Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Article on Flag

High altitude, facilities draw world's best

The Arizona Republic

FLAGSTAFF - So there you are at Biff's Bagels on Beaver Street near Route 66, digesting your Wednesday breakfast.

Then the runners show up.

Big-time runners. Some living in town. Some from countries far away. They gather inside, then go run for an hour or so before returning to eat whatever elite athletes allow themselves.

"It makes you feel a little lazy," said Mitch Kramer, a Biff's Bagels manager. "It's usually around 9 a.m. when they swamp us. The folks that eat around that time are surprised, but they really like it. For the ones who know what's going on, it gets them motivated to do stuff."

The top athletes at Biff's are just one sign of Flagstaff's evolution into one of the world's premier locations for altitude training.

The process began 40 years ago when famed U.S. miler Jim Ryun and a few others came here rather than South Lake Tahoe to train for the 1968 Olympics

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