Raised to Run: Bart Yasso
I love Bart Yasso. He's a great human being. I "met" him as a reader of Runners World. I first saw him in person at a Running Expo in Philadelphia where he was so popular - you had to wait in line to say "Hi!" Then I was lucky enough to interview him for TV segments. When I invited him to be on our MEDIA RELAY TEAM - he agreed, showed up, and was the life of the party. If you don't know Bart, your running experience is not complete. Consider this your introduction. Meet Bart Yasso...
"Running isn’t about how far you go but how far you’ve come"
“The reward is living the lifestyle and embracing the journey. It’s not only about finishing, it’s about moving forward."
Tips from Bart Yasso on Race Preparations
- Try to get to bed early Friday. If you’re unable to sleep well Saturday night, don’t worry about it. You might even be less groggy if you’ve been awake for hours before start of a marathon.
- Eat several smaller meals throughout the day on Saturday. Leave a banana or energy bar out the night before the race. If you do wake up at 3 a.m., take a bite and go back to sleep.
- When you get to the starting line, take a minute to think how fortunate you are to be able to run a marathon, both physically and culturally.
AMY FREEZE: Bart! You are the undisputed King of Road Racing? Everyone loves you and knows you on the racing circuit. How did u start running?
BART YASSO: When I started running I started dreaming about what I wanted most out of life. I knew I wanted to travel around the world, experience exotic locations and different cultures. Did you run in High School? I didn’t run in high school. I played lots other sports in my younger years but I made a critical error and chose the path of alcohol and drugs. I was very lucky to gravitate towards in 1977 which could have saved my life.
AMY FREEZE: You travel so muh and are always on the go! What are your current current running habits
BART YASSO: I have running goals but none of them are related to racing. My goals are to motivate and engage people that never thought they would be a runner.
AMY FREEZE: I'm convinced you have run every race on the planet... what's your most favorite of all your favorites?!?
BART YASSO: Comrades ultra marathon in South Africa. The oldest and largest ultra marathon in the world.
AMY FREEZE: You'v faced your own adversity in life... how have the health challenges affected your training and running? And what advice do you have for those who must overcome challenges?
BART YASSO: I contracted Lyme disease twice, in 1990 and again in 1997. Running never helped my Lyme disease. Living with chronic Lyme is very painful. Doctors compare the symptoms to rheumatoid arthritis. My legs swell I limp around the office most days. I am still trying to figure out how to be a runner dealing with Lyme disease.
AMY FREEZE: It might seem like a silly question but when you meet non runners they might sk you 'Why do you run?'
BART YASSO: I know I feel more like myself when I run, even if it’s only a few miles, or at least I feel like the self I like best.