In the fall of 1985 my running career was kind of flapping in the wind. I’d just graduated from the University of Oregon and was still recovering mentally from a ridiculous number of injuries. I was looking for a fresh start…or at least a second wind.
I packed up my belongings and drove from Eugene, Oregon to New Brunswick, Maine to train with Bob Sevene, a well respected coach for Nike’s Athletics West team and the coach of Joanie Benoit Samuelson.
I don’t recall a whole lot of detail from my time in Maine. I only lasted about three months before my Pacific Northwest DNA called me back to Oregon but here’s what I remember about running with Joanie.
She ran fast and far. She had specific courses she followed. And she didn’t cut corners. Literally. Where any “normal person” would round out the turn through an intersection, not Joanie. I’m talking right angles here. We’d be cruising along, my lungs squeaking at the pace, and at every turn I’d forget our special military cornering technique and bump into Joanie.
The reasoning for her unique cornering routine was as follows: in training she would run every square inch; on race day she gave herself permission to cut the corners. For her it was a mental edge. She took no short cuts in her training preparation.
Hey, it’s hard to argue with a gold medalist!
There Is No Finish Line
Filmmakers Erich Lyttle and Sarah Henderson are oh-so-close to finishing their documentary, There Is No Finish Line: The Joan Benoit Samuelson Story. They need some help getting the final rights to the ABC 1984 Olympic Marathon footage for digital delivery of their film. That means money. They are more than halfway there but only have a couple of days left in the Kickstarter campaign.
A $25 pledge gets you a copy of the DVD. A $100 donation gets you a copy of the DVD autographed by Joanie.