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June 11, 2018

Introducing Sterner Vs. 60

In two weeks, the great unwashed masses of American Athletics fandom will descend upon the midwestern metropolis of Des Moines, Iowa for the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships..

In 2013, at the very same Drake Stadium that will host the meet later this month, CITIUS MAG’s Nicole Bush claimed the women’s steeplechase title, capping off a four-year comeback from a foot injury that was sustained at the 2009 edition of the meet when a barrier was set at an incorrect height. She would eventually ride the wave of success to an eventual personal best of 9:24.

That is a very fast time.

Nicole Bush is a very good runner. She’s also a very good shit talker.

During the live Twitter coverage of the Pre Classic, the CITIUS MAG account tweeted out the following about the women’s 5k. “14:26.89 is your winning time, last lap of 61.7 for Genzebe Dibaba.”

Fairly innocuous, nothing really declarative. No jokes, no emojis, no fun references. To be honest, it’s blandness was almost offensive, like putting ketchup on a hot dog.

Nicole Bush, very fast runner, very good shit talker, offered the following response:

“With training, could @ryansterner1 keep for just that last lap?”

Now the reason why Nicole decided to put Sterner on blast is unknown and not necessary for our purposes here. All the matters is that we acknowledge that she did it.

Nothing ever really came of it. Until this morning.

While recording the latest episode of Running Things Considered, the smash hit podcast that one iTunes reviewer said “Needs interviews,” Nicole asked her fellow hosts what their PR’s were for a 200m. As the conversation went off the rails, as they do most of the time on the podcast, a debate was started as to whether or not Ryan Sterner, noted Blog Boy, could break 60 seconds in the 400. The room was instantly divided.

Sterner vs. 60 was born.

What is Sterner vs. 60? It’s the ultimate test of the human spirit. It’s a rallying cry for underdogs everywhere. It’s a referendum on the motivational abilities of Tony Robbins.

It is the most important thing happening in Des Moines this month.

Ryan Sterner, with zero training but a heart full of confidence, will attempt to run one lap around a 400m track in under one minute. Do we know which track? No. Do we know what time? No. Are we very proud of Ryan for only complaining a little bit about this? Very much so.

Ryan isn’t a stranger to taking on challenges. In a bet with a fellow employee during his days at Flotrack, he broke 2:05 for 800m. He ate Trump’s McDonald’s diet and then tried to run after. He ran a mile in blue jeans to see how fast he could it and in turn launched a global phenomenon. He boycotted a bar after they overcharged his card and then (I strongly believe) got the bartender fired because of it. This guy is relentless.

But can he break 60 and prove the haters wrong?

Ryan wrote an article where he declared that there are two types of people in the world: winners and losers. Two weeks from now, we’re going to find out which one he is.

We’ll more on #SternerVs60 and all of USA Outdoors in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes on Twitter, Instagram, and for all the coverage your little heart pitter patters for daily.

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