Monday, August 14, 2006

WHO'S WHO?

I suppose I should throw in a little training update. I’ve been a regular social butterfly lately. Thursday I met with Scott for a strong 8 miles. Friday I ran a very easy 11 by myself. Saturday I ran 15 with the Saturday morning Masters group. That gave me 62 miles for the week on 6 runs. Sunday I ran 15 with Jenna.

I’ve mentioned before that Minnesota has a Running Data Center that does a phenomenal job at keeping track of all the road running records since 1986. Each year the put together a yearbook that highlights things like the top runners in each age-group during the year, the best times during the year, all-time records, etc. Last year was the 20 edition, so it contained more historical information that normal. If you’re a fan of the sport like I am, it’s a great source of information to see who came before you.

Unfortunately, many of the races pre-1986 were not certified, therefore they don’t count. As a result, there are no records for guys like Buddy Edelen and Ron Daws and only a few records for Garry Bjorklund, Dick Beardsley, etc.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because this Saturday morning Masters group that I just started running with is made up of guys that were absolute studs – and still are. After a little digging through the yearbook and running with the group, here’s what I found;

Bruce was named the Best Runner in Minnesota over the past 20 years for BOTH the 40-44 and 45-49 age groups. Between the ages of 41 and 44 he ran 4 marathons between 2:22 and 2:26 (wava 90%+). At 44 he ran 31:24 for 10k (wava 93.3%). He’s now 62 and complains because he “only” runs 40 mpw.

Doug was named the Best Runner in Minnesota over the past 20 years for the 35-39 age group.

John is the only person to run all 30 Grandma’s marathons AND all 25 Twin Cities marathons. I thought that was impressive until I heard he also ran sub-2:50 for 25 or 26 CONSECUTIVE years.

I get the sense these guys have been running together for like 25-30 years. Tim said he used to come in last at every Saturday morning run – and he was a 2:25 marathoner.

Hell, Jenna, who just qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials is practically the worst person I ran with over the weekend – and that’s no disrespect to her. Of course, all those guys are blogging about Zeke being the worst person they ran with over the weekend.

I just hope some of their talent rubs off on me.

Speaking of Masters runners, I just came across this on letsrun.com. It was written by a very fast 45 year old in California...

Perhaps we should review a few rules of masters competition:

1) None of us is as good as we used to be. Masters is a competition of who gets slower slowest, an understanding that should keep all of us humble.

2) The competition ends when the race is over, and the camaradery begins (again!).

3) We root for one another - always! - because we recognize that without our peers we have no sport.

4) Having been through open competition, we recognize that "winning" is a momentary, fleeting accomplishment - that it won't bring any lasting happiness the way family, career, and friends will - but that staying healthy and competing with like-minded people in the sport that we love will make our days much better.

5) Winners shouldn't gloat - ever. We're always one step away from a hamstring pull, plantar fascitis, or some wicked sprain/strain that we never even knew existed until we turned 40. We spend 4 out of every 5 years getting older and slower while new "young" blood spills into our age division. And, most importantly, it's disrespectful of the effort every one of us old fogies has to make just to be here.

6) Finally, our fellow masters athletes are some of the best people I know. Why would any of us want to do anything other than make our peers feel as great about themselves as we want to feel about ourselves.

5 comments:

Laurie said...

Wow, what a talented group to run with! I hope you take advantage of their knowledge and experience.

Greg said...

Wow...that's quite a group of runners that you stumbled on. You can only learn from that group!

Duncan Larkin said...

You will only improve running with this caliber of folks. They will give you gems for advice and push you to new limits. Excellent find.

Chad Austin said...

Yeah, I just wish I had met them 10 years ago.

Lawrence said...

I like the bit about Masters runners you posted. I'll be there soon enough...sigh...