09 December 2007
The gun went off almost without notice. I took one final look at my competition before I sprinted to the lead. I planned for this to be the last time I saw anyone else. My goal was to win and to win big.
Overnight temperatures had warmed up to balmy 25 degrees. I felt like drinking a lemonade.
The course was fairly straightforward this year. Here's the course description from the race's local RD:
Make the first right and drop down the hill to Grand Ave. Take the first blacktop path past the railroad track right and run behind the Mexican restaurant with the unsalted tortilla chips. Keep along this path until you reach the train that is now a real estate office. Veer left on the wooden bridge and keep Sadie close. Sadie likes to pee on this bridge for some reason and I didn't want her to slow me down this time.
Stop at the intersection with no crosswalk and wait for an opening to cross. If the wait is too long it is okay to pop into the sandwich joint on the corner and get a drink or catch a bit of the game. When you can finally cross you want to pass the waterfall and follow the path along the fence line. Be careful not to take the first right as it will lead you into the icy creek. Just past there will be a bridge. Take this bridge and be thankful for feats of engineering. Keep along the blacktop path until you can see kids skateboarding. You think you're crazy running in the icy weather? Those skateboarders are even crazier trying to drop in on the icy ramps. Be prepared to call 911 as you pass them, but don't make eye contact. Run fast but try not to look like you're running from them. Make it look carefree like the first scene in "Chariots of Fire." But keep your mouth closed and your head straight or they'll think your loony.
Pass the softball field on the right and say a quick prayer that this is where Sadie doesn't want to stop for a #2. If she can hold out longer she'll have a nice brushy area that you don't have to clean up after her. Every second counts on this race and you can't afford to stop just for her selfish needs. The fence line will continue on your left and go straight ahead at the intersection. Don't forget to blow your nose when you reach the "Congested Area" sign. Now Sadie is in the clear for a bit and can run around the field or jump in the icy creek. She jumps in the icy creek, of course, and shakes it off running next to you. The lady up ahead is just walking, but you can't remember if she's in the race or not so just to be sure you should sprint by her as fast as you can yelling "Sucker!" When you pass the bend on the left you can slow down because she can't see you anymore.
Be careful at the next intersection, because no matter how many times you hit the crosswalk button no one will stop for you. In fact, they actually slow down a bit and then speed up and laugh just as you begin to step into the street. If they drive a foreign car it's okay to yell obscenities at them. If they stop to confront you, remember that you're the runner and can "probably" outrun them if you need to. Follow the path to the left and behind the apartment complex. Don't - I repeat - don't ever look toward the apartment complex as you pass behind it. These people leave their curtains open as though there were not a public path only ten yards away and you don't - I repeat - don't want to see these people walking around their house in their underwear. Believe me. If you happen to catch a glimpse call for a medic immediately.
Now you can keep on this path until the turnaround. Stay to the right because really big people in really tight shorts will no doubtingly zoom by on their bikes and try to hit you. They will be annoyed that you're running with Sadie off the leash and they will likely mutter something of the sort under their breath as they pass. Smile, though, because the patches of ice on the path will almost certainly make at least one of them crash.
You're all clear until you reach mile 4. The turnaround point is also when you will realize that there are no aid stations on this race. Too bad, so sad.
Now turn around and do everything above in just the opposite way.
But on the way back, at around mile 6.73, stop. Go home and watch a movie. Get something to eat. Do some laundry. Then later in the night go back out for the final 1.27 miles. This will give you your best opportunity of finishing the 8 on the 8th in exactly 8 hours.
Final race stats:
Sadie clean ups - 0!
Old ladies passed - 1!
Old ladies on bikes passing me - 2
Minutes attempting to re-pass old ladies on bikes - 3
Minutes recovering from re-pass attempt - 7
Acquaintances seen along the route - 2
Rabbits Sadie chased - 3
Rabbits that climb a tree while being chased by Sadie - 1
Number of tree climbing rabbit jokes in this blog - 1
Total miles of the race - 8
Date of the race - 8th
What I did for lunch - Ate
Total race time - 8 hr 8 sec
I'm not sure if I won, yet. But I have a very good feeling. Official race results will be posted soon. Special thanks to Nancy (a candidate for nemesis) for putting on this race. What a great idea.