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Family Rivalry

A Hodge family discussion

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Tim: I wasn't aware of any rivalries. I'm clearly the best.

Claire: Well I think that you and Malcolm were at your top competitive game at different times so there didn't really seem a need for rivalry. And I was in a league of my own!

Malcolm: Tim was all washed up by the time we were in the same age grade. But, coming up, I would use his PBs as a benchmark to aim for.

Claire: Mmmm yeah, same here!

Tim: Malcolm is correct. I was his idol growing up and by the time we were in the same grade I was a washed-up has-been who was constantly in damage control to avoid inevitable injuries.

Probably the best example of a rivalry would have been Malcolm’s last year as a junior where he had a really good track season. He was getting PBs over 800m and 1500m. I had not been running for about six months, as my Achilles had been injured but had been biking to/from work. Malcolm challenged me on a Wellington running Facebook page to a race at the Wellington 5k track champs, which were to be in three weeks. As he had publicly called me out and I was pretty much over my injury I could not turn him down, so I got in three weeks running and a couple of short workouts.

Race day was horrible; very cold, very windy, probably raining. Malcolm went off fast with Chris McIlroy and Dougal. I went out more conservatively in the second group with Steve Day and some others. Malcolm dropped off from Chris and Dougal after about 600m and ran solo for the next 3km. With four laps to go, we caught him. We all knew of Malcolm’s current track shape and knew he would outkick us if we were together in the home straight. We immediately started pushing the pace trying to drop/break him over the last mile. I pushed as hard as I could in my current shape and we could hear him moaning and groaning but Malcolm to his credit hung in there. With 50m to go, we knew we had lost and Malcolm sped past us. Malcolm collapsed over the line gasping for air.

I was happy in knowing, despite Malcolm beating me, I could not have gone any faster. Malcolm ran an incredibly gutsy race that day and ended up getting a PB.

Malcolm: I recall the conditions were pretty good that day. Dougal pulled out after about 2k. Beforehand, Chris had told me his target pace and it was about 5s/k quicker than I felt prepared to do, which is why I dropped off from them early on.

I hit the wall at about three or four laps to go and just held on. Tim and Steve caught up and I just clung on knowing that I could out-kick both of them if I was still there with 200/100 to go.

Tim: Nah it was windy as, that’s why we knew you would struggle running by yourself and didn’t try and catch you earlier. We figured we would let you tire yourself out.

Bev: Not a very supportive brother, Tim.

Claire: No rivalry to be seen here!

Bev: Brotherly love

THE END

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