First Place! (kind of)
by B.J. Delas Armas
on 11/17/2007 04:54:00 PM
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Well, technically second place cause some clown was trying to take the moment away from me. But just know that I led the majority of the race of a pack of 3000.
Forget for a moment that technically it was supposed to be a WALK. On its website, United Way made it a huge point: This going to be was a Non-Competitive
To emphasize this point, they did a few things to the event: they gave us these participant badges for us to wear around our necks as if we were going to some kind of conference. They even gave us plastic bags for our T-shirts, but no place to store them. Anything to discourage running.
Luckily, I had planned for that. I rapped my conference badge around the plastic bag with the extra T-shirt and carried it like a football.
When Villaraigosa and his mini-entourage of assorted muckety mucks in the public and nonprofit sector snuck through the crowd, the officially race began.
I decided that I would wait and see who ran. Who the hell wants to run if you're going to be the only one?
After I saw a few kids race off and run and even a few adults, I decided...fuck it, I don't do walking.
So I jogged, and before you know it I was squaring off with the competition's finest: a 4'7 5th grade kid wearing jean pants and two or three layers of shirts (the leader) and later, 3 white dudes who looked like they had come from a mean night of partying, though one of them did look kinda fast.
I didn't want to embarass anyone (LOL), or myself really.
Again, if I had just burned the competition and ran balls to the wall it wouldve no better an accomplishment than Carl Lewis entering the special olympics and winning all the events. It would've just been so awkwardly stupid, considering that this was a non-competitive walk.
So my strategy was to stroll through and run with people if possible, and maintain a slight lead.
Halfway through the race, the 3 white guys fell off because one of the white guys was running too slow. I kept looking back, cause I didn't want to be the only person there.
But I gotta tell you: it felt good to be at the very apex of an event, even if I was just jogging amidst a sea of walkers.
I held the lead up till the very end, and it wasn't because I "hit the wall". Towards the end, some fat-legged clown decided that he wanted all the glory of "winning" first place. So he eventually caught up to me. He then ran past me, and I kept a pace with him, but I could tell that he really wanted this more than I did. So, I decided not to press the issue and let him "win" 1st place. It would be embarassing to show competitiveness in an event of noncompetitiveness.
Afterr the race, he looked at me and asked "that's it?" That doesn't seem like 3 miles."
I said, "yeah I know." Then I suggested that "maybe it was because everyone was just jogging and running slower than usual."
I could feel the temperature in his excitement drop after I suggested that.
I really wasn't trying to ruin his day.
Labels: Life's Stories, Marathon Running