August 9 Six Minute Mile

Minute 1: Rosie Ruiz Epilogue

Rosie Ruiz crossed the finish line of a long race against cancer a few weeks ago. The 66-year-old had lived in infamy since 1980 when she sneaked out of the crowd and jumped onto the Boston Marathon course about a mile from the Boylston Street finish line. Even Walter Cronkite covered the story as it became international news. A quick glimpse at Rosie’s droopy form coming down the stretch in Cronkite’s video tells you all you need to know. Men’s champion Bill Rodgers was politely, but firmly skeptical in this video interview alongside Ruiz on morning television.

An intriguing story has emerged since 1980 that Ruiz never intended to place first in the marathon, but only wanted to finish with a good time. In a sadly ironic twist, Ruiz passed away only days after suspected marathon cheater Frank Meza took his own life in Pasadena, CA, as we wrote about in our July 10 issue.

Minute 2: Dinner table conversation

A couple of nutrition and diet news items caught our eye this week:

  • Working out in the morning is more likely to help you lose weight according to a new study. While researchers revealed convincing evidence, they were less certain about why a run, ride or gym session is the best way to kick off your day. Those early sessions may ramp up your metabolism or it may decrease hunger.
  • Many already know that gym work often burns more fat than our beloved outdoor cardio activities. We are always on the lookout for simple indoor workouts to shake things up. We liked this new list of 12 full-body strength exercises recommended by trainers to burn fat.
  • Intermittent fasting has become a thing. Some disciples don’t eat for 16 hours a day or take a day off from food completely every week. If you’re considering a version, check out this “Intermittent Fasting 101” guide. You may also enjoy this new story that asks: “Can you run while intermittent fasting?

Minute 3: Running out of San Quentin State Prison

Back in November, we covered the story of Markelle Taylor, a San Quentin inmate who held the record for running the fastest marathon behind bars. Taylor ran a 3:16 by doing 105 laps around the prison yard. At the time we wrote about Taylor, he was still incarcerated, but after 18 years in prison for second-degree murder, he was released into a halfway house this spring at age 46. Six weeks after walking out San Quentin’s gates, Taylor was running up Heartbreak Hill in Boston.

In a story that is destined for the silver screen, Taylor finished Boston in 3:03 and is already working with his parole officers to return next year with his sights set on a 2:45. The New York Times is out this week with an excellent feature on Taylor that doesn’t shy away from the ugly side of his life story that landed him in San Quentin in the first place.

Minute 4: Gear round-up

We love a good bargain almost as much as we love a good trail run or a good day skiing. That’s why we always have our friends at Left Lane Sports bookmarked for deals on outdoor gear and apparel. Their business model is to scout out the best deals available on top outdoor, running and cycling brands. In that sense, they are similar to’s Steep and Cheap. In particular, we are all about Left Lane’s trail running shoe page with brands like Hoka, Adidas, and New Balance at 30-40% off. Also, while killing time in between photo shoots recently, our staff also voted on their top 10 running movies of all time. There are some quirky picks — just like our staff. Check out the list for links to trailers and download options.

Minute 5: Spartan Race helps out Warrior Dash alumni

We shared the sad news last week that Warrior Dash turned out the lights at HQ and handed over a warehouse full of obstacles and power tools to rival Spartan Race. Other mud races chimed in with special offers to waive entry fees for Warriors who’d swiped their credit cards for a 2019 race that was canceled.

Spartan wasn’t about to let Rugged Maniac and Tough Mudder adopt the orphaned Warriors without a fight. They just announced that any of the 3 million people who’d ever run a Warrior Dash can now do a Spartan event on the house. That seemed a little too good to be true, so we dug out our registration email from a 2014 Warrior Dash and forward that to Spartan. True to their word, Spartan got back to us within minutes with a special code for entry into one of their races. Spartan Fenway, here we come!

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Arielle Avina first raced to fame last June when she won a Rock ‘n’ Roll series 5K in 19:20. Not that impressed with her time? Well, how about if we told you that Arielle was 10 years old at the time? Yeah, that was our reaction, too. Nike’s marketing department quickly figured out that Arielle was (a) decked out in their gear and (b) was just as cute and charming as she was talented. They produced a beautiful ad in her honor.

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