Sunday, June 23, 2013

I'm Going for the Marathon World Record!

Yep, you read it here first. Someday, most likely in 2024, I’ll be setting the world record in the men’s marathon. How do I know this? Simple mathematics! Let me explain.

I’ve done three marathons, the Midnight Sun in Anchorage in 2005, the Rock ‘N’ Roll in San Diego in 2006, and the P. F. Changs in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe in 2008. I walked the first two, and walked over 90% of the third one. Here are my times in those races:

Anchorage – 6:41:39 (walking in heavy rain)
San Diego – 6:14:15 (walking in sunshine - Woah, oh!)
Phoenix – 5:56:44 (mostly walking, with some running,  in sunshine)

If you will do the math, you will see that, on average, I knocked 22 minutes and 46 seconds off each successive marathon. So projecting this forward, as any intelligent person might, leads to some fantastic future times. Of course, I am dealing with knee pain right now, and am not scheduled to run a marathon, so let’s assume that I don't start up again until 2014.  I'll get past the knee pain this year and use the 2013 Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon as a springboard to run a full marathon next year, and my projected time - based on the above - will be about 5 hours and 35 minutes. Strong runners blow by me, laughing as they pass, saying, "Hey!  Who is slow, old guy?"  Laugh now, while you can.  But some day soon, I'll be the one doing the laughing!  You'll see!  Yes, you will see!

So, I will shrug off their derision, and keep on going.  Because I want that world record as soon as possible, I will start cranking out a marathon a year. This leads to milestones in my racing career, and they start to become remarkable just a few years from now:

2016 – my first sub-five hour marathon
2018 – I qualify for Boston
2019 – my first sub-four hour marathon (in Boston)
2021 – I break three hours, by a hair, for the first time
2023 – I run a marathon in 2 hours 11 minutes, just missing the world record. Ethiopian and Kenyan runners are looking over their shoulder in fear, their lungs on fire as they just manage to finish ahead of me. “Who is this old geezer?” they ask in wonder.

2024 – I shatter the word record and win Olympic gold all at the same time, doing a back flip to cross the finish line!  "Sports Illustrated" cancels its swimsuit issue to put me on its cover (but not in a swimsuit). Sales of Wheaties, with my photo on the box (but not in a swimsuit) go berserk!

But wait, I'm just getting started! Now things start getting really incredible. In 2027 I win the Olympic trials in a new world record: less than 43 minutes. In 2028 I defy all reason by setting a new world marathon record in a shade under 20 minutes, and win my second Olympic Gold. Just for grins, I also win the Kentucky Derby, Belmont, and Preakness, leaving the world’s best thoroughbreds far behind and gasping in agony and shame. An enraged and humiliated jockey tries to shoot me after the Preakness, but I dodge the bullet. I’m not fast enough to beat a cheetah over 200 yards, but can easily beat one in a half mile race.

By 2029, I enter a marathon and win it before it even starts. At that point, I decide to slow down a bit and jog the Boston Marathon, one last time, in about an hour and 5 minutes. It is time to hang up the running shoes and take it easy.

All it will take is me getting this knee healed, running a marathon a year, and the application of simple mathematics. After all, it was none other than Mark Twain himself that wrote the following: “In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

1 comment:

TNTcoach Ken said...

Sounds logical to me! LOL