.

6 days till Boston...

here we go:
Hopkinton
490-360
Feet above sea level
2,623
Population in 1897
14,300
Population in 2004
Race distance in Hopkinton: 1.9 miles. During the 10 miles between Hopkinton and Natick, the elevation drops from 490 to 180 feet.

Annual events
Start of the Boston Marathon - Each Patriot's Day, about 15,000 world-class marathoners commence the rush from Hopkinton to Copley Square in Boston. Starting in 1924, when the Boston Athletic Association moved the starting line from Ashland, Hopkinton has garnered worldwide attention.

Sports
Each year in April on Patriot's Day, the Town of Hopkinton is filled with thousands of people when Hopkinton hosts the start of the Boston Marathon. Athletes gather at Hopkinton High School, while spectators wait at the Town Common.

Support for the runners was heartfelt

Commonwealth Avenue was intended for automobiles, but more than a few runners at the start of Heartbreak Hill ignored the order

By Maggie Cassidy
Globe Correspondent / April 22, 2008

NEWTON - For all the heartbreak at the intersection of Hammond Street and Commonwealth Avenue yesterday, there was also a lot of love.
more stories like this

Sign-toting spectators lined the Boston Marathon course at the infamous peak of Heartbreak Hill, an 80-foot ascent over a half-mile between the 20- and 21-mile marks. Some wrote their endearing messages on cloth ("Here comes our favorite science teacher"), others on cardboard ("Hey Dylan: Be the Ferrari"), and other messages - more motivational than heartwarming - were drawn with chalk on the road ("NO U-TURN").

But one sign was a little more heartfelt than the others: "Marry Me JPH."
Dressed in a black shirt and blue-jean capris, Roz Kierstead stood in the shade of a tree on Commonwealth Avenue about 30 yards before Hammond Street. Some of the elite runners had started passing by, and she sat down in her rainbow lawn chair to take the sign out of her tote bag.

"I expect him around 10 after 12," she said. "Seven minutes after Lance Armstrong."
Her short-but-sweet message was drawn on a white piece of cardboard with the "Basics" logo at the top. She had gotten it for free at the Hynes Convention Center Saturday when she and her boyfriend of 2 1/2 years, John Herron, arrived from New Brunswick to pick up his bib, No. 2264, for his sixth Boston Marathon.

And just hours before the race, on a whim, she decided what she would write.
"I always draw him up a sign with his name, and I needed something to write. Usually it says 'Run John Run' or 'Go John Run,' " said Kierstead, 40.

Yesterday it was a marriage proposal, with little pink flowers between the letters.
As Kierstead waited patiently, occasionally checking Herron's progress on her BlackBerry, other spectators proudly displayed their messages for loved ones who were trying to make it over the hump.

A few yards toward Hammond Street, Phillip Winston, 37, hoisted a large yellow sign with black letters reading, "Geaux Jeffrey." The sign was to cheer on his partner, Jeffrey Seal, a Louisiana State graduate running the race for the first time with the American Liver Foundation. The other side of the sign assured those with tired legs, "It's all downhill from here."

Several runners cheered the message, while one even stopped to take a picture.

"I used to run, and I wasn't a very good runner," said Winston, a South Boston resident who has stationed himself at Heartbreak Hill for 10 Boston Marathons. "So I'm just trying to motivate them to let them know it's all downhill from here."

Dorothy Liu, 19, and her boyfriend Geoff Dorenzo, 21, stood just past Hammond Street to cheer on Liu's siblings, Diane, 24, and Steve, 26.

"This is almost as tiring as running," joked Dorenzo as he held two wooden posts connecting a large green cloth decorated with pink glue. He, Liu, and Liu's mother, Mianne, had been following the course to cheer the siblings at different parts of the race, but agreed that Heartbreak Hill was an especially challenging checkpoint.

And at Hammond Street, 12 of Michael Nolan's family members - including daughter Sarah, 5; sons Dan, 13, and Sean, 17; and wife Kathy, 46 - stood waiting for him to pass by in his first Boston Marathon, after trying to qualify nine times.

His brother Kevin, a longtime marathoner, was to meet him at the foot of Heartbreak Hill and run with him past the peak for motivation, while Sarah sat on Kathy's shoulders with a big piece of cardboard she decorated in crayon: "Michael Nolan, Don't Stop!!!"

Meanwhile, Kierstead was ready with her proposal. At 12:13 p.m., she lifted the sign over her head. Some runners' eyes darted toward it and away; others saw the sign and smiled. Still, there was no sign of Herron - until about 10 minutes later, when he came running up Commonwealth Avenue and saw Kierstead under the tree.

He stopped, kissed her, and took off his shirt - all in a span of about 10 seconds - before resuming his up-tempo pace and leaving Kierstead smiling widely.

"That was the first time he's ever stopped during a race," she said, still grinning. "I have to rush off to the end to see if I can find him."

4/12/09

Watch it…

"You feel good while you're running and you feel even better when you're finished." FRED LEBOW

So, yesterday according to my watch, I never ran! After the race, as I crossed the finish line and tried to stop my watch, I looked over and saw that my watch had already turned itself off. That is weird I had thought. I definitely started it at the starting line and checked my on pace categories as I was busting up some miles…although there was severe water damage to my watch. Ok, let it dry out and then see the damage.
I decided to do this and later on in the day I checked it again…no budge and now the settings are all screwed up…great! None of the buttons work…


Panic…ok, there was not really a panic, although what was I going to do for the marathon coming up?

I decided that that was yesterdays problems turn into today’s solutions.

Today after meeting up with JM, JG and CW, I decided to give Chinatown a try before heading up to Boston and having my things all screwed up. I would give it a go with my watchman who changes my watch battery for like $5…yes folks, I do love a bargain!

Anyways, I wobbled down (which is an entirely different story and definitely worries me). But I get to the watchmaker and he takes my watch, tells me to come back in 30 minutes for the watch to dry out. So I have some time and try to keep myself occupied for 30 minutes in SoHo…now I was in shorts and it was COLD! So, I had to go in and out of stores to keep my warmth and mind occupied.

Man! I didn’t need this right now. I didn’t need to spend money on another watch. I also didn’t need to go up to the Boston marathon to get my watch fixed and costing me another $100…great! These were all assumptions I have made, because I always think the worst of all situations and then I wouldn’t be disappointed…

30 minutes later…

I return to the watchmaker and he takes my watch, looks at it, takes out the battery…checks it. Takes out another battery from his storage and tests that out…Wow…Bonus…is it working? He punches a few things here and there and tells me that it was water damage, but to be careful next time and shows me where the leakage was. Wheew! Awesome…

He tells me to pay him $6…and I’m gladly giving him $6…

WHeew! That’s one problem fixed. Now, how do I get some new legs?

4/11/09

Cold, Wet, Rainy…all ingredients to make yourself sick…

"Fear is a great motivator. " John Treacy, 1984 Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist

Secretary Brian Hsia took a break from newsletter duties to don traditional attire for the Scotland Run, and he was caught in action by an NYRR photographer. (LAST YEAR 2008)

Ok, due to the rain today, I headed out to the race pretty much on arrival time, about half an hour in the park before the race actually begins. Usually I am there about an hour before, which I like to schedule in transportation time, but today it was raining, and it was cold and not waking up too hot, my stomach was not agreeing with something that I had eaten last night. But anyways, I figured I will be ok.

After not getting much sleep last night due to my roommate, I awoke this morning pretty groggy. My legs have been torn up and shredded apart as too many miles are definitely in play. I need to rest up a little before this thing called the marathon is happening next weekend. But I continue to go on and do my best and hardest…I quickly packed up my items and glad that this race started later on in the morning, packed it up safely for the mud, rain and wetness.

Anyways, I arrive to Central Park after receiving some blank stares on the streets and subway, though I was all good. Supporting the whole look of the Scotland week and heritage, I mean hey if you have a kilt, why not wear it right? I usually do this every year, although not really have the courage to wear my kilt in public to the race start…until last year where a police officer screamed out the window of his car, hey nice legs or something of that nature…which was funny to me.

Anyways, I quickly dress down and put my jacket into my bag, switch up bandana’s and get ready. I see CD as I scream over. He is not a happy camper at all. He still resides on the issues of this race being a points race during the Easter Weekend and very bitter by this. Add on the cold, the rain and the wetness…he was not a happy camper. I told him to go ahead to the race start as I had to put my baggage in. There I left my bag zipped up to the rail (later I found that all the bags were soaked and were pretty much full of mud from other’s people shoes dragging around on them…opps!) anyways, as I was leaving I caught up with ES (who was planning out her wedding in Wisconsin and we’re good friends as I caught up with her when she was at the airport).

Anyways, the boys met up all in the blue bib start (PD, CD, JD, TB, KM) all the boys were ready as the rain started to rain some more. PD was surprised that he was called the token white boy…I called you honorary Asian…doesn’t that count? Man, I just posted that last night and I’m wondering now, WHO EXACTLY READS THIS STUFF that goes on in my brain?

I was too far up close and knew this, but got tugged along and later on I would feel the misery. There was a mishap during the national anthem as PD laughed, I followed as I heard it as well, then the race started and the boys were gone…and I went out too fast as well. As I passed mile 1, my legs were screaming at me, thinking why are you running so fast? This was not accordingly to the game plan. We were suppose to plan out this race and have fun, especially in the rain, though I cannot do this…it’s a race for gosh sakes! A POINTS RACE! Ok…I try to simmer down as I hit the rolling hills and hit mile two and my legs are feeling a bit drained. Why? I donno maybe because we had a murderous pace run on Thursday night. Which felt so good…is that why my muscles are not responding to me? OK…I need to save something for the marathon…a little bit? Round out Mile 3 and at the crest of the hill the harlem hills, no duff…there is a lady with a cowbell though, though it was not the same. I kept chugging and by this point, I need to simmer down. Need to save it as I just stream along at marathon pace, this is good, get comfortable and ease. Though my muscles were feeling loaded…then I was passed by another kilt wearing man and his was SOAKED…I mean water everywhere as he passes me and asks me how much my kilt weighed now? Umm…maybe that’s the reason why my legs felt so shredded? The weight of the kilt! Of course! Umm no, just taking it easy…as I spot KM pass me and I ride up in the 10 feet vicinity of him keeping my distance…We end near the finish line as I COULD sprint…but choose not to and keep letting the thing ride…ok, the people come on both sides now, I can’t look like I’m coasting in…so I pick it up a little.

Wheew! Done, cold and wet and rainy…am I going to catch a cold, because all these are very much ingredients to getting sick and I cant have that this week before the Boston marathon…the boys ahead of me are gathered in a group as all of them greet me…as I am the last one to finish…these guys are way too fast for me…Although DUFF AND ME WERE CAUGHT ON TAPE...

I stay till the very end where the raffle was drawn, feeling lucky to see since the crowds are smaller, there would be a greater chance to win the ultimate prize…though I had changed already into dry clothes, I was still cold and the rain and weather was not pleasant. They were handing out fish chowda, which was soothing as I got two cups…I like this whole soup thing at the end of each race…they should have that instead of just the regular bagels, banana’s and fruit…

Ok…home time, crawl into bed and take a nap…then chores for the day…uh COLD, WET and RAINY!

4/9/09

A great pace…

"Running was a practical and mystical discipline. It was a way of melding the inner and outer realms." DAVID HOBLER
Long day at work today due to the long hours I have been pulling this week. Just when I was relieved of my primary jobs of schools, I was put onto helping put together a presentation. I am in limbo right now and it seems that your mind is hovering on two different things. You still have to keep your focus on your primary job at hand and finish odds and ends, although you have to up your game onto the other projects and help them out as well. Well I was at work till midnight and good thing it was not a running day.

Anyways, after half sleeping at work the day finally ended where I could get my focus back. I needed a run, although I was truly exhausted. I truly feel at ease when I run. It’s so weird. I feel truly at my game when I don’t think and everything just comes. I mean the last couple of weeks I have been in a true funk. Even with running I start up pretty bad and end up ok, although with running these last couple of weeks I have had cramps, legs have been hurting and burnt a little and just in that true funk.

Let’s just hope that this funk is done by next week. Although tonight’s run started out ok traveling up towards the CP, where I had been late starting out and had about 30 minutes to make it up from 13th and 8th to Engineers Gate…

With the mini chaos in the streets and following an ambulance for part of the way, I finally got securely to the park with 10 minutes to make my way up from the bottom half. Yup, I think I can make it from here. There were many people from the group tonight (AH, PD, DL, AJ, ST, JB)…more than most, where I saw JB as I went up towards engineers gate…I was like, you better make it up there faster! I don’t think we’re going to make it up there in time!

Well, we made it up there. It was gorgeous though as everyone was out running. ST, DL and PD…we all formed a faster pack that streamed away from the group. We chatted at a reasonable pace, although usually a whole lot slower, we really turned it up a notch. It felt good though and I needed this kind of pace. I usually get this with CW on my runs as I find this challenging and need to be comfortable while running at these paces. I needed to test out the group a little and test out my own legs, so I sped up a little with the hills and they followed. Man this group is tough, though we got some to the best runners on our team out here and I’m trying to keep up! 3 Asians and a token white boy…haha…it’s ok we’ll take this Irish bagpipin’ fast as hell runner as an honorary Asian…

After doing a loop in the park, we ended strong and jogged back. It was quite the pace setting group which I hope we have more of this summer…as I went back to 8th ave, running down back to work, it really felt good to laugh and be yourself with other fellow runners in my running club.

4/8/09

Signing up for NYC Marathon...

"Accept your limitation and, with care, the thinking runner will have a comfortable, creditable race. But go for broke and prepare to be broken." GEORGE SHEEHAN

So...signed up for NYC marathon today and to my surprise, I had found that the Alzheimer's Association had been an official marathon charity...under all the other charity programs out there. Is this true?

I don't know, but as far as I know. If this is true, I will be busy this summer. I have signed up for being the NYF marathon training director with GW...who is experienced. I have also seen the program and how things work with working out a training program, from beginner, intermediate and Intermediate/advanced.

Though, I have also signed up to being an instructor for TFK, if i do get it, which there are many other's that are so much better than I. If not, then whatever...all good.

I had also been contimplating on getting some extra cash and maybe applying for a job at Jack Rabbits or something for part time and knowledge in running...

This summer should be interesting...we'll see how this comes about...

oh yes, here is my confirmation on NYC...

Dear B,
We have received your guaranteed entry to the ING New York City Marathon 2009. Please include your entry number and your name in any correspondence pertaining to the marathon. To check your status, or to update/change your personal information, and enter the username and password that you created within the application. Correspondence may be sent to marathonmailer@nyrr.org.

Your Official Handbook will be mailed in the summer. For further information about the event, please visit ingnycmarathon.org. Please note that the dates for the ING New York City Marathon Health and Fitness Expo, where you must pick up your race number, are Thursday, October 29 – Saturday, October 31.

Thank you for your interest in the ING New York City Marathon 2009, and best of luck.

Running the Boston, Fighting Alzheimer's

WATERTOWN, MA - Marathoners from towns across the Commonwealth and beyond are getting in shape for the Boston Marathon® on April 20 as part of the Alzheimer's Association "Run for the Memory" team. The runners are committed to battling the fatal disease that steals memories and challenges families.

The team has set a million dollar goal. They each pledge to raise a minimum of $3,000, and since the team's inception seven years ago, they have been steadily moving towards that million dollar mark. While Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death, it has not garnered the same kind of attention and national commitment to research funding as other diseases.

"More than 5 million Americans now have Alzheimer's disease," said James Wessler, President & CEO, Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. "It is not just an old person's disease -- it can be younger onset and as diagnosis improves we are seeing more and more people being diagnosed with it in their fifties or earlier." The disease's impact cuts a wide swath from spouses and friends to siblings, children and grandchildren.

Alzheimer's disease is always personal when someone you love is afflicted by it. When my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer's it was really difficult for my family, especially for my grandmother, because she cared for my grandfather throughout all of his illness. It is my grandmother's strength and love that keeps me motivated during my long hard runs," said Elizabeth Somers Curran of Wakefield.

Track the team at www.alzmass.org/marathon/blog with highlights, stories and humor about their training written by team members.

Team Coach:
Richard Schilder, Belmont, MA

Massachusetts Runners - alphabetical by town:
Nichole Bukowski-Cirigliano, Allston, MA
Leslie Garrett, Boston, MA
Mike Lackemacher, Brighton, MA
Jessica Gardner, Brookline, MA
Scott Graham, Brookline, MA
Michael Albert, Canton, MA
Carole Tierney, Hingham, MA
Matthew O'Connor, Hopkinton, MA
Terence Lee, Marion, MA
Brian Casey, Melrose, MA
Peter Jarvis, Milton, MA
Dale Bob Eckert, Newburyport, MA
Dale Granger-Eckert, Newburyport, MA
Barry Greene, Newton, MA
Jane Lizotte, Shrewsbury, MA
Anne Donohue-Rolfe, Somerville, MA
Jon Ashner, Waban, MA
Elizabeth Somers Curran, Wakefield, MA
Jason Kramer, Watertown, MA
Erika Mullen, Watertown, MA
Patricia Reske, Westborough, MA
Edward Cederholm, Weymouth, MA

Out of State Runners:
Doreen Antonucci, Malvern, PA
Kara Campbell, Hayward, CA
Vincent Devoe, Pompano Beach, FL
Kimberly Elsbach, Davis, CA
Dan Hinrichs, Richfield, MN
Brian Hsia, New York, NY
Kelly Mullen, Fort Myers, FL


The Alzheimer's Association, MA/NH provides support groups, professional training, educational programs for families, care consultation and 24/7 Helpline at 1.800.272.3900 as well as research funding. Information on the "Run for the Memory" Team and other programs is at www.alz.org/MANH.

4/7/09

Daily pill that halts Alzheimer's

"There's nothing a man can't do if the spirit's there." FRANZ STAMPFL



Publish Post

Last updated at 11:57 PM on 29th July 2008


A new drug halts the devastating progress of Alzheimer’s disease, say British scientists.
It is said to be more than twice as effective as current treatments.


A daily capsule of rember, as the drug is known, stops Alzheimer’s disease progressing by as much as 81 per cent, according to trial results.


Patients with the brain disorder had no significant decline in their mental function over a 19-month period.


‘We appear to be bringing the worst affected parts of the brain functionally back to life,’ said Dr Claude Wischik, who led the research.


It is the first time medication has been developed to target the ‘tangles’ in the brain that destroy nerve cells, leading to deteriorating memory.


The drug helps to disrupt this process, preventing the formation of new tangles and loosening those already created.


Last night the findings were hailed as the biggest breakthrough in the battle against Alzheimer’s since 1907.


Eventually the drug could be used to stop the disease in its early stages before symptoms have even appeared, it is hoped.


It could be available to patients within four years although, in the wake of the NHS ban on the £2.50-a-day drug Aricept, there are concerns over whether it would be funded on the Health Service. The trial was carried out by a team at the University of Aberdeen, led by Professor Wischik, who 20 years ago discovered the ‘tau protein’ which makes up the tangles.


‘This is an unprecedented result in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease,’ he said.


‘We have demonstrated for the first time that it may be possible to arrest progression of the disease by targeting the tangles that are highly correlated with the disease. This is the most significant development in the treatment of the tangles since Alois Alzheimer discovered them in 1907.’


The research, presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease in Chicago, involved 321 people with mild and moderate Alzheimer’s disease in the UK and Singapore.
They were divided into four groups, three taking different doses of rember and a fourth group taking a placebo or dummy capsule.


After 50 weeks, those with both mild and moderate Alzheimer’s who were taking rember experienced 81 per cent less mental decline compared with those on the placebo.


Those taking rember did not experience any significant decline in their mental function over 19 months, while those on the placebo got worse.


The results suggest the drug is about two-and-a-half times more effective than existing drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors.


Images of the brain showed rember had its biggest effect in the parts linked to memory, where the density of tau tangles is greatest, with better blood flow to these areas.


The drug works by dissolving the tangle of tau fibres which releases waste products that kill nerve cells, and by preventing the fibres from becoming tangled.


Consultant psychiatrist Dr Donald Mowat, who monitored the progress of patients, said they were more confident, better able to cope with daily life and not experiencing the level of mental decline they had expected.


The trial was a Phase 2 study, which checks the safety and efficacy of the drug, but if a large-scale Phase 3 trial due next year repeats the findings, the drug could be available for prescribing
by 2012. At the same time, the research team is investigating a way of diagnosing Alzheimer’s at its earliest stages when tau tangles are first being formed in the brain.


People may have these tangles in their 50s, long before symptoms develop, and the researchers hope the drug could be used as a preventive treatment.


Professor Wischik co-founded TauRx Therapeutics, which is developing the treatment.
Professor Stephen Logan, professor of neuroscience and TauRx board member, said: ‘This is a fantastic breakthrough and very exciting.


‘Patients have been doing well for 18 or 19 months. They are continuing to take the drug and will probably do so until there is no benefit or they start to decline.

‘It’s not reversing the disease process, but appears to stabilise it. It could be on the market by 2012.’


Professor Logan said the team is working on scanning techniques to detect the early stages of tangles so the drug could be used as a preventive but this would take much longer to perfect.
He said the cost of the treatment is unknown but would need to be compared with the expense of caring for Alzheimer’s sufferers both in the community and in hospital.


Existing Alzheimer’s drugs costing £2.50 have been banned for NHS use in sufferers of ‘mild’ disease on grounds of cost.


Around 700,000 Britons have dementia, with the majority suffering Alzheimer’s, and the number is increasing as people live longer.


Professor Clive Ballard, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said it is a major development.


But he warned there is a long way to go before the treatment will become available for patients.
He said: ‘It is the first realistic evidence that a new drug can improve cognition in people with Alzheimer’s.


‘However we are not there yet. Larger scale trials are now needed to confirm the safety of this drug and establish how far it could benefit the thousands of people living with this devastating disease.’


I feel more confident, more positive


Sandra Sutherland had been struggling to focus on her job in accounts for several years when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.


The 61-year-old tested positive for the disease in 2005 as doctors investigated another medical condition.


Drug trial: Sandra Sutherland with husband Ian


She said: ‘When I was diagnosed I was absolutely gobsmacked. I tell everyone that I meet that I have Alzheimer’s and they can’t believe it.’


Mrs Sutherland, who lives with her husband and two sons in Aberdeen and enjoys crosswords and gardening, started a trial of rember two years ago and believes the medication has helped her.


She said: ‘Since I’ve been on the trial I feel more confident, more positive. I think my concentration has levelled off and not got any worse.’


Her husband Ian added: ‘Sandra still has days when she is not great


‘But there has been no decline in the mini-mental tests she has had to do as part of the trial, so it would appear the medication is working.’


Jimmy Hardie, 72, used to put sugar mistakenly in the fridge and suffered mood swings. He and his wife Dorothy, a 69-year-old former nurse, live in the coastal village of Boddam, south of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire.


The couple have two children and five grandchildren, who all live in the Buchan area.


Mr Hardie was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease three years ago, after he began to suffer ‘blank’ periods and could not remember what he was about to do. He started on the rember trial in 2006.


Mrs Hardie said she believes the treatment has helped her husband gain confidence. He runs a trout fishery, is an enthusiastic handyman and loves his shed.


‘Two years ago if Jimmy had gone to his shed, he may have forgotten what he was about to do,’ she said. ‘Now he is able to plan what he wants to do, go and get the tools that he needs and do the task. It is very encouraging.’


Mr Hardie, who worked at the nearby power station for 14 years, added: ‘I feel the treatment has helped me. Having a lot of friends and hobbies has also been a great help.’