A year ago, Inquirer Sports Editor John Quinn, overweight and feeling it, would never have dreamed he would be competing in the Broad Street Run on May 6. Yet, here he is, and the race is looming. In this fifth blog entry, he talks about getting the bib. Check out all of our Broad Street Run coverage at www.philly.com/broadstreetrun.
The first leg of the Broad Street Run came Friday morning around 11 a.m. when I joined the line at Lincoln Financial Field in an attempt to get my race bib.
The drizzle/fog was burning off and the heat started to rise as I meandered up the concrete hallways toward the mysterious final destination.
Everyone took the wait in stride. Years on the Schuylkill can do that to you.
Some 45 minutes later, I had reached the information booth. Forgot my number. It was in the 39,000's bag. Next stop, t-shirt. XL, not as popular as I thought. (An aside: After viewing at least 2,000 people, I want new race categories: Height: Over 6-foot-2. Weight: Over 240 pounds. Age group: Over 58 years old. Good luck with that.)
I got my shirt and now I was going across the street to lose it at the Turf Club. After all, the daily double starts tomorrow with the Kentucky Derby. Actually, make that my triathlon, my son Jack's 11th birthday is today.
May the Fourth Be With You, my son.
If you throw in the Inquirer's Pulitzer party on Monday, this is one helluva superfecta weekend.
The OTB parlor is quite the stark contrast from mothers and their strollers and forty-thousand booths trying to sell you everything from body-parts lubricants to t shirts for only $35 to energy gels that may get you to the finish line on a stretcher. And everybody, and I mean every body, is younger than you. By decades.
At the Turf Club, you not only blend right in without your Grecian Formula 44, but you are the only one not coughing. The aroma of stale cigarettes permeates the entrance. Then you take the escalator up into another world, one I which I spent the bettor of 30 years.
No sooner had I reached the doorway than I ran into Jack Ewing, former Inquirer scoreboard page editor, who once owned these type of ponies and made a score a few years ago by backwheeeling Bluegrass Cat and hit a $500 exacta with Barbaro on top.
Being his usually ebullient self, Jack offered little in conversation, but this was an omen, right?
Sabercat, son of Bluegrass Cat, morning line of 30-1, from post 18. Union Rags, with Barbaro's trainer, Michael Matz, post 4, at 9-2. History repeating six years later, another $500 exacta? 4-18?
Well, if it happens, I won't have it.
I bet Barbaro to win in 2006 and I am betting Union Rags to win now. I threw in a few exactas and trifectas, too.
My wife and I both have Union Rags.
My mother in law has Bodemeister, because of jockey Mike Smith, and a mystery bet, not given out here.
Robin Smith, one of our top night sports editors, has Daddy Nose Best. I covered that bet with a few shekels, and kind regards to Uncle Tonosse (I know, Make Room for Daddy, not Father Knows Best). But with my old schnozz, it's the nose that's news.
By the time I made my bets, it was two hours and I had to hit I-95 North to get to work already.
The sign read: Museum, 10 miles, 10 minutes.
The trucks whizzed by and I got off at Callowhill, reaching the parking lot in 2 hours and 10 minutes.
That is my goal for Sunday, too.
Now where's that sign for Tralfalmadore …
Read John's previous installments: