First, as part of my ongoing coverage of the Blue Ridge Marathon, I got to connect with Bart Yasso (far right), who was leading a casual shake-out run (below) for runners this morning on the Roanoke River Greenway. Yasso is the Chief Running Officer (awesome title, huh?) for Runner’s World Magazine.
After the run it was time for breakfast, where we were joined by Frank Shorter (far left) and Bill Rodgers.
Shorter won the gold in the marathon at the 1972 Olympics and silver four years later in Montreal. The guy who beat him in Montreal was an East German later implicated in doping. In other words, Shorter is, for all intents and purposes, a double gold winner. As it is, he’s the only American man to win Olympic medals in two marathons.
Rodgers, among many honors, won the Boston and New York marathons a combined six times. In 1978 he won 27 of his 30 races, including both Boston and New York.
Race co-chair John Carlin then took three, who will be participating in a relay as part of the Run with the Legends contest put on by race sponsor Foot Levelers, on a tour of some of the course.
Roanoke Photographer Kyle Green and I got to tag along. It was a blast. Shorter was pretty quiet, but Yasso and Rodgers were a hoot. I am actually writing a story about them for tomorrow’s Roanoke Times and hope to capture some of the hilarious back and forth.
Anyway, I tried to play it cool but when Kyle said, “Get in there for a picture with those guys,” I couldn’t help myself.
I was supposed to be out of town this weekend but bailed out of that commitment because I didn’t want to miss covering tomorrow’s event. I wasn’t planning to run but after Monday’s bombings in Boston I broke down and entered the half marathon. I wanted not just be on the outside looking in, but also part of things tomorrow.
I think it is going to be an amazing day.