Former marathon world record holder Khalid Khannouchi with fan
“You never know who will show up here.”
The San Diego Track Club was just finishing its final workout of the year under Coach Paul Greer — 15 X 300 meters — when former marathon world record holder Khalid Khannouchi arrived at the San Diego High School track just after 7p.m. his left hand swaddled in bandages.
”I cut my hand this afternoon,” he explained, “and had to go have five stitches put in.”
Khalid was in town visiting his old friend and mentor Tracy Sundlun,vice president of Competitor Group, purveyors of the Rock `n` Roll series of races. Tracy had helped establish Khalid after the Moroccan-born runner emigrated to the USA following his win in the 5000 meters at the 1993 World University Games in Buffalo. At the time Sundlun served as head of the MAC, the Metropolitan Athletics Congress, regional running federation for the New York City metro area.
But this trip west from his home in Ossining, New York wasn’t simply a friendly visit or a break from the cold and ice back east for the U.S. record holder and four-time Chicago Marathon champion. Continue reading
By 6 p.m. the casual pace of early evening dog walks had been replaced by the high spirited strides of the San Diego Track Club on the shadow-lanced lawns of Balboa Park. But even as the runners began their pre-workout drills, 100 meters away a gaggle of children were engaged in their own exercises as part of 2nd Recess, the club’s youth program initiated and conducted by top local runners Marco Anzures and his fiancee Natasha LaBeaud.
“Today we’re doing gut busters,” said Marco, a former collegiate runner at UCLA (Class of 2010), as he spoke to a group of children seated on the grass. “Does anyone know what your core is?” Continue reading
McKenna Brown taking instruction from Dad, Chris
12 year-old McKenna Brown grasped the pole tentatively as her father, Chris, showed her how to stand at the top of the approach. With that final advice the seventh grader from Oak Crest Middle School in Carlsbad, California moved to the runway where she stared at the pit and standards standing some eight steps away, about to make her first ever attempt in a pole vault competition.
McKenna, along with her dad Chris, mom Angela, and 14 year-old brother Kyle were part of a larger than expected crowd of competitors and supporters who showed up at last Wednesday’s Summer Night’s Track & Field Meet at San Diego’s University City High School, the first of a four meet series put on by Paul Greer and the San Diego Track Club. As cities across the world vie for selection as host site for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games — including a joint bid being explored by San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico — it is at small all-comers meets like the Summer Nights series where youngsters like McKenna Brown begin to dream of perhaps making that team. Continue reading
San Diego “Run To Boston”
Runners like to complete what they’ve started, as it’s an untidy diary with a distance undone. That’s why 55 members of the San Diego running and triathlon communities met yesterday morning at Ski Beach along Mission Bay to complete a journey they began but couldn’t complete the previous week.
Last Sunday they’d gathered in a much larger number to metaphorically “Run to Boston” in memory of and support for those who lost their lives, limbs, and innocence at the Boston Marathon finish line bombings on April 15th. That gathering in San Diego was mirrored throughout the nation and in many places around the world, for such is the fierce community spirit of runners. But it is a long 3043 miles from Ski Beach to Boylston Street in Boston, and they had only posted 2270. Continue reading
Boston, MA. — The late blooming warmth of a New England spring morning in Kenmore Square is mocked by the desolate pall that hangs over Boylston Street just one mile east on this second day after the marathon bombings in Boston. With police and FBI officials still pouring over the thousands of photographs and hours of video that were shot along the finish line stretch on Monday, the who, the why and the wherefore of the cruelty remain painfully elusive even as the agonizing consequences continue to radiate to all corners of the city and the nation.
(LATE BREAKING NEWS AT 1:40 p.m. EASTERN TIME: ACCORDING TO WBZ-TV VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS, AN ARREST IN THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING IS IMMINENT!)
Last evening in the close-knit Boston community of Dorchester hundreds of neighbors gathered on a grassy ball field to hold a candle-light vigil for eight year-old Richard Martin, youngest victim in Monday’s tragedy, even as Richard’s mom and sister remain hospitalized with severe injuries. And though it remained blocked as an ongoing crime scene, Boylston Street itself has been turned into a makeshift shrine as these locations of loss so often are.