WESLEY MADE IT
Here is the sequel to the Wesley Paul story (SCORECARD, July 18). Wesley's next crack at the age-8 Marathon record came in the Heart of America Marathon in Columbia, Mo. on Labor Day. This marathon is one of the toughest in America, with six monster hills. Wesley's time was 40 minutes and 30 seconds at six miles, but half a mile later he was struck by a car. This put him out of the race. He was taken to a hospital, got a few stitches in his head and was back at race headquarters in time for the awards ceremony. In the ensuing three weeks, his training was sporadic at best—no long runs, just seven or eight miles a day.
Then, on Sept. 25, in the Mayor Daley Marathon in Chicago, Wesley finally got his record, but barely. His time was 3:15:30, just under the old age-8 record of 3:15:42. Wesley had two problems. First, he was one of some 5,000 runners, 4,999 of whom were bigger than he, so that he found it difficult to make his way through the mob. Then he had to make a pit stop at about the ninth mile, which cost him at least five minutes. This gave him a halfway time of 1:38 plus. Too slow. Wesley held an even pace thereafter through the 24th mile. At that point, like a seasoned veteran, he broke out for home, covering the last 2.2 miles in a little more than 13 minutes. His finish appeared on the following day's Today show, and we hope SI will tell its readers that Wesley did, finally, reach his objective. He still isn't satisfied, however, for he is convinced he can get under three hours with the proper conditions.
Columbia Track Club