Monday, February 25, 2013

on beating fred

Saturday morning was the 2nd Annual Bearcat Breakout 5k race at school.  

On days I have to stay late for meetings and such, I'm forced to run around campus.  Occasionally students see me running and either taunt me or try to run me over with their cars.  A couple of students this semester wanted to race me and this 5k race was the best opportunity for that to happen.  

We should take a moment to consider the idea of a 41 year old man racing two university level athletes in the prime of their lives.  I told them this was a no-win situation for them.  If they beat me, they beat a middle aged man in a foot race...who cares?  But if they were to lose....oh man, they'd never hear the end of getting out paced by an old guy.  

 Meet "Canada".  His real name is Jermel.  He's from Toronto, thus the nickname.  He's a giant and he runs like the wind.  He says he's only 6' 6" and weighs 250, but I think he's taller.  At night he has to wear a flashing red light on his head to alert low flying aircraft.

He decided he wanted to do the 5k.  He didn't really train for it other than sprinting a mile the day before the race.  After the race he didn't even know how many miles he had just ran, he just showed up and did it.

Canada was the only student of the two to show up.  Fred, my soccer player didn't arrive.  I think my logic got into his head.  Psychological warfare.

Canada took his position at the start line.  I never try to elbow my way up to the very front so I was happy starting right behind him.  When the start gun was fired Canada started getting smaller.  He continued to get smaller for the first half mile and then I couldn't see him anymore.  Keep in mind that he's 6' 6", 250 pounds and he was wearing this bright red sweatshirt.  That's how far he was in front of me.  And I wasn't exactly lolly gagging around either.  

This is us after the race.  Note that I look like a child standing next to him.  As he put it, we both got some "hardware".  Canada finished in 3rd place overall.  I finished 8th place overall and got 1st place in the "masters" group which is a nice way of saying dudes over 40.  I turned in my best ever official time of 21:15.  Canada finished exactly 2 minutes faster.  

I thought it was funny that Canada got beat by a guy wearing American flag shorts.  Canada did not see the humor in it.  He was completely bummed after the race and I asked him why he wasn't thrilled about finishing 3rd.  He said, "I didn't come here to run, I came to win".

The difference in our personal goals was astounding.  Canada's goal was to win the race.  My goal was to not die.  

Congrats to Canada for a very impressive first 5k and for beating the stuffing out of me.  And since Fred was a no show....technically I think that means we both beat him.  

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