This is Friday, June 7, 2024.

This is Week 13, Day 5.

This is a recovery day.

Your workout for today:

Warm-up slowly,

40-60 minutes, easy running,

6 x 150-meter stride-outs, with vigor,

cooldown,

hydrate,

get off wet clothes,

recover,

Larry’s Deep Thoughts: Recover today so you can race tomorrow. 

The Nike Pre Classic honors the late Steve Prefontaine.

Steve Prefontaine was only 25 when he was killed in an auto accident on May 30, 1975. The complete and honest story has never been truly told due to threats of lawsuits, but the facts are that a fine athlete and true sports personality was killed before his prime.

At the time of his death, Steve Prefontaine had American records at 2,000 meters, 3,000 meters, 2 miles, 3 miles, 5,000 meters, six miles, and 10,000 meters. He detested long runs and never missed a workout in college, per his coach, Bill Dellinger, the 1964 Olympic bronze medalist at 5,000 meters.

Prefontaine was a typical 25-year-old athlete. He liked a few beers, liked girls, and had a mischievous side. He also started a Prison running team. Steve sympathized with the underdog, having been chased and beaten up because of his small size and early challenges with English (he spoke German, like his Mom); he sided with the underdog in many cases.

One of the things that always amazed me was that Coach Bill Dellinger told Tom Jordan, the author of Pre!, the seminal book on Steve Prefontaine, that Pre NEVER missed a collegiate workout in his time at Oregon.

That is consistency.

And that was Steve Prefontaine.

NIKE Pre Montreal track spike, 1975, photos by Sothebys

I remember hearing about his death when I was 16, and my buddy, Bob Lucas, and I had just finished our run. Seeing the newspaper notice, I just felt the pit of my stomach drop. We had identified with Steve Prefontaine; he had a swagger and an attitude, and Catholic boys at the time wanted both but hid that from the scholastics and priests at our Jesuit high school, Bellarmine Prep.

For thirty-six years, I visited the Pre Classic almost every year. It is like a pilgrimage to consider the life of this young athlete in his prime and what he meant to the running community, his family, friends, fans, and current athletes.

When Frank Shorter was asked by Kenny Moore, one of our sports’ finest writers, to describe Steve Prefontaine, Shorter said, “Imagine a Satyr,.” Steve could stir it up and loved to enjoy an evening with some bacchanalian tendencies.

Friends who knew him described Steve as a guy who liked a good time, could train hard, race hard, and enjoy his friends.

That is a good way to be remembered.

 

John Walker, Steve Prefontaine, Rod Dixon, racing indoors, photo by Don Chadez

You can get the book Following Pre by Don Chadez right here: https://www.blurb.com/b/6603496-following-pre

To read our review, go here: https://www.runblogrun.com/2022/07/following-pre-by-don-chadez.html

 

 

 

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