If you’re a regular reader of this blog you probably have figured out that I enjoy the friendly wager. My wife might say that I have a problem. It’s not so much the bets that are the problem, it’s when I lose the bets that they become a problem. This year I’ve had a particularly not good year with respect to some of my wagers.
My penchant for wagers probably started back when I was in grade school and played marbles “for keeps.” I have since escalated the stakes to beer, a round of golf, $1000, my truck, and even the title to our house! Fortunately, I haven’t lost my wheels or roof – yet.
My misfortune this year really comes down to the 90 minutes I spent on a cot at highway 49. Sure, it made for “good reading” as Scott Mills told me at Waldo, but it wasn’t good for a couple of my wagers. I wrote a check for $1000 to G.O.A.T.S. in Alan Abbs’ name because he beat me by 84 minutes from the combined times of Western States 100 and Cascade Cream Puff 100 mountain bike race (the infamous Western Pickle Puff). This bet was actually Alan’s idea, not mine, and it sure didn’t turn out the way either of us expected. Well, Alan thought he’d beat me overall but not by an hour at WS. Alan has agreed to a rematch for 2011, assuming, of course, we both get into WS.
Losing the Western Pickle Puff hurt my pocket book a bit, but the four hours I lost to the venerable A Jizzle Wizzle at Western States hurt my pride. After enjoying an eight-minute lead after our first four finishes, I have fallen behind the Jiz by almost eight hours the last three States. With seven races completed in our ten-year bet, I have not totally given up since the DNF clause is quite severe (100/miles completed x 30 hours), but it is looking grim as three-names would have to get eaten by a cougar not to finish WS.
I must admit that I have underestimated how age would affect the Jiz. The guy doesn’t exactly look like Ritz when he runs. Thought by now he’d be looking at getting his hips replaced, but the guy just continues to run amazingly well at 100 miles. This year, at the ripe old age of 42, he runs 17:31 at WS followed by wins at Vermont and then the highly competitive and deep field of Grand Teton? Probably more to humor me and help my wounded pride (at least I want to think he cares about how I feel) than because he thinks he can actually beat me or break five minutes, but he and I are going to run a mile on the track this November. I don’t want to get too cocky but this really shouldn’t be a contest. Jizzle’s mile PR is 5:12, he thinks, but he doesn’t know for sure. Mine is 4:33. As Masters runners he ran 5:14 last year and I have squeaked under five twice. I’ll spare you having to watch those miles again but below is some video of Mr Wizzle sharing his thoughts on running the mile after his 5:14 last November at Hayward Field in Eugene.
So what do you think we should wager on this mile? Should I spot him 10 seconds? Tbag has suggested that we race on the track without pacers or other runners.