The Good Mates were baptized under fire yesterday.  Specifically the upper 70s for temps and high 80s for humidity at the start of the BIX 7.   This was the BIX debut for everyone but me and I couldn’t have been prouder of how they performed.  Some Superlatives:

Linda Barnhart finishing 2nd Overall Master (50:46) to none other than Joan Samuelson.  How about sharing the podium with an Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist?  I’m not sure how many total female masters (in the thousands) were entered but Linda was 1st out of 430 in the 45-49 age group.  Joanie’s finish at the top of the masters, while not unexpected, is all the more remarkable given her 54 years of age.  She was running her 28th BIX, her friend and mine Bill Rodgers was also in attendance and running, he’s made every BIX since the race was founded in 1975.

In the Open Division, after the top 10 overall (included 8 Kenyans) had been recognized, Kaci Lickteig (43:12) was 2nd overall in the 25-29 age group and while the results format is difficult to read I believe she was in the top 10 American women.   Jen Viehrig (47:35) was 3rd in the 30-34 age group after the top 10 had been awarded.  Let’s give credit where credit is due, Great Running by all of our TNB women!

Matt Pohren was also a top 10 American (36:46) in a field loaded with Kenyans and managed 25th overall.  Lee Anderson wins the Biggest Balls award for the day by running his guts out and collapsing at the finish line.  He was rushed to medical and given 3 IV bags before being discharged.  Baptism under fire indeed!  All of our mates conducted themselves as true professionals, a tight cohesive group that understands the importance of TEAM.  I just couldn’t have been prouder.

10% Rule.  That is what I had in mind on my race yesterday.  If I could finish in the top 10% of my age group and total finishers, while giving it my best effort, I would consider the race a success.  I was 47th out of 466 in my age group, check.  I finished 1068th out of 18057 starters, so top 6%, double check.

I was amazed at how many 80-84 year olds ran the race.  At least 5 men (the awards went that deep) and 4 women in that category.  The 70s were packed deep on both sides.  People just love to do BIX.  And the Quad Cities love BIX too.  I would invite the Govenor, Mayor, Chief of Police, and Omaha Sports Commission to go to Davenport with me next summer to see how a community can Totally Embrace a city wide event.  The entire 7 miles were packed with citizenry, bands, sprinklers, costumes, and just about every kind of  encouragement and support you could imagine from a progressive, fitness minded populace.  We could to that here too.

I got to meet Frank Fritz of American Pickers fame.  Was hoping to speak a bit about my running collection but he was besieged by a throng of admirers.  He was also out on the course race morning cheering on the runners, so he’s got to be a decent guy.

After driving over 650 miles and running a race in the span of 36 hours I treated myself to dinner at Dante’s Pizzeria last night.  Braised Rabbit on a plate of Wild Mushroom Polenta and a nice glass of 2008 Montepulciano D’Abruzzo was the perfect cap to the day.  This little gem of a restaurant is tucked away in the Shops of Legacy, wood fired pizza ovens are the mainstay but the menu has been right up my gastronomic alley.  My favorite dish is the Oxtail Gnocchi, treat yourself if you are in the mood for legitimate rustic Italian fare.  They also source everything they possibly can from local vendors/growers, does it get any better?

Mike Wolfe (on left) and Frank Fritz are the American Pickers and have my dream job of going through other people’s junk in search of treasure.