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