Hot one today happy to be running mind wandering as always and memory triggered I drift back body and mind feel the same but so many years later maybe not so much.
It musta been 1986 I am living in Hopkinton and the plan is to meet up in the morning with the group at the runners commune on Cedar Street in Wellesley.
Yes, my third town of residence on the Boston Marathon Route in 4 years after my former peripatetic life on the South Shore of Massachusetts.
I moved here in December 85 with help from always reliable and fun to be with friend Kiwi Kevin Ryan a New Zealand Olympian.
My running Gypsy life was coming to a close with matrimony in my future to my lovely Frannie.
But now there was yet another run nothing special just another piece of the puzzle and I was somewhat wiser and picked my spots when to run with the group because the group had a dynamic and someone was bound to feel their oats and push the pace perhaps to build their confidence or maybe just making hay if you got the “feel” then whoosh gotta go.
It was a weekday, time to be at Cedar Street earlyish but I figured I planned accordingly until I got stuck with road construction and school busses so I was late but just maybe slightly more than 5 minutes and before cell phones well…they knew what to do.
I jumped out of my car a VW Beetle and made quick apology “hey jerk off’s thanks for waiting ” but before the door even closed Pfitzy as in Pete headed out and the rest of us fell in line.
I was in the car for an hour so it took a while to limber risking injury just to run with these pack rats but things settled down I was feeling good in the banter and camaraderie, brothers in sweat.
At some point 7,8,9 miles in the pack shrunk and I didn’t notice right away I was cruising Pfitzy and Pat Gillooly were off in front others in our pack may have been Ron Gillooly, Tom Ratcliffe, Mike O’Brien, Kevin etc.
There were so many 2:teens marathoners then and every one of them thought they had a chance however small to win Boston or make the Olympic Team.
So, They worked at it accordingly.
I’m not sure what set Pete off he often did push the pace on these group runs and generally I would never challenge that not my style and just finally better late than never learning to pick my spots when to hang it out there.
Well, I was a little annoyed that Pete hadn’t given me a moment to limber and no greeting I mean am I really spoiling your day being a few minutes late?
So, as the run unfolded I reeled in Pete and Pat who for some reason seemed to hang on gamely with him even when the jig was up Pat was a tough guy like me.
We were on a long uphill climb in Weston Pat had dropped back a bit I caught him exchanged no pleasantries and focused on Pete.
Just as I came up behind I saw a turtle crossing the road it being turtle egg laying season and it reminded me of a time George Malley and I saved a turtle but at this moment well lucky for the turtle because Pfitzy was in Schitzy zone and he would have been crushed under a heel but he did not impede the all consumed athlete.
When I came up astride Pete he said “Hodgie” and we ran on working together and slugging it out at the same time two old warriors aiming for one more shot and we both could look back at our successes and hardships Pete winning that 84 Olympic Trials and being the first American home in LA hard to top that other than a medal.
But I could tell he still had a chip on his shoulder maybe didn’t get acknowledged the way he should have the marathon not being such a big deal unless you were some piker just trying to finish or a victor other levels of greatness often go under appreciated.
I was running around the track just now recounting for some reason these memories forgot what lap I was on had to work it out on my watch seems a long time gone.
Living in the USA:
Pfitzy story late
Malmo turtle etc
Musta been 85/86 j
Hopkinton 85 moving in Kevin always reliable one etc
December next day race ice storm etc
Picture in today’s mind ninety degrees shaded like path farm fields stretching out refreshing cold dip in Walden younger hanging out.
Might be on to something
Got trammrllrd by untrammeled nature