The Big Race.

16 Feb

Alright, so it was the big day.  First 5K in this decade. Officially.

It was pretty warm in Portland that morning, roughly 40 degrees or so.  Much warmer that the teens and twenties I had been running in at home.  I didn’t even need gloves or a headband!!  I showed up to the race an hour early to get registered, pin my number, and pick up my sweatshirt.  Not too many people, at this point  and I was doing okay.  I had to warm up so off I ran leaving the bagels, water, and homemade cinnamon rolls behind.

By the time I arrived back at the race headquarters – there were loads of people, and I needed to find the potties.  I was getting nervous.  One bathroom break down, I began to assess the competition – here is where I became scared.  There were people there in the latest most expensive running gear you could buy.  They were doing fancy stretches, and sprints, and moves of which I have never seen the likes.  I thought I was totally out of my league, and I needed another bathroom break.

After another break (or three), I decided I should try to line up, and before you know found myself towards the front of the line.  I thought great.  I am going to get trampled by all these fabulous runner – so I did what any insecure – incredibly nervous – person might do… started checking out everyone’s shoes.   It was then it hit me – they all had bright, white, shiny shoes.  They may look the part, but I wasn’t too sure that they actually put in the time on the track (if you know what I mean.)  My shoes, on the other hand, were a softer, darker, dingier gray than the others.  It’s was then that I thought I had a chance.

The start buzzer went off, and I ran ahead – remembering not to sprint and to keep a steady pace.  The trampling that I thought was coming never came, and I even passed some the 8K runners that took off five minutes before us.  The whole race I was fighting these two fellas who would slow down and speed up as they saw me gaining on them.  Finally, in the last 100 yards – I took off at a dead sprint and passed them both.  I couldn’t breathe, but I had beaten them!  Finished in 25:07 and a smile a mile wide.

On the walk back to the hotel I had a run in with a local homeless person (because these things ALWAYS happen to me).  He looked a lot like Santa, but with a yellower beard and one swollen shut-eye.  He took one look at my badge and said, “What’s that about.” 

I smiled and said, “I was in a race.” 

He said, “and you were 119?”

“Yes, sir!”

“Well, did you win??”

“I was just running against myself – so I sure did!!”

and with a snarl of his lip, and fist ala Tony the Tiger he exclaimed with all his might, “GRRRRRRRR, GO GET EM GIRL!!”

He totally made my day, and if I would have had any money on me it would have been his!!

The only downside was that they listed my official time wrong, and that the sweatshirt was purple.  I will still survive.  Turns out, even with the new updated bogus time (they finally updated it from an hour, but still didn’t have it right) I came in 35th out of 466, and first in my age group. 

I will be back!!

Until next time – go get em!!

Andrea

One Response to “The Big Race.”

  1. Kayla February 19, 2011 at 2:40 am #

    This is so awesome! Love your encounter with homeless Santa.

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