Runt Of The Litter

SL: gives you something to strive for. Or just be happy

with how much you have accomplished.

Me: Or pull the curtains shut and eat cookie dough straight from the tube

while listening to Yesterday Once More by the Carpenters……


Four kilometres into my hill training I see them. As I have each Tuesday. I keep to myself. Focused on the next hill climb. A nod of acknowledgment and I go on my way. At least, that’s how it has been.

But today is different.

Today I am asked to join their group. Intrigued, I accept and am quickly introduced to their fold. In the interest of protecting the innocent, I won’t name names. But I will list accomplishments.

Like the group leader who runs Ultras. Not 50k ultras like me. 100 mile ultras. Something about a 50 mile race the day after a 30 mile race also sounds somewhat familiar. But it all blurs over in my addled mind.

There’s the woman who laments her last half marathon race time. It’s 2 minutes faster than my personal best.

Another runner talks of a date she had that was supposed to be a bike ride through wine country; it turned out to be a triathlon.

They talk of another member of their fold. Absent as she no longer runs marathons — though the group of them have happy memories of competing Boston en masse. It seems the absentee first downgraded to half marathons, then to 10 k’s and 5 k’s. The thing is, she wins every event.

Oh, and 8 out of 10 of them are Boston Qualifiers.

We sprint up hills. They with gazelle-like facile. Me valiantly fighting off an impending heart attack.

We run flat out for a mile. It was supposed to be 1 km. Oh well, what’s another 600 metres at full gallop?

Needless to say I am the runt of the litter.

But I have been invited to join them again next week. Maybe I’m the runners’ equivalent of their DUFF — designated ugly fat friend.

In truth, they are a very supportive, welcoming, and highly accomplished group.

I just may take them up on their offer.



  1. “Runt”??? Please. You belong in such company. You have the talent, the work ethic, the passion, and the long hours. You will qualify for Boston, likely sooner then later. Being in the company of others who have done it may give you the inspiration to get there sooner…

    1. From your lips to God’s ears. Thanks Raymond! I appreciate your support and vote of confidence. This group is strong! Even after all the tough hill climbs, the slowest mile was completed in 7:40. And surprisingly I finished 2nd on this section.

      1. I did a 7:40 mile…once…I think….

  2. twsobey · · Reply

    Sounds like a great group to encourage you to go faster and farther. It sure beats doing tempo work and fartleks on your own. Plus, you don’t have to wear a heart monitor. 😉

    1. The irony of me posting this the day after my rant is not lost on me LOL

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