Sports Non-Fiction posted February 20, 2023

This work has reached the exceptional level
My idol

Carlton Mendell

by Paul McFarland

There's an old veteran runner
Who lives down in Maine,
Where marathon racing
Is his strict domain.

And when he's around,
You'll fall under the spell
Of the smile and charisma
Of Carlton Mendell.

Now, I have chased Carlton
In many a race,
And struggled to stay with
His rock-steady pace.

If I'm in the pink,
And he's not feeling well,
Then I'll have a chance
To beat Carlton Mendell.

Now, marathon runners,
They are a rare breed.
They live and breathe running,
And that's guaranteed.

As you go through the roster
Of that clientele,
At the head of the list
Will be Carlton Mendell.

And all race directors
Say it's a good sign
If they can see Carlton
On their starting line.

They know that in running,
There's no parallel.
There isn't another
Like Carlton Mendell.

And he'll never brag
On the things he has done,
Or try to impress you
With miles he has run,

But if records are broken,
You'll often hear tell,
The person who broke them
Was Carlton Mendell.

And if I am running
In some distance race,
It's not too surprising
If I see his face.

And after those races
I'll sit for a spell
To get words of wisdom
From Carlton Mendell.

If you need inspiration
In running or life,
And your days are filled up
With worry and strife,

It's just my opinion,
But you will do well
If you take a lesson
From Carlton Mendell.

He's set a high standard
In things he has done,
In matters of life
And in races he's run,

And I want you to know
That I'm trying like hell
To run in the footsteps
Of Carlton Mendell.

Tributes contest entry



Carlton Mendell was a very good friend of mine. He was twenty years my senior, but I never beat him in a race until he was in his eighties. The last few races that we ran, we finished together - friendship had become more important than competitiveness. Carlton died a few years ago. He was in his nineties. I miss him.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by VMarguarite at

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