As obesity rises in our country, so does diabetes, especially Type II, the kind many overweight adults come down with. In extremely obese individuals, one of the major dangers from diabetes is the foot ulceration, which occurs in about 15% of people with diabetes. Podiatry Management, (www.podiatrym.com), a journal for foot doctors, devoted its November/December issue to
“the diabetic foot.”
They quote a number of interesting statistics: in the last ten years, obesity incidence has increased by 60% in adults; in 1985 ten states had less than 10% obesity prevalence and none had one over 15%. Today, about 30% of US adults are obese and about 70% are overweight or obese. The journal explained that in 2012 $471 billion was spend on diabetes-related healthcare worldwide. Yes, obesity isn’t strictly an American epidemic. In the US, diabetes affects nearly 26 million or about eight percent of the population. However, as obesity rises, so will diabetes.
One article emphasized that the five-year mortality rate associated with a foot ulcer is 45%. Compare that to the five-year mortality rate of breast cancer patients, which is 18%. Not pleasant.
Some of the articles showed photos of foot ulcers, which, of course, you can see instantly by searching for them on a Google image search. They’re not pretty. And, according to a friend of mine who practices podiatry, diabetic patients with foot problems come in every day. And most are obese. According to him,
“Everybody wants to play but nobody wants to pay.”
The LifeNuts lifestyle seems difficult for the average person to adopt but actually it’s much easier than it appears. And, if you know a friend or relative with a weight problem, why not suggest this new lifestyle? It might prevent him or her from succumbing to diabetes and, in a worse case scenario, losing a foot!
Last week I had lunch with an old friend (in his 50s) whose BMI was probably in the low 30s, just beyond the obesity threshold. He complained that he was recently diagnosed with diabetes and had to limit his food choices along with changing some other unhealthy habits. So I spent most of the lunch time talking about choices, the LifeNuts lifestyle, and the books of Dr. Neal Barnard, especially his book on reversing diabetes through diet. I hope my friend listened and makes some changes in his life. If not, his future will not be fun. “Everybody wants to play … "
Mike at IMM
Yesterday (Thursday) Mike had his shoulder repaired (a canoe lifting incident), which he had postponed until after the Indy marathon – since he did not want to disappoint anyone, especially after the Indy newspaper featured him on the front page. Surgery successful! Now for the rehab, which will take time. Next Feb. features a new age for him to set new world records! What a LifeNut and what an inspiration to us all!
We walked in the park on the day before surgery since my legs had recovered from the marathon. He told me that his legs weren’t sore at all and, in fact, had “run” ten miles on Tuesday. Just like the Energizer Bunny: he never stops.
Mike also gave me numerous clippings from the Sunday edition of the New York Times, which he faithfully scouts for me. One piece, “How Old Is Your Health,” from the NYT magazine was particularly fascinating. Researchers in Norway evaluated almost 5,000 people between ages 20 and 90, taking measurements: BMI, heart rate, HDL and total cholesterol. Each person completed a lifestyle questionnaire and then ran to the point of exhaustion on a treadmill – to measure VO2max, a term denoting how well the body delivers oxygen to cells. Other studies have shown VO2max to determine fitness age and life expectancy.
It was fascinating to see that the researchers used the data and an algorithm to predict a person’s VO2max accurately from the data – without the treadmill test. They published their results in the journal, Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise. And, get this, they developed an online calculator to allow anyone to determine his or her fitness level. Try it: www.ntnu.edu/cerg/vo2max.
For example, a 50-year-old man who exercises moderately a few times a week, has a 36-inch waist, and a pulse of 75, will have a fitness age of 59. Nice, huh? This also is probably a good predictor of life expectancy as well as how one will spend his time in the "golden" years - in a nursing home or walking/running in the woods with the younger set.
I entered data for an overweight female, age 25, waistline 38 (be sure to convert inches to cm), little exercise, and a pulse of 80. Result: fitness age was doubled to 50.
Mike told me that his fitness age was 54 – nearly 40 years younger. Mine was 40, almost 30 years younger – with a VO2max of 48. One of my sons, who is a very good runner, had fitness level 12 years younger!
This calculator is significant since it offers a large databank reflecting exercise, waistline, and pulse. LifeNuts uses the BMI calculator, which is great and a good indicator of fitness but does not incorporate heart function.
So, try the Norwegian calculator and see how old you really are!
Mike at the expo presentation
Mike and I gave presentations on the LifeNuts program and lifestyle at the
Indianapolis Monumental marathon on Friday. The race director also allowed us to speak at the pasta dinner that evening: so, hopefully some runners will take the program to his or her city and implement it there. We can only hope. Sadly no mayors or city council people attended even though I sent emails several times to 40 towns.
In the seminar, I tried to explain that the concept of old age in America is that of wheelchair-bound people, assisted living, and dementia, which unfortunately is fairly accurate. Mike Fremont and his lifestyle prove that old age doesn’t have to be a drain on society and that, at 91, one can be happy, vibrant, and productive – as he is. I think those attending were lucky to see Mike, listen to him, and take in his wisdom.
The beautifully organized marathon demonstrated the race director’s attention to detail and his ability to delegate. And, since the temps were absolutely perfect for marathon running, I thought Mike would break his half-marathon record of 3:03. But, alas, that didn’t happen. After the race, Mike told me that his shoulder (which will be repaired surgically this week) didn’t bother him too
much but that he was distracted by some individuals. Being famous is tough, eh? Many cheered him on at street corners and a TV station interviewed him. And, I’m sure we’d all agree that it would be wonderful if we could run 13.1 miles in 3:24 at the age of 91.
So, no more blogs from Mike for awhile, though I’m sure he’ll write some occasionally. I will take over for now and post at least a couple each month. If you like us on Facebook, you’ll be alerted when the blogs are posted. In the meantime, stay healthy and happy!
Dr. Bob and Mike in the 2012 Marshall University marathon
It's now been almost a year since we launched the LifeNuts vitality program with a presentation at the Marshall University marathon expo. Mike broke the world marathon record for a 90-year-old and we both enjoyed the scenery along the Ohio River. So this weekend marks the one year anniversary that LifeNuts has gone public. Unfortunately no city or village has taken up the challenge. But we're still hoping that a runner will convince his or her city council to implement the program for a year and see if it saves budget dollars.
But, for now, we'll again present this coming Friday, November 1, at the Indianapolis Monumental marathon expo and once again hope that some marathon runners will take the LifeNuts program home. This will be Mike's last blog for a while. He's postponed having his shoulder repaired surgically until he fulfills his part of the LifeNuts challenge in the IMM half marathon. That's quite a generous gesture on the part of a 91-year-old. Don't miss the chance to meet him, to run with him, and to soak in the knowledge and wisdom that he exudes. Maybe he'll have a sign to carry so that you can locate him on Saturday morning. One thing for sure: he'll probably line up near the end of the pack at the start. Cheer him on if you see him. He's a hero in my book! Here's his weekly blog:
Running Practice, week of October 20|: walked 5, ran 22 miles
Likely runs, week of Oct. 27, two 10-mile practice, 5-mile walk and IMM half-marathon, = 33.1 plus the walk.
We started this challenge in June: Can you beat a 91-year old in the half-marathon? The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, that is. Why June? To give you time to practice for it, in case you had doubts about your capability. Please note that I, 91, can run about as fast as a 4-year old boy (world champion) if he held on to his mother's little finger. Truly. The statistic is that he ran a whole marathon in a little over 6 hours in 1972 or so; so a half could have taken him less than 3 hours. They no longer list him but they do list a 5-year old with a marathon time of 5:25! Woo hoo!
Recognizing finally that letting little ones run marathons was akin to cruelty to animals, the race officials now record only males 14-year-olds and up in the half-marathons. Acknowledging the superiority of women, they record the time of a 9-year old girl, 1:59:58. I did a 2:02 at age 80, to
That's why I promise to go slow. Because I can't go fast! Your challenge is to walk steadily for about 3 hours. You can easily pass me at an hour or sooner.
It's really amusing to run at this age. I can't run fast enough in cool weather to get warm. I can't run hard enough to get tired. Or get sore muscles. There's talk I'm trying to break the world record for age 91. Nonsense! The competition is too fierce! It's me! And I'm 7 months older now than when I set the record, which means nearly 4 minutes slower.
Sincere congratulations if you pick up the challenge! Let's talk on the way! and at the finish.
Maybe they'll have me or a standard-bearer holding a flag on a stick at the start so we can start off together and you can gauge your pace to suit.
We'll be making a presentation at the Expo at 1:00 PM on Friday. If you pick up on some of what we have to say it could improve your health, weight, speed and quality of life. I've been running
marathons for 42 years and shorter races as well, and Bob Kroeger has run 60 marathons in the past 6 years. Looking forward to seeing you then!
The countdown now is less than two weeks - to see if you are faster than a 91-year-old in the Indy Monumental half marathon. Mike's ready. Are you? Some of you who read this have decided to not take this challenge and continue to carry unhealthy weight. Fine. That's your choice. But, if we do this challenge again in 2014, you'll have an entire 11 months to prepare. Please don't be afraid: if you adopt the LifeNuts lifestyle, you'll kick the obesity habit and start a new life.
As you'll see below, Mike has a lot of irons in the fire, a high ikigai, a term the Japanese use to describe purpose in life. There is no word in Japan for retirement. Mike's ikigai is contagious.
Running for the week of October 13: 30 miles (3 ten milers), plus a 5-mile walk
Plan for the week of Oct. 20, same as above, plus or minus a few miles.
Some of us lead two lives, one in the here and now, as we always have. Our other life is in the future, where we believe it will be quite different, perhaps "nasty, brutish and short".
You know about the future one - global warming. Too hot to grow crops over much of the planet. Nine billion people to feed by 2100, to clothe, house and transport. Exhaustion of natural resources such as potable water, wood and fish. Metals and other minerals scarce. Hundreds of millions of desperate refugees from countries evacuated because of the rise in sea level. Resource wars. We will kill to get supplies. Dictatorships. Lives shortened by nuclear disasters (more Fukushimas) if not
Contemplating this miserable gloom and doom that lies ahead - so soon - is so dismal that we gratefully return to our present healthy and prosperous lives, living as kings and queens never did in all of history. When will we stop burning fossil fuels? When will massive methane clathrates melt and surface? When will we control our population growth and reverse it? Have we the intelligence to prevent the end of civilization and of human life on earth? Will we spend the next 3, 10, 20 years doing effectively nothing to change our privileged world to prevent this horrible calamity? Will we spend this time to the tipping point squabbling over gay marriage, pitting murderous Shiites against Sunnis? Investing in more fences to keep out Mexicans? Burning the rest of our fossil fuels?
We cannot adapt to the expected changes. We can reverse the situation at reasonable cost if we understand what is happening, and force our Congress and President to act IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. NOW! I'm doing what I can. I'm worried about my children, grandchildren
and great grandchildren. Good luck, gang!
Editor note: One simple thing that we can all do is to take a few cloth bags with us when we go shopping for groceries. A few years ago Kroger stores offered a rebate of a few pennies every time a customer brought in his or her bags. More than a few folks took advantage. But when Kroger stopped the promotion, most returned to using the plastic bags. Believe it or not, if everyone would do this simple environmental act, it would help! Here's a book that offers more ideas on how we can preserve our resources: http://www.amazon.com/Prevent-Global-Warming-Save-Money/dp/0740733273/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382315362&sr=1-2-fkmr1&keywords=100+ways+to+stop+global+warming
You can buy the book for a penny plus shipping. You can make a difference!
As race day quickly approaches, Mike's blogs are numbered. And, if you can, please come to hear him in person at our expo presentation at the Indianapolis Monumental marathon on Friday, November 1. Here are some more insightful comments from my favorite 91-year-old.
Training for last 2 weeks: ran 65 miles total, walked 5.
GENES AND CANCER
BRCA1 and BRCA2. Lay description: mutation of genes that normally furnish proteins that destroy breast cancer cells, removing this normal protection. If women have them, this leaves them open to from a 55% to 65% chance of getting breast cancer, our #4 killer. Angelina Jolie recently had
mastectomies because she had these genes, and said she reduced her chances from 87% to 5% thereby. (Confusing figures).
I believe the 55 to 65 percentage is a simple statistical American figure. The incidence of breast cancer is high in the US, compared to dietarily different countries, like Japan.
A few years ago there was an American study showing that African-American men over 55 had much more prostate cancer than white men of that age group. The natural implication is that it's
because of their racial differences. However, people are not the same as laboratory mice or rats, which are bred most carefully to be absolutely as identical with each other as possible. I believe it is likely that diet may be the principal deciding factor and the stresses of life a secondary one, rather than race. It may be that if the feed and stress were reversed, the whites would get more prostate cancer than the African-Americans.
Likewise, the breast cancer 55 to 65 percentage might grossly diminish if we implement a disease
preventive lifestyle like LifeNuts. Diet and exercise! Please consult the Nutrition Guide for
Clinicians, 2009, pages 172 - 187. Also be aware that women who have been sexually abused (at least 1 in 4 women have been) have a higher than average risk for many diseases.That kind of stress can be fatal.
The October 8th New York Times carried an article called Weighing Preventive Surgeries which reported that your BRCA genes also decide that ovarian cancer has a 40% to 60% likelihood for you: so maybe you should have ovaries removed. Uterine cancer is somehow related. The article discussed all possible options: Fallopian tubes, hysterectomies, surgical menopause. There was no conclusion. Just confusion.
NOTHING ABOUT PREVENTION. NOTHING ABOUT DIET AND EXERCISE. NOTHING ABOUT STRESS MANAGEMENT.
Is it possible that doctors only understand prevention if it involves surgery? LifeNuts stresses personal responsibility in the areas of health, diet, exercise, and stress management. To ignore these aspects of life or to assign them to someone or something else usually means trouble.
Training, so to speak, for the week of Sept. 22, 2013:
ran 27 miles, walked 3
For week Sept. 29, run 30 miles including a 15 miler.
The Boston marathon happens about April 15th. About 1980 I went to run one. The day before, the
temperature forecast for the race was 95 degrees; so we went to the beach instead. The only thing in bloom was forsythia in bright yellow. My wife and daughter and I went into the cold ocean in our underwear (beach was deserted). Boston does that to you. In 2003 I dropped out at about 15 miles because of the heat (Why be miserable?) and we drove up to Ipswich on the North Shore - to the beach, of course. Crane Beach, excellent to run on. Ran in the wind, sand and surf and not a building in sight.
At Boston in 2005, my "sponsor" asked me to recount; there were 22 corrals, each for 1000 runners. It didn't start until noon. In full sun, at 85 degrees. My corral didn't start running until 20 minutes after the gun went off. Thanks for chips! The wind was westerly, gentle, at our backs, so worse than useless. I was committed so had to finish this hot Boston. It became windy and at the finish line the space blankets had come loose and were flying through the air as high as the 6th floor of buildings, an extraordinary sight. During my run the temperature remained at 85. [Ed. note: Mike was 83]
In a much earlier Boston I caught up with Walt Stack, a San Francisco hod carrier, famous at 75. We talked a bit. I may have asked him how he did both his work (hods are loads of bricks and heavy to carry up a ladder on a stick - maybe 100 pounds) and regular training on a 17-mile course including
the Golden Gate Bridge. That may be the time he said, "Well, I start off slow...and taper off!"
At the Cincinnati Flying Pig in 2005 I saw noted marathoner Karen Cosgrove helping out at mile 24 and she said " Need some salt, Mike?"
She gave me a McDonald's salt packet as I complained to her, "Why am I so slow? Fifteen minutes slower than last year!"
She replied, "Mike, you're not 82 any more!"
Also at the Pig, about 2006, I was doing pretty well at Mariemont when I spotted a friend watching the race, who was here from Utah and dressed up for church. I talked to him for at least five minutes and maybe missed making a national or world record! Oh well. It was a good chat!
Boston in 1973 had about 1750 runners, all of which I think were male. We assembled at the high school in Hopkinton without nearby restroom. One clever runner laid out a towel on the grass and said "make a circle." So we did, improvising outdoor facilities and did our business there. In the same race many runners ran barefoot, which was more a political statement than an athletic performance issue.
1. What's special about the Boston marathon? Unlike other marathons where you sign up, pay up, and show up, one must qualify for Boston by running a certified marathon fast enough to qualify according to one's age. Such qualifying times are not easy to accomplish and many good runners never qualify in their career. Qualification standards and its age (It's the oldest of them all) make it elite.
Boston used to be the only marathon to demand qualifying for, but there was one at Fukuoka in Japan. Maybe we need some more qualifying marathons since Boston fills up fast. And Boston is as far east as you can get. How about a Midwest and a Western one?
2. And why is it held on Monday instead of a weekend day? Well, it's held on Patriot's Day, which is a state holiday in Massachusetts for one thing. Another is that the route goes past several churches that would be affected by a Sunday race. So it misses out on all the furiously valuable media attention it would get in a weekend. (I thought races were for runners, not commerce.) However many raise
large funds for charities.
Knoxville marathon, April, 2013
Training for week of September 15, 2013: walked 5, ran 5. Raced canoe one 3-mile course. My excuse for so little training: torn rotator cuff; doctor, therapy, severe sciatica. Tore it while loading my canoe onto my car. Unlucky.
Hopeful schedule for September 22 week: run 30 miles or more. No more canoeing this season!
RUNNING MEMORIES FROM A 91-YEAR-OLD
About 1960, age 38, I began running every day after work, say 5:30, 7-1/2 miles, at Sharon Woods, a Hamilton County park. I ran for fun, on the trails until deep in winter when it grew too dark, and thereafter only on the blacktop. Running became therapy for me since my wife died a few years before this, leaving our three young children and me behind.
I didn't race until 1970 when I ran my first marathon in 1971 in Monroe, Ohio, wearing heavy Sperry Topsider boat shoes. I finished in a minute or so under four hours, suffering a diaphragm cramp for the last half hour and bent over, clutching my stomach. (Remedy for this: exhale a few times, hard!) Three girls took pity on my condition and drove me to my car 100 yards away. I worried that I couldn't operate the clutch and brake but made it home.
I ran my first Boston in 1973 and didn't drink any water until the Prudential Building when a few of us runners snatched some water from uncleared restaurant tables from lunch. Carried a glass down to the bathroom where runners were crazily draped along the stairs and against the walls. A guy asked, could you spare a drink for old Johnny Kelley? I said sure. He was on the floor, back to the wall. Ed. note: Johnny Kelly was a Boston marathon legend.
In the mid-'70's Bill Hegwood and I founded the Duck Pond Athletic Club at Sharon Woods
where small numbers of us have been meeting every Sunday at 8:00 AM to run 5 miles or more, sometimes 20 miles (4 circuits). Over the years we have graduated a number of marathoners and Boston qualifiers. I started out faster than most of the rest but now I am the slowest of all: so we don't run together any more but we socialize in advance, shivering in the parking lot, while I listen to the younger members as they post mortems on the Saturday baseball, football or basketball games.
Since I run alone I can stop and talk with people, many of whom are regulars, some coming from nearby as often as three times a day, some with up to 5 dogs, many of whose names I know - for as many as 3 dog generations. In their wisdom, some (not the dogs) have become vegans after being hectored by me. Dogs love the parks which are museums to them because of the countless smells that they must investigate.
No matter the weather, these runs are an unalloyed pleasure. To be able to run 15 miles without any concern (except that it takes me forever with such socializing) is an unbelievable gift, to which in my younger days I would never have dreamed of aspiring. Twenty miles takes a little forethought about weather and plans for the evening. After having run a 20, running a marathon is not physically that difficult - unless you want to win (first place or an age bracket award).
I owe this gift primarily to the whole-food plant-based diet I have pursued for 22 years, acknowledging that life has permitted me to be stress-free, independent and domestically content. These factors are some of what the LifeNuts principles that promise successful living.
Note on the American Condition: I have a date this week with an MRI machine because of the rotator cuff injury. To confirm this appointment, a medical person called me and proudly announced that their new machine, the latest design, could now accommodate up to a 550-pound person. There must be a demand ....
Ed. note: you gotta love the sense of humor in this 91-year-old!
Mike's Blog for this week is geared towards fueling our bodies properly.
Outdoors Experience week of September 8:
Walk 5, ran 30, three 3-mile canoe sprints
Plan for week of September15: run 30, race canoe 3 miles 3 times
COOKBOOKS FOR A WHOLE-FOOD, PLANT-BASED DIET
There are dozens. All the following are good. My wife Marilyn suggested these and wrote most of this piece. As to what I eat. Think of meals centered around a whole grain, instead of a chicken. Brown rice, oats, quinoa, whole wheat and more. If you want to be traditional, have oats for breakfast, with a non-dairy alternative like soy, rice, hemp or almond non-milk.
For breakfast, a bowl of miso soup, which is a few vegetables chopped up, with a tablespoon of miso simmered in. And greens: collards, kale, mustard greens, or turnip greens. Steam them a few minutes, just until the color changes. Stems on some can be tough, so either cut them off first and steam them longer or use them to make vegetable bouillon.
Some books on lunch and dinner. The Quick and Natural Macrobiotic Cookbook has a weeks worth of recipes that introduce you to new foods you might be unused to like miso. John Robbins has great recipes in May All Be Fed. Kushi’s Macrobiotic Cooking has recipes for a wealth of vegetarian meals. Note that macrobiotic diets include some fish. You can skip that !
The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen is a lot fun. And Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen is awesome. The Vegan Table takes some traditional foods and creates great vegan meals and The Natural Gourmet , while not totally vegan (switch from butter to olive oil – or skip the oil altogether) has some fine grain-based dishes and new ways to do vegetables.
Definitely experiment with cutting and eliminating oil in a lot of recipes. You’ll find some of these also have granulated sugar. The macrobiotic cookbooks show how to avoid cooking with processed sugar. Some favorites: Dark Onion Soup, Noodles with Sesame Sauce, Baked Beans with Miso and Apple Butter, and Orange Millet Pilaf from The Natural Gourmet.
Tofu Scramble, from Vegan Table and Scrambled Tofu and Corn from Macrobiotic Cooking are great brunch dishes that stun the I-don’t-like-tofu crowd.
Seitan Stroganoff and Sweet and Sour Vegetables and Seitan from Cooking with Seitan are good for starting to learn to cook with seitan and are fine one-dish meals. Bryant Terry’s Smothered Seitan Medallions in Mixed-Mushroom Gravy is awesome. Always bring Terry’s Roasted Sweet Potato Puree with Coconut Milk to Thanksgiving dinner.
John Robbins’ Brown Rice Paella is a campfire favorite and Ginger Carrot Cake can be fixed at home and brought along. Cooking the brown rice for the Paella separately and freezing it, makes cooking the dish after a day of paddling faster and easier. And the frozen brown rice helps keep
the cooler cool! Mediterranean Vegan Cookbook tops the pasta with a real change of pace.
Check out the pesto recipes.
Subtly Sweet Chick Pea Stew from The Macrobiotic Community Cookbook and Red Lentil Soup from The Tempeh Cookbook always work well. Rosemary Popcorn, is a fun start at looking at food differently.
The Rave Diet. Breaking the Food Seduction. Power Foods for the Brain. The Engine 2 Diet. These books have recipes, but I really recommended reading!
Only two months left to train to see if you are faster than a 91-year-old in the Indianapolis Monumental half-marathon. We hope you're making good progress. Remember: if you can walk at a brisk 15-minute per mile pace, you'll come close to beating Mike.
Now for a new challenge: Are you faster than a 66-year-old in the marathon? Yes, the 26.2 mile marathon. If any mayor or city council member is up to this challenge and can beat me, he or she will receive a copy of the book, LifeNuts, and a complimentary consultation of how LifeNuts can save city budget dollars. All you need to do is to register at our presentation at the expo on Friday, November 1. Of course, you'll also need a time of around four hours, give or take ten minutes, depending on weather conditions. How valuable is this prize? Remember that the LifeNuts lifestyle is why Mike Fremont is still running marathons in his 90s. Now for his weekly message:
"Training" efforts this past week, 9-1 thru 9-6-13: ran 25 miles, walked 5 miles, raced canoe 3 miles three times.
Schedule for week of 9-8-13: run 30 miles, race canoe 3 miles three times, rest 1 day.
A RUNNER'S TRAVELOGUE OF REWARDING PLACES TO RUN
Point Pelee, Ontario, Canada, smallest national park, 30 miles from Detroit, trails and road, gravel beaches with sand, flat, natural, wildlife especially birds, lake views.
Pelee Island ( by boat from Leamington, ON or U.S.) small, deserted roads, lake views.
The Algarve in Portugal, beaches Praia da Falesia, (1 mile plus, short but amazing red cliff beauty)
Praia da Rocha, and beach at Faro, long. Many beach people go nude or half that way.
San Francisco, the Embarcadero, concrete but interesting harbor; Golden Gate NRA beach
Santa Monica, CA "one of the best 10 beach cities in the world", very wide beach with bikeway
Mt. Washington Auto Road, New Hampshire, 8 miles to summit, pick up about 4800 feet, superb views. Challenging hill, up, as well as down.
Franconia, NH, a 9-mile bikeway, very scenic as picks up some 2000 feet through the "Notch."
Logan, Ohio, Hocking Hills Park, any number of spectacular trails, not paved, natural, good
Peninsula, Ohio, The Towpath, where the Towpath marathon is held, Cuyahoga National Park, crushed stone trail, great natural beauty, no structures. It's where the Ohio and Erie Canal ran, with stone remnants and a wonderful national park museum on the history of the towpath.
Presqu'Ile, PA (greater Erie) The earlier Erie marathons used to do 2 circuits of this park so you can get 13.1 miles of new sights.
Niagara Falls, ON along the Niagara River, a bikeway on a river that doesn't flood (it connects Lakes Ontario and Erie), no industrial or commercial eyesores, land used for vineyards, to historical village Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Vero Beach, FL, the beach along the ocean, great sand at low tide, at least 15 miles of unobstructed beach, maybe the best I have ever run on. Only one high-rise in the whole region. Includes Sebastian Inlet beaches, spectacular tidal flow, surfing and big sea birds to see.
Cape Hatteras, NC, beaches, Ocracoke, Outer Banks, all the running on the beach mileage you could want. Shark's teeth in the sand. Ran 105 miles, 15 miles a day for 7 days about 1982.
Ipswich, MA, Crane Beach, about 5 miles of superb beach with sand dunes and sand trails with beach grasses, hornbeam and maples.
Mill Valley, CA, to Stinson Beach, or vice versa! The famous Dipsea Trail. Challenging, steep, 7.1 miles, beautiful, natural, no buildings, all woods and rocks. Mountain lions have been seen there
Newburyport, MA, north of Boston, Parker River Wildlife Refuge, 6 mile road ending in
beautiful beach just across from Crane Beach mentioned above. Wetland viewing sites, very little traffic, blacktop to dirt road
Sharon Woods, Hamilton County Ohio Park, 5 mile trail circuit heavily wooded with 100 feet of rise per mile - so good hill training, thru spectacular valley and around a lake.
Eleuthera, Bahamas beach. Beautiful gently shelving sand. Do it now before ocean rises and covers it. Natural gas sends up bubbles in wet sand.
Mt. Desert, ME, Bangor area, Acadia National Park, a big hill with magnificent views. The MDI marathon is held here in October.
Chicago lakefront, unobstructed lake view for several miles on concrete surface.
Charleston, SC, many miles of good runnable beach.
Cartagena, Colombia beach
Rio de Janeiro beaches - Copacabana and Ipanema - these are big and interesting and runnable.
Laguna Beach, CA, wide and beautiful.
Dixville Notch, NH, a road to Colebrook picking up about 1500 feet over a mountain pass. Ran a marathon there, one of only 25 in the race. Beautiful scenery, challenging climb, few cars.
Escondido, CA, San Dieguito River Park Trail, Trail #6, Mule Hill. Gorgeous, interesting, warnings about rattlesnakes and mountain lions, about 10 miles, gentle hills.
All these have been most worthwhile to run, quiet, uncrowded, safe except for the snake and lion warnings. Be careful in New Hampshire - there are bumper stickers "I Brake for Moose". Hitting a moose is not like hitting a deer.
Some of these experiences go back as far as 1965; so some of the runs may have changed, for better or for worse! Questions? Call me at 513-771-5087.