A Race Case
Despite what they tell you, slow and steady doesn’t usually win the race. With that in mind, I present to you the strange case of my rise from the dregs of race mediocrity. I will share last summer’s asphalt battles, their outcomes, and the perplexing questions that they leave unanswered. Then, perhaps, you will fare better than I at unraveling the mysteries of this counterintuitive tale.
The first race of the 2014 season, for Jason and me, was the Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival 5K. This event took place at the end of April but the weather felt more like February. Unusual chilliness combined with relentless moisture to create a vortex of sopping unpleasantness along its entire path. I dripped through the finish line at 29:39, coming 6th in my category, an unimpressively run-of the-mill conclusion to be sure. Jason placed 5th in his group at 23:14.
Color Me Rad was our next 5K but it wasn’t timed so we’ll never know if we sprinted or sauntered through it, though I suspect the later. Then, we ran the Lehi Roundup 5-Mile in June. We both somehow managed to rank 2nd in our respective Roundup divisions with a time of 48:41 for me and 37:59 for Jason. Sadly, they only gave out medals to the 1st-place winners so I got no bling for what I thought might be my only victory forevermore.
In August, we did the Midnight Moon 5K in Sandy. I sped it up to 29:18 for this race and Jason slowed it down to 23:32. These times were good enough for 2nd place in my division and 1st in Jason’s. Another 2nd place for me? How was that possible?
The crowning achievement of our 2014 racing careers transpired in October. I guess I dash better deceased because I booked it during the Night of the Running Dead 5K, dressed as a zombie, and finished in 26:33. Jason crossed the line at 21:32, 5 minutes before me. In full disclosure, our reanimated muscles weren’t the only reason for these curiously-quick outcomes, the course was slightly shorter than a true 5K. Undersized route or not, our paces secured us both 1st place in our categories.
Why all the wins? What’s in my secret sauce? (Jason’s sauce is no trade secret.) I’m certainly not a fast runner, as my race times verify, so I’m a little perplexed over my fresh success. I didn’t enter a new age category this year so I can’t blame the other old farts. Is the world slowing, making me seem swifter by comparison? Alas, I’m afraid my sauce will forever be spiced with enigmas.
While I’d love to be a running superstar with the trophies and medals to prove that I’m the non-rodent equivalent of Speedy Gonzales, my legs aren’t really onboard with that. Consequently, I’m not sure how to make my recent triumphs fit into my philosophy of the universe. Can slow and steady truly win the race more times than can be accounted for by flukes? Maybe when the 2015 racing starts I’ll find out.