Thursday, June 7, 2007

Track & Field Favorites

Anonymous has left a new comment on "Suggest a Topic!":

What is your favorite track & field movie? Novel? Documentary? Sculpture? Song? ("Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" by Rush does not count. No one listens to those guys anymore.)

I love your suggestion. I was ready for an easy, yet enjoyable, topic on which to write. Unfortunately, this topic is not turning out to be as easy as I thought it would be! Here goes nothing:

Favorite T&F Movie: Yes, I'm quite aware that it's a cliché to list Chariots of Fire as one's favorite movie about track and field. But how can I deny that it is so, when I still literally get goosebumps every time I watch it?

Favorite T&F Novel: In order to maintain membership in the track and field geeks club, it is mandatory to list John L. Parker's Once a Runner as one's favorite novel. Unfortunately, I've never actually read (or even seen a real copy of!) it, so I can't list it as my favorite novel. I have read a sample of it and several other novels about running in Garth Battista's fine The Runner's Literary Companion: Great Stories and Poems About Running. The sample I read was outstanding and I can't wait to get my hands on the real thing. For now, though, I'd have to say that Battista's anthology is my favorite work of fiction about track and field.

Favorite T&F Documentary: To be honest, I don't think I've seen a documentary about track and field in recent memory. I checked out this list and the only one on it that I can recall ever seeing was 16 Days of Glory many moons ago. By default, it would have to be my favorite. There are quite a few on the list that I would like to watch, especially the one about the Tarahumara people.

Favorite T&F Sculpture: Paavo Nurmi sculpture by Wäinö Aaltonen in Helsinki, Finland. The tower of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium can be seen in the background.

Favorite T&F Song: Then I'm glad it was Iron Maiden, not Rush, who did The Loneliness of a Long-Distance Runner (Yar!):

Still doesn't count? Then how about Belle & Sebastian's The Loneliness of a Middle-Distance Runner?

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