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Running legend Bart Yasso has decided to run the fourth annual Mad Marathon on Sunday, July 6. As a veteran marathoner and ironman he won't have a problem with the hills. While he could run faster, he plans to take it slowly to snap photos for his Facebook page and tweet to his more than 40,000 followers. Yasso has been with Runner's World since 1987 where he developed the magazine's sponsorship program for more than 7,000 races around the world. Those 7,000 races equal 4 million runners per year so having Yasso come to The Valley is important PR, according to race director Dori Ingalls.
Yasso invented a training method that is followed by thousands of marathoners. It's called the Yasso 800s, and it predicts marathon time according to how long it takes to run 800 meters. He explains it like this: "I've been doing this particular workout for about 15 years, and it always seems to work for me. If I can get my 800s down to 2 minutes, 50 seconds, I'm in 2:50 marathon shape. If I can get down to 2:40 (minutes), I can run a 2:40 marathon. I'm shooting for a 2:37 marathon right now, so I'm running my 800s in 2:37."
As the author of My Life On the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon he is often referred to as the "Mayor of Running." His book includes personal stories, both challenges and successes, during the more than 1,000 competitive races he has participated in during his nearly three decades at Runner's World magazine. He has advice for runners at all levels and includes adventures from Antarctica to Africa (where he picked up the pace a bit when being chased by an angry rhino).
He has finished races on all seven continents and holds these titles: U.S. National Biathlon Long Course Championship (1987), winner of the Smoky Mountain Marathon (1998) and is a member of the Running USA Hall of Champions. Having done five Ironmen and the Badwater 146 that travels through Death Valley, Yasso not only writes about running, he lives it. And then there is cycling. Yasso has biked alone and unsupported across the U.S. twice.
Speaking of biking, another Mad Marathon runner has a cycling background and an amazing story of personal triumph. Colleen Kelly Alexander, who typically biked 300 miles each week, was hit by a tractor trailer while on her bike and nearly killed. She almost bled to death, flatlined twice and suffered major lower body injuries. Last year she was planning on running the Mad Marathon, but her plans took a radical turn because of complications in her long recovery. After more surgeries and additional rehabilitation, Kelly Alexander is determined to run the Mad Marathon. "We are honored that Colleen will run the Mad Marathon. She deserves more than a medal for all she has been through. Every time she runs a race she gives the medal to a member of the health care team that brought her back to life. She has given medals to paramedics, nurses, doctors and the list goes on. I'm looking forward to seeing her cross the finish line. It will certainly be an awe-inspiring moment for me and many others," Ingalls said.
For more information or to register for the Mad Marathon, half, relay or walking categories go to www.madmarathon.com.