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John “the Penguin” Bingham

Category Archives: John “the Penguin” Bingham

Par for the Course

By | John "the Penguin" Bingham, The Penguin Archives | No Comments

Maybe it’s time to take a lesson from another sport. I played golf once in my life. It was supposed to be a father-son-brother bonding experience.  I didn’t really like it, although a shot a 97. It’s important to know that I shot that 97 on a par 3, 9-hole course. I managed to lose the golf balls I had been given, and those of my father and brother. Eventually, we had to quit because we only had 2 golf balls left! Since then I’ve watched people play golf with a mix of admiration and apathy. There’s no question that…

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Wrong Side of the Tracks

By | John "the Penguin" Bingham, Personal, The Penguin Archives | No Comments

I’m not a rookie. I’ve run 45 marathons. I’m familiar with most of the marathon training programs and I’ve read dozens of articles on workouts, building mileage, tapering and race strategy. But no one has EVER mentioned what to do if you’re stopped by a train during a marathon. It was as pretty a day for a marathon as you can imagine in Portland, Oregon—crisp air, blue skies, plenty of sunshine. I was leading a group of runners who wanted to finish the race between 5 hours and anytime on Sunday. We were having more fun than anyone should have…

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A Body In Motion

By | John "the Penguin" Bingham, Personal, The Penguin Archives | No Comments

For nearly 10 years I’ve had the privilege of interviewing many of the top runners of this and past generations. The one interview that is guaranteed to be filled with surprises, thoughtful nuance and outrageous proclamations is Olympic Gold Medalist Frank Shorter. Typically I’ll ask Frank what’s on him mind and 45 minutes later we stop. Recently I asked Frank how it was that he maintained his enthusiasm for running for so many years. His reply was that he simply loved to run. Training and racing weren’t things he had to do but things he wanted to do. More than…

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The Next Step

By | 100 Days Challenge, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Personal, The Penguin Archives | No Comments

May 1997 It happens to all of us I think. The moment comes when what was impossible is possible, the unthinkable thinkable, the undoable done.  Thinking back to those first struggling steps, to the time when a mile seemed like the farthest distance I could imagine running, I never would have guessed I could run a half marathon just for fun. But I did. Remembering how hard it was to run 15 miles a week, I never would have thought about running a 50 mile week. But I have. And I have stayed with my running. I have learned how…

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The Olympian Inside You

By | 100 Days Challenge, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Personal, The Penguin Archives | One Comment

I’ve never competed in the Olympic Games. I’ve never even been to the Olympic Games. I’ve never competed in any event that had national or international significance. I probably am, as my Team in Training colleagues say, the most famous runner who has never won a race. I have led a few races. Once I was leading until about 100 yards from the finish line when I had to pull off. That’s because I was driving the lead vehicle.  That’s not to say that I haven’t experienced the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. I have. It’s just…

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An Afternoon with Larry

By | 100 Days Challenge, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Personal, The Penguin Archives, The Penguin Chronicles 2.0 | No Comments

The long road back starts with a single step. I’ll call him Larry to spare him any embarrassment. Those who know who he is – know. Those who don’t need only know this: in his prime, he ran a marathon in 2:48. That was many years ago and nearly 200 pounds ago. And yet, there we were, on a marathon course, making our way to the finish line. A year earlier, a mutual friend threw down the gauntlet and asked Larry to confront his weight, which had reached an alarming 330 pounds or more. I promised Larry that if he…

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