On this rainy Saturday, our industrious trio of fall interns here at have shown up at the clubhouse after their morning run (the 8-mile Brooklyn-to-Madhattan-to-Williamsburg bridges route) ready for work. We are starting on a new project today, poring through the National Archives online catalog in search of running-related images. (Because, why not?)

After drying off and getting into après-run gear, the crew grabbed some mango smoothies and bacon, egg & cheese sandies from the club canteen. Then we all settled down in the lounge with our laptops. It didn’t take us long to unearth an intriguing propaganda poster from the World War II-era U.S. Office of War Information. A poster with a strong ANTI-running message . . .


The image is identified in fine print along its bottom border as a “Navy Department Safety Poster.” With a grabby red-and-black color scheme and bold composition the poster broadcasts its theme loud and clear: Hey, you nitwit: Slow down! It’s dangerous to run where you can damage or destroy important stuff being created for the war effort! 

The poster begs the question why the Navy felt the need to spread this message in the first place. Were there really all that many overall-wearing factory workers tearing full tilt across production and warehouse floors? Must have been a problem or they wouldn’t have created this, right?

At first glance, the artist’s choice to give this dashing dude an angry expression seems an interesting decision, making the figure look more like a fleeing criminal than some eager beaver jogging from one place to another. And running with his eyes closed, as he seems to be, of course increases the likelihood of tripping on a box of munitions packed inside this crate labeled HANDLED WITH CARE.

But the more we stare at and discuss this image, the more we can’t help seeing some ugly wartime propaganda hidden in plain sight. There seems to be more to the “angry face” than we initially thought.

For instance, we can’t help concluding that the poster artist is making deliberate use of standard cartooning shorthand in racist caricatures of “Asian faces” widely used in American WWII propaganda posters to depict the country’s Japanese enemy–i.e., the slanting eyebrow and thin slash below it denoting an eye.

Also, there is no way that any War Department poster artist could ever compose an image with the right-angled Z-shape formed by the runner’s two arms without meaning to suggest the Nazi swastika. In fact, the artist has provided prompts for the viewer’s eye to unconsciously complete the other half of this symbol of evil simply by tracing the strong line that starts as a horizontal at the runner’s left knee, cuts in a vertical up through his chest, neck, and head, and then angles sharply horizontal at the top white border.

So, using his or her bag of tricks, the artist has drawn direct connection between this bumbling runner and our German and Japanese adversaries. This runner is anything but a harmless trotter. In his dangerous dashing, he is little better than the Axis enemies of state, sabotaging his own country’s war effort for the sake of getting somewhere too fast.

This dark side of what at first seemed an amusing workplace safety poster ended up bumming us out.

So it was a relief when we came across this lively 1939 illustration of a quintet of racers by Marshall Davis created for an arithmetic workbook in the “Camp Life” series published by the government for the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal federal work relief program. No dark side here, just a fantastic little picture of a footrace where running is strictly NOT forbidden.




A transcript of President Reagan’s remarks on the morning of October 27, 1982, welcoming the winners of the 1982 New York City Marathon to the White House:

The President. Well, we have some very distinguished and honored guests here today, and their families are also with us. We welcome Alberto Salazar, Grete Waitz, Linda Down to the White House and congratulate them all on their New York Marathon performances.

I am told that some of our White House staff were also in the meet, but only one of them has checked in as yet. [Laughter] So, I don’t know how that’s come out.

You all know, of course, that Alberto’s winning time for the 26 miles was 2 hours and 9 minutes. This is his third consecutive year in winning the New York Marathon, and he also has won the Boston Marathon. Grete won the women’s division, the fourth win for her in 5 years — time of 2 hours and 27 minutes. She won with style and grace, and that’s kind of incomprehensible to me. I do 5 minutes a day on a treadmill and then walk away from it very slowly. [Laughter]

Linda Down did not match Alberto’s and Grete’s time, but I’m sure that both Alberto and Grete would be the first to say that no one in that marathon showed more heart and more courage. Linda, the victim of cerebral palsy, is more familiar with the word “victory” than “victim.” She did the 26 miles of the marathon in 11 hours — the first person ever to attempt to do that with the aid of crutches. And, Linda, if all of those people out there wouldn’t say I was being political, I’d say you truly “stayed the course.”

She won with style and grace, and that’s kind of incomprehensible to me. I do 5 minutes a day on a treadmill and then walk away from it very slowly.

Ms. Down. Thank you very much.

The President. It’s an honor to receive them here at the White House. I’m pleased to have them here with us and to have this opportunity to congratulate them for all that they have done.

That concludes our photo session. I’m sure you have all the photos you want, and we shall go back inside now.

Reporter. Mr. President, David Broder says that a number of Republican Senators are in trouble. Do you agree?

The President. What have they done? [Laughter]

Q. He says there’s danger of losing the election.

The President. Well, I don’t feel that way, Sam [Sam Donaldson, ABC News], but that’s another subject. This is the subject for this morning.

Q. Well, Mr. President, do you think the Republicans will be winners next week?

The President. I’m not going to take any more questions here, because we’re here to honor these young people.

Mr. Salazar. I’d like to present this model of Nike-Mariah shoes. They’re the same brand which I wore in winning the New York Marathon. I’d like to present these to President Reagan, and I hope that these will help him in his race for reelection. And I’m sure that he will be reelected President.

The President. Alberto, thank you very much. I promise not to use them in a marathon. Thank you very much.

Q. Does he know something we don’t know, Mr. President?

The President. What?

Q. Does he know something we don’t know?

The President. Let’s not embarrass him.

Mr. Salazar. I’m not embarrassed. I’m no economic expert, but I say, “Stay the course.”

The President. Thank you very much.

Ms. Waitz. I want to say thank you, Mr. President, and as a representative from a small country I feel very honored to be here today. And I hope that my presence here can be an inspiration for female athletes all over the world. Thank you.

Ms. Down. Hi. I just want to say thank you for inviting me here. And even though I was the tortoise in the race, I think I felt very blessed to have had the chance to do it, and I felt honored to be an American and a woman. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 11:40 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.




For your running group’s next outing, you might try Hare and Hounds, a British schoolboy running game played since the days of Shakespeare (he makes a reference to it in Hamlet). It is also called Hunt the Fox or Paper Chase, and was intended to educate young squires in the ways of the more “adult” past time of fox hunting.

The game begins when one runner (the hare) takes off with a sack of torn paper (the scent), choosing whatever winding route he wishes through woods and over dales—the more confusing the better. He will have a head start of five minutes or so on the pack of runners (the hounds). As he runs, the hare scatters the scent behind him, and it is up to the pack of hounds to chase him down before he reaches the finishing point. The routes can be several miles long, over challenging terrain. And of course the scent can be blown hither and yon by the wind, so the trail can be tricky to follow.

The hounds work together to find and follow the scent, and if they lose the trail they might pause as a group, with whoever sniffs out the next clue crying, “Tally ho!” and off they go again.

If a hound catches the hare, then it is his turn either to become the hare himself or choose another to be the hare.

The game is famously described in the Victorian classic Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes (publishing by Macmillan in 1857). Here’s an excerpt from the scene:

The only incident worth recording here, however, was Tom’s first run at Hare-and-hounds. On the last Tuesday but one of the half-year, he was passing through the hall after dinner, when he was hailed with shouts from Tadpole and several other fags seated at one of the long tables, the chorus of which was “Come and help us tear up scent.”

Tom approached the table in obedience to the mysterious summons, always ready to help, and found the party engaged in tearing up old newspapers, copybooks, and magazines, into small pieces, with which they were filling four large canvas bags.

“It’s the turn of our house to find scent for big-side Hare-and-hounds,” exclaimed Tadpole; “tear away, there’s no time to lose before calling-over.”

“I think it’s a great shame,” said another small boy, “to have such a hard run for the last day.”

“Which run is it?” said Tadpole.

“Oh, the Barby run, I hear,” answered the other; “nine miles at least, and hard ground; no chance of getting in at the finish, unless you’re a first-rate scud.”

“Well, I’m going to have a try,” said Tadpole; “it’s the last run of the half, and if a fellow gets in at the end, big-side stands ale and bread and cheese, and a bowl of punch; and the Cock’s such a famous place for ale.”

“I should like to try, too,” said Tom.

“Well, then, leave your waistcoat behind, and listen at the door, after calling-over, and you’ll hear where the meet is.”

After calling-over, sure enough, there were two boys at the door, calling out, “Big-side Hare-and-hounds meet at White Hall”; and Tom, having girded himself with leather strap, and left all superfluous clothing behind, set off for White Hall, an old gable-ended house some quarter of a mile from town, with East, whom he had persuaded to join, notwithstanding his prophecy that they could never get in, as it was the hardest run of the year.

At the meet they found some forty or fifty boys, and Tom felt sure, from having seen many of them run at football, that he and East were more likely to get in than they.

After a few minutes’ waiting, two well-known runners, chosen for the hares, buckled on the four bags filled with scent, compared their watches with those of young Brooke and Thorne, and started off at a long, slinging trot across the fields in the direction of Barby.

Then the hounds clustered round Thorne, who explained shortly, “They’re to have six minutes’ law. We run into the Cock, and every one who comes in within a quarter of an hour of the hares ‘ll be counted, if he has been round Barby church.” Then came a minute’s pause or so, and then the watches are pocketed, and the pack is led through the gateway into the field which the hares had first crossed. Here they break into a trot, scattering over the field to find the first traces of the scent which the hares throw out as they go along. The old hounds make straight for the likely points, and in a minute a cry of “forward” comes from one of them, and the whole pack, quickening their pace, make for the spot, while the boy who hit the scent first and the two or three nearest to him are over the first fence, and making play along the hedgerow in the long grass-field beyond. The rest of the pack rush at the gap already made, and scramble through, jostling one another. “Forward” again, before they are half through; the pace quickens into a sharp run, the tail hounds all straining to get up with the lucky leaders. They are gallant hares, and the scent lies thick right across another meadow and into a ploughed field, where the pace begins to tell; and then over a good wattle with a ditch on the other side, and down a large pasture studded with old thorns, which slopes down to the first brook; the great Leicestershire sheep charge away across the field as the pack comes racing down the slope. The brook is a small one, and the scent lies right ahead up the opposite slope, and as thick as ever; not a turn or a check to favor the tail hounds, who strain on, now trailing in a long line, many a youngster beginning to drag his legs heavily, and feel his heart beat like a hammer, and the bad plucked ones thinking that, after all, it isn’t worth while to keep it up.

Tom, East, and the Tadpole had a good start, and are well up for such young hands, and, after rising the slope and crossing the next field, find themselves up with the leading hounds, who have over-run the scent and are trying back; they have come a mile and a half in about eleven minutes, a pace which shows that it is the last day. About twenty-five of the original starters only show here, the rest having already given in; the leaders are busy making casts into the fields on the left and right, and the others get their second winds.

Then comes the cry of “forward” again, from young Brooke, from the extreme left, and the pack settles down to work again steadily and doggedly, the whole keeping pretty well together. The scent, though still good, is not so thick; there is no need of that, for in this part of the run every one knows the line which must be taken, and so there are no casts to be made, but good, downright running and fencing to be done. All who are now up mean coming in, and they come to the foot of Barby Hill without losing more than two or three more of the pack. This last straight two miles and a half is always a vantage ground for the hounds, and the hares know it well; they are generally viewed on the side of Barby Hill, and all eyes are on the lookout for them to-day. But not a sign of them appears, so now will be the hard work for the hounds, and there is nothing for it but to cast about for the scent, for it is now the hares’ turn, and they may baffle the pack dreadfully in the next two miles.

It sounds jolly good, right?



Let’s say you are a very recreational runner, who gets out there maybe two or three times a week. You’ve done a few 5K’s, maybe a 10K, and you’re a bit tired of hitting the finish line at pretty much the same time every race. You’d like to get a bit faster BUT you don’t want to get crazy with the training. Have we got a plan for you: eight weeks, 32 workouts. This plan assumes that your easy runs are in the 2-3 mile range and that you can handle a 6-mile run once in a while.

First step, sign up for a 5K eight weeks away. That’s your goal race.

Second step, commit to running four times a week. You just gotta. That’s the only way you are going to move the needle.

Week 1: Spread out four runs,  3 shorties (2-3 miles), 1 longer (4 miles); easy pace

Week 2: Four runs again, 2 shorties (2-3 miles), 1 longer (4 mile), 1 longest (6 mile); all super-easy pace

Week 3: 2 shorties (2-3 miles), 1 longer (4 mile), and a pace-setter run: find a spot where you can run a mile without stopping for traffic, such as a track or a park loop. After a good easy warmup, time yourself running a mile as fast as you can. Cool down and pat yourself on the back and memorize your time. Add a minute or so to that time–this is your goal race pace (GRP) for the 5K. Using a pace calculator, make sure this pace will get you the 5K time you want. It might seem a little too fast or too slow. Adjust accordingly. Then have a friend tattoo it in reverse on your forehead so you can see it every time you look in the bathroom mirror.

Week 4: 1 easy shorty (2-3 miles), 1 hard shorty (1 mile warmup, 1 mile at GRP, 1 mile cooldown; 2 easy longer (4-5 miles). Make sure you have the shoes and outfit you’re going to wear on race day. Start breaking shoes in if they are new.

Week 5: 1 easy shorty (3 miles), 1 hilly shorty (3 miles, with some huffing and puffing), 1 hard long (1 mile warmup, 1 mile at GRP, 1 mile super easy, 1 mile at GRP, 1 mile cooldown), 1 easy long (4 miles).

Week 6: 1 easy shorty (3 miles), 1 fartlek shorty (where you run in a “playful” mix of slow and fast bursts, whatever you feel like, for 3 miles), 1 easy long (5 miles), 1 hard long (1 mile warmup, 2 miles at GRP, 1 mile super easy, 1 mile at GRP, 1 mile cooldown).

Week 7: Repeat Week 6, please.

Week 8: RACE WEEK. 2 easy shorties (3 miles), 1 easy long (5 miles), RACE. Your goal in the race, of course, is to try to hold on to your GRP for 3.1 miles. Don’t worry, you got this. Your legs and lungs KNOW your race pace by now, plus you have it tattooed on your forehead so it’s not like you are going to be able to forget it anytime soon.


A marathon training run can be a very long time to hang out with yourself. When your training buddy is recovering from surgery and the length of your run outlasts the length of the Hamilton soundtrack, sometimes finding other ways to distance yourself from your thoughts turns into a matter of extreme importance. And so, somewhere around mile six of my Saturday-morning 19-miler, I found myself playing a little game:

How many people will I pass in the next three hours that I’ve raced with in the past? (Or at least, how many are wearing shirts indicating that that’s the case?)

Over the course of nineteen miles from south Brooklyn over the Brooklyn Bridge, up the West Side Highway, into Central Park and around the reservoir, and back down to Bryant Park, I saw ten different race shirts that I also have in my drawer of workout clothes. At first, I saw a handful of people wearing the black shirt from the 2015 Brooklyn Half, which I saw a few more times throughout my trek. But I also saw two Brooklyn Half shirts from other years, two from NYC Halfs, a 2014 NYC Marathon shirt, a Staten Island Half shirt, an Oakley Mini-10K tank, a UAE Healthy Kidney tech tee, and my favorite—a Vermont City Marathon shirt.

It’s not a secret to my running friends that I can get a little emotional on a long run, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there is almost nothing I love more than seeing another runner sporting a shirt from a race I did out of state. Part of what I love about running, and marathoning in particular, is that while it’s an individual challenge and often a solitary activity, there’s a feeling of camaraderie among runners. In a group of people each having their own experience and all going through the same difficult, weird, rewarding race, it’s hard not to feel some connection to those around you. Vermont City 2016 was a particularly strange experience, given that due to extreme heat, the race was called off midway through. When I saw a woman in Central Park in her Vermont City tee, I was totally tempted to stop her right there to ask her all about her experience.

In the past, I’ve reminisced about the Philly Marathon with a woman I found myself twinning with on the corner of Sixth Avenue somewhere in midtown. I’ve tossed a “Nice shirt!” at a woman matching me in an NYC half tee at mile four of Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon. And I’ve pointed with joy at the t-shirt from that Flying Pig race as I looped Central Park with my best running pal. It’s just a moment, and it’s so simple, but it can be so cool to see that indicator of shared experience and feel a quick connection to that stranger, especially in a city full of so many strangers. It’s a bit like seeing someone wearing your college logo, but even a little more specific.

Which race shirt did I see most? Let’s just say if I wasn’t already planning on next year’s Fifth Avenue Mile, I sure am now. Gotta join the club!

Kelly McGauley lives in Brooklyn, works in Manhattan, and often runs back and forth between the two.