Wednesday, November 3, 2010

R U Mocking Me?

Unfortunately for some, it turns out that last weekend’s 33rd annual version of the Tulsa Run is steeped in controversy, as informal protests regarding likely rules infractions have been lodged. Further, it turns out that I was innocently a victim in this sordid fray, and as you will have to imagine was left no unreasonable alternative other than this pursuit of injustice. The details: While in plain sight of on-course officials, I clearly communicated my non-verbal intentions to take one of my three allowed timeouts per half, yet my rapid hand flick across the tip of my extended hand (classic “T” motion) didn’t so much as elicit any type of response. Not a nod, nary a head shake – actually nothing but a glassy-eyed stare as if my request had no standing. Adding to the frustration, this happened more than once with the same degree of non-responsiveness. Now, I ask you and all who may not care: How can competitive racing ever be categorized as a “sport” when the thread that commonly binds nearly all other physical competitions of strength, stamina, and strategy are all afforded the basic conceptual staple of ‘Wait, I’m not ready, I need to take a moment”? Stripped of this semi-constitutional right, one can only wonder if we have inadvertently strode into the leg-quivering activity of not a sport, but of a mere hobby, which as all our attentive accountants will attest makes it non-tax deductible. This could get messy before we’re able to come up for a full lung of air.

And if that weren’t enough, were others aware that this past weekend had kind of an eerie spooky quality? Not sure what was going on, but out-of-character and random and unsolicited appearances were popping up both left and the other left. All of this was accompanied with an insatiable appetite for mass quantities of micro-sized Mars products. Not sure if this is linked to the mid-Term elections, the stage of the moon, or a more likely fear of the upcoming annual turning back of the clocks. You can only imagine how boggling it can be to a philosophical belief that “Life Has No Mulligans” when you are made to re-experience an hour of time that has already passed. Does the 2nd choice nullify the first? Do two wrongs make a right? When does this invitation end already?

Which brings us to this Saturday’s Training Run – the last long run before the Route 66 Marathon. Since repetition is the mother of invention, or something of that sort, our much maligned Runners World dungeon and torture tenders have devised a way to help us realize the pain, suffering, and disappointment of running a marathon without any of the medaltry, un-adoring fans, belittling family comments, and certainly without the marching band pageantry. What we get at 7:30 AM at Veteran’s Park is a “this is as real as it’s gonna’ get” dry run of most of the R66 course, an actual semi-functional clock, random distance markers, scrambled hieroglyphics disguised as route directions, and and and (tension building moment for dramatic effect) C-A-R-S (all the better to hit you with my dearie)! Seems like I’m leaving out something important – oh yes – how could I forget – we get to experience Pretty Boy Brian with his beloved bull horn (oh my!). Well worth the price of admission, which is $5, or more if you are still feeling guilty from going sans costume on Halloween (paid in advance of the actual run for the obvious reason that if you don’t make it back we don’t want the hassle of trying to wrangle money from a corpse or to re-gift used and arid running apparel (consumer protection laws require full disclosure regarding whether articles were being worn at the TOD). Once again, the money collected goes to the best possible charity – RW Runners – for unhealthy snacks, sugary drinks, and other coddling excesses such as hydration fluids. (P.S. For those who are always looking for an unfair advantage, for an extra $5 I’ll see what I can do to get you moved to the prestigious inside lane near the front of the starting line – just please keep it on the down low so as not to draw speculations of potential bribery and misuse of power and influence.)

So come one, come all, and bring your wayward prodigal running friends (those who may have lost their way and haven’t been subjected to endured these non-aspirational weekly invitations). Let’s put a foot or two to the ground and Mock the Route.


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