Yesterday was the Yarmouth Clam Festival. It was fairly hot, and I was not hydrated or warmed up enough for the race, but I did all right.

There was one thing I learned yesterday that really can make a runner feel small. I spent the first three miles running right next to Joan Benoit Samuelson, and everybody was cheering for her. Nobody was cheering for me (at least not until 4 1/2 when I passed some of my teammates who decided not to run), but everybody was yelling “Go Joannie! Go Joan!” It was like the whole world was against me. I guess that’s what happens when you run with famous people that are popular in their communities.

As for being punched, her left arm shot out at the 1 mile mark as her right grabbed water; she smacked me a good one on my right arm. She apologized. I passed her on the trails after mile 4, which coincidentally was the exact same place I passed her last year. This year, even though I ran the exact same time as last year, she managed to run 5 seconds faster so was a bit closer to me.