June 17, 2015

Track workout today. I was thinking about fitness today. In 1975 or ’76, the first Chicago Distance Classic was run. I was working at Sammy Skobel’s Hot Dog Plus and happened to mention to Sammy that JPD had started to run and was planning to compete in the 12 miler (20k). I don’t remember whose idea it was but JPD would guide Sammy in the race. Sammy was legally blind and probably the best athlete I have ever met. I would run this one too, 12 miles was nothing to a sophomore in high school. The gun sounded on a sunny Saturday morning, Sammy and JPD set the pace and I patiently waited for the guys to pick it up. After about a quarter-mile, I decided that the pace was way too slow and took off, telling Sammy and JPD that I would see them at the post-race party. I would treat everyone to orange slices when they arrived.

I think it was between miles 6 & 7 that the nausea hit me. I had gone out too fast and was now about to pay the price. After I stopped and was bent over a seawall with my head almost submerged in Lake Michigan, Sammy and JPD (they must have been right behind me) smiled and waved as they passed. “See you at the finish”, they proclaimed, “We’ll buy you a banana”. I walked to the finish and learned a valuable lesson, never run 12 miles, ever!

Picture is a rose from the garden. Favorite song today: Rollin’ and Tumblin’ performed by Eric Clapton.

Michael Dolan's photo.

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