Every Runner’s Friend Award – 2010

As we traverse the last days of 2010, I’m beginning to sift through the year’s candidates for the Every Runner’s Friend lifetime award.

These are runners who in my estimation during the preceding year – or whenever – showed that they have high-mileage hearts.

Past winners have included Joe Henderson, Arthur Lydiard, Ann Trason, and 1993 world marathon champion Mark Plaatjes.

My first addition to the year’s list is Chris Solinsky. In obliterating the US 10,000-meter record on May 1, Chris showed the smarty-pants scientific-method, do-it-the-tricky-way, get-fast-quick coaches that they are wrong.

Solinsky believes the secret of elite racing success is to be found in years of consistent aerobic development.

(Chris, is your granddaddy’s name Lydiard?)

Of course, setting a record isn’t sufficient to win this prestigious award. Solinsky proved his heart by his willingness – nay, eagerness – to share the secrets of his success with others. It’s an amazing service to all runners. Anything that brings Arthur Lydiard’s ideas back into the limelight is all for the good.

This year, I’m adding a new subcategory to the ERF awards. I’m calling it the 3 Beans Dietary Lifetime Achievement Award. This beautiful imaginary trophy goes to runners who, in the last 12 months, have set new standards in caloric consumption.

And this year’s winner is…Kim Jones!

(Oh, Kim is no longer running? Doesn’t matter; it’s a lifetime award.)

A recent article in The Coloradan profiled Kim’s career.

Kim Jones, now in her early 50s, was one of the most dominant marathoners in U.S. history with an average place of fourth in a career of 25 professional marathons, a 2:26:40 marathon best and numerous second place finishes in Boston, New York and Chicago, she’s now happily living and running in Fort Collins.

Smith wins the 2010 3-Beans Trophy for her impressive performance in the pre-marathon carb loading category.

Q: What did you eat the last 24 hours before a marathon?

A: I ate as much as possible without hurting myself – six servings of oatmeal with milk and maple syrup, three eggs with fruit for breakfast; a loaded turkey sandwich, yogurt, cookies and a vegetable for lunch; a snack high in carbohydrates and two plates of lasagna, garlic bread and steamed vegetables with a glass of wine, then finished with a big piece of chocolate cake for dinner. Later, I’d have a power bar to top off my carbo loading. In the morning of the race, I’d have a big bowl of oatmeal with maple syrup, a bagel with cream cheese and a banana.

And, what the hey, may as well give Kim the Every Runner’s Friend award, too:

Q: What was your most memorable marathon?

A: The 1991 Boston Marathon, not just because I placed second and ran a personal record, but I was able to help somebody out in the process. I was passing Uta Pippig at 19 miles when a wheelchair athlete toppled over directly in front of us. I glanced over at Uta, we both put our hands in the air, making a nonverbal agreement to help. We got right back into the race, catching and passing Joanie Samuelson at 25 miles with Uta right behind me.

Excuse me, there’s something in my eye.

BTW, when it comes to good guys, there never was a gooder one than Uta – she’s on the list, too.

(To learn of other inspiring 3-Beans gastrointestinal achievements, see the article Cheap Runner Trash.)

(Photo: aid tables at Ruth Anderson Ultra)

I would love to have your nominations for runners who, in your estimation, have made history by their performances at the dinner table and aid station during the last year, or at any time. Leave a comment with your nominee(s). Thanks.

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