More on The Runner’s CookbookMay 21, 2008
Don’t get me wrong — using sports as a vehicle to support any worthy cause is admirable. But I think these efforts are most effective when the sports event/product has a direct and logical connection to the cause, as opposed to the “I’m going to run backwards around a track while juggling for 24 hours to raise awareness of adenosine deaminase deficiency” sorts of situations. The Runner’s Cookbook appeals to me in part because it is a product related to running, made by runners, to benefit two runner-related funds: the Ryan Shay Memorial Fund and the Jenny Crain “Make It Happen” Fund.
The rest of its appeal stems from its quality and variety. The diversity of recipes is perhaps unsurprising, but there is also an impressive range of elite athletes represented: half-milers and marathoners, Americans and foreigners, rising stars and legends of yesteryear. And you’ll feel a bit closer to these champions after reading their contributions. The soups — from the quiet purposefulness of Bob Kempainen’s Corn Chowder to the relentless amiability of Amby Burfoot’s Pumpkin Peanut Butter Soup — are especially revealing.
If a second edition of the book is published someday, perhaps a token ultramarathoner or two could be included. I’m thinking specifically of the people who participate in events lasting 24 hours or longer. These athletes consume “real food” during competition in addition to gels and sports drinks, so it would be interesting to see some of the recipes that keep them well-fueled all night long.
Maybe they’ve even found some foods that facilitate juggling in the dark.