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The runner’s advantage

Top coach and husband to former London and Chicago marathon champion Deena, Andrew Kastor has been combining his love for running and writing to great effect in recent months.


During these 'once every hundred years' kind of times, the runners really have the advantage and freedom over other athletes.

We can just get out the front door and either turn left or right and explore. A great example of athletes that 'can’t' during this time is Olympic swimmers - a majority of them don’t have access to a pool - and team sports like baseball, soccer and football – forget it!

Starting mid-March, over the course of a few weeks I watched on Twitter Sandie Morris – the U.S. Olympic Pole Vaulter – moving across the country, building an elevated pole vault runway and cushioned pit so that she could continue to master her craft while all athletic competitions are halted.

Each morning I’d check her social media account and I’d marvel at and admire the tremendous amount of effort, time, and resources that went into her project. Of course, I did this after I got back from my little run around my neighborhood in Mammoth Lakes, California.

Even during the few weeks of tightest social distancing restrictions, our town kept our local public track open so kids and adults could enjoy running and kicking the soccer ball around, but only with those members of your household of course.

Our vast trail network has been open for all to enjoy, all the while watching those in Italy and Spain doing countless laps of their balconies or runners in England making themselves dizzy circling their backyards for hours. The runners had it pretty good during this time, especially here in my little mountain town.

It seems as though runners found a way to get the miles in, and others adopted the sport of running because it is one of the few ways we could control a part of our day and work on our physical and mental fitness.

Another pastime that has seen an uptick is reading. Whether for entertainment or education, book sales rose equally to running shoe sales. And books about running and training, a form of exercise you can actually do outside during a lockdown, seem to be doing really well. Here’s where timing is everything.

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