Tuesday, April 28, 2015


The month of April has been a lot of fun for me.

In four appearances I have had the opportunity to interact with thousands of runners, men and women, of all ages and abilities.

By speaking with and to these fine folks, it has reaffirmed my opinion that runners are among the finest people anywhere.

In early April I traveled to Lancaster to the Movie Madness Half Marathon. US Road Running conducts this event, which features a Hollywood theme. The weather was blustery, but the runners loved the race.

The next week I ventured a mile down the road to meet with runners prior to the Yuengling Light Lager 5K in Pottsville, the home of America's Oldest Brewery, Yuengling. Over 3,000 runners participated in the third annual event.

The following Saturday I had the privilege of speaking at the Harrisburg Area Road Runners annual banquet. Running clubs are valuable to runners all over this nation, and HARRC has been in existence for over 40 years. Join a running club near you. You'll be happy you did.

Finally, last weekend, I spoke at the pre-race pasta party for the Gettysburg North-South Marathon. I met folks from as far away as Texas, and a gentleman who has run over 300 marathons.

April has made me appreciate running and runners even more.

At the events, of course, I was honored when people bought my books, and was humbled when some told me they had enjoyed Running Shorts, and now wanted to read Personal Best.

My first book, Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has Ever Laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes, published in 2011, is a compilation of my experiences as competitive runner for 39 years, but many of these tales reflect experiences YOU have had during your years as a runner. As one of the Amazon reviewers stated, "It will make you laugh and it will make you cry." amazon.com/author/joemuldowney

Traveling the country, promoting my first book, prompted me to write, Personal Best, my second book, published in September 2014.

Runners told me what they wanted in a running book, and I tried to respond by writing a book that is instructive to runners of all ages and abilities.

Personal Best took a tragic turn in April 2013, soon after I crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon. I devoted my first chapter, entitled "Was That Thunder," to the events, and my experiences of that day. I guarantee you, it is worth the read, and it is my fervent hope that I was able to capture the emotions of that fateful day in a manner in which every runner can relate.

If you would like read an electronic version of Personal Best, it is available for only $2.99 at Amazon, Lulu, iBooks, Nook, and Kobo.

You can visit my website: www,muldowneyrunning.com, and I will personally sign and send a book to you. You can go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or to Lulu, www.lulu.com, to purchase running books that will positively influence your future running efforts.

And, it doesn't end there!

Read the books and stay in touch. email me here, look me up on Facebook at: Joe Muldowney Running, or on Twitter at: rdrunnr00. Tell me about your running, ask me questions, discuss training or injury issues.

I love this sport, and I love runners. Meeting so many of them this month has been inspiring to me.

Let's get to the finish line together and make each day our personal best.

Monday, April 27, 2015


If you're like me, last Monday was a somewhat discomforting day. As I watched on my computer a sea of runners, over 26,000 finishers, made their way, braving rainy and windy conditions, from Hopkinton, through the New England countryside, into the city of Boston in the 119th running of the Boston Marathon. I envied those folks and wished I was among them.

Since 1978, I've competed in the venerable race 16 times, but three weeks after the 2013 race, a tear of two hamstring tendons has prevented me from being able to log the miles necessary to compete at the marathon distance.

And let me tell you, when it comes to the Boston Marathon, 16 is not enough!

If you're a runner, there's really nowhere else you'd rather be than in the city of Boston during the third weekend of April.

Those of you who have run it know what I mean. And for those of you who haven't, the Boston Marathon should be a part of your bucket list.

Unlike most other marathons, one must qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Now, that can be a problem.

In order to run the 2016 Boston Marathon, one must qualify by September 14 of 2015. That's right, the qualifying deadline falls behind the prime fall marathons, which strikes me as a bit peculiar. However, it IS the Boston Marathon, and the B.A.A. can pretty much dictate the qualifying terms. (See www.baa.org for a list of qualifying times)

The clock is ticking in order to qualify during the spring marathon season. Soon, heat will grip much of the country, and marathons will be tougher to find. There's always Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota if you feel like running a marathon in June. Otherwise, one must sneak that qualifying time in during the first two weekends of September.

This runner is going to try to drag a gimpy leg and obtain a qualifying time in September. To do so will require long summertime miles, but it's worth it.

Meb Keflezighi has dubbed the Boston, "The people's Olympics," and I couldn't agree with him more.

As a runner, you owe it to yourself to get there some day.

I hope we can get there together.


Friday, April 24, 2015


As dawn broke on the morning of April 19, 1775, approximately 700 British "Regulars," the finest soldiers of the most powerful military force on the planet at that time, marched into the tiny Massachusetts village of Lexington.

On the village green, seventy brave colonists, all ages, from all walks of life, bravely blocked the path of the mighty British army. A skirmish ensued, the first shots of what would become the American Revolutionary War were fired, and in a span of five minutes or so, eight colonists died. No British soldiers were killed.

The bravery displayed by the Lexington militia set the stage for one of the greatest military upsets in the history of the world, leading to the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain.

Each year, New Englanders celebrate the events of that day on the third Monday of April. The holiday is known as Patriots' Day. For the past 119 years the Boston Marathon has been run on Patriots' Day. The race is rich with tales of courage and bravery.

At Monday's Boston Marathon, however, a runner who displayed the against-all-odds attitude exhibited by the seventy militiamen at Lexington so many years ago, taught us all the true meaning of courage.

Rebekah Gregory DiMartino and her then-fiance, Pete DiMartino, attended the Boston Marathon on that beautiful day, April 15, 2013. They were there to cheer for Pete's mother, who was a competitor in the race. After seeing her at mile 17, they hopped on the MBTA to watch her finish on Boylston Street.

Pete and Rebekah's son, Noah, then only 5 years old, were severely injured by the first blast from one of the bombs, placed near the finish line by the terrorists, the Tsarnaev brothers, and Rebekah endured 15 surgeries before having her left leg amputated below the knee last November.

At the 2014 Boston Marathon she tearfully crossed the finish line in a wheelchair, pushed by one of the nurses who helped her through her ordeal.

On March 4, she wrote a letter to one of the surviving animals who tried to destroy her on April 15, 2013. Following is her statement, taken from her Facebook page.

Dear Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,
My name is Rebekah Gregory. We don't really know each other and never will. But over the last two years, I have seen your face not only in pictures, but in almost every one of my nightmares. Moments before the first blast, your stupid backpack even brushed up against my arm, but I doubt you remember because I am no one to you. A complete stranger. And although I was merely just a blip on your radar, (someone that happened to be standing 3 feet from your designated "good spot" for a bomb), you have been so much more to me. Because you have undoubtedly been my source of fear since April 15th, 2013. (After all, you are one of the men responsible for nearly taking my child, and for the permanent image embedded in my brain of watching someone die.) Up until now, I have been truly scared of you and because of this, fearful of everything else people might be capable of.
But today, all that changed. Because this afternoon, I got to walk into a courtroom and take my place at the witness stand, just a few feet away from where you were sitting. (I was WALKING. Did you get that?) And today I explained all the horrific details, of how you changed my life, to the people that literally hold YOURS in their hands. That's a little scary right? And this afternoon before going in, I'm not going to lie..my palms were sweaty. And sitting up there talking to the prosecution did make me cry. But today, do you know what else happened? TODAY...I looked at you right in the face....and realized I wasn't afraid anymore. And today I realized that sitting across from you was somehow the crazy kind of step forward that I needed all along.
And I think that's the ironic thing that happens when someone intends something for evil. Because somehow, some way, it always ends up good. But you are a coward. A little boy who wouldn't even look me in the eyes to see that. Because you can't handle the fact that what you tried to destroy, you only made stronger. And if your eyes would've met mine for just one second, you would've also seen that what you "blew up" really did BLOW UP. Because now you have given me (and the other survivors) a tremendous platform to help others, and essentially do our parts in changing the world for the better.
So yes...you did take a part of me. Congratulations you now have a leg up...literally. But in so many ways, you saved my life. Because now, I am so much more appreciative of every new day I am given. And now, I get to hug my son even tighter than before, blessed that he is THRIVING, despite everything that has happened.
So now...while you are sitting in solitary confinement, (awaiting the verdict on your life), I will be actually ENJOYING everything this beautiful world has to offer. And guess what else? I will do so without fear....of YOU. Because now to me you're a nobody, and it is official that you have lost. So man that really sucks for you bro. I truly hope it was worth it.
Someone you shouldn't have messed with.

On Monday, Rebekah, along with her trainer, also an amputee, ran the last few miles of the Boston Marathon, and triumphantly crossed the finish line, against all odds.
Next year, she plans to run the marathon, in its entirety.
And, you know what, I wouldn't bet against her!
Thank you, Rebekah, for through your strength and courage, you have made us all strong. You are Boston Strong and a true inspiration to us all.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


There are so many marathons from which to choose these days, that many runners are searching for a unique race experience.

Well, this Sunday, April 26, runners will have the opportunity to run a picturesque, rural race course, while reliving history by racing on truly hallowed ground.

The race is the 5th annual Gettysburg North-South Marathon and 10-Miler, which will be held in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of one of the bloodiest and most significant battles of the American Civil War.

On the website, www.gettysburgnorthsouthmarathon.com, you can learn more about the race as well as register for it. The site offer the following description of the event.

"The Gettysburg North-South Marathon and 10 Miler is run against the setting of a landmark battle of the Civil War, the battle of Gettysburg. The soldiers of the North and South fought on the roads and fields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1863 in the Civil War’s most famous battle, a historic event that symbolized the breach between North and South, marking the turning point of the war and the return to a single United States of America.
This event honors the battle of Gettysburg with a unique marathon competition that pits runners representing the North and the South against each other in a scored competition. The race takes runners from both sides through the hallowed grounds of the battlefield. More information on this one-of-a-kind competition can be found here."

The race is a USATF certified course, and is a Boston Marathon qualifier, so you can not only run on a scenic course, but qualify for the 2016 Boston Marathon as well.

On Saturday evening, the pasta dinner will be held at the Appalachian Brewing Company in Gettysburg. It will be my honor to speak to the runners at the pasta dinner.

From here, it looks like perfect weather for the Gettysburg North-South Marathon on Sunday.

Monday, April 20, 2015


A true hero!

Inspiring victory over the forces of hate who tried to tarnish this event as well as our way of life.

Way to go Rebekah!

You are an inspiration to us all.

MARATHON INSPIRATION: Watch as Rebekah Gregory, a marathon bombing survivor who had her leg amputated just 6 months ago, crosses the finish line of the 2015 Boston Marathon.
Watch the entire moment & see what she said about the day: http://bit.ly/1P6H5fz


Damp, windy conditions held down the crowds and ballooned the finishing times today at the 119th running of the Boston Marathon, but, for competitors, spectators, and anyone who is a runner, Boston, Massachusetts today was, indeed, the center of the universe.

Social media enabled runners and those who follow them to chronicle their journey, which began in the pre-dawn hours, as competitors boarded the hundreds of yellow school buses that transported them to the athletes' village at Hopkinton. Arriving at the city of nearly 30,000 runners, marathoners attempted to remain warm, take care of their bathroom needs, amid the armed presence of police and security guards in the woods surrounding the Hopkinton Middle School. Huddled together like vertical firewood, they stayed warm, discarding their disposable clothing in the moments before they began to move. Finally, the soles of their running shoes touching the blue mat at the starting line, their magnificent journey, the product of many months of diligent and dedicated training, began.

At the finish line in downtown Boston, after 26.2 soggy, windy miles, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Caroline Rotich from Kenya, broke the finish tape first for the men and women, continuing East African domination of the storied race.

American runners fought valiantly in both the men's and women's race.

It was then, however, that the stories of the men and women who, perhaps were not blessed with world-class running ability, and are not professional runners, began. They crossed the line, some crossing the line some four hours after the winner. Men and women of all ages, from all over the world, who covered the hills of New England to earn the right to say, "I ran Boston," and to have the medal, emblazoned with the unicorn and the number '119' forged on it.

For them, on this day, April 20, 2015, Boston was more than just the center of the universe, because they were a part of it.

Congratulations to all of you.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Tomorrow, on Patriot's Day, nearly 30,000 runners will descend upon Hopkinton, Massachusetts for the 119th running of the fabled Boston Marathon.

The fickle April New England weather will again rear its ugly head, as the runners will experience moderate temperatures in the 50s, but will be forced to endure some rain and a strong headwind coming off the ocean.

Meb Keflezighi will attempt to defend his crown, while the rest of the field will take on the hilly, historic course in an effort to have a coveted Boston Marathon medal draped around their necks.

Best of luck to all participants in tomorrow's Boston Marathon.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


The 119th running of the Boston Marathon is less than two days a way.

Most of us wish we were there, running the race with nearly 30,000 other runners, but all of us are cheering for friends or family members who are participating in the race on Monday.

We were so happy way back in the '80s, when we could actually stand in line, wrapped in our space blankets and take advantage of a free phone call to our family and friends to report our finish. (and, no, they were not rotary phones)

Early this week, friend, and 2016 Boston Marathon qualifier, Chris Zelonis, alerted me to a new Boston Marathon mobile App, available at the App Store

The App is free, and it's excellent.

One can follow the elite leaderboard, look up participants' times, find race results, and even learn about some of the rich history of the race.

So, while Monday may be just another day for most of your co-workers, you can secretly spend some time following the race on your Boston Marathon App.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


A good day to watch a marathon is a bad day to run a marathon.

Non-runners look at a weather forecast for a marathon, see 75 degrees and exclaim, "Wow, it looks like you're going to have great weather for your race."

Not so.

A cloudy, calm, 50-degree day is perfection for running a marathon.

All indicators point to such a day for the 119th running of the Boston Marathon on Monday.

That wasn't the case in 1982, however, and it led to one of the greatest finishes in Boston Marathon history. A race that has been called, "The duel in the sun."

Back in the last century, Boston Marathon race organizers remained stubborn traditionalists, insisting that the race begin at noon, as it always had.

It was a beautiful day...for the beach and for an early spring tan.

The sky was cloudless, the sun was hot, and a slight tailwind sucked moisture from the body like a blow-dryer. Temperatures topped out in the 80s. I completed the race in a respectable time of 2:28:43, and my most significant post-race pain did not stem from sore muscles and joints; rather from pink sunburn lines which outlined the shape of my race singlet on my shoulders, and upon my ankles above the sock line. My nose, a significant perch for birds, glowed like Rudolph's.

Alberto Salazar was the world's best marathon runner at the time. While others, including the iconic Bill Rodgers, wilted from the intense heat, gritty Minnesotan, Dick Beardsley stubbornly hung with Salazar.

Through the Newton Hills, Beardsley refused to be broken.

Crowds went wild on Commonwealth Avenue as the moving duel ensued.

With less than a mile to go, Beardsley's hamstring tightened up and Salazar took the lead.

Beardsley's cramped leg found some unlikely relief from an unlikely ally: a Boston pothole!

Like most potholes we encounter in our cars, he didn't miss it, but miraculously, it loosened his cramped leg, and he drew even with his rival.

Crowds exploded as the gladiators sprinted to the finish, with Salazar prevailing by a mere two seconds.

 Salazar crossed the line in 2:08:52; while Beardsley clocked a 2:08:54. It was the first time two men had broken 2:09 in the same race.

Alberto Salazar, however, paid a steep price for his victory. The searing, dry heat robbed him of fluids, causing his body temperature to drop to a near-fatal 88 degrees and it took several liters of intravenous fluids to stabilize him. By Salazar's own admission he was never the same after the race.

We all hope there are no more "duels in the sun." Let's keep those temperatures in the 50s for Marathon Monday.

Save the beach weather for Tuesday.

More Boston Marathon history the chapter entitled 'Boston,' in my book, Running Shorts. www.muldowneyrunning.com

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


After a long, cold, dreadful winter, I finally made it back to the track today, with a good friend, and one of the people featured in the chapter entitled, 'Extraordinary,' in my latest book, Personal Best, www.muldowneyrunning.com, Father Christopher Zelonis.

Father Zelonis is a Roman Catholic priest who displays as much zeal in his running workouts as he does in his ministry.

Today, we ran a set of 4x800 meters, with a 400 meter jog in between. I say "we," when in fact, he was way ahead of me, so to be more accurate, I "attended" a track workout with him.

There's nothing like speed work. It builds not only speed, but endurance, and mental toughness as well.

Now that spring is here, you should "religiously," (sorry, I couldn't help myself) make it a point to turn in a speed workout on a weekly basis.

Your speed workouts will pay big dividends in your future races.


It happened two years ago today.

Never forget.

Boston Strong!

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Today, the Boston Athletic Association and Boston Marathon Principal Sponsor John Hancock join the City of Boston in celebrating a new annual tradition: One Boston Day. One Boston Day is a city-wide celebration that recognizes the unity and strength of our city.

One Boston Day is a time when we as a community can honor and remember all of those affected by the tragic events of April 15, 2013. One Boston Day is also a day to come together and celebrate Boston's spirit, and the strength, resiliency, and compassion that epitomizes our city.

Mayor Marty Walsh established One Boston Day with the desire expressed by many survivors to pass on the kindness, generosity, and support they received following the 2013 Boston Marathon. The City of Boston will hold a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m. to mark the two-year anniversary, with church bells ringing throughout the city shortly after to pay tribute and celebrate the lives of those effected in April, 2013.

On One Boston Day, individuals, businesses, and organizations across the City will display their humanity and unity by encouraging random acts of kindness and spreading goodwill. One Boston Day is a chance for everyone to get involved, embodying the spirit of the Boston community. Whether it's giving up your seat on the T or saying 'thank you' to the City's police and fire personnel, we encourage everyone to take part in One Boston Day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


The frosty glass of Guinness tasted particularly good.

After a long, arduous walk, which was more like a shuffle, my blister-covered feet bore blood stains around the baby toes. Although my gear bag was filled with nearly everything, I had forgotten to pack an extra pair of shoes.

My wife and I landed at a Legal Sea Foods restaurant, located in the Lord and Taylor Mall at the Prudential Center on Boylston Street.

After an epic failure at the 2012 Boston Marathon, when temperatures in the 80s forced me to drop out at mile 18, we were prepared to celebrate sweet vindication after I crossed the finish line in a time of 3:04:13, It was about 2:45 p.m. on April 15, 2013.

My 16th Boston Marathon did not disappoint.

From the time we entered the city on Saturday, Bostonians continued their tradition of treating runners like rock stars. Proudly displaying that finishing medal after the race serves as a badge of adulation.

My wife posted a picture on Facebook of my glass of Guinness beer, now half full, foam clinging to the sides, with the words, "A great day at Boston."

As our waitress tapped another beer, a sound, like a blast from a cannon, shook the building. Calmly, the waitress asked, "Was that thunder?"

My reply was, "No, it's beautiful outside."

At 2:49 p.m., the first pressure cooker bomb, created, delivered, and detonated by Tamerlin and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, exploded near the finish line. 12 seconds later, a second bomb spewed shrapnel a mere 210 yards away.

Joy turned to terror. In a senseless, heinous act, 3 people were killed, and 264 others were injured.

The rest of the day remains somewhat of a blur to me two years later. I devoted the first chapter of my book, "Personal Best" to the events of that day, and I titled it, "Was That Thunder?"

Few runners are filled with hatred.

On the contrary, we can be fiercely competitive. But take it from one who has been doing this for a long time, some of the greatest friendships of my life have come to me through the sport of running.

Hatred and evil attempted to spoil an event that celebrated determination, accomplishment and pure joy.

Hatred lost!

Hatred failed!

One of the perpetrators is dead. The other will never experience freedom, the very reason his family immigrated to America, again. He may well receive the death penalty.

Meanwhile, runners everywhere rallied, raising money for the bombing victims.

Jeff Bauman, after having both legs amputated, helped police identify one of the bombers.

Extraordinary stories of courage abound, as bombing victims attempt to forge ahead with their lives, thumbing their noses at those who tried to destroy them.

On Patriot's Day 2014, runners, some of whom were unable to complete the 2013 race when the bombing occurred, celebrated yet another Boston Marathon.

Next Monday, they will do the same, for the 119th time.

In this world, in the end, good will always triumph over evil.

Determined human beings will always defeat adversity.

Strength will conquer weakness.

We will always remain Boston Strong.

Monday, April 13, 2015


On Saturday morning I watched a race.

And...I loved it.

All day Friday I signed books www.muldowneyrunning.com at the packet pickup for the 3rd Annual Yuengling Light Lager Jogger 5K, http://www.lagerjogger.com/ held in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, home of Yuengling, America's Oldest Brewery.

I met hundreds of runners who were delighted to come to my modest hometown of about 15,000 residents, to climb numerous hills, on narrow, pothole-ridden streets, for the opportunity to run a race in order to sample fine beer which has been brewed in the same location, on the side of Sharp Mountain, fed with pure spring water, since 1829.

3,000 runners toed the starting line, or got fairly close to it. It took my daughter, Kelly, nearly three minutes to touch the start pad at the beginning of the race. Hoisted in the arm of a local fire engine's bucket, Yuengling owner, 5th generation Yuengling, Dick, started the field, promptly at 9:00 a.m..

The top three runners for both the men and the women were very fast, but this was a people's race.
There was a "Spartan," clad in Yuengling Lager garb, and one of the top finishers was "Lord Chesterfield," which happens to be a delicious brand of Yuengling beer.

The two-mile mark on the course is located on the final hill, one last nosebleed before runners complete a final downhill mile to the finish and oceans of Yuengling beer. It is also about 100 yards from my house. So, along with my wife and dog Dixie, a loving chocolate Labrador Retriever who loves runners, we took a short walk down the hill to cheer on the competitors. We assured the runners that there were no more hills ahead, that they had a tailwind behind them, and that plenty of beer was being brewed a mile down the road.

The runners, as runners are, were grateful for the support and encouragement. Some stopped to pet Dixie; others took pictures in front of the lager bottle that served as the mile marker.

In all, runners from 33 states participated in the race, by far the biggest event our city sees in any given year.

Runners and races have the ability to breathe vitality and bring an energy to a community.

Pottsville was a happening place thanks to a fantastic race over the weekend.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


For the next three days,  my publisher, Lulu, www.lulu.com, has a great sale going on. They are offering 30% off all print books.

The cool thing about having written two books about running is that they are two contrasting works.

My first book, Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has Ever Laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes, published in 2011, is a compilation of my experiences as competitive runner for 39 years, but many of these tales reflect experiences YOU have had during your years as a runner. As one of the Amazon reviewers stated, "It will make you laugh and it will make you cry." amazon.com/author/joemuldowney

Traveling the country, promoting my first book, prompted me to write, Personal Best, my second book, published in September 2014.

Runners told me what they wanted in a running book, and I tried to respond by writing a book that is instructive to runners of all ages and abilities.

Personal Best took a tragic turn in April 2013, soon after I crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon. I devoted my first chapter, entitled "Was That Thunder," to the events, and my experiences of that day. I guarantee you, it is worth the read, and it is my fervent hope that I was able to capture the emotions of that fateful day in a manner in which every runner can relate.

If you would like read an electronic version of Personal Best, it is available for only $2.99 at Amazon, Lulu, iBooks, Nook, and Kobo.

You can visit my website: www,muldowneyrunning.com, and I will personally sign and send a book to you. You can go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or take advantage of the sale at Lulu, to purchase running books that will positively influence your future running efforts.

And, it doesn't end there!

Read the books and stay in touch. email me here, look me up on Facebook at: Joe Muldowney Running, or on Twitter at: rdrunnr00. Tell me about your running, ask me questions, discuss training or injury issues.

I love this sport, and I love runners.

Let's get to the finish line together.

Friday, April 10, 2015


We here in Pottsville, Pennsylvania have long been proud of the Yuengling Brewery. It is America's Oldest Brewery. The Yuengling family began brewing beer in Pottsville in 1829, and have been doing so ever since. Six generations of the Yuenglings have continued the family tradition of brewing beer.

Last week, it was announced that America's Oldest Brewery is now number one on the list of top craft breweries, based on sales volume. Yuengling moved more than 2.7 million barrels last year, taking over the top spot from Boston's Sam Adams Brewery.

The Yuengling family has always been very supportive of the running community. Virginia Beach's Yuengling Shamrock Marathon attracts over 30,000 runners to its annual race weekend.

Three years ago, Yuengling launched the Light Lager Jogger 5K. Yuengling Light Lager is a terrific beer. It is much more full-bodied than other light beers, yet it is low on calories.

Tomorrow, the third annual Yuengling Light Lager Jogger will be run through the streets of Pottsville, a small city of about 15,000 residents. A field (capped) of 3,000 runners will run the race and participate in the giant block party to be held at America's Oldest Brewery after the event.

The Yuengling Light Lager Jogger 5K sells out within about two weeks when registration opens in December, so if you want to run this race, you'll have to wait until next year. Go to www.lagerjogger.com for details.

And if you want to take an interesting and historic tour, and sample some Yuengling products (my favorite is Lord Chesterfield Ale) come to Pottsville, Pennsylvania and tour the Yuengling Brewery, anytime throughout the year. www.yuengling.com

Good luck to all runners participating in the Yuengling Light Lager Jogger 5K tomorrow.


Thursday, April 9, 2015


America is a nation of immigrants.

In the 1600's, millions escaped religious, political and economic strife and came to America. Often they suffered unspeakable hardships in this rugged, harsh land.

Along with others from many different countries, my Irish ancestors came to the anthracite coal fields of northeastern Pennsylvania in order to escape the devastating Irish potato famine in the 1860's. They worked long hours for little pay, and labored under dangerous working conditions.

Today, the United States of America still stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity for oppressed individuals across the globe. It remains, in the words of Ronald Reagan, "That shining city on a hill."

In 2002, the family of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev came to America from Kyrgyzstan.. His father applied for asylum, citing persecution due to his ties to Chechnya. They were granted asylum, received welfare benefits, and his parents obtained jobs in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Upon graduation from high school, Dzhokhar Tsasnaev received a $2500 scholarship from the City of Cambridge. He enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. His brother, Tamerlan, became a boxer.

Again, America opened its arms, providing an oppressed family access to the American Dream.

On April 15, 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his now deceased brother Tamerlan (Dzhokhar ran him over with his vehicle while escaping from the police) constructed two deadly pressure cooker bombs, methodically placing them in the jam-packed crowd of spectators on Boylston Street, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. They detonated the horrible devices, killing three people and injuring nearly 300 more. Many of those individuals will be maimed for life. Later, he and his brother killed MIT police officer Sean Collier in cold blood.

When captured, Tsarnaev told the FBI that he and his brother were angry about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how Americans killed Muslims there.

A handwritten note, scrawled by Tsarnaev as he cowered, bloody, inside a boat, as he hid from the police and the FBI,  read, "The Boston bombings were in retribution for the U.S. crimes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and the victims of the Boston bombing were collateral damage, in the same way innocent victims had been collateral damage in U.S. wars around the world."

The savage, uncivilized, wild animal-like behavior of these two disgusting individuals, who came to this country in order to escape savage, wild animal-like behavior in their own country, is astounding.

In their country, in their world, their crime would have been met with swift, ruthless justice. They would have been thrust into the bowels of a filthy prison, and IF they survived, they may have been publicly executed, possibly beheaded, after a sham of a trial.

But this is America.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested, read his rights, received a high-powered attorney to defend him, and, yesterday, was convicted by a jury of his peers, on ALL 30 counts.

Beginning on Monday, a week before the world's greatest footrace, the Boston Marathon, the jury will decide whether he should be executed or spend the rest of his days in prison.

The American dream wasted.

Some solace for his many victims, whose lives will never be the same.

Americans are strong, resilient, and just.

Justice has been served and we are all Boston Strong.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


"It all begins here."

So says the sign outside of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the sleepy New England village that becomes the center of the running universe, every year, on the third Monday of April.

A parade of yellow school buses descend, like honeybees, on the village just after dawn on Patriot's Day, turning it into a city of runners, all of whom have a single purpose: to make the right on Hereford and the left on Boylston.

They are there to run the world's oldest, most storied marathon footrace: The Boston Marathon.

Getting there isn't easy. One must qualify to run Boston. And when the gun sounds, the undulating nature of the course creates cramped quads, blisters and chafing, but the journey itself is worth it.

The start in Hopkinton, is incredible. It's a two-lane street, and its your first downhill portion of the course. A "sea of humanity," is not an exaggeration. A moving centipede of runners snakes through the quaint New England countryside. Families accept the fact that runners veer off the narrow road and trample their lawns over the first, fast downhill miles. Unlike the prototypical codger who warns, "Get off the lawn," to the neighborhood youth, residents greet runners with water, high-fives, and orange slices.

Fraternity houses, in full-party mode, feature speakers the size of compact cars, which blast ear-splitting choruses of Born to Run," Chariots of Fire," and, of course, the Rocky theme.

Crowds swell at Ashland clock tower at mile four, and at the Framingham train station around mile six.

At mile ten, spectators jam the town of Natick.

Then there's the prelude to one of the most electrifying moments a marathon runner could possibly experience.

Past mile twelve, one can faintly detect a higher pitch to the crowd noise. It comes from up ahead.

Suddenly, it happens.

Reminiscent of the grainy, black and white videos of the early Beatles American concerts, the women of Wellesley College, located exactly at the half-way point of the race, insanely cheer, scream and shout to runners as they pass. The course narrows, and it becomes truly a Boston "goose bump" moment. Women runners receive ear-splitting receptions, and more than one male runner hugs or kisses a coed or two.

The Wellesley euphoria remains for less than three miles before runners begin climbing the infamous Newton Hills, a series of four formidable inclines that challenge one's strength and stamina, between miles sixteen and twenty one.

The fourth and final Newton Hill is Heartbreak Hill. It rises eighty-eight feet between miles twenty and twenty one. Crowds expand on Heartbreak Hill. Most of them are there to encourage the runners; while some may possess a sadistic streak.

Boston's best is yet to come.

A downhill past Boston College, where at the 2013 race I yelled, "Go Jesuits" to a crowd of students, who responded with an enthusiastic roar.

The long stretch of Commonwealth Avenue, the "T," to your left; elegant brownstones to your right, crowds growing along the way.

In the distance, the giant Citgo sign looms. Located within the Green Monster of Fenway Park. When it is reached, there is one mile to go. Crowds leave the Red Sox game, which began at 11:00 a.m., and remain on the street to cheer for the runners.

Make the right on Hereford, and for a few seconds you are in the "Green Room." You know, the quiet area where celebrities wait before walking onto the stage.

The left on Boylston propels you smack on the 50-yard line of the world's largest stadium. To the crowd, you and your fellow runners are rock stars. You are just as as revered and respected as the winner of the race.The crowd noise is deafening.

The Boston Marathon is an incredible journey that begins on frigid winter mornings, on lonely 20-mile runs, and throughout the challenging race itself.

It concludes with a simple exhilarating finish.

A right on Hereford and a left on Boylston.

Check out the chapter, 'Boston,' in my first book, Running Shorts. www.muldowneyrunning.com

Sunday, April 5, 2015


The sun is shining brightly, the wind is calm, sweet aroma of home cooking fills my house.

It's a time of spring celebration.

A 5-mile run with a long-time friend, Eric Anchorstar, and the rest of the day will be spent with family.

Whatever you may celebrate: Easter, Passover, or just the arrival of renewed life that is brought by spring, from my family to yours, much health and happiness!

Saturday, April 4, 2015


It began for me in 1978.

Having run my first marathon in the fall of 1977, I fell in love with the race itself. There's something about training for a marathon. It truly is an endeavor in which one gets out of it what one is able to put into it. There are no shortcuts, there are no excuses. Do the work or the marathon will humble you.

I quickly decided, after a marathon debut time of 2:49, that I wanted to run the Boston Marathon.

Over a span of five decades, I've run Boston sixteen times. In 1983, on one of those perfect race days we all experience on rare occasions, I ran my personal best marathon time, a 2:22:54, finishing eleven seconds behind Joan Benoit,  (Samuelson now) who set the women's marathon world record with a 2:22:43.

A back injury in 1981 sent  me to the Mass Pike, where I hitched a ride to the finish, and in the searing heat of the 2012 race, I bailed out at mile 18.

At the Centennial race in 1996, I participated on a team that finished second in the Master's Division.

The two 'Top 100' medals, along with the certificate memorializing my 1983 race adorn my wall, and are among my most prized running awards.

In 2013, I crossed the finish line in 3:04:13, began celebrating with my wife by quaffing a sip of Guinness, before terror struck the world's most iconic footrace.

Two torn hamstring tendons may prevent me from returning to the world's oldest marathon, but with two weeks until the 119th running of the Boston Marathon, I will share some of my memories of the race.

If you've run the Boston Marathon, you'll relate to many of my stories.

If you haven't run Boston, put it on your bucket list now,

There's no footrace like it in the entire world.


Friday, April 3, 2015


Snow blanketed the ground on Tuesday, as March came in like a lion and, well, went out like a lion.

Wednesday remained cool, and then it happened. For the first time in over five months, the temperature topped the sixty-degree mark.

Today was downright balmy. There was humidity in the air.

Things just smelled like spring. A sleeveless compression shirt and a pair of shorts was the wardrobe, and it felt great to drip with sweat after turning in a hilly four-mile workout.

My dogs spent the day outside, I cleaned up some winter debris, and finally planted my spring onions.

Easter as well as Passover will be celebrated this weekend. Renewal, rebirth and resurrection will be the themes.

We will renew our training efforts after many dark months. Our fast workouts will be resurrected as our bodies will have more energy for running and less for fighting frigid temperatures and biting winds.

Enjoy the Easter and Passover holiday.

Spring has arrived.

It is a good time for all runners.