If Runners World can write an entire article basing the nationals race a turning point to US Distance running, Alan deserves a post of his own … remembering the history of Footlocker from the year 2K!
2000 Footlocker South Regional – McAlpine Greenway Park, Charlotte, NC – 5K course
On a course pelted with cold rain and muddy slop piles, Alan went on to break the course record in 14:43 and win by 24 seconds over Bobby Lockhart. Currently that time has been beaten in sunny, drier weather by current course record holder Andrew Bumbalough (14:32 in ’04), Craig Lutz (14:34 in ’09), and Craig Nowak (14:37 in ’11). However, the pic explains it all. In the midst of the rain, Alan rocked the competition like a hurricane. The longest lasting memory was the sting of crossing the finishers tape on his arm.
One regret is that Alan might have left a little bit too much out there at Regionals when it came to the big race at Nationals. Despite Dathan Ritzenhein’s exterior looking like “a benchwarmer on the chess team” (Burfoot, Runner’s World), he blasted away at the mile and left Alan for 2nd. I can’t blame him. Who knew Dathan would be secretly chilling til the mile when he’s known to go crazy hard from the start? That race still ticks off Alan so that would not be a highlight in the Webb family.
What is to note about 2000 is that he learned his lessons from his junior year. In ’99 he went for the hotdog and hamburgers the night before the big race. He also stayed up too late being his roommate’s wingman chasing the girls in the adjoining room around til the wee hours in the morning. The fact that he had no need for these girls as he already had a girlfriend, was what made it even worse. (Yes Christina he was on his best behavior).
The final race in 2000, he planned to be snug as a bug in a rug in his own bed using the strict discipline he inflicted throughout his entire senior year with his 9 hour sleep regiments, as he would partake in no late night shenanigans. He had also taken good note of Dathan carrying his boxes of dry cereal around Disney World and came to a realization that he could avoid any food containing ground up pig snouts and bring his own entire meal. So he cooked up his spaghetti in Reston, just as he had for every single lunch he packed for school, got on the plane to Florida and enjoyed 3-day-old cold spaghetti as his final meal before the big race. Thankfully he made those discoveries as the magic noodles and full night’s sleep gave him that edge to hold off 3rd – 32nd places.
Alan’s Footlocker Regionals history –
’97 – did not compete (swim meet)
’98 – 10th 15:32 (heart breaking when you’re only 4 seconds from the qualifying spot)
’99- 1st 14:52
’00- 1st 14:43
Sports Illustrated photo (2001) that Dathan loves to rub in Alan’s face – (I think he looks cute!)