Monday, September 17, 2007
Over the years I have been lucky enough to have met some great runners, ranging from Carl Lewis to Yiannis Kouros. The majority have been in the ultra running field since I have been involved in this for almost 30 years now. Some one recently said to me that all ultra runners have huge ego's and this may be true in some cases, but there is one runner that I have considered a friend for the last almost 30 years, who I don't think falls into this category. In 1979 I saw Donald Ritchie run in Flushing Meadow Park in the New York 100 miler, setting at that time a world road 100 mile record. Since that time we have been friends and have over the years corresponded and visited with each other in both Europe and America. To this day he still has the fastest time for 100 miles, 11 hours and 31 minutes, set on a track. I have to say that he is the most humble person I have met, though maybe Ted Corbet would be on even par. He often gave me the impression that he did not know what all the fuss was about when people paid him a lot of attention. In this world where we see many sportsmen with seemingly huge ego's, it is people like Don and Ted that show me the true way to behave. Not to feel that you are better than someone else, but to strive to be better than yourself, having the proper respect for the other runners who inspire you to do that and showing the true spirit of sport, to those who are inspired by you.