PROFILE--Gillian Adams Horovitz has been running for 50 years

Racing in the 1988 NYC Marathon
During the 1980s, Gillian Adams Horovitz was among the top echelon of marathoners, ranked sixth female runner in the world by The Runner magazine in 1980. She placed second to Grete Waitz in the 1979 New York City Marathon. During her career, she ran 94 marathons with a PR of 2:36 (Grandma’s, 1993) sometimes competing in 10 a year. Most of them were under three hours, such as the 1980 Essonne (France) Marathon that she won in 2:39:18 just four weeks before finishing third at Boston in 2:39:17. Now 63, and living in Greenwich Village with her husband, Horovitz no longer runs competitively. But she still has the heart of a runner (and that warm, welcoming smile) and is just as happy cheering for others at a race.

Why and when did you start running? I started running in May 1968 (born 1955, Bromley, England). I took my first run with a friend from school and immediately loved it. Started off doing track and field-sprints, hurdles (occasionally), long jump, high jump, discus, shot put, javelin and relays. In autumn and winter, I did road relays and cross-country. I would rush home from school every Friday to read my copy

10 things you need to know about the new national exercise guidelines

You already know a lot. But the new guidelines extend the benefits of regular physical activity to prevention of more cancers and other illnesses. Here are the 10 most important new findings.

  1. The second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provides evidence-based recommendations for adults and youth ages 3 through 17 to safely get the physical activity they need to stay healthy. There are new key guidelines for children ages 3 through 5 and updated guidelines for youth ages 6 through 17, adults, older adults, women during pregnancy and the postpartum period, adults with chronic health conditions, and adults with disabilities.
  2. The new key guidelines for children ages 3 through 5 state that preschool-aged children should be active throughout the day to enhance growth and development. Adults caring for children this age should encourage active play (light, moderate, or vigorous intensity) and aim for at least 3 hours per day.
  3. The recommended amount of physical activity for youth ages 6 through 17 is the same. Each day, youth ages 6 through 17 need at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity to attain the most health benefits from physical activity. Most activity can be aerobic, like walking, running, or anything that makes their hearts beat faster. They also need activities that make their muscles and bones strong, like climbing on playground equipment, playing basketball, and jumping rope.
  4. The recommended amount of physical activity for adults is the same. To attain the most health benefits from physical activity, adults need at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking or fast dancing, each week. Adults also need muscle-strengthening activity, like lifting weights or doing push-ups, at least 2 days each week.
  5. We now know about more health benefits from physical activity — and how Americans can more easily achieve them. The second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is based on the latest scientific evidence that shows that physical activity has many health benefits independent of other healthy behaviors, like good nutrition.
  6. The first key guideline for adults is to move more and sit less. This recommendation is based on new evidence that shows a strong relationship between increased sedentary behavior and increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and all-cause mortality. All physical activity, especially moderate-to-vigorous activity, can help offset these risks.
  7. We now know that any amount of physical activity has some health benefits. Americans can benefit from small amounts of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity throughout the day. The first edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans stated that only 10-minute bouts of physical activity counted toward meeting the guidelines. The second edition removes this requirement to encourage Americans to move more frequently throughout the day as they work toward meeting the guidelines.
  8. New evidence shows that physical activity has immediate health benefits. For example, physical activity can reduce anxiety and blood pressure and improve quality of sleep and insulin sensitivity.
  9. We now know that meeting the recommendations in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans consistently over time can lead to even more long-term health benefits. (New benefits appear in bold with *.)
    • For youth, physical activity can help improve cognition,* bone health, fitness, and heart health. It can also reduce the risk of depression.
    • For adults, physical activity helps prevent 8 types of cancer (bladder,* breast, colon, endometrium,* esophagus,* kidney,* stomach,* and lung*); reduces the risk of dementia* (including Alzheimer’s disease*), all-cause mortality, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and depression; and improves bone health, physical function, and quality of life.
    • For older adults, physical activity also lowers the risk of falls and injuries from falls.*
    • For pregnant women, physical activity reduces the risk of postpartum depression.*
    • For all groups, physical activity reduces the risk of excessive weight gain* and helps people maintain a healthy weight.
  10. New evidence shows that physical activity can help manage more health conditions that Americans already have. For example, physical activity can decrease pain for those with osteoarthritis, reduce disease progression for hypertension and type 2 diabetes, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve cognition for those with dementia, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and Parkinson’s disease.

PROFILE--Budd Coates has been running for 46 years

(11-18) Budd Coates, 61, has qualified for four Olympic Marathon Trials, run 117,000 miles, established a marathon PR of 2:13:02, spent decades at Rodale Inc (then the Runner's World owner) as fitness director, taught hundreds of beginning runners, written a book titled Running On Air, and currently works for Sole Supports, an orthotics company.
Professional career? While I had this fantasy of being a “professional runner”, I didn’t have the confidence that it could support me and my family. So I accepted a job with Rodale Press as their Employee Health and Fitness Director. I was tasked with developing a program for employees and their families. After a modest start on the 2nd floor of a closed factory, our program quickly became a success, and we built a self-standing facility within 5 years.

We were one of the first companies to ban smoking in the workplace, offer cholesterol screening, skin screening, and more. One of the many classes I offered was a Beginning Running Class, and our President at the time graduated from that class and became so interested in running that

RESEARCH--Exercise Improves Gut Bacteria

Many studies show that exercise helps to prevent heart attacks, and it may do so by changing the bacteria in your colon. A recent study from Finland shows that exercising for just six weeks, without any additional change in diet or lifestyle, can increase healthful anti-inflammatory bacteria (Akkermansia) and reduce harmful inflammation-promoting Proteobacteria in your colon (Front Microbiol, October 3, 2018).

In this study, 17 sedentary and overweight women started a heart-rate-regulated exercise program on stationary bicycles for three training sessions per week. After six weeks, stool cultures showed healthful colon bacteria changes, even though the subjects did not lose any weight. There was also a significant reduction in phospholipids and cholesterol in VLDL cholesterol, which is believed to help prevent heart attacks because VLDL cholesterol is converted into the harmful LDL cholesterol that helps to form plaques in your arteries. Exercise also decreased Vascular Adhesion Protein-1, a measure of inflammation that causes plaques to form in arteries and break off to cause heart attacks.

Exercise Promotes Good Gut Bacteria
Two previous studies, one in

PROFILE--Robert Chasen has been running for 49 years

Born with a mystery heart ailment, Robert
Chasen was proud to win an American
Heart Association race in Boston (years ago).
As a kid, Robert Chasen’s primary activity was fishing for catfish along the Saddle River in Paramus, NJ. He also delivered newspapers (in a bygone era!) on his bike, a 3-speed Schwinn, through his neighborhood. Now a podiatrist living in Weymouth, MA, Dr. Bob, 64, has made up for lost time and has accrued more than 125,000 miles of running.    

When did you start running, and why? April of 1969. I started running in 9th grade if you don’t count all my back of the pack last place efforts in gym class in grade school and junior high.  For some reason, I started moving to a middle pack and then towards the front.

Early inspiration? When I was six years old, I missed half of first grade because I was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and mitral valve murmur.  My parents were instructed to give me preventative antibiotics for the rest of my life and to not stress my heart. Later on this was found to be incorrect as medical technology improved, but as a child I was forced

PROFILE--Ellen Wallop has been running for 42 years

Post-race, 2017
(11-18) Ellen Wallop grew up in a family that gathered to watch sports whether it was the Yankees or college football. Her grandfather held the mile record at the University of Delaware in 1908 and encouraged her interest in sports.  As a child she had a heart murmur and was not allowed to participate in strenuous activity but overcame that to run 12 marathons and complete an Ironman. In 1996 she was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer that has made a nasty return. Despite that she  starts every day by rejoicing, "I'm still here." 

When did you start running, and why? May, 1976. I was doing a lot of skiing and thought I could build up my leg muscles by running in the off-season.  Because of all the years of being told I had a bad heart I was very, very cautious when I started. I never pushed myself so I never had a bad run! Every run was a good run.

Did you have an early inspiration or person who motivated you?  Grete Waitz, Joan Benoit, Nina Kuscsik. These women were very inspiring to me as they paved the road for other women runners. I remember watching Joan

PROFILE--Distance legend Bernard Lagat to make marathon debut Sunday

U.S running legend Bernard Lagat, now 43, is running his first marathon Sunday in New York City. He says he's hoping to eclipse the American masters record for the distance, the 2:12:20 Meb Keflezighi ran in 2016 at the broiling hot U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles.

The Kenyan-born Lagat has competed in five Olympics, including the last three as a U.S. citizen. On the track, he has personal bests of 3:47:28 in the mile and 12:53:60 in the 5000. On July 4, he won the U.S. 10K road title at the Peachtree Classic in Atlanta.

Friday morning in New York, Lagat made the following key observations about his marathon preparations and goals: 

*** "I ran a couple of half marathons in the 1:02s earlier in the year, so I think I should be able to go through the half fairly comfortably in 65-66, and then finish strong. I like the atmosphere surrounding the marathon, and it's good to have new challenges."

*** "During the training, I sometimes wondered if I was out of my mind. After my first 30K long run, I thought, 'How can anyone go another eight miles?' After my first 20, I was out for a day and a half to recover.  Twenty-two was crazy. But my last 24 finished with a 5:24 final mile, at altitude in Flagstaff, so I believe I am well prepared."

*** "I wasn't a high mileage guy in my 5K training, and I'm not now. I never hit an 80-mile week. But I did lots of hard stuff like 15 milers in the morning followed by 75 minutes of biking or water-jogging in the afternoon. I spent a lot of time on my training, nine weeks in Flagstaff, and I feel very strong now."

*** "My goals are simple. I want to be 'in' the race mentally, I want to find a solid pack to run with, and I'd like to run 2:12 to break Meb's record."
Lagat won the Peachtree 10K on July 4.

*** "I've gotten so much great advice from my friends. Meb told me: 'Don't think old. Think confident and run strong.' Eliud Kipchoge told me: 'Don't worry about the Wall. Block it and all other outside thoughts from your mind. Run tough. Don't let a gap develop between you and your pack. Don't worry about the distance, or you might not fully commit to the race. Your goal must be total commitment."

Here's an Olympic Channel video about Bernard Lagat and his marathon preparation.

PROFILE--"Dr. Frank" Adipietro has a been running for 38 years

(11-18) Born and raised in Brooklyn, "Dr. Frank" (as he is widely known) grew up in a family where sports and athletics were not part of every day life. Putting on 50 pounds during medical school, he knew he had to get in shape. The motivation came from his dad, who challenged him to run a 5K. He is now a 15+-year streaker at the New York City Marathon and has a total of 48 lifetime marathons. Dr. Frank, 61, resides on Shelter Island where he is an Interventional Pain Management specialist Anesthesiologist in Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport NY. He commutes to work by boat, his Grady White 23-foot outboard, every day, weather permitting.

Started running? Why? October 1980. I came late to running, not starting till my freshman year of Medical School to train for a race with my dad. Initially we ran just a few 5Ks. I was quite out of shape at the time and 40-50 lbs overweight.

Did you have an early inspiration or person who motivated you? That would be my father. He got me started when he challenged me to run the 1981 New York City Marathon. I was out of shape at the time and he was starting to catch “Marathon Fever” thanks to Rodgers & Shorter. So a thank you to them as well for getting us started in our running careers.  

Later in life I met another inspiring person, my wife Mary Ellen. While I was dating her, she started to run

PROFILE--Nina Kuscsik is still going strong at 79

In 1972, Kuscsik achieved the Boston-
New York City (above) "double."
(10-18) Nina Kuscsik, a noted pioneer of women’s running, won the 1972 New York City Marathon in 3:08, just seven months after being the first official female to win the Boston Marathon. She ran the inaugural NYC Marathon in 1970 but dropped out at mile 15 with gastro issues. She started again in 1971 and placed second to Beth Bonner, both women breaking three hours (Bonner in 2:55:22 and Kuscsik in 2:56:04). She went on to win the New York City Marathon in '72 and '73, and to compete in more than 80 marathons in her lifetime. Here Kuscsik, now 79, recalls some of the highlights of her long running career. 

Why and when did you start running? Growing up in Brooklyn with three siblings, we were always outside playing in the street. I was a tomboy and loved to roller skate and ride my bike. When I was 15 Roger Bannister ran his historic sub-4-minute mile and I wanted to see

PROFILE--Jan Holmquist has been running for 37 years

Her passion for running doesn’t begin to tell the full story of World and American record holder Jan Holmquist.  Still working full time at age 74 (Assistant to the President at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), her goal as an older runner is to spread the word about positive aging through running and staying active. “I pinch myself every morning that I can run and compete and be part of the most amazing running community,” says Holmquist, who lives in Burlington MA.

Started running? Why?  I started in October 1982 when I was 38. I was at a scouting event with my son and a father dared me to run a mile in under 10 minutes (we were at an outdoor track).  I accomplished the feat and was hooked. For the next 10 years I ran nearly every day in the neighborhood where I lived, but had never entered a race until the day my post-college daughter called me. Phone rings, I pick up: “Mom, do you want to run a race with me?” We ran a local 5-mile race in Boston and

RESEARCH--Impressive New Study Offers Best Evidence Yet For High-Fitness Lifestyle

As fitness increases, mortality risk decreases.
The benefit does not appear to "bottom out"
at any point. More fitness is better.
An impressive new study from the Cleveland Clinic provides the best evidence yet for a high-fitness lifestyle. It is considered more authoritative than other similar studies linking exercise and reduced mortality because it is based on actual treadmill-testing data and not questionnaires that ask, "How much do you exercise?

The study is also unique for its focus on older subjects, including those at the extreme high end of cardiovascular fitness (termed “elites”). Researchers concluded that there is no upper limit to the benefits of fitness, and that high-level fitness is particularly beneficial to those 70 and older.

The study is open-access, meaning you can read it free here:

Below, briefly summarizes several of the key points.

*** The study looked at 122,000 patients who had a treadmill stress test at the Cleveland Clinic. They were divided into five fitness groups based on their treadmill results: low, average, above average, high, and elite (above the 97.6th percentile). Subjects were followed for the next 8.4 years, with 13,637 deaths during that time.
*** Subjects in the highest (“elite”) fitness quintile had an 80 percent lower risk of mortality than those in the lowest fitness quintile.
*** Elite subjects had a 23 percent lower mortality risk than even those in the high-fit group.
*** “Importantly, there was no upper limit of benefit of increased aerobic fitness.”
*** “There was no evidence to suggest relative harm associated with extreme levels of fitness.”
*** “Achieving and maintaining very high levels of aerobic fitness may be particularly important in patients older than 70 and those with hypertension.”

PROFILE--Bruce Fordyce has won the Comrades Marathon an incredible 9 times

Bruce Fordyce, 62, is the most well-known runner in South Africa, having won that country's internationally famous Comrades Marathon (54 miles) eight years in a row and nine times overall. During that period, Fordyce could not compete internationally, due to South Africa's apartheid policies--which he actively campaigned against. Eventually, running and track and field were among the first sports to welcome participation by black South Africans.  

Career/profession? I have had a number of careers including being a full time runner for about a decade. But I was first an archaeologist specializing in early man and Bushman ( San ) rock art. I lectured and was a research officer at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, for a few years. I was then a writer for a few publications, a motivational speaker, and for 7 years I was CEO of a sports development program for disadvantaged sports people. Most recently I am CEO

PROFILE--Frank Handelman has been running for 57 years

Frank Handelman, a criminal defense attorney with a competitive edge, is a lifelong runner. He uses the same winning techniques competing on the road and track and in the courtroom, and has had great success at both. Handelman was also a member of the legendary New York Pioneer Club and trained with Ed Levy and Joe Yancey, its founders.

Started running/years running? I have been running for 57 years. I began in the fall of 1961, my junior year in high school in Cleveland, Ohio.

Why did you start running? I knew I was fast running on Little League teams. Believe me, it was my only baseball skill. In my junior year I went out for the cross country team. After a few weeks of training, I began to move up from the back of the pack and by the end of the season was second on the team.  I found I loved

PROFILE--Woody Harrell has been running for 50+ years

Blessing of the Athletes,
pre-Boston 2014
(10-18) Woody Harrell fell in love with running during summers on the beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. However, a general lack of natural speed meant no coach, high school or college, would ever look at him as any sort of track prospect.  They should have. In 1975, he ran a 2:36:27 at Boston at age 28. Harrell identifies himself as a runner before anything else. He lives in Corinth, MS.

Started running: June 1, 1964. I’m 71 (DOB 7-47) 

Why did you start running?  My running career started the day I read an article in the June 1, 1964, issue of Sports Illustrated about American expatriate Buddy Edelen, who had run the first- and third-fastest marathons of all time, and had just returned from England to win the US Olympic marathon trial at Yonkers, New York, by over 20 minutes.

I was fascinated! I was amazed. I was inspired! So much so, I put on my tennis shoes and headed out the door to run five miles for the first time in my life. In fact, to run further than a mile for the first time ever…

When I made the half-way turn-around at the extreme edge of my hometown, both the excitement and the adrenaline were long gone; and by the time I got back home, I was dehydrated, physically spent, and had two feet resembling raw meat, with blisters on top of blisters. I collapsed into bed and didn’t try to crawl out again until it was time to go back to school on Monday. But in spite of the experience, the running bug had bitten…

In grad school (sandwiched around a stint in the army), I encountered a group of ex-collegian runners looking to extend their running careers in pursuit of the ’72 Olympic marathon trials. Encouraged by their support, and more importantly

PROFILE--Dave McGillivray has been running for 52 years

It's hard to imagine anyone Boston stronger
or more resilient than McGillivray.
(10-18) Friday morning, Boston Marathon race-director and uber-endurance and charity runner Dave McGillivray will undergo open-heart surgery. Please join us in wishing him well. We fully expect to see him back to his usual tricks in Hopkinton and Boston next April.

McGillivray is widely known for his stamina, compassion, and organizational skills, but we believe his most admirable trait is his candor. Dave doesn't duck questions; he answers fully and truthfully. This has become particularly clear in recent years as he has discussed his personal health challenges.

Career/profession? I am the founder and owner of DMSE Sports, Inc. (38 years - event management company and have directed or consulted on over 1,100 events), and I am the Race Director of the BAA Boston Marathon (have been with the BAA for over 31 years).

When did you start running and WHY? Like most active young boys, I always “ran around” but started to “run” seriously and competitively at age 12. Why? Because I was

RESEARCH--A New Look At Age Graded Performances

Ed Whitlock ran a 2:54 marathon at age 73,
and a 3:56 at 85.
Many Lifetime Runners are accustomed to evaluating their race times with the widely-used and excellent World Masters Association age-graded system. There are many versions of this calculator around the web, and they are sometimes included in computerized road-race results.

There is another less-well-known system, created by Ray Fair, a retired Yale University economist who has run 39 of 41 New Haven 20K road races, missing the event only when ill or injured.  Fair, 75, recently updated his system--an update covered by the New York Times.  An abstract of his new paper, published by The Review of Economics and Statistics,  is available here.

The Fair system differs little from the WMA calculator--it’s just a matter of how deep

PROFILE--Debbie Zockoll has finished 42 St. George Marathons in a row

(10-18) Debbie Zockoll, 62, holds the unofficial world record for consecutive finishes in the same annual marathon. She has completed the St. George (Utah) Marathon 42 times in a row, the most recent three days ago when she finished in 4:17:24. "Oh, what a day! It was filled with so much happiness and emotion," she emailed LifetimeRunning. "I have so much to be thankful for, and I am already looking forward to next year."

A wife, mother, grandmother, former teacher, current hiking guide, and 278-time marathon finisher, Zockoll had her third cancer surgery just six weeks before this year's St. George Marathon. [The following interview was conducted prior to her most-recent St. George finish.]

Career-profession? I taught first grade for 30 years. I currently work as a hike guide for a fitness spa 5 days a week. I usually get up at 3:30 a.m. for a

PROFILE--Mary Harada has been running for 50 years

(10-18) Mary Harada grew up in Newton, MA and was always physically active. She played sports in high school, field hockey, basketball and softball. Running was not on her radar.  All that changed when she turned 33 and started to run. Harada, now 83, holds world records in the indoor and outdoor mile (W70), several American records (W70 and W75) in the 3000 and 5000 meter, and is a member of the US Track and Field Masters Hall of Fame.  Her running has taken her around the globe to places such as Finland, Australia, and Spain.  She lives in West Newbury, MA.

She graduated from Boston University Sargent College as a physical therapy major and went on to get her PhD in European History. Post-college, there were no sports available so she played field hockey for Boston Field Hockey - teams were made up mostly of graduates of the seven sisters colleges. “I had limited opportunity for sports until after I finished

PROFILE--Bart Yasso has been running for 44 years

1981 Long Island Marathon
(10-18) Bart Yasso, the retired Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World, has traveled to races around the world from Pennsylvania to Africa, and into the hearts of countless runners he met at race expos and running lectures.  He is one of a few people to have completed races on all seven continents, including the Mount Kilimanjaro marathon. But more importantly to Bart, “It's not the details of the races I recall, it's the people I met.”  To thousands of runners, he is their mayor of running, their guru, their go-to person for advice or simply to say, “Thank you for the encouragement to get out and run.” In his years at Runner’s World, he’s received marriage proposals and many more interesting emails. Now retired, he is still in demand as a speaker but is trying to carve out some time to relax at home in Bethlehem, PA, a rare moment for the Mayor of Running.

Started running: December, 1977. I’m 62 and feel great.

Why did you start running? I was 22 at the time and needed a lifestyle change to get in shape. I was leading a kind of risky life, smoking, drinking and other

PROFILE--Norm Goluskin has been running for 44 years

At World Masters Games,
Finland, 2009
(9-18) Norm Goluskin came late to running but made up for lost time. His father was an immigrant from Odessa, Ukraine (formerly Russia) and the focus in the household was on making a living and making sure his sons had an education. Exercise and sports were not even on his parents' radar.  But by sheer luck, Goluskin happened to be in Central Park on September 29, 1974 and saw a bunch of old guys running around the park for 26.2 miles and thought, “Heck I can that.” Historical note: On that day, the late Norbert Sander and Kathrine Switzer became the only New York City residents to win the New York City Marathon.

Childhood: I was raised in The Bronx in a middle-class housing project. Well, at least we aspired to middle class. The project was built around a playground with a softball field, handball courts, basketball courts and even a paddle tennis court. In addition, there were regular games of ring-a-levio, a game born on the streets of New York City. My early years were largely spent playing these street sports. I ran around a lot and I was one of the faster kids in the neighborhood, but I never participated in races or on a track team.

After high school my participation in these street sports fell by the wayside. I spent time in the Marine Corps, then went on to college at night and worked full time during the day for an advertising agency.  There was almost no time for recreation. Once I finished undergraduate school, I started playing tennis and skiing.

Started running? I was 36 (born September, 1938 - just turned 80!).  I started running somewhat regularly in advance of the 1976 New York City Marathon, the first 5-borough marathon and my first marathon. I was 38 when I ran that one. For those of you who are running historians, Bill Rodgers won that marathon in 2:10 (a 4:58 pace) and Miki Gorman in 2:39 (6:04 pace).

Why did you start running? In September of 1974 I was in Central Park and happened upon the New York City Marathon. I was astonished that anyone could run 26.2 miles.  I was 36 at the time, and was inspired and started putting in a few runs a week.  I found I was better at

PROFILE--Eve Pell has been running for 40+ years

(9-18) Eve Pell, 81, has won gold medals in international senior track and field competitions, including the recent World Masters Games in Malaga, Spain. There she finished first in the W80 cross-country event. Closer to home, Pell has won the storied, grueling (and age-sex handicapped) Dipsea trail race, crossing the finish line first in 1989 when she was 52.

Pell is also an acclaimed author and journalist. She reported for three award-winning PBS documentaries and was published in The Nation, Ms., and Runners’ World.  She is the author of,  "Love, Again - The Wisdom of Unexpected Romance, and the nationally acclaimed "We Used To Own The Bronx,” a memoir of growing up an east coast debutante in a family of wealth and privilege and escaping that world to pursue and report on social activism. It was a finalist for “Best Books 2010” award.

Pell lives in Mill Valley, CA, where she runs with the Tamalpa Runners.

Started running: April, 1977.  I was forty. (Born in 1937) 

Why did you start running? I was raised on Long Island, New York, in a family that valued athletics more than academics. We had horses, and I was taken out of school for a few weeks in the fall so I could join my mother and stepfather when they went to Maryland for foxhunting. I rode from the age of 2 or 3, competed in horse shows, and grew up learning how

PROFILE--John Barbour has been running for 50 years

(9-18) John Barbour had some good fortune early. He grew up near Stanford University, and his father took him to many wonderful running events there. For example, did you see Gerry Lindgren and Steve Prefontaine race each other in a college cross-country meet? Probably not. But Barbour did, calling it, "the greatest mano-a-mano race I'll ever see."

Duly inspired, Barbour, 64, has had a long and successful racing career of his own, including a personal best marathon of 2:19:26. A fierce trainer, he once did a workout of 13 x 1600 meters in 5:07. Ouch!

Childhood: I was born in April 1954, and grew up in Menlo Park, California, now known as the home of Facebook though to me it’s the place that gave us Jerry Garcia, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, & the Kingston Trio.  My dad was a lifelong track fan and long/triple jump official.  I often went to meets with him, which exposed me to world-class performances.

Started running/years running?  March, 1968.  I was six when I talked my dad into letting me

PROFILE: Hal Higdon has been running for 70 years

Racing Boston 1964, Higdon (13) finished fifth 
in 2:21:55. Winner Aurele Vandendriessche leads; 
Ron Wallingford (237) finished third.
(9-18) Hal Higdon may be running's best-known runner-author-coach. He placed fifth in the steeplechase at the 1960 Olympic Track Trials, and fifth in the 1964 Boston Marathon (2:21:55). His World Masters Championships M40 record of 9:18.6 in the steeplechase (set in 1975) remains the oldest American masters record in the books.

Higdon, 87, contributed to Runner's World magazine's second issue in 1966, and was an RW senior writer for decades thereafter. He has completed more than 30 books, many not about running. His The Crime of the Century (about the Leopold & Loeb case) is his best seller. And who can forget The Horse That Played Center Field, which became an animated film (see photo below)? One of the first running experts to launch a website, Higdon has also produced dozens of popular and highly-successful training programs at and

Career: After graduating from Carleton College, I worked several years as a freelance artist then (after two years in the Army) realized I was a better writer than artist and switched to a career as a freelance magazine and book writer, but not on running subjects because nobody cared about runners back in the 1960’s.

When did you start running and WHY? I went out for track the spring of my sophomore year in high school mainly to win a letter and impress

RIP--England's Diane Leather broke 5 minutes in the mile the same month that Roger Bannister broke 4:00

Diane Leather, 1956
(9-18) We're not sure we want to become an obituary site, but the passing of some special pioneers deserves note. Diane Leather is one of them. The British runner was the first woman to break 5 minutes in the mile, which she achieved in the same month--May, 1954--that Roger Bannister broke 4 minutes.

The New York Times has a short obit and great photo today.

Here's additional information

PROFILE--Bob Wischnia has been running for 60+ years

(9-18) If Bob Wischnia’s (Wish) name seems familiar, it’s because he spent 26 years as the deputy editor at Runner’s World (started in 1977), wingman to editor-in-chief Amby Burfoot.  He met and ran with some of the greatest runners in history, including John J. Kelley, Herb Elliott, Alberto Salazar, Rob de Castella, Lynn Kanuka (nee, Williams), Steve Scott, Rosa Mota, John Gregorek, Grete Waitz, Meb Keflezighi, Bill Dellinger and many, many others. After RW he worked for Mizuno and is now retired. He lives in Austin Texas with his wife, Anita Harbor, and twin daughters, Abby (who lives in Los Angeles) and Beth (who lives in San Francisco), 28.

“My goal in college (Arizona State) was to travel the world and get somebody else to pay for it. In that respect, I succeeded. I was very fortunate to visit more than 30 countries and covered several Olympic Games (Moscow, Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona), numerous World Championships and various track meets, road races and marathons all over the place,” says Wishnia. “I was a lucky guy.”

Started running: November,1957. I was 7 years old.  
I grew up in the 1950s, primarily in State College, Pennsylvania, where my father taught electrical engineering at Penn State, and Stamford, Connecticut where I attended Belltown School (most famous alumni: Joseph Lieberman). The school was so old and small it didn't have a cafeteria so everyone went home for lunch. I lived about 1.5 miles away and in the winter it was too cold to ride bikes. My parents worked, so in third grade I began running to and from home at lunch. It was the highlight of my day (still is) and I ran through these beautiful woods on old Indian trails. Everyone thought I was weird, which was fine.

Why did you start running? I loved it and especially loved the freedom of movement. Eventually, I started timing my runs and

PROFILE--Sid Howard has finished 35 Fifth Ave Miles in a row

Neither cold nor ran could keep Sid
Howard from his 35th consecutive
Fifth Ave Mile on Sunday.

(9-18) On Sunday, September 10, New York's Sid Howard ran the Fifth Ave Mile for the 35th time in a row--the longest-known streak among Fifth Ave milers.  Howard, 79, hit the finish line in 10:11, not his best time but he says he's happy to keep the streak alive. He is a 10-time age group winner on Fifth Ave.

Howard’s track and field career includes five world championships, 50 national championships, five world records and eight gold world champion medals. Also on his resume are the American indoor 65-69 records of 2:19.4 for the 800, 5:23.05 for the mile, and 4:45.36 for 1500 meters. He was inducted into the USATF Masters Hall of Fame in 2005. Howard is running, coaching, and continuing his role as ambassador for the sport he loves, always with a smile and encouraging words for everyone he meets.

Sid lives a full life. He loves to break out in his signature dance moves at any moment; he loves the Bermuda Half Marathon where he is the only non-Bermudian to have native status at that race; he loves the 90+-year-old seniors he teaches strength training to as part of his job with New York Road Runners. And, he loves his streak at the Fifth Avenue Mile (FAM), which he has been running since 1983.

Why did you start running the mile? You were a marathoner? I had just run my ninth marathon (eight more than I should have!). I didn’t know anything about what I was doing. I just liked to run. So when I was invited to run the mile in 1983 I thought,