“Dead Man’s Boots” Lyrics Sung by Sting


You see these work boots in my hands, they’ll probably fit ye now my son,

Take them, they’re a gift from me, why don’t you try them on?

It would do your old man good to see you walking in these boots one day,

And take your place among the men who work upon the slipway.


These dead man’s boots, though they’re old and curled,

When a feller needs a job and a place in the world,

And it’s time for a man to put down roots,

And walk to the river in his old man’s boots.


He said, “I’m nearly done and asking this, that ye do one final thing for me!

You’re barely but a sapling, and you think that you’re a tree.

If ye need a seed to prosper, ye must first put down some roots.

Just one foot then the other in these dead man’s boots.”


These dead man’s boots know their way down the hill,

They could walk there themselves, and they probably will.

There’s a place for ye there to sink your roots,

And take a walk down the river in these dead man’s boots.


I said, “Why in the Hell would I do that? And why would I agree?”

When his hand was all that I’d received, as far as I remember.

It’s not as if he’d spoiled me with his kindness up to then ye see.

I’d a plan of me own and I’d quit this place when I came of age September.


These dead man’s boots know their way down the hill,

They can walk there themselves, and they probably will.

I’d plenty of choices, and plenty other routes,

And he’d never see me walking in these dead man’s boots.


What was it made him think I’d be happy ending up like him?

When he’d hardly got two halfpennies left, or a broken pot to piss in.

He wanted this same thing for me, was that his final wish?

He said, “What the hell are ye gonna do?”

I said, “Anything but this!”


These dead man’s boots know their way down the hill,

They can walk there themselves and they most likely will.

But they won’t walk with me ‘cos I’m off the other way,

I’ve had it up to here, I’m gonna have my say.

When all ye’ve got left is that cross on the wall?

I want nothing from you, I want nothing at all.

Not a pension, nor a pittance, when your whole life is through,

Get this through your head, I’m nothing like you,

I’m done with all the arguments, there’ll be no more dispute,

And ye’ll die before ye see me in your dead man’s boots.



Photo Source: http://www.vicent-van-gogh-gallery.org



Remembering the Boston Marathon – One Year Later


The headlines retell the story:


“Make your Dream of Qualifying for the Boston Marathon a Reality.” 



“Boston Marathon Map (2013)”

 https://www.google.ca/search          q=running+the+boston+marathon+course+2013+map&espv=2&es_sm=93&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=L601U8PxIOvE2QXAlIDIAQ&ved=0CGQQsAQ&biw=585&bih=595


 “TERROR AT THE MARATHON.” ( Globe coverage of the April 15, 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon and the events that followed.)



“War Zone at Mile 26: ‘So Many People Without Legs’” (by Tim Rohan)



“Victims of the Marathon bombings.”  (list of names, ages and types of injuries)



“Courage in the Face of Chaos: EMT Response to the Boston Marathon Bombings.” (by  Chris Nelson)



“At the End, the Telltale Runners’ Bags.”  (by Mary Pilon)



“Thousand-mile relay to bring donations to Boston Marathon victims.” (by Tim Ghianni)



“Boston Marathon Winner Will Donate His Medal.” (by Michael R. Gordon)



Photo Source:   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/30/sports/at-the-end-the-telltale-runners-bags.html?_r=0


A 75.4 Block Marathon in Brooklyn


Andy Newman and Barnaby, his basset hound with a trace of beagle, set out on a marathon walk around his block in Brooklyn. He was never more than 416 feet from home “a feat that has never been attempted in the history of extreme sport.”  Barnaby made it through the first 22 laps. Newman devised this adventure during a routine outing to accommodate Barnaby’s ‘call of nature’. He timed it for the day after New York’s 2009 marathon of 40,000 people running, walking or wheeling their way through five boroughs.

Newman’s marathon was a frame by frame contemplation of the static and active aspects of his neighborhood.  What he discovered that marathon day were the stuff of small “L” life:

  • Remembering neighbor’s names, reflecting on their homes, on long surviving businesses alongside new ones, on a rocking Pentecostal church, on and on as he went.
  • The gentle tap of construction hammers on a new building louder as he approached, dimmer after passing by
  • A young girl walking her dog while reading a book
  • People who simply stare out from their homes
  • An ice cream lady 100 feet from his house
  • A box of books open to takers, gradually diminishing
  • A suspicious man, a woman nursing a beer, a hipster in headphones
  • The number of steps from his house to the intersections
  • That a newly opened spa could do a pedicure on lap 50 – “digging 18 miles of road from under his toenails.”

 For the last lap, Newman roused Barnaby from a deep sleep to join him.  Halfway around the ultimate block, Newman met a man walking his dachshunds and he announced completion of the 75 block effort.  The man’s response: “And he still won’t go?”

Adapted from:   http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/nyregion/01marathon.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

The (Almost) Secret 100-Mile Marathon


Of the 800 ultra-runners who have attempted the Barkley Marathon, only 12 have finished.  That’s the same number of people as have walked on the moon. There is no prize for this “test of all limits” just the feat of finishing.  The first person to do so in 1995 had a time of 59 hours and 28 minutes.

The Barkley Marathon is known as the world’s toughest and most secretive trail race. (Nevertheless, the NYT does report that it takes place in the Cumberland Mountains of eastern Tennessee.)

“All the other big races are set up for you to succeed. The Barkley is set up for you to fail,” said Gary Cantrell, the race’s director and creator.

This race is quirky.  The entry fee is $1.60. Entrants are selected and must answer bizarre questions such as “What is the most important vegetable group?” Cantrell collects license plates from first-timers.  All participants walk for the first part of the race. They only begin to run after rounding a bend where Cantrell can no longer see them.  He hides books (with dark, oppressive titles) at various points along the race course; the runners must rip out the page that matches their race number. 

Other marathons pale in its wake.



A London Marathoner’s Stellar Effort





 Thirty-six thousand runners completed the 26.2 mile marathon course in London in 2012. So did Claire Lomas. 

The paralyzed 32-year-old conquered the course of uneven sidewalks using a bionic suit to control her legs. Her effort took around 40 hours, averaging between a mile and 2.5 miles spread over 17 days. Claire is a former chiropractor and competitive cross-country horse rider.  She broke her spine after being thrown from her horse five years earlier.

Claire’s is an overcomer. From strenuous athleticism to immobility; from a wheelchair to a pioneering bionic suit called ReWalk which gives her mobility through motion sensors, battery operated motors and an onboard computer system. She can stand, walk and climb stairs. When her daughter was learning to walk, Claire joined her – one for the first time, the other for the second time around.

She completed the race with her husband in tow.  Tourists, supporters and family clapped her along to a marathon success.



See also: http://www.amazon.ca/Finding-My-Feet-Claire-Lomas/dp/0992799015

Kenyan Marathon Training in Kansas


Can a marathon runner from Kansas City train like a Kenyan?

         Here are some tips for that cultural transition:

 Workout Recovery 

  • Do extra slow warm ups
  • Do extra slow cool downs
  • Do extra slow recovery runs

 Diet and Rest

  • Eat local fresh food
  • Sleep 10 hours per night
  • Nap 1-2 hours per day
  • Spend lots of time off-feet

 Live Simply with No Distraction

  • No TV, internet, cell phones or technology
  • Read or go for walks
  • De-clutter your mind

Train in Tough Conditions

  • Run on soft ground for strength, flexibility and efficiency
  • Overdress in extra layers of under clothes, also wear baggy clothes and heavier shoes

Mental Outlook

  • Believe you can win and a break world record
  • Don’t limit yourself; dream big
  • Don’t complain about life or a workout


  • Listen to your body, back off if you are tired or something hurts
  • Otherwise work hard, increase intensity or duration to point of exhaustion
  • Practice block training: build up for 3-4 months, then completely rest for 2-6 weeks before starting next block
  • Train in groups – ‘iron sharpens iron’
  • Do lots of lower leg drills and stretching with little to no upper body, do some basic core work
  • Add uphill running drill with resistance band 1-2 times a week. 
  • Take Sunday off for studying the Bible, going to church and completely rest


  • Run up hills and stride back down
  • Do tempo runs: conservative start, pick up pace to finish at fast pace
  • Do ‘Fartlek runs’ (Swedish for ‘speed play’) http://runners-resource.com/training/fartlek/
  • Do interval workouts, adding repeats
  • Do periodic long runs at a progressive marathon pace
  • Do two runs per day with a recovery run

Kenyan’s Stance on Shoes

  • They go barefoot by necessity, not by choice. 
  • Those in Kenya will wear ANY pair of shoes without complaining, preferring shoes to going barefoot.
  • Those who have run outside Kenya prefer a simple, lightweight trainer given their well-developed feet.

For more details, read:  http://www.runnersedgekc.com/pdf/how_to_train_like_the_kenyans.pdf

Photo source:

“Shoe Leather Evangelism” – The Significance of Pope Francis’ Style



Pope Francis walks a new type of symbolic talk: exhorting his fellow bishops to embrace “poverty, simplicity and austerity of life.” He practices what he preaches.

He exchanged the official papal attire: red cape, red shoes and golden cross, for a white cape, sensible black shoes and a metal cross.  He takes the bus instead of the papal limo.  He washes the feet not of bishops, but of women juvenile delinquents.

His first official visit was not to a Roman cathedral, but a parish outside the city, because “we understand reality not from the center, but from the outskirts.”

Adapted from:   http://business.inquirer.net/160403/pope-francis-ceo

See also: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/church-marks-first-anniversary-of-pope-francis-apostolate-of-shoe-leather-e/


Photo source:   http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/447870/20130320/new-pope-2013-francis-wears-old-black.htm