by Patrick Reardon | 2/28/06
Glancing at my Alf wall calendar, I was shocked to learn that the end of February was imminent. That could only mean one thing: the 7th annual hot dog eating contest at the Weenie Wagon. Okay, so it meant something else as well. The annual pilgrimage to Cape Cod with the Babson Buds for the Hyannis Half Marathon was right around the corner. Since it wasn’t a leap year and I couldn’t get Tyco to send me to some distant plant for inventory, I had no excuses this year and needed some Houdini-like magic to get out of running this year’s edition. Like an unstable, bipolar patient in a mental ward who dresses up like a giraffe, I was committed. With the bass from a Hanson beat blaring through my alarm speakers, I shot up like a pop tart on Sunday morning and was off.
Breezing at 90 cuz that’s just me, I pensively reviewed my goals for the race on the drive down 495 south. Typically, it’s not my style to set goals. I’ve found that if you don’t have any goals, then you’re never disappointed when you don’t meet them. I’ve got to tell you, it feels phenomenal. However, going into this race, I wanted to run at or around a pace of 7:15 per mile. If I could do this, then I’d smash Scottie Schizzle’s Babson course record of 1:39:47 by nearly 5 minutes, and I’d have great fodder for my blog. In all honesty, I hadn’t been that ascetic over the previous few weeks and hadn’t really been training to vigorously. Thus, I had no idea where I was in terms of conditioning so this was going to be a real test. Since I just got an A on my hepatitis test, I was hoping to pass this one with good marks as well.
With bitterly cold temperatures, a stiff ocean breeze, and some icy roads, the conditions were rather inauspicious for setting PRs, spitting game, and flaunting my mojo. The crowd that gathered in the Sheraton looked nervous and antsy, especially for those few dreamers who were looking to punch a ticket to Boston. After stealing stuff from the expo and loitering around like a shady pedophile for a little while, I spotted Scottie Schizzle, Levi Strauss, and the newest member to the Hyannis Hi-Fliers, B squared- Bucky Beyer. Swapping tales of business plans gone awry, Babson acronyms, wives, and Burl Hash, we all stretched and made our way to the starting line.
And they’re off! The first mile proved to be rather slow and uneventful as I tried my best to zig and zag passt the throngs of back-of-the-packers who decided it would be cool to line up in the middle of the pack. By this point in the day, the sun had come out and was shining radiantly so I figured that the magic rays of sunshine were a consolation prize for the pedestrian-like first mile. After the first mile, the tight, consolidated pack started to dissolve like Pangea in the Triassic Era or Bobby and Whitney’s marriage. By mile two, I had caught Scottie Schizzle. I dished out a couple of quick, playful Rocky jabs, and then saying beam me up Scottie, I hit the clutch, hit the gears, hit the gas, and I was gone. By mile three, I started to find my groove. From miles 3 through 4.5, I ran with some young female whipper snappers from the Merrimack Valley Striders running club. Unfortunately, they weren’t wearing name tags, and they refused to write their cell phone numbers on my racing bib. Through some playful bantering, they confided in me that they were shooting for 1:45. When I heard this, I said, “Boys are faster than girls,” and took off with my 1:35 ambitions intact.
After my mid-race rendezvous, I found my groove thing and decided to shake it. I was rolling on dubs and blowing up like cocoa puffs. I even saw Scottie’s girlfriend and her mother and waved to them. However, they didn’t wave back, which means I was either running so fast they didn’t see me or they hate my guts. Anywho, miles 5-10 were uneventful and just clicked off one after another. Passing mile 10, I glanced at my watch for the first time and saw 1:10:31 emblazoned on the LCD display, which astonishingly put me way ahead of schedule.
Like a visit from a mother-in-law or a date with the proctologist, what transpired next was both unpleasant and uncomfortable. A mere quarter mile into mile 10, my friend digestive issues reared his ugly head. I’ll skip over this part, but I’ll just say to the owners of the red house with white shutters near Craigville Beach: watch where you step in your backyard.
After this 10-15 minute respite, I sprung back into action and finished strong, albeit somewhat dejected that a PR well within reach was flushed down the toilet. My official time was 1:49:05, but I’m pretty sure I would have cracked 1:35 without being sidetracked. Quickly after finishing, I found Levi, Scott, and Bucky who had all conquered another Hyannis Haymaker. Scott and Bucky finished just ahead of me so bragging rights are theirs for the foreseeable future. All in all, it was another fun-filled Hyannis Half. Due to busy schedules and cold temperatures, none of us really stuck around for the post-race party and after-hours party at B-Rod’s pad.