WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Hal Higdon

2013-09-09T18:00:00Z 2013-09-12T22:28:07Z WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Hal HigdonMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
September 09, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

The title says it all.

Long Beach resident and longtime runner and author Hal Higdon's book "4:09.43" refers to the numbers on the finish-line clock at the 2013 Boston Marathon when the first bomb exploded.

This is not a book about running, as Higdon tells the story from runners' perspective, collecting 75 personal tales into one compilation.

The book, an ebook on The Kindle Store, took the tales from blogs.

"These are not 75 different stories," Higdon said. "This is one story and it might be told by one runner with 75 pairs of eyes."

Higdon said he did not want to include the terrorists view.

"It is ironic that not that as many runners as you would think got injured in the explosions," Higdon said. "They were shielded by the fans.

"I just wanted to show what they went through, how they felt. It is a look back at how those events may have changed things, but the runners I have talked to said they would go back (to the race). It is also in a sense, a look forward."

Higdon is also an artist, and is working on a painting with the time at the moment of the first explosion.

He said this shows Americans will not be intimidated.

"People still get on airplanes," Higdon said. "I don't think we will be intimidated."

Higdon previously coached girls cross country at Michigan City Elston in the 1980s and early 1990s. He was a runner at Carleton College in Minnesota.

Higdon, the author of more than 36 books who has had articles in Runner's World and Sports Illustrated, has also written non-fiction books: "Leopold and Loeb, The Crime of the Century" about the kidnapping and murder of Chicago teen Bobby Franks. He also wrote "The Union vs. Dr. Mudd" in 1964, about the physician who set the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth.

Higdon is other titles include a novel, "Marathon," and the best-selling "Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide." His children's book, "The Horse That Played Center Field," was made into an animated feature by ABC-TV.

The 1949 Mount Carmel grad has run in 111 marathons, including  Boston and Chicago. His website, www.halhigdon.com says he has contributed to "Runner's World" longer than any other writer, an article by him having appeared in that publication's second issue in 1966.

He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four World Masters Championships.

"I still run, but I think in the running circles, I am better known as writer than a runner," Higdon said.

He was not at this year's Boston race, but was following it online when he found out about the tragedy.

"I had blogged the day before, Sunday, about it should be a good day for a race," Higdon said.

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