Jan. 1, 2022 — Someone posted a clip from Academy Award winning movie, “Chariots of Fire” on Facebook (which I had shared on Lydiard Training & Academy page) yesterday morning, the last day of 2021. I always felt that movies and music really bring back memories (related blog HERE). It did bring back my memory 40 years ago…. This movie was released in the spring of 1981. I remember there was an article on the movie in “The Runner” magazine. I was living in the college dorm at the time and, as a foreign student, I had no place to go during the Christmas-New Year vacation. So I got together with a friend of mine who was going to stay with his friend’s place in San Francisco and took a road-trip from Moses Lake, WA, to San Francisco. He agreed to stop a few days in Eugene, OR, because I wanted to visit this famous “Track Town USA” and check out the original Nike store on Fifth Avenue and also check out this wood-chip filled trail called “Pre’s Trail”. Once we were in San Francisco, I stayed at a cheap motel (Motel 6???) and he would stay at his friend’s place. On the New Year’s Eve 1981, I was all alone — in other words, totally free! — so I decided to walk to a near-by movie theater and watch this newly released running movie; “Chariots of Fire”. Come to think of it, it was exactly 40 years ago; from 1981 to 1982 then and now 2021 to 2022.
Forty-years is a log time! Of course, back then, I never even imagined I’d be in the 60s!!! But here I am, still chugging along with this Lydiard stuff. Back then, I was fresh from meeting Arthur Lydiard for the first time (read this story HERE). I heard about this young talented runner by the name of Steve “Pre” Prefontaine whose career and life was cut short in a car accident and there is a wood-chip trail named after him. The first time I ran on it, I had my favorite windbreaker from “Bill Rodgers Running Gear” brand. I had baggy gardening gloves because Bill Rodgers wore them en route to his first of 4 Boston Marathon victories. Earlier in the spring of 1980, he won his fourth Boston Marathon in a hot day; the condition he does not prefer. That was one of the first English newspaper article I had ever read (I came to USA only a week or so before 1980 Boston Marathon). Never in my wildest dream did I ever even imagine, after 40 years, I would be friends with Linda Prefontaine, Pre’s sister; and frequently chatting with THE Bill Rodgers via text message!!
Only 3 years after my lonely stay at a cheap motel on New Year’s Eve after watching “Chariots of Fire”, I would personally meet one of my high school heroes, Dick Quax, introduced by none other than Arthur Lydiard. January 1 is his birthday and I would later make calling him on the New Year’s Day to wish him a happy birthday an annual event (this story HERE) — something I deeply miss that he had passed away in 2018. Looking back, it sure has been a wild ride for me since 1981. But surely this movie, “Chariots of Fire”, remains one of my favorite movies. Watching this movie warps me back to the “feel” of early 1980s. Anne Audain told me that she watched this movie the night before she set the world 5,000m record in 1982 (her story HERE). In fact, “Chariots of Fire” reminds me of 1980s when I was in the US and she was winning all the major US road races. Actually sometimes when I hear the theme of “Chariots of Fire”, I think of her. When I was working on my Lydiard book (in Japanese) in 2019, I often had “Chariots of Fire”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, “Flashdance”, “Vision Quest”, or “The Right Stuff” sort of as a background. These are all movies I saw in the 1980s when I was searching to understand what this “Lydiard Method” was all about. This brought back the “feel” of my struggle to grasp the Principles of Lydiard Method. So here I am, 40 years later, I’m watching the BlueRay of “Chariots of Fire”, reminiscing my early days…. I feel blessed that I was able to stick to my dreams and actually get to know those “high school heroes” and get acquainted with them personally; and vowing to “pass it forward”, to help others (to understand the Lydiard Method) as so many have done for me along the way.
Stay safe, everybody, and may 2022 bring you good health, good fortune and many more enjoyable miles on your feet. Happy New Year to everybody!! — Nobby Hashizume