90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
U.S. Runners & Marathon Challenges

We look at a controversial push to change form with American long-distance runners — to get them back in the winner’s circle.

The elite women runners make the turn the corner of 59th Street during the New York City Marathon, Nov. 7, 2010. (AP)

A generation ago, American long-distance runners won the world’s big marathons year after year. Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, Joan Benoit and more were indomitable champs. Boston Marathon, New York Marathon, you name it. 

Then, something changed. Americans fell off the map. The world rushed in: Kenyans, Ethiopians. Tremendous runners, in the winners circle — and not Americans. 

Now, Salazar and others are trying to change that, and change form.  

We speak with Bill Rodgers and more on what happened to America’s long distance runners, and how to bring them back. 

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Jennifer Kahn, feature writer and lecturer at the University of California – Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Her new article for The New Yorker is “The Perfect Stride: Can Alberto Salazar straighten out American distance running?” Check out this video where she compares the stride of American marathoner Dathan Ritzenhein to Ethiopian distance runner Kenenisa Bekele.

Scott Douglas, senior editor at Running Times and co-author, with Olympian Pete Pfitzinger, of “Advanced Marathoning.”

Jeremy Rasmussen, women’s cross-country coach and assistant track-and-field coach at the University of Illinois.  In 2009, he coached the Illini to a top-12 finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships for their third consecutive year. 

Bill Rodgers, U.S. long-distance legend who won numerous Boston and New York City marathons in the late 1970s.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 25, 2014
A protester squirts lighter fluid on a police car as the car windows are shuttered near the Ferguson Police Department after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

Grand Jury decision out of Ferguson — no indictment. We’re on the ground with the latest details and reaction.

Nov 25, 2014
A 40-pound tom turkey looks out at Raymond's Turkey Farm in Methuen, Mass., Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. The farm raises approximately 20,000 Broad Breasted White Holland turkeys per year. (AP)

We’ll talk turkey and all the sides. Top chefs join us to answer your Thanksgiving questions.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 24, 2014
Homeless people stay with their belongings under the Pontchartrain Expressway overpass in New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The city’s health department put up notices Monday giving the estimated 150 homeless people 72 hours to leave the area. (AP)

Smashing the assumptions about what it’s really like to live in poverty in America.

 
Nov 24, 2014
In this photo taken Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Silicon Valley pioneer and Silent Circle co-founder Jon Callas holds up Blackphone with encryption apps displayed on it at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.  (AP)

We’ll look at privacy, security, and the battle heating up between intelligence agencies and tech companies that are moving to encrypt your communication.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Last-Minute Thanksgiving Luxury
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

Our three Thanksgiving chefs offer up their best bets for delicious, last-minute holiday helpers, including a crunchy celery salad and maple glazed carrots.

More »
Comment
 
Calling All Interns, Calling All Interns
Monday, Nov 24, 2014

Have you ever thought about interning with On Point Radio? Good news: your time is now!

More »
Comment
 
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
Comment