Joy Johnson, the oldest woman to ever run the New York City Marathon, died today at age 86, just two days after she successfully completed her 25th run in the race. Johnson, who’s from San Jose, California, hit her head around the 20th mile on Sunday, but refused medical attention and successfully completely the 26.4 mile race in eight hours. (At her peak in the mid ’90s, Johnson’s time was around five hours.) In a pre-race interview, she explained, “I’ll be at the back of the pack, but I don’t mind. I just praise the Lord I can get out of bed each morning and run. A lot of people my age are in wheelchairs.”
On Monday morning, the day after the marathon, Johnson stopped by “The Today Show,” as had become tradition in her years coming to NYC, and then went back to her hotel for a nap. She never woke up. ”At least she was running, the way she wanted to go,” said Johnson’s daughter, Diana Boydston. Indeed. What a bittersweet reminder to never stop doing what you love. [NY Daily News]
Yesterday’s horrific Boston Marathon bombing appears to be an act of terror. Though the motive and the suspects are still elusive a scant 24 hours later, it’s safe to say that the reverberations from the attack are being felt around the country where fear, horror, and yes, terror are all around.
The attack took a sporting event known around the country for its tough qualifying times, jovial crowds, and “heartbreaking” hills and turned it into a crime scene. As an athlete, a Bostonian (now and forever), and a marathon runner who missed qualifying for Boston by eight minutes two years ago, this attack was deeply painful and personal. As the good friend to a woman who DID qualifyand for whom I would have been cheering at the finish had she not been sidelined by an injury, I can say this doesn’t just feel close to home. This is home. Read more on The Stir…
High school athlete Meghan Vogel had already had a pretty good day — she won the 1600 meter race at the Ohio state track meet. But what made her day truly extraordinary was an act of kindness she performed, helping injured competitor Arden McMath finish the 3200 meter race. Meghan was coming up the home stretch when she saw Arden fall down in front of her. But rather than simply continue to run past her, Meghan stopped and helped Arden up, and the two walked across the finish line together. It’s yet another example of why winning really isn’t everything — it really, really is how you play the game.
Too much of a good thing can kill you.
Short spurts of strenuous physical activity, like having sex or going for a run, can dramatically raise the risk of life-threatening heart problems in older people, new research shows. The chance is even greater among those who don’t exercise regularly.
The study, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, relied on data from 14 prior papers examining the relationship between sex, exercise and heart attack or sudden cardiac death. Read more… Keep reading »
We’ve heard about running barefoot, but running in flip-flops? This is a concept we have tested out, but only because we were rushing home after a pedicure, or chasing down the ice cream truck (what?). A company called Invisible Shoes wants to convince you to nix your Nikes on your next jog, and opt instead for these “DIY huaraches.” The super minimalist flip flops are inspired by a traditional Mexican running shoe, and come with a paper thin rubber sole and cord straps you fashion yourself. About as far from your Nike Airs as you can get, the kicks are meant to make you feel like you’re pretty much running barefoot.
Interesting idea—if you aren’t distracted by the stares at the gym or on the sidewalk. [Refinery29] Keep reading »
In fifth grade I was the new kid in school, which is always hard. But I think it’s hardest in gym class. Especially if you’re the new “chubby” kid with zero athletic ability. Hello locker room spitballs.
It was the day before Thanksgiving and, much to my dismay, running day in gym class. Running days were my most dreaded, aside from dodge ball days — my head is a ball magnet for some reason. I was the slowest runner in my class besides Stephen, the even fatter, even newer kid who everyone called “Snuffy.” I already knew what would happen out there on the track. Everyone would be staring at me from the sidelines, having finished ages ago, as I rounded my final lap, huffing and puffing from my allergies, turning red with embarrassment and possible heat stroke, everyone laughing as I crossed the finish line flapping my arms. I can’t do this today, I just can’t, I thought. I hid in a corner of the locker room trying to come up with creative ways to get out of running.
Mr. Pollack, the gym teacher, announced that we would be running the “Turkey Trot” — a glorified one-mile run with a stupid name to make it sound fun. The person who came closest to guessing their time would win a giant, chocolate turkey. How awesome would that be to receive a giant piece of chocolate at the end of this torture session? So totally radical, to use the vernacular of the day. Not that I needed any chocolate. Keep reading »
Before I started training for the New York City marathon a couple years ago, I didn’t like running. I hated it. In fact, I didn’t even sign myself up to run the marathon — my mom, who counts exercising as a favorite hobby, thought it would be fun to do the race together, so she sent in the paperwork for me. But after dutifully following along with a training schedule, I came to enjoy my thrice-weekly runs. It took me a while, but eventually, running made me feel good. I ran the race for me, and just tried to finish, rather than worrying about getting a specific time. This puts me in the same boat as many women who participated in a newly published study. According to research presented at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference Friday, women were more likely to choose to run a marathon for the first time because of reasons like wanting to improving their mood or feel at peace with the world, while men ran for the chance to compete and improve upon personal bests. Keep reading »
If you’re training for a marathon with the intention of losing weight, you may find yourself engaged in a complicated battle. According to The New York Times, having a lower weight can have a serious negative impact on your athletic training. Meaning, if you’re shedding pounds, and using that as a motivator to increase your athletic performance, you may take the edge off your strength.
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