State by State
There are a lot of things I could be writing about right now. This is warm-up (although the main event may not be published here).
At some point when I was in college, I learned on the Dead Runners’ Society listserv about SEXY-LU points. I don’t remember now what the abbreviation stands for, other than that the S stood for the last name of the person explaining this scoring game to the list. (He shall remain googlenonymous here, but Ed, I do remember.)
A runner would accumulate points for a given span of time, generally a calendar year, although I imagine one could accumulate lifetime points as well. Each state and/or foreign country in which one ran in that time counted for at least one point. The actual score for each depended on how much one ran in those states, basically boiling down to the exponent needed when expressing the number of miles in scientific notation:
- 1-9 miles: 1 point
- 10-99 miles: 2 points
- 100-999 miles: 3 points
- 1000-9999 miles: 4 points
A serious runner would generally pick up four points for their home state (I doubt anyone has scored five) and one or two for most places they visited. A good year for me when I was doing a lot of track traveling would be in the mid-20s. In 2010 I think I hit 16 or 17, and I may have done as well in 2009. (I don’t recall if different Canadian provinces counted for extra points, but that hasn’t mattered for me since 2001, the only year I visited more than one.) I haven’t tried to calculate my lifetime score, but I started thinking about it when I read this post by Scott Douglas.
The drawback to this program is that a weekend in Japan counts for the same number of points as ten miles in Connecticut, but on the other hand, a quick run in the Denver airport can pick up extra points as well.