Well, I admit that it wasn't as much fun as I had expected. The main problem was that there were too many of us. You can hardly blame the organizers for that. It's definitely better to have too many than too few. But there just wasn't enough for everyone to have something to do. Many of the finish line volunteers were teenagers -- there was at least one church group involved -- and they wanted to be helpful. So they crowded up near the finish line and shoved medals at people. My choices were either to elbow my way past them, or stand back with a couple of other old guys and hand out medals to the few people who slipped through the gauntlet. We also cheered a lot.
I was reminded of why I'm glad I'm not a serious runner. The guy who won the quarter marathon was pissed. I never heard exactly why. He was mad at the bike escort, who was trying really hard to apologize to him. So the bike guy must either have cut the runner guy off, or led him off course briefly. Whatever it was, it couldn't have been that bad. The runner guy still won the race by five minutes. But by golly, he was pissed, and he let everyone know it.
All weekend, I had the urge to join in. I couldn't help but envy the runners' broad smiles. It was cool and overcast, so that wasn't as bad as last year. But just about 10:30, when I would have had about an hour and a half left to run, it started raining steadily. So maybe it was just as well that I didn't run.
The Value-Added Conundrum
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