Us menfolk are pretty generous with statistics when they are our own: ladies wooed, stitches acquired, size of fish caught, bones broken, number of hours spent locked out of your house while naked because a dare that you took backfired. You know, the stuff that really counts. We all tend to round things up to the nearest impressive number – that way it’s just better for everyone.
Running types, however, aren’t like this. So if you are like me and you cross the finish line for the Two Oceans half marathon (Is it OK if I round this off from “half marathon” to “marathon”?) and your time is 1:30:41, it means you’re 41 seconds late for the cut-off time for silver medals. You’d think they’d round off to the nearest semi-precious metal. Well, they don’t.
But I’m not bitter. Here are three reasons why bronze is better than silver:
1) A bronze medal looks more like a gold medal than silver does.
2) Riaan Manser and Prof Tim Noakes both got a bronze medal hence I have the same athletic ability as a professional adventurers and bacon-enthusiasts.
3) There aren’t any words that rhyme with “silver” so I wouldn’t be able to reference my athletic achievement in a rap song.
A few hours before I was awarded my almost-silver medal I arrived at Newlands for the MH Team Fit challenge that I had been training for during the past three months. Dressed in a black plastic refuse bag to stay warm – a look that’s a lot more Big Issue than Men’s Health – and armed with my trusty adidas supernova glides and training savvy from Prof Andrew Bosch of the Sports Science Institute, I joined 16 000 runners as we ran 21km of what’s heralded as “the world’s most beautiful marathon”.
The Two Oceans is a fantastic race, and I’m told it’s even better when it isn’t raining. It’s a consistently scenic route and there is a strong sense of camaraderie, despite the fact that runners’ jokes are on the same rofl-level as Dad Jokes.
Also, on the same weekend that I ran my first half-marathon, the latest Internet meme “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy” – a picture of a runner looking aptly ridiculously photogenic – goes viral.
Is this a just coincidence?
Uncanny, I know.
Here is the part where I subtly mention the fact that I came 189th out of 16 000 runners, which is pretty damn good for a first-timer. That’s right. Take note, all you racing hares out there… McNaughtus Tortoise is on your trail.