The “worst” race that led to a National Championship

I am very big for a marathon runner at 6´2″ and around 190 pounds for races. Typically people my size can run a marathon but finish quite slowly. In fact, one year, I was running the Portland Marathon in my quest to break three hours and you have an option of getting weighed beforehand to compete for what is the “Clydesdale” (large horse) category. I decided to do it that day. I did not know it was the Clydesdale National Championship race.

“In road racing,the Clydesdale Division is for heavyweight male runners. The weight minimum for Clydesdales is 200 pounds, although it can vary from race to race. … Not all races have Clydesdale Divisions but, if they do, they’ll usually mention it on the race application.”

Inevitably when running 26.2 miles something bad happens at some point and it makes the race very difficult. In this Portland race, I had a great race going, had crossed the major bridge and was still on target for three hours. I decided to stop and use the restroom quickly. It was at about mile 18.

When I came out of the restroom my legs had siezed up and I could barely run. One of my rules after that race was to never stop after mile 15. Anyway, at around mile 20 I saw my wife and children and decided I would quit, which I have never done. I was going to quit racing all together. I thought,¨”this is dubious and I keep trying for three hours and am not making it” My wife actually pushed me back on to the road and I stumbled off and finished the race.

My time was the worst I had in a while. It was around Three hours and thirteen minutes. I was disgusted with my performance. A week or so later a box arrived at my house. It was the trophy for having won the National Championships for Clydesdale runners and I had won by five minutes! It goes to show that a little perspective is helpful. I Thought I had failed, but in fact won a national championship.

Published by jimboyce44

World Traveler, Educator, Father, Husband, Son

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