The title sets up the piece pretty perfectly I must say so I’ll cut right to the chase.
Last Saturday morning I drive about 8 miles to a local retirement community where a local service club is holding a 5K race to benefit local charities. A good cause and it’s good weather and it’s really good to be racing again.
Racing is a relative term here as my racing days are well behind me but it’s nice to see runners of all ages out in the Saturday morning sunshine getting ready to do their best.
I’m standing in a porta potty line or as spell check would have you believe a sorta potty line which when you think about it these items are sorta potties and having been a participant in road races for many years these sorta ports have come a long way.
A quick digression but it’s worth it. One year I’m running the Philadelphia Marathon and somewhere around mile something there is a construction site somewhere along the route where the marathon organizers have placed a set of porta johns to keep a couple of hundred runners from doing their respective businesses on the street in someone’s neighborhood.
I come up on the johns where the lines are long. Someone has forced open a gate on the construction site fence liberating the site’s access to the portable toilets. Maybe it was a runner, maybe not. I’ll only say the extra seats came in handy.
I get in one of the lines where I watch people nervously checking their watches to see how much time they are losing while they stand in line waiting to do what they gotta do.
Me – It don’t matter. Ok, here’ s the point of my literary detour.
The lines as I have noted are long. There is a guy several spots ahead of me waiting to use said portable toilet. A woman announces to no one and every one in a voice loud enough for all around us to hear and she’s quite clear what her point is.
She says to the guy, “Do you have to pee because it that’s all you gotta do there’s a wall over there where you can relieve yourself.” ” We all have to sit down.” And sure enough there is a wall and it’s currently in use by about six men relieving themselves in public because this is a marathon and really no one cares.
There is a round of applause from the woman’s fellow women runners congratulating her on her foresight, her chutzpah and her balls.
I suppose we could all be cited for urinating in public but the only public in the area is us and we don’t care. We all gotta go.
I take the obvious hint, find a spot on the wall, do my business and I”m on my way. I should add the guy stepped out of line and took advantage of the wall too. And we’re both back to the marathon which is already in progress.
Back to the local 5K where I’m in line and a couple of hotshot college cross country runners call over to one of their friends who is in line ahead of me telling him to hurry up ( my sentiments exactly) because they are off on a 2 mile warm up ( which is not my sentiment exactly).
For me the 5K breaks down like this: Mile one -warm up, mile two – race or run faster and mile three – cool down.
The speedy boys do their warm up, smoke every one in the 5K and are later seen running a cool down mile or two making their 5K Saturday morning distance about 6 miles. Me – I only paid to run 3.1.
There is one guy who wins the 80+ plus division as he is 90 and is the only participant registered who ran between 80 and whatever the upper limit is as specified by the plus sign. He gets a nice hand as he picks up his medal.
I hang around to see the other award/age group/male/female winners and it’s a nice touch as the organizers decided to go four deep in every category.
It was an early Saturday morning where I ran a 5K.