Alan Webb, Version 2.0

Webb says life has changed since he and Julia welcomed Joanie into the world. Photo: Steve Bonini

Not Done Yet

Despite the frustration of the past five summers, Webb says he’s never once considered giving it up. But he’s cognizant that the day will come, and that it’s more imminent than ever. He tells a story from a few years ago during his first go-round in Portland. For Christmas his father gave him the book, “When The Game Was Ours,” about the rivalry and friendship between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Webb flew through the pages until he got to the part where it talked about the ends of their careers.

“I closed the book,” Webb says. “I didn’t want to read it.” The story abruptly turned personal and Webb saw himself in it. “I was scared to even consider retirement,” he says. “I was afraid to let go. Now I’m to the point where I can’t fight it.”

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Still, he will press on. He likens this phase to the scene in The Matrix where Morpheus is single-handedly battling a couple of powerful brutes. The character knows he is up against the wall, but he continues to fight. As Webb describes it, “He’s like, ‘Maybe there is a chance I might miracle my way out of this. It’s probably not going to end well but I’m going for it anyways because I believe it is something special.’”

Webb can relate this scene to a world-class runner entering a new age, except for one critical differentiation.

“I’m not done yet,” he stresses. “I’m not done. My running story is not over yet. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.”

This piece appears in the April 2013 issue of Competitor magazine.

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About The Author:

New York City-based writer Matt McCue is the author of “An Honorable Run.”

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