Weekly Running Links

So, my weekly running links hasn’t been running so weekly lately. It’s negative 20 degrees out and all of the treadmill clubs at fitness centers are being used up by people who are less than a week away from giving up on that New Years’ resolution. So sue me…

Anyway, here’s a little what has been going on in the world of running:

  • Not really running related, but Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah that he’s been using performance enhancing drugs. What character that man has shown standing up in the face of such adversity! [end sarcasm] There have been a countlessstories and books written about what a raving narcissist Lance Armstrong (probably) is.

  • A recent Runners World blog said it’s time to retire the “Finisher” medal. I agree with a lot of what they say in the article, but think that finishing a half-marathon and marathon is still a worthy enough accomplishment of having a finisher medal. I’ve got more useless finisher medal bling than any of your favorite late 90s rappers and/or basketball players, but my take is that if the finisher’s medal does anything to help encourage more people to come to our surprisingly awesome sport, let’s keep it around.

  • In the world of professional running, really, really good runners Bobby Curtis and Kim Smith were dropped from their contracts with Reebok. Which is interesting because a) I didn’t know Reebok even made running shoes and b) they both have run really well in the past few years. I really hope something changes in the world of professional running because it’s becoming a bigger sport all the time, yet even the best runners in the world aren’t making much money. It creates a situation where cheating seems more ethical and logical (if given the choice of cheating or essentially making zero money, which would you choose?) plus it doesn’t encourage runners to continue on post-collegiality. I think the Hanson-Brooks distance team as well as Team MN USA has done some interesting things over the past few years… I’m really curious if any (rich) innovators are out there paying attention to this because their just seems to be a possibility for some fame and fortune if someone where to market the sport, team, and individuals better (See: NASCAR). A big caveat is some of track and fields antiquated rules would need to be changed in order for some of this to happen.

  • This is just a really sad story. Johanna Olson – a fantastic runner from Wadena, MN – passed away at the age of 33 from a brain tumor. She had a remarkable career in high school, in college (where she won the D3 cross country championship in 2000 and was a 7-time all-American), and beyond (she qualified for the Olympic Trials marathon in 2004 and 2008). I didn’t know Johanna, but have spent a lot of time talking to her dad Terry – HS cross country coach for Wadena-Deer Creek – over the past few years. I’ve found him to be an absolute job to be around. He’s one of the funniest and most likable people I’ve ever been around. If Johanna was anything like her father, we’ve lost a tremendous person. If you care to read more about Johanna, I encourage you to read her blog. Such an inspiration and such a tragedy. Our thoughts go out to Johanna’s family who still is hasn’t recovered from the death of her brother-in-law Colin who died of ALS in October. If you care to donate a memorial, you can find donate to either the “Johanna Olson Fund,” OnPoint Community Credit Union, 950 NW Bond St., Bend, OR 97701-2706 or Brain Cancer Research, Department of Development, Mayo Clinic, 200 1st St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905-9817.