... or, Why You Should Never Let A temve
So, today is a public holiday in Germany - Ascension Day to the Christians, Fathers' Day to the guys, and to the local running community, the day of the local season-opener 10K, the Höchster Kreisstadtlauf
This one is a Local Race writ large - virtually no pro runners participating, all proceeds got to a local children's charity, local volunteer fire brigades taking care of safety and water stops, and the local paper organizing the whole mess. Traditionally, this is the season opener for many runners in the area, not least because it's a net downhill course which makes for good times. And the weather is usually glorious, today being no exception.
So, early this morning I got on my bike, rode to the nearest train station, boarded the local train with a couple hundred other runners (and absolutely nobody else) and trekked out to the start line - this is a point-to-point, and while I no longer live at the finish line like I used to, it's still only a short bike ride away. I get to the start line, pick up my race number, pin it on... and realise that I've forgotten my timing chip at home. Oops.
See, that's what happens when I try to run races without ell
, who is off to Poland for a long weekend of aikido today. Without her meticulous-bordering-on-OCD packing, I managed to bring a water bottle, a banana, a warm jacket, my phone, the house key, a little cash, and even some reading - but not my timing chip.
Oh well, I thought, I'll just treat it as a fun 10K run in the sun, with lots of company. That was when I spied a dude with a helium bottle and a couple of large red rubber balloons and a small sign informing the public that anybody who ran the race carrying one of those big red balloons advertising the local paper would get a free drink and food at the finish line.
Sure, I thought. Sign me up.
Pre-race me with red balloon doing its thing. Yes, that is a Japanese torii in the background. No, I don't know either.( Let's call it the Decompression Derby, shall we? )