Sunday, August 16, 2009

Boston Without the Marathon

DART members Chad and Laurie Randolph (married to each other, by the way) just returned from a trip to Boston, MA, where they celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. While there they stopped by the famous Bill Rodgers Running Center/Store, just inside Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

For those of you who might be relatively new to running or otherwise unfamiliar with the name, Bill Rodgers is a legend of American long-distance running. In the late 1970's, as the nation's obsession with running was growing, Bill won the New York and Boston marathons four times each. He also competed in the marathon portion of the 1976 Olympics held in Montreal. Bill has also won many races of shorter distances throughout the years. He is also in constant demand as a motivational speaker.

Bill wasn't working at his store the day we visited, as far as we could tell. However, the gentleman there was very nice, friendly, and knowledgeable. Interestingly enough, he told us that one of his favorite marathons was in Charlotte, which he ran in the early eighties.

The store itself was interesting in how small it was; probably no bigger than your average living room. The main store was in the basement, and was crammed with racks and piles of clothing. The shoe wall was covered in brands both recognizable and unrecognizable, from daily trainers to spikes to a limited number of trail running shoes. A small selection of socks, nothing unusual brand-wise. Also, the watch selection was limited to a couple of Timexes. Above the main store was another store that was somewhat connected in that it sold Bill Rodgers t-shirts, but mostly it offered Boston Red Sox paraphernalia.

We picked up a couple of Bill Rodgers branded technical running shirts as souvenirs, which we will wear to remind us of being in Boston without having run in the Boston Marathon. There's always next year, right?

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