Friday Five: Running Public Servants

We have an unusual number of running stories involving politicians, government employees and candidates recently.

1) David Cameron: I will not get re-elected if I wear Lycra – “Mr Cameron disclosed that be was invited to go on a run or a bike ride in Sydney with Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister and a former boxer. He declined the offer. He said: ‘I was going to start the day with a run with Tony Abbott but I thought he might go a bit fast. Then he talked about a bicycle ride but I thought that might involve wearing more lycra than is consistent with re-election.'”

2) Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop runs rings around her Beijing security entourage – “Indeed, it is no secret that Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister is a super keen jogger. On Parliamentary sitting days, she can be seen running through the Canberra streets on her way to Capital Hill. When home in Perth, she runs on the beach. And when she’s overseas, she runs wherever she gets the opportunity. But it turns out that the Bishop Really Likes to Run Memo did not make it to China. Last week, while in Beijing at the start of a five-day visit, Bishop hit the pavement, as per usual. The assigned local security agents, unaware of how seriously Bishop takes her running, came dressed in business attire – and so were forced to endure the session in suits, ties and dress shoes.”

3) Ma, Canadian MPs brave rain to join Terry Fox charity run – “[Taiwan] President Ma Ying-jeou and visiting Canadian parliamentarians, along with many others, braved the rain to join the Terry Fox charity run in Taipei Saturday, which was aimed at raising funds for cancer research.”

4) Bronx Principal Running in Circles for Good Cause – “The principal of Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx is trying an unusual fundraising tactic. He’s running 100 miles around the school’s track. Principal Daniel O’Keefe is taking 24 hours to complete the challenge he calls ‘Achieve 100.’ It’s an effort to raise money for the school’s sports and activities programs.”

5) Running With Charlie Hardy – “‘Isn’t this just wonderful?’ he said, and took off alongside Interstate 25, jogging 3 miles, as he has every morning for the past three decades. Hardy, 75, isn’t Wyoming’s average candidate for the U.S. Senate. A former Roman Catholic priest who once ministered in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Caracas, Venezuela, and lived in a cardboard and tin shack, he is a Cheyenne native running a grass-roots campaign without corporate or PAC donations.”

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - November 21, 2014 at 11:31

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“Don’t Listen to Doctors”

Film director Casey Neistat ran the New York City Marathon in 3:03:34 this month. He chronicled the race – minus the boring running parts – in a short video. Be sure to watch all the way to the end.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - November 20, 2014 at 14:15

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Want to Run Faster? Here’s the Best Incentive Ever

I’ve already registered for a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, but if I hadn’t I might consider a flight to Marysville, Ohio for the Uptown Pumpkin Dash 5K. Why?

Because the top 700 finishers receive a pumpkin pie!

“The pies are quite a big draw for us,” said the race director, which qualifies for the understatement of the year.

Not only would I train for this race, but I would want them to hang that pie around my neck like a finisher’s medal. Then I would eat it and walk around with the empty tin, with crumbs on the corners of my mouth.

No disrespect to Denver’s Pumpkin Pie 5K and 10K, but you only get a slice! And everyone gets one! Where’s the love of competition?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - November 18, 2014 at 13:20

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Iron Dude?

The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon was held at Disneyland yesterday and runners noticed something strange.

One thing I noticed is that Iron Man is conspicuously absent from all the race promos and materials. You can take your picture with posters of Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk and Falcon, but no Iron Man. The race medal has the Avengers “A” on one side and Cap’s shield, Mjolnir and Hulk’s fist on the other side, but again, no Iron Man.

Everyone I have asked doesn’t know anything about it, but it seems like a glaring and intentional omission.

It was particularly odd because some runners were dressed as Iron Man, but the announcers would only refer to them as “Tony Stark” or “Iron Dude.”

We’re all assuming it’s due to some trademark problem. Could it be because you can’t hold a race and mention Iron Man without paying these guys?


1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - November 17, 2014 at 11:08

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Only 39?

BuzzFeed presents “39 Thoughts Every Runner Has When Running.”

She left out “How long would it take me to walk home from here?”

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - November 14, 2014 at 11:53

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A Crappy 5K

The Urgent Run 5K race is being held in cities around the world to bring attention to UN World Toilet Day. The World Toilet Organization advocates for better sanitation throughout the Third World.

The Singapore event boasted about 350 runners, each of whom received a medal…


…and a T-shirt.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - November 12, 2014 at 15:14

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Veterans Day: Remembering the Computer Age

Last year I introduced you to how I spend Veterans Day – pulling out the old cardboard box and digging through the materials I saved from my time in the Air Force. In order to make it marginally educational and minimally entertaining, I posted a celestial navigation precomp form. It was essential for those ancient days (the ’80s) when you still needed a sextant to direct a C-130 overwater.

This year I focused my attentions on flight planning. Of course these days everything is churned out by computer – waypoints, forecast winds, altitudes, fuel consumption, etc. In my day we had to fill out a MAC Form 28 by hand.


But I don’t want you to think we didn’t have computers in those days. We did and I’ve kept mine all these years. It was designated the MB-4A Air Navigation Computer. Here’s a photo:

Yes, it was completely wireless! With the front side you computed speed, distance and time. The flip side allowed you to “input” wind velocity and direction to compute drift and groundspeed.

You can get one for only $19.99 on eBay. (vintage!)

Next year in Ancient Navigation Techniques we’ll bring you… the Pastagram!


Happy Veterans Day, everyone. Now I feel like I’ve earned that free burger at Red Robin.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - November 11, 2014 at 10:19

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