When a Half is Greater than Hole

It was not my longest run.

Not even close to my fastest.

I didn’t hear any cheering

or have any great epiphanies.

I remember being scared.

But I was excited too.

Scared it was going to hurt.

Excited that it might not.

February 4th.

I was a junior in HS.

I ran a 1/2 mile from my front door.

That’s it.

My most important run

was only 800 meters long.

Five months earlier, in September,

I opened my XC season with the

fastest time at the meet by a NJ runner.

That was followed by an invitation

to the 5th Avenue Mile in NYC.

Then my foot started to hurt.

Then it hurt worse.

Taping it alone, icing it alone,

screaming at it alone, throwing things

around my room alone – it only hurt more.

October. Misdiagnosed – again & again.

Told to take a few days off.

Told to run on it again.

Told it would get better. It didn’t.

November. I got mono.

I got over the mono.

My foot still hurt.

December. The bone scan said 4 cracks in the foot.

Explains the pain. Explains why I couldn’t run through it.

And it explains the knee high plaster cast I was put in.

For five months I knew that every time

I put my right foot on the ground it

would hurt. I would flinch even before

I put my foot down.

Every. Other. Step.

I anticipated the pain.

The cast came off in late January.

I put on my running shoes again.

I even wore the team jacket.

I wanted to feel like I had a purpose again.

I wasn’t afraid of hurting.

I was just afraid of still being hurt.


Please don’t hurt.

I knew that I was going to start & finish

this run at the same place.

I knew I wouldn’t be gone long.

And I knew one way or another

I wouldn’t be the same when I got back.

I want to run again.

Please. Give me this.

I started down my front lawn.

It was the only time my Mom

took a picture of a run.

I didn’t even know it existed

until she showed it to me after

graduation 15 months later.

Hundreds & hundreds of miles later.

Miles without a flinch.

State Championship miles.

All American miles.

So many miles.

But none of the miles that followed

were as special to me as this.

And it was only half of one.

Every Day Is Today

I miss teaching.
Especially on days like today.

But, if I was… this what I would say:

You don’t remember. That’s okay. You were a baby. Maybe you were not even born yet. It doesn’t matter.

I’m not going to tell you stories about the day. You’ll get those from someone else, and from TV, the radio and the newspapers. You don’t listen to the radio, do you?  You should. And you should read newspapers too.


I just want you to walk a little softer today. Can you do that? And talk a little more. Especially to people you don’t normally talk to. Today isn’t a normal day after all.

And look both ways. People will come at you from the left and the right. Offer them a smile. It helps sometimes and if it doesn’t help… you will be smiling and that’s a good thing. We need more smiling today.

Less shouting please. No shouting actually. Open a few more doors. Don’t honk your horn either. Yield. Slow down for that yellow light today. Listen to some music.

Give out some hugs. Remember, you may even get one back when you do. That’s a pretty good deal.

Tell the people you love that you love them. Some words are more than just words. Love is one of those words.

I know you don’t remember that day 16 years ago. But you can remember that some people will never forget.

Today is September 11th for you and I and everyone else. But for some people yesterday was September 11 and tomorrow will be September 11th all over again. Every day is 9/11 for some people.

Remember that.

Thanks for listening.

The rest of class is yours.

are you up for the challenge?

the bennett family loves goals and challenges, so we took inspiration from steve prefontaine’s pirate 1000 mile club and tweaked it just a bit to create our own challenge.

without further ado,  introducing the summer miles club.

Join us for a mileage challenge from june 26 – september 3. we have 10 weeks in which to run 100, 200, 300 or 400 miles.  (if you want a bigger challenge, let us know.)   we want this to be a fun way to get in hundreds of miles over the summer, with a slight taste of a challenge.  and because you get better at what you track, part of the challenge is to keep a running log.

here are the rules ::

  1. register and pay here.
  2. start running. consistency is more important than sporadic high mileage days.  be smart.
  3. fill out your running log every saturday or sunday using the honor system.  take a screenshot or photo of your log and email it or text it to us. please include date, distance run, location and how you felt.  (you can use emojis, number scale or words)
  4. only miles run or walked during dates of challenge count.
  5. at the end of the 10 weeks, if you’ve run 100-199 miles, you get the 100 mile club shirt. 200-299 miles = 200 mile club shirt.  300-399 = 300 mile club shirt.  400-499 = 400 mile club shirt. if you run 0-99.9 miles you get a “less than 100 miles club” shirt.

want in?  we know you do!  here’s what you get for your $50 registration fee :

  1. exclusive bennett-designed cotton t-shirt that you can wear with pride.  it’s a great conversation starter and proof that you belong to an exclusive club.
  2. weekly emails with updated mileage totals so you know where you stand.  (and you’ll know where others stand, too, so feel free to challenge your friends and family.)  we will also include a track workout, running tip, and a fun link for inspiration.  we may even sneak in a fun surprise here and there.
  3. option to attend track workouts with tammie one morning a week (time and place TBD, but likely wilson, OES or jackson track at 9:15am).  ALL ages and abilities welcome.  this is low key and informal.  bring a water bottle and a watch.
  4. we will host occasional, informal, low-key runs  where we will provide light post-run refreshments.
  5. lots of miles under your belt
  6. special feeling of being part of something fun!

*please get the advice of a physician before starting this or any other fitness program.  we are not responsible for any injuries or illnesses you suffer while taking part in this challenge. *

have questions?  check out frequently asked questions and answers here.  still have questions after reading this page and the FAQ page?  email us

so are you in?!

click here to register.  and invite anyone you know who may be interested.  the more the merrier!

registration closes july 1.

When the Result is More Than the Results

This is the picture. This one. It’s not the picture of Eliud Kipchoge crossing the finish line. It’s not the picture of the clock stopped at 2 hours and 25 seconds.

Even though that run was the single greatest effort I have ever witnessed…it will be this picture of the Pacers running and dancing down the homestretch to join Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa, and Zersenay Tadese at the finish line that will forever remind me why I run.

And it will be the Pacers being the first to cross the starting line and never the finish line that will remind me why I coach.

It will be the Pacers, instead of recovering and preparing for their next shift, leaving the cover of their tent to line the fence and cheer as loudly as they could that will remind me why I am a fan.

It will be the the Pacers telling the Breaking2 team that even though their duties were done they would get back on the track if any of the runners needed them and that they would run until they couldn’t run anymore that will remind me why I love this damn sport so very much.

None of these Pacers will be listed in the results. But the result of Breaking2 was impossible without them.

So, this is the one. This picture here represents what Breaking2 meant to me.Because it is a picture of celebration. Not one based on nationality, tribe, or training group. Not a celebration of a result or a time on a clock.

This is a celebration of what happens when we are selfless instead of selfish. This picture celebrates competing with each other instead of against each other and it celebrates the risking of great failure instead of the rewarding of easy success.

This picture represents why we run. Because not only are we all meant to be runners…we are all meant to be Pacers.

You Only Remember What You Already Know

I went to a high school Track & Field meet last weekend. I needed to. Because I was tired. And I was worn out.  So, I went to the meet.

It was a beautiful evening. But it could have been terrible weather. It wouldn’t have mattered. I would have been able to get what I needed… a reminder.

If you find yourself beat up, torn apart, knocked down by life or work or your running just go to a Track & Field meet. If you lack inspiration or can’t find motivation go to a Track & Field meet. 

What you’ll find… is what you expect. You won’t be surprised. You won’t be shocked. You’ll see acts of sportsmanship all over the track and the field. And you will hear cheering from the stands, the track, the infield, the paddock. You’ll watch competition everywhere – real and pure and honest competition.

And you’ll see fear get its ass beaten every time the gun goes off.

That’s at every Track & Field Meet. 

Every. Single. One.

And as you walk away after that final finisher ends their final lap of their final race you’ll still be tired. You will still be worn out. But you’ll know you can get back on the line. Deep down you already knew that though.

You just needed to be reminded. 

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