Dick Buerkle, Miler
By Kristin Green Morse, Sports Illustrated
Dick Buerkle loved Oreos and peanut butter so much that he devoured nine of the cookies and two PB&J sandwiches a few hours before a race on Jan. 13, 1978. The unorthodox carbo loading worked: That night Buerkle broke the world indoor record in the Mile, running 3:54.9 at the CYO Invitational in Maryland's Cole Field House.
Buerkle, 54, is a cookie monster no longer. He stopped eating flour and sugar after seeing a photograph of himself carrying the Olympic torch before the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, where he has lived since 1979. "My kids took this picture of me, and I had this flab around my belly," says the high school Spanish teacher and father of three twentysomethings (Gabriel, Lily and Tera). "My wife thinks I'm nuts, but I didn't like the way I felt." So Buerkle changed his diet, dropped 20 pounds and upped his running regimen from 15 to 60 Miles a week. Now weighing in at 145 pounds, the 5'8" Buerkle says, "I feel fabulous."
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