I’ve known Matt Phillips, a violist in the Buffalo Philharmonic, for about ten years now. For the first five years I knew him, he was basically just an ordinary violist like the rest of us. Matt was certainly never visibly out of shape, it’s just that he was no more or less athletic than your average classical musician.
At some point along the way, things changed. At some point, Matt started jogging. I say “at some point” because from my perspective, one day Matt was just a regular, non-runner like most people, and the next day he was… running marathons. It seriously seemed like it happened overnight. Even now, if you ask Matt, “So, let me get this straight. One day, out of the blue, you just started running extremely long distances?” he’s just like, “Yeah, pretty much.”
Matt is obviously really good at running. He’s also really good at the viola. He seems to be some new breed. A “Super Violist”, if you will.
Now whenever Matt takes a day off from work we all assume that he’s running a race somewhere. When he returns to work he’s always extremely nonchalant about whatever ridiculous feat of strength he’s accomplished. I don’t know much about racing, but Matt always seems to place very high, and sometimes he even wins the race. (My favorite story of Matt winning a race is when he won the Erie Philharmonic’s 5k. Orchestras are very supportive of one another, because as an industry there is absolutely no benefit to being competitive. That said, it’s still amusing when someone in one orchestra wins the 5K of another orchestra.)
Why am I writing about this on my hockey blog? I’m glad you asked!
Yesterday, Matt ran in the “Hamburg Character Chase”. If I’m reading the race results correctly, he placed 5th overall, and 1st in his age group. That’s some pretty good running, Matt!
Here are the results. I’ve blocked out most of the other names because I don’t know if it’s kosher to re-post race results, but please scroll down for an amusing surprise.
It’s official. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has defeated the Buffalo Sabres on the field of athletics. When the Sabres feel they are ready to challenge us to a Battle of the Orchestras, we will be ready to defend our turf. For now… advantage, BPO.
Your move, Sabres.