I decided ahead of time, that I wanted to really push myself in this race. I wanted to see how fast I could run these days. I’ve felt a little slow and sluggish lately, so this would be a good test for me. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? I’ve already puked in the middle of a race before. I’m a survivor.
The race started with a bang. Literally… a bang, there was some old- timey- dressed- dude there with a musket or whatever the hell those revolutionary war guns were. I started out by just taking off. My first mile was around 8:30 (no chip, no watch, just dude yelling times out at mile markers 1 & 2). It was at this point, that I sidled up to a couple of older chicks that I used to see running at the park all the time. I pegged them for about 8:30 runners, so I used them as pace setters for a good while. I’m sure that annoyed the hell out of them, but, hey… you do what ya gotta do. In the world of races, you check your etiquette at the door.
At the mile 2 marker, old dude with watch yelled out “17:59.” So, I was still holding onto that 8:30 time. The course went up its only hill after that and I ended up breezing past the two older chicks not to see them again till after the race.
It was at this point, that I saw a girl from the back. First off, let me say… As soon as I step foot at the starting line of a race (marathons not included), I immediately check out my competition. I scan the crowds for any and every girl that might be 25-29. I also continue to do this as I’m running the race. I pick off every girl that looks my age and try my damnedest to beat them.
Back to this race… this girl ahead of me looked to be in my age group. As we were coming down the hill, I easily breezed past her. But, about a quarter of a mile later… she passed me with another guy. At first I was like… hmph… oh well, let her go… but as the race went on and I saw that I was gaining some ground on her, I made it my mission to beat her. I stayed back a good bit… lurking like a lion waiting out it’s prey. Nevermind the fact that I felt like I was going to die in that last half mile of the race. I mean, seriously… I had gone balls to wall for 3.5 miles and I was getting tired. I was hot. I didn’t want to have to run any faster. But, there she was… in her grey t-shirt… mocking me… teasing me…
So… I did it. I ran my ass off the last 400 yards or so and I passed her with a few seconds to spare. As I passed her and got close to the finish line, I saw the time clock ticking and realized that I could actually finish under 35 minutes. So, just when I thought there wasn’t any more gas left in the tank. I turned my boosters on again and came in under 35 minutes. Shaving about 4 minutes off my time from the previous year. (Official results still not posted, as I type this). Thank god there wasn’t a photographer at this race, or that would have been one helluva picture.
I finish and walk back to the finish line to wait for my mom and cheer her on. As I’m waiting… I see the grey t-shirt and I smile… feeling good that I just burned that bitch right at the finish. And then she turns around. And she’s like 11 years old. And turns out, she actually ends up winning 1st place in the girls under 12.
What kind of jack ass am I? Jeez. I just smoked a little kid.
But, as an excuse... I mean, it's really hard to figure out how old someone is from behind. I've made the mistake before, I've just never waited till the very end to pass them, like a real asshole.
Anyway, my mom finishes strong too, and ends up shaving about 3 minutes off her time from last year. Last year she won 3rd in her age division, so we hung around for the awards… anxious to see if those 3 minutes translated to a higher place this year.
After winning a Hooters water bottle door prize (I know, right? Cause when you think of Hooters, you get thirsty. Apparently?), it turns out that I ended up placing in my age division! 3rd place! Woo Hoo! I got me a bronze medal and everything. So, busting my ass off and smoking kids at the finish pays off. There’s a good life lesson for ya.
My mom…. Well… what do you think? Of course she won first in her age group and got a gold medal!
It was fun… I could get used to this winning business. (In case you’re keeping a tally at home [and I soooo know that you are] this was the 3rd time I’ve placed in a race!).