Two days ago, a friend at work told me about a fundraising event his Mother’s organization was putting on at the University of Portland. He said it was a 5K run, and that both Alberto Salazar and Joe Donlon would be there to ‘compete’ and help raise money. As some of you know, I was training for my first marathon until I tore my meniscus while on a training run at the beach. I have been running shorter distances and using a treadmill while I’m going through the physical therapy. At any rate, I was able to run 3.16 miles in 23 minutes, which is a 7:16 pace, so I’m alright with that.
Being able to meet Alberto made it worth it all, though. Alberto set a world record in 1981, running the New York Marathon in 2:08:13. He also ran in what is known to be America’s greatest marathon, The Duel in the Sun, which was a very hot day for the Boston Marathon. In this race, the weather was in the 90’s and he was competing closely with Dick Beardsley. Alberto also trained my cousin, Josh Rohatinsky for several years.
I started this run off in the front of the pack, but that only lasted for about the first 1/2 mile. I was then passed by one runner. About 1.5 miles into the run, I was able to sprint and pass someone else. I wanted to try and catch up to the front, but I felt I was already pushing myself. I learned very quickly that while I was able to run 15 miles in my training, running for speed is different. One piece of advice Alberto gave me was in my training, it would be good to mix things up a bit, and try sprinting for a mile or so. I had been training for the marathon at a consistent pace. It was a good feeling to not feel super tired after running this race, however. Some runners really pushed themselves to the point of feeling sick. My wife Bethany participated in this as well, and was able to jog the whole race in 31 minutes. All in all, I was glad I did it, and will most likely try to run other informal races as my knee heels.