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UjENA FIT Club 100 Interesting Running Articles

Best Road Races and the UjENA FIT Club is publishing 100 articles about races, training, diet, shoes and coaching.   If you would like to contribute to this feature, send an email to Bob Anderson at bob@ujena.com .  We are looking for cutting edge material.

Click here to read all Running Articles

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Pritz's Honor
Posted Sunday, May 11th, 2014
By David Prokop, editor Best Road Races The world’s most unusual race met the world’s most beautiful place, in the... Read Article
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Do You Know the Way to San Jose?
Posted Sunday, February 23rd, 2014
By David Prokop, Editor, BestRoadRaces.comOne of the most exciting things about road racing is that new people often come to... Read Article
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Racing the Double - an Outsider's View
Posted Monday, March 24th, 2014
By Rich Stiller I have never raced The Double Road Race. I have headed up the course monitors at... Read Article
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DO YOU DOUBLE?
Posted Monday, January 13th, 2014
By David Prokop (Editor, Best Road Races) It is Sunday morning, Dec. 22, 2013 in the attractive San Francisco Bay... Read Article

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The Double
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
"Particularly intriguing is the tactical challenge The Double offers"
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by Dave Prokop  It's a novel idea! The kind that could only be dreamt up by someone with a decidedly creative and innovative bent.

Take the two longest races on the Olympic track program (the 10,000 and 5,000 meters), run them back to back on a road course with only 100 minutes in between, the winner being the athlete with the fastest aggregate time, and you have a new athletic competition called,  appropriately, the Double.

Photo: Bob Anderson (101) and son-in-law Justin Wall ran the first Double held October 2010 in San Jose del Cabo.  Lead Photo: start of the Cancun Double held March 2012.

The Double, also known as the Double Road Race, is the brainchild of Bob Anderson, one of the greatest visionaries in the history of distance running. As the founder and original publisher of Runner's World magazine, Anderson played a major role, one which has been largely overlooked, in the running boom of the '70s and '80s which transformed running from a minority activity to a mass movement.

Even then Anderson, an avid runner himself, was originating innovative running events like the 24-Hour Relay, where teams of anywhere from two to 10 runners would run alternate miles for 24 hours around a track. I'm more than a little familiar with Anderson's 24-Hour Relay concept, having been a member of two world-record 24-hour relay teams – a two-man team, in which we covered 149 miles in 24 hours, and a seven-man team, which covered 249 miles in 24 hours.

What makes the Double, in my view, particularly intriguing is the tactical challenge it offers, and you could literally write a book about this if you know anything about running. For instance, how hard can you afford to run the 10k to be able to come back with something left only an hour later to perform well in the 5k? If you're clearly superior to your competition, it may not be such a major consideration – just run both races well. But if you're in competition with equally matched runners, these tactical considerations are not only serious, but something quite unique in distance running. Still another challenge of paramount importance is – what is the best way to recover between the two races?   How many unique variations will runners develop in this regard?

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Photo: Four time New York City and Boston Marathon winner, Bill Rodgers will be running the Double in Pleasanton December 23.  His goal is to break 70 minutes.

There have been six Doubles held thus far, all in Mexico, where Anderson's company, Ujena, stages many promotional events. The first double in the United States will be held in Pleasanton, Calif. Dec. 23, 2012. Famed marathoner Bill Rodgers will be a participant.

“The feeling of finishing the Double,” says Bob Anderson, “is totally different from completing other races, and the strategy that goes into both races (of the Double) is intriguing.”

At the heart of Anderson's thinking in creating the Double is mass participation – the more participants, the greater the fitness benefit and potential to the public. As he sees it, kids, adults, entire families can participate. Sort of a block party in running shoes where you don't stay in one area but run a road course. Why not?

Photo: Martha Gonzales has run two Doubles in Mexico.  "I love a good challenge," she said.

Bob Anderson founded Runner's World at age 17 because of his love of running. He published the magazine for 16 years until he sold it in 1984. Now 64, he has been running and racing for 50 years! This year, as a celebration of his 50 years of running, he is competing in 50 races – with the stated goal of averaging under seven minutes per mile for each mile raced, no small feat for a man in his mid-60'sSorry. The movie, A Long Run, presently being filmed, will document his feat and offer an inspirational look at running as a fitness pursuit and passion. The movie will be released next year.

When Bob Anderson isn't running, promoting the activity or extolling the virtues of fitness, he is the CEO and chief photographer of the Ujena Swimwear Company he founded in 1984.