Famous people, famous sayings

This page is intended to immortalize the words of Central Park Track Club people. As is customary for this web site, everything is supported by factual details (dates, places, witnesses, photographs, audio-visual clips, etc.). This page will grow over time, but obviously that will depend on your contribution of new stories.

Jack Brennan
Jack Brennan, 1949-2002

#1400Jack Brennan
On February 17, 2002, Central Park Track Club founder Jack Brennan passed away due to a sudden illness.  A series of tributes from Frank Handelman, Peggy Brennan Bermel, David Blackstone, Bob Glover, Jack Brennan (TRRC), Stuart Tucker and Alan Turner is published elsewhere on this website.  A common theme about Jack is that he had a wicked sense of humor.  Here are some snippets:

  • Why he joined the Central Park Track Club --- "I joined CPTC because Dave Blackstone begged me to.  He would call me repeatedly at night, ply me with alcohol, send me flowers;  I finally couldn't take it anymore and I gave in."
  • Team awards --- "Actually I used to give out the humorous awards.  And I once gave myself an award for being the outstanding member of the team.  My feeling was that people might perceive that there was some bias in me giving myself an award, but, well, if they didn't like it they could do the awards the following year.  In fact, they did ..." 
  • Fritz Mueller's opinion about orange-colored uniforms: "Fritz is a man of few words --- at least few that I can understand, so I've never really heard him voice his displeasure with the orange uniforms."
  • But Jack's masterpiece was his 'interview' with teammate Fritz Mueller.  As wicked as that piece was, it was also obvious that Jack would not have put it that kind of effort if he was not genuinely fond of Fritz.

In turn, his teammates also treated Jack Brennan with their own wicked sense of humor:

  • Mary Gibbons Feinstein: "In the '70s, the Central Park Track Club women's team --- Jane Breene, Pat Ellis, Hermine Bartee, Gail Swain, Caryl Hudson, Kaarina Uutenin, Nora Cheng, Weeize Sams, Johanna Coletta, Yvonne Rosen, Marie Wicks, Liz Levy and a few others --- was generally segregated from the men's team in those days with their own training schedules and venues, although Jack Brennan used to hang around after our workouts offering stock tips, unsolicited training advice and general palaver." 
  • Frank Handelman: "The men had Thursday night group runs in the mid 70's, which were great fun, where we'd meet at 90th and Fifth and do six miles.  Every week it was a race; we didn't want it to, but that was when John Kenney was coming along, and Jerry McCarthy and Jack Brennan.  Actually, Jack couldn't run six miles so we lost him, but the rest of us would do those workouts in about 33 minutes."

#1399.  WHO:  Cat Goodrich
WHEN:  Saturday, February 16, 2002
SUBJECT:  Best excuse for absenteeism
WHAT SHE SAID: "I'm getting married next week."
COMMENT:  Okay, so this excuse always works but it had better not used too often

#1398.  WHO:  Roland  Soong
WHEN:  Saturday, February 16, 2002
SUBJECT:  Worst excuse for absenteeism
WHAT HE SAID:  "So I was doing my evening run around Stuyvesant town when someone jumped out from behind a tree and yelled 'GIMME YOUR MONEY!'  Just as I expected, it was Brian Barry looking for ice cream money (see Famous Saying #1374).  He said, 'I was going to run the 15K this morning.  But I thought that since I had to get up for work all week already, there was no reason for me to get up on a Saturday morning ...'"

#1397.  WHO:  Alayne Adams
SUBJECT:  Why she ran 18:17 (CR) to win the 1996 Tot Trot 5K while pushing a baby carriage
WHAT SHE SAID: "When the baby is screaming at the top of the lungs, you are strongly motivated to finish as quickly as you can!"

#1396.  WHO:  Houston Chronicle
WHEN:  February 7, 2002

Former Houstonian part of record-breaking team 

Many Houston-area runners will recognize the name of a 1983 Cy-Fair High School graduate who is part of a Central Park Track Club team that recently broke the 4x800 relay American indoor record for women ages 30-39.

Kim Mannen, 36, who moved to New York to attend cooking school, was a Houston Fit coach for the blue group in 1995 and 1996 and also competed in the Rice All Comers meets and races. She ran the Houston marathon three times, along with marathons in Chicago, New York and Boston, with a marathon personal record of three hours and 20 minutes set in New York in 1996.

Two years ago, she flew home to Houston to run her favorite race - the Conoco 10K - with her father. On Jan. 24, during the Central Park Track Club's Thursday Night at the Armory, Mannen and teammates Devon Sargent, Sue Pearsall and Julia Casals ran the official time of 10:34.2 in the 4x800 relay, beating the previous women's 30-39 record of 11:01.44.

"I was so excited," Mannen said from her home in New York. The Central Park Track Club men's team in the 60-69 age group also set an indoor record the same night with an official time of 10:15.2

Kim Mannen:  "Nice to be remembered at home and not forgotten."  Nor will she ever forget the Central Park Track Club (or vice versa).

ART CRITIC DEPARTMENT (by Noah Perlis): "Very nice job on the Kim Mannen homage collage, but you make it sound like her running days for CPTC are over! I hope she has a few good years (many actually) left to go in her running career."

MISSING PERSON POSTERJesse Lansner once asked, "Who is Kim Mannen?  I need to give her the ticket money for the Millrose Games."  Apart from the literal description "Kim is the red-haired Texan with the big smile," there are now 19 photos of her face, 1 photo of her leg and 1 photo with her three accomplices

#1395.  WHO:  Tony Ruiz
WHEN:  February 7th, 2002
WHAT HE SAID:  "On the road racing schedule, there are four NYRR races coming up --- the Snowflake 4 Miler is a women's scoring race and also our traditional winter club rally race; the Al Gordon 15K is a men's scoring race; the Coogan's Salsa & Blues 5K and the Brooklyn Half Marathon are scoring races for men and women.  I don't want anyone to feel that they have to run all four races.  This is not in your personal interest.  Our club has sufficient depth that these races should not be problematic with respect to fielding a competitive team on any weekend.  There is no need for you to imitate Alan Ruben, who has indicated to me that he will run all four races.  Alan is an exception!"

HISTORICAL FOOTNOTE:  According to George Wisniewski, "In 1994, I set up Alan's Boston Marathon by getting him to run another marathon just a few weeks before.  He went ahead to win the George Washington Birthday Marathon.  I don't think that I could have done it with anyone else."

#1394.  WHO:  Roland Soong
WHEN:  January 29th, 2002
WHAT HE WROTE:  "On January 24th, a women's 4x800m team from the Central Park Track Club consisting of Devon Sargent, Kim Mannen, Sue Pearsall and Julia Casals ran a time of 10:34.2 to break the existing American record of 11:01.44 held by the Atom Track Club team of Best-Morris-Sterret-Vega set on March 23, 2000 in Boston, MA.  Three days later, at the Boston Indoor Games, Regina Jacobs set the world indoor best time of 9:23.38 for two miles.  Does the fact that this solo runner ran over a minute faster than a relay team of four other runners in her age group diminish their accomplishments?

My first comment relates to the notion of record setting.  Organized athletics have kept accurate records during the last century.  The first Olympics marathon was won in the then record time of 2 hours and 58 minutes.  The notion that some day a woman would run a marathon in 2 hours and 18 minutes was obviously unimaginable back then, and that woman's time would have been good enough to win the 1956 men's Olympics marathon.  So what is regarded as a phenomenal achievement at one point may be not so impressive later.  However, we do respect the accomplishments of all the Olympic marathoners because they ran in very different environments (e.g. social mores, amateur/professionalism, competition, nutrition, training, knowledge, tactics, etc).  Therefore, any type of record ought to be considered in light of its circumstances.

I have always stated that it did not matter whether our team finished first, second, or 29th in a race.  In our thirty year history, we have won enough team and individual medals and trophies to fill up warehouses.  Our criteria of success are whether we have successfully provided our runners with an environment to train regularly and effectively and to compete individually and collectively, especially with certain aims and goals in sight.

In the light of this set of criteria, I would claim that the relay effort was immensely successful.  Whether that existing record was 'soft' or not, our team showed that we had the organizational and individual wills to put in the hard work to train, to arrange for the time and venue and to run the race.  For the runners, and for their supporting teammates and coaches, it was an unforgettable evening.  There may well be other teams which have faster runners, but the fact is that none of them have gone through the process to go after this record.  To those who lay back and claim that they could have done better if they had bothered to try, we say, "BRING IT!"  Track & field would be healthier and more vibrant if they do ..."

#1393.  WHO:  Sid Howard
WHEN:  January 24th, on a night when our Men 60-69 4x800m team of Jim Aneshansley, Dan Hamner, Norman Goluskin and Sid Howard set a new World and American indoor record 
WHERE:  As quoted in Runner's World Daily
WHAT HE SAID: "I want people to know age has no barriers in completing a task.  No record means as much as a team record."

#1392.  WHO:  Frank Handelman
WHEN:  January 24th, 2002, on a night when our Men 60-69 4x800m team of Jim Aneshansley, Dan Hamner, Norman Goluskin and Sid Howard set a new World and American indoor record and our Women 35-39 team of Devon Sargent, Kim Mannen, Sue Pearsall and Julia Casals set a American Indoor Age Group Record
WHERE:  The Armory Track & Field Center, New York City
WHAT HE SAID:  "That team that we founded thirty years ago turned to be a f***ing nice little team ..."

WHAT HE COMPLAINED ABOUT THE QUOTE: "I was misquoted!  I never ever use asterisks when I speak!"

#1391.  WHO:  Adam Newman
WHEN:  January 22nd, 2002
SITUATION:  After the indoor track workout, a veteran was complaining about how much easier such a workout was ten years ago
WHAT HE SAID:  "Just think!  In another ten years' time, it will get a lot worse than this!"

#1390.  WHO:  Roland Soong
WHEN:  January 22nd, 2002
SUBJECT:  Digital camera recommendation
WHAT HE WROTE: "As of this date, this website carries only 6,500 digital photos of varying quality.  Twice this past week, we were asked for recommendations with respect to buying a digital camera.  Since this opinion is being solicited from the same person who writes most of the restaurant reviews, the prospect of getting any reasonable advice is probably grim to begin with.  Indeed, we could not provide recommendations to those people.
In the history of this website, we have so far used five different digital cameras.  Four of these are various models of the Sony Mavica and one is a Sony Cybershot.  The Sony Cybershot is a nice stealth camera that would be terrific if we were photographing a vase of flowers; unfortunately, we are trying to take race photos and this camera is a total waste of our time.  So far, we have used the Sony Cybershot successfully only for the workouts, when we catch people standing around unawares (note: the lens can be bent around the corner, so we could be standing at ninety degrees angle or looking down at the ground innocently while we photograph someone).
The Sony Mavicas work great for the races, because it has a powerful 20X (our first model in 1998 was already 10X) zoom lens.  For races, most digital cameras do not have fast enough shutter speed to catch people in motion, so that people often show up in a blur.  The Sony Mavicas let us cheat by using the lens from a longer distance away to aim and get ready long before the subjects approach.  The best illustration can be found at the Peter McArdle Cross County Race where we could spot our runners coming towards us from a mile away.
If your interest is in taking racing photos, the Sony Mavicas are a good (but expensive) proposition.  However, the Sony Mavicas are useless in other environments, such as indoor scenes with imperfect lighting.  So if you tell us that you are interested in documenting art paintings, then we will tell you not to buy the Sony Mavicas.  There are many other manufacturers out there, but we cannot speak competently of the performance of their models.  All we can know is that the particular Sony models that we have used have a wide variety of performance characteristics.  So we can only suggest that you check whomever has experience in your intended field of application to get some informed opinions."

#1389.  WHEN:  January 20th, 2002
WHERE:  Central Park, New York City
OCCASION: Upon learning that the Chicken Soup Loop 10K was turned into a fun run due to snow conditions
WHAT Josh Feldman SAID: "Only in New York."  (Note:  Josh's last race was a win in the Snowball 20K in St. Louis in 10 degree temperature, strong windblasts and a 715am start)
WHAT James Siegel SAID: "What is a fun run?  Running and fun do not go together!"
WHAT Harry Morales SAID: "A fun run that was not cancelled?  I guess they are not giving out refunds ..."
WHAT Kevin Arlyck SAID: "The NYRR recommends people to call in to check race status.  When I called this morning, the message was that the race was on.  If I knew that this was going to be a fun run, I would not have come."

#1388.  WHO:  Noah Perlis
SUBJECT:  Photo appearing for Thursday Night at the Armory
WHAT HE WROTE:  "New photo discovered!  From last year's 10,000m relay - leading off in poor form.  Did your global surveillance team miss this or .......are you being judicious and considerate in omitting the reference.....nah!!!"

FOOTNOTE:  Judiciously not mentioned in the letter of complaint was that team's result: "Central Park Track Club, DQ"

#1387.  SUBJECT:  The State of the Union speech: the Central Park Track Club website
REFERENCE:  2001 and 2000 annual website log report
REPORT:  Let us begin with these basic summary statistics:


Year 2000 Year 2001 % change
Total number of home page visits 65,397 98,999 +51%
Total number of hits 1,325,095 2,138,436 +61%
Total number of page views 256,429 404,206 +58%
Average number of hits per day 3,620 5,858 +61%
Average number of page views per day 700 1,107 +58%
Average number of user sessions per day 501 746 +49%

Yikes ... where do all these people come from!?  After all, how do we explain that an intranet site for a club with less than 200 dues-paying members can get 746 user sessions per day.  If these people (and only these people) are supposed to deliver 5,858 hits per day, their arms would have fallen off from the constant mouse-clicking!

But whereas in past years, we may have been puzzled by this phenomenon, we know that things have been different recently.  All you have to do is to take a look at our middle distance runners' workout and you would know that this group has blossomed from about 5 people to 30-40  regulars.  For this, we have to thank our coach Devon Sargent for her tireless efforts in recruiting the runners and forging the program.  The greater implication is that this is not necessarily just for the good of this particular club, but for generating interest in track & field as a whole.

Proof:  For the middle distance runners' workout of January 9th, 2001, we have the names of Erik, Isaya, Devon, Kim, Sue and Jim.  That would be six people in total.  

One year later, for the middle distance runners' workout of January 3rd, 2002, we have these names:

  • Group 1: Craig C, James O, Pat L, Sid, Josh Fr, Patrick, Frank, Kevin, Craig P, Steve
  • Group 2: Naomi, Darlene, Lauren, Devon, Bola, Chris S, Sue P, John G, Noah, Mary R
  • Group 3: Eve, Marie, Anna, Brian, Sue K, Julia, Sara, Marty, Helene, Mary D, Amy A, Jim A
  • (4 miles + strides before tomorrow's race): Erik, Isaya, Hugh, Chris P, Charlotte
  • Not present: Kim (Houston), Toby (Kenya), Sonja (Germany), Lee (Spain), Jose (?), Jim O (off), Mindy (off), John S (work)
  • Timer/coach: Devon

That makes forty-six people on the roster!  Somewhere back there, we know minimally that the following people are also avid (or they ought to be!) middle distance runners --- Stuart, Alan R, Tom P, Tom H, Josh Fe, Rob, Paul S-S, Tim, Michael R, David P, Stephen S, Steve P, Frank M, Victor O, James, Paul B, Kevan, Bill D, John K, Brian M, Jeff W, Stacy, Margaret A, Margaret S, Kate, Katie, Andrea C, Leah D, Shula, Stephanie, Sylvie B, Sylvie K, Shelley, Rae, Alayne, Etsuko and (if Sid succeeds) Heather!

#1386.  WHO:  Noah Perlis / Craig Plummer
SUBJECT:  Practice makes perfect?
WHEN: Armory Practice 12/26/01

Noah: Craig, I read on the website that you recently broad jumped 21 feet. Is that a misprint?
Craig: No.
Noah: Congratulations, that's 4 feet better than your best last year. That's an incredible improvement. How did you do that?
Craig: I practiced my form. I take off at that sign behind you, 80 feet from the line. I planted my feet in the right place and I got good height on the jump and just sailed.
Noah: That's great, but I hope you don't expect to increase another 4 feet this year (to 25').
Craig: Why not? You can't be part of my entourage!

#1385.  WHO:  Pliny the Younger
TO WHOM: Tacitus
WHEN: A.D. 79
BACKGROUND:  One of the gems on this website is the road runners' workout description.  Although its origin was quite humble, it has become our most popular page behind just our home page, race results and photo gallery.  This page is more than just a listing of the number of 800m repeats done on a particular day, for it is also a historical document and social commentary of our community, inside and outside of this club.  The historical archive can be read over and over again, forever hermeneutically revealing more dimensions about our people.  So, without further ado, we'll give you the most appropriate classical quotation in Latin (with an unfaithful English translation being provided):

Unum adiciam, omnia me quibus interfueram quaeque statim, cum maxime vera memorantur, audieram, persecutum.  Tu potissima excerpes; aliud est enim epistulam aliud historiam, aliud amica aliud omnibus scribere. I will say no more, except to add that I have described in detail every incident which I have witnessed myself or heard about immediately after the event, when reports were most likely to be accurate.  It is for you to select what best suits your purpose, for there is a great difference between a letter to a friend and history written for all to read.

#1384.  WHO:  Devon Sargent
SUBJECT: What to do if you're a little late to practice?

It's gonna happen. You're running late to practice. Even so, you still need to warm up!  

The Bare MINIMUM Warmup: 1 mile jog + 4 strides. I would rather you miss the first interval, then for you to try to "warm up" during the intervals. It's too easy to get injured without a proper warmup.

PROPER Warm UP: 1 1/2 to 2 mile jog, stretching, 4+ strides & light drills

This should become your routine before all intervals and RACES.

NOTE: for races, you may need additional stretching and/or a couple extra strides.

If possible, run the warmup jog CLOCKWISE, i.e., the opposite way you run on the track. This helps prevent injury.

SUPPORTING EXHIBIT:  Movie (Strides before the December 18, 2001 workout)

Rudolph Giuliani & Gordon Bakoulis
(New York City Hall reception:  Mayor Rudy Giuliani and
Gordon Bakoulis, top New York City finisher
 at the 2001 New York City Marathon)
(photo credit: David Monti)

#1383.  WHO:  Gordon Bakoulis
WHERE:  Running Times, January/February 2002
TITLE:  Racing for Renewal
WHAT SHE WROTE:  "No living American will ever forget Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  I began the day with a run, and ended it wondering how I would ever again summon the energy and passion for something as seemingly inconsequential as road racing.  Many runners shared this sense of the futility and pointlessness of pinning on a number to take in something that thousands will never enjoy again.

I was scheduled to run the Philadelphia Distance Run on Sunday, September 16.  I checked to see whether the race was still being held --- many sporting events in and around New York, where I live, were cancelled --- and finding it was still on, thought hard about whether or not to go through with my plans to compete.  I was in great shape, and Philly was to be my final race before my fall marathon, Twin Cities on October 7.

I did a light speed workout on Thursday to see how it felt to run hard.  Although my Wednesday run had felt awkward and wooden, Thursday's set of 300s were light and zippy, imparting a ready-to-go sensation.  I talked to my  husband, who was also signed up for Philly, and he admitted to having no enthusiasm for the race.  "I'll just be going through the motions," he said dully.  Several of his teammates had bagged their plans to accompany us.

I lined up Sunday morning with no idea what to expect.  I started farther back in the pack than usual and took little notice of the elite field.  As the horn sounded I was wiping tears from my eyes, brought on by a moving tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks, two of whom would have been with us on the starting line.  I really never stopped thinking about the disasters in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania during the next 13.1 miles.  Like many Americans, the events of September 11 were in my consciousness continually for weeks afterward, and are still seldom far from my thoughts.

Yet I had a fantastic race that day in Philadelphia, running faster for the distance than I had in six years.  I don't know why, though the simple fact that I was fit probably explains at least 95 percent of it.  Did my overwrought emotion contribute, either positively or negatively?  I know that I felt better during and after the race than I had anytime in the previous five days.

No one can tell another person how to feel and what to do in the wake of tragedy, whether personal or global.  Tegla Loroupe elected to run the 1995 New York City Marathon within days of the death of her sister, and defended her title.  Other runners I know, who lost friends and family in the World Trade Center disaster, canceled their plans to run this year's New York City Marathon and other races.  I respect both decisions.  Each runner must do what feels comfortable and right.

As I search to define the role of running in this altered world, I've been helped most by reaching out to connect with other runners.  These days I run --- and race --- to seek solidarity, to show gratitude, and to affirm that I am still here.  Seen in this light, running feels far from a trivial pursuit."

#1382.  WHO:  David Smith
SUBJECT:  How to avoid getting your personal information published on this website
WHAT HE SAID: "When you have a name like David Smith, there will be 5000 hits when they enter your name into the search engine."
COMMENT:  Wrong!  Google.com yields 149,000 hits for 'David Smith'.
COMMENT:  When you have a less common name like Lauren Eckhart, you get only 54 hits, most of which come from this website including some gems such as this.  Alas, David Smith is still invisible ...

#1381.  WHO:  Noel Comess
WHEN:  December 1, 2001 Club Awards Banquet night
WHAT HE SAID:  "Although I have not done any running at all today, I feel like as if I had just done a twenty-mile hard run."
COMMENT:  Why?  The food for 130 people was cooked at his apartment by him and other volunteers, and it was not just putting frozen dinners into the microwave oven ...

#1380.  WHO:  Marty Levine
WHEN:  2001 Peter McArdle Cross Country 15K
WHERE:  Van Cortlandt Park

After parking my car at the Mobil station on Broadway I was jogging across the street with my shoes untied.  I stopped at a bench to get ready and a cigar chomping stranger asks: "Are you running in the race today?"

I replied "Yes, why do you ask?"

The cigar chomping stranger said:  "You don't look like a runner!"

"Oh," I said, "What do I look like?"

He replied, "Well you know,  most runners and lanky and thin."

I then said to the man: "And what do I look like?"

"Do you really want to be insulted this early in the morning?" he asked

"No," I replied, and proceeded to jog to the start with motivation to go on another diet!

#1379.  WHO:  Mindy Solkin
SITUATION:  Mindy Solkin is the recipient of the 2001 American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) "Community Service Award" for her service to runners and sports medicine professionals in New York City.  

How do you thank the thousands of people who have given you the opportunity to build and live your dream? 

How do you thank a city that has enabled you to pursue a career as a professional running coach? 

How do you thank a sport? I believe that having "passion" is the answer to these questions. 

Webster defines "passion" as "an intense emotional excitement" and "the object of any strong desire". And so my strong desire to impart intense emotional excitement to the runners who I've coached, in the sport that I love, in the city that offers the opportunity to do this, has given me the ability to offer passion to people's lives, while enriching my own. 

Through the art of coaching and the science of running, I have added years to my life and life to my years. And it is this relentless spirit that will continue to empower people to pursue their dreams on the open road and the winding trail, as they seek "passion" along the way.

#1378.  WHO:  Stuart Calderwood
SUBJECT:  MAC Open/Masters Cross Country Championships, November 18, 2001

How to Train Intelligently and Avoid Racing Too Often

     I met John Prather, an excellent Arizona master runner, at a Thursday CPTC workout about a year ago. I've seen him just that once, but we've turned out to have a lot in common, so we pass on our training successes and injury laments via e-mail. A few days after the NYC Marathon, I wrote John that I'd decided not to run the next weekend's cross-country race, and he was pretty tough on me; he'd always wanted to run the legendary Van Cortlandt course, and his sensory nerves were connected to his own quadriceps rather than to mine. I earned back some respect by telling him that I'd be racing three loops of Van Cortlandt's lovely hills in the Pete McArdle 15K two weeks later, and that I might also run the Race to Deliver 4-Mile in the intervening weekend.

     As that next weekend approached, I realized that a good training run in Van Cortlandt would be more valuable to my preparation for the 15K than a race would, so on Sunday morning I reluctantly got on the uptown 1-train. I kept looking at my watch, thinking, "Okay, the four-mile starts in ten minutes...they're on the line...they're definitely running now...well, I missed the race."

     I got to Van Cortlandt and jogged across the big field. I thought I'd do three loops of the hills, something like that. As I neared the trail, I came upon a finish-chute and a couple of bored-looking officials sitting in chairs next to it.

     "Hey, what's the race?" I asked. I was picturing some little kids' age-group thing.

     "Oh, it's the MAC Championships. The women should be here any minute now."

     "Did they already have a men's race?"

     "No, no, they're lining up right now--they start in a couple of minutes. You get on over there!"

     A couple of minutes! A desperate debate started up in my head. "Of course I should run! (But I'm wearing sweats, training shoes...I don't have my singlet)--Oh, come on, what am I going to do, watch? (But I wasn't supposed to be running a race today...)" This was interrupted by a gang of New York Harriers jogging to the start, among them the always-friendly Liam Kinsella, who I pray never loses his Irish accent:

     "Eh, Sturrrt, let's gooo--ye'r runnin' the race, arrrn'tcha?"

     I seemed to have no choice. I took off my sweats--I was wearing those Race Ready shorts covered with pockets! I looked like Paul Stuart-Smith!  It couldn't be helped.  I stashed my stuff in the MAC van and did a stiff-legged pickup over to the Broadway side of the park. Suddenly I was happy--I'd get to race without ever having gotten nervous.

     I did the usual size-up-the-field survey: "Okay, Liam will win it; Steve Marsalese will be within seconds of me one way or the other....I can beat this guy with the basketball shoes....Hey, wonder who the masters are in here..."

     As I took my spot on the line, a very fit-looking man jogged up in a pair of spikes. I thought I'd see if I could make out his age on his number-tag. I leaned out, took a glance-- His shirt said "PHILADELPHIA MASTERS."

     "Runners, take your marks!"...BANG!

     A bunch of young college-track types took off fast. Liam cruised through them up toward the front. The Philadelphia Master was about ten yards ahead of me; Steve materialized beside me on cue. We went around the field--I was running on instinct, my mind still saying "They're having a race here today?"--and into the hills; Steve and I started threading through the fast starters. We saw Liam catch the first of them. I said "Liam's got it," and Steve said "We'll get all these guys."

     We passed Philadelphia on an uphill. His spikes made a noticeable crackle on the trail; I'd know if he was nearby. Steve started running the uphills depressingly well. I hung on as we passed a couple more twenty-year-olds. We were in fourth and fifth now, Liam leaving his last two rivals for us to shoot at.  The hills started to be The Hills, and I started to be a very unprepared competitor with training shoes and a flapping T-shirt and numerous other excuses, and I started to dread the sound of those spikes.

     Steve got away. "Yeah, well, I beat him in the marathon. Hey, I just ran a marathon! That's a REALLY good excuse!"

     Long steep downhill to the fence, wild banked turn at probably four-minute-mile pace, then into the last uphill, a long slog back to the bridge over the parkway. I reached a short stretch of asphalt street, ran about three seconds on it...

     Clack, clatter, clack.

     The spikes.

     Over the bridge, last big downhill, jolt-jounce-bounce, "Hope there's no big rock under these leaves..." I caught up to the fourth-place guy--a smooth-striding kid of about 22, probably some 800-meter runner--and he held me off. "Ah, let him go, who cares, he's no master!--No, chasing him will help; don't let him go!"

     We rolled out onto the last flat stretch--it's a lot longer than it looks, probably a 600--and the kid just cruised away from me. "Damn, your legs can feel dead at the ends of these things....Don't get discouraged! First master, first master..."

     After about a half-hour of perceived time, I reached the end of the quicksand-pit that the trail had miraculously become.  I stopped my watch, looked at it. 18:04--man, it didn't seem THAT slow! Looked back.  Philadelphia was just crossing the line. 

     I was the MAC Masters Cross-Country Champion!

     Nearly as important, I've met the stringent Arizona race-scheduling standards. But thanks, really, John. You, too, Liam.

     Three times around that thing next Sunday?

#1377.  SUBJECT:  Victor Diaz, in memoriam

Victor Diaz
ahead of
Stuart Calderwood,
at the Armory
in the mile race,
MAC Indoor

Among those who perished on American Airlines Flight 587 in Belle Harbor on November 12, 2001 was Victor Diaz, who was a member of the Central Park Track Club in 1997-1998 and then became a member of the A.U.R.A. International team.  He was a top M50-54 local competitor at 400m/800m/mile and XC.  Victor had gotten married earlier this month and was on his way to see his bride in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  This is very sad, and he will be missed by his friends in the running community.  

From Frank Handelman: "There seems to be no end to the shocks we are enduring this fall. Like everyone else in the city, I've gone through enormous mood swings and did so again on Monday, when Flight 587 went down. I had spent much of Saturday driving around the Rockaway peninsula, while visiting one of my senior citizen clients. Then I felt the guilt of feeling relief, that this appears to be (can it be said this way?) just a normal crash. And now to learn it's personal, with the loss of Victor Diaz.

Victor and I trained together when he ran with the CPTC, and stayed close after he left. I raced against him all the time, as we shared an age group and did the same events. I always feared his finish, with his long, effortless strides eating up the ground. I particularly relish the memory of the masters nationals in 1999 in Orlando. He was the most tenacious of competitors, and the most gracious and friendly of teammates and rivals. I will miss him tremendously at the Armory this winter.

May we all be sure to count our blessings and appreciate our lives this Thanksgiving."

Originally, we thought that we had only one photo of Victor on our website.  From Jeff Kisseloff: "It's no accident that I'm in that photo with Victor. We used to good-humoredly push each other in races all the time. We'd laugh because I'd always go out fast and finish up slow, and he'd do the opposite, so we'd usually come together at some point. When I was training at the Armory, we'd almost always would pair off.  He was a sweet, warm guy, who always made the hard work challenging and fun."

From Jim Aneshansley: "I learned of the death of Victor Diaz at the Armory this evening.  In previous years I had given Victor a lift home to Brooklyn after practice and I had expected to see him this evening......  For those who knew Victor this is a shocking loss. We will miss his gentle heart and competitive spirit.  For those who didn't know Victor,.... you missed a warm and generous man.
For the record, Victor never left the club,.. he simply elected to stay with Howard when the coach controversy erupted.  Although Victor was an intelligently outspoken advocate of Puerto Rican independence, he didn't believe that politics and the sport of running belonged on the same page.  He opted out of the controversy by staying where he was with Howard at AURA.  Victor was a very private and introspective man who really didn't need the social camaraderie of a running club.  As a dedicated athlete he 'marched to his own drummer',  successfully following a program based on Arthur Lydiard's philosophy for periodised training.  He built his seasons intelligently from base to race and knew his abilities and how to peak at the Nationals each winter and summer.  Victor knew how to run track ,...training healthy and racing close to his competitive limit.  I never raced on the roads with Victor but I am told he competed there with the same strength of character.  
I'll also admired Victor's inner qualities as a human being.  Those who remember him will agree that he had a hard exterior with a lean, hard  body and a face to match it.  His look belied the gentle man inside.  In many hours of conversation I found him a skilled listener and emotionally available on any subject.  As a runner and as a human being  Victor was 'world class'."

#1376.  WHO:  Bola Awofeso
SITUATION:  Do you wonder how we get photos from those out-of-town races?  What does it take?
WHEN:  November 16th, 2001 (two days before the Philadelphia Marathon)
WHAT HE WROTE: "I plan on being in Philly this Sunday --- if I can catch the 6 a.m. train."

COMMENT:  If you were really checking the results, you will note that the photos appeared just after noon that day.  How did that happen so quickly?  Isaya Okwiya said, "I was staying with a friend who lives right across the museum.  So I just rolled out of bed to watch the marathon.  Afterwards, I got the photos and emailed it through hotmail.com and then I went back to bed again."

#1375.  WHO:  Susan Sontag
WHERE:  Introduction to One Hundred Years of Italian Photography
WHAT SHE WROTE:  Photographs are not windows which supply a transparent view of the world as it is, or more exactly, as it was.  Photographs give evidence --- often spurious, always incomplete --- in support of dominant ideologies and existing social arrangements.  They fabricate and confirm these myths and arrangements.

How?  By making statements about what is in the world, what we should look at.  Photographs tell us how things ought to look, what their subjects should reveal about themselves.

Photographs taken in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries rarely fail to make visible the markers of status.  We associate this with posing.  The process itself took time: one couldn't take photographs on the run.  With posing, whether in a studio portrait or in pictures of people taken on the sites of work and recreation, there can be a conscious construction of what is seemly, appropriate, attractive.  The way most old photographs look expounds the value of uprightness, explicitness, informativeness, orderly spacing; but from the 1930s on, and this cannot only be due to the evolution of camera technology, the look of photographs confirms the value of movement, animation, asymmetry, enigma, informal social relations.  Modern taste judges the way workers in the old photographs of building sites and factories were stiffly posed to be a kind of lie --- concealing, for instance, the reality of their physical exertion.  We prefer to see the sweat, in informal, unposed-looking shots in which people are caught in a movement --- that is what looks truthful (if not always beautiful) to us.  We feel more comfortable with what features exertion, awkwardness, and conceals the realities of control (self-control, control by others), of power --- revelations we now judge, oddly enough, to be "artificial."

COMMENT:  Remember these words the next time you come out of the portosan and see a camera in your face ...

#1374.  WHO:  Brian Barry / Roland Soong
WHEN:  November 16, 2001, 10:45pm
WHERE:  Stuyvesant Town, 14th Street & Avenue C
Brian:  "Hi, what you are doing at this time of night?"
Roland: "Oh, I'm running a couple of loops before I go to bed.  What about you?"
Brian: "I'm going to get a pint of ice-cream ..."

#1373.  WHO:  Roland Soong
SUBJECT:  The Central Park Track Club booklist
WHEN:  November 14, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:  "The busiest pages on this website are the race results, the workout descriptions and the photo gallery.  These pages interest people because the information are frequently updated --- usually several races every weekend, two workouts per week and an average of one photo album per week.  Actually, our most frequently updated page is not any of the aforementioned pages, but the Central Park Track Club booklist.  On that page, we publish the list of all items, mostly books, that have been sold in chronological order (most recent one at the top) through our Amazon.com affiliate program.  This booklist may be updated several times a week.  The stated reason for publishing this list is to 'let you know what your friends have on their minds these days' and the revenues are only of minor concern.

But that is not the complete story.  Even a cursory examination of the book list would reveal that there is a distinct slant towards Latinamericana.  This is because we share the Amazon.com affiliate ID with our sister (formerly, parent) site Zonalatina.com, a major Latin American portal.  In fact, we cannot tell which site generated the sale of a particular item, but we suspect that most of activity is being generated by the other website because of the strong Latin flavor of the books sold.  On that other website, there is a large number of recommended booklists on specific topics, such as:

In each case, the purpose is to collect a body of published references on an important subject and placed them in context on a public website.  Then we sit back and watch the hits accumulate over time.  These are evergreen content pages that persist because they remain the major references on those subjects.  So it is that when we see someone has purchased the major books on the Guatemalan civil war, we feel as if we have influenced someone to examine an important piece of history.  And when someone purchased books on machismo or racism, we feel that we have possibly made some contributions towards people's understanding of prejudices.  Such are the little delights in our lives that we are sure that you will permit us to indulge ...

P.S.  Now about the person who purchased Leonard Cohen's The Future.  What are you trying to do?  Are you trying to read my mind?  To get inside my head ...?"   From Brian Barry: "I'm the one who purchased Leonard Cohen's The Future.  Great Album."  Roland Soong sent this note of admiration: "Well I'll have to give you a lot more respect from now on ... I had marked you for a country music hick ..."  Brian Barry accepts with a barb: "That's the problem with you liberals --- you think you've got the market on everything, including taste in music.  Actually I'm a rock n roller with a twist."

#1372.  WHO:  Roland Soong
SUBJECT:  Those ~900 home page visitors to our website on the day after the 2001 New York City Marathon
WHAT HE WROTE: "It was a mystery to me how our 66 finishers could have generated interest from such a high multiple of visitors, until one of them (who shall go unnamed) said to me, 'You know, I love to go to the website and read my splits over and over again.'"

#1371.  SUBJECT:  How do you know that you may have had a bad marathon?
WHEN:  Tuesday workout after the 2001 New York City Marathon
WHAT: "You know that you may have had a bad marathon when you see a clean-shaven Kevin Arlyck and you swear that he had a moustache on marathon day.  Were you really hallucinating that badly?"

#1370.  WHO:  George Hirsch
TITLE: We'll Keep On Running
WHERE:  Runner's World, December 2001

On Tuesday morning, September 11, the president of the United States woke up early in Sarasota, Fla., and went for a hard 4-1/2 mile run before visiting an elementary school.  That same morning my wife Shay joined me on my walk to work as she does every day.  It was a crisp, crystal-clear day in New York after a summer of typical heat and humidity, and I was looking forward to my run at lunchtime.

That run never happened.

Like each one of us, I vividly recall --- and will forever recall --- how the unspeakable tragedy unfolded.  I was beginning my day in the Runner's World publishing office on the east side of Manhattan when we heard the first report about a plane flying into the World Trade Center.  The news sent us to the TV in our conference room, where we spent the next few hours watching in horror and disbelief.

The disbelief turned slowly to harsh reality, as we realized that a tremendous blow had wounded our city and country.  Eventually I left the office, heading for home through a world far different from the one that had seen the day's sunrise.  That innocent world now seemed shattered.

As I walked, I passed thousands of New Yorkers trudging northward in quiet, calm groups.  We all looked up when military jets screeched overhead.  I've lived in New York most of my life, and have learned to accept the sound of sirens piercing the air as no more than background music in this busy city's cacophony.

But I'd never heard such a persistent wailing.  At the same time, thick clouds of smoke loomed over lower Manhattan.

When I reached home, the telephone was ringing.  It kept ringing all night.  Friends from around the world were calling to express their concern and offer their support.  We heard from Idaho and California, and also from England, Italy, and South Africa.  Everyone agreed that he or she had never witnessed such a wanton, destructive act.

For the rest of the day and night, we watched TV, trying to make sense of the senseless.  An e-mail from Joe Henderson told us of friends, two of Dr. George Sheehan's sons, who'd barely escaped the tragedy.  Tim Sheehan was still on the subway heading to his job in the North Tower when it was struck.  Michael Sheehan escaped from his 55-th floor office in the South Tower, helping an elder woman negotiate the last 15 flights of stairs.

The next morning, I jogged to office through holiday-quiet streets.  The National Guard in camouflage fatigues directed traffic as fire trucks and ambulances hurtled by.  Very few New Yorkers reported to their offices that day, so I was surprised to find Claudia Malley, our publisher, and every member of our New York staff at their desks.  I can't say that we got much accomplished on Wednesday, but we all felt better being together as colleagues in our work family.

At midday, I ran to Central Park, my city's refuge and my own country club for the past 35 years.  Unlike the city streets, the park was bustling.  Parents with strollers.  Lovers hand in hand.  And runners --- lots of runners.  Apparently many of us needed to leave our apartments, houses and offices to find something familiar in this unfathomable new world.

The experience reminded me of how running has helped me through other tough stages of my life.  As I settled into a relaxed, comfortable rhythm, I recalled that I'd also gone out for a run the day after my  father died many years ago.  I needed to go off by myself to sift though my thoughts and emotions while doing what comes naturally.  I did  the same after my mother passed away.  My daily runs have always brought me a sense of calm and peace.

Note:  George Hirsch and Claudia Malley are members of the Central Park Track Club.

#1369.  WHO: Guenter Erich / David Obelkevich
WHEN: November 4, 2001
WHERE: Just past the New York City Marathon finish line
WHAT David Obelkevich (MILL) SAID: "Hey, Guenter, did you break four hours?"
WHAT Guenter Erich (CPTC) SAID: "I shitdipped (4:00:47) , but my chip did (3:59:13)!!!"

#1368.  WHO:  Kai Michaelsen
SUBJECT:  His Marathon PR
WHAT HE SAID: "You ask me what my marathon PR was?  That is actually a difficult question.  The simple answer is that my best marathon finishing time was 2:48.  But the fact was that I had reached the 26 mile mark in 2:39, whereupon I collapsed a few steps later.  It took me 9 minutes to cross that finish line, because I was so disoriented that I was running the wrong way when I got up and I was arguing with someone who tried to point me in the right direction."

#1367.  WHO:  Michele Tagliati
SUBJECT: La mia maratona del 2001
WHEN:  November 5, 2001
WHERE:  New York City Site
WHAT HE WROTE: "Ero nato da pochi giorni quando Abebe Bikila conquisto' a piedi nudi la maratona olimpica di Roma e forse non e' una coincidenza che la maratona abbia sempre colpito la mia fantasia, sin da bambino, quando leggevo la storia del mitico Dorando Pietri. Ma da quando vivo a New York mi sono ammalato di "maratonite" acuta. O meglio cronica, visto che quest'anno ho timbrato il mio decimo cartellino: dieci maratone in dieci anni, comincio a sentirmi un veterano.

Quest'anno pero' era una maratona diversa. Ci siamo svegliati tutti molto presto, salutati da una giornata incantevole, con un sole mite, senza umidita' e una brezzolina rinfrescante dietro ogni angolo. Alla partenza si respirava un'atmosfera particolare, impalpabile, la consapevolezza di essere parte di qualcosa di piu' importante della solita maratona. Dopo l'undici di settembre ben poche cose sono di routine a New York. Persino una bella giornata di sole finisce per ricordarti il cielo senza una nuvola di quello sciagurato mattino di fine estate. Ma ieri per la prima volta dall'attacco al World Trade Center, la citta' si riuniva intorno ad una delle sue creature piu' simboliche, il serpentone multicolore che incarna la natura internazionale della Grande Mela e la consacra ogni anno capitale del mondo podistico. Confesso che le note di "God Bless America" mi hanno fatto venire la pelle d'oca sulla linea di partenza.

Ma il colpo di cannone della partenza ha fatto svanire ogni incertezza. E dopo il lungo ponte di Verrazzano, sul quale non puoi fare a meno di notare la silhouette mutilata di Manhattan sulla sinistra, ci siamo tutti immersi nel bagno di folla di Brooklyn. Sara' stata la bella giornata o i pantaloncini a stelle e striscie che mia figlia mi aveva regalato una settimana fa, ma la gente era piu' calorosa quest'anno, piu' rumorosa, piu' vicina alla corsa. Le bande musicali che costellano il percorso avevano piu' ritmo, i colori erano piu' vivaci. Era come se gli spettatori avessero bisogno di tuffarsi in questo rito gioioso per scrollarsi la paura di dosso, almeno per qualche ora e forse, chissa', per i mesi a venire.
Intanto le miglia si succedevano festose. Ecco la Brooklyn Academy of Music che segna l'ottavo miglio, la sequenza multietnica di Bedford Avenue, il fascino post-modern dei magazzini industriali nel Queens subito dopo la meta' maratona, il silenzio del ponte di Queensboro che precede il boato della First Avenue. Sara' perche' abito su First Avenue, ma i cinque chilometri dalla 59ma strada al Bronx sono la parte piu' bella e incredibile della maratona di NY. Nonostante la stanchezza cominci ad affiorare insidiosa, migliaia e migliaia di voci urlanti ti fanno letteralmente volare. Ti senti quasi ubriaco, forse sono gli zuccheri che non arrivano piu' al cervello, ma gli esperti la chiamano "First Avenue High". E forse hai bisogno di ubriacarti un po' prima di affrontare il "muro" del 20mo miglio nel Bronx. Gli spettatori diventano meno numerosi, l'incitamento piu' sparso e tutto d'un tratto ti rendi conto in che pasticcio ti sei andato a cacciare. Le gambe si fanno pesanti, i piedi cominciano a dolorare e facendo qualche calcolo ti accorgi che mancano ancora dieci chilometri! La corsa si snoda per qualche chilometro attraverso Harlem, ma pochi hanno voglia di ammirare il paesaggio a quel punto. Il sole si riflette sull'asfalto disegnando una linea d'argento che - punteggiata di corridori - tira dritta fino a Central Park, la terra promessa . ed il Parco ti aspetta nella sua bellezza impareggiabile, quel verde brillante e riposante allo stesso tempo e di nuovo il frastuono assordante del pubblico che ti prende per mano per le ultime sospirate miglia. Vestendo la maglia arancione del mitico Central Park Track Club mi godo qualche incoraggiamneto extra, ma c'e' ne e' per tutti e per ore di seguito. Piano piano comincio a crederci, anche quest'anno arrivo in fondo ...

Mancano due chilometri, un chilometro, ecco Central Park South, la statua di Cristoforo Colombo sullo sfondo, la curva trionfante che ti riporta nel Parco per gli ultimi cinquecento metri. Ancora una salitina e puoi vedere l'orologio sulla linea d'arrivo. Non importa se ci metti due ore o cinque, a quel punto ti senti vincitore. E la gente ti tratta come tale, con un entusiasmo incredibile e inesauribile, fino all'ultimo metro. Getti le braccia al cielo per la foto sotto al traguardo ed il sorriso sostituisce la smorfia della fatica sul viso. "Ce l'ho fatta!" Quest'anno in particolare abbiamo vinto tutti e New York ha trionfato con noi.

Technical note:  For all you people who don't know the language of Dante Alighieri, Altavista.com offers the following machine translation.  Of course, Michele Tagliati cannot be held responsible for this atrocity.

"I was been born from little days when Abebe Bikila I conquer. on foot knots maratona olympic of Rome and perhaps a not and coincidence that the maratona has always hit my fantasy, sin from child, when I read the history of the mythical one Gilding Stones. But from when alive to New York " maratonite " are sickened to me of acute. Or better chronic, inasmuch as quest.anno I have stamped mine tenth cartellino: ten maratone in ten years, I begin to sentirmi a veteran.

But the gun shot of the departure has made to vanish every uncertainty. And after along bridge of Verrazzano, on which you cannot make less than to notice silhouette the cripple of Manhattan on the left, there are all dipping in the bath of crowd of Brooklyn. Sara. be the beautiful day or pantaloncini to stars and the strips that my daughter had given me a week ago, but people were piu. warm quest.anno, piu. noisy, piu. near the race. The musical bands that stud the distance had piu. rhythm, the colors were piu. lively. It was like if the spectators they had need of tuffarsi in this joyful ritual for scrollarsi the back fear, at least for some hour and perhaps, chissa., for the months to come. While the miles succeeded festose. Here the Brooklyn Academy of Music that marks l.ottavo mile, the multiethnic sequence of Bedford Avenue, the fascination post-modern of the industrial warehouses in the Queens endured after the goal maratona, Hush of the bridge of Queensboro that precedes the roar of the First Avenue. Sara. perche. dress on First Avenue, but the five kilometers from 59ma the road to the Bronx are the beautiful part piu. and incredible of the maratona of NY. In spite of the fatigue it begins to emerge insidiosa, migliaia and migliaia of urlanti voices they literally make you to fly.

Quest.anno pear tree was one maratona various. We have waked up all a lot soon, greeted from one charming day, with a mild sun, without umidita. and one brezzolina refreshing behind every angle. To the departure it was breathed un.atmosfera particular, impalpabile, the knowledge of being part of something of piu. important of the usual maratona. After l.undici of september very little things are of ruotine to New York. A beautiful day of sun even ends for ricordarti the sky without one cloud of that sciagurato mattino of fine summer. But yesterday for before the time dall.attacco to the World Trade Center, the citta. one gathered around to one of its symbolic creatures piu., serpentone the multicolor that incarnates the international nature of the Great Apple and it consecrates it every vital year of the podistico world. I confess that the notes of God Bless America. they have made me to come the skin d.oca on the starting line.  Perhaps you feel yourself nearly drunk, are the sugars that do not arrive piu. to the brain, but the experts call it First Avenue High.. And perhaps you have need of ubriacarti a po. before facing the muro. of 20mo the mile in the Bronx. The spectators become less numerous, scattered l.incitamento piu. and all d.un drawn you become account in that pie six gone to you to hunt. The legs are made heavy, the feet begin to dolorare and making some calculation you notice that still ten kilometers lack! The race snoda for some kilometer through Harlem, but little have want to admire the landscape to that point. The sun is reflected sull.asfalto designing a line d.argento that - punctuated of runners - it pulls straight until Central Park, the promised earth. and the Park waits for to you in its unparalleled beauty, that new shining green and resting at the same time and of the deafening din of the public who takes to you for hand for the last ones yearned for miles. Dressing the orange mesh of the mythical Central Park Track Club I enjoy some incoraggiamneto extra, but c.e. ne and for all and hours of continuation. Slowly slowly I begin to crederci, also quest.anno arrival in bottom...

Two kilometers lack, a kilometer, here Central Park South, the statue of Cristoforo Columbus on the background, the triumphant curve that you filler in the Park for last the five hundred meters. Still a salitina and you can see l.orologio on the d.arrivo line. It does not import if you put us two hours or five, to that point you feel winner. And people deal to you like such, with an incredible and inexhaustible enthusiasm, until all.ultimo meter. Jets the arms to the sky for the photo under to the goal and the sorriso replace the smorfia of the hard work on the ace. Ce l.ho made!. Quest.anno in particular we have gained all and New York has prevailed with we.

#1366.  WHO:  Vincent Trinquesse
SUBJECT:  2001 New York City Marathon
WHAT HE WROTE: "In 1999, I watched. In 2000, I volunteered.  In 2001, I did it.  I remember the best cup of -hot!- Coke I ever had at mile 20 when the pain in my knee (tendonitis) started to drive me crazy! Thanks Stacy (Creamer)!"

#1365.  WHO:  Yves-Marc Courtines (and Larry Thraen)
WHEN: November 1, 2001
WHAT HE SAID: "I was in Chicago last week.  At the time, I was wearing a marathon shirt.  Some guy started to talk to me, and asked me if I run marathons.  I said that I am currently injured, but I belong to a team with many marathon runners.  He said, 'Oh yeah, which team do you belong to?'  I said, 'The Central Park Track Club.'  He said, 'Really!  I am a member of the Central Park Track Club too!'  I said, 'You know, someone on our team ran 2:59:59 at the Chicago Marathon a couple of weeks ago.'  He said, 'But I am that person!'  This world is too small!"

#1364.  WHO:  Stefani Jackenthal
TITLE "Go Hudson"
WHAT SHE WROTE:  They don't need no stinkin' cabs! New York City kayakers prefer to chase wakes from frantic commuter ferries on the Hudson River. And from the river, the fish-eye's view of the scenic skyline can't be beat. Although home storage is not often an option, the concrete jungle has a few havens to store and rent kayaks. The most notable is Manhattan Kayak Company (MKC), owned and operated by Eric Stiller. Based in a barge on the flanks of the Hudson (Pier 63 at 23rd street), MKC offers instruction and guided tours of varying lengths. A popular short tour (1.5 hours) explores the historical USS Intrepid Navel warship-turned-museum. Ultra-paddles (7-9 hours), such as a circumnavigation of Manhattan (28 miles) are also available for strong strokers as is a three-hour weekender to the Statue of Liberty. And, when the pod of a dozen or so sea kayaks reaches the choppy water at Lady Liberty's base, paddlers are awestruck. While they stare upward at her daunting torch and book, fascinated tourists point down to the tiny bobbing kayaks as if looking into an aquarium. Now that's entertainment. For more information on the Manhattan Kayak Company, call (212) 924-1788, or go to www.manhattankayak.com.

#1363.  WHO: Michele Tagliati
WHEN:  October 30, 2001, upon seeing a photo of an Alessandro Del Piero jersey in Venice published on this website
WHAT HE WROTE:  "Del Piero who?  Francesco Totti rules in New York City (and Roma).  See attachments."

Isabella Tagliati

Luca Tagliati

#1362.  WHO:  Paul Stuart-Smith / Roland Soong
SUBJECT:  Serpentine Running Club's Last Friday of the Month 5K series in London (UK)
SUB-TITLE:  How nagging is more effective than coaching

Paul Stuart-Smith, Saturday (September 1): "16:47 - 7th place."

Paul Stuart-Smith, Monday (October 1): "16:34, 2nd overall.  Slowly getting back to full fitness here."
Roland Soong, Tuesday (October 2): "Gotta work up one more spot next time ..."
Paul Stuart-Smith, Tuesday (October 2): "I'm working on it!"

Paul Stuart Smith, Friday (October 26): "First!!! 16:22."

#1361.  WHO:  Adam Bleifeld
WHEN:  October 18, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:  "As you know, I now live in Boston and run up here.  I work for Newsweek magazine as the Boston Ad Sales Manager.

In this week's issue (8/22/01 cover date -- ANTHRAX) there is a picture of Tony Ruiz on page 67.  Small world -- eight million people in NYC and someone I know gets pictured in the magazine.

Hope all is well with the team. Please say hello for me."

COMMENT:  This photo was taken on the morning of September 11, 2001 in the area of the World Trade Center area.  Two days later at our workout, coach Tony Ruiz said, "I was an eyewitness to the second airplane crashing into the World Trade Center.  It was a devastating sight.  After seeing something like that, I must say that running is very low on my list right now.  Nevertheless, I am here today and I just want to run a loop with my friends.  Then I want to go home to my son, who still finds it hard to understand."

#1360.  WHO:  Roland Soong
WHEN:  October 18, 2001
SUBJECT:  Those 192 persons who are delinquent on their club dues on this day
WHAT HE SAID:  "Unfortunately, there is not much that we can threaten them with.  For example, if we say 'Your race results will not be published on the website until you've paid up,' then some people will definitely not pay!"  Ditto for the 'no photographs' threat."

#1359.  WHO:  Richard Shadick, Ph.D., Director of Training, Pace University, Counseling Center
TO WHOM:  NYU Cole Center-Triathlon Club e-list (forwarded by Shula Sarner)
SUBJECT:  Coping with 9/11
WHAT HE WROTE:  "Ann Snoeyenbos thought it might be a good idea to have someone in the field of mental health comment on the effect of experiencing the WTC attack on training might be. As a psychologist, and a triathlete, I think this is a great idea.

Here are a couple of issues to consider. What we all have experienced is a highly traumatic, abnormal yet historic event.  Depending on the level of exposure one has had (e.g., watching it on TV, seeing it in real life, being at ground zero), our minds and bodies will react, for a while.  We may have experienced a whole host of reactions, physically and emotionally, from anxiety, fear, sleeplessness, nightmares, exaggerated startle responses, loss of appetite, sadness, among many other things.

There are some symptoms particularly relevant for this listserve: lack of energy or motivation to do things we normally enjoy (assuming you enjoy training) or boundless amounts of energy, increased appetite and little need for sleep. Thus you may not have any desire to train or you have been training very hard, non-stop since the attack.  These are all common reactions and to be expected.  (If you are not aware of any reaction at all, remember numbness and avoidance are reactions too.)

Here are a couple of suggestions:

1) Try to get back to a normal routine-first eating and sleeping, and then training. Don't worry about training until your eating and sleeping is normal. Missing some training time is not going to hurt us, after all isn't this the off season?

2) Don't overdo it. While it is adaptive to work out anxiety and fear through exercise, it is important to not over exercise especially since your body is already stressed from the attack and may be prone to injury.

3)  Cut yourself some slack. You are going through an extremely traumatic, historic event and you should not expect to be at 100% during this time.

4) You should be alarmed if symptoms linger or if they get worse. If this is the case, seek professional help.

#1358.  WHO:  Blair Boyer
WHEN:  October 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:  "You should never tell people like me about other's people mileage.  Last weekend, I found out that Alan Ruben covered 34 miles on Saturday and Sunday.  This weekend, for me, 22 miles on Saturday and 13 miles on Sunday for 35 miles total.  Of course, I probably took a couple more hours longer to do this than Alan did." 

#1357.  WHO:  Alan Bautista, Sid Howard, Roland Soong
WHEN:  October 9th, 2001, after the track workout
WHERE:  East River Park
TITLE:  Play in one act

Alan:  Roland, I'll have to ask you for a favor.  Could you post a message on the website to ask whoever took my orange jacket by mistake to return it to me?
Roland: Okay.
Sid:  Oh my, how is that possible?  This kind of thing cannot happen on this team.  Is it one of the new jackets?
Alan:  No, it is an old one.
Sid:  I don't understand who could have taken it.
Alan:  Sid, you are wearing an old jacket.  Is that mine?
Sid:  Hmm, this jacket does feel a bit big on me.  Let me check my bag.  Oh my, my own jacket is in the bag!  So I did take your jacket by mistake!
Alan:  Sid, those pants also look big for you.  Did you take my pants too?
Sid:  Oh my, my pants in the bag too!  So I took your pants too.  I don't know how this could have happened.  I usually leave my pants outside, but this is the only time that I ever put them into the bag.  I must have forgotten, and I picked up the clothes that were lying next to it ...
Alan: Roland, you don't have to post that message now.
Roland:  I won't post a message, but I'll sure write this incident up.
Sid:  I hate to be reading this ...

James Siegel #1356.  WHO:  James Siegel
WHERE:  Central Park, NYC
WHEN:  10:47am, October 7th, 2001
PHOTO:  Taken at that very moment
WHAT HE SAID: "Yes, you are quite correct --- I was registered to run in the Chicago Marathon today and it is obvious that I won't get to the starting line on time.  By the way, I am also registered to run in the New York City Marathon too, and I won't get to that starting line either.

Why do I register for these races that I don't run?  Hmm.  I think it is my mission to give these races a couple of hundred dollars to show my support ..."

FOOTNOTE:  Will the Honolulu Marathon be the next race that he won't run in ... ?

QUERY:  Yes, this is a free world --- James can choose to enter and not to run those races.  But the big question is, Will he be wearing the race t-shirts?

#1355.  WHO:  Michele Tagliati
WHEN:  September 30, 2001
WHERE:  Central Park bridle path, in the middle of a long marathon training run
WHAT HE SAID:  "It is a sign of the times when people produce GU to share, instead of marijuana to smoke."

COMMENT:  An alternate explanation is that one can never be sure that who is a narc on this club ...

#1354.  WHO:  Peter Gambaccini / Alan Bautista
WHERE:  Runnersworld.com
WHEN:  September 27, 2001

     Dr. Alan Bautista, who races from 200 meters up to 5-K, is an emergency medicine physician in the Bronx who is in Naval Reserve. On September 11, "I was feeling what everyone else was feeling. I need to do something." He ended up going down to the Trade Center in his naval uniform so I could get where I needed to go and wouldn't be questioned."

     "I got a small crew, and they gave us a litter and some ropes and some axes and some fire extinguishers. I said 'okay, we gotta get in there.'  I wasn't even scared." He was actually putting out fires at 7 World Center before he was warned it was about to collapse.

     Bautista made his way to nearby Liberty Plaza, across the street from the now destroyed South Tower of the World Trade Center. "Trauma is kind of my specialty. I had packed a 45-pound medical kit issued to me by the Navy three days before the incident; luckily I had it with me."

     "We found someone in the pile of rubble," notes Bautista." His name was Lenny. I would like to know his last name and who he was. He was in civilian clothes; to my knowledge, he might have been the last civilian pulled out of the wreckage (other than rescuers). They think he might have been from the 70th floor, because the girders around him said 70. I was running back and forth with my pack - I'm training for the Fifth Avenue Mile and I'm trying to get in shape. He had a broken arm, broken leg, and a broken foot and a couple of ribs, but he was alive and talking. We stabilized him, put him in a splint, put in an IV to give him fluids, and put a hard collar on him to protect his neck, and we shipped him."

     "And that was it. We waited for the next one and the next one and they never came. Once I found my usefulness over, I left. There were too many chefs, as it were."

     Bautista the reservist is now on High Alert. "I want to go," he affirms. "I don't want to be stuck on some base in Idaho. I want to be deployed. I want to be where I'm need, where I think I can be of best use. The scary thing is, I'm not scared. I was at the World Trade Center on Day Zero, and now I may be on the other side of the world. They aren't too many people who've had the opportunity to be in both places."

#1353.  WHO:  Peter Gambaccini / Stacy Creamer / Stuart Calderwood / Irene Jackson
WHERE:  RunnersWorld.com
WHEN:  September 26, 2001

Stacy Creamer, winner of this year's Central Park Triathlon and the Race to Home Plate 5-K in the Mets' Shea Stadium, is one of the leading fiction editors in the country. She works at the Putnam Publishing Group, about a mile north of the World Trade Center site.

     "Uncannily, I just got a book, a 600-page manuscript, from a new author of mine who just finished it two weeks ago," she said. "And it opens with a missile attack on the Department of Agriculture in Washington by Osama Bin Laden. I don't think we're going to be able to publish this book."

     At Putnam, she says, "we went through a whole list of jacket art and things we had to change. Some things we've had to postpone."

     Creamer had got a slow heading to work on September 11. She'd paused to vote in the Mayoral Primary to select a successor to Rudolph Giuliani, then she and boyfriend Stuart Calderwood got on the subway headed to her office.

     They soon began encountering switches from express to local trains and other disruptions of service.

     "By now I'm really fuming, because I'm getting to work well past what I thought was an acceptable time," recalls Creamer. "At Christopher Street, they stopped for a long time and made some garbled announcement that I couldn't hear. Stuart said 'I think we should give them a break, they just said two trains crashed at the World Trade Center.'"

     "Then a guy next to us said 'no, two planes crashed.' And even at that moment, I thought two air traffic controllers had sent planes crashing into the Tower," remembers Creamer. "It didn't make sense to me at all."

     "We came up at Christopher Street and one of the towers had already collapsed and the other one was smoking. I never knew from which downtown perspective you can see them or you can't see, but Stuart, who loves the Towers, said 'No, one of them is gone.'"

     Creamer proceeded to work and never left until 4:00 p.m. "My boss thought we should stay. She was more concerned that the streets would be hectic and crazed," explains Creamer, adding "I have a stress fracture, so the prospect of walking 120 blocks wasn't very thrilling. And I felt very safe. Later I talked to people who thought there would be anthrax or more stuff. I figured whoever it was shot their wad. I wasn't concerned."

     Nearly two weeks after the World Trade Center tragedy, she concedes, "sometimes I walk down the street and I still can't believe it. That it didn't happen, I was just having some fantasy."

     For so many New Yorkers like Creamer who escaped physical harm, the September 11 attack still has deep personal resonance. "I love it here so much and I want so much to be part of the rejuvenation and the rebuilding," she affirms. "I have been spending money like mad. I hung the flag from the New York Times in my window, and the 'I Love New York, more than ever' page from the Daily News. I'm more pro-New York than jingoistic."

     Stuart Calderwood had his own perspective on the World Trade Center tragedy when he came to his next workout with the Central Park Track Club. "The disaster made the importance of our team very clear to me in two ways. When I realized what had happened, the first normal thought that I had was there could be people on our team down there," he told his teammates. "And then, coming to this meeting, I realized that our team was the group of people I wanted to see the most, and that I depended on the most right now." Calderwood thanked everyone "who came up to me and made me feel like part of something this good."

     The Sunday after Tuesday's events, CPTC stalwarts met in Central Park, for a kind of a memorial run, reports longtime club member Irene Jackson. "We had about 30 people, and we picked up others along the way. It was really nice. Everybody hugged each other and was glad to see that everybody was alive," said Jackson. While Jackson's club has over 400 members, none were lost on September 11, and the most active members didn't report losing anyone close to them. "We all were commenting that we seemed to have been passed by."

     "I don't know how other people feel, but training for the [New York City] marathon seems like a really frivolous activity right now," submits Jackson. "I can't get my head into it."

#1352.  WHO:  Roland Soong
WHEN:  September 27, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:  "A couple of people have complimented me about how the website has handled the World Trade Center events.  In my opinion, I deserve no credit when all I did was to try to be very low-keyed.  Although the objective reality was there for all to see, the interpretation of those events is still personal and controversial.  I felt that this website is not the appropriate forum to deal with such issues.

Now, however, a recent event has suggested to me that this running club may not be insulated from what is happening in society at large.  At the last team workout, someone recounted an incident in which one of our teammates said, 'I hope the team doesn't blame me for all this.'  Understand that I (and everyone of you) would regard this person as one of the sweetest persons on this team.  Why would he say that?  He said, 'Because I am of Arab descent.'  I cannot tell you how much it hurts me to hear something  like that.

The four plane crashes were allegedly committed by 19 individuals who died in the process.  There may well be others who acted as leaders and accomplices.  At this time, we can reasonably attribute guilt to a small circle of conspirators.  Neverthess, there is now a mass hysteria directed against entire classes of people (to wit, Arabs, Muslims, Afghans, Sikhs, etc) that number in the billions.  It is not for me to insist on this website that Americans should go out and study up on weighty matters such as the concepts Islam and the sects, the definition of an Arab, contemporary Middle East peace politics, OPEC and oil politics, the Palestine-Israel relationship, the India-Pakistan relationship, Algeria's fight for independence from the French, the Crusades, the history of the involvement of the British Empire, the USSR and the CIA in Afghanistan, the CIA and the Shah of Iran, Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafy and his green book, the Iran-Iraq war, Sadaam Hussein and the Persian Gulf War, the Kurds in Iraq, the concept of terrorism and its historical origins, Edward Said's concept of Orientialism, etc, before they take up positions.  Regardless of how much knowledge we amass, there will never be a consensus on the interpretation of facts.

But I do know that what we say may have an impact in our personal relationships.  Blanket statements and assertions about entire classes of people may turn out to be hurtful to people whom we personally know, respect and would never associate those statements with."

#1351.  WHO:  Toby Tanser
WHEN:  September 24, 2001
SUBJECT: MAC XC 5K, Van Cortlandt Park, NYC
Well, after last week's episode, where I did not arrive at the race of my destination after a 3-hour drive, I was determined to make the Sunday's race at Van Cortlandt Park.  Why?  Because I needed some speed like a tiger needs his stripes.  So I get up at the required early hour, I take the cross-town bus, and jump on the #2.  Ouch, however a glance at the map and I see I can run across to VCP up somewhere near the top.

At the 149th Street I hear the driver say 'transfer to the #4.' Ah-ha, Houdini pop out the door and I went over to the 4 platform. Already my time schedule is taking a wave to the wild side of the burners . but I know all about MAC meets so I press on unperturbed. The train runs its course and a general look at the map shows me just head East.  Off I go across a golf course, a few accelerations to avoid Percival and his tweeds when I come to a huge fence - the monster is about 12 foot with spikes on the top.  So I run along the fence looking for a break.

There is an old guy who looks like Captain Birdseye dragged through a haystack selling golfballs so I ask him, "Where is Van Cortlandt Park?" The guy just laughs and says 'Far, far away.'  I ask him if I can get round the fence and his answer is simply unacceptable, "No!" - I run along the fence till frustration turns me into a crack unit commando man.  I scale the fence, get Jesus spikes in my hands and throw myself over the other side. I am now in the bush, and we are talking thick, thick growth. It was an overgrown jungle worse than any Rambo movie, but as luck would have it I can hear cars. Thinking it must be Broadway, I set off with a skip in my foot and spider webs broken in my hands. The thorns tear at my flesh and clothes, I get stung more times than a beekeeper with a pot of honey on his head in the hive of all hives.

Finally I get through to the edge of the forest . and there is a 25-foot drop wall down to a highway. I have had enough, I'm risking all - I have been in the bush lost for 20-minutes and the other side of the highway looks like Van Cortlandt Park!

I shimmy down the wall dropping onto knees that have no give, wow it still hurts thinking about it, then dance like a dodging bullet across the busy highway to ..  another Golf Course! I cannot believe it, I do the same fence scouting, and get the same result.  Another climbing job - only this time I get stuck in the ivy on the way down.  I am very nearly upended. By this stage, I would give up if only I could, but I am in the middle of who knows where, and it is still conceivable that I can make the race.  I look with the head of an owl, and all I can see is greenery, this is what country life must be like.  On the new fairway, and this must have been a 56 hole course, I start running up to the golf carts and asking the drivers for directions, I get them (from a Dutch man who sells Gold, and imports Grants whiskey), and have to surmount another flipping fence.  This one was rusty - so at this stage I have thorn scratches all over my legs, rust marks over my clothes, and I am getting bored with the lack of progress!

Then finally I see some runners, not golfers!  One final fence, a mere 8-footer, and I arrive just in time to see David Pullman of CPTC go running by.  Then comes Century-Man, so I jump in and run with him for a while. I cannot believe it, although being a literal bookshelf of time late, I have just missed the start again.

I had absolutely no intention of running the Fifth Avenue Mile next week but am seriously considering it as then at least I will be able to find the start of one race, as I am just 3 minutes in travel time away from East 80th Street & Fifth."

TECHNICAL NOTE:  Originally, we asked people to look for Toby's story on his website.  Roger Liberman filed this report, "I could not find the story on Toby's website easily on the browser, so I thought I would send the page to the printer so that I can read it at leisure.  I went and made myself a cup of coffee.  When I got back, it was still printing.  Eventually, it stopped at 121 pages.  I now have the entire stream-of-consciousness version of Toby's life in print."  Actually, Roger is lucky because he got only one-fourth of the contents on that website.

FOLLOW-UP QUIZNow Toby is by no means the first famous CPTC runner who got lost by taking the #4 train.  As a true test of how well you know our website, do you know who the other famous person is?
ANSWER:  Click link and
the person is in the photo at the bottom of the page.  [The principal in this other story said, "I knew the answer immediately!"]

On picture #23 of that
link page, name
     (1) the athlete in the front of that picture
     (2) the club for which he competes
     BONUS: the neighborhood where he lives
This person is famous, because he is one of very, very few athletes to get in the photo gallery of CPTC without a name recognition!
You have until September 30th, 2001 to submit an answer to rolandsoong@centralparktc.org .  The first one to turn in correct answers to all three question gets our standard prize: a copy of Toby Tanser's book.  If no one gets all three, then it goes to the first person who gets the first two questions right (easy!  --- the website guy solved it in two minutes).

QUIZ RESULT:  There was only one entry, which happens to be correct, coming from Henrik Ingvarsson in Sweden: "I know who that man is!  His name is Richard Kingstad, his club is called Jamtrennarna and he lives in Stockholm, Sweden. The club Jamtrennarna is located in the village of Brunflo, near to the city of Ostersund, in the middle part of Sweden. A good runner!"  How did Henrik come to enter this contest?  "I´m a runner myself and I do often visit your homepage to see what happens in your club and of course also follow results.  I´m a bit jealous about your club, you seems to have a very nice club! Where I live, I´m more than happy at the times when I do not have to run alone, but that does not happen too often ...  I know Toby since his stay in Sweden, therefore I also like to follow his results. When I saw the quiz, it was hard for me not to know who Richard Kingstad is.  He comes from Östersund (not far away from where I live) and in a district (and country) where there are few runners.  It is hard not to know who the runner is.  RK is a very good runner, indeed!  At last; Thanks for an interesting homepage and take care!"

HOW THE WEBSITE GUY GOT THE ANSWER HIMSELF: "He began by reaching for his old copy of New York Runner to look up the race results, and found the name Richard Kingstad (SWE) just ahead of CPTC's Eric Aldrich, who was right behind in that photo.  Next, he used Google.com to look for the name 'Richard Kingstad' and found a bunch of race results with the affiliation Jamtrennarna BIF.  In turn, he searched for Jamtrennarna BIF thru Google.com and arrived at the Jamtrennarna BIF website (webmaster: Richard Kingstad).  There, he found the very same photo in the photo gallery!  All of two minutes, indeed."

FROM THE QUIZ SUBJECT HIMSELF:  "Thank you for your message! Indeed very interesting that I´m a subject in N.Y.C.  Give my regards to Toby if you meet him (I know him well since his time in Sweden).  By the way I´m running in NYC Marathon November 4th.  Staying at Olcott Hotel, maybe we´ll meet eachother in Central Park? Take care, Richard Kingstad, Runner´s World Sweden."

Phil Passen, Adam Newman
              "Do you know who I am?"

#1350.  WHO:  Frank Handelman
WHEN:  September 23, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "The answer to this week's mystery guest is Phil Passen, my friend and close competitor who sometimes works out with us at the track.  And shadowing Phil is CPTC stalwart Adam Newman.  Now, for my prize for solving this puzzle, I'll take 

(a) a free subscription to 'Long Distance Log' (special prize from me to CPTC member who can name editor of this long-forgotten, much revered running mag,  Jack Brennan and Dave and Lynn Blackstone not eligible); 
(b) a months worth of free special pizza on Tuesday nights at Two Boots; and 
(c) (seriously now) a copy of Toby Tanser's book.

On reflection and re-reading this submission, it occurs to me that I have really lost it at last after 40-plus years of chasing my own ass around a track.  If you want to go ahead and print this anyway, I am not responsible . . ."

Technical note:  Unfortunately, this was not really a contest since the 'answer' can be seen if you just position your mouse cursor over the photo.

September 20, 2001 website notice: "200,000:  This visitor count was reached on September 13, 2001.  It took exactly 13 months to go from 100,000 to 200,000.  The identity of that 200,000th visitor is not yet known at this time."

#1349.  WHO:  John Scherrer
WHEN:  September 21, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "Is there really a question as to whom the visitor was?"
NOTE:  Attachment enclosed.

#1348.  WHO:  Rae Baymiller and Peter Gambaccini (for Runners World Daily)
TITLE:  A Brief Chat with Rae Baymiller
WHEN:  September 18, 2001
WHERE:  RunnersWorld.com

Rae Baymiller was perhaps the most extraordinary age group long distance runner of the late 1990s. She set a 55-59 world age group record of 2:52:12 at the 1998 Chicago Marathon, along with other U.S. marks for the half-marathon (1:23.36), 20-K (1:18:44), and 10 miles (1:02:39). Earlier, in 1994, she set 50-54 age group records for 25-K (1:38:39) and 10 miles (1:02:01) and, in 1993, the half-marathon (1:19:40). She ran her best marathon, a 2:51:44, at Twin Cities in 1994 at age 51.  Now 58, Baymiller is coached by fellow New Yorkers Jerry Macari and Dan Hamner. She is a fashion, products, and interior designer--and a grandmother.  Her goal at November's New York City Marathon is to become the oldest Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier in U.S. history.

Runner's World Daily: Your New York City Marathon goal is an ambitious one.
Rae Baymiller: Very. I have the world record for the age group in the marathon, but I really wanted to break 2:50 to qualify for the Olympic Trials. But then I found out from David (Monti, NYC's elite athlete coordinator) that it's now been changed to 2:48. So it's very ambitious, and I'm the first to realize that. I'll go in to break the 2:50, and halfway through I'll see how I feel and change in midstream if I feel good, and go for negative splits to get that 2:48.

RWD: In past marathons, did you negative split, or at least feel stronger in the second half?
RB: I haven't been as mechanical about running. I would go through marathons and not even watch my own clock and see what I was doing every mile. I was blase about it. Now I think it's time to start to be responsible. So to answer your question--not really. I always go back to that one marathon (Twin Cities in 1994) where I was doing so well and I got dehydrated and ran a 12:00 mile at the end (to finish in 2:51:44).

RWD: For your 2:48 goal, is New York City the best course to run?
RB: Probably not, from what other people have told me. I've only done it once, and it's a wonderful marathon. But it's also a demanding marathon. Yet I think if you have those good runs, why not? I am from New York now. If it's a bad run day for me, I would turn around and go after another marathon next year. But I'm determined that I have to do this.

RWD: What happened with your running after all your records in 1998?
RB: In 1999, I was injured. I tripped on the stub of a signpost that was in the ground. My knee just went bonkers. They thought I had fractured the kneecap, actually. It turned out I hadn't, but I had to baby it for three months. And last year my mother died from cancer, and I was constantly going back to Minnesota, so I couldn't train.

RWD: And what's happened in 2001?
RB: Dan (Hamner) was going to Australia for the WAVA Championships. I thought I would tag along and do the 800 meters, just to get back in competition. I got a silver in that event (for a 2:40). I hadn't been involved in any track since 1994, so this was a great experience for me to go back and be in a whole different ball game. Then I went to Red Bank, New Jersey, for the George Sheehan Five-Mile. My pace was 6:03; I was in fourth behind two Kenyans and an American in the open. They announced my name as I passed the four-mile mark, and there was a little incline, and all of the sudden my leg went. I was so dehydrated that I ended up on someone's lawn with oxygen. That was the week it went to 101 degrees.
My running this year is very good and I'm very pleased, but it's been this kind of mixed bag with things that I've never experienced before.

RWD: Speed is the element that really dissipates with aging. What are you doing to keep that from happening?
RB: I'm learning more about pacing and I think that's wonderful. If you have good help along the way, somebody that will listen and really watch you, and if you work at it, I think sometimes we can move away from the "typical" a little bit. The last time I ran that Sheehan race, I'd averaged 6:08. So that (five-second improvement) this time made me feel good.

RWD: You've been described as "driven." Were you surprised to discover that quality in you, and do you know its source?
RB: I was totally shocked. My family and friends at first laughed and said "you're so undisciplined"--before my first marathon. It's a quality I didn't even know was there. And yet I'd seen it in work--when you love something and do everything you can to have it come out as you planned. When my mother was dying, she was such a gallant fighter and never complained. I looked at her and was amazed. If I've gotten strength and determination, I think it's come from her.

RWD: You had an established adult life before you discovered this sport. How has that life changed?
RB: The negative has been that it took its toll on my design career, truthfully. At first, I was not a good juggler. When I started to compete, I really loved it and it just took over. But I don't look back and regret it, because I think I had to do things that way at the time, and it gave me so much in return.
But I am very curious, and I believe people need to repackage themselves as they go through life a little bit, and take what they've learned and apply it to something else. I'm fascinated by aging and longevity and our unfit population. A comment was made to me years ago that you move through life with one vehicle, and if you don't take care of that, what have you got?
As we age, I see people who don't do anything for fitness. I might take my experiences and find some opportunities there. I'm doing a couple of mission statements about it. I'd like to become a kind of spokesperson for longevity and fitness. I'd like to develop an idea for a mobile gym that you can travel with; it's basically with you 24 hours. It's another way to do design.

#1347.  WHO:  Kim Mannen
WHEN:  September 18, 2001
WHERE:  East River Park track
WHAT SHE SAID:  "For the five weeks, I have been recovering from ruptured plantar fascia.  Yesterday, I went to see my doctor.  He said, 'Put out your hand.'  Now, I thought that was a most peculiar request since I had a foot problem, so why did he want to see my hand?  Nevertheless, I put out my hand.  He gave me a slap on the wrist and said, 'You have been bad.  I know you have been sneaking in some running last week, and it must have been more than one day.  How many times was it?'  So I told him that I ran four times, but they were really light runs, beginning with 1 mile, 2 miles and so on.  He smiled and pronounced me fit to officially run again.  His summary was, 'It is like you just had surgery, except that you did it all yourself.'  Yes, it is good to be back on the track." 

#1346.  WHO:  Valentine Low
WHEN:  September 18, 2001
WHERE:  Evening Standard (London, UK)
TITLE:  Cries for Revenge Drown Peace Calls

Just one word screamed out from the front page of the New York Post. "WAR" it said, in big bold capital letters, as if there could never be any doubt. On the face of it, there is no doubt. President Bush has talked of the United States being at war. An opinion poll for the New York Times suggests that 85per cent of Americans want military action against the perpetrators of the World Trade Center attack, and even if it means innocent people getting killed, 75per cent say they are in favour.

War: it is what America wants. But on the streets of New York, where there is hardly anyone who was not affected by last week's carnage, do they really want war? Is war the answer?

Certainly it is not hard to find New Yorkers who are keen for President Bush to pursue a military solution. Some are like the cab driver who said he wanted to "bomb 'em all". Even innocent women and children? "Sure," he said. "You got a problem with that?"

But it is not just the rednecks, not just the die-hard militarists who favour a swift armed response; even those who come across as moderate, liberal types have been transformed into hawks in the last week. Take Noah Perlis, an advertising executive who was jogging in Central Park yesterday morning with his daughter Rebecca, a law student. He was quite clear that he wanted military action, even if it was at the cost of American lives.

"The anger is so great that most people would not give a second thought to sacrificing American blood to achieve our goals," he said. "Americans have given a lot of blood in situations that have been less personally invasive. Vietnam was half a world away and we gave plenty of blood there, God knows. Then there has been action in Europe and Somalia.

"How can we be any less determined when they strike within our shores? I just hope that any action we take is judicious, effective and minimal. I don't want us to blow holes in the sand, I want to accomplish something.

"The potential is there for worse calamities if we allow this terror to go unchecked. Next time it could be biological, or chemical, or nuclear."

Rebecca, 24, was less sure. "Something definitely has to be done. I just don't know if it should be war. I just don't want any more Americans killed," she said.

WHAT Noah Perlis WROTE: "I was jogging with my daughter Rebecca to join the group at 9am for the CPTC run/jog in the park when we were stopped and interviewed by a reporter and photographer from the London Evening Standard.  They took a picture of us and I was wearing my old orange club tee with the full CPTC name across the front.  I thought they might print the photo but I fooled them - they thought I wasn't a redneck.   In their haste, they forgot to look under my collar for the sunburn."

#1345.  WHO:  Roland Soong
WHEN:  September 16, 2001
SUBJECT:  The aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks
WHAT HE WROTE: "On September 11, the dominant landmarks (the World Trade Center Towers) in the New York City skyline were demolished by airplanes hijacked by terrorists, leading to an estimated loss of 5,000 lives.  For anyone living in New York City, this must be the single most cataclysmic event in their lives.  Yet the coverage about this event on this website has been minimalist.

My reticence in doing extensive reports (e.g. near-real-time report of events, or a team roll call) comes from a sense of proportion.  Many times in the past, John Kenney has described running as being at most the third most important priority in our lives, after family and work (and even lower for our triathletes); today, some may want to elevate the nation to top priority.  In view of the circumstances, I believed that people should give attention and comfort to those who are dearest to them and to those who are in need, especially those who have suffered losses.  That was essentially my message.

But this is not to say that people on this team do not care about each other.  I have also received many e-mail messages about the team and individual team members.  I am especially grateful to Jonathan Cane for providing me with information on our FDNY/NYPD members, who are the bravest and the finest.  At this time, I believe that we had no casualties on our team, but that is just a small blessing in the larger context.

At the Thursday night workout, Stuart Calderwood made these remarks: 'The disaster made the importance of our team very clear to me in two ways. When I realized what had happened, the first normal thought that I had was 'There could be people on our team down there.'  And then, coming to this meeting, I realized that our team was the group of people I wanted to see the most, and that I depended on the most right now.   I'm very grateful to Tony and Roland and Alan and everyone else here who came up to me and made me feel like part of something this good.'

Perhaps another way of expressing my message is this --- the Central Park Track Club may not be the most important thing in your life, but you can count on us being there.  We have been there for you for the last 28 years, and we will continue to be there for you.  As all of us struggle to return to normalcy, it is reassuring to know that there is at least one constancy."

#1344.  WHO:  Francis A. Schiro
WHEN:  September 14, 2001
SUBJECT:  Alan Bautista
WHAT HE WROTE: "Dr. Alan Bautista, a proud member of CPTC and dear friend of mine, answered the call to duty Tuesday morning.  Having heard about the catastrophe, Bautista donned his US Marine (reserve) lieutenant major uniform, grabbed his medical pack and headed into Hell.  Leading a group of Marines at ground zero, Bautista was personally responsible for saving at least one person by giving immediate emergency medical care where needed most.  I myself made it down to try and help and I cannot tell you the bravery my dear friend Alan demonstrated by this heroic act.  Where others were scared to go, Alan pushed forward and went to the aid of those in most need.....CPTC should be proud to have a man of this character as a club member.  God bless Alan as he is on military stand-by status and may soon be called to serve his country further."

#1343.  WHO:  Roland Soong
WHEN: September 11, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:  "First among our top 10 favorite photos of year 2000, we showed the above photograph with this caption:

Our first favorite photo is not of any team member.  This is a photo of Manhattan viewed from the Staten Island ferry.  At the start of the new millennium, we lived and ran together here in this city.  Many of us came from far corners of the world and, in time, some of us will be scattered to other far corners of the earth, but just remember that once upon a time we were in this most gorgeous and vibrant of all places --- New York City.

As of this morning, the two World Trade Center towers that dominate the New York City skyline have been demolished by airplanes crashing into them.  At the personal level, this is a strong reminder of the fragility of our lives.  Today we are here, tomorrow we may be no more.  We should cherish all our moments.  At the collective level, we realize that no place in the world can really said to be totally safe.  While we as individuals or a small group of individuals may not be able to bring about world peace, we can each try to reduce the pain in the world each in our little ways."

#1342.  WHO:  Nathan Klejman
WHEN:  September 2001
WHAT HE SAID: "Now that I've gotten a brand new orange team jacket, I think I'll start running with the team again."

#1341.  WHO:  Stacy Creamer, van driver in the 2001 Hood To Coast Relay
WHAT SHE SAID:  "Well, our twelve runners may have been speedy because they averaged 5:54 over 194.8 miles, but I am even speedier --- I got pulled over for speeding at 41 mph in a 25 mph zone!"

#1340.  WHO:  Tony Ruiz
WHEN:  September, 2001
WHAT HE SAID: "When I was a fourteen year old, I could run a 2:01 half mile but I looked much older.  Therefore, I had to bring my birth certificate to track meets.  Now that I am forty years old, people are demanding to see my birth certificate because they think that I can't be that old.  What gives?"

#1339.  WHO:  James Siegel
WHAT HE SAID:  "At the school where I teach, there is a computer room.  One day, I was there looking at the club website.  A student came along and he was really impressed by what he saw.  He said, 'Oh, there's Mr. Siegel running in shorts!'"

#1338.  WHO:  Roland Soong
WHAT HE SAID: "As of September 2001, this website contains more than 5,700 photos.  This has to be the singlemost formidable collection of photos for any organization on the World Wide Web.  Inevitably, people have informed us that our photos have appeared elsewhere without our permission.  Many photos have appeared in personal websites, which may be construed as fair use.  Some photos have appeared in mainstream media for commercial purposes, including the use of completely misleading captions.  Frankly, we don't care about those 'infringements of intellectual property.'  If we cared, our whole website would be plastered with copyright notices, our photos would carry our proprietary watermarks and we would retain copyright lawyers.  But money was not the reason that we got out there to take pictures in all sorts of conditions.  We did it to make people happy, and shaking people down for money is not going to make us or anyone else happy (except maybe the lawyers?)."

WHO:  Bola Awofeso
WHAT HE SAID: "Nothing is worth more than our teammates' appreciation in the form of either
     (1) 'Thanks for taking my picture!'
     (2) 'Please don't take my picture!' (usually at the top of Cat Hill); or
     (3) 'Where the hell are our photographers?'
And by this time, even people on other teams would yell at me to take their photos during the races.  Who do they think I am?  Do they think I work for the New York Road Runners Club?"

WHO:  Bola Awofeso
WHAT HE SAID:  "It is good to know what people really care about.  These days, when they see me run a race, they don't ask me how I feel or how I did.  Instead, they ask, 'Oh, no.  You're racing!  Then who is going to take pictures?'"

#1337.  WHO:  Eve Bois
WHEN:  September 3, 2001
WHERE:  East River Park track workout
WHAT SHE SAID: "What are those birds flying over the track?  Are they vultures?  Does this have anything to do with the workout planned for today?"

#1336.  WHO:  Brian Barry
SUBJECT:  Global Surveillance System report
WHAT HE SAID: "On the Club Championship weekend, my brother Kevin wanted to know if I was going out to Long Island.  I told him that I would not be coming, because there was the Club Championship race in Central Park.  On that Saturday morning, Kevin went out to the beach and there he saw ... none other than Central Park Track Club ex-president John Kenney lounging comfortably!  He walked up that him and said, 'Hi, John!  Skipping out on the Club Championship, hey?'  At that moment, the boyish-looking John Kenney looked distinctly like a schoolboy caught cutting class!"

#1335.  WHO:  James Siegel
SUBJECT:  Winning the One In Nine 5K on August 23, 2001

Before the race: "I didn't tell anyone on the team that I was going to race out there.  If I had said something, other people might show up."
During the race: "When I went into the lead, I thought that someone must be trying to mess with my head."
During the race: "I ran as hard as I could.  Simply put, I could not have gone a second faster."
After the race: "I ran at essentially the same pace as the race last weekend.  But I finished in 125th place at the Club Championship then, and I finished first today.  What a difference a week makes!"
Many days after the race:  "I can't believe how much grief I got from people about this."  (Note:  ... but he enjoyed every bit of it ...)

#1334.  WHO:  Ross Galitsky

SUBJECT:  TRIVIA QUIZ (8/16/2001):  In this 2001 New York City Triathlon photo, who is the person between J.P. Cheuvront and Ramon Bermo?  Please (1) name the person and (2) explain why he is "famous" on this website.  First correct entry will receive a copy of non-triathlete Toby Tanser's Train Hard, Win Easy: The Kenyan Way.  This contest is open until August 25th, 2001, midnight.  Exclusions:  The principal himself, J.P. Cheuvront, Ramon Bermo and their surrogates are prohibited from entering.


1. Jonathan Wells
2. Famous Saying #339

Additional comments:  Jonathan Wells is an integral part of NYU TriClub, partaking in foolishness with Scott Willet, Ramon Bermo, G'mo Rojas, JP Cheuvront and others in such events as Assault on Mt. Mitchell, mucho triathlons, open water swims, and racing as a swimmer and runner in the relay team at the Odyssey Double Iron Triathlon.  Enough?!  I want my book now.

#1333.  WHO:  Stefani Jackenthal
WHERE:  New York Daily News
WHEN:  July 19, 2001
SUBJECT:  Auditioning for "Survivor" series in New York City

Contestant wanna-be Stefani Jackenthal, an adventure racer and triathlete from Manhattan, was one of the more physically fit among yesterday's crop.

Like others around her, Jackenthal said she wasn't deterred from applying for "Survivor" by the fact that first-season ex-castaway Stacey Stillman has sued producer Mark Burnett, charging him with persuading others to vote against her.

"I honestly think, who cares," said Jackenthal. "It's a made-for-TV game. I think that they need to do whatever they need to do to make it appealing to viewers."

#1332.  WHO:  Ray Clarke
WHEN:  July 27th, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "Hello - I am a runner from central Virginia who will be in NYC in early August for a visit. I have the urge to run in Central Park, but do not know if there are any unsafe places or obvious paths, etc.  Can you give me any advice? I will be staying in the theater district and would probably have to walk to the park. Many thanks."

WHO:  Roland Soong
WHEN:  August 5th, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "The Central Park police precinct is the safest one in the whole of New York City. Why?  Because the place is flooded with cops, for the reason that even a purse snatching will make the newspaper headlines whereas murders and lynchings in slums will not get reported anywhere.  If there is a rule, the southern part of the park is safer than the northern part.  If you want a recommendation, I would suggest that you take a took at the map at http://www.centralparktc.org/centpark.htm .  From the theater district (which is on or about the upper west 40's), you can walk or jog up Seventh Avenue and enter at the southwest corner of the park (Columbus Circle). Follow the road up north to West 86th Street and  jump on the reservoir path for a loop and head back (either down the same road or else down the east side this time).  That would be about four to five miles. The best time to run is in the morning or the evening (it is hot in the middle of the day).   It is even safe to run after dark during the summer (for the same reason --- too many cops lurking in the bushes)."

WHO:  Ray Clarke
WHEN:  August 19th, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "We just got back home (Charlottesville, VA) this afternoon from NYC visit.  Ran the big loop on Saturday morning, along with many  of the NYRRC members (an apparent organized race which I might have tried to sign up for had I known -- oh, well, it was fun anyway) and a bunch of cyclists.  Thanks for your input.  I was perfectly comfortable and look forward to doing it again in the future. Enjoy the roads."

#1331.  WHO:  Tony Ruiz
WHEN:  August 21st, 2001
SUBJECT:  Track etiquette
WHAT HE SAID:  "Let me say this --- at each and every track workout, there is always someone that I had to yell at for standing in lane one and not paying attention to oncoming runners.  I'll have no sympathy for you if you get run over."

COMMENT:  Try this visualization exercise --- you're on the Long Island Expressway ... would you stop in the middle of the road and daydream?

#1330.  WHO:  Kim Mannen
WHEN:  August 16th, 2001
WHAT SHE WROTE:  "During the USATF Eastern Regionals, I ruptured my plantar fascia and I am on crutches. I hope to run the Fifth Avenue Mile, but we'll see what doc says.  I guess I am not 18 and invincible anymore."

#1329.  WHO:  Aubin Sullivan
SUBJECT:  The Central Park Triathlon (400m swim in Lasker pool, 2x6 mile loop bike, 5 mile run)
WHAT SHE SAID:  "This triathlon is a runner's triathlon because the swim and bike are relatively short.  (pause).  That is why I don't do this triathlon."

#1328.  WHO:  Michele Tagliati
WHAT HE SAID:  "When I attended the 2001 International Congress on Parkinson's Disease in Helsink, Finland, I made a special trip to visit the bronze Paavo Nurmi statue outside the Olympic stadium.  

I will say that I did not see many runners while I was there.  There is a beautiful lake that is rather like the Central Park reservoir.  At 10pm in the summer, when it was bright outside, I saw no more 10 people running there.  Where do those famous Finnish runners come from?"

#1327.  WHO:  Toby Tanser
WHEN:  Cycling in Central Park
WHAT HE WROTE: "I rode my bike with a cycling team last Sunday.  They were trying desperately to drop me --- I had tennis shoes and a backpack.  We did two loops of the park averaging 30 mph.  When they finally realized that I was not going to be dropped easily, they asked me if I wanted to join their team ... that is, if I got a 'real' bike (since I was riding a mountain bike at the time).   I mean, what a thing to say!?   I felt like telling them if I had been on a 'real' bike, I would not have been pedaling so slowly as to keep pace with them.  This city has an elitist mindset, with very non-elite results."

#1326.  WHO:  Frank Schiro
WHEN:  August 14, 2001, after stopping someone in the middle of the street
WHAT HE SAID:  "When I get on the Internet, I only need to get to the Central Park Track Club website.  Everything that I want is there."
COMMENT:  Everything?

#1325.  WHO:  Peter Gambaccini
WHERE:  New York Runner, July/August 2001
SUBJECT:  Frank Handelman
WHAT HE WROTE:  Frank Handelman reiterates, "You absolutely cannot think about your times when you were a younger runner.  Someone who was a 2:35 marathon at 30 who starts running again at 40 should put of their minds that they are a 2:35 marathon runner.  They're not."  He asserts, "I am what I am now.  And I love it."  Handelman was winning NYRRC road races in the last 1970s and was a top age group 800-meter star in the late 1990s.  He has made running comebacks before, and currently is in the midst of another one, after bunion surgery in the year 2000 and a subsequent 16-pound weight gain.

He may not set any lifetime bests, but he is nevertheless "always on a quest to improve.  I believe any runner can be faster than the year before.  Not necessarily five years before, but I firmly believe I can be better at 57 than I would have been at 56 [his year out of racing] or than I was at 55."

The comeback from "ground zero" is as exciting to Handelman as it is daunting.  "Now I'm starting out at age 56, I haven't run for four months, and before that I had four months of barely running because my foot was so sore.  The more impossible the assignment, the better I like it."  He ran 2:15 in the 800 at 55 and wants "to come back and do the same thing at age 57, having blow this year."

What he will require is patience and a willingness, for a spell, to be far less than the runner he once was.  "The first thing I did when I started out two weeks ago," he said in late April, "was a reservoir lap [1.57 miles] in 19 minutes.  I might as well have been walking, but I put myself through the motions of a jog.

"I'll go many, many months without contemplating racing.  It'll take a long time for the weight to come off, because if you try and push hard while you have extra weight and no flexibility, you'll injure yourself again."

"Every time I come back, I have to do something different to stay even with the past," Handelman has found.  On one occasion, he added weight work.  Now it's "better nutrition, better stretching, and drinking more water."

And Handelman realizes that his attempt to come back as an 800-meter racer is "all obstacles.  And I'll do it.  I know I'll do it."  There are so many approaches and attitudes that can guide a successful, meaningful return to running.  Almost everyone can find their "second wind" as a runner.

#1324.  WHO:  Rob Zand
SUBJECT:  Manhattan Half Marathon 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "I pushed a bit on the first loop, conjuring up the image of Alan Ruben and hammering the downhills and some of the uphills too.  A pack of 8-10 was whittled to 2 by the second loop - myself and Tomas Vasquez.  He passed me to begin the loop, but it wasn't a definitive move and I had him by the Great Hill.  Here again I pushed the downhill and worked as best I could to 90th on the east side where a long straight flat stretch leads to a downhill, all of which I hoped to use to discourage any challenges over the last mile."

#1323.  WHO:  Peter Gambaccini
WHERE:  New York Runner, July/August 2001
SUBJECT:  Jonathan Weilbaker

WHAT HE WROTE:  In road racing, far too much attention is lavished on dogged souls who have compiled 20-year streaks without missing a single day of running.  Far smarter, saner, and more intrepid are the men and women who have found their running sidelined for any number of reasons --- serious injury, pregnancy, professional pressures, lifestyle changes, or just plain ennui --- but have resolutely resolved to renew their competitive running careers.  The prospect of dedicating one's self to getting strong and speedy again can seem chillingly daunting.  But a wise approach can mean a "second stage" to a running career rich in its own fulfillment.  There's even a chance that you'll be faster than you were before you enforced "retirement."

Jonathan Weilbaker is an extraordinarily vivid case-in-point.  Weilbaker, remembered for marrying Pat Tuz at the 1994 New York City Marathon, was already a 2:44 marathon when, in 1987, nausea and double vision led him to get an MRI that revealed he'd had "some sort of stroke."  During five hours of surgery removed an egg yolk-sized piece of Weilbaker's cerebellum.  "Basically, it left me unable to walk," recalled Weilbaker.  Relearning walking was the first "step" in his journal back.  Even after such a dire situation, Weilbaker realized, "I'd always defined myself, at that point in my life, as a runner."  It was a post-stroke priority, "a way to quantify your comeback.  It's a real measurement."

The weights and stationary bike he did to recover strength and coordination "may have taken my running to a new dimension and kept me interested," Weilbaker believes.  In any case, four years after the stroke, at the 1991 Twin Cities Marathon, he clocked a 2:39, a personal best by five minutes.  "It was a pretty amazing story.  I think about it probably every day.  I'm glad to be out there."

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

#1322.  WHO:  Sid Howard
SUBJECT:  How he got the second-place silver medal in the 800m at the World Veterans Championships in Brisbane, Australia, 2001
WHAT HE SAID:  "The seven people in front of me were involved in a mass collision and they fell down.  One of them got up and continued, and that was the one that I couldn't catch."

AFTERMATH: Upon receiving several more requests at the next workout to explain what happened at the World Championships, Sid Howard finally realized, "At this point, you can print anything on the website and people will think it's true."  While it is true that the Central Park Track Club website must be the top running club brand name (what other club can claim 2,500,000+ hits per year?), we need to define what that means.  In marketing terminology, the brand is a promise to deliver a product or service at a certain level.  We will carefully shy away from the statement "At this point, we can print anything on the website and people will think it's true" and embrace instead the statement "At this point, we can print anything on the website and people will enjoy reading it."  That is the promise of the Central Park Track Club brand.  The difference is subtle but important.  Example:  Audrey Kingsley chose not to believe our Dash & Splash 5 Miler initial results: "When did James Siegel turn 29?!?!?!" but we are sure that she had a good laugh at this astonishing idea.  Yet another example:  the same Audrey Kingsley declined to believe that Tony Ruiz will be running in the "Hood-to-Coach Relay" on August 24, 2001, although we swear that we can hear her roaring laughter from all the way downtown.

#1321.  WHO:  Julia Kristeva
WHERE:  New York Times, July 14, 2001
WHAT SHE SAID:  "I think there are three things worth doing in the world: to think, to heal and to write."

COMMENT:  Can we add running?

#1320.  WHO:  Jesse Lansner
WHEN:  July 25, 2001
WHERE:  New York Times, Letter to the Editor
WHAT HE WROTE:  "While some people may seek out T-shirts from places they have never been or events they did not participate in ("Can't Afford Hawaii? Get the Shirt," news article, July 21), there are those of us who still earn our T-shirts the hard way.  As a local triathlete, I have yet to meet a runner, a swimmer or a cyclist who would wear a shirt from a race he did not participate in. Even those of us who may never win a trophy can wear our free race T-shirts with pride."

A RESPONSE FROM OUR TRUEST WEBSITE FAN: "I've been running since 1984; have raced lots of times and, regardless of whether I've run the race or not, I ALWAYS wear the T-Shirt -- with PRIDE. Life's too short. Get a life!! Signed Anonymous Avid Runner With a Life!!!"

#1319.  WHO:  Peter Gambaccini
WHERE:  New York Runner, July/August 2001
ARTICLE TITLE: "Comebacks Happen"
WHAT HE WROTE: One runner and writer whom we'll call Tim (although his name is actually Peter) had a road racing career divided into two halves, and did virtually everything differently the second time around.  Tim, in decent shape from racquet sports, began running at age 27 with the not-so-illogical idea that if he ran faster in practice, he'd be prepared to do the same thing in competition.

He zipped through solo workouts of eight or nine miles at 5:45 pace, even unaccompanied sub-16:00 5K's in practice.  He never did interval or track sessions, and only showed up at this team's road sessions to socialize ... and then go his own way.

The approach got Tim down to 24:35 for five times.  But at 33, he was starting to level.  Marginal improvements might still be possible, but he's already surpassed his aspirations.  He was done.  On a not unrelated note, he met a woman who liked to buy expensive Champagne by the case.

Tim was gone from running for about two years, by which time Miss Champagne had taken her bubbles elsewhere.  He came back with rather modest intent, but didn't like the disdainful reactions he got from teammates for being slower than before.  Taking an "I'll show 'em" attitude, he resolved to be his team's best runner.

But he could no longer thrive as a voluntarily lonely long distance runner.  Tim's own internal motivation wouldn't suffice.  It was time to leech off --- uh, get reinforcement from --- his teammates.  Two kindred souls showed up for weekly road sessions with the same unspoken dogged mission as Tim.  And he started showing up at the track, abetted by his coach's genius workouts and his certainty that even if ran so fast that he passed out, enough teammates would be around to revive him.  Tim's times fell just short of his first "phase," but he had much more fun, and he was back on top again at 37.

#1318.  WHO:  Eddie Coyle
WHEN:  July 24, 2001
WHERE: New York Daily News sports report about the Run to the Home Place 5K (annotated for your convenience)


Toby Tanser used a late surge to move past Arsenio Ortiz and win the Fifth Annual Run to Home Plate 5K at Shea Stadium and Flushing Meadow Park on Saturday.

Tanser, who was in third place with 200 yards to go, won in 15:46. Ortiz finished second.

"I saw the leader was tiring, picked it up and knocked and passed both him and the bronze medalist," Tanser said.

Stacy Creamer was the top woman finisher in 19:13 - four seconds faster than the women's course mark.

"I was half a mile back in the parking lot and picked it up," said the 41-year-old Creamer. Both Creamer and Tanser ran at Shea for the first time.

Tanser said he is eyeing the NYC Marathon on Nov.4. He had been knocked out of the NYC because he didn't run the required number of races after running it five years in a row. He planned to ask for reinstatement but the NYRRC beat him to the punch, admitting its error. Ryan Fey, 7, ran the minor league 5K in 31 minutes and beat his father, who ran with him, by one second.

The Manhattan half-marathon is slated for Sunday, Aug.5, in Central Park, the fourth race in the five-race series that ends at Staten Island Oct.14. Tanser is eyeing both races, as is Creamer.


This is the Sixth Annual edition of the race, not the Fifth.  Upon information and belief, Toby Tanser led this race from start to finish.  The official times reported by the NYRRC were

Toby Tanser, 15:47
Arsenio Ortiz, 16:06
Matt Chaston, 16:19

Let us suppose that Toby Tanser was in third place with 200 yards to go, and suppose that he covered that distance in 37 seconds (about 5 minute/mile pace).  If Toby were even with Matt at 200 yards to go, then the latter took 37 + 32 = 69 seconds (=9:12 minute/mile pace) to finish.  Meanwhile, Arsenio took 37 + 19 = 56 seconds (= 7:28 minute/mile).  High unlikely for those two, indeed ...

Last year, Alexa Babakhanian won the women's race in a time of 18:39, which is definitely faster than the purported 19:17 course record indicated in the report.  Creamer did go from third to first in the last quarter mile, but nobody could have come from 'half a mile back in the parking lot,' which is about half a mile from the finish.

Tanser did not run the NYC Marathon for five years in a row, but he ran last year in a time of 2:26:57.  Last year, he ran a total of 27 NYRRC races, many more than the NYRRC-published qualifying number of 9 races.  If 27 races were not sufficient to qualify, then not many other people could have qualified.  Toby has not applied to this year's marathon yet, and so he could not have been erroneously rejected, nor could he be reinstated by the NYRRC.

While it is likely that Tanser will run those two half marathons, Creamer will be "eyeing" them --- but only very literally, as a spectator.  She avoids half-marathons at all costs in favor of staying sharp and winning 5K's.

#1317.  WHO:  Laurie Jones / Roland Soong
WHEN:  July 18th, 2001
WHAT SHE WROTE:  "Hi, remember me???  I was just checking out the CPTC website. Looks great and certainly brings back some fond memories.  Just wanted to let you know my email address so that you can include it on the roster.  Hope all is well with you.  Please give my regards to everyone. Who knows, I may even make a workout one of these days? Take care."

WHAT HE WROTE: "We have definitely not forgotten here.   A quick check of the website reveals that you were mentioned on six pages, including some race results. but this is my favorite reference to you: Trivia Quiz #7 (see question#7)!  P.S. Your email has been added to the directory."

#1316.  WHO:  John Prather
WHEN:  July 19, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "I attended WAVA, and sought out some of the CPTC folks that I'd hear about -- especially Sid Howard and Craig Plummer.  Also along was my wife Fran, a New Yorker herself so no stranger to bantering, witty repartee, and all-out yammering. 

Anyway, following the steeplechase, Fran and I sat with Craig in the stands to watch relays.  I went to get a beer, then brought half back to Fran in a styrofoam cup.  A few minutes later, another athlete brought Craig a muffin or cupcake or something, and he kindly offered a bite to Fran.  When she refused, he said, 'Oh, you can take a beer from your husband but you can't take a piece of cake from a black man?!'

We thought it was funny, anyway.

John Prather (Just a small-brained land mammal)"

Audrey Kingsley

#1315.  WHO:  Audrey Kingsley
WHAT SHE SAID: "Don't panic!  This is NOT the new official team backpack.  It is just my personal demonstration of team loyalty."

#1314.  WHO:  Harry Morales / Gregory Rabassa
WHERE:  Hopscotch, Volume 2, Number 4, 2001
HM:  Do you subscribe to any particular theory of literary translation?
GR:  I am very cautions about theories that lie outside the natural sciences, where there are fewer unknowns.  Having started out in physics in college, I learned to be skeptical of quick solutions and observations.  I don't think that there are any theories to be had about translation, or about anything artistic and literary, for that matter.  Most of what is called theory nowadays in those fields is a developed notion or sometimes even wishful thinking.  I have always maintained that the proof that translation is an art is the fact that it cannot be taught; you can teach a craft, but you cannot teach an art.  I have given courses in the making of translation, but most of what we did was to examine the work of translators and that of each other.  I found that I could tell the students what not to do but could not tell them what to do."

COMMENT:  Gregory Rabassa is a renowned translator, including works like Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar and The Posthumous Diaries of Bras Cubas by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis.  Based upon his answer, we would have liked to ask, "Dear Mr. Rabassa, have you ever coached runners?  You can't tell them what to do and you can't tell them what not to do!"

#1313.  WHO:  Norman Goluskin
WHERE:  Running Times, September 2001
SUBJECT:  New York Road Runners' Running Partners
WHAT HE SAID:  "My experience is that the lessons of running are the lessons of life: perseverance, teamwork, that it is going to hurt to get results."

Amy Sheeran
Amy Sheeran in the orange jacket

#1312.  WHO:  Blair Boyer
WHEN:  July 10th, 2001
SUBJECT:  The new orange team jacket
WHAT HE SAID:  "The jacket will be custom-made for us.  Now you know these jackets usually have a label (such as Pearl Izumi) which can be used to hang the coat.  In our case, we have designed the following label for ourselves.  I hope that Sid Howard is not going to sue us for copyright infringement ..." 

#1311.  WHO:  Roland Soong
WHEN:  July 9th, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "As the self-appointed unofficial historian of the club website, I have been compiling race results for our teammates over the past four years.  Obviously, I appreciate those races that make their results readily available.  This weekend is rather typical.

At the top end, I was able to report Matthew Newman's final results just minutes after he crossed the finish line of Ironman Europe in Roth, Germany.  Actually, his intermediate splits were posted throughout the day.  This is about as good and exciting as being there with him.

For the big club scoring race in the Bronx, the results were available on the NYRRC website around noon time, just four hours after the 8am start.  This is remarkable because the last finisher of the race crossed the line after 3 hours and 20 minutes, and the race result listing included net and clock times plus overall and age group positions for everyone.  (Of course, we had our photos up before the NYRRC website does).  Is it small wonder that distance runners are the largest segment in our club?

On the not-so-good side, the WAVA Veteran Athletics Championships had an interesting-looking website that promised rapid posting of the results and a newsgroup to exchange information.  Unfortunately, the website carried no race results for the first three days, and the newsgroup only had a list of complaint messages from all over the world.  This is the worst case scenario: to promise something, to fail to deliver and to provide a public forum for people to vent their disappointment.  Here are some comments from the newsgroup:

July 5th: "Where can I get some WAVA results?"

July 5th: "Results are posted overnight on the web site. Regards Jacey Octigan Event Manager"

July 6th: "If results are posted 'overnight', there must be some awfully long nights 'down under.'"

July 7th: "And the winner is ???????????????  Will we ever know? And I thought YOU AUSSIES were on the ball."

July 8th: "Hey, when can one see the results???  While the European championships were held in Finland, you could see them right the next day!  What a pity!!! I am looking from Germany, and I am sad I can't see my dad's results!"

July 10th: "When there were earlier inquiries about the lack of posted results, we were advised by Jacey that their emphasis in Brisbane was on making sure that the athletes that were there were having a good time rather than on posting results. (This was after she had said that results would be posted "overnight.")  I presume that means that the computer folks with the results must be out wining and dining the mates.  Thank goodness for the occasional emails from my buddies over (down) there, or I would be clueless.  It should be a requirement that organizers be able to use HY TEK and post to the web within two days of event completion.  Actually, it only takes about 15 minutes, if they just DO it.  Certainly, it takes less time than it takes our rep to retype results and email them back to myself. Who knows why it takes so long? Just like Durban!"

June 14th: "Just to add my voice to the rest: the results service from Brisbane has been disgraceful: late and (where I've pressed the download button) inaccurate and jumbled. Surely it can't be too difficult: someone fills in a grid as the results come through and then types them in (if full results take too much time, then just medallists or finalists to start with - the details could come later). With a half-competent typist, it should take under an hour to type in one day's medallists. I'd like to know: which WAVA official was responsible, and why we were promised a next day service that never happened."

On the really bad side, the local track & field organizations are in total disarray.  The MAC website's latest outdoor track & field race result is for the June 25 meet (that is, for the year 2000).  The USATF/NJ Masters Championships results of 6/24 are unpublished so far.

It would be a cliché to say that the popularity of a sport is a function on how well the organizers interact with the participants.  In an ideal world, the organization will provide customized information and feedback with all those who are interested.  In practice, it is impossible to conduct this with tens of thousand of different people.  This is where a club like the Central Park Track Club comes in.  We are a self-organized group of individuals who are interested in specific sports.  Our club is small enough that we know each other by name and face.  We provide communication and support for each other.  We are most effective when sports organizers provide detailed information to us, which we can repackage, enhance and direct to our members.  This is what makes that particular sport meaningful to all of us.  But when we have no information, this will curtail our interest severely, and not by our own choice."

Shelley Farmer     Shelley Farmer     Shelley Farmer

#1310.  WHO:  Shelley Farmer
SUBJECT:  Her photos in the July/August 2001 issue of Sports Illustrated for Women

(1)  "You should try applying an inhaler while you ride a bike!"
(2)  "It was not exactly easy to jog back and forth for the photographer while I was wearing the breathing mask!  All the time, a crowd of curious onlookers had gathered around to watch me doing this."
(3)  "The push-up photo was in conjunction with a reader's question: 'My coach told us that doing push-ups with your legs extended can damage your ovaries.  Is this true?'  Well, apart from that question, let me tell you this --- don't let that picture deceive you because I never do push-ups on my own!"

#1309.  WHO:  Graeme Reid
SUBJECT:  NYRRC Summer 10K, June 30th, 2001

Overall Pl Age Pl Name Age Time Min/Mile
30 7 Graham Rasulo 40 39:17 6:19

WHAT HE WROTE:  "Lesson 1 - Never trust Jerry Macari to register you for a race!

In any case, given the pathetic time reported for the person named Graham Rasulo in the race, there is obviously no link at all to me and I will sue anyone who even dares to think such thoughts.  There is no way I would be beaten 2 weeks running by that carthorse James Siegel and if I was, I would give up running forever.  The pictures on the website which may appear to be of me are either taken at a different race or you superimposed my face onto some very slow runner. If all possible references which may link me with this race are not removed from the website immediately, legal action will be swift!"

CLARIFICATION: All reported results and photos (including this NOT a picture of Graeme Reid) on this website refer only to the individual named Graham Rasulo.  Any resemblance to any other existing individual is purely coincidental.

Sandra Olivo, Eden Weiss

#1308:  WHO:  Eden Weiss
WHEN:  June 28, 2001

"It meant a great deal to me to receive Alan Ruben's heartfelt letter of concern, sympathy and support due to my "arthritis of the hip" condition.  I've been thinking about writing to the club for months, but frankly was too depressed to do so. I started getting a pain in my left hip last July, one week after completing a glorious 60 mile week of running at the Maine Running Camp, on the amazingly beautiful carriage trails of Acadia National Park. After gradually cutting out: the long runs, the racing ( my final race was the Club Team Championship),  the speed work and reducing the weekly mileage, to no avail, it was "painfully evident" that something was seriously wrong! 

After seeing two orthopedic surgeons and taking a stretching course with Jim and Phil Wharton, I was advised to cut out the running or I'd face hip replacement surgery. The second orthopedist I visited , had been a 2:36 marathoner in his prime and had run in the low 2:50's in his 50's.(Dr. Larry Katz in Rockland County). Ostensibly, he knew something about runner's conditions and injuries. He said :"If it hurts while your doing it or the next day, it's the wrong form of exercise for you.  Fall in love with the pool and the bike ! "  He also told me that the hip I have now, is the best one I'll ever have. What bad news! You know how much I love to run, this was like getting a "running death sentence"! Having completed 23 marathons since 1978, and over 350 races, how could I accept this? 

I decided to take off from running for an "extended period" (I could not and would not close the door completely).  I got back into the pool ( I had been the captain of my H.S.swim team "a million years ago' and done triathlons from 1985-1988,without falling off the bike).  I also bought a new "wind trainer" ( a little torture device that converts a real bike into an exercise bike).  I now do these workouts about five days per week and have begun to ride laps of Prospect Park.  It's nerve wracking for me riding to the park, without getting hit by a car !  

Sadly, I've gained 15 lbs., had to have my pants "let out" and buy new ones.  Now I look like "a normal person" and doesn't that suck!  Oh yes, the pain went away in my hip.  I'm taking chondroitin and glucosamine to try to rebuild some cartilage in my hip.  As you know, there's nothing like running and if there is a way back, I'll find it.  If I can run just a little, I'll try some triathlons.  I miss the people in the club (especially at the speed workouts and the races) more than I could ever express in this letter.  I may show up one of these days as a "timer", but it's too painful to do it as yet.  In a way, I do feel like a part of me died. My wonderful girlfriend, Valli , my amazing daughter, Kyra and my caring friends sustain me with their love and understanding. My job of creating job opportunities for people on probation continues to be challenging and rewarding.  Enjoy every run and race , as we never know when we have run our last one!"

#1307.  WHO:  Olivier Baillet / Roland Soong

WHEN:  June 21, 2001 road workout
WHAT Olivier SAID:  "I'll be in a race on Saturday, but I am not running."

WHEN:  June 24, 2001
WHAT Roland WROTE:  "I figured that you must have been on a relay team in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim on Saturday, but they don't list relay team members.  Of the teams listed, I figured that you would be on a team with a French name.  So I guess that you were most likely on Les Poissons Volants since you are less likely to read Rimbaud.  Was I close?"

WHEN: June 25, 2001
WHAT Olivier WROTE: "Good catch, once again, I was in Les Poissons Volants.  BUT WHAT DO YOU MEAN WITH THAT RIMBAUD STUFF ?????? You're upsetting me..."

WHEN:  June 27, 2001
WHAT Roland WROTE:  "There was another team with a French name --- Le Bateau Ivre, named after that incomprehensible poem by Arthur Rimbaud that all French students are required to memorize.  You should know by heart ...

Comme je descendais des Fleuves impassibles,
Je ne me sentais plus guidé par les haleurs :
Des Peaux-Rouges criards les avaient pris pour cibles
Les ayant cloués nus aux poteaux de couleurs ...

COMMENT:  On that day, Jesse Lansner swam for Le Bateau Ivre ... we would not have been able to guess that one.

#1306.  WHO:  Zebulon Nelessen / Roland Soong (timer)
WHEN: June 19, 2001 track workout
WHERE:  East River Park
WHAT Zeb SAID:  "Is the reason that you want me to move to the faster group because you don't like me."
WHAT Roland SAID:  "Not at all.  It's all about self-preservation.  You are so far ahead of the slower group that I have to wait a long while for the other people to pass and then I have to kill myself to sprint across the field to call your split." 

#1305.  WHO:  Blair Boyer
SUBJECT:  The art of cheering
WHAT HE SAID:  "I know that sometimes the cheering can be annoying to the runners.  That is why I just say 'Go!' and I don't say 'Looking good'."

#1304.  WHO:  Brian Barry
TO WHOM:  Roland Soong
WHAT HE SAID:  "That was a very nice picture that you took for Toby Tanser's page."
COMMENT:  "Ahem ... which picture do you mean?  The picture of Toby Tanser?  The picture of the Central Park reservoir?  Or both?

#1303.  WHO:  Graeme Reid
WHEN:  June 20th, 2001, after having just returned from a vacation in Mykonos (Greece)
WHAT HE SAID:  "You can take a photo of my tan anytime!"

COMMENT:  Actually, we were more interested in that trophy for our first-place Masters team at the Boston Marathon this year.

#1302.  WHO: Ramon Bermo
WHAT HE WROTE:  "In the June 2001 issue of Metro Sports, I read, 'Alan Rubin, member of the Central Park Triathlon Club ...................'  One by one, and little by little, everybody moves to the dark side !!!"

The full text is as follows: 

Alan Rubin (sic), member of the Central Park Triathlon Club and one of the top masters distance runners in the region, loves to combine athletics and socializing.

"It is hard to exaggerate the importance of the Central Park Track Club to both my running and my social life," he says. "CPTC provides the solidity and discipline needed for my competitive running. The club's two coached speed workouts per week allow me to train at a higher level than I would ever be able to on my own.

"The camaraderie on our club and the team competition provide a great motivational boost in the local races, which definitely translates into improved performance," Rubin adds. "The icing on the cake is having a great bunch of intelligent and well-adjusted friends who form a large part of my social circle."

Will the real Alan Ruben stand up and deny any connection to this impostor Alan Rubin?  And how do we know that this is an impostor?  Here is the sure give-away: "intelligent and well-adjusted friends ..."

#1301.  WHO:  Margaret Angell
WHAT:  Her biography as listed in the 2001 club election ballot
WHAT SHE WROTE:  "I started running in 1988 when I followed my older sister onto the track team in middle school.  I finally got serious about running in college where I ran the mile and 800m.  In the summer of 1999, I was startled to find a man talking to me while I was huffing up the Harlem hills.  This man ("John the Fireman") told me about this fantastic running club.  I took the bait and joined the Central Park Track Club in September 1999.  I ran my marathon PR of 2:56:58 at London in 2001."

COMMENT:  Actually, it seems that one has a choice of writing something oneself, or let someone else weave a story, as in:

  • Craig Chilton: "Craig has helped spear-head the Canadian infiltration of CPTC that has helped to revitalize our club."
  • Erik Goetze: "During the past year, Erik has also been The Poster Boy for our ambitious, fun-loving middle-distance track squad."
  • Audrey Kingsley: "Audrey ran her first marathon in 1997.  According to Coach Tony Ruiz, Audrey didn't become a good runner until she joined CPTC later that year."

QUESTION:  Who is the anonymous ghost writer?  Why is he/she not writing for this website?

  Walrus Internet