Organized Distance Race Number 50!
Latrobe in the scenic Laurel Highlands.
The race course was very flat, and it wound through the town of Latrobe. Not a lot of traffic control on the side streets, but enough on the big crossings.
I ran a 10k here back in 1993, it was brutal, we went up the mountain. But I was younger and I hadn’t broken everything yet.
It was a long drive to get there.
Lots of rural mountain roads.
The town was small but complex to navigate.
I parked and when I got out of my car a lady asked if we were in the right place at the right time.
People rarely talk to me so it was unusual.
She was rather attractive, petite a bit younger than me. Runner’s body. Possible had a stroke at one time judging from her gait and her speech. I suppose running is her rehab. I get that.
I put on the race shirt to run the race. I now do that at every race.
Other than the shirt there were no fun giveaways.
It was a fairly big crowd.
This time I was ready, I was going to beat the very elderly, overweight females, overweight males and the god-forsaken walk-run-walk-run people who I couldn’t catch the last time.
I ran strong the first mile 11:18, fast for me. Could I have broken 11? Probably but I’ve had trouble catching my breath so I wanted to pace myself.
I wore braces on both knees to stabilize and cut the extreme pain.
I caught the old guy. I caught the groups of young kids and I was dueling with the plump women and the run-walk-run types. As soon as they would walk I would sprint to catch them, they would feel my presence and start running, so I tried to push them harder especially on uphill, where I am strong.
We ran through neighborhoods with people cheering us on. We ran through the town past some horrific-smelling meatpacking plant. I was close to 24 minutes at the two mile, so I figured I would go for broke and thus exhaust the run-walk-run crowd. When I approached the stadium parking lot I saw a chance to break 35 minutes for the first time in seven years so, yes, I actually sprinted full bore past a very nice couple.
Unfortunately an elderly man had a heart attack at the finish line. It was pretty grim.
Also, there were no refreshments, nothing fun to eat.
I went to lay down on the concrete steps of the stadium away from the crowd.
I listened to the sirens.
I thought about the elderly man.
If he died and I hope he didn’t, he died running.
That’s what it’s all about.
I want to be like him.
Die doing something you love, whatever it is.
Peace be The Botendaddy