Sunday, September 2, 2007

My Want To Be Elite

Something struck my fancy as I watched the live broadcast of the women’s marathon at the IAAF World Championships in Osaka Japan earlier today. Now I must admit, I’ve never watched a marathon event on television before, so what I’m about to say might make me sound uneducated or pompous. Needless to say, I have the utmost respect and admiration for those elite women who, on a blistering hot and humid day, ran faster than I ever will in perfect weather. (Click here for the full race report.) But…did you know that each elite runner have personal bottles at every water station that’s filled with the beverage of their choice? (Actually, it caused a bit of a ruckus during the race because one of the runners inadvertently knocked Catherine Ndereba’s bottle down to the ground at a water station and she had to drop back from the lead position to pick it up. The fact that she did and still went on to win the race with a comfortable margin speaks volumes about her incredible talent and athleticism.) Still, I never knew that elites were allowed to have their beverage preference catered to them during a race. I wonder if that practice is specific to the world championship or if it was standard across all marathons. Imagine the possibilities if we ordinary runners were afforded such luxury.

The only thing similar I can compare it to was when Lance Armstrong ran NYCM last year with his own professional pacer and refreshment cart. I know a lot of people in the running community hated him for doing that. At the time, as a spectator and a marathoner, I didn’t particularly care one way or the other. I just thought it was funny how there was one motorcycle, one van, and an entire entourage of escorts following this one runner in the midst of a race with 30,000+ other participants.

But today I had a totally different reaction. After watching the emotional and exciting finish, the voice in my head kept telling me, “That’s why you train, Laminator. If you can’t be Kenyan, at least you can be elite.”

So I changed, went to the park, and ran twelve miles, yelling the entire way, “In my mind, I am elite!”


Reba said...

Hey... thanks for your comment. I was in NYC today - not for running, just for fun. Beautiful day for either. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Good luck in your upcoming races. BTW - I liked the video (though I prefer Mizunos to Nike... but still a good video).

A said...

Well, we all know that running is a mental sport. So if you tell yourself "I'm elite!" then that's half the battle. :) Ok, maybe a fourth of the battle.

(thanks for the comment, and thanks for following me over to wordpress! Also? I love your "video of the week.")

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