Yesterday Providence College put out a solid showing at the NCAA's. The guru keeps churning out the results. The Women were 9th and men were 22nd. Both teams are pretty much back in their entirety and the women had an injury at the meet with a stud fresher not running. Very positive. It always makes me reflect on my own NCAA's which was dare I say, 10 years ago.........Getting old as them there hills. Of all the things I miss about running and the great experiences I reflect on one thing stands above everything else, and it is the 5 months from July 2000 - November 2000 and more importantly the people I shared those months with. I doubt there has ever been a team of guys who related better than our crew did. I mean, I have no comparison of course but I have seen teams come and go and I listen to the way Ray or Nick J talk about that group and everyone agrees it was a pretty rare period. We literally did everything together, worked, lived, trained, ate, took the same courses, partied (rarely during those months), and we never argued. We never fell out or had low periods. It was like someone spiked our cornflakes with ecstasy every morning. Maybe I am remembering with rose tinted glasses but I look back on my training diary (it was the only season I kept a thorough one) and it was happiness every day. We were best mates and it may sound sappy but there was a lot of love among the guys and our relationship with Ray and Nick. When we toed the line at Nationals 10 years ago we didn't need to say anything in the group huddle, we were choked up because for one we were nervous and believed we could win the team title and secondly we didn't want to let each other down. It was not about individual performances it was about the team including the guys that were cheering back in Providence. Our whole squad. It was very big and much bigger than my own performance. I had the opportunity to spend time with the one and only Hamish Thorpe a couple of weeks ago. We only had one day so it was spent in the pub reminiscing and it was really great to hear Thorpy speak so fondly of that period given his radical life change from the runner he was. Just awesome. I would love to get everyone together again and maybe it will happen sometime soon. I'm sure Ray and Nick would love it too.
So the Monday before Thanksgiving always holds wonderful memories for me and it is one of the great days on the running calender. A big up to Shelby and Lee for achieving All-American. And a big up to The Guru for keeping the streak alive.
Damon Albarn is a fantastic singer. I've always been a bigger Blur fan than Oasis, an important comparison given the rivalry they had during the rise of Brit-Pop and the very need to decided who was better circa 1994. I chose Blur because I thought Damon's voice was better and I could see the band would evolve whereas by the time Be Here Now came out Oasis were on the decline. Blur kept getting better and better. The album 13 is magic. Fast Forward 10 years and Damon continues to be wonderful, he voice distinct and his desire to try new things very clear on each release. He recently played some BBC live sessions of Gorillaz tracks that are stunnging. He also did a cover of XX Crystalised, its amazing. Thats below along with a beautiful rendition of Up On Melancholy Hill that will take you to a different place. Its as good as it gets, and his passion is so evident here, he is simply brilliant. Enjoy.