Merry Christmas from Runblogrun, Some thoughts on the season, by Larry Eder



Since 1982, when I graduated from Santa Clara University, with degrees in European history and painting, I have made my living from the sport I love. My first job, at Runners World, was under the watchful, and humorous eye of Derek Clayton, an Irishman by birth, raised in Britain and emigrated to Australia. After that, it was Mike Perlis, who ran RW for a couple of years, and after that, it was George Hirsch. All three men gave me opportunities, to which I am very grateful. I have learnt to appreciate George Hirsch, the most, and find his thoughtful comments, and his recent marathon, at the young age of 75, to be most inspiring.

Over the past twenty-two years, since I left Runners World, I have launched magazines with my business partner and former wife, Christine Johnson, but my proudest achievement is being a father to our son, Adam, who opens his father to new wonders, each and every day. I am at most peace, at the back of a mosh pit, watching Adam and his band perform. It is in those minutes, when one watches someone in their element, sharing a smile on music well performed and played, that I feel alive.

Painting gives a similar feeling to me as well, that is why I started painting again, about seven years ago. I can paint all night (actually do), not knowing how much time has gone by.

I have to tell you that I love this sport, and the people in it. I truly miss coaching with Joe Mangan, my coaching buddy from Foothill College, and hope to do that again someday. I have enjoyed working with James Dunaway, who at the ripe old age of 82, is still full of piss and vinegar, among other things. The man is one of the most beautiful writers that it has ever been my fortune to read ( find his piece for us on Horace Ashenfelter, or Lance Deal, from about 1996).

At track meets, whether they are junior high events, or the World Champs, I am still entranced by people running, jumping and throwing. The truth is, most of the people in this sport are like that, from agent to coach, to athlete. One of my favorite experiences of the past couple years was watching Kara Goucher, Amy Yoder Begley, with Galen Rupp and Adam Goucher do tempo runs around a soccer pitch, under the watchful eye of Alberto Salazar. That workout played a part in those athletes success later in the year.

I remember, in perhaps 1990-91, being told about a young man from a big family, who was running in San Diego, pretty well, and his uncle, a taxi driver, told me he would be a great one. I have seen Meb win US champs, set his AR at 10,000m, win the silver in Athens, but the tears came flowing when he won NYC. Same thing with Dathan Ritzenhein develop from a tough high school runner, to a top collegian, to an AR holder at 5,000 meters, has been one of the delights of being in sports media. Good things do happen to good people.

I am spending the holiday with my sister Lou, my brother-in-law Gervais, niece Tess and son Adam. My folks are joining us, as is my brother Brian and his partner, Cherri.

There was something in the water where I was raised, I guess, that I felt that if I put my mind to it, I could find something that I both loved and could make a living at. That was my parents, Stan & Marilu. I also had great teachers and professors, from Mr. Richard Lee at St. Blaise, to John Apel, S.J. at DeSmet, to Istvan Mocsy at Santa Clara. I am considering, for my mid life crisis, to finish the masters/Phd that I had begun work on twenty years ago. I find the pursuit of knowledge a life long goal.

Running did not come easy. But my coaches, from Father Ralph Passerelli, to Jim Marheinecke to Dan Durante, taught me about running and racing, but also about living a honest life. Training partners, from Bob Lucas, to
John Maloney and Brendan O'Flaherty, became life long friends. That is our sport. That is why I can not tolerate disrepect to coaches, as these men and women perform a sacred duty: our sport is about challenges overcome, victories hard won, and the respect one gives to competitors and what one is given back.

As I do my daily walks while I am away from the office, I do give thanks to the good people in my life, and the ones I will meet in the future. My friend, Mark Bossardet, reminded me this morning, that we will probably be doing this stuff til we are seventy. I could only hope so!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all who read runblogrun. You give me joy and strength on days that are challenging. Please remember to slow down and take some time to be with the people you love......

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