Category: Runner’s Digest


Steve Jones sets World Marathon Record in Chicao 1984
Steve Jones World Marathon Record Chicago 1984

The day after Thanksgiving has traditionally been one of the special football days of the year in America. While high school rivalries and the NFL play on Thanksgiving itself, the day after, Black Friday, has always belonged to the NCAA.

Today, there are two decent games — Washington takes on in-state rival Washington State, while Navy sailed into Houston for a match up of one-loss teams.

But before the rise of cable, there was usually just a single college game featured, usually a marquee match-up on one of the networks for a nation still digesting it’s Thanksgiving dinner.

In 1984 The Game pitted the 8-2, 10th ranked Boston College Eagles versus the defending national champion Miami Hurricane. “The U” was full of NFL draftees, though they weren’t having the same quality season as usual in ’84, coming in ranked 12th in the national polls.

Still, playing at home against the upstart BC Eagles, Miami was still a strong favorite as BC was viewed as the small Catholic school from the northeast where college football wasn’t nearly the religion as it was in the South and Midwest.

But this was the peak of the Doug Flutie era, when the Natick, Mass. native was single-handedly bringing the BC program to new heights under Coach Jack Bicknell. (more…)



Dave McGillivray Run Across America 1978

It was 35 years ago today that Medford, Mass. native Dave McGillivray completed his 80-day Run Across America from Medford, Oregon to Fenway Park to raise money for Boston’s Jimmy Fund.  It wasn’t the first nor the last ultra-distance trek by the man who today directs the Boston Marathon, Beach to Beacon 10K, Falmouth Road Race, and many more events nationwide, but it remains his most famous.

In an excerpt from the archives of Runner’s Digest Radio, here’s our day nine report on Dave’s 3,452 miles through 11 states that finished with two laps around Fenway Park before the start of a Red Sox — Seattle Mariners game on August 29, 1978.

In a testament to his organizational skills and future profession, Dave wrote to city officials in every jurisdiction through which he planned to run to alert them to his timetable, a herculean task in itself.  Dave’s run raised $150,000 for the Jimmy Fund, but more than that helped raise its profile beyond New England.

And just to show the run wasn’t simply the lunatic act of a youthful over-achiever, Dave continued to keep his hand in the over-do-it business via his annual birthday run.  Earlier this month he extended his ritual of running one mile for every candle on his birthday cake for the 47th straight year (he began at age 12).

Congrats, Dave, on this historic moment in the growth of advocacy running.  Now please sit down and show us you can relax, as well.  You (and we) have earned it.




1982 Runner’s Digest Boston Marathon Press Guide Cover


Our Runner’s Digest radio show had put together a 75-station network for the 1982 Boston Marathon. This was back in the days when running was still consumed by a general public as primarily a sporting contest.  That Patriot’s Day I was stationed at the finish line above Ring Road below the Prudential Tower.  This was the old marathon finish line, pre-John Hancock 1986, directly across Boylston Street from Hereford Street.

We had six reporters strung along the course giving live updates from the field. To help with their assignment, we put together what we believe was the first press guide for the Boston Marathon.  Four of those pages are contained in this post.

By Boston 1982 the running boom was thundering over the land at its highest decibel level.  But when word leaked out that Wayland, Mass. native Alberto Salazar was coming back from Oregon to compete for the first time in the hometown marathon, well, for those who have never experienced the excitement that foot-racing once caused, all I can tell you is that the needle was pinned to the far right of the gauge that year. Every TV station in town met him at Logan coming in. He tried to keep it low-profile, but his dad tipped the press. Al was not happy.

Al was homeward bound off two straight New York City Marathon wins, and what we thought was the marathon world record (2:08:13) the previous October.  Only later would the course be remeasured and found to be 149 meters short.  Notwithstanding, Al was at the height of his piercing focus and unwavering willfulness.  The week before Boston he had gone head up against 10,000m world record holder Henry Rono of Kenya at an Alberto-directed 10,000 meter track race at Hayward Field in Eugene, his alma mater.  Henry (with a gut, I kid you not) barely got by Alberto 27:29 to 27:30. But Al had shown his fitness, and then some, and seemed ready for anything come Patriot’s Day. (more…)