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Hump-day giveaway: who is your dream running date?

March 10, 2010

Dimity, mountain man Ryan Hall, Sarah

For all the inconveniences working at home as a freelance sports + fitness writer can bring–can you please excuse me very important doctor who only has two minutes for an interview so I can park my snarling, loud kids in front of Dinosaur Train?–there are some serious perks. Sarah and I, along with some other running journalists, got to spend a day in sublime Mammoth Lakes, Cali, on Monday, running with Olympic marathoners Deena Kastor and Ryan Hall. (More accurate description: we watched them run while we while we huffed and puffed, at 8,000 feet, behind them.)

Deena and her bodyguards.

I’ve interviewed enough athletes in my life to know that most either
a) have nothing interesting to say
b) might have something interesting to say, but won’t say it to a writer

I am happy to report Ryan and Deena fall into neither category. We’ll spill some of their training secrets in future blogs–here’s a hint: Ryan likes to run to Sinatra and Deena firmly believes in a bottle of good red wine–but since it’s Wednesday, we’ll get down to giveaway business.

Deena and Ryan fall pretty close to our dream running dates. (In case they were busy, dreamy Josh Cox and speedy Meb Keflezighi are also part of the Mammoth Track Club, so we were surrounded with plenty of options. Sigh.)

Who is your dream running date? It doesn’t have to be a runner; it can be a celeb (I admit: given a choice, I’d likely pick Colin Firth over Ryan Hall); a friend you haven’t seen in ages; an historical figure whose brain you want to pick; an imaginary character you want to chat with (“So just how do you fit so much stuff in your backpack, Dora?”).

Up for grabs: another whopping $100 Asics shoe gift certificate. Winner will once again be random and answers need to be received by 10 MST Thursday morning.

In the meantime, we’re off to catch our breaths and–a much harder assignment–try to get back to reality.

The pack, including Ryan Hall's (very swift) dogs.

65 Comments leave one →
  1. Leah permalink
    March 10, 2010 12:09 pm

    I would run with my dad. We just ran our first marathon together last Saturday. It was my first marathon. He stayed with me the whole time even though it murdered his time. I just enjoy spending time with my dad, so a run is a perfect time just to be together, but since we live on opposite sides of the state, it is something that doesn’t happen often enough.

  2. March 10, 2010 12:19 pm

    Well, not to be redundant, but my dad would be my choice as well. He is 75 yrs. old and definitely not a runner these days. But…I’ve heard him talk many a time about his high school days as a track runner. When I ask about his splits, I am blown away–he was fast! And he really used to love it. I wish he had kept at it and that it would have been something we could have shared. We still have stories to swap, but how cool would it be to swap them on a run together?

  3. Julie Fredericks permalink
    March 10, 2010 12:20 pm

    I started running about 8 years ago when I moved to mcminnville, or with two women who quickly became my closest friends. About two years ago I moved to Portland and I miss our long country runs together. My dream date would be our old youngberg hill route with the two of them.

    • bowenshea permalink*
      March 10, 2010 9:00 pm

      I hope you roadtrip every so often to McMinnville for a run with them. Far to drive for a run, yes, but sounds like a special trio.

  4. March 10, 2010 12:30 pm

    What an experience you gals had! I think you already ran my dream by joining Deena Kastor for a run, but really I’d be excited to run with a whole group of redheads (like me) from various stages in my life. When we knew one another, none of us ran, but now that we’re spread across the country, we are ALL passionate runners. So, if I could have my way, I’d gather Beth, Erin & Jenny for a week of running. Yes, I said a WEEK, because I’m sure once you got us started it would take us that long before we’d want to stop. There’s nothing like a run with a good friend.

  5. March 10, 2010 12:50 pm

    I’m not really a runner…yet…but, if George Clooney were to run with me, well, it could happen.

    • bowenshea permalink*
      March 10, 2010 9:00 pm

      Take a numba, Gina!!! “;>)

  6. March 10, 2010 12:59 pm

    It’s going to have to be Joan Benoit Samuelson, not only was she great, but she is still running.

  7. Emily M. permalink
    March 10, 2010 1:06 pm

    I think mine would be a tie between my husband (who doesn’t run now but I’ve always thought it would be fun if we ran together) and Haile Gebrselassie because, well, he is just amazing and seems to have such an uplifting spirit and attitude toward life in general.

  8. March 10, 2010 1:14 pm

    I would love to run with my brother. We have always been close and were best buddies as kids. Of course, we ran together a lot then; chasing our dog, playing “race ya to the next tree” or torturing our dad with a game of pickle. He was always a “chubby” kid and is now morbidly obese. He’s very supportive of my running and has cheered for me at the finish of 3 of my marathons. I would give anything to feel that playful spirit next to me on a sunny Sunday run like we did when we were 6.

  9. March 10, 2010 1:15 pm

    I’m an awful runner but I’d do it if I could run with Oscar Wilde (pick his brain of course) or with Diego Luna (he’s gorgeous!)


  10. Priscilla permalink
    March 10, 2010 1:16 pm

    I would like to run with my friend Jake, who I haven’t seen in 11 years, but was my inspiration for becoming a runner. In 1995 I watched him run the Marine Corp marathon and decided I would like to try being a part of that excitement. In 2008 I finally ran a full marathon. Who knows what kind of couch potato I would be without Jake’s and the marathon’s influence.
    (Colin Firth would totally be near the top of my list too!)

    • bowenshea permalink*
      March 10, 2010 9:02 pm

      Isn’t it awesome how seeing one friend run a marathon can be all the inspiration you need to tackle 26.2? For me that person was Dana, wife of my good friend Allen. While writing our book I realized how influential Dana had been to me.

  11. Sara Padilla permalink
    March 10, 2010 1:42 pm

    My dream running date is my sister Liz. At age 28, she was a novice triathlete, experienced marathon runner, decent cyclist, and had just discovered open water swimming. More importantly, she had a heart of gold and was the closest of friends. I lost her to a bike accident nearly five years ago and would give anything to go on a run together again, the way we used to.

    • bowenshea permalink*
      March 10, 2010 9:03 pm

      Sara–I am so sorry about your sister. I trust being outside and being active makes you feel her spirit is still with you.

  12. Susan Kokesh permalink
    March 10, 2010 2:17 pm

    It would be my hubby, of course! I love it when he and I can head out for a run together. His speediness makes me run faster, while my endurance makes him run longer. We are total opposites when it comes to those areas! When he and I run together, it is nice to have just some peaceful, adult conversation time, apart from the kiddos.

  13. paula permalink
    March 10, 2010 2:19 pm

    Have an awesome running day! As for dream running date(s)…since you have a guy and girl, I’ll pick a guy and girl: The late Ted Corbitt (it’s a dream) and the living legend Ann Trason.


  14. sassy b permalink
    March 10, 2010 2:33 pm

    i’d run with all the people who were hot sh*t athletes in high school, who i could never beat or even keep up with. who may or may not have continued to work out and who may or may not have gotten slow and chubby. and since it’s a dream date, i’d smoke them all.

    cute yellow top dim!

  15. GottaRun26.2 permalink
    March 10, 2010 3:15 pm

    Lance Armstrong…I’d love to hear his story firsthand of his trials, tribulations and triumphs.

  16. March 10, 2010 3:57 pm

    I would love to get a chance to run with my hubby occasionally…We always end up having to switch off on our runs. With 5 kids ages 2-10…someone has to stay home with the kids!

  17. Tracie Hannick permalink
    March 10, 2010 4:16 pm

    Would love to run with Bart Yasso….such a great sense of humor, great stories and some very good running common sense. I am sure it would be a fun run!

  18. March 10, 2010 4:18 pm

    I would totally do a “double” date and we would run a marathon. My husband would run the first half with me and then Lance would pace me for the 2nd half…after all, my husband is pretty darn sedentary, so I couldn’t possibly expect him to do the whole enchilada…

    • bowenshea permalink*
      March 10, 2010 9:04 pm

      LOVE the specificity of your running partners and the exact type of run/race you’d do with them, Mary!

  19. Tryna permalink
    March 10, 2010 4:19 pm

    My dream running buddy would have to be Julia Roberts. I’m such a fan, and have always enjoyed and appreciated her acting, but also I would love to dish with her on trying to live green and doing it with twins (since I know my twins haven’t learned to appreciate the fact that I spent lots of time making the dinner they won’t eat!) I’d love to find out some of the pranks she’s played on other celebs, and see how she figures out how to run with all the stuff we all have to put up with everyday and then to pile on the life of a celeb and avoiding paparazzi at the same time. Oh, and in my dream I’m also fast enough to keep up with her. Happy Hump Day!

  20. March 10, 2010 4:31 pm

    I would want to run with my little boy! He is only 17mos old now, but I began running after having my son. He is my true inspiration and reason to start a new journey, one that I knew would not be easy. (I had never ran before and actually HATED running) I am now training for my first half and first marathon this year. I have come to love running and CAN NOT wait to share this with my son. If anything, I want to show him that no matter what the obstacle in life is, if you put hard work and dedication into it, and NEVER give up, you can conquer anything!
    I hope to someday complete a race with my little toddler…he is my inspiration for life, and who I think of when the race gets rough…I already tell him now, NEVER GIVE UP!

  21. Kathy permalink
    March 10, 2010 4:43 pm

    I love running with Jill. We trained for a marathon together and could talk and laugh non-stop for long runs. A dream running partner is someone who can keep your mind off the agony at mile 24!

  22. March 10, 2010 5:14 pm

    my sister. she is my dream running date. she is so good at it and I am so bad at it, she would throttle me. but she lives in PA and I live in CO, not a lot of running dates possible. In fact we have never had one…

  23. March 10, 2010 5:18 pm

    I’d pick my dad (age 63, a marathoner in the 80’s), my sister and brother (both runners) and my daughter (age 11). Getting us all out there together doing something that has meant so much to all of us would be my idea of heaven.

  24. Janette permalink
    March 10, 2010 5:19 pm

    I’d love to run with my old running buddy, Jetta. We used to run the trails together in AZ and had such a great time; solving all the problems in the world, discussing books, movies etc. And now I’m in Florida running on my own. Sigh. And the runs seem so much longer and not so much fun and definitely harder!

  25. March 10, 2010 5:20 pm

    My dream running date, if I could pick anyone, would have to be my younger sister Shauna. We have been best friends as much as sisters for as long as I can remember. We used to go running together in addition to many other fun things we enjoyed together. She has twins that are almost two (her son has hemophilia) and she has suffered from severe depression every since they were born. She is currently being treated at a Mental health Facility in our city. I miss her so much. I hope one day soon she will feel healthy again, and hopefully one day we can hit the track or Riverfront Trail again for some running, rejuvenating and some girl time.

  26. March 10, 2010 5:23 pm

    AT this point I just want someone my level to run with on my long runs! I can find a friend to do a short run with me on the weekend but on the weekend I try to get a long run in and no one is running as long as I am.

    It would also be nice to get a babysitter so my hubby could join me on a run (but first he back has to get better!)

  27. March 10, 2010 5:28 pm

    I’d run with my very first running partner, Erin Merrill Baird from Moscow, Idaho. She turned me from “a skinny girl with no muscles” into “a real runner, with calves and stuff,” and she never let me forget it for one second. She taunted me up hills, she cajoled me through my first 10k, and she distracted me with appalling stories when I was was too out of breath to react. We had a falling out and lost touch, and I’ve been looking for her for years now. I actually have a running-related job, and a boyfriend I met through running, and a life that revolves around running, totally and utterly. I’d love to let her know what she got started!

  28. March 10, 2010 5:32 pm

    My college coach, Dave Stern. This past fall he had his leg amputated above the knee. As a life-long runner, he ran 4:15 in the early ’60, he would give anything to be able to jog again.
    We always told each other we’d never run when we were racers. we’d never jog when we were runners. We’d never walk when we were joggers. Now we’d both love to walk!

  29. March 10, 2010 5:44 pm

    When I run, I want someone who has the same observational humor as I do, not too much talking, just pointing and laughing under our breath. I think Dr. House of House would be perfect! But I’d have to pull him in a wagon or something!

  30. Kate permalink
    March 10, 2010 5:54 pm

    10 years from now: my now-two-year-old Alana and my future son (due in July). In the midst of the expanding belly and never-ending (and frequently indulged) cravings for Chocolately Coated Chocolate Chip Dunkers from Trader Joe’s, the mental picture of being fit again and running with my kiddos present and future makes me smile (and might make me put away the cookies).

    Today: Rachel, Courtney, Dimity and Joan – my favorite crew boat-mates ever. : )

  31. Laura permalink
    March 10, 2010 6:01 pm

    If Deena could stand to ratchet down to 12 minute miles (hey, I’m working on it, alright?) I’d love to take a run with her in Mammoth Lakes.

  32. March 10, 2010 6:18 pm

    Honestly, I’m pretty nervous about running with other people. I usually run on my own or with my husband. I like to be comfortable enough with someone to be able to tell them the slow the heck down or hurry the heck up, if needed:) My kids are 3 and 5, and I just can’t wait until they days they running with me (dare I hope). You’d have to time travel a bit, but my dream running date is probably my kids when they are old enough to keep up, and still young enough not to leave me behind…
    And, WOW, on your running date!

  33. Meggan permalink
    March 10, 2010 6:22 pm

    I dream of running a half marathon along the shady creek downtown in our city with… my husband! He used to be a professional runner, training for the Olympics in Romania… he got me started running, but I can’t seem to drag him out there too much now. (:

  34. March 10, 2010 6:47 pm

    Hmmm Lance Armstrong and Matt Damen are first to my mind, but bc I just found out I’m prego (shhhh I haven’t even told my mom yet) I’d like to run with pregnant Carrie Tollefson.

  35. Grant Davis permalink
    March 10, 2010 6:54 pm

    I’d run with my wife. Someday we’ll figure out how to do it without pissing each other off.

  36. Julie permalink
    March 10, 2010 6:58 pm

    What a cool question… and it had me scratching my head. Lance Armstrong?! I definitely respect his incredibleness on both the bike and in sneakers and he is HOT. But really, I would like to run long with my daughter. She is only 8 but she is definitely my biggest fan and motivator. There is NOTHING more powerful to me than to hear her little voice “Go Mommy! Go Faster!” and then see her little body come scooting out from the sidelines, grab my hand and SPRINT. (Oh man, that sucked at mile 20!) No matter how tired I am, though, my feet always get more spring.
    We annually run a silly costumed 5k and push a baby jogger along for her to sit in, but last year she almost ran the entire 5k. I can’t wait until she is old enough to first hang with me on long runs and eventually smoke me on them! 🙂

  37. Jana permalink
    March 10, 2010 7:27 pm

    Definitely my husband. He’s away with the Army right now. We ran a marathon together just before he left in October. I can’t wait to get to run with him again….

  38. March 10, 2010 7:34 pm

    Call me a sicko, but I would have to say Taylor Lautner WITHOUT his shirt on! If he was three paces ahead of me, I could run all day!

  39. March 10, 2010 8:22 pm

    Well, I don’t know if He’s a runner but I’d have to say God. I have a whole long list of questions to ask Him that would cover a good 15-16 miles.

  40. The little Lion's mom permalink
    March 10, 2010 8:46 pm

    I wish I could run with my high school cross country coach. I quit running in 11th grade because I hated it, even though I was very good at it. I know now what I didn’t know then, that depression made me hate it. A 99% mental sport + depression = misery. Coach never gave up on me, even long after I’d given up on running. 14 years later I am training for my first half marathon. I want him to know that his words still echo in my ears.

  41. Steff permalink
    March 10, 2010 8:55 pm

    I’d run with my mom, who got me started running, and still inspires me.
    Or, if my mom was busy…George Clooney wouldn’t be a bad back-up running buddy, I guess!

  42. March 10, 2010 9:11 pm

    It is my longtime fantasy to have a long run with Haruki Murakami, the Japanese novelist, whose book WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING is a particular favorite of mine. In one of the later chapters, he describes his enthusiastic but hapless ventures into triathlon – at one point he rides straight into a chain looped between two poles, he’s spaced out and hasn’t been paying attention… It is a wonderful book all round, though, and I think anyone who takes endurance sport seriously would enjoy it a great deal.

  43. March 10, 2010 9:32 pm

    I would like to run with Kara Goucher, even if i was actually chasing her. I would love to hear about her training and her secrets. My second choice would be my husband. I would give anything to go on a run with him…

    The photos and scenery in your post are gorgeous!


  44. Molly Boland permalink
    March 10, 2010 9:51 pm

    I would love to run with Joan Benoit Samuelson (of course at a slow pace for her!). I admire her career and would love to hear more about her. My second choice is my husband, we usually have to trade off because of our son. It is a treat to run alone with him

  45. Annie Powell permalink
    March 10, 2010 9:54 pm

    Usain Bolt. Hands down. 2 reasons.

    #1. I saw an interview with him recently that said that he ate chicken McNuggets before (and after!) his races in Beijing, as he was essentially “unsure” about the rest of the food in China, but knew he couldn’t go wrong with those. Made me laugh out loud. This guy sounds like he’d have other excellent, entertaining stories up his sleeve on a long run.

    #2. Of course, I’d be secretly [yes, unrealistically] hoping that the world’s fastest man could not also be the holder of the world’s greatest endurance, so I’d have him beat after the first 100m or first 8.7 seconds was over with. 🙂

  46. terrhan permalink
    March 10, 2010 10:30 pm

    As a triathlete, I get to put in many miles in the water, on the bike, and in my shoes. The one person that I rarely get to run with but hold in high regard would be my Coach, Carolina Carstens. She has so many athletes that she works with and so spending some one on one time with her, just enjoying a trail and some good ole’ girl talk would be fabulous. What a special moment that would be!

  47. March 10, 2010 10:30 pm

    Without a doubt, my father. He passed away when I was 20 and is the number one reason I took up running. Losing him at such a young age (he was 46), made me want to do everything in my power to be here as long as possible for my daughters. I would love to have an hour long run with him to show him who I have become. OK, that was harder than I thought.

  48. March 10, 2010 10:33 pm

    OMG I am weak in the knees just looking at you girls hobnobbing with of running!

    Hmmm running date for me….this is tough…can’t be anybody too fast…..maybe I’ll be shallow and go with Valerie Bertinelli because this one could actually happen as we’re both running Boston this year. And since I’m coming off an achilles injury I won’t exactly be giving the elites a run for it. VB is the celeb people always told me I look like so I’ll go with her. Hopefully she won’t blow me away.

  49. March 10, 2010 10:40 pm

    My Grandpa Ernie passed when I was 13. In his day he was an athlete, 6’6, strong, with a dynamic smile. What I would not give to run with him, I know he would be sooo proud of me.

    Thanks Ladies, fun topic

  50. Sara permalink
    March 11, 2010 12:17 am

    I know it sounds cliche, but my husband would be my dream running date. He probably comes close to hating the sport, but supports me all the way. I have said it before and repeating it now. My husband would be my dream running date. Does that count?

  51. LaJean permalink
    March 11, 2010 1:52 am

    My dream running date is absolutely, unequivocally the legendary Grete Waitz, who single-handedly inspired me and thousands of other women to start running marathons in the 70’s and ’80’s, back in the relatively dark ages of women’s running when it was hard to find a decent running shoe built for a woman’s foot, let alone an effective, comfortable sports bra. What a talented, tenacious and totally gracious pioneer who opened huge doors of opportunity for all of us! When it comes to running, she was, and is, my hero!

  52. Kathy permalink
    March 11, 2010 8:26 am

    What a fun topic!! I am lucky to be a part of a whole running group with a ton of great women so I always seem to have someone to talk with, and am lucky that my husband and I seem to have a bunch of ultrarunning friends who are amazing! So for me I would want someone really interesting to talk with, so I would say President Obama. Besides, you know that if you fell there would be a whole group of security with you!
    In terms of fantasy though, I would want Wonder Woman. How did she run in those boots and what type of bra did she get because those girls were not moving!!

  53. Jackie Bruening permalink
    March 11, 2010 9:14 am

    I would love to run with my mom. However, since she isn’t a runner, that would be tricky!!! Love the new website!!

  54. mhelen37 permalink
    March 11, 2010 9:21 am

    Oooo that’s a hard one…Matthew Mcconaughey just cause he’s so dang hot! Also, I have to agree w/another comment and go w/my daughter. She’s 9, and I’m hoping at some point we will run together! I think it would be great too share a hobby w/her in 6 years (the part I worry about is hanging on injury-free until then!)

  55. March 11, 2010 11:33 am

    It would have to be Tom Selleck. Problem is if I ran with him I’d have to leave my husband, so for the sake of our marriage… I would like to run with you Sarah.

  56. Lisa permalink
    March 11, 2010 11:41 am

    I would love to run with my husband, but he’s not into it. So, Dara Torres and Joan Benoit Samuelson would be my next choices. I’d love to hear how they still do it at their respective ages.

  57. Erin permalink
    March 11, 2010 11:54 am

    Right now, I would love to run with any one of my, right now, former running buddies. I haven’t run with them since I was pregnant with my 3rd baby who is now 7 months old. Besides the 7 month old I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 21 month old. And I work full time. And I’m taking a couple grad classes. My time is pretty tight right now, and running is what Ive pushed aside. I miss it desperately. I feel like I have a long way to go to make it back to keeping up with my running buddies. But I’m gonna try!

    Also, if Matthew McConaughey asked me to go for a run, I wouldn’t turn him down!

  58. March 11, 2010 3:28 pm

    My dream running partner would be my daughter, who right now is only three. I just love the idea that someday maybe we will run a race together! 🙂

    That said, my celebrity dream running partner would definitely be Ryan Reynolds!

  59. Jenny permalink
    March 11, 2010 5:54 pm

    never really thought about this so it’s making me think! My husband and I have recently become obsessed with the show, House M.D. and I am fascinated (and somewhat strangely smitten) by Hugh Laurie, so he’d probably be a very entertaining running partner. But I’d want my husband there, since it wouldn’t be “House” without him there (since we only watch it together!!) If this were a “choose anyone, alive or dead” I would definitely choose Rex E. Lee, the founding dean of the BYU Law School where my husband just graduated. He was an amazing man personally and professionally and an avid runner, who I look up to. I thoroughly enjoyed the book he and his wife wrote a few years before he died, called “Marathon of Faith” about life, sickness, deathi, living, family, and it does include some about running.

  60. March 12, 2010 12:15 pm

    My husband would be my first choice because he’s not a runner and I really wish he would give it a chance. My second choice would be Gerard Butler, cause he’s my secret husband. He just doesn’t know it yet.

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