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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Is long-distance running genetic?

I got a few comments that running might be genetic when I mentioned that my brother Abe runs long distance as well. Abe is unusual in that he is much younger than most long distance runners; he ran a sub 2:50 marathon at 19. That kind of running could be genetic right?
My dad was a long distance runner and ran cross country for the US Coast Guard academy. He was the first - and for years, the only - NCAA athlete to come out of the Coast Guard Academy.
With Sunday's marathon, Abe - and his teammate Vanessa, who ran the half marathon - became the first NAIA athletes for Loyola University.
I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!


  1. I was talking about this with my husband last night. Yes! I was reading Runner's World the other day and a sentence popped out at me that got me thinking about this...something about how the best thing one can do to run really fast is to pick their parents wisely. Obviously we can't choose our parents but I sure am grateful to have running in my genes! Makes me feel like i have a little more going for me to help me reach my goals! :)

    I just read your post "I earned my corral". Congrats to you and your brother! :)

  2. My parents weren't "winning" races particularly. (they do now for age group stuff), but they ran every single day rain or shine and I don't think they were ever injured. (hmmmm.....) Now my sister and I are avid runners. I don't know if it genetics or just watching really great habits like getting up at 4 am to run and eating oatmeal and apples for breakfast. Whatever it is, I am so glad that they did.

  3. i happen to think some people are better cutout for running than others. my family is one of them. :)

    huge kudos on the New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon. you rock seesta!!
    i was so upset all weekend that i was unable to participate. :( i couldn't even bring myself to go watch it. now that's pathetic, isn't it??
    i'm almost 100% over the flu and looking forward to getting back to it in a few weeks.

    once again, you did awesome!

  4. Termite, get better! You would have been major competition for the women's field.

  5. I don't know about "long distance running" being genetic specifically but I DEFINITELY think athleticism is genetic!

    Interesting that your dad ran long distance too! Does he still? Or did he when you were growing up?

  6. Amber,
    My dad dropped running as an adult because he was a ship captain and it's hard to run when you're underway (his icebreakers and cutters weren't equipped with work out rooms). He ran a marathon when I was 8 because it has always been a life goal, but that was a one-time thing. Actually my parents were not very encouraging about exercise growing up; my mother always worried about torn clothes and scraped knees! Those of us who ran all picked it up as adults or older teens.

  7. it is because my great great grandfather, great grandfather, grandfather and father have all been marathon runners and now i am. 170 years of running cant be wrong