Burfoot heads to Boston for 45th anniversary of his win there

Emmaus resident won the Boston Marathon in 1968

Amby Burfoot says he has surprised himself this year.

The 66-year-old Emmaus resident is training more and running more than he has in 20 years, and he's been doing it at a perfect time.

On Monday, Burfoot will toe the line for the start of the Boston Marathon to celebrate the 45th anniversary of his legendary win in 1968.

"It doesn't get old running Boston because I don't run it every year," said Burfoot, one of the editors-at-large for Runner's World magazine.

For Burfoot, returning to Boston is like returning home. His family and friends live in his native Connecticut.

"Because it's an anniversary run, people come out of the woodwork to run with me," he said. "I've got a team of six or seven of us to run together, and one is my very first training partner from Connecticut. He's in his mid-60s now too, and he's an oncologist in Vermont. His daughter, who is very fast, is running with us. My two kids are cheering — they're not into running — and a couple of my in-laws are running with us. A lot of family is coming up to cheer."

Burfoot said that it's fun revisiting the famed Hopkinton-to-Boston course, even with Heartbreak Hill looming between miles 20 and 21 near Boston College.

"It's challenging as hell," he admitted, "but I have made adjustments. I run slower now. I try to run within myself, and that's actually easy. I've been running a long time, and running teaches you humility and to accept exactly who you are and where you are. I have no delusions, I just try to keep putting one foot in front of the other."

Burfoot has been putting in decent miles in preparation for Boston, with some 70 mile weeks, some 50 mile weeks and some 40 mile weeks. He said a case of bronchitis and/or the flu in December and January shut him down long enough that he mentally and physically began to run with more vigor and mental acuity.

"It's a tricky course and you have to run Boston really smart to run it well," Burfoot said. "One definition of smart is to run conservatively, and that's what I hope to do. You can never toe the start line and know you're going to finish. There are many pitfalls on the treacherous Boston course."

World Series of Bicycling set: The Valley Preferred Cycling Center will embark on its 38th season of international professional racing on June 7 with the U.S. Sprint Grand Prix, kicking off 12 Friday nights of elite racing at the mecca of track cycling in the U.S.

The season will close on Aug. 30 with the UCI Madison Cup, and the facility will be dark on Friday, July 5, in honor of the Fourth of July Weekend.

One of the highlights of the season is the 2013 USA Cycling Junior National Championships

2013 World Series of Bicycling

International Professional Racing

At Valley Preferred Cycling Center, Trexlertown

JUNE

7 US Sprint Grand Prix

14 Keirin Cup/10 Mile Championship

21 UCI Festival of Speed presented by EnduroPacks

28 Red Robin Bicycle Racing League presented by Kratzer Orthodontics

JULY

5 No Racing Scheduled

12 Keirin Revenge

19 The Golden Wheel Race presented by Bear Creek Mountain Resort

26 USAC Junior Nationals

AUGUST

2 Tandemonium/ Women's Open

9 Rodale Corporate Challenge

16 Deer Park UCI Fastest Man on Wheels presented by Univest

23 Air Products Developmental Program Championships

30 UCI Madison Cup

General admission ticket $5; Finish Line tickets $8.

Tickets available at the box office on race night, or in advance by contacting the Valley Preferred Cycling Center at 610-395-7000 or info@thevelodrome.com.

Gates open 6 p.m. Racing begins at 7:30 p.m.

Run for your lungs: The American Lung Association is holding the first Lehigh Valley Fight for Air 5K Run and Walk on Sunday, May 5, at Rodale Fitness Park on Mosser Road in Trexlertown.

On-site registration begins at 8 a.m. A dove release in memory of those who lost their fight with lung disease will take place at 9 a.m., with the race start taking place immediately afterward. Doves for release can be reserved for $25 before April 15.

The walk is free, but walkers are urged to raise at least $100 in donations. Registration for runners is $25 before April 15 and $30 afterward.

For more information, contact Dine Leuthardt at 610-253-5060, email dleuthardt@lunginfo.org or go online to http://www.lunginfo.org/lvrunwalk.

Palmerton run: The 12th annual Blue Mountain Health System 5K Road Race-Walk and Kids Fun Run will take place Saturday, May 11, with the start/finish at Palmerton Borough Park, Third & Franklin Ave., Palmerton.

The entry fee is $25 online (www.bmhs5k.com) and $5 for the kids run. Men's and women's technical T-shirts are guaranteed if registered by April 15. All proceeds benefit Blue Mountain Health System.

Collegiate triathlon nationals: Jason West of Breinigsville, a sophomore at Penn State, will compete in the 2013 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships Saturday in Tempe, Ariz. West finished in the top 10 as a freshman last year. He won the Northeast Collegiate Triathlon Conference in the fall. He competes with the Penn State Triathlon Club.

gary.blockus@mcall.com

610-820-6782

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