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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Fast Break

The Spokesman-Review


Bound to be hair-raising event

Zooming through low-Earth orbit at 17,500 mph, Suni Williams completes the standard marathon distance every 5.4 seconds.

Good thing Rosie Ruiz never thought of that.

Williams is registered for next month’s Boston Marathon, even though she’ll be stuck on the international space station when the rest of the field lines up for the 111th edition of the race. So the U.S. Navy commander will run the equivalent distance on a treadmill – 210 miles above Earth, and tethered to her track by bungee cords so she doesn’t float away.

Not since Ruiz hopped the ‘T’ to the finish line to accept the winner’s wreath in 1980 has a Boston Marathon competitor relied so heavily on public transportation.

“She thought it would be cool if she gave it a try,” said Williams’ sister, Dina Pandya, who will run the race the traditional way. “She said, ‘I’ll call you on Heartbreak Hill.’ “

Williams qualified for the Boston race by finishing last January’s Houston Marathon in 3 hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds.

Pandya didn’t sweat the logistics when she signed them both up, but on Dec. 9 Williams took off on the space shuttle Discovery and it became clear she wasn’t going to make it to the starting line on time.


Sure beats basket weaving

Some students may skip classes this week to attend college basketball’s Final Four, though at least a dozen have managed to score class credits out of the trip.

The students are sports management majors at Lynn University in South Florida. As part of a course titled “The Final Four Experience,” they traveled with a couple of professors to Atlanta to get a firsthand look at what goes into the major sporting event.

Get this: Each student gets three credits for the excursion.

The group arrived Wednesday and won’t just attend the Final Four. They will tour the city’s pro and college sports stadiums, network with team executives and some sponsors, including representatives of The Coca-Cola Co.

The trip cost $3,250 per student.