Run For Your Life

Run For Your Life – The Fred Lebow Story describes the making of the NYC marathon. The footage of runners in NYC in the late 60’s and 70’s and the perspectives of these veterans of early marathons is priceless.  I guess I grew up with a consciousness of running as a cool and popular thing to do, but the pioneers were thought of as freaks, and they had really bizarre gear, likened to underwear.  Fred Lebow himself is a fascinating character, having left Romania with an older brother at the age of 14, he worked his way up to success in the garment industry only to toss that aside and dedicate himself full time to his passion for running.  His skills and contacts worked for him, but he sacrificed everything for it for a few years and was often broke.   I remember the days of the “L’Eggs Mini Marathons” I didn’t know that they were created because it was believed women COULDN’T run for those distances.  It was in my lifetime.  Two colleagues were discussing the Boston Marathon today, I approached them and discovered one has run 28 marathons, and had done his first NYC marathon in 1978, so had lived through the era depicted in the film.  When I told him I was signing up for the Philadelphia Marathon, he looked me up and down and said “Can you run that kind of distance?” I replied, “Not at the moment, but I will by then.”  I don’t know if he could tell I didn’t have the requisite skinniness or what have you, or if he was still in the mindset that women best stick to the mini-marathon, perhaps the latter, as he suggested a Queens 1/2 marathon for me–I will do it, but am resolved for Philadelphia—after all, I have 364 days..

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