Today in New York, Penguin published the paperback version of Run to the Roar. This is very exciting for everyone involved in the book.
The response has been amazing. We’ve done dozens and dozens of events around the country for the past fourteen months, and we’ve got dozens more scheduled for 2012. At many events we’ve sold 150, 200, 350 copies of the book. We’ve gotten literally hundreds of emails about how the book has changed someone’s life, helping them face what they have feared the most. It has been inspiring, humbling and at times very very touching.
The paperback has been been updated. Errors have been corrected. And we’ve written an interesting afterword updating the story from the summer of 2010. Of course, with the streaks ending at two hundred and fifty-two consecutive wins and thirteen consecutive national titles this winter, the book’s next chapter is now being made.
Recently, I went to the Cayman Islands twice. Well, once in December I actually went and in George Town had a lovely meeting with Dan Kneipp, the squash coach turned event promotor who lives in the Caymans with his wife and two toddlers. Dan is running the women’s 2012 World Open in December. The rumor was that the Caymans were out as a venue, but Dan explained the situation (the men’s open is out but the women’s open is completely on course).
I also got to chat with Guy Harvey, a keen squash player who has designed the previous Caymans Open tee-shirt, easily the best looking tournament shirt I’ve ever seen. Guy has a few things on his plate besides squash: http://www.squashsite.co.uk/2009/delaware2012.htm
The Cedrus Investments World Open will be held 1-8 December in Grand Cayman.
The other times I went to the Caymans was in Grand Central in January as the Cayman’s had their tiki bar set up at the ToC. I was talking to Dan there at the finals when he had to peel off to greet the premier of the Caymans, McKeeva Bush, who had come all the way to the U.S. to view the squash matches. A lot has happened in the fifteen years of the ToC but it might have been the first time a sitting head of state literally sat in the bleachers to view a match.
A brilliant end to the Tompkins Invitational at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia last night. Damien Mudge & Ben Gould let a 2-0 lead get away and squandered three match balls before escaping 15-13 in the fifth against Manek Mathur & Clive Leach.
Overflow crowd, esteemed line judges Ned Edwards and Dent Wilkins, head ref Rob Whitehouse handling the heat. Packed seating and standing with no room at all. National champion Trevor McGuinness came over from Penn. All four days had over one hundred people in the gallery, quite remarkable for a city club over the weekend.
Hard hitting: everyone but Ben broke a string; three broken balls.
The 2012 CSC Delaware State Open ran at Vicmead Hunt Club. Some very good matches of interest, including Pakistani sensation Maria Toor Pakay who played three matches in twenty-four hours; Aisling Blake who read my history of U.S. squash book by day and reached the finals by night; and Latasha Khan who after a nice run in New York look set to upset Delia Arnold and just couldn’t push it past the wire in a fifty-minute three-gamer. Arnold beat Blake in the finals.
Around the corner, Wilmington Country Club hosted the 38th annual Commissioner’s Trophy, a doubles tournament with great history: previous winners include Harry the Horse Anderson, Helmut Meertz and Gretchen Spruance. A winner from 1979, Jim Dawson, was there (as was his wife, Wallflower Eileen). My partner Steve Casey and I won our last two matches to grab the consolation tourney.
And down at St. Andrews, with their new coach Mark Allen and new nine-court facility, they did fine at the national high school championships. The boy’s team qualified in for Division II, after being in Division IV the previous year, and beat Groton 4-3, proving that they belonged. The girls also won a match in their Division II tournament, beating Nichols 7-0 before losing to Irwins in the finals of the plate.