Monday, May 07, 2012
For you runners out there! Do you give nicknames to the other runners when you race?
From the Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago there was: "Zombie Man" as he was talking about a weird race in NJ where Zombies chase you... Zombie man was struggling at mile 4 when I passed him; 5K Lady, she was super nice (runner’s high?) as she passed me at mile 3, she had only run 5Ks up until then... I caught up and passed her at around mile 9 towards the base of the monster hill; the Bankers, they were a 50 something trio and they were going on about money issues at mile 4, I kept them in my sights, caught them at mile 8, talked with them -- "you're doing great," said one of the ladies, "she really means that as she's not a very nice person," said the guy... they all laughed. They were concerned as this was my first race, they wanted to be sure that I was hydrating and 'jelling' appropriately. I left them on the monster hill at about 9.5 miles.
At about 6.5 miles I caught up to this older gentleman who looks just like Burt Yasso -- I kid you not. I quickly learned that it wasn't him when he started asking me basic beginner running questions, he was a super nice guy though. He started making these loud noises, "Woo-HA!" and such which was starting to concern me... I think he was trying to match my pace... so I bid him farewell after a mile and a half so he could slow the heck down and not have a heart attack or something.
The guy parked next to me was The Professor. He was a very stately and elegant man, perhaps 60 something. “You picked a tough Half Marathon for your first race.” He gave a very clueless me advice on how and where to pin the number and what to do with the chip that was attached to the number. I saw him at the end of the race.
There was Jack Black and the Hipsters. Jack Black was slightly heavy set guy that I never talked to until after the race but we eyed up each other and he passed me after a while as he was committed to doing a 10 min pace... I ran 10:05. The Hipsters were these two cool 20 something local guys who run the race every year. Lenin, one of the Hipsters, was tightening up so I cruised on at 10.5 miles and dug in for the remainder of the race.
In yesterday’s race -- The North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon at Bear Mountain -- there weren’t as many folks who received my nicknames but here are a few: Jack Black II, we had the same trail running shoes, he also didn’t talk but he wasn’t as fast as Jack I. The Businessman, an odd fellow who wore a button down oxford shirt. The New York Giants, two HUGE guys, super nice, “we prefer the trails, running on pavement is no good for us”, they were telling me at mile 5 (where I passed them). They reassured me later, “...you’ll see us around, we stick out,” when I saw them at the finish line.
My companion from the start until the awful sharp rock zone was Barefoot Dude (Kirt)... a doctor and dad of two little ones who ran the 1K kid race. The Soccer Moms who had a nice pace until the ‘Mountains’ where Barefoot Dude and I passed them. Oh, and how can I forget, Runner’s World Cover Girl... a Nordic Goddess in sporty fashionable but tiny shorts and just a sports bra and six pack abs... unfortunately she ran behind me for most of the race!