Certain events in history could have been different. War historians get giddy when recounting how bizarre weather patterns altered overwhelming odds in battles that changed the outcomes of wars, and thus the trajectory of human civilization. Epic events like the Battle of the Bulge which, if lost, would have been disaster for Allied forces in WWII. Or Bill and Ted almost failing their history report, thus altering the perfect future that would be established by the music of Wyld Stallyns.

Well my bizarre set of circumstances that came together today, does not likely indicate world-changing shifts in the space/time continuum, unless Ashton Kutcher movies are true. But the following hypotheses apparently all came true and converged today:

Most of the men my age who run are serious competitors, who do 10k, not 5k.

The rest of the men my age are non-runners, or were busy fishing.

Most men my age have yet to hit their midlife crisis and feel the need to enter organized runs to force themselves to get moving.

The weather kept some people home.

A combination of these factors are the only way to explain that I now have this item in my possession:

3rd place, age group 36-40. Seriously? With a 5k time of 46:33? There is only one way this can happen. Only three of us showed up in the age group. But hey, I’ll take it.

It may not be the lottery, but like they used to say in the ads, “you gotta play to win.” So objectively, all this means is that I was one of three guys my age to show up and run the 5k. Is that really worth an actual trophy? Maybe, maybe not. But for me, it was a big deal to get out of bed at 6am today and actually run this thing, so yeah: I’m going to take the trophy. Every runner needs that one trophy they got because no one else showed up in their age group. And as always, I beat the only guy I needed to: the Andy on the couch. That guy is soooooo 2010.

Oh, and I ran a PR. My pace was under 16min/mile, which is the standard for the Disney 1/2 Marathon. I need to add 10 miles to that 3.1, but it’s coming.

My current race shirt collection. How patriotic.

Random fun stuff from the run….

I was # 333, Meg was 334. I guess that made me half evil. Local Danville celebrity Van Wagner was 332, so I am pretty sure they went alphabetically. Van was running his first ever run, and started in the back with me, but also took 3rd place in his age group, which was far more competitive. I like Van, but these good looking talented people who are awesome at stuff the first time they try it really grate on me. Just kidding Van, you’re good people. πŸ™‚

I set a goal to not get lapped by the 10k runners until after 2 miles. The first one sailed by me at about 2.24, so I made that goal. About 20 of them lapped me, but far more finished after. There were a few walking 5kers, I was not technically the last.

There was one runner who finished a place ahead of me, that I would like to think I helped along. I was coming out of the mud just before the field that was the end, 10k runners having just passed me, and there was a little girl walking. She had kept up with Meg’s pack for a while, but ran out of steam. As I knew we were almost there, I told her “come on now, you can’t let the big fat guy pass you, get going!” And she smiled and started running again. Good for her. She also crushed her age group, as the only little girl who even ran. I’m sure she has no trouble showing that trophy, complaining about her time or how many walk breaks she took. I think she’s pleased as punch with her trophy.

And so I am with mine.


4 thoughts on “The Perfect Storm

  1. Great post! You had me cracking up. And being in the age group just above yours, I also take bling anywhere I can get it. Enjoy the trophy…nobody needs to know there were only 3 of you…and in a few years when the grandkids ask, tell them you ran a sub-20! πŸ™‚
    Happy running,

  2. You SOOOO do deserve the trophy. That first six inches of getting the butt out of the upholstery is what counts the most and apparently only three of you had the ovaries to do it.

    I do realize this post is from a year ago but I’m reading through your blog and going to use your past success to get my own butt out of the easyboy!

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