Some people would kill to have their picture taken with Daniel Craig, or Anne Hathaway, or Michelle Obama. Not me.
You’re looking at one of the greatest moments of my life.
That’s Bill Rogers to my right, and Frank Shorter to the right of him. Billy Rogers won the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon four times apiece back in the seventies. Frank Shorter took home the silver medal for the marathon at the 1976 Olympics.
This picture was taken in Ontario, Canada, in 2007. These well-preserved dudes were there to run the Ottawa marathon, and they agreed to appear on the national radio show I was producing.
“Boston” Billy Rogers was very funny. He talked about how, in the early days of his running career, he loved smoking cigarettes, and he agonized over having to give them up. Frank Shorter said some very kind things about Canada, since he won his Olympic medal just 100 miles up the road.
The day after the radio show, all three of us ran the marathon. It was brutally hot, and Billy and Frank took it slow. And why shouldn’t they? They don’t have anything to prove. I passed them somewhere around mile 16. They were accompanied by a huge crowd of fans.
That’s one of the best things about marathons. You never know who you’ll meet. You might find yourself running beside a former Olympian, or a TV talk show host, or a Hollywood actor, or even the premier of Ontario. No other professional sport allows you to step onto the track along with the stars of the sport. Just imagine what would happen if you laced up and jumped onto the ice at Maple Leaf Gardens. You’d be arrested for sure! But absolutely anyone, no matter how slow, can take part in a marathon. There’s something pretty cool about that.