A Fallible and Dedicated Running Life Remembered, January 2015
Jim Hogan died this month at age 81. One of his competitors looks back and ahead.
Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, is shown with two faces, looking simultaneously to the future and the past, and his month, January, is a time for both. I found myself doing just that when I came in from a mid-January run, my head full of next Sunday's 10K race and the beginning of another running year, and found emails from England with the news that Jim Hogan had died. He was 81.
My mind went back to 1966 and the south of England 6-mile championship at the old Motspur Park cinder track outside of London, when Hogan shadowed me for 23 wind-buffeted laps. I had a big PR break-through (28:48), but lost to him. Races like that are still vivid when you look back.
Hogan was looking forward that day, as it began his best year, when, at 33, he achieved a shock win in the European marathon championship (2:20:04.6) and a world record at 30K on the track (1:32:25.4).
If you haven't heard of Jim Hogan, his story tells a lot about the rigorous and vigorous running culture that gave birth to the booming running movement we're all part of today.