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It's crunch time for runners

Posted by: pshields on Monday, January 03, 2005 - 04:02 AM Print article Printer-friendly page  Email to a friend

It's crunch time for runners

But new 'technical' fabrics make icy weather almost tolerable

By Paul Baldwin

To some, it might seem that dedicated runners teeter between enthusiasm and fanaticism, even in the best weather. But in the winter the mix of surprise and pity at the sight of a runner on the road can be as palpable as frost on a windshield.

After all, who in their right mind would run outdoors in December, especially when the sky has just dropped half a foot of ice and snow? Won't your lungs freeze? Don't you risk frostbite? Won't the neighbors talk? Perhaps they will.

But Dennis Branson won't notice. He'll be enjoying the sound of his shoes sinking into the snow.

"They think I'm psycho," Branson, 44, said of his non-running friends. "But I love the snow in your face and the sound of the crunch-crunch under your feet. If I'm in the park, it's just nice and peaceful."

For many runners, keeping warm and dry used to be difficult during colder months. That's because most of the clothing designed for running was made of cotton, which holds sweat like a dishrag.

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