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Dead Runners' "Biglist"


This is a short article written by a dead runner about the "biglist" :

DEAD RUNNERS ? by S.W.Smith

I don't know if the Dead Poet's Society is actually in existence or was just a good movie, but I do know that the Dead Runner's Society is very much alive and available to anyone with a computer and Internet access. The DRS homepage, which can be located at http://storm.cadcam.iupui.edu/drs/drs.html, describes the group as follows...

"The Dead Runners Society is a discussion group for people who like to talk about running. The group is informal and social and we all try to encourage each other in our running programs. We talk about everything related to running, from meditation to marathons. We currently have about 1,800 members and are growing all the time."

The Dead Runner's Society is home to both elite runners and proud "penguins", young and old runners, sprinters and ultra runners, "newbies" and folks who have been running for 40 years. Hal Higdon subscribes to DRS. So does the guy who designed last year's Boston Marathon tee shirt. John Parker, author of "Once a Runner" and John Bingham, author of RW's Penguin Cronicles are frequent posters. Many of the articles written for Runner's World, in fact, reflect the experiences and opinions of various Dead Runners. Writer Marlene Cimons routinely posts questions to the list, querying our thoughts on subjects ranging from poison oak to blisters to menopause. Through DRS one can also get a reports on races held all over the world. Comrades, Western States, London, Pike's Peak, NY, Sunmart, you name the race and a Dead Runner will have been there and written all about it. One can find out in advance what to expect from the course and what the weather will be like. We have our own singlets and tee shirts and when you spot someone wearing one in a race you know you've found a friend. One can receive "posts" from DRS either in Digest form, where 4-5 times a day you receive a group of 6-20 posts, or as individual emails (between 70 and 110 per day on average). Time consuming unless you have email access at work and many DRS recipients are lucky enough to be what I call "worker lurkers".

I first subscibed to DRS in August of 1997. Kevin and Jim Allen and I were planning to run the NYCM and hoping to maybe find a house swap with someone in New York. That never happened but within weeks I was totally hooked on the fascinating reading I encountered on this list. There is a whole smorgasbord of topics discussed on the list, and if I find something I don't care to read all I have to do is hit the delete button. Over the past year I've read about every running injury imaginable and what to do about it (many doctor's and physical therapists subscribe and are happy to share their insights); short versus long distance running; running at altitude; numerous shoe, watch and heart rate monitor reports; books, movies and music about running; great places to run both nation and world wide. When we travel to other cities to run a marathon these days there is usually a hotel which has a block of rooms reserved for Dead Runners, and usually at a reduced fee. When about ten Dead Runners showed up this year for the Big Sur Marathon I was thrilled to help them with hotels and give tours of the area, we even had a post marathon party. Next year that number will probably triple, judging by the number of entry forms I've already sent to people.

Each year DRS hosts a World Conference, this year was the sixth one, held in St. Louis, Missouri. It was Memorial Day weekend, as well as my 48th birthday, so Kevin and I decided to go and meet about 100 of these people I communicate with on a regular basis. The weekend was fantastic and meeting these people face to face far exceeded my expectations. We participated in a 5K, a trail run, a "Hash" run, a track meet (my first ever!), and enjoyed a pasta feed, a barbecue, and a pizza party. Unfortunately we left the day of the 10K/5K and brunch. Next year? We will be there, wherever it is (and a lot of folks would like it to be Monterey!). So, in addition to being a Laundry Runner, I'm also a Dead Runner. So is Caitilin, as well as a local lady named Amy and a guy in King City named Mickey. The Monterey Bay contingent could use more people, so if you're interested and have the time and/or a lenient employer, check out the Dead Runner's Society. Just be careful, it's very addicting.




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