hope for the American track scene

Slick rubber on top of concrete doesn’t make an ideal indoor track surface. Jared and I, however, were not deterred and took to running some of the “main events” as it were today at the Thomas Jefferson rec. center in Arlington. You really have to love the mile. We were split up into groups. At first we were worried because 5′ was the cutoff, and we were not that confident about our training, but they changed the cutoff to 5′:10″ to even out the heats. Prior to our race Jared and I had written our 38″ splits on our hands for easy reference if we decided to run a 5′:04″ mile.

Before I go any further, I should mention that this entire gym was filled with kids age 5-14. There were essentially no highschoolers, or young adults. Many parents, after watching their kids, would race an event. It was really funny for Jared and I, as we asked outloud, “why aren’t more kids in the mid-twenties hanging out at an indoor track in at 8am?” It felt like an odd Christopher Guest movie, where the rank amateurism was offset by the savage enthusiam of the parents and the tenacity with which some of the 10 years olds would run the 400m’s, 800s, and the mile! Yes the mile! Rugrats!

Anyhow, Jared and I had a good race. I ran a 5′:05 and Jared a 5′:10. Jared beat me later in the 800m race by over 5 seconds, which leads me to think that he should’ve used that extra energy of his on a faster mile. I joined a group or older gentlemen as the lead leg in the 4x400m, my first lap was around 27″ the 2nd around 38″, which I think is promising. After going to little Vietnam/ Seven Corners, we spotted a horse mounted police officer smoking either a cigarrette, or a cigar. I laughed. I think it’d be awesome if all the mounted police smoked tobacco pipes with riding Rock Creek. It gives me hope. That and watching kids have fun running. Thanks for reading.