That’s me, the long-haired freak in the orange shirt, with the great Sebastian Coe in 1980. Next to me, and partially obscured by Coe, is former world marathon record-holder Caroline Walker.
Jenn Shelton has donated the beautiful award that she received from the Tarahumara Indians to the Timberhill Harriers Running Camp. It is not only a stunning work of art by Tarahumara artist Susy Marinez, but it is a piece of literary and ultra-distance running history. It’s for sale and the proceeds will go to our running camp. Inquire by email at:
Goofing off with my buddy Bill McChesney at Rhea’s 4th birthday party in September, 1992. Bill was killed a month later in a tragic accident on the Oregon Coast. Let the Children Run, formerly Born to Run, is dedicated to Billy, a man who always ran with a sense of pure joy.
In 1993 I published a book called Born to Run, A Simple Approach to the Development of Young Runners. It was dedicated to my good friend Bill McChesney, Jr., who had died the previous year in a car accident. When I published my book I did not realize that the year before a biography of Seb Coe, the great British Olympic Champion and world record holder, who I had the pleasure of meeting in 1980, had been published in England. It was also called Born to Run. In 2007 Australia’s heroic Cathy Freeman, Olympic gold medalist in the 400-meter dash, published her autobiography and it was called Born to Run.
But the most famous Born to Run is the 2009 book by Christopher McDougal that tells the story of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico and a race they had with some of America’s best ultra-distance runners. McDougal also rants and raves about running shoes which has led some very bad runners to plod on pavement in their bare feet, but that’s another story.
It just happens that my son Leland has shared a house in Ashland, Oregon with Jenn Shelton, one of the most intriguing characters in McDougal’s best-selling book.
Anyway, my little book, which carefully explains the proper way for young runners to approach distance running, and coincidentally advocated barefoot running long before McDougal, is now just one of several books called Born to Run. It has been out of print for 17 years but I am about to update it and reprint it under a new title to avoid confusion. It will be called Let the Children Run and it will be available for purchase on this website as a PDF file, so keep checking back.
Deb & I visit Leland and his roommates, the great ultra-runners Erik Skaggs and Jenn Shelton, at their mountain home outside of Ashland, Oregon.
"The reason we run is a mystery,
and mystery is the reason we run."