“What you do is beautiful, no?”
That was the comment made by my pacer, or “Rabbit, ” Mattia Barbaro (yes, like the Kentucky Derby winner), after we finished the 1500m in a time of 6:24.34, or 27.66 seconds faster than I needed to be “Half as Fast” as Hicham El Guerrouj’s world record.
He was not talking about my running, of course, but he had “seen your video and website and what you do is very, very good.” Yes, he had been to race2walk2106.com and had instantly gotten the point. That what we are doing is running so that others can walk. Grazie mille, Mattia!
The run today made me an astounding two for two in my quest to finish The Running Decathlon in twice the time as the world records. Frankly I am a bit shocked. My friend and running mentor, Jamie Monroe, swears it is the shoes and he may be right. Running in spikes on a fast track may well be what the difference is. And I also think training at altitude has helped. And there may be inspiration that emanates from the “cause,” perhaps a little Bridging Bionics Foundation karma that blows an extra shot of wind beneath my tired wings.
Whatever, and it’s likely a combination of all of the above, I came to Rome and achieved, no obliterated, my goals on two successive Thursday mornings. There actually may be something to this.
Today was slightly cooler as I headed to the track at the Stadio Olimpico. Due to the good graces of Ricki and John McHugh, the morning began in upscale luxury at the 5-star, hip and modern Palazzo Dama, which is not far from the Stadium on the banks of the Tiber. The short taxi trip to the stadium was a blessing because, once again, I was very nervous about the run.
Once inside the Stadio Olimpico, though, I felt like I was home. After all, I had run on this adopted home track just last week when I ran my 7:05.76 mile. I just love having an official starter who fires a pistol and a timer who can get an official time to the hundredth of a second.
This was eighteen years to the day since El Guerrouj had shattered the 1500m mark with a run of 3:26.0 in the Golden Gala. It is the longest standing of The Running Decathlon world records and if you watch the You Tube video, you’ll see why. He just crushes it, running each lap in less than 50 seconds, and all alone in the final lap.
It is a beautiful thing, no?
Next up is a trip to Friuli to discover some new wines and do some training for the next challenge, the 5000m. Your donations and support have been truly inspiring.
Please keep it up.