Tuesday, June 21, 2005

If I Make It To 95, I'm NOT Going For It

Look out in 2058. The gauntlet has been thrown down in Japan. According to the Japan Times, a 95 year old has broken the world record in the 100 meter dash. For men aged 95-99. Twenty two seconds. Broke the previous mark by almost two seconds.

So many questions come to mind, I hope my typing can keep up with my mind on this one.

First of all, why do we have world records for men aged 95-99? Is this necessary? I did not know such things existed. To me, it is enough to just make it to 95. Why does everything in life have to come down to a competition? Mark my words now- running races to set world records is not on my agenda at 95.

Do we have different categories for assisted and non-assisted races? In other words, world records for those with walkers and those without walkers?

Are we trying to bump off our old people now? Seems to me that euthanasia won't be necessary if we are allowing our elders to run races. What's next? Pole vaulting for 100 year olds? Why? So we can listen to bones snap as they crash in to the safety cushion?

Is there a subculture I am not aware of that tracks these "athletes" every move? You know, 90 year old women groupies who hang out around the clubhouse, looking to score. I'm afraid I have bad news for them- running a 100 yard dash at 95 only precipitates a nap.

The mental images I am gettting from this story are quite disturbing. I'm sure "Izzy Mandelbaum" from Seinfeld is in training for this kind of nonsense. And somehow, I have to believe whips were used to make them run.

Can we now have Olympics for old men? We have the Senior Tour in golf? Why not the Senior Olympics? No one under 85. Who wouldn't pay to see this? The networks surely are willing to shell out billions bidding for it.

Quote from the story: "I ran, thinking I shouldn't fall because everyone was cheering for me," Haraguchi said. This is pathetic. I ran thinking I shouldn't fall? I'm sure that's what goes through every world class athlete's mind running the 100. I'm sure that was Carl Lewis' strategy in 1984- just focus on not falling.

Can you imagine a pre-race interview at the next Olympics? Correspondent: "How will you prepare for this event?" Sprinter: "I don't care if I win, I just don't want to fall".

"I will keep working as hard as possible." That's just what I am afraid you will keep doing, Mr. Haraguchi. Take some advice from a young whipper snapper- slow down and enjoy what is left of your life.

"The organizer of Sunday's athletic event will apply for official record recognition from the World Masters Athletics." Organizer? Of Sunday's "athletic event"? Seems to me the only thing he should be applying for is bail. Because anyone who would organize a "contest" like this should be jailed.

Where are the rest of the records from this event? Like, most athletes dying during one event? Or, most broken hips? Or, most cataract-induced javelin skewerings?

And did you notice that his record was accomplished in the rain? Yeah, I can think of lots of good ideas for our world. Making 95 year olds run as fast as they can in a down-pour is not one of them. They ended the story before citing the number of pneumonia cases afterwards. I hear next year they're going to grease the track.

What did they do? Go down to the closest nursing home and recruit competitors? "Get on the bus, folks, we're going on a field trip. Those with walkers, bring 'em."

How do we know these results are for real? Maybe Haraguchi used "the Cream" or "the Clear" to enhance his performance. Did they make him wizz in a cup afterwards? If not, the previous record holder should protest, God-willing he's still alive.

Do they have to cancel these events if the wind is blowing the wrong direction? I mean, a good head wind and it could take days for these guys to cross the finish line.

I've got a lot more, but I have work to do. Anybody else want to take a shot?

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