Engel Hit & Runs Away With the Win

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Racing

Side mirror to the mid-section not enough to stop Engel


Victorious Engel with his Boston North Track Club teammates (courtesy of BNTC)

When Alex Engel showed up to the 13th Annual Marlborough Main Street Mile on Sunday he was entertaining the idea of a 4 minute mile (fast net downhill course, but still…a 4 minute mile!!!). Little did he know, there’d be a d-bag with a driver’s license behind the wheel and lurking the quiet streets of Marlborough. Saw this FB status update from Alex about his experience:

Interesting road mile race today. My mom won her master’s division in 6:10 and we combined for second place in the parent/child total time! I won overall in 4:23, but was hit by a vehicle halfway through the race causing me to come to a complete stop has I slammed close to full speed into the passenger side mirror and door. Will have to race this again next year as I was easily going to break 4:10 and pushing 4 flat. (It was a downhill mile)

Of course we had to get a little more info on that ordeal! As Alex said, he still won (second place was still 11 seconds back) but he paid more than the usual price.

How’s the recovery?

I’m fine. Little sore in the abdomen and a small bruise off to the side. Other than that it’s just the typical leg soreness from a downhill race.

How did this all unfold?

The start is at the corner of lincoln st and broad st in marlborough. You race down broad st and make a left on to W main st. from there W main runs into main st and you finish down on the flats where there are some shops. the last 200m of the course was completely closed off to traffic because of some block party or whatever. The rest of the course wasn’t officially closed off to traffic. We had a lead police vehicle that only went about 300m. They didn’t make the turn on to W main st for whatever reason. We were instructed to stay on the left side of the road in the breakdown/bike lane. there were cars still driving on W main st during the race. There were very few volunteers on the course and most were situated at the big intersection where W main runs into Main st. As i was approaching the intersection on W main st and winthrop st (on my left), a grey car pulled in front of me and slammed on their breaks (they didnt stop at the sign to make the turn). i was just a few strides away at the time and the road being wet and my shoes not having great grip I couldn’t do anything to stop or avoid the car and ran straight into the passenger side mirror and door. In frustration I slapped the side of the car and yelled a few profanities at the driver as I got my footing back and went around the car to keep racing. The other runners had nearly caught up to me at that point.

As I went around the car the driver started getting out yelling at me calling me a m-fer. I gave him a finger solute as I got back up to speed. As I continued down the course I could hear some others yelling behind me as he apparently got back into his vehicle and pulled out in front of some other runners! I’m thankful I wasn’t there a second quicker or he was a second slower as it would’ve been a nastier situation with my legs probably being taken out. The biggest frustration of it all for me was that I was running well given the conditions and was going to be well under the course record. At the time I had gone through the half mile at around 2 flat maybe just over, so I was moving at a good clip.

Two flat through the half, had momentum…and then he get the old car to the gut. What are the odds?! Glad he’s alright, aside from some soreness. Did we mention his mom ran too?

As for my mom, this was her first road race in probably 30 years! She and my dad ran for Assumption college and she’s gotten back into running over the last year or so. She ran a practice mile on the track about a month ago by herself in 7:10, but exceeded her expectations on Sunday going 6:10. She will probably run at the Mayors Cup later this month!

Watch out for the Engels in upcoming races. And you might want to watch out for cars too.

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