Sunday, August 19

Run for the Grapes

Baby loves to run -- Sheryl Crow, Tuesday Night Music club album

After my harrowing races the past two weekends, I (rslight) had an enjoyable, pleasant run at Saturday's Run for the Grapes 5K in Tontitown, Ark.
Folks in the little city did a sweet job with the grape theme. Runners had grapes to eat, grape Gatorade to drink and a person dressed as a grape to watch humiliate herself.

I intended to just treat the race as a "fun run," but once people are charging around me, I can't help but push it. I've got to get in on the action. I was shocked when stopwatch girl said my time was 7:10 at mile 1. That is my fastest mile ever to my knowledge. And there was a hill in it.
I was even more astonished when, at that moment, I was passed by a bride and groom. This lovely woman charges by in a bridal veil and running shoes. I discovered later that they married after the race. (Insert your own runaway bride joke here.)

I finished in 24:29 and was greeted by Queen Grape. That was my third best 5K, and I felt satisfied with my performance because the course was hilly. I know everyone makes the summer heat an excuse, but if I had a flat course on a cool day I could smash my 23:53 PR.

I wore my Big Kahuna shirt to the race. I figured if anyone from the Springfield area noticed it, I could tell about the tragic, heartbreaking Kansas City incident that kept me from running the Aug. 11 5K (detailed in my earlier Psycho Night post).
Koei Nakanishi looked excited when he saw my shirt. Koei is a 72-year-old veteran marathoner employed with University of Arkansas. He grew up in Maui.
Koei thought my shirt was from an actual Hawaiian race. In Maui. He spoke about the island's beauty. He had to leave Maui when he joined the military many years ago, but hoped to see it again one day.
I felt like a real doofus when I told him my shirt wasn't from his enchanting homeland. It was just from a Missouri race. And I didn't even run that one. Koei looked a bit disappointed.
I know, I know. I'm a phony kahuna (sniffle).


Blogger R said...

Congrats on your good time!

August 20, 2007 7:58 PM  

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