In the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, race-car driver Ricky Bobby promounced that “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” While I don’t know if I believe this sentiment — a silver medal sounds pretty good to me — I can guarantee the opposing fact, that if you’re last, you’re so last.
This is the opening line from Alisa Smith’s article, “Running From Last Place: A perpetual back-of-the-pack athlete takes on a marathon,” about her experience training with my first Running Room marathon clinic in the spring of 2010. The article appeared in the September-October issue of Explore magazine and since they don’t have digital versions of their articles that I can link to, I hope they don’t mind that I scanned the magazine and posted the pages here.
I found out by accident about ten weeks into the clinic that Alisa was the same Alisa Smith who co-authored the widely-acclaimed 100 Mile Diet. Prior to that she was just the shy girl with the wonky iliotibial band. I remember telling another clinic member and writer, Brian Payton, author of the BC Book Prize-nominated The Ice Passage about my discovery of a bona fide author in our midst before realizing that he was Brian Payton, author of the BC Book Prize-nominated The Ice Passage. He must have thought I was a total moron. Incidentally, Brian is the same Brian in Alisa’s article who suggested she sign up for the clinic in the first place.
It’s a great article although it left me wondering just how big the whippets are in the world of the 100 Mile Diet.