Oops. The Marines came up with the names of two splendid specimens -- mentioned last time -- who will be running their 15th consecutive Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. Now four more splendid specimens -- who also will be doing their 15th -- have emerged, and there's no way I'm going to just bury their names.
I mean, do you go out and run 26 miles, 385 yards around your city every year?
So here's a capsule look at these regulars who will be among the 13,000 on the marathon trail:
Will Brown, 44, Raleigh, N.C., a colonel in the Marine reserves and chief fiscal officer for the state of North Carolina's Division of Aging. Gets up at 3:45 a.m. daily to train (40-50 miles a week regularly and 60-70 miles pre-marathon). "I feel very fast when I'm out there in the dark all alone." Goal: Trying for 3:20 to qualify for the Boston Marathon. "I'll have to hurry a little."
Roger Burkhart, 52, Gaithersburg, public health analyst for the FDA. Usually runs noon hours. Puts in 30-35 miles a week year-round, 50-60 miles several weeks before the marathon. Best time: 3:22. Basic goal this year: under 4 hours. "I look forward to getting down there that morning and feeling all that excitement... . I am impressed with the courage there, and maybe most of all, with the courage of the blind runners."
Mel Williams, 52, Virginia Beach, "eminent" (an honor bestowed by the university) professor of physical education, Old Dominion University, Norfolk. Usual training: 60-80 miles a week, but does nothing two days before a marathon. Has run 90 marathons, including the first Berlin marathon in September (with 25,000 starters and 22,000 finishers). "You should have heard the cheering when we went through the Brandenburg Gate." His favorite marathon: the Marine Corps. "All the hoopla and camaraderie -- I just love it." His time at his first was two hours, 51 minutes. His goal this year: 2:45.
Retired Marine Lt. Col. Dave Wiseman, 52, Falls Church, vice president of Scientex Corp., a support contractor for the federal government. Going into the marathon with a weekly base of 50 to 60 miles. Runs daily at lunch -- "It's a good time to think things out" about everything from his job to personal relationships -- but sometimes wishes for the longer time he had on active duty with the Marine Corps, when he could go out and run for two to three hours on a workday. His best time: 2:58:50. This year he expects 3:30 to 3:45, after consuming, two hours before the marathon, "two huge waffles with two huge scoops of ice cream."
No. Don't try it, unless you always eat two huge waffles and two scoops of ice cream before running 26 miles.
Attention District of Columbia street planners: You're wondering who would use more bike routes? Borrow, beg or -- no, don't do that -- but ride a bike some sunny weekend on the Rock Creek path.
Warning: You must be very brave. Wear a helmet, and for God's sake, stay in your lane and don't ever stop to smell the flowers, or you could have bike tracks up your back.
Ride the path as I did, from Lake Needwood, Rockville, to the Kennedy Center, and you'll notice how dramatically the traffic swells and changes in that 23 miles, from a few bikers on a sylvan holiday to, once over the District line, the Los Angeles freeway at rush hour.
And walkers, walkers? Some little old couples with canes were in danger of losing their lives. Ditto for some young couples with strollers.
The District needs bike lanes on city streets. The biking constituency is there. And think of all the gas to be saved.
Some additions -- during this Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- to the proliferating help and information from breast cancer patients:
"Get Up and Go: After Breast Surgery" -- A sprightly video acknowledgment of the importance of post-surgery exercise for physical rehabilitation and emotional empowerment. Class participants are five inspiring women ranging in age from 35 to 74, all of whom have undergone mastectomy, lumpectomy or reconstructive surgery.
After the American Cancer Society's Reach to Recovery basic exercises the tape progresses to more challenging -- but never difficult -- stretch and toning sequences. The windup is a meditation segment, which is too brief.
Otherwise, the video is an excellent catalyst for getting patients started exercising as part of their ongoing care. It encourages beginning, with permission from doctors, soon after surgery and continuing during chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Exercise is not yet a routine part of cancer treatment, as Jay K. Harness, director, Breast Care Center, and clinical associate professor of surgery, University of Michigan Medical Center, points out. But some research has shown, he says, that oncology patients who exercise have shown marked improvement over those who don't.
The one-hour tape is part of a collection on health produced and distributed by the nonprofit Health Tapes Inc., 101 N. Main St., Suite 515, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48104. Call 313-662-5100.
"Cancer: Just a Word ... Not a Sentence" -- A most intimate and unblinkingly candid look at breast cancer shared by Woodstock, N.Y., psychotherapist Joy Hopkins-Hausman.
Three months after her sister died of breast cancer at the age of 43, Hopkins-Hausman's mammogram showed that she too had the disease, at 38. To encourage women to take charge of their recoveries, she allowed a camera to document her quest for physical and emotional healing, using both traditional and nontraditional therapies.
"You have all this stuff," she says, "this giant warehouse of knowledge."
With all of her gifts to other women, including some both poignant and useful discussions with her family and friends, Hopkins-Hausman's greatest gift is at first shocking. From a scene of her playing with her young kids, the camera is suddenly on only her; she's bare-breasted, and one breast is missing. The camera doesn't politely move away; it stays there. It stays there until you are no longer horrified. And then the horror and embarrassment dissipate and you see a beautiful woman with both a fulsome, voluptuous side and a side like that of a young girl, flat-chested and vulnerable. You'll never be as terrified by the thought of a mastectomy again.
But maybe because the film is so unslick, with a cozy (some might say rough) home-movie quality to it, I found the shots of reconstruction surgery almost too accessible.
The film is the winner of several awards, including the 1989 American Video Conference Award, sponsored by the American Film Institute and Billboard magazine. 45 min. Willow Mixed Media Inc., P.O. Box 194, Glenford, N.Y. 12433. Call 914-657-2914.