You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth…

“The alarm sounded and I surfaced….and faced the moment of doubt I always have with early morning races. The moment is not about conditioning or fitness or the degree of difficulty of the event ahead but simply this: man, can’t they start these things later in the day?”

Extreme athlete and radio DJ Jimmy Buff writing in the latest Catskill Mountain Region Guide. That’s exactly how I felt this last Sunday morning when the alarm went off at 5.25am in what was still the dark of the night. Come 8.50, the rain had eased, the sky was brighter if not exactly bright, and Mr. SumoRunner was out taking pictures of us daft Marathon runners at the two and a half mile mark. That’s me with the gloves.

Sumo Runner rushed off to the 14 mile mark and caught most of us coming out of the only covered section of the entire race – a flooded tunnel. (I should not complain about the weather: it feels like Sunday morning was the only time in the last week it hasn’t been raining. This whole Catskill Region is full of gushing rivers threatening to burst their banks today, with a serious flood watch alert throughout the entire region.)

This is not me. It’s a 34-year old called Chris who I paced with for many miles. We were running side by side for most of the race but at the tunnel I must have let him go in front of me: you can just about make out my gloves behind him. Chris promised to “get you into Boston” but it was not to be for either of us: after I stopped for a power gel at mile 16, I kept him in my sights but never quite caught up with him. (Hey, he’s seven years younger!) Chris ended up finishing 15 seconds ahead of me. I know that knocked about 14 minutes off his own PR so congrats to Chris and if ever finds himself reading this, thanks for the encouragement and support. Somehow I never found you at the finish line.

Thanks to Sumo Runner for allowing me to print these.

And a nod to the new Google blog search which allowed Sumo Runner, for example, to find the most recent blog entries on the Mohawk Hudson Marathon. There’s coincidence, and then there’s pure mathematics.

For more about my latest Marathon, visit this post.

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September 2022