Monday, 14 January 2008

training for the london marathon,; read on;

The Man Who Never Stopped

The Man Who Never Stopped
Taken from "The Lonely Breed" by Ron Clarke and Norman Harris; published in 1967 from PEI.HAM BOOKS, LTD. Reproduced with permission from Ron Clarke

Arthur Lydiard"He still worked on the beach house. It was 26 miles up there, pretty well an exact marathon, and he ran up on a Saturday and back on the Sunday and worked on the house in between. He amazed runners who chanced to meet him on the return trip, just a few miles from home, because he was running harder than they wished to, and he was not virtually out on his feet thinking only about collapsing on his back steps and sliding into a bath – he was thinking about buying some ice cream from the dairy near to his house, to thin out and cool his blood, and he was debating what he was going to do after that. His friends enjoyed the joke, which he himself had offered, that he wasted so little time that he wrote out his training schedules in the toilet. Even they, after all this time, regarded him as something of a phenomenon with his apparently limitless drive and energy – the way he could work at the shoe factory, also by night on a milk round, and dig his garden furiously and build a cottage – and still train harder than anyone else. So, too, did anyone who ever knew him well; at school, in a Rugby team, in the shoe factory, in the running club. They knew him as an individual of exceptional drive and someone whom you never crossed, that if there was anything which really got Arthur Lydiard going it was being told that he would not be able to do what he was attempting, or that he did not have the ability, or he was going about it the wrong way…

At secondary school in the boxing finals he was given very little chance against an opponent, or superior height and reach, who was one of the city’s better amateurs. But he said he would win, he gave a variety of reasons; in the event he won by filling the air with leather, by sheer aggression and determination. He rode a bicycle everywhere, head down, pedaling as if it were a personal challenge. He was always racing the trams – and once a fellow on a racing bike who turned out to be the Auckland junior champion, and finally beat him on a hill."

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