Thursday, May 22, 2008

Running Film Festival

This is from my friend Jake Klim,

Fellow Runners & Film Fans,
Are you sick of debating with your training partners which Pre movie was better? Do you lie awake at night and wonder aloud why “Once A Runner” hasn’t been brought to the Silver Screen? Do you tear up when Billy Mills kicks down Ron Clarke in “Running Brave”?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the above then please keep reading…

I am pleased to announce the first annual RUNNING FILM FESTIVAL (RFF)! The RFF will showcase over 12 HOURS of running-related films on the campus of the University of Oregon, in Eugene during the 2008 USA Track & Field Olympic Trials on July 3, 4 & 5…just feet from all the action at legendary Hayward Field. Many of these films will feature some of AMERICA’S MOST PROMINENT RUNNING ATHLETES.

Phil Knowlton, a former college track teammate, and I have teamed up with Adam Jacobs, Editor-in-Chief of to bring the running community this wonderful event. Nissan signed on as the title sponsor while Running Times and signed on as presenting sponsors and a great event was born.
Our goal is to provide track and field fans visiting the university a place to go before the meet begins or after it ends during the last weekend of the trials. We do NOT plan to hold any films while the meet is underway. So go watch the meet and then watch the films!

“The Long Green Line,” “Spirit of the Marathon,” “Run For Your Life” and “Indulgence,” are just a few of the films scheduled to screen at the RFF. New films will be “leaked” to our website each week and a complete list of films will be made available next month. In addition, running “celebrities” new and old will hold Q&A/meet & greet sessions after films they have been featured in. Please visit and bookmark our website for additional information…and keep checking back.

A portion of the proceeds from the RFF will be donated to the Ryan Shay Memorial Fund, an organization established in memory of distance runner and Olympic hopeful Ryan Shay, who died suddenly during the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City in 2007.

Please help me spread the word by forwarding this e-mail to your friends, teammates and colleagues.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available…see the website for additional information.

Thank you.

About: Running Film Festival (RFF)
The first annual Running Film Festival (RFF) is presented by Nissan and sponsored by and Running Times. Executives in charge of the festival include running enthusiasts Phil Knowlton, a NYC-based filmmaker, Adam Jacobs, the Editor-in-Chief of, and Jake Klim, a television producer based in Washington, DC who currently runs for the Georgetown Running Company. For more information, please visit

Monday, May 19, 2008

Friends doing well.

There are few things I enjoy more than being able to share awesome news about my friends.

In 2007, I was one of a lucky few who got to run in the Hangang Marathon by invitation. As you may have read in my recap from this year, I was fortunate enough to be invited back.

Last year, of the three others I joined from America, there was a woman who was lucky enough to be able to fill in last minute for another runner who was unable to make the trip. Her name is Andrea McGehee and she is the one on the left in the picture below.

Well on Sunday, this mother of two went up to the Fargo Marathon and kicked solid butt. I will let THIS VIDEO tell the rest! (FYI, this race is just one month after she missed going under 3 hours at Boston by just 32 seconds!!)

Great job Andrea!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ogden Marathon Recap

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 3; 7th Edition
163.4 miles raced in 2008
Race: Ogden Marathon
Place: Ogden, UT
Miles from home: 45 miles
Weather: No clouds; 70s

Every time I hear an announcer mention that it is a beautiful day for marathon running, I think back to Dick Beardsley talking about his 1982 race at Boston where Willard Scott on the Today Show said that the weather for the race was going to be just perfect. The weather that day was not unlike today's weather in Ogden. Crystal clear skies, beautiful sunshine from the start. No wind. Absolutely perfect. For WATCHING a marathon.

Therefore it is obvious the weather was not ideal at the Ogden Marathon this morning but it could have been far worse. That said, brisk temperatures in the morning quickly gave way to the sort of warmth you hope never happens at a marathon. The brisk temperatures were partly because of the location of the start, which in this point-to-point race, began 26.2 miles out of Ogden on a road that is often closed because of snowfall. You can therefore imagine it is located high up in the mountains. Starting at 5441', the race is just high enough up in the air for runners to begin to feel its effects as soon as the start running.

Give the above profile, you can see there is also a fair amount of downhill in this race as well which I was hoping would take me to a goal of 2:47. But I knew the uphill sections at elevation would assuredly give me a challenge. Hopefully, I was ready for it.

Race Morning

It seems that most Utah marathons are point-to-point and require bussing to the start. As I mentioned in my Utah Valley Marathon Recap this is not a type of race start that I prefer. With a 7 AM start, the buses began loading at 5 AM. That means I am up at 4 AM. Not fun. I should have learned to get on a later bus but I did not and by 5:27 I was standing in a field with a few hundred or other early risers trying to warm ourselves by the copious fire pits provided by the nice people of the Ogden Marathon. Lit by flamethrower (I am NOT joking), I was in awe of this wonderful toy. Talk to any guy in his early to late thirties and there are two things they will never argue.

1. Flamethrowers rock.
2. Snake Eyes (of GI JOE fame) is the coolest person ever.

However, I knew the cool temps were a mirage and did my best to try and stay calm and wait for the next 90 minutes to pass. I met a new friend named Paul who may become a running buddy in SLC if I am able to keep up with him, as well as a long-time online friend and first-time-in-person-meeting, David.

As time drew near for the race I went to the porta-potties one last time. A very cute girl kept making eye contact until she finally asked: "Are you the guy on the Prolytes banner at the expo yesterday?" I laughed and told her I was indeed and that with the sweat I was bound to lose today I was happy to have a little of the electrolyte supplement that I use, with me.

I got into the starting line corral and headed towards the front. A female runner pushed towards the front with me. Running her first marathons she was hoping to do a 2:55. I said I was quite impressed and as I was hoping to be at least 5 minutes below that, she would know she was going to fast if she was in front of me. Away we went. (Christine Berry was her name and her first attempt at the 26.2 distance was a superb 3:12!)

Either the first mile marker was WAY off or I ran an out of my mind first mile. I always run the first mile fast and with the downhill at the start thought it may be a possibility. I decided I needed to slow down and quickly let about 5 guys pass me.

Around 3 miles, a woman just flies past me. I check out her physique and realize she may possibly know what she is doing. For the next 4 miles or so, I kept her about 100 yards in front of me. Then at 7 plus miles she pulls over to the side of the road and hands off to the next person in her relay. Damn it. You big tease, I think.

At this point a gentleman in a red shirt whom I passed at mile 3, passes me. I let him going knowing the next few miles have some rolling hills that I want to conserve my energy for. I am about a minute total ahead of my perfect goal for the day, 2:45:59. However, with each passing mile, I lost 5 seconds here and 10 seconds there. Going through the half-way point in 1:23:34 (almost a half-marathon PR) I realize that unless I can really work the downhills at the end into a negative split, A Goal for the race is out.

That goes out the window with the big hill at 14. The last hill to really contend with, it is a short but hard doozy of an uphill. I lose even more time but keep the gentlemen in the red shirt in sight and actually gain ground.

A few miles later, I pass a young fella running in only his second marathon who hoped to drop his PR from a 3:17 to a 2:20 or 2:30. When I saw him go out with the lead pack I thought he was either a prodigy or bit off more than he could chew. as I told him good job as I passed, I assumed correctly it was the latter.

Expecting to see mile 16, I was shocked to see mile 17 marked on the side of the road. I was elated. I then saw my good SLC buddy Kristin who was running tow legs of the marathon Relay that day. She screamed my name and made me feel like a celebrity. Right after this I went down a scorching downhill and expected to run around a 6:05 for this mile. When my watch gave me a 6:24, my feeling of elation dropped and an empty pit opened in my stomach. This was going to be a fight to the finish.

I the next few miles wound through a beautiful canyon. I have said often I could not care less about scenery in a marathon. But holy crap was it pretty. A trickle of a waterfall cascaded down from a high, high cliff top above.

Not long after that a bridge that looked like the one Indiana Jones crossed in the Temple of Doom loomed overhead. (I am still looking for a picture). It helped take my mind off the fact that no matter how hard I ran these downhills at the end, I could not break a 6:29 minute mile. Gone was the 2:47 and not only was any sub 2:50 in jeopardy but was so was setting a new PR. I did not even conceive I would not set a new PR today and it spurred me on the best I could.

Unfortunately, the downhill advantage ended and now we were on the very scenic but very crowded Ogden River Parkway.

Not closed to the public, the six-foot wide paved trail was filled with not only pedestrians out for a still, but the slower half-marathoners as well. Forced to often run into the grass on a wide turn around walkers going three-abreast, I was a little perturbed. When one girl, who was not impeding in any way, jumped out of the way and apologized, I told her "No need to do that. It is your race too!" She replied. "You are very nice and I like you!" I just wish others would learn this simple race etiquette.

Did this slow me down a little? Yeah a touch, but it was not the reason why I was slowing. I was tired and now all I wanted to do was make sure I PRd. Unfortunately, with this mindset, playing not to lose per se, I lost a massive amount of time.

After 17 miles of trailing the man in the red shirt, I finally passed with with a mile to go. Now on the last long straightaway of the course, I could almost make out the finishline in the distance. I knew it was going to be really close.

Down I went and to screams from my friend Kathy, who held a sign that said "Dane-iac the running Maniac" and somehow was also able to snap this picture. As you can see, I was able to salvage the last goal of the day and better my PR of 2:51:49 by 8 seconds. Whew!

Too damn close for my tastes.

After getting my medal I sat down to take off my shoe. From about mile 18 I knew I had developed a blister. Besides a few on the ends of my toes that I sometimes get and never feel, this would be the first blister I can recall getting ever in a marathon. That is a good track record but when I could feel it forming from mile 18 on, I was not a happy camper.

Coincidentally, my friend Katie who I had not seen in 2 years prior to the evening for the race when she and her friend Mary and I broke bread in a carb-loading session, walked by. Both her and Mary set new PRs in their half-marathon on this day so there was much rejoicing. Kristin too was quite pleased with her run after bah-humbugging the little jaunt earlier in the day and she too joined me for some post-race congrats.

After a shower at a nearby hotel which gave great marathons rates (I am sure we can thank the Ogden Marathon people for this as well) I headed back to see the final results and my overall place. Before doing so, I punched in my time into a calculator that does approximations of races done at certain elevation and then compares them to lower elevations. My time today was equivalent to a 2:42 at sea level. That made me feel good at least.

Then I found out I was 14th overall out of 1820 finishers and won my age group. Not a bad showing. That means my last five marathons have been my 2nd, 6th, 9th, 4th and 1st fastest of all time. That made me and Kathy smile. Check out my tan!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Road Runner Sports Speaking Tour

As I continue to rack up frequent flyer miles and never really get to know my own apartment, I am happy to announce that this coming June I will be taking my speaking tour to Southern California. More specifically I will be hitting all the locales of the highly-touted World's Largest Running Store, Road Runner Sports.

In addition, after my speeches, I will be engaged in a run with all those in attendance who wish to pick my brain some more and go for a jog. So ripped fresh from Road Runner Sports itself, I give you my speaking tour below. Click on each store for its location.

If you don't see a store on the list, write to Road Runner Sports and tell them you want me to come to your area! Or call: 800.743.3206

San Diego Store
Thursday, June 5th
6:00pm - 6:30pm: Dane will share his experiences and answer any questions
6:30pm - 7:00pmish: Fun run with Dane

Laguna Hills Store
Saturday, June 7th
8:00am - 9:30pm: 1 Hour Morning Run & Breakfast with Dane

Costa Mesa Store
Saturday, June 7th
4:00pm - 4:30pm
: Dane will share his experiences and answer any questions
4:30pm - 5:00pmish: Fun run with Dane

Torrance Store
Sunday, June 8th
8:00am - 9:30pm: 1 Hour Morning Run & Breakfast with Dane

Thousand Oaks Store
Monday, June 9th
6:00pm - 6:30pm: Dane will share his experiences and answer any questions
6:30pm - 6:00pmish: Fun run with Dane

West Hills Store

Tuesday, June 10th
6:00pm - 6:30pm: Dane will share his experiences and answer any questions
6:30pm - 7:00pmish: Fun run with Dane

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fun with Numbers

It is no secret to my good friends that I enjoy stats. My running log is a veritable cornucopia of graphs and charts and numbers. I often delve over the numbers on my list of all time marathons as if it is some code that I need the German Enigma device to break. Lest you think I am kidding, take a gander at my charts which shows my lifetime marathons in chronological order.

Recently on a run, I was thinking about some of my most recent marathons. So far in 2008, I have had 5 marathons, listed below. (The 4th column shows, out of my 77 lifetime marathons, where that specific marathon ranks).

01.20.08...Carlsbad Marathon......21...3:09:50
03.29.08...National Marathon......1....2:51:49
04.12.08...Utah Valley Marathon...5...2:58:48
04.21.08...Boston Marathon.........8...3:01:48
04.27.08...Hangang Marathon......3...2:56:48

I already knew that in 14 days I ran my 5th, 8th and 3rd fastest times ever. But something else was there that I couldn't but my finger on. Then it hit me. The seconds!

In 5 marathons this year, which have had a range of 18 total minutes, the seconds have been nearly identical. Three races ended in :48, one in :49 and one in :50. With every one of those races being a chipped time race, it was nearly impossible for me to have planned that coincidence. I don't know exactly when I crossed the starting mats for each one of those races and as such could only use the finishing clock to gauge an approximate guess even if I WANTED to try and match seconds.

Believe me, I know this is not ground-breaking. This is just the sorta of thing that is fun to take your mind off a run or whatever else may be bothering you.

For example, another time I was doing a sorting of my races. I knew that the Leadville Marathon, ran in 5:17 for me, was the slowest time I had ever (and hopefully WILL ever) run. But for some reason it was only listed in my tables as being the 76th fastest race and not the 77th. I poured over the data, played with all kinds of sorting techniques and then it finally hit me. I had run two marathons in the exact same time.

The Carlsbad Marathon with its 3:09:50 earlier this year

tied my first ever Boston Qualifying time from 2005 for 21st fastest overall. And it was pretty close to being 3 years to the day (01.09.05 and 01.20.08)

As such, sorting-wise, Leadville was indeed the 76th fastest.

While I sometimes lament the fact that running so many marathons has skewed my overall average time to be much slower than it could be, I absolutely love that my sample size of marathons gives me so much data to play with. My best friend Anne always use to shake her head when I poured over these numbers. Recently, she decided to begin training for a half marathon in the late summer. She sent me an email that contained her first day of stats on the track. The contained split times for a ladder that she had completed on the track.

I told her that was about the sexiest thing I had ever received in an email.

Movie Reviews

This is hardly something I plan on doing on a regular basis but that is mostly because there are so few movies based on running. However, I received an early birthday present from my good friend Kathy consisting of two movies about running legend Steve Prefontaine; Without Limits and Prefontaine.

My desire to watch these both had been building for years but after reading Bowerman and the Men of Oregon, which I reviewed here I was really read to get them. As the author of Bowerman, Kenny Moore, was very much behind the movie Without Limits, I decided to watch that first.

I am hardly a Prefontaine expert but I would think that Kenny Moore is, if anyone on the planet can claim to be. And Without Limits seems to echo the vast majority of what Moore describes of Prefontaine throughout his book. But besides historical accuracy, the movie actually contains some very good acting. Moreover, Billy Crudup does such a bang-up job of portraying Steve Prefontaine that it leads you to believe Crudup must have been a runner in his pre-acting life.

Splicing in real footage from some of Pre's races was a nice touch as well, and even though this movie was a box-office disappointment, I would highly recommend watching it. Even in races where you know the outcome, you find yourself on the edge of your seat willing Pre to victory.

Added bonus is when noted runner Frank Shorter (who is portrayed by Jeremy Sisto, and looks next to nothing like him, oddly enough) makes an appearance as announcer Fred Long. I got a total kick out of that.

Next up was the aptly named Prefontaine.

You could tell right away that Prefontaine was quite different from Without Limits. Besides the way in which the movie was told, (the point of view shifts from Bowerman to assistant coach Bill Dellinger) the entire thing seemed much more pre-packaged for Hollywood. Jared Leto plays Prefontaine and while looking strikingly similar to Pre, does not seem to capture the same aura or running style that Crudup did.

It is ironic how two movies telling basically the same four year period of one person's life can differ so much. I think Prefontaine was lacking in some of its historical accuracies but it did include more of Pre's interactions with fellow athletes (whether they were ture or not; one recounting by Moore in his book was that everyone thought the other guy was the one Pre was hanging out with as he was never around anyone.)

Both movies are worth watching if only because there is a general lack of movies out there about running. you will get two sides of the enigma that was Pre and both definitely show why he captured the attention of America so much.

Friday, May 9, 2008

St. George Marathon

I am happy to announce that I was selected in the lottery to participate in the St. George Marathon this upcoming October 4. A marathon that is apparently suited to one of my best strengths (running downhill), St. George is one I am eagerly looking forward to running. So you can imagine I was quite pleased to see this today:

Here is a little sample of what I have in store for me. While there is indeed a massive downhill section to the race, I am quite aware of the doozy of an uphill at 7.5 and also again at 10. If I can get past those, a huge PR will be mine. Also, in the chart below, you will see the Ogden Marathon I will be doing next weekend as well as the Top Of Utah Marathon in Logan, UT which is also on my list of possibilities.

It will indeed be a challenge but one I am eager and ready to take on!

To those who were unfortunate enough to not make it in this year, I extend my condolences and hope you find a suitable fall alternative.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

More flights...More Book Reviews

To be honest, it is one book Review and one Magazine Review. But I will get to that in one second.

First off is Hal Higdon's Smart Running. Hal is known to many as one of the first "Virtual Trainers" and many of his "V-Team" met online and became fast friends long before they ever met in person. In addition, Hal has penned over 30 books on running and for a long time wrote the "Ask the Expert" column in Runner's world Magazine.

Smart Running is an extension of that column and if I am not mistaken is basically just a collection of Q&A taken from the column. Nice way to recycle already answered questions to make a buck, that is for sure! I am not criticising. There are really only so many questions that can be asked without getting into very specifics (e.g., "Hi I am a 37 year old woman from Poughkeepsie with 3 children who works the lunch shift at the diner but can only run on Mondays and Fridays. How can I increase my VO2 max?") and this book answers many of them. Without a doubt it is geared more towards the beginning runner but any person can glean new and useful facts from the Q&A. We can never stop learning, that is for sure.

The book covers a wide range of topics and would be a great pickup for the novice runner.

The other review is of a magazine but really is like a book. The magazine is called Marathon & Beyond and with its Paperback bounde editions coming every other month and totaling nearly 200 pages each time, it is much more a book than just a plain magazine.

I first picked up a copy of M&B during Fiddy2 and immediately became a subscriber. Every time I meet publisher Jan Seeley at an Expo I buy 5 or 6 more of the back issues. It is just a fantastic read chock full of stories and anecdotes from real runners like you and me. There are no "Get Better Abs!" diet plans or scores of advertisements.

Just really solid writing.

If you would like to subscribe to M&B, click HERE. And if you mention that I was the one that got you to sign up, I get a free issue tacked onto the end of my subscription. I just did some math: with an average of about 100 readers a day to my blog I could possibly never pay for M&B again! :)

Who knows, maybe someday I will be published in there as well!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

As they trickle in...

I will continue to post pictures from my run with Dave McGillivray (and friends) where we ran the Boston Marathon Course after everyone else had finished. (Or at least started!)

Here is somewhere in the first 1/3 of the race. The sun was still in the sky and beating down. I usually run much faster when a policeman is behind me.

Dave is breaking the tape to a loud roar of the crowd on Boylston. Pure contentment splashes across his face as the Women's Olympic Trials, the Boston Marathon, and Dave's own run of the course are now behind him.

Dane: "If you ever let me do this again, we are no longer friends, Dave!"

Monday, May 5, 2008

Potomac River Run Marathon

Nope, I did not run it. But I did run it (or help to)!

As odd as that sounds, let me explain. Fate had me coming to DC this week and my good friend Jay Wind, a local running aficionado, asked me if I could help him make the 5th Annual Potomac River Run Marathon the best one yet. I jumped at the opportunity and soon was knee deep in the preparation for one of the races that holds a special place in my memory.

The Potomac River Run Marathon is one of the marathons that I ran as part of Fiddy2. That alone does not make it special per se. What does make it special is that it really solidified in my mind that I was going to be able to continue to push myself throughout the year and not only give close to my best every week but possibly set a new personal best.

You see the race is a 10k course that the full marathoners run out and back twice. Snaking along the Potomac River through Virginia, runners are treated to a slightly challenging courses with a wonderful view of the river here and there, all while running on a winding bike path that keeps your legs from ever getting too bored.

It is not an easy course and not nearly as flat as one would think it would be so close to the river. But I would not call it hard either. I would call it one of my favorite marathons. The opportunity for spectators to easily pop in and out of the trail makes it easy for your friends and family to cheer you on 3 or 4 times on each 10k without much trouble at all. It was my best friend Anne's cheering that undoubtedly helped me uncork a 3:14 here in 2006 in my 18th straight week of racing (when my PR at the time was only a 3:07). At the time it was my best race of the year and really solidified, in my mind, that I would eventually go under 3 hours for the year.

I needn't bore you with the minutia of setting up a course play by play, but without a doubt it was an interesting experience. I have been the race director for my own marathon, have worked in various capacities on numerous other races of all sizes and shapes but working on each race presents new challenges and surprises.

Jay is a wealth of information on just about any subject and it was wonderful to exchange banter on all types of ideas. Jay was and still is a helluva runner. His personal best of 2:27 came at Boston in 1980. If that time doesn't ring a bell, or you are not up on your marathoning lore, that is the year Rosie Ruiz cheated to "win" the Boston Marathon. What was more interesting is that given his time, Jay finished very close to the REAL winner, Jacqueline Gareau. In fact, Jay had a conversation with her shortly afterwards (in French by the way; Jay has more talents than I can list) in which she was still confused as to how she had taken second to someone who she had never seen throughout the race. Quite an interesting tale indeed!

One interesting note for me was that I was able to mark the course with mile markers. As one may know, a course must be certified (as this course is) but mile markers do not. If you have read my recaps previously, you know how often I am perturbed by mismarked mile markers. Therefore, I took this job extra seriously. Not only did Jay and I do a number of calculations to make sure that the miles should be marked down to the exact foot, but I TWICE ran the course pushing a marking wheel to make sure each mile was correctly placed. Ten the night before the marathon, I once again went out and marked each mile with signs that not only told the runners where each mile was but reminded them it was World Laughter Day!

When I got back from the last marking, the speakers at the expo were just about to wrap up. However, one of their key speakers was missing and they had some time to fill. I offered my services and minutes later, my sweaty self was standing in front of runners who were eagerly interested in the guy who had JUST got done running the course. As Jay also introduced me as the man who ran 52 marathons in 52 weekends, I was also able to talk more about my work with Fiddy2 and how I was still accepting donations as I tried to get to that $52,000 goal I had set for myself.

The next morning came early as Nick, the gentleman doing, amongst other things, the timing for the race, drove me down to the course at O Dark Thirty (actually 3:45 AM) so we could begin preparation for the race. With nary a hitch we were ready for the first wave of early starters to go off a little after 6 AM.

Let me be clear here; a bevy of volunteers were helping Jay and and the rest of us. It was their hard work and dedication that made so much up to this point a snap. As the race started, we knew the worst was out of the way. I spent the rest of the da driving Jay's van up and down the course, delivering extra water and cups to the aid stations or lending a hand where I could. Once a bulk of the half-marathoners were finished and the load on the aid stations was lessened, I was able to head back to the finish and help announce finishers, work on entering data and doing whatever else was necessary.

There were a hundred great stories throughout this such as the runner who took second overall in only is second marathon ever. He dropped his time 30 minutes from the Marine Corp Marathon in the fall to run a 3:04! Absolutely stellar!

Then there was the last finisher of the race who motored down the last quarter mile to a battery of cheers as her friends and family screamed her on to the finish. Presenting her with her medal and then removing the chip from her shoe, I was hard pressed to not grin like an idiot in complete exuberance of her triumph over the 42 Kilometers she had just conquered. While most of the runners had left the beautiful Bell Haven Park finish area, she stayed around for quite some time, rightfully soaking in the sun and enjoying her moment.

All in all it was a wonderful experience for everyone, I think. I cannot think of a single thing that really went wrong. This is a testament to Jay's preparation and many, many people who really poured their heart into making this a wonderful race.

Here's hoping that the next year finds you running down towards George Washington's Mt. Vernon and making your own memories in the Potomac River Run Marathon and Half-Marathon!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Book reviews

I have three for today's slate.

First up The Ultimate Guide to Marathons by Dennis Craythorn & Rich Hanna.

Quite the comprehensive book, The Ultimate Guide to Marathons is an excellent marathon resource for runners. I read in one review "This second edition was published in 1998 with information current up through 2000. A runner using this book as a guide needs to know that in five years a lot can change for a given marathon." Add 3 more years to that and know that even more has changed. Courses, sponsors, prices etc change yearly. You can imagine what a decade has done to date this book.

However, it is a wonderful resources for at least finding races and seeing how well they were ranked by these two runner/authors when they were run. Loads of information about each race is included in the entries as well as graphs and charts in the back pages for stat geeks like me to eat up.

Next is Road Racing for Serious Runners by Pete Pfitzinger, Scott Douglas.

One of my favorite parts of this book is how it mentions that a "serious" runner has nothing to do with speed but rather with commitment. To the authors, a serious runner is one who is willing to put in the time to make themselves a better runner. coming from two guys who are both excellent runners, this is a refreshing view.

Filled to the brim with workouts, I can say that I have not had the chance to try any of them out. My flight to Korea frowned upon me doing fartleks in the aisle. However, they look like very well-thought out plans for all distances ranging from the 5k on up (if I recall correctly).

Ideally, you have the money or connections to pay someone else to read this book thoroughly and then devise a plan for you to attack a certain distance. IF not, it is easy to read and gives you plenty of insight into becoming a better road racer.

Last, but certainly not least is Bart Yasso's My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon.

I'd like to brag and say I have had the pleasure of corresponding with Bart, but I have a feeling that everyone who has laced up a pair of running shoes has been lucky enough to share this experience.

A true ambassador of the sport, Bart spins his life story of running almost up to the day with his many wonderful tales of encountering rhinos, almost dying on a hike on Kilimanjaro and winning his age group in a "bare buns" run.

Without a doubt, Bart is living a running life I am hoping to attain. While I search out for that one great occupation that combines running with those who know about the sport and love to participate in it, I take heart that at least one man found such a job. But he has already penned Ryan Hall as his successor so I am hoping Hall keeps on running in the interim and Bart instead sends me his recommendation.

A highly enjoyable book. Go grab one.