Three things I will remember:
1. The little guys ahead of me in the endless line for the shuttle. This race attracts serious elementary teams. They have little uniforms and come ready to kick old-guy butt. My butt. The guys in the picture above had their hands locked the entire time we were in line. I guess so they didn’t get separated. Or maybe a little protection from the crowd. When I see kids that small, I’m trained to think of those one-mile fun runs where everybody gets a ribbon. These guys are uncorking 4 miles at a lightning pace. Sadly I was never anywhere close enough to trip one to improve my standings.
2. Announcer man: There’s a guy with a microphone a quarter-mile or so from the exchange point. He calls out the number of the incoming runner so that his or her relay member will be ready. This works great in theory.
As the first runner came in, he called out the number, then repeated it. Same thing for second place, and third and 10th, and so on. But then the crowd started to thicken.
After a while, he stopped repeating numbers and just started calling them once. First, at a reasonable cadence. Then faster. Then faster still.
“52 511 1328 16 338 101 1948674958686968” he called in a frenzy. 6837462987475968 followed by a gasp for air, and then the word F***! And then a long pause.
I looked at the guy sitting next to me and asked, “Did he just say that?” He smiled and nodded.
A short pause and the guy was back to his frenzied cadence.
I watched for the team with the F*** bib, but never saw them. But then there were a lot of teams, so who knows.
On the bright side, those little racing guys learned a new word. Who says running isn’t eductional …
3. Rooby roo: Too hot. I’m guessing about 85 for my leg with the usual humidity that comes from living 6 feet away from an abnormally large puddle of water. I was on my second hour of hiding in the shade of a utility pole trying to stay cool when Scooby Doo came roaring in with his baton. Yup, a guy had just run his leg in a full Scooby Doo costume. I tried to get a photo but he had disappeared into the crowd. I wonder if teammates were dressed as other cast members and if so, who would the sixth person be? They crushed out team. I ran my leg thinking, I would’ve gotten away with this race if he hadn’t been for those meddling kids …)
(p.s. for those of you keeping score at home, Mo left later than she had planned to take J.T. to the airport, allowing me to do the Park My Car At The Leg 6 Exchange And Hitch A Ride To The Leg 5 Parking Lot Where I Caught The Shuttle to The Leg 5 Exchange Point. WAY harder than the actual run.)