Archive for the ‘Marathons’ Category


In Great Runners, Marathons, Movember on November 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Moustaches are best left for baseball players and guys who do movies with without clothes on. With one week left in Movember I can hardly wait for it to end.  Although I believe in the cause of raising awareness for men’s health issues, in particular prostate cancer,  I just can’t stand the look I see in the mirror.  You could go off on a tangent and say that it is symbolic of the struggles of men suffering from an illness they can’t control.  You might also say that it is a minor inconvenience a pittance in comparison to what a person with prostate cancer must endure.  Or you could say “Dude your ‘stache looks f__kin ridiculous!”   I hang my hat on the latter.

So with this being the final week of Movember, I take this opportunity to pay tribute to those runners with the best moustaches the running world has ever seen. I rank then in reverse order from worst to first:

10) Jerome Drayton –His 2:10.08 marathon win in Fukuoka in 1975 not only was his lifetime PR but it still stands as Canada’s marathon record.  He is without a doubt Canada’s most decorated marathoner with wins in Boston Marathon 1977 and 3 times at Fukuoka Marathon 1969, 1975 and 1977.  Jerome could have gone higher up the list but we’re Canadian we’re humble.

9) Abebe Bikila – Bikila brought Ethiopian runners to the main stage. Incredible Olympic Victory in Rome 1960 barefoot. The gold medal repeat 4 years later.  Probably as celebrated as Haile Gebreselassie in Ethiopia  the only stadium in the country bears his name.  Not much of a moustache.


Image8) Haile Gebreselassie – quite possibly the best runner the world has ever seen.  He has set many world records.  He has won a few Olympic Gold Medals to boot.  In Ethiopia, he is anicon with one of the major streets in the nation’s capital Addis Ababa bearing his name. But when I compiled this list I had to really look because it really isn’t much of a moustache.  Great runner, bad stache.

7) Ryan Hall – You are probably thinking “what? Ryan Hall doesn’t have a moustache but in the time immediately following his break from Terrence Mahon, Ryan grew a full beard and moustache.  It could have been letting himself go and lack of personal grooming but it was pretty burly.


6) Lasse Viren – great runner! He was most famous for his 5000m 10,000m double double Gold  Medals at the Munich and Montreal Games.  Viren goes low on this list because of the beard, call it jealousy because I can’t grow one but beards and running just don’t seem to go together.


Image5) Amby Burfoot – another great runner.  Great writer too! How often do you get runner’s who write well?  Ambrose Burfoot won the Boston Marathon back in the 1968 without the beard and moustache he sports today.  Amby is one step higher up than Viren, only because he’s writes real good! (Tongue in cheek)


Image4) Brian Sell –I like Brian.  His acumen appeals to me.  He is kind of a working man’s runner.  I remember the pre-Olympic hype talking about all the hopefuls and there is Brian Sell working at Home Depot and selling shoes at Hansen’s on the side.  Throw in a hundred mile training week to qualify for the Olympic Marathon team and this guy is hardcore in my book.  Great stache too!

3) Rob De Castella – also known as Deek.  This Aussie set a world record in the marathon back in 1979.  Of course it has since been broken several times.  De Castella has wins in major marathons including Fukuoka 1981 (WR 2:08.18),Rotterdam 1983 andBoston 1986. And what a great moustache.

Image2) Frank Shorter – what more can be said about Frank.  Olympic gold followed up with Olympic Silver.  His Gold Medal win sparked the running boom back in the 70’s.  Today Frank doesn’t sport a moustache, I guess he’s done his time.



1) Steve Prefontaine – If you type running and moustache into any search engine on the internet and you will get back pictures of Pre.  In his short stellar iconic career Steve Prefontaine embodied gutsy determination and charismatic style.  There hasn’t been anybody like him since.  Pre ran the early years at Oregon sans moustache but at the pinnacle of his career his face adorned the best running moustache the world has ever known.

If you folks feel inclined you can donate to the cause at  Look for the submit cash donations now section on the right hand side.  Thanks for reading!


Dreaming of 2012

In Marathons, Races on November 23, 2011 at 6:48 am

So this is the next post in my new blog, a new beginning, a fresh start to make things right. At this writing it is the off season and I’m having a little bit of downtime.  Some of it on purpose, some of it not so on purpose as I suffer from a little bit of a chest cold, a cough that will not go away.  I’m a bit of a pansy that way especially when I’m not training for something, I will go with any excuse not to run.

It’s funny how the weather gets worse and the days getting shorter coincides with wanting to stay inside.  Whether that is trying to achieve comfort or to avoid discomfort I don’t believe two are mutually exclusive.  There are truly days when I need my run.  I need to lace them up and head out the door no matter the weather.  The discomfort of being too comfortable drives me out the door.  I need to sweat.  I need to raise my heart rate.  I need to run as part of my life.  That being said I think there is an internal switch that says run don’t run.  In my own body I think the switch is controlled by a level of fitness.  Once I achieve a certain level of fitness whether it is a marathon training cycle culminating in a marathon or a 30K trail race training cycle culminating in a trail race that I just completed, my body says rest, de-train, lose some fitness.  That is where I am right now.

The wheels are turning in my brain.  The less I run the more I think about goals.    Things I want to achieve in my running life.  I have had bucket lists which end up being pie in the sky goals.  These end up being back burner goals.  Keep them but don’t look at them every day because some of them just aren’t feasible right now.  For example, I would like to run the New York City Marathon.  There are too many hurdles in my life achieve this without becoming an all out asshole in the achievement of said goal. Do you want me to keep going?  First there is the 16 to 18 week training cycle, that is easy I can sort of fit it into my life.  Second, there is the application process. If you get in great! But now what? You have to plan a trip across the country to run the thing. New Yorkis not cheap, taxis, hotels, entry fees, airfare, food not to mention swag, the souvenirs, for your bucket list run.  In my life with four young kids I have better things to spend my money on.  So I keep the bucket list simmering on the back burner for now.  When I get older and the kids are grown I will play out the dreams.

The things I’m thinking about now are backyard goals, low hanging fruit kind of goals things that I can achieve on a shoe string budget and a modicum of time. Here is the list and a brief explanation of why:

BMO Vancouver Marathon May 2012 – I’ve done this race 3 times before (1999, 2000, 2005).  The course doesn’t change much and I have a PR of 3:31 there.  So why do it?  Because it is as close to running a big city marathon in my backyard as I am going to get.  The crowd support is great and you run with people the whole way.  It is a great way to see the city.  I get a thrill out of running down the middle of the busiest streets inVancouver on a Sunday morning.

Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon October 2012.  It is suppose to be a beautiful course I have runDallas Road along the water’s edge before and it is breath taking.  To run it as a marathon would be fantastic.  Logistically it is more challenging.  A one hour drive to a 2 hour ferry ride. Add hotel room or rooms because I want to take my family it becomes a long couple of expensive days.  Still it’s better than paying for a plane ticket.

Run for Water Abbotsford Marathon May 2012.  This is also a spring marathon. It is the closest marathon to my house (a mere 20 minute drive to the start line).  I have run the 10K and the half marathon the last 4 years.  Last year was the inaugural marathon.  This was almost a bucket list run because it is the only run of the year for my wife and family.  It also coincides with the first swim meet of the year so logistically running for 4 hours on one of the busier weekends of the year isn’t feasible.  I am just putting it out there.

Boundary Bay Moustache Marathon November 2012 There are a few things going for this marathon in my mind. First it is flat right along the water with no hills.  Second it is cheap, as in $50 for early bird registration. Third it is close it starts in Tsawwassen which is a little over an hour from the homestead. On the down side it is on a Sunday during lacrosse season.

Whistler 50 Mile Ultra November 2012.  The inaugural run was this year.  This is the same organization that gave us the Haney toHarrison 100K but has re-located the race to Whistler (and changed the distance).  It is the same weekend as the Boundary Bay Moustache Marathon so it is one or the other.  On the plus side Whistler is a beautiful venue.  It’s 5 times around the world renowned ski resort on rolling paved trails.  It’s also on a Saturday which means I could be back home for Sunday’s lacrosse game.

Of this list nothing is definite.  I might do two or three or I might do none or one. To me it is not that important.  I am a strong believer in dreaming.  Dreaming makes life more fun. Nothing goes wrong in dreams.