The Jizzle Wizzle Mile

Today, November 23, 2009, at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon (a.k.a. Tracktown USA), Andy Jones-Wilkins (a.k.a AJizzleWizzle or the Jiz or Mr Wizzle) took me up on my challenge to try to break 5 minutes for the mile.  The track is very foreign to the Jiz but he was brave enough to get on the track and do repeat 400s at 75 seconds for a month or two – way outside his 100 mile comfort zone.  I admire him for that. In fact, I’m proud of him. He showed up at Hayward Field today with family in tow, spikes in hand, and a homemade “M10” bib pinned to his chest.  It was apparent immediately that nobody in his family thought he could better my time of 4:59 from two months ago.   In fact, we could even sense that the Jiz himself thought he couldn’t break 5.  Normally, Mr Wizzle is very sure of himself (in other words, he’s arrogant), but even he was downplaying his chances.  His confidence so low that he actually refused a beer bet. Yep, I offered to buy him a beer for every tenth of second he was under 5:00, in exchange for giving me an hour credit in the ten-year bet for each second he was over 5.  He refused.

I agreed to take him through the first 809 meters along with Joe Moll, his wife’s high school boyfriend who lives in Eugene.  We also were fortunate to find another Eugene runner, Steve Laurie, at the track planning on doing repeat 1600s, and we recruited him to lead the last two laps.  Also planning on doing the whole thing were Pierre and his friend Trey.  Official timer was John Ticer.  The crowd of 15-20 ultrarunners that were gathered near the finish line watched and cheered as I led us through the first 409 meters in 75 seconds, right at 5:00 pace.  Not sure what happened, but at the start of the second lap the Jiz dropped off the pace.  I couldn’t feel him behind me anymore.  I continued at the desired pace and stopped at 809 meters in 2:30, right on 5:00 pace, but the Jiz was a couple of seconds back of that.

The third lap got kinda ugly.  The fourth lap even uglier.  So how did it go?  Well, his oldest boy summed it up nicely: “You failed epicly, Dad.”  Time?  5:14.  Too bad he didn’t take me up on my bet or I’d be ahead in the ten-year bet by ten hours.  Now before you start feeling sympathetic, you should know that he almost immediately started reminding everybody that his PR at States is faster than mine and that he has a four hour lead on me and that he has a spot in the dance and I don’t.  I withheld making jabs back at him while we were on the Hayward Field track.  I’m not on the track anymore, Andy.

When was the last time you’ve tried to run a fast mile on the track?


  1. Ha, this reminds me of the epic Arlington (VA) downhill mile in 2008. I was defending champ, but local (and world) superstar Michael Wardian showed up and took my title away by running 4:40 to my 4:45. Now why does this remind me of you and AJW? Because in anything but a downhile mile, I can’t even get close to Wardian (not many can, of course). I’m a bigger dude (not that he’s small), and only on the gravity-favoring downhill course could I keep up that kind of pace (and only for that short of a distance, in a downhill marathon I would fall off the pace while he would keep going…). So it remind me of you and AJW, it seems maybe you are more of a power runner? (judging from the videos), and so in the mile you are the champ. Now if you could get in good enough of shape where you could maintain the “power” form over 100 miles, you could win that bet, too. First you gotta get in the race, though 🙂

  2. And I didnt’ mean to imply you “can’t get close to AJW” in other distances. Because obviously you can. That’s where the comparison sort of fell apart…but it did remind me of how different events suit different types of runners. Congrats on winning the mile 🙂 and good luck in closing the gap at WS

    • @TrailClown, Downhill mile in 4:45? That sounds fun.

      I hate to admit this publicly but my only chance of beating AJW at 100 miles is that I age more gracefully. He’s a better 100 mile runner than me, hence my desperate attempts to get some time back through side bets.

      Oh, and a shout out to Monkeyboy and lowercase for helping with the video. Also to all the locals that came out and cheered – the Hawaiians, too. Finally, thanks Lance for not kicking us off the track so the real athletes could workout.

  3. I’ve got to give it up to both of you: Craig…very smart in trying to make these side bets in order to get a little closer in the 10-year bet. Even if he doesn’t accept, it makes for great entertainment for all of us watching at home. I wish I could have been there to hear a lot of the shit-talking that wasn’t on the You Tube video!

    AJW: I don’t know you but from what I’ve seen you do this past year in the 100’s (really tough 100s!) the fact that you laced up those spikes and gave it your all was awesome to see!

    Looking forward to more “entertainment” and anxious for Dec. 5th…i’m feeling kinda lucky! :0) P.S. Maybe some Cross-Fit or P90X combined with running could raise the VO2 Max a little? ;0)

  4. LB, the 4:45 was fun, and I’m telling you, you could be sub 4:30 easy if you set up a course out there. Cause I’m only a 5:15-5:20 guy on flat. Maybe you and AJW could have a new bet: a downhill mile, side by side, let all the 100 mile frustration out with one primal scream downhill. And then make it an annual event open to all. If I can hang close to Wardian back East, then, heck, I’ll buy a ticket to hang on Koerner and King’s heels out West 🙂

  5. Sorry I missed the show, but what a video!
    What a great effort. I suspect if you hadn’t been in the house Pre built, with Bill looking on, you may have run 5:20 (still respectable, by any standards) AJW I hope this somehow helps you maintain your M10 status!
    LB, do you think you could get him to do a Fernando? Just another idea for a bet…

  6. Could someone please recommend a hair stylist for Three-names? Either that, or the guy is doing too many PEDs. I know the rug is thinning at his advanced age, but good lord, find a lid to cover that, please. Might get to 5-flat if he’d just reduce that drag.

  7. Well done AJW. Hats off for even trying it.
    Now, I want to see a beer mile between the two of you. I’m pretty comfortable in saying Craig won’t hold a candle to Andy. He’s running right into AJW’s real strength. Hell, jizzle wizzle might come close to Hal’s 6:50.7.
    When and where, I’ll be there. I’m sure the belching would be a thing of beauty.
    Nice job on the video MB. Way more PG than I was expecting.

  8. Craig- your rivalry with AJW is quite entertaining. You obviously have superior speed but have conceded that AJW is the better 100 miler. So at what distance would the advantage switch from the speedy guy to the endurance guy? I would guess that you would prevail in distances up to the half-marathon and AJW would more often than not come out ahead in 50 miles plus (maybe 100k plus?), but I noticed that your W2C times last year were very close. It would seem that somewhere between 26.2 and 50 miles, you two would be very evenly matched. Maybe you guys can come to an agreement as to what distance that is and make that the race for your next big bet.

    • @Pam, I knew I’d regret conceding that he is a better 100 mile runner. But dammit, he is. At least for now, as I have maintained that he is using up his body’s quota of 100 milers a lot quicker than I am because he’s doing 4 or 5 hundreds each year. If we just compare our PRs it’s probably somewhere around 50 miles or 100km where he starts kicking my butt. We’ve had some fun races at WTC but it’s early in the season and we’re often not both at the same level of fitness. WS is really the only race that we both consistently target and peak at the same time.

      The tentative plan this year, assuming I get a spot in the dance, is to race a mile on the track at Placer HS the Monday after WS. Somebody suggested we call it the “Braggin Cup.” 100 miles on Saturday (and Sunday for me as he reminded me yesterday) then one mile on Monday.

  9. Craig,

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, your wife, cats, and all the contributors to this website that make it a great place to learn, share some community and celebrate ultra running.

    Thanks for the unselfishness that you show in maintaining this blog throughout the year, and for the support you have shown other ultra runners, including myself this past year.

    When I say my prayers at the dinner table tonight you and this entire ultra running family will sincerely be in them, as well as you having my prayers that in 2010 you cut deeply into that 4 hour lead AJW has on you in the 10 year WS100 bet.

    (Sorry AJW. You are the one with the 4 hour lead. It’s Thornley that needs the prayers right now to make it more even at this point in time.)

    Craig, if you are within 14 seconds of AJW with 1 mile to go in the WS100 next time, I wonder who wins that race.

    Take care, and again, Happy Thanksgiving.

    • @Robert Blair, thanks to you for being a part of this blog. As I said when I first started this blog one year ago I felt like the most interesting aspect of a blog was the comment threads more so than the actual posts. We’ve been fortunate to have lots of great discussions here. Good luck at your 100 miler. If you can keep your race report at 2-3 pages maybe we can post it here. I know that will be a challenge for you 🙂

      • @Craig, I almost want to say that your request will be a more difficult challenge than running the actual 100 miles, but I better wait to conclude that until after the race. 🙂

        Thanks for your best wishes. I’m happy it’s almost here.

  10. So where do the Craig vs. AJW’s lines of performance cross?
    1 mile: Craig
    5K: Craig again
    10K: Craig, by more
    50K: I say Craig, flat 50K Craig for sure, hilly maybe AJW…
    50mile: Somewhere in here, hilly 50m AJW, flat 50mile…dunno
    100K: AJW by 20-30 mins
    100 mile: AJW by 1-2 hours…

    So why is this? Is it the added breast milk in the nipples? The extra energy carbs stored in his six-pack, I mean 1/2 case abs? Craig has a pretty track honed Dances with Wolves stride, AJW has a choppy Coyote Ugly stride, crummy posture (like me) with flying elbows of a UFC fighter, yet AJW is one effective runner…Why does AJW slow down slower than most ultrarunners? Is he smarter than the rest of us? Is he really a former 14-min 5K runner disguised as a hacker? (Except in a mile)?…

  11. I have just returned from Oregon and gotten on the computer for the first time in a week. What a treat it has been to read all these comments about the 5:14 mile. In short, it was brutal. And, my kids were right, I failed. That said, it was fun to train for and I love the spikes.

    Tweit, as for the hair, that was my little tribute to Pre. Thanks to MonkeyBoy and Lewis for the video and special thanks to Craig, Laurie and their families for hosting us for the post-race party. I think I drank all of MonkeyBoy’s beer.

    Now, it’s on to 2010: Clearly, the readers of this blog are pulling for Craig to close the gap in Year 7 of the 10 year bet. So, I guess that means it’s time for my challenge,

    LB, train to go sub-17:30 and, I’ll see you at the Sandwich!


    • @AJW I think those 17:30 years are past both of us. The biggest challenge in training to run fast has been staying healthy. I trained really hard in 2006 only to get injured 21 days before the race. 2007 I was a little more conservative and it showed on race day. 2009 I got injured in May and showed up a little under-trained and didn’t run well from the river in. That said, if I can get 8 weeks of 100+ miles a week in April and May I might have a chance of running a PR.

            • @AJW, I don’t know about dorky, but I was skinny. With all this talk about 17:30, I’m curious why you’re not trying to run 16:30 instead? Don’t you want to challenge yourself?

              Speaking of challenges, you wanna come race me at the Pear Blossom 10 miler in Medford on April 10, 2010?

              • @Craig, Of course I want to challenge myself, that’s why I’m busy trying to make a 10 year bet with someone who is not four hours behind me.

                No, I will not be coming to the Pear Blossom. I always do real miles on that weekend. 10 miles on the pavement sounds ridiculous.

                And, it must have been tough to always have the Big Kids stealing your milk money. Are you still bitter about that?

                • @AJW, Glad you’re back. This is fun.

                  First, you’re old, but you’re unwilling to accept it. That will come back to bite you. Did your honest kids not tell you how much older you look than me?

                  Second, there’s a guy that has a couple of cougars that runs Pear Blossom. Yah man, a ten-mile road race is ridiculous.

                  Third, does “Big Kids” = “Fat Kids?” How much did you weigh as an 8th grader? Sounds like you might still be holding onto some bitterness…

                  • @Craig, age is all in the mind. And, I’ve looked older than you for a long time. Lotta good that did you.

                    Hal does Pear, huh? Well, that just sounds great. Still not doing it.

                    And, yes, I would have totally stolen your milk money in 8th grade. I weighed 130. Ever get called to the principal’s office?

  12. I was ruminating upon the effect of age in this mile competition. Craig is 45 (holy crap!) and AJW has gotta be, like, way older. Thusly, I ask is it fair to compare the two competitors without weighting their performances by age? Will Craig be able to match 5:14 in the distant future when the Lord Balls are sagging just much as the wrinkled JizzleWizzle is now? Time will tell.

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