Current Events! Strong Opinions!
The Endurance Live Awards chose to honor Hines Ward, some ultra guy and an obvious doper. They did give out some awards to deserving folks. Javier Gomez and Brena Martinez (great track season, medal at the world championships) and Mirinda Carfrae all won awards. But to give male runner of the year to an ultra guy? What about the track or road athletes who actually run races against fast athletes? Nick Symmonds and Matt Centrowitz both got silver medals at Track Worlds in 2013. Those are pretty good accomplishments. As for Hines Ward, hasn’t he gotten enough attention and admiration for dragging his body around the Kona course? As for the obvious doper, are we really silly enough to think a 41 year old Chris Horner is going to magically find the form of his life and win the Vuelta clean? Apparently the Endurance Life Awards people are that silly. I hate to sound like a Grumpy Gus but we have plenty of amazing athletes that could use some celebrating instead of handing awards to the same circle of pseudo celebrities over and over again.
Speaking of amazing athletes, 16 year old Katie Ledecky just went 4:28.71 in the 500 free. 4:28! Absolutely demolishes my self esteem. Just a remarkable athlete. In running, high school senior and pro runner Mary Cain has been kicking ass all around some indoor tracks. Look it up. She means business. Maybe you’re thinking ‘Why go pro in high school? Why not get a sweet NCAA scholarship? Won’t she burn out?’ My answer, if she wants to race she should race. Careers don’t last forever. If she can train at a good level and race at a high level now I think she is right to go for it. Getting free college might be nice but there are lots of strings attached and she runs the risk of grinding herself down in the wrong program. Good for her for going for it now. Is everyone ready physically and mentally to race as a professional in high school? Obviously not. But she is winning pro races so that is a good indicator she’s made the right choice.
First Win: Saint Paul Sprint 2007
My first win was at the Saint Paul Sprint back in 2007. I was just a wee little college undergrad. It was my second year racing and the first year of the MJET team. Our title sponsor was Batteries Plus. Our uniforms were essentially a grey version of the Gear West Bike team uniforms. I was still riding a road bike I got off ebay with clip ons. The year before in 2006 I’d gone off course at the St. Paul Sprint. Once on the bike and once on the run, it was not great. In 2007 I was there to set things right and get the win.
I was first out of the water just ahead of my lanemate from the Twin Cities Swim Team Abby Ruess. She won the women’s race. Abby and I had many a battle at morning practice. She swam for the Gophers so I was happy to beat her out of the water. Fun fact: Abby was my camp counselor at the Gopher Swim Camp. Follow Up Fun Fact: I always take great joy in beating former Gopher swimmers out of the water at triathlons.
Anyways, no one passed me on the bike or run so I won. It was neat.