Friday, April 29, 2016

Cometh The Hour,Cometh The Shamrock Warrior

In a year I celebrate 40 years of competative running which began on an old cinder track in Charlton Park as a high school freshman as a 800m and 400m runner should it come as any surprise I returned to the Penn Relays after a seven year hiatus to once again throw down a 400m????

Truth be told I was only considered when Millrose and Penn stalwart Scott Landis announced he was injured,I rejected the initial invitation from the club on March 26th due to what I see as "club politics" for once I'm not going to go into long excrucating detail I believe my feelings on the subject are well known but I felt a sence of "duty" to my fellow M50 4x400 team mates John Curtis,Bruce Rash and Ray Parker and as contrived as it may sound I agreed to run for them NOT the club,one of the reasons I didn't revoke my club membership years ago was because while"internal politics" may piss me off I have a profound affection for my fellow team mates,sure Groucho Marx famously said "never join a club that would have someone like yourself as a member" Groucho NEVER ran for Greater Philadelphia Track Club did he???

Spring in Philly and Penn Relays can only mean one thing...grey skies and rain and temps struggling to get into the mid 50s........I was feckin' delighted to get out to the warm up area at 6.30pm to warm up having sat in the stands since least I got several pages of my life story "Pale Paddy & Proud" written and the blood was circulating through my fingers,NEVER dropped a relay baton.....WASN'T planning to start today let me tell you!!

W/ 19 teams lining up it was always gonna be somewhat of a fustercluck at the start but w/ John
"The Beast" Curtis leading us off I knew we were in safe hands,go on Flo Track and watch the video or allow me to post it when Raine John's wife posts it John made sure he got a clear start from the third man from the rail start and lead us through the opening 400m in 55.81
Bruce "Broken Calf" Rash ran an impressive second leg despite  having pre race favoutites Southwest Sprinters second leg Marcus Shute reel him in.
Ray" I ain't affraid of no ghost" Parker kept us in second w/ a 57.58 leg and now for the first time in my Penn Relays history{06,07,08,09} I took the baton in a medal winning position.
I was never going to catch Southwest Sprinters anchor Khalid Mulazim but that didn't stop me from giving chase,w/ hindsight I wish I'd relaxed a little over the opening 200m and poured it on over the closing 200m as Mass Velocitys anchor Meirwyn Walters ran an impressive anchor leg of 55.79 to catch me up the home straight.
W/ hindsight{I know a wonderful thing!!!} I wish I'd ploughed through on the rail of the final turn instead of slowing slightly to overtake a lapped runner,that split second of hesitation cost me and my team the silver,60.23 for yours truly as Mass Velocity recorded a 3.52.9 to our 3.53.6 w/ Sprint Force America the #2 seed team 4th in 3.55.4

As I sit here now some 90 mins later it's w/ mixed emotions,don't get it twisted I'm proud as punch w/ the bronze but to have Silver w/in my grasp only to be snatched away is a bit of a pisser but rest assured when I do eventually take possession of my Penn Relays Masters Mens M50 4x400m medal it is one I will feel tremendously proud of and know that two weeks of shaking off a virial infection and double oral surgery two days ago could not stop the Shamrock Warrior,this may have been my last Penn Relay.....but I seemed to say that in 2009..................


B said...

Awesome recap!
Kevin, it's always been a pleasure for me running with you!
Silver, Bronze it doesn't really matter, if there is a burn for the bronze then it will add gasoline to the fire for next year.
I should have run better, but I gave it all I had and as big John Stated " All is takes is All you got" and we all did that.

kevin f forde said...

Cheers Bruce and thank you to you John and Ray for letting me run w/ you guys,the honour was all mine
Ya know for an 800m/1,500m guy I now have 4x400m medals from both Millrose & Penn....