Briefing |


Staff Report

Here’s One Confession Not Found on HBOYou just never know how a conversation with a cabdriver is going to go.Bill Burke, president of the L.A. Marathon, and his wife, county Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, will never forget the one they had with cabdriver Ron Rissler in Las Vegas last year.”We hailed a cab at the Mirage and the driver at first didn’t say anything,” Burke said. “Then he suddenly starting telling us he didn’t have much of a family and each year he got only one Christmas card.”We thought that was kind of strange, but then he turned around and said, ‘That one card always comes from you two.'”The Burkes send Christmas cards to all of the L.A. Marathon “legacy runners” who have run in the race every year. Rissler will run in his 20th on Sunday.Trivia timeQ: When was the last time an American runner won an open division of the L.A. Marathon?A: 1994, when there were two American open winners. Paul Pilkington won the men’s division and Olga Appell the women’s.A family affairThe oldest legacy runner in Sunday’s race will be 81-year-old Albert Pugliese, who lives in Arizona.Joining Pugliese will be four family members – daughter Lydia Rocco of Philadelphia, daughter Bunny Amoroso of Simi Valley, Calif., grandson Jonathan Walker and great grandson Jaqob Walker.That’s four generations represented by one family. And if one of them falls behind, they can call it a generation gap.A shorts storyPugliese should be easy to spot. He said he has worn the same shorts in all of the previous 19 L.A. Marathons. “They’ve been sewed and pinned in various places,” he said.He nailed itGeorge Allen, the former Los Angeles Ram coach who died in 1990, was 70 when he ran in the L.A. Marathon in 1988, his first marathon.”He was looking to get some press for an Olympic training center in San Diego and was planning to drop out after three or four miles,” Bill Burke recalled. “But he was feeling pretty good and decided to try and make it to the 12-mile mark so he could get his picture taken.”Then he was about to quit at the 20-mile mark when he ran past (former Dallas Cowboy) Duane Thomas’ house. Thomas joined him in his street shoes and ran the final six miles with George, who called me the next day and said, ‘Bill, all my toenails have fallen off.’ “Looking backOn March 4, 1990, Hank Gathers, one of only two Division I players to lead the nation in scoring and rebounding in the same season, died after collapsing during Loyola Marymount’s West Coast Conference tournament game against Portland. He was 23.And finallyOf the game on March 2, 1962 when Wilt Chamberlain had 100 points, 25 rebounds and two assists, reader David Sartory says, “Just think, another 75 boards and 98 assists and he would have had a triple-triple.” – from GSPI wire services

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