One thing I now know is this: if your travels take you anywhere near a mall at this time of year, you should allow for some extra driving time. On Sunday I went straight from my son's water polo game to register for and run in The Last Man Standing run, a celebration for local runner Paul Kamerer's birthday.
The race shirt.
Race start time was 1:00. I cruised in at 12:55, scribbled my reg form and tossed some money along with it, then started running in the direction of the starting line, which was quite a ways away. Fortunately, they started the race a little late, but I was still on the wrong side of levee as I heard "On your marks, get set, GO!" and the race started. I wanted to scream "Wait for meeeee!" but that would have taken valuable oxygen!
So I crossed the start line a bit after the official start, but that was fine. Along the way I met the birthday boy, who was escorted by a younger woman running on either side of him. Many people were wearing party hats. There was all ages present, from high school cross country runners, to kids with their parents, to runners in their 60s, 70s, and 80s (that's my best guess on the ages).
I finished the race, and then joined two guys who were cheering people on. We chatted about marathons and ultras (one guy assured me that an ultra is WAY easier than a marathon, because you don't run the entire time -- good food for thought for sure!). After a while, they decided to go in (it was cold and raining), but I wanted to go back and see how Paul was doing. I wasn't the only one with that thought, and there was a group of maybe 30 or more runners all running behind Paul. As he approached the finish line, he sped up and we all cheered as he finished!
Me and Paul (he's wearing my gift to him -- a Zombie Runner hat).
You can read more about Paul and Pinkhouse Gym here. Paul's actual birthday is December 26th. He will be NINETY YEARS YOUNG! Isn't he what everyone wants to be when they grow up???