Boston 79 the Build

Marathon Boston

Time decades pass can smell it

In the time of year

Crunch Time Passes Slowly April 1979

April 1st – Ran 20K in Atlanta a Nike Club Team Challenge ran tentative worried about sore knee still not 100 percent since National 20k in Holliston a month ago.

The race was a calculated risk luckily I got through the hilly challenge and got in one last hard effort and helped GBTC to a team win.

Fifteen days until D-Day.

The Holliston race was a big confidence boost second to Teammate Randy Thomas in 60:44 and ahead of Jon Flora and some other top competitors.

I had received a call from Billy Rodgers the week of the race asking me to consider boycotting as he explained it the race director had publicly called him out over some demands he had made regarding his participation. 

“Bobby we need to stick together and let these race directors and promoters know we are not plebs and pawns.”

I ran many miles with Bill in those days and the conversations generally came around to the governing bodies of athletics and how it might be necessary to “snip, snip cut their balls off.”

Best interview ever with BR in “Boston Magazine “ 1979 before he toned it down so the media wouldn’t crucify him.

I idolized Billy but I felt skipping this race would not be in my best interest even though he did offer to do a “race simulator” type workout with me as a substitute.

A week after the Holliston race the RUNNERY a retail athletic store where I worked brought in some names to present a running clinic at a local high school.

Nina Kuscsik  and Charlotte Lettis pioneer woman runners came in for it and Randy Thomas and Vinny Fleming and Dr Rob McGregor and others including yours truly .

Randy  Vinny and I went for a run beforehand from my little apartment in Hanover. Afterwards while Randy was showering Vinny told me “hey Hodgie Randy and I were checking out your running log you left on the table and Randy said no way you will run well at Boston.”

Well I was a 2:28 guy and Randy had run 2:11 but little innocent comments like that were big motivation for me and Randy and I were rivals and friends so it was good for me to hear that.

At the Clinic I was scared shitless to speak but I gave it a go and at one point “lost my train of thought”

My mates were merciless “hey Hodgie ever find that train?”

Vinny never pulled any punches after one run we started out on together out Beacon Street from Boston College before looping onto the marathon course near Newton Wellesley Hospital I did my usual weekly tempo through the hills from the fire station to Heartbreak Hill a four mile plus tempo I had been doing for the last six weeks and Vinny begged off and I hammered those hills relaxed and in synch and after coming off Heartbreak and looping around the Res back to Alumni Stadium where Vinny sat on the grass.

“Hodgie did you run the Res too? Holy shit do you realize how fast you ran those hills?”

I had no idea no Casio then just a cheap Timex “felt good” is all I knew.

I returned from Atlanta and began my mental gathering.

What happens? Coming attraction.

Please indulge me or not my 40 year step back….

Soundtrack: Ain’t Waisting Time No More: 

The nitty gritty: