News

Into the 21st century
 
A few days ago (about November 16), I began using Facebook. Some old friends are shocked, and there is much I don't understand or want to take part in. But I'm experimenting with posting recent writing in the hope of reaching more readers. Please visit. My longer-term intention is to use this website as a kind of Collected Works (well, Selected,  anyway). 
 
 
 
A run with Haile and Wilson
 
A memorable run during New York City Marathon week was with Haile Gebrselassie and Wilson Kipsang, and other less known runners, at a runners' breakfast hosted by Adidas. 
 

 

Recent and pending articles: 

The November/December issue of Marathon & Beyond includes "The Hand of Friendship," my article about the famous dead-heat between Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen at the first London Marathon in 1981; and why it became symbolic of the new running movement. I interviewed Beardsley and Simonsen when they were guests at the 35th London Marathon in April 2015. The article gets the facts of what happened that day more accurately than any previous version (including Dick's own).  

My "Footsteps" column in Running Times, November-December gives a different perspective on the now-controversial Alberto Salazar, narrating the occasion the young Salazar first burst on the marathon world at the New York City Marathon in 1980 (when I won the Masters title, not too far behind).  

The January 2016 Running Times "Footsteps" will begin Olympic year with the story of the first Olympic marathon in 1896, when a Greek peasant called Spiridon Louis outthought and outran the American and European college athletes.    

The latest 'Roger on Running" on the Running Times website is (something different, as usual) an exploration of "80 as the new 60," stories of some remarkable leaders in the running community whose contributions continue unabated after age 80.  

The January Canadian Running (one of the best print magazines around) will carry my feature about pioneering Canadian women runners, for an issue with "Break-throughs" as its theme.  

 

Farewell to Marathon & Beyond

Sadly, November/December will be the last issue of Marathon & Beyond.  A bimonthly that has always had the substance of a small book, the magazine has provided the running community with off-beat things not available elsewhere. Most important for me has been the freedom it gave to write at greater length, and in an interesting individual way, without the dumbed-down blandness and compulsory "O wow let's be inspired" gush imposed by some bigger publication. Sometimes in M&B you could even be funny! For me, it has been an outlet especially for work on the history of running that has become a source for other historians, for example on the 1908 Olympic marathon and the "marathon mania" that followed. My book Running in Literature grew from the series of five articles on that topic that editor Rich Benyo tolerantly allowed. 

Rich, and Jan Seeley (publisher) - we will miss you and the real reading you provided. Thank you. 

 

 

 

A significant but sad centenary for running and for poetry 

On October 13, 1915, in the late stages of the horrific Battle of Loos, a British officer, Captain Charles Sorley, was shot and killed, at age 21. He was the author of probably the best, and best-known, of all poems about running, "The Song of the Ungirt Runners." 
 
For Roger Robinson's "Footsteps" column about Sorley and other runners who suffered in World War 1, see Running Times, September-October, 2015. For Roger's newly researched account of the full story of Sorley and his iconic poem, see "Charles Sorley" under "News" on the right of this page.  

 

 

 

 
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