We had been playing leapfrog with the woman in the neon shorts since the beginning of mile 2. We were killing time while running along the endless uphill at the Jurassic Park fence. She and Mo were discussing whether the fence was electrified and who exactly should touch it to find out and if the monkey skull was actually a fossil or not or something. I don’t know. I’m not much of a talker.
And so it went for miles. We passed her, she passed us, we passed her again, she passed us again. Repeat as necessary. And it was necessary a lot.
Finally, we went by her at the mile 5 split. She told Mo (in what was probably part joke and part challenge), “You’re not going to beat me.” This is a bad thing to tell Mo.
She kicked into the next gear and we cruised through the final mile at a pace that ensured the neon woman didn’t have a chance (although I don’t really know if she thought we were racing). Stop for the perfect photo of the super moon? Not tonight. Slow down a little through the high-grass stretch where we couldn’t even see the trail in the dark? Sorry. We kept up an unrelenting pace till we made the right turn signaling a hundred yards or so to go. Victory was hers.
As we approached the finish line, Mo stopped. Because she wanted to wait for the neon runner to finish. Because the trail is a place to discover, not defeat.
This is the photo as they crossed the finish line together. Race results show they finished in exactly the same time.
If someone asked me the difference between road racing and trail racing, I would just direct them to this photo. Joy. I can’t remember the last time I bought a race photo. I bought this one.
P.S. yes, this allowed me to beat Mo by 30 seconds. Nya nya.