Thursday, April 18, 2013


This month's Runner's World features Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher - Olympians, training partners, friends, and rivals. It got me thinking about rivalries in general. I'm a competitive person, and throughout my life I've had rivalries with different people. Whether it was on the cheerleading squad in high school, the debate team in college or in work after I graduated law school, there seems to always be some sort of rivalry. Some are friendlier than others.

Kara and Shalane after the 2012 Olympic Marathon in London
As a runner I'm always competing. That being said I'm not a fast runner, so I'm generally just competing against myself - my own PRs and goals. Are there people that I see regularly at races and want to beat? Absolutely. But there are good days and bad days, and I try to enjoy the run rather than focus on beating anyone but myself.

I'm also an avid West Virginia Mountaineer fan. As a result I bleed old gold and blue. When it comes to our Mountaineer rivalries, there's no compromising. I live in a town with a lot of Michigan State fans, and during this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament a number of Spartans were rooting for Michigan. Unacceptable! Not for the conference, not for the state. It's a RIVALRY. Would I root for Pitt ever? Not a chance. Would I root for Virginia Tech? I did once. When they were playing Michigan. That's when I realized how much of my husband's Spartan green had rubbed off on me.

In a few weeks I'm running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I saw a picture from a previous year's race with the University of Pittsburgh cheerleaders, and I realized what I have to do. I'll be wearing old gold and blue from head to toe. My family will be there watching, and they may not yet be aware that they are required to wear Mountaineer gear. And when I see them on the course I'll be yelling out, "Let's Go!" and expecting "Mountaineers!" in response. Obnoxious? Absolutely. But that's what rivalries are.

I'm looking forward to running the Pittsburgh race. I love the city despite its being home to my least favorite collegiate institution. And if you happen to be in Pittsburgh on the 5th, I'll be the girl in the Mountaineer gold and blue. Shout out a "Let's Go!" You'll know it's me when you get the right response.


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  2. Mountaineers!!!

  3. Make sure Benjamin has some WV gear on for the race!!