The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Thirty 5Ks… #13 (Black Squirrels and Damn Dirty Cheaters)

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As I was rolling into Bryan, Ohio, at 7:20 A.M. Thanksgiving morning, I was thinking this is Medal City… Population: Me! That was my first mistake of the day, because Bryan is actually known as The Fountain City, and its population was listed at 8,545 in the 2010 census.  But really, why wouldn’t I be thinking I would drive away in another hour and a half with a medal?  I ran the Williams County YMCA Turkey Trot in Bryan two years ago and finished ten seconds away from a medal in my age division.  Somebody in my age division probably cheated that day and I meant to contact the race sponsors about it, but I got too busy.  Anyhow, I figured the best revenge would be to show up and run the way I know I can and let all those people behind me sniff my vapor trails, and I’d wear my medal all day long.  Besides, I’m in a new age division, and I am lighter and faster than two years ago.  Plus, the weather was perfect for running:  Cold, wet, and overcast.  Everything was going Jeff Burd’s way!

As far as the actual race, the Turkey Trot is a pretty good one that I’ve found to be well run.  They draw between 200-300 people and lay things out on a flat, double-loop course with but one turn that slows you down a bit.  I envisioned myself as far back as two weeks ago doing well by starting fast off the line and positioning myself effectively early in the race.  All that happened, too.  As I was coming around the far side of the first loop, I was feeling a solid pace that was faster than usual by about 30 seconds.  Plus, I was picking off some dudes who looked to be in my age division.  Not that I would know since I really have trouble telling who is my age anymore, but it still felt good.

When I reached the same place on the second loop, I spotted some black squirrels romping around in the trees and wet grass on the side of the course.  They caught my attention because we don’t see many black squirrels around The Seeker luxury headquarters, though we have grey squirrels like the Army has boots.  Turns out there are pockets of black squirrels throughout the midwest and along the east coast, and a number of institutions have adopted the black squirrel as their mascot due to their bad-ass appearance and relative rarity (only 1 in 10,000 squirrels is black).  I looked all this up (after the race, of course) and I’m glad I did since I initially figured  we didn’t see black squirrels around Chicago too much because the cops would probably shoot them.

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This is but one nut that I’d like to show you…

Anyhow, I came trucking down the chute with nobody within seven seconds of me and cleared the finish line in 25:08.  It was my best Thanksgiving 5K ever, and my 2nd fastest time in four years.  “I killed it,” I told my dad, who came along to see the race and offer his support.  I told him we’d wait around a bit to get the official results and for me to pick up my medal.  That was my second mistake of the day, and it wasn’t even 10 A.M.

I could have kept running past the finish line and right to my car, and we could have gotten home a lot earlier to truly begin enjoying the holiday because I was nowhere near getting a medal.  I finished 40th overall, and 1:16 faster than two years ago, but it was still only good enough for 4th place in my age division.  The dude who took third place was almost a minute and a half ahead of me.  I took a look at the overall results, and they confirmed what I’ve been saying for years:  Whatever age division I’m in is the toughest division in the race.  I would have finished 3rd in the 18-24 division, and 2nd in the 65-100 division.  I’m not worried about it, though.  I’m pretty sure somebody cheated again.  I’ll have to remember to contact the race sponsors.  If I hound them enough, they’ll probably send me a medal.

 

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Written by seeker70

November 29, 2016 at 7:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] this time.  This time I was in a better place as a runner and still feeling the good vibes from a Thanksgiving run that I killed despite the rampant cheating that was apparent on the course.  This time I was going […]


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