February 11, 2017 – BU Valentine Invitational

Co-worker: “Hey, what are you doing this weekend?”

Me: “I’m going to spend 8 or 9 hours total driving through a snowstorm to compete at a track meet. Hopefully I run for less than 23 seconds.”

… The room becomes awkwardly silent as my co-worker fails to comprehend a scenario that I feel does not require an explanation.

Saturday morning

My Mai and Ethan hop into my car. We begin the journey down to Boston with cheerful optimism; that lasted for about 10 minutes. It was quickly clear that the trip would take longer than expected because of the snow storm. Traffic was moving much more slowly than anticipated. Will traveled down the night before and we wanted to make it to the meet in time to watch his 400m.

1:45 PM

We finally made it into the facility. It was a nightmare trying to find parking, and dealing with a meet entry error that delayed our entrance. We scurried through the crowd to a spot right by the finish line. “On your mark.” Our heads turn towards the track and we see Will setting his feet. We made it just in time to see him race. He finished in a time of 52.83 running almost even splits.

“This is the second call for all 200m competitors. Please check in or you will be scratched!”

Not much time to get ready but at least it gives us a chance of making it back to the car before our two hour maximum for parking expires.

Going to elite level competitions is one of the best ways to remain humble and hungry. When the officials called athletes over to assign sections and hip numbers, the first group they summoned was anyone seeded below 22.00 seconds. It was amazing to see how many guys stepped forward. Looking back on the results, there were athletes running sub 22 all the way into the 18th section.

Game Time

Ethan was seeded at 22.94 and raced in section 32. He ran a brilliant race from the outside lane and set a new PR at 22.88, and a new indoor club record too.

I was the next one up from our team running in section 38, lane 5. The gun went off, and 22.66 seconds later, I had a new personal best and a new indoor club record! Sorry, Ethan.

My Mai has been stepping up his level of intensity steadily since college when he had a serious hamstring injury. The meet at BU was a key benchmark in his recovery and development. His goal coming into the meet was to run sub 24 and finish in the top 200. He was in section 43 out of 45. His finishing time and rank – 24.03 seconds, #201 overall. So close! We were all able to laugh about it on the car ride home because it was still an official PR for him and a step in the right direction.

There was 1 minute left on the meter when we got back to the car. As the clock hit zero we pulled out of the parking space and raced away through the snowstorm back to Vermont with a few PRs in our bags.

Monday Morning

Co-worker: “How was your weekend?”

Me: “It went by quickly.”


– Kevin