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Supportive Competition

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Do you see the white haired guy in the background? His name is Fritz. He is 75 years old and hardly ever enters a race without coming in first in his age group. And he often runs 2 or 3 races a month. Twice I ran in races where he was also competing, a 5K and a 10K. I beat him in the 5K and he beat me in the 10K, so we have a friendly competition. This picture was taken last year at the 5K, but I want to write about what Fritz did today.

Fritz belongs to the same Galloway running group I run with. However, he has been assigned to a faster pace group than I. He tells me that it is a bit too fast for him, just as I tell him my pace group is a bit too slow for me. So today when he was passing my group, he challenged me to straight run (no walk breaks) back. So the two of us ran the three miles back. We beat our groups, mine by about 20 minutes!!

We ran at a comfortable pace where we could converse. His wife, Margo, is following the Eat to Live book and has lost 44 pounds. He is really proud of her. He would love for her to run, too, but I'm not sure her knees are going to let her even when she's at goal weight. Fritz has two grandkids in town who he has encouraged to run. He's bought their shoes, paid their entrance fees, and done some coaching. The 12 year old beat him for the first time by 10 seconds in a 5K two weeks ago; the 14 year old was right behind him. I shared that my 5 year old granddaughter has run a half mile with me, but she lost interest, so I haven't pushed it recently. Will try again later. He agreed with that approach.

Fritz is one of those people in my 3D life who is a real support. He has an understanding of what it takes to lose weight and maintain. And while we "compete" no one applauds louder if I take a medal.

PS The picture is so small in this blog I don't think you can find Fritz. If you want to see him, go to my photo gallery. It is the 8th picture. Fritz is right behind me, just to the left.
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