New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 23, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
Capitol 10k: is it the thrill of victory or agony of de-feet?
In running, there are races and then there are events. Races are for the five-minute-a-mile crowd — the guys and girls whose idea of a lunch hour is a cracker followed by 45 minutes of interval training.
Events are for the nine- and 10-minute-a-mile crowd, and for the guys who like to run in clown suits and Groucho Marx noses. Their idea of training is a few beers the night before, a slow 10,000-meter run, and a few beers at the finish line.
The Olympic 10,000-meters is a race. The Capitol 10,000 is an event. The Olympic 10k is high drama, Chariots of Fire, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. The Capitol 10,000 is runners disguised as brides-to-be, newspapers and armadillos.
That’s oversimplifying the situation a little, because the Capitol 10,000, held last Sunday in Austin, had plenty of serious runners — maybe a couple hundred or so. The rest of the 20,000-plus came to soak up the colorful event.
I’m in the latter category because I’m real slow. In previous rims, I’ve been passed by old ladies with varicose veins, 10-year-old kids and German shepherds. My idea of a “kick" is not slowing down too much in the last mile.
But I had never run in this race, and I’d heard it was quite a show. No kidding.
To start with, the race is the second-largest of its kind (10,000 meters, or IO kilometers, is 6.2 miles) in the country — second only to the bizarre “Bay to Breakers” run in California, which is a seven-mile costume party. I had never run in a 10k with more than 500 entrants, so I wanted to see what 20,000 runners looked like.
I got there early, which meant I got to shiver a lot, since the temperature was in the 40s and the wind was whipping in at 20 miles an hour. Fortunately, there was something going on that warmed everyone up — a Jazzercise exhibition in a nearby parking lot. Lots of slim women in shiny suits were doing a beautifully choreographed routine to — what else — the theme from “Chariots of Fire." Runners would wander up, try to follow the routines for awhile, then wander off.
As race time approached, I faced a crucial choice. Do I run in my warmup suit? Do I keep the jacket and throw the pants in the car and get a mild case of frostbite, or peel the whole thing and take my chances on permanent damage? I opted for the former.
As it turned out, time passed quickly, mainly because some strange folks started arriving. While waiting in the street for the starting gun, I saw:
1. Two armadillos.
2. A walking Sunday newspaper, complete with plastic wrap.
3. A guy in a wedding dress. (My wife, Sue, who was taking pictures, asked him why he was wearing a wedding dress. “This is a drag race, isn’t it?" he said).
4. A clown wearing foam rubber feet with balloons, a plastic nose and cutoffs with a can of insect repellent in one pocket and Cruex in the other.
5. Two military units with matching outfits, yells
and strides. (I had to yell, “Dat’s a fact, Jack,” as they went by).
Finally, it was race time. The tension mounts. Then, the moment everybody has been waiting for. Bang! The starting gun fires. We’re off.
No, we’re not off. The guys at the front are off, but I’m still IOO yards from the starting line. “I don’t know if I can stand this pace,” I yelled to no one in particular.
It takes me almost three minutes to pass under the “start” banner. By this time, the leaders are hopelessly out of sight. I never saw Roger Soler, the guy who won in 29:34, mainly because he turned in a 4:40 first mile. He was out of sight before I could top the first hill.
When I passed the first mile mark, I heard a guy with a stopwatch calling out ”12:36...12:38...12:40...” By that time, Roger was probably into his kick.
I did see the first woman finisher, Tracy Lynn Wong, who finished in 35:10.1 saw her in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency hotel after the race, waiting for the awards ceremony.
Anyway, back in the pack, thousands of us are running bumper to bumper like a Houston freeway at 5 p.m. We crested that first hill and saw an impressive sight — runners packed curb to curb all the way down 15th Street and up Enfield Road. Their bobbing motions made the rtreet look like it was being eaten by a giant, undulating, single-celled organism.
Then I mustered the courage to look behind me, and saw runners packed curb to curb as far as I could see in that direction. That was a confidence-booster. I’ve never been ahead of that many runners.
I don’t know precisely how much, but I wasted lots of energy trying to find room to run the first two miles. I sped up, slowed down, cut back against the grain, shifted gears and jumped curbs to find tiny openings to run in. Each mile got faster, and the crowd finally thinned out to where I could run at my own pace instead of the guy’s in front of me.
The rest of the race was a blur, but I did notice I was running a fairly quick pace. Mile 4 went by in less than eight minutes, which is almost a sprint for a nine-minute miler like me. Miles 5 and 6 took an hour and a half, or at least it seemed like it did. I finished in 52:15, and I was pretty happy. That’s slow for most folks, but it’s my fastest 10k time.
The euphoria didn’t last long. I knew I never should have attended the awards ceremony. I found out a guy at least 32 years older than I am won the mens’ masters division in 41 minutes. I heard about a blind runner who finished in 37 minutes. The guy in the wedding dress probably beat me without a sweat.
But there were some people I nipped at the finish line. A pregnant runner finished in 61 minutes; I beat her easily. And I simply creamed Bea Newark of Austin, who finished in two hours, five minutes. She never had a chance against my torrid pace.
Of course, Bea is 84 years old. I should do so well at that age.
An armadillo wearing tennis shoes? Almost anything went in the Capitol 10,000.
Photo by Sim Johnson
Tom is re-Seaver of praise again
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
For the time being, Tom Seaver is Tom Terrific again.
The 38-year-right-hander, winner of 264 games and three Cy Young Awards, held Boston to five hits in seven innings Tuesday as the New York Mets trounced the Red Sox 8-0 in an exhibition baseball game.
After 54 years with Cincinnati, Seaver is back where he spent his first 104 seasons in the major leagues. And for a change, he was the Seaver of old rather than the old Seaver who struggled to a 5-13 record in 1982, including a 5.50 earned run average.
Another right-hander. John Fulgham of St. Louis, is 12 years younger than Seaver and pitched IO complete games in 19 starts four years ago but is coming off rotator cuff shoulder surgery. Tuesday, he hurled four scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out three as a split squad of Cardinals blanked the Cincinnati Reds 4-0.
Jorge Orta smacked a two-run homer and Ernie Whitt, Jesse Barfield and Hosken Powell added solo shots as the
Toronto Blue Jays walloped another group of Cardinals 10-5.
Chili Davis, who started the spring with an 0-for-15 slump, continued his recent torrid pace with two singles and two doubles — he is on an ll-for-18 tear — in leading the San Francisco Giants past the Seattle Mariners 7-5.
Jerry Reuss pitched seven innings and hit three singles as the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the Houston Astros 14-4. The Dodgers broke the game open with six straight hits in the fourth inning. Mike Marshall homered.
Ex-Dodger Steve Garvey hit his first home run in a San Diego uniform, a first-inning shot off Milwaukee’s Moose Haas. as the Padres defeated the Brewers 6-1.
Lynn Garrett homered in the lith inning to give the Oakland A’s a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Rick Sutcliffe, the American league ERA leader last season, tossed six shutout innings for Cleveland.
Pascual Perez and Brian Fisher shut out Texas on seven hits and Bruce Benedict’s third-inning single accounted for the only run as the Atlanta Braves beat the Rangers 1-0.
Bill Gullickson and Ray Burris combined on a five-hitter as the Montreal Expos blanked a Kansas City Royals split squad 3-0.
Dick Schofield’s two-run double highlighted a five-run fourth inning against Chuck Rainey that gave the California Angels a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Richie Hebner had three hits and four RBIs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 10-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
Tony Bemazard doubled home two runs and Pat Tabler drove in two more with a triple and single as the Chicago White Sox edged the Minnesota Twins 6-5. Another White Sox squad whipped the other Royals squad 8-2 as Britt Bums allowed one run in six innings.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles played to a 3-3 tie in a game that was called after 13 innings.The Orioles loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the 13th but rookie Ed Wojna retired the next three batters.
Two withdrawfrom TPC tourney
PONTE VEDRA. Fla. (AP) — Gary Player and two-time PGA champion Dave Stockton have withdrawn from the Tour-
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nament Players Championship, leaving a field of 131 to compete for the 8700,000 in prize money.
Player, the little South African veteran who is one of four men to win all the world's major championships, told tournament officials by telephone he is
suffering from a back ailment and would be unable to compete in the prestigious event that begins Thursday. Stockton didn t say why he was staying away.
Even with their absence, the field represents the best of the year. It is the last re ma ming Designated
Tournament, one in which leading players are required to compete. It includes the top 125 money-winners — all of them — from last year, all tournament winners from this season and three spec ial invitees.
Included in that last category is an
Australian star, Greg Norman, who must be ranked among the leading contenders for the $126,000 first prize. In his last five starts, Norman has won twice, finished second twice and fifth once.
The other special invitees are Arnold Palmer and Tommy Nakajima
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