Monday, November 5, 2007

Trials Weekend Hangover

Monday morning found me nursing all the usual symptoms of a crazy weekend: dizziness, nausea, pangs of regret, and waking up in bed with someone unfamiliar and threatening.

Looking back on this most eagerly anticipated weekend in recent memory, I am struck by how pleased I am with how it went. In this crazy mixed up world, events rarely live up to expectations (see: new year's eve, class reunions, Blades of Glory) but this weekend came about as close as possible.

First off, I dare someone to complain about how the trials, as an event, was executed. That unfamiliar and threatening stranger that I climbed into bed with this weekend is the New York Road Runners and, while guilt is inevitable when starting things up with such an oft-maligned partner, they proved to me this weekend that they are willing to work hard to please me.

The trials was everything the NYRR proposed it could be and they pulled it off as gracefully and excitingly as possible. Mary Wittenberg served up her famous kool-aid and I gulped it down (mmm...lemon lime).

That said, I certainly was cursing them when I peeled myself out of bed at 6:30 in the morning. As many of you know, a 7:30am start is not conducive to a Friday night house party that degenerates into a sloppy game of flip cup and a Beastie Boys dance party (You can sing along too! Just shout the last word in every line).

While I know that many in the running community may not share my viewpoint, and it may not even be logistically possible what with the lack of daylight and all, but I would much rather have had a 7:30pm start. With which, we would be able to tailgate, generate excitement through the sharing of spirits (which would lead to us shouting all sorts of fun things as the race progressed), and go straight to the bars afterward for a night full of new regrets, failed hook-ups, and a certain conviction to get our asses training to make the next trials. But I digress.

The top three result of the trials was about as rewarding as the event execution itself. One thing a distance runner will always cherish, if not the occassional whistle heard while running from a purty girl (or guy, I'm not judging), is hope. Hope that the next run/race/season/year will bring better results. With that in mind, Hall and Ritz going one two, being 25 and 24 respectively, is about the best an American distance fan can hope for. I thought for sure Abdi would be in the top 3, but Sell going is just as well (mainly because Hanson's deserves the congratulations and the press, and 'ol handlebars deserves it because of his hard work and blah blah blah).

It is hard to picture a trials being pulled off as well as this one. While I will be at the next one as a runner (I went out to the bars afterward and made some convictions despite the early start), I hope other organizations will hold themselves to the standard that my new bedmate set this past weekend.

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