The Sunday Read: The dead, the dying and the dopes

Yes, yes, I know it’s Monday and not Sunday. And, yes, I know it’s been two weeks and you’ve been sniveling about the lack of posts on this blog. Well, I managed to escape from the tiny locked room where the WordPress people keep me producing blog posts and I burst out into the fresh, clean air and I began to run…to run! Aha HA HA HAHAHAH! It was wonderful…until they captured me again. This week includes the usual cast of running ninnies. Enjoy the read.

So it’s not just lying, cheating, nasty bikers who do it. Seems like there’s at least one runner too – and that’s nothing to be proud of.  Christian Hesch, a semi-pro runner associated with Nike Team Run LA and Team USA, has admitted to using the hormone EPO to increase the percentage of red blood cells in his blood, which, in turn, helps pump more oxygen more efficiently through an athlete’s blood stream. When sport regulatory officials from USADA confronted him, Hesch confessed.  In a two-year period, Hesch picked up nearly $40,000 in race winnings. Now he faces a potential two-year ban from the sport. “Your running feels like what you imagine when you see all those Kenyan runners floating down the road,” Hesch said of competing with the hormone. The full story is here:

Meet Keith Levasseur. He just ran a 2:46 marathon at Baltimore – in flip-flops. He’s claiming the world record for doing such a feat, although a reader in the Runner’s World forum disputes that, claiming an Australian ran a 2:43 in Canberra in 2011.  The article focuses on the challenges Levasseur faced running in his ridiculous footwear, but never addresses why Levasseur would want to run a marathon in flip-flops in the first place. Read about Levasseur’s…uh, feat here:

You think you’re some Tough Mudder, a real Spartan. Well, you haven’t run the Mount Marathon Race in Seward, Alaska. People die there! How cool is that? Well, not really, but Outside online has an article on the three-mile race detailing not only two serious injuries over the course of the event, but the mysterious vanishing of one of the runners during the event. Sounds like something out of the X-Files. “Going off in the wrong direction, falling off, landslides, bear activity – there are so many things that could have happened and just nothing to go on,” Mary-Anne LeMaitre speculated over what might have befallen her father. Get the full story at:

Of course, if you do decide you’re going to head to Alaska, where you may not return from your goal race, then you may want to first consult Men’s Health’s list of 11 Races to Run Before You Die (folks, I’m sorry: I do not make this stuff up; I just compile it). The list restricts itself to the U.S. and is fairly predictable: Boston, New York, Chicago, Mount Desert Island, Big Sur and…London? Yes, that London, as in England. Apparently someone’s shaky on their geography. The full list is here:


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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