Moving Ahead the Wrong Way

Ron Austin is running around backward, calling it Retro Training and actually getting other people to start running around backward with him. He’s serious about it. He says it’s good for you and it’s going to catch on. He has copyrighted the name and the program and is planning to develop Retro shoes.

A recent March of Dimes Walk-America in Lexington, Ky., included several hundred people following Austin’s backward philosophy which, he said, “is really moving ahead.”

Austin gained the attention of Dr. Barry Bates, director of the University of Oregon Biomechanics-Sports Medicine laboratory, who said, “At first it was tongue in cheek, but what we found out after looking at it more closely was that everything that forward running does bad for you, backward does good for you. The knee joint has a greater range of motion going backward, and there is an enhancement of the hamstring muscles. Now our neurological people are going to take a look at it for how it might benefit the elderly population.”

There is another advantage, according to Austin: “When dogs see you running backward, they never chase you because they think you’re crazy.”


A new, supposedly safer Miss Budweiser is scheduled to race Sunday at Miami Marine Stadium. The question is whether the unlimited hydroplane will arrive on time. Miss Budweiser got a late start from Seattle because of an explosion May 29.

The boat’s owner, Bernie Little, is proud to say that the craft is the safest ever built. “Our goal was to build the safest hydroplane in the world,” he said. “We may look like the dumbest people in the world Sunday night, but at least we made the total effort. This has never been done before with the enclosed driver. We have an escape hatch at the bottom and top. We have roll bars all around him. You could run a boat right over him, and he wouldn’t be hurt.”

The test drive was a bit more of a test than anyone really wanted. An explosion within the first seconds of its maiden voyage blew a six-foot hole in the side of the boat. The damage occurred when one of the boat’s batteries exploded during ignition and touched off gasoline fumes surrounding the boat. Driver Jim Kropfeld emerged unhurt from the enclosed cockpit.

Bo Farley, 78, is legally blind, but he can still hit a golf ball. At Brook Valley Country Club, near Raleigh, N.C., he made a hole-in-one earlier this week--his seventh since taking up golf nearly 40 years ago. Farley was not able to see his shot drop on the par-three, 175-yard fifth hole, but he said he knew when he hit it that the shot was decent.


Farley has trouble addressing the ball. “I see from the outside of my eyes,” he said. “I have to turn my head sideways to see the ball at all. I hit some and miss some. But I guess I do pretty well for a man my age and being blind.”

Mary Lou Retton has been spending a lot of time in the gym lately--ever since she saw Sport magazine’s Fearless Predictions for 1985. “ ‘Mary Lou Retton gets fat!’ ” she said. “Can you believe it? I’ll show them.”


Responding to comments made by the Boston Celtics’ M.L. Carr, who speculated that the Lakers would have to be worried now, Laker Coach Pat Riley said: “I’ll worry about M.L. Carr when I see him on a street corner.”