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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Jim Ryun has his record-setting sub-four minute mile as a high schooler (inset). Joltin' Joe has his 56-game hitting streak. Secretariat has his 31 1/2 length Belmont victory. Michael Vick owns all of the rushing records on cell block D. Records and performances that live into infamy. The Saratoga Resident and I have our 3:59. It is the magic number. The unattainable. No, it's not a little one mile jog, it's a marathon. It's the sub-four hour trek from Buffalo to Saratoga. Starting point: Main Street, Williamsville. Ending point: A particular driveway in Saratoga Springs on a well-known street. Distance: 278.12 miles in total. Mapquest says 4 hours 41 minutes. The Saratoga Resident claims he has done the reverse 3:59 (Saratoga to Buffalo) on May 24th, 2008, but he failed to register his starting time with me, thus earning him a big fat DQ. I'm sure he'll beg to differ.

How does one achieve the 3:59?

1) For starters, it has to be official. A registered phone call or email marking the start time is always required. The finish is on the honor system typically with a phone call or email to say how many minutes it was missed by. The unofficial record right now is 4:08 (let's say it's not mine).
2) Gassing up pre-drive is a must. I was caught last opening day eve having to make the obligatory 5 minute pit stop for gas that cost me any chance. Rookie mistake.
3) Planets must be aligned.
4) Can't be a holiday weekend....too many cops, too many trucks, too many cars. Meaning traffic must be at a minimum.
5) No pee breaks. Gotta do yo' bizness before the ride commences.
6) Multiple stints over 80. Based on the distance this is a required tactic to achieve the 3:59. Best, also, to be a card-carrying member of the local PBA or police foundation (check).
7) No passengers. a) distracting to the task at hand and b) the Space Gal doesn't find our little game humorous at all.
8) No emailing or texting. Causes unnecessary slow downs.
9) Most importantly the arrival time of day. Getting to Toga any time between 3pm and 6pm and you're stuck on Broadway and it's all over. Too many times have I had it in sight only to be thwarted on Broadway. I once reached the Starbucks at Broadway at 3:58, only to post a 4:10 and receive the following retort "Is Starbucks my driveway?"
10) Lastly, the correct route must be selected. It's either Exit 28 and in on Route 29 (a nightmare two lane road with tons of old ladies going 35 in a 55) or Exit 27 to Route 67 and in on Route 50 to downtown Saratoga. I've been going with Exit 28 for years now based on the Saratoga Resident's astute advice. How does he go when he sets the unofficial reverse 3:59...yep, Exit 27.

Well it's another track season and another go at 3:59. My first try will be Alabama weekend (hopefully the Space Gal sleeps), so I'll be breaking my own rule number 7. We have a little grudge golf match in Ballston Spa next Tuesday so it messes up any attempt during the opening day visit. We will try and run a little unofficial reverse 3:59 on my return on Thursday. The gauntlet has been thrown down.


SaratogaSpa said...

Funny Post. Exit 27 is faster than Exit 28. Also, to shave off about 5-8 minutes, take Route 67 to Middle Line Road to Brookline Road, than East on 67 again to Exit 12 North on 87, get over Exit 13N and take Rt 9 into the final destination.

Wind Gatherer said...

Godspeed brave Sir Knight...

Anonymous said...

When deciding which exit to take, ask yourself, "What would Tanner Jones do?"

Anonymous said...

coming from the west, I think 28 is definitely faster - only if you can really go 60mph in that 55 mph zone. If you hit the folks going 40 in that zone, you are DOA.

You might want to try 26 one time - through sch. and right up 50 from there (through glenville and then ballston spa). Worth a try. You suck at golf.

fiddler said...

here's a hint: troopers hide in the tree-lined medians between exits 9 and 13. as if you didn't know that...

Brian Zipse said...

I'll be bustin' the four-oh-oh on my 'toga-on-the-4th-and-the-Fort-on-the-6th road trip. Will I see you, Geno?


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