Sports

Barquist ready to cash 'em in

"Endurance runner and island resident Brad Barquist may be nearing the end of the longest race of his career - his career itself.After a dismal showing in the 2000 Olympic team trials, the 1996 Olympic team member and top U.S. finisher in the 10K is seriously considering retirement.I wasn't even close to making the team this year, he said. His time and ranking in the race?I don't know, he said. I made no effort to find out. It was probably my slowest race ever.Several injuries, especially to his arch and right Achilles tendon, hampered his performance during the race, but more importantly, kept his training from an optimum level.My arch pain was the only injury to give me much trouble during the race itself, he said. But my training had been extremely poor - I had many injuries that contributed to that.Though Barquist hasn't reached a final decision on whether to retire, he's leaning in that direction.The circumstances have led to me not enjoying what I'm doing, he said. I need time to let my body heal up and my head heal up. I was quite burned out on the side of the sport most people don't see - injuries, the grind of day-to-day training for an endurance athlete, being broke all the time.Currently, he's looking for a job, armed with a degree in communications from the University of Michigan. Though Barquist hasn't found work yet, he wants to continue a running camp with partner and UW head cross-country coach Greg Metcalf. The camp, Barquist's second, will focus on speed and strength, possibly at the university's Sand Point facilities. His first camp, located at Ft. Flagler State Park, specializes in cross-country running.Barquist is sure his fans would support a decision to retire.I have lots of fans who've watched my career; but nobody who cares about me would want me to keep on going, he said.What people hear about is the good stuff, not what's behind the scenes. I'm anxious to leave all that bad stuff behind. "

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