Tag Archives: cross country

In honor of Keith Ellingson, one of the greatest runners and best guys I know in this world

Converging lives My freshman year at Luther College was some years ago. I entered college as a marginal student in high school with a high C average thanks to laziness in subjects that I disdained. But Luther saw potential in … Continue reading

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An August afternoon with bikinis, sunshine and running

During the summer of 1974, anticipation for the fall cross country season was high. We’d done well the previous year in both the conference and district meet, and a core of seniors was returning to make it a fun and … Continue reading

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Summer running, or not

After freshman year in high school cross country, I was set to begin training the summer before sophomore year when a big fat catcher from another baseball team dove on top of me when the third base coach sent me … Continue reading

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A minute can last a lifetime

I had a nice conversation yesterday with Craig Virgin, one of America’s greatest distance runners whose 27:29 10K still ranks in the top ten all-time. He was also a three-time Olympian We talked about his book Virgin Territory, which I … Continue reading

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“You’re fast.”

As the years pile up, the words “You’re fast” aren’t heard so much. On a typical day, my per-mile pace is 3:00 slower than it was while running in my 20s and 30s. That is why it was amusing to … Continue reading

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Asleep or awake, this is how I choose to live

Last night before going to sleep I flipped through a booklet of results from my days of running cross country at Luther College. I’d stored those books in the bedroom desk and was looking for something else when I opened … 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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The sensation of running

I’ve written previously about a 1973 newspaper article in which a local sports journalist branded me a “junior sensation” for leading our high school cross country team to a few early-season victories. That pulp fiction title cost me dearly the … 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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