Professor of economics and department chair, Randy Grant, plans to have a sabbatical full of research and marathons fall semester of 2014. In fact, the two parts will be closely intertwined, since he will be looking at the economics of running.
“[I’m] mostly interested in providing people with a sort of broad exposure between racing and economy, a book that makes economics accessible to people interested in running and a way for people interested in economics to see it applied to running,” Grant said.
The research will be online, looking through old race records and also in person at actual races and marathons. Grant is planning to run five marathons during the summer and his sabbatical: June, a race in Minnesota; July, a race in Vermont; August, a race in Nebraska and in November, Grant plans to fly to Greece to run the original marathon, a race of 26.2 miles in Marathon. Finally, Grant plans to run a marathon in Honolulu in December.
“I started doing marathons in 2010. After I had done two or three, I decided doing the original one would be kind of a bucket list thing to do,” Grant said.
It is partly the reason he is taking his sabbatical in the fall, since the original marathon is only available in November.
Another item on Grant’s bucket list is to run a marathon in every single state. So far, he has eight states down, having done three races in Oregon, two in Washington, one in Hawaii, which was also his first, one in Montana, one in Idaho, one in Utah and one in Florida as part of Disney World’s Goofy Challenge. He also ran a marathon in England.
At each marathon, Grant plans to conduct some of his own research.
“The marathons typically have what they call race expos. That’s a way to gather some first-hand data,” Grant said.
Grant never expected to like racing on account of never having been a very athletic youth.
“In 2008, I got one of our athletic training majors as my personal trainer. We did a lap around the Wellness Trail that just about killed me,” Grant said.
Grant and his personal trainer made it a goal that he would run a 7.5 mile race in Spokane, Wash.
“As part of my preparation for it, I ran a 5K race at Nike that I really enjoyed. I started signing up for more races, just as a fitness goal,” Grant said.
Another thing Grant is known for is his tie collection.
“It kind of started with a Mickey Mouse tie I got from my sister-in-law, and that was the tie I interviewed with here at Linfield,” Grant said.
From there, Grant began buying any interesting ties he could find. Family, students and other faculty began feeding his tie collection as well.
“I have more than enough ties to cover a whole semester without wearing one twice, could probably cover a whole year,” Grant said.
Gilberto Galvez/Features editor
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