Sunday, August 5

Woggle in the Heat

A million miles of running and I hit the wall. I bounce back and I run some more -- Veruca Salt, Volcano Girls

Brace yourself. This is a race tale you may not believe. I, rslight, promise it is true.
Several runners at the start of Saturday's Chance for Children 5k in Overland Park near Kansas City anxiously commented about the August heat, as if it might be a difficulty. However, heat turned out to be my least worry.
When the race started, I felt a sharp sting in my back. As a spinal meningitis survivor, I still suffer from scoliosis. If I turn my back just the wrong way, I'll be in great pain. I stopped, walked a few steps, and then sped up in a furious effort to regain ground.

I was cruising at a good pace on the second mile when I suddenly got terrible stomach cramps. My legs and feet were fine, but my ribs ached. I slowed down almost to a walk. I did what John "the Penguin" Bingham calls a "woggle," which is part-jog, part-waddle. I moaned as several people passed me.
I recovered on the last mile and managed a decent pace, but my heart was out of it. As I approached the finish line (which featured lovable costume character Snoopy), I didn't care that others were sprinting past me. I jogged in for a final time of 25:49.

A timing chip was on the race bib, and runners were told to immediately place them in bins. (Expletive) safety pins are often tough to get off, especially when you're in a hurry to get some water. In my frustration I uttered some (mild) profanity. Yes, in front of Snoopy.
At that moment, a smiling photographer with informed me he photographed me during the race. I flashed him my "you did what now?" look. I can't bear to go to the site, but any picture of me has to be my least flattering. Ever.

Then, to prove that crazy things happen in a crazy world, during the awards ceremony I won my age group. That deserves two exclamation points. I won my age group!! A hurting Springfield man outran eight presumably healthy Kansas City 30-something men. Unreal.


Blogger MS said...

Say cheese!

August 06, 2007 5:47 PM  
Blogger Jim Evans said...

Never apologize for winning, regardless of your performance or the competition. There is no dishonor in being the one who made the effort.

August 06, 2007 7:28 PM  

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