September 18, 1978 12:00 PM

Douglas chugs

Michael Douglas logged a lot of mileage on the streets of San Francisco, but nothing to equal the workout he’s getting on the pavements of New York, where he’s shooting a movie, Running. He plays a 30ish man questing for Olympic gold in the marathon after his marriage and career have gone kaflooey. When Douglas, who is executive producer as well as the star of the flick, recently did some early morning roadwork on the Queensboro Bridge, he found one rival he could outrun: Manhattan-bound rush-hour traffic.

Chip shot

With his dad tied up preparing for the Camp David summit with Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, Chip Carter, 28, was the designated pinch hitter at Cleveland’s annual AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic. However the union folks feel about the Administration these days, they politely didn’t shoot the messenger. One spectator, Deborah Davis, representing a vote and a half, flatteringly even asked for an autograph. Of course, Chip is the nephew of Billy Carter.

Carroll caroms

It was tee-off time for the Diahann Carroll Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament at the Woodlands Inn and Country Club near Houston, but the lure of the great indoors was too much for contestants. Especially when Claude (Mown’ On) Akins, Carroll and Joey Bishop got some education in body English from former world champ Willie Mosconi (second from left). The lesson apparently didn’t help his pupils with the nonfelt greens: The winning team was led by old (58) TV comic George Gobel.

Cauthen rides again

Steve Cauthen, 18, was back in the saddle after a nasty spill that separated his collarbone. Also out of the sick bay was his agent, Lenny Goodman (left), whose heart attack in July left him unable to book the right mounts for the jock. That probably contributed to Cauthen’s recent dismaying slump. Lenny gave Stevie a pinch for luck, but Steve’s luck seemed to be changing already. Laz Barrera (right), trainer of 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed, had changed his mind about never again running the colt against rival Alydar. Now, barring last-minute scratches, it’ll be Affirmed, with Cauthen up, vs. Alydar and the 1977 Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew, in this week’s Marlboro Stakes, the race of this or any year.

Helmut hoops it up

At first glance it appeared as if Helmut Schmidt might be auditioning for the road company of The Magic Show, but the West German chancellor was actually performing a levitation trick to open an annual meet-the-citizens summer festival in Bonn. The “body” was a female civil servant wearing a mask resembling Herr Schmidt, and the chancellor’s tutor was professional prestidigitator Fritz Stieg. When asked about the significance of it all (the title of the fete was “A Light Philosophical Gathering”), the chancellor explained solemnly that the doppelganger symbolized that “many problems [likewise] are suspended and have to be solved.”

Liz hooks it up

The whimsical six-minute promotional film is not slated for general release or even network TV, but the triple sec performance of Elizabeth Ashley as a New Orleans hooker of the 1890s has knocked out Europe and cable television audiences at home. Ashley did it all for free, just as a little friendly lagniappe for her old buddy, gravel-voiced singer Leon Redbone (right), to help promote his new LP, Champagne Charlie. Ever faithful to Hollywood realism (and the bottom line), the film wasn’t shot in the French Quarter or the ruins of the Storyville red-light district but in a gin mill in Pasadena.

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