Category Archives: cross country

A Burning Man of a different kind

My son Evan Cudworth was planning on attending The Burning Man event in August again this year. But it likely won’t happen. Even that brand of social distancing––rocking out in the Black Rock Desert–– is not enough social distance to … Continue reading

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Hair today, gone tomorrow

While conversing with a teammate from long-ago times at Luther College, I opened up the binder of results from our freshman year in cross country. Those mimeographed sheets are fascinating relics of a different age. But the photograph at the … Continue reading

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Free at last and happy in the bright sunshine

For most of us, the early years of life were spent in classrooms looking out at the bright sunshine when spring came around. Those precious minutes of recess were never enough to satisfy anyone. Coming back inside with a fine … Continue reading

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Questions about being an elitist asshole

Back when I competed for every inch of advantage in the world of running, I was a bit merciless in my regard for other competitors. In the first mile of a five-mile race I would ultimately win while setting a … Continue reading

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From allegiance to rivalry

In early 1973, right in the middle of my sophomore year in high school, our family moved 10 miles east from Elburn, Illinois to St. Charles. The rest of that school year I made a daily commute to finish the … Continue reading

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A walk through the old running grounds

Yesterday was a wonderfully dank November day here in Illinois. I needed to pick up a prescription at the Meijer store in Geneva and drove up to the corner of Route 38 and Randall Road. Our dog Lucy came along … Continue reading

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Self portrait of a determined young man

In November 1978 I was a senior at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Our team had just placed second in the NCAA National Cross Country Championships in Rock Island, Illinois. I was fifth man for the team that day after … Continue reading

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History in the making

The day after the 2019 Illinois state cross country championship, I turned to the website of my former employer, the Daily Herald, to find a story by Michael Eaken of the record-setting run by a Hersey high school senior Josh … Continue reading

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Reeling in the years

“You been tellin’ me you’re a geniusSince you were seventeenIn all the time I’ve known youI still don’t know what you meanThe weekend at the collegeDidn’t turn out like you plannedThe things that pass for knowledgeI can’t understand…” Steely Dan–Reeling … Continue reading

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The thighs don’t have it easy these days

Walking through our local Dick’s Sporting Goods store, I noticed a display for running gear featuring shorts with three different inseam lengths: 5″, 7″ and 9″. That might not mean much to most runners. But having emerged from the era … Continue reading

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