It's 1978 and I'm running a 5K in a quad meet at Virginia Military Institute. Disturbingly, I was the favorite and I overheard at least one coach tell his team to stick on "Rtype" and gang up on him in the last mile. For the first 2 miles it did not seem to matter what I ran, 4:30 pace, 5 min, they all just hung their like dummies behind me. I sag the pace for lap 3 of the last mile and everyone assumed I was dying. On the last lap their coaches collectively screamed "GO" as everyone began to surge around me I DROPPED THE HAMMER and ran the last lap in 57 (which used to be fast BTW) which not only destroyed them but demoralized them as well. My name was cursed and spat and puked....and that made me very happy. Sometimes, to be hated makes one feel quite well.
So we are at the national meet. Our team is running the dmr. The 1200 leg looks great we pass the baton off in third I think. Our 400m legs holds things pretty well and our 800m leg gets the stick in fourth. By the end of his leg we are back in second or third. Our mile leg gets the stick and from the get go it's a three team race. Adam's State, Southern Connecticut and Augustana. The is just a pack of three for quite a while but with about three to go the Adams kid makes a pretty solid move (I'm the coach shooting the video) at this point I'm pretty much content with racing for 2nd as we are still with SCSU. about the middle of two laps to go our miler moves up. There are now about 40m between 1st and our miler. At the bell lap there are about 40m still and I'm more than content with getting second. In the next 100m our guy makes up about 30m and I'm just in total shock. With 50m to go our guy catches him and blows by him and ends up winning by 10m.
The side story is the best. The Adams kid crosses the finish line and just hucks his baton into the infield smoking an official in the stomach. Funniest thing I've seen. As a result they get disqualified. Come to find out at the end of the meet Adams loses the national championship to Grand Canyon by 7 pts........... Still its one of the most impressive come from behind victories I've ever seen. The link to the video is below. Check out the mile late in the vide or enjoy the whole race if you like⁄
Last year, relatively small half marathon. The course is mostly downhill with some hills in the middle. I take off really fast from the start by mile 6 I look back and can't see anyone within striking distance. Between miles 6 and 9 come the hills, but also a massive headwind and I start to slow down. It's also getting hot and I'm losing steam rapidly. I slow from about 5:10-5:20 miles on the downhill to what felt like about 6:30+ on the uphill.
At mile 9 we go up a switch back hill and I see that my lead has shrunk to about a minute. The last few miles are miserable but I'm still in the lead. I'm only managing about 6 minute miles at this point and can't get myself to go any faster. I hit the mile 12 mark and risk a look back. I see the 2nd place runner about 50meters behind me and closing fast. He passes me about half mile later and gives me a quick "good job". I can't keep up with him and he quickly gaps me. Then we go around a corner and I see my girlfriend cheering for me and also, mercifully, the finish line. It seems like an impossible distance to make up in a kick but I DROPPED THE HAMMER and blew by the guy to win by 2 seconds.
A few months later I'm at mile 23 of a marathon and I'm in the running for 3rd. Another guy and I had been running together in 3rd and 4th for the entire race and had been well clear of 5th (couldn't see him at all) until this point. We go through an aid station and then hear the crowd cheer for another runner about 30 seconds behind us. I turn around and IT'S THE SAME GUY AS ABOVE! I should point out that I was once again running 6:20 pace after running 5:40 pace for the first 15-16 miles. This time it seemed impossible that I would manage to stay ahead of him. Right after I saw him I told my buddy that we had to go and I subsequently DROPPED THE HAMMER. I managed to hold off both of them for 3rd.
My roommates may read this but whatever.
Also this isn't running. Its nordic ski.
USCSA National Championships. 2012. Bethel, ME. 1.6k classic sprint is the race.
I am not a very big kid. I run, thus my upper body is tiny. Any nordic skier knows, if you don't have a good upper body, you can't double pole. In the final, I was getting thoroughly crushed up till about 400m left. Then we hit a steep 200m hill. I somehow caught back up to the leaders who were ahead of me by 20m before that. Then it was like the parting of the red seas. For some reason, the two guys duking it out for the lead moved apart. I DROPPED THE MOST WICKED HAMMER right through the middle of them and continued to pull away till about 10m left when I just glided through. No one thought I was going to even come close much less make the final for the day.
Back in high school, I had already run the varsity 5k in 16:20 or something. I then ran in the JV race to help pace my teammate who was trying to get a PR. We were at the front of the pack, and with about 800m to go, one of the coaches yelled to his athlete "He's getting really tired -- pass him!" (referring to me). I was annoyed that I "looked tired", so I bolted and did the last 800m in like 2:15.
So it was the finals for our league. We have a very small league; only 8 schools. The league was so small only 1 person was allowed to go onto state for each event. The overall fastest guy in the league can run the 3200m in 9:25 and that was his best event and the event he was going to do at the state meet. I was the second fastest in the league with a personal best of 9:46 so I was no threat to him. He had to triple at the meet. 2 hours before the 3200m race, he won the 1600m in 4:49 which is slow for him. In the 300m hurdles, their fastest hurdler (rank #2 in the state) got injured so they had to use him to replace the injured hurdler in the 4x400. The 3200 started and he knew he couldn't go all out in the 3200 because he had to save up for the 4x400 so he was just pacing me the whole race hoping to out kick me in the last 200 or something. The only problem was, I was running at 11 minute pace LOL. At the ring of the bell for the last lap, I pulled a 57 and beated him by .2 seconds. At the end, I couldn't help but say "YOU MAD BRAH?". He smiled and laughed for a second and walked away. He was pissed. I ended up going to the state meet and his season was over since he didn't qualify for any other event.
umm... you guys don't seem to be paying attention to my story which is really unfortunate. so let me continue. after the race a banquette was held in my honor. i was seated at my throne with freshmen girls fanning me and feeding me grapes. my teammates would occasionally raise a toast in my honor. and after each toast everyone would chant, 'here here!' and i nod in approval. then all of the sudden there was a murmur in the crowd and the people parted as the captain of the cheerleading squad came walking through. she says to me out loud, 'is it true what they say about you?' everyone held their breathe wondering my response. the girls fanning me grasped jealously at my shoulders. i laugh. i say, 'that depends. what do they say about me?' 'that you DROP THE HAMMER more bodly than all the others. that you fear no man. but that you are also just and wise.' i say, 'people say a lot of things. people like to talk. i am but a man. yes, i have been known to DROP THE HAMMER a time or two.' then she says, 'tell me. tell me what its like to DROP THE HAMMER.' then all the party says, 'yes, yes. what is it like? tell us. tell us.' i raise my hand to silent the crowd. and they wait for me with great expectation. 'it is not a blessing to be able to DROP THE HAMMER as i do,' i say. 'it is not a blessing, but in fact a curse. it is a burden. it is my plight. it is not what i do. but it is what i am. ah. to DROP THE HAMMER, it is not what it looks. i cry myself to sleep every time i am forced to DROP THE HAMMER.' then i say to the cheerleader, 'please, don't envy me. and please, don't ask me to relive the experience by retelling my experiences. it's just too painful.' at the moment the crowd murmurs again, and who would come in to the banquette, but the coach. he approaches me and i stand. i say to the crowd, 'leave us.' the crowd just looks on so i yell, 'LEAVE US!' and they make their way out the door. the coach watches them go, then he says to me, 'i have a task for you.' he slides over a matchbook to me and i open it. i read what is written on the inside and i say to the coach, 'you know what you are asking of me?' he says, 'i do.'
It was a race to the locker room from the track. A sprinter vs the best distance runner in the school, about 600 meters. I jumped in as a shoddy new distance runner who knew he had top end speed. So did a bunch of other runners thinking they could win. The distance guy was the only one who was close to me by the end. One of the few people I told later wouldn't believe I outran him, but there I was, a few strides ahead.
While working in a small town in Ohio, sitting in front of a computer all day, one of my coworkers got cocky and challenged me to a 2 mile race. He was a recent college grad 800m runner and I was a recent college grad distance runner.
He could have easily destroyed me at 1 mile or less and I could have easily destroyed him a 4 miles or more so we decided on 2 miles. Also, we invited college runners and local runners from the town to join this spontaneous race. Surprisingly, I was pretty nervous - even more so than other races - because we also had put money on the race. He even put on spikes.
The race starts, and we go through the mile at 5:19 or so (I know you all are thinking that sucks but I thought it was good considering I hadn´t been training for a while) and he and I and another college runner were battling for the lead and with 600 meters to go - knowing I would not be able to kick at all - I DROPPED THE HAMMER and started my "kick" he and the other runner matched me for a while but they slowly faded and I built up enough real estate to hold off their final kick (kind of like bekele beating lagat at 3k). It was so awesome. There was no one watching us and no one telling us to do that workout/time trial, we went out and raced competitively, randomly. My coworker and I ended up running together a lot more and going out on the weekends to pick up chicks.
tl;dr at bottom
In high school I happened to get the flu right before our local track championships. They were a requirement to go onto regionals, so I ran anyway.
I ended up coming second in both the steeple and the 3km to this guy who had no business beating me, but hey, I was sick and had no reason to drop the hammer (top 5 move on). Anyway, long story short, after the second race I heard him talking to some of his buddies and he was acting all cocky and saying he was just going to sit behind me and kick at the end like both the other races and that he basically had it in the bag. I didn't like that.
By the time the 1500m started all that was going through my head were his words and how much I just wanted to embarrass him in the race. So, this was when I was a pretty slow runner .. pb was something like 4:35 or something. I started the race and said, going to sit and kick? Try and match this. Dropped the hammer and went 62 seconds through the opening lap. Both of us died, but I managed to hold on for the win by a 15 second margin in 4:25.
Back then, that was like running the world record. No one went under 4:30 in the 1500. No one. Needless to say, the 1500m became my favorite race from that day forward.
tl;dr Guy said he was going to sit and kick to beat me. I dropped the hammer and opened 11 seconds faster than pb pace and held on for the win.
Also, some team mate of mine cut me off in a workout one time when it was my turn to pace. Not only did he cut me off, but he then slowed down. Needless to say I dropped the hammer with 200 to go and put 50m between us. Team mates applauded because he had been racing workouts all year.
High school junior 1974, I was expected to run 4th or worse in league champs mile. Mr. 4:25 had a lock on first, so I ran for 2nd.
The big guy takes off, and the other studs follow close. I'm 30 meters back at the half in 4th.
Move up to 3rd with one to go, but can't pass "Tom" for 2nd. I work very hard to move to 2nd with 300 to go. Tom slams it off the curve into the straight and passes me. I find the gear and pass him for 2nd by .6 and a PR. Had to kick and kick again!
I had rested for 2 days before the meet, and had that last kick.
I ran hella faster later on, won bigger meets, but it never tasted so sweet.
A 5k my freshman year of college: it was a dark and windy night, but I needed a 15:30 to run at conference. So I went with two guys who were trying to break 15 and planned to just hang with them, even though the wind was awful. Of course, real life isn't a Prefontaine movie, so I fell off big time after a mile.
On the final lap I looked ahead and saw a kid I really didn't want to lose to about 100 meters front of me. He was super-serious and did all kinds of drills and I just couldn't stand to see him beat me. Something snapped inside me, and I began an epic 300m sprint, blowing by him with about 20 meters left. I ran finished in 16:30, and afterwards my coach called me a moron.
Senior year of HS track. I went to a school in a small town - mostly lower/working class, all of the other schools in our league were in a bigger city about half an hour away. My school was however consistently the best in the league for distance/XC and we were a bit cocky about it. We felt the other schools looked down on us for coming from a smaller/poorer town, so there was essentially a rivalry between us and the whole rest of the league. Chicken or egg, I don't know which came first, but the rivalry was there for all sports.
The previous year, I had been the conference champ in XC, 1600, and 3200 (and XC that same school year) but had some injuries that held me back for that track season and I had been seriously struggling. I barely squeaked out a victory in the 1600 the day before, but there was a kid from another school who had run significantly faster than I had in the 3200. Both days of the meet, I had a bunch of fools from every other school coming up to me and telling me I was going to lose (there was only one spot going to state) and such. Literally, kids from every other school had counted me out and were rooting for this one guy to beat me.
My coach just said "don't lead, see what happens" (I had a tendency to front-run). Gun goes off and I let the other guy go. I'm way back in the pack and I've got 7 schools worth of athletes telling me I suck strewn across the whole inside of the track. I feel horrible, don't really want to go through the pain and effort that it would take to win, but at precisely 5 laps something snapped and I dropped the effing hammer. I caught him in one lap. Then over the next two laps I gapped him something awful while making eye contact with every one of those fools on the inside of the track as I ran by. I must have looked like a maniac. But I was a maniac that locked the rest of the league out of a berth to state.
berry nice - perfect use of the thread. And an innovative use of bolding rather than caps.
Well in honor of all of these high school stories I'll tell one of my favorites:
High jump, senior year, our home invitational. Highest see (besides me) is 6'0", which were two younger kids from my league who didn't know me and had lied about their seed height, At my school we weren't fond of liars, so me and my coach decide to play a little game where I don't show up to the high jump (besides sneaking in check in with the official) until we get to my starting height, coincidentally 6'0". One sophomore clears 5'10" and is so hyped up that he won, my coach just smiles and says "So take it to 6 feet?" this fool responds with "take it to whatever, it doesn't even matter, I already won and with a jump like that I'm going to win the league!". The official having seen all this, calmly raises the height to 6'0" measures it, and says "bar at 6 feet, zero inches, we have TWO jumpers remaining." the ballbagger turns to him and says "TWO?!, there's only ME!", just then he spots me, smiling and lacing up my high jump spikes. Immediately his face drops, and he misses his first attempt.
I DROP THE HAMMER (on that chump bar?)! on my first attempt, clearing it by a good 6 inches. He has two horrible attempts his next two go's, and walks away dejected.
Epilogue: At the league meet the jabroni was looking out for me, and when that bro-tater saw me show up it was clear that I was in his head. He was out (and everyone else was...our league was STACKED in the distance races, not so much in the jumps) by the time I got in.
Excellent use of jabroni!
Solid thread, some great stories here.
Mine goes way back before I was a runner. 6th grade "Field Day" (you know, football throw, 100yd dash, tug of war,etc). I decided to do the distance run (which was a WHOLE MILE) because top 10 got ribbons instead of only top 3 like other events (since more people did it).
I was kind of a loser. Non-athletic, sucked at sports, picked last in gym class type. Before the race we were static stretching (no warmup otherwise) and three kids from my class where mocking me for doing this and saying things like "you're going to die out there" and "you shouldn't be doing this" and just making me feel stupid for even trying. I was already nervous as hell about running a mile and I think even the gym teacher asked me if I was sure I wanted to do this.
Well I went out and completely crushed two of the kids who were giving me crap and got 12th or 13th overall, just missing a ribbon. The third kid who was making fun of me got 5th, but by freshman year of high school I was top in the grade for Cross Country and beating him by a minute+ for 5k (he dropped out of high school sophomore year). I went on to be the best runner in the school sophomore-senior years, setting a couple schools records. I wasn't anything special in the grand scheme of things (9:30 3200), but when I think back about those kids mocking me for running the distance run I can't help but laugh a bit.
XC my junior year, we were at a smaller meet that I had won the year before. I was a 16:30ish 5ker at that time. These two senior runners, each from a diff school came up with this plan to run side by side in front of me. So we started off, they were up there and when I caught them after 400 meters and I try to go around obviously, cause I'd be damned if I wasn't running at 100 percent right from the gun. I pushed them to an uncomfortable sub 5 first mile then when they began to tire from their plan........I DROPPED THE HAMMER and won by 40 seconds. They both faded hard to 3rd and 5th places.
My senior year in high school at a local half-marathon. I was just running for fun, hadn't seriously trained or anything (and had been injured during XC) but I figured I was good for a 1:22 or so. So I go out hitting 6:10-20 for the first six miles, all by myself in fifth behind the lead pack. At about halfway I'm thinking that my pace is pretty challenging and that I'd be lucky to maintain it. That's when a guy from the lead pack drops back, he's huffing and slowing like crazy. I just remember looking at him and thinking that his face was the epitome of exhaustion.
At that point something clicked. I'm not sure what it was, but I suddenly realized I wasn't working very hard at all. I started busting off 5:50 miles and if anything they felt easier than before. The course was narrow with a number of turns, so I had lost contact with the leaders until mile 9 when a spectator told me that I was coming up on third. That really got me fired up. I jacked down the pace to 5:35 miles, went through 10 in 60-flat. At this point I was coming up on the leader. He was a more built guy on a fairly hot day and was fading fast, I covered the last 5k in 17:30 (PR at the time was 16:40, though admittedly it was a softer PR) to win by a minute, at that point the first race I had ever won.
To this day I still wish I could recapture that kind of "out-of-body" ridiculous race mentality and just be able to block out my ideas of pain. It was a great experience.