Scene: Sunday’s 2013 Berlin Marathon.   Wilson Kipsang nailing down a red letter day in marathon history setting a new World Record of 2:03:23.

Think of the most remarkable thing you did this weekend, running wise.  Now think of the most remarkable thing anyone you know achieved this weekend.  Or ever.  Now think of the impossible.  Now make it possible.

Go to the track today.  Run a 100 meters.  In 18 seconds.  Easy?  Probably not.  Then try this.  Run a 200 in 36 seconds.  Not so easy eh?  Time to move up.  Run a quarter mile.  In 72 seconds.  

Hey, where’d everybody go?  OK, a couple of you still out there.  Now run a mile.  In 4:42.  Only one of you still with me?  Now run a 5K.  In 14:35.

Nobody left.

Now that you’ve got an inkling, this is exactly what Kipsang did for 26.2 miles.  Eight 14:35 5Ks back to back to back.

Look here now.  All runners are not created equal.  The sooner and more easily that you accept this the closer you are to becoming a Real Runner.  Real Running has no bearing on talent bestowed by the deities.  But Kipsang provides a fine jumping off point.

You want to be a Real Runner?  Read on.

Real Running is giving more than you have, wondering where it came from, and trying to get there again, and again, and again. Real Running is never being satisfied.  Real Running is seeking out Real Competition.  Real Running is getting beat.  Real Running is winning.  Real Running is done all alone.  Or with like minded training partners.   Real Running is utter and complete exhaustion.  Real Running needs no recognition.  Real Running is respecting those that came before you.  Real Running is You vs.You.  Real Running is In It To Win It!

Real Running has nothing to do with talent.  Real Running is not patting yourself on the back and seeking or accepting accolades for simply finishing a distance, any distance.  Real Running is not having something left in the tank.   Real Running is not building excuses.  Real Running is not carrying on a social hour during a race.  Real Running is not something to cross off a bucket list.  Real Running is not slowing down to wait, or take pictures, or show us your skinny runner biceps.  Real running is not showboating by pretending to use a pace stick as a golf club.  Real Running is not doing cartwheels at the finish of a race.  Real Running is not wearing some goofy costume  (unless of course it is the Vala’s Monster Dash 5K!).  Real Running is not the Warrior Dash.  Real Running is not the Color Run.  Real Running is not the Mud Run.  Real Running is not any of the myriad events that dumb down or completely ignore competition.

Thanks to Jason Zakaras for pointing out that last Friday’s pic of the Omaha Marathon start was 2011 and not 2012.  Time really does fly!

before me

Those that came before me.  L to R.

Julie McKinney, 2:35 marathon p.r., former USATF Womens LDR Chair.
Nina Kuscik, First female winner of Boston Marathon, 2 time NYC Marathon winner, former WLDR Chair.
Charlie Mahler, Co-Founder (ahem!), USATF Men’s Athlete Development Program
Joy Smith (front), 2:32 marathoner, former USATF Womens LDR Chair, I took over the Womens Championships Chair from Joy in ’02.
Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick, current USATF Womens LDR Chair. Asst. Distance Coach Beijing Olympics
Carol McLatchie, former Womens LDR Chair, 2:34 maratoner, 32:07 10K pr.  My mentor.
Hank Brown, former Mens LDR Championships Chair.  RD for Crazy 8s 8K (WR course)
Ray Lapinski, another original mentor.  Sub 2:20 marathoner and :47 quarter mile range.  High Performance genius.
Me. Happy to have had the 15 years experience of working with such an historical group of athlete/adminstrators.  Still in my little bald noggin, giving my words courage and credibility.  Inspiring Real Runners.  Confounding fools and tools alike.