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The 2015 RUN A MILE DAYS TOUR – The TOUR VANS are on the road

Look for the RUNAMILE.ORG multi-colored vans in May and June

Some kids have called our two “NATIONAL RUN A MILE DAYS” Vans the imitator of the Wayback Machine from Scooby-Doo cartoons. Well, if you spot one of the Vans on the road or at a track event or a school, take a photo and send post it on social media with the hash tag #runamile. Send along your address to miler@americanrunning.org and we will send the first 50 recipients a free “Are You A Miler? Tee.

National Run A Mile Days (NRAMD) is growing. We have seen several locales where one school started the RUN A MILE program in recent years and has created a buzz and interest in neighboring schools. One prime example is the Iowa City, Iowa schools. An elementary school in North Liberty Iowa was involved for the past 3 years. The lead PE teacher retired in 2014 yet wanted to expand the MILE DAYS program at her school. Karen Bagby’s efforts resulted in going from one school of over 500 students running the Mile to over 3800 students in 8 schools.

The NRAMD event will carry over past our published event period of May 1-23 to early days in June. Mile Days will conclude with final tour stops in Southern California and into New England.

Donors and supporters of our AMAA Youth Fitness Campaign are responsible for the Tour’s expansion and for the added materials ARA is providing to schools and organizations. The “RUN A MIILE DAYS TOUR” is planning on tallying over 2000 miles in visits to the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and eastern areas of the Midwest. The ARA staff is in its planning stages right now. We want to visit as many schools and communities as possible. Running the Mile is fairly simple to run. Driving from one state to another to race a mile is a bit more time-consuming.

44th AMAA at the BOSTON MARATHON – Wet, Windy and Fulfilling!

The weather was not great for spectating yet the spirit and energy at the Boston Marathon carried the day for all runners including the 125 or so AMAA Runners.

The 2015 AMAA – BAA Sports Medicine Symposium got underway with a return appearance from the noted breast cancer surgeon-turned nutritionist Dr Caldwell Esselstyn. His plant-based diet has drawn many fans as well as some doubters. Three years ago Dr Esselstyn made his initial trip to the AMAA Boston Symposium and was a major hit. Several AMAA members shifted their nutritional diets to something close to his plant-based diet. This go-round, Dr Esselstyn presented results of new studies that reinforced results he had seen in small groups.

The other major presentation or topic focused on the Heart-Health debate on marathons. The question continues to swirl in sports medicine circles: is running a marathon detrimental to your health. Some ask more pointedly, “Can running a marathon kill you?” Three leading cardiologists presented studies that show that while there is a risk of sudden death in instances the consensus was that running marathons in the absence of other risk factors is still a beneficial activity for all.

AMAA Boston 2015 will be remembered by the cold, rainy, and windy conditions from start to finish on Marathon Monday. It will also be remembered as a true return to normalcy for the venerable marathon treasure. It was the two-year anniversary of the tragic bombings on Boylston St. The lasting signs of that horrible event are the increased security measures that have crept into the spectating areas. Runners and spectators have grown to accept those annoyances. The air was full of excitement once again without too many lingering fears from 2013. The Monday rains could have put on the proverbial damper yet from each town on the route from Hopkinton to Boston. All anyone could see and hear were the usual cheers and screams from young and old along the point-to-point marathon course.

PENN RELAYS – 121st Running of the Famed Relays – Jamaican Presence Highlights

Jamaican high school athletes and the Professionals bring out the best in USA vs. The World competition

The Green, yellow and black colors of Jamaica were on display throughout the expanse of Franklin Field, the site of the 4-day track and field competition. The annual PENN RELAYS has grown into a showcase of the best of Jamaican track and field athletes vs. the best of the USA. The primary head-to-head racing is at the high school level. Top 100m, 400m and 800m runners from Jamaica and the U.S. line up to see who can capture the coveted PENN “Wheel” or Championship of America Trophy. The professional TEAM USA and TEAM JAMAICA athletes joined the action on the final day of competition in the key USA vs. THE WORLD relay races.

Of course, all eyes are on Team Jamaica in the 4x100 and 4x400 races. Much like prior years, both countries came away with some bragging rights. Team USA’s Men’s’ 4x100 led from the gun in their win, while Team Jamaica’s 4x100 Women were able to hold off the last leg of Team USA’s anchor, a high school senior!

All told, the PENN RELAYS once again brought together the 3rd largest crowd to attend a Track & Field Meet, only the World Championships and Olympic Games draw more fans.

Seen and Heard while Running in Boston

Meb!

Meb Keflezighi as top draw at a Book Discussion. Winning Boston in 2014 was extra special for America’s new male icon and hero. All you need to say is his first name and people respond – Meb! His win was both improbable and monumental. It had been since 1983 that an American had won Boston when Greg Meyer earned his lone major marathon title. Meb has ascended in his national fame beyond running. He appears in commercials for his sponsors. He has been guests on late night TV talk shows. On this Friday evening, a near capacity crowd had paid $25 to hear Meb and a distinguished panel of running legends discuss Meb’s new book and how he is affecting the distance running and road racing scene. The talk was genuine and the feeling of warmth towards Meb filled the seats and pews in the Old South Church on Boylston St.

Hit the trails and enjoy the bloom of spring!

The American Running Association Staff

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