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[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]

Last night the Boston Celtics ousted the Cleveland Cavaliers from the NBA playoffs with a 94 – 85 victory. The Celtics did it with a full team effort on both ends of the court.

That’s great Luau. What’s that have to do with running?

As a Celtics fan I was thrilled, but as a sportsfan and as a runner I was extremely disappointed in the Cavaliers. Not because they lost. I wanted them to lose. No, it was the fact that the Cavaliers gave up with 75 seconds left in the game down only by 9 points. Conventional wisdom states that you foul your opponent in that situation with the hopes chipping away at the lead. It is a tactic that rarely works, but when you are about to be eliminated from the playoffs, it is what you do. A lot can happen in 75 seconds, anybody who has every watched a basketball game knows that, but the Cavs simply gave up, never giving themselves that chance.

It got me thinking. I hope I never, NEVER give up like that at the end of a race. I am not a super fast runner. I won’t ever win a big-time footrace, but I can place well and beat my previous efforts. If I had given up in my last half marathon, I wouldn’t have PR’d by over 7 minutes. Had I given up in my last 10K I wouldn’t have managed a sub-40 race. Had I given up in Boston or Providence I wouldn’t have PR’d twice.

What the Cleveland Cavaliers did last night was competitively unacceptable. I feel for the Cleveland fans. It’s never easy to have your team eliminated from the playoffs. However, I have no sympathy for LeBron James and the rest of the Cavs after they simply gave up with so much time left.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being a participant or pacer for a friend, but if you are there to compete, and injury doesn’t take you out, then don’t just finish. Especially if you are being paid millions of dollars to play a game, don’t just finish.  Fight to the end and finish strong.

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