Saying thank you for promises kept

Izaic

Izaic Yorks runs the mile in 3:53 on February 27. In his book of loyalty, team trumps individual glory. Thanks to npr.org for the photo, which was shot by Stephen Brashear/Red Box Picture

I just heard the neatest story on NPR that I have to share. Ready to take a deep breath and sigh it out? Which is just what I did; otherwise, I would have started to cry, and I really had other things I needed to be doing rather than blowing my nose.

Here goes.

A young man named Izaic Yorks is a senior on the University of Washington track team. At a meet on February 27, he ran the fastest mile ever for an American student. How fast? 3:53:89.

Let me let that sink in: THREE MINUTES, FIFTY-THREE-POINT-EIGHTY-NINE SECONDS.

Do you have any idea how fast that is? I can’t even comprehend it. Were I to run a mile in twice that time, you’d hear about it. Or maybe I’d be too choked up to get the words out.

Click here to watch him do it.  Look at how people are just milling around, not aware in the slightest of what was happening. Crazy, huh?

As might be expected, Izaic’s win qualified him for a chance at the Olympic trials this summer. But first comes the NCAA college championships in Birmingham this weekend, which of course he’ll win. Right?

No, he won’t, because he isn’t running the mile.

What? Why not? He’s running a relay with his teammates instead.

“That’s what I told these guys I would do,” he says. “And I’m gonna stick to that word.”

Kudos to Coach Greg Metcalf, too, who didn’t try to talk Yorks out of his decision. As he said on NPR, “I’m sitting in my office on Sunday, making our declarations. And I hit the ‘scratch’ button next to Izaic’s name, next to 3:53, I think, ‘Am I the biggest idiot of all time?’ ”

Nope. Pretty smart, I’d say. He knows what matters to Izaics, and truly, what coach doesn’t want his team to be one solid, dedicated unit?

So for the fiercest of loyalty, for teamwork, for promises made and promises kept, The Grateful Runner says thank you.