Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An Extra Lap

The talk among track nerds this week is Lopez Lomong's debut 5k last weekend. You may remember Lomong as the flag bearer from the 2008 Olympics, an honor bestowed on him for his incredible life story as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. He grew up in South Sudan and was captured by rebel soldiers at age 6. He escaped, literally by running to Kenya.  He lived for ten years in a refugee camp before being given the opportunity to come to the US. After becoming a US citizen, he ran the 1500m in the Beijing Olympics.

He had never raced a 5k until last weekend. The video of the final laps of that race is below.  

Lomong kicks away from the rest of the field, amasses a huge lead, and crosses the line in triumph. He thinks he's done and he's won. BUT, he miscalculated. He was a lap short and has a whole lap to go. The officials let him know, and he gets back to running. He STILL manages to beat everyone else in the field, despite slowing, stopping, regaining his form, and running a lap more than he thought. He set a world leading time in the process (meaning no one has run a 5k faster this season.) While the season is just beginning, it's still an incredible feat to run that fast in your first 5k, beat a talented field, and have stopped in the middle of it. 

It reminds me of the coaches that make you run X number of intervals and then tack on one more when you think you're finished, teaching you to always have something left in the tank. When he realized he had another lap to go Lomong thought "No way, it's not going to happen." But he got back to it. It also proves a point I talked about last week. When you think the finish line is close, you're able to pick it up. Furthermore, if that finish line is moved further away, you can still keep it up, even when you think you can't. Lomong proved that Sunday. He might think it was an embarrassing mistake, but I think it's inspiring. 

Dream big, 


  1. That is an amazing athletic feat!

    Thanks for posting this. Whew!

    And it does provide evidence for your analysis in that last post.

  2. "The fault (or in this case, victory) is not in the stars, but in ourselves."