South Lakes High School was going to contest the seeded 800, the crowd stood up in anticipation of a great race.
The first heat of the indoor half mile looked to be a hotly contested event. With some shoving around the first turn, Webb was boxed in and a GMU runner was in the lead and looking strong. Webb made up ground over the middle 2 laps. As the runners were rounding the last turn, Webb began his sprint to the finish from the outside. The next thing my daughter and I noticed was Webb skidding across the track straightaway. This world class runner had had an accident on a track where he had logged many miles and set records. He got up and made a dash for the line, however the lead GMU runner, George Empty, was already home in 1:53 to the delight of the home crowd. Webb crossed the line upset and screamed out. My youngest daughter asked, “Did he just drop the F-bomb ?!!?” (At her high school they are taught to “Function in Disaster and Finish in Style” so this would be an unthinkable breach of good sportsmanship.) It did not appear that Webb was injured or even that he had any “road rash” like my clients who are knocked from their bikes or while running exhibit for days and weeks afterwards.
We considered the options. It did not appear that there was a complaint of a foul or disqualification. Perhaps the world-class runner would enter another, later track event (like the 1,000 or 3,000, or even the third heat of the men’s 800 !). Many indoor track athletes run more than one event, especially in the high school and collegiate ranks, where scoring points for their schools is important. Certainly Webb must have the endurance and strength to collect himself and get back on the track to show his mettle. After all, did Simon Whitfield get up from a bike crash and win the first Olympic Gold Medal in the sport of Triathlon, with an amazing kick over the last several hundred meters in Sydney ? I also thought of Lance Armstrong and his infamous “crash-drenalin,” and that Webb would use the frustration and pain from his accident to run a better race later today. And I thought of ABRAMS LANDAU clients, who bravely get up after their own accidents, overcome disabling injuries and pain, and “get back on track” with their lives, their families with new jobs and new goals. After their own crashes, many of my clients have been able to overcome adversity and get over their losses and the harms caused by other’s unsafe decisions. I am continually inspired by the men and women who come to us for help, but often help us to remember the miraculous strength of the human spirit.
Final results from today’s meet can be found at the George Mason University Track & Field page.