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Leave your mark

When I was a kid I knew I was a born athlete.

Every athlete wants to leave a mark and I was no different.

One cool and damp spring day a long, long time ago I did just that.

It was my first ever spring track season as a high school athlete. I was a confident and cocky freshman at Dennis Yarmouth High School.

The school had a tradition of excellence in distance running and I knew I had the capacity to leave my mark despite all the talent and ambition that had come before me... and even after me.

It was just another early season track meet against a local school from the next town over when I left my mark.

I ran the one mile run that day in a time of 4:51. A good time for a freshman but not a record in an any way. I scored some points for our team that would go on to win that day again Harwich high School by a sound margin.

That's not where I left my mark.

That would come in the last individual event on the track that day.

I would run the two mile that day as well as the one mile.

Being a little tired from a mile race an hour earlier really didn't bother me a lot as I settled into strong pace with a senior from Harwich named Dougherty.

By all accounts it was just another 8 lap race. We traded the lead and we both stayed steady. In the end we both sprinted for the line and the senior won out over the freshmen which really didn't mean anything for the final score but this race IS noteworthy.

Why is it noteworthy?

You see, after I finished and walked up to my coach to learn my time is when I learned that I had left my mark.

On that day and in that race I had run a time of 10:28.9 for two miles. This was the fastest time a freshman from Dennis Yarmouth had EVER run.

It was a freshman record for the two mile run at a school that was known for having great distance runners.

It was a proud moment; I had left my mark.

I would go on to focus on the mile run the rest of the year and get a time of 4:49. Not a freshman record but it was a time I was proud of.

My coach told me I wasn't fast enough to be a good miler so I set out to prove him wrong and eventually set the SCHOOL RECORD for the mile a few years later.

Most records eventually get broken. My mile record is long gone and I am fine with that.

But I can say this about me leaving my mark. On that cool and damp April day back in 1987 I left my mark on that track when I set the freshman two mile record.


That record.

That mark.

That race from that day is where I left my mark as a runner and as an athlete is significant.


Because that record still stands today... 36 years later.

Just thought I'd share.

Last thing.

When you have the opportunity... leave your mark.

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