Please note that this has absolutely nothing to do with Elder Law, but it's a neat story and if you are a running and/or cycling enthusiast you might get a kick out of it. And yes, it's a true story...
I ran in the Boston Marathon last month and it took me only two minutes to spot and catch up to Lance Armstrong. I then spent most of the race running right next to, slightly behind or slightly in front of one of the most amazing athletes in the history of sports. At one point he expressed dismay to me over how many "Yankees Suck" comments I was receiving since I was sporting my Yankees cap, apologized for accidentally elbowing me, and he even took a cup of water that I offered.
But the most unforgettable memory took place at the 12-mile mark when Lance looked around and found that his two training partners had disappeared. At that point I was running slightly off one of his shoulders and decided to pull ahead of him a little bit. Once I did that I heard him say, "OK, here we go!" loud and clear just before he tucked in directly behind me. I thought to myself, OK, I might be hallucinating, but it appears that Lance Armstrong is drafting off of me! So I experimented and gradually floated over to the right side of the road and, sure enough, Lance followed me. Then I gradually headed back over to the middle of the road and he continued to follow me, staying no more than a stride and a half back! Then I came up on a slower runner and passed him on the right. At the same time Lance passed the guy on the left and then quickly tucked back in behind me! That's when I decided that, regardless of the outcome of the race, all the intense training that I've done over the past 20 years that has gotten me to the point where I could be a legitimate pace-setter for Lance Armstrong was well worth it. Due to the pure excitement I was feeling, I cranked up the pace some more and Lance was game.
Then, shortly after assigning me pace-setting duties, he moved to the left and stayed directly next to me. I assumed he was offering to do some of the work and slowed down a tad to allow him to take over, but he slowed down too and stayed beside me. Thinking I must have misread him, I sped up to resume my role as pace-setter, but he sped up as well and continued to stay next to me! I thought this was a little strange, but then suddenly realized what he was doing since we were approaching Wellesley College...he wanted nothing to do with the screaming, psychotic Wellesley women and was keeping me between him and them as a human shield! I figured hey, if you have a chance to help Lance Armstrong out with something then you go ahead and do it, and for the first time in ten Bostons I stayed in the middle of the road going by Wellesley and didn't slap a single hand.
Alas, this thrilling experience, which I won't soon forget, came to an end just past the 17-mile mark where I joined the thousands of athletes who have not figured out how to effectively deal with Lance Armstrong on the hills. After sticking with Lance for a full 17 miles, he silently bade me farewell as he successfully converted his hill-climbing prowess in the mountain stages of the Tour de France to the Newton Hills of the Boston Marathon. I was toast after pushing the last 4-mile stretch too hard but not caring since I played a small part in helping out the 7-time Tour de France champion.
I ended up walking through the water stations at the 24 and 25-mile markers and then finished solidly in 2 hours 58 minutes (Lance ended up nipping me by 7 minutes). It was my fourth fastest Boston finish and my best Boston time since 2001. So I was exhausted but pretty happy with the overall results and thoroughly enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime Lance Armstrong experience.
After the race, I heard Lance mention to the Media that he would love to run Boston again next year. Sounds like Round #2 to me!
Thanks, Lance...it was a blast!