Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

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Happy Birthday to Ed Whitlock

Yes, our hometown hero Ed is 80 years old today.  Holder of multiple world records, Ed’s best training advice is simple.  He once told me, “Run as much as you can.”  and the mileage he logged while in top form bears witness to this.  His 2-3 hour daily runs in the Milton cemetery are much documented and would have put him at over 100 miles a week as an average.  Read more about Ed and his accomplishments in this Running Times INTERVIEW.

Photo of Ed from Complete Running

I once interviewed Ed for a website and found myself quoted on the internet, and most recently in a book on masters runners called Fitter For Life by Ed Mayhew .  Unfortunately, that interview is somewhere on the hard drive of an old computer.  Those who have been following this blog will know this is the 3rd or 4th time that I’ve mentioned articles stored there.  I’ve got that old computer set up on my dining room table but the operating system has disappeared so I may have to take it to a shop to access my mother lode of blog-worthy material.

In fall of 2005  I had Ed and Diane Palmason over for lunch the Friday before they were both to run the Toronto Waterfront marathon.  At the age of 46, Diane Palmason set a Canadian age-group record of 2:46:21.  When I commented to her that this time seemed even more remarkable given that she is the mother of four.  Her reply was that it wasn’t so bad because some of her kids were teens at the time.  She told me that she would get her miles in by running to and from work.  So a working mother of four  —  a high bar — no?

Ed arrived for lunch with a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine, surprising both Diane and I, but we both had a glass.  I told Ed that this was the first time in my life, I had ever had a drink before 5 p.m.  Ed loves a good bottle of wine and he loves opera and has recommended a few choice performers, performances and vintages.

Here is the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon news flash about Diane’s marathon record attempt that year.

Diane Palmason to go after W65+ marathon mark on Toronto Waterfront this Sunday

Diane PalmasonTORONTO. 20 September 2005.

Diane Palmason has confirmed that she will be joining Ed Whitlock in this Sunday’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and will be gunning for a new Canadian women’s 65+ marathon record on the flat, fast, Lakeshore course. The current mark is 3 hours 51 minutes 44 seconds.

Now a resident of Blaine, Washington, Palmason began her illustrious running career in 1976. She was one of the leading figures in Canadian marathoning, and in promoting women’s distance running in the first “running boom” of the 1980’s. Together with Kathleen Switzer, the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon, and Ken Parker of the Ottawa Lions, Palmason was instrumental in bringing the Avon Running Circuit for Women to Ottawa (then her hometown), with the Avon Women’s International Championship Marathon in 1981. Together, they were part of an international movement that culminated in the establishment of the women’s marathon in the Olympic Games, at Los Angeles in 1984.

Diane is currently holder of several Canadian Masters marathon records: 45+ (2:46:21) 55+ (3:14) and 60+ (3:16:29). In 2003, she also broke four World Records on the track—400m, 800m, 1500m, the mile, and set new Canadian marks for 100m, 200m and the marathon.

Diane will also be speaking at the Waterfront Marathon EXPO in the Metro Convention Centre, Exhibit Hall C, on Front Street, on Friday afternoon at 4:30pm. Her session is on “First Marathons”.

On the heels of this luncheon I ran 1:30:19 for the half-marathon, Diane ran 3:55:36.4 and Ed outpaced his Dutch rival Joop Ruter with a 3:02:37. This showdown was billed as the Battle of the Ageless Titans.

Good wine, good company, good times, great times!