Friendly Wagers

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.

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  1. Dear LB and AJW, (feel like I am writing to my favorite rappers…)

    I think you should run 2 races with a 10 minute rest in between.

    Race 1 – The mile straight up, heads up, missionary style, no pacer. What you boyz think this is Europe and this is some Golden League track event, you don’t need pacers? Besides, you both run so slow at the mile they don’t call it “pacing” or “rabbitt”…it’s “Pace Maker.” My prediction, Advantage Thornley, with that pretty-boy Galen Rupp stride vs. AJW’s Coyote Ugly stride, I think LB takes it either way, fast race sub five (okay relatively fast that is), or a tatical, okay, let’s say, snoozer race race with the big kick at the end, yeah, an ultrarunner pulls out and drops the hammer with a “33” last 200 and people are scared?!! Craig, don’t forget the breath right strip on the nose so you look just like Galen. Craig wins, going away.

    Race 2 – Beer Mile, for shits and giggles, I think everyone should join in on this one, even if they are not running, hell, I’ll join in watching it on youtube and drink along with you all. Beer – run – Beer – jog – Beer – jog – Beer – jog/laugh/puke, 1 mile…Now, if you want to talk about pacing yourself while drinking, its allowed. My prediction? Advantage – AJW, with his beer gut he’s got skills, I see AJW clobbering Craig on the last two beers. I see Craig going through a Phill Ligget “Spot of Bother” in the last lap… with a puke.

    Overall, I think AJW will win. Craig will win the first mile, AJW will win the second mile by more than he lost the first mile. I think overall it will be a pathetic display of ultrarunning speed, about as much fun as watching NASCAR drivers play basketball…but I’ll watch for sure!!!!

    Add up the times and we have a winner!!!!

  2. Man, I have to say, that would be a solid competition that CB has presented. I’d have to agree with the prediction of CB as well (I’m sure original here), with AJW making up some major time with the beer mile. But what should the bet be. I think a hosted BBQ at the WS training camp with all the fixins wouldn’t be a bad bet… plus, maybe I could reap some of the rewards! Shaving initials in to chest hair is always a crowd pleaser as well…. I look forward to hearing all about it!

  3. LB, this is the fourth best post you’ve ever written! As for me, I am eagerly preparing for the sub-5 minute assault as we speak. That said, I do like CB’s idea of the Beer Mile. I am pretty sure I would kick your butt in the one. As for my realistic chances at the sub-5 I think it is quite unlikely I can get there. But, I could go sub-5:10 and if I can get down to sea-level a couple times to train I could get closer to 5. Either way, it will be a historic day on Hayward Field on November 23rd.

    And, I like the idea of asking your readers to way in on the bet. Everyone who reads your blog is smart.


    PS – Have you figured out a way to get into WS next year? I’m in already:)

  4. @All – as much as a beer mile sounds “fun” I can’t possibly do one at my place of employment. If we were to do one it would need to be elsewhere. And, yes, I think AJW would smoke me in a beer mile. Now, if it were a wine mile…

  5. Craig, sorry, regarding your place of employment, I’ve never known you to actually work!!???

    Well…this is a simple fix you know, how about a 30 minute rest and change locations. I actually now think you are ducking AJW in the Beer MIle….you are playing it safe in an event you know you can win at Hayward and using the “place of employment” as a really lame excuse to not give AJW a chance.

  6. Spot him ten seconds? You are already older then he is. There’s the handicap. I agree, no rabbits, pacers, etc. Head to head. One race, one mile. At Hayward Field. Home of the greatest mile races in U.S. history. Oh, and you have to use string across the track as the finish ribbon and grab it with both hands like Pre used to do. Also remember to tilt and role your head like he used to do, cuz all the oxygen left you body 200 meters ago anyway ( you may have to give AJW a tutorial on who Pre was as I believe he died before States was around).If you win, AJW has to shave his head for States. If you lose, you can’t shave your head until after States.If you don’t get in to States (parish the thought), you have to crew & pace him. And take his family to Baskin Robbins in Auburn after the race.
    Hell, if you lose this bet, I strongly suggest your wife call the Eugene chapter of Gamblers Anonyomous.

    • @AJW, okay. We race a mile, head to head at Hayward Field. I’ll sport a breath-right strip and we’ll use a string for the finish line ala Pre-style. If I win you shave your head for States. If you win I won’t cut my hair until after States. If I don’t get into States, well … we’ll deal with that when and if it happens. Even if I beat you in the mile I might have to grow my hair out as 4 out of the top 5 at States last year had long hair.

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