Running with the Legends

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Human Kinetics, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 575 pages
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Read Running with the Legendsand become a training partner, student, friend, and fan of some of the greatest runners ever. You'll be informed, inspired, and entertained by the programs, prescriptions, and personalities in this book. Who better to learn from than the best?

Legendsis more than a collection of biographies. It provides the closest and most complete look at how running and runners have changed from the great Emil Zatopek in the '40s and '50s to the superlative Uta Pippig in the '90s. It does so by detailing the development, training techniques, coaching, competitions, motives, and perspectives of 21 all-time great runners.

Author Michael Sandrock, one of running's most prolific writers, draws upon his own 25-year running career and his extensive interviews and research to provide special insights throughout the book. Sandrock knows what runners want to know, and here he shares a wealth of information that's sure to satisfy with each sentence and sidebar.

The runners selected range from the imposing short distance speedster Alberto Juantorena to the determined long distance marathoner Joan Benoit Samuelson. And because running greatness is not limited by political or geographical borders, runners from 17 countries are represented in the book.

From special tips you can use to incredible feats that will inspire you, Running with the Legendsis full of material to enhance your own running and your appreciation of those who have set the standard for excellence.

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Running with the legends

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In his introduction to The Lonely Breed (1967. o.p.), a book about 21 great distance runners, Ron Clarke wrote "This is just the type of book I have always wanted to read." The stories behind ... Read full review

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Interested in the unpublished story of another American two-times-Olympian running legend (naturalized from Cameroon)?
I am from Cameroon (PhD student, VA), West Africa, and my father (Esau Nji
Ade, who naturalized as an American and now lives in Washington DC) ran with Prefontaine in the 1972 Olympic games in Munich. They personnally knew each other as fellow Olympians. I think the story of Pre is well told one, given what I know about him.
Reading his story brings tears to my eyes because, at least, America is recognizing a well-deserved distance runner and Olympian--which was not my father's case in Cameroon. Though having represented Cameroon in two Olympics (LA, in 1968, and Munich, in 1972), he qualified to be on the track and field team of Tokyo, 1964, but was discriminated against, dropped and repalced with a Francophone (from the majority side). He also represented Cameroon in several African games and holds the current Cameroon records for 3000m (steeple chase) and 5000m.
A little about my father's unique story as a forgotten African hero: He grew up in the then-Southern Cameroons (the anglophone minority) and came to discover his talent only due to the mistreatments of an uncle. To avoid the coporal punishment meted on pupils for late-coming in those days, my father would run for a mile or two every morning to school only after the bell went off. Since his uncle would not let him go early (because of excessive morning chores), and he hated being whipped in school, he always ran with excessive speeds just to make it on time--that's how he started practicing!
Though he didn't get any gold medals, he was widely known in Cameroon (and Africa, training with Mohamed Gamoudi form Tunisia several times in France prior to the Olympics) for the plethora of medals and honor he brought Cameroon through his running carreer. He also furthered his studies in Germany (Universities of Berlin and Koln) in the 80's and later served as the country's (or South West) athletic coach and Physiotherapist. Even though he is suffering from a partial stroke, many Africans in the Diaspora are still intrigued and inspired whenever he tells his stories about travelling the world to represent his beloved Cameroon (Africa) in track and field-related events. Until now, if someone is running well among our people, he is referred to as an "Ade".
PS: Email or call me if you want to hear more about his story. I wish that it can be published so his legacy will keep on living.

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About the author (1996)

Michael Sandrock is an accomplished sports journalist with over 10 years of sports writing experience. He's a two-time winner and two-time runner-up of the Colorado Press Association Best Sports Story of the Year and has received the Colorado Society of Professional Journalists award for sports writing. Michael is currently sports editor of the Colorado Daily newspaper and freelances for several running publications, including Running Times, Runner's World, American Runner, and Footnotes.

An avid runner for 25 years, Michael is a training partner for many elite runners. He earned varsity letters in track and cross country from the University of Colorado, where he graduated with honors, and holds personal bests of 2:24 marathon, 30:23 10K, and 14:48 5K. He coached high school track and cross country and also coached track for the United States Information Agency in Africa.

Michael is the founder of the ""Shoes for Africa"" project where runners donate new and used running shoes and clothes for underprivileged athletes in several countries, including the United States.

Michael is a member of the Colorado Press Association and the Colorado Society of Professional Journalists.

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