for runners like me, of certain age that is, jim fixx is a household name - as are the memories of his ubiquitous classic, "the complete book of running," during the late 1970's. jim fixx was born on april 23, 1932, and died suddenly on july 20, 1984 - at the tragically young age of 52. fixx died of a heart attack just after he finished his daily run. it's hard to understate the impact his 1977 book had on creating the first modern running boom. and, ironically, his death was seized upon by opponents (of running) as proof that running was an inherently dangerous activity.
in the 25+ years since the death of jim fixx - and the 30+ years since publication of "the complete book of running" - the running movement itself has become ubiquitous. its growth was due in in no small part because of the millions of people who read his book (and the 1980 follow-up: "jim fixx's second book of running"), and took up running.
on a personal note, during the summer of 2000, i reread both of his books and they helped kicked off my return to running. from the low mileage and just two races i ran that year, i'm now about to celebrate 10 years of running and racing (from track to ultras - and everything in between). i've run the jim fixx 5 miler in greenwich a few times too - and so glad that his memory is kept alive!
happy birthday, in heaven, jim fixx!