We recently lost one of  the most respected members of our global running community.   I first met Dr. David Martin in Kansas City, 2002.  An exercise physiologist, he was by then one of the most influential people in our sport in the entire world.  Recognized internationally as perhaps the best scientific running mind of our time.

Dr. Dave annually attended our Women’s Long Distance Running executive committee meetings.  I enjoyed twelve years of his bringing meticulous notes on the preparation of our USA Olympic Marathon teams.  The science behind the efforts.  Seeming minutia adding up to a grand design.  Dr. Dave would spend months leading into an Olympic marathon studying the locale with methodical certainty.  Collecting historical data and taking measurements on ambient air temperature, actual road temperature, wind speed, course design, humidity, hydration requirements- frequency and exact replacement composition.  No detail left unturned.

Dr. Dave established the Laboratory for Elite Athlete Performance (LEAP) at Georgia State University in 1970, serving our top USA athletes for forty years.  A much published author, his 1980 work,  ‘The Avon Report on the Status of Women’s Distance Running’, led to the inclusion of  the women’s marathon in the 1983 World Championships and Olympic debut in LA in 1984.

A Giant of our sport.  IAAF President Sebastian Coe quipping “David was one of the cleverest people that it was my great fortune to have met in my life.”

It was a privilege to know and work with you Dr. Dave.  Thank you for a life’s contributions to our sport.

Famed Finnish runner Lasse Viren (L), chats up Dr. Dave in 1978.
photo credit Peter John L. Thompson