2017 NUTC Beginners’ Guide: Benedictine Eagle Invitational

Every time I remember this meet is occurring, I think back to the 1907 folk ballad “Going Back to Benedictine,” popularized by Old Man Pete and his band during the early 1930s. It’s a true classic of the genre, so let me quote the chorus here:

Hey, it’s Benedictine, man, go run a race for me
I’m not sleepy, cuz I missed the class I’m going to
Hey, it’s Benedictine, man, go run a race for me
In the broken, spoken loop, I’ll come followin’ you


It’s well-known fact that Bob Dylan rewrote the lyrics of “Going Back to Benedictine” and fashioned the song “Mr. Tambourine Man” in 1964.

In fact, this is not the only time Bob Dylan has stolen from NUTC related ballads and folk music. Bob Dylan was repeatedly inspired by NUTC folk groups like Old Man Pete and His Band, Charlie “The Rebel” H, Griff Dog, and the Kauzlaric Five. The long-forgotten Charlie H classic “Tangled Up in Running Shoes” became “Tangled Up in Blue”. And who could forget “Bike, and you’ll go home”, that timeless tune by Griff Dog. Bob Dylan would be nothing without the NUTC tradition of folk music.

In the vein of Bob Dylan’s duplicity, last year, we popularized the notion of the Bagel Cup and the prime number scoring system, as a remix of traditional cross-country.¬†Unfortunately, the Benedictine Eagle Invite has informed us to not spread fake news about bagel thieves and secret cross-country societies. It will never happen again. I will never create fake histories of this club ever again.

So this Friday, we have the Benedictine Invitational. The course consists of four or three 2K loops around a mostly flat park. It’s a great course for pacing, passing, and and obeying the rule of law at all costs. You may have even run the course at St. James’ Farm before, as it seems like half the team hails from the great and definitely not bankrupt state of Illinois. Thankfully, this meet is just an hour from my apartment, and I don’t have class after 9 AM on Fridays. And we’re not missing home. Make sure to eat some eggs benedictine before you leave for the race. I suggest watching Benedictine Cumberbatch in BBC’s Sherlock the night before.

This is, barring any female-only NUTC catastrophes (imagine that!), the first time we have a scoring women’s team at this meet.

How many roads must a runner run down, before the runner knows it’s a sham?

Have you ever wondered what the Order of Benedictine actually is? Fear not, because your resident medieval history expert and frequent Crusader Kings II player is here.

This is St. Benedict of Nursia (480-550). As you can see, he had one of the best beards in the 6th century AD. He’s quite the character. During his lifetime, he wrote down a philosophical and behavioral treatise known as the “Rule of Saint Benedict”, which details how to be a good Christian monk. People thought his ideas were pretty rad, and created a loosely tied organization of monasteries that followed his teaching. The Order of Benedict was known as the “Black Monks”, because they only wore black. They were known for creating monastic communities in Catholic Europe and for being very, very devout.

However, things couldn’t always remain so good. As time passed, people started to realize the Benedictines were getting lazy, rich, and beholden to secular norms. There were several even more intense Catholic monastic orders (ex. The Cistercians) who thought the Benedictines were getting lazy.

So, think about how lazy the Benedictines must be now, hundreds of years after the death of St. Benedict! Now, instead of following the orders of St. Benedict, these darn monks are hosting cross-country meets and educating the braindead millennials of the United States. Heresy! This is the perfect time to strike and take over! We will create a new monastic order which will focus on running and living a life in accordance with that goal. We’ll call it the Nike Oregon Project and then imprison 17-year-olds there with Alberto Salazar’s wonky doping¬†advanced training regimen.

In fact, the Rule of St. Benedict and “being a good cross-country runner” have a lot of similar tenets. Both highly suggest regulating diet, having adequate clothing, and living an enclosed, spartan lifestyle with your brothers. There were all-female monastic orders as well, don’t worry. Basically, if you want to run fast, get thee to a nunnery!

As you can see, this meet has gained a renewed importance in the eyes of God and our own consciousnesses. In order to fulfill the true commands of St. Benedict, NUTC will surely have to perform well at the Benedictine Eagle Invite. There’s no other option. The abbot wills it.

 

 

 

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