Saturday, April 21, 2012

2012 Umstead Coalition 4 Miler

Canine showdown! Dudley Dooright on the left. Jeffery J. Jeffery on the right.

[The rest of Shannon's photos from the race are here.]

Yesterday Dooright and I challenged Shannon and Jeffery to a heads up race in the Umstead 4 Miler.
The betting odds were a toss up. Here are the profiles:


Everybody loves a 3 legged dog.

Jeffery J. Jeffery

People assume that since Jeffery is missing a back leg, he is somehow disabled, but this not the case. 
Out of our 4 dogs he is the fastest runner and is never tired, even after a long run. He is nothing but lean solid muscle, coiled like a spring.

Strengths: Raw speed. Endurance.
Weaknesses: Easily distracted, especially by food. Prone to badly timed bodily functions. Missing a leg.

He doesn't care where. He just wants to go.

Dudley Dooright

When he was younger I used to take Dooright running all the time. But he is now 7, which is old for an 85 pound dog. He is built more for pulling a sled in the frozen tundra than running in North Carolina.

Strengths: Laser like focus. Metronome pacing.
Weaknesses: Overheats very easily. Bad hips (hip dysplasia).

Who would be top dog?

Going For The Win
I had been debating all week about whether to run this race by myself, or take Dudley along.
If I took him, I was pretty sure he would run the first mile fast, then by mile 2 he would overheat and be collapsed in the bushes, panting uncontrollably.

If I ran it on my own, I could run it hard and use it as a fitness benchmark, comparing it to when I ran it in 2009 and 2011. And depending on who showed up, I could possibly win. (Crazier things have happened). First prize is a $100 gift card to Great Outdoor Provision Company.

But then I remembered reading Marty Gaal bragging on his blog about his dog Tassie winning the canine division of Umstead 4 Miler last year. "You wanna go for the win Dooright?" His tail thumped on the floor.

Pre race soaking.
A Plan
If Dooright was going to go for 4 miles without stopping to jump in the lake, I needed a plan to keep him cool:

  1. Last week we shaved off most of his fur coat. Our friend Ken was impressed, "Did someone attack him with a kitchen knife?"
  2. Before the race I soaked him with water. Dogs can't sweat. But the cooling power of evaporation still works for dogs, just like people.
  3. I would bring with a 20 oz bottle of ice water to spray on him during the race.
  4. Lastly, I had one secret, underhanded maneuver to ensure victory


We registered Dooright and Jeffery so they would have bibs.


Dooright, leaping into action

And They're Off!
When Dudley runs, he must be in front. And when the pack of kids took off sprinting, so did he.

Within a quarter mile we had passed everyone and were actually leading the race! I was already out of breath, and my Garmin showed a 5:00 min/mile pace. Once out in front Dooright relaxed a bit, and Jeff Hall pulled into the lead.

Jeff just ran a 3:08 in the Boston Marathon heat wave 5 days ago, but I couldn't keep up with him. And he is older than me. Unreal. I am adding him to the rival list.

The first mile, Jeffery hot on our tails
They had lots of awesome live music along the course. Dooright wasn't interested in slowing to appreciate it though, he wanted to catch Jeff.

Bongos!

Wind!

Brass!
Secret Plan
The first mile was all downhill which we did in an insane 5:43. This was a sprint for me, but Dudley was just trotting along. Still, I knew he wouldn't be able to keep it up.

It was time to implement the SECRET part of my winning plan. To keep Dooright in first place, I needed to slow the rest of the dogs down. I pulled out a small bag of dog food from my pocket and spread it all over the wooden bridge.


We both laughed like Muttley from The Really Rottens.

Iced Dog
We continued up cork screw, dodging bikers and runners. Every time Dudley started to slow, I gave him a squirt of the ice water, and each time he picked it back up.

Jeff was sill in sight. But we were unable to gain any ground on him. At mile 3, Dooright spotted Ready Creek lake to the left and tried to run down to it. A gave him last squirt from the bottle.

Do I smell dog food?!!
Behind us, Jeffery stopped on the bridge looking for the dog food I had dumped. My evil plan worked!

The last mile was uphill and I was spent. We still managed to do a 6:37, but neither of us had anything left to catch Jeff.

Finish
We rolled into the finish as first dog and second overall in 25:06, a 6:17 mile. This seems crazy on the hilly course, and was better than I had hoped, even running it alone. Maybe Dudley actually helped me by pulling me along!

The 3 legger Jeffery was second place dog
-photo by Scott Lynch

Jeffery came in a few minutes later as second. Unfortunately they will not show up in the official results as we had hoped. Maybe we can ask them to have an official dog division for next year.

We had a great time. Thanks Umstead Coalition and Carolina Godiva volunteers!




Friday, April 20, 2012

Umstead Coalition Run Tomorrow


Just a reminder, come on out and support our favorite park in the morning:

http://umsteadcoalition.org/walkrunbike.htm

Music, a silent auction, a run/walk and bike event are all happening.

In the 4 mile run there will be an exciting heads up race between Team Dooright and Team Coprophagia.


Team Dooright

Members: Dudley Dooright, Me
Strengths: Short distance speed, Tennis Ball retrieval
Weaknesses: Human component is on the verge of 74 different injuries. Canine component tends to overheat and burst into flames in temperatures over 40 deg F, may have to stop and fertilize the forest.

Team Coprophagia


Members: Shannon and Jeffery J. Jeffery
Strengths: Endurance, Photography
Weaknesses: Human component recovering from a 100 miler. Canine component may have to stop for a "snack".


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Accurate Boston Marathon Elevation Profile

I see that about 95% of the people finding this blog are searching for "Boston Marathon Elevation Profile".
This is a very popular topic, because the hills of Boston are legendary!
Did you know that Heartbreak hill rises a towering 88 feet?!

Well I am here to give you what you are looking for. Now, the profile of the Boston Marathon is available many places around the web, but most of them are distorted.


Click for larger image

For example take the one above. The problem with it is that the distance is in miles, while the elevation is in feet. To get an accurate view of what the elevation profile REALLY looks like, we need to change the elevation scale to be in miles too.

Click for larger image

Ah. That's better. I think Heartbreak hill is there at mile 20.

Look closely.

Trail Running Tips



Trail Running Tip #2 - Remember to pick your feet up.
This is to avoid tripping over roots, rocks, and other fallen runners. It may seem obvious to lift your feet, but it can be easy to forget this, especially at the end of a long run when you are fatigued.

Trail Running Tip #37 - The sensation of blood running down your shin is a helpful reminder to lift your feet.
If you don't have blood running down your shin, try tripping over a root.



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Boston Marathon Live Blog!




Welcome to Live Blogging the Boston Marathon!

I will updating this page. Hit REFRESH to get updates.

I am not in Boston, nor do I have any special information or insight into the race.
I'm just watching it Universal Sports and stuffing my face while I lay on the couch. I will give updates on the elites as well as runners from NC.
I will also provide a running commentary on the Universal Sports commentary. They always come up with some creative things to say as they try to fill two hours time watching people run in straight line. Here are two tidbits from last year:

  1. Compared to most other marathons, the Boston hills are "The Rocky Mountains". 
  2. The runners are slower at the start in Hopkington because it is a higher elevation and the "air is thinner up there"


Carolina Godiva Track Club Runners 
  • Tim Meigs #307
  • Ulf Andre #766
  • Jeff Hall #9072
  • Crews, Wayne M #4093
  • Potter, Guy #6479
  • Kraus, William #24559
  • Jones, Colin #1390
  • Baddour, Allen #3136
  • Jeff Peterson #8001

9:00 AM
  • Current weather in Hopkinton, MA: 66 F and sunny. Going to be 81 in Boston by noon. Not as hot as predicted. Low humidity. I think this whole heat thing is being overblown.
  • WIND - The wind is coming from the SSW. Mostly at the backs of the runners. I predict FAST times from the elites!
9:30 AM

Favorites in the Women's race. Info stolen from MarathonGuide.com
  • Caroline Kilel - Kenya, PB 2:22, defending boston champ
  • Sharon Cherop - Kenya, PB 2:22 
  • Ashu Kasim - PB 2:23 Ethiopia
  • Firehiwot Dado - Ethiopia PB 2:23, 2011 NY marathon champ
  • Buzunesh Deba- Ethiopia PB 2:23 
Wow! looks like it will be a tight race!


9:40 AM
Nice high quality stream on UniversalSports.com. But they started the coverage right at 9:30, right when the womens race started. Booo.
Big pack of women out front so far.

They are continuing their "pre-race" coverage, even though the women are currently running. Wow, no respect.

9:50 AM
15 min into the womens race, about 15 women in the pack. 70 degrees. American Shannon Miller hanging with them for now.

As Karen mentioned below, the Mens Marathoners have dropped 20 pounds and shortened themselves 5 inches in the last 5 years (or something like that). Those must be some intense work outs!

9:52 AM
Women hit 5K in 18:50. Wow thats a jog for them.
The commentators are amazed that women are sharing water!
Extreme downhills! 475 feet in 5K. So extreme you might almost notice it!

10:05 AM
Commentators: The sport of running goes all the way back to 1864. Before that no one ever thought race by running. Someone tell the Greeks.

10:10 AM
Americans Glen Randall and Nick Arciniaga leading the mens race. Commentators think it is "silly". I hope one of them wins.

10:15 AM
About Glen Randall: "Do he look big to you?" "HUGE!"

10:20 AM
Women hit 10K at 37:14. hasn't thinned out much.

NC Runners:
Jason Page of Bull City Running hit 5K in 17:37. WOW.
Alex Varner 5K 17:36
Tim Meigs 5K 19:02
Ulf Andre 5K 19:17
George Linney: 5K  19:10
Wayne Crews: 5K 21:12 being conservative. That's still a 3 hour pace.

10:30 AM
"Simon and Garfunkel. Sound of silence" behind lead wheel chair racer.
Weather is not affecting people partying.

Glen Randall dropped back, probably because he is so HUGE.

10:35 AM
Josh Cassady of Canada sets course record by 1 second in push rim!
But wait maybe he didnt get it.
"He's totally fixated on that."
YES. RECORD.

Jason Page and Alex Varner 10K in ~ 35:30, 5:43 pace. Holy crap.
Tim Meigs: 38:10. 10K

10:45 AM
Thanks for heads up in the comments!
NC women runners, projected finish:

Timmons Williams: 2:52
Kimberlie Fowler: 2:53
Macy Latter: 2:54

Elite women pack is down to 10 women. 15K in 55:15

10:55 AM

NC Teams, predicted finish times:

Bull City Track Club
Patrick Reaves, Alex Varner, Jason Page - All on pace for a 2:30! Holy Crap.

Godiva Mens Masters (Old men) Team @ the 10K mark:
Wayne Crews 2:58, Ulf Andre 2:45, Colin Jones 2:45, Tim Meigs 2:41

11:15 AM
I am getting very hot and dehydrated. Low on fuel.

Some girls at an aid station trying give out water collided with the elite women, causing defending champ Kilel to drop back. Wow.

11:22 AM 
"Look at the way they have the water stacked up! That's crazy!"
It was so high the elite women couldnt reach it.

11:25 AM
GO GODIVA!
Tim Meigs not slowing down at all. Even pacing so far 6:10/mile. 1:20 at the half

Other NC runners at the half:
Alex Varner - 1:16
Mitch Vanbruggen - 1:13
Jason Page - 1:18
Colin Jones - 1:24
Mike Combs 1:21

Kimberly Fowler: 1:28
Timmons Williams 1:29

11:30 AM
Geoffrey Mutai, who holds the fastest marathon time ever, considered the fastest man in the world. Has fallen back and may not even make the Kenyan Olympic team.

He has pulled out because of cramps.

11:49 AM
The mens race has boiled down to two 22 year old Kenyans.
The womens race, two Kenyans. No surprises there.


12:02 PM
Cherop takes off! in the home stretch. Looks like she is struggling. No she's got it.

12:16 PM
A dry 78 degrees in boston, not as hot as predicted. Some Wesly Karir of Kenya wins, I know i didnt spell that right.

12:35 PM
The heat is taking it's toll on some of the runners we are tracking.
As for me, I am exhausted and close to dropping out.

First runner from NC finished, Mitch Vanbruggen 2:33:26. Never heard of him.
Patrick Reaves on the Bull City Running Team, finishes in 2:36.
Others on the Bull City Running team are deciding to back off.

Our Godiva Masters team is still going strong. Predicted finishes:

Jeff Hall 3:02
Wayne Crews 3:06
Tim Meigs 2:46

If you look at the splits, they have paced themselves quite well and not slowed much at all.

1:00 PM
I am starting to cramp up sitting on this couch.
I have to go to work anyway, so I'll wrap this up later tonight.












Death and Taxes


Today we decided to join in on the Tax Day Run, which is part of Stet That Run's virtual 12athlon.
If you have never heard of it, the 12athlon is globally popular contest involving running 12 miles on the 12th of every month of 2012.

Prizes are awarded to those that rack up the most points completing a variety of somewhat wacky challenges. The rules are almost as complicated as the tax code itself, so a Tax Day run is quite appropriate. This run must be exactly 4.15 miles long (in honor of 4/15), which we completed running to the other side of Lake Crabtree.


Spring. 70 degrees. Sunny. How could we not run?
We headed out to the trail with 3 of our claimable dependents. Jorge, Jeffery, and Dudley Dooright. We just gave Dooright his summer haircut, so his body is now white, but his head is still red. We are calling him "Matchstick"

Jorge hurdles a log.

About 3 miles out we ran across 3 dead baby opossum laying in the middle of the trail. Cause of death unknown, but they had not been dead for long. I will spare you Shannon's gruesome close-up shots.

Death on tax day

We stopped at several "beaches" around the lake to let the dogs swim and cool off.

Matchstick and Jorge fetching



Even Jeffery was starting to lag because of the heat


Bloodsucker on tax day
Even though I had coated my ankles with Deep Woods OFF, half way through the run I found a little red tick stuck to my ankle . Later, I found this bugger crawling on Dooright, even after we had bathed him. Blood sucking parasites. How appropriate on Tax Day.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

2012 Cary Road Race 5K

To beat The Josh, you must be The Josh


Photos Shannon took of the race are here.


That Guy
My rival Barefoot Josh has gone from sluggish 4+ hour marathons to sub-3:00 in a little over a year, easily surpassing my mediocre speed . If I am going to beat him in The Scream, I must study and adopt his methods.

I have reviewed his blog carefully. Clearly, the physical aspect is not the key. I have beaten myself to a pulp with training and not gotten fast.

No, it is some sort of Zen-Buddhist-Keanu Reeves-Matrixy mental state that I need. I must adopt his state of mind, put myself in his shoes... wait... there are no shoes. Whoa.
Just running barefoot will not be enough. No, I need to be... "that barefoot guy". I need to race barefoot.

Preparation
Last week I reached my peak weekly barefoot load of 9 miles, including my longest run this year of 3 miles. Obviously, I have put enough work in, and it is time to race!

But physical training is only part of it. I have to be prepared for the awe-struck runners and spectators who will no doubt swarm me like paparazzi, bombarding me with adulation and questions: "How do you do it?" "Are your feet made of steel?" "Are you a mutant like in the X-men?"

Most likely, the press and TV crews will show up to interview me about my amazing achievements. So I had business cards printed up, and hired a publicist. I already have a personal photographer in Shannon, who documented every angle of my barefoot debut.

In the starting line, swarmed with admirers

Start
So I showed up to the Cary Road Race 5K this morning.
Not wanting to be too ostentatious, I positioned myself middle of the pack. I was aiming for a 24-25 minute finishing time, as my feet are capable and comfortable with 8 minute miles. I took my shoes off and gave them to Shannon, along with my Garmin.

Not only would I attempt this barefoot, but also bare-wrist, which would be even more difficult for me. I was Luke Skywalker putting the visor down, going blind. I would need to use the barefoot force to pace myself.

Surprisingly, no one there seemed all that impressed that I was barefoot. In fact, I got nothing more than a few dirty looks like I had just walked shoe-less into the local Olive Garden.

Not as smooth as it looks
As soon as the gun went off, I realized that I might have made a miscalculation. The asphalt was quite coarse and lumpy, not at all like the buttery smooth greenway I had been running on.  With tiny steps, it was tolerable, but I would be lying if I said it felt good. I wasn't sure if my feet could handle 3 miles of it.

Smugness
Fortunately, after a half mile or so, the road smoothed out and it felt wonderful.
I padded quickly and quietly past baby joggers, preteen children, and the elderly. Many of them huffing and puffing in their "foot coffins". I felt smug and superior.

"Eat my dust, Princess!"
A few times I stepped on invisible sharp pointy things which caused me to hop, but otherwise the course was smooth and easy. I crossed the finish line in 23:23, which was a little faster than what seemed prudent. I may have gotten carried away with trying to pass people.

Post-race
"Oh my God! You ran that barefoot! That is amazing! You are awesome!", said absolutely no one.
As Shannon and I mingled after the race, no one really took notice of me at all. They were all too busy heaping praise and congratulations on Shannon:

"Shannon, Oh my God! You ran 100 miles! That is amazing! You are awesome!", said just about everyone we ran into.
She tried to include me, "Well, he ran the 5K barefoot"
To this they would nod at me, "Huh", and then turn back to Shannon, "So how do you feel?"

How do I feel?
Nobody asked, but I'll tell you anyway.
My feet kind of hurt. I have TOFP (top of foot pain), BOFP (bottom of foot pain), and raw spots on the skin in the usual places. I guess I over did it a little.
Though I bet most of the aches and pains are from the full throttle 9 mile trail run yesterday in the Merrells. In any case, the pains are nothing new and have been coming and going the past 8 weeks.

It seems I have a long way to go before I can be "That Barefoot Guy". Maybe it's the glasses. Or the beard.

Shannon's photos are here.







Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rival: Barefoot Josh

Josh, prancing his way to a sub 3:00 in the Tulip Marathon
“Whats’s up with this weirdo?”
This is my initial reaction to seeing Barefoot Josh for the first time.
It was at the 2009 Triple Lakes Trail race, and he was there wearing long baggy shorts, a long baggy shirt that said “will run for pancakes”, and was shuffling around in what looked like slippers.

 “Is he here to run the race?” I asked myself, “Or paint one of the buildings? Because if he is running, he is doing everything WRONG

 I, on the other hand, was doing everything RIGHT:
  • I had on short shorts and no shirt to reduce weight.
  • My hat was on backwards to reduce wind drag. 
  • I had my GPS watch with the course map programmed in. 
  • I had my brand new $110 Brooks Cascadia 5 Trail Shoes.
I was a trail running machine.
Hell, my monstrous new shoes had a “Ballistic Rock Shield”; I was fricking BULLET PROOF.
I wasn’t just going to run on the trail, I was going to stomp it into submission.

In case anyone tried to shoot at my feet

STOMPED
Well, it didn’t go as planned.
Instead of helping, my GPS watch actually took me OFF COURSE.
My feet ended up bruised, not from the trail but from the shoes themselves. They were so thick they felt unstable, like my foot was sloshing side to side. So I kept tying them tighter and tighter, trying to fix the problem, but only succeeded in bruising my instep.

I ended up 2 minutes slower than the year before, and felt like the one who got stomped. I hated my new expensive monster shoes. Instead of helping, they felt like they were getting in the way. But they were supposed to be great shoes, designed by trail running god Scott Jurek. It didn’t make sense.

Walks on water, floats in the air
AMAZED
Afterwards, I discovered Josh’s blog and that he ran the trail race in aqua socks. I was amazed.
He was slower than me, and fell down a lot, but that was just inexperience. The amazing thing was that the roots and rocks didn’t bother the bottom of his feet.

He didn’t need 2 inches of foam, rubber, and ballistic rock shield. And he wasn’t some mythical Tarahumara, just some regular guy. Maybe my instincts were right. Maybe I need less shoe, and not more. Maybe Scott Jurek is an idiot.


He just can't finish the race like a normal person
JEALOUS
So at first, I found Josh inspiring. Though his blog was sometimes painful to read with all of the horribly bad puns (are there any other kind?). Shannon likes the puns, but she is easily amused.

It was sometime in late 2010 that I began to hate Barefoot Josh. Over the year, he had gotten much faster and was running more than me. He would post something like:
“Just ran 20 miles at a 7 minute pace and feel great!” 
It was the “feel great" part that irked me, because I had just run 10 miles at an 8 minute pace and felt terrible. My training method of staring at my Garmin, trying to make the average pace number go down, was just wearing me out. While his artsy fartsy, touchy feely, new age hippy training methods were producing amazing results. I found that really annoying.

Failure

DEFEATED
As he got faster, I become more broken.
In our last race, the Runway 5K last May, I barely edged him out by a few seconds, preserving a perfect 7-0 record against him.
Shortly after, however, my knee was completely shot and I could not run at all.
He went on to run a sub 5:00 minute mile, something I have never come close to, and a sub 3 hour marathon, something I have been failing at for years.

Though I had never lost to him in a race, I felt as though he had defeated me. It turned out he was doing everything right, and I was the one doing everything wrong.

Hopefully I can deflate that huge head of his
PATIENT
After several painful and failed attempts to start running again in 2011, I finally realized what Josh’s secret training method was: Patience.

Patience lets you take a day, week, or month off, confident you'll come back stronger. Patience lets you run slow today, so you can run your fastest next week. And patience is something barefoot running teaches so well.

So I decided to beat Josh with own methods.
I started over. For my first run, I ran barefoot for one third of a mile.
Next I ran a slow half mile in my Merrell trail gloves.
Slowly, I am building back up, patiently. But it hasn't been easy.

HATS OFF
Since I was starting over, I had to sit out my favorite race, something I look forward to all year: The Umstead Marathon. Instead, I did volunteer duty on my bike.
Adding insult to injury, I had to watch Josh run by me on his way to earning a plaque. As he went by he threw his disgusting sweat soaked hat at me. He said something like "Here, take my disgusting sweat soaked hat".

The gauntlet, or hat in this case, has been thrown.

Rivalry Stats
Total Races vs7
Record vs (W-L)7-0
Greatest Victory2011 Umstead Marathon (-1:04:42)
Worst Defeat2012 Umstead Marathon  (DNS)
Next RaceThe Scream Half Marathon , July 14, 2012
Current StatusUnderdog


The Scream
The scream is going to be very difficult. I will have to be in the best shape of my life to keep up with him.
But if I can, I'll make sure my hat is good and sweaty when I pass him at the end...



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Running Rivals

It's a shirtless-douchebag showdown!

I have run well over a hundred races so far, and I see many of the same faces at the events and the same names on the results pages.

Most of us sign up with no hope of winning a race, or even placing in our age group. And those of us who have been doing it for many years have long exhausted any possibility of setting PRs. So why do we keep doing it?

Well, there is one motivation to race that we will always have: Rivalries.

Regardless of how fast or slow, young or old you are, you can still achieve a glorious victory in the local 5K just by kicking the ass of that one special person.

However, despite the the thousands of runners out there, finding a good "quality" rival can be difficult.
So I will present the 4 key ingredients that will help you identify and cultivate your running rivalries.

Married runners make good rivals.
Watch out if your spouse starts carrying a  fly swatter though. 

Familiarity
The history behind a rivalry is what adds weight to it. Obvious candidates are: an old friend, some jerk you went to high school with, that guy with the annoying blog, a spouse, or (better yet) an ex-spouse.
But the best place to look is race results. I use a website called Athlinks that catalogs results and will list rivals for you.

For example, I had a strong rivalry with a guy who I only knew as a name in results. We had done a dozen races together, competing for our age group, but I didn't even know what he looked like.
After each race I would check the results and usually be cursing because I lost by a few seconds to that rotten "Barton Bechard".

Evenly matched, but not for long.
Equality
The most important factor in a running rivalry is how equally matched you are in terms of ability.
The excitement and drama of a race is at its highest when there is no favorite and the outcome is completely unknown.
Yikes! Intense competition is good,
but don't get all crazy.
Sure, being a slight underdog can make a victory even sweeter, but don't pick a rival who is way out of your league. Constantly finishing a half hour behind your nemesis is bad for your self esteem.

Mutuality
In a traditional rivalry, the competitive feelings are mutually shared by your adversary, and this makes for a healthy and robust rivalry.
However, it is not absolutely required.
For example, Shannon has had many bitter and heated one-way rivalries that involved countless hours of cyber stalking.


Vigor
In my opinion, a friendly, respectful, and polite rivalry is no rivalry at all.
Good competition should be lively and spirited, whether it is some lighthearted trash talking or better yet, a genuine burning animosity.

I recommend coming up with at least one good insult about your rivals mother that you can throw at them as they pass you in your next race.






Paul was a great trash talker


My First Rival: Paul
To demonstrate how to assess these qualities, I will deconstruct my very first running rivalry. For sake of privacy I will keep him anonymous, but let's call him Paul.

Familiarity: According to Athlinks.com, Shannon and I ran 14 races where Paul was there. He was really hard to miss, because he reveled in being loud and obnoxious.

Vigor: Paul was a top-tier smart ass and motor mouth, and loved to talk trash with just about everybody at a race. In one race that he won, I was crossing the finish line in a distant second place, and he greeted me with "Congratulations, first female!"

Me showing Paul how to do a push-up
Equality: In terms of running talent, Paul was at another level and for years I finished well behind him. There really wasn't much of a rivalry.

Mutuality:
Paul hated to lose and treated everyone as a rival.
One year at Raven Rock he showed up with a bad case of bronchitis, and could barely breathe. A mile into the race, I ran past him and he could not keep up.
After 10 straight losses, I had finally beaten him, using my patented strategy of not having bronchitis.

So humilated he was by this defeat, Paul quit racing altogether. He disappeared, running away and joining a strange cult called CrossFit*. He even legally changed his name to "CrossFit Paul".

[*If you have not heard of it, CrossFit is a shadowy group that was started by Larry Crossfit, a demented former middle-school gym teacher.  Larry subjects his poor misguided followers to long series of pushups, pullups, and squats until it breaks their spirit and they become brainwashed.]

Rivalry Stats
Total Races vs14
Record vs (W-L)2-12
Greatest Victory2009 Raven Rock (-1:45)
Worst Defeat2007 Umstead Marathon (+51:37)
Next RaceNone
Current StatusComplete victory


Next Up
I will review all of my current rivalries in a series of upcoming posts. Including:

  • Barefoot Josh
  • Shannon
  • Black Bart
  • My sister Monique
  • Many more...


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