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Penguin Journal

February 25, 2001

Dateline: Ft. Worth, Texas
Cowtown Marathon weekend

It doesn't get any better than this weekend. I got to spend it hanging out with Bill Rodgers!

That would be the Bill Rodgers who won the Boston Marathon four times. The Bill Rodgers who won the New York City Marathon four times. The Bill Rodgers who is called the "King of the Roads" because of his dominance of road racing. The Bill Rodgers who is the greatest icon running has ever had!  He also happens to be one heck of a nice guy.

The occasion was the Cowtown Marathon, which is a little misleading. Yes, there was a marathon in Fort Worth on Saturday, but the real emphasis and excitement of the weekend is the 5K and 10K races, and the family atmosphere that surrounds those events. Of the 5,000 or so people who ran the 5K, for example, about 3,600 were children.

Bill and I were the "race celebrities." Well, Bill was the race celebrity and I was like a little kid who got to watch a real running hero at home in the running community. Bill Rodgers is gracious, giving, always willing to be available, and just plain fun to be around. And, luckily for me, he has a great sense of humor.

On race morning, a local TV station interviewed both of us. It was one of several appearances we had made together leading up to the race. That morning I was interviewed first. When I went back to get Bill for his part of the interview, I told him that I'd told the reporter I was Bill Rodgers. "Man, it was fun telling her that I won Boston four times!" I said. "You know the story of the Penguin, Bill. Just tell it like you were me!" I continued.

His eyes got real wide. Just as he stepped in front of the camera, he looked over at me and asked: "You didn't really do that...DID you??" He relaxed when I confessed I hadn't, and we shared a good laugh.

I ran the 10K in 1:08:42 (my watch time) in wind, heat, high humidity, wind, cold, rain, and more wind. A weather front really did come through while I was on THIS course!

All in all, the weekend was much more a personal than a professional high. This is a great sport.  And it's people like Bill Rodgers who have made it that way.

Next week I'm off to London for a training run with the UK Penguins. Stay tuned!

Takin' it to the streets...



Penguin Wisdom
Every time I challenge myself to do more, struggle to get just a little faster, or face the limits of my abilities, I am a runner. A real runner, not just someone who runs.



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Last Updated: March 8, 2001 23:01