2016 Four Courts Four Miler produced by Pacers Running. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photo.

In praise of being dead last in a race

As I told you last week, last Saturday I ran the Four Courts Four Miler.  I finished!

Chris Abraham Dead Fucking Last Four Courts Four Miler

Chris Abraham finishing the 2016 Four Courts Four MilerWell, I made it. Dead fucking last, known as DFL, for both my age and my gender. And I couldn’t be more proud: 960th out of 970 runners, 433rd of 433 men, and 99th of 99 runners between 40-49.

Oy vey!

Chris Abraham finishing the 2016 Four Courts Four MilerBut you know what? I did it. I didn’t watch cartoons, sleep in, binge-watch NetHuluAmaFlix, or even sit over coffee, the New York Times, and some eggs.

I got up, got to the race, secured my race bib, and, at the stroke of 9AM, I ran at between a 14:00 and 16:00 pace for an hour. 

Chris Abraham finishing the 2016 Four Courts Four MilerI may well have been 960th place out of 970 runners and there were hundreds and hundreds more less than a mile away at the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K Race 2016 as well, but there were also thousands if not millions of folks in the DMV, the Greater Washington region of DC, Maryland, and Virginia, who weren’t out there.

Chris Abraham finishing the 2016 Four Courts Four MilerIt might seem like rationalization, I agree, and I did feel very self-conscious about how alone I was for most of the run, how it felt like I was doing a race in some sort of post-apocalyptic world where the streets are completely empty.

And, as I ran the course that wasn’t a loop so much as it was a go away, turn around, and come back, it was both very fun and interesting to see the entire bulk of the runners heading back towards me a half-hour before I crossed the finish line myself.

Chris Abraham finishing the 2016 Four Courts Four MilerIt wasn’t all bad.

Still, running out towards the turn around while everyone else was already heading towards the finish like was really great for people watching and there were loads of very cute girls in Irish green regalia. 

Chris Abraham finishing the 2016 Four Courts Four MilerEven though I was just ten from last place and DFL for my age and gender, the police officers and race officials and the volunteers who kept me hydrated were all so positive.

Chris Abraham finishing the 2016 Four Courts Four MilerIn fact, I stopped listening to ’70s rock in streaming through my Q7 in-ear Bluetooth headphones because there was so much encouragement from all the checkpoints, all the orange cones and on-ramps and there was even so much support from the 959 people who were faster than me and also the ten people who were behind me. 

Chris Abraham finishing the 2016 Four Courts Four MilerBy the time I arrived at the finish, even though most runners had already finished 20-30 minutes before me and were already downing free pints of Guinness, there was still enough energy and excitement to get me to gallop across the finish line, as you’ll see in the photos.

Chris Abraham finishing the 2016 Four Courts Four MilerThanks to Pacers Running and Ireland’s Four Courts for hosting it, thanks to Jeanne Boone for wishing me good luck and thanks to all the volunteers, fellow racers, attendees, police officers and officials for all the support!

Chris Abraham finishing the 2016 Four Courts Four MilerAlso, thanks to Brian W Knight of Swim Bike Run Photography for taking all these epic and impressive photos of my finish and for allowing free full-resolution downloads! Classy! I am much obliged!

I fully plan to register for as many of Pacer’s Crystal City 5k Friday as I can starting in April even though I love to ride with my girlfriend and Katie Geffken at 5:45pm every Friday at Biker Barre — I will be sure to do a 5k every Friday when my girlfriend is traveling, out of town, or in dispose.  

2016-03-12 10.08.37So, no matter whether I Spin or run, my Friday nights in April will be spoken for!

This journey is all very exciting guys and I hope you’re enjoying following along. Let me know if there’s anything I am not covering or discussing that you’d like to know more about or if you have any questions, queries, or story ideas.


6 thoughts on “In praise of being dead last in a race

  1. Zandria

    Incredibly cool that you did that, Chris. I tend to shy away from stuff like that because I think I’ll be too slow, and have to walk too much…but you did it anyway. You are awesome! And I like that series of action shots, too. 🙂

    1. Chris Abraham

      Thanks, Zandria. You know it! It’s embarrassing to be dead last. But it’s also really super awesome to get a race bib and to get a technical shirt the commemorates the race and to just be in that culture. Yes, there’s the winners, but then everyone else who isn’t in the winner’s circle is as much of a loser as I am, so how cool is that? I completed it so I earned it, I did. So, more races for me! That’s my new mantra.

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  4. Daniel

    Four Courts Four is one of my favorite races (even if the ending is up that #[email protected]#$ hill). If I wasn’t running the National Half I would have been running it. And remember, DFL in a race is top 1% for rest of the population. You actually went out there and did something, they slept in and missed out.

    1. Chris Abraham

      I really appreciate it, especially TODAY because I am preparing to head out this evening for the last of the #cc5kFridays series — so I am trying to motivate. I have scrubbed around ten-seconds from every one of the Friday night 5k races I have run since. So the Four Courts Four was an auspicious start for me to get back into racing (and off the couch)!

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