Clash of the TitusMay 3, 2009
The rules of the Titus Van Rijn One-Hour Distance Classic are straightforward: any interested person can go to a track at any time during the designated period (May 1 to June 1 this year), run as far as possible in one hour, rehydrate with some black cherry soda, and notify event organizers Andy Roth (email@example.com) and Mike Persick (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the distance covered.
The protocol is so straightforward, in fact, that my friends and I decided to spice it up a bit this year. Two kinds of black cherry soda were purchased: an expensive microbrew from Virgil’s, and another variety of no particular distinction. Runners who met their pre-race goals would get the bottles of Virgil’s; those who didn’t would get the other stuff.
Goal-wise, Warren and Will endeavored to beat their respective 2008 tallies of 14,940 and 14,240 meters, while I set a goal of 17,768 meters, wanting to be closer to my 2006 distance (18,115) than my 2008 distance (17,420).
We met at the Roosevelt High School track on Saturday, May 2nd. By happy coincidence, local coach Tom Cotner and several of his runners were also in the area and offered cheers of encouragement amidst their own (non-TVR) workouts. Also in attendance was a 40ish female from Vancouver, seemingly bearing a familial resemblance to Will but identifying herself only as a “talent scout” from the 2010 Olympic Games.
With such robust support on hand, the hour passed quickly for the three of us. Warren and Will ran together for the entire race, with Will finally pulling ahead for good (15,003 to 14,980) in the final minute. I totaled 17,920 meters in a steady solo effort. Virgil’s sodas were then hoisted and enjoyed by all on the infield of the track while 1:49 half-miler Bruce Jackson whizzed by in lane 1.
In closing, we bid a reluctant farewell to Warren, who will move to Vermont at the end of the month. No resident of Vermont has ever participated in the TVR; will he become the first next year? Time will tell.