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?