Monday, February 07, 2011

I ran in a race this weekend.  I've been avoiding these things like the plague for the last couple years because I knew it was going to be depressing to cross the finish line significantly slower than I used to, but if I've learned anything from the last few months of my life, it's the value of lowered expectations

The race went ok, assuming that your definition of ok consists of exhausting yourself for 13.1 miles and then slowly walking 3 miles back to your car on tender feet while your quads seize up.  Really the best part of the experience was the email I got afterwards from one of the organizers of my running club.  She said that she had been watching the local news on TV this morning and saw footage of me "sprinting" towards the finish line.  Unfortunately the footage was accompanying their story about a runner who collapsed and died just after crossing the finish line.

I'm saddened that a fellow runner died during this event, but I must admit that I think it's rather amusing that out of all the footage they must have gathered of people crossing the finish line, they used mine as an illustration of what someone looks like on the doorstep of death.  I haven't seen the story yet, but I suspect the accompanying commentary sounded like this:

"Bob, the half marathon in San Francisco this weekend was marred by the death of a participant, who collapsed shortly after completing the 13.1 mile race.  Here we see him staggering towards the finish line, obviously unwell."

"My god, Sue, that is gruesome footage.  I can't believe spectators didn't pull him from the course as soon as they saw his running form."

"Such a shame.  We can tell from his facial expression that he died in a simply ridiculous amount of pain."

Anyway, I guess considering that I didn't die, I'd call the race was a success.

(Update:  I found the footage.  Turns out, the story of a runner dying is not at all funny even accompanied by a couple seconds of me running.  Nor was my guess at their commentary entirely accurate.  You can see me on the right 40 seconds into the video on this page.)


Dr Becca said...

Congrats on running a race! I haven't done that since high school, so you're more than OK in my book. Nice to see you writing again!

Anonymous said...

Not too comfortable with the juxtaposition of your returning to running and some 35 year olds death in the same race. Seems just a touch macabre.

Mike said...

Dr Becca, thanks for the encouragement. Eventually my head fills with so much inanity, I'm forced to dump some of it here.

Anon, it's true. This post is probably tasteless even by my standards.