Sorry, Geb!

Was it the way I waved? Or the tone in which I yelled out “Go Geb!” Or was it just a coincidence?

The odds are overwhelmingly in my favor that it was a coincidence, so I’ll go with that.

What I’m referring to is the 2010 New York City Marathon, in which world record holder Haile Gebrselassie dropped out due to a knee injury. I saw him about a mile before that, and cheered him on. While my cheer may not have caused Geb to drop out of the race, it is still pretty cool that I got to see him. And if it’s true that he’s really retiring from running (as per his announcement following the New York City Marathon), then I saw him before the last competitive mile in his incredible career.

And an incredible career it was (or, hopefully, continues to be). If you check out his Wikipedia page, you can see the ridiculously long list of records he has held. And in the case of the marathon, still holds. 2:03:59 is probably not going to be broken all that soon, unless of course Geb comes out of retirement to astonish us all (hint, hint, Geb).

But if this really is the end to his professional running career, then I would like to recognize one of the greatest runners who ever lived, Haile Gebrselassie.

Oh, and Geb, if it was that guy at around mile 25 who somehow caused the injury that ended your career, sorry about that. But can I still get your autograph?

Breaking News: Geb may not be retiring! According to The New York Times, he is reconsidering and may run in the 2012 London Olympics.

By the way, this is not actually breaking news at all. Well, it’s breaking news for me, because I just read it, but Geb actually said this just a couple of weeks ago.


The Win: Part Two!

Another win added to my tally! The total is up to, let me count, um, two.

Granted, neither was particularly spectacular, and both could be questioned as to their “race” titles, but they were fun nonetheless.

The first, as you may remember if you are a loyal reader (ha!), was in a 5k in Van Cortlandt Park. The reason that particular win was questionable was because the runner in front of me actually got lost in the woods. Oh, and the 5k was actually 2.9 miles.

This second was a 1.5 mile fun run. Yes, fun run. If you want to discredit my win based solely on that fact, go ahead. But I won’t. I heard about the race about a week earlier, and figured it ought to be fun (it’s called a fun run after all). So, after ascertaining that there was indeed a race that day (it had been postponed from a few days earlier), I lined up at the start. By the way, this was on a track; it was my first race on a track, actually.

Then someone yelled go, and I went. And I went way too fast, as I tend to do in races. My first quarter mile was in about 1:15 (I was aiming for under 1:30’s), mainly because I was trying to get ahead of this other guy who had said he wanted to run 1:40’s per lap. Well, he started way too fast, and I started way too faster, and overall it was just way too fast, if you get my drift.

But after the first lap I evened out and was pretty consistent with my lap times. The race felt like it went by very quickly, which I suppose it did- I was running for less than nine minutes, after all.

It was awesome having someone yell out times and how many laps were left only for me. At one point he yelled “Two laps to go!” which caused some walkers/slow joggers near me to go “Two? Don’t we have three to go?” I ran by, and they said, “Ohh, him.”

It was over quickly, and I felt great. I probably could have gone faster, but this was my first 1.5 mile race, first race on the track, and there was no-one near me to push me to go faster (second place came in about a minute after me). My final time was 8:51. Yes, I know, it’s not even close to a winning time, but it was a huge PR for me. It was also the slowest I’ve ever raced that distance. If you haven’t caught on by this point, this was my first race of this distance and thus I automatically PR’ed- and raced my slowest time.

That gives me an idea for a new running term: WR: Worst Record. For when you record your slowest time. But first races are always PR’s, by default.

Clearly it’s time for me to wrap this up before I come up with any worse ideas. But before I go, good luck to all those racing the New York City Marathon tomorrow!