Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology

Volume 5, Issue 8
August 2008

ASV "5K (or more) Fun Run"

For a number of years now, the American Society for Virology has held a 5K run for attendees at its annual meeting. It's a fun run, no times are recorded, and it's just a good venue for socializing on the first morning of the intense 4-day meeting. This year's ASV meeting was held July 12-16 at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The 5K run was particularly disorganized, but a small, dedicated band of runners, including MIPers Jeff Wilusz and Carol Blair, met at 6:30 am at the designated starting point. About 6:45 am, a local virologist named Klaus showed up with a handful of maps of the course (shown at right, the designated course is the solid red line). He said each runner would need to follow a map since there were no markers on the course, but he thought he knew the way so anyone who needed help should stick with him. Soon after everyone set off, the pack divided into two groups: Jeff and three other young, Fast Guys at the front and Klaus and the slow, non-map-reader group (including Carol) 'way behind. The bumper-stickers say "Ithaca is Gorges" and they mean there are lots of really steep hills on the Cornell campus. So the going was extraordinarily slow, and when Klaus and the rearguard got to the finish line, there was no sign of the front-runners. Carol thought it was rather unusual for the "winners" to take their Gatorade and leave; however, a few minutes later, the four Fast Guys showed up. It turned out they had missed the first turn and had taken the route shown on the map by the dotted line, adding maybe a mile (all uphill) to their course. The runner who had led the Fast Guys astray was Jon Rayner, a former graduate student of Carol's, and although nothing was said, there were suspicions of a conspiracy to allow Carol to finally finish a run ahead of Jeff.