Gifted a book on running, so sat down and read it start to finish

Hair of Dog 5K New Year’s Day in Bethany
December 28, 2021

Gifted a book - Daughter-in-law Liza gifted me a book for Christmas, “The Incomplete Book of Running” by Peter Sagal, the host of NPR’s “Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me.” Sagal is a Harvard graduate, accomplished runner, brilliantly funny guy and writes like a privileged Ivy Leaguer you want not to like except he’s cool like serpentine stone. I read the 91-page book in half a day while simultaneously watching two NFL games with the sound muted. The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training developed a training plan called Run Less, Run Faster, based on the premise that too much of anything is bad. It is cliché to say “overuse syndrome,” but we are running school-age kids into the ground. I wrote years ago that endurance athletes like runners, bikers and swimmers as well as strength athletes like weightlifters don’t necessarily train sensibly, then compete sparingly; rather, they do what they compulsively need to do. 

Hair of the Dog - The Hair of the Dog 5K Run will start at 10 a.m, Saturday, Jan. 1, in Bethany Beach. That is a hangover reference if you’re playing along at home, but the get-up-early-and-get-going crowd is not about “hair of the dog”; they will race a 5K for a stuffed animal. Free and overpriced race photographer Fredman may be there as I enjoy kicking it in places I can’t afford to live. And I’m looking for a leftover dog – a stuffed rescue. Go to for details or detox.  

Race Into the New Year - At noon, Friday, Dec. 31, at the Bandstand in Rehoboth is the 18th annual Race Into the New Year 5K and quarter-mile kids’ dash. The relentless regular reservoir dogs running crowd – now Running Nuts – use this event to complete their final race tally for the calendar year. I’ll be there looking for the athletes who ran 50 races and dropped two grand in entry fees.

Nick Hall - Caravel senior wrestler Nick Hall won his 100th match Wednesday night against Cape. I posed him afterward for a photo, having covered him when he wrestled for Postlethwait in eighth grade. He is also a face-off/midfielder guy in lacrosse. His sister Jasmine played goalie for the Caesar Rodney girls’ lacrosse team and Eastern Shore Lacrosse. Nick reminds me of a Cape kid. He would have been a good fit, but athletes like Nick Hall are a good fit wherever they go. 

Physics of long jumping - Long time ago when the earth was green and my senses were keen, I read a hardback book on the physics of long jumping, from takeoff to flight to landing. Then I went to the track to teach the event to young, talented athletes. I quickly realized the more I talked, the more confused and less interested they became. I finally settled on “Sprint down the runway and jump off that white board into the sand pit and try not to break your ankles.” Every time I listen to basketball commentators, all of whom talk way too much, I sense the same disconnect. The athletes are part of a motion offense analyzed by a stationary pundit. To get a true sense of the game, just turn the sound down and watch.  

Snippets - Sawyer Walker, a former Cape lacrosse player, has signed a national letter of intent to play lacrosse at Xavier University in Ohio. A bio on the Musketeers’ lacrosse page reads: “Sawyer is a three-year varsity letter winner in lacrosse … also participates in cross country and track and field … led her team to back-to-back state championships in lacrosse, compiling a 30-2 overall record … was a two-time all-conference performer in track and lacrosse … earned academic all-conference honors in track and field … placed second at the state championships in the high jump … also played club lacrosse for Eastern Shore Lacrosse Club … father, Keith, is the head men's basketball coach at Allen University (S.C.) … brother Dockery played basketball at Brown University ('15) … intends to major in criminal justice.” Xavier is part of the reconfigured Big East that includes Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova, Providence and St. John’s. J.T. Davis, a 197-pound former Smyrna state champion wrestler, is 4-7 on the season for the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. Davis, a sophomore, is 6-10 on his career. Cape wrestling will compete at the Governor Mifflin Holiday Tournament in Shillington, Pa. (home of author John Updike) Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 29 and 30. Run, rabbit, run! Go on now, git!  


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter