I ran on the Charles almost everyday.
Fun working with Bobby and Tim
Not to mention being back with Jim.
Tim and I trained for the “Pru” race.
We wanted to win so we brought in an ace.
Things were going fairly well in Boston but we weren’t hitting it out of the park so when “Hot New Country” became the new thing, me and Bob Christy (pictured) talked Hilliard into giving Country a shot. The early ratings for WKLB were were very encouraging but then all of a sudden out of nowhere there were two of us. Boston never had a country station before so we were on thin ice anyway but we knew for sure two wouldn’t work.
The battle was on which was not only expensive but kinda dumb too because we were fighting over bread crumbs. After a long hard battle WKLB prevailed and went on to become huge in Boston including being #1 now and then. How that occurred still has me pissed but that’s another story for another time.
I had a great time in Boston and even got to watch a few Red Sox games from our 3rd base suite at Fenway Park which was within walking distance of the Prudential Tower. WKLB’s studios were located in the “Pru” which had a total of 52 floors and was even large enough to field its own 5 k race every year. Gillette who occupied two whole floors were a major threat each year and a mystery runner of theirs always won. We had few good runners at WKLB which included our Tim Reever and I’d recently hired Thom Hunt, an “Elite Runner” out of San Diego to coach me so I was beginning to pick up a little speed myself.
I was in pretty good shape for the race back then after having just run a half marathon with my nephew Jamie Boychuk back in my hometown of Winnipeg in Canada.
Jamie (pictured with me) and I had run a few races together over the years but I figured he was just itching to beat his old uncle so I stuck with Thom’s advice which was to always to take him longer. While lining up for the start, I couldn’t help but notice that Olympian Jeff Galloway who along with Frank Shorter had started the whole running craze in North America, was lining up front with all the local elite runners. I was a big fan of Jeff’s and have read all his running books which are considered to be the runners bibles. When gun goes off I immediately lose sight of Jamie who spurts ahead and I didn’t get to see him again until the mile two marker where I slowly went by him and nodded a greeting. The whole race I was sure that Jamie had tucked in right behind and was waiting till the finish to make his move which drove me to a 3rd place medal with a PR time of 1:31.
I was doing a little post race stretching as I waited for Jamie to finish when surprisingly I see Jeff Galloway cross the finish line long after I had. When I called my coach with my finish time, I also mentioned to Thom that I’d finished ahead of Jeff Galloway but I figured that he probably takes it easy at these personal appearances. Well that’s his story Thom says … Yours is you beat him!
All the mystery was solved when upon investigation we discovered that the speedster was a ringer from from Gillette’s New York office, so Tim and I cooked up our own ringer plan. We told Hilliard that we needed to hire a sports consultant for a few days and when he just asked just how fast is he … “World Class” fast Sir, was our reply.
When my coach Thom Hunt arrived in Boston (pictured) all he wanted to know was if we wanted him to just kick the ringers ass, or hurt him. Tim and I both agreed that he needed to feel the pain of cheating.Race morning the weather was race perfect, sunshine and cool. At the start/finish line Thom tells us that he has the ringer spotted, he looks fast but unfortunately for him, not fast enough. Thom knows the name of every person on the planet who has any chance of beating him and the good news is, he’s never heard of this guy. The gun goes off and the race begins down a small incline on to Boylston street, across a small bridge and onto the running path on the Charles River. By the time I hit Boylston the race leaders already way off in the distance and when I finally make my way back to the finish line Thom and Tim are both stretching. When I anxiously ask Thom if he won the race, he claimed that was never in doubt and as I begin my own post race stretching the ringer hobbles over and asks Thom who the hell he is. When Thom tells him, the ringer says ahh no wonder because as I said earlier, all the fast guys know the names of the faster guys.
Tim and I got to enjoy this special moment for several days through the magic of video which was being replayed constantly in the lobby of the Pru. They had a camera on the start/finish line and after the start the street down to Boylston was empty but then a short while later Thom shows up on the screen loping up the small incline towards the finish line all by himself. A few long minutes later, the ringer finally shows up looking like a Duck Billed Platypus as he gasps his way up to the finish line. Later that night at dinner Thom gave us the minute by minute play by play of the race where at the start he said he just tucked in behind the ringer for a while and let him feel his presence. Next he would slowly would pull out like he was gonna pass making the ringer pick up the pace each time he did it until he slowly went into oxygen debt. At that time Tom just blew by him and left him in the dust. Revenge feels so sweet baby!