This year, like I did last year, I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure here in Knoxville. Backed by my sponsors, I raised $300 to help fight breast cancer, and I got to go for a brisk walk in the early morning.
The really early morning. It was cold, dark, and foggy when I left the house, and the sun was just coming up when I reached World's Fair Park for the race:
Last year I got there right before the race started, so there wasn't time to look around, but this year I got to stand on the Clinch Avenue bridge and watch people gather, and it convinced me of one important lesson:
When I do this next year I definitely need more pink than just the shirt and my bandanna. Given the slight difficulty I had purchasing a pink shirt, I'm thinking that for pink warmup pants I'm probably going to have to go ahead and just buy some from the women's department. Female friends, if there's anything I need to know about ladypants prior to purchase, please, feel free to offer some pointers.
The first pointer is probably going to be to just call them "pants".
Anyway, people eventually started lining up for the race, with the timed runners moving to the front:
and the rest of us massing behind them for the second start:
And then we were off!
At first, I was excited. I was moving at a steady, almost brisk pace, passing the river:
and the cheerleaders:
and then I got passed:
by a girl on crutches.
Let me repeat that, in case I'm not humiliated enough yet:
I got passed by a girl on crutches.
Not only that, but we weren't even at the first mile yet:
or two later:
and I still never caught up with that girl on crutches.
She didn't just pass me. She stayed ahead of me for the entire race.
The loss of all that self esteem that was apparently weighing me down may have worked to my advantage, because I ended up with a decent time:
and a horrible sun flare in that photo.
Anyway, here I am at the end of the race:
I have no idea where the girl on crutches was, or what her time was, but clearly, I need to make better life choices.