Wednesday, August 20, 2003
For my long run yesterday, I took the lakefront path from Bryn Mawr to Pershing Road, then back north to Navy Pier, where I took Grand west to Michigan Avenue and work. By the time I hit Grand, I was pretty wiped out. Then I passed a Jimmy John's delivery man. He must have noticed me looking at his shirt ("Freaking fast!" it read) because he started running with me. He looked of Andean extraction and was very fit, dressed in running shoes, khaki pants and said T-shirt. We didn't talk much, but he made an excellent rabbit, helping me cover the last few furlongs much faster than I would have otherwise.
I don't know if Jimmy John's has consciously hired runners to run its errands, but it would make sense, especially in an area as dense as downtown. A good distance runner can cover a half-mile in less than four minutes, and should be able to do so 40-50 times a day, given enough rest, nutrition and viewings of "Rocky II." A bike, which would have to fight traffic and fuss with a lock, would take about six minutes. A car would take half an hour. The only thing I'd suggest is to go all-out in promoting the practice by dressing my runners in short-shorts, singlets and NipGuards.
In fact, I wouldn't mind the job myself, getting in my workouts and at the same time earning some bread (perhaps literally in the case of Jimmy John's). Any downtown sub shops want to finance my running addiction? Will run for food!
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