JOHN "the Penguin" BINGHAM


At 43 years old, John Bingham began the transition from 240-pound coach potato to athlete. At age 53, this popular writer and speaker has become the Pied Piper of the second running boom. John is the prototypical Renaissance man. From motorcycle mechanic to graduate advisor, from freelance musician to marathon pace leader, John brings a relentless spirit for living into everything he does. His humorous insights bring hope and inspiration to legions of fans.


  • The Penguin Chronicles, a monthly column in the US, UK and Australia/New Zealand editions of Runner's World magazine. May 1996 - Present
  • Marathon Running for Mortals: A Mere Mortal's Guide to the Joy of Running or Walking a Full or Half Marathon; co-authored by Jenny Hadfield, Pan MacMillin UK, February 2004
  • Marathoning for Mortals: A Regular Person's Guide to the Joy of Running or Walking a Full or Half Marathon; co-authored by Jenny Hadfield, Rodale, May 2003
  • No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running, Rodale, April 2002
  • The Courage to Start: A Guide to Running for Your Life, Simon & Schuster, April 1999
  • The Penguin Brigade Training Log 2nd Edition, co-authored by Jenny Hadfield, Breakaway Books, May 2003

Major Event Appearances

  • Boston Marathon
  • Chicago Marathon
  • Flora London Marathon, 1997-2004
  • Rock and Roll Arizona
  • Honolulu Marathon
  • San Francisco Marathon
  • Columbus Marathon, Columbus, OH
  • Road Runner Akron Marathon
  • White Rock Marathon, Dallas, TX
  • Cowtown Marathon, Ft. Worth, TX
  • Myrtle Beach Marathon
  • Marine Corps Marathon
  • New York City Marathon
  • Walt Disney World Marathon
  • Suzuki Rock 'N Roll Marathon
  • Country Music Marathon
  • Rock and Roll 1/2-Marathon
  • Indi Mini 500 1/2-Marathon
  • Motorola Marathon
  • Vermont City Marathon
  • Florence, Italy, Marathon
  • Wineglass Marathon
  • The Last Marathon, Antarctica
  • Bloomsday Festival, Spokane, WA
  • Athens Marathon
  • Summer Tours* 1997 Big Red Tour, 8 weeks
  • 1998 Firebird Tour, 12 weeks
  • 1999 Family Truckster Tour, 21 weeks
  • 2000 Millenium Tour, 20 weeks
  • 2001 Penguin Odyssey Tour, 20 weeks
  • 2002 No Need for Speed Tour

Points of Interest

  • Recipient of 2000 RRCA Jerry Little Memorial Journalism
    Excellence Award
  • Rode a motorcycle 3,500 miles and then ran the Suzuki
    Rock 'N Roll marathon
  • Completed a marathon by running 433 laps around a boat
    in Antarctica.
  • One of the founders of the Rock and Roll 1/2-marathon
  • Honorary race director of the Country Music Marathon

What no one knows

  • John has an earned doctorate in Education from the
    University of Illinois
  • John was the Associate Dean of the Conservatory of
    Music at Oberlin College
  • John was a professional musician and worked with
    Frank Sinatra, Cher, and others
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"In the absence of talent, there is no substitute for preparation."