LinkedIn is Getting Kinda Creepy

Linkedin stalkers

So LinkedIn has a “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature so you can get unbiased metrics determining if you are interesting or boring.

Who’s interested in me?  Three anonymous stalkers and some guy who uses his dating profile photo for career networking.

Kinda creepy.

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There are “good” Boston Marathon bandits… and there are the sleazeballs

Double click on the picture to read my column defending the tradition of Boston Marathon bandits.

Double click on the picture to read my column defending the tradition of Boston Marathon bandits.

So I’m an unapologetic supporter of (respectful) Boston Marathon “bandits,” those endurance athlete wannabes who stick it out for 26 miles at the back of the pack without formally registering to enter. I defended their honor in a recent Boston Globe column and reminisced about my personal bandit days in this blog.

Exploring the widespread hostility toward bandits (within the elite runner subculture), I referred to the writings of humor columnist Mark Remy, who has been one of the more vocal critics of runners without numbers:

“In an infamous diatribe, Runner’s World executive editor Mark Remy once wrote “there’s a special circle of hell reserved” for bandits. Last month, he snapped selfies while pretending to shoplift sneakers from a running store. It was a not-so-subtle metaphor for those who “steal” from marathons by jumping in the back of the race and avoid the entry fee. Reality check: Paying isn’t even an option for slower runners.

… Curious how widely shared Remy’s views are, I recently posed the question in a Facebook running group. The response was overwhelmingly vicious: We’re thieves, we’re losers, we’re disrespectful to the runners who deserve to be there. One conspiracy theorist alleged that bandits usurp complimentary cups of water from registered runners and gobble up the official finishers’ medals for themselves.”

Not expecting to change Mr. Remy’s mind, I sent him a link to my pro-bandit column. I was pleased to hear back from him the day before the Boston Marathon and have his blessing to share his candid response here (minus a few personal comments): Continue reading

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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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