Semi-Great Race 5k – Clinton PA

I am re-writing this and few other posts thanks to the lyrical Irishman Stephen Black.

The Irish, in the English tongue at least, have a wonderful, intricate almost poetic way of writing, filled with human pathos.

Americans write in a more staccato expository cadence like a 40s pulp-fiction, hard-boiled, film-noir detective novel.

Irish writing tells a story, with feeling.

American writing tells a story like a newspaper report.

So I am going to try to expand this story in honor of this mystical Irish runner.


It was to be run 48. Ah number 48, and coincidentally, cosmically, my race number was 1148. As the lady handed me my bright yellow race shirt and my number in the intense late August afternoon humidity, my thoughts drifted back to another hot humid race day, the Misery and Agony Hill 10k at Ft. Knox Kentucky, or as I would call it race number one. Now I was old, broken, clinging to the shattered pieces of my running career, my time was running out, I wondered could I still do it? Or was a man about to run his last. One by one, I remembered wistfully each race in each halcyon era….


I don’t want to make any excuses. It was the second worst 5k time of all of the 5ks I’ve ever run dating back to, well… forever.

Nice people. Lots of locals.


Scenic run through a rural park. You end up in the cornfields, kind of a mini Topeka-to-Auburn.

I started well, the first few hundred yards, but then I was getting crushed by the 85 degree heat and the humidity. Yes it was an evening race, hence quite hot.


I had nothing. No jump at all. I was just hanging on. There were a few hills, not dramatic, but tough enough.

My finish was atrocious. Only a few people finished behind me.

I could never catch the people who kept stopping and walking.

I lost almost everybody on the last steep uphill at the water station before the turnaround point.


People tried to encourage me, they knew I was a washed up bum, a palooka, a disabled veteran, a two-time loser, a miserable remnant of a bygone era… Gone were the smirks, the self-satisfied snickers at the old staggering cripple trying to drag out one last race. Now the spectators were filled with a sense of impending doom, a deep soul-draining sorrow as if their very spirit of joy was sucked for their body by the shrieking demons of hideous Kaph! Or, the fabulous Yog Sothoth! As if my struggle represented their inevitable date with the grim reaper.

With a half mile left I couldn’t see anyone behind nor in front of me.

Once again, I ran alone.

I lost a full 6:03 over my previous 5k.

You know, I despise the heat. But could it have that profound an effect on me?

Also the left knee joint is almost completely destroyed. Will I be able to make my 50th distance race before I can’t run anymore?

Stay tuned.


About Botendaddy

Three times voted extreme sexiest man acclamation. I run because I must...I must!
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