Monday, December 13, 2004

A Real Life Hero

I just remembered to mention this - because if I don't it will get lost in the complaints about a poorly marked course at the USATF-NJ 10 Miler yesterday. A number of runners made wrong turns yesterday. At about 4 miles into the course there was one spot where the course followed a bike path, then crossed a road and continued on the path. You were supposed to run straight - a logical assumption. But if you didn't see anyone in front of you and you knew the course had to loop back on a road eventually, and it was the first lap, and you were running fast and not thinking, then you could be tempted to turn right thinking that was the way to finish the loop. The just-over-6-minute-per-mile group included Roger Price, John Kane, and myself, as well as some others I don't know or can't remember. There was a group of just-under-6-minute runners in front of us, which included Sergio Cano and others. They took the wrong turn. As our just-over-6 group emerged from the wooded bike path to cross the road, Roger saw the just-under-6 group that made the wrong turn. He took personal responsibility for them and called them back. Furthermore, Roger stopped running, sacrificing his own race, to move some barriers and mark the course. Carl Rocker came along, and took the course correction job from Roger so he could get on with his own race. Roger continued on to still run a 1:05:51 for 4th place in his age group. Had he hung with our just-over-6 group, which we all know he is fully capable of, he would have won the age group. Then, to top it all off, after jogging his cool down during which he did the job of sweeping the course of some of the mile markers, he was the announcer at the awards presentation. Somebody should have given Roger an award for the most unselfish runner of the year!

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