Sunday, December 7, 2014

Mishler VS Willimon: 24/7

Shit just got real.  
I've just returned from running a preview of the the Huntersville Half Marathon course for next week's race.  I was with a large, fun group including Dave, John, Mike, Derek, Enrique, J-Ma, Matt, Tim, Terry, Wendy, and of course, my nemesis: Sam Mishler.  For those of you who don't know, Sam and I are having a little throw-down at the Huntersville Half next weekend.  This is a follow-up to the begrudging loss I suffered to he who henceforth shall be referred to as Nemesis.  A gentlemanly challenge to a rematch followed by some not-so gentlemanly smack-talk that ensued for months to follow led us both spirally toward this race. 
Some propaganda being spread by my Nemesis.
The score will be settled.  Pain will ensue.  Yes, after running the course today, the Nemesis and I both agreed that no matter the outcome, much pain was assured.  The course itself is the ubiquitous third player in this duel of death.  It lures you in with a couple of easy miles--not without their hills, but easy enough.  In miles 3-5, there are a couple of notable hills to rein you in.  From miles 5-7, Wynfield Creek Parkway provides incessantly rolling terrain that trends uphill.  After that, there is a brief respite before a sadistic run downhill followed by a U-turn coming back up the same hill on the other side of the block.  Recovery from this section is brief as the course winds through a few loops for the next couple of miles, throwing ups and downs in at several places, making it hard to develop a good racing rhythm.  At mile 11, runners forgo the notorious hill on Devonshire (from previous years' courses) in favor of the longer climb on Brentfield.  By the time you reach the mile 12 mark, after more than a mile of steady, relentless climbing, you will be lamenting the missing Devonshire hill.  From this point on, it's a downhill finish, if you have anything left.
Throughout today's preview, the Nemesis and I were taking note of the where the challenges were, each of us silently plotting our strategy, no doubt trying to predict the other's moves.  Do I have a plan?  Sure, but I'd be a damned fool to write about it here while my Nemesis is watching.  I'm playing my cards pretty close to the chest on this one.
The stakes are real.  Just today, not one hour ago, my Nemesis and I agreed to the terms for the loser.  Dave was a witness to the agreements, so it is therefore binding.  I won't make the details of the bet public yet, but if I do lose, it will involve me shopping for a new piece of running apparel.  
If you're not racing Huntersville Half, or the companion 5k (at which there will be an attempt at the world record for a tethered 5k), come out as a spectator for the ensuing competition.  
Ward VS Gatti...
Cubs VS Cardinals...
Marques VS Pacquiao...
Yankees VS Red Sox...
Hector VS Achilles...

Mishler VS Willimon...a duel for the ages!

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