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SCORECARD
Edited by Steve Wulf
November 16, 1987
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS
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November 16, 1987

Scorecard

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WHAT SIN A NAME?
There's a retired executive and Philadelphia Phillies fan living in one of the Middle Atlantic States who prefers to remain nameless. That's because his name is Homer Hanke.

WHAT'S IN ANOTHER NAME?
The goalie for the Williams College soccer team recently set a school record for shutouts in a season (8). His name: Rob Blanck.

HE RAN A CROOKED 26 MILES, 385 YARDS

Those who watched Pat Petersen, one of the leading U.S. Entrants in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 1. probably noticed his somewhat awkward running style. Bob Prichard of San Rafael, Calif., did more than just notice it. Prichard, who describes himself as a kinetic analyst, studied tapes of the race and concluded that Petersen, who led for 14 miles and eventually finished fourth to Ibrahim Hussein, ran two miles farther and bounced a quarter of a mile higher than he had to. "Petersen is obviously one tough cookie," says Prichard, who aids athletes on a full-time basis. "He ran a lot longer and harder than Hussein did."

Petersen was guilty on two counts: crossover and bounce. Crossover is measured by examining how far a runner's legs cross over the midline of his body as he runs. According to Prichard, ''Petersen had a crossover of six inches with his right leg and six inches with his left—that's a huge amount." In other words Petersen kept stepping forward at an inward angle rather than straight ahead, and the inefficiency of his strides—typically a marathoner takes about 1,000 per mile—accounted for the extra distance he had to run. Petersen also bounced approximately 25% higher than the average competitive runner, who during a marathon will bounce a vertical mile, or the combined height of four World Trade Center towers.

Hussein, on the other hand, had almost no crossover and little bounce. Yet Prichard believes Hussein could improve by increasing his stride angle, the measure in degrees of the greatest opening between the lead and trailing legs. "A marathoner ought to have about a 100-degree stride angle," says Prichard. " Hussein had a stride angle of only 90 degrees. If he increased his stride angle just five degrees, he could knock probably five minutes off his marathon time, which would give him a world record."
—CRAIG NEFF

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