America’s innocent mid-century mythology, when neighborhoods were neighborhoods and the focus was on family, has long since been reduced to Tea Party yearnings and Toby Keith song lyrics. Today, the distance between threat and target has never been shorter. In fact, we’ve become a nation of fear, and perhaps not without reason. Thus do enterprises like two-time Olympian Todd Williams’ RunSafer program come into being in this early 21st century welcomed rather than lamented.
A man for whom the competitive fire burned brightly during his high school, college, and professional career, four-time former U.S. 10,000 meter champion and 15Km road record holder Todd Williams traded in his racing kit for Jiu Jitsu togs following his retirement from competitive running in 2003. In the ensuing eleven years the drive and focus Todd once summoned to earn 21 U.S. championships in running was transferred into the collection of Jiu Jitsu ranking belts. Over the years as Todd worked his way toward black belt status (2011), the idea that would become RunSafer began to take form. (more…)