Millimeter by millimeter
February 25, 2018 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone help me find a half-remembered quote about distance running? I have only these hazy memories: it's from an older elite runner (maybe a 60s or 70s Olympic marathoner?) about how people always ask him for the trick to getting faster. But the only trick is wearing down the soles of his shoes millimeter by millimeter. (Complication: it's possible this is about cycling and wearing down tires, not running)
posted by brozek to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total)
Sounds like something Hal Higdon would say.
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:01 AM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

“What was the secret, they wanted to know; in a thousand different ways they wanted to know The Secret. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart-rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottoms of his training shoes. The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials.”

John L. Parker Jr., “Once a Runner”. It’s fiction, BTW.
posted by siskin at 1:39 PM on February 25, 2018 [6 favorites]

Thanks, Siskin!! I love Once a Runner, and I can’t believe I couldn’t remember that was the source!
posted by brozek at 2:25 PM on February 25, 2018

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