Running: Try it! You might like it

Running isn’t for everyone, but for some 30 million Americans, it’s a part of their lifestyles.  Some run daily; others once, twice or three times per week.  Many are just casual joggers, with nary a thought of competitive running in their minds.  I’m Frank Giannino and I have been a runner since the age of 15.  I have run track and field and cross country in high school and college, in road races and marathons and I’ve run across the U.S. twice to benefit charity – first from Los Angeles to New York in 1979 and then from San Francisco to New York in 1980.  The first time I ran coast-to-coast I did it in a then record 60 days 6 hours.  That record was erased and I took up the challenge again.  Then I made the trek in 46 days 8 hours 36 minutes.   The record was mine again.

“The Guinness Book of Records” lists my 1980 run as the fastest foot crossing of the USA.  A friend and I have written a book “Runbelievable” about my second run.  Shortly after my second run, I was invited to be the race director of the first Classic 10K in Middletown in 1981.  This year will mark 34 years of Classic 10K races in Middletown.  I am proud to be one of the race directors managing this wonderful event.  Also, I own Frank’s Custom Shoe-Fitting in Middletown, a specialty running store for thirty years.

Some people say runners are crazy, so why did I get involved in such a punishing sport?  Well, when I was young I tried most other sports.  I wasn’t going anywhere doing them, so my mother encouraged me to go out for track.  In my first two mile race I finished second.  I found my calling.

Just as running is not for everyone, neither is competitive running for every runner.  But there is a competitive spirit in all of us.  And maybe you, the casual jogger, who negotiates two miles twice a week by running a quarter mile, walking the next quarter mile, etc, sometimes wonder what it would be like to enter a road race – albeit one of not too great a distance.  So, just as you imagine crossing the finish line before a big and noisy crowd in your first race, you are suddenly rudely awakened:  “I don’t even know how to start preparing for something like that,” you say to yourself.  “I’d better forget it.”  You don’t have to forget it.  All you need is the proper advice on how to get started, what to do, and how to do it.

And that’s the purpose of this weekly blog.  I’ll offer advice on getting in shape to run and on staying in shape, how to work toward specific goals, proper equipment, and what injuries you can expect and how to deal with them.  There will be interviews with experts and the many interesting people I meet who live where we live.  There will something for everyone from the beginner to the most experienced runner and endurance athlete.  Endurance is a broad category.  So we will share information on triathlon, cycling, swimming, and obstacle racing as well.  So if you’re into running and endurance, I’ll be writing about things that will interest you.  I will be looking for your help, too.  If you want upcoming events publicized, have a great personal story you would like to share, know of interesting runners and endurance athletes, or just have questions, you can contact me at or just call me at 551-8270.

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