To Amby, With Gratitude

Burfoot_Amby-FifthAveAmby Burfoot is a legend in the running world. Not only did he win the Boston Marathon in 1968 (2:22:17), he remained one of our nation’s top runners for many years, if not decades. Amby was also the Editor-in-Chief of Runner’s World for eons, and was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 2008. Today he continues to run, write, and work as Editor-at Large for the magazine.

Putting all his running and writing accomplishments aside, here’s why Amby Burfoot is legend in my mind: his kindness and generosity.

You see, Amby was the first person to ever “officially” hire me as a writer. I had just run my first marathon and felt compelled to write a story about what it meant to run through the streets of New York City in honor of my dad, who had died of cancer when I was 18.

I pounded out a query email to him outlining my story idea, agonizing over every word, comma and format detail. Eventually, I built up my nerve, took a deep breath, and hit the SEND button. Less than five minutes later I heard the magic ding of an incoming email. The message simply said, Continue reading