MeterMagazineIn recent months my friend Matt Taylor has launched a new clothing line called TrackSmith whose influences harken back to a simpler, more rudimentary time in the sport.  Among the projects associated with TrackSmith, Matt has come out with a new running publication called Meter.

I am proud to be among the contributors tor the inaugural issue of Meter, providing a look back at the legendary Eliot Lounge, that long lost and fabled runner’s bar in Boston’s Back Bay which shuttered its doors in 1996.

Yesterday, Matt put up on Twitter an audio clip I sent him from my old Runner’s Digest radio show in Boston that aired from 1977 to 1988. In this clip we find ourselves inside the Eliot on the Thursday night before the 1978 Boston Marathon. The place was teeming with runners from around the world as our favorite band, Heidi and The Secret Admirers, was closing the night in style.

As Heidi kicked off her final encore at about 1 a.m., Ian Gamble, a motor racing promoter from Auckland, New Zealand — who also organized New Zealand’s Choysa Marathon — made an offer to Greater Boston Track Club star Randy Thomas who is now the long time track and cross country coach at Boston College.

If you want to know what it felt like to be in the Hub of the running universe at the height of the running boom, perhaps the four minute clip below will give you a taste.

Eliot Lounge Meter Mag


  1. wow! thanks for the audio clip! I LOVED Heidi and the Secret Admirers! And in fact, I was one of the few non runners there that very night. And yes, as another poster said, what ever happened to Heidl and then band? There were FABULOUS! – Barb

    1. I know I’m very late to this discussion, but does anyone know what happened to Heidi and the Secret Admirers? I saw them several times in the late ’70s at the Eliot Lounge. Loved them. I’m working on a novel set in Boston in 1980 and would like to make reference to them but I want to be accurate. Were they still playing at the Eliot in 1980?

      1. Jack, Heidi is going fine from what I’ve been told. Still in the Boston area. And, yes, the band was still going strong in 1980. Good luck with the book. Toni

  2. Wonder what ever happened to Heidi and the rest of the band…wow! They were great. That was fun to listen to for sure.

  3. That clip was a great, a “view” into an era I was too young to have experienced. I was ten-years-old at the time, and just getting into running. Does anyone remember the great documentary that was made by WQED in Pittsburg about the ’78 Boston Marathon? I watched it on PBS in 1980 and really found it inspiring. There were great clips of the final sprint finish between Wells and Rodgers.

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