• John
  • Felde
  • University of Maryland
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • USLHC
  • USLHC
  • USA

  • James
  • Doherty
  • Open University
  • United Kingdom

Latest Posts

  • Andrea
  • Signori
  • Nikhef
  • Netherlands

Latest Posts

  • CERN
  • Geneva
  • Switzerland

Latest Posts

  • Aidan
  • Randle-Conde
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium

Latest Posts

  • TRIUMF
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

Latest Posts

  • Laura
  • Gladstone
  • MIT
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Steven
  • Goldfarb
  • University of Michigan

Latest Posts

  • Fermilab
  • Batavia, IL
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Seth
  • Zenz
  • Imperial College London
  • UK

Latest Posts

  • Nhan
  • Tran
  • Fermilab
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Alex
  • Millar
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australia

Latest Posts

  • Ken
  • Bloom
  • USLHC
  • USA

Latest Posts

TRIUMF | Vancouver, BC | Canada

View Blog | Read Bio

Running to..or from…what?

–by T. Isaac Meyer, Head, Strategic Planning & Communications

I ran.

I ran some more.

I looked over my shoulder. JH was there, right at my shoulder.

I ran some more.

That’s what physics research is like. Companions, partners, all on the road to truth and sometimes you train together and run together and hope to win together.

This past Sunday, Vancouver held its annual Sun Run, a 10 km race for about 49,000 people. A little bit less than the record number and a little bit more than last year. What was I doing there? Well, I purport to be a runner. Not a good runner. That’s my brother T.O., who has run backwoods races in upstate New York and regularly competes to kick a** in the NY and Boston Marathons.

But working at a physics laboratory, a global laboratory, does breed a certain camaraderie and competitiveness.

RW, the guy at TRIUMF who helped me secure and set up my laptop, ran the 10 km for a PR, that’s short for Personal Record, of less than 40 minutes. JH and I beat the clock at 1:04 and 1:06 respectively. The mitigating factor is that JH is about 25 years my senior; he’s a good training partner.

So what’s my point? That as NSL pointed out earlier, science is an unusual team sport. Its more like a family sport. We want to beat the other relatives, but if you threaten or challenge our kin, we will unite and demand to see your scientific, peer-reviewed publication documenting your challenge. Its charming and cute and bloodthirsty in a way. We’re hell bent for leather to reveal—and share—the secrets of Nature for everyone to know and cherish. And the single point of glory is to be part of the team that did it first—and wrote about it. It’s like being part of a team called Glen Cunningham. We would’ve got there first.

The Sun Run itself…fanatical and amazing and impossible. JH and I did not beat our record time from last year, but we cruised and we felt good. We passed a fire in a third-floor apartment building that fire & rescue crews had tamed moments before we passed. And we passed about 10,000 people as our pace surpassed our peers in the six stages of release. With nearly 50,000 people running the same race, the organizers wisely let about 10,000 go at a time. With Canadian-born Byran Adams cheering us on with the “Summer of ‘69” we charged across the starting line about an hour after the elite “blue bib” runners did. The overall winner, a Canadian who completed the race in 29:06. A true hero, and a man fleet of feet.

So what is the moral of this disconnected prose? That we all race, some on foot, some in science, some in music, some in performance art, some in poetry. And a race well run, a race well executed, no matter the outcome, is something to be appreciated and cherished.

On to the BMO Half-Marathon in 2 weeks!

Share

Tags: , , ,