I entered and ran a small local 5K yesterday. Maybe 100 runners tops. I figure that in a field that small I might have a good chance of placing in my age group – The Geezer Division.
As people started filtering towards the starting line I start sizing up my age group competition and I begin to like my chances. It’s a good thing that betting isn’t allowed or encouraged.
Off we go and the pack flies away. The local XC hotshots, the 12 year olds and the people tricked out in their latest marathon shirts, compression socks, expensive sunglasses and disguised jet packs all take off. I hang back at the start and let the gang get away as I know that eventually some will disappear and some will fall back towards me. I am lurking in their wake.
Some do fall back. One guy encourages me to catch up with him and when I pass him I feel bad because I just keep on going and don’t see him until he finishes a few minutes behind me. It’s a jungle out there.
On the second loop I smoke a couple of kids who went out way too fast what with youth prone to being impetuousness. They are not my worry though. I’m looking for silverbacks.
I spy a pair of runners a few hundred yards ahead and they are walking. Good for me and I shift gears to make up for their obvious error. Only I can’t seem to make up any ground. Can they be walking faster than I am running? They resume running and the gap remains. I am momentarily crushed but I recover my mojo.
Soon the finish line comes into view and I truck down the chute to a respectable and surprising time. Next stop – Awards !
Who doesn’t know what’s coming please raise your hands.
I said at the top I thought I might be able to place, kinda sneak in the back door but alas no wild card for me. I am shut out of the winners circle. No gift certificate at the local yoga studio for me. Same goes for the discount coupons at the coffee joint. Nope.
However, big soft pretzels and chocolates are a soothing consolation prize.
Running has a very nice side benefit in that it helps keep us from taking ourselves too seriously.
If I had placed in my age group I wouldn’t have had any material for this post or a chance to step back and laugh at myself. Or a free yoga lesson or a double large double mocha double decaf double whatever.
Keep runnin’ and laughin’ cause I am.