It had to be 1979, it just had to be. We were living in Lesotho, a tiny country in southern Africa. My mother did us a huge treat two or three times that year, long before Al Gore had invented the Internet. She subscribed to Sports Illustrated, kept all the copies and would then ship a stack to us in a box via sea mail. Nevermind the lateness of the news…we lived in such a remote spot, it was marvelous to read even old stories about familiar sports.
And one new sport. I still remember reading a feature article in one issue about the then nascent sport of triathlon. It described the amazing tenacity of the early winners, their pain tolerance, their training regimens, their just plain toughness in the original Hawaii race. And weirdness. In particular, I remembered one quote by one guy to the effect that he didn’t like races because they got in the way of his training.
I recall marveling at that statement at the time. I could not remotely begin to understand his viewpoint.
Recently, I recalled that comment, understanding it much better. (I actually wrote about this in 2006, here) It hit me when I looked at my running mileage in March…a mere 41 miles. Forty-one miles?? In a month that contained a marathon?? Yep…forty-one. My lowest month in two years. The race got in the way of my training.
So, on my enjoyable 12 mile run this morning, I wondered…did I really remember that quote correctly? Did someone really say that? Might I find the article somewhere, some archive copy of old, pre-digital articles?? Amazingly there was a site. And, I found the article, from the May 14, 1979 issue.
Two pages in…pay dirt. Describing the winner of the event, that year conducted in January of 1979, the author quoted legendary Tom Warren as follows:
He says…the bad feature of racing is that it interrupts his training routine. “I could never associate racing with pain,” he says. “It’s like going to school. You have to take exams to find where you stand.”
Why, oh why, do I remember details like this when I can’t remember which side of the plate the fork goes on?? Probably because it is related to sports. Oh my.
Happy Easter, everyone. Persevere.