Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Runners are always much less concerned about revealing their age than non-runners. I suppose this has something to do with age group competition at running events. I therefore do not think that my long-time friend and running partner Brian Peacock will mind if I announce that it's his seventy-fifth birthday. In fact, Brian probably won't mind if I point out that 75 years is three-quarters of a century! I could go on...

His family asked friends to send any "Brian stories" they could come up with, so that they could put them together for his perusal (I'm sure this will happen at a party - I am sure it'll be a fun one. Wish I could be there.) Here are my Brian stories, written a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away:


Excerpt from an article I wrote for Marathon & Beyond  (the Eccentricities of a Long Distance Runner):

…Speaking of shoes, here’s another case: Brian. My longtime friend runs as much as anyone and can certainly afford to purchase new running shoes. He doesn't in fact, buy any. How does he manage to train for and run marathons year in and year out without buying shoes? Simple. He accepts charity donations of everyone else’s old worn-out shoes. For his latest birthday party, he opened an aromatic box containing more than 20 pair of used running shoes. Such is the value placed on Brian’s participation in the Foxes and Hounds Great Lakes Relay Team. Brian tells me that the sizes of the donated shoes do not matter all that much to him. Lately he has been getting injured a bit more often and he’s actually wondering why.

Excerpt from an article I wrote for Marathon & Beyond  (Running’s Woodstock A Look Back at the 100th Boston Marathon):

…This was but a minor problem, however. The race and the entire weekend had been an unqualified success. Almost without exception, runners praised the event as something they would remember for the rest of their lives. This marathon, of course, was still 26 miles and thus not necessarily any easier than any other. One tired runner, hearing others gush about how great an event it was, exclaimed, “And the best part is, it’s over.” (Guess who that was.)

A story from the Great Lakes Relay in Michigan:

At one point, Brian was running and was about to hand off to me.  I decided to make the old guy sprint at the end of his run to tag me. It worked, getting a gasp out of him and a laugh from everyone else.  It just so happened that my next leg was also after one of Brian's.  This time I started slowly to give him a break. But some gratitude- instead of tagging my hand, he pulled down my shorts! This resulted in still bigger laughter from the onlookers.

Excerpt from my Book, The Long and Shorts of It:

Speaking of old age and cunning, on a later run I observed our friend Brian Peacock, who in turn surpasses me in both characteristics, employ a slightly more  direct technique: that of pushing Geoff toward some bushes before beginning The Sprint To The Finish.

It was while reflecting on these types of experiences that Brian first told me the story of the old bulls and the young bulls. Perhaps you've heard it before; it goes something like this:

There were two pastures divided by a fence with a gate. The higher one contained an old bull and a young bull; the other one had several very desirable and good-looking (to the bulls) cows. One day after the farmer left the gate between the pastures open, the young bull said, "Hey Old Bull, the gate to the cows is open! Let's run down there and smooch a few of them!" (Author's note: verbs other than smooch could possibly be substituted here, but since this is a family oriented publication...) The old bull then said, "Nope. Let's saunter on down there slowly and smooch the whole lot of them!"

I'm not sure exactly what this has to do with shoving Geoff in the bushes, but Brian can always come up with some kind of explanation.

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