Sea-level Slog

26.2 miles of salty, oxygen-rich air

If you want to qualify for the Boston Marathon and you’re not above manipulating your own biochemistry to do so, there’s a fine chance you’ve been squirreling yourself away in the mountains of … anywhere that actually has mountains, i.e., not South Florida. Anyway, once a year, around now, with plenty of recovery time before running Boston in April, you descend from Denver or Santa Fe or Casper or La Paz and, with ears a-poppin’, trudge down to sea level. Your life at altitude has built your red blood cells’ mass and quantity, multiplying the oxygen your body can process and making a double-lungful of this thick, briny Florida air feel like a reverse cigarette. And you can run the 3 hour, 15 minute marathon you need to qualify for Boston with as much effort as you normally expend schlepping your groceries up the back steps.

At least, that’s the plan. If you’re running, you know this already. If you’re not, come celebrate the cartilage in your knees and watch those carpetbaggers of the A1A Marathon breathe all of your precious air between 5:30 a.m. and noon, beginning with the runners’ corral at Esplanade Park (20 N. New River Dr., Fort Lauderdale) and continuing east to the ocean and north along A1A. Get more info – including the skinny on the 5k a day before the marathon – at www.a1amarathon.com, or call 561-241-3801.
Sun., Feb. 17, 2008

 
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