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Original Issue


Kenny Moore's account of the Olympic marathon, in which he finished fourth, begins on page 92 of this issue. His manuscript ended "Munich-Amalfi-Rome-Nairobi," reminiscent of James Joyce's Ulysses, with its subscription "Trieste-Zurich-Paris"—and rather like Ulysses himself, who took the long way home from Troy, Moore left Munich in September and last week was still 2,500 miles from his native Oregon. Unlike Ulysses, he has his wife with him. Miss Hawaii '65, Phi Beta Kappa, Stanford '70 and five hours plus through a snowstorm in the only marathon she has run, Bobbie Moore √Øs a more versatile traveling companion than Penelope would have been.

The Moores went first to Italy, where they were driven out of Amalfi by a cathedral bell which, tolling every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, "sounded like a rusty bumper being hammered back into shape." In Africa, where Kenny wrote his piece on fellow Olympian John Akii-Bua (SI, Nov. 20), they rented a bungalow on the beach south of Mombasa. Their morning jog was among troops of baboons, and at night bush babies jumped up and down on their roof. "At no time of day was it cool enough to run more than 20 miles," Moore reports, "and we had to be careful to be in by nightfall. There was a leopard in the forest behind the beach."

Provisioning, however, entailed unaccustomed delights. A five-pound lobster cost all of $1.14, and when Bobbie complained of a vendor's unripe paw-paws, the man whipped out a certificate and told her, "This means only I can tell when paw-paw is ready!"

In late November the Moores flew to Japan, where Kenny met Olympic champion Frank Shorter in the Fukuoka marathon. Shorter won in an American-record 2:10:30; Moore gave out after 20 miles, finishing 13th in 2:22. He and Bobbie then headed for Hong Kong, Manila and Australia, where he wrote an article on Ron Clarke (SI, Feb. 26).

The next stop was New Zealand. "Auckland must be distance running's most famous neighborhood," says Moore. "Peter Snell, Murray Halberg, Bill Baillie, Barry Magee, Gordon Pirie and Coach Arthur Lydiard have produced six Olympic medals and five books among them, books which were the stuff of dreams for this 17-year-old track nut. So our sojourn there was a passage through my youth. Halberg keeps a shop in Auckland; we bought a sheepskin there, and I asked if he ran much these days. 'Not a step,' he said. 'No one has shown me a study which proves runners live longer. I feel much better when I don't exercise at all.' " This heresy failed to slow Moore up. A foot injury suffered in Hawaii, his next port of call, did (though curiously it does not bother him when he does speed work).

This week the Moores return to Oregon, ending their global marathon. Once home Kenny will keep running fast—as well as writing his discerning and brilliantly paced stories for us.