Caumsett Park confessionsMarch 5, 2007
The trip east was a mostly positive experience. As far as I can tell, the job interview went well. At the least, it supplied me with an awesome quote on the relationship between research and teaching in academia. One of the deans with whom I met made the following observation: “People used to regard research and teaching as being in conflict: time spent on one is time unavailable for the other. Now we see research and teaching as being like sin and confession: if you don’t commit the act, you have nothing to talk about.” Amen!
After the interview, Liz and Phil and I met up with my mother, aunt, and sister (and her boyfriend) in New York City, where activities included sampling Max Brenner’s “Chocolate by the Bald Man” and watching a street performer who stomped and twirled to ring the bells on his ankles while playing the fiddle and singing in a surprisingly pretty falsetto voice.
Speaking of physical challenges that wouldn’t appeal to most people…. On Sunday I ran the Caumsett Park 50K, which consisted of 11.8 laps of a 2.63-mile paved park loop. I achieved my goals of winning my first USATF championship (worth $150) and breaking the course record of 3:05:59 (worth another $350), but they didn’t come nearly as easily as I had hoped, partly due to the wind and the unexpected presence of another good runner, 29-year-old Dave Welsh of Mullica Hill, New Jersey.
Dave and I ran together, more or less, for the first half of the race. By the sixth lap, I wanted to use a port-a-potty, but the first two I ran past were occupied, so I threw in a surge to test Dave’s strength prior to relieving myself of the previous day’s lunch and the lap-8 lead. After Dave dropped back a bit during my surge, I entered the next port-a-potty confident that I had the race in hand. I overtook Dave again during lap 9, and although I had to work hard to stay on course-record pace after that, the encouragement of the native New Yorkers (with their great accents) mitigated my suffering. I finished in 3:04:35, with Dave 2nd in 3:07:06 and Derek Dippon 3rd in 3:26:25. Triathlete Anna Fyodorova of Brooklyn won the women’s race in 3:55:13.