PORTLAND – Former recreational runner Paul McNiff held a press conference Friday to announce that he would forgo his amateur status and turn pro. The decision comes after a string of mediocre finishes
in the local racing circuit, culminating a third place showing the Spring n’ Dash 5k Fun Run.
“Was this a tough decision? Of course, but making tough decisions is
something that defines a champion,” McNiff, a 34 year-old software
engineer, said from the parking lot of a Heart and Sole Running Store.
“All my life, people have told me that I’m barely even an average
runner. My 3rd place plaque from last week should help silence those
nay-sayers.” McNiff added that he also received a $10 gift certificate
from Red Lobster for winning his age division. “Hey, appetizers on me.
No big deal.”
McNiff has shown steady improvement since his college days, where he
spent four agonizing years as the 10th man on Portland State’s cross
country team. “I used to struggle to run 21:00 for 5k. Now, I can
crank out 19:30s like it’s my job. And now that I’ve gone pro, it is
McNiff cites hard work and and a fancy new outfit as the two main keys
to his mediocre success. “See this jersey I’m wearing? Nike. The
shorts with the same annoying neon green stripes? Yeah, Nike. As if
you even need to ask about my shoes, socks, mesh running hat,
sunglasses, and PowerGel fanny pack…but just so you know they’re all
McNiff explained that his coordinated outfits didn’t necessarily make
him run any faster, but it did make him look like a total boner. “When
you look the part, you act the part. It’s just that simple.”