Saturday, December 20, 2008

The sun ain't shining no more

After hearing the sad stories of winter weather from my Lower 48 friends I have to laugh that I'm glad that I live in Alaska. Fortunately, I live in a state that embraces winter and is equipped and used to dealing with the conditions other states consider a inconvenience. In fact, rather than survive the conditions, Alaskans prefer to conquer them.

As they also say in Scandinavia, "there's no bad conditions, just bad clothing" or in our case for running, bad footwear. I took advantage of the conditions for my second session of the day and had an amazing ski along the ocean just as the sun was setting. I could see all the mountains, including Denali as the last of the sun was hitting the high reaches of the 20,320-foot peak. My longest ski of the season and much warmer than last week so a pleasant end to another good training day. Another bonus is the days will start getting longer from here out. Here's a photo from the ski.
I recently became a Facebook member and have gradually added more and more "friends" to my list. This week I added former world marathon record holder, Steve Jones, to my list. I met Steve last January while at a Reebok meeting in Boston. I bumped into to him in New York this fall also, which was the 20th year since he won the race in 1988 in 2:08. In fact, if you look at the profile photo of my blog muse, Keith Kelly, he is posing with Steve. Steve is the good-looking guy on the right if you are unsure who is who.

Steve just added Henry Rono as one of his friends and I met the great Rono when I was a freshman in college. It was the winter after Rono had set four track world records in the 5,000, Steeplechase, 3,000 and 10,000. I had just started writing for Anchorage Times and I managed an interview with Henry after I had run a indoor 1,000 yard (my first collegiate win) at Washington State University. Obviously, it was a very big deal to sit down with someone of Rono's level and ask various questions. A very big thrill.

In any case, I couldn't help but try to add Henry as a friend as well. Henry accepted and now we are "friends", reunited after 30 years. Henry put this video on his page of a 2-mile he and another legend, Steve Ovett, ran at the end of Rono's incredible four-record summer. It was a brilliant race between two titans of track that yielded another World Record. Awesome race.

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