I was a Boston Marathon Bandit

Who's foolish enough to attempt the Boston Marathon with no training?  Mostly high school and college students who can pull the youth card to trump any physical challenge.

Who’s foolish enough to attempt the Boston Marathon with no training? Mostly high school and college students who can pull the youth card to trump any physical challenge.

(NOTE: For the first time ever, “bandits” or unregistered runners who run 26 miles at the back of the pack, will be banned at the 2014 Boston Marathon.  But the reason has nothing to do with security concerns. To supplement my Boston Globe column defending the bandit tradition, I’d like to share the original account of my unauthorized Boston Marathon run in 1986 along with two high school buddies.  DISCLAIMER: This piece was written by a high school student.  I repeat: This piece was written by a high school student.)

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Thank you for supporting One Run For Boston!

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The Garnick Olympic Trials: At the One Run For Boston Finish Line with my nephews Kyle and Kurtis.

Thanks so much to everyone who supported my run last Sunday in One Run For Boston, the 24/7 cross-country relay to honor and help victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.  I did the last four-mile stretch of the course with my nephews and friends Jay and George, and as promised, ran like a tank.

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You can retroactively sponsor my run and help the One Fund through April 30, 2014 by double clicking on the unstoppable “tank” above.

I am not one of those dreamy-eyed people who talk about how running brings them to a zen-like state where they can think about rainbow-sipping unicorns and world peace. I hate running. But it’s the exercise that makes me feel the most immediate results so I keep forging ahead — results that just can’t be duplicated on any machine. Continue reading

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RORSCHACH TEST — What do you see in last night’s running pattern?

rorschack test

America’s Slowest Runner is upping his fundraising game for One Run For Boston, which honors and helps victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. The relay ends Sunday.

http://www.onerunforboston.org/u/DarrenGarnick/

SO…. from now until Sunday, all $1000 donors will get their name spelled out in the font of their choice in a future training run AND have the RunKeeper satellite image preserved as a limited edition lithograph, which will be signed and framed for future generations.

Our $100 donors can get a Monogrammed Initial as a limited edition, signed lithograph.

(Hey, of course your $10 donations are still fully appreciated by the One Fund, too! Thanks everyone for your support so far.)

P.S. Does anyone actually know what makes a print a “lithograph?”

P.P.S. Out of principle, I will not run-write in the Papyrus font.

Please SHARE this to spread the word!

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Will Big Bird Be Banned on Heartbreak Hill?

Marathon Spirit: Tax law professor Richard Ainsworth (in feathers) and his wife, Christine Murasaki Millett, who is running to raise money for cancer research.

Marathon Spirit: Tax law professor Richard Ainsworth (in feathers) and his wife, Christine Murasaki Millett, who is running to raise money for cancer research.  (Photo courtesy of Christine Murasaki Millett.)

In my debut story for Runner’s World, I explore why a Boston University Law School professor has become a popular photo-op at area 5K and 10K races. And it’s not because he’s charming strangers with war stories about the IRS.

Prof. Richard Ainsworth dresses as Big Bird to amuse and support his wife Christine Murasaki Millett, who is training for her second Boston Marathon to raise funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Last year, she was stopped at the St. Ignatius Church, at the mile 21 mark. When the Boylston Street bomb sites were reopened to public a week later, she returned to the church and ran the final 5 miles alone, greeting Big Bird at the Finish Line.

On weekends, Big Bird now waits for his wife on Heartbreak Hill with water and snacks. Wherever he goes, he unwittingly serves as a giant feathered GPS. Runners text each other to “Meet me at Big Bird” after their race.

Prof. Big Bird lectures Boston University Law School students, thanking them for making a donation to cancer research.

Prof. Big Bird lectures Boston University Law School students, thanking them for making a donation to cancer research.

For obvious security reasons this year, authorities are discouraging “costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body” for both runners and spectators.  But they aren’t banning them.

Will Big Bird be allowed to chirp from the sidelines in Newton on April 21 — or will he be dragged away in wingcuffs?  Find out now!

(P.S. You can donate to Christine and Richard’s fundraiser for cancer research on their Boston Marathon page.)

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Running for the People Who Can’t Run Anymore

One Run Map

Last year, I helped with the publicity for One Run For Boston, a phenomenal 24/7 cross-country relay to honor and help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

This year, I’m getting off my ass and running.

It’s “just” the last four-mile leg from Harvard University to the Boston Esplanade and I’ll be joined by my two nephews and a few friends who are world-class athletes (compared to me).

I’m running because I’m pissed off.

People shouldn’t wake up in the morning excited to go to a fun event and go home with a fake leg or pressure cooker shrapnel stuck in their head. My friend Jennifer Levitz wrote a gripping story for the Wall Street Journal about the lifelong challenges of the Boston Marathon amputees that will last far beyond the headlines.

Prosthetics-World-artificial-legs

I’m grateful that I have legs. Continue reading

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Hilton taunts TV junkies at the gym

What's Wrong With This Picture?

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Dear Hilton Fitness Center Planning Committee: Was placing the giant TV behind the treadmills and elliptical machines intentional? Watching “Shark Tank” over my shoulder is a new experience!

This is the gym at the Hilton Parsippany in New Jersey.  Yes, there are individual tiny screens on the treadmills and bikes, but the complimentary headphones were subpar — and audio from “Shark Tank” was the dominant sound in the room.

Prediction: There will be some needless and preventable injuries (neck problems, twisted ankles) from guests who prioritize entertainment higher than exercise.

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Does locking yourself in a steel box boost writing productivity?

Amtrak is now offering Writer Residencies

Amtrak is now offering Writer Residencies

In a brilliant PR move, Amtrak is now offering 2-5 day Writer Residencies, transforming themselves into a MacDowell Colony on wheels.

Here’s the scoop from their press release:

Amtrak is excited to announce the official launch of the #AmtrakResidency program.

#AmtrakResidency was designed to allow creative professionals who are passionate about train travel and writing to work on their craft in an inspiring environment. Round-trip train travel will be provided on an Amtrak long-distance route. Each resident will be given a private sleeper car, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration. Routes will be determined based on availability.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by a panel. Up to 24 writers will be selected for the program starting March 17, 2014 through March 31, 2015.  A passion for writing and an aspiration to travel with Amtrak for inspiration are the sole criteria for selection. Both emerging and established writers will be considered.

Residencies will be anywhere from 2-5 days, with exceptions for special projects.

Of course, I applied.  Locking myself in a train car with no place to escape but the bathroom is the ideal no-excuses setting to write that comic book I’ve been “planning” for years.

Stay tuned…

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