Walking the Dog

It’s hard to drag the boys out to the races on cold winter mornings – especially when they have other things on the go. This morning, for example, Skipper wanted to sing with the Youth Choir at Church and who am I to argue with a 10 year old boy who wants to go to Church? So, once again, I arranged for Supermom K (thanks!) to pick him up on her way.

This meant that Little Ironman was going to stay home with Daddy. Even though we talked about this all week and again last night, I expected tears at 7:55 this morning, five minutes before Shawn picked me up. None! Getting out of the house could not have been any easier.

An hour later, Shawn and I were tied at the wrist with a red ribbon to run the Valentine’s Day Couples Race. Now, our wrists weren’t locked together; we had about an 18 inch tether. However, it was definitely awkward. We had to decide who wanted which side, and we carefully placed ourselves at the starting line so that we wouldn’t have to pass too many people; then, we planned how we would work our way around – left or right – those couples who were in front. While running, the ribbon wrapped itself around my left elbow and pulled, an tiny little nuisance during the race. Being tied together meant that I had to ask Shawn to move left so I wouldn’t slip on the wet white road paint; usually, I can just move out of the way without worrying about bumping into someone else. Most importantly, though, our joint venture meant that there were no last minute trips to empty our bladders; once the ribbon was tied, it was on until we crossed the finish line.

The pressure to run well in Burlington was on me. Shawn is a faster runner so he just had to match my pace – easily done. In fact, since we run together once a week, our gaits are pretty much in sync anyway. We had the same goal: to have fun but to place as the first Master couple so that we could win a dinner for two and take our spouses with us.

After warming up, we tied ourselves together and headed to the start line. “Wait!” I said. “Let’s run up to the corner so that we can practise a turn.” No problem. And as we ran back, Shawn commented, “I feel like I’m walking a dog.” Thanks, Buddy!

The two of us stood at the start line with two friends, whose race times are comparable to mine, running the Singles Event . I wished both Delilah and Margaret good luck and suddenly felt nervous – yes, nervous about beating them even though they were in a different category.

The horn sounded and Shawn and I took off – too fast. Our first K was 4:09 and I felt it halfway through the second kilometre. By the time we passed the 3K mark, we were on track for a 21:30 finish (which Shawn thought was ambitious, he later told me) and we almost did. At 21:30, Delilah passed us and in 21:33, we crossed the finish line, with the announcers calling us the third overall couple. Darn!

In the end, we did finish as the Overall Master Couple and took home some great shwag. The award ceremony, though, is another story on its own. Stay tuned….

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