Jack Scaff, Jr.

Authors Pavilion
Sunday May 6, 2:00 pm
Presenting his book, Your First Marathon — The Last Word in Long-Distance Running

Genre: Nonfiction: sports; health
Honolulu Marathon Clinic; 2012
List price; $19.95 (discounts for buying in bulk)
Excerpt available online

The book: It has been years in the making and has been a labor of love for Jack H. Scaff Jr., M.D.

As only he can, renowned cardiologist Jack H. Scaff Jr. brings 45 years of medical expertise and insights from more than 50 marathons he has run to this quirky, one-of-a-kind guide. His statements will challenge you, make you laugh and cause you to ponder. Use it as a reference to do your marathon training and to positively impact your health.

In addition to the highly successful original  9-month training schedule, this book is packed with chapters covering nutrition, history, endurance running, safety and much, much more. All of it is written in typical Dr. Scaff style, with a bit of humor, impeccable references and his own brand of irreverence.


“If I had a friend who was normal and wanted to finish a marathon, I wouldn’t coach him or her. I’d make a present of this book… And stand back.”

—Kenny Moore, Sports Illustrated Writer and Two-Time Olympic Marathoner

“Scaff is a descendant of Scottish Presbyterian missionaries, and the son of Jack H. Scaff Sr., who as head of Bell Laboratory’s metallurgy department contributed to the development of the transistor. The younger Scaff was not serious about his studies until his junior year at Wooster in Ohio, and was accepted by Seton Hall’s School of Medicine only after the dean of admissions recognized that he was “Bullet” Scaff, his son’s legendary camp counselor. … He was a legend at Camp Wawayanda in New Jersey not because of an ability to shoot left-handed bull’s-eyes—which resulted in his nickname—but because of his zeal for driving city kids to exhaustion with long hikes and crushing packs. “They’d scream, ‘You’re the meanest man on the face of the earth. Jack Scaff!’”  he says. “But when they got back to camp they’d run to their parents and say with amazing pride, ‘You won’t believe what we did!’”

Sports Illustrated

How often do you get the opportunity to delve into the knowledge, experience and opinions of a local cardiologist and 35-year leader in Hawaii’s running world?

Now you can. Jack H. Scaff Jr., M.D., FACSM, just published his long-awaited book, “Your First Marathon — The Last Word in Long-Distance Running,” a guide to preparing for a marathon and a treatise on running’s links to fitness, health, life, even beer. Thanks to the author’s style, personality, wry sense of humor, knowledge and experience, the book is both practical and entertaining.

Question: What are Scaff”s credentials?

Answer: Scaff’s accomplishments and credentials are too numerous to list here. For some perspective, Scaff proposed and founded the Honolulu Marathon and co-founded the Honolulu Marathon Clinic, which he has directed for more than 35 years. He was the first person in Hawaii to become a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, was inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame and into the Honolulu Marathon Hall of Fame as the “Father of the Honolulu Marathon.” Earlier this year he was recognized by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii as a Living Treasure of Hawaii.

Q: What’s in the book?

A: The first 66 pages of the 290-page book provide a step-by-step guide for going from couch potato to marathon finisher in nine months. Though the book primarily targets the marathon neophyte, experienced runners will still find a great deal of invaluable information from this part of the book. The other 200-plus pages of the book cover just about everything related to distance running in Hawaii.


Dr. Jack Scaff, Jr. is irreverent, crass and colorful. He is an equal opportunity insulter. He is also highly intelligent, caring and a visionary. He is the father of running in Hawaii.

As a renowned cardiologist he has saved many lives. As the founder of the Honolulu Marathon and co-founder of the Honolulu Marathon Clinic he has impacted the lives of thousands of individuals who dare to dream of completing a marathon.

The Honolulu Marathon Clinic’s rich history is a testament to Dr. Scaff’s ultimate dedication to others and his wonderful heart–despite his reputation as an irascible character. For more than 35 years he has donated his time and expertise to encourage neophyte athletes to do what only one percent of the population ever attains. Each Sunday morning for 9 months, for the past 35 years, the clinic staff, led by Scaff, encourages, trains and inspires would-be marathoners.

Dr. Scaff is a pioneer: he was one of the first physicians to prescribe running as therapy for heart disease directing the first cardiac rehabilitation program in the islands.

Informational video clip: Run the 2011 Honolulu Marathon!


Slideshow and video clips from the Feb 5, 2011 luncheon honoring the Living Treasures of Hawaii.



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