VIVA LA DIFFERENCE

To borrow from Moby’s hit, “We Are All Made Of Stars”.  We really are  exactly the same from an organic standpoint.  It is only the magic of individuality that keeps us all from being so many lemmings pitching ourselves to the depths below.  It is that uniqueness that is celebrated in today’s column, that variance in humanity that keeps life interesting and challenging and worth living.

I’m guessing that I sometimes have y’all wondering what in the world I’m talking about, where in the world I’m coming from.  On the one hand I describe the emotions and pains and joys that J. Q. Everyone experiences in running, training, and racing.  And I’ll just as easily comment on what I see as Real Running and Real Racing as it applies to those that have nothing but the highest of aspirations in our sport.

My challenge has been to try educate and illuminate upon true Excellence, while always keeping each of us on the same level of respect, regardless of abilities.  What makes it work is my genuine support of anyone that wants to run and imporve.  We all have our own barometers of excellence, and as I’ve said before, I just want You to be better than You.  But sure I’ll keep pointing out those that aspire to the very pinnacles of their potential.

You can follow former TNB mate (once a mate always a mate) Mike Morgan while he is in Deagu, South Korea.  He is twittering his experiences while there running the World Championships Marathon, check in on Mike by going to @mikemorgan.  Best of luck to Mike and the rest of the U.S. team!

Thanks to Jeff Jacob for pointing out that Lisa Baumert (Fremont HS, class of 2005) ran a 2:41 at the 2010 Chicago Marathon.  She technically is from Nebraska although she has lived out of state since graduating.  Not sure if she claims NE as her home state but if she does she should go on the list as a Nebraska Olympic Trials Qualifier.

I found this in the funny pages this morning, and think it prompts serious discussion.  From 2-time Corporate Cup Champion (1986, 1987) Bob Garcia, commenting on the recent changes to the race:

” Because I hate the new set up. When I ran my first CC (its 2nd year) I was excited about it because I was a full-time working man, coaching on top of that, married with 2 little daughters. I wanted to see how I measured up against the other working stiffs. And I thought I did pretty well.  Then the screwing around started, open division, spouses, etc., just helped ruin it.  Now with the “elite” division, just takes it farther from what it once was.  And I just don’t get the insanity about having to break Dooling’s record. It’s ridiculous.”

Since I am the one that has been trumpeting the assault on Tim Dooling’s record I’ll use my own forum to reply.  First of all, it is not “ridiculous” to want to see our present day athletes eclipse the records and performances from previous generations.   In fact, when David Adams or Peter vd Westhuizen, or whomever it is, notches a new CR, I’ll be the first one to call for it to be shattered in 2012.  This is after all a Race.  All due respect to Bob, his talent and achievements, but I just don’t see how highlighting competitive runners in a Running Race has helped plunge it away from anything, rather this has helped focus the event back on running while detracting not at all from the fundraising.   This is Our Sport after all.   Has it changed from being exclusively a fund raiser?  Yes.  Will that benefit the athletes that aspire to make this their profession?  Yes.  Will it hurt athletes that are “working stiffs”?  No.  Is it craziness to insist that a 30:20 is merely a decent 10K time?  No.  Ah, but that depends on whom you ask, therein lies la difference!  If the course record was 29:20 would I still be exhibiting “insanity” by insisting that our mates make that their goal?  If that’s what you call it then, yes, yes I would.