Couple of follow-ups.

First, In the comments to my post on charities and races, there was a discussion of Boston and charity entries. I said that because anyone who qualified for Boston got in, provided they registered a few weeks ahead, I didn’t see a problem with giving extra slots to charity entries. In a follow-up conversation with Chris Russell (of RunRunLive), however, it was pointed out that Boston, in fact, may close much earlier. Seems that because it didn’t close, runners would naturally wait until very late to register. This year, however, it did close ahead of time. So going forward it may well result in runners registering early to reserve their slots which will lead to the race closing early which means that charity slots will take away slots for others. Given this prospect and the fact that anyone who qualifies for Boston should be able to run Boston, I would hope that the race doesn’t displace qualifiers with charity runners.

Second, in my review of “Born to Run” (the book not the album/song), I made reference to another book that I hoped to read, “Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human” by Richard Wrangham. In addition to it’s thesis about, well, how cooking made us human, it also touches upon how fire (or controlling it) made us runners.

Simply put, controlling fire did two things crucial to our becoming runners. As noted in “Born to Run,” a human’s ability to sweat to control body temperature is crucial to long-distance hunting. Other animals, however fast, must stop to cool down. Humans don’t. But we are able to sweat because we don’t need fur to keep us warm in the winter and we don’t need fur because we can warm ourselves by the fire.

We can also sleep on the ground because of fire. Apes and chimps sleep in trees so they are not at the mercy of predators. Chimps use their feet to make a bed in the trees. The human foot is incapable of such feats. But because fire can keep predators at bay, we needn’t sleep in trees. We don’t need chimp-like feet to make a tree-bed. Instead, our feet adapted to being used on the ground. And to be used for running on the ground.

In my review, I also noted that Cowboy Hazel (with whom I chatted at last Tuesday’s get together) was looking into testing the Nike Free. His experiment, alas, has not gone well. Not Jeff Goldblum bad (see below) but he (and his doctor) thinks his recent side-lining was hastened by the shoe [Warning: Gross MRI Images]. So that experiment is over.