Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Running cheats never prosper?

As is her want, my dear wife Pat was up with the lark and returned from a swift pre-breakfast 3 miler
through the cold, damp murk of early morning Ilkley.  By late morning  when I was ready to run there was still a  dense mist covering the Wharfe valley but  looking out from home I could see at the higher level  over to Round Hill the sun was out in full force.  A thermal inversion no less. 
So I drove north and enjoyed my weekly 7 mile trail run in warm(ish) pleasant conditions.  A real benefit, being able to run in the light at this time of year. Returning early afternoon to the town it was still shrouded in mist.  A mist which never lifted throughout today.   Not very pleasant for Tuesday club nights but it will no doubt get worse.
 It's often that said that alcohol banishs inhibitions or loosens the tongue. For example, mature male readers will recall the saying, "2 Babychams and she's anybodys!"
 But what about the power of pizza?  Let me explain, having read about an interesting magazine article today.

 Eddy Hellebuyke is an ex-U.S.A. Olympic marathoner (1996, Atlanta). He now lives in exile in Tucson. He moved there from Alburquerque, having failed a drug test. The test showed he had used the endurance enhancing drug EPO in 2004. 
  He vehemently denied the charge and strongly contested the results; going all the way to an arbitration court in Switzerland!
  Runners World (U.S.) reporter John Brant flew out to interview him and they met over a pizza lunch.  His wife and ex manager called into the restaurant midway through the meal. She was clearly not keen on husband Eddy being interviewed. "Why stir up mud that's taken so long to settle?"
 She continued to "chant the mantra of denial" that they have maintained for the last 6 years.  She urges the reporter to write something positive about the great coaching work he is doing locally.
 After she has left, the 2 men continue to eat their pizza lunch. The reporter starts to think that he won't be writing much of a story; but  despite the years of denial and protestations he chances his arm and asks
Hellebuyke straight out if he did in fact take the EPO.

 "Do you think I did ?" the runner asks.
"I don't know.  All I know is what I've read and heard"
Hellebuyke hesitates. He no longer looks like a man at home in the world.
 "Yeah,"  Hellebuyke says,  "I did it"

 So be careful the next time you enjoy a pizza, you might just end up saying something you live to regret!
Perhaps it was pizza that loosened the tongue of  self confessed drugs cheat Dwain Chambers or, as cynics would have it,  he confessed to sell more copies of his autobiography, "Race Against Me".
 No doubt Eddy Hellebuke's wife is trying to get her EPO taking husband  a book deal at this very moment.
   As a runner who only just conceded that water should be drunk occasionally  but certainly not when training and only in the hottest racing conditions,   I can't say I've ever been tempted with drugs.  Although it could be said my asthma inhalers are performance enhancing.
                            I would rather describe them as performance essentials!

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