Finishing Up In NYC!

It was very special to finish up my 20/20/20<5@45 in NYC at the 5th Avenue Mile. I had many friends and family present to celebrate my last race. They traveled in from Arizona, Illinois, Florida, and Kansas for a long weekend. We visited “Ground Zero” and the Brooklyn Bridge area on Friday before the race. Megan, Nandi, Brian, Sekyen, me, Rena, Vasile, and Dwayne all came out in support!

Also on Friday, I was the guest at Foley’s Pub and Restaurant for lunch adjacent to the Empire State Building. The owner, Shaun Clancy, had me autograph a baseball to put up on his “sports wall.”

On Sunday, the weather was another beautiful day in NY. I did not feel that much speed or bounce in my legs before or during the race, but I just gutted out a sub-5 to complete the 20 race quest. The video below shows a bit of my warm-up in Central Park, a foot massage from Sekyen (one of the things my massage therapist and guest consultant, Stacie Nevelus, recommends before a race), and a little race footage with avid reader of the web site, Bill Zink from NY by my side…

Here is a photo after the race with Vasile Faklis, friend, guest consultant and sponsor of We started with his race in Tarpon Springs (#1) and finished in NYC (#20) – just as we planned. From Tarpon Springs, FL to NY, NY…

As promised, Paul Hermann and Mike Flores from Paul and Mike’s Excellent Mile in Amarillo, TX (Race #14 on our schedule) traveled up to race at the 5th Avenue Mile. It was great to see them again! All we needed were their cowboy hats after the race…

It has been an incredible trip. I have traveled over 45,000 miles in 5 months attending featured one-mile events throughout North America. I have met so many wonderful people on my travels and I want to thank them dearly for their support and new friendship. I will continue to write my blog entries detailing HOW I managed to complete the 20/20/20<5@45 feat. I will share my training, recovery, nutritional intake, biomechanics, etc in my blog entries, so please look for these additions every other week. Also, if you are in the Nashville, TN area in early November, please come out and attend the 50th Anniversary of the PFA Conference (Pedorthic Footwear Conference). I am the keynote speaker at the PFA Conference recapping my 20/20/20<5@45 journey and talking about what we need to do as older athletes on Saturday, November 8th.

In 2009, will be preparing for three events: First, I will focus on my speed for just one mile event – the Masters Indoor National Championships in Maryland at the end of March. I will be looking to break my indoor time of 4:37 time in 2007. Second, will be going international as we race in the “Greek Isles Miles” in June of 2009 in Greece. And third, we will prepare another feat that contains speed, strength, and endurance later in the year that will be very unique.

Please feel free to continue to pose any of your questions to the Guest Consultants. Just email me and I will forward your question to the appropriate consultant. Thanks for all your support in completing our first event in 2008. I look forward to hearing about all of your fitness exploits. And remember, you can “accelerate at any age.”


In Honor of Judy

It is Race #19 on the 20/20/20<5@45 schedule after I failed to make the 5 minute cutoff in Falmouth, MA. Sideways rain, strong headwinds, and water over my ankles in the last quarter should have told me not to run in the event and just save my body from the race pounding. However, since I had traveled all that way I decided to give the Main Street Mile a shot, but by the half mile point, I knew there was no chance of breaking five minutes in those crazy conditions (no one did). So I chose to bounce back on Tuesday evening, with the “Sprint With Judy.”  

The “Sprint With Judy” One Mile Road Race took place in Woodstock, CT, just over the MA border. I was looking to run one more event in MA , but mile events were not available and this was close enough (as my Mom and Dad grew up in nearby Webster and Dudley, MA). Judy Nilan was a social worker at the Woodstock Middle School. The school and staff that loved her so much started a 5K road race in her honor in 2006 called “Jog With Judy.” I ran in the auxiliary portion of the fund raiser entitled, “Sprint With Judy.” Instead of the 5K road race, the “Sprint With Judy” takes place on one Judy’s favorite running roads, but it is a mile. So instead of a jog, it is a sprint. In 2009, the organizers will make the “Sprint With Judy” a part of the 5K festivities every May. I have been invited to not only race again in Woodstock next year, but also to speak to the Woodstock school system. It should be a great time! Here is a photo with Race Director, Chris Mayhew, congratulating me after the “sprint.”

If you would like to donate to the Judy Nilan foundation, you can send a check to the following address:

    Jog With Judy Fund
    c/o Chris Mayhew
    Woodstock Middle School
    147B, Rt. 169
    South Woodstock, CT 06267

Thanks to Dr. Brian Bigelow in Nashua, NH, I was able to perform at a high level on Tuesday evening, even though it was my fourth race in nine days. Dr. Bigelow is a avid bicyclist and runner himself and he knows the importance of making certain that I am in proper alignment. I ran a 4:45 and surprisingly felt some bounce in my legs before the race.

I fly to NYC tomorrow afternoon. The 5th Avenue Mile in New York City on Sunday will be my fifth race in two weeks. I am hoping to conclude my 20/20/20<5@45 quest in NYC on 9/21. My 20 week time period concludes on 9/27. There would be no better ending than to break 5 minutes in “The Big Apple.”

Race #18 Finally Finished

After the disappointment in MN, I flew back to Florida for about 20 hours, then flew back to Boston after I received an invitation from Charlie Olbrias, owner of, to run in his 9/11 invitational event. I participated in one of Charlie’s open events on July 4th, The Boom Box Mile, and he has been watching my race results ever since.

The new #18 event took place in Mansfield, CT called The Last Mile Country Mile Road Race. The race took place on a beautiful country road. The Last Mile Racing Company did a superb job with a lead car equipped with a digital clock on the back for all the runners to see as we wound through the course, a trail vehicle to be certain to keep other cars away for the runners’ safety, and a side bicycle to monitor the race and other traffic. It might have been a small event this year in its inaugural year, but the quality of the runners were very good. I ran a 4:48 finishing in first place after hanging on to the lead runners after their quick start. Sekyen shot this video from the back of the lead vehicle as she was granted permission to videotape the race. You can hear her voice at times as she shot some extensive race footage. The organizers gave me bib #18 for my 18th race. I hope you enjoy the racing below:

After the race, I got to know the other racers invited to the event. Sam, Nick, and Andy are not only great runners, but also fine young men. It was a pleasure to get to know them more on our cool down and at the post race meal with the organizers. Charlie and his wife Sue with their two young daughters Olivia and Madison, Gary and Patty who helped put on the race, Nick and Sam made it over to the post race dinner, and beautiful Sekyen.

I will be trying for my third race of the week as I race on Cape Cod Sunday in Falmouth, MA called the Main Street Mile. This race takes the place of The Front Street Mile in Maui, HI. After what happened in MN, I needed to double up on the races this week. Many of my support people did not think the trip to Hawaii was a good idea in the first place as they thought the added jet lag was unnecessary. They were opting for the Magnificent Mile in Raleigh, NC or the Main Street Mile in MA –  so since I was already in the area, I thought I would venture to the place where my family used to go on a summer holiday. We used to visit my aunt and uncle in Easton, MA on Cape Cod for the July 4th holiday. I have never raced on Cape Cod before, this will be my first time and I am looking forward to racing on Sunday afternoon with rainy conditions expected at race time.

How Metrics Killed The Mile

Roger Bannister, who is the first man to break 4 minutes for the mile, spoke about the beauty of running 4 laps in under 4 minutes.  Bannister broke the 4 minute barrier on May 6, 1954. At that time, the mile was a huge international event as he and John Landy from Australia were trying to become the first man to break 4 minutes in the mile. 46 days after Bannister broke the record, Landy broke Bannister’s record. 

Today almost all of the tracks in the USA are on the metric scale. No longer can we talk about “the beauty of running 4 laps in under 4 minutes” as Bannister did for the mile. It takes 4 laps and another 9 meters to run the mile now on the metric track. It is all fairly confusing now as we have the 1500 meters (100 meters less than 4 laps = metric mile), high schoolers running 1600 meters and thinking that they ran a mile, and then the full mile.

I know the world uses the metric system and we in the United States are following the international standard in track and field. But as long as I can buy a gallon of milk or drive on our roads measured in miles, I want to promote the idea of the mile race. Americans can relate to the mile. They all have a feeling for what it is. Try to mention 5 kilometers or 10 kilometers to a non-runner and they do not really know how far that is. And even the people and runners who do know the distance, they say that is 3.1 miles or 6.2 miles. It always comes back to miles. The 5K and 10K races that are run in the USA are still marked in miles. Runners often ask me in a 5K race, “What did you run the first mile in?” It always comes back to the mile in the USA. We are familiar with it. 

The metric system killed the international popularity of the mile, but that does not mean it is totally dead. I have been traveling around North America since May running mile road races. It is a wonderful event that takes speed and strength. And if you run it to do your best, it is a painful event. The lactic acid builds in your muscles, your lungs burn with every breath, and your heart pumps faster and faster. From a fitness perspective, it is a wonderful addition to the many aerobic exercises that are propagated in the health field today. If people, who are able and healthy enough, could run one mile twice a week in addition to their normal exercises, the benefits of this workout would be amazing. I met a ultramarathoner at a recent mile race and he was saying how much more he was hurting after the mile race than after a long marathon run. If you treat the mile as a speed workout, it is one of the best workouts you can do. I have people commenting to me, “It is only a mile race?” Referring that it is not that long (as most people are accustomed to more distance in road racing), but if you really go for it…it is plenty long enough.

One of the frequent readers at and staunch advocate of the mile, David Wrenn, voices many of the same feelings that I have for the mile event. Now that the 5K is taking over the 10K in running popularity due to more people being able to run the distance while avoiding the injuries and illnesses of the marathon and is less complicated to conduct a 5K event than a 10K. Why is the mile not the next natural progression?  It is even easier to arrange a one mile race for every race director and even more people are attracted to the mile as they are able to run the distance. And as David points out, “Who envies the physique of an elite marathoner?”

The one mile race today is still as majestic as Bannister mused about the mile back in the 50s. Try one out and tell me what you think. 

The Minnesota Mile

After flying to Minneapolis on Friday and then driving 3 hours to Duluth on Saturday, Mother Nature caused me a few problems on Sunday that I did not overcome. With rain and a headwind, I failed to break my 5 minute goal. I ran a 5:01 on the wet brick road of Duluth’s main street called Superior Street. The Minnesota Mile is a great race with 7 different heats that range from a kid’s race to the elite race.

I was disappointed to not take advantage of the quick beginning of the race as the long slight incline takes place in the second half of the race. At the half-mile mark, I knew I was in trouble as I was at about 2:26 with the incline still upcoming. The organizers of The Minnesota Mile are the same organizers that put on the famous Grandmas’ Marathon. They put on a fabulous race with prize money, chip timing, and a point to point course.

From the beginning of my 20 race journey in May, I stated that if I do not break the 5 minute barrier in one of the selected races, then the race does not count toward my aspiration. So I now must find a replacement for the Minnesota Mile. I am sorry that the Minnesota Mile became the first race that I failed to break the under 5 minute goal.

I will make the decision to run in HI, MA, or NC next week in the next 48 hours and let the schedule show my changes in the races.

We thought that I would experience a few of these difficulties during these five months of racing. Adversity and persevering through it is definitely part of this journey.