Ask any past Robie Creek Race participate
why he/she did it and the overwhelming majority will claim
insanity. Others will say they have always wanted to do it
and felt, now was the time. A small number of participants
say they decided to do it because it's fun.
You would be shocked to know a large number of people just
decided to do it, without years of either mental or
I thought it was an irrational move, to set a goal, on the
13th of January 2004, to be ready and participant in the
Race in three months time. That year the Race was done on
the 17th of April. For those who have been involved in
physical activities, this may seem like an attainable
goal. I had never participated in any sport related
activities beside, coaching soccer teams comprising of 1st
and 2nd grade players. I weighed over 240 lbs with a 5'
and 10" height. A five minutes run/walk exercise on a
treadmill was the best my endurance level could take at
Knowing what I now know, when Robie Creek calls, you
participate. Your extra pounds won't stop you. Your age,
after you hear the call, becomes irrelevant. And there is
never a minute you consider why you can't do it, even if
you miss the registration that seems to close before it's
opened. This year's registration took only 1 hour and 36
Let's get to the point. The race this year was on the 15th
of April. I was doing final stretches (not running or
walking hard) on Tuesday the 11th in the YMCA men's locker
room. I met some friends who were interested in how
prepared I was for the Race. As I shared a basic wisdom,
that the most critical and needed preparation is mental,
another YMCA member happen to hear my statement about
Robie Creek. Robie Creek called him.
He came close and asked the Race was and I told him in
four days. The next question was, "How long is half a
marathon race." I responded, 13.1 miles but added a
qualifier, this is Robie Creek, the toughest Marathon
race in Northwest America. The next question told me I was
now engaged in a deep conversation with a typical and
possible victim of the Creek's spell. "When is the
Registration had occurred two month earlier and the
following day was the pick-up time. I also mention to this
stranger, whom I would have ignored, that there are people
who register but can't participate due to various reasons.
Then I said, albeit casually, you can go to the pick-up
line and see if there is anyone who would like to transfer
their registration to you. The sparkle in that young man�s
eyes scared me. I had to leave the locker room.
This stranger thanked me endlessly until I extended my
hand to shake his and told him my name. I can't recall
knowing what his name was then.
You must be me to understand my astonishment when, a few
minutes before the race started, I saw the grinning face
of that man. On his short's right side there was an
official running number - 2512. We hugged. My attempts of
congratulating him for his miraculous presence were
minimized by his evidently appreciation for my
contribution toward his being there.
Jerome, the man I met in the locker room, cleared the race
way before I forced myself through the finishing line. I
could not let an opportunity slip away from me. I needed
to learn what would make a sanely looking person make such
a decision. I promised to pay for lunch. We had it on the
first Wednesday after the race.
Allow me to state that whatever you value, you can always
find the time for it. If anything is of any perceived
importance to you, your determination relegates any
obstacles to minor inconveniences.
Jerome shared a quote that, "The pain of discipline is
much easier than the pain of regret" by Paul Tsika. He
had been involved in physical activities, ones that
require basic discipline. An opportunity presented itself.
He can never suffer from the pain of regret in this