Poem: The Trails, They Are Calling Me

the trails they are calling me
where the trees form a canopy
dancing sunlight and shadows
Narrow pathways and meadows

the trails they are calling me
along the river, mountains to sea
rocks and roots, senses fully aware
damp soil afoot and soothing cool air

the trails they are calling me
to connect with wildlife running free
a fox here, an opossum there
eyes locked in a stag’s stare

the trails they are calling me
to enjoy being lost momentarily
to breathe in deep the serenity
the trails they are calling me

Alastair Vance, 23 May 2019

POEM: We’ve Trained For This

despite the fears that cloud our minds
despite the doubts that try to blind
despite the aches that hinder our stride
I know we’ve trained for this

we’ve gone the distance and felt the wall
we’ve supported each other through it all
we’ll finish strong you can bet that for sure
cause I know we’ve trained for this

we were burnt by the sun and beat by the rain
we even did some running in a hurricane
there were days so cold that our fingers froze
so I know we’ve trained for this

our families encouraged us through each training day
without their support we’d only make it half way
twenty-six point two is some serious mileage
but I know, and they know, we’ve trained for this


Alastair Vance, March 14th, 2019

POEM: ROCK N ROLL RALEIGH (2018)

On Sunday past
I went for a dally
Up and over
the hills of Raleigh
The songs that played
were new and old
It was fun to run a
Rock n Roll

The streets were lined
with smiling faces
As runners whisked by
at their own paces
Most hoping to crush
their personal best
With no pressure at all
to run past the rest

As cold a race
I cannot remember
Twice-as-cold as a race
I ran in December
But tell me this
before I go any further
Who can predict
NC’s crazy weather?

My second Half Marathon
is now in the books
And I’m fairly happy
with the time that I took
It was definitely way more hilly
than Tobacco Road
But I’d been expecting worse
based on what I’d been told

It saddens me now
to see the race leave
As running it faster
is something I perceive
Me doing next year
if given the shot
But it’s not to be
chance of that is nought


Alastair Vance, April 14th, 2018

POEM: Tobacco Road Half Marathon (2018)

I went to bed early
To get plenty of rest
My wife was so supportive
There’s no doubt that I’m blessed
(Love you Lizzie!)

The morning arrived in no time
Long before the promised sun awoke
It was freezing bloody cold outside
But I had no plans to wear a coat

After multiple trips to the toilet
It was time to lace up and go
If I still need to empty my bladder
I’ll make the trip to porta-potty row

With a van full of MRC runners
We traveled to the Tobacco Road race
I munched on my energy gummies
Hoping I could stick to my target pace

The participants all began to gather
Three-thousand, two-hundred and fifty two
Nine-hundred and seventy-five the full
I’d be running my first Half with my crew!

The gun give a blast and off we went
Passing under a huge American flag
I tried to keep up with the one-fifty pacer
But very soon I started to lag

As the road leveled out the crowd opened up
And I managed to catch my pacers
There up ahead was one of my friends
She’d passed me and I didn’t see her

After two and a half miles of pounding the road
The Half went left and Full went right
There were plenty of water and Gatorade drinks
If I partook every time, need the toilet I might

The trail was cozy for an out-and-back
The lead pack were returning at my mile five
As runners flew past they were followed by a breeze
The atmosphere was electric, I felt so alive

I was still feeling fresh at mile marker nine
By mile marker ten I was feeling half dead
The energy gels had lost their effect
My legs felt heavy, a battle ensued in my head

Was the last stretch and the finish was close
But again my pacers had gotten away
Determination kicked in and dragged me along
This race won’t beat me, not today, NOT today

Downhill to the end is a wonderful thing
I knew I had it in the bag
Crossing the line with my arms raised high
An eleven minute PR! I know, I brag


Alastair Vance, March 23rd, 2018