In the spring of 2007 there’s a group of us Western States runners hanging out in Michigan Bluff talking smack like we always do. Who’s gonna kick whose butt in the race. Who’s the fittest. Who’s the fattest. And on and on. Then my friend AJizzleWizzle, a.k.a. AJW, a.k.a. Tan Mitts, a.k.a. Three Names, the loudest guy in the room – always – begins boasting about how he has dominated me in the WS races we’d had up to that point, which were four finishes for each of us. Now, I hadn’t been M2, M6, and M8 like he had but I had been M10 twice and hadn’t finished farther back than 16th so, not knowing exactly the stats, but feeling fairly confident, I kinda bowed-up on him, and boastfully said, “I don’t think your aggregate time is better than mine.” Tan Mitts just chuckled, because, as is typical of him, he hadn’t looked at results for anybody else except himself. How could I, the old, slow, conservative-running Lord Balls, who had never been higher than 10th, be anywhere near his majesty, who was M2 only 27 minutes behind Jurek in 2005, in aggregate time. After all, AJW is the best head master ultrarunner in the universe, just ask him.
AJizzleWizzle starts to scratch down numbers – his first, of course.
2001 21:46 35th (M? – he can’t count how many chicks beat him this year)
2004 18:26 8th (M8)
2005 17:07 2nd (M2)
2006 20:04 7th (M6)
Total 77:23 52
2001 20:20 16th (M14)
2002 19:44 15th (M13)
2004 18:46 11th (M10)
2005 18:25 10th (M10)
Total 77:15 52
I wish I had video of the totally stunned Tan Mitts as he totalled the numbers. AJizzleWizzle’s total aggregate time was 77:23 to Lord Ball’s 77:15? What? “How could that be”, he wondered as he double and then triple checked his math.
So the ten year bet was born. Lowest total aggregate time of our first ten finishes wins. Loser pays an all-expenses paid weekend for the other’s family at the Grand Canyon. We had a few details to work out like what happens if we DNF (updated to be 30 hrs X (100/Miles Completed)) or what if we can’t get ten finishes (forfeit), but those were just details. We shook hands and the arrogant AJizzleWizzle had to check his math a fourth and fifth time because he still couldn’t believe I had the lead.
Then we raced in 2007. It didn’t go that well for me in terms of the bet. Sure, I was happy to grind out a finish to get in under 20 hours and get third in the 40-49 age group (that would be my second age group jacket to your one, AJizzleWizzle), but Three Names had been at the finish long enough to finish his Youtube dance, drink a 6-pack, take a shower, get a massage, take a nap, and then wake up to see me finish. Yep, he ran 17:20 and I ran 19:56. He gained 2:36 on me and vaulted convincingly into the ten-year bet lead.
I can’t say that I’m happy he has the lead, but I have not lost hope, and this might just work to my advantage. You see, even his wife thinks I don’t have a chance against her Andy. “Why would you enter a bet that you know you can’t win, Craig?” she says to me at Wasatch last year, where I paced him for the second time. They’re both so cocky and convinced I don’t have a chance. I think I like that. Remember the story about the tortoise and the hare…
If you want more of AJW smack talk see Top Ten Signs You May Be AJW. I’m still waiting for him to get me back for that one.
Update: Looks like AJizzleWizzle has tried to respond. With what else, a poll? See his post on the bet. Please go there and vote for him.