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December 17, 2007

Best Blog! (Actually ... Best Blog Helpers)

So … can I rest now?

The results are in. I won. And seriously, it was nearly the most draining two weeks of my life.

I’ve been having nightmares about this Steve guy for days. Every time I looked over my shoulder, he was gaining on me. Every time I looked away, he pulled ahead of me. I’d go to sleep at night with a slight lead, and wake up with a 2-point deficit – so eventually I just stopped sleeping. You wouldn’t think I’d feel so terrorized by a guy from Minnesota who wears a Speedo, but as I’ve said before, the Internet’s a crazy place.

(Stadler and McCormack - 2006)

This election thing turned into an endurance event all its own - but now it’s over. This year, I got to play the role of Normann Stadler in 2006, while Steve was Chris McCormack (except that I promise not to accuse him of drafting later on). And, just like Macca, if we have a rematch one year from now, it’s very likely that he’ll kick my butt.

Because if there’s one thing I learned over the past two weeks, it’s that Steve has an awesome blog. I clicked over there many times to see how this guy was getting so much support, and I immediately became a fan. He’s on my Bloglines now, and I can’t wait to see what’s he’s got up his sleeve for 2008.

(On a related note: if I should become embroiled in some sort of sex scandal next year, or if any drunken college pictures of me start circulating the Internet, he’ll make a fine champion after I’m forced to step down. Not that I’m forecasting anything. Let’s just move on.)

Likewise, during this contest, I made a point of visiting all of the other blogs, some of whom I had never seen before. What I found is a multitude of great writers and athletes, each with a unique voice that contributes to this strange, wonderful tapestry that we call our endurance sports community.

So I received the most votes and I get to fly the “Best Blog” ribbon you see above – but I don’t for a minute consider myself the best blogger out there. Rather, during this particular contest, I was fortunate to have my own personal Karl Rove engineering a successful campaign behind the scenes.

In fact, if not for my wife, I likely would have finished the contest as I started: languishing in single digits near the bottom of the pile. Self-promotion isn’t really my strong suit, but encouragement and support are definitely hers. During the first week of voting, we had a discussion that went something like this:

Her: You should tell people you’re in this contest, and ask them to vote for you.

Me: Nah … I already mentioned it once. I thought I’d just leave it alone, and see what happens.

Her: You’re getting your butt kicked. You need some help.

And with that, the campaign was born. She sent e-mail distributions, talked up my blog to friends and family, and solicited perfect strangers at computer terminals at the public library (um … was that legal? If I’m asked to testify on this, I’ll make like Alberto Gonzales and suddenly forget everything that happened under my watch. I’d better just stop talking now.)

So my wife was The Architect, but this still wouldn’t have happened without a lot of support from my regular readers out there. (I’d thank the lurkers as well, but since we’re pretending to not know about each other, I can’t officially acknowledge you here. That’s your own double-edged sword of silence). If you took the time to click over to raceAthlete and cast a vote, thank you very much. And if you somehow figured out a way to vote twice, thanks doubly – but maybe we shouldn’t mention this in public anymore. I’m already teetering uncomfortably close to disqualifying myself.

In the final analysis, this whole contest was simply another example of how I typically presume that I can manage just fine all by myself, but eventually figure out that I’m much better off with the assistance and goodwill of others. I can’t tell you why accepting help is so excruciating for me – I just hope that one of these days I’ll learn not to question it so much. And hopefully I can figure out a way to repay all of the kindness that’s been shown to me around here lately. For the time being, just know that it’s all very much appreciated.

Finally, if you’re a newcomer to this blog, allow me to say: Welcome to Running and Rambling. Open 24 hours, no cover charge, no comment minimum. Make yourself at home, and feel free to take a look around the place. You’ll find race reports, subscription information, and musical entertainment on the sidebar, and plenty of nonsense right down the middle. I usually come around to talking about triathlons and ultrarunning, but sometimes it takes a convoluted path to get there.

I don’t always know where I’m headed, but I’ll try to make things as interesting as possible while getting there. And – as I’m constantly learning – the more people who come along, the more enjoyable the journey becomes. So thanks for stopping by today, and you’re welcome to join me for the ride.


Nancy Toby 12/17/07, 5:21 PM  

Didn't Stadler and Macca get in a fight almost later that night?

Congratulations to you!

But I'd be watching your back, I'm just sayin'....

Backofpack 12/17/07, 6:03 PM  

Okay, since you opened the door...I'll admit I tried to figure out how to vote twice. I could of if I'd done it from work too, but I don't do blogs at work (see, I have a few scruples). Congrats on the big win Donald, I think you deserved it!

robtherunner 12/17/07, 6:10 PM  

Congrats on your victory!

Fe-lady 12/17/07, 6:57 PM  

Congratulations! I don't know how you find the time and energy to write, especially when it's your job, too, correct? I guess I am not "cut out" to be a writer. But I didn't have to tell anyone that, huh? Ha! I guess that's why I like children's books so much! Short and sweet!

Bolder 12/17/07, 7:30 PM  

well deserved.


Bex 12/17/07, 8:00 PM  

Congrats! God, I've missed so much by not reading blogs these past few weeks ...

Dan Seifring 12/17/07, 8:05 PM  

Congratulations on your well deserved win.

IronMin 12/17/07, 9:22 PM  

Congratulations! I really enjoy lurking...I mean, reading your blog! I'm a new fan.

Curly Su 12/17/07, 9:39 PM  

congrats; you deserve it!

RunBubbaRun 12/18/07, 3:56 AM  

Congrats on the victory.. The contest help be lurk on your blog..

Look forward on seeing how your WS training goes.. Working on my 1st 100 this year..

Steve Stenzel 12/18/07, 5:39 AM  

I'm trying to dig up the dirt on you right now so I can take your place. I'm confidant that no one can find any dirt on me (oh wait, just look at my blog...dang.)

; )

Nice job!

Thomas 12/18/07, 5:56 AM  

Well, congratulations. And you hardly ever asked us to vote ...

Spokane Al 12/18/07, 7:34 AM  

Congratulations. Your terrific wordsmithing always comes through loud and clear.

TriBoomer 12/18/07, 11:25 AM  

A most deserved win, Donald. Congratulations.

Stay tuned...

rick 12/18/07, 12:26 PM  

Wow that was some comeback. When I voted you were on the bottom of the pile and Steve was on top. That's incredible. Now I have to ask because this reminds me of Floyd Landis' amazing comeback ride, was there any blog enhancing drugs taken? You know you will be dodged by such questions all year so you might as well formulate your official answer.

P.S. Steve's blog is hilarious, especially with the pictures. Daisy Duke chaps, they would love him here.

angie's pink fuzzy 12/18/07, 1:06 PM  


uh-oh, doping talk?!

Robyn 12/18/07, 1:50 PM  

Yay! So glad you won!

Now, us gals over at Tri to End Homelessness need your voting help. We're finalists in Toyota's Power of Sport Engine of Change contest. Your vote and the votes of your readers will determine the winner. Info is available on our blog. Thanks for helping to spread the word and for the inspiration you've provided throughout the year!.

Anne 12/18/07, 4:09 PM  

No surprise the voters got this one right.

Shelley 12/18/07, 4:28 PM  

Hey Donald..YES..my posts were in jest..of course..of course..sorry for any joking if you took it the wrong way..which I guess you might have since you don't know me...please accept my apologies..carry on..:-)

Sarah 12/18/07, 8:22 PM  

Yay! Congrats! : )

bealtea 12/19/07, 8:27 PM  

Very well done, congratulations!!!

Darrell 12/21/07, 12:34 PM  

My allegience was to you all along, not having heard of Steve before the voting. But I must admit his is one enternaining blog.

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