Ever Have One of Those Races?

Or at least felt like this?

Taken during the Men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase at Osaka, Japan.

My first reaction was “oooommphhhh”!

Then it got me to thinking about my first (and second to last) experience with steeplechase. And as with any good story, it starts with that phrase. What phrase is that, you ask?

Well, there I was.

Senior year of high school. At a track invitational whose name has since escaped me. But it doesn’t matter.

Anyway, there I was. Done with my races, which results escape me as well. After my last race, it was time for a feed. And right next to the track of the school that we were racing at was a Carl’s Jr. How convenient! My favorite fast food joint to stuff my gullet while growing up. So, being a 17 year old runner who had already burned plenty of calories, I opted for my choice of meals – two (2) Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger’s. With fries and a Coke.

And during that time, what restaurant wouldn’t win a teenage boy’s heart with the slogan – “It doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your face”. 😀

Anyway, back to eating. I scarfed it down. And it was good. All 1900 calories for just the burgers, plus the fries and Coke (no Diet Coke for me back then).

So afterwards, I rolled back over to the track to watch the rest of the races.

A little while later, the coach comes walking over and says “Bill, they’re going to run a steeplechase at the end. So I signed you up”. “Oh $h!t. Thanks, coach”.

Having never run the race, I had no idea how to approach it. Especially with 4lbs of meat in my belly.

I wish I had video. It had to have been the funniest thing ever. None of us racing had ever run the race, much less jumped the hurdles and vaulted past the water hazards. I’m sure that a few of the hurdles should have been shown on American’s Funniest Home Video’s.

I didn’t trip, I didn’t land face first in the water. I didn’t puke, although there were some serious doubts, especially during the last lap.

I did curl up into a ball on the side of the track after the finish.

Over 20 years later, I can still picture everything.

Good times.

Oh yeah. The second time wasn’t any better, although I had more notice so I didn’t fuel for it the same.


4 thoughts on “Ever Have One of Those Races?”

  1. Oh, I’ve learned my lesson.

    At the century on Saturday, they were giving out “Ding Dong’s” at the aid stations. Damn they were tempting, but I knew what they’d do to my gut. So it was a banana instead.

    Darn it! 😉

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