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Master competitor special edition post!

Rule #1 for master competitors: No matter how bleak things look, go to the start line.

I've been having back problems again this week, enough to consider another L5/S1 nerve block injection (see images to lower right). But this morning was the 4-mile Challenge, a local running event hosted by the Alliance Bible Fellowship in Boone.

I had pre-entered, so opted to turn out just to get my hi-tech socks that came with the entry. To assure I wouldn't race, I didn't don running clothes - instead opted for my Tony Hawk baggy over the knees leisure shorts.

Well, once I arrived at the scene, here's how Tommy Terrific's logic worked:

Might as well put on some running shoes (a new pair of Brooks Axiom, which of course I brought along).

Maybe I'll walk off the start and go 100 yards or so and turn around.

Maybe I'll walk and see how my back feels.

Maybe I'll try a slow jog and see how that goes.

This feels pretty good...guess I'm just say in Chi stance and keep jogging.

That sub 10 minute mile wasn't bad, guess I'll keep it going.

Most everyone is walking the hills. That isn't right.

Let's race.

The 4-mile challenge started flat, offered some sharp downhills, and then took us up major climbs for the second half, culminating in a steep jut to the finish chute.

It was steep enough that the man who finished behind me went into violent dry heaves and left his breakfast in the gravel about 10 yards from the line.

Kudos to the organizers, nice effort to drag the best out of everyone.

The winning time was 23 and change, while the winning female time was 27 and change. I topped the 50-54 age group with a 38:48. My back isn't that bad and it's one of those times when lemons turned into lemonade.

And now master competitor wants to give a massive shout-out to my new running buddy, Jim Folk (in photo above). Jim is 82 and keeps it going, even in the tough terrain present in northwestern North Carolina. Jim has his ups and downs but is no-nonsense about gettin' 'er done. That's what this blog is all about, showcasing the endurance sport lifestyle for the 40+ crowd...Jim has doubled that barrier and is still ripped and ready.

Thanks to the Alliance Bible Fellowship for an excellent race, good food, great prizes and a fun civic event. This is the first short distance race I have done in many years and I am thankful for being included.

Journey on, comrades.


  1. It just goes to show, you can take the master out of the competitor but you'll never take the competitor out of the master.


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