A few weeks ago I got a call from Matt Fitzgerald, who writes for Competitor.com and is helping me with my book.
“Kara, I’ve got a crazy idea I want to run by you,” he said.
How am I supposed to react to an opening line like that?
“Okay,” I said tentatively. I was curious but anxious.
“I want to film a skit with you and Shalane Flanagan where you pretend to admit that you hate each other,” he said. “It’ll be totally over-the-top, so people will know it’s a joke. You’ll trade lots of third-grade insults about who smells bad, who’s prettier—you get the idea.”
I got the idea—and I liked it. But I had one big concern.
“Have you talked to Shalane about it?” I asked.
“No,” Matt said. “I don’t know Shalane. I wanted to get you to sign on first. I figured if you got on board, she’d feel comfortable doing it too.”
Matt also promised that he would let each of us review the lines he wrote for the other and toss out anything that went too far. That was comforting. I told him I’d do it. The next day Matt called again to say Shalane was in, too.
“This is going to be great!” he gushed, sounding a bit like a third-grader himself.
Luckily for me, Shalane did her part first and I got to see it before I did mine. If I had gone first I think I would have had a harder time being convincing. But when I saw Shalane’s acting I knew I had to step up. She was good: almost too good!
I don’t think I have much of a future in acting, but making the skit was a lot of fun. Matt told me that, although the video was obviously meant to be funny, he also wanted it to serve a serious purpose of letting other runners see Shalane and me as personalities, not just athletes. I agree that this kind of thing is good for the sport.
If you haven’t seen the skit yet, check it out by clicking on the image below. It starts about three minutes into the show.