1. Drive six hours to a small city in West Texas. Make sure it’s the weekend of the Superhero 5K, which draws most of the city’s runners. Go to the OTHER race, a small trail race just outside of town which is sure to have a small field.
2. Smooch Smokey the Bear on the way to the start line. I have no idea why this is essential. Mo assures me it’s all part of the strategy.
3. Drink coffee. Lots of coffee. Lots and lots and lots of coffee. Hope there’s no drug testing.
4. Get Lucky Horned Toad to pee on your bib.
5. Run race. This step is optional.
6. Make sure the race is timed old-style, no chips. They just tear off your tag and put it on board in order. Noticing race director is wearing a Bandera jacket, strike up sotol conversation. Mention that your dear friend Joe would be most appreciative if he moved your name up to the first row. Say something about possible comped races to the Capt’n Karl series.
7. When that doesn’t work, whip out your own trophy. Award yourself the prestigious “first person to smooch Smokey with horned toad pee on bib” trophy. Make hubs curtsy before you and exclaim “Blessings be upon thee, oh exalted trail goddess” for the duration of the day.
8. Smooch Smokey again on the way out. Because it’s never too early to start getting ready for the next race …