Q&A with Dick Lamster

Dick Lamster, 72, sprinter, is a premier volunteer. While lord of the manor and 10 acres on Fox Hollow Road, five miles south of Eugene, his second home is Hayward Field where he has worked most every track meet in the past 17 years. He has twice been the Hayward Classic ramrod, twice president of the OTC Masters, and is presently on the OTC board, and in numerous positions in the Audubon Society, and with a long and distinguished history at the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum. Raised and educated in South Dakota, he served 4 1/2 years as an Army officer, including duty in Viet Nam. On discharge, he hastened to the University of Oregon for a Master’s degree (later another at the University of Michigan), and had a successful career in Oregon as a civilian in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as a Natural Resource Manager.

1. When I waxed wordy about your volunteer obsession, you quickly pointed out there were many others who have served (and continue to serve) even longer at Hayward Field, with about 150 experienced volunteers in all. Surely there is no other such dedication and expertise in the United States, and all of it an area of only 300,000 (hosting the 2021 World Track & Field Championships). Why such civic and volunteer dedication? How and why did you dedicate yourself? Benefits to you?

I believe people volunteer for lots of reasons. I guess I also do it for several reasons including: to give back to the community, lots of track officials worked the track meets I was in during high school and college, so I am doing it now for these kids; the social aspect: there are many quality, nice, friendly people who do volunteer work; working as a team to accomplish good goals; using my expertise, knowledge and experience to do something needed by the community; feeling good about working hard and reaching a goal; feeling needed and appreciated; it is simply enjoyable and makes me feel good.

2. Don’t Eugenians have better, more important things to do? Or is it just they were born with the luxury and strength for 28 hour days, while the rest of us must get it done in 24 hours?.

I would go with the 28 hours thing. It helps me to have a great spouse who supports what I do (and vice versa). We eat well, sleep well and get eight hours every night so we have lots of energy in the morning; not sweating the small stuff;having great friends that we laugh a lot with; wine; chocolate; great dog; enjoying life with a good attitude. Good health allows you to be more efficient and not have to worry or spend time with doctors, appointments, pills, etc.

3. You have a kinda funny, kinda poignant story about the over abundance of highly experienced volunteers. Details please.

I am not sure about the overabundance of volunteers as we recruit and train new officials every year (just had a training session last Saturday). However, having Hayward Field and the U of O here with the long history of support by the community for Track and Field, all helps. We still have to treat officials well, make them feel welcomed and important, train them about safety, details of all the rules, etc. People like to be part of a team that is successful and accomplishes good things. We know most high schools, colleges and universities do not have enough officials to properly stage a good, quality track meet so we feel fortunate to have good, quality officials and other volunteers here in Eugene to do just that.

4.. You played football and ran track in high school and college while in South Dakota. You’ve continued the track, but not football. Why? Best track times in the last and present century?

I loved football, but I was the second smallest guy on the college team, but the fastest. I guess I thought I would be more successful on the track team and that did work out. Besides, those big football guys were constantly trying to hurt me! My times since I turned 70 have not been very good, partially because of a nagging Achilles Tendon problem. I have run in the 15 – 16 second range for 100 meters but firmly believe I will do better this year. (Typical philosophy of a masters athlete.) College times were also not that great, but it was over 50 years ago and we ran yards then in 9.6 wind aided, 9.8 several times sometimes against the wind!

5. Best lesson your parents ever taught you?

Honesty, respect for others and we are all the same. They also really believed in
education. They only had high school diplomas but their five kids all graduated from college and ended up with 10 college degrees total. And about being a volunteer. My dad was a track & field official for 52 years at the local high school. Both of my parents volunteered for Boy and Girl Scouts, church activities, sport man’s clubs, school activities and committees, community events, etc. They never had much money (raising five kids) so I guess they thought they could give their time rather than money.

6. Personal daily exercise routine:

Walk the dog with my wife, mid-morning and again late afternoon on our ten acre home site, rain or shine. Then, do something more physical every day. I now run every other day but do other things also such as push a mower around the hillside, chop wood, haul firewood up the hill, fix fences and barns, prune fruit trees, work in the garden, paint buildings, you get the picture.

7. What did you have for breakfast? Usual breakfast time?

First thing I do in the morning is walk up to the road and get the newspaper. Then I always eat a good breakfast of toast with lots of peanut butter, cereal with milk and a big glass of orange juice. I usually eat 4 or 5 small meals a day and try to eat small quantities. My wife is really a good influence in my eating habits with fresh vegetables and fruit from the garden and orchard, dried fruit from our orchard in the winter. My vices are chocolate and Coke, but I try to do both in moderation

8. In your recent years, what has become more important and less important?

Many of my old high school and college classmates have died, and one of my best friends is dying right now. I have never had one of them tell me they wish they had more money. They did wish they had better health.

9. What would you do/have/be if you had 20 million dollars?

If I had a lot of money I would be trying to save the environment, especially working on issues pertaining to clean air and water. Without clean air and water, nothing else matters.

10. What defeat or disaster later turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to you?

When I was a sophomore in high school I had the tip of my little finger cut off. I thought I was damaged for life, girls would not like me, felt sorry for myself and wanted special treatment. My right hand had this huge bandage and splint and I could barely write. I was taking a timed written test in Mrs. Heer’s class and before the test started, I asked for more time since I was “handicapped”. She said “no” and to make it work and to not expect special treatment in life. It made me mad, but I got through the test, got an “A’” and learned a life lesson.

11. Three things that make you grumpy?

Don’t let yourself get grumpy. You are in charge of your life.

12. Stuff you do, besides running, that most people would consider insane?

Bird watching. My wife and I travel all over the world looking for birds we have not seen. We also enjoy the culture and food of other countries and the architecture, mammals, butterflies, flowers, rocks, scenery, trees, etc. I have given over 200 workshops and programs on birds and backyard habitat, mostly in the Eugene area. … Maeve and I met on a bird watching field trip 26 years ago and married three years later – go figure!

Weekend, 2/10-11/18

King Ches runs 2nd fastest indoor mile on the planet. Click.

Wisdom from the World’s Best Marathoner

The Case for Lowering Your Expectations

Brad Stulberg: A Proven Method to Get More Out of Your Reading.

Q&A with Alex Hutchinson

Kara Goucher tweets: Nice work Justin (Gallegos)! You are an inspiration!! Click.

NYT: How to Handle a Tough Race, etc.

The Olympics Do Not Matter

How to Stay Warm at a Bitter-Cold Olympics? Face Tape and a Whistle-Like Gadget

Training The Best Female Cross Country Skier

‘Banking’ sleep can help athletes go the extra mile

On Saturday, four University of Oregon runners went sub four in the mile. Indoors. Same race. Results. Team mate Matthew Maton, now injured, ran 3:59:38 as a prep.

Friday, 2/9/18

Old Finnish Joke: A Finnish introvert looks at his shoes when he talks to you, and a Finnish extrovert looks at your shoes.

Q&A with Stephen Haas, Cheserek’s Coach. Tonight Ches will try to become the fourth man to break 3:50 in the mile indoors. …And tomorrow he races the 3000? Details.

How New Zealand made Edmund Hillary, the man who conquered Everest

Alex Hutchinson: The New Science of Training Your Gut

In praise of slow thinking in the internet age

American adults who believed that they were less active than their peers died younger than those who believed they were more active — even if their actual activity levels were similar, research shows. Study. In my day, when misbehaving I’d be instructed to “take a lap.” …Now I have a Fitbit Charge 2. Throughout the day it will buzz me, albeit discretely, usually unnoticed, if I haven’t taken 250 steps in the past hour.

Thursday, 2/8/18

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. ~ Mark Twain

The Week That Was

Q&As with Mary Cain and Katelyn Tuohy

Chris Froome: Neither Saint Nor Sinner

Laugh: Andrew Wheating’s Retirement Video

Parents: let your kids fail.

Snakes on a plane for emotional support?

Semi-Rad: Complaining is Useless

It’s time for No Rules Recess

Hershey’s Unveils Some New Chocolate…

More laughs: Why People Start Running

Wednesday, 2/7/18

Alex Hutchinson: The Curiously Elastic Limits of Endurance

More Hutchinson: How top athletes dip into usually inaccessible reserves of strength and endurance

And more Hutchinson.

Hat tip from Malcolm Gladwell

Runners Who Care Pick Up Litter. Back when, in Santa Clarita, teams of Santa Clarita Runners would devote a Saturday morning to picking up litter at the area high schools and/or ten miles on the bike trail. And felt very good about themselves afterwards. Deservedly so. …Of course you don’t need a support team.

Mindfulness No Better Than Watching TV?

Nick Foles’ inspirational message. Hang in there.

Bill Gates Names His New Favorite Book of All Time.More.

Tuesday, 2/6/18

the morning shakeout

Who belongs in the National High School Track & Field Hall of Fame? How about Jeff Nelson? He held the two mile record for 29 years. …More.

The Olympic Moment When South Korea Left the North Behind

Double your pleasure. …Yes, we have the time, and our excuses are BS.

Noise kills

Amby Burfoot says Alex Hutchinson’s book, Endure, is “one of the best”

Are We Reaching the Limits of Homo sapiens?

L.A. has the world’s worst traffic congestion

Why do I live in this God forsaken rain-soaked shit hole? ~Lauren Fleshman, about Eugene, March 13, 2012

Monday, 2/5/18

Men’s Journal: The Most Adventurous Women of the Past 25 Years

The search for Jackie Wallace. He played in three Super Bowls.

“Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer As Hero” — A Book That Changed My Life

How ‘Natural’ Doctors Can Hurt You

It’s Time For a Serious Talk About the Science of Tech “Addiction”More.

Don’s pro tip du jour: Wanna win, or at least PR? Ponder death.

Weekend, 2/3-4/18

Wait a sec. Coffee doesn’t fire the engine?

Reasons to watch the Millrose Games. 1-3 PM on NBC.

Have women already run the equivalent of a sub two hour marathon? Read

The Healthiest People In The World Eat A Lot Of CarbsMore.

TrackTown USA stands by bid for 2021 world track championships

Alex Hutchinson examines how we can push ourselves beyond limits

Every Concussion in the NFL This Year

NYT: The Strava Debacle, etc.

Q&A with Shalane Flanagan

Did I miss the Super Bowl? Video

Friday, 2/2/18

The Week That Was

26.2 to Life …The movie.

I’m the Wife of a Former N.F.L. Player. Football Destroyed His Mind.

Born in Ghana. Races for Navy.

What Runners Should Know About Jack Daniels.

Resilience is Not About Bouncing Back and The Importance of Leaving Things Out

Joe Newton remembered as ‘the ultimate team guy’ at memorial

Thursday, 2/1/18

Brad Stulberg: When, Exactly, to Schedule Your Workouts

Cool video: Morning Hill Climbs for Breakfast

What Runners Can Learn From NFL Players

Hits to the Head May Result in Immediate Brain Damage

How to Tell If Someone Is Lying

You gave me a straw. Now you’re going to jail. California, of course.

OTC February Newsletter

Inside the NFL’s relentless, existential, Big Tobacco-style pursuit of your children. Hooked for Life.