And then the pack started moving. The gentle jostling for position during the first mile had now become an all out roller-derby of elbows and shoulders, surges and spikes. Rohatinsky firmly moves to the lead, Huling counter surges the split second the pace falters. I think we’re nearing 1000 to go, things start to burn…pace falters again…I’m starting to feel it, it’s time to go. Nervously determined, I move out and take control. Constantly looking up at the jumbotron, I realize that despite my move and continued acceleration, it looks like everybody is still there. I start to panic…getting worried…what do I do?...anticipating the inevitable challenge to my lead…start zoning out…tensing up…
…a friend from the crowd: “It’s DO or DIE! GET IT NOW!”
Awoken out of complacency. Adrenaline surges through my veins as I barrel down the homestretch coming into the last lap, knees high, arms driving, glance over at the lap ticker that reads “1”. Bell rings. Sprinting….crowd cheering…Every last bit of energy put into final steps, drives, breaths…hold off one last challenge…feel him fade!…think it’s mine…look around….know it’s mine….*FLEX*….cross tape.
It’s been a little over a month since that happened. And just so you don’t think I’ve become all “Big-Shot” since the victory, I’d like to apologize for not writing earlier, but as you all know, once you win an Indoor National Championship it’s pretty much Red-Carpet Events here, Late Night Show Interviews there, and it gets a bit time-consuming.
Ok, maybe it’s not exactly like that. In reality, it’s been more of the same. Aside from winning some cash (which I am STILL waiting for, USATF) I’m basically in the same spot as I was before Indoors. Still working odd-jobs for cash. Still searching for a more consistent cash flow. Scrimping here and there. Still have a couple months left before broke. Still contract-less.
I thought to myself after that race, “Ok… NOW I have some ammo.” Some bragging rights to entice potential sponsors. Some concrete proof that nobody can take away from me. Time to put matters into my own hands and figure out what is available to a national champ. So time to talk to AGENTS.
But how the hell do you do that? There’s no yellowpages with their names and contacts, no “yelp” to read their reviews and ratings, no commercial on TV asking if I’m an unsponsored track athlete that needs representation. No. Apparently, the way this initial process works (at least from my experience), is pretty much all through word of mouth. I ask my coaches, friends, alumni, etc,: “Who knows who, and who knows what about who.” Certain people know of certain agents, Pro’s and Con’s are thrown around.
After compiling a list of 5 agents that sounded the best to me, I decided to give them a call and talk to them directly about my goals and what would be out there and what they could do for me.
Which apparently is nothing that I can’t do or haven’t already done for myself.
Don’t get me wrong. I think at the right time these guys would be great assets to my career. But at this point in time for myself, agents would only be good for a couple things: arranging a contract and getting me into meets. Since I’ve pretty much already set up my outdoor season, I don’t need them for that. As for arranging a contract, it turns out that although my win was a great performance, sponsors are not looking for weak one-time flashes. It was a great race for me, but let’s face it: it’s not like I beat Lagat in a record time.
Basically, I just have not run fast enough consistently to warrant anything more than gear, travel, and time bonuses that are paid out at the end of the year.
And sorry, but I am not settling for shoes and singlets just yet.
So, it’s back to performance. The blog goes on. Still looking to fulfill that dream, to compete with the best, to stand out, gain some momentum, to make THIS my JOB.
And I know there are a lot of great runners out there. A lot of names vying for attention, for wins, for glory. Right now I am just another name in the midst of that frenzy. But you can bet you’re a** that I will do everything in my power to make them remember one name.
My next interview is Brutus Hamilton on April 25th.