Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Crushing Dreams and a Beatdown at the Ridley

This past weekend I made my return to the Ridley 5k after a 1 year hiatus. I've done this race every year since 2002 but last year the Army 10 Miler conflicted with it. On Saturday morning I lined up for the 5k.

The main road the race starts and finishes on was ripped up for repaving so that meant taking it easy on the way out and back. But once off that road, it was all out. When the gun went off, I started out at a comfortable pace as I made my way down 25. The crowd fanned out quickly and I had some room to run. I had a race planned the next day so I knew this would not be an 'all out' effort. The turn off came quickly and I was running well.

Before I knew it I was coming up on the 1 mile marker. Ahead of me I saw a small runner. At most she came up to my waist. She was wearing a pink shirt with shorts that had matching trim. She looked like a child of one of the central american farm workers up here. On a whole, they are short people so she could be a 7 year old or a grown woman in my age group. Either way, I had to keep her close. As I came up along side her, we established eye contact. I taunted encouraged her by giving a thumbs up and said "good job". She took this as a challenge and ran ahead of me. I smiled knowing full well she was about to get a beatdown by me. I let her go a little but knowing she couldn't hold on. I maintained my speed and quickly came back to her. This time I didn't look directly at her, but I could see out of the corner of my she was looking at me. I mumbled "hasta la vista, baby" and put down the hammer. At this point I had 2 miles to put her away. There would be a few opportunities on the course to judge how far ahead I was.

The first roundabout came up and as I went around a small turnaround I didn't see her. For all I knew she was right behind me. I looked for her as I went up the road and still didn't see her. That meant at this time she was still not too far behind. I was running scared here. I didn't want to have this race end in a showdown. I turned down Riverside Drive and headed towards the next turnaround. After I turned around the traffic cone, I looked for my prey. She was a good distance behind me now. I knew if I didn't slow down, the crushing of her dreams would be complete.

I kept up my pace and was nearing the finish line. I made the final turn off 25 and headed to the finish line triumphant!! I kept my eye on the clock and saw my victim making her way up the road. She wound up finishing ~3 minutes behind me. When I looked up the results later, I saw that she was 7 years old. It's never too early to crush the dreams of a child. Ah, I love the smell of a good beatdown, smells like victory!!

No comments:

Post a Comment