I miss the days in the late 70s/80s when I T&F and RW just to read the articles on guys racing every damn weekend almost.
Just a pile of guys bashing each other week after freakin' week on the roads. I was always amazed how well Rodgers competed against everyone. Those guys were warriors in my eyes. There were great runners maybe getting in the top 5. You just don't see that anymore. We had a local kid run the local 10k one year in 33:30 at 14 and I don't think he broke the top 20. Sammy Bair and Malcolm East battling it out with a couple other guys from the area all Summer. The HS and College guys came out and you just lit it up. Henry Winger, Jack Fultz, Carl Hatfield and anyone they could convince to come run were there. Heck, Fultz won Boston that one hot year. The ranks were deep locally as I'm sure they were everywhere. You just fed of of that. I don't see this any longer. Those guys weren't doping, they were training all week and racing. Similar to Nolan Ryan in Baseball. He's pitch every 4th game and go deep or complete the game week after week, year after year.
I run with a guy who's 44, we put in 18 today and he is really getting back into it now. He had good speed in the day at D3 and was a mid 14 5000 guy. I told him just for grins to go back and look how Jim Ryun trained in HS. I said it would blow him away. Obviously Ryun was a rare breed, but there has to be guys out there who if not moddle collied could break through. Your right…they didn't have all this sophisticated training stuff to worry about; they just went out an ran and let the chips fall were they may. I mean today…right now people think if you can run 6 flat pace over any distance your something special. Hell, guys like Pre and Scott and a bunch of others ran easy at 5:30 pace for maintenance/bread and butter runs. For me I just run for the heck of it. I run about everyday and some of my circle claim 4-5 key days would be better and maybe I should consider a 2 hour bike one of those days. Huh? I tell them they are just afraid to train.
I don't pay attention to any union stuff or who's doing what. Like Bill Parcell once said, “Just show me the baby.” You every read the book, A Cool Clear Day the Buddy Edelen story? Great read. I don't think many people realize he held the world record in the marathon. He just worked and trained. No different for you and me as you alluded to earlier.
HS running is awesome. I'd have loved to coach. We have several sub 4:10 mile guys here who just beat on each other. One would get sick, another injured, but on race day they put all that aside and bashed. Sometimes it worked and sometimes they failed, but it was awesome watching these guys try and break the field. A couple of these guys are seniors this year and I can't wait for track. They are work horses, running 2-3 races a meet because it means points. You know the deal.
My buddy and I talked today about people we run against. I have a running alter ego just like most people and sometimes the rub on me is you don't race much. My standard reply is I'm always in shape. I really don't need to prove to myself I'm fast everyday. That's the difference. When they fire me up enough, I swing out of the trees and show up. I don't always beat them, but they damn well felt me.
Totally off subject, but I don't get the Pre bashing or sometimes lack of respect. Sure he was cocky, but he brought it. This…his times wouldn't stack up today, or should have raced differently. It wasn't like that for him. Everyone in the building knew that. How many guys like him show up on the boards at Madison Square Garden and beat guys like Liquori? It seemed Bowerman didn't quite figure him for a miler, but Pre fed of that stuff. Say what you want about him at Munich in '72, I'm in awe everytime I watch it. Those guys were hardly sand baggers.