Until this morning I had never heard of Christian Hesch. That’s when my friend Amy posted on Facebook an article in today’s Times with the comment, “Ugh, get the hell out of my sport”. The Times article: “In Chase for Wins, a Runner Cheats.” Scott Douglas has a more comprehensive piece in Runner’s World and I was quite pleased to see that Hesch was nabbed by teammates out in LA.
You can read abut it in those articles, and on some LetsRun threads, the longest started by Hesch (going by the name SomeRandomDude). He comes across generally as a douchebag, especially his stunt at the Providence finish line. Be that as it may, more important, he is a DOPER. When caught by his (former) teammates, he came “clean”, hoping to get a reduced ban. That he continued to race even after he was found out speaks volumes.
I write about it because a natural question is “why?”. As far as I can tell, the guy can run a 1:04 HM. A lot faster than I ever could. But far from elite. So he went around the country picking races with prize money that would likely have a weak field and he’d do them. How the travel, etc. cost fit into it is a mystery, but there it is.
So he wanted money and he wanted glory. Most of us cannot relate to this at all. The race for most is against ourselves, our true selves. I can relate however. I am, or at least was, good enough to be competitive in the small pond that is age-group racing. I competed against others. I did reasonably well. I can understand the thought of doing better.
Yet the concept of doing drugs simply for some vague bragging rights is a foreign. Sure, I’d be “cheating myself”. I also be cheating guys who I think of as friends, part of an age-group fraternity.
You see in some of the LetsRun threads comments from guys who raced against Hesch, and who were beaten by him. He was part of that fraternity. What kind of low-life cheats them?