The Sunday Read: Trash talking, fleeing felons and more

It began as a piece about Dusty Olson, a super-talented runner in his own right and a nationally ranked Nordic skier. And then things just sort of spiraled out of control. Outside just published a fascinating interview with Olson. Who’s that? Best friends with ultrarunner Scott Jurek since university, Olson selflessly paced Jurek to numerous ultra wins. Make no mistake: Olson won an ultra himself, but poured himself into skiing, becoming 40th ranked overall in the U.S. in Nordic – but not a word of that in Jurek’s book. Even so, while it’s clear Olson is pissed at Jurek, at some point the Outside piece takes a left turn and completely trashes a Runner’s World story on Olson – with Olson alleging: “It was definitely miswritten—completely a story of fiction.” Uh, that’s a pretty serious allegation. Outside fired the shot across the bow; it will be interesting to see if Runner’s World responds. (Incidentally, online, in the story’s subhead Outside has Olson also spelled as “Olsen.” They might want to correct that if they’re going to crap all over Runner’s World.) The interview is here: http://bit.ly/M3Sqvb

While we’re on the subject of ultrarunners,  I love this post profiling the 18 women who are contending this year’s Badwater Ultra, 135 miles across California’s Death Valley.  “…all of these women  have their own unique story of strength, discipline, and extreme endurance to share,” reads the introduction to the profiles. Truth! These stories are inspiring, not just for the fact that these gals can push themselves hard running, but because they reveal the life beyond the run – and the work that goes into fitting training around already daunting schedules. Can’t find time for your six-mile run? Poor baby. These women juggle careers, family and fitness. Some Canadians are in the mix, including Lucy Ryan, a 44-year-old legal assistant from Vancouver, and 54-year-old Lori Alexander, a personal trainer. Meet them here: http://www.ultrachicksunite.com/2012/07/eighteen-women-on-mission.html

Maybe running ultras is an empty achievement, though. That’s what Rory Gilfillan opines in the Toronto Globe and Mail. He takes apart ultrarunners for their seemingly slow pace, craps on ultrarunner Ray Zahab, among others, and generally blows off the sport. His conclusion: “…until more elite distance runners choose to contend in ultra-events, luminaries of the sport will continue to be big fish in a very small pond.”  The piece is titled: “Ultra-marathon? Underwhelming.” What’s really underwhelming is Gilfillan’s facile examination of the sport. Of course, we have no word on how many ultras Gilfillan has finished, much less won. Looks to me like a Gilfillan/Jurek grudge match is in the offing. http://bit.ly/M4j4mF

Busted! Last week on The Sunday Read we featured running reporters; this week it’s fleeing felons. Well, not exactly. But Runner’s World has an amusing round up of recently arrested runners – and one of them is Canadian. The latter, Curtis Hargrove, has been running to raise money for a children’s hospital foundation when Quebec cops took him down for running on the Trans-Canada Highway. He’s charged with obstructing justice after police pleaded with him not to run on the busy highway. Next perps? Charity runners beware. No mug shots, but the full story is here: http://bit.ly/O9qTZD

He’s not the six-million-dollar man, but South African runner Oscar Pistorius has attracted more than his fair share of controversy. The Washington Post has an excellent info-graphic on how is carbon legs work. Look it up here: http://wapo.st/LU2CcO

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About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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