You know, I can’t watch the Boston Marathon without tears running down my face — there’s so much bravery, strength, dedication, pain and heart on display – international runners, wheelchair runners. people pushing their kids and running. I love this race. I always wanted to run in it.
But let’s be honest. I watched it in an easy chair while eating chips.
Then I did something I never do — I went downstairs to my office and dug out the old, crumbling, yellowed file that holds the remnants of my own racing career. You have to touch the certificates gently because they fall apart so easily.
But once upon a time, as they say, I ran a marathon in Panama. It was on May 21, 1983, and my time — wait for it — was 5:56:16. Yes, that’s a long, long time to run, and if I remember correctly the other finishers, their friends and their families had been hitting the beer for quite a while by the time I pulled in.
Undeterred, on December 10,1983 I ran a second one in 5:04:48. Not so bad, I think.
The file also has certificates for triathlons, 24-hour races and a variety of short distance races. I don’t think — no, I’m certain — I never won a race. But I love the people of the Panamanian Corredores Del Istmo (Isthmus Road Runners), and if it’s not too late, I’d like to thank them all for letting me have such a wonderful experience.