Sunday, October 02, 2005

Looking Back He Saw No One.

Mbarak Hussein kept looking back over his shoulder the last mile. Usually this movement is the death rattle of a fatigued runner, sending competitors in for the kill. Mbarak, (40) was running a very conservative race, and he was suprised to see no one in view down the long tree lined final stretch of Summit Avenue. At 40 years of age one hears footsteps. Any pressure at all from another runner would surely have dropped the final time below 2:18, but somewhere along the hills on River Road & Summit Ave. the die was cast. And die they did. Hussein won in 2 hours and 18 minute and 28 seconds outpacing the nearest runner by 2 minutes.

I was missled by the petit figure and cap pulled downover her eyes. I mistook the leading woman - Nichole Aishe - for Joan Benoit, who came in 11th place. Now I have a crush on 2 women runners - (should I say that it is boyish?) . Nichole's winning time was a modest 2 hours and 40 minutes. Neither male or female times were fast, and I was struck by the vast empty spaces between runners, well into the mid 3 hour times. I must admit I was a little motivated to return to running. I was not motivated enough to stay and watch our Governor finish.

The grey fall day gave the marathon a restrained, almost melancholy feel. A retro marathon. In sympathy the radio played 'Sukiyaki' as I headed home on I94. Back to running the streets and clay surfaced trails by lake Minnetonka.


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