David Davis is a contributing writer at Los Angeles Magazine. He is the author of Showdown at Shepherd's Bush: The 1908 Marathon and the Three Runners Who Launched A Sporting Craze (St. Martin's). He lives in Los Angeles and is on Twitter at @ddavisla.
Sportswriting as we know it more or less began in Chicago. From Black Sox to Three-Peats: A Century of Chicago's Best Sportswriting from the Tribune, Sun-Times, and Other Newspapers, a new anthology of Chicago sportswriting edited by the veteran columnist Ron Rapoport, shows how sportswriting grew up, and grew with the times, in the Windy City.
The veteran sportswriter Allen Barra made the relationship between two of the greatest and most iconic players of their generation the subject of his new book. But the relationship between Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle was also about the relationships between stars and fans, legend and memory, and everything else.
As the New York City Marathon faces the strangest run in its history in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's devastation, it seems worthwhile to take a look back at this long race's long, strange, and almost implausibly colorful history, both in New York and in the public consciousness.
In 1963, Merry Lepper became the first woman ever to finish a marathon. But first the marathon had to get ready for her. An excerpt from Marathon Crasher, by David Davis.