Comes news that the great Khalid Khannouchi has retired. (I had discussions with his then-wife Sondra about coaching me, but that never got off the ground.) He holds the record for the fastest marathon ever run by someone who was once a member of Warren Street.
I never met, or even saw him (except as he ran by in the 2008 OT). As this 2002 profile in the Times by Chuck Slater began:
HE is a familiar sight among the dozens of daily joggers on the trails of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Sleepy Hollow, a slight figure moving faster and going farther than most. Some nod to him, some wave and some just attend to their own running. Very few realize they have just crossed strides with the fastest marathon runner in the history of the demanding sport.
”It is the perfect place to train, just five miles from my home,” Khalid Khannouchi of Ossining said. ”I am there almost every day. I train 320 or more days a year, 110 or 120 miles a week.”
He moved to Colorado Springs a bit ago, although I heard he may be back, and I’ve always hoped that on one of my jaunts I’d see him coming around a turn. That would be a thrill. It is not, apparently, to be.
Which doesn’t take anything away from the Rockies, and after a nice stretch of running and a scare on Friday (the knee, but a different issue with it) I was there again for the last-Sunday-of-the-month meeting. Several people I invited showed up as did folks from the Bronxville and Ridgewood Running Companies — including one person who ran, Rupp-like, wearing a mask and who afterward said that in the cool damp weather we had she’d not have been able to run without it because of asthma — and we ended up breaking into a bunch of groups. I ended up solo with Bobby P (who tacked on about 15 minutes to my 62) and it was a typically great time. Tough though. (I plan on having Bobby as a guest on the New York Running Show on April 15, to talk about running stores. He’s the manager of the Bronxville Running Company.)
Followed by a hungry-boy breakfast at the Horseman’s Diner, which is a high-light. (I stopped at the Rockies on the way back from court in Poughkeepsie on Tuesday. For the first time, I entered from the north-east corner, off the Taconic. I found what I think may be the toughest hill in the place, about 1/2 mile in. It kept going. It killed me, although I was not helped by the 70 degree temperature. When I’m ambitious, we’ll try to include it in one of our runs.)
At breakfast, though, I was asked about a situation that happened at the NYC HM. Long-story short: guy is in the race and has a D-tag and number but pins his number to a long-sleeve outershirt which he discards because he gets warm and turns onto the final stretch without a number so NYRR volunteers herd him to the side saying “You shall not pass” or words to that effect and he resists and tries to continue after explaining that he is entered and has the D-tag but is ultimately denied by NYRRers and NYPDers and there’s a hubbub because he was trying to qualify for New York and this is his last chance because he can’t do 1:19 but can do, and was on pace to do, a sub-1:23 which is the current time he needs.
We then talked about it on the New York Running Show. My view? NYRR did what it should have done. It was the guy’s fault. In the future, on the rare occasion when someone does this once it is established that she has a D-tag she should be allowed to continue (having paid a penalty in having been stopped).
Speaking of NYRR, the Brooklyn HM opened for registration on Monday and promptly reached capacity, at a whopping 15,000. I’m not doing it. It costs $45 for members and $75 for nons (of which I am one). People complained about the high price, presumably the result of having to pay more to NYC for road closures, and my view is that if you don’t want to do it don’t. Brooklyn seems to have some cachet that people find attractive. To me it’s a race. And one that starts at 7:00am. (Steve Lastoe has the Brooklyn Marathon.)
My problem with it is that it was included in the Club-series. This is not NYRR’s doing. The Club Council votes on these things. Warren Street’s rep voted against it, but it remains. Putting aside the un-godly hour at which it begins, the big issue is the cost. It’s one thing to say, if you don’t like it, don’t do it. But it’s a club race. I don’t think taking such a financial hit is justified. Did the Club Council know about the likely cost when it approved its inclusion? I don’t know. Perhaps it’ll be off the list next year.
Bonus: 2002 London Marathon (with Spanish commentary):