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Monday, November 29, 2010

Running on Empty

Today’s’ article could be considered a Part 2. Or not. Whatever. Here is the link to “Part 1”:

This was written after I had won a lame race in Clermont. I ran really slow but yet finished way ahead of the next person. Some people thought I was wrong to be mad. Most people just didn’t realize how much the quality of runners has gone to pot.

Trust me. It has. I have proof!

I ran around 67 minutes for the 10 Miler in Clermont last year. Again, most people thought that was good but I KNEW otherwise.

The other day I was digging though some old papers and I found a newsletter from the club that I used to run for: Cape Cod Athletic Club. The newsletter had some results!

Back then they used to put on 5k fun runs hosted by members of the club. The entry fee was like $3 and there was plenty of food and beer afterwards. Now, let’s be clear: There events were at people’s houses. No sponsors. No real awards. No water stations. No police escorts; just club members showing up and following arrows around the neighborhood. What follows is the top 10 from one of those fun runs:

5k Jingle Jog. December 22, 1992.
1. Scott Yakola 15:08
2. Andy Rogovin 15:54
3. Rick Copley 16:11 (I had all my hair then to!)
4. Barry Merrill 16:35
5. Ron Cavage 16:55
6. Don Bates 17:08
7. Troy Stack 17:19
8. Carl Tourjee 17:24
9. Mike Sellars 17:37
10. John Davidson 17:39

Do I need to go on?

I was in this race and others from that winter. It was cold and the courses were crappy. What is with the times? Don’t even ask about the distance. It was a legit 5k.
A few weeks ago I won the Faith Lutheran 5k in Eustis. I ran 17:56 and won by quite a bit. Where are all the runners?

When I was 19 I was obviously faster than I am now. I ran in the 15:40 range at my fastest. When I was running the circuit then Carl Toujee wasn’t any good! Ha! We all thought he was slow. 17:24? Really! Now he would win every local race and be thought of as fast.

So what happened in the last 20 years?

I grew up on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. There was a running race every weekend all year round and there were NEVER less that 50 people in a race! Most of the bigger weekend races had 100-500 people. Why did 10 people show up for the race in Tavares a couple of weeks ago? Why did only 5 people break 20 minutes in the Faith Lutheran Race?

I have some theories. What is yours? Please leave a comment below and click FOLLOW in the upper left hand corner of the blog page!


  1. My theory is that we have no young runners participating in these races. In the big races, there are a lot of youngsters and plenty of competition, but in the Lake County little races the competitive runners dont waste their time. You get smoked in the big races and I get doubly smoked.

    Of course there was my original theory thought up at 6 am.... that the fast runners have all run off to Mexico, but I am not sure that theory holds much water.

  2. Why in the double hockey sticks is there 4 steps to posting a comment?