Yesterday I was doing some housekeeping work on Tripping The Kenyans.

I took a look at the page that listed my past races, starting with what I consider my first “official” race in this crazy campaign of mine (The Nike Human Race 10K on August 31st, 2008).

A quick glance at the numbers and I made a startling realization. Something I’d completely overlooked.

The first 50.

The first 50.

The Long Beach Half Marathon on October 12th was my 50th race.

I accidentally missed my “Big Five Oh.”

And as someone who likes to acknowledge milestones, I’m a little bummed I dropped the ball on that one.

I think of all of the “Golden anniversary” or “Over the hill” bad running jokes I could have made.


Consider yourselves lucky that you were spared the full brunt of my “puntastic” sense of humor.

For those of you wondering my current race tally:

  • 8- Full Marathons
  • 30- Half Marathons
  • 13- 10Ks

For a grand total of 51 races.

Of course I also realized that I had missed talking about my 51st race, the Santa Monica RunFEST 10K that I ran last Sunday.

And I have a parallel to my 51st race that I wanted to share… so please indulge me.

How to train your dragon... the hard way.

How to train your dragon… the hard way.

There’s a great old short story entitled “The 51st Dragon” written by Heywood Broun. Perhaps you read it in elementary school like I did.

If not, here’s a link to a PDF so you can check it out yourself: THE FIFTY FIRST DRAGON

Pretty cool, huh?

Like the character Gawaine, I’ve tried to slay my own dragons during the course of fifty races.

Some were easy; some were challenging; some pushed me to the very brink of defeat. I’ve got a few scars and bruises; I wear them proudly.

The person who recently bested his 50th dragon is not the same person who was full of fear when he battled his very first race (I mean dragon).

That person is stronger, wiser, happier, more confident (and his clothes fit a little better).

How's about a ride Toothless?

How’s about a ride Toothless?

And I like to think I faired a little better against dragon #51 than Gawaine. My ribbons and medals are thankfully still intact (read the short story and you’ll get the reference).

I’m still talking about running, by the way.

Now, I know compared to many other runners, completing 50 races is no big deal. Hell, I know people who’ve run 50 races in a single year, whereas I’ve taken 6 years to reach this mark. I’ve got friends who have run marathons in all 50 states or all 7 continents (yup, including Antarctica.).

I’m humbled by these runners (aka “knights”) and applaud them for their accomplishments. They continue to push me.

So, this weekend it’s on to dragon #52 (The LA Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon). I’ve battled this particular dragon before, last year to be exact. Should be fun.

Okay dragon… let’s do this.

Run on!

Posted on October 22, 2014, in General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on “I MISSED THE BIG 5-0!” (AKA SLAYING MY 51st DRAGON).

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