There are two drawbacks to pedigree.
The first is that it doesn’t really work for humans, not like in the same way it works for say… horses. As a result, if you find yourself in the same race as Oisín Coe, Sean El Guerrouj or Cian Gebrselassie you probably have just as much a chance of winning as they do.
The second is that pedigree runs downhill rather than up, meaning if someone happens to be a distinguished runner it doesn’t mean that their pensionable parents will suddenly have great potential now too.
This is a pity because if pedigree did work for humans and did work uphill then I could be feeling pretty confident with my lot.
On my father’s side, my cousin’s daughter is doing great things over in Canada in Triathlons. She seems to be setting the province of Alberta alight with her performances in juvenile triathlon races. To put that in perspective Alberta is bigger than France with the population of Ireland. When I was her age, I got to the Community Games for Art in Meath but didn’t qualify.
Meanwhile on my mother’s side, another cousin’s daughter in the United States has been doing pretty good things on the track. It first came to our family’s attention when we heard she won a school race. We presumed it was an Irish thing when someone does well it is blown up to sound a lot greater, kind of like when Egg & Spoon and a Sack Race on the same day in Summerhill Sports Day 1988, and it was spoken about as if I had won Olympic Gold in Seoul.
Then we heard she won again and then again and then finally once more but this time at the Madison Square Somewhere. I quickly realised that they don’t do 3-legged races at the Madison Square Gardens and that she must be pretty good. So good in fact that she has since gone on to win a World Junior Championships, a USA Indoor 1,500 Championship and has a World Indoor Junior Record over 1,000. Go figure.
So it’s a bit of a pity on the pedigree thing.