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Frank Shorter in Juneau for running clinic

1972 Olympic marathon champ offers advice on running and exercise

Posted: Sunday, July 24, 2005

Frank Shorter running clinic

Who: 1972 Olympic marathon champion Frank Shorter

When: Today, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m..

Where: JRC/The Alaska Club Mendenhall Valley location

What: Shorter will offer advice on how to start running and how to improve

How much: $5 for SERR or JRC members, $10 for non-members, $3 for 18-and-under.

Legendary runner and 1972 Olympic marathon gold medalist Frank Shorter will be in town today to put on a running clinic and espouse his unique philosophy on running and fitness.

The Frank Shorter Running Clinic will be today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the JRC/The Alaska Club's Mendenhall Valley location.

The clinic is sponsored by the Southeast Road Runners. Admission is $5 for JRC or SERR members, $10 for non-members and $3 for athletes and would-be athletes 18-and-under.

"The main message for people starting out is that it's very simple," the affable Shorter said from Sitka Saturday. "There's a myth of over-exertion in any aerobic exercise. People think you have to go all out all the time, when sometimes going easier is better. It makes it more enjoyable and it has a cumulative effect."

Shorter was in Sitka for the last couple of days speaking during a sports medicine conference on obesity and exercise.

He said today's clinic will be more like a coaching session than formal lecture.

"It's going to be more fun," Shorter said. "Like a cross country team."

Shorter is a luminary figure in the world of running.

He became the first American man in 64 years to win the Olympic marathon when he captured gold in Munich, Germany in 1972.

Four years later in Montreal, Shorter won the silver in the marathon.

Shorter's intellect may be more impressive than his physical achievements. He graduate from Yale University in 1969 and later was admitted to the Colorado Bar Association after earning his law degree from the University of Florida.

Shorter later became an influential figure in the battle against performance-enhancing drugs.

He is the former chairman of the United States Anti-Doping Agency and is currently their national spokesman.

Shorter is and will always be a runner, however.

"I just had my first taste of trail running," Shorter said. "There was the Alpine Adventure run out here (in Sitka) and I did that.

"I loved it because it really is a total change for me because I tend to run trail and was reminded today that I used to do a lot more up and down running than I have been doing."

Shorter has been to Juneau twice before.

As part of a Runner's World cruise, Shorter ran in Juneau with the Juneau-Douglas High School cross country team.

Now in town, Juneau's sizable and passionate running community can learn from one of the best.

"This is an incredible opportunity to meet a running legend," said SERR member Jamie Bursell. "He is very personable. He'll talk to anyone and he's willing to give advice on different levels."

The biggest advice Shorter plans to give today is tell people about the astounding simplicity of running.

"I was my own coach, from the time I got out of college until now," Shorter said. "My way of teaching is to teach someone about doing it themselves. I'm the person to come listen to. I have a simple way of doing it."

• Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at sports@juneauempire.com



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