Here’s some ideas for those unused gift cards from the Holidays. We asked Jeff Benjamin to consider some gifts for runners that could add some inspiration to the new year of running.
The Short New Years Resolution Gift List for That Running Geek You Are & Know!By Jeff BenjaminIt’s that time of the year again- well, using your gift cards from Holiday Season! Finding gifts for someone (even for oneself!) can be a tough quest, especially for the Running/Track & Field Geek fartleking through one’s life!It’s sometimes particularly tough to get motivated this time of the year as well.Below are a few suggestions to get you motivated for 2018 biased to the New York/Northeast Region which will hopefully fall into that list which will endear that Geek in you and to you for better or for worse over the long run of life!Wharton Health ProductsBack in 1990, this writer began working as a counselor at one of the premier Youth & High School Week-long Running Camps known as “The Running School”. Joining the staff that year were the dynamic Father and Son Team Jim and Phil Wharton. Their active-isolated rope stretching programs were a big hit amongst the campers and staff up in White Lake, New York.Fast forward 2 years later– at the 1992 US Olympic trials in New Orleans, this writer and others watched how many of the great American athletes were “running” in the heat and humidity to the trainer tables specifically asking for help from the Wharton’s!Since those years, the Wharton performance programs have been hugely successful in keeping Runners and other sports athletes ready to go!On their website are a number of books, videos, ropes and other products for sale which many can attest to have led many to an injury-free and healthier lifestyle- and the price is right too!To orderLike Father, Like Son- Matt CentrowitzIn 2016, millions watched from around the world as Matthew Centrowitz led from start to finish and stomped to victory in the Olympic 1500 meters in Rio, becoming the first American to win 1500 Olympic Gold since 1908!In the stands watching it with huge suspense was the happiest person of all- Dad Matt Centrowitz Sr.In his autobiography, “Like Father Like Son”, Centrowitz Sr (with co-authors Nathan Williams & Chris Kwiatkowski) writes of his tough and tragic early life growing up in the Bronx housing projects and how Running turned out to be his salvation. Mentored by some of the Sports’ great athletes and coaching figures, Centrowitz (Who STILL holds the NYC HS 1-Mile Record!) would go on to become one of the 1970’s-80’s stars of that first “Running Boom” era, notably holding the American 5K record for a time. Sadly for Centrowitz, like for many of America’s best Runners and Track & Field Athletes of that time, the 1980 US Olympic boycott would be a major setback towards true Sports recognition and greatness. His son’s great achievement in Rio more than made up for that.Yet, while the book is about running, Centrowitz Sr. Also writes about the everyday rigors and experiences in life as well, which makes this book a worthwhile reading for the runner and non-runner alike. My favorite story in the book is not even related to Running, but how father Matt reacts at his son’s youth soccer game to Parents who are watching- some of you will be very surprised by his reaction! A really great book on running and life!To order-Bill Rodgers Relentless PosterThe winter months got you down? Motivation lacking? Then buy this poster! The Bill Rodgers “Relentless” poster shows his greatest victory at the 1979 Boston Marathon. In that race, Rodgers had to reel in the fast starting Tom Fleming, Gary Bjorklund, and Japan’s premiere Marathoner Toshihiko Seko, who bested Rodgers the year before at Fukuoka. Catching them all around Mike 20 in the Newton Hills, Rodgers then dueled with Seko, eventually surging away from him to win his 4th Boston in an American Record of 2:09:27!If you loved the story, get the poster, hang it up, and you’ll definitely want to go out and hammer!! Also included is the option of Rodgers personally signing the poster for you too!!To order the poster along with other Bill Rodgers products-Kathrine Switzer 261 Fearless ProductsThe MAJOR figure behind the rise of woman’s running, Kathrine Switzer wore the race number “261” when she became the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon. This writer assumes that “Fearless” comes from her outlook that day when she was almost pulled off the course by the race director Jock Semple, an incident immortalized by the pictures and films recording that fateful day.Switzer has always tried to motivate and encourage All Runners, and her books and products listed for sale in her Marathon Woman Store are worthy editions for those who are looking to be inspired!To order–Frank’s Custom Shoe-Fitting Store- Middletown, NYFrank Gianino is a “Running Boom Survivor”. The former American Record-Holder for Running across the U.S., Gianino also has put on the Middletown Classic 10K since those “Boom Years” of the 1980’s, having drawn Joan Benoit, Bill Rodgers, Rod Dixon and Olympic Legend Frank Shorter, who still comes back to this race in his hometown along with thousands of Runners every year.Gianino’s Running Store has had to change with the times as well. Aside from running shoes, there are also shoes for walking and casual wear as well.But Gianino’s major product which brings many into the store are the custom-made and designed orthotics which are created by Gianino himself. To many injured runners, Gianino offers the runner’s related understanding and biomechanical know-how as towards what the customer needs for their respective orthotic fit. In a way, the customer in this store benefits from the 2-for-1 product offering by one of the most passionate runners around!For further info–A Very Happy New Year to All of You!Keep Pursuing the Dream!!