Saturday, September 03, 2011

Beaten, But Unbowed, in Ashly 5K

Trash talkin' Joe Owens
The trash talking started late last night, when highly-conditioned, well-trained athletes like me are trying to sleep. My not-so-smart phone started beeping with incoming messages like "I'm going to skewer you in the 5k" and "You suck." The troll harassing me? None other than Express Times Editor-in-Chief Joe Owens.

Charlie Dent wins footraces, too!
Joe is one of the people who accepted my challenge in Ashly's 5k Race for Freedom. Before I bash him, I have to thank Joe for participating. He's a busy guy and could be doing lots of things besides running a footrace against a bottom-feeding blogger. But this is a different kind of race. It honors Emmaus High School grad Ashly Moyer, who had just made Sergeant when her life was cut short by an IED in Iraq. In fact, it  honors all of our men and women in uniform, who put their lives on the line for us every day.

Like most races, there was all kinds of music to get everyone pumped up before the starting gun fired. But unlike most races, there was a moving speech by Ashly's sister, who bravely beat back the tears as she talked. After that, a very somber Marine color guard started a slow march through the crowd, reminding us all why we were there.

When they saw me, they called for this
Part of the money raised today goes to the Ashly Moyer Scholarship Fund. The rest goes to the Blue Star Mothers, which sends care packages to our soldiers in harm's way, and also helps military families here at home.

For every person who accepted my challenge and beat me, I agreed to pay $1 to Blue Star Mothers. Joe  was there for a good cause, but I was still determined to beat his ass. I've been training for this day since early June, while he's been guzzling milkshakes and popping twinkies. He was wearing a forty-year old Phillies T-shirt that had already turned green with mold. And the "D" on his baseball cap obviously means "Deranged."

Dent with Doug Reichley and his children
Before things got under way, I told him the race started actually about 1/2 mile away, but he refused to take the bait. In fact, despite all the advice he received telling him to start off slowly, he moved up to the front with the elite runners. He did fall for the power food I offered him - a slim jim. He swallowed it in one gulp.

When the race started, Owens immediately tripped up a few of the real runners in the front, guys from Kenya and Ireland, destroying their hopes for a personal best and sending a few to the hospital.

My strategy was to let him go and reel him in later.

After about a mile, I caught him by surprise. The second he saw me, he took off. And that's what happened for a long 3.1 miles. Every time I got close to Owens, he took off. Now, I won't say he cheated, but I did see Express Times reporter Sarah Cassi up ahead in a golf cart.

I never did reel him in. When the race was over, Joe had beaten me by about a minute ... or two. I have not seen his blog bragging about his victory yet, but he got me.

Mike Schware and his cute little girl
There were others involved in this challenge, too. Before the race, NorCo Exec John Stoffa gave me $20 for the Blue Star Mothers. Sam Royer, who recently ran for District Judge in Hanover Township, finished the race before Joe and I were across the starting line.

LV Congressman Charlie Dent beat both of us by a good ten minutes or more. So did State Rep. Doug Reichley. He ran the race with his daughter, a beautiful cheerleader, and handsome son. They were ahead of us, too. We were also clobbered by Allentown CPA Mike Schware, who ran the race with his cute little daughter holding his hand.

So far, I've listed the Republicans who beat us. What about the Democrats? Pat Slattery, a former state house  candidate from Lower Macungie, nailed both of us, but he's 18' tall and his race was over after he took 3 steps.

Did I beat anybody?  I'm pretty sure I clocked a seven year-old girl, and when she crossed the finish line, I began taunting her until her mother told me she was one of the walkers.

Most of them beat me too.

I did beat one person. Fellow blogger Jonathan Geeting had accepted my challenge, but never showed up. He must be too busy writing about the LV from Manhattan or Brooklyn or wherever he is these days. Had he gone, he could have learned that Congressman Dent has already conducted twenty town halls this year.

So that finishes this year's race. I'm a little poorer, but will continue training.

Wait 'till next year.

Updated 6:35 PM. The Joe Owens Fictional Account is here. - Actually, I'm surprised by how close my story is to his. I have to lie more. I cracked up at this sentence. "If it appears as if I'm trying not to get too close to O'Hare, well, his initials aren't B.O. for nothing."

16 comments:

gruntled said...

Best stuff I've read all week! BO writes an entertaining account.
Any bottom feeder that can get Joe to write that on his blog deserves something.
I'm writing a check to Blue Star Dotties.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, i really hate you and was bummin you did not fall and break a tooth .But it was for a great cause so im sending a check. good job BO. a gracedale goon.

Anonymous said...

My favorite is JO's shout out to Reichley...

Untouched Takeaway said...

Nice piece, Bernie - I actually did laugh out loud about clocking the pre-teen walker at the finish line.

Well done.

UT

Mike Schware said...

Bernie -

Thanks for coming up with a great way to raise some extra money for a good cause.

Thanks also for cropping the bag of chips I was holding out of the photo.

Mike

Harry O' Bern said...

Huzzah to you, Bernie for this race. I was there are witnessed effort and happiness for a great cause. However, I also witnessed a Dent in the day as well. But again, you are da man!

Anonymous said...

hey, were did you get the picture of joe owens' grandfather?

Anonymous said...

42 minutes!!!!!!!

Dude why were you challenging people when you are "running" at a 14 minute per mile pace???

At least it was for a great cause and if that was your only reason, kudos to you!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hey, that's 13:59. Come and race me next time if you think you can beat me. I doubt you can.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you're hilarious.

I'm a very competitive road runner, 5K's are my worst distance, but I'll try to make it to your next race.

Especially if it's for another great cause like this last one.

(By the way, I'm in the 21-22 minute range for a 5K.)

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dude, Let's do it!

I was a competitive runner myself back in the day, and I know what you mean about 5ks. I would get more sore from them than a marathon bc of the speed.

Next year, I'll be back, and the afterburn of my blazing speed might send you to the hospital.

I'll look around for some more. Most of these 5ks are good causes.

Anonymous said...

There's a really nice one for a great cause in Easton on Oct 29th.

Here's the link.

http://www.minsitrails.com/Lambert5K

Bernie O'Hare said...

That looks like a good one. I'll do it, provided I don't have a football game at that time.

Kelly Royer said...

I went to this funeral. I know the mom/wife. Bernie, Sam and I will do this

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sam again? I'll get him sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

Hey Owens, do your real job and stop covering up Northampton County problems.

Why are you kissing O'Hare's ass anyway. You both kiss Stoffa's ass.