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Original Issue


It has been observed that Special Contributor Kenny Moore's manuscripts arrive at our office uncommonly free of spelling errors and split infinitives. There is a good reason for this, since in his wife Bobbie, Moore has a live-in editor. "Almost nothing goes out of here without her imprimatur," he says. "If it does, it usually returns rather quickly."

This week Bobbie has put aside her editor's blue pencil and shares with us her views on running, after six years of researching its sensations. In that time she has gone from accompanying Olympic marathoner Kenny on his gentler jogs to becoming a runner with solid racing credentials of her own. In 1971 she ran her first marathon in five hours. Last October she won the women's division of the Oregon Track Club marathon in 3:30:07, just seven seconds shy of the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. During the same period she lowered her mile time from seven minutes to 5:40.6, an improvement she credits to weight lifting and to lengthening her morning run to five miles. The rewards of all this are evocatively described in A Fever Running Through the Streets, which begins on page 26.

Bobbie's lineage is what is known in her native Hawaii as "hapa-haole," or "cosmopolitan." In her case, that means a mixture of French, Chinese, Irish, Filipino, Spanish and Japanese. It is obviously a most fortuitous blend, since she is both a Phi Beta Kappa and a former Miss Hawaii.

"You have to understand that Bobbie's running is just one manifestation of a recurring pattern," reports Kenny. "It begins with her kind of casually getting interested in something. Pretty soon she's begun studying, or practicing, and I have to cook dinner for a while. After a few months, she's either writing about it, or figuring out how to overthrow the national organization." Her enthusiasm for running not only has Bobbie doing 70 miles of training a week, but she also is coauthoring an instruction manual on field events for the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Library. Last year Bobbie became interested in the Oregon Track Club's program for women. Now she directs it, and this week is in Denver helping present Eugene's bid for the Olympic track trials.

Bobbie is a founder of the Northwest Editorial Guild, a group of editors, graphic artists and translators. Her love of the language derives from a childhood as a six-volume-per-week bookworm. Her work is distinguished by a fixation on accuracy developed during a year as a feature writer for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Yet Bobbie makes her editorial changes with a soft word and downcast eyes. "She'll be going over one of my stories," says Kenny, "and she'll sigh. Sometimes, when the blue pencil has to be used to clarify an obscure passage, she'll murmur, 'Poor baby.' If she finds an error in fact, she'll say, 'Poor deranged baby.' " Which brings up the question: did Kenny edit Bobbie's article on running? "I'm not that deranged," he says.