Rudisha and the joy of running

David Rudisha, finishing in style

As I gradually find my way back to running I love to watch running, too. Last Saturday I witnessed something amazing. David Rudisha of Kenya put on a clinic: this is how you run, not just an 800m (he ran the year’s best and the fastest time ever on U.S. soil) but how you run, period. His relaxed, perfect form and cool style, the long strides and controlled arm swings, the perfect body position: a joy to watch. To watch and learn.

The 23-year old ran during the Adidas Grand Prix track meet, a terrific event on quiet Randall’s Island, where I love to run. At least half the audience seemed to be Jamaican, judging by their yellow outfits, the flags, accents and jerk chicken. No wonder: Usain Bolt wasn’t there, but many other great Jamaican runners were. The New York Times has a nice report on the race. Earlier, Times blogger/tweeter Mike Tanier wrote these true words about the meet:

“And then, during the Youth Boys 4X400 meter relay, they cheer for the winning team, the second place team, and the third place team. With one relay team lagging far behind, they cheer louder. And louder. And louder still, until the last-place runner, teeth clenched in determination, hears a cheer louder than the one the winner received, louder than the one Viljoen received. Icahn Stadium is a unique, beautiful place. The Adidas Grand Prix is a unique, beautiful event.”

Yes. It was quite moving, actually.

Man of the day, after his fantastic 800m

Sunday I ran a warm 9 miles in lovely, hilly Prospect Park with F.; I’m feeling a little stronger and better with each workout. How great a weekend in running was it? Well, a shout-out to my sister Dorine in Holland is justified. She ran her first 10km. In a Freudian online slip, she announced her finishing time for the “20km” initially. Nice; already competitive with the Kenyans. But really, I suspect the Half will be next for her. That’s how it goes, we all know. She would do great.


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