Friday, May 03, 2013

All Gold Everything

Penn Relays 5000m - A Race Recap From Frank DeVar

"I want what every man wants, more."

Going into racing season this year, it would be honest to say that Penn Relays was the main race I was looking forward too. The past two years I was injured well before I could even give the race a chance, so it became somewhat of a desperate mission to make it to the starting line. For all intents and purposes, my body is obsolete. Injuries plague me constantly. Every week I tell myself and my coach, “if I make it through today, I’ll make it.”

We left for the race at 4pm on a Thursday. Tripp drove, with Dustin in the backseat. It was our first road trip together. Tripp followed his instincts, and we made it the stadium around 8:00pm.

On the way up, coach Sweeney wanted to talk strategy and said if the pace was slow to take over. He went on to say that I might be passed in the last few laps but I could still kick and win. There was something about this progression that seemed ill advised, foolish, but he rarely leads me astray so I politely listened and said it was an option. For music, Tripp put on 80’s pop and Trinidad James. He knows how to ease the nerves.

"Gold all in my chain
Gold all in my ring
Gold all in my watch
Don’t believe jus’ watch"
-Trinidad James

At the starting line, I stood next to my teammate Chris Kwiatkowski, and Ryan Witters from Georgetown Running Company. The number one seed had flown in from Flagstaff so I figured he must be in good shape.  Some daffy kid led the first few laps and kept asking for help. I wanted to talk to him afterwards and tell him that it is not a team sport, and no one will ever help him.

After five laps or so, Dustin starts yelling at me with true contempt. He says it’s too slow, and I need to do something about it. Never have I had a coach sound like this, nor have I ever followed directions from a coach in a race. This time was different, I scooted around the pack and dropped the pace down a few tics.  This went on for the next 5 or so laps. Leading is not great, the pace soon slowed down again. With around a K to go, Chris K ran along side me and then passes me. The flagstaff runner follows suit. With a lap to go, Dustin yells at me that I would win the race. He was right.

My last lap was in 58 seconds. I’ve never closed that fast. An official brought me over to present the Penn Relays watch and take pictures. My father was in the crowd. I talked to him. It was a wonderful experience. 

A few days later, this achievement has worn off, and I oddly feel little satisfaction.


15Frank DevarPacers New Balance14:03.36
21Adam VessRun Flagstaff14:04.85
32Chris KwiatkowskiPacers New Balance14:13.57
414Brent JohnsonTrooper's Track Club14:34.94
517Scotty AlbaughMichigan14:34.94

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