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President Set To Race

President Set To RaceAfter months of training, President Lawrence S. Bacow and the Tufts team are ready to run Boston’s annual marathon to raise money for an innovative health and fitness program at the University. Boston.

Boston [04.18.03] As the President of Tufts University, Lawrence S. Bacow is used to running around quite a bit. But nothing compares to this past year, when Bacow began training to run Boston's annual marathon to raise funds for an innovative health and nutrition program at Tufts. On Monday, the months of training will be put to the test, as the President and a team of nearly 40 Tufts runners face off against the 26.2 mile course.

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"I try to run two to three times during the week - about 4 to 6 miles each time - and then I do one long run on the weekend, usually on Sunday," Bacow told the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter about his preparation for Monday's Boston Marathon.

Bacow and the Tufts team - comprised of nearly 40 Tufts students, faculty, parents, administrators and staff - have been working hard to prepare for the strenuous race.

"By the end of February I was up to 12, 14 miles on a Sunday. Now it's about 18 miles. I'll taper back a couple of weeks before the marathon [to reserve energy for the day of the race]," said Bacow - who completed the Bay State Marathon in 3 hours and 58 minutes in 1997.

In addition to the runners, hundreds of students, faculty, staff and alumni will line the historic course as water station volunteers and spectators.

The effort is in part to raise support and awareness for the Personalized Performance Program, an innovative new fitness program at the University. The comprehensive health, fitness, and nutrition assessment - available free of charge to the Tufts community - generates a customized fitness program for participants.

The President's own fitness regime has been stepped up for the marathon. A seasoned runner of 10 years, Bacow says it is a challenge to make time for fitness in his busy schedule.

"I run very early in the morning - usually 6 o'clock," the Tufts President said. "It has been hard this past winter. The weather has been so bad that it has been tough to run outdoors with all the snow piled up."

But Bacow says that, for him, running has benefits aside from physical fitness.

"Running does something for me that's very independent of exercise," Bacow told the Health & Nutrition Letter. "It's when I get my best thinking done. If I've got a difficult problem, I chew on it while I run. That's when I really work on it."

The President hopes to finish the course in 4 hours and 30 minutesthis Monday - time he will cherish.

"Running is also when I compose my speeches, and it's just a good way of clearing my head," said Bacow. "It's uninterrupted time, which is exceedingly rare."


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