Sunday, September 13, 2009

Confessions of a 5K Cheater

Yesterday morning I cheated in jogging a 5K for the Coaltion for the Homeless. I didn't mean to, but I couldn't find the starting line! After checking in at the registration table and pinning on my nice big number about 10 minutes before the race was to start, I asked one of our sisters working the race where it would start, and she pointed down the road, saying, "That way." So I started walking that way, farther into the park.

I kept walking and saw nothing that looked like a starting line, and when I asked a regular weekend walker if she'd seen it, she wasn't quite sure, but said she'd seen a big group of people down the road a bit: "If you walk really fast you might catch up with them." So I walked on, following several signs indicating where the race was, until I met up with two women with water and stop watches.

"Excuse me," I asked, "but where is the beginning of the race?"
"A mile back that way!" one of them laughed. "The race hasn't started yet!"

Oops. So here I am a mile into the race, a slow jogger type inadvertently well ahead of the real runners, a minute or two before the actual race was to begin. I told the ladies I wasn't playing for money and that I'd just hang out for a bit until the fast people came by. I didn't want to capitalize on my unfair advantage due to stupidity, so I waited until the strung-out pack came by, first some men, then some women; eventually I joined the jog for the rest of the way.

At the end (which was clearly marked "FINISH"), kids from a local choir were clapping and holding out their hands for high fives. I felt like the consummate cheater jogging in, not terribly winded, not at my usual place at the complete end of the pack. But it was a nice run. God bless the work of the Coaltition for the Homeless!

1 comment:

  1. Your story is hilarious. Don't worry. We won't turn you in. Nice picture on the website: