Runner’s Wisdom

by Anne Bennett on November 6, 2011

Today is the running of the New York marathon, and Buzunesh Deba has her eyes on the prize. The 21-year-old champion is one of more than 46,000 runners competing in what is considered to be one of the world’s toughest courses, which winds through New York City’s five boroughs.

Deba is unique; unlike many other elite world runners who vacate the Big Apple for less populated climes for their training, Deba, who came here from Ethiopia six years ago, chose to stay in New York and train in Central Park with her husband and full-time coach.

She draws a lot of attention during her runs from the multitude of amateur runners who share the park’s paths with her. They marvel at her speed and her spare, elegant form.  And they even ask her how to lose weight (every ounce of fat weighs upon a runner’s performance).

Her response is brief. It is also profound: she smiles and tells them to run more and eat less.

My mother, who had a great, wry sense of humor, often responded to such simple wisdom thusly, “Don’t confuse me with the facts!”

Post-race Update: Deba came in second, 4 seconds behind fellow Ethiopian Firehiwot Dado. Well done, Buzunesh! You made the podium!

By the way, for those of you who like to walk for exercise (I average a 15-minute mile), Deba ran the 26-mile course in 2 hours and 23 minutes and burned approximately 2,000 calories or more.

Any wonder why she looks like she does?

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