June 11, 2000
Dateline: Babson College, outside of Boston, MA
I tell folks that I have the greatest job in the world... IF you
like to travel AND if you like to meet new people. These past few
weeks I've been getting more than my share of both.
I arrived home from San Diego and RnR3 late last Tuesday, which
gave me all of a day to get ready to take off last Thursday for
Boston and the Penguin
Flight School at Babson College. This was the third year for
Flight School at Babson, and it was THE BEST.
There's more info about the schools at other places on our website,
but the short description is that they are weekend workshops on
effort based training. Coach Roy Benson, THE authority on heart
rate monitors and training, was the clinician. As always, his straight-ahead
manner and deep understanding of the art and science of running
were a treat for everyone.
It's hard to pick out highlights from an event like Flight School.
I enjoy all of it: the initial nervousness of the participants,
the dazed look on their faces when Coach Benson first starts talking
about percentages of maximum and anaerobic thresholds, the smiles
when they begin to understand how using a heart rate monitor can
help them, and the remarkable bonding that inevitably occurs. Amazing
This year we had a chance to watch a track meet in a nearby town.
This wasn't JUST an all-comers meet featuring all the local hot
shoes. This was a qualifying venue for runners trying to get a trip
to the Olympic trials this summer.
We had the best time cheering for ALL the participants, from the
first to the last. We screamed at the top of our lungs for the final
finishers, and adopted them all as penguins. [even if they WERE
running a 4:30 mile!!]
The last event was a solitary team running a 4 x 100 relay. The
race was one lap of the track, with each runner going 100 meters.
When the first runner took off, we all gasped. He was SO fast, we
couldn't believe it.
Then the SECOND guy blasted off... and the third.... and then....
and THEN the anchor guy started running faster than I have ever
seen ANYONE run. He was so strong, so powerful, that we all just
sat there stunned. It was beautiful. The teams time for 400
meters [about 1/4 of a mile] was around 42 seconds. It was magnificent.
The magic was that all of us felt like runners. We knew that no
matter what our speed, we all shared something in common. We were
I'm off to Anchorage this weekend. I'll file my report on Monday.
Taking it to the streets.....